Pick Me…

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For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you…1 Thessalonians 1:4

No matter your age, there is always something thrilling about being picked or chosen.

Every summer our church allows the members to submit favorite hymns which are then selected by our music minister to be used during a Sunday service. At the start of the summer, I submitted three hymns and I have waited patiently for months to see if one of my choices made the cut.

Actually, I didn’t wait that patiently.

I would hustle in each Sunday and pick up the bulletin and quickly peruse it hoping to see my name. To be honest, all the hymns previously selected have been great but for some ridiculous reason, I wanted one of my choices to be sung. There is no rational explanation for my competitive behavior.

Yesterday, I rushed in to church and was thrilled to see my song, “Be Thou My Vision” as one of the choices for the service. I instantly behaved like a juvenile and was thrilled to the core. Such a silly girl. My family was thoroughly amused.

What is it about us that we need to feel special? We think we need to be picked. Truth is, we are already chosen. God chose us first…He knows the hairs on our head and He wove and knit us in our mother’s womb. How much better can it be than that?

I enjoyed the hymn but I reminded myself that what is most important is to worship the One who chose me. God loves us so much that He sent His only Son that we might know we are beloved. That is truly a concept I can grasp.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

She took the party with her…

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Creativity inspires me. Specifically, I love to collect various kinds of art. I have old traditional paintings, folk art paintings and sculptures in my home. 

One of my favorite sculptures is called “She took the party with her” and I just love this particular piece. It’s a lady with her hair wildly circling her head and she’s wide eyed and happy. She is in full-on celebration mode. To be honest, it is exactly how I feel. Some would say it is exactly how I look.

When I think about what I want on my headstone…I think those words would be perfect. I’m not a sour Christian. I’m a happy, glorious, in-your-face kinda Christian. Life is joy and life with Christ is something to celebrate.

When I crossover into glory, I hope to have my party shoes on with a heart that is ready to rejoice. Can it get any better than that? I think not.

Let’s party!

Is there a car line in heaven?

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I don’t mean to be irreverent but it struck me yesterday after waiting in line for various things (groceries, school pick-up, post office) that there might be a line to get into heaven.

If we were honest, we ALL want a guaranteed spot in heaven, but there are so MANY of us who want the same thing. After all this time in my earthly home, it just struck me funny that there might be a wait to get in. It’s probably not funny in truth.

I hope it is not a long wait.

I’m anxious to see Jesus. I’m anxious to see family. I’m not into delayed gratification. Is that selfish? I can wait my turn but I’m not big on waiting.

But maybe, just maybe, this life is our earthly wait to see Jesus. Maybe we are already in “line” for the King.

It’s what we do while we wait that makes the difference.

Be still and hear the cicadas…

Be still, and know that I am GodBe still. I’m not good at this.

No matter my supreme efforts, I can’t be still. I have tried many times and I have tried many ways but I am a constant form in motion. It has always been so.

I know this Bible verse is tremendously popular and calls us to action. But it really calls us to inaction. I like the action part better. I like to call to God openly and loudly…just like the cicadas.

In the South, we have a vocal litany that fills the night air comprised of our chatty cicada population who, through song, attempt to reach out to a mate. They are known as the loudest insects on the planet. I believe this. They want to be heard. They make a joyful noise.

And so it is with me. I may not be still but I know God and I know He loves me. I talk to him during my constant movements and I ask His blessings even though I can’t be still and listen for His voice sometimes. But I hear him. I hear Him loud and clear and I long to please God. 

I may move too much. I may not be still. But, I move forward and press on to reach a Father who loves me just the way I am. The great “I AM.”

Awards and Rewards

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I work hard at my daily job which has been to sell real estate for over 25 years. In return, I am often given awards for my accomplishments.

For a person who likes to hear good news and who likes to be acknowledged, rewards honestly mean little to me. I think I have thrown away most of these trophies over the years as I consider them thoughtful but not good for keeping myself focused.

Awards tend to make us think in the past. I like to think of what I am going to accomplish in the future.

I’m not one to dwell on previous performance – I am always looking forward to what is coming next. There is just something about my spirit that takes pride in a job well done. I don’t need a piece of hardware to make me feel special.

However, there is one exception to this rule. I seek God’s approval. God makes me feel special. He has blessed me with a career that I love and a chance to share it with others. That’s reward enough.

In my world, God’s number one.

“I the Lord search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” Jeremiah 17:10

A whisper in the wind…

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I like a breeze. A natural breeze, not a fan or air conditioning, but the breeze of nature. A light breeze that refreshes. 

When I watch the storm clouds roll in the sky, which happens with regular frequency in Florida, I feel the breeze before the storm. It’s a heady experience to sit and watch as the clouds billow over and the breeze starts to pick up swirling and churning the skies. It’s a warning or a reminder…I’m not sure which. But I know that God is not far away and is powerful.

Maybe that’s how God speaks to us sometimes. I feel a the wisp of air on my neck and it reminds me that I need some time with God in prayer. I feel a whisper and I know that I need to be still and wait for the storm to calm. I sense a breeze in my mind and I am renewed. My thoughts become clear.

I stand still and I let that feeling wash over me and I am calm. I am refreshed. I remember.

God is not far away…

He sends his word and melts them; he stirs up his breezes, and the waters flow. Psalm 147:18 (NIV)

I see the moon…

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Everybody has seen it. The nightly moon has been unusually luminous and beautiful. I find myself staring at the night sky glowing in the light of this moon and marveling at its beauty.

How can we ever deny an existence in God? Beautiful moons, singing birds, precious loved ones, and so much more. It’s all a vallidation to me of the existence of One who loves us more than we can imagine and created something stunning for us to enjoy. 

I see the moon and the moon sees me…a famous rhyme for children. But I see the moon and I see God. I see wonder. I see stars. I see something greater than man.

I see hope. Forever, amen.

I see the moon and the moon sees me
God bless the moon and God bless me
Please let the light that shines on me
Shine on the one I love

Choices

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I have never believed that everything in life is black or white. I believe in the idea that life is made of many colors and grays abound.

From the moment of birth to the moment of death, we make life decisions based upon our core beliefs. We don’t always make good decisions…but we should.

When you come to that point where you have to decide if you go left, right or straight…stop and think about God. But I would also ask you to think about your earthly family because this life is not just about our wishes and desires. It’s about thinking of someone else who cares deeply and even if you feel they don’t…someone does want the best for you.

No one is going to get it right 100% of the time. That’s a given. But if you realize that there is something and someONE more important than you…the odds are in your favor. You will make a good decision.

If you are having trouble making decisions, please ask for help. Suicide is and will always be a poor decision which leaves an everlasting heartache on those left behind.

This I know.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies;  and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26

You can have it all!

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Daily I am bombarded with emails that assure me that if I only do a certain number of steps, I can live a life of perfection.

Typically, with the one easy and affordable payment, all of my dreams will come true. Money back guaranteed.

I will work only at a job I love, have perfect relationships, effectively get my day organized so that everything is done quickly and efficiently, love and be loved…and more.

Seriously?

These are empty promises my friends. Life can not be perfect in seven easy steps. It doesn’t work that way although it doesn’t mean you can’t try. But, keep your expectations realistic.

For the manual that will clarify your dreams and goals, you only have to look at the Bible. It clearly shows a plan of action to ensure a life well lived. There are no promises for 100% daily perfection but it does promise perfect love from a Father who will never abandon you.

There is peace of mind in that simple and true fact…and I just shared it with you at no cost.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Philippians 3:14

 

 

Deacon’s first birthday

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Whenever I see a baby, the first thing that comes to my mind is that babies must smell like heaven.

A new baby is validation that this life holds promise and that earthly things can sometimes be too sweet for words.

My grandson turned one today and the past year seems like a blur. Deacon is a gift from God and he will grow up to learn about God’s everlasting love. His parents and both grandparents will work hard to encourage his personal relationship with Jesus Christ.  

I think back to Mary and the promised birth of the Messiah. She knew the end at the beginning and yet she had a moment of pure joy when the star glowed brightly, angels rejoiced and her beloved son was sought after and worshiped by wise men. The promise of greatness was present at His birth and remains so to this day. Immanuel, God with us.  

I’m grateful to God who gives us these precious blessings and graces us with moments that last a lifetime. A sweet baby born one year ago holds great promise for our family. We are overjoyed.

Babies do smell like heaven. I’m sure of it.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5