Sunday, August 31, 2014

Wanting "Off", But Not Alone While Staying "On"...

 I'm what my mom would call; "a late in life 'surprise' to the family".  Back in that day women, with high-school aged kids, over the age of 40 did not have babies.  Well, "Surprise!", my mom birthed me at the age of forty.  My parents were thrilled, but my sisters were horrified!  This interesting new family mix gave me all kinds of birth-order issues. I've got only-child issues, firstborn of this new family unit issues, and according to my of the family issues, all wrapped up into one.  I guess this gives the Lord a lot to work with.  I have control issues on all levels. 

I was the only daughter to grow up, and remain near my folks so that has meant; as they have aged, that I became their primary family caregiver.  I'm so grateful for the forty years I had while my dad was healthy, and whole, when I could really lean on my parents.... I experienced their love for the Lord, example of faith, and I'm so thankful for that.

But as they aged, and as the Lord allowed my dad to go down the path of Alzheimer's, life got very tough for everyone.  My mom was his full-time caregiver, and it almost killed her.  For five years she loved, cared, and slowly started to waste away herself.  I actively watched.  During the last year of my dad's life as she got sicker, and weaker;  my job got harder and much heavier.  

I'll never forget a morning in May- driving my dad to a VA Hospital appointment.  I'm not a fan of not knowing where I'm going. I'd never been to this hospital, which was an hour away from home.  My mom was so sick that morning, so I had to take my dad to this appointment alone. We drove towards an unfamiliar place with no landmarks, and my dad was no help at all....he just sat in the passenger seat, quietly singing mixed-up songs.

That morning represented so much more for me than simply driving to an appointment.  I wasn't  just driving to an unfamiliar place....I was on a unknown path in life, that I couldn't get off of.  I had no idea where the road of Alzheimer's was heading, and I hated it. 

All those birth-order fisrtborn, only-child, baby of the family issues were surfacing...I demanded control- on some level- and cried out to the Lord..."I'm so scared!  I don't know where I'm going, not just today, but on this path... and I want OFF this road of life!"

 I'll never forget, driving seventy miles an hour down Hwy 65,  how the Holy Spirit dropped a verse that I had studied right into my troubled heart and mind.  Quietly, gently, but oh so very securely....God was in control. 

"I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know I will guide them.  I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone."  Isaiah 42:16 (NASB)

He was calling me to trust, and follow Him, even on this path of Alzheimer's.  God promised, Jesus promised....those who are His are HIS, and He will never leave us or forsake us.

He didn't.  We were blind, and He led us,  it was rugged, but we walked sure-footed.  It  was a long, tough, dark road with my dad, but God was faithful, and He didn't leave anything undone,. And now...even now...He uses it for His purposes.  He uses all things, and I'm so thankful for that.

"Oh Lord, thank You that nothing is wasted in Your eyes.  Use all things, even the hard things for Your purposes in our lives and in the lives of others.  In Your priceless Name, Amen."

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Mentoring Moments

Doing the Bible Study "Influence" by Jan Silvious and Pam Gillaspie this's really good. This week Pam wrote " Mentoring doesn't always involve long periods of time.  Mentoring opportunities can surface in an instant.  If we're not paying attention, though, we can miss it."

Been thinking on this, what a fantastic thought(s).  Two things hit me.  First, mentoring doesn't mean BFF (Best Friends Forever). In order to be mentored or to don't have to have everything in common, or love shoe shopping and late night chick flicks!  For Biblical mentoring to happen, you both need to love Jesus and love what He loves.  Do you realize what kind of pressure and expectations this kind of understanding can release?!  We can be ourselves and still impact each other....without complete common ground in this earthly realm.  We share common ground in the eternal realm and that's what most important.  

I'm not saying it's not important to have girlfriends, but from an eternal perspective what we REALLY  need to grow up in discipleship are some sisters in Christ to walk with (and we don't have to be best friends). We need pouring in and pouring out.  This can happen in a moment person, by a book, in a class, on Facebook, at church or in a casual conversation that turns to the things of The Lord.  Ok. So this brings up a great we look for the things of The Lord around us?  To talk, think and express the things of Jesus? 

Second thing that hit me.  This kind of mentoring can happen in an instant so I need to be paying attention.  See why the understanding is so important....if I'm waiting around for the perfect mentoring relationship where the heavens part and the angels sing ( get the picture in your head!) I might very well be missing a boatload of mentoring learn, be challenged, stretched and grown in.  Because I'm longingly looking off up in sky for the "perfect" mentoring fit for me.  

So. I'm being challenged and sharpened in how I look at mentoring moments in my life,...both in receiving them and offering them.  Love it!  Think on this with me, it's worth your time!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Trained eye...

You need a trained eye when caring for flowers.  I've never had a green thumb, more like a black one. I kill things that are alive, not human or animal things, don't worry!  But green things?  Ummmm....they don't last long.  I'm pushing myself this year, stretching and growing and trying to keep 3 (yes only 3) potted flower pots alive!  It's been 2 weeks now....I feel so accomplished!   

As I was purchasing my flowers from Walmart, I asked the lady next to me if the plants that I had chosen were easy to kill?  Yes, I'm just that inept.  I had chosen wisely but she leaned over my cart and started to pull off wilted blooms....while pulling she said, "just water and pull off the dead flowers."  Ok, I can handle that, did you know you were supposed to pull off the dead flowers?  And if you do, others will come up?  

No wonder my thumb is black and I always kill plants....I knew they needed water and sunlight but I've always tossed them out when they got all wilted and dead....and come to think of it, many times while the plant itself was still green.  Could it be that the plants were still alive and able to flourish and all that was needed was the care of cleaning the dead blooms off and allowing the new growth to come out? 

Can I just interject, there is a boatload of spiritual principals to glean here!   Shocker, I know.  How often do I look at areas of my life (or more likely others) and consider it too dead, too useless, too unusable and "toss it out", when fresh blooms are hiding right plain trained eyesight?  

Well, I was excited to get these flower planted and start caring for them in a much healthier way.....after a few days I inspected and started pulling those dead wilted blooms....but as I looked, I honestly couldn't tell if some of the blooms were dying or just coming to life.  They looked the same to me.  Obviously, the dead dead ones were easy to see....but there were a lot that looked " mostly dead" and I pulled them out but realized that they were the new growth ones instead....I needed a more trained eye. 

Lessons learned:  Trained eye needed, practice needed, careful inspection needed....patience needed.  And that's just for plants, what about life?!    Yet another spiritual lesson.  Oh how I need a "Trained Eye" pruning my life and need my eyes trained as I look around at myself and others.  What grace to have a Master Gardener working in the garden of life....and training His Sevants to have a trained eye.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014


I don't feel particularly to be how The Lord wired, made and placed me in the Body.  I'm just not feeling it.  I FEEL displaced. 

  I KNOW a lot of stuff, but what do shows what I truly believe. We act on what we truly believe. In other words, I can talk a good game, but what I think about, feel about and do about all those things testifies to what I actually believe. It's true because it's true. 

So in other words,  I don't have a fear problem, I have an unbelief problem. I don't have an anger problem, I have an unbelief problem. I don't have a worry problem, I have an unbelief problem. Again, it's true because It's true. Now my unbelief issues often times work themselves out in fear, anger, worry and so on! So all those things are issues....they just aren't the root issue. 

What does this have to do with my opening remark about feeling free?  I've spent a lot of time these last few days under the weight of judgement, fear, anxiety and worry.  Life and feelings just get that way sometimes...feel me?  My eyes get on me, others and others responses to me and that creates an even bigger mess! Can I get an "Amen!" My feelings start to be my guide and that is never a good idea.....and I always end up getting stuck. Stuck in unbelief.  Always. Good feelings are never good enough and they don't last and the bad feelings....well , we don't have to go there!   Working over some of these root issues of's worth working over.   

I'm really thankful that The Lord does not have these issues.....He is never low on belief and His belief is never ever misplaced. He never trusts in me. He trusts in Himself in me....He has enough belief. And it is correct belief-always. Pondering on that this evening ....Philippians 1:6 and then Paul's prayer in 1:9-11. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

May this Cup...

Today is the day that we celebrate, remember the last hours before Christ was betrayed....and the Last Supper.  This night that He is in the garden asking the Father if there is any other way.  Was there?  No.

  The freedom from sin's penality and sin's power could only be broken and conqoured by the blood and body of the Lamb of God.  His blood for the forgiveness of sins....because without the shedding of blood (blood represents life) there can be no forgiveness.  His body, pure holy acceptable....nailed to the Cross, cursed of God and becoming sin in order to break the power of sin's hold.

  The blood covers, propitiates, satisifes for the purpose of removal all of our sin.  The Cross nails in place and renders powerless this old nature of Adam's race.  The gospel give life both to the living dead in their sin but also the power of life to live now as new creations....a new race of imagebearers.  

Oh the glory of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Was there any other way?  Any other cup to be consumed?  No.  Praise Jesus' name, person and work.....HE drank the cup to completion.  Oh thank you Jesus for that gift of grace.  Now it is a question of He and His work enough?  Yes!  By faith, YES!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Rainy Day

Yesterday was warm and sunny...75 degrees although windy. Very windy. This morning it's cold and rainy. Winter coat cold and rainy. Just like the weather life can and often times is unpredictable and ever changing. That's why when waking up my mood and disposition can't solely be based on weather conditions .....or life conditions.  Hope needs to be based on something....someOne far more stable, secure and unchanging. As hope is placed correctly then my mood and disposition can, should and many times is corrected. Jesus and Him alone is that secure Hope

Friday, April 4, 2014


This week is spring break....taking my Mags to South Carolina to visit family. Going to have lots of opportunity to build...or tear down....or do nothing. Thinking about the opportunity to build into the relationships that I have. It takes time, effort, Praying I take the opportunity to heart and then to action. What are you going to build into this week?

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Am I as faithful as a donkey?

"Listen, O heavens, and hear, O earth; for the LORD speaks, 'Sons I have reared and brought up, but they have revolted against Me. An ox its owner, and a donkey its master's manger, but Israel does not know, My people do not understand.'" Isaiah 1:2-3

 Oh how I can understand Israel's relationship with The Lord. I have been given so very much, in Christ, I have been given everything.  Yet, there is so much I don't know, understand and trust about my Master and Lord.  Israel revolted and sometimes I do to.  The faithfulness, grace and patience of our God is so clear all throughout the Old Testament because there is always the Promise of Hope and Redemption to come...there is a thread of the promised Seed, Jesus, from the very beginning.

How's my life looking in regards to this example today though?  Do I "know" my owner and master like the ox and donkey?  If a dumb non-thinking animal knows its master, how about me?    Of course we are much more radically loved than any ox or donkey and we have been given so much more as well!  Shouldn't my love and knowledge produce so much more?  It should but it doesn't always.

I am very thankful that I am not tossed out in my revolt....or slaughtered as if I am a rebellious donkey!  Instead, The Lord is patient and gracious and faithful as He was to Israel.  So He is to me.