Thursday, August 27, 2015

On Being Alone By An Artist/Musician



For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.


The life of an artist/musician/wife of a pastor is a lonely life.  I spent many  hours alone in our last ministry position because of my love of art and my practice hours were always spent alone (who wants to hear someone practice anyway?)  There are some things a person doesn't choose for himself, however, and being an artist or musician (or pastor's wife) are just a few.  God gives us abilities and the desire to create, whatever that may be.  What we do with those abilities gives us more pleasure than meets the eye but our lives can still be very lonely.
Only since moving close to family have I found that my life is now very full .  There are family needs and wants to be met, places to go and things to see, people to meet and things to share, meals together and moments of conversation.  I'm still an artist, musician and (retired)pastor's wife but I have learned to create pockets in my day in which I create and practice and I am a much more happy person.

Without family, one would have to find friends...which I did in our last position.  Though I loved my friends dearly, there is still nothing like family.  

If you have no family, create one. Volunteer to read to children, serve at a soup kitchen, go on mission trips, babysit, keep the nursery or pre-school kids at church, have lunch with friends, invite people to go with you window shopping, help an older person get back on their feet after the death of their spouse, fix meals for the sick or for new parents, call a friend and chat, write letters of encouragement to your church leaders or former co-workers, etc.,etc.  There is so much we can do and share with others.  We can't stay by ourselves.  God put us in communities for a reason.







Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Prayer of Remembrance



 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, 
may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, 
so that you may know him better. 

 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened
 in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you,
 the riches of his glorious inheritance
 in his holy people, 

 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. 
That power is the same as the mighty strength  he exerted 
when he raised Christ from the dead,...
Ephesians 1:17-20 NIV


I know that if I walk in my own wisdom, I'm doomed to a day of running in circles.
I know that when I search for Him, He will reveal himself to me.
I know that sometimes I have shut my heart's eyes and have missed the hope He had prepared for me to see.
I know that many times I miss asking for the strength that only He an give me. I forget how much power He has and that He wants to share some with me.
I need to remember this every day...
but I don't.  
These truths are snatched away from me by Deceiver.  He fools me into thinking I can do this by myself.  
Silly me.





Saturday, August 22, 2015

O For A Lazy Day


We do not want you to become lazy,
 but to imitate those who through faith and patience 
inherit what has been promised.



I'm lacking a bit of that faith and patience today.  All I want to do is lie around the house like this cat...not gonna happen.  It will still be a good day but not the day for which I wish.




Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Conforming


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is — his good, pleasing and perfect will.


I've been forced to conform!
Yikes!  I hate to be forced to do anything and yet I'm stuck in a society that is not able to sit at the table and have a meaningful conversation without a phone in their hand.  I had to be able to text to communicate with the parents of my piano students regarding lessons.  I have to text my supervisor at church (his preferred mode of communication.) 

If I really want someone to answer me, I have to text them.
Do they actually get my message?
Will they read their texts?
Will they respond?
I'm sorry, but this is not the best way to communicate!  Stop the world!  I want to get off! 

 Wait. 
Everyone is doing it.
It is socially acceptable.
I'll look like an idiot if I don't do it.
They will think I'm not WithIt.
Sound familiar?

How many times have we missed or ignored God's text for our lives because we are too busy fitting into the world?

I'm having trouble counting the times.
My phone just beeped; hang on........







Monday, August 17, 2015

A Crowded House

  

Satisfy us in the morning 
with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy
and be glad all our days.


My finest hours of the day are not the early morning ones.  Not before a cup of coffee am I truly awake and able to thinking clearly.  It is at that time that I choose to read God's word and meditate on the words He's chosen for me.
Sometimes my days are so full that the picture above defines it...something in almost every slot with very little time to pause.  Instead of complaining about not enough time or the jobs I've been assigned or assigned myself, I should sing...
for the joy of life
for the ability to work
for the people for whom I work
for my family
for my friends
for my church
for my co-workers
for the glory of God.
I should "be glad."
I WILL be glad!





Sunday, August 16, 2015

Perfect Beauty



Because we have these promises, dearly loved ones, out of respect for God we should scour the filth from our flesh and spirit and move toward perfect beauty and holiness.



Each butterfly is a work of art created by the Master Creator.  Each person is also a work of art, uniquely designed by our Creator who loves us and put us here to worship Him and give Him the work of our hands.  If our hands are stained with life acts, personal glory and selfishness, how can we offer Him "perfect beauty?"  How can what we do bring honor to Him?  How can we be holy enough?
We cannot scour off enough filth to become like Him.  We can only try. 
Only through Christ's sacrifice are we made holy.  Only by living our lives everyday through His grace can we discover that what He gives us to do is beautiful.



Thursday, August 13, 2015

Celebrate Always


 Celebrate always,  pray constantly, and  give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in. (This is God’s will for all of you in Jesus the Anointed.)
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 VOICE


I love that The Voice Bible uses the word "celebrate" instead of "rejoice."  We rarely use rejoice in today's sketchy language and celebrate seems like it entails so much more interaction.
These are verbal commands meaning "You celebrate," "you pray," and "you give joyful thanks in everything" with the "you" meaning all of us who know the Lord.
Some days I have to dig deep to do this but it is always good advice...now, off I go to CELEBRATE!


Thursday, August 6, 2015

Unexpected Gifts



And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake;  and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.  And when Eli′jah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle...


I just finished reading a CaringBridge report on a friend whose son has brain cancer.  For three years he has been battling this giant monster who has wanted to kill him and today he turns seven.  His Mom was reporting some of the things this child and they have to face because of the damage done to his little body over the years but that was not the message she had to share.  She was praising God for the little blessings God has showered on her family and she has continued in praising God through all of the torture that her child has endured.  She continues to encourage me and others in our journey through this life and points me to the small things that only God can do.
If you are feeling alone today and profess to know Jesus as your Savior, allow him to show you that He is still in control.  It probably won't be a large pronouncement so you will have to be ready not to miss it but it will be there...that unexpected 
Gift from God.



Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Just Ordinary



Understanding your word
 brings light to the minds of 
ordinary people.


Older with a wandering mind
Weaker body
Wanning abilities
Remembering?  What?
Wrinkling lips
Unwanted pools of fat
Just ordinary

and yet

You enter my thoughts as I read.
You give me insight into life.
You encourage me with your words.
You give me hope in a hopeless world.
Your Majesty, you share your majesty with me.
I'm not ordinary to you.

Thank you.










Monday, August 3, 2015

Success!


This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.
 Joshua 1:8 (HCSB)


We are all in a hurry to do something or go somewhere.  The problem with me is I sometimes don't set my priorities and then I go into a tailspin...hurrying, fretting, and not succeeding in what I had hoped to accomplish that day.

God comes first. At least that should be my goal.  When I realize that He is to be the catalyst for my day, I am then satisfied with what I have accomplished and life is much easier.







Saturday, August 1, 2015

What To Do?


I am determined to be faithful
    and to respect your laws.

Psalm 119:30 CEV


When I'm standing on the edge and wondering what to do...




help me to be determined and faithful
and hold on to your laws that I have
learned to respect.







Thursday, July 30, 2015

Humility



[Daniel,] Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer.
Daniel 10:12 NLT


...and we wonder why God doesn't answer us...





Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Private Fears



 A woman who had been bleeding for twelve years came up behind Jesus and barely touched his clothes.  She had said to herself, “If I can just touch his clothes, I will get well.”
 Jesus turned. He saw the woman and said, “Don’t worry! You are now well because of your faith.” At that moment she was healed.

Matthew 9:20-22 CEV


It's bad enough being a woman in today's day...all the natural physical processes that a woman faces in just living her life.

In Jesus' day it had to be much worse.  I can't imagine the loneliness of this woman since all women spent their monthly cycles cloistered away from the world.  She had been in isolation for 12 years because she was considered unclean by her friends and family.  She was not allowed to shop, celebrate family birthdays, visit with friends or even worship publicly.  For her to even venture away from her home and step foot into society was an act of bravery on her part.  Anyone who touched her would become unclean, too.  Just imagine the taunts, the insulting words, the blame inflicted on her as she approached Christ.  Of course, He knew she was coming; He knew she was near; He knew she wanted to touch Him...but would she be bold enough and have enough faith to do so?

She did it!  She touched Him and immediately He felt a little of His power leave His body.  He had healed another life and soul.
Oh, the act of mercy she felt when He turned to her and blessed her because of her faith.
 
 He will do the same for us as we face our private fears...those about which no one knows.
If we just reach a little further out of our hiding places...if we just had the faith that she had...then what?



Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sufficency



Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and
 don’t get worked up about what 
may or may not happen tomorrow. 

God will help you deal with whatever hard things 
come up when the time comes.
Matthew 6:34 MSG



I love these two scriptures and often review them in my mind.  I've been dealing with a skin sore that has been slow in healing.  I would awaken in the night to take my medicine and then I'd lie awake worrying about what might be if it got worse.  Silly me.  Only when I remembered that God controls everything did I have the peace to sleep in His arms.  On top of that, it is almost healed after
 two weeks! Yay!

God, the Great Healer, offers us Jesus, the Prince of Peace, to heal our wounds and our souls.





Friday, July 24, 2015

Overlooking the Obvious


 Don’t worry and ask yourselves, “Will we have anything to eat?
 Will we have anything to drink? Will we have any clothes to wear?” 
 Only people who don’t know God are always worrying about such things. 
Your Father in heaven knows that you need all of these. 
 But more than anything else, put God’s work first and do what he wants.
 Then the other things will be yours as well.
Matthew 6:31-14 CEV


I've been thinking on these verses but because they are so commonly used, I have never considered their importance.

I do not have to worry about having something to eat, drink or wear.  I live in a country that allows me to work for money that buys these items. 
 This is not the case with the vast majority of peoples across the world.  Many are actually scraping together their basic necessities.
I do not want to cast blame on them because of their religious beliefs but if I read this right, our nation is next in line for want of the basics.  If I don't turn to God in acknowledgement of His bountiful mercies and do His bidding, I'm next.