Friday, July 30, 2010

Come Running

We have a sweet, and sometimes not-so-sweet, little dog named Marlie. We got her before the movie “Marley & Me” ever hit the big screen, however, there have been times that I could completely identify with the family in the movie. It’s almost as if the name is a curse! Really though, we picked that name for her because it means “wished for” and my girls and I had wished for a dog for a long time, it just took a while to wear Daddy down!

It’s so funny how she just fits right in with our family and knows our routines so well. If I am in the kitchen, no matter where she is, her ears are perked and she is eager for the slightest hint of her name being called or the sound of a crumb hitting the kitchen floor. I am, by my own admittance, not the neatest cook. I like to cook and I like to bake, but I always make a mess and something always drips or drops onto the floor somewhere along the way. That little pooch is at the ready for me to call her if there is some little something on the floor that she can have and believe you me, you only have to say her name once and she comes running. Usually I don’t even have to stop what I’m doing to show her where it is, just the slightest nod of my head in the direction of her prized jewel and she zones in and comes in for the kill!

I wonder how many times God has to call my name or your name before our ears perk up to His voice? Often I don’t listen the first time, sometimes even the fifth time. What’s even worse than that is I don’t always come running. I lollygag around and get there in my own time so that I can do what “I” want to do along the way. If I get to what He wants fine, and if I don’t, well, maybe I’m not sure it was Him, or so I tell myself to justify my disobedience.

Now most of us know that dogs don’t speak English, sorry if this is the first that some of you have heard of that, I hate to be the one to break it to you, but speaking the truth in love, I’m must tell you they don’t! Since they don’t speak our language, it amazes me more that little Marlie can interpret my head nods in the direction of the tasty morsel that awaits her. How many times have I whined that I don’t know what God wants from me, that I can’t sense His direction? Have you done the same? If I don’t came running at the hint of my name or at the sound of a mere crumb falling from His table, how will I ever be in the position to see which direction His head nods? I wonder how many crumbs I have left along the way. I fear that there have been many.

In Mark 9, after the Transfiguration, Jesus came back to join the rest of the disciples and noticed a large crowd gathered around arguing with them. Verse 15 says that immediately when the entire crowd saw Him, they began running up to greet Him. One of the people in the crowd approached Jesus and asked Him to heal his son. The man said to Jesus “But if you can do anything”. IF – little word big meaning. I think it is no coincidence that this is the same chapter where Jesus is quoted to say “All things are possible to him who believes.” Then, as if with a Divine nod of His head, the boy was healed.

Those people immediately came running eager to see what He had to say, and I must do the same. If that father had not come running, his son may have never been made whole. When I believe in Him and his abilities, I know that I can move forth in which ever direction He nods His head and follow His direction without fear. Whatever morsels fall from His table in my direction are just bonus.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Uncharted Waters

Tears of gratitude and awe flow down my face as I sit and write this entry to you all. By the time most of you read this, my family and I will be in our car traveling to North Carolina so that I can attend this year's She Speaks Conference.  I am so thankful to God for providing the spot for me to go, for simply choosing to use me. I am thankful for my husband being so overwhelmingly supportive and excited for me, the finances to make the trip, the vacation time from work, and my bosses who let me go (even though it's not the most convenient time for me to be away).  When my friend, Farrah, mentioned the conference to me yesterday, I told her that I'm just a "cracked pot".  I am just a cracked pot, but you know what, I am God's cracked pot and He still plants flowers in pots just like me. I can't wait to see what He has in store for the years ahead. 

I cannot explain what is inside me now and what has been inside me over the past several weeks other than to say that this is a calling and I feel overwhelming joy to write for all of you everyday.  For the first time in my life I am doing something hasn't felt like a job or a duty at all.  I love all of you and thank you so much for loving me back.  Many of you have known me at my worst and loved me in spite of my faults, and I pray that one day you will have the chance to know me at my best - God's best.  

These are uncharted waters for me and I am nervous yet excited at the same time.  I was thinking this morning of the uncharted waters our forefathers faced when they stepped onto those ships to sail to the Americas. God reminded me that they sailed here for the purpose of religious freedom, freedom to worship and I too step into unknown seas for religious freedom, but in a different way.  The freedom that I feel is within.  I know that if I don't step into these waters, I will not continue to feel the freedom that is within me in this moment and I do not want to go back to where my heart was even six months ago.  I want to obey and do what I feel He has placed before me and experience the freedom that comes from sweet communion with Him.  Freedom is never free, something always has to be given up to obtain it, and I have had to give up doing things my way.  It's amazing how a heart can wave the white flag of surrender and that flag of surrender turn into a flag of freedom waving over that same heart by simply being obedient.   If you have never experienced a sense of freedom within your spirit, I beg you, please listen for His voice, trust Him enough to step into the water, no matter how deep, and let Him take you to the other side. 

Father seated in the Heavens above, I pray earnestly for my friends and my family who read these words.  It is my desire that they experience You in a higher way,  that they experience a sense of freedom and celebration within their souls.  God, I ask You to be so very close to them that they feel Your strong, but gentle, loving hand stroking the back of their heads as You love on them.  May they feel Your breath upon their cheeks as you hug them close.  I pray, Lord, that when You try to embrace them, that not one of them will resist the hug the way many of us resisted hugs from our parents when it "wasn't cool" anymore.  May they melt in Your arms, never to escape.  Father, if even one of them is struggling with whether they hear Your voice or not, I pray that they would feel your hand in their back showing them the direction in which You want them to go.   Thank you for placing me here in this moment with You, I can't get enough of Your presence and I would give anything for them to experience You along with me. 

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A Garanimals Approach

I have always been partial to things that coordinate on purpose, which probably explains why I thought Garanimals were the greatest invention ever when I was a tween. Mind you, I was much too mature for them, but I remember watching those commercials and wishing inside that my sister and brother had some of those outfits merely because they coordinated so easily. How could you mess that up? Better yet, how could someone else tell you something didn’t match? I mean if the top had a tag with a giraffe on it and the bottoms had a tag with a giraffe on it, it was guaranteed that the outfit worked. Could shopping for school clothes get any simpler than that? What a marketing idea to reel suckers like me right in, huh!

What if we approached our lives with the Garanimals mentality? What I mean by that is what if we used God’s Word, Jesus’ life, and the way He treated others to match our life to? Do the words that come out of our mouths match up to the standards He has given us? When faced with a difficult situation, we can chose the response that best matches what His response would be. How different things would be for us if we tried to “coordinate” every decision we make to match what He already has planned for us. We can use His Word to test our “outfits” or situations in life to see if they match up to His will. What about how we treat other people? We could hold up our actions to examples of His in the New Testament to see if they go together. Sadly, my hunch is though, that often things would clash. We sometimes try to match a lion tag to a sheep tag and it just doesn’t work and we go on throughout our day (or years) sometimes not matching. We don’t match up to what we say we are and all the world sees is a clashing mess on display that is not appealing to them at all. Those without a relationship with Jesus will want no part of Him, because to them it looks like He doesn’t go with anything.

If we are Christians, we must look at Him as the constant in our life’s wardrobe and everything else that we wear or display has to match Him. That’s what will attract others to put Him on too.

Lord, not only do I pray for my readers today, but I pray for myself too. God, I have failed many times in matching my life to You. In theory it really is as easy as walking to a closet to match tags because You tell us that Your yoke is easy and Your burden is light. We are the ones that make it difficult. We are the ones who create the gray areas and try to provide exceptions and excuses for our actions. Really, it is black and white – if it doesn’t line up with the truth in Scripture, it’s wrong. It’s that simple. I pray, Father, that my mind be shifted to more of a desire to line my life up with that of Your Son and less to justify my attitudes, thoughts, and actions with excuses and exceptions that I have made up on my own. I pray, Lord, that my spiritual eyes be sharpened to see no shades of gray.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


My husband, of whom I am very proud, brought the message at Sunday night’s service this past Sunday. After the service, he and I were in his office and a friend came in to encourage him and to tease him about something that Todd had said in his message. Somewhere along the way a phrase he said sounded like a certain not-so-nice slang phrase that is commonly “slipped” when some is describing being irritated or mad. You can use your imagination here and I’m sure you will figure it out! Our friend knew that Todd did not say this not so uplifting thing, but he wanted to let him know what it sounded like. We had quite a laugh from it and thought about how terrible it would be if someone really did misinterpret what was spoken and actually thought he would say such from the pulpit.

Although what Todd said may have been misinterpreted, there is another phrase that for 2000 years has been interpreted very clearly in God’s Word. This powerful phrase is tucked right smack dab in the middle of John 19:30.

“It is finished!”

Finished is such a final word, a word of completion. After you’ve eaten a big meal, feeling stuffed, you slide your plate away and say “I’m finished.” Remember those school projects and research papers we worked so hard on? I always had to make sure I told everyone in the house when I finally finished something I had worked so hard on. These are one time occurrences that have a definite end, but I don’t think that’s exactly what Jesus meant when He said “It is finished!” Yes, His death was a one time thing, but our sin was ongoing. The wonderful part about this phrase is the tense that the word finished was written in. It was written in a tense that means an action that happened and still has continuing results. The tense means it is finished and is still being finished. God, in His Sovereignty, made sure all of the bases were covered. He planned it so that the sins that occurred before that day were covered and the sins we commit today are still covered. A completed action with continual results.

Give me a little grace here – I know what I am getting ready to say is a stretch, but I want to show you something practical to give you a mental picture of what the tense of this verb means. We sin daily. We will never be without sin this side of Heaven. What else do we have in our house daily, which will never have an end? Come on ladies, you’ve all said it at some point in your life. “LAUNDRY! It never ends!” We never really get to say it’s completed, because it is continual, like our sin. Unless we take on Adam and Eve’s attire prior to sin, we will always have laundry that either needs to be washed or will need to be washed by the end of the day. Imagine that no matter what you wore, what your kids littered and left wadded in the floor, no matter how many times you changed clothes, the laundry was always FINISHED. Imagine the sense of completion, no more laundry room dread. Relief. Finished. Done. Complete. Accomplished.

Something continually happening, our sin, settled for through one completed action, death on a cross, producing new lasting effects every day.

“It is finished! A phrase not to be misinterpreted.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Slurpin' and Spittin'

Both, yes, BOTH of our girls went to the orthodontist last week and both came home with a new best friend named Retainer! Needless to say, there has been a lot of slurpin’ and spittin’ going on at my house for the past several days. I’m sure those of you with children who have had braces or retainers can identify with how difficult it is to remain serious and not laugh in your child’s face as they talk to you while concentrating so intensely to speak clearly enough to be understood. I have had to ask them to repeat themselves several times over the past few days while darting spit flying in all directions every time they use the letter “L” or “S”. Todd and I have gotten great entertainment at their expense. He kept making them repeat the phrase “the surf shop is open” just because they sounded so funny and it had lots of S’s in it. At least I don’t have to worry about a prince charming come to sweep them off their feet because he’s been attracted to their lady-like slurping mid-sentence.

I called home the afternoon they got the retainers to check on them and I couldn’t understand either one of them on the phone. Their voices sounded so different. It was the same children, same mouths, same tongues, same voices, but the sounds that came out did not resemble what I was accustomed to hearing come from them at all. It’s amazing how something that is relatively small when wrapped around their teeth and fits so snuggly against the roof of their mouths can produce such a change. If we allow Him, the Holy Spirit can do the same to us. Outwardly, people can’t see that He’s within us, but if we let Him control us, what comes forth will be different and will catch even those closest to us by surprise. Same person – different product.

Secondly, the whole purpose for these retainers is to straighten their teeth slowly over time. Let me just tell you – I’ve already heard some whining about sore teeth. I feel like a grumpy old teacher who loves a pop quiz by doing my unannounced teeth checks. It’s amazing how they so easily “forget” to put them back in after they eat or brush. Their mouths right now are a jumbled mess, but when this is said and done, everything should be lined up just right and their smiles will be beautiful (and costly!). Our lives are a jumbled mess too, and as the girls retainers over time will guide their teeth into the right places, the Holy Spirit will guide the jumbled things in our life into alignment too if we give Him the opportunity to do so. Sometimes we get a little sore, sometimes we whine, sometimes we “forget” to put Him on, but if we wear Him the finished product will be dramatic. Don’t forget how much it cost Him. It wasn’t cheap, but He gladly paid the price because He knew in the end the result would be worth it.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Heavy Load

I have a great bag that I carry with me a lot. It’s just the right size for my computer to slide into, it has a pouch for pens, my phone, debit card, and a section I can put folders into if I need to carry paper along with me. There is even enough room to drop my Bible down in there. It has been very handy to have. Often I have taken my computer to work with me along with my Bible so that I can do some writing on my lunch break. I’ve told you all before about the long hike from my car to the office where I work, and that hike seems a little further when you’re lugging along an extra 10 lbs or so from your arm down at your side. There are some days where I am sure the people walking near me think I look like a bag lady. I have been known to have my computer bag, my purse, my little lunch tote - fully equipped with Diet Dr Pepper, and a SuperValu bag all at the same time. That load captures a few weird stares, but I don’t care what they think. (I’m becoming more like my mother everyday – Kmart clerks better watch out!)

Sometimes I start out carrying the bag down at my side, but it doesn’t take but just a few steps for that bag to become cumbersome and straining making an adjustment necessary. I then hoist that bag up on my shoulder, making my walk in much easier. I can march straight ahead with determination to get to my destination, not limited by the weight upon me. One day last week when I went through this ritual, as I lofted the bag up onto my shoulder and I thought about how much difference it makes to carry something heavy up on my shoulder instead of dangling down at my side, my mind was carried away to my Jesus. I could see the scene from the movie Passion of the Christ in my mind. He had been beaten so severely, but instead of dragging that cross at His side, He heaved it up onto His shoulder and carried on. That cross that had all of my sin upon it was so heavy. His body was so broken. He was beaten, bleeding, and weary – but He carried forth with only you, me, and His destination in mind.

“…yet He Himself bore the sin of many, and interceded for the transgressors.”
Isaiah 53:12

The next time you heave something up on your shoulder to carry, whether it be a big computer bag like mine, a bag of dog food, you favorite little toddler, grass seed, or a piece of lumber, let it remind you of the cross that He hoisted up in love onto His shoulder, determined to make it to Calvary. Never for a moment did He think it was too heavy to bear.

God - I can’t wrap my mind around how much You must love me. Your word says it pleased You that Jesus was crushed. It pleased You to offer part of Yourself for someone such as I. I thank You that Your shoulder was strong enough to bear the weight of that cross and the weight of my sin. Jesus, I can’t wait to meet You face to face so that I can wash Your feet and dry them with my hair out of gratitude and worship.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the kings horses and all the kings men
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again

Have you ever had a Humpty Dumpty season in your life? Just sitting in the spot where you thought you were supposed to be in life, and then you tumble down. You have a great fall. The fall may not even be the result of your own sin, it may be the result of circumstances out of your control, but nevertheless, the plummet from the top of the wall always hurts. You’re heart is crushed into a million pieces, and you’re laying on top of shards and afraid to move for fear that the cuts will go deeper.

It seems hopeless, then here come all the king’s horses and all the king’s men and you think Maybe, just maybe, they can fix this, they can put me back together again. They work hard. The people near you are stepping carefully around all of the shattered glass of your heart, so as to not crush the pieces farther or maybe so that they won’t get cut themselves. They try, just like all the king’s horses and all the king’s men, but they just can’t put you back together again. They pick up a piece or two and try to fit them together, and finally they find two that match up. They offer an ear, a shoulder, maybe a prayer, or a verse. They send cards, call you on the phone, shoot you an email, but the glue they have used just won’t bond those few matching pieces they’ve found together. They do all they know to do, but you look around and the pieces are still scattered at your feet, and you are back at square one, still lying in a messy heap, for all the world to see it seems. There are so many broken, jagged edges that you don’t know where to begin, the task is overwhelming. Out of desperation you look around for a different one of the kings men, thinking maybe another one will know what to do. The glue holds a little better this time, but soon, those pieces separate and crumble.

I wonder what would have been different if Humpty Dumpty had called for help from the king instead of the king’s horses and the king’s men? The king was the one with all of the resources and all of the power. I have wasted so much emotion, time, and energy throughout my days seeking all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to fix me. I have relied upon people too heavily to convince me of who I am, constantly seeking encouragement, reassurance, and understanding. No matter who it was, there was never the right glue to fix me, they could never put just the right pieces together for me. Although I have had godly influence upon my life and a few wonderful godly friends along the way who tried to show me in the best way they knew how, nothing would stay together. My friends could not be the glue, much like the story in John 5 of the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. He had waited for 38 years for someone else to put him into the healing waters of the pool to fix him, but no one ever did. Man could not heal him, only the King could, and heal him He did.

Let’s try another ending to the old nursery rhyme --

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
All the king’s horses and all the king’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty Dumpty back together again

Humpty Dumpty lay ‘neath that ole wall
Humpty Dumpty had tried them all
It was not the king’s horses, not the king’s men-
It was the KING who put Humpty Dumpty back together again.

Almighty King, I don’t know who this is for today, I don’t know who is so broken that they feel like life is hopeless, they feel embarrassed even. Someone’s feelings may be hurt, a dream crushed, a heart betrayed, hope may have sailed away with the last wave, I don’t know, but You do. You have a reason for today’s devotion and I pray that You use this as glue that binds the pieces of someone’s heart together. I pray that whoever he or she is, whatever they face, that they will allow you to do your healing work. Bond those pieces so tightly together, so that when they look down after they are put back together they can see You in all of the spaces that where the cracks were. They can see where you have made something from nothing, traces of You, the glue, in all of the cracks. It’s out of the brokenness that the glue is most vital. I raise whoever it is high unto your throne, God, I stand on my tiptoes on their behalf lifting them ever so slightly higher, closer to your reach. Do that thing you do best, God. I know you will.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No Memory Foam for Me

I keep telling my husband we need a new mattress. Each morning when I get up it feels like I have been in fight and I sometimes think it would have been better to not have gone to bed in the first place. You know what I’m talking about, when you raise from the bed and feel twice as old as your birth certificate says you are. He agrees with me (sometimes) that we really should look into getting a new one, but agree is all I can get him to do thus far. Recently I saw a commercial from one of our local furniture stores advertising a sale on the supposedly wonderful Memory Foam Mattress set. Of course they were describing all of the miraculous benefits of this brilliant mattress and I thought to myself “How divine it would be to sleep that well!” They sell this thing on the idea that it was developed by NASA and that by distributing pressure during sleep it reduces back and joint pain. The commercial claims that you sleep better and wake more refreshed in the morning.

Then there’s our mattress. Although I’m grateful to have a mattress to sleep on, as many are less fortunate, it is feeling a little lumpy, bumpy, and pokey these days. Refreshed is not a word I would use to describe my state upon rising in the morning. If my husband moves in the slightest way, the whole bed shakes, which drives me crazy when I am just about to nod off for the night. Talk about making Sleeping Beauty mad – just ask him. Finally, I get to dreamland only to be awakened by an ache somewhere which happens several times throughout the night. After flopping over, switching sides, and attempting a new comfortable sleeping spot, I attempt the zzzz’s again. Oh how nice it would be to have one of those hi-tech mattresses to cradle me to sleep! As it sings me its lullaby, I could dream of just how refreshed I could be when I wake up - bright smile on my face, hair already styled, make up perfectly applied – just like the commercials!

But as far as my life with Christ goes – I don’t want to be sleeping. I don’t want to be so comfortable that I stay lulled into a spiritually subconscious state as I face temptations and exposure to those things that displease God everyday. I want to ache and feel pain in those places where He applies pressure. If I feel the pain, eventually – I’ll adjust. I don’t want to be asleep to the warnings and alarms His Spirit whispers to me. I want to be alert and aware of everything around me.

“And do this, understanding the present time. The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because your salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:11-12

I want to feel the pressure points, even if they hurt so that I can put aside the deeds of darkness that are still present in my life. If I am too comfortable in my sleep, I myself being described the same as those spoken of in Isaiah 56:10 –

“His watchmen are blind, all of them know nothing. All of them are dumb dogs unable to bark, dreamers lying down who love to slumber.”

I’ll take the lumpy mattress, I don’t want to sleep too deeply, they can keep the Memory Foam.

Thank you, God, for the pressure points in my life even though they hurt sometimes. I know that without the pain on those points, I could not grow closer to you. Father I pray that I would not make excuses – slumbering and shifting the blame for those pressure points, but own up to the areas in my life that don’t line up with your image of me. If I don’t own up and accept the painful spots for what they are, I will never face the problem allowing you to heal it and eventually remove that spot from my life. I thank you that you are not only a healer of the physical, but a healer of the heart as well. I know there is enough in my heart to keep you busy everyday. Please never run out of your loving mercy for us.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

43 Quintillion

Who didn’t love to play with a Rubik’s Cube back in the 80’s? Being an athletically challenged, backward, nerdy little kid, I loved that thing! Did you know that there are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 possible configurations to the Rubik’s Cube, according to Allowing a second for each turn, it would take 1400 trillion years to go through all of the possible configurations and more than 300 million Rubik’s Cubes have been sold worldwide. If all of the cubes were placed on top of each other, it would be enough to reach the North Pole from the South Pole. Think about that number again 43 quintillion configurations – but only ONE solution.

I couldn’t begin to count the time spent trying to solve the Rubik’s Cube in our house alone when I was a kid. If one of us kids didn’t have it in our hands, either Mom or Dad did. We would sit twisting and turning that little box for hours on end, never successfully solving. As soon as I would get one side solved, maybe on a good day two sides, everything else was a wreck and I would mess up the good part trying to fix the bad sides. Everybody who was anybody wanted to answer yes to the cool question “Can you work a Rubik’s Cube?”. I can still remember being amazed when I would hear “So and So can work it.”

Eventually we kids got smart!!! (We thought!) We heard this idea at school that if you peeled the stickers off and then placed them where you needed them on each side, it would be good as new and you could start all over and it would LOOK like you had worked it. The only problem was those stickers were terrible. Once you peeled them off, the didn’t restick well and they would curl up and fall off, revealing to those you had bragged of your accomplishment to that maybe you weren’t so slick. Then out of desperation we learned to take a flat screwdriver and pop one of the corner pieces off so that we could take the rest of the cube apart. Once in pieces, we could put it back together the way it should be and start all over. This little solution had a problem too. After so many desperate attempts, the pieces became loose and then the cube wouldn’t stay together very well. One minute you would be twisting and turning your little heart out and then the yellow corner piece would fly right off, deep into the cushions of the couch along with all of the crumbs and pocket change.

I can think of several similarities in our Christian lives to the Rubik’s Cube. There are countless configurations out there for us, but only ONE solution, and that solution is my friend, Jesus. He is the answer to every question, every problem, every situation. Just like I wasted time trying to master that little thing, we waste so much time trying to master this “faith” thing in our own wisdom. It never works in our own strength. After trying the best we know in our abilities, we get discouraged that we can’t make this “thing” work and we start cutting corners. We move a few stickers around and make our Christianity “look good” for a turn our two, only to notice that our attempts are crinkling up and peeling off more with every little move we make. After that we get REALLY smart and we allow everything in our lives to fall apart and assemble it back together and its all good for a little while, but then OOPS! We find our selves in a big mess again, one side’s ok, but those others are a jumbled mess, and apart we go for repair. We do that for so long, that after a while the people that make up some of the pieces in our life, no longer want to be part of the game and the ties of that relationship grow looser and looser until at some point they just don’t attach at all any more.

43,252,003,274,489,856,00 configurations – 1 solution. The choice is ours. Are we going to move the stickers, pop it apart, or seek the ONE solution?

We will never figure this thing out on our own. We have to stop trying and striving. He wants us to come along side Him and let Him do the twisting and maneuvering. He knows exactly what goes where and which way to turn to get there.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” John 14:6

Will never be able to say “I worked it” without Him.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Simple Question?

There is a small country church near my home that had an interesting question on its sign last week when I drove by. The question was:

Are you living or existing?

How often we feel excited when we wake up and realize it’s finally Friday only to feel discouraged again come Sunday evening. Do you barely make it through the week only surviving for the next episode of your favorite reality show, just to be bored to death with life once the season ends? Maybe you just need to “get away” to handle the woes and disappointments that life has dealt you over the past few months. Upon returning to the daily routine, you feel just as discouraged, if not more, than when you left. We want that feeling of inner peace that we experience on vacation to last forever, but it doesn’t. Retail Therapy feels great until one of two things happens – you look at the image in the dressing room mirror, or you balance your checkbook afterwards, and that feeling is suddenly gone. The things I listed in and of themselves aren’t bad things, but the purpose they serve in our lives is what we must pay attention to. The feeling we gain from each is very temporary.

Isn’t it the “feeling” that we’re searching for in all of these things anyway? Believe me, I have searched high and low, near and far, forwards and backwards to take hold of that feeling and keep it. Every time I have tried, and thought I had grasped it, it slipped through my fingers like grains of sand, no matter how tight my hold. If only I had done just the opposite, let go of those things- stop holding on so tightly, let go of trying, let go of control. That’s what He wants for us. At each turn, my heart was deceived and I merely existed in every instance. I made it through each day by the skin of my teeth and laid my head down each night feeling discouraged and defeated.

What’s the difference in living and existing? Similar words, right? In some contexts yes, but in the context of our spiritual lives, the words are very different. Does your heart have passion for the One who saved you? Is there a sense of purpose within your soul that drives you to get out of bed in the morning? Are your senses intrigued by Him so much that you watch every detail around you waiting to see Him and what He’s doing next? That is the “feeling” that we are really longing for, it’s living. If my joy doesn’t come from within – from the presence of His Spirit, it’s not joy at all. It’s an impersonation of “living”, simply existing. A vine that just exists, has no fruit, no joy, like a bloom that begins to form, but dies before it opens up.

Are you living or existing? The question smacked me right on the forehead and I had to ask myself what the answer was for me. For once I was able to say yes, I am living, not just existing, although that is not always my answer. It’s so easy to slip into mere existence in the blink of an eye if I am not intentional about my life. Without coming to Him, truly seeking His presence, eating from His word daily, I head down the highway to existence before I realize it. That is not what God intends for me.

“…..I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly.” John 10:10

Jesus didn’t say that He came so that we could exist, He came so that we could LIVE, live ABUNDANTLY. Existing never satisfies; it leaves me empty, never discovering the one “thing” I’ve been searching for to produce contentment. Living leaves me hungry, hungry for more of Him, and that is a good thing! To feast upon the One gave His life, brings me life. Jesus came to this Earth with a clear purpose, which gives me purpose.

I pose the same question to you today. Are you living or are you existing?

Lord God, I praise You for sending Jesus to give us life – full, abundant life. He is the answer to the cavernous hole inside of us, nothing else fits and I thank You that such is the case. I thank You that He is all that satisfies. Jesus, I pray that You would draw my friends and family unto yourself that they may experience what it feels like to live instead of exist. Give them courage to let go of the temporary and fall into the arms of the eternal. May they hunger for and feast upon the life that You offer. I pray that the things that deceive us into only existing will begin to take upon a bitter taste to our souls so that we would deny their power in our lives and run directly to You and experience true satisfaction.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Friday, July 16, 2010

No Reruns

My daughters wear me out with reruns! They will watch the same movie several times a week and will rewatch recorded episodes of their favorite sitcoms back to back until I finally have to make them stop and do something else. I used to think my dad was being such a grump when he complained about me and my sister watching our favorites like Karate Kid, Can’t Buy Me Love, She’s Out of Control, Kids Incorporated, Mannequin, etc. for the 812th time. My dad is very much a manly guy, so I’m sure the sappy little teeny bopper love stories where over-the-top ridiculous to him. I now find myself becoming irritated when I hear the character’s next lines rolling through my head from a show that I don’t even watch and it seems like such a waste of valuable time to me to sit and watch something for the 813th time.

There is something in my life though, that no matter how often I am exposed to it, I never grow tired of it and that is His Word. There is always something fresh and new awaiting us within those pages. I am always amazed at how I can read something today that I have read many times and it takes on a new meaning. The sentences seem to come alive and become living and breathing words within my spirit. That fact in itself is proof of the scripture in Hebrews 4:12

“For the word of God is living and active…..”

Not only is it living and active, His word is…..

Enduring - 1Peter 1:23
Like fire - Jeremiah 23:29
Like a hammer which shatters rock – Jeremiah 23:29
Cleansing – Ephesians 5:26
Good – Hebrews 6:5
Performs its work in believers – 1 Thessalonians 2:13
The Sword of the Spirit – Ephesians 6:17
Cannot be broken – John 10:35
Accomplishes what He desires – Isaiah 55:11
Will not return empty – Isaiah 55:11

All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.
2 Timothy 3: 16-17

I guess that’s why it never gets old. It never seems like a rerun. He intends it to profit me, teach me, get on to me when needed, and train me to be like Him. No wonder He had to keep it exciting, He knew there was a lot of training He needed to do in me, and He needed to keep my attention!

If God’s Word doesn’t seem alive and exciting to you, ask Him to breathe life into the pages for you. He will. He wants you to know more about Him and His character.

Author of Our Faith, I pray that you would speak clearly and distinctly to your people through the pages of your book. Lord – please give us a hunger for your written word. There is nothing like it. I pray that even today, that someone reading this will for the first time experience a new freshness that makes the Scripture alive to them. I remember the first time it seemed like You grabbed my attention by its collar and the words sprung off the pages into my heart. I was so thrilled to read about your love for me that I couldn’t put it down. I got on the phone with my friend sharing with her what I had read and like two little girls we exchanged our love for God and our amazement at the Scriptures through the phone lines. I love You God and I love your alive, active, living, breathing Word and ask You to make those words just dance across the pages for us as we read in amazement at who You are and who’s we are.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Planning the Details

Last night, I got together with my sister, April, and my sister-in-law, Jessica. The reason for this meeting of the minds was to plan a baby shower for my younger sister Andrea. As most of you know, she is expecting a baby boy in early October, and the clock is ticking. We had many thoughts and details to bounce off of each other as we made a list of things to do along with a list of Andrea’s preferences. We talked about cake, punch, decorations, presents, registries, invitations - you get the picture. I could feel excitement building within myself anticipating this new life to join our already blessed family.

I’m sure that God didn’t necessarily plan a baby shower when He planned your arrival on this earth, but I know that He did plan. He planned so many details about you that He took notes!

Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Thy book they were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
Psalms 139:16

My dear friends, He planned so many details about you and your days that He wrote them down. The words “my” and “me” in this scripture are ok for take to use personally, He means you, put your name there. I researched what the meaning of the word “book” is in this context and it means just that – a BOOK! Not a sticky note, not a reminder card, not a one page baby announcement, A BOOK! A book has many pages. Someone writes a book when they have a lot to say about something, someone, or if the author has a story to tell.

My sweet sisters, YOU are a character in the book He has written! He has A LOT to say about you and He wants you to live “happily every after”. The choice for the ending of the story is up to you. Will you ride off into the sunset with the One who will one day ride in on the white horse (Revelation 19:11), having conquered death, hell, and the grave to rescue you? A lady always likes to know she’s been fought for and fight for you He did. What a story!

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fragrant Voices

I called home from work one day last week as I often do at the end of the day and I was reminded of how much I love those little voices on the other end. McKayla still says

“Hi. Momma!” (with excitement)

And I can still detect just a hint of the toddler that used to be. Brenna always greets in the same sweet tone and with her own little way of saying

“Hi Mommy.” (very soft and expectant)

It makes my heart smile ear to ear to hear the love they have for me in their voices. Those voices are precious to me, and no matter how old and grown-up they get, I know as a parent, that I will always cherish their voices when they call me Momma.

I know Someone else who cherishes His children’s voices. He makes record of what we tell Him and even keeps it collected in Heaven and it gives off a sweet fragrance to Him. Just like I notice that one has always called me "Momma" and the other has always called me "Mommy", He notices the smallest details about you that make you different from His other children.

Revelation 5:8 says “And when He had taken the book, the four living creatures and twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, having each one a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.”

It seems to me that He must love to hear us speak to Him if He keeps what we have prayed in bowls, but not just any bowls, golden bowls. If Heaven had “good dishes”, you know – the ones we only use on special occasions – I believe that golden bowls are a notch above His fine china!

Not only are they in bowls, they serve as incense before Him. Now, I don’t know about y’all, but I don’t have my smelly candles just sitting around to collect dust! I have them because I love to scents they fill the room with, I enjoy burning them in my house. God loves the scent of your voice spoken to Him. (I’ll never see my Scentsy burner the same! Some of you know what I’m talking about!)

It makes me almost giddy about Him to know He values my prayers to Him so much. I am so thankful that He cherishes my voice even more than I can cherish the voice of each of my daughters.

Father, I offer up these verses from your Word to you:

I love the Lord, because He hears my voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore, I shall call upon Him as long as I live
Psalms 116:1-3

I can’t begin to express my thanks for Your ears that love to hear me. Not only do You hear, but you “incline” your ear to me. You lean in close to hear me so that you don’t miss a detail of what I have to say to You. God – oh God – may the prayers I lift to You bring forth a sweet and new fragrance to You today that I might bring You joy to Your house this day. Thank you, thank you, thank you for being so good at loving me, I thank you that no one else’s love could ever compare to Yours for fear that I would bore of it. Your love is always exciting and new to me and I look forward to my love for You growing deeper with each passing moment. I WILL call upon you as long as I live.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

An Image Restored

My boss returned to work from a much deserved vacation yesterday, and as often happens when one returns from vacation; he was greeted with a problem first thing. He very heavily depends upon his computer throughout the day and his computer was very sick! After trying everything he and I knew to do, we resorted to calling our computer techies to rescue him from impending Monday-back-from-vacation doom. They tried for several hours to no avail to fix his computer remotely, but finally surrendered those attempts and actually come on site to work on his computer. I think it was around 3 o’clock before it was fixed and I heard her say these words:

“I restored it, everything’s fine now.”

I’m sure she wasn’t thinking what I was thinking, but a light bulb went off in my spirit. We are very sin-sick people; we have been corrupted with sin, just like his computer had been infected with a virus. To look at the computer, it seemed as if nothing had changed on the outside, the problem was on the inside. It’s very much the same with us, most of the time we look exactly the same on the outside, because our problem is on the inside. She had to restore his computer with an image of what it was like brand new, prior to being infected by the virus, but she would never have restored it if we had not called. We have to call on God to restore us to brand new –

“Restore us to Thee, O LORD, that we may be restored; Renew our days as of old” Lamentations 5:21

Once we call out to Him for restoration, which by the way means “to take back” or “fetch home again”, He promises to do just that.

1 Peter 5:10 “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.”

Guess what that word “perfect” means? I am glad you asked, because I looked it up! The meaning of the original word for perfect means “restore”! The God of all grace who called me to His eternal Glory will RESTORE me through Christ. Christ was the perfect imaged to be copied onto me so that I can live eternally as He intended for me from the beginning. Once I have called upon Him to restore me and make my heart new, He will forgive me, renewing my days of old – making me just like the perfect child He saw kneel before Him to accept His Son. With His restoration I can be up and running again, about the business He intended. Without it, I may look the same, but I won’t be living as He intended for me to live from the moment I was brand new.

Therefore if any man is in Christ,
he is a new creature,
the old things passed away;
behold new things have come.
2 Corinthians 5:17

Father, help us realize through the simplicity of this example, how simple you intended salvation and restoration to be. You make us new on the day of salvation, and then You restore us every time we call upon You. I thank you, Jesus, for allowing Yourself to be the perfect image to facilitate that restoration. I pray, Father, that we would realize the viruses infecting us and call upon You to bring the image of Jesus to us and restore us to what you intended – His perfection. Lord, sometimes when we add too many things to ourselves, it bogs us down, just like our computers get bogged down. The hour glass keeps spinning and we keep running, never accomplishing anything for You. I pray for our willingness and surrender to let You take us back today one, even if it requires some changes, even painful ones, in our lives.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Monday, July 12, 2010

I Once Was Blind, But Now I See

 My oldest, daughter, McKayla has been intrigued by the story of Helen Keller since she was in the second grade. For a long time after learning the story, she would walk through the house feeling her way around as if she were blind. As a matter of fact, she and her sister still do it on occasion and it never fails that they either hurt themselves or knock something over during their sightless voyages through my house.

Sometimes that’s how I feel when walking with God. I can’t see where the road leads and I can’t see what I might stumble upon along the way, so I am tempted to stretch my hands before me, testing what is ahead instead of trusting His leading. It is difficult sometimes to walk in faith when the future is uncertain and I often step out in fear instead of faith and forget that He’s right there beside me the whole time, just waiting for me to take His hand and let Him lead me.

I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me. Proverbs 8:17

We really don’t have to know where we are going, we only need to know the One we are going with. The only constant on each path we go down is Him. The better we know Him, the easier it will be to walk with Him along a path we cannot see. “Seek” in this context means to search after painstakingly. We often painstakingly feel our way around in the dark unknown paths of this life trying to figure out the big picture, fearing we will get lost instead of painstakingly searching after Him. Could it be possible that God’s not worried about our finding out the details of what’s along the way, but more concerned about our finding Him? If the path or the environment is unknown, do we really know what we are feeling for anyway? It would be so much better to painstakingly seek Him in those unknown places, so that we could know Him, feeling our way around to know without a doubt that it is God there with us. I may get lost on the the road, but if I look for Him, He promises me that I will find Him. Even though it has been years since I have held it, I think I would still know what my dad’s hand feels like, even if I couldn’t see it. That’s how well I want to know God, I don’t want to be deceived and take the wrong hand.

Since she could neither see nor hear, if Helen Keller was searching for a particular person, she would feel the features on the faces of the people in the room to figure out each one until she found the one she was looking for. What if we sought Him so painstakingly that it was as if we felt for the features of His face? Since I can’t look upon His face, oh how I would love to reach out and feel His features. I would love to know what His face feels like when He smiles. Is His grin crooked like mine? Do His eyes wrinkle in the corners with joy? I would love to know what His face looks like when He laughs, and even when His expression says “maybe she’ll figure it out next time”. Can you imagine His expression when someone accepts His Son for the first time?

My friend, Leslie, knows me pretty well and always says she can tell what I’m thinking by the look on my face. That’s how well I want to know Him. I long for you to know Him that well too.

Father, the things I have said today may seem a little “out there” for some that are reading and I pray that you would do with these words what You will. I have tried my best I to convey what I mean, but it has been difficult. I know that my hands can’t physically touch Your face this side of Heaven, but my heart can and my heart wants to know Your expressions. I want to know what You think with every decision I contemplate, every step that I take, every breath that I breathe. I want my each reader’s heart to long for the same. If we could see nothing at all – everything else uncertain - could we still “see” You? I want our answers to be a resounding YES, God.

Royal Princess Daughter of the King
Pin It!

Friday, July 9, 2010


And God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. Exodus 3:14

I AM”, I wondered for a long time what God could possibly have meant when He gave Moses that answer. It seemed like a strange statement that was abruptly cut short of its ending. Upon thinking about what it could possibly mean, I realized something that answered my question. He called Himself “I AM” so that what ever need I had, it would allow Him to be the exact answer to that need. His statement wasn’t cut short at all, He left it exactly the way it should have been. He answered it that way so that He could fill in the blank as each and every need of His children arose. Had He ended it with anything other than “AM”, He would have been limited in what He could be for us.

When I need peace, He is peace.
When I need rest, He is rest.
When I need a friend, He is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.
When I need love, He is love.
When I need comfort, He is the Comforter.
When I need wisdom, He is wisdom.
When it is dark, He is my light.
When I am nervous, He calms me.
When I am hungry, He feeds me.
When I need someone to listen, He bends His ear.

When I am in need – He is Jehovah Jireh, the Lord who provides.

Anything I have ever needed HE WAS, that list could have been endless. If it is a true need, He is willing to meet that need and become the answer to it.




The Provider – The I AM.

Think about it for a minute. What have you ever really “needed” that He wasn’t the answer to? There is no beginning or end to His provision. Tell us how He has been the I AM to you this week.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Heaven's Surprise

My parents both love me very much and have always tried to provide for all four of us to the best of their human abilities. Like any other parents they wanted to give us gifts, but it wasn’t always easy. It really was a sacrifice, and now that I’m older, I can appreciate the love in their sacrifices. Daddy may not have done everything perfect by the parenting experts’ standards, but he gave it his best. Only God is the perfect Father.

I remember being at my grandparents’ house one weekend afternoon. My parents were inside with Granddaddy and Nanny, and I was out on the carport. As I busied myself, I stumbled upon something GRAND! My cousin, Brian, who was the same age as me, had just had a birthday and he got a new black and green Incredible Hulk bicycle, complete with training wheels and better still ---- he had left it at my grandparents’ house! I was in heaven. I rode it for what seemed like forever and when it got time to leave, I wanted to take my new treasure home with me. My cousin and I were pretty thick, so I just KNEW he wouldn’t care, after all it was a huge upgrade from my tricycle. Mom and Dad did not share that same opinion and insisted I leave the bicycle behind. I was crushed. I begged and pleaded to no avail and went home empty handed. Once we got home, I went about my business, doing who knows what, but I soon noticed that Daddy was gone. I asked Momma where he went and all she would say was he had to go to town. Even at that age I should have known something was up, because Daddy didn’t make a habit of going to town.

It seemed like hours later when he arrived back home because it had gotten dark out. He pulled into the driveway and then yelled for me to come outside. Totally oblivious, I went outside to discover my own treasure. A brand new hot pink bike! It had training wheels, a banana seat, streamers on the handlebars, and something my cousin’s bike did not have – a basket on the front! How would he ever carry his baby dolls around? I can still remember being so happy that I thought I would burst! It was a true feeling of joy.

Let’s fast forward about 30 years or so. I was having one of “those days” yesterday, feeling just a little blue and discouraged, much like the day I had to leave my cousin’s bike behind. I whispered words to Heaven mid-morning asking God to give me what I needed to make it through the day. I did make it through morning and headed out for my lunch break without a second thought to the prayer I had whispered. God hadn’t forgotten. When I arrived at the restaurant, my sister was coming out the door as I was going in and it made me happy just to see her and her pregnant belly. It lifted my spirits. She went on back to work and my friends and I sat down to eat our lunch. Just a few minutes into our juicy burgers, my friend, Cathy, was looking out the window and said, “Is that your mom?” Sure that she was wrong, I turned to look out the window. Surprised, I said “Yes! And those are my kids!” I jumped up and hurried out to meet them, and just seeing them unexpectedly almost made me cry! I was able to enjoy a few minutes on my lunch break with not only my kids, but my mom, and my nieces and nephew. I felt true joy inside, just like the day I got my new bike. One gift was from my earthly father and the other from my Heavenly Father. None of us shared with the other where we were eating lunch, but God knew. He remembered my prayer and gave me that gift yesterday to encourage me and remind me that He hears me when I call!

“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father, who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!”
Matthew 7:11

I call things like that kisses from Heaven. What kisses has He sent you from Heaven lately? I would love for you to share them with us in a comment below.

Blessings to you today.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
Pin It!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Thirsty Ground

To look outside at the grass turning brown and the flowers wilting is so sad. Just a few short weeks ago, all of the leaves were lush and green. The flowers were vibrant and full of life, now they look like they are barely surviving, like they could snap with the lightest touch. The ground is so thirsty its cracking. You wonder how much longer the plants can survive once they become brittle. The answer to the problem seems so simple.


It’s amazing how different things look the morning after a rain. It’s like life has been breathed back into each leaf, each petal and the flowers are ready to make it through another day of scorching heat.

Is your soul ever so dry that its surface begins crack? With each crack we grow more despondent, weary, tired, lonely, even bitter. Given long enough, the cracks widen and chunks begin to break off and crumble, leaving only a form of what was to remain. I know I have felt like that many times and I always wonder how it happened, how I got there. I recently read a verse that answered that question for me.

God makes a home for the lonely;
He leads out the prisoners into prosperity
Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land.
Psalms 68:6

Only the rebellious dwell in a parched land – that seemed like an awfully strong statement to me at first. “I’m not rebellious!” I thought to myself. As I pondered the verse further though, I realized how true it is. The original word for rebellious in this context means “to turn away”, “backsliding”, “stubborn”, or “withdrew”. Those aren’t words that automatically make me thing of rebellion. Rebellion makes me think of things like an out of control teenager sneaking out of windows or someone who paints graffiti on trains. This definition, however, shows me that rebellion is not always obvious, sometimes it’s more subtle. It’s subtle rebellion that leads my heart into the desert every time.

I’m too tired to pray.
I don’t “feel” like it.
You don’t HAVE to be a church to be close to God, I can worship right here.
I don’t have to read my Bible to go to Heaven.
I’ve worked hard and deserve a break tonight.
I was at church all day on Sunday – that’s enough.
What I’m doing isn’t hurting anyone else.
Why try to do better? I’ll never be good enough anyway.
No one will ever know.
I’ve waited to watch this show all week.

See how subtle those things are? We have all had those thoughts run through our minds and at first you wouldn’t see them as rebellion, but rebellion they are. They are all ways of withdrawing from Him, stubbornness, turning away, rebelling against the One who loves us.

Now that we’ve talked about rebellion, let’s take a look at the phrase dwell in a parched land. Dwell is an action word and it means “to live, to reside”. Since it’s an action word, it is something I do; I can choose to do it or not to do it. I cannot think of a time when I have been parched that I wanted to remain that way. If I was parched enough, I would even drink unsweet tea or a Diet Coke, for goodness sake, whatever it takes to quench my thirst! We don’t try to STAY parched, it’s uncomfortable and, after a while, our throats begin to hurt. Why do we dwell in a parched land within ourselves then? I wouldn’t chose to camp in a desert if there was a river just within my reach! Why stay in a state where my soul begins to hurt because it is so dry?

In every instance I can think of, where I have been spiritually dry, it’s been the result of my own rebellion, which over time leaves my heart dry, cracked, and brittle. The only cure that I have ever found is a little rain from the Father of Lights. He uses those wide open dry cracks in my heart to spill His love on down, deep to the core, and immediately I begin absorbing Him from the inside out.

And the morning after the rain, well, it is glorious!

Royal Princess Daughter of the King
Pin It!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I guess you could say I am somewhat of a homebody, which is in total conflict with the pace at which that my family and I live. When there is an opportunity to stay at home, I welcome it. Yesterday was one of those days. We had nothing planned, I was off from work, and I didn’t leave my house, which is a rare thing in itself. I spent some sweet time with God while everyone was outside or busy doing something else. The TV wasn’t on, the house was quiet, it was just me, my Bible, my book, and my journal curled up on the end of the couch by the light of my lamp waiting to meet with Him and He drew near. All of those details (no TV, quiet, lamp, etc) sound as if I set it all up, which physically I did, but spiritually, He did because He tells me in John 12:32 “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself.” He drew me to that place yesterday.

Often being a homebody is not thought of in a positive light by others, it may seem as if a homebody doesn’t enjoy the company of others, maybe even anti-social. Speaking from experience, I can say it’s not that at all, I love to be with other people, but I love my family more. Us homebodies just need some down time to recharge and refresh ourselves so that we can recollect our thoughts and process what is going on in our lives. We like a chance to just “be” with those closest to us. We enjoy sitting around the dinner table allowing our family time to share their hearts with each other. Although I desire, like other homebodies, to be physically at home, there is a difference in being physically at home and my heart being at home. My heart is not truly “at home” when I’m going about my daily routine. It longs for something more. Folding laundry, cooking dinner, or picking up the house, all those things you do at home - leave my heart empty.
James 4:8 says “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you….” He invited me to come to sit with Him and when I agreed, He drew nearer. The only place where my heart is completely “at home” is when placed in the lap of my Savior. When life has demanded so much of me that I haven’t been “home” much, my heart, much the same as our house, gets a little messy and out of order.

As children, my siblings and I played outside with the other neighborhood kids, Momma would step outside and shout “It’s time to come home!” and we would come running. I can just imagine my Lord stepping out on the front porch, cupping His hands around His mouth to say “Amy – It’s time to come home!”, then watching to see if I come home. I pray that my heart would always be willing to RUN home when He calls. It reminds me of the old hymn, Softly and Tenderly.

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
calling for you and for me,
See on the portals He’s watching and waiting.
Watching for you and for me.
Come Home, Come Home,
Ye who are weary come home.
Earnestly, Tenderly, Jesus is calling.
Calling O sinner, Come Home

I decided after my time with Him yesterday, that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a “homebody”! At home is a wonderful place for my heart to be.

Almighty Creator who draws us near, I pray that our ears would be attentive to your voice when You call our hearts home. I pray that our feet would be quick to run straight to You, climbing up into your lap eager to hear what You have to say, for your words give life. Although our physical ears can sometimes be dull, I ask that the ears of our hearts have the ability to discern the keenest of sounds and know your call better than any other that beckons us. Oh God, I can’t begin to thank you enough for always having time to spend with me, always inviting me into your presence. I can hear the tune –
Oh Draw Me Lord,
Oh Draw Me Lord,
Oh Draw Me Lord,
And I’ll run after You

Pin It!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Displays of Splendor

July 4th is a fun time of the year for families and friends. We always enjoy a fireworks display whether it is a public one or one with our extended family at my parents house. It’s precious to see the wonder in a child’s eyes when they see the display of colored light against the backdrop of the night sky.

No matter how flashy the containers are, the fireworks cannot convey to us their splendor and glory without the ignition of a flame. There is something similar in us. No matter how we package ourselves up, or market ourselves, with out the fire of His love ignited within our hearts, our beauty can never be displayed to the potential of His will. We can try on our own to do many things, but they without allowing His work within us, we will never see what He had in mind displayed for all the world to see.
When darkness comes around us, if we do not have the fire of His love within us, we have nothing to bring beauty to the darkness. On the other hand, if we have the fire of His love within us, it gives us the chance to bring a sparkle of hope to the darkness, displaying what He has placed within us and what is capable in His power. As the display unfolds, we can watch the wonder in the eyes of the observers, intrigued by what they have seen and, as a result, they will want to know more about Him, the one who designed the display.

……………. a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. Isaiah 61:3

Father, I pray that when darkness comes near, that we would not become discouraged, but see it as an opportunity for Your splendor to be displayed. May the display be one with Your signature so evident that many stand in amazement at what You are capable of. Give us Your strength and courage to face our dark times standing tall and confident in who You are and the power of Your alive, active Word. I pray that You would create a display in each of us that is unique, yet far reaching in how others can relate to You as the loving God that You are, increasing their faith one hundred fold. I thank You for how You have already displayed yourself to me throughout my life and I wait in eager expectation for what You will do next. It’s all about bringing You glory, plant what you may, Father, reach through me. Capture minds and hearts with Your magnificence. I pray for spiritual independence from this culture not only for myself, but for all those who read. May we stand independent and bold, not following along with the world, and proclaim You as Lord. Then we will behold with our own eyes the display of Your splendor.
Pin It!

Friday, July 2, 2010

A Playground or a Pit?

When I was a child, we spent the days of summer playing outside like most kids USED to do. Once you went out the back door of my mom and dad’s house, you didn’t plan on coming back in for a while unless you were near death, otherwise you would hear the words “Keep that door shut, we’re not trying to cool the whole neighborhood!” or “Make up your mind, in or out, you’re lettin’ the flies in!” or “The next one that comes in is staying in!” Let me add – these phrases were not whispered in June Cleaver tone! Now that I’m a mother, I have heard the not-so-June Cleaver -tone come forth from my lips myself and completely understand why Mom sometimes locked us outside!

Really though, we stayed outside most of the time exercising our imaginations playing whatever we dreamed up (or whatever I dreamed up since I was the oldest!) I remember getting so upset though on Monday nights, because we would play outside until dark and then go inside only to find out we had played too long and missed Little House on the Prairie. I promise, I was the world’s biggest fan.

One particular summer, when I was probably nine or ten-years-old, we were over in our neighbors yard playing with our little neighbor friend. Her parents had been hard at work for several weeks planning to open a beauty salon in a little shop they had set up across her driveway. Being the little adventurers we were, we meandered over to the “Dream Salon” site and noticed there was this GIGANTIC hole dug in the ground behind the soon to be “Dream Salon”! I admit, it was all my idea, but everyone agreed that it would be sooo much fun to jump down in that hole to play. I’m not sure what we thought we were going to do down in this hole, there was nothing in it, but you know how kids are, we didn’t worry about the details. We just lived in the moment and jumped right in. When we got tired of playing in there and it came time to get out of the pit we had jumped into, the trouble began. Much to our surprise, no matter how hard we tried, we could not climb out. I tried hoisting my brother, my sister, and my neighbor up, since I was the tallest, but no one could reach far enough over the edge to pull themselves out. Just as panic set in we heard a loud noise, I could see just enough over the edge of that abyss we had found ourselves in to see it was a dump truck. He was headed toward us with a load of rock for that hole. We began to scream as loud as we could, clawing at the sides, trying to climb up unsuccessfully, tears streaming down our cheeks. I can still remember feeling my heart beating in my chest as if it were yesterday. I thought we would all die and it was all my fault.

Just as we were about to lose hope, a hand reached down into that pit to rescue us. We had been screaming so loudly in our panic that we never heard the truck stop and never realized that help was on the way. The man in the dump truck had heard us. I was never so glad to see a hand in my life. I remember being so relieved to be out of there, but I was surprised at my neighbor’s mom’s reaction. She had always been nice to us before, but she didn’t seem as overjoyed at our rescue as we did. Needless to say, we didn’t hang around long, suddenly we felt it was time to go home, putting this experience as far behind us as possible. Before we got back across that yard Momma knew about it, thank you Alexander Graham Bell! We were in trouble. Since I was the oldest, most of the lecture was directed at me and all I could think was how she was wasting her breath because I had been scared enough that I would never do something like that again. I had learned my lesson.

What we thought was a neat little playground ended up being a deep pit, a future septic tank, to be exact. Isn’t that how things in life often are? Something looks like a great idea, looks fun, new, exciting and throwing caution to the wind without a second thought, we jump right in. It doesn’t take long before we decide we are bored with this “playground” only to find there is no way out in our own strength from where we stand. We begin to scream so loudly for rescue from any source that comes by, that we don’t even notice the presence of our Savior’s hand reaching down offering to lift us out and set our feet on new ground.

Bless the Lord, O my soul;
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul.
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities;
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit;
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion.
Psalms 103:1-4 (italics mine)

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
Pin It!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Gardener

Yesterday we talked about plants being root bound, apparently my mind is still browsing the lawn and garden section, because today I want to talk about our Gardener. Yes, I have a Gardener. We all have one. You say – first I’ve heard of it, you ought to see my yard – Where’s He been anyway?

If you’re anything like me, your spiritual “garden” looks a little shabby sometimes. It’s dry due to lack of water, there’s little to no blooming going on, and frankly, sometimes the weeds are up to my neck! That’s what happens when I don’t let my Gardener come to work for a while, but when He’s been there – whew how beautiful the transformation! Mind you - that beauty doesn’t come over night, but if I let the Gardener do what He does best, he knows just what my garden needs to make it beautiful and to get it blooming again.

When I call Him, He makes my request a priority. The Gardener comes quickly and He begins by watering my garden with abundant amounts of His love and He lets that soak in for a while. Once my soil has become moist, soft, workable, He walks through my garden and surveys the condition. He knows the difference between the weeds and the plants and knows just what has to go. One by one, He pulls those weeds by hand from the root. Sometimes the roots have grown pretty deep because I’ve allowed it to grow there for a while, requiring Him to use a more of His strength to pull the roots from the ground. There are some weeds that have been there so long that once He pulls them, it leaves a gaping hole in my garden. Then He pulls another and another. I begin to wonder if the garden looked better with the weeds instead of all of the holes until He starts the next part of His job. He brings in new fresh soil to fill in the holes the weeds have left and overnight, my garden is more pleasing to the eye. Once He has filled in the holes, He tenderly prunes my flowers. At first it upsets me that He has just chopped off what was left of my plants, but He reminds me that He is an expert at this, to trust Him, that His job is not complete. Once the flowers have been pruned, he brings in fertilizer and sprinkles it in just the exact spots that need it. He waters it in with some more love. Then the Son shines and it seems my little plants point their faces in His direction. In just a couple of days, things begin to look up. The plants produce new growth and start to make new, healthier blooms. The color of the blossoms catching the eye of more passers by everyday. The Gardener is so eager to work my Garden every time I allow Him. He takes such pride in its progress. I’ve even heard that He tells His assistants at the greenhouse about how well my garden is coming along. Every day he gently walks through the garden, tenderly touching all of the flowers admiring their beauty and if He comes upon a weed, He stoops down to His knees, and pulls it out by the root. This time it doesn’t leave such a gaping hole since it hasn’t been there as long and the soil has been watered on His schedule. He knows exactly which flowers and plants look great together, complementing each other. He really has a knack for this stuff, some of the plants seem to attract hummingbirds and butterflies, bringing me much joy. There have been a couple of times when observers have mentioned the sweet fragrance drifting from my garden as they pass to and fro, and I can’t help but tell them about my Gardener!

………………My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, he prunes it, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:1

But He answered and said, “Every plant which My heavenly Father did not plant shall be rooted up.” Matthew 15:13

Amy Dotson, RPDOTK (Royal Princess Daughter Of The King)
Pin It!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...