Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Quiet Moments With God -- Don't Be A Wallflower.

Do you like to dance? I do. I remember my very first dance. My mother had sewn me a pretty new dress and I'd taken extra time with my hair and make up. I was only thirteen and remember that my nerves were tightly strung. I didn't know what to expect, but I remember being afraid no one would dance with me--back in those days girls waited for the boys to ask.

When the music started the kids hung back, too afraid to step out and be the first one on the dance floor. I pressed my back against the wall, wishing I hadn't come. I wasn't the only one.

Gradually a few boys made the long walk across the gym floor to ask girls to dance. One handsome young man boldly asked me. I could have said no and remained safely in my place, but I wanted to dance and gratefully allowed him to escort me onto the dance floor.

A scripture shared in church last Sunday brought this memory to mind. The verse is one that sits quietly among many. You might not even notice it if you didn't stop to ponder on it. I'm thankful my pastor loves to ponder God's Word. Mark 10:32 says, "They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid. Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him."

Jesus pushed on, knowing what He faced. The cross waited for him and yet he continued on, hearing the call of His Father and of His a destiny that only He could fulfill. In obedience He made his way toward Jerusalem and the cross. When I think upon that I feel the sting of tears. His obedience and love are beyond my ability to comprehend.

There is something else that stands out. The disciples followed. They must have known their lives were also in jeopardy, but they pushed forward, not knowing what would happen.

I think about myself and how cautious I can be--afraid of what the future holds. I could easily be a wall flower--too afraid to step out and heed God's leading. Fear, if allowed, kills boldness. If we focus on the possible pain or embarrassment that sometimes follows obedience we will remain on the periphery of life. We'll never dance.

Instead, shall we trust and yield ourselves to the Lord?

Don't be a wallflower. Dance.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Topic of the Day -- What Do You See?

What do you see from your front porch?

I watched a movie tonight in which a man spent hours sitting on his front porch. He watched the world outside his home, observing the people but not really seeing them. He couldn't look beyond his own pain and prejudices. However, as the story progresses, against his better judgment he begins to connect with his neighbors. Strangers become friends. And by the end of the movie he loves them so deeply he gives his life for them. A man can do no more than that for another.

I got to thinking about what we see. Or if we see at all? Is it possible that we look through a veil of self interest, fear or prejudice?

I feel especially blessed because I live in the forest. When I look out from my front porch I see God. His creation surrounds me. The sights, sounds and smells are things he made with His own hands. But I am sometimes oblivious to His creation. I forget about God and His wonders, forget to be grateful. With forgetfulness comes spiritual blindness.

I've sometimes thought it would be so nice to live in town where I could watch the world go by--children getting on or off a school bus, a couple strolling down the street or a young man jogging. I'd enjoy feeling connected to the world, but even as I say that I wonder why I sometimes feel separate from it.

We are all linked to one another. We are created by the same God. And when we place our trust in Christ God becomes Father. We're all part of one family--God's awesome and amazing gift to us.

What do you see from your front porch?

Grace and peace to you from God.


Monday, September 19, 2011

Quiet Moments With God -- The Gift of Wisdom

This morning while reading my Bible I came across several verses about wisdom. Wisdom should be part of every Christians box of gifts that we receive when we believe. It's a thing of beauty to be treasured. Sadly, there are some who do not open the gift.

The world views wisdom differently than God does. It believes that wisdom comes from knowledge and is possessed by scholars or by those who have lived long lives. Though I do believe knowledge is good and life has much to teach us, God's Word says the world's view of wisdom is foolishness.

Psalm 19:7 says, "The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple." And 1 Corinthians 1:18-21 adds, "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.' Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know Him. God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe." And verse 24 says, "For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength."

If we believe God's Word is true why then do we go to the great minds of the world for guidance? Have we accepted the world's standards rather than God's? If so, why? He is The One who knows all and sees all. He is our provision. His Word will feed our hungry spirits. When we place our trust in Christ only then does the Holy Spirit reside in us and only then can we see the whole truth.

We must seek wisdom if we wish to fully possess it. God's Word instructs and teaches. And God places us in circumstances where His Word can be worked out in us. He places us where there is nothing to be done except rely on Him. Though His instruction can be painful, walking through fire refines us. We become stronger and wiser.

Seek God and you will grow wise. Do not be afraid. Cherish the gift.

Grace and peace to you from God.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Topic of the Day -- Great Review!

Now, this is the kind of review I like! Just had to share. : - )

It was a long wait, but Bonnie Leon is back with the second book in the Alaskan Skies series, Wings of Promise. I'm more in love with her writing after this volume than ever before. If you're looking for a book with love, loss, forgiveness, reunions and more then this is for you. We meet up again with female Alaskan bush pilot Kate Evans. Her reputation precedes her and she's still trying to break down walls as a female in a male dominated profession. Her relationship with Paul grows into something more serious and life seems almost too perfect for Kate.

We all know that when it seems perfect is when the bottom falls out. Kate is shaken to the core and has to make decisions that will push her forward or send her packing back to the mainland.

From the back cover:

Her spunk has always gotten her through tough times. But does she have what it takes to go the distance?

Kate Evans may be a woman in a man's profession, but as Alaskan bush pilots go, she's one of the best. If only her personal life wasn't so complicated. Torn between her affection for fellow pilot Mike Conlin and doctor Paul Anderson, Kate longs for clarity in her heart. But when a terrible tragedy occurs, her mind may be made up for her.

Full of high-flying adventure and tender personal moments, Wings of Promise will sweep you away to the Alaskan skies.


It's true! Heart pounding action is in the pages of this book. This was very hard to put down and I recommend it 100%

Thanks, Bonnie, for this CLEAN READ.

By Rares Reviews

Grace and peace to you from God.


Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Topic of the Day -- Our Final Day

It has been six years today that my beautiful niece Crystal was snatched from us. She died in an auto accident.

The last time I saw her I didn't know it would be our final conversation, our final smiles exchanged, our final hug. There was no sign pasted across her forehead telling me, "Make the most of this moment. It is your last."

Isaiah 40:6-8 says, "People are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the Lord. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the Word of our God stands forever."

We forget our time here is short. In our busyness we lose sight that any moment may be our last. Make the most of the moments. Do not waste time on trivial ambitions. Forgive others. Love one another. Desire God.

Savor the moments you've been given.

Grace and peace to you from God.


We miss you Crystal.

Monday, September 05, 2011

Quiet Moments With God -- One Of Those Days

I woke up this morning with my back screaming at me. "Why? This is not fair! What did I do?" No answer. I'm frustrated and angry. I did my exercises anyway . . . barely. It's not easy to do them when my back is yapping. When I finished, my attitude still stunk. I needed God. Before settling into work mode I sat down with one of my favorite devotionals, "My Utmost for His Highest." Oswald Chambers came through again.

I will begin with the scripture, Luke 14:26. "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes his own life also, he cannot be My disciple." This sounds harsh. Christ can't really mean that, can he? He does, but maybe not in the way we think. He doesn't want us to hate. But the people we love, including ourselves, cannot compete with our relationship with Him. Christ must come first if we truly want to be His disciples. We must hand our lives over to Him--be fully His.

Christ is not speaking about our salvation in this verse. He's talking about discipleship. To be all in, so to speak. To be His and not mine. For me that means I have to hand myself over completely, including my back. If that's part of who He wants me to be, then so be it. I will serve Him because I love Him not because He's handed me everything I want in life.

I'm all in. How about you?

Grace and peace to you from God.


Friday, September 02, 2011

Topic of the Day -- Labor for Labor Day?

Labor Day is always on the first Monday in September. Greg and I usually take the day off and spend time with family or friends. We rarely travel because of the stampede to the campgrounds and resorts. We save our vacations for quieter seasons. Labor Day was created by the labor movement to set apart a time to honor the social and economic achievements of American workers. I like that. The people of this country work hard and most do a good job.

However in these troubled economic times there are many who can't find a job. They don't want to rest, not even on Labor Day. They'd rather be working. Some have searched for a job for a year or more, but there aren't any to be had. Our country is shipwrecked. I know that 9.1% unemployment doesn't sound all that bad, but the real numbers are much higher, and for those who can't find work the percentage doesn't matter.

What's happening in our country is a tragedy, but we can make it better. During the Great Depression of the 1930's hardship created innovation, softened hearts, and brought about dependence on God and on one another. I can't fix the financial crisis in this country. On our own, as single individuals there's little we can do, but if we work together we can make a difference. Let's not get political--that won't help. In fact, I'm convinced our government can't fix this problem. So, let's focus on what we can do.

How can we help those in our communities? Look inside yourselves and think about your gifts and abilities. Where do they fit in the bigger picture? How can you reach out to others? Off the top of my head, there are lots of places to plug in -- homeless shelters, food pantries, the Salvation Army. Is your neighbor in trouble? Are they losing their home? What might they need? Churches can help. Do you have a "needs" ministry in your church? If not, maybe you can start one. Get involved.

Unemployment, we know, is high. Do you own a business? Is it possible that you could hire just one more employee? Imagine if small businesses across the country added just one more person to the payroll. That would put huge numbers back to work. I know it's a stretch and some can't do it. But can you?


Though I've listed it last, prayer is where we need to begin. Pray for our leaders, our country, our neighbors. Pray for discernment and generous hearts. And ask God what you can do. If we all do a little it can create a tsunami of aid.

To coin a phrase, "Just do it!" Become part of the wave. And if you have a suggestion please leave a comment and let us know.

Grace and peace to you from God.