Monday, July 30, 2012

Locked Out!

            Have you ever felt stupid?  Most of us have on occasion.  Tim and I felt stupid when we recently locked ourselves out of our house.   Here’s the funny part, it happened during a severe thunderstorm.  I stepped outside to tell Sara goodbye when I noticed the ominous storm clouds.  Tim stepped outside too and left the door cracked.  There was a big puff of wind and the door was blown shut. Somehow it had been locked and Sara had just driven off.  All the cells phones and keys were inside and there we were standing outside in the middle of a tempest. 
            Tim climbed the back deck, but the deck door was locked.  I didn’t want him to risk climbing back down, so I walked on a busy road during a thunderstorm to the subdivision next door.  A neighbor was kind enough to lend her cell phone to call Sara.  I was so grateful and embarrassed at the same time.
I wasn’t sure what verses to use.  When I looked up deliverance, I saw many reverences to facing war or persecution from enemies.  Fortunately, those didn’t apply.  I also found verses about pestulance and being in need.  Fortunately, those didn’t apply either. 
“The Lord will keep you from all harm — he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.” Psalm 121:7-8 (NIV)
God is always watching over us.  Whether we are in a war or standing out in the middle of a storm, God is there and we can rely on His promises.   
Here’s another lesson I learned: you might want to hide a spare key out in the yard somewhere.

Monday, July 23, 2012

“Can we get there from here?”

Have you ever had to stop and ask for directions?  When my mother does that, she likes to ask, “Can we get there from here?” Most people laugh, but some look at her likes she’s crazy.  My mother likes to joke and “act silly.” It’s part of her charm.  
Now days, we have GPS systems to guide us, but they’re not mistake proof. My mother and stepfather were visiting a sick relative in Virginia a couple of years ago.  They thought they entered the correct address for the hospital into their GPS.  They got the road name wrong and ended up in the middle of nowhere next to a cow field
            Here’s my point: Who or what are you trusting to do your navigating?  My dear friend and relative Lynda made an excellent point the other day when we were talking about some new ventures in my life.  She said, “It’s like going from Athens (TN) to Chattanooga.  You start out on a two lane highway, but the closer you get the more lanes are added.  Once you get there, you are not sure you will know which way to go. It is all big and can lead in many different directions.  Hang on and let God navigate!!!!”
God is the ultimate navigator for He alone knows how to guide us to where He needs us to be.  As humans, we want to go where we want to go and we take the easiest route to get there.  When we do that, we end up like my mother and stepfather; worse than we started out!
            “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (NIV)
            If you let God do your navigating, you’ll be amazed at where He can take you.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Green Eyed Monster

The green eyed monster is one that everybody believes in.  You don’t have to set traps for it or try to track it down.  It’s everywhere and it bites everybody!
It bit me hard a few years ago during a women’s bible study.  One of the ladies (and a friend) gave a beautiful and touching prayer testimony. God told her to spend a whole day worshiping Him with her prayers and not to ask for anything.  She shared how much God had blessed her and how uplifting the experience was. 
“He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28 (NIV)
The green eyed monster dug its teeth in deep.  My first thought was, “God, I pray too and you’ve never told me to spend prayer time in worship with you.” I felt slighted.   Why didn’t He ask me to spend a day in worship with him like that?  That thought bothered me for days.  I couldn’t carry the heavy load any longer, so I went to my place of solace; the corner of the bedroom.  I literally cried out, “You know my heart God.  I’m not going to hide it from you because I can’t!  I’m being petty and I know it, so here it is!” Now you can’t pray a prayer like that and not expect God to respond in a BIG way.        
After my temper tantrum, I was sitting at the computer and writing. The house was unusually quiet.  Suddenly this still small voice boomed in my head, “THIS IS HOW YOU ARE TO WORSHIP ME!”  I almost fell out of the chair. My friend worshiped when she prayed.  I worship when I write.
“God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in the Spirit and in Truth.” John 4:24 (NIV)
 Worship isn’t limited to being in a church building or doing certain rituals.  God will tell you how He wants you to worship Him. Whatever it is, do it “in the Spirit and in Truth.”  Then I bet your blessing will be (as we say in the south) a real humdinger!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Blessed Seer

    My friend Paula has her first book, "Blessed Seer," being released this weekend.  I have read it and it is as awesome as Paula is.  In "Blessed Seer," Addy meets a mysterious stranger.  He talks to her about obedience and blessings.  Was she willing to get out of her comfort zone so God use her to bless not only herself, but other people as well?  Addy agrees and begins to have visions.  Like most of us, she has doubts about herself and her ability to do what God ask her of her.  It is a very touching and heartfelt story that will make you stop and think about how we live our lives.  Are we living them for ourselves or for God's glory and furthering His kingdom?  All we have to do is have faith and take that first big step out of out of our comfort zone.

On quick personal note: Happy Birthday Paula.  Knowing you and having you as a friend has blessed my life!

How did you come up with the idea of Addy having visions?As I researched about blessings, some of the verses referred to people having visions and dreams. The writer "what if?" began to whirl in my mind. What inspired you to write "Blessed Seer?" One evening I was thinking about an illustration pastors use. A man went to Heaven and was touring with an angel. They arrived at a warehouse filled with beautifully wrapped gifts. The man asked what the gifts were. The angel answered: "These are all of the blessings God wants to bestow but haven't been asked for or received due to disobedience." I went to bed considering this story, and God "downloaded" the whole outline for the story into my mind. I had to hop out of bed and write it down.How hard was it to write such an emotional story? Let's just say, God taught me so much while writing this story. I've had to deal with all of the truths.
Did you ever have any doubts while you wrote it or while you sent it out to publishers? Naturally, I felt rather vulnerable knowing an editor was reading this story. I did pray when I sent it that God would let the story touch someone if this was the right place for the book. When I received the email back from the editor, the first line of the email said - this story really touched me.
What is your biggest hope for "Blessed Seer?" 
I have prayed that God would use the story to touch readers for Christ and maybe even challenge and encourage them in their Christian walk.Have you ever had visions? Not in the sense that Addy experiences; though, I often envision my characters and scenes I write.Do really believe that we miss out on blessing because of out disobedience? Yes, God will not reward disobedience. It isn't His nature.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Happy Birthday Sara!!

 My daughter Sara’s 20th birthday will be next week. It doesn’t seem like she should be that old. You blink and your children are grown.  Now I know how my mother felt when I grew up.
When I  think back to the memories of her growing up, I want to laugh and cry.  It’s been a special journey and I  wouldn’t trade it for the world. I am so thankful to God for the privilege of being her mother and I’m very proud of the young woman she is becoming. 
 “But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God.” Ruth 1:16  (NIV)
            In the above verse, Ruth is talking with her mother-in-law Naomi.  Ruth loved her unconditionally and would not leave her.  That is so true with a mother/daughter relationship.  No matter the joy or sorrow, you are there for the other.
                                          Here are some pictures of Sara from over the years J