Monthly Archives: January 2014

I Forgive You

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I wrote this in 2010 and thought I would share.
My relationship with Jesus Christ just recently turned personal. He has always been there, even when I thought He wasn’t (Think “Footprints in the Sand”). I would call to Him and wonder why He wouldn’t answer. If you had asked me what God looked like to me a little over a year ago, I would have told you He sat with a furrowed brow, accusatory expression, finger pointing, and a rage within that I could do nothing about but fear. Somehow I knew that I was forgiven, yet not like everyone else. It wasn’t until March of last year that God started showing me that the reason I didn’t hear Him was that I wasn’t listening. I would ask a question, then act like I didn’t hear His answer. Talk about a slap to your Father’s face. In March, I was baptized in the Holy Spirit for the first time and all I heard was “I forgive you.” March 12, 2009, I was delivered from not only the grasp of alcohol, but also the guilt and depression that goes along with it. 3 months later, my husband and I both left our other addiction, nicotine, at the altar, with no withdrawals whatsoever. We were delivered after many previous attempts. Praise God, Glory, Hallelujah!

My life has changed in countless ways since being delivered from these. Since then the enemy has attempted to attack my physical body with symptoms of all kinds, so I know I’m doin’ something right! We continue to seek God, both individually and as a couple. I thank God for His constant guidance and the support of my family, friends, and especially husband. I know God has AWESOME things planned for us and I am so thrilled to be a part of that plan!!!

The Minimus…Ahhhh…

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So, I’m not one to advertise brand names, but I just ordered and received a new pair of New Balance shoes. On the tag, I noticed, under the name, it says “Minimus.” This got me to thinking. (*Note: See previous article on “thinking too much.”) Instead of this company shouting from the rooftops about their awesome “maximized” shoes, they took a different approach, a minimalist one if you will.

I began to think about the things we’re supposed to do as believers. Matthew 28:18-20 states:
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(NIV)

As humans, we complicate things to the point where we don’t even know what we’re talking about. We not only can’t explain it, we can’t follow it. If we simplified the Word of God and acted, how would our journey change? If you people, who are called by my name, would pray… the “minimus” of our “to-do” list…can it be that simple?

How many questions bombarded your mind right then when God asked you to pray? Oh, I had a few, I’ll admit. How? When? What do you want me to pray? For how long? Why on Your earth is it called a closet?? I can’t fit into my closet! That’s just an expression right? (Wouldn’t wanna lose my “Overthinkers Club” card.)

I was driving behind a van that was not going nearly the speed I felt she should be. I have a horrible habit of trying to make people travel faster with sheer mind power. It never works, don’t even bother attempting it. As I was about to floor it and pass, with a wave of course (we have to be neighborly Christians) I thought, Why don’t YOU just slow down? This is really difficult for me. Slowing down, whether it be physically, mentally, and any other “–ally’s” you can name. It’s a skill that doesn’t come naturally to me, even though I’ve been thrown into the “easy-goin’” category by friends.

So, to make a long story even longer, I noticed the van had a handicapped license plate. God instantly reminded me to pray. The very first thought I had was, Shouldn’t I lay hands on them? After all, that is what the Bible says. And if that’s the case, well, I can’t very well do THAT, can I?” followed by, “Oh dear God, don’t make me follow them to lay hands and pray!!” (EEK! Skeery! Adios Comfort Zone!) At this point, I pictured God dropping his shaking head and sighing, possibly uttering the words, “Have I taught you nothing?”

So after a slight discussion that could be considered, in some circles, an argument, I began to pray. Instantly the anger and frustration I had with regard to the van left the scene and a sense of overwhelming compassion for the people in the vehicle swept over me like a drenched surfer. I prayed for healing and peace and comfort and joy and salvation. I praised God that they would know him better than they ever had in the coming year. I sang Hallelujah’s because of it.

What if that’s all I had to do today? The minimus. Not the overwhelming maximus in my overworked brain. What if doing what God asks us to do is enough? What if we don’t have to have a meeting of the elders? What if God wants to work through us in a HUGE way, requiring less than we ever dreamed on our part?

What if He, the Creator of the Universe, doesn’t need our input, doesn’t need to be reminded of what His Word says? What if He just wants us to do what He asks, RIGHT then? No question. No doubt. Just DO it. New Balance and Nike in one article…maybe they’ll send me free shoes.

Go do something for God this week. You don’t even have to come up with it. He’ll let you know. Even if it means chasing a man on the side of the road down. Another story for another time. Life in Christ is anything but boring.

Stephens and Spandex

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Reflections are my specialty. My dad, when I was growing up, would say to me regularly, “You think too much.” Looking back, thinking (pause for chuckle), I don’t know what he was complaining about. Sure, he was male, still is, by the way, and a lot of times guys aren’t so wrapped up in feelings and emotions and the dreaded conversations that flow along with those, but I don’t know how to “not think.”

I catch myself thinking about things and ideas that many do not. Many a time, I have said, “Know what I mean?” only to be faced with a look of sheer terror. Ok, maybe “sheer terror” is a bit of a stretch. For example, I have wondered what would happen if all Christians had to wear one of those zip-up, faceless suits, you know the ones that come in all different colors and you’ll see them at various sporting events? Would we be more bold? Or would we still be self-conscious, scared silly that someone might find out who we were behind the spandex, or whatever those things are made of?

What stops us from being who Christ called us to be? How in the world do we expect to make a change in this lifetime if we won’t even say “GOD bless you!” when someone sneezes or hold a door for someone or help an older woman to her car with her groceries?

On the flip side, how do we live boldly? How are we so daring that people take note of it? Would it take wearing a neon suit to get people’s attention for Jesus? Do we have to wear a T-shirt with some brand name “Christianized” to let people know who we are? Is living it enough? How do we let others know our beliefs? Do we have to publicly proclaim on a sturdy box with a cardboard sign that God heals and saves? Can we do this quietly? If so, why would we want to do so quietly?

I hope this serves as a challenge to evaluate and reevaluate what you believe and how you portray it to others. My prayer tonight is for all the “Stephen’s” (Acts 7) out there who are truly making a difference in the lives of others.

Of Mice and Mountains

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As a mouse ran towards my bare foot this morning, I thought, “Surely this isn’t how my year begins.” “2014 Came in like a Charging Rodent!!” flashed across the newspaper of my mind (yes, I have one of those.)
One of my biggest irrational fears is that a mouse, yes a mouse, will run across my bare foot. I’m making progress in that I can talk about it. It’s ridiculous, right? Just the thought of those bony, germ-ridden little feet touching my skin is enough to make me wanna jump out of it!
So, as I begin to welcome the new year, I’m faced with one of my fears. I stood there, staring a mouse down, thinking, “Oh no, what a horrible way to begin this year. Ew! Ew! EW!!!!” Then it hit me, and my next thought was, “What a wonderful start to a new 365 days!! Bring it on! I’m ready to tackle whatever ya got!”
Whether our fears are as big as a mountain or a mouse, we’ve got God on our side! And whether we’re looking at a diagnosis or a daring rodent, we can laugh in its face, quoting, “If God is for us, who (or what!) can be against us?” Our options are life or more life! Tackle this day and this year with exuberance and a shout of praise on your lips!