This blog began on my 40th birthday, and now my 45th birthday has passed. I don’t lament getting older, but these landmark birthdays do cause me to stop and evaluate. On my 40th birthday, I got the best gift. I got a Savior, a faith that has seen so very much in the past 5 years. I believed before I was 40, but I did not know the difference between believing in Jesus and making him my Lord. So, literally, that is what I received on my 40th birthday, the call to surrender everything to Jesus.

Since then, I have seen my big impossible prayers answered and I have seen my petty impossible prayers answered and so much in between. Yet, I am still a bit of a stranger in a strange land. I am still finding my way, yet knowing beyond a doubt that He is the way.

I wake up virtually every single morning and read my Bible.  It fills me with hope and conviction about what is true and good and then….my life starts to happen. Kids get up, husbands get up, work calls, schooling has to happen, messes have to be cleaned up, taxes have to be paid, bills have to be paid, friends text with some new hardship (because who actually calls anymore?), and all the while I am a disciple of Jesus.

There is no other road I can be on now, but sometimes it still feels very unfamiliar and confusing, beautiful and daunting, all at the same time. As I get to know God’s word better, I realize this is the tension that exists when we live in a world that for the most part, does not know the Lord.

Why do I write any of this?

At the beginning of the year, some people make resolutions, some pray for a word to focus on, some set new goals to achieve. I prayed that God would simply keep me on the path He wanted me to follow. And though I continue to feel a lot of tension and resistance, I know I am supposed to start writing again.
Over and over again, the Bible says we are to praise Him, proclaim His goodness, and to speak about what He has done.

The Bible also warns us over and over that we will be tempted to forget. Once He has blessed us, we will settle into our comfortable American lives and forget what the Lord has done for us in our lifetime but also what he has done in the past.  We will stop telling our children and others about Him, stop attributing His good works to God and attributing them to ourselves.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

10 When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat and are satisfied, 12 be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Deuteronomy 6:4-12

Verses 10-12 are a warning to us all.  God knew what would happen and it seems this is the epitome of America right now. I love our country, I love every country for that matter, but it is hard to live an authentic Christ honoring life here, in a totally different way than in other countries.   Many other countries are persecuting and killing people who believe in Jesus, yet His following continues to grow. Here, while we are not being physically persecuted, we are being lulled to sleep with all of our comforts, all of our freedom and all the things of this world that make us feel secure and important. Who needs God when you have good money coming in, beautiful kids, enough food, clean water, and the freedom to do and say whatever you want when you want?

I am not saying I want to trade places with my Christian brothers and sisters in other countries and I am certainly NOT saying it is harder to be authentic here, but it is in fact almost an insidious disease, sneaking up on us and contaminating all the tiny pores of our lives.

You Are The Light of the World

If you don’t know, Mark and I had a very, very rough marriage for quite some time. I can’t go into everything today, but let’s just say that it was 12 long years of terrible behavior on both of our parts. I am sure there are worse marriages, but our story is so terrible, it is hard for me to face even today. BUT……God delivered us! In that utter darkness and still very much lost, we cried out to God because we knew no other place to turn.

Not only did He save our marriage but He also has delivered us into something far better than anything we ever prayed for or imagined, and I continue to see that pattern over and over again. When we have been faithful in the very hard spots, in the times when it is hard to do what God has asked or said, He has not only answered our prayers, but given us much more than we deserve.

How should I respond to being delivered?

Should I sit back and quietly enjoy it?

Should I keep it to myself?

No, I am to “give thanks to the LORD, call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples.” Psalm 105:1

I am to make His deeds known.  I am to be the light.

Be The Light

There are a lot of words floating around the Internet whether it is via blogs, via social media, whatever. I am pretty sure I don’t have anything new to say, but God does not need me to come up with something new. He said to proclaim the old news, the Good News that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, worthy of our praise, able to save us from death and deliver us into eternal life. He said, “You are the light of the world.”

And that is what I intend to be, a light in the world, proclaiming the goodness and truth of the Lord and encouraging you to do the same. Cling to His Word (the Bible), be courageous and brave and walk in faith even when it does not always make sense.

I have been working on this post forever and still feel it is quite inadequate, as I will likely feel about everything I write. I would guess we all feel that way at times, maybe all the time, because we will never understand or be able to answer all the questions about God. In the Bible, however, God used inadequate people ALL the time. Why? So you and I can be encouraged, see their example, and press on.

God can use you and He can use me even though we are still quite a mess, even though we don’t know everything.

Be encouraged today my friends. Let us be the light in a dark and troubled world.  Let us build up one another, not in our abilities, or ourselves but in the strength and truth of the Lord.