A Sprinkle or a Hurricane?

A wise Pastor once told me

“If it can be solved with money, it’s not a problem”
I usually shot back with
“Then write me a check!”

I never fully understood what he was saying until this last weekend

Our church is going through a sermon series entitled

Faith Like This

This week, Pastor Mike spoke about the Eye of the Storm

  • The eye of the storm is often the center of God’s will for our lives
  • It’s not the size of your faith, it’s the direction
  • The storm is designed to expose your faith and reveal the Son

In Luke 8: 24 it talks of the disciples and Jesus being in a boat out on the lake
A huge storm comes up and they were in real danger of dying and Jesus was napping
As the boat is taking on water, the disciples go to Jesus, waking Him up by shouting

Master! Master! We are going to drown!

In other words,

How can You just lay there snoozing when we’re all gonna die?!

Jesus woke up, sat up and hollered loud

Shut Up!!

And it did
And I imagine the disciples shut up, too
Then Jesus asked

Where is your faith?

Were they faithless men? I don’t believe so
Perhaps their faith was pointed in the wrong direction
In that moment, their faith was in the storm and its potential for destruction
Not in Jesus the Author and Finisher of their faith

When the storm calmed, the disciples were terrified and amazed

Who is this man? When he gives a command, even the wind and the waves obey

Jesus and His power were revealed in the midst of the storm

———————————————————————————————————————————-

How often do we moan about a little sprinkle of rain in our lives?
The plumbing? The car? The washer died? Gas prices are sky-rocketing?
These are not big storms, just little problems—all can be fixed with money

What about the hurricanes that happen?
The scary diagnosis? The lost child? The senseless killing? Excruciating loss?
Where is Jesus in all this?
In the boat
With us
Encouraging us to keep our eyes of faith firmly fixed on Him
And not in the rising water and gale-force winds
Rest and trust Him in the Eye of the Storm

Storms will come
Life is sometimes hard
Where is your faith?

Quote Learn To Dance In The Rain Dance In The Rain Quotes Quote Addicts

 

Oxford Dictionary defines Eye of the Storm as the calm region at the center of a storm

In the center all is calm although all around is wind and rain

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Who Do You Call?

When life is hard and the world is cold

When the diagnosis comes out of the blue and slaps you square in the face

When you get sucker-punched by the very person you thought would always have your back

When friends/family/employers fail you

Who do you call?

What do you do?

Do you run to the bottle?

Do you make horrible plans to get even?

Do you complain and tear down?

Do you cry out in anger?

Do you dive into the depths of despair?

Or

Do you run to the Rock?

Your High Tower

Your Hope

Your Redeemer

Your Daddy God

The ONE who loves you most!

He will never leave you

He won’t hurt you

He will walk with you through life’s storms

He will always calm the storm within you

And He might even calm the sea around you

When situations and circumstances seem to overwhelm

We need to keep our eyes on our Father’s face

Nothing else matters!

It seems people all around me are getting hit from every side

Marriages, children, illness, stress, the unknown

But over and over in my spirit I hear this old hymn

My hope is built on nothing less, than Jesus’ blood and righteousness!

I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name!

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand

All other ground is sinking sand.

Our Hope; not in mankind, not in our job, not in the medical community and not in our spouse

Our Hope is in Christ!

Nothing else; nothing less

Psalm 144:2 NLT
He is my loving ally and my fortress, my tower of safety, my rescuer.
He is my shield, and I take refuge in Him. He makes the nations submit to me.

 

 

 

Gaunlet Extended; Challenge Accepted

Thank you, Mike Whitney and COS!

Because you challenged us to walk our neighborhoods and pray for them, I met a new friend!

As I was walking our ‘neighborhood’, I prayed for the individuals I knew by name and those I didn’t know. The unknown names beat out the known by about 10 to 1!

I prayed for all the children who play so close to the road. I prayed for their parents that they would reign them in.

I prayed for the unknown robbers who broke into our house several years ago and robbed us of not only our physical items but of our sense of peace and safety in our own home.

I prayed for all the people who drive down our road every day at breakneck speed. That they would slow down, keep safe and enjoy the journey.

After I prayed for all of that, I still had about a half mile back to my home. It was then that I told God, “If someone is outside, I will stop and introduce myself”.

And just like that, a young lady came out on her porch for a smoke and some downtime before she started dinner. God works like that.

I didn’t realize she was out until I was several steps past her property. I hesitated for a moment, arguing with myself (and God) saying it would look foolish and she would think I’m crazy if I stopped and went back.

The argument didn’t last long and back I went.

I approached slowly. After all, I had a dog on a leash and she didn’t know me from Adam!

As I got closer, I started talking and telling her about the challenge to walk and pray for our neighbors and that I had told God I would stop if someone came outside.

I introduced myself. Huffing and puffing and sweating like crazy. I am in no shape for physical fitness.

I then asked her if there was anything I could pray with her about and she teared up!

She told me she had a business venture on her heart that she really wanted guidance for. A small business that would not only benefit her, but the Grove community as well.

So, there on her front lawn, for all the world to see, we held hands and we prayed and we cried. We prayed that God would work out all the details for her and her dream. We thanked Him for divine connections and obedience and new friends and new beginnings.

My new friend and I plan to get together and walk our neighborhood. Praying, talking, dreaming, connecting.

Thank You, Father! Thank you, COS!
#ilovemychurch
#grovecos
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Extravagant Grace

Lately I’ve had several opportunities where I could have seen Grace in action

In my own life, the lives of my children, the lives of my friends….the operative phrase being

…could have seen.

This morning, as I’ve spent some time listening…to not only my thoughts but the Holy Spirit, the phrase “Extravagant Grace” kept rolling over and over me like a strong yet gentle ocean wave.

How often we bask in this unmerited favor! We want that grace to envelop us like a thick, soft blanket on a cool night! Or diffuse on us like the cooling spray of water on a hot Summer’s day! Oh, we enjoy it! And we want more.

But, how often do we extend that beautiful, comforting unmerited favor?

When spouses, children, friends and other Christians don’t act or talk or walk like we think they should, where’s the grace?

Years ago, there was a hamburger commercial and the elderly lady was always going around saying, “Where’s the beef?” indicating that all the other hamburger joints served up something “less than”. Inferior. Not up to her standards.

I’ve seen so many posts on the ever loving yet, ever painful Facebook lately, that do nothing but tear down…people, ideas, processes, churches, families, Christians, leaders, morals, men, women and children. We don’t like how someone is behaving; they are not behaving up to my standards, they don’t agree with what I think is right and true, so they are idiots or wrong or pious or un-Christlike…or, you can fill in the blank.

Now, before you jump to the conclusion that I don’t think there are absolutes in this world, I absolutely do! The Bible, the Word of God, is an absolute. It’s true. It is infallible.
There are actions that require discipline and there is a time to call someone on whatever they may be doing that is contrary to what God says. But, the Word also says to get the LOG out of your own eye before you jump on a brother about the SPECK that is in his! Luke 6:41-43

So, my challenge to all of this next week is to throw out grace, the unmerited favor, like it’s confetti! Someone cuts you off in traffic? Throw out grace instead of the one-fingered salute. The frazzled mama at Walmart who has two cartloads of groceries in the 20 items or less lane? Throw out grace instead of dirty looks. Your spouse has screwed up again and you don’t think you can take it one more time? Remember the grace that has freely been given you. A fellow church member has got his shorts in a wad because he doesn’t think he has been recognized enough for his good works? Love him anyway. Let God work out the details.

I leave you with this:
Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. II Corinthians 13:11, 14 NIV

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Frozen? Let It Go!

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Are you afraid?
Is there something in your life that you feel you should do or say
But you don’t because
You are afraid?

Do you feel a prompt to act or speak
But you are frozen by
FEAR?

Do you look at those around you and think
I wish I was more like her?
She has it all together
She is full of confidence
She isn’t afraid of anything!

Did you ever stop to think that she is afraid?
That she really doesn’t have it all together?
That her heart pounds almost out of her chest at the thought of doing that
One thing?
That she loses sleep at night thinking about how she could have done things differently
Or not at all?

Embarrassment is her middle name
Palpitations are the drumline of her heart
Scared Sweat is the glisten on her skin
And the sour taste in her mouth?
It’s as common as the air she breathes

Do we wait until we are no longer afraid to do the things we know to do?
Do we wait until we’re comfortable?
Do we wait until we’re confident?

How does she do it?
She knows that the gut-gripping fear is not her gift to keep
She recognizes from where it came and refuses to let it rule her
2 Timothy 1:7
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. NLT

We need to step out in faith
Knowing our Father goes before us
Trusting Him even though we can not trust ourselves
Finding our confidence in Him

Life is short
Time is slipping
Deeds need done
People need us
We need each other
We do not have time to sit and wait for the
Perfect
We may be required to do it afraid
Someone is depending on us

Be a Product of the Product

A couple of weeks ago

I was with a couple of friends

And we were at a Young Living essential oil class

Meeting with like-minded oilers!

During the course of the class we watched corporate videos

Announcing new and exciting things that were going to be taking place in the company

Exciting stuff

Stuff we had been hoping and waiting for

Stuff we didn’t even know we wanted

At one point,  we divided up into teams and played a game

So many points for each item of Young Living we had with us

Here we are

Digging through our purses, our pockets

Searching for yet another Young Living product

Lip balm, Lip gloss, Thieves Waterless Hand Cleaner, Oils, Oils and more Oils

Brochures, Flyers, Supplements, NingXia, Nitro

Lotions, Diffusers, Diffuser Jewelry

Books,  T-shirts, Backpacks

Thieves Mints, Thieves Cough Lozenges, Thieves Spray

We just kept pulling out more

Our points were piling up

Our team took the longest to tally because of ALL THE PRODUCT

There were 3 on the team and our totals surpassed all the other teams

By a lot

More than double

Maybe even more than triple

Because after it was all said and done

We found more product that we didn’t even count!

We won!

Our Crown Diamond leader used this game to send home the message

Be a Product of the Product

Let others see you using your Young Living items in your

Every day, Walking around

LIFE

When others see you using your oils

Your supplements

Reading the Chemistry of Oils book

Diffusing Peace & Calming at your desk

They will ask

And you can tell

How this company and all of the products have

Changed Your Life

And how it can change theirs, too!

This game, the message

Be a Product of the Product

Really got me to thinking

I love these oils and supplements and books and lip balm and and and…

But the One I truly want to be a Product of is

Jesus

If you look at me you can tell that I love Young Living

Can others look at me and tell that I LOVE JESUS?

Am I a Product of HIM?

I’m not talking about wearing a t-shirt or having a bumper sticker on my car

Or sharing a meme on Facebook declaring my love for Him

Do I have Jesus spilling out of every nook and cranny of my life?

Do I talk like HIM?

Walk like HIM?

See others like HIM?

Love like HIM?

How long does it take for others to see Jesus in me?

Father,

Help me to live this life that is a gift from You

With an out loud Faith

An out loud Love

An out loud Joy

So that others will see and ask

“Why are you so different?”

And I can say

“It’s all because of Jesus”!

Amen

You Need/I Need/We All Need

A post I wrote a couple of years ago

Came up in the memories of my Facebook page

A flood of emotion rose inside of me

It was a post about one elderly gentleman and his need for

New underwear!

He was standing in the aisle searching for the appropriately sized

T-shirts and boxers

He needed help

I was there

His matter of fact statement will be in my memory forever

                                                           “My wife always did this for me” he says

“I don’t have her no more.”

————

I don’t have her no more

I don’t have her no more…

Six little words that rocked his world

Six little words that made me think about mine

My parents are both gone

My siblings are both gone

Pastor Bill stepped in and was like a father to me

But he’s gone, too

I don’t have them no more

————

The fact of the matter is

We will all lose loved ones and friends

————

I’ve heard it said so many times

I don’t need to attend church

I can find God in nature

I hear good preaching on television

I read my Bible and pray at home

And that’s just fine

Good for you!

But what if we connected with a body of believers?

What if we remained connected in relationships?

What if we belonged to an even larger family?

We would never be alone

We would always have someone to share our burdens and our joys

We would always have someone to step in with fatherly advice

Someone to help us maneuver the scary places

The unfamiliar waters

Not only would we have relationship

We would have family

————

Maybe you really don’t NEED that connection right now

…you will one day

One day

Six words will rock your world

“I don’t have her no more”

Or

“the cancer is in my liver”

Or

“it’s just a matter of time”

————

Maybe YOU don’t need someone

But I promise

At this very moment

SOMEONE NEEDS YOU!

************

My challenge for you is this:

Find a group of believers

Connect with them

On Sunday

On Tuesday

In small groups

In your home

Whenever

Wherever

Connect

Someone needs you

You need someone

We need each other!