The Crawl-Spaces of Life

Where in the world is the shut off valve? I reached under my kitchen sink to get the glass cleaner when I realized there was a puddle of water under there. Oh great! No one is home. Here I go again, trying to install something that I shouldn’t be installing.kitchen sink

I proceeded to pull everything out from under the sink…good way to spring clean for sure. I threw away so much stuff. Yes, I am even a neat freak even with my cabinets. I sopped up the water and looked at all of the pipes under there. Yup, I need a new Elbow pipe…Do I take it apart? Sure I do but guess what? I don’t know where my shut off valves are. Oh yea, I think they are under the house in the crawl-space.

I pulled everything out from under the stairs; found the hatch that leads to the crawl space. Yikes, it’s dark down there. It also has a very musty odor. Do I go down there and take a chance with my allergies getting irritated? I think I’m going down. WAIT!!! I can’t find the flash light. Let me hunt for that first. Where in the world is that flash light?

Twenty minutes later…I still can’t find the flash light. Okay, this job is going to be put on the back burner until I can find help. Until then, I will put a bucket under the pipe to catch the water and wait for someone to help me.

Where does my help come from? Look at some of these promising verses about Jesus being our help:

Psalm 34:6 ESV This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him and saved him out of all his troubles

Psalm 30:10 ESV Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord, be my helper!”

Psalm 122:2-3 ESV My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.

 

 

Okay, I’m not going to tackle this one. I thought I would but have decided NOT to get under the house into the crawl-space. I am NOT taking the chance with my allergies. So, I will wait for my helper, aka, my husband who should be home within a couple of hours and not use the kitchen sink. I will however chomp at the bit to get under there with the wrench and replace the pipe once the water is off.  Yea baby! I get to break out my pink tools. I love the challenge.

You know, there are just some things in life that God just does not call us to mess with. I know there are times I step right into the crawl-spaces of His plan, without His calling, and mess it up.  Over the years though, I am learning to listen first before entering a dark territory without my light (Jesus).

Lord, I pray that I would be very careful to hold off from doing something that you have not called me to do. I pray that I would wait until I have your light upon me before I trudge into the crawl-spaces  of people’s lives. I pray that when I am equipped with the proper tools I will go full speed ahead. Amen.

The Ole Mary/Martha Syndrome

 

How do you react to unexpected guests? I’ve shared before and will share again; I’m a neat freak! There that’s out in the open again. I have always been very particular about my house and surroundings. I used to look at decorating books and magazines and try to duplicate the styles into my home on MY budget; which was zero. I love the trash to treasure technique. I have become very thrifty and resourceful over the years.

Years ago, when I lived on my farm, I would experience mixed feelings when people would stop in. I would love but to entertain but not unless my home was perfect looking. I would spend a whole day cleaning, cooking and baking. I mean I would even scrub the baseboard around the house with a toothbrush. Not no-more. The toothbrush is for teeth only!toothbrush

As I’ve grown older I am not so detailed, although I still like a very tidy house. But I have come to realize that my clean or unclean house does NOT define who I am. “BE ALERT, for you don’t know when the day of the Lord is coming.” Matthew 24:42. “My Dear Beth, I am not coming to check for dust bunnies, dirty dishes or unmade beds,” says the Lord. That’s what I hear Him say some days. It makes me ask myself, am I making more of a fuss over the appearance of my home or about an appointed time in the WORD?

Ouch!!! I admit, there are days when I can’t concentrate on my prayer list or my Bible reading because I’m thinking about getting the dishwasher unloaded, toilets scrubbed or laundry being folded. What do I do? Oh it’s so sad to admit, I find myself at times being a slave to the “have to” list rather than sitting at the feet of Jesus. Most days I fight the urge to be a Martha, who was so particular to the “doings” of the day.

Luke 10:28-42 NASB…Now as they were traveling along, he entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do ALL the serving alone? Then tell her to help me. But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things, (that’s me…dishes, dust bunnies, laundry, clean floors etc.) but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” I want the good part too!!!

After reading and pondering over this scripture, I have realized that recently I’ve fallen into past habits. (Things) The laundry, the rugs need to be vacuumed, the meals need to be prepared, the bathrooms need cleaning etc. What would God prefer? He would prefer me spending enough time with Him. Am I filling myself up with enough of Christ that I have enough to share with others and give away? If I am running on empty all of the time because I’m doing so much busy stuff, then what do I have left over to give to others? What if I blow off someone who really needs ministering to because I have to go and make a meatloaf?  Notice in Luke 10:42…that the Lord said, “it shall not be taken away from her (Mary). Don’t you think it’s when we spend time in the Word, as Mary did (at the feet of Jesus) that we learn the eternal value of our God? Believe me, I am preaching right to myself with this one!

While reading about Mary and Martha, AGAIN, I long to be like both women. Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, and was made full of the things of God. Mary was indulging her spirit, her everything at the feet of our Lord…Martha was busy working and serving.  Can you imagine both ladies; One at the feet of Jesus, and the other, serving Jesus while he’s sitting at the table. I know if Jesus were at my table, I would not neglect serving Him. Actually HE would be served first for sure, and, as it were in my household when my children were younger, He would get the GREEN cup. That was the treasured favorite cup. I don’t know why but my kids all fought over the GREEN cup.

Are we neglecting Jesus; (time in the Word) leaving Him alone at our table, on the nightstand or bookshelf? I really struggle with being so much more like Martha than Mary. I know God wants us to have a balance but my scale definitely tips more in the Martha direction. How about you? Are you more of a Martha than a Mary? Are you so particular to details or check lists that you don’t put time in with Our Creator? A false balance is an abomination to the LORD, but a just weight is his delight. Prov. 11:1 NASB

Don’t be a false balance…Be a Martha and a Mary. How? Get a routine going! Set a routine and don’t let anyone take you from it. It may mean you get up at 5:00 a.m. or you take your Bible into the bathtub or you listen to it while walking. I do a lot of prayer walking these days. Maybe after you put the kids to bed, instead of turning on the television, you just sink into the Word. Whatever works for you. Just do it!!!alarm clock

 

Oh God, that I would learn to balance my Mary and Martha personality. I pray that I will make the time to not only serve you but sit at the foot of your cross and just spend time with you, praising you and talking with you. I pray that I would find my routine again in the Word. I confess, there are days when I just tip the scale too much into Martha’s direction. Tip it back God, I pray. Amen

 

Come and join us on Facebook at …Living By Grace. Let’s chat about this. Please share your strategies of how you balance your Mary/Martha personalities. I would love some help.

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Filthy Clothing

 

Zechariah 3:3-7

Now Joshua was dressed with filthy clothes as he stood before the Angel. So the Angel of the Lord spoke to those standing before Him, “Take off his filthy clothes!” Then He said to Him, “See, I have removed your guilt from you,” and will clothe you with splendid robes. Then I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head. So a clean turban was placed on his head, and they clothed him in garments while the Angel of the Lord was standing nearby. Then the Angel of the Lord charged Joshua, “This is what the Lord of Hosts says: If you walk in My Ways and keep my instructions, you will both rule My house and take care of My Courts.”

The Lord is going to cleanse filthy Israel, which will take place at the Second Coming, but only when Israel properly repents, which she most definitely will do, thereby accepting as her Savior, Lord, and Messiah the One Whom she crucified, the Lord Jesus Christ. God can take all of our daily filth and turn it into splendor by clothing us in splendid robes. I love this scripture because it reminds me how quickly I can be clothed in filthy clothes.dirty clothes

What would you do if you were clothed in splendor and given rule over God’s house and courts? The Angel of the Lord Charged Joshua: CHARGED…The KJ version says “protested” which means to “solemnly and earnestly admonish,” meaning that even though all of this would happen in the distant future, still, Joshua, who was the type, must also serve as an example of righteousness. Joshua was given rule over God’s house and His Courts. There are days I can’t even rule over my check book. But isn’t that what we are instructed to do? Be ruler over God’s House; His Holy Temple? I believe so. I believe we are to always be on guard to be rulers for Him.

Let me back up a verse or two. Verse 4 says, “Take off his filthy clothes! Then He said to him, “See I have removed your guilt from you, and I will clothe you with splendid robes.” How many days do we feel filthy as soon as we step out of our houses? Do we rebuke our neighbor because his cat got into our trash, drive along the highway and curse the slow-moving driver or get to work and join in the gossip going on in the break room? Ouch!!! Matthew 16:23 tells us we can easily say, “Get behind me, Satan!” For that is what Jesus said. And this is where our battle exists. Satan is always lurking to trick us up.

There’s great news though!!!You can rule your house, your car and your work only by being true to God, confessing when you are falling short of His will and we can allow Him to strip us from our filthy rags and allow Him to clothe us with splendid robes.

Here is a poem I wrote years ago and thought it was so appropriate…

 

 

The Blood

Oh the precious blood, that saved my soul,

It cleansed my body and made me whole.

It’s red and warm, and flows for me,

Some say it has a price, But for every believer, it’s free.

The pain that He suffered; the stripes that he bore,

Some cried out to stop, but they tortured Him more.

He bled for me, He bled for you,

He poured out his blood, to make us brand new. 

Oh that cleansing blood I love it so, I crave it more each day,

Once you’ve confessed and accepted it, it won’t ever wash away.

Bathe in it; soak in it, lavish it so,

Cherish the red blood; it comes with a cleansing flow.

Lord, I pray that we would always be mindful of how your Spirit is among us and gives us authority to rule in your home (our bodies). I pray Lord that we would be reminded this week especially, that the blood of Christ

Virus of the Mind

computer

The other day I was typing along when I had some sort of techno mumbo-jumbo-possible virus flash across my computer screen. I know a virus in your computer is a BAD thing. I also know that it’s important to keep up with your protections but not ALL protections will keep your computer from getting a virus.

What exactly is a computer virus? Computer viruses are small programs that can negatively affect the “health” of your computer. I know that they can create files, move files, and even erase files. I also know that a computer virus can consume your computer’s memory, and cause your computer to function incorrectly. I remember when I first got my computer, my son put all sorts of protection on it and I think I remember him saying something about having to renew something or other. Well, I took his advice because I didn’t want some of my programs to be in jeopardy of attaching themselves to other programs and I didn’t want to pass along the LOVE across networks.

I started thinking about my mind and how easily I can get a virus of the mind. I can easily forget all of my blessings when my mind is attacked by a virus. I have to tell you what a GREAT weekend I had with my girls being home. I am trying to stay focused on the positive of their visit and on how much fun we had rather than allowing my mind to be attacked by a negative virus and have it robbed of the true joy in the weekend. I miss them and they are far away but I am at peace knowing they are on the right path and that they have each other. They both have longed to live near each other for years.

We all know it’s hard enough to get our minds to stay well when it is healthy, let alone when it has been attacked by a virus. Therefore, it is better to prevent an attack than to try to cure it at the last-minute. How do we prevent a virus from attacking our minds? Get into the WORD of God. Get into our prayer closets; call out for help from other Christian friends and family to help hold each other accountable. There are many fake and dangerous antivirus programs out there that can suck us in.

For example we can go shopping when we don’t have money just for the temporary high. We can over eat just for the emotional high. We can guzzle a few drinks to numb the pain or take drugs to block out the pain. These are worldly anti-viruses. Some of the best anti-viruses we can install into our minds are Praise and Worship music; keeping our minds on the blessings of God and being thankful for what we have. It is a good idea to have these programs on our minds and in our hearts to prevent a viral attack from the enemy.MP900385327

I remember one of the verses that I memorized from our Proverbs Bible Study was Proverbs 16:3 commit to the LORD whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.  If I stay committed I will know his plans for my life. I also love, Hebrews 12:1-3 “…. since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith.” He has set a race before all of us be we don’t have to run it alone. He is there with us and all we have to do is keep our eyes on Jesus.

Lord, I thank You for the joyful weekend I had. I thank You for loving me so much that even when I fall short of staying focused on You, You draw me in by your mighty power. I thank You for your son, Jesus, who died for my sins and who loves me with an everlasting love. God if any of my readers are struggling today with a viral attack from Satan, please comfort them. Bring scriptures to their minds. Let them call out to others for help and know that you are right there with them.

Fearful Baggage

 

Building trust in relationships is very difficult for me. I had a rough time in my childhood trying to connect with kids and making friends. I was sick all of the time with asthma and back then, in the 70’s I didn’t have an in home breathing treatment. If I had an attack, mom would have to rush me to the emergency room for a few shots and let me tell ya, we got to know Princeton Hospital quite well.

Kids made fun of me. Kids made it very clear that they didn’t want to sit with me on the bus because my lunchbox smelled of soy milk, which was a rare thing to drink back then. I was always last to be picked for the kickball, softball or dodge ball team on the play ground. No one wanted me to be on their team because most often I would run and need to come off of the field or court because I couldn’t breathe.

Then of course like many young gals, I was rejected in high school with boy relationships. I was not the prettiest gal but I wasn’t ugly either. I wasn’t into the popular crowd but I also wasn’t a loner. I had some friends and I was content with that. Then in my junior year of high school I met my husband who eventually after 23 years of marriage and 26 years of knowing each other, up and left me; alone with three kids and a farm to maintain. My trust went out the window big time.

I am taking on on-line class about writing articles for magazines. The very first thing that professor recommended to her students was to write about what you know. Believe me; I know a lot about struggling with trust and dealing with pain of abandonment. I was angry with God when I was often hospitalized as a child and my mom had to go home to be with the rest of the family. I was angry when I was in high school and lost two patches of hair right before prom. I was angry when I suffered my 5th, 6th and 8th miscarriage. I was angry when my x-husband forgot my birthday and many a Valentine Days. I was angry when I had to move away from my family and I was most angry when I lost my dad to cancer. I was angry when I was diagnosed with a kidney disease and had to quit my full time job. I was angry with step family issues that were out of my control. I was angry with my current husband who had tried to shelter me from some things that he thought would hurt me which backfired. And now…I’m angry because my husband has lost his job again. I am not angry with him; but rather angry with the situation. I just want to get above all of this. I don’t want to go through this adjustment again. He will be trying to find a job as a truck driver, which is what he is and I respect him for that. He is a very hard worker and dedicated to his employer. I will hate being alone because he will be on the road and when I mean alone, I’m talking most of the week. He will become a truck driver again and I will become like a single woman again. I just want to shout out WHY GOD????crying-woman1

Where were you then God? I know you had to be right there. Where are you now God? I know you are here. I Know that I’ve been confused and continue to get confused but it is not because I don’t believe in You nor trust you, It’s because of FEAR…I know I will find you right in the middle of all of this. I will put my trust so deeply in you God. I don’t want this to be another time where I say it’s my way or the highway. I want you to be totally in control and I want to totally support my man. I want to remind him that he has value. I want us to work together to get through this.

               Oh Dear God, please make me sensitive to what my man is facing. I pray for wisdom for both of us but mostly for him; that he would come to the cross, bow down and cry out to you. Help me to know how to build him up and surround him with Godly friends who will help him as well. Help us both to fully surrender to your purpose through this and I will trust you despite the uncertainty. Remove the anger and the fear God. As for myself God, I am afraid that I will not meet my husband’s expectations in this transition. I can’t promise that I will be level headed or patient and I am afraid of that. I am scared about the strain this might place on us financially and I am very fearful of being home alone again. My heart is not here in Missouri if I am alone again. But you have promised to give me the strength that I need.meditating

I know I dominated this blog with my “fearful baggage” and I thank you for allowing me to vent. Dear friends, what do you do when you feel like the rug is being pulled out from under your feet? What do you do when you feel your trust is being shaken? Have you had times where you’ve had to surrender and trust? Is trust hard for you? Am I the only one? Please share your thoughts. I value everything you have to say. Thanks.

Philippians 4:13: I am able to do all things through Him, who strengthens me. HCSB

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Sealing Envelopes

 

While at my Bible Study this morning one of my precious gals came up to me and showed me some of the thoughts and prayers that she had jotted down while reading in her Bible. I loved the little sentences and the thoughts she wrote. They were so tender. What I didn’t like was the way she said, “I know, they’re stupid, but here they are.” First of all, my dear friend, they are NOT stupid and second of all, please don’t belittle yourself that way. When God speaks to us and we are driven to write, that’s a beautiful thing.

Do you think God gives us stupid things to say or jot down? I don’t think so. I think His Spirit is working in us at all times and jotting down HIS words are a precious and thought-provoking thing to do. I used to write out my prayers all of the time; still do some days. I felt that God spoke to me through my paper and pen. I loved those early mornings where I would sit by the fire on my farm and just write what He was speaking to me. It could be prayers for others, things that were irritating my soul or just random thoughts about the day. I have over ten 20 gallon size plastic tubs filled with those thoughts.

Why just this afternoon I jotted down something that I felt God was speaking to me about. I didn’t have any idea that He was going to have me share it with the world via my blog, but here it is. We spoke today about the Sovereignty of God; and how in Ephesians 4:30 we do not need to grieve God’s Holy Spirit because we are sealed by Him for the day of redemption. Oh wow, that stuck with me. We talked about the hot wax seal we put on envelopes and today I thought about redemption as I was putting stickers on envelopes to help seal them. The envelopes were filled with loving words of encouragement for our grandchildren for Easter and I sealed them with a special little sticker; a sticker of love.sealed envelope

God is so big and yet He has so much love for ALL of us. Have you ever wondered how he can hear every prayer request from the tiniest child in Africa to the mightiest in America? Our human minds cannot imagine. Not only does He hear us, He’s here with us. He’s everywhere! He is not limited to space or time. He is everywhere with the desire to seal his beloved for redemption. Can you imagine? God’s love is HUGE!

Many people haven’t grasped the depth of God’s love for them. They believe His love is like the love of other humans. That is a dangerous place to tread. We can be so fickle with our love and unfortunately vengeful at times. If we have been wounded it’s hard to comprehend the real meaning of love and may struggle accepting God’s love at all.

Here are a few verses that I’d like to share with you so that you will know that He does indeed love you; no matter what you’ve done, you can always come to Him, ask for forgiveness and you are forgiven. That is so peaceful. You will be sealed by Him for the day of redemption.

Ephesians 3:18 NLT; And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love really is.

Psalm 145:17 NASB…The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made.

John 3:16: HCSB…For God loved the world in this way; He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.cross

Dear God, thank you for loving me with all of my faults. Thank you for allowing me to be me and for blessing me every day. I thank you that you have sealed me for redemption. Thank you that I am loved when I don’t feel loveable. Thank you sweet Father that when others don’t quite get me and walk away from me; you never leave me. I love you today God. I will love you tomorrow God. I love you for all you are in me, all you are through me and all you do as me. I love the answers that your truth brings; and I love the peace your presence brings. Amen.

Oh one more note: I looked up seal just to make sure I had the spelling correct and this is what the Merriam Webster Dictionary said: “To affix a seal to; to fasten with or as with a seal to PREVENT TAMPERING. We will not be tampered with. hallelujah!!!

How Does God Grab Your Attention

 

Towards the end of the spring of 2012, my spirit began to stir. I was unhappy at work and wasn’t sure if it was me, my female hormones acting up or if God was trying to grab my attention. I had just finished doing some major house renovations and had just gotten married. Oh not to mention, I had turned that glorious age of 50. Now, I know when God is up to something; He SLOWS me down. I either become ill or I become depressed. So, I began to pray and more importantly I began to listen.

By the time early fall rolled around, I became really sick. I went to my doctor and she ordered some blood tests. When the results came back, apparently my cholesterol was sky high and my vitamin D was way low. I asked if I could try regulating my cholesterol with proper food and diet first. She agreed to it knowing I was pretty good at managing my health concerns without medication. So there I was, eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies. I was no longer eating any fat and my calorie intake was about 1300 a day. I also took on more walking and swimming during the summer. However, I was not feeling any better. I was extremely exhausted and my legs were beginning to swell.

When late fall hit, I was incredibly tired and my legs got worse. I started to have edema with pitting. For those of you who do not know what that is, pitting edema is when you apply pressure to the swollen area and an indention persists for some time after releasing the pressure.  I went back to the doctor feeling defeated. She felt it was necessary to put me on cholesterol medication and I told to get some “ted hose” and see if that would help. Two weeks later, I had a massive headache that landed me in the emergency room. Then two weeks after that, I had another one. The emergency room doctor said I had an acute case of sinusitis and suggested that I follow up with an ENT. So, I did just that; I went to an ENT who thought I had some sort of trigeminal neuralgia and then I was also told to see an allergist. I made an appointment with a great allergist who started allergy shots. In less than two weeks, I was back in the emergency room with another massive headache. I was starting to miss a lot of work, getting more tired as time went by and becoming very discouraged.

I was sent to a rheumatologist because I lost a patch of hair and had a strange rash on my scalp and forehead. I also had a huge lump behind my ear. He didn’t think I had rheumatoid arthritis and sent me to a Nephrologist because my blood work showed my protein level was way off and there was protein in my urine. By January, I had a kidney biopsy and was finally diagnosed with a kidney disease. I could go on and on about how many tests and doctor’s I had to see in order to get a true diagnosis, but the purpose of this article is to share with you my journey with God and a great book I read along the way.

I was trying to maintain 40 hours a week at work, trying to keep up with my doctor appointments and getting various tests done and was unable to keep up. Finally through much prayer and obedience to God, I heard Him loud and clear telling me to work at the library part time and write from home part time. I had all sorts of doubting questions for God. “God, what if I fail? God, how do I subsidize my income? God, what if I get bored and lonely? God, what if they won’t let me go part time? God, what do I do about my health insurance?” The questions went on and on for days and weeks. Finally, I took a huge leap of faith, talked to my boss and by December of 2012 I was working part time.

Here I am, three months later, writing for the Lord, working part time at the library and starting to feel a little better. I have a road ahead of me with my health, but I am so thankful that God didn’t give up on me and that I took the time to listen. So, I’m not making any money, but oh how God has opened doors for me in areas that I never thought would be possible. I still have my health coverage. I am still working part time in a job that I love and I am writing for all sorts of places. I am never at a loss for words. Thank you God for the gift of gab.

Let me tell you how I got here though. The first week that I started to write, I felt all confident and good.  I had my office all set up. I had my desk cleared off. I had a nice lamp above my desk. My laptop was on top of my desk and my notebook to the side. I’ve never been one for a loss of words so I just started writing. But then as I set out to start a blog, I became so frustrated. I was failing big time. I must confess, I do NOT like technology. I was so frustrated. What is a gravitar? What is a widget? What is an rss feed and how do I post my blog?  Before you knew it, my laptop was closed and I was crying. If I can’t even figure out my new crock pot, how in the world am I going to stay at home and become a successful writer? Are you sure God?

As a librarian I have some great access to resources right at my fingertips.  So, I did some searching and gathered some books to help me out. I spent day’s just reading, jotting down notes and making a list of the books I wanted to buy for my own library. I was finally starting to grasp a little bit of what I needed to know and obtain to run a successful writing business from home. Oh, and I have mastered my new crock pot as well.

One of the best books I read and ended up buying a copy for myself was a book by Glynnis Whitwer, Work @ Home; A Practical Guide for Women Who Want to Work from Home. Glynnis has a degree in journalism and Public Relations from Arizona State University. She is currently on the staff at Proverbs31 Ministries. How she got there is a story that I would like to share with you, but let me first tell you that she has a huge heart. Every time I have submitted an article for possible publication to Proverbs31 Ministries, she has been so kind to guide me even when I have not followed all of the guidelines. I found her tenderness to leap off of my computer screen and into my heart. Thank you, Glynnis.

If you are thinking of working from home I would suggest this book. It is full of practical insight. Glynnis started working from home since 1998 and her husband since 2005. She learned so much along the way; it was put upon her heart to share in her book. Glynnis joined Proverbs 31 Ministries volunteer in 1998.  I asked Glynnis how she ended up there and she said, “I joined Proverbs 31 as a volunteer in 1998.  My family had moved to Charlotte and God orchestrated me connecting with Lysa TerKeurst at church.  I heard her on the radio the week after meeting her at church, and I heard God tell me to call her and volunteer my services.  I called her that day and told her I had a degree in journalism and was wondering if she needed any volunteers.  She said, “We’ve been praying for someone with a degree in Journalism.”  I started volunteering the next week and a year later went on staff as their magazine editor from home.” to find other resources and be able to follow her. You won’t be let down. http://glynniswhitwer.com/.

Glynnis-for-website

If you are interested in reading the book or any of the other books that Glynnis has written, you can go to her web site

 

Organic Grilling Spice

 

The other day, I picked up an organic grilling spice and I decided to try it last night.  Since the snow had finally melted, I could actually get to our grill. I put the burgers together and used this new organic grilling spice. I thought for sure since it was organic that it would have a yummy taste; after all, it smelled really good.

There I was at the kitchen counter, singing along with my praise music, patting my burgers together with my new organic spice. I was flattening them out just the way we like them, and stacking them on the platter.

While my husband put them on the grill, I took out the deep fryer, you know, the kind that adds about 200 calories to your meal and hardens your arteries? That’s the one. We don’t use it but maybe once every few weeks. Well, last night I took it out. I opened up the bag of French fries, lowered them into the vegetable oil, (the worst kind to use) and there they were, sizzling away.

I was preparing the table when my husband came in with the hot, grilled burgers. As we sat down to give thanks for our food, and we took our first bite, we both scrunched our faces. EWE!!! That was the worst tasting burger ever! The burgers had a nasty taste.  I’m telling you; this has just not been my week for cooking. First the cardboard left in the crock pot, then the crunchy rice and now the yucky organic grilling spice.burger and fries

I thought since the spice was organic aka, “real-deal” that it would be good for us and taste yummy. I thought it was going to have a real good flavor, after all, it smelled savory. It was a total let down. On the other hand though, the French fries were fantastic and they were the worst food for us. They were crispy, golden brown with just the right amount of crunch and salt. So, let me sum this up. The FAKE was great and the ORGANIC REAL DEAL was yucky.

Well, it got me thinking about people who do not know who Christ is, or what salvation is all about. It’s the people who live for the here and now, who live for the FAKE possessions; they think their things are yummy. But what about me? I am saved. He is the REAL DEAL to me. Salvation is REAL. But am I showing the lost the difference? Am I acting like the REAL thing or am I walking around being FAKE? I can think of how many times I fail to follow through with what God has asked of me; or times when He tells me to keep my mouth shut and I start to blab away. Am I showing the lost that I’m FAKE or ORGANIC?

Boy cooking has really made me measure my walk for God. Isn’t it ironic how God can take a simple thing like a yucky Organic grilling spice and remind me of how I should be acting around the un-saved? Maybe that’s the writer in me who always sees opportunities to write from experiences and this week’s cooking adventures have really given me a lot of “food for thought.”

Dear God, Help me to be bolder in my witness and not be afraid to show my real salvation in Christ. I pray that I don’t walk around acting fake. When I am not saying things that would reflect who I am in you; please bring me to my knees in forgiveness.

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God

How do you keep from falling short of what God desires? When you are in public, do your actions reflect who you are in Christ? Let’s talk about it.

 

 

 

Crunchy Rice From the Heart

 

Crock-Pot story #2: If you read my blog yesterday you are well-informed of my crock pot faux pas. I thought I had everything under control when I realized 30 minutes into the stew cooking, I still had the cardboard inside the crock pot. Ugh!

Well, the second half of the story is that I served rice with dinner and the rice was still crunchy. I was so disappointed. I wanted dinner to come out just right. I’m kinda one of those old-fashioned women who loves to cook for her man and have dinner ready and do it from scratch. I’m not a boxed meal kind of gal or a frozen foods woman. I’m not saying that we don’t sport a frozen pizza or a frozen pot-pie from time to time, but I would rather cook from scratch and serve it nice and hot on a pretty glass plate. Sometimes I even add the candle at the table.

Well, I don’t know what happened but my rice was rather crunchy. When I looked over at my husband, I thought he had a bone or something in his mouth. Then he quietly said, “the rice is a little crunchy, that’s all.”  I took a bite and said, “Kinda? It’s like crewing on sand particles.” Well, being on this new fixed budget, we ate it and bless my man’s heart, he had seconds. I told him its crunchy rice from my heart, meaning it didn’t turn out right but it really was from my heart fixed with lots of love.crock pot

Have you ever had one of those meals? You know the kind that you slave over and are so proud of and it comes out crunchy, soggy or just down right yucky? Did it bring you down or make you feel inadequate? We’re women. We’re supposed to have the meals just right and the beds made and the toilets looking like you could drink from them, right? Okay, I got a little out of control there.

When I bit into that crunchy rice I felt failure. I think my husband could tell how I was feeling hence the 2nd helping, with a smile may I add. He’s such a gem.GE DIGITAL CAMERA

Have you ever thought you were supposed to do something for God and it just didn’t turn out the way you thought it should have? You know…it turned out with either hurt feelings, misunderstood words or even like crunchy rice. Failure!  I am so VERY thankful that God will forgive me when I botch things up and He still loves me just the same.  My intentions are good and most often my intentions are from the heart, with love.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.

Ephesians 1:3-6

Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

Dear friends, When you think you are doing something for God with good intentions and you mess up, just remember, you are loved for who you are. There are just going to be days when we serve crunchy rice.

 

Lord, please help us to remember your un-wavering love. Help us to recognize when we are or are not in your will. Help us to follow Your footsteps and when we step out on our own serving crunchy rice, bring us back to the stove to cook a little longer in your Word.

What a Crock!

 

What a CROCK…

I just had an encounter with my new crock-pot and want to make sure my words are reflecting who I am. Another words, I want to tame my tongue and not vent my frustration. I don’t want to be a CROCK.

I went to Bible Study this morning and as some of the ladies whipped out their Kindle’s and I-pad’s that had the Bible downloaded on them, I was fascinated and somewhat jealous; I admit it! I shared with them that I can’t even figure out the buttons and settings on my new crock pot. I have to admit, I want to know how to download all of that technology. I want to be able to just swoosh my fingers across the screen and the book of Revelation just pop up right before my eyes. (That’s the book we are studying right now). Instead I took out my good ole trusty paper copy of the Bible and right there before my eyes were the notes I jotted down from last week, from last year, from three years ago etc. I don’t want to be a CROCK and act like I have it all under control with the Bible being downloaded. I’d rather admit my short-comings with technology.Holding Glasses over Bible

Anyway, back to my Bible; My Bible is not just a tool to fight off Satan, nor is it just a form of communication with God, no it’s more than that. My Bible is a roadmap of my life. I have sections highlighted, underlined, and dated. I love that I can go to any version of the Bible and see where I’ve been. I can see where God has taken me and where He has showered me with love or disciplined me with his finger.

For those of you who have downloaded you Bibles, kudos to you. I think it’s wonderful that you’ve done that and it works for you. I do not judge. As a matter of fact, remember I am the one with the crock pot issues; however, I downloaded the Bible onto my phone. Yup; it’s small but when I am on my break at work, I can go right to it and read. It also has the verse of the day on there. There’s hope for me yet.crock pot

So, now that I’ve gotten that off of my chest, I have to confess. Okay here it goes. When I came home from study, I took out the new crock pot, got out all of my ingredients to make a beef stew, put it all in the pot, plugged it in and couldn’t figure out the settings. It kept beeping at me. It was not getting hot and the buttons were flashing.  I was getting so frustrated. I finally broke down and pulled out the instructions, and after playing with the buttons I figured the thing out. I had it set on HIGH, for 6 hours and left it to do its thing.

Feeling pretty proud of myself, I cleaned up the scraps of preparations on the counter, cleaned up the kitchen and dusted the house. While upstairs, I noticed that there was a wafting burning smell in the house. I thought it was from having the coils cleaned on the furnace on Monday so I really didn’t pay too much attention to the odor. I went downstairs, cleaned the bathroom, threw a load of laundry in and went to check on my good ole trusty crock pot. I quickly felt the sides; they were all nice and hot. Again feelings of accomplishment washed over me until I looked down and realized I still had the cardboard inside the crock pot. It was starting to burn. OM-goodness!!! I could have had a terribly burnt crock pot had I not noticed what I had done. I immediately grabbed the potholders and pulled the cardboard out. Thank you Lord for saving me from a possible crock-pot fire.crockpot 2

Is that just like us at times? I can be so on fire for the Lord only to realize that my words and actions are in conflict with what I am felling inside. I want to be true and genuine and not a CROCK. I may be working on the outside but the inside still has some stuck cardboard. I can’t function properly unless I am totally in God’s direction, God’s plan and God’s will. I want to be like my crock-pot. I want to be trustworthy but I have to have the cardboard taken out first, otherwise, I will not work properly.

I can choose to be alert to the heart of God and as I seek to understand what God is feeling, I have to get rid of anything that hinders me from working properly. He may share with me the intensity of His heart; and I want to be ready for that. He may ask me to do something for Him when around other people. And I want to be obedient to that.  He may sensitize me to the love He feels for others in their sufferings and in order to obtain the compassion for them that Christ wants me to have, I have to get intimate with Him. In order for me to be effective for Him each day, I have to give him the cardboard from within me.

Dear friends, if you are struggling to get rid of the things inside of you that are hindering you from working properly for God, please know that all you have to do is ask; He will give abundantly.

Mark 11:24…Jesus said, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”

1 John 4:16…We know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.

Oh Lord, as I close my eyes and bow before your throne, please clean out the unnecessary “cardboard” from within me. Please help me to give each day to you and to trust you in all that I do. Amen.