7 Days In Guamaica, Honduras

While in Honduras… The time seemed to pass fast–just as much as it does here.  Only we were aware of our small –yet significant  –window of opportunity. We had 7 days. 7 Days has been something that has come to me more than once. Prayer for significant Word from God. Affect others–in a significant way for 7 Days. There's a movie, "7 Days in Utopia," staring one of my favorite actors–Robert Duvall–where this golfer (Lucas Black) who seems to not have a handle on his temper lands on Duvall's land–  UPSIDE DOWN. He was instructed daily– and patiently by the former golfer (Duvall), who had "been where he was", in a manner of speaking. Duvall had all but destroyed his life and his career, and he had compassion on this young man who was bent and determined to "do things his own way," no matter the consequences. I've met people like that.  I have been that person even in my young adult life.  HUGE mistakes–and if it were not for the patience of God, and the love and mercy He extended, I'd be living my life in a major upside down existence today. The lady in the picture above walked calmly by as the men were diligently working in the front yard of her Honduran neighbor. I'm not sure how far she had walked, or how much further she had to go–the town was probably another couple of miles away– She was the picture of serenity.  Umbrella in hand, propped on her shoulder, head and eyes straight– working her way to her destination-not to be deterred. I want to be...

Wilderness Faith

In August of 2011, God woke me with a “word.”  \Now this is a rare thing…and I remember it specifically and wrote it down. I also remember asking Him to tell me specifically if it was Him—to give me a word out of left field to prove it was Him. I was tired and if I had just awoken due to a hot flash—then I was going to stay put until I fell back asleep.  This was not that—this was HIM. It was a left field word…and I paid heed. (That word is another story for another day.) Fast forward to October 31—  It’s 4:40 in the morning and again I wake up with that feeling of something beyond the average hot flash wake up call. As conversations with someone that you are used to talking with every day of your life can overlap at times, so it was with this conversation. (Me)  “Lord, if it’s You….” (Him)   “Wilderness.” (Me)   “Wilderness, hmmm, I wouldn’t have….” (Him)   “Left field”.  (Me)  “Right Lord.  I’m getting up.” Oswald Chambers would have been in my top three calls—He would be my text messaging buddy, were he alive today to converse with about his depth of knowledge of the Word and of Our Father.  He left a trail though…and I read on. Read October 31 of My Utmost For His Highest.  "Faith in its actual working out has to go through spells of unsyllabled isolation." [Unsyllabled Isolation]  Syllable:  “The slightest portion or amount of speech or writing; the least mention.”  According to my spell checker and the dictionary I used, “unsyllabled” is not a word. ...

River Life

If you live anywhere in the South–I say that because I don't recall seeing the first decal of this type when we’ve been driving through some of the northern states–but if you are "from around here," you've seen various "life" decals. Salt Life; Swamp Life; River Life; Beach Life, just to name a few… When I first saw "Salt Life," I must confess my ignorance…or naiveté.  I thought "Salt Life" meant that they were staking their claim as Christians to being the "salt of the earth."  Hmmm.  I soon found out the truth. I prefer my way of thinking.  If I had that sticker for my back windshield–I would be staking my claim as being what I feel we are all–as followers of Christ to be:  The Salt of the Earth. My daughter Tiffany and her husband went camping last year–woke up to soggy skies, but they soon cleared to reveal this look at the river. I instantly thought of two verses in the Bible.   One says what we are to HAVE if we believe in Christ Jesus.  The other says what we will EXPERIENCE at the end of this life IF WE HAVE believed in Christ Jesus.   "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" John 7:38 NASB Can I tell you the river of life flowing from my life gives me the most exciting feeling in the world?  Just the knowledge that HE wants you and me to FEEL His presence in such a way. I have felt that powerful river–and as the leaves of the trees rustle...

The Calling of the New Year

The sun is bright….the sand makes an audible crunching sound as the leather soles of Jesus’s sandals eat up the distance along the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus lifts His hand to shield His eyes against the brightness of the sun as His voice calls to the two brothers in the boat. His voice is carried on the waters. He is heard as if He is sitting next to them…. “Come.  Follow Me.  I will make you fishers of men”… “I will teach you how to reach people”…. (Reference:  Matthew 4:18-21) The call to Peter and Andrew was unexplainable to some of their friends—fellow boat masters.  For they heard no such call—with the exception of James and John, who were just a bit further down the shore—and as Jesus walked along, He called out to them as well. There they sat, mending their nets.  But immediately upon hearing Jesus’s call to them, they too left all.  Their father, Zebedee, in the boat with the hired men, and all that was familiar… and they followed Jesus.  Not knowing where. The voice that called out didn’t beckon to all the fishermen in the water or on the shoreline that day—but for Peter, Andrew, James and John, there was no choice—the act was immediate. It was an impulse that caused an adrenalin rush like none other. They left their nets. They dropped everything to seek Him—to follow Him—to know Him. Jesus is still calling men and women to follow Him. Before Jesus reached the shore that day, He knew His mission: to save the lost.  He came knowing the cost....

Entering Lucedale

Funny things happen as we grow and mature in Christ. We begin to see correlations between our human living and spiritual walk.  Like the day I drove to Lucedale, Mississippi. Got a minute?  Can I tell you a story?  More than 31 years ago… It was raining.  Hard.  The rain splattered against the window pane, making that sound that keeps you sleeping.  A Saturday at that–and I didn't have to work for a change.   I was living with my grandmother (Granny) at the time–recently divorced–healing process taking place in my soul, mind and body. A  rainy Saturday was needed. The phone rings–there was only one in the small house and it hung on the wall between the kitchen and living room, long curling cord enabling you to hold the phone and cook… Granny answered quickly, and then hollered, "Angie, your daddy wants to talk to you". "Daddy?"  It had been a long time– "I need you to follow me down the road a piece and pick me up," he said on the other end of the line. "My car is having battery issues. Let me see if I can borrow Granny's." With a semi-reluctant "Yes" from Granny (she knew her son well), I was quickly pulling on jeans. Within thirty minutes I heard a semi-truck pull over to the side of the road and the loud hiss of the air-brakes. I ducked out in the rain as he hollered, "Come on, let's go!" "Where are we going?"  I finally voiced the question that had been rolling in my head–wanting sleep… "Down the road a piece".  Same answer.  Yet no answer....

Occupied with the Outward

God wants—desires for us to see Him in everything: “Calling nothing small if it bears us His message”.  Sometimes we overlook the obvious, looking for some grand display or show—something out of the ordinary.  And there are times God does that, but if we refuse to find Him in the ordinary, We will miss the grandest blessing of all.   Psalms 106:7-15  Our fathers understood not thy wonders in Egypt; they remembered not the multitude of thy mercies; but provoked him at the sea, even at the Red Sea. Nevertheless he saved them for his name's sake, that he might make his mighty power to be known. He rebuked the Red Sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left. Then believed they his words; they sang his praise. They soon forgat his works; they waited not for his counsel: But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, and tempted God in the desert. And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.   Sometimes we read verses like Psalms 106:1; “Praise ye the Lord. O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever;” and think God is just all “mercy." That He will wink at and overlook our lusting flesh—our sinful desires—our carnal nature. Let me share with you for just a few minutes some things I've learned: We don’t have the mind capacity to think anywhere...

Blessed and Broken

“Even if the fig tree does not bloom and the vines have no grapes, even if the olive tree fails to produce and the fields yeild no food, even if the sheep pen is empty and the stalls have no cattle…even then, I will be happy with the LORD.  I will truly find joy in god, who saves me.”   Habakkuk 3:17-18 (GWT) In Matthew 15:32-37 the story is told of when Jesus fed many….with very little.  Seven loaves of bread and a few small fish.  When Jesus took the bread, offered willingly by the young boy in the crowd of thousands, He blessed it.  He broke it.  The little boy had no idea he had just been selected by the Sovereignty of God to be used in this miracle of feeding thousands… When we pray the prayer that I’ve heard countless times, “Lord make me broken bread and poured out wine”, we should do so with the confidence that our Father will do just that—break us into the usable. What if that breaking means no job to work, no harvest to reap, no children to love, no shelter for sleep? What if that breaking means that we must walk away from all we hold dear in order to “be” what He purposed for His chosen ones on this day? Will we bow to Him in grateful reverence and join the prophet Habakkuk and say, “Yet I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” Friends, that takes more than words. That takes a soul died and buried to Him–in Him.  And that takes...

Solving the World’s Problems…and Some of Mine

I find myself doing the most ridiculous things. Take for example this morning. I woke just after 5:00 a.m. and lay there in my soft cocoon of clean sheets, soft comforter and cozy pillow and I tried to solve the world’s problems before I got up. Well maybe not the world’s, but mine felt like the problems of the world, AND THEN I was so depressed all I wanted to do was burrow deeper into the bed. Eventually, I crawled out from under and decided it’d be best if God handled it today! Ever have one of those days? When the stress of life gets too much? That’s what happens with me. I battle in my mind over the issues that are pressing in on me when—-if I’d just stop and think—-I don’t need to! I allow heaviness to overtake my heart, and then I’m a mess for days and by the time I finally realize that the place I need to be is at the feet of the Father…I am crumpled in a heap. I need to be wearing Mary’s shoes. Not Martha’s.   But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things,but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42 NIV Mary’s feet led her to the Lord. Martha’s...

Report of Victory

During prayer around the altar at church recently, I heard in my heart “Report of Victory.”  I didn’t know the specific need of the individual we were praying for– I didn’t need to.  But I believed we would soon hear a victory report. During hunting season, you will often hear the “shot” fired, followed by the echo, or report of the blast.   That’s what I applied that “word” to.  When the phrase, “Report of Victory” came to my mind, minutes later this thought followed. As we gather in prayer, with the urgency of a child in great need, the Father knows.  He pays close attention.  Our prayers go up at times as if they were “explosive shots” fired from desperate souls.  The “report” that will follow those desperate cries for help is the sound of victory. Have you ever prayed in such desperation and then knew that you had been heard?  I have.  So often while we were struggling with issues as parents of a teenager in full blown rebellion, the anguish that shrouded some nights was unbearable.  My prayers during those days were those of desperation.  The “shot” fired was an explosive cry to my Father.  He heard.  The echo of victory resounded in my heart before it actually became a fact before my eyes. What I would give to save that same daughter from experiencing the pain we endured.  When her second-born son came 2 1/2 months early, she began learning the way of the desperate prayer.  God heard.  When she laid her hand gently on his tiny frame and sang, “Jesus Loves Me” very softly, I stood...

Keeping Up Appearances

A while back I removed the “fake” silk flowers from the pots stationed at my front door in sentinel fashion.  My “real” flowers had died due to lack of water, but the pretty, lacy, Creeping Jenny had survived.  I had complained about my lack of time to “green up” my thumb and a friend had suggested, “Put some fake flowers in the pot! No one will ever notice!” So I had plopped some lively looking silks in the pot…you know…. to keep up appearances.  But since the colors of the silks had faded, it was time (long past time) to remove them from their station. Days later as I stepped up to enter the door, I looked down and noticed all the new growth of the Creeping Jenny.  With the “fake” (i.e. not alive, nor real) removed, the little peeping, creeping ground cover had plenty of room to shoot forth in new growth! It was then that I thought of all the times we “put on” a pretty facade of  having and doing the right things in life–in order to “fit in.”  Yet, all the while we lack spiritual growth. Many times it’s because we have not removed the “dead or fake” from our lives, and Christ has no room to grow and mature us into what HE intends for us to be! “The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.  Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; To...