Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Dancing to the Music of Your Heart

I woke up this morning thinking about David.

David, on the day that he went to bring the ark of God home.

Can you just imagine his anticipation that day? I mean, he had tried this before and it had not be accomplished simply because he had not done things the way God had intended. But he had another chance.

And on that day David brought the ark up "with gladness" despite the past failing.

I love to read this story in 2 Samuel Chapter 6. It reminds me over and over what my responsibilities are.

The ark represented the promise of God. So many times in my own life I have been given a promise that took a while to reach fulfillment. I have had some starts and stops along the way. But the promise was still true. The promise was still true.

So, here comes King David, sacrificing (worshiping) and dancing before the Lord, not as a king, but as a man, leading in the promise.

Isn't that an awesome illustration of exactly how God intends for us to react to His promises to us? They always come to pass in HIS time, but He expects us to worship Him before they arrive, He expects us to praise Him during the journey, ahead of the promise.

So in comes David, into the city, dancing with "all his might." (vs. 14) He didn't wait until the promise was fulfilled and in place. But he entered the city, before the ark "leaping and dancing before the Lord."

And then, after the promise was in place, and after he had worshiped and sacrificed again for the fulfillment, here comes Michal, mocking, sneering. She had no care for the what God had just done, only that David had made such a display of himself before everyone.

The Lord has given me promises. Sometimes it seems to me that it may take forever to see them come to pass. But I keep praising Him, I keep worshiping Him. I know He always fulfills his promises. I can relate to David's dance.

But this morning, God wanted me to see something else. He wanted me to see David's commitment to the promises.

Verse 21 says: And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel: therefore will I play before the Lord.

God chose me, that is why I worship Him.

Yes, that IS why.

Verse 22 says: AND I will YET be MORE vile than thus...

If you think THAT dance was something, you ain't seen nothing yet!!!

So, to my opposition today, let me serve notice. I may be the only one who hears the music of the promises God has made to me, but that's OK. I'm still going to dance. When you don't understand, I'm going to dance. When you think me foolish, I'm going to dance. When my worship embarrasses you, I'm still going to dance. When it means nothing to you, it STILL means EVERYTHING to me.

I have a promise coming, and it's from the Lord. And I'm holding on to it, holding on to Him, and praising Him for He DESERVES it, I know this in my heart, and when my heart plays music to Him in praise, even if I am the only one that hears, I will dance.

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Power of a Forgiving Heart

We have been having awesome, power-packed, Holy Ghost filled services at Truth Harbor. Brother Zorich is in the house and he touched on something that has weighed heavy on my mind. I would like to share some thoughts with you.

In John chapter 8, we start out reading about Jesus teaching at the temple. But, by just the 2nd verse, the tone changes.

Suddenly the Pharisees show up with an adulterous woman in tow. There they thrust her into the midst of all these people gathered to hear the teaching of the Lord.

Vs. 4 "They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act."

And then they proceed to tell Jesus exactly what HE should do with the woman.

Vs. 5 "Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?"

Now here's where it starts to get good. As we all know the story, we also know the initial response of Jesus.

He ignored them.

He stooped down and wrote in dirt on the ground with his finger (wouldn't you just love to know what?) and acted like he did not even hear them.

Of course, this had no effect on them. It usually doesn't. When someone has a heart of judgment, judgment is all that satisfies.

Vs. 7 "So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

And he again took to writing on the ground, ignoring those that called for judgment.

It is a terrible place to find oneself in, when you look down to realize you hold stones in your hand, waiting for the convenient moment to cast your judgment on someone who is already broken.

Let me mention here that the Bible speaks of another stone.

John 21:42 "Jesus saith unto them, "Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?"

At all times we should take GREAT care when we proceed to cast stones of self-righteous judgment in the name of the Lord.

Vs. 44 "And whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."

I think about this woman. The Word of God speaks nothing about her circumstances. Now, mind you, I make no excuses for sin (just as I would make no excuses for the man who was obviously a part of her adulterous act, though not mentioned). I don't know what drove her to that position, whether it was simply lust or something deeper, like loneliness.

Whatever her reason, she sinned. And as she lay in the midst of the people, she lay there a fallen woman, broken before the Lord and all of those around her.

And that's OK. God specializes in broken things.

It seems to me it would be a fine line here to walk. It would be one thing to find someone in their sin, and bring them to the Lord and lay them at His feet, than to take His Word and use that to cast our own stones on someone in need.

Matthew 21:44 states, "BUT on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder."

You would never be able to repair something that broken. Can you understand that?

John 8:9-11 continues her story. These that would accuse her, "being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst."

See, this is where it gets really good. If we will bring these to Jesus, lay them at His feet and then leave them alone with Him ( in other words, let Him work on the problem, since He really doesn't need our assistance) then something powerful happens.

Vs. 10-11 "When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee; go, and sin no more."

Most people stop there when reading this story. But let me take you a little further.

In verse 12 we see the power of letting Him be the judge. " Then spake Jesus again unto the, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life."

If we continue on, we find the key to this story beginning in verse 34-36.

"Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you. Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

That is the power of a forgiving heart...FREEDOM.

Freedom from our past, from our mistakes. Freedom to begin again. Freedom to stand in the presence of a Savior and have HIM repair the broken places. Freedom to look past our past and into a future.

And since we are not the ones who have the power to give this freedom, we need to take care that by our continuing to cast stones at someone who has already fallen, someone who is already broken, we do not grind them into powder that can never be mended.

If He can forgive, if He can forget, who am I?

Who am I, but someone who was once so very broken, lying at His feet, depending on His mercy to put me back together.

So when I see a broken person, I always remember that I, too, was once reshaped at the Potter's hand. I, too, have been broken in my past sins. But left at His feet, left in His hands, my vessel is mended, my heart is healed, my life restored.

There is power in forgiveness. The power to give someone the chance to heal in His Grace, to move on in His mercy.

I am thankful for the power. Thankful for forgiveness. Thankful for a Savior who casts no stones.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Glimpses of Glory

I ventured out to Wal Mart late this afternoon. Not one of my favorite things on a Saturday, but of necessity, I had to brave it.

I raced around trying to complete my shopping in record time and flee the masses. After I completed checking out I headed for the exit.

It was flooding!

The alcove was crowded with people waiting for the rain to stop, so I bought myself a Coke Zero and propped myself up on my buggy to wait for it to *let up.*

Do you ever stop to think about how AWESOME the God we serve is? Sometimes you can be standing there, not expecting anything out of the ordinary to happen and you find yourself in the midst of His glory!

There are so many times in the Bible when ordinary situations turned into extraordinary moments. One that particularly comes to mind is the woman at the well. She was doing what she would ordinarily do on a day to day basis, but that day in particular she found someone waiting at her usual stop, and her life was never the same.

So, I stood in the alcove, drinking my Coke Zero, digging around in my purse for lack of something better to do, when something extraordinary happened.

A couple came in through the door with a beautiful, chubby-faced little girl wrapped in a towel to protect her from the rain. I looked at her and my heart just lit up, then I smiled at the father who was holding her and his face lit up.

"Hey, do you remember us?"

"Of course I do!"

It was a precious couple I had been the nurse for a year earlier and the beautiful baby that was the result.

"We think about you all the time. Do you remember, you prayed for her, and then she delivered the baby in just a few minutes?"

"Yes," I said, "that is what prayer will do!"

"We still have the picture with you, we are so thankful for what you did!"

We spoke a few moments more and I invited them to church.

As soon as they walked away I headed straight for the car. I figured a little rain was not going to hurt me, and I really needed to get to my Friend.

How awesome He is to me, to take something so normal and make it incredible. I was blown away. I sat in my car and wept to the One who could love me so much, to give me something that special in the middle of a stormy, dreary day.

Isn't that just like Him?

I have faced so many storms, so many situations where I wondered if the sun would ever shine on my life again, and suddenly, there it is, breaking though the clouds, a glimpse of His glory.

Oh, what could I ever do to show You what Your love means to me? I want my life to be a constant reflection of the praise in my heart for You. I am Yours!!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Life In The Slow Lane

Well, I have been in *HOTLANTA* for the past 5 days for some training.

I was, of course, having major palpitations just thinking about driving in that traffic with the added bonus of the spaghetti junctions thrown in for good measure.

The trip in was fine. And really, it was ALL fine. That is usually the way things go, you worry yourself to death, then ~~Presto~~ the time has passed and you survived.

I did come up with a new mantra for myself this morning, while trying to follow my GPS in downtown Atlanta. I am ever so glad to share with you...


When life hands you lemons....Laugh A LOT!!!

I rode around and around in circles this morning. I finally decided that I must have somehow told my GPS to take the scenic route. Finally, one of the girls that I was meeting down there called me on my cell phone.

"Do you see me?" she asked.

"DO you see ME?!?!" I replied.

And she did. All ended well.

I still get tickled just thinking about the whole thing, especially since someone was following ME, expecting ME to just lead them right on in...HA!

So, I headed on home, making nice time on the interstate.

Then I exited and that's when it happened.

For all of you who live in BIG places and travel BIG roads, my hat is off. And I would normally say "give me the back roads any day!"

But, today I was tired, and ready to see my family.

I was clipping along at a nice steady pace when I topped a small hill and saw, in the distance, the back road version of the BIG road traffic jam.


About 20 vehicles were puttering along behind what I have to assume was someones little gray-haired granny in her car she bought new in 1963 at the breakneck speed of about 45. No one could pass, everyone was stuck.

Suddenly those 6 lanes that had me shaking in my boots earlier seemed rather nice.

I, naturally, got irritated. I mean, come on!! I was REALLY ready to get home.

And He spoke to me...

"What's your hurry? Home is still there. Love is still waiting. Spend some time with Me."

Ah, my Best Friend. This I will gladly do!

Thank You today for reminding me what is really important, You. Thank You for giving me extra time today to bask in Your presence, to thank You for all You have brought me to and brought me through, and for giving me time at Your feet to rest and prepare for my next big adventure. Send on the lemons, Lord! I could use a good laugh....

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Finding Your Way Home

My husband came back in yesterday afternoon after a long week on the road, and we decided to go get a bite to eat.

I had seen an advertisement for a new restaurant in a town not too far from here and that is where we headed.

We had such a nice time, just getting out and riding and being together. The food was good, as was the atmosphere, so we really enjoyed ourselves.

We were riding along, listening to some music, talking when all of the sudden we heard this voice.

I looked at the radio then at my husband, and he did the same.

"SHARP LEFT!!" the voice exclaimed.

For someone who does not know me, let me say that I am directionally challenged, and since part of my job is to find people's houses, I ended up getting myself a GPS. Because I am silly beyond reason, I got the voice of Mr. T to "talk to me."

I had bought a nice little case for my GPS and had it all snug sitting on the floor board on the hump between the 2 front seats. That is where it has been for the past week, turned off, not charging, just waiting.

I looked up at my husband and said, "That sounds like Mr. T!"

So, I picked up the case, unzipped it, and sure enough, it was on. Somehow, on the smooth, straight ride home, the GPS had turned itself on, and was fervently trying to direct us.

At first I told my husband, maybe we need to go back and see what's down that road. But we kept going. It only took about another mile before we began to suspect he was leading us home.

As a human, my soul was directionally challenged. On my own I was wandering around, searching for that destination that my soul longed for, but I could not find it.

That is why I need the Word of God to be my map, and my Pastor to be my navigator. Sometimes when I am not even aware I will loose sight of my goal, and it takes my navigator to get me back on the right path, guiding me through the trials of life, pointing me toward my final stop in my journey.

I am thankful to You today. You could see the pitfalls along the path, the distractions along the way, and You prepared a way for me, and a man to lead me. Help me to hear Your voice, help me to listen and to be ever grateful for Your leading in my life, and for Your love. Where You lead me, I will follow!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Your Choice

Several years ago I was in a situation where someone I was very close to was constantly miserable.
And in response to that, anytime I was around that person, guess what?

I was miserable, too.

I hate miserable!!

Finally, in a fit of desperation, I confronted the person...

"If this is the way you want to live YOUR life, then, OK. It's your choice. But as for me, I choose Happiness."

Everyday, in every moment, our lives become the products of our choices, good or bad.

For instance...this extra fluffy state I am currently in is a product of my choice to over indulge in yummy stuff.

And because of that choice I could be facing poor health down the line, which could, in turn, affect the lives of those around me...

My children have grown up with some circumstances to overcome, one of those being a father who, for many years, did not attend church.

This has made for some interesting and often frustrating times around the homestead. And, sometimes I become flooded with bad attitudes and nasty spirits.

One of the things I have drilled into the heads of my children is that Happiness is a CHOICE!

Sure, we have had some rough times, we have had some times when I honestly didn't know how He was even going to fix things.

I remember one day in particular. My husband and I had a very unpleasant discussion about my decision to live for the Lord.

I dressed for work the next morning feeling sad and dejected, but hopeful all the same.

I told the Lord what was on my heart and I asked Him "Please, Jesus, put Your arms around me today. I need a hug from my Father!"

I was caring for a little old lady that was suffering from dementia. She was an "overflow" patient on the OB floor where I worked. She was confused most of the time, often mistaking me for someone else.

In her younger days she had been a Holiness Preacher. I spent much time with her because of her situation.

That morning in particular I was bustling around the room. She had been especially out of it, hardly making any sense at all. I was straightening her covers after turning her in the bed when she suddenly took my hand in a very strong grasp.

She looked at me through clear blue eyes and said, "You are on the Highway of Holiness. Don't let anyone or anything take you off of your path."

And then she was gone again, but I was found. My face lit with the joy of knowing He knows my name.

I have chosen my path, and although not always easy, I have also chosen to serve Him with Joy, to have thanksgiving in my heart. I have chosen to be happy, even in the turmoil, even when I can't seem to see tomorrow.

I choose Him, and with a super sized version of joy and happiness!

John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

So, you see, I have every reason to smile!!

Thank You for Your continued love and the favor You have placed on my life. Once again, You are better to me than I could ever deserve. How could I not live a life full of joy, when I live my life full of You?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Out On A Limb

When I was doing so much traveling while training for my job I listened to a lot of talk radio. I know, I know, but the CD player in the Suzuki doesn't work and so I just listened to my XM.

It was during all of that travel that I found Dave Ramsey. I listened, and I was convicted about my spending.

All of those things my poor husband had been saying for years sounded so much better coming from Dave and I came home with a revelation on how we could get out of debt.

Now, so you don't misunderstand, we are not up to our eyeballs in debt, but we are in debt, and with our combined salaries we should not be.

So, I went to my Edward Jones guy the other night to roll over my old 401K and mentioned Dave Ramsey. He pulled out "Financial Peace University" and asked me if I wanted to borrow it.

BOY, did I!!

I am going out on a limb here and letting everyone know that I am committed to becoming debt free. I will be looking forward to the day I can post *I'M DEBT FREE!!!!!*

God Bless!!!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Living in BUSY Town!!!!


Have you ever heard the phrase, "Running around like a chicken with its head cut off?"

That's ME!!

Be praying for my job! I NEED MEMBERS!!!

Continue to pray for my Dad. This has been an especially hard time for him and he continues to have some problems with his stomach. He really needs a touch from God.

Remember my family. The devil is still knocking, but prayer is keeping the door barred!!!

Love to you all!!