Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Right Under Your Nose

Last July I set off with my parents to take some of their stuff to Louisiana. We had the biggest U-Haul trailer we could get and loaded it down.

My Dad was losing his eye sight before his death. But, he never quit wanting to take care of his family.

So, when it was decided I would go with them he told me that he would "help me drive." He was worried about me because he knew that I had never pulled a trailer before.

We loaded up early one Saturday morning and my Dad was going to drive "until he got too tired."

Before we were halfway to the next town, which is about 20 miles away, I was in a panic.

Dad was driving about 35 mph. He was weaving in the other lane.

And I was desperately texting everyone I knew would pray.

It wasn't long before Dad said, "You know, I think I'm going to let you drive when we get to Willacoochee."

I carelessly said, "Ok." I didn't want him to know how alarmed I was, and how relieved I was.

But I was certainly shouting in my head.

I had brought along some snacks for me in case I got sleepy, some Combos and some kind of chewy candy. I had a book on my iPod and I stuck one headphone in my ear.

After a quick stop for a biscuit we headed west.

Mom and Dad both dozed off and on. Dad would wake up occasionally and we would chit-chat and eat Combos. Mom was pretty quiet in the back seat with the dogs.

We cruised on.

I faced my first obstacle when getting gas. And I passed with no problem.

We cruised on.

About 4pm I looked at my parents. They were both quiet.

And then I looked at the clock again.

4 O'CLOCK!!!!!!!

I glanced at Dad again and then looked in the mirror at Mom.

"Um, you guys want to stop and get something to eat?"

I got a resounding, in unison, YES!

And I was completely horrified!!!

How, on earth, had I managed to forget to feed my parents?? I mean, I know they had been sleeping most of the time, and I know we had a few little snacks (Mom always brought something to snack on and Dad and I had pretty much killed the Combos), but, my parents needed FOOD! They were starving, right under my nose!!

I navigated the next exit, pulled into McDonald's and ran inside to fill their order.

I felt so bad. It was just such a peaceful ride. I was having a nice time, enjoying them, feeling helpful and needed, yet I had neglected such a basic need.

My parents needed to be fed.

And I had looked at them, talked with them, laughed with them, and never noticed their hunger.

I was thinking about them, thinking about this trip and how much I would give to have one more opportunity. I would pay more attention, make sure I was more watchful. If I had the chance to take that trip again, they would have never felt the slightest hunger pang.

And in thinking about them, I thought about those around me every day of my life.

What am I missing?

Is there a hunger in someone that I have failed to see?

Am I cruising along life's highway with someone who is starving for something that I could provide for them?

Lord, open my eyes to see those around me who are in need, who are hungry for something, for You, and are waiting, hoping silently that I will recognize that hunger and provide what they need so they will never hunger again. Let me see what is right under my nose.

And thank You, THANK You, for the precious, sweet memories You have given me, for the love that I feel, even now when they are gone from me. You really are my closest Friend.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

8 Seconds

I am not a sports fan.

At all.

But I would watch Rodeo if I had to.

I don't know why it has always fascinated me except that I have always secretly wanted a horse since I was a little girl.

When we were bored as children and said to our Mom, "I'm BORED!" she would always respond, "Read the encyclopedias."

So we did.

I learned exactly how to ride a horse by reading the encyclopedia on the subject over and over.

When the time came for me to actually ride a horse, I was able to mount right up. The guy who owned the horse couldn't believe it.

But, man, I had been studying the subject for years.

I was especially enthralled with Bull Riding.

How nuts do you have to be to willingly climb on the back of an enormous, angry animal with huge horns whose name is something like "Switchblade" just to see if you can hang on by one hand for 8 seconds.

Just sitting here typing this 8 seconds doesn't seem like very long at all. But if I were on the back of "Switchblade" while he bucked and thrashed and jumped and twisted I'm pretty sure 2 seconds would seem like FOREVER!

Yea, and I am pretty sure you can tell where I am going with this one...

Isn't it obvious?

I know I am not the only one who has had times in my life where I felt like I was holding on by one hand to my hope, my dreams, my sanity, while what seemed like an enormous problem was doing its best to "throw me off."

And it seems like when you are in the middle of a trial there may be times when it seems it will never end, even though in reality, when in comparison with the rest of your life, that trial that is consuming you at the moment doesn't really have that much meaning, doesn't take up that much of your time.

Yet, there you are, holding on for dear life.

And sometimes, you get thrown off into the dirt of life, and that problem threatens to stomp you into powder.

That happens to the best of us.

When it happens to you, the key is to GET UP! Don't just lay there! You are guaranteeing that whatever is trying to beat you will succeed.

What happens when you are too wounded to get up on your own?

You surround yourself always with people who will cover you in times like that, cover you in prayer, fight the bull of a problem for you, until you are in safety once again.

I want to encourage you today to HOLD ON! It may seem like this ride is going to last forever, but if you can ENDURE to the end, you will get something much better than a championship buckle.

You will get a crown of gold....

To lay at His feet.

HOLD ON!! What seems like forever may only last 8 seconds....

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Running Away

My hunny & I will be taking a much needed break from reality at the end of this week. I am ever so excited about having some time away from life and all of its ups and downs.

Here of late I have thought more than once about just driving off and disappearing for a few days. I think I am in need of some "alone" time.

There are so many things in my mind that I need to just be able to think my way through. And I am desiring some time with my Friend, to get re-acquainted with Him after my recent heartaches have left my vessel a little cracked.

Bro. Jonathan Alvear preached an awesome message when we were there just before Mom died. When I think of that broken vessel that the Bible talks about, I have always picture it as busted into pieces.

But he said sometimes our vessels are just cracked. We go to church, we get refilled, and because that crack is there in our vessels all that we are filled with leaks out of that crack until we are empty again.

So, if that's me, Lord, I'm in need of some time on the Potter's Wheel.

And I am hoping that I get that staring out at the beautiful scenery this weekend.

I may be running away from my reality, but I am running into His arms....and that's the only place I long to be!!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

To Every Thing There Is.....

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 To Every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down , and a time to build up; A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; A time to get and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; A time to love and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

To EVERY thing there is a season.

To EVERY thing there is a purpose.


Such a precious commodity.....

So taken for granted.

In all of our life there is a pattern....

He gives....

He takes away.....

We have.....

We lose.....

And during that time when we lose....we weep....we mourn....

And we wake up to a new day and begin the cycle all over again.

To EVERY thing there IS a season, and a time to EVERY purpose under the heaven.


Because everything HAS a purpose. The good things, the bad things. The time of being born, the time of dying, the time of planting, and the time of harvest.

There is a time to kill things in our lives....and there is a time when we need to heal and be allowed to heal.

There is a time when we have to break down walls and strongholds and there is a time when we need to build things up inside up, build up ourselves.

There is a time when we weep pain filled cleansing tears....and there is a time when the memories that once caused us pain can be remembered fondly, can be laughed over.

There is a time when we will mourn...and there is also a time when we shed our proverbial mourning clothes and dance in His presence again.

There is a time to hold on....

There is a time to let go.

To EVERY thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.

What we need to decide in ourselves is that every season has a purpose...for us.

Ecclesiastes 3:14-15 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever; nothing can be put to it, nor anything taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him. That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.

In other words, He has it all under control.

Every season, Every purpose, He knows.

Every tear, Every laugh, He knows.

Ecclesiastes 3:10-12 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it. He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

There are seasons when we feel lost, when we are just plodding through. My Pastor told me during an especially difficult time once that "There are seasons when you just survive."

But even through those times when we don't know how we can continue on, He knows.

In the deepest of despair He has a plan; a plan to make everything HIS time.

And He knows how it is all going to turn out for us....He knows the end of our story, even if we don't.

Knowing that He had everything under control should be cause enough for us to rejoice....

In EVERY thing.....

In EVERY purpose......


Within us should always be that good times and in bad times....

Because He knows.

Phillipians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always: and gain I say, Rejoice.

Paul spoke of trials, of thorns, and of joy...

Phillipians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

How did he learn that contentment???

Phillipians 4:8 Finally, brethern, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, THINK ON THESE THINGS.

There it is....

Think on those good things....

The proverbial **Positive Attitude**?


Is that such a bad thing?

When we have our minds on the unholy things of this world, we lose that joy, that nearness, that peace of God, and our hearts are unguarded.

What we need to remember is that even in our present circumstances God has given us everything we need to be victorious, to live above our circumstances, to be triumphant.

Through Him we have to power to do all that He has for us to do.

When was the last time YOU tapped into that power??

When was the last time YOU looked beyond your present circumstances and looked at EVERY thing??

Because when you take the time to look at every thing, you see His hand.

In EVERY season....

In EVERY purpose.....

He knows....