Friday, April 25, 2008

A Question......

I have been pondering this thought for quite awhile now. Is knowing the vision God's given you for your life good or bad? Now I know some of you may could you say knowing your call is a bad thing?? How many people wish they knew what God wanted them to do? Do you wonder if some people stumble into their destiny? Or, did God tell them up front and then cheer them along the way?

Here is the dilemma. Knowing what it is is amazing when it inspires you to press into God, desire to become more like Christ, not make decisions that are based in the flesh for momentary gratification etc etc. But there is also the flip side of that. Knowing that you know that you know that you know where God wants to take you if you let Him....but not having a clue as to how to get there.

I KNOW HE directs your steps. But what if those steps appear to be heading backwards, or at least a strange detour. What about the looming thoughts of "maybe I would arrive quicker if so and so would have done this or that". What if you lose faith that God even spoke something to you in the first place. Maybe when HE said your destiny is to______________ it wasn't really HIM it was the refried beans at Qdoba.

How do you handle the confusion? Well that is not from God to begin with so start with that. I would chose to believe the confirmations HE HAS given you since he first spoke to you. I would read the story of Joseph being sent to the prison and then I'd read about David who was told he'd be king and then had to run for his life.

God is faithful and will finish what HE started. Surround yourself with encouragers
and look at everything that seems like a detour as a lesson you need to learn before you advance any further. Humble yourself and have a teachable spirit and see where HE leads! I think it is better to know because it keeps you focused...even if it drives you bonkers sometimes. Psalm 138:8.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Virgin Gorda

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life and only a few find it." Matthew 7:13-14 NIV

On a trip to Virgin Gorda in the Caribbean, my family and I stopped at a public beach. It was beautiful. White sand, swaying palm trees, hammocks and crystal clear warm water full of tropical fish. The people on this cruise excursion began to enjoy several hours of paradise. We spent some time in this area when my brother pointed out a small cave formed within the enormous rounded boulders for which the island is known for.

As we entered the cave there were small red arrows pointing inside these boulders that framed the beach. The arrows led us up large rocks, through waste deep water and down a steep slope. Some spots you had to hold onto a rope to guide you and to hold you up. When we finished our journey...the most beautiful lagoon you could ever imagine was there. Peaceful waters, clear to the bottom and even whiter sand. I remember thinking; this must be like heaven because my idea of paradise was just this, God’s creation in all its glory.

We headed back to get the rest of our family to enjoy this splendor. My uncle, a usually easy going fun loving man, became quite grumpy. "I am happy here, it is beautiful right here" we pleaded with him to join us to see what was even better. "I SAID this is perfect to me", he quipped. We left him with the other one hundred or so people to enjoy the pretty beach. We took my mother up, through and down the narrow path and shared this paradise with her. Even though the hike there was a bit of a challenge it was worth it to her as well. We marveled at the tranquility of the water, the blueness of the sky, the vastness of the boulders, so round they looked almost soft. The only way to describe it is breathtaking.

To this day, 13 years later, when my uncle looks at pictures of what he missed out on...he is regretful. "what was wrong with me?"....."What was I thinking?"...Jokingly we snarl up our faces at him and say "I am happy right here".......He was comfortable where he was, he did not want to make a little effort, he thought he found perfection where he was............He stayed were the "many" stay and missed what the few of us found. How many times do we miss the narrow gate? Do we choose what is comfortable because God’s way seems a bit more of an effort? Do we think that our circumstance is as good as it gets, not realizing God’s way is best? When have we “followed the crowd” and missed a glorious blessing?

My prayer for you today is that you take the narrow road and the small gate. The rewards for the few that find it are breathtakingly eternal! Society's road is broad and wide....many take that route. Wouldn’t you rather be with the few that choose God’s path? I am sure others will follow you!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Exodus 14:14

The Lord will fight for you; you need only be still.
Exodus 14:14

What am I going to do? How will this ever resolve itself? I just can’t see any way through this? Hopeless, yep, just hopeless.

How often do we find ourselves blinded by the circumstances we are in? Isn’t it interesting that when we are in the midst of a challenge or trial our view gets clouded or distorted? It isn’t until after the “storm passes” or someone comes to our aid that we see another perspective. Some of us never see another side to a situation, even after the challenge is over.

Many of us women are control freaks by nature. Now you may disagree. You may think that your spouse has more control if you are a milder personality. You may think that you hide your control. You may be proud of your control. The need to control is in our nature. Or mine at least. Instinctively when there is a problem we, as women, wives, mothers, friends immediately begin to think, “What do I do now?” “Do something….it won’t get fixed unless I DO something”.

In marriage the challenge is there, no doubt about it. With two personalities living under one roof there is bound to be a tug of war over some issues.
Finances & child rearing are major examples, yet even how the garbage is taken out can grate on nerves over time. How do we get past this “trait” of ours in order for more peace and joy in our lives?

We need to focus on letting God fight our battles, let God be in control. Sometimes waiting on HIM is hard, but it is well worth the wait.
When I was trying to “fight” for things in my marriage, to be “heard”, things got worse. How could this be? Logically if I made my desires known and they were in the best interest of our family, my husband would agree with me right?. Little did I know the manner in which I went about this was wrong. By surrendering to God and His commands for marriage, being silent at times I would have fought, God stepped in. He fought the battle of our hearts. God changed our marriage when I got out of HIS way.
I did not sit and do nothing. Choosing respectful behavior was a challenge. It took a lot of energy to bite my tongue and cease complaining. But in that “stillness” of my mouth, my tone, my facial expressions and my impatience God fought for my marriage.

The result should not surprise you, He won!

Praise the Lord!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Surfing the Waves

I was really inspired by my Pastor's sermon from last week. He talked about our desire being stronger than our disability. He refered to John 6:5-9. I love this scripture. I use it every time I begin my wives study group.
Often we are paralyzed by our situation. We feel stuck and remain there w/ our lame excuses. We don't rely on God, His love, His power, His truth. We remain stagnant.

I related so well to my Pastor when he described his DNA. It is inbred in him to fight thru obstacles to get to the promise. He is not satisfied w/ sitting on the sidelines. Niether am I . I related because I too got front row tickets to concerts when my life was more about a party. Journey, Phil Collins, The Go Go's, Janet Jackson, Def Leppard, The Who, to date myself and to name just a few. GREAT front row or floor seats!

Recently...Beth Moore on the floor...Joyce Meyer(I drove 2 hrs alone which I hate to do)...row 5 and front row both days during worship. So being aggressive to pursue a goal is in my DNA too. My struggle is that I see the pool. I know where I am going but I don't know HOW to get there. I am rolling my disabled self from where I am but can't see far enough to know the best way the pool is. I struggle with am I doing enough. After all you don't get where you need to be unless you pick up your mat and walk. Am I doing the right thing? I know..I know.. God directs our steps right?

As I was belaboring this in my heart I had a vision for surfing. In order to ride the big wave you have to paddle out to the unknown sea. You go over waves and then dip down in the valley between them. Your speed is determined by the current. Then when you get where you need to be you stand up and ride the wave in.

I have to learn to be confident in the paddling out to sea. I can't go faster than the current will allow. I won't know where to stand up on the board until I get there. But at least my DNA is helping me move from where I was and I am trusting God will tell me when I can ride the big wave in.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Knee Jerk Reactions

My husband was offered a very cool opportunity to do something fun. Something that I would consider a rare chance happening. Something that we could do together and learn from. He instantly said "no".

When he told me his response, (I wondered WHY he would tell me at all), he said he was "caught off guard, was overwhelmed with what was going on in his job, did not think our weekend schedule would permit it....and on and on.

Taking all of my emotion out of it, he was right to a degree. I on the other hand would have said "let me check and I will get back to you ASAP." Then I would have moved heaven and earth to do what I thought was a very cool opportunity.

So who is right? Both of us I guess. We just have 2 different personalities. We do things differently. Neither are wrong just different. The enemy on the other hand had a field day with me. Mike's knee jerk reaction of "no" because at an instance he couldn't see how his schedule could be juggled sent my mind into "what is he craaaazzzyyy" over drive.

So after reminding myself(out loud several times) that I teach and mentor women on how to behave respectful as God commands and that I have to practice what I preach...I asked could he do that God...?? How could he say no so quickly & pass up something because of what things look like on his schedule??

God stopped me right there. HIS response was "the same way you had a knee jerk reaction to his decision. You did not stop and look at the fruits of my Spirit or what I could do with his looked at you circumstances just like he did"

ouch. Lesson learned.

Thank GOD his mercies are new every day!