What do you leave behind?

I am sitting right now on a teeny tiny airplane headed to the next speaking engagement that the Lord has so graciously allowed me to have.  It’s been one of those days.  You know the kind I am talking about.  You get to the airport only to find out that the airline, without emailing you, has changed your flight to 3 hours later. Then you stand in a line and wait for someone to reschedule your flight because ain’t no way you showed up 3 hours early for nothing.  Then you get on the plane only to find out that you are the lucky winner of a seat between to healthy men.  Then you get airplane sick because you read the whole flight and didn’t realize you were dizzy until you stood up.  You get the picture I’m sure.  Well, I walked outside to get on my connection and sat on this little plane for quite sometime waiting for takeoff.  The flight wasn’t full so we all took dibs on who got the empty seat, and lucky enough, I got to sit in a row by myself.

 

I was looking out the window thinking to myself, what is taking so long and saw a luggage cart being driven by a man drive right beside us.  As he took the curve, two pieces of luggage spilled out of the side of the “security” flaps onto the road.  The man in front of me turned around and ask me if I had seen what had happened and we both laughed about the incident, because the man driving the little luggage cart never even turned around.  As we drove off we saw a pink suite case and a black suite case laying on the pavement alone.  I said, “looks like he didn’t care about the luggage he left behind.”

 

As I sit thinking of that statement, it’s taken on a whole new meaning.  I see Christian’s everywhere, doing the Christian thing and keeping it to themselves.  They go to church every sunday, and they have prayed the salvation prayer to give them some fire insurance, but they don’t share their faith.  Besides the “rules” no one knows that they hold the key to everlasting life.  Some Christians are content living a rule-keeping Christian life, without power.  Can you be a Christian without using the power that lies in your heart?  I suppose you can, but why on earth would you?  Think, my beautiful friends, about those that you may leave behind.  Wouldn’t it be a travesty to live your whole life around people that aren’t Christians and you never share what you know.

 

We get so busy plowing through our little personal lives without regard to our true mission here on earth.  Our mission is to spread the glory of Christ and share what Jesus has done for us.  Don’t so get to caught up in your feelings or insecurities that you care more about your them than your mission.  Consider the people around you your assignment, if they aren’t Christians THEY NEED WHAT YOU KNOW.

 

Since my divorce, I have decided that my life WILL COUNT FOR THE FURTHERANCE OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST.  The petty things of this world hold no candle to the fulfillment of watching a life change for Christ and the reward that comes from Christ because of it.

 

I have to admit that sometimes I freak people out when I meet them, but the people in my path know where I stand with Christ, and I make no apologies for it.  My insecurities are not worth someone else’s eternity.

 

Don’t leave them behind.

Who do you listen to?

A few years ago my husband and I found ourselves having to make a very unpopular decision.  It was a decision that would affect our little family in the most dramatic way.  Everything we knew would change, and everyone we knew would not be on board.  We found ourselves completely torn over the decision and kept it quiet for several months telling only our parents until we knew that we had heard from God.  After we were confident, we shared it with those around us.  It was hard.  It hurt.  I remember the resounding question that we faced was, why didn’t you come to us and gain some perspective.  That question is hard to answer when you are staring some great friends in the face.  But we knew that God had spoken to both of us extremely clear.  When God speaks, whatever He says is the answer.  Some of our friends tried to talk us out of the decision, but we remained confident in the fact that God was working.  If Eddie and I didn’t make the unpopular decision we would not be experiencing what we are today.

 

In my reading this morning I was so intrigued by these verses in Galatians 1:15-16,

 

But when God, who had set me apart even from my mother’s womb and CALLED me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I DID NOT IMMEDIATELY CONSULT WITH FLESH AND BLOOD.

 

Wow, Paul said something amazing here!!  Paul was on his way to persecute Christians, and God got ahold of him and He got saved!! Right when Paul got saved he knew that he was called by God to preach the gospel, something that he was persecuting other Christians for doing minutes before. If Paul would have consulted his friends right after his conversion, he would have been laughed at and would have been heavily influenced to NOT preach the message of grace. After all, Paul’s friends were the same guys that wanted Jesus dead.  If Paul would of listened to them what would that have done for the message of the gospel???  Paul, the greatest missionary that ever lived, could have been silenced because of the advice of men.

 

Don’t get me wrong here, God a lot of times confirms His call on your life through godly counsel.  My challenge today is when you are sure that God is telling you to do something, ask God to confirm it through GODLY counsel.  As women, we have a problem of asking anyone who will listen for direction, and although well-meaning, some people are not in tune with what God is telling you to do. When you ask everyone you run the risk of being talked out of one of the most amazing moments of you life.

 

This passage in James is a great guideline for advice.

 

the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.  James 1:17

 

When God speaks, listen.

Do you cling?

Last week Eddie was out of town and for the first time in a while, it was me, by myself, with my kiddos for a few days.  I have to say, I was enjoying having my undivided attention on Grace and Jude.  I took a break from working for a few days to fully enjoy the alone time with my kiddos.  I had asked the kids what they wanted me to make for supper one night.  Grace chimed in first to say that she hadn’t had my lasagna in a while, Jude followed suit and before you know it I was listening to a duet of “We want lasagna, we want lasagna”.  So, after I dropped Grace at school Jude and I headed to get the ingredients.  When we got home, I quickly made the lasagna so Jude and I could play some ball before he had to take a nap.  I was just about done with the dish and Jude couldn’t wait for me to finish.  He wanted to go outside right then.  I told him to go ahead outside and wait for me.  He ran out with the ball and bat in his hand anxious for me to follow as soon as I could.

 

About two minutes later I hear a squeal unlike a squeal I have heard before and I see Jude’s little spiked hair as he runs around the bar to where I was standing.  His cries were desperate, his eyes were wide and completely terrified.  In an instant I was trying to figure out the problem, he couldn’t speak, just scream.  As I frantically looked him over, I saw a large amount of fire ants around his ankles and all over his shoes.  Without another second, I stripped him as quick as possible and put him in the sink. In about .7 seconds I had washed all the ants off of his legs and we were surveying the damage.  After calling the doctor about what to do, and getting her assurance that a visit to see her wasn’t necessary I smothered his little ankles with cortisone cream, and held my little man for a while.

 

Even now, when I think of Jude’s face, it makes me emotional.  He ran to me, in the midst of his urgency trusting that I would know how to help him.  He didn’t care about being scolded earlier in the day, or that he might of been upset with me about giving Grace a piece of candy for helping and he didn’t get one.  At the point of his crisis, he was clinging to the fact that he knew I would help, no matter what.

 

In Joshua’s farewell address in Joshua 23:8 he tells the children of Israel this,

 

But you are to CLING to the Lord your God, as you have done to this day.

 

The use of the word cling in this passage is captivating.  In one of Joshua’s last statements his charge was to cling.  The children of Israel knew what it was like to be hopeless.  They knew that in some of the situations they were faced with without God’s utter might, they would have been completely wiped out as a nation.  They recognized desperation, and they knew Who their Deliverer was.  Even still, Joshua said “cling”.

Why did he give this charge?  Because Joshua knew how easily they wandered from the Lord.  He knew the temptation for them to rely on themselves, when there was not impending danger.

 

Isn’t it so true that in a panicky moment like Jude and the fire ants, or news from the doctor, or a pink slip at work, or a letter that you get in your mail, or wondering where the money is going to come from to pay the mortgage, we CLING to the Lord.  Clinging in rough times seems so natural because we need a Savior.  Then there are days when we just get paid, and the kids are behaving, or we get a promotion, and we are just doing well that we tend to forget where those blessings come from. We slack in reading our bibles and praying because we are doing ok without it. When things are good, sometimes God is the farthest thing from our mind. Why is that?  He is the same God, and worthy of the same adoration.

 

If you are doing well, it isn’t because you are super smart or got it all together, it because God is blessing you. He loves you so much that He wants to bless you, just like you love to bless you children.  Don’t forget in the great times in your life to praise Him for his goodness, and have the attitude of still being desperate for Him.

 

King David in the Psalms is the perfect example of CLINGING to the Lord.  He knew when times were bad that God was HIs only hope, and when times were amazing God was the only reason.

 

I leave you with this.

 

Psalm 107:1

 

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

Haters

I was speaking a few years ago to a large group of people in Indiana.  The crowd was men, women, and children.  It made for an interesting day, however, I prayed and prayed about what exactly God wanted me to share.  I had not taken this engagement lightly and was completely excited for what God was going to do that day.  I decided to share my testimony about my previous husband and God’s grace to me through that situation.  I knew that the topic would be heavy, but made sure it was age appropriate.  I prayed before I took the stage, I remember being honored this group would even have me, I was so grateful for the experience.  Because children were present I decided to share how my daughter Grace got her name.

 

My daughter Grace is part of God’s grace to me.  I won’t ever forget the week after my divorce from my previous husband was final my family and I went on vacation.  We NEEDED a vacation so bad due to the huge amount of stress the whole situation caused.  We went to Gatlinburg, TN.  I remember sitting in a hot tub by myself one night talking to God.  I at that point was content to be single for the rest of my life, but I said this to God that night, “God, if you bless me with a baby girl one day, I will name her Grace because of the grace you have shown me.”   I prayed for a while that night, and always remembered my promise.

 

Well, wouldn’t you know a few years later, I was remarried, and pregnant and I knew even before the ultra-sound tech told me that it was a girl.  Her name is none other than Grace.

 

I shared that with that crowd  thinking it would resonate.  I left the stage and gathered my belongings to head home.  I remember many coming up to me saying they enjoyed what I shared.  As I went to leave on woman was waiting for me.  She came right up to me and said, why would you ever share that about your child’s name.  That is inappropriate, and I don’t think you should tell anyone that she was named after a bad marriage.  Her advice to me was to keep it a secret.  I left feeling a little defeated, but confident in my message, and I have come to realize that there WILL ALWAYS BE HATERS.

 

I read the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead today, you can find the entire story in John chapter 11.  It’s an amazing story about one of Jesus’s closest friends getting very sick and before Jesus could make it to heal him he passed away.  When Jesus finally got to his home He was questioned as to why He waited to get there.  Jesus’s response was, vs.40b “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God.”  The He prayed, and called Lazarus out of the grave and the dead man came back to life and walked out still bound.

 

The whole story is captivating, but one part caught my eye.  If you read the story in it’s entirety you will see vs.45 many Jews believed in Jesus that day.  But verse 46 says,

 

“But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them the things which Jesus had done.”

 

Even Jesus, who the Jews just saw Him raise the dead, were haters.  It didn’t matter what this man did for humanity, they didn’t like Him nor did they want Him spreading His  truth.

 

I think of us…..Sometimes, we are doing all we can for the glory of the Lord and we get bogged down by a single comment of negativity.  Our hearts are righteous before the Throne, and someone takes what we do and pulls it apart.

 

Let me encourage you today, DON’T GIVE IN!  If God has called you to do a specific thing to further His name, do it.  Let the haters hate, and let God take care of them.  Whenever we do something for the name of Christ, satan doesn’t want us to succeed so he tries as hard as he can to destroy us.  There will always be someone who doesn’t like everything you do, but remember to keep your eye’s on our God, and He will give you the strength to overcome!