Sunday, June 24, 2007

My excuse left the building

Karl and I had a great day yesterday. There were obstacles of course, like lying in bed with a heating pad for company and praying I could eventually make it to church.

Through it all, God blessed. We visited a church we used to attend a year ago and enjoyed seeing old friends. They were having a special speaker who sang through his sermon. It was incredible. We were so blessed.

Karl made sure I had plenty of time to rest yesterday afternoon and he also got in some good wrestle time with the kids. I love the sounds of laughter on a Sabbath afternoon and so does my mom. I had a great phone call with both my sister and my mom yesterday and they could hear the laughter and fun and I could almost sense their smiles over the phone.

But last night, we caught the end of a program on tv. It was a sermon presented by David Ring of His Word Alive. Brother David's message was inspiring and stripped us of any excuses we have about getting out and serving the Lord.

I have said enough, I'm not going to try anymore when I was put down because of my age or that I was a woman.

Brother David explained how difficult it is for him to eat, since he has Cerebral Palsy. He explained that his hand shakes that often times there is no food on the fork by the time it gets to his mouth. He asked the audience where he would be if he threw down his fork and said that's it. I give up! Brother David then reminded us that it's not how many times you fall down, but how many times you get up.

Karl and I both sat there in disbelief at first. If this man can endure constant pain from his disease and constant frustration over his limitations and still reach people with the love of God, no matter how many times he falls in the process of trying, then what is our excuse? As Brother David put it in his message, your excuse just left the building.

People may continue to judge me because I'm female and I'm only 35. So be it. When God puts something on my heart, I'll keep serving Him, no matter how many times I have to try again. May God help me.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Sweet 16 and Tiramisu

My husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary this week. It was nice to have all three children with a babysitter while Karl took me out to a carefully chosen Italian restaurant.
After our delicious dinner, the waitress asked if we were interested in dessert. Of course the answer was yes! Our options were Cannoli, Tiramisu and several flavors of Cheesecake. Obviously, the cheesecake was out for me as I'm allergic to cheese. I couldn't remember if Tiramisu had cheese of any kind in it or not, but the waitress told me for sure the Cannoli did.
Our waitress was kind enough to look up the ingredients for the Tiramisu, but she didn't know what mascarpone was. She thought it was some sort of pudding or filling. Since I have avoided cheese for 18 years now (it is much better than enduring days of intense pain and recovery), I'm not that familiar with Italian cheeses either, but that is what Mascarpone is.
I finally decided on the Tiramisu since the waitress believed it had no cheese in it. However, when she brought out Karl's strawberry cheesecake, my Tiramisu was in a bag. The waitress apologized that it was frozen and thinking it was my only cheese free option for a dessert, she gave it to me on the house, saying I could take it home and eat it after it had thawed.
Right then and there, I believed I had been spared intense pain. This morning I did take the time to look up Tiramisu on the internet and discover that indeed, Mascarpone is a cheese not just some custard type filling. I know God used a frozen dessert to spare me unnecessary hours of pain and misery.
I'm glad that over the years, God has been trying to teach me to accept the things that happen in life and look for His blessings. Had I gotten angry about the Tiramisu and demanded the restaurant take immediate actions to somehow thaw my dessert, I would have been miserable.
All things work together for good, even a frozen dessert.

Friday, June 8, 2007


My husband is preaching a sermon this weekend on "More."

The basic premise is that we should be content with what we have, but never satisfied. We should be happy with God's blessings, but want more. Not for our own selfish purposes, but more for the glory and honor of God's kingdom.

It's a challenging sermon, because it helps us to see that we should, like Elisha, want a double portion of God's Holy Spirit so we can accomplish more for Him.

It's also a time for introspection as God may be giving us more to do right now and in a different way than we have ever done before.

God wants to give you more, so you can do more, abundantly more and have life more abundantly.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

What God is asking for: According to a four year old

We have these short kid-oriented devotional readings we read together as a family at the breakfast table. In one of the books we read, we're hearing some exciting adventures of how God protected missionaries in Burma and India during WWII.
The stories are full of amazing miracles and blessings even though they don't seem like it at the time. Who would have known that one car getting stuck in the sand in just the right place would allow the missionaries to get the hub of the wheel on another car repaired by the staff of a local business executive, when no one else in the area was able to do it? Truly amazing stories.
When we got done reading, Greta, my four year old and at times insightful daughter had this statement to make: "I think God is asking for love."

God doesn't force, He asks. He shows what He wants to do for us and bless us, yet He still asks and doesn't demand for love. On top of that, God gives so much more than He asks for.

Perhaps God has been knocking on your heart and asking for love. What is your answer?