Monday, July 30, 2012


On my way into work this morning a guy passed me on a motorcycle who was wearing shorts and one of those thin summer casual button up shirts.  I admit, I have on occasion ridden my bike in shorts when the weather is really hot.  But my first thought when I saw this guy was "he's crazy for wearing those kind of clothes when he rides.  If he falls his skin is toast.  Literally!"  I know the reason I noticed was because of the thin type of shirt he was wearing.  But what really hit me in the next minute was that I was asking that question of him when I myself have done the same thing.

Of course, God loves to use those "moments" to "call me out" because I immediately thought, "how often do we do exactly what I just did in our own lives?".  How often do we question someone else for something they are doing when we ourselves are doing or have done the exact same thing?  How many times do we criticize someone for their actions, when in reality they could be criticizing us for the very same thing.  How many times do we think someone should be doing "more" when we ourselves are doing nothing?

Why is it, that as Christians we are sometimes so quick to point out what others are doing or not doing as the case may be; what we think is "right"?  Why do so many Christians feel the need to judge other people and their actions rather than looking inward at their own actions first?  I know that sounds like a blanket statement and I know very well that all Christians are not like that.  But sometimes, sadly, that may be the only "Christians" the world sees.

I really want to try and live my life seeing things, and more importantly people, how God sees them.  God does not judge you when He sees you... no matter what your circumstances or where you are... He only loves you.  God does not treat us the way we sometimes treat others.  He treats us better than we deserve.  He treats us All with the same grace and mercy that He wants us to show to others.

I really want people to know that I am a Jesus follower and that I want to love His people the way He loves me, unconditionally.  And quite frankly, as long as they know that about me and can see that in me, I don't really care if they know what church I "attend".... because they will know I "belong" to Jesus. It reminds me of the old song, "They Will Know We Are Christians by our Love".  If we don't love everyone... how will they know?

As I said, God calls me out in the strangest ways sometimes.  Who would have thought that me seeing someone riding a motorcycle in shorts and a thin summer shirt would lead to my "rantings" today.  :-)  Oh yah, God did!

I pray that God will always "call me out" when He sees something in me that does not look like Him!

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew
a steadfast spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10


Sunday, July 22, 2012


Today in worship our minister, Pat Bills, spoke on Habakkuk.  It's an old testament book, one that some people may not have heard of.  And even those of us who have heard of it, don't really choose Habakkuk when we want to read or study scripture.  But after today, I have realized that Habakkuk is a place to camp out; a place to find hope; a place to be reminded of God's promises.  

Habakkuk had lots of questions for God.  And sometimes, don't we all have lots of questions for God?  I know I do!  Habakkuk asks of God, "How long, Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen? Or cry out to you, "Violence!" but you do not save?"  Habakkuk questions God and reminds me that when I have questions for God, or I don't understand why God is silent, it's ok to question Him. It's nice to be reminded that God can take whatever questions I have for Him.  That doesn't mean that we will get answers right away, but someday they will come.  God tells Habakkuk concerning his questions... "Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay."  The Message says... "If it seems slow in coming, wait.  It's on its way.  It will come right on time."  There are days when I really need to be reminded of that statement.  God's timing, is not my timing.

Pat mentioned today in his sermon how people like to use the phrase, "when one door closes another one opens".  He also mentioned that a preaching mentor added to that statement by saying, "yes, but what we don't know is, how long the hallway is in between doors"! Truer words were never spoken.  We live in a society of quick fixes, quick answers, quick service and waiting can be extremely hard at times.  Sometimes your hallway may be short; sometimes it may be so long you think it's never going to end; sometimes it may take you to a door you never thought you would have to go through and sometimes you may just collapse in the hallway because the next door just doesn't seem like it's ever going to be there.  But God reminds us in Habakkuk that no matter how long the hallway may be, we are never alone.  It's like I've said many times before, it's what we "choose to do" in the hallway that defines who we are and whose we are.  We make a choice every day of what our response will be to whatever hallways we find ourselves in. And even when the hallway seems to have no other door in sight, we choose to continue to trust and we choose to continue to wait.  Because God will not delay; and because He is God and we are not.  As Pat said today, "Faithfulness is not something that comes from us - faithfulness is what comes from God while we are waiting in the hallway." I choose to allow God to fill me with His faithfulness while I wait in the hallway!

We all have hallways in our lives.  I'm going to choose to let God lead me through my hallways no matter how long they may turn out to be!  I will wait for God's open door and until then choose to continuing walking the hallways because I know He is there with me; even if I can't see or feel Him.  I know He will give me glimpses of Himself, and He will shed light through the hallway when it's at its darkest point.  And I will continue to choose to walk the hallway because one day, the open door at the other end of the hallway will show up... right on time.

"Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord, 
I will be joyful in God my savior.
The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to tread on the heights."

Habakkuk 3:17-19


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rejoicing and Questioning...

Over the past couple of weeks, my family and my facebook friends have been fervently praying over the Mock family.  Their daughter Bekah who is 7 months pregnant contracted Pneumonia and consequently Acute Respiratory Disease and had to be totally sedated.  Her initial prognosis was not very good, she was extremely critical, and things were touch and go for quite some time.  Today, Praise God, she is finally awake and back to her old self!  Her lungs and heart are strong and her baby healthy!

We are rejoicing and overjoyed with the news and my heart is extremely full!  But at the same time, my heart is extremely heavy and my heart hurts deeply for other friends I know who fought those same battles with a child but did not get the same outcome; and whose journey was changed for ever and taken down a road they did not want to go.

I know that God has a purpose and plan for everything.  That God's timing is not our timing and His ways are not our ways.  I know that only He has all the answers and only He knows the reasons for why things happen the way they do... but it doesn't make it any easier to understand.

What it does do, it cause us to make a choice.  There are many times in our lives when we pray for things, pray for people, pray for circumstances.  Sometimes the answers are exactly what we prayed for... sometimes we don't understand the answers... sometimes we wait and wait for answers that still haven't come.  But regardless of what those answers are, we have a choice to make.  Are we going to trust in God no matter what, even when we don't get the answers we are searching for, or are we going to turn our backs and walk away because we think God doesn't listen anyway?

I have learned in my own life, that preparing is the most important part.  You can't prepare for the journey, for the events or actions that happen in your life, but you can prepare for how you will deal with it.  You can prepare by talking to God every day; by searching His word when things are good, (not just when they are bad) so that when trials come His words will hold you up and get you through.  You can prepare by surrounding yourself with people who can hold you up when you cannot stand.

I am thankful for a God who is bigger than I am.  I am thankful for a God who is always there even when I may not talk to Him as often as I should.  I am thankful for friends and family who stand in the gap with me and pray along side of me; especially when I have no words left to pray myself.  And it's because of all these things, that my choice will ALWAYS be... to trust in God, no matter what!

So through tears I rejoice with Bekah and her family and so many others who are receiving good news in their own circumstances; and through tears I continue to share the pain of those whose journey's took them on a different path and who are still choosing to continue to trust in God... No Matter What!

For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the
shelter of your wings.
For you, God, have heard my vows;
You have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.

Psalm 61:3-5