Wednesday, October 29, 2008

On that day...scattered

I just had Bible Study this morning and we were in Acts 8. If you don't know the history, check it out. Stephen has just been martyred (in Acts 7) and "on that day" a great persecution started in Jerusalem and the believers were scattered. Everything changed that day for the average Jewish Christian-they were torn from their safe and comfortable life, whatever that may have looked like and scattered. My first response? How horrible! How would you have responded? Me? I think I would have responded in total panic and fear...scattered to who knows where and then my tendency would have been to close myself into my "new" home and be silent, questioning God. "Where are you in this?"

What was the Lord doing? He was literally scattering His Church to fulfill His Great Commission (Acts 1:8). What was the tool? Persecution. What was the reason? The gospel going into all the world. The gospel was to be "scattered" and that happened by means of the believers being literally scattered, because of persecution. What does the Lord use in our lives to accomplish His Purposes? Sometimes...troubles, trials, sometimes scattering. How will we respond? Panic and fear? Or faith and boldness? Check out Philip in Acts 8. What an example of a man filled with faith not fear. What an example of the gospel of Jesus Christ infusing life into the scattering experiences.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

$ spare!

I just have to give a word of testimony of how Great and Big our God is...even in the small things. Our family is a ministry family, my husband is in full-time paid ministry and I...well, I do ministry and the Lord has made it VERY clear that I am just to "do" ministry and He will see that I'm "paid". He provides every month but I'll admit it is not an easy way to live.

I have to share with you, this month we were $96.25 short of making our bills. There you have it, that is the black and white of it. I got up this morning first thing, before I even spent any quiet time with the Lord, and immediately checked our bank account, online. I was trying not to be stressed but we needed the money by tomorrow and know. :)

Anyway, I did the math twice, three Maggie to school, went to the bank with one deposit and then the store for our groceries (which was paid for, with a "love-gift" from one of my classes! See the Lord providing!?) came back home and did the math again...just checking for any spare money, sure enough $96.25 short.

I wish I could tell you that I got on my knees with a wash of sunlight pouring down upon me and, instead I sighed, got up and went to the mail box. There was a $100.00 check in the mail. Now, you have to understand...I really am not that surprised. I could tell you story upon story of how the Lord has and does provide for us BUT isn't that just amazing?!? I'm learning to share with others what He does! He Provides.

$3.75 to's the thing, I have a dinner appointment tonight at Wendy's with one of my Bible Study girls, $3.75 isn't just a little extra, it is just perfect, they have a great $1 menu!

"Thank you Lord, for all You do in Your sheer Amazing Grace. We don't deserve it...I'm overwhelmed. I'm humbled. Thank you. Praise Your Mighty Name. YOU are enough"

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Where are you looking?

Where are you looking, these days? There is a lot going on in our world, nation and I dare say...there is a lot going on in most of our lives. This week alone I have heard of at least 6 very serious life changing illnesses, 3 ugly and huge family dramas, and a host of other messed up things. So where do we look?

I've been thinking about 2 phrases which compose actually philosophies of dealing with life and issues; "the grass is always greener" mentality or the "someone always has it worse" mentality. Do those mentalities really work? Where do these philosophies really point? Is the grass truly greener or is it the perpetual crisis of "fence hopping" to get to the never-ending, ever greener pastures? Does the fact that some one does always have it worse than me really solve the heaviness of heart and give me hope?

Tonight, as I think on this, I am reminded...Jesus is the Great Shepherd who knows where the grass is most plentiful..there really is no greener pasture and no matter how much worse another sheep seems to be, Jesus is the only One Who is the Shepherding Healer, the True Caretaker.

Where do I need to look these days and every day until I go home? To Jesus and to Him Alone! Where are you looking? Where do you tend to look? Do you tend to look at another pasture or at another sheep? Me too, keep looking at Him.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Seeds...into Flowers.

Maggie got some seeds somewhere...I can't remember exactly when or where. I'm not very good at the whole garden/planting thing, but I do enjoy looking at the flowers. I'm just not very good at growing anything but weeds!

So back in the summer, Maggie "planted" some seeds. Literally, she threw them on a dirt patch by the front of our porch. Well, low and October zinnias are growing. Those seeds, without any care on our part, they grew and we actually have a producing zinnia plant. It's amazing.

I can't help but smile and be amazed at the same time, every time I pass the plant. It looks really random and definitely out of place, but the plant really is beautiful. Just when I think all the blossoms are done, another pops up. Wow, it's amazing.

I'm reminded of just how many things in my life may seem random or out of place to some seeds seem to be scattered carelessly but really are growing into something beautiful. I'm reminded that the Lord is not careless or seemingly uninvolved (like I am with my gardening ability!), He is tending, sowing, weeding, watering, growing...pruning.

So many times, I can get sidetracked by what I perceive as lack of growth. When in reality there are beautiful blossoming plants and all kinds of seeds growing in various stages and places. I need to take the time to notice, smile and be amazed by what the Master Gardener is doing in the garden of my life, in an unlikely season and unlikely place. Sit back and look at your matter what it may look like to you, He is gardening in this season.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Rolling through the stop signs....

My first born child is driving and in a very short amount of time, he is going to be taking his driving test. AHHH!!! Wouldn't you know it, our insurance company has a policy in place where he can receive a "discount" if he finishes a program of logging his drive time AND of all things, critiquing another driver. It should be no surprise that the driver most often critiqued in this scenario...would be, me.

Excuse me, I've been driving for 20+ years...I would really rather not have my 16 yr-old critique me! I must say, in addition to my heart failure at the fact that I am old enough to have a licenced driver, I am also greatly offended and I dare say, unfortunately convicted of the fact that all of my driving experience has produced a bit... of how shall I say it....arrogance and laziness. It has been brought to my attention a number of times that I have a tendency to roll through the stop signs.

Here's the thing, I tend to roll through those familiar stop signs due to the fact that I know what I'm looking for (other cars coming- thus the arrogance) and they are the same stop signs day in and day out (I really don't get out much, I stay on the same routes-thus the laziness). Hump. Now that Peter has done, or shall I say, is doing all that critiquing I've really had to recognize this as a real part of my "skilled" driving pattern. I don't even think about often, I just roll right through.

Translate that to the spiritual realm for a minute. How many times do I tend to just "roll right through" God's stop signs. When He says...wait, stop, look, watch. When He says things like...stop, "the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God" or "be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger". Hump again. My tendency can be to just roll right through with those same issues with arrogance and laziness. "I already know what to expect, Lord." Or, "I've done this a million times, Lord." So often, I'll just keep rolling on through. What am I teaching my kids? Both physical and spiritual? Wow, who knew I could be convicted over driving? Keep your eyes open, yes for the real stop signs but also for God's Stop signs. Don't just keep on rolling through.

Friday, October 3, 2008


"Squirrel!!!! " Have you ever seen the movie,"Christmas Vacation"? You know, the Chevy Chase movie (the TV version is pretty cleaned-up and a Christmas-time favorite of mine.)...anyway, everything goes wrong at Christmas and in a fit of sheer frustration Chevy cuts down a tree from his front yard and puts it in the living room where...A guest sees a live squirrel in the tree and yells, "Squirrel!!!" Everyone panics, it a ends up jumping out and landing on Chevy's back...he runs all over the house,with the squirrel attached. I'm embarrassed to admit but I laugh until I almost cry at that scene- at how absurd and hilarious it is every single time I see it. So...this week I had my one and only (at least I hope) chance to yell, "Squirrel!!!! "

Wednesday morning 1a.m. I awoke to the sound of scratching, got up and looked behind my dresser,at the source of the scratching...yes, it was a squirrel. All I could yell was, "JOHN!!!!!" at the top of my lungs! Man, what a missed opportunity! Anyway, what could we do at 1 in the morning? Not much, after it ran over my foot and into the closet...well, I slept on the couch and John... he stuck it out in the bedroom. So I had a squirrel in my closet.

You must understand I live in a close to 100 year old home with not much storage space besides the basement and yes, you guessed it, the closet. I have been meaning to clean the closet in my bedroom for the last...well, you can imagine. After my lovely experience on Wednesday, I figured there was no better time than now and frankly, a squirrel just isn't acceptable in the closet. So,I went to know the saying, "it has to get worse before it gets better?" Well, that is very true in the Cornett closet. It was horrible.

After 6 bags of goodwill and 4 bags of garbage (give me a break, it is a big closet!) Still no squirrel. I know that is a good thing. I figured out he came in the window and then must have least that makes me feel better. :) Here is my point, yes I have one.

The squirrel was the catalyst to fix a long-term problem that needed fixing...the closet. I've put that off, longer than I want to admit. Isn't that so true of how our lives so often look spiritually? You see, I got pretty good at ignoring the problem of the closet because I just keep the doors shut! Until the squirrel ran in...then I COULDN'T ignore it any longer...sometimes the Lord allows squirrels to "run into the closet" of our lives...places we have gotten rather comfortable keeping shut off and closed. While the Lord, He wants to clean it out and up...make it truly usable space. Get it?

I'm getting smacked right now, in my life... with yes, my real closet but also some heart issues that are requiring cleaning up, and I want to just shut the door...thus the spiritual squirrel. Praise the Lord for your squirrel...maybe they are suppose to get in so that He can do the cleaning? Trust Him. Whatever your hidden mess, it isn't too messy and overwhelming for Him. He wants and designs to make every area of our lives usuable...for Him and His purposes. Do the squirrel's freak us out? Duh! Ya....BUT He can take care and use it all!