Saturday, May 10, 2014

Let it Go Let it GO!

How many of you are singing the song from Frozen just because of the title of this blog?!

I couldn't imagine letting something go that I had for so long.  After ten years, you get attached even to objects---having personfied this object and even giving it a name.  Many of you knew Sally and even spent time with her. She had seen her better days. How could you give up "someone" you have grown so attached to? I was comfortable with her and had no desire to make a change. But the day had come to walk would be hard to say goodbye.  The final moments would seem awkwrd. could I? Wait, we are talking about an automobile...something I was about to replace with a newer model with more bells and whistles.  But for a brief moment, I was caught up in the emotion of naming a car ---something that could not talk back.  When I think of such craziness, I remember Knight Rider named his car Kip (dating myself) so I must be in good company...ah...satire.

So, I trade in Sally for Princess.  She is a more stylish version of the large SUV.  She is known as a crossover.  She is smaller, can't hit a pot hole quite as fast and won't take the Klampets on vacation.  However, she is more reliable and a little snazzier.  It has been a month (I know because Bank of America reminded me :) )!  I have not forgotten Sally.  Crazy as it is, I wonder who has her and how many more miles she has in her (156,000 strong when I let her go).

Life is like that.  We get attached and comfortable in places so much that we keep on keeping on even when a change is needed.  I needed another vehicle for some time but I was content and satisfied.  Time came when a few visits to the mechanic would cost me as much a month as a new payment so it was time. Sometimes God has to move us to another place in our lives with a gentle nudge - at other times he has to take us through some trials to get our attention.  I know we should be content where God has us but we should also be open to Him when He wants to move us.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isa. 55:9

Changes are taking place and sometimes they can be scary but God says to trust Him.  He is clearly in tune with all elements of this world so certainly He has an interest in His children.

But if God so clothes the grass, which is alive in the field today, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! Luke 12:28

Ask God, "are you ready to move me?"  If he is moving you (not geographically but spiritually), are you waiting for a road map or trusting He has a plan to prosper you and not to harm you.  Are you trusting He takes care of His children?  These are easier said than done. He won't let the snares of the devil consume you.  (Psalm 91:3).  God will protect you and bless your future more than you can fathom.  Join me on the journey to live out Jeremiah 29:11-14a

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Closed Doors & Broken Toes!

What are your thoughts on closed doors?  Regularly, my husband will ask me to slam the car door harder (sarcastically of course) because I have a lot of power in my closures! :)  My children inherited this gene from me.  So our house doors and car doors get a great deal of exercise.  Two summers ago, I mustered up all the energy inside my little body and closed my bedroom door.  Within a snap of a finger, I knew hubby was right!  I do close doors too hard.  I fell to the ground and let out a wail as if weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth would help! little toe was not fast enough to clear the perimeter as the door swooshed closed!

I am on the ground in my room laughing, crying and screaming.  Mind you, my two children, one dog and husband are hearing me.  Nothing. Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse!  The scream becomes a bellow and the door opens slowly. Long story, short...Lance tells me my toe is broken and he "breaks" it back in to place.  Fast forward.  I ask why nobody came to my aid.  The answer..."we did not know what to think." They heard the door slam and heard my "racket" but had no idea what was behind that door.  They were startled and frozen for a minute.  Needless to say, I need to scream more so this family knows what to do when someone has a melt down!  I quickly gave them a lesson on what to do when someone is yelling out in pain! :)

Closed doors....sometimes they are painful.  Sometimes we are unsure what has happened.  We may be like me on one side, clearly aware of what happened yet encumbered with pain.  We may be like my children and husband...on the outside unsure what is going on but clearly aware we better be careful before we go where angels dare to tread!  Either way, ignoring the call is not an option.  Maybe a door is closing in your life and you are very aware of what is ahead.  You know the terrain may be rough but you are willing to face it. Maybe you are not sure what is ahead.  God knows what is before you.  Proverbs 3:5,6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."  I think of the old Sounds of Liberty Song..."when you can't trace His hand, trust His heart."  

Doors are closing and I am excited. Not because the journey won't be treacherous at times but because He has been faithful before. He will be faithful again. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

He wasn't very hungry...New York New York!

The ambience of New York City consumed me as soon as we drove in to Times Square.  Thirteen South Georgia Gals descending on would never be the same!  If you have ever been, you understand how the lights dance in your eyes and just being in the city is exciting!  It had been thirteen years since I set foot in NYC and I was so excited to bring my daughter.  Since we only had three days, we had an action packed agenda that most travel agents would plan a week to acomplish.  Well, since I think the Energizer Bunny is my twin...who needs a week? Days would do.

We set out to take NYC in three days.  We had so much to take in!  I carried a back pack for essentials...mophie to charge the phone, umbrella (forecasting rain), scarves (it might get colder), and of course...granola bars for an extra punch between meals.  It became a running joke when others said they were hungry---I would say, "do you want a granola bar?"  No time to stop!  We might have one more thing to do before dinner.  I guess you had to be there but just don't be surprised if one of us falls on the floor laughing when someone says, "you can have a coke or do you want a granola bar?"

By day three, we had covered the 9-11 memorial, 5th Avenue, Rockefeller Center, Wall Street, Statue of Liberty, Times Square, Central Park, two shows, China Town (along with a few side streets), Little Italy and several local eateries.  Nine of us were out and knew it was getting close to midnight - the 3am shuttle would come early.  So knowing we had covered it all, we began our journey back to our rooms.  Unable to hail a taxi, and knowing we had money left on our subway cards, we journey down the first subway tunnel we pass.

Dark and isolated is an understatement.  Maybe we should have paid closer attention. Who knew a journey down an old, musky subway hall would leave such a mark?  Worn out, rushing down the passageway are nine naive South Georgia moms and daughters.  We are alone except for one weary eyed, tattered and torn man.  All of those ahead of me rushed by him.  He is holding a sign begging for money so he can eat.  One step past him, I am convicted to step back.  I pause along with my ten year old and begin to dig in the backpack....remember the granola bars?  That box had been hauled all over NYC so now was time to depart from this iconic box that had taken on a life of its own...btw, do you want a granola bar?  OK, you are had to be there.  Back to the man.  I take out the box and offer it to him.  After all, I was cashless at this point (ummm...a female in NYC for three days, of course I was!).

I was feeling so proud inside...I mean I am going to feed the poor, right?  Isn't this what Jesus would do?  Well, maybe the pride was why the story went the way it did.  Those empty, blood shot eyes filled with rage and looked at me as if he could see through me.  With a strong tone in his voice, he tells me no...he wants money.  Of course, I am a social worker so I can convince him granola bars are just as good, right?  He tells me his teeth are rotten so he cannot eat them. Am I seriously debating a homeless man?  Well, yes.  I explain I have no cash.  He reaches for something.  For a minute, I swallow the lump in my throat glancing at my 7 friends who are far ahead and looking at me as if I had lost my mind (again). What is he reaching for? I urge my daughter to go ahead and she moves on to the safe place...the 7 other gals.  My heart racing, not sure what to expect.  He pulls out....nope, not what you are thinking....but a phone. He tells me he can take my credit card.  Trying hard not to laugh out loud,  I say, "you're not very hungry." I drop the box of granola bars by him in case he wises up and I go on.  I was saddened by the rejection but I never look back.  The offer for food stood long after I left.

I have no idea what the man did. I do know I didn't give him my credit card.  However, if he really got hungry, he had food to eat. He just had to choose to eat it.  He had to open the box and take the food out.  He may truly have rotten teeth but if he was hungry, maybe he could gnaw the food or wet it in a bathroom to make it palatable.  Either way, he could satiate the hunger if he wanted to.  I will never know the outcome but I had no regrets.  I didn't let his rejection end my offer.

Wow...what a long story to get to this....the world is a place hungry for God.  Sometimes people are in such need, they don't know what it is they are longing for.  It is up to us to share the gospel even if we do not reap the harvest.

John 4:35-38 tells us
"I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest. 36Even now the one who reaps draws a wage and harvests a crop for eternal life, so that the sower and the reaper may be glad together. 37Thus the saying ‘One sows and another reaps’ is true. 38I sent you to reap what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work, and you have reaped the benefits of their labor."

Somebody had to sow the seed before the harvest came in.  Sharing the gospel is sowing seeds. Sometimes, we will offer God's word and message to people to simply get rejected.  Other times, people will accept Jesus as Savior and Lord.  Regardless, our message cannot change.  Jesus came to the world to feed the hungry offer salvation.  Sometimes we plant seeds and don't know the outcome.  It is ok.  We leave the tools behind, God will do the rest.  Drop that box wherever you are.  Even if it is uncomfortable! 

Luke 10 2He told them,“The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

My lesson in a worker...a missionary wherever God has placed you.  Acts 1:8 says
 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”  This means your town, your state and, yes, all the world.  Don't forget the first part of this.  I have served in foreign missions, so don't get me wrong, I do have a heart for foreign missions.  But, people need the gospel right where you are.  There will most likely not be a missionary at your place of employment tomorrow, at the grocery store with you or walking your streets. Wait! Yes, there will be.  Who? You!

The harvest is plentiful right where you are.  Carry out the Great Commission.... It is ok if you don't know the outcome.  I have been blessed to see my seeds reap a harvest an abundant amount of times...those are some happy times.  But I have also been ignored, mocked and ridiculed when I have shared my faith.  It doesn't stop me.  Don't let it stop you!

Matthew 28
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with youalways, to the very end of the age.”

Where are we to take this message?  Wherever you are!  People are hungrier than you think!  (Do you want a granola bar?!)