Monday, November 24, 2014

All I want is Bread Crumbs and Parmesan Cheese!

A few weeks ago I thought that going grocery shopping on a Friday night was a good idea.  I’m not sure what possessed me to think this.  In the future I may avoid Friday night shopping like a plague.  After my kids were done with their piano lessons we went to three stores.  In a frazzled moment in the checkout line I realized I had forgotten to get bread crumbs and parmesan cheese that I needed for a recipe I was making.  But all is well, I thought, I’ll get them at my next stop.  OK, so I’ve been in this wacky season of still transitioning and nothing is the normal to me.  I found myself at my last stop overwhelmed by the amount of people in the store, and lost because nothing in this particular store was where I thought it should be located.  My youngest daughter and I started making a chant up about “All I want is Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs.”  I stopped three different employees of this store and none of them seemed to care I was officially ready to have a meltdown.  I was tired.  I was frustrated that these items weren’t where they were in every other store on the planet, and as much as I was ready to just leave without them I needed them. There were so many shoppers in the store the whole thing was becoming beyond overwhelming.  When we found what we needed I know that we had probably passed them several times. When we finally got out of that store, I was beyond emotionally spent. 

The lady at the register asked me sweetly, “Did you find everything okay?”

“No, I didn’t.  I asked three different people for help and no one seemed to care.  I just needed Parmesan Cheese and Bread Crumbs!”  I was trying to respond to her as sweetly as I could but I knew my veneer was cracking. 

We have all been in situations like these.  We’ve all found ourselves frazzled and frustrated, when really we just need to get to our place of safety with dinner and a nap.  My point in this blog is twofold.  One is that when we recognize we’re in this kind of a state, that we really overly guard our mouths.  I did shed my frustration on the cashier but I’ll also I sweetly just told her the truth.  I’m sure a lot of people unload on her.  It wasn’t personally her fault the customer service in the store stank.  Also I bring up this story because I kept thinking how could I recognize and see others who were overwhelmed like this in life and help them.  You see many people go through life like this.  They frazzled looking for some kind of meaning, and often it seems like no one will help them.  Maybe it seems simplistic to say my one bad moment in a grocery store is like life, but sometimes it is.  Everyone has their own agenda, and few really care about helping others out.  Even those that you’d think would.  Do we let this make us bitter?  No.  But it does serve as a reminder to me to be a person in a sea of people who will truly care about the lost. 

In Acts 3 at the Gate Beautiful Peter and John were used to walking that way many times.  I’m sure they had their own places they needed to be, but when they SAW the lame beggar and reached out to him, that man’s life was forever changed.  Through the power of the Holy Spirit that man God up and was healed.  While they went on with their life, that man would never be the same.  While yes there are times in life that we need to get to where we are going, however may we all learn to retrain ourselves to see the world around us.  This life is so short. 

God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Do Not Be Deceived!

            On Saturday night I had a dream.  While parts of this dream I have yet to understand I thought I’d share part of it for the sake of this blog.  I was at a church conference of some kind.  It wasn’t a church I recognize though there were various people that I know there.  The conference had seemingly been a very great experience.  However suddenly in the last group session I began to notice something didn’t seem quite right.  In the final main session I walked into a sanctuary type main room.  I was looking for Dan but he wasn’t there.  There were no normal seats available so I pulled out a couple handicapped seats.  As the mass of people sat down, I looked up on a balcony.  I saw a machine gun open fire to the crowd.  People all around me were dying but they weren’t really calling out.  I looked around and it was only me and a few people still in the chairs that weren’t dead.  So I looked around trying to figure out what to do. It was then I woke up.
            I knew that God was trying to say something to me, so I asked Him what that was?  Clearly I felt Him say, “Tell My people not to be deceived.” 
            Deception is a snarky thing.  The thing about deception is that people who are deceived believe they are right.  Recently I heard of a once “Well-known” Christian speaker who has since converted to Chrislam (It’s a budding religion that mixes Christianity and Islam, which is SO not of God).  This same individual that was once a respected leader is now propagating Chrislam and meeting with other leaders of faith for “unity to one religion”.  If you know the book of Revelation you know this is concerning.  Revelation talks of “One Religion” taking over the masses.  As well as it talks of “One World Government and One Currency”.
            1 Timothy 4:1 (ESV) says, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons”
            If you know me or have read my writings enough you should know that I’m not a “doom and gloom” kinda preacher.  I believe in the End Times; however I also believe we need to live our lives for Jesus in the now.  Personally I do believe the signs of the End Times are getting closer and closer.  I do believe that we are in the last “season” and only God knows when that is.  However, in following with this dream I had, I need to say, “WAKE UP PEOPLE!”  Be on your guard.  Do not allow yourself to get deceived!  GET TO KNOW WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS!!!  There are many men and women of God you may respect, but take everything they say and put it next to the Bible.  If their words are not 100% rooted and grounded in the word of God do NOT allow yourself to be misled.  Be on your guard!  I have personally witnessed that many who are deceived get to be so because the word of God gets very subtly twisted.  It’s kind of like someone was on the right road initially and then took an exit, and before they know it they were way far out there.  I will repeat that if anything does not line up with the word of God, then don’t let it in.
            I come to you today on what I believe is a mandate from the Lord.  Do not be deceived.  Be on your guard.  This is NOT to put fear inside of you, but to tell you to be watchful and diligent.  We live in a very strategic time in the Kingdom of God.  The good news is that even though it seems as if the dark is getting darker, the light is getting lighter.  Exciting things are happening, so keep your eyes firmly fixed on Jesus!

            God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Random Reflections

            WARNING:  To all who read this, this is a total random blog today. Welcome to the inside musings of my mind.
                  Today is always a day of reflection and contemplation for me. It was 14 years ago that God moved my husband and me across the country to Florida.  We lived there for 13.5 years.  It’s been 5 months that we’ve been back in Ohio, and I know without a doubt both moves in those individual seasons were the in the right place at the right time for our lives.  I guess I set this day up as a memorial in my walk.  I had been a part of leaps of faith in my walk with Christ before this one, but somehow that one 14 years ago was one of the defining moments of my life.  I have no regrets to either.                  

     I finished the rough draft of my 21st book on Friday.  Before I wrote my first book I can remember telling Dan how much I refused to be one of those people who always said they were going to write a book and never did.  I think now after I’ve done this 21 times with the plans of 22, 23, and 24 off in the distance, I’ve certainly made the point that I wasn’t going to be a kinda woulda shoulda individual.  Sure I get frustrated because I want to be a lot further in my career, however on the other side of all this I have no regrets to the work I’ve done.  I would appreciate prayer regarding all of my works that are still unpublished.  It does get kind of old feeling like most of my books are sitting beside a literary highway holding up a cardboard sign saying “Will Write for Food.” I have a lot of possibilities as to where to step next in publishing and am just believing for the God kinda door to be illuminated. The process of writing so many books has taught me so much as a writer and a believer.  God really does make the impossible possible.  I LOVE to write and I love getting to speak; I continue to believe that God opens the doors for that more and more.                  

     Yesterday a member of our church asked for some people to come over and help them paint.  So Dan, the girls and I donned some paint clothes after church and helped.  We all enjoyed getting to paint.  Their fixing up an old home from the 1800’s and it is a beautiful home.  It was nice to get to meet a few people from church outside of church.  I think that the body of Christ often misses the point that we are supposed to help each other out.  We need to be a family.  I was glad to see my girls dive into painting the trim, even if we had to make a few drop clothes readily accessible.  I am a person that has always loved doing ‘Acts of Services’ projects and it’s something I need to actively seek doing more.                 

     I am shocked, saddened, and blown away by the death of Dr. Myles Monroe and his family as is most of the Charismatic Christian Community.  While I never knew him personally I did know of many who did.  He was a mighty man of God who will be missed.  It reminds me yet again how fragile life is while we are on the earth.  It reminds me of how important it is to leave a legacy (which he and his family certainly did). It is also a good reminder how important it is to cover you leaders in prayer.  Please pray for the surviving family, along with his spiritual children.                    

       As I close out this totally random blog for the day, I want to add this; today in my devotionals I stumbled upon one of my favorite scriptures.  Proverbs 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.”  It’s easy for all of us to have so many things that we are praying about and putting our hands to accomplish.  But isn’t beautiful to know that as we give it to God and acknowledge Him then God makes a promise that He will and shall direct your path.  All those years ago God directed us to Florida knowing that one day He’d direct us back.  All those years ago when I struggled writing my first book He saw me being able to say I just finished my 21st.  I’m believe as I have my whining moments about wanting them all published He’s seeing me at that place of fulfillment.  Dan and I spent YEARS praying that God would lead us to the right church for this particular season in our lives, and He did.   God has a beautiful way of turning things around.  He has a beautiful way of making something right out of something that seems beyond wrong.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and do what He puts on your heart to do, and HE SHALL direct your paths!  I never claim to be perfect at any of this, but it’s glorious to know the ONE who is!
            God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited!         

***Tomorrow is Veterans Day and if you know me you know I’m a softy for this country and Veterans.  Make sure you hug a Vet tomorrow and say ‘thank you’!  Many Veterans barely get a thank you ever.  You might be surprised to know this but it’s true.  Honor those who serve our country.***

Monday, November 3, 2014

Really, My Child Did Not Just Say that. . . Did she?

            A few weeks ago my youngest and I were in a grocery store parking lot and there was a guy in a car with the windows rolled down smoking a cigarette. His car happened to be parked right next to mine. The whole scene looked like something out of a 1970’s street movie because there was smoke billowing coming out of the car.  My youngest shares something with most outspoken children; she has no filter for these things. 
            Loudly as she walked over to our car she exclaimed, “Mommy!  That man is smoking!”  As if she was the damsel in distress in a cheesy 1950’s horror movie.  Maybe I’m exaggerating a tad but it certainly felt like it.  Sure I’m glad she knows that smoking is bad for the health of people, however I wanted to crawl into my trunk and close the door at that moment.  Instead I forced on a mom smile.  You know the mom smile I’m talking about, the one that screams, ‘Did my child just say that?  I know you heard it?  I am so sorry.” Kind of smile and walked to my car.
           As I drove away that day I began to think about the times I’m sure I’ve done the same thing to God.  He loves us unconditionally but I know I have said things at times that though were well meaning and correct didn’t come across in the best manner.  I am set free from ‘Open Mouth Insert Food Disorder’ really I am, and I’m sure God has looked at me from heaven a few times shaking his head thinking, “Yup, she’s mine, and she’s working on tact.”
            I’ve been trying to work hard on the following scripture lately, Proverbs 15:1  says “a gentle answer stirs up wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”  I think if we all would learn to put a guard over our mouths it would stop a lot of division that goes on in the world.  I’ll admit I’ve had my moments of immaturity in this area.  But I’m trying to get better.  I want God to see me and not to be embarrassed, but I’d rather Him say, ‘Look!  That’s my girl!’ 
           May we all set a guard over our mouths (Psalms 141:3), because we want to be truthful and honest, however we also need to show love in the process.  Remember words are an important thing.  God spoke the world into existence.  Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21), and we all need to learn to watch what we’re saying.
           Remember God has awesome plans for your life.  Get excited.