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Hiding Places


So they asked the LORD, “Where is he?”    And the LORD replied, “He is hiding among the baggage.”     1 Samuel 10:22 NLT

In our scripture verse today, Saul was doing his best to hide from being chosen as king.  The lots were cast, he was chosen, yet he was hiding among the baggage.  When the people could not find him, they asked God.  Of course, He knew Saul was hiding and He knew right where he was at.  What Saul didn’t know, didn’t realize, is that you can’t hide from God.

Have you ever been guilty of doing something, saying something, or even thinking something you were so ashamed of, that you hoped no one would ever find out?  We would rather forget these things ever happened.  We wish we could take back those words, or erase the thoughts from our mind.  Many have had things happen to them that they don’t want to remember.  Sometimes we can be so hurt, so mistreated, it would be easier to forget it than to deal with the guilt, shame, and even the scars left behind.

Often times, when faced with these circumstances, we hide.  We allow the shame, the guilt, and the fear of exposure to drive our actions, so we hide.  From each other.  From ourselves.  And from God.  After all, if we can keep it hidden, we can pretend it’s not there, right?  We do everything we can to bury the feelings, bury the guilt, bury the pain.

But God knows all our hiding places.  God knows all our faults.  Every thought, word, and deed.  He knows.  No matter how hard we struggle to keep them hidden.  He knows about the most embarrassing thing we have ever done.  He knows our shame.  He also knows our pain.

The good news is that even after we have come to Him.  Given our life to Him.  Put our faith in Him.  He is still knocking on the door of our soul.  He longs for us to come out of our hiding places and bear our deepest, darkest, and most painful secrets.  He already knows them anyway.  He longs for us to share with Him, not to humiliate us, but to offer healing and comfort.

When we share our hearts with Him, our WHOLE heart, we open ourselves up to the fullness of His power in our lives.  The power of His presence.  The power of love, mercy, and forgiveness.  The power of grace. It’s a mighty, healing power found only in Him.

We can choose to live our life hiding.  Trying desperately to hide the pain, the shame, and the guilt.  But we will be so busy keeping hidden, that we are exhausted.  And ultimately miss out on God’s best for our life.  Invite Him in. Even into your hiding places in your soul.  He is waiting.

 

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Posted by on February 6, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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I WANT it, and I WANT it NOW!!!


 

We live in an instant society.  We want everything in a hurry.

We log onto the internet and can open multiple pages at a time.  While you wait for a YouTube video to load, you can read the news, catch up on the latest gossip via Facebook, and even shop on Amazon.  No waiting.  We expect to drive through and pick up a quick dinner in less than five minutes.  We rarely use the stove to warm food…after all, the microwave produces heated food in a minute or two.  Don’t have the money saved to buy a new TV?  No worries.  You can run down and sign up for no payments and no interest for 6 months.  Take the TV home today and pay later.  No waiting.

Waiting is not something Americans are comfortable with.  So it’s no wonder, that when it comes to life choices, we don’t want to wait.  We want that perfect spouse NOW.  We want that new house NOW.  We want to be successful NOW.

But sometimes God answers our prayers by saying, “Not now.  Wait.”

This answer to prayer is a very hard one to accept.  We don’t understand why God would make us wait….and wait….and wait.  Often waiting is followed by giving up.  We become frustrated and decide for ourselves that we know better than Him.  If He won’t give us the answer now, we will do it ourselves.  It’s during those times that we often make life choices we later regret.

So why does God force us to wait on answers?  Why do we have to wait for what He has for us?

My pastor has been preaching on finding the will of God.  And this past Sunday, he brought something up I had never really thought of before.  We are constantly asking God to show us what He wants of us.  What to do.  We are constantly asking Him for the desires of our heart.  Yet, we often don’t do what He tells us.  The Bible is full of His instruction on how to live our life.  How often do we ignore what the Bible says because it’s not something we want to do?  It’s hard.  Being obedient to His word is uncomfortable, so we ignore His instruction that is clearly in black and white and pray and ask Him to send us a sign, a direction. Have you ever thought that He just may be making you wait because He is waiting for you to be obedient?

God wants us to be faithful and obedient to Him.  He wants us to use the Bible to help guide us and govern our life choices. When we choose our timing instead of His, we can miss the blessings He has in store for us.  When we refuse to wait on God, we will always be settling for second best.  His will is always better than anything we can do for ourselves. His will for our life includes following His commandments.

Even when it’s hard.

Even when it’s not what we want.

Even when we have to wait.

Follow Him.

Be obedient to Him.

Wait on Him.

 

You must be willing to wait without giving up.  After you have done what God wants you to do, God will give you what He promised you.                    –Hebrews 10:36

 

 

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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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He is There!


Stressed.

Frightened.

Anxious.

Overwhelmed.

Worried.

Discouraged.

Down-hearted.

Defeated.

Have you ever had a time in your life, even just a day in your life, where all these negative emotions were bombarding you all at once?  Have you ever felt that everything was against you?  No matter how hard you try, something always knocks your legs out from under you?

At times I feel like these things are my forever companions.

Everyday chaos of life.  Bad news.  Tragedy.  Trials.

There are so many things in life just waiting to give you a good punch in the gut.  To grab you by the ankles and pull you under just when you get your head above water.  You are fine one minute, the next you are drowning in the burdens of life.

Often times these feelings, these emotions are screaming so loudly in my ear, they almost drown out God’s voice of comfort and peace.  If I allow the problems of life to take over, it’s very easy to think God isn’t there.  After all, I can’t hear Him with all in my life that’s pulling me in every direction, screaming…

WORRY!

YOU’LL NEVER MAKE IT!

YOU CAN’T TAKE ANYMORE!

HOW WILL YOU EVER SURVIVE THIS?

YOU HAVE TO FIX THIS!

THINGS WILL NEVER GET BETTER.

YOU ARE DEFEATED.

The Bible tells us…..Be still and know that I am God.  (Psalm 46:10)

Be still.

Stop thinking about your problems.

Stop letting anxiety overtake you.

Just be still.

Meditate on Him.

He is God.  Nothing you face in life is too big, too hard for Him.  And He will carry you through it.  When life threatens to overtake you, consume you with pain and worry, seek Him.  The Bible is full of promises.  Promises of love, comfort, and peace.  Even amidst the trials.

Take your fear, your worry, your problems….and lay them at His feet.

Take those promises and claim them.

Stop listening to the screams. 

He is there.  To love you when you feel unloved.

He is there.  With the strength you need to overcome.

He is there.  To help you in your time of need.

He is there.   When your heart is breaking.

He is there.  Whispering…..

I love you.  You CAN do this.  You WILL get through this.  There is hope.  I will give you peace. 

Be still.  And hear His voice.

 

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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Judge Not!


 

**This post comes from a devotional book one of my boys has, “Discovering Purpose.” I just picked it up for the first time in a couple of months and it spoke to me so strongly, I thought I would share. Christians can easily turn their backs on others because they stand in judgment and somehow believe they are better than the non-churched or the lost.  EVERYONE needs Jesus.  It’s only by grace you are saved.  Not who you are.  Not where you come from.  His grace is free to ANYONE who seeks.  It’s important for us to remember we are called to BRING OTHERS TO HIM and LOVE OTHERS!  Not just those we deem worthy.  Let us rejoice when someone seeks Him, for whatever reason.  I’ve seen many, many walk in the church doors because they were forced to come by a family member, to impress a boyfriend/girlfriend, or just because they want to hang-out with a friend…..and God changed their life!  God can do ANYTHING for ANYONE. When you make someone feel unwelcome or unwanted or simply uncomfortable when they come to church, you just might be responsible for running them off from God.  We should always be careful not to stand in the way of God’s plan!  Instead, let’s devote ourselves to being apart of it!

Stop judging others, and you will not be judged.  Stop criticizing others, or it will all come back on you.  If you forgive others, you will be forgiven.     —Luke 6:37

Here’s something worth thinking about:  If you judge other people harshly, God will judge you in the same fashion.  But that’s not all (thank goodness!).  The Bible also promises that if you forgive others, you, too, will be forgiven.  Have you developed the bad habit of behaving yourself like an amateur judge and jury, assigning blame and condemnation wherever you go?  If so it’s time to grow up and obey God. 

When it comes to judging everything and everybody, God doesn’t need your help… and He doesn’t want it.  So the next time you’re beset by the temptation to judge another human being’s motives, catch yourself before you make that mistake.  Don’t be a judge, be a witness.

You’re ability to judge others requires a divine insight that you simply don’t have.  So do everybody (including yourself) a favor:  don’t judge.

 

 

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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Can’t Fix Stupid!


You just can’t fix stupid.  It’s one of my favorite sayings.

It applies to so many!  For some, it seems they feed off of stupidity. Live in a perpetual state of stupid. In their choices.  In their language.  In their attitudes.

It’s harsh, I know.  But in reality, I think most are guilty from time to time of becoming exasperated with those around us.  It’s easy to sit back and see others’ mistakes (while conveniently overlooking our own).  The foolishness in their life choices or even their everyday decisions.  It’s easy to judge them and their crazy behavior.

But it only takes a moment of retrospection to realize that I can be just as ridiculous as any other.  I have walked down that road of selfish, irrational, ridiculous, stupidity in my life choices more times than I care to recall. I even revisit it every now and then.  Stupidity seems to be an old friend of mine that I just can’t let go of.  I’m sure that phrase I throw around so readily has been thrown in my direction a time or ten.  We all have our moments.

Sometimes our irrational behavior is a result of silliness.  Folly. It’s usually short-lived.  A moment of insanity.

Other times it’s a result of being uneducated.  You simply don’t know any better.  When you learn better, you do better.

Even still, sometimes erratic behavior comes as a result of being hurt.  Deeply.  We throw caution and wisdom to the wind because we just want to feel better.  We tire of the burdens we carry, the problems life throws at us, and throw our hands in the air.  Just do what feels good.  Sure, it may be a mistake.  But in the moment, we get a little relief.  And that makes it easy to ignore the consequences that will follow later.

It’s easy to become impatient with others when they live in a state of perpetual stupidity.  You just want them to grow up.  To get a grip.  Enough already.  They made their bed, now they can lay in it!

But we are called to a higher standard.  We are called to love those, even in their moments of stupidity. Even when bad choices consume their lives.  Even when they fall into a cycle of negative behavior.

The Bible commands us to be tenderhearted.  Patient.  Kind.  Gentle.  Have mercy on others.  Yes, even when enough is enough.  Even when they need to get a grip.  Even when they need to grow up.  We must love others through their times of struggle.  At times we may have to help them pick up the pieces of their broken lives.  The mess they’ve made.  It’s at those times it’s important to handle them with tenderhearted kindness.  Mercy.  Humility.  Gentleness.  And definitely patience.

After all, that’s exactly what the Father does for us. I’m sure He daily shakes His head in disbelief at my choices.  My thoughts.  And my actions.  Yet, He never washes His hands of me.  He picks me up, dusts me off, helps to put the pieces back together.  And even renews my heart and soul. His mercies are new every morning!

Let’s remember to treat others the way He treats us…. with compassion.  No, you can’t fix stupid. But you can love someone through it.  Pray them through it.  And show them God’s love through our care and love for them.

Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.   –Colossians 3:12

 

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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Daily Devotions

 

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Just What I Needed, Just in Time


Exercise
Devotion for youth/blog
School
Devotion with kids
Pick up trash in yard (Left a bag out and the animals paid a visit.  Yay.)
Laundry
Re-organize your desk. (The prefix, RE is important here…..implies a repetitive action.  Meaning I can’t keep it organized…. *rolls eyes*)
Prepare lunch
Play cards with the kids
Purge bookshelf and pack away for yard sale
Mop bathroom.  Again
Clean bedside table
Study lesson for youth tomorrow at church
Prepare dinner.  Fajitas
Call ATT about Stephen’s phone
Pay car note.  Don’t forget!
Mop kitchen.  Again. 
Make grocery list.
Organize entertainment cabinet.

This is my to-do list for today.  Let me repeat.  This is my TO-DO LIST for TODAY!  As I look back over my list, I am completely overwhelmed.  Yesterday was a good day.  I made my list, felt really good about it, tackled it with fervor and gusto.  Yesterday I was productive.  Yesterday I worked my patooty off.

Today, I feel tired.  Overwhelmed.  Frustrated.  Today, I am on the verge of wanting to throw myself a pity party.  After all, check out that list.  And if truth be known, that’s not all I need to accomplish today.  Today, just looking at the list makes it hard to breathe.

I see nothing on the list that is about me.

What about adding a pedicure to the list?  I desperately need one.  There’s no time OR budget for that.

What about curling up with a good book?  It would be hard to focus with the kids constantly needing me.

What about a girls’ night out?  Get away from it all?  The hubby wouldn’t be thrilled about that.  Who would cook supper?  Besides, I haven’t talked to my ‘girls’ in so long, I’m not sure they remember who I am.

I toss my arms in the air in frustration.  I begin to become annoyed and agitated over the simplest things.  Someone is constantly needing something from me.  Chores are constantly calling me.

Doesn’t anyone see what all I do for them?  Don’t they appreciate anything?

That’s when the still small voice whispers, “I understand.  I love you.”

And my world begins to spin.  Just like that.

I am reminded of my amazing God who is mighty to save.  He who can move mountains, was there.  Listening to me complain.  He who commands the universe was there.  Listening to me whine.  He who created the heavens and the earth was there.  Watching me throw a full-blown pity party.

I’m sure my pitiful moaning, whining, and complaining were pretty pathetic in the eyes of my Lord.

But instead of scolding, I heard Him say, “I understand.  I love you.”

Instead of turning from me in frustration, He wrapped me in His love and comfort.  Reminding me of how my love and comfort are important for those I serve.

He does understand not being appreciated.  He does understand doing and doing and doing for others and getting nothing in return. He does understand giving your all to others, only to hear more demands.  More needs. More wants.

Suddenly, as I look back over my list, I realize I forgot to add quiet time to it.  With all I had to do, I had forgotten to make an appointment with my Rock.  My Strength.  My Love.  My Savior.

No wonder I feel overwhelmed!  I haven’t fueled up on God’s goodness. Quickly, I grab my Bible, my iPad (for worship tunes), and I fall to the couch.  I forget about the list.  I forget about all I have to do today because I realize without Him…. without His encouragement, I will accomplish nothing.

That’s how it happened.  Just like that.  God swooped in and gave me just what I needed, just in time.

I am re-fueled and ready to face my day.  I am energized and eager to tackle the tasks ahead.  The list is toast.  When God is with me, who can be against me?

My perspective has now changed.  Those items on my list, I will do to honor Him.  To be a good wife and mother.  To train my kids in the way they should go.  To serve my Lord.

After all, He’s done for me.  That’s the least I can do for Him.

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Posted by on January 10, 2012 in Daily Devotions, It's my life.....

 

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Random Raves, Rants, and Ridiculousness


It’s the new year and I must say it has gotten off to a ridiculously amazing start.  Not that anything big has happened, or my problems have dissolved into thin air, or that my life is finally free from calamity and perpetual busy-ness……. but somehow I feel at peace with the chaos.  And to top it all off……….the kids and hubby are in bed.  I am left alone, drinking coffee, left with a mind moving 90 to nothing, wound up like a three day clock.  You know what that means………

Drum roll, puhleeezeeeeee……………….

I said, DRUM ROLL, PUHLLEEEEEZZZZZEEE!

You get a random list!   And not just any random list…but one that includes rants, raves, and yes, even some ridiculousness!  I’m so proud of my alliteration!

♠  I just absolutely LOVE eating Shredded Mini-Wheats.  Healthy and yummy. I began eating them because I was on the quest to eat healthier.  And I thought the fiber would be great for my digestive system.  No one bothered to tell me that you have to drink PILES and PILES of water in order to get the maximum fiber benefit.  What I have found out the hard way is the fiber basically serves as a huge cork when you don’t drink enough water.  Since I don’t drink a lot of anything, this serves as a serious problem.  Since I’m not a bottle of wine, I really don’t need a cork.  Yea, I know.  Too much information.  Sorry.

♣  I heard Drew Barrymore is giving up vegetarianism because her new fiance’ is a meat and potatoes kinda guy.  Really?  Fickle much?  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE me some meat and potatoes, but giving up your own beliefs because of your boyfriend?  Shallow as a wading pool, right there.

Unless your fiance’ wants to eat them.  Then it’s, like, totally ok.

♥ Apparently, dogs will actually EAT anything.  For real.  Chew it up and swallow it.  ANYTHING.  Unfortunately their bodies are not as eager to digest said items and can result in serious illness.  Two weeks of a puking dog and $487 later, I think mine will live.  Oh, this was a three for one (lessons learned, that is).  Lesson two is I cannot live with the thought of living without my dog.  Which makes me a prime target for the vet.  Lesson three… My dog’s puke doesn’t stink, which greatly aids in cleaning up puke all over the house.  Too bad I can’t say that for what comes out the other end.

♦ Hollywood has completely run dry on creative talent.  Seriously, how many more remakes can they make before they run slap out?  There are very few original plots for movies these days.  Everything is a remake.  Those that aren’t remakes, for the most part, are simply filled with vulgarities and perversion.  The days of a good story seem to be gone.  *Sigh*

♠  Cereal is better eaten in a cup.  I don’t know why and I have tried to figure it out, with no luck.  All I know is cereal tastes better when served in a cup.  Try it.  You’ll see, I’m right.

♣  Facebook is without a doubt, hands-down the fastest, most efficient way to spread news.  News can go viral in record time via Facebook.  It’s important to note the rate of speed is directly related to the level of drama involved in said news. There is no better source for up to the minute obituaries, relationship statuses, weather info, local gossip, and even real live news.  Forget CNN.  Check your Facebook for the latest in news updates!

♥ Did you notice my bulletin points are the symbols for playing cards?  How cool is that?  Well, ok.  Maybe not THAT cool, but at least it IS different.

Elin Nordegren (aka Tiger Woods‘ ex-wife) just demolished the$12 million home she purchased earlier this year.  Her architects and builders say it made more economical sense to demolish and rebuild a new mansion siting the house was not built to withstand hurricanes.  Later, it was also found the house was infested with termites.  Hmmmmmm……….wouldn’t that be something you would check into before you paid TWELVE MILLION??  That money could go a long way to do some good in this world.  I realize she was cheated on and humiliated for the whole world to see.  But she just turned herself into as big an idiot as that ex of hers.  Now she plans to rebuild a new house that will probably cost even more. Ridiculous!

$12 million.  Demolished.  For real.

I just realized I forgot to publish this post this last night.  So here I sit, in the middle of the afternoon, tired from staying up too late, strung out on coffee.  I think should add a nap to my list before publishing.  Now that’s something to RAVE about!

 

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Posted by on January 9, 2012 in It's my life....., Randomocity

 

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