Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Do I hurt your ears?

Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. Psalms 98:4

Many years ago, I was asked to help take care the four and five year olds during morning worship services at church. As the time for the end of service drew near, I had the children to start putting away all the toys. Then we all sat down to wait for their parents to come pick them up. As we were waiting, I decided to have them to sing a few songs like ‘The Wheels on the Bus’. After only the first few lines this sweet little girls comes over to me and softly taps me on the leg. Thinking that she is just going to ask to go to the restroom or maybe request to pick the next song I leaned down to hear her. She quietly said, “Can you please stop singing? You are hurting my ears.” I had to laugh because I am well aware that I am not a singer but I was attempting to make a joyful noise as instructed in our key verse.

Many times as I sit staring at the cursor blinking on the screen in front of me, I struggle with what to write. I finally let my fingers begin typing the words that come in my mind only to go back re-read it, pick it apart and finally delete it all. About two years ago, God called me to share my testimony and biblical lessons through speaking and I accepted that calling easily. However, the call to start this blog was also clear but not as easy for me to accept and follow. Just as I know that I will never make an album with my singing, I also know that I will never use my literary skills (or lack there of) to write a book. As I sit and read post so gracefully written on other blogs, I once again hear that little girl’s voice saying. “Please do not write it hurts my ears.” There are times that message seems so loud that I want to quit. Then I feel God’s sweet and gentle reminder of the words I spoke to that little girl so many years ago. I told her, “Everyone may not sing the right words, carry a tune or have a perfect pitch but as long as they are singing for God is sound sweet to Him.” I know that I write only for an audience of One. I write because He has told me to. Yes, I am to do my best to try to follow all the grammar rules and to make my post something that will by uplifting and encouraging to you. However, most importantly, I write to remind myself of the things that He has taught me. To be a witness of what He has brought me through.

What is the enemy speaking to your heart that makes you want to quit? Is he causing you to compare yourself to others? Is he reminding you of past shame? Is he telling you that the calling you think you heard was not from God? Now, what does God use to remind you that you are just simply called to make a joyful noise not to be the soloist?


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How Bad Do You Stink?

“Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” John 11:3

Last month a group of youth, along with the youth director and his wife, went on a mission trip to South Carolina. Now if you have never been in Southeast weather in the middle of July then I am not sure I have the words that can describe it to you. Some words you might hear used are hot, humid, sweaty, sticky and miserable. Theses teens along with a few adults spent a week in Walterboro, SC walking the streets to witnessing in the neighborhood and doing home repairs on a couple different houses. Upon their return home they took an hour one Sunday night to share with the church about the work they did and the people the talked to. I was so proud to see a group of young people beam as they talked about serving the Lord. However, it was something the youth director’s wife said that made me think. She talked about how hard they had worked in the heat and how bad the smell was on the van ride back to the host church each evening but that it was also a sweet smell of love. That statement made me think, “How strong is my smell?”

I thought about when Mary anointed Jesus’ feet with the oil. I visualize that once Mary had finished that she would have brushed her hair back and left the room. As she walked down the street – for days to come - the aroma of the spikenard would drift through the crowd. The strong smell would cause people to ask questions. Question like, “Where is that smell coming from.” “Why would she have used so much of costly oil?” In fact, Judas did ask this exact question because he considered her use as being “wasteful” and not of any value. I also imagine there were some in SC that questioned why a group of youth would have given up a week of their summer to work hard in the heat. To sweat. And to stink so badly. However, to God the body odor of those kids was as pleasant of a smell as the finest perfume. Both smells came from love, devotion and service.

So how bad do you stink? Do you smell strong enough that would cause other to ask questions?


Friday, August 12, 2011

What kind of Vacation Do You Want ?

I am come that they might have life, and that they might
have it more abundantly.” John 10:10b

When my son, Anthony was about three years old, my husband and I had spent weeks planning a nice family vacation but we could not decide where to go. I wanted to go to the beach but Mike wanted to head north towards the mountains. Since I had just found out I was expecting another child, we knew these would be the last vacation with Anthony as an only child. So we decided to let him be the decision maker. When we posed the question to him that evening at dinner without a seconds pause, he yelled “WAL-MART!” He was so excited just at the thought of going to his favorite store. He knew he normally got a toy, a piece of candy or something that made his life a little happier every time he went. In his sweet little three-year-old mind, he had associated a trip to Wal-Mart with the best there was. He had no idea the great vacation plans his dad and I had for him. He had no conception of playing in the waves or standing on top of a mountain and seeing for miles. He did not know how much better these places would be than a one-hour walk around a department store.

As a family we were remembering (and laughing) over this story the other night when I God gave me a light bulb moment. Just Anthony was so willing to settle for so much less than we had planned for him, I tend to settle for less then God has planned for me. Just as the key verse above says He came for us to have life more abundantly. One of the definitions for abundantly is well-supplied, providing more have a plentiful supply. Think about that, Christ wants to give us more….
… more than you can imagine
…more than you can ask for
…more than your desires
…more than you deserve
…more than others have given you value of

Are you happy with just a vacation to Wal-mart or are you going to wait for him to give you a trip to the beach?


“Our lord finds our desires not too strong but too weak. We are half hearted creatures fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us. Like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday by the sea.” ~~ CS Lewis

Monday, August 8, 2011

Zero-Turn Lesson

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” -- ISA 43:18-19

Since my father-in-law has a small lawn care service, we have several lawnmowers to choose from when it is time to cut our own grass. Yesterday I went to pull crank the one he calls “old faithful”. I always use that particular one because it is the oldest in the fleet and therefore, if it breaks down it would not be that detrimental to his business. However, as I turned the key nothing happened. There was not even the sound of the engine trying to turn over. I climbed off the mower and called for my husband to come check it out. He tried to jump start it from one of the other mowers and check it out from one end to the other, but he was not able to get it to crank either. He said, “I guess it is time you learn to cut grass a new way.” It was then that he stepped over to the newest mower. It was a large zero-turn mower, the type that you control all movement with joystick instead of a gas pedal and steering wheel. I was very unsure of it. It was so uncomfortable and even a little scary, so I took it very slow and easy for the first few passes around the yard. As I became more familiar with how it would react to each push or pull of the controls, I began to enjoy it. It certainly finished grass-cutting job much quicker and better than the old-faithful mower.

God used the simple Saturday morning chore of cutting grass to show me that it may be time for me to step out of the comfort zone of my old faithful service and try a new way to serve Him. We are all call to minister and share God’s love, grace and mercy with others. However, we are not all called to do it in the same cookie cutter way. In fact, I have learned that I am not to reach out to every person in the same way. Since we are all called and created differently we can’t judge the way others serve nor can we compare our service to that of someone else. Some of us at some time are going to use the good old standard lawnmower while some at other times will be asked to sit on the zero turn mower and learn to operate in new way. Therefore, we should all be aware of not only what God is calling us to do but how He wants it done. There are many times in the bible that He gave specific instructions on how he wanted thing said or done.

Dear Lord
May I always be open to hear, willing to follow and unashamed to do all you call me to without concern of others thoughts or opinions. I ask that you show me the specific step I am to take but also realize that it will come in your perfect timing. Amen

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Divine Appointments

In May 15-16,2010 a very good friend, Tricia Russell, and I attended the Extraordinary Women's Conference in Birmingham, Alabama.


God showed up in every way.

First let me tell you how we were able to attend this conference at the last minute. Since Tricia and I would be attending Proverb 31's She Speaks in July 2010 we had decided we would save a little money and not attend E-Women. The Monday night before E-Women came to town, Lysa TerKeurst, the president of P31, left a post that they would be giving away 2 tickets to a randomly drawn reply. Not really believing I would win I just left a short little comment. Later that evening I found out that I had in fact won. Of course I called Tricia the first thing the next morning. told her to get a sitter cause we were going.

We knew from the first note played on Friday night that we were there by divine appointment and we were going to see God move in mighty ways. I wish I had the time, space and words to tell you all that God did through each speaker, each song and each sponsor but I mainly want to share with you where God took us during lunch break on Saturday.

Because we had won the tickets we did not get the boxed lunch that was offered so we had to leave the complex to get something to eat on Saturday. Due to me have a little brain hiccup and not being able to tell my right from my left we ended up getting on the interstate going the opposite way than we had planned. So we decided to just make the best of it and was heading to McDonald's. As we came around the block to turn to Micky D's we were stopped but a construction roadblock. Once again we had to go to our back-up plan and we went on around the next block to Burger King. As we walking in we sort of questioned if we should stay because it wasn't the cleanest, the line was long, and the staff was no moving to quickly. However, since we were limited on time we decided we would just stay and make the best of it. After a couple of minutes of standing there and couple and their friend came in behind us. As we all continued waiting and waiting the gentleman just started joking and carrying on with us. He asked us what we were doing in town and we began to tell him about the conference. He told us that he and his wife were both in the ministry. As we continued to tell him about the speakers, we found out that his wife was the managing editor of a Christian publishing company. That just blew us away. See Tricia has been working on write a book but neither of us really knew anything about the publishing business. We decided that even though we only had a short time we were going to stay and share lunch with our new found friends. This couple was such an encouragement to us, not because she was a publisher but because they loved the Lord so much and that came through in the way they shared with us. This couple just sat with us and listened to our hopes, dreams and concerns.

At a time when both of us had begun to throw out all those questions that seem to come in a time of waiting:

Did I really hear from God?

Am I really the one He wants?

Can I do this?

Am I qualified?

An on and on and on..

God sent to us the sweetest couple to confirm what He has already done in our lives and what He will do in the future. In His timing.

And now for the icing on the cake....

Because we had sat and talked with them for so long we were late getting back to the conference. We were afraid that we had missed the concert by Mark Schultz but it turned out that they had been some technical problems and was just playing the first song we we slipped into our seats.