Friday, May 6, 2011

Praying for my daughter

Dear Jesus, I pray for my daughter, the one here with brown hair. (Her friend has blonde hair). I pray she will find her center in you, find her strength in you, and not in what the world offers. O God, you have given us a beautiful girl, with a tender heart...protect her. I pray for her today. Love, your kid, Marsha
Posted by Picasa

Monday, January 24, 2011

Red Sea and Dry Ground

Exodus 14 is one of my favorite chapters in the Bible; I like it because it took such faith for the Israelites to trust God, when they were in the Red Sea and the Eqyptians were pursuing them, and God allowed the Egyptians to enter the sea after the walls of water had been held back by God. I always wonder why God didn't kill the Egyptians on the shore. He could have done that - but it wouldn't have taken so much trust in God. Today, I'm wondering why God doesn't sell the house we have been asking him to sell. Why he doesn't sell it immediatly. Why make us wait. Yet, perhaps it's a process of trust for me as well.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The worrier within me

There is an old song from the 1960's called THE WANDERER by Dion. I've included the link here. I like the beat of the song (12 bar blues-base) and changed the words to fit my trembling faith.

Here's the song as I've rewritten it.

Title: "I'm a Worrier"

Here's the chorus: "I'm a worrier, I'm a worrier, I worry round and round and round."

1st verse: "Well I'm the type of gal who likes security, I like to know God is taking care of me. So when I don't see that everything is going to be alright, I get stressed out, freaked out, and uptight."

Chorus: "Oh...I'm a worrier, I'm a worrier, I worry round and round, and round"

2nd verse: "I forget that he promised to provide for me, that he requests I walk by faith, not by what I can see. I forget he gave a gift that set all things right, I forget he says, he's with me in the darkest night."

Chorus: Oh I'm a worrier, I'm a worrier, I worry round and round and round."

Monday, November 1, 2010

Vengeance at the Insult Cafe

I think about vengeance a lot when I've been wronged. And it doesn't have to be a big wrong. It can be something as little as what happened this morning. The lady behind the counter at the "Order up Here" restaurant - was rude to me. Consistently rude the three times she spoke to me. She rolled her eyes when, I asked for a ceramic cup in addition to a paper cup. She looked at me as if I was trying to steal something when I asked for a half a cup of water in the Ceramic Cup. And later, she asked me, in a tone implying I had committed a crime and she was the dectective, if I "enjoyed my tea" - I guess she thought I wanted the hot water, so I could steal tea. (She must have seen me trying to hide the mixing of this awful freeze dried stuff I have to eat before I can eat my salad).

I'm happy to report I did not physically harm this woman. Which I think shows great maturity.

But, I did want to get her back. And I know I run the risk here of appearing petty, completely immature and a bit psychotic...but I did consider briefly - answering her snotty comment of 'Did you enjoy your tea?" with a complete lie, such as "I have cancer, and this is medicine I have to take before I die tomorrow." However, bold faced lies just never work out right - and anyway, she would probably think I didn't look like I have cancer, and if I told her I had cancer, then I'd have to eventually quit coming to this restaurant...and they have great Internet access here and I need this restaurant. So, I told her a little lie - although - as a Christian, I know that's an oxymoron: "little Lie".

I told her it wasn't tea, it was medicine, which is a partial truth...because I'd never drink the stuff it it wasn't for my health. But, it wasn't 'I'm gonna die tomorrow if I don't drink this medicine'. I just wanted her to know she was wrong in thinking I was trying to steal tea. She didn't believe me anyway, she just shook her head and said, "Oh. Uh huh." And her non verbals communicated, "you think I'm going to buy that line? You lying thief!"

So, I wanted to get her back. I became obsessed with getting her back. Even now, several minutes after stewing my brains out about vengeance, I'm still struggling with the desire to hit her with the pain I felt when she hit me with false accusations.

I know Deuteronomy 32:35 says, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."

But, as that verse came to mind, I said back to God..."You've got to be kidding. It's MINE. Or I'd like it to be mine. I'm the one offended here - I'll handle it - I mean I could give her a lecture on the lessons of Customer Service, except I'd probably get thrown out of this restaurant." Then I argued with God for several minutes about things I could do now. How I could let her know she was rude, and I'm a good customer. And I could let her know - blah, blah, blah.

Then I prayed. God you say that Vengeance is yours and when I told you, it's me she offended and not you, that's not true. You said, anyone who offends one of your own is offending you. Help me leave it all with you.

And he did. And Thank God he did. I really need the Internet in that little restaurant.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pleasures in Heaven

For a long time, when I was a much younger Christian - there was one verse that dictated my faith. One verse I knew well. And one verse, that more than any other (except of course, John 3:16) guided my steps. I didn't know a ton of Scripture in those days, but this one verse I could not stop thinking about: Psalm 16:11. (I memorized it in the old King James Version, changing the 'thou' for 'you.' And the 'thy' for 'your')

You will show me the path of life: in your presence is fullness of joy, at your right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

I wanted "the path of Life". I knew it was not the path my parents modeled. They only seemed to be able to walk "the path of heartache'. And they took their children with them. I wanted something quite different. I wanted the path to Joy. I had experienced glimpses of it, when I watched a Sunset, or a starry sky in the middle of the night, or sat under the shade of a large pine tree, with a brisk northwestern wind pushing through the branches. But, it was fleeting - this thing called joy. I wanted it to stay. I didn't understand how to keep 'joy' in my life.

And then I was all about 'pleasure'. The pleasure that came from things on earth like, friends, a baby's smile, or love. I also wanted pleasure forevermore.

So, finding this verse, was a clincher. Here was a 'rider on a white horse' Jesus, who was going to SHOW ME THE PATH OF LIFE - how great would that be. In his presence was FULLNESS of Joy. Not just partial Joy, but the full Monte. And at his right hand was pleasure forevermore.

I was much older when one day I read (Luke 22:69) and discovered that Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of God. And I put it all together, Jesus is sitting at a place where there are pleasures forevermore! I began to long for heaven.

There is a thought going around among nonbelievers that Hell is full of Pleasure - and Heaven is boring. Of course that is a LIE by the travel agent who wants to make your life hell.
In his book THE GREAT DIVORCE, C.S.Lewis describes the solidity of people who live in Heaven and have joy. The are visited from people who come by bus from Hell, and can't seem to grasp the weight of Joy.

The amazing mystery of Jesus, and Heaven, and Joy is that we can have it now, in whatever circumstances and have it then in full. It's a mystery that I'm still figuring out.

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Potion of Waiting

C.S. Lewis was fond of referring to God's wonder in our lives as a kind of 'magic'. "...the whitest magic in the world". (Collected Letters Nov/53)

If we take that vein and say God's work in our lives is 'white magic' then one potion he sets before us, is the potion of Waiting. Yes, plain old waiting.

I've been meditating lately on how God had Biblical Characters drink deeply from the potion of Waiting. I dare say, anyone who did anything 'big' had to wait for what seemed like a horrifically long time. David was anointed King when he was young, and then - horror of horrors, the one he was to replace went about trying to kill him. And he had to run for his life. What God promised: David had to wait for. And Joseph... he knew from a dream, that he would one day be so powerful his family would bow before him, but God had him drink the potion of waiting over and over. While his brothers discussed how they would kill him: he waited. While a hussy had him sent away on a trumped up rape charge - he waited. While someone who promised to remember him, forgot him - he waited. Even though he knew God was going to bless him in a big way, he waited. And waited. And waited again. The potion of waiting is always used to bring some 'white magic' in our lives, that could not be received any other way. In David, Joseph, and even Jesus. Jesus learned obedience through what he suffered. Waiting has it's own suffering. All creation groans as it waits.

You have to know, I hate waiting. I am in a hurry. I want so many things now. Especially good things. Oh God, don't make me wait for good things. I trusted God and waited until I was 35 to marry the 'wonder man' that God provided for me. Then we had to wait and wait until we were 'medically' too old to conceive for God to give us our 'Miracle Mandy'. And I waited to get a book published - until I was 50.

Lately, Tom and I have been waiting for years for another dream to come true. First we prayed for 3 years for a home on an island (and that alone seemed an impossible dream). And then after 3 years, God made a way, and we finally began to build a dream home on the dream Island, in 2007. We moved in and you have never seen someone praise God more or more fervently than I did, everyday for allowing us to live in that home. After 120 days in the home, it became apparent that we had to move out - due to other losses in other funds. So, we did, and now, strangers live in our dream home.

We moved to a much less home in a much less neighborhood, and my job now, is to clean toilets and floors in our dream home after the strangers leave. Sometimes when I'm cleaning some stranger's body hair or body oils off my bed, or their cigar butts off the deck of our dream home, I ask God again, to please make a way for us to move back in. And so far, God says, "have another drink of the bitter potion of waiting, it's good for you. It will make you spiritually whole'. And I obey, and trust, and wait.

Maybe God is asking you to drink the awful potion of waiting today. Maybe it's bitter to you. (Nobody I know likes it). Just remember, you are in good company as this awful suffering transforms and heals you into something more...well...magical. And the resulting magic, is so amazing, it causes the world to look up in wonder."

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When you can't see how things will work out.

Where there is an insurmountable problem, there will always be someone who says, "I just don't see how this is going to work out." And they are right, they don't see. We walk by Faith, not sight.

When Moses had gone to Pharaoh several times, and each time things got worse, someone in Moses family was surely saying, "I just don't see how this is going to work out." But, Moses didn't need them to see. He walked by Faith, not sight.

When Daniel kept his faith, even though it meant disaster, there must have been someone who said, "I just don't see how this is going to work out." Daniel didn't need them to see. He walked by Faith, not sight.

When Esther, trembling, decided to go where no one went uninvited...there was surely someone in her grooming party who said, "I just don't see how this is going to work out." But, Esther, was unmoved by their inablility to see. She walked by Faith, not sight.

And last night in my home, when pressure was high and solutions looked slim...neither my husband or I could see how things were going to work out - but that was of course just the beginning for a miracle, because when we can't see...we remember: We walk by Faith, not Sight.