What’s YOUR #hashtag?

Imagine you walked around with a #hashtag over your head at all times. What would it read?       #depressed? #tired? #angry?

Or are you someone who brightens a room when you walk in? #joy #childlikewonder

I was once the person people avoided. I was going to have a laundry list of problems and I was going to talk about them in detail to anyone who would listen.

And people stopped listening. I couldn’t blame them; even I didn’t want to hear me.

I basically walked around with #stayaway over my head.

Then I met Jesus. And #joy took over.

But guess what? It wasn’t affixed with some magical Galaxy Glue. It was more like double-sided tape and I’d forget to put my side up sometimes.

So even as a Christian, a born-again believer who’d been set free, I once again wore  #lifestinks as a slap-in-God’s-face testimony.

But that’s okay. Because I didn’t STAY there.

Let’s face it: life isn’t going to be all sunshine and roses. There are going to be times when we cloud our witness. Thankfully we have a merciful and forgiving Father who loves us and just wants to see us return to #blessed and #free.

What are you wearing today?  #scared?   #confused?  #hopeful?

Whatever it is, there’s a verse for it. And that verse points UP. Trust Him. In EVERYTHING.

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Invisible Ink

With grandparents in Baton Rouge and in Kansas, we traveled frequently from my hometown of Alexandria, Louisiana to visit them. My dad taught us the A-Z Road Sign game and Twenty Questions while Mom would load my sister and me down with travel games like Car Bingo and Invisible Ink books.

I loved those books!

All it took was a swipe of that magic pen with the orange cap to illuminate the answers to such games as Fleet, Hangman, and Bingo.

I saw one in the gift shop at Cracker Barrel the other day and started thinking about how we sometimes feel invisible. We feel unloved, unnoticed, or unappreciated by the world, or worse, by those around us. We wonder if there’s any real purpose for our lives.

THERE IS!

In fact, the Lord plainly tells us that He has a plan for each of us. (Jeremiah 29:11) He also tells us that He knows us so well that even the hairs on our head are numbered. (Luke 12:7) We aren’t invisible to the Lord.

If we have the light of Christ in us, we will not be invisible to others because our light will so shine before men. (Matthew 5:16)

Are you shining before men or has your ink dried out?

We used to have to buy a new book before we’d done all the pages because those pens would always dry out first. I’m sure it was a design flaw because as I got older they started including two pens in each book. That didn’t stop me from blaming my little sister though. We always look for someone to blame.

Sometimes it’s no-one’s fault. Sometimes it’s our own.

But at NO TIME does it matter. If we’ve allowed our ink to dry out or our light to be snuffed out, then we just have to call on Him to restore.

No new book is needed. No blame either. Just us…and Him. He IS our magic invisible ink pen.

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Fizzling Out

So many people jump into projects with both feet, only to abandon them when they get tired or something new comes along.
I call this THE FIZZLE FACTOR and it happens even in ministry.

I get it. Even I am currently working on five projects simultaneously. Not because I’m trying for Superwoman status but because I don’t like to work on one thing for very long.

I get bored. Some call it ADD. I call it a lack of self-discipline.

Which is why I am determined to finish this website and have it up and running before I do ANYTHING else.

But that’s only a time-management thing. I haven’t neglected any commitments or bailed on any projects. I can’t even if I wanted to. Because most of the time, I am the Cheese.

You know what I’m talking about….sing along with me…The Farmer in the Dell..the farmer in the Dell…hi-ho the dairy-oh…all the way to the Cheese standing alone.


This isn’t whining or a pity party. It’s life. I used to be the one the bailing on commitments. Just like I’d bail on God.

So I get it when people jump on board with a church program or ministry project and fully intend to commit. Then something happens. Whether it’s an illness, financial issue, or family problem, the devil’s arrows hit their mark and the person fades out. They usually don’t see past their own circumstances to understand the victory Satan has received.

Then they fade out of church.

This is the worst part. Because when you stop coming to church, you stop worshipping. Then praying and reading your Bible. Before you know it, you’re only picking up your Bible when you dust around it.

That’s not some writer’s imagery. It’s a very real account of where I was. I even have the prayer written in the pages of my Bible: Dear God, please help me find my way back. I only pick up this Bible to dust these days.

I was ashamed but that’s all it took. He honored that heartfelt prayer and drew me near to Him.

I wrote a similar blog post entitled The Fizzle Factor on my Tents, Tarps, and Tears blog. After the first few lines it was all about how hard it was for those who are left holding the bag when people bail.

Waa- Waa…I sounded like a baby.

I’d missed what was important. It wasn’t about what I had to do. It was about the souls in trouble. The reasons they had bailed.

 

I’ve grown a lot in these last three years of ministry. I’ve made some mistakes but I’ve learned from them. I hope that I’m a better person, a stronger CHRISTIAN than I was when I started. I hope that I continue to mature in Christ. And I pray that I always see the needs of others over my own weariness.

My prayer is that those who’ve fizzled out in their relationships with Christ will just say that one small prayer: Help me find my way back..

If you are sincere about asking, He is faithful to draw you near…

My first year in ministry..