Friday, June 10, 2011


"Life" in a fallen world happened to me big time since I wrote last. I got an infection, went to the Drs office twice, ended up in bed all this week, and didn't get to go to Annual Conference or my castle. :-(
I felt stressed about not being able to go, and then guilty that I didn't spend all my time fighting with the Word. Instead, after a brief prayer and devotional session each day, I watched children's movies on dvd and read cozy mysteries. In my dreams I continued to plan the Narnia retreat and invented a computer program (a joke to anyone who knows my technical ineptness) but it was only while I slept that I was useful in any way.
I apologized to the Lord for not being more proactive in fighting sickness, but He didn't seem to be as upset with me as I was.
He seemed to recognize that I am human.
Human - what a study in contrasts a human is. Even the worst of us have some kindness at times, and even the best of us can be terribly self-centered.
And when you add the New Creation nature from Jesus Christ to the mixed up fallen personality, you really have an interesting specimen.
Those of us who have been born again by His Spirit are being transformed into His image. But it is definitely a process!
I KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that the Word of God drives out sickness and disease. I know that if I keep my eyes on Jesus I am changed into His image - and He was not ever sick until the day He took your sickness and mine into Himself on the cross.
And yet I put aside my Bible and picked up the mystery and the dvd control. Why?
Because it was just easier, that's why. It took no mental or physical energy. I did pray, "Lord You are the healer. I know the end of the story but You'll have to get me from here to there cause I can't. I'm too tired."
"Too tired." He brought those words back to my mind today. And reminded me that sometimes I do "good deeds" beyond what He tells me to do. And then He forced me to question my own motives.
Well, there is nobody else to do them. How do you know if you leap in and don't give somebody else a chance to do them? Well, I made a commitment. And what if you can't fulfill that commitment? Uh, then I would have failed. So?
Then He brought to my mind a scene from years ago. My parents were avid square dancers and they introduced square dancing to the Frankfort Country Club back in the early 1950's. I loved watching them and even got to go to a dance with Daddy once when my mother was too busy working on her Master's Degree.
In the early '90's it was advertised that there would be square dancing lessons here in our community. I asked my husband if we could go and take them.
Gary: No
Me: Why?
Gary: I don't know how to square dance.
Me: That's why we would take lessons.
Gary: But I might make a fool of myself.
Me: So?
Gary: Somebody might laugh at me.
Me: So?
Gary: Then I'd have to shoot them.
We didn't take square dancing and I've always been sorry. Now I don't know if Gary just didn't want to do it or if he really was hindered by pride.
Pride, the original sin - of the devil and of humans.
Someone mentioned humility on FaceBook today. I commented. "Just when we think we have achieved humility, we get proud of ourselves for being humble. Sigh!"
The Lord didn't cause my sickness and infection - they are part of living in a fallen world. But I want to thank Him for using this time to remind me that I am not yet perfected and need to take time to rest and become like a child, trusting Him to bring me to perfection and help me relax during the process.
He reminded me of an incident in 1980. I was at a time of great frustration and ready to quit some things that I knew He called me to do - because I couldn't control several situations. The KJV version of Galatians 2:24 came to my mind "I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Some other versions say "live by faith in the Son of God" but this one said "live by the faith of the Son of God." When I read it, I had a picture come into my mind of myself lying flat on a raft and I couldn't see where I was going but Jesus was right behind me and the breath of His Spirit was blowing my raft to the destination He chose and could see. All I had to do was rest in Him.
May you live by His faith. And don't forget to play.
Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time: casting all your care upon Him, for He careth for you. I Peter 5:6,7

Friday, June 3, 2011

More Adventures in the Kingdom

I mentioned in my last post that I'm planning a workshop on stress management, "Peace! Be Still." And I'm looking forward to sharing what I learned as I earned certification in that subject through the American Association of Christian Counselors. The date and place are still to be determined. I believe this subject affects every person because the biggest cause of stress is....
money or the lack thereof? No. Family relationships? No. Career problems? No? The biggest cause of stress is.....................Life!!! And we all have to deal with that.

I've also got some personal adventures coming up in the next few months - next week I'm going to the Kentucky Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church. And I was thrilled to find that the most reasonably priced hotel listed was the Drawbridge Inn - which looks like a castle. When I traveled for the Commonwealth of KY I stayed there when duties took me to that area. It made me feel like a princess - to stay in a "castle." My oldest daughter Ginny and I went to England for three weeks in 1999 and toured lots of castles. When my wonderful husband picked me up at the airport on my return, he told me that he had reserved a room at the Drawbridge Inn for the night "to make the homecoming from England not such a drastic change."

Then in July I am going to another UM event, the Aldersgate Renewal Ministries Conference in Dayton, Ohio. I'm riding up there with a good friend who is a pastor in Florida who had me come and do a workshop at her church several years ago - in the Florida Keys. I commented at the time "It's tough work but somebody has to do it!" :-)

Shortly after I made those arrangements Ginny called about her first grandson's birthday - my first great-grandchild. So I will be flying out from Dayton to Utah to celebrate with the newest generation in our family!!!

Then the next big adventure, that I know about, will happen on Saturday October 1, 2011 at Faith Fellowship Church here in Danville. It is Voice of Joy's annual women's retreat and this year's theme will be "A Day in Narnia." YAY! Talk about adventures!!! I was in my 20's when I discovered C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia. And by now I have read all seven books at least 12 times each - I lost count somewhere along the way but know several of my favorites have been read 14 or 15 times. Two of my daughters have already agreed to share their insights into at least one of the books that influenced their early years. I can't wait!!! I've already started collecting decorations - things like...but then if I told you and you decide to come, they wouldn't be a surprise!!! In Narnia you don't just feel like a princess, you discover that you are a queen, under the King of Kings of course!!!

I truly hope that all my brothers and sisters in the Kingdom have wonderful adventures like I do, even in the midst of "Life!"

"In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:6

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Life With Jesus

Wow - what a time I've had the past few weeks!!! I'm not even going to apologize for missing two weeks of writing this blog. When you are where Jesus is and has called you to be there with Him, life is exciting.

Friday May 20th I attended Messiah Ministries' Fountain Prayer and Praise service in Lexington which included a Blessing Ceremony for newlyweds David and Linda Moore and then I hosted a reception afterwards with the help of my good friend Jo Clem. On Saturday May 21, I drove to Union College and hosted an informal get-together for the school I graduated from - Appalachian Local Pastor's School. Sunday I preached at church and Monday I packed.

On Tuesday May 24, my husband Gary and I headed out to Georgia to visit a dear friend Tracy Ruckman and her husband Tim. We had a wonderful, blessed afternoon, evening, and Wednesday til after lunch with them. Then we headed to Pigeon Forge, TN where we spent two nights. Gary shopped and I completed my course - by DVD - on Stress Management Coaching through the American Association of Christian Counselors.

Friday we drove on over to Gatlinburg and settled in for four days. Friday night, Saturday, and Sunday we attended the Gaither Family Fest where laughter and worship are continually dancing around the throne of Love. We go every Memorial Day weekend and hope we never have to miss it. But it's not for worship wimps. There is usually a 4 hour service on Friday night, 2 hours Saturday and Sunday mornings, and 3 1/2 hours Saturday and Sunday nights! One minute someone may tell a joke and the next you may be standing with 7,000 other Christians singing the Halleluiah chorus. Shortly after you sit down a Bluegrass group complete with banjos and wash tubs may entertain you, and right after that you might enjoy a powerful offering of Italian opera, followed by being led in Because He Lives by the composers.

I can't say enough about the awesome experience of the Gaither Family Fest. For someone like me who formed the "Fun To Be One Club" back in the '70's, to be in a group that large made up of Baptists, Catholics, Methodists, Episcopalians, Pentecostals, 7th Day Adventists, Lutherans, Independents, Charismatics, and every other 'brand' of Christians you can name, all worshipping the King of Kings together, is pure heaven. Well, yeah, guess it's just like that, huh?

Monday we stayed around Gatlinburg - I slept til 1 p.m. and Gary slept til 3!!! Our first year there for Family Fest we headed home on Memorial Day but since it took 5 1/2 hours of being in bumper to bumper traffic to go the distance that usually takes 30 minutes, we agreed we would never do that again but would wait til Tuesday.

Tuesday we headed home at 11 a.m. but since there are so many wonderful places in that 30 minute drive to Interstate 40, like the Christian Book Discount Warehouse, the Tool Discount Warehouse, a Christmas decoration warehouse, a china and doll outlet - well, we finally reached the interstate around 5. Yes, it took 30 minutes longer than the drive on Memorial Day but we spent most of it having fun! Then of course we had to stop at the Lake City Cracker Barrel for supper. I kept asking Gary, "Do we really have to go home?" But he kept saying, "Yes." So here we are.

Now that I'm here I'm not really sad. I'm looking forward to being back in the pulpit at church. I'm planning a workshop "Peace! Be Still" on stress management - God's way. And I'm working on the Woman's Retreat which will be "A Day in Narnia." How fun is that!?! The speakers this year will be my daughters and me. I'm really excited about it.

Life with Jesus is so wonderful. Oh, yeah, that Monday that we hung around Gatlinburg, we stopped into a gallery and I bought a painting. It is already hanging in my parlor where I have my quiet time and meet with friends for prayer counseling with the Lord. It's a picture of Jesus holding hands and forming a circle with a group of children and they are dancing. He is smiling as are the children and the adults watching them.

When I look at it I see us - you and me and all who love Him. And I think of the song "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will go strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace."

I hope you are enjoying life with Jesus - even if you sometimes have to sleep 12 to 14 hours after the dance!

"Lord, show me the path of life; In Your Presence is fullness of Joy." Psalm 16:11