Sat, Jan 28th - 9:38AM
Do we believe
I was thinking about the Lord and I thought, "He's the best!" He's really THE best and we know that, but often times we settle for 2nd, 3rd or no best.
If God is God and the Word is the Word, then His Word is True. He said, "Ask and you shall receive, that your joy may be full." Either we believe that if we "ask we shall receive", or even if we just say it with our mouth in hopes that He'll hear us, that's good enough. Even if our faith is like that grain of mustard seed.
Sometimes we think receiving from God or hearing from God is harder than it is. But we don't really realize how easy the Lord has made it for us. We can't see that the "combination lock" is easy to open...if we Ask Him and if it's not against His spiritual laws.
I actually experienced this once. I desperately needed to get something out of storage, but I couldn't remember the combination to the lock & had no way to call my husband. I walked off all discouraged, but then the Lord said, "Why don't you try it anyway?" It sounded silly, but God had done crazy things for me before. So I tried it, "Turn left, right then left", to my amazement it went "Click!" and opened! We can believe His Word: "With God all things are possible." because it's the truth.
A real simple prayer I pray that I know is God's will: "Lord, please guide my thoughts." If I'm not speeding around, but taking time to hear from Him, even in the middle of madness, He can get through to me. Not because I'm some spiritual giant, but because He promised, "Ask and you shall receive..."
Sun, Nov 13th - 5:02AM
How do you handle fear?
I was thinking about the ocean and about waves and suddenly I remembered the feelings that hit me when that Tsunami struck last Christmas. That was a strange and a weird thing, wasn't it? I mean, really really weird. I'm sure all of us suffered. I felt like the whole PLANET was suffering. Didn't you?
I got hit with so many fears and doubts when that happened. It was spiritual warfare at DEFCON 3 for me. I pictured myself in their shoes and I thought, "My God, how would I handle something like that?" I feel like the verse says, "If the footmen weary thee, what will you do when the horsemen come?"**. Then there's the other side you fall against and that's "Fear not for I am with thee." and "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." That's that beautiful, majestic Psalm 91.
And the message Paul got, "My grace is sufficient for thee..."
If all else fails, I'm sure I could ask God to open my eyes and, in such a case where it's life or death, I'm positive that God would humor me and show me the chariots of fire round about and the hosts of Heaven encouraging me.
**Jeremiah 12:5 "If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and [if] in the land of peace, [wherein] thou trustedst, [they wearied thee], then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?"
2 Kings 6:17 "And Elisha prayed, and said, LORD, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the LORD opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain [was] full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha."
Sun, Oct 30th - 4:16AM
Learning to love Max
When my husband Val first introduced me to Max, it was another one of those "surprises" he had for me that I was not desirous of nor prepared for.
Val knew, as I had told him many times, I only liked small dogs. Period. Then 9 years ago, just before Christmas, he surprised me with Max.
He wouldn't let me in the living room until the "surprise" was ready. "You can come IN nowwww!" Like it was going to be the greatest thing since Pizza. And there, in the corner with a big red bow around his neck, was gangly 3 month old Max. I didn't show my disappointment, but I groaned inwardly.
My husband knows I haven't liked big dogs since being bitten by a german shepherd when I was 10 and, of course, Max is half german shepherd.
"Merry Christmas!", my husband sang out while I did my best to look over-joyed.
The cliché goes, as fate would have it, guess who ended up being with Max MOST of the time? And guess who's carpet he always pee'd on because Val didn't get him out in time?
The sad result was that, over the next months I grew to almost hate the poor dog. With all of the care he needed and the terrible stress I was under living with some difficult people at the time, Max was way too much. I almost dreaded getting up in the morning because I knew that the full load plus Max would be on my shoulders. This, of course, caused some pretty heavy arguments between my husband and myself not to mention difficulties with our neighbors due to Max constant barking.
Now flash forward to today, 2005, 10 years later. Everything has changed or I should say, everything has changed me. When I got away from the pressures I was under at that time, I started calming down. We got away from the things and people that Max presence made more difficult. And because I calmed down, I began to notice things about Max. His protection, for example. Being kind of a natural worry-wart, since my husband worked at night, I felt safe having Max with me.
Due to our work in Romania with abandoned babies, we frequently travel there. For years we experienced our car being broken into. But not since we've had Max.
Max has protected us over and over again, but aside from that endearing talent, he's funny. He acts funny. He sleeps funny, he even sits funny.
He's smart in a sneak-thief sort of way. Even the time when he ate all the butter on the table and then ate half the chocolate chip cookies I'd just baked, I love him. He spreads hair EVERYwhere and still I just love him to death.
His loyalty humbles me. His devotion touches me and just knowing that Max is around, I feel everything's okay.
I had to slow my life down in order to learn to love Max, this wonderful dog that only offers us his undying allegiance.
Wed, Sep 28th - 5:25PM
An unusual teacher
I have a little dog, a Chihuahua, named Benny.
I've learned a lot from him. Yes, he's not just a dog, but he's a teacher of the highest caliber. For example, when I come home, he greets me with such joy, such wild enthusiasm that I'm afraid he might have a heart-attack. When my husband comes home, even if it's two minutes later, he repeats the whole thing. We jokingly call him our "reception committee" or "fan club".
I know that all dogs do this, but Benny has modified it by, every time, bringing his raggedy, orange and black toy tiger.
Whatever happy occasion may occur, whether it be getting ready to go out or anticipating dinner, Benny always comes with his tiger. For months we couldn't figure it out. "What's with this tiger? Why does he always bring this thing?" We just didn't get it until one morning we seriously discussed it. Then it dawned on us. Benny has nothing else to give us and this his little way of saying, "Here, you can have my favorite toy." It's an "offering" so to speak, a trade. And as soon as he gets the tummy rub or a doggie munchie, or the leash comes out, he drops the tiger and is in 7th heaven.
So, here's the point. I was thinking how all of us are like Benny. We can only offer to God what he has already given us, but the difference, the thing that makes the sacrifice pleasing to Him, is not the size of the gift, but the way that we bring it. Do we bring it with joy and thankfulness? Do we bring it with humility; appreciation? Do we bring it with faith? So, I learned after 3 years that it's not "what" it's "how".
Yes, my Benny has taught me a lot.
Fri, Sep 16th - 9:19AM
Putting our hearts through the car wash. :)
(TIP: press control+ (plus) and the text will get larger. Control- (minus) makes them smaller)
I always think about the verse in Psalms where it says,
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."
I pray this prayer a lot because I feel this world "dirtying" me up daily. The bad news, bad thoughts, bad words you hear, bad feelings, bad pictures and on and on it goes.
So it seems to me that we should always pray for God to clean us. And I've found that I can give Him a hand by letting the water of His Word wash my heart and mind.
"That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,..." Ephesians 5:26
"Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin."
"Peter saith unto (Jesus), 'Thou shalt never wash my feet.' Jesus answered him, 'If I wash thee not, thou hast no part with me.'"
2 John 13:8
Titus 3:5 "Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;"
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."