Monday, August 31, 2009

A Hurting Friend

I have a friend who is hurting. She's struggling in her marriage right now in a way that I struggled in the past. So, I understand the roller coaster of emotions she's experiencing. I understand when she's angry and wants to lash out. I understand when she's discouraged and ashamed. I remember feeling so unloved and unlovely. I wish no one ever had to feel that way.

But life happens. Hard times come -- Jesus warned us they would.

We can't control the emotions that sweep over us like a giant wave. Feelings are real and need to be acknowledged. But, we can control how we act. And that's the hard part.

You know what my friend is doing? She's talking to good friends, and she's seeking help from godly people. Is she handling her LifeTremor perfectly? Of course not. But she's getting through one day at a time, one hour at a time, and I'm proud of her.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Fear or Faith

I think that's been the theme of my summer -- fear or faith -- which will I choose? Everywhere I turn I'm faced with the choice -- fear or faith. God seems to be presenting situation after situation so I am continually faced with that question. I've blogged about it, prayed about it, thought about it, talked about it.

When God repeats a message or a challenge I know He wants me to pay attention. He's trying to teach me something profound OR He's trying to prepare me for what I will face in the future. God always has a purpose.

Choosing faith in the small challenges prepares me to choose faith in the larger ones. I'm practicing making the right choice. I'm practicing choosing faith. I'm practicing faith.

Fear or faith? Which will you choose today?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On the Edge

Have you ever felt as if you were standing on the edge of a huge cliff and looking down? You're not quite sure if you're about to soar or to fall. Well, that's how I feel right now. We have a decision to make that might lead to incredible heights. Or, it might cause a painful crash. We're just not sure.

So, what do we do?

We cry out to God. We cry aloud for wisdom. After all, that's what God tells us to do.

James 1:5-6 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

So, this morning my husband and I asked God for wisdom. And then I asked God for the faith to believe and not doubt that He will grant us wisdom. Now we wait -- expectantly, hopefully, even with excitement -- we wait to see the invisible footprints of our wise and loving God.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Footprints of God

Your path led through the sea,
your way through the mighty waters,
though your footprints were not seen. Psalm 77:19

Ever gone through a tough time when you doubted God was even there?
Or maybe you've just been experiencing a trial for so long that you think God has forgotten you. I think the Israelites might have felt the same way when they were hemmed in between the Red Sea and Pharoah's army. Where was God anyway? Nowhere to be seen!

But God parted that sea and led them right through the mights waters -- even though they couldn't see Him. Psalm 77:19 tells us that God's "footprints were not seen."

I wonder how many times in my life I've thought God was distant, aloof, or that He'd forgotten me when He was actually right beside me -- but His "footprints were not seen." I wonder.

God, would You grant me eyes that see the unseen? I want to see your footprints all over my life. I KNOW they are there, because I KNOW You are there. Open my eyes. Or better yet, strengthen my faith so I trust in the unseen footprints of my loving Father.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Lukewarm

I have a confession to make -- one that I don't want to write. I've been feeling lukewarm about church lately. There, I've said it. I hope no one can relate. I hope you aren't feeling the same way about your church. God has something to say about being lukewarm - remember? It's written in Revelation 3:16 to the church in Laodicea. "So, because you are lukewarm -- neither hot nor cold -- I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Ooooooo, I don't like reading that. I just confessed I'm feeling lukewarm about church, and I know that's not what God wants.

I know the reason I'm feeling that way -- it's summertime. During the summer many of our ongoing programs and studies don't meet, and I'm just not as connected as I usually am. And I can start to feel lukewarm.

So, I told God how I felt this morning. Yep, just blurted it right out when I was talking to Him this morning. Even said it outloud. Of course I knew He already knew how I felt. But, I needed to admit it. And you know what God did in response?

He gave me the sweetest day.

You see, I had to drop off something at church today for my husband. It was a simple errand that didn't have to take very long. But, as I walked back into the church office, I had one conversation after another with the church staff.

Here's a sampling of what we spoke about:
vacation plans
helping with ministry
a son's wedding
golfing plans
Facebook and Twitter and websites and such
new hair styles
a much anticipated first grandchild
prodigal children
phone calls from grown children
a visit with a niece
blogs
wisdom
Texas

All that in about 30 minutes and with at least 7 or 8 different people. Whew! These friends on our church staff loved on me for awhile and reminded me that church isn't a building. Church isn't even Sunday morning service. Church is the body of Christ comprised of people just like me, who sometimes grow lukewarm about important things like church.

I had the sweetest day. And I don't feel lukewarm anymore.
Thanks again God!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Summer with God

I just spent a few precious minutes catching up with a young friend. As we shared about our summers I confessed I wasn't spending as much time doing in-depth Bible study as I do during the rest of the year. I never want to admit that -- it almost feels like taking time off from God -- and that is NOT what I intend to do. Yet, every summer, my study time lessons as my organized Bible study ends and I begin to do "summer" things.

My wise-beyond-her-years friend Becca reminded me there is a difference in studying about God and just enjoying being with Him. Sometimes we get so caught up in studying to know Him that we forget to simply enjoy His Presence. She thought summer provided that time -- to become more aware of God in our everyday tasks, to experience His creation outdoors, to treasure His perfect timing in providing a change in life's flow. God has a reason for creating the seasons. Becca reminded me that change is good and taking a break from structured study can bring a clarity of mind that will lead to a richer study time later.

I am blessed. I am thankful to God for the summer. I'm thankful for the simple Bible reading plan and shorter study I'm doing to stay close to God. It's not taking time off from God; it's just experiencing Him in a different way. And that can be a very good thing.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Standing Firm

Ran across a Bible verse that reminded me of this blog.

Ps 75:3
When the earth and all its people quake,
it is I who hold its pillars firm.


The earth might be quaking and ALL its people too -- that includes you and me. Does life ever feel like that to you? It's felt that way to me most of the summer-- like one big LifeTremor.

The scripture does not say that God quakes -- just the earth and all its people. God doesn't quake; He is constant and sure. That knowledge comforts me.

In fact, God is so still and so strong that He is able to hold the earth's pillars firm. And if God can hold the earth's pillars firm, don't you think He can quiet the shaking ground under your feet?

I'm thankful today that I love and serve such a God. He's standing firm, and I will be too as long as I'm clinging to Him.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Coincidence?

I had a funny thing happen to me this morning. I have a notebook that I use for my morning prayer time. It's divided by days of the week. On Tuesdays I pray for several specifice things including the teaching and speaking ministry God has given me.
I ask Him to teach me to:
teach
prepare
speak
write
organize
plan
be disciplined
review
memorize
study
rest

Today, as I prayed through that list, I noticed that it overlapped with a list of women I pray for on Tuesdays. They are 3 women who have been instrumental in launching my ministry. I noticed that their names were written next to my long list of things I was asking God for.

Coincidence?
My friend "S" was listed next to "memorize" and I know that she desires to memorize scripture. So, I prayed for God's Word to stick in her mind so she could remember and quote it to others. She has such a tender heart for those in need, and scripture off her tongue can be such an encouragement to those she serves.

My friend "L" was listed next to "study." Recently she told me how she loves to study God's Word and desires that she find the right scripture to use as she prays for others. So, I prayed for her study time to be rich and for God to lead her to verses she can turn into prayer.

My friend "S" is younger than all of us. Her name was written next to "rest." I thought of how busy she is and how she needs time to just rest. So I prayed for God to reveal when it is time to work and when it's time to rest. I prayed for her to find refreshment and peace as she rests in God.

Coincidence that these names were written next to those particular words? Coincidence that I saw the connection between these women and "memorize, study and rest?" I've read that page in my prayer journal over and over for months, but I never noticed the connection until today.

I'm thinking that God wanted my friends prayed for TODAY and in this particular way. I can't wait to hear what God is up to . . .

Coincidence? I think not!
God has a plan and He knows exactly what He's up to!

Monday, August 3, 2009

New Blog Name

I was asked to change my blog name to avoid confusion with someone else's. So, welcome to LifeTremors. I've moved all my old posts here, and I'm up and blogging again. Welcome if you're new, and welcome back if you've visited before. Leave a comment when you can. It's always nice to know you're out there.