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.

 

Advertisements
August 2009

Weave your thread into a beautiful pattern

Story and Quote of the day:  Weave your thread into a beautiful pattern

I have always wanted to make a quilt from thread and weave a beautiful pattern out of it.  I see in my heart what I would like for it to look like, but the process requires a lot of patience and time from me the maker.  I also know that If I don’t do it, it won’t ever get done.  So I start this process and begin to see the start of something beautiful, which started from scratch.  In the same way our life is a mirror image of this beautiful pattern that God is creating from thread.  And though you may not see the completed pattern that He is creating from that piece of thread, or a pattern that He has already created in someone else, I believe:

It is important to learn these two things: never be discouraged because good things get done so slowly here, and never fail daily to do that good which lies next to your hand.  Do not be in a hurry, but be diligent.  Enter into the sublime patience of the Lord.  God can afford to wait; why cannot we since we have Him to fall back on?  Let patience have her perfect work and bring forth her celestial fruits.  Trust to God to weave your little thread into a web though the patterns may not show it yet. [George MacDonald]

Bible verse of the day:  James 1:4 (NIV)

“Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for weaving my life into a beautiful pattern.  Though the quilting has just begun and You have so much more to add to my life by way of patterns, I get excited to see the beauty that You are creating.  Thank You for loving me as much as You do and for showing me Your Love through Your Son, Jesus Christ.  I pray for patience and perseverance in my life that I may stand up against any test that comes my way.  I love You and 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

March 2008

God’s words and time table, not mine

blue-hills.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                                Story of the day:  God’s words and time table, not mine

    I usually get up every morning, do my quiet time with God, and then write for Quote of the day.  Lately, God has been showing me that it’s not always going to work like that.  I am a scheduled person and like to do things the same everyday.  God has now been telling me to wait on Him, which I usually try to do, but lately, I have been struggling because when I am ready to write, God has been telling me to wait.  So, I first want to apologize for not getting the quotes out as early as I had every morning, but at the same time, I don’t apologize for God telling me to wait, because through my waiting, God has shown me that His timing is perfect.   

    Not only is His timing perfect it is everything!  As I was reading in the book of Jeremiah last night, I began to notice just how important His timing truly is.  There are times that I think that Quote of the day is ready to go out for the day and God says, no wait.  And I ask God, are You sure?  Like He needs me to ask Him.  Again I always hear crickets and imagine Him standing over me, and looking at me like I look at my children when they’ve asked me a question like that.  And although the waiting has been uncomfortable and challenging to me, I see the importance of why He had me wait. 

    Have you ever wondered what you were going to say to someone about Christ and were afraid that you didn’t know exactly what to say and when to say it?  That has been my dilemma my whole life.  It’s not that I was afraid of telling people about God, it’s just I didn’t know where in the Bible to look.  Along with that were struggles with reading.  I have always had to read things a couple of times to make sure that I got it, so I thought, well if I am struggling with saying things and reading things, maybe I should write it down, but even that was so hard for me.  Give me a math problem, since I love math, and I could figure it out, but with writing, my thoughts would speed past me and my hand’s couldn’t write it down fast enough before they became just a memory.  And even though these things were always hard for me, God is amazing in that He took the things that I struggled with the most and turned them into a strength for His glory! 

    God began to show me in Jeremiah last night just how impecable His timing is.  It is so perfect that He knew that I would be writing this right now even before I was born.  Jeremiah 1:4-5,7b-9  says this:  “Then the Word of the Lord came to me, saying:  Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”  For you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.  Do not be afraid of their faces, for I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.  Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:  “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” 

    I stand amazed every single day that He puts into my mouth the words that He will have me write and does so in a way that ministers to me, the one that is doing the writing. It has come full circle to me understanding my purpose even during the times that I didn’t understand it.    And as long as I continue to do what He has asked of me and to remember that it’s all on God’s time table, and not mine, then no matter what time I get Quote of the day sent off during the day, I now know that it will be sent on His perfect time, whenever that may be.

Quote of the day:  Esther Fields

“Things don’t just happen to us who love God,

They’re planned by His own dear hand,
Then molded and shaped, and timed by His clock,
Things don’t just happen–they’re planned.

Bible verse of the day:  Jeremiah 1:9

“Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth, and the Lord said to me:  “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Your timing is so perfect.  I am so grateful that You have been showing this to me in the last few weeks.  And although I may want things a certain way, I know that it’s not my way that counts, but Yours.  Let me be reminded daily that waiting on You is a gift that You have given to me. The gift has been teaching me patience, the value of Your time and not mine, and how to deal with struggles in my life.  Thank You that before I was born You already had Your words ready for me to use.  The words will be used to glorify Your name and to teach others about You.  God, I have looked at myself and have often asked why You have chosen someone that has had struggles with writing to do Your will, and with Your great response You said,  “Christy with your weakness, your struggle, I have turned it around, and made into a strength.  I want others to see that it’s okay to have weakness, because in my eyes, as I begin to change their weakness into a strength, they too will see the great things that I am doing in their life, and know that it is from Me.  They just have to want to love Me and allow Me to start a work in them, and from My work that I am doing, they will see how much I love them.” God, that touched my heart and continues to minister to me. I thank You for Who You are and for sharing this with me today.  Father, I love You so much.  When I wake up to when I go to sleep my thoughts are always on You and as You reach down from Heaven daily and “touch your hand to my mouth,” I know that I have been given exactly what You want me to say and it will be done on Your time table and not mine.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name  I pray,

Amen

February 2008

IN Gracious Love

water-lilies.jpg                                                                                                                                                                                        Story of the day:  In Gracious Love

     We as human beings want to see results and we usually want to see them now.  Instead of waiting on God’s time, we always seem to think that we are ready today and can handle whatever comes our way.  Sometimes not waiting on God, sets us upon a different course and getting to our destination with God may take a little longer, had we just had patience and waited on Him.  Patience, now there’s a very complex word.  Simple in meaning, yet very hard at times to accomplish.  Sometimes having patience can be very difficult, especially when we want to see results and the results aren’t happening the way that we expect them to. 

    F. B. Meyer said it best:  “God has set times.  It is not for us to know them.  Indeed, we cannot know them.  We must wait for them.  If God told Abraham in Haran that he must wait all those years until he pressed the promised child to his bosom, his heart would have failed him.  So in gracious love, the length of the weary years was hidden.  And only as they were nearly spent and there were only a few more months to wait, God told him, according to the time of life, “Sarah shall have a son.”

    If God told you on the front end how long you would have to wait to find the fulfillment of your desire or pleasure or dream, you’d lose your heart.  You’d grow weary in well doing.  So would I.  But He doesn’t.  He just says, “Wait.  I keep My word.  I’m in no hurry.  In the process of time I ‘m developing you to be ready for the promise.”

Quote of the day:  Steven J. Cole

“God’s Word often refers to the Christian experience as a walk, seldom as a run, and never as a mad dash.”

Bible verse of the day:  James 1:3-4

“Knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have it’s perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

It is Your Gracious love that reminds me to be patient and not move ahead of what You have planned for my life.  I pray to walk in this life and not dash as this can only set me upon a different path that could take longer to be walking in my desired purpose.  Lord, patience is a test that sometimes I cannot pass.  It becomes difficult to wait, yet I know that persevering through the waiting will only be that much sweeter.  I just get so excited to do all the things that You have planned for me.  I am grateful that You haven’t shown me all that we will be doing for Your Kingdom, because in knowing it all, I won’t be doing what You have called me to do, but will running ahead of You and wanting to do things on my own.  Thank You for not being in a hurry and teaching me how to follow Your example by showing me that there is no need to be in a hurry.  I thank You for this day.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen