Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Stiff but Drinkable Cup of Take-an-Account Was Brewed

Vacation Revelations: A Stiff but Drinkable Cup of Take-an-Account was Brewed.

I woke up this morning in a new place, literally. I began to peruse an unfamiliar kitchen, shuffling about making coffee; I had to read the directions on the coffeemaker to ensure that I did not ruin our friends’ essential appliance. That’s right. I need a cone filter (I thought). Both this trivial and normal thought brewed, but many other complex ones were perking and stirring my heart for a much needed makeover. Removed from my normal elements and familiar patterns, God began to expose some hidden areas. On day one of our home-away-from-home getaway, I began to question the very basic actions of my everyday life and existence. Yet, I carefully drank this cup of coffee that He poured for me this morning. I slowly, purposefully, and difficultly considered every sip.

The Bible tells us to search our hearts and take an account. I didn’t wake up thinking these thoughts, but I was open to let God speak to me and deal with my heart, which was heavier and stained more than I realized. Simple day-to-day repeated patterns, actions, and conversations reveal the pitter-patters of our heart: How big, how small, who they are directed to, who they are not directed to, who they are directed to sometimes, and how they are held back or diminished. It was a strong and bitter cup of coffee, but it went down like medicine. Vacation God; this is what I am thinking: Resting, the thing I do little of and need desperately to do more of; ah yes, this was on my to-do list and NOT this inward deep-sea heart diving expedition. In short, day one’s vacation headlines read: A Stiff but Drinkable Cup of Take-an-Account was Brewed.

After getting to know the coffeemaker, I began to examine my actions. My heart beats with grandeur love pumps when I praise Jesus or thank someone, which is a worthy and appropriate focus and task, but is my heart pumping out these splendorous love bursts to the people and family around me on a regular basis? Are there chambers in my heart that are still bruised th

at keep me from loving others the way God intended (1 Corinthians 13)? Does God expect me to be perfect (I thought)? Of course not, but He does ask us to take an account. Excuse me while I grab a tissue; this is a tough one to write and a terribly difficult cup of coffee to drink!

I thought about how nice it would be to have breakfast when my husband came back from fishing. How delightful it would be to sit and eat a breakfast he has prepared for the two of us! To clarify, yes, he has done most of the breakfast cooking over the years; I don’t cook breakfast well. I did enjoy cooking meals, and I belonged to two supper clubs. But where is my love for cooking meals? I pondered: Lost! What else it lost (I thought)?

Though I was never one to cook breakfast because the smoke alarm would go off every time, I remembered how things used to be. How I used to be. How I used to love whole heartedly despite arrows and darts that would come from every direction. Though I thought I had dealt with bitterness, it appears that the root was not surgically removed, or the wound was so deep that it is time once again to go digging in my heart garden. Dissecting this vivid moment and my motives was and is no easy thing to do. Why would anyone want to go there? I want to go here Lord because I want to be more like you and less like me. I want my life to line-up with the Word, and though this is a hard task, I am all in Lord (I thought and cried). These eye-opening thoughts took me back to the days of my youth, otherwise known as the early married years, which exposed and leaked some secrets I had buried. I went back to the kitchen for a warm up. As a write this piece, I feel as if time is frozen; I am parked here drinking this cup of coffee revelation. Lord, please change me and soften my heart. Let the results of this moment bring glory to You; let me be changed (I begged, pleaded, prayed, and thought).

As the years go by, my husband does more cooking; I do less. I am not saying that you should judge your relationships by the amount of time you spend cooking or how you divide up these responsibilities, but I am saying you need to take an account. As I stated earlier, my family discovered early on that I was not gifted in making tasty delicious breakfasts on the weekends. I could never get it quite right! But I am reminded that I need to judge my actions and look inward and dissect my relationships, especially the ones close to me, which is my family, my first ministry before anything else, except seeking and serving God.

Yes, this is a hard cookie to swallow or cup of joe to drink on any day of the week. But on day one of my house sitting vacation at our friends’ home; yes, I took a bite of this cookie. Hmm. It’s going to be a long vacation. My body may do some resting, but if I allow God to peruse my recent surge of weeds in my garden, I just may have a flowered heart garden ready to be posted in one of those well-manicured garden magazines. I hear my husband walking in.......

I posted this on both of my spiritual and inspirational blogs because I felt both readers would be blessed.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Free To Dance

Dear Ladies,

Today I felt impressed to remind you that you are free in Christ. He that the Son has set Free is free indeed. That’s you, a lovely woman of God who is busy in her day, but needs a little spring back in her slightly weighted steps. That’s you, the one who is climbing the mountain and is tired, but be refreshed today. That's you, oh woman of God who is serving at full throttle and needs a little burst of fresh oil! Get ready; it's about to rain waters of refreshing.

When you begin to sing a song of praise, you open your spirit up to God. You let Him pour spiritual rain into your spirit. I tell you waters of refreshing are pouring from the heavens as we speak. You do not need to be of a certain color, social class, or title. It doesn't matter what you did in the past or even a moment ago; He is there for you. Buckets of rain are reserved for you. It truly is all who are thirsty, let them come! I am not talking about a sprinkle or even ashower; I am talking about spiritual water that will inundate your spirit.

Take a moment and read the following lyrics from Hillsong: Free to Dance below or click on the video above. Perhaps, right now, you will “get ya some of them rain buckets from on high”! Rejoice, lift Him up, and swoosh, you’ll feel His rain!

Free to Dance (Hillsong)

This song in my heart, this song in my soul
This song I was born to singIt's Your song of freedom, now I'm free to dance again

I'll sing in the darkness, I'll laugh in the rain
Rejoice in Your love again
It's Your song of freedom, now I'm free to dance again

Your Spirit brings me liberty
Your breath of life has set me free

Jesus, Your love, it lifts me high
Gives me reason to run the race with joy
This song within me, Lord, will bless Your Holy name
Jesus, I'll dance before Your throne
Bring this heavenly sound to You alone
This song within me. Lord, will bless Your Holy name

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Jesus Follower Vs. Christian - "Turn or Burn"

This is food for thought. Chew on it for a bit! Sometimes I get distracted and judgmental. I forget how I can sincerely win others for Christ. Is the amount of ones I help ask Jesus into the heart as important as the ones who want to live for Him because they know Him or want to know Him?

If I act like the "turn or burn" dude, I am more likely that they will turn and burn in Hell because I was either unapproachable, haughty, argumentative, and unloving. I am not saying that we compromise the Word or the message, but how we say it and if we are approachable makes all the difference. Is you stone shiny, dull, rude, haughty, and or _______? What are the rays you are giving off to the others around you. Keep in mind, that as I write this that I am considering this all for myself too. May I be more like Jesus and less that man on the left. Help me Lord to be more like you!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Branchways: Mentoring Women One Life at a Time

Dear Women of the Most High God,

I am thankful that you are making branchways! Read on to understand what I mean! I recently read a blog post from a personal friend. She highlighted how many of the women she has worked with, ministered to, and trained have begun to blossom for the Kingdom of God. I remember thinking that this is the fruit on her tree. This is her life extended and reaching out to others. This is Christ working through all of these relationships and activities; these are His branches. What an amazing legacy she is building and at the same time, she is bringing glory to God.

I too want the same motto, lifestyle, and legacy. I want fruit on my tree. I want it to remain and be there for those in need. I want to empower other women to make those same branchways (pathways). I want to be His hands and His feet. I want to be a part of His multiplication and increase!

When the earth was created, God told Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply: Genesis 9:7 And as for you, be fruitful and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth And multiply in it.” Yes, there is a natural interpretation here and it is rather obvious. Could I infer that there is a deeper meaning to be had?

I have to say yes! The New Testament reveals more. Did Jesus say go and make disciples? Yes. Did he tell us to have the faith of a mustard seed and let the birds come and feed? So, if we grow and drop seeds, they begin to grow and so on and so on! So, I can make this assumption! I’m not finished yet. I need to take this a step further.

Like my friend I just told you about, I too believe that I am called to mentor and work with women. He has given me a word to speak to encourage, teach, and admonish, but it is more than that. It’s about the hand-in-hand working and development of women day-in and day-out.

I was evaluating my female relationships this week. This includes the women I work closely with at work at school and at church. I can see how my investment is paying off. I had two conversations this week about growth. My word to one of them was, “Man, you are growing!” Now that I think about it, I said some thing like to her at least four times this week! Ladies this did not happen over night! I am grateful to see what the Lord is doing through me, but I want Him to use me more and more and more!

Let’s all strive to be branchways for Christ as we mentor!