Monday, July 25, 2011


I have been studying Hebrews, partly because I will be teaching on Hope this coming year. I love how the Lord is faithful to allow me to learn first hand what it is He would have me to teach. Last year it was lies of the enemy and the Truth that sets us free, this year it is Hope. I have been unable to write about my present circumstances up to this point, and need to continue to keep some things confidential, however, I am free to share bits and pieces of what I'm learning.

If you know me at all I am not a ballerina or even remotely like a ballerina, well at least not in body and strength. However, in studying Hebrews I began to think a little about ballerinas. They require (among many things) intense focus. In that way I can say that, even I, am ballerina-like. I have been required to have intense focus lately.

Making Christ my focal point as I wade through my day of serious circumstances. Just like a spinning ballerina must keep returning her eyes to a given point, to keep her balance, I too must keep returning my focus on Christ, lest I fall and fall hard.

Hebrews 12:1-2 says "Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."

The truth is our circumstances are always in flux, and the world seems to be whirling around sometimes. The only way to keep our balance is to fix our eyes on Him, the One who never changes..(also found in Hebrews by the way).

I heard it once put this way: "Are you gazing at your circumstances and glancing at God or are you gazing at God and glancing at your circumstances?" Let's face it...we have a great deal of hardships and battles going on all around us. My son Brendan is struggling so much right now with high anxiety and stress. He is only 10, yet the effects of his surroundings (having to live with an aging Alzheimer's great grandfather and the death of his grandmother) I continue to saturate him with verses like these. We have circumstances, to think we could totally ignore them would be unrealistic. They are in our face.

However, I know, now from experience, there is a remedy! If we gaze too long at our circumstances we will indeed become dizzy and confused. If we "fix our eyes" on Him, continually refreshing ourselves in His Presence, He will set our path straight and we will not fall or lose balance. I have been saturating myself in His Word, spending time in my prayer chair and communing with Him daily. It has enable me to GAZE at Him and only Glance at my circumstances. I want to encourage you to make Him your focal point today...and see what a difference it makes. Let me know what God is doing in your life!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Little Man With A Big Heart

This is my 8 year old son Shane. He has had numerous opportunities in his young life to see the mighty hand of God move in our midst. He has been a first hand witness to Jesus in skin present at our doorstep, on the phone or making a meal. So why does it surprise me when he has such a heart for the same.

Coming home from Walmart the other day he sat quietly in the passenger seat of my Toyota. Air conditioning running, cold bottle of water sitting in the cup holder and he looks so forlorn. I inquire..."Shane, what is going on in that head of yours?" His reply that warmed my heart, "Mom, she sits there every day, she looks so sad, can we make her a meal?" Talking about the homeless woman that lives outside behind Publix. He is right. She is always out there, looking kind of sad. "Well, Shane, what would you like us to make her?" "Macaroni and cheese?" he says! "Well, I'm not sure what she would do with that, but how about some homemade oatmeal raisin cookies?" So, he decides some homemade sweets made with lots of love will do the trick!

We prayed over these cookies! We prayed for her! We asked that this would be a moment in time that this woman would not forget the love of Jesus. Then we delivered our cookies behind Publix.

Meet our new friend!

(Picture has been deleted out of respect. I didn't realize I could potentially offend anyone.)

A little put off at first, but it didn't take long to see the warmth in her beautiful face. I had done a little asking around first, so I knew her name. "Hi, my name is Lisa and this is my son Shane. He sees you here often and he really wanted to bless you today." Shane hands Colorado a bag and says "My Mom and I made these just for you, we made them with love and they are still warm." She smiled so sweetly at Shane. He noticed her defenses go down. "We just wanted you to know that Jesus loves you and so do we." I seriously got all choked up. Here is my small boy with such a big heart. His first missions trip, right in our own back yard.

I told her that the Jesus loves her and we just wanted her to know that we have been praying for her and that it is quite likely that we will not ever be able to bake cookies again without sharing some.

We exchanged words for a few more moments and then we bid our farewells. She smiled so tenderly at Shane. We got into our car and Shane rolled down the window, and yelled "Bye!!"...she yelled back..."Shane, my note, thank you so much for my sweet note!" then she placed her hands around her face.

When we left the store a half hour later, 2 men had joined her near her spot. Shane looked and said..."OH no Mommy, there are more. We have to feed them too! Look...the sign says PLEASE HELP! Mommy, we have to help!! -- do you think she shared her cookies?"

When I look at him, he seems so small sometimes. He is my baby after all! Lord, continue to foster a desire in the heart of my boy, to reach the lost in tangible ways. We will be inquiring as to what Shane and I can do to feed the homeless.

"For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in..." Matthew 25:35