Thursday, May 31, 2012

What's Your Heart's Desire Today?

Memories are a treasure, and today I'm digging into my treasure box to share one of mine with you....

I have so many fond memories growing up in the suburbs of Rockaway, NJ...One in particular came to mind this morning......

I expect you might think I'm about to share a Norman Rockwell-kind-of-memory....of when the entire family would gather together to celebrate the holidays at Grandma's...or the day dad finally took the training wheels off of that bright red bike....

Yes, those were precious moments...cherished memories I hold dear, but don't get the Kleenex box out just yet...cause today, I'm not talkin' about holidays and milestones... I'm talkin' chicken....but not just any chicken..."Chicken Delight" chicken...

Ahhhh, Chicken Delight!  The delectable aroma ..that crunchy golden crust, seasoned to perfection.. What delicious goodness to delight the palate of a ten year-old (and they delivered too!  Did you hear that KFC?)...

Forty years later I can still sing the jingle ..."Don't cook tonight, call Chicken Delight!"  How's that for marketing genius?  Est. in 1952,  that jingle still stands (I checked the website ;).

I would love to taste a piece of that chicken right now, but alas...the closest location is eleven hundred miles from here.....so no Chicken Delight for me today....and that's ok.....

Delight has new meaning for me now....I delight in my Lord....Don't get me wrong..I still love chicken, but I can do without it...know what I mean?

He is sufficient, ....Jesus, is my delight..

What are the desires of your heart today?  To see a loved one saved, to break the bondage of  addiction, to find employment during a very tough economy.....?

The Lord promises to give us the desires of our hearts when we delight in Him....

Today, I received an answer to prayer...A very big prayer!  It's exciting and it's real and it's truth; He hears our prayers and knows our deepest desires...Trust in Him.....His timing is perfect...

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart..."  Psalm 37:4  (NIV)

So  just how do we do that?  How do we "delight ourselves in the Lord"?  Well, there are many different ways, but here's one clue  "... the prayer of the upright is His delight" Proverbs 15:8 (NKJ)

Do what is pleasing to Him....trust Him and feed on His faithfulness....

It wouldn't surprise me to see a box of Chicken Delight sitting on the Lord's table when I get there...He's that kind of God...Delight in Him and be blessed!

Love and Blessings...

Doris





Monday, May 28, 2012

Not Designed To Be A Towel Rack

After coming home from the grocery store last week, I found my shower curtain, rod and all, sprawled across the shower floor.  At first glance, it startled me since I knew it wasn't that way when I left the house.  Had an intruder gained access to my home while I was out?  Looking around, nothing else appeared to be out of place; nothing seemed to be missing. It was highly unlikely that someone had crawled through a window just to take a shower or something from it (although, those Venus razors cost more than some of my jewelry!).

Upon further investigation I realized what had happened. The poor rod had collapsed under the weight of three water-logged bath towels that had been flung over top of it. One towel might have been okay, but three? That was just a little too much weight for my shower curtain rod to bear. After all it wasn't designed to be a towel rack, right?

At first I tried lifting the whole thing at once, get that mess off the floor and fix it...

I soon learned that this "quick-fix" method obviously wasn't going to be the best approach. Those towels were huge!  Have you ever tried carrying a bunch of huge, wet towels?  If so, then you know what I mean.  I could feel the heaviness that caused the collapse.

Lifting the towels off, one by one, I restored the shower curtain, rod and all, back to it's rightful place to once again serve the purpose it was intended to serve.

The burdens of life can sometimes feel as if we're carrying a ton of wet towels on our shoulders.  Ever feel that way?  Like when we can't let go of the past; all that old baggage that can weigh us down: past relationships, a career that ended, a wrong choice...

Or maybe it's what's happening in the here-and-now: illness, financial issues, job loss, the loss of a loved one...

So much heaviness to bear, as one towel becomes two, then three.... As we know, my shower curtain rod reached its breaking point at three, so how far can we go carrying all of that heaviness?  To the point where we could just collapse under the weight of it all?

We were not designed to be towel racks, well, you know what I mean. We don't have to carry all of those heavy burdens.  We don't have to fix everything, because frankly, we can't.

Here's the good news, the hope:  we have a loving God who can.  We were made in His image; we have a God who cares so much for us, He became flesh and dwelt among us.  Jesus paid the price and took our sins to the cross, yours, mine...  It's personal and it was for me and it was for you.

So pack up that baggage, including those wet towels and lift it all up to Him; He'll take it from you, that's a promise, His promise.  Let Him lift it from you so you can move forward to fulfill and serve the purpose you were intended to serve.

"Cast your burdens on the Lord, And He shall sustain you;  He shall never permit the righteous to be moved."                              Psalm 55:22

Prayer Prompt:                                                                                           

Lord, thank you that I can cast my burdens on you; and when I feel overwhelmed with the cares and worries of this world, Your Word tells me I can lift my requests to you in prayer, and the peace that passes all understanding will be mine.  Thank you Lord, that you have plans for me and through You I have a hope and a future.  Direct my steps Lord, as I trust in You; make clear the path of life, so I may serve You and others, doing the good works you prepared in advance for me to do according to Your will.
In Jesus Name, Amen.  

*Please feel free to share a testimony or praise report on how the Lord lifted a burden in your life.... you never know how He might use those words to encourage someone who is hurting...






















Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Lesson From My Vacuum....

Does anyone out there have a love/hate relationship with their vacuum?  I know that sounds a bit strange, even to me as I type this!  Just humor me and let's explore this relationship, shall we?

I LOVE that my vacuum inhales the dust and dirt from my carpet...
      .....so my grandkids can breathe easier and roll around on the floor without sneezing.....

I LOVE that my vacuum is ready when I am...just plug it in and flip the switch!
       ....no lines, no waiting....

I LOVE that my vacuum has a very cool attachment that can get to those little dust-bunnies that live in corners...
       .....Who named them "bunnies?"  Can't we call them another name that's not so endearing?...

I LOVE that my vacuum is so versatile with settings for any type of carpet or floor....
        ....Can I say I vacuum my floor?  I sweep too, but that's another blog altogether....

NOW....I don't really like using the word "hate"...so maybe I'll just say "DISLIKE"....
        ....I can't tell the grandsons that "hate" is not a nice word, only to have them find out
             that Gammy used that bad word in a blog!

I DISLIKE that my vacuum sometimes seems to be running me instead of me running it....
       ....(hmmm, like when I try to run my life my way instead of God's way?)

I DISLIKE that my vacuum has a cord that might possibly reach from Florida to Connecticut....
      ....and it always seems to wrap itself around any kind of legs it gets close to...
         ...table legs...chair legs....my legs.....                                               ...
          ....(oh, like the way I get myself tangled in messes, yet I am forgiven through          
                          His Mercy and His Grace?)

I DISLIKE that my vacuum has a plug that constantly wants to disconnect itself from the wall socket.....
       ....(Like how my life gets busy sometimes and distractions get in
               the way of my prayer time...which is so vital to keep connected and 
                     plugged-in to my power source....Jesus Christ?)                           
                              
     
It is a bit humbling to find out that I am guilty of many of the same things that I "dislike" about my vacuum!

Thankfully, I have a Lord and Savior that paid the price for me through His sacrifice so that the dirt of my sins could be vacuumed away...clean...forgiven....gone....Thank you JESUS!

        "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse
          us from all unrighteousness...."       1 John 1:9
                                                               
I think I will be looking at this household chore in a whole new light ...


Happy vacuuming!

Doris :)



Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Blessings In The Mess....

Let me tell you about the day I had yesterday...You know the kind...

It started out pretty wonderful actually...morning devotions and prayer, accomplishing some housework, answering calls in our office, the usual stuff...then it was time to head to a friend's house for lunch...What a treat!   After a delicious meal and some great conversation, my sweet friend heads over to the fridge and starts digging around in there, as if she'd lost something.  Next thing I know, she pulls out a fully cooked turkey with dressing, a tray of lasagne(yes, already cooked too!), fresh fruit and a package of Bagel Bites...  So she calls me over and says, "here Doris, please take this home with you...I'll never eat it all and don't want to wind up throwing it away.."   Her family had been in town for a couple of days, and she had leftovers galore...Yay, no cooking for me for the next few nights!   Thank you for that big blessing Lord!  I'd have to say things were going pretty well at this point...

So what happened?  Well, I'm not quite sure...all I know is that after loading a turkey into the car, my day began rolling downhill...fast... I'm certainly not trying to blame the turkey, poor little guy obviously had a bad day himself not too long ago..  So what in the world was going on? I had no clue...Nothing earth shattering mind you, just a series of unfortunate happenings, culminating into a melt-down-cry-fest...I thought of the plaque that I have in my office 'A Day Hemmed In Prayer Never Unravels'...Hmmm...  I felt as if someone had taken hold of that little piece of thread hanging from the hem, and ran with it...

Then something amazing happened....The Lord spoke to my heart and reminded me that He had made this day, and to rejoice and be glad in it (Psalm 118:24)!   About that time, my husband came walking through the door with two beautiful roses he had picked for me....and as I served up the turkey dinner that God had provided (just had to heat it up!), my spirit began to rejoice in all of the blessings of the day...The ones I had almost forgotten because I was allowing the negative to overshadow them...Thank you Lord, for all of your blessings, even on the days when my world gets a little messy...

Lesson learned Lord...lesson learned..










Saturday, May 12, 2012

Run with it.....

Do I dream in color?  Well, I really don't know for sure, but I can tell you this...it seems like I've had some pretty colorful ones lately...

Today I've been writing up a storm, literally(pun intended).  I fully expect that at any moment, the Storm Chasers will be at the door with all that fancy equipment, wondering why there's a funnel cloud over our house...Actually, it's the smoke coming from my desktop(yes, my poor laptop is now at peace from the constant tapping of the keys...I think I've killed it...) 

Sure, the family needs to eat, right?  So into the crock-pot went the roast and a can of crushed tomatoes...Oh, and I managed to throw together a pot of homemade chicken soup, and do two loads of laundry somewhere between paragraphs...

It's true I've gone through seasons of doubting myself...Do I truly have a God-given ability to create a masterpiece on a page, like a Van Gogh on canvas?  The next thing I know, I'm thinking of all of these ideas while stripping the carcass of a chicken...Now who but a writer could find any kind of story in that...Yes, not a pleasant word-picture, but I think you get what I'm saying...

So dream your dream...but not only that..live it!  Keep the faith and He will give you the strength and inspiration you need to take-off...
Why don't you start today, or pick back up where you left off?  Don't waste another minute of the potential that God has given you...He is waiting to see what you will do with it...
They don't say "get back on the horse" for nothing...That tells me there have been many who have fallen off...
You know you've felt that "something bigger" thing going on inside of you, and if you haven't, you will eventually...
Find your niche and run with it...explore your gifts and talents and use them to craft something beautiful and lasting...a blessing for future generations....

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

If God Says You Are Able, You Are Able!

"You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth."  I Samuel 17:33.....

How many times has someone said that you couldn't do something...that you "weren't able"?  I mean you're all excited about a new venture or idea, a plan or a vision, then somebody has to come along and say "that'll never work"...or..."that'll never happen"...Many times it makes us even more determined, but often times we start believing the negative. Why do we do that?  Why do I do that?  Why do we listen to Satan's whispers of defeat before we even try?

 During my devotional time recently, I read the story of David and Goliath...again...  Having been a Sunday School teacher for many years, teaching children from pre-school through the third grade, one would think I must have learned all I would ever need to know about this story, right?  Wrong...  The really amazing thing is that each time I read it, it's like I'm reading it for the first time.  Do you feel that way too?  That's great, because that's just the way God intended His word to be, living and speaking directly to us, allowing us to gain whatever revelation knowledge we might need for that particular season we are going through.  Although the "printed" words never change, He will use them to bring a fresh word to our spirit through the words inspired by The Holy Spirit...

So what makes this story so fascinating?  Well, the obvious of course; a lowly shepherd boy facing what appeared to be an insurmountable mission(that he volunteered for I might add..because he was called and obeyed) to take down a man, who today, would tower over the tallest player in the NBA.  It makes me wonder what the birth weight of this guy was, and what did his poor mother have to feed him growing up?  I think you know what I'm talking about if you have growing boys in your home, or have been around any lately; their favorite phrase is "I'm hungry" stated approximately every 20 minutes or so....

The first thing that really stood out to me during this particular reading, was during an exchange of words between Saul and David.  This was prior to the main event, which of course in today's world would have been on pay-per-view.  Saul told David that he was 'not able' to go against the Philistine.

Of course looking at this situation through human eyes, you have to admit, it didn't look good, but David's confidence was in God, and if his God could deliver him from a lion and a bear, He could surely equip him to defeat "this Philistine".   Maybe I missed something here, but I didn't detect any sense of doubt on David's part; any doubt that God would show up big and right on time.  Now that's what I call trust.

God does hear us when we pray.  So we pray.  We make known our requests to the Lord; that's the easy part of prayer.  Then there's the trust and belief part..do we really, truly believe that we will receive what we're praying for?  So Jesus answered and said to them "Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree(see Matt 21:18-10), but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done.  And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." Matt 21:21-22.  It may not be the answer we were expecting according to our will, and that's why it is right to pray "according to Your will Lord..Your will be done."

The second thing that really stood out to me during this particular reading, is that David "hurried and ran toward" the army to meet the Philistine.  I could see gearing up and getting ready, but actually being in a 'hurry' and 'running towards' the opposing army and the giant man with the big sword?  The beauty of that verse is so amazing and maybe it was a strategic move God used to "psyche out" Goliath, but more importantly,  it was David's trust in his God and his putting that trust in motion, literally!  When God is in control, we can do that..We can run head-on into the storm like those hurricane hunters that fly into the eye.  It's calm in the eye, even when surrounded by outer bands of chaos. When we run into the storm, God goes before us and there is peace in the eye of the storm, in the arms of our Lord.  There are times when we are delivered supernaturally from facing a storm we may never even see.  But as we have experienced, the weather's not always sunny, storms do come.

 What if David had lost his momentum and quit the fight before it even started, all because Saul told him he was "not able"?  Why didn't he quit?  Because he knew what we should know and believe, that when God calls us to do something, He will equip us.  Because if God is lighting a fire under us, we shouldn't let anyone extinguish it.  I'm not only talking enemies here or people who want to keep us down, these potential fire extinguishers can also come in the form of family and friends who mean well.  They love us and don't want us to fall down and skin our knees, but guess what?  Skinned knees heal :)  God never promised we wouldn't have battle scars, but those scars build our faith and character, and remind us where we have been and how far God has brought us...

We can draw strength by remembering the storms God has brought us through; it will encourage us to press on, knowing that He is faithful and that we can do all things through Christ.

Lord, help us to trust you like David did and have the faith to move mountains.  Thank you for your Living Word and the promises you have made to your children. Let us believe like a child, without fear or doubt.  Let us live our lives according to Your will, and press on to accomplish what You have predestined us to do.  To do great things in Your Name because in whatever you call us to do, you will equip us...To You be the Glory!
In Jesus Name.  Amen.