MY EMAIL

Monday, June 23, 2014

A MOMENT


I was nervous as I waited with my classmates for the announcement of who would get the part of Mary. The teacher stood up and shouted, “…and the part of Mary goes to Elaine.” This was the highlight of my childhood. I walked down the aisle at the children’s church service and approached the baby Jesus in the manger. I knelt beside Him, stroked His brow, and placed Him in my lap till the service ended. It became one of the most fulfilling moments in my life.
I was doing an assignment in my Bible study years later where I had to trace the moments in my life where I was touched by God. It helped me to see that playing the small part of Mary played a big part in my life.
In my growing up years there were many struggles in my family, so my dreams were put on hold. In my twenties when I discovered the saving grace of Jesus, He began to heal me from the inside out. I felt like a new person, ready to reconnect with my dream, so I signed up for acting classes.
When I read through scripts I was drawn to the end where the moral of the story was revealed. A small whisper came to me one day saying “Theater with a message.”
God’s message, God’s vision, God’s ideas, God’s revelation, God’s awareness…  When asked to do script writing or acting projects my response is “If God is in it He will help me write it and perform it.” What a blessing it has been.
God is the same yesterday, today and forever.  God gave Joseph dreams. Joseph told his brothers and dad about his dreams. He had to wait many years before his dream came true. Everything God promised Joseph as a boy was fulfilled.
We all have moments in life where God placed dreams or desires in our heart. Do you remember some of the moments? Have you given up on them? I pray this message is reminding you to carry on with courage and have the faith to believe and not give up on your dream.
“The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24 NIV).

PRAYER:  God, remember when you put that on my heart (name the moment or dream)?  I thank you and I pray that you continue to guide me in this dream with faith so I will not give up.  Amen.

PERFECTION

After reading Hebrews 11: 13 I emailed my son and questioned “The sentiments expressed by the patriarchs and heroes of Faith leaves me feeling like our future is filled with doom and gloom. Do we have any hope for the future?”
He replied “I read the whole chapter. Paul is describing faith and the people that showed faith in the Bible in the past. They all knew God was perfect and they wanted to be perfect like him. They knew through him they could do this. They were searching for a better place or things. They showed faith in God and therefore were commended for their faith. We have been told that there is a better place and all it takes to get there is faith in Him. These people were given positive things (children, their lives, lands, etc.) but they were not given what they were promised; perfection in a better place on earth. Because if it was on earth we would be separated from God and therefore not be perfect. God did not want this for us and had a better plan for us to be perfect like Him. Only together with him can we be perfect. Even though these people of faith showed their faith they never received what was promised to them on earth.”
The Bible was written as a history lesson. There is nothing new under the sun; what the people of the Bible did the people of today have done. Reading the Bible in its full context reveals an interpretation that fills us with hope for the future. Paul, in the book of Acts, repeats the story of the great plight the Jews endured. He assured us “They enjoyed God’s favor” this side of heaven.
The conclusion is this: if we look for perfection this side of heaven our outlook will be one of doom and gloom. I want my children to picture me turning my face up to the sun and saying these words, “Look at the miracle of a baby forming in its mother’s womb as we welcome them into to the world, we examine its fingers and toes …God did that. Look at the beauty of nature-the blossoms and their scent, look at the Grand Canyon and the landscape around it…God did that. I am convinced there is a God and for Him alone my life is worth living, this side of heaven.”
“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth” (Hebrews 11:13 NIV).
PRAYER: Father in heaven, thank You for my life. Thank You for the creation of this world. Help me to focus today on the tasks You put before me. Help me to be reminded that I do these tasks unto You. Like the faith patriarchs I want to focus on You. Amen.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

I ENJOY

Dear Friend:
I bellowed with laughter "Turn off the movie!" My best friend and I bursted out laughing when we realized watching the movie was not going to happen. Instead enjoying sharing the good, the bad and the ugly of life was better. We were confiding in one other and being real. I enjoyed hearing about her home, work, church life. I was struggling myself in some of those areas so I needed to share too! I went home feeling filled up because the time spent with my friend was genuine. I really appreciate and enjoy those kind of relationships.

It reminded me of what the scripture says in Psalm 103:2-5a "Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things."

The benefits of a genuine grace filled relationship is life giving. Spending time with God and a friend are a lot a like. As life rolls by we do get the good, the bad and the ugly. God gives us immunity sometimes from troubles but other times we are scratching our heads with a sigh saying "What is going on? Why is this happening?" It's never perfect.

My pastor suggested that we get up each day and affirm what we enjoy about having a relationship with Christ.

For instance I enjoy:
1.  Knowing He is with me always. 
2.  He has my back.
3.  He cares.
4.  He loves me.
5.  He guides me.
6.  He gives me discernment.
7.  Knowing I can love because of His love.
The list can go on and on... 
 PRAYER:  Praise You Lord, my soul, I forget not all Your benefits. Thank You for forgiveness, healing, redemption, love and compassion... Amen.

Monday, June 16, 2014

A REASON TO SERVE

Romans 15:5-6
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When we do anything we do it to glorify God. 
Let this be your prayer today:
God give me endurance and encouragement with the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice I may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Amen. 

Friday, June 13, 2014

LIFE VS. MORE LIFE

Dear Friend:

“Prayer is my medication” whispered my friend who was grieving the sudden death of her twenty-three year old son.  I was grieving, too, and trying to make sense of things. I was praying and pondering how we would ever come to a place of accepting this tragedy. Her next words came with strength and conviction: “St. Paul said ‘to live is Christ and to die is gain’” (Philippians 1:21 NIV).
This grieving mom was comforting me. This should not have shocked me. She was praying and pressing into God. The Holy Spirit spoke to her.  In another version it was stated “Life versus even more life! I can’t lose” (Philippians 1:21 MSG).
Don’t you often wonder when someone goes through a horrible ordeal “How will the family get through it?” Then it happens. The Holy Spirit does actually what Jesus promised he would do by counseling those through their troubles. Reading God’s word daily allows the Holy Spirit to counsel and convict us. In an instant I sensed God’s presence in that room. He was moving in the hearts of many of us bringing good out of despair. He was reassuring us that He was there to comfort, support and fill us with hope.
The book of Philippians records that Paul was in prison. The result of his praying was that he was shown that he was in chains for Christ. God was using his pain for gain. Paul’s letter to the Philippians was similar to the devotion I am writing. We each saw the power of God working many things together for good through a bad situation. Paul was trying to encourage everyone that here on earth you can have some life on your own or you can have even more life if you choose to follow Christ. Paul was looking forward to his hope which is one day being with Christ.
Paul pleads “for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.  I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death” (Philippians 1:19-20 NIV).
Each of us should take a moment each day to be reminded we are not here of our own accord. The worldview for true happiness is being independent and self-seeking. Whereas, God’s view for true happiness is being united with Him in love and letting the Holy Spirit lead us and reveal life to us.
PRAYER:  God, being led by your Spirit allows me to see how much there is to life and after life. Thank you for your perspective and revelation. Amen.

Monday, June 2, 2014

LET IT GO


“It’s funny how some distance makes everything seem small and the fears that once controlled me can’t get to me at all.” I came across these lyrics sitting in a quiet space drinking my coffee. These are lyrics from the song “Let it Go”, which is from the smash Disney hit movie Frozen.
I like this verse. It rings true for me. My past fears:
Fear of rejection
Fear of my parent’s marriage falling apart
Fear of my dad working himself to death
Fear of my children taking the wrong path
Fear of sickness

Once, a doctor challenged me to write down my fears, put them in an envelope, and revisit it in a month. I did that and found the result to be remarkable. Everything I was afraid of happening never came to pass. Thankfully, I am aware that fears can control me if I give them permission to.
At different times do you wish you knew the outcome right when you are in the thick of things so the fear wouldn’t consume you?

Jesus taught us “Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you suddenly like a trap. For it will come on all those who live on the face of the whole earth” (Luke 21:34-35 NIV). Jesus is not saying adversity accompanied with fear may come. He is saying it will come. Jesus goes on to implore us to “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man” (Luke 21:36 NIV).

I am happy today that my dad is 80, retired and healthy, and my adult children know Jesus. Sadly, my parent’s marriage did end in divorce.

What counts now is that I am aware and this girl is free from perfection and I can let it go.
For me truly to be free and “Let it Go” I had to put my trust in Jesus. That helped alleviate just about all my fears. I had to forgive myself for the regret I had because I wasted time in fear. I am grateful God forgives me and I have learned to forgive myself. Have you forgiven yourself?

PRAYER:  Lord at times fear rears its ugly head. Help me to be aware of when this happens and trust you. Amen.