The Missing Page

Earlier this week I took my momma for a doctor visit, as we were waiting I picked up a Southern Living magazine. The front of the magazine had a picture of a delicious looking pie on the front cover. 

I flipped through the magazine until I found another picture of the same pie with the caption  “Atlantic Beach Pie.” I continued to search for the recipe ingredients. I flipped backwards and forward then low and behold I noticed the page with the recipe had been ripped out of the magazine! 

HOW RUDE! 

I was curious to know what was in an Atlantic Beach pie. It looked delicious. I had a decision to make–I could just give up and be angry because someone had decided to rip the page out and deny me and everyone else who picked up this damaged magazine the opportunity to know the recipe or I could focus on coming up with a positive solution.

I don’t know a single adult who hasn’t at one time or another had a page ripped out of their life. Sometime, somewhere in their life something happened that ripped a piece of their life apart. Many have had it happen more than once. 

Have you ever had a page ripped out of your life? A page you had hoped would provide you with the ingredients of things you thought you needed to have the perfect marriage, family, career, ministry or life?

I have and it can be devastating. It can cause great distress, depression and discouragement. When it happens we feel defeated and we wonder if there is any hope for us. I am thankful I can say—there is hope.

In the first chapter of James verse 5 it says “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” When we aren’t sure what to do or which direction to go in one of the best things we can do is go to God in prayer and ask for wisdom. 

After I got home later that night I went on-line and googled Atlantic Beach pie. I found the recipe ingredients I needed. Just like I searched to find the pie recipe ingredients it is always important when a page has been ripped out of our life to search God’s word. No where else will we find the wisdom, comfort and encouragement that the Holy Spirit brings than when we earnestly seek God through prayer and reading His word,

When you put your hope and  trust in Christ and as you continue to obey and serve Him, you will discover new chapters in your life filled with pages written by God’s hand of love and restoration.

There are many examples in the Bible of people whose lives were restored and transformed inspite of “ripped pages.” 

Joseph sold into slavery by his very own brothers, but restored and blessed by God to become Vizier under Pharoh.Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den to be eaten alive, but spared by God – not a lion harmed him.The woman caught in adultery was to be stoned to death, but Jesus rescued her.

There are so many we could name. The truth is we have a choice after a divorce, a layoff from a job, or an unexpected health crisis– whatever our ripped page may be. We can choose to move forward in faith or to dwell in sorrow and hopelessness. 

Keep seeking wisdom my friends.

Off Balance

Off Balance

Somehow, with everything that is going on in this world the past few days I have found myself “off balance.”  

Have you ever felt that way? As if you just weren’t walking straight anymore. You are still getting up everyday and doing what you are supposed to do, but your legs are weak and you seem to stumble more. This is where I find myself.

I know God is still in control, I am just overcome with sadness with what is happening around me.

So much death and sickness.

So much strife and confusion.

Hate and destruction.

The constant pressure by the world to conform.

I have never lived through anything like what we are going through now and honestly – it is difficult. 

In the mornings I struggle to get up and get going. Am I depressed? Maybe, but this is something more. It’s more of a grieving.

Grieved over the way of life I once knew.  The world, country, church and family life I loved and enjoyed has completely changed. I am grieved because I know in my lifetime, it will never be the same again.

Life is full of changes and believe me I have experienced many of them. Some changes I have gone through with joy and others in great agony. Falling in love then the  adjustments of marriage. The joy of the births of our children then the agony of the teen years and loneliness of empty nest syndrome.

There were many unexpected changes I was sure would crush me forever.  The death of my baby brother, watching my child suffer from a severe illness, being diagnosed with an incurable disease.

Abraham, Noah, Lot, Ruth, Esther, Daniel and many, many others saw their world change forever in their lifetime. Yet, they stayed faithful to God and saw His hand deliver and protect them. I am sure there were probably times of great personal grief for each of them, but they remained faithful and they kept their hope in God.

My hope and your hope must be in Him, not on the world around us. I have to turn off the world, let the grief pass and let the hope of GOD be manifest.

May God’s unfailing love and faithfulness watch over each of us. May we sing His praises forever.

Psalms 61 NLT

“O God, listen to my cry!

    Hear my prayer!

From the ends of the earth,

    I cry to you for help

    when my heart is overwhelmed.

Lead me to the towering rock of safety,

    for you are my safe refuge,

    a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.

Let me live forever in your sanctuary,

    safe beneath the shelter of your wings! Interlude

For you have heard my vows, O God.

    You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name.

Add many years to the life of the king!

    May his years span the generations!

May he reign under God’s protection forever.

    May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him.

Then I will sing praises to your name forever as I fulfill my vows each day.”

May God’s unfailing love and faithfulness watch over each of us. May we sing His praises forever.

Giving Wisely

The truth is – you can’t be giving to everyone.

Some people, not everyone, but some people as the old saying goes “if you give them an inch they will take a mile.”

It makes giving complicated and it shouldn’t.

We should be able to help others out of love believing they receive it with a grateful and thankful heart. Unfortunately, not everyone does. With some, the more you give them, the more they expect from you. Instead of working to do better for themselves they continue to look to others to supply their needs. The sad part is they actually laugh and make fun of the people giving and serving them instead of being grateful and thankful. These people see those who are giving to them as “fools” manipulated by their sad stories and lies.

What would Jesus do?

That my friend is the million dollar question. The truth is Jesus would be able to discern without doubt the truly appreciative receivers from the manipulative users. This is what we should pray for discernment and knowledge. 

No matter who we give to- If we give with a pure heart – God will bless us. But, at the same time we should not encourage deceitfulness and manipulate behavior from anyone.

Search the word and pray over every single thing you do for direction and guidance. 

Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart

    and lean not on your own understanding;

in all your ways submit to him,

    and he will make your paths straight.

Estranged Daughter (ED)

Tomorrow my ED will be 36.

I remember finding out I was pregnant just six months after having her sister.

I was so confused and to be honest depressed. I knew their father was a mess. I knew by now he was not willing or able to take care of a family. I knew without doubt I would be on my own with two babies.

I decided to have an abortion. I thought it would be the financially wise decision. I couldn’t possible support and care for two babies by myself. I only had a high school education.

I called and scheduled the abortion for a Saturday. On the Wednesday before when I got off work I drove by a church I had attended when I was a young girl. I felt really drawn to go inside to the 7pm service. I went in and slipped onto the back row seat.

The pastor whom I had never met was preaching about the love of God, the mercy and goodness of God. That night I literally believed and know I heard God tell me “If you will live for me and trust me, you and your children will never do without.

From that night forward I have lived for God. I did not have an abortion and God provided for me and my children above and beyond financially anything I could have ever imagined.

My ED I have not seen in two years is a gift and a blessing and I have no doubt God will restore this relationship. If you are not a God believer, then skip my post, but if you are a believer then–I have no doubt what God can do!!! Follow to find out what a mighty God HE IS!!!

Pasta Pieces

Earlier I put on some angel hair pasta. My Atlanta grand babies were coming to visit and they love my angel hair pasta and Alfredo sauce.

I had bought the new pot size box of angel hair pasta and I was excited. I turned the water on to boil and when it finally heated up enough to begin boiling I was easily able to put the pasta in the water.

No breaking of the pasta with little pieces flying off into the air— just—dropped the pre-cut pasta into the pot. Perfection!! I left the pasta to cook and became busy attending to the Alfredo sauce and garlic bread.

While I was distracted, suddenly I hear a sizzling sound. Instantly, I knew what it was. My pasta boiling over. Yikes!!! A boiling pot unchecked always makes a mess.Have you ever made a mess? I have.

Unchecked emotions get out of control. I may think I have it under control, but if I am not careful when I hold on to irritations they eventually turn into resentment. I may not mean for it to, but if I don’t deal with it spiritually, it will begin to boil inside of me like that pasta I cooked. It will keep boiling and eventually anger will explode right out of my mouth scorching whoever it touches.

James 1:19 Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.

We all make mistakes, but humility and honesty with ourselves about why we are upset is often the key to management of anger. Casting our burdens on God and trusting and believing He loves us gives us the confidence to be free.

Living Jesus

Today, I saw a deer lying on the side of the road who had been hit by a car and left to die. 

There have been times that I have felt like a deer hit by a car and left for dead. Left to be pecked apart by vulchers. Usually, and unfortunately those vulchers are Christians and close family members.

Have you been there my friend?

We all have. The most earth shaking part is we ourselves have often been THAT Christian and THAT close family member at times. We have spoken words in anger. We have withheld comfort. We have ignored those who needed help. We have choosen our own desires over the will of God.

We see people hurting and struggling, but we don’t have time for them. We are too busy. We go to church and that should be enough. We read our Bible, we say our prayers and that should be enough. We have our own family and business to take care of.  God forbid, He should actually expect us to step out of our comfort zone and help someone else.

Jesus’ ministry was filled with Him touching lives, changing lives, healing and bringing deliverance. If we are Christians then we are to be followers of Christ. Whose life is being changed or delivered by you? Are you living life or making a difference in others lives?

Jesus made a difference in every life He touched.

Oh, to be more like Jesus.

Life Decisions

When I was twenty one years old I was facing the most difficult decision I personally had ever made. While discussing it with someone older and wiser than me and I remember them telling me “One day you will look back and realize this will not be the biggest decision of your life.” They were right, but to this day it is a decision I still remember and often wonder about with regret.

We have all heard the phrase “I wish I knew then, what I know now.” The truth is none of us can see into the future. None of us can one hundred percent plan our future. Sure, we can try our best. We can plot out our course with expert determination, but it does not guarantee we will get the results we want. Love happens, death happens, illnesses, pregnancy, inflation, earthquakes, recessions, accidents — all of these things can cause our plans to change.

Actually, some of the worst things that happened to me and many others brought us to our greatest blessings. How?

Remember Job? The last of his life he was restored everything he lost and gained even more. Why? Because he never cursed God. He remained faithful to God.

What about Joseph? Even though he was treated terribly by his own brothers. Lied about and falsely imprisoned. He never stopped serving God. Through Joseph’s faithfulness he was rewarded and was able to bless even those who had wronged him.

Now let’s think about Peter, I can truly relate to poor Peter. Peter denied Christ and cursed when Christ needed him the most. He could have run away, ashamed to ever show his face again. He could have become and alcoholic and drowned his quilt. No, Peter chooses to seek redemption in Christ and in spite of his failure served Him with boldness.

Each of these men had life decisions to make in the midst of uncertain and trying situations. They made the right decisions by trusting and believing in God NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENED!

Each of us has the same decision to make when life presents difficult situations. Just like Job, Joseph and Peter we too can make the right decision.

Joshua 24

14 “Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerity and in faithfulness. Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

Faithful and True

Tonight I am thankful that the God I serve does not stop loving you because you become old.

He does not stop caring about you because of the size of your bank account.

He does not stop withholding his love because of the color of your skin or your educational background.

My God doesn’t care if you wear the latest fashions or drive a newer car.

My God looks at my heart, He hears me when I talk to Him.

He is not impressed by petty things or boastful numbers and proclamations.

He searches for faith and humility.

He is faithful and true.

Sowing & Reaping

I planted these Zinnias from seed early June. I am finally seeing my first bloom. I also planted some daisies, but have yet to see any possibility of buds. I will, like my Heavenly Father, keep watching and doing everything I can to encourage production.

Sowing and reaping still amazes me!

I am thankful I have come to realize even when we do everything we can sometimes the results are not always a reflection of our effort, but rather a result of circumstances beyond our control.

Enabler

ENABLER

What is an “ENABLER?”

  • a person who encourages or enables negative or self-destructive behavior in another.
    “being an enabler to an addict does more harm than good”

Are you an “ENABLER?”

Here are some characteristics of enablers:

  1. Enablers avoid conflict to keep the peace.
  2. Enablers are in denial about the seriousness of their loved one’s addiction.
  3. Enablers bottle their emotions.
  4. Enablers think the problem will improve, given time.
  5. Enablers lecture, blame and criticize their addicted loved one.
  6. Enablers take on the responsibilities of the addicted.
  7. Enablers repeatedly come to the rescue of the addicted one.
  8. Enablers do whatever it takes to protect their loved one from pain.
  9. Enablers treat the addicted person like a child.
  10. Enablers financially support their loved one, even if that person is a grown adult.
  11. Enablers try to control the dependent person.
  12. Enablers endure. They think this is just a season.
  13. Enablers are always willing to give “just one more chance”, and then another, and another, and so on.
  14. Enablers can join in on the problem activity, even though they know it is harmful to the dependent person.

Is enabling always about substance abuse or addiction? 

 Enabling can describe any situation where you “help” by attempting to hide problems or make them go away.