Monday, March 31, 2008

His Instructions to Moses

Live in his presence in holy reverence,(ALL the time, He never leaves us)

Follow the road he sets( even in a direction we don't want it to go?)

Love, serve your God, everything in you, (every action ... HIM as its target)

Obey God…live a good life (uh oh, being quiet and listening)

Everything is God's… (him, her, me, things...dust to dust)

Deut. 10:12-14


Lord, hear my prayer…
…give Allen study time from unnecessary distractions
…provide him Your understanding preparing for Spring Break
Lord, hear my prayer…
… prepare our youths’ hearts for Your Word throughout the weekend (while packing, on the bus, living in the cabins, as they play, study, worship)
Lord, hear my prayer…
…confirm Allen, have the kids look him in the eyes…express affirmation…give“yes faces”...they’re listening

Lord, hear my prayer…
…help our counselors and our kids put away all known sin
…grow in each of us an anticipation of seeing You
…give each a want to be intentionally different as we leave Laguna Beach

Thank you, God, for hearing my prayer…
…may your Word ring true…our when Paul said,

“…when you received the Word of God, …you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the Word of God, which is at work in you believers.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13


Sunday, March 30, 2008


Each stood,adored
One church body,clapping,singing
United excitement

Praising Christ's divine growing
Celebrating,healing in our midst
Adoring in union

Standing in His presence
Knowing angels all around
Holy Spirit, Holy Ground

Zephaniah proclaimed
"The Lord, thy God, in the midst of thee is mighty."
His Prophesy revived

Two pastors, new opportunities
Excited, leaving soon

Adoring Him, Senior pastor,
doctorate pursued
Achievement with honors

Praising, thanking Him
Healing two women, endured suffering
returned from sickness

Each stood, adored
One church body clapping,singing
United excitement


If you weren't at church missed a BIG BLESSING!

The John presentation was very powerful…energetic, multiple changes in voice inflection, unbelievable memorization, movement to and fro, up high,down low, sharing his water with the poor choking woman in the front row. I couldn't imagine what his perspective from on top of that table standing in the chair must have been like...too scary.

At moments I was lost in the monologue and truly felt I was there in the moment, in Jerusalem, in the Garden, seeing each of the characters, coming alive in sight, sound and touch...He certainly made it into a personal experience for me. When he came and leaned in to my face, holding my forearm with his right hand as he leaned down looking deep into my eyes…I thought he was going to go nose to nose…intentional and very focused…and he said,

John 15:27
“And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning."
… and then he was gone.

Since the beginning He knew me…it’s like what I wrote yesterday about CK’s birthday…He determined the time…He will not leave me…and He wants me testifying about Him…sharing His spirit…loving...not centering in but reaching out...loving, sharing...not complaining...loving, lifting someone else up that is down.

A few minutes after pondering his words to me, ..."Oh no, I was confirmed as an old woman, again!…you know, the part where he said,"with Him since the beginning" made me think of I look THAT OLD, for some reason now 49 doesn't sound so bad!
God's GLORY...His GLORY... with us tonight...
\o/ \o/ \o/
...and since the BEGINNING!

Friday, March 28, 2008


I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
Rolling down hallway...It's stuck...doorways/ceiling tiles speeding by...It's stuck, it's stuck...a struggling boy or girl? Hearts pounding...putting on scrubs. HHHHMMMMMM, Neil Diamond's voice wafting...gurney rolling...double doors, stopping...large, round lights..."Shucks, where did Neil go?"
Pain my mask, wiping fearful, eagerness tears...our "miracle baby"..."Out of Africa" soundtrack playing...
God preveniently going before..."New Daddy" snapping pictures...wiping my face...a velvety cheek against my lips....wisking away to tests...New Daddy wiping "thankful I'm-a-Mommy" tears...his blue mask becoming damp from "Im-a-Daddy" tears.
Long ago...yet close
MY miracle baby...STILL my taller than me
That night we met...
God already knew...
"determined the exact time"
knows every head hair...every heart's desire
He watches--when we can't

Again? Yes, even if they did turn off Neil! : )

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Meme Fun

1. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.
2. Each player answers the questions about themselves.
3. At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves a comment letting them know they’ve been tagged and to ask them to play along and to read your blog.

What I was doing 10 years ago - 1998
* Working as a 20-year network manager at BellSouth
* Rotating shifts, working lots of Midnight to 8ams
* Learning how to shuffle BellSouth and a 6yo
* Learning my girlfriend had breast cancer, a double mastectomy
* Learning boys are: cool when they pitch in and help with 6yo’s while u sleep off a midnight shift

Five things on my to-do list today -
1. Work on birthday plans for my soon-to-be 16yo
2. Hang out with my hubby over dinner while my 16yo is at prayer share
3. Love on “my teens” as I send them messages…to Auburn, UGA, Alabama, Brookwood, Collins Hill, Blonshine's House, North Gwinnett…they’re everywhere!
4. Pay for Latin Club convention costs
5. Washed two loads, Cleaned out two kitchen cabinets, counters, too…BLEACH everywhere!

Five snacks I enjoy -
1. they have to be "Chili's" Chips and salsa
2. Blanched Asparagus…I crave green...gotta get antioxidants! (SORRY, LES!)
3. Frozen Yogurt with nuts
4. Hummus and wheat thins (especially tomato basil)
5. Popcorn (with a Turtle, when I really want to be BAD)

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire -
1. Pay bills off
2. Prepay college
3. Buy C. Sykes’s lake house…why should I have to decorate?
4. Buy an island in the Caribbean and name it, Until Heaven
5. Travel with my Persistent Mamas prayer group at least one week each summer wherever we want to go…paying for everybody!

Five of my bad habits -
1. Ignoring my elliptical machine
2. Watching food network
3. Knuckle cracking
4. Staying up too late
5 Staying on line too long

Five places I have lived -
1. born/raised, Doraville, touch of country in the city…DeKalb County
2. First apartment in Norcross off Pleasantdale Road
3. Condominium with college room mate in Dunwoody
4. Lithonia; first house…('til the helicopter landed in our front yard and the police invaded the house two doors down for dealing crack)
5. half way ‘tween L’ville and Swnee…sound like an old southern spiritual, doesn’t it?

Five jobs I’ve had -
1. office clerk. textile company, high school senior
2. office clerk. Woodruff School of nursing, Emory University
3. executive assistant, to BellSouth Executive Vice President, best paid job ever, neat people (knee how, that's Chinese for good morning, ya'll)
4. In 1989, passed network engineering certification/BellSouth--promoted to network manager doing electronic surveillance and managing voice network traffic, 24x7 center…where all my hair turned gray and wrinkles invaded my face!
5. 2006 kept Baby Ben for a year...we played a lot!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In Person...

Picturing myself in Jerusalem after Jesus rose, did I:

…believe the women when they announced he had risen?
…get scared when He appeared in the Upper Room?
…reach to touch his side?
…stay in Jerusalem to wait for the Father’s promise of the Holy Spirit?
…obey? Leaving to later teach and preach about what I saw and heard?
…stick around for 40 days to see His ascension to Glory?
What would you have done?

"Hear the shouts...hear the triumph songs in the camp of the saved? "The hand of God has turned the tide! The hand of God is raised in victory!
Psalm 118:15

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Some things are just TOO CUTE for words...

Shouldn't this bucket be on my head?

Katie girl, living miracle
16 months, crawling everywhere
Rarely still
Many teeth now
Smiles for everyone, no strangers
Except Santa
Loves her Grandmas
Eating pretzels and taco chips
Patting shoulders
Squeals, doggies in sight
Standing, hand prints on the windows
Go outside?
Pulling Hair
Any one's fair game, Mommy or the cat
Biscuit hides
Joys innumerable
What did we do before Katie?
Thank you, Jesus...and Egleston!
I'm getting this signing stuff down!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Oh Love Divine

O Love Divine, What Hast Thou Done
Charles Wesley, 1707-1788 O Love divine, what has thou done!
The immortal God hath died for me!
The Father's coeternal Son
bore all my sins upon the tree.
Th' immortal God for me hath died:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified!

Is crucified for me and you,
to bring us rebels back to God.
Believe, believe the record true,
ye all are bought with Jesus' blood.
Pardon for all flows from his side:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified!

Behold him, all ye that pass by,
the bleeding Prince of life and peace!
Come, sinners, see your Savior die,
and say, "Was ever grief like his?"
Come, feel with me his blood applied:
My Lord, my Love, is crucified!

Chariots!...In Lawrenceville???

There's a chariot in my garage...yes, a chariot.
The Latin Club is repairing its chariot to race at state convention in April.It's unique to have one close by especially on GOOD FRIDAY! Jesus was "up close and personal" with Roman soldiers during his trials and crucifixion.

He would have seen Roman soldiers, short togas covered with lorica (breastplates), galea (armor helmets stretching down over their noses), javelins or gladius(short swords), dirty sandals/"caligae" that wrapped up around ankles, like "sandal boots".

Our King was bludgeoned and crucified by the soldiers and generals in that elite army which often welcomed their victorious generals in a "godlike" manner with triumphus/elaborate processions. First came horn blowers and priests with pure white bulls for sacrifice to take place. Next came the booty and spoils from battle, chained captives. Immediately following came the soldiers in parade dress, followed by the victorious general--gilded shoes and purple tunica palmata embroidered with gold. His chariot was gilded in gold and pulled by 4 horses--he carried a small ivory scepter topped with the image of an eagle and wore a crown of laurel leaves...with a public slave standing behind him.
(Christ didn't get a triumphant procession or a purple tunica, or a crown of laurel leaves...he drug his own cross up to Golgotha, stripped of his robe and crowned with stabbing thorns while those watching shouted, "CRUCIFY HIM!")

I'm glad I don't have any Roman soldiers or generals in my garage!! But I'd be honored to have Christ show up : )...I'd also like to see the faces of the teenagers if he did!

Plant "Smileys"

Our enemy wants to get hold little by little, you know…”He makes it seem like it's NOT SO BAD”. Studying “trust” today brought me to this:

Rom 7:5
:( “…live according to sinful nature…minds set on what nature desires; mind of sinful man is death.

:) “…live with the Spirit..minds set on Holy Spirit desires…life and peace.

I much prefer the “smileys”, don't you?
Praise God seeds of righteousness taught and studied will bloom one day for HIS SAKE!
John 15:4
Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Isaiah 3:10
Tell the righteous it will be well with them, for they will enjoy the fruit of their deeds

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


"Don't waste your suffering, don't let it pass;get out of it all you can,for yourself and for your service to your generation."

I'm impatient, not wanting to listen as others tell me experiences. But their experiences are golden! They calm my anxiety, show me how to share Christ's love in ALL situations.

Look for Christ in all your suffering--He is with us always...preveniently going before us, placing people in front of us for His purposes. His "modeling through suffering" is apparent before, during and after his crucifixion...a preface of our suffering in our lives for His sake. Doesn't He call us to take up our crosses and follow Him?

Tough times may be embarrassing, humbling, and often friends fall away during trials. (Remember, the disciples ran and hid when Christ was arrested and later crucified.) Charge on in with the actions Christ calls you to ... especially when our enemy uses "feelings" to shy us from sharing our past experiences--he knows our love for one another will give glory back to Christ!

Lord, remind me to help calm and comfort.
Go ahead of me, make my path straight, give me Your Words.

2 Cor. 1:6, 7
"If I am in distress, it is in the interests of your comfort,
which is effective as it nerves you to endure the same sufferings as I suffered myself.
Hence my hope for you is well-founded, since I know that as you share the sufferings,
you share the comfort also."

Classical Words

Tonight I had an experience I have NEVER had before in my life…I heard Latin spoken by second-year Latin students as they were being inducted into the high school’s chapter of the National Junior Classical League (the honor society for Latin). Their words had familiar piece parts, but mostly I had to refer to the notes to understand the oaths they were taking.

Just think back…the Latin words...words originated and spoken around the 1st BC…it is not generally spoken today. For a few moments somehow I felt connected to that century, imagining what their dialects would have sounded like in person. The young student voices I heard were lilting their vowels with Southern drawls as the microphone caused reverberation through the school auditorium.

Rememberances of their words kept popping up in my head after I got home, and I wanted to delve into it a little further…especially with this being HOLY WEEK! There were few references in the Bible directly about Latin, however, it is so appropriate what I found:

John 19:19-22
"Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross.
It read: Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews.
Many of the Jews read this sign,for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek."

That notice would have looked something like the following:

Yeshua haNotzri, Melech haYehudim הגדר (Hebrew, God revealed Himself to man)
Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum (Latin, Roman Empire, representing authority)
Iesous ho Nazoraios ho basileus ton Ioudaion (Greek, world commerce, universality)

As I thought about these words...what they meant and represented...I became sad envisioning Christ the day he was crucified. He was king to man, authority over more than Rome—the entire universe, and His eternal throne was waiting for him in Heaven...yet he hung there...suffering ...bleeding...trying to breathe...thirsty...beaten... at moments feeling forsaken...finally dying for me and you.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Thy Calm in My Storm

Before the winds that blow do cease, teach me to dwell within Thy calm
Before the pain has passed in peace, give me, my God, to sing a psalm.
Let me not lose the chance to prove the fullness of enabling love.
Oh, love of God, do this for me: Maintain a constant victory.

Amy Carmichael, poet

This Side of Heaven

3 John 1:2
"I pray good fortune in everything you do, and for your good health - that your everyday affairs prosper, as well as your soul!"

Goodbye is such a hard word to say--I always want to change it to "see ya' later" so it doesn't seem so final. Life really changes constantly as our years go along. We always say "let's get together" but our lives grow in different directions and getting together proves harder than originally thought.

Recently I've been saying "goodbye" too much, I think. Goodbye to friends and family I didn't want to lose. God, you know I struggle with my "whys" and the "it's not fair" stuff. Often tears have trickled down my cheeks when I run across something or someone that brings their spirit back to me...a memory of their laugh...something funny they would do. I lean on and thank God for blessed memories and that give me SO MUCH comfort through my heart-felt longings. These things are a balm...clinging to me. My giggles and tears are a strange combination, don't you think? But that's what I do as I look back over the pictures and let the memories run through my mind. Granny's words come back to me...she often talked about "golden memories" growing more precious as time goes by like the wind. I know their love never leaves my heart, and the promise of heaven relieves my earthly anxiety.

Some goodbyes were not "heavenly" but were losses due to distance or career changes. Precious friends, co-workers, brothers and sister in Christ that hugged me lots, shared their troubles with me, listened to my troubles, asked for advice every now and then, and mostly just MADE ME LAUGH with their love of life. My days seem much emptier without their smiles, without their youthful attitudes, without their bouncy, blonde curls, without quiet discussions about special times at church, rebounding ideas off each other about Christ and His lessons.

I'm being selfish here...these changes were for wonderful reasons: promotions, new adventures, marriages, new ministries, and the list goes on. I pray the Holy Spirit will guide me in praying for them, asking God to bless them in their new places and growing their fellowship with neighbors and new buddies. My season now is to be: letting go and concentrating on God's plan for them instead of mine.

So, note to self: do a better job of calling, writing an email, wishing sunshine to those I miss that are "this side of Heaven"...for we never know when one of us might be gone.

You don't know the first thing about tomorrow. You're nothing but a wisp of fog,
catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing.
James 4:14
Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life?
2 Peter 3:11

Friday, March 14, 2008

Divine Nature

"And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise" (Heb. 6:15)

Abraham patiently endured various trials and eventually received God’s promise.
How precious and unfailing are God’s promises, then and NOW.

Continuing with intentionally “living worship”, I should:
…repeat his promises with expectancy
…intentionally move out of darkness into His marvelous light of His divine nature
…feed on his word; listen for his voice

“Lord, through the trials of life, remind me of your great, precious promises so I may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. In my days of worship, keep my eyes open, drinking in your strength and glory. In your generous love I am really living at last!
2 Peter 1:4 & Psalm 63:2

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Today I'm preparing for Sunday School and our study on "worship". Do some people expect worship to be perfect? As if they want it suited to them specifically (instead of being concerned it was suitable to God)? We can train ourselves to truly "worship"—no matter the deficiencies! So, let's practice changing complaints into praises...

Complaint: We sang too many choruses
Praise:Thank you for giving us a want for praise today.
Psalm 84:4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house; they are ever praising you.

Complaint: The preaching was boring
Praise: Lord, give our Pastor more time with You.
Psalm 69: 6 May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel.

Complaint: Hush that crying Baby.
Praise: Thanks for the baby’s parents wanting to be in worship when they could have chosen to stay home.
Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe

Complaint: The screen verses were misspelled
Praise: Thank you for our tools for worship.
Proverbs 32:10 "Do not slander a servant to his master, or he will curse you, and you will pay for it.

Lord, bless us to be a blessing rather than complainers.
Exodus 34:9
"O Lord, if I have found favor in your eyes," he said, "then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance."

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sweet Sandy

Sweet Sandy
Always sharing your big smile and happy cheeks
Always swinging your strawberry blonde hair
Sweet, sharing, swinging Sandy

Always pushing your glasses up your nose
Always telling a good joke and trying to say, “ya’ll” with a southern drawl
Always sharing “Minnesota lodge, 12-foot snow stories” with us “Southern Belles”
Sweet, laughing, sharing Sandy

Always brutally honest in work and deed
Always appreciating a good day’s work
Always helping if something came up with a shift change
Sweet, honest, helping Sandy

Always loved telling us about family and things she did with them
Always energetic and eager to do for those less fortunate
Sweet, energetic, compassionate Sandy

Always smiling about her beloved, beloved Mike…with everything she had
Always will be remembered as one of those workmates that really was “family”
Sweet, smiling, loving, my forever-friend, Sandy


Today's study was on Matthew 13:5, when Jesus said a phrase, “Not much earth". He was teaching a parable about different soils and their ability to “grow” or “‘not grow” things. "Shallow ground" brought these synonyms to my mind:
Superficial= concerned with the surface or obvious
Inconsequential= Proceeding without a natural or logical sequence; haphazard

Do these words describe me when I don’t want to spend time in God’s Word? Am I satisfied with mediocrity and wanting things to just "come my way" without determination and work? Do I want to live by my own intuition rather than His TRUE knowledge? Do I have to “decide to be convicted” or do we “become” convicted after our decisions take us to very bad places? His Word straight forwardly points out those choosing NOT TO SEEK God’s true plan of life:

Psalms 10:4
T he wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.

Psalms 119:55
Salvation is far from the wicked, For they do not seek Your statutes.

In my garden there is much soil… to keep it healthy and fruitful, I have to decide to stir it up …so, I have to stir up my conscience through studying God’s word…getting His input on right and wrong. I could continue justifying my “sinning” because of timing, laziness, pride…and the list goes on. But, weeds don’t ever just go away on their own, do they!? “Pulling out”, “poisoning”, and "pruning” are never fun activities but they keep the weeds from “overtaking” my garden.
Envisioning my flower bed with lots of color and a large variety of flowers (or blessings) is what gets me through the “rough”. His Word replenishing my “soul soil” and his giving me His deeper truths/profound secrets make my life so much more colorful and fruitful. Now I see Jesus’ point in making it into a “soul soil” story. And his Word confirms the sweetness of my spending time with him throughout my day:
Psalm 63:1
O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Eccles. 1:13
And I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom concerning all that has been done under heaven

Proverbs 18:15
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge; the ears of the wise seek it out.

Lord, Only You will save me from a “shallow” life.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Worldly Flocks

Jesus is my Shepherd who never leaves me. When I encounter the "worldly flocks", do I point them to the shepherd?

Know them: John 10:15 “I put the sheep before myself, sacrificing myself if necessary”.
Go before them: Psalms 78:52 “…he led his people out like sheep, took his flock safely through the wilderness”.

Seek “good pasture”: Psalms 23:2 “lush meadows; quiet pools to drink.”

Number them: Jeremiah 33:13 You'll see flocks everywhere - in the mountains around the towns of the Shephelah and Negev, all over the territory of Benjamin, around Jerusalem and the towns of Judah - flocks under the care of shepherds who keep track of each sheep.'

Watch over them: Luke 2:8 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood

Be Tender: Genesis 33:13 And the flocks and herds are nursing, making for “slow going”. If I push them too hard, even for a day, I'd lose them all. Psalms 78:71 His good heart made him a good shepherd; he guided the people wisely and well.

Defend from attacks: Samuel 17:34-36 "I've been a shepherd, tending sheep for my Father. Whenever a lion or bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I'd go after it, knock it down, and rescue the lamb. If it turned on me, I'd grab it by the throat, wring its neck, and kill it. Lion or bear, it made no difference - I killed it. And I'll do the same to this Philistine pig who is taunting the troops of God-Alive. God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine."

Search for the lost and straying: Ezekiel 34:16 I'll go after the lost, I'll collect the strays

Attend when sick; celebrate the found: Ezekiel 34:16 “…doctor the injured,…build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they're not exploited. Luke 15:4 'Celebrate with me! I've found my lost sheep!' Count on it - there's more joy in heaven over one sinner's rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Sunday morning Sunday School and worship is such a small amount of time considering the entirety of each week. Let's see...from 8:15am until 10:30am is 2 hours 15 minutes. Since there are 168 hours in a week, I have 165 hours 45 minutes to worship him on my own. Have you ever thought of "living" each day as being a continuation of the worship service? Well, it is. Once I leave church, I will begin "worshipping with my life" throughout the remaining 165 hours 45 minutes.

Paul shared the fruits of the Spirit...Jesus' Spirit, the Holy Spirit..."lovingly, joyfully, peacefully, patiently, kindly, faithfully, gently and with goodness through His guidance of my self-control." Seeking His input each morning for these fruits and recognizing His gift of grace, then I'll be better prepared to approach the day "worship-fully" as it unfolds.

Romans 12: 1
... offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.

Matthew 16:24-25
Jesus said, "For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
Romans 6: 13-14
"Offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness. For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Conflicts in My Face

Every time I've turned around the last couple of weeks, the word "conflict" has met my glance.
During a devotion last week, studying our Sunday School lesson this week, preparing my notes for MYF for Sunday night. Delving into each of these studies, I began building an outline. First I see where the Bible tries to keep me from having conflicts...

Luke 12
"Don't worry about defending yourself but rely on the Holy Spirit to teach you at the very moment what you should say."
I don't know about you, but I always want to go ahead and speak--another way of "counting to 10, I guess."

James 1:19
"Be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger."
This will take practice, practice, practice. An intentional re-directing of my actions.

Psalm 4:4
"In your anger, do not sin; when you are on your bed, search your heart and be silent."
This gets better and better, doesn't it.

1 Pet. 5:7 and Phil. 4:6
My Lord urges me to “cast all my anxieties on Him” and replace worry with active, specific prayer .
Prayers will put me on another level of dealing with centering me, humbling me to hear His Divine perspective.

Ephesians 4:15
Speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him, who is the head, even Christ...expecting the best out of others.
When I find myself in conflict, I can confront the issue head on...lovingly.
This is easier said than done I think. The prayer certainly must come first to ready me for this part. I often wonder what God is teaching me during conflicts, and sometimes I really don't like the answers because I realize the change must come from me first.

Romans 12:10
"Love one another with brotherly affection; out do one another in showing honor. " After working on my heart, the scriptures help convict in the right way to go...does it involve apologizing maybe? Sometimes one of the hardest things to do is to apologize and ask forgiveness. I could be "right" but still be called to an apology...eeeewwwwww!
Christ knew he was right but He still chose God's Will and died for me.

Lord, write your Words on my heart and help me use your guidebook as conflicts of any sort come my way. Sometimes I get the maddest at myself...impatient with my shortcomings--my limits. I need your Words to deal with myself. Remind me, "I am worth" your dying on the cross and shedding your blood for me because you made me, know every hair on my head, hear the cries of my heart and will never leave or forsake me. Thank you for loving me in spite of me.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Heavenly Sunlight

There we were...probably 130 people or more standing under the old arbor at the United Methodist Campground....32-degree weather, brisk winter winds, each huddling, snuggling, trying desperately to get warm. We came to show our love for Thomas, who left this earth on June 20, 2008 as a 17-year-old-- full of life, loving his friends, sharing his faith. On his last day he was driving to the Campground to work with the Lawrenceville Assistance Project team…he lost control of his truck and was gone.

His face flashed through my mind as we were singing “Marvelous Light”, one of his favorite praise songs. His family was sitting on the front row on the hand-hewn, wooden benches, their many teary eyes and wet cheeks peeking out from behind their woolen coats, long scarves and hats…standing in the wood shavings up around their shoes. I'm sure they were remembering how Thomas loved praising and rejoicing in this arbor with his best buds, cocking his hat to the side of his head (no one could wear a hat better than Thomas). I'm remembering the video I have at home of him during Spring Break at Laguna Beach Christian Resort raising his hands and spinning around at the chorus of the song, singing to the top of his voice and smiling all the while...then striking a pose when he caught sight of the camera!

Our singing today was joyous yet lacking something. As the cold wind whistled through the open arbor, nothing was standing that could break its force sweeping through the bare pine trees. Snow flakes were swirling throughout the campground, flying swiftly against our stiff faces several times--often we heard small squeals from the high school girls fighting the cold as they tried to snuggle under their letter jackets and hoodies. As we were singing the chorus…a brightness completely enthralled the arbor --it was like a bright star was hovering overhead. (It was like Thomas didn’t want us to feel alone under the canopy of dark clouds as frozen flakes sprinkled our way.) I could envision him opening the clouds showing us the shining sun of heaven saying, "Hey, guys! It's great up here...wait 'til you see it." Several of us talked afterwards about how awesome God fulfills our needs in moments like these.

We will always remember this dedication and what Thomas meant to each of us each time we look at the new plaque on the LAP cabin that commemorates him. That heavenly sunlight wouldn’t leave my mind as I drove home. What comfort and vision does Scripture promise us about Heaven? In several passages, I could see Thomas as one of Christ’s inherited. He is already enjoying his “inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade (1 Peter 1). He will never again be hungry; never again thirst (Revelation). He is sitting with the Lamb, who is at the center of the throne. Christ is giving him springs of living water." Our Lord has already “wiped away every tear from his eyes." Any of his old sinful nature is gone and there is no evil near him in the kingdom of God. He is now praising God at the REAL ARBOR, the eternal ARBOR, on the the EVERLASTING ROCK.

And Thomas is busy loving and serving our Lord there ("…and his servants will serve him", Galatians 5:21) and he is "looking on Christ’s face and Christ’s name is on Thomas’ forehead". Thomas does “not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God is giving him light. And he will reign for ever and ever”. That’s the HEAVENLY SUNLIGHT Thomas brought us this morning under God’s ARBOR. Oh, it is a beautiful place, even more so beautiful with Thomas. Quoting Charles Allen, Methodist preacher: A little girl was taking an evening walk with her father and wonderingly looked up at the stars and exclaimed:
"Oh, Daddy, if the wrong side of heaven is so beautiful,
what must the right side be!"

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Immeasurable Glory

In today's devotion I was reminded to look at any present suffering or present troubles as being quite small, and that remembering that our worldly life won't last very long.

Sometimes when I'm in those moments of suffering with an ailment or another part of my body that is "feeling its age", I like to put on my pity hat. Doesn't anyone else care that I hurt this badly and that the pain won't go away. Paul challenges us to look past today, look past the moment, look past the "pain in my neck" and think on His Glory. Think on someone else who is hurting more than me. Be busy about helping that other person or encouraging them where they are. When I take on my pain and bump it up against Jesus' suffering, mine suddenly seems SO TRIVIAL.

Further down in Corinthians it notes what God will do when we take on the right thoughts, Godly attitudes and helpful actions for others...He produces GLORY THAT WILL LAST FOREVER. Not just a moment or a day...FOREVER! One day in Heaven, my neck won't hurt anymore, there will be no crying. There will be PRAISING AND GLORIFYING our Christ for the love he had for us and will have for us for ETERNITY. Suddenly, my neck feels better!
May discomforts produce an immeasurably great glory that will last forever!” 2 Corinthians 4:17