Friday, January 29, 2016

Not Always Convenient

I was stressed and tired, not a great combination.  My kitchen pipes have been out of kilter for too long to admit.  The husband and a son were laboring over pipe fittings; the kitchen counters were stacked with dirty dishes.  I obviously was not going to get the dishes done this night since the clock was ticking towards 10 pm.  I decided to go take my shower and curl up in bed with a book.

Checking my facebook page one more time, I found my young friend had messaged me.  She has been part of my life for over five years, intensely part of it for almost two. 

She was responding to the message I had sent her much earlier in the day, assuring her that her day would get better and to share a bit of Jesus with her.   She has rebuffed any spiritual talk for months now.  When I saw her a few days earlier, she uttered words that unsettled me.
We typed a few lines each of dialogue as she was also online.  I was typing the words, “Gotta go to bed, very tired,” when she messaged that God is too far above her and cannot be understood through His Word.  I quickly deleted and replied to her that I am available to study with her one night a week or every two weeks.

Wait! What did I say?  This year is dedicated to being content at home (with my family, my messes, my issues) with part of one day per week dedicated to the volunteer work I love which led me to this girl and her young son.  

And there was the answer:  I was led by God to this girl.   I love her.  Her son is my “borrowed” grandson, given that my grandest children live in California and I am in Tennessee.  God placed her in my path because I need them and they need me.  And no matter how tired, stressed, covered up in messes I am, I have and will continue to “be there” for them until I am no longer able.  

You will seek me and find me when
you seek me with all your heart.
Jeremiah 29: 13

She asked me about relationship with God!!!  It’s a baby step; there probably will be setbacks; my walk with the Almighty has sure been filled with setbacks and mistakes and sin— because that is who we are -- sinners.  God knew that from the beginning; He had the answer and provided the fix.  

So I am waiting for my friend to tell me she is ready to begin to study with me; I want her to encounter Jesus in a life-changing way.  Father God, please help me to do this the right way.  But deep in my heart I know, there is no wrong way to study God’s Word.  If we seek Him, He will be found.  

Linking up with Lori Harris in her One Thing. Right Now. series.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Follow Me

And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.”   
And immediately they left their nets and followed HIM.

Mark 1: 17-19

Bonnie Gray set out a challenge to her readers to find one word in the Bible verse she shares each week which speaks to us.  The verse from yesterday is above.  She has beautiful graphic art in which she shares the words, "come,  follow me.  And immediately they left their nets and followed Him."

The word follow touched my heart in its deep crevices.  I realized that I have been forgetting that simple, yet profound, command too often.   I have planned, dreamed, sweat through tears wanting to minister to others,  I have worried about the outcome long before I began the following.  I also looked to fellow servants for direction instead of to the ONE whom we all follow.

As I read her complete blogpost, several thoughts seeped into my heart, soul, and mind.  I don’t have to understand every angle of where I am going, what I will do, how it will work out, what the dangers are, the pros and the cons; because in faith, I follow Him. I don’t set out on my own; I have a guide, a leader. I do life His way, following Him. How freeing it is to let go of my agenda and to trust Him! 

Daily listening and answering the call to follow Jesus, wherever that command may lead me, is a daunting thought and yet brings peace. 


Peace fills my heart and soul with the comfort of knowing He is my guide, my Shepherd.  I need not fear but only walk in faith with HIM!  

Some other things also spoke strongly to me.   Most of the time I feel alone in my petty peevishness.  I feel like others look down on me or think I am not up to their standards in the ways I choose to serve.  Bonnie shared:  
"And I’ve also been focusing a lot on the critical voices of people in life who do not regard me (or my ideas) as beloved. I’ve been afraid to 'leave' their critical words and just go do my thing.  Because I’m trying to mend the nets — change  their mind — about me or my ideas.

I’ve been working hard to mend myself from my imperfections. And I’m trying to avoid the hurtful imperfections of others. I’m trying to fix and mend things that God doesn’t want me to fix as his Beloved.

Friends, this is not the voice of the Beloved."  
                                                                                                                 ~Bonnie Gray

Two things speak to me in these words.  I worry too much about what others think of me and my ideas.  I spend too much thought, time, and energy desiring to change their minds about me.  She reminded me that I need only rest in His thoughts about me.   How comforting and freeing that reminder is.   I can rest in Jesus as I pursue the path He is leading me on.  I.  Follow.  Him.

The other point I need to always be mindful of is that it is not my job to fix anyone other than myself, not those I minister to, nor those I minister with.  Jesus is the leader and the fixer/redeemer, the ONE we are all called to follow and submit to.   My job is not to lead, worry, try to fix; my job is to follow Him in faith and to invite others to join me on the journey, pointing them toward Jesus as we go.  

And so, I will be pressing on following HIM,

Lisa Ann