Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My Big Brother

Hello Friends! As you have noticed, I haven't blogged for a season. I think I was going through a "Blogger Wilderness". I have been trying to decide just why I blog and if it is necessary. I have thought about whether or not to change the nature of my blog. Should it be more personal, etc. There are so many blogs in Bloggerville... would I be missed? Well, I've decided the important thing is that at some point the things I say encourage someone or even inspire them to write a new blog post. As Believers, we are part of one another and any "word" we might speak to benefit someone is of value. I believe the enemy of our souls would want to silence as many of us as he can. However, we need to "let His praises ring". The Scriptures say that if we won't praise His name the very rocks of the ground will praise Him. He WILL be praised! I could write a lot more about praise, however, I would like to share a beautiful revelation our Jesus gave me the other day. I was driving to work and I began to think of my big brother. His birthday is in a few days. My thoughts went back to a time that as a young girl, my brother invited me to go with him and his friends to the movies. Going to the movies on a Friday night was a common practice for me and my brother and sister. All our friends went as well. Most of the time I went with my big sister or was dropped off at the theater by someone. I think I was 11 or 12 years old at the time I went with my brother. I was so proud of him and was honored that he would take me with him. It was important to me that he be proud of me. There was another time when I was a young adult of 19 that he spoke out in front of his own fiance and said, "Doesn't my little sister have pretty eyes?" It just made me beam inside. Now, as the rest of us, my big brother was not and is not perfect. There were times we fought and times he treated me badly and said unkind things to me. I could list them here but I choose to remember things like the big smile on his face when our family watched him graduate from boot camp and when he came home from Viet Nam looking so grown up and handsome. That's the way it is with love. First Corinthians 13:5 says "...love keeps no record of wrongs." There came a time in my life I began to care more about what someone else thought of me. Now to the revelation. During my drive, I did begin to think of a lot of the negative things that happened when I was young. Then the Lord lovingly invaded my thinking with His thoughts. The ideal big brother, in my eyes and some of this I had with my big brother, is one who will put his arm around you and protect you. He would stand up for you no matter what. He would fight for you. He would teach you by his words and his example. (My brother did teach me to stop throwing a baseball "like a girl".) He would listen to your problems and not judge you. He would counsel you for your good. He would forgive you. The list goes on and on. Sound like anyone? Yes, Jesus is the perfect Big Brother. This is yet another aspect of our Lord being ALL in ALL!!!! He will never hurt you... never leave you... always be there... always forgive... always believe in you! John 1:12 "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God (13) children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God." NIV Jesus is the only begotten Son and we have become His brothers and sisters. I am extremely proud of my Big Brother and my earthly big brother likes to know... I think he is pretty cool as well. "Happy Veteran's Day, Big Brother!"

Friday, August 21, 2009

The Rose and the Cross

"You lived to die, rejected and alone. Like a Rose trampled on the ground, You took the fall and thought of me above all." Those words to the popular song "Above All" sparked significant meaning to me this past Sunday during Worship. Each day I look out my door and in my small yard is a very large metal cross. In front of the cross is a very small red rose bush. The story behind the cross began a couple of years ago when a young man named Daniel was killed in a car accident. The loss was great to the family and they wanted to memorialize Daniel by placing a cross at the scene of the accident. This particular cross came from the top of an old church building that was being torn down. It turned out that the family decided to reject this particular cross because of the sharp, jagged edges and protrusions around the screws that held it together at the base. That cross was replaced by a smoother, safer memorial. My husband and I were asked if we would like to have the former cross and I suppose just because it was a cross, we said, "Yes" and found what we considered a proper spot for it. You see, that young man was our nephew. For my recent birthday, my daughter gave me the small rose bush and it seemed a good thing to adorn the plain metal cross with the beautiful little rose. That is what led to the following inspirational thoughts. I Corinthians 1:18 "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." That particular metal cross was rejected because of the potential to cause harm to those who might take hold of it. How many people reject the cross because to them it would cause pain. It would, in their thinking, cause them to lose their life and the things of this world that they so enjoy. It might make them have to sacrifice themselves in some way... maybe go to a foreign country and become another Mother Teresa. Perhaps feeling that prick from the sharp edges bring conviction of their need for a Savior would make them run the other way. I think of ways I rejected the Cross of Jesus without even knowing it as I was growing up. One example was the time I scribbled over a note a Christian girl wrote in my yearbook about God. I was embarrassed for other friends to see it, even though I believed in God. A lot of the time that rejection can be intentional or because of a lack of understanding or revelation of the truth regarding the Cross. Even when we intentionally reject the Cross, its reality is not negated. The sharp edges and pain that it seems to cause are to bring us to the place of brokenness and repentance and confession. Then as we allow the Love of the Cross, Jesus, the one that was rejected, the Rose that was trampled for us, the edges become smooth and touchable. We embrace it. We come to love it back and want to sit at its feet and receive all it has for us because it was for us it was created.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Sound of Grace

I thought I would share something on a more personal note today. I asked the question in my last post... "What does Grace sound like." Taken, of course from the beautiful hymn: "Amazing Grace". I shared about one meaning of Grace being "operational power". We all experience those times of what I will refer to as "plodding along". We live in the mundane a lot of the time. After working a 30 hour week and taking care of things on the home front and getting up and doing it the next week and the next is part of my life. In the midst of it, stands Jesus. Always there, always loving, always in my thoughts, moving me through this life one day at a time. My Sister called me this morning and said that she wanted to "sing" me a Psalm. She did. It was Psalm 34:1-6. Her voice was so sweet and the Holy Spirit took the Words straight to my heart and tears came to my eyes. An older gentleman stopped by my counter (retail) at work yesterday and as no one else showed up in the line (a God thing), he shared the meaning of a beautiful silver ring adorning his hand. It had various stones which to him represented the plan of Salvation. After he shared, he asked me where I stood in light of that plan. I showed him my bracelet with the name of Jesus and words of hope displayed on it. We talked Jesus talk for a few minutes right there in the store and encouraged one another. To me, these are "sounds of Grace". One source of operational power comes from one of us to another as we walk in unbroken fellowship with our Lord. As I have said before, we encourage or put courage into one another. Hebrews 10:25 tells us to, "...consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Other "sounds of Grace" or "unmerited favor" are those times a disgruntled customer shows his/her disdain at any effort of service I might render and I take a moment in my heart to lift that one to Jesus, and speak a kind word in spite of their behavior. They may be suffering some untold trial or just be an unkind person. Life is so full of opportunities to express the "sounds of Grace" and opportunities to receive the "sounds of Grace".

Thanks for listening and please.... "May the Sound of Grace be with you now and forevermore." How beautiful the Sound!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

"What 'in the world' is Grace?"

I haven't blogged in so long I was missing myself! Well, I'm back and am going to share some thoughts on one of my favorite subjects: Grace.

Most of us know some of the meanings of Grace. Two come to mind: Unmerited or undeserved favor and operational power. We know that we are saved by Grace (unmerited favor) and we are able to make it in this life by Grace (operational power). Most of the Epistles in the New Testament include the words, "Grace and Peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ", with a few variations such as the word "mercy" being added. The title I chose: "What 'in the world' is Grace?", came to me in conjunction with, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." Grace (unmerited favor through Jesus) was sent to the world not to condemn, but to save. Jesus left the world and sent Grace(operational power through the Holy Spirit)to those who were waiting. Both aspects of Grace are alive in and through us who wait daily upon the Lord through uninterrupted fellowship. When the branch abides in the vine, there is uninterrupted fellowship. The life flows from the vine to the branch providing all that is necessary for health and well being. 2 Peter tells us that we have been given everything we need for life and godliness. So, back to Grace. We now, as the Body of Christ Jesus, having true fellowship with Christ and one another, are able to extend Grace (unmerited favor and operational power)"in the World". First to the Family of God and then to those who would come to Jesus through that Grace. We are "Grace 'in the world'".Every day we are challenged to extend undeserved love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.None of us deserved Grace nor deserve it now. That is why it is called "Grace". No one we come in contact with deserved or deserve it. That is why it is called "Grace". It is impossible for us to extend it without uninterrupted fellowship with the Father and true fellowship with one another. When we fellowship with one another in the true sense of the word, meaning, as equals, we are free to extend Grace. As we realize no one is better than the other; no one is more deserving or of greater value, true fellowship occurs and Grace flows. As far as the World is concerned, there is no fellowship, only that of unforgiving, jealousy, envy, striving, bitterness, resentment, selfishness, rudeness, backbiting, hatred, anger, competition, self-consciousness, inferiority and on and on. Beloved, if you are in Christ, you are in the World but not of the World. You are of the Kingdom of God and you have been set free to walk according to His Grace. "Amazing Grace. How sweet the Sound." Let the World hear the Sound through us as we walk in fellowship one with another.

I think I will talk more of Grace in the days to come. What does Grace sound like?

Grace, peace and mercy be yours today through God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

BarbaraJean

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

I found this poem on Prayer Central and I could not have said it better myself so I decided to share it today.

A Mother’s Prayer

Before a child is first conceived, A cry goes up, "Lord, Let it be."And from His throne room way up there, God’s ear is tuned to a Mother’s prayer.

Then as the tiny seed takes shape, She whispers, "God, please keep him safe."And the angels all stop and stare, To see God listen to a Mother’s prayer.

Through pain and blood on that special day,"Lord, give him life," she’s heard to say. And with a deep and gentle care,God listens to a Mother’s prayer.

Then daily as this little child grows,"Keep evil away!" the angels are told.And by the swords and shields they bear, God has heard that Mother’s prayer.

Then one day as the child is sleeping,"Let him know Jesus." she mutters while weeping. The angels are shouting and the trumpets blare, As the Father above hears a Mother’s prayer.

As the world presses in on this teenage life, She calls for his destiny through agony and strife. Then God responds, to a faith so rare, That compels Him to answer this Mother’s prayer.

Now all grown up and on His own,She prays for him by letter or phone. And God stands by with His right arm bare, To listen and answer the Mother’s prayer.

Before a grandchild is conceived, A cry goes up, "Lord, Let it be."And from His throne room way up there, God’s ear is tuned to a Grandmother’s prayer…

copyright -Wayne Dillard

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Do overs

I am so thankful that we get "do overs" in life. My Pastor was sharing about his granddaughter this morning. She is a beginner toddler. In other words, she is just beginning to walk. He talked of how she will take a step or two then totter a bit and fall down. Of course the falling down is actually sitting down or being caught in the arms of a parent or grandparent. He explained how the falling down didn't mean she was a failure. She is just learning to walk. I know in my own life, at times, I consider myself to have failed when I fall down or in other words, don't do something "right". When I use unkind words or have an "attitude". When I get grouchy when I am inconvenienced. Or... I just flat out want it "my way" and am being selfish and self-centered. I don't do these things on purpose, but will realize at some point that I have "fallen" into that state of mind or that state of "sin nature". Then I hate the fact that I allowed myself to be that way. Well, hmmm! Maybe I should realize I do belong to the human race and God knows I am dust and... he gives me "do overs" every day. He says, "That's okay, Honey. Get up and try again." I will try again and again because I love Him and my life is guided by love for Him and others and He knows my heart. He actually knows it better than I know it myself. I am so blessed that He promises "never to leave us nor forsake us". We will fall down at times but those beautiful arms of the Savior will catch us and stand us aright and aim us in the right direction and say, "Go for it! You can do it!" And we really can! Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

ALL Again?

Well, here's that word "all" again. Colossians 3:23 & 24. "Whatever you do, work at it with All your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving." Doing everything whole heartily is the same as putting your whole heart into something. How do we do that without becoming completely exhausted. Paul writes in the last verse of Chapter 12 of I Corinthians, "And now I will show you the most excellent way". That statement leads us into the "Love" chapter of Corinthians. Everything we do as God's children is measured by Love. Love toward Him; love toward one another; love toward our families; love toward the world. The world's attitude many times is to do a half hearted job and receive an instant reward with no regard for the benefit of others. As we daily surrender our lives to Jesus, becoming living sacrifices, he is able to Love through us and give us the desire and ability to "do the good works" he spoke of and "glorify our Father who is in Heaven." Instead of exhausting us, it becomes a pleasure and part of our nature as we take on His nature as we are daily being filled with the Spirit through Relationship and the Word. What is unnatural for the world is natural for us because of Jesus.
"Father, this new day I again give you ALL my heart. Be glorified through me so others will be drawn to you and your goodness, graciousness and kindness. Let your Love flow through every thing I do and say. I want the world to know your Love, sent through your Son, Jesus, my Savior. Let them see you through me. Let me be an example of True Love. Your Grace is sufficient for me to accomplish this. I love you."

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Resurrection

May the Resurrection Power of our Lord be with you today. Happy Easter! He is Risen! Amen.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Treasure

Wow! We have a BIG Lord! To think that there are times that we feel a lack of security or we worry about life and how we will live. Colossians, in verses 16 and 17 of chapter 1, tells us, "For by him all things were created; things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him ALL THINGS hold together." There is that word "ALL" again. He sees the big picture ALL the time. We see with limited vision. That is where faith comes in. Hebrews 11:1: "Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen." Looking through the eyes of faith, we are able to see. Forward vision is faith seeing the future through the eyes of God and knowing that he has our best interest (His will for us) in his capable hands and that "ALL things work together for the good...". He will not leave "one stone unturned" as the saying goes. If we allow, he will tear down every stronghold that keeps us from receiving the full measure of himself into our lives. The full Treasure... 2 Corinthians 4:7, which we have in these jars of clay. We have the Glory of God, Christ, in these earthen vessels. Again. Wow! Open our eyes Lord to see your Greatness in and for us! We were born to be your dwelling place, oh, God. We surrender all to you. We put our trust in you, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End. All knowledge is in you. All understanding is in you. Let us "contain" you within these vessels as we are able through your ability and let us pour forth of your Glory and your Truth and your Encouragement to those whom you put in our path to do so. We are humbled at your Magnificence and in awe that you would privilege us to hold the Treasure that You are within our very being. We are forever grateful. Amen!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Therefore...

"Therefore encourage eachother with these words." I Thessalonians 4:18 The prefix "en" means to cause a person to be "in". In other words, when we encourage one another, we cause one another to be "in" a state of courage. There are so many, many experiences we have to face in our everyday lives. Some of us are extroverts and some are introverts. Each face those experiences in a different way. What causes anxiety in one may not cause it in another. Thank God we are not all the same. And thank God that he is familiar with all of our ways. Our personalities were designed by him within our mother's wombs. There are different things that affect our personalities and sometimes they seem altered. He promises to "perfect that which concerns us". Psalm 138:8 As we walk with him and allow that perfecting, he is able to restore us to a place of his original design. In other words, he sets us free to be who we were meant to be in Him. He uses each of our brothers and sisters to aid in that work. "As iron sharpens iron so one man/woman sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17. We can actually partner with the Lord in the work he is doing not only in our own lives but in the lives of others. As we are "en" couraged through the Word, we can "en" courage others in the truth that, "We can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens us" Philippians 4:13. I love the story of Joshua. Joshua was to keep God's Word in his heart and on his lips and to be strong and courageous as opposed to being terrified and discouraged. The reason for the courage: God would be with him always. The victory was his. Be "in" courage today no matter what you are facing from the smallest to the greatest endeavor. God is with you! Blessings!

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Sound

Over a year before I started blogging, I would send My Backyard Fence out as an email to a specific group of people... now I am enjoying touching more lives with what I hear the Spirit saying. Here is a post from January of this year... hope you enjoy.

Have you ever been so excited you could hardly contain yourself? That is what is happening to me at the moment of this writing. The reason? I just read a fascinating article about a new and mysterious “sound” coming from space. The scientists can’t figure it out. As I read the article, I was overcome by the Spirit and was actually weeping tears of joy! Our Lord is coming! What came to me was the word the Lord has been speaking regarding a “new song”. I have been having intermittent mini-visions I will call them for lack of a better definition, of that "song". I wrote before of how we are that song and of the fact that we, as individual notes, are written on the “staff”, who is the Lord himself. I have been seeing that staff as it ribbons its way through our cities; our rural areas; our towns; our cities; our countries; our world. It is awesome beyond explanation. It is a love song without measure. It is graceful love. God is the master conductor; the master composer; the master musician; the master vocalist. I can’t even begin, with my limited vocabulary, to express what I am feeling inside. I want to spread the excitement and enthusiasm as a huge blanket across the hearts of all my brothers and sisters in Christ. Of all people, we hold the promise of eternity; the hope of glory. I want to position myself on that “staff” exactly where God wants me and even as I express that hope, he reminds me that he has and is positioning us exactly where he wants us. “The steps of a good man/woman are directed by the Lord.” He promises to position us. The last verse in Hebrews chapter 9 tells us that “He will come a second time, not to offer himself for sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.” Not only that but at some point, “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord!”

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Are You Looking?

Thank God for the entrance of Springtime! Signs of it are everywhere. I was reminded of a time a few years ago when my husband and I were taking a drive in the country. My mind was preoccupied with wandering thoughts. Then, as if to awaken from a comfortable afternoon nap, I hear the words, "are you looking?" Whipping my head around in an attempt to see just what I was to be looking at, my focus fell upon one of those beautiful pink, blossoming trees that I love so much. I have been known to thrill at the sight of them as they signal Spring is here. My husband did not want me to miss the moment. As I mused over this remembrance, the Lord began to speak to me by His Spirit those words, "are you looking?" Our lives can be consumed by so many things. We can feel the stretching of ourselves in various directions. Perhaps as a mom or a dad, a teenager, a student, a boss, an employee, an athlete, a teacher, a politician, a police officer, a contractor, etc., etc. Life in this world has it's demands and it's distractions. To be successful, we have to focus to do a good job at that which we are called. In the midst of the picture of life, we need to answer the question, "are you looking?". As we "look" we shall "see". Psalm 123:1&2: "I lift up my eyes to you, to you whose throne is in heaven... so our eyes look to the Lord our God till he shows us his mercy." The Lord delights to show himself in our midst. We can "look" in the same way a photographer looks through the lens of his or her camera and sees the big picture and then brings the focus clear on the central object he or she is desiring to capture. Then that photographer "sees". The Lord is always present, waiting for us to give him place as the central theme in the picture of our individual lives. Ah! What beauty is ours to behold as we "capture" the sovereignty of the Lord Jesus in all of our circumstances.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

No Worries!

How many of you have seen a little child worry? The "norm" for little children is not to worry. I received one of those email prayers this morning from a friend and one part stood out the most. It was the part about not whining or wimpering over things we have no control over. That is a hard one at times. Philippians 4:6&7 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I think the "norm" for little children is because they "trust", without any conscious effort, their parents or guardians. They are free to eat, drink, play... be themselves because they have gotten used to having all their needs met (another God promise). A favorite scripture of mine is in Isaiah 23:6 "You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in you." When children walk in that place of trust, they are free to be and to become. Now I know in this world we don't always see this. There are many sad situations because of the sin factor. However, I am talking here of the "norm" or the ideal which I believe we can have in God's Kingdom which is not of this world. God is the perfect Father. As we trust in Him completely when situations are in or out of our control, we can walk in that freedom he intends for us. It is a daily thing. God's Kindgom is a Heart thing, an inner Kingdom. As we live the Kingdom life on the inside no matter what the circumstances, it affects our entire being. Peace.... body, soul and spirit. I want to receive the wonders of His Kingdom daily... "I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it," the Words of Jesus, Luke 18:17. Have a Peace-filled day!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Freedom

John 8:32 "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." John 8:36 "Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed." FREEDOM. YES, FREEDOM. John 1:12 (amplified) "But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in--adhere to, trust in and rely on--His name." John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."

"Happy are the people whose God is the Lord." I believe "happy" starts with "joy" on the inside. I have been thinking of this word "Freedom" lately. As God's people, what are we free of or from? We would all make a list. Some of what it would contain would be: sin, guilt, shame. But, what about things like: anxiety (that is a big one these days), gossip, bad attitude, pride, discontentment, rudeness, etc. The first three, sin, guilt, shame we can accept as a work accomplished on the Cross. The others, we struggle with at times. We can look at each of those "offenses" individually or we can look at what is behind them. The word is "choice"! That, to me, is our greatest FREEDOM. We are free in Christ to choose how we want to live. Those iniquities were nailed to the Cross and buried right along with sin, guilt and shame. That is so exciting! That is what makes the people of God happy people. No matter what the circumstances of life bring our way, we know that we are FREE to deal with them according to the Word and the Spirit of God. We used to sing a chorus, "Satan had me bound but Jesus set me FREE..." Therefore, if the Son has set you free, you are free indeed"!

So, our job is easy. John 6:29: "The work of God is this: to believe (adhere to, trust in, rely on) the one he has sent."

Thanks for letting me share my thoughts. I'd love to hear yours.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Amber Alerts

Every time I hear or see an Amber Alert, my heart is tugged with compassion. I instantly go to prayer. My prayer is not that the Lord will find the child but that the Lord will cause the child to be found. I am often reminded that Psalm 121:4 tells us that "...he who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep."In other words, he doesn't miss a thing. The God who knows how many hairs we have on our head; clothes the lillies of the field; knows when a sparrow falls from the sky, knows the location and situation of every person on this globe at any given moment. Unimaginable isn't it, except by the Spirit? Although the pain of separation and the unknown can be overwhelming at times, we can take comfort in knowing that our God is still on the Throne of the Universe. We don't need to be stymied by the things that would attempt to throw us off course. A wise funeral director once told me during the course of dealing with a death, to watch out at intersections when driving during that season because it was easy to become distracted in our minds and not see a stop sign or another vehicle approaching. In the same way, we can become distracted and not see the danger coming during difficult times. By His Grace, we can "be self-controlled and alert..." and steadfastly trust. I Peter 5:8&9.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Through our God...

This entry is a copy of a recent "Backyard Fence" I sent via email to my "list". Now that I have a new blog, I felt it warranted being posted for hopefully a wider audience. Spreading my "Passion"...

What a great promise for us in this day of turmoil and uncertainty for the entire world!!! "Through our God we shall do valiantly; it is he who shall tread down our enemies." Psalm 60:12. So many are fearful of the future. We are hearing this from all quarters. But, we as God's people need not fear! We are hearing that also from all quarters. We can make those Words real or just allow them to be lip service. WE NEED NOT FEAR!

I am not extremely educated regarding our armed forces. However, I know there are divisions involved. The words come to me of units, platoons, ranks, etc. I am sure a lot of you can define them better. As I was sharing thoughts with the Lord the other day, these are what came to mind. We are all, as God's people, part of an army. There are many, many scriptures relating to fighting; battling. 2 Timothy 2:4 is one of them, "No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier". As soldiers for the Lord we need to fight first to not allow ourselves to be distracted from the battle. Of course, our battle is so different than that of the world. We have the most powerful Commander in Chief, the Alpha and Omega! Our weapons are so different. Now, back to the divisions. We can look at people we see and hear about as being so influential for Jesus and think, "I want to do more for the Lord and the Gospel and people." God has placed us all in divisions. Some divisions seem to cover the whole world, some whole nations, some cities, some small rural communities, some, families and yes, some simply a spouse or family member as a caregiver. God is God and he has placed each one of us exactly where he wants us, to influence our "division". The size of our individual unit may change from time to time depending on the season of our lives. Hearing from our Commander and obeying His instructions is what is crucial no matter what the sphere of our influence. No one division is more important than the other. The important thing is the unity in purpose.

The Lord is reminding us daily to keep our eyes "...fixed on Jesus...". No matter how long we have been in the army, the commands change daily to fit the strategies for that day. "Present interpretation and fresh revelation are always needed for life with a living God." Paul Billheimer.

Watching & Listening for orders for this day... Christ's love compels me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

"I'm Sorry"

Have you ever thought about how many times you hear or say, "I'm sorry"? I work retail and every day I hear people, mostly women, say "I'm sorry". They may be removing their items from their cart or writing a check and in their opinion, not moving fast enough or whatever. Men apologize for not taking their wallet out of their pocket fast enough. They may not use the exact words "I'm sorry", however, you can tell by their body language that they are feeling pressured to move faster. People apologize for coughing, sneezing, handing something to someone "the wrong way", using a cane... You can add your own here. It all boils down to the fact that we seem to be forced to feel like we are inconveniencing those around us. If you look up the word "sorry" it really doesn't fit in those situations. I spend a lot of time telling my customers they don't need to be sorry. Are we actually apologizing for being part of the human race? Are we apologizing for living? Where does the need to say "I'm sorry" or have an apologetic attitude all the time come from? Psalm 103:14 says that the Lord remembers we are "dust". We are ALL dust... from the least to the greatest. From the poorest to the richest among us. No one is better than the other and we all "...have been given the right to become sons of God, to those who believe on His name." John 1:12. So, I think we should stop "apologizing for living" and just "live".