FAITHFUL WOMEN, FAITHFUL GOD, Week 4

Who Do You Want In Your Corner?

The popular phrase, “Who do you want in your corner,“ comes from an analogy in a boxing ring. The fighter is out in the ring, doing the best he can to stay on his two feet. If he is hit so hard that he bleeds, stumbles, needs water or encouragement to keep going, he looks to those in his corner. The corner of the fighting ring that holds his stool, water, sponges, bandages and those people who would aid him, patch him back up, hydrate him and speak the words he needs to hear to battle on!

So, I ask you, “Who do you want in your corner?“

Abigail is someone I would want in my corner!

In I Samuel chapter 25, we encounter our next wheelbarrow rider, her name is Abigail.

The Bible describes Abigail as, “an intelligent and beautiful woman.“

In contrast, her husband is described as, “harsh and evil in his dealings.

From the first few verses of I Samuel 25 we learned that Nabal is wealthy. In fact the Bible says that he is, “very rich!” The community he lives in actually calls him, “A worthless fool no one can talk to.“

From the onset we see that Nabal is a fool who needs someone able to reason with him. He definitely needed someone in his corner!

Enter David…Abigail knew God had appointed David to be Israel’s next King. David was offended by the foolishness of Nabal. David and his men had provided care and protection for Nabal’s shepherds in the wilderness. David expected some kind of thanks and a gift in return. After all, he was to be the king!

Nabal responded with nothing.

Did David shrug his shoulders, throw his hands up and say, “Oh, well, no foul no harm!” No, David slipped into one of his weaknesses, his pride.

David was angered and sent out to pay back Nabal with harm. He set out with 400 men to make Nabal pay for the evil he had done! It would take a very wise woman to right this disaster.

Abigail was the woman for the job!

I Samuel 25:23-24

“When Abigail saw David, she quickly got off the donkey and knelt down with her face to the ground and paid homage to David. She knelt at his feet and said, “The guilt is mine, my Lord, but please let your servant speak to you directly. Listen to the words of your servant.

Abigail not only stands in Nabal’s corner, she steps into the wheelbarrow for him and risks her own life!

She speaks wise words on behalf of her husband. She humbles herself and demonstrates the respect toward David that her husband failed to demonstrate.

Abigail not only spoke words of wisdom to David she humbled herself by bowing before him, pleading for mercy and preparing food for he and his men! Abigail shows David the respect he is due and gives the gift to David her husband should have given.

That is someone I would want in my corner!

Not just someone who can tend to my cuts and bruises, but someone who demonstrates wisdom and action when I lack it!

In a world where most would walk past, stay quiet and pretend like they are oblivious, we could truly use God Believers like Abigail who step in to help resolve conflict!

Abigail jumps into the wheelbarrow and stands in the corner for her husband, her family, and her entire community.

Abigail made a positive difference when she stepped into the corner for her husband Nabal and helped stop the situation from escalating.

We can too!

I Samuel 25:33

Then David said to Abigail, May your discernment be blessed and may you be blessed. Today you kept me from participating in bloodshed and avenging myself by my own hand.

TRUTH BOMB

WE HONOR CHRIST WHEN WE STEP IN TO HELP RESOLVE CONFLICT!

I am thankful for Abigail and the example she sets.

Abigail‘s words both challenged and encouraged David! God wants his people to live in unity. We must pursue peaceful living and reconciliation, understanding that yes, we have differences, but we can ask for forgiveness wherever conflict exists and glorify God by striving for unity in the body of Christ.

We all need people in our corner who will encourage us to live in unity. We also need to be the kind of people, like Abigail, to stand in someone’s corner and help bring unity!

Speak Truth Love

FAITHFUL WOMEN/FAITHFUL GOD, Week 3

FAITH THAT PRAYS

What do you think of when you hear the word WAIT?

Have you ever waited for a package to be dropped on your front porch?

Seems like, especially since Covid, we have most everything delivered to our doorstep. Literally, from dog food to donuts, it can be ordered and dropped off at your front door. 

The big difference between ordering online with front door delivery, and actually walking into a store and buying it, is the WAITING. 

I think this alone could be one of the main causes for the rise in anxiety that we’ve seen in our culture. We must wait!

Sure, it’s convenient to scroll through all the choices available, displayed in bold and bright color, while you are still in your pajamas. Problem is, as soon as you click the send button you…WAIT!

I recently found myself doing exactly what I just described. I was planning an event at church to honor our ladies. I decided on the theme, I love a good theme! Now, mind you, this was year five of planning this annual event. And the number one rule of every good theme is, “Do not repeat it!” So, scrolling for ideas is necessary. I finally found it, ‘Sweet As Can Bee.’ Did you catch that play on words there? Bee for Be, in order to focus on HONEY! After pouring out another coffee pot after another at my women’s Bible study, I realized that my ladies love Tea. And what goes better with tea than honey!

My search turned into a frenzy as I began searching every site available for honey related items. I found honey vanilla tea, honey straws, honey buns, honeycomb chocolate, and naturally the decor must match!

I quickly found honeybee napkins, swag for the photo booth and the perfect table cloths to pull it all together! CLICK SELECT AND SEND!

NOW WAIT.

I waited. 

The candy arrived first and tested my self-control. Slowly but surely items kept arriving on my doorstep. Then, they stopped arriving. There were only two items left, and they were nowhere in sight!

I waited, and I waited, and I waited!

Nothing came.

A bit of panic set in! I had no swag for my photo booth and no table cloths for my theme to be clear for all to see.

Know it may seem like a small trivial thing to pray about, but I began to pray! I wanted it to be perfect for our ladies. I needed the swag and the tablecloths so the theme would come alive!

The night before the event arrived and I was still WAITING.

I have been praying and still I was missing what I considered the two most important pieces to my plan.

Truth is, our plan is not always God’s plan!

So, because I had prayed, I was at perfect peace and let it go, right?

No, not at all, I was panicked! What can I do to make up for this terrible lack of theme?

I bought plain colored tablecloths as a back up and continued praying. I truly hoped I didn’t have to use them. At 8:35 at night the doorbell rang. My swag had arrived! I would be able to display the theme in writing across the photo booth backdrop! So, I finally stopped fretting about the table cloths?

Nope, I decorated that morning before the ladies would arrive and told everyone within earshot that my table cloths, which were perfect for my theme, had not arrived. 

The ladies arrived and the table cloths did not matter one bit. The gold ones that took their place looked great as they covered the tables where the honey treats sat. No one but me noticed the difference and the theme rang clear!

God had heard my prayer and He answered it! He knew what I needed, far beyond my knowledge of thinking I did.

While I was WAITING, He brought what I needed, the words of my theme, the swag for the photo booth at the last minute, in the final hour. He wanted me to keep waiting, keep praying, and most of all keep trusting Him! I needed to remember it was all about showing the women they were loved and not about a THEME.

Comedy Relief/Side Note…

The day after the event, the table cloths were WAITING on my doorstep!

God really does have a sense of humor!

The woman in the Bible who encourages us to pray as we WAIT, and demonstrates incredible faith in doing so is Hannah.

She is not only Faithful in Waiting, she is also faithful in prayer!

In the book of I Samuel we encounter the story of Hannah. She was married to Elkanah. She was not his only wife, but Elkanah actually had two wives. The name of his other wife was Paninnah. Paninnah had children and Hannah did not. Hannah was childless and her heart was broken over it.

I Samuel 1:10

Deeply hurt, Hannah prayed to the Lord and wept with many tears.

Hannah was waiting for some thing that she grieved over and had no control over. Hannah‘s greatest desire and what she longed for most and waited for, was out of her control. All she could do was grieve, wait and pray.

Through tears and pain she had pleaded with the Lord. As she waited and prayed and nothing came, she made a vow to God.

Making A vow, she pleaded, “Lord of armies, if you will take notice of your servants affliction, remember and not forget me, and give your servant a son, I will give him to the Lord all the days of his life, and his hair will never be cut.

I Samuel 1:11

Hannah’s faithful life reminds us that God cares about our prayers and He is faithful to respond! 

TRUTH BOMB

No prayer to God goes unheard or unanswered!

Even when God does not answer our prayers the way we want Him to He hears our requests, loves us deeply, and answers them according to His great wisdom.

God knows what is best and right for us. His greatest desire for us is that we grow closer to Him! 

I prayed for this boy, and since the Lord gave me what I asked Him for, I now give the boy to the Lord.” I Samuel 1:27-28

God hears our prayers my friend! He answers each and every one of them according to his great will, plan and purpose. His plans and purposes are always best for us!

So even when the “tablecloths” arrive the day after, God knew the swag needed to arrive the day before.

Let go of the “ tablecloths” of life, the things we think are important, and cling to the “swag,” the words God deems important! 

I pray this encourages you to keep praying through the difficult issues in life, like Hannah did, and let go of the unimportant pieces that can be let go of!

We really do need to learn to laugh at life circumstances when we can! 

Speak Truth Love

FAITHFUL WOMEN, FAITHFUL GOD Week 2

Anyone need encouragement?

Yes, please, I need it by the truckload! Just back up the truck and dump it all over me!

Sign me up! Show me where the dotted line is and I will put my signature on it! Plug me in and feed it to me intravenously! I need it on repeat and auto pay! I need it all the time, consistently and at times, moment by moment! I run on it, live through it and find my inner strength in it. Bring on the encouragement! Please don’t hold back!

That is my cry. How about you?

Are you ready for our next “wheelbarrow rider?” This woman of faith not only jumps in the wheelbarrow, she stands firm and strong inside of it with both feet firmly planted.

I am excited to introduce you to (drumroll please, as my grandson would say)

DEBORAH!

Today we move from the book of Joshua to the book of Judges to find our next woman of Faith! Deborah challenges us to be FAITHFUL as we become encouragers who encourage others to be FAITHFUL in who God made them to be.

In Judges 4:1-5 _we are introduced to the only female judge mentioned in the book of Judges. She was full of wisdom, confidence and leadership. 

Her wisdom is on display as she sits in a position traditionally held by men only.

“Deborah, a prophetess and the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at the time.

She would sit under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to settle disputes.”  

Judges 4:4-5

Deborah’s FAITH in who God made her to be was strong. She willingly “gets into the wheelbarrow” and uses her gift of wisdom to direct and guide others in God’s path.

This assuredly makes her a “wheelbarrow rider” as this position is traditionally held by a man.

Her confidence is clearly seen as she calls Barak, the leader of Israel’s armies, to remember the call God put on his life.

“She (Deborah), called Barak son of Abinoam from Kedesh in Naphtali and said to him, “Hasn’t the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you: “Go, deploy the troops on Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men…”  Judges 4:6-9

The FAITH of Deborah, displayed in her confidence in what God had commanded, allowed her to boost the FAITH of another, Barak!

Deborah did not only display her FAITH in God and His call on her life and the life of another, but she demonstrated even greater FAITH as she encouraged Barak through God’s call on his life!

Her Leadership is not only demonstrated as she encourages another into exercising their FAITH, Deborah is willing to put her FAITH into action! 

“Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, I will go…, “I will gladly go with you she said.” Judges 4:8-9 

Deborah steps into the wheelbarrow with him and encourages him to live out his FAITH in God!

Because of the encouraging FAITH of Deborah we not only have one “Wheelbarrow Rider,” we have two!

TRUTH BOMB

OUR FAITH IN GOD LIVED OUT IS AN ENCOURAGEMENT TO THOSE AROUND US!

Who needs your FAITH demonstrated through encouragement today? 

Who in your life encourages you by their FAITH and steps into the “wheelbarrow” of life alongside you? 

Let’s ask God to help us encourage those around us and thank Him for those who FAITHFULLY encourage us by their FAITH!

See you back here next week as we uncover our next wheelbarrow rider.

Speak Truth Love

FAITHFUL WOMEN, FAITHFUL GOD

FAITH…what an obscure word! Such a “church” word, right?

Not necessarily! 

Have you ever heard the famous story of the European tight rope walker?

The famous European tight rope walker had reached such heights (no pun intended, but I am married to the king of puns), that he believed it was time to take his talent to a new level! As the crowd roared and cheered as he began to step out onto the tight rope strung high between two skyscraper buildings, they noticed he was pushing some thing out in front of him! They realized it was a wheelbarrow. The man yelled down, “Do you Believe that I can push this wheelbarrow across this tight rope?” The roar of the crowd rose to an even higher level as they screamed and shouted, “ Yes, we believe!” Then as the roar of the crowd quieted, he asked another question, “If you believe, then who is willing to get into the wheelbarrow?” 

Silence came over the crowd. 

No one got in. They were not willing to put their faith into action!

REAL FAITH MOVES INTO ACTION!

Beyond simply believing something is true, we must move past that belief into action.

It is not enough to simply say we believe it, we must demonstrate what we believe!

No one will question the words that we say when they are made true by our actions!

Easier said than done, right?

It is no wonder this phrase is so popular and commonly used.

I am going to take the next six weeks and attempt to increase my faith and possibly yours, if you are willing to take this journey with me, as we look at six women in the Bible who were willing to jump into the wheelbarrow of life!

They did not simply say they believed they actually put their faith into action instead of merely talking about it!

Our first “wheelbarrow rider” is Rahab. We find her story in the book of Joshua. Rahab demonstrates courageous faith in the face of fear.

Rahab is a citizen of the godless city of Jericho. She is no ordinary citizen, she is a prostitute. She is literally known as and referred to by the title, “Rahab the Prostitute.”

The life she lived was not hidden in the dark. She was known by the people of Jericho as a woman who engaged in sex for money. She would be plagued with terms such as cheap, loose, corrupt and even perverse! The world she lived in would not see her as valuable, rather they would devalue her and deem her unworthy and even profane.

Then, something miraculous happens, she encounters the Living God through those living out His Truth and through the testimony about Him.

Rahab‘s fear of the condemnation she knows is due her given her sinful life, is transformed into a healthy fear and respect for The God Who Saves!

He saved his people from Egyptians and parted the Red Sea to do it! He also empowered them to defeat to Amorite kings!

Joshua 2:9-11

Rahab said to them, I know that the Lord has given you this land and that the terror of you has fallen on us, and everyone who lives in the land is panicking because of you. We have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to Sihon and Og, The two Amorite kings you completely destroyed a cross the Jordan. When we heard this we lost heart and our courage failed, for the Lord your God is God in heaven above and on the earth below!

Rahab had a FEAR of God. Because of what she had heard and was given testimony about. She believed in who God was and what he had done. 

Her FAITH moves into action as her FAITH moves from knowledge into trust in what He can do!

Rahab understands God could punish her sinful lifestyle due to His power. 

But when her FAITH turned from a healthy fear and understanding of who God is and what he can do, to a FEAR of God‘s love and desire to forgive our sins and set us free, it changed everything! She believed God wants to set us free and give us worth, value and meaning! That FEAR became a fueled COURAGE to act in a way that put her FAITH into action!

She says it herself…

“‘According to your words, so be it!’ She sent them away and they departed. And she tied the scarlet cord in the window.” 

Joshua 2:21

The Scarlet Cord was the sign of Rahab’s FAITH in God put into action.

She had moved from a FAITH in the knowledge of who God was, into a FAITH of fear and reverence for what God could do! And she put that faith into action!

TRUTH BOMB

OUR FAITH IN GOD SPEAKS LOUDEST THROUGH OUR ACTIONS RATHER THAN OUR WORDS!

The same can happen for us! Does our FAITH speak through our actions, or does it remain shallow in our words alone? 

Let’s move into action my friend!

He is worthy, faithful and true!

Can’t wait to see you back here next week as we look at our second woman who jumped into that wheelbarrow!

Speak Truth Love

CELEBRATE, THE CELEBRATION THAT NEVER ENDS!

Easter is the greatest CELEBRATION on our Christian calendars! Jesus has risen! He has overcome death! The tomb is empty and because He lives we will live forever with Him! 

HALLELUJAH! 

PRAISE THE LORD!

SHOUT FOR JOY!

But what about two days later?  How are you celebrating now? Are you still reeling from the festivities? Are you staggering or swaying as you clean up the aftermath? Has an emotional, mental or physical “SHOCK” set in as you come down from the “HIGH?”

It can almost feel like we are “jet-lagged” from all the emotion, festivities and CHOCOLATE! Have you hit the proverbial “let-down” that easily comes after a grand party?

If you have, then it is time to pick yourself back up! Plant your feet firmly on the ground and stand strong. 

The Tomb is still empty! Our Savior Jesus Christ is still alive! And best of all, all of us who call upon His name are saved and will live forever with Him!

For “Everyone who calls on the Name of The Lord will be saved.”  Romans 10:13

TRUTH BOMB

EVERY DAY WITH JESUS IS A CELEBRATION!

Every day with Jesus is a CELEBRATION friend! It is a celebration of life over death!

It is a celebration of light over darkness! It is a celebration of the gift that we have in Jesus every day we walk with Him!

So, I ask you again, “How are you CELEBRATING?”

Speak Truth Love

CELEBRATE, WITH A HOSANNA

Do you shout out when you adore something? Does the world know how you feel about what it is you adore, or are you keeping it private between just you and maybe one or two others? 

If I threw out the name of a team or two would you react with a “WHOOP WHOOP,” or simply jump up and down on the inside where no one else could see it?

If someone you adore walked across the stage at graduation would you stand up and hoot and holler or would you remain seated and give a soft “golf clap?” If you were attending a concert of a musical group you adore, would you stand to your feet and clap to the beat, or would you hum along to yourself in a dignified fashion? Would you stand to your feet when a song is raised in worship about your Savior, or would you sing to Him quietly as you sit?

All of these acts of celebration are good and right, but the celebration I am talking about calls for a HOSANNA!  An all out expression of adoration, praise and exuberant joy!

A celebration that pulls us out of our preferences and brings us to surrender and abandonment of all that holds us back. An act of adoring love that comes out of our bodies as much as it flows from our mouths! When we think about it, read about it or hear about it HOSANNA flows out of every part of our being!

This is what happened to the crowd as they saw Jesus riding in on a donkey.

“The disciples went and did as Jesus instructed them. They brought the donkey and placed their cloaks on it for Jesus to sit on.”  Matthew 21:6-7

The disciples obeyed the instructions of Jesus and as soon as the people saw Jesus the adoration began!

“A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds went ahead of Him and those that followed shouted,

HOSANNA to the son of David!  Blessed is He who comes in the name of The Lord!”  Matthew 21:8-9a

But they did not stop there! They felt such joy in their spirits that their celebration continued in the highest praise they could articulate…

“HOSANNA in the highest heaven.”    Matthew 21:9b

The crowd was shouting “HOSANNA, HOSANNA, HOSANNA in the highest.”

They recognized Jesus as the Messiah, the Son of David, the Anointed One and the King of Israel! They were acknowledging Him as the rightful heir to David’s throne!

As we reflect on that incredible day over 2000 years ago, I have to ask myself, would I celebrate Jesus with a HOSANNA?  Would I be waving a “palm branch” of sorts today and shouting at the top of my lungs in front of my city, “Here comes JESUS! He is the King of Kings and The Lord of Lords! He is worthy to be praised!” Or would my celebration be less of a HOSANNA to my King and more of a head nod or polite golf clap?

Is He Lord of all to you?

Do you rest in Him as the Coming King?

Do you believe He will return again as He said He would?

Do you believe He will bring a reign of peace?

If He is our reigning King then let us praise Him!

 If He is our Prince of Peace then let us trust Him!

If He is our provider and protector then let us give Him the glory!

If He is Jesus, Son of God who willingly entered Jerusalem on a donkey, went to the cross and died for our sins, then let us raise a bold and strong HOSANNA and give Him all of our adoration, praise and joy!  He is so deserving!

TRUTH BOMB

WHEN WE RAISE A HOSANNA TO JESUS OUR MESSIAH WE PROCLAIM HIM AS KING!

Speak Truth Love

CELEBRATION, It’s A Party Every Sunday!

Growing up there was a song my sisters and I used to love to sing. We would begin to dance around and shout the words at the top of our lungs the minute we heard this song come on. We still play it and sing it at family celebrations. The minute it begins, our spirits are lifted and the celebration begins!

“There’s a party goin’ on right here

 A CELEBRATION to last throughout the years

So bring your good times and your laughter too 

We gonna celebrate your party with you.”

It is a song by Kool and the Gang and the lyrics are fun to sing. You cannot help but feel the smile spread across your face as the words come out of your mouth.

Your feet begin to tap to the beat and your legs want to get into rhythm!  

But today as I sing this song and the words play over and over in my head, I cannot help but see the irony between a party celebration this song is about and the Sunday celebration we have when we come together as believers in Christ!

The chorus goes like this:

Celebrate good times, come on!

             (Let’s Celebrate!)

Celebrate good times, come on!

             (Let’s Celebrate!)

Did you catch that phrase…“Come on!”

It’s calling us to CELEBRATE!

There is ABSOLUTELY nothing better to CELEBRATE than the life we share as believers in Christ Jesus our Lord!

“It’s time to come together

It’s up to you, what’s your pleasure?

Everyone around the world, come on!”

The most significant CELEBRATION that we will ever have, this side of Heaven of course, is the weekly coming together of God’s children! That’s church people!

When we go to church we are celebrating the common bond that we have in Jesus.

We are celebrating the gift of the Holy Spirit that we have because of Jesus! And we are celebrating the life that we share in Jesus!  

All the believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, and to fellowship, and to sharing in meals and the Lord’s supper, (AKA communion), and to prayer.” Acts 2:42

When the Holy Spirit came upon them, the believers in Acts 2, they formed a community, a church, a place to gather together as believers in Jesus and CELEBRATE!

When the New Covenant came through Jesus Christ it was accompanied by the giving of the Holy Spirit. 

TRUTH BOMB

The same gift of the Holy Spirit that was given to the believers in Acts 2 is given to us and all believers in Jesus today which is cause for celebration!

I think it’s time we started celebrating like the New Testament believers did!

I do not want to miss this party, not even one day of it! I do not want my invitation getting “lost in the mail!” I do not want to have an excuse for why I can’t make it. I just want to be there, side by side with fellow believers every Sunday as we celebrate the only one truly worthy of being celebrated!

Afterall,

There’s a party goin’ on right here

A dedication to last throughout the years

Come on now, Let’s CELEBRATE!

See you at church!

Speak Truth Love

CELEBRATION: Celebrating When The Angels Rejoice

We’ve been sharing about CELEBRATIONS on the Blog. I cannot think of a greater CELEBRATION than the one in heaven when the angels gather together rejoicing over a sinner who comes HOME!  

“In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when one sinner repents.” Luke 15:10

HOME, what a word that is. It holds so many different meanings and emotions. 

The primary definition for HOME in the dictionary is: “a house, apartment, or other shelter that is the usual residence of a person, family or household.”

This definition seems to hold little more than the explanation of construction materials put together to provide shelter. While shelter is important and necessary, this definition is not what pops into my head when I hear the word HOME!

No, what pops into my head and goes straight to my heart is the definition that reads…

“The place in which one’s affections are centered. A place of residence or refuge.”

It is a place that strikes deep in your heart. It reminds you of togetherness, warmth, comfort, significance and refuge. A place where you are safe and familiar. A place where you are accepted and wanted. 

A place to call HOME is nothing to take for granted. Many people long for a HOME.

I want to make something very clear here, I am not talking about ownership. I am referring to a shelter where we feel welcomed, safe and secure. A place where we are loved and desired. A place where we are not judged, criticized or condemned for any wrong that we have done.  

Some of us are privileged to have grown up in a HOME like that. If you are one who did, thank God for that incredible blessing! Some of us are blessed to have a HOME to retreat to like that. If you are one of those, do not take for granted what a gift that is! Some of us have a HOME we live in now that provides a safe refuge from the onslaught of the world we live in. If you are one who does, rejoice in that circumstance!

Today is a bittersweet day in my life. I am rejoicing over the quick and lucrative sale of my Mom’s home, but I am also mourning the loss of it. I am rejoicing because the money from it will provide for her care. I am mourning it because it closes the chapter of my childhood and having a “HOME” to go to. My heart hurts today at the closing of one chapter, yet it longs for another to open.

Regardless of the HOME we grew up in, run to for respete, or live in now, there is a longing for a HOME free of walls, free of circumstances, free of rot, mildew and all other sources of decay. 

When we understand the type of CELEBRATION we are talking about today. When all the angels rejoice over one person, you and me, who turns away from this world and toward God, you have a longing for HEAVEN! HEAVEN is our eternal HOME! The promise of God that you will be received, rejoiced over, loved and CELEBRATED over. THAT’S WHEN THE ANGELS REJOICE!

TRUTH BOMB

YOUR TRUE HOME IS IN HEAVEN AND IT WAITS FOR YOU!

Whatever circumstances you find yourself in today or any day, I pray you know that Heaven CELEBRATES you and is throwing a party on your behalf. You have an eternal HOME that outshines anything this world offers!

Speak Truth Love

CELEBRATION: Celebrating when it is pure joy!

The Joy Of the Lord is my strength!

Have you ever walked through one of the most difficult weeks and felt like your heart was broken into little pieces and you may never regain your joy? Only to find that JOY was waiting for you just around the corner and it would make you strong again!

The Joy of The Lord is my strength,” has always been one of my favorite verses! Yet, I must admit, it is one of the most difficult to explain and to understand. Joy is not a given! It is not something that just comes to us through osmosis. It is not simply dropped on your head and all of a sudden you become joyful regardless of your circumstances. Rather, it is believed in and practiced. And when belief is put into practice it can create great joy and produce amazing strength!

This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10b

Case in point…Last week was one of celebrating my mom’s birthday while experiencing grief, but celebrate we did! 

And while there were tears of grief that celebrating my mom was not and would not be the same ever again, we celebrated her through the grief.

Then we moved forward believing that God was blessing her and would continue to be faithful. Putting that belief into practice means not sitting too long in our grief. Oh, it is tempting. Not that any of us would choose grief over joy of course, but when we find ourselves grieving it can sometimes be easier to stay in the grief until we find ourselves stuck in it. Then like any good mud puddle or quicksand it can find us stuck firm and going down slowly. Instead of sitting in the mud and making mud patties, we must pull ourselves out and put our belief into practice!

The easiest way I know how to do this is to look for Joy! You will find it when you do! It may be in the sunrise at the break of day. It may be in a friend who gives you an unexpected call or visit. It may be in the blooms that you see springing forth on the seemingly dead branches of a tree. Or it may be in quality time spent with family.

For me God had pure joy waiting right around the corner! One week after my mother turned 81, my beautiful granddaughter turned 3! Today is Lucy James’ 3rd birthday! She is everything creative, fun, inquisitive, bright, spunky, and pure joy! Celebrating her was an explosion of joy from beginning to end! From her birthday party, “turning three under the sea,” to her traditional birthday breakfast on her, “you are special today,” red plate, to her dressed from head to toe as “Jesse” from Toy Story as she skipped through Disneyland, celebrating her brings strength to my spirit!

I have a greater strength to continue stepping forward in the needed care and process of my sweet mama aging because of the joy I celebrated with my beloved granddaughter!

Joy is waiting around every corner! God has placed beautiful reminders of Himself everywhere throughout his amazing creation! Open your eyes and look! You will find it and when you do it will produce a supernatural strength in you that can only come from God!

TRUTH BOMB

Joy from God is waiting around every corner if we look for it!

Speak Truth Love

CELEBRATION: Celebrating, Even When It Hurts

This title may sound like an oxymoron! After all, the word Celebrate implies excitement, exuberance, happiness, joy and all of the other fun and fuzzy feelings that go along with it! But today I am celebrating even when it hurts.

The definition of the word celebration is;

“A celebration is a special event that people organize because something special has happened or because it is someone’s birthday or anniversary.”

And, 

“The celebration of something is giving praise and appreciation to it or for it.”

When I reflect on the first definition given for CELEBRATION, it hurts.
Today is my Mom‘s birthday and she was the queen of celebrations!
She made every birthday, every holiday, every graduation and every success the best celebration you have ever seen! Everything matched and had a theme! From the napkins and plates on the table, to the flowers and decor, right down to the perfect dish and dessert! No detail was left out! And maybe, the best part of all, was the gift she gave you that was picked perfectly with you in mind! Truly my mom was the queen of celebrations!

In turn , it was a joy to celebrate her! She loved every little detail and unique piece of the celebration you would give her. Her Birthday was always greatly anticipated by my sisters and I! The last most special memory I have is when we all came together at my house and bought matching pajamas for all five of us and had a sleepover! My mom was literally in heaven! And so were we!
Her four girls, dressed alike in matching jammies, laughing and singing happy birthday to her as she blew out the candles on her cake.
She had only started to forget a few things then. Her mind seemed confused at times but she could still take pretty good care of herself! I was still in denial that anything was going on except that she was aging.
That denial turned in to reality and acceptance as my sisters and I had to face the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s.
And today it’s her birthday! I still celebrate her but the celebrating hurts! I must look to the second definition of celebration.

Today I am celebrating my Mom and giving thanks and appreciation for her!
She is my Mom! She is and always will be the queen of celebrations! My very best memories of her are of the love and generosity she showered over me and everyone she loved with the best celebrations ever! 
The lesson of learning to celebrate even when it hurts, it’s a profoundly spiritual lesson. I can celebrate the fact that Jesus loves me even when my prayers are not answered the way I want them to be. I can celebrate God‘s love even when someone I love is hurting because God’s love is faithful and true. I can celebrate eternal life even when life on this planet is over. And I can celebrate my Mom’s birthday and thank God for her life!

“I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  John 16:33

TRUTH BOMB 

Life is a gift from God and should be celebrated every day!

My Mom learned how to celebrate from her Mom my Grandma. And I learned how to celebrate from both of them! I have passed it down to my children and now my grandchildren who LOVE a good celebration!

The greatest tradition about celebrating that my Grandma taught me was to wake up every day that we have breath and thank God for the gift of today!

Today I am thanking God for my life and for the life of my Mom! It hurts a little knowing that we can’t celebrate like we used to and although she sees me and knows she loves me and I love her, she doesn’t really know me. But every day that she has breath I will celebrate her! And every day that I have breath I will thank God and celebrate the day! 

Each and every day is a gift from God! 

How will you celebrate it?

Speak Truth Love