Simple, Not Easy!

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people… Ephesians 1:18 NIV

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands…” 1 Samuel 17:45-46a NIV

What does it mean to have the eyes of your heart enlightened so that we may know hope?

For me, this ability to see hope in my circumstances comes as a gift God gives me and not something I fabricate for myself. I get the gift when I surrender my plans for the day ahead, or some troubling situation, to God and focus on His abilities to handle it.

When I am weak, He is strong!

Faith really is that simple. Maybe not always easy, but simple. We look at our circumstances, we see that the situation is too big for us, and we make a conscious decision to turn over the details and outcome to Papa God. When we do this, we ask only for the knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry it out.

Simple.

Keep-it-simple

Today, if you’re facing a giant and can’t see anyway around him, turn your back on that problem/conundrum and ask God to be your Champion.

Ask.

Trust.

And work in whatever way God asks you to work; ie and apology, an amends, restitution, or simply changing people, places, and things in order to get your peace back. Even Jesus walked away from the crowds in order to recharge and pray. If He could, you can.

God asks us to cry out to Him, state our need, then stand back and watch the giants fall.

Simple.

Straight forward.

Requiring faith!  Ask for that, too.

God gives generously to all who cry out to him for help.

Is your heart in the right place to receive God’s help? In other words, are you willing to have this problem handled His way?  Have you told Him that, today?

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Chasing and Changing!

What is crooked cannot be straightened;
what is lacking cannot be counted. Ecclesiastes 1:15 NIV

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NIV

If Solomon’s musings from the book of Ecclesiastes were all the Scripture we had, what a difficult faith ours would be.

“Meaningless, meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” – King Solomon

Those words, penned by the wisest king ever and the person who applied himself to understanding wisdom and madness, and folly, are pretty bleak.

Chasing Jesus

CHASING MADNESS AND FOLLY!

I’m not sure what state one would have to induce in one’s self in order to “understand” madness and folly, but what I do know is what I had to do to understand mercy, forgiveness, and hope.

I had to stop looking at the world—at other flawed and failing folks—and start gazing intently into the eyes of my Savior.

Finding a way out of our hopelessness begins when we find Jesus.

Only Jesus has the grace and mercy needed to forgive oceans of sin. Only Him!

Today, let’s not try to figure out the whole story behind misery, madness, and folly. That really is meaningless; a chasing after the wind.

INSTEAD…

Instead of chasing futile pursuits in life…

Let’s chase love.

Let’s chase hope.

Let’s chase mercy, and…

Let’s chase forgiveness.

Today, let’s chase Jesus!!!

Do you have a relationship with Jesus that makes it possible for you to step out of your hopeless way of life, and into His Light?  What is there about your link to Jesus that is working for you and your life?

People, places and things — gratitude4gratitude

The following is based on my experience…. A person very close to me has been showing symptoms of compulsive behaviour. Symptoms that are recognisable to an addict like myself. This compulsion has been progressing over the last couple of years and despite my good intentions the effect I have had over it is minimal at […]

via People, places and things — gratitude4gratitude

I read this today and was helped by it. I hope you are, too.  There are often times when we don’t want to speak the truth in love because it will make us feel uncomfortable, hurt, betrayed or abandoned, and we don’t want that other to hate us.  These are all selfish reasons for not doing a greater good.

ALWAYS PRAY BEFORE YOU ATTEMPT A GREATER GOOD!

I’m hoping I will be receptive when others come to me and speak the truth in love about my bad habits and misbehaviors.  I’m hoping I’ve grown enough to appreciate them enough, and believe they love me enough to risk offending me!

Any of you have problems with addiction?  Do tell…

GG Turns 86!

This lady!  This silver=haired foxy lady.  This smiling, beautiful, huggy lady is having a birthday today!

mom and me

She’s one tough, sassy, vivacious, and godly lady.

mom and me 2

This lady who has faced many challenges in her life, and isn’t done with them yet.

mom and me 3

She has a hard time hearing and seeing, but still craves travel and time with her kiddos, grands, and great-grands over almost anything.

This lady is eighty-six today, and while she doesn’t like being the center of attention, ever, she told me a long time ago that I had her permission to be truthful about her on my blog. She said she treasured transparency and that she understood that my story was all wrapped up in her story, and that it was okay to talk about both in this space.

Where have the years flown off to?  It seems like yesterday we were all young and active and looking forward to our lives together.

Mom, you’ve taught me how to speak, how to be silent, when to reach out, and when to hold back. You’ve taught me to love God and to give service as often and as joyfully as I can. You’ve taught me it’s okay to be skeptical in this world, but it’s never okay to resist the making of a new friend.

This lady has taught me to be bold and loud, and me!

Happy Birthday, Mom! You’ve seen a lot, you’ve loved a lot, and you’ve never, ever stop defending your kids in the fights we got into in life.  You’re a fierce momma bear and I love you!

Happy 86th Birthday, I hope you celebrate many more!

Grace Trumps Imperfection

grace

Are you perfect? I ask, because I’m not.

I grumble.

I complain.

I want others to give me solid answers and when I don’t get them, I beginning slapping labels on my fellows:

Difficult!

Impossible!

Head strong!

Grumpy!

Aggravating!!

Slapping labels on others doesn’t help me feel better, so I’m not sure why I do it.  Maybe because it is something to do. Some way that I can be active.  Maybe because it meets some need in me to compare and contrast. Of course, in the comparison game I always come out a strong opponent, if not an outright winner.  Ugh!

Living Life the Right Way

Is this really how I want to be? How I want to live? Who I want to present to a broken and hurting world? No!  It is not! And yet, I find myself here again and again, and again and again I’m in need of God’s gracious correction.

Trust Me, Lori.

Look to Me, daughter of Eve.

Lean on me, Sister.

Open those magnificent arms I gave you, and love others.  Try to understand their insecurities. Try to tamp down your own. Try to seek tribal unity. Try to be one of many, and encourage everyone you meet to be listening and/or doing right. Try to blend in with them and help them, and if you must stand out, stand out for the fact that you rely on Me alone for your worth, your comfort, your education and your opportunity to teach others.

Be Grace in this world!

Do you ever find yourself labeling others?  What labels do you slap on yourself when you’re making up labels for them?

 

 

 

Gentleness

kindness-elderly

Do you struggle to be gentle sometimes? With your actions? With your words?

Me, too.

Today’s message from Ron Hutchcraft was just what I need to remind me to be GENTLE with others.  I was so impressed, I wanted to share it here, today.

I appreciate it when others are gentle with me, and I want to return the favor.  How about you?

Do you have a problem being gentle?  When do you most need others to be gentle with you?

Work vs Rest: A call to relax!

On the first day of the seventh month hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work. It is a day for you to sound the trumpets. Numbers 29:1 NIV

how-many-rest-days-do-I-need-when-exercising

If you’re looking for a reason to rest, look no further than God’s Word.

There are dozens of references to rest in the Bible, and more than a few commands to “quit your work” and make time for reflecting on spiritual things.

We sometimes think our lives will go smoother if only we push harder, work smarter, or keep pressing on to the goal of our vocation with ever increasing intensity, but does that kind of habit really work? Really?

Does keeping your nose to the grind stone make you joyful, happy, free, or does it just change the contour of your nose?

It’s true that hard work is good for a soul, but there comes a time when relying on self-powering methods to get us through our days turns into something other than reliance on our Savior, Jesus Christ, to meet our needs—all our needs!

What if working harder isn’t working?

Maybe today is the day to sound the trumpet in your life.

Maybe today is the day to eek out a little time of rest for you and yours.

Maybe now is the time to hit pause and ask God, “What next, Papa?”

Maybe we should all stop trusting in our own unsteady will power to get us to the next level of comfort in our lives, and start asking God to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

Maybe today, we need to deny ourselves the “opportunity” to get ahead by putting 8-10-12-or 16 hours in at the office or on the farm. Maybe it’s time to stop working so hard and more fully focus on the freedom God has provided for us to enjoy.

We’ll never run out of work to do, and that’s a good thing, but we also need to remember to push pause every once in a while in order to recharge and revitalize ourselves.  That’s what I think, anyway. How about you…what do you think?

Do you work too hard?  Where is the balance between working hard and playing hard?

Better Together!

May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. Psalm 20:4 NIV

colossians-3-14

When we met together for worship yesterday, God led my church in a special way, asking us to think about those around us and how we could build a more solid love and supportive network for one another. It was a time to reflect and prepare.

Reflect, because we’ve all found ourselves in a selfish place in life at one time or another.

Prepare, because whenever we pull away from one another, no matter the reason, a season of suffering begins and it takes time to turn a heart around.

The truth is, we’re better together!

We’re stronger together.
We’re smarter together.
We’re safer together.
We are the church, together!!

While there is room in the church for the exercise of individual gifts, talents, abilities and desires, Scripture is pretty clear about the fact that God calls us to be, live, and work together for His glory.

Today, I you’re experiencing the blessings that come from unity in the body of Christ, praise God! If you’re not, reach out to someone who can help you get back to that place. I’ve been estranged before. It was a lonely season, full of doubt and discouragement. It seemed like everything was harder when my heart had turned sour.  It was not a fun place to be, and I would save others from that punishment, if I could.

Our enemy, the devil, loves nothing better than to isolate us and keep us angry or disappointed with each other. Don’t let him get a foothold in your life, through sin.

Fight back!!

Victory begins by telling Papa what we’re feeling and listening for His response.

If I can pray for you today, reach out to me at churchoose@gmail.com

Has there ever been a time in your life when because of pain or disillusion, you isolated yourself from others?  What did you do to break out of that destructive phase of spiritual development?

Mom Can’t See!

amd-little-girl-1200x630

The other day I posted something on Facebook.

Crickets!

The post was about parents of adult children and their continued need to be included in the lives of their kiddos. Apparently, this post hit a nerve with my readers/friends list. Apparently, no one wanted to talk about the fact that parents of adult children often get left out of the loop regarding many of the things that occur in their children’s lives. Apparently, there was some conviction speaking out of my comments. I found it interesting that only one person hit a LIKE on that post and re-posted, and she is a mom who has adult children she would like to have be more active in her life.

I posted about his topic because I had spent the weekend with my mom, and observed first hand through our conversations how much she feels excluded in the life of her children.

Excluded.

Abandoned.

Neglected.

Set aside.

Forgotten.

I don’t think that my moms children-me being one of the three-ever intends to leave her out of the things that are happening in our lives. I think it’s just that we are all so caught up in our own things, and maybe a little bit selfish. We want to take care of us, and we don’t want to have to report in about everything that we’re doing all the time. Shoot, we hardly give it a thought that mom might be sitting up on that hill, alone and lonely, hating herself because she can’t…

Drive any more.

See any more.

Understand complicated processes anymore.

Figure out how to be a part of a family without being a burden, any more.

As I watch my mom navigate through life at this juncture, I’m filled with compassion for her and the situation she finds herself in these days.

Mom has macular degeneration.

My maternal grandmother, mom’s mom, had macular degeneration.

I, myself, will probably at some point get macular degeneration, and it’s a terrible thing.

To not see well, to no longer be able to read a cherished family recipes, to struggle with the most basic of life issues AND to not have your children realize how difficult it is for you to get up and stay hopeful every day is to live a discouraging life.

Seriously, I want to cry as I’m typing this, but what good would that do?

WHAT I NEED TO DO!

What I need to do is be more mindful of what mom is going through.

What I need to do is include mom more often In my plans.

What I need to do is pick up the phone and call mom more often.

What I need to do is provide her with rides to wherever she wants to go, and chat her up while we travel.

Conversation for those who can no longer see is crucial. They need to know you hear them, even as they are losing focus of your face. They need to know you still need them, and want them to be a part of your day. They need to see that you are someone who can set aside your own selfish desires, in order to meet a few of theirs. They need love and understanding and compassion and inclusion.

I’m trying to do better. I think others are trying, too, but maybe losing the battle. I think maybe that is why they didn’t respond in any way to that post I posted on Facebook. I think they feel guilty and less inclusive than they wish they were, but don’t know where to being their journey to caring. I don’t know where to begin, either, but writing this and posting that seemed like the nature place for this writer to start to at least think about setting my life aside for a time and helping mom live hers to the best of her ability. She won’t always be here. I don’t want to live in regret once she’s moved on.

If you’re reading this and you know my mom or are one of her children or grands, or even a great-grand, please know I’m not trying to shame you or blame you for leading your own life and taking care of kiddos you’re trying to raise right now. I’m just sayin’…

Moms of adult children still care about their kids. They still love them. They still want to be a part of their lives. They still need their kids. That is all.

When did you last pick up the phone and call an elderly family member?  How often do you pray for your aging mom or dad?

Parents of Adult Children Need Love

love me

Parents!

They were there for us when we couldn’t do for ourselves. They held us, rocked us, fed us, and put up with our shenanigans. They were our guides, our guardians, our fierce defenders and our friends. So now, when we are grown and they are alone, we need to remember that they still have needs:

Friendship

Companionship

A sympathetic ear

Confidant status

Fierce defense against all foes

Protection.

DO NOT FORGET THOSE WHO REMEMBERED YOU!

Parents of adult children still need to know they are loved.

Call your mom or dad today!!!