Burning the Candle at Both Ends

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Burning the Candle at Both Ends

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mom_hectic_morning_web
mom_hectic_morning_web

I'm sure you can relate!  Most women can. We have so many hats to wear and sometimes...well, we can't wear them all!

Life in our home has been filled these last 3 weeks with Speech/Debate Tournaments, Dance practices, overnight guests, business trips and conferences...and we have 1 more week to go! Not to mention the 2+ inches of ice we got that held us captive in our home. (Texas weather...you never can tell.)

You see, when our weeks are filled with extras and I am burning the candle at both ends...I must realize that I can't do it all! My house isn't as clean as I would like it. I haven't cooked as many meals as I would like. The cupboards are scarce from lack of grocery shopping. The laundry is a little backed up. My first response, too often, is to be overwhelmed and upset.

However, this time, I am not overwhelmed or upset. You see, I made a choice.

I realized although we have "seen" each other, every day, and spent lots of time together in the confines of our vehicle, I hadn't really engaged my family in meaningful relationship. So, I chose to use whatever "free" time I had to invest in my kids and my husband.

My house may not look as good as I want it to, but the 3 hour conversation with my children was worth every dust bunny that remains on my floor. I may not have prepared a fabulous dinner, but the time I would have spent cleaning the kitchen  was time I snuggled on the couch with my husband. I think he was fine with Pizza. {wink, wink} And I've done enough laundry that we don't look like Pig-pen with our dirt cloud following us when we are out and about.

intentional living
intentional living

I can make it through 4 weeks of crazy as long as I prioritize our "unscheduled" time. I can "do" not being home, if I can connect with the heart-strings of my husband and children when we ARE home. I can "do" late nights and long drives if I don't forget the refueling in the morning with my Savior and the snuggles and laughs with my family.

So...as week 4 of Crazy begins in our home, I say BRING IT! I will choose to invest in the important...the eternally significant, and enjoy the ride. I will choose not to be dismayed and overwhelmed. I will be a life-giver, even if there are dust bunnies and dishes waiting to be tended.

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You Were Talking to HER?

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You Were Talking to HER?

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iamhe2"The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?"; for Jews have no dealings with Samaritans." (John 4:9)

The 'woman at the well' is a familiar story. It is one of the stories we tell our children. It is an account that we hear from the pulpit many times. I know I have heard and read it countless times before and yet today, I see Truth afresh.

As I read, the words come off the page at me, yet I hear them differently. I hear the same cries, yet they are different, "How is it that you, a CHRISTIAN, would ask for a drink from me, take time to talk with me without judgement, would look me in the eye and show love, me a woman of the World? for Christians have no dealings with drug addicts, unwed mothers, tree-huggers, drunkards, atheist, Muslims, people who curse, or die their hair blue."

Did that hurt? It hurt me. To be more accurate, it grieved the Holy Spirit which dwells in me. (Eph 4:29-32)

The Spirit, which dwells in me, longs to love on those around me. It longs to use my hands, feet and mouth to pour out Gods love to the people with whom I come in contact. You see, Jesus showed love to this woman who came to the well. He offered her life...everlasting life. He spoke to her. He looked her in the eyes and spoke directly to the heart of her need. He sees she is filling the hole in her heart with men. He sees her thirst for acceptance and love. He offered to fill the hole with living water, that she will thirst no more. He 'reads her mail.' He knew that she was an adulterer and that she was living with a man that was not her husband and He confronts her with that truth. He doesn't badger her, preach to her about how she was living in sin, stone her or begin to speak condescending and pious to her. He doesn't retract His offer of living water. No, he offers her the Truth of who He is. He offers her freedom from the bondage of sin that holds her captive. He offers her water that she may thirst no more. He offers to feel the hole with LIFE.

What do non-Christians have to say about most Christians today? Do they walk away and wonder why we can show love? Do they long for the joy they see in us? Truth be told, most non-Christians say, "Christians are Hypocrites, Judgmental and Pious." How do we change this? We must first start living like CHRIST!  Jesus loved those around Him. He healed their sicknesses physically so he could heal their sin spiritually. He gave the blind eye sight so he could open their blind heart to eternity before them. He fed their physical bodies so he could fee them spiritual Truth. If we, as Christians, want to see a change in this nation, if we want to save our neighbors and those we meet in the grocery store...we have to LIVE AS CHRIST lived. He loved on people. He met them where they were, met their physical need, their emotional needs and then He gave them spiritual food for their souls.

Don't forget Christ's death on the cross was for each and every person. (1 Peter 3:9)  No gender requirements or ethnicity specifications where placed on this gift. He died to pay for each of our sins. (John 3:16) Period. This gift of God is free (Eph 3:8) to anyone who will accept it but SO many don't even know what the gift is because His 'body', the church, is not being Christ-like. (Romans 10:14, John 13:35) Too many Christians are quick to point out the sin but not so quick to offer the love that can wash the sin white as snow. How hypocritical, judgmental, and pious...right?

My charge to you, and to myself,  is that we will truly follow Christ's example. That we will read the accounts of Christs life again and ask for the Spirit to give us revelation knowledge. That we will ask the Spirit to reveal prejudices in our hearts that hold us back from truly being the hands and feet of Christ. That we will learn how to offer the living water first, reveal the sin, in love, and then give them the keys to their freedom.  I pray we will have the courage to see Truth in the scripture, and to follow out God's leading when we do.

"And he <Jesus> said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel <the good news> to the whole creation." Mark 16:15

Katie

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God Didn't Answer Me!

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God Didn't Answer Me!

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A terrible storm came into a town and local officials sent out an emergency warning that the riverbanks would soon overflow and flood the nearby homes. They ordered everyone in the town to evacuate immediately. A faithful Christian man heard the warning and decided to stay, saying to himself, “I will trust God and if I am in danger, then God will send a divine miracle to save me.”

The neighbors came by his house and said to him, “We’re leaving and there is room for you in our car, please come with us!” But the man declined. “I have faith that God will save me.”

As the man stood on his porch watching the water rise up the steps, a man in a canoe paddled by and called to him, “Hurry and come into my canoe, the waters are rising quickly!” But the man again said, “No thanks, God will save me.”

The floodwaters rose higher pouring water into his living room and the man had to retreat to the second floor. A police motorboat came by and saw him at the window. “We will come up and rescue you!” they shouted. But the man refused, waving them off saying, “Use your time to save someone else! I have faith that God will save me!”

The flood waters rose higher and higher and the man had to climb up to his rooftop.

god_flood_man_roofA helicopter spotted him and dropped a rope ladder. A rescue officer came down the ladder and pleaded with the man, "Grab my hand and I will pull you up!" But the man STILL refused, folding his arms tightly to his body. “No thank you! God will save me!”

Shortly after, the house broke up and the flood waters swept the man away and he drowned.

When in Heaven, the man stood before God and asked, “I put all of my faith in You. Why didn’t You come and save me?”

And God said, “Son, I sent you a warning. I sent you a car. I sent you a canoe. I sent you a motorboat. I sent you a helicopter. What more were you looking for?”

Are we seeking God for wisdom, help, heath, peace, etc…but  continuing down the same path? Are we like the man in the flood who cries out and then ignores the Lords provisions? The Word tells us to call upon the Lord and we will be saved. (Rom 10:13, Joel 2:32, 1 Cor 1:2) We are told to ask and we shall receive (Matt 7:7; Matt 21:22)...to call upon the Lord who gives wisdom abundantly(Prov 2:6; Jam 1:5). We cry out to our Savior for help in crisis. We ask for wisdom to raise our children. We petition for health and we call on Him for protection, wisdom and clarity. But what do we DO when he answers us? Do we continue to ask for help, or do we obey His instructions?

“And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage. His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. “ (John 2:2,5)

water into wine

Mary calls for her son’s help at a wedding feast. The wine has run out and shame will be brought upon the house, so she petitions Jesus for help. What I love, is her response and instruction…”Whatsoever He says…do it.” She instructs the women to follow whatever he says. Her faith in Jesus, her savior, was faultless. She cried out for help, and then she did whatever he instructed.

We don't want to miss God's provisions because they don't line up with OUR plan to work it out. The man in the story, had the idea that God would save him, personally, and failed to recognize the provisions God sent to his rescue. In turn he perished. I am very sure the women did not understand why or how filling the barrels with water was going to help or remedy the situation. But they obeyed. When we seek the Lord, we must harken to his answer and follow his instructions, whatever they are, if we want His result.

I pray that I will recognize the Lord's answers and His provisions for my life. I don't my own agenda for God's answers to hinder me seeing His true provision that is at hand. We need to walk in this truth...that God's answers and provisions may not look like our expectations, but if we don't follow them we will continue to walk down the wrong path and be confused by what we think is a 'non-response'.

Let me leave you with one more story. This one is actually a TRUE story  of how the Lord answered a woman's request to further His kingdom to answer another woman's cry for help. (I have changed the names.)

Sally woke one morning and during her time with the Lord she asks Him to use her to further His kingdom. She tells Him she will follow Him no matter what.

After dropping her kids off at school, Sally hears the Lord tell her to go to the grocery store. So she drives to the store. While in the parking lot, she says, OK, Lord, why did I need to drive here?" The Lord then tells her to go inside and stand on her head near the coke machines. She argues and says, "surely this is not You, Lord! I am in my bathrobe and curlers!"

He tells her again...this time with urgency. He reminders her of her prayer earlier that morning. She is embarrassed, confused, a little reluctant, but she obeys.

She walks into the grocery store and there is the coke machine. She walks over to it, and in her bathrobe and curlers...stands on her head! As soon as she does, a customer comes up to her and asked, "why did you do that?" Sally responds to her simply... "The Lord told me to." The customers eyes fill with tears as she explains to Sally that she was going home to take her own life. She had cried out to the Lord that if He is Truly REAL He would send someone to stand on their head."

You see, God's answer to "Lord use me to further your kingdom" was out of the box. But it was the answer to someone else's cry for help. Don't miss your answer because it looks different from your expectations.

Lord, open our eyes to see your provisions and answers to our questions. Give us strength and courage to follow your instructions. "For you know the plans you have for us, plans of good and not evil. Plans to give us a Hope and a Future." May we trust your answers, provisions and instructions that we will walk in that Hope. 

Katie

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Words

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Words

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Words. They are the tools in which we communicate. They stir feelings, transfer thoughts and make tangible ideas. They are powerful. In them are Life & Death (Prov 18:21) As I read John 1:1-4, my heart is pricked. I have read these verses many times before and love the truth that spills forth that Jesus, the Word, was the Creator in the beginning and is the Light of the World  for eternity. As I read them this morning, my heart is welling over with gratitude and humble adoration for my King. Jesus IS the WORD...the spoken and written WORD of God. I am basking in this truth this morning...letting the familiar be anew in my soul once again.

The Word- Jesus -is the LIGHT...and the Light is LIFE.

I use words every minute of every day to express my thoughts, revelations, dreams, plans, and desires. I use them to instruct, teach, motivate and express love to those around me. Do I give Life to those who hear my words? Are my words, His Words? Scripture tells us the Word never returns void but goes forth until its purpose is accomplished. (Isaiah 55:11) Am I speaking and writing Eternal, Life-giving Words to my husband, to my children, to my family and friends? Do I send forth Life? Scripture is FULL of verses warning us of the death in our own tongue. Only through the power of the Spirit, which indwells me and makes me new (2 Cor 5:17), can I speak Life. Only through the blood of Jesus that covers my life, can I choose to bridle my tongue and speak Life Everlasting over my loved ones.

I pray the words on this canvas reflex the Word-the Light of Jesus that will illuminate your heart. I pray the WORD will bring you to a place of worship, forgiveness, beauty and peace. And then the Word, the Light, be LIFE to your marrow, food for your spirit and strength to your souls. Jesus- the Word, the Light is LIFE...everlasting Life

Words. In them are Life or Death. Choose to give Life. Choose to spread Light. Choose to speak Jesus over others and show them, through your words, the very love of Christ. Care for those around you with compassion on your tongue.Teach others to love with beauty on your lips. Bridle the harshness in your heart and allow the Spirit to pour out of your mouth love and compassion, grace and mercy...even to the unlovely. And then will TRUE Christianity be seen in our lives. Then will Christ's name be glorified through us. Then will those we come in contact with see and hear Jesus in us and wonder WHY we are different.

Speak Life

Let our Words be LIFE, and LIGHT so that all men would come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ...the Way, the Truth and the Life.

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