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Archive for March, 2012

Where Were You?

26 Mar

Looking out the office window, I saw her headed in our direction.  Her over-sized yard sale clothes, tasseled white hair, and gift of gab.  It spread panic throughout the workplace.  Our real estate office is located in a new housing development’s clubhouse so off and on all day there seems to be  a revolving door of satisfied (or not) clients aka tenants.  Heralding her arrival brought a response of “Tell her I am not here.”  Taking a deep preparing breath, as I heard the front foyer door open, I greeted her.  “Hi Millie, what can I do for you?”  “Is Gail here today?” she asked.  Not wanting to lie, I replied, “She is, but working on a very important timeline project and can’t be disturbed.  What can I help you with?”  Could see her countenance change.  “Just wanted to see if Gail liked the gift that was dropped off for her new grand baby.”  She informed me.  Answering for Gail, I replied, “Yes, those booties were so cute; please tell your daughter thanks.”  Millie mumbled some other things, but missed what she said as I buried head in paper work.  She stood there for a few more moments, then turned around and shuffled her 80 plus years feet out the door.  Had a couple of twinges of guilt but at the end of the day my heart was no worse for the wear.

Later that night these words kept popping in my head.  “Where were you?”  At first, I thought what a funny thing to think.  Once again, “Where were you?”  When a third time, it repeated itself, “Where were you?  I stopped and realized the Lord was trying to get my attention.

“Okay, Lord you have my attention please ask me again”

“Where were you when I was hungry?”  Was His first query.

“You know Lord ever winter we contribute to the can food drive at church.  When the local supermarket has a food drive, you can count on us.  It rained this year so we passed on the downtown communities’ efforts.

“Hmmmm oh really.   Where were you when I was naked?”  He continued.

“Lord you saw me go though my closet and give away stuff I no longer want, wear, or is out of style to the local charity.  When I packed a Mission’s Christmas box, I made sure I put in some clothing items.  My schedule was so busy just didn’t have time to purchase a new jacket for a school coat drive.”

Again, the Lord said, “Really?  Where were you when I was in prison?”

“My husband and I always give to the Angel Tree at Christmas for children whose parents (s) are incarcerated.  We pray for families that are in involved with illicit actions.  Our cousin was arrested for drugs; we didn’t mean to forget him

The Lord concluded, “If you did this to the least of me you did it to me” He just stood there.  Then today flashed before my eyes; Millie.  She was ‘hungry’ for fellowship just a bit of someone’s time.  She was stripped ‘bare‘ of self-esteem.  Vulnerable to her surroundings.  No friendship love, to cover wounds.  She wore the ‘chains‘ of old age on her feet.  Unable to do the things she used to do.  Matched by ‘handcuffs‘ at the end of life.  Wore the headgear of an invisible old woman.

As I bowed my head, my heart starting breaking.  Very easy to contribute to organized charities.  They take really nothing out of your time.  Will not stop doing those, but there is more.  Wish I could say the Lord smiled and patted me on the head, but cannot.  This He did do, he exposed my heart and me, which was priceless.

I want Jesus my Lord to know where I am at, at all times.  This time it will be at Millie’s front door.

Matthew  25:31-40

31“But when the Son of Mand comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit upon his glorious throne. 32All the nationse will be gathered in his presence, and he will separate the people as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will place the sheep at his right hand and the goats at his left.

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me into your home. 36I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’

37“Then these righteous ones will reply, ‘Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? 39When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?’

40“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,f you were doing it to me!

 

 
 

When you think you are the only one holding it together!

25 Mar

Acts 17:28a (NIV)    “For in him we live and move and have our being.”

“I put so much into it, I give so much time, doesn’t anyone realize how important this is?  Why do I have to do it by myself every time?  I’m so tired and frustrated!  I did it for God, for my family, for everyone else!  Do I always have to be the one who holds it together so it doesn’t fall apart?  Why doesn’t someone else step up to help me?” 

Have you ever said those words or thought them?  Of course we all have at one time or another.  Why do we, especially as Christians, believe that we need to or can do anything by ourselves.    Everytime we try, we end up unfullfilled, stressed and unwilling to do it again.  I heard Kay Warren speak today about this very subject, and it pierced my heart.  Do I believe that I am truly capable of being everything to everyone all the time?  Am I that arrogant?  Do I truly believe that ‘I’ am the glue that holds everything together? 

When we depend only on ourself, because we are not designed to function without guidance from the Holy Spirit, we end up frustrated and many times angry and frustrated.  You know the difference, when you take it to Jesus and depend on Him for leadership and guidance; then He holds it together and gives you joy and peace.  Why do we fight so hard to be in charge?  Let go and let God!

When you begin a new work, a new project, a new goal or a new relationship…take it to Him in prayer.  Open your heart and your mind and let Him guide your actions and fill you with peace as you depend on Him and not on yourself.  You are the hands that may do the work, but let Christ guide you on your journey…and let everything you say and do show glory to Him.   The difference is that you will still be successful but you will be filled with joy and a peaceful heart.

It is in Him we find our purpose and our peace!  Do it with God!

Have a blessed week.  Thelma

 

No!

20 Mar

Whew! I think it’s been nearly a month since I last wrote! We’ve been busy trying to figure it a good balance between work, church, and home. It feels like we have finally found it!

Right now we’re going through a “no” phase. I’ve heard of this, knew it would happen, but secretly hoped MY son would be the one to skip it. (yeah right!) He currently says no to… well, everything! You know how it goes, “want dinner?” “no!”, “want a cracker?” “no!”, “do you know any words besides no? “no!”. Pray for me! :)

On another note, we have officially gotten rid of the corcho (pacifier). It took a lot of cuddles, snuggles, and a bathtime routine to get there, but we did it! :) Talk about a tough, but amazingly rewarding experience- being a mom is the best! And the most tiring! 😉

Hope you have a great week!
-CJ

 

ROMANS 12: 16

18 Mar

…Do not be wise in your own opinion.

 

“So he has a tatoo!”

MAJORING in the MINORS

We’ve all heard the saying, “you need to pick your fights”.  Most parent’s have rules, in fact there is very little that we do or things that we participate in that don’t have rules.  In Romans 14:10, we are asked why we judge and show contempt for our brother, because we all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.   Having long hair or a tatoo, drinking too many cans of pop and not picking up your room can all have negative consequences in our lives; BUT are they worth angry words, hurt feelings or ruined relationships.  The words, hurt feelings and negative emotions are far more damaging to a family than the ‘cultural’ issues that instegated them.  Ephesians 6:4 , “And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

When we ‘want to pick’ a fight, we should think about the subject of the disagreement and decide if  it’s a major or a minor in our lives together.  There’s nothing wrong with discussing why we feel the way we feel about the situation, but we need to be willing to listen to why they feel the way they do.  Together we can then decide if this is an important issue or just one of those annoying things in a relationship.

Next time someone seems to defy our rules, let’s ask ourselves if this is an issue important enough to put a crack in our relationship!  We shouldn’t be full of pride in our own opinion, we must test it against what God says in Romans 13:10, “Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.  Let the majors be major, the minors be minor and our relationships be loving to each other.

Have a Blessed Week.