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.

 

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Uncategorized

When my soul is in the dumps…what to do?

Story of the day: When my soul is in the dumps…what to do? 

Dr. Michael A. Guido writes: “In our hour of desperation where can we turn? The psalmist speaks of needing God in order to survive. Throughout all of the tests and the troubles, God is there sustaining His people. He causes us to triumph because He is our strength and our life.”[1]

A famous American leader wrote: “I am now the most miserable man living. If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on earth. To remain as I am is impossible. I must die or be better.” You may be surprised to know that the man who wrote that was Abraham Lincoln.

Years later, in the darkest days of the Civil War, Lincoln wrestled constantly with the specter of unrelenting despair. It can strike anyone. No one is immune. Not even a nation’s president. Here is this marvelous man with magnificent character, feeling absolutely alone….Surely, the president ought to sleep well because of his protection, because of his wise counsel, to say nothing of his financial security. Yet there he was, tossing and turning through the night, haunted by dark and debilitating thoughts.”[2]

And yet through it all, God clearly shows us in Psalm 42:1-11 how to defeat desperation. When my soul is in the dumps, God promises to love me all day, and sing songs all through the night. My life is God’s prayer. I hear God whisper from Heaven, “why are you down in the dumps dear soul? Fix your eyes on me, and I will put that smile back on your face.”

Quote of the day: Dr. Michael A. Guido

“God makes beautiful things out of broken things. He is not one to leave us in our pain. At times, He may send tests upon us so that He may show Himself trustworthy and turn us back to Him. He is Savior and God; is He yours?”[3]

Bible verse of the day: Psalm 42:5-6 (NIV) 

“Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.”

Prayer: 

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today is a new day. I will be glad and rejoice in it. Father though my soul may be down in the dumps at times, I find peace knowing that You promise to love me all day every day and that my life is Your prayer. Father, give me wisdom each day to make the right choices and to stand firm in all that I do for Your Will and not my own. I continue to ask for guidance in all areas that I walk, and grace to sustain them. I love You Father and I am so grateful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen


     [1] Dr. Michael A. Guido, Nelson’s Annual Preacher Sourcebook. “How to Defeat Desperation: by Dr. Michael A. Guido.” Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2008, pg. 22.

    [2] Roy P. Basler. The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln. Rutgers University Press, 1953.

    [3] Dr. Michael A. Guido, Nelson’s Annual Preacher Sourcebook. “How to Defeat Desperation: by Dr. Michael A. Guido.” Nashville: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2008, pg. 22.

February 2011, Funny Friday Picks

Funny Friday Quote: Hit by a Thesaurus

Funny Friday Quote: Hit by a Thesaurus (Imprint, England)

Did you hear about the van loaded with copies of Roget’s Thesaurus that collided with with a taxi? Witnesses were astounded, shocked, taken aback, surprised, startled, dumfounded, thunderstruck, caught unawares.

Bible verse of the day: Psalm 119:64 (NIV)

“The earth is filled with your love, O Lord; teach me your decrees.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Lord thank You for making me just as I am. There is nothing greater than coming into Your presence each day. I am thankful to have a Daddy who loves me as much as You do. Your love for me is beyond measure and I pray Father to be filled with that kind of love to share with others. Teach me by Your example how to serve others with compassion, understanding, patience, and kindness. Thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen



February 2011

The Plane Ride

This story was written about three years and it is a constant reminder to me about having complete faith in God for every area in my life.  

Story of the day:  The PLANE RIDE   

So, I have always been fearful of flying ever since I was a teenager and the flight from Dallas, Texas to Spokane, Washington was a little more turbulent than normal.  I think had I not had the window seat and my brother (who loves flying) making comments about the plane, I might have enjoyed the flight a little more.  So needless to say, I hadn’t flown since and really didn’t have the desire to get into anything that would take me more than 100 feet off the ground.   

 Many years passed by and as this ministry got underway, God began to show me things that Jeff and I would be doing in the future that would require flying.  I kind of struggled with the thought of having to get into a plane again, but I kept praying to God about it and one day, while I was alone and driving in my car, a peace came over me about flying and so I gave total release and control over to God and He planted this in my heart, “Christy, if you are working for me and I need you somewhere, I need you to have the faith and trust in Me, you know the faith and trust that you write to others about, and know that I will take care of you.”  I agreed with God and said “Okay, I can do this.  If you ask this of me, I will do it.”  I really thought to myself, okay, I have a few years before this happens, so this gives me more time to prepare for whenever Jeff and I both have to get on a plane. 

 Little could prepare me for what God had in mind.  The situation with my grandmother, and the doctors telling us that we all needed to be home meant that I either A needed to drive 16-17 hours one way or B get onto a plane which would only take 2 hours.  I had remembered the conversation that I had just had with God about 3 months before this situation occurred and I tried reasoning with God and saying, ”Can’t I start flying once we start going places for the ministry?”  Boy, if I could hear crickets chirping that would have been awesome, but instead, I heart God say, “Christy, you need to do this.” “You need to get on a plane and go and see her.”

 So as Jeff drove me to Columbus, OH, so that I could depart from there, everything that I so desired to take with me on this plane trip, was left at home.  No family to fly with, no Christian music, no laptop, and no portable movie player.  It was just me, my Bible, and God.  Remember it has been nearly 20 years since I have been on a plane.  Not only was I going to fly 35,000 feet in the air without things that could distract me, I was flying Hon Solo with total and complete trust and faith in my God.  I prayed for the pilot, where in actuality God was piloting this plane.  I prayed for the person that sat next to me, poor thing she was going to need it because of me, and for the flight attendants for they may have to bring me back to consciousness once I passed out.

 All kidding aside, I can’t say that I wasn’t nervous, because I was.  My palms have never sweated as much. Having a husband that works with planes and knowing all the stories that are associated with them, every now and then thoughts about situations that could occur while I was flying, which are almost slim to none, would pop into my head. But just as quickly as those thoughts popped into my head about the plane, I was able to quickly find peace and comfort in God, because of what He has planned for this ministry.  With the peace and comfort that God provided, my spirit was calmed and I was able to find rest in Him. 

I didn’t even realize it at the time, but this first trip was all part of God’s plan for this ministry.  It was the beginning of things that are yet to come and because of God’s Grace, Mercy, and Love for us all, I was able to fulfill the plan that He prepared for me while I was in Texas.

Whatever you are fearful about, pray to God about it, allow Him to pull you through it, and have total faith and trust in Him to get you past it.  Once you give it over to God, the control,  there are many blessings awaiting, and a freedom from the fear to allow God to use you where He needs you to be. 

Quote of the day:  Rubem Alves

 “Hope is hearing the melody of the future.  Faith is to dance to it.”

Bible verse of the day:  Romans 1:17

“For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

You are such an Orderly God.  You have planned out my every step, just as You have numbered ever hair on my head.  God, I have overcome my biggest fear of flying because of You and Your promise for my life.  I am so saddened by even allowing this fear to set in for as long as it had.  God thank You for the opportunity to begin a different phase of this ministry.  I didn’t even know that going home was going to be a part of it, but it was and I was blessed by it.  My prayer today is for those that have some sort of fear in their life that they have yet to overcome.  I pray that they release this to You and have total faith and trust in You to get them past whatever it is that is keeping them in bondage.  God, only You know what is in store for our lives, and as the days pass, if we aren’t following the path that You have so designed for us, I pray that it is revealed to us so that we can walk in freedom for whatever it is that You do have planned for us. I continue to ask for prayer for Jeff as he is still not doing well.  I pray for complete healing of his body so that he can move forward with the other part of this ministry. I thank You for this day.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

January 2011

Think about your words


Story of the day: Think about your words

Words. They are needed to communicate and yet the smallest word propelled by the tongue and a voice box can either damage or encourage someone. In Our Daily Bread, AL shares:

When people greet each other, they usually say, “How are you?”

At one time in China, the typical greeting was, “Have you eaten?” In the days of poverty, asking our friends if they had eaten was to express our concern for their well-being.

Today when friends greet me, they often say, “Have you put on weight?” Whether they’re genuinely concerned for my health, or just think I should lose a few pounds, they care about me.

Everything we say, not just our greetings, reflects the concerns of our heart. Jesus said, “Those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart” (Matthew 15:18). He was explaining to His disciples that people could not be morally contaminated by the food they ate, but by the words spoken out of unclean hearts.

It was not strange that Jesus’ bold statements offended the Pharisees (v.12). They were great at appearing righteous on the outside, but they had no concern for the hypocrisy in their hearts. As Christ’s disciples, however, our focus should be on keeping our hearts clean so that our words will reflect genuine righteousness.

It is wise to think about the words you use throughout the day, wherever you go. What do they say about the condition of your heart?                                       [AL. Our Daily Bread: How are You? Printed In USA. (July 2002).]

Quote of the day: D. De Haan

“To rule your tongue, let Christ reign in your heart.”

Bible Verse of the Day: Matthew 15:18 (NIV)

“But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart,”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today as I choose my words, I pray that I stop, gather my thoughts, and proceed with speaking if it is necessary. Father, I pray that I check my heart daily and that I guard my tongue in all areas, and if it not pleasing to You, that I restrain from saying anything at all. Father, my prayer is that the words that I speak are encouraging to those around me and give You all the glory for it. I love You and thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

January 2011

Don’t let yesterday mess up today!

Story of the day: Don’t let yesterday mess up today!

If you spend all your time today thinking about your failures or successes yesterday, then you will ruin your tomorrow. When today looks too long at yesterday, we are borrowing from tomorrow’s time.

Yesterday is like a rearview mirror. When you go somewhere in the car, you use a rearview mirror. A rearview mirror shows you what’s behind you. You need a rearview mirror but you only need a rearview mirror to glance in, not live in. You don’t move forward by focusing on a rearview mirror; you move forward by focusing on the windshield. If you live in a rearview mirror, you will hurt somebody. But in front of the rearview mirror is a much bigger piece of glass called the windshield. The windshield shows you where you are going and that’s a lot bigger than where you have been. Don’t let yesterday mess up today, which will ruin tomorrow.

While you are driving forward in your Christian life, every now and then look in your rearview mirror. Take a peek in your rearview mirror to see what’s behind  you so that you don’t make a wrong turn while you’re moving forward. Just don’t stare too long. [Tony Evans. Tony Evan’s Stories, Quotes, and Anecdotes. Chicago: Moody Publishers. (2009). pgs. 220-221.

 Quote of the day: Tony Evans

“You need a rearview mirror but you only need a rearview mirror to glance in, not live in.”

Bible verse of the day: Philippians 3:13-14 (NKJV)

“Brethern, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You so much for life lessons. Father, I pray that I am not always staring back my rearview mirror, but looking forward through my windshield. Teach me to always focus on You and seek You in prayer for all areas in my life. I love You Father, and I am thankful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

January 2011

Light from the Son

 

Story of the day:  Light from the SON.

Just like many flowers and plants, people need the sun in order to survive.   Let me give you a little bit of background about the sun.  Wikipedia has many descriptions about what the sun is and what the sun can do.  Here are a few of them.  “Sunlight is the primary source of energy to Earth,  ultraviolet light from the sun has antiseptic properties and can be used to sanitize tools and water, The sun is a magnetically active star and has been intensively studied by scientists, while many questions about the sun still remain unanswered, humanity’s most fundamental understanding of the sun is as this luminous disk in the sky, whose presence above the horizon creates day and whose absence causes night.

Now, let’s look at another star called the SON.  The SON is the primary source for everyone. The light from the SON can radiate among many and can sanitize more than just tools and water.  The SON is always ACTIVE and has been studied by many, while many questions about the SON still remain unanswered. The SON created the day and night along with everything else (Genesis 1:1-31, 2:1-2).  Without the one and only SON, we cannot survive.  So my friends and family, follow the SON all the days of your life and He will radiate through you and you will shine for others to see.

Quote of the day:  R.K. Cecil

“Each soul, just like each flower,

Will turn toward the One

Whose light will make it blossom

 as it follows the SON.”

Bible verse of the day:  Genesis 1:3-4

“Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.  And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your SON.  As I seek Your presence daily, I pray that Your light shines so brightly through me.  May Your light be an example through my life.  Direct my paths and teach me how to shine like the SON.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen