To all my friends & blog followers,
I am taking a break from blogging over the remaining summer months. During this time I will be making some adjustments. I'll be spending time with family and friends and setting priorities for what the Lord has called me to do.
Please stay in touch with me on Facebook and Twitter. I do plan to keep the social networking active. Lord willing, I plan to start blogging again in a few months.
Many blessings to all of you!
Monday, June 20, 2011
To all my friends & blog followers,
Monday, June 6, 2011
"You will know that I am the Lord, O people of Israel, when I have honored my name by treating you mercifully in spite of your wickedness. I, the Sovereign Lord, have spoken!” ~~Ezekiel 20:44 NLT
I've reigned as Queen of Procrastination in my life for quite a number of years. I felt quite comfortable with my routine of waiting then rushing. I found the rush of adrenaline near the deadline quite satisfying at times.
Sometimes, though, it's not procrastination; it's the busyness of life getting in the way of doing what I'm supposed to be doing. Then there are those times that I must scramble to complete a task. But that's not what I'm talking about here.
What I'm sharing today are the things I know I should be doing, but am not doing. I traveled that journey way, way too long. I've given myself too many excuses--"it's my personality" or "I'm just made that way."
The Lord showed me a specific plan in 2006 how he wanted me to eat. I started off with gusto, but then caved into temptations. However, over the years the list of excuses popped up and again I procrastinated but would eventually get back to the plan again. This cycle has repeated itself over and over for the past five years.
Why? Because it's hard. Honestly, I procrastinated because I felt what I had to do was too difficult and I rather not deal with it. After all (here's the excuse), God didn’t tell my husband and children what to eat. It didn’t seem fair.
Whenever I ate whatever I wanted to eat--complex carbohydrates (breads, pastas, tortillas, potatoes, cakes, ice cream, etc.) in the quantities I wanted to eat, my blood sugar levels and endocrine system were affected. I confess, it often turned me into this grouchy, mean woman my family didn’t enjoy being around. That's not God's plan for my life.
Yet, so often in so many areas of our lives, the hard choices are the right choices. And when I make right choices, I can start to see the reasons the Lord led me to make those choices. Over the past 30 days, I finally started eating the way the Lord showed me. I stopped making excuses as I've been around this mountain too many times.
For one month now, I've made a deliberate lifestyle change and I'm eating the way I know the Lord wants me to eat--one day at a time without excuses (even with a house full of family and guests over the Memorial Day weekend). As a result, I feel much more energetic. I no longer need over-the-counter sleep aids to go to sleep at night, coffee to wake up in the mornings, and my stress levels have decreased so I feel more joy in my life. My family has commented that I'm a much more pleasant person to be around.
I'm still at the beginning of this journey, but felt that 30 days is a milestone marker. I'm now starting my next 30 day journey, one day at a time. I'm able to take this path of submitting to God's will for my life because He has been merciful to me in spite of my disobedience through procrastination. I am very grateful for God's mercy.
I'm laying down my crown as I no longer want to reign as queen of procrastination. As I submit to God in this one area, other areas are coming to light where I'll no longer procrastinate.
What about you? Have you reigned as king or queen of procrastination in areas of your life? Is God asking you to lay down your crown for Him?
Monday, May 30, 2011
Today I'm pausing to thank those who serve and pray for the families who have loved ones who gave all for our freedom in America. May God bless you and comfort you.
Labels: Memorial day
Monday, May 23, 2011
But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. ~~ Isaiah 40:31 NKJV
What do you do when you're waiting? Waiting for a doctor's appointment? Waiting in line at the car wash? Waiting for someone to answer the phone? Waiting for your spouse to come home?
We all wait at times in our life as it's a part of life. Most of us are active waiters--while waiting to see the dentist, we make sure our teeth are freshly brushed and flossed. How embarrassing it would be for the hygienist to dig out food from between our teeth. At the car wash, we ensure all the windows are all the way up. When we're expecting our spouse to come home, we'll clean up and have dinner prepared.
Another words, we're actively waiting. Believers in Christ are waiting for His return. Yes, the Bible is clear Jesus will come again. But we must wait for God's timing and no one can predict when that will be. However, in the meantime, we're to wait on Him--actively.
Why does the Lord tarry on the second coming of Christ? Because it is HIS will that no one perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).
Why can't believers be gathered up as soon as we confess Christ as Lord? We must share Christ within our sphere of influence so others will believe. And strengthen and encourage people of the faith to press on in our Lord.
That's how we actively wait on the Lord. As we do, the Lord will renew our strength and courage to share His love with those around us. We will not grow weary or grow faint in spreading His love.
The Bible is clear that there will be many false prophets in the end times for no one knows the judgment day except the Father and it's not for us to predict. In spite of false prophesies, let's press on actively waiting and sharing God's love.
Thursday, May 12, 2011
We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love. ~~Romans 5:3-5, NLT
Expecting my second son, I yearned to be a stay-at-home mother. I worked since I was sixteen years old, but something about becoming a mother changed my desire to work outside the home. The nurturing, cuddling, and long to be with my new baby consumed all my thoughts. I already missed out on staying home with my first child who already attended school. When the first child came along, I was serving my country in the active duty Air Force. Therefore, my attention was divided.
After the Air Force, my husband and I stacked up a pile of credit card debt as high as the desktop. We lived for the moment not understanding that eventually it would all crumble around us. Also, I searched for a home-based business to work so I could make money and stay home. From attempting several businesses and failing, the debt rose even higher.
At that point, we owed so much money that I could not quit my job. When I faced the reality of the money owed, my heart felt crushed. Every time I dropped my youngest off at daycare, he cried. And on the way to the car, I cried. The certainty of my consequences set in and I felt deep despair.
My sin had consequences. Living in debt had repercussions. In order to stop the cycle, we repented for frivolous spending and sought credit counseling. We agreed to stop charging and started paying on the debt. We chipped away at our obligation little by little. We chose to live on a lot less. Throughout this time, my youngest started school and I also missed being a stay-at-home mom during his baby years.
Through those years, I prayed to the Lord. I persevered in hope that I would someday be able to stay home with my boys. I read Scriptures that filled me with hope, such as the widow who kept knocking on the judge's door seeking justice. (Luke 18:1-8) She never quit on hope. The parable starts with, "One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up" (NLT). So I kept on asking and seeking the Lord, not giving up hope.
Finally after five years of perseverance and character development, the day came when our debts were paid in full. I resigned from my full-time job and became a stay-at-home mom. Finally overcoming my failure of money management, I learned to be more financially responsible. And I received my God-given desire to stay home with my boys.
Though I failed by racking up a mountain of debt, hope in our Lord never failed me. Though the times I couldn't stay home felt painful, I endured. Through the endurance, the Lord developed character and character developed hope, which did not disappoint me. I never quit on hope.
Sunday, May 1, 2011
There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiada, a valiant warrior from Kabzeel. He did many heroic deeds, which included killing two champions of Moab. Another time, on a snowy day, he chased a lion down into a pit and killed it. Once, armed only with a club, he killed a great Egyptian warrior who was armed with a spear. Benaiah wrenched the spear from the Egyptian’s hand and killed him with it. Deeds like these made Benaiah as famous as the Three mightiest warriors. He was more honored than the other members of the Thirty, though he was not one of the Three. And David made him captain of his bodyguard. ~~2 Samuel 23:20-23 NLT
God's word amazes me. Especially those not-so-well-known messages tucked away in the middle of big stories. You know those one or two verses that some authors such as Bruce Wilerson wrote about in The Prayer of Jabez. Or the time in 2008 I read about Sheerah in First Chronicles 7 and posted about her here.
Yesterday, Pastor Monty Houston of Life Church El Paso, taught on the amazing feats of Benaiah. Ben-a-who you ask? I did too. I sat intently taking notes on this message from the key scripture above.
The story of Benaiah is tucked into Second Samuel 23 where Scriptures list the mighty warriors of King David. Most of us have read about or heard about King David. But how many of us take time to read about the details of the men who surrounded him. He strategically placed warriors around him called "mighty men." Among the list of those men is Benaiah, "a valiant warrior" who "did many heroic deeds."
Though Benaiah had many heroic deeds, only three are listed in Scriptures for us to know about. He took on two champions of Moab and killed them. He chased a lion into a pit and killed it. And with a club killed a warrior who had a spear. Those victories came against the odds.
Think about other times God showed us in His word that He brought the victories that defy the odds.
- David versus Goliath
- Gideon versus the armies of Midian
- Queen Esther
- Ruth and Naomi
Which ones can you think of to share?
I confess this past week I allowed fear and doubt to creep into my life. I continued to pray, play praise music and even sang (when no one but God could hear), and worked at chasing that doubt and fear out of my life. Then when I least expected it, God showed me HIS will for me after I chased my doubts and fears away like Benaiah chased away the lion.
Sometimes I feel like the least likely to write and speak on the behalf of our Lord. However, HE called me so I MUST trust HE will equip me and lead me.
When the odds seems to be against us, we can kill off our doubts and fears with the word of God. Then God receives the glory.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. ~~Galatians 5:24 NIV
This Holy week, which coincides this year with Passover, thoughts turn to the Passion of Christ. Jesus, who was fully man but also fully God, laid aside his will to live for God's will to prevail.
After having a Passover meal with His disciples, also known as the Last Supper, Jesus went to the Mount of Olives to pray. He felt such anguish over what He knew was to come, He sweat drops of blood. Laying down His human desires to escape the adversity, he prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
Jesus being completely human wanted to escape the agony He was about to face. The Lord sent an angel to strengthen Him, as it was not God's plan for Jesus to continue living in human form. At this moment in time, Jesus' human desires did not line up with His Father's desires. So Jesus prayed to seek God's will. You see--the lives of ALL people hung in the balance of this one choice.
How often are we faced with having to let go of our own desires? Sometimes we must give up something in our lives that is not God's plan for us or for others. We want to escape the torment and trials. Sometimes we must go through the trials because on the other side of those trials may hinge the lives of other people.
Christ died so all of us can live. For through Him comes everlasting life with the Father. When Jesus is our Savior, He lives through us. We touch lives for His sake. Sometimes the trials we face are not for ourselves, but to be a living testimony for others to see Jesus. We must let go of our passions that do not line up with God's plan. When in agony, we must pray, "Lord your will be done, not mine."
The Passion of Christ refers to the suffering Christ went through before His death. Most of us cannot even fathom what he faced for our sake. In return, those who belong to Christ must crucify our sinful passions. Yes, sometimes it's painful to let those things go, but when we crucify our desires, we will experience God's grace.
What desires have you crucified?
Monday, April 11, 2011
Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it. ~~ Proverbs 22:6 NIV
After recommitting my life to Christ little over 10 years ago, I wanted my family to be excited for Jesus like I was. I invested lots of my time in prayer and sharing what I learned with them.
Yet, what really happened is I often turned them off about being excited for Jesus because I used the words of the Bible to try and control them.
No one wants to be dominated and controlled by others. God does not control us and never usurps our free will. So I have not been very Christ-like with my own family.
I read this quote on Sherry Meneley's Facebook page:
Due to circumstances beyond my control, I will no longer be controlling any circumstances…I'm just sayin'
When my oldest graduated from high school and moved off to live life as an adult, my youngest went into public school in order to participate in the athletic programs.
I lost that personal connection of reading the Bible and praying with my boys--both together and individually. One because of the physical separation and the other because life got much busier. I no longer have full control over his schedule.
I rejoice in the fact that both my sons have asked Jesus to be Lord over their lives and both demonstrated their commitment by water baptism. For that I am thankful--so very thankful.
What I realize is I cannot control how they grow in the Lord. I just realized this past week when I saw the quote on uncontrollable circumstances that I have tried to control their spiritual growth and like an over-watered plant, they started wilting.
I must step back and stand on the promises of God. He promises that if I train them in the way they should go, they will not depart from it. Both of them know a lot of Scripture. Yet, their faith and belief must become their own.
I pray for them both. And with the one still at home, I found time to start reading a daily devotion book, Jesus Calling, to him each morning. Discussing it with him if he initiates the conversation and sometimes praying or just remaining silent.
I can pray, guide, love, and discipline, but I cannot make them choose to live for Jesus. Those are circumstances beyond my control.
Monday, April 4, 2011
People can tame all kinds of animals, birds, reptiles, and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is restless and evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it curses those who have been made in the image of God. ~~ James 4:7-9 NLT
God blessed me with the gift of speaking. And because of that, I love to talk. I can talk about anything and everything with anyone anywhere.
When I ask my husband, "Why don't you say something?" He will just smile and sweetly reply, "I haven't had a chance."
Yes, I should let others share their thoughts. But where I really get into trouble is when situations do not unfold as I think they should. Before committing my life to Christ, if I received bad service, I would become so vocal about it that I would be asked to leave. I was far from perfect in this area with my mouth.
However, as I started growing in the Lord and maturing, I learned better ways to handle less-than-perfect scenarios. I became much better, but still not so perfect in using my words.
Occasionally I experience a relapse of my old way. Unfortunately for Christians, we come under much stricter scrutiny by others. That happened to me a few months ago when I unconsciously reverted back to the methods I used to use when I felt I was treated unfairly.
The person I unleashed unkind words on sent me an email that read, "The vitriolic words spewing from your mouth in the acrimonious tone of voice left me speechless. . . Take your hate and irresponsibility and ENGRAFT THAT ON YOUR BLOG so they can see what kind of person you really are."
Those words tormented me for days. For that, I confessed my sin to God, who is faithful to forgive. And I admitted I was wrong and apologized to this person. I apologize again, now--publicly. Will you forgive me? I'm definitely not-so-perfect.
The Scripture tells us that the tongue is hard to tame. We praise God with it and then curse others who are made in His image. That's what happened to this far-from-perfect being.
What are we to do? The Scripture in James continues by explaining that true wisdom comes from God. I should have paused, and in this situation, taken time to seek God for wisdom and not have returned the call right away.
James 4:17-18 tells us, ". . .the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. And those who are peacemakers will plant seeds of peace and reap a harvest of righteousness" (NLT). If I had applied God's wisdom, I would have been gentle with my words.
In this hurtful situation, this not-so-perfect girl learned a lesson. I needed a little grace. God's grace is abundant , so let's share it to other not-so-perfect people.
Monday, March 14, 2011
"We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time." ~~ Romans 8:22 NIVMy heart aches when I watch the news of the devastation in Japan. I confess I turn into a news junkie to keep abreast of current events when natural disasters strike.
My heart goes out to the people affected. We never know when disasters will strike or if it will be us next time.
We only have a short amount of time on earth. James 4:14 states that our life is like a "vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away" (NKJV).
I think about the earth groaning in pains. Does the earth ache like our bodies ache as we grow older? Are natural disasters creation groaning?
Scriptures state that earth was subjected to bondage and waits to be delivered just as the children of God (Romans 8:20-22).
Human nature desires to be delivered from pain and suffering. While on earth we will experience pain; there's no escaping it. But there's only one way I know of to escape eternal suffering--Jesus Christ. He is the way, the truth and the life, everlasting life.
We can hope for what we do not see--the new heavens and earth where there is no more sorrow. But for now, while we still experience the groaning, we can pray, give, and help those in need.
Labels: fully engrafted
Monday, February 28, 2011
"'Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.' And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. ~~Mark 10:15-16 NIV
Years have passed since my husband and I purchased new bedroom furniture. When I described the furniture which I discarded due to water damage to a friend, she told me "it was so '80's." With the old set, I could sit on the bed to put on my shoes.
We had grown accustomed to our bedroom furniture and felt that other priorities took our financial commitments. Bedroom furniture didn’t seem significant in the larger scheme of things--after all we're raising two boys.
But our priorities shifted back to our needs after our pipes busted and the water poured over our furniture. While furniture shopping, I noticed a difference in the mattresses--they're much thicker than the old standard nine inches. We ended up with a 15-inch mattress.
With the deep mattress on the pedestal, the bed is about counter height. My oldest son commented that I'll need a step-stool to climb into it. Not yet buddy! I'm not that old. It is nice to dump a load of clothes from the dryer on it and fold them without having to bend over.
Having this new bed brings back childhood memories. I know the beds were not this big way back in the. . .eehm. . . well, long time ago. But I recall having to climb up into bed back then, like I do now. I can't just sit and turn in on this bed; I must climb in like a little child.
The past few nights as I felt like I child, I imagined the Lord tucking me in and praying over me. It brought comfort to me as I released the fears of the pipes in the ceiling above my head busting while sleeping. I trust the Lord to watch over me like my earthly Daddy protected me.
Children trust their parents to take care of all their basic needs. Children wake up knowing they will be fed and have clean clothes to wear. They do not fret about how their day is going to go. They simply trust.
I think that's how God wants us to feel with Him--simply trust that He will meet all our needs like a child trusts his parents. The Lord showed me how I can trust Him even though I fretted after the damage occurred. I felt anxious about the finances and the insurance company. But in spite of my worries, God provided for it all.
Now each night as I climb into my new bed like a child, I say, "Thank You, Abba, Father!"
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
My friend, Cynthia Siegfried, wrote a book that I believe is important to share with you.
This book can change your life. Whether you are facing cancer or some other crisis, Cancer Journey: A Caregiver’s View from the Passenger Seat shows you how one woman managed to replace fear and depression with peace and joy during her husband’s eight year battle with stage IV lung cancer.
Purchase one or more copies of Cynthia’s book from Amazon on February 22 and receive bonus gifts and discounts from many of today’s teachers and experts on health and well being. Your Amazon purchase on February 22 will also help the author become an Amazon Bestseller and provide hope and encouragement to the millions of people living with a life threatening disease.
How it Works:
- On Feb 22 go to http://www.caregivercancerjourney.com/special.asp
- On this page you can view the bonus gifts.
- Click the Amazon link to place your order.
- Type in your Amazon receipt #.
- You will receive a reply email with coupon codes and access to free gifts.
Although you can purchase the book at any time you MUST order today -- Feb 22 to receive your coupon codes and bonus gifts.
Please share this link with anyone who might benefit. http://www.caregivercancerjourney.com/special.asp
P.S. Even if you don’t want the bonus gifts (unlikely), the book alone is well worth the price.
Monday, February 21, 2011
On the very day Punxsutawny Phil predicted an early spring, our city experienced the lowest recorded temperatures in history. The temps dipped as low as two degrees with wind chills in the minus zeros.
This weather anomaly caused a chain reaction with the services of the utility companies. In order to keep the power supply, the electric company enacted rolling blackouts. The rolling blackouts caused thermostats in some people's homes to go out and they lost gas pressure. The demands for gas to supply warmth were so great that some residents lost gas service leaving them in the cold. The water company could not run the pumps without power and the water froze in large pipes.
Then a few days later the weather warmed up causing water pipes to bust all across the city. I experienced the same problem in my master bedroom.
When the pipes froze, I searched for the pipes to do all I could to warm them up and thaw them out to prevent the inevitable. But only having moved into this home two months prior, I'm still figuring things out. Well this mystery was solved sooner than I hoped.
As I stated before, we have only lived in this home for two months. With one primary income, we felt blessed to purchase this size of house. And it was built only four years ago in a new development. This house was not what I considered a "fixer-upper" like other homes we've lived in prior to this one.
I settled it in my mind that I was ready to move into this home without any construction projects for a while. Well, the Lord had other plans for us.
Every day I ask the Lord to guide my steps. I confess, I struggled with this scenario. I am grateful for things not being worse. I am thankful the damage is limited to one room. I'm thankful that I'm still able to live in the home in spite of not having my own bed to sleep in. I'm thankful we have insurance. But still, this experience did not line up with my expectations.
I wanted to set up house and be very comfortable. But, no I have a mess. As I type this, I'm listening to hammers pounding below me. I'm thankful we found a contractor to work with so many businesses and homes damaged.
In this mess, I've discovered there is beauty. Due to my human nature, oftentimes I fail to see God's glory when everything is going right for me. I must struggle to see God's goodness. The Lord desires that I see HIM at work in this mess. He alone does more for me than I can see.
Looking back over my life, I do not regret my painful experiences, but am grateful for them as they have brought me closer to the Lord. This mess I'm in now is not any different. I'm seeing God provide for us in ways I could not fathom. Physically, financially, and emotionally God is remodeling my mess turning it into something beautiful.
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified." ~~Isaiah 61:3
Monday, February 14, 2011
What is true love? I found the answer and I'll share it with you.
Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. ~~1 John 4:7-12True love comes from God because God is love. Only by knowing Jesus, the Son of God, can we experience this love. God's Son sacrificed for our sins out of love for us. Therefore, we can love one another allowing His love to be made complete in us.
I received this image in an email and I want to share it with you as it sums up true love.
Monday, January 31, 2011
Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. ~~ Exodus 40:36-37 NLT
The Lord delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. For over 400 years, His people felt forgotten. But now the Lord was with them, living in their camp.
Moses spent time with the Lord up on Mount Sinai and during that time he received the instructions on how to build the Tabernacle. People came forward and gave materials and time to build the place where the Lord would dwell with them.
They were on a journey and needed guidance. Before, the building of the Tabernacle, the people turned and worshipped other gods. Moses interceded on their behalf and pleaded with the Lord to go with them. Moses knew the people could not travel without God going with them.
God dwelled among the Israelites manifesting Himself as a cloud during the day and a fire at night so the people could see it and continue their journeys.
As a parent, it's hard to know what to do. When my child tells me he is hurt or sick, do I take him to the doctor right away or do I wait? I've had doctors ask me why didn’t I bring him in sooner and also they've told me I'm being overly cautious.
When my emotions become stirred up, do I follow the way I feel or do I look up at the "cloud" to see where the Lord is leading? Seeking God in His word to determine where He wants me to go is always the better choice.
While on our journeys, we need to determine if God is leading us to move, or to remain where we are for the moment. Without the Lord's leading, we'll be lost on our journey.
Monday, January 24, 2011
So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.~~Exodus 17:10-11 NIV
God kept His promise and brought the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. However, the Lord did not take them on the easy route.
Often times God takes us on journeys that we have no idea why we're going in the direction we're headed. Though, there are times He wants to see if we will keep the fight in us.
While the Israelites lived in the desert where the Lord led them, they had to fight the Amalekites with the encouragement of Moses, Aaron and Hur as their supporters.
I remember reading a story to my children some years back about Gertrude Ederle. Gertrude was a gold medalist swimmer. In 1925, she took on the challenge to swim the 21-mile English Channel from France to England. Only five men had successfully completed the swim and no woman was on record for it.
On her first attempt, her trainer touched her only seven miles from shore. He thought she was too nauseated to continue, but she wanted to go on. But that slight touch disqualified her.
She could have stopped and never tried again. She wondered with her failure if she could acquire more sponsors for another attempt. With her resolve stronger than before, she had to eliminate the defeating memories that crossed her mind and build a team of supporters that included her friends and family.
Gertrude returned to the channel in 1926 and completed the swim with great swells coming against her. Not only did she complete the swim, but she beat all the previous records held by the men.
The fight of determination inside Gertrude with the support of her friends and family helped her achieve what had not been done before.
The Israelites did not give up and fought against their enemies and they had the support of Moses, Aaron and Hur.
I must remind myself frequently, that just because God called me to go in a certain direction, it doesn’t mean I'll get to go the easy route.
When you combine persistence with the grace of God, you become a dynamic living force. It’s as simple as that. Stop giving up when the going gets tough, and for once in your life, make it happen. This lesson in persistence is one to be applied to every area of our lives whether it be healthy eating, working out our marriage or trusting the Lord through a trial.
I decided that for 2011, I'm going to adopt a phrase from the above paragraph as my motto:
Persistence with the grace of God!
How about you? Ready to press forward with what the Lord has for you? Ready to fight for it with persistence, supporters and God's grace? Let's go!
Monday, January 17, 2011
On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and rendered one of the most successful speeches in American history. He inspired and ignited dreams in Americans for equality. To truly have one nation under God, for all men who are created equal by God to exercise the rights promised by the founding father to guarantee the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
God gives us BIG dreams. Our God is a big God and cannot be contained in our finite minds.
As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~~ Isaiah 55:9 NIVWe don’t always understand God for He so big. But here is an example I can grasp. With all the planes that fly around in the airspace, air traffic controllers have radars that can see and identify all the planes in that airspace. They can see the big picture of where the planes are and where they are going.
When I was in the Air Force, I received what is called an “incentive flight.” As a reward for some achievement, I flew in a jet aircraft. While flying up in the airspace, the air traffic controller (ATC) instructed the pilots. My pilot played around and goofed off as he showed me different things they do while up in the sky (please pray for military pilots).
Then the air traffic controller adamantly told the pilot to maintain a certain altitude and heading. At the urgent sound of the ATC’s voice, the pilot obeyed. Though we could not see what was above us or flying near us, the air traffic controller saw it. I don’t even want to imagine what could have happened if the pilot had not obeyed. We finished our flight and landed safely.
God has the big picture of our lives. We don’t see the big picture and the things that are going on around us, but God gives each of us dreams to navigate us in the direction He wants us to go.
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~~Psalm 34:7 NIVGod places the desires and dreams in our hearts. What we need to do is trust Him to bring it to pass.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 NIV
Martin Luther King dreamed dreams bigger than he was, and he made a difference. Laws have been passed that guarantee that equality to all people in our country. God gives each of us a dream, and navigates our lives to achieve His dream for a purpose bigger than ourselves. Do you have a big dream?
Monday, January 3, 2011
I confess, I'm having a difficult time wrapping my mind around the concept of it is 2011. As a child, I imagined Star Wars-like travel taking place by this time. Over the past two weeks, I made a couple of road trips and sitting in the car for a long time still felt like old time travel to me.
But still 2011 is here! Time keeps moving forward in spite of any attempts I make to stop it. I also confess at times I wished I could stop time for everyone else, while I run around catching up. But that hasn't happened yet either.
Though my youngest son tries to convince me that time travel may actually be real because he saw a 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie at school with what appears to be a person talking on a cell phone. (To see that clip, click here.)
Regardless if that is a time traveler or if it can actually be explained, I decided that God created time for us. It's how we use that time that really matters. The older I grow, the more I realize that relationships matter more than anything else.
First, I realized my relationship with the Lord must be right before my relationships with others--my husband, children, extended family, friends, and others will work. To improved my relationship with God, I started reading His word on a regular basis.
Three years ago, I embarked on a journey that changed my life. I read the Bible completely through. I choose to read it chronologically the first two years, then last year I read it by Old Testament/New Testament sequentially.
By reading the Bible regularly, I realized it has drawn me closer to God and a closer walk with Him.
This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God. ~~Genesis 6:9, NLTWay back when, Noah walked in a close relationship with God and he was considered the only blameless person on the earth at the time. He lived during a very wicked and perverse generation. That sounds a lot like our times doesn’t it?
Well, we can walk right with God no matter what goes on around us by having a closer relationship to Him. Daniel choose to do what's right though he lived in a foreign land. We're foreigners just passing through, like the "time traveler" in the Charlie Chaplin movie.
Again, this year I committed to read the Bible through historically. I've used this site, BibleYear.com, because I can choose from five different reading plans from so many different versions and languages. I made my choice, then I simply bookmark it then click open each morning.
Will you join me in 2011 in seeking a closer walk with the Lord by reading His word on a regular basis?
Happy New Year 2011! May you walk more closely with the Lord this year!