Sunday, May 31, 2009

Just Got In

We arrived just moments ago from South Carolina.
For Ray it was a thousand miles over a week's time.
The original plan was for Mom to come back with me today, but after she fell twice last Saturday, we began to rethink that idea. As the week progressed, so did her pain level. Her hip and shoulder are deteriorating.
I went from one daughter to another visiting with their families and attending a high school graduation to a ballet recital where another granddaughter played Snow White.
Sandwiched in between was Mom's 81st birthday. I took her to the Smokin' Pig and that evening Carrin took us to Applebees. It was a very good day.
No matter where you are in family relationship there is always a yearning for one thing or another to be different. I asked the Lord to show me how He saw us, our relationships, our hearts. Sometimes I was so grieved.
Then this evening I remembered that before my dad died, our relationship was restored after years of abuse.
Instead of dwelling on the negative, the very last weekend of his life, I had been sharing my story of restoration to over 500 people. When I left that convocation, I was told that he was in the hospital dying.
The following song is one that I sang to him on his deathbed. I share it to encourage you to trust God with the people He has placed in your life.

Friday, May 22, 2009

He is the Creator

Years ago south of Dallas I attended a Worship Symposium. I took a course on writing worship songs. Suddenly the teacher, Marty Nystrom, author of As a Deer Panteth, stopped teaching and came straight to me and said, "Sister, out of your brokenness, you will write songs that will bring deliverance to many."
I have never forgotten that even though it probably was 15 years ago. I am not discouraged that it has not come to past for Moses spent 40 years on the back side of the desert. Besides the brokenness that I thought he was talking about then, has been healed in a deeper dimension today than then.
What do I know about song writing? Practically nothing. But my responsibility is not to make something happen but to listen and be available.

"Creativity does not truly come from the popularized image of the tormented artist, struggling with the muse," Michael Card says. "True creativity is born in community as men and women of God listen to each other and to Him."

So I wait and I listen. One story that Marty told that day was the song, More Precious than Silver" was written in the kitchen while the author was preparing dinner for her family. The original lyrics were, "Lord, you are more precious than french fries." She took that phrase and developed the following song:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

You're the Only Jesus..

I received this as an email today. I do not know the author, but it is powerful reminder of how we are to live our lives.

His name is Bill. He has wild hair, wears a T-shirt with holes in it, jeans, and no shoes. This was literally his wardrobe for his entire four years of college.

He is brilliant. Kind of profound and very, very bright. He became a Christian while attending college.

Across the street from the campus is a well-dressed, very conservative church. They want to develop a ministry to the students but are not
Sure how to go about it.

One day Bill decides to go there. He walks in with no shoes, jeans, his T-shirt, and wild hair. The service has already started and so Bill
Starts down the aisle looking for a seat.

The church is completely packed and he can't find a seat. By now, people are really looking a bit uncomfortable, but no one says anything.

Bill gets closer and closer and closer to the pulpit, and when he realizes there are no seats, he just squats down right on the carpet.

By now the people are really uptight, and the tension in the air is thick.

About this time, the minister realizes that from way at the back of the church, a deacon is slowly making his way toward Bill.

Now the deacon is in his eighties, has silver-gray hair, and a three-piece suit. A godly man, very elegant, very dignified, very courtly. He walks with a cane and, as he starts walking toward this
Boy, everyone is saying to themselves that you can't blame him for what he's going to do.

How can you expect a man of his age and of his background to understand some college kid on the floor?

It takes a long time for the man to reach the boy.

The church is utterly silent except for the clicking of the man's cane. All eyes are focused on him.. You can't even hear anyone breathing. The minister can't even preach the sermon until the deacon does what he has to do.

And now they see this elderly man drop his cane on the floor. With great difficulty, he lowers himself and sits down next to Bill and worships with him so he won't be alone.

Everyone chokes up with emotion. When the minister gains control, he says,'What I'm
About to preach, you will never remember. What you have just seen, you will never forget.'

'Be careful how you live. You may be the only Bible some people will ever read!'

I asked the Lord to bless you
As I prayed for you today.
To guide you and protect you
As you go along your way....
His love is always with you,
His promises are true,
And when we give Him all our cares,
You know He will see us through.

The following was performed 25 years ago. Wonder why we don't hear it anyomre?

An Irish blessing

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Refiner's Fire

And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Malachi 3:3
How does this statement reflect the character and nature of God?
Who wants to be thrown in a fire?
To understand this you must know something about the process of refining silver.

The silversmith holds a piece of silver over the fire and lets it heat up. In refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities.
Has God ever held you in such a hot spot?
The silversmith has to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver was being refined. He not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left even a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed.
So how does he know when the silver is fully refined?
Actually, that's pretty easy. He knows it is fully refined when he can see his image in it.
If you feel the heat of the fire in your life, remember God has His eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Out of the Salt Shaker

I have been doing a lot of soul searching lately as I prepare my heart to go to Ireland. I truly am expecting divine appointments. I am expecting what Bruce Wilkinson calls "predictable miracles."
A friend sent me a link from Ravi Zacharias' website. (Until today I thought it was Robbie.) I went immediately to their daily devotion, because that is the kind of writer I am. Fresh manna. I pray I am hearing the Holy Spirit.
I found the following paragraph at the end of their "Slice of Infinity."
"Jesus spoke of influence by comparing it to salt. Salt is not a flashy spice like cayenne pepper or nutmeg. It rarely calls attention to itself as a predominant flavor. Salt is basic. And yet, salt is essential. Without it, food is bland and tasteless, for salt enlivens all the flavors. Without it, decay and degradation ensue, for salt preserves and produces longevity. Salt cleanses and heals. In recipes, salt serves all the other ingredients, bringing them to their fullest expression and flavor. Jesus calls his followers to be influencers in the way that salt influences a meal: often in the background, and not a self-promoting or singular flavor. Influence is like salt, Jesus teaches; it is firmly in the background of ingredients, hardly noticed, and yet powerfully effective in creating a full and lasting result." this was written by Mary Manning.
It immediately took me back to a Bible study I had attended about 20 years ago based on Becky Pippert's book, Out of the Salt Shaker and Into the World. I thought of how that lines up with the teaching I do for Be In Health called You! A Servant Priest. Both a far cry from traditional evangelism.
As I chewed on the article by Mary, I re-read, "it is firmly in the background of ingredients, hardly noticed, and yet powerfully effective in creating a full and lasting result."
That totally described the way my friend, Bridget, lives her life. She was one of the first people I met when I came here over eight years ago. I stayed in a rooming house of sorts called The Bethel Inn. Bridget was a long-term resident. Although I am older than she is, she was like a big sister to me as I sought God for my very life. Doctors had pronounced a death sentence over me.
I have outlived their pronouncement by four years and in fact, the sentence has been stayed. The Lord has used people like Bridget to love on me, correct and cajole me. How rich I am to have friends who have hung in this course correction for eight years!
In the past week Bridget has come to plant a flat of impatiens that Mike gave me, helped me set up for a lawn party of 100, helped serve and then clean up afterward. On Sunday she took several children in tow as the parents took another child to the hospital. She served in registration for the program I am taking this week. On Monday night she ministered to women. Today we had lunch and she was leaving to go babysit for a couple who is moving Saturday. She moves about rather anonymously. She simply does what she feels her Father would have her do. She is very calm and in turn very calming to those of us who wind up too easily.
On the buffet of life, Bridget is a loving, active salt shaker. A little shake here and another over there.
She looks at what needs to be done and quietly does it. She is not a "sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal" but a free flowing salt shaker who seasons the lives of many - most often in the background- with that very basic spice called love.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What If...?

The following video is very thought provoking. However, please don't go into condemnation. Conviction is okay. It is from the Holy Spirit and it says your heart is tender. Condemnation is from the Father of Lies, Satan.
Our god has a heart of compassion towards us.
My prayer is that I can be a vessel of that same compassion and pour it on others.

[It is of] the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. [They are] new every morning: great [is] thy faithfulness. Lam. 3:22-23

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We're Going to Have to Serve Somebody

This Bob Dylan puts worth a powerful truth. You're going to have serve somebody. Moment by moment we make choices on what we will eat, how we will spend our time, our money and who we will be involved in. How much are we willing to share our lives at all levels with others. If we hold back, why?
What am I afraid of? Fear is a crippler. What am I thinking? Not all rational thoughts are godly. It may be just to save our hide. What if God is calling us to lay down our lives for another?
We have to serve somebody.

Who will it be?
The really cool part is if we make the wrong choice, we can repent and make the right one.

Monday, May 4, 2009

What Song is Your Life Singing?

Last week God placed people in my life to affirm me and thank me for speaking into their lives and loving on them. Two of them said that I was there when no one elase was AND I WAS COMPLETELY UNAWARE. In both cases, it was something simple, an email, a couple of phone calls.
It wasn't major ministry or deliverance, I just had a prompting and followed it. I am totally encouraged to do more for I saw clearly how I had been ripped off. I never thought I made a difference and really didn't see myself as a person of value.
I was listening to the wrong voice, and I didn't even know it. Still others were hearing the songs of deliverance that my Father was singing through me. I think I understand better why vocalist wear headsets when recording. They need to only hear the soundtrack of the song that they are to hear.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Life is like Marco Polo

Marco Polo is a game kids played in a swimming pool.
You need three or more players. One person is "It" and closes his or her eyes for a set number of seconds while the remainder of the players disperse around the pool. The It player then begins to swim around the pool, keeping his or her eyes closed, attempting to tag the other players.
The It player can only sense where the other players are by sound, but may call out "Marco!" All the other players are required to respond with "Polo!" When the It player succeeds in tagging another player, then he becomes It.
Life is like that sometimes. We are swimming around in our stuff whether depression, self-pity or financial woes. There are people placed in our lives by God. We can swim blindly, but if we call out "Marco," they have to respond. Why won't we call out?
God exhorts us to call on His name and He will answer.
Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. Jeremiah 33:3
In reality, we don't even have a glimpse of what He is able to show us.
Call on Him.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Listening for His Voice

The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

When we feel deserted and alone, He is in our midst. He will save us, rejoice over us because He sees the end. He rejoices over us by singing.
I encourage you today to listen for His voice. He speaks, sings and delivers in many ways. He used a baby to save the world. He has even talked through a donkey.
Listen, really listen today to the voice of the Shepherd.
Be amazed today.