Wednesday, February 24, 2010

What's in a Daisy?

He loves me...He loves me not....He loves me....He loves me not! I found myself staring at color photo of a field of daisies. I love daisies. They're my favorite and last summer my husband and I were in Gatlinburg, TN hiking through the Smokies and we ran upon this field of daisies in Cades Cove. It was breathtaking. I was on my hands and knees snapping close-ups, far aways, and upside downs of the petaled wonders. I wanted to remember them.

It seems when I was a child, daisies were everywhere. They bloomed all summer everywhere--along the streets, the highways, in the fields, around barns and houses. The white petals were always a lasting summer treat when everything else had faded. But I've noticed in the last several years, they're becoming a rarety.

As I looked past the photo on the wall and out the window, white powder dripped from the sky...something else that's been a rarity in our area for some time. I had to wonder, where's the simple pleasures of life going? They're fading. Just like the stories about our children that make us laugh.

I recall my best friend Marty telling me about her 5 year old, Wendy. Marty was pregnant and cleaning the bathroom when the the faucet on the tub stuck and she couldn't get the shower turned off. The door bell rang and it was the area minister dropping in for a visit. When Marty told him what was going on, he ran to the bathroom and tried to help shut down the shower.

In the meantime, the phone rang -- figures...only when you're in the middle of disaster. So Marty hears her 5 year old answer the phone.

"Uh huh. Mommy's here. (pause) Uh, huh, you can talk to her but she can't come to the phone right now. (pause) Because she's in the shower with the preacher."

My friend says to this day, she still doesn't know who called but she was sure her 5-year-old started a conspiracy that shook the walls of the church for years to come.

Those are the moments we cherish. The moments we seem to lose touch with as the world continually speeds ahead. Little things like catching a snowflake on your tongue or plucking the petals of a daisy...he loves me, he loves me not.

The older I get the more I hold tight to these moments. The more I cling to the scent of my infant sons as they lay naked against my chest sleeping. The soft feel of their tiny feet and the sweet taste of their pudgy fingers when I kissed them. Ah...those moments.

What's in a daisy. Easy enough. Each petal holds the hope of the Father because on His daisies there are not "loves me not" petals. Regardless of the whir of the passage of time, I'm blessed to have the memories of a quieter time nestled in my heart, caught in a breath of a photo, or through the here today, gone in a few hours bit of snow. Every moment is filled with joy. Believe it or not, the wisdom of age even mellows the bad memories and allows me to reflect on the good instead.

It won't be long. Nope, not long at all, until the daisies are peeking through the ground, lifting their heads in worship to the Creator who designed each petal.

What's in a daisy? The undeserved love of the Father. Free for the picking and as long lasting as the seasons.

Friday, February 12, 2010

There's Glory in That!

I got scared today! I'd transferred the last of the ministry money from the savings to the checking. Still looking at over $1000 of expenses in the next three months... I got scared. I'd prayed with a friend about the provisions needed for the ministry, even asked if I was being sinful in my fear. She reminded me Satan lobs fear in our faces to hide the face of God and we had to forge past. Knees shaking, I headed to the bank the next morning. The checking account said $8.00.


Our ministry savings account had $350. Transfer $300 from savings to checking and then pray God provides, I thought. The clerk, sensing my apprehension, patted my hand, "He'll provide."

Sure He will, I thought to myself.

I headed to the car teary-eyed and asked my husband to stop by the post office to check the ministry mail. I slipped my key into the PO Box and twisted. "God you gotta provide!"

Pulling open the door, a long white envelope lay tilted to one side. I smiled and tore open the envelope. A check for $300 stared back at me. I'd held on to that last $300 in our ministry savings for an emergency. I'd gone to the bank fully intending to add my personal money to the kitty. Instead, I trusted God and moved $300 from savings to checking.

Why was I so surprised that God had provided the exact amount we needed when I had let loose and trusted?

I still don't know where the remaining $1000+ funds will come from, but I'm sure God has already figured it out. I'm certain He tapping His toes, waiting for me to trust Him for provision. If I can trust Him with our finances, I can trust everything thing else.

Including my life.

All too often, God makes me wait. In fact, sometimes He reeks havoc on my ulcer because I'm a sinful worrier. It's how I'm wired.

Eddie and I wrote today's He Said, She Said devotions on John 11:4-6.

"When he heard this, Jesus said, 'This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it.' Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. Yet when he heard that Lazarus was sick, he stayed where he was two more days."

This verse struck Eddie on the illness part...but was all about the glory. It was all about God making me wait, just like Jesus made Mary and Martha wait. He knew the ultimate outcome and He wasn't in a hurry. Ya see, that's monumental to me because I expect an answer before it's too late. I'm a
Mary and Martha. And when I pray and pray and God doesn't show, I'm a little hurt and a lot disappointed. The thing is I'm learning about the glory of God and how to GLORIFY God. It's not about me. It's about Him and how the situation will bring glory and witness to God the Father.

I've always joked that Jesus was a dawdler. And He was. When You're God incarnate, when you have the inside spoof on the plan, then what's another day or two? Nothing! Lazarus died, and then HE DIDN'T. And had Jesus come prior to his death, the impact wouldn't have been near as amazing.

Jesus finally showed, Lazarus was revived, Mary and Martha probably danced a jig, but more than anything else, God was glorified by the wait.

So I sigh. My stomach hurts a little. I sniff and tear up because I'm amazed by the glory and frightened by the wait. Regardless, God knows what He's doing and makes no bones about proving Himself either.

When I turn
ed loose of the tiny savings the ministry had...when I took it out and handed it over to God, literally within minutes He provided. He doubled the money.

When I handed the check over to the teller she asked if I wanted the money in savings (after she squealed "Wickedly cool!!!) and I didn't hesitate.

"No way! You don't save God's money. You spend it where He says." I've since paid down a couple of the ministry bills but there's still more to come. And even though I'm a little scared as I fight this spiritual warfare, you need to know, I've not looked at the on-line banking so I don't know the balance. God will provide. He always, ALWAYS does.

Yep, that pr
ovision story happened to me so it's safe for me to say, "There's glory in that!"

Check out the book. You'll be glad if you do. I encourage you to buy it, read it then leave it on someone's seat. Let them read it. Leave a note in it and tell that reader to read the book then leave it in yet another place for someone else to read. It's not about selling books, it's about spreading God's word. Faith and FINANCES: In God We Trust (A Journey to Financial DEPENDENCE).
It's pretty cool when God takes hold of your money.
Send me your comments and stories of how God has blessed you when you released your finances to Him.

Sunday, February 07, 2010

So God Does Speak...right?

Yesterday I walked the path in the prayer garden at Ridgecrest, NC. I love this place...regardless of the season. I've walked it in the spring rain, the summer heat, the fall foilage and now, I've walked it in winter's blanket.

I stepped over the mound of snowand walked onto the covered bridge. Wow. What I saw was the most amazing thing...I somehow felt like John trying to explain heaven.

The snow blanketed the ground, snuggling tight around the trees and inching close to the creekbed. The water's voice echoed off the wall of white. And I wondered. Does God speak?

A misty rain fell around me and as the water dripped from the fingers of the trees, it was as though God had shed tears for me and frozen them in time. I could see not only the beauty of His tears but the evidence that He longs for me...misses me when I fail to show.

A squirel burrowed into the depths of the powder searching for a nibble and I wondered if God speaks?

Today, I walked the garden with my friend. The snow had frozen and as we walked the it crunched, grabbing at our feet, holding to our every step. And when we sat to pray my questions were answered.

With each phrase my friend spoke, each need he lifted before the Father, the ice that clung to the trees cracked and dropped to the ground. The sound, whispered the voice of God.
"God provide.." and the financial bonds split and slid to the ground.

"God give us discernment and wisdom..." again, a split and ice slipped from the trees splashing into the rush of the stream.

"God lead us. Let us glorify your name, please you in our efforts..." a rain of tiny pellets fell from the tree tops.

"Shhhh," I said. "Listen."

At that moment, I knew God had spoke to us. For with each request He tore away the bonds of fear, the chains of worry and cuffs of concern.
God does speak. In fact, I imagine He screams occassionally. I love to listen for His voice in the demanding forces of the thunder or in the tender whisper of a falling leaf. Each sound I hear reveals an attribute of the Father who loves us more than life itself. I know this because He died for us.

I've learned God never stops speaking rather, I sometimes play life way too loud in my head and it drowns His voice. When I learn to turn down the volume, just like today in the garden ....He speaks clearly.

Shhhh. Listen. Can you hear?