Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Find the buried treasure in your problem



I found this and it was too good NOT  to share...(and if ya really insist on knowing, I'm too busy studying to teach Bible Study tonight, therefore have no time to write my own blog.
 There ya have it! ;)  You can follow 'Girlfriends in God' on facebook, great resource!

November 13, 2012
Treasures of Darkness
Mary Southerland

Today’s Truth

Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name.

Friday, November 9, 2012

I stink!

I stink!

No really...I do!
I'm not saying that for sympathy...I promise.
I'm not trying to elicit empathetic responses like,
 "Oh Lori, you're not thaaaat bad!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

These 2 words will change your day!

Feeling overwhelmed for some reason today.
Thinking of the things that pile,
and not nearly able to complete the task quick enough to sigh that oh so sweet sigh of satisfaction.

You hit delete on a bunch of emails,
and they trickle in faster than you can read them.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Everything tends to 'start' small...beware!

It's the little things.
Small.
Seemingly insignificant.
"Put carts here."
(That's a pet peeve of Joyce Meyer's...returning the grocery cart to where it belongs.)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Did I say 'Just' ???

Note:  This picture of my daughter's eye doesn't really have anything to do with the following blog post...but thought it was prettier than a power cord ;)

I recently got my laptop back from being fixed -
grateful it was just the power cord.  Phew!!

Did I say 'just' ?

Granted, it's a quick, cheap $30 fix,
but no matter how expensive the laptop is,
and how intricate the capabilities of it...

it's rendered 'useless' without power.

It sits all pretty on the desk,
but it's capabilities are paralyzed.

Frozen.

Paused.

I think of all the abilities and capabilities we have lying around dormant -

being unused...

because our 'power cord' needs a fixin'.

Certain functions and God given talents can only be unleashed by His power.

No other cord will do.

Just like we could try and borrow someone elses laptop power cord that wasn't designed for our specific computer -

we tend to borrow all kinds of power the world offers us.

The 'power' of positive thinking.
The Law of Attraction.
The Self Help Movement.
The list goes on.

The only power designed to charge you up is from the
Designer Himself.

The God of the Universe.

And unless we plug into Him,
we will never function the way He intended us to.

As I was just using my laptop, I was getting agitated because there seemed to be a delay.

I would give it a command -
loooooong delay...

then finally it would do what I wanted.
(frustrating!)

How often am I like that?

God gives me a command -
loooooong delay...

then finally I do what He wanted.

Sigh.

Matthew 4:19 says, "Jesus said to them, 'Come, follow me! I will teach you how to catch people instead of fish."

and their response was in vs. 20,
"They IMMEDIATELY left their nets and followed him."
(they didn't call their Mama, didn't check their Horoscope, never contemplated or even scratched their head...
IMMEDIATELY!)

No delay.

P.S.  About the random eye picture up above...here's a verse that ties it all up so I look like I planned it:
Matthew 6:22 says, "The eye is the lamp of the body.  So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light."
(and that all starts with 'Power' surging from the proper Power Source.  The end. ;)



Friday, October 5, 2012

Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda

A good friend sent this to me yesterday, thought it was worth passing along...
time is short!

 READ THIS VERY SLOWLY...IT'S PRETTY PROFOUND!!!

Too many people put off something that brings them joy just because they haven't thought about it, don't have it on their schedule, didn't know it was coming or are too rigid to depart from their routine.
I got to thinking one day about all those people on the Titanic who passed up dessert at dinner that fateful night in an effort to cut back. From then on, I've tried to be a little more flexible.
How many women out there will eat at home because their husband didn't suggest going out to dinner until after something had been thawed? Does the word 'refrigeration' mean nothing to you?
How often have your kids dropped in to talk and sat in silence while you watched  'Jeopardy' on television? I cannot count the times I called my sister and said , 'How about going to lunch in a half hour?' She would gas up and stammer, 'I can't. I have clothes on the line. My hair is dirty. I wish I had known yesterday, I had a late breakfast, It looks like rain' And my personal favorite: 'It's Monday.' She died a few days ago. We never did have lunch together.
Because we cram so much into our lives, we tend to schedule our headaches.. We live on a sparse diet of promises we make to ourselves when all the conditions are perfect! We'll go back and visit the grandparents when we get Steve toilet-trained. We'll entertain when we replace the living-room carpet. We'll go on a second honeymoon when we get two more kids out of college.
Life has a way of accelerating as we get older. The days get shorter, and the list of promises to ourselves gets longer. One morning, we awaken, and all we have to show for our lives is a litany of 'I'm going to,' 'I plan on,' and 'Someday, when things are settled down a bit.'
When anyone calls my 'seize the moment' friend, she is open to adventure and available for trips. She keeps an open mind on new ideas. Her enthusiasm for life is contagious. You talk with her for five minutes, and you're ready to trade your bad feet for a pair of Roller blades and skip an elevator for a bungee cord. My lips have not touched ice cream in 10 years. I love ice cream. It's just that I might as well apply it directly to my stomach with a spatula and eliminate the digestive process. The other day, I stopped the car and bought a triple-Decker. If my car had hit an iceberg on the way home, I would have died happy. Now....go on and have a nice day. Do something you WANT to...not something on your SHOULD DO list. If you were going to die soon and had only one phone call you could make, who would you call and what would you say? And why are you waiting? I had a friend from high school that I was always going to call and never did. The other day her name was in the obituaries so we never had that chat.
Make sure you read this to the end; you will understand why I sent this to you. Have you ever watched kids playing on a merry go round or listened to the rain lapping on the ground? Ever followed a butterfly's erratic flight or gazed at the sun into the fading night? Do you run through each day on the fly? When you ask, 'How are you?' Do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed with the next hundred chores running through your head? Ever told your child, 'We'll do it tomorrow.' and in your haste, not see his sorrow? Ever lost touch? Let a good friendship die? Just call to say 'Hi'? When you worry and hurry through your day, it is like an unopened gift....Thrown away.... Life is not a race. Take it slower. Hear the music before the song is over. Show your friends how much you care. Send this to everyone you consider a FRIEND including me if you consider me a friend. If it comes back to you, it affirms your circle of friends.
To those I have sent this to... I cherish our friendship and appreciate all you do.
Life may not be the party we hoped for. But while we are here we might as well dance!
   
--





















Monday, October 1, 2012

Real.Raw.Riveting.

There's something so refreshing when you read or hear from someone who is 'real'.
Who tells you like it is.
The raw version.
Not the made up, pretty 'packaged' version with the tidy bow on top.
That makes it riveting. 
You lean in close to catch every fiber of what they are confessing.  You welcome it because you've lived it and you've been waiting for someone else to be brave enough to

'SAY IT OUT LOUD'.

I'm thinking of Lysa Terkeurst, who is an author willing to take off the mask of perfection.
I would imagine that would be tempting to live a facade, especially since she carries the title of, 'President of Proverbs 31 Ministries'.
Talk about pressure!
The need to 'have it all going on'. (or atleast the perception that you do)
What a daunting weight to carry.
That is why I especially enjoy reading about her everyday battles about dirty towels and other explosions about seemingly trivial issues.

We've.All.Had.Them.

Mini meltdowns.
Joyce Meyer has that same genuine quality about her.
She stands on stage telling story after story of the pity parties that she has thrown and the temper tantrums she has had.
Then she laughs at herself (which I highly recommend)
and says to the thousands of people watching her, "You guys get to just sit there while I stand up here and make a fool of myself!"

There's something that draws me to those authentic qualities.  It makes it easier to be
around people like that  -
the messy versions of their self.
And it makes it easier to have them over too!
They're not inspecting your dirty baseboards, cobwebs, and fingerprint spatters on display all over the place.

Who are you more apt to confide in?
I tend to lean towards the one who laughs at herself (and at her kids)
and struggles just like the next person...
but who is in process and striving to do better...
and to be better.
But ultimately looks to the God who IS better.
And leans on Him for the help.

I want to be THAT girl!

Ephesians 4:2 says:

"Be always humble, gentle, and patient.  Show your love by being tolerant with one another. (and of their messy houses and imperfect kids) emphasis mine ;)

Here's to having an imperfect day with all those imperfect people in your life...
that you wouldn't want to live without!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I got Published over Labor Day...a 'labor' of love!

http://tidbitsscv.com/currentissue/currentissue_p13.html




I just got on Facebook and my friend @Matt Moran, who is also an Author and Writing Coach, was posting that I just got Published. (I think he was bragging a bit, since he's been my advisor along the way ;)  I'm thinking he's wanting a 'My Student Just Got Published' bumper sticker...hmmm, that would be good advertising for a Writing Coach.  I may be onto something!
You can find him at http://www.itcareertoolkit.com/author-matthew-moran/



It's funny hearing someone else say that.  
In my mind I 'just' wrote an article for a Newspaper.
Big deal.
People do it all the time.
But 'Published'?
Sounds so 'official'.
That's a whole new ball game.

It just struck me how easily we can down play things that we accomplish.  To be totally honest with you (because up to this point I haven't been...just kidding, my hubby and I always laugh when people say that, like everything has been lies unless they preface a sentence with that)...sorry for that tangent, now I forgot what I was gonna say. ;-/

Oh yea, I remember...to be transparent with you...I am not so impressed that my Bio got published, because I attribute it to my friend @Norma Rapko Vargas who I wrote it for.  She has accomplished great things, and my attitude is that a Newspaper would be crazy not to publish it based on her merits alone, having nothing to do with my writing.  This is not intended to illicit a few golf claps for my Bio, I simply am reminded of how often we all can tend to say...for example...I'm 'just' a mom.  (Like it's 'just' an article.)  If I could 'just' be anything...Justa Mom I would be!
I hate to hear Moms devalue that position and chuck it in the 'Just a' file.  To think that we are raising the next generation, we are raising future Presidents, we are grooming some of them to defend our Country, some of them will be Doctors who save lives on a regular basis...how could you feel you are 'just' a mom.  Who switched the price tags?  Who convinced you that your value was little?
I want to applaud the mom's out there.  My babies aren't babies anymore, but I recently had 4 young kids here while my daughter babysat...and it was hard for me to remember how I got anything done back then.(or showered no less) It gave me a fresh new appreciation for the work Moms do.

So if you're tempted to think you are 'just a' anything, remember not so much WHO you are...but WHOSE you are...God bought you with a price.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Are you caught between 2 stations?

We pay attention to what we're 'tuned in' to.

It's funny, my mom who is on the East Coast, emailed me and said she was praying about our earthquakes. 
My response? 
"What earthquakes?"
I apparently missed the memo...
missed the part when that piece of chipper news was being announced.

I've had a few deadlines to complete some books I was asked to read and write reviews for, so I've had my head buried in those.  As a result, I was clueless about quakes and more focused on how not to come "Unglued" when you hear of such things.

You know how you're driving along listening to that Christian station on the radio,
when suddenly it starts vascilating back and forth between that and that other station where they sing about kickin' the dog and leaving your no good husband.  (Sorry Country Music lovers...I know they're not "all" about that ;)

Any hoooo...
do you ever feel like that in life?
One minute you're tuned into a positive station,
and before long another station creeps in unbenounced...
and competing for your affection. 
And the further you drive down that road,
the louder and clearer that station tunes in.
Eventually you're tempted to just switch over completed to that station cuz it's not so 'staticky'.  (is that a word?!?)

Be careful what you tune in to just because it's loud and clear.  (doesn't make it good and right.) Note to self: Lies can be articulated very well.

Just because the squeaky wheel gets the grease...
doesn't mean the clearer station gets my attention.

There are many messages being shouted at us through the megaphones of life.
Don't let the 'clarity' persuade you or the pervasiveness.

Galatians 5:7-9
"You were running the race so well, who has held you back from following the truth?  It certainly isn't God, for He is the one who called you to freedom.  This false teaching is like a little yeast that spreads through the whole batch of dough!"

1 Corinthians 5:6-7
"Your flip and callous arrogance in these things bothers me.  You pass it off as a small thing, but it's anything but that!  Yeast, too, is a "small thing", but it works its way through a whole batch of bread dough pretty fast."

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Buffet Style Faith

My dog Faith wasn't feeling good this morning and threw up a few times.
When she came back inside I fed her some dogfood.
It's the kind with several colors and flavors.

Just watching her 'cracked.me.up.' as she picked out the pieces she didn't like and
chucked them babies out of the bowl and across the floor.
(Those were probably the pieces that were good for her, she just liked the
other ones more.)                            [EXHIBIT A]

I was thinking about my Pastors sermon on Sunday on the book of Jude. 
He asked us,

"Are you a cut and paste type of person?"

"Do you pick and choose?"

We tend to be just like my dog Faith, don't we?
We take the stuff we don't like in the bible and chuck it across the floor (like a piece of Beneful)...
and we choose the stuff we like. 
Possibly the reason we're sick (like poor Faithy)
is because we're not ingesting those hard things that will bring health to our soul. 
Of course we prefer grace and forgiveness and love, especially when we're blowing it.

                                                                    [EXHIBIT B]
But how about sacrifice and discipline and surrender ---
those pieces aren't quite as "yummy".

Hebrews 12:11 says, "No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful.  LATER ON, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it."
(emphasis mine...I love hearing about LATER ON when our 'give it to me now' culture is so preoccupied with NOW! Oh yeah, and my sinful nature. ;-/

Monday, August 20, 2012

Imposters among us!

Recently in the news there was a man arrested who had many identities and disguises. (none of which appear to be real.)

He owns quite an array of law enforcement military and medical uniforms, badges, ID cards and supplies after his home was searched because of suspicion.

He had a NASA uniform.
US Customs.
The Navy.
The CIA.
Secret Service.
Homeland Security.
Dozens of military medals.
A flight helmet.
Boy Scout troop leader uniform.
Medical scrubs and a black Doctors bag (with instruments no less!  Sca-rrry!!)
There was an actual photo of him in scrubs holding a newborn. (eeek!)
(Tawkin' bout a major identity crisis!!)

I started to think how easily we could be fooled just based on someones appearance...

their uniform.

Their badge.

Anyone can play the 'role'.

We tell our kids to watch out for strangers -
and yet we could so easily fall for it.

Then I recalled the verse where Jesus warns against wolves in sheeps clothing in Matthew 7:15.

They're imposters.

They dress the part.

They attend the same church possibly.

They're attenders,
yet not followers.

Matthew 7:20-22

"Yes, just as you can identify a tree by its frut, so you can identify people by their actions.  Not everyone who calls out to me, 'Lord!  Lord!' will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter.  On judgment day, many will say to me, 'Lord!  Lord!  We prophesied in your name and cast out demons in your name and performed many miracles in your name.  But I will reply, 'I NEVER KNEW YOU.'

Ouch.
Words that carry much weight.

As much as we all love to speak of God's Grace and forgiveness (cuz Lord knows we certainly need it)...we also must not turn away from His truth.

*I wrote the above on August 11th for my book, and then on August 19th my Pastor did an amazing message on Jude, asking if we are 'contenders' or 'pretenders'?  Are you a poser?  These people 'secretly' slipped in.  A 'form' of godliness.  Those who claim to be Christians (just don't live it). Pretenders are an inside job.  They want their ears tickled, they don't tolerate sound teaching.  They want to water it down.  BEWARE!  Check out www.northpark.com and click on the Contend message on August 19th.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sometimes ya just gotta snap out of it!

Perspective.
Who doesn't need a healthy dose of that?
It doesn't change your 'reality', 
yet it pulls you away from the impact it's having on you.  
It diffuses its effect.
It waters down its potency.

If you're crammed in that small place, wishing you had more room...
then I think of my Robbie who just got released from a tiny hospital room after 117 days!  That's 4 months!
Day in.
Day out.
Her Aortic Stenosis.
Her pneumonia.
Her UTI's.
Her ventilator, and trying to wean her off.
Her muscles atrophy because she wasn't breathing on her own. 
Her having to get a new trach, then getting an infection in that area.
Yeast infections in her mouth.
Heart valve issues.

She is finally home sitting on the deck in the sunshine with a great big smile!

I don't know about you, but that gives me perspective.
One big helping of it!

My ant problem becomes laughable.
The car with no air conditioner that makes me cranky...
yeah, so what!
The broken washing machine that sends me to the laundromat and inconveniences my comfortable little life,
get over it!

Perspective.

It's a gift we receive by taking a look around.
It comes freely when we aren't so introspective,
but by observing outside of ourselves.
You may need to go looking for it,
whether it be found in a cancer  ward or a soup kitchen...
but chances are you don't have to go far.
It could be right next door as your neighbor is carrying a huge load.
Something unbearable.

Philippians 4:11-13 says,
"Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally.  I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I'm JUST as happy with little as with MUCH, with much as with little.  I've found the recipe (who knew there was a recipe?!  Gotta pin THAT one on Pinterest!)...for being happy, whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty.  WHATEVER I have, WHEREVER I am, I can make it through 'anything' in the One who makes me who I am."

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When's the last time YOU came unglued? (not pretty....I know :o/


Here's another review I just wrote for Amazon, for a Book Launch I am a part of @Lysa TerKeurst:

5.0 out of 5 stars She dares to reveal the 'messy' truth...thankfully!August 15, 2012

By 
This review is from: Unglued: Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions (Paperback)
If you've ever felt unimpressed or defeated when those Christmas letters come piling in, informing you that Johnny got straight A's, and Suzie just got a full scholarship, and 'that' family has a well oiled ship running over in their neck of the woods...then you might just love this book! Lysa doesn't put on a facade that she's got this thing called 'life' all tied up with a nice little bow. She bravely uncovers her current struggles and has you laughing at the crazy that goes on in each of our households, she just dares to say it out loud! Refreshing! Who wouldn't want a 'real' friend like that telling you like it is? A 'what you see is what you get' kind of girl, but with some solid answers straight from the giver of life Himself. She has an engaging way of inviting you to be more authentic as you share your life with those in your circle. The more transparent we are with others, the more magnetic we become. She says, "What happens in between the smiling snapshots of life isn't all pretty. I'm willing to admit that. And I love my friends who are brave enough to admit the messy stuff as well." I'm grateful that I had received an advanced copy of part of this book to review, and I chuckle at the things we all tend to come unglued over(the basic dog throw up, towels, broken computers...the list goes on.) Run out and grab a copy, help is on the way!
Why no voting buttons? We don't let customers vote on their own reviews, so the voting buttons appear only when you look at reviews submitted by others.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Oh no...I wrecked!!!

(Here is a recent review I submitted to Amazon...Wrecked comes out on August 1st!)

I was privileged to be given an advanced copy of Jeff Goins newest book, "Wrecked:  When A Broken World Slams Into Your Comfortable Life."  Jeff has a remarkable way of performing CPR on your spiritual life that gets your calloused heart pumping again!  He ignites your senses to those things that you have become numb to.  Jeff gives you a new set of glasses to see the hurting, and not pass on by.  He stops you dead in your tracks -
he gets you off the couch!

I challenge you to read this book and not be transformed to your core.  This book will shake up your predictable well laid plans...
allow you to be interrupted...
and take you on a detour off the well beaten path.

Jeff Goins gets you to look away from the mirror long enough to notice others and their needs.  That's when true change begins.  Enough of the 'Self Help' that the world continues to promote, Jeff's approach has a radical twist...it's in reaching out to others you find your true purpose and fulfillment.  This book will shake up that narcissistic nature, remind you that life is "Not all about you", and then bring you to a place of recognizing that you're more fulfilled when you give your life away!  Be prepared to be challenged...uncomfortable.  Embrace it!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Wrecked: A Book Review

How is it 'Wrecked' sounds like an accident...a disaster...and yet...
it literally sets you free?

It changes you...like you need.

It takes that selfish, 'all about me' motto...
and turns it all around.

A 365 degree turn.

Shakes up that narcissistic nature...and before you know it, you just realize, "I'm more fulfilled when I give my life away!" 

Thankfully.

That's alot of pressure anyway...phew.

What a relief.

But prepare to be challenged...

uncomfortable.

That's when God turns you inside out and finds what you're made of.

Life is messy...and Jeff is tired of pretending otherwise...

the shame...

living in the past.

The subtle form of sabotage, of tricking you into believing that life is about you.

Lies!

This book will shake up your predictable, well laid plans...

allow you to be 'interrupted'...

and ultimately be used for His purposes, not your own.

(Goodbye boredom!)





Thursday, July 19, 2012

A compelling reason to throw out your History Book!

So as I'm driving around with the above crazy girl,
we get to discussing school.
I ask her what subjects she likes and dislikes,
and she quickly told me she did NOT like History!
When asked why, she replied so automatically
(as if she'd been rehearsing this for quite some time).

She answered,

"Because they're dead!
Get over it!
Lets move on."

I had to laugh.
(and then immediately worried for her future History Teacher.)

And then I got to thinking...
wouldn't it be great to have her matter-of-fact attitude toward our own history -

our past?

Those things we keep reading over and over in the textbooks of our minds...
as if studying for a test.

Replaying the record.

Reliving the regret.

Like a late all night cramming session before an exam.
(drinking very strong black coffee!)

If we could just respond
like my girl,

"It's dead!

Get over it!

Lets move on."

Now for you History Professors reading,
don't be appalled -
I'll continue to stress the importance of our History,
and where we came from...
and the significance of our past -

but maybe this girl is onto a greater lesson of not getting entangled in our yesterdays,
those things that hold us back.

Thus the phrase,

"It's History!"

(In what ways have you learned to throw away your notes from that History lecture,
and stopped your 'History' from programming your future?)

Philippians 3:13

"I focus on this one thing:
Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead."








Sunday, July 15, 2012

I don't struggle with depression...but

If I can get in my 3 R's...
I'm happy! 

 (Read, Ride, wRite)

So far I have Rode my bike -
now onto wRiting.

I will Read after that.

Finished a book yesterday,
and tackling a few more.


Little bits at a time is all I feel able to do in life lately.
If I can squeeze in some variety,
my soul feels good.

My usual routine is to open my eyes and start the day with the Good News,
sets the tone for the inevitable drama that's bound to occur on any given day.

Ride my bike before I eat (my son says it burns fat as opposed to riding after you eat just burns the calories you ate.)

Sounds like a good thing!
And wRiting?

I'm trying to get more disciplined and do a little bit every day.
I'm in a 'season' where free time is a luxury,
so setting time aside for writing sometimes comes attached with a dose of guilt.

The voice in my head whispers,

"This isn't making you $ 'Now."

"You should be doing something 'else."

"Go write another sale 'instead."



Maybe sometimes the work we put into doesn't achieve us the 'immediate' payout in $, but it's almost like an investment you make into an account you just don't have access to quite yet.

Consider it a savings account.

School.

You are learning now, to earn later.

Just as investing in your kids doesn't always have an immediate payout.

No check magically shows up every 2 weeks.

No paid vacation.

No 'atta boys' and Company Cars (or mini vans).




It may come wayyyyy later when they make that wise decision.
(cuz they really were listening all those times you told them, 'say no to drugs'. )







Those are the kinds of pay offs.



Or this week my son is a Camp
Counselor again for our Church for the 2nd time this summer.




Payoff.

These are the 'paychecks' I love receiving.

All the years I 'chose' to stay home to raise our kids,
and gave up my career running an Employment Agency-
these are the benefits I am thankful for.



So often we get lured for the immediate payout -
and sacrifice the long-term benefits.

































\

Friday, July 6, 2012

Being broke comes with a Benefit Package(who knew?!)

Being broke can make you richer!
(Now don't be running to check your account balance...it's still the same.)

But richer in insight.

It causes you to look around and notice more things.
Things you flew by before on the way to your next vacation.

Not noticing. 

Although you're lacking in the 'funds department',
you are wealthy in the 'letting go'...

of all the perks of what having $ in the bank can allow.

The being comfortable (rather than expectant).

The security you thought came from a 'secure' paycheck -
actually comes from a secure God.

More reliable than a paycheck.

More consistent.

Now I'm not against making $ and providing a great lifestyle for your family -

but what I wish MORE for you is the 'opportunity' to struggle.

To stretch.

To question.

To feel ripped apart.

Just as in working out your muscles you actually rip the muscle before it builds...
the feeling 'ripped apart' is a necessary step in building your faith muscle.

That's when real growth happens.

Results.

The pain involved is a sign of real growth happening.

So don't look at the pain of your circumstances as a sign of failure,
but a hint that there's real progress happening (even though the muscle isn't quite to the surface yet).

It's coming.

Wait.
(The infamous 4 letter word...

W.A.I.T.)

Romans 8:18 says, "I consider that what we suffer at this present time cannot be compared at all with the glory that is going to be revealed to us."


Monday, June 25, 2012

Ants in my pants!

I've been antsy lately...
literally.
They're everywhere!!
Marching across my kitchen counter,
probably hiding in the coffee grinds and camouflaged  for no one to detect.

Sneaky little critters!

So I got my gloves on and took that Commercial size hefty version of Raid with the gun and holster -
Yup -
got my game face on.

All business.

I can slay bodies with the best of 'em.

Step aside Arnold...
the Terminator ain't got nothin' on me!

I machine gunned...I mean sprayed the perimeter of the house.
Even at the end of the driveway, marking my territory.
In every crack and crevice where they could 'sneak' their pesky selves in.

The nerve!

Uninvited so called guests, squeezing their way into our home.
Even through the outlets they showed up.
And apparently they've Evited and Facebooked all their friends and family -
cuz they are comin' too!

They're small but they're mighty -
and they're army has outnumbered me BIG time.

It's funny how harmless this critter is when you're stomping on them on your morning hike (barely noticing them under your Nike's) -
yet when they infiltrate your home,
they suddenly are 'in control'.

I'm left to wonder what other seemingly innocent things are entering my home...
uninvited.

Could also be through the outlets that our T.V.'s and our computers are plugged into.

The shows.
The images.
Not just the programs...
possibly the 'programming'.

Subtly infecting our thinking.

Now I'm not of the thinking you gotta throw your T.V.'s out and not use technology -
just don't let it use you.

Don't be so passive that you don't even notice when the corruption sneaks in unaware.

Don't wait til your home is crawling with this stuff -
spray your perimeters so they don't get in.

One isolated ant ...
or thought...
may not be such a threat.

But when it comes with a host of their friends...
THEN you're in trouble.

Matthew 26:41 says:

"All of you must keep awake (give strict attention)
be cautious and active, and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation.  The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Be warned...you could be contagious!!

I'm reading several books right now.
One is very inspiring,
one is technical about writing,
and the last is just plain fun.

I find I like to read a little bit of each, otherwise I get bored.

The inspirational one helps my heart.
Gets my head in the right place.
Calms me.

The technical one challenges me -
to hone my craft.
Teaches me.
Helps me 'feel' a little bit smarter. (Emphasis on 'feel' ;)

The fun one?
Well lets just say it entertains me.
Helps me loosen my recreational tie.
To have fun and not feel bad about it...
especially since I just got done doing the 'work'
of reading the technical nerdy stuff.
It's my reward. (Dessert)

It's good advice to take in life.

1. Be inspired.
2. Work hard.
3. Play hard.

If you hang out too long in just one of those areas,
you either get burned out and bitter...
or become ineffective and therefore depressed!
(neither of which God has called us to.)

In one of these books, Nicole Johnson asks a poignant question:

"If you could stand around at your own funeral and hear people talk about what they remember about you, what would you want them to be saying?"

She then says, "When we are honest, most of our days are full of things that we don't want to be doing.  It is hard to find epitaph material in those activities!  What woman in her right mind would want, "THIS WOMAN COULD IRON" carved in stone above her head?

The tricky part is in making an impact. 
Whether you're running a huge Company,
or running a household...
you're ultimately impacting society through those employees...
or through those kids you've been training all those years.

And don't let the world tell you your role at home is just about chores. 
It's about the attitude you have as you tackle them.

The 'joy' in the mundane.

The 'peace' in the midst of the chaos.

The 'calm' in the storm.

Be warned...
these things are contagious!

Stay away from others when you have this kinda
fever -
or they're bound to catch some of it themselves!