God Still Speaks – Are You Listening?

Do you ever wonder
if God still speaks
to his people?

Let me assure you that He does.

Think about it.

Has a Scripture ever leapt off the page?
A passage you’ve read many times,
but suddenly,
it’s vibrant and significant
to your current situation.

Has a song on the radio
or in church brought you to tears
repenting something bitter,
or remembering something sweet?

Has the pastor delivered a sermon
and it seemed like he or she was
reading your mail?

Has a friend or stranger provided
a kind word or admonition
precisely for the season of life you’re in?

That was probably God
speaking to you,
comforting you,
reminding you.

Sometimes God speaks in a gentle whisper –
like a thought that runs across
the backyard of your brain.

When I make time to listen for Him,
I often get a thought that is
too wonderful to be my own.

Sometimes I get a picture of something
that is meaningful to me.

Other times,
God speaks with a gentle correction.

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Time Is Too Short Not To Follow Your Dream

Time Is Too Short
Not To
Follow Your Dreams

 

Last week,
one of the founding members of 

my home group died.

Perhaps you remember reading about him?

This man…
Mid-Fifties.
Picture of health.
Strong.
Hard working.
Lover of Jesus.
Lover of people.
Everybody’s best friend.

BAM!
Heart attack.
Gone.

Girls, I gotta tell you,
it rattled me.

I don’t presume to know what God is up to here.
That might be another blog.

What struck me was this.
John was about 5 years younger than me.

What if I had died 5 years ago?
What would have gone undone?

I wouldn’t have seen Jake graduate
from college as a Mechanical Engineer.
I would have missed Eli and Kym’s wedding.

Motivational speakers
tell you to visualize the future
as an incentive to propel yourself
into your destiny.

Isn’t it just as important
to review the past

to see what you
would have missed?

Five years ago,
I was a full-time mom and wife.
I volunteered to teach Bible Study at my little church.
I was working part-time at a dental office.

No regrets
about that season of my life.

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Seeing God’s Best In Every Situation

 

I try to see God’s best in every situation,
but when I walked into
the lobby of our hotel … 

I just knew this stay
was going to be an adventure. 

Mr. 4-Ever often gets us great hotels at low prices,
but every once in a while
we miss out on the
Swanky Suites
and end up at
Bob’s Sleep Palace.

Such was the case this trip.

Every surface in sight was filthy.
The smell of antiseptic cleaner in the lobby
warned of impending germs…
Or bugs …
Or worse.

Our room smelled like an ashtray.
A bare wire lay exposed in one of the outlets.
The drains in the sink and tub weren’t just slow,
they became standing basins of yucky water.

The handle to the hot water faucet came off in Mr. 4-Ever’s hand!

The worst part?   

We’d booked through “Hotel Roulette”
(a non-refundable online service)
and were stuck.

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Do You Expect Good Things From God?

 

Do you expect good things from God
or do you settle for the mundane
when God offers the miraculous?

 Mr. 4-Ever and I were driving home 
from an event on a
hot and sunny day.
We’d been on the road for hours
and I just had to have
a break … and a chocolate malt.

A jumbo cup of
thick, chocolatey deliciousness.

I tried to talk myself out of it
but the hankering would not go away.

Finally, I asked Mr. 4-Ever
to be on the lookout for ice cream.

At the next exit,
we followed the signs to McDonald’s.

Mind you, McDonald’s will do,
but I had something a little different in mind.

I wanted hand scooped ice-cream
and lots of malt powder mixed
with whole milk – blended together till
it was a cold, smooth concoction
fresh from the whir of a malt maker.

Just as we saw the golden arches,
I spied an ice cream stand
on the other side of the road.

“Can we go there instead?”
I asked Mr. 4-Ever excitedly.

He was already in McDonald’s mode,
drive-through quick,
inexpensive and satisfactory.

“No, let’s just stick with McDonald’s,”
was his disappointing reply.

“Ok,” I drooped,
“I have to use the ladies room anyway.
I’ll go in and get the shake.”

At the counter,
I saw a big “OUT OF ORDER” sign
on the machine that oozes milk shakes.
I was practically giddy as I asked,
“Is your milk shake machine working?”

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Three Word Sentences That Change Your Life

Three word sentences
can change your life.

If you heard …
Congratulations, you’re hired!
or You are pregnant!
or You’re cancer free!
it would dramatically change your life,
wouldn’t it?

We have the option to change lives
with our own
three word sentences.

Several years ago,
Mr. 4-Ever and I joined
a dinner party group.

At first,
we just got together to
eat and play games.
We talked about the weather
or the game
or our kid’s latest escapades.

It’s grown into a safe haven,
a place to share new recipes
as well as
life’s triumphs and challenges.

It’s so special,
we don’t post pictures on Facebook
or tweet about our time together.
It would feel like a breach of privacy.

This little group of five couples
has become holy space.

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Reset, Restart, Refocus

 

If you made a New Year’s resolution,
or a 30 day declaration,
are you on track or
or missing the mark?

 

 

I’m faltering,
but Heaven help me,
I want to get back on track.

Once you fail,
the temptation is powerful to chuck the
exercise program,
writing project,
savings plan,
home renovation
or diet
to the curb in utter defeat.

It’s hard to overcome
the voice in your head that says …
You’ll never win.
Nothing will change.
This will never work.
Give up!

Take heart, Dear Friend.

I hear those same recordings my head,
but we don’t have to cave.

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Kicking Idols to the Curb

It’s an hour past
the first chirp of my alarm and
I’m still hiding under my covers.

I don’t want to face the day.

I don’t want to hear Jillian Michaels bark at me from the DVD
because I’m bloated from a late night Mexican food binge.

I dread the looming project deadline and
piles of laundry and
sink full of dirty dishes.

I don’t want to face today because
I have too much to manage and not enough …

Not enough
patience for a tough conference call later today.

Not enough
energy to attack my endless to do list.

Not enough
money for this month’s bills.

So I hide under my covers and keep hitting the snooze button
as I beg God to
help me,
fix me,
save me,
stretch my time and money …
to be my God today.

Do you do that?

Hide …
Hoping the the rapture is today,
or someone drops off a time warp machine,
or that a money tree pops up on the porch.

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Overcoming … with Gratitude

Recently, Eli, who is my youngest,
posted a photo on Facebook and
taught me a lesson about
overcoming (fill in the blank)
with gratitude.

 

In the photo, he was wearing a plaid flannel shirt.
A shirt that once belonged to his dad …
a mighty man who died 20 years ago.

Eli posted:
I came across (my dad’s) old shirt and had to try it on.
I was surprised to see that I still barely fit into it.
So many years have passed and
I still felt like a toddler trying on my dad’s clothes.
He was such a big man and part of me hoped
I would fill it out after all this time.

But then it dawned on me
that I was meant to be my own man
and make my own path.

As I put the shirt away to find again another day,
I thought about how lucky I was
to be in such a wonderful place in my life
with so many loving supportive people around me.

I miss you Dad and
I am so thankful to be from your bloodline
but I am so joyful that my life played out the way it has.

He closed with,
“I’ll see you on the other side some day.”

(Eli “helping” his dad, Jay, (Hot & Hunky) with a plumbing project. – 1996)

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 And just like that,
I was in a puddle.

Grief is like that.

It comes when it comes and
there is no predicting when it will
turn your life inside out
and upside down.

Grief can knock you down,
but it doesn’t have to knock you out.

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30 Day Challenge

Instead of making
New Year’s resolutions this year,
I’m going to take 30 Day Challenges instead.

Girlfriend, I’ll be honest,
I run out of rockets fast.

Setting goals for an entire year overwhelms me.
But 
I can
manage,
tolerate or
endure
almost anything …
if I know it’s only for 30 days.

Can’t you?

Some goals are just too big.

How successful do you think you’d be if you tried to:

Lose all the weight you’ve gained since you were 13?
Not very!
Could you stop eating chocolate for 30 days?
Sure!

Think you will read the entire Bible in a year?
Probably not!
Could you read a chapter every day for 30 days?
No doubt!

Want to get out of debt this year?
That would be great, but ambitious.
Could you put an extra 10% of your paycheck toward debt for 30 days?
Oh yeah!

Going to be more productive this year?
Giving up all your vices like Netflix or Facebook or Candy Crush?
Tough to go cold turkey on your favorite time wasters!
Think you could c
ut back to 20 minutes a day for 30 days?
No problem!

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Wonder & Joy For All Seasons

Can I confess that
when the calendar rolls over
to December 26th,
a sweet relief falls on me?

There is no more pressure to
send one more card or
shop for one more present or
bake one more cookie or
attend one more holiday gathering.

It is finished.
I’m grateful and I’m relieved.

Christmas comes with its
own set of stressors.

For some,
this Christmas has been a season of dread.
The death of a loved one has left
empty spaces at tables and in hearts so vacuous
that facing the cheerfulness of the holiday
was nearly impossible.

Christmas 2016 is past.
December 26th comes
with a deep sigh of relief.

For others, Christmas evoked
unexpected emotions.

Empty nesters slept in on Christmas Day,
missing the pre-dawn promptings from
children eager to open presents under the tree.

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