Take It To the Throne

 

phone notificationRecently I got a text message about a difficult issue concerning someone close to me.  Their situation was critical, and there was nothing any person could do to fix it.  I found myself so anxious and uptight. In tears, I expressed my concerns to my husband.  Right then he took me by the hands and stopped to pray.

Immediately, I felt the Lord’s peace come over my heart.

Gone were the anxious thoughts,

the worry

and the twisting of stomach and emotions.

With shame I asked the Lord to forgive me for not stopping myself from worrying and taking time to pray.

Why is it easier for us to go on with our fretting, rather than running to God’s Throne to find mercy and grace to help in our time of need?  Hebrews 4:16 I knew I was helpless to change the situation, yet I went about my tasks with my furrowed brow and fearful thoughts.

Even though the situation we prayed about wasn’t helped immediately, I was!  God’s peace flooded my heart as my husband took us to the Only place where help could be found!

I also knew I needed to help the sender of the text.  I called and said,

“I need to help you by taking your hand, too, and going to God’s Throne right now.  Can we pray together?”

If you’re anxious about ANYTHING today, can I remind you of what you probably already know?  You need to stop letting it weigh you down and simply go to God’s Throne in prayer and leave that burden with Him.  And if you know someone who is worried, or in a difficulty or a hopeless situation (your spouse, a friend, a child), do what my husband did for me and grab their hand and take them with you to the Throne of God.  What peace you will both find there!

Is there a burden you need to stop and pray about?  Is there someone who needs you to stop and pray with them?  

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Praise More!

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Recently while my husband was out running, he received a phone call that he had to take.  Slowing his pace to a walk, he hit the “answer” button, then proceeded to explain to the caller the reason for his hard breathing.  The caller said, “I knew you were running the second you answered; I heard it in your breath!”

As he relayed that story to me, I wondered, “what do people hear when I speak?”

Psalm 150:6 says,

“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!”

When I pick up the phone and talk to my husband, does he hear praise to the Lord coming from my lips?

When I talk to my children, are they hearing praise?

What does the cashier,

the waitress, or

my neighbor hear when I speak?

Is my breath consistently praising the Lord?

No, not always.  Sometimes those I speak to hear criticism, worry, fear or complaint instead.  I was convicted.

The God Who created you and me gives us every breath we breathe.  Why do we not use that breath to praise Him? I’ve come to this conclusion –

I need to praise more and criticize less.
I must bless the Lord more and complain less.
I have to praise more and worry less.

How would you fill in this blank?

I need to praise more and _______________ less.

Now, turn that phrase into a prayer.

“Lord, thank you for every breath you give me.  Help me to praise you more and _______ less!”

What could you praise the Lord for today?

With praise to my God,
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Stop Focusing On the Lizards

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I hate snakes.  I hate them so much that I hate anything that looks like a snake, acts like a snake or moves like one – that would include worms!  I hate anything that is related to a snake – any reptile, like lizards.  Guess what beaches and warm weather attract?  You guessed it – lizards – the snakes even uglier cousin!

Last week while at the pool area on the first day, my chair was right next to the edge of the concrete.  On the other side of the concrete/fenced area were tall grasses and sand and…lizards!  I saw them zooming here and there, always in a hurry.  (I’m sure they were scurrying to scare other vacationers!)  I was okay with them being on that side of the fence, but when I saw one come under the fence and run over to the rocks in front of me, I thought I would die!!!  Those rocks were where I had to set my feet to get out of my chair!  Ahhhh!  My skin was crawling and I was squirming, filled with fear. I failed to mention that I was also squealing, but if you know me at all, you would have assumed that!

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In the meantime, my husband is happy as a clam in his chair.  He was watching the parisailers flying above the ocean, commenting about the beauty of the day.

Parisailers?  Where?  

What beauty?  

ALL I SEE ARE LIZARDS!!!

It was then that I realized I had to get a handle on this.  Here I was looking into the grasses waiting for a lizard (who, I’m assuming, would be more afraid of me…and he should be!)!  I decided then and there that I was going to stop looking for the lizards and keep my eyes upward.  I could slip my sandals on and avoid stepping on a lizard, should he be dumb enough to sun himself on a rock near me!

Guess what?  I never saw another one all week!  I know it’s not because they all left the beach, but my focus was turned from them.

Isn’t it so easy to get our focus on our worries and forget to look up and trust our heavenly Father?  We miss all He is doing.  We miss out on the beauty He was created around us.  We miss out on telling our family about God’s goodness – all because we’re focused on our “lizards.”  It’s what we talk about, dream about and look at.

What “lizards” do you have in your life?  Are you worried about a person?  A situation?  A need?  A health issue?  It’s important and even urgent that you stop worrying and start putting your eyes on the Lord.  Why?  Because

Focusing on Christ instead of the anxiety at hand
has the capability to change
your situation,
your attitude and your influence!

  • Your situation – God is omnipotent.  You cannot change the situation, but He is able to do so!  Have faith and trust Him to do what only He can do!
  • Your attitude – When you focus on Christ, He replaces your paralysis with peace, your jitters with joy and your moaning with mirth!
  • Your influence –  People enjoy being with someone who trusts instead of tremors!  Who wants to be with someone who’s always screaming about their “lizards?!”  What worrier do you long to be with so they can go on and on about their woes?  I’m sure my husband was glad when I let the lizards go and started enjoying the fun he was having. We will only have a powerful influence in others’ lives if we are triumphing over worry!

God is bigger than our “lizards,” so enjoy your day!

Lovingly,

 

 

Step Back

…continued from Tuesday

Yesterday as my husband and I were returning home from our morning walk, I saw a couple pieces of trash in our front yard.  I crossed down into the driveway and over into the lawn to retrieve the fast food cup and what I thought was a piece of paper.  I gingerly picked up the trash and was headed to the trash can when my husband said, “Let me see that.”  Taking a closer look he said, “This is the empty package for synthetic drugs!” I would have never picked it up, had I known what it was! I had just recently learned that synthetic drugs are legal at this time, and they give the “buzz” that the real drugs give.    Sadly, it was called Mary’s Joy. It’s sad that people think a drug can give them joy.  I stared at it in disbelief.  How ironic that this synthetic drug had such a name!

My mind went to Mary in Luke 10 – the Mary from Bethany who had welcomed Jesus into her living room, but more importantly into her heart.  She had joy – real joy at Jesus’ feet as she worshipped Him and listened to Him teach on that day.   There is nothing synthetic about joy that Jesus Christ gives when we worship Him!  It is true, lasting and deep joy that the world cannot manufacture, nor can they take it away! 

The next step to being cured from worry and anxiety is making sure that our lives line up each day with what Christ wants us to do.  Therefore, we must take a step back.  We step back so we can get a better perspective.  We step back and ask :

  • Lord do I have the load in my wagon You want in there? In other words, am I doing only what you want me to do today?
  • Have I added a load that You didn’t intend for me to carry?
  • Am I carrying others’ loads? Johanna Weaver says, “Nothing is harder to bear than a burden we’re not called to carry.” Sometimes we get tired because we’re carrying things the Lord never intended for us to carry. 

If we’ve picked up someone else’s load, we need to put it down.   Also, if we see that the Lord has given us a load and we’ve neglected it, it’s time to obey and carry it.  Nothing is emptier than a life that doesn’t serve.  Because the Lord has done so much for us, we should want to serve Him!  We must be faithful and not set that ministry down for someone else to have to come along and pick up because of our negligence.  Johanna Weaver says, “20% of the church does 80% of the work.”  That wouldn’t happen if we each asked the Lord what He wants us to do and then did it!

We also need to ask:

  • Am I carrying my load in the correct order?  Too often we get things misplaced.  Instead of putting our worship of Christ first in our day, we run hither and yon, doing this and that, carrying boulders we weren’t supposed to carry yet.  Then at the end of the day we’re too exhausted to sit at Jesus’ feet.  If we would have put in worship in our day first, all our other steps would be directed by His hand.  All along the day we need to ask:  Lord, do you want me to do this now?  He will show you and He will order your day in such a way that you will not be worried or upset, like Martha was!

After asking all these good questions, we then need to adjust.  Reorder your priorities.  Remove what shouldn’t be in your life and add those things that should be, as the Lord has directed you.  You know what the result will be?  You’ll be cured!  Your anxieties will be lifted.  If an interruption comes in your day, you’ll see that it was ordered by the Lord.  There’s peace there, my friend!  The Lord Himself will help you carry the load He has given you.  His yoke is easy and His burden is light!

What truths have pricked your heart?  Are you doing a good thing that isn’t what God has called you to do?  Are you doing things instead of spending time at His feet first?  Is your load out of order?  Stop and confess this to the Lord now and feel the burden lift!

With love, 

Take a Look Up!

Polio is a disease that left many people crippled due to the virus entering their central nervous system and infecting and destroying motor neurons.  It led to muscle weakness and paralysis usually in the legs.  How wonderful when two vaccines were created that have nearly wiped out polio!  This cure has reduced worldwide incidences from an estimated 350,0000 cases in 1988 to 1,652 cases in 2007!  In these vaccines, a cure has been found!

Many Christians have a disease too!  It is a disease of worry and care – like that of Martha in Luke 10.  Jesus diagnosed her problem when she complained that her sister had left her alone to serve.  But He didn’t leave her in her sickened state- He offered her a cure…”do this one thing.”  The “one thing” was to worship Christ.  He invited her to sit at His feet.  When you and I do that, we take time for a cure from our worries, too.  To be cured, then, we must stop and

  1. Take a look up.

This will require that we remove our hands from what busies us – our work, our computer, our crafts, our texting, the path on which we were headed.  Stop and look up.  Stare into Christ’s face.  This is far more than a quick glance.  This is more than reading a little devotional thought we get each day on our iPhone.  This is worship. Mary was sitting at Jesus feet, therefore she had to look up as He taught, and as she worshipped Him. This is taking time to adore and reverence Christ.

However, the distractions that hinder us are many:

  • busyness
  • our surroundings
  • lack of heart
  • stray thoughts
  • feeling of being out of our comfort zone…Worship?  Really?

But there are cures for the distractions:

  • Find a place that’s perfect for you – Martha had to exchange the kitchen for the living room.  If you need to have your time of worship in another room so you won’t be distracted, do it! 
  • Play some quiet instrumental music (only if this will help you focus!)
  • Have good lighting for reading
  • Don’t be near a place where your work will call for your attention
  • Get a basket to hold all the needed items –
    • Bible
    • Study book
    • Journal
    • Pen
    • Highlighter
    • Kleenex
    • Note cards
  • Pray and tell the Lord you’re struggling – He already knows!
  • Keep a note pad nearby to write down your stray thoughts – “Pick up cleaning today!”
  • Set the alarm 15-30 minutes earlier so you can meet with God before the family interrupts you
    • Begin with prayer, asking God to speak to you
    • Read God’s Word in a systematic way – not randomly
    • Journal what God says as you read
    • Sit and listen.  Wait!

God doesn’t reveal Himself to the casual seeker.  Psalm 27:8 When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

Your greatest influence is your walk with God.  It’s not what you do or how much you do! Your work will have no value if it’s not Spirit filled or Spirit led.   This first part of the cure will help your worries, because the load is now given to the Lord during your time of worship!

to be continued…

With love,


P.S. I had an error on my lasagna recipe yesterday…don’t use 2 noodles!  Nine are needed.  Sorry!