Saturday, March 19, 2011

Following Directions....

God leads, always. I follow...mostly.  I'm learning to do that, more and more, rather than to turn and run in another direction, as a rebellious child might do.  Life is not a  game of Risk. It is serious stuff, and I've come to learn a few lessons along the way. One of them is that there is much danger in taking the wrong route.

One very practical lesson was given to me one evening. I was fairly new to the area and was learning my way around. One evening, I had to attend a meeting in a neighboring city. I took the wrong route, thinking that it was the correct road. After a quick phone call to a church member who also would be attending, she met me along the way, and I followed behind her to the meeting place. At the end of the evening, she asked if I knew the way home, if she got me to Hwy 8, and I told her that if she got me to Main St, I'd be just fine.  So, I followed her to the light at Main St, a four  way intersection. She went left, over the railroad tracks, and I thought she was taking another way home, so I turned right, thinking I was going toward Hwy 8.

Within a few minutes, I realized I was not where I should have been. This road was narrow and very dark, and seemed to be heading into a rural area. rather than a business district. As I passed a school, in the dim street light, I could see some young men in a group on the sidewalk.  At the next turn, I steered the car into the lane, and then into the driveway at a rundown house. The road was so narrow, with a drainage ditch on the other side, so I had to do multiple maneuvers to get the car turned around.  By the time I was able to drive the 50 or 60 feet to the corner, one of the young men was standing on the dark corner. He began to yell at me, and walked in front of my van in the light of my headlights. He then turned and began to walk toward my drivers side door. Fear gripped me. My doors were locked, but still, I was aware that if he wanted to, he could break the glass and I would be at his mercy.  Knowing that he was not in line for me to mow him down, I turned the wheel and sped the car as fast as I could, back toward  Main Street.

About then, my cell phone rang. I couldn't get to it, as I hurried away from a potentially dangerous situation. When I got back to the intersection where I'd made the wrong turn, the phone rang again. It was Becky asking if I'd turned right, when she turned left.  "Yes" I answered. She gave me the correct instructions, and I followed them, getting myself back on the right path toward home.

I'd prayed from the moment I realized I was not where I was meant to be, and all the way back to my own neighborhood. God was with me through the whole thing, but anxiety causes my heart to race when I think of what might have happened that night.

When the Lord tells us to go a specific way, He is telling us that for a reason. He is directing us in safety. He is sending us where He knows we belong. When we head off on our own, there is no telling the danger that we might encounter. Yes, He will be there with us, but disobedience always has it's consequences, and would I be rescued from danger if I've not followed the direction?  I can only hope so, but why take the chance. 

My lesson has been learned. He leads. I will follow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lessons from Children's Thoughts

There is a saying, "out of the mouths of babes". I don't know what the actual finish is of that quote, but the gist of it is that children tell it as they see it. We can learn much from them if we listen.

Spiritually speaking, there are none as innocent as children, and so their belief in God and the lessons they speak are purely from their innocent minds and accepting hearts. They mull things over in their heads when we have no idea of it, and they bring it out when they feel that it is appropriate.

The other day my daughter reported that her seven year old made an announcement during their evening meal. She said something to the affect that when we pray, the every word adds power and energy and when we say Amen, the prayer shoots up to God. I believe she's right. Our power and strength are increased through our conversations with God, the Father. Our lessons come from Him as we listen to His voice.

When one of my children was about the same age, she looked very pensive, and then asked, "Mommy, does God have a wife?" Her sister, who is nearly three years old, answered before I could. "God doesn't have time for a wife." That is true as far as we know about wives. Human wives take a good deal of time and effort for men. But, God is not man, thankfully! He is God, and He has all time in His hands to do with as He chooses. In His time, He will come for His Bride, the church, and we will live eternally together with Him.

Another of my daughters, at the age of ten or twelve years, was in a basement room when she caught sight of a little frog on the other side of the window glass. He was in the window well, a walled 'hole' that allowed access through the window. There was a garden snake that had slithered down into the well and was hungrily looking to have the frog for lunch. The little frog kept hopping and hoping escape being the menu special of the day. He tried and tried, with all his might, to escape from that hole and find his salvation. Eventually his perseverance paid off and he hopped away leaving a disappointed predator. When the ordeal was finished, my daughter came upstairs and told me about the drama she'd just watched. She thought it was like the devil who was always trying to 'get' us. She finished up by saying to me, "Mom, do you know what the moral of the story is?" I had no idea what to expect, but asked, "What is it?" Her answer? "Good always overcomes evil." Amen!

Don't you love the way that children see things? Perhaps they have things exactly right, but their thoughts provoke our own, as evidenced by my remembering of these stories. They also give us opportunity to give God's lessons to them, that their thinking as they grow would be in spirit and in truth.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Today you will notice a transformation in the blog's appearance. It needed it. I was not pleased with that blotchy bright red. It was not the 'real' me, and it was displeasing to my eye whenever I looked at it.

Hmmm....Am I pleasing to the Lord's eye? Or do I, myself, need transformation? Is my heart clean and pure, soft and compassionate as He desires it to be? Or, does He see it as hard, uncaring, blemished with dark sin?

What about my words? Are they what His ears would care to listen to? Are they praises and worship and songs of thanksgiving? Are they gentle in dealing with others, and truthful? Do they speak of God and His grace? Or are they full of my thoughts, my ideas, myself? Are they words that come from a love for God or from my own selfish nature? And my do they appear before the Lord? Are they heavily motivated by His Spirit and His love, are they done from an inspiration to share Him in my being? Or are they to bring myself into the spotlight?
Are they done for self-satisfaction and to be complimented?

As Christians, Christ should be our reason and our purpose. He should be our focus and our life.
We should do everything for Him, as He directs. When we look in our spiritual mirrors, do we see ourselves or do we see a reflection of Him? If we see anything that looks remotely like our self, we need to do some of clean up. Perhaps it's time for some examination...and some transformation.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Count Your Many Blessings...

This song always brings me a new outlook. "Count your many blessings, see what God has done."

So often we are wound up in our disappointments to such a degree that we don't see our blessings. There is no doubt that we're all subject to things that upset us, and sometimes rightfully so, but to let them control us is beyond reason.

We have a God who is totally in control, no matter what we feel, think, or see. He never slumbers, nor does He sleep, but is ever at work to bring about His plans for us. He doesn't leave us alone to deal with disappointments. He's right beside us through everything we encounter in life. What a blessing!

Nothing is as bad as it seems. God works all things to the good, if we love Him and are called according to His purposes. We often need to shift our perspective and see things from a more positive vantage point. If we look around us, we are surrounded by blessings. When we begin to give thanks for them, the things we were worried about or complaining about look small in comparison.

I'll end with this chorus. "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. "

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Words of Hope

For as long as I've been a Christian, there have been favorite verses of scripture. One is Romans 5:8..."But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." It always brings to mind the words of the folk hymn, " What wonderous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreaded curse for my soul?" It really strikes my heart with the knowledge that God is so forgiving and loving that He would die for a person so undeserving.

That verse is such a message of hope! When we are locked in sin, the soul often is wracked with pain, knowing that there are things which aren't right in our lives. But, do we know how to dig out of it? Most of us don't. Until someone comes with a message of Hope in Christ, there seems no way out. When the Spirit of God brings it home to our hearts as truth, and we yield to it, life has a whole new meaning.

Another verse that brings me great joy is 1 Thess 4:16 & 17. This verse speaks of the return of our Lord Jesus, in the clouds...coming to take His believers to be with Him forever! This message of Hope and Promise holds us together when we are bombarded with difficulties on this earth. We know that 'this, too, shall pass' and we will be rescued, in God's own time, from all that we know as we live here. We will be taken up...and 'thus we shall ever be with Him in the air.' What greater Hope is there to look forward to than the living, face to face, with Christ through all eternity?!

What words of Hope do you cling to, and why? I'd be interested to hear them.

Be a blessing...and be blessed!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Facebook Ministry

Social networks like Facebook and MySpace can be abused, and I've heard complaints of people who have been 'stalked' and attacked by those who they'd accepted as friends. But, this posting will address the good things about these websites.

My involvement with Facebook came late into being. My adult children were constantly discussing it and who they'd reconnected with on the site. I thought it would be a good idea to join myself, to see who I might reconnect with from 'back home'. I had no idea then, what this website would mean to me.

It wasn't long before I found some friends from my childhood, and we spent time catching up on each other's lives. I found cousins and neices with whom I'd lost touch for one or another reason, and daily speak there to my daughters, hearing of their activities and of my grandchildren's accomplishments. It is a blessing to me to have this tool!

One morning as I was praying for some special needs for someone on my Facebook friends list, the Lord spoke to my heart, and I knew this was something He was urging me to do. So, that very morning, when I signed on, I sang as I typed the verse of a hymn into my status. I did this every morning for months. I knew it was a good use of Facebook, and that the message of Jesus and God the Father would make it's way to many eyes who otherwise would not 'hear' it. It was always an encouraging word to those who know Christ as Savior, or those who think they do, even if they've not yet truly made that decision. (and only God knows the heart!)

After having many tell me how the appreciate the 'uplifting words' I'd place there each day, I was being nudged in my Spirit to add a scripture verse each day as well. After all, the hymns, as wonderful as their message is, are words written by man. GOD's own Words needed to be shared! So...each day now, I think and pray about a verse to share. Often it is already on my mind upon waking; other times I think of a subject, and search for a verse that is perfect to share on that subject.

It is my belief that God is using Facebook as a tool for evangelism, one of encouraging the Saints and to edify the lives of others. I am grateful for His Spirit speaking to me about this, and am pleased to be used in this way. If you are reading this, I pray that you would pray for me as I minister in this way, that I'd have the right answers when those who are seeking come to question me about God and my faith. I also ask that you would pray for those who need the Lord to have their hearts pricked by the Word of God, and that they would choose to submit to His perfect will for their lives. Thank you all!

Monday, March 7, 2011


No one knows as well as I how much I owe to our Lord for His gift of salvation and newness of life. I do attempt to do the things I know that would please Him. Every now and then, however, I am reminded that I might not be all that I should be as a Christian.

I am grateful that His Still Small Voice speaks, by His Spirit and through His written Word, to my heart. As a shepherd with an errant lamb, my Good Shepherd gently leads me on the path to a better way. He is patient with me, knowing my silly reasons for thinking and doing all that I do. His hope is that I will grow to be more like Him as I walk with Him. It is my hope, too.

Recently a new reminder was presented. I have been reading a number of new blogs, one of which is written by a young woman who was formerly a member of an Amish community. She writes with such honesty and humility and conviction! As I read of her hardwork, her bright attitude, her gentleness and lack of judgement and complaint, I think how I must look in comparison. Much of what she was raised with in her faith are so foreign to me, and I'm sure she could say the same about my life. It has led me to examine my ways, to hold my tongue, to rethink the thoughts that form judgements of others.

I'm not saying that I'm comparing myself to this woman, I don't need to do that. What I need to do is to look at myself and try to see where I'm falling down in my life as a child of God. If comparison is done, it should be Jesus that I need to measure up to.

Lord, please forgive my failings. Help me to keep my eyes on You, and to grow closer to You in my efforts to measure up to all that You would have me to be. And...thank you for all the reminders you send my way to help me to please You.