“Buzz, Buzz, Buzz.” She was feeling drowsy as she awoke to that horrible buzzing from the alarm. “Time to get up already!,” she thought. Slowly she began her daily routine. First she would read her bible and then prayer time followed by exercises and preparations for work. This morning she felt extra need for guidance. “God please guide me though this day. I know you always guide me, but I feel the need for extra.”
She began to think about the many times God had directed her. Many years ago He showed her and her husband a new direction in life. She had been guided in the ways to raise the children. She had avoided accidents on the highways by His guidance. God had especially filled her with peace and strength just before her father died which gave her courage to make it through. She had been shown grace and mercy many times. As she thought about those times her faith began to grow and she felt confident that she would know what to do and when.
Just like any other day time quickly began to run out on her. She needed to leave for work but could not find her phone. She fumbled through her purse and finally at the bottom she found it. Opening Google maps she punched in the address and pressed go. Three routes showed up on the screen. One had a toll road and was not much faster so she dismissed it and moved on to the remaining two. Her favorite route was longer in miles but a less stressful drive. The shortest route had a good estimated time but usually filled in with traffic and she could expect to add around 10 or more extra minutes because of that. Though she wanted to take her favorite route she decided to take the shortest routes. She had that feeling again and did not want to do the wrong thing.
She left the house with all her stuff in hand. She unlocked the car and clumsily placed her purse and lunch and notebook on the seat beside her. With the seatbelt clicked in place and the phone navigation attached to the magnet she drove off. As she listened to the radio her mind began to drift off to politics and current events. She instinctively got over to the far right lane in anticipation of exiting the highway to follow her favorite route.
Then she realized she had decided to stay on this highway. Remembering that feeling she moved the car all the way to the left lane to remind herself she was staying on this route. A few minutes past her point of no return for the route, she heard a traffic report. The favorite route had a traffic accident that was causing a major back up. If she had taken it she quite possibly would have been late for work.
As she continued on her route she began thanking God for directing her steps once again. This was not the first time and she was sure it would not be the last time that God had helped her go the right way.
Proverbs 20:24 (NKJV)
A man’s steps are of the Lord;
How then can a man understand his own way?
Join me in taking some time this week to look how God has directed your steps. I will be back next week with more.
I have been trying to learn more and hone my writing skills in order to write picture books. I took a webinar this week and one of the action items I was given to do was to read my manuscript and write a hook sentence. This is one sentence that captures the plot and theme of your story, without giving away the ending. It compels the reader to want to read the whole manuscript.
I started thinking about this and know that it will take a while to get it right. Then I paused and wondered if I had to narrow my life down to one sentence what would it be? How could I condense my years of life and dreams and motivations down into one sentence? Is it even possible? I realized that usually it is either at award ceremonies or someone’s funerals that people try to sum up a life. But what if I were to do it today?
For me my life is summed up in the words of a friend who told me during our conversation, “You just want to do the right thing.” Thanks Kathy. That really sums up my life in a short sentence. It does not expand on the ideas but gets to the core of who I am. To make it a hook sentence I would have to expand a little on it.
Kitty is a Christian who desires to give Glory to God and do the right thing throughout her life, but when life gets in the way amazing things happen.
Are you hooked on following my life? Would you read a blog based on this statement? If yes then I have done a good job. If no then I need to keep working on it.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost and through trials, temptations and triumphs He made a way for all of us to be saved. How about that hook sentence for Jesus? Would you look into His life because of it? To find out more about this salvation you can read His book, The HOLY BIBLE.
Now I want to give you a challenge. Write a hook sentence for your life. It might take a while but I think it would be a good lesson in discovery for all of us. Make sure you convey your journey and plot for your life so far without giving away the end. And share your sentence with me in the comments. I would love to know what you come up with.
Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
As I contemplated what to write this week I had to spend some time in quiet. I had to get away where there was no TV or radio or anything. So this morning I tried going for a walk with Nemo but that was too hot and all I could think about was the heat. Then I decided to sit under the tree in the back yard. It was a bit cooler under there.
As I sat in my lawn chair, I looked up at the leaves and limbs that created the shade I was enjoying. “Tree, if you could talk what would you say?” I mused. As soon as the words left my mouth a breeze blew and gently moved the branches. As I watched, from one of the branches I saw a dead leaf fall to the ground. I understood the message for my blog. God had answered me through the tree.
“Let the breeze of the Holy Spirit move you and the dead things in your life will fall off.”
A leaf on a tree will fall off because it is no longer being fed or is not getting enough water. In a draught you will see the leaves dry up loose their grip and fall off. Now for deciduous trees you will see the leaves fall off every fall because their life span is over. Some of them turn fantastic colors and then fall to the ground. It can be a beautiful sight.
In our spiritual life if we are allowing the Holy Spirit’s breeze to move us, I believe what will be falling off of our lives will be what we are no longer feeding. Moving with the Holy Spirit we will be moving away from sinful things. If we are not feeding sinful behavior it will start to shrivel up and die off. Our lives will be leaner and more vibrant because the dead weight is gone. We will begin to feel more alive and excited about life.
So take this lesson from the tree. “Let the breeze of the Holy Spirit move you and the dead things in your life will fall off.”
Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
If I am being honest I would say that I go through my life feeling a bit like I haven’t lived up to my potential. Sometimes I feel that I haven’t done all I could do or gone everywhere I could have gone, or shared the gospel with enough people. And then God arranges a meeting with some missionary friends who helped me see that where I am is not the wrong place. They helped me see that I am a light right where I have been planted. They encouraged me to continue what I am doing and be the light where I am.
Funny I remember encouraging others the same way. And then God shows me that I am the one who needed the same encouragement. Today Bob and I had the wonderful privilege of spending time with Paul and Kathy Cagle who are missionaries who spend most of their time in Poland. Our friendship goes back to the 1990’s when we met them on a trip to Mexico. We became immediate friends and no matter how many miles are physically between us we have a wonderful bond that only God could create.
As we sat and shared a meal I had no agenda except to share pictures of the grandchildren. And then God encouraged me to share a book I have been working on with Kathy. I just happened to have a copy of it on my phone and she read it. She encouraged me to continue working on the stories and get them published. I am amazed how God works and directs me especially when I least expect it.
So remember this week, when you least expect it, you might also have an …and then God….moment. Remember to thank Him and share with others what God has done so they can thank God and share with others. We can all encourage one another with our moments. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
Psalm 52:8-9 NKJV
8But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
9 I will praise You forever,
Because You have done it;
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name, for it is good.
I have been meditating on Psalm 52 for a few months now off and on. My main focus is the ending with verse 8 and 9. You will notice that I have focused on the verbs related to these verses. Sometimes we read scripture and do not know how it applies to our lives. While praying one morning it hit me that if I focused on the actions I would know what to do to apply the Word to my life.
So here goes. “I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.” Why would I desire to be like an olive tree? I could think of some reasons but I believe the passage here relates to the fact that olives trees create olives and from olives come olive oil and olive oil has many uses in the house of God. So the take away from this part is that I am useful to God and must allow God to use me as He wills.
“I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.” Trust is very important because without trust I will not follow God. In order to trust I have to remove all doubting thoughts and dwell on the truth from God’s word. The things that He has done are so enormous and all move toward the same purpose that they become trustworthy. God will never leave or forsake me. God can heal, deliver and save. When we talk about God’s mercy to me it means that if I mess up He will allow me to repent and be made right with Him.
“I will praise You forever, because You have done it.” Praising God is easy in the good times. But the real test is how to praise God when everything is going wrong. I have learned the only way to do this is to step back out of the circumstances and realize that God is in control and I can trust Him. Sometimes I need to look at my past and remember what He did before in order to believe what He will do again. And if I trust Him I will praise Him.
“And In the presence of Your saints, I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” I wondered what waiting on God’s name meant. But then I broke it down and realized that God’s name is His character. In the bible there are many names of God and each one has to do with what God has done and who He is. To me waiting on His name is waiting to see the manifestation of what He has done in the past and will do in my future.
I believe there is a lot more to get out of these verses and this is only a start on that revelation. We serve a good God and serving Him means we should be useful, trust, praise and wait. Over the course of my life I am striving to attain this purpose. I am walking daily to make my way to the ultimate meeting with the creator of the universe. Won’t you join me in the quest?
I will be back next week with more.
Picture yourself driving on a two lane road with a speed limit of 45mph, there is traffic going both ways and it is marked as no passing. Now you are driving around 40mph and about to accelerate to 45mph when a car pulls up behind you and decides to pass. Three car lengths in front of you in the oncoming lane is a car. The driver behind you pulls out into oncoming traffic. You realize this could end up badly and move your car over toward the shoulder to make room for the terrible driver who appears to want to wreck their car. Somehow there is no collision and you watch as the car reenters the correct lane and then pulls up onto the next car in line and proceeds to once again pull out into oncoming traffic.
Imagine your relief that there was not an accident but your fear that someone might be killed by this driver if they are not stopped. This was my experience yesterday afternoon as I headed to the store. I wondered what the problem was with this driver and why they would risk their life and the lives of others to get one more spot.
I once made a similar mistake on a two lane highway. It was just after my mother’s funeral and my children and I were returning home. Early in the morning I pulled out to pass a very slow moving vehicle and realized someone was coming toward me about a mile or so away. I managed to get back into my lane but only after I entered a no passing zone. I was then pulled over by a police officer who happened to see the bad decision I made. After a warning he let me go and I no longer cared how long it took me to get there I just wanted to get home safely.
So when the driver of the car made their first mistake to pull out in front of a car I expected them to realize their mistake and not do it again, however that is not what happened. Usually I make mistakes because I am hurrying or not paying enough attention to what I am doing. I pray that my mistakes don’t harm anyone and that I learn from them. My most valuable lessons have been learned from mistakes. I thank God that He gives us grace to learn how to live in a manner pleasing to Him.
1 John 1:9 (NKJV)
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
When it comes to sinning against God, we can mess up once in a while and still be forgiven. But we must recognize that what we did was a sin in order to confess it as such and receive our forgiveness. My prayer this week is that we will recognize our mess ups for what they are and change our behavior in order to avoid them the next time. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.
This has been a tough week. Any week where there is a tragedy is difficult but this one was too close to home. My husband let me know what was going on as soon as I opened my eyes on Friday morning. It took me a long time to wrap my mind around what he told me. And over time the facts were clarified and some initial fears were calmed. The shooting that killed five police officers and injured six others was so wrong and unnecessary. What has gone wrong? What can we do?
In my nature I want to fix things. I want know the right thing to do to change what is wrong and make it right, but this isn’t always possible. So then I have to reign in my thoughts and figure out what I can do. I could sit around all day and wonder how we got here, but in reality this does not help me at all. So I need to live in this moment of time and figure out how I can help.
For this I can rely on past experience for help. When I was a housing and credit counselor I would spend my days helping people realize where they were financially and regardless of how they got there help them find a way to deal with their situation. Then we would work on building good financial habits moving forward.
Similarly as a Christian we accept people where they are and help them move forward toward God. It is up to them and God to deal with everything else. In the situation we find ourselves in today with shootings and bombings and just general destruction and disregard for life, what does God want?
I believe God wants to see how we will handle this. He is looking for the character of Christ in our actions and reactions. He is watching what is going on and wondering who will step up and cry out to Him for help. He is looking for prayer warriors and people with passion and compassion for others to step up and show the love of God in our society. He is looking to see who will shrink in fear and go into hiding. He is looking for those who will reach out and help those in fear to step out and be the light. He is looking for soldiers who will fight the good fight and keep their faith despite what happens around them. He is looking for those who get closer to Him and not further away.
Now the question becomes, which one of these will I be? I really want to run away from the situation and forget it happened, but that is impossible. When I am not sure what to do I can always find direction by looking at what not to do. Bringing God glory and pleasing Him is my number one priority. In Proverbs 6:16-19 we can see a list of things that show us what not to do.
Proverbs 6:16-19 NIV (my note)
There are six things the Lord hates,
seven that are detestable to him:
- haughty eyes, (pride)
- a lying tongue,
- hands that shed innocent blood,
- a heart that devises wicked schemes,
- feet that are quick to rush into evil,
- a false witness who pours out lies
- and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.
By avoiding what God hates I will be doing the right thing.
I resolve to:
- Be a light in the darkness by not allowing my actions and words to be what God hates.
- Show God’s love to everyone around me
- Help others walk away from actions that will incite more violence.
Will you join me in this quest? Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.