Thursday, September 3, 2009

Happy Thursday!

Tonight I am writing to all who are facing surgery or who have recently had surgery, all who are ill and in need of wellness and healing. Tonight this writing is inspired by Carme, who today came through her surgery beautifully, and my brother Ken, who is having shoulder surgery in the morning.

Proverbs 20:27 “The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all of the inward parts of the belly.”

God is our Savior. He knows us inside and out. God knows our spiritual hearts and minds and also knows our physical bodies. When we face surgeries or illness and sometimes other unknowns, those are the times when we must rely on the constant strength of God.

I love the image of the candle. Candles are such a great source of hope and the picture of assurance that God is always with us. Lighthouses are like great candles on the water. These powerful beacons of light warn incoming ships of the rocks that are ahead, but they also invite those who have been out to sea to come home. A candle can provide light in the darkest of places and bring comfort when we need it the most.

So tonight in my prayers, I light candles of thanksgiving for Carme’s surgery and her recovery and Ken’s’ pending surgery in the morning. I invite them and all of you to lay your worries, concerns and burdens, fears and unknowns at the feet of the Father and do not take them back. Look to the heavens and lift your pain to the One who asks for your pain and then rest in that same One who has promised rest and never breaks His promises.

Take joy in the journey and may peace and comfort guide your way. Love you all and pray for Carme and Ken. Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Happy Wednesday!

I arrived at school this morning very early to meet with the BHE Fellowship group. My classroom door has recently been refinished (and beautifully, I might add) and a new lock has been installed. We did not receive new keys for our locks until yesterday. This morning I went to unlock the door and start the coffee and the door would not unlock. I tried and tried. I called Mr. Mac (one of my team) and he tried and tried. We called the custodian and she tried two different keys without any luck. Finally we called the head man over construction, who just happened to be in the building and he tried and tried using my key and the custodians keys. He is now calling downtown to get someone from maintenance to come out and unlock my door.

In the meantime I am sitting in my TCU chair outside my door drinking coffee and trying to figure out how I am going to teach 17 first graders out in the hall with all of their supplies on the other side of the door. Kevin, the construction foreman, finally called for a “super” key and the door opened. I love a happy ending (and my paper was turned in on time)!

1 Corinthians 12:7 “Something from the Spirit can be seen in each person, for the common good.”

Today I needed someone with a gift for locks and keys. Several people tried to open my door including me and no matter what we tried the door to my classroom would not open. It took the original key and the man who installed the lock to unlock the door. Another example of this scripture happened tonight. We are singing at my Mom and Dad’s church on Sunday morning. Daddy has requested I sing “It is Well with My Soul.” I cannot find the music anthology that contains this piece of music. I have turned my house upside down and cannot find it. So I looked online for an accompaniment track and place the order for overnight delivery. It is out of stock and will not be available until September 20.

I am now beginning to get really nervous and somewhat frustrated. I even tried to locate a downloadable track of the accompaniment. I could not find it. But Bruce did. He plays and searches the computer all the time and knew how to find the music I needed. Just like Kevin and my lock, Bruce continued to search until he found what I needed. I needed someone who knew the internet to find what I needed.

God gives us gifts. When we place our trust in Christ, He places within us the Holy Spirit. The Spirit deposits “house warming gifts” (ala Max Lucado) for use for the common good of His children. Today, this child, me, needed people with greater knowledge and experience that I did not have. God gave all of us strengths in our gifts. When we are given these gifts, God uses these gifts for the common good of others and to His glory. The verse says that “each” of us receives gifts. No one of us is ever gift denied or deprived. But we are expected to use our gifts to help others and to further the Kingdom . What is really awesome is that we have an uncommon God who uses common people to spread His Word and act in his name. He equips us with His gifts so that we may unlock the key to someone’s heart and life to further His Kingdom here on earth. Use the gifts God has given you to do ARKs. Remember Random Acts of Kindness.

Take joy in the journey and don’t forget your keys. Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.
Happy Tuesday!

Carme’s surgery was rescheduled for Thursday (the day after tomorrow). Please keep Carme and her family in your prayers.

My apologies for not writing last night. I have a paper due in my Christian Ethics class tomorrow so I spent last night writing a personal narrative informing our professor of my understanding of Christian ethics. This was a hard fought paper that was written one paragraph at a time. I did really struggle with this paper. I lost sleep over this paper and prayed my way through each and every sentence. Now it is in the hands of Bruce, my own personal editor, for a final editing to make sure I make sense. He is really great at that. I prayed for knowledge beyond myself as I was writing. Please pray for me and this paper as I tackle this class.

Hebrews 13:5 “I will never leave you or forsake you.”

I was paid on Friday. It is now Tuesday and the money is nearly gone. I have deemed myself just the “middle man.” I earn it, I buy things or pay bills and someone else gets it. With three of us in college at the same time the budget is really tight. And then Bruce’s work from the door company has really, really slowed down. Finances are a bit stretched right now. Each day in my prayer time I pray for God to meet our needs just for the day. I guess like any parent I tend to fret if the possibility is out there that I may not be able to meet the needs of my husband and my children. And then I read this passage through the eyes of the One who never runs out of what we really need to live our lives.

I am going to pair the scripture from Hebrews with one from Isaiah 48:12 “Hearken unto Me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I Am He, I Am the first, I also Am the last.”

I may run out of milk, butter eggs and Ruby Red Crystal Light (tragic) but God never runs out of love. His Word says that God’s love is unfailing. God’s love is constant and never tires. Even when we run out of understanding, He never runs out of understanding. When we are tired beyond tired and we still have to continue, His strength never leaves us and He never tires. And when someone is standing on the only nerve we have left, God’s patience is always there and never weakens.

Now having said all of that, I may fret over the temporal things of this world but I need to remember that God is really calling me to a higher spiritual plain. I have never been wealthy or rich by the standards of this world, but because I have God’s love I am always rich.

Take joy in the journey and much love to your all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Blessed Sunday to you all!

OMG! To quote one of the members of the Praise Team “It is on fire in here today!” Worship was an emersion in the Holy Spirit. The music was so inspiring. The readings were hard to hear but they spoke of how God, through the power of the Holy Spirit can change us from the inside out so that we can act according to His will and serve as he would have us serve. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow and may our worship continue to be inspired by the power of the Holy Spirit and feel like Holy Fire is all around us!

Sundays have returned to worship, laundry, grading papers and tonight, reading my first reading for the class on Christian Ethics. I am asking your prayers for me to understand as I take this class. I have a paper due on Wednesday. I have done the reading and I will write on Monday and Tuesday night.

Carme has her corrective breast surgery on Tuesday. Please keep her, David and Shaleena in your prayers.

Luke 6:38 “Give, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.”

I once saw a wonderful illustration of this scripture. First the leader took an empty aquarium and filled it with small cannonballs and then asked the group if the aquarium was full. The response was “yes.” Next the leader poured pea gravel over the cannonballs watching it work its way down and through the cannonballs until it appeared the aquarium was full and then asked the question again, “Do you think it is full?” The response again was, “yes.” Next the leader poured sand over the gravel and cannonballs and appeared to fill the aquarium and asked the question again. This time the group was not so sure of their answer. Finally the leader took pitchers of water and poured over all of the filling in the aquarium until it was (you guessed it) overflowing. The illustration was to show how much God gives to us. God’s giving to us begins with Jesus. God gave us His best and all He had and even close to death Jesus continued to give when He forgave the thief who hung beside Him and told the man he would be with Him in paradise. God’s love for us is filled-up, pressed down, shaken to the bottom and then filled once again to overflowing. Just when we think God cannot give us any more love and any more blessings, He shakes them down and pours on more.

Jesus is the perfect model of a life given in obedient service to His Father who has learned His lessons in giving very well. God, through Jesus, gave His time, His mercy, His love, His grace, His forgiveness, His kindness, His heart and finally His life. We follow the greatest giver of all. I know I can never give as much as Jesus gave, but I can give my time. I can be kind. I can forgive. I can love. I can be merciful and I can let the love of God overflow through me to those around me.

Our family has been blessed in the last year with phenomenal gifts of love, grace and kindness. We have been shown a model of the godly life through the acts and generosity of others. We could never repay these kindnesses, but we can pass them onto others. Remember our plan to wake up each day and say, “Jesus, I love you and I want to serve you.” When we give to others then God can keep giving of His blessings and keeping them overflowing.

Take joy in the journey and enjoy the cooler weather! Love you all, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy Saturday!

Proverbs 18:10 “I saw of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous runneth into it, and it is safe.”

“This is the air I breathe. This is the air I breathe. Your Holy Presence living in me.” This phrase is from one of my favorite songs titled Breathe. I find it completely profound that the last song Casey would ever sing was this one song. He was using oxygen, his lungs were covered in sarcoma cancer and unknown to him and us that the cancer was rapidly talking his life and yet he sang this song with his dad.

“Your very Word spoken to me.” Isn’t it amazing that just the mere mention of the name of Jesus can calm the storm on the sea? Just breathing the name of Jesus is the power of the Holy Spirit that lives in each one of us who have a relationship with the Father. Breathing the name of Jesus takes me to the safest place I can go. When I breathe the name of Jesus I am no longer lost. I am safe in the arms of the Father. Sometimes when my soul is in pieces from sorrow or hurt and I can’t even pray, I can speak the name of Jesus and that is all I need because God knows my heart.

God’s name is a strong, safe place to go. The righteous go run into it and they are safe. I always think of a righteous person as being one who is strong and fearless. Maybe a righteous person is one who is smart enough to run to the Father first instead of trying everything else and then going to God. I love the feeling and security of safety. I know Casey is in the safety of the Father’s arms and is without fear.

When Casey would be asleep I would stand or sit for long periods of time and just watch him breathe just as I did when he was a baby. With each I breath I watched him take, I felt a sense of peace just knowing he was still with us. When I speak the name of Jesus or breathe the name of Jesus I have a sense of peace knowing God is still with me and even sometimes through tears, I rejoice and give thanks.

See you in worship in the morning and take joy in the journey. Love you all dear friends, Bruce, Gaylene, Geni and Travis.

I am not moved by what I see. I am not moved by what I feel. I am moved only by what I believe and I believe God.