Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Pin It?

Pinterest.....the world of Pinterest.  Have you experienced it yet? 

Oh, I have.  As much as I resisted, I finally partook several weeks ago. The ideas, recipes, thoughts, quotes, etc are practically endless.  Boring people like me enjoy the household cleaning tips, organization ideas, recipes, craft ideas, etc.  Because of the likelihood of addiction, I limited my pinteresting from the get go because I knew this could be a breeding ground for unproductivity, if you get my drift.  I mean, I get on there and with the very few people I follow, I could get lost for hours reading about their pins alone.

I really think I have internet A.D.D.

As I searched Pinterest for something specific last night, I thought about all the pins people have made, and all of the pins that have been repinned.  Some of the people on Pinterest have so many pins, there is no way they can remember what they have and haven't pinned.  I thought, these ideas are great and all, but how many of them are actually used.  In all my wisdom, I deducted that it was very likely that there was alot more pinning than there was doing....

Lots of good intentions....

...........but less implementations.

Here's a few examples from my friends who have graciously agreed for me to make spectacles out of their Pinterest habits.

There's me - I have 18 pins, not very many in the world of Pinterest, and of those 18, I have actually only used 3 of them.  Oh, sure, there are several on there that I intend to put to use, but I haven't.

Then there's my friend Brittany.  Well, she's still stuck in the "I don't get this" mode about Pinterest and she has no pins.  The whole concept makes no sense to her, and that's ok!  In her organizational, list making brain, when it clicks with her, she will LOVE it.

Camillia has 458 pins that are what I would call "usable" and she has actually put 151 of those things into use.

My baby sister, Andrea, well I'll just tell ya, between Andrea's and Camillia's pins, I never have to go to the main Pinterest board.  They keep me very well occupied.  Andrea has 495 pins and says she has actually only used about 15-20, which were mainly recipes.

I asked Leslie, she has a whopping 3 pins, but confesses to reading thousands and using only about 6.

And poor Angie, she doesn't even have her own Pinterest board, that's a story for another post.  She just lingers around the site reading pin after pin with no place to call home.   She admits to reading pins for countless hours and never using a single one of them.  We love you anyway, Angie.
Do you get where I'm going with this?  Without implementing any of the ideas that are so appealing to us, that's all they are - ideas.

.......and without implementing what we know about God and His Word, it's just knowledge.

In lots of situations we know what we "ought to do" or what we "should do".  We've got tools "pinned" in our hearts and minds, but often we have lots of good intentions.....but less implementation.

Friends, we can't approach our relationship with our Savior as if it were a spiritual Pinterest board.

If I want real change in my life, I have to do more than "pin it". 

I have to use it. 

I have to live it.

I have to believe it.

That's when the pin moves from being simply pinned in my head to permanently nailed to my heart, and forever becomes part of me.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Been There Before

It had been a hectic day, it was raining, and I had to stop at the store on my way home from work, and I was less than excited about it.  Creeping through the parking lot, I saw a parking space that brought a little delight to my heart on that messy evening.  I turned on my blinker and waited for an oncoming vehicle, who by the way, was not creeping through the parking lot. 

Yep, you guessed it, she whipped in the spot I was going for.  And yes, it was quite obvious.  I muttered something not so nice to myself and whipped into the space next to her.  First of all, how ridiculous was it that I was irritated at her snatch when there were 2 spaces to begin with?

I know.  Silly.  But hey, at least I'm being honest.

And while I'm being honest, yes, I gave her the you took my spot laser beam eyes.

I hopped out of my little car and bebopped my way into the store, never paying any more attention the the parking space stealer.

I got the few things I needed, which included 2 mammoth ferns for my porch.  Did I mention my car was little?  Just checking.

As I wrestle my Large ferns into my small car, I notice the vehicle is still parked in the space next to mine, and she was in her car.  At one point as I was trying to keep my buggy from rolling away, while not completely mauling my ferns, I noticed she was outside her vehicle.  I glanced that way and she looked over at me, so I politely smiled, grumbling to myself about my the parking place, and she smiled back.  Once I completed my wrestling match, she approached me.

"Would you mind to give me a jump?" she asked, checks flushing.  One arm in a sling, she stroked her forehead with her other hand and added, "I left my key on and now it won't start."

"I sure can.  Do you have cables?" I asked digging for my keys, immediately feeling guilty about the parking space grumbling.  She was obviously not having a good day.

"Yes," she answered, magically producing jumper cables within seconds. 

It was becoming apparent to me she had been in this boat before.

And so had I.

When I was young and actually wanted to be cool, we were by no means rich.  In the social sense, we were poor.  I was very lucky to even have a car, and the car I had was no luxury vehicle.  Before I was allowed to get my driver's license, my dad made me prove to him I could change the oil, the battery, and the spark plugs myself because "having a car brings responsibilities and if you're gonna have one, you need to know how to take care of it". 

This car. This car. This car.  Remember, I actually wanted to be cool at this point in my life and it was not cool to have a junky car.  It was the car that would never completely die.  It was a hypochondriac in the car sense, it always had something wrong with it. 

Jumping a dead battery - Piece. Of. Cake.  This was a problem I had doctored before.

You see, I had mastered that skill by at least age 12,  I'm sure.  There was always a lawn mower or a vehicle that wouldn't start, so I was no stranger to a set of jumper cables. 

Feeling proud that I knew how to help her, I pulled my car closer so the cables would reach, she hooked up her end and I hooked up mine.  With the connections made, she jumped in her car, turned the key, and it cranked right up.

The young lady thanked me several times and I assured her that it was no problem at all because I had been in her shoes before.

Smiling, she climbed into her car, I hopped into mine and drove away.  Immediately my mind began turning.  It was one of those many times I have been thankful that I grew up on the poorer side of the social spectrum.  If  I hadn't then I would have had no clue how to help her.

I felt that familiar nudge from the Spirit.  It's kind of like when we've been poor spiritually.  Even though I hated my not cool car and hated it breaking down aand having to know how to jump it, etc, I have used what I learned in those years many, many times.  I wouldn't trade them. 

Similarly, even though we wish we had never done some of the things we have done, even though we wish we had never been in some of the places we have been, wished we had never made some of our biggest mistakes, it's that poor past He can richly use to help someone else if we are willing to be transparent.

We all have different stories and different pasts, but let me encourage you, there is no shame in your past.  It can be an amazing tool for someone else. 

Big or small, what in your life can He use to help someone else?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Friday, March 16, 2012

A Destination In Mind

It was October 2006.  Todd and I had been very careful with our funds, scrimping and scraping with hopes for a dream vacation.  Our FIRST real vacation as a family.  We checked airline prices over and over, package deals a hundred times, ran the numbers backward and forward, then it was time. 

We dialed 407-WDisney.

And we kept it a secret from the girls. Well, sort of.

We told them we were going somewhere on fall break, but we didn't tell them we were going to Disney World.  We knew if we divulged our big secret, they would bug us about it non-stop. Y'all know exactly what I mean, don't you?   Mmmhmm.

Instead of telling them we were planning a trip to Disney on fall break, we told them we were going to the Louisville Science Center and spend a few days in Louisville.

Big difference, right?  We thought so.  I mean, weigh the options.  In one hand you have the science center, in the other, you have Disney.  Seems like a no brainer to me, especially if you're an elementary aged little girl and preschooler who believe wholeheartedly in Tinkerbell, Ariel, and Cinderella. 

We kept our secret a secret until just a couple of days before leaving.

We called the girls to the living room and sat them on the couch so we could make our BIG announcement.

This was their response:

And for those of you who don't have video capabilities, here's a few snapshots of the discussion, so you can get the full affect.

No, these are not tears of joy!

Complete and utter meltdowns.  They were NOT excited about going to Disney World, they had been to the science center once for a few hours and were perfectly content with visiting it again.  We were messing up the idea they had formulated in their minds of the perfect vacation.  They were familiar with the science center, they had no idea how grand Disney was and had no idea that there was no comparison, no idea what they were settling for.

After much convincing and coddling, they got over the science center and we had a blast on our first family vacation at Disney!

       Yes,  I promise, these ARE the same children.

I  read a similar story recently in God's word.  The kids were the Israelites, the parent was God.  You can read this story for yourself in Numbers 32.  God had been telling the Israelites for years and years about this place He was taking them to and how wonderful it was.

But guess what?

Just before they got there, with the intended destination just across the Jordan River, some of them decided the land where they were was "just right" for their needs.  It was perfect for their livestock, they thought. 

I mean, what does God know anyway, right?

Who needs a land flowing with milk and honey?  Who needs a prosperous land?  Who needs fortified cities?

Naaa - livestock pens would be fine with them.

They were settling for the Science Center when God had Disney in mind. 

They could see where they were, but they couldn't see the Promised Land.  They settled for what they could see themselves instead of trusting God for something more.

I know this describes some of my past choices.  I settled for what was known and familiar instead of waiting and trusting for something greater.

Has your life ever resembled this story?

Do you want the science center or do you want Disney?

Disney is what He has planned for you.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sorry Into Action

We've been having this little problem around our house.  This problem involves ears that don't seem to listen, brains that don't seem interested in comprehension, mouths that seem to be quite liberated and free flowing with their words, and these little electronic devices called iPods.

Several days ago I asked my youngest little blessing to do something, and as if in a trance, she moseys about and half heartedly did the task I asked her to do.  I look up a few seconds later and she's plopped up on the couch in an iPod coma.

I looked at her and then at what I had asked her to do, and let's just say Momma wasn't too happy about this little situation we found ourselves in. 

Comatosely unaware of my dissatisfaction, she sat contently playing her game while I stood before her fuming. 

I'll leave the rest of the details out except to say that after much weeping and gnashing of teeth,  the little iPod is now in Momma's possession and the job I asked her to do was done properly.

A couple of days later the youngest little blessing comes to me asking for said electronic device back, and I was quickly able to roll examples from my brain as to why she still could not have her electronic friend back into her sweet little hands.

After my list of examples, those sweet little hands flung around my waist, her chin lifted toward the ceiling, and she tried to break me with the most innocent repentant voice she could muster:
But I'm sorry, Mom!
Let's just say, Momma's ain't that easy.

Well, Brenna, if you ever want your iPod back, you had better learn to put that "sorry" into action!

And, yes, the iPod is still in my possession, tucked safely in one of my secret hiding places.

As soon as I told my daughter that she needed to put that sorry into action, I felt that Holy Spirit nudge and I had to ask myself a question or two. 

Do I treat God the same way?  Do I say I'm sorry, but never put sorry into action? 

If I don't, I'm not really sorry then, am I?

What about you? 

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King

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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Not A Good Medicine Taker

I'm not a good medicine taker.  Really, I'm not.  Don't get me wrong, if I have a headache, I'll be sure to find Tylenol or an ibuprofen, but outside of that - nope - not a good medicine taker.  I have to be knocking on death's door with a cold before I will take any of that liquid stuff.  Just thinking about it right now is giving me the I-dont-want-tos.

And that pink stuff - you all know what I'm talking about - that pink stuff for your tummy?  I would just soon die as swallow that girly looking liquid chalk....Eww - I can't really spell the sounds I am making as I describe this to you, just use your imagination, I'm sure it will be close.

I really have to psych myself up to swallow medicine.   I read the label a hundred times hoping I can find a smaller amount that I am actually required to swallow, then I resign myself to the fact that I am not going to find a different answer no matter how many times I read the label. 

I pour it into the little dose cup, being sure not to get even ONE DROP more than I have to, afterall I don't want to swallow ONE drop much less an extra. 

I fix me a glass of water - a big glass.

With water in one hand and medicine cup in the other, the battle begins.

My eyes go from the water to the drug.
Drug to the water.
I can do this.
I hate this.
I can do this.
I hate this.
It only lasts a second.
A second is a very long time.

Eventually I take the plunge, swallow the syrup, and guzzle the water. 

And then the that-was-so-gross-rigor surfaces and it's over.  Usually followed by my groaning something like "that was so gross".   I know - such an original phrase, but are you in my kitchen with me?

I don't like medicine.  It tastes bad.  It gives me the that-was-so-gross-rigors.

But it helps me. It heals me - from the inside out.

And if I am sick enough, I will face that giant and swallow it for help.

You know, truth is like medicine, sometimes it doesn't taste good, but it does a work from the inside out.

I'm the same way about hearing truth sometimes.  I know I need it, but I don't want it because it doesn't taste very good.

We don't want to hear it.  But we need to.

....Thy truth will continually preserve me.
Psalms 40:11

To be honest, sometimes truth doesn't settle well at first. If I let my flesh have control, truth can down right make me mad, but if I give it time to let the Spirit work, I begin to see a change in perspective. 

I'm sure the disciples felt the same way when Jesus said:

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper shall not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
John 16:17

I'm sure the disciples didn't want to hear the truth that Jesus was telling them, but He told them anyway.  They didn't want Him to leave, and if we could have gotten a glimpse into the conversation that day, I think we would have found that what they were hearing was not settling well with them.  Their friend and master leaving them was not something they wanted to face.

We don't want to face truth either sometimes, but face it we must if we want to grow and heal from the inside out.  Truth preserves us, and by leaving, Jesus was sending the Spirit.  If you read further in John 16, He tells them that the Spirit would convict them and expose them to truth. 

Jesus was leaving and the Spirit of Truth came so He could heal us all from the inside out.  He's still healing us today. 

No, sometimes it doesn't taste good, but I know that it is for my best.

What truth is He revealing to you today?  Are you a good medicine taker?


Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Stand Up

If you're visiting from Be The Domino Ministries, welcome to Beyond Sunday Morning.  Feel free to poke around a bit and see what we're all about. 

If you're one of my faithful readers, would you take a moment to visit Whitt Madden's site, Be The Domino?  He has compiled lots of information on excellent ministries on his site along with ways you can personally get involved in ministering to others.  There are also bible study opportunities - especially for the guys, so be sure to tell your hubbies about Be The Domino.

Now for today's post, for those of you who have been part of Beyond Sunday Morning for a long time, you might remember this post.  It fit so well with the subject Whitt wanted to address, that  I had to post it again.  Enjoy - let it sink in .....deep....

The subject of spiritual battle surfaces more often these days than we would like. In our christian circles, I'm sure we've all discussed the intense need we have for purposefully putting on our spiritual armor every day and being alert and ready for attacks from the enemy.

It seems everywhere I go, there are many of God's people who are weary and overwhelmed right now. It doesn't seem to matter if the individual is a new or seasoned believer, the story is the same......

I just don't know how much more I can take.....
Many times when I've heard this, I've seen eyes brimming with tears, and witness their spirits longing for some glimpse of hope. My hearts break along with all of theirs. Most of these spirits that are downcast, are weary for what they see happening or about to happen to those that they love.

With spiritual and physical despair in mind, it makes me think of something I read about Daniel a few weeks ago. If you would like to read it for yourself, you can find what I'm talking about in Daniel chapter 10. Daniel had been given a vision of future things that would happen to God's people, it was a vision of war and terrible hardship. The things he had been shown in this vision were so disturbing that Daniel mourned and did not eat for three weeks.

If your spirit is weary, I'm sure you can identify with what Daniel was feeling.

Daniel was standing on the banks of the Tigris River, he saw a messenger from God. Being an emotional wreck already, Daniel grew very weak and passed out at the mere sound of the voice of this one resembling a man. The messenger reaches down, touches him, and lifts him trembling to his hands and knees. And he said to Daniel -

"Daniel, you are very precious to God, so listen carefully to what I have to say to you. Stand up, for I have been sent to you." v11
Trembling, Daniel stands up to take heed of the messengers words.

My weary friends, I know your spirits are trembling, I know you feel weak, but listen to what I have to say to you --- You are very precious to God. Stand Up. Listen for God's message to you.

The messenger goes on to tell Daniel to not be afraid -

"Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael one of the archangels came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia...."v 12-14
How long had Daniel been in mourning, unable to eat?

Yes, 3 weeks.

How long had the messenger from God been detained by the enemy?

21 days or 3 weeks!.

That's one of those things that makes you go Hmm Hmm Hmm- you 90's kids will totally get what I mean!

Daniel mourned in his spirit for what would happen to his people - God's people - for 3 weeks and there was spiritual battle going on between the enemy and God's messenger for 21 days. I think it no coincidence that these numbers are the same and I think it no coincidence that the messenger was sure to tell Daniel that since the FIRST day he began to pray, his requests had been heard in Heaven - hence, the battle.

War-torn family, your requests are being heard since the first day you began to pray about this and there is battle taking place for you.

Daniel stands speechless, looks down to the ground, then the messenger touched his lips as if to release the words in Daniel's heart....Daniel pours out these sentences, I'm sure you can identify -

"I am filled with anguish because of the vision I have seen, my lord, and I am very weak. How can someone like me, your servant, talk to you, my lord? My strength is gone and I can hardly breathe." v16
I know some of you feel like you can hardly breathe under the weight of your struggles. The messenger reminds him again

"Don't be afraid," he said. "For you are very precious to God. Peace! Be encouraged! Be strong!" v18
Then Daniel says -

As he spoke these words to me, I suddenly felt stronger and said to him, "Please speak to me, my lord, for you have strengthened me." v19
Ok, follow me for just a minute. We know all of the different things Jesus is to us as I AM. One of the characteristics of Jesus is strength. He IS strength. He is the I AM; therefore, whatever our need is, HE IS. He is strength. He is courage.

And if He is living in you, if He has touched you like the messenger touched Daniel causing him to feel his strength return, you can BE strong. You can BE encouraged. You can have peace. This was but a messenger of god who was able to do this, you have THE GOD living in you, imagine the possibilities.

Whether you are a "Daniel" or a "Danielle", stand up!

For you are very precious to God.

Take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything to stand firm. Stand firm, therefore.....
Eph 6:13-14

Stand up.

Just stand.

God has a message for you.

Even in the midst of this battle.

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King

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Thursday, March 1, 2012

Outside Eden

And the Lord God planted a garden toward the east, in Eden;
and there He placed the man whom He had formed.
Genesis 2:8

God made us, the creation of His own image, first.  Then made a special place to put His created image, a place called Eden.  Eden, its very name means pleasure.  He made a beautiful place of pleasure for man to live.

It must have been indescribable, He had already created Earth, which is itself a masterpiece, but then He took extra care to take creation a little further and formed a garden who's very name meant pleasure - for man. 

Can you imagine what Eden must have been like?  As I close my eyes, I can hear the birds in full anthem, the soothing sound of waterfalls, a gentle breeze waltzing with the leaves, and I can feel the warmth of the sun at perfect temperature on my back.  Thinking upon a place of such perfection gives me goosebumps.

But there is something else that gives me bigger goosebumps -

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day...
Genesis 3:8

As if a garden full of perfect pleasure weren't enough, even God, our Creator, was there.  He walked around to visit with them.

Oh, my.  The thought chills my skin.

God made man.

God made this place.

And He went there to be with man.

To talk to man.

To enjoy man.

A place of pleasure it was, free from the stain of sin for a brief time.  Then things changed.  We all know the story and it's sad ending.  The sad ending which we are still living out. 

Outside of Eden.

Outside of the perfect place of pleasure He designed for us to dwell in.

My friends, this life is hard, I know.   I know many of you are hurting and there are lots of things that we face and things that happen that don't make sense, leaving you heart asking that very hard question - "Why?".  Can I ask you to consider this? - 

We weren't intended to live here.
We were intended to live in Eden, walking with Him in the garden.

Oh yes, there's the explanation that bad things happen because we live in a fallen world, and that is very true, but sometimes it comforts me to know that He didn't intend for me to live here, He intended for me to live there, in the place of pleasure, but man - (or shall I say woman!) chose otherwise for me.  God didn't chose for me to reside here.  He wanted me to reside there.  Dorothy, we're not in Kansas anymore!

Why is a hard question, and I can't begin to know all the answers, but I do know that He can be trusted and so can His word, which says this:

There are secret things that belong to the Lord our God.......
Deuteronomy 29:29

I don't explain why I do everything I do to my girls when they ask, and believe me - They ask! Some things are just to big for them to carry. Could it be that there are just some things our Abba Daddy doesn't feel that He wants us to carry right now?  Some things are His secret, and it's for our best.

WE HAVE TO TRUST THAT HE IS COMPLETELY GOOD.  Living in the culture in which we do, it is very difficult to think without a smidge of skepticism since we have never seen anyone who is completely good.  That is where faith comes in. We would only have experienced completely good in Eden when He came to visit with us in the cool of the day.  The only way I can be settled knowing He has secrets that I don't know, not understanding the why, is if I trust that He is completely good. If I trust that He is 100% out for my 100% best, then I can settle in on the thought that it's ok for Him to have a secret or two. 

He will let us in on it all in the end (Matthew 10:26, Luke 8:17).

We are all traveling this foreign road outside of Eden together, so if you see someone struggling with why, walk along side them and remind them of what Eden would have been like. 

How can I pray for you today?

Royal Princess Daughter Of The King
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