God Doesn’t Forget

God never forgets. Never. Ever. Aren’t you glad? Did He promise you something? Well you can count on it, be patient. Of course His timing isn’t the same as ours. Being patient isn’t always easy, in fact, for me, it is usually hard. But that doesn’t change the fact that if God said it, it is a sure thing, a done deal. It was done before He even said it. Try and wrap your mind around that one! God doesn’t abide in time, He created it for us, He doesn’t need it. For Him, yesterday is now, and tomorrow is now, and the future is now. So whatever we need has already been provided for us. Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire is fulfilled, it is a tree of life.” And 2 Corinthians 1:20 says, “For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” So if God doesn’t forget, and ALL of His promises are yes, then why lose hope? You’ll make yourself sick! Don’t do it! Hope in God, He’ll come through! He always has, He always will. When your desire is fulfilled you’ll find life, more life, a great life! A tree is rooted and grounded! Be rooted and grounded in the source of life! Be thankful that God’s mind is always full of thoughts of YOU! Now that is cool!

Letting Go of Worry

Give all your worries to him, because he cares about you. I Peter 5:7
I used to worry too much! Sometimes I would worry that I worry too much! It’ll make you sick if you let it go on. I have proved that in my own life over and over. Worrying had messed up my stomach, God healed it, I get in the nasty habit of worrying again, and then my stomach gets messed up again. We can’t put everything on God. Sure He will continue to heal, but it would be no different than placing your hand on the wood stove, asking God to heal it, then turning right around and placing your hand back on the stove. We would call that insane behavior! Worrying shows a lack of faith. It’s real simple either God can handle it or he can’t. I often think to myself, “sure He can handle it, I’m the one who can’t”, but the Holy Spirit is faithful to remind me that I never have to face anything in my own strength. I have to choose to use His strength. If I find myself saying or thinking “I just can’t handle it” that is a red flag that I have stopped looking to God! If we are worrying, that means we are trusting in ourselves, or others, our jobs, government, the economy, or even chance, instead of trusting in God. I have to choose to trust Him. Worry is not beneficial. Worry cannot change your circumstances. Worry robs you of sleep, peace and very precious time. God has been trying to get this deep in my heart, year after year; we chip away at this area in my life. I am so much better than I was, and sometimes am amazed at my lack of concern over some things that have happened. Sometimes things happen that just pull the rug out from under you. Then we get “spiritual Alzheimer’s” and forget to trust, forget our Word, forget the promises, and we worry! But if we continually rehearse God’s goodness, practice giving it all to him in prayer, it gets easier! Trust Him. Max Lucado wrote a book years ago on the subject; here is a short passage from his book “Traveling Light”.
“God has a great race for you to run. Under His care you will go where you’ve never been and serve in ways you’ve never dreamed. But you have to drop some stuff. How can you share grace if you are full of guilt? How can you offer comfort if you are disheartened? How can you lift someone else’s load if your arms are full with your own? For the sake of those you love, travel light. For the sake of the God you serve, travel light. For the sake of your own joy, travel light. There are certain weights in life you simply cannot carry. Your Lord is asking you to set them down and trust Him”

Ephesians 2:1-10 TLB

 Once you were under God’s curse, doomed forever for your sins. You went along with the crowd and were just like all the others, full of sin, obeying Satan, the mighty prince of the power of the air, who is at work right now in the hearts of those who are against the Lord. All of us used to be just as they are, our lives expressing the evil within us, doing every wicked thing that our passions or our evil thoughts might lead us into. We started out bad, being born with evil natures, and were under God’s anger just like everyone else.  But God is so rich in mercy; he loved us so much that even though we were spiritually dead and doomed by our sins, he gave us back our lives again when he raised Christ from the dead-only by his undeserved favor have we ever been saved- and lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms-all because of what Christ Jesus did. And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich his kindness is, as shown in all he has done for us through Jesus Christ. Because of his kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it. It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.

When the Story is Hiding

I am stuck. I guess this is writers block. First time…I have made a good beginning, I can see the characters, and I know the ending…but I’m stuck. It seems the only alternative I have is to read a good story. Actually I read quite a few (I’ve been stuck for a few days). It encourages me to see other authors, just making their way, finish their stories. Some gave valiant effort, but missed the mark (as I have as well) in the area of spell check, typos and some grammar issues. But still, I could see that great story line under it all. Others hit the nail on the head (in my opinion) and I could barely put the book down. It encourages me! There are so many good stories out there, some are great, and others are good. Sure a few may be less than what I’d hoped for, but they are someone’s stories none the less. Just like all children are precious, but some you are glad you didn’t give birth to…
So now…do I put my story on the shelf, and begin something new? I think I have found my inner chicken. Before, when I read something I loved, I’d say “I want to write like that!” or something that had that happily ever after, though maybe not life changing, I’d say “I can do that”, several times I read something that almost touched me, but just missed, and I’d say “I can do better than that”. Now, a few reviews under my name, some that said, they too, had to wade through the spelling, grammar and typos (Yes! In one of my books!), and now I don’t want to bore, cause flinching, or worse not evoke any type of feeling, that would cause them to say “that was a waste of time”. I don’t want someone to read my stories and say “I can do better than that”, though I know most probably can. I want them to finish and say “I loved it!” or better yet to say, “It’s over?” with a little disappointment in their voices. But then don’t we all.
My perfect daydream is to be the next J.R. Tolkien and capture audiences for generations with a timeless story of trial, hope, love and courage. Or be just like Jane Austen who can make you laugh, cry and swoon all in one chapter (who doesn’t love Mr. Darcy). Maybe that’s the problem. I can’t be either one of those, and their stories have already been told. Maybe, just maybe, my lot is to just lift someone for a couple of hours, to give them the hope of true love, allow them to escape from the real world if just for a bit, or to show them a shadow of a better world. I can be happy with that. So maybe I’m not stuck, per say, maybe the story was always there, but I needed to dig a little deeper and tell fear to get lost. My writing may not change a life, but if it makes a smile appear on even one face, or lifts the hope of one person, then I did my job. Right?

Sitters and Chasers

I went to a graduation at a small Christian school last night. I used to teach there and the single high school graduate had been one of my students for five years. I see her every Sunday and Wednesday at Church and the couple of days a week I volunteer, at the school in the office and the kitchen. But all of a sudden, last night, in her cap and gown, up on stage, giving her speech, she looked different. She was grown up. She wasn’t sitting in the class room waiting to graduate. She was done-she’s gone from a sitter to a chaser. Off to college in a big city in the fall, chasing her dreams. My prayer for her is that she doesn’t randomly run after whatever sparkles and looks enticing, but that she sits and listens to that still small voice as well. Time spent chasing rainbows is wasted time. Time spent chasing out destiny, is time well used.

 

After the ceremony, the little ones sang and did hand bells, super cute, 3, 4, and 5 year olds. After wards, mothers and fathers were chasing little ones down, trying to get pictures. Grandmas and Grandpas were sitting, and watching, proud of their families. Two mothers sat their three year olds next to each other on chairs for a picture. A little blonde princess in an orange dress the dark little gentleman in his vest and tie, everyone stared and smiled. She leaned in and put her head on his shoulder, he put his tongue in his cheek and got that ‘deer in the headlights’ look. The princess’s father laughed! The mothers, grandmothers, well pretty much any woman who stood there smiled at the cuteness of it all. Latter, I was thinking of the difference in boys and girls. Boys are chasers, because they love to be chased. Girls are sitters, because they love to be caught. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work well that way. The boys run by and practically beg to be chased (they really don’t want to be caught, just chased) and the girls sit and look at them, longing to be captured (and they hate running in their princess dresses and glass slippers).

Sitters and Chasers. Some of us sit and watch the world pass us by. Some of us chase it down and demand all we can get out of it, only to find that it wasn’t what we really wanted, the fun was in the chase, not the capture. We look at what we caught, what we hold in our hand with a death grip, refusing to give up what we worked so hard for, only to see that it is fool’s gold. Can’t we be both? Do we only have to choose to either sit, or chase? I say yes! Sit first; hear what God has planned for you. Then when he shows you the path, run! Don’t look back to see who’s running with you, don’t look to the left or the right to see what other paths are being taken, just go for it. Sometimes, we get to sit for a spell, rest up, recalculate (like Lola-the voice of my garmen), but we always have to get back up. I guess we even slow down at times, when the road gets scary, and the path gets hairy, but still…move ahead.

Push On

Peace is not the absence of war or turmoil. Peace is a sure confidence in the midst of war and turmoil. Let’s face it-life can be scary, filled with bad news, death divorce, illness, financial stress and ruin, just watch the news (or better yet, don’t). But we, who put our hope and trust in God, need not fear (He is trustworthy). Though we might not always feel Him near-we can stand on His promise that He will never leave us nor forsake us.

We tend to want God to pull us out of our circumstances, vanquish all our enemies (right NOW please), and keep us out of all trouble. But God, in His sovereign wisdom, knows the plans that He has for us-plans to prosper and not to harm us-He knows the beginning from the end. When we stumble into trouble, or a circumstance crashes over us like a mounting wave, He isn’t surprised; He has already seen you come through. God, who loves us and wants what’s best for us, knows that getting through is what brings strength, not running from. “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” may be some popular lyrics from a song, but the saying has been around forever. We overcome our trials, hardships, circumstance by trusting in His strength and love to see us through. When we come out on the other end, we have more confidence, wisdom and strength. We have learned more about Him and His faithfulness.

Be assured, God isn’t the one who sends the hard stuff. He never makes us sick, poor, pained, lonely, fearful (the list goes on); all GOOD gifts come from the Father above. All that other stuff, that we hate and dread, comes from living in a fallen world, from a real enemy, and sometimes from our own stupid choices, but God allows us to go through those things because He knows what we need in the future. Don’t ‘camp out’ there, or ‘set up house’ there- hike up your skirt-hitch up those britches-pull up those boot straps-and go through! He promises to never give us more than we can handle. The secret is to not try and do it in our own strength. All the power that created the vast universe is at our disposal-simply ask Him to strengthen you for the journey and press on. The end will be so much better than the beginning and you will be a better person.