Monday, March 30, 2009

My If

I have pondered this word “if” often.



“If I knew I couldn’t fail…what would I do?”



No answer seemed to fit or make sense to me.



You see, I don’t believe in living with “if”. To live on, “What ifs”, would keep me from being the person God created. But then I realized, I am living my “if” life right now. I am a Christian who seeks a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. I know I’m going to fail and that’s o.k. It’s in my failures God refines me and then molds me more into the person He intends for the purpose of His kingdom. Think of this, Babe Ruth struck out more than he had home runs, but became one of best hitters in baseball.

Even though I say I am a Christian, I’m not perfect. I will make mistakes and “strike out” and walk away with my head low and bat dragging behind me. What I’m saying is….as a Christian I have Jesus…and ask his forgiveness those times I fail. He lifts my chin, brushes the dirt away, hands me my bat, and then pushes me to home plate to swing again.

You’ll never do your “if” without failure in pursuit to fulfill God’s dream for you!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

A Walking Lesson

It was such a beautiful day. I put my MP3 player on, ear plugs in, and off I went for a brisk walk today which rejuvenated my senses. The smell of the fresh crisp spring air put a bounce in every step and the beat of the music kept me going. The bright sunshine seemed to sing of hope as it warmed my face.

As I came near to the end of my time of exercise, I smiled and waved to someone in a neighboring driveway. Then I noticed the dog with a bright orange vest, the long walking stick, and the fact the woman was wearing big, dark sunglasses. She was blind. The dog seemed to wave his tail in a kind hello back, but boy did I feel stupid. I waved to a blind person and didn’t utter a word. She may have heard my footsteps crunch atop the left over gravel from winter, but she couldn’t see that I had waved or smiled. I walked up my front yard to the porch of my home looking around from left to right to see if anyone else had noticed I’d just waved to a blind person. It seemed as though I was safe from watching eyes and no jokes would be made over my fatal mistake.

It’s funny how God can bring a story to my mind from my failures to help me learn a little more about Him. He hit me in my weakest link as a Christian…opening my mouth to witness for Him. I often say,

“They’ll see Jesus in me by my acts of love and service. I’ll just wait until they ask me why I am the way I am….then I’ll tell them about Jesus.”

Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.

When I don’t open my mouth and talk about Jesus when the opportunity arises, it’s just like me waving to the blind person. The person who does not know the Lord is blind. In me waving kindly, Jesus goes unnoticed and unheard. His message gets lost amidst the footsteps in the gravel as I rush to get to the next thing I feel I need to accomplish. I play it safe and say nothing, so no jokes will be made by others about my boldness for Christ. I need to speak up so the blind might see…see Jesus and be free!
"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you."
~John 15:24

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Mind Conspiracy

He entered the room kicking the dust from his sandals against the frame of the doorway. He looked behind him down the path he had just walked, hoping that no one knew he had just come from talking to the priest. He wondered if any one suspected his plot. Could he carry out the plan he thought to himself? He seated himself at the table to feast and dine in the fellowship of friends. His mind was split in two. The evil one pulled him down drowning his thoughts with lies and half truths.

“You need the money!” he would spew in a raspy whisper from the depths of darkness.

Then the other side, the one of goodness and truth, would utter in love with a soft and gentle air,“He loves you more than you know!"

"Don’t listen to that sweet voice, listen to mine!” uttered the raspy whisper. “He has not done enough for you!He really doesn’t love you as much as he claims!”

He looked around the room at all who were there and truly hoped that none knew of the conspiracy that brewed within his mind. He was shaken from his deep obsession by a hello of a friend who made his place beside him. As he began to chat, the shadows of darkness began to swirl within his mind.

“Don’t trust this person. He is not your friend. I’m your friend. Listen to me! This man will never do as he says…he is no different than you. You will be held up high and him in lowliness if only you listen to me!”

He took his bread and dipped into his soup catching only partially the conversations around him amidst the controversy within his own head. As he waited for the main dish to appear, he crossed his arms and lifted one hand and tapped his lips with his fingers remembering the kiss that would come soon.

I can only imagine the conspiracy within Judas Iscariot’s mind as he sat at the Last Supper. When Jesus announced that someone in that very room would betray him, I wonder if Judas really heard Christ or did the voices of evil drone out the spirit of light.

We all have those voices from time to time that bid us to the choices we make in life. Where the mind is the body follows. Where is your mind today? Is it clothed in the armor of God to defend from the arrows of the evil one? (Eph. 6:10-20) Or does the spirit of depression and loneliness rule over the Prince of Peace this day? If you are troubled today and your mind is at battle, claim this scripture….pray this scripture…

“Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Matthew 16:23

Monday, March 16, 2009

Embedded Handprint

Has someone ever broken your heart into a million pieces? Maybe it was your first break up with a boyfriend or girlfriend that brought tears to your eyes. Your feet were stuck in a thick mud puddle as you desperately tried to pull yourself out of the muck. Your mind seemed unable to think straight as you wallowed in your sorrows and mom baked your favorite cookies to try and cheer you up. Eventually you got over it, but at the time it was all happening life seemed so unfair. The sun came out and life was good once again.

Did you ever think that God wants to break your heart into a million pieces? Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t think God does bad things to us to cause us hurt. But when life deals us cards we don’t like and we are in the valley seeking the mountain top, do we rush to put the broken pieces back together the way we see fit? Or do we allow the Master to pick the pieces up and put our heart back together the way he desires?

I ask of you today, let God rebuild your heart. Let him be in control. Let him move the broken pieces of your heart to fit together in perfect harmony. He alone will get you through the valley and rebuild your heart to wholeness once again. The view from the mountain will be breathtaking as you see his plan revealed. In return for giving him reign, the hand print of Jesus will be embedded in your heart and shall forever remain! How great the Father’s love for us!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Return to Me

The human body slumped in a heap of pain, sorrowful tears of tiredness pitter pat to the white knuckles, and puddle to floor. The wet hands are raised; cupped together to cover the face, to steady the mind for the Earth upon which they sit spins to a dizzy state of unbalance.

“Why, O why my Lord? How much longer must I endure? When will tranquility befriend me once again?”

Return to me…return to me.”…is uttered in a soft whisper from deep within the grieving soul.

“Return to me…return to me… as I begged my people many years ago.”

“Return to me and your heart will rise in splendor as the lily in full bloom.”

Return to me and be renewed just as the fresh rain feeds the Earth and sprouts new life.”

“Return to me…return to me…return to me………”


Sometimes when troubles arise and God seems so far away; it is not He who left, but us who turned away. Seek the Son this Easter season and choose Him as your sweet adoration and not the things of this world.

“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
~James 4:8~

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Tug of War

I’m in a battle between the dark spaces of my mind and the light seeks to push through the darkness. The light is there…I know it is…but why has the bleakness of humanity squelched my drive to find the light. I hear the Satan taunt me with his laugh as he pulls his end of the rope thrusting my body forward. I mumble through my clenched teeth,

“I’ll never return. You can not have me!”

I regain my grip though my hands sweat with blood and feel the strength under my feet return. I pull with all of my might, but only to gain such little ground. My hair drips with sweat, my chin nearly touches my chest in defeat, and my arms tremble with infinite weakness as I fear I must give in and let go.

In that infinite second, when my burning hands release their grip from the twisted braid…another set of hands come from no where. They are the hands of my Master. The Prince of Peace. Satan’s cackle becomes very faint as if falling into a hole that reached the center of the Earth. Before my body flung to the dirt in gut wrenching pain, His hands, they pick me up. The cuddle me. They brush the dirt away. The gentle hands of my Healer made my wounds disappear. He holds me for a long while and sings over me. His sweet voice soothes the battle within my mind. After some time He spoke and said,

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have OVERCOME the world!”
John 16:33
We all battle from time to time within the confines of our minds. Satan loves to put us down, tell us lies, and make us feel unworthy to be called a child of God. It is in these times we must fight with the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20) and not with our own strength. We will gain little ground over Satan when we go it alone. Now you know why this verse headlines my blog...
"The Lord your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you he will quiet you with his love, he will

I pray God will bring solace to those who find their mind a battlefield.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Epic Proportions of Brotherly Love

I have often referred to myself as the wondering nomad. We have lived at seven different addresses since the birth of my youngest son. He is seven years old. I joke sometimes and tell friends, “God wants me to know my home is not here on this Earth, but my forever home awaits in heaven.”

When it was time to prepare to move to a new destination, I usually had a garage sale or give away to get rid of items which we had not used or could do without. It always felt good…really great…to unload so many things. After all, it meant less for me to unpack upon arrival to our new home. I liked it best when I had the opportunity to truly bless someone with an expensive item they needed. We have given several refrigerators, a stove, microwaves, and washer just to name a few. We have always felt God’s blessings upon us. He has taken care of us every step of the way. We in turn choose to pass along our bounty to others.

I often sit in the quietness of my home after the children have gone to school and look at all the things we own and think…we have too much. And yet, other times I want to buy this or that to make this look a certain way. Why? I can’t take this stuff to my future home in heaven.

This is when I realize I need to prepare for my final destination…heaven. I need to have a heart give away and allow Jesus to cleanse me from the inside out. When I unload my heaviness and sin to the Lord, it feels good…really great…to be free! After all it means less for me to unpack when I reach my final destination.

Although I can not take material things with me to heaven, one thing I can take which I intend to develop here while I walk this Earth…fellowship. The relationship with fellow brothers and sisters in Christ will continue in heaven’s home. So for now to prepare for then, I will offer my hospitality and love. I’ll begin cultivating genuine friendship with as many who will allow me to encourage them knowing full well it is just the start of everlasting epic proportions of brotherly love which will continue in the glory of the Father!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Intentional Love

Is there such a thing as “intentional love”?
If one is intentional, they are deliberate to plan or design a certain action to accomplish a certain task or agenda. The action had previous forethought. Therefore, the task did not happen by accident.

So again I ask, is there such a thing as “intentional love”?

Let’s take a closer look at one man who is only mentioned twice in the New Testament by Paul. His name is Onesiphorus (On-ay-sif-or-us). Paul asks the Lord to show mercy on the household of Onesiphorus. Why? Because Onesiphorus refreshed Paul, supported Paul, and diligently sought Paul out and found him so he might encourage Paul despite the chains of imprisonment.

“May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus.”
~II Timothy 1:16-18

Would you say this is “intentional love”? I say yes and amen! O that all of us would be an Onesiphorus to one another. We need to purposefully seek out fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and encourage, refresh, and help one another until the day of our Lord’s return. We should never go it alone for a chord of three strands is not easily broken.

Let us not forget this Easter season the life of one solitary man who was born that He might die. Jesus was sent by the Father to save us from all sin and unrighteousness. At any time Christ could have called upon the angels to save Him from certain death, but He choose me…He choose you… as worthy enough causes to inflict himself with nail piercing pain as he hung upon the cross. Jesus Christ came to give intentional love.

When Pilot asked Jesus if he was in fact a king in John 18:37, Jesus answered…
“You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

So let us hush our souls in a quiet moment with Jesus. Allow Him the chance to whisper softly through the beauty of the Holy Spirit names of those who need refreshed and encouraged. May we listen, seek to find, and give “intentional love”!

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."
~John 15:13