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Torn Between Mary and Martha

The stage is set. Jesus was coming to the home of Mary and Martha. I can imagine the thoughts racing through Mary and Martha’s minds (Who will hereafter be referred to as M/M) as I know what races through mine when I hear company’s coming. At first, the Joy of the occasion prevails. People are coming to my home. We are going to be so blessed and have a wonderful time. Then the reality of the situation sinks in, “Company’s coming and I have a bunch of stuff to do to get my home ready!” I’m not sure how M/M felt. Maybe they had time to prepare or maybe they didn’t, nevertheless it did not matter. Jesus was coming to M/M’s House!

One thing we know from Scripture was that when Jesus came to M/M’s Home, He was not alone. Wherever Jesus was there was always people with Him. Many wanted to see what He was all about, while others wanted to know Him intimately. The disciples followed Jesus to assist Him in any way they could. So on behalf of M/M as we southerners say, “They had a house full!” So now that the stage has been set and the characters revealed, the plot is ready to unfold.

M/M’s story is found in Luke 10:38-42, “Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house.39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” While we could discuss all the ends and outs of this story,  Let’s look at how Martha handles this situation. She is trying so desperately hard to make sure everything is just so. I mean someone has got to prepare the food and make sure everything is ship-shape! However, when she began looking for Mary to “give a gal a hand” she did not find her serving, but resting and learning at the feet of Jesus.  Though she didn’t realize it, Martha was more focused on the performance rather than the pursuit of God. One of the dear ladies in my Bible study brought out a great point on this. Janice said, “the performance is a one time thing. You do it and it is over, but the pursuit of God is something that is ongoing. You continue to do it day after day.”

The Lord told Martha that Mary had chosen the thing that was needed, the good part. Mary chose to focus on Jesus. Often in my life, I run around like sweet Martha. She was a good woman, and I believe she loved Jesus, but she began focusing more everything else rather than to take a breath and sit at the feet of Jesus focusing on Him alone. We need to be able to balance the tasks ahead of us each day, but never forget our first priority is sitting at His feet, and focusing on Him. When this occurs, we will find we can take Jesus with us through the rest of the day, and when life gets out of sorts, He is close beside us guiding us.

If you find yourself torn between Mary and Martha, follow the words of Jesus, and choose to sit and let Him teach you. You will have chosen the “good part”.

Until next time, Blessings to You!

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Why Do I Put So Much Pressure On Myself?

Good Question? Maybe. Why do I put pressure on a gal like myself? Let’s face the fact that there are indeed times when we all put to much pressure on ourselves. We feel the drive and pressure to perform in a certain way. Many times we take on things that we were never meant to take on because of pressure. “What will the family say? What will my friends say? These questions and others like them may swirl around your head like they do mine. It sometimes starts when we are kids and other may have put expectations on us that we never seemed to live up to. Sometimes it may start in the workplace, society, or even dare I say it at church! When and where it begins is not necessarily the issue though, is it? If it comes to a place in us where we feel overwhelming pressure to perform, we have to deal with it.

Usually I can tell when I am at the brink of letting it get out of control. It is in those times when I hear a voice whispering in my heart, “Girl, it’s time to be still, and come and walk with me.” My heavenly Father who knows me best wants me to step back from the performance and begin a pursuit of Him. “Be still and know I am God.” Is the first verse that comes to mind, yet there are so many others that can help us in pursuing after God. In Isaiah 51, we read, “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the Lord: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.  Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.  For the Lord shall comfort Zion: he will comfort all her waste places; and he will make her wilderness like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord; joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. As we seek after God, He will lead us to a place of comfort. The performance we cling to can leave us dry and wanting a better way. He will lead us to a place like Eden. A place to daily walk and talk with Him, and be satisfied with all He is and all He will do. It is in this place where we find joy and gladness, and gives us a new song. 

Satan wants you to perform rather than pursue God. He will try to tell you if say you are letting all these people down by not doing all the things expected of you. However is it more important to pressure yourself into what others think of you or what God thinks of you. We all need to realize that we are serving an audience of One, Jesus Christ!  Performance can be exhilarating for a time, but performing over and over again will eventually lead us to a dry, empty way of living. It is time to take the final bow and began seeking God with all of our heart. He is waiting for you!

Until next time, Blessings to you!

Resting on the Run

Today, my friends, begins a new chapter in my life. After several years of working two jobs, I find myself at a new place. I didn’t have to go into work this morning. Whew, thought it would be a very long time before I would say that, but that is my reality this morning. I wrapped up my job as church secretary at First Baptist Church and I am getting ready to move to a new town, to a new house, and a new ministry.  Back in November, My husband was called as pastor at a new church about 40 minutes from where we live. So today my first official day not having to work and I have a to-go-do list a mile long. I have to catch up on all I have been putting off. So before I literally run out the door. I stopped to take a breath, and check in with the faithful few that have been with me and this blog since the  beginning.

I heard a phrase this weekend at the Minister’s Wives Retreat that I go to every year and this morning it resonates with me. We, Minister’s Wives, probably will have very few days that we are not off and running from the morning to the evening. Rest comes mostly when we crash in the evenings with our Minister husbands. So how do we really find the rest that we need to make it through the days until Jesus comes back? This weekend was all about rest and renewal. I thought excellent that is just what I need. I need to rest. I have found the true rest that can only satisfy our souls is rest that we find in the Lord. “Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him…” How many verses have been written about resting in Jesus? Probably more than I can count are available to us. I digress. The phrase I grabbed on to this weekend. We need to learn to “Rest on the Run!” There will always be running involved with our lives so take time to carve out some minutes on the run to stop and rest. Carry verses with you to read over while you are waiting in line. Stop and pray while you are going to the next place on your list. (Disclaimer: Keep your eyes open if you are driving. lol) Just Kidding. This is something we all can do. Learn to rest on the run. It will take discipline to train your mind. To not do this is to let the devil distract you while you are on the run. So My Friends, take a moment to take a deep breath, “Be still and Know He is God”, and find sweet rest in who He is and His promises.

See you Soon! I will wave in passing!

Amy

Strength for a Weary Soul

Here it is! Wednesday they call it. This day is also known as “Hump Day”. It’s time to get excited, folks. We are halfway through the week, and, yet… I am tired. I need a great dose of strength. In my ramblings, I am reminded of a story I came across several years ago. Let me share it with you!

A young boy was on a hike through the woods with his father when he came upon a mid-size boulder.

“Dad,” he asked, “Do you think I can move that boulder?”

The father replied, “Yes, son, you can move that boulder if you use all of your strength.”

The boy pushed with all that was in him. He pushed and grunted and pushed some more, but the boulder would not budge. Frustrated, he said, “You were wrong, Dad, I can’t move it.”

The father replied, “You could have moved it if you used all of your strength, but you didn’t use all of your strength because you didn’t ask me for help.”

Many times in life we get weary, tired, and weak in God’s service. In my own life, when I become weary I have to go to the One who has endless strength. God is the only One who never tires, or grows weary. He has strength readily available to lift us up and sustain us. We can find rest for our body and soul at His feet. I have to admit that when I feel myself growing weary many times it is because I have not leaned on the Lord and gained the strength I need from Him. So I go! I go to Him. I sit beside Him and let Him teach me. I find comfort in His words and strength to continue with Him through my day.

Psalm 18:1-2 reads, “I will love thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust.”

Why do you suppose that David began this Psalm in this way?  By reading in the forward of the Psalm, you will find that this Psalm was written when David was being pursued by an angry Saul who wanted to kill him. David was living on the run, hiding in caves, sleeping on the ground and just trying to survive.  We can certainly see how weary and tired David had become physically and emotionally.  In this state, He chose to praise and declare his love to the one who was his daily strength. David may have been running, but he knew who to run to for the strength and encouragement that he needed.

Are you weary today? my friend. I know someone who has strength for your weary soul. Don’t wait. Sit with Him. Jesus has all the strength you need.

When God Grins

There are days, and then there are DAYS! At times here lately, I have felt my world begin turned upside down. Like a kid with a new snow globe, there are days when I feel life shaking me so hard then watching me try to settle back in place. That unsettled feeling seems to linger longer than I would like, and I pray and ask the Father to put all the pieces back the way that He would have them to be. It is in these times, He pulls me closer and says, “Wait and watch what I can do!”

This weekend my sons came home from working at camp for the summer. It was so good to see them and visit. My oldest headed back on Sunday because he works at camp year round. My youngest is home to stay. Since he finished high school in May, after camp he was planning on getting a job locally and earning some money before starting college. Of course, with our life in transition right now I wondered this morning how God would work it all out. Father God has been so faithful to us over the last several months I did not doubt He would work it out for “Youngest” a job, just didn’t know how or where. First thing this morning “Youngest” hit the pavement job hunting. I shared our need with my co-workers, and we prayed God would provide a job for him.  My husband call about 1  1/2 hours after I got to work (shortly after we prayed) and God had provided a job for “youngest” and he was starting in the next 30 minutes. Who can do that but God! When I need a smile from the Father, He whispered, “My child I can do better than that…” and He grinned at me.

As I study the Word of God, I long to know God more. As I pray and seek Him, He has been ready to be found. I am reminded of the story in the Old Testament when God was not to be found in the whirlwind or in the earthquake, but He was to be found as He whispered in a still small voice. I wonder if in the past I have gotten so busy that even If He had spoken in the whirlwind I would not have heard him. He chooses to speak to me when I settle into those quiet moments to look for him. Some days you may feel like everything in your life has shaken upside down. In those times, run to the Father, go to Him in prayer, grab your Bible and read His words. Let the God of Heaven hold you close. Only when you are close will you see His gentle smile and sometimes when you least expect it that smile will turn to a grin. This lets you know, He has everything under control.

“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Psalm 46:10

My New Normal

Sometimes your world gets turned upside down! Have you been there? I began back in October with the intention of posting a regular post here on my little blog. Looking back on things I realized that almost 9 months have passed. In October of 2015, My world did indeed turn upside down. I felt as if the devil was coming after me in all areas of my life. My husband and I began to experience crisis in our church in which he had been the senior pastor for the last 14 years. Also, in my work situation I was having some problems with a coworker. In January and February, I began to have some physical problems which resulted in surgery and a time of recovery. As the situation in our church intensified, My husband felt lead to resign and step out in faith not knowing where we would be going or what we would be doing.  We put our stuff in storage, moved in with his family for a while. His last day of preaching, May 23rd, was a good day although he felt a little under the weather. On Monday, May 24th, he experienced a major health issue, septic shock, which kept him in the hospital for 11 days, 3 1/2 of those in Cardiac ICU. Though the grace and mercy of God, not to mention the prayers of people all over the world, he came through and is doing better. We were able to bring him home and he had 14 days of iv antibiotics under home health care. He was able to get in the pulpit for the first time in a month. God is so good. Praise Him for He is faithful!

When you walk the valley, every day of the journey is an exercise in finding God in the individual moment. A few days ago, I told my husband, “We have no normal anymore, every day we are finding a new normal!” I know it may sound strange, but when life takes you from day by day, to hour by hour, then minute by minute you may have reached the point where you have no “normal” anymore. I can say that in every moment of this valley we have been in has brought about a change in  my heart. God sometimes has to take us through the dark places so he can show us we only need Him and His light to light the way. You may be walking in a valley of your own. Let me encourage you to stay close to your Heavenly Father. Let Him guide you. Also, you need to get in His Word and hang on to his promises. Find his sweet peace, and let Him guide you through. Your “new normal” will be a sweet refuge in the arms of Father God. What a wonderful normal to experience!

The Lord Is In The Details

Ok, I’m tired. Maybe you didn’t know. However a lady in the parking lot of Walmart did. I had gotten off of work, and had to pick up a few things, and as I was walking back to my car. A lady stopped me and said, “you are tired aren’t you?” I didn’t realize it showed on my face. A chance encounter came about in a place not expected. I talked about 5 minutes with a lady who was feeling the same. We shared, and agreed to pray for each other in the coming week. I walked away with the realization that God set up that encounter to show me by a stranger’s words that I was loved and cared for by my Heavenly Father.

So often we get in the habit of only talking to God about the big things in our lives. With the world gone crazy and so many hurting in the world, our prayer lives has our focus shifted to things on the grander scale. Wars overseas, cancer scares, government taking our rights away, Missionaries tormented, and countless other things are going on right now. God does care about those things and we should pray for them. I think though that God also cares a great deal about the every day details that only we know about and try to accomplish every day.

In Exodus 25, God begins to reveal to Moses all the details on how the Tabernacle of the Lord was to be constructed. I had forgotten how detailed the Lord was in showing the people how to make each piece that would be going into His place of worship. He took 6 verses to describe the candlestick that would be placed on the table.  God is concerned with all the little details in your life too. He wants you to talk to Him about them. I Corinthians 6:19-20, tells us our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. Just as God was concerned with the details of the tabernacle, He is also concerned with every detail of our lives. Take time today to share all the little things with God, and let Him show you He holds all of it in His capable hands.