Friday, December 31, 2010

my answer from God when I called .. .

Patience Pays Off
Mary Southerland
Today's Truth James 1:12 "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." (NIV)
Friend to Friend Patience is not one of my greatest strengths. In fact, I tend to live each day with a schedule in mind, an agenda by which to live that day and several goals I need to meet before the day's end. God does have a sense of humor. I can't tell you how many times my schedule falls apart, the agenda is completely forgotten and I have to move today's goals to tomorrow. I am learning that when God wants to build a certain quality in my life, He puts me in the opposite circumstance. For example, if God wants me to be more patient, He arranges the hours and minutes of my day in ways that demand patience.
What is patience? To be patient is to have the ability to endure, but it doesn't stop there. Patience must also have the capacity to be wronged and not retaliate. In other words, patience is love persevering and love waiting. We are not only to be patient in the way we face difficult situations but in our relationships as well. That just about covers life, doesn't it?
One of the most powerful Bible passages on patience and perseverance is found in the book of James. "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him." Do you want to be blessed? Stand firm in your trial. Do you want to be rewarded? Stand firm in that tough circumstance. Be patient - because patience really does pay off. God promises blessings and rewards to those who persevere and stand firm in hard times. The reason we can stand firm is because God loves us unconditionally and promises to walk with us through every dark moment life will bring. Nothing touches our life that does not pass through God's hand, with His permission.
Remember the Bible story of the man named Job? Job was a faithful servant of God, strong in his faith and unwavering in his obedience to God. Satan didn't like it. In fact, he went to God and asked permission to test Job. I love it! The devil had to go to God like an errand boy in order to get permission to touch His child, Job. Satan was convinced that if Job lost everything God had given him, his health, his family, his possessions, he would curse God and follow Satan. God told the serpent to give it his best shot, convinced that Job would persevere. Satan stripped Job of his health, his possessions, his wealth and his family - everything Job held dear. Job stood firm.
Every trial must come through His love but every trial has a purpose. Every pain has a purpose, every ordeal contains a seed of victory and there is a promise for every problem you and I will ever face. The psalmist writes, "The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy" (Psalm 28:7).
Patience pays off in many ways, but one of the greatest rewards of patience is joy, a deeply-rooted confidence that God is in control. Warren Wiersbe says that "when God permits His children to go through the furnace, He keeps His eye on the clock and His hand on the thermostat!" God will never let us face more than we can handle with His help. Hebrews 12:12 says it so well, "So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs." I have been there, done that and can relate to a weary heart and shaky legs. Can't you?
Patsy Clairmont shares the true story about her son, Jason. When he was seven, she sent him off to school one day. After a little while, there was a knock at the door and when Patsy opened the door, it was Jason. "What are you doing here?" she asked. "I've quit school" he said. "Why have you quit school, Jason?" she demanded. Jason said, "Well, it was too long, it was too hard and it was too boring. And I didn't like a lot of it!" Patsy responded, "Jason, you have just described life. Get back on the bus!" When God sees patience at work in your life, He is pleased by your choice to "get back on the bus" in obedience and in faith.
An evangelist told the story of his friend who, during the depression, lost a job, a fortune, a wife and a home, but he held onto his faith because it was all he had left. One day, he stopped to watch some men building a stone church. One of the workers was chiseling a triangular piece of rock. "What are you going to do with that?" asked the friend. The workman said, "Do you see that little opening way up there near the spire? Well, I'm shaping this down here so that it will fit up there." Tears filled the eyes of the broken man as he walked away. It seemed that God had spoken through the workman to explain the trials of his life. God is using the trials here on earth to refine and purify us. In Colossians 1:11, the apostle Paul writes, "God will strengthen you with his own great power so that you will not give up when troubles come, but you will be patient!"
No matter where you are today, where you have been or what you are facing tomorrow, be patient, knowing your God will strengthen you to stand firm.
Let's Pray Father, please forgive me when I am impatient. Help me to see You at work in the trial and choose to depend on Your strength instead of my own. Help me to see Your purpose and plan but even if I can't understand it all, help me to stand firm in faith. Lord, make me more patient so that others will see You in me.
In Jesus' name,

A prayer written for me .. . by Beth Moore

My Dearest Abba Father,
I’ve lived long enough to know that any 12-month period of time on Planet Earth winds a pathway through thicket and thorns. It’s just too long a period of time not to get hurt or offended. I also know that You have tucked many joys in the oncoming year and I don’t want to miss them because I can’t quit obsessing over what’s hard. You’ve gone to measurable lengths in the last year to show me how the enemy of my soul operates in one specific area: he can’t block You from blessing Your children so he tries to block Your children from enjoying it. I do not want him to cheat me of reaping from anything rich You send my way this year. Even the treasures hidden in darkness. As this year ends and a new one begins, I am so thankful that I have Your Spirit without limit in my life and that, with You, change in a long pattern really is possible. You’ve done it before in my life. Come do it again. I am asking You in particular, Abba Father, to run to my aid in that first moment when an opportunity for offense happens and urge me by Your Holy Spirit to head into a thought-loop that spirals upward rather than downward. Simply put, help me to get over things fast. Honestly, Lord, sometimes I just make life harder than it has to be. Some things that wound me aren’t even about me. Help me to see where I’m jumping into somebody else’s loop and to quit getting hung by my own. I choose joy in resting this petition at Your feet, Lord, and I refuse self-condemnation or fruitless regret. You never would have brought this to the forefront and called for it in prayer if You didn’t have something good in mind. You began this work. Now come and take it to the next level. I’m excited about it, Lord, and see a glimpse of liberty on the horizon. Thank You, Father.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

once upon a time . .

Once upon a time, a little girl was born. She turned 7 today. Today, seven years ago a little one was born. The number 7 means so much -- there are 7 days in a week. God created the world in six days and then he rested on the 7th and some people consider it a lucky number.

Seven years ago my life changed. My 'little' sister had a girl of her own. I got to thinking about when Diandra ( my sister) was seven -- I would of been about 18 .. .wow. By that time, I was in my own world so often that I am sure I did not even notice. Her birthday was in Early August -- the summer and I know that by that summer, when she was born. . I was ready for a baby sister. When Diandra was born, there were no ultra sound photos to let us know it was a girl - I was just used to mom coming home with aa boy. And the night she was born, I slept in my mom and dad's bed and waited for Dad to come home, I heard him turn the light on and he rubbed my shoulder and said, "you have a little sister with red hair" . . and I remember not being able to go to sleep. Finally a girl. As she grew, she was the best little playmate. At 13, she was two and we nicknamed her 'bear' . and had her doing all sorts of funny things.

Anyway, when she was seven -- that is probably when I was away or hardly at home and I really 'lost' track of her from that point on . . until she was in high school and then college. And now -- those 11 years in between us do not seem like more than a day between us. And today, her first one is seven. Lucky seven. Lucky me.

Happy Birthday Addison --
A -- you are adorable. You really are. That hair, that smile, those freckles .. . you are just a dream.
D -- you are a dream. Your attitude causes one to dream, to think, and to love most preciously.
D -- Daddy's girl, you are your father's daughter -
I -- Imagination - you have one, so much fun to be around when you have had your sleep!
S -- smart -- very - -that is why I believe you give your mother such a hard time!!!!
O -- Overboard -- your behavior continues to change and that is one of your best qualities -- is that you keep us all on your toes!
N -- Naughty? NO WAY -- maybe when you were six. . but now you are seven!!!

Happy Birthday to my 'first' little sister and her 'first child' herself . ..God bless you today - Happy Birthday Addison Grace Kuenzi.

I love you - auntie chell

God's Work

I am trying to do my best .. learning how to blog. . and this is only for me. . but -- it is therapy!
Lots has happened, Lots will happen, and I am one blessed, choosen, adopted, and redeemed girl!