Archive for the ‘Following Christ’ Category

Which Mirror Are You Using?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Mirror, mirror, always in sight—

please confirm that I’m alright.

If there is one item that we all have in abundance—it is the mirror.

We don’t limit our mirrors to glass alone, but purchase glossy plastic for babies, and tiny, shiny, metal circles to keep in our purses.

We check our style in store windows as we walk down a sidewalk, and seek our face amidst the ripples, as we stroll beside a lake.

We create mental imagers from words people say and are subjected to the glaring speculum of unrealistic, media dramatization.

Mirrors are reflections that tell us literally and psychologically a lot about how we see ourselves.

We are obsessed with the mirror. What we really want from the mirror is for it to tell us that we are alright—over and again—as many times as we look. Or at least to never confirm our biggest fear—that something is wrong with us.

We tend to live out our lives as we see ourselves to be.

Be aware that voices around us, the past within us, and our circumstances before us, can reflect a cloudy and distorted view of our true potential.

You need a mirror that gives a clear reflection of who you really are. So invest in good mirrors!

 Accountability partners call you to stick to your goals and a circle of friends assure you that failure is not fatal.

The mirror of God’s Word boosts our confidence by clearly establishing our constant true worth. Inviting God’s presence to live within us allows us to reflect true beauty from our inner souls and to remember and relax in who we are.

You are more than the latest style, the absence of wrinkles in your skin, or every hair in place. You are more profound than size, color, or race.

You are beautiful, loved, and created by God.

If your mirror says differently—invest in a new one!

“Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.”

Psalm 139:14 NLT

Stop the Thunk!

Tuesday, September 10th, 2013

 I wish I could tell an armadillo about the value of change.  I’m saddened each time I see a ten pound, brownish-gray, nocturnal animal lying dead along the highway. I don’t even really like armadillos.  They dig holes in the yard and then I have to deal with a bumpy ride each time I mow the lawn. But I do hate to see failure just because of refusal to change. I am told that armadillos have a sure-fire way to ward off intruders. An armadillo will stand its ground until the opponent gets close.  Then it flexes and jumps straight into the air.  This scare tactic worked for centuries. But then along came the invention of the automobile. And when a big, big animal, with headlights for eyes, topped the hill the armadillo did what had always worked. The armadillo stood its ground, waited for the car to get really close, then flexed and jumped straight into the air.  Thunk was the outcome!  Thunk is the only sound and word to describe a once sure-fire method that had suddenly ceased to work.

Do you ever feel like you’re beating your head against a wall?  Does the same old method, that used to bring good results, now bring you failures? If so, it might be time for a change of tactics.

I have no idea how to save an armadillo from jumping into cars.  I can’t tell you how to easily cross the roads of life. But I do know that God promised that He would give us wisdom if we just ask. Being willing to honestly assess situations and seek wisdom, on the right method of response, is vital to stay cutting edge—and alive.  I can change even though it goes against my genetic predisposition.    

Renew your mind daily through prayer and ask God for wisdom in every situation.  Don’t second guess yourself or God’s ability to know the road ahead.  Trust in Him. Stop the thunk.

“If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking.” James 1:5 (NLT)

Ode in Dark Times

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

When I read the book of Psalms I think of each chapter as an ode. Maybe it’s because an ode, in the classical form, would be writing a poem for the intention of singing it. David, the shepherd boy, who wrote most of the Psalms, of course sang them as he played the harp. When I read the Psalms I find verses that are still being used to write many of our praise and worship songs today. David defined his problems, wrote them down, reasoned them out, recognized God was on his side- and burst into song.  He declared the circumstance for what it was and began to sing about the answer- well in advance of its manifestation.  In the face of each new obstacle David would choose to compare each gigantic problem with God.  God was always bigger. So, David would choose to declare that the immediate enemy to his peace was ‘no different’ than the one from last year or yesterday and then he would realize he would be ok.

Here is one of my ode-psalm-songs that I wrote during some dark times. “Satan is no match for my Lord. When He does the fighting, there’s no way that I can lose. Victory is sweet with my life at His feet. Now, I have Jesus who knows no defeat.” ©RW

Dare to compare. Write down your thoughts. Then, begin to sing a new song of overcoming joy- today.

Winds of Change

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

“Sometimes in the winds of change we find our true direction.” Author Unknown

Sometimes the winds are worse than change itself!  I have often wondered why it is that I who love change, still fight so hard emotionally, to make the turn to go another direction!  I remember when I worked for Northeast Tech Center. The job was awesome until I reached a plateau of learning and creating.  I loved the people I worked with and the campus was a beautiful place, nestled among trees on the side of a hill.  I felt the breezes of change for days- maybe even a year- ahead of my resignation to resign.  I had reached my limit.  I just didn’t know where I was going next if I quit what I was doing.

The winds blew harder and unrest turned into dread. Early one very dreary, cloudy morning, on my drive to work, I started looking at a very tiny mobile home that had a light on.  And, I began to imagine that the lady of the house was home having coffee.  I thought of the joy she must have being able to sit and sip. Maybe she was taking time to read, talk to God and the cat.  She might actually have breakfast on the table.  Maybe she would be able to clean her own house, or see her children, or go out with a friend.  I just knew she would be feeling very fulfilled and would fling her head back and laugh at the rain—for she was happy.  I was not!  My goals of making more money to create a better car and house seemed way down on the list- compared to a moment of being true to myself- even if it meant downsizing.  Although, some of my greatest concerns were that I would never get to trade cars or replace the carpet.

My scenario of the lady was pure imagination.  The winds of change were very much a reality! Would I be true to myself and try new things or shrivel up inside a shell- with a known paycheck end?

Yes, I quit and tears spilled onto the page of the resignation letter before it was sealed and signed!

It was quite funny that first week after.  Someone donated me an entire box of toilet paper!  Strange, but, it made me laugh at God’s humor. Forget the ‘if God cares for the birds’ story in the Bible.  I now had my own version which went something like, “If God cares if Reba has toilet paper, then He can also provide for food and clothes and carpet—and fun.”  I love God.  He’s personal to me. And, He likes to make me laugh.  People say He’s awesome- and I know  He is. Spiritual people say cliché words… I mostly think God is funny- in the very most Highest, Holy way!  Think about it. He made a donkey to talk, fed a prophet steak flown in by a black bird, divided a sea by lifting a stick, fed 5,000 people with a little boy’s lunch!  I tell you He really works to make us smile.  He pushes it further and wants me to be ‘full’ of joy the Bible says.  Well, that’s where the toilet paper came in!

Yes, I bought my first new car after that, founded the WINGS women’s ministry, became an ordained minister, started writing this column and began pastoring a church alongside my husband.

Breezes of change are a sweet relief- yet still emotional.

Winds of Change ever blow, redirecting us, charting our course, so that we arrive, totally spent, every gift opened and honed to the limit, having stopped at every port, and boarded every connecting flight, before arriving… at heaven’s door.

Archive #220 – Following Christ

Friday, February 5th, 2010

Oscar de la Renta is a world renowned fashion designer, noted for designing the gowns of elite women on their most memorable evenings. Nancy Regan, Hillary Clinton, and Laura Bush are a few of the celebrities who were photographed for America in a dress made for history’s greatest moments.

Most of us ladies are familiar with the fashion icon of Oscar, but did you know that he was born in the Dominican Republic and left there at the age of 18 to study art in Spain?

So, what happened to the artist?  It seems that Oscar found he had two loves, one for painting and another for fashion design.  I understand that Oscar came to the conclusion that he could only be successful by focusing on one area. You know which path of life he chose.

Is that what, “jack of all trades and master of none” means?

I really need to do some soul searching- and quickly!  I’m noted for being curious about lots of things.  New ideas and challenges inspire me… so I thought.  I can sew, arrange flowers, make a garden, sell real estate, design and build houses, decorate, write, preach, pray, and sing.  I have built wide.  It is foolishness to think I can build tall in all those areas.

Jesus called a fisherman to become His disciple and who later wrote books of the Bible.  No wonder the fisherman ‘left his nets’ to follow Christ in order to become an Apostle as his role of occupation.

Each of us has different roles, loves and expertise.  Which do you love enough- to release other likes and obligations- to be able to focus on that single- most high- call? What is the ‘one’ goal, that if given extra energy, would be worthy to excel…  ?

Archive #217 – Pressing Forward

Monday, January 11th, 2010

How much different your work for God is!  Just one Sunday- one life- one effort can change eternity!

Let’s keep ‘pressing forward’ for the ‘high call’ in Christ.  Christ is calling us!  What we have heard to do- let’s do with all our might!

I’m remembering those in the Bible who were few in number or severely handicapped in some way–sometimes an army of one or three- as in David/Goliath, Gideon, 3 Hebrew children….

They stood strong- obeyed God and won the battle for nations!
God is our strong source.

No longer consider the smallness of yourself, your work, your peers, your church or God’s people!  Consider the God who called you!!!!

At this moment I am so humbled at my grumble this past year that I wish some more time to ‘Work’ for God before I sit at the table with Abraham, Isaac, Mary…. and those around the world that are ‘giving’- meaning ‘dying’- for the sake of the Good News!

I feel as though I ‘just heard’ for the very first time, the high-call to join the strong ‘God team’ this morning. I pray He renews all our ‘first love’ for Him this day!  And, that we could comprehend just a bit more of how much HE really, really loves us- and the whole world!