Wednesday, March 17, 2010

GREEN pastures

These last 2 weeks have been just plain awful....& you can say that again! There has been sickness and more sickness and things just are not going the way I would like them to...I guess you could say the grass looks GREENER on the other side...BUT if I were on the other side~I'm sure there are those having sickness over there too!
Today is St. Patty's Day and it's usually a big hit around here because my husband is Irish and my girls are (obviously) Irish! We like to have corned beef sandwiches and make GREEN shakes and I even buy them a Green Shamrock T-shirt every year!!! But this year, I think we're settling on Cracker Barrel and getting our corned beef from them! I hope it's as good as what I make! ha,ha! JUST KIDDING!!! I find it so amazing how God gives me the words to put into this blog every time I reach out to do this...I entitled this blog "Green Pastures" because it's March 17th but also it's fitting for another reason~

I'm so grateful to have Jesus as my shepherd, are you? Psalm 23 says-since he is our shepherd, he will take care of everything we need...When you look at that picture-doesn't it just make you want to lie down in it? I do-I would want to roll all over that field!

It says, "he makes us lie down in GREEN PASTURES"-which is food for a sheep and then HE leads them to still waters for a drink! So as the Shepherd, it's HIS job to take care of us and the Bible says He will! "he restores my soul"-that means not ONLY will He take care of our physical needs but He will nourish our soul as well-spiritually and emotionally! His loving care puts our minds at ease so we can rest peacefully in Him. To be restored means to be refreshed and strengthened!!! Doesn't that sound wonderful?

I'll be honest I have believed in the past that Jesus can't really meet ALL my needs and that I can't be TOTALLY satisfied with Him...but the longer I'm alive, the more I realize that HE CAN and I need to give Him that chance to BE EVERYTHING!!! For some reason we tend to think that there is a "place" for God but I've finally come to the point where I realize He HAS TO BE EVERYTHING~ there's no other way to be truly happy!!!
"he guides us in paths of righteousness for HIS name sake"- and when we follow Him, we get to know Him better and have that assurance deep inside that we're doing His will, which brings Him glory.
"even though I walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death, I will fear NO evil"- we WILL have to go through valleys in our lives, but there is only a SHADOW of death & we have nothing to fear if we are God's children!
"your rod and staff, they comfort me"- which means Our shepherd carries that to protect us and as His sheep, it brings us comfort!
"you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies"- We can feast in safety and security even though we may have enemies all around us!
"you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows"- In Bible times, they would anoint someone's head prior to eating with them.
"surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever"-
It's really pretty simple-we need to be true to our God and follow Him-He knows the BEST way and has the power to meet our every need! If we simply read his Word, talk to Him, and do what He says-GOODNESS AND LOVE will follow us ALL the days of our lives!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Are you gonna pick up that needle?

Today I dropped a pin needle on the floor while I was cleaning and in such a hurry...Do you know how long it could take me to find that tiny little thing on my hardwood floor? So, I thought for a minute that I really didn't have time to look for it & that maybe if I remember later, I'd get to it! But THEN, I thought about one of my daughters coming downstairs and finding it in one of their cute little feet!UGH.....What do you think I did? All of a sudden I was on a MISSION to find it! And surprise, surprise in 2 seconds I found it! I guess the reason I'm telling you this story in my blog is because it made me think...Do you suppose there are people out there who would leave it there anyway, even knowing they could get a needle stuck in their foot later? I know there is because it reminded me of a REAL life story I read yesterday in 2 Chronicles. It was about a king named Jotham. He was a wonderful King who was good to his people and was courageous and won many battles. He sought the Lord even though He became powerful (unlike his father, Ussiah). He did just about everything right EXCEPT He didn't want to offend the people~ so he let THEM make their "own" decisions about the HIGH PLACES. See, the high places actually needed to be torn down because alot of idol worship and pagan activities took place there....Jotham was the KING and therefore could have done that~BUT he DIDN'T.....and because of that decision, his own son fell victim to the sin & enticements there!!! He allowed the needle to stay on the floor! OUCH!!!!
That made me so sad when I read that because I would never want to be a CAUSE in my children's hardships in life. Granted- everyone makes their own choices, but to know that I had a part in their problems or pain would grieve me so bad, I don't think I could stand it!
This blog is simply a reminder to pick up your needles! And if you have neglected to do so at one point or another (because truly-none of us are perfect & sometimes we miss them or didn't see them fall in the first place) then commit yourself to prayer TODAY and ask GOD to forgive you & make you more AWARE & concerned for your loved ones!!!

Friday, March 5, 2010

You gotta have heart!

Just sitting in my office this morning thinking about all the things I've had a "heart" for...Wow! The list could go on and on...From toys, to boys, to clothes, and friends, and family, and places, and things, and of course my Savior! We start out at a young age and naturally have a heart for certain things...I remember really enjoying singing. In fact, while watching t.v., I used to sing every commercial between shows~you know that had to be annoying! ha,ha! I also had a heart for people, I remember at a young age sitting in the backseat when my Dad was driving & passing people on the street that looked sad and it would make me cry! I enjoyed playing Ms. Pacman and playing "school". I also liked to preach and even made a tape! ha,ha!!
These "passions" of our heart never go away!!! If we are encouraged and those things are noticed then we have a good chance at being fulfilled in life. However, if these things are made fun of, overlooked, or rejected then we will wander away from them and end up doing things that are totally meaningless to us! Some people will be strong enough and courageous enough to find their way back to those passions. Some will live a resentful life and live day in and day out doing things they can "accept" but not "cherish" and talk themselves into believing everything's okay....
I've never been one that has been satisfied with "okay"...I have always wanted to be true to the passions and purposes God has placed inside of me but sometimes because of the way things have turned out in my life (things out of my control) I learned it was easier to NOT fight and just settle!!! Even though it's NOT at all what I wanted to do! What do you do when that passion is so strong in you but you just don't know how to MAKE it a reality??? When I get really ANGRY, I can make a change! But how do you make that change last? How do you stick to something when you haven't had a lot of support in the first place....I know, give up!!! ha,ha! I truly do believe if you have HEART you can accomplish what it is you have a heart for! I know a TON of people that have settled...but know very few that have actually accomplished what they have desired out of life....My cousin recently started going back to school to be a hair stylist & I'm so proud of her because that is something she has LOVED her whole life & so for her to find her passion even in her 30's is so AWESOME to me!!! God puts those things inside of us~ there's no telling how many people she can minister to while she's cutting their hair, if she so chooses!!!
Lately, I've had the opportunity to be using my voice at church...I feel so blessed and privileged every time, but I also get nervous b/c of those old "tapes" that play in the back of my mind where I remember being criticized for not being "confident" enough...It's so funny though-how could I have been confident? What was invested in me to make me confident? Voice lessons? NO, Security? NO a Role Model (like a Mom?) NO, a stage? NO...See~ this is where the resentment can come in.....BUT I refuse to let that dictate who I am or what I will become for Jesus Christ!!!! I will continue to get up and sing ANYWAY!!! After all these years of singing those tapes are wearing out though and barely work anymore....Praise God!!!
What do you need to do with your heart today? I say, FOLLOW IT!!!!! I don't care how old or young you may be, how secure or insecure you are....There will always be excuses or lies for you to believe! Live your life on purpose today & with courage! God will order your steps as you are seeking Him and trusting Him!
Deuteronomy 30:16-18
"For I command You today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commands, decrees, and laws; then You will live and increase and the Lord your God will bless You in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are disobedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess."
Just like He just ordered my steps by leading me to that verse!!! YAY!!! I get it....I am being COMMANDED to LOVE MY GOD and OBEY HIM-(his laws which are clear in His Word) BUT if my HEART is drawn to other gods (which can be people pleasing/status/accomplishments/education/money/ANYTHING other than Jesus Christ etc...etc...) and I choose to BOW DOWN to them than I am NOT BOWING DOWN TO GOD...because I CAN'T bow down to BOTH!!! Some PEOPLE want to be like little "mini-God's", they want to control others, get their own way, & have you bow down to them~ It is Vanity. Solomon talks about that in Proverbs and how the wayward women is so smooth and her words drip with honey but where does she lead a man? To Death! We can not continue to be "drawn in" by these type of "idols" in our life that are so smooth!!! I do NOT want to be destroyed, do you? My life has been destroyed enough because I didn't have enough HEART to stay away from Idols! If someone is smooth talking~ stay away from them!!!!
This verse is my new verse to live by: Isaiah 57:13 "When you cry out for help, let your COLLECTION OF IDOLS save you! The wind will carry all of them off, a mere breath will blow them away. BUT the man who makes ME his refuge will inherit the land and possess my holy mountain."
I've been there, I thought my little collection of idols could save me~ but guess what? They couldn' be honest, as I look back over my life, I can see how the Lord has guided me & how He was proving to me that HE ALONE was my REFUGE....and let me tell you, (WITH CONFIDENCE!!!!) HE is enough! I sooo love my Jesus-He is not like any man I've ever known!
Prov. 4:23 "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the WELLSPRING of Life"
I love you too~whoever you are reading this today!!!