Thursday, May 30, 2013

How to Have More Patience

My son forgot about the project that is due tomorrow for his science class. My daughter volunteered to make cookies for the class party tomorrow and forgot to tell me. My husband just invited guests for dinner, and it’s 4:30. The sales reps at work all decided to wait and turn in their paperwork on the last day of the month. I have deadlines to meet. I’m running behind. Someone decided to have a wreck on the highway, and now I’m going to be late to work. Every other row on the plane has a crying baby, and this is a three hour flight. I’m sure you can think of more.
I always say, “Don’t pray for patience.” In order to have patience, you have to need patience. I would prefer not to pray for things that cause me to need patience.
Scripture says patience is a fruit of the spirit. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness” (Galatians 5:22 ESV).
Fruit is produced by fruit trees or vines. Apples come from apple trees, peaches from peach trees, figs from fig trees, and so on. But if the tree isn’t healthy, it won’t produce fruit.
If patience is a fruit of the Spirit, how do I get it? I guess I need the Spirit in me. As Christians, we have the Holy Spirit in us, but we won’t yield the fruit of patience if we aren’t spiritually healthy.
Being spiritually healthy starts with the basics of eating right which means daily doses from God’s Word. What we are putting in our hearts and minds is what will come out of our mouths and in our actions.
So seek after patience by seeking a spiritually healthy lifestyle producing the fruit of the spirit. Or, you could just pray for it.
What do you think?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The Swiss Army Wife

                Have you ever seen a Swiss Army knife? It can do almost anything. In addition to a knife blade, it also usually has scissors, screwdriver, can opener, tweezers, toothpick, corkscrew, bottle opener, and nail file among others tools depending on which one you get.
                One of my husband’s greatest compliments not long after we were married was to call me his Swiss Army wife. Whatever he needed, I had it. He was amazed at what could be found in my purse or, if not tangible, in my memory. I strive to be whatever he needs.
                What does any of this have to do with a blog about filling our spiritual jewelry box? A lot. The correlation is that God has given us a Swiss Army life manual by way of the Bible. In it is everything we need for any situation in life. There is only one model, and it contains every tool possible. With our Swiss Army life instruction manual, we are equipped for every good work. We can have a jewel bedecked Swiss Army Life that is the sensation of fashion.

“All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Name Dropping

                This is a picture of me and my non-fiction practicum teacher at the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference this week.  Dr. Joseph Bentz is a professor of English at Azusa Pacific University and has written several books. I was blessed to be in his class.
                As this conference came to an end, I was thrilled to have also met with Eddie Jones from Christian Devotions Ministries/Lighthouse of the Carolinas Publishing, Blythe Daniel from The Blythe Daniel Literary Agency, Kim Moore from Harvest House Publishers, Vonda Skelton from Christian Communicators Conferences, and Todd Starnes from Fox News and Commentary.
                While I’m name dropping, let me say that the most thrilling encounter I had was the time spent meeting with God. His name is the name above all names and the most important name I met with this week. This conference was filled with His presence throughout our time in worship and fellowship together.
                While I may or may not again meet the great writers, agents, and publishers that I met with this week, I can continue to meet God daily.
“O God, You are my God; Early I will seek You; My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You In a dry and thirsty land Where there is no water” (Psalm 63:1).

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Help My Unbelief

In Luke, an angel appeared to Zacharias. The angel told him that his prayer had been heard and his wife would have a son. Zacharias and his wife were advanced in age, but he knew the Old Testament. He knew how Abraham and Sarah had a child in their advanced years, and he also knew all the other miracles God performed.
This message was an answer to his prayers, but instead of exclaiming, “Yes! Thank you, Lord”, Zacharias asked for a sign. Really? I would hope if an angel appeared to tell me God was going to grant something I had requested that would be enough of a sign. But Zacharias was not convinced.
This caused me to wonder. Do we really expect God to answer our prayers? When He does, instead of “I can’t believe it” our response should be “thank you, Lord”. If we are honest, we may not really expect God to answer. Many times we say we want God’s will, even if it’s different than what we are praying for, just to give God an out in case He doesn’t answer the way we want in the timing we want.
I challenge you to believe when you pray and to expect an answer to your prayers. Look for those answers with expectation and anticipation. Ask for a clear no if the answer is no. It could be the answer is wait, but I believe many times wait is also our excuse for not really believing God will answer.
Join me in praying as the man in Mark 9:24, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Top 10 Memories as a Mom

It’s tough to pick favorite mom memories. The ones I pick today might be different than the ones I would pick tomorrow. But here is what I came up with so far.

My favorite mom memories:
1.       Rocking my children when they were babies.
2.       Christmas mornings every year.
3.       Sewing costumes for my children.
4.       Field days in elementary school.
5.       Soccer games. They were always freezing cold or burning hot, nothing in-between.
6.       Watching my husband and daughter dance together at half time at the Friday night football game.
7.       College graduations (one last December and one this week).
8.       Hugs from my children as adults.
9.       Grandchildren.
10.   Watching my daughter turn out to be the best mom in the world and looking forward (many years in the future) to watching my boys become great dads.

These memories were all made possible by the great mom that I have. Happy Mother’s Day to my mom, my daughter, and to all you other moms. It is truly a blessing and a privilege to be a mom.
This is a picture of my two favorite moms.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

The Hokey Pokey

Do you remember this song?
You put your right hand in. You put your right hand out.
You put you right hand in, and you shake it all about.
You do the hokey pokey, and you turn yourself around.
That’s what it’s all about.
Sometimes this is how we live life. We put our eight hours in and put our eight hours out. We put our eight hours in, and shake it all about. The weekend is our hokey pokey to turn ourselves around, and that’s all it’s ever about. Next week, repeat.
                As Christians there is another verse to this song in our lives. We should pour God’s Word in and then pour God’s Word out to others. We should pour God’s Word in and praise the Lord and shout. We should do the spiritual hokey pokey and turn the world around, because that’s what it’s truly all about.
                Have you poured out to others lately? Remember the hokey pokey, and shake up someone’s world with God's Word because that’s what it’s all about.