A friend was talking about the sweet, tender heart of his young son as he was asking questions about salvation. I'm not sure of his age, but I believe him to be in kindergarten or first grade.
God deals in a special way with children who grow up in a Christian home. This is especially true of families who are in the ministry and their children, who have been in church nearly every time the doors were open from the time they were babies. These kids often spend countless hours in the church even if the doors are not open. They are comfortable there. It is their second home.
My own kids were all in church on their very first Sunday after their birth. Now, that means nothing at all except to me, so don't think I'm bragging or think my kids are special because of that. It was just a gesture that I made toward the Lord and it might be weird to anyone but Him. He gets me. Two of them were born on Friday. The Lord was so good to me to not give me any Saturday night...
I am blessed to have several options that pay well when it comes to career choices. God knew just where I would be at this point in my life. I sure didn't. I've told you before, if I had made a list of the ten thousand things that could possibly befall me throughout the rest of my life, what really happened to me would not have made that list. There's not even the slightest possibility.
But here I am. And I think about that almost every day. God knew. He had it all planned out. He knew the work that He would do in my heart. He knew of this website. He had prepared provisions for me. He has been with me every step of the way.
Why was I so scared?
God needed me scared. He needed me terrified and broken and without hope. He knew that I would run to Him. He knows me. Oh, the things that I've learned! The work He has done in my life. I am not even the same person that I was.
Amazing things are happening to me. Things that could only be the Lord. And I really mean only. Things that I could not plan out or plot if I sat and thought and schemed for a week long without sleeping.
Now, I have to tell you that I still sit and plan and scheme. I battle it every day. I try to make it seem spiritual. 'What should I do, Lord? Plan A or Plan B or Plan C? I know it has to be one of those. Those are my three possible options. Please tell me, Lord. What shall it be?'
I know that He shakes His head and laughs. He doesn't get mad at me. He knows me and He loves me very much. He responds to me as I respond to my children when they do such things. When I know something that they don't know and I see them scrambling. I smile lovingly on them. I marvel that they don't see what I see or know what I know.
He sees me like that. He loves me like that. Only way BIGGER!...
I am sitting here thinking about all of the little things that God does to encourage me. Small things that make me smile.
People explain away the hand of God by calling it coincidence. Even big things, like Sarah's Story. They say (or think) that it was just a matter of chance and that I'm really quite lucky to have such good fortune. I have been told that I need to play the lottery because of my luck.
Ha! If I ever bought even one lottery ticket I fear what would happen to me, because God would know that my heart had turned to luck and no longer saw Him as my source of every blessing. Now, I'm not saying that that's the way it would be for you; I'm just speaking for myself. God deals with His children differently and individually.
But one thing I know for sure. I would never win a dime! :)
Back to the little things. Even if you called the big things coincidence or luck, you would not be able to explain away the little things that God does for me e...
Today I will feature a blog post written by my sweet daughter, Sarah. If you are just now jumping in to my blog, you are going to want to go back and read a series of posts telling of the miracle that she and I shared together four years ago. You can find Part Four here, and that will lead you to the rest.
One day while I was recovering from my surgery, I was walking towards the entrance of a grocery store. My walking was very slow those first couple of weeks after surgery. I was in a lot of pain and I couldn't take prescription pain medication because, like my mom, they made me feel sick. So, I just dealt with the pain.
When I was still several feet from the entrance door of the store, a car pulled up beside me, honked their horn and rolled down their window. I looked over my shoulder and a woman screamed out the window, 'Is it even possible for you to walk any slower? I have places to be!' I rephrased the words a little because I can't actually write th...
Yesterday I mentioned God's mercy in the storm. The storm was the hurricane that recently passed our way.
After it was over, I noticed several posts on facebook concerning the damage done. There were more than five-hundred people who lost their lives in Haiti. In case you are a new reader, I will tell you that the nation of Haiti holds a very special place in my heart. I just returned a few weeks ago from Hispaniola after a visit with my missionary friends.
And so, I am greatly saddened by the loss of life in Haiti. The people there are extremely poor and many people died as a result of the inadequate shelter that they have as they face a storm of this magnitude. They just have no place of safety in which to hide.
When Matthew passed by the Florida coast, the center of the storm stayed a few miles out in the Atlantic, causing the damage to Florida to be less severe than most anticipated. Nine folks died in Florida; four were from my county.
Last week we had a storm. Now, I talk a lot about storms, but I am usually discussing the personal kind. The kind where life grabs you by the shirttail and tosses you around until you don't know what end is up. The kind of storm that always has a spiritual application and a great lesson to be learned. The kind of storm that causes you to run to the Lord (or, for some, sadly, away from Him) and hide under His protective wings.
This was not that kind of storm. This was the physical, weather-related kind. A storm classified as a hurricane. They had named it Matthew. I was in a location that would be hard hit if its first landfall blow was as predicted.
But, by the grace of God, the full force of the storm stayed out several miles over the ocean as it passed by my way. We still had wind forces of more than seventy-five miles an hour, which is nothing to sneeze at, but was much better than the one-hundred-thirty miles an hour that they had forecast...
I awoke this morning to a howling. A huge, loud howling! It sounded like a freight train was coming through. It took me a few moments to remember. But then I did. Hurricane Matthew!
I am in Florida, twenty-three miles from the ocean. And my particular part of the east coast of Florida was going to be hit the hardest if the eye of the storm made landfall. Well, technically, that beach is not mine. It's God's. Hmmm.
But they were saying last night that there was a likelihood of Matthew hitting the coast as a category 4 hurricane, with winds of up to a hundred-and-forty miles an hour. Yikes!
The governor held a news conference every few hours yesterday, imploring people who lived near the beaches to abandon everything and evacuate quickly. The warning was not sugar-coated. If you chose to stay, there was a strong likelihood that you would die. They asked anyone who chose not to evacuate to please dial 311 before the storm hit and leave...
There is a storm heading our way. A hurricane that has crossed the Caribbean and has passed through Cuba. Many lost their lives in Haiti. So many there are very poor and their meager shelter offered little protection from the storm. They are just ill-prepared. Sadness!
The forecast map for where it will make landfall on the east coast of Florida has been all over the place, with many stating the obvious-- that the projection map looks like the scribbling of a toddler. There must be two dozen arches representing possible paths that the hurricane could follow. One map I saw has little hearts working their way through the scribbling, just for effect.
Of course, they don't know. I don't care the cost of their fancy equipment, they are not God. That's one of the reasons I love weather. It is the absolute hand of God, and no man can claim otherwise.
Overnight last night the projections were narrowed down, and the prediction is not a great on...
I love myself. I think I'm grand.
When I go to movies, I hold my hand.
I put my arm around my waist,
And when I get fresh, I slap my face!
My mom used to recite this little rhyme when I was a little girl. Now that I think about it, it was probably meant to be a lesson for her children. Or maybe she was just trying to be funny. When I was a child, I thought of it as her theme song. Lol. My mom had been an only child and had problems in this area.
Self. How easy it is to see in others!
I often counsel folks who are in the midst of great adversity. If the world were to see their circumstances, they would say they were down on their luck. I'm sure by now that you know I don't believe in luck. Everything, and I mean everything is at the hand of God.
But one of the traps that people fall into is that their trouble is all that they can think about. And even worse than that, it's all that they can talk about. After a little while, no one wants to be...