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The Bitter and Sweet Days of Our Lives

Our days are not our own. We make our plans, but God orders them according to His will.

Today is a BIG day in my life.  More so in my oldest son’s life. Today right about now he is down on his knee proposing to a very special young lady.  The good mom that I am …. I’m stalking him on my phone app.  (You know you would be too.)

The point is… this day has been carefully planned.  The diamond researched months ago…perfect diamond chosen, setting chosen, stunning ring arrived.   Lips buttoned tight to keep the secret from friends and family.  Then last night plans changed,  103 degree day today, a hike in the sun to the top of a mountain no longer sounds like a good idea.  Rose garden at a local arboretum seems like a better choice. Plan changed.

Along with those careful plans, were the plans for my day with  the rest of the family.  Church, then home to have lunch and tidy while we wait for the excited couple to arrive.

But again, God’s big eraser rearranged my day too.  After leaving church I saw a missed call from our neighbor.  I called and texted, then received a message that showed something was horribly wrong, but it was barely understandable.  I knew 911 had been called and she was not at home waiting for the police to meet her.

I am not a story writer so I’ll cut to the important part…. she was safe.  She had arrived home from a weekend away to find her house robbed, ransacked, and water everywhere.

For me this was to be a SWEET day, for her it quickly became a BITTER day.

But we could  share the same day.

It was time to grieve with someone who was deeply grieving and scared. She doesn’t know my Lord. How can I minister to her, here right now?  I can’t get her things back for her. I can’t solve the mystery of “who did it”. But, I can stop my day, change my day, watch, listen, and comfort.

I can listen to the officer as he instructs her about who to call and why.  She is shaking and scared, though she looks like she’s listening, she won’t remember what he said.

I own a mop and I know how to use it,  soggy kitchen dry and clean, dishes washed and put away.

I can’t solve the big things, God didn’t give me that skill.  But I can clean, comfort, distract from grief, and bring a little order back to a bad situation.

My day, maybe it has changed… my week will change too. Neighbor A will need some time to process and some time to talk things out.  This is life, God rearranges it.

How can I further His kingdom today? By loving my neighbor.

Proverbs 16:9

The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.

 

(picture – Maroon Bells / Snowmass, Colorado Sept. 2016)

Live to Bring Him Praise

Sometimes,  I wake up in the middle of the night and I find a song filling my mind.  Today as I walk around my home tidying up after my family, washing a load of laundry, and preparing to go run a few errands, again a song fills my mind.  I can’t help but hum or sing the chorus as I wander through the house….

“None But Jesus”  (Hillsong)

In the quiet, in the stillness
I know that you are God
In the secret of your presence
I know there I am restored
When you call I won’t refuse
Each new day, again I’ll choose
There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise
In the chaos, in confusion
I know you’re sovereign still
In the moment of my weakness
You give me grace to do your will
When you call I won’t delay
This my song through all my days
There is no one else for me
None but Jesus
Crucified to set me free
Now I live to bring Him praise
I am yours and you are mine…
All my delight is in you Lord
All of my hope
All of my strength
All my delight is in you Lord
Forevermore
But, as I sing the chorus, I am questioned by my own conscience.
 “Is that true?”
  Is there “None but Jesus”?
No one else for me?
All my delight is in you Lord?
Now I live to bring Him Praise?

I probably won’t come in contact with many people today. I don’t expect to make the news or be invaluable to anyone but my family. Will my mind stay on Christ and will He be my delight when someone crosses my path today or is rude to me?

In the mundane of this day I CAN still “live to bring Him praise”.

I can keep grumbling, and complaining in check. I can choose to be grateful for my busy young men and husband who track dirt through my house, ask for me to wash another load of missed clothes, and live to empty my fridge.

I can be grateful, that God has blessed me with them in my life.  A lot of work….yes, they are.  Sometimes make me cry…yes, they do.  Bring me joy….every day!

How will I react when I walk about in this world…?  What will spill out when someone bumps me in the store or cuts me off on the way?

I Cor. 10:31

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
Colo. 3:12 -17
12  Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

That is how TODAY I can “Live to Bring Him Praise”.

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Here and Now

 

Courage Changes Everything

 

My pastor has been focusing on Colossians 1:28 the last few weeks.

  Col. 1:28 Him we proclaim, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all wisdom, that we may present everyone mature in Christ.

How do you say, “A few things have stood out to me,” without offending him?  So, Pastor Todd, if you ever read this, know that “for this purpose” a few things stood out.  And, I am sure I am paraphrasing a little.

Courage Changes Everything

 

Eternity is Long, and Hell is Hot!

 

We don’t have the power to live the Christian life – We were created for Christ to live through us.

 

So, here I stand, at the beginning of this adventure. Am I courageous? Not really, but…

Galatians 2:20 –  I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

I believe Jesus IS God and I will proclaim Him.  I will endeavor to encourage others to proclaim Him. Together, may our light, however small it may seem be seen by someone and may today’s courage change everything for someone.

Do you have a moment where courage through Christ changed something?

Please share it in the comments.

 

In the Beginning

“In the beginning, God (Gen. 1:1).”

I think that’s a good place to start, everything that has happened since then, started with Him and is sustained… given breath and is held in place by Him.

I know that God is still active in this world and I hope over time that this site will be a place for God to shine, for faith to be strengthened, and hearts encouraged that (though this world is a darkening place) our God is still on His throne and at work.