What is a marriage?

A marriage is a life long agreement to be a part of another person's life, unknowing what the future holds for either person. It is a willingness to stand beside that person come what may, to encourage them when they have no courage of their own to face the crap that life will throw at you; to be their strength in the face of their failure and weakness; to show them that they have value when the world and everyone else says they are not worth the space they fill. There are no guarantees when you make that commitment, no guarantee that life will never send you hard times; no guarantee that the other person will never make a mistake, will always meet your expectations; no guarantee that you will be happy and prosperous forever after. A marriage is meant to demonstrate the love of Christ for His Body and to demonstrate the love of His people for Him. Can you love your spouse like Christ loved the Church? Can you sacrifice yourself for their benefit? No, you cannot. Unless you allow Christ to have control of your heart; unless you give those failures and those unmet expectations to God; unless you cry out to Him with each disappointment; cry out to Him with each knife in the heart....or back. It is only with His presence in you, His strength in your heart that you can live up to this agreement that you made before Him, to love this other person, to honour them and stand by them. People will say you are a fool; they will say that you deserve better; they will tell you that you have every right to turn away and give up, but people are not God. God's ways are not our ways, His thoughts are not our thoughts. He is holy, He is all-knowing, He is all-wise; He sees your journey together from start to finish, He knows how it should end. He knows the ways that He will bless you both with companionship, true enduring love, and the comfortable peace of a relationship that has been through hell and survived for His glory. Trust Him to give you strength, patience, peace, more patience and more strength. He will give you eyes to see your spouse as He does; that your spouse is not the true enemy, eyes to see that the true enemy is the Deceiver who has lied to God's children since the beginning of time. Don't fall for those lies about your spouse, the one that you chose to love from the beginning. Trust God to give you everything you need to walk out the road ahead. It is only through the walking that you can find this out for yourself. I know these things to be true because I have walked it.


Revelation Part Two

I do not have a driving desire to evangelize the lost. There! I said it! The statement stands stark in all its perceived ugliness. I have felt guilty about this all my life! I have asked God what is wrong with me more times than I care to count! Now I must also qualify this statement a little, I do want to represent Jesus wherever I go and in whatever circumstance I am in. I do feel God’s love for the people who don’t know Him and if anyone were to ask what makes me different I would gladly tell them all about the Father’s love and His Son’s sacrifice for us. But… is not a driving force in my life. My heart beats for those who know God and love Jesus but are broken and beaten up by the enemy; the ones who feel alone and floundering in a world that seems to be all consuming. Those of His children who have lost the ability to feel His constant Presence and hear His voice of love, who are being lulled by the enemy’s deceptively sweet voice. I want to be His arms and hold them, shake them, and then hold them again. I want to be His voice loud enough to drown out the sound of the world and the whiny voice of the flesh. I want to be the light that shines into their darkness and shows them the way back to His truth. I want to admonish and convince hurt frustrated wives that God will fight for them, that He will take care of them, and that trusting Him and allowing Him to be in control really does work! I want to encourage and strengthen broken defeated women with words of value and honor that comes straight from their Father King, to let them know that they are priceless to Him; they are jewels in His crown! I want to be the voice of Truth that declares to His children that He is faithful, He is still active and that His ways are the only way of hope. I want to call out to them and guide them back to the safety of His path, following His way! Jesus told his twelve in Matt 10:5-6 not to go to the Samaritans or the Gentiles but that He was sending them to the lost sheep of Israel. He told them this because He had someone else (Paul) in mind for the Gentiles. He has a plan for everyone and those plans are not the same for everyone. This verse brought me such joy and freedom, it removed my guilt! God has a plan for me and although I already knew that, it has been given a little more definition, a little more refinement and I have been given a clearer revelation of what my purpose is!


An Uncluttered Life

You told me some time ago to relinquish my fantasy of an uncluttered life, I have not forgotten. I have not completely relinquished it yet but I’m working on it. Really I am!

Your life on this earh was cluttered, wasn’t Lord? You had people popping up at the most inoportune moments being all needy. You had followers bickering about who was most important or what was more important.

Surely you had moments of frustration, times that you thought about your life before earth and what you gave up.

How patient you were! That patience didn’t come naturally though did it? Isn’t that the reason you spent time alone with the Father? So He could strengthen you and encourage you for the task at hand?

Oh Lord, help me to follow your example. Give me a hunger to spend time with you and the Father. This is the only way that I can endure the clutter of people in need, of unmet expectations and circumstances that don’t go my way.

My sweet Savior comes and calls for me, “Let’s go visit Father.”
My house is a mess, there are things to be done…“maybe later.”

My sweet Savior stays and says again, “Let’s go visit Father.”
My family’s in crisis, there are things I must figure out…“maybe later.”

My sweet Savior gives me the look and takes my hand, “Let’s go visit Father.”
I’m tired and frustrated, bone weary, at wit’s end; but I allow myself to be let into the throne room.

My Father is there, delight fills His eyes, He gathers me up in His love. The weariness melts, the frustration is gone. He gives me peace, wisdom, strength and joy.

I’m home.


Revelation Part One

I'm not sure when my fascination with Deborah began. You can find her story in Judges chapter 4, in a nutshell, she led the country of Israel at that time in history; she was considered a prophet and full of wisdom. The king of Israel would not go to war unless she went with him. I have always pictured her sitting under her palm tree (verse 5) calmly listening to the voice of God as people came to seek her counsel. I have always wanted to be a woman like her; wise, discerning, kind, close to God, recognized by others as someone with answers. I always thought it was a very vain dream.
Another interesting thing about Deborah is that her marital status was in the forefront of her description. She was married to Lappidoth; I wonder if she called him Lappi in private. "Lappi darling, I'm getting ready to go to my palm tree. I'll be home in a few hours." I think it is obvious that she had the support of her husband and in order to have his support she must have been a really good wife. She must have honored her husband and her marriage in order for the Lord to set her in such a high position. She must have had her home well established. It is not recorded as to whether she had children or not, my guess is that she did not but I could be wrong. Maybe in her God given wisdom she was able to raise her children to be resposible God fearing adults who did not need to be 'mothered' once they were on their own. Could be. I would like to know her secret.
Anyway, I have shared in past posts that I have been going through a bit of an identity crisis since leaving my position on staff at my church. My children are grown, grandchildren abound and my family has consumed alot of my time over the past 18 months. I have always had a longing to do and be more for the kingdom of God; I want to be a Deborah and the time I have spent ministering to my family has felt trivial.
Don't get me wrong though, I know it is not trivial and God has spoken to me about this. The conversation went something like this:
Me (in a whiny voice): "Father, I want my home to be a sanctuary, a resting place, somewhere for people to come and find peace and acceptance. How can that happen with a house full of family?"
God (laughing, yes, laughing at me!): "My sweet girl,(His patience with me is unending) isn't that what is happening? Isn't that what your family needs right now?"
Me (still whiny): "But I didn't want it to be family!!"
Yes, I really was that ridiculous!
So, for the past five months (while my daughter and her family are living with us and trying to restore their relationship and re-establish their family) I have spent alot more time in my room crying out to God for strength and compassion. Lamenting what I see as a major detour on my road to being useful to God and His kingdom, asking for direction and wisdom. Where do I fit? What do You want me to do? ect, ect.
Enter my wonderful husband with a book he bought for me called 'Introverts in the Church, Finding our Place in an Extroverted Culture.' This book has been life changing for me! Imagine my delight to find out that it is okay to prefer interaction with one or two people, to long for solitude, and to have a burning desire for wisdom and to know the secrets of God, to be so close to Him that I am His words, His actions. These are things that God has made a part of who I am, I am an introvert. What I had always thought was a self-conceited desire for fame is actually a deep desire for God's presence and knowledge and to be able to minister to others by passing it on. It is okay for me to want to be a Deborah!


A short story, ending to be determined

Once upon a time there was a married couple traveling down a road in a car. The woman didn’t like the roads that the man was choosing. They were quiet roads with few cars traveling on them; they were narrow roads, but he had a map and knew where he was going. The roads he chose had been traveled by many others in the past with success and although they did not have much scenery and there were no exciting attractions, there were many beautiful places to stop and enjoy each other’s company.

The woman was bored with the safety of these roads, she wanted to take the scenic routes, be adventurous and stop at the many attractions offered along the way. She hinted that they should take a scenic route just to see what it offered, but the man was caught up in his driving and didn’t hear her. She kept telling him that she just wanted to stop at one of the attractions and have some fun, but again the man was involved in his driving and did not heed her pleas. Finally the woman insisted that unless he would take her on a scenic route or two she would get out of their car to get her own car and never ride with him again.

Now the man didn’t want to take any scenic routes because he had already been on scenic routes in the past. He knew how easy it was to get lost on these scenic routes and that the excitement offered by these attractions was empty and short lived. She finally wore him down and he gave in but instead of going with her to guard her and protect her, he allowed her to go alone, thinking that she would tire of it quickly and return to the road they traveled together.

However, these outings only encouraged her adventurous spirit and did nothing to nurture the love they had for each other. She began to go for scenic drives more and more often and to be less and less satisfied with their travels together. Finally she informed the man that she no longer needed him to take her anywhere, she had her own car and was going to take the scenic routes all the time.

Now the man really did loved her and he apologized for his inattentiveness, told her he loved her and missed her, promised that he would listen to her and take her on a scenic route now and then and that he feared for her safety if she went alone. He asked her to please not take her own car, but to stay with him and he would let her do all the driving.

And so they did. They traveled the wide scenic road and stopped whenever the woman wanted to stop. The man would occasionally go with her but most of the time he just waited in the car. He would ask her to go back to the road they had traveled together but she didn’t want to. He would ask where they were going and what the destination was but the woman would reply that she didn’t know and that it didn’t matter. She would get angry and tell him that he could get out of the car whenever he wanted to, that he didn’t have to go with her. The man would then become silent because he loved her and wanted her in his life; he worried about her and knew that she was lost. He hoped that he could convince her to come back to the road they traveled together and that everything would be okay.

Will she get tired of the fast paced road that leads to nowhere?
Will his faithful companionship convince her of his love or cause him to be forever lost with her?

How do you think this story will end?

Longing - a poem 7/19/11

I see your beautiful face burdened with disappointment and disillusionment.

Where is the smile that lights your whole face?

Buried under pain and unrealized dreams.

Worn away by life's harsh winds.

Once upon a time there was a golden girl.

Joyful, full of life, determined to win at everything.

Greeting the sun with that smile and confidence.

Welcoming each day with arms outstretched.

Once you danced with God,

Once you marched to His beat,

How did the enemy coax you away?

Do you even know when you switched partners?

My heart aches to see joy in your face again,

I reach out to hold you and all I have in my arms is

memories and promises.

My heart weeps the tears that you don't shed

My heart aches for you.

End of the World 2011

May 21st 2011

Someone has declared that the end of the world is tomorrow, he says that he knows that Jesus is returning on that day. Even though God's Holy Bible says that no man will know the day or hour, this guys says he knows the secret.

I hear that people are stockpiling food, selling all they own, cashing in their bank accounts....why? Are they so convinced that they will be left? How sad is that?

Others are out partying, drinking themselves into a stupor, pretending that they are not afraid. Maybe they are not afraid but isn't that worse?

How sly is the enemy to keep causing these 'false alarms', drugging us into nonchalance, making the return of our King a joke.

One of these days (and no one knows when) He will return, there will be a trumpet sound, the sky will open up and He will appear in all His glory. We will then see the Creator of all things, the One who conquered death for us, who sacrificed all He had in order for us to be with the Father.

We will then realize how poorly we follow Him, how disobedient we really are. We will see how shallow our interests have been and how hollow our pursuits for happiness.

We will see the truth of His love for us, His faithfulness to us, how much He has desired our fellowship. We will see what we forfeited when we chose to please ourselves instead of pleasing Him. We will see how much better our lives on this earth could have been if we had chosen to live His way, in purity, kindness, focusing on others instead of ourselves.

We are a selfish, immoral, unfaithful, stubborn people and it amazes me to know that He loves us anyway, that He lovingly and patiently waits for us to see the error of our ways and turn to Him. The greatest gift He has ever given us is His grace - His 'undeserved favor'!

When He returns and you think you will go with Him, please examine your life and make sure it lines up with His plan for you; don't be surprised by getting left behind. Live by His Word, the Bible.

When He returns and you don't expect to go with Him, please know that He loves you and that is the last thing He wants! Nothing you have ever done will ever EVER stop Him from loving you and it is never NEVER too late to choose Him.

Those of you who wait for Him, who walk in righteousness and humility, hang tight til He returns. Continue to love His way, continue to stand for His ways, continue to fight for those who are lost, deceived or ignorant. Remember that the enemy is not flesh and blood, live in peace as best you can. Fight the good fight by prayer, worship and fasting. Fellowship with the family of God, find strength in the unity of His Spirit. Be strong and courageous.

He Will Return!