Thursday, September 29, 2011

What's Your Outcome?

When someone offends you or you dislike the actions of another, what is your first reaction? In situations such as these I find myself quickly stirred to anger as I carry prideful justice on my shoulders. It’s so much easier to judge then to be judged.

God has been at work…hard work…in my life as of late to help smooth some rough edges from around my heart. I don’t know about you, but I hate the sound of an emery board on finger nails or sandpaper on a rough surface. This process has made me cringe in horror of my actions as God readies my heart for a deeper shade of His mercy, grace, and love.
How is God working to help me discover this new path…this new way of thinking and change? Here has been the equation…

Bible study on James + prayer and quiet moments = revelation and contrite heart

After last night’s Bible study session, six words kept whispering within…What’s your outcome going to be? It is a question I want permanently embedded within my mind. When I am faced with people and situations that stir my soul to anger…in that moment…I have a choice. Do I want to choose to spew myself out with angry words and end in guilt and remorse for my unchristian example? Or, will I be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1: 19-20) and thus choose the Christ like way to respond so I can be a better witness to Jesus in me…the hope of glory!
I need to look beyond what is in front of me and realize my words and actions could have a far more reaching effect in the heavenly realms if I love my neighbor as myself (Matthew 22:39) rather than doing what feels right in the moment.
So, what’s your outcome going to be?

Friday, September 23, 2011

I Roll with Jesus

I have had a lot of time this week between the walls of my home as I tended to the needs of my sick children. Occasionally, I would slip outside and sit in my country yellow chair, with a mug of coffee in hand, and Bible under my arm. It was the only time I really had to myself.

I just love to sit and be surrounded by nature and watch, touch, and listen to all God's creation. It is when I sense the closeness of God the if His breath is upon my shoulder. In this stillness, my heart opens wide to capture the sweet whispers of the Holy Spirit tug on my heartstrings and stir my soul to peace and calm. The more I sit in quietness, the greater I crave for more of this precious solitude alone with my Abba. When it is time for me to rise and get on with the day He has given..
I roll with Jesus...and not my own selfish desires. Praise God!

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

Monday, September 19, 2011

I Press On

I have been a work in progress now for over 45 years since the time my heavenly Father began to knit me together in my mother’s womb, to  the first breath my infant lungs, until now…a wife of nearly 20 years and mother of three beautiful gifts from God above.

In this time of growing, God continually presses the wrinkles of life out of my heart. Yet in each stroke of the refining iron, a pressed out wrinkle reveals deep pain. In the depths of the creased pain, there is sorrow, oppression, guilt, unworthiness, and a critical spirit just to name a few.  I am sure there are many more wrinkles that have come with time which I am totally unaware of or see in my life. I am after all a sinful human being, but that is exactly why I know I need Jesus.

The more I fold the pain over in my heart, the easier it is to convince myself it isn’t there. But God sees everything and God knows everything. I haven’t hidden one thing from Him. I have just ignored what needs tended to in my heart because it was the easy way out. But I know this life was not meant to be easy. It is never a pain free walk in the park when you know Jesus.  Not because God causes the pain and suffering…it is our own sin which causes our afflictions or the sin of others. And it is in these trials and troublesome occasions we become more like Christ when we choose to seek His face and not His hand.

Dear Heavenly Father,
In the depth of my doubt, pain, and fear…reveal to me your holiness that in my weakness I would be made strong through the power of your precious blood shed for me!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

James Brian Rielly - 9/11 Tribute

His gentle hands dipped down to the mother’s arms to pick up the swaddled baby. The closer baby Katherine came toward his body the broader his smile. He would hold his goddaughter’s head in the crook of his elbow and look upon her with adoration, coo to her, and stroke her soft cheek with the tip of his index finger. The smile and the love Uncle Jimmy rained on Katherine will never be forgotten.

James Brian Rielly was on the 89th floor of the South Tower of the World Trade Center when the first plane hit the north tower at 8:46 am on September 11, 2001. He called his two room mates and his father to let them know all was well with him. But unbeknownst to James, a second plane, United Flight Airlines 175, was in flight and slammed into the South Tower at 9:02 am on national television for the world to watch with astonishment, shock, and awe. James Brian Rielly, the young, bright, 25 year old bond trader who worked for Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods was never heard from again.

I did not know James Rielly, but today I remember him and the young life that was lost this day ten years ago. May we all remember those lives that were cut short that fateful day, September 11, 2001.

Dear Heavenly Father,
I pray for those today who are still grieving the loss of a friend or family member who's death was sadly brought upon them on this day ten years ago. Please hold them close beneath the shelter or your loving arms and let peace arise in their heart amidst the heart ache and pain. Please shed a full measure of your grace and blessings to the hurting souls who mourn in remembrance of this day.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Soul Finds Rest in God Alone

I have been a bit flat on my feet lately in my spiritual walk. I realized about a week ago I had put other persons and other things as a higher priority than God. I know…I know…how could I let this happen. But it did and God had to wrap me upside my head…shake me up a bit…allow me to have a pity party and wallow in my tears for a while. And now, well, I think I’m on the upswing of an attitude check God ordained.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t just walk away from God. I mean…I still prayed, read his Word (occasionally when time allotted), and tried to walk a Christ like life, but it’s hard to live this Christian life if Christ is not the center. I had Jesus way over to the left I think…somewhere…and my eyes could not see Him in front of me because I had left the starting gate without Him.

Since my discovery of senseless living, I have sorrowfully…on my knees…asked my Savior for forgiveness.  In my many conversations with the Lord after this moment, I realize just how much I have missed Him and the peace He alone can give a God chaser heart. Life is better with Him rather than dismal attempts to go it alone. If I could only just remember, I was made by God for God. Not by God to fulfill my desires. So I’m taking the time to seek His face and not His hand. I want His love, grace, and mercy to soak the deepest parts of my soul, because only in Him will my soul find rest as I walk this journey called life. So I leave you with this scripture…

Psalm 61

1 Truly my soul finds rest in God;
my salvation comes from him.
2 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.

3 How long will you assault me?
Would all of you throw me down—
this leaning wall, this tottering fence?
4 Surely they intend to topple me
from my lofty place;
they take delight in lies.
With their mouths they bless,
but in their hearts they curse.[b]

5 Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
my hope comes from him.
6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation;
he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
7 My salvation and my honor depend on God[c];
he is my mighty rock, my refuge.
8 Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts to him,
for God is our refuge.

9 Surely the lowborn are but a breath,
the highborn are but a lie.
If weighed on a balance, they are nothing;
together they are only a breath.
10 Do not trust in extortion
or put vain hope in stolen goods;
though your riches increase,
do not set your heart on them.
11 One thing God has spoken,
two things I have heard:
“Power belongs to you, God,
12 and with you, Lord, is unfailing love”;
and, “You reward everyone
according to what they have done.”