Sunday, March 29, 2009

Are You Listening?

God speaks to us in many ways. Sometimes it in a question from a child or a bird singing near the window. You must be quiet to hear Him speak to you.
Are you listening?
In times of desperation, I have been so busy rattling off my concerns, that frankly He could not have gotten a word in edgewise. Then I wonder why He didn't answer.
My thoughts are not always His. Not all good ideas are God ideas. He has a plan and purpose for my life. It is not a one size fits all. It is individually suited for me. Still I cannot use my individuality, my uniqueness as a mask for rebellion. It is not to be my way, but His.
In listening, I can fine tune the itinerary to reach His destination for love, joy and peace. Isn't that we really want anyway?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Awaken the artist witnin yourself and paint

The older I get the more important it is to me to leave something behind. How will I be remembered? In my 30s, I was very selfish. A great deal of that was to protect myself from further abuse. Then I met Ray.
Ray got a real tiger by the tail when he married me. We laugh now and say, he re-wrote The Taming of the Shrew (good old boy style.) He never gave up on me even when loving me was like loving a porcupine or hugging a telephone pole.
Mary Kay has taught me a great deal about giving love. I mostly do the one on one facial so I can spend time with the woman sharing that no matter where she is in this journey called life, she is beautiful, a creation of Father God.
I have had some cry saying that no one has ever told them they were special before. That should not be so.
I am sorting books for a huge garage sale next weekend, and I found one by Lee Ann Womack called Something Worth Leaving Behind. The following is a quote from it:
"You are the artist who paints a masterpiece
In the lives of those around you.
Maybe you are doing it right now.
Maybe you will do it tomorrow.
Or the day after that.
But you WILL make a difference.
You will make a beautiful difference.
With words of encouragement,
Words of hope,
With a smile...
A long hug...
A heart felt "thank you."
There are canvases
All around you.
Some are in desperate need of what only you can offer.
Awaken the artist within you and
A masterpiece?
A living, breathing, masterpiece!
One person at a time.
One stroke at a time
With the color of...

One of my favorite scriptures is Romans 5:5, "... the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."

You are deeply loved, pass it on.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Time Out

Ray and I were given an opportunity to stay in an 1885 cabin. It was originally a tobacco drying house. Our friends, Rick and Mary Pat, own StillMeadows and needed a passive caretaker for their property and dogs.
There is no television. However, in the cabin we stayed in, there was internet access and sometimes our cell phones worked.
It was time to be together, plan our trip to Ireland which is fast approaching and totally relax.
When I laid down at night, I could look out the window through the pine trees to the lake. It was very much like Northern Florida where I was born and raised. There was quiet that soothed the soul.
Sometimes I don't think that we realize how wound up we are until we really step out of every day sounds and demands and soak in blissful quiet. Watching the sun set over the lake was equally relaxing.
What a rich gift of time we were given. I remember when my friend, Sharon, gave me her cabin for a week. It strengthened me.
In quiet there is healing and after the restoration of your soul you are free to dream again. Time and stress are dream snatchers.
I was reminded while away how important it is to take time and be still. Whether it is a cabin in the woods or a bubble bath, be still; be quiet. Dare to dream.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Are You Living or Going through the Motions?

Each day is a gift. Are you living it to its fullest or taking it for granted?
I slept until 9 am. A rare treat for me. When I finally got up, I purposed to make this day special for resting and loving.
What loving thing can I do for others to make their day special as well?
Phone call? Email? A real handwritten letter? Even a smile at a stranger or an encouraging word is a gift to others.
Everyone has something to contribute to the this world. Better to give today for tomorrow is not promised.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

God, Be My Everything

Whether it is our trip to Ireland, finishing a Journal for the ministry I work for or my Mary Kay goals if God is not first, it is just wood, hay and stubble.
Nothing can be more important than my relationship with Him. No fear can cancel my faith. He must be my everything.

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.
To delight means to totally surrender. To make Him your everything.
It is a journey to cut out the things in our lives that do not reflect Him. The destination brings joy unspeakable and peace that passes all understanding. It is well worth the journey.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

Today for our Sunday service, we had a four hour prayer meeting. It was both powerful and peaceful. I have never been in one like it before.
At one point someone read the third chapter of 2 Timothy:
his know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.
But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all [men], as theirs also was.
But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of [them] all the Lord delivered me.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned [them];
And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

It was a holy time with much repentance for our own sins.
Then we sang Change My Heart, O God.
Will you sing it with me now?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Buzzard, the Bat and the Bumblebee

I was sent this through an email. I do not know its author.


If you put a buzzard in a pen that is 6 feet by 8 feet and is entirely open at the top, the bird, in spite of its ability to fly, will be an absolute prisoner. The reason is that a buzzard always begins a flight from the ground with a run of 10 to 12 feet. Without space to run, as is its habit, it will not even attempt to
fly, but will remain a prisoner for life in a small jail with no top.


The ordinary bat that flies around at night, a remarkable nimble creature in the air, cannot take off from a level place. If it is placed on the floor or flat ground, all it can do is shuffle about helplessly and, no doubt, painfully, until it reaches some slight elevation from which it can throw itself
into the air. Then, at once, it takes off like flash!

A bumblebee, if dropped into an open tumbler, will be there until it dies, unless it is taken out. It never sees the means of escape at the top, but persists in trying to find some way out through the sides near the bottom. It will seek a way where none exists, until it completely destroys itself.

In many ways, we are like the buzzard, the bat, and the bumblebee.
We struggle about with all our problems and frustrations, never realizing that all we have to do is look up!

Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, BUT faith looks up!
Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly and trust

Sunday, March 8, 2009

What Does God Want to Achieve Through Your Life Today?

Each morning when I open my computer, I receive a short devotional from TGIF Today God Is First daily devotionals which is a service of
They have a real heart to bring the Lord to the marketplace. Too often we compartmentalize our life keeping our faith separate from our work. I work for a ministry so it isn't an issue there, but I also sell Mary Kay. I need balance in my life so that I don't go running after goals that aren't God's best for me.
Yesterday's devotion ended with the following written by Os Hillman:
"Today we find many Christian workplace believers living a status quo relationship with God that is more characterized as "business as usual" than a life demonstrating God's power. Our focus is often more concerned with improving our standard of living than improving the Kingdom of God through our circle of influence. While this takes place, millions upon millions die without the saving grace of Christ. Many other Christians die never experiencing the freedom in Christ that His blood paid for. God has called each of us to live for a cause greater than ourselves - a life that is dependent on His grace and power to achieve things we never thought possible through our lives. This is His plan for your life. The apostle Paul prayed that He might experience the power of the resurrection in his life. This power is available to you and me to live for a cause greater than ourselves. Ask God what He wants to achieve through your life today. And consider yourself dead already to the consequences of what that might mean for you.
All day long those last two sentences played in my head. I even made a small poster to keep it in front of me.
Ray say it and said, he overheard someone on the trip from the airport say, " If God told you to do it, why question it? If God did not tell you to do it, then why do it?"
Ever since we began planning the trip to Ireland, I have felt led by the Lord. We have wanted to go for 30 years. But I knew in my "knower" this was the time. I even feel it is not just for ourselves that we are going. I feel as if we are going to deposit something in the lives of people that I do not even know today. I know we won't come back the same either. There will be a paradigm shift- perhaps most markedly for Ray as he returns to the roots of his ancestry.
I think we each have to step away from having to have things all figured out. We have resurrection power within us.
Why are we trying to do things in our own strength? It's like choosing to go across country in a go-cart when there is a Jaquar parked in the driveway.
So I close with Hillman's challenge:
Ask God what He wants to achieve through your life today. And consider yourself dead already to the consequences of what that might mean for you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Beauty of Simplicity

Life doesn't have to be complicated. The simpler, the more peace. Slow down and enjoy. Your day can be full, but enjoy the task you are doing and the person you are with. Enjoy the person God created when He created you.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the beauty of simplicity.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Shake Yourself Loose

There comes a time in life when you have to lay down everything that is holding you back and go for it.
Hebrews 12:1 says, "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us." NLT
Our races and weights may be different, but neither of us can do what God has set before us unless we lay down all of the weights that we have picked up over the years.
I can rattle off a dozen reasons why I couldn't be expected to a winner in the race of line. They could be as trivial as my weight or age or as devastating as being the victim of a violent crime. But those are just events. That is not who I am. I am finding my true identity in who God says I am.
I will praise thee; for I am fearfully [and] wonderfully made: marvellous [are] thy works; and [that] my soul knoweth right well. Ps. 139:14
We have fun with the following song at our church. Listen to a couple of times until you really get it. Then really, I mean seriously, just do it!
Shake yourself loose and go get what is yours and give God all of the glory.

Don't Let Anyone Steal Your Dreams

I was once in a dreadful relationship. One day I went to work and returned from to work to find that he and his friends had cleaned out our attic. Everything that he didn't think was absolutely essential had been hauled away. That included the clothes I brought my babies home from the hospital in, old letters and pictures. Minutiae like the report that I was having twins. Things important only to me.
Something inside of me died that day when he said, "You don't need memories. You have me."
When I married Ray the following year, I began to dream again. One of our dreams from the beginning has been to go to Ireland together. This year it is finally happening. I wonder how much sooner it would have happened if during the journey of my life, I did not allow others to steal my dreams.
I heard the story of the man who sold hotdogs today. I just have to share it with you. I do not know the original author.


Many years ago there was a man who lived by the side of the road and sold HOT DOGS.
He was hard of hearing so he had no radio.
He had trouble with his eyes so he read no newspaper.
But he sold HOT DOGS
He put up signs on the highway telling how good they were.
He stood on the side of the road and cried: "BUY A HOT DOG, MISTER ?"
And people bought, because he was so enthusiastic.
He increased his meat and bun orders.
He bought a bigger stove to take care of his growing trade.
He was so happy selling Hot Dogs, and people enjoyed doing business with him.
One day his son came home from college to help him out.

And something happened.

His son said, "Father, haven’t you been listening to the radio.? Haven’t you been reading the newspaper.?

The situation in Europe is terrible. The Domestic situation is worse."

Whereupon the father thought, "Well, my son’s been to college, he reads the newspaper, he listens to the radio, and he ought to know."

So the father cut down on his meat and bun orders, he took down all his advertising signs, and no longer bothered to stand on the highway to sell his hot dogs.

And his HOT DOG sales fell, ALMOST OVERNIGHT.

"You’re right, son," the father said to the boy.


Who are you listening to? Why?
The Word I hear is:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jer 29:11

Has someone taken away your dream? Take it back! Don't have a dream? Get one!

In the movie the Ghost Busters, you could identify them by the clothes they wore and their outrageous car.

Dream Busters are not nearly as recognizable. They could be your friend, your boss, a relative or even someone who loves you. They have had their dreams squashed and never had the courage or stamina to take back what the enemy stole.
Don't share your dreams with negative people. Share them with those who have dreams also.
Have an accountability partner or your dreams will be just that-a dream.
I think there is power in intercessors as well who are willing to pray for you. A dream needs balance.
Too often I have had dreams and gotten off track by neglecting the necessary. Can't tell you how many craft shows I did when I was young, totally neglecting kids and housework. God does things decently and in order.

Turn off the news and do some dreaming today.

The Peace of Snow

I had listened to a CD of healing scriptures all night Saturday and woke up Sunday morning feeling scrubbed clean. I still wasn't feeling physically strong so the guys went on to church without me.
I have an old recliner that in pitiful shape, but I love it because it is short. Most chairs extend beyond the bend of my knee as I am only 5'1". This one is designed for a shorty like me. It swivels and I had my back to the window for good reading light. About eleven, I decided to go take a nap and I swiveled back around. I was astounded. It was snowing. It wasn't flurries either. It was coming down like packing peanuts. I was absolutely mesmerized.
They had predicted snow, but we hear that a couple of times each winter and it usually stops at Atlanta or it comes as flurries that melt as soon as it hits the ground.
I went outside and saw it beginning to build. I was so excited. I fixed myself a hot cup of tea, got back in my recliner and just watched it fall. It fell for a couple of hours.
There is something calming and peaceful about watching snow fall.
Yes, I have lived where it snows. I know the mess and the challenges, but this blissful afternoon of just watching it cover my corner of the earth with its clean blanket of white nourished my soul.
I am reminded of when Jonathan first sang The Rose. It says, "Just remember that in the winter, far beneath the bitter snow lies the seed, that with the suns love in the spring becomes the rose."
My snow wasn't bitter, but there are many things in my life that I hope for that are yet unseen. Still just as surely as Spring will come, they too will come in His time.