Greetings and Joy in Abundance!

Ever wonder why some people seem to be floating through life and others stumble?



I wonder this, and seek to find ways to float instead of stumble. Maybe you would like to join me in this search.

Seeking a closer relationship with God seems to allow my life to float along a little easier.







Phillipians 4:5-6 tells us to reveal our gentleness outwardly, that God is near and that we should not be anxious about anything, but through prayer and petition, we should thankfully approach the Lord with our concerns.

As a high energy person, my anxiety can run high. I am constantly seeking ways to leave my concerns at the foot of the cross.



Random? Probably not.

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Monday, March 29, 2010

Saturation

This weekend, I attended a Women's Leadership Conference sharing information about Florida Christian College.  The Spirit of Deborah Ministries presented a weekend of Saturation in the Word.  It was an uplifting time, and everyone in attendance was blessed by the variety of speakers.  Charmaine did a great job creating an informative and uplifting event. 

So, needless to say, saturation is on the mind.  The idea of the sponge being dry, brittle and full of holes being exposed to something wet that causes it to become pliable, full and even soaked. 

I thought about that image and it reminded me that even when we fill up with God's word and saturate ourselves in scripture and surround ourselves with people of God, we are still the same shape we were before, we are just a full shape.  So, does that mean that God uses us as we are, not as we try to become?  Well, I think it does.  The holes and scars and bruises and lost pieces of ourselves mold us and shape us. 

That shape is now how we are able to move forward.  Not in the old person, but in the new person.  Not sitting still, but moving.  Each day, we are refreshed and renewed, full of new experiences from the day before.  You realize that, right?  Today you are not the same you were yesterday. 

Have you ever moved from one town or state to another?  I did this so many times - as a child and as an adult.  So, I can tell you this...whenever you move, you have a great opporutnity to reinvent yourself.  It's a new day, and a new city.  The people don't know you yet.  They only know about you what you tell them.  (as long as you don't have a public rap sheet)

What a great opportunity these times have been to reinforce the idea that each day is a new day and each dawn provides a rediscovery of who we are.  As we live, we experience.  As we experience, we react.  As we react, we grow.  As we grow, we change.  Yes, we change every day.  Small, infinitesimal changes that many times we don't even notice.  But God notices.  He knows every hair on our head, every thought in our mind, every step that we take.  So, today, remember that as you grow and change, fill yourself with God's word to help you change in a way that leads you closer to holiness.  After all, it is Jesus who said that we should be holy as He and the Father are holy.  As we charge after this pursuit, we will bless others and ourselves in the process...be filled with the light of the Lord!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

St. Patrick the Missionary...Green, Party or History?

So, I was just thinking about St. Patrick's Day and how everyone is all decked out in green clothes and if not, getting pinched all throughout the day...it seems all fun and innocent, and the parades are fun!  The truth is that not much is ever shared about good ole' St. Patrick.  Why is it that as years go by, we tend to enjoy the green food, green beer, green clothes, green costumes, a reason to party and completely ignore the fact that there is a good solid reason for the festivity?

I often wonder if I am at times a little kooky for wanting to know the history and reason behind things.  But I'll tell you, that being Irish, I always wanted to know about St. Patrick and the history of Erin go Braugh.  My Grandpa McCarthy used to share stories with us from his family who came from Ireland from time to time. 

One of the significant pieces of this short little story for you today is that the Missionary work of St. Patrick led directly to the conversion of many pagans to Christianity.  It might have been the reason some of my ancestors were able to leave a legacy for me.  I appreciate the parties, the fun and exciting green displays and the opportunity to share a bit of the reason for the fun.

Wow - yet another day going by...the cool breeze floating through my window, the Irish lilt in the Celtic music being played, the prayers being said to aid in the transformation of hearts and minds and the parties being planned to honor a man who answered the call on his life and spent years training to learn how to help people learn more about God.

I am so blessed by my heritage.  I am so grateful to my ancestors and to the missionaries that took risks and suffered so that so many might come to learn about what it means to accept the amazing grace that God has so freely and generously given to us. 

When I really think about the gift of salvation and eternal life, that it is given with no strings, no expectation and no act we must perform, it is hard to believe.  Why? The only answer is, "God so loved the world that He gave his one and only begotten son, so that whosoever may believe in Him shall have eternal life."  That is the story of our salvation - the history behind this day.  The real truth of what and who we are and how we have come to be.  God loves us.  He loves us so much that He would do anything to save one of us.  But we have our own choice.  He will not come and drag us kicking and screaming.  We must willingly and wholeheartedly desire to be with God and to basque in His embrace and love.  Of course, I'm not sure why we wouldn't want to...but of course there is choice.

Today, I am just grateful for the gift I have been given and hope that lies in the sacrifice that my Creator, Redeemer and Friend made for me so many years ago on a cross at Calvary.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit....
Amen and Amen.



Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Encouragement

In the midst of the hard times, we are faced with a choice.  How will we react to the tough choices?  What will be the words that grace our lips when we share our thoughts and feelings?  I remember a time (many years ago) when I witnessed something that changed me for my life to come. 

I am one of those people.  Nothing bad (I mean really bad) really happened to me as a kid.  I was blessed beyond measure and didn't really truly understand the depth of emotional pain and anquish that was to come in my life or that other people lived with on a daily basis.  But I saw something once.  I saw someone I new very well in the midst of a horrible crisis.  In the midst of this crisis, my friend was falling into a pit of despair that was so deep she could not see any light at all.  I couldn't understand this pain.  I couldn't even come close to feeling or touching that experience.  But I knew this.  I was there for a reason in her life and I knew who God had created me to be. 

So, I hugged her and told her I loved her and just sat there with her in the midst of her pain.  She cried and I cried and there were a lot of wadded up soggy tissues on the floor of the bedroom.  Then things calmed down a little bit.  The sobs were shorter.  The discussion grew deeper.  The sharing started.  My understanding was no better - I really couldn't comprehend this particular issue at that time in my life - the whole concept of her pain was foreign to me.  I listened and waited and empathized...I hurt because she hurt.  I cried because she cried.  I loved her with the love of Christ Jesus...that's really all I had.

Later, weeks later, she shared with me that it was that moment, in that room, with the love and care I shared through a tear that she felt there was hope.  Now, I didn't tell her that I was loving her with the love of Jesus - she would have ushered me right out of her house!  This friend of mine was not Christian.  She did not go to church.  She was 15 years old.  It was a bad time.  It was some bad stuff.  I grew up that day in a way I would never really understand until years later. 

What is encouragement?  It is loving people through the lens of Jesus.  It is showing and revealing that there is hope where it seems like none exists.  It is demonstrating faith where there is no common sense to it.  It is not needing to have all the information, but caring and loving just the same.  It is finding that one thing, and asking God to reveal the light and truth in whatever it is.  Revealing and sharing, encountering and accepting - it is the very paradox between God's law and gospel that allows us to do this.  To be who we are.  To encourage - to share - to love - that's just me.  Who are you? 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Heritage...

So, I was thinking...dangerous, I know. 

Well, our heritage is important to us.  It is part of who we are.  Our history and ancestry tend to give us boundaries and definition, don't they?  In my family, my grandmother was the one who talked the most about our heritage.  Even though her ancestry was only 1/4 of my heritage, it seemed to take priority in our family.  Why was that?  The older I get, the more I wonder about that.  It seems to me that she had the most information and she shared the most about who we were and where we came from.  So our family tends to focus on those things. 

Is that the way it is with our heritage with God?  Do we tend to leave out the heritage that is ours to claim as children of the Creator of the universe?  Do we forget that we need to remind and remember all of the pieces of history?  I know as a fortunate young lady I was reminded often of my heritage that came from the earth and the heritage that comes from heaven.  As a child of God, I know where my ancestry comes from.  Where on earth my maternal and paternal lines run, the bottom line is that they end up always coming down to God the Father.  Without that heritage, we really have no need of an earthly heritage...right?  What legacy do we leave to show that we are children of God?  Did your family ever give you the speech saying, 'Now don't do anything that will land your picture on the front page of the paper...'  or 'I'd better not hear about what you're doing from the neighbors.'  like I did?  It reminded me as a child, a youth and a young adult that everything I did was a reflection of my family as a whole.

In turn, all we do is a reflection of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.  So, does our heritage as children of God shine through the work that we do each day?  I pray that it does.  I pray every day that I am reflecting the grace, mercy, peace and love of God.  I pray that you are too.  Be blessed.  Be a blessing.  Reflect your true heritage as a Child of God.

Moments

Moments
A quiet moment of reflection