Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Storm Warning

Last week, the county in which we live was hit with a really bad storm. Trees were down everywhere, power outages in a few areas, and power lines laying in the road. It was a bad one.

As the storm silently approached, my mom, younger siblings, and I were at the county fair with friends, enjoying ice cream and great fellowship. My older sister was with a friend, my next younger sister was at home, and Dad was at work. We were all spread out, which is unusual for our family. 

While talking, I casually told mom know I was going to get a drink. When I returned a few minutes later, I discovered my family was gone. I walked around the building, and, upon seeing no sign of them, searched the surrounding area several times. Still, no family. Thinking they may have walked passed by me and started toward the van as the storm was brewing, I headed in that direction. I walked around the circular walk that spans the fair, then I had the idea that maybe they had gone to the bathroom. Finding no trace of them there, I just waited, having no further ideas.

I happened to be standing near a radio station booth that was blaring music. Suddenly, the music was interrupted by a loud beeping sound. The announcement warned of a severe thunder storm with 60 mph winds that would be sweeping through our area within 10 minutes. People were admonished to seek shelter as quickly as possible. With this new information, I began to grow a little panicky. I am not afraid of storms, because I know God controls the weather. But I was worried my family wouldn't know. If I didn't tell them, who would? And who wants to go through a bad storm with no familiar people around you?

With a sense of urgency, I resumed my search, going around the path two more times. I saw people who seemed to know of the impending storm, as they were packing up and tying down tents.

Others who didn't know seemed to continue enjoying the afternoon, ignoring the approaching black clouds in the west. I overheard someone mention to another person that we might be getting some rain, so I briefly stopped long enough to say something about the upcoming storm, but quickly hurried off, not really caring if they knew the warning to get to safety or not. Finding my family seemed more important to me. I passed a few people who were reading newspapers, books, and looking at their phones very casually. I almost told a few people, but I figured when the time came someone would perhaps tell them. I was too busy. 

I had been praying the whole time that God would please help me find my family, and finally He told me to go to the van. On the way, I found our friend, who confirmed that mom and the children had dashed off to the van. I was reunited with my family as the wind started to pick up and blow dust and trash everywhere. As we got into the van (Mom needed to put the van windows up), I told her we needed to get to a building, because this was going to be a bad storm. So we all dashed back to the fair and into the nearest building. There were people there who had dashed in, and everyone was grateful to be dry and safe. The storm lasted a while, but my siblings and I played games as I tried to occupy them so as to distract them from the weather.

As we were driving home, there were trees down everywhere, branches littering people's yards and the road. We had to take another way home because a tree had fallen onto a power line. We found a few more trees and branches on the road the way we ended up going home, and accidentally ran over a power line. (We are  okay though. It was not a shocking experience thankfully!:)) 

As I arrived home, and the initial excitement of sharing stories with my other two sisters and my dad about how we "survived" the storm, I went upstairs and sat thinking on my bed. It seem the Lord was revealing a hidden meaning in the experience.

You see, I was like your typical Christian. I had been warned of the impending danger of Hell, and I heeded it. I ran to Jesus Christ for my salvation, and I knew I was going to Heaven, therefore I was in no danger. But what of my family? Who would warn them? I was so busy with life, that I didn't have time to tell anyone. I thought about it, they would probably just laugh. Why should I? I was busy, and besides, someone would tell them, wouldn't they? 
After escaping Hell, and going to Heaven with my family, I wonder what Jesus would say to me. I am sure it would not be, "Well done my good and faithful servant." 

God has commanded us to tell the world. But I think Christians, especially Americans, have become so complacent in our lives, that we just don't have time any more for God's work. I mean, isn't that for pastors and preachers, missionaries and nuns, and great evangelists, like Billy Graham, and Brother Andrew?

Think again, my friends. I will be the first to say that this realization hit me right between the eyes. I have been  hit with this epidemic that we Christians have been sucked into. As each generation comes and goes, the epidemic is growing worse. We need a revival. We need to a great awakening. People are dying every second. Who will tell them? Who will give them the warning?

Consider yourself warned. Go tell others, before they get caught in the fury of Hell, and God's holds you accountable for their blood on your hands.

Photo credit

When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, now speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.                                                                                                                             Ezekiel 3:18

Monday, July 23, 2012

Out of the Mouth of Babes...

            Today I took a walk with my 2 year old brother. We were walking in the woods, looking at trees, picking blackberries, and having a wonderful time together. As we were heading home, there ensued a series of lessons that Jesus revealed to me in my own life, from things Michael said and did.
             Michael asked which path we would take. I answered casually, "Just follow me". It suddenly struck me that this is what Jesus says to us, His children. Sometimes in our life, we think we are lost. There seems to be too many different roads and paths to take, and we ask God, "Which way am I supposed to go?" But He just says, "Be still my child, and just follow me".
            We continued on, and presently, we came upon our creek. I was thinking on this new revelation, but I was still carefully watching Michael, who happily throwing rocks over a little waterfall that is 3-4 feet deep. He decided to put a big stick in there as well, and started on this course of action. He was so engrossed in his play, that he failed to realize how close he was coming to the edge. But being his big sister, I was watching the whole time. I was there. I warned him to get away from it, and he heeded my warning. He looked down and saw what was happening, and immediately corrected it.
            There are times in our lives when we are so occupied with sin that we don't see how close we are to getting into really big trouble. But our Father sees us the whole time, and warns us. Sometimes we take notice, and mend our ways. But sometimes, we willfully ignore the warning, and get ourselves in a world of hurt. But even if my brother had not listened to me, and continued on his dangerous course, and had ultimately fallen in, I would have been there to pick him up, comfort him, and make sure he wasn't too badly hurt. In the same way, even if we don't listen to God's cautions, and fall into traps that the enemy has set for us, God is still there to pick us up, comfort us, and heal our broken hearts. But we must be willing to accept His help.
            A few minutes after this incident, I decided it was time to move on. I called to Michael to follow me, but he was so absorbed in his play, he ignored me. He wasn’t  doing anything bad, he just didn't want to be interrupted. I called several times, and he finally came.
            It reminded me of how many times Jesus has called me during my life to do a job for Him (e.g. witness to someone, befriend someone, etc), and I did not heed His command. It would interrupt my "play", it was inconvenient at the time, it would make me uncomfortable, or it was just awkward.  These were the excuses I used. But my Father calls me to instantly obey Him, and there are consequences each time I fail. Many times, I have a guilty conscience. I hate having a guilty conscience. I lived with one for so long, I refuse to do it again. That is punishment enough for me. Just yesterday, a friend asked me to make friends with this young girl who really doesn't have any, and I didn't. I hardly said a word to her, because it was "inconvenient" for me. I have an uncomfortable state of mind today, knowing I failed my friend and God.
            So, back to the woods. Michael and I continued on our merry way, talking about everything (if you have ever had a conversation with an almost three-year-old, you know what the nature of the "conversation" was! {e.g. "We are in 'de woods!" "Yes we are." "I eaten backberrwies!" "Yeah, they are good, aren't they?" etc.}).  All of a sudden, he says, "I am tired". So I offered to carry him, and he gratefully accepted my proposal.
            Our Father is always there when we grow weary of life; tired of people, tired of circumstances, tired of everything. We just need to be carried. We need a rest. Jesus asks us to have a time of rest with Him each day; to pray, to read His word, to be cleansed, to be washed. We need that time with Him, so that we are refreshed and ready for the day ahead. Before I realized this important reason for devotions, I was always dragging my feet, reading every other book but the Bible, and found every reason not to. But when I became aware of the fact that I needed that time with God, or else I was prone to have an angry spirit that day, or was depressed, I quickly changed my view of my time with God. Are you being refreshed every day?
            We finally made it home, stuffed with blackberries, and continued life. But I was thinking; how many of us are so trusting of our Heavenly Father that we are willing for Him to lead us? There were a few times on the path in the woods when Michael thought he was leading me, but I, unbeknownst to him, was still directing his path. There was nothing Michael could do that I wouldn't know about. There was no where he could go without my knowledge of it. There is no where we can go that God doesn't know. The Bible says in Psalm 32:8, "I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."
            In Luke 18:17, God states why, in my opinion, we should try to see the world from a child's perspective by saying, "Verily I say unto you, whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no wise enter therein." It is important to have childlike faith, believe God at His word, and simply trust that He will do what He promises.
            The funny thing is, I am in charge of pre-schooling Michael, along with 2 other children in our neighborhood. But I believe, that if I watch and listen to Michael, he will be the one teaching me. I am blessed!
Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength…" Psalm 8:2

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


What is my life? Who am I? Why am I here? 

Some people call these fundamental questions of life. But they are not, really. While it is important to know why we are here; who we are as a person, a daughter, a wife, sibling, parent, etc., we need to rephrase the question. 

There was a tiny flower I happened to observe while in the woods. From a distance, there are hundreds of these tiny white flowers. They are in a place where no one will likely see them. But when we pick one, and hold it close, we notice a few things we couldn't see from afar. The bloom, which looked white from a distance is actually striped pink. It is obvious that it is giving all its strength just to bloom. But why? 


I mentioned that it was in a most secluded place. So why is it giving away all of its time, talents and beauty for nothing? Because it is here to praise the Lord! It never asked God why it was here. Why no one was noticing it. Why it was here when there are hundreds more to praise Him, serve Him, and to bring Him glory. Soon it will wither away and die and no one will remember it, but yet it was not here to bring glory to itself; but to the One Who made it.

As a bud, it never asked, "What will I do? What will I become? What is the will of God for my life?" No, it did not ask these questions, it just grew in beauty, strength, and lived its life to the fullest. Do you know which direction it grew? Up! Straight toward heaven. 

But now, because I picked it, its life is over. Its mission and calling was to show me a lesson. But that little flower had a lot of growing and maturing to do before it could accomplish its big assignment.
We too have a great assignment to fulfill; a destiny if you will. But to fulfill it, we must first grow and mature. We may have several things He wants us to accomplish, but we have our own growing to do. 

So why are we here? To grow up, live for self, get what we want, do what we want get glory, make money, then die? 

No. We are here to give glory, not for ourselves, but for the One Who made us and gives us our every breath. That in itself is an amazing existence, my friend. 

Who will you give glory to and live for today? 

Who are you, but one tiny beautiful flower, serving Christ with all your strength.