Saturday, June 25, 2011

Happy Saturday!

Prayer: “Dear God, help me remember that at the end of the day what matters is not our methods, our money, our might, or our manpower. All of these things are useless apart from Your mighty hand. In everything You want me to do today, I am responsible to do my best, but ultimately I am dependent upon You to give me victory. I pray this in the name of the One who always gives victory. Amen”

Proverbs 21: 3-, 31 “There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord. The horse is prepared for the day of battle, but deliverance is of the Lord.”

Bruce and I went to the mall today to run an errand for Geni. We were talking about the study in Proverbs that I have been doing. I told him that I hope to have wisdom someday, but I wanted knowledge too. I also shared with him that I have surrendered the journey. I then remembered Doc Adams’ saying, “Gaylene, the destination is not in question, but sometimes the journey sucks.” The destination has been ordained, but the journey of ordination, while still an assured journey, still has not achieved a starting point. I cannot force God’s hand into doing what I believe to be best, I must faithfully surrender this starting point into the hands of the One who has already set the itinerary.

I am prepared to begin the journey wherever it is to begin. I am trying to not be impatient for guiding God’s Word, but as the passage states “The horse is prepared…but only God can deliver.” I understand more and more each day about the path of discernment. The most difficult part of the journey is listening for God’s clear strong voice and to follow His guidance without question. The destination is assured, but this journey is certainly interesting…

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. Let us pray for each other as we all walk different journeys, listening for God’s guiding Word. Once we hear it, may we all walk boldly in faith claiming victory in Jesus’ name. See you in worship. 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.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Happy Friday!

Bruce’s surgery is scheduled for July 12th. We will know a specific start time after he does his pre-op on the 8th. The surgery should take between 4 and 5 hours. He will go to intensive care for 48 hours and then onto a regular room. He might be home by the weekend. Amazing!!!

Prayer: Father, there are times when I wonder why unbelievers don’t believe in You. Sometimes it seems like the wicked prosper while the righteous struggle. Help me remember that it is how we finish life and what awaits us when it’s over that counts. I recognize that I am rich in the things that matter. Today, I choose to be grateful for Your many blessings. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.”

Proverbs 23: 15—17 “My son, if your heart is wise, my heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself, yes, my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak right things. Do not let your heart envy sinners, but be zealous for the fear of the Lord all the day.”

Go Mavs! It may seem a bit late, but I remember the after game interviews. There was so much excitement and applause over a long awaited victory. The heart of the team is Dirk Nowitzki. He is the leader of the team and had earned the right to be named the MVP of the series. He was admired and praised by his team as well as the opposing team. They spoke of his greatness, his victories and how he would be a Hall of Famer as soon as the time was right. And even tonight Dirk threw out the first ball at the Rangers game. He is rich, famous and by the world’s standards he is admired and lives a privileged life and has been declared a champion.

After the 6th game in the series, Mavericks Guard Jason Terry stated “To God be the glory, he gives me the strength to compete, and to compete on a very high level.” I remember this because of all of the players interviewed both Mavs and Heat, he was the only one who not only gave thanks to God for victory on the court, but gave God the glory for the victory over sin in his own heart. He was more interested in giving God praise and glory than heaping praise upon himself.

Now, there is nothing wrong with admiration. I think Dirk is a great player and I totally agree that he should have been named the MVP of the series. But it was Jason Terry knew who to admire and praise for every gift he had been given. He knew that the day will come when he would no longer run the length of the court and shoot “rainbows from downtown.” And his championship status in the eyes of the world will fade, but his salvation given by Jesus will remain with him forever. The love God has for him in Jesus’ name will continue to grow and increase in his heart and soul long after the applause has faded and fans are asking for his autograph. Basketball players do not play professionally for a long time, but children of God are children of God forever.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When we pray tonight humbly go before God giving thanks for each blessing we can remember and give thanks for those we cannot. 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.

PS Daddy’s appointment with his cardiologist was cancelled today and has been rescheduled for the 8th of July. I will keep you posted. Thanks for the prayers. gc

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Happy Thursday!

Prayer: “God, thank You for giving me Your wisdom. I realize I will never have all the wisdom I need without You. Deliver me from a know-it-all spirit. Help me to seek and find godly counselors, and lead me through godly advice. I pray this in the name of the Wisest Counselor of all. Amen.”

Proverbs 24: 5,6 “A wise man is strong, yes, a man of knowledge increases strength; for by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors there is safety.”

I have often been termed a “wise woman.” Any wisdom I have is a gift from God and has mostly been gained through life experience. What I need now is a lot of knowledge. That is why I am going to school. I have an advisor. My advisor is the resident pastor of Brite. I believe God in his wisdom placed me with an advisor who has a wealth of experience as a congregational leader, but with the heart of a pastoral care giver. I am in a new place in my life where I am in need of a great deal of wise counsel as a student and as one who is going through an ordination process through an unfamiliar denomination.

In the last few weeks as I have plodded through this study of Proverbs. Studying proverbs is hard. But in this study I am learning that the Book of Proverbs is a book of Solomon’s wise sayings and common sense. Proverbs gives instruction concerning areas of the human life contrasting the ungodly view of the fool versus the godly perspective of the wise. God’s word gives truth to help us correct ungodliness in our own lives and replace it with wisdom. Admitting that we need help making decisions by those who are wiser and more experienced makes us people with wisdom. At the rate I am going and the counsel I will need I will have Solomon’s wisdom by the time I am done! (Ha! Ha!)

Wisdom is when the knowledge in your head meets the understanding of our hearts. Wisdom is knowing when to speak and when to be quiet and when to admit we cannot do it on our own and when we need to seek advise from the Wisest Counselor.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. I ask a special prayer for my Dad. He is experiencing some potential heart problems and has a doc’s appointment tomorrow. I will keep you posted. 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.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Wednesday!

Prayer: “Dear Lord, as I meet a new day, I realize that someone may wrong me today. They may say something to me that is inappropriate or do something to me that is undeserved. If that happens, help me not to react in my flesh, but to respond in Your Spirit. May I be so full of Your Holy Spirit that, if I am jostled, it will be Your Holy Spirit that will come out of me and nothing else. I pray in Jesus’ Name, Amen”

Proverbs 19: 8, 11 “He who gets wisdom loves his soul; he who keeps understanding will find good…The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.”

Today’s funny…The first phone call Bruce received this morning began like this…a woman called and said, “My two nephews were here for just one day…” I laughed for the next ten minutes. After just one day of a visit this woman was calling a repairman. Evidently the boys were wrestling and broke 12 panes of a 14 pane glass door. The boys were unhurt and they did not return today.

Do you suppose the woman with the visiting nephews reacted in love instead of acting in anger? Everyone gets mad. Sometimes our anger happens in an instant and sometimes we let it build up until we kind of explode with all of the little things we have let build up over time. Anger in itself is not wrong. There is definitely a place for righteous indignation when an injustice has been done; especially when the injustice has been done to others. When an injustice has been done to ourselves we need to be quick to forgive and forget. Forgiving, forgetting and moving on is a mark of wisdom and shows us exactly how Jesus lived. Jesus became angry at times, but He always showed forgiveness and did not hold the wrong against the wrong doer. Jesus forgave the thief on the cross and all of our sins past, present and future. Jesus modeled forgiveness using compassion and not counting the sins. He forgave the sin and loved the sinner.

If we are to model our actions after the One who has forgiven us then we must forgive the sin and love the sinner who wronged us. Forgiveness is a gift just as is the gift of wisdom and faith. God gives us the gifts of which we ask. A humble heart holds a forgiving spirit. Let us continue to live and love like Jesus and practice the gift of forgiveness.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray and have trouble forgiving someone ask Jesus to help you forgive them remembering that He is present in the midst of everything we do and say. 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.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Happy Tuesday!

Prayer: “Dear Father, I know that words are very important to You, because You have chosen to reveal Yourself primarily through the power of the written Word and the spoken word. Today, I will use many words with many people. Give me the wisdom to speak at the right time and in the right way. I pray in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.”

Proverbs 17: 27, 28 “He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm s[spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive.”

From my meditation tonight, “He who thinks by the inches and speaks by the yard should be kicked by the foot.”

I have often said that God gave us two ears and one mouth so we could listen twice as much as we speak. As someone who has spent most of my life communicating using the spoken word I am having to learn to listen. I am exercising my own Miranda rights to be silent in more everyday circumstances than ever before. As a future pastoral care giver the first skill I must master is the skill of listening without interruption.

How often have we greeted someone, they have began to speak, a thought enters our head and we interrupt our friend. Sometimes listening is a form of sacrifice that is difficult for each of us to make. Mastering the skill of listening for those of us who make a living speaking is a practice that must be consciously worked on in our daily living.

Our words mean a lot to God. The words we use have an impact on those around us especially if the people around us know we are believers in Jesus Christ. We, as believers in Jesus, are God’s representative called into the responsibility of sharing God’s Word and listening to God’s people. We need to embrace the wisdom of God before speaking. We need to learn to speak calmly and be self-controlled while carefully choosing our words. As we depend on the Spirit to help us choose our words or remain silent we will bring glory and honor to God the Father.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When we pray tonight let us pray for the wisdom to use our ears more than our mouths and depend on God to let us know the difference. 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.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Monday!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Father’s Day! Ours was great. We celebrated Father’s Day with Bruce on Saturday night. Then, Sunday, Geni and Travis both had to work and missed seeing Mom and Dad, but Bruce and I joined them for church. Then I prepared lunch for Mom and Dad and we had a great visit with them.

Prayer: “Precious Father, I come before You confessing that my greatest need is to receive more wisdom and understanding. While I may get knowledge from a book, wisdom only comes from Your heart. For all the decisions, discussions, and deliberations that will be part of this day, give me the wisdom to know and to do what is right. Remind me to keep asking for wisdom so I will do what pleases You. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.”

Proverbs 16: 21, 22 “The wise in heart will be called prudent, and sweetness of the lips increases learning. Understanding is the wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly.”

Knowledge is good. Knowledge is something we learn from books and study. Knowledge will get us (me) through tests, graduate school and right now through all of the paperwork of retirement. But wisdom is what will guide us (Bruce and I) through this new phase of our lives and the very important decisions that we will have to make.

Solomon asked for wisdom. No one else in our Biblical history every asked for wisdom. When Solomon asked for this special gift from the One for whom nothing is impossible, God gave Solomon a blank check. Wisdom does not deal only with the head, but with the heart. God does not ask us for what we possess, but for what we want. God does not care about what we have, but about what we want and desire in the will He has set out for each of us. God so wants to give us the desires of our hearts and it is only for us to ask.

I was a public school educator for 30 years. In four years of college classes and 12 extra hours of certification I learned that I had a great deal of knowledge about education and very little about teaching children. Entering the classroom each day, working with the students, listening to those teachers far more experienced than me and then putting into practice what I was learning from them I think is how I learned wisdom in the classroom.

In our lives as believers in Jesus we gain wisdom by first asking God for wisdom. God will give us the desires of our hearts. Reading God’s Holy Word, listening to other believers and staying within His will gives us not only knowledge in our heads, but wisdom in our minds and hearts enabling us to make difficult decisions with full assurance that God has anointed us with His wisdom. God never promised us an easy life, but He did promise to remain with us and give the tools we need to live this life within His will by granting us a part of Himself; His wisdom.

Take joy in the journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray ask God for the desires of your hearts and do not be afraid to ask for wisdom if wisdom is what you need. 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, June 19, 2011

Happy Saturday!

(note: this was posted Sunday afternoon)

Today Casey would have been 27 years old. We have begun a tradition to remember Casey’s birthday. I prepare one of his favorite meals and we have red velvet cake. This year we were blessed to have at our table one of Casey’s best friends and his young lady joining us for dinner. We had a great time eating, talking, laughing and remembering. What a blessing it was to see one of Casey’s friends as he is growing into adulthood. It was a great evening.

Prayer: “Father in heaven, I pray for a clean heart that I might walk upright in Your presence today. Guide me with Your perfect wisdom throughout this day and fill me with your Spirit. In Jesus’ precious name I pray. Amen.”

Proverbs 16: 16-17 “How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver. The highway of the upright is to depart from evil; he who keeps his way preserves his soul.”

This passage tells us that wisdom is better than gold and that choosing understanding is better than choosing silver. Gold and silver, precious metals that they are, are things of this world. Gold and silver are temporal items that will eventually be depleted. In the movie “The Ten Commandments”, a statement is made that goes along with this passage, “a diamond shines with a brilliant fire but gives no warmth.” As worldly valuable as a diamond is, it will not keep you warm when it is cold and it will not light your path in the dark. But God’s wisdom and understanding are not only everlasting, there is always a rich supply. Living in God’s wisdom and being rich in Him forever is far better than having the empty, temporary wealth of the world.

One of the ways we gain wisdom is when we resist evil and turn toward Christ. The path to heaven for those who believe begins at the foot of the cross. We are not meant to remain at the foot of the cross, but we are to take the teaching of the cross as we journey in faith taking the direction in which God leads. Staying on the path brings wisdom and peace with the promise of God’s continued presence in our lives and His desire for a closer more intimate relationship with us.

Take joy and wisdom with you in your journey. Wear comfortable shoes. Count your blessings and say your prayers. When you pray ask for wisdom be prepared for God to give you a reason to need His wisdom. Love you all and Happy Father’s Day to 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.

PS Tomorrow Bruce and I will travel to Howe to worship with Mom and Daddy for Father’s Day. Geni and Travis have to work. Remember when you celebrate your Dad’s tomorrow to celebrate our Heavenly Father. Peace, gc