Friday, October 25, 2013

When God Crashes Your Party (Thank-filled Thursdays: Week 7)

Today I am thankful that God crashes my parties.
Ever have one of those parties? It just feels so right. So deserved. Like you  have the right to feel this way. Ya, me too. I’m with you, Girl. Some days I’m a real “party-girl” if you know what I mean. “Poor me, I never get what I want…. Things never go well for me…. I’m just not appreciated….”
When I carried my little party to church with me one day, my Father intervened and reigned on my parade. It was a good thing, too or I don’t know how long I would have partied like that.

The music began. It was a song I am well familiar with. One of my favorites. And I joined in the singing, but couldn’t get many words out before my heart became convicted. Busted. My party had been crashed. Time for a change of attitude in my heart. 
Blessed be Your name
when the sun shines down on me,
When the world is all as it should be
Blessed be Your name. 

Blessed be Your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

And blessed be Your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I'll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

And blessed be Your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's 'all as it should be'
Blessed be Your name

And blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there's pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord blessed be Your name

I will bless Your name, Lord
Yes, I am thankful for when God crashes my party, for sure!
What are you thankful for today?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Thank-filled Thursdays: Week 6

Oops! It has been such a busy week here that I missed  posting this on Thursday... thankfully, we can be thankful any day of the week!
Today I am thankful for the privilege of prayer. I have a friend. She is 10 years old and has a cancerous brain tumor. You’d never know it, just looking at her. She is a normal, happy young girl. And I have learned so much from watching her as she walks down this road God has allowed in her life.

As I pray for her in my morning coffee time, my heart is heavy for her and her parents.  Without prayer, this would be an unbearable burden to carry.  I can only try to imagine what they must feel.   They are up against a rare cancer, even the best doctors are unsure how to treat it.  How thankful I am that they know the Great Physician, the One who has the power to heal. And the power to use even this to grow them and those around them.

It is truly a privilege to be able to go before the King of kings, the Creator of all and speak our concerns. I pray God will heal her as only He can. I pray He will wrap His arms in love around her and her family and carry them through this to a closer relationship with Him. And I pray His power will be displayed in my young friend’s life in a way that others will see His power and grace.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Thank-filled Thursdays: Week 5

I'm so glad you're joining me for Thank-filled Thursdays! As we come upon Thanksgiving, I want to grow a heart of thanksgiving. Be truly thankful. See my life with grateful eyes. I know you do too.

Today I am thankful for:

A godly mom. She taught me things she probably didn't even know I was picking up from her. Some things she didn't verbally teach, she didn't have to, I learned as I watched her. Like seeing her sit in her chair with a hot cup of tea in the mornings as she was reading her Bible. Like her gentle and quiet spirit. And her generosity.

She didn't have to say these things, she modeled them. Her actions spoke volumes to my young heart and strongly influenced me. I am grateful for her influence in my life, and by the grace of God in giving me a godly mom, I have forever been changed. Except for the hot tea, I prefer coffee, of course!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Thank-filled Thursdays Week 4

Today I am thankful for the joys of being a Grandma. Those little ones bring so much joy and laughter to my life! As I watch them grow and pray for their hearts to love God, my prayer life is seeing a fresh new stage. 

What are you thankful for today?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Running The Race

For those of you who know me, it may seem strange to see this title on my blog. It probably seems a bit inconsistent with my character as I do not have a single athletic cell in my body. Never have. I avoid sweating. And sore muscles. This would include running. And so I don’t run. Period.
I wish I did. I drive by runners (Notice I’m the one in the car, not the one running.) and it looks like a good form of exercise,  a way to stay in shape, build self-discipline and get firm muscles (versus the squishiness that comes from avoiding such activities, ahem.). But I just don’t know how to run … and I don’t like it anyway. There, I said it. I don’t like running.

I am in a race, though. This one doesn’t require running shorts. Thank God for that, you don’t want me running around in those, it’s not a pretty sight! It doesn’t require Nikes, which is good because I really would rather spend my money on cute sandals. Or sweating, which is good since I have a life rule to avoid sweating. This seems to be a race I am cut out for. A race I was made to run.
This race is an eternal race. Long distance, requiring endurance. If you have been saved by grace, you’re in this race with me too. No special clothing is required, but we do need to train. There is not a special trainer you have to shell out moolah for, but you do need your bible.

Just as the runners preparing for a marathon are out there day in and day out, we need to train daily as well. I Corinthians 9 gives us some training tips. And it’s a good place to start.

We must begin with strict training (NIV) and exercise self-control (NAS). In all things. There is no room for excuses, rationalizing or permissive days. This is not a race to be reserved for certain areas or times in our lives. It is a way of life.

Have you ever noticed that letting yourself have just one sweet leads to wanting more and more…. Until the sweet cravings get out of control? It’s the same way with sin. Dropping our guard, letting down our stand just once so easily leads to more. For a runner, skipping one day can lead to skipping another and another… and another. And soon training must begin all over again.

We must discipline ourselves, train to be godly, (1 Tim 4:7) and train our hearts to love His word. We need a training routine. Our natural default will be to let self rest, let self do as it pleases, let self go the easy route. I don’t want to live on default, I want to train.

My current training routine involves morning bible reading, journaling and prayer. Then I seek to apply what I studied throughout the day, looking for ways and areas of my life it can soak into. It’s not an easy routine, some days I have a long to-do list and could use the extra time instead of sitting down with God. Maybe putting on some running shorts and Nikes would be easier, but definitely not as valuable. I’m running for a prize that will last forever.
What is your training routine? What are you studying lately?