What IS Sensible, Anyway???

May 30, 2011

I come from a long line of sensible people.  Church going folks.  I always assumed the two concepts go hand-in-hand.  You know what?  I can’t say I’ve ever found the word sensible in the Bible.  Okay, so I decided I needed to look that up and since cyberspace provides worlds of opportunity I can tell you that one quick click revealed that the word appears just twice in the entire Bible.  Twice!  So, since my “sensible” approach to life is no longer working and since it seems the Lord has crazy and amazing (though not entirely defined yet) plans for me, I’m thinking that with just two uses of the word “sensible” that’s not much of an endorsement for MY PLAN.  Well, as it happens my sensible approach is no longer working anyway . . . so it’s time to totally trust in the Lord. 

 Trust.  I don’t like that word.  When people say “trust me” it usually means “I know you’re not going to like this, but . . . “  You know, it’s not unlike those times someone has tried to get me to taste something I thought looked “funny” and they wouldn’t tell me what it was, but said it “tastes like chicken.”  Well, the only thing I care to consume that tastes like chicken is chicken.  Seriously.  So, back to trusting.  Not a fan of trusting humans.  Experience hasn’t changed my thoughts on that, but trusting in the Lord . . . hmmm.  So, back to my Bible research.  As it happens, my results for “trust” were quite a bit different compared to my research on “sensible.”  That word appears 164 times.  Okay, that’s an improvement of about 98.5 percent! 

 So, I’m going with trust.  I’m listening to the Lord.  Seems I’m not the only one in favor of throwing out sensible in favor of something better.  Here are a few related opinions on a different approach to life. 

 “Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of
choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing
to be achieved.”
     —  Jeremy Kitson

 “In each of us are places where we have never gone. Only
by pressing the limits do you ever find them.”
     —  Dr. Joyce Brothers

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by
the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream.
     —  Mark Twain

But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.”

   –Psalm 31:14

We All Need Protection Sometimes

May 28, 2011

As we grow in our relationship with the Lord, the powers of evil rebel against this and can cause disturbances which can weaken us, place doubt in our minds and hearts and more.  To bring peace and protection onto yourself and shield you, I recommend reading the following daily as a prayer.  These words are very helpful to me.

The Armor of God

 10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.  – Ephesians 6:10-18

Another great resource can be found at Mike Flynn’s website.  Flynn, a well-known  author and priest, through his “FreshWind Ministries” offers a number of resources to download including prayers adapted from the verse from Ephesians above.  Click here to visit his website!

Falling In Love

May 26, 2011

Wow, falling in love is such an amazing experience!  The deep connection with the one I love and the intensity of desire to be together every moment of the day and night.  Totally connecting together in every way possible and focusing on what I can do to bring Him joy . . . there’s just nothing better!  Initially, I find the rest of the world disappears and my eyes see him everywhere, my heart is focused only on him, and nothing can take the smile from my face nor stop my very soul from dancing in delight.  In interpersonal relationships with other humans on this planet we find ourselves all too often falling out of love almost as often as we fall into it.  That, however, is not the love relationship I am referring to.   I am speaking of falling in love with the Lord.  Until my heart and soul began the journey I am now on, I did not connect the words “falling in love” with the Lord.  When I began to hear someone close to me speaking of his having fallen in love in this manner, I at first thought it rather odd.  I assumed he was using strong words and phrases to get our attention.  My friend is a priest, you see.  I was wrong.  I started to realize that when I looked into his eyes, I saw Jesus looking back at me and I also realized that even on a “bad” day that love my friend has for the Lord still shines through.  I wanted that for myself. 

 I wasn’t sure how to find that special “something” that my priest friend found and which I’d never known existed.  Oh, I knew the Lord existed.  Knew lots about Him.  I was raised in a Christian home by parents active in church.  I know the prayers and know the church year, the liturgical colors and what they mean.  I know the Bible stories.  I know what falling in love is.  I also know that it can hurt when it doesn’t last.  This was something more.  Discovering that it existed uncovered a hunger in me that I never knew I had.  Suddenly everything was different for me, yet at the same time it was also frustratingly the same.  Where do I look for this special “something” my friend has shown me?  I assumed there must be a book, so I searched for one.  I found many books that seemed to offer a glimpse of what I was looking for.  I read of people who talked to the Lord – and heard Him talk back.  Suddenly I believed this truly happened for them.  I wanted that for myself.

 I read more books.  I heard about personal relationships people had with the Lord.  I had never really thought about “church” and “Jesus” in terms of an actual deep and personal relationship.  I had enjoyed lots of relationships.   I grew to enjoy some of them more deeply than others and some I “outgrew” and stepped away from.  I came to realize that when you go deep with another human, you can be hurt.  I learned about building a wall around my heart to protect it from that hurt.  This personal relationship with the Lord didn’t seem at ALL like any of those.  I thought of the marriage vows of “in sickness and in health” and thought that while I’d not seen many humans in relationships that truly epitomized that deep love in good times and bad, this personal relationship with Jesus seemed to bring joy into the equation even when life in this world was anything but happy.  I watched my friend when he didn’t know I was looking, and when he was off by himself and alone.  I don’t particularly like being “alone” much.  Oh, sometimes it’s great, but it can also make me feel abandoned.  My friend, when I watched him from a distance, never seemed alone.  I wanted that for myself.

 Reading the Bible I found these words “The Lord will not forsake me for His great name’s sake, for it has pleased Him to make me one of His people.”  1 Samuel 12:22.  Wow.  This passage just left me wanting more and looking for more instructions.  I needed to get the right books, the right words, the right map . . . I was full of desire and if I could only just figure out how to do it.  I watched others who seemed to know something.  I looked in the library.   I used search engines online.  I read the Bible more and more.  I found in John 14:18 that “He will not abandon me or leave me as an orphan in the storm-He will come to me.”  Again, I wanted that for myself.  I wasn’t willing to be “left out” anymore.  So, I put the books down this time and called out in prayer saying “Lord I want that.”  Then I did something I’d not done before.  I sat quietly and waited and listened. 

 The most amazing thing happened.  The Lord spoke to me and I knew His voice!  He told me He loved me and that He’d been waiting for me to invite Him in!  The journey in this new life my soul has found is not easy.  It is dark and bumpy.  I stumble.  But I have learned what being in love with the Lord means because He has shown me.  When I fall and can’t seem to get up and go on, all I have to do is say “Come Lord Jesus!”  He never leaves me.  Being in love is incredible.  This is a love affair that will never end!  If you want that for yourself, I urge you to simply let Him know, and then listen quietly and you’ll discover He has been with you all along waiting and loving you!

What Are YOU Looking At?

May 26, 2011

“Look!”  How many times do the wee ones in our lives  get excited about something in front of them and call out to us with big grins and say “Look!”  Somewhere along the way they grow up and get to a place where the word “look” takes on a different meaning.  I can recall in high school if someone thought I was looking at them they’d ask “Whar are YOU looking at?”  Even now I know an adult who gets uneasy if she thinks people are looking at her and in a restaurant seems to always think others are staring at her. 

Our perspective on what we see and where we look sure does change.  Here’s another point to consider on the subject, though.  Driving down the street, take notice of the fact that your windshield is far larger than your rearview mirror.  Why is that?  Thinking of this as a parable for our Christian life, we need to realize that it’s far more important for a Christian to focus on where we are going than on where we have been.  It’s what our Lord asks us to do and He’s with us in the present, not the past.  Once again, a reason to be “like a child” and say “Look” excitedly and with a big grin because Jesus is with us!

Life Changing Words

May 25, 2011

Words.  They are powerful.  Do you realize how much power they possess?  They literally give life and light in our darkness and they can also rob us of life.  When God created the world, He said “let there be light”   and there was light.  Since He gave us His only Son in order to save us, and since His Holy Spirit lives in us, that means our words, through Him, have that same incredible power.  We can give life.  We can effect a powerful change.  It takes so very little.  Someone just changed mine by saying ”I love you” and had no idea how badly I needed to hear it at that precise moment. 

Change a life for the betterUse your words! 

Do It – What’s Stopping You?

May 24, 2011


“The problem in my life and other people’s lives is not the
absence of knowing what to do, but the absence of doing it.”
     —  Peter Drucker

“What’s stopping you?”  Nobody has ever asked me that.  Well, that’s not entirely true.  I ask that of myself constantly.  I’ve been in “life change” mode for a long while now and have felt God’s call and have listened, have heard, and have waited.  Waited . . . waited . . . and waited.  I know the Lord is with me and I know that he is with me in the present, yet I find myself waiting.  For what?  I find myself wondering when my life change will happen, yet I stand still or worse yet sit still.  When Peter walked on water, did he get a memo?  Was there a neon sign assuring him that the waters would be calm and would not swallow him up?  Was there even a one way sign pointed toward the Lord?  No, he had to get out of the boat and get his feet wet.  What happened?  Well, like the rest of us, Peter’s results from this action were mixed.  He got out of the boat.  He took a few steps.  He looked away from the Lord and looked down.  You know the rest.  He sunk.  He didn’t drown though because the Lord took him by the hand and led him to safety.  Peter went on to serve the Lord in wonderful ways leading many to Christ and to eternal life with Him.  You and I are not any different from Peter.  We know what to do.  The Lord is with us.  We won’t sink.  True, we don’t see a neon sign assuring us we’re heading in the right direction.  We have a choice just as Peter did.   We can stay in the boat and wrestle with a fishnet, or we can step out of the boat, risk getting our feet wet, and then what?  Well, there’s only one way to find out.  What’s the worst that can happen?  That we’ll stumble and find that Jesus is securely holding our hand and keeping us safe!  Well, shoot, if that’s the “worst” that can happen, what’s stopping us?  Do it!

His Peace

May 21, 2011


May you feel His love like a tender kiss

and be surrounded by His Holy Spirit

 like a gentle breeze.

Mepkin Abbey Gardens

Did I See An Angel?

May 19, 2011

 “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”  Psalm 91:11 

Does God still send us angels?  If He does, in what form does He send them?  Would we know it if we saw one?  I had a vision of an angel a couple of weeks ago at church.  It was at night and I was one of just 2 or 3 folks in a prayer vigil.  I later mentioned what I had seen to one of them but he didn’t see what I had.  Does this mean it wasn’t there?  Could it have been just the way the light had shown through the window at that precise hour of the day?  I began to think so.  Still, I did continue to think of angels surrounding us and recalled that someone had prayed for me and as she did so, she had a vision of angels surrounding me. 

Hmmm . . . I wonder.  My life has been stressful for a while.  I like the idea that I have angels protecting me.  Still, I wondered what I really was seeing that night at church a couple of weeks ago.  A voice inside argued against my hope that it truly was a vision of an angel and not just light playing tricks on my eyes.  Then something happened!  I was at church in the evening again recently and in similar light conditions.  I was sitting in the same area as I had the night in question.  This time when I looked up, I saw just the ceiling.  If it had only been the light’s reflection through windows that had caused me to see what I had seen that night a couple of weeks ago, I should have seen the same thing again.  I didn’t, though.  However, I felt the love of the Lord and felt a peace flow over me and through me profoundly as I realized I had indeed seen a vision of an angel that other time. 

Did my not seeing one this time mean they weren’t there with me?  No, it did not.  Sometimes we need to see things with our eyes and are blessed with the opportunity.  Other times, just knowing in our hearts that we are loved is more than sufficient. 

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”  1 Peter 1:8

He Takes Delight IN YOU!

May 16, 2011

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”” – Zephaniah 3:17

We have been told time and again that He loves us and yet I’m not sure we are able to come even close to fully grasping the magnitude of that love.  However, please read the quote above and believe it.  If you’re having a bad day, believing in this love will make it a good day.  If you’re having a good day already, this will make it A GREAT ONE.  God bless you all.

Christ is Lord!

May 16, 2011

Psalm 142: 1- 2, 3a, 4-5

“With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!

Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” ” (ESV) 

“With my voice, I plead for mercy.”  Hmmm . . . my voice.  It expresses what’s inside me.  I can show pleasure.  I can laugh.  I can sing for joy!  Good things.  I can recommend a great movie, or a fine restaurant.  I can be a witness to the Lord’s amazing love!  Using my voice to plead for mercy, on the other hand, does not sound too appealing.  However, the Psalmist is, at least, pleading to the Lord.  Perhaps, the Psalmist is stronger and wiser than I am.  When I’ve felt “down and out” I have often tried “everything else first.”  I know better, mind you, but still I find that my reflex is to struggle with the weight that’s too heavy for me.  I then stumble under its overwhelming power over me, hurt myself, and do no good for anyone.  Then, in a defeated and displeased tone of voice, show my feelings to those nearest to me.  This is not singing a joyful song, nor is it drawing others to the Lord.  If anything, it could draw them away from Him.  Not a choice I’d ever choose to make, but unfortunately, being human and thus imperfect, we do not always reflect the light of Christ no matter how badly we desire to. 

It is at the very least difficult, and I’d venture to say impossible for us to be forever joyful.  I’m tempted to say that if we showed ourselves that way, people would worry about us!  On the other hand, the more we draw near to Christ, the more the evil one tempts us and he knows where to find our weak places and knows just what to say.  As we draw closer and closer to Christ, the evil one tries harder and harder to break that relationship into broken fragments which turn into doubt, fear, rejection, abandonment, and hopelessness.  The Lord is still with us.  He speaks to us in a soft and loving voice.  When the evil one shouts, it’s necessary to turn away and silence him.  It can be done.  I had to do this today.  I can’t say it’s the first time and I know it won’t be the last.  What did I do this time?

I wish I could tell you that I always react this way.  No, I must admit, I am more prone to getting into a bad mood and taking it out on those around me.  Not something I’m proud of or recommend, nor is it something I’m consciously aware of at the time.  Oh, I even, in those moments, feel justified in my grumbling and then get upset with those who react to my grumbling with their own!  I am relieved to report that this time, I didn’t do those things.  If you know me and are someone I have done this to in the past, I’m sorry.  I will try to get it right next time.  Meanwhile, I found these words of comfort:

Romans 8:38-39

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NKJV)

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