Friday, August 27, 2010

Skip the Apple a Day

Have you ever had a conversation that you knew absolutely was a God-thing? I have, and most recently it was with my doctor.

Amid talk of cholesterol numbers (mine are excellent) and body mass index (need to work on that), my doctor and I started talking about God's faithfulness in our lives.

We have both been through some very dark times in our lives, but we shared a common faith. As we sat there surrounded by the exam table, cotton swabs, old magazines, we opened up about our inability to pray, our anger at God, our yearning to find peace and healing.

As sisters in Christ, we encouraged one another and testified of seeing God's divine plan come to fulfillment in our lives. We marveled at the lessons we learned and the strenghth brought to our faith, after going through a time in life when God was truly the only place to turn.

If you are going through, know that God sees you, that He hears your cries, that He sees your tears, that He feels your pain. More importantly, He is with you. Ask Him to give you peace, to feel His presence, to know His will. You will make it. As desperate as you feel, there is hope.

After quite some time, we realized that she had other patients to see. We connected. It was a WOW moment.

I'm glad I had to see my doctor that day. She blessed me, and I hope our encounter encouraged her as well. God does that. He arranges these routine things in our lives that turn into extraordinary acts of God's intervention...reminders that He loves us, and our hearts are knit together as His children.

So don't skip out on your doctor, not just for your physical well being, but for your spiritual health as well. There may be a blessing there for you.

Friday, August 20, 2010

An Enemy Like Me

I can't tell you how many times I have sang the song, "I am a friend of God." But there is an opposite of that too. At one time, I was His enemy. It wasn't that I just had not received Christ, or that I was choosing to make my own life choices, I was actually His enemy. Colossians 1:21 says, "This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions." Whoa....that was deep. I read that in a Bible Study last week, and it floored me.

I remembered the time before giving my life to Jesus when I really DID do my own thing. I wasn't concerned with God's will for my life, and I certainly didn't understand grace or the sacrifice He had made by sending His Son to die for me.

And if you think back in your life to that time, you will have to come to the same conclusions I did. Because we all must see the truth of that Scripture. None of us were born Christians. We all have that time in our lives that we were enemies of God...diametrically opposed to His will.

Enemy is defined as "one who is antagonistic to another," "an adversary," "a hostile force." I know, it's hard to think of yourself that way. But that's who we were before Christ....lost, in darkness, unable to save ourselves, helpless.

But then God's grace steps in and through Him we are taken from death to life. His grace is sufficient and I thank Him everyday for it, for giving me what I truly do not deserve.

I have peace and joy in my life. I know that I was created with a purpose and that my life is precious to God. I know that God has a plan for me and for each of us. I am not an accident and neither are you. We were not born, just to live and then die...and go into non-existence. God has you on this planet, in this place, space, and time...for such a moment as this. What are you going to do with it?
You are dearly loved. God has a plan for you. So my WOW moment for today is "WOW, God!! I can't believe you chose me. You loved me even when I was your enemy. And you have given my life more meaning that I ever thought possible."

My response to that love. Show me your will Lord. Help me in this day to live a life that pleases you.

What's your response?

[PHOTO CAPTION] Yep...that was me. Some years ago (smile). Believe it or not, I think I was about 18 in this photo.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Happens in a BLINK

My father-in-law passed away earlier this week and it has been a surreal experience. I truly understand that it will not really hit me until I walk into the house tomorrow night and I'm not met with his warm hug and infectious smile.

The last time we saw him our whole family was together celebrating his 80th birthday. And when I talked to my mother-in-law, she just said, "It was too soon."

Even 80 years of living is still not enough, it goes by so quickly. The Christian group, Revive, has a song called "Blink." It simply says, "It happens in a blink, it happens in a flash, it happens in the time it took to look back. I try to hold on tight, but there's no stopping time. What is it I've done with my life? It happens in a blink."

Homer Bryson Jr. lived his life. He traveled to places like Australia, Alaska, and the Holy Land. He wasn't afraid to experience new things, to live his dreams. And along the way, he blessed as many people as he could.

Life is short. Don't live it looking back with regrets. You can't get back yesterday. And tomorrow may never come. So you have just this moment, in the present, right now. You have today. What AWESOME thing are you going to do today?!? Because even a small awesome thing is still a WOW kind of thing.

Don't live even one more moment despairing over the past. Confess your faults and failures to God, and rest in His peace. Don't waste another second hoping that tomorrow will be the day. Today is THE day and it is a very precious gift from God. Don't waste it. This is what you have...just today, 24 hours.

Allow God to use you today to do something truly like HIM. Are you ready? Then.....GO!!!

[PHOTO CAPTION] Three Generations of Bryson Men--Homer Bryson Jr., his firstborn grandson, Ellis Bryson, and his oldest son, L. Sebastian Bryson smile for the camera after Dad's 80th birthday celebration in Rome, GA.