Monday, December 31, 2007

I Know...It's About Time!

I was really lazy at Disney when we went last month. SO....I left the task of capturing most of the moments to Shain. He gets the credit for the cool shots! These are just a few from that wonderful time. Can't wait for the next big trip!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

There Is No Telling

I want to say today as this year is drawing to a close and another looms on the horizon how thankful I am to serve God.

I am thankful that He called me out of darkness and into His wonderful light. I am thankful for the revelation of His truth. I am thankful today that I can feel Him, that I have a relationship with Him that goes beyond a "tingle," I am thankful for the Holy Ghost. He promised in His Word that He would send the Comforter. He said "I will not leave you comfortless, I will come to you." I am thankful He is the God of fulfilled promises.

I am thankful for Holiness and for the understanding of what it means and how truly beautiful it is. I am thankful for the love I have in my heart for the way that I am. I am thankful that it is in my heart. I am thankful for being called out from among the world to live a life of separateness. The Word of God says Light and darkness have no fellowship. I am thankful I know that.

I am thankful I know who He is. And I am thankful that I know that belief alone will not get you into Heaven. If that were so then Heaven would be full of devils for the Word says in James 2:9 Thou believest that there is one God: thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. I am thankful that I know that I need to repent daily, because without repentance I know I would be lost.

I am thankful I haven't been sucked into this "easy believism" that has entrapped much of the "Christian" world today. I am thankful that I know that it doesn't matter if I *accept* Him, but if He accepts me. I am thankful that I know that the Word of God is without compromise and that it is not on the *cafeteria plan* where I can pick and choose what I want and pass the rest by. I am thankful that my Pastor teaches the whole Word of God and that he is not intimidated by the world. I am thankful that he lives the Word.

I am thankful that I can get on my face and cry out to Him. I am thankful that I can weep before Him and travail until I have touched the hem of His garment. I am thankful that I believe in healing, and deliverance, and spiritual warfare. I am thankful that I believe that because of my obedience to His Word I have power "because of the angels" and I am ever so thankful that I know what that means and have seen that power working in my life and the lives of my family.

I am thankful that my experience with Jesus is not some watered down social club, but that it is real and tangible and consuming. I am thankful that I never "joined" the church but I was born into it by the Baptism in Jesus' Name and the infilling of the Holy Ghost WITH the evidence of speaking in other tongues just like the first church had in the Book of Acts.

And I am thankful that I have seen in action and been a partaker of the "signs that follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover." (Mark 16:17-18) I am thankful that I understand what that means and have not corrupted what Jesus was saying.

Most of all I am thankful for my Jesus, my God, my Savior, my best friend, my Comforter, my Provider, my Strong Tower, my Strength and my Song. The One true God, the One that was and is and is yet to come. He is the love of my life. And because of the measure of faith He has given to me, I know there is NO TELLING what God will do.

I thankfully wait in anticipation, looking up, for my redemption draweth nigh.

Monday, December 24, 2007

And To All A Good Night

What a beautiful morning I stumbled across while leaving work a few minutes ago. The air was crisp, the sky a beautiful midnight blue, the moon was large and wreathed in a frosty glow. I longed for someone to share it with.

So I thought of you.

As this Christmas Eve morning was dawning today, you were in my thoughts.

And if I could give you one gift today, it would be the gift of a moment.

I would give you a moment when your heart catches in your chest, when you feel your eyes mist with tears, when the perfection of that instant overwhelms you, erasing all of your cares and worries.

I would give you the joy of the discovery, as your mouth forms a slack "Oh" and you are suspended long enough to etch that feeling into the very fiber of your soul.

And I would give you the ability to *see* that moment in the smallest of things, allowing you to grasp it instead of letting it slip away unnoticed.

And I pray that when it comes for you, you will see His hand, feel His love, as I did today.

For He does love me. He was waiting to show me how much as I hurried to my truck to get out of the cold air.

He was waiting with a message just for me.

So today, my message for you is a message of love, of my love for you, and the hope that you will see Him more than ever.

And as I end my day and you will soon begin yours, I'm wishing you a Christmas filled with love, filled with *moments,* filled with Christ.

Merry Christmas to all....and to all....a good night.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Tick Tock Tick Tock

I am 41.

I went to bed Monday night and I woke up Tuesday morning another year older.

Hard to believe, huh? I know! I mean, just yesterday, it seems, I was skipping school, and, um, er, well, maayybbeee not skipping. Let's just say I was leaving without permission. (I was only brave enough to do it twice, so don't be too impressed by my badness)

My Grandmother is in the hospital. It seems like she has aged 10 years in the last year. I was standing beside her bed last night watching her sleep and it occurred to me that she was only 2 years older than me when I was born, and I was her 3rd grandchild (counting my OLDER brother and sister).

WOW....I can't even imagine.

I am not afraid of the years ahead. I relish the thought of what is to come.

If I could reverse time, I would. I would rewind to the point in my development when I obviously had the choice between gracefulness and klutziness, because, the klutzy thing ain't working. I can qualify that statement by the pain in my already broke toe where I ran over it with a wheelchair loaded with a patient last night.

I learned to walk before I learned to crawl. And, really, missing that part of my development didn't help.

But, I suppose I was ear-marked for wobbliness at a very young and tender age. And that *ability* has grown and intensified to mammoth proportions.

So, I'm about to drag my stumbly self to bed for some much coveted snooze time. When I awake I will be a heartbeat closer to 42!

I'm just going to lay that clock face down and not worry about it.

Thanks for all the love and support of my family and friends. My life is sweeter because of each of you, and each year gets better and better!

Monday, December 17, 2007

When It's Right to Suffer Wrong

My Pastor preached a wonderful message from Psalm 69 titled "The Zeal of Thine House" from verse 9.

It spoke right to me, as usual.

I am afraid I have been *accused* of being over-zealous in my relationship with God.

So, just to set the record straight...

I am.

Let me explain something to the world at large: You don't know what my praise is worth.

Maybe you question how and why I live like I do, how and why I can love Him like I do.

And maybe it seems like I've gone overboard, off the deep end.


And I fear it will only get worse.

My whole life was changed. Every aspect of my life, my desires, my dreams, my plans, changed forever by a single act of unbridled love for me.

My life was changed at Calvary when that crimson stream of blood flowed over my sin-filled heart and washed me clean.

That is why I talk of Him, that is why I think on Him, that is why I serve Him.

This zeal inside of me is consuming. And when I break the box of my praise and spill it on His feet in worship to the One who gave His all for me, you have no idea just how much it is worth to me. You have no idea where He brought me from, how far He had to reach to find me.

It amazes me the way the world works. If I were a Georgia Bulldog fan (which I'm not--I'm an LSU Tiger fan!) and I had stickers all over my car, and dressed in Georgia Bulldog fan wear everyday, and went to every game and screamed from the stands, well, that would be normal. No one would think a thing in the world about it or me for doing it.

But because I have built a relationship with God, I'm odd, maybe even crazy. Imagine that.

It is hard for anyone to understand my heart, unless they have a like heart. And if, to the world at large, I am a freak, someone to point their fingers at and stare, that's OK. I'll endure the wrong to live right.

Because while others are saying "How strange she is to live as she does," I am saying "How sad they live as they do, so empty when my life is so full."

My Jesus, I am burdened today. I have read Your Word time and again, and I know this is the way You said it would be. And yet it makes me pause to think that this joyous life I have can cause someone else to question. Still I press on. Toward that mark. I am consumed by the "zeal" of Your house, and I am not ashamed.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cha Ching$$$$

I understand the concept of Caller-ID. Really.

So yesterday when the phone rang and it showed up as my place of employment, I cannot imagine what unseen force had me press my finger to the talk button and place the receiver to my head.

But I did.

And when I heard my bosses voice I knew I was doomed.

Kinda like a mouse caught on one of those sticky traps, only my legs/arms are a little *thick* for me to be chewing through.

The thought had crossed my mind earlier during the day that my *hubby wubby* and I should do a little shopping since we are running out of time, so I used that in my defense.

"Um, I don't know...We REALLY need to do some shopping. I'll have to check with him."

I placed a harried phone call to his voice mail.

*Look, the jig is up. You gotta cover for me. We have to go shopping TONIGHT!*

Only he didn't call me right back, but the phone rang out another death toll.

"Please, we're desperate."

So I fastened the ball and chain around my ankle and headed in to carry out my sentence.

One night of craziness minus sleep.

Thank God someone slammed a door early this morning since I was sitting straight up, charting, and dreaming about buying horses to plow my fields.

One of the things I have found is that money isn't everything. There was a time in my life when I would have jumped at the chance to earn a little extra *dough.*

But, yea, not so important anymore.

As I saw my supervisor this morning she said *I'm gonna make sure you get a $75 bonus for last night!*

And all I could think of was I had missed an opportunity to be with my family. $75 can't buy that back.

I read an article about a couple that made only a little more than we do, and they had a $3500 a month house note and an $800 a month vehicle note, not counting the other little bills. All I could think was *How Dumb IS That??*

I am content with my little house, my HOT wheels (vvrroommm). I have learned something that it seems most other people lack the understanding of. All those material things, all that money, it doesn't last.

AAAHHH, but love, there is a treasure worth seeking. Self respect cannot be purchased, and memories are worth more than gold.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A Prince or A Pauper

The sleep that my body desperately craves beckons to me. And I know I need it. But my heart is heavy stealing away the peace I need to rest.

Today I sat in the funeral of a good man.

And for some reason my mind kept drifting back 7 years to another funeral of another good man.

Only the contrasts were so vibrant my heart felt bound in my chest.

You see, 7 years ago I sat next to my husband in a room in the funeral home where his father was. The family sat in the front row in mismatched vinyl chairs. A man that never really even knew him was appointed to speak on his behalf. There were no hymns, no favorite Bible verses, no expounding testimony.

Until today I never realized how bleak it truly was.

I sat today in a beautiful sanctuary. I listened with another son that had lost his father, and I held my husband's hand once again.

I heard minister after minister exalt this man's life. I heard songs like "There'll Be No More Goodbyes," and "I Can Only Imagine."

But the hardest part of all was hearing this man himself, speaking in song to his family. "Don't weep for me," he said. "Daddy's made it home."

I held my husband's hand and could feel the depth of his sadness as he wept.

I knew he wept for another man, for another time. For a man that lived for the moment, with seemingly no thought to eternity.

I knew he wept for the peace this family must feel, even in their sorrow.

And I thought, "I have got to make it."

I have a choice. When that great day comes my choice will be ever apparent.

Will I have chosen to be His, or will I have chosen the world as my god. Because when the time is here, no earthly riches will matter. If I don't have him, I don't have anything.

Will I die as an heir to the King of Kings, or will I forfeit my rights to my inheritance?

For me the choice is simple. "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Philippians 1:21)

Lord, please, let me reach someone else.

When It's My Time

I have been listening to a message by Brother Ballestero when he was here this past weekend. He titled it "The Best of Times and The Worst of Times."

One of our dear friends lost his father this past weekend. He had health problems for some time, but all of the sudden, it seemed, he took a turn for the worst and then he was just gone.

Growing older is a funny thing. In one sense, these seem like the best years yet for me. I have a confidence I have never had before, I am more comfortable with who I am than I can ever remember being in all my previous years.

I am looking forward to the future for my little family, looking forward to sharing their grown up years.

But then again...

I see the years each time I look into the mirror, each time I look into my family's faces. I have reached the age where my friends stop losing grandparents and begin to lose parents, spouses and even their children.

So many of the people I look up to have passed away. And I know from reading the Bible myself, it is just like Brother Ballestero said, the end is coming. Oh, it may not be here in the next week or the next year, but it's coming.

And although I long for the day He comes, I often think about everything that we may go through to reach that point. I know it will get worse, but everything is already so bad, just the thought makes my stomach turn.

I also know someday it will be my turn. I look forward to it, but also feel a measure of sadness. Leaving this world behind is nothing to me, leaving my family behind is another story.

I thought of my friend's father, they held back telling him he was dying.

And I thought, oh how I would want to know so that I could say all those things that I, otherwise, might not say.

So, to my family..

When it's my time to go, I know you will grieve. I know there will be sorrow. But I pray there will also be gladness.

Play no sad songs for me. Laugh and tell stories about how silly I could be.

When it's my time to go, if I can't tell you myself, I want you to know that I loved you all so very, very much. I am so blessed that God gave me you.

I am still in love with my husband. I still love to see him after a long day, or night. I still love to have him hold my hand, stroke my face, tell me how much he loves me.

I know I have not always been the best wife I could be, but my love has been true.

And if for some reason I am not there to see my children raise there own children, tell them I loved them even before they were born. Tell them I dreamed about them, about loving them and spoiling them.

And I want my own babies to know there has never been a mother alive who loved her children as much as I love mine. Oh, how I love you both.

I want my brother and sister to know that miles have never separated my heart from them. Years and memories have only made me love them more and more.

I would want my parents to know that I am so proud to be their daughter. I know that among other daughters in the world I am most blessed.

I would tell my Pastor and his wife how much closer I feel to my Lord since I have been under there ministry. And I would want my last Pastor to know that he and his wife gave me the strength that I have now.

These are the best of times and the worst of times. Time that tomorrow is unfolding and time that forever looms before me. Time for holding on and time for letting go. Time to love and time to say goodbye.

Lord, I want to always have my heart ready at all times. I don't know when my appointed hour will be, but I want to keep my garment white, my lamp filled with oil. You have blessed me so very much. May I live each day with thankfulness in my heart. I love you.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Where Am I?

It's always about the same.

Someone paces anxiously. Wondering and hopeful, they wait for the moment they can see recognition dawning.

Then, always, the same question when eyes once again focus, "Where am I?"

The answers usually vary.

Trapped in a cave after the avalanche.

Recovering from the mauling you received from the Siberian Tiger you were trying to capture.

In a hospital in Topeka where they brought you after you rescued a family of 12 from a burning inferno and then collapsed on the ash strewn lawn.

Have you ever woken up and asked that question?

Where am I?

I have. Yesterday, pulling out from my house, heading to work, that very question resonated in my mind.

Where am I??

And it was You I thought of. Where am I in my walk with You? Where do I need to be? Am I everything I can be?

I know the answer to that one. NO.

Sometimes in life as we rush around trying to save the world, or just trying to live, we wake up and realize we may have lost our way, made a wrong turn, or made a u-turn.

Sometimes we realize we have been traveling well below the speed limit, or we are in desperate need of slowing down.

Where am I today, right now? Examine me, Lord. I don't want to wake up and realize I have no idea who I am or who You are anymore. I need that intimate relationship with You, because You are the very air I breathe. I don't want to come to the awareness I have had a collision with the world that has left me forever changed, unconscious of my need for you, I want to only get closer to You, more aware of You and Your purpose for me. Speak to me, let me hear Your voice, remind me all over again where I am, and that I am Yours.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

As David Did

There he stood, no longer a small boy, not quite a man.

There he stood, astonished, unable to comprehend exactly what was taking place.

This young man stood, watching warriors cower and tremble.

This young man, dressed as a shepherd, stood boldly.

Warriors dressed for battle hid.

They hid, hoping for someone to come in to save the day, praying that a warrior above all warriors would come dashing up and defend them from this giant that they faced.

They had the armour they needed. They had swords and weapons, and the training to use them.

Yet they hid, waiting for someone else to come along and fight the battle they had been trained to fight themselves.

"I'll fight this giant," said the young man.

And forsaking the armour of the king, he stood boldly with just a sling and 5 stones, announcing his intention to this champion of the Philistines, and without hesitation, he fought.

And he defeated.

In the aftermath of this great victory, he turned again to these warriors dressed for battle.

And I have to wonder, as they saw how easily he defeated this man that had tormented them, if they thought "he wasn't so tough after all."

Or maybe they thought "If only I would have had the courage to stand up to him."

If only...

I know there are young men and women in our church that are "David's".

If only they would have the courage to stand up. I know it can be intimidating when you see all the seasoned warriors who have years of serving the Lord under their belts and know that are cowering behind a proverbial rock, waiting for someone to come along and take down whatever it is that is standing in the way of revival.

Maybe our young people are afraid to be the "one" that steps out, feeling they are not prepared. But sometimes you have to step out to get prepared.

Those that are Baptized in His Name, filled with the gift of the Holy Ghost are just as prepared as any seasoned saint.

That is enough to take down the toughest giant.

Who is it among you that will be the *one*?