Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Under Cover

Have you ever felt you were an undercover agent? Recently that is exactly what I have felt like. I have not gone so far as to use my "shoe phone" yet. {if you don't know what that is you are too young, just enjoy the thought} I have been reading a lot lately about people that are standing up for what they believe. They are paying such a great price for their stand. Some have been whisked  away from their families, others are in prison and the worst was a whole church full of people were shot at and many died. I also am reading and doing a study on Paul. He was just about torn apart for speaking about what happened to him when he came face to face with Jesus. {No wonder I am practicing the undercover agent thing!}

Then I read another article asking if people can recognize what I stand for? Well of course, or maybe, perhaps not. What a terrible realization on my part. I grew up where my grandmother hit you over the head with a two by four when you first walked into her life, asking " Are you saved?" I swore that I would never badger people like that. So I went the exact opposite and made people guess where I was coming from. Two extremes neither one the preferred approach.

Now as I look at who I am and what it looks like to those on the outside I am not very well convinced I have the right approach still. I profess to be a Christian but would you know it if I didn't tell you? Perhaps, just perhaps,I am worrying about what the outside it saying, or what people think instead of what my love of the Savior looks like. The great thing about God {well one great thing} is that He is doing the work. He is making the changes in me. He adores me enough to put up with my imperfections {undercover agent}and gently corrects my walk and my talk. He knows my heart. He knows my thoughts. He is leading me the way I should be going. Doesn't that take a load off? It does for me. I don't have to be like the world thinks I should be! I can be exactly who God made me to be. What a relief! What a God!

Are you trying to be someone you are not or are you relaxing and being just who God created you to be?
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Are you REALLY Listening?

We live in a world today of lots of noise, but I think it was always this way just different types of noise. I was one of those kids that had to have it absolutely quiet to be able to do my homework. I couldn't seem to concentrate if there was a bird outside my window singing or a radio playing somewhere within earshot. My own children, however, were quite different. The television could be playing right next to them and they could get their homework done. Amazing!

We seem to have lots of things competing for our attention. Do you find yourself half listening? Are you listening to the television while someone is talking to you? Are you on the cellphone trying to listen while you are folding the clothes and the TV is on in the same room? Is it ok for you to do these things but do you want the person on the other end of the conversation to be listening intently to your valuable words?

I found myself in this predicament lately. I was watching a wonderful movie and my husband chose that moment to have a conversation. I was half listening to him and half listening to the movie. Needless to say I didn't hear either one very clearly. I either had to tune out my husband {not good} or tune out the movie {just at the good part too}, I finally had to turn and face my husband or I would be sucked into the movie never to return. {good choice on my part}

I started to think about all the times I have done just this. When someone was sitting right across from me telling me something, was I thinking about what wondrous words I was going to expound next, or listening, really listening to what was being said? Guilty as charged! It made me sad just to think of  my shallowness.

What about God? When I go to be alone with Him is He listening with one ear or tuning me out? Nope! I have His full attention. He has turned his face to me and is listening to my every word. He longs for me to talk with Him. Imagine that! He also expects me to be listening to what He has to say to me. Yep, He talks with us. We need to tune out the world and give Him our full attention. Just imagine the Creator of all things wanting to have a conversation with you! He never tells you just a minute, or can you hold that thought for a second? He wants to hear all we have to say to Him.

What are you waiting for, find a quiet place and start sharing your heart with the One that has all the time in the world to sit with you and listen!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

What are you afraid of?

Halloween has just passed and as a 4 year old, most things scare my grand daughter. This past Halloween was no exception. She was so excited to wear her pig costume! {not sure why but she adores pigs.} As the much anticipated evening approached she got a little apprehensive but she told her mom she was sure everyone else would be dressed as ponies and unicorns. I think this was to reassure herself that all would be well.

The much awaited evening was finally here! Her sister and she were dressed, goody bag in hand ready for the much longed for chocolate to fill their bags. As she approached the first house decorated in Halloween fashion, she informed her mom, "not that house mommy it is too scary!" So they passed by many houses until they found a plain "undecorated safe house" to make their first stop. A "trick or oink" was made and she received her treat! Great. However, as they were finishing up the evening they came to a house where the garage jutted out beyond the front door. My daughter had noticed this was a "safe house" {no decorations} so they pressed onward. They were not able to see the little boy, around 5 years, old dressed like a skeleton just stepping down from the porch and heading straight for them. As they both came to the corner of the garage at the same moment, disaster! My granddaughter screamed at the top of her lungs EEEEEEKKKKKKKKK, which made the little boy also scream at the top of his lungs AAAAAAKKKKK! The little boy's mother who was waiting at the street shouted, "its ok Davie its just the skeleton outfit" to which the little boy screamed, "where's the skeleton?" He forgot he WAS the skeleton! So now he is terrified there is a skeleton chasing him. Meanwhile the man whose home it was is rolling on the ground with laughter. The mother runs to get her son, my daughter apologies for the confusion and the man drops the candy in the bag between fits of laughter.

I was also rolling when my daughter related the evening to me. Then I got to thinking about the things that scare me, like my health problems, my son's tentative job situation, my husband's illness. Hmm, am I so different from my granddaughter? Am I living in fear of the unknown? Will I come around the next corner only to run into another scary problem? No, I have One who is greater than any problem or scary thing I could encounter. The Bible tells me in,

1 Peter 5:7

New International Version (NIV)
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.
This is hard to do at first but the more I do exactly this, give all these "scary skeletons" to God, the calmer I become. I remember that God is bigger than all my problems and He is able to do all things. So just like my granddaughter was "rescued" from the scary skeleton and received her prize, so will God rescue me from all my "scary problems" and I receive the prize of His wonderful peace!
So, what scares you and what will you do about it?