Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The List

I like making lists.  Occasionally, I've been known to write things on my to-do-list that I've actually completed because I take great satisfaction in the completion of a task and not so much in the doing.  Remember The Suit (5-3-17).

There's not much better in life than placing that check mark by a completed task then drawing a line through the words signifying job done...It's oh-so-sweet.

Just so happens that God also has a list, but His is the opposite of mine.   I'm trying desperately to remove items from my list and God is constantly adding to His.

Yes...God has a list. It's not a take the garbage out, send thank you notes or wash down the cupboard doors kind-a-list.  God's list is the A-List.  The one everyone wants to be on and truth be told...it's rather easy to get on God's List.

1 John 5:11-12 gives it to us plain and simple...God gave us eternal life; the life is in his Son. So, whoever has the Son, has life; whoever rejects the Son, rejects life.

To be on God's list I need only choose Jesus, and if I reject Him then I choose not to be on God's List and  I reject life.  Well that certainly is simple. 

My List

Choose Jesus

 Done!  Now that feels GOOD!


 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Lost...and Found


I heard a nasty rumor that as a person ages, it's common to lose things.  I wish I could blame losing things on old age alone, but its been a life-long problem for me.  Daily I play the game of Lost and Found and I often find myself asking this question..what was I looking for?

Many years ago, I lost my cup of freshly brewed coffee and didn't find it for weeks.  That particular cup of coffee was perfect.  It was the right temperature and mix of coffee and cream.  I hate it when I lose a perfectly good cup of coffee.  Later...weeks later...I found it in the guest room closet on a shelf. 

I've lost my keys, my coat, my phone, receipts, money, a number of different remote controls and kitchen items that have just disappeared.  And once, a long time ago, I lost my three year old son at the mall.

Each lost item mentioned above caused me to search with a different intensity.  Losing money always hits home and I work hard to find it.  But when I lose my cell phone, stop the presses...heads are gonna roll.  Yet, as wonderful as money and cell phones are I've never seen an Amber Alert called for either one of these objects. 

However, when I lost my little boy, the searching was different.  For him my heart ached and I searched with a far different intensity.  Anyone who has lost a child, even for a few minutes, knows that feeling of sheer horror.   You'd give a thousand cell phones and all the money you have to hold that lost child in your arms again.

In Luke 15 Jesus tells three parables about Lost...and Found.  There's a lost coin, a lost sheep and a lost son.  Each one holds value to their owner, but only one of those three lost items is an eternal being...the lost son.

Jesus said in Luke 19:10 (NKJV) 

"The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

I know how relieved I was when I found the money I had carelessly lost and the repeated joy I have when I find my misplaced cell phone, but neither of these found items came close to the overwhelming peace I felt, many years ago, when I held my little boy after being separated from him.

I think that experience might be how the Lord feels about us.  Once...we were all lost, going our own way, making our own choices and then we were found.

Lost...and Found, two remarkable words.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Love is a Choice


On a few occasions when my husband and I have been on a cruise, our stateroom has been credited money $$$ for on-board shopping.

Every time the stores on the ship were open, I would look through the merchandise searching for the best thing to purchase with my FREE MONEY.  For me this shopping experience was not a joyous occasion.  No, I labored over what to buy carrying the heavy weight of making the best use of that FREE MONEY. 

I'd pick things up then put them back.  What if I chose wrong?  What if I later regretted my choice?   I was tormented.  For days I shopped but wasn't able to pull the trigger on a purchase...with FREE MONEY!  I know...I may need counseling.  

This problem I have making a choice is not just related to shopping, but also people.

Confession:  I don't find everyone I meet...lovable. 

Recently, I was lamenting about someone to my husband, and he reminded me of this simple truth...Love is a Choice.  Right, a choice...and we have already established the fact that I have a hard time making a choice.

I was really hoping he would just jump on board and agree with me about the person I had taken issue with, but he didn't.

Nope.  He just threw out there Love is a Choice.   As soon as he said those words my heart was convicted.

Love is a Choice is not a new revelation to me, but one I needed to be reminded of. 

God spoke these words from Jeremiah 3:12 (MSG) about Israel...and we all know Israel could be unlovable at times! None the less...God said,

"...I’m committed in love to you..."

God has no problem making His choice.   He chose Israel and He chooses us in all our unlovable ways.

This week you may be dealing with someone who is rough around the edges, has inflicted pain on you or is dog-gone irritating.

Just like me..maybe you need this reminder today. 

Love is a Choice and in case you're not sure that choosing love is the right choice for you, remember these words... 

"...I’m committed in love to you..."  --God








Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Mother's Day



The photo above was taken with my grandchildren about four years ago.  I love these types of pictures where there is so much going on but none of it what you hoped to capture.  I remember the craziness of the day this picture was taken and thought it was a great representation of a day in the life of a mother.  If you look closely at each face in the picture you'll see an expression found on a mother's face multiple times daily; confusion, tears, compassion, gawking, worry, daydreaming and a camera-ready smile.  

Mother's Day is that special day we honor our mother/s, and if you are anything like me...you have high expectations or shall I say, unobtainable expectations for the day.  It looks something like this..."Queen for the Day."  In reality, I think one day per year is greatly lacking when it comes to recognizing and honoring mothers.  Now that I'm on the other side of motherhood..the grandma years, my life is radically different.  I get to put my feet up at night.  I sleep through the whole night, and I own the remote.  I have to be honest, the child rearing years have become a bit foggy in my memory.

That is...until the grand-kids come to visit.

I watched three of my grand-kids not to long ago.  The day they came to visit we made apple crisp, rice crispy treats, painted...mostly on paper, colored, played games, went to see that movie Baby Boss, and then I made dinner.

The Grands all wanted something different for dinner, but that's what grandmas do.  I made three peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the seven year old.  The three year old wanted hot dogs which I insisted be cut in small pieces much to his dismay.  The five year old had three 1/2 ears of corn.   Only the corn was a part of the actual dinner I prepared.

I was beat by the time they all went home about 7 P.M. that night.  That was after the three year old came down with ear pain, the five year old had an emotional breakdown because she thought she was spending the night and the seven year old wanted one-on-one time with grandma to play a game in the mist of the craziness.  To tell you the truth, I was fast entering that non-responsive state of near exhaustion.  Ahhh--Yes, now I remember those child-rearing days.   

As I write this, my heart goes out to all the moms with young kids.  God bless you and in case no one told you today...you're a pillar, a rock, a world class chief, a doctor, a teacher, a master negotiator, and you have the wisdom of Solomon...you are brilliant, creative, awesome, caring, loving and compassionate.

Hang in there and keep up the good work cause one day....according to Proverbs 31:28 you won't simply hear these kind words from a tired ol' grandma.

You'll be hearing them from your own children.

"Her children rise up and call her blessed...

Happy Mother's Day!  
You deserve this day and many more. 

To Aaron, Trenton, and Amber...you know my number!






Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The Suit

It was 1977, the year of the cream colored, three piece polyester suit.  My husband was in Bible College and in the 70's people were sewing their own clothes or shall I say...attempting to sew their own clothes.   

You probably know by now--this is not going to end well!

I had a little sewing talent and I was confident I was up for the challenge.  I bought the pattern, the beautiful fabric and I was all in for $25.

In my mind I could see the finished product.  It would be brilliant...worthy of a runway reveal.  The potential was limitless.  I imagined the awe of family and friends over what was sure to be a stunning suit.  (The attached picture is not the actual suit.)  When the final stitches were complete, I can honestly say, "The Suit was memorable, but not in a good way."

Still, I pulled out all the stops to justify my spending and pleaded with my husband to wear the work of art I created.  After much pleading and many tears (mine not his), he relented and wore the suit...to church.  The church we attended was in the thousands. 

On the walk from the parking lot into the building, the sun shone down on him like a spotlight displaying my poor workmanship and I began to giggle as his huge pant legs flapped in the wind.  I couldn't stop laughing.  He knew it was The Suit.

I'm surprised now that he even went into the church.  He could have left but he didn't.  He stayed through the whole service.  And I pinched myself to stop laughing when he took off the suit coat jacket with the uneven pockets and cockeyed lapel.  Bless him for being such a kind husband.

The story of The Suit has given us many moments of laughter as we remember that day.  In reality though, I'm in pretty good company.  In Jeremiah 19 there is a story about someone else who dealt with flawed workmanship.  It's a story of a potter and some clay. 

“The vessel the potter was making of clay was marred, in the potter's hand
and the potter reworked it into another vessel, 
as seemed good to the potter."

In this verse it's easy to identify with that lump of clay as we are all works in progress.  The vessel wasn't intended to be marred, but it was.  And it was marred while still in the potter's hands.  Then the potter continues to mold the clay until He was pleased with it.

This verse tells so much about the Lord's enduring love and desire to work with us...lumps of clay, imperfect and flawed as we are.  If we stay on the potter's wheel and allow the potter to continue to shape us...He won't give up.

This week you may feel like that three-piece cream colored catastrophe I made or maybe you identity more with the lump of flawed clay waiting to be formed into a vessel of honor.

I understand marred/flawed workmanship, and so does God.  But unlike me, God doesn't send you out flawed and damaged then laugh at you.  He holds you until the work is complete.  

My prayer for you is don't give up...stay on the potter's wheel.  He won't give up on you.  He will hold you in his hands until He is pleased with what he sees.

Aren't you glad God's the Potter?  I know my husband is!



Keep Swimming

After a slow start to summer, it's   full-on   swimming weather.  Yeah! For me to really enjoy swimming, the weather needs to be at ...