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

Kindled inside you

Story of the day:  Kindled inside you

On the prairies of the Midwest, a grass fire can be a good thing. 

“To ask whether a prairie needs fire is to wonder whether it needs water,” says Cindy Schreuder.  “Burns stimulate the growth of grasses and forbs, return nutrients to the soil, expose seed beds to the sun and suppress invading trees and shrubs.”

In the same way, God’s consuming fire brings new life when we willingly let him burn the fields of our hearts.   [Cindy Schreduer]

Quote of the day:  Sue Monk Kidd

In awakening to God there is always a moment of choice, a time to say an absolute yes, to commit yourself as best you can to the life of God that is kindled inside you.  The experience demands it.  And there will likely be a need for a reaffirmation of that choice numerous times as we awaken to God.  We are spasmodic, fickle creatures who must be brought back again and again to our journey. 

Bible verse of the day:  Hebrews 12:29

“for indeed our God is a consuming fire.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

There is a fire that burns deep inside of me that wants to spread.  I pray that my fire continues to burn as You light it each and every day.  I am grateful to serve You and to do all that you have gifted me to do.  I pray for those whose light may have been dimmed for whatever reason, and I pray that they too can find Your never ending spark to ignite their lowly flame.  I thank You that You never change and that I can always count on You to be my Rock.  Thank You for watching out for me and always knowing what is best for me and my life.  I love You and thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

June 2009

Chair of life

Story of the day:  Chair of life

     I got to thinking about chairs this past weekend.  I saw many types of chairs being used.  Some had a hard surface, yet offered great back support, while others were too soft, yet made for a great sleeping chair.  Each to his own, chairs were designed and serve an important purpose.  They play host to pockets and are the life of any event.  There are a variety of chairs out there but one particular chair has me very interested.  This chair is used more often than a regular dinner table chair and it can be easily taken anywhere.  Unlike it’s counterpart, this chair has it’s own tent and is easily folded for on the go movement.  This chair that I am talking about is the famous folding chair or deck chair. 

     In one of Charles Schulz’s famous “Peanuts” cartoons, Lucy is philosophizing about said chairs and Charlie is listening.

     “Charlie Brown,” she begins, “life is a lot like a deck chair.  Some place it to see where they’ve been.  And some so they can see where they are at the present.”

     Charlie sighs, “I can’t even get mine unfolded.”

     There is a lot that can be said from this little scenario.  Chairs are a great representation a life that has been lived.   Has your life become like a chair that is sitting in a corner collecting dust where it is not being used for the purpose for which it was designed?  Is your chair like Charlie Brown’s where you can’t even get it unfolded and working properly?  Is your chair missing legs or other means which can offer support and rest? 

     Whether you are a dinner chair, a really soft chair, or a folding chair and may be out of circulation, I want to encourage you to take off those cob webs that have accumulated, fix the support, and get it back into circulation.  After all, a chair is a great representation of the life in which it touches.  

Quote of the day:  Henry David Thoreau

“Most men in this world live out their lives in quiet desperation.”

Bible verse of the day:  Colossians 3:17

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

There are many chairs (lives) out there that each, in uniqueness, represent Your children.  I am so thankful for my life.  I lift my voice in worship and in praise to You my Living Father, that it may bring honor and glory to Your name.  I thank You for this blessed day and for the safe travel that You provided.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

February 2009

“Obedience leads to life”

Story of the day:  Obedience leads to life

     Jeff and I have been waiting to hear from the military about our upcoming move.  As badly as we would love to go to San Antonio and have been praying to get there this summer, there may be a chance that we may not get it.  I have gone over this many times in my head and my little mind can’t grasp or understand sometimes the plans that God has for us.  I have faith that we will get there someday and I know that we will have a church there, but God’s timing is everything.  He goes before us and sees things that we can’t and knows the things that we need in order to do what He is asking of us.

    As I try to hear God’s voice in this matter, my heart is torn, because as much as I desire to be in San Antonio, God’s needs come first and to be obedient to His calling is so much more important than trying to do things on my own.  And even still,  I look at my kiddos and their longing to want to be in one area longer than 2 years still weighs heavy on me.  I pray to God for peace in helping me and them understand what God is asking of our family and that we can see the bigger picture for I know that what He has in store is so much better!  I know that my obedience to God will far outweigh my performance in anything that I try to accomplish on my own. 

     I was reading an article in Discipleship Journal written by Susan Maycinik and her take on Obedience hit home.  She says:  The line between obedience and performance can be a blurry one.  Yet it is an important distinction to grasp, because obedience leads to life, and performance to death…

     Obedience is seeking God with your whole heart.  Performance is having quiet time because you’ll feel guilty if you don’t.

    Obedience is finding ways to let the Word of God dwell in you richly.  Performance is quickly scanning a passage so you can check it off your Bible reading plan.

     Obedience is inviting guests to your home for dinner.  Performance is feeling anxious about whether every detail of the meal will be perfect.

     Obedience is following God’s prompting to start a small group.   Performance is reluctance to let anyone else lead the group because they might not do as well as you would.

     Obedience is doing your best.  Performance is wanting to be your best.

     Obedience is saying yes to whatever God asks of you.  Performance is saying yes to whatever people ask of you.

     Obedience is following the promptings of  God’s Spirit.  Performance is following a list of man-made requirements.

     Obedience springs from fear of God.  Performance springs from fear of failure.

    As Jeff and I sit and wait patiently on God for the next journey that He has planned for us, I am resting in His promise that his yoke is easy, and his burden light, and no matter where we go, He will use us for His purpose, if we are obedient to what He is asking of us.

Quote of the day:  Peter Bulkeley

“If God be God over us, we must yield Him universal obedience in all things.  He must not be over us in one thing, and under us in another, but He must be over us in everything.”

Bible verse of the day:  1 John 5:3

“For this is the  love of God, that we keep His commandments.  And His commandments are not burdensome.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

As much as I desire to be in San Antonio this year, Father, I know that You see things that we don’t.  You know what’s best for your Kingdom and our family.  Father, I will be obedient to what You are asking of me and I will follow with an open heart, mind, and soul.  I have total trust and faith in You to take care of my family and I won’t be disappointed with whatever decision You think is best for us.  Thank You for watching over us and for caring for us enough to lead us down Your path, and wherever You take us, that is where Your church will be.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

November 2008

Thankfulness

Story of the day:  Thankfulness

“Thankfulness sharpens us.  It reinforces our understanding of God’s goodness.  If there’s a situation that we don’t quite understand what God’s doing, then we thank Him for it.  Jesus often thanked His Heavenly Father.  As we follow in His steps, we too will walk in total thankfulness.” Nick Harrison

Quote of the day:  John Henry Jowett

“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion.  Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception.  Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude.  Every virute separated from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”

 Bible verse of the day:  Colossians 2:7

“rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I come today in Your presence, with thanksgiving in my heart, and I give You praise.  I pray to be sharpened this day and everyday by my thankfulness.  I pray as I walk in Your steps, that I will walk in total thankfulness.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen

Uncategorized

Have it to the full

Story and Quote of the day:  Have it to the full

“Don’t be satisfied with a mere feeble measure of spiritual life.  Strive to have the abundant life and to be well-rounded Christians.  Seek to have every power of your life developed to its utmost possibility and usefullness.  Find out whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, and strive to have every mark and line of beauty in your own life.  Grow toward God in all  upward heavenward reaching.  Grow toward men on earth in all unselfishness and loving service.  Grow in your own soul into the fullness of the stature of Christ.  And all of this will gain by becoming filled more and more with Christ Himself.  It was the daily prayer of one saintly Christian, “O God, make me an uncommon Christian.”  Let it be our prayer as well.                                                                                                                                                                   J. R. Miller

Bible verse of the day:  John 10:10

“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You that You came, died, and rose again, that I may have life. You are the greatest example of how to love, forgive, and to follow through with what You say.  Father, if I can only become even just a little more like You daily, by loving, forgiving and following through with what I say, then I know what it means to be successful in this life.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

November 2008

Live life

Story of the day:  Live Life

    I decided to do a little study of my own.  I wanted to know if people were “LIVING LIFE” by way of a smile.  I began counting people to see if they had a smile, frown, or look of puzzlement on their face.  I began counting, one by one, frown, puzzlement, frown, puzzlement, and just as I had suspected, there were very few that had a smile on their face.  This is when I begin to think about what all might been going on with them.  Are they lonely?  Did they just lose someone important in their life?  Are they so busy that they don’t have time to turn that frown into a smile?  Are they enjoying their life?  What was it that was causing the lack of smiles this day?       

     Are you living your life or is it passing you by so quickly that you don’t even recognize it?  I want to believe that people are enjoying and actually living their life.  But are they really?  Do they know my Jesus?  Or are they just going through the motions?  I have been perplexed by this for some time and I think that I will continue to do more research on the matter and let you know my findings. 

     But in the meantime, Chuck Swindoll writes:  “Have you put all that on “hold”?  For most people, life has become a grim marathon of misery, an endurance test full of frowns, whines, groans, and sighs.  And perhaps that explains why so many who were once close to them have a tendency to drift away. Can you think of anyone who would rather spend a lot of time with those who have stopped enjoying life?  They’d probably rather invest their hours in a pet, an animal that can’t even talk, than in someone who resembles a dark rain cloud.

     Maybe that explains the little bumper sticker, “Have you hugged your horse today?”  That used to make me smile; now I understand.  Sometimes it’s easier to hug a horse than it is to stay close to another person.  When you get next to a horse, it never says, “Man, have I had a rotten day!”  or, “I’m so down today.”  So if we don’t want to drive others away with our groans and moans, we should learn how to enjoy life.”  

     Today, as you go out, “LIVE LIFE”, smile at someone and maybe, just maybe, your smile can radiate to them and they too will share a smile with you, after all the love of Christ in us, should radiate through us, so that others will be drawn to it.

Quote of the day:  Christy Povolish

“Live life, share a smile.”

Bible verse of the day:  Philippians 1:21

“For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Today as I continue on with this day that You have blessed me with, I pray that my attitude is one that radiates Your love towards others.  Father, if all I give is a smile, then in that smile may they see You and not me.  Father, I thank You for sharing Jesus with me, and I pray that frowns will be changed into smiles as we are living testimonies of Your love.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen