And So It Begins…Again

What is it about new beginnings that inspire you? The prospect of starting fresh really appeals to me. I have often tried to accomplish many things over the years. Sometimes success reigns, and I am glad I decided to push past my feelings of doubt or inadequacy. Sometimes the new thing excites me in the beginning,  and I have every intention of following through to its conclusion, but I do not make it to the finish line…Epic Fail.  Do you see yourself at the beginning of the same journey and wonder if this will be the time it will be different? I find myself in this place this morning. I know that the task ahead of me is great. I know that if I can push past the doubt, and let fact not feeling dictate my mindset, I know I can succeed. The fact that I am clinging to is that in whatever I am facing, God is there! He is my biggest cheerleader! God wants me to have abundant life in Him. (He says so in His Word!) I cannot measure my success by the world’s standards because they have a whole other set of rulers to measure success. So I must ask myself, who are you going to please with this one life you have been given. At the end of the day are the choices I made today going to please or displease my Heavenly Father.

Galatians 1:10, “For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.” My husband is fond of saying He is serving an audience of one. The more I think on this statement the more I believe it to be true. May God be pleased with me today, and as I face this day may He be pleased with every effort. May God be pleased with my new beginning!


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!

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!

Guilty or Grateful?

Okay, friends! It is confession time. I know you haven’t heard from me in a while, but the fact of the matter is lately I have been overwhelmed with guilt, not for the things that I have done, instead for all the things I have not done. For instance, I am racking myself with guilt for not writing here more often. My son is about to leave the nest for the summer so I am kicking myself for not doing more with him before he goes into camp life as a staffer. I feel guilty for the pounds that I have gained over the last few years. I would love to say this is the first time this has happened to me, but I can’t. Through my life I have often lamented all the things left undone rather than celebrating the things I have done. Call me a pessimist if you will or a gal that looks at the glass half empty, yet I must admit, I have found my reality. Yesterday, The Lord showed me it is once again time to change my thinking.

Guilt can be a powerful weapon that the enemy can use to discourage us. When we make a good choice the enemy whispers, “Yeah, good one, but look at all the choices you made yesterday!” When we spend time with our loved ones the enemy reminds us, “Girl, you sure should have said or done that differently!” He uses guilt to tie us down to the point where we go through survival mode from day-to-day.  I heard somewhere this mindset was called “stinkin’ thinkin’ “. You may ask how do I break this roller coaster of guilt.  The key to stopping this lock down is to begin celebrating what is rather than what is not. I think we need to confess our weakness to God and ask Him to help us to develop an “attitude of gratitude”.

This is our truth. God wants us to be grateful. “Count Your Blessings” was a song I grew up singing. In the business of life, I often forget to count my blessings and focus on the guilt. 1 Thessalonians 5:18 reads, “In everything give thanks…” God can show us something to be thankful for in everything we face. Think about all the Psalms that focus on thankfulness. Psalms 105:1, Psalms 106:1, and Psalms 107:1 all begin by giving thanks to the Lord. We need to recognize that the mind can be a powerful weapon against us or a blessing of thanks to encourage us. It remains in us whether we will live in a state of victory or defeat. We need to stop feeling guilty for our size whatever it is and be grateful we are God’s, and we are beautiful to Him. We need to stop agonizing over what we said or did yesterday, and celebrate the wonderful people God has given us to love. We need to focus on God’s Word and how much He has blessed us with every day. Remember, we are human. We are going to make mistakes. We are not going to do everything perfectly every time. Only God is divine. God will help us in our weakness if we realize that He has the strength and the power to break the guilt that is holding us down. Remember Job? He began every day giving thanks to the Lord, even on the day when He seemingly lost it all, however, God was with Job and restored all he had lost. Job’s cry was “blessed be the name of the Lord”. Step out with God and choose to be grateful. It is the first step!

Dear Lord, My heart’s prayer is that you help me to be grateful for You and all You have done for me. Help me when I lean toward guilt rather than gratefulness. Help me to guard my heart and my mind. Bring these verses to my mind when I am about to falter. I love you, Lord. I am grateful for my salvation, and the ones you have given me to serve. Thank you my precious Father! Amen

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!


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