Thursday, April 30, 2009

I was just gone from work over the weekend and suddenly when I got back I noticed that everything was bursting out in foliage. All the bare forlorn trees are happily dressed in green finery. And flowers are blooming everywhere. Apparently lavender is the color this year. The Iris seem to prefer that color for their spring attire. And the bright pink Azaleas are gorgeous. And even in the woods there are little blue flowers scattered here and there.
It is just so beautiful. I hate to go inside. No telling what I might miss. It seemed like winter would never go away this year. But like a burst from a firecracker. Boom! Beauty everywhere!
I was thinking about this and I found a correlation in prayer. We go through the wintertime of prayer. Trying to be brave and have faith but sometimes it seems cold and desolate and like the answer will never come. We straighten our shoulders and push on through the drifts of doubt and discouragement. And than suddenly like spring time, the answer bursts forth upon us. That prayer for a prodigal to come home, prayer for healing, prayer for a situation to work out, prayer for a financial need, etc. The answer is there and we bask in the sunlight of it. We look at the beauty of it and the winter time of waiting and praying disappears and we see only the beauty of the answer. An answer that took a long time and yet seems to have come to us suddenly. A good gift coming down from our Father.
Don't get discouraged while your waiting. When the answer comes it will be so sweet, so worth the wait. God controls the time for answers for our prayers just like he controls the springtime's coming. Be reminded by each flower and tree that the answer is coming.
Hang on! You can trust Him.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Okay, so I thought I would write more often. Silly life keeps getting in the way. So here is something I wrote a long time ago. First a small disclaimer. I'm not sure if I should have used "effect" or "affect" and it is too tedious to look it up. So I hope you like it. I will write "fresher" stuff soon. I have to tell you about the flying turkey and flying duck. And the new flowers on the mountain. But for now here is this:

Eric Clapton has a song called “Change the World”. I don’t remember all the words right now but I love the concept. We have heard this theme many times and in many ways. But are you in your day-to-day existence “changing the world”? Actually, you most likely are and don’t even know it. You are probably saying right now. “Change the world? I’m just trying to get by in this world. Who has time to change anything?” Well, you are being watched by the people in your life. And we never know what an impact we might have on them. We think we have to have it all together, be perfect to effect people. Do some big dramatic thing to effect them. But we don’t, we effect people as we travel through this journey we call life. No matter where you are or what you do for a living, you are effecting people. What you say, how you behave effects people. People are watching you. You may speak a good word into their lives. You may role-model something to them. You may just show them kindness. You may be that one person who believes in them. Or you could be effecting them in a negative way. You have to choose. This may all seem a bit daunting. “People are watching me? How do I do this well?”, you may ask. It’s simple really. You live the best you can with what you already know. And you keep learning and growing. You live the basic right things the Bible talks about. Honesty, kindness, joy, peace, love, gentleness, purity, integrity, etc. You read what the Bible says and keep embracing what you find there. You realize that you won’t ever be perfect but you keep trying to be Christ like and than when someone is watching and they imitate you, it will be a good thing.
One person who really affected my life and it was a good thing, was Sandra Shelton. She was a pastor’s wife at a church I attended. She probably doesn’t even know she effected me so dramatically. I was so young and so unsure of myself. I had strayed from God a few years before and felt so unworthy and unlovable. But she started me on a journey of learning to worship God. She made me believe that He cared enough about me that He wanted “my” praise. She opened my eyes to start believing that God found value in “me”. It took years for me to really be able to love and accept myself but she started me on that journey. She is an awesome woman of God. She showed me that God found value in women, 25 years ago we didn’t really know that in the church. I only lived near her for a short time and I’ve not really kept in touch with her but her influence is still felt by me and by those who I touch. I’m convinced that someday God will tell her the influence she had and she will be shocked.
I’m doing a Beth Moore Bible study that ask you to remember different eras of your life and tothink about the people who influenced you then. I remember a number of Sunday School teachers. Ican’t remember exactly what they taught in the class but I remember that they cared for me and that because of that I wanted to please them. I somehow knew that they loved God. a lot. So I got the message that loving God was important and that I would please them if I did. This made me start thinking about my being a craft teacher at my church. I need to love on those little ones and love on my awesome Father. And somehow that will be translated to them. I will be effecting them, maybe even changing the world a little at a time. That is a awesome opportunity.
So my question to you is: What are you doing to change the world? Are you loving God wholeheartedly? Are you doing the right thing though no one is looking (or so you think). Are you being kind? Do you love peace? Do you remember to be gentle? Even to your own family? Okay, don’t get discouraged. Don’t beat yourself up. We all need to grow in areas. Remember God’s mercies are new every morning. So start where you are and follow the shepherd each day as he leads you. Just do what you already know to do and keep learning and applying the new stuff you learn. I promise you will effect people for the good if you do and you might, just change the world. And how exciting is that?

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Phifer's Mountain

My bus route takes us up Phifer's Mountain. It isn't a mountain like they have in the Rocky's but it is a mountain like we have in Tennesse. I have wanted this route for a while because of the beauty on the mountain and all the way up there. It is soothing to the soul. You see God's handiwork there.
Just the other day we had what is probably the last snow of the season. I wish you could have seen it. It was like God took a giant shaker and shook out powered sugar on the bare limbs of the trees in the woods going up the mountain. It was so pretty, like lace. If we could have stopped and got out I bet it would have been silent there. Have you ever been in a woods and listened? If you are lucky enough to be far enough away from traffic and people, it is totally silent. Deeply silent. Sometimes when I am praying at church it is like that. In the altar, in God's presence, deeply, totally silent. And in the midst of that silence is a deep satisfying peace. And love. You just KNOW God loves you. Deeply, totally! I'm sure the feeling in both places is Him. I have friends who never go in a church but they know Him from being in his presense in places like the woods. Sometimes us church going christians discount that non church goers know God but we may be wrong. We can't see in another's heart. I'm glad God can.

But I'm sidetracked. I was telling you about the mountain. One day we saw 8 deers running across the road and across the field with their backs to us and their white tails bobbing in the wind. And I thought, "Oh, that is why they call them white tailed deers." Okay not a huge revelation but I'm a visual person. lol
We also see wild turkeys. They don't look like you might think. They are thinner. And they don't have their feathers all ruffled up like in the storybooks. And it is neat how when it gets turkey hunting season, they aren't there anymore. Do you think they got an email from the turkey working undercover at the hunting license bureau? "Watch out, they have their licences and they are coming to get you!" "smile"
We also watch as they turn over the dirt when winter is waining. They are getting it ready to plant and before you know what happened. There are shoots coming up of alfalfa or beans. They alternate what they plant so they won't tire out the dirt/soil. Who knew you could have tired dirt. Hey, not me I grew up in the middle of Detroit. And while we are talking about dirt for those reading from far away. Did you know we have red clay type dirt here in Tennessee? Not brown, red! Very cool! Once I lived in North Dakota. They have black dirt there. Not brown very black. But here I am sidetracked again...

Oh yes, the wildlife. We sometimes see gophers. Those guys can get really big. They kind of sit up on their hind legs and look around while eating. They fatten themselves up for the winter. I guess like bears. But such odd creatures.

A few times we saw a fox. He was alone and scruffy looking. He reminded me of a homeless person. Wary and tired but aware of his surroundings. Out of a need to protect himself, I guess. Do you ever find yourself like that? Wary and tired, needing to protect yourself? I would bet you have been hurt when you find yourself that way. Remember to take it to God when you get in that kind of state. He can mend and heal those wounds. And if you need protected He can do that too.

The grossiest but most morbidly interesting was the mink. Yes, like they make coats from. The reason he was gross was because he was dead. And when we noticed him he had been dead a few days. YUCK! But than again I thought, I have never seen a mink that was still attached to the original owner. My driver on the bus is such a "guy" (my apologies to all the guys). He thought it was a good idea to stop and see him. But my girly good senses took over and I just peeked from the window as we went by.

Not wild but very cool are the gunia fowl. They look so funny. If you haven't seen them do a google on them. They are a little crowd of birds and they travel tightly together all over their yard and the fields and other people's yards. I hear they are good at chasing away snakes. They are gray and very funny. I see them and think God has a sense of humour. I also think that when I look in the mirror sometimes but that's another story.

Very funny story. My driver before I rode with him was riding with another attendant on the mountain and they saw what appeared to be a bear. There had been stories in the paper about a bear siteing in Montery. They were completely convinced about the bear. Everyone in the office laughed at them. They later saw the "bear" again. He was a huge bear-like dog. Shows you can't trust your own eyes.
That reminds me of faith. We pray for something and we see with our eyes that nothing is changing. We are convince of it. But remember the "bear". Faith believes God is moving even though we can't see what he is doing.

Well, I'm tired so I will save the rest of my mountain stories for another day. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for reading this.

Since this is a blog I hope I didn't miss anything that should have been edited better. And I hope no offense was made. (my disclaimer)

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

This is random

I don't know if I understand this blogging thing but I want to write. So I'm jumping in! I hope it isn't too scary for you to be in my head. :o Coime on this adventure and let's see what happens. Okay?