Friday, July 6, 2012

Don’t Quit!

When I was a sophomore in college, I joined the university’s’ cross country team. At our very last race I found myself halfway to the finish line, in last place. DEAD last place! I couldn’t even see the rest of the runners in front of me. I was exhausted, sweaty and wondering why I took enjoyment from such a monotonous activity.

As I sprinted along, a man from the audience jumped in right beside me on the running path. He started running alongside of me and shouted “You should really speed up, it’s a lot easier to run with the rest of the pack! Catch up to them and you will have an easier time the rest of the race!”

I was too winded to respond, as he scooted back into the audience. Was he serious? This was a RACE! If I COULD speed up to catch up with everyone else I would! Didn’t he know that??

I reflected on his words as a rounded the corner towards the finish line. No, I didn’t join in with the rest of the crowd, even though it may have been easier, it wasn’t an option for me.

Do you run with the rest of the crowd because it’s easier?  What do YOU give into in life because it’s convenient? Is it gossiping? Partying? Dressing a certain way? Cheating on an exam?  Cheating on your diet?

Whatever it is, are you able to separate yourself from the rest of the pack, or do you blend into the rest of the crowd from fear of being “different”.
Don’t Quit. Stay on the narrow path, even if you’re not running with the rest of the world, God will be trotting alongside of you, showering you with blessings, pushing you to and through the finish line, where He will then say “Well done, my good and faithful Servant”

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us” Hebrews 12:1

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Middle

The middle.
The average, the mundane.
The neutral, the so-so, the sustained.

The day to day
That no one talks about,
If you’re not on a high - or down and out.

Stuck in the past
And dreaming of what’s yet to come,
All the while, missing what could be done.

Yesterday and tomorrow…
Entirely fleeting.
Today and Now, is where He is leading.

Our lives here are but a breath
So breathe in deep…
the ones you have left.

Enjoy the NOW-the moment- the simple
And live your life
in the middle.

“THIS is the day the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Who are You Reflecting?


Leaving my house the other day, I grabbed my purse, coffee and keys and stepped out into the garage. I pressed the “unlock” button on my car key, and the loud “BEEP- BEEP” sounded in response. Shortly afterwards I heard the chime ring “BEEP-BEEP” once again. “That’s strange” I thought, “I didn’t push the button again?” I waited for a second in the silence, staring at my keys waiting for it to malfunction again.  Once more I heard the familiar “BEEP-BEEP” resounding in the morning sky. I glanced over and noticed a little bird in the tree, echoing the beeping sound back to me. It was IDENTICAL! How funny. I pressed the lock and unlock button a couple more times to see if the bird would mirror the sounds again, sure enough with each BEEP he BEEPED back ever so clearly! He probably didn’t know why he repeated the noise, it was just something that he heard and it became natural to him to emulate.


This peaked my interest: How often are we just like that? We repeat whatever it is we hear; we mirror whatever is demonstrated to us. We reflect our surroundings, even though we may not realize it.


Think back to the last time you saw a scary movie…After the movie was over, what were your thoughts consumed with? Probably scary images from the horror you just witnessed!


So, if that is the case, then the things we listen to, our circle of friends, what we watch and read, can deeply affect us….


So why don’t we do something about it!?


Why do we STILL listen to depressing or degrading music?  Or watch the shows that reflect immorality? Can anyone honestly say that the shows, that music, those magazines don’t affect them!? How about the people that you spend time with?  After you visit with them, are you lifted up? Encouraged? Inspired?


We spend time immersed in social media, entertainment, and the things of this world, and then we cry out to God that we feel LOST, or that He feels far away!


What would happen if we started to replace those things in our lives with what could make us more HOLY. The world has enough garbage constantly pulling us away from who we are supposed to be. Why not set ourselves up for success by taking charge of the things we CAN control. By surrounding ourselves with His presence, with His word, we will be equipped to reflect His image, His good and perfect image; and with it the peace and assurance knowing we are fulfilling our purpose.

“And (you) have put on your new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator” Colossians 3:10

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

You are not alone

Tonight was like any other night. I said goodbye to my roommate as she stepped out for a night with her friends. I then decided it was my time to get ready myself, so I took my robe and towel and stepped into the bathroom for a quick shower. Those who know me know that the shower/bathroom area is not my favorite place. I am sort of a freak about the tiniest strand of hair anywhere but on someone’s head… so I try to make all showering and bathroom duties short and sweet. I shut the door behind me and proceeded with my quick task hoping to be able to have a little down time before I had to leave for the evening.

 I stepped out of the shower and wrapped up tight in my robe to keep warm. Grabbed all of my stuff and reached for the handle to let myself out of the, what was now, a steam room…But the door would not open? I twisted and pulled once again, and still nothing. I could feel my heart starting to race, I started to break a sweat, and anxiety started to take over my body. I was locked in the bathroom…stuck, trapped, oh Great! Ok so I have to admit I started to hyperventilate. It was so hot in the bathroom and my roommate wasn’t due back for a few hours, I was alone. For how long? 5 minutes? 5 Hours!!! What do I DO!????? I immediately began to take deep breaths. I could not pass out in the bathroom (first of all I couldn’t bear the thought of laying on the bathroom floor) and second of all, if I passed out, how would anyone know I was locked in if they came home!?!?

"Ok, deep breaths, deep breaths...maybe I could pull a McGuiver and pick the doorknob open! YA!" It’s worth a try right? I mean, seriously, what else was I going to do? I found a few bobby pins in my drawer and began to pick at the knob of the door. By the looks of my reflection in the mirror, it APPEARED that I knew what I was trying to do, but that theory was quickly shut down once the bobby pin split into two pieces and crumbled at my bare feet.

 What I really needed were tools, a screwdriver would be my best bet! "Yes a screwdriver would do the trick!" Maybe there was one in the bathroom!? Hey, you never know? I quickly rummaged through the medicine cabinet and then the 2 drawers, found nothing. 

Well, how about taking the hinges off the door? I could just go out the other side! So I began to take the hinges off with my bare hands. The first one came off with ease! Yes, this was going to be so easy, I started to smile…The second one was a little tough but I finally managed to pull it out. I began to sing praises to myself; I was a real life handy-woman. I could take apart a door and get myself out of a locked room! What a story this is going to make! I felt like my own personal hero! Then the third hinge…well that was another story. It was stuck, no not stuck; it was RUSTED to the frame. There was no way I could do this…but before I let myself get defeated I remembered a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the bottom of my cabinet, maybe that would help the rust? Worth a shot! So I dumped as much as I could on the hinge, and guess what, IT WORKED!!! Amazing! I got the last hinge off! My praises returned and I felt like I was soaring in the clouds, I’m so smart!

...but wait? Nothing was happening? I pulled the door, tugged at the handle, but nothing? WHAT DID I EVEN DO?!? I was still stuck! So I started to pace...and pace...and worry..and then I could feel my heartbeat begin to pick up again…

 “I’m going to be stuck in here all night long. I’m all alone, I have no one to save me, I am stuck..."
 Just then it occurred to me. “Wait, I’m not alone? I’m not stuck. I’m in here for a reason.” I didn’t know why? But maybe God did..?
I walked over to the wall shelf above the toilet and pulled open the tiny drawer. I saw a red handle attached to a long silver rod with a cross on the end of it. A screwdriver. I tiny screwdriver in that tiny drawer. It was like it appeared out of thin air. I can’t tell you the feeling I got when I pulled that out of the drawer. God must have been smiling down as he saw my faith for him grow by the obvious answered prayer.
I encourage you to ask God to show himself to you. It may be in some silly way like having a screwdriver show up when you needed it, or he could move in some big way in your life. Either way, He is there and He is always watching over you.

I encourage you to ask God to show himself to you. It may be in some silly way like having a screwdriver show up when you needed it, or he could move in some big way in your life. Either way, He is there and He is always watching over you.

"God, please help me get out of here, I’m scared, it sounds so silly but I’m scared of being alone, please help me get out of here" My mind stopped racing and my breathing started to steady out to its normal rhythms. I was going to be fine. "God please if you could just make a screwdriver appear out of thin air that would really really help me right now! Please God I know you can help me, and I know you are here, just show me that you are going to lead me out of this silly mess"

After another deep breath I decided to look again for a screwdriver. “What was the harm in looking,” I thought. Nothing in the medicine cabinet again, and nothing in the drawers. Well, this is hopeless. I slumped down on the edge of the bathtub to wait. There was only one place I didn’t look , but it was just a small wall shelf, so it didn’t really phase me to check, but I felt a little nudge in my heart.. The shelf was decorated with flowers and ribbon and had a tiny drawer attached to it where we used to keep a bar of soap. No screwdriver would be in there anyway, it was too small! I decided to just look inside and see, just so I could say I sincerely looked everywhere.

 I ran over to the door knob, still in disbelief, I started to cry because I was in such awe of what had just happened. I unscrewed the jammed doorknob and the door opened swung open. About 30 seconds after I got the door open, my other roommate came home.

What a crazy experience? How amazing is God that he can use the tiniest thing in someone’s life, good or bad, and create an amazing story of faith out of it. 

Never forget that you are not alone, and you are never stuck. He is always with you, He will always save you. 

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Choosing Joy!

The other day I was walking outside with my 3 friends. As we trotted back to our car, my first friend spotted some bright colored roses planted right off the walkway. She picked up her pace to a speed walk and went right up to a vibrant pink rose, stopped, and breathed in its intoxicating perfume. My second friend snickered as she did this and joined in on smelling the sweet fragrance. I stopped and watched as my two friends smiled and took a moment to breathe in the new spring roses. Our third friend glanced over, but kept walking towards the parking lot. She did not stop to watch their enjoyment, nor did she stop to sniff the striking flowers...

As we proceeded to walk towards the parking lot, I began to consider the obvious metaphor that was just revealed before me, an obvious portrayal of life’s ever present decisions. The first friend had one goal in mind as soon as she spotted the beautiful display of God’s nature.  She decided in her heart to stop and enjoy some of life’s simplest pleasures. The second friend may not have even thought to stop and smell the roses, but she saw the example of our first friend, and decided to take one minute and share in the same joy.

God bless people like my first friend, who remind us constantly of the joy God brings us on this Earth, moment by moment. How often are we like me, or the second friend, and just don’t even see the opportunity for joy? We don’t even notice when God shares a glimpse of His face with us, because we are “too self-involved” and “too caught up” in life. How often are we like the third friend, and decide against joy, decide against peace, decide against momentary bliss because we are “too busy”. Today, make a choice, DECIDE to look for Gods pleasures, Gods joys, and look for Gods tiny pictures of love, which he displays so often, if we would only look for, stop and smell the roses. 

“You have made known to me the path of life; 
You will fill me with joy in your presence, 
 with eternal pleasures at your right hand.” 
Psalm 16:11

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Are you living life to your full potential?

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”
 –Albert Einstein

God has created us so uniquely, each person intrinsically different from the next. Our gifts and strengths could be someone else’s weaknesses. Our own shortcomings could be where the next person flourishes. So why is it that we exhaust ourselves to the point of defeat when we cannot do something as well as the other person; or if we don’t look the way we think we ought to look? Why is it that we have developed a self-deprecating attitude of self-pity, all the while our gifts are being WASTED. Do not waste your innate potential for greatness because you are too consumed with negative thoughts. You are who you are for a purpose, for Gods purpose, because He created you to be USED to your full potential.  

You can now make a choice: Do you want to live in the shadow of someone else’s full potential? OR do you want to break out of your own self-inflicted misery and live a life boasting in the gifts God has equipped you with. 

“For what gives you the right to make such a judgment? What do you have that God hasn't given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?” 1 Corinthians 4:7