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.

 

October 2008

Released from bondage of perfectionism

Story of the day:  Released from bondage of perfectionism

     “God expects more failure from us than we do from ourselves because God knows who we are.  We are not the righteous person who occasionally sins, we are the sinful person who occasionally–by God’s grace–gets it right.  When we start from this perspective we are released from the bondage of perfectionism and are able to forgive ourselves once and for all.  We are to take our cue from him.  We may be disappointed with ourselves but God is not.  We may feel like condemning ourselves, but God does not.

     Forgiving ourselves for our failures is a big task.  We expect so much.  Jesus’ disciples failed Him–but in every case the whole story had not yet been told.  There were many successes ahead for them–just as there are for you.  Lighten up on yourself.  God has called you to Himself.  You are loved by Him.  How can you belittle what God so loves?”  James Bryan Smith and Nick Harrison

Quote of the day:  James Long

“One reason God created time was so there would be a place to bury the failures of the past.”

Bible verse of the day:  Romans 8:2

“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father:

Thank You for releasing me from the bondage of perfectionism.  Thank You that the righteous requirement might be fulfilled in me who does not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  Thank You for the times that I don’t always get it right, and yet You still love me no matter what.  When I fall, You are quick to pick me up.  It’s just like a mother or father of a child who has fallen down, and You are still there encouraging me and showing me the way so that I might not fall again.  Thank You for loving me so much and creating me that I may share You with the world.  I thank You for this day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen

Uncategorized

The fall of Lucifer

Story of the day:  The fall of Lucifer

     Pride can creep into our lives in many different fashions.  It is a tool that is used by the devil that can puff us up, but when all is said and done, it is the one tool that can make us fall the hardest.

When people are asked to describe what the devil looks like, many will describe him as this mean, evil looking entity that carries around a pitch fork.  What people fail to realize is that he was once a beautiful angel, that did great things for God.  It wasn’t until he wanted to be equal with God that caused his fall from Heaven.  I imagine that he still looks like an angel, the only difference is that he might look beautiful on the outside, yet so ugly on the inside.  Think about it, how else could he lure people into doing what he wants?  It is his enticing, prideful ways that can trap people into believing his lies.  But just as quickly as he fell from Heaven due to his pridefulness, we too can fall just as quickly, if we allow ourselves to get puffed up. 

Pride is a sin that is a lofty and often arrogant assumption of superiority in some respect.  “Pride can destroy our efforts.  If we are doing what God is calling us to do and start seeing terrific results, then we must guard against the subtle pride that can accompany success.  Check yourself.  Is pride a problem?” (Nick Harrison)

  Quote of the day:  Richard Baxter

“Pride is a vice that ill suits those who lead others in a humble way to Heaven.  For God, who thrust out a proud angel, will not tolerate a proud Christian either.  For it is pride that is at the root of all other sins:  envy, contention, discontent, and all hindrances that would prevent renewal.  Where there is pride, all want to lead and none want to follow or to agree.”

Bible verse of the day:  Proverbs 11:2

“When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father,

I pray that pride doesn’t find it’s way into my life.  I pray that at it’s first signs of life that it may be weeded out so that the things You ask of me can be done in a humble way so when the results come, I will know that they are of You and not of me.  I pray for a humbled spirit in all that I do and an open heart that is willing to love the way that You love me.  I pray that You continue to mold me into the likeness of Your Son Jesus Christ so that others may see You through me.  Father, I pray for my kiddos who just started a brand new school today, I pray that they fear nothing and know that You go before them in their life leading their way.  I pray for all other students who are in the same boat.  Comfort them in this changing world that they may recognize You as their Lord and Savior.  I pray for the teachers, who will be setting the example for all students to follow.  Give them rest as this day will be exhausting for them.  I thank You for a blessed day!

In Jesus Name I pray,

Amen