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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February 2010

It’s all in our attitude

Story of the day: It’s all in our attitude

There’s a story about a man and his wife who were on a long trip stopped at a full-service gas station. After the station attendant had washed their car’s windshield, the man in the car said to the station attendant, “It’s still dirty. Wash it again.”

So the station attendant complied. After washing it again, the man in the car angrily said, “It’s still dirty. Don’t you know how to wash a windshield?”

Just then the man’s wife reached over, removed her husband’s glasses from his face, and cleaned them with a tissue. Then he put them back on and behold–the windshield was clean!

Our attitude has a great deal to do with how we look at things. The whole world can seem pretty bleak if we have a negative attitude. Yet how bright the world can appear if we have a joyful attitude of hope. [Green, M. 2005. The Expositor’s Illustration File and Index. Baker Books Publishing.]

Quote of the day: Chuck Swindoll

“I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude.”

Bible verse of the day: Philippians 2:5 (NKJV)

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I humble myself before You and pray that my attitude reflects the joy that You have placed within my life. I know that everyday will bring its challenges, and as they come, I pray to make the right choices in how to handle things, and that the things that I do bring You honor, glory, and praise. I love You Father and I am thankful for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

December 2009

Take Action

Story of the day:  Take Action

The Chicago Tribune writes:

In March of 1994 a German tourist checked into a hotel near Miami International Airport.  That night in his room he noticed a foul odor.  But travelers must put up with discomforts, so he slept in the bed that night without complaint to the front desk.

The next morning when he awoke, the odor was only worse.  So as he checked out of the hotel, he reported the problem.  On Friday, March 11, a maid cleaning the room discovered the source of the odor.  Under the bed she found a corpse. [Dead Body Found under Bed in Hotel. Chicago Tribune, 13 March 1994, sec.1, p.23.]

Quote of the day:  Craig Brian Larson

“Life is filled with problems, and often it seems the best thing to do is just ignore them.  But if we realized how serious and close some problems really are, we would take action.”

Bible verse of the day:  Jeremiah 6:14

“They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious.  ‘Peace, peace,’ they say, when there is no peace.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray to not let a day go by where I don’t come to You to deal with any corpse of a problem that may be hidden under my bed.  I pray for courage to always face the problem head on instead of turning and running from it, regardless of what it may be.  I know with You leading my way, that no problem is ever too big to face Your guidance will show me how to handle it.  Thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

September 2009

In for a roller coaster ride?

Story of the day:  In for a roller coaster ride?

The word of the day is feelings.  Now here’s a word that best sums up our emotional data.  Dictionary.com describes feelings, as us being readily affected by our emotions.  Sometimes we may “feel” sad, lonely, tired, or fill in the blank.  All of these “feelings” are felt because of underlying circumstances that are going on in our life.  Do you allow these feelings to determine if you are to be happy or not?  I know for the last few weeks, the adjustment here has been a little harder for me than most of the moves in my entire life.  It’s been a month and I can’t seem to get into my groove.  It’s not like I have never moved before.  I have been doing this since I was born.  My father was in the military and now my husband is also serving full time. 

There is really nothing new about this move, except that things have slowed down tremendously in my life.  To me, that is kind of scary, because if any of you know me, I am a very active and social person.  It also doesn’t help that I am many miles away from family and friends.  So what I do with all of these emotions running through me?  Do I allow these circumstances in my life to determine my path of happiness?  Absoluetly not. 

I love that God placed these words deep into my soul:  “The things happening in my life don’t determine if I am going to be happy or not, and the circumstances in my life aren’t my emotional gauge in how I live.  I am right here Christy. I am never ceasing, never failing, always comforting, and always loving you.  I am grateful to now have some more alone time with you so that our relationship can blossom even more than it already has.”  Wow, my Heavenly Father, with such profound words, has always been steadfast in my life no matter where I go or what I do.  He is a spring of water that doesn’t ever change.  I found a great little illustration of this from Billy Graham.  He writes:

Near my home is a spring that never varies its flow.  Floods may rage, but its output doesn’t increase.  A long summer’s drought may come, but it won’t decrease.  Its flow is steady, reliable, and unending.

Such is the peace we all yearn for–and such is the peace Jesus promised to all who trust in Him.  The water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.

Whatever your day may hold, Your Heavenly Father is that Spring of Water, “steady, reliable, and unending”, waiting for you to take a drink.  Come and drink.

Bible verse of the day:  Psalm 36:9

“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for Your profound words of wisdom.  You are my steadfast spring of life that is “steady, reliable, and unending.”  Though I may have these feelings, I pray for continued support to not let them run my life and determine my happiness.  I come to You this day and ask for forgiveness for anytime that I may have allowed my emotions to play a part in this.  I am grateful to You for loving me unconditionally.  I thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

August 2009

His Canvas

quote of the day mountains                                                                                                                                                Story of the day:  His canvas

There are so many wonderful and beautiful things to see here in New Mexico. Whether it be the tall standing mountains, white billowy clouds shading the crystal blue sky, or the sun that rises and sets with the most beautiful shades of purple and pink, I am in total awe of His magnificent work.  Each and every day, I awaken to a new canvas that God paints on.  His artwork display hangs for the world to see and is a reminder of His Creative Touch.  He hangs rainbows at just the right time as a constant reminder of His promise and love for His children.   

Today as you are out and about, take a moment to stop and witness the canvas of artwork that God has painted just for you.

Quote of the day:  Clyde S. Kilby

“I shall open my eyes and ears.  Once every day I shall simply stare at a tree, a flower, a cloud, or a person.  I shall not then be concerned at all to ask what they are but simply be glad that they are.”

Bible verse of the day:  Isaiah 55:12 (NIV)

“You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for displaying Your Artwork each and everyday.  There is so much in Your Creation that is so beautiful.  I am humbled by the mountains, the blue sky, the sunrises and sunsets, but most importantly by Your Grace to share it all with me.  You have placed the stars in all the right places to light up the dark sky in my life and I am forever changed.  Thank You for this blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

 

September 2008

Descending like a dove

Story of the day:  Descending like a dove

     As I was driving Christen to school today, we both saw a beautiful white dove.  It flew right past the car and landed in the park on a wooden fence.  We both looked at each other and with great excitement, said, “look, a dove!”  As it made it’s descent onto the wooden fence, I couldn’t help but think about the beauty that a dove radiates.  In the Bible, a dove usually means peace.  For example one may say that the dove that Noah sent out of the ark after the flood is a symbol of peace, “that the flood rains were over” (Genesis 8:10-11).  A dove may also represent the Holy Spirit.  In Matthew 3:16, Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist.  In this instance the three persons of the trinity are seen in one form or another. God’s voice is heard from Heaven, Jesus is being baptized, and the Holy Spirit (a.k.a. the Holy Ghost) is seen in the form of a dove.

      As Jeff and I have been moving forward with the next phase of this ministry, I began to feel a little overwhelmed about how everything is going to get done or be done.  I believe that God sent that little dove into my path, as a reminder that the Holy Spirit within me, is there as my helper, always encouraging me, watching over me and restoring the hope and faith in my life about what is to come.  God always supplies all the tools needed for His Work and often through the Power of the Holy Spirit.  That little dove this morning was a confirmation that we are doing what God is asking of us and that if we rest in that, then we will find peace. 

Quote of the day:  Michael P. Green

“When you see a man who is at work for God and producing results, recognize that it is the Holy Spirit working through him, not the man’s efforts that are giving results.  All he has to do–and all you have to do–is keep your hand on the handle.”

Bible verse of the day:  Matthew 3:16

“When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the Heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

Thank You for sending me a helper that not only recognizes when I need help, but is there to encourage me, restore me, and watch over me.  Father, sometimes I can get overwhelmed by thinking about all that needs to be done for Your church.  I pray to remember that You are in total control of that and I am but Your vessel to carry it out.  I am thankful that You know exactly what and when things need to be done and share it with me only when the time is right.  I can find rest and peace through that little dove that You placed right into my path today.  Something so small, as a dove, has so much meaning to me because of the timing of when You sent it.  That little dove is a gift from You to me in that it confirmed that we are moving in the right direction and that Your Will is going to be done.  I thank You for this 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