Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Christ-like Consistency

In thinking of the weather the last few days, I've been reminded that it's truly symbolic of how we can be in our walk with the Lord.  If we're not careful, we can be hot cold hot cold hot cold hot cold.  Not at all how we're supposed to be.  When we are saved, we take on the identity of Christ.  One thing Christ definitely is not is inconsistent.  So why are we?  Food for thought.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Face Forward... with Confidence

Have you ever found yourself about to come face to face with something (or let’s be honest… someone) you’ve been dreading? Is there a scripture that races through your mind in the moments immediately beforehand?
 
I’ve been there. I know what it’s like to be frozen with uncertainty and frankly, fear. I also know it can be extremely difficult to let that special, reassuring scripture apply to me…to the moment. In these moments, I have found it helps to personalize the scripture to the circumstance. In other words, when He says, “Fear not, for I am with thee”, I, in faith and by sheer determination, pray it as, “Fear not, Ann, for I am with you as you make plans for speaking with that pastor about something that could be controversial”. Maybe being specific isn’t all that important to you, but I have found this helps me go forward with confidence to handle whatever the not so enjoyable task may be.
 
Today, I felt you might be struggling with this…a way to face those giants of the day holding on to His promise for YOU…YOU personally.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Procrastinating Change

I’ve never been much of a procrastinator.  I am uncomfortably aggravated with folks who routinely are causing others a lot of standing around and waiting, waiting, waiting.  It’s rather rude, in my opinion. 

With that said, I’ve been one this early part of 2017.  I’ve put off, and repeated putting off, the job of taking down my Christmas decorations and stowing away….partly because of busy-ness, but mostly because, frankly, I’d become attached to those pretty little things!  And a bit of non-motivation creeped in, too. 

Now that most of my decorations are in boxes, bags, closets, wherever, I’m not missing those snowmen, favorite ornaments, the wise men or their friends so much.  I do dread finding a place for those “normal” dust-catchers to be displayed for the next 10 months or so.  Why am I always dreading something?  Well, mostly because change is like a death to me, in a way. 

This revelation came to me a few minutes ago.  Change will be.  Dread will come.  Procrastination can become a bigger part of my everyday patterns, but in the end, this time next year I won’t remember.  I seriously doubt I will remember these feelings around dealing with Christmas decorations.  I can, if I choose, take the time to remember that things of no eternal value are only in control of my life if I allow them to have that power.   Better yet, if I can remember He is in control, it’s OK!!!!  He’ll help me forget these dreads and get me on down the road changes and all, and I’ll survive just fine-----living in my TODAY led my Him.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Please Him.. He's the Only One Who Matters Anyway

My Christmas decorations are still up this February 10, 2017!!  They’ve been up since early December, 2016!

Yes, it bothers me sometimes when I dare let myself become aware that red and green are the primary colors in my house in February!  It’s supposed to be red and white for Valentine’s, right?  But since I don’t decorate for Valentine’s…have never had any red hearts, pictures of pink roses or boxes of CHOCOLATE to display, maybe it’s ok that red and green are still dominating the scene?

I know some may be wondering why it’s important, but my point/question today is:  How many things do we do just because we feel we’re SUPPOSED to do them?  How many hours of our week do we spend trying to DO the “right things” because we are consumed by “what they’ll think”?  Whoever “they” are.

Jesus was most always controversial in the eyes of a lot of people, but He was never controversial to His Heavenly Father.  I need to remember that at least as well as I remember not to let anybody into my house who wouldn’t be ok with me prolonging the huge job of packing up the red and green.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

God Looking In

"When we sing, when we pray, when we praise when we sing, He blesses again, and again...it's just God looking in". Aren't you glad He chooses to "look in" on what’s happening in our days as we journey towards Heaven?

Years ago I was in a beautiful church in Corpus Christi, TX...Sunday morning. It was a gorgeous day. In pastor's opening comments he said, "God, it's so obvious that You're looking in on us today.” Just as he said that, my eyes were drawn to a skylight just over the platform area…sunshine was pouring in, and the thought came to me that He IS looking in, and is that evermore something to celebrate? I think so. Thus, Dwight Liles and I wrote that song--GOD LOOKING IN.

I admit that in looking back over my life, there were times I would have probably preferred that He not be looking in on me.  You know, those times we blow it big time and know our attitude isn’t anything akin to having the mind of Christ.  Those times when our actions don’t say much more than how selfish we are, demanding our way, inconsiderate of others.

Yet, He still says He loves us, desires fellowship with us, and is faithful to continue that love and acceptance when we open the door to Him.  Now THAT is something to celebrate today!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Trusting Him in the New Year

This year of 2017 is still rather new.  At least for me it is.  I haven’t walked slowly since we entered this great year.

As I am beginning to think of the next 11 months, I don’t want to get lost in the “oh my, life is so hard, what in the world am I gonna do” frame of mind.  I admit that I don’t know what I’m gonna do about certain things (important things), but my goodness, HE’S ALREADY THERE.

We don’t walk in unknown paths… it’s all known to Him.  I’m sure my thoughts and words too often communicate a sense of being scared to death that He has run out of ideas, can’t come up with any new plans for my future, just doesn’t know which road to take.

May I never forget that my days were planned for me before one of them came to be…they were planned…my part is to be obedient. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Christmas Reflections

Reflecting a bit today.  I have to admit that each year I do that a lot about this time in December. Growing up on the cotton farm meant we worked hard (I mean HARD) from March through November - in the field around the barn - all of the place. (Of course Daddy's work in feeding the cows and mules, and on and on and on, never stopped).
 
About the second week in December things started to move towards playing and fun. Since we had gas heaters, we couldn't get that cedar tree tooooooo early or by Christmas Eve it would be brown and drooping!  But when it was time, Daddy or Mama and I would head out for "tree searching".  Usually, Daddy had already eyed 3 or 4 prospects along the pasture fence rows. The "right" tree would be cut down and anchored in a big pot filled with mud (anybody know about that?). Getting those ornaments out, many of them very old, was such a fun search.
 
The tree was just what it was....one of God's creations covered with loving memories and filled with delicious aroma for the next couple of weeks.  It certainly made a beautiful spot for hand-wrapped presents. 

Most of all, this was all about family and happily celebrating joy that only the Baby Boy Jesus could produce.​