Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Cool of the Day

I stepped out of the door and was met with a kiss from the cool of the morning. 
The gentle breeze of morning triggered thoughts from Genesis when the Lord would meet and walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day.  My mind began to go there, pondering.

Why did He meet with them in the cool of the day?
First thing.
I am sure that is what it means, the Lord met with them first thing in the morning. Right away, when they awoke from their sleep, He was there ready to go for a walk with them. 

What do you suppose they talked about?

Do you think He pointed out the marvelous wonders that He had created in the Garden while explaining to them how it all worked? Did they ask questions about what they saw, or did they just praise Him as they enjoyed His magnificent creation as they explored the garden with Him?

Perhaps "cool of the day" simply meant the opposite of the "heat of the day".

Heat of the day in the Garden of Eden would mean exactly that, it would be a bit warmer a little later in the day.

My mind kept going with this.
Our cool of the day could be when all is well. We feel His presence with us and we are confident. His voice is clear and we feel secure. Those times when His presence is tangible.

And then comes the heat of the day. Where did He go? We cannot seem to hear His voice. It seems that His feet have left the path we are on leaving us to walk it alone. The heat beats down on us, and sometimes we beg to be comfortable again as we long for the cool of the day to return. 

Yesterday when I stepped out of my door and was met with a  kiss from the cool of the day these thoughts came upon me. It seems I have been walking in the heat of the day for the past few days. The heat has been intense and tenacious. It has been difficult, not fun, frustrating! I have been longing for the cool of the day to return to me!

So, I got in my car, loaded a cd in the player that holds six cds. I selected the number four cd and searched until I landed on the number four song. I thought I knew the cd  and the song that would play, but I had chosen the wrong one. I decided to leave it there, and then I heard these words coming from the song that I had selected by mistake; 

"to walk in the cool of the day with You,
to gaze on the beauty of all You do.
To meditate on Your glorious splendor, 
I was made for  You........"

I didn't know that song would come on. 

It seemed as if the Lord was singing to me.

He looked right into my thoughts and began to sing to them.

He brought me the cool of the day.

Then He met me there........singing!

He loves to enjoy the cool of the day with us. So many times I run to Him in the heat of the day, when things are unbearable and I need a savior! I believe He was saying to me, "Come enjoy the cool of the day with Me then when the heat of the day comes you will be ready for it. I will show you who I am in the cool of the day so that you will know that I am with you and will never leave you when things begin to heat up and you can't sense My presence."

So I come, first thing. I come when I know He is near and He speaks clear. I come expecting to be refreshed as we walk and talk.

And when the heat of the day takes over, and I don't really see Him anymore, I will trust that He is with me. And I will wait until the cool of the day returns and we can enjoy one another again.

For now, I am enjoying  the cool of the day with Him once again! Praise the Lord!

Blessings, sweet friends!


Friday, March 20, 2009


She walked in with her hair color mixed in three parts, Crayola crayon red, white, with mousy gray in the mix. She had pulled it up into lopsided pony tails while topping it off with a tiara.

 I noticed her tights right off. I wondered if she might have found them in a dumpster somewhere. Her skirt was very short, her blouse very unusual, and her voice was scratchy and loud. She was the most unusual character that surrounded my friend and I.

 We were ministering in a church of several unusual characters. They dressed different than most people in the churches I have visited.  They looked different, too. I have been overseas and have seen a few unusual characters, but none of them were in churches. They were usually on street corners begging. 

Surely my friend was noticing how different the atmosphere was in this small church.

I was wondering if she might say something to me about it. You know, pull me aside and poke fun about those surrounding us.

I wasn't about to, but I really thought about it. I was beginning to believe that perhaps there really were aliens on the earth. 

But my friend never ever mentioned even one of the strange sights, smells, or sounds that we witnessed. We were in the same location but she was so far above me. She was focusing on the heart of each one present, not their outward appearance.

She taught Sunday school first. She poured her all into the lesson on prayer. She used energy like she had been storing it up for days! She gave point after point. I took notes. I was learning.
Was the President of the USA in the room?  Or was the Queen of England tucked away in a secret corner or perhaps in a disguise somewhere? I wondered. My friend acted as if people of great honor were present.  She treated all present with much respect, love. 

Sunday school ended and the church service began. Three or four more characters joined our small group of believers. The worship was a little sour and more awkward. Finally it was time for the preaching so my friend took the platform. A hush settled as all were attentive to receive a word from the Lord.

Words of faith began to pour from her. Testimonies of wonders and grace flowed from her heart and filled the sanctuary. Energy began to rise as my friend testified of the greatness of our God. She preached long and hard. No one hardly moved. Everyone hung on every spoken word. I said "amen" over and over........I couldn't help myself. The Lord deserved His glory! I was getting pumped by the power and promises of the Word that my friend was so eloquently expressing!

An altar call was given. The little woman with the tricolor (lets just say.....not so pretty hair) was one of the first to hit her knees at the altar. My friend prayed for each one that came forward. She ministered with love and patience in incredible measures. She spoke words of compassion, words of exhortation, and words of promise while laying her hands on each one. Her voice was coming against doubt in their hearts, against fear, and against despair. She treated each soul as if they were a precious lamb in the Shepherd's fold, and thus they were.

Her beautiful actions of humility chastised me, then they melted me. I was in despair over my own sin. I could only see the outward appearance of those in the small congregation. I was not seeing the hearts of the people. 

I confess, I wanted to take my friend aside and say, "Did you see......?" or "What did you think of.....?" or "Could you believe......?" I didn't say any of those things out loud, but they were in my heart. I realized that I "prefer" some over others. I go quickly to those who are so easy to love while turning my head when there are those who are less appealing. James 2:1-13

I saw a lacking in my heart and I was so broken! I saw pride in my heart and I was crushed! 

I cried all the way home. I turned on the worship music and cried and repented while pleading with the Lord to have mercy on me. I recognized my wickedness and asked Him and pleaded with Him to forgive me. It was a two hour drive so my tears should have run out but I went straight to my bed and cried more when I got home. I couldn't even talk about what I saw for days. It was too amazing to put into words.

I don't think this post can adequately describe the experience either. It was one of those times that you probably had to be there. 

Well, I WAS there and the Lord knew that I needed to be there.

My friend demonstrated humility to me that day. She made me aware of my need. I was so broken over my own arrogant heart that it took some time to weep before the Lord and let Him renew me. I don't ever want to go back into the garments of arrogance that I shed that day.
Not ever! I hope that He stripped me of ALL of them!

I was not only grieved for the attitudes of my heart that day, but for all the times I had been so arrogant in the past. I have toted an attitude that belongs in the waste dump! I picked it up somewhere, maybe even the womb, I don't know, but it does not belong in my heart!

Jesus died for everyone! He doesn't look at the outward appearance and then turn away, no He looks on the heart. He says "all" so many times. He came to seek and save the lost, that means ALL!" We all have been lost souls in need of a saviour. Even the funny looking ones. Even the needy ones. Even the dirty ones. He came to save them. He died to save them. He came to prove His love for them. So in this I ask Him for the grace to follow Him so that I can better serve Him.

It is beautiful when the Lord reveals our own heart to us. Because of His great mercy, He pulls back the veil to expose what really resides in the chambers of our being. When He exposes, He is ready to begin reconstructing, restoring, renewing, while responding to our repentance.

He used my beautiful, humble friend to reveal the truth of the condition of my heart. Her right attitude, right posture, her genuine actions not only revealed but also convicted my own heart. I am so thankful for her. How precious was this deliverance. The weeping lasted awhile, but joy came. Joy always follows the freedom we gain with repentance. 

I am so grateful for the work of the Holy Spirit. I am so thankful for forgiveness! Oh, how I praise Him for His unfailing love toward me!

Should a similar opportunity arise, I pray that I will demonstrate the kind of humility that my friend so effectively demonstrated for me. Then, perhaps, by His grace, with His help, someone else will be set free.


Rising up and Blessing

Our son, Luke will be twenty-one in September. He is our fourth child. Do you remember him? He was the,  "My momma says!" guy that I talked about awhile back. (Quite some time back!) 

He and I have been working a lot together this week on his new trailer (25 years old but new to him). We have painted and cleaned. I have enjoyed working side by side with him. So many times he made me smile. Other times I was nearly bursting, he blessed me so.

Proverbs 31 says that "Her children rise up and bless her." 

I am not claiming to be able to attain to the standard of the Proverbs 31 woman.......I haven't even come close. But I am seeing verse 28 a little differently today.

It is a huge blessing to me when my children "RISE UP". Those times when they do what is right. When they have compassion on the needy, or show respect, or act responsibly. Knowing they live in a "me first world" displaying a "you first attitude". Oh, how such things give me joy!

Luke and I were painting his new bedroom, covering pastel posies with plain, clean, fresh paint. We were short a roller so he ran to Home Depot to buy one.  

On his way back he saw a homeless man holding a sign on the corner begging.  His expression was  screaming, "I'm hungry, feed me!" his head hanging as if he was disgraced to look in the eyes of his readers. 

Luke hurried home to bring me the much needed tool and began to work. He told me about the man as his roller began to transform the walls.  He had wanted to stop and give the man some food, but he knew I was in a hurry, so he came back to help me.

The image of the man continued to haunt him until he could no longer stand it. 

"I am going to Wendy's to buy that man some food. I will be right back!" 

And he was off on a mission to help one helpless soul by providing him a meal.

I was hoping the man would be grateful. 

I wanted him to be satisfied with the food and blessed by a young man's thoughtfulness. 

I wasn't with Luke when he put the food in the hungry man's hands, but the Lord was. The Lord saw Luke "rise up". He saw him have compassion on someone that desperately needed it. He saw it all and He will remember and never forget.

Isn't it amazing that the Lord can be so forgetful of our past sins (Psalm 103:3, 9-12) but acts of kindness are recorded and He chooses to remember them forever (Matthew 25:31-40)!

This is not the first and only time I have seen Luke extend his heart toward another. No, there are more times than one little post can hold. But I must say that this was one of those times when Luke bent down to help someone else and when he bent down he was actually "rising up" to a standard that this Proverbs 31 want-a-be mother couldn't help but be blessed by. (Whew that was a long sentence, but I kinda like it so I am going to leave it).

I know what you might be thinking. Some versions say "Rise up and call her blessed"......Yes, they probably do.  What if on examination we look at this verse from another angle (or version) and say when our children "rise up" it brings a blessing upon us, because it does......It really, really does.

We are heading back to Luke's today. We will do more work beside him and learn from him.

He is a very special young man. I can say that because I know that he has spent a lot of time with the only One who can make us good. I am so grateful to both of them. To the Lord for the way He is working in Luke's life, and to Luke who has chosen to be a man of God, continually "rising up" and blessing his God and his momma.

Have an awesome weekend!

Blessings to you, friends!

Monday, March 16, 2009

In the Fog or the Furnace

A heavy fog has blanketed the morning. I know that there are houses just across the street but they are veiled with a cloud that is visiting earth and are presently hiding from my view. I cannot trust my sight at this moment in time, I must depend on what I know to be true. There are objects across the road whether I see them or not.

Yesterday, I visited the church I grew up in. It was refreshing to go back home and hear a fresh word from an ancient passage. The pastor was gone on vacation with his wife this week, so an old friend of mine was filling in. He was nervous! He had a word, was confident that he had heard, but he was intimidated by us.........His friends and family,  to deliver it. 

He began with a nervous intro, making us laugh, while trying to settle his own state of being. He promised that he would get to the end of the message, eventually. "It might take fifteen minutes, and it might take five days!" he said, "I have seventeen pages! We will see what happens!"

Then he began to share his heart. A sweet anointing fell in the house of the Lord, and my friend Steve began to testify. We turned to Daniel, chapter 3, where we found Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, the three Hebrew children who refused to bow in the earthly king's presence.  Steve introduced them as if we had never heard of them before and he compared their desperate situation to any of us who might be in a season of struggling today. 

Trust was main point. Who do we trust? The three Hebrew children knew that they could trust the Lord in life and in death. The Lord is trustworthy. 

I love this story. 

It stirs my faith!

It is a picture of a test.

A test that was passed and blessed while producing for them a testimony.

Awhile back I was spending some time in the book of Daniel, petitioning the Lord to show me something that was hiding behind  fog to my spiritual eyes. He revealed a powerful thought to me.

King Nebuchadnezzer could see the fourth man in the fire! 

It is recorded because the king saw the fourth man!

But it does not record that the Hebrew children could actually see the fourth man in the fire. 

They knew He was with them..........they were not being consumed though they were baptized in fire. 

He loosed them from the king's bindings. 

It was obvious that He must be with them.

But there is no guarantee that they could actually SEE HIM!

In seasons of suffering, I have found it difficult to spot the fourth man in the furnace with me. 

Others have commented that they can see Him.

I marvel.

They marvel at my strength.

I don't sense strength.

My weakness is acutely obvious to me.

But the world can see?

That is grace.

His presence is always with He walks through our tests and trials with us bringing glory to His name. 

Whether we see Him or not.

Whether we feel Him or not.

It often brings the world to it's knees, this kind of testimony.

The bow is often redirected from worldly idols to the true and living God.

An awe settles.

A testimony is born in seasons of fog or furnace producing for us a weight of glory.

An eternal weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:18-19)

The fourth man in the fire has been in the furnace with us all along.

Just like a foggy day can hide building, trees, and fields, though we know that they exist.  The Lord can hide His presence, stretching our faith to reach for what we know to be true.

And He will reward our faith for believing what we cannot see.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

End Times

I have a favorite scripture that I have often claimed as my life verse. I was wondering if it might be your favorite too.

Psalm 27:4 "One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to meditate in His temple."

This is a verse that I am so dedicated to that I want to leave it behind for others to ponder. Perhaps they will be final words drafted on my tombstone. Words that proclaim the deepest desire of my heart. 

Perhaps the words will soften a heart and draw another into a deeper place in God. Perhaps it will stir a hunger for someone else to behold His beauty as it has mine.

And though this verse remains a testimony from the vault of my heart, I have a new dream for my epithet. I want them to be able to put "She Loved Well" on my stone someday. 

The greatest commandments, Jesus said, are to LOVE the Lord with all of your heart, soul, and mind and LOVE your neighbor as yourself. 

God is love..........yes, He is. I can testify of His unconditional, steadfast, and wonderful love for me. So I have been resting near His heart waiting for His love to flow in me and through me knowing I am bankrupt. 

I have had many ambitions for my life. I have sought to achieve so many things.........

I want to be the best wife Scotty could ever have.

I want to be the best mother in the world for my kids.

I want to minister the gospel powerfully and effectively. 

I want to serve the Lord with a glad heart.

I want to testify of His greatness.

And so I pray that a trail of goodness and mercy will follow me.

I want it to be said of me "she lived well" but more than that I want it said of me "She Loved Well".

So I pray that the Lord will help me love Him more and I petition Him for grace to love others well. 

For so long I have sought to be loved well, today my focus has turned.   

Loving God so that others know that I am crazy about Him. Making it obvious that He is my everything! My life testifying to the fact that He is the air I breathe........

And loving others by demonstrating His love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control by the way He touches their lives through me.
Loving the unbeliever and the believer alike. Loving unconditionally, wholeheartedly, and respectfully. Becoming a willing servant, willing to pick up the towel or the cross for another.

I expect this new aspiration will be life changing. I will be called to bow when I want to be regarded. I will have to minister when I long for rest. I will have to be patient when all I want to do is scream. I will have to pray when I would rather pounce. 

But there is a joy that is set before me.........and it has to do with a legacy........

Let it be said of me, "She Loved Well".


Tuesday, March 10, 2009


"For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond
all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal." 
2 Corinthians 4:17-18


light affliction..........


something beyond the temporary..........entering a better realm........beyond this moment of time....... a better world.........a world of Glory!!!!

We enter this new world with a mantle..........a weight of glory...........

a weight of glory that is produced in times, seasons, and moments of suffering.

Not sure where you are right now on your journey, but I know that it is temporary. There is a new season around the bend and as you walk through the season you are in now there is a beauty being created upon you that testifies of His grace.

"we are a moment, You are eternal......." the chorus rings in my heart.

My meditation the last few days has come from Colossians........."set your mind on things above"

so I have been purposefully setting my mind up........

reaching, stretching, determined, knowing that I'm called to a higher plane of thinking.

On tiptoe now........reaching..........knowing that what I see in front of me in the natural is momentary......but just beyond this stretch is the eternal.......

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Breaking Free

It is behind me and I want to leave it there.
Going forward into my new world seems the safer route.
It happened in my yesterdays and I want to leave it there
far behind me, in the past.
The cocoon that I have worked around me has created a new environment, one that
is safe and secure. It holds me fast. I am thriving.
But I was told that I must not be deceived, the cocoon will eventually suffocate me.
I will die unless I chose to look back at my old world and face the hurts far behind me.
I work my way through the cocoon while my heart begs to stay. 
I have become comfortable with the way things are. 
I feel safe in the hollow of its embrace. Feelings try to deceive me.
Transformation has occurred within my nest and I am not the same.
At one time the cocoon provided me comfort, rest, and nourishment and now it is
securing my future as I work to free myself from it's firm grasp.
Facing my past, what used to be is an important step to take. So I will leave my
nest and face my future while looking into what used to be wearing a new mantle.
No longer hiding.
Healing is on the other side of my nest. Outside.
And so I begin my journey, a little shaky, and yet determined. 
I want to be restored. If relationship returns, I will rejoice. 
If it remains as it is, I will walk in the freedom I have been given, but I will not
go back into the cocoon and hide myself away. It was good for a season but not now.
Obedience, choosing to follow rather than creating my own trail is my only option.
Soon I will be soaring to new heights with this newfound strength with the only One
who can lead me there.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Silence is Golden

The room was full when I was called to attention. My thoughts were petitioned. What did I think about?????
Every eye in the room was gazing at my face watching my expression hoping that it would reveal my hidden thoughts. 
I wanted to escape the moment.
I felt trapped. I looked for an out. There wasn't one.
My wit, which had proven quick earlier in the day had gone in remission, leaving my thoughts momentarily handicapped.
I wanted to say something.
Not just anything........something brilliant......thought provoking........lifechanging......but words refused to attend my beckon.........
So I stood among them as the room began to grow smaller. 
Awkward silence hung in the air and was as annoying as a creaking stair.
The quiet swelled and I swallowed empty chatter. 
It would seem petty and would not be accepted.
Glances began to dart, first to each one present, then the floor or out the window. 
It was really awkward.

To my relief, the subject was changed to a new matter that was less pressing, less intent, less provoking, averted elsewhere, not on me.

On the way home I pondered the test. 
It seemed I had lost the game.
"Maybe I should have said.........."
"If I had responded with..........then this........."
The merry-go-round of possibilities began its familiar spin........
"Why didn't I just say........?????"

Because it wasn't there at the moment. That is why.

Evening and morning came. A new day with new opportunities to spring voice to my thoughts.
Yet my thoughts were still spinning on yesterdays merry-go-round,
until I heard the Lord's voice say,

"Be slow to speak........"
That is what I heard Him say.
"Be slow to speak........."
He continued,
"It is better to not say anything than to say the wrong thing."
"Others may forget your silence but words may resonate in the memory of others for a lifetime."

Then I remembered His example. 

Jesus was not only known for what He did say.........
but there were times when He didn't say anything at all. 
And what He didn't say made an impact. 
His silence is recorded. It is remembered. It was important. 

Jesus said He didn't do anything unless He saw the Father doing it.
Perhaps He didn't say anything unless He heard the Father say it.

It is unusual for me to have this battle with regret when I have chosen to be silent.
No, it is often what I have said that leaves me pinned to the mat without hope for a win, regret filling my heart, leaving me longing with desire for a better match.

"Be slow to speak....."

His words have taken me off the merry-go-round for now. 

Do you remember Samuel in the Bible? 

It says that none of his words fell to the ground.

He knew when to be silent.

When he spoke his words impacted those who heard.

So much to learn when it comes to words and silence.

I hope I will be brave enough to choose silence again.

Confident that when words refuse to come, silence is golden.