Bad News

Life keeps taking crazy turns. Each day the news interrupts life; revealing the darkness of the world we live in. Headlines scream across the screen of the next new terror that’s come to light. Not wanting to see it, we turn inward and end up looking at self and see the us we don’t want to see instead. Because the evil one is like that- he takes that evil he distributes through this world and makes it personal. He shows us all that is wrong in an attempt to blot out all that is right.

But darkness will never blot out the light. Can’t happen. Never. Ever.

When that personal attack comes- and it will- (he is nothing if not relentless in his accusations) how do I handle it? I sometimes think it might be easier if it was a once and done attack; however, the attacks are life long in this world; after all, that’s what he does- attack, again and again, over and over, until we are defeated or victorious.

Sometimes the attacks eat me alive. I dwell and dwell; blaming myself for all the miseries of the world and my world. At other times, I lash out at those I love most and lay the blame at their feet. I make rash decisions that I bitterly regret later. Regardless of my choice of response, there are consequences in this messed up world.

The emotional consequences are so hard for me. It’s difficult to remember that the here and now is just that. It is a blade of grass that fades away when its time is done. I remind myself that eternal life began the moment I believed. (John 3:16-17) That my life will continue long after this shell I now live in is consumed.

We all have moments, days, weeks, months, years we would obliterate completely from our lives. If only we could. So many things gone wrong. Where is the “do-over” for them? But would you do those things over that served a purpose in shaping who you are?

They are signposts, milestones, events that i will remember for the rest of my life while I draw breath. I don’t feel thankful that those things are part of my life most of the time. Yet, I realize that without them and the restoration and forgiveness that comes through Christ I would be useless. To God, to others, to myself.

I look to my God for help. He is the One who rescues me. The One who knows me better than I know myself. We are all broken vessels and He knows how broken we are. In those inward moments, we only see the brokenness in us. When we only see death and despair and destruction all around us He sees so much more. He sees what He intended He sees the way things were  as He designed them. His is the only validation we need. His creation, made in His image, for His pleasure to have fellowship with Him.

Because we believe, we are forgiven. Our sin no longer tips the balance in our lives. He grieves when we grieve, He holds on when we can’t and He loves us still through all things without regard to our actions, our thoughts, our preferences, our anger or our frustration.

He Loves Us.

Warts and all.

And in these days of frustration, anger, confusion, danger and despair He walks the wilderness with us.

In the silence He is there.

When we listen, we can hear His voice whisper on the wind:

I love you.

You are mine.

I call you by name and you are my precious one.

Never forget that.

Forget everything else but not that.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:7

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:27

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. John 17:15

New Year, New Season

Things keep changing around here. This is Texas and the weather changes as frequently as the second hand on the clock in these in between seasons. In between May and October there’s only one season: hot. The rest of the year it can be a surprise every morning and afternoon not to mention after dark when all bets are off. We’ve gone from 35 degree nights to 90 degree days in the same 24 hour period. Never a dull moment.

But the real change is that the husband is home all the time now. A bit earlier than we had marked on the calendar- about 3 years earlier. However, as we all know- we really do not have control over anything. So, here we are… home together. Again.

When seasons of life change how do you adjust?

We (I) found it interesting and frustrating at the same time; for about 3-4 weeks. Now it’s become as familiar as it was before the first baby arrived.

There’s lots of catching up to do. Seasons change as do people. We don’t notice the changes on the surface because they are still the same person we married {a long time ago, and far away}. But we both have changed in small ways. Our expectations are off because neither of us has responded in the ways we have come to expect of the other.

However in this one thing we can be sure- that we are still in this for the long haul and whatever that brings. We are so much more aware that things can change quickly and without warning- like our weather. It makes us appreciate the moments in time together.

He’s realizing that I’m a slow starter in the mornings and silence is my friend with music in the background for about the first two hours of the day.

And I’m realizing that he has more words in him than I ever thought possible….

So we give grace. And smile. Or frown. And we try not to bicker too much in front of the children since it upsets a son’s equilibrium.  OY!

 

Since my youth, God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvellous deeds. Even when I am old and grey, do not forsake me, my God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your mighty acts to all who are to come. Psalm 71:17-18

 

 

The Warning of Watchman Nee

I wish I had read the quote below as a young woman. But, I wouldn’t have been able to grasp the heart of it.

Spending time with God.

Deliberately. Always. All the time.

Constant, consistent Prayer.

Gut wrenching, pleading Prayer.

Hallelujah, jumping up and down, hands raised, singing Prayer.

Is the One you are talking to the convenient God you send arrow prayers to in the middle of traffic, or as you walk into a meeting?

Is He your backup, your last resort?

Is He the one you turn to when you just can’t face the day and what you know it brings?

I look back and realize that I have missed the point of talking with God many times in my life.

The One we are talking with is at the heart of the matter of Prayer.

I want this generation to know the reason we pray is the same reason we talk to our family, our friends.

Connection.

In order to keep our family and friend relationships vital, we connect as often as we can. In those relationships we are limited by the physical world.

But with God-He is present. Always. Even when we choose not to talk He is here. Now. When we believe in Jesus and His Holy Spirit is in us we always have access. We can always connect. Our relationship with Him that can not be severed

When we get busy, things are hectic and scheduled for us 24/7 we begin to ignore that connection. Like human connections- time passes and distance increases in our hearts and minds. We find more and more we are relying on our own abilities. And this is why this quote hit me in my conscience. I am guilty of just getting on with life in the everyday. I’m doing just fine under my own power.

Until I’m not.

In reading this quote I began to understand. I slip away under my own power. Deceived.

“He [Satan] will take away your prayer life little by little, and cause you to trust God less and less and yourself more and more, a little at a time. He will make you feel somewhat cleverer than before. Step by step, you are misled to rely more on your own gift, and step by step your heart is enticed away from the Lord.” —Watchman Nee

Only when I stay connected in prayer do I find my confidence, my trust in God increases. I can rest in Him. In knowing He does all things well. I stop being confident in myself and in the letting go I can be the me He designed me to be.

 “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:18