Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Did you get it for Christmas?

Even us adults are asked, "what did you get for Christmas?"
I am going to be much more specific:
Did you get peace that passes human understanding?
Did you give and receive Love?
Did you make someone else's day?
Did you extend forgiveness and grace?
Were you patient with a little one who just wanted more?
While in line at the mall did you extend kindness? Did you allow the goodness of Jesus Christ shine through as you sat through 3 green lights?
Above all:
Did you experience, did you get JOY that's unspeakable?
If not, go to the One who gives it, the God of the Universe, the One who came as a babe humbly the same way we came into the world, except He came to redeem the world, confess your need for forgiveness and walk in newness of faith.

Merry Christmas: Go out with Rejoicing, Dancing and Singing!!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

More from Brother Lawrence

"We must behave very simply with God, and speak frankly to Him, asking Him for help in things as they happen. It had often been his experience that God does not fail to give His help."

This in a way describes my prayer life. As things approach and as they are happening, I am praying and asking for God's guidance. I don't tend to be one of those pray'ers who have a big list of things around the world that I am praying about and it is only recently that I have peace about it. Strange the lies we tell ourselves: "because I am not praying for the soldiers in Iraq, and the people of Durfur, I thought I was a second class Christian." Then the TRUTH swept in to dispel the lie. God has all
different kinds of children and therefore, we will pray in different kinds of ways. So, when I do ask for help, I get what I need and that makes all the difference. When I spin my wheels and try to do things in my own strength, I will get things done and even do a good job, but often it is not the best or on occasion not the right job. On this journey called life I continue to learn.

Case in point, this past week I was offered a platform which I took but failed to deliver the message that I believed God wanted me to give. It was at a meeting where I was the speaker, the topic was the 2nd step of Alcoholics Anonymous part 2 "Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity." I did pray prior to the meeting, prior to speaking but I stumbled. I am still learning and I believe that this failure was for my benefit.

I shared how I no longer ask God to keep me away from a drink and a drug because it is a gift that God has given me and He wants me to simply be grateful every day for the gift. I left it at that and really didn't tie it into the chapter we read or the other comments that I made. In the chapter, it says, "elimination of our drinking is but a beginning" then further it says,"the main problem of the alcoholic centers in his mind." This is where the restoration of sanity needs to take place in the mind. If my main prayer concern is simply the physical sobriety then I will not get down to causes and conditions which are centered in my mind. I had to go on in my relationship with God and turn my whole will and life over to the care of God (not just physical sobriety: which is included), ask to do His will and not my own. Still isn't this the wrestling match we stay in while living life in the flesh. I believe we have times of rest because we surrender utterly to God and we know His peace but we are a living sacrifice which means we have the ability to crawl off the table and go do our own thing. We must go on and grow spiritually.

The message I believe that I was to give is WHO I came to believe in and that would be Jesus Christ, not the one of the imperfect church but the one of the Bible, the Son of God who came to seek and save those who were lost. I didn't go looking for Him, He came found me and changed the course of my life for all eternity. This is the Carpenter who is in the business of restoring mankind. We are his workmanship and consequently we cannot take any of the credit.

So, these two cross section of my life are interwoven and I was afraid of what other people would think of me or what they might say in response to my sharing and I had to ask God to remove my fear just to share it here with you, my readers. This is real life and at times it seems very complicated. Living is simple if we let go of all the junk, ask God to restore (or renew) our minds, and let Him live through us.

May peace, mercy, joy and a sound mind be multiplied to each of you.
My fellow blogger had this on her blog so I decided to do it just for the fun of it.

You Are Comet

A total daredevil, you're the reindeer with an edge!

Why You're Naughty: You almost gave Santa a heart attack when you took him sky diving

Why You're Nice: You always make sure the sleigh is going warp speed


Monday, December 10, 2007

My friend Carol Gray
Tomorrow is Carol's birthday and it is about time that I wrote about her on my blog.

We all have people in our lives that are mainstays no matter how radically our lives may change there are people who will be there no matter what. Carol Gray is one of those people in my life. Our cherish friendship has continued to grow even though we have been miles apart.
When we started traveling almost 5 years ago, it was Carol who threw us an intimate going away party. On our first return to New England, she called me as we were leaving Pennsylvania on our move from Knoxville, TN in the late summer of 2005 and said, what are you doing on Sunday? I said, "coming to your house?" and she said, "Do you think you can make it? Stephen is going to be baptized." And you can bet that is where we found ourselves. The only plans we had at the time were driving and making our way to Vermont.
As we found ourselves on a second return to New England this fall, I made plans with Carol to stay with her upon our arrival in the Bay State. Their family lives in our old hometown and we had plan to stay one night. We ended up staying for four nights as my van broke down while trying to leave, my old mechanic fixed the van and we were on our way, after being taken care of by my dear friend.
Carol is a faithful friend and sister in Christ. One of the sweetest, warm hearted human beings I know. The embodiment of a loving handmaiden of her Lord. Carol is the beloved of her husband, Steve and the devoted mother of 5 beautiful children. She is unwaivering in her dedication to her own family as well as the body of Christ. I am very grateful for Carol being in my life.
Happy Birthday Carol!!!