Don’t Hit the Snooze Button

Anytime I write a lesson, I write a rough draft then set the lesson aside for a day or two so I can roll around the lesson in my head and pray over it.

This last week I was teaching on the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus found in the Gospel of Luke. I like to try and understand why people do what they do so I wondered why the Rich Man would be so blatantly obtuse to the needs of Lazarus? The Rich Man walked by Lazarus who was starving and covered with sickness and never once did the Rich Man stop and help.

After studying and praying over the scripture I still couldn’t imagine anyone being so heartless. The Rich Man had to feel a tug at his heart to help someone in such need even if he didn’t follow through with an action to help. I kept going back to idea that the Rich Man knew he should help but maybe he thought he was just too busy. Then, one day, it was too late.

The morning I was teaching the lesson, I set my alarm for my normal time to get up. When the alarm went off I was tired so I hit the snooze button. The alarm went off and I hit the snooze button, again. This happened three maybe four times. Each time I hit the snooze I thought about the things I would not get to do but it didn’t make me get up. By the time I finally did get up I ended up with a quick shower but couldn’t wash my hair. Got a glass of milk but couldn’t eat. Got kids off to school but was late to work.

I really didn’t think about it applying to my lesson until started teaching it later that night. I hit the snooze button that morning thinking selfishly. I was doing what I wanted to do when in reality, I missed out.

It’s the same when God asks us to do something. We say we’ll do that later or I’ll help that person tomorrow but none of knows if tomorrow will come.  When God prompts you to do something, maybe give someone a hug, say a nice word, visit someone in the hospital or nursing home, just do it. Don’t be tempted to hit the snooze button or you’ll miss out on so many blessings!

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Your Tail is Hanging Out

I am a Mizzou fan. When we drive to the football games in Columbia we always see cars with the tiger tails hanging out of the trunk. I always wanted one so the last game we went to, I bought one. I love reasons to let my tail hang out.

Last Friday we were at my kids’s high school football game. We are also the Ozark High School Tigers. We won 58-21 so my son and I thought we’d put the tiger tail out to support the OHS Tigers.

We sat in the car listening to music, waiting for my daughter to be dismissed from the marching band. All of a sudden an older man and a high school boy tapped on our window.

We rolled the window down and the younger kid said, “You have a tail hanging out of your trunk. I wouldn’t want you to ruin it.”

The older gentleman smiled and added, “We weren’t sure if you knew.”

I grinned and said, “Yeah, we knew. We are Ozark Tigers on Friday night and Mizzou Tigers on Saturday.”

He looked confused, gave us a wave, and walked away. I looked at my son and said, “They are obviously not Mizzou fans.”

I began to wonder what they really thought was going on? Did they think we had some giant stuffed tiger in the trunk and I didn’t get the tail tucked in? Maybe he thought we had the tiger mascot. Regardless of what they thought, they didn’t judge us. They tried to help.

Mother Teresa said, “If you judge people, you have no time to love them.”

How many times have you walked by someone with their tail hanging out and you didn’t help because you came to a conclusion of what was going on, yet, in reality, you had no idea. You not only didn’t show them love but you missed an opportunity to minister.

When you see someone’s tail hanging out, it may be what you think but it may not be what you think, either way, lets just love.

I Got a Golden Ticket

I had put off buying a ticket to a women’s conference that a friend and I were planning on going to because I thought it was still iffy on whether she could come.

When she said it was a definite go I called the venue to buy my ticket. I was shocked to find out that the conference was completely sold out. I’m really bummed because this was supposed to be a birthday present for my bestest friend. I chance to come to my house, spend a couple nights with me and go to an amazing women’s conference so we could spend some time together worshiping God and reconnecting.

I had gotten back from another women’s conference so I’m trying to keep a very positive attitude. I was praying in the car, reminding God that I had given away two tickets to the other conference. I had blessed two people so I asked God if I could have half of that blessing back and get a ticket today. I knew he was going to work it out but I also knew that, normally, God doesn’t just let it fall in your lap. I needed to do some work myself so I started texting all my friends that went to this church to see if any of them had extra tickets. I put a plea on Facebook and Twitter. I was so excited, praying and believing God I’d get a ticket.

I called the venue and they put me on a waiting list. They called me back a few hours later to tell me that they were going to open a second venue on property so I could buy a ticket. The only problem was my friend was in the auditorium and I’d be in a different part of the church. I bought the ticket still believing God would get me in that main auditorium.

My friend and I decided I’d hang out in line with her until the doors opened then she’d go into her area and I’d leave to go into mine. While standing in line for the first session, a friend calls me and asked if I’d had gotten a ticket into the main auditorium. I said no but told her it would all work out. Little did I know it would work out through her. She found me, traded me tickets and I got to be with my bestest friend.

What a blessing it was but I couldn’t help but feel bad for my other friend who was now in another venue away from her friends. God has a cool way of working everything together for good. Before the session even started, the church moved everyone from the second venue into the auditorium. They brought in chairs and we all fit. God it so good!! He’s just waiting to bless us!! Watch for His blessings and then give Him the glory.

Facing Goliath

I often wonder how Jesus even puts up with me. I know He and God sometimes sit up in heaven laughing at how much work I make the Holy Spirit do.

I was asked to speak in front of a group of people. That is the one thing that terrifies me the most. Statistics show that speaking in front of people is the number one fear even above death. It’s nice to know I’m not alone but it drives me crazy on how afraid I get. Give me three hundred kids and I’m fine but ten adults and I’m shaking in my boots.

Joyce Meyer has said to do it afraid. Beth Moore once said you may never get into your Promised Land if you’re too afraid to do what God is calling you to do.

I knew God was telling me to do it so I agreed. I knew it would be hard and scary. I believed I could do it through the help of the Holy Spirit. What’s funny is once I agree to something in the Spirit the flesh takes over. I start thinking of ways to get out of it and the roller coaster begins. One minute I’m excited to speak the next my stomach feels like I could puke. I could totally relate to Elijah when he was so pumped about God showing Himself then he wanted to die.

I began talking to my flesh, scolding it really. I said, “Dana, God spoke the world into existence, He parted the Red Sea, parted the Jordan, brought down the walls of Jericho, rained fire from Heaven, rose Jesus from the dead and you really think He can’t help you through a few minutes of speaking in front of people?” It was pretty pathetic when I think about it now but it was very real a few days ago.

I clung to a profound word a preacher said a few days before I had to speak. She explained that so many of us want to see a miracle. We want to see God conquer a Goliath only we don’t want to be a David and face it. But to see the miracle God wants to work in our lives, we have to face a Goliath. We have to come to a Red Sea and a Jordan River. We have to face the walls of Jericho.

It really hit home. We have to face these fears and allow God to work through us. We have to get out of the way and let the Spirit work. I did just that. I got up there and faced my Goliath. I did it afraid. My stomach was in knots but people said I did a good job and they said they couldn’t even tell I was nervous. I don’t know if that’s true or if I blessed anybody with my words but I do know I obeyed God and getting through it was as much of a miracle as David taking out Goliath with one stone.

If you want to see God work some miracles in your life then you will have to face some Goliaths.