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Monday, June 4, 2018


It’s been a while, a year or so, in fact since I last posted here.  Hello all!  There has been quite a bit of traffic here.  Google is sure busy watching, monitoring and analyzing!  Enough of technology.  Why haven’t I posted?  Well, life got in the way.  It happens to many of us.  You’ve heard about the slow boiling frog, right?  A man brings a frog in to the kitchen and places it in a pan of cool water.  Everything is good, right?  The frog is happy, jumping around.  At first, nothing is different than the environment and after a while, the frog is okay with that.  Slowly, the man turns on the dial from cold to warm, every 30 minutes or so, without the frog realizing it.  It slowly becomes lethargic.  Before it realizes anything, the frog is boiling.  In Matthew 7, Jesus talks to us in verse 15 about this concept in a slightly different way.   In the Kings James Version, it says that He spoke, Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves” [Matthew 7:15].  Hebrews tells us that the “Word of God is alive and active.  Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” [Hebrews 4:12 NIV]. The Bible doesn’t just apply to people wearing tunics, long hair and sandals 2,000 years ago.  This Book is the Living Word!  To this point, it’s not as though satan knocks on our door and says, ‘Pardon me.  I’m satan.  I’m going to take my satin red cape, red satin ears and plastic pitchfork and come in now and torment you and your family.  Here is a list of how each of you like to be tormented.’   Don’t we wish it were that easy?  

Satan comes in the form of our favorite TV series when cursing starts to appear or perhaps when you click on something on the internet and takes you down an addictive path that costs you your job, hours away from loved ones or several overdraft charges at your bank?  Years ago, technology promised to be wonderful, save us time, give us time with our loved ones?  Some of you may remember this and some won’t.  Well?  Today, technology monitors where we visit on web and then we get these “nudges”, suggesting games, clothes and millions (literally) of items that we can’t live without.  The great thing about these items is that they don’t cost much (or if we’ll just share our email with them, we’ll get a deep discount), just $2 here and there.  Sometimes, the enemy can come in the way of great news.  Let’s say that you learn you made your favorite team at school and you are so happy.  Your family and friends surround you with congratulatory hugs.  Your parents tell you that they love you and that to always remember that you are a Child of the Mighty God.  You proudly proclaim that you know all this and that your faith is strong, and nothing can persuade it otherwise.  The summer practices start for the first pre-season game and all goes well.  The other team members keep to themselves but that’s alright.  A few practices in and the fatigue and heat start to sink in and a few members of the team come over and offer some “caffeine” pills, just to “get you through practice.”  It’s caffeine, right?  And maybe they will like you better.  No harm.  Your parents drink coffee.  Fast forward to the first game.  You are popular, everyone likes you, the new you, peppier and outgoing.  Except now, you attend some of the parties and drink some and do other things.  Soon, you can’t go to class without alcohol, pills and then you’re kicked off the team for your grades.  Sadly, this happens.  So, how do we look out for these distractions?  How do we stay clothed in truth?  How do we keep our guard up?  We get in His Word, which is alive, a Living Word.   Isaiah, a prophet, also a book of the Bible, written 701BC (approximate) tells us that ‘All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children’ Isaiah 54:13 [ESV].  I Thessalonians was written by Paul around 51AD and in the 2nd Chapter, 13th verse [NIV], his letter says, ‘And we also thank God continually because, when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.’  In Hebrews 4:12 above, written around 70AD in which we’re told that the Bible is living and active.   In 2 Timothy, Paul write, ‘But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that all God’s people may be thoroughly equipped for every good work [2 Timothy 3:14-17].  Let’s look at what these verses about God’s Word say; Great shall be the peace [Isaiah-ESV] and the sword penetrates to divide soul and spirit [Hebrews].  

First, who doesn’t love peace?  How much do we spend on spa treatments, recliners, massagers, new mattresses, in search of permanent peace?  When we make God the Center of Our Lives and Meet with Him daily, Great will BE THE PEACE!  Not mediocre, not just a bit but GREAT!  That’s exciting!  And the Word, described as a double-edged sharp sword, penetrates to divide soul and spirit meaning that it’s going to discern what is needed and not in a murky, half-hearted way but cleanly.  What happens when you use a clean blade to cut a tomato?  Yuck.  A mess.  The Food Channel would not be interested in your tomatoes.  But when you use a serrated knife, well, now we’re talking cleanly sliced, no dull edges on those tomatoes.  Aren’t we blessed to have the Living Word?  Look at the dates above.  From 701BC to 51AD (752 years) to 70AD which is 771 years, we find references to God’s Word teaching us, granting us great peace and claiming that it is living and active.  Did Isaiah pull Paul’s writings up on the Internet?  Or did Paul go get the onion skin manuscripts by Isaiah?  Each one of these verses took place in a different historical setting and yes, they have different historical perspective, however, to think that three different authors wrote similar meanings about the Bible that would one day be the Best-Selling Book ever says something.  So, make an appointment with God, even if it’s 15 minutes, pick your favorite spot (mine was a oversized leather chair in my living room years back) and start reading.  It doesn’t matter where.  Just start.  

Leaning into Jesus!

Lisa


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

God knows.  Many times in my past, I've wondered if I was where I was supposed to be.  Was I in the right town, the right home, the right job?  Not constantly of course, because of my Faith in our Father.  But I would have these fleeting thoughts from time to time.  This caused anxiety, worry and ultimately caused needless wondering to occur.  Every single time, as many of you know as I'm not the only one that has been in this spot, it has turned us away from God.  Away from His Comfort.  Away from His Love.  Away from His Peace.  Away from Our Father.  Away from the Holy Spirit.  Away from Jesus.  As I type these loving Holy Words, I feel a warmth just feeling the Love of Christ.  You see, no matter where we are, it doesn't matter.  He knows.  He always knows.  We may think we took a wrong turn but He meets us where we are.  He can turn it around and make it right.  Once we repent and turn around and walk towards Him, He will make it right.  I've heard those say that "God left me."  God is standing right next to us the whole time.  He never leaves or forsakes us.  The verse in Deuteronomy 31:6 says, "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 you nor forsake you."   Many times people feel that way, that Our Father has abandoned us, but He is right beside us the entire way.  He is waiting with outstretched arms for us to reach out.  It is us that doesn't reach out to our God.  Our pride keeps us from calling out in times of need.  I think it is our need for control or our thoughts that say "I can handle this on my own" or "I've got this" that keeps us from leaning on Him.   Johnathan Ellison at Crosspointe Community Church in Tyler Texas speaks of sheep and donkeys when he says that we are God's sheep.  He says that sheep are to lay down and donkey can carry loads for miles.  God wants us to lay down our burdens which is why He calls us His Sheep and not His Donkey.  I thought that was so telling of His people.  So many times, we want to control situations when He is in control of everything and we just have to lean on Him for all of our needs.  In the Bible, Matthew 6:26-33, Jesus talks about worrying past today; "so why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.  Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown in the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?  Therefore do not worry, saying,'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' for after all these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things."   Put God first in all things.  Morning, Day, Evening, Night.  TV.  Gaming.  Always.  Not just Sundays.  (Yes, I was a Sunday time puncher)  God knows.  God knows that when you leave church, you turn into your old selves.  God knows that when you leave church, you continue to walk His walk 24/7 and witness to others and you are His Light!

Which one are you?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Obedience




Obedience.  This word keeps popping up.  Everywhere.  First it was my right foot.  Two years ago, and mind you, I may have mentioned this in a prior post and if I did, it’s okay, just hop on and you’ll catch up, I was showing my husband this cool move my trainer had showed me.  Now before you start thinking “Great, she has a personal trainer”…I don’t.   I did, for about two months.  And it was a love/hate relationship.  Probably the MOST love/hate relationship ever.  It was the most dreaded ten minute drive ever but when you had paid what I thought was exorbitant, which it was a great deal but still a lot to me, you want to make sure you get your hours’ worth.  Anyone want to say AMEN to that?   I really wanted some accountability about my exercises and I needed it.  And I did enjoy it when I finished working out.  Before, I was all over the place with the way I was exercising, the length of time and I was justifying everything I was doing and just feeling fine about it.  Anyway, I’m showing off the air thing where I jump in the air and then land on one knee, sort of.  There, you have the picture.  Well, did I mention that we have stained concrete?  Yes, we have rugs.  Not carpet that goes to wall but rugs.  And I landed on the concrete.  Concrete doesn’t give.  No bounce.  No rebound.  No space.  Nada.  Nyet.  None.  Get it?  Almost negative bounce, if there was such a thing.  So, did I tell you before this that I had plantar fasciitis?  And I traveled before and I would look through the SkyMall magazine just like y’all have and have looked at that word too and have looked at those blue thing-a-ma-bobs too and thought “those poor people who have to model those must really be embarrassed, not to mention the poor people who actually order those blue thing-a-ma-bobs and wraps them around and up and down and between your feet and heels with all the tabs.”  Well, I got it.  From all the years of walking, jogging, my arches fell.  How does this happen?  Seriously.  How do your arches know to fall?  Why does gravity need to occur?  Come to think of it, I don’t like gravity at all!!  That word is so harsh.  I’m a gentle person, loving…and at a time in my life where I want to smell the roses, I’m exercising up, up, up to keep gravity from grabbing everything and taking it down, down, down…and gravity is WINNING!!  What is up with that?  Before I get to obedience… Okay, so my right foot lands on the concrete and I hear it.  Pop!  Now ya did it!  I’m one of those people that when I do something, I do it good.  I don’t go halfway…just take it on home.  Well, I go back to the doctor and I tell him what I did and we schedule the surgery.  He is a great doctor and having worked at the surgery center, I knew of the surgery and was comfortable with it.  Small snip in the tendon, a bump for a while, good as new…wait, did I hear that right?  Six weeks off work?  What?  I didn’t hear that right.  Not me.  I’ve had over eleven surgeries and I didn’t have that much time in the bank at work.  Only four days.  I can do it because I just sit at my desk and go to meetings sometime.  Yes, I work in the basement and have stairs but no biggie…right?

Fast forward…here we sit, two years later…I went for my fourth steroid shot last week, in my right foot.  Hurts to type it.  Right to the bone.  I guess it’s a constant reminder of my DISobedience.  The bump is still there, although it has gone down.  If I overdo walking or jogging, I can hardly walk or put weight on that foot.  Then a few weeks go by and I’m hobbling into the doctor and it’s so inflamed, he has to give me a shot.  Bottom line, I should have been obedient.  That is but a small slice of an example of how disobedient I’ve been in my life when I’ve thought I KNOW BETTER.
How often do I think I know better only to be disappointed, more hurt, angry, wrong, and financially astray or chastened in some other way?  I’m learning pretty often.  I’m learning to sit and listen for direction instead of thinking I know better.  In the above example, I know I couldn’t have taken six weeks but could I have put off the surgery for a few more months or taken four weeks off?  Probably.   I could tell you other stories too and probably have in earlier posts and will in future posts but suffice to say the Holy Spirit has definitely been nudging me more and more regarding this O word.   I have been obedient about many things in my life.  But there are other control things that I should have handed over to God instead of tackling alone.  Why do we think we can do something better than our Maker?  Why would I ever think that?  As I hit 40 over a decade ago, that thought hit me one day…square in the face.  Who do I think I am?   And mind you, this could be something small…or big.  Doesn’t matter.  But in those moments when I truly hand it over to Him, Life is sure a lot easier and less stressful.  Yes, my foot wouldn’t hurt now if I would have been obedient than.  Yes, that situation would look different now if I would have been obedient than.  

Romans 1:5 NIV
Through him and for his name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith.

John 15:14 NIV
You are my friends if you do what I command.

2 John 1:6 NIV
And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

Lately, I have realized I am less of a fighter and more of one who loves.  We all have experiences who make us who we are right now, today the very moment you are reading this.  What is important is that we let go of the bitterness, forgive and do not judge.  What if Jesus were to come right now?  Are you winning by holding onto that? 
 
Luke 6:37 NIV
"Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”

Holding onto these things doesn’t make me feel better or resolve any situation.  It keeps me from Loving God and Love, simple.  That verse in Luke makes it very clear.  Now, I’ll tell you something.  I’ve read the Bible three times through, front to back (yes, even Numbers) and I finally got those simple concepts.  I know there is Hope for me.  (Smile)  So, back to obedience…to wrap this up, I pray that I’m more Obedient in every area in my life, in my marriage, at church and anywhere God leads me.   I hope that this brightens your day and provides encouragement and witness for our Savior Jesus Christ.

Share with another if it does!
Blessings!
Lisa

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Streams of Consciousness and Camping

Streams of Consciousness and Camping


Hello, dear friend,
We are camping for the first time as a couple.  Wow!  It's like a competition and I must say that my boyfriend keeps winning.  Being a Boy Scout definitely equipped you better for camping than a Girl Scout at least when I was young.  Probably today Girl Scouts are better equipped with the advancement of the womens movement.  He can make a rope do anything, literally.  He hung a Coleman lantern from it between two trees.  I know, most of you are laughing by now.  Me?  Bun-jee cords and clamps are my friends.  I didn't learn the knots that y'all men did or if them there Girl Scout rope patches were available, I missed those pages.  Did I say that I tended to overlook some things (obviously important at this very moment) but am very detailed in other areas, which seem not real important...like I’m pretty good at sewing which really isn’t helpful up here.  We all are gifted in areas though.  Remember in the Bible in I Corinthians when Paul talks about the body and how important each part is?  Like the ear couldn’t stand alone.   Yes, I know…you want to be the heart!   But in I Corinthians 12:22-24 (I’ve missed this part before), Paul writes:

22On the contrary, it is much truer that the members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary; 23and those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor, and our less presentable members become much more presentable, 24whereas our more presentable members have no need of it. But God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked,…

Isn’t that cool?   Yes, I’ve read the Bible beginning to end and have missed that part.  So, if you are a toe or a hair follicle, “God has bestowed more abundant honor” (I Corinthians 12:23).  Basically, no matter what we are doing to grow God’s Kingdom, our “home”, He honors us.  And isn’t that so true?  I know for me at least, when I’ve had a tough day, I can volunteer somewhere at church, as a toe or an eyelash and feel awesome afterwards.  It’s so uplifting, no matter where God put me.  Coming from a family where performing is the thing to do, I’ve had to work on this a lot.  So, I don’t know if you have a problem with this but God has humbled me quite a bit in this area.  And blessed me greatly through the valleys.

Back to camping, I think my boyfriend was at least a little surprised at how well I adapted.   We didn't go all primitive but
1)     There is no one around,
2)     No public restrooms/showers,
3)     No picnic tables,
4)     No grills,
5)     ...Nothing but a meadow and pine trees (Bella, our Rottie puppy, loves eating those pine cones until we called our vet when she was drooling too much and our car was soaked.  Ended up not being such a fun, good idea after all...lol.  This camping, um...
...that is primitive to me.  It is not primitive to my hubby because
1)     You can hear cars,
2)     We are too close to the road.  (we are really far from the road to me but I can appreciate how PRIMITIVE we are talking just watching this detailed gentle soul as he prepares camp for me.)  I feel so loved, taken care, like a rose in a garden,
3)     What is sort of scary is that...like, where has he camped before?  I don't want to know.
As I sit here in total quiet and peace, I think of God mostly and how the last 3-6 months have been and how much energy I put into negative "LIFE RED TAPE" I refer to it now where up here, it really takes a back seat to God's beauty.  That's what it's all about.
Ok...we have a tent and a screened in room where I'm sitting just because there are a lot of bugs out at the moment.  Look at the view.  And the sounds...a rushing river, eagles, hawks, winds rushing through the pines.  God's Majesty!  Kind of puts it in perspective.  So, as I was saying, 90% of me has been thinking of God, of my walk, how I've been doing as His Disciple.  Eek...there have been bumps that need forgiveness, repentance and for this trip, I'm so grateful to my husband.   No electricity, no Internet, no TV, nothing but nature and writing.  Although I can type much faster or else you'd get this in writing.  We're losing that art and fast.  It's hard for me to write.  I run out of steam pretty fast when I write.  My generation was the first to grow up with the first desktop PC.  Huge monstrous thing.  But I am laughing now thinking of the other 10% stream of consciousness...wait...you know you do that, friend, right?  We all do?  No, no, no, lol, I'm not referring to multiple personality disorder.  I don't like that word disorder.  It's judgmental to me.  We'll talk about that another time.  I'll explain but suffice to say many disorders are associated with brilliance.  Either in art or IQ or multi-tasking but today it's associated with "disability" and thought of negatively.   Okay, have you ever heard that extremely funny newer comedian, the one that loves bacon, you know the one.  I can't use the internet, but he gets total credit for this.  Oh, RIP Robin Williams...I have to say this...no, I'm not a doctor.  But, in my experience, depression causes the suicide, not the meds.  And no, no meds can cure it 100%.  I've never seen it cured 100%, so if you have, BLESS YOU!!  The only reason I insert this is because Robin Williams was sheer genius and I've seen so many comments from people who don't understand depression (which I'm really glad they don't...smile) saying "Why Robin?  Why leave?  You had everything?"  If you are depressed, pray, pray, pray...I have seen our Father remove Depression from people.  If you are still praying and have it, stay on whatever form of meds you are on, pharmaceutical or holistic.  It is when, only my opinion, folks switch up their dosage or try to get off it because they feel so good, is when those thoughts comes to the surface.  One question...WHY DO YOU THINK YOU WERE FEELING GOOD?  They were working.  But keep praying.  Depression is debilitating, hidden and many suffer in silence. 

Okay, the comedian I was giving credit to, the one who loves bacon.  He puts this part in his show where he talks about camping and says something like "Okay, for years and years, people all over the world have to live outside in nature and in America, where people have huge mortgages, homes and spends thousands on furniture and fill their pantry's to the gills, they spend more money on tents, pop-up's and cute camper stuff and then go outside and live and call it "VACATION".  WHY IS THAT??"  When I heard him on YouTube, I laughed so hard.  He's exactly right.  But the real message here is it is never enough for us.  Seriously, look at your house.  There was a time when you were happy with that and that over there and there, that dusty thing in your garage that you were going to exercise on and now it's something to hang things on. 

I know...I ramble but don't we all.  My better half just reminded me that some of us don’t.  I love him so!  He is my water, which I need and I’m his fire!  Okay.  Well, I do.  And sometimes that’s fun!  Anyway, we will have spent 3 days with no luxuries, no TV, no Internet and we have conversed, enjoyed nature, enjoyed Bella.  Sat on fold up chairs, cooked off a Coleman stove or buried sweet potato's under hot coals (mmm, mmm), had fresh grouper cooked over the campfire and have been peaceful.  
It's rained every day but it's been good, smelled great, we haven't melted.   We have lived simply.  And now, we have our first campfire together...thanks to my husband.   This reminds of I Peter, Chapter 1, starting with verse 18, “For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake.” Simple living brings me closer to God as so many missionaries have confirmed in the stories I read.  When you take away the perishable things, at least for me, God seems closer than ever.   Don't get me wrong, I love, love our home as it is comfortable and has all the comforts we need.  We are trying to simplify but we are far from living a simple life.   We pray daily and I enjoy my talks with Jesus, sort of like that stream of consciousness I was talking to you about earlier.    I know I was supposed to talk about another topic.  I haven't forgotten but I couldn't let this Huge Yellow Sticky that God placed before me and all around me go unmentioned.  I really needed this.  We head back tomorrow and I pray for that this peace continues as LIFE starts over. 

Please keep the following in your prayers:
  •   Jace and Gavin Duke-the sturdy Warrior twins born at 24 weeks who now average 3.5 pounds.  So much prayer all over the world has been done but more is needed.  Thank you for your prayers.  Update: They just came through their most recent surgery great!  God is so Good!  This Mom and Dad has stood steadfast that these twins twins were going to make it and so have so many other people who have lifted them up in prayer.
  •    Austin is still in need of a heart transplant.  Praises to his sister and parents for walking God's Walk and having so much Faith.
  •    God Knows for our family.
  •    Return to school for so many wonderful students, that our Father stands in the gap and gives them the strength and confidence they need.  Remove any and all bullying, any cyber bullying that exists, in the name of His Precious Son, Jesus Christ, who shed His Blood on the Cross for our Sins (Yours too) so that each child can feel Safe.
  •    A loving family in our lives that is going through a difficult time.  Please pray for peace, healing and full restoration.
  •   That so many people hear God knocking at their door and let him in, no matter what type of parenting they had or what they are living with.  Your life does not need to be perfect.  In fact, God works better with the imperfect.  Look who Jesus hung around with?  He already knows what is in your deepest closet. (That took me a while to wrap my arms around when I first started my walk.)

And if there are prayers you  need, please do not hesitate to email me or comment so more can pray for you.  Prayer works!  God Listens!  If you are a Believer In Christ, He will answer.  If you are not a Believer and want to be, below is what Paul, one the greatest disciples for Jesus (although he said he was the least of the disciplies (I Corinthians 15:9), said you needed to believe.  It will change your life forever.  It doesn't make life easier but you've get the the Great I Am carrying you through it.  It's much better than going it alone.  The best part?  You get to spend eternity with other believers, see His Miracles happen all around you.  Pray and watch as He Answers.  Yes, we were born sinners and works alone do not get us Heaven but as you continue on your Walk with Jesus, you will want to walk less in this world and more with Jesus.  There is a book by Frances Chan called Crazy Love basically titled that way because of his Crazy Love for Jesus.  That book changed by small love into an overpowering Crazy Love for this All Knowing God Man who took this world back from the enemy by dying on the cross for EVERYONE!  You and you, and you and you and yes, you, too!  Can we even grasp the overpowering Love Jesus has for you and I.  It's an easy read but what a Wow! Book!  Get your hands on it.  I don't say that about many books as I tend to focus on the Bible, the Living Word.  Please recite this when you are ready:

1 Corinthians 15:3-8
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Welcome to God's Kingdom!  Your Heart that had that place that was empty is now filled with Jesus. You will begin to walk, talk and act differently.   

Blessings to you, friend, and talk to you soon.

Lisa