Thursday, May 28, 2009

God Can!

God CAN.
I need to focus on the fact that God CAN, and quit obsessing over whether or not He will. God CAN work in my present LifeTremor. I want the hurting to end, the puzzle pieces to fit and the ending to be happy. I know that GOD CAN bring all that to pass. But, will He? Or maybe I should ask, what's His will?

God CAN.
That's basically what Daniel's 3 buddies said when they were about to be tossed into the fiery furnace -- God CAN! They acknowledged that they did not know whether or not He would. That was ok with them. They knew that God could -- and that was enough. Scripture tells us:

Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and he will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if he does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.”

God CAN.
Today I choose to praise the God who CAN -- whether or not He does.

God CAN!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A verse from a friend

A friend of mine sent me this great verse. Ps. 10:14 “But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand.” I don't remember ever reading it before -- don't you love how a verse will jump out at you just when you need its message? God's Word is so awesome!

Do you have some trouble and grief today? Something just not going your way? Are you feeling oppressed or depressed? Are you feeling like no one notices -- not even God? Well, take heart! Ps 10:14 reassures us that God sees our trouble and grief. But not only does He see, He also pays attention to it and is able to take it all into His amazing hand. God's hand is strong and powerful. God's hand is able to contain any trouble or grief we face. He can get His fingers around our problems. Our trials aren't too hard, too big or too persistent for our God.

Today I am thankful for my friend who led me to God's word which revealed God's mighty hand.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

God's kindness to me

Today, I'm in awe of God's kindness to me -- His often struggling, scared, needy child. Just when I can become overwhelmed at a LifeTremor, God provides an opportunity to take my eyes off myself and serve someone else. I spent time today working on a message I will be presenting this Saturday to the sweet women of Jerusalem Baptist. I haven't even met them yet, but I know they're sweet because they belong to Jesus. I was blessed today to think about them, to anticipate their faces, their needs, their desires. God used these unknown women to return my focus where it belongs -- to God!

I spent some precious time in God's Word, thinking about the fact that we are God's workmanship. (For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Eph 2:10 NIV) What an amazing thought -- to be God's workmanship. Can't wait to explore this more. Thank you God for Your kindness to me today and tomorrow and tomorrow and . . .

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Friends

Today I had the sweet pleasure of a long walk with a dear friend. Margena was in town for a few days. We spent about 6 years praying together for our children in a Moms In Touch (MIT) group. Then she moved away, but we keep in touch and try to visit each other when we can. So, today was pure joy.

Margena is the kind of friend who is there in a LifeTremor. She's someone I email or call right away for prayer support. I know she will pray; her heart will hurt when mine hurts. She's that kind of friend. Today I told her about my latest LifeTremor, and she listened and felt my pain. Then she shared her LifeTremors, and I listened and felt her pain. I know we will pray for one another. I also know it was a gift of God that she was in town right now. I needed her. I needed that long walk with someone who would understand, offer encouragement, and pray.

Don't we all need friends like that? My friendship with Margena was founded on prayer. What a way to bond! We spent years meeting together and praying for one another. Nothing solidifies a friendship like prayer. Throw in some LifeTremors, mix in some tears and laughter. Now you have a friendship that lasts through time and distance.

I'm thankful for my friends!

Friday, May 22, 2009

I've been quakin'

It's been a quakin' kind of week. Life has presented one challenge after another. I've felt everything from extreme anxiety to outright fear. Spent one sleepless night followed by a night of deep sleep from complete exhaustion. I've been hopeful one moment and despaired the next. I guess you could say I've been on an emotional roller coaster, and I'm ready to GET OFF!

Through all this quaking, one constant has remained -- the steadfast presence of God. I haven't always felt His presence, but I've trusted that He is there. After all, He promised He would be. Why would I quit believing that promise now? Now's the time I need my Rock the most -- when life is quakin'.

God has continued to pour His Word into my mind even when I could not sit still. I'm so thankful for my IPOD, my walking shoes, and some great messages from Godly women. The amazing part has been God's perfect timing. He sent a message of hope when I despaired, a message of comfort when sadness gripped me, and a gentle rebuke when I needed correction. God sent just what I needed. How did He know? He knew because He's God, and He knows me inside and out. Perhaps the most amazing thing is that He still loves me. No the most amazing thing is that He loved me in the first place.

I sure am glad that when life is quakin' my God is standing firm.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My Choice

I had a choice this morning. My circumstances looked bleak and my problems looked imsurmountable. How would I view my God? Would I see Him as unconcerned at what was happening, would I see Him as too small to handle what life had thrown my way? Would I whine and complain and continue to feel sorry for myself? (It sure feels good to wallow in a little self pity and moan, "oh woe is me.")

Today I read the context of my scripture memory verse. Hab 3:17-18 says this:

Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

Don't you just love how God's Word can penetrate straight to the heart? His Word broke through my self-pity to expose the truth. I had a choice. I have one each day. I can choose to rejoice in the Lord and be joyful in God my Savior OR I can let my circumstances dictate my mood.

This day I choose JOY. This day I choose to rejoice in God my Savior. Let me tell you why I can rejoice.
R = My God is Real and He is my Redeemer
E = My God is Eternal and Everlasting
J = My God is Just; His name is Jesus
O = My God is Omnipotent and Over all
I = My God is the Great I AM. He Inspires me
C = My God is Caring and Compassionate
E = My God is Emmanuel (God with us)

He is reason enough to choose Joy this day!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Personal Bravery

I'm working on memorizing the scripture I mentioned in my last blog entry. Today I have needed to know that God is my personal bravery. I've been dealing with an old, old issue -- one that keeps coming back. You know the kind. Maybe yours is a health issue that will not be resolved, an aging parent requiring more and more care each year, a prodigal child who keeps repeating the same mistake . . .

It's so easy to become tired and discouraged. That's why I love this verse so much. Hab 3:19 begins "The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery and my invincible army . . . I don't have to try hard to be brave; I can rely on my God to supply every bit of courage and bravery required. I'm so thankful.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Encouraged by the Word

I was greatly encouraged by the Word of God recently. A good friend of mine wrote me an encouraging email -- the best kind -- the kind that included her favorite scripture. The words of a friend can bring such joy to my heart, but the Word of God can change my life. Then another friend reminded me of the importance of scripture memory. I've decided it's been much too long since I've memorized a scripture passage. Then just this morning I listened to another great teaching by Beth Moore called "Crossing Our River of Fear." She encouraged her listeners to memorize Hab 3:19 in the Amplified Version. I think this is just the scripture I need to learn.

Hab 3:19
The Lord God is my strength, my personal bravery and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds' feet, and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering or responsibility]!

These are precious words I needed to hear this day. Now to commit them to memory so I'll have them with me all the days of my life!

Want to join me? You'll never regret putting God's Word in your heart.

In The Waiting

Ever thought that God might be sending some of our LifeTremors? If He’s not sending them, He’s certainly allowing them in our lives. Ever thought that when we cry out for the trial to end, God might be saying “Wait! This can be the best thing that’s ever happened to you if you let me work through it.”

I feel like this might be happening right now in my life. Seeing God’s hand in my LifeTremor is difficult. My judgment is clouded by the pain. My mind cries out for relief. But, God just might be up to something incredible. Will I let Him complete His work, or will I simply want the pain to end? Am I so concerned about the end result that I miss what He's doing right now?

Oh how I want lives to be transformed -- including mine. I want this LifeTremor to have purpose – to result in something so good that one day I will say “It was worth it!” Will I be still enough and wait for that to happen?

I listened to music on my IPOD yesterday as I went for another long walk. The cd was by a husband/wife group called Providence (http://www.providencelive.org/). The song was called “In the Waiting” by Dave Clark, Don Koch, Gregory Long.


Here are the lyrics; I can’t say it any better . . .

Pain
The gift nobody longs for, still it comes
And somehow leaves us stronger
When it's gone away
Pray
I try and pray for Your will to be done
But I confess it's never fast enough for me
It seems the hardest part is waiting on You
When what I really want
Is just to see Your hand move
I want a peace beyond my understanding
I want to feel it fall like rain
In the middle of my hurting
I want to feel Your arms as they surround me
And let me know that it's okay
To be here in this place
Resting in the peace that only comes
In the waiting
Time
Time to let it go and just believe
Trusting in what no one else but You can see
Free
Freedom from the fears that close me in
When I can't get beyond where I have been, but then
Again
The silence doesn't mean that I'm alone
As long as I can hear
That I am still Your own

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Why LifeTremors?

Why this blog? Because a major LifeTremor just happened in our family. We continue our difficult journey; the details aren't mine to share. However, when one family member hurts, the others usually hurt too. I sit here in the midst of a storm, with a heart in pain, and an uncertain future. Yesterday I wanted to stay in bed under the covers. I didn't want to answer the phone because I'd have to talk. I wanted to sink into despair and feel sorry and sad. And that's just when God showed up -- meeting me at my low point -- interrupting my life with His Presence. Perhaps I should call that a GodTremor!

Bible teacher Beth Moore and I went for a long walk together. Well, Beth wasn't exactly with me, but her voice was -- through my IPOD. God used her voice and the mechanics of an IPOD to send me a Word I desparately needed to hear. And I want to share it with YOU.

Beth taught from the Bible passage in Acts 16:16-34 when Paul and Silas were in prison. In the midst of their struggle, they did something incredible -- they sang and praised God! Having been severely beaten and put in prison, they praised.

I knew this lesson -- to praise God in the midst of trouble. I had even taught that to women at a weekend retreat. But LifeTremors seem to sneak up on us, don't they? We're in them before we realize it. And then it's hard to remember to praise God. In fact, it's the opposite of what we want to do. I didn't even want to open my mouth to speak with anyone, much less open my mouth to praise my God.

But, that's exactly what Paul and Silas did, it's what Beth Moore suggested we do, and it's finally what I did -- I opened my mouth and praised my GOD! And do you know what happened? My circumstances did not change, the trial did not disappear, life did not suddenly get easy. But I changed. My spirit lifted, my attitude changed and hope returned. My focus shifted off my LifeTremor and onto my God, who is mightier than anything life can bring.

Perhaps you're experiencing a LifeTremor yourself. Here's a link to Beth's message (called LifeQuakes) so you can hear it yourself. I'll share more of what God's teaching me soon . . .