Oops I Did It Again…. (Lord, forgive me)

When I first joined my husband in full-time ministry, I was certain I was heeding a call. And with that certainty came a faith that made no obstacles seem insurmountable.

Of course, that kind of faith is a little easier when there are no actual obstacles.

After the first couple of months, doubts set in. Maybe I was wrong. Maybe I need to go back to teaching. (Fill in the blank there, you always want to go back to the familiar.)

I called a good friend in ministry and questioned my next steps. Do I go back to teaching? Do I keep waiting? Our savings is almost wiped out. I was the widow woman with enough left for just one meal.

Do you believe that you are doing what God called you to do? she asked. Absolutely, I replied. I’d never been more certain of anything in my life. But I also knew He could perform miracles and I guess I expected a money tree to sprout up next to the crepe myrtle.

Her reply changed my soul. I can’t tell you what to do but I can tell you two things: Where God leads, He feeds. And where He guides, He provides.

I tucked those promises away deep in my heart and watched amazed as He did just that. We would balance the checkbook with $3 left and a $500 check would arrive unexpectedly. We would eat the last of the sandwich meat and someone would bring a truckload of groceries. They were lean times but there was a lesson. He wanted me to learn to LEAN on Him.

Eventually, He provided in a way that allowed for us to bless others. But every now and then, I start seeing things with carnal eyes instead of remembering my eyes of faith. Like in the midst of a pandemic when everyone’s income, including our own, dropped. Churches aren’t receiving stimulus checks…they aren’t filing for loans. They are just having to trust God. I sometimes forget that part when I’m looking at the bottom line.

The problem there is, JESUS is the bottom line! He knew our needs. And once again, just as we needed it, He provided.

WHY do I ever doubt?

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

It’s 2020. Does anyone really care about Jesus anymore?

The Lighthouse by the Crabb Family is one of my favorite songs. I’d listened to my husband sing it for twenty years but last week it took on a whole new meaning.

         Everybody all around us….they say tear that old lighthouse down

         The ships don’t come this way anymore. There’s no use in it hanging ‘round…

My heart began to weep inside.

That’s where we are in this country. The nation formed UNDER GOD. They say they Bible is archaic; Jesus was a mere man, if not a myth. No one believes like that anymore and if you do, you’re wrong.

Christians are a hate group. Christians are ignorant. Christians are intolerant. The claims against Christianity abound.

Many Christians back up. Humans have an inherent need to be accepted. They aren’t tearing the Lighthouse down, but they are standing by silently as it is dismantled.

Do you not remember?

       But my mind goes back to that stormy night…where just in time I saw the Light

Does the praise of men mean more to you than that day of salvation?

This is my featured song for July in my Media picks. If you haven’t heard it before, listen to it. Jesus was YOUR Lighthouse. Jesus is THE Lighthouse. And yet, our world thinks the flashlight it created works better.

I’ve shamelessly plugged one of my new books as well. Surfing, Dancing Seeds of Glory is a metaphor for life. Seeds are all born different and lead different lives but in the end they all have the same opportunity: to surf down the river of life and dance on streets on gold! The book was designed to open communication about salvation and the promise of Heaven. It is a children’s book that was designed to also use with elderly and mentally-compromised patients who need to hear the good news of Jesus.

I also am featuring a study by one of my favorite Christian authors, Elizabeth George. This is a study of Esther and I’m particularly interested in Esther because of where we are right now in this country.

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I know what Esther’s role was. Now, do I know mine? Actually, I believe I do, and I strive to meet God’s expectations for my life every day. What about you? He has raised you up for such a time as this. Are you doing what YOU are supposed to be doing?

For the movie, I realized I never featured the very first advance screening for pastors I attended. Do you Believe? came out in 2015, after the nation hungered for God’s Not Dead. I found it to be complex and heartwarming, and it set a high standard for screenings to come. If you haven’t seen it, download it today.

I hope you enjoy July’s featured media! If you decide to order a Surfing, Dancing Seeds book, let me know and I’ll send you a free bookmark that goes with the book. It contains a poem called “Take Up That Cross” on one side and salvation verses on the other. Images and ordering available on the author page.

 

Questioning the Voice of God

Do you ever question the voice of God? Not question God Himself, but question whether or not what you are hearing is from the Lord.

Many new Christians struggle with this. How do I know if it’s God? they’ll ask us. We explain that still, small voice. We give them the visualization of sheep mingling together but knowing which shepherd to follow when the command is given. We tell them to spend time talking with Him.

Just as baby learns to recognize his mother’s voice and grow to trust her to meet his needs, we learn to rely on the Lord early on in our Christian walk. In time, we can easily discern the Lord’s voice and we know when something is of Him and when it’s not.

So the day Molly* asked me if she will always doubt when she hears the Lord, I confidently told her no. She would grow and she would hear Him plainly.

And then I paused.

Do I always hear what He has to say? 

The answer was no.

But it wasn’t because I didn’t know His voice. It was because I didn’t always WANT to hear.

It reminded me of a day at the pool. I was lying on a raft reading a book with only one other person there. A couple of families came in with very noisy children so I put in my earplugs. (I mean, I normally love the sound of children squealing and playing…just not in the last few chapters of a mystery thriller.) I looped my heels into the pool edge wall away from everyone and was completely engrossed in my novel. A couple of hours later, about two seconds after I read the last page, I took out my earplugs and looked around.

There must have been 60 people in and around the pool!

I was so into my book that I hadn’t noticed or heard anything going on around me.

I was shocked! How can I have been out in the open and still oblivious to it all?

Simple. I didn’t want to hear anything. I wanted my alone time without distractions so I made sure that would happen by putting in the earplugs.

That’s what we do with the Lord sometimes.

We want to do our own thing and we don’t want to hear what He has to say to us. We put in our spiritual earplugs and then pretend that we can’t figure out what God is trying to say or do in our lives.

Get out of the pool, look around, and open your eyes and ears. Now is NOT the time to be flailing around in the deep end.

I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints…Psalm 85:8