Monday, April 30, 2018

GPS - God's Positioning System





I'll admit - as I age - I have become directionally challenged. 
I used to be a great map reader - and trip-route planner. But then - technology came along and made my life simpler. 
I no longer have to remember how to get anywhere - I just push a couple of buttons - and my car navigation system takes over. 

"In 6.8 miles use the left lane to merge onto SC-9 South toward North Myrtle Beach." (ahhh... I love the beach!)
Consistent reminders keep me on track even when my mind wanders off - as I'm chattering to a passenger - or listening to an audiobook or podcast.
I always panic a bit when I hear - "In 700 feet turn right onto Main Street."

700 feet? How far is that? Is this the street? 
No - it says I have 400 more feet to go!
And this is the important turn! If you miss this one - you may have to go miles to turn around! 

(Thank God for my Apple watch that actually vibrates on my arm at the exact moment I'm supposed to turn - saving me from a panic attack in 100 feet!)

Living for God is much like this. 
We KNOW our destination is Heaven. But this journey is quite complicated at times. We don't see the full route map - or we could actually PLAN what we're going to do and where we're going to spend the next 20 years of our life. 
Sometimes we THINK we know - and we put down roots - buy a house and a dog. Then God says... 
"For the next 5 years, live in limbo and try to act like you're happy, content and in control."

Actually, all we need to do is pay attention and listen to His turn-by-turn directions. 

"In 2 minutes, ask the lady at the cash register if she is having a blessed day. No matter what her answer is, tell her you believe that she is valuable and her life and influence matter. Flash a genuine smile and continue walking to your car to load your groceries."

Wait - shouldn't I palm her head - and speak in tongues - and invite her to church? 

No!

Follow God's voice. Listen and obey. If He says speak, speak. If He says pray, pray. Don't speak if He's only told you to pray. 

Now, remember, just as an accurate GPS requires a constant and strong connection to the Global Positioning Satellite system to keep you from ending up in "unidentified areas" - God's Positioning System requires constant and strong connection.

I have actually waited until I arrived in an unfamiliar area to turn on my car's navigation system!

"Uh-oh. Where am I? Which way do I go at this intersection?" 
Not a great idea when you've got traffic bottle-necking behind you!

Every day - when you get ready to start your journey... before you step out of your bedroom - turn on that spiritual navigation system. Make sure the signal is strong!

Pray... 
"Lord Jesus, order my steps today. Guide my feet. Order my tongue! Lead me in the direction You want me to go and put me in contact with the people You want me to connect with. If at any time today You decide to change my direction, You have my permission to do so! Re-route me. Send me on a detour. Just lead me all day long in the direction that brings You Glory and fulfills Your Purpose in my life!" 
In Jesus Name!

Happy travels!





Friday, April 27, 2018

The Seagull

I found my place on the sand; away from everyone at the retreat. Just needing some space - a chance to breathe. The October sun was warm but the wind held a chill, so I burrowed into my beach blanket. I had arrived at our annual prayer retreat in a mental fog. Exhausted on every level. I secretly felt sorry for the 30 women there with me - pretty sure I was not going to be very good company. I loved each of them dearly, but felt like only a fragment of who I was had arrived this year. I slipped away for some alone time… hoping no one had followed or noticed.  This was my place. The ocean is my therapy. The momentum and rhythm of the waves is like medicine to my soul. I can imagine with every wave - the stress and tension leaving my body. 
The seagull edged closer to me, keeping a close eye. I could tell he was waiting for a crumb or morsel of food. I had nothing with me. I felt irritation in the pit of my stomach… Seriously? Is there no place I can go without feeling like someone or something needs my attention - or wants something from me?
I realized, “I feel drained by the people in my life! Why is everyone so needy?” 
These thoughts brought guilt mixed with conviction. I disappointed myself with such selfish musings. 
I prayed… God help me. Fix me. Change me. Forgive me. And then…
Jesus, do you feel like me? If my emotions reflect yours; do you see me like this seagull? Do You feel like I’m always waiting for You to toss me a crumb; yet not willing to come close enough to just BE with you. Do you see me as high maintenance, needy and draining? Are these your feelings towards me right now? 
I stared at the seagull. My stare turned into one of those non-blinking, trance-like moments. I was awash in shame for feeling so resentful towards this innocent bird!
Suddenly our eyes locked. The seagull was now about six feet from my blanketed shroud. We stared for a good long moment, and then I blinked. He blinked back. Suddenly  a soft wave of understanding swept from my eyes to my brain - through my mind and into my soul. 
The seagull was an expression of Jesus!
I began to weep…
Jesus! The seagull is You! You lovingly approach me but dare not disturb me. You patiently pursue me without interrupting my life. You willingly wait and anticipate the moment when I will recognize Who You are - and finally get up and fly with You! Fly… far above all of the carnal chaos. High into the peace of Your holiness, where the glory of Your presence can calm my thoughts; revive my spirit and restore my soul. 
My breath caught in my throat as I wept before the love of my life. And then I breathed in a deep lung-full of Him. 

Jesus… I am breathing You in. I am being reborn! On this day, October 26, you are creating a new me! Show me who she is. Show me what you see in this new creation. When I get up off this sand; show me how to walk. Show me how to talk. Teach me all over again how to live. Teach me how to give of myself without depleting myself. I want to be a good and true friend, wife, mother and mentor. Teach me how to be the best version of me possible. I will arise a new creature in You, Jesus. Full of love and compassion. Full of You!

Note: I found these notes in my prayer journal from our Prayer Retreat in 2016... just thought I'd share.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Fly

I found this note in my Face Book Notes from 2011 - and decided to share it here on my Blog: 
Jesus cares about whatever is pestering us - or scaring us - or annoying us! He proved this to me today.
I had a 1:30 doctor's appointment - so I headed out at around 1:00 in my Honda Odyssey. I had barely got on the highway and this enormous horsefly buzzed by my head and landed on my jacket. Screaming - and trying to pay attention to traffic - I pulled into the turning lane... stopped and tried to shew him out the window. No such luck. He flew to the back of the van. I was right by our church - so I pulled in - opened up all the windows and doors and tried to find this ginormous fly. I couldn't see him - so I was hoping he had flown away. I had to keep my appointment - so I got back in the van. Less than a mile up the road - he dive bombed my head again and I could hear him buzzing behind my seat. I am freaking out by now... and pull off as soon as I can - safely... I opened up the windows and doors again - praying. I needed to SEE this fly leave my van... but he was nowhere to be found! I looked at my watch and realized I had spent twenty minutes trying to excavate the horse fly - and now had ten minutes to get to the other side of Fayetteville. (I called to let them know I was running late ) With tears in my eyes, I got back in the van. I left the windows down and started driving. I was so afraid that when I got into heavy traffic that fly would land on me and cause me to wreck and hurt somebody! I felt like bawling - but all of a sudden - I got MAD! Mad at the devil! I prayed out loud "God- you are the Lord of all things - and you have power over everything - even this fly! Satan thinks that because he is Beelzebub that "he" is lord of the flies - but YOU have the power to destroy him! Now I need you to let me SEE this fly either die or leave my van so that I can have peace and drive safely." I prayed with so much confidence and faith - and I was somehow able to drive without worrying. When I got to a red light near the doctor's office - I looked around to see if the fly was visible - and to my surprise - there he laid in the bottom compartment of my driver's door - all of his hairy legs sticking straight up in the air - DEAD! DEAD! DEAD! I grabbed a napkin and threw him out the window! Then I had a praise break! This incident just reminded me that God CARES! And I want to remind YOU - that He is concerned with whatever concerns His children. Even if its just a silly old lady scared of a horsefly!