Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What Day Will You Celebrate?

Tomorrow is a special day.

It's a holiday but most people don't know that. Tomorrow, November 1st, is All Saints Day.

Tomorrow is a special day.

It's not special because it's a holiday, it's special because it's someone's birthday and that someone is special to me.

Tomorrow is a special day because it is Dad's birthday.

Today is a day that many people fuss over. Today is a very weird day. Today is a day that the pastor last Sunday spoke about when he said "you just can't explain this day outside of our country". He went on to say that it is hard to explain to people in other countries that we celebrate evil and darkness on this day.

Whether you look on October 31st as a day that previously is said to have had spiritual significance or you look at it as a fun day to play dress-up, you can't deny that the focus is on the negative, the evil, the scary.

I choose to treat today as just another day but I love tomorrow. I pretty much ignore Holloween but I love my Daddy's birthday.

What if we did that with how we approach the bad things in our lives? What if, when we were surrounded by evil, instead of focusing on that, we focused on seeing all the saints in glory tomorrow? What if we focused on what our Father has in store for us instead of stressing about what the enemy is throwing at us?

2 Corinthians 11:3 (The Message) And now I'm afraid that exactly as the Snake seduced Eve with his smooth patter, you are being lured away from the simple purity of your love for Christ.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Do Horses Belong At Starbucks?

We saw it. We really did. Coming home from lunch on Sunday after church, we saw it. Two girls, on horses, coming out of the 'drive through' at Starbucks. Two girls with their Starbucks cups in hand, on horses, at the end of the drive-through.


I had to wonder...Do horses belong in the drive-through at Starbucks? (Does that change it to a trot-through?)


We just got a good laugh out of the apparent creativity of two young girls craving some gourmet coffee possibly with horses as their only means of personal transportation.


And Starbucks did not turn them away. Was that the right thing to do? Their drive through is meant for cars. Their drive through is not designed for horses. They have rules. They have traditions. If those girls wanted coffee from the drive through then they should have found someone to drive them through, right?


Wrong!


The girls had a perceived need and Starbucks knew they had the solution and welcomed them anyway they got there.


What if we did this in our churches today? What if we looked on the young parents who had never been to church but knew they had a need for 'something' so they showed up one Sunday morning in their 'Sunday best' clothes, which for this whole struggling family is the jeans with no holes and the T-shirts with no slogans? What would we do? Would we, like Starbucks, see their need and try to accomodate them? Or would we see their 'lack of respect for how you should dress for church' and refuse to speak to them?


Oh, I know many churches are very casual these days so the clothes may not turn you off. But what would we do if the kids didn't act right in the Worship Center? What if the parents didn't understand the Lord's Supper and they each grabbed a hand-ful of crackers/bread as the plate went by? Would we be appalled by them or would we be the one to go to them after the service and lovingly explain the awesome priviledge we have to partake in the Lord's Supper and what it all means? We we be the one to share the Good News with them or would we walk away thinking "someone needs to set that family straight"?


What is your choice today? Will you laugh at the out of place things and people in this world? Or will you go to them and help them find what they are looking for?

Luke 14:23 (English Standard Version) And the master said to the servant, 'Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.

Monday, October 29, 2007

How Will You React To The Fires Around You?

I have a friend from childhood that grew up and became an actress. As adults, we've only had a few opportunities to visit. Whenever I find out that she is anywhere near me, I do try to go see her both as a friend and to support her career.


Recently she had a gig in a nearby town and I really wanted to get together with her however the timing was just not right. So we simply chatted by phone and got caught up on our families.


Since I know that she currently lives in the L.A. area, I asked her about the fires. Are they close to her? Has she been affected by them? She said that they were about an hour away in any direction and that the air in her part of town was white with ash and it was very hard to breathe. She was very thankful for the 'reprieve' that she got by coming here to perform.


However, she did not want to go back right away. She wanted to stay in the fire-free air of North Texas. Wouldn't we all?


Sometimes we live in and amongst the fires of the world. Sometimes the raging fires seem to be coming in from all sides. Sometimes we feel that we can't breathe spiritually because of the junk in the air of the world around us. Profanity. Pornography. Alcohol. Drugs. Promiscuity.


Then we get a chance to get away from it all. We go on a retreat. We go on a trip. We get a massage. We do something equally relaxing that lets us just for a moment forget that we live in the heart of an area besieged with fire. And we really want to stay there. Stay where we know it is safe.


What do we do? What should we do? We know the answer. We have to go back to 'reality'. We have to go back and do our part to help defend our part of the world from the raging fires. We have to go back and protect our home. We have to go back and help our neighbors find protection. We have to go back and do our part to fight.


That's what my friend did. She is now back home in L.A. Back in the center of the fire in more ways than one. See my friend is a strong Christian. A strong Christian living for our Loving Lord in L.A. A strong Christian living for our Loving Lord in the 'Hollywood culture'. She has a real heart to take Him to the lost in her industry.


What fires are you facing today? How are you facing them? Are you using them as an excuse to avoid contact with others or are you using the fires you face as a way to share our Loving Lord with those around you?


Psalm 50:2-4 (Amplified Bible)

2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
3Our God comes and does not keep silence; a fire devours before Him, and round about Him a mighty tempest rages.
4He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that He may judge His people:

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Can I Ask You Some Questions?

I've missed writing to you all. However...

Have I not written because I've been too busy?

Have I not written because I chose other activities over Little Lessons?

Have I not written because many of the Little Lessons that I would have written were possibly at the risk of exposing the shortcomings of someone else instead of my own?

Have I not written because I've been uninspired?

The answer, depending on when you ask is, yes.

The reasons vary by day but what I do know is that it effects me more negatively than it affects you. No, really, it does. Doing what I know I have been called to do (write Little Lessons) actually energizes me. Being obedient to His call is to my spirit what iron is to my anemic body (and yes I am anemic!)

What are you called to do? Are you called to write personal notes on real paper and mail them (with real stamps) to those who need to be encouraged? Are you called to cook a meal for no special reason for a family that is less fortunate than you? Are you called to spend time with a short-term or long-term shut in? Are you called to pray for teens involved in 'the world'?

How does it affect you when you do what you are called to do?

And...

How does it affect you when you don't do what you are called to do?

Which will you choose today?

Jonah 2:9 (Amplified Bible) But as for me, I will sacrifice to You with the voice of thanksgiving; I will pay that which I have vowed. Salvation and deliverance belong to the Lord!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

How Can An All Knowing God Forget?

I have 'extremely short' term memory loss.


I don't have 'short-term' memory loss.


Examples of my 'extremely short' term memory loss include:

  • I get in the shower, wet, shampoo, and rinse my hair, wash my body and wonder "did I shampoo my hair or just wet it?"

  • I sit to write a little lesson and get this far through and wonder "what point was I going to make?"

  • When I leave for work, I put my things in my car, go out and get the paper and throw it on the porch for dear hubby to get, get in my car, drive down the street and wonder "did I remember to throw the paper this morning?"

Now I don't forget things like have I paid the bills or how to cook supper (although the family would argue that at times) or whether or not my son has cleaned his room lately (although he wishes I would forget that).

Our Loving Lord doesn't forget anything.

Our Loving Lord doesn't forget anything at all, right?

Our Loving Lord doesn't forget anything at all ... or ... does He?

What about that sin you confessed to Him last night? Does He remember that? We often try to think that He does so that we can hold ourselves guilty.

But He can't remember the sins we confess or else He would be a liar. Right?

Do you have unconfessed sin in your life? Are you holding on to if for a reason? Will you confess it to Him today? Will you ask, and let, our all-knowing God prove to you that He can and does forget?


Isaiah 43:25 (King James Version) I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.



Monday, October 01, 2007

Do You Have A Language Barrier?

Each evening about the same time, our girl cat, Tigger, expects at least one of us to go to bed. If we are watching TV, she will come and sit in front of us and stare. If we don't respond, she says "meeeow?" which I think means "Aren't you going to bed?" But I'm not completely sure because I don't speak cat very well.

So the other night, I did indeed go to the bedroom before she had to come to find me. As I entered the room, she was on top of the TV. (Dear hubby has another story to tell about her being on the TV...something about "It's rabbit ears not cat ears" but that may be a story for another day.) So I said to her "get in bed, go on, get in bed" and she just sat there and stared at me ... and said "meowww?" and I said "Don't talk back to me just get in bed." .... She stared some more ... and I repeated "GET IN BED!" and suddenly she must have understood because her eyes lit up (they do that, they really do!) and she jumped on the bed and waited for me to join her.

Cats meow. People talk. Yet somehow we do manage to understand them and they, when they want to, understand us. Or at least we pretend they do.

I speak and understand English. My Loving Lord speaks and understands every language ever created. Yet sometimes I have a hard time understanding what He is saying. He speaks and I try to listen. But sometimes I just have to give Him a blank stare. So thankfully, I know that as long as I do listen and try to hear, He will keep letting me know what He wants me to understand.

Do you have a language barrier with our Loving Lord? Do you speak to Him without understanding His response? If so, will you faithfully continue to listen to Him speak (through prayer, Bible study, preachers, wise counsel, etc.) until you do understand?

Matthew 11:15
(New International Version) He who has ears, let him hear.
(The Message) "Are you listening to me? Really listening?