Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Exclamation Points!

The other day I was asked why I put an exclamation point at the end of my name. I’m asked that from time to time. When we were signing the papers to buy our house the woman had a fit, telling me I couldn’t do it. But I’ve done this for years.
Why? Well, to put that into words that make sense I go back to a story about when I was a supervisor at a telemarketing firm. Yes, I was the dreaded woman who harassed you at breakfast, lunch or dinner time. Try to get beyond that.
As a supervisor, I routinely gave feed-back to my team of sales reps, critiquing their calls. They’d sign the critique before leaving my desk. One young man put a question mark at the end of his signature and I asked him why. He declared, because I don’t know who I am. I smiled and pointed at my signature. He asked why I put an exclamation point at the end. “I do,” I replied.
I know who I am. I am in Christ. I am the salt of the earth; I am the light of the world, because Jesus lives in me. I’m far from perfect, but I’m being perfected with every passing day. My sins are forgiven. My past is in the past and my future is phenomenally bright. I know where I’ve been and I know where I’m going. I may not know exactly what turns the path of my life will take, but I know where it’s taking me. I am filled with God’s promises. Jesus has given me His assurance – and I believe Him.
I am… in Christ, blessed beyond measure.
I am a loved wife, mother and grandmother.
I am filled with music and words.
I am called to encourage and help.
I am a victorious over-comer; one who has forged many battles and has seen God display His passion, His glory and His grace in my life.
I am uniquely a precious part of the Bride of Christ, reaching forward to goals and horizons beyond what I can imagine.
Matthew 5:13-14 You are the salt of the earth…. You are the light of the world….

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sink Holes

In the picture above, we see a gigantic sink hole. It’s been in the makings for a while – but who knew? I can’t help but ask myself – what lies just beneath the surface – of me? What’s just below the surfaces of my life? Are there sink holes forming in my heart or mind that I’m not aware of? Will they just show up someday, bringing with them devastation of untold proportions?

I’m reminded of a song my children used to sing many, many years ago that went something like this: ‘Don’t build your house on the sandy land, don’t build it too near the shore. Well it might look kinda nice but you’ll have to build it twice, oh, you’ll have to build your house once more. You’ve got to build your house upon the Rock, upon the Rock, make a good foundation on the solid Rock. Though storms may come and go, the truth of God you will know.’ It was a cute little song on a Psalty album from way back in the early ‘80s. If you know the song and I’ve got the words wrong, please correct me.

Whether you’re building the ‘house of your life’ on sand or clay – erosion is still going to take place. Sink holes could still happen. God’s solution is to build your house on rock; on the Rock of Truth, Jesus Christ. He’s our sure foundation. He’s the only sure foundation. The only rock that will never erode is the Rock of Ages – the same Rock Peter stood on when he declared that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; the Truth, by divine revelation. This is the only foundation that is ‘sink-hole proof’. It’s the only safe place to relocate to. Set your eyes on Jesus Christ – the deliverer of your soul, and build your house on Him.

Mark 7:24-27 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

Friday, May 14, 2010


Don’t think you can save the Word for a ‘special’ occasion!
Every minute is a special occasion whether we recognize it or not.

Lately I’ve been reading The Message paraphrase of the Bible, quite simply, because it’s the version my daughter Sandee reads. Whatever I’m reading for the day in King James or NIV or whatever translation I’m reading it in becomes twice as long. How would Sandee read this? What words would her eyes fall upon? I’ve fallen in love with The Message as it makes familiar passages even more personal. As I read the words in front of me, I feel as though I’m slipping into an incredibly expensive yet warm and cozy sweater that’s been given to me as a gift. I hesitate, as if I might snag the sweater or spill something on it. Perhaps I should save it for special occasions. Yet I giggle with anticipation each time I look at it, or take it out to admire. Dare I put it on? Dare I indulge?

Well what do I think I’m waiting for? Living is for today. I recall an email that circulated a while ago about a man going through his wife’s drawers for the clothes he’d take to the mortician. He came across a beautiful camisole she’d delicately wrapped and stowed away for a special occasion that never came.

Immersing myself into God’s Word is indulgent. I’m never more elegantly arrayed. No special occasion? Every minute of every day is a special occasion that will never be lived out again. And I need to be clothed in this royal apparel. Yes, I dare!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Facebook: Are We Better Connected?

The phrase 'Facebook'conjures up all sorts of feelings and thoughts, from one end of the spectrum to the other. Some want to scream, 'Get a life!' Others are so addicted to Facebook that they rely on it completely for their social interactions. Some cannot think of Facebook without associating it with the games that are played there. Many of us find it a humourous release - where we can vent, if we dare. Some find it a political playground, or a place to stir up a hornet's nest of controversery..... or to influence others with notes on our beliefs.

How do you see Facebook? How do you interact here? Do you set boundaries for yourself? I'd love to hear your thoughts on the matter!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Cords That Cannot Be Broken?

A wonderful story from Gulliver’s Travels will give imagery to a point I want to make. On his first voyage, Gulliver wakes up to find that he’s been shipwrecked and is the prisoner of people only 6 inches tall that live in the neighboring and rival countries of Lilliput and Blefuscu. These little people have tied him to the beach while he was unconscious. They believe they’ve used the strongest ropes available and that he won’t be able to break free. As you can imagine, the strongest ropes that people who are merely 6 inches tall could possible have to use won’t hold down someone our size for very long. As he attempts to sit up, they attack him with their tiny arrows. But to no avail. (I won’t tell you the whole story, but at the end of this article I’ve provided a link to take you to it.)

When ‘shipwrecks’ occur in our lives, we’re sometimes ‘tied up’ and held captive - but only until we tear free of the tethers. Sometimes the tethers are stronger than we think they could possibly be and other times we pull free easily. Sometimes we need help and other times we’re deceived into thinking that we cannot get up at all.

We have a common enemy, whether we recognize him or not. The devil binds us up with his ‘unbreakable’ cords -or rather, the cords he wants us to think are unbreakable. He is the great deceiver and we humans fall for his lies far worse and more often than we can imagine. But, his cords most definitely can be broken. How easy or hard it is to break them is simply a matter of how much we want to be freed and whether or not we’re willing to allow God to free us of them.

I don’t mean to imply that we are imprisoned by cords that can be easily broken - because we want to be. But many of us are ‘tied up’ because we either 1) we don’t realize we are bound; 2) we don’t know we can be freed; or 3) because we are secure in those bindings. Any way you look at it, the enemy’s lies are behind the bondage. He’s told us his lies throughout our past and continues to lie to us now. He lies when we go through crisis as well as when things are going well for us.

If we don’t know where we are bound by his lies and offenses, we don’t know God’s Word. We haven’t read or studied what God has to say to us. Don’t fall for yet another lie, don’t let the enemy make you feel condemned for what you haven’t been doing. - There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, [Romans 8:1] Start reading and studying God’s Word right now. No excuses, those are of lies of the enemy, too.

If we don’t know that we can be free, again, we don’t know God’s Word and need to get down to basics. Contrary to what the enemy wants you to think, God does not want His will in our lives to be a mystery. He’s gone to great lengths to spell things out for us in black and white.

Looking at the third reason some of us ‘lay on the beach, bound up in the tiny ropes of the enemy’ - we’ve become secure there. We’re not at all comfortable, but we’ve allowed ourselves to become secure in what we know. Sadly, what we know is constructed of lies; the devil’s lies. The longer we lay there, the more ropes are tossed over us. But no matter how many ropes of lies are used against us, we can rip free.

In heartbreak and every imaginable ordeal we go through, we hear lies. Our common enemy being without honor, attempts to bind us up every time we fall, whether we fall through any fault of our own or not.

There are many resources available to us to show us the freedom God has for us and how to obtain it. Knowing God and the words He has given us will be our greatest help. Get into your Bible. Read it every day. By His Spirit, God can and will lead us in the right directions, but know that the devil and his lies will be out there to misdirect us as well. God brings people into our lives that have already been where we are now. By God’s own design and plans, they can help us. When we are in Christ, we are joined with the whole Body of Christ and have all the knowledge of heaven within reach. God loves us far too much to leave us stranded out there on that beach, all alone, to defend ourselves.

If you haven’t read it or watched the cartoons or movies of it, I’ll tell you the beginning of one of his adventures. This novel by Jonathon Swift, has never been out of print. Written in 1726, it was officially titled, Travels into Several Remote Nations of the World, in Four Parts. By Lemuel Gulliver, First a Surgeon, and then a Captain of several Ships. You can find the book or movie(s) at a local library or bookstore. If you want to read it right now, go to: www.jaffebros.com/lee/gulliver/ where you can actually click on ‘the text’ at the top left and read the novel.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

From My Heart to Yours

For all of us who have ever had trouble letting go of growing children - I give you a poem that shared my heart with my children. Yes, it's a good thing that they grow up and learn to fly on their own. But the temptations to want to hang on to them can be strong. The ache that's left in your heart can be real. But yes, this is a good thing.

My child ~
Not all that long ago I held you in my arms
I looked into you bright blue eyes and counted all your charms.
I brushed the hair back from your brow and danced with you one night
I knew that you would never ever vanish from my sight.
So chubby and so tiny were you lying on my chest,
I loved to watch you sleeping, as I rocked you and you'd rest.
So little then, you'd soon grow up and toddle, then you'd run,
I'd watch you play and laugh and sing, just having so much fun.
Although some day you'd step outside to search for your own way
I knew that you would never really ever go away.
You'll soon discover that the world out there is larger than it seems,
and venture to uncover that there are some distant dreams.
And though you'll travel through them and wind up quite far from home,
Know that you will really never ever be alone.
Though our hands won't touch each other and our eyes cannot see far,
I'll be right there beside you, no matter where you are.
Our hearts are tied together with a yarn that cannot break,
That yarn can stretch a thousand miles and still more stretching take.
It can wrap itself around the world that you will try to travel,
And though it stretches out that far, it never will unravel.
It will provide a way for you to come back home to me,
While still allowing you to dance and know that you are free.
It will never tie you up or try to keep you here with me,
It will link the distance from my heart to where you need to be.
The strand of yarn that holds us close was with you from the start,
It started out inside of me-it tied you to my heart.
It tugs ever so gently when you grow a little more,
but it ripples with excitement when it looks at what's in store.
You're growing up more everyday and seeing who you are,
But when your heart looks back at mine, you've not gone very far.
Your walk may take you miles away to search for who you'll be,
But I know that in your heart you'll still be holding onto me.
I'm proud of who you are and it blesses me to know,
That this bond that is between us will do nothing else but grow.
The day may come, I hope it won't, when I may disappoint you,
But still you'll love me with the love I know you have inside of you.
Someday you'll think that I'm displeased with something that you've done,
But know that in your mother's heart will be a place to run.
Just reach out when you feel afraid or when your heart grows weak,
I'm holding out to hold you up and stand you on your feet.
My heart rejoices every time I look into your eyes,
And every time I see your face my heart is hypnotized.
There is no place so far away, there's nothing you can do,
To keep my heart from reaching or from calling out to you.
I love you with a special love I didn't know before,
By loving you God's shown me how He loves me even more.
My love for you is great and yet it's growing greater still,
Through you God shows His Love for me-I know He always will.
The Love that God's provided that entwines your heart with mine,
Doesn't even scratch the surface of His precious Love Divine.
For He loves us even moreso than I think that we can fathom,
Even greater than our heart could ever venture to imagine.
So go on, grow up and find your way, discover who you are,
Our love will never dim or fade, but outshine all the stars.
That's why the Lord has given us each other don't you know,
To show us how things work with Him, no matter where we go!
From my heart to yours,
All my love ~ Mom

~Helen Williams! c 2002