Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Spoils of the Battle

I have something to say, and I really don't know how to start it out. But I'm going to give it a shot. Perhaps someone may be offended at what I am what I am about to say, that is not my intention at all. I want only to bring understanding to someone about my heart.

At a month shy of 21 years of age I delivered a beautiful baby girl. I know in my mind I thought I was all grown up, but life has certainly changed that opinion. I was not much more than a baby myself. The love that I felt was very mature though.

I sit back and look at the world around me, I look at the other young people who rotate on this planet with my family and I cannot begin to describe how I feel inside. To say that I feel blessed is a tremendous understatement.

I have grown up as a mother. I have been through unspeakable hardships and struggles to be a mother. I have had to scratch and fight to be a mother. Some days it seemed like I was on a literal battlefield.

And like a soldier I will fight again, I do fight again, and again. I have no desire to surrender, no desire to give up the fight. Because I know what I am fighting for.

I see so many people that act like their children are subjects in some kingdom in their own mind and they as the parents are the reigning tyrants. I just don't feel that way. My children were not put on earth for me, I was born for them, to be a mother.

And just as I don't like the lordship parenting I also cannot stomach anyone who thinks their children should look at them as friends. I am a mother, period.

I am in no way exalting myself as some super parent. I do my best by the grace of God. I make mistakes, I fail, a lot. But I continue on.

Because you see I do battle against an enemy who would like to devour my children, would like to devour my home, and would like to devour me. So I fight, I let them know I fight. Sometimes I get wounded on the battlefield, but I still fight.

I know I will always have to fight, but every victory I see in them, every step they take closer to the Lord, I rejoice. I don't need riches or glory, that doesn't last. I need to see them living for Him.

I have been told that I spoil my children. I could let this offend me because I know this is not a positive thing to the world. But let me say that I have showered them with my love and if that means that I have spoiled them, then I have. They are my spoils of the battle, so it looks like my Father spoils me too. I'm just following suit.

I hope that when I am dead and gone if the Lord tarries my children can look back on the love I have for them and still feel it, still know that I would have busted through the very gates of hell to get them out, and I have whether they ever know it or not. I want them to spoil their own children with kisses and comfort.

I am thankful for the battle, thankful for the spoils.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Misery Back Guarantee

We had the privilege of having Elder Brother JT Bass with us yesterday. I have admired this spry gentleman from a distance but have never heard him speak in person. What a blessing he was. Such an inspiration to me and everyone at Truth Harbor.

There is something about listening to someone who has lived this for so many years, who has overcome trials and never compromised that just encourages my own walk. I tried in vain to jot down as many nuggets as I could, but, alas his tongue was quicker than my pen. For someone who is soon turning 84 he is amazing!

One thing he said that I think I'll make my motto this week is that the Holy Ghost has a guarantee, "Try it for 30 days, and if you're not happy, God will gladly refund your misery!" have NOTHING to LOSE....Oh but what you have to gain!!!

I love it! And I'm Satisfied!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

More Than Just a Name

My son was telling me last night how he and his sister have been talking a lot about Jacob wrestling with the angel. He had been thinking about it because of some song lyrics that say

I want to see miracles, to see the world change
Wrestle the angel, for more than a name

and that began the conversation between the two of them regarding Jacob and his change of name.

Jacob was the second born son of Isaac and Rebekah, a twin to his brother Esau. The name Jacob implied a crafty deceiver, but after Jacob wrestled with a man for his promised blessing, God changed his name to Israel with means "one who strives with God." During this event God touched Jacob's thigh as a reminder that he no longer walked on his own strength, but with the reliance of God and dependence on Him.

The result of Jacob's wrestling was more than a name change. Because he refused to let go, refused to give up until he received his blessing, a nation was born.

There are times in our lives when we need something from the Lord. Like Jacob we need to strive with the Lord through perseverance in prayer until we receive that which we need. After his night with the Lord not only was his name changed but his walk was also changed.

When we spiritually wrestle we should always come away changed. Our WALK should be different, noticeable to the world around that we have been in His presence and now we walk dependent on Him.

That is one more proof to me that when we are truly in His presence people will know, we should not have to tell anyone that we are a Christian, our entire walk through life should be changed.

That is what I want, more than just to be labeled as a Christian, I want my walk to be different. I want my family to be able to see it, my friends to be able to see it, the world to be able to see it. When I approach a complete stranger on the street, I want them to see me coming and think she is different, she has been in the presence of the Almighty and is forever changed. She doesn't walk like the rest of the world. She walks in His ways.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Ready for the Fight

I have been rehashing Pastor Weeks' sermon from Father's Day. Over and over he brings forth the Word and leaves me with my mouth open and an increased desire to please God more and more.

The message for Father's Day was "Captains instead of Kings" taken from I Kings 20:24. I could go on and on and on about the message, but there was a verse that he mentioned that really caught me.

I Kings 20:11 states "
And the king of Israel answered and said, Tell him, Let not him that girdeth on his harness boast himself as he that putteth it off."

In other words, while you are putting on your Armour don't boast like the man that is taking his armour off because he has already been through the battle, he has fought the fight and been victorious.

Bro. Burgess spoke at Legacy about "getting down to your fighting weight" like boxers do when they are getting ready for a big fight. They shed what may weigh them down and this allows them to be more effective in the fight.

That is my desire. I have let so many things in my life weigh me down and keep me from being where I need to be with God. Life has become my *cement shoes* and I have found myself sinking to the bottom of my circumstances. I know that God is going to bring me through, but instead of boasting about the outcome of the battle I have yet to fight, I need to concentrate on getting ready to fight the battle.

How do I do that? According to the text my Pastor used in his message Sunday morning we should "
Take the kings away, every man out of his place, and put captains in their rooms," meaning we need captains to lead the way into the battle, men that are prepared for the battlefield, men who have fought before and know what it is to fight. Kings are not accustomed to the battlefield, but captains have fought their way up the ranks and know how to be victorious.

And we have to remember that it takes fighter to live for God. We can never begin to think that once we have won a battle we never have to fight that particular battle again. We have to be the ones to order the battle, to take the initiative and stand to fight.

As I prepare today for the battle, Lord help me to shed my life of those weights that drag me down and hinder my fight. Let me be focused and consecrated, and let me look toward those who have fought before me. Let me become a fighter, following the examples of the captains you have placed in my life. And on that glorious day when I stand before You as my fight is finished I will praise You for being my King and my Captain forever.

Thank you Pastor Weeks for always being true to the Gospel and obedient to the leading of the Lord. How blessed we are at Truth Harbor!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

So....Did You Miss Me?????

I took a very appreciated break from reality this week and attended "Legacy 2007" Apostolic Family Camp. I must say it was just what my soul ordered. 7 Holy Ghost filled services surrounded by other like believers. What awesome messages we heard from Bro. Calhoun and Bro. Burgess. I am already excited about NEXT year!!!!

It was so refreshing to be there. Holiness still matters, properness still matters, rules still matter. The young people were polite and respectful, all of them. That in itself was like a week full of miracles.

So, my calendar is marked, and I'm making my plans for "Legacy 2008." It should be the best ever!!!!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Through The Eyes of Love

One of the wonderful benefits of doing dialysis for my Dad has been having the time to sit and listen. I don't think that we realize how much our lifestyles rob us of just having time. If it were not for the dialysis sessions I would never have the ability on my own to stop my life long enough to just listen to him.

I have learned many wonderful things about his life that I would have never otherwise known. So many stories I now have stored up, like little treasures. And at lunch today I was able to share one in particular with my daughter as we stopped long enough to just talk.

My father was the oldest of 4 children. He was also the biggest. (My brother is also very tall which is why I always thought that was part of being the oldest when I was young) He came from a family of relatively small men who never realized they were small men. I don't know that anyone who ever had the misfortune of coming up against one of them thought of them as small in stature either, but that's another story.

My Grandma had one eye that was crossed. She had surgery that corrected it before I was even born so I have only seen the photographs.

My Dad said that he got into a fight one day, well, let me restate that. My Dad said he beat up somebody one day because they said something about his Mama being cross eyed. He said he argued with the boy that his Mama was NOT cross eyed, and when he wouldn't take it back he beat him up.

Then he got home that night and looked at his Mama and realized she was, indeed, cross eyed, and he had never even seen it. He told his brothers that he thought he was in trouble now because he had beat up this fellow for saying that about their Mama, and she was cross eyed.

Isn't it amazing what love can do for you. In his eyes he saw his Mama, and the things that others may have seen as faults he didn't even see at all.

*Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder*, isn't that so true?

You know I am full of scars from various scrapes and bumps and tumbles and surgeries and pregnancies. But more than that my very soul has taken some beatings that have left marks.

All my failures, and all of my mistakes may seem to me to be food for the vultures of the world to chew on and pass around. But when I get to the One who loves me, and I fall on my face at His feet, when I rise from being in His presence, and I worship Him in the *Beauty of Holiness,* He sees me through eyes of love. He loves me in spite of my humanity. Like the song says;

"Beautiful, that's how Jesus sees me"

I know this world doesn't understand the way I look, the way I live, the way I carry myself. Just like the tabernacle in the wilderness they can only see the badger skins. Oh, but on the inside there is such beauty. And when I look at the way that I live, when I look at myself, I see myself through the eyes of love for Him, for His word, for Holiness. I see the beauty in being "called out from among them" to be "separate." I see the beauty of being "peculiar."

Like my Daddy so many years ago I am blinded to what others see.

My precious Savior, there is none like you. I would that I could spend more time in Your presence, for there is never enough time. Let my life be a praise to You Lord. Let my lamp be ready, let me always have on the garments of the Bride. I am so thankful You found me, so thankful.

How I love You today, because of who You are.....

Saturday, June 2, 2007

The Day Has Arrived.....

I'm finding it hard to put into words how I feel today. Part of me feels content, the other part of me feels, well, let down I guess. I mean I knew this day would come, I knew it would. But just knowing did not make it any easier to face. I was so torn inside. I didn't want to admit that the day had finally arrived, but I had no choice.

Why? Why did it happen to me? It just made everything so real and sharp, made it impossible to deny the passage of time. In some ways it was a vivid reminder of all the years that have passed. So much has happened. So many changes have taken place. So much loss and so much gain.

Oh, don't misunderstand me. I am grateful for every year, every memory, every triumph, and every defeat. I have learned so much, and I know I have so much to learn.

But I just wasn't prepared for this day. It's like finally admitting it has happened...

See, yesterday I did something that I thought was further down the road, something I would have years and years before I had to do. But reality said it was time. So....

I bought my first bottle of anti-aging cream.....

It is just so bittersweet, sagging is bitter, but the memories, so sweet....

I shudder to think what is next...(a girdle????)