Running Away Doesn’t Work

Resting Not Running

The morning started off roughly. Wasn’t sure what was really going on. Tears seem to creep up to the overflow status and just waver there. I put on a worship CD and began to sing as I got ready for work.

I have learned that when I change my focus from me to my Creator, my Father, I can see more clearly.

I spent four decades running from place to place, job to job even church to church. I never found what I was looking for.

You see our happiness, our destiny was formed even before we were. Ephesians 1 says:

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, even asHe hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,having predestined us to be His own adopted children by Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will,

He deposited these treasures within me, but I was looking outward. When I began to look within and deal with the things that were not God, there was finally change.

 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me,
and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find [me],
when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13

When we find God in the little things, then we need to tuck ourselves up under His wings like a baby chick does with her mother hen. Our Father loves us and we need to hear His heartbeat for our lives.
Most of my life, when things got too intense, I ran to avoid the pain. I hated confrontation. Soon I found I had gone full circle and this unresolved issue was facing me once again. How many times did I want to go around the mountain? How many times did I want to sing the same song, different verse?

 Like a child I squirm to get free when discipline comes. But yielding to discipline yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness.
It isn’t running away that works, it is drawing closer.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=X-RMuVqyzFo

Do You Remember When You Explored the World?

10931319_1048650485152504_5686720200493327140_nMy husband, Ray, is probably the most  curious person I know. He has never lost his childlike wonder.

Too often we take the same way to work, to the store, to church and yet we see nothing. Because we have seen it all before, it becomes a blur as we process other things a long the way. When we get into this rut, miss those serendipity moments placed before us of awe and wonder. Our life become routine and perhaps even dull.

It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23
Each morning we awaken with a clean slate. We have numerous opportunities to see anew. To be refreshed and grateful for the new day. Many did not get one.
With this new day, we get new mercy for each situation facing us. When we ask Him to open the eyes of our heart, we will see the new things.
One day my granddaughter, Curstie, and I were coming home from a shopping trip. The children were getting fussy and she popped in the CD by Mandisa called Good Morning. The whole attitude in the car changed immediately with her littles joining in with gusto.
Ask to have your eyes opened to all that is good and then join us in singing!

He Can Change Our Name

Often I tell the story of how over 20 years ago at 5:30 in the morning I would go to morning prayer at Church on the Rock.  As I drove along the service road of I-30 in Rockwall County, this song would come on the radio and I would sing along with these lyrics.It was my heart cry.:
I will change, will change your name
I will change, will change your nameI will change your name
You shall no longer be called
Wounded, outcast, lonely or afraidI will change your name
Your new name shall be
Confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one
Faithfulness, friend of God
One who seeks My face.
 I was all of that: wounded, outcast, lonely or afraid – wounded by years of abuse, the family black sheep, lonely in so many ways because I counted on Ray to complete me instead of the fullness of the Father’s love and afraid of never being good enough to be accepted.
Oh, I kept up a brave front and I was very religious but actually had divination that I thought was a prophetic anointing. My husband was a truck driver and gone up to three months at a time. I had three teenagers. Frankly, I was a mess.

I took this song as a promise, but I never allowed God to complete the work. A name change is a journey. Like the fruit of the spirit all have to manifest. This name change requires that not only my name be changed, but first, I  must change spirit, soul and body.

.Who knew a name change would take so long? When I was sick earlier this year, I felt ashamed and guilty, because I know our God heals. I had to really seek His face, but more importantly I had to learn to rest in Him.

Our value is never found in what we DO for God.
Our value is found in who we will BE for God.
I once again heard this song in my spirit. It is taken from Isaiah 62:2-4
And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken; neither shall thy land any more be termed Desolate: but thou shalt be called Hephzibah, and thy land Beulah: for the LORD delighteth in thee, and thy land shall be married. (Isa 62:2-4)
Hephzibah means my delight is in you.The Lord delights in me and you, too.
Beulah means married. We are the bride of Christ.

The song continues with our new name when we fully trust Him and rest in Him.
Confidence, joyfulness, overcoming one
Faithfulness, friend of God
One who seeks His face.

It is one thing to want to have your name changed. It is quite another to not only submit to the changes but stay the course. It is not a microwave moment, but a journey.

Are you ready for a name change?

The Schizo-Christian

When our heart is divided, we don’t know who we really are. We don’t know which team we are playing on. Thus, we don’t know which uniform to put on. We often have two sets of friends and act accordingly. Our vocabulary and actions adapt to the crowd we are playing to.

We cant relax, because we have to be who people expect us to be and that changes according to the audience. The person we are in the workplace may shock our family while our co-workers may never see ur nurturing, loving side. It takes a lot of energy to live this life.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. James 1:8

That instability brings unrest and discontent. It pushes into drivenness and performance. It messes with your mind.

Let’s look at Peter. Jesus, said upon this rock, I shall build my church. It was Peter that boldly claimed his love and devotion to Jesus. He literally implied, “Look, these guys aren’t as strong as I am. You can’t really count on them. You can count on me.”

There is no doubt in mind that Peter believed what he said. Yet before the day was out, when he was confronted by a servant girl, he turned to Jell-O and denied Jesus three times. You see Peter did not know his own heart.

Romans 7:15-20 explains this duplicity the best:

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

When Peter recognized and took responsibility for his triple betrayal, he wept bitterly. He was devastated with guilt and shame.

On the day of the resurrection of Jesus, Mary is told by an angel the good news and then the angel said, “But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.”

Peter’s sin had separated him from being a disciple of Christ. A disciple is a follower, not a betrayer. This is what happens when we try to play for both teams.- one team on Sunday and another on Monday.

The schizo-Christian is not a disciple of Jesus. He shows up when it is convenient, but is not sold out.

Remember Peter did not know his own heart. David said in Psalm 139:

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: 24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Joining me in praying that prayer today and let us follow Him wholeheartedly.

Undivided Heart

A narcissist is someone who is unable to commit to anything outside of himself. Consider the Christian narcissist who moves from one church to another always seeking that move of God, but never allowing God to change them. They are easily distracted because of commitment phobia. Making a commitment would require them to change. It would require self-examination.

They will miss church because they need alone time with God. Yet it is fellowship and involvement one with another that makes us whole for iron sharpens iron. Fear has them in the throes of self-protection.

Imagine the change if we served God with an undivided heart.

1 Chronicles 12 list men who committed to David before David was king. They recognized that God’s hand was upon him. They committed to him even when it was dangerous to do so. Verse 32a says, “ And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; ”

Do we truly understand the times we are in and what God is calling us to do? Or do we go with popular thinking and never take a stand for the Lord and His Word?

They were not men who were with Saul sometime of the time and then David. No they committed regardless of the cost.

17 And David went out to meet them, and answered and said unto them, If ye be come peaceably unto me to help me, mine heart shall be knit unto you: but if ye be come to betray me to mine enemies, seeing there is no wrong in mine hands, the God of our fathers look thereon, and rebuke it.18 Then the spirit came upon Amasai, who was chief of the captains, and he said, Thine are we, David, and on thy side, thou son of Jesse: peace, peace be unto thee, and peace be to thine helpers; for thy God helpeth thee. Then David received them, and made them captains of the band.

Are we that committed to the Lord. willing to serve with an undivided heart?

Happy Wife, Happy Life

Happy Wife, Happy Life. That saying has become so twisted as if a person’s happiness is dependent on others. Happiness is a choice. It is as much Mama’s as anyone else’s.

It has been said that the woman is the thermostat of the home. When the husband walks in the home if the wife spouts off all the reasons why she is so unhappy, his face becomes like a mirror. Her angst is vividly reflected back at herself. Her attitude becomes. his reality.  Soon both husband and wife are irritated and agitated. It won’t be long before the children join in.

I am not asking anyone to go into denial. Yes, there are hard times. Yes, there are frustrations and disappointments, but we have a choice as to how we respond to these situations and yes, to the people that caused it. We can throw a temper tantrum or sulk or we can run to the Father.

Sometimes when I remind myself and others what Jesus went through, the response is, “But that was Jesus.” True. But what about Corrie Tem Boom, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Mother Teresa and I bet if you searched your memory you would recall someone who had a really difficult life, but you would never know by their attitude or even their face. They learned to “count it all joy.”

My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. James 1:2-3

Another saying that riles me up is “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” That reeks of control and narcissism.

Now I have to admit in my growing up I have been VERY guilty of both sayings. When I quit making other people my source and ran to the Father, I had a paradigm shift.

I can choose how to respond.  There will be difficult times. Losing my daughter was the most difficult time I ever went through. Still I could honor her life by amping up mine with the revelation of the joy she spread even when she was going through hard times herself.

No one is perfect. We will have bad days, but when we recognize we are in the mully-grubs, we can choose to get up and get out. Reaching out to others in a life of gratitude is the best way I know to happiness. It isn’t based on “what’s in for me?” but rather how can I show the Father’s love to someone who is broken without condescension or pride.

You must first receive the Father’s love for yourself, before you give it out. Know who you are in Him. Be gentle on yourself and it will enable you to be gentle towards others.

Choose the happy life.

 

Where’s God?

Have you ever felt overwhelmed and buried in the situation and thought, “Where is God?” You pray but hear nothing or if you hear, you aren’t sure it is even Him.

Jeremiah the prophet said for the Lord, And I shall be found of thee in the day that you seek Me with your whole heart. Jeremiah 29:13

The key here is the WHOLE heart, not just using God as a pain reliever. Seek His perfect will in the matter. Plan B opens the door for doubt and unbelief.

I think David’s prayer is one that we can all copy :

I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore. PS. 89:12

One of the problems I think that we, all of us experience is the divided heart. Here David is praying, “God, just unite my heart towards Thee.” We have a divided heart. Part of us is towards God, and part of it is towards our flesh or even our feelings. If I’m divided by the desires of my flesh, my feelings and my desires for God. I am scattered and smothered. My prayers are for naught. David is saying, “Lord, I don’t want a divided heart. Unite my heart towards Thee.”

I think that’s an excellent beginning prayer.

It is time to quit being pulled in every direction and become laser-focused on my relationship with Him, the rest will fall in order. If I let the crisis of the moment derail me, I lose my focus and my compass. However, I can begin again.

It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. Lam. 2:22-23

Stay on the Road

I have told this story many times, but right now I have friends who feel lost, even forsaken, and I want to encourage them with it.

When I was in the first grade, my next door neighbor, Margo, was in the fifth. Every day she would walk me to Fishweir Elementary School. The walk was less than a mile with the shortcuts, but to a first grader, it seemed a long way.

Several months after school started, Margo got sick. When the dismissal bell rang, there was no Margo, I went to the office and told them I did not know my way home. They called my dad.


I was so glad to see him when he arrived until he explained that it was time for me to learn to walk alone. I cried and protested, but he assured me he would follow in the car, and I would be safe. I was very afraid, but given no choice, I began. True to his word, he followed.

Then we came to one of the shortcuts, the only way I knew. Daddy couldn’t drive across the field. Surely he would let me ride now. But, no, he said he would be waiting on the other side. And he was.

The final shortcut was across a foot bridge, but that was only a half a block to the house. Finally, I was home free.

Little did I know decades ago that the walk home was a blueprint of my life to come. There were shortcuts I would take because it was all I knew. Some were good shortcuts. Some were never intended to be. I just wanted to get to the finish line.  When I took a shortcut, good or bad, I lost sight of my Heavenly Father, but when I recovered myself, He stood there waiting.

Often a novice trucker will take a shortcut when traffic is backed up. But the experienced driver knows that with the load he has been designated to carry, not every detour is good or even safe. In fact, the wrong detour could cause him to lose his load.

Today stay on the road set before you.

Only be thou strong and very courageous, that thou mayest observe to do according to all the law, which Moses my servant commanded thee: turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that thou mayest prosper whithersoever thou goest. Josh. 1:7

No One Plans to Fail

Did the weekend not turn out the way you wanted it to? How about the relationship you thought would be perfect? Sometimes our expectations are based on faulty premises

“Hope deferred makes the heart sick.”

Deferred simply means delayed or displaced. It doesn’t mean that the thing we are hoping for is not coming. It means we don’t set the timetable. I think this is the real issue. Who is God? Me or Him? Who am I to tell Him when it should be happening when He was getting all the ingredients together for the final project? It reminds me of the presumption of Job.

Hope displaced can set us on a never ending roller coaster ride from hopeful to hopelessness. Double-mindedness sets in. It can even progress into anger at God and others. Sadly, we often don’t recognize this anger because we shove it down.

According to Strong’s Concordance, deferred means to “delay” or “draw out”. That implies that the thing hoped for is probable and will eventually come to pass. But it is a journey, not a rocket ride. Just as it is necessary for me to gas up and pass many mile markers and even stop at rest stops as I travel, so it is necessary for our journey with God to have the same time-consuming, but oh so necessary delays. We may even breakdown on the way, but we repair what is broken and move on.

God’s promises are true, but His timetable is rarely ours. Hebrews 11:1 reads, “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” We can be sure of what we hope for even when it remains unseen if God, Himself, promises it to us. Hope is displaced when we assume that God will do something for us merely because He has done it for others. We can be full of anticipation and excitement one minute when it looks like our desires will be fulfilled, (things are going our way) and emotionally wrecked the next as we realize that little is changed or that the situation has gotten worse.

Too often I have gotten my eyes off the small victories, because I was so eager to get to the finish line on my timetable. Performance and drivenness push me to set unrealistic goals.

All of this takes a toll not only on our physical body, but our spirit as well.

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and [why] art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him [for] the help of his countenance. Psalm 42:5

I get to choose to focus on my circumstances or His promises. He promised me that He would never leave me nor forsake me.

[Let your] conversation [be] without covetousness; [and be] content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. Hebrews 13:5

In the midst of our worst trials, we can hold onto God’s promise that He will always be there for us, even when family and friends seem disappear. But don’t miss the part where we are exhorted during the journey to “be content with such things as we have” – even when it looks like we missed it or that God failed us.
Our circumstances can color the truth. We may feel unloved, rejected and even unnecessary. Those are all lies. God may seem distant, unfeeling, uncaring. Those are fact less feelings. Nevertheless, His promise is sure. He will never leave us nor forsake us. So who will I listen to? The voice of the circumstance or the Word of the Lord?

Hope deferred can crush my heart if I expect God to stop the trial immediately and fix the situation. My heart can leap for joy when I see a small crack in the clouds above, then sink to my gut as darker clouds move in. Again the focus is on the circumstance, not the promise.

There are directions to properly set up a non-computerized telescope. You need to line up the mount with the North Star. Sounds straightforward enough. However, if the directions to do that were written by someone who lived south of the equator, perhaps in Australia, and you used those directions, you would never be on course, because you are looking from an opposite direction. It is the same with our lives. We can do things according to the Word or we can align our lives with the views of others or even generational programming and beliefs and totally miss the galaxy that the Lord has prepared for us.

So today I am trying to be still and choose things that bring me joy. I love writing and creating. I need to take this blog in a new direction.

Don’t know where this journey will take me but I am eager to continue. Won’t you join me?

Today is a Gift

It has been five years since the enemy snatched our daughter, Carrin,  out of our lives through a freak car accident. There were no good-byes or last hugs and kisses.  I just want to celebrate her life today for she knew how to live that abundant life. She was an extraordinary cheerleader of life.

 When Carrin was killed, our lives as we knew them came to a screeching halt as Ray and I came together to heal. Healing takes time and energy. There was little time or energy for anything else.

Many things became mechanical as we plodded through and then were assaulted with another death, Ray’s open heart surgery and more. I can honestly say though, I never felt left or forsaken by God. I began to learn what quietness looked and felt like. I felt covered, safe, but it was, and still is, a journey.

It was in this journey I began to unpack some luggage I had been carrying for most my of life. A lot of self stuff like self-bitterness (Wouldas couldas, shouldas), self-resentment, self-sabotage, and self-sabotage had to go for me to heal. Still every now and then I find another box to unpack in the attic of my mind. The load is so much lighter. Still I have a way to go.

Carrin’s death caused us to look at the fragility of life. We no longer take each day lightly. That us a gift she left behind.  Treasure each day for no one is promised tomorrow.