Sunday, April 13, 2014

Colors

I love this time of year.  From the depth of my soul I know God does too.  The sleepy earth is transformed into a myriad of color.  The brown drab grass turns green.  Bud start peeking out of the bare ground.


God loves color.  Nature is full of it.  People are too.  Look around the world and you can't help but be in awe of the palette God used to enliven the world.  Yellow must be a color a happiness.  From the shining sun to the majesty of the bright daffodils, yellow is sure to put a smile on your face.

I love to see the trees in bloom.  My daughter and I go on nature walks looking for signs that Spring is really here.  We seek out the smallest bud on rose bushes.  We push back left over fall leaves to new growth, that winter didn't claim the plant, just allowed it to rest.  It's an exciting time - things change, each day a new surprise.

I look forward to the crocus.
I look forward to the daffodils.
I look forward to the tulips. 
I can't wait to smell the blossoming trees.

Praise God for His handiwork in Spring.  It refreshes the world and my soul.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Level Ground


I called it the boot of shame.  If you ever watched Up and remember the collar of shame, you get it.  A dog doesn't do anything particular to get the collar.  For whatever reason, I had several friends endure the boot in the past year.  I foolishly tried to amp up my exercise routine mid-December, only to have my foot tighten up.  Like if you walked up a ladder to get out of a pool and your foot tighten?

But this wasn't just a tight muscle, it was a strained ligament and fallen arch.  In the process of stretching my foot, I injured the nerve that runs to the big toe.  So after many doctor visits, x-rays, I endured the boot of shame for a month.  It is very hard to walk in.  My hips were aching more.  Uneven ground was my pitfall, gravel too hard to balance, ice and snow - no thank you.

I thought of Scripture to speaks to making the path level for Jesus: Isaiah 26:7, Isaiah 40, Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3,   
God make the ground level for his righteous: Jeremiah 31:9.

In that boot I needed a level ground.  In my walk on earth level ground is 'easier.'  It may not be the road the world chooses, but I'm walking where the Spirit leads.  Just as God sent John the Baptist to make a path to Jesus level for those who believed, He is sending messengers to make level paths in my heart to draw nearer to Him and be in His will.  John B, as I like to call him, didn't have an easy life to the world standards.  He wasn't concerned with things of this world.  He wasn't successful in reaching everyone, but the ones he did reach were never to same. 

How do I go about making my heart level so God can do the most work?  The bumps are my self-willed desires to rule in the my kingdom.  The stubborn disobedience as I cling to the world.  The arrogant belief that I know how to fix me better than God can fix me.  I choose the time, the way and the method, even the end result (insert crazy laugh here cause it can't happen!)

Proverbs 4:20-27 speak the truth on how to do this:

20 My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
24 Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Be aware of what God says, keep His word in my sight and heart for they bring health.  Guard my heart above all things.  Keep my speech pure.  Fix my eyes on Jesus.  Follow the level path God lays before me, trusting Him.  Keep taking each step to draw nearer to Him, avoiding turning to the left or right, which will take my eyes off Jesus and my feet from His path.   

I often ask where am I making the path uneven?  Where is God leading me through this maze of the world to get to Him?  Am I obeying?

Are you?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Not my call


Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
 
I felt the need to step out of a ministry position I held for over a year, yet I felt to many were relying on me.  See, the leader I helped announced she was leaving her position.  That left a part time person to handle things until a new leader was in place.  I couldn't just leave her.  Our prior leader said I was one of the reasons she knew now was the time to leave for a new ministry because of all the key people she had the could run things until a new leader was in place. 

All that to say I felt the demands to leave the service, yet I didn't.  I learned a lot in the process.  I was in the tough part of my classes to be a counselor and starting to write my exam.  I had cut things down - including this blog - so I could devote my time to what God said to devote my time to.  Yet, with this position I didn't.

But I learned grace to help the one who isn't confident in making decisions.  It's not possible to overcommunicate during the times when things need to get done and very few workers. 

Rely on God to fill the gap.  He sent teens to help do  some office work.  He stretched supplies so that we had what we needed.  He worked creativity of those involved so make what should have been a disaster into beauty.  He grew a love within my heart in place of annoyance. 

Then I sprained my foot.  I knew I couldn't do the job with a hurt foot.  With everything prepared I knew I should leave the service - yet I didn't.  I continued along doing a little.  Then it came time where they needed someone to do the work I did so I went back, foolishly thinking I was healed enough.  But I hadn't.  This time, I had to leave the position and I was quickly replaced.

Found out the one who replaced me prayed 6 months for a ministry!  He was so very happy to have the opportunity to serve in this way.  Happier about it than I think I ever was doing the work.

It made me wonder why I held on so tight to the position.  All the times I wanted to give it up before I thought I was being selfish or...the list of lies goes on.  God used my clinging to sanctify me.  Perhaps He used it to help my replacement be willing to serve - I don't know the what ifs. 

So what service might you be holding to tightly to?  Has God asked you to move on and you've refused?  What service has God called you to that you have refused to obey?  We all have gifts, gifts meant for service.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Write Now

I missed my blog, my expression.  So much has happened since I stepped away in December.  Most of which was an opportunity for me to change my attitude and viewpoint.

I had the priveledge of wearing one of these for a month.


 Just before Christmas I sprained my foot - not ankle- foot.  All was well because Christmas is a slow going season with no need to walk anywhere - oh wait - No it isn't!  I'll write more on my life in the boot of shame.
My daughter took this photo - she's loving the photo apps.
As most people in the mid-west and across the US, I spent my time this winter trying to stay warm.  An injured foot means a lot of winter chores fell to my husband.  I snuggled near the fire most days.

I'm continuing to write my exam so lots of time in front of these.

And writing endless hours on this.

All those hours have paid off since I went from taking two weeks to answer a question last fall, to writing one within a day - and less editing - always good.  My creative writing has taken off again - I hope to do something with that.  Hopefully you'll see  a change in my writing here. 

As a diversion to writing and being stuck inside I created this painting for my daughter's bathroom.  A couple evenings on the couch had it done.  I did use stickers, but I'm not so sure that was the easy way to get the letters on.

I'm placing my blog a little higher on my priorities, even if it's slow going until I complete my exam.  Daily progress is what counts.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,
Hebrews 12:1







Monday, December 30, 2013

My Tour Guide

The last time we went to DC, we had an opportunity to go on a DC Duck Tour.  Not only did we get to ride in a Duck - an amphibian vehicles from the early 1900s army issued, but the tour took us by all the great sites in downtown.  The tour guide knew everything about DC and about the Duck.  We stopped by several missed monuments that I hadn't known about.  He knew the ins and outs of downtown.

Most tour guides are like that.  They know the best places to go.  The best places to stay.  They know all the history the city holds.  They know what's going on and what plans the city has.

The Bible shows God is our Guide.  He guided Noah to build a boat.  He guided Abraham to go to a new land.  He guided Moses out of Egypt and Joshua into the Promise Land.  He guided to prophets to speak to the people.  He spoke to Mary and Joseph about His coming Son.

Jesus was raised in Nazareth.  A place that was despised.  A place that nothing good was would come.  Yet, despite those conditions, He grew.  He learned scripture.  He didn't allow that place to change who He is.  He grew into the perfect man there.  

God will lead us.  He knows our life better than we do.  He knows our thoughts.  He knows our true needs.  He knows our history.  He knows our future.  He can be trusted with our lives, our plans, our goals.  He knows the best places to go, to stay, to see.

Is God your Guide?  Do you listen for His instructions?  Do you obey immediately?  What needs to change in your heart so that He is your guide?  So that you do heed His Word?  That you trust His direction? 

Are you content with where you are planted?  Do I appreciate what God is doing right now?

Friday, December 20, 2013

No Room at the Inn

And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7

We're approaching the day we celebrate the blessed event written out in Luke.  I was struck by this verse in my counseling study.

Presented with two solutions to every problem.  The problem of course is sin.   The first solution is remedial from within.  It is to search God's word to change the heart, to prepare for spiritual warfare.  It is the putting off of the sin.

The second solution is discipleship from without.  This is applying God's word.  It is the putting on of Godly fruit.  Being a disciple is making room for Jesus.  It is the only way to conquer life dominating sins.  It is filling my time, my thoughts, my anything I do with Jesus.  When Jesus has all of me, I don't have time for life dominating sin.  

Just as many centuries ago the crowd didn't have room for Jesus.  Now with Jesus in my heart, I do not have room for sin.  When He fills every space, He is all I want.  

We (God and I) are working together to get this done.  It is a life long process, so be patient.  It is a clear indication I'm not spending enough time with God and allowing Him to fill me fully when old life dominating sins that I have repented of come back.  Always be on guard, always be filled with Jesus.


Merry Christmas
Have a great Holiday, I'm on break until the new year.  Many Blessings to your family.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Joseph, The Obedient Father



Joseph felt betrayed.  The woman who he’d known most of his life, his fiancĂ©, was expecting a child.  He knew it wasn’t his.  What was he going to do.  Despite her betrayal, he couldn’t bring himself to shame her publicly as he ought.  No, he’d handle matters quietly, ending their engagement, and maybe someday, he wouldn’t be embarrassed in their community.

He then went to sleep and an angel of the Lord said that everything Mary said was true.  The child she carried was God’s Son.  Joseph was to take Mary as his wife.  He was to endure the suspicions of their community with her being with child before their marriage celebration.  He was to carry the weight of caring for God’s only Son.  He was to name Him Jesus.

Joseph did all that.  He took Mary with him to Bethlehem, for leaving her at home was not an option.  He stayed by her during the trip, concerned for she was due soon.  He search the whole city for a room to stay in.  He had no family in which to turn.  He found the only warm place for them, a cave.  The animals kept the small place warm. 

Joseph witnessed the birth, helped Mary along.  They wrapped Jesus in clothe and laid him in a manger.  He deserved better, but what could Joseph do?

Once the census was done, Joseph moved his small family into a home.  He left behind the home he had prepared in Nazareth.  He left behind the family business.  He waited until God told him what to do. 

Magi from the east came to worship his Son.  They gave gifts even he couldn’t imagine.  Now Joseph was a steward over God’s Holy Son and this large fortune given to his Son. 

Another dream warn Joseph to flee to Egypt.  Immediately he flees, thankful for the gifts to fund the trip.  They barely escape Herod wrath.  He’s sadden by the story that Herod kills all the young boys in the area in hopes of killing God’s Son.  Joseph trust God’s provision all the more.  God would protect them.  He would protect His Son. 

Joseph has another dream – go home.  He packed up his family and headed north.  Upon hearing the king’s son ruled, he took his fears to God.  Surely God intended His Son to be raised in Bethlehem.  Surely He planned to raise Him near the Temple.  Yet, no, God directed Joseph back to Nazareth.  A place despised among the Israelites.  A place no man would look for God’s Son.

On Joseph’s journey, he was obedient.  He was willing to give up his future plans – plans to be a carpenter, to marry Mary and settle down.  He gave up his home.  He gave up his business.  He gave up his reputation.  He went willingly into a foreign country. 

What plans do I need to sacrifice so that God can guide me?
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...