Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Picture That Says It All

There are some pictures that "say it all". And for me this is one of them. It truly reflects the words to my favorite scripture. “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:23)

For His faithfulness walked me through the desert. His faithfulness continues to bring new mercies fresh every morning. He gives me each new day to do with as I choose. He provides the flowers for me to enjoy. He brings the smile that only comes from the joy of knowing Him. He blesses me with the love of my little granddaughter, Jayda. He showers me with mercies and blessings too many to name, for which I am so undeserved. Thank You, thank you Lord!


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hang On To The Promise

What a great day this has been!

After 1 year, 2 months and 9 days, I was able to go without a scarf! I actually have enough hair. Now it’s not exactly the long flowing hair that you see on the shampoo commercials, where the models flip their heads around and slap their hair in their face, but it’s hair never the less. In fact, it has these little sticking up pieces all over, but that’s okay. A good can of hairspray will fix that. It also has a huge cowlick on the crown that mimics “Dennis the Menace” but that’s okay. There’s gel for that. It is stiff as a board but there’s conditioner for that. It is the color of a red headed squirrel but there are products for that. In the back, there is a tail, much longer than the rest of the hair. Well, there isn't a product for that but, Carl got his little mustache trimmer and tried to trim it off. I was laughing so hard that I was shaking, so the trim is not exactly straight but it’s okay.

Six products and over an hour later, I was finally ready to go out in public. (Hmmm, the scarf took about 30 seconds to put on.) Carl and I went and enjoyed a nice lunch together. The scripture from Romans kept coming to mind. "All things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28). As we ate, I thought back to a year ago; wondering what possible good could come about from losing all my hair and how devastating it seemed. But as I look back, I can say that all things DID work together for good. God brought about many, many good things that would never have been possible without the journey through the desert. He IS faithful. His promise IS true. I can tell you, (because I have experienced it), that what seems devastating, overwhelming, and impossible today, WILL in His perfect timing, bring about good in your life also.

Just hang on to the promise.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Ready for Battle

This weekend we drove up to North Carolina. My youngest son, Brent, was being deployed to Afghanistan. It seemed like just yesterday he was playing war with little plastic soldiers on the living room floor. Now he is the soldier in a war across the sea. No games. The real deal.

On the way up to say goodbye, memories of him as a little child flooded my mind. He never wanted to put his hand in his food like most babies or finger paint like many toddlers. He never liked to get dirty. Now he will be lucky to shower once a week. Unlike many young children, Brent loved his sleep. Friends would complain that their 2 year old wouldn’t take a nap and Brent would sleep 3 or 4 hours. Now he will go hours and perhaps days without sleep. As a child, Brent loved to eat. Anything that came his way. Now he will eat military issued meals in a plastic bag.

But, Brent has been well prepared for the battle ahead. He has been through many months of long training. When they are not being sent off to war, they are continually preparing for battle. They practice firing their weapons, so when the time comes that they really need to shoot, they are prepared. They go through psychological training so that if they are captured by the enemy, they are as mentally prepared as possible. They are armed with the weapons they will need for the fight. Machine gun, helmet, bullet proof jackets, night goggles, steel toed boots and on and on. A full suit of armor.

Many times, the young Marines would complain about the constant training they had to do. But those who are over them; those with first hand experience in war, know that their very life or the lives of others is dependent on their training.

God wants us to be in constant training. To read His word, to study, to practice, to prepare ourselves for battle. For the battles will come. They might not be overseas. They might just be right here in our own home. An enemy named loneliness, worry, illness or disease, loss of job, loss of a home, rebellious children, aging parents....

God has given us the weapons and a full suit of armor for our battle. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of battle comes you may be able to stand your ground. “ (Ephesians 6:13)
What will we do with them? When the time comes, will we be ready? Will we know how to use them? Our life or the lives of others could very well depend on it.

If you are in the midst of a battle right now, I encourage you to pull out the weapons God has given you for the fight. Arm yourself. Start with His Word. Open it up. Read it. Draw strength from it. You don’t have to battle alone. God is more than capable of handling any enemy that comes your way!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

His Voice

This morning I pulled into the parking garage of the hospital. It was about 5:30 and still dark. There wasn’t anyone in the garage. I opened my car door to get my lunch box out and all of a sudden a loud deep voice bellowed out, “Step back! You are too close to this vehicle! Step Back!

It scared me out of my skin. I turned around and noticed that the warning was coming from the vehicle next to me. There was no one in the vehicle, but apparently I got too close and there was a special alarm set to scare the fool out of anyone coming too close. After I got my heart rate back down in the normal range, I started the walk into work. There was a light, cool breeze and the smell of rain in the air.

Later in the morning, one of the little babies I was caring for, got his breathing tube taken out and we heard him cry for the first time. I immediately thought about how God speaks to us.

There are times when He speaks with a soft, gentle voice in the rustle of the breeze, in the sweet song of a little bird or in the cry of a tiny baby.

But sometimes God’s voice is like the voice that bellowed out of the vehicle in the parking lot. When we are headed in the wrong direction. When we are wandering out of His will and into areas of trouble, He shouts, “Step Back! You are too close to trouble!” The bible says His voice “shakes the desert”(Ps. 29:8), “strikes with flashes of lightning” (Ps. 29:7) and “strips the oak and strips the forests bare.” (Ps. 29:9).

Whether a gentle whisper or a loud bellow, God does speak to us. I confess at times I have chosen not to listen because it’s not what I wanted to hear. Other times I have filled my life with too much noise to hear. But, because He loves me, He still speaks. He will warn me when I am headed in the wrong direction because He loves me. He will fill my heart with joy at the cry of a tiny baby, because He loves me.

Have you heard Him today? Is He shouting a loud warning or whispering a soft “I love you”. Shhh. Listen. Hear His voice. He’s calling you by name.