Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Crumbs on the Counter

I have the most forgiving kitchen counter top. The dark colors hide almost everything. I love it. But one thing I discovered that I don't love is when I get down at eye level with the counter. Yuck! There you can see every bread crumb you missed. Every spot of dust in the corners. Every sticky spot that didn't get wiped up. It looks like I didn't bother to wash it at all. I will wipe it again and take another eye level inspection. Almost every time there will still be something I missed that needs another cleaning.

So it is with my spiritual life. When I just look over the surface of things - it looks pretty darn good. Camouflaged by the various designs of life. But when I bend down and humble myself and take a closer look. There are sticky spots that need tended to and washed with the Word. Dust in the corners that I neglected when I got too busy. Crumbs that seemed too tiny to bother with, but are still there even if you can't always see them.

And after I clean up the surface, if I get down on my knees and look down that's where I see what has piled up right there under my feet. Under the counter. The stuff that just gets dropped or even kicked under because I'm in too big of a hurry to deal with it right then. Just because I didn't deal with it or clean it up doesn't mean it isn't there. Some of it I can see from where I am standing. But some of it can only be seen when I get down low and bow my head down.

Our whole perspective on godliness and cleanliness changes when we change our posture. Standing upright - looks good. Bending down a bit - oh my! On my knees will be a completely different view.

My life - like my kitchen - I want to be clean and open for inspection. I don't want to just kick it under the counter or hide it in the corner. Because here's the deal, until or unless you clean up the dirt and the sticky stuff, it is still there. Denial of it or ignoring it does not make it go away. It will never self-clean. Neither will our spiritual lives. Jesus wants to wash us with His Word.

Who wants company when their kitchen is a disaster? No woman I know wants anyone to see it a mess. Who do we tend to stay away from when our lives are neglected? For me I stayed away from other Christians. I didn't want them to know.

Whether we deny it, ignore it or clean it up - is up to us and probably will depend on the level of our knees and eyes when we stop and take a good hard look.

Be blessed today.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Little Down Time

Where on earth did 18 days go?! Since I can only seem to account for some of it, I will share what I remember in the midst of the whirlwind.

Had the amazing privilege of spending some time with my grandson, Simon, while his Mommy was in school working on her Master's degree and his Daddy was helping at basketball camp.

Spent time with our children over the Father's Day weekend. - Always LOVE that.

Went to a graduation party for my dear friend, Angela, who got her nursing degree. Go Ang!

Went to a baby shower for my sweet friend, Kristy. I am so extremely happy for her and her husband.

Heard our dear friend, Wayne, preach at our church this past Sunday. And how sweet it was. Not only did Wayne get to preach at the same church where he came to know Christ, but his friend came forward to accept Christ after Wayne preached. Love how God uses the seeds to produce the harvest.

Then there were three practices for Called to Belong worship event that is coming up on August 28th. Glory to God for His mighty hand in that.

Tonight was a little me time. With my husband having the men's prayer group/bible study tonight, I decided to head on out to Rite-Aid and VOA for a little bargain shopping. Spent a total of $1.98 at Rite-Aid for 8 hair products, 24 rolls of TP, 2 shaving creams, 1 deodorant, 1 toothpaste, 8 bags of M&Ms, 6 packages of some other unmentionables (since I know there are some men who read this) and then to the VOA for a new (never worn) pair of shoes, 2 dresses, 6 tops (1 with the tags still on), 2 adorable scarves to go with the dresses. It was 50% off night! Oh and a new book! Entire night - less than $28. Not too bad.

The next few days are looking a lot less busy - Praise God. So perhaps there will be something more worthwhile coming from this blog by then.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Finding Your Own Way

I have found myself over the years to be directionally challenged. I have gotten better with time - especially after you have enough times getting lost. But there is still something within me that tends to get sidetracked every once in awhile. It happened again this week.

Last year I didn't get lost out of sheer fear when I went to deliver precious items to my husband at his men's retreat . So when he headed off this weekend for the same destination I was determined to make sure he had everything he might need.

Sadly, he had me run an errand for him on Wednesday and I found myself calling him to figure out how I could have missed my turn. Mind you, I was traveling within 30 miles of our home, had been to this particular store numerous times in the last year and a half and there was no snow on the road - no detours either. He redirected me and I managed to find my way home all by myself!

Here's the thing - all the times we had driven to this store, my husband was driving. I was merely the passenger. If the ride had been over an hour, then I could pass it off on sleeping while he drove. But this wasn't the case. I was wide awake admiring the scenery. Because my husband was driving though, I didn't need to pay close attention to which turn he took.

So what gives? Interestingly I think our faith is kind of like this. We can ride on someone's else's experience, prayers, faith, bible knowledge, etc. for a time. But the day will come when we need to know how to navigate and move forward on our own. I can't ride on my husband's, my pastor's, my mentor's or for that matter Beth Moore's faith and get very far. They lead me, direct me, teach me, give direction and encourage me. However, their faith is their's - not mine. I had to make it my own or I may very well get so lost that I find myself heading in the exact opposite direction God intended. Can anybody relate?

God has given me multiple opportunities to learn and grow and test my faith-teeth over the last several years. I have no doubt that he has given you multiple opportunities as well. So jump on the offer and let God lead you on your own personal journey with Him. You won't be disappointed!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Simon, Simon and the hot dog vendor

It was a first in my life this weekend. First for my husband too. Our first grandchild, Simon, had his first overnight visit at our house.
Babies grow so fast that you don't dare waste a minute not appreciating each phase for it will quickly pass. The most precious moment was getting Simon out of bed this morning when he woke up. I had forgotten how wonderful those very first few morning moments are. It all came flooding back and I am grateful for it. What a blessing to have this time. We are going to be having a blast over the years as Simon comes to spend the night with Nana and Papa.

But before Simon ever arrived for the weekend, I was attending the Ashland Theological Seminary graduation where our dear friend Reggie Cureton was graduating.
I remember the first time I ever met Reggie and over a short period of time he became an acquaintance of my husband also. But the defining moment of his friendship in our family was the day he showed up at the hospital to pray for Kenny after Kenny had been admitted for what we thought were heart problems. It wasn't long until Reggie became a regular at the Tuesday night men's group that meets at our house. I love Reggie's testimony - he was a hot dog vendor for many years until God got a hold of him. He sold all he had and committed to attending seminary in Ohio. Moved far from his family and friends and trusted the Lord for provisions and wisdom. God provided both. And God provided a wonderful friend for my husband as well. I can hardly write this without crying because I know in a few weeks Reggie will be leaving for Texas.

God has blessed us with a grandchild and good friends. I am trusting he will bless us with more of both over time.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My Favorite Bible

In 2004, I purchased my very first NIV translation bible. I fell in love with it. Couldn't stop reading it as the words popped off the pages in a new way. Over the years it became ragged and the binding fell off and the words somehow got smaller on the pages.

So God blessed me with a new bible a couple of years ago. Same words - bigger letters. I laid my old bible on my nightstand and haven't really used it much since I got the new one. But tonight I picked it up and my heart stirred. This bible and I have been through some life together with Jesus. I have actually slept with it holding it to my chest during difficult nights. There are tear stains, coffee stains and life all throughout its pages. Not just the lives of those we read about, but my life. The highlighted verses are rich in meaning to me. I think I just needed to be reminded yet again of how faithful God is and how much He and I have been through.

When I flipped open the pages tonight, I was also amazed that the words got bigger as it laid there on my nightstand. Or perhaps it was just the bifocals. But whatever the case may be, it will always be my favorite.