Saturday, October 19, 2013

The 3 best days of my life - so far. Based on Acts 17:27

October 19, 2013

Acts 17:27 - Living Bible (TLB)
“His purpose in all of this is that they should seek after God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us.

Since I read a wonderful post on Maria Shriver’s blog, this post has been swirling in my brain.

While cleaning treasures from my closet this morning, I found one of my many journals.  At that time, I had experienced the second happiest day of my life. Before I write about those days, I must tell you what I know for sure now.

May 2, 2006 is the best day of my life. Period.
There will be no other better day while I am living on Earth because on that day, I saw the hand of God and my life changed forever.  It was an unexpected supernatural occurrence. God wanted to get my attention. He did. Life has never been more exciting, joyful, painful and meaningful.

I can blog about the milestones of my life, but there is no more significant milestone for me than the day that God chose to reveal himself to me.

March 2, 19-- is the second best day of my life.
My daughter, my heart was born. Jacqueline changed everything for me. I was driven, independent and very selfish. She made me a fiercely protective and involved mother determined to pass on the compassionate, intellectual and activist qualities I value. She is my pride and joy and the depths of my love for her cannot adequately be described.  

Jacqueline finished college (on plan and on time) and is on her life flight. I’m excited to see how God will continue to use her gifts and talents.

December 18, 2005 is the third best day of my life.
On that day, I walked across the stage at Minute Maid Park to get my college degree.  A degree that eluded me for years because I wanted to work, earn money and take care of myself – that independent streak I mention above.  I finished freshman and sophomore years on time, but it took blood, sweat and tears to make it to the finish line for my undergrad degree.  

Along the way, I credit college professors, bosses, colleagues, family and friends for encouraging me finish the degree. I did and I received a promotion the very day I took the final exam. Since then, I've earned a certificate in pastoral care. 

I am very satisfied with the five and half decades I've enjoyed so far. 

I don’t know what is ahead, but I know there is no better place to be than loved by God.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

What is holding you in captivity? Take off the chains and go Read John 8:32

John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

These are my notes based on a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley. You can find it here: Real Freedom, Oct. 13, 2013. 

Causes of captivity: 

False beliefs,
lying, deception, sexual immorality, Drunkenness, drugs, smoking, laziness, profanity

Fear, false guilt, jealousy, worry and anxiety, prejudice, feeling you can never please God, bitterness, unforgiveness, insecurity.

BONDAGE affects our personal testimony and hinders spiritual growth.

TRUTH that sets us free:  Freedom comes when we know the heart of God through a relationship.

And, when we allow The Lord to reveal junk and hidden sin 

and then allow Him to remove it.

What pride is holding you back?

You can choose to have the freedom God wants for you. 

If you don't know there's stuff/sin keeping you down or if you continue to not deal with it,  you will always live at a lower level. 

Get rid of the burdens and the guilt!

Freedom comes when you allow Jesus Christ to work out the sins of your life. 

My comments:   
After that day in May 2006, I allowed God to help me deal with the bad habits I had developed to cope with life. It was hard to let go of my pride and perfection. The transparent Christian life was hard to deal with at first until I discovered the freedom and the heart of Jesus Christ.

If the Lord sets you free, take the chains off and go! You are  not supposed to stay stuck!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

When it hurts to care - Psalm 23:4

Psalm 23:4 Even when walking through the dark valley of death I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me, guarding, guiding all the way.

“The power of the saint lies in the coming down and in the living that is done in the valley." - Oswald Chambers 

Life lived on the mountaintop is the most beautiful experience especially when you have a relationship with God. But leaving that mountaintop to live the everydayness of life and especially in the everydayness of the ministry that God has planned for us isn’t glamorous.

I spent years running from God because it hurt to care. I still want to do that even when I know that I am called to care for others through their valley experiences.

Today, for the first time ever, I cried after I left a hospital room. My heart was broken for a patient and the family. Thankfully, I had a chance to share my tears and benefit from the wise counsel of one of our priests. His advice: Cry. You talk to God and cry.

I shudder to imagine: What if I had not stepped into that room to care?  

To remind those who suffer that the Lord is on their journey.