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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Awake With A Purpose

Baby Bo with Uncle Patricks wig...lol
The LORD has been calling me deeper and deeper into His Word lately.  It's like an appetite that cannot be satisfied.  My heart ever longs to be connected to His.  My ears anxiously await to hear His voice.  Tears, emotions fill me as I enter into His presence.  I awake with the purpose to read, hear, feel Jesus in my home, heart and mind.  

At times I feel like the little teapot...tip me over and pour me out.  I gotta tell the world who Jesus is.  How much he loves us and desires to be intimate with us.  Sharing his heart and love everyday with his creation...his most prized possession...

James 1:17-18
Whatever is good and perfect 
is a gift coming down to us
from God our Father, 
who created all the lights 
in the heavens.
He never changes or casts
a shifting shadow.
He chose to give birth
to us by giving us his true word.
And we, out of all creation,
became his prized possession.

In this week of Thanksgiving...I am thankful for the WORD of God.  I am thankful for the freedom I so often take for granted.  I am free to study, share and live this life that I am called too.  I can proclaim who Jesus is and what He has done for me.  I can speak the WORD and not be afraid of punishment or death.  I can tell others that there is no one like Jesus.  He is the Only Way...He is Truth...He is Life.  

Please LORD, keep calling me deeper and deeper into your WORD.  Fill my home, my life, my town, my city, my state, my country with your Holy presence.  Anoint our Government leaders with Holy Wisdom and Discernment to guide us and protect us.  Anoint our Pastors, Bishops, Teachers, Churches to declare your WORD in the pulpits, streets, homes, parks...where ever you open the door.  We have so much to be thankful for...so much to give.  Keep us focused on giving and not so much on receiving.  Give us a heart for others.  We acknowledge Who you are and that you are the Creator of it all.  In the Name of Jesus...Amen!!!

I'm calling you deeper to the unknown
I'm calling you to the impossible
To be undone
For I desire to do 
A new work within you
I'm calling you deeper
Deeper still...

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

It's Where We Get Our Stories

What do you do in the in between time?  It's what we call "the waiting".  When you have prayed and asked God for guidance, healing, open doors, a job, deliverance...etc. When you haven't received the answer you want or think you need...what do you do?  

Waiting is so hard.  I am not a patient person.  I like to feel acknowledged when I talk to someone.  I like an immediate answer so I can move on.  I hate the word NO.  I will actually hide from it.  I will frame my question in a way that I will not hear it.  In sales they say, "ask open ended questions so you don't hear the word no."  I hate to hear, "let's wait and see."  That one drives me nuts.  I like a clear cut path to where I am going.  I like to pray for something and have an immediate response.  Unfortunately, God very seldom works like that for me. He keeps me in the waiting mode for what to me, seems like a lifetime.  

What do I do in the waiting?  What do I do when the answer is nowhere in sight or the provision seems impossible?  Do I take matters into my own hands?  Do I give up on God?  Do I fall into the pattern of discontentment, complaints, jealousy, strife, separating myself from His church and His people.  Go into my own home and hide.  

The waiting is a dangerous and telling place.  In the waiting, if I don't continue to put on my spiritual work boots, I allow a place, a crack in my armor for the enemy of my soul, the world, the flesh and the devil to seep in.  In my pattern of discontentment I see everything through altered vision.  My spiritual glasses have been broken and now The Truth that I once saw clearly is blurry and shadows of a once strong faith.  The calling on my life, I now look at with disdain.  The Church I once loved is a rock around my neck, dragging me under, putting demands on me that I am no longer willing to meet or try to meet. Fellowship is not what it used to be so it I am not interested in keeping up relationships.  I have become a lazy Christian putting on my spiritual PJ's and throwing out my work boots.  

What are my spiritual work boots for?  Serving others...how?

  • Serving in the church
  • Serving the poor
  • Serving the community
  • Teaching children how to live this life
  • Teaching/showing others that God is love
  • Putting the needs of others first
  • Cleaning the house of God
  • Making connections, friends, fellowship with other Christians
  • Going to Church
  • Proclaiming His Word
  • Studying His Word
  • Prayer
  • Prayer for others
  • Prayer for ourselves
  • Willingness to go
  • Readiness to go where He sends us
  • Fasting
  • Bringing our children to church

Our spiritual work boots are for others.  

As we serve others in the waiting time...we get our eyes off of ourselves and time goes by quicker.  We are moving instead of becoming stagnant, stinking, unfruitful, unprofitable servants of the the Master, Creator.  

As my dad says,  "It's where you get your stories."  

Great things can happen in the waiting.  Things can get done.  We can ready ourselves for the task.  We can be strengthened during this time.  We can use our waiting time to be productive, faithful servants and see God's hand move. 

Waiting is hard and uncomfortable...I don't like to be told to wait.  My flesh rises up and tries to change the mind of God.  But I have step back and realize that He is God and I am not and sometimes the answer is No.  Not a fan of that one.

Hannah cried such sorrowful tears and suffered such ridicule in her waiting time. But she never doubted the authority of God to say yes or no or maybe, not yet. And look what the Lord did for her. 

So if you are in the waiting today...put on your work boots and put your PJ's in the drawer for another day.  It's time to get to serve.

Praise the LORD!
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
The LORD is 
my strength and shield.
I trust in him with all my heart.
He helps me, 
and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
-Psalms 28:6-7 NLT

Monday, November 16, 2015

Tapestry of Love

Well, I am home after being gone for 5 days. Bo and I had a great trip to Virginia.  We visited Colonial Williamsburg.  Stayed at the beautiful Williamsburg Inn.  This was our first trip to this amazing place.  The weather just added to the awesomeness of the 2 days there.  We were able to participate in a court scene...I was a justice (not legal in Colonial times, being a woman and all) and Bo was a man asking for permission to start holding Presbyterian services in the town.  It was all great fun.  

Williamsburg Inn

Williamsburg also has great outlets...right off Richmond Road.  We had a blast there on our way to Virginia Beach.  

We met some wonderful people at Regent University in Virginia Beach.  We had a great time there.  The campus is beautiful.  The architecture is amazing. The professors of the MDIV department were outstanding.  It was a long day but everywhere you stepped, you could feel the presence of God.  Even sitting around the dinner table with other potential students, God showed up.

As good as it is to get away and be with my love...there is no place like home. The comfort of your own home, seeing my kids and grand babies...that is my life dance.  I love this dance I call life.  Not always easy but always full of love.

Pulling into the garage at home!!! Woo Hoo!

I want you woven 
into a tapestry of love
in touch with everything 
there is to know of God.
Colossians 2:2 MSG

Merriam Webster dictionary says as one of its definitions of Tapestry:
Something made up of different things, people, colors, etc.  

I want you woven into a tapestry...different things...God made all things...every good and perfect gift comes from the Father...people...we are created in the image of God...everyone...even those we have a hard time liking...of Love.  

As humans, we are not one dimensional.  Many things make up our lives. Family, Faith, Friends, Experiences, Enemies...all these make up the tapestries of our lives.  But, we must have one thing in common...God, and God is love. That is the common thread throughout all the tapestries of everyone who was, is and is to come.  It's the red thread of his death/blood that cleanses us all and makes us clean, able to commune with Him...reconnecting us to Him...reordering our nature to line up with the nature of Christ.  We were actually created for this but sin has altered our nature, separating us from Christ.  But his body and blood...Communion...reconnects us...realigns us...reorders us to our original purpose.  So that we can be in touch with everything there is to know of God, as the scripture states.  Tapestry of LOVE...I love that.  That is a beautiful phrase.  

I am thankful for the Tapestry that is my life.  I am thankful that my tapestry is not finished yet and I have a chance today to love and learn all there is to know of God.  What is your Tapestry made of today?  

Monday, November 9, 2015

My Real Life

I haven't talked about my word of the year in a while.  BRAVE.  

I am still trying to walk out this word every day this year.  BRAVE.

From the physical to the spiritual to the emotional.  BRAVE.

How do I walk this path BRAVE and not lose who I am and what makes me, me?

I was reading in Colossians 3 this morning and boy was I encouraged.

1-2 So if you’re serious about living 
this new resurrection life with Christ, 
act like it. 
Pursue the things over which Christ presides. 
Don’t shuffle along, 
eyes to the ground, 
absorbed with the things right in front of you. 
Look up, 
and be alert to what is going on around Christ—
that’s where the action is. 
See things from his perspective.
3-4Your old life is dead. 
Your new life, 
which is your reallife—
even though invisible to spectators—
is with Christ in God. 
He is your life. 
When Christ (your real life, remember) 
shows up again on this earth, 
you’ll show up, too—
the real you, the glorious you. 
Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.-MSG

When I am walking, living this new life...the life BRAVE...I am living my REAL LIFE.
I am living the life that I was created to live.  My old, unnatural, dreamless life is dead.  I am a new creation, a new creature.  Looking up, walking with purposeful posture.  
Christian in black, I'm in the blue (red head)

I remember in high school a guy told me that when me and my older sister Christian walked in the school, we always looked like we were on a mission.  Backs straight, looking forward...like, "don't mess with me, cause I can take you."  This bothered me at first because it sounded like we were bullies or ready for a fight. The truth is, I was scared and very insecure.  But because we had the posture of purpose...(getting to class without being noticed), we were noticed.  He said that some were even afraid to approach us.
Now, that's the way I want the enemy to see me.  I don't want to be a passive, insecure Christian.  Living my life in fear and without purpose.  I have to bravely know who I am in Christ and who He is, period.  I want to be the REAL Me.  
It's much easier to walk this BRAVE path when I know who I am and whose on my side.  
Me and Henry

12-14So, chosen by God for this new life of love
dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: 
compassion, kindness, humility, 
quiet strength, discipline
Be even-tempered, 
content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. 
Forgive as quickly and completely 
as the Master forgave you. 
And regardless of what else you put on, 
wear love. 
It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. 
Never be without it.
15-17Let the peace of Christ 
keep you in tune with each other, 
in step with each other. 
None of this going off and doing your own thing. 
And cultivate thankfulness. 
Let the Word of Christ—
the Message—have the run of the house. 
Give it plenty of room in your lives. 
Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. 
And sing, sing your hearts out to God! 
Let every detail in your lives—
words, actions, whatever—
be done in the name of the 
Master, Jesus, 
thanking God the Father every step of the way.-MSG

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Please, Like What I Like

I was sitting here thinking tonight as I was watching a show on TV that my husband doesn't care for..."Why do I feel the need to make him like what I like?"  As I tried to get him to like my show, I noticed a couple of things.

1. If it's a comedy...I laugh a little harder.

2. I look at him a lot to see if he is engaged.

3. I keep pointing out what I like about the show

I am trying so hard to force him to like my sitcom and want to watch it with me. Why do I do this???  It is an exercise in futility.  I just cannot wrap my mind around the fact that we don't like the same things 100% of the time.  It actually drives me crazy...if I'm not already there. LOL.

I guess it's human nature when you share most things with a specific person, you try and get them interested in what interests you.  One more thing to connect you.  One more thing that knits your lives together.  

When I first got married over 26 years ago, I thought our lives were intertwined but I could have never imagined this.  I never thought that just having him in the bed with me, I would sleep better.  That we would prefer cooking together than apart.  Our favorite naps are wrapped up in a blanket on the couch snuggled up together, I have a pillow and I am his pillow.  

I guess over the last 26 years, we are still "becoming" One.  When you hear those words at your wedding, you don't realize that it is a process.  I heard those words and thought it would be instant.  But...here it is...I was wrong (enjoy this statement family).  

It's an amazing process full of disappointments, struggles, broken hearts, reality, fusses, making up, loving each other through it, laughter, mistakes, late nights, all nighters, dates, kisses, holding hands, staring into each others eyes, learning each others dreams, making dreams come true, preferring one another, raising children, becoming grandparents...LIFE.  

Let me say this, he stayed down in the family room with me so I didn't have to watch it alone, for one and a half episodes.  That's love and sacrifice.  That is LIFE.  

I am enjoying this process of Becoming One.  I did not succeed in winning him over into my sitcom world.  And I came to the realization that it is not necessary.  I just like him around...while I laugh at my guys on TV...hopefully not quite as loud.  We don't have to change our spouses, we just need to enjoy their presence.

Bo VanDyke, I'm thankful for you!