Thursday, July 31, 2008
There is more to the story! I can't hardly wait to share with you what God is doing through this word..."Nevertheless!"
It seems that I did not know part of the story about my husband and the Bible. Why is it men leave out important details? It turns out that the man did not know Mike was interviewing with a church for pastor until after he bought Mike the Bible! Mike also had turned him down 3 times before the man looked at him and said, "I really feel that God is telling me to get you this Bible!"
The couple e-mailed us last night and this detail my husband also forgot to share...The man's last name is Shepard!
Do you think angels have e-mail?
Story # 2
I shared with you that my daughter was afraid of DVD games. She came up to us and asked if we could all play the "TV SCENE IT" game. We prayed for her to have courage and for us to be sensitive to her true needs. Are you ready....Nevertheless...she not only played but beat us at it to boot! No nightmares or scary thoughts that night! She woke up excited yelling GO GOD!
Story # 3
I had to go to the doctor today for my bi-yearly check-up. I had gained 3 more pounds! I have high blood pressure that is aggravated by "White coat syndrome." (I see the white coat of a doctor and my blood pressure goes through the roof.) As the nurse is checking my blood pressure, the enemy starts attacking me about the number on the scale. Then, I thought about my blood pressure...I gave my thoughts a good grabbing...took them captive and said, "Nevertheless...I am healthier today than I was even a year ago. Results...My doctor said, "Wow, your blood pressure is really good!" Go God!
Now for the really good news!
As I researched the word "Nevertheless," yesterday I came upon a story that blew my heart away.
It is found in Luke 22:41-44, "And He was withdrawn from them about a stones throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, "Father, If it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done."
Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
Wow! Did you catch that? It says here that after he said, "nevertheless" an angel came to minister to Him from heaven! But more interesting to me is that even though He was being ministered to by an angel...he still was in so much agony that his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. Have you ever been in that kind of agony? I've been in retching agony but not to that extent.
This is Jesus! He knew that death meant He would be with God...so I don't think death is what caused the agony. I think it was the thought of having to take on my sin! He, who knew no sin, was going to have to take on mine and yours and the sin of the world. The perfect Son of God was going to have to bear sin! And for those brief moments that he would bear them the Father God, whom He had always been with, would have to turn away. I think that caused Jesus greater agony than thinking about the nails or the cross.
Do you not know that Jesus could have caused His body not to feel the pain of man's nails and whips? He created the body! The agony...the thing that hurt the most was my sin! I am crying as I write this. Jesus knew what death meant, unlike us, He had already been with God physically. It was thinking about my sin that caused Him to be in so much agony, even though angels were ministering to Him. Today, I realize anew that I truly don't understand the cost...I don't understand how bad my sins are to a perfect and Holy God!
NEVERTHELESS! He did it! He loved me and you more than that kind of agony! At some point Jesus hit His own "nevertheless" moment, because just a little while later the High priest questions him and says, "Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!" Jesus said to him, "It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven." Matthew 26:64. Do hear the confidence and power in those words? Now friends, that is a Nevertheless moment!
Today as you encounter frustration, disappointments, trials and even joys...think about Jesus. Think about the cost of our sin...then shout out loud for all to hear, "NEVERTHELESS, JESUS, MY SAVIOR, IS LORD!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Anyway, the book is about a woman who is riddled daily by her enemy "Fear." She is afraid of a lot of things. In the book, she is faced with her worst fear...death of her husband. Her husband is diagnosed with terminal cancer. Throughout the book she shares the journey God took her on and how she learned to be claim victory over her fears with one word..."Nevertheless."
God used this word to teach her how to trust Him. She found in scripture that the word was used most often as a trust word after great calamity or fear. By using this word she was able to trust God through the death of her husband and starting a new life.
Here are two of scriptures powerful examples:
2 Timothy 1:12 "For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that day."
Hebrews 12:11 "Now, no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it."
Lately, "Fear" has challenged my whole family in different ways. For me it is my beginning this new adventure in speaking and blogging. "Fear" has attacked my daughter in many areas: learning to swim, (she does not like to have water in her face) test anxiety,(she soooo wants to be perfect...can I get a witness?) movies (Disney movies scare her. Anything that has any conflict plot line no matter how simple, or if the outcome is good, she gets scared) and even DVD games. She is nine and still has not learned to ride her bike---scared. Her fear will sometimes cripple her and often stops us from enjoying certain things together. I will give her props though...She can talk or sing in front of any size crowd and can ride any roller coaster you can dream up! As for my husband, his struggle with "Fear" is that of becoming a Pastor. He feels God's call and we are fairly certain God has already provided the church. He preaches for them the 1st time on August 10th. (Pray) "Fear" however keeps tapping at his mind with statements like, "Are you sure?" "Can You really shepherd God's people?" "You don't know how to run a deacons meeting or handle a business meeting." He knows logically that God will see him through but the doubts about his calling have remained. Until yesterday when God gave him a big "NEVERTHELESS."
He works at the bookstore in the Billy Graham library and yesterday a couple came in looking to buy a Bible. He showed them several, all the while conversation was taking place on who they were, what might be their needs, ect. After selecting a Bible, the man began to question Mike about his calling. Mike shared with them about the church that we feel God is leading him to shepherd. The man walked over pulled down a "Minister's Bible" from off the shelf and told my husband that God wanted him to have that Bible. The man bought the Bible, signed it and handed it to my shocked husband. The Bible was a $175 Bible! But more shocking to my husband was the man's confidence in the calling of someone he had only talked to for about 20 minutes. Mike knew it was a "nevertheless" moment. We can't wait to see what God is fixing to do.
What about you? What are areas "Fear" attacks you? Share any "Nevertheless" moments God has made for you.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Thanks again for your sweet words and prayers for me last week. They sure gave me strength for the battle. God spoke through you over and over to me, and I feel like a bigger victory has been fought and won in this arena. Here's the highlights:
Though the battle has been raging in different forms since I was a child, the arena the enemy chose was my weight. This is a new arena for me. I was always little and skinny till a few tears...I mean years ago.
Last Friday the enemy decided that this area was a great point of attack. Instead of losing weight after working hard on a new strategy for 10 days, I had gained 4 pounds. This sent me back to the "Ugly Pam War."
I was losing ground bad. Because this weight battle is new to me, I did not have the logical knowledge or emotional strength to stand on...so I cried out to God because truthfully this kind of battle isn't won by knowledge or sound emotions, but by the Lord!
He sent friends to my rescue! A call from my BFF who is an on-the-side nutrition buff (the woman grinds her own wheat!) to give me knowledge. I did not know that our bodies will sometimes fight changes in diet, by adding pounds before it adjust to the change, and you start to lose. She also spoke truth to the lies in my flesh. She was harsh at times, but she knows I can take it and I know she is doing it out of love....Thank you Paula!
He instructed me to ask you for prayer and did you ever come through! Your love and encouragement for someone most of you have never even seen, was amazing and made me realize again that true beauty has nothing to do with the skin or fat I live in now.
My husband who can be one of my worst critiques in this area, (he always tells the truth even when he knows it will hurt) told me I looked beautiful when he walked in the door...he had no idea of the battle I was facing at the time.
But this morning was when the battle finally stopped. It came as words out of my mouth to my daughter, but the rebuke was actually for me. My daughter is taking swimming lessons. She is afraid of the water and this has been a long battle. Last year she just would not jump in or go under.
I bribed. Didn't work.
I threatened. Didn't work.
Finally with only two days left in the lessons, I prayed (should have been 1st on my list) and God gave me a verse for her. I found it while at a stoplight on the way, and handed it to her in the back and said, "READ." She read it. It was Isaiah 43:1,2 & 4a. When she was through she looked at me and asked, "Is He really in the water in the deep end of the pool, mommum? This says, He wont let me drown. Is He really there?" We talked about the verse and that morning she jumped in!
We are back at swimming lessons again this year and in our 2nd week. This morning she started acting afraid again. Even though, she now can float and swim under water, she started to be afraid of jumping into the deep end. I looked at her and said, "Stop! This is a "Fear" battle that you have already fought and won with God's help. Do not go back to fight battles God has already defeated for and through you!" The words hit me hard as I said them. This battle of "Ugly Pam" has been fought and won, no matter what form or new dart the enemy wants to throw at me, about my body and looks.
So sisters cheer with me as I stand today vowing to shout to the enemy next time he tries to bring this battle up..."This one has already been won... if you don't believe me, take it up with God!"
I will not knowingly go back and fight a battle that God has already deemed victorious.
As for Zoie and swimming lessons....she jumped in 6 times in a row!
Isaiah 43:1, 2, and 4a
"Now this is what the Lord says---the One who created you, Jacob, and the One who formed you, Israel. Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
I will be with you when you pass through the waters, and when you pass through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. You will not be scorched when you walk through the fire, and the flame will not burn you.
Because you are precious in My sight and honored, and I love you."
Thanks again. I love you precious daughters of God!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Thank you so much my sweet friends for the prayers yesterday.
I will blog Monday about more of the battleground I referred to, the affects and the victories.
Your sweet words kept giving me the strength and courage to not give in to my "Ugly Pam" day.
I went back and read several of them over and over again.
Thanks for being a voice of truth...Your voice because it was also God's voice became stronger and drowned out that of my enemy!
May God heap blessings on you today!!!
Friday, July 25, 2008
I got tagged! I am being tagged by Nicole at http://www.victoriousheart.blogspot.com
She has a beautiful blog with an amazing story of faith and restoration. Go see her you will be blessed.
Here are the rules:
1) Link to the person who tagged you (see above)
2) Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them (humm...whom shall I tag)
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog. (quick go look)
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up (Hi Nicole)
Six random things:
1) I love to Western style square dance.
2) I have a wonderful dog named KeeKee Bear. She looked like a bear cub as a puppy.
3) Despite my physical disability, I have been in class 4-6 white water rapids over 50 times, I can snow ski, and I have even rappelled off the side of a cliff.
4) My husband and I host an old fashion singing on Saturday's (about every two weeks) at a campground nearby during the summer.
5) I am an extreme priss-pot but my sister is more like Elli Mae Clampet. She is a beautiful women who can also take a horse to the ground...Her husband is a horse vet and she is his tech.
6) I love Jesus Christ and am amazed and awed that He loves me too. He adores His children!
The 6 people I am tagging:
1) Tara at http://tabletwenty.blogspot.com She has a praying heart and I love her gift of encouragement.
2) Nicole at http://livingmylifeonpurpose.blogspot.com I love her blog! She inspires and challenges me and is a cute and funny lady.
3) Angela at http://christianwaitress.blogspot.com A sold out young woman for Christ.
4) Lee at http://prayergifts.blogspot.com Lee is a soul sister. She is a great writer and loves to encourage others to the God she adores.
5) Kelly at http://chattykelly.blogspot.com She is a woman after God's heart. I love her blog and visit almost daily!
6) Kimberly at http://plantingofthelord.blogspot.com She is also an amazing young woman. She loves God and her family!
If I tagged you, know that it is out of respect and friendship. For those of you who I love but did not tag...please leave me six things anyway.
You my blog friends will never know this side of heaven just how much you have enriched my life, challenged me to grow, and pointed me to God. I love you.
Now, I am going to ask for your prayers today. I seem to be having one of the worst "Ugly Pam" days I had in a long time. This is where the enemy throws every dart he can about my looks, weight and person. I am holding to the truths of God today. I still would ask for your prayers because today the battle is hard and I am getting weary. Could I ask you to hold me up like Moses' two friends held up his arms during the battle? May God get the glory!
I love you all!
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
World Says--------------------------- Kingdom Truth
To be helpless is to be weak----------------You then have the power of God
Sampson was blind and an animal----------With God he collapsed a Colosseum.
Moses and the Israelites were trapped -----The Red Sea parted
Joseph, sold as a slave and imprisoned----- Told Pharaoh about his dream and saved Israel.
Paul and Silas imprisoned and chained----- Sang praises to God and a jailer was saved.
John banished to a barren island to die----- Wrote the Revelation of God
Jesus dead and sealed in a tomb----------- Rose from the dead and gave us eternal life.
In each of the above cases, the person there was not without their own strength. Sampson had pushed that millstone, his hair had grown back and he was strong...but he let go relied on God and brought down a Colosseum. Moses, Joseph, Paul and Silas, John and Jesus all had great power and strength but at the moment of truth they floated on God's power rather than their own.
Being helpless the way God sees it is not becoming a weakling, or being a limp reed in the wind. It is putting aside my own power for His ultimate power.
My daughter is taking swimming lesson and one thing she is learning to do, but has a hard time doing, is learning to float. I watch her work at lifting her chin, lifting her tummy, and keeping her arms like a starfish. It does take strength to float. It works better, once you learn to trust and use the power of the water to help you.
Pray for me as I relearn how to float in helpless faith. I know these have been long post. Thanks for hanging in there with me.
Let me know you own Faith Floaties.
Here is my last one:
2 Corinthians 12:10 "So because of Christ, I am pleased in weakness, in insults, in catastrophes, in persecutions, and in pressures. For when I am weak, then I am strong!"
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Listen, the thought of Jesus being helpless in any shape or form is beyond my thinking. But I know His voice, and I know what He said to me as I was sitting at that alter. The reason I know is because once I agreed to embrace "Helplessness" the sweetest peace I have ever felt swept over me. I had never felt praise and adoration as I did that minute. I knew I was changed. A chain had been lifted. I was free. Free to dance in hot pink shoes!
The thought of Jesus being helpless was too much for my brain to comprehend. I mean He was God! He calmed the wind and the waves, He raised Lazarus from the dead! He healed every kind of sickness and even legions of demons ran at the command of His voice. Helpless? How can God be helpless?
So for the past year and some odd months I have prayed, studied, and meditated on this concept. My definition of helpless is that of being weak, without control, powerless. God is none of those! So what does helplessness mean to Jesus that it is part of Him.
Recently, while telling this story I recalled another time I had felt that kind of peace. In that moment, an illustration came to mind. I know this is long but here comes the good part. Get ready to swim.
When I was 16 my family was camping at Myrtle Beach, SC. It was the first morning and we all got up and hurried to the ocean to play in the waves. The water was a little rough that day but we were use to it being that way. We were only in water about 3 feet deep jumping over the waves. We decided to get out. When I took my first step my feet left the ground and I couldn't put them down. I was caught in a riptide! My monster man of a cousin grabbed me and I felt safe...for 2 seconds because it pulled us both out from the shore fast. Soon we were over our heads and in trouble. (What I did not know at the time was He could not swim!) We went under several times before my dad reached us. Now my dad is my super hero! A policeman, great swimmer and extremely strong! So again I felt safe. Down we all three went under! What! What did I just hear? No way! Dad is yelling for help! Dad never needs help! Sheer panic of the worst kind! Under we went 3 more times each time we broke water dad and I yelled for help! These two men held me up the longest before fighting the current, would force us all under. I looked around no one was near us. Not behind us, not to either side, and we were to far from the closest person trying to swim out to us. Under we went. I had been praying from the moment I heard dad yell for help, and as we went under this time, more tired and going in deeper, I felt that peace. I thought, this is what it feels like to die. I wasn't scared. I was free. I felt dad pulling me to the top of the water. Once I broke free and grabbed a breath of air I noticed that I had been thrown onto a small float. A pool float. A man was sitting on it like a horse! It was unbelievable! Where did he come from? The float is too small to hold him like that? How is he sitting there? My dad said, "I can't hold them any longer." The man calmly said, "Give them to me." Now, I know my dad looked at him like he was crazy! Then the man leaned over and pulled my cousin straight out of the water and laid him across the float! Logic and physics say that he couldn't do it but he did! We made it back to shore and as we went to thank the man on the float he was gone. My dad asked several people who were helping us on shore what happened to the man? Their answer was the same..."What man? There was no one but you. Lucky you were able to get a hold of this float."
Was we helpless in that water? YES! But as life guards now warn you, if you get caught in a rip tide don't fight it....Float...relax and try to move perpendicular to the current to get out of it. The more we fought and used our own strength, even that of my dad who is a strong swimmer, the more we became helpless to the currents control. The man or angel (which ever you choose to believe...I'll take the later) on the float did not fight. He let go of His control to that of the water, and to God, then and only then was he able to rescue all three of us. From this memory I can now understand Jesus being helpless. He let go of His own God strength to trust us as a baby, to trust the earth to provide for Him and His commands, and to trust God even when He turned His back on Him at the cross the moment He died. "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me."
Helplessness means letting go of my inadequate control and floating upon God's ultimate riptide! Then and only then are we able to ride the wave of full power. Helpless is not powerless...it is ultimate power...not my own but Gods!
Let go my control freak sisters... lets go ride the waves!
Monday, July 21, 2008
It was later that night at Lysa's alter call that I learned why I had felt that way. On my commitment card I wrote, "I want to trust." This was something that God had shown me I don't do very well. Instantly, a gentle voice my heart recognizes said, "Further Pamela." OK. I wrote down, "I want to surrender." That is further and a deeper kind of trust. Again the gentle but firmer voice said, "Further Pamela!" What is further than surrender?" Then I knew. I knew why I had been mad, when I had those shoes on, and I knew that I could not do it! The Jacob in me rebelled and I inwardly stomped my foot and said, "NO! I WON"T WRITE THAT!!!"
I knew at that moment it was a do or die moment. I so loved my Lord! But what He was asking of me I had no concept of doing. I cried. I don't mean sweet tears running down you face, I mean a sobbing-snotty cry. (Oh, don't act offended you've done it too.) I begin to write the words on the card, barely able to even see what I was writing..."I am willing to be helpless."
As I'm crying my guts out and feeling as if a part of the fighter I am was being wrenched from my soul, I again heard that gentle voice, "Pamela, I was helpless in the manger, I was helpless at the cross, and I the creator of everything was helpless every time I walked the earth and thirst. I don't want you just to be willing to be helpless, I want you to embrace it. If you don't know helplessness you can not fully know a part of Me."
I have tried to embrace helplessness. It has been only through His divine help and grace. I have had to retrain my brain and learn a new definition of "helplessness."
A pair of hot pink pumps sits in my office, to remind me to be helpless.
Tomorrow, I would like to share my new definition and share some "Helpless" insights. And for those other control freaks out there (I know I'm not the only one) it is not what you think either! In fact the world's definition is wrong! I feel stronger today than I have ever been because I am helpless!
Drop by tomorrow. Oh, you might want to bring your swim suit.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thank you for praying for my friend. She was moved from the trauma unit but still has a long recovery ahead of her.
Today, both my husband and I are going to spend some time with her and her family. So pray for us we minister to them.
We are also going on a day-date today! It is just us until late this afternoon. Thank God for grandparents! So we are going to have FUN!
See ya soon!
Friday, July 18, 2008
Today's post is a simple request of prayer.
My husband and I interviewed with a new church start committee this past Tuesday night. This is a brand new church that is just getting established and are looking for their first part-time Pastor.
My husband currently works for Billy Graham but feels called to return to church ministry through missions. A new church plant is an exciting opportunity for this to happen.
This morning we received a call from the chairman of the committee. One of the ladies who interviewed us was in a terrible car accident last night. Her sister was killed. She is in a trauma unit at a nearby hospital. Her grand-daughter (16) was also in the car and has several broken bones. My husband went to be with the family this morning, even though he has not been offered the job they need someone to minister to them.
Pray for him that he will be able to offer comfort and hope. Pray for "Judy" to recover and come home whole physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Pray for the teenage grand-daughter as she recovers from this trauma both to her body and her spirit.
May God hold them all and give them the comfort they so need right now.
Thank you for praying!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
This is one of my favorite verses. I needed to hear this this morning. I am a bit overwhelmed with all the changes taking place in our lives lately. I need God to quiet my anxious spirit with His love.
"Worry" and I are old enemies. I know this character, far more personally than I should and he is knocking hard at my door. So this morning I went to the Word and let "Faith" answer the knock.
I read about Joseph in prison and was reminded that even there, when all hope should have been lost and "Worry" should have had complete tortuous authority, Joseph had faith. He waited on the Lord and did everything He knew to do, to His best! I am so... not like that!
I don't like waiting when I know change is coming. I would rather slam on in, or stay where I am and just not go! I noticed something odd too...Joseph told the cupbearer that he had been stolen from the land of the Hebrews. He did not say, "My stinking mean ole brothers sold me into slavery." In fact he did not put any blame on his brothers at all. Me, now I would have wanted everyone to know the injustice!
I have been pondering this all morning. What do you think? Do you think Joseph's faith was that strong and he had already forgiven his brothers or was he just embarrassed that his brothers had sold him into slavery? Personally, I want to believe it was the first. To have that kind of forgiveness and faith in the midst of those circumstances....WOW!
Back to the "Worry" I am facing today. My family is in the midst of lots of changes. My new adventures in blogging and Women's Speaking ministry, My daughter being asked to sing at more and more places...I've had to get a calender just for her. And yesterday my husband interviewed for a part-time pastors position in a brand new church start. It went very well and we felt God's presence in the interview. It remains to be seen if the committee felt the same way.
So....we could be changing churches and going back into the frontline in church work. We have been there before in Church staff positions but never in the pastoral role or even in a church start.
So I flipped from Joseph to Zephaniah, to remind myself that God will quiet me with His love. Today, I plan on listening closely to see if my heart can hear the song He is singing over me.
I bet it is a love song or maybe something like "Don't Worry, Be Happy!"
What about you? What song is He singing over you today? Share!
Monday, July 14, 2008
This past weekend was a great and musical time with the Lord. Zoie preformed in a children's musical on Friday night and Saturday our family put on a Saturday Singing at a campground near us on the lake. It was great and God blessed. Just before Zoie was to sing she and I walked to the water's edge. I said a quick prayer for her and we talked about the opportunity God had set before her. (She had been having some parent/daughter issues earlier and both she and I wanted her to sing from the right heart.) As we walked along the shore, peace and resolve for God was restored. She sang with a full heart for the God she loves so much!
As I was thinking about that this morning, I was reminded that a lot of my own restoration times take place near water. My parents live on a beautiful private lake and I often go there just to stare at the water and talk to God. I even wrote a poem about it years ago that I share with the children I teach. Today, I would like to share it with you.
Swimmy Bugs and Hoppy Toads By Pamela D. Robinson
Do you have a place you like to go,
to talk to God and give Him your load?
I go to a place where I can find,
some swimmy bugs and hoppy toads.
A pier on a lake or a bridge will do,
a lazy creek or a pond works too.
Someplace to watch the swimmy bugs dance,
those little bugs as they race and prance.
They skim on top of the water that shines,
and help you to forget the troubles in mind.
They scoot and twirl, not a care in sight
on top of the ripples that glisten like lights.
I think of God in his wisdom and care,
who has given these bugs something wonderful to share.
I listen as they dance their message to me,
a message so simple, so free, and true.
.... God really cares for Me and for You!
If He takes the time to teach little bugs to dance,
then I have a purpose, I’m not here by chance.
Whatever my burden , whatever my care,
I have a reason to twirl and a message to share.
God is surely with me, I am never alone,
there’s no reason to mope, no reason to moan.
But if this cannot help me to give Him my load,
then I must be sure to look at hoppy toads.
They are little and slimy, and to some quite a sight,
but listen to them a while and you will find out what’s right.
God gave them the ability to jump and to sing;
they sing praises to God about everything.
In their choruses at night as they sing from the trees,
it is then that I realize...God loves me.
God has desires for me and has given me abilities too.
He will help me go on and help me get through.
God will take care of me and not let me fail,
now listen so carefully, as I finish my tale.
When you feel discouraged, can’t carry your load,
watch the swimmy bugs dance, and listen to hoppy toads.
Then leave your load with the Creator of all,
He will not let you down, He will not let you fall.
No matter the task, no matter the load,
just remember to give praise like swimmy bugs and hoppy toads.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I was thinking about the question I posed last post, "What Bible character are you most like?"
I was reading you answers and rethinking my own, when I remembered something that happened 5 years ago. We were in the process of securing a loan to buy our house.
"Pamela, Its Jeff. I just got the credit report my friend did on you and Mike regarding the house loan. Your combined numbers are great. I don't think we will have any problem getting the loan...but I do have some questions concerning your credit."
"It seems that you have three credit cards in your name that are close to being maxed out. It says you are paying in good standing..."
"Jeff, there has to be a mistake. I have no credit cards in my name."
"Here let me give you the numbers of these cards. You need to call right away. Don't worry its probably a simple mistake...a typo or something. I doubt it is identity theft."
It was identity theft. Someone in a nearby state, who had my same first, last and middle name had used my social security number to open three credit cards. She was paying on the credit cards, but they were close to being maxed out and only she and God knows what she would have done then. It took almost a year to get everything straightened out. If you have ever been through anything similar, you know the elaborate maze of twists and turns I'm talking about. The physical puzzle of being able to clear my name became an endless labyrinth of distorted mirrors. Every turn not only had to be negotiated in the physical world but in the spiritual world as well. As a follower of Christ, each pathway required that I balance upon the rocks of forgiveness, why me's, and faith that my name would finally be cleared. It was not so much a question of "What would Jesus do?" I knew the answer. Living it was the hard part!
I had worked so hard to always have a good credit for 26 years! This person didn't steal my money. She stole my good name! She was using my name to receive the good credit that she had not earned! Forgiving that kind of theft was hard. I remember crying out to God in my frustration and indignation!
"It was not her name! She has taken my name! The name I earned, I deserved, and misused it for her own selfish use! How can I forgive her for that!"
Finally in the quietness as I sat fuming, that still soft whisper which my heart recognized as that of my Lord said, "I forgive you and you misuse My Name everyday."
I fell straight to my knees. As a Christian I carry the name of Jesus. I did not steal it but He gave it to me. I misuse His name every time I fuss at another driver (One of my weaknesses please pray for me about that one), every time I am grouchy, or lazy, or just thoughtless. I misuse His name when I don't see the needs of those before me, because I am caught up in my on schedule of activities. I misuse His name everyday. Yet everyday, He allows me to be called by His name, that wonderful name. I have cart blanch with the name of Jesus.
I've changed my mind I don't want to be more like Mary. I want to be more like Jesus!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Here is a question for you: "Which biblical character do you think you are most like?"
I am most like Jacob. My husband Mike has teased me for years that the reason God gave me a limp at birth was because He knew I would wrestle with Him about everything! It is true. I do wrestle with God. Like Jacob, I also obey but only after I am sure that God will bless me. God is convicting me of that more and more. I have an over-active good girl gland (not like Jacob) so that in the end I will always obey. But my obedience comes from it is the right thing to obey God rather than from pure faith and trust. I wrestle with saying "No," or "Are you sure God," even doubting sometimes that it is even Him speaking to me. I even wrestled so much one time that I asked Him to say it out loud, and He did! He used the words and mouth of a perfect stranger to say words the person could not have possibly known. Needless to say, I obeyed quickly that time and with the most faith I have ever had. I left my home and family to do mission work for 2 years 3,000 miles away, with my only contact a name and decription: a black haired woman with a blond haired little boy about 8 years old! It was a great experience!
What I am learning now is that being a Jacob and wrestling with God is not true faith. Jacob had to be convienced and blessed before he would obey and go meet his brother Esau. But that was not faith. To be convinced of the outcome before obeying is not faith! Faith is obeying regardless of the outcome! It is trusting God with the outcome. I so want it to turn out right. I want things to go God's way. I want it to reflect well on me too. (PRIDE!) But the truth is I'm not in charge of the outcome. The outcome is God's problem/responsibility. If it turns out great and He is glorified, it is by His hand and glory not mine. On the other hand if it turns out badly (in my eyes) it is also for and by His Glory. He gets glory either way because the results are up to Him! Like the prophets of old, I may never see the glorious results in my lifetime. But like these dear prophets, my faith should be that even though I don't see it, I know God will complete it!
So dear friends pray for me as I slip off the garments of Jacob and try on the garments of faith like Mary and say "May it be just as You have said."
Friday, July 4, 2008
We are we are going to my mom's to help get ready for a big BBQ tomorrow. When I say big I mean big! There will be about 200 people there. We will have some of the best homemade pulled pork BBQ you have ever tasted! The hams will start cooking around lunch today and there is about 10-12 of them! There will be all the fixings and lots of deserts. That's all my parents will let anyone but family bring! After the feast we will gather around for an old fashion singing. People will sing as others tell stories. That is tomorrow and I can't wait! It is my favorite day of the whole year!
But you know something, I think we have our Holiday names a little mixed up! I think we should call this day Thanksgiving Day! WE should be thankful to God for our free nation and for freeing our souls from sin.
So look up from your cookouts to heaven. Look up at the fireworks tonight and shout with me Happy Thanksgiving! Thank You God!
OK, I told you guys I was a little nutty!
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Today is mine and Zoie's fun day. Once a week in the summer while we are both off from school we try to have a Fun Day. We go somewhere--absolutely must leave the house--and just play.
Minimal housework is done such as no dishes in the sink and beds made and then we are off.
Today we are going fun shopping. This is where we go shopping at our favorite fun stores and make wish list instead of buying things. Well I am going fun shopping she actually is taking birthday money and she will come home with a treasure, while I come home with my list of wishes and the joy of watching her pick her treasures. She is very money wise and usually makes some of the best purchases.
I am looking forward to the day. Not just the time spent, not just watching her buy treasures, not just laughing and writing down crazy things on our wish list, its the bonding and dwelling together that we both love.
Oh, I'm still Mom! There has to be that line of respect and even though it is her money, I have veto power on what she can spend it on at nine years of age.
It reminds me of my relationship with God---or at least how it should be. Some days we work hard together. Him directing and me obeying and watching ministry happen. It may be my mouth or hands that do the work but His Spirit is in charge of the results and the outcome.
Some days we need to have fun days with God. Days where we spend time together dreaming or even receiving blessings all under His veto power.
Zoie and I have worked hard this week: practicing for a BBQ that she is singing at and I'm doing sign language to one of her songs, working on projects in the house, and me writing Special Ed Bible study curriculum for LifeWay.
So today we go play. Pray for us as we shop, talk, laugh, and make our wish list. Pray that we will both come to know God better today just having fun!
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
This is an extreme adventure for me, attempting to blog. I am both excited and anxious about this adventure that God is leading me on in the vast unknown world of cyber space!
For those of you who know me you know I am about as gadget challenged as they come. I mean come on, I don't even like to try a new hair dryer! I have left most of this computer stuff up to my wonderful techno husband. But here it is that God is driving me into the scary wilderness (at least it seems to me) of personal communication without hearing your voices or seeing your faces.
For those who are here looking for a new friend you are welcome and safe here. I love making new friends but I must warn you I am completely sold out to the One True God and His Son Jesus Christ!
I can't start this blog without telling you a little about the pink pumps. I have Cerebral Palsey. It is a birth defect that fortunately only affect my right side slightly. If you were to meet me it would take you months to years to recognize that my right side doesn't work as well as my left. I have only a slight limp which I manage to hide with a walk I taught myself as a teenager. You only see the limp when I'm sick or angry.
Wearing pretty shoes is one thing I am not able to do. So come heaven, I will be easy to find. I will be wearing a pair of bright Hot-pink pumps!
In fact I got to wear a pair here on earth with the help of some Proverbs 31 friends I have at the She Speaks conference last year. That moment changed my life in so many ways and to tell you the truth some of the lessons I learned from that event were hard!
You will learn more as we get to know each other further.
For now just pray for me as I conquer fears of the computer, my speaking ministry, and being a good wife and mother to my family.
Please comment and let me know who you are even if it is just to say, "Hi!"
I would love to pray for you and hear what God is teaching you. For today read Psalm 20 and know that I have prayed that for everyone who reads this blog today.
In faith and prayer,
Pamela R. (Pinkshoelady)