Friday, July 31, 2009

There's a Time to Act and a Time to Be Still

Recently I have had some health challenges. I have had to be still. Sometimes I have slept twelve hours at a time.
As I began to recover myself, I picked up a new rhythm. I have been reminded to "Be still and know that He is God."
It is always a sweet time when I do that. Each time I wonder why it took me so long to get back to this place.
More often than not it has been fear that has drawn me away from the safety of His arms. It really doesn't matter whether it is fear of man or fear of tomorrow. Fear is the antithesis of faith. God has given us each a measure of faith.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think [of himself] more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Romans 12:3
If He has given us this measure of faith, are we not to be good stewards of it? That is totally impossible if we are entertaining fear. I had to realize that when I was in fear, I simply was not trusting God. Seeing it clearly, it was an easy decision to run back into His arms and once again Be Still.

What Does Your Face Say?

Ever wonder why we wait until someone comes into our space to smile?
Smiling or even someone else smile releases endorphins that work in the brain to transmit an overall feeling of well-being. so why not do that for yourself today.
There is an old South Pacific song called Happy Talk. Just listening to the song makes you feel happy.
What makes you think happy thoughts? Talk a happy talk?
Why not go there instead of unloading the stresses of the day?
You were born with the ability to smile. Let somewhere along the way as we pick up the cares of the world, we quit using that ability. Did you know that adults laugh approximately 15 times a day, while children laugh FOUR HUNDRED times a day.
My personal opinion is that we think too much. That thinking often turns to worry.
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matt.18:3
Why not change courses today?
Smile at everyone, yes, everyone you see today. If you need to practice, make funny faces in the mirror. This will amp up your giggle meter.
Someone once said, Happiness leads to smiling and smiling leads to happiness. That may not be a truism in all cases but I do know it is a good beginning.
So what are you waiting for?
Go ahead. Give the world your biggest smile.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Something Beautiful, Something Good

Friends give me their broken or unwanted jewelry and together Ray and I make new pieces.
I design the pieces on a jewelry board, but Ray does all of assembly and finish work.
Tonight I thought that God does that, too. He takes the broken pieces and creates something beautiful out of. The pieces are laid out, but we have to string it, make adjustments, crimp it and attach closures. At each stage there is a choice. but I believe out of it all, even when we string it wrong, He can make something out of our lives.
Listen to these oldies for a gentle reminder that no matter where you are He can make something beautiful out of it and He is there for you at each juncture.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Prepare Ye the Way

The way we live our life, the choices we make either prepare the way for the Lord or the other kingdom.
Go through, go through the gates; prepare ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway; gather out the stones; lift up a standard for the people. Behold, the LORD hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Behold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward [is] with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken. Isaiah 62:10-12
He calls us to go through the gates first. This is to lead by word and example. What gospel are people reading when they see my life?
To cast up the highway we must cut a swath through the hindrances, to clear obstacles. This is not passive but if we are to prepare the way for people to meet the Lord, we must remove the stones from the highway. How sobering it is to realize that we put some of those stones there. A harsh word, a critical judgment are just a few of the stones that others stumbled over as they sought that life abundant.
Am a raising a standard or just getting by? If you have ever held up a flag for any length of time, you know how heavy it seems and how weary your arms get. The difference here is we don't do it in our own strength. When we are weak, He is strong.
Years ago when I was involved in politics, I sat in on many city planning meetings. I even had the honor of being appointed by the governor of Florida to serve on a board to meet housing concerns for the citizens. I look back now and laugh for that was wood, hay and stubble compared to the city not forsaken that the Lord is preparing for us.
Until that day though we must "prepare ye the way." This is our call to action.

Monday, July 27, 2009

My Hopes, My Dreams, My Future

I had a priest once who said, "To listen truly listen to someone is to allow the Christ in them to be formed."
He went on to explain that God has given us the answers to our problems, but it often isn't until we share our heart that the answers form from our own mouth. Yesterday I had two dear friends who visited me. Just sharing allowed me to have clarity over a situation that I was conflicted over.
Until recently I was the queen of self-sabotage. I could get most any job, but soon I was doing things that would sabotage my effectiveness and before long I was resigning because I was sure it was only a matter of time before they would fire me. How insane is that?
Now that I know fully that God is my Source, not the job, I am not driven to self-destruct nor even driven to perform. I simply do my best for Him.
Our trip to Ireland was very healing. It was time out for the two of us as a couple. We get way too little of that. There were no deadlines to meet and everywhere we went people went out of their way to see that we had a delightful visit. I saw hospitality as a way of life.
I came home determined to rid my own life of performance and drivenness, but I had not a clue what that would look like.
I knew I had to refinance our home and the goal is to pay it off in the next seven years. The problem is that credit requirements are particularly stringent and it will take someone who does private mortgages. Since I know that would have to be a God-thing, it doesn't stress me. I mean look at our trip to Ireland.
Still there was a part of me that wanted to help God make it happen.
I work for Be In Health and I sell Mary Kay. Should I back off off the predictable income job that I love and push for personal sales and make it happen? I had no peace in that, but I really didn't know if that was fear of failure.
Then I was watching a Food Network challenge last night and this young woman said something like this: "It is better to fail at something you love than succeed at the wrong thing."
I love my job. Last Thursday when I taught Unloving, I could see that I was making a difference in people's lives so that they could know freedom from the enemy. People came to me afterward with gracious comments.
One girl was so cute. She said, "I got it! I finally got! Thank you so much. I finally understand what I was allowing the enemy to do in my life."
She went on to say that she had called her husband the night before and told him to come get her. She didn't understand anything and this was a waste. He didn't do that. So she had come that morning anyway and now she had the key to her freedom.
I love being one of the moderators of the Bulletin Board. It's like have an interactive extended family with people helping each other.
So last night when she said, "It is better to fail at something you love than succeed at the wrong thing," Be In Health won hands down.
Almost immediately the Lord gave me a way to build the internet side of my Mary Kay business. It is rather passive and will not take away from Be In Health in the least. Also, I saw God sell Mary Kay for me before I went to Ireland when I was too busy. Just last week someone who hasn't ordered in a week, called me out of the blue to order. I have to be faithful to keep my "store" stocked and give good service, but I don't have to get into drivenness over it.
Corrie Tem Boom once said, "Hold everything loosely because it hurts when God pries your fingers open."
That everything includes my hopes, my dreams and my future.
Today once again, I lay it all in His hands. He is faithful. What shall I fear if I totally surrender to Him?

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Who Are You Counting On?

If there is one thing that I have learned this year, it is that I am in control of nothing. Although all of my children are adults. My youngest is 31. I am old enough to have two married granddaughters and two adorable great-grandchildren.
Until this year in my desperation to help them avoid some of the mistakes that I have made, I would try to direct or even control situations. There are many subtle ways that you can do this, too.
However, what I finallylearned is when I am in control, I am tying God's hands. If I fix the fix that God fixed to fix 'em, God will have to fix another fix. When I was afraid of not being in control or at least speaking my mind, what I was saying was that I didn't trust God with their lives. I didn't trust God to meet them unless I helped Him.
How ludicrous is that?
Why is it so difficult to give up control of things that we are not in control of anyway? I had to practice. I would release them to father God and then open my mouth or put my sticky fingers in their lives. Then I would repent to both them and to God. The quicker I was to repent, the easier it got to not go there for I would recognize it before I did and stop.
You see always having to give input is a form of self-idolatry and frankly, it is sin. God will have no other gods before Him. Anything that exalts itself above God is an anti-Christ spirit, because frankly it against Him.
This was a very sobering lesson.
As I gave them up and released them, God gave me the opportunity to give up other areas of my life that I had been clutching from finances to my time.
One by one I yielded (and sometimes took back) and got to the point of absolute surrender, God was finally able to move in my behalf. He moved mightily.
Perhaps the biggest show of his grace was our trip to Ireland. It was as if He opened the windows of heaven. He was absolutely extravagant in His provision.
Each time He has required that I step out in faith first. Sometimes that was scary, but I know that "perfect love casts out fear." So I would step out holding on to His perfect love. Now fear no longer has a hold on me.
I recognized that those things, I felt that I needed to control were because out of fear I didn't think they could be met any other way. I believed a lie.
God is more than able. So I am counting on God.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Every Day is a Gift

After a bad case of jet lag, then company, preparations for my granddaughter's wedding and a surprise birthday party, I am ever so grateful that His mercies are new every morning.
I am now 64 and love it. One cardiologist told me I would never see 60. So you see each day is a gift.
I think if we really appreciate that one fact -each day is gift- we would be more careful what we do with it, how we share it and our gratitude meter would soar.
We never get an "oopsey." When the day is gone, it is gone. How did I share love today? Who was I too busy for? Did I try to handle everything on my own or did I spend some time with Father God and get His direction?
Each day is a gift.