Feb 29, 2012

Jesus, King of Angels

This is a song by Fernando Ortega.
I feel like I should pray this every night before bed:

Jesus, King of angels, Heaven's Light
Shine your face upon this house tonight.
Let no evil come into my dreams...
Light of Heaven, keep me in your peace.

Remind me how you made dark spirits flee
And spoke your power to a raging sea
And spoke your mercy to a sinful man...
Remind me, Jesus, this is what I am.

With all my heart, I love you, Sovereign Lord
Tomorrow let me love you even more
And rise to speak the goodness of your name
Until I close my eyes and sleep again.

The universe is vast beyond the stars
But you are mindful when the sparrow falls
And mindful of the anxious thoughts that
find me, surround me and bind me...

Jesus, King of angels, Heaven's Light
Hold my hand and keep me through this night.

Feb 25, 2012

We Love You...Please Don't Kill Us

I hate to clean out the chicken coop.

Hate it, hate it, hate it!

I put it off until I'm absolutely ashamed
at the state of it!

Think of this:
Mounds and mounds of poop...
slightly wet...
and slightly warm...
so it gives off a disgusting smell!

Normally when I go in there
to feed and water them,
they're like...
...and they fly all over the place acting like
their life is in jeopardy!

OK, girls, really?
I come in every day to feed and water you...
rain or snow...hot or cold.
I drive all over Heaven's half acre
to get the kind of food you are partial to.
Don't you think I would just let you starve
if I was out to kill you?
Do you actually think I would bloody my hands?
It's bad enough I have to clean up your poop!

Sorry, don't know why I am talking to chickens
who have no idea what I am saying...
...and can't read...

Anyway, the reason I mention this is...
When I go out to clean their coop
even though the door is open for their escape
they are all over me...
pecking at my feet,
flying over me, trying to poop on my head...
pecking at my pants so I'll pick them up...
Jumping up on the roost so they can look at me close up.
It's like they adore me and can't get enough of me.
What's up with this?!
What happened to the "PLEASE DON'T KILL US CHICKENS?"


Feb 19, 2012

Hope Springs Eternal...Or Does It?

I'm doing this blog in a little different format than I usually use, cause I have a lot to say. If you suffer depression, you need to read this. I have struggled with it for 9 years...so that I might learn things from God, and maybe...so I can help someone else.
"Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God." II Cor. 1:4

You know that saying? "Hope Springs Eternal!" It sounds so nice...and...hopeful. And it's true!

But sometimes...you lose hope. You search for it...you beg God for it...you cry out to it... but it's not there. And when there is no hope, even the smallest burden will lay you flat, unable to go on.
"Where there is no vision, the people perish: ..." Prov. 29:18

First, lets understand that depression is not feeling bad cause something is wrong, or someone died, or things aren't going your way. You can't make me laugh and then think I'm better...and think the depression is gone. It's not about that. It's about having no hope. Nothing to look to, fearful that everything is going to fall apart. It's indescribable. You can't explain it to anyone. You can't explain it to yourself. It makes no sense...yet it's there all the same. And that's what really upsets you...you know you have no reason to feel this way. In your  mind, you know you have so much to be thankful for...you know things aren't as bad as they seem...but in your heart there's a dark cloud hanging, threatening forever rain.

I've always been an 'up' person. No matter what is going on, I can make myself feel better and get over things. At least, I used to be that person. Then a few years ago, many things were going on in my life, big things. I couldn't keep up...I couldn't make myself feel better about the things going on because there were too many. I was losing ground fast...and couldn't do anything about it.

These were my favorite verses:

"Give ear to my prayer, O God; and hide not thyself from my supplication.
Attend unto me, and hear me: I mourn in my complaint, and make a noise; 
Because of the voice of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked; for they cast iniquity upon me, and in wrath they hate me.
My heart is sore pained within me : and the terrors of death are fallen upon me.
Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me, and horror hath overwhelmed me.
And I said, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest.
Lo, then would I wander far off, and remain in the wilderness. Selah.
 I would hasten my escape from the windy storm and tempest."

I honestly would think, "If I had a million dollars I would get on a plane and go anywhere." I knew I would never do that...cause I love my family and would not want to be away from them, but I just wanted to get away from my life...from myself...and from my faithless heart.

I knew only Jesus could heal me...but I didn't know how. I had prayed everything I could think of. Sometimes I couldn't even formulate any words other than..."Jesus, please help me."

"Sometimes I call out your name,
But I cannot find you.
I look for your face
But you are not there.
By my sorrows, Lord,
Lift me to you,
Lift me up to your side."

"Lord of etenity,
Father of mercy.
Look on my fainting soul.
Keeper of all the stars,
Friend of the poorest heart,
Touch me and make me whole."

That's a song by Fernando Ortega. It spoke the words I couldn't. I felt like I was searching...never finding Him. He who had been my best friend...I could no longer find. I knew He hadn't moved away from me...but I from Him...I had lost my way, and couldn't get back.
"By night on my bed I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, but  found him not." Song of Solomon

I didn't want to bother my husband with it...because he's a Pastor and has enough on his shoulders. I determined I would never say anything that would make him feel bad for me and consider getting out of the ministry. 
Fast forward about 6 years.
 Actual words to my husband:  "I hate my life...please take me away!"
I couldn't even stick to my word. I just wanted peace. I wanted to love Christ with abandon...like I used to. Instead I would listen to preachers talk about the love of God, with tears streaming down my face, cause I couldn't find Him.

One night when my husband asked who had something to Praise God about, seriously, the only thing that I could think of was that I hadn't had a major meltdown that week. How do you share that with people? So I came home and texted Sunny, and told her...and she didn't get it either. And then I cried...cause I couldn't praise God for all the good things I knew He was doing, but didn't feel in my heart.

A few things began to seep through. My friend, Terri McDonald told me about a supplement called GLA (Gamma-linolenic Acid) and what it did for her. I really doubted it would help, but I would try anything at this point. It turned my life around. Within 4 days I began to feel like I had some semblance of control over my emotions. I still had ups and downs, but now they were mostly up, with a few major downs thrown in there. But at long last I began to feel that maybe I could start to enjoy life again. So I knew part of my problem then was physical. Check

Then I went to a preaching conference. The preacher talked about bitterness and depression and how one leads to another. He had counseled lots of people and found that most people that were depressed, if it wasn't physical, had something they had not forgiven someone for. Something had happened that they blamed someone for and haven't been able to get over because they had not truly forgiven them. This person could be a family member, themselves, or even God. The depression usually starts at this point.

As I listened to this, things in my life began to be clear. I first began to be depressed when things in my life became unmanageable for me. I could no longer control the things that were happening. I realized that in my heart I was blaming God for letting all these things happen...when I had given up everything for Him. I believed the Bible. I tried to do what it said at any cost. I raised my kids for Him. And gladly! But I remember thinking in my  heart at one time that I had been betrayed. I began to think that all the things I had learned were not true after all. All the things that I had believed and built my life on...I didn't see them happening. I began to lose faith...and with that...hope.

I knew I needed to get things right with God. I did right then. At that point I was able to share with my husband how I had been feeling over the last 9 years. Things I had never been able to tell him were now gushing out as I saw the need to get everything out in the open so I didn't have to hang onto it any longer.
So then, the other part of my problem was Spiritual. Check.

Since that time, I have been able to rebuild what I had torn down and rebelieve the things I had lost faith in.

Why couldn't God have just answered my prayer the first time I prayed for him to take the depression away. The first time I begged Him for help? Because I would never have learned all the things He has taught me on the way. They are so many, I could never in a million years tell you all He has shown me. I could never explain to you how I have grown closer to Him. And I could never help anyone else if it was too easy.

I still have my down days...but they are way fewer. I never feel hopeless anymore. I sleep at night, instead of staying awake and thinking about what a loser I am. I actually feel real joy again. I didn't for so long, I forgot what it was like. God has shown me...in a deeper more intimate way...that He alone is faithful...that He does answer prayer...that He is worth living for...that He is the only One worth living for. 

Hope springs eternal? Yes, it does...but only in Christ!

The Chef and the Chefless

My brother is a chef.

I am not.

He can take anything
and make it taste great!

I cannot.

He makes meals like
Short Ribs Jardenaire.

I make meals like
Hamburger Surprise.

When he comes to visit
I look thru my cookbooks
to find something to impress him with.

But then he winds up adding stuff
to my meal to make it taste great!
He doesn't even wait to see if it
was gonna taste great all by itself.

Oh, well, at least I know there are some things I can cook better...

...and I'll let you know what that is just as soon as I think of it...

Feb 6, 2012

Saved by Grace

"Someday the silver cord will break,
And I no more as now shall sing;
But oh, the joy when I shall wake
Within the palace of the King!"

"Someday my earthly house shall fall,
I cannot tell how soon 'twill be;
But this I know-my All in All
Has now a place in heav'n for me."

"Someday, when fades the golden sun
Beneath the rosy tinted west,
My blessed Lord will say, "Well done!"
And I shall enter into rest."

Someday: till then I'll watch and wait
My lamp all trimmed and burning bright,
That when my Savior opes the gate,
My soul to Him may take its flight."

"And I shall see Him face to face
And tell the story Saved by grace;
And I shall see Him face to face
And tell the story...Saved by grace."

Two missionaries were killed last week in Mexico.
They had been there since the 70's.
Did you get that?
Not 4 years,
5 years,
10 years...
They were there for almost 40 years!
They gave their all for those people...
So they could know the saving Grace of Christ.
And they came in and killed them for the few meager things they owned.

There's a part of me (the fleshly part, I'm sure)
That just burns up over that!
The unjustness (new word) of it...

But then there's another part of me
that knows where they are tonight.
That knows Whose throne they are kneeling beside.
That knows Whose praises they are singing...

They are seeing Him face to face...
And telling the story...Saved by Grace!

Feb 1, 2012

Important Advice

If you are a young woman
and haven't married yet...
Here's a little piece of advice you're gonna need:

Never marry a guy who had fast cars
before you met.

Who raced fast cars
before you met.

Who got innumerable speeding tickets
before you met.

Cause someday you're gonna have boys...
And their Dad will have to tell them
about all the cars he's had.

About how fast he could go...

About how he got stopped by the cops
And even they were impressed by how fast he was going.

Of course, he'll tell them how it was wrong
and how he never should have done that.

But they won't hear that part...
cause they can hear the excitement in his voice...

And no matter how hard you have tried
to grow them up into responsible young men...
they'll have to try it at least once.
Cause Dad did.

So if you meet a guy like that...
keep in mind, that if you marry him,
and you have boys,
this will be a problem at some point
in their young lives.

Maybe I'm just sore...
cause here is what he had when we met

And then he upgraded to this

Should've married him sooner...

...and had girls...