|Used from pbs.org|
Friday, January 22, 2016
It’s a new year! Some people may cheer about that, others may groan. For me, it’s been a bit of both. I could whine, cry, throw my hands in the air and stomp, but would it really solve anything? No. Might make me feel better. Then again, it might just make things worse. What good is throwing a fit anyway? Might as well shine my tiara, put it back on straight, fluff my tutu and move forward.
How about you? Is your tiara a bit tarnished? Has it slipped a bit cockeyed on your head? Is your tutu in a bunch, or maybe a little flat? No worries. God still loves you and He’s still got a really cool plan for your life. His plan has never changed, even though we may think it did.
What do you think happened when Jonah spent three days in the belly of that great fish? He had a lot of time to think, that’s for sure. But when he was spit out onto the dry land what happened after that? The Bible says that “God’s word came to Jonah a second time…” and guess what? It was the same as before. It didn’t change.
God’s word did not change. Let me reiterate that. It. Did. Not. Change. It’s like when we tell our kids to clean their room. They don’t. They get in trouble. Then what? We tell them again. “Clean your room.” Do we love them any less? No. Does God love us any less when we’ve been disobedient? No.
But what about when life just chews us up and spits us out and we haven’t done anything to deserve it? What then? Our poor little tiara loses its sparkle. Maybe it slips off to the side. Our tutu loses its pouf. And maybe we pout…just a little. Well, instead of a pity party, stand up straight sister. Shine that tiara on your sleeve and put it back on your beautiful head where it belongs. Fluff up your tutu a bit so it’ll look sweet. Then hold your head up and pirouette.
The Creator of the Universe, God, still loves you. His promises for you are still the same. His call on your life is still there. His gifts to you are still yours. The only thing that has happened is that you slipped and maybe you splashed a little mud on yourself. No biggie. So don’t let the devil or anyone else tell you that God can’t use you anymore because that’s a big ‘ol lie.
Sweet, sweet sisters, God adores you so much, tarnished, crooked tiara, flat tutu and all. He doesn’t care about the fact that your tiara slipped off center. In fact, it’s the off centered ones He’s looking for. He uses the broken, bruised, scarred, cracked, uniqueness of your life to make something beautiful. So smile and move forward. God has great big plans for you.
You are more than a conqueror, sweet one. There is no weapon that has ever or will ever prosper against you. Because when God calls you, He also equips you. There is a wonderful story being written in you. Walk it out, steps, stumbles, trips, cracks, all of it. It’s your story and it’s beautiful. Just like you.
Sunday, January 10, 2016
On dreary, overcast days it’s easy to get in a funk and feel down and depressed. It’s especially easy to feel that way when everything all around you seems to be falling apart. But in the midst of all that, there is a bit of hope. Did you hear a little “snap?” You will soon.
There are times when we feel so beat down, stretched to our limit, bent to the point of breaking even. But lovelies, I promise you that you won’t break. Oh no, you won’t break. However, at just the right angle, when you’re bent so far that you think, “This is it, I can’t stand anymore!” if you cry out to God something amazing will happen. You’ll begin to glow like a little glow stick.
Just like a little glow stick, at just the right angle you hear a tiny little “snap” and then with a little shaking the little stick begins to glow the most wonderful color. It wasn’t broken. It didn’t break when it was bent nearly in two. Instead, its little light shines so brightly in the dark that the surrounding area around the little glow stick will light up, too.
Sometimes our circumstances will bend and twist us. People around us will shake us up a bit. We may go through things in our lives that cause us to wonder just how much more before we break. We cry out for the Lord. Then we hear that little “snap.” And while we think He’s not listening, He really is. He comes running in, smooths us out, and suddenly . . . we glow.
Our light begins to shine. And it’s not our light per se, but the light of the Holy Spirit shining through us. When that happens, a whole lot of other things begin to happen around us. People are drawn to that light. They notice. Some comment. Some just stand back and watch. But the light is there nonetheless. And it’s beautiful. You’re beautiful!
Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven. ~Matthew 5:14-16, The Message
We are God’s little glow sticks, shining in the darkness of the world. If we shine bright enough, others will be drawn to that light and we can help them find Jesus.
Let your light shine, dear ones. You are set on a hill and you cannot be hidden any longer. Shine for everyone to see. Because I guarantee that there is someone who is looking for that light. They are bent to the breaking point. They are searching for that beacon of hope. You have what they’re looking for.
Friday, January 1, 2016
Well, 2015 has left us in a rush of cold air and 2016 has begun. I can hear the booms and the pops of fireworks and shotguns going off. While I listen, I’m wondering, what have you decided your new year will look like? How will you embrace it?
I read a post by a friend of mine who said that she cried many tears in 2015, but that was okay because she just decided that those tears were “nourishing the seeds” that she sowed for 2016. She has declared that her harvest is coming. Yours is, too.
I’ve had my share of years that were less than desirable, too. Trust me. I can tell you some doozies. I spent over forty years shedding tears, worrying, and dealing with fears that were unfounded. In addition to that, my family and I suffered many losses, several happening in one year.
There are so many things we could dwell on. But what if we made the decision to be positive in 2016? What if we decided that all those tears we shed were just watering the seeds we planted?
So while I sit here watching a random ladybug on the wall (I just spotted it, go figure), I’m wondering about this harvest. What kind of seeds have you planted? What will you do with them?
Our words are little seeds that we plant in our lives and the lives of others. The positive ones grow wonderful things. The negative ones are like weeds, winding up and choking out the beautiful things that could have been. We have the choice to plant a beautiful harvest, or kill it off with the frost simply by the words we speak.
This year I’m deciding to make it a positive one, an encouraging one. There are so many promises in God’s Word that if we just took the time to read them we would discover such wonderful things to add to our life’s garden.
This year I’m going to watch for the blooms of beauty, because one of the promises God has made is that he would give us beauty for our ashes. And He sure knows I’ve had plenty of ashes.
It’s time for a beautiful year, don’t you think?
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
I sit here looking out the window. It’s raining. Still. There’s a moat around my house. Not a real one, but there’s been so much rain that it sure looks like a moat out there. I’m wondering if floaties on the car would be appropriate for today. The weather alert on my phone went off earlier with a flash flood warning. Wow. In December.
|Lovely moat around my house. LOL|
Many people today would dwell on the negative. They would thrive on pushing the negative on others, too. But that’s not what God wants us to do! This isn’t about the dark and dreary, although an Edgar Allan Poe story would be fun to read today. No, this is about shining light in the darkness. Because as a friend recently said;
“Sometimes on dark days you might think, ‘nobody cares and nobody’s coming.’ That’s when I want you to remember who sends thoughts like that, and you straighten your crown.” ~Dr. Jeannie Killian
The enemy of our souls would love nothing more than for us to begin to think, act, and live defeated. Oh, but what he also wants us to forget is that we are not defeated. He is! He is the defeated one. He prowls around. He roars. He fights. And in this rain it would be really easy for us to begin to think, “Nobody cares about me,” “Nobody’s coming, I’m alone.” Yet, that’s a big, fat lie. You are not alone. And Somebody has already come for you, fought the fight for you, and won the battle for you. That makes you more than a conqueror!
It doesn’t matter what you’ve been through. It doesn’t matter what you’re going through. You, my dear lovely one are victorious. You have all the necessary things inside you to rise up and shine brighter than the brightest star in the sky. You possess everything needed to be the winner that you are. And the best thing about that is that no one and I mean NOT ONE PERSON can prevent you from taking hold of that and running with it.
Straighten your crown. Straighten it! Right now. Sister, you are a Princess. You wear a crown. You are a daughter of the Most High King! You are royalty. Sure it would be real easy right now to get sniffly and teary eyed and all bummed out because life is pitching you one lemon after another. But with all this rain honey, go out there, set out some pitchers and catch some of it. Then go inside and make some lemonade. Better yet, straighten your crown, put on your tutu and go dance in the rain! Dance like nobody’s watching.
Trust me when I say that all those dark, dreary thoughts are not coming from God. Nope. They aren’t. God is not the author of confusion, fear, darkness, or bad stuff happening in your life. God is love. God is wisdom. God is the Father of lights. Everything good comes down from Him and is meant for our good. He wants good things for you. He has great big plans for you. And whatever the enemy throws at you meaning to destroy you, God will make something good out of it.
Straighten your crown dear lovely one. Smile and know that you are chosen and you are loved by the Creator of the universe.
Friday, December 25, 2015
The presents are opened. Paper everywhere. Food. Too much food. Family is here, there, and everywhere. The excitement is either just beginning for some or it has dwindled and is all but over for others. Regardless, it’s Christmas.
It may be a “commercialized pressurized social extravaganza that exploits the bank accounts and credit cards of millions” to some people, but to a vast majority of others Christmas is a very special event.
It’s THE time
Christmas is the time, the time to celebrate the one time that changed all of history for all of humanity for all time. When Grace was poured out onto an unloving, undeserving, unsuspecting world.
I could skirt around the issue. I could segue into one analogy after another. Yet the fact remains that once all the presents are opened, the food consumed, the family dispersed around the house or wherever it is that they go, the one Truth still remains; Jesus came. For us.
Because of love
Why did He come? Because of love. Hard to fathom, isn’t it? How could someone love me that much that He would give his life for me? Maybe if we think about it like this; look at your kids, your grandkids. How much do you love them? Would you give your life for them? Would you trade your life for theirs if the moment came? Yes. I would. I love them that much. Yes, He loves you that much, too. And He did trade his life for yours. That’s why He came.
Still hard to comprehend, isn’t it? It’s okay. Grace is a difficult thing to grasp. But that’s exactly what we need to do. Reach out, receive it, grasp onto it, never let it go. It’s free. It’s a very special gift. Just receive it. It’s the greatest Gift.
The greatest things aren’t ever things.
I heard once that the greatest things aren’t ever things. Those presents under the Christmas tree aren’t the greatest things. It doesn’t matter the amount of money you’ve spent. It’s not about things. It’s about Christ.
We always get our Christmas miracle.
We look for miracles in the everyday. We ask for miracles, yet we already have one. We always get our Christmas miracle. It doesn’t matter what circumstance we’re in. If we take our eyes off our circumstances we will find our miracle. Jesus is our miracle and we can have as much of Him as we want, any time we want Him.
Take hold and receive it.
Christmas. It’s here whether we want it or not, whether we accept it or not. Christmas is love, grace poured out. For you to know that love, take hold of it and receive it. Once you take hold of it, never let it go because once you receive it, Love will never let go of you.
Merry Christmas to you! Celebrate it all year long, because truly it’s not just a once a year event, but an all year long, lifelong celebration!