Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Journey - To Face Book or Not to Facebook

God can use anyone or anything to reach out to His people. Even something like Facebook.

This has been one horrific week, but one of the bright spots has come from a surprising place - Facebook. Yep. Facebook. 

Eek! Don't shoot me yet! Read on. . .

I've been part of Facebook for several years and along the way I've heard a lot of criticism about the site. I've added some of my own. And it's true, when misused Facebook can be a destructive tool. But mostly I've loved the service. I have lots of family and friends who live far away and Facebook offers a great way to stay in touch. It also makes it easy for me to connect with readers and other writers.

This week I have been the recipient of one of the most beautiful gifts Facebook offers - Prayer - Support - Encouragement.

March 22nd, my grandson was in a serious ATV accident. When he was life-flighted to Portland I didn't know if I'd ever see him again - at least not until heaven.

I'm happy to say he's still with us. He's been through a lot and has a long way to go, but he's going to make it. When he came out of surgery one of the doctors told my daughter he didn't know why Ezra was still alive. 

I know why. God has a plan for his life and death wasn't part of it . . . not yet anyway. God saved him, and I know He heard all the prayers that were and are being said for Ezra. 

As people found out what was happening word got out and the news spread. A lot of that news traveled via Facebook. A friend set up a special page for him called Blessings for Ezra. It's a place to send encouraging notes and to get updates on his condition.

Through the hard days (and there are still lots more to come) people prayed. In part because of Facebook, people around the globe have prayed. They lifted up our family and they lifted Ezra up to God. Words of encouragement, scripture verses and prayers flew across the miles and into our hearts. We have received a tidal wave of emotional and spiritual support. 

I liked Facebook before, but now I love it. And I love all of you who cared enough to pray. And those who contacted us - Thank you. You have helped us stand up under this heavy burden.

I don't know about you, but I hope Facebook hangs around for a long time. 

Grace and peace to you from God,


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Quiet Moments With God - Friends Forever

"Friends are friends forever, if the Lord is the Lord of them . . ." So goes the Michael W. Smith song. The first time I heard it I was at a MOPS meeting. It's been one of my favorites ever since. But, is it true?

Colossians 3:15 says, "Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace." 

We are to live together. Clearly, life is meant to be shared.

Too many of us miss the blessed gift of friendship. There are lots of reasons why, but none of them are good. Most of my life I've had special friends. Through the years, we've shared many great moments and had so much fun. We've done silly stuff and stood together through turbulent seas. Some of my friends I've had since grade school. Though I rarely see them these days my love for these long-time friends has not weakened. But distant friendships is not enough - not if we're supposed to share our lives as the Lord says we are.

Years ago at a home group meeting a question was posed. "How many of you spend time with a friend on a regular basis?" Not one person out of the group of eighteen or twenty people raised their hand, and that included me. The painful truth hit me between the eyes and I vowed to make a change. But the days slipped by and I forgot about that promise.

When I damaged my back further by lifting a thirty-five pound puppy I spent a week in the hospital and months trying to regain the strength and mobility to get back in motion. I'm still working on it. I was unable to join in the fun activities of my church and gradually my friends drifted away.

It's not really their fault. It's mine. Though I couldn't do what I used to do, I could have been more hospitable and invited friends in. But I didn't. There are lots of reasons, some of them valid, but in the end I lost something of great value. 

In recent days it seems that wherever I turn I'm reminded of the importance of friendship. It was made clear to me that rebuilding my friendships is up to me. And so, I've begun. And I've had some lovely encounters with dear friends. I plan to have more. 

Friendships are like spring flowers that add life and color after the chill of winter. They are like cooling raindrops on a parched summer day. We need one another. God has designed us to live together. Reach out, nourish your friendships, rebuild old ones and discover new ones. You won't be sorry.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Thursday, March 06, 2014

Quiet Moments With God - A Life Line

Have you ever felt like you were drowning - in responsibility, grief, physical or emotional pain? You are worn out, worn down, empty. How do you push on? Should you?

I am in that place.

I cry out to God. Tears are ever near, but I know He will hold me, uplift me. I know He has not brought me to this place without purpose. Once again I am reminded that He alone can save me and the ones I love.

Today, He led me to Psalm 91:1 - 4. "Those who live in the shelter of the Most high will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him. For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection."

I close my eyes and breathe deeply of His presence. He is here . . . beside, before me. There is no place I can go from His presence. And though the days are difficult I do not travel through them alone. But . . . He asks one thing of me - hang onto the lifeline He provides and trust in His strength. 

Trust, now there's a word. This season in my life is one more opportunity to receive a deeper understanding of what it really means to trust in God. I praise Him above all things.  

Praise Him . . . always.

Grace and peace to you from God,