Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Right Here, Right Now, This Very Minute

If you have read my posts before, you know I am a great fan of our GPS we have affectionately named "Daphne".  She was invaluable to us driving home from Arkansas recently in freezing fog with a visibility of about two feet.  She could tell us where we were at any given moment and which streets were ahead, even though there was no way for us to see the streets.

Sometimes in life we want a "spiritual" GPS.  We want to be able to look at God's plan for our life on a little screen and see exactly what is ahead. Sometimes we become discontent with where He has placed us right now in this very minute and we ache and chafe and long for another time.  Maybe that means longing for another ministry, another city, a new group of people with whom to work and minister.

In doing so - in the aching and chafing and longing, we are missing the very point of being RIGHT HERE.  It is no accident the Lord has allowed us to be where we are right NOW this very minute.  He has someone, somewhere for us to minister to in this very place.  It may not be a very big place, in fact it may be very tiny.  "Better a small fire that warms, than a big fire that burns."

I wish I could give credit to the person who said that daydreams were one of the most dangerous tools of our enemy, because they lead us to be discontent in where the Lord has us right here, right now, this very minute.

If you have been harboring these daydreams in your heart, if you find yourself chafing at where you are right now, ask the Lord to forgive you and to reveal to you the ministry, however small, He has for you, right now, right here, in this very minute.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Broken Things and Broken People. . .

I am not much of one to chat on the telephone.  If you  have ever had more than a two-minute call with me, you should count yourself among the very few.  I was telling this to a friend the other day and explaining how my son usually calls to chat with his dad.  If he wants to talk with me either somebody is sick, or he wants to know how to fix something (me being the resident fix-er-up-er).  Our friend said, "Yeah, they call you when something or some body is broken!"

Isn't that how we are with the Lord?  The Scriptures tell us "He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds." Psalm 147:3, so we know His specialties are repairing, replenishing, restoring and resurrecting.  We call Him when something or somebody is broken. 

Sometimes, though, when I get those "broken" phone calls, I miss having the ones that are just chatting, even though I know I don't have a great propensity for small talk.  The Lord, however, loves our small talk, our medium-sized talk, our big-talk and even our "please fix it" talk.  As a character said in a book I was reading recently, God loves to "see a nasty thing can be fixed back to a good thing."

So let us take to Him our broken toys, our broken dreams, our broken hearts.  . .with the firm assurance that He will bind our wounds and heal our hearts, He will restore the years the locusts have eaten and He will turn our sorrow into joy.  But let us also turn our voice to Him in the other times as well, knowing our voice is sweet to Him, a delight to His ears.

"Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: 
and He shall hear my voice." Psalm 55:17
 "The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: 
but the prayer of the upright is His delight." Proverbs 15:8

Monday, January 24, 2011

Dedicated to a Life of. . .

There is a Marine Corps billboard close to our house.  It pictures a Marine in his dress blues, with his sword drawn.  There is only one line of text on the billboard and it says it all:

"Dedicated to a lifetime of courage."

As the mother of a Marine, I find great pride in these billboards, and I admit, I love the way those dress blues look.  There is no other uniform in my opinion that looks quite as sharp.  But this billboard really started me thinking.

I know my son is "dedicated to a lifetime of courage".  Still a Marine, and also a Police Officer, he wears his courage daily as he does his badge and uniform.

I know my husband has a lifetime dedicated as well. . .to ministry and service, he is always giving of himself to others.   But what about me?  This is the question that started my mind turning.  If I had to narrow it down to one word, what would that one word be?  What has my life, all fifty-three years, four months and twenty days been dedicated to?

What about you?  What has your life been dedicated to? 

It is a deeply personal question, and a deeply personal answer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Abundantly Above. . .

"Now unto Him that is able to do 
exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, 
according to the power that worketh in us, 
Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, 
world without end. 
Ephesians 3:20,21

34 years and still holding hands across the table.  Exceeding abundantly above!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Feelings, Facts and Faith

I was at the gym the other day.  It was a cold day for the Deep South and our gym is surrounded by glass walls from floor to ceiling 50% of the building.  To (literally) warm-up, I was walking quite briskly around the track.

As I walked, I passed the small bulletin board which holds advertisements, news articles and basically anything anyone wants to post. I saw on the board something which immediately caused a temptation of harsh feelings.  I kept walking, but I wanted to walk over, rip the paper off the wall, tear it to shreds and throw it in the trash.

We have all been tempted to have such feelings before.  They can be prompted by a co-worker, a family member, a boss, a politician -- or many politicians,  even by a rude driver in traffic.  The person the feelings are aimed at is inconsequential here, the fact is that we are presented these feelings by the law of sin in our flesh, by the world and by our spiritual enemy.

As I continued my fast trek around the track, I felt the check of the Holy Spirit in my heart that the feelings I was tempted to feel were not right and I knew that to be the truth.  The truth of the matter is that the Lord loves that person and because He lives in me, He has strengthened me and enabled me to love that person as well. 

If this had been a person who had wronged me in any way, then the truth would be that just as He forgives that person (and me, for that matter!) and because He lives in me, He strengthens  and enables me to have forgiveness for them as well.  That is the FACT of the matter.  It is not debatable, even if I don't feel it is true.

By this time, I had once again passed by the paper on the bulletin board.  Now I was presented with a choice, as we always are when we are tempted.  I looked at the paper and made the conscious decision that as long as it was in my power to do so, that paper would remain on that board.  Each time I saw it, it would stand to me as a testimony to what the Lord says is true about me and His strength and power in me.  By faith, I made the choice to believe what He said was true instead of believing in what I FELT was true.

I continued by walk, but this was a turning point in my inward attitude toward this particular person.  My choice was more than that moment, it affected me for all the moments I have had so far.  It is the Lord who desires to work in and through us to glorify His Son and to work out His eternal purpose in Christ Jesus, but we must make the choice and have the faith to allow Him to do so and work the work of faith as well.

"And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." Ephesians 4:32

"Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law."  
Romans 13:10