flashthoughts

Posts Tagged ‘hope

NO APOLOGIESI offer no apologies for anyone that comes in contact with me or is contacted by me today. I am having one of those days where I am feeling overwhelmed by the love the Father has for me! I’m reminded, too, that as much as He loves me, He also loves those that we, as humans, tend to think of as ‘lowlifes’ or ‘good for nothings’. Here on earth we put people in different “statuses”; but, God – He loves us all the same and sees us all the same. He loves each one of us so much that He sent us a very precious gift, His Son, to die for us so that we could live with Him forever! The only difference He sees is those who have accepted His gift to us or those who haven’t – yet! He still loves us all the same, though, whether we have accepted His gift yet or not. He still wants each one of us to eventually accept His gift. 

HOW TOTALLY AMAZING IS THAT???? It absolutely blows my mind and is the reason for the tears that were slipping from the corners of my eyes this morning as I was thinking about it while driving to work. They weren’t sad tears. I really don’t know what you would call them but I like to think of those kind of tears as the overflow of His love for me. I feel His presence and His love for me so strongly that I can’t hold it all inside and it comes out in the form of tears. I wish I were poetic enough to describe how I’m feeling when it’s like this, but either I’m not or the words just haven’t been created yet, so I have to do the best I can with what I have to work with.

My prayer today is this: If you have never accepted Jesus as your Savior, don’t wait – do it today, this minute! You are not guaranteed another breath. He loves you as much as the Father does, He is standing right there at the door of your heart, knocking and knocking – He is just waiting for you to say, “Come in”. He is a gentleman and will not force His way in; but, know this, He also will not knock forever. There will come a day when He will determine that you have so hardened your heart that He will leave you alone, as you seem to want. I can only say that I pray that day doesn’t come for you. No matter how much you may think you want nothing to do with Him, the very minute you let the wall down and open the door to invite Him in, you will feel this wonderful, awesome, overwhelming love and you will be forever grateful that you let Him in.

I’m reminded of what I read in an Anne Graham Lotz Bible Study that I did several years ago. This is how she put it: He is the Savior who has redeemed me, the Lord who rules my life, The King who will return for me and He is the most important man in the UNIVERSE! He is the God man. Jesus Christ is THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN THE UNIVERSE FOR EVER & EVER & EVER! And the most important man in ALL the universe for EVER & EVER & EVER thinks that YOU are so important that He gave His own blood to redeem you. He gave His life for you. How can you feel unimportant? You are significant to THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN ALL THE UNIVERSE.

I also offer no apologies for the turn this blog seemed to take. I truly only wanted to share with everyone how overwhelmed with His love I was this morning; but, apparently, He had other ideas. Trust me, these words came straight from Him. As I was reading over what I had written, I was, once again, astounded at what He does when we allow Him to use us.

One more thing before I go – if you decide to accept Jesus as Your Savior and invite Him in, not only to your heart but your entire life, I would love to know so I can pray for you and with you. Just leave a comment here, a simple “I accepted Jesus” and I will definitely be praying for you.

Love y’all so much!

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WIND BLOWN DOG“WOW! This wind is blowing the car everywhere! I am having to keep both hands on the steering wheel to keep it under control.” True statement I made today as I was driving to Auburn. As soon as the thought went through my mind, it made me start thinking about life, in general. How many times do I allow things to ‘blow me everywhere’ and get me off track from where God would have me to be? When I don’t “keep both hands on the steering wheel” – the steering wheel being God – it is not only easy, but inevitable that I will be blown off course by the “winds of life” – the enemy.

Passing the exit for Taylor Road in Montgomery reminded me of all the times I took that exit to go visit my daughter when she was attending AUM (Auburn University in Montgomery). She graduated high school in 2004 and began attending AUM in the fall of that same year. I remember during one of my visits there she said, “It’s nice here. I like it. But one day I am going to be at the “REAL” Auburn. I don’t know how or when, but I’m going to be there.”

Then life happened. She left AUM after one semester due to the cost. While away at AUM, having her first taste of ‘freedom,’ she had let go of God and let life’s winds begin to ‘blow her around.’ She was blown around like a little, limp, rag doll until she finally realized where she had gone wrong. She grabbed hold of God again with both hands and a fierceness she’d never known before. Still, one more really strong wind caught her off guard and blew her around for a very short time. This time, though, she had not completely let go and God held her tight and helped her get steady on her feet again when she called out to Him. She can certainly testify that, when you give God complete control of your life and do your best to do what He has for you to do, He WILL give you the desires of your heart. She will be graduating from the “REAL” Auburn in December of this year (2013)!

Remember I said when she was at AUM talking about being at the “real” Auburn one day? I don’t think I ever told her, but I was thinking to myself, “Dream big, honey. I don’t think that’s ever gonna happen, but dream anyway.” Yes, He recently reminded me of that and showed me that I could learn a lot from her about having faith. Even at a time when she was far from Him, she still believed she would be there one day!

He recently set me on a new path. One I never would have seen myself on, but one that He has already blessed in more ways than I could have ever imagined. Surprising me so many different times on so many different levels that I have quit trying to figure out what might be around the next corner. By setting me on this path, He has also opened up other areas and given me His strength, and His courage, to step up and do what He is asking. Just last Saturday, at a women’s event in our church, I was asked to say the blessing over the lunch – I could have said no and someone else would have done it. That is exactly what I wanted to do, but because of the course of events that led to me being asked, I knew in my heart that God was really the one asking, and I did not want to say no to Him. So, I did it! And I survived! That might not seem like such a huge deal to you but it was a HUGE, GIGANTIC step for me. Then, only two days later,  I was asked to do a short devotional in front of another group of women – a much smaller group, by far, yet still showing that He is wanting to stretch me and grow me even more in Him.

So, today, as I was pondering the wind blowing outside and the winds of life that blow us around, if we allow them to, I was reminded that, as long as I hold on to Him with both hands and keep my eyes on the road He has before me, He will guide me and give me everything I need to make the journey and make it well.

“But when you ask Him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.” ~ James 1:6 (NLT)

All day today I was joking that I threw myself in front of a bus this morning. I made comments like, “I threw myself in front of a bus this morning but I’m having a great day now” or “Considering I started the day by throwing myself in front of a bus, it’s going really good now”.

Of course, I was mostly trying to laugh it off and convince myself the pain wasn’t so bad. I mean, it really could have been a lot worse than it was. I was able to go back in the house, clean myself up and get out the door and go to work. So, you may be asking yourself,  “Why in the world did she throw herself in front of a bus?”

Here’s what really happened – someone was coming by my house this morning to pick up some merchandise she had ordered from me. When she arrived, she just pulled over on the opposite side of the road from where I was. I looked to see if I could cross the road and I saw a school bus coming but it was far enough away that I knew I had plenty of time to cross the street and give the lady her merchandise. I stepped out with my right foot (most likely a little ‘quicker’ than I would have if nothing had been coming) but, when I moved my left foot, it hit a hole instead of solid ground. The next thing I knew I was falling and the only thought in my head while I was falling was “Oh no! The bus is coming! I have to get up!” I truly wish I could see it on video because, in my mind, it had to be the funniest sight ever! All I can imagine is that, anyone who saw it, saw me hit the pavement and jump right back up as if I’d hit a trampoline!

I gave the lady her merchandise, assuring her I was fine and that I only had scraped knees and jammed fingers. I was trying to hurry up and get done and get back across the street (without falling this time) and get in my car so I could leave for work. Once inside my car, I made sure she had gone on and made sure the bus  – anyone that had witnessed “the spectacle” was gone – and I pulled my pants legs up to reveal two scraped, bloody knees. I knew I needed to go back inside and clean them up before I left for work, so I did. Right before leaving the house, I managed to post this on Facebook  (still trying to see the ‘humor’ in the situation instead of my embarrassment): Tupid hole! On the bright side, I’m sure I gave all the kids on that school bus a huge laugh for the day. OUCH! My fingers and knees hurt! Bring on the ibuprofen and let’s try this leaving for work thing one more time!

And so it went with me all day UNTIL I was taking my shower tonight. I was remembering the accident that happened yesterday right in the church driveway after church and how that lady had to be taken by ambulance to the hospital. {She wound up being okay, though, and walked out of the hospital on her own to go home. 🙂 } Then something a friend posted on Facebook earlier today came to my mind – this was her post:

Did you hear Moses (Pastor Glenn Weber) talk yesterday at Grace Fellowship? He said, in 6 weeks ONLY, the people who loved and trusted God turned away! He told us to “stay on the road”, “dig into your Bible” and “seek God”. 6 weeks ????? I want to share what happened to me this morning. I went to get some eggs from dollar general. I was praising and thanking God for giving me courage yesterday and jamming to 88.5! On the road, by myself. As I made the turn with the yield sign ahead to the right, I made sure there was no traffic coming in the turn lane (on the highway). Still thanking the Lord, I looked up at the beautiful blue sky. Tickled like a kid, I delayed in looking….right in front of me was a 18 wheeler! I crossed the line, he blew the horn, my heart started racing and my thankful excitement changed into thankful to be alive. I swerved to the far right and noticed the long stretch of road ahead of me. The 6 week example of how easy God’s people forgot about His laws turned into a reality of a split second….how easily we can be gone. Hummm 6 weeks to 1 second…the reality of we don’t know what the future holds. But, God does. I’m so blessed to be alive, to cook breakfast, and pick my son up from school. Just thought I would share a little bit of my reality this morning. Have a good day everyone!

No, I did not remember her entire post. What came to my mind was how she mentioned our service yesterday and how, in an instant, her life could have been over today. I remembered how nervous she was yesterday morning about sharing part of ‘her story’ during the service and how God was able to get glory because she overcame her fear of speaking in front of people and shared. I thought, “Yeah, she made the enemy mad and he tried to take her out today.” THAT is when it clicked in my mind! Of course I had not “thrown myself in front of a bus” – I was THROWN in front of that bus! Instead of joking about it all day, like I had done, I should have been giving God the praise for having His angels there to jerk me right back up as quickly as they did. It made me start to wonder how many times I have “missed” giving Him glory because of my own embarassment in a situation. In fact, it made me realize that I had no reason to be embarrassed. Why should I be embarrassed because somebody pushed me onto the street? How many times has God rescued me from something and I’ve never taken the time to realize it was HIM that rescued me and never even bothered to thank Him for saving me?

I remember as I was back in the car this morning, getting ready to pull out and head to work – still crying like a baby – the thought went through my head, “Thank You, Father, for always being there for me. I don’t do half what I should for You and yet You are always right there when I need You, ever so faithful. Please forgive me.” Guess I should have thought on that some more and maybe it wouldn’t have taken me all day to realize what had happened this morning; but, I am thankful that He got through to me tonight and I am thankful that I have a way (this blog, Facebook and Twitter) to SHOUT to the world of how THE ENEMY TRIED TO DESTROY ME TODAY BUT GOD HAD A DIFFERENT PLAN! Do you remember me saying at the beginning that it must have looked like I jumped right back up “as if I’d hit a tramploline”? Maybe so, but I now KNOW how I got back up so quickly – I KNOW it was His angels that jerked me right back up and from this day forward I will give HIM all the praise, honor and glory for it!

What am I thinking? Taking my car to have it serviced without an appointment? Really? I’m gonna be there all day! I better take plenty of things to keep me busy. – These were the thoughts running through my mind as I was preparing to leave for Daphne this morning. So, I packed my computer, daily devotional, notebook, note cards and was ready to go. At the last minute, I thought “I should take The Story with me and re-read the chapter for tomorrow’s message.” Now I know why He wanted me to take it – read on…

Reading Chapter 15 again – I must confess I was mostly ‘skimming’ over it until I got almost to the end. I was still ‘skimming’ when suddenly it seemed He opened my eyes to what I was reading. As if He was asking me, “Are you even paying attention to what you are reading? Don’t you see this is where you live today?” Read the following and see if you agree. Please note that anything in italics is what I have added because I truly think the substitution could be made – see if you agree. I look forward to reading your comments about this.

Taken from The Story – Chapter 15
Hosea 4:1-2; 5:4, 7, 14-15; 8:13b-14; 9:7; 14:1-2

Hear the word of the Lord, you Israelites {Americans},
because the Lord has a charge to bring
against you who live in the land:
“There is no faithfulness, no love, no acknowledgment of God in the land.
There is only cursing, lying and murder, stealing and adultery;
they break all bounds and bloodshed follows bloodshed.”

“Their deeds do not permit them to return to their God.
A spirit of prostitution is in their heart;
they do not acknowledge the Lord.

They are unfaithful to the Lord;
they give birth to illegitimate children.
When they celebrate their New Moon feasts,
He will devour their fields.”

“For I will be like a lion to Ephraim,
like a great lion to Judah.
I will tear them to pieces and go away;
I will carry them off, with no one to rescue them.
Then I will return to My lair
until they have borne their guilt
and seek My face – in their misery
they will earnestly seek Me.”

“Now He will remember their wickedness
and punish their sins:
They will return to Egypt.
Israel {America} has forgotten their Maker
and built palaces;
Judah has fortified many towns.
But I will send fire on their cities
that will consume their fortresses.”

The days of punishment are coming,
the days of reckoning are at hand.
Let Israel {America} know this.
Because your sins are so many
and your hostility so great,
the prophet is considered a fool,
the inspired person a maniac.

Return, Israel {America}, to the Lord your God.
Your sins have been your downfall!
Take words with you
and return to the Lord.
Say to Him: “Forgive all our sins
and receive us graciously,
that we may offer the fruit of our lips.”

So, I ask you – Israel or America? What do you say? I don’t see how anyone can read these words and not recognize this is the America we are living in. Do we want it to continue this way? Don’t start playing the “Blame Game” and pointing fingers at politicians or your neighbor or anyone else – we are each responsible for our own individual actions and reactions. When each individual makes the choice to give HIM control of their life, that is when change will come. I need to focus on my life and whether or not I am truly allowing God to have control or if there are some things that I am still trying to control myself. When He shows me areas where I have not given complete control to Him, then I need to immediately take steps to release those to Him also. I can only do this for me – only you can do it for you. Oh what a difference we will begin to see if we will begin to do this. Don’t you agree?

Oh and if you would like help in giving Him complete control – check THIS out 🙂

Letting go – I didn’t think I had a problem with this. Seriously, I didn’t. I’ve heard people talk about how hard it was to ‘let go’ of their children when they had to take them to that first day of school but I didn’t have a problem with that at all. Probably because I’ve always had to work so I never had the privilege of being able to stay home with my little one – I was used to having to say goodbye in the morning and not see her again til late that evening. Even when she graduated and went to college two hours away, I didn’t really think of that as having to ‘let go’ either. I mean, it was only two hours away and that’s really not that far in this age that we live in. Not to mention, we had web cam and could ‘visit’ pretty much any time anyway.

I think instances like that is what gave me the false belief that I didn’t have trouble letting go. God, however, has been revealing something much different to me lately. I’ve had to reevaluate some things this year, I thought due to finances, but I’m realizing that was just God’s way of making me take a closer look at things. For the last couple of years, I have volunteered at several women’s events and last year He even allowed me to attend two events as an attendee and not a volunteer. I know He used all those events to stretch me and give me the opportunity to allow Him to slowly move me in the direction He had planned for me. I didn’t see it then; but, I am beginning to see it now. Because He slowly brought me to where I am today, I am more receptive to what He has in store for me. Had I not taken the opportunities He gave me to grow, I know I would never have been able to even think that I could do what He is asking me to do now.

What does all that have to do with me not being able to ‘let go’? It seems that I got ‘comfortable’ working at the women’s events and, in looking back, I think it made me feel ‘accepted’. Something I’ve never felt that much, as anyone who has read my story knows. I am beginning to see that my not being able to volunteer at the events this year was simply His way of showing me that I need to let go of that now and move on to the other things He is calling me to do. As I was cleaning and reorganizing my desk yesterday, I kept coming across different cards and other things I had collected from these events. Things from people I don’t even really know; yet, I believe I kept hanging on to them simply because, in some weird kind of way, it made me feel someone out there cared about me on some level. Yes, I know, I am very strange. The Lord continues to show me just how much I have still, unconsciously, been trying to find acceptance – somewhere, anywhere – it seems I still long for that ever-allusive acceptance. I began to recognize this more and more as I was cleaning and I began to chunk cards, notes, etc. in the trash. It seemed the more I put in the trash, the lighter and freer I began to feel. I could not believe how freeing it was to LET GO!!!

It seemed that with each thing that went in the trash, He brought to my mind something or someone who is close to me and allowed me to realize I AM accepted – and accepted for who I am, just the way I am. And yet, the main thing He made me realize was this: Even if I was never accepted anywhere by anyone, it really isn’t that big of a deal, after all. Why? Because I KNOW that HE LOVES ME and HE ACCEPTS ME just as I am – flaws, scars and all, and He will always be here for me.

The really neat thing about that? HE IS HERE FOR YOU, TOO!!! No matter what you may be going through, no matter how unlovely you may feel or think you are, no matter how worthless you may think you are, you MUST remember this one thing – He would not have given up His life for you unless He loved and cared about you. You ARE special! You ARE accepted! You ARE loveable!

I’m reminded of the words that Anne Graham Lotz shared: He is the Savior who has redeemed me, the Lord who rules my life, The King who will return for me and He is the most important man in the UNIVERSE! He is the God man. Jesus Christ is THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN THE UNIVERSE FOR EVER and EVER and EVER and the most important man in ALL the universe for EVER and EVER and EVER thinks that YOU are so important that He gave His own blood to redeem you. He gave His life for you. How can you feel unimportant? You are significant to THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN IN ALL THE UNIVERSE.

So God has given both His promise and His oath. These two things are unchangeable because it is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to Him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary. ~ Hebrews 6:18-19

This past week was a really hard week for me, filled with so much raw emotion! I may as well have been surrounded by lions and tigers and bears! I really don’t even know where to begin trying to sort it all out. I guess, if I really think about it, it all started on Dec. 29 when I saw this post from an old family friend on facebook: All Prayer Warriors…please please please pray for my nephew.  He was in an accident this morning and needs your prayers.  Please God, hear these prayers and magnify the healing. Her family and my family used to be pretty close when we (kids) were all younger, so this really hit close to home! (Side note: I was just reminded as I started writing this that Dec. 29 was also the birthday of the sister that posted the prayer request). Of course I immediately began to pray for her nephew, Dusty, and even posted a blog asking others to pray for him, too. You can read that post here. I can’t even begin to explain the URGENCY that filled not only my heart but my ENTIRE being to pray for Dusty and to get as many other prayer warriors praying as I could possibly get. There were days of good news and not-so-good news. Then after our church service last Sunday, January 29 (exactly one month after the accident), I found out that Dusty had gone to be with Jesus earlier that afternoon.

Another factor contributing to my many emotions was, two weeks ago I was asked if I would be willing to share My Story in large group at CR (Celebrate Recovery) in two weeks and I said I would. MAJOR step for me because I can write and let people read what I wrote all day long and it doesn’t bother me – but to have to actually READ what I wrote in front of people is a very scary thing for me. So, I was already feeling a sadness from Dusty’s passing and I was extremely nervous about sharing my story Tuesday night in front of everyone. No big surprise here, but the Lord helped me get through it.

The next thing that had my emotions in such turmoil is going to sound like a very minor thing to most people and, had it happened at another time when my emotions weren’t already so raw, I don’t think it would have had the same effect on me. However, on Wednesday, just before Mom and I left to go to Dusty’s service, I got a notice in the mail that the bank where I have my account, RBC Bank, is going to be changing to PNC Bank on March 5! Since PNC is not going to handle changing all the direct deposit information for their customers, I will have to notify my employer – State of Alabama – of the change and that will result in my direct deposit being interrupted for about two months! More raw emotion in the form of aggravation and exasperation just piled on top of everything else.

I was so honored that I could be at Dusty’s service on Wednesday. How hard it is to understand how an entire church of people can be filled with so much grief and sadness yet at the same time be filled with joy and gladness! I was never given the privilege of actually meeting Dusty on this side of Heaven but how wonderful it was to hear his pastor, family and friends tell of what a fine, Christian young man he was. As much as I, too, felt grief and sadness for his family and loved ones, I also felt much joy and gladness in knowing that I will get to meet him one day on the other side of Heaven.

As if all of that wasn’t enough, right before I left work on Friday, the news was reporting about a Mobile Police Officer being stabbed by a prisoner and that the prisoner had taken the officer’s gun and car. By the time I got home thirty minutes later, the suspect had crashed the car and was hiding (either under or in) a house and had shot two more officers. The news continued to stay on this story, instead of going to regular programming, until around 7:00 p.m. You can get more information on this awful tragedy by checking out Fox 10‘s website. The officer that was stabbed, Officer Steven Green, did not make it and the suspect did not make it out alive either. This just added more feelings of disbelief, hurt and compassion to the week.

I’m reminded of the message from last Sunday morning – Where is God in all this? HE IS RIGHT HERE WITH ME – and, if you’re His child, He’s with you, too! Here’s a question I wrote in my notes from last Sunday morning – How would I respond to situations if I TRULY realized that God is with me even though the circumstances may not show that? Do I tend to get bitter in bad situations or do I make the best of it, KNOWING He is with me? (Psalm 23:4 / II Corinthians 4:16 Genesis 50:20 / Romans 8:28)

I didn’t too well this past week in remembering that as often as I should have. I am, however, glad that He has reminded me of it today as I was working on this post. He reminded me that He has it all under control – even the paychecks – and no matter what happens, HE is with me and I can rest in Him. I have to remember this other note from last week’s message, too: Sometimes instead of taking away the pain, He gives me the promise of His presence. There’s that word again – PROMISE – my word for 2012, which is why I bolded and underlined it. And, no, I DON’T believe in coincidence.

I don’t know if this post was for anyone but me today. It has helped me sort through a lot of things, though, and I am grateful that He reminded me of His presence. In my humanness, it is so easy to forget that He is always there.

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If you want to see what having a pure heart for God can do for you, read the following that was posted by Dusty’s mother, Dee Propst, on her Facebook wall today (Monday, Feb. 6, 2012) around noon (posted here with her permission):

 We prayed for GOD’S WILL to be done in the hospital. We prayed for God to heal Dusty. We prayed for God to heal Dusty completely and leave Dusty with us. We prayed for strength. We prayed for love, forgiveness, we prayed and God gave us miracle after miracle, after miracle. God is good to us. God showed us love through all of this. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, Son of God, is in control of everything we do in life. Dusty was borrowed from God 21 + years ago. Jesus needed him back, so when God gets ready for us we will join them in heaven. God is in control of life. God answers prayers, maybe not the way we want or understand, but we have to realize God’s plan is perfect. We accept God and His mercy. We will worship, praise, honor, and give thanks to God because He is Awesome and is in control of all life’s storms.

 
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It is only by the grace and mercy of our Lord, Jesus Christ, that she is able to say those words and truly mean them. If you would like to leave a comment of encouragement for her or let her know how her words ministered to you here, I will see that she gets it.

This is going to be my shortest blog post yet. Something has been on my mind today and I want to share it with you all. I know what the word PROMISE means in the dictionary and in the Strong’s Concordance. What I want to know is what does it mean to YOU? When you hear the word PROMISE, what does that say to YOU?

I would love to hear some discussion on this. Would you please click below where it says LEAVE A COMMENT and tell me what the word PROMISE means to YOU? This could be very interesting.

Love y’all =)


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