Friday, December 3, 2010

UGH... The Tongue

I have a love hate relationship with my tongue.  Well not really the tongue itself but with the words that it speaks.  I actually feel this way about everybody's  um... tongue you know?  But it's not just what we say to each other but who we say it to.  If I have been offended by a particular person I hope I would go to them and just speak honestly in love.  And... I want people to do that with me as well.  Oh I might be able to "get it out of my system" if I vent to another person.  However, if I never approach the one that offended me, there are two things that can happen ... one, the person will never know and will miss the opportunity to explain if there has been a misunderstanding (we don't always know what a person's intent is) or apologize if there is a need for it; or two, they will hear of the situation from someone else and this causes all sorts of hurt.  It would make them feel like I have been talking behind their back...which would be true.  I don't want to do this, I don't want it done to me, and I don't want it done to those I love either.  The tongue and the words it speaks.... the power to heal or hurt... love or hate.  Today I choose love, and I pray that I make the same choice every day.
Dear Lord,

The book of James tells me all about the tongue. It's such a little member of the body, but it can do so much harm. We can speak words that bless You and words that curse man who is made in Your image. A few words can uplift, encourage, and do positive things in a person's life and a few words can also put down, discourage, and ruin a person's life. Please forgive me for allowing any words to leave my mouth that would harm others and dishonor You. I pray that my words will be honest and positive; that they will inspire and challenge others to greatness. Show me who You want me to encourage through my words today. Please help me to affirm someone close to me today, that they will be blessed and You will be glorified.

In Jesus' name I pray


Monday, November 29, 2010

No Puppies for Christmas

Since our girls are attending college in Louisiana we will be traveling there to spend Christmas with them. This means we will be leaving our four little ones at home. No... we do not have four younger children. I am referring to our four precious canines. By the way, I realized I haven’t told you the “rest of the story” about how we got our dogs.
Muff, Jersey, Grace
If you remember, Muff was our first and Grace was our second. Grace is actually the mother and grandmother of our other two dogs.

  • On a side note…Once upon a time, (totally unplanned by us), Grace got pregnant and gave birth to Zooby and Sasha. We were not ready at that time to take on any more dogs and Rodger was careful to make sure everyone knew we weren’t. This being the case, we gave these two wonderful puppies to friends of ours. Zooby now looks just like a male version of Grace except bigger and Sasha looks similar to her grandmother. Incidentally, we actually gave Sasha to the same home her grandmother and aunt (Grace's sister) grew up in.

Anyhoo... after this first unplanned set of puppies we decided to plan our next ones.
Now let me introduce you to a special dog named Zeus. We don't own Zeus but we fell in love with him when we met a neighbor and him as they were on one of their daily walks past our home. Zeus met Grace one day and became very interested in her. They later became a couple and before we knew it, we had three little babies. Grace actually had four, but we lost one... it was very sad. We named him Tomorrow. As for the other three, they were Ozzie, Lucy and Hershey. Ozzie and Lucy found very good homes and Hershey became our third doggy family member. Within the next two years we met a wonderful little shiatsu named Skippy, who fell madly in love with Hershey and wah-lah... two months later five new babies; Jersey, Bella, Quincy, Figgy, and Rascal. Bella and Quincy were the girls. Bella went to Skippy's home, Quincy to a friend at church, Figgy to a friend of a friend, Rascal to my mom and after much resistance from Rodger, he said “ if we’re going to have any more dogs, it will be mine, it will be this one, and his name will be Jersey.”
Well that's our story. Rodger says we have enough … sometimes I agree and.... well... sometimes I don't—hehe. Grace ended up having one more litter of four... they were adorable; Sammy, Poppy, Janeway, and Tuvoc. I think we’re all done … for now.


Sammy, Janeway(top), Tuvoc, Poppy-2008
Lucy, Hershey, Ozzie-Oct 2005
Bella, Quincy, Jersey, Figgy, Rascal-2007
Sasha and Zooby-Mar 2005

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Traffic and God...Risk and Faith

You can learn a lot about people in traffic. Take for instance, when you see 20 cars in one line and only 3 cars in another. The reason for the longer line is these people want to make sure they get to make their turn after the light. I often find myself in this longer line. My husband, on the other hand, will be in the shorter line. He wants to get through the light first, then think about making the next turn. No matter which person you might be in this situation, there is a risk either way. 

Of course there are bigger decisions then which lane of traffic you should be in to make for many of us… or all of us I should say. Job decisions… school or college decisions… etc. Maybe they’re not decisions about where to go or what to do but more like decisions just to go or to do. When the priests carried the ark into the Jordan River at flood stage there was a risk they could lose the ark to the Jordan River. However, that is not what happened. 

"And as soon as the priests who carry the ark of the LORD, the Lord of all the earth set foot in the Jordan, its waters flowing downstream will be cut off and stand up in a heap" (Josh 3:13). 

God changed the entire environment! He made it possible to walk across without the pressure of wading through the powerful water.  But, He did this  only when the priests took the first step. The step came first, then the miracle.

When there is risk, there is a potential for loss. However, when God leads us to take a risk, He is there whether we succeed or fail. He is there in the success and He is there in the failure. If He leads you to take a risk it may not always succeed in the way you think. In fact, it could even fail. However, the only true failure is when we fail to take the risk when God is leading us to do so. Sometimes the fear of failure is the greater obstacle than the risk itself.

I’m not sure I’ll change which lane I would prefer to be in when it comes to driving but, I do know that when it comes to taking the risk to step out in faith, I don’t want to miss the path God is directing me towards… no matter the outcome.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Red Sea... What does it mean to me?

"We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life"(Rom 6:4).

When Moses led the people of Israel out of Egypt, he took them to the edge of the Red Sea. The people saw the sea before them and heard the chariots of the Egyptians behind them. They knew they were trapped… and they lost their faith in God. They thought God was no longer at work in their lives. In panic and despair, they turned on Moses and said, "didn't we tell you, 'leave us alone and let us serve the Egyptians.' Better to live as slaves than to die in the desert!"

They couldn't imagine that God's path to freedom actually led straight into and through the deep waters! The waters of the Red Sea, like baptism, are a symbol of death. When Moses parted the Red Sea, the Israelites walked upon the dry land with walls of water on either side. Just like baptism, they died to their old selves and rose to a new life that led to the Promised Land.

When things aren’t going as smooth as I think they should I too sometimes panic and cry out to God.  But time and time again, He takes me through the depths so I can enter the Promised Land.  Praise God!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

GPS from God

The crooked roads shall become straight, the rough ways smooth" (Luke 3:5).

I love the Global Positioning Systems (GPS) in new cars.   I don’t have one myself but,  my boss does, he showed me how it worked on the way to an office meeting the other day.  A voice came on and told him how far he had to go and when to turn.   However, that day he took a wrong turn and the voice said: "Recalculating route."   
The GPS told him he had was off course and that it was recalculating the route based on his wrong turn!  Wow!  It got me thinking… sometimes we can make wrong turns in our spiritual lives.   We think we are going the right direction only to discover it was never God's will to make those choices or go down that road…   the examples are limitless.

This is an amazing, awesome, wonderful thing about God.  He can make our crooked places straight. He has an ability to make whatever blunder you make turn out right.   It may mean there might be some consequences to those decisions, but He will always allow your actions to work together for good for those called according to His purposes if we repent and seek Him fully to make things right.   These lessons can even contribute to greater wisdom in our lives if we learn from our mistakes.

God's omnipotence is always one step ahead of our incompetence.   Praise God!!  Do you think He knew you would make that misstep?   Absolutely.   Do you think your life was planned even with that misstep figured in?   Absolutely.

Isn't it comforting to know you cannot plan God out of the equation no matter how bad you mess up?   He will always turn crooked places into straight places for those who are humble and contrite.  Isn’t He just awesome?!?

Monday, November 1, 2010


I have been a Christ follower for many years… much too long to consider myself “new” at this.  However, I am discovering so many new things about God lately that it … well… it feels new.  I feel like I’m in that “honeymoon” phase that brand new Christians experience when they first meet Christ.  

I have been a working outside the home mom as long as I’ve been a mom.  It wasn’t a choice… it was a necessity.  I would go to work, carrying this … guilt.  The guilt of not being there as much as I thought I should for my children, the guilt of not being the home maker that I thought I should, ect.  I always felt a vague sense of wrong doing, that I was doing something wrong… as a mom.  That feeling didn’t just affect how I felt as a mom but it affected my entire self confidence.  I felt insecure about… my job, my life as a Christian, my marriage, my relationships, etc.  It affected everything. I have been so blessed, and I know it.  But even so I felt like I couldn’t ask for anything or I shouldn’t because I was blessed to be getting the blessings that I have and to ask for anything else was being greedy. Does that make sense?

I know that I, as a parent desire to give good gifts to my children, whether they ask or not.  However, when they ask the only thing that keeps me from saying yes to everything they ask is…well it’s two things actually… 1) Is it a good gift… for them? And 2) Can we afford it?  Yes it’s true sometimes I have said no simply because we could not afford it, and that if we could I would have said yes. Hehe do I sound insane yet?  Here’s my point… Isn’t God a better parent then me?  YES!  Does he have trouble figuring out whether something is good for me or not?  NO! Does He EVER run out of blessings like we run out of money, time, or energy?  Of course NOT!

Why am I afraid to ask my father the king for blessings?  As long as I don’t take the blessings he has bestowed for granted.  As long as I never start feeling that I somehow deserve them.  We all know that none of us deserves anything from God but by the same token don’t we know He gives good gifts anyways?  We should.  

Sometimes God knows a gift or blessing is good but we feel like it isn’t.  But He is never wrong.  What He chooses for us is what is the very best for us regardless of how we feel.  I am 50 years old and I am just now getting this!  Because I’m a daughter of the King, I can ask without fear, trusting my Father to give to me, His child, the very best.  How awesome is that?  This applies to my children as well.  

Don't waste another second… NOW is the time to get to know God better.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This is your mother, get on the path and stay there!

After years of just serving on a worship team, and not doing much else for my church, I find myself with the time…and the energy to be involved in a Bible study class.  I’ve had many opportunities to do this before, and I used to do it a lot when I first became a Christ follower but as my children grew something happened along the way.  

While my children were still at home, I spent most of my time with thoughts of them, what they needed, what they wanted…should they want that… how to keep them living for Christ when I wasn’t breathing down their necks…etc.  It’s not that I didn’t read the bible or pray… because I did…I had too.  It’s more like I didn’t have the energy to share a study with … other people.  It’s like God gave me the opportunity to “control” how my children turned out but … I never really felt like I could control it. And I was consumed with that thought. 

If my children did “good” or behaved “morally” I felt “oh good…I got something right”.  But… if they behaved badly I felt…ugh…guilty… “what am I doing wrong?” At times (many times) I felt like I wasn’t doing the job God gave me, which was to raise holy children.  All my energy was spent doing this monumental duty.  “How do I guide them the right direction?” “How do I keep them from falling off the path?” and when they do fall off the path, “How do I help them get back on?”. Raising holy children.  It’s not something that can be done without God’s help that’s for sure.  On top of that I had a full time job outside the home… more guilt.  I didn’t understand how others could do all that they did…I still don’t, but I knew I couldn’t.  Looking back… I can’t point to any one thing I did that I knew was right… except … pray, pray, pray… and then pray some more.  I prayed for smooth paths, or rough paths. I prayed for hedges of protection from others and … from themselves.  I prayed that when they did something wrong that they would get caught.  And I mean when, because "All have sinned" why would I think my kids were different?  I also prayed for strength to keep wanting them to get caught…which got harder and harder the older they got.  Was it enough?  I pray that it was because now ….I’m done. 

I am proud of my children… they are doing awesome!  I am relieved and terrified to not be in “control” of their future anymore though.  Now their good and their bad is between them and God.  I’m not part of the equation… I still give bits of advice now and then but I’m on the outside of them now.    So consequently… I find myself with a bit more energy.  I have taken up learning the piano …again, and a Sunday Bible study class called Walk With Me.  It’s been along time since I’ve been in a classroom … I hope I can remember how to study.*wink*