Search:

NO CONFUSION HERE

August 29th, 2016

Look around you – are you not surrounded by the beauty and the wonder of creation? How did this all happen?  Everything you see had to come from somewhere, right?  It was all formed from something, somehow; it didn’t just pop out of nowhere.  And look at the wonder of you:  who you are, how you operate, and how you are put together.  Do those mad scientists really believe an explosion just happened out of nowhere from no apparent cause, creating and spreading matter that somehow formed into a universe full of fiery objects that turned into living things?  Hardly.  So, there had to be something, or rather Someone, who started all of this.  Everything has a beginning.  At some point in time, each of us must come to the realization that we certainly did not create ourselves, and therefore, we can hardly take credit for our being what we are.  I believe the evidence proves we indeed belong to this Someone who created us, which means we owe our lives to Him.  If we belong to Him, then He is the boss.  No confusion here.

My Bible says that God Almighty is the Creator of the universe; He made everything. He commanded it to happen and the universe came into being.  He formed me out of the dust from the earth He created, He breathed life into my body, and He laid out a plan for my life.  Had He not had a specific plan for my life, He would not have bothered to create me.  God has a plan for His universe – He has an orderly plan for all that He created – otherwise He would not have needed to create it.  There is certainly no confusion here.

If I believe Scripture is true and God is real, then I must acknowledge that God is good, all the time, and that His plan for my life is perfect. Why?  Because He is either who He says He is, or He is a fraud.  Yup, He is either everything or He is nothing.  So I am left with holding onto the Lord with all that I have, or I must completely cast Him out of my life forever.  I am a child of the Most High God, like He says I am, or else I am nothing more than a freak accident.  No gray here, no confusion either.

When I lack understanding about a particular issue, and no matter how hard I try to figure it out, nothing is clear until I pray about it. Then the fog lifts and the answer is right there in my brain, and I recognize that God is listening to me and He really wants me to know what He thinks about the matter.  I am continuously in need of His input into my small mind, and He never fails me, so long as I remember to ask.  There is no confusion here.

When I run into an impossible situation and there is no earthly solution to my problem, and when I look to the Lord for help, and soon thereafter something possible happens that makes a way for a workable solution, I must acknowledge that Someone greater than I has moved mountains on my behalf. Over and over He tells me, and then He shows me, just how much He loves me and how valuable I am to Him.  His Word tells me there is no problem too great, or too small, for Him.  Where there is provable evidence, there is no confusion about His personal involvement in my life.

So, how does confusion sometimes manage to get a foothold in my soul? And how do I go about keeping that from happening?  I believe the answers are simple, but not always easy.  Too often I let the cares of the world fill my head the minute I open my eyes in the morning.  Then I am prone to jump out of bed and deal with the little things that have grabbed my attention.  Later in the day I find myself wondering:  Where did I lose my peace?  Why does everything seem so difficult?  Why am I so confused and disoriented?  What went wrong today?  Well, maybe I forgot to activate the formula that always works for me if I follow it.  When I set my mind on the things of God, first thing in the morning, everything seems to fall into place.  I begin my day in my prayer room with my nose in the Word.  I read in Matthew where it tells me to seek first the Kingdom of God and everything else I need will be there for me.  I meditate on the promises contained in Scripture and I spend time praying and worshipping.  My day begins with peace and clarity, and I am more than able to handle whatever the day brings.  Confusion has no foothold here.

I know for certain that God’s love for me goes deeper than I can comprehend. He does not love me more when I am ‘good’ and He does not love me less when I am ‘bad.’ He simply loves me to the fullest, regardless of my actions, or my lack of actions.  The issue turns on how I feel about myself.  When I kick myself for not doing the things that I know are for my benefit, then I open the door in my soul for guilt, shame, and condemnation to torment me.  And when I am doing the things that I know are beneficial to my well-being, my soul is filled with joy and peace.  God has laid out a plan for me, a plan whereby I can be prosperous and in good health, a plan that allows me to be continually in His presence, thriving in His Kingdom.  All I have to do is choose to follow His plan and make Him the Lord of my life.  All He wants is all of me.  Indeed, there is really no confusion here.

WHO’S JOE?

October 13th, 2010

 

My friend Joe (not his real name) appeared to be the complete package.  As to talent, he seemed to have it all and he operated in it quite naturally.  When ministering, his audience was all ears.  In business, he was the consummate professional.  His family adored him and his friends counted themselves blessed to be involved in his life.  Now, I know he was human flesh, just like you and I, and no doubt his sins were as great as ours.  However, as he navigated through life, he appeared to be operating ‘smack dab’ in the center of God’s grace and mercy.  He proclaimed the goodness of Jesus when life was sweet and when times were difficult, and his walk was usually consistent with his talk.  He was passionate, loving, and always hungry for more of God.  He displayed the brand of Christianity that made a person want what he had.  I considered it an honor to be his friend.

One morning we woke up and Joe was gone.  Totally unexpected, this young man had suddenly graduated from this world and was no doubt experiencing heaven while we wiped away our tears.  In the middle of shock and disbelief, we did the best we could to praise and thank God for giving Joe his heart’s desire – at that very moment he was face to face with Jesus.  But we could not shut down the pain of loss, nor could we shut down the questions in our minds.  How can this be?  How could this have happened?  In the midst of experiencing signs and wonders and miracles all around us, how could we get our arms around the possibility of this being God’s will?  Could it really be His plan to end the earthly life of such a young, productive, making-a-difference man after God’s own heart?  He was in the middle of so many projects, blossoming and maturing in ministry, and still raising small children.  Why him?  Why would God spare the life of one person and not the other?  I mused over that thought.  Why had He spared my life a while back by moving my car and me off the highway to avoid a head-on crash, and then allowed this man to meet with such an early death?  Why Joe?  I have known for years that God is not predictable, and His thoughts are often different from mine, but I was really going to have a hard time getting my arms around this one.

Several days later I learned a very important lesson that will forever change my understanding of God’s sovereignty.  A certain friend of mine, who is a mighty prayer warrior, was on her face talking to the Lord and crying out to Him, asking that same question, “Why Joe???”  The Lord met her in a mighty way, and she shared His words with me.  Following is my feeble attempt to capture the message from that conversation.

In tears she cried out to the Lord, “Please help me understand why you did not step in and save Joe’s life when You could have intervened and prevented this tragedy.  Why Joe?  I don’t understand.”  The Lord replied, “Who’s Joe?”  She said, “What?  Now I really don’t understand!”  The Lord further replied, “Do you think Joe is more special than anyone else, that because of his good deeds, his life should have been spared?  When will people discontinue putting other people on pedestals?  When you exalt one another, you are not exalting Me.  I want you to quit looking at one another and turn your gaze to Me.  Yes, Joe was a good man and was involved in a lot of good works.  And no doubt, you will greatly miss him.  But he was just a man, and life on earth will go on without him.  Others will step up and carry on the work of the Lord.”

I must tell you that hearing these words sent me to my knees in repentance.  I have been guilty of putting other people on pedestals.  I have been guilty of thinking some people are indispensable in their earthly work.  It was a great misconception to think it would have been better for Joe to remain here until old age, rather than to have the heavens open up and welcome him into the Kingdom where he would have been immediately ushered to the Throne of his Beloved, Jesus Christ Himself.  Lord, I surrender my understanding to Your will, and I declare one more time that You are good, Your ways are perfect, and so is Your timing.

Jesus must be first in my life, and my eyes must be continually on Him.  He will not take a back seat to anyone; He will not allow idols in my life when I profess to be His follower.  Life is a breath and then it is gone, but His love endures forever.  Although God’s ways are always perfect, my comprehension is not.

 

I wrote this piece several months ago, and now as I prepare it for posting, I am once again musing over the words in the message.  I must stop and consider how often I have judged physical death to be the worst thing, when I profess to have my own eyes on Eternity as I anxiously await its arrival.  How many other worldly mindsets do I hold onto?  Lord, once again, please renew and transform my thinking to line up with Yours.  I will live every day like it is my last, and I will do my best to not question Your ways.  I will miss Joe, but I am determined to praise You, Lord, for preparing a place for those whom You call your own.  I know our days are numbered, and no one can take us out before we have lived out every one of them.

A MESSAGE TO MY READERS

November 29th, 2009

 

Greetings. 

In the event you have read my entries in the past, you might be wondering why it has been such a long time since I updated my website.  I am happy to inform you that I am alive and well, and the Lord has blessed and prospered me during this period of silence.  During the past number of months, life’s commitments, coupled with an abrupt change of ‘my’ plans, drew me away for a little while.  Additionally, it seemed as though the Holy Spirit had put my writing on hold for a season.  However, I do believe I am back! 

In January, one of God’s “suddenlies” hit me and rocked my little world.  I began having dreams and visions where I was tucked away in a cabin on a lake, sitting in His presence day after day after day.  I was well aware that in order to carve out this large a chunk of time, I would need to retire from my job.  My plan was to work for another couple of years, but it was beginning to look like God had a different plan in mind for me. 

As I would question what seemed like an outlandish idea, the Lord would challenge me to check it out.  Because my sister lives on a beautiful lake in Oklahoma, I asked her if she knew of anyone who had a cabin for rent at a price I could afford.  As God would have it, she did know of such a person and such a cabin.  I nearly fainted when I received the pictures – this cabin looked almost exactly like the one I had seen in my visions, and the rent was affordable.  When God sets a plan in motion, He also arranges for all the provisions.  

I must admit that I argued with the Lord over the idea of my retiring.  From my perspective, this was just about the worst time imaginable to voluntarily step away from a really good job when so many others were fighting to keep theirs.  Our nation’s economy is dropping like a lead weight, and my husband and I have not exactly stored up a sufficient nest egg to put together a smart financial plan.   God would just laugh at my arguments, and tell me that each point I presented was merely one more reason He wanted me to retire now.  (This is where Kingdom thinking and worldly thinking collide!)  He showed me that anyone can set up the ‘perfect’ plan to retire and ride off into the sunset.  However, when the world sees someone step out in obedience, walking in faith and trusting in God to provide for his needs, that gets people’s attention.  He said too many believers are talking about trusting in Him while they are storing up worldly treasures to fall back on.  I had to plead guilty as charged.

So… I chose to place my trust in the God whose voice called forth the creation and whose hands formed me in His own image – the same God who was inviting me to come out of the workplace and into new Kingdom opportunities.  I announced my retirement effective September 1, and I spent the next two months on sabbatical.  I did indeed spend much of my time tucked away in that little cabin, looking out on the lake, lost in the glory of His presence.  Although I did very little writing during that time, I did journal during my days at the cabin.  In the days and weeks to come, I look forward to transcribing those notes.  I expect to be pleasantly surprised at the depth of His messages to me as we experienced that intimate time together.

Today I am experiencing retirement, getting accustomed to my new life.  The Lord has already given my husband and me more ministry opportunities than we ever expected.  I do believe there is much more for me to write, both old and new ‘words’ to share.  I will post a new piece very soon.  Because I have no way of knowing who is reading my stories, I would very much enjoy it if you would email me to let me know you are out there, and also give me some feedback about the writings I have previously posted.  My email address is:  [email protected]  

God is on the move, and I choose to join Him in this exciting journey.  As the news broadcasts report stories of fear and uncertainty, we believers already know the end of the Redemption story.  As we watch it play out just as it was written, we are invited to come along and participate in bringing in the harvest.  Bless you, dear fellow traveler.