Thursday, August 14, 2014

Be Careful Little Mind What You Think


I have just finished reading the book "God is Able" by Priscilla Shirer.  It is an awesome
 read. Since the reading of this book I have been challenged to ask myself "If I believe that God is able then why do I fret and doubt so much?"  Here is the thought that struck me as I was doing my praise, prayer and power walking the other day. I allow thoughts to stick in my brain that knock down my assurance of God's ability.  One of the thoughts that seems to trap me the most is "I am not that important so why would God want to do something for me?" I see why he would bless Billy Graham, Beth Moore or some great evangelist. (I know Negative Nelly popped up there) I have to admit that I am bad about putting human characteristics on him and expect him to produce the outcome that I want or I am going to allow my mind to go crazy with the negative about God. (He can't do that. He doesn't want to do it for me. I am not worthy of Him) Boy, I can let my minds go crazy to the point that I can convince myself that God doesn't even Love me.  I have started realizing  that anytime these thoughts go across my mind I need to  push them out and state the things that he has done for me: Saved me, provided for my needs, given me a family etc.  I have allowed my thoughts to determine my understanding of God's ability. I realize now that  God doesn't think like we think. 

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts. neither are your ways my ways." declares the Lord. "As the heavens are higher than the earth so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

I am glad that He doesn't think like me because I am a little off my rocker if you know what I mean. I know Paul would say that we need to take our thoughts captive. Sometimes we just have to  Yell at those things and get them out of there. I have started measuring my thoughts by this verse.  If the thought doesn't fit it is out of here.

...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things. 
Philippians 4:8
 
 This next week if you see me out walking and yelling at the sky you know that one of those stupid  thoughts just went flying past this old empty brain of mine and I am in the process of kicking it out.


 



Wednesday, July 30, 2014

No Tie July

My husband is a very conservative guy.  I have teased him about only wearing black, brown or blue so much he went out and has bought several wild golf shirts to wear. Well,,, I gave him a huge challenge.  I challenged him to not wear a tie for the month of July.  You may say that is no big deal but for Tim it is because you see he likes to wear ties. (Yes I married an old man. He has been old since he was 20) We are blessed with a great church no one really cares what you wear as long as you aren't showing things you shouldn't, if you know what I mean.  Anyway, it has been a unique adventure this past month.  I told him he even looked a little younger without the tie.  I don't know that he received many comments from church members.

Yesterday I asked Tim if he was going to continue the no tie idea into August the hottest month of the year.  He just shrugged and said," I don't know I like wearing ties."  Boy have times changed.  I remember the day that some ladies informed me that it wasn't proper for the pastors wife to go without panty hose in the summer. I also know that the pastor wasn't suppose to mow his yard in his shorts. People use to look down on you if you didn't dress up and now they look down on you if you do.

We can add this to the list of Satan distractions.
1. Traditional music vs. Contemporary music
2. Sunday night church vs. No Sunday night church
3. New King James vs. King James
4. Dress up vs. Casual

When are we ever going to learn that all of these are just a way to get us off track of our true mission. We are to be a group of believers that come together and worship God not each other.  We are there to walk beside each other in good and bad times.  We are there to hear the word that God has given our pastor. (And sometimes they are hard words to hear). We are there to show the lost world our Savior. I don't believe God cares what kind of singing your doing as long as you are praising him.  I don't think God cares if you get together on Sunday night as long as you are supporting each other through the week.  I don't think God cares if you read the New King James or the Old as long as you are reading the word.  And I don't think God cares what you have on as long as it brings Him the glory and not yourself.

 Hmmmmmm I wonder what church would look like if we had a little traditional with a dab of contemporary. There could be a speck of casual with a dollop of formal. I might even see a little bit of old with the new. (I know I just got creative with my words) My main thought for the week is that we don't let the distraction get in the way of bringing glory to our wonderful Savior.

So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31



Saturday, July 19, 2014

Happily Ever After


We moved to McAlester 4 ½ years ago and were blessed in meeting our friend Jim. This little man with a big smile always sat at the back of the church during early service and worshipped. He would greet you with a warm handshake and a slap on the back. There was no doubt that he loved life and used every minute to prove it. After being here a short time, he invited Tim to lunch. At the close of the meal, he asked Tim if he would mind going by the house to meet Mary. Jim's face would glow every time he spoke of her. He was like a young school boy with his first crush, even if he was in his later years. Tim agreed and they headed to the house. When they walked in the door Jim announced," I brought company" and had Tim follow him to the back of the house. There sat Mary all covered up in blankets. Her face was drooping on one side and she could not reach out to you because her body had been attacked by a terrible disease many years before. As the years passed Mary had slowly lost use of her body. Tim knelt beside her chair and took her hand. She looked at him and said with her slurred speech, "I know who you are your my pastor." She had been watching our worship services on TV. Jim stood by with pride and told the story of him and his bride. They were two opposites who fit together to be a whole. Mary being the practical one and Jim being the dreamer. They had been through the good and the bad and now here they were near the end of their journey. We grew to love and appreciate this couple as we watched a true love story unfold. You see Mary went to be with the Lord in February. Jim's passion was to be with Mary until the end. He knew he was ill but he wanted to take care of Mary first. He was able to be by her side until the day she went home to be with her Savior. As time passed since February, you could see Jim growing weaker and how much he missed his wife. This past Thursday Jim was reunited with his Mary. They are no longer trapped in bodies that are failing.

I tell you this story because I want you to know there is a "Happily Ever After" out there. Marriage is hard but it is worth fighting for. The world has gotten so good at saying, "if this doesn't work I can get out of it." (Yes, I have thought this myself) But I see God has given us some great example of what marriage is all about. I believe it is all about putting your spouse's needs ahead of your own. I don't know what Tim and I will face in the future but it is my prayer we face it together. Besides, I have given him permission to put me in a home if I go totally wacko. I pray we too can be that love story others can be encouraged by.


 

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh, So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate." Mark 107-9


 


 

Monday, July 7, 2014

I’m Not Perfect

A few months ago I attended a Minister's Wives conference. The first thing out of the speaker's mouth was that I needed to go home and tell everyone in my church that I was not perfect. I sat there with my mouth hanging open wondering what would make them think I was. Was it the way that I can't cook worth a flip. (I always bring the ice to the party). Maybe it is the fact that my children seem like saints. (We are empty nesters so out of sight out of mind) I know it is the way I can't seem to keep my mascara from running since these hot flashes have started. I'm sure it was the way I left the couch loaded down with laundry so I could go to this conference. As I walked back to meet with the other ladies from my church I thought I would let them know I wasn't perfect just in case they had been misled. We sat in a big circle as each lady told what they had learned at their conferences. When It came to me I just went for it and blurted out, "I'm not perfect." They all started laughing and said that they already knew that. I guess the fact that I never meet a stranger and I tell everything I know knocked me off of the Perfect List.

I know what the speaker was saying. She wanted us to let people know that we are real. Sometimes people see you in leadership and think you have it made. Well people, let me tell you we struggle with life just like everyone else. You name it and we have been there: Marriage is very hard when your husband is always gone saving someone else. Raising kids in the fishbowl while everyone is watching and giving you advice or gossiping about them is hard. Trying to stretch a dollar because most churches can't pay much is hard. Being looked down on because you have to take a job to make ends meet is hard. Being judged by what you wear, how you sit and what you say is hard. You get the idea. Life is hard for everyone no one is exempt from struggles.

Paul tells us to "become all things to all people so that we might win some." I agree with this statement. I believe that and I try to be as real as I can be so that others might see Christ in me. I hope all of us are being real so that God can use us. This does not mean that we have to display all our dirty laundry out there for everyone to see. I believe that God will open doors for us to use our experiences to help others as he sees fit. So people here it is "I AM NOT PERFECT AND NEITHER ARE YOU."


 

GET REAL


 

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

1 Corinthians 9:22