Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Wednesday Worship~You Are A Masterpiece!

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

No matter what your age, this song from Steven Curtis Chapman is such a sweet reminder that you are God's masterpiece. I pray that you are feeling the love today!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Monday Meditation~Do You Know What You Are?

"For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)

Did you get that, my friend?

YOU are God's workmanship!!

Other translations say God's

Bask in that for a moment.

It's Truth.

And not only that, but He created you to do something special for Him. And you don't have to do it on your own. He prepared in advance to equip you for that work!!

I pray that you let those words fall over you today like your favorite cozy blanket.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Lizardly Lessons

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave your nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

Yep. This is going to be about lizards.                                                      

And let me just say that I know that the verse above was not written about lizards, but I applied it. Smile.

I must confess. This post was supposed to have been written long ago. God gave me the message and I just never got around to tapping it out.

And so He had to impress it upon me a little more intimately...up close and personal. Smile again.

In our last house, we had this lizard...I think it was a blue-tailed skink, in our garage. It took great delight, I feel sure, in sneaking up on me and totally scaring the bejeebies out of me.

So I was reminded often that there was an unwritten post about "Lurking Lizards" and the fears that skulk around in our lives.

Didn't get it done.

God felt the need to whisper a little louder.

So now we've moved on to a different house. I've not seen lizards in my garage yet. However, this was my surprise on Tuesday.

In case it's hard for you to figure out just what's going on in that photo, that's my dog (17 year old, deaf and almost blind) Cocoa sunning in her bed at the back door in my kitchen.

With her lizard friend. (Of which she was totally unaware.)

Holding my 6 month old granddaughter in my arms, I shrieked to my 12 year old daughter, "Help! There's a lizard in here!! You've got to get it out!!!"

She was not feeling that.

So I had to become the brave, responsible adult and conquer the foe! I wish I had it on video. We could probably have become a YouTube sensation!

After claiming Deuteronomy 31:6, I managed, hilariously, to get our little reptilian friend out to continue the sunbath on our back porch.

So what's my take-away? What are the lizardly lessons?

Here's what I've come up with.
  • There's always something lurking, causing fear, even threatening to undo us.
  • We can become paralyzed and ineffective when we give in to the fear.
  • More often than not, those fears are way bigger than than the subject of the fear. (Think tiny skink.)
  • The very thing we're afraid of is often not viable. (In Beth Moore's Patriarchs Bible study, she uses the acronym for fear as False Evidence Appearing Real. That is often the case. Not always, but often.)
  • We might surprise ourselves if we face our fear and act upon it. Get the lizard out of the house!
  • Ask God to equip be our shield and strengthen our resolve.
  • God understands our fear. In fact, He addresses it over and over in Scripture. I've heard it said that His urging us to "not fear" or "not be afraid" is written 365 for each day of the year.
  • We need to seek His reassurance, His promises to us, and trust in Him.
A great place to start is Psalm 121, which says,
"I lift up my eyes to the hills-
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip-
He who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, He who watches over Israel
will neither slumber or sleep.
The LORD watches over you-
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
The LORD will keep you from all harm-
He will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore."

The Maker of heaven and earth watches over us and cares about everything that concerns us. And oh, how He loves us. May we be faithful in trusting Him.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wednesday Worship~Never Alone

"...the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."
Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

You are never alone.

God is always there.

It's His promise.

And God doesn't lie.

No matter what your matter what ties bind matter what you've done.

Even if it feels that He's silent.

And invisible.

He's there.

You are never alone.

I'm praying for you to tangibly feel His presence today.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday Meditation~Hope

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 NIV    

Are you in need of hope today?

For healing? For help? For direction? For affirmation?

Do you need a strong dose of hope for the salvation of a loved one?

For a relationship that seems to be failing?

For love?

Whatever your hopelessness is for today, there is One who sees and is the source of hope-full-ness.

Yes, may He "fill you with all joy and peace," to the point of overflowing with HOPE in His power.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Quicksand or His Sand

“How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand.” Psalm 139: 17-18 (NIV)

Do you ever get consumed by what people think of you?

Or what you think they think of you?

I’ve got to admit. I can easily fall into the quicksand of insecurity and worry that engulfs as a result of that very thing.

As a preacher’s daughter and former preacher’s wife, I have anguished over people’s opinions of me, my family, my home, and basically every aspect of my life. Now, because I worry about what you will conclude from that statement…noting  I’m a former preacher’s wife, I feel the need to verify that I’m still married to him (although at times ministry threatened to do us in), but he now is in an executive role in denominational ministry. And not because he was unsuccessful…or did anything wrong as a pastor. It’s because God gifted him enormously for that job!

See, what you think…what I think you might think…can do a number on me.

I love an illustration that my husband used to share from the pulpit on this subject.

When in a heart to heart with his precious grandmother regarding his concern over what someone might think about a certain situation, his Mama Butler, told him, “Sunshine (That’s what she called my hubby.), when you’re young, all you care about is what people think about you. And you get married and have kids and you’re too busy to care about what people think of you. You hit middle age and you don’t care about what people think about you anymore. But then you get old and realize that nobody was thinking about you in the first place.”

Whenever I take a stroll down by that quicksand, I often think of the words of Mama Butler.

And more importantly, I think of the fact that whether or not someone is thinking of me…whether or not it is good or bad or indifferent, that the only One who matters is thinking about me, sees me through the blood of Christ, and loves me unfailingly. And the key verse above is testimony to that! Imagine that! God’s thoughts of us “outnumber the grains of sand.” (I was at the beach when I wrote this. That’s a lot of thinkin’!)

In my quiet time one morning, reading from Beth Moore’s devotional book, Praying God’s Word Day by Day, she said, “No matter what time of night you roll over in bed, you will catch God in the middle of a thought about you.” Don’t you just love that?

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Worship~Come Thou Fount

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
 Your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
Your justice like the great deep.
O LORD, You preserve both man and beast.
How priceless is Your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men
find refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
They feast on the abundance of Your house;
You give them drink from Your river of delights.
For with You is the fountain of life;
in Your light we see light.
Psalm 36:5-9 (NIV)
Overwhelmed by His love, overflowing with gratitude.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Monday and Wednesday on Friday

Hopefully the old adage applies....Better late than never. So here's Monday Meditation and Wednesday Worship all rolled up into a post on Friday! I pray it blesses your heart.

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you...." 1 Peter 1:3-4 (NIV)

Pots and pans.

Not just any pots and pans. My Nana's pots and pans.

I inherited them.

This week I had the privilege of using them for the first time. I'm a pretty good cook, but I think our dinners taste even better being cooked in those pots. Nana broke them in really well. She was surely one of the best cooks around! And I feel as though I have her help in my kitchen now.

As I stirred something yummy in one of those pots, I thought about inheritances.

Those pots are among my precious treasures because they represent family and times shared around the table. The aroma of noodles and green beans and fried chicken. A house echoing with laughter and overflowing with love as we celebrated Thanksgiving or Christmas...or just the joy of eating Nana's cooking on any occasion.

As I pondered inheritances, my mind was drawn to the greatest inheritance of all, that of Jesus Christ and the promise of eternity with Him.

I have that as a result of a precious heritage of lovers of God's Word and followers of the Lord. Because my grandparents and my parents shared that love with me and demonstrated how to walk with the Lord, I join them in enjoying Him as my inheritance. Forever.

Ever since that day, this song has been playing in my head. Yes, we are rich. And blessed.

Father, how we thank You for calling us Your own. Oh how we love You.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Where's the Thanks?

"Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious Name." 1 Chronicles 29:13 (NIV)

Even though I was in a bit of a rush and it would have been so easy to ignore the car waiting to exit the parking lot, I didn't.

I even backed up in heavy traffic to let him in.

I smiled, watching for his sign of thanks.


No smile in the rearview window. No words mouthing "Thank you." No wave.


Out loud, I said, "Uh...where's the thanks?"

But before my dismay at his lack of appreciation took over, I felt a sudden smashing of my own toes.  Ugh. How often do I forget to say thanks? For little things? For big things? To strangers who "let me in" in heavy traffic...or ahead of them in the grocery line? To my parents who can never be thanked enough for all the ways they've supported me...financially, physically, emotionally, spiritually? To my husband for being the most amazing mate ever? To my daughters for making me so proud? To my friends for being who they are?

And most importantly, to God? It brought tears to my eyes to consider all He does for me, gives to me, and the way He loves me...unfailingly. And yet I often go on my way without a word of thanks.

He is so faithful.

I want to be faithful in giving Him thanks.

I love the verse above that says, "NOW, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious Name."

Do you need to thank Him for something? NOW is a great time!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Wednesday Worship~All My Fountains

"As they make music they will sing, 'All my fountains are in You.'" Psalm 87:7 (NIV)

I'm praying that as you worship Him today that His fountains of living water will wash over you and flood your soul to overflowing.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Meditation~Fountains of Living Water

"But whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:14 (NIV)

Living Water.

Today I have a new perspective.

I guess when I've considered the words before, it has been within the context of the passage above where Jesus talks with a Samaritan woman.

I've been content to view the "spring" of living water solely as that which wells up to eternal life...which is within itself awe-inspiring...unfathomable, really. But still, a concept that is settled within my scope of faith.

But today a broader meaning bubbles within my soul...a burst of joy in a fresh revelation erupts in my heart...a newfound cistern of strength and hope washes over every ounce of my being.

Today I'm embracing the passage in Psalm 87:7 that declares, "All my fountains are in You."

All my fountains.

Yes, the personal spring of salvation, but also the living water that fills me...that is all I need...that helps me live...and that flows over into the life of those around me.That fountain is the ultimate source of love, strength, and of hope. From within that flood comes the essence of the fruit of the Spirit that dwells within us and springs forth in the forms of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22-23)

All my fountains. My salvation. My yesterdays, todays, and all my tomorrows. Every good thing that trickles, sprays, gushes, or pours from my life is a result of the Fountain that fills my soul.

Now, you've probably "gotten" this all along. I feel a bit foolish that this insight is fresh for me today. How did I miss it??? I do love that no matter how old I get (and that will increase this week!) God continues to teach me and grow me into the woman He wants me to be.

I'm praying for all your fountains to be filled in Him today!