God never blinks

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It is easy to think we are not ready or worthy to share our faith. I know I feel that way sometimes. But then I remember the words of my Pastor Isaac Hunter: “God doesn’t blink”.

God doesn’t blink. He doesn’t wait for us to be perfect. If so, He would be waiting forever.

We can’t wait until we have enough Bible book smarts, till we are ordained, till we know it all. We will wait forever and our hurting world can’t wait that long. It’s like waiting until you are in shape to go to the gym. You have to step out in faith and start working out. You have to work hard, possibly stumble, pick yourself up and keep moving forward. What a wonderful witness.

Step out in faith. God is watching and He honors our efforts. It is in the conscious attempt to share our love for Jesus that matters. It may not be perfect, but to God, who never blinks, it is well done. I believe that God is proud of our desire to please Him by sharing Christ to a needy and hurting world.

God looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. Psalm 53:2 (NIV)

 

Warning Sounds…

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We were eating lunch with friends today when cell phones rang out a loud warning sound throughout the restaurant alerting everyone to a tornado watch. This is not a common occurrence in Orlando.

I sit here now with storm clouds hanging low outside my window casting an ominous dark glow over our home. The lightening and thunder are rattling the walls. It doesn’t look good out there.

In the midst of all this chaos, I hear the birds singing. Maybe it’s their own weather watch system, but I don’t think so. They are simply singing out loud and going about their day. The beautiful and melodious sound of our feathered friends reminds me to sing out loud and to not worry. When the storms come…sing. When you are threatened…sing. When you are fearful…sing.

As the song goes…”His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me”.

I don’t know about you but I sing because I’m happy…

TGIF

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O give thanks unto the Lord, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. Psalm 107:1

TGIF – I wonder where this started? Why should we just give thanks for Fridays? To many it symbolizes the end of the work week and the start of the weekend.

In truth, we should give thanks EVERY DAY and not just on Fridays. We have so much to be thankful for even when it seems like work is drudgery and life is hard. As Christians, we should be thankful each and every day for a loving Father who watches over us both now and forevermore.

I’m thankful. I’m thankful for Fridays and I am thankful for every day that God allows me to continue to share His love with you.

Have a great weekend then TGIM.

Rest assured…

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Most of my days are filled with activities and work and scheduling conflicts. I’m always on the go.

But at some point my body and my mind just wear out and let me know I need to rest. I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to rest. The minute I try to do so, my mind starts thinking of all the things that I could get done. All the things I need to get done and I worry about what is left undone.

Today, I slept till 10:30 am. I can’t remember the last time I slept that late. When I saw the clock, I could not believe that no phone rang, no child tried to wake me and the dogs laid quietly at my side. All the stars aligned today for a perfect morning of rest.

I realize that we have to work and we have to do things to support our families. But I also think that some days we just have to let ourselves be quiet and rest. It is in the resting that we are refreshed and ready to love others as Christ commands us to do. It is hard to love others when you don’t love yourself enough to take a break.

I think I will try to do it more often.

Everything old is new again

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Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

Time changes and old things became obsolete with new things replacing the old. We are just minor specks in an ever changing world.

From technology to social networking to how cars can drive themselves. Our world continues to evolve and change.

Remember the first cell phone? It was so exciting but today you would laugh at anyone lugging around a case with a portable charger and that giant cell phone. We will soon see cell phones that are worn like a watch or implanted under your skin (I’ll pass on that one). We already have cell phones that attach to your glasses.

Isn’t it amazing that no matter how worldly things change, Jesus is the same? It’s the one constant and reliable source of joy and peace in our lives. Our forms of worship, the way we read the Bible or share God’s word may change but our God never does.

I don’t mind change. I like it. But I also like knowing that we are daily made new in Christ. Don’t be totally transformed by this world and don’t forget the one who loves you more than any new technology, any thing of this world. Some things in life are just too important to change.

 For this God is our God for ever and ever: he will be our guide even unto death. Psalms 48:14 (KJV)

Duck Dynasty

ImageGrowing up in a lakefront home in Miami, Florida, I was lucky to watch nature in action. We had a lot of different birds, ducks, geese, storks and various beautiful water fowl. It was a great lesson in nature and how God’s creatures adapt and survive.

One day I noticed a small baby duck in the lake that was swimming in circles and trying desperately to get to shore. His wailing “peep” was pathetic. I walked into the water and retrieved him only to see that his leg was broken. My Dad rushed the duck to the vet who told him he could not be saved and that his leg would not heal. My Dad told the Veterinarian that he was going to bring the baby duck home to his kids and we would care for him.

The duck returned home and my Grandfather quickly named him “Gimpy”. Gimpy was not expected to live long but we kept him in our tub (I know about sanitation but we are talking about 9 year old kids here) and as he grew older we put him outside our back door. Despite the odds, Gimpy learned to hop on his one good leg and would even swim in the shallow water to bath himself although he could only swim in circles. For the most part, he lived on table scraps and sat under our shade tree every day. Our dog protecting him from other ducks who would do him harm (another nature lesson for another blog). We all had Gimpy’s back – he was safe with us.

Gimpy lived a long and I would like to think, happy life. He would let us pet him and was unafraid. He made the most of his disability and Gimpy was a great duck and a local celebrity. I’m glad Dad saved him from death.

And so it goes with our Father in heaven. It may sound trite but we are broken, bruised and damaged. Most would give up on our wrecked souls. But God looks down and gives us shelter, food and blessings. He loves us all – even the gimpy ones.

Poundcake with Jesus

There was a time (think my rebellious era) when I would choose sleep before Jesus. That is what my friends would say to tease me when I would not wake up and go to church. Sleep before Jesus. I was pretty pathetic.

I have matured greatly over the years. I enjoy getting up and going to church on Sunday and I love the liturgy of the worship service. There is something soothing, calm and reassuring about hearing the words spoken for so many decades to so many people.

But I’m also shallow enough to admit that I love the poundcake they serve in the fellowship hall after church. It is absolutely delicious. I have been trying to figure out which of the wonderful ladies of our church make this particular poundcake. I have to say…I choose Jesus AND poundcake.

We have a lot of silly sayings in our family. If a good parking space opens up in a crowded mall, we will look at each other and say “Jesus loves us” and when we get the end seats at a packed football game…”Jesus loves us”. When a new grandchild arrives you KNOW we say “Jesus loves us”. It’s an acknowledgement of our blessings both great and small.

Someone asked me to explain how I can believe in Jesus. This sweet soul wanted tangible proof of Jesus and I explained to him that I can’t fabricate DNA but I can share how His love has changed my life. I can share what a difference He has made for my family. I can explain the sense of peace that permeates my soul. I can explain a lot.

Worship this Sunday. Listen to the words that God is speaking to you through the service and sermon. Then enjoy a piece of poundcake and know that Jesus loves you!

Let it go!

 

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Have you heard the song  “Let it Go” from the Disney movie Frozen yet? If you haven’t you must be living in a cave somewhere. My 4-year old granddaughter can’t stop singing it at the top of her lungs.

She sings it in the car, in the front yard as she runs around waving her hands to freeze our trees, at the dinner table and obviously, in the shower. To say that she would not make it on the TV show “The Voice” is an understatement…she’s a “little pitchy dog”. Let’s just say she likes to make a joyful noise.

 The problem is, and it is a big problem…the song is catchy and it gets in your head and you find yourself singing it all day long. 

I am reminded of one of my dear elderly friends at church who each Sunday would sing the hymns with gusto. When I say gusto, I am meaning full boar operatic mode. I told her one day that I loved to hear her sing and she shared that she was formerly shy about singing hymns but then decided that the Lord wanted to hear her praise whether it was cringe-worthy or glorious so now she sings loud and proud.

 I have to admit, I have adopted her philosophy. I figure if you don’t like my vocal decibel you will know not to sit in front of me next time in church. I don’t make a scene but I’m not shy about singing praises to Jesus.

Let it go!

Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong

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Why do people want to argue? I honestly don’t know.

We are growing a culture of people who are commonly competitive with superior and opinionated people both within and without the church. How did this happen? What became of the concept of sharing ideas, agreeing to disagree and hearing all sides of a story? It’s a lost art.

Remember the days of WWJD? This seems to have become passé and forgotten by the church. Everyone is right and everyone is wrong.

If I hear the words “we are the one true church” on more time…I might lose it. But then again, I won’t.

Why can’t we all just get along? Why can’t we be forgiving? Why can’t we lay down our judgments? That’s the world I want to live in.

I don’t know about you but I am working on this giant plank in my eye – no time to worry about anyone else. When I’m perfect…I’ll let you know but don’t hold your breath.

Pax,

Linda

Dublin’s Doors

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I am one of the lucky souls who has been able to travel to Ireland and see Dublin as well as the surrounding Irish countryside. What a stunningly beautiful country with verdant shades of green on their buildings and throughout the landscape. It is really even more lovely than shown in photos.

Dublin features beautiful historic buildings with vibrant painted front doors. It’s exciting to walk on cobblestone streets across famous bridges and neighborhoods that have seen so much that is good in this world and so much that is also bad over the centuries. The people of Ireland are especially friendly and cordial. No one is a stranger in Ireland. If you knock at a Dublin door…chances are you will be welcomed.

On this St. Patrick’s Day in 2014, I want you to know there is more to this holiday than excess drinking and revelry. There really was a great man who changed Ireland for the better and led them into the Christian faith. Originally from England but brought to Ireland as a slave; St. Patrick used his time as a slave to embrace Christianity. Even after he was freed to England, St. Patrick chose instead to return to Ireland and minister to the Irish. The Celtic cross that so many of us cherish was designed by St. Patrick. He was a true man of God who loved Ireland passionately.

Matthew 7:7 says: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

I wonder what St. Patrick would think today? Not just of Ireland but of the world? A world that still greatly needs God more than ever. The patron Saint of Ireland would want better for all of us. May it be so.