Tuesday, September 26, 2017

What am I known for?

On Sunday mornings my husband and I have a routine. I get up a tad earlier than him so our chocolate lab, Ginger, has time to be out and about before we leave for church. I sit outside for a bit then come inside to eat my oats and blueberries. Sometimes I turn on Dr. Charles Stanley's broadcast. I have to say I don't care for most spiritual type TV shows. I feel many are not true to what God teaches and some are clearly not speaking Truth. However, my mama listened every morning in her later years to ones that taught the Word and were encouraging to her.

I enjoy Dr. Stanley because you can tell how much he loves God and wants others to know God as he does. He doesn't beat around the bush and he is not a fancy or showy man. No flashing lights or power points...just the Word spoken in his quiet southern drawl.

That is my kind of teacher. Speak the Truth. Clear and concise as God intended.

This past Sunday someone interviewed Dr. Stanley. I missed the first few minutes but it was Dr. Stanley's 85th birthday. He was talking about retirement. He said he never wanted to be a famous person. The interviewer said he felt Dr. Stanley was a humble man.

The main thing Dr. Stanley said that stuck out to me was that if he had one thing he wanted to be remembered for it would be that he was a man that desired God.

Ahhh to be know for that. One does not need riches or fame or power. These are not eternal. But to be known for desiring God, loving Him, serving Him and yearning for Him. The creator of the universe, the eternal One. I desire that others would see me as a person who desires God. Yes. Dr. Stanley you have the right perspective. The best priority.

I love Psalm 63. "O God, You are my God;; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You. In a dry and weary land where there is no water. Thus I have beheld You in the sanctuary, to see Your power and Your glory. Because Your loving kindness is better than life, My lips will praise You. So I will bless You as long as I live."

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

My Writer's Cabin...Panera. Listening With My Tea

To those of you who have been reading my blog the past six months or so probably have heard I am a distracted person. Dozens of ideas, thoughts, concerns and blessings are swirling around in my head.


It is a curse, but how God made me. I have learned to work with it. The past couple years as I embrace being a writer, I am so distracted at home with so many things I could work on that sometimes it is hard for me to sit down and write at all. I enjoy spreading out my reference books, Bible, Greek interlinear, notebook and pens to do my Bible study time. Love that, but to "work"?

Laundry, the dog, decorating, projects...anything can distract me. So I have been going to Starbucks, Panera or any place with wifi at least twice a week for the past year or so. I hunker down and just focus. This works for me. Maybe this is why many writers have a cabin in the mountains to go to... maybe one day.

The great thing at these places is that there are other people doing exactly what I am doing. I would say at least 30-50% are sitting with their laptop focused, in a Bible study, encouraging a friend. Sometimes I hear someone praying with a friend or listening to someone sharing a burden. (Yes, I am distractedly listening, can't help myself). It blesses me, spurs me on and puts a smile on my face.

Today as I sit in Panera there are two ladies sharing. One hurting, one listening...sharing the gospel. I pray for them. For the lady hurting and for the encourager, that she gives sweet, wise words.

Psalm 145 has so many words of God's goodness to us. And encourages us to give Him praise. Here are some clips. "Every day I will bless Thee, and I will praise Thy name forever......One generation shall praise Thy works to another and shall declare Thy mighty acts...The Lord sustains all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down...The Lord is near to all who call upon Him to all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them. My mouth will speak the praise of the Lord and all flesh will bless His holy name forever and ever."

And so I am again focused. Working on my study questions for the book Not Really A Princess, Working on this blog. Drinking my tea and occasionally glancing around at those around me. The elderly gentleman with his paper, the large group of ladies sharing stories, laughing together and those sitting sharing hurts, struggles and joys. Praying that I may in some way find avenues to encourage others around me. Many blessings to you today sweet friend as you go about your day. May you shine the light to those around you.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fires and Earthquakes and Hurricanes.. OH MY!

"Under the whole heaven He lets it loose, and His lightening to the ends of the earth.....For to the snow He says, Fall on the earth, and to the downpour and the rain, be strong...Out of the south comes the storm, and out of the north the cold. ...With moisture He loads the thick cloud;...it changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it." These are excerpts from Job 37.

Hurricane Irma is supposedly the size of France. Fires, earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding. Crazy isn't it?

Things too numerous to count will occur through all this tragedy. I don't know the why but as a believer in Christ I have to ask what can we do.

 We can pray. I see countless posts on facebook asking for prayer. For those who are hurting over loss of family or homes. For jobs and concerns for loved ones.

We can meet needs, either housing, financial or providing services. Matthew 25 "For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat and I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me. Naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me." --The interesting thing about this passage to me is that we should always be doing this - not just when pushed up against the wall or out of guilt. It is evidence of saving faith.

I am just as at fault with this. There are so many ways we can help those around us. After Hurricane Harvey we saw so many stories of hero rescues. Neighbor helping neighbor. And I am sure the same will happen with Irma. That is so awesome. There are needs every day all around us.

CHOOSE now to continue to help those you know and don't know. Find some way each week. Set a goal. Make a meal, meet a need, help someone with groceries. Visit the widow, volunteer. And yes, continue in prayer for the myriad of needs that are plaguing us.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Who Do You Want To Imitate?

I am so very thankful for people in my life that have shown me God's grace and been true examples of His love. Friends who uplift, encourage and spur me on in my own faith to show kindness and love to others.

I love the book of Hebrews. In chapter 13 verse 7 it says, "Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith." Love that. I can rattle off at least a dozen or more people that I would love to just have a small portion of their faith.

The passage continues and in verses 15-16 it says, "Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased."

I want to be that kind of person. Praiseful, encouraging, kind, thankful and sharing God's blessings with others around me. And maybe they too will want to spread joy to others. That is what discipleship and mentoring is all about. It is a passion of mine.

It is really easy to grumble and vent. So easy. I have to stop myself when I begin to rant about something. I have to constantly give it up to God. Share love, joy, blessings. It is the best way. The way for me to get into the right frame of mind is to get my Bible out, even if I am not in the mood, and read. Maybe just my favorite verses but something to help me "connect". And I pray for God to give me a desire for the Word. And over the past several years I have yearned and longed to study my Bible and as I study I get lost in it.

 My prayer would be for you to seek Him. Find those around you who YOU want to imitate. Spend time with them. Pray for God to bring someone into your life to encourage your heart.

Why do we obey? -Guest writer: Jessica Everett

 One of my favorite songs, that I often sing in my head when I'm trying to sleep or in stressful situations is "I'll obey and s...