Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Way or the Highway



I have a problem.   I’m right 97% of the time.  I’m not bragging.  One of my kids told me this so it must be true. 

He said, “Mom, you know how things should be done and the order they should be done in.  You are right 97% of the time.”  Then he added, “It’s the 3% of the time, when you’re not right, when we have a problem.”  

Really!  This is not hanging at my house--maybe!
I laughed so hard when he told me this because first of all, I was very pleased that in his eyes I was right 97% of the time!   I was also equally aware of my own short comings—with such a high percentage of rightness it was super hard for me to believe I could be wrong…ever! 

True!

The word “wrong” it’s barely part of my vocabulary.   

A few years back, I went through a nightmare experience of thinking I was right—and in reality I was so far from right that I’d have to say…wait for it…I was “wrong.”  

It was a battle of epic degree as I stood my ground unmovable, unbendable, waving my flag that proudly stated, “My way or the highway.”   No one was following me and I stood painfully alone—believing I was right.  

During this season of rightness I took a walk to clear my mind.  I was listening to scripture on my Ipod.  (Yes, people still use Ipods.)    I thought, maybe the Lord would speak to me through his Word to encourage me and confirm to my heart that—yes, I was truly being treated unfairly in this tragic event of misguided boundaries!

And boy did He ever speak… Proverbs 14:1 “A wise woman builds her house and a foolish one tears it down with her own hands.”

The Lord was telling me loud and clear that I was firmly established in the 3%, that would be my narrow percentage of wrongness.   It was a direct blow to my wounded heart.  I was not being a wise woman.  I was the foolish one.  My attitude and actions were destroying my home.  I was pulling it down with my own hands and the Lord was very clear in calling me out.  

 “Foolish Woman!”  

 I asked the Lord to forgive me right then and there.   If I continued to demand “My Way or The Highway” I would have my way, but I would be alone.  I backed off that day and prayed that the damage I did was not irreversible.    And it wasn’t!  

You may be walking a similar path thinking you are right but don’t hold on to your “My Way or The Highway” flag to tightly.     You may just get your way—but in the process destroy your home. 

How right do you really want to be?



Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Watch Where You're Stepping!



Have you ever been bit by red fire ants?  It’s a miserable experience.  If it was just one ant, no problem, a simple brush of the hand and the ant is gone.  But that’s not how red fire ants work.  You are unaware that they are crawling up your leg until the signal is sent to the troops to attack, and oh boy that’s when the dancing and yelping begins.  

The first time this happened to me, I’d never even heard of red fire ants, but once we crossed paths, I’ve never forgotten.  Now I have a healthy respect for their territory, and a can of bug spray handy to do battle. 

Sometimes we can position ourselves in a place knowingly or unknowingly that we don’t belong.  Then we find ourselves prey to the attack.  No one would knowingly step in the path of red fire ants, but we knowingly step in other places we know we don’t belong; it may be as simple as what we watch, where we go, or how we speak.   

Here’s a few verses from the Message Bible.  It’s plain and easy to understand.  James 4:7-10 says this: 

Watch where you're stepping!
“So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time. Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom, and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it’s the only way you’ll get on your feet.”

This week be mindful of the path you are on and don’t give the enemy a foothold.  He loves the sneak attacks just like the red fire ants so watch where you’re stepping.   

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

We have a winner!



Many years ago when my husband was in Bible College in Lakeland, Florida, we decided to venture out to the Strawberry Festival in the neighboring town.  This was a real splurge on our limited college income.   

 Upon arriving at the festival the entrance was lined with carnival-style games.  We stopped to watch the one where you throw a ping pong ball, and if it lands in any of the small fish bowls you win a goldfish.  

My husband, Bob, insisted I try.  

I am the worst at games of chance.  I rarely—but usually never—win anything.  However, this time on my first throw the carnival guy yelled, “We have a winner!” 

I won the goldfish.  A motherly instinct immediately rose up within me, and that fish was in for all the love I could gush on it. 

This is not the actual goldfish.
But did I really win?  

First, I had to carry the fish around with me all day.  I worried about the heat, and if it was okay in that plastic bag.  Then we stopped on the way home to buy my goldfish a lovely home.   We spent at least $20 to buy the little guy an aquarium, ocean blue gravel for the bottom of the tank, a filter, fish food and of course a little plastic bridge and green plastic plants.   It was perfect.

When we arrived home, I immediately filled the aquarium with tap water and lowered the baggie into the tank to assimilate the little guy.    I was so excited to release him and watch my goldfish swim.  In my limited fish knowledge, I didn’t take into account that fish don’t like chemicals in their water…so when I set the poor guy free to swim I watched him rapidly darting from side to side and then he died an agonizing death.  Flush--he was gone.  It was heartbreaking to watch, and there sat the empty aquarium--mocking me!

Sometimes in our walk with the Lord, Satan makes something look so good that we think we’ve won…but we haven’t.  The enemy of our soul roams around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour.   He is the deceiver and accuser of the brethren.  God tells us to beware, be alert, don’t give way to his tricks and don’t be deceived.  

We must be wise in this world.  The enemy's plan and purpose is to deceive us and leave us destroyed emotionally and physically.  DON"T TAKE THE GOLDFISH!  Just walk away.

When God looks at you He says, "We have a winner!”  His plan for you is so much better.  He’s not trying to rob or deceive.  In fact--He wants to restore what Satan has taken from you. 
 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Safest Place on Earth

Baby Abi in Grandma's arms.
 When my children were young, I can recall hearing them cry in the night.  I'd bolt out of bed and rush to the side of the one who was sick or frighten.  Instinctively I'd try to bring comfort by placing a cool hand on a fevered brow or rub a sore belly.  I would hold my child close until the emergency had passed and peaceful sleep returned. 
 
Other nights I remember waking to the touch of a little hand on my arm.  Then I'd feel a tug on the blankets signifying the need to crawl into bed with mommy and daddy—to a child this is the safest place on earth.

I remember two occasions in my adult life when I was that scared and hurting child, desperately in need of my Heavenly Father.

February 1975, when I was eighteen years old--my mother suddenly died. My dearest friend was gone.  Never had I felt such loneliness.  That night I cried.  I cried out in pain to my Heavenly Father and he came to me in my sorrow.  That night it was his hand on my brow, his pat on my back, his words of compassion and understanding that soothed my pain.  He came to me when my life was filled with grief and gave me the truest comfort.

September 2002, my heart was heavy to the point of breaking when I received the news that our twenty year old son was using drugs.  In the depth of that great sadness I ran to my Heavenly Father, crawled into His lap and He wrapped me up in His arms,  (the safest place on earth for an adult too) and there I found rest.  

 “As for me, I will call out to God,
and the Lord will deliver me.
During the evening, morning, and noontime
I will lament and moan, and he will hear me.
He will rescue me and protect me…’ 
Psalm 55:16-19 NET

Whatever you are facing this week—He’s there.  Whether he comes to you or you run to him—He hears your cry.  He knows your pain and His arms are the safest place on earth.    

I believe!

Having been raised in the church and choosing to dedicate my life to serving the church, I have seen many things change.  Some for the g...