Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bearing His Fragrance

I'm at my mom's in Tennessee for Thanksgiving. My older brother is here, my youngest brother lives here with his family. Of course, I brought hubby with my.

Oh, and my 94 year old Grandma lives here, too.

This evening, my sister-in-law and I ran errands. Target, Krogers, a mom and pop pizza joint. About an hour after we brought the pizza's home, I had to move my mom's car for my sister-in-law.

Sliding behind the wheel, I was hit with the fragrance of pizza. Just a few minutes in the car, the pizza aroma still permeated the car.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians, "For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing."

Like the pizza, the fragrance of Jesus on us lingers long after we've come and gone. A few minutes in the car left over an hours worth of pizza aroma.

What would thirty minutes, or an hour, in the Lord's presence leave on us? Then, wherever we go, His fragrance lingers.

If another person had gotten in the car, they would've wanted pizza. So, what would happen to someone walking into our presence after we've been with Jesus.

Maybe they would crave Him? Or their hunger for spiritual truth would be awakened.

Hang out with Jesus then look at what happens to those around you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Thanksgiving memory

The fall of '76, we lived in Homestead, Florida. My parents had a large home group and we all gathered for Thanksgiving, outside, in the side yard of our house. There had to be thirty of us with kids and all.

I remember it was a breezy day with thick blue clouds hovering over us. And it was the day our family friend, Bill Hamilton, who's son Joe I crushed on for awhile, decided to teach me to drive stick shift in an old Chevy truck.

In those days, most stores were closed for the holiday but Bill was sent off to find cans of cranberry or something. I'd love to reminisce this story with him, but he's with Jesus now.

He invited me along. It's great to remember I had older male roll models besides my dad who cared for me in a fatherly way. We drove around a very quiet Homestead, streets deserted, looking for an open store. I think we finally found a Jiffy or 7-11 type.

On the way home, he said, "Want to drive?"

I didn't have my license, but I think Bill figured the population was tucked away with their own Thanksgiving celebrations and safe from any possible terror I might inflict.

I'd never driven before, let alone an old truck with a stick shift - three on the tree mind you, not four on the floor. We sat at one stop light for twenty minutes until I figured out the difference between reverse and second gear.

We finally ambled on home and I was all the wiser for having taking my first driving lesson on Thanksgiving day.

I have many wonderful Thanksgiving memories. This one happens to stand out to me.

Hubby and I spent most of the '90s celebrating with his family, and seems this past decade is a mix of his side and my side, and a few at home with friends.

I'm thankful for Jesus. The One who was, who Is and is to Come.

What are you thankful for this season?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A Gorgeous Day

The fall days are gorgeous here. Cold, blue sky over green trees and grass. We don't get much color in Florida.

Yesterday and today were days that made me glad to be alive. I felt humbled by my blessings. I deserve none of them, but God in His mercy, gave them anyway.

As we go into the Thanksgiving holiday, meditate on your blessings. What are they. We can all find something.

What are your blessings? What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 15, 2008


It's been awhile since I posted, so I thought I'd jot a few words. Have I jotted enough yet? ;)

Went to a conference in Orlando yesterday to hear a couple of seasoned men of God. I don't normally do stuff like this, but I wanted to hear their insights on our current state of politics and economics, and how they felt God would unit His Church in America. We seem so divided. 

No longer do we merely debate theological stuff - is tongues for today or not - but about social issues like abortion and homosexuality. It feels to me as if we've watered down holiness. We're thin skinned, wanting the world to like us. We've conformed God into our own image.

These men said many good things. I felt exhorted. And, I spent about an hour and a half in the prayer room by myself. Left me with an Ah and Awe sensation. And, ran into a woman we met in Poughkeepsie at the River Church in '97, Debbie Bryan! Good to see you, Deb.

So what was my take away? Get serious about prayer. I mean dead serious. And know the Word, be in the Word. Don't know about God, but know God! Perilous times are ahead, but we are the Light of the World and need not be afraid.

In the midst of trial, we must lean into Jesus. He will take care of us. We do not have to fear Wrath.

Pray for peace in America and Israel. Pray for President-elect Obama and his family. Pray for wisdom and the fear of the Lord. A lot of counsel is rising up that is not Godly. And not wise.

Pray for our hearts to be open to the love of Jesus!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Eclectic Blog

It's been awhile since I've been eclectic. So, here we go.

Winners of Love Starts With Elle
Thanks to all who entered and responded to me by email. I'll pass on your thanks to Thomas Nelson for their generosity in supplying books.

Have you all heard about Twitter? Check it out. I blogged about it on Faithchick, too. Sign up to be my Twitter friend. If you're on Facebook, updates on Twitter post to your Facebook page. It's fun!

Sunny Day in Cocoa Beach
Hubby and I met my youngest brother in Cocoa Beach. He's down visiting his wife's family in Daytona. We'll see them in a few weeks, but it was so cool to meet my new niece for the first time. She's gorgeous. I held her all through lunch. So sweet.

Also got to hang with an old, dear youth  member and her kids. Love you guys!

And now... 


Friday, November 07, 2008

God in our own image

While reading a writing book, I came across this quote of a quote.

Anne Lamott in Bird By Bird speaking of the writing process and how writers do not create an elegant first draft.

"Not one of them (her writing friends) writes elegant first drafts. All right, one of them does, but we do not like her very much. We do not think she has a rich inner life or that God likes her very much.

"Although, when I mentioned this to my priest friend he said, 'you can safely assume you've created God in your own image when it turns out God hates all the same people you do.'"

The priest has spoken some of the most profound words I've ever heard. How often do we create God in our own image? He believes what we believe, He loves what we love, He excuses sins we excuse.

More and more we are basing our Gospel on what we've experienced or witnessed or felt rather than what is true in God's Word.

"I hate Jane, so God does." Or, "It's okay to hate her."
"I lust, so therefore God doesn't mind my sexual behavior. It's the way I am and He loves everyone, right?"
"I had to cheat or I'd have failed. God doesn't want me to fail."
"I've always believed this way and I know the Bible says different, but this is who I am."

Have you heard those sorts of arguments? I have. Some from my own lips in my short life time. Or similar excuses.

The moment you start redefining God's truth according to YOUR standards, you can safely assume you've created God in your own image. Then He is not God at all.

We think in these modern times we don't have the idols of the Greeks or Egyptians. No? Greed, selfishness, lust, celebrity, pleasure. . . Pretty big idols in this country, in the church.

Isaiah 44:15 - 17 talks about man taking a tree he's planted an using it to warm himself, bake his bread, then fashioned into an idol which he worships crying, "god, deliver me."

Be honest, don't we do much the same? Put our stock in men and things, jobs and money, political and church leaders over God.

What's the big deal about the counsel of men when we ignore the very counsel of God?

Let's strive to form ourselves into God's image, no matter how hard, instead of conforming Him into ours. God with a small "g" cannot save us. A god fashioned by our own imagination, mind and will has no power.

Maybe you are in church every Sunday, leading classes, a part of worship, hosting a home church, but your values are founded on the Word when it's good, your experience when it's convenient.

Let's pledge to be change from His glory to His glory. Not our own.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Fear of the Lord

Final days before the election. I know of many who are praying and fasting. Seek the Lord what you can do.

A lot is in the balance this time.

I've heard many say, "Well, we can't know what God has in mind this election."

No, we can't completely, but we can look at the candidates and compare what the say and do with the Word of God.

We can ask the Lord to give us wisdom.

Two key verses stand out to me on this matter.

Proverbs 28:5 "... those who see the Lord understand all things."

Psalm 111:10 "... the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. A good understanding have all those who do His commands."

We need to return to the fear of the Lord. We need to obey His commands.

This has really snapped me up and reminded me, "fear and revere" God." But to also seek His face. There so many verses about the Lord revealing Himself, giving knowledge and understanding, speaking to His Beloved about His plans.

Don't live your life thinking God is not involved, or speaking, or that you can't know what He's doing in you life and nation. You can.