Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Honey Pot


Winnie the Pooh is a favorite among kid's storybook characters.  He's a chubby, fluffy, honey colored bear who is happy, loving and playful.  (Come to think of it...that sounds a bit like my husband!) 

Pooh bear often gets into difficulties because when he sees honey, the need to eat that honey controls him.  He gets into all kinds of trouble as his growling tummy takes possession of his brain.  

It doesn't matter if Winnie gathered the honey for himself or if the honey belongs to another, once this liquid gold comes into the picture, all self-discipline is gone.  

When Pooh is on an outing with his pals, Tigger and Piglet, if he sees honey, his plans and relationships are pushed to the sideline.  

Spiritually speaking, I wonder, if I might have a honey pot distraction.  Are there things in my life that cause me to run rampant over friendships, family, responsibilities, or might this distraction have the power to cause me to act in an ungodly fashion?  

What is my honey pot distraction that beacons me to leave the pathway of Christian behavior for my own personal pleasure?     

Matthew 6:34 (MSG) says this...

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now
and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.
God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes."

Pooh is a beloved little bear, but he does get himself into some pretty big messes when he is distracted by the honey pot.  We all have honey pots in our lives that pull our attention from the task at hand.  

In the above passage of scripture, Matthew reminds us to give our entire attention to what God is doing right now.  

What is the thing that is pulling your attention away from what God desires to do in you and through you? 

Get your eyes off that honey pot and back on God.  

Focus...

Focus...






Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Unwaveringly

In November, I had a small procedure done as an outpatient at the hospital.  When my husband and I arrived, we followed one of the hospital staff to the holding area.  Once I had climbed into the bed and settled in, the nurse came in to ask me a few questions.

If you've been an outpatient at the hospital, you know the type of questions they ask.  Things like; do you feel safe at home?  Are you depressed?  Do you have feelings of suicide?  Do you smoke, drink or take recreational drugs?  I answered each question with confidence, until they asked this very humbling question; do you use a walker at home? 

Hmm?  

I glance at my husband with a questioning expression and immediately thought, maybe I should have spent a few more minutes on the hair and makeup this morning.  

How old did she think I was?  Did I look like I needed a walker to get around?  I quickly replied with a bit of indignation in my voice.  "I do not!"

After that nurse was finished humiliating me, an aide asked me if I needed to use the restroom and just so happens--I did.  As I swung my legs to get out of the bed, effortlessly I might add, the aide asked me if I needed a walker.

Okay, I'm gonna be honest, that hurt.  I said, "Certainly not, my goodness how old do you think I am?" 

I held my head high and purposefully walked faster than her to the bathroom door.  In my mind it was a race--and I won.  As I opened the door to go inside, she added, "If you lose your balance, there's a cord to pull for assistance."
 
Now that was uncalled for.  After all, I won the race.  I'm steady and unwavering!
 
I remembered this humbling little story this week when I read Hebrews 10:23.  



"And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, 
for the one who made the promise is trustworthy."
 
That word unwaveringly brought that humbling experience at the hospital to the forefront of my thoughts.  As badly as I fought the stereotype, the truth was…I fit it. I was at risk for falling even before I was able to show them my expert moves.  They had me labeled as a person who might fall.  


In this verse from Hebrews, Believers could take on the same indignation that I felt towards the hospital staff.  

How dare the writer of Hebrews believe that I could be anything but unwavering, immoveable, and steadfast in my confession of Christ?

 After my initial embarrassment had passed over my hospital experience, I reminded myself that the staff didn't know me.  They were only concerned for my safety and well-being, and that's exactly how this verse appears to me when I take a second look.
 
"And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess,
for the one who made the promise is trustworthy."
 
It's a reminder to us that our hope is not build on an unsure foundation…it's established on the One whose promises are trustworthy. 
 
And that is something I can hold on to…unwaveringly!


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Breath of God


Pentecost Sunday is days away, and I had something happen a few weeks ago that brought this special day to the forefront of my thoughts.   

Confession:  I should not chew gum in public.  I'm a chomping, snapping, popping gum chewer.  It's not pretty!  I try and avoid public gum chewing, but recently I was chewing gum in my preschool class at church when a child asked me what I was eating.  (Yes, that's how bad my gum chewing can be.)

I told him that I was chewing a piece of gum.  He asked me what flavor the gum was and I replied, "Watermelon."   Then I proceeded to blow my breath on him to confirm the flavor. 

My breath filled the air and the child gave a nod of approval, confirming the flavor truly was watermelon.

That sweet and innocent nod of approval brought to mind a beautiful scripture in John 20:22 about Jesus breathing on His disciples following the resurrection.

"Peace be with you. Just as the Father 
has sent me, I also send you.” 
And after he said this, he breathed on them 
and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit..."

Another scripture about God's life-giving breath is found in Genesis 2:7 (NET). 

 The Lord God formed the man from the soil of the ground 
and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life
and the man became a living being.

It's God's breath on us that distinguishes mankind from the rest of creation. There was nothing special about my watermelon, gum-flavored breath, but when God is the one doing the breathing--there is life.  

John 20 says, Receive the Holy Ghost.  When the breath of Jesus came into contact with those in the room, it was a sure promise of things to come.  


All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit,
and they began to speak in other languages
as the Spirit enabled them.  

Acts 2:4 (NET)

May the reality of the breath of God breathing on you be a constant reminder of the words of Jesus...Receive the Holy Spirit.   

Now!






Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Ah, I remember it well.

I watched my 20-month-old grandson the other day.  If you're a grandma, I could stop right here because I'm sure you know where I'm going with this.

I'M EXHAUSTED!!!

First...we read books, then I cleaned up the kitchen, then I decided to sweep the floor and shake the rugs, but when I went to the closet to get the broom, the closet needed to be straightened up...so, I pulled all the stuff out of the closet.  I had a steadfast, unmovable helper through all of this.  

She said sarcastically! 

After the closet clean out, I finally found the broom and proceeded to sweep the floor.  My helper moved faster than me and was able to run through each pile of dirt before I could lay my hands on the dust pan.  His talents are never ending.  So proud.

Then me and the boy moved to the family room where I cleaned up toys and moved the whole room around.  He happily played wherever I had just cleaned.  Then we went to my bedroom and changed the sheets on the bed and started the laundry.

Did I mention that I was still in my pajamas and it's almost time for lunch?

All the while, I am stopping to play with him, wiping a runny nose and changing wet diapers, taking phone calls and responding to emails.  Then it was lunch time followed closely by the most holy time of the day for all moms and grandmas too--nap time.  Which meant...yeah...it was me time.  Except, the laundry was ready to fold and cookies were baking.

Then I heard it.  A tapping on the wall and a sweet baby voice talking softly.

My thoughts...Are you kidding me...nap time is over already!!!

Ah, I remember it well--motherhood!  Check out that picture of me almost 38 years ago.  My glasses are back in style...who knew?

When this old grandma was past those busy years of child rearing, she quickly learned that rubbing shoulders with a little one will bring all those memories flooding back.

And that said, Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's out there who multitask like the pros you are.  Thank God grandmas are called up from the minor ledges only once in awhile!

With Mother's Day coming, I couldn't think of a better verse to share with you this week than the one that comes with a beautiful long-life promise.

Ephesians 6:1-3 (TLB)
Children, obey your parents; this is the right thing to do because God has placed them in authority over you. Honor your father and mother. This is the first of God’s Ten Commandments that ends with a promise. And this is the promise: that if you honor your father and mother, yours will be a long life, full of blessing.
Thank you Lord Jesus, for the gift of godly parents.



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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Bob was here.

I was scrolling through some old pictures on my iPad the other day and one popped up that made me smile.  (see attached photo)  It was one of those vacation photo opportunities that I couldn't pass up.

We were visiting the Smokey Mountains in Tennessee and there was a sign warning 'would be' graffiti artist that any destruction to park property would be met with server consequences.  

It said, Bob Was Here, because someone named Bob carved those three words into the wood walls of one of the  historic building in the national park.  Since my husband's name is Bob, you can understand why it was the photo opt of the trip.  

Three years ago, I went to China to visit family and it was a joy to walk the steps that many had walked before me at the Great Wall of China.   Unlike the Smokey Mountains, China provided a place for those who felt impressed to leave their names as a memento of their visit.  That was an opportunity that I couldn't pass up.  So I wrote my name on the Great Wall of China.

When I look at these two photos, I see two very different choices laid out before us that bring to mind this question.  Will you leave your mark on this world...or not? 

It is my prayer that my life will impact others for eternity and when I leave a place others will see that Jesus had been there more than me.  

In Daniel 12:3 it says this...Those who lead many people to righteousness will shine like the stars forever and ever.  

I can't think of a better way to leave my mark on this world than leading people to righteousness!  

How about you?





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