Sunday, June 28, 2009

“Being confident of this very thing, that he who hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6

“Lord don’t give up on me” that was my prayer this morning. I thought about David who wrote most of the book of Psalms and how so many times he cried out the very same thing to God, “Don’t pass me by”, “Don’t forget me”, “Don’t turn me over to my enemies”, etc, etc.. I understand him now. He knew that God His Father would never turn His back on him and only wanted the best for him. But David saw himself for what he really was, a mere man, with a heart to do good, but fell really short of ever being perfect. That’s what I like about David, he was transparent and what I call a REAL person. I think that’s maybe why God called him a man “after My Own heart”. David knew that he was nothing without God’s mercy and because of that he knew that he could come to God anytime he wanted, shortcomings and all.

In today’s “church” world, you don’t see much of that kind of humility. There are teachings of how we are royalty and how we somehow deserve to receive what we think are the “blessings” of God. While I believe that we are, according to the Word, heirs of Christ and that God does blesses us monetarily (every good and perfect gift comes from above); He does not owe us anything. I believe that God is more interested in our character and integrity. David and Solomon were royalty according to the world’s standard and had anything this world had to offer, but their real blessing came only when God’s approval was on them. When they failed they were miserable and desperately sought to get back to Him. They were works in progress and God never gave up on them.

I’m so glad that the Lord will never give up on me, I’m so thankful that when I have failed Him, He doesn’t put me aside to go work on something else. I have a co-worker that really has a hard time finishing projects. This person will start in their office and then will go to the conference room and have papers all spread out there too. At that point when another project pops up this person will go to someone’s desk that may be out for the day and proceed to spread out more papers. Three areas cluttered with unfinished projects! Nothing complete, just a whole lot of mess!

I am so thankful that God does not do us like that, what He begins, He finishes. That’s why I think we go through some of the same scenarios over and over again, because He’s trying to get us to “see” and learn so that He can move us to the next level of our lives. I am convinced that God is interested in us as individuals and yes He desires to bless us and wants us to have our needs and some of our wants met. But most of all He wants us to be whole, to be the individual that He desires us to be. So no, He won’t give up on me and neither will He give up on you. As we trust and submit to Him, He will complete us, He will perform the good work until that day of Jesus Christ.

Knowing that He is faithful I now pray, “Lord help me not to give up on myself”…Amen!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah Psalms 32:7

One of the many things that I miss about my husband was his desire to always protect me. Always the protector, he would give me advice on how to be watchful when going places alone and would ask that I call if I would be running late. Even during his illness, one night as I was leaving his bedside at the hospital, as he was hooked up to all sorts of tubes and oxygen, he whispered, “Be very careful, do you have enough gas in the car?” Even in his weakness he was being strong for me.

This morning as I was sitting on the porch, I began to reminisce how many years ago before his illness; he insisted that we have the porch enclosed. I argued that I could not see the need to have it done because I liked going out on the patio and being in the openness of nature. But he wanted to protect me from not only the elements of nature but also in case ever there was an unwelcome visitor during my 5:00AM appointments to spend time with God there. Always the protector…”I want you to be safe” he said.

I finally gave in and we had the back porch walled and glassed in. Through all the glass I can still see nature that I so much enjoy and can even hear and feel it when I open the windows. But I am safe within the walls that surround me. It is there where I sit most mornings, sometimes before the sun comes up (the birds are up though). It is there where I meet with my King and Master and He speaks to my heart to forgive, to love, to heal and to restore. I feel protected and safe.

When my husband passed over 7 years ago, I may have lost my earthly protector, but God has been my protector from the beginning of my times. He reminds me of that…often. God protects me in this world and though I can look out and see it and hear the troublesome times we are living in, HIS walls protect me for “I am in this world but not of it…”
He is our refuge, and a very present help in times of trouble. Selah

Sunday, June 7, 2009

For the LORD will be your confidence; and will keep your foot from being snared. Proverbs 3:26

Ah! Such is life! LOL. I’m laughing because of how quickly I allow myself to be affected by words. It’s not a laughing matter, but better to laugh than to cry I always say (besides laughing makes you feel better).

I consider myself a strong woman that has been walking with God for quite a few years now (never you mind how old am). Back to the point, after all these years you would think that I would not let something that someone says make my whole “world change in a second.” But it did and this is what happened…

It’s a beautiful day, the sun is shining and I am outside enjoying my task at hand. My project is to trim the bushes that are against my house. While I’m working I am having a wonderful conversation with the Lord and reminiscing about how faithful He is to me. I even asked Him for a cool breeze and He obliged, we were on a roll my Father and I; I was working but having a great time. Now enters the villain (no, just kidding) enters a well meaning person that has observed my task at hand and this is what this person says:
“You’re doing a better job, even though that is an awful lot of work for you to do alone.” Then they proceeded to bring to my attention the condition of my lawn and how it could be so much better. Now grant it, my yard is one of the neatest on my street, but at the time it did not matter to me that this person is in the lawn care business and probably has an ulterior motive. No, I felt that dart and OUCH! Took it as a personal insult.

Immediately the enemy began to crowd my mind with thoughts and questions.
“I’m a foolish old woman out here working in the hot sun”. “Am I stupid for working so hard to keep this yard looking nice when others see it as a ridiculous waste of time?” “Do people feel sorry for me because I’m a widow?” I could feel my physical countenance begin to droop and what started as a beautiful, wonderful day, began to dissolve quicker than a snail sprinkled with salt (that’s disgusting, but I want you to get a visual here.) :)

But thanks be to God, I remembered His Word, He is my confidence! It does not matter, what it looks like or what anyone thinks. God has given me the health and strength to be able to get out there and work and for THAT I am grateful!
I love it when the Lord sends me a little reminder and He did that later that day at the mall. As I was holding the door for this cute little lady with a walker, she turned to me and said “When you get to be 88 years old like me, it’s not fun when you can’t do little things like go up and down the stairs anymore.” After we chuckled together I told her, “But look at you, you’re still able to come to the mall and do some shopping.” To that she looked off as if thinking about what I said and turned back to me and smiled and said “Thank you, you’re right”.

I can still hear my Mom singing in the St. John Methodist church choir on a Sunday morning this song:

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

HE is our confidence, it on Him that we stand…no other.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Lead me...Guide me...

The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Psalms 32:8

I can still hear me singing in my little girl voice the song “Lead me guide me along the way. For if you lead me I will not stray. Lord let walk each day with thee, lead me oh Lord lead me.” Attending summer Bible school was one of my favorite things to do as I child. It was a welcome distraction from the hot summer days. As much as I was happy to be out of school, I still looked forward to sitting outside under a large shade tree to hear Bible stories. How exciting it was to hear about David killing the Giant, Daniel in the Lion’s Den and Jonah in the belly of a Whale.

I am so grateful to my now deceased parent for insisting that me and my siblings have a good foundation of the Word of God. They exposed us to God and the Bible at an early age, by taking us to Church and making sure we were involved in Bible based activities. So that even as a teen and young adult when I did not walk with the Lord, I STILL had the Word in my heart and it was forever convicting me every time I strayed. Ultimately that same Word was brought alive by the Holy Spirit, by someone praying for me, and it was then that I surrendered to Christ.

What troubles me is when I ask a teenager in the school where I work, “Who is Jonah?” or “Do you know the story of David and Goliath”; they give me this blank stare as if I’ve asked them to explain an Einstein theory. We have a whole generation that has no knowledge of the basic Bible truths. So my question is “How will they be lead?” “And who will be their leader?” Scary huh?

If we have never been properly introduced to God as our leader, then we will follow anything or anyone that makes us “feel” okay. That sort of explains some of today's news headlines.

My prayer is that the Lord will direct my path, because NO one cares for me like Jesus, He has my very best interests at heart and He will never fail me. As for this generation, my prayer is that God in His mercy will reveal Himself to them as the Leader that we all need now and forever more. Amen