Monday, February 13, 2012

through it all

Through It All Lyrics

Verse 1:
I've Had Many Tears And Sorrows,
I've Had Questions For Tomorrow,
There's Been Times I Didn't Know Right From Wrong.
But In Every Situation,
God Gave Me Blessed Consolation,
That My Trials Come To Only Make Me Strong.

Chorus:
Through It All,
Through It All,
I'm Learning To Trust In Jesus,
I'm Learning To Trust In God.

Through It All,
Through It All,
I'm Learning To Depend Upon His Word.


Verse 2:
I've Been To Lots Of Places,
I've Seen A Lot Of Faces,
There's Been Times I Felt So All Alone.
But In My Lonely Hours,
Yes, Those Precious Lonely Hours,
Jesus Lets Me Know That I'm His Own

Chorus

Verse 3:
I Thank God For The Mountains,
And I Thank Him For The Valleys,
I Thank Him For The Storms He Brought Me Through.
For If I'd Never Had A Problem,
I Wouldn't Know God Could Solve Them,
I'd Never Know What Faith In God Could Do

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Road Maps

I admit that I was one of those kids who, while going somewhere on vacation, constantly asked, "are we there yet?" Sometimes my parents would say things like, "yes" or it's going to take "THREE DAYS to get there". Sometimes it did take us that long and then sometimes it took two minutes. I never knew and I was curious and tenacious.

When I got a bit older, and I was still asking those questions, my mother gave me one of the best and precious things imaginable: a map! With this treasure I could see where we were with mile markers and points of interest along the way. Finally, I could know where I was going and about how long it would take even though my dad was a super-slow driver. 45 in a 55 zone or even 45 in a 70 zone. It still gave me something to do and hope of my destination.

When I became a Christian I was given a Bible. At first I ignored it and then, as time went by, I realized that my precious Bible is a road map showing me how to live my life and guiding me to my eternal destination, Heaven with my Lord Jesus who died for me.

As the years have gone by and I've grown in my faith I use my "road map" Bible and I still am asking, "Lord, Jesus", am I there yet? Fortunately, God is not slow in keeping His promises. I'm so thankful for that wonderful information that leads me, with God in the driver's seat, to my final destination. Come Lord Jesus, come!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

God's vineyard

In my life I wear many hats. Wife, mom, YaYa, and friend to name a few. The "hat" I love most though is my prayer life. The time spent praying for people the Holy Spirit brings to my mind. The reason I think prayer is the so amazing is because I know in my heart I'm in God's will and I'm serving Him to the best of my ability.

What I love most is that when someone comes to mind, I know that God loves that person to the nth degree. So much in fact that He will tap me on the shoulder and say that prayer is needed. Most times my prayers are a mere breath and there have been times when God wakens me from sleep and draws me to my knees to pray. Once, He showed me a woman sitting in front of me in church and told me she needed prayer - that she had cancer. My body shook as I held my hand in her direction and wept. Two weeks later I handed her a chemo cap I'd knitted for her - she had shaved her hair and had a scarf tied around her head. I told her what God had told me and we cried together. She's fine by the way - a survivor of breast cancer. Praise God! There have been times the Spirit won't release me for a period of time and I stay in prayer mode for awhile until I feel in my heart I can stop. Later, I'll find out from the person I was praying for that there was a reason and I rejoice in telling them God mentioned them to me!

The best way I can describe this gift is that it's like walking through a vineyard planted by God and the vines are people He loves and He has brought into my life. In my spirit He shows me a certain vine that needs tending for comfort, peace or healing or sometimes I don't know why I'm praying. I just pray and let the Holy Spirit take over. Romans 8:26 says: Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches the heart knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God..

So, why am I telling you this? Because, my friend, God has probably brought you to my mind at some point in time. I want you to know that God loves you so much that He will stop me or others who pray. He gently taps our shoulders and points us to your vine - your life. God wants relationships with us and I believe this is one way He lets us know how much we are loved.

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Surrender

Today I walked the stations of the cross with my husband at our church. I went last year and was touched in a profound way. God always surprises me and I was anxious to learn more about my Savior.

Come and walk with me for awhile, stop and bask in God's love for us.

Station 1 - Jesus the Man. Jesus, who was God, chose to give up the privileges of His divinity and become human. There were pictures drawn by children of the emotions and feelings Jesus went through. Jesus went through everything I've ever gone through - He experienced pain, joy, love, sorrow, hunger, anger and every other situation a human endures while on this earth. He dwelled among us.

Station 2 - Jesus the Servant. Jesus' choice to humble Himself - He poured himself out for us.

Station 3 - Jesus the Son. Jesus went into the garden and prayed and He prayed so earnestly his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. It was in the garden that Jesus surrendered His life - made the decision to walk the rest of the way. He said, "Not my will, but Yours". This is where God spoke to my heart - I've been wrestling with pain in my body. At this step I prayed "Yes, I trust You that Your will, even my pain will be used to accomplish something whether in my life or others." How free I felt at that moment.

Station 4 - Jesus the Lamb. Jesus crucified. Died for my sin. What struck me at that moment are the words from Matthew 27 "And when Jesus had cried out in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit" that sound must have been amazing - I hear a lion roaring. The earth shook and the rocks split. That, my friend, is a cry of love and mercy. Then I stood at the tomb and imagined what it must feel like to lose someone I loved. I could hardly bear standing there.

Station 5 - JESUS THE KING! Jesus, the Risen King. Glory to God for His tender mercy. He surrendered so I can surrender my life to Him. My soul is secure as are my choices because He died and rose again. Praise the Lord.

Christ is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Proxy gardener

Every year around this time my husband asks me what I want done with the garden. Before I begin for real here I need to tell you that when he "asks" me, he's really telling me or he pretends I'm in charge and then he does whatever he wants. For example: our roses. When we got married he began a lovely Valentine's Day tradition of buying me a rose plant every year. We have lots of roses. But we got in a little scuffle early in our marriage about how and when the roses were to be pruned. I said in January but he says February - the later the better and prune those babies so far back one has to literally use a magnifying glass to find where the stems will spring forth. The first year he did this I was horrified! It looked like our poor bushes got a really bad haircut. Now, he doesn't discuss pruning roses or any other plant's trimming needs with me. He knows better. And I saunter by the stumps of mystery (as I call them) without comment these days.

Over the years my sweet husband has planted a beautiful garden full of lush flowers and yes, our roses are lovely every year. He tends the plants with love and care and I have months of fresh flowers for my home because he has a very green thumb. He still asks me what I want to do but I know it's a game of cat and mouse for him. The plants being the mice. One year we had over 150 dahlia plants - all different varieties. Now? We have exactly zero dahlias. Same story with our peonies. But I know for sure we'll always have roses. He tends to leave plants that take care of themselves alone like any type of bulb flower or our honeysuckle vine, hostas, and fuchsia that comes back year after year along with various other shrubbery.

When it comes to weeds, slugs or any other interloper he shows no mercy and faithfully buys fragrant bark dust for the flower beds. Our home in the summer is a veritable show of color. Right now our daffodils are putting on a show that would put a Broadway musical to shame. Tulips are pushing through like a chorus and spring is surely in the air.

As the months go by and summer comes I look forward to seeing what my dear husband has decided to plant or keep and try not to notice what has mysteriously disappeared. Life is indeed good.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

workout

Recently I joined a local gym. I've lost a considerable amount of weight and I was provided a chance to become a member at a reduced rate so I grabbed the brass ring.
When I walked into the club I met a nice guy named Tyler who would also be my personal trainer.

He asked me some questions about my health and what my goals were and we came up with a plan that included lifting weights and participating in a class. Tyler walked me through the weight circuit and wrote out my plan and I attended Zumba which I immediately fell in love with. Something about dancing like an idiot in the dark with a disco ball spinning sets my inhibitions free.

Getting to the gym to workout wasn't really a problem and I felt almost instant results in my arms and legs. Strength was returning to my muscles that had laid dormant for just so many years and I was on a roll and was feeling so good!
Then I got sick for two weeks and wasn't able to go work out. I got sweet little emails from Tyler who said he missed me and in the meantime I could feel my abs turning back to jello.

So today I went back knowing that I'd have to start all over again in my journey to get physically fit. I got on the first machine and oh how good it felt to straighten my back and push against a slab of metal!

By the time I got to the seventh machine I had decided I would skip the overhead lateral because it hurt so bad and, after all, hadn't I just done the other weights? I hopped on the abdominal machine and it hit me. I need ALL nine of those machines to work out my kinks and build my muscles and then as I was in my third set I heard that sweet voice of the Holy Spirit saying, "isn't this just like your quest for the fruit of the Holy Spirit? to become spiritually fit?" Oh! Of course. There is one fruit out of the nine that I just can't seem to grow and if you know me you know which one it is but I'm not going to spoil the rest of you by telling you my worst fault. And believe me the other eight are an ongoing process of giving over to God what I think is mine. But that one area of my life just shrivels up and gets whacked back like a grapevine that just sits there not producing anything but ugly.

As I was lifting the last weights (the overhead lateral) I knew in my heart that I must yield everything to God or our relationship wouldn't be complete. My own little private circus in that little hollow part of my heart that I thought I could hide from God is the most glaring trait that keeps my heart from expanding, growing and yielding fruit.

Paul wrote in his letter to Phillipi in the 2nd chapter verse 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

14 Do all things without grumbling or questioning, 15 that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, 16 holding fast to the word of life, so that in the day of Christ I may be proud that I did not run in vain or labor in vain.

So here is what I strive for, why I'm working out my faith: love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. The complete infilling of the Holy Spirit.