Friday, August 30, 2013

In A Pit, A Den or A Dungeon

Where are you living today?

We have all "done time" in a situation we didn't like. It was uncomfortable.  Maybe it was of no fault of our own.   The smells, the sounds may have been unbearable at times.

The good news - God sees you!

Look at these guys:

   In A Den
       Daniel 6:16, "So the king gave the order, and they brought Daniel and 
                               threw him into the lions’ den."

    In A Pit
          Jeremiah 38:6, "Then took they Jeremiah, and cast him into the pit."

Paul and Silas
     In A Dungeon
           Acts 16:23, "After they had been severely flogged, they were thrown into prison."

Not the most pleasant of places.  Daniel was in the company of fierce lions who ate  men for their supper.  Jeremiah's pit was so wet he sank into the mud.  Paul and Silas were house in the inner cells where no light could penetrate the darkness.

But the were not alone!

The lion's mouths were closed.   Jeremiah's friends pulled him out.  Paul and Silas were released by an earthquake!

How different the story might have been if their attitudes had been different.  Instead of praying they gave way to despair.  Instead of singing they had a pity party.

Your circumstances are known to God.  He has not left you.  Never will!   Check your heart and look up!  The pit is where you are, not WHO you are!

Just like Paul and Silas, you will hear the words, "Release them!"  and out of the pit or dungeon you will come with head high and shouting the praises of God!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Monday, Monday

"How big is your God? Is He big enough to do anything, or are there limits (in your mind) to what God can do? What could you do today to begin to live with a bigger, better view of God?"

Batterson, Mark (2008-08-19). In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day (Kindle Locations 451-452). The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. 

How's that for a Monday morning question?

I read this Thursday night.  Before bed.  And for two days, I prayed, "God who are you?"

Not head knowledge - Creator, Redeemer, Savior.

I wanted some heart knowledge.  I craved for a picture of God that was out of my box.  Not created by me or my memory from artists' imaginations or Sunday School literature.

"Who Are You?  Who do you want me to see?"

In obedience, our Pastor Mark, shared Sunday during worship a word picture God had revealed to Him.  It was what I needed.  It was who God wanted me to see.

A Warrior God.  Fighting against the enemy on my behalf.  Defending me while I sleep.  Surrounding me while I walked down the street.  Sword drawn.  Daring the darkness to try and touch His precious Child!  

Safe.  So safe.  No weapon was going to harm me - it would not even come near me!  

God loves to reveal himself to us.  I am convinced more and more that he longs for us to see Him more in his fullness so that we may trust Him more.

He is not daunted by the question, "who are you?"  He loves it!  He wants us to ask!!

Do you dare?  Are you ready?  Are you willing to let God reveal himself to you today?

Ask Him!!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Let's Get this Straight!

Creative - I love the way our creative God speaks to us - some through nature;  some through fiction or movies;  some in visual arts;  ballet; and so often, music.

Tonight, the lyrics of a Mat Kearney song are ringing in my head:

   "Closer To Love"

She got the call today
One out of the gray
And when the smoke cleared
It took her breath away
She said she didn't believe
It could happen to me
I guess we're all one phone call from our knees

It has been one year and 8 days since Ashley had surgery on her left great toe.  It was a major one.  One hour became two then three then four. . .  problems getting the bones to align.  Use of crushed donor bone to put her toe together.  Then 3 hospital days.  Lung problems.  

But she came through yet again.  She couldn't dance last year which broke her heart.  The toe wasn't fusing.  We waited.  We've watched.

Then more xrays this month.  Send the xrays to Denver.  Wait.

And today the call came.

"Hi, Kim, this is Merritt!" 

We love Merritt.  She is Dr. Frank Chang's wonderful Hospital Wife.  She organizes him, schedules him, probably knows as much medicine as the students that darken the halls of Children's Hospital of Colorado.  She has laughed with us.  She has sat in the room with us and told us her wedding plans.  Brought us snacks and water when appointments went long.  And even cried with us when the news wasn't good.

"We got Ashley's xrays from Durango today.  Dr. Chang is here with me.  Do you have am minute to talk?"

Never.  Ever.  has Dr. Chang and Merritt talked to us at the same time.  

THUD.  sound of heart sinking.

"Sure," I said and grabbed a pencil and paper and headed to the kitchen table.  I knew I'd need to sit.

It seems the hardware in her toe has failed.  The joint did not fuse with the hardware.  The dystonia - uncontrolled movements - have wiggled the screw loose.  It has worked it's way out of the bone and is sitting under the skin just under her toe nail.  No wonder she hurts.

Options?  Wait.  Good shoes.  Wait.  Xrays.  Redo the the surgery.  Fix the dystonia with a Baclofen pump (but no guarantees there).  Bone stimulator but not sure that would make a difference at this point.  And - ready - amputation of great toe just past toe nail.

"Have Ashley call me anytime.  I will talk to her on the phone.  We will make decisions together."  Love that man.  Dr. Chang has been a God-send to us.  We pray for him alot.

Ashley and I sat at the table and talked.  She took the list of options to her room.  I went to my closet.  We both cried.  Then she came and found me and we cried together.

Then we went about our evening.

So let's get this straight.  Clear the air.  

Hope does not mean the absence of uncertainty.

Faith goes not mean you don't have questions.

The boat rocks,  the waves roll.  Lighting flashes and thunder booms.  

But my Anchor holds!

My Anchor knows the storm is there - He speaks to the wind.

My Anchor knows the pain involved - He feels for me.

But most importantly, He Has NEVER Let Me Go!!!

So get this straight!  God loves you!!!  He's got this!!!

Hang on!!!

And Stay in the Boat!!

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Concept of Chaos

I love the concept of a disciplined life.

A schedule.  Knowing what's going to happen when.

Up.  Bible.  Dress.  Pray some more.  Breakfast.  Kids.  Exercise.  School.  Read. . .

You get the picture.

Disciplined.  Stable.  Structured.  Predictable.  Unwavering.

~  Yeah, right.

A friend recently wrote me that she's "running every day now!."   I replied, "I brush my teeth every day."  But that seems about the most consistent thing I do on a routine.

My husband has a routine.  In fact, if you interrupt that routine, he's likely to forget something.  Several years ago, I had to be at work earlier than normal.  I entered the bathroom at a different point in his routine - he forgot to shave.  I through him off.  Adaptation is not one of his strengths.

Actually there are things I do every day, just not on a time schedule.  I go to God every day.  I read His Word every day.  I cook. I clean. I read.  I get dressed for bed.  I sleep.  And I start over.  Every day.

But mine is more Chaos than Structure.

"Order and disorder," said the Speaker, "they each have their beauty," wrote Orson S. Card in Speaker for the Dead.  That is my life!  Order and Disorder.  They live together.

2012-2013 was a Beautiful Chaos.  There was much Disorder but God was putting Order into in His way.  Multiple surgeries for Ashley.  Friends.  Business changes.  Moves.  Trips.  School.  Service.

Out of Chaos God creates.  He Creates.

Out of the Chaos of the Cosmos He created planets that spin in a precise orbit.  Stars that shine and moons that control sea tides thousands of miles away.  In the Chaos of humanity He brought a Savior to bring us Hope.

In the Chaos of our daily life, He desires to bring His order.  It may not look scheduled or regimented - but it's His.  Learning to listening to Him so that while folding laundry you pray for those wearer of those clothes.  When you reach for your favorite tea mug you pray for the precious friend who bought it for you.   During your morning routine, you praise Him for his creative creations.

That's God's Order.  That's His discipline.

His Concept of Chaos is Discipline through Obedience.

I like that.