Saturday, October 29, 2011

Evidently, I am not Nita Mehringer...



I'm wondering if I'm the only one that thought being a "grown up" would look and feel different than it does? Somehow I thought I'd be a combo of Mrs. Cannizaro , Nita Mehringer and my grandma. Mrs. Cannizaro could put out a fabulous meal for a dozen Bethany students at the drop of a hat. Everyone helped and was glad to do so! Nita was wonderful with kids - grew, canned and juiced her own...everything (I think), and had a wonderful, gentle spirit, faith, peace AND sense of humor. My Grandma Johnson - well, I MIGHT have a skewed memory of her because I can't think of anything about her I didn't like.

Now I'm older - grown up, I guess. I still have more questions than answers about this life. I do dorky things just about everytime I try to cook, even though I really try hard. I can't seem to be a good enough daughter, mother, wife, friend, pastor's wife, lead worshipper....and now, I really stink at learning to play golf!

Golf reminds me of real life. If I'm not in the perfect position I miss the ball, hit the ball on the top, hit the grass BEHIND the ball with great force, boing it to one side or the other. Today, we were hitting a bucket of balls and I was asked to stop for awhile because some guys came into range and we needed to watch out for their safety! Really? They were on the other side of TREES! I don't want to be too dramatic here, but that was discouraging!

But occasionally there's the ping of hitting the ball with the sweet spot on the club. The ball sails just like it's suppose to. I say to myself, "finally I kept my head down, my knees bent, my grip right - I'm finally getting the hang of this!" Usually I make the mistake of trying to hit again and watch it skip across the grass instead of fly in the air! And, yes, I want to make a face at someone just like my grandson did in this picture.

I not only have to work at taking every THOUGHT captive, I must take every FACIAL EXPRESSION captive before it manifests on my face! (Just ask anyone who chooses to look over my way while Dennis is preaching. Yep, I can feel you looking!!!)

What's heaven's response to all this that I'm processing tonight? GRACE. Undeserved favor. "Really?" (I ask Him..) "Really"! (He replies.) "Leave being Perfect to Me. As long as you are handing me who you are, and what you have in your hand (like the stones in David's pocket) it'll be ok. Because, it's not by might and not by power, but by My Spirit - says the Lord."

Want to join me in taking some deep breaths of the love and grace of Jesus? Want to choose with me that it's too hard to expect perfection? Want to hear Jesus say, "Amen" to that kind of prayer? Blessings...

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

I Wanna Hold Your Hand...

Many years ago, Dennis and I tried to adopt a little 2 year girl. Because of the place of life that her mama was in at the time, that little girl was basically taking care of herself. A two year old - finding food, protecting herself, setting her own schedule. The thoughts that assail my mind right now still bring on the tears. One thing that stands out was her little voice saying, "me do it" - - - a lot. She grabbed my finger as we went upstairs to go to bed - never being game to have my hand hold HER hand. She wanted to be the one holding on. She didn't know how much safer she would be if she would LET ME HOLD HER HAND. From her perspective, I wasn't worth trusting. But the truth was - my strength was enormously more than her strength - my heart wanted to offer her everything I was - what would it take for her to trust me...especially on the stairs?

That roller coaster of an effort to adopt did not end successfully (from our view)...but, she will forever be in our hearts. And, I learned quite a bit from her - not the least was this 'let God hold your hand' principle. He wants to be the one with the firm grip on us, but we often respond to His request with our version of, "me do it".

He has a stronghold on me - - - and on you, if we let Him.

Is. 45: 1
THUS SAYS THE LORD TO HIS ANOINTED, TO CYRUS, (put your name in there), WHOSE RIGHT HAND I HAVE GRASPED...
Read this whole chapter - it is HUGE!

Ps. 27:1
THE LORD IS MY LIGHT AND MY SALVATION - WHOM SHALL I FEAR?
THE LORD IS THE STRONGHOLD OF MY LIFE - OF WHOM SHALL I BE AFRAID?

My Father,
Today, right now, will You show us Your delight in us. Will You show us Your strength and care - especially when we're climbing uphill. Help us let go of our need to be in control and let You hold on to us. Thank You for what You are doing at this very moment - speak, Lord, Your servants are listening....

Saturday, October 8, 2011

I'll Fly Away, Oh Glory?

Here's a crazy deal. On Monday, Dennis and I were coming home from a conference. After the plane took off and was trying to reach the desired altitude there was a very loud whooshing sound that happened - three times. We've flown a lot. I actually like to fly - but, this was a freaky deal. Both Dennis and I were not excited about whatever would cause such a sound. The flight attendant was....very concerned. The pilot was...not confidence building in his way of communicating what was going on. The plane stopped climbing and slowed in speed. We were cruising slow and low.

I've never really had a fear of dying in a plane crash before. This time I started to go over the safety procedures in my mind. Something about using my cushion as a flotation device - but we were flying over farms, so I don't know how that would help! I WANTED OFF THAT PLANE! No really. I wanted OFF! I thought about when my dear friend was facing radiation that was't going well with her body and I was responsible for getting her to the hospital - and she DID NOT want to get in that car. GET ME OUT OF THIS SITUATION. At some point in time, for some odd reason, I decided I didn't want to die all stressed out. If I was going to go to heaven that day, I was going to go in peace.

Eventually, the pilot communicated that they thought a hose had come loose from one of two air conditioning units. No big deal - right? The kicker came when we found out that those units also pressurize the cabin. The plan seemed to be that we would fly low and slow from Nashville to Denver. Evidently it takes more fuel to fly low and slow - so that was a concern. Would we have enough fuel?

Needless to say, when we landed in Denver we were very happy campers.

What I learned from this...or want to learn from this that actually changes my thought life...

It's actually harder to fly low and slow. The Word says that we are seated in heavenly places with Christ Jesus. It also says that His ways are higher. Where is my perspective formed? Through the eyes and heart of Jesus or through my own perspective?

JW lesson number one: If I didn't want to die all stress out - I certainly don't want to live all stressed out!

JW lesson number two: Have heavenly perspective - fly higher! Flying low and slow takes a lot more work and energy. Low and slow for me is having to understand people/things, feeling like I'm responsible to fix people/things. Flying high for me means that I must know that God's the one that's in control. I don't even know how to fly (physically or spiritually)!!! He gets me, and He gets the situation(s) that are currently happening in everyone we're concerned with.

God give us heavenly perspective today, and the ability to take deep breathes! Blessings!