Refuse To Do Nothing!

I’m at the WC12 and have much to write but I found this last night in my computer from a women’s conference a few years ago…enjoy!

I love to spend time by myself. I get my laptop out and write, getting lost in my own thoughts.  So when my mother had to leave the conference early Saturday morning, I was sad but knew I’d enjoy the time between Saturday’s session, typing away.

The morning session ended. The crowd disperses and in our row sits me and one other woman sitting two seats away. I get my laptop out and as it boots up I am getting more and more excited to write. I click on the icon to open my writing program and the woman starts talking to me. I take a deep breath, I smile, I’m polite, but deep down I’m annoyed. This is my time, God! She eventually stopped talking. I turned my head and buried it in my own little world typing away.

Worship was amazing. Joyce Meyer came out to preach. She was awesome, as always but then she hung a “do not disturb” sign around her neck. It was as though the room cleared out and she was talking directly to me. God giving me a good slap on my hand and boy did it sting. I had clearly hung that sign around my neck during the break. I wonder, now, what God had planned?  A chance for me to minister to someone? A chance to make a friend. A chance to share Christ?

It really hit home. Like Joyce said, it’s not always about me. In this case, I believe it was about this other woman and I was too busy being “not disturbed”.  I was unable to apologize to this woman because it’s hard to find one gal in the midst of 11,000 women but I will never forget God’s voice through Joyce’s preaching. She hit it home.

“I WILL take up compassion and surrender my excuses. I WILL stand against injustice and commit to live out simple acts of God’s love. I WILL refuse to do nothing. This is my resolve. I AM THE LOVE REVOLUTION.”.

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Too Comfortable

Last Saturday my son and I woke up with the desire to go the Mizzou game. We didn’t have tickets but were blessed to buy some online for 35 dollars, 9th row center. My son and I loaded the car and head out on the three-hour drive to Columbia. We were excited!

We watched one of the best games ever! Mizzou went from winning by a couple of touchdowns at the half to thinking they were going to loose at the last two minutes to an interception by Mizzou in the Arizona State’s end zone in the last minute of the game to seal the win. One of the most exciting games I’ve ever been to.

After the game, we sat in the stadium for a long time, letting a lot of the 71,000 people filter out then made our way to the car. The game started at 6:00 pm and ended around 9:00 pm.  By the time we got out of the parking lot it was 10:30 pm. We hadn’t eaten dinner so we were starving and we still had a three-hour drive.

We stopped to eat at a burger joint along with a few other hundred people. We finally got our food and started on our way home about 11:15 pm.

I drove with music on and a chill in the air to stay awake. I nibbled on licorice and sipped on a diet coke for the caffeine and had a Starbucks mocha just in case I needed another caffeine boost.

We made it into town around 2:15 am and as much as I’d like to say I was wide awake, I wasn’t. I remembered the days I could drive all night and it was no big deal but I guess I’m old. I let my son sleep because I did feel better with me driving then an eighteen year old.

When we were about five miles from our house I dozed off. I hate to admit it but I did. The swerve of the car jolted me wide awake. All I could picture was our car hitting the cement center divider and us laying there until someone came along, which who knows how long that would’ve took since it was so early in the morning and there were no cars in sight.

That scared me awake and I got us home safely. I told my daughter about it the next day, wondering out loud why, when I so close to home, would I fall asleep?

She said, “It was probably because you were more comfortable, you know the roads, you drive that road all the time.”

I’ve thought about that statement for the last couple days and realized how true that is in our Christian walk. I look back on the times I’ve stumbled or felt out of God’s will and I noticed I got too comfortable, too familiar with my surroundings and I let my guard down.

Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, Be on your guard; stand firm in your faith, be courageous; be strong. Do everything in love.  And who can forget Peter when he said Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8.

If you feel like you’re too comfortable in your Christian walk look at the cement center divider and imagine the crash and imagine how long you may lay there. Then, instead, stand firm in your faith, be courageous and strong, doing everything in love.

I Will Never Forget

On September 11, 2001, I was at home watching the morning news when pictures of the already hit North Tower came on. I was in shock as I witnessed another plane slam into the South Tower. Like so many others, I was glued to the TV when the Pentagon was hit and when American Airlines Flight 93 went down.

I found out my cousin’s cousin was on Flight 93. Tom Burnett called his wife Deena and she told him about the towers and the pentagon. He knew they had to stop the plane from heading back to the Capital or the White House. Those brave men and women on Flight 93 gave their lives to save others.

I remember staring at the TV, praying for the victim’s families and for any survivors. I remember crying out to God asking the question, why. Not why would He allow it to happen or why He didn’t stop it but my question was why would anyone be filled with so much hate that they would set out to kill so many people?

He spoke clearly. Not in an audible voice but a quiet voice that pressed upon my heart.  He said, “Jesus died for them, too.” I remember crying as it really soaked in. It didn’t matter that the terrorists did unbelievable, unthinkable crimes, killing so many people, Jesus died for them, too. It was at that moment I got a glimpse into just how much He really loves us.

September 11, 2001. I will never forget the feeling of helplessness. I will never forget feeling scared and vulnerable. I will never forget mourning for so many complete strangers.  I will never forget the overwhelming sadness of so many lives lost. I will never forget the ash that fell and covered everything and everyone. I will never forget those on Flight 93.  I will never forget the firemen, policemen and others who ran into the buildings, selflessly giving their lives for complete strangers. I will never forget watching people from all over the country work together to help. I will never forget what hate can do. I will never forget that God can heal. I will never forget how much He loves us and I will never forget that He loved them, too.

Got Love?

I drove through a fast food restaurant wanting a diet coke and cookie. They asked me to pull into parking spot #1 and wait for my food. The car behind me pulled into parking lot #2, the car behind them pulled into parking lot #3 and then one car just pulled forward. After what felt like forever but was actually about four minutes, I say to my daughter, “You’d think after asking four cars to pull up you’d cook their food first and catch up.”

We cranked some tunes and waited longer. I saw a worker come out carrying a bag of food but he walked to the car next to us. Before I could open my mouth to complain to my daughter the guy in the car next to us starts yelling at this poor little minimum wage kid. I mean yelling. Our windows were up, it’s raining, we had music on and we can hear it all. I felt sorry for the kid who was getting the brunt of this man’s anger.

When we finally got our cookies, I smiled nicely at the gal, told her thanks and rolled my window up. It wasn’t like the five to six minutes wait was going to put us behind or ruin anything we had going on that day. We got our cookies out and they were so hot and literally melted in our mouths. Couldn’t have asked for anything better.

My daughter said, “So, the guy would rather have fast food that’s cold then freshly cooked and hot.”

I said, “I guess.” Then I went on to tell my daughter that I wasn’t much better then the guy next to us. I may not have yelled at the gal that brought our food but I complained just the same. I wondered if I would’ve still smiled and said thanks to the gal if the man next to me had not been so angry and yelled.

We get so busy sometimes that we forget to show compassion to people. Sometimes they become the object of our anger even when it’s not their fault. Our church motto is Loving People, Loving Jesus. When I told a friend about the incident, he jokingly said, “It’s way too hard to love people, lets just love Jesus.”

Sometimes, it feels that way, doesn’t it? It’s easy to sit in our houses, read our Bibles, and pray but when we walk outside and encounter others, the real work begins. Lets remember that Jesus loves us regardless of how we act and the mistakes we make so let’s love people regardless of how they act or the mistakes they make.

We love because he first loved us. Whoever claims to love yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. 1 John 4:19

Skip to Easter

I loved praying with all my kids when they were little but one of my daughter’s prayed like she talked; very precise, questioning and had no problem telling God exactly how she felt.

At Christmas one year, we decided to put up white Christmas lights.  This was a major ordeal for her.  She wanted colored lights like we always had.  So, one night she prayed, “God, just make daddy go to Lowes, he can buy colored lights there.”

When she prayed, she’d pray for our family, the dogs, the man on the motorcycle we saw on the way to Wal Mart, my horses I had as a child. This one particular night, she began to pray for Easter. It wasn’t anything religious, she prayed, “God, make Easter come faster.  Skip Christmas and all the rest, just bring Easter.”

I remembered that that morning she had asked me how many days until Easter.  I said it’s a long ways off.

I was curious so after the prayers, I asked, “Why do you want Easter to come so fast?”

“I want a basket of candy,” she said.

“If Easter comes first,” I said, “you’ll miss out on Christmas, you get presents and candy then.”

“I don’t care.”

“But you’ll miss Valentines, you get candy then.”

“I don’t care.”

“You’ll miss out on so much if God moved up Easter. Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring break, birthday parties, all the stuff you learn at school.”

“I don’t care.”

I nodded.  It’s usually useless to argue with a five year old.

As I walked from her room, I realized I just had the same conversation with my daughter that I often have with God.

Many times in prayer, we ask God to hurry up with an answer.  We may be impatient or plainly hurting but the request is the same: answer us, now.   We don’t even realize the blessings we might be missing out on if He did.

I read a quote that said, “Patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while we are waiting.”

As I look back over the years, I have a few personal, long standing prayers.  One was when we lived in Jefferson City.  I prayed that the City would build sidewalks around our grade school.  We lived very close to it and I wanted my kids to walk to school but to be safe.

Three years I prayed for the sidewalks and it finally came to pass.  But during those years, I didn’t just sit and pray for God to miraculously build the sidewalks.  I didn’t ask for concrete to rain from heaven.  I prayed for Him to show me how He wanted me to help in accomplishing this.

I sat on a task force commissioned by the mayor, I met many interesting people, I went before City Council, spoke at the city wide PTO and finally, after three years, the sidewalks were built.  I saw the surveyors, I met with the engineers, I watched the concrete being poured. God answered my prayer.

It was frustrating at times, it was boring at times. I had my feelings hurt and more times then not, I wanted to give up but every day had a purpose.  I didn’t always see it or understand it but like I told my daughter about Easter, if it comes too fast, we miss out on all the blessings in between.

Our prayers may be simple enough that God shows Himself immediately or they may take years for Him to bring it to pass, but wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.  Psalm 27:14