Friday, May 28, 2010

The First Weekend of Summer

Most of us equate the Memorial Day weekend to the beginning of summer. Family gatherings. Grilling. Watermelon. Camping. Although the weather is warm [or hot depending on where you live], summer doesn’t actually begin until June 21. But we choose to start summer anyway.

But while we're getting together this weekend with our loved ones, let's pause to remember why Memorial Day, a federal holiday, was established.

Other than scheduling a federal holiday on the last Monday of May so those employees can have a long weekend, this day is to remember those who have died in the line of military service.

So many lives have been given voluntarily for our freedoms. Freedom is not free. It cost soldiers their lives. Their loved ones an empty hole in their hearts and homes.

I hope you will take a moment to remember the fallen soldiers on Monday. Set aside a few minutes to lift up a prayer for their families.

In tribute and to help us remember, I'll leave you with Darryl Worley's song, "Have You Forgotten?" Please take three minutes to watch and listen.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rental Realty

I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! ~~Psalm 119:19 ESV

For more years of my adult life, my husband and I owned property. But since we moved, we decided to rent to become more familiar with the area.

This has been a difficult adjustment. Four months into this house and it still does not feel like a home to me. Changes I would make if it were my own, I can't make because it is not my own.

Then I remember the Scripture where God told Abram to take his wife and go to a land. They picked up their belongings and lived in the land for years in tents. It was all temporary. When Sarah died, Abraham asked to purchase a piece of property where they lived as sojourners all those years.

So though I've been in this house for four months, I still don’t know where to hang all the pictures. I still am not sure where to put certain pieces of furniture. I still don’t know how to really feel at home. Perhaps, it's to help remind me that my life on earth is only temporary.

We're only sojourners in this land. Jesus promised to go build a place for us-- a permanent home for us. All we have on this earth is temporary. We're just renting realty for now.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Out of Humiliation

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. ~~Philippians 2:3-4 NIV

I never knew hard work until I became a mother. It's the one job that never has time off.

Sometimes the emotional turmoil of my role as a mom attempts to take a toil at me. The demands place on one person at times can be overwhelming.

The dynamics in our household do not always allow for our family to be together, even on holidays. Yesterday's Mother's Day was one of those days. I woke up, prepared to go to church. But as I'm driving off by myself, I pulled over because the tears filled my eyes.

How can I walk into church alone on Mother's Day. Everyone greeting mothers with "Happy Mother's Day." I didn’t feel happy and I couldn’t go on, pretending.

I called a friend who shared with me her perspective on the situation. I thank God she didn’t coddle me. She told me straight out from her own experience that sometimes expectations are set up are from selfish desires.

Ouch. The truth hit me smack dab in the face.

Now slapped with the truth, some sense had been knocked into my selfish brain. I started thanking God that I have a healthy family. It no longer mattered if they were with me at church because I thanked God I have a family.

Already late for my church, I decided to drive to a nearby church that I wanted to visit but had not had the opportunity. Yesterday's guest speaker was Jim Caviezel, the actor who portrayed Jesus in The Passion of Christ.

Caviezel shared a statement that stood out to me, "Out of humiliation comes humility and that's where God wants us--to be humble."

Out of my perceived humiliation, I let go of the false expectations of my family serving me on Mother's Day. I chose to serve them and it made me glad to do so.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What is God's Will for Me?

This morning I woke up and asked the Lord, "What is Your will for me today?"

I opened up my web browser to and this is the verse of the day today:

“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.”- 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
I share with you, that I felt like God spoke directly to me today. Now grant it, I asked wondering how to prioritize my to-do list. But I received three things to put at the top of my to-do's this morning.

First, be joyful. I admit, this week I've been battling the blues. Nothing bad, but not anything to be overly excited about. But God's will in Christ is for me to be joyful, so I'll focus on the things today that bring me joy. Not the things that rob me of the joy God's given to me.

Second, pray continually. I like to get up early, find my cozy spot on on the sofa before anyone else wakes up, have my Bible and journal and pray. But I cannot stay there all day praying. I think this means to pray as I do. I had a housekeeper once who taught me how to pray at home. I worked at the time and when I came home for lunch I asked her to pray for me. She showed me she prayed for me all day. She prayed as she washed the dishes; she prayed as she ironed the clothes, as she made the bed, and so on. I can do that today.

Third, give thanks in all circumstances. Not all my situations are ideal in my mind, but I have so much in which to be thankful. I need to list those things and keep giving thanks to God for them.

That's my God's will for me today as it clearly states in His Word, "for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Can it be any clearer than that?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

National Day of Prayer

I hope everyone will take a few moments today to pray for our nation. Also we can pray for one another. Through the day, I'll be praying for our nation and others. Please feel free to leave a prayer request if you like.

This morning as I read blogs, Lysa TerKeurst had a list of prayer scriptures. I've listed the scriptures below.

"…The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective" (James 5:16).

"Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always" (1 Chronicles 16:11).

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land" (2 Chronicles 7:14).

"My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning I will direct my prayer to You, and I will look up" (Psalm 5:3).

"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him" (Matthew 6:5-8).

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful" (Colossians 4:2).

"Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).

"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints" (Ephesians 6:18).

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 4:6-7).

"I want men everywhere to lift up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing" (1 Timothy 2:8).

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shut My Mouth

"but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison" (James 3:8, ESV).

I spent the past weekend at the baseball park. Living in West Texas, strong winds occasionally blow. Wind alone may not be so bad, but the barren lands of the West has nothing but dust. So with the gusts, comes the dirt.

While watching the games, I desired to chat with other team mom's. Yet, it seemed as though every time I wanted to speak, a blast of wind came along with the dirt. If I opened my mouth, it would fill up with dirt.

That game was a pretty quiet game other than occasional cheers from the stands. But it was a not only a difficult game for the players, but a difficult game for me. Going to the games is my social time. The blowing dust put a damper on my visiting hours.

I realized after the game that perhaps I can learn from the blowing dust to keep my mouth shut. Sometimes talking too much can seem harmless, but can lead to more trouble.

James tells us in how the tongue "is a restless evil, full of deadly poison." With our tongues, we can say things that will hurt other people.

Each time I opened my mouth during the gusts, I ate dust. I ended up having to wash out my mouth quite often. It reminded me how my mother used to say to me when I mouthed off to her, "Do you want me to wash your mouth out with soap?"

After speaking unkind words, it will leave the taste of dust in our mouths. We have to wash out our mouths by repentance.

I can and shall learn to shut my mouth when necessary so I hopefully I won't have to eat anymore dirt.