Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A man nobody wants to like ...

Anybody hazard a guess about who I might be referring to?



After reading Mesu Andrews thoughts on the book by Tosca Lee, "Iscariot" I decided to read the book.  It does make you think about the man who was once a little boy that had things happen in his life that caused him to make a really bad decision.  Tosca Lee takes us on a journey through the political situations and the people of the time.  I am being given a lot of food for thought about Judas.

Judas is a person that most people never want to feel anything for, but dislike even hatred.  To admit that through this book I am realizing that like all of us there is more to the story.  I know this is a fictional account of Judas, but the research that went into this book lasted 3 long years looking at the time and the possibilities.  
I am only half way through the book and will share more as I read on, but my first thoughts are read it for yourself.  It will challenge you.  It will make you ask some questions that perhaps you never wanted to voice out loud before?  It will make your faith stronger because I think you will truly realize how much you are loved. 

Tosca Lee put it beautifully on the back cover of her book, "History has called him nay things: Thief. Liar. Traitor. Reviled throughout history and infamous for his suicide, he is the man whose very name is synonymous with betrayal...And he is the only disciple that Jesus called "friend."

I can't tell you that I find this an easy read.  I am not just zooming through eager to find out what happens next...after all we know the ending to the story, but it is opening my eyes.  It is a difficult read, because of the true horrible things that happen in life.  It's not a fairy tale story, but yet I feel God's love reminding us that life isn't a fairy tale.  Life is difficult, but He is with us.  It's challenging, but He gives us the tools.  It's filled with love, because He paid the price.

Might want to put this on your summer read list.

Sweet blessings,

Monday, May 26, 2014

Walking and talking

Imagine yourself walking along the dirt road in the photo above with the person or persons that you discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly with...yes deep things, wonderful things, bad things, everything!  Now I want you to imagine a third person joining the discussion, perhaps at a moment that isn't one of your highest moments.  How does it make you feel?

Well, this morning take a moment to study the story found in Luke 24 of two friends traveling the road to Emmaus, when suddenly they are joined by Jesus, but they don't recognize Him.  They share all about what has happened over the last few days with Jesus being tried, convicted, and sent to the cross right up to the very morning where the women discover the tomb empty and these two confused men not realizing who is walking with them.  We are told that they kept from recognizing him in verse 16.  How often are we kept from realizing Jesus is walking with us?  Perhaps by our own eyes that don't see or our own sin that might be separating us or even just not trusting the things we read in the bible.

Is it something we might have done keeping us from realizing from our unbelief perhaps?  Do we believe God's Words?  If we do, then what about some of our conversations walking down the roads of life?  Do we realize He is right there in every conversation?  God is everywhere and sometimes this a great comfort and other times well maybe not so much?  It might be a discussion that someone hurt you, so your words are ugly, unforgiving and just not what you want Jesus to hear...but He does hear them!  How do we not recognize Him? 

Lately, I've felt the Lord showing me that it doesn't matter whether it's big or small, good or bad, not my shining moment - HE is right there.  I just have to recognize Him!  I've been searching my heart with the prayer Lord help me to turn to you and realize that indeed you've got me!  You've got each of us - it's just do we recognize this and believe it!

Today, ponder this scripture and remember in your own journey when the LORD did exactly this for you...
Luke 24:31
Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.  
Heavenly Father, today it is my prayer that indeed we open our eyes and recognize you walking the path of life with us.  Help us to know that comforting arm holding us up and helping us through is YOU through perhaps that friend walking the path too.  Thank you Father for bringing the friend along for the journey for those deep discussions and for those goose bump moments that only You provide.  I love you Lord.  Amen

Give thanks today that indeed God is with us everywhere, all the time!

Sweet blessings,

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Summer beginnings filled with things I love...

Every year they find their way back to add to their family.  I walk out on the porch and they just talk to me and not necessarily in a "Happy" way...but I love them anyway!

Patio filled with flowers!

More flowers and even more...the colors are awesome and the butterflies and hummingbirds are wonderful too!

My little guy, JJ.  He is not doing well, but still wants to be right with his mommy.  Please keep him in your prayers but also his mommy.  I need prayers about knowing when he is suffering too much and it becomes about me instead of taking care of my baby...thanks ahead of time for the prayers!

Sweet Annie who reminds me she is right here with me!

Amazing reads!  Did you catch the word "amazing"  this book is truly about a special woman's story of Jesus "really" changing her life.  I saw the book recommended on Ann Voskamps' site and I always take her word for something I might need to check out...and actually it showed up 2 other places as a must read.  Well, I knew that I was suppose to read it.  It did not disappoint and it will not disappoint you either.

It might convict you, but it will not disappoint.  Kristen shares about how a trip to Kenya rocked her whole world.  How "the stuff" we value now, probably might change after a trip to Kenya or where ever God might be leading you to respond with a YES!  Kristen shared these amazing words in her book, "God has  a unique purpose for you.  Your yes won't look like anyone else's yes; it will be completely one-of-a-kind, just like you."  I am going to link now to the purchase site on Amazon, because honestly you need to read this book!  Go now and order it....

I will share other books as I read this summer...

Hope you enjoy your summer as well and remember to say YES to your unique purpose God is calling you to!

Sweet blessings,

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Looking out a window

Question that I am pondering and wanted to hear some of your thoughts.

Yesterday, in my study time I came across something I had never realized before that really got my mind turning.  In fact, I haven't been able to get it off my mind.

Do you know in scripture that 3 times it is mentioned that 3 different women are looking out the window?  The thought that I read in one of the commentaries mentioned is that they were all opposed to the will of God.  The three women are Sisera's mother in Judges 5, Michal in 2 Samuel 6 and Jezebel in 2 Kings 9.  So I read all their stories and they all hit me differently.  Please go read the stories and give me your thoughts.

In the meantime, I began to ponder my own journey and the questions that perhaps the Spirit was asking me.  Am I sitting looking out my windows in fear rather than participating in God's desires for me?  Am I closed off to His desires because I sit inside and don't open up?  Do I think I am safe. if I keep the windows closed to the outside world?

The windows are such a powerful image for all of us to ponder.  The women in scripture are all women of power, they were all waiting on the return of someone for answers of their fate, and they were all very lonely women.  At least, I think so.

Sisera's mother perhaps is the one that bothers me the most.  She is awaiting the return of a son that wasn't going to return.  In Deborah's song, the words "Why is his chariot so long in coming?"  A mother that perhaps knows in her heart that something is wrong.  A mother that knew deep in her heart they were fighting for the wrong King.  She knew of God yet she and her son were fighting against His desires.

Michal was the daughter of Saul.  She was bitter.  She was angry and it was all spilling out the window.  She knew about God, but chose to be angry rather than forgive.  She shut herself off from freedom by harboring evil thoughts of jealousy and pride.

The last woman Jezebel well what does one say other than evil just filled her from top to bottom. She sat looking at the window to taunt Jehu.  She was a woman proud to be evil.  She even got up painted her eyes, fixed her hair and awaited for death.  No remorse.   No oops I better do something.  No just taunts to the end.

What are your thoughts about women looking out the window?  I am not implying it's wrong to look out our windows, but perhaps it's good food for thought that are we perhaps looking out dreaming instead of doing?  Are we looking out in longing for something that is someone else's?  Or perhaps we are looking out just enjoying the beauty that God created...

Please share your thoughts with me about looking out the window...

Sweet blessings,

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Our words

Do our words help others?  Do they inspire?  Do they encourage?  Do they influence?

I write this today with a heavy heart that our world is so mean spirited towards others.  I don't know if others believe this, but I do.  It seems we all think we have a right to just say whatever we think...Not to even mention do whatever we want, but I won't go there today.

Those close to me know I love the television show "Dancing with the Stars" and truly this season one of the dancers truly inspires me.  Inspires isn't even a word that totally grasps what this young woman is being able to do...a few of the words I would use are amazes, encourages, gives hope, she is truly living.  Yet, I read things on-line that are so mean.  When did we get to a place in our country that rather than just keep your mouth shut we try to totally destroy someone?

I know some will say "It's just the way it is" well I don't agree.  What happened to the old saying "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say it?"  Why is it so difficult to just keep your mouth shut?

Amy Purdy is truly an amazing woman.  I don't know the first thing about her other than what has been shared on the show about her loss of her legs and her near death experience.  I don't know anything other than she is taking a horrible situation and dancing through it.  She is encouraging other young people that might be in a similar situation to not give up on life, to just try.  She is quick stepping across that dance floor showing that indeed life goes on and you can get in the game of life or give up.  So why not allow this dance floor to help others?  Why do so many people feel the need to point out they don't think she is dancing?  Well, folks I would be willing to hazard a guess that she is dancing more than you or I could...I know she is doing way more than I ever could!  

Let's try to turn the tide beginning with our own selves...today, offer an encouraging word.  If you have a bad word, keep it to yourself.  Just keep quiet!  Don't offer your thought,if it isn't nice. Turn this tide around and be a ray of sunshine in this dark world today!  Let's be nice or just keep quiet!

Remember, the words found in Psalm 19:14 ~ "May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight. LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer."
or Proverbs 16:24 ~ "Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."

Father, today and everyday let my words be gracious and sweet to bring healing to others instead of injury.  Amen

Sweet blessings,