Monday, February 27, 2017

Young At Heart

Be a child. Be a child with a Daddy whose lap is always a safe place.
Run and run and run without growing weary.

It is possible, no matter what they say. It's possible to be young at heart. But, boy it's not easy. And it's not of our own doing. It's all because of Him.

A few simple thoughts:

1) Don't get bitter. Take those thoughts captive and get rid of them. Forgive, don't be jealous. Life is tough; we get the short end of the stick. But don't hold onto the hurts and disappointments.

2) Trust Him no matter what. Just trust Him even when things look all wrong. Then in the end, when dawn comes, continue to trust Him with your whole life, no matter how long the night has been. He has never left you, never forsaken you. Trust.

3) Do not choose to be an orphan. Turn to Him and not elsewhere for help, for comfort, for wisdom and advice, for love, for protection. Don't play the orphan card. Life is hard and tiring for children with no father. And He is ready to be faithful to you forever. Listen to Him. Let His ways be yours. Be His child.

"Fairytales can come true, it can happen to you, if you're young at heart."

Monday, January 09, 2017

Their Turn, And My Turn

I've been a mom for almost 36 years (thank you, Danica!) Following my firstborn were eight more wonderful children. Seven beautiful daughters and two strong sons.

It was a season of springtime in that garden, in a sense. Sowing and tending, pruning and nurturing all in anticipation of a harvest of good fruit.

Now the harvest has come and is coming, far exceeding my greatest expectations. And still I'm anticipating more and more fruit. It is wonder beyond measure. Such wonder.

And so the season is changed; it is transition time in my world. The time of littles has passed; the pitter patter of running feet, the tugging of the hem, the chubby cheeks with tears or dimples, and the little hands in mine. They've grown tall - they've become adults. And their lives have taken on a shape of their own apart from mine, as they should.

As they should.
And I'm learning that it's their turn now.

Those are the words that almost daily have become more and more illumined. It's their turn now. They must begin to plow their own fields, to discover God and His Holy ways for themselves, to nurture other littles and build culture within their own homes, to find His plan and purpose for themselves day by day, to lead others and serve in big ways (which are invariably small ways in our eyes), and to tend their own gardens.

It's their turn now.

Building traditions, making homes, establishing ministries, teaching and imparting and knowing God. It's theirs to do. My God, their God, has a garden for them.

"Stand back. Let go. Pray and be available, but get out of the way, Mom." These are the words I speak to myself routinely, by way of reminder. Because habits take time to go. Habits change with effort and intention.

And revelation is coming that it's their turn now, too.

It's their turn now, too.

My turn at that is over and now it's time, it's my turn, too, to discover a new garden, a new kind of sowing and tending, pruning and nurturing. All in anticipation of a harvest of good fruit yet to come.

I may have many more years than I once had, but it is planting season once again.

He holds all of my seasons. Now to discover springtime once again.

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40.31

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Secret Things

We who know God our Father through the revelation of Jesus know the keeper of secret things.
We KNOW Him, and CAN know Him more and more.

Daniel 2.47 says that Nebuchadnezzar reckoned God to be the God of gods and the Lord of kings AND "a revealer of secrets".

The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever...  Deut. 29.29

That is OUR God, OUR Lord.

We also know that eye has not seen, ear has not heard the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. In fact, we are told that those things have not even entered into the heart of man. Those wondrous things have not yet been dreamed up by humanity!

BUT - "...God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God." 1 Cor. 2. 9, 10

So, what does this mean to me today?

This morning as I considered the words of Daniel describing God as a revealer of secrets, I realized what treasure we should be seeking daily. We can be privy to the deep things of God, the hidden things, or as Matthew says, " has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of Heaven..."

To know Him. To know His ways. To understand mysteries. To partake of revelation. To walk in Godly Holiness.

We can know things that eye has not seen, ear has not heard, heart has not imagined. Indeed, eyes and ears and hearts cannot know them. They can be discerned only by the Spirit of God within those who have called on His name.

Ask Him today. Ask Him tomorrow. Ask Him everyday to reveal Himself and His secret mysteries to you. As the people of God, we should be walking in an understanding beyond this world's imaginings. Amen.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Roe v. Wade: A Death Sentence

I want to suggest to you that the goal for the Government of the United States should not be to stop abortions. Neither should its goal be to lower abortion rates. If it is effective in what it should be doing, these things might be the outcome. But they are not the goal.

Now hear me out.

The government's role is to protect its citizenry from outward attack and from evil doers within. This, understandably, requires a proper understanding of evil.

The issue of abortion is a serious issue. It involves the death of human life; the purposeful death of innocent human life. That is something that should concern every person who honors God.

But the real problem for the United States of America lies in this: the governmental declaration of the correctness of this death through the Court's decision of Roe v. Wade.

By determining that abortion is a fundamental right under the United States Constitution, the Court placed the nation in a perilous position. They tacitly approved, gave permission, and called good a woman's decision to take another's life. What was once cited as evil desecration of innocent life was now called good.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. NIV  Isaiah 5.20
Woe. Woe to those.

woe - grievous distress, affliction, or trouble 
Those who call evil good and good evil are as good as dead, who turn darkness into light and light into darkness, who turn bitter into sweet and sweet into bitter.  NET Isaiah 5.20
As good as dead. Those who call evil good. Those who turn darkness into light. And light into darkness.

The number of abortions per day is over 3,000 here in the USA. That is heinous. A stain on our culture. Sin is horrific and has destructive consequences.

But I tell you, woe to those who call evil good. Woe to the Government of the United States of America. Woe to the people who are subject to such wickedness. They should anticipate grievous distress, affliction, and trouble.

Sin will always be in our midst. And God intended for government to protect people from the harm of evil doers. The taking of innocent lives should be protected and duly punished, but our government protects the evil doer and not the innocent. Woe to them. Woe to us.

There have always been abortions in the United States, and there always will be, with or without Roe v. Wade. (Legislation cannot remove sin. However, it is true that poor legislation may unleash a torrent of sinful activity.) Our concern as individuals for neighbors facing unwanted pregnancy should be to help them, to encourage them to do what is right, to provide care for them in their situation. That is true today; that was true before Roe v. Wade. It is not the government's place to provide that care, that personal encouragement. Nor should government somehow make the taking of innocent life more safe, more easy, more affordable.

It is the place of government to declare clearly that taking innocent life is wrong. It is then their place to enforce that truth and to protect innocent unborn life.

We must be careful not to settle for something here.

As those understanding that we must save innocent lives, we must not simultaneously settle for only seeing abortion numbers go down. We cannot merely hope for government programs that will eliminate unwanted pregnancies. Yes - as individuals, it is our duty to take the hand of that woman who faces an unwanted pregnancy, to care for her and the unborn. And we rejoice in lower numbers of abortions.

But as a citizenry we must demand more. We cannot look to merely curb the sin while silently allowing our government to declare evil to be good, darkness to be light. We must continue to speak out, calling it what it is: evil.

There are those who claim that it is too late -  that Roe v. Wade will never be reversed. If that be so, so be it. Trouble, affliction, and grievous distress will come.

But if we willingly sit by, not engaging in hope, not activating faith, not doing all we can to see our Federal government remove such hideous declarations from our midst, we will have cooperated with heinous things.

We must contend for the removal of such wrongful declarations by our government. We must not shy away, hold back, or think we can compromise for indeed there is no compromise. We must tell them, and given our place in this wonderful United States of America, we must use our voice, our influence. Evil must not be declared good.

God will not tolerate such things. He stated clearly "Woe to those... "

And He does not engage in idle speech.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Tyranny of Fear

Fear is a tyrannical dictator. Fear diminishes. Fear robs. Fear disallows.

I'm recollecting a lesson God taught me years ago as I wrestled through a decision in my life: God does not lead through or by fear. In other words, do not make your decisions based on your fear. God is not that kind of father. He is not. He is Love itself and is deserving of our absolute confidence.

When my decision is inspired by fear it is not inspired by faith. And without faith it is impossible to please God. Now, does that mean that every determination inspired by faith is fearless? Au contraire mon ami! It simply means we make our choices based on God and His Great Faithfulness and not out of fear. We lift our eyes to Him, choosing to delight in His way, choosing to trust His Word alone. And with that Word we are then equipped to overcome fear.

Determining His heart and delight, bowing your knee in love and deference to Him, then following that course of action in spite of fear or doubt due to situation or condition is faith. Keeping your eye on Him and battling that fear and doubt as you pursue that decision is faith. When weary, looking for others to hold up your arms in the midst of that battle is faith.

Living boldly by faith is not always seen by others. It is not always a visibly gallant exercise, a public display. It might be as simple as saying "Yes, Lord, I will do that. I will call my friend and encourage her today. I'm afraid to do that, afraid she will not be blessed, but I will trust You. I will not make this choice based on my fear, but based on Your heart of love."

I remember as a young bride learning to support my new husband and this lesson first coming to me. My husband needed me to be brave. I hadn't been to NYC in many years, and never as an adult. We were looking for a parking spot near Times Square to buy Broadway tickets. I'm a small town girl remember. And it is summer in NYC - tourist season. Around and around we went. Finally he quickly pulls over to the curbside saying, "You get out here and I'll find a spot somewhere farther away and come find you. You get online right over there." With that, he opens the door and I jump out. Alone. Immediately engulfed in a flowing pushing crowd. PANIC. The thought of ever seeing him again seemed overwhelmingly impossible. "Where did he point to? Am I safe here? What if someone steals me away?" Every bad thing I had ever heard about the city came screaming in. And then His Spirit nudged me, reminding me of His presence, challenging me to be what my husband needed me to be, to be what He wanted me to be. He challenged me to be calm, to know His peace, to refuse the fear so that I could be used by Him. And I yielded to that nudging. I wanted to be used by Him and not be a tool in the enemy's hands, stymied by fear and unable to function. A simple but profound lesson in my life. It has served me time and time again.

You see, fear is a tyrant. It will rob you of every opportunity to experience His grace, His empowerment, His love flowing through you. It keeps you from receiving His best gifts. It holds you back from growing and enlarging. It is a tool the enemy uses against us. It is the absence of faith, overwhelming us when our eyes are off Him and on our circumstance.

Repent of fear. Then ask Him for a red flag to wave in your mind's eye every time you are choosing something based on fear rather than faith. He will do it. He will show you. He will help you. And when you learn to overcome fear in small decisions, you will begin to overcome fear in large ways, too.

Yielding to His heart by making faith-based decisions will release empowerment and freedom, bringing joy to Him and those around you. And His Holy Spirit will enable you to do this very thing. Ask Him and see that God does not lead us by fear but faith.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4.18
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1.7