Thursday, February 26, 2009

When I Think About the Lord

Don't Forget the Benefits

Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits-- who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's. Psalm 103:2-5 NASB

I am so excited. I feel like a teenager who just found out they're no longer grounded. I drove into town today for the first time in 8 weeks. As I walked down my sidewalk toward the car, a massive flock of robins filled our woods with a magnificent and amazing song fest. It was as though the Lord had arranged a Hallelujah chorus for that moment. No, I really don't think everything is about me. It was just a wonderful converging sound tract to help me celebrate my freedom.

I felt so grateful for the things I normally take for granted. I got my hair cut and styled. I ran into friends and got to chat. I did something totally superficial and got in the tanning bed. It felt so good after being cooped up; I didn't want to get out of it. I had forgotten the benefits of driving myself around town.

I have known the Lord for over 30 years. Since I am working on my testimony right now it has made me think about the real benefits of my life. I am so grateful to the One who has forgiven all my sins, healed all my diseases, redeemed my life from the pit, and crowned me with love and compassion. He has taken away wrong desires, satisfied the healthy desires with good things, so that I am renewed. Paul experienced this and so can we. Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 2 Corinthians 4:16

I suppose it is just human nature to take the things we enjoy every day for granted. In so many ways, even though it was challenging to deal with a broken ankle and all the restrictions, it has made me a more grateful woman. Can you join me in some positive self-talk? Praise the Lord, O my soul, and forget not His benefits.

MY PRAYER: Lord, every day you load us down with so many good things. The greatest is your presence in our lives. Lord, we want to be a grateful people. Help us not to forget or take the benefits of knowing You for granted. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

From My Heart to Yours

Welcome Dear Friends,

I hope you will peruse the blog and hopefully find something that will encourage and point you to Him. I don't want this to be a one-way street. There is a place for you to leave your thoughts and comments and I hope you will. When I led Bible studies with many of you, I always treasured hearing the way God was speaking to you and moving in your life. Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:19-20 NIV Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Music ministers profoundly to my spirit and I have tried to pair the music with my thoughts and life lessons.
Currently I am walking gingerly, but without aid, having broken my ankle the first week of January. I wish I could report that I did it in some daring feat, but in truth, I was dashing around feeding my birds in the rain in flip flops. My bad. God has been so kind. Other than the initial pain of the first 30 minutes or so, I haven't been in pain. So many people have shown such kindness from helping Rell out with food the first two weeks, (when I wasn't allowed to put any weight on my foot) to dropping by and keeping me company. It was my right ankle so I haven't been allowed to drive at all. Rell has been wonderful. I use to kid and say his philosophy was, "If Jesus could rise in 3 days, so can everyone else." In fact he really has tried to spoil me and I've decided to let him.
I would love for you to pray for me. I have been asked to speak at a tea in Marco Island, Fl. They schedule speakers well in advance but had a cancellation and asked me to fill in. It will be March 7th so that is coming up soon. There will be around 200 women and I will be sharing my testimony. I want to be filled with His wisdom, love, and power to be His witness.
Let me hear from you.
Grateful for your friendship,

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Beautiful

Abounding and Abundant

But Thou, O Lord, art a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness and truth. Psalm 86:15 NASV
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Psalm 86:15 NIV

My next door neighbor and I went to the same church. We both sang in the choir and had formed a good friendship. She had surgery on her neck and was going to be immobilized for several weeks. The choir got together and supplied some meals for Judy and her husband. I cooked a couple of meals and took it to them. It was summer time and my garden was doing well so I took Judy fresh tomatoes and a vegetable casserole. In my mind I had done my part.

A few days later during my quiet time I was using a list of the names of God as a prayer and meditation guide. One of the names that I was meditating on was Abounding and Abundant. I was thinking on all the ways the Lord had been those things to me. Then in my heart I asked the question, “Since I am to be like you, how would those qualities look in my life?” I was going through my day when suddenly the Lord answered my early morning question. In my spirit I sensed Him saying, “I would feed Judy until she is well.” I took a deep breath as I let His response sink in. At that time I was taking care of my mother-in-law who was a complete invalid. I said, “Lord, if you want me to do this I want to do it with joy and not just a sense of obligation.” I told my husband what I felt the Lord was asking me to do and if he was willing to purchase the extra groceries and to help. He got on board with it and for the next couple of weeks I cooked for both our families Monday through Friday. On the weekends her daughter would come and take over.

I had such joy and gladness as I planned and cooked our meals. My husband would load up their portion and take it down when her husband got home from work. They were blessed and so were we.

What did I learn? We can exchange a sense of Christian duty for a vibrant experience of His abounding and abundant love flowing through us. Jesus asked us to go the second mile, to be a cheerful giver, to be as generous as He is. He also said that it was more blessed to give than to receive and we certainly experienced that. Glimpses into His heart may cost us something but it is so worth it.

MY PRAYER: Lord, I don’t want to walk in duty and missed the delight of your abounding and abundant nature flowing through my life. I ask you to reveal yourself to and through me. In Jesus’ name amen.
MY CONFESSION: A slave is not greater than his master. You humbled yourself and came as a servant. You promised that if I know these things I will be blessed if I do them. By Your grace, I will. I stand on Your Word! John 13:16-17