Thursday, May 29, 2014

Blindsided

This morning, I read 1 Samuel 30, and it brought to mind a time when God used this chapter to teach me a few things. 

David and his men were away doing what they were supposed to be doing.  Unbeknownst to them, while they were gone, an enemy came in, burned down their city and took all their wives and children. 

Has there ever been a time when you were doing what you knew God called you to do and the enemy came in the back door unexpectedly?

It happened to our family many years ago.  Jerry and I were leaders in our church.  Suddenly we started having problems.  The enemy’s attack was so subtle, I was stunned when we separated.  We didn’t believe in divorce.  I felt blindsided by the enemy.    

1 Samuel 30 records David and his men were so distraught, they cried until they had no strength left.  The men instead of being upset at the enemy were ready to stone David.  Yikes! 

I think I cried till I could cry no more as well.  I had to come to the place of surrender and be willing for God to transform me regardless of whether he gave me what I wanted which was my marriage back. 

I, like David, was discouraged.  The Bible says David encouraged himself in the Lord and then he sought God to find out what he was supposed to do.

God told David to pursue the raiding party.  He would overtake them and conquer all.  That is exactly what happened. 

David and his men set out again.  I’m sure they were weak in body and spirit, but in obedience they went.  They not only recovered all that was taken from them, but they received much more – so much that they shared with other people. 

I followed David’s lead by doing the following:

·               Found strength in the Lord (1 Samuel 30:6).

·               Inquired of the Lord to find out what to do (1 Samuel 30:8).

·               Obeyed the voice of the Lord (1 Samuel 30:9-20).

The battle was long and hard, but God showed me our home would be restored, and we would help others one day.   That is exactly what happened.   Many days it looked impossible, but with God all things are possible.  After being separated for a year and a half, God restored our marriage.   

You may not have a problem with your marriage but may be facing another trial.  It doesn’t matter what you are going through, a battle is a battle.  Just take a cue from David and follow the steps above.  You can’t go wrong by listening to and obeying God. 



Thursday, May 22, 2014

Life with a Purpose

Last year at this time, I was in the hospital.   On May 20, 2013, I was busy all day and evening.  I felt fine.  However, when I finally sat down, I coughed once and up came a lot of blood.  My whole life flashed before my eyes.  I didn’t know what was happening.  The blood continued to flow, so we prayed and headed to the emergency room.

While we were waiting for test results, all types of things ran through my mind.  They were looking for some pretty serious stuff.   

The doctor discovered I had pneumonia.  What a shock that was.  I had no symptoms other than the one I mentioned above.   Believe me, I was thankful to have something treatable. 

This year as I reflect back, I’m thankful for life.  God is not finished with me yet and He’s not finished with you either if you are still breathing. 

I mentioned last week the Women’s Conference I attended recently.  Marilyn Skinner, our speaker, challenged us to become women of purpose. 

God did not put us here on earth to just enjoy life.  It is through finding our purpose and walking in it, we will be fulfilled.      

God’s purposes aren't always positions of leadership.  It may be something as simple as praying for others.  It can be calling that person who comes to your mind often.  Could God be trying to use you to encourage them?   

 What are you passionate about?  Is there something God has been nudging you to do?   

If all of us yielded to God and accomplished His purposes, it might not always be convenient, but our world would be a different place. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Watch and Pray

1 Peter 5:8 (The Message)
Keep a cool head. Stay alert. The Devil is poised to pounce, and would like nothing better than to catch you napping. Keep your guard up. 

This past weekend I attended a Women’s Conference at Desert Springs Church.  The speaker was Marilyn Skinner who has been a missionary in Uganda for 31 years.  She challenged me to the core. 

I could expound on so many things she shared.  Maybe as days go on I will.  Each sentence I wrote down is pregnant with meaning and there is so much to mull over. 

One thing she said is, “The greatest enemy to faith is BLESSING.”

I used to tell my kids when they were small, the biggest trial they would ever face would be prosperity.  It is in times of abundance that we often become self-sufficient and get too busy for God.    

How many of you are so challenged doing “life” that it’s difficult to spend time with the one who gave you life?

Marilyn said it is a dangerous place to live in comfort.    I agree with that statement.  I don’t think she meant we shouldn’t have inviting homes where we can relax and refresh ourselves.   My home is a haven, a place of protection, a place we can nurture each other and seek God. 

The verse, “Watch and pray” (Mark 14:38) didn’t mean anything to me until Satan invaded our home so subtly I didn’t even realize it was happening – until it was too late.  He had a big foothold for a while.   You better believe afterwards, I learned how to watch and pray. 


Every day (well, almost) I ask the Lord to reveal to me anything that would keep me from hearing His voice – to show me anything I need to repent of and to give me the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:6).  I ask Him what is on His heart and what or who to pray for.  I ask the Lord to tell me of things to come (John 16:13) and to show me where to be on guard and alert (1 Peter 5:8).  

Don't be like I was.  I learned the hard way and endured some tough years as a result.  Stay on guard and alert so you will be prepared for all that comes your way.  

Thursday, May 8, 2014

HELP! I'm Being Distracted

Philippians 3:14
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

My word this week is FOCUS.  Have you ever noticed when trying to accomplish a goal, there are little things that arise to distract? 

Just going to the computer to write a quick email may lead to seeing something that leads down a rabbit trail.  I’m guilty.  I look up one thing that leads to another that leads to another. 

The technology of today keeps us always connected.  I love being able to keep in touch by text messaging, but it can become time consuming. 

Just checking Facebook can become a huge time zapper.  Need I go there?   Pinterest has more of a draw for me than Facebook, but all of social media can drain our time. 

A few weeks ago I made a commitment to take one day a week to write.  I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to write, and it was not happening without scheduling it.

Even with a time block, it’s so easy to choose other things.   When people ask me to meet them, it’s hard to say no.  I want to be able to do it all.    Here’s the challenge for me though.  God is the one who is prompting me to write.   My friends are important, but unless it’s an emergency, I have to stay focused.    

A wise friend told me today, “It’s okay to be unavailable to people while you let God do what He needs to do.”    

She reminded me there are things we do that will set us up to be distracted.  Do we have to look at every text and answer every phone call?   I want to, but….

Here are a few things I will try to set in place to keep from being distracted:

·               Mute or turn off the phone during my “writing hours.” 

·               If I have to go on the internet to look up things pertinent to my writing, don’t check email or go to any of my favorite sites.

·               Have a “dump list” beside me so I can let go of the “to dos” that come to my mind.

·               Do not schedule appointments on writing days. 

The requests to do other things started early today.  They are all things I want to do.  I believe God is testing me to see just how serious I am about following his instruction for me. 

If God has challenged you to do something, it may also require time.  I challenge you to join me with setting aside all distractions and doing all He has asked you to do. 







Thursday, May 1, 2014

God Knows Us - Do We Know Him?

This week has been monumental in our lives.  Our first granddaughter was born on Sunday.   She is beautiful, and we are in love.  My friends always told me there is nothing like being a grandma, and now I agree.

Her birth makes me think of Psalms 139.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made.  It’s amazing that we can be knit together in our mother’s womb and come out complete and whole. 

Even before we are born, He knew us.   He knows us even better than we will ever know ourselves.  He wants us to know Him the same way, but that is up to us.  He will never force his way on us but gives us freedom to make a decision to follow Him.

For me, I can’t imagine life without His companionship.  It’s nice to be able to have conversations with him about anything going on in my life.  He is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.  He listens and doesn’t condemn my weaknesses. 

I am doing a Gideon study at church and today was reading about Gideon’s insecurities to attack the enemy.  Judges 7:9-11 says, “Arise, go down against the camp, for I have given it into your hands.  But if you are afraid to go down, go with Purah your servant down to the camp, and you will hear what they say; and afterward your hands will be strengthened that you may go down against the camp.” 

It amazes me that God did not condemn Gideon for his fear.  He simply initiated an incident to build his faith.  He loves us so much and wants to build us up.   We just need to make time to hear His voice. 

As women, it’s difficult to carve out massive amounts of time to spend in the presence of the Lord.  We must cultivate an atmosphere of communion while we do all that is required of us.  I’ve learned I can talk to Him just about anything – the beautiful flowers and trees, the cool breeze, why that person cut me off in traffic, what is on His heart.   Any conversation I would have with a friend, I can have with Him. 

I can’t say I commune with Him all the time.  It’s easy to get focused on other things.  However, this week, my goal is to connect more.  I hope you will join me.