Monday, August 27, 2012

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Can I confess something? I'm pretty good at being joyful and thankful when I'm in Church, when I'm hanging out with my life group, or even when I'm having personal devotion time.  But when the chips are down and I'm looking in the face of adversity, I'm not always that good at it.  Who's with me? I have a feeling I'm not alone in this.  Just today, I left work very harried and stressed after a hectic day, drove across town to pick up my daughter from after-school care.  It was hot, I was sweating, and I had an appointment at 5:00 at Dunn Brothers.  When I got to school my daughter was having a dramatic meltdown because her ice pack had a hole in it.  I talked her down, threw the ice pack away, signed her out, got her into the hot car, buckled her in listening to her chatting about her day and all I could think about was a frosty cold iced mocha at Dunn Brothers.  I put the key in the ignition and turned.  Nothing.  What? No, my car can't be dead - it's a new(ish) car! I tried again and it made a horrendous sound.  Ok, one more time.  Nothing.  I called my husband who had just picked up the baby across the river and he agreed to come get me.  I told him to pick us up at Dunn Brothers.  It was a short walk and I was not missing my appointment - let alone my iced mocha!

I happened to be meeting Miss Lori Noe so that she could show me how to post on this very blog.  I bought my daughter a muffin and a water and ordered my caramel mocha.  Lori arrived just as I was getting my coffee and trying to get my daughter settled and my computer booted.  It was then I realized that they had served me a HOT caramel mocha.  Did I mention I was already sweating? I didn't have time to change my order because my husband was on his way to fix my car. No biggie - I'll just sweat some more.

Lori and I tried and tried and could never get the wi-fi in the restaurant to work.  We even asked the employees and they re-set something or other and it still didn't work.  Lori gave me good enough verbal instructions to get me in here (and I'm hopeful this works!) and by that time my husband had arrived with the baby, so we piled into his van and drove back to the school where he revived my car battery with a jump and the baby screamed the whole time.  At this point, my nerves were shot. AND WHAT WERE WE GOING TO DO ABOUT DINNER?!!! But I had to have a new battery, so Nick sent me to Wal-Mart to have a new battery put in and he took the kids to McDonalds. 

On my way to Wal-Mart I started thinking about how trying the evening had been already, how exhausted I was, and basically throwing myself a little pity party.  And then it hit me.  My husband is going to be out of town tomorrow night.  What if this had happened tomorrow night? And then, suddenly, I was thankful.  Thank you, Lord, that my husband was home tonight and able to come help me and take care of the kids! Thank you, Lord, that it happened in a safe place and thank you, Lord, for (I never say this) Wal-Mart whose auto department is open late and got me fixed right up.

God meets our needs and He takes care of us in every situation. So relax and enjoy those bumps in the road... At the time they may seem like deep potholes, but in hindsight they were probably just rumble strips to keep you awake.

~Liz Roberts

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fear vs. Love

Fear is scary…Fear is sickening…Fear can paralyze…Fear can hinder…Fear is one of Satan’s best weapons…FEAR IS A LIE.
Love is beautiful…Love is hard…
Love can heal…Love can overcome…Love is freedom…Love is God…

by SMP

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

God's Vast Love

 It is Monday, the first day of the first full week of school.  The start of a new school year always brings mixed emotions for parents and children alike.  It can be scary, exciting, confusing and happy and the list could go on; but this year started different for us.  All three of my children are now in school and all three of them hit a big school milestone on the same day.  My oldest went off to high school for the first time, my oldest daughter started middle school and my youngest daughter, the last one, the baby started kindergarten!!  Typing that sentence just stopped my breathing once more.  :O

                        Normally I would push back the tears and sweep the feelings underneath the rug that sometimes covers my heart in order to be “strong” or “tough enough.” This time though, I couldn’t fight it.  I was not prepared for the deep, intense, painful feelings that presented themselves, but God was.  My heart ached so deeply and it felt as if it were being torn in three different directions.  It seemed the heart ache consumed my whole body.   I cried and cried some more and then I finally began to laugh at myself because if I was this much of a wreck about school then what am I going to do when they leave home to make their own lives?!  Still, there was an aching emptiness that consumed me.  So instead of sweeping the aching emptiness under the rug, I began to talk with God about what I was feeling.   Joyce Meyer once said, “You’ve got to feel it so He can heal it.”

 The Lord reminded me that the intense emotions that I was feeling for my kids were only a drop in the bucket compared to how much love He has for them, or me, or anyone who wants a relationship with Jesus.  Oh, what JOY this brings to my heart and soul!!  In Ephesians 3:18 it says, “And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.”  This is my prayer for you who read this: that you would come to know His majestic, vast love and come to believe that His love was given, is given and will always be given for you.  The Lord really means you, His LOVE is for you, and it is for all.  We cannot fully love others until we receive His vast love for ourselves.  I encourage you to go on a “love hunt” with me, a love hunt through His word.  The challenge is to look up one verse per day which pertains to love and after meditating on it, post it here to the blog.  Please look at other postings and be sure that your verse is not one someone already posted so that after a few weeks or so we can review what we have learned about love through the blog posts, but most importantly through His word.  Happy Hunting!!  J



Monday, August 20, 2012

The Knots Prayer

Dear God:
Please untie the knots
that are in my mind,
my heart and my life.
Remove the have nots,
the can nots and the do nots
that I have in my mind.

Erase the will nots, may nots
might nots that may find
a home in my heart.

Release me from the could nots,
would nots and
should nots that obstruct my life.

And most of all,
Dear God,
I ask that you remove from my mind,
my heart and my life all of the "am nots"
that I have allowed to hold me back,
especially the thought
that I am not good enough.

Author Known To God