Monday, February 23, 2009

Like Daughter, Like Dog

My beautiful 21 yr. old daughter has always been quite the joy...she is loveable and truly is a people person. In preschool I already knew we had a connector on our hands, she knew every persons name in her preschool class. Another amazing attribute is that she is a little one it was quite cute and who knew what it would develop into when it came to staying out later than curfew or acquiring a cell phone or pretty much anything else she wanted...she hung in there until she wore me or her dad or both of us down, and it was always with those beautiful eyes and that irresistable smile! As I write she is working on her dad at this moment about buying a doesn't end.

Because of her tenacity, we have added a dog to the family and our poor old dog, angel has had her world turned upside down. Angel is well trained, she knows the rules and is quite content with the way things are. Now we have Bella, a 2 year old, semi trained dog with the cuteness of my daughter, but more importantly her tenacity! Bella also knows the rules, but she continues to bat her eyes, wag her tail, and keeps popping up on furniture, sneaking up the stairs, jumping on the bed, etc. until she wears us each down and gets her way. Unbelievable, just like my daughter!

The apostle James must have known or been like my else could someone write, James 1:2-4 (NASB) 2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. 4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

Endurance, tenacity...same idea! I have watched as this same quality in my daughter has helped her to press through tough times and situations, and continue hanging in there with people trusting the Lord through to the other side. There are times we all want to give up, a little tenacity, and some holy perserverance is a great thing to have, and what I really love is James promise that if we hang with it, we will be complete and lacking in nothing! It is working for my daughter and Bella!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Stirred Hearts

Today in our devotional reading, Ex. 33 and 34, it mentions several times that the people's hearts were stirred to give, or stirred to serve, or stirred to respond... the result, they had to stop the giving, they had too much! It made me think about my heart. Do I respond when God stirs it? Do I even feel it being stirred, and if so, do I recognize that it is God?

My greatest fear is that my heart will become callous, cold to God, unresponsive to His stirring. David cries out to God, "Lord, do not take your Spirit from me!" If we ignore the stirring of God enough, are we receptors of His movement any longer? How many opportunities have I missed where God has tried to get me to move out in His name?

My prayer is that I gain sensitivity to the stirring of God, that I respond to His movement, that I not hinder or ignore Him, and that my response will be part of a movement to overflow the storehouse of the Body of Christ. Wouldn't it be awesome if we were all stirred to the point of having to be asked to stop giving of our gifts, our time, our talents because our church had too much?! What an awesome day that would be...will you join me?

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wild Beasties in the Trees

Have you ever wondered what lurks around Corona in the middle of the night, while you are safely tucked away in your warm bed? Well, I don't wonder either, but maybe we should!
My husband let the dogs out to wander in the front yard before bed, and our pit/greyhound Bella, tore through the garage and was trying to make dinner out of something! We yelled her back into the house and Richard went out on a rescue or security mission, depending on your perspective. A few minutes later he was calling me outside to come and look. Picture me trying to get out the door with Bella, determined to finish her pursuit, pressing through my ankles with me trying to squeeze my tiny self through the door, and keep our brave watchdog pinned in the laundry room.

I finally get outside and Richard is standing there with a flashlight pointed in the tree. There, precariously perched, with heart beating a million beats a minute, looking very innocent, was a Raccoon! It was fairly small, and Richard has seen a pretty large one run across the street another night, so this must be her baby. Ok, so now I live in the wild. The poor thing was looking at us like, "What did I do?"

Have you ever felt completely out of place? It feels like you are in the wrong neck of the woods, so to speak, and everything is strange, abnormal, doesn't fit. I am realizing more and more that we are not of this world, and like the raccoon I press on with my heart racing, staring with disbelief at what I see and experience at times, and clinging for dear life. I love life, and I love people...but this world is definitely not our world. For those of us that Believe in Jesus, our spirit is longing, groaning, aching to be with Him constantly. This world is more and more not our home, and like the unsuspecting raccoon, we can easily become devoured!

As I pray weekly with people struggling to navigate this world and keep their loved ones safe...I am so grateful for fellowship with other Believers that keeps us connected, worship that keeps our hearts hopeful, teaching that keeps our perspective based in truth, and the Holy Spirit that serves as our daily counselor and teacher. As we all daily journal and get into the Word, I am so thankful for the grounding and truth that God has preserved for us until we are safely home. So when you feel like the raccoon, hang on tight, and know that God has made a way for you even in this foreign land. Beware, out there, there truly are things lurking in the night!