Friday, June 17, 2016

Loving others above yourself....

Good morning all-

I started writing a blog on Sunday and couldn't finish it in the wake of the Orlando shooting.  I still wake up thinking about the mothers and fathers of those precious lives taken and parents that are left with empty arms and feelings of loss, loneliness and the question of, "Why?"  Hate is a powerful emotion and some take sin as hate, when in essence forgiveness and repentance is love.  Hate is what happened on Saturday and Sunday in Orlando.  A young girls life was taken on Friday and then a massacre happened early Sunday morning all stemming from evil thoughts and hate.

Hate is a word that all of us have experienced.  Anyone that says they've never hated is lying.  Hate comes from a deep seated need to be right against all odds.  Hate comes from fear. Hate is evil.  How do we combat it?  We love.  We love human life.  We love spreading the gospel so that no one ends up in the dark.  We take the victims last moments and we remember them so that we proclaim love and Jesus so much stronger.  You may not agree with a lifestyle, a choice, a financial decision but all of that is your opinion.  We have been told in Scripture to correct with love and to spread the gospel with love. Love bears all things, believes all things, love never ends.  Hate lasts for a moment and this weekend it was moments of terror.  How do I know?  Because a 20 year old is reading the texts of those that were in the bathroom.  He is asking me why no one did anything.  He actually cares about men that loved other men.  He is asking all the right questions and wondering why no one stepped up to save the lives of innocent people.

Questions, answers and meditation, that's what my son was doing.  He was questioning why? He cares.  His first words to me about the incident was, "Mom did you know that tons of people were in the bathroom?"  He's questioning and so is his generation and what are we doing?  My answer to that is prayer.  Like many in the Christian sector, we are praying for evil to be overcome by love.  Hundreds stood in line to give blood on Sunday and Monday.  Many chose to work on Sunday to give food to those giving blood and all over the world people heard of love out of tragedy.  We don't need to be asking why the gunman did it anymore, we need to be asking for our Lord and Savior to turn evil into love.

Compassion is dying and apathy is growing.  There has been no time in history where people could hear so much, know so much and care so little.  Even I find myself turning away from events but lately I have felt called to be on my knees.  I know I must be praying and giving thanks for all the lives that weren't lost and for the brave people who risked their lives to save others.  I want my sons to be those kinds of men.  To react in the face of danger, to be unafraid of evil and to be men of God.

If you walked away from the news this week, I implore you to take a different stance and pray that many that were in that club, that worked that incident, or that were bystanders would know the love of Jesus.  Many died without knowing, that's where our sorrow should be.  Let's pray that in our compassion and fervent prayer for strangers the light of Jesus would cover Orlando and that in the wake of much tragedy will be much love.

1 Corinthians 1-12 NIV
13 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. 11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Worry, what does it get you?

Good morning all-

I went for a beautiful walk today and thanked God for everything.  The sun was rising, the clouds surrounded it like a halo, the birds were sitting on electrical wires, a buffalo was laying in the hay and a symphony of sounds came from everywhere.  And I felt peace.  That's what the Lord Almighty gives to us, His peace. 

Have you ever felt so worried you couldn't sleep, you couldn't think and you wondered, how in the world am I going to take another step?  That's uncontrollable worry and fear.  Shamefully, I experience that far too often.  I can feel it welling up and then overtaking all sense of the Almighty.  For me that's truly a bad day.  In just moments, I have separated myself from my God and darkness, fear and anxiety well up.  I think we are feeling creatures by nature and that's not totally bad.  The bad part is when we let those feelings take over our belief that God is with us, He's before us and He's definitely behind us.  God calls us not to worry and not to fear, to take the full armor of God and put it on and yet, we still worry, why?

I believe it's part of the fall.  Eve and Adam never feared walking in the garden with God before they ate the apple.  They didn't even know they were naked before that delicious bite but immediately upon their sin, all was revealed and life changed for all of us.

That's not the end of the story though , we have choices daily and we will be tested daily.  Maybe not in a year long test but in short intervals of choices, faith and repentance.  If we worry, we should repent.  Why?  Because our worry indicates we are our own masters and that's just not true.  God is our master, our counselor, our father and our God.  He bears the weight and walks with us.  He knows the plan, we're only anxious because our plan is not going to plan, right?

So take heed today and every time you worry, capture the thought, give it to God and say out loud, I trust you far more than I trust me.  Take a physical count, write it down and track it over the week, I bet you begin to worry less and see Jesus more. So this challenge is not just for you, its definitely for me too.  Be well my sisters and fear not for you are the instrument in which Christ will spread His word to all nations.

May we walk together in one mind for the good of every nation!

Matthew 6:25-34 [Full Chapter]
[ Do Not Worry ] “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? ...

Monday, June 6, 2016

What it means to serve...

Good morning all-

I had an experience yesterday that melted my heart and made me once again realize why it is so important to lift our men in prayer.  Yesterday, my husband and I went to buy a small trailer that could haul things to the dump and basically act as a truck for us.  We had a hitch, so we thought it would be as simple as buying the trailer at Lowes and going home.

Well, simple wasn't exactly what I would call it.  It was more like a simple project gone bad.  After we bought the trailer, the manager asked us if we had a 1 7/8" trailer hitch.  If we had, this episode would have gone down much differently, however ours was 2".  So my husband went back into Lowes to buy the right one.  While I was standing out guarding our new trailer, I watched a man come up to an older man and ask him if he needed help.  The gentleman accepted and my heart soared at the kindness I saw in the parking lot.  Well, that wasn't the only act of kindness.  Another man saw me standing out there and asked if I needed help.  When I told him my husband went in to buy something else, he said okay and walked away.  Shortly after, my husband came back out with the tool we thought we would need but the ball of the hitch would not move.  It had been on there forever, we had never used it and our vehicle is a 2007.  So, he went back in.

Meanwhile, there was another man who wouldn't take that answer.  He brought over a socket that fit that specific bolt and the next thing I knew he was working away.  My husband came back out and together they couldn't remove the nut.  We thanked the man and asked if he would like some money for all of his time.  He said no.  It made my heart happy that I live in an area where men do care and that they want to help women in distress.  They were servants for Jesus even if they weren't Christians.  I will never know the names of these men but I'm inspired.  I'm inspired whenever I see men serve others.  I'm inspired when our prayers count!

So I leave you with  my little story and a question, "When was the last time you lifted men up in prayer?"  Today, is the day!  Please take a moment to lift them in prayer and to ask God to cover them and provide wisdom to lead the next generations.

Wishing you a beautiful day!  In Christ Jesus, we all say AMEN!

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Hope, Faith and Love...

Good morning my sisters-

I really don't have a lot to say today.  I just wanted to remind you all that hope, faith and love are what makes the world go round.  If we have no hope then we are lost.  If there is no faith, God will turn away and if we don't love, we are not fulfilling the most important commandment.

We must love to change the hearts of the weary, desperate, broken and lost.  My prayer today is that you give up your envy, your jealousy, your need to be needed and just give from the heart the love God has infused into it.  When you see a stranger in a bathroom on the floor, you stop.  When you go by a homeless person, you don't just walk on by.  When you see someone needing help in any form, you say, "Can I help you?" 

We are losing the most vital parts of human nature and that's to  love with all our hearts.  When in all of human kind did we get so jaded?  I think we are now what God expressed not to become and that was selfish without care of others.

Take some time to look around you today.  In every corner, in every city and even in our own homes we must love so that the people we are with are full of hope and faith.

Be well my sisters and remember that our God loves us and holds in his right hand enough hope and faith for the world!

Isaiah 41:13

"For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you."

We must do the same for someone else.  Remember we are all children of God.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Time to render our hearts....

Good morning all-

Can you remember a time of great sorrow?  What did you do?  Were you weary, hurt, full of fear?  More than likely you do remember a time and you were weary and full of fear.  That is the nature of being human.  We fall down, we grow weary and nothing seems to pick us back up, that is until we seek Christ in His entirety.

Today, during my quiet time,  I happened upon Samuel telling Saul what he needed to do after he was anointed by God.  Samuel gave him explicit instructions on what to retrieve and where.  I flipped over to Lamentations and read how they cried out because of the destruction and finally prayed for God to return to them.  That made me flip over to Matthew, where Jesus instructed us to forgive our brothers and sisters from the heart.  It was a whirlwind of repentance, forgiveness and God's grace and it made me think about rendering our hearts to God.

Anne Graham Lotz has been very vocal about the Daniel prayer.  She has said that we must turn our hearts back to Christ with the rendering of all we believe in.  We must move away from sin, forgive each other and claim Christ as king.  I believe it.  We are losing a generation to video games, laziness and drugs. 

Many would give up or judge others because of what they believe in but that's not God's way. We believe we are religious enough but God never asked for religion, He wanted relationship and today, thousands of years later, He is calling us to that relationship.

Relationships are hard and have many moments of frustration, wrong doing and lack of faith in others.  But as we pray, repent and turn toward God, He restores our hearts and minds.  And that's where we are today.  We must pray.  We must pray for our nation, for world leaders and for the next generations.  We must ask God to come back and yet, we must be very careful not to judge but to love.

Now is the time that we as women have a huge stake in where the world will go.  We can unite and stand in the gap!!!  So as I write this, I am asking God to call women to stand in the gap, to love unconditionally, to not fear the future but to pray about the sin, confusion and lack of wisdom.  It's our time to stand in the gap, the way other women did before us. I'm sure Mary Magdalene prayed often for the sin of her people and so must we.

Don't turn and run when you hear bad news.  Pray it away!  That's what I'm going to do.  I'm going to run toward Jesus through prayer and petition. He is faithful, man is not.  Ask God to heal our teenagers, to give our leaders wisdom and to protect our nations from terrorists and the evil one.  The time is now.

Have  a great day and believe that God has anointed you for such a time as this.

Lamentations 5: 1-22 NIV

1Remember, Lord, what has happened to us; look, and see our disgrace. 2Our inheritance has been turned over to strangers, our homes to foreigners. 3We have become fatherless, our mothers are widows. 4We must buy the water we drink; our wood can be had only at a price. 5Those who pursue us are at our heels; we are weary and find no rest. 6We submitted to Egypt and Assyria to get enough bread. 7Our ancestors sinned and are no more, and we bear their punishment. 8Slaves rule over us, and there is no one to free us from their hands. 9We get our bread at the risk of our lives because of the sword in the desert. 10Our skin is hot as an oven, feverish from hunger. 11Women have been violated in Zion, and virgins in the towns of Judah. 12Princes have been hung up by their hands; elders are shown no respect. 13Young men toil at the millstones; boys stagger under loads of wood. 14The elders are gone from the city gate; the young men have stopped their music. 15Joy is gone from our hearts; our dancing has turned to mourning. 16The crown has fallen from our head. Woe to us, for we have sinned! 17Because of this our hearts are faint, because of these things our eyes grow dim 18for Mount Zion, which lies desolate, with jackals prowling over it. 19You, Lord, reign forever; your throne endures from generation to generation. 20Why do you always forget us? Why do you forsake us so long? 21Restore us to yourself, Lord, that we may return; renew our days as of old 22unless you have utterly rejected us and are angry with us beyond measure.