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.

 

August 2009

Which road do we take?

Story of the day:  Which road do we take?

There are many roads in life that we come across.  Deciding which to take can sometimes be a challenge.  So when we come to a fork in our life, which road do we take?  Vernon Grounds wrote in Grooves of Grace this exact situation.  He writes:

A man was traveling in Canada one springtime when frost and melting snow made it nearly impossible to drive farther.  He came to a crossroads and saw a sign that said, “Take care which rut you choose.  You will be in it for the next 25 miles.”  That’s a wise warning for all of us–and not just when we’re driving in rough road conditions.

Whenever we come to a crossroads in life, what choice do we make?  In other words, in what direction will we travel and what habits–which ruts of routine–will we establish?

A habit is a pattern of behavior that we follow consistently.  We need to decide prayerfully what habits we will practice.  Will our habits be mere ruts of routine?  Or will they become “grooves of grace?”

Good health habits are important, but spiritual disciplines are far more important.  Are we choosing to develop consistent habits of prayer, Bible reading, and kindness?

A habit is just a rut of routine.  But good spiritual discipline can transform our ruts into grooves of grace.

Quote of the day:  Hess

“In the beginning we make our habits; in the end our habits make us.”

Bible verse of the day: 1 Corinthians 9:27 (NIV)

“No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Forks in the road come at all different times of our lives.  I seek to always be prayed up so that with Your Guidance, I may choose the right road.  I pray that I continue to develop all the great attributes that lead to Spiritual discipline so that my life may mirror You in it.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

December 2008

Who is your neighbor?

Story of the day:  Who is your neighbor?

     “During our lifetime God sends us many “neighbors.”  Even the person standing ahead of us in the supermarket check-out line is our neighbor, briefly.  To each we owe kindness and, if appropriate, a word of encouragement.  Though doubtless Jesus passed by many people with whom He had no direct encounter, He was very aware of the “God-appointments” that prompted conversation.  Examples include the woman a the well, Zacchaeus, and of course His disciples as He called each of them to follow Him.  In the same way, He has called us; and we have thus become His neighbors.” Nick Harrison

Quote of the day:  George MacDonald

“A man does not choose his neighbor; he must take the neighbor God sends him.  The neighbor is just the man who is next to you at the moment, the man with whom any business has brought you into contact.”

Bible verse of the day:  Luke 10:29

“But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I am so thankful for my neighbors.  Today and everyday as I speak to the neighbors that You have blessed me with, I pray to be kind and to speak words of encouragement.  I ask You dear Father, for wisdom in discerning what needs to be said and to be obedient to Your Will.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

July 2008

“What’s in you will spill out”

Story of the day:  What’s in you will spill out”

     As Christians, we aren’t exempt from being angry or upset.  God has given us emotions, but the way that we handle the emotions can be a test beyond measure.  I was reading a little story written by Richard De Haan called Inside Out that I thought did a great job in illustrating this example.

     He referred to a missionary by the name of Hudson Taylor who while giving a sermon filled a glass with water and placed it on a table in front of him.  As he was speaking, he pounded his fist hard enough to make the water splash onto the table.  He then explained, “You will come up against much trouble.  But when you do, remember, only what’s in you will spill out.

     That’s worth thinking about, isn’t it?  When we are mistreated or misunderstood, how do we respond?  With loving words, patience, and kindness?  Or are we inclined to retaliate in anger?

     When we live under the control of the Holy Spirit, we will show it by the way we react to the jolting trials and temptations of life.  How we respond to trying, embarrassing situations, that are suddenly thrust upon us is a good test of how much we have grown in grace.

     It is possible to suppress frustration and anger, and to appear undisturbed to people around us.  But if our heart is full of the Savior’s love, we will respond to the jostling of an unexpected trial with genuine patience and kindness.  Like a full glass of water, what’s inside of us will spill over on the outside.”

Quote of the day:  Our Daily Bread

“When trouble grows, your character shows.”

Bible verse of the day:  Mark 7:20

And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I pray that You continue to direct my steps by Your Word and give me understanding according to Your Word.  You are my keeper and my protector.  Father, I ask that You continue to do a move throughout this nation.  I pray for the church in general that mighty men and women arise and start listening to the call that You have for each of them.  Father, we are living in a different time, and as such, I pray that through these times, You will shine through situations and Your Word is spread like wild fire so souls are saved.  Father use me as Your vessel to reach those that don’t know You and continue to build in me, if it’s Your Will, a zeal that will consume me all the days of my life.  Father, I love You and I thank You for this day!  Continue to guide us with our move and as we prepare for an upcoming busy week, may we stay focused on You and look a

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen