Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Where Have I Been????

Well, in case there is ANYONE out there wondering what has happened to me, my Internet has been down. But, we had a healing service at the house tonight and are back up and running.

I have been really preoccupied with life lately, so fixing it faster didn't land high on my priority list. I did call the provider last night and after 20 minutes with an automated woman that I was hoarse from trying to communicate with, she hung up on me!!! I was incredulous!!

So, I took some NyQuil for my hacking cough (which may be why she couldn't understand me) and I went to bed.

My life has been a little Topsy turvey lately. Nothing too unusual for me, just my regular life on speed, I guess.

I have made some right turns on my walk, but, I have also made some WRONG turns. If God were like my GPS, He would be yelling "Turn Around When Possible!!"

Sometimes when I am cruising along I take a different path than my GPS tells me to and it has to reconfigure my route. Yea, that happens in my walk with God, too. He may be telling me to stay the course I am on, and I THINK I know a shortcut. For a while He will still be trying to get me on the path that HE wants me to take, but after a while He reconfigures. But ALWAYS my choice of paths leads to detours through troubles and heartaches. And sometimes the bumps on the road can even cause me to break down.

My daughter and I were driving along one day listening to a CD when we heard this scary voice. We thought it was in the CD, so I started the song over and we turned it up. Sure enough, we heard it again.

Well, I was having none of that!! I started rebuking the devil! "If you're in this car, you might as well get out, devil, cause I'm not putting up with you!!"

Things got quiet again as we rode a little further.

Suddenly, there it was AGAIN!! My daughter grabbed my arm in terror, when it hit me...

It was the *Crocodile Hunter* saying "RIGHT TURN AHEAD!"

Somehow my GPS had turned itself on, even though I had not used it in weeks!

And you know, sometimes we quit listening to the Lord when He is trying to direct us. We get so accustomed to tuning out His voice instead of tuning in that we don't even recognize Him when He speaks.

But, I know the direction to take on the rocky road of my life....

DOWN...

On My Knees!!

That's where He can speak to me, where I can hear Him, where I find MYSELF again and again and again.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Long Black Limousine

It is important to point out that I live in the rural south. So, when riding down the road on a Thursday afternoon, I would not expect to encounter a limo.

But, I did. Cruising along at warp speed was a stretch limo with dark windows that encourage intrigue. Who would need a limo in the middle of nowhere?

I often get bored driving all alone and this leads to some distracting speculation at times. For instance, during my periods of road rage I will *talk* to the people that are putting a halt to my progress. NOW I am not talking to them as you might suppose, but I ask them questions like...

"You have no where to go, do you? You are just riding aimlessly with no destination in mind."

"You have a bunch of tickets, don't you? And if you get pulled over one more time you are loosing your license, right?"

"You saw me coming so you decided to see how fun it would be to go 10 miles under the speed limit knowing I couldn't pass you, huh?"

"You are an escaped convict trying not to get caught by the law, aren't you?"

So, here I am, riding along, minding my own business when I encounter a limousine. My brain kicks in, wonder WHO was in there. Could it be a movie star, a politician, Bill Gates??

I know there are people who would LOVE to afford that kind of lifestyle. That would be the ultimate for them, cruising the miles of farmland in a long, black, limousine, turning heads everywhere they go.

I speculated a while, just to pass the time. What would it be like to have someone drive me around to do my job? I could just kick back, drinking Sprite Zero, looking over the information for my next stop. Needing to take an office out to lunch? No Problemo! I could load them all up. Talk about impressive!

But, you know, that just doesn't do it for me. Perhaps I could have had fame as I wished to when I was young. But that long, black, limousine would be awfully lonely to ride in by myself.

And what would be the true cost to get to that point? What is the real cost of fame and riches?

I began to think of Elisha, standing by as Elijah was taken away in a chariot of fire. Elisha knew where the true riches lay. When given a choice he asked for a double portion of the spirit of Elijah.

I will probably spend the rest of my days on the outside of a limousine, but that is ok. I have found something far better. Like Elisha, I know what I want, what I need to be rich.

I want a double portion of my Man of God. I want to live my life in such a way that God can use ME instead of me using others for my own gain, because isn't that what is important.

I am longing for the day He calls me home, the day I travel to meet Him. What a day that will be!! It won't matter on that day what kind of car I owned, or how much money I had in the bank. The only thing that will matter is did I serve Him well.

That is my desire above riches and fame, Him, only Him.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Rocking A Dead Baby

We had revival services this past Sunday with Brother Darrell Bennett, who is also known as the "Wild Man" ( I can't imagine WHY... :o> ). What awesome services. God moved in a mighty, mighty way. He preached the message Sunday morning "If You Can't Help Me, Don't Hurt Me."

Sunday night he preached from 2 Kings Chapter 4 concerning the Shunammite woman.

8 One day Elisha went to Shunem. And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. 9 She said to her husband, "I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let's make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay there whenever he comes to us."

11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, "Call the Shunammite." So he called her, and she stood before him. 13 Elisha said to him, "Tell her, 'You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you? Can we speak on your behalf to the king or the commander of the army?' "
She replied, "I have a home among my own people."

14 "What can be done for her?" Elisha asked.
Gehazi said, "Well, she has no son and her husband is old."

15 Then Elisha said, "Call her." So he called her, and she stood in the doorway. 16 "About this time next year," Elisha said, "you will hold a son in your arms."
"No, my lord," she objected. "Don't mislead your servant, O man of God!"

17 But the woman became pregnant, and the next year about that same time she gave birth to a son, just as Elisha had told her.

18 The child grew, and one day he went out to his father, who was with the reapers. 19 "My head! My head!" he said to his father.
His father told a servant, "Carry him to his mother." 20 After the servant had lifted him up and carried him to his mother, the boy sat on her lap until noon, and then he died. 21 She went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, then shut the door and went out.

22 She called her husband and said, "Please send me one of the servants and a donkey so I can go to the man of God quickly and return."

23 "Why go to him today?" he asked. "It's not the New Moon or the Sabbath."
"It's all right," she said.

24 She saddled the donkey and said to her servant, "Lead on; don't slow down for me unless I tell you." 25 So she set out and came to the man of God at Mount Carmel.
When he saw her in the distance, the man of God said to his servant Gehazi, "Look! There's the Shunammite! 26 Run to meet her and ask her, 'Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is your child all right?' "
"Everything is all right," she said.

I have loved that story as long as I can remember, but he brought out something so incredible. Noticed in verse 20 that they carried the child in and laid him in his mother's arms and she held him there until he died. Then she laid him in the chamber she had prepared for the prophet.

She held him as long as breath was in his body, but when he died in her arms, that promise that she had held so dear, she put him down. She "Refused to Rock a Dead Baby."

How many times in my own life have I sat and rocked something dead, refusing to give it over to my Master, the One who could take care of the problem?

She didn't even wait for someone to saddle the donkey for her, she wanted it brought to her and she headed out to find the man of God who had told her of the promise of a child.

There is a promised revival waiting for us, revival for our churches, for our families, for our lives. But first we have to lay down those dead things we have been carrying around before the stench gets into our very souls.

Is that what others smell when they are around us? There is no covering it up, no hiding it. When you are holding a dead thing it gets down inside of you where no soap can wash it off.

Oh, but there is a place of cleansing, a place to lay aside those dead things, if there is a place prepared in your life for Him to come. That is why it is so important to prepare a place for Him before our promises die, before we experience hurt and heartache.

I am so thankful for the message, so thankful that I could lay that dead baby I had been carrying around for far to long at the place prepared for my Master.

What about you? Are you rocking something that has long ago died? Are you wondering why you cannot be effective and reach the lost, not knowing that the world can smell the stench of that dead thing on you? The time has come to let it go. Let go of the pain, the bitterness, the hurt, rid yourself of that dead thing before it seeps into your skin too deep and rots your heart.

Thank you, Brother Bennett! I am excitedly anticipating your return next Sunday!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Love Remembered

Sometimes it happens with time. Love grows cold and the relationship that once meant so much to you gets placed on the back burner of life and suddenly you wake up and the flame has gone out that kept the love going, leaving only embers of what was once so consuming.

What a sad place to find yourself in. Suddenly alone with nothing left but the memories of what was once so wonderful, so powerful, so real.

And I think what is the hardest part of all as you find yourself surrounded by the emptiness of forgotten love is when you begin to remember.

You remember that first time you saw them, the way you felt deep inside when your eyes met. You remember those first awkward conversations and the first time you finally went on a date.

Once again you walk through the events of those early days, and the years that have followed. You can remember the laughter, the tears you shared together, the warmth, the promise.

And you can reach a place, without knowing exactly what happened when you know all is gone from those sweet days, and you have no idea how to go back.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends.

Love NEVER ends.

I know so many marriages end in divorce and that saddens me to the depth of my soul. I have cautioned my children to be sure when they marry they are in the Will of God because I think that is the most important factor.

It has been many years since I walked down the isle and met the man I had planned to spend the rest of my life with. And there have been times during the years that the flame has burned down and life has taken over. But I STILL plan on spending the rest of my life with him.

There have been times in my walk with God that I have felt cold. And I remember the days when the fire of Truth burned bright within me. It is those times I find myself at the altar falling in love all over again.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Love NEVER ends. Remember that.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Friday, March 6, 2009

Wounded

As many know, my son was injured just before Christmas. It was a very difficult time for us as a family.

While he was still in the hospital we talked about why this had happened to him, beyond the obvious reason of carelessness.

He made the comment that maybe God was trying to get his attention.

Our whole lives were consumed by the injuries he had sustained. For weeks I had to help him get dressed. He could barely move and when he did he had to use a walker.

When he was finally able to return to school he did so in a wheelchair that we had to load at the house and unload at the school. Then we had to be there to pick him up everyday.

We had to rearrange our schedules, plan our time away from home around medication and nausea. He lost 20 pounds bringing him to around 140 so I was constantly trying to think of something he could eat without getting sick.

During the night for the first week or so home I woke up during the night to check on him, give him pain medicine or something for nausea. Then we we finally got him halfway settled he had surgery.

We had to arrange home schooling which was another adventure. I could go on and on.

Thankfully, even though he is still in a boot for several more weeks he is doing so much better. He is driving again and even working a little.

Through all of it there was a change in him. He pushed through to God. His hunger has grown. He is working harder to win souls.

My Pastor talked about apple trees in a message one time. He said that apple trees tend to focus energy on growing taller which causes less energy to be focused on producing fruit.

The way to correct this is to take an axe and wound the tree in the side until sap runs out. The tree then focuses its energy on the wound and not on getting taller. And it's during this time of healing that the tree begins to produce more fruit.

Have you ever been wounded? I know I have. Even as I am writing this I am recovering from wounds.

I don't want to be found somewhere, curled up in the fetal position feeling sorry for myself. I want to focus on being productive during this time of healing. I want to be fruitful.

Everywhere around there are walking wounded, the person beside you on the pew, the checker at the grocery store, maybe even you. What an example we could be if we let our time of healing be a time of great worship, a time of praise, and a time to reach the lost.

And let it be the a time to reach out to the one who was "wounded for our transgression, he was bruised for our iniquities." (Isaiah 53:5)

He bore it all so that we could bear it till He comes again, till we reach that city where there will be no sorrow, no tears, no pain, no more wounds.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

From Existing to Prospering

Many years ago while I was in college we were associated with a furniture store. My husband was taking a payment one day from a lady who was always faithful about paying. Her daughter happened to be with her on one particular day and she was bemoaning the fact that she did not have nice things like her mother did.

Her mother had the answer for this dilemma, "Well, Baby, just have a few more kids and you can."

WHAT?!?!?!

I could not believe it when my husband came home and told me. I could not fathom that kind of advise for my own children.

I have noted, over the years that there are people that are content with just existing. They go through life, barely making it, struggling all the time, relying on others to help them get by.

Now, please don't misunderstand me, I am by no means talking about someone who is doing the best that they can in their circumstance, not at all.

I am talking about those who never even get close to the best they can be, those that make no effort to reach higher. It is not a money issue, it is a laying down at night in your bed and feeling good about your day, about your contribution to humanity, about the example you are being to those around you, to your family.

Back when my children were small we struggled. There were times when we survived on potato sandwiches and cracker burgers.

I decided to go back to school to get my nursing degree. It was hard, very hard. At times my husband and I both had more than one job just trying to make it through. And make it we did.

My parents never told me I could not do something. They instilled in me that drive that lead me to believe in myself and my abilities. And because of that I never doubted that I would make it, that I would get as far as I have. I have never been content with just getting by. I want to be the best that I can be at whatever I undertake.

The same goes with my walk with God. I am not content to sit on a pew, just exist in the church. I want to push myself to new places, reach new heights in my relationship with Him.

I don't want to be another body draining the life out of the church, there to get what I can get, I want to GIVE!!

I want to be used, I want to win souls, I want to be somebody to the One who is my everything!!

Anybody can be a nobody! I want to be a vessel of honor!!!

I want to have a faith rich with testimony, a life with an overabundance of His glory!

I don't want to just exist, I want to prosper!!!!