Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hanging on to what?

I love this photo!  Look at those adorable little eyes beckoning to his mommy raccoon (at least in my mind) HELP!  Barely hanging on, but yet he's hanging.

What are you barely hanging on to this late morning in November?  Are you hanging on to hurt feelings that perhaps you might need to let go of?  Or perhaps that statement that maybe we totally took the wrong way? Exactly what is it that you will not let go of?  Or perhaps you aren't like me and beat something into the ground that I should have let go of months ago - I'm happy for you!  I am striving to do better!

I have been at the office studying and came across this scripture that just touched my heart from Matthew 22:37-40 that Jesus spoke so beautifully: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  All the Law and Prophets hang on these two commandments."

Did you see what Jesus said the Law and prophets hang on to?  It hit me well if I was truly clinging to these words I wouldn't be hanging on to the hurt feelings or the other stuff!  What about you?  Which are you clinging to?  I don't think either of us are as cute as this baby raccoon clinging to these awful things, but I imagine that if we start clinging to these wonderful words that Jesus gave us we will all be a lot cuter inside and out!

Sweet blessings,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review: "The Weight of Mercy by Deb Richardson Moore

My first words I want to share is that this book is a wonderful example of Deb's favorite scripture which is Mark 8:34 -- where Jesus says, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."  I sent Deb a email with a few questions after reading her book and relating to so much of what Deb wrote about ministry serving the homeless.  The first was about her favorite scripture and I was so touched with her response.  Easy is not a word that is mentioned in the same breath with sharing about ministry with the homeless.  Rewarding, difficult, eye-opening, surprising, heart-warming, and so many other words describe this ministry, but never easy!  Deb's response about denying oneself is exactly what her ministry is all about along with sharing Jesus!

Deb shares beautifully through the story of the Triune Mercy Center in South Carolina exactly how she along with others are taking up the cross and following Jesus.  Jesus never told us it would be easy and it's not, which is exactly what she shares through this wonderful book.  The honestly of words shouted at her with anger, the awful smells that often times greet her upon arriving at her work along with the messy business of sharing about God's grace in a difficult setting.  Deb wasn't called to serve in a beautiful new sanctuary with the walls painted to match all the new pew swatches with the latest powerpoint worship setting; no she is called to minister to people that so desperately need to know about God's love where it isn't always easy to offer that hug is so needed!  She shares honestly that indeed it's not always what she wants to do, but it is where she is called to serve and serving is what this book is all about - service.

Finishing this book reminded me that people that enter into the Mercy Center must see hope when they look at Deb serving and digging knee deep into their world!  Allowing her world to be changed with the midnight phone calls of break-ins, or not giving up when the woman you placed so much hope into allowing her to serve and realizing that she is taking from the ministry, but yet she continues to show up daily to minister in their world!  Yes, she is the arms of Jesus to people that desperately need to feel those Mighty Arms!

I encourage you to purchase this book on and check it out for yourself.  I am including a special for your kindle to purchase this amazing book.  

Do you want your neatly wrapped package world to be rocked?  Well, purchase this book and read it to realize what getting down in the trenches might do to that neatly wrapped package!  Perhaps, God will use this book rock your world in a whole new way!  

Deb gets up daily to an adventure that God called her to and reading it you feel her passion for Jesus, you read about authentic real service with no pretense!  It's all about being real and Deb is just that being real for Her Savior! 

I hope you will read this wonderful book and share it with your friends!  I purchased the book for our office at Journey of Sisters, because I believe it is worth your time and your money!  A wonderful gift for yourself or your friends!

Sweet blessings,
Debbie Covington

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give thanks for family and all that implies!

Holidays usually mean getting together with all the family or with those you love!  We love them and they love us, but that also means accepting things about each other that we don't necessarily love.  Holidays bring busy schedules, which brings on short fuses, along with patience left the scene yesterday.  Anybody relate?

We rush all year long and we come into November and December on what is left over along with the rush of the season.  We gather together to share stories, laugh, eat, and celebrate thanks and joy when suddenly brings up a story that you don't think near as funny as the others do.  Oops, it starts!  Seriously, I love the family gathering together and truly being reminded how much I love each one.

I've been doing the Beth Moore study on James the brother of Jesus.  Imagine being the little half brother to Jesus!  Talk about some sibling issues of feeling well way less than this perfect older brother!  Yes, He truly is perfect not like our brothers or sisters that we make perfect in our own minds, but truly perfect and not to mention He is the Savior of the world!  I had never given this thought much thought until this study and I am someone that is open about the insecurity issues that I faced with my older brother's success on the golf course and my sister's beauty.  God's word once again helped me realize that all is healed through Jesus!

Imagine, Jesus hearing the words that his own brother thinks he having issues with his mind.  James lived in the house with Jesus, but yet was not a believer at first!  Read the different scriptures in the early stages of Jesus preaching and the things we learn, but most important we find him with the other believers praying when Peter escapes from prison.  Finally, he believes that indeed Jesus was the Savior.

I bring this up today because do you have relationships that need healing within your family?  Pray and ask God to show you the way to allow Him to heal the relationship. WE are not able to heal the relationship, but HE is!  So pray for God's guidance in using the right words, patience in understanding and letting go of situations that more thank likely they don't mean anything by they are human just like we are and we all need forgiveness and to let things go!  Yes, each and everyone of us all need to let go!  So let go and give thanks that you have family and that God makes each of us unique and we are all His children!

Jesus forgave his own family for not honoring him.  Read Mark 6 about among his relatives and in his own house a prophet without honor.  Yes, He was sent for His own family and they didn't realize who He was and yet He loved them just like He loves us.  We are all forgiven because He loved us first, not the other way around!

Love first your family member that needs to see and feel love and allow God's healing love to run all over each of you!  Invite Him into your gathering to sit at your tables and share His amazing love with everyone!

Sweet blessings,

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Like a clap of thunder

I found myself right back in the story of Samuel being called this morning because God wanted to teach me a little bit more about this special man.  

Yesterday, we talked about the tingle of God.  Riding in this morning the Lord brought the word tingle back to my mind, so I responded okay I'll give it another look when I get to my desk.  It was amazing what He once again taught me because I was obedient and responded!  

I started with the word tingle and it means in the original language of Hebrew exactly that tingle with the ears.  The commentary went on with these examples "like a clap of thunder", "slap both ears at once", or "make them smart with pain".  God was making a point loudly to the people and to Samuel.  I think God was doing the same with me through this story today.

First point that grasp my attention today was that it took Samuel going to Eli 3 times before Eli realized it was a Divine Appointment for Samuel.  He was the teacher and it took him a little while to grasp who was calling.  How often do we go to the wrong person?  Or how often does the teacher respond without grasping who might be needing a reply of ask the Lord to speak to you?  

Samuel was a young man in his early teens when he was called in this story.  He served the Lord, but did not yet have the personal relationship with the LORD to recognize His voice.  Yet he knew about Him, he served Him daily.  In fact, he was sleeping by the doors of the LORD to open them in the morning.  

I want you to picture this young man asleep it was still night, but dawn was near.  Because we are told that the lamp of God was not yet gone out we know it was nearing the early light and he heard his name.  Samuel was thinking it was his mentor, so he responded by going immediately to his teacher.  Don't you know he might have wanted to roll over and ignore it?  Think about early teenagers you know!  Okay, settled we all know that he might have been tempted to roll over, but he didn't he got up.  Not once, but 3 times to be sure he wasn't needed.

Finally, Eli realized that it was God wanting to share with Samuel.  Eli gave Samuel wonderful instructions about being a respectful, willing, and obedient servant.  At the time do you think Eli might have felt disappointment because he wasn't going to receive this special word?  Do you think deep in his being he knew God was going to share about Eli's family?  Eli knew he put his family before the LORD and ignored the things his children had done.  One commentary stated that in his heart he knew it was going to be about his judgment and that part of the discipline was that he did not receive the message himself that he had to receive it from his obedient student.  What words have someone stated to you recently that perhaps were a message that you didn't receive from the LORD, but were given from someone else in discipline?

Samuel received the harsh message about God disciplining Eli.  What did Samuel do?  Did he brag about it? Did he walk around the next morning shouting guess who talked to me about what He is about to do?  No, we are told he laid back down until morning and went about his chores.  In fact, he did not share with Eli until Eli made him share with him.

Yet he shared it!  Don't you know this was difficult for this young man?  Isn't it hard to tell an adult bad news, yet this young man had to do exactly that!  In fact, we are told that Samuel told him everything, hiding nothing from him.  Eli responded with resigned respect knowing exactly who God was and is!  He is LORD!

So much in this chapter for all of us to learn.  Are we listening to God?  Or perhaps continually running to someone else?  Also, when God does use us are we humble and remember that actually it is God doing it and He allows us to participate?

Wow, Samuel was a special young man that God used in a Mighty Way!  What special young person do you know that perhaps you need to direct to go lay down, ask the LORD to speak and then listen?  Then again maybe it is us that needs to follow this advice for ourselves!

Listening to the clap of thunder,

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

What makes you tingle?

What makes you tingle?  Is it being tickled?  What about someone running their finger down a chalkboard?  Good news?  Being cold?  What about when you hear from God?

Every time that I realize that God sees me I just tingle all over!  It is the most wonderful feeling not like the chalkboard experience, but that dies make you tingle too!  Reading from 1 Samuel 3 this morning about the calling of Samuel and God calling his name.  Several times Samuel hears, but mistakes it to be Eli calling him. When Eli finally realizes the Lord is speaking to Samuel,  he instructs Samuel to go, lie down and then ask the Lord to speak to Him when he calls and then to listen.

In 1 Samuel 3:11 these words spoke to my heart, "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle."  When were the last time your ears tingled with a word from God?  It is my prayer that you answer just a moment ago, or something like that, but if not ask Him to make your ears tingle!  Ask Him to show you His fingerprints all over your life and then pay attention when He responds!  Listen to the words that God wants to share with you.  Just like He shared with Samuel allow Him to tingle your ears!

Allowing my ears to tingle,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Honor your father and mother

I share a lot about my family and today is another day that I will share family stuff!  First I must share that I am very blessed with the gift of my parents and siblings!  We are very close and always say what we think to each other - sometimes not a good thing, but we always know that it doesn't matter what we say we love each other!  We are honest and yet we still know in our hearts that we are loved.

Our family hits a lot of milestones in November this year.  My parents will celebrate sixty years of marriage and my dad turns eighty.  Always I can tell you that my parents put us first in their life.  In early years of growing up we were their priority.  It wasn't about what social ladder they might climb, or what event they were missing always we were number one in their life.  We ate family dinner everyday at 5:00 together and shared about our day.  I am thankful that my parents knew how badly we needed them and so they placed us at the top of their list.  I love you both dearly for letting go of other stuff and making us your priority!

Second, my dad.  Any of you that know me know that I think he is number one.  He is a man with a heart as big as he is in size.  He helps others almost to a fault at times, but he taught us that people are what matters it is not the other stuff!  Many times I've watched him help and in turn he was teaching me what needed to be done in life.  I think the biggest compliment a girl pays her dad is when she marries someone a whole lot like her dad and I sure did that!  My hubby is exactly like my dad and I love them both beyond words!

Today is voting day and today is another first for my family.  All of you that know my dad know -  that he is a great business man, a man of opinions (whether you want it or not), a man with values, a man of compassion, but many of you may not know that he always supported candidates but did not actually vote.  Now this is not a good thing, but he felt this election was so very important that he admitted it was time to change this one detail in his journey.  So today at two weeks short of eighty he will make his path to the voting booth to actually pull the lever, because he felt this time he MUST take a stand that our country could not afford another 4 years.  Now I don't know how the election will turn out, but once again my dad is teaching me that  it is never too late to change your mind and follow your convictions even if it might be a little out what you had on your daily planner!  Also, both of my parents taught me that even if our man doesn't win the election today - we know that God will  win in the end!

Today, I am sharing about one of ten commandments from Exodus 20:12 - Honor your father and your mother...  I not only honor them I love them both beyond words!

Sweet blessings,