February 24, 2017

The E String

When tuning a guitar you find the exact pitch for the top string- the E string- and tune the other strings according to the accuracy of that E string. If the standard of the E string is off, the rest of the strings will also be off and the sound will be chaotic and not nice to listen to. (Trust me there's nothing worse to listen to than an untuned guitar! 😜) It's the same with truth. If we have no absolute standard for truth, everything in our lives will be out of balance and out of tune. Just as 2+2 will forever and always = 4, whether or not we like it, agree with it, feel like it or find it culturally relevant, Gods word will always be our standard; the unchanging, solid, timeless, absolute measurement for truth. Lord knows, my feelings change minute by minute and my perspective has not always proven to be correct. There must be a standard that is bigger than me, stronger than me, wiser than me, more loving than me and transcending culture and time. Because if it's all relying on my own understanding, then my foundation will not remain solid when life gets shaky and seasons change. If it's all up to me to tune the strings without a standard to go by, then my sound will be confusing and my message will be muddled. Our lives are meant to be a beautiful song based on the unchanging, solid standard of that top string. Gods truth is our E-string.

January 20, 2017

Golden Rule Day

Examining my own heart today and I had couple of thoughts I’d like to share on this Inauguration Day…

Those of us who are urging for prayer and respect for our new President and his supporters and backing it up by quoting the scriptures about respecting authority and praying for our leaders, can we honestly say we did this when Obama was our President?

And to those of us who are ridiculing and rejecting our current President and his supporters, how did we feel when President Obama was likewise rejected and denounced yet not prayed for?

And to those whom this doesn’t apply, good for you. I honestly cannot say it doesn't apply to me (but I will not share on which side of the two extremes I have fallen.)

Understand, I’m not talking about disagreeing with a president, opposing his policies or standing up for our beliefs and convictions respectfully which is healthy and a privilege we share as Americans. But can we just be honest and admit we don’t always practice what we preach when it comes to respecting and praying for authority- especially when we don't like who's in authority? We tend to point out loudly when those we disagree with are breaking the rules but we justify it when we do it ourselves.

Truth is truth. It doesn't change and it is no respecter of persons or political party.

If the Bible says pray for and respect your leaders, it meant Obama, and it means Trump.

Like it or not.

So can we have a moment of humility and just admit today that we sometimes are hypocrites (hanging my head and raising my hand here). Can we not shame those saying what we have said ourselves when the shoe was on the other foot? And beginning with this Inauguration Day, can we agree to go forward from here and attempt to adhere to the Golden Rule, and do unto others as we’d have them do unto us? 

We don't have to agree. We do have to respect and pray. 

So whether we are celebrating and thankful or are angry and grieving, let us not be critical of those who are saying exactly what we were saying 8 years ago today. 

Let's make today- Golden Rule Day.


The End.

December 26, 2016

The Now...

2016!
This year has not been the easiest for our state, country or family. There has been so much division in our country, tragedy in our state and disappointment on a personal level. Many we love have suffered devastating loss and tragedy. It’s honestly been unprecedented in my own lifetime. But at one of the many funerals I attended this past year my sister-in-law said to our family, "Let this be a lesson to us. We never know when will be the last time we are together. We need to really BE together more." It struck home with me at the time but as I was reflecting today, it finally sunk in. If I’ve learned anything this past year, it’s been that life is fragile and all too often we don’t know what we have until it’s gone. Why do we spend our days looking back wishing for a simpler time or looking ahead hoping for some future breakthrough and never valuing the beauty and opportunities of today? I am the guiltiest of all at this. I spent a good portion of this holiday season sad- sad that my kids weren’t all with us, sad that my grandbabies were 500 miles away, sad that our parents are declining, sad that our kids aren’t little, sad for those who are no longer here, sad that so much has changed- that I missed many ‘now’ moments that I’ll never get back. 

So I want to vow this upcoming year to do as that song says, "Live like you are dying". We only are guaranteed today. If this all sounds depressing, thats not my intention.  But I'm fed up with not having the perspective of Now! I want to view life differently this year. I don't want to waste precious time grieving moments passed or longing for moments ahead. But instead I want to value the opportunities in the NOW that may not be here tomorrow, that cannot be held onto or saved for later, but are meant to be lived and enjoyed today. 

Can we strive to prioritize relationships this year and to value every moment with one another, not wasting another second with regret, selfishness, division, grudges, unforgiveness, resentments or unspoken love? What better time is there than the holidays to say the things we have always meant to say but have put off. Who knows if we'll have another chance. What better time than now to patch up those misunderstandings, to let go of those grudges, to ask for forgiveness and to give it. What better time than now to speak to each other the things we would say if we thought it was the last time? 


Think about it. And do it. With God’s help, I am determined to. 
May God bless each of you and enable us all this upcoming year to recognize and to live in the now and to be grateful for all God has done in our lives.  It’s a lot more than we realize. Amen

October 11, 2016

What I Know (concerning this election)


The political climate of this current presidential election has been the most controversial, confusing, sensationalized and polarizing I’ve seen in my years of living on this earth. I can’t speak for the generations before me, but of mine, I think this takes the cake. I can’t stomach a whole lot of it, but thanks to Facebook I am as informed as my friends are and their friends’ friends’ friends are and so on into infinity. It's confusing and peace-stealing. By not tuning into the endless political pontificating in the news, and by choosing to watch football instead of the debates, we try to not let it affect us. But despite these precautions, we still are sometimes in places where we cannot help but be exposed to the news, to hear other’s unasked for opinions or to be pulled into political discussions and so on. Unless you live on a lonely mountain somewhere or deep in the swamp without wifi, internet, satellite or cable its pretty much impossible to get away from it and it’s hard to be blissfully uninformed these days. (To be clear, I'm not advocating being uninformed, I'm just sharing how I cope). :P

But I’ve never seen such polarization even among Christians. For every article on why you can’t be a Christian and vote for Hillary, I see just as many questioning the salvation of those who are voting for Trump. Its ridiculous and upsetting and confusing. It's easy in this season to question what matters most when so much is wrong. Different church and political leaders who I have respected in the past, have added to the confusion with such differing views from one another. There’s no clear good vs. evil like in the old days. There's so much legitimately wrong with both candidates that it’s looking like a case of 'pick your poison' and nobody wins. The other day I got dragged into a political discussion and by the end of it my stomach was in knots and I was despairing of life and the future of my grandkids. I seriously wanted to throw up and just had to get away. It took me nearly three days before I could feel peace return. So much concern for my country and for the body of Christ which appears divided. So many questions. So much I don't know:

Which side is right? Are they both? Are neither? Are we doomed? Should we vote or not even bother? And who the heck should we vote for? Should we just give up? Should we fight harder?

I don’t know.

And I still don't entirely know the answer to every single question. However, after wrestling with my thoughts and praying a lot, I have emerged with some things I DO know and that the Lord has placed on my heart and reminded me of... Here they are:

1. Trump and Hillary and each person who loves them, hates them and those who don't care- were each created in the image of God.

2. Jesus gave up His life, He died on the cross for Trump and Hillary and for those who love them, those who hate them, those who don’t care.

3. Since this is true and God loves and values them, He expects me to also love and value Trump and Hillary and those who love them, those who hate them and those who don’t care.

4. God’s not a Republican or a Democrat. He’s not even American! He loves each one and each nation equally. Now that doesn’t mean we should disrespect our nation, those who fought for it or those who govern it. But He does love universally and He never violates that love by being unloving to another He created. 

5. God isn’t worried. He’s not up in heaven wringing His hands in anxiety. He’s not wondering what to do. He’s not taken by surprise. He’s not angry at whoever is wrong (I guarantee we each are wrong in something). But He’s got a plan… even if we screw it up- which leads to the next thing I know…

6. God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love God and who are called according to His purpose. There have been dark times down through history, times darker than this, people in authority who were worse than these- and through those times people drew nearer to God, things in their hearts were exposed and they dealt with them. Their character grew, their wisdom grew, their love grew, their roots went deeper and the Kingdom of God was advanced. Which leads to this last one…

7. We don’t need to be so distraught, so angry, so worried, so distracted by and caught up in the horror of this current political mess to miss this opportunity to shine God’s light and love on a dark world that desperately needs Him.  We need to get this into perspective: There are worse things than our chosen candidate not winning. Worse things like people dying without hope and without knowing how dearly loved and valuable they are. And troubled times are a great revealer. They expose where we really are and what’s the most important. If your house was on fire (or being flooded as my friends in south Louisiana know all too well) what would you grab first? And what would you not bother with? Troubled times cause us to cut to the chase and get real about what is important. “Everything that can be shaken will be shaken.”… we are being shaken and its showing our true colors and our greatest needs. And the world needs Jesus. And we are His only representatives on this earth. While the darkness is increasing and the heat has been turned up, let us not be so distracted by and focused on the political whirlwind around us that we miss this golden opportunity to focus on what really matters to Him: people. And to share and represent the hope we have in Jesus and to tangibly show His love.   

Yes, I will vote on November 8, for the one who I think will best elect the Supreme Court judges who will make laws which I feel are the most important. I encourage each of you to go to God and get His direction. And remember, there’s nothing wrong with sharing your opinions- if it's done in a way that respects and honors those of differing views- and to stand up for the truth in a loving way unique to you.  But let us get this whole thing in perspective- people before politics, relationships before opinions. Find common ground with those you differ with and love them where they’re at. And be humble. Remember you may be wrong! And if who you think should be elected isn’t, don’t despair. Our hope isn’t in a political party or a president, or in our rights as citizens- our hope is in the Lord. It’s always been that way and it always will be. We just know it now. And for that I am glad. Amen.

July 20, 2016

If the answer was Yes.

One thing I’ve realized that I do with this blog is I wait until I feel I’ve kind of worked through something and have what I consider insight into it before I share it with the world. Hence why my posts are few and far between. But I have many thoughts in the meantime- some thought provoking, some not so much- that I feel I’ve not processed it enough to merit a blog post. But this morning as I was praying, I felt that (not going to say “God spoke to me!” because it wasn’t that obvious, but…), I felt that I may need to share anyway. That maybe some of my in-the-process thoughts might be worth reading as I am working them out in my head and heart. It may cause someone to start working out some similar thoughts themselves in a way and with a conclusion that is unique to them. Also I’ve decided that I don’t have to write a novel for it to be worthy of a post. :) So with that in mind I hope to post more regularly. I hope. That remains to be seen…

So here’s one thing twirling through my head of late. I heard a message someone posted on Facebook where a minister asked this question- ‘If we knew the answer was going to be ‘yes’, how would we then pray?’ Then he followed it up with this scripture: For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20.

So this got me thinking how God is my heavenly Father. I am His kid so to speak. So as   Mom with my own children- or maybe to put it where I am in life now- with my grandsons, if one of them said, “Mimi? Would you help me with this?” Goodness, I’d be so eager, that I’d be knocking over furniture to get to them quicker. So is this how God is with me when I ask Him something that is obviously His will? Or if I ask something that is already declared as a promise in His word? I think the answer to this would obviously be Yes. (I realize He doesn't always say 'yes' when we pray for various reasons beyond our limited understanding but for the purposes of this post understand that I'm referring to those things which we KNOW are His will.) The things He has promised and that are His will are things that He obviously wants to do. It’s not like I have to twist His arm. To be honest, a lot of times I think my prayers have been more like vent sessions than intercession. Or I’ve viewed my prayers kind of like writing the President a letter that he probably won’t read but maybe I’ll get lucky. Now there have been many anointed moments where I knew I was breaking through and making a connection in prayer but it seems that should happen more often than it does. Now that I’ve been turning this recent thought over in my head I feel it has given a boost to my faith. There’s this scripture along the same vein that encourages my faith when I pray:

1 John 5: 14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of Him.” 

So if I’m asking for wisdom, direction, peace, to not be afraid, to be able to love or to forgive, then I think I can be pretty confident that God’s answer will be YES. The pressure isn’t on me to ask a certain way or to pray harder or more often. Really my only responsibility is just to ask and believe. And like my children and grandchildren would hopefully do, I can feel confident that of course my Father’s answer to these requests will be- yes.

For example, yesterday I had a doctor’s appointment and for some reason I was feeling anxious about it and some other things. Instead of just accepting that feeling and going on as I was, I prayed about it on my way there. And I thought about God’s promises concerning what I was feeling. One was- God has not given us a spirit of fear. But He’s given us a Spirit of power, love and a sound mind. So it’s not God’s will that I be anxious. So I asked Him to help me not be anxious with the thought in mind that I was praying according to His will and of course the answer would be yes, And guess what- He answered and I wasn’t. Yay! :D

So anyhow, I haven’t got as good a handle on this as I’d like but since I started thinking this way I have been praying with a lot more confidence and faith than I was. Now God is so good and He’s answered so many of my prayers in the past despite my puny faith. But I feel like I have a new way of thinking of prayer and of thinking of my heavenly Dad. It really makes me love Him more and want to talk to Him about stuff.

Nothing profound and it’s not totally processed but I’m working on it.  I hope that despite it not being fully formed that it’s something that blesses you, helps you in your prayer life and your relationship with your heavenly Father. So anyhow… that’s all I got. Bless y’all! :D