Tuesday, July 8, 2014

"Prepared for a Purpose"

Though I read a lot, I seldom recommend books.  The reason being that I may have thoroughly enjoyed it, but it could very well not be someone else's enjoyment.  A little fear of rejection thing going on here? Dr. Phil where are youuuuu  :-) ... HOWEVER when I DO come across a book that I believe is worth reading, you better believe I will shout it from the housetops.  I make no bones of complimenting my favorite authors and spreading the news about their books.

Now even though I have not read this book yet (ordered it this morning), I have a good feeling about it.  It's non fiction and I heard the author's testimony this morning on TV.  This is the woman that through great courage with God's help was able to talk a gunman that had walked into an elementary school , fully armed, to surrender to police. I liked her spunk and her admission of her total reliance on God not only in her personal life, but even in the midst of a crisis of this magnitude.

So I recommend that you get this book, because I believe that it will encourage us all to:

"Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching."  2Timothy 4:2

Click link below to hear a snippet of her testimony:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3xIRlUlTSY

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Retirement...


“Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”  Psalms 71:17-18 (NIV)
I just recently retired from my job after 17 years.  It was a great job and I enjoyed it.  Of course it was not perfect and there were days that I resisted getting up to go (especially this past winter) but all in all it was a good job. My first 11 years were spent having more direct contact with students, which I loved, the past 6 years were more staff contact; however as I allowed God to enter into my heart that I should “bloom where I’m planted”, I met some awesome people and have made some lifelong friendships that have enriched my life greatly.  It was the classic example of resisting change…opposing something that God had ordained for my good.  Why do we do that?  We resist even without giving change a try, when just over the horizon of doubt, fear and maybe feelings of rejection, is a bright and wonderful experience.

I wrestled for about a year with the decision of retiring. Being a widow, I first went through the “But I’m alone and have no one to support me”.  I think I “heard” the Lord laugh at that one…He said “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  Plus I checked my track record for the past 12 years and reminded myself how He has taken care of me thus far.  THEN I had a round with “Suppose I give up this job and find out later that I need it back.” Then it dawned on me that if I trusted God to get me this job , surely if I for some reason needed to get another one, He can do that too…DUUUHHH YEAH!

I had already felt impressed about the date that I should retire, but after listening to the nightly news about the economy, I started to extend that date further and further from the original one. I was a WRECK!  Couldn’t sleep or eat with doubt and fear trying to overtake me.  Until one day in conversation with a faithful friend of mine and lamenting over when or if I should retire, she simply said “Well, if someone told you that you HAD to stay would you be happy about that?”  I immediately said “NO”!  That made me weigh the balance between lamenting over whether to stay or having the freedom to leave and feeling happy! A no-brainer. When I asked the Lord about the date to retire again, was that a sigh I “heard” this time?  Anyway in all of His never-ending patience He impressed on me again the original date! I went through so many changes when I could have saved my self the grief and just did what He impressed me to do in the first place!  LOL
So here I am, retired and in a new season of my life. I am excited about what He has next for me. Is everything the way I want it to be? No. My late husband and I talked about retiring together and traveling.  I, myself would LOVE to have that be the case, but God in His sovereign will had other plans. I have the comfort of knowing without a doubt that he is with the Lord and in no more pain or suffering, cheering me on to enjoy this life that God has given me; and to fulfill my purpose here on earth so that I can one day experience all of the pleasures in heaven that he is experiencing right now. Until then...

It is with joy that I grow old because God says:
 “I have cared for you since you were born. Yes, I carried you before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime – until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” Isaiah 46:3-4 NLT

And I am excited for the journey because:
 “The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, He shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; They shall be fresh and flourishing. ” Psalm 92:12-14
Amen!
On another note here are some summer blue and white changes to the homestead: