Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sunday morning saints... not!

I've now lived through my own generation of growing up, the generation of raising our own kids, and we are into the years of 'their kids'...

Here's something I know for sure.

Sunday mornings are not always filled with the sounds of saints, even in a christian home, maybe especially in a christian home!

We did not always look like this family...

I remember lots of bickering, snickering and downright ugly behaviour, and it wasn't always just the kids...

Satan hates Sunday mornings, I'm sure of it. 

He is out to defeat the mom and dad and family who head faithfully to God's house. Have you noticed it?? There we were, obeying what God's word teaches, raising our family to do the same, and rather than righteous and victorious living, chaos was often the scene.

We didn't always look like the storybook family headed to church. Sometimes when I was growing up, we were in churches where we were the guests, and my dad was the speaker for their service. It's bad enough to already have your nose out of joint, but worse when you are introduced as the preacher's family!

Really, it's the same today. When we obey God, satan gets his dukes up and starts to punch holes into the 'righteousness of the saints'... 

Even so... we keep at it, and the final victory, on Sunday mornings and every day belongs to God. When we do our part, he works it together for good. As to the storybook... we are not perfect people, neither are our children. All through the journey, God is teaching each one of us. 

What we learn is to 'get our dukes up' more quickly, and stand toe to toe with the Sunday morning or any morning temptations that satan will continue to bring our way.

Just like David with his slingshot...  as we put up our dukes, these battles begin to change, and so do we.

Monday, March 31, 2014

More about plaid...

Do you have a favorite style? If you had the choice to start your home decor all over again today, would you choose what you did in the beginning?

Remember that my color for this year is plaid, which will help you understand my style explanation.

I love to watch HGTV and see the remodeling they do so beautifully. I would love to have the 2 brothers or Candace come and spend a month in our house!

I would need 2 different homes to cover my styles, maybe even 3. I would need a contemporary home (like Restoration Hardware), a Ralph Lauren style home, and a log cabin, with some traditional thrown in! Instead, I try to do what I like the best in each of those styles.

I have already begun to change things in this house. We have lived here for more than 20 years, and it's all beginning to look different than it did when we bought it.

We began with a southwest theme in the downstairs den and kitchen. We had a border of wallpaper at the top, and area rug and pillows with definite southwest twist.

I am OVER southwest...

We had a new roof put on last year, and painting inside and out, so I took advantage of the good help and added stripping the border off and painting the whole downstairs. Everything is neutral. I have added touches of color in pillows, but the area rug is a fuzzy and cozy cream color, and the walls are shades of cream and darker. All the kitchen appliances have been changed from white to stainless, except the refrig. It stays white until it dies, then it will be stainless too.

I think plaid was a good choice for my color this year. It extends to music... I love everything from the old sacred hymns to some of my favorite worship songs.

Even clothes... although I am mostly a denim girl, I do love a twist of something extra to make the denim special, fitted shirts or short denim jackets, always a tank or 2, and lots of color... all colors, except ox-blood and rose... they don't work for me. Peach and apricot fit my skin & hair better.

Plaid has lots of room for all of it. I like that.

Plaid also extends to friends. There are so many different kinds of friends, as many varieties as what God has created. I have friends who are completely different than I am, and some who are a lot like me. I am thankful for each one.

I think God understands plaid... it's the way he made his children. When he created us, he included such a variety... personality, color, size, a big mix of everything... plaid.

You might read this blog today and think it is full of lots of random thoughts... plaid.

See... it's a good word, and I think I'll stick with it.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A soapbox moment...

Please be sure to read the update at the end...

I don't usually voice an opinion here about issues, however...

I have to say I was shocked today when I read that World Vision is now changing their policies and hiring gay married couples.

"World Vision Announces Gay Christians In Same-Sex Marriages Are Eligible To Work At Christian Charity".

The article goes on to say:

"Stearns (president) hopes to inspire Christian unity by changing the employment policy to be more inclusive of gay Christians. He told Christianity Today that the decision was "symbolic not of compromise but of [Christian] unity."

When I was growing up in Pasadena, California, one of our dear friends was Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision. Our familes were friends. My sister and I worked in their headquarters building downtown when we were teenagers.

World Vision is dear to my heart.  

There are standards and commands that God has clearly given to us. When an organization is as solid as I have always felt this one is, it makes me want to raise my hand and say... how is this okay?

It feels like the things that we stand for and stand on, based on God's Word, are being watered down and compromised all around us, and that we as Christians are the oddballs. Do you get that feeling sometimes?

Gay marriage isn't about whether or not God loves us all... He DOES... but he also has set standards for marriage that are clear, and if we as believers begin to change those boundaries, we are in essence telling the world that what God has declared may not be quite the way we think it should be, so we will give in a little and show our tolerance by lowering his design for marriage to what we are being inundated with in our society...

compromise. 

I would really love your comments on this. It is a disturbing trend that we seem to be seeing all over the place. 

They call it compassion, etc.... 

What has happened to "God hath said"... ??




** an update this afternoon*...

"World Vision Reverses Decision To Hire Christians in Same-Sex Marriages"


Letter: 'We failed to be consistent with World Vision U.S.’s commitment to the traditional understanding of Biblical marriage and our own Statement of Faith'.

Wow! That is a direct answer to prayer!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Nothing...


That's what I have this Monday morning... nothing!

I am fine, not depressed, not upset or concerned... not full of words either.

So, have a great week, every one of you. I will be back when the words are flowing again, could be later today! :)

In the meantime, I am so thankful for all of my blogging buddies, you bless my life day after day.

The one thing I DO know this morning... God loves me, and His faithfulness endures forever!


Sunday, March 16, 2014

New every morning, or every other morning...

If I had written a blog last week, it would have been titled...

Worn out

I was in central Texas helping our son and his family move into their new home. Oh please Lord... may we never have to move again!

It is so consuming, and exhausting, and they also have a 1 year old and a 2 year old in the big middle of it all!

Maybe because he has been a pastor in a small town, people have given them a LOT of stuff! A big part of this move was 'the culling of the stuff'... 

I came home not knowing I was tired. But then it hit...

I know that His mercies are new every morning, but as we get into these years that are not 'spring chicken', those 'new mercies' seem to kick in about every other morning. Where we used to cure everything with a good night's sleep, now it seems to take 2, or more. 

The mercies  of God are there every morning, but it takes a day or 2 longer to realize them!

It is such a good feeling to be organized. That's what they are aiming for in this move. Every bin is labeled and stacked in part of the garage, the rest of it is... gone! Sometimes the biggest mess of all is the process of organization. Everything has to be pulled out and viewed, then a decision made, keep it or get rid of it.

So much like our lives. 

We've all seen times in our lives when God is chiseling, and wants us to get rid of some of the 'stuff' that clutters our hearts. When we stop hanging on to some of that mess, our load is lighter and our hearts are freed.

It always shocks me to see how much 'stuff' accumulates, in my life and in my home. 

When my mind and heart are clear and clean, my home and my life seem to function with better order too.

Any big loud 'amen's' out there??






Friday, March 7, 2014

Reflecting...

There are times when I am reminded to just be still and reflect on what God has brought me to, and through. 

I listened to this song by Damaris Carbaugh and The Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir last night, and again this morning. I can't listen to the words without tears... tears that remind my own heart of the faithfulness of God, all through the years. Take a minute and listen, it will bless you, I promise!





In my moments of fear
Through every pain, every tear
There's a God who's been faithful to me
When my strength was all gone
When my heart had no song
Still in love He's proved faithful to me
Every word He's promised is true
What I thought was impossible
I've seen my God do
He's been faithful 
Faithful to me.

He's been faithful to me, faithful to me
Looking back His love and mercy I see
Though in my heart I have questioned
Even failed to believe
Yet He's been faithful, faithful to me

When my heart looked away
The many times I could not pray
Still my God was faithful to me
The days I spent so selfishly
Reaching out for what pleased me
Even then God was faithful to me
Every time I come back to Him
He is waiting with open arms
and I see once again...

He's been faithful to me...



Thursday, February 20, 2014

Faith for the ride...

Remember this photo? It was all over the internet a couple of years ago. 

If there isn't a sermon in this little guy at the top of the hill, then I am blind! I've kept this in my file since it struck a chord. 

Sometimes faith feels like this. 

I mean the kind of faith that is required when the answers to our prayers are out of our hands.

We all have them, circumstances in our lives that require just trusting God, nothing else can 'fix' it. 
We don't really know what the ride holds, we just get on that board and go...

The logical part of me knows that God will not let me down, He never has, He never will.

But that other part... the one that does not see how on earth what is ahead can work... that's the part this picture brings to mind.

I wish I could say that my faith hops on board every time, and just rides... knowing full well that I am safe.

There are many times when I have to learn, again, that I am completely safe when I trust God.

... "I will never leave you or forsake you".

... "Trust in the Lord with all your heart..."


... "Underneath are the everlasting arms"...


... "Fear not..."


..."Don't worry about anything, instead trust God for everything..."


And there are so many more. Promises that never change. Promises that cover all of it...

finances
marriage
children
parents
jobs
the future
health

The view from where this boy is standing is probably exciting to him. He will have a thrill on his ride down, and splash into the water with great delight.

The view, for me, is completely different. I see a wheel falling off, a rock on the way down, or losing my focus and flying off the path, maybe even a man eating shark when I hit the water!

Faith in God makes the ride possible, and much
more.

Faith is risking all the possibilities and perils ahead based on the sure promises of God, promises to be there through the whole ride and lead us through it to the very place He has in mind.

Each time we take a new ride of faith, we understand more fully the faithfulness of God. 

I wish this picture had a second one, showing the boy laughing out loud as his feet hit the water. 

That's the kind of faith I want.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Cabin fever...

I've got it... cabin fever!

We have had some sort of snow, ice or drizzle for what seems like a long time. No, that isn't my house, and what we have had isn't anything like that, still...

I am getting antsy...

I know those of you in the northeast smile at us and understand that we are weather wimps. But in Texas, when snow or ice is in the forecast, the whole population heads to the grocery store and stocks up on everything comfort and cold weather related, as we batten down the hatches.

I've scrubbed counter tops, organized, even cleaned in the corners all over the place. I've also dug a little deeper into God's Word, and seen some special new truths, just meant for me to see.

There is a lesson in everything...

Many times my spirit has gotten 'antsy'...

Instead of pausing, I've dashed out of the house and filled my days with everything other than what I probably needed the most. I know God has provided times in my life to just stop and hush.

Maybe God sends snow and ice to make us be still and know that He is God...

I am always the one who wins when I spend extra time listening to what He is saying... always! So
I am thankful for these few days.

Even so, as soon as the weather breaks and the sun returns... 

I will be 'out of the building'.


Monday, February 3, 2014

Write it down!...


My dad always told us:

"The palest ink is better than the best memory"

Maybe it's an old Chinese proverb, but it's one of those pieces of wisdom that I am reminded of every time I DON'T write it down.

Just today... I had an appointment, I thought, at 11:30. When I got there, the lot was empty and the building was locked. I quickly made a call and discovered that I had the wrong week! Did I write it down?? Nope.

How many times have I gone to the grocery store, and without a list of specifics, I come home without the most important item that lead me there in the first place!

Do you do that??

This is not a very important blog entry... except when it is! It only matters when I did NOT write something down and whatever it was is not on the list where it needs to be.

Is it simply part of the process of getting older, or is it the pace of the world we are living in, one that keeps our minds full and cluttered, and needing a good old pen and paper.

I am into lists these days, even when I leave them sitting on my desk after I've left the house to go and do those things...

The only thing I DON'T need a list for is to find my car after I leave the store and think it's on the right, but it isn't there... for THAT I have my key alarm, which beeps when I get within close range of where the car really is... on the left. 

I am not going to tell you how many times I've used that beeper!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Obedience curve...

What does the curve of your obedience look like? How quickly do you listen and OBEY God?

Here's how fast Abraham obeyed God. 

One day God told him to take his beloved son, Isaac, and travel to a place he commanded. The instruction was to place Isaac on the altar, and offer him as a sacrifice.

THE NEXT MORNING... 

Abraham headed out with Isaac. Not only  was it an impossible request for a father, but his obedience was immediate.

No wonder God loved Abraham.

Do you drag your feet when God has asked you to do something that is costly, something we know He wants us to do? It's easy to postpone or even ignore that still small voice sometimes.

Abraham did not drag his feet.

I have always been a little in awe of Abraham. Was he a perfect man? No... his life had been riddled with sin, just like ours. 

Why Abraham??

Because... Abraham TRUSTED GOD. 

When God put him to the ultimate test, Abraham didn't hesitate. His faith in God prompted him to obey, immediately.

Does the lesson in this speak to you? It does to me.

The choice to obey God is ours.


And what's more... God desires the same obedience from us as he did from Abraham. 

This Genesis passage is a big one, and as I read it today, the message is clear. I don't want to miss anything God has for me because I am slow to obey. I'm 'upping' the curve of my obedience.