Tuesday, May 25, 2010


Ok, here’s the deal. I have heard this complaint from several different places in the last few days. I am having a “party” on Thursday, some friends coming to try out something that I really like and honestly I want to get some of it free, that’s why women have these “parties” ya’ll. I’ve also got an event at church that I am attending and I had a friend who had a celebration of an awesome accomplishment. People were invited. Plans were or are being made to ensure there are enough seating, refreshment and even prizes, but here is the problem. People who don't RSVP.

RSVP is French for "Répondez s'il vous plaît". Translation, “Please respond”.

I know I have sent out invites in several different ways and all people have to do is check their calendar and check off Yes, No, or Maybe so that I can be prepared. People don’t get upset if you say no. We all know people either aren’t interested or might have a scheduling conflict. That’s fine, but here is my question…Are we so busy with our lives, running around in a million directions, that we have lost our common courtesy? Courtesy is all about respect. I was raised to say Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am, please and thank-you, and to let someone know if I can or cannot attend a function where my presence has been requested.

This isn’t just about a party that I am having. People cry out that they are lonely, that no one cares, but we are a people who are all the time consuming and our biggest consumer is being busy and focusing only on the “I”. We have to climb out from behind the Iphone, the Ipad, and take off the Ipod and interact with real live breathing people. We are losing our social skills byte by byte. We are becoming a society that responds to life in 140 characters or less and we find out about others by reading their Facebook status updates.

I’m not saying that media is a bad thing. I have FB, I have a blog (which you know if you are reading this), and I have texting and messengers and voice mail, but am I the only one that is feeling the disconnect while being plugged into 10 different things?

These are all wonderful tools. But just like the television, video games, sports, etc. it all depends on how it is used and everything that God can use for good, satan can and will pervert. We have to wake up and become aware. Are we replacing real life conversation with a keypad and a monitor and if so why? Are we afraid? Are we so busy that we no longer have time for chats on the front porch or coffee without being plugged in just in case we miss something?

I get so frustrated when I am talking with friends and they are checking their phones to see what else is going on. They aren’t 100% with you, they are distracted by their 400+ friends on FB and whether their mafia group just got attacked or their crops need to be harvested (if you do FB you will get this.)

When you see a post on FB or read a friends email, do you call them or do you just hit the “like” button or respond via text? Can’t you see where satan is seeping in and pushing us further and further into isolation? Kids are losing the ability to converse unless it’s via text. Adults are spending more time with their CPU then their significant others. And people are preparing a table for friends to come and celebrate accomplishments and people are too caught up in the “I” to see the “you”.

Unplug, respond with a phone call at least, but a face-to-face would be best. And please, if you get an invite, let someone know if you can make it.

Yep, told you I’d been thinking a lot.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Playing in traffic (Conclusion)

Ah-Ha Moment #4: “Come here, come on baby, let’s go home.”

He wasn’t going to listen. He didn’t know me. He didn’t know my voice. That wasn’t his fault. He was doing what puppies do. He was playing. He had left the safety of his home to venture out into the big wide world and had landed smack dab in the middle of a mess. Why should he leave the freedom and the fun he was having? Because he didn’t realize the danger. We could see it. All the people in the cars around him knew that one wrong move and he would likely be killed and they were able to stop and prevent the danger. But he still had to get out of the road cause just like there are different cars traveling the roads every day, there are different temptations, different dangers, and different situations that are all around us trying to keep us from our Heavenly Father.

Ah-Ha Moment #5: “Be still.”

God cannot step in, pick us up, and carry us out of the mess unless we stop. We have to be still. We have to get quiet. I struggle with this every single day. Getting quiet and still in my heart. When I don’t know which direction to go, what to do, what step to take, it’s because I have to be still. Then we can either jump the ditch to safety or we might just be so lost, confused, and overwhelmed by it all that all we can do is fall down on our knees and submit. God will reach down, pick us up and hold us close and He will carry us to safety.

How do you get still? Take 15 minutes of quiet time. If you have never done that before, start with 5. Just sit. I light a candle sometimes. Turn out the lights so I am not distracted. When you first start it will be hard to turn off all that is swirling around you but keep turning that focus back to God and give yourself grace. Grace when the grocery list starts forming in your head, grace when you start thinking of all the things you need to do at work, grace when the honey-do list that your wife made for you starts unrolling in your brain. Be kind when you mentally roll that list up and put it away and then turn your focus back on your Father. Be quiet. And just listen.

That’s how I got the ah-ha moment from the puppy. I didn’t “see” all of these points at the time. I didn’t jump in the car after finding his home full of insight and singing praises. (Yes I did find his house; it had a “Beware of the dog” sign in the window, irony much?) It took thinking through what happened. Seeing the snapshots of it in my mind and getting alone with God so that He could teach me. I had to be still.

Ah-Ha Moment #6: (Last one, thanks for hanging in there): Do we bite the hand that saves us (or pee on it)? Do we recognize the miracles and blessings that are all around us? Do we slow down enough to realize when God steps in and wraps us in His arms? Or are we so hyped up, so excited, that we never experience the joy and the peace when He holds us. Or worse, do we attack Him when He corrects, when He disciplines, and bite back the very hand that wants to comfort? God uses people to minister to His children. It may be a pastor in the pulpit; it may be a Godly man speaking to your son at youth. It may be a teenager pouring her heart out to her friend when she sees her going down the wrong path. It may be a woman stepping into traffic to save a puppy.

How do we respond to those messengers from God? Do we embrace them? Honor their words with respect and acceptance? Or do we get angry and pout? Walk away. Reject them and therefore reject God? Or do we run away, oblivious to the danger around us. Refusing to hear their calls, their advice, their wisdom and continue down the path of our own destruction?


Do we stop, listen, and hear not only with our ears and our brains but our hearts? Do we allow the words to help sharpen us, make us stronger, keep us safe, or do we only get offended, and lash out or run away? Satan wants you to get your feelings hurt. He is the master at manipulating words to wound. He also wants to kill steal and destroy. Do you think you are immune to him? If so, then you are playing in traffic my friend. We can see the danger in the cars speeding down the road and we know we are no match for a 4,000 pound vehicle. (Fun Fact)

What makes us think we can stand alone against the Indy driver of sin? (ok, enough car similes).

I am no match for satan on my own. I was fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time to help a puppy out of peril that he didn’t even realize he was in. But my God is always there, all the time, to rescue, to hold, and to protect the children that He loves and He loves all of us (No matter what kind of car your sin is). Get out of the road, listen to the voice that is calling you. Be still and allow Him to wrap his arms around you.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Playing in traffic Part 2

This incident has been swirling around in my head for a few weeks. I believe that God shows us through example over and over again His love, kindness, and protection all around us but it is up to us to see them and figure out how they apply to our lives.  Go here if you missed part 1

Ah-Ha Moment #1: There are many times that we are playing at life, oblivious to the danger that could be just steps away. There are times when the fear of the unknown (the ditch) looks scary but it will protect us from an even bigger danger (the cars).

There are many cars on the road, many styles and many prices but they all do the exact same thing; take a person from point A to point B. If the dog had been hit it would not have mattered if the car were a Pinto or a Bugatti, he would have still been just as injured or dead.

Ah-Ha Moment #2: Are we playing in traffic but it’s okay because our sin is “no big deal” (Pinto)? It may seem to be “cheap”, no big deal, a little white lie (lying), a wish for what someone else has (envy), a lustful thought (lust, duh)

-or it may be bigger, fancier, a more “expensive” sin: Murder, adultery, stealing, etc. The Bugatti of sin and we believe that there is no way God can help.

Ah-Ha Moment #3: When we are running around in our own world, caught up in what feels good, there are likely people calling to us from the sidelines, (a spouse, a child, family members, or fellow Christians) wanting to help us, but we tune them out, ignore what they are saying and run headlong into what we believe is fun. But it turns into a mess and we see no way out. Are we not seeing the signs, hearing the warnings, or do we hear and just ignore, thinking we know better, or that the rules don't apply to us? 

Often those people cannot stand-by while we continue to flirt with danger, and they have to step away from the edge so that they don’t get sideswiped. They have to give us over to God and can do nothing more than pray. We see this as rejection when in fact if we were to “stop playing in traffic” we would be back where we belong, where it is safe.

Are my actions pushing people away? Is God protecting me by sending people who can give me wise counsel? Am I listening? Am I applying what they say? Or am I playing, getting angry and resentful, and ignoring them?

Sin has no size, weight, or degree, but all sin has danger. Small or large, sin keeps us from God; sin can harm or kill our families, our relationships, and us. But all sin leads to death. Two pounds of puppy on his own is no match for tons of steel and metal. You and I my friend on our own are no match for satan and his schemes.  

Homework:  Psalms 91 (The Message) 

Part 3 tomorrow. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Playing In Traffic (Part 1)

My family and I were going to the store a couple of days ago. As we were driving we noticed the cars in front of us beginning to slow and come to a stop. This is a narrow two lane road with no shoulder. Thinking there had been an accident we slowed and tuned into what was going on around us.

And then we saw him.

He was no bigger then a minute.

He even had a sweater on. He was running up and down along that big highway. Big eyed and so excited to be out and about. He had no clue the danger he was in. We stopped and the car in the oncoming lane stopped and we all sat there and watched, hoping that the little guy would get out of the road. But each time he went to the edge, I think because of the ditches, he was afraid and ran back into the road.

<-------(This is not his picture but he looked just like this.)

How ironic that a 2 pound Chihuahua with a sweater could bringing tons of steel and metal to a grinding halt.

He was running in and around the cars and thankfully no one wanted to move for fear of running over the little guy. Finally I felt like I had to do something. So I got out and started to call to him.

“Come here baby, come on, let’s go home.”
Every time I called him I took a step closer, and as I got closer, he ran. Now think about this my friends. We are in traffic.  This is a dog I do not know and I have no clue where he lives. He does not know me and face it, he's smaller, faster, and a lot cuter then I am and yes, it did cross my mind, he might just try to bite me. But I knew that he would be safer with me then the situation he was in. I just had to convince him of it.

We played his silly game for a few minutes as the cars started backing up in both directions. Every time I would come towards him he would run away and stop and look. I prayed. “God please tell me what to do.” And He did.
In my firmest voice I looked at the puppy and spoke “STAY”. There was no pleading or begging. There was no tempting or coercing. Firm, strong, short direct commands:

"Be still."

He stopped.  He stayed.  He got still. He laid down in the middle of the road, submissive and waited. I stepped forward and picked him up.

And then he peed on me.  (Sometimes I get that excited too.) 

But I held him to my chest and quickly stepped off of the road.  Praying,

 "God please don't let this dog bite me and these people see me throw him down." 

We had caused quite a backup, about 10-15 cars in both directions.  They honked, waved, and cheered as they drove by but all I wanted was to get him to his home. 

The ah-ha moments came later. 

I'll tell you about them tomorrow. 

Homework:  Read Psalm 91: 3-7

See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

May 12 Devotion

May 12, 2010 Devotion
Matthew 22:34-40

What have you done this week that shows your love for God penetrates to the depth of your being? What have you done this week (not normal activity) that shows those around you that you love them?

Matthew 22:37 Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

With ALL my heart? All of it? ALL my soul? Really God? And ALL my mind? I’m not sure I know how.
Loving the Lord my God with ALL my heart. This means having no idols before Him.

Do I love God more than my husband? Yes (sorry Rodney)

Do I love God more than my parents? Yes  (That truly was a hard question to answer, it's my mom and dad)

Do I love God more than my friends? Yes (Yes, and for some of those friends it's a lot easier to love God more)

Do I love God more than my children? _______ (Um…but..um..)

More than my child?

I would die for my child. I would run into a burning building for my child. I would ride into hell with a water pistol full of Holy water for my child. But do I love God more than my child???  Yes, I have to.  She deserves nothing less. 

In order to love my child God’s way I have to love God more than I love my child.

Read that again.

In order to love my child God’s way I have to love God more than I love my child.

Because only by loving Him more am I able to be the mother that she needs.

It is only by loving Him more that I can be the wife, the daughter, the friend and yes the mother that He wants me to be. I cannot do it in my strength because there are times when I will fail.  There will be times that I make mistakes, speak before I think, act before I pray, and make a mess of things. But if I put God and my love for Him before EVERYTHING and EVERYONE else in my life then I can be strong, stand firm, but also take correction, ask forgiveness, and be convicted not condemned.  The love that God has for me can impact not only the ones around me that I love so very much, but also those that I, on my own, find very difficult to love.

That’s just the first part of this verse. Loving the Lord with all our heart. Will talk about the soul and the mind in a bit. I have to get ready for work.

God, please help each of us to love You today and every day more than anything or anyone. It is beyond our human comprehension to understand or know how very much You love us but God I pray that You will speak into the hearts of your children and work through us so that we may each show others what an Awesome God You are. Love conquers all and my Father, because You are Love, then logically, only YOU can conquer all. Father that is what this fallen world needs, our heavenly conqueror to love, protect, and provide. Thank You Father for doing all that and more for each of your children.