Christian, Uncategorized

The Heart

Hearts in Concrete

Sunday would be a day like no other. My family left for church ahead of me, something that a family in ministry sometimes does, because we all have to be at church at different times. With limited time during the week, sometimes grabbing that last minute coffee , throwing a load of laundry into the machine or spending a little more time with the dogs, needs to be done.

Just for a little backdrop, we live out in the country and it takes quite a bit of time to get to our home or to get to one of the main roads. Just recently, the water company began construction on a new water line that needed to be added to our community so that it can provide the new homes or future homes with water. These new zones have come with road closures and detours. So what would normally take about 5 minutes to get to our house from the main entrance of our neighborhood, now takes about 10 minutes. The closest EMT station is about 30 minutes away, then you add on the construction and you are looking at 40 minutes. Well, Christy, this is not that big of a difference. And in the big scheme of things, it probably isn’t, unless it means the difference between life and death because the new construction might become an obstacle for the EMT’s, firemen, or police officers  who have not traveled that route and have to get to people that are in dire need. And on this day, God knew that I was going to need them in the area sooner.

I had woken up a bit more tired than usual, but did not think too much about it, mainly because I am a very active person and I always seem to be on the move. Going to sleep late and waking up early have become a norm for me, so again, nothing unusual about me being a little tired. I said goodbye to my kids who left before my husband and then said goodbye to my husband who left before me.  I then began a mental countdown of how much time I had left before I began my drive to church. I was already dressed for the day and went outside to throw away the recycled items.  As I turned to head back inside the house, is when a curtain of black fell over my right eye, leaving me completely blind. I also began to feel rather dizzy and sick to my stomach all at once. Little did I know that my blood pressure was at an all time high. My normal numbers are 90/60, so them climbing to 152/88 was extremely high for me or for anyone really. My pupils were highly dilated and I became helpless.

I was able to get to my phone, call 911, call my husband and daughter during this entire process. Praise the Lord that I made it inside the house, because the concrete outside would not have been forgiving if I fell on it. I pondered driving myself to the doctor, thank goodness that I did not. Remember earlier when I said that all of the new construction might thwart time, and what would normally take the EMT’s 30 minutes to get to our home, only took 5 from the time that I spoke with them to them pounding on my door. They said that they were already in the area because of another call and were able to get to me right away. Coincidence? I think not. Thank You Lord for knowing that I was going to need them on that day and sooner than later. Not too long after the EMT’s arrived and shared that I needed to get to the hospital right away, my husband came on the scene and of course, he is the one that I wanted to take me to the doctor. In hindsight, I really did not think that the situation was as bad as it could have been or it actually was.

We arrived to the hospital and not even a minute later, I was bombarded by doctors and nurses that were flocking in from all over the place. Every speciality was there and they began to work up what seemed like a mountain of assessments. I was poked and prodded in every location and direction that they could get a hold of. I was then wheeled to Ophthalmology, the eye doctor, where my eyes were put through a slew of numbing dilations to see if there was any sign of hemorrhaging in my eye. To their surprise, everything appeared to be in tact and working normally. Test after test were run and a shadow fell over me and them as to what could be causing this abnormal loss of sight.

Just when I thought all of the testing was coming to and end, a slew of others would begin. The next machine that they rolled into my room, the one that I think really had me realize just how precious my life really is, admire the creation of God and see a piece of how He has intricately knitted me together, was the echogram machine. This magnificent machine was rather large in size and the work that it did could magnify something within us that is so small onto a screen so clearly. It was such an amazing machine, that it didn’t have any need or use of the measly little EKG lines that were placed upon my chest when I arrived at the hospital. This machine came with its own wiring and gadgets needed to go a little deeper than what the EKG could pick up on.

It was here when the technician began looking for any probable cause as to what might check me into a luxury stay at the local hospital. It was then that I saw it. Not only was it clear as day, it was right in front of me, shouting, here I am, look. No, I am not talking about what caused my vision loss or the aneurysm that I would later find out that I had. It was in this moment that I saw something so magnificent as the machine that was magnifying it. It was the radiance of God found in this one location that “for of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever…” rests (Romans 11:36). It is the place that daily pumps the blood of joy, sorrow, pain, love, and regret straight to a person that calls Jesus their Lord and Savior. It is the place where Jesus draws us near to Him and offers forgiveness of sins for a life that is undeserving and gives His life freely for the ransom of my sins.  It is the place that houses the Holy Spirit and according to Ephesians 3:16-19 is a place “that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” It is a place where time can flow for the next 10 years or for only the next few seconds leaving the question, if it were to stop today, do you know if you would spend eternity with Him?

As I continued to lay on the hospital bed, watching the blood flow through each chamber, I was quickly reminded of just how precious life is and how short our numbered days are. I woke up that morning thinking it was a day like any other day and after being tossed into a reality check, I was quickly mistaken. Sometimes, God needs to get our attention, and most of the time, He does so in a still small voice. Other times, He needs to get us off of our feet and remind us that we can do nothing apart from Him. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End to everything, including this fragile life.  Have I done all that I can to share with my family and friends about God and His wonderful heart, that out of it flows love (oh, so much love), joy, peace, patience (oh so much patience), kindness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that He sent His Son to die a death, a death that He did not deserve, and offered Him up freely for you and for me, “…that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16)?

Father, I am so humbled by Your great Love that flows down from Heaven and into my life. Thank you for letting me physically see the love that went into creating me and the love that flows from a heart that was once broken in sin, but has a redemptive purpose to live in this life for as long as that is thanks to Your Son Jesus. I didn’t die that day in a hospital room and I am not sure what day You will call me home, but until then, until my heart stops pumping the blood through my entire body, I will continue to live and serve You my Lord and do it giving You all of the honor, glory and praise. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

 

October 2008

“Dead Men Walking”

Story of the day:  “Dead Men Walking”

     I love what Dr. Tony Evans had to say in a letter that he sends out as part of a ministry outreach.  He says, “One of the most powerful stories about Jesus comes to us by way of a dead man.

     Lazarus, a close friend of Jesus, had died.  Lazaurs’ sisters were grieving not only his death, but the fact that Jesus had not showed up earlier and healed him.

     That’s the way we are sometimes.  We have God on our side and His power to change the situation, but we’re complaining about what didn’t happen!

     Thankfully, that’s not the only lesson to take away from this story, nor is it just a great story about Jesus and His power.  It’s a life lesson for every believer…and about the power of God in us!

     In John 11:43-44, Jesus spoke to Lazarus directly, whom was dead and wrapped from head to toe, with a kerchief over his face, and said, “Lazarus, come forth!” 

     What happened to Lazarus is what God is asking of us still today.  Look around you.  There’s a world filled with “dead men walking.” People are bound by sin, trapped by religion, wrapped up in their circumstances, depressed by their lives, distressed by their families; many are thinking “it’s over.”  Their lives are in a rut just “grave” with both ends kicked out.

     But God can change their entire situation as we speak the Word and help set them free!  That’s the call on this ministry and the call on my life… and yours.  He has called us to carry out Kingdom plans and purposes on earth.

     Serving God is not about keeping religious practices to carry out some set of rules.  It’s about giving and living a life of spiritual freedom that reflects God’s glory, letting your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven (Matthew 5:16)

     Who is in a “grave” situation near you?  Who can you speak a word of life to today?  Or let me put it this way…if you feel You are in a tough situation, I’m here to speak a word of life, hope, and encouragement into You.  God can turn it around for you, and when He does, give Him the thanks and praise He deserves.”

Quote of the day:  Vonette Bright

“Through our service to others, God want to influence our world for Him.”

Bible verse of the day:  John 11:40

“Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

You have called my family into ministry and as I share Your Word with others, I pray that lives may be changed, and all for Your Glory.  Father, the time that we are living in right now, is rough, there are some that can’t make ends meet, some are losing their homes, and are distressed. Father, I pray for revival to sweep our nation, that You may be glorified and lives can be transformed.  I continue to pray for those that don’t know You, that they hear Your voice when You say to them, “come forward and ask me to be a part of your life.”  I thank You for Your faithfulness in my life, for this day, and the hope for tomorrow! 

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

May 2008

Spiritual Battle

                                                                                                     

Story of the day:  Spiritual Battle

In the past few weeks, I have come across a lot of people who have been experiencing some troubled times in their lives.  And although our troubles could probably not come close to what a man in the Bible named Job experienced, those tough times can be hard to cope with and often lead us to question why sometimes.  The following story puts theses times into perspective and left me encouraged so I thought I would share it with you all.  The short story is entitled Job’s Birthday and was written by Julie Ackerman.

“Death, divorce, and disease could be called the three D’s of misery.  They slice through life like a tsunami of sorrow, raising doubts and destroying dreams.

Recently, a friend and I agreed that the previous year was one that we both would just as soon forget.  Each of us had suffered one of the three.

Our conversation brought Job to mind.  In a short period of time, he lost his children, his health, his wealth, and his wife’s respect.  Job’s distress was so great that he pleaded, “May the day perish on which I was born” (Job 3:3).  Job wanted God to erase not just a year, but all memory of his existence!  He had enjoyed years of success and respect.  Now, he questioned the purpose of living (3:20).

Job wanted to die and be forgotten, but instead God made sure his name and story would be remembered forever.  Rather than give Job what he asked for, God gave future generations what they would need—an inside look at the spiritual battle between God and Satan.  The result is a God inspired document about suffering that has comforted countless people.

When what we fear actually happens, we know, thanks to Job, that God can use it for good.”

Quote of the day:  Our Daily Bread

“Our highest good may come from our deepest suffering.”

Bible verse of the day:  Job 42:2

“I know that You can do everything, and that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for such a blessed weekend.  Father, I pray for those that may be experiencing rough times in their life today.  I pray that during these times that they call out to You and that You will turn their situation around and use it for good.  Father, there have been times in my life where I have called out to You and have wondered why, but because of Your faithfulness and the truth that was revealed to me, You stood by me through my suffering and I grew stronger because of it.  Because of Your Grace and Mercy, I know that when troubled times come, that You will be my Rock.  I thank You for this day and the promise of tomorrow!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen 

May 2008

Where are you storing your treasure?

                                                                                                    Story of the day:  Where are you storing your treasure?

   “There is a story of a wealthy woman who, when she reached Heaven, was conducted to a very plain house.  She objected.  “Well,” she was told, “that is the dwelling-place prepared for you.”

   “Whose is that fine mansion across the way?” she asked.

   Her guide replied, “It belongs to your gardener.”

   “How is it that he has a house so much better than mine?”

   “The houses here are prepared from the materials that are sent up.  We do not choose them; you do that by your faithfulness while on earth.”

   This may be a story, but it bears a profound truth about the “treasures” we accumulate.”  Michael P. Green

Quote of the day:  Peter Maurin

“The world would be better off if people tried to become better.  And people would become better if they stopped trying to become better off.  For when everybody tries to become better off, nobody becomes better off.  But when everybody tries to become better, everybody is better off.”

Bible verse of the day:  Matthew 6:21

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Your Word is so clear in Matthew 6:19-21 about not laying our treasures here on earth, but up in Heaven.  Father, may I be reminded daily that the stuff here on earth, is just stuff that can’t be taken with me when I die, and the things that I do for Your Kingdom are eternal.  I pray to You for an eternal mindset in all areas of my life.  Father, I am so thankful to You for always meeting my needs even when I don’t know how it’s going to be done and the faith that I have in You is far greater than worrying about it.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen