Friday, June 29, 2007

Are You Having A Good Morning?

A woman was talking at lunch about when she managed a group of people. She said that she used to manage a group of about 15 people. Each morning she would arrive at the office and walk through and greet her employees with a smile and "Good morning!" It seems she had a great, happy team and a good rapport with that team.

One morning she arrived at work and simply went to her office. She had recently learned that a young child that was a friend of one of her children had a life-changing disease. She had a lot on her mind and just kept to herself.

One of her employees came up to her and said "Why are you in a bad mood today? Your pulling everyone down." She was shocked. How could she be pulling everyone down by keeping to her self? It seems her employees relied on her to set the tone and mood for their day. If she didn't smile and say "Good morning" then no one did...Guess it was a case of the "If the boss ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"

She went out and told her team that it was not up to her to set their moods. Their good day was not dependent on her.

Are you letting someone/something else determine your mood today? Did the traffic jam on the way to work stop you from having a Son-filled day? Did the grumpy person in the elevator steal your joy for the whole day? Were you put off by the newspaper delivery person that didn't leave your paper right where you want it so now your day is ruined?

I have a question for you....why are you giving that power to those people? You have the One that gives happiness, contentment, and joy right inside of you. Letting anyone other than our Loving Lord set the tone for your day is to try to steal power from Him and to grant that power to someone/something else.

No matter what comes your way today (or doesn't come your way, like a greeting from the boss) will you keep your mind on our Loving Lord? Will you let His peace indwell you in the midst of any circumstance? Will you open His Word today and see His smile and hear His "Good Morning"?

Matthew 28:8-10 (The Message) The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. "Good morning!" he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, "You're holding on to me for dear life! Don't be
frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I'll meet them there."

Thursday, June 28, 2007

What Is Your Preference?

My son loves cucumbers...hates pickles.
My sister-in-law loves pickles...hates cucumbers.
My brother, as a kid, loved ketchup but wouldn't touch a tomato.
I love to drive but hate traffic.
I love, absolutely love to read but I absolutely, positively do not like literature!

How is it that we can love one component of something but not the other? Like I said, I love to read but please do not put me in a literature class and ask me to find the deep dark hidden meanings behind what the non-present author meant. Come on now, if these people can write good enough to be published, don't ya think they can express what they are thinking with straight out words instead of hidden messages? But I digress.

I was sitting at lunch recently when the first five statements above came to me. And it, of course, got me thinking about a Little Lesson :-)

What is it that we like/don't like in our churches? Do we like 'the church' but not the people who go there? Do we like 'worshipping there' but not the music they play? Do we like the "Sunday School Class" but not the teacher? Do we like the "missions emphasis" but don't send me on one of those trips? Do we like when "the preacher preaches a good one" as long as he doesn't step on my toes?

In food, it's okay to like something raw or prepared and not like it prepared or raw. But to do this in our lives or in the church is sort of like saying I like my personality but I don't like me. You are you. All of you is you. You are a whole package...just like the church.

Is there an area of discontent in our life that you need to hand over to our Loving Lord so that He can help you develop a taste for the whole package? Are you willing to accept the whole body of our Loving Lord without qualification? Will you let go of your divisive spirit and let Him unify what needs unifying?

Titus 3:8-11 (The Message) I want you to put your foot down. Take a firm stand on these matters so that those who have put their trust in God will concentrate on the essentials that are good for everyone. Stay away from mindless, pointless quarreling over genealogies and fine print in the law code. That gets you nowhere. Warn a quarrelsome person once or twice, but then be done with him. It's obvious that such a person is out of line, rebellious against God. By persisting in divisiveness he cuts himself off.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Are You Keeping Trash Or Treasure?

Sometimes you have to laugh at the innocence of kids.

My sweet friend and reader of this blog had asked her son to take out the trash. He's at that great age where he still wants to help out Mom. So he jumped up and took the "Wally-world" bag out to the dumpster. My friend was thankful for her son.

The next morning, my friend was getting ready for work and was looking for the bag she carries to work each day. This bag has her reading material, makeup, etc. in it. That day it had library materials in it. She looked everywhere and could not find it.

Then she saw the trash bag still sitting where she had left it so her son could take it out. Hmmm....weird. She knew he took the trash out. She she heard the door open and close as he went out last night.

Then it dawned on her. He took out the WRONG "Wally-world" bag!!! Her library materials, makeup, and more were all in the dumpster! Springing into action, her little boy had the time of his life climbing in the dumpster to retrieve the 'good stuff' and throw away the real trash.

Sometimes I wonder if our Loving Lord laughs at what we call our own 'innocence'...when we pretend to throw out what we 'think' He wants us to throw out so we can look up to Him and say "See I cleaned up my life! See I threw out the junk that you wanted me to through out!" All the while knowing that we are still holding on to the most stinky trash in our lives.

What trash are you still holding on to? What stinky things in your life do you need to let go of, get rid of? Will you, today, stop pretending that just because you quit (fill in the blank) that our Loving Lord won't notice the other junk/trash in your life?

Jeremiah 16:18 (The Message) "They won't get by with a thing. They'll pay double for everything they did wrong. They've made a complete mess of things, littering their lives with their obscene no-gods, leaving piles of stinking god-junk all over the place."




Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Are You Keeping Yourself In A Prison?

Years ago, we joined in prayer with many others regarding a woman that was accused of hurting a baby in her care at a church day care. Let's call this woman "Lady". Lady was charged on circumstantial evidence. From all newspaper accounts and available court records, there never was an investigation into family members. The doctors that examined the baby only stated that the baby had indeed been shaken between one date and another date. The baby was only in Lady's care a short part of that time. Lady, to this day, maintains her innocence. Lady has children of her own who never displayed any evidence of abuse. Lady however was charged and convicted and sent to prison for nine years. Nine years away from her family as her children grew up. Nine years away from her very supportive husband. Nine years for a crime that most people do not believe she committed.

Let's call the baby's mother "Girl." Girl was able to convince a jury that Lady had hurt her baby in a criminal way. Girl was invited to go on a popular talk show to talk about child abuse. Girl then wrote about her talk show experience on her web page. Did she write about the effects of child abuse? No. Did she write about how she hoped getting her story out there would prevent other children from being abused? No. Did she write about how she hoped that her son would benefit from Girl exposing this story on national TV? No. Well what did she write about? She wrote about the glitz and glamor of being picked up in a limo and taken to the studio and how she was treated so well by the host. She wrote about her on celebrity-style day. It was all about Girl! Nothing about why she had agreed to go on the show. Nothing about the baby at all.

At this point it makes one wonder about Girls motives.

Fast forward through the years while Lady sits in prison. Pick up a local newspaper in the town where Girl lives. What? Girl is accused of attempting to kill her own mother with a tool. Knocked her right upside the head. I wonder what her story was that time. "I didn't do it officer. I promise. I didn't do it. The mice in the tool shed must have hurt my poor momma." Is that what she said? I don't know.

Yet read all the online accounts that you can find today about Lady, Girl, and the baby and you will see that few people believe in Lady's guilt and more and more people are believing that Girl caused baby's harm.

For nine years, Lady sat in prison knowing she did not harm that baby. For nine years she had to trust that our Loving Lord, who always knows the truth, would take care of her and would 'get' the real perpetrator. And it seems He did. At the expense of Girl's mother, Girl did not get away with it forever. Lady never, from what I understand, pointed the finger at anyone else. She never tried to assess blame to any one person. She just knew that she, herself, was innocent.

I don't know if the courts will ever reverse their decision. I don't know if Lady will ever be vindicated. But I'm sure for Lady, there is a small, little bit of comfort in knowing that now that Lady is free and back in society, Girl sits locked in a prison cell. Lady can't get those years back, but she can leave the past, present, and future in the hands of our Loving Lord.

Has someone hurt you in a way that can not be corrected?

Has someone sentenced you to an internal prison term that ate away part of your life? What are you doing about it? Are you devising a plan to get them back? Are you doing your best to imprison them? Or...

Are you letting our Loving Lord fling open the prison doors that are holding you in? Are you asking Him to help you forgive those that have wronged you? Are you setting others free with forgiveness and therefore freeing yourself as well? Are you remembering His promise to 'take care' of things for us? Will you be free today?

Jeremiah 16:18 (The Message) "They won't get by with a thing. They'll pay double for everything they did wrong. They've made a complete mess of things, littering their lives with their obscene no-gods, leaving piles of stinking god-junk all over the place."

Romans 12:19 (King James Version) Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

Monday, June 25, 2007

What Can You Hear In Silence?

Silent.

Silence is what I am hearing.

Although many things have happened in the daily events of my life over these past few weeks, the Little Lessons are just not becoming clear to me.

So I asked our Loving Lord "What would you have me to write about? Which events should I use to find the Little Lessons?"

And He appeared silent.

How can our Loving Lord be silent? Doesn't His Word speak to us? I've been in the Word, yet still...nothing. Is He trying to get me to hear Him in the quietness?

So here I am, sitting quietly, listening, observing my life and listening, watching the world go by and listening.

I know He is still teaching me lessons in daily life but for today you will need to open your own eyes, look at your own world, and see what Little Lessons He is trying to get you to learn.

Will you do that? Will you look at the everyday events in your home, work, school, etc. and see if you can draw a parallel to spiritual lesson? Then will you share the lesson you have learned with someone else that may need to learn the same lesson?

Psalm 119:33 (The Message)
God, teach me lessons for living
so I can stay the course.


Saturday, June 23, 2007

Will You Stay Up Long Enough?

I didn't write yesterday. The day just got 'done' before I 'found time'.

I don't usually write on Saturday or Sunday. So today my computer time was more just for me, just for fun. Played some games online. Read the discussion boards on FaithWriters.com. Did some laundry in between some of the games. Sent some emails. Read some of my favorite blogs.

Periodically throughout the day, I'd check email. It almost seemed that my email account must have been broken. I wasn't even getting the junk mail that I normally get.

This evening I received an email from a friend. It was the only email I received today other than 'junk' mail. My friend was having a very rough day and she just wanted me to know that she wasn't ignoring me. (I had sent her a couple of emails today.) Of course, I immediately lifted her up in prayer. I sent her an email back and let her know that I was praying and that if or when she was ready to share or needed to talk, I would be here to listen.

Then I went back to doing laundry. And when I finished folding the laundry, I was heading off to bed. It had been such a slow mail day that I was pretty sure I wouldn't need to get back online.

For 'some reason', I logged back into my email.

My friend had written me back. She had taken time in her 'rough day' to fill me in on some of the details. She gave me enough information that now I could pray very specifically for her and about the things going on in her world. Had I just gone to bed, I would not have been able to pray specifically for her, just generically, and I would not have written this Little Lesson.

My Loving Lord's Spirit prompted me to get back on and just check my email before going to bed. What if I had ignored that prompting? I would have missed the blessing of hearing from my friend and the blessing of praying for her specific needs.

What are you being prompted to do? Are you going to 'stay up' and do what you are prompted to do? Or are you going to selfishly just go to bed, leaving things undone that He wants you to do?

Lamentations 2:19 (The Message) As each night watch begins, get up and cry out in prayer. Pour your heart out face-to-face with the Master. Lift high your hands. Beg for the lives of your children who are starving to death out on the streets.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Do You Care What You Dream?

Do our nighttime dreams have meaning? I know they did in Old Testament times. I know there are people today who make their living telling you they can interpret your dreams.

Most of my dreams are, uhm, just plain weird. They make no sense. They have improbable things go on. I dream things like being back in college but my sister (I have no sister) is my roommate and the campus is nothing like my college but the name is the same. Improbable that it could ever happen.

Do you talk about your nighttime dreams? Do you talk about them before breakfast? My grandmother always said "Don't talk about your dreams before breakfast or the bad ones will come true and the good ones won't." What about the weird and improbable ones?

Well, last night I had more weird dreams. A long time friend of my that I don't get to see as often as I would like was in my dream. We were at some kind of social event. Our families were there. She introduced me to hers (her in-my-dream family which is nothing like her real family at all) and then we went off to the side and had a private conversation. In my dream I felt that I had to ask her if there was something I could pray about for her. She said "Yes" and then told me about some cable TV offer she was trying to get but couldn't.

Now if you knew my friend, she would indeed trust our Loving Lord to take care of every small detail in her life but I don't think she would ever ask a friend to pray about a cable offer. Still in my dream this was a very serious conversation and I was so glad that we had talked and she had shared.

Then I woke up. Woke up thinking about my friend. Thinking "How CAN I pray for her, I wonder?" I refused to think that it was 'just another of my weird dreams' so I sent her an email and told her about my dreams and then I asked "So? How CAN I pray for you?"

Our Loving Lord. Isn't He the best? My friend is under quite a bit of stress right now and she thanked our Loving Lord that He led me to ask her this simple question, and she was able to share her burden with me and now I am able to join with her in prayer as she works toward meeting a stretch goal that she has.

Had I just passed this off as another one of my weird dreams, I would have missed out on the blessing of being able to support her in prayer. I expected her answer to be something personal or family related but it was business related. Without contacting her, I would have simply prayed for her family and not for the specific thing that she desired that I join her in prayer over.

Have you dreamed about an old friend lately? Or even dreamed about any friend? If so, will you take a minute today to contact that friend either by phone or email or instant message and let them know you'd love to pray for them? Then, will you? Will you pray for whatever is on their heart? Will you contact them, listen to them, and pray 'without ceasing' for them today?

Matthew 5:33-37 (The Message)

Empty Promises

"And don't say anything you don't mean. This counsel is embedded deep in our traditions. You only make things worse when you lay down a smoke screen of pious talk, saying, 'I'll pray for you,' and never doing it, or saying, 'God be with you,' and not meaning it. You don't make your words true by embellishing them with religious lace. In making your speech sound more religious, it becomes less true. Just say 'yes' and 'no.' When you manipulate words to get your own way, you go wrong.


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Was Your Experience Real?

Walking outside to go to lunch yesterday, I was snapped back to reality. The reality of Texas heat and humidity. The reality of everyday life. And for a moment I thought, "Was my cruise real? Did it really happen?" In that instant it all seemed like a dream. Seemed like something that was gone in a vapor. I think I could remember the emotion but the experience just didn't seem real to me.

Yet I knew.

I knew that I had indeed been on a wonderful trip on a fabulous ship to beautiful ports in Mexico. Slowly it all came back to me as, as also being part of 'reality'. The emotion of the experience was not currently present but the experience was real nonetheless.

How many people think that way about their salvation experience? "In the moment" they are excited and thrilled that they have started on their new walk. They want to tell everyone what happened to them. Then.

Then they get back into the daily grind and the emotion slips away so they wonder if the experience was real. They wonder if it was all just a dream. They wonder if their memories of salvation will be gone in a vapor.

Our Loving Lord is real. When He brings us into His family, we are there to stay. On our worst days, in the hot heat of the pressure of the world, He has still saved us. He still holds us in the palm of His hand.

Have you 'lost that loving feeling'? Are you thinking that your experience must not have been real because your emotion no longer supports it? Will you open His Word and call out to Him in prayer and thank Him that even though you don't 'feel' it right now, you know that He is still real and still living in your heart? Will you claim His promise that He will never leave you nor forsake you?

John 1:11-13 (Amplified Bible)
11 He came to that which belonged to Him [to His own--His domain, creation, things, world], and they who were His own did not receive Him and did not welcome Him.
12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name--

13 Who owe their birth neither to
bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!]



Monday, June 18, 2007

Is What You Are Doing What You Should Be Doing?

We just returned from a cruise to Cabo San Lucas and Ensenda, Mexico. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary on the ship. It was a wonderful and relaxing time at sea.

At sea, using the Internet is very expensive so, as you noticed, I have not posted any Little Lessons in a while. Oh there were many to write and I may even be able to recall some of them so that I can share them with you at a later date.

When we got home of course we wanted to share the pictures we took. I spent some time on the PC on Sunday putting them in a PowerPoint slide show. I put together a nice presentation with captions. I could hardly wait to email it to family and friends.

One of my blog-friends, Connie at Little Red Hearts From God, received the email and sent me this encouraging note of reply:

I loved the vacation pictures.. they were incredible...
now get back to posting...

How do you smile with delight that a friend likes your work and at the same time jump out of the way so she won't keep stepping on your toes?

I enjoyed my break, sabbatical, furlow, and it would have been very easy to get lax and let the blogs ride for a few more days. But God gives us accountability partners to keep us on track. To keep us doing what we need to be doing. Connie granted me the enjoyment of the time off yet quickly reminded me of one of my responsibilities. She is holding me accountable to what God has led me to do.

Have you previously worked diligently in a ministry (choir, teaching, writing, coaching, nursery, etc.) then had a much deserved break? What did you do next? Did you get right back to work or did you make those that kept things going in your absence continue to cover for you until someone new could be found to do 'your' job? If you dropped the ball, will you consider me your temporary accountability partner and decide right now how you will get back in the game? Then will you let me know what your action plan is to start once again doing what you should be doing?

1 Corinthians 3:13 (Amplified Bible) The work of each [one] will become [plainly, openly] known (shown for what it is); for the day [of Christ] will disclose and declare it, because it will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test and critically appraise the character and worth of the work each person has done.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Two's

I'll soon be back to writing Little Lessons but for now Connie at Little Red Hearts from God tagged me for a Two by Two Q&A thingy. What a good friend :-)

Feel free to click the comment link below and answer these questions from your own perspective

Two Names You Go By: MOM! (my son) and Shay (my dad)
Two Things You are Wearing Right Now: black stretch pants and multi-colored flowery blouse
Things You Would Want (or Have) in a Relationship: someone who talks with me and someone who listens
Two of Your Favorite Things to do: Write and read
Two Things You Want Very Badly At The Moment: Dear hubby to have Sunday's off and for one of my entries to win the weekly contests at FaithWriters.com
Two pets you have/had: Tiger and Tigger (our two cats)
Two Things You Did Last Night: Got back from our cruise and called my parents
Two Things You Ate Today: breakfast bar and cheese bread
Two People You Last Talked To: Sister-in-law and my son
Two Things You’re Doing Tomorrow: Going back to work and some housework
Two Favorite Holidays: Christmas and Easter
Two favorite beverages: Diet Coke and Sweet Tea

Okay so who is next? :-)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

To My Dear Hubby

I wrote the following for a writing challenge at FaithWriters.com. I send it out today with love to my dear hubby...thank you for walking the road with me for 25 years. :-)


Where The Road Leads

I set out to travel.
I set out to travel this road.
I set out to travel this road called life.

I knew where the road led.
I knew where I was going.
I knew how to get where I was going.

I’d finish high school and graduate college.
I’d live a pure life and ‘wait’ for my husband.
I’d get married, have children, and live a happy life.

I set out on this road called life.
I knew how to get where I was going.

I didn’t plan for the twists.
I didn’t expect the turns.
I didn’t know that the plans I made would turn upside down.

I wasn’t aware we didn’t think alike.
I wasn’t aware that he didn’t want as many kids as I did.
I wasn’t aware we didn’t view money the same way.

I set out on this road called life.
I knew how to get where I was going.

It wasn’t the end of the road but the beginning.
It wasn’t the end of my dreams but the start.
It wasn’t the way I planned it but it was the way it should be.

We’ve had one terrific son who became a fine man.
We’ve had adventures in finances that taught us about money.
We’ve had a quarter century to get to enjoy the things we don’t think alike about.

I set out on this road called life.
I knew how to get where I was going.
I just wasn’t aware of the place it was really leading me to.

****************************
They began to relate their experiences on the road and how He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread. Luke 24:35 (New American Standard Bible)

Do You Know The Real Track Record?

Twenty-five years ago I was a bride-to-be. Our anniversary is on Tuesday. We have traveled the road called marriage with all it's ups and downs and twists and turns.

Twenty-five years ago our wedding was officiated by Rev. Jim Denison. I'm sure, the now Dr. Denison, has performed many, many other marriage ceremonies over these years. I'm sure he has also grown in his pre-marital counseling skills through the years.

All these years later and on Tuesday, dear hubby and I will be the only couple that Jim has married that has celebrated their 25th anniversary. You would think that an upstanding well recognized preacher like this would have many successful couples that have celebrated a silver anniversary, right?

Why are we special? Why did we make it this long but no other couple has? Was it the counseling? Was it something he did or said to us? Or was it something else?

Those of you who know us real well, know the answer.

Before I tell you the answer, ask yourself this question: "Do I make judgements before I have all the information?"

Have you looked inside and answered that question for yourself? If so, read on...

The reason we are the only couple to have reached 25 years is very simple. The first marriage ceremony that Jim ever conducted .... was ours.

So Jim is actually one for one where it is possible for the couple to have reached this occasion.

Jim and Janet were simply seminary students and we were just a young couple. I don't know if Jim learned much from that first experience uniting two as one but we are very thankful for his willingness to play a part in getting our life together off on the right track.

What ever you are evaluating today, be it personal, religious, political or whatever, will you be sure that you have all the facts before judging the outcome of your thoughts?


2 Corinthians 5:16-17 (The Message) Because of this decision we don't evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don't look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Are You Still Frozen?

Last night when I got home, I took out frozen chicken nuggets and overly frozen french fries, placed them on the stoneware pan, put them in the oven, set the temperature dial to the right temp and set the timer for 12 minutes.

I then went to my PC to check my email and read a few of my favorite blogs. Twelve minutes later, dear hubby was home and the timer was buzzing.

So I went to take the food out of the oven and put it on plates so we could eat.

However when I opened the oven door, guess what I saw? Ice. Yep, that's right, ice...in my oven.

Hmmmm....

So I checked the dial that has Bake, Broil, Time Cook, and Off as options. Uh-huh. It was set to the off position. No heat, no cook, no eat. "It's gonna be 12 more minutes until supper is ready."

Without the heat being turned on, the frozen food does not cook.

I wonder if that is why our Loving Lord sends us trials, runs us through the fires of life. I wonder if without the fire we would be as tasteless to those hungry for His Word as those fries and nuggets would have been to us.

Is our Loving Lord letting the fires of life heat around you today? If so, are you seeing the benefit of being fully prepared by Him instead of being left untested? Will you let Him use you today, fully cooked, to speak His love and His grace to those around you?

Psalm 12:6-7 (The Message)
God's words are pure words,
Pure silver words refined seven times
In the fires of his word-kiln,
Pure on earth as well as in heaven.
God, keep us safe from their lies...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Before or After?

We have a pool and this year we have a pool service. When they come and do their job right, the pool is so clean and clear. For last two weeks, they have not done their job right. I have been calling to see what they need to do in order to do the job right.

Wednesday is our scheduled day. I got home yesterday and the pool was still 'dirty'. Well that just means there were leaves and other debris in the bottom.

So I called to see what time they 'came'. It should have been in the afternoon. Of course, since it was now after normal business hours, I had to leave a message on the answering machine.

Then we left to go get bar-b-q and run some other errands. When we returned home, the pool was clean. Beautifully clean.

We could not help but wonder if we had been skipped (again) and they sent someone out or was the pool guy really running that late that he did not get to our house until after 6:30 pm.

From our vantage point, it seemed that they only took action when we called. But more likely we must be the last stop of the day and he must have had a rough day.

Do you ever do that with our Loving Lord? "Schedule" Him to do something in your life...set expectations that He WILL do this or that? Then check-in and see that He 'hasn't done it'? Then you get all puffed up and call Him up in prayer and stomp your feet then walk away to do your own thing and come back and find that He did what you had asked?

Who gets the credit when that happens? Do you think "Well if wouldn't have complained to Him it still wouldn't be done"? or Do you recognize that He had His will and His plan in motion all along and you stomping your feet didn't change one thing?

Psalm 33:9-11 (New International Version)
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
10 The LORD foils the plans of the nations;

he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
11 But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Are You Solving The Right Problem?

Several years ago, someone, possibly me, possibly my dad, and even possibly my dear hubby, put a pruning pole at the far end of the rail that holds one of our garage doors in place. It was a good place to put it because it didn't get in any one's way. It didn't get in the way of the operation of the garage door. It wouldn't cause anyone or anything any inconvenience if we hung it there.

So earlier this week, dear hubby called me at work and said "You hung that pruning pole on the garage door?" and I said "Maybe?!?! I know someone hung it there like years ago." And he said "Well it goofed up my door."

Now get the picture...If you are in the driveway looking at our house, his door is on the right side of the garage and the pole was hanging on the back part of the rail on the right side of the door. OK?

When I got home that night, we went out to look at the 'problem' that 'the pole caused'. We were looking at that rail where the pole had been hanging, when dear hubby said, "See, look over here at this side (left side), look at what it's supposed to look like."

That's when I saw it. Saw the real problem. I said "Honey, the pole didn't cause the problem with your door. The spring is broke on this side."

And, of course, his humble reply was "No, it's nnoooot!"

And, in my loving and non-judgemental way I responded "Honey! Yes! It! is! LOOK! See this coiled up part of the spring? It supposed to be connected to that other ring of coil right there!"

And his reply was "Huh? Really? Yeah I guess so. Guess you'll have to call the garage door people!" And so this morning I stayed home a bit longer waiting on the repairman to repair the real cause of the problem.

The moral of this story is not "don't hang poles on the garage door" and it's not "wives are wiser than their husbands." The moral of this story is that if you look in the wrong place for the source of you problem, you will apply the wrong answer.

If your problem is drinking and you look at your kids and say "if they just behaved better, I wouldn't drink," you are looking in the wrong place for the source of your drinking. Fixing your kids won't help, fixing your heart will.

If your problem is an unfaithful spouse and your look at their 'lover' and say "if that cheater didn't come after my spouse, we'd have a happy home," you are looking in the wrong place for the source of the infidelity. Fixing the other person won't help, putting our Loving Lord first in your family will.

What problem are you dealing with today? Have you identified the true source of that problem or are you still looking on the wrong side or in the wrong place? Will you ask our Loving Lord for guidance and direction to help you find the real root cause and trust Him to lead you to the right solution?

Deuteronomy 4:29-31 (The Message) But even there, if you seek God, your God, you'll be able to find him if you're serious, looking for him with your whole heart and soul. When troubles come and all these awful things happen to you, in future days you will come back to God, your God, and listen obediently to what he says. God, your God, is above all a compassionate God. In the end he will not abandon you, he won't bring you to ruin, he won't forget the covenant with your ancestors which he swore to them.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Will You Be On Time?

My dear hubby had it all planned out. He had made a list to ensure that each and every detail was taken care of. When his plan had a few hiccups, he quickly found a 'plan b'.

Throughout the day, he worked to ensure that this was a very special evening. He went to buy some simple flowers for the table but couldn't find what he wanted. Plan B. He bought a taper candle holder and a taper candle. Red candle. Silver holder. Red to match the place mats. Silver for 25 years of marriage.

He bought the lasagna, salad, and cheesecake and read the instructions at least four times to ensure that everything would be just right. Called me to ensure that he knew what time I would be home so that he could have everything ready when I walked through the door. I said I was leaving by 5:00 and would be home before 5:30.

He put the DVD in the player and made sure it was ready to go at the touch of a button. (More on this later.) Then he switched the sound system to music and put on the perfect easy listening background music for a romantic dinner at home.

Everything was perfect. Now he just needed me to get home.

At 5:10, I called to say I was just now leaving. That 10 minutes makes a world of difference in my drive-home traffic. The long light that I have to sit through if I leave that late was backed up way beyond where I had ever seen it. Then the rest of the way home, I hit almost every light red. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get home as quickly as I wanted to.

But I did get home. And when I did...This was waiting for me:




The food was ready and the candle was lit. However due to my lateness, the bread was a tad crisp and the candle wax was dripping on the new tablecloth that he had bought. (Which by the way also had silver in the design.) Still we had a great dinner, great conversation. (First time in a very long time that we had dinner at home with no TV on and no interruptions.)

We exchanged cards. His card for me was a perfect husband-to-wife 25th anniversary card. After dinner he gave me his labor of love. A DVD with photos set to music that showed everything from where we met to: where we were engaged, where we got married, the birth of our son, our various houses, favorite vacation spots, extended family, and more. To prepare me, he gave me this:





He fully expected me to cry throughout the DVD...and most women in my position would have...but I didn't. I just grinned like the cat that ate the canary. I was so happy I thought it was my wedding day all over again. I'm weird like that. Sentimental things make me happy, ecstatic...but rarely make me cry. I think it was his only disappointment of the evening.

A perfect night. Beautiful memories. And I was 'almost' too late to enjoy it at it's best.

Our Loving Lord has a beautiful plan for you as well. Are you living in it or are you running late? Will you check-in with Him today and see where He needs you to be and when He needs you to be there?


Song of Solomon 2:4 (Amplified Bible) He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love [for love waved as a protecting and comforting banner over my head when I was near him].








Monday, June 04, 2007

Do You Want To Know?

For the past several months, dear hubby has been working on a 'special project'. It's a 'secret' and I can't know anything about it...right now.

He loves to keep secrets about things that he's doing for special occasions such as Christmas or my birthday. Usually he drops so many hints or does things in such a way that I have to work hard NOT to figure out the surprise ahead of time.

This time it is for our upcoming 25th wedding anniversary. So far I know this: He has spent a LOT of time on this. He has been rummaging through all of our family photos. He did some computer project with the help of a friend at work. I can't make any other plans for tonight. I have my guesses as to what all of the above means but I'm not going to tell you. Why? Because I don't want to ruin it for me or for him. If I get it all right, he'd be so disappointed. I'll let you know later how much (if any) I was right about. Our anniversary is not until next week but this is the best night for us to do whatever he has planned.

Normally, being the control (sorta) freak that I am accused of being, I want to know everything. How much money are you spending? What are we doing? What are you up to? I want details and I...want...them...now! But this time it's different. This time it is OK. I have been so very patient because I know someone that loves me is preparing something extra special just for me.

And you know what? Someone that loves you is doing the same for you. Someone is preparing a feast for you that will be unlike any feast you have ever had. Someone is preparing a place for you that is like no place on earth. Someone is planning a celebration of your life that you can not begin to imagine.

Are you in a huff because our Loving Lord won't give you the when, where, how details of what he is doing for you? Or are you patiently waiting and preparing yourself for what He has planned? Will you hand the details of your feast, place, celebration over to Him today and trust Him with all of your life?

Mark 13:32 (The Message)"But the exact day and hour? No one knows that, not even heaven's angels, not even the Son. Only the Father.

John 14:2 (King James Version) In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (King James Version) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.



Friday, June 01, 2007

To Worry or To Worship?

I had something on my mind today. Something that I had to deal with. Something that I needed to work out and needed it to workout in my favor.

So as I drove to work, I did something that I don't usually let myself do. I started to worry about it.

That wasn't good. Nor was what happened next.

I started to worry then I started to plot and scheme. I thought to myself "Well if it doesn't work out the way that I need it to then I'll just do this and then I'll do that and that will show them! Hmmph!"

Then I said "STOP IT!"

Oh, how I hate it when my mind wonders like that!!!

I immediately tried to turn my thoughts around. It wasn't easy. It's like a semi-truck trying to make a u-turn on a two lane road in rush-hour traffic. Not very easy!

Then a song came on the radio that I did not know. So I forced my mind to focus on the words of that song. This took my mind off my 'worries'. Then.

Then I said to myself "Self! You have a choice to make right here, right now. You can choose to worry or you can choose to worship. But you can't do both. It's one or the other."

So I replied to myself "Self, you are absolutely right! And I am choosing.... I'm choosing... I'm am going to .... worship!"

And myself replied "Wahoo!"

So the rest of the way to work I prayed and I sang and I focused on what Terri and John where talking about. (Just to prove that point...they were talking about "Taking Back the Family Month" and holding a contest on best/worse use of money, which I almost entered but didn't.)

Before I knew it, I was at work. And you know what? That 'thing' wasn't even on my mind by that time.

Shortly thereafter I had a chance to check on that thing that I needed to get worked out and have it work out in my favor and you know what? It did! It was already worked out and it was the way I needed it to be.

And had I chose to worry instead of worship, the worry would have all been in vain.

What will your choice be today? Will you choose worry over worship and dwell on things you can not change? Or will you choose worship over worry and let our Loving Lord handle all the details of your life?
Matthew 6:27 (Amplified Bible) And who of you by worrying and being anxious can
add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the
span of his life?