stretch.a.little

“Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.”/Exodus 23:30

This is one of those scripture that when things in life are slow moving, it comes to my mind.  I thought it read … Little by little I would possess the land.  But that is not correct.  Read it again, because I have been known to misquote it.  However, I think I probably relate more to the real text. 

The Lord has to drive out the enemy … While I work on gaining my strength.  There are little things we can and must do to work our physical and spiritual muscles, while we leave the enemy in the hands of Jesus Christ, where he belongs.  We can – start small, stretch some each day, keep moving, take care of our physical and spiritual wellness, and rest when needed. 

Christ is not only able to drive the enemy away, since His battle on the Cross, victory is a sure thing!  

We may have battles that we face, but Jesus wins.  We can stretch our muscles … And He will start clearing out a place for us, and we gain access to possess land.  It’s a win – win!  It may take a little while, but that’s okay.  As long as I know who is fighting with me and for me!

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Jesus.has.come

Christmas this year was quite different. Because of my recent surgery, I didn’t get any shopping done, except to buy one gift. I didn’t send cards, take photos, or really eat a ton of goodies like most years. My sisters put up a small tree for us, because we just didn’t have the time. I’m not trying to sound gloomy, it just is the current situation for now.

So we haven’t hurried around to see gifts, eat meals, or visit friends and family. We have been home. Quietly enjoying hot cocoa, new blankets, cozy socks and watching movies. Friends and family played all the Santa this year, brought all the gifts, and delivered them along with some great meals … And I so enjoyed the company.

But I was again reminded, and have always known, Christmas is about family, friends, and love. Yes, love. At this time of year we think about people we love, and we want to be near them.

That’s the Spirit of Christmas. Jesus Christ coming to earth because he was thinking about the ones that He loved … And He wanted to draw near us. Emmanuel-He is with us. #hisbirth #prophecyfulfilled #whatabirthdayparty

dress.the.part

Ecclesiastes. 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”

God created you beautiful!

Despite what your voices in your head tell you

He gets the final say.

God created you beautiful.

You may be a work in progress

But “in its time”, you will see

God created you beautiful.

So don’t be afraid

To dress the part

God created you beautiful.

Let the world see

The beautiful person God created

From the inside out!

When.life.just.makes.sense

Every day there are little nuggets that I don’t want to forget. So I was reading Proverbs 4, yes, I was in a hurry … to begin with. But before I tell you about Prov. 4, I will give a little story …

I have greatly hesitated many times to write the story about 2014 for me, mainly because I get a little overwhelmed by people asking lots of questions, and I also want to protect my family. I and my siblings try to protect my younger nieces and nephews and my mom from being affected by some things, they have enough to deal with. I only ask that reading this you keep that in mind. My mom’s health is not well and she faces so much on her own. And I have avoided throwing my family into a place where they are bombarded with questions that we do not have all the answers too. But I feel drawn to write this so that maybe something I say will help somebody.

So briefly, I was diagnosed with DCIS breast cancer this year, and in the real short version of the story – I am now facing yet another surgery; because of other issues this year, this will be my 4th surgery since April. Yes – it’s grueling and scary. It is a “complicated” situation according to doctors (trust me, Rock Hill and Charlotte surgeons have both been on the case with us – and they are aware our faith is in Jesus Christ to give them direction as well ). We have rode a physical and emotional roller coaster this year; my family has turned into prayer warriors, nurses, doctors, encouragers, taxi drivers, all wrapped up in one, and sometimes we get a little crazy acting – it is because we are tired! We have laughed, groaned, prayed, cried – hysterically, and experienced things that cannot be mentioned – well maybe some day 🙂 – we all know I can’t keep a secret. I will have to tell you about how one of my surgeries was postponed a few hours because of a squirrel (true story). We have moments where we have laughed so hard we cried, and moments where we just cried. And other times we have just looked like a deer in headlights with all the information we have been given. I have dear friends who have prayed, cried and done the same!! I have close people who just call to say “you are going to make it, because God brought me through it”. Some have fed me, listened to me, brought gift blankets and shawls, and just came and sat with me at my home all day just because I was bored and couldn’t leave the house.

But I know, it’s depressing! Right! But it is not that way – all day and every day. For the most part we still work and live life as normal as possible. So this past Sunday my pastor started out his sermon with… “Why are you crying?” And my immediate thought was “I have no idea, AND, it’s really beginning to get on my nerves!!!” Crying does have its purpose – a cleansing of the soul, so to speak. But have you ever noticed that we do stop crying – we do continue on with life – we do make the hard decisions that we face – and bottom line – we do trust that Jesus Christ has “sat down” (there’s Hebrews 12 again) at the right hand of Our Father God (Romans 8:34) interceding for us. So why all the crying? It is because we are afraid, and rightly so being human.

So yesterday I faced another day of decision – and that is normal to my situation, but the whole situation has made absolutely no sense to me all year, but the doctors made a recommendation, another “toughy”. I knew what I needed to do but I was looking for something, some heavenly sign – to help me along. And in this mornings reading Prov. 4: 11-12 in the CEV version it stated “I have shown you the way that makes sense; I have guided you along the right path. Your road won’t be blocked, and you won’t stumble when you run.”

Having Faith and trusting God’s word is tough, and takes a lot of guts, and there are times I fall short. And I could be wrong… but after I read that – I didn’t hear a thundering voice from heaven or flashing sign dropping down from the sky … it clearly stated that he has shown the way that makes sense. I often look for the ‘wow’ factor, or the supernatural – and I love those moments. But for today – I am going to lean hard on His Word in Prov. 4 – when life just makes ‘sense’. Sometimes the answers are neon signs, sometimes they are prayerful good common sense. 👍

the.cloud

So I admit I am not a great scholar from seminary.  I would love to be.  That was always one of those lofty dreams of mine that sounds a lot more interesting when I dream about it, than when I actually think about all the hard work that goes into years of studying with all the grueling tests and the financial burdens.   However, I do love studying the Bible and trying to figure out just what God was talking about when he inspired men to write all those words. So unlike other books that you can read one time and then have no desire to read it again, the bible is not like that.  Every time I open it, I realize something I hadn’t noticed before.  My point … I kept thinking about this scripture this morning, I didn’t even open the bible, it was just in my mind and on my heart … Hebrews 12:1-2 “Run the race marked out for us”.  I referred to it recently pointing to the fact that life is a race, and running the race of life is not a particular bad thing. It shows movement, energy, courage, strength, and life.  Movement shows LIFE!   But today, it jumped out to me in a different way.

Notice “We are surrounded by such a great cloud … ”  Okay, so I am sure that this is not what the writers of the Bible were thinking, but humor me a little.  God knew when he scripted this passage, that all these years later I would read it a little differently.  So I couldn’t help but think of today’s technology and  “The cloud”.  If you are familiar with technology, you know we all have some extra storage space in cyberspace, where we can store large files – that is called the cloud.  A cloud is not a disk or a computer, or an SD card, or a jump drive that we can use to carry our files around with us.  A cloud is somewhere “out there” that we can log onto any computer, sign in with our name, and ‘boom’ – we have access to all of our information in the cloud.  But here’s the point.  The writers were referring to the cloud, as witnesses of the faith, from years gone by, that are cheering us on in our journey.  And we need people cheering us on every day.  It would be so nice if we could carry our friends and family around in our pockets to our work, or to our school or to our college…or to our doctor, to encourage us along.  Even though we can’t do this all the time, (I admit I do it as much as possible) … we do carry our family, friends, and yes Christian brothers and sisters of the faith around in our hearts and on our minds.  And we can access their warmth, their love, and their prayers … wherever we are, and whenever we need them.  Their prayers and support matter!  Yes – people do matter.  You matter to someone dearly, and someone dear – matters to you!  The point: Jesus Christ ties us to the family and provides us access to a great cloud. Without Him and other faithful voices in the cloud – all we would ever hear is a whole lot of rain and thunder.  P.S. come to think of it, maybe that’s what thunder is  … the cloud of witnesses stomping their feet on the bleachers of heaven because they already know ‘our team is winning’!!! 🙂

Hebrews 12:1-2  (NIV) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Life is a great distraction

I am quickly learning that living life is a great distraction.
Being busy is very beneficial.
Working a job every day is exactly what I want to do.
Going to church on Sunday, yes even twice sometimes, is a choice I wouldn’t have any other way.
Calling friends at the last minute for lunch adds excitement to my day.
Bugging other friends who won’t return my phone call … just makes them more interesting.
Chasing friends down in the mall just to shop, isn’t a hassle at all.
Having lunch or dinner with family is increasingly important and moving right to the top of my list.
Even paying the bills can be a drudgery, but it still brings to light the fact that – there is life.
So sometimes I just have to chase life down.
To enjoy my life, I am learning to…run for your life.
Run from worry, anxiety, confusion, complacency, apathy, and fear.
Run towards faith, peace, love, laughter, comfort, grace, and hope.
I am learning that being busy is not necessarily a bad thing.
Let me work, and let me play
Let me live life every day
Living life is a great distraction
Let me be distracted by life
It sure beats the alternative. 😃
#john10:10 #hebrews12:1 #2corinthians9:24