It’s Too Late for Happy Hour

Psalm 121:1-2:  If you’re like me sometime I think it’s too late. I may feel like I’ve  made a mistake and it’s too late to correct it.  I want to start over, get things right with God, but I think it’s just too late.  I may think it’s just too late to ask for help, too late to give it another try to ask for forgiveness, or too late to change my eating habits or diet.  I may think it’s too late to change my attitude because for some reason I’m just “set in my ways” now.  As I read and study God’s word, I’ve learned to rethink this matter of it being too late to answer God’s call or finish my assignments.  This is God’s business and He works late too.  I have 24 hour access to Him.   He’s ready, willing and able to help me.  Even if I have short-term memory and start thinking it’s too late for God to turn a situation around, clean me up, and make me right I am reminded over and over in Scripture that it’s never too late. Never.  The Bible says in Psalm 121 that the Lord is my Helper, and He never sleeps or slumbers. That means God is able to meet me at the point of my need no matter what the situation looks like. The Lord is my Keeper and that’s good news. I’m talking happy hour good.  So even when it’s late in the midnight hour, God can turn things around. One door closed, He can open another one. When I’m feeling doubt, disappointment, brokenhearted, alone and overwhelmed, God shows me evidence of His power through His unconditional and unfailing love. I have found Him to be a  Comforter, Sustainer and Friend especially when I think it’s just too late.  He makes me happy and restores my soul.  I begin to realize it’s never too late or too early for happy hour with God.  I don’t have to worry or despair because He works well into overtime in the too late seasons of my life.

 

 

Weekend Warrior

Program CD.JPGI had the opportunity to attend a Lifeway Women’s event this past weekend.  I traveled to hear Priscilla Shirer Live.  It was an incredible experience.  My cup is still running over.  What a joy it was to see so many women coming together for refreshment, encouragement and to hear from God.  There were 3,000 of us.  I went by myself, but found I was not alone when I arrived there.  God so designed it for me to bump into an old friend that I had not seen in over 8 years. I sat amongst other friends too, not strangers.  These were women of God.  I was in good company. It was good to fellowship with other women  who like me were also trying to live on pitch for God.   I was truly blessed by the music and worship team.  Singing is something I love to do, and the messages of hope Priscilla gave were packed with passion and power.  She invited us to lean in with her into God’s word and she invited us to laugh and cry.  She invited us to meet with God.   We were in the war room of Overlake Christian Church which was a beautiful sanctuary full of people worshipping God, declaring His great name, spending time before God in prayer.  I took this time away from everything and everyone and it was just what I needed.  I heard from God.  I have no fear of being alone because God is with me wherever I go.  I am refreshed, I am free and I am grateful for the lessons I learned on the dry seasons, the power of simple prayers, and the impact God makes on my life when I study His word and plan to obey it.  Well the weekend is over but this warrior is still on the battlefield.

Saved by the Bell

I spent a few hours the other day with my Sunday School teacher who is 80 years old. She was happy to see me and reminded me of how much time had passed since she last saw me.  We laughed and chatted about growing up and growing old.  She smiled as she told me the story of the bells.  Each one sitting carefully  on a glass shelf inside a lighted display cabinet that reached from the floor to almost ceiling  height.  There was one that was too big to go inside of the cabinet. It sat on the hardwood floor right next to it.  She told me it was a family heirloom and said it was used long ago as the school bell.  The story began with her telling me about first bell she ever received.  She described how this little bell was the one that got her collection of over 100 bells started.  It was a small red bell with two crab legs for the handle. It wasn’t anything  fancy and it sat about mid-way in on the second to the last shelf.   She told me how this bell was given to her by a little girl she taught in Sunday School. She proudly told me how I was that little girl.  She loved collecting the bells and made sure I knew that every time she told others the story behind the bells she mentioned the little girl who gave her that first bell.  I stood there in front of the cabinet thinking of how many other stories were sitting there on the shelves.  She was blessed by a bell and I was even more blessed by her stories told in Sunday School classes and right there in her dining room.  I was blessed to spend a little time with her, to hear her tell  the story of the bells and listen to her share wisdom.  I pray that joy bells will always ring in her honor. I am thankful God allowed me to be in her class growing up and I’m even more thankful to sit with her many years later still learning from her teaching and wisdom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You Want To Be On Top?

Kneeling In Prayer:  I read this today in my monthly planner and had to share this quote:

“Getting on your knees keeps you from falling” Laura Harris Smith

I’m up and down today for sure. Rising and falling, I’m down on my knees to stand up in faith. Thank God because He alone is able to keep me from falling.  No need to be on top, I’m just asking God to keep me from stumbling, tripping and getting stuck.

Jude 1:24-25 KJV says:

24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.

 

 

Over and Under

a sweet version of the traditional "keep calm and carry on":  When it’s difficult to get from under the load, situation or problem take time to think it over.  Talk it over with God and turn it over to Him. It’s alright to sing your song when you take the time to remember who is still on the throne.

My simple prayer today is this:  God please continue to work over my load when I feel overloaded. Grant me peace when I’m overwhelmed.  God, strengthen me when I’m just over it and help me see you as the overseer of my entire life.  God, please reign over, rule over and take over all my burdens because you are the King over all of the earth, In Jesus name Amen.

Psalm 47:6-8  (ESV) Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.  God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

Getting Through

I just read the last chapter of my book You’ll Get Through This by Max Lucado.  I love this author. I was extremely encouraged by what he said in the book about hope and help for our turbulent times.  It’s hard to believe so many lives were taken in Orlando, FL and so many others were injured by one gunman.  This violence, hatred, evil is real and I must as a believer in Christ remember the biblical examples of God turning mess into good. I must pray and encourage others going through whatever difficulties they face.  Thank you Max Lucado for reminding me of  how I need to be a Joseph this in the final chapter’s message:  Evil. God. Good.

Quoted from Max’s book:

“You’ll get through this. It won’t be painless. It won’t be quick. But God will use this mess for good. Don’t be foolish or naive. But don’t despair either.  With God’s help, you’ll get through this. ”  Max Lucado

Matthew 5:4 Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

 

Opting Out or In

Options are everywhere these days.  We have options as we sign up for social media accounts,  retail web sites, e-mail accounts,  points programs and rewards programs.  Businesses, non-profits, etc. all ask the same question:  Join in, Sign up, Register, Connect. We do it without thinking sometime.  We opt in to receive the best deal, the heads up, the coupons, the benefits of membership and so on.  We also opt out because we don’t want to be bombarded, flooded, reminded again, and most of all marketed to for everything they have to offer.  I am a Christian and I signed up for a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I opted in to eternal life with Christ.   I accepted the rewards, the benefits, and everything that comes with that relationship.  I have learned this relationship brings with it life lessons, rewards, struggles and pain, but  I really have the best deal with Christ.  I can not opt out of my faith walk or my relationship just because I’m tired of reading the books of the  Bible, tired of hearing sermons on forgiveness, spiritual warfare, or giving. Sometimes I  can get overwhelmed and become tired of serving, fellowships with other believers, or just tired of ministry work but that’s not a reason to opt out. I am  to remain in Christ through every challenge in spite of my feelings. God is my strength when I’m tired.   He restores my soul as I fervently pray and lay it all on the altar. There is no other option from beginning to end because the love of God is worth it all.

I love this prayer: from Dr. Tony Evans’ book, Prayers for Victory in Spiritual Warfare

A prayer for When I Am Weary ( page 156, Put on the Breastplate of Righteousness) “Father,  living in unrighteousness is so tiring.  I thank You for the refreshment of righteousness, which I wear as a breastplate against unreasonable weariness.  Thank You, God for new strength.  Forgive me for piling up my schedule with too many things-even good things.  I pray for discernment to choose not just what is good, but what is best.  Help me to do right in getting enough rest.  In Christ’s name , amen.”

Now, that’s what I call living on pitch.