Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Drowning in His Grace

The sandy beach was inviting but so was the cool water and the breaking of the waves on the hot summer day. We could play with sand castles and fiddler crabs, lay basking under the rays of the hot sun burning our tanned bodies, or float out to the rocking of the rolling water. My brother and I chose to hang onto the inflatable raft and relax in the ocean. In and out the waves came and played racing games with us.

We closed our  eyes too long so that when we opened them again the shoreline had disappeared from our sight. Panic kicked and we began to kick frantically. Unaware that rescue was on its way, fear filled us. Panic and desperation came with a tremendous amount of anxiety. The undertow fought against us, first unknowingly and then with realization. We were warned to not go out too far. Neither of us saw the danger until it was too late. The life guard
came to us before we ever saw the beach and we just knew trouble was waiting ahead of us. Mom and dad would soon display their anger and we would be beached for sure.

Isn't sin like that? It creeps up on us. First we aren't aware that Satan is teasing us with temptation. Then we creep slowly to get a feel of what looks inviting. Sometimes, even when we are aware of giving in, we don't see how far the “undertow” or pull is until we are in danger. Satan may wake you up and laugh in your face while you are drowning in that whirlpool of sin. He claims victory as you go further and further under.

Prayerfully, through salvation, having Jesus as your life saver, and the Holy Spirit as your lifeguard, God will bring you back to the shore. When God leads you out of rough waters, He isn't waiting at the edge of the water, hands on His hip, foot tapping and eyes
glaring at you to display anger. He is  there to give you a helping hand,open arms, a caring heart and a life of rescue and renewal.

2 Samuel 22:17
He reached down from on high and took hold of me: He drew me out of deep waters.

We can “swim” and fight in our own strength finding no rescue in our own power or we can choose to reach out and take grab the nailed scarred hand of the life Savior. God is always on lifeguard duty. He never changes shifts and keeps His watch.

Psalm 121:7-8
The Lord will keep you from all harm—He will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for helping me out of troubles. Help me to be aware of your direction and strength. When I feel the weight of the worlds undertow, please bring me back to You. And Lord, when I feel as if I am going under, let me drown in your grace.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

It Started with a Smile. It Started With Him.

"Hey, how ya doing Mary?"
'Hey, I'm doing real good. How are you?".
"What are you all smiley about? You always have that smile." She came back returning a smile of her own.

I pushed my grocery cart past the stand of apples and right there in front of the grapes and everything I went up to her and just said, "It's a God thing." Happy expressions grew bigger. With raised eye brows she invited  more explanation.
My face painted itself a blushing pink as the thrill of telling my story grew inside of me.

"I am so excited about what God has done in my life lately. Just a lot of healing going on." With her wide eyes asked for more. "In November, after being married for 30 years, I finally told my husband that of abuses I experienced a child and now I am able to share about what God has done through all of this."
She placed her hand on her chest and with a deep sigh and a purposeful grin she said, "You never know, (paused) you never really know who has been through this and who needs to hear your faith."

" Oh, you are right, but sometimes ya just do."She gave me a wink and told me a small explanation of her own abuse. I felt her joy  as she awed of the love and rescue of God in her life. We shared of overcoming of the same issues and both of us boiled over in praises to God.

We talked about educating people about child sexual abuse. But even more so we shared victory stories of how gracious and caring our Heavenly Father is.  "Woo Hoo God is so GOOD !" You would have thought we were cheer leaders right there among the grapes and tomatoes. Both of us desire to be the ministering disciples God instructs us to be. And we were doing just that.

Mark 16:15
New International Version (NIV)
15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.
As were were parting I loved hearing her say,
 "Ooh how I loved having church here."
Yes. Right there beside the onions, peppers, bananas and celery, we had church. The Holy Spirit conversed in our hearts and Joy was present.

Matthew 18:20
New International Version (NIV)
For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."

It started with a smile. It started with Him. 

Heavenly Father, no matter what door I enter, please enter first. Let me be aware that I am opening the door for you. Help me to display Your love and mercy. And Lord, please help me to be gentle and bold as I present myself as a witness of Your greatness. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen
Thought: Do they see Jesus in me?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"My Dog Tale " By Guest: Barbara Jenkins Hutchins

Welcome to the words of Barbara Jenkins Hutchins who graciously allowed me to share her story in my blog today.  Thank You Barbara for sharing your "Dog Tale".

Barbara's favorite Bible verse
Jeremiah 29:11
Barbara Jenkins Hutchins:
God gave me another tale to tell, so hang on. You really have to know me to know how hilarious it is that God would use my dog to "speak" to me and teach me something about Himself. Let me elaborate just a snitch. I'm kind of anti-dog! Yes REALLY! I don't hate my dog but honestly there isn't a lot of love there either. I mean, I feed him and water him and give him an occasional pat, but that's about it. I just don't get the whole "I love my dog like he is my child" mentality. Don't be hatin'. God made me this way. (and don't even get me started on the "letting them lick you in the mouth thing" Yuck!) So, anyways, on with my life lesson. I went for my aerobo-walk this morning and my dog wasn't home so I couldn't chain him up before leaving. (I have to do that so his dumb self won't run out in front of passing cars) I hadn't walked very far until he saw me and he came running! I tried my best to get him to go home. I talked with him, spanked him "gently" and scolded him to no avail. So, off we went! He is very funny. He is not a protector kind of dog. He is afraid of every dog in the neighborhood. When we walk by a dog, even if it is chained he gets very close to me, tripping me many times, and whines like a little baby! Man does it get on my last nerve! Once, another dog jumped on him and I had
to beat them apart so they wouldn't hurt each other. (see, I kinda like him)

This morning, as we were walking and Smokey continually whined and kept running in front of me, God showed me something. (I'm sure He was in heaven slapping His knee and yelling "hey y'all watch this"). He said to me, "you don't even much like your dog, yet you are willing to put yourself in harms way to protect him when he is attacked. You care enough to chain him so he want get run over, and you discipline him for his own good. How much more do you think that I, Your Heavenly Father, loves you. I am the one who knit you together in your mother's womb. I keep your tears in a bottle and know the number of hair on your head. You expect Me to protect you "from" certain things, instead I protect you "through" them to build your strength, faith and compassion and reliance on Me. You need to be more like Smokey (my dog). Stay close to Me, love on Me, walk with Me, seek My attention, come to Me willingly and often. Keep your focus on me. I will protect you and keep you safe and build you up. I will Father you and keep you safe from all harm. I will give you the abundant life you seek. I will use you to build my kingdom. Stay close to Me!"

Needless to say, I was very emotional on my walk today and even enjoyed the presence of my dog!




Saturday, October 5, 2013

Thanks to C.J.


I have got to have one of bestest grandsons in the entire world. This little boy would steal the heart of anyone. My daughter told me of his ten commandments theory while they were out to dinner.

 C.J. said,  "If you take a bite of mine I get to take a bite of yours, it's one of the ten commandments. "

How precious is that?

       While driving my son and grandson home from karate last night I recalled that conversation and
took full advantage of the moment.
"Boys, Tell me what you know about the ten commandments."
C.J.proudly rang out what he knew. Only it wasn't the ten commandments it was his Message of the Week Words from his Karate class,

" Respect"

I realize that these aren't the ten commandments but I got it. I got how a 6 year old boy would assume such words were from God. I smiled as we continued our talk. We drove down the road with a smile on my face knowing that words spoken can leave a positive taste in your mouth and a grin in your heart.

I took this as a lesson straight from God.

Philippians 4:8 NIV Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

This weekend, as you feed into the lives of others, remember the words you speak, the ideas you have and the attitude you share do nourish the lives of others.

Thank  You , C.J., for teaching Granny a great lesson. I love you.