Archive for May, 2011

May
30

The Unexpected Gift of Brokenness

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brokenness2Most churches are guilty of selling Christianity as a pain-free existence. We might not come out and say it, but the message oftentimes is, ‘Accept Christ and all your problems will disappear.’  Believers later find themselves disillusioned when after following Christ and finding that life is difficult. Some throw in the proverbial towel and try to walk away from anything and everything that smacks of God. Others get stuck in the process and become bitter yet they’re still present in body. And yet, there are those who embrace, with varying amounts of struggle, the process of becoming conformed to Christ’s death (Philippians 3:10).

In much the same way that the sacrificial animals of the Old Testament days did not go willingly to the altar, most of us go kicking and screaming to the altar of the death of our own flesh. We smell death in the air and we RESIST.

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Categories : brokenness
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May
24

Are You Sick and Tired of Waiting?

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pregnant-belly2“If one more person looks at me and says, ‘Have you not had that baby yet?’, I am going to scream!  I mean, does it look like I’ve had this baby yet?” My well-meaning church family didn’t know that I was, well, umm, emotionally and physically depleted.  In the South we might call that being “As ill as a hornet.”

Not one of my better moments, for sure, but nonetheless, I had had it! Forty-two weeks pregnant by all accounts, I had begged my doctor to let me deliver naturally and not be induced. I was down to the wire in all regards. My doctor had said, “I can only let you wait another day or two.”  My family was certainly ready for me to deliver, if you know what I mean. And I myself was sick and tired of being pregnant.

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Categories : Dreams, God's Plans, waiting
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preparation H

Vision is a wonderful gift. I appreciate it more and more as I ‘age’. I began to complain a few years ago to my optometrist about the changes in my vision. He proceeded to tell me that I was one of the lucky ones who had never had any vision problems and that what I was describing was just normal changes that occur as we ‘age’. He informed me that I was just noticing these changes more than the average person because my vision had previously been so perfect which was unusual for my ‘age’. 

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May
10

Five Tangible Ways to Show You Care

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after the tornadoFollowing the tornadoes of April 27, story after story after story of the pain and devastation is being told by Alabamians, from newspapers to facebook to one on one encounters. I was privileged this week to have an opportunity to listen to some of those traumatic stories as survivors struggled to put words to their emotions.

Trauma.

We might define it as an event outside the range of normal human experience which has the potential to cause long-lasting effects.

Such an ‘event’ was April 27, 2011, when my home state of Alabama was hit unrelentingly by a series of tornadoes.  It was the worst deadly tornado outbreak in U.S. history affecting seven southern states leaving at least 350 people dead and some still uncounted for.

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Occasionally I repost something from another author. At the end of this post is a devotional from John Eldredge. John is one of my favorite writers and often leads me to deeper waters. This is his daily devotion for today taken from one of his books, Waking the Dead. Hope you enjoy it.

On a personal note, my life has been quite busy the last few days because of the tornadoes which hit Alabama on April 27, 2011. It was a dark day while we watched wave after wave of tornadic activity plummet our state.

 

Almost all of North Alabama is without power. We are thankful here in Florence to still have our power and so my little nest has increased temporarily as my mother and daughter and son-in-law are here while their power is being restored. Authorities say it may be several more days before that happens. We personally did not have any damage, although several areas close to us were deeply affected. 

The devastation here is almost beyond description. The last information I heard stated that we had at least 66 tornadoes here in Alabama which hit in 16 counties. The damage is so wide-spread that almost everyone I know has been impacted in some way. Entire small cities were almost wiped out. Several larger cities have massive destruction.

 

Please pray for the state of Alabama. Recovery will be a long process. It is beautiful though to see masses of people mobilizing to help the hurting. The people of Alabama are a caring people. I am thankful to call Alabama home. 

 

"Above all else, guard your heart." We usually hear this with a sense of "Keep an eye on that heart of yours," in the way you’d warn a deputy watching over some dangerous outlaw, or a bad dog the neighbors let run. "Don’t let him out of your sight." Having so long believed our hearts are evil, we assume the warning is to keep us out of trouble. So we lock up our hearts and throw away the key and then try to get on with our living. But that isn’t the spirit of the command at all. It doesn’t say guard your heart because it’s criminal; it says guard your heart because it is the wellspring of your life, because it is a treasure, because everything else depends on it. How kind of God to give us this warning, like someone’s entrusting to a friend something precious to him, with the words: "Be careful with this-it means a lot to me." 

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Categories : God's Heart
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