Some of my sweetest memories were when the children were young and we enjoyed a slow paced Saturday morning. Ron worked nights but knew the children would be waiting just inside the door for his morning arrival. He opened the door to squeals of laughter, "mornin' daddy and searches for the donut box. After everyone was settled with milk and a fresh donut, we snuggled under blankets and watched Saturday morning funnies.
I miss those times.
Yesterday a good friend sent me a link to a YouTube production. Ray Stevens was one of my children's favorite singers. They laughed at Ahab the Arab, The Streak, and The Mississippi Squirrel. To find out that Ray Stevens is still doing well and has produced a new song and video brought back all kinds of good feelings. I hope you can chuckle your way through this and find a little lift for your day.
God loves you,
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Thursday, January 28, 2010
Like a powerful lion that has been reduced to pacing in a cage, we've allowed our enemy to strip us of our power and our mission.
Dorothy Sayers (1893-1957) wrote... "For those who crucified the Christ - to do them justice - they did not do it because he was a bore. Quite the contrary. He was too dynamic to be safe. It has been left for later generations to muffle up that shattering personality and surround him with an atomosphere of tedium. We have effectively pared the claws of the Lion of Judah, certified him meek and mild and made him a housecat for pale curates and pious old ladies."
This is the greatest work of Satan. If he can reduce the "trust" we have in the "Power" of our faith, he wins! We become meek and mild. We become sedated. We lose our strength and with it our ability to fight for freedom and Godly principles.
If you want to be a powerful Christian who can make a difference in this world, you must know your enemy. You must recognize when he is at work and when he isn't. You must realize that once you confess your Christian resolve to the world - you will be tested. You will be tried in ways that you don't understand. You will be pushed to the wall and beaten with every tool devised to cause you to surrender your vision and your power. The wounds are not visible to the human eye and yet they are deeper than mere physical incisions.
The last year and especially the last three months have been that kind of testing for me. I had a stirring spiritual experience and just moments after sharing it with friends the attacks began. It was as if I had been taken to the very top of a great mountain - shown all that I could be and that God wanted for me and then pushed over the edge. As I plummeted to the depths below I felt helpless, alone and without the smallest chance for survival.
Yet....the great hand of God once again kept me safe. I am a mass of fears huddled against the wall and wondering what's next. Where do I go from here? Is it possible to make sense of this? Is it possible to rise to the top of that mountain again?
"Look! Look there in the corner. What's that?" It can't be explained and yet it brings hope. It can't be described and yet I feel courage. It can't be held and yet every pore of my body experiences it's touch. It has no form and yet it seems to lift this earthly carcass to an upright and proud position. My ears record silence and yet I hear words and thoughts so encouraging that I feel my mind will burst with joy. I smell the sweetness of new air - clean air - life giving air - and yet.....nothing has changed."
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Life today is complicated and hard, but the message is clear. God is on the side of his children. We have hope and we have strength. No matter how your enemy is testing you today - remember that if you have a relationship with Jesus Christ and if you are squarely centered in the middle of his hand - you can stand....you can Proudly Stand....You Can Stand!
God loves you,
Friday, January 15, 2010
2009 was a time of great stress as well as a time of God's blessing. When the miraculous event happened, I was left with one important question......who am I and what does God want from me? I'm not confused about my talents, abilities or direction as a Christian - but I do wonder if I'm on the same page as God. For that reason I've spent quiet time alone with God. Time that isn't cluttered by "rushing" to get work done. Quiet time that allowed me to contemplate my goals and to "listen" for His leading.
I've discussed it many times on this site. We are in a huge fight for our freedoms and our country. This fight is going to take strong people who are led by an even stronger God. This fight is going to take a power that we may not be used to. This fight will take resources that you may feel you don't have. This fight will take you into uncomfortable territority. We need to be focused. We need to feel that power deep within our souls. And that means taking time to "listen" to the source of that power.
I was sure that I was listening to God and obeying his leading - but am I? Have you ever looked at a a picture your child drew and commented - "That's a nice house" only to have him reply "That's not what I meant!" I want to be sure that I know exactly what God meant when He gave me directions.
I personally believe that our greatest power is Jesus Christ. Perhaps you find power in a different faith or belief. For me...if I'm not connected to the source of my power, I usually am not successful. I am a devout Christian who has been priviledged to speak before large groups and to be part of organizations that have done great things. But....I know that if I'm not centered and connected to the source of my power, I will not and can not be all that God wants me to be.
About 22 years ago I fell in a neighbors yard. Every hour or so the pointer finger on my left hand trembled. After a month my hand was sore and irritated. When the trembling woke me up during the night, I went to the doctor. He put a splint on it and said it was an inflamed nerve. After one night my hand was swollen and I was in terrible pain. I rushed back to the doctor who sent me to an orthopaedic surgeon. He found a broken bone in my wrist but said something else was going on. He sent me to a neurologist who after several painful tests determined that I had Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy.
Apparently nerves located in your blood vessels aid in the blood flow through your body. As the heart pumps blood through your body with pressure, the nerves in your vessels prod it along like little cattle prods. With RSD when a nerve is damaged, it shuts down. But....it tells the nerve next to it to shut down - causing that nerve to pass the word to the next one down the line.
By the time I reached the neurologist, there wasn't any blood from my elbow to my fingers. And without blood, the hand couldn't move without severe pain. The doctor explained that if this continued it would reach my shoulder and without blood I would eventually have to have my arm amputated.
I was rushed to the outpatient surgery room and given a Ganglion Block. (to yucky to share here) After the anestheiologist was through we waited to see what would happen. My arm had been ice cold. I felt warmth. There was a heat vent near the ceiling and I smiled at the doctor. "I'm so glad they turned the heat on." He jumped up and threw the blanket off my arm. "Look, Look at your arm." I looked down and it was as if someone was painting my arm a bright red. When the blood reached the end of my fingers I was moving them wildly - without pain!
My father preached a sermon the following Sunday on the Vine and the Branches.
John 15:5 "Yes I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in me and I in him shall produce a large crop of fruit. For apart from me you can't do a thing. If anyone separates from me, he is thrown away like a useless branch, withers, and is gathered into a pile with all the others and burned."
I want to encourage you today to stay connected to the Source of your power. Without that source flowing through our veins, we will be cut off and thrown into a pile and burned. Everyone reading this should plug into some type of prayer group. And don't forget the power of time alone with God - to listen - not talk! Everyone should be concerned about staying connected to "the source". We have all seen pastors and celebrities that boast Christian values only to be exposed later on. Perhaps they did hold to better principles - but they lost their source of power and they were easy targets for evil plans. Each of us has the potential to be targeted if we do not stay connected to the source.
We can do this. We can take back America and we can make a difference in this country. But we all need to be connected to a greater source of power. And....once we are connected to that source, we have to be aware that those around us are watching. My neighbor is watching to see if I pass the word to shut down or if I give her the "all clear" signal to stay busy.
"Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord's mighty power within you. Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies - the evil ruler of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world."
So....Where does your power come from?
God loves you,