Thursday, May 30, 2013

Bird Poop Happens

                                                 This past weekend, my daughter, Kristen and I made the long trip up to Kentucky to visit my son, Dave and his wife, Leslie. Being Memorial Day weekend, Kristen had an extra day off from school so it made the trip worth the eight hours to get there.

Saturday morning, we three girls went out on the deck to enjoy the sunshine and the nice breeze. This is the kind of weather I like to sunbath in because you do not feel the heat so badly until later in the afternoon. I was content with the calmness as I relaxed and soaked up some rays.

We were laughing and joking about this and that, when something out of the blue happened. Suddenly, I felt a plop of bird poop hit my left arm. It was not to the left or right but slap dab in the middle near my watch. At first, I could not believe the bird, which I never saw, could have had such perfect aim. Then, I wanted to tell that bird a thing or two. Finally, I merely went inside and washed it off. When I came back out, the incident became the joke and our laugh for the day.
Later, I asked the Lord if there was something he wanted me to see since the bird’s aim was so sharp. That is when I hear Him speak to my heart.

“Don’t allow sudden negative actions of others steal your joy.”

This has been a difficult lesson to learn. Suddenly, a phone call or friend would come by and upset my day with their attitudes or actions. I would mull over the situation again and again. At first, I wanted to lash back or cultivate self-piety but I knew neither one of those answers was a positive solution. After I started praying, God began inserting this phrase into my thinking.

“Are you going to let them steal your joy?”

When the Holy Spirit said it the first time, it surprised me. I wasn’t sure how to respond. I felt justified in my feelings of anger and piety. However, the more I thought about what God was trying to teach me, I knew I had to learn to clear my thoughts of “them” and turn my attention to something more joyful like my plans for the rest of the day, events coming up or maybe even make plans to visit a friend. Cultivating the joyful thoughts in that moment would be the strength I needed to overcome. Once I changed my thinking, my attitudes and actions followed too.

What do you do when your life is suddenly pooped on? Has God ever tried to get you to wash your mind clean and move on to more pleasant pastures? Next time you get plastered, do not let the negative situation get you down. Begin to cultivate joy and watch your strength arise with overcoming power.

The joy of the Lord is my strength. 
Nehemiah 8:10

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

I And The Light

Here I am in my appointed place. I am a lamp that shines forth the love of Christ to everyone who comes near to my glow. I hold up this shade of protection so that I will not blind anyone with my message of truth. I am so proud of what I have been able to achieve. It seems I get better at proclaiming truth all the time. Look at all the people I have helped. I love how public I have become.

Oh! Here comes Jesus. I know he will be so pleased with what I have done. I just know He will bless me real good.

Oh! He is looking my way and pointing His finger at me. Here comes my reward. Yessssss!

Pride precedes destruction; 
an arrogant spirit appears before a fall.
Proverbs 16:18

What! My light just exploded. That is not the blessing of was expecting.

“Pride in your own self-sufficiency comes before the fall,” Jesus said as He came to stand before me. “Humble yourself before me and I will show you how to begin again.”

OH NO! My thinking is heading me in the wrong direction. Shining for Him is not about what I can do, but what He is doing through me. I have been taking credit for the light He has so carefully developed within me. Oh Jesus! Please forgive me! Allow me to humble myself before you.

Jesus gently unscrewed the broken bulb and replaced it with a brand new beginning.

“Now you are ready to shine again,” He said.


Here I am in my Christ-appointed place. I am a lamp that shines forth the love of Christ to everyone who comes near to His Glory. I hold up this shade of protection so that His Glory will not blind anyone from His message of Truth. I am so humbled by what He has been able to achieve through our partnership. It seems we are getting better at proclaiming His truth all the time. Look at all the people He has touched. I love being His humbled mouthpiece of love.

Ahaaaaaaaa….I feel much brighter now.

Sometimes in all our busy-ness to get things done for Christ, we slide our names in first underneath the credits. Often times, it was not our intention to steal the glory from God. Pride can come in so gently that we do not detect its presences until attitudes have gotten lopsided.

Have you crossed the line into God’s territory? Take this time this week to reflect and evaluate your pride level. Thank God for what He is doing in your life. Humble yourself before God in the unbalanced areas. Afterwards, I am sure your will begin to feel lighter and brighter too.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Thoughts on Revelations

In August of last year, I asked the Lord where He wanted me to go in my Bible Study time. He lead me the Community Bible Study in my area. This is an international group whose mission is to make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ in our community through in-depth Bible study for all. They do not try to persuade anyone to believe a certain way but encourage everyone to pray and seek the Holy Spirit as each lesson is done.

When I went to the first class, I found out we were studying Revelations. I thought, Oh My! I’m not sure I want to study that book with all of the difficult imagery and the destruction of the world. Then,I thought it best to trust God’s leading.

At each meeting, we met in small core groups to discuss any insights we may have gotten when answering the questions in the workbook. Then there was a corporate meeting where there was teaching on how the scriptures from that day’s study applied to us today. I gain some wonderful insights as well as a sober mindset on future events.

Thoughts to Ponder

This is our Heavenly Father’s world and He is in complete control of all events. God is a God of love and mercy but He also requires that justice be served for the life each one of us has lived. If we have not accepted Jesus’s blood sacrifice for our sins, then we will have paid the penalty of rejecting Him ourselves.

Am I witnessing to others while there is still time?

There will be a collapse of life, as we know it today. The tribulation will be a time of intense testing and prosecution as never before for those who remain on the earth. We do not like to think about God allowing these catastrophic events. However, each step is necessary for the last of the decisions for Christ to be made and for God’s kingdom to come on the earth. Christians may go through some strong prosecution before the Rapture, but I believe we will be spared the brunt of the trials and testing.

Am I really ready for Christ’s return by following His directives or am I allowing worldly wisdom to influence most of my decisions?

The ending of Revelations is the greatest of all. Evil is banished forever, we are rewarded for what we have done in our lives, and best of all, we get to go and spend eternity with Him. What a blessed hope we have to ponder, as we face our present circumstances. There will come a time when God will say enough, call us home, and close the end of this age.

Have you thought about how amazing heaven is going to be lately? Are you looking forward to Jesus Christ return? Are you learning how to live in His Presence to overcome whatever lies ahead? I pray we all come to more of the knowledge of the Truth as we walk on towards eternity.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Be A Blessing

I got the round robin call. Everyone who was able to come needed to meet at the food pantry location at noon. A large load of sweet potatoes had arrived and needed to be packaged. When I pulled in the parking lot, there was the same familiar guy holding a sign saying FREE FOOD. Going inside, I noticed there were already several people bagging sweet potatoes as fast as they could from large cardboard containers. I started to work right away.

As I filled one bag after another, I began to pray for those who would be receiving the food. I prayed the recipients would be nourished and satisfied. I also prayed they would be spiritually nurtured as well. I asked the Holy Spirit to go with the sweet potatoes and encourage the receivers that God loved them in these trouble times. If they didn’t know God, I prayed they would come to know the saving power of Christ. God can do the impossible. As I finished my prayer, I felt the sweet potatoes would not only be delicious when cooked but they would also bring a spiritual blessing tailored just for that individual family.

After a couple of hours, My hands were black and my back was aching, but I knew I had made a difference in the lives of those who stopped by our doorway.

Why do I like to volunteer my time in this way?

It gives me the chance to prayer and give back to those around me. I have received much from God and those He has placed in my life. Yes, I have had my hard years too but God had always brought me through. Now I want to share with others. I may not be able to “save the world” but I can strengthen the ones who come by for the packaged food.

It’s good for me to think of someone else besides my self. It helps to relieve built up stress and thus keeps me healthier.

Lastly, Jesus commands me to feed and minister to the poor, the widows, and the orphans.

Deuteronomy 15:11 “There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be open-handed toward your brothers and toward the poor and needy in your land.” (NIV)

John 13:34 "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (NIV)

If I had no other reason than Jesus’s command and encouragement, then that is enough to get involved. The bonus is that when I help meet the needs of the less fortunate then God will satisfy my needs as well.

Proverbs 19:17 Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done. (NIV)

What are you doing in your community to make a difference? What talents can you share with others who need them? God has a tailored place for you to help. Ask Him and He will show you the way.