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Entries in Fear (6)

Saturday
Jun092012

This little piggy


I love Maxwell (Geico commercials).  The adventures of that little pig preach to me on many levels and God uses those commercials to encourage me on many levels too! 

I always imagined the little piggy that went “we we we” all the way home was young and too timid to go anywhere let alone be adventurous.  I picture him just like the little pig in this picture!  So, home he went. 

But the creators of Maxwell have done a great job of taking a pig (of all things) and giving him over the top excitement and adventure. You might find it odd that the attitude of a pig in a commercial could inspire me so!  But, Maxwell reminds me that I should have his zeal and excitement in my adventures with God or put another way – in my faith walk. 

Imagine that the minute we become a Christian we get a whirligig for each hand!  Why would I say such a thing?  Because our sins have been forgiven and our home is in heaven.  Therefore, with great excitement, we can go “we we we” all the way home (eternity).  I love it!  I love knowing this truth.  This truth strengthens and inspires me!

Sure, along the way we have some really difficult, heartbreaking situations and faith stretching experiences.  Yep, walking by faith is often like walking up to the edge looking down – way down – and realizing you have a choice to make.  (1) Step out/off in faith or (2) turn around and miss the experience. Now, when I get to the edge, I can see Maxwell the pig ziplining right by me saying “pure adrenaline”!  Not the normal pig activity.  Embracing the unknown and difficult with zeal, excitement or joy is not normal human activity.  That is unless you know the truth and the truth is setting you free! 

We have everything we need to step off in faith or jump.  God promises us we have everything we need for life and godliness.  He also promises us that He will be with us – He will never let us go.  He even gives us His armor to put on.  I could go on and so….  So, imagine us there with Maxwell – on the zipline platform.  Strapped up, helmet on…whirligig in each hand.  Okay, let’s step out in faith and give it a hearty “wee we we weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”. Just as God promised Moses and Joshua, He promises us the same – He will not fail us.  He will not forsake us.  We can step out into the unknown with confidence.  As we ride the zipline of faith, remember there is another platform up ahead.  There we can get our feet under us, catch our breath and prepare to step off – again, and again.  “We we we weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee” all the way to eternity. 

Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.- Joshua 1:7-9

Saturday
Apr282012

Ch Ch Ch Changes

I think it was this week (but then who can remember), my co-laborer and fried friend Tracy posted this picture on her Facebook page. Honest to goodness the two of us have looked just like this (on the inside) a lot lately. Why?  The Lord has called us and placed us in an area of the Ministry that is developing.  What does that means exactly?

Ch Ch Ch Changes!  To live and operate in a world that constantly changes - means you need to remain adaptable and flexible.  Sure, that's the real world, but.c'mon now - this does not come natural.  Well, at least not for me!  Adapting and flexing usually means ... stop doing something one way and and start doing them another way.  That means more thinking (or rethinking), learning, figuring something out (a/k/a/ developing)! Thus the above picture. It reminds me of my 3 PM "fried brain feeling".

In my oldish age you would think I'd be used to change and ready to adapt and flex.  Not!  But, praise be to God - I'm learning! Ah, the learning curve.  Just about the time I think I've developed something - something else gets thrown into the mix and it's back to the drawing board, revisiting the idea or scratching it all together and starting from scratch.  Yes, the above picture gives you the inside look into the brain of someone on a long and sharp learning curve.

The Lord's had me (Tracy and a wonderful team of leaders) on a very long and sharp learning curve for a while now and surprisingly I'm learning a lot about change.  That sounds funny but  in the midst of change, the Lord can teach you how to adapt to change and get this... embrace change.  Yep, I said it!  You can learn to embrace change. God is teaching me how to maneuver change. How?  By paying close attention to the emotions that change evokes. Now, let me stop here and say I haven't perfected any of this....but I am learning!

What I've learned is change evokes all kinds of emotions! I'm learning in an even grander way that I really need to stop and pay close attention to my emotions and then discuss those emotions with the Lord so I can understand them and what to do with them so I don't miss my God moment (what God is doing in and through the change).  Lessons learned or being learned:

1.  Ch Ch Ch Changes frustrate me! When I get frustrated I have to watch my thinking and my mouth. I have to be intentional about stopping, taking a deep breath, assessing my emotions and then ask the Lord to help me to walk by the Spirit (respond) rather than walk by the flesh (react). I am learning to stop and ask the Lord to help me understand what He is doing.  You see I want to adapt to the Lord and be flexible before the Lord. When my frustration is shown or expressed, it is rarely pretty and it is certainly not motivating to those around me.  So, I am learning to remind myself that He is sovereign and the author of these Ch Ch Ch Changes in my life. When I can remember to do this, the frustration disappears and I am able to enjoy what God is doing in and through the change.  Yes, I actually said enjoy change.  Oh, glory!

2.  Ch Ch Ch Changes can be scary! Truth is, I don't know how to do half of what the Lord wants me to do.  I've had to learn more new skills in the last few years of my life than I ever expected.  And about things I didn't even know I wanted to know about.  When you spend most of your time realizing you have no idea what you are doing - fear is right there waiting to overtake you!  Sure, I have skills, abilities, experience - but I've learned they are not enough to get the job that God has me doing done.  I've learning to rely upon and trust in God in greater ways.  And you know what? He is ever more faithful and trustworthy,  He always supplies what is needed to accomplish His work. I'm learning that the very work He calls us to accomplish in His name and for His glory is the work that He uses to bring about the most change or transformation in us. Wow - very interesting.  I'm learning that when fear lurks I must be on guard. I must point myself and those around me to seek God for direction, strength...what's needed.  Otherwise, my insecurities kick in, wrong thinking kicks in and it only goes south from there and before you know it I've missed another God moment.

3.  Ch Ch Ch Changes are exhausting!  Boy, those long sharp learning curves can wear you out.  Who knew ones brain could actually get tired of thinking, rethinking and figuring things out.  When I am brain dead  I am no good to anyone and just need to go lock myself in a room somewhere and REST, recharge and refresh.  I am learning I am a danger to myself and others when I keep trying to run on empty. To really enjoy the learning curve you need to be able to concentrate and go at all out speed!  So, physical rest is essential!

4.  Ch Ch Ch Changes are God ordained!  I'm learning this one and this one is a biggy!  If it's true that changes are God ordained (and I believe this is true) then change is good.  So, even though change is not natural (humanly speaking) it is a part of God's plan for my life.  So, I am learning to embrace it, look forward to it and enjoy the Ch Ch Ch Changes!  Weee weee weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Sunday
Jan252009

His eye is on the sparrow

Part of being in God's boot camp is being told "how to" and then given a chance "to do". You know what I mean? Let me explain it this way. As I left last Saturday's seminar, I was armed with truths that I have had to "take up" often this week. Here's how my week played out.... When I got up Sunday morning, it was to an awful sore throat. I immediately started begging God for relief while at the same time taking Air Bourne, Ziacam and Dayquill/Nyquill! You see, as a part of my new job responsibility with Precept Ministries, I was scheduled to fly to Dayton, OH on Wednesday where I would join Kay, Jack & David Arthur at the Call2All Conference. In order to catch my 6 AM flight, I set my alarm for 3:30 AM. At this point, let me just say that I stepped out in faith believing God would give me the grace to make it because I knew my body was not cooperating. My husband had told me that Kay was not feeling well and had almost no voice. So, Miss Kay was my example to follow! I arrived in Dayton mid-day and was told they had a room ready. HALLELUJAH! I checked in, got unpacked, set up my computer, had two phone meetings and tried to get some work done. Honestly, though I think when I look on Monday morning, I'll have to redo anything I think I did. It was probably mid-afternoon when in my mind I began to whine before the Lord. By 5:30 PM, I gave up trying to accomplish anything and determined in my mind that there was no way I was going to be able to do my job! I whined to my husband, a dear friend and on Facebook and knew I had dear friends praying for me! Around 6:30 PM the Arthur's called saying they had arrived and that Kay was feeling awful and had no voice. As I prayed for Kay, I trusted that God had brought her to Dayton, had a message that He had for her to give and would give her the grace she would need to make it. I went to bed early reminding myself who am I to whine, focus on Miss Kay, the goal of the trip that God knows...

When my alarm went off at 6 AM on Thursday morning, my first thought was "Thank you Jesus!" My teeth didn't hurt. In fact, I had no pain in my forehead or cheeks either. While I still had a lot of congestion, I felt like I could make it! In fact, when I fell into bed at almost 1 AM on Friday morning, I had made it! Thanks be to God, I managed to serve with joy, energy, strength and very little nose blowing. God gave Kay voice enough to passionately speak the Word of God at two sessions (almost 1,000 people). So why am I going into such detail? Because God was speaking volumes into my heart. You see, all day long I was marveling at how God was providing. I was reminded that He doesn't remove the hurdles and difficulties but as we step out in faith and obedience He gives us the grace we need to make it THROUGH!

When my alarm went off on Friday morning, I hadn't allowed for quiet time with the Lord. Instead, I had to get dressed, packed and downstairs so I could catch my ride to the airport. But, as God would have it, I finished a little early and had time to sit with a cup of coffee before the Lord. I walked over to the window and pulled back the blackout shade to find the most glorious sunrise. "Oh, thank You God for drawing me to this window at just this time so You could show me Your glory. You are glorious - this is glorious and I stand in awe of YOU." It was such an awesome touch and reminder from the Lord Himself that He is ever present, all sufficient, and personally involved in my life. He wanted me to see that and He wanted me to enjoy it with Him and He wanted me to be aware of His presence in EVERY detail of my life. God is amazing. But that's not all!

When I got to Cincinnati for my plane change my ears were killing me, my nose running like a faucet and once again I felt like I'd have to die to feel better. I decided to seek relief and comfort in a cup of hot tea. The terminal had lots of glass and metal beams. As I approached a water fountain I saw a sparrow fly down, land on the edge of the water fountain in search of some beads of water. I was captivated. I tried to capture the moment with my camera but by the time I got it out someone else walked by and the sparrow flew back to one of the metal beams. In that short 1 to 2 minutes God preached a sermon into my heart! Yes, it was based on Luke 12:6-8 and yet God also showed me how adaptable that little sparrow was to his surroundings and trusting of God to provide. The Scripture and the song below immediately came to mind! OH GOD, I LOVE YOU AND I THANK YOU FOR REDEEMING ME AND CALLING ME YOURS!


Are not five sparrows sold for two cents? Yet not one of them is forgotten before God. “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. “And I say to you, everyone who confesses Me before men, the Son of Man will confess him also before the angels of God. Luke 12:6-8

 

Wednesday
Nov192008

Frankly my dear, I'm afraid!

Stepping out - walking by faith not sight?

The for sale sign is finally up. Sunday at church, the pastor and elders prayed with us, blessed us, loved on us and kind of said goodbye to us. Tom left Monday to head back down to Tennessee to work. He'll be back here for Thanksgiving, return to TN and then back for Christmas/New Year’s. As I shared earlier, I'm in that betwixt and between place in my life. I know God is calling me out of Truth for Women. Things are moving forward there without me and that's both thrilling and....I'm not sure what this is I "feel." This past weekend, I got a glimpse of how God might be leading me next. But I can't quite visualize it yet. I’m sitting here this week with things to do but I'm here and the folks I'm working with and for are there. And, I have a million who, what, where, when, why and how questions! Frankly my dear, I’m afraid.

In my crying out to God, He's reminded me that I haven't known what I was doing for years, but He has been faithful to give me what I've needed to accomplish the things He was calling me to accomplish. During my time at Truth for Women, God used the book of Nehemiah to help and guide me. I'm reminded of just how often I have found myself in a place where I've "felt" overwhelmed, discouraged and afraid. I learned from Nehemiah that the cure for fear is to remember God who is great and awesome.

Frankly my dear, it’s normal to be afraid. The thing is I just can’t stay afraid or I’ll never step out and accomplish what God has planned for me to do next. REMEMBERING GOD WHO IS GREAT AND AWESOME!

When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You. Psalm 56:3

Tuesday
Nov042008

For you have not passed this way before

This past Sunday, I wrote my husband the following letter and I asked him to read it this morning - after he got into his car to begin his drive to Chattanooga, TN.

Dear Tom:
As the waistband clings to the waist of a man, so God made you to cling to HIM that you might be for Him a man for His renown, praise, and glory.
So, as you embark on this great work for the Lord, I pray you will cling to God and guard your love for the Lord above all else. As God sent Joshua into the promise land to take possession of all God would give to him and to God’s people, He knew that Joshua had never done anything like that before and God would require Joshua to be totally dependent upon Him. In fact, it would require that Joshua cling to God. Joshua would need to listen, obey and be very careful “to do.” I believe the instructions given to Joshua relate to you, your calling and the days ahead. So I pray them for you and pray that these truths give you direction, strength and confidence. I have personalized the following verses and included a few key Hebrew definitions! They are from Joshua 1, 3 and 22.

> Arise and go...I have called you. No man will be able to stand against you. Just as I was with Moses (and Joshua) I will be with you and will not fail (slacken my grip on you) or forsake (loosen, relinquish) you. Be strong (to be bound fast; attached to) and courageous (alert physically, mentally) for you shall accomplish this work. Only be strong (to be bound fast; attached to) and VERY courageous (alert physically, mentally); be careful to do according to all the law...do not turn from it to the right or to the left, so that you may have success (the process of thinking through a complex arrangement of thoughts resulting in wise dealings and use of good practical common sense) wherever you go. This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous (bring success) and then you will have success (the process of thinking through a complex arrangement of thoughts resulting in wise dealings and use of good practical common sense).
> Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble (dread, fear, break, be terrified) or be dismayed (shattered, broken, fall apart) for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go....go possess the ministry which the Lord your God is giving you to possess it. (1:5-9)
> ....for you have not passed this way before (3:4)
> Consecrate yourself (set yourself apart for this holy work), for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you." (3:5)
> ...but you are to cling to the Lord (22:8)
> ...take diligent heed to yourself to love the Lord your God (23:11)

I love you with all of my heart.