Sunday, February 26, 2012

You Can't Trust Dorothy!

I admit it, when I got a new phone with GPS, I was thrilled.  So were our children!  We've seen many things we'll never see again on "field-trips-with-Mom" because I don't have a clue how we got there.  Copying my friend, Mary, I named my GPS Dorothy.  This week we discovered that the yellow brick road doesn't alway lead to the Emerald City.

Our daughters and I were on our way home from the Amish grocery store and turned to Dorothy for help.  She led us to a low-maintenance road.  In the river bottom.  With a Prius.  The road looked good.  There were no ruts (yet).  Or dark mud (yet).  It appeared dry and passable (even after 3" of rain and snow the day before).  Praise God for strong girls, Wyoming driving experience, and His intervention!  After slip-sliding, taking to the ditch and getting high-centered we made our way to a real road.  I trusted Dorothy to direct us to the best, most direct route home and foolishly went where I wouldn't have otherwise.

It was a real-life reminder to follow the Word of God completely, carefully and diligently!

"Hear, my son, and receive my sayings, And the years of your life will be many.
11 I have taught you in the way of wisdom; I have led you in right paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hindered, And when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Take firm hold of instruction, do not let go; Keep her, for she is your life.
14 Do not enter the path of the wicked, And do not walk in the way of evil.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it; Turn away from it and pass on.
16 For they do not sleep unless they have done evil; And their sleep is taken away unless they make someone fall.
17 For they eat the bread of wickedness, And drink the wine of violence.
18 But the path of the just is like the shining sun, That shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.
19 The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble.
My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.
21 Do not let them depart from your eyes; Keep them in the midst of your heart;
22 For they are life to those who find them, And health to all their flesh.
23 Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.
24 Put away from you a deceitful mouth, And put perverse lips far from you.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead, And your eyelids look right before you.
26 Ponder the path of your feet, And let all your ways be established.
27 Do not turn to the right or the left; Remove your foot from evil."
(Proverbs 4, NKJV)

Monday, January 30, 2012

Jesus at the Center

It's amazing how easy it is to lose focus, to get off-kilter in the busyness of life.  Here's a post worth reading that reminds us of the Focus and how to get there:

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Worm-Eatin Time

I've been wanting to write something warm and fuzzy, something to bring encouragement and smiles.  I wanted to write about the strange young man who snuck up on our 10-year old and I from behind the garbage bins at the convenience store but didn't knock on the window until after the door was locked.  I wanted to write about the beauty of singing "I Know Whom I Have Believed" and praying in Swahili/English with my friend, Joy, from the Congo.  I wanted to write so many things.  But what has circled me like a relentless vulture is my sin:  my impatience, ingratitude, self-will, unkindness.  Day after day, encounter after encounter.  Don't try to make me feel better.  It is what it is.  And you, no doubt, have sensed it too.

The encouragement is certainly not in my actions or  words.  After three disheartening interactions the other morning, I pulled into the parking garage at the hospital and considered winding my way right back out again before visiting the family I'd come to see.  At the rate I was going, I would cause more damage than good.  In that moment God prompted me to ask--okay, beg--Him to squelch my natural tendencies.  Only He knows the measure of His work.

My failure and need are not wasted, but they are painful.  They soar and peck at wounded flesh, piercing and tearing.  But God is faithful.  And as I am reminded of my sinful self, I am grateful for a sufficient Savior.  As I consider my sinful state, my eyes are opened to others who are no less thirsty for forgiveness.  As I live out the consequences of my sinful choices, I yearn for a time of perfection. 

This morning I confessed sins against my husband, under no duress but the screaming and clawing pride of my own heart .  But what a blessed relief and generosity of heart poured over my soul in his forgiveness! 

Each day, as I am convicted of and confess my sin, I hear the refrain, "Work, for the night is coming, work in the setting sun.  Work, for the night is coming, when man's work is done."  And Scripture reminds me that I am forgiven, redeemed and set free to live in a way that pleases the Lord (Hebrews 9:14, Colossians 1:10). "For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again" (Proverbs 24:16). 

Above all, it's not about what others think about my failure and sin.  It's all about God, which means I won't be eating worms anytime soon, though at times I'm tempted to.

Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling,
And to present you faultless
Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy,
To God our Savior,
Who alone is wise,
Be glory and majesty,
Dominion and power,
Both now and forever.
Amen.  (Jude 24-25)