Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Walk in the Word

Wow! I just looked at the date of my last post, and I cannot believe it has been since last January! The year has just flown!
Well, here we are again at Christmastime, and I was just bemoaning the fact that I was not acheiving my goals, and just generally frustrated with my walk with Christ, because I had once again lost sight of him in this busy time of year. Thankfully, though, I had been voicing my frustration with myself to the Holy Spirit, and faithful as always, he began to reveal why. So here I am, ajusting my spiritual attitudes AGAIN. How easy it is for me to loose my vision. I wonder if God ever gets as frustrated with me as I do with myself and consequently with others?
There is so much going on in my head right now, I hardly know where to begin.
I guess I will start where I am, which is usually better than trying to go backward, because that involves stories that would just take me off point, and go where I am going, but in a round about way that is neither pretty or comfortable. For me, anyway. You might enjoy reading it, but I wouldn't enjoy revealing the darkness that is still in my heart after 43 years of following Christ.

At any rate, suffice it to say that I was struggling with the people around me just not "getting it". Now if you wonder what I mean by that statement, you may not struggle like me. In fact, you may not "get it". Not to insult your intelligence or your spirit, and truth be told, I think it is more my problem than anything. I am prideful and arrogant, and really, just plain sinful. And I am the one who really doesn't "get it" most of the time. That is what the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me.

You see, I have been frustrated with my family during this season. It started even before we began to put up the decorations. Every year it is the same thing: We start something as simple as putting up the tree (did I just say it was simple to put up a tree???) and it always ends with someone mad at someone else and feelings hurt and mom crying. After all, I just want to do a family thing for a couple of hours without all the fussing and selfishness. But it happened again this year and I cried, AGAIN. I used to love Christmas. But after 38 years of living with Scrooge and his minions, and the selfish little beasts who God has chosen to use to reveal my desperate need for him (because of my own selfishness) through (ie: children...5 of them! I must really be worse off than I had orginally thought), I no longer look forward to putting up the decorations. It is now a chore that I do, not that I enjoy. But I digress.

Anyway, they roll their eyes when I say, "hey! lets read Christmas devotions!" or "lets watch a Christmas movie" or, "you want to bake cookies with me?" well, not so much the cookies, cause they know they will get to eat some. But you get the picture. Anything that involves "Christmassy stuff", they act like they are going to the dentist.

I was just feeling so justly self-righteous, and wondering why they didn't "get it."
I mean, its our Saviours Birth for heaven's sake!!! Why wouldn't you want to savor every moment??? Why wouldn't you want to devote yourself fully to this time of year when heaven and nature sings of the glory of God in the Highest? Why I as you? Why?

So I got all up on my high horse, thinking: "I am the only one who gets it. Why don't they care? Why don't they love you like I do?" And all the while praying that they would "see what I see" and that they would love him like I do, while getting angrier and angrier, and wondering why my prayers seem to fall on deaf ears.

DUH!! So I asked God: "Why won't you just show up and fix them? They are driving me crazy!!! Especially my husband!! So I turn on the radio in the car (which I NEVER do) and here was this guy from Walk in the Word ministries talking TO ME! sounded like the voice of God, really.

He said, "what is the difficult circumstance that God is using to bring you to a place of humility before him? God orders the circumstance of your life to put you in a position to see how desperately you need him." Could it really be that simple? So I went to their website, and here is what I found:

The Benefits of Waiting

"I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord." - Psalms 40:1–3

The longer I live, the more I come to understand that life doesn't have a lot of green lights. There are hardly any times where God is like, "Do you want that? Have it right now. Why didn't you ask sooner?" More often God is like, "I'd like you to wait."

"No! I want it right now!"

God is like, "Listen! You might think you want it now, but I'm going to give it to you when you're fit to receive it. I'm going to use the process of waiting to shape you into the woman or the man that I want you to be. Getting it now wouldn't advance My purposes for you. I want you to wait."

Waiting is not an easy thing. Waiting is not passivity. Waiting on God is not the absence of efforts. Waiting is "I've done everything I know how to do but it's not enough and now I am waiting on God to do for me what I could not do for myself."

That is such an important lesson to learn. Let me tell you about some of the benefits that you get when you wait on God. Here are five verses that spell them out.

According to Psalm 40:1 when we wait on God, He hears our prayers: "I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me and heard my cry."
According to Isaiah 64:4 when we wait on God, He acts on our behalf: "Nor has the eye seen a God like You who acts on behalf of those who wait for Him." That's what God is fired up about. He works for the people who wait. I wonder how many things we don't get because we're out there working for it ourselves beyond what we should and God's like, "Would you just stop that? I act on behalf of the people who wait for Me."
Psalm 25:3 says that when we wait on God, He keeps us from shame: "Indeed none of those who wait for You O God will be ashamed."
Isaiah 40:31 says that He gives strength to those who wait: "Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength."
Psalm 37:34 tells us that those who wait for God are exalted: "Wait for the Lord and He will exalt you."
Bottom line; God always makes it worth our while to wait for Him!

So I will rejoice in this season! I will wait patiently and know that their walk is their walk and I will not try to pull them along. I will pray for God to do it in his time, and that I live long enough to see it! I will pray, God do for them what you have done for me, or something better that is beyond beyond of what I could ever imagine. And my joy will be in him and in my journey with him, without expectations on the others in my life to join my journey. For it is my journey. They have to have their own. Does that sound selfish? Hmmmm....maybe I better rethink that.....

My expectation is in him, exceedingly, abundantly, above all we could ever ask or even him glory forever and ever, because he is all that I could ever hope for and certainly more than I deserve. And it is Jesus who brings me joy in this journey. Amen!

Friday, January 8, 2010

12 Days of Christmas day 12

In our homes we have finally arrived at the 12th day of Christmas! It is still early here, and very cool for South Florida, so sitting in the garden is out of the question! My blood is too thin for that! So as I sit here thinking on Him, and how gracious he has been to me, I thank God for the opportunity I have been given to experience his love first hand, and to share his love with you.

Do you know that many people never experience his love? Actually they do experience it, but they don't realize it, nor do they even acknowledge him. I was talking with a young friend about this yesterday, and she asked me a great question: "if God is so loving and is here and involved with my life, why did he allow me to be molested when I was 5?" Wow. I am sure many people have the same type questions. I know I myself was molested 3 times by three people that I trusted, and yet, I never wondered about God's love until I was having panic attacks in my late 20's. It was at that time I began to wonder not just about God's love, but even about his very existance.

I got to the end of myself, and was as low as I could personally go. And I will never forget that day. I was so distraught and really didn't know which end was up. I wanted to believe what I had been taught, but my experiences were such that my heart and spirit were left so hurt because of my perspective on what I was going through that I just couldn't trust anything anymore. So in my desperation, I went out on my patio and cried bitterly. I didn't understand why God would allow me to walk through such a dark time and seemingly abandon me. So I looked up and said,
"God, I am not sure of anything anymore. I am not sure you even exist. But if you do, I need you to show me because if you don't, I am just going to give up."

God did show up. In a miraculous way. Instantly, it was as if I was wrapped up in his wings. I literally felt his 'feathers' around me. I smelled him, too. Like freshness after a rain. The sensation was like nothing I can adequately describe and it has never happened to me since. But I haven't needed it to. I now know that it was his Spirit that manifested himself and wrapped his arms around me. I don't know how long it lasted. I was long enough for me. I looked up again and said, "ok, now I know you exist. Where do we go from here?"

So here we are, more than 2o years later, and I can tell you why I had to go through all that. And I will.

In fact, since the 12 Days are over, God has shown me what this blog needs to be used for. It is to address those 'difficult' subjects by looking at what God's word has to say and looking to those who are wiser than I for the answers. I know I am settled in my faith, but it took many years for me to feel this way. And God is still showing me insights that help me to see things from his perspective, not only from my little tunnel vision world.

So, if you have a question, send it in. I cannot tell you for sure that I will be able to answer it, but we will explore it together and hopefully try to see it from God's perspective.

I will tell you this, I know that God has NEVER abandoned me. He was with me throughout every moment, even when I was being molested. He never left me, and was my strength and comfort. He promised, "I will never leave you nor forsake you and no one can pull you out of my hand". So I know he was always there, always holding me, protecting me. But that doesn't mean that bad things won't happen. But more on that tomorrow.

Visit for more on our 12th Night Feast!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

12 Days of Christmas Day 12

Well, here we are at the 11th Day of Christmas. Linda and I are still on day 10 because of a couple of emergencies and difficult days that didn't afford us the opportunity to do it with our children, so we just postponed our celebration by a couple of days.
For those of you who will be finished, we are so thankful that you took the journey with us and it is our sincere hope and prayer that you entered this new year by dedicating your year to Christ, and that it is a year full of him in fresh, new ways.
Bless those who walked this new journey these past few days. Thank you for their dedication to you and to their families. We are so thankful for all you have done for us, and all you have blessed us with. We praise you for every spiritual blessing that you have bestowed upon us. May we give ourselves to you moment by moment, and may we be so content in you. May we desire you above all things and as we act on that desire, may we be so filled up with you that it spills out on everyone around us. Thank you for our families and may we have such love for you that they want to love you like that too.
In Jesus Name, Amen
Please keep checking back as we will be posting often, and please let us know what God did in you and your family during and after the 12 days. Linda and I will post for the next couple of days, and especially after our 12th night feast, so join us for that. Also, we will post pictures and/or video on the website.
By the way, I didn't post a scripture for today. As I said previously, we are reading Luke in our family Bible reading, and today we read Luke 1. We talked about Zechariah and Elizabeth, and how the Holy Spirit was with John even before he was born. I never realized how much work the Holy Spirit did BEFORE Christ came. I knew he was responsible for alot after Christ's ascention, but I did not realize what came directly before. In fact, he was responsible for Mary concieving Jesus. WOW! He sure has alot of power! More than I give him credit for. Linda has been reading a book about the Holy Spirit By R A Torrey and has been telling me some of the things he says, and I am amazed and almost embarassed about how little I know. So one of my goals is to learn who he is and his ways this year. I am so thankful for a friend who challenges me spiritually and helps spurn me on to growth.
Check out for pictures, videos and even some new stories for the 12 Days of Christmas this year! We are so thankful for you!!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

12 Days of Christmas day 9

Well, we got a day behind. Linda and I both had a weekend filled with difficulties, two birthday parties, (one HUGE one for our dear friend Liz, for her 40th birthday....Happy Birthday sweetheart, hope you were surprised and it was happy!) and complicated family relations, (pray for Linda and her family) so we got a day behind. Now we could just skip it, or read two days in one, but we figured that we wrote the book, and there is no 'hard and fast rule' for when to finish, so we decided that it would be ok just to forge ahead and be a day behind. So for all of you that are up to date, we appologize, but we also give you permission to take a day off if you need to. In fact, right here and right now, we want to give you permission to take as long as you need to complete the 12 Days of Christmas! In fact, if you take until Valentines Day, that's ok with us. Just get something out of it that you can take into this year. That is our hope and prayer: That God would use this to help you to dedicate yourself to him afresh this year, and you would carry that into all that you do this new year.

Our pastor spoke on that this morning. He was speaking on Luke, and ended with a story about Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. Our pastor was meeting with his son, and was telling him what a great influence Bill Bright had had on him, and what a great man he was. Bill's son told our pastor that his father had wanted to go to Hollywood and make millions, but God had different plans. God changed his life, and Bill says that there are 2 things that made him the man he was. The first was spending time with God daily. The second was to dedicate himself afresh every morning. He did it like this:

(Paraphrasing) Lord, I dedicate myself to you today.
Guard my eyes that I will not look at anything that would displease you today.
Guard my ears that I would not listen to anything that you would not want me to.
Guard my mouth that I would say only the things that you would say today.
Guard my hands and feet that I would do and go to the places you want me to today.
Guard my heart that I do not let anything unworthy of you into it today.
Guard my home that I would represent you and not let anything harmful into it today.

Then our pastor finished up with Mary and Joseph. What an incredible responsibility they had to 'raise' the son of God. Imagine Mary's thought at that. I wouldn't want that responsibility! How many of us would feel like we could let Jesus come into our homes and stay with us? Could he watch what you watch? Could he read your books on the shelf? I won't go on because I am not the Holy Spirit in your life, and that is his job, but you get the picture. Suffice it to say that I felt convicted. And I am sure we all can think of some area that could use improvement. The point is, we have been entrusted with these precious children and they look to us for guidance. Let us be on our knees and guarding our lives, hearts and homes so we can be what he needs us to be for our families. And I just have to say that I am so thankful that his blood covers all my sins so even though I find that I am so unworthy, God looks at me through the blood of Jesus and my sin is washed away! Hallelujah!!!

We will be reading through the gospel of Luke this week so that is what I will be blogging about. So if you want a head start, read the first two chapters tonight or tomorrow. And let me know what God says to you. I know that if you read it expecting him to show up, he will!

Visit our website at it is never too late to learn what the 12 days of Christmas is all about!!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

First, I want to wish everyone a Happy, Christ-filled New Year.
Today is Day 7 of the 12 Days of Christmas, but my blog today will not be about that.
Last night I went to bed with my heart hurthin. Hurting for my friend and her daughter who is giving them a run for their money. And for myself- because my family really hurt my feelings last night.

It was after midnight, and we were getting ready to go to bed, when I mentioned doing day 6 of the 12 Days. It had been a busy day, with everyone going every which way, and I had been so busy, that I had put it off all day. When I mentioned it, I was met with groans, rolling eyes and various other signals that let me know that everyone else was displeased with my idea. These whines were not because they were tired and wanted to go to bed, but they were because they wanted to go read, play on the computer or do something, ANYTHING else.

Now, this would not have been so bad, and perhaps at another time I would have not been so hurt. After all, I did co-write the book and they have heard it for at least 4 years, they know all the stories and answers. But what made it so bad was that I had been up till 3:30 am the night before getting my oldest sons homeschool records together to send in for his credits before the deadline of Dec. 31, and then got up early to finish, AND I had left a great party early to come home so I could fix our traditional New Years Eve fondue, and celebrate by playing games with the kids like I do every New Years Eve. So I was miffed. And more than just a little bit. I said,"ok, goodnight." And went up and cried and went to sleep.

This morning, when I got up, I was still hurt. I feel like I pour every ounce of energy into them and helping them to see Christ, yet sometimes I feel like I am talking to a brick wall! The world is sooooo attractive, and so easy. And it requires only the bare minimium. Yet it only sucks the life out of us, so we are unfulfilled and left wanting more. So we try to fill it up with more world, yet are left even more empty, and desiring more self-fufilling.

Now, I have to say at this point, that I have great kids. They love me and are not afraid to show it in public, by hugging, kissing, holding hands, and by mostly doing what they are asked. And I think they love God. They all say they do, and exhibit an early love for him. But they are kids. They want to get by with the bare minimium, and when I ask them to do something extra, especially when they are busy doing something else, its the rolling eyes and huffing. They do it, but they want to be doing what they want to do and not be interrupted.

This morning, as I was praying about this in my garden, God showed me my own heart, and how I sometimes treat him as my father, and let me tell you, it is the same way as my kids sometimes treat me. OUCH!

You see, until recently, I didn't really want to read his word and spend time with him. I would say I wanted to, and I certainly felt him calling me and loving me toward him, but I was resistant. But as I have fallen in love with him more and more, I want to spend every minute with him. But it wasn't always that way. I struggled greatly for many years with a consistant "quiet time". But I never would admit it because everyone around me seemed so perfect.

But even now, I still struggle. Not so much with the daily time, but with other things that take up "my time". Like going to church. Really. I struggle with that because it takes so much time and energy to get ready to go, then travel time, then about 75 minutes of church, most of it just sitting there with my hands idle, then driving home, or eating out, half the day is gone. And we don't really know anyone at church, so going there is just not attractive. I would rather just sit at home in my P.J.'s and watch it live on the internet while I sip my tea and crochet. I am always glad I went, but it is a struggle to get out the door.

And what about other ministry and service opportunities? Quite frankly, sometimes I resent the time it takes to serve. I want to serve who I want and when I want to do it. I don't want to go to a soup kitchen or to help in kids ministry. I would reather just give money. I don't want to to to India or Asia or even North Palm Beach just 10 minutes up the road. Its easier just to throw money at the problem than to get involved.

You see, time is the only thing that we have to give that is really ours and we won't ever get more of. And it is the only thing that I really have control of. I know I have to sleep and do some work, but even those things, we have some control of. But God wants it all. And he doesn't want me to roll my eyes or sigh when he gives me something 'extra' to do. After all, if I were doing it directly to him, it would be easy, right? I mean, if I knew that Jesus would be there, wouldn't I jump at the opportunity to serve him at a soup kitchen? Or minister to a group of kids in Sunday School? Or cook a meal for him?

I just thought of something...perhaps that was the difference in Mary and Martha. Mary wanted to just love him. Martha was so busy making preparations and being resentful that she forgot that it was a joy to have the priviledge to serve him. I forget that with my family sometimes.

So I am, with his gentle help, going to give my time more freely to him and do some of the ministry things that I have been putting off, or think that they take too much time. Like going to ladies Bible study on Tuesdays. And writing more. And other service opportunities as they arise. And I am going to forgive my kids and keep plugging away. After all, that is what God as my Father has done for me. He has not given up and neither will I. One day they will "get it".

Romans 12:1 taken from 'The Message' says:
So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
I also love the 3rd chapter of Colossians for more confirmation.

My brother-in-law and sister-in-law gave me a book with prints of beautiful flowers and scripture along side it. Todays scripture really fits (God works like that)and I wanted to share that with you too.
Ps. 71:14-16
As for me, I will always have hope.
I will praise you more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteousness
of your salvation all day long.
though I know not its measure.

I will come and proclaim your mighty acts,
O soverign Lord;
I will come and proclaim your righteousness,
Yours alone.

Since my youth, O God, You have taught me,
And to this day I declare your marvelous deeds.
Even when I am old and gray,
Do not forsake me, O God,
till I delare your power to the next generation,
your might to all who ar to come.

Enjoy your day! Visit and share the 12 days of Christmas with us!