Monthly Archives: January 2013

Just a Reminder

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You know those little cards with reminders of appointments you need to make that businesses send out, i.e. Garfield brushing his teeth whereby reminding you to schedule a cleaning at the dentist?

This morning I woke up and thought: we need to be reminded of who we are as Christian believers. Sometimes, (all the time? day in and day out?) this world gets a little heavy, shall we say. The stresses and ugliness of a 30-minute newscast is enough to make me question whether I wanna step out the door or not. Today, even more than yesterday, and let’s be honest, I really needed a reminder yesterday, that God is STILL God and He’s the One in control. Not only that, but we are His “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation.” (1 Peter 2:9,10) We are “chosen and appointed by Christ!” (John 15:16) We are part of the “true vine, a channel of Christ’s life!” (John 15:1) We have a spiritual Father, making us sons and daughters of a Most-Worthy Creator! (Rom. 8:14, 15 and Galations 3:26, 4:6…I added in the “Most-Worthy Creator” part. I don’t think He’ll mind.)

We are not POWs on the enemy’s side, but we are instead “prisoners of Christ!” (Ephesians 3:1, 4:1) We are salt and light! (Matthew 5:13, 14) And here’s one of my favorites: 1 John 5:18 says that we are born of God and the enemy of our souls CANNOT touch us. He can’t touch me and he can’t touch you either! If he is trying to get to you these days and you’re feeling like he’s gut-punching you, much less barely touching you, get your gear out (you know, the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit. Ephesians 6:17)! Stand up for Who and what you believe in, and own your true identity. We are “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17) and we are God’s Own workmanship! (Ephesians 2:10) Maybe it’s not us who needs the reminder card so much as we need to be the ones sending that cute little piece of paper, reminding our enemy of who we are.

We win. We win. We win. And we win by a landslide. Be reminded of this today. And don’t forget to schedule your regular teeth cleaning.

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Brutally Honest

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it’s not the actual drinking anyone has a problem with. In fact, I miss that social aspect at times. it’s the drinking that continues when you’re alone, and you continue to isolate yourself. it’s the hangovers where you wanna be left alone. it’s the watching the clock to see if it’s ok for you to have a beer yet. it’s the memory loss. it’s the way you look at people like they’re crazy for saying anything to you about your drinking. it’s the time wasted. it’s the memories missed. it’s the pain of not remembering important conversations. it’s the distractibility you show when others try to tell you something they’ve been waiting to tell you for a while because it’s special. it’s the activities you don’t participate in because there’s no drinking involved. it’s the “friends” you have when you drink, but only when you drink. it’s the jokes people make about you that you laugh at, but hurt inside. it’s that still, small voice that says you can quit, you just have to trust in the God that made you. You have to know that He can do anything and above all, He wants to. You have to know that people have been praying for you for years without you even knowing it. You have to know that it’s a problem, it’s an addiction, and it’s not fun anymore. People don’t enjoy hearing not only the same stories, but the longest version of them possible. Accept it. Own it. It’s there, but it can be taken away. You can be delivered by the almighty grace of God that never fails. Even when you’re not sure you need that deliverance. Even when you’re pretty sure you don’t. There are too many nights when you get just drunk enough to know that you do. You relive the past. The hurts, drama, losses. That’s how the enemy gets you. That’s the plan, believe it or not. You sink deeper and deeper until you can no longer remember your true smile. Only one that hides the pain of events long past. You have been a target. You have been a victim. You have been pushed into the mire and you just have to do what comes naturally. You have to reach up your hands to the One who loves you more than anything so that He can pull you out.

This is something I wrote a couple years back but didn’t have the guts to publish at that time. I have been free from alcohol for going on 4 years now, through no effort of my own. I thank Jesus for removing the blinders. There is no way I could ever thank Him enough. Reading this took me back to that place of helplessness and that beer can that whispered, “You don’t have to do this.” Alcohol made it very easy to believe that there was no God that loved me and if He was out there, He surely wasn’t interested in me…or happy with this lush of a woman. The freedom I gained on March 12, 2009 is irreplaceable and unprecedented in my life. Words can’t possibly describe, even though I try my best, how thankful I am to have my life, a real life, back from the dark, miry depths of depression, self-loathing, and alcoholism. Thank You God!

His Timing at Times

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His Timing At Times

Here I am God. I’m discouraged and disheartened. It is not one event that takes your faith-filled breath away; it’s one event, then numerous smaller ones. It’s not one huge sucker punch to the gut, it’s a pretty big one, then many more jabs and kicks. This has been one of the roughest months of my life. I have felt condemned, guilt, overwhelming sadness, and an overall lack of…of…something. What? What is it that I feel like I don’t have? Connection? Intimacy? Love? Self-worth?

 I know God’s there, always. Why don’t I feel Him in situations we’re dealing with at times? Death, illness, suicides, accidents…attacks. I’m supposed to sit back with my sweet tea, repeating, “God’s workin’ in mysterious ways…” (Southern accent optional)

 

Why don’t I feel equipped for these attacks? Isn’t this what we as believers are supposed to be prepared for? Aren’t we the ones that unbelievers are supposed to say, “Wow! That HAS to be God in her life! I don’t know how else she would’ve made it through!” Where are my bootstraps I’m supposed to pull up? Why can’t I quote Scripture and everything will reverse itself? Why can’t I stand with my Bible up in the air, screaming, “Amen! Let it be so!” and all the idiosyncracies fall single-file into line with the Word of God?

 

Please don’t misunderstand, I do not mean this to be disrespectful to my God and Creator. I am simply seeking the answers He personally promised to me. I am coming boldly, yet fearfully, to His throne. I pray and yet don’t seem to be heard. No, that’s not the truth. I am heard. I know this. I don’t feel as though my prayers are being answered. Why does it always seem to take our Father FOREVER? His timing, I know…Dare I say I detest His timing at times? Is that too bold? He knows what I’m thinking anyway. Let’s get really honest here! I don’t like the way God mosies about in some situations. My brain moves fast (He should know this, He created me), so fast I’ve tried medication to little avail. I find myself trying to slow myself down and at the same time, speed God up!

 

How hilarious! I’m attempting to rush the Almighty God of the Universe to fit into MY plan! That’s the most ridiculous revelation I’ve had in awhile! Jesus loves me, this I know. Why would I ever try to play God and pretend I know better than He…why would I think I could run a universe? I have trouble picking out what clothes I want to wear.

It must be an issue of respect and honor. We don’t have to understand, we simply trust that His timing is best. And if we’re not cured on the spot, then God wants to walk us through, hand in hand, instead of healing us instantly. We trust that He’s awesome. We trust that He’s the most powerful entity in creation. We trust that His ways are higher and better than our ways.

More God More

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The awesomeness and amazingly profound qualities of the God I serve are at the forefront of my mind today. The reason being, I think, is because my house is nothing but quiet. The only sound I hear is that of the baby monitor, patiently waiting for my dear blessing to awake.

Last night, I told God, I’m going to take some “real” time out to pray, you know, not the kind you do before a meal (although this has become more difficult being pregnant…patience is a virtue my unborn child has not yet learned) but the kind where you cry out to God for answers. You cry out to Him to change your situation or someone else’s. When was the last time I trusted God enough to just let go and allow Him to be my support? When was the last moment I felt so close to Him I could feel His breath on my cheek? I must say, it’s been longer than I would ever care to admit.

So last night was the night. I’m going to pray a really great prayer, one not unlike that of David. He sat and wrote and became closer and closer to God with every letter of every word. I want that! Ok, I’m going to pray a really great prayer. Oh! Look at that! I fell asleep in my chair. (I’d like to say this doesn’t happen very often, but I have noticed I am not above falling asleep with an empty plate on my lap. Yet another attractive “symptom” I’ll blame on pregnancy.)

Ok, well, now I need something to eat. It’s getting later…and later…oh! That show I’ve been wanting to see is on! I can DVR it, but when will I watch it? Now is when the baby’s asleep.

Oh my, it’s getting late! I regrettably make a half-attempt to muster the energy to pray to the God Who listens to my every word. He knew that if I didn’t pray RIGHT when I had the idea, life would take over. He knew what my excuse would then be. We can change lives if we just give up some of the time in ours. Isn’t it worth it? Why is it so difficult to “get around to it?” Because we have opposition. And unless we face that opposition head on, with a fury that is as determined to win as David was facing his opponent, we make no headway. If we make no headway, what is our purpose and the point of being here? Why did Christ give His life then? To save us and us alone? No one would argue that we need more time, but I would argue that we need more God more.

“Myself”

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 This is dedicated to one of the most Godly, beautiful women I’ve ever known, my Grandma.

I miss myself. I’m not sure who this person is, but I must say I miss myself. I used to run here and run there, taking care of children, the elderly in the nursing homes, my husband (3 husbands…3 good men that are already with Jesus to be exact), keeping up the house and everything in it. I don’t know who this person is. This person can’t do the things she used to do. Things like making a nutritious dinner, or running to the grocery store, or even going out to the mailbox some days. Sometimes I can’t even make it to the bathroom on time. How embarrassing. I even have to have someone else pick up diapers for me. That’s even more embarrassment. I used to deal with lots of diapers, not the kind they have now, mind you. They were made of cloth, yes, actual cloth that you washed and reused. I diapered and changed 3 babies for quite some time, then watched and guided as they grew into adults who loved the Lord. I suppose I was successful, although I made so many mistakes! I surely didn’t know what I was doing! They have to take care of me now and boy do I ever hate that. What a burden on them! I can’t drive to church anymore or anywhere for that matter, so here they come to take me to doctor appointments, stores, church. I don’t know who this person is, but she sure doesn’t seem familiar to me. OH! Someone’s calling!! Who can it be? I hope it’s my granddaughter! Hello? No, no, I’m not interested in changing cable companies. Have a nice day. I had a nice day last week. My granddaughter stopped by with her new daughter, well, I guess she’s not “new” anymore. She’s 15 months old now! I remember when she was just a bundle in her arms. Life moves on at such a pace! It seems like a day ago that I had a bundle in my arms, scared out of my wits, unsure of what to do next or how to raise a family. Somehow, with God’s leading, everything fell in line with His plan. What a mighty God we serve! I neglect my Lord so…

I don’t recognize this house anymore. It’s so quiet. And dark. People may come and visit and bring light in, but only for a short time. I hate to go back to that dark, empty bedroom at night…

Ah! The phone again! Hello? Well hellllloooo!! Oh I’m doing just fine! No, I feel great! The doctor said he thought he could help me with my eyes. Yes, yes, he’s pretty confident. How are you and the baby? More teeth! I can’t believe she’s got teeth already! I can’t wait to see her again. No, no, you don’t have to go. I…I talked to your mom the other day. She seems to be doing well…

Hug an elderly person today and if you’re blessed enough to still have living grandparents, call them. May God bless those who have traveled this road, lived this journey, and responded to the Great Commission for decades upon decades.

Just When…

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Have you ever been dealing with something that you just couldn’t quite put your finger on? You think to yourself, surely someone else has been through this, or surely there’s a book on this subject I need to read, or maybe, just maybe, I need to pray about it and let God deal with it?

I had an odd revelation such as this the other day and it involves resentment. I was able to put this title to it after weeks of battling it. Resentment. Sure doesn’t sound pretty. I realized, however, that I didn’t know who it was or what it was that I was resentful toward. Just for time’s sake alone, I think I’ll direct this toward the enemy of our souls.

We’re always dealing with some issue in this life. After all, that’s what life is: a WHOLE expansive lot of issues. Maybe a death in the family here, a broken whatever there (dishwasher, car, LEG, etc.), a sick child. The list can continue forever. Literally. However, when these things happen in a short span of time, resentment and anger can take hold of your arm like a mad grandma and make you feel disgusted by it all. Isn’t it strange when we need to have the best attitude, we demonstrate the worst? After all, we’re CHRISTIANS, right?? We’re supposed to have it all together! Faith, hope, and love throughout every situation!! I gotta tell you, even as I type that, my whole body kind of collapsed and my brain (and face) said, “Blah, blah, blah.” (It’s ok, God knows me. He knows what I think before I think it, so I can share these kinds of feelings.)

I’m angry that these things have happened! To me! And my family! Have you ever uttered the phrase, “Just when…?” As in, “JUST when we were getting our bills paid!” “JUST when we were on the right track!!” “JUST when I was feeling GREAT!”

This is no coinky-dink, my cherished brothers and sisters! God’s timing is perfect. And what I’ve found is that the enemy’s isn’t bad either. (I heard a gasp somewhere out there…a compliment?? To the devil?? Ok, maybe the gasp was in my own mind.) It’s not often that I throw any sort of complimentary statement the enemy’s way, but this one is the truth. He stalks about, pacing, unhappy, looking around to see who he can devour with his ways. (1 Peter 5:8) God warns us to stay alert and self-controlled. This maaaaaay have been the point where I lost it in the past few weeks. Self control. Let’s just leave it at “I’m workin’ on it.” I’m thinkin’ resentment and anger just might creep in if we don’t remain in control of ourselves and our minds.

I thank God for his patience, understanding, love, and crazy-awesome mercy today. I don’t know why He does it, but He continues to love me throughout every one of my issues and crises. Life continues as well—it continues to come our way and it’s up to us how we handle it and who we look to in order to help us handle it.

Blessing-Filled Mirror

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As a speech therapist, I like to examine what people say. Since I truly became interested in a relationship with God, I love to hold what people say up to what God would have us say. For instance, “Well, we don’t know what to expect in this situation” came to mind a few days back. It hit me like a softball to the forehead. This is a statement made either out of habit or by someone who truly doesn’t believe a word God has to say.

As believers, we know, without a shadow of a doubt, what to expect! God’s Word tells us exactly what to expect!! Goodness, prosperity, the land beneath our feet, and on and on and on and on!! How exciting! If we could grasp hold of this one concept God has for us in the year 2013, what could we accomplish? Instead of moseyin’ around scratchin’ body parts, wondering what’s gonna happen next, what if we stand strong in His Name and TOLD the enemy what we know is gonna happen next? What if we quoted, every single day, Scripture that reflects back on us, like a blessing-filled mirror? How would God change us? What could WE change in this world because of the change He made in us?

Proverbs 18:21 says that the tongue has the power of life and death and Proverbs 4:20-22 tells us to listen closely to what He has to say because what He does say brings health and life! That’s one of the promises of God, our God!! He doesn’t just spout things off like humans do. He promised us that and He doesn’t lie or let us down! Our words make a difference in the way we act, think, and treat ourselves and others. They can prosper us and cause great things to happen, or we can be trapped (Proverbs 6:2).

I, after a confirmation from a friend, have realized that I’ve been giving God the “little” jobs…meaning, I haven’t been believing Him for anything bigger than helping me to find the best parking space at the grocery store. I honestly don’t know that God gives a hoot where I park, but He’s not that little genie we take out and ask for wishes when we need him. I got comfy where I was, like Peter. Peter would have been content to stay right where he was, fishing, but Jesus asked Him to drop it all and follow Him. Mark Buchanan, summed it up in Your God is Too Safe:
“Follow Me.
Follow You where?
Where I lead you.
To do what?
What I tell you.
For how long?
He doesn’t say, but we know He means forever.”

If we expect more from God, we will receive more, due to the confidence we have in God Himself and knowing that we can ask anything according to His will and He hears us!! 1 John 5:14,15