May 8, 2012
Today is a totally delightful day. Not saying everything is life is perfect for we know that this side of heaven can’t be exactly that, but my smile is as bright as the sunshine would be if I weren’t wearing dark glasses!
A very dear friend who I have not seen in 7 years has flown in to visit me and be my houseguest for a week! He is a wonderful man who is full of life, full of the love of Christ, is eternally young, and is a retired Episcopal priest. I am smiling as I say retired priest because I don’t know any priests who’ve pulled off retirement . . . I think they just live on and one day they say “go in peace to love and serve the Lord” and find themselves face to face with Him. Vocation . . . . it’s so much more than work.
Many of you are aware that I’ve been seeking a “job” or more correctly financial provision since relocating to SC 4 plus years ago and a permanent answer hasn’t yet come, but spiritually life is AMAZING so no complaints. That being said the Lord has planted a seed in me which can only be described as a passion for a vocation and not just a job. I am beginning to know what that is, only just beginning.
I ask you to pray with me that I will continue to hear His voice and follow Him faithfully in the path and plan He has for me and kn0w that though He asks me to do things that make me gasp sometimes, I have never known more joy in my life than when I follow Him NO MATTER WHAT HE ASKS OF ME. He is always there with me.
This will be a delightful week for me and I am sorry if I am a bit off schedule on sharing with all of you but fear not, I will have lots to share when time permits. Meanwhile, having an extra person in the house and it being a man with a healthy appetite literally, spiritually and otherwise, I’ve got an excuse to do a lot more fussy things in the kitchen than what I usually do as this house usually is home to just my elderly Mom who is on a restricted diet, and me. I enjoying having someone to spoil lavishly. Just now I have a pot roast with all the expected accompaniments cooking and can I tell you my house smells great? There will be home-made bread in the house, home-made corn chowder, and all sorts of scones, muffins, other elaborate things to feed the body with as we share at table and feed our hearts and souls.
Time to check my roast! Can you smell it?
June 9, 2011
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
I never realized until somewhat recently just how valuable it was to be weak, and how futile it was to believe I am strong. You see, I went to church on Sundays my whole life. I had it all together. I worked hard. What life tossed at me, I could handle. Then I unexpected had a chance to change my life. This sounded great. Dreams coming true? Bring it on. I took off in a new direction geographically. I hit some major speed bumps on the way to my new life. I didn’t expect that to happen. It was a growth period, but not just in the ways I expected. Seems the Lord had better things for me than the “okay” life I was used to and so there were trees along the wooded path with big roots over which I repeatedly stumbled. I left the woods and walked on pavement in the heat only to find those speed bumps He’d poured. I prayed and lamented. I landed on my butt a few times. I finally looked up and listened. Seems He had been waiting for me to hand over the load I was carrying and allow myself to be weak, yet through Him gain a strength I have never known.
Surrendering is something I’m still learning more and more about, but the more I learn about giving my burdens to the Lord, the more I am amazed that I was so foolish as to think I “had it under control” and the more I realize that I was settling for so much less than He wants to give me! I’ve been stumbling, even now. However, the more I learn to trust Him with my life, the more my soul dances! The deeper my relationship with Him becomes, the more often I “soar on wings like eagles!” What a way to go! Won’t you fly with me?
May 13, 2011
“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
— Theodore Roosevelt
Teddy Roosevelt was onto something! Hmmm . . . Was Teddy thinking of me when he said those words? No, while family folklore may lay claim to our being related, he couldn’t possibly have been thinking of me. However, I find those words packed with practical information and wisdom. How often have we heard (or said) “but what can I do?” However, in Christ, we have all we need. He equips us for the work He has for us. He places us where He wants and needs us to be. He speaks to us, holds us close and hugs us while surrounding us with His grace and blessings. He desires to make our burdens light, if we’re willing to hand them over to Him. He leads us in all we are called to do. Popular magazines may try to make me feel like I lack much, but in Christ I lack nothing! As I see it, Jesus and Teddy Roosevelt are telling us the same thing!
Yes, Lord. I’m listening and I’m ready to serve! Lead on!
Gardens at Mepkin Abbey
May 11, 2011
Okay, this may not be my most blissful post, but it’s heartfelt and honest. Please know that when you are focused on the Lord and His path for your life and when you give your heart to Him, the evil one will do all he can to prevent this. Hey, did he not try this with the Lord Himself just before the crucifiction? This is true. Read all about it in Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew 4:1-11.
Well, my friends, if the devil tried to win the heart of Christ, surely you don’t think he’ll stay away from trying his ways with us? We’re without a doubt easier targets than our Lord. I say this knowing that it’s true because my life in the last two weeks has been full of the Holy Spirit and full of an awareness of the love that Jesus has for me and full of a new hope in a future that I’ve been seeking for over 3 years now. Naturally, Satan chose someone close to me to say things that would plant a seed of doubt, steal my joy, and IN THE PAST possibly cause me to take the easy way out and quit.
When we are in a life changing situation and in a close walk with the Lord, that’s exactly when Satan works hardest and he can be really convincing about how wrong we are. He will plant seeds of doubt in your mind that you’re not listening to the Lord correctly. You’re not hearing what He really said. Don’t listen to Satan. Pray, listen, and follow only Christ. You will know His voice – it’s the voice of LOVE.
If you could also pray for me, I’d appreciate it. Have a prayer request of your own? Comment with it and I’ll pray for you as well. Thank you.
May 6, 2011
Okay, if you thought this was an article about a romanic and passionate experience I had to share, you’ve stumbled upon the wrong blog . . .
Passionate it is, though! I’m hearing a line from a favorite praise song in my heart and head just now. I must say it’s delightful when my heart and head are on the same “team.” It’s not always the way. I was not exactly “high on life” earlier today and remarkably – rather than stew for a while and eventually think of praying, I prayed right away and then got involved in doing some things that needed doing. Wish I could say that this Christian is just so focused on the Lord that this is simply a common occurance, but being human brings with it a host of imperfections and yup, I’ve got ‘em. Like a broken watch, though, I must say I get it right twice a day anyway . . . at least that . . . I hope . . .
When we surrender ourselves to the Lord and say “use me . . . fill me” we’d better be ready to receive our “honey do” list fast. He hears a willing heart and He says “sign up! Here’s your first job! Go to it!” It’s funny, but shortly after I prayed the words I prayed, I found myself blessed not once but three times! First with a lovely conversation with a stranger, then with finding myself say to someone “you need to let it go. It’s not yours to worry about. Give it to the Lord. He’ll handle it and enable you.” Then I heard myself telling someone else “It just takes a willing heart. God will provide the ability.”
These things took place in under an hour from the time I felt “off” and prayed about it and are all direct answers to that prayer. Just further proof, if any is needed, that He loves us totally and completely and He so desires us to “get close and personal” with Him. I’ve said this many times since my friend Rick “used it on me” and I’ll say it again. Our Lord does not call the enabled – He enables the called! Thanks be to God!
May 2, 2011
I have been looking for a job for a long time. For 3 years, I’ve felt I badly needed one. In January while on a weekend retreat, I was given the opportunity to be prayed over by an anointed team of two men and as they prayed I noticed that the word job was quickly replaced in their prayer with the word provision. I knew this was significant. It was not a word I typically used in conversation, and certainly not one I used in prayer to that point. It sounded good, but honestly it’s true meaning at that time was somewhat vague. I need food, I need to keep a roof over my head, I need to take care of my physical needs, my loved ones . . . I need . . . I want . . . and they were praying for provision. Hmmm . . .
I used to have a good job. It provided for me in ways that satisfied me. It didn’t make me rich, but it kept me from laying awake at night. It didn’t bless me especially, but it was okay. It was sensible and safe and I was often happy. I never prayed for provision. I had it “under control.” In the words of Joshua 9:14 “The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD.” I didn’t inquire of the Lord either. He had more for me, but I didn’t ask. I was “handling it” okay. We settle for okay a lot, don’t we? When I relocated 1000 miles from all that was familiar, I realized a dream in doing so, but didn’t find a job. Still haven’t. However, I’ve found “work” and it’s another dream come true. It does not seem to come with a paycheck, yet it blesses me in ways no paycheck ever could. Still I wonder . . . and so I read Psalm 132:15 “I will bless her with abundant provisions; her poor I will satisfy with food.” There’s that word again and it comes with a promise . . . I need to trust Him for my provision.
Provision? The dictionary defines it as “supplying something, especially food or other necessities.” No mention of money . . . but I’m certain it falls somewhere on the list of “other necessities.” The Lord is showing me that my needs are being met and will continue to be for He knows what they are far better than I do and exceeds my limited expectations in His abundance. I am finally learning that provision is about far greater things than money and that for me, as also shown in the dictionary definition, the word money doesn’t really have the importance I thought it would. I have come to know that the Lord’s provision and His amazing love is more than enough “for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.” Philippians 1:19. Amen. Come, Holy Spirit!
March 19, 2011
We are all, as Christians, commissioned to be the light of Christ to others. What does this mean? Does it require resources I do not have? Do I have to know the Bible from memory? Do I need to be free to travel to the far reaches of the world? Do I need to donate “seeds” of money to all those television preachers who claim this is my obligation? Do I have to be an amazing preacher like my dear friend and priest, Rick? Do I need to lead Cursillo Weekends like my friends Jay and Sue so often do? Is it complicated? What if . . . . and then again, what if . . . .
Today, I have seen the light of Christ reflected in the eyes or written words of both friends and strangers alike. Much of what I’ve seen is not complicated, doesn’t require an MDiv, and didn’t involve specific mention of any Bible verse, but did indeed reflect His love and joy very clearly and profoundly to me.
- I read an email from a friend who told me he loved me.
- I sat in the driveway with Mom and enjoyed both her company and the lovely weather.
- I was greated by neighbors who smiled and waved as they went about their day – rather than simply drive past.
- I met countless strangers who stopped at the yard sale and whether they bought or didn’t, they were kind, friendly, smiling folks. One in particular hugged mom and I and said “have a blessed day.”
- A friend, needing nothing, was concerned that Mom would be disappointed if nobody came to her yard sale so she came over and sat with Mom and I for a couple of hours just to make sure Mom wasn’t disappointed by “nobody” coming do the house.
Then I used my cell phone to surf online and found a post by a friend who also blogs here in Word Press. My friend has a tender heart for all God’s creatures and devotes time and other resources to several causes important to her, especially to greyhounds. These precious beasts are raised by “business” breeders who profit by encouraging racing . . . and thus produce dogs who often end up neglected or killed when they are no longer “useful.” This breaks my friend’s heart. It breaks many hearts. Does it matter? The Bible tells us that whatever we do to the least of these . . . surely, you realize that our Lord loves the birds of the air and also these beautiful greyhounds. Surely, like my friend, He cries when they’re abused? I think so. Please read her blog entry and share it with others – the small things we do combined together through the efforts of many can make a big difference. Click the link below to view her post.
March 12, 2011
I read a quote recently that really made me think. An unidentified missionary in Russia was quoted as having said that God loves us just as we are but that He also loves us too much to let us stay that way. Initially, this statement seemed contradictory and I questioned its theological accuracy. It, at first, sounded as though it reduced God’s immeasurable love for us to the somewhat questionable claims of love we hear (and speak) almost daily from (or to) family, friends, even virtual strangers. How often is a greeting card signed “love,” or an email closed with “love you?” How many times have you heard those “three little words” while on date with someone you’ve only barely come to know and thus assumed that they were perhaps a “means to an end” rather than a true expression of sentiment?
On the other hand, giving the quote a second thought, I find myself thinking of my childhood. As children, we were constantly surrounded by our parents, grandparents, teachers, etc., who accepted us as we were and then reprimanded us as well, expecting something more. What was this? It was their love for us manifesting itself in the effort to teach us to grow in understanding, and to keep us safe from harm. If our earthly mentors can love us this much, how much more can our Heavenly Father love us? He did, after all, give us His only son who died on a cross to save us from ourselves, and gave us His Holy Spirit to reside in us, to guard us, and to guide us in all we do.
We are the mirrors of that amazing love to the world. What a gift this is! How humbling to be given such a privilege to serve Him in this way! When we accept this commission, those three little words “I love you” are no longer a casual statement in the way our society has so often used them. Rather, we realize that they represent a blessing given to us, and one which we must share with others. This amazing love is indeed a gift and when we share it, we are twice blessed!