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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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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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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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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The Secret to Being Thankful is Focus

The secret to
being thankful
is focus.

When I learned to drive motorcycles,
I discovered very quickly that
where you look is
where you go!

Through the curves,
around the obstacles
or
into the ditch!

In this season of busyness and frivolity,
it’s easy to lose your focus.

If you’re anything like me,
you start to focus on what everyone else is
doing,
decorating,
devouring,
or delighting in.

Comparisons take up the space
in my mind and heart that
God is supposed to inhabit.

Instead of being thankful for what I have,
I focus on what
SHE has,
or what SHE does,
or what SHE gets
or how SHE looks.

I compare home decorating skills,
culinary prowess,
the number of Christmas cards received,
the extravagance of gifts,
and the size of her dress.

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Trusting God with Big Changes

I don’t love change.

Anyone else with me?

In my quiet time this morning,
I realized I was sitting on 20 year old couches,
looking at walls painted 20 years ago,
dressed in pjs and robe that were,
yes, you guessed it,
about 20 years old.

Girls, change challenges me!

I barely like change even when it’s my idea!

But,
keeping things the same
is no safeguard from pain.

Things break and wear out.
Children grow up and move away.
Friends die or move on.
Opportunities evolve and disintegrate.

Change is necessary.
Change is good.
Change is inevitable.

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Flourishing In Life Requires Living In Community

There was a time when girls learned how to
 flourish in life from other women
in their community.

Women in the family.
Women in the neighborhood.
Women at church.

Side by side or hand in hand,
wisdom and advice
was dispensed and practiced.

I learned to peel hard boiled eggs,
mend a torn shirt,
and walk in high heels
from the women who loved and nurtured me.

I learned to dress with style,
listen to a boring story with an engaging smile on my face,
and host a party
from watching the women in my neighborhood.

I learned to study the Bible
pray with expectancy, and
treat my husband with love and respect
under the tutelage of the women at my church.

Living in community is important!

Even though women tend to be relational,
we are losing our connectivity
due to the demands on our time
and
the abundance of virtual relationships.

We hide behind busyness and
pretend that “liking” a Facebook post
is the same as personal engagement.

It’s not!

 

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Letting Go of Regrets!

I don’t dread birthdays.

In fact,
I celebrate with zealous enthusiasm.

And not for just one day.
I need a season to collect birthday greetings,
eat at all my favorite places,
and spend time with all my favorite people.

This year it was no exception just because
I TURNED 60!

I met with girlfriends for
lunch,
dinner and
coffee
for week before and a week after the actual date.
I had a party.
I got a slew of gift cards
and flowers and
even one of a kind watch with my mom’s picture on it.

 

After the party and the celebrations are a distant memory,
here’s what I know about me at any age.

I want to live without regrets.
Don’t you?

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I Want My Mommy!

You ever have one of those days when you
just aren’t firing on all cylinders?

For the record,
I have no idea what a cylinder is,
but the expression means you need a tune-up.
It means you’re sputtering and stalling out.

Yesterday,
I was walking across the kitchen,
got tangled up in my own feet,
tripped and 
went sprawling.

Sprawling, I tell you.

Splat!
Smack!
Ouch!

I looked like Wiley Coyote at the bottom of the ravine
in a Road Runner cartoon –
minus the puff of dust.

After I checked to see if I was paralyzed
(I wasn’t)
or if I had any broken bones,
(there were none)
I decided the best course of action was to
sit on the cold tile floor and howl.

I’m sure it was the shock of being upended,
but I carried on like a toddler.

I cried and I cried.
I want my mommy!

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