On a hot day don't you desire to simply take off your shoes and place your feet in that clear, cool stream you happen to be walking past? I love the sound of water....the waves crashing by the ocean's shore, the trickling of a stream or the rain falling on a tin roof. Those are among my favorites. Why do you think most of us enjoy those sounds? Possibly because they are relaxing? I think so.
The 23rd Psalm states, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul." Seems water and rest go together, doesn't it? We all need a time out in life to relax, refresh and reboot. If we don't we become tired, irritable and our health and mental outlook take a hit.
Maybe we should listen to the Shepherd's words and be led by His voice. Could He be bidding you to come to the water, put your feet in and refresh your body and mind? When might I have time to find a body of water and put my feet in you ask if you are a busy mom or dad with jobs, babies, after school projects or sport practices, and the carpool....well, it's your week to drive and you need to think about dinner!
May I suggest something? Stop and pray. Yes, pray and ask God to order your day. It only takes a minute and while you're at it, take a deep breath. God wants you to have an abundant life, but we need to put Him at the top of the list instead of the bottom, or have you forgotten to put God on the list at all?
Have a great day....and if you don't have a stream close by, just fill a glass with water, remove your shoes and start pouring! If nothing else, you will find yourself laughing!
Photo courtesy of NGW from Hocking Hills State Park
During my devotional time I have begun reading Max Lucado's book, When God Whispers Your Name. It's a great book filled with lessons written by a master of the English language. Max Lucado expresses in word what most of us are thinking. To that end, today the entry was entitled, "Late Night Good News" and we all just LOVE last night news, right? Doom and gloom is the prevalent forecast topped with rain, floods or a possible hurricane. Anyway, the end of this selection was a dose of good sense and I am passing it along. If you wonder where God is and why hasn't He upset the current direction of today's society, don't think for one minute this stuff is flying under His radar. Our Lord is alive and well. As Max so eloquently expresses:
"The engineer has not abandoned the train. Nuclear war is no threat to God. Yo-yo economies don't intimidate the heavens. Immoral leaders have never derailed the plan.
God keeps his promise.
See for yourself. In the manger. He's there.
See for yourself. In the tomb. He's gone.
Max Lucado, copyright 1994, Word Publishing,
When God Whispers Your Name
Father God, may we continue to worship You and trust You are in complete control. From the moment of creation until the day You call us home, our El Roi, our Jehovah-shammah holds the whole wide world in Your hands. Amen!
Well, it's about 1:45 a.m. and I'm sitting at my computer unable to fall asleep. Maybe it has to do with catching a quick nap earlier this evening, but I think probably my lack of shut eye comes from an earlier conversation, or lack of one, with my mom.
As I have written before on this blog, mom is 97 and has increasing dementia. She lives in a nursing home six hours south of my home in Pittsburgh. When the initial decision was made where to move mom when she could no longer take care of herself in assisted living, the family chose to leave her in Virginia where I was raised and my siblings and their families are located. We also considered possible visits from church members along with extended family members.
Fast forward to four years later. Mom is still residing in a nursing home, she is totally blind, she is unable to walk or move around on her own and the dementia is slowly taking more of her memory. It's impossible to describe how this disease has slowly taken my mom and how hard I've tried to make this journey easier for her. I guess there is only so much you can do when you live six hours away and can only make monthly trips. Sitting in the nursing home now consists of basically watching her sleep until about 4 in the afternoon when she wakes up. At that point, we might have a better chance of a favorable visit.
I've commented often how my Mama can pray and I've video taped her doing so. Her communion with the Lord Jesus has not been erased by this disease. She might forget who I am, but she still knows Jesus. I pray that will be my legacy as well. The point of this blog is not to pile on sympathy, but to ask that you remember all those caregivers and family members who are dealing with loved ones living through various health conditions. God is mighty. God sees what is happening. God understands our pain and sorrow. He hears my mother's wailing and crying as a lost child not knowing where she is at times. I can't explain why this is happening, but I know from God's Word that weeping only lasts for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Mama's joy will come and she will forever leave behind the shackles of pain, blindness, immobility and confusion. What a day that will be! Until then, God grant us the ability to pray, to care, and to extend to our loved ones the help and assistance they need.
God bless, my friends....I think I'll head back to bed!
And My God Shall Supply All Your Need According To His Riches In Glory By Christ Jesus.
Life's little irritants...now that's a lesson in itself! Usually we think of irritants as a situation that occurs caused by another person. For instance, you have two items and go to the fast check out line at Giant Eagle. The sign posted near the checkout line reads, "Ten items or less" and the person in front of you has twenty items. You know this because you stood there and counted each one and you begin taking loud deep breaths and tapping your foot just in case the disobedient customer needs a signal that you aren't happy you have to wait.
My personal irritant of late happens to be a cowlick that has begun showing up in the back of my head! Yep, along with aching muscles and increasing wrinkles, now I have a cowlick? My hair stylist was told on my recent trip for a trim and she is implementing solutions; however, this troubling occurrence, daily needing my full attention, is all consuming. In fact, at a Pony League World Series game last week I took a break from watching the game to glance over the crowd at the heads of female attendees. You know, checking out to see if perhaps they had the same awful dilemma. It was like a game of "I Spy" and sure enough there were women with the same hair condition.
The next morning as I walked into the bathroom and started my daily procedure of covering over my cowlick, it was as if the Holy Spirit had enough. His audible voice seemed to be ringing in my head, "You know, Cookie, at least you have hair." And there it was. The incredible simple lesson overriding my first place, self-imposed race of desire. Suddenly all the women currently dealing with cancer or still in the throes of the after effects of chemo came rushing to the forefront of my mind. And I honestly felt very, very foolish.
Then, as if to enhance my personal lesson, the Holy Spirit continued to teach, "It's been 16 years since your adventure with breast cancer, Cookie. Sixteen years...with hair." It made my irritant seem extremely small in comparison and I thought, "Thank you, Lord, for you goodness and mercy and please forgive my selfish groanings. By the way, and not as an afterthought, thank you for the sixteen years I've been able to experience the joys given with my family."
Have a wonderful weekend, my friends. And if you encounter an irritant, just consider all the upsides and be thankful for what you have; especially if you're standing in the express aisle at the grocery store behind someone who has forgotten to look at the number of items sign! They just might be needing a smile or patience to get them through their day!
Blessings! It's not too early to begin to be thankful!
A sweet friend of mine sent this to me via Facebook today....what a beautiful song and message....a great way to start your week! Blessings!
An Atheist’s View on Life
I will live my life according to these beliefs
God does not exist
It is just foolish to think
That there is a God with a cosmic plan
That an all-powerful God brings purpose to the pain
And suffering in the world
Is a comforting thought, however
is only wishful thinking
People can do as they please without eternal consequences
The idea that
I am deserving of Hell
Because of sin
Is a lie meant to make me a slave to those in power
“The more you have, the happier you will be”
Our existence has no grand meaning or purpose
In a world with no God
There is freedom to be who I want to be
But with God
Everything is fine
It is ridiculous to think
I am lost and in need of saving
A Christian’s View on Life
(Read the above from bottom to top to see the difference)
I read a recent comment that we are all witnesses. Although I usually relate that term to sharing my faith in Jesus Christ to others, it has more to do with simply telling about something you have experienced. For instance, you're in a restaurant and are expressing your thoughts about what to order and someone at the next table overhears you and recommends a particular item that is tried and true. Or perhaps you are thinking about going to the movies and those you are with suggest one that is playing that is well worth the price. These individuals are giving witness to the subject at hand. It is much more than awkward proselytizing about religion, or images of courtroom witnesses.
Every believer in the Lord Jesus shares the privilege sharing through their personal witness of God's faithfulness and how He has aided through the storms of life and helped His children endure struggles. He's not a genie in a bottle, nor is He an instant gratification button you press through prayer when the clouds roll in. But He is the God who will walk every step of this journey with us and see us safely home. We are always to be ready to share our story of how we met and experience His goodness and mercy. That personal story is much better than the best meals served in restaurants and the greatest movie to hit the theaters....He is the greatest story every told!
"Jesus called out to them, 'Come, follow Me, and I will show you have to fish for people!' And they left their nets at once and followed Him." Mark 1:17-18 NLT
Do you realize how many times in scripture a story is told that centers around a character whose name is never revealed? Being in Women's Ministry, I use a lot of these women in my speaker material; the Shunammite woman who aided Elisha with her hospitality; the woman at the well who gave Jesus a drink of water and discovered living water; the widow who needed help with her debt following her husband's death and was unburdened when the little bit of oil she had left in a jar was multiplied, and on we could go. Each a very special woman that the Lord used to teach us a timeless lesson.
The reason I love the no names in the Bible is due to the fact we are all important to the Lord regardless of how many people know who we are. The important fact to remember is God knows us personally; He made us, He gifted us and He has a purpose for each one of us to fulfill. It doesn't matter how many people know our name, but it does matter the influence and message your life brings to others.
I simply wanted to remind you, if you are reading this short note, God loves you and you are very important to Him. God bless and have an awesome Sunday of worship!
In case you missed it and would like to see the interview I did with Marnie Swedberg from Women's Speakers, here you go! I was thrilled to have this opportunity and look forward to possibly sharing with more women's groups as the Lord leads!