Friday, January 17, 2014

Just One Breath...

My night ended like every other night.  I locked the doors, turned out the lights and then slipped my tired body into bed.  I had no warning, nothing to prepare me for what would happen only a couple hours later.  

That morning, I went into the office and worked for several hours and had casual conversations with my co-workers/friends.  I had my nails filled on my lunch hour and stopped by the store for the ingredients needed for my dinner.  I had been craving taco’s for a few days, so I decided I would make them for dinner that night.  After posting “Guess what I’m having for dinner” on Facebook, two of my kids decided to visit us that night.  Of course it was to see me and Dan.  We had a good laugh over it, and I committed to not post on Facebook “what’s for dinner” if we expected to have any leftovers.  

You see, nothing extraordinary in my day that would warn me what was to come.  As I moved about the day, going through the motions, I took for granted that tomorrow would be the same.  Only now I know it wasn’t.  

After a couple of games of Sudoku on my iPad, I put it aside and drifted off to sleep. At 12:55 AM  it happened.  I awoke from my bed sitting straight up and completely unable to breathe.  I’ve never had this happen before.  I immediately began to panic as I struggled to catch my breath.   At this point, Dan was running around the room turning on lights shouting “what’s wrong?”  Only I couldn’t respond as I was coughing, wheezing and trying to breathe.  For a moment it appeared to be a dream, one that I wanted to wake up from.  It felt like hours passed, and I couldn’t get any air in my lungs, when at last I coughed and was finally able to take in that life saving oxygen.  

As I look back on this experience this week, it was a frightening moment but I realized how precious my life really is.  I am not guaranteed one more year, one more day or even one minute on this earth.  We are all one breath away from life and death.  One step from victory and defeat.  One choice away from good and evil.  One prayer away from Heaven and Hell.  

Joshua 24:15 Choose you this day, whom you will serve!  

Your just one breath away, just one step, just one choice and just one prayer.
Choose life, choose victory, choose good and say One prayer.  “Jesus, please forgive me of my sins and come be Lord of my life.”  


PS. I am fine.  I have LPR (silent reflux) and I have not been eating right so it was out of control.  Back to my strict diet the next day. 

Monday, December 30, 2013

I Am A Trash Can!  What?

This past week while shopping, I took a detour through a local fast food restaurant for a drink of Sweet Tea.  As I was waiting in the drive through line, I caught myself watching a young man with a bucket of soapy water walk up to a trash can and begin scrubbing it.  He was full of purpose as he scrubbed the grime from the top of the lid.  I was amused at how hard he was scrubbing and thinking to myself, “no matter how much you scrub dude, as long as there is trash in that can, it will not be clean”.  

The Holy Spirit began to remind me how much we are like that trash can.  Yes, the trash can!  I searched scripture and found Jesus speaking to the religious leaders one day at lunch and said, “You Pharisees are so careful to clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you are filthy—full of greed and wickedness!“  Of course, there it is.  Are we quick to clean the outside to look presentable and wear the face of a Christian, yet our insides are full of filth?  I still wasn’t sure I understood how we are like the trash can.  Oh my lesson was just beginning.  

As I continued to ponder my drive-thru experience, the Holy Spirit was sifting me like wheat.  I get it Lord, it’s about the heart right?  We dress up and look pretty but there is something in our hearts that need work.  We need to read our bibles more, we need to pray, we need to minister to others, we need to provide for the poor, we need to....... Yet, the answer came ever so sweetly through my husband on our way to church Sunday morning.  As I was sharing my thoughts, he simply said, “when they open up my lid, I want people to see THE CROSS”.  There it is! I am like the trash can!  I can clean up the outside and make it shiny and new, but my savior is the only one that can take my trash and and cover it with his cross.  My heart can sing and soar when I surrender it all to Jesus.  What’s that smell?  That is the sweet fragrance of my Savior.  

Thank you Jesus for the Cross.  Thank you that no matter how bad my trash (past) is, your death has made a way for me to stand “clean” before my Heavenly Father.  He will not see my wrong, He will only see “Your Blood”.  When God opens my lid, I want him to only see “The Cross”.  Amen

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Happiness makes a person smile, but sadness can break a person’s spirit. (Proverbs 15:13 NCV)

I always think of my Dad when I read this scripture.  Look at him, isnt he so handsome with that smile and waving at people?  Thats my Dad! (Mom will shoot me for putting her picture here too, but isn't she lovely?). I can remember the first time I realized how special my Dad was.  I was probably 11 or 12, and we were in a local mall at Christmas time with my Mom.   I noticed people staring, taking second glances our way, and smiling as we passed by.  Not a typical smile, but one of enjoyment.  I looked at my Dad to see if he had something on his face, or shirt as this is usually the case.  The only thing I saw was a smile that appeared to go from ear to ear.  I asked him what was so funny, and he replied, "it's fun watching people react to a smile."  He continued, "Sis, everyone looks so sad but when I give a smile most can't help but smile back.  A smile is something I can give away for free when they look so sad.  Try it."  Dad and I walked the mall that day giving away our smiles.  I got a kick out of the reactions we got.  Everything from returned smiles to looks of "what are you looking at".  It became a game to see how many smiles we could get.

Without realizing it, my Dad made a huge impact on my life that day.  He taught me the importance of sharing a smile with someone who may or may not have anything to smile about.  This also taught me that even when my circumstances are less than perfect, my joyful heart can still share a smile.  There is something special about receiving a smile back from people and it definately cheers me up.  When I give a smile and that person doesn't smile back, I can't help but think they must have a broken spirit.  This is an opportunity to ask for a blessing in their life.  We all have the ability to impact someone simply with a smile.  I challenge you to "Give a smile away".  Just as my Dad told me over 35 years ago, I say to you, "Try it!"

Saturday, January 29, 2011

God Answered With His Love....

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son... that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have life everlasting. John 3:16
January began with a punch in the gut this year. No other words could describe the way Dan and I felt when we received some news from someone very near and dear to us. We quickly reached out to our prayer partners and asked them to lift us up in prayer. We didn’t know what roads may lay ahead but we knew we needed peace in just walking. The wonderful thing about our prayer partners is, they didn’t ask questions, they just began to pray and encourage us. Not one of them needed details, they just knew we needed their prayers. We specifically asked for peace, wisdom, strength, truth, love, compassion, protection, and restoration.
Dan and I did very little for 3 straight days other than pray, and search scripture. Our prayers were angry, sorrowful, hurt, and at times silent.
On the third day, I began to question God how this person could make a choice like this that would affect their entire life. How could they go down the road of sorrow that was inevitable. My physical body was wiped out and I couldn’t even cry anymore. As I sat silent, I began to think of God giving Jesus over to a life of pain, suffering and ultimately a horrible death. I couldn’t understand how a loving father could do that. How could he choose to allow his son to walk that path? I got up from my knees and finished my day and continued to ask God, how?
The next morning I awoke to this text message from my dear sister, Tina. She had no idea of the questions I had been asking the day before.
Karen, The Holy Spirit has been ministering to me all night (I love how He does that) through dreams, thoughts, words from our Pastors sermon tonight, etc.... but He just woke me up with a vision so vivid that I don’t even know that I can share it, but I want to try. The scripture He brought to mind are Ephesians 3:18-19 and Romans 5:8; but, the vision is of Christ hanging on the cross, sword piercing His side and blood flowing so profoundly that it’s covering brings to mind the phrase “a multitude of sins”. The word, the feeling, I really don’t know what you call it, is that God’s love is so great He has covered “this person”, the sin, the entire situation with His Son’s blood. We can’t even comprehend the magnitude of that love. I don’t feel that I am articulating this very well, but Karen, know this, the feeling I’m feeling is so overwhelming in that Christ has this covered with His own blood because of the greatness of His Father’s Love.
After reading that text, all I could do was sit in awe. God answered my question, “How could he choose to allow his son to walk the path of suffering”. He chose it because his love for “this person” is so great. His love for all of was so great that he would allow his son to die for us. For the first time, I realized that Jesus suffered, and so did our Father God.
We are still in the middle of this battle, but really knowing the magnitude of God’s love has given me a new resolve. I am resolved that God is fighting this battle for us and that I need to just trust Him to take care of it. At times I will take deep breaths and almost take on the worry, but then God gently reminds me that He has this covered.
Thank you God for your love! The magnitude of it is far greater than I can even imagine. What peace I have knowing that your love covers all my sins, all my failures, and all my worries. Let those around me feel your love. Open their eyes and their hearts so that they too may enjoy your never-ending, faithful love. Amen

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Find JOY In It!

I awoke this morning singing, “Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, as we wait upon the Lord”. I wasn’t sure why, as I think I was just as tired when I woke as I was when I went to sleep. Reached over grabbed my phone for my daily bible reading and the scripture that jumped out to me was, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” Yes, I shook my head, lately I have seen trials and sorrows and was glad for the reminder that Jesus has overcome, so can I with His help. I moved into the kitchen for a quick bite to eat, and what do I find in Twitter?

What? Not only am I told this morning that my strength will rise when I wait, I’m told I will have trials and sorrow and I must find JOY IN IT? So am I suppose to jump up an down and shout that I have trouble and trials? I think instead I will just sing, “Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord, as we wait upon the Lord”. Some days, minutes or hours I may sing it louder to remind myself. So, I searched through the scriptures for Joy today and found this blessing that I am praying over me and each of you.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Future King Gone Wild!

About a week ago I was sitting on the bed reading my bible, when I suddenly began to laugh out loud at the story I was reading. My daily reading plan has me reading about David, and I am often tickled at David’s stories but this one really made me laugh out loud. I have to share.....
1Samuel 21:10-15
So David escaped from Saul and went to King Achish of Gath. But the officers of Achish were unhappy about his being there. “Isn’t this David, the king of the land?” they asked. “Isn’t he the one the people honor with dances, singing,
‘Saul has killed his thousands,
and David his ten thousands’?”
David heard these comments and was very afraid of what King Achish of Gath might do to him. So he pretended to be insane, scratching on doors and drooling down his beard.
Finally, King Achish said to his men, “Must you bring me a madman? We already have enough of them around here! Why should I let someone like this be my guest?”
Can you picture the drool running down his beard and him scratching at the doors? It struck me that here was a guy, an anointed a king none the less, who because of his fear he resorts to acting like a madman. I can just imagine what our media today would do with this story, “Future King Gone Wild” or “Madman or King?”. I got very tickled.
Why was this Anointed King so afraid of the words being spoken about him? Wasn’t he told he would be the King of Israel? Where was his faith?
God then began to speak to my heart. We do this so often. God tells us to not fear. He tells us He will take care of us. When we accepted Christ into our lives as our Savior, we were anointed as Heirs with Christ. Yet, when we hear people talk about us, or we get overlooked for that job we wanted, or that relationship didn’t work out like we wanted, we begin to act like madmen(women). We run and hide, we cry our eyes out, slobber runs down our faces and we act like wild people scratching on anything in our way. David did it as a distraction because of his fear of death and lack of faith. Why do we? Is it simply our lack of faith?
Ouch! Needless to say I quit laughing and began praying. I prayed that I would not act like a madwoman when I don’t get my way or when I become fearful. I prayed that my faith would grow strong and that I would trust God with the big and little details of my life. I prayed over you too Sisters. May you have supernatural faith that takes the “madwoman” out of you.
Be blessed!!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Believing in God But... Not Prayer

It's Saturday morning and I awoke as my husband was leaving to go work at the church. They are working on the landscaping in the back. I reached over and grabbed my iPhone so I could read a few chapters of the new book I'm reading (The Christian Atheist by Craig Groeschel). The titles of the chapters all begin like this: When You Believe in God but.... But, the 3 little letters that completely discount each statement before it.

I was humored by a story that Craig told in Chapter 4: When You Believe In God but Not in Prayer. In this story a pastor asked his church to begin praying that God would shut down the neighborhood bar. They gathered for a prayer meeting and pleaded with God to close the bar. A few weeks later the bar was struck by lightening and it burned to the ground. The bar owner then sued the church. In court the bar owner argued that God struck his bar with lightning because of the church members' prayers. The pastor began to argue that yes, his church did pray but they didn't really expect anything to happen. The judge of course was perplexed, he stated: "I can't believe what I'm hearing. Right in front of me is a bar owner who believes in the power of prayer and a pastor who doesn't."

This story hit me right in the heart. How many times have I prayed and not expected God to answer? How often have I said I believe You God, but...? How often have I said I would pray over something and then didn't because I really didn't think God would care? How often have I said with my actions, "I believe in God but not in Prayer"? Question after question kept running in my mind.

Of course I believe, don't I? YES!!! I do believe that God can and does answer prayer. I've seen many prayers answered. 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18 instructs us to Never stop praying, Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus. If you are a Born Again Christian, it doesn't matter what you are praying for, God hears your prayers and is ready to answer. Are you really believing he will answer? Are you not praying because your afraid He won't answer and /or you will be disappointed with the answer? Can you trust Him to answer according to His will? What would happen if we really believed in the Power of Prayer?

Lord, help us in our unbelief. We say we believe in you, yet our actions speak otherwise. Let us walk in your will continually seeking your guidance. Develop in us a heart to communicate with you. No matter how big or small, remind us that you want us to talk to you. Whether we talk to you in spoken word, written word, song or dance remind us that you hear us and that you love us. Put a burning desire in our hearts to come to you with our arms open, ready to give ourselves to you.