Monday, July 16, 2018

Under Attack

I walked out of church yesterday feeling something I haven't felt in a long time.  I felt like I had been to church.  I'm about to be as blunt & as transparent as I've been in a long time.  Maybe even ever.  Let me tell you that if you think you are above & beyond an attack from Satan then you have already been defeated.  You've bought the lie.  Game over.

I'm not excited in the least bit to be typing this post.  But I do feel it is something to share.

It came out of nowhere really.  Blindsided if you will.  I had heard of spiritual warfare.  I knew it was a real thing.  But I had never experienced it at this level.  

Satan isn't prejudice when it comes to who he attacks.  He doesn't care who you are or what your job title is or how old you are.  He doesn't care what you lose in the attack.  All he cares about is strangling you.  Paralyzing you. Stopping you in your tracks so you won't be doing anything for the Lord.

I am trying my dead level best to survive.  "Survive what?" you ask.  The attack I've been under. I'll spare you all the details.  But listen here, when you hear anyone speak of an attack from Satan or spiritual warfare,  it's a real thing and don't take it lightly. 

I feel like I've been in a war zone for a few years now.  One minute I'd be on a super high with God & the next I was dodging bullets.

Yesterday was a prime example.  I walked out of that church service knowing I had been sitting at the feet of Jesus.  But by mid afternoon, there he was.  Trying his best to sneak in.  To undo what had been done.  For a split minute he almost got me.

During this season I've come to realize that my prayer life needed lots of work.  I mean A LOT!  Is it where it needs to be?  Nope.  It's a work in progress.  God has been revealing that the way I've always done it, isn't the way to do it anymore.  I've got to go deeper with it.  I have to admit I've had to start praying for my family in a way I never have before.  I'll spare you the details on that too.

I came across the quote in the above picture today.  I immediately had to put it on my message board.  There's a lot of truth in it.  I'm having to train myself & my brain to take those thoughts captive that aren't in obedience to Christ.  I'm having to think on the things I know for sure.  Not the what if's or how comes or the when's & why's of anything.

I firmly believe that this season of attack will make me stronger because I have no where to go with it.  There is only one solution.  The cross.  That is where I will find my victory over this.  I know I'm not the only one that is under an attack.  My attack isn't the same as yours but it's an attack none the less.  The question is, "What do we do with it?"  or better yet "How do we survive it?"  This is what I've come to know beyond a shadow of a doubt.. Dig!

Go with me here for just a second.  I've also been reading "Greater" by Steven Furtick.  It was recommended by a friend that I highly respect & value so I'm in the trenches of it.  This is a quote from it. "We all want something greater until we have to start digging for it."  I'm having to dig.  Dig deep in my faith.  Dig deep in the word.  Dig deep in the truth that I know is there.  Nobody wants to dig so much that they have blisters but sometimes it is required. 

What is in your mind?  Is it the marriage?  The spouse? The job?  The kids?  The parents?  What consumes your mind, controls your life.  What would happen if we let the truth of God's word consume our minds?  It would control our lives. 

I encourage you tonight to take every thought captive that isn't in accordance to God's will.  Think on the things you know are true.  Dig deep in the word & let it saturate your mind. 

Spiritual warfare is no joke.  But I refuse to let satan win this battle!

Monday, June 11, 2018

"Don't just do somthing. Stand there!"

I told you in my last post that I feel like a chiseled statue.  I have searched the past couple of years for the answer to the question of Why?  I think I nearly crashed & burned.  Maybe I really did crash.  To some extent, I burned a little too.

Someone asked me the other day why the sudden post?  Well, I don't know.  I said when I started this blog that I wouldn't write unless I was moved.  I haven't been moved until now. 

I haven't been able to find the words.  I haven't been able to explain it to anyone.  I know there are some that don't understand how a man that has been called by God to preach could step away.  But until you are walking in those shoes, there's no way to explain.  I think there are several reasons why God allowed this to happen the way He did.  Do y'all remember Job?  I believe that God can & will remove certain things & people from you in order to get His point across.  I speak for myself & not D, but I believe full well, this is part of what's been going on in my world.  I've known for a long time that God will allow things to happen to get you to grow in your relationship with Him.  Whether it is the loss of a spouse, a parent, a child, a diagnosis, martial problems, problems with the kids, work, whatever.  I've also come to believe that a spiritual battle is harder that the life battles.  The life battles can draw you closer to Him, but what happens when you were close like Job & all of a sudden all hell breaks loose?  What then? 

That has been my question.. What now? What is this?  What the crap?  And there has been no answer. Until this morning...

Years ago, like way back when I was so immature in my faith,  I sat in a room while someone taught "Experiencing God".  Notice I said I sat.  To this day I can't tell you one thing about that class.  I was there because it was what I was supposed to do.  But during my searching I've been reminded of that study.  So what does the geek in me do?  I get the book.  And this morning right before my eyes is my answer..

"Don't just do something.  Stand there!  Enter a love relationship with Me.  Get to know Me.  Adjust your life to Me.  Let Me love you & reveal Myself through you to a watching world. A time will come when doing will be called for, but we cannot skip the relationship.  The relationship with God must come first."

I've had the relationship.  It's been a good one.  But apparently it needed some tweeking.
I turned the page to the next lesson & then there was this line..

 "When God is about to do something through you, He has to get you from where you are to where He is."

Oh I was where He was.  Kind of.  But apparently I needed some adjustments.  I know you're probably thinking "how could a preacher's wife need adjustments?  Aren't they supposed to have it all together?
NO!!!!  I don't have it all together.  I am a human.  Not a perfect robot.  If you could see inside my head you would be so shocked.

God never calls the perfect.  I can't say who He calls & what the qualifications are other than to be willing to go.

Ok.  Back to the subject at hand. I have no idea where He is sending.  He may not send me anywhere.
I just know He's done a number on me. I felt guilty for a while because I was doing nothing.  I was brought up in the old Southern Baptists ways of you must be doing something.  And here I was doing nothing.  Absolutely  nothing.

I don't know what my point in this post is.  Maybe just as a mental note to myself.  Or maybe it's because some one reading it needed these quotes. 

I'm reminded of Ecclesiastes 3:1-5 "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven: a time to be born & a time to die, a time to plant & a time to uproot, a time to kill & a time to heal, a time to tear down & a time to build, a time to weep & a time to laugh, a time to mourn & a time to dance, a time to scatter stones & a time to gather them, a time to embrace & a time to refrain, a time to search & a time to throw away, a time to tear & a time to mend, a time to be silent  & a time to speak, a time to love & a time to hate, a time for war & a time for peace."

Maybe the time for all of this is NOW.

Jimmy Buffet has a song that says something to that effect..
"I bought a cheap watch from a crazy man floating down canal, It doesn't use numbers or moving hands it always just says now."

I think I may need to find one of those.

Until next time..... 

Thursday, June 7, 2018

Hello. It's me.......

"Hello.  It's me.  I was wondering if after all these years you'd like to meet".... Those are the lines to the song Adele made famous.
Hi.  It's me.  It's been a couple of years since I sat down & put my fingers to the keyboard to type some words.  I can't promise that it will become a habit or something you can look forward to or dread.  But none the less, here I am.

There hasn't been anything real earth shattering happening in our world.  Well, we did step out of pastoring  for a while.  During that time I feel like God has done some work on me.  I feel like a statue that's been chiselled on.  I will spare you all the details.  Let me just say it hasn't been a good time.

There have been times when I wanted answers yesterday and the answers still haven't come.  There have been times I thought I had it all figured out only to find out I knew nothing.

But, here I am.

I received a link today featuring the new Winnie the Pooh movie.  I have to admit I'm a little excited about it.  There was one line that made me stop.  "I always get to where I'm going by walking away from where I've been. "   I can't find the right words to describe to you, much less myself,  where I've been.  I was there.  I lived it.  I'm better for it.  But I'm on to somewhere else now.  Don't ask me where because I have no idea.  I've always been a planner.  I've always needed some structure.  I've always pretty much needed to know the next step.  Not so much anymore.  I've heard people talk of living a spontaneous life.  And I've always thought there was no way I could do that.  I still don't really think I could.  But, I have learned that the only thing I need in this journey I'm on is to know I'm just gonna take it a day at a time.  Scripture tells us that all Jesus said to those He called was, "Follow Me."  They didn't ask for details.  They didn't ask for the itinerary.  They left their boats, fishing nets, family, jobs & went.  He's asked the same of me & you. Just to follow Him.  No, I'm not talking about going to some third world country.  He just simply wants us to follow Him daily.  If He leads you to someone, take the opportunity.  Look at that person in front of you & see them.  Don't judge.  Don't turn your head.  Be there in the moment.  Love them.  Love them like Jesus would. 

I don't know if you have heard of Bob Goff or not.  If you have, you know what a phenomenal man & encourager he is.  If you haven't, you need to follow him on every social media outlet or rush to get his books.   God has used his words to speak to me.  To remind me of a few things I had either forgotten or never got the hang of.  His main point is to love folks like Jesus did.  Be there with them.  Don't lecture.  Don't judge.  Just let them see Jesus.  And let me tell you, I have failed in that area so many times. 

This world needs more kindness.  More love.  This is a quote from his book "Everybody, Always",  "Jesus saw loving God and loving our neighbor as one inseparable mandate.  They were tied for first in Jesus' mind: I think Jesus said these things because He knew we couldn't love God if we don't love the people He surrounds us with."

So how are we doing when it comes to loving?   Oh we say we love our "neighbors".  But do we?  And I'm not talking about the people who live across the street from you. 

I could go on & on.  But I'm not. There's really no need.
Maybe this is enough for now. 
I guess I thought I would see if I could still type & if there was really anyone that would still read it.  (I laugh)

As Mr. Rogers would say, "I'll be back when the day is new & I'll have more ideas for you."
Ok that's it.  I'm done.  Until next time.  Whenever that is.......

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Audaciously digging out of the trenches

It's been two months since I've written a post and even the last one was a struggle.  I've got a lot to say now so just bare with me.  It may be a long one and it may not even be tactful.  So here goes....
Life can sometimes just down right suck.   There I said it.  Yes I am a preachers wife & you just read that right.  If you are offended, well then, move on. 
Is my life that bad?  NO!  No it's not.  However, 2015 was a flippin roller coaster.  It was full of mountain tops & valleys.  It seems once the cart reached the top it crashed at the bottom in a nano second.  There may be some exaggeration in that but not much.
January started out like any other January.  There was a bridal show.  There was cold weather.  February came with some snow and that led us to March where I found a bedroom "redo" and an 18th birthday.   Oh, not to mention a "small" procedure which took someone a good week to recover and then a few weeks after that.   I believe March also brought on time to get going on the fixer upper for the oldest and his bride because a date is now set.  April came and brought a 25th anniversary.  (yay us!)  May blew in bringing one to graduate high school.  Then there was June... June brought about 6 weeks away from church.  A sabbatical if you will.  Along with some bridal showers & another birthday. 21 to be exact.  July came & we were back at church.  August was here before I turned around twice and the oldest moved out & married.  That brought us to September, October, November & December.  Change. Change. Change & Change.  None of which I am good with. 

I let so much steal my joy. My voice.  My attitude.  My gratitude.  I was glad to see 2015 move on.
So here we are.  

I've been reading "Audacious" by Beth Moore.  Let me tell you it is a game changer.  
I knew in December it was time to get over everything & get back to where I needed to be.  To dig out of the trench & move on.  
So here I am.  Moving on.  Now you may be rolling your eyes at this.  You may not even care to read another post.  And that is fine.  But here's the deal.  God has given me a voice.  And it is time I use it.
I encourage you to get this book & read it.  
But let me just share a little bit from it.  Do you remember the time that Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him?  He asked him three times.  Each time Peter said yes.  Jesus knew Peter's heart just like the Father knows ours.   So if He were to ask you right now if you love Him what would your answer be?  Well of course it would be yes.  But do you REALLY???  Because if you dig deep enough in the scripture, to love Him, really love Him, takes on more than what I've been doing.  More than what I've been saying.  
It's time we as so called Christians get off of our high horse & examine ourselves.  This world is so messed up.  And we are letting everyone else speak for us.  Do you understand that a man died for you in order for you to spend eternity with Him?  What are we doing to advance His kingdom?  What are we doing that brings glory to Him?  What am I DOING?  I haven't been doing enough that's for sure. 
So starting now I have to do better.  So do you.  What do you want folks to say about you when you are gone from this world?  What kind of mark will you leave?  I've decided I want folks to know without a doubt that I loved Jesus more than anything.  No one ever had to ask me.  They knew it.  
Here's an example and it may be too much for some but it really happened.  
If you are a woman my age you know that when you hit 40 things change.  I'm smack dab in the middle of this.  Well the time came for me to get a new bra.  No lie.  I've never been a healthy girl in that area and I never complained about it.  But as I said, things change.  I headed out one day to get a new garment.  Walked in the store and told the girl I needed to be fitted because what I had wasn't working any more.  She looked at me & I quote, "You comin' outta that one."  What???? How did she know this?  I still had on ALL my clothes!  But she was right.  Just goes to show she knows her job well.  I walked away from that store thinking to myself, "if she could tell that, then what else could she tell?"  Did she know I'm a Christian?  Did she know that I love Jesus?  And I was so wrapped up & blown away by it all that I didn't even give a second thought to whether she was or not.  I know that's all a bit too much, but do you see where I'm going?  What do people see in me?  If I'm not audacious, if I'm not bold then how will they ever know? They won't!  
Now, if this has bothered you, well like I said, move on.  I welcome you here anytime there's a post and I hope there's a lot more of them.  
Isaiah 43:18-19 has rolled around in my head quite a bit since January 1.  "Forget the former things: do not dwell on the past.  See, I am doing a new thing!" I have no idea what "new thing" God is going to do in me, for me, with me/us in 2016 but I sure am excited about it.  And I sure hope and pray that I can be the audacious woman that He wants me to be. 

Friday, November 20, 2015

A rant & a prayer ....a must read

The past several weeks I've just gotten down right irritated when I scroll through my news feed on Facebook.  There's very few positives there.  What has happened?  I know I don't have to scroll Facebook & I don't that much anymore for that simple reason.  I very rarely watch the news anymore either.  I can't remember the last time I heard anything positive on it.

Now I will be the first to admit my attitude often times isn't the best.  God and I, well we've been working on it.  And here's what we've come up with.  

There's so much uncertainty in our world and nation right now.  Folks seem to be on edge and offended at every turn.  It's irritating. 
Psalm 62:8  "Trust in him at all times O people; pour your hearts to him, for God is our refuge."

Lord may we trust in you at all times.  Even on those days when it is the hardest.  And why shouldn't we pour our hearts out to you?  You alone know the plans you have for us.  Plans to prosper us and not harm us.  If we can't trust you then who?  Your love is so vast we can't comprehend it.  So in all the uncertainty of this world may we rest in the peace and in the fact that you do love us.  That we can trust you at all times.  In all things.  Big and small. May we be reminded that you are still on your throne and you are still in control.  You still work miracles and no one can take any of that away.
Thanksgiving is less than a week away.  May we focus more on you and not all the negative.  May we be quick to realize the blessings that you have poured out that we don't deserve.  
May we be the person that you want us to be.  Not what the world wants.  Not what we want.  But what you want.  I want to be the kind that doesn't hide my light under a bush.  That when I encounter people they want some of what I have and that's you.  It's all about you.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Once upon a time

Once upon a time we had a dog.  Not this dog.  The other dog.  His name was Sampson.  He was a mama's boy if a dog could ever be a mama's boy.  This dog is NOT!  We still have a love hate relationship.  It has evolved.  We've just decided it best for both of us to just do the best we can because, like it or not, we are stuck together.  We have no choice.  
God used Sampson to speak to me quiet often.  Now before you say the woman has lost her mind, let me remind you that God used a burning bush, a whale, even a donkey, to get his point across.  Dogs can be no different.  He hasn't done it that much with Silas.  Or maybe it's just me.  Maybe I'm not paying attention.  (which is highly possible)  In my defense there's been quite a stir since Samps died & Silas entered the picture.  
Sampson had to be where I was.  If I was home, he was in the room with me.  Just about at all times.  If he knew I was outside, he was ok with that.  Some call it separation anxiety.  
Silas doesn't have that.
He doesn't care where I am or what I'm doing unless it's something he wants.  
If he hears the door open then by all means he thinks he needs to go out too.  Other than that, he simply doesn't care.  Just like at this moment, he is no where to be found.  Mainly because I don't have anything he wants.  
Let's just say I walk into the kitchen to get a cup of coffee.  He simply doesn't care.  But let me open a drawer, rattle the silverware, give him a second and he's there.  He thinks there might be food involved.  
Now let's say I'm in the kitchen to empty the dishwasher.  Not interested.  However, let me get in the kitchen to cook....Guess what....He's there.  
Which is where this post comes to life.  
I took the above picture while I stood at the stove.  He wasn't leaving.  He waited with anticipation.  Once the plates are set on the table he will wait by D's chair.  With anticipation.
Can you guess where I'm going with this?  
How often to we treat God this way?
We could care less if He's in the house or not.  We just want to know He's close by if we need Him.  Right?
Until we want something.  Or if we think He may have something we want.  
I'm guilty of this.  Knowing God is every present in all my goings & comings.  Yet I never acknowledge Him.  Until I want something.
How sad is this?  
I want to be better.  I want to do better.  I want to be closer.  I want to be more like Samps was.  I want to be where my Father is.  At all times.  I don't want to just be satisfied knowing He's in the house.  I want to be at His feet more.  Not because I want something from Him, but just because I enjoy His presence.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pray for those babies

These thoughts just flooded my brain, so bare with me. 
I'm a 70's baby.  That means I will be forty something in a few months.  Being a 70's baby means I'm an 80's child at heart.  I love, love, love fashion.  I'm picky with my hair.  I also love the sitcom "Friends".  I never get bored watching the reruns.  They take me back to a busy yet crazy time.  They take me back to the days when the preacher wasn't a full time preacher just yet.  The boys were little.  I guess I could call them babies.  It was nothing for me to be in the rocker on Thursday night with a new episode of "Friends" on the television, a baby in my arms & the other tucked in beside me.  Sweet times.
I'm ever so thankful that the show is still on.  Most every afternoon I change the channel just to have those familiar voices running through the house.  On one particular episode today, Rachel has come home from the hospital with the newborn Emma.  Rachel has no idea what to do with that crying baby.  She can't get her to stop crying.  She has tried everything.  Monica is the only one who can get her to stop crying.  Remember that episode?? 
Anyway, it made me think of all my mama friends. I have several friends/acquaintances who are at different levels of mothering.  There's a couple that are mothering newborns.  There are some in the midst of preschool and elementary.  There are some who are in the deep dark cave of teenagehood. There are some like me (and I expect to hear them shout AMEN).   Now I'm not going to get all sappy on you here.  I know I'm not the first mother who has ever had a child to get married.  I know I'm not the first who has ever had a child to grow up & move out.  I know I'm not the first mother to ever blog/write about such things.  But maybe I'm the first you have ever read.  Maybe I'm the first that one of my facebook friends will see/read.  So here ya go.

To you, young mother, who is rocking that newborn, hang in there.  That baby won't be a baby for long.  That baby won't always be crying.  That baby won't always want you to rock.  Sing with that baby & pray for that baby.  Time flies.

To you, young mother, who is between preschool & elementary, hang in there.  They told me once they started kindergarten time would never stand still again.  It don't.  It flies.   I promise it was just yesterday I put the oldest to bed knowing he started to school tomorrow.  That was many years ago.  There won't always be a lunch to pack.  There won't always be homework to help with.  There won't always be supper & homework & a ballgame or practice.  It will be done & gone in the blink of an eye. None the less, that is still your baby.  Pray for that baby.  

To you, young mother, that is in the depth of the cave....Lord bless your heart.  Those are some dark days aren't they?  But you hang in there.  It won't always be that dark.  Help with that homework as much as you can.  Answer those questions as best you can.  Keep your mouth shut as best you can.  Be there as much as you possibly can.  Your presence will mean more than you know. But that teenager is still your baby.  Pray for that baby.

And to you, young mother, who is in this boat with me.. Pray for that baby.  It may be that this is the first year on a college campus.  Maybe the first time away from home because they have joined a branch of the military.  Maybe they've just moved out & become a responsible adult.  Doesn't matter does it?  That is still your baby.

Bottom line is this, no matter what season you are in, whether it is the newborn or the teenager, it won't last long.  That stage will be gone tomorrow and a new one will arrive.  Just savor it.  Don't rush through it.  Take a million pictures either in your mind or on film.  Be present in every moment.  Don't make them beg for your attention.  Everything else will be there when they aren't.  Just hang in there.  They need you. 
I know there are long days and nights.  Let me encourage you to draw your strength from the Lord.  In those nights when that newborn isn't sure if it's day or night, savor that time as best you can.  As that little poem says, it may be the last night for an all nighter.  That baby may sleep through the night tomorrow night.  Get the idea?  Our babies are only little for such a little while.  Our little boys will only play in the mud for a short time.  Those little girls will only want to wear a bow for a little while.  And then one day....Pray for those babies.  If you, young mother, don't pray for them, who will?