Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Speaking Faith

I could complain today about the cold weather or about all the teens at the mall who have no idea any one's around except them. Or I could complain about my hairdresser whom I dearly love but can't seem to get my hair the exact right length every time. There's always something that isn't quite perfect, isn't there? Complaining gets me nowhere ever and I don't believe there's a single verse in the Bible that tells us to whine.

I listened to a preacher from Broken Arrow on TV Sunday morning--a man I've heard many times and whose father founded a church and Bible school on one word. Faith. He reminded me to say Faith words; words that guide my life in the way I want to go because death and life are in the power of the tongue.

The words we speak produce. They produce life and faith or they produce something else; something we may see at the moment but don't want to happen. Mark 11:23,24 was this man's basis for his ministry. Faith words move mountains.

I've got a lot of faith words going on right now in my life, but the one I want to speak today is "the new year will be better than we can imagine."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


From my office window this morning I can see the courtyard and the wreath hanging on the gate. All covered with snow.

Christmas and snow seem to go together although snow at Christmas messes with travel. We aren't going away for the holidays but we do plan to meet friends for lunch today. On Christmas Day we'll travel to the west side and spend the day with family. The snow won't keep us from these two events.

Snow is quiet, peaceful. I love being inside and looking out at the snow before anyone has walked or driven in it.

No snowballs, no snowmen, no sledding in my life today. Just peace.

My prayer for all is that you have a blessed, peaceful holiday celebrating our Saviour's birth.

Monday, December 21, 2009

God Can Talk

I love it when I ask God a question and He answers me.

I know. Many people look at me like I'm crazy when I say God communicates with me. I talk to Him so why wouldn't He talk back?

The past few weeks have been a windstorm of activities that began when we were almost completely sure we are making some big living changes. I say almost completely because that's exactly what we feel.

The first step in this "almost completely" is to put our house on the market. Since houses in our price range aren't selling well (and we have houses on both sides of us for sale), we know that getting an offer on our house will be an act of God. Still, we are sure of that one thing.

Next is knowing that we will be downsizing. We have four bedrooms, four bathrooms, and an office. We love all this room when we have company, but most of the time we don't even go into the other rooms. Downsizing means "get rid of some stuff we don't need." And that's what we've been doing. I love seeing some empty shelves in every closet; love having the pantry neatly organized. We still have files to cull and papaers to shread, the garage to attack and Christmas to put away.

After the first of January the house goes on the market and we have to keep it viewer-ready at all times; work that I'll enjoy because that's how I wish I lived all the time.

What is the next step? Leave our town and move to another? That appears to be what we're hearing, but we are open. A person with my personality needs challenges and wants to know what is ahead. I'm not comfortable not knowing what I'm going to do tomorrow and next year. For this malady God has been telling me (Yes, I know that sounds odd to some)that He is the lamp and light in my path. He's the Light and He's carrying the lamp. I can see the next step but unless He moves, I'd better wait for illumination.

As we were getting ready for church yesterday morning I asked God to speak to me. During communion I looked around the assembly at the people I've grown to love and said, "Lord, I don't want to leave." That was it until the preacher began his message. The title was "The Joy of Obedience." Oh, my.

Jesus knew the will of God from the time He was very young. Being God He knew He was going to have to give His life for the redemption of the world. Do you wonder if, before He began His ministry and knew He was going to have to face a whole bunch of guys who didn't "get it," that He said to His Father, "Why don't we just get this over with and die today?" Hebrews 10:7-"I have come to do your will, O God." Timing.

Jesus embraced obedience to God and in doing that He embraced the Right Time.
I'm not Jesus, but He's definitely the One I want to emulate and follow. Why else am I here except to fulfill His will and the destiny He has for me? He says that we will keep His commandments if we love Him. Jesus is not only the WAY of salvation, He is MY salvation. Following Him is my salvation.

Every morning I--we--need to wake up saying, "I have come to do your will today, Lord. Light my path and help me see." That means I have to let go of my self and my selfish desires minute by minute. That's the Joy in Obedience.

To top the message off, the closing hymn was "Trust and Obey." Yes, I heard from Jesus in the way He speaks to me. And, no, I still want to know more about our future, but maybe I know more than I know I know. Whatever comes, I'm waiting for Him to light our way.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

In My Path

The past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy. Christmas time is always busy, but more than the holidays has been happening. Our daughter-in-law's sister is in the hospital with bilateral pneumonia and is quite sick. My husband has been called on to pick up our grandkids from school today and take them to piano lessons. The daughter-in-law is torn and under a lot of stress because she and her sister are really close. Prayers are going up for all of them.
We've had an event in my family that put a lot of stress on us. At this moment, things appear to have smoothed out somewhat, but while it was going on, all of us were hurting. This will need a lot of prayer, too.
Families can seem to be blessings or curses. I had a mother-in-law at one time who nearly drove me crazy because she really was crazy. My sister-in-law had been the "boss" of the family for so long that she thought she could tell us how to live. When my husband and I separated, the best part was divorcing that family.
My dad's sisters were constantly fussing between the two of them and one of the sisters-in-law. My parents refused to get involved in the spats. Even when they knew the sisters were mad at my mother, they went right on and acted like nothing was wrong. My dad was a true peacemaker and my mother didn't believe in fighting with anyone.
Last week, in the midst of the termoil that was going on in my family, I read two statements that gave me pause. Both were in the Reader's Digest. The first was from a book excerpt called "Laugh, Pray, Love" by Kate Braestrup. Something she learned from Mother Teresa was "Help those whom God has placed in your path."
She writes, "I remembered thinking, I like it! I had a nice image of myself walking down a well-marked path in the sunshine. I came around a corner and--whoops--there she or he was: the person God placed in my path."
Since I read that, I've thought about the people I have run into in my life. Some of them were there for just an instant; others are still with me. If I really believe God has placed people in my path, I don't dare get mad at them and walk away, do I? If they do something that needs forgiving, what do I do? Easier said than done sometimes, but I forgive and look for God in the relationship.
The other quote that makes sense and fits with this is from Desmond Tutu's book, "God Has a Dream." He writes "You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them."
Wow! How many quarrels and divisons would end if we all believed these two statements. If I'd known this, how different I would have seen the crazy mother-in-law and her daughter. And my husband.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 16:9. "A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Steps that lead right in my path.
Family members are God's gift to us.
People we run into on the street, in the grocery store, at church--everywhere, are there because God has put them in our path.
Can you get your head around this? Will it change your life as it has mine?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Facing Everything With God

I don't know anyone who isn't facing something bad or scary or frightening or heartbreaking. I know what some of them are going through but others--no. Just that they have something in their lives that's hard.

When I was young, I don't remember facing anything like this. We didn't know people who took drugs or were alcoholics. I knew of one family whose son was in the military and was killed in an accident. I was about 14 then. When I was 18, my best friend's mom got cancer and died. Later I knew of more deaths but nothing like what I hear of today. When I was in high school, I knew one classmate who died. When my daughters were in high school, they knew many people their age who died in accidents. Now it seems there's more unhappiness than just death, and there are plenty of those.

Has life gotten worse or have I lived long enough to realize it?

How do we cope? I know I can't do it without God. Even when He answers a prayer, that may not be the end of whatever is going on in life. I can remember times when I prayed for something thinking that when the prayer was answered all my troubles would be over. Sometimes the answer was just the beginning. I got through all those places. Never alone. He's always been right beside me or carrying me whenever I couldn't walk any farther.

My prayer is for everyone who can't make it alone to do the same thing--ask for His help. He is more than able.

Many Words About Nothing

Up early. Started by studying Bible lesson. Got Google sidetracked. Back to Bible study then back to blogging.

One of the reasons I love reading Facebook and blogs is that I, like a blog friend, love stories. That's why I write. My mother was the kind of person people loved being around. Whatever was happening, she could make people laugh. Her stories were exciting and fun to hear. Some family members accused her of making them up but she just said, "They're all true. I just make them more interesting."

You can tell a story and have listeners on the edge of their chairs, or you can repeat a story and have them yawn. I prefer the edge. Maybe I'm a little like her. I hope so.

Here's a story that isn't fun: I have been trying to sell some things on e-bay. Somehow I never get to the posting end before the page expires. I'm not sure what Craig's List actually means. Do people come to my house and shop? I know a person or two who have posted with Craig and it seemed to work for them. What I need to do is gather up all this stuff and have a garage sale. One problem. We can't do that in our neighborhood. Maybe set up a table on the side of a busy street? Doubt if I could get away with that either. What do I do with all these knick-knacks--some of which are pretty expensive? Giving them away has worked in the past, but it would be nice to get a little something for them, especially during these days of famine. Well, not real famine.

As you can see, I'm rambling and none of it is funny. Guess I'm not as much my mother's daughter as I hoped. At least this morning, but there's always another day and another story.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Happy Monday Again

Monday morning--my favorite day of the retired week.

I woke up at 5:00 this morning thinking of all I have to do this week. Anxious to get started I finally got up at 6:00.

I like Mondays because I have a whole new week to get everything done that I didn't finish last week. I get to do laundry which means clean sheets and all the clothes clean.

The only problem with waking up this early is running down by the middle of the day and still having lots to do.

This past week end was non-stop from start to finish. Looks like the rest of the week is the same. But I'm not complaining. I'm grateful that God has given me things to do and the ability to do them. I'd go crazy if I wasn't busy although some down time is good, too.

Last Friday night we attended the Holiday Stroll in Old Town. Thousands of people on the streets enjoying the festivities: street singers, lights, vendors and the huge Christmas tree lighting. The priest of the church gave the invocation and it was full of Jesus. No one told this crowd to keep quiet about their beliefs! Loved being with friends and braving the cold.

Mark Twain said that man was created last when God was tired. I disagree. God saved the best for last.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


What is the one Christian virtue most of us don't possess and all of us pray for?


I received an email today about patience. Mostly it was about being patient with our children. I can't tell everything he said but with every word I read I wished I had been more patient with my girls. Water under the bridge, spilt milk, all that and more. I can't change what I didn't do so as Paul said about something else entirely--let's go on to something else.

Today I am learning patience once more. Maybe every day, but today for sure. I see where I'm going and want to get there NOW!

It doesn't work that way, does it? When God shows us a way to go, He doesn't immediately move us in that direction. Instead we have to wait for how to get there.
Moses is a prime example. I bet he learned a lot about patience from the time he killed the Egyptian until he died out in that wilderness. In impatience he struck the rock and never made it to the Promised Land.

I don't want to strike the rock and get ahead of God. I don't even want to follow Him because I could get too far behind and get lost. I want to walk right beside Him knowing that in His time I'll be where He's called me and it will be just the way He wants me to get there.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Unmovable Faith

I opened my shades again this morning and there was that beautiful mountain. What a blessing I've had for six and a half years to be able to see the Sandias from my windows. I never dreamed I would fall in love with a mountain.

My husband spoke at an assisted living facility recently. He talked about gratitude and whether we are thermostats or thermometers.

A thermometer measures the temperature of the moment. A thermostat sets the temperature. Something happened yesterday that disappointed me. Instead of remaining fixed in gratitude, my thermometer fell. It took me awhile to shake it off and reset my thermostat to thankfulness.

Paul said to give thanks in all things for this is the will of God. I'm endeavoring to set my thermostat on giving thanks no matter what happens. I want my faith to be like that mountain I see every day--unmovable.