Sunday, January 31, 2010

All the right ingredients

In cooking, whether it is a cake, casserole, or crockpot meal, if you follow the recipe correctly, you get what you expect...something delicious. Many times as Christians we walk through life this way. We feel that if you do good things, good things should happen to you. If you do bad things, bad things should happen to you. This is not believing in Christ, this is believing in Karma! God's word says, "ALL things work together for good." It does not say that all things are good. As a Christian you may think that if I pray, study the Bible, attend worship services, sing in the choir and serve in "Awana", then good things should happen in your life. So what do you do when you face cancer, divorce, infertility, the loss of a loved one or a sick child? You continue to trust in the Lord! Remember that scripture says, "All things work TOGETHER." The good, the bad and the ugly. All of the situations in your life, whether they bring joy or pain, are for your good. Most of all the good and bad experiences in our life are used to bring glory to God Be encouraged in knowing that the unexpected ingredients that have been added to your recipe are being used to spice up your life!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Where did she go?

"I know you've washed me white, turned my darkness into light, I need your peace to get me through, to get me through this night. I can't live by what I feel, but by the truth your word reveals. I'm not holding on to you, but you are holding on to me, you're holding on to me!" Casting Crowns

When I first heard this song, these questions came into my mind. Where did she go? Where did the girl who was brave enough to fly to China four months after 9/11? Where is the girl that went to Puerto Rico, did apartment ministry and stayed in the house of a total stranger? Where is the girl who could do Fall Festival, VBS, CAMP and Sunday School, and still be there to share God's love with a Passion to those around her? I don't know where that girl went to. Did I get burnt out? Did some of the sorrows of my heart finally win? Did I just get distracted? I don't know but, I do know is that I want that girl back. The one who was fearless, passionate, energetic, happy, deep, trusting, loving, and excited about life!

Many times as women, when we make the big life change of going from career woman to stay at home mom, we face the challenge of still feeling useful. We spend our days cleaning up poop, washing clothes, cleaning the house, fixing meals, reading books. We stop and look in the mirror, only to see dried sweet potato on our eye brow, or look down and see spit up on our shoulder. It is easy to think back to the days of wearing Ann Taylor clothes and sipping Starbucks coffee on the way to work. Yet God desires to still use you in an amazing way to bring Glory to Him, even in the midst of a temper tantrum by your "precious" child!

In the book of 1st Samuel, God used Hannah to prepare her son Samuel to be one of the greatest judges. Hannah only had Samuel with her in her home for just a short time. When Hannah was praying for a child she made a promise to God that if He granted her a child, she would give him back to the Lord. When Samuel was just 3 or 4 years old he went to live in the temple. Through Hannah's influence on his life, he became strong enough to stand up to the priest Eli and bring change and holiness back to the temple! In Exodus we read the story of Moses. Moses's mother was only given the privilege of raising Moses until he was about four years old. She then had to give him back to the princess of Egypt to be raised as a son of the Pharoah. Through the influence that Moses's mother had on his life in the short time of four years, he was able to lead the children of Isreal out of slavery in Egypt to the Promised Land!

So on those days when you feel at your wits end, when you feel as if you are not make one bit of difference in the world, just think about what amazing plans God has in store for you child. The stronged willed child that you have on your hands, may one day need that strong will in order to be a missionary to a unreached people group. The whiny child, may one day use that sensitivity in order to counsel and encourage others in their faith and walk with the Lord. As you look at your life now, in comparison to what it used to be, do not be discouraged! God is using you to enourage, strengthen, love, and teach the next generation. What amazing things God may have in store for that little one that is sleeping peacfully in her crib right now??

Bring the Rain

"Bring me joy, bring me peace, give me a chance to be free, give anything that brings you GLORY. I know there will be days, when this life brings me pain, but if that’s what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain." "Bring the Rain, Mercy Me.

This is one of my favorite songs. It captures in words so eliquently, how I desire to live my life, even in through trials and tribulations. Many times in my daily life, as I strive to be a Godly woman, wife, mother, daughter, friend, I feel as if I take one step forward, just to take three steps backwards. I have people in my life that tell me "how strong I am", "what a great adult I have turned into", "you are doing such a great job!" My answer to them is just like the song says. My strength comes from the Lord and from knowing and experiencing His faithfulness through the years. How can I disgrace or walk away from the ONE who has satisfied all my needs and desires throughout my life? He has been faithful to me through both the good and the bad times.

The other day I was reading in Job, about how Satan asked God to test Job and see if he loved the Lord only because God blessed Him but would not be faithful and serve God if his situation was hard. I pray that I can be like Job, that even if things are tough in my life and I don’t understand, I will serve and love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind!.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Before my very eyes!

Zephaniah 3:20, "At that time I will gather you, I will bring you home. I will give you honor and praise among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore your fortunes before your very eys."

Before your very eyes! God has blessed you and has blessed me! Beyond what you or I could every ask, imagine or expect. God desires to bring great and amazing things into our lives. No matter how far have you strayed from the Lord, He desire to welcome you back...arms wide open!

Is this passage of scripture, Zephaniah the prophets was speaking to God's chosen people who again where being taunted and tortured by invaders. God sent His prophet to not only bring judgement but also to bring hope to His chosen people. As Christians, God has chosen us to be His children. Many times, even after we have accepted God's forgiveness and grace, we still have to work through issues in our life as we strive towards sanctification. During this growing, learning and stretching times we will make mistakes and we will "fall short of the glory of God." It seems that our reaction to our sin can be even more devastating to our hearts and spirits once we have accepted Christ, then our reaction to our sin was before we were a Christian. We can start to listen to the lies of Satan as he says, "surely you can't be a child of God, if you keep on sinning!" THIS IS A LIE! God's word states that once we are a child of God. Once we have accepted Him into our lives and He has come into our hearts, nothing...absolutely nothing can seperate us for His love.