Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Respecting what God is Saying


            As a little girl growing up in St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Waldo, OH, I remember how my mother would not let us leave the service once it started.  We would especially get in trouble if we had to go to the bathroom while the minister was speaking.  I remember many a Sunday being told with a forced smile, I had better wait until the preacher was done, and next time go before the service began.

            While I may laugh about this now, really my momma was teaching me a life lesson.  She was teaching me that what the man or woman of God was speaking was something I needed to hear. We were expected to be still in the pews.   She was teaching me that one needed to respect the word of God and the voice of God.  Now I’m not saying if people get up while a pastor is preaching because it’s an emergency is wrong, but what I am saying is that there needs to be a level of respect.  I’ve done the best I could in general to teach my daughter’s very similarly.

            Many people don’t respect what God is saying in churches and they don’t outside of them either.  How sad it is, and I know I’ve done this with God on occasion too, when we ask God to speak to us but it’s as if the moment he starts to speak we get distracted and ignore Him. 

            It is true that God can speak to us anywhere, but I think too many people are trying to multitask with the voice of God.  Too many aren’t really taking the time to hear what He’s saying.  If we seek Him, we will find Him (Deut 4:29), but so often we want Him to yell over all the noise and we forget that sometimes He speaks in the still small voice (1 Kings 19:12)

            I’ve spent about the last month traveling.  It’s amazing to me how many people in the body (myself included) are in the midst of a transition season in their lives.  I find so often that the Body of Christ are truly a body, and when one goes through it often many are doing the same.  In this season of ‘transition and realigning’ how important it is for all of us to be reminded that God speaks to His people.  Seek Him for the answers to the things you have been questioning.  Seek Him and respect His voice enough to hear what He has to say.  Remember He wants to talk to you.  He wants to instruct you.  He wants to bring you clarity.

            God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Me Worry? Nahh.....

            I had a challenging few days business wise last week.  I don’t need to get into details.  But legal threats were flying and I had to confront some situations that had needed to get confronted for a while.  I really stink in these situations and avoid them at all cost.  As the dust began to settle I began rehearsing over in my mind what was said, and how I could have handled the situation possibly better.  While I tried to be in peace and let it go, I didn’t sleep for at least one night and replayed everything too many times.

            While discussing this all with my father, my dad began to instruct me in a way only my father can.  I explained to him what happened and while his response seemed simple it was so wise.

            “It seems to me,” he responded, “you stood up, and was right to defend yourself.  If this situation turns ugly then so be it.  Stop worrying about it.”

            “Yes, I’m working on it dad.”  I responded knowing he was right.

            “Don’t just work on it, but let it go.  It’s over.  Worrying is not going to change anything.”

            “I know you’re right.”

            “Then stop worrying.”

            Everything my father said just reiterated what God says in these matters.  Matthew 6 talks a lot about how we shouldn’t worry.

Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

          As much as I knew it wasn’t going to help anything to worry I still found myself in the circle, with the simple words of my father it reminded me how silly it was for me to hold onto all of this negative drama.  I had to choose to let it go.

            How easy it is for all of us to get caught up in holding onto the ‘what if’s’ in life.  In my case I’d stood up to what seemed to be a “goliath”, and nowhere in the Bible do you see after David stood up to Goliath did he worry about offending people, or how he came across.  He faced the giant, and moved on with his life.  You can’t walk in your life backwards . . . it’ll just make you trip.  You have to choose not to worry, and choose to move forward.  Whatever storms and goliaths you face in your life, you have to choose to give it to God.  You have to choose to do what my daddy told me, and just let it go.

Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Training up Mojo

            Yesterday morning was a rough morning.  I was stressed about some things and had only slept two hours. 

            My kids, dog (Mojo) and I are enjoying a few weeks at my parents in Ohio, and any time you travel it can have its own situations at arrive.  My dog Mojo isn’t used to a yard as big as my parents have, and though they have a buried electric dog fence Mojo is too small to put that dog collar on him.  Usually at home we don’t really have a problem with him running off; however we’ve had to watch him here.  Yesterday morning, though I’d only had two hours of sleep he was on a toot.  It’s been an unusually wet summer up here so my parents’ yard has giant water puddles everywhere. 

            Mojo’s eyes twinkled as he realized I’d mistakenly let him off the leash so he could play with my aunt’s dog.  He looked at me and bolted through the yard, and through the puddles.

            “Mojo come!”  I yelled running after him.  I was barefoot chasing him.  Mud and water flew as I saw him edge his way to the woods towards my aunt and uncle’s home!  Mojo stopped.  I could see he was thinking about whether to keep going, or to stop.  I think he realized how mad at him I was, so he took off running towards my aunt.

            Being barefoot didn’t bother me until I hit the gravel pathway in the woods.  Now I’m yelling “You dumb dog!  Come!”  Limping along I got to the clearing, to see him run around their house and head toward the road.

            This was about the time my aunt came out and realized what was going on.  She called him.  He stopped in the road, darted past me and headed straight for her.  He knew he was in trouble, and was avoiding me at all cost. 

            Needless to say, though the scene of me standing on my aunt’s porch barefoot, mud splattered and exhausted was comical, I was a lot ticked off at a cute little miniature dachshund named Mojo.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

            Obviously Mojo isn’t one of my kids.  I realize he’s a dog.  However, puppy or not, he’s not as well trained as I thought he was.  It’s apparent that we need to do more training. 

            When God puts us in times of training we tend to think it’s the worst thing in the world.  Perhaps we get angry or annoyed at God.  But training is a good thing.  Just like Mojo, if he won’t come back to me than what’s going to happen?  He’ll run out into the road?  Get hit? Never come back?  God puts us in situations to train us, so that when it’s important we follow what He is saying we will do what He says.  Obviously we aren’t dogs, God wants us to have a free will, but He also needs us to do what He says to do.  He sees the bigger picture.  We have to trust Him for training!  He is faithful to us!

            Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.



Monday, July 22, 2013

Crossing Border Chaos

            As promised, I have another Canadian/American border crossing story.  This time we were leaving Canada we decided to take the tunnel.  Usually we opt for the Ambassador Bridge but the traffic leaving Canada is better on the tunnel.  Every time we travel this way we borrow a vehicle of my parents’.  A year ago my parents invested in a luxury SUV and so seeing that car cross the border always puts the border guards on a heightened alert.  Automatically they want to make sure the car is not stolen.  I understand their thoughts.  I also understand I have to prove to them it’s not stolen. 

            This time we were traveling through the boarder and the guard asked for the proof of insurance and registration.  The question on his part was a no brainer.  I know where my mom keeps the paperwork.  However Dan and I got a little frazzled.  We kept searching where the papers were kept and couldn’t find them.  Then internally we started to panic. 

            “Can I call my parents?” I tried to ask the border guard.

            “No.”  His face was stoic and lacked sympathy.

            Ultimately after some wrangling of an old Ohio State University ID that had my maiden name on it and a lot of polite “yes sir” and “no sir’s” we were finally let through with a strong warning about crossing an International Border and having the burden of proof.

            About 30 minutes later we found the missing paperwork right where I knew it was located in the first place.  We’d been so frazzled by the boarder and the chaos that we’d looked right over it.  The mistake was ours, and really that boarder guard could have made out afternoon quite difficult. 

            We’ve all found ourselves in that kind of situation.  We’re stressed, nervous, and make the wrong decision.  There is a reason why God gives His suggestions in this matter.

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

No matter what is going on around you, choose today to be still and know that He Is God.  Trust in Him and the chaos around you will seem to shift.  It doesn’t mean that everything will be still, but when you are still in Him then He gets to work.

Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Hidden Heart Desires


            I hope you all had an amazing last few weeks.  I am back near internet and a computer though I am still in traveling mode.  In fact if you’re in the Ohio area I’ll be preaching in Marion on Sunday at Celebration Christian Church on Smeltzer Road.  I’d love to see you. 

            I wanted to write a bit today about this scripture.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart

I hear it quoted quite often.  It seems to me that we always are looking for God to grant our heart’s desires in the bigger things by a house, job, or dream coming forth.  But we forget to thank Him when he grants us our heart’s desires in the small things. 

            Last week my family and I were blessed to travel up into Canada to Niagara Falls.  This was not something I’d always dreamed about doing, but as I stood on the “Maid of the Mist” only feet away of the falls getting wet in the spray and laughing, I realized this was a heart’s desire.  It’s something that deep down I always really wanted to do.

            We also got to travel to a little hidden place up in Canada called African Lion Safari.  It may be really possible that we all could be in South Africa one day on a real safari, but in the meantime this was pretty close, and again as I watched a giraffe tower over the bus I realized this was a hidden heart desire I had never even realized was there.

            So often in life we find ourselves getting frustrated at God because we think where are all these grandiose heart desires and promises we feel we’ll get one day.  But in doing that, I think we miss the adventure of life.  We forget to thank him for the small things.  We forget that life is a journey and not a sprint.  We only have one life to live, and thanking God for the small things I think makes us appreciate every day we’re given a lot more.  Thank Him for the smaller things today, and you’ll find that eventually the bigger things will happen, and you’ll be a lot happier in the process.

            Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get Excited!





Monday, July 1, 2013

Listening for the Season of Redefining and Realigning

Some weeks ago I wrote a blog about it being a season of redefining and realigning.  I 100% believe things are happening for God’s people all over.  I’ve seen this beginning in my own life and the lives of others around me.  I do believe all these things are happening for many. 
The problem is when God is doing things like this; His people need divine instructions from heaven.   Rarely though do they take the time to really hear from heaven.  So God’s speaking to them and they are yelling about their circumstances thus the instructions are never heard.  If you seek God, you’ll find Him.  If you are still ….you’ll hear Him.  Jesus was often getting out of his routine to hear from His daddy, and in the following passage He was telling His disciples to do the same.

Mark 6:31 (NIV)31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

 If you’ve been a reader of mine for any length of time you’ll know that I typically take off two weeks from blogging twice a year.  This is for me as I do some traveling, family time, and it also allows me to spend some extra time hearing from God as to what is going on in our lives.  It is often in these times where God unloads some new and fresh things that perhaps it’s just the timing for me to hear them. . . and perhaps I’m not too busy to hear. 
            So this will be your last blog for a couple of weeks.  Dan, the girls, and I will be spending some much needed down time with family.  I will be breaking out of the typical routine to hear and get clarity for this next season of redefining and realigning. 
I encourage you to do the same.  You don’t have to do anything extravagant.  Talk a walk with God early one morning, have a cup of coffee with your Bible,  or listen to a new worship song.  There are lots of things you can do to break out of your routine.  God wants to speak to you specifically about this season.  Take the time to listen.
Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.