Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fickle Faith

What will I do at the end of this path?
Eddie, one of my favorite girlfriend-senseis (hey, didn't you see Karate Kid?) said something recently that stopped me in my tracks.

It happened at our women's Bible Study, a close-knit group of 6 longtime heart-buddies plowing through this life in Christ thing together.

We'd been discussing the downright density of the Israelites after Yahweh had just just parted the Red Sea - an incredible miracle - so they could escape utter destruction at the hands of the Egyptians pursuing them. They hooted and hollered and pranced their gratitude, praising the Almighty God who could perform this marvelous intervention. Yay God! You go, Jehovah!

Next thing you know, as soon as Moses went up the mountain to receive the Ten Commandments, they started looking for something tangible upon which to redirect their faith. Something - anything, it seemed - besides the Mighty Deity who'd already proven Himself.

O ye of fickle faith.

They chose a golden calf. A cow. Formed by human beings. Are you ever-lovin' kidding me? I mean really, how dense can you be?

Eddie had just finished telling us about her recent revelation that Papa God had healed her years ago when medical tests first revealed a frightening problem and then suddenly, inexplicably they didn't. New x-rays revealed that the problem was gone. Gone.

Not unlike the waters of the Red Sea ... there one minute, and gone the next.

Eddie is now facing another possible medical crisis and as the temptation to search out possible ways to fix the problem herself assaults her, she's struggling to keep her faith locked on the One worthy of it. Here's what she said that rocked my world:

"My Red Sea was parted and here I go looking for cows to worship."

Wow. BIG wow. Don't we all do that in our own way? I know for a fact I do.

O me of fickle faith.

I believe every one of us can look back in our lives at some point and see the undeniable fingerprints of Papa God moving in a miraculous way. Maybe not a life-or-death miracle ... perhaps something more subtle - what I call a grace note, or everyday miracle (lots and lots and lots of example in my books).

When [if] we recognize His intervention, we're so grateful! Yay God! You go, Jehovah!

But then when the darkness comes (as it inevitably will) and we're facing a faceless, terrifying monster completely out of our control, instead of defaulting to trust in Papa God, we start flailing around, searching for a stupid cow to worship: Medical science; new drug regimes; laser treatments; breakthroughs in research.

We're as dense as those dang Israelites.

As Eddie concluded, and all sincere Christ-followers must: Power is not in the tangible; everything you can hold in your hand can be stripped away.

Power is in the intangible ... the Spirit of the Living God. He is ultimately in control. Not us, the rate our heart beats, the texting driver that cuts in front of our car, the state of our bank accounts, when our livers wear out, or even hunks of metal shaped like cows.

Eddie and I choose to forgo fickle faith; we choose firm faith. Even in the darkness. How about you, BBFF?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Hard Doesn't Mean Impossible

Something very interesting caught my eye the other day while I was enjoying a little He & Me time with Papa God.

I was reading the story of the rich, young ruler in Mark 10:21 and noticed something not included in the other two gospels that contain this account of the well-to-do young man who did all the right things - kept the ten commandments, loved his neighbors, probably even flossed daily.

When this "good" fella (by the world's standards) asked Jesus what ELSE he should do to earn eternal life, Jesus shocked the Armani sandals right off his feet by asking him to do something pretty dang hard in his day and even in ours.

"Sell all you possess, and give it to the poor ..."

Say WHAT? Nuh-uh.

You can just picture the rich guy's face falling. He was expecting to hear something like, "Give an extra shekel to every beggar you pass from now until Easter." Or maybe "Go to church six times a day to show your incredible devotion to me." Or even the ultimate in self-sacrifice,  "Take over permanent 2-year-old nursery duty at the temple."

But wait. The thing that slapped me upside the head happened after the dude asked his question and just before Jesus answered.

"And looking at him, Jesus felt a love for him ..." (verse 21a)

Wow. Marinate on that a minute.

Jesus LOVED this guy, but still asked him to do something hard. Really hard. Something that, in the guy's way of thinking, was downright impossible. He was probably majorly attached to that red convertible.

The litmus test for loyalty often starts with our wallets.

Sadly, he failed the test. He chose poorly (to quote my favorite Indiana Jones movie). When it was all or nothing, he took all.

But back to my point: Could it be that Jesus does the same for us - loves us to pieces but still asks us to do something really, really hard?

I think Mother Teresa, wilting away, serving in the festering, disease-ridden slums of India would have known the answer to that.

And Corrie ten Boom, who barely survived a Nazi concentration camp because she chose the hard way of showing Papa's forbidden love in hiding Jews.

And Joni Eareckson Tada, who intentionally takes the hard road every single morning she awakens as a quadriplegic after a tragic 1967 diving accident, intent on sharing Papa God's mercy and grace with the world rather than hide away in the comfort of her home (www.joniandfriends.org).

Or Katie Davis Majors, the American teen who went w-a-y out of her way to do things the hard way by choosing to live in Uganda and adopt 13 daughters in order to share Papa God's love firsthand to those living in poverty (www.kissesfromkatie.blogspot.com).

So. Who are we missing?

Ah, yes. You. And me.

What hard thing might our loving Savior be asking of us this very day?  

Monday, May 2, 2016

Mother's Day Giveaway Winners!

I'm thrilled to announce the winners of my Mother's Day Give-away. If your name was drawn, be sure to contact me ASAP in order to receive your prize before Mother's Day (can't send it without your address!).

First of all, I'm delighted to share the names of the 5 winners of their choice of my newest Baby Blessings:

Too Blessed to be Stressed Cookbook
Too Blessed to be Stressed 5 Minute Devotion
Too Blessed to be Stressed Coloring Book 

And here they are:

  • Mary Lou Weldy
  • Lillian Ashe Pennington
  • Megan Staebell
  • Donna Parker
  • Adriana Fuentes

So happy for you ladies! Just message me which Baby Blessing you'd like and your mailing address I'll get it in the mail right away.

And without further ado, the winner of the GRAND PRIZE, including a copy of each of the new babies PLUS a fabulous kitchen decom-stressing kit is:

Michelle Evans     

Super Contrats to you, Michelle! Again, send me your mailing address ASAP and I'll get your Mother's Day gift from me off to you ASAP.

Many thanks to everyone for entering!

Please stay tuned for more giveaways coming down the chute:

July release of the Too Blessed to be Stressed 2917 Planner and Sept release of the Too Blessed to be Stressed 5-Year Keepsake Journal.  

Thanks so much for following. A BIG HUG to all my BBFFs! (Blessed Blog Friends Forever)