Thursday, March 27, 2014

Can we talk?

Several years ago, my daughter Lizzy was thriving in her first job teaching at a metro-Atlanta private Christian school.  She and her husband were feeling the need to be closer to her husband’s work downtown, and she began looking for a new job.  She was fortunate that there were two schools that wanted her to teach with them.  Caroline and I were in Virginia visiting my mom, and we got a call late one night from Lizzy.  She said, “I don’t know what to do.  Can you talk?”  As a parent, I don’t think there could be a more intimate question.   We listened to her struggle.   She told us how she had prayed for direction, but didn’t feel that God was giving her an answer.  We all cried – a lot.  We tried to assure her. 

God is all powerful, but there is one thing he will not do.  He will not make us love him.  Revelation 3:20 says “Look! I have been standing at the door, and I am constantly knocking. If anyone hears me calling him and opens the door, I will come in and fellowship with him and he with me. “  After we let him in, what he wants us to say to Him is, “I don’t know what to do.  Can we talk?” 

If you have four more minutes, turn everything else off and listen to this song.  If you have four more hours, turn everything off and listen for God. 

As happens frequently, Andy Stanley inspired my personal thoughts.  This time, it was his message on Intimacy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Fear Not

I don’t feel like I am consumed by fear, but I do think I fear things every day.  I fear rejection from clients and friends.  I fear downturns in business.  I fear bad health and getting old.  In Matthew 10, Jesus is preparing his disciples for what they can expect to face as they attempt to follow him.  He didn’t warn them about bad health or aging. Among other things, he told them to expect to be flogged.  I had a general idea of what flogging was, but just to make sure, I did a quick internet search, and here is what I came up with:  “to torture with a whip of broken glass and with a metal ball with two metal hooks at its end.”  That has to be one of the most gruesome descriptions of pain that I have ever heard, and do you know what Jesus told his disciples after he told them to expect to be flogged.  “Fear not”  Are you serious?  

I hadn’t read that passage in a while, but a friend reminded me of it last week.  She had meditated on it in her quiet time and recorded it in her journal.  She shared it with me through her husband and her pastor, who read it at her funeral last week.  You see, cancer had crippled her body, but her soul was fully alive and fully aware of the fullness of God.  And she let us know it every day by the way she treated us.  So she didn’t just write the words “fear not” in her journal - she lived them.  Thank you, Cheryl, for showing me Jesus through your life. (See last week’s post for more about Cheryl.)

Friday, March 14, 2014

Celebrating A Life

I have let you all know in past posts that Cheryl and Dan Kniffen are two of my favorite people.  Cheryl is one of Caroline’s best friends and has been living with cancer for the past 14 years.  Last week, Cheryl passed away and is now in the arms of our Savior.    On Wednesday, we were privileged to attend a memorial service which celebrated her life.  Two close friends spoke beautifully about their time with Cheryl, and I was completely amazed by Cheryl’s 19 year old daughter who spoke with such composure about her mom and all that her mom had meant to her  Our minister reminded us that Cheryl did not lose her battle with Cancer.  She won the battle every day with her unshakable faith and her abounding joy under the toughest of circumstances.  I can’t wait to see her again – fully restored.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Out for a walk

Our small group at The Vine Church is going through a video series by Andy Stanley on marriage.  This week Andy pulled out a prop to help make  his point.  The prop was supposed to be a leash, but it was actually a rope.  (I did not see a noose on the end.)  He was talking about expectations that spouses place on each other and how we need to release those – to let go of the leash completely.   He then explained that God has placed the ominous responsibility on each of us to be the face of Christ to our spouse.  This generated some spirited conversation at Muskogee Lane last night, but I am looking forward to a fun side trip to Montgomery, AL (it ain’t sexy)  for a couple of days, where I intend to do my best Jesus impression.  Good luck, right????