Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Find Your Fight Song And Sing It

Hello, friends. Don't you just love this time of year? The Autumn season is my very favorite time of year, even above Christmas.  There is something about fall that lends itself to a time of reflection and pause. Isn't it amazing that nature gives us such a picture of beauty from a state of dying? When the leaves start to change their color, it make me want to put on my scarves and boots, eat a bowl of chili and sip a cup of hot apple cider. To snuggle down and usher in our dutiful, and maybe a mite intrusive, great- Aunt Winter.

This year's fall has found me in a state of deep and pensive contemplation as I survey the state of things around me. My world, your world, our world, is changing. And not for the better, so it seems. Many aspects of life that have defined me have shifted, have changed so that sometimes I cannot even recognize the landscape around me.  I must confess, I feel more and more like a stranger here, in a place where I once thrived, and that breaks my heart. And by here, I do not mean a physical location, but I mean here, in an atmosphere where the values, principles, and beliefs that made me who I am are no longer  regarded as valuable. They are being thrown out the window like yesterday's McDonald's paper bag. They are being scoffed at, mocked, declared as ignorance. They are being reasoned away by new, enlightened doctrines and theological reasonings. All around I see an indifference for the things of God, an undermining of our precious Holiness heritage and beliefs. It is heartbreaking, devastating, and if we let it overcome us, it's downright depressing.

I am completely and utterly convinced, my friends, that Holiness is right. This conviction has not come casually, but from an exhausting, gut-wrenching digging in prayer and in the Word.  I have asked myself all the questions, I have weighed in the balance all  the inconsistencies that we see in the ministry and in the church. They are glaringly obvious. I came to a point where I had to search out and ask myself, "Why am I living this way? Why do l believe like this? Is it so I can belong to a "movement', a social group, so I can be accepted in a certain clique? is it so I will be invited to sing on Bro. So-and-So's platform at Such-and-Such campmeeting? Is it for my husband? Is it for my parents? Why? And the answer I keep getting, is none of the above. For if it were, it would be for the wrong reason.  I have purposed in my heart to live a life of Biblical holiness, not "movement" Holiness, because of this one reason:  a lifetime walking with and an eternity spent with Christ is all that matters.  I will stand before Him for my own judgement, which will not be based on my parents', my pastor's, or my husband's walk with God, but mine and mine alone.

As a mother, it has been especially troublesome to view the present state of such circumstances, and downright scary to imagine the future. What will be left for my children in ten years? Fifteen, twenty? When our precious prayer warriors are passing on to glory, and no one is picking up the torch they've left behind. When our churches are filled with sleepy elderly saints, jaded, indignant adults, and shallow,  disinterested youth? How will my children ever get their footing spiritually in a time of such discord, division, and confusion? Forgive me for sounding so negative, but this is reality. Yes, God is still moving, saving, filling with the Holy Ghost and healing, and I have not lost faith in Him or His ability to do any of that. It is not the Holiness message that is flawed,  but rather the application of that message. The motives and intents behind our lifestyle have got to be pure and solely for the purpose of exalting and glorifying Christ. And that is where we are missing the mark.
So what does a mother do, when faced with these questions that relentlessly pelt  her mind and heart? She must take them to her Savior. And when I did, He drew my attention to a few mothers in the Bible who defeated the spiritual odds, so to speak, and in the midst of similar, and probably worse circumstances, raised children who not only thrived spiritually, but rose up to become mighty leaders in their generation.

Let's look to Hannah, who brought her son to a man of God who had become weak and ineffective, who had compromised greatly. It was a perilous time of dissension in the land and the temple--and yet Samuel became all God needed Him to be for that hour. And then there's Jochebed, whose son cried his first cry in a world bent on his demise. He was born into slavery and bondage, his people at the very bottom of the totem pole in every sense. He was then placed in a home that knew nothing of God's truths. Yet God brought Moses out, called Him to a place of close-knit communion with and witness of the mighty power of God.

How did these children defy such odds, in environments of spiritual darkness? I have to believe it was a result of a mother's unrelenting, passionate prayers over and for her children. These mothers gave their children over to God unselfishly and with the utmost trust. They laid them on the altar, prayed, believed, and let go.

So, do I stand and wring my hands over what the future holds? No, I go to war on my knees, my goal sharing eternity around God's throne with all four of my children. the devil can't have a single one! Will you join me, dear mother, dear aunt, dear grandmother, in fighting for our next generation? Now is the time to rally our spirits and push through the thick fog of lethargy. Now is the time to fight! Our children are worth it!

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Kiss the Wave, Cling to the Shepherd

    Of all times for the good Lord to nudge me to write more, why would it be now? As I speak, my house is stacked with packing boxes, as we prepare to move out of our house next Friday. As on the 30th. Of September. As in 6 days from today! Needless to say, I've been running on full speed. I've watched the clock strike 3 am a couple of times this week....while I cleaned out closets, and sorted stuff out for yard sale, keep, throw/give away. All the while trying my best to keep school, laundry, music lessons, and meals flowing. This will be our eighth move in 14 years of marriage, so I'm pretty much a pro by now! We're moving 40 miles away, where we will be closer to our church, family, and all other activities that we frequently drive over for. We outgrew our house a long time ago, and if all goes according to plan, we will be moving into a much roomier house at the end of October.

   Yet with all this going on, there's other concerns on my mind. Burdens and troubles. My mind is often troubled about certain situations. It seems these days that one barely catches one's breath from one ferocious storm, barely finds one's footing after being knocked down by a merciless wave when watch out, here comes a tsunami. Lest you think I am exaggerating, let me assure you I am not.  The past year has been the most tumultuous of my adult life. Yet it has taught me, to fix my eyes upon Him who is the orchestrator of all calm and peace. Even in the midst of confusion, hurt, and unwanted changes, He is a solid rock.  He alone can be depended on to never change, to never falter.
So I endeavor, that no matter who around me fails or disappoints me, no matter if the world around me becomes unrecognizable, to fix my eyes upon Jesus Christ. As a trusting lamb fixes his eyes lovingly upon its' shepherd, so I will fix mine upon Him.

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow
strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace."
~Helen H. Lemmel

A prayer/poem I recently wrote:

"A Lamb's Prayer"

My Shepherd, my Savior,
Let my eyes never leave yours,
Let me dwell near the hem of your robe
Let me never leave the warmth of your feet
Let me never wander away from the sound of your voice
Call to me, Lord. Scold me when my eyes look away to distant fields
Use the crook of your staff to draw me and discipline me
Let me dwell with you in the cool, soft grass of your presence
Let me thirst for you as I do the still waters
Be my Protector and my Guide
Protect me from the wolf and the bear who wish to devour me
You fight for me, you are my deliverance
You are the source of all my provision
In you is all life and strength and truth
You're all I need

He is all we need.

Monday, September 19, 2016

A Ready Heart, A Ready Writer

Hello, my dear friends.  For those of you who have my blog on your list, who still click over to read when I happen to post one of my sporadic ramblings, thank you for doing so. I don't really know if what I write on here matters, or why it would in particular matter to anyone. I know some probably read out of nosiness curiosity, some read because you know me personally and it's a way to connect with me (cause you love me, I hope).  Either way, I am ever so humbled that anyone would choose to spend time here in my little corner of the blogosphere.  Time, I well know, is precious, and that you would choose to give of yours to read my accounts is important to me. So thank you.

As of late, I've been repeatedly admonished by certain (you know who you are) various people to please write on my blog more often. I've been nudged many times over the past 6 months (maybe more) in my spirit to write. Just write. Write what's on my heart, write down those little whispers that come to my heart during my personal Bible study times. Write down my struggles and my triumphs, as a mother, as a wife, as a Christian. I recall a few months ago when I felt the tug, but was a little frustrated because our laptop was broken and had been for months. I prayed about it one morning, saying OK, Lord, I hear you, but you're gonna have to fix this little problem of a new laptop. Later that evening, as the husband and I were taking a walk, he says, "You know, the Lord dealt with me this morning to buy you a new laptop. So you can write." Swallow.

I'm really baffled at this persistence from so many directions, but I'm surely not going to ignore it. Now that I sit here typing away on a new sweet little laptop, I am following orders :). Yes, sir. At your service. I really don't think my writing is anything special, but if that's what you want me to do, I'm gonna do it. I'm not going to worry about what "niche" I fit into in the great world of blogging, or if anyone is even reading. I'm just going to write. I may not have breathtaking photography to  post along with my writing (at this moment I believe my camera is lost somewhere in the realm of things misplaced by absent-minded people like myself). I'm just gonna write. Apparently that's what I'm supposed to do.

I'm not writing to impress anyone or to attract attention. Writing is always a little scary for me--it comes with risk. It's putting a piece of myself out there for inspection and that makes me feel a little vulnerable. Dare I be as honest as I would like to be? Dare I venture to topics that I know my peers can relate to and must be pondering over as well, even if it may be met with opposition? Dare I? I almost feel that I must.

So, dear reader, here is a little taste of what it is to come on this blog of mine.  Hold onto your hats (or not), I'll be here,  writing.