Preparing to Crash

Riding on an airplane is exciting!  There’s so much anticipation leading up to preparing to go on a trip, then arriving two hours early for your flight, then more waiting with anticipation for the plane to arrive.  Finally it’s time to board and everyone piles on top of each other to try and get on the plane, for their assigned seat that no one is going to steal yet is somehow a big deal, on a plane that is going to land at the same time and same place as everyone else on the plane; yet we still all crowd around with anticipation to just get on the plane!

Each time you ride on an airplane you see the stewardess demonstrating the safety features of the aircraft.  Some airlines even have a catchy engaging video to entertain you while highlighting the safety feature.  Most of the time the instruction is completely ignored.  People are busy getting settled in their seats, figuring out how to make electronics work, pulling out snacks to keep the kids mouths busy to prevent screaming, etc.  Plus, no one ever needs the information anyways.  It’s not like the plane is going to crash.

Well, let me burst your bubble.  Your plane IS going to crash.  It’s just a matter of when.

Throughout this life you are going to be presented with the safety features of the aircraft called life.  A complete safety guide and general information is contained in a book called the Bible which is available online and in print by request.  You will have several stewardesses available for questions or concerns 24/7.  The pilot is 100% available to you to support and encourage you on this journey, not to mention fly the plane for you.

You have to decide whether or not you are too busy to stop and listen.  Is it worth the time to stop and look at the life raft inflation instructions?  You never know when you just might need it.

God loves you.  He wants to do life with you and be in communion with you.  He wants to pilot your plane and save your life when it crashes.  All you have to do is say yes.  Yes to trusting Him with your life.  Yes to following His teachings and yes to a commitment of right living as outlined in the Bible.

When the plane crashes it’s too late to go back.  You need to prepare for the crash before it happens.  Will you accept Christ into your heart today?

Matthew 19:25-26 – When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?”  Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Romans 10:9-10 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

Philippians 3:8-9 –What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ – the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.

Confession Is Good For the Soul

So, true confession, I am not a writer.  This whole blogging thing is not my thing!  It is completely not within my comfort zone, nor is it in the top ten “Lindsay attributes” list either.  That being said, I always, and I mean always, pray before sitting down to blog.  This blog is for God’s glory, not my own, and therefore it’s my hearts desire to allow Him to lead my heart and my fingers.

More often than I’d like to admit, I’m not sure how to start my prayer time with him, though.  Usually my brain is still churning on the events of the day and not ready to settle down into God’s word.  I try to imagine kneeling before him, hands open, head bowed, submitting to his will.  Sometimes that imagery is the catalyst to the beginning of our quiet time together, and sometimes I still feel distant and alone.

One day mom and I were out running errands together (I was 4ish years old), and I committed theft.  We were at Michael’s and while standing in line I started playing with some small suction cups.  Totally random, I know, but I was fascinated by them.  They were the size of a quarter, clear, bendy, and fun to play with.  Mom wouldn’t let me have them, though, and I really wanted them.  My fingers NEEDED them.  So I did what any child would do when their mom told them “no” and to instead of putting them back on the shelf, I stuck them down my pants.

Later that day, mom was assisting me in the restroom and, as I pulled down my pants, out fell the suction cups.  There was no hiding it, they fell out right in front of her.  She knew exactly what I had done.  She knew I had stolen them after she told me no.  Needless to say that was the longest, most quietest, ride back to Michael’s that she and I ever had.  There was a chasm in our relationship that couldn’t be bridged until repentance took place.

Mom drove me back to Michael’s where I had to hand over the suction cups to the employee on duty and confess my crime.  I was sure that they’d handcuff me right then and there.  I was ashamed and embarrassed.  The employee accepted my apology, permitted me to put the suction cups back on the shelf, and leave the store with my mom (no jail time!).  The ride home wasn’t as silent as the ride there; Mom and I started our repair.

If you’re having trouble praying today, try confessing your sins.  Confess to the sin of putting self first, greed of finances, gluttony of food, anger towards others and lack of love in general.  As your sin pours out, God’s love pours in.  Thank you God for filling my ugly heart with your everlasting love and grace.

Psalm 32:5 – Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity.  I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord.”  And you forgave the guilt of my sin.

1 John 1:9 – If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Proverbs 28:13 – Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.

Psalm 69:5 – O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.

James 4:7-10 – Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you.  Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Be wretched and mourn and weep.  Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom.  Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.

Lick The Bowl

Addy and I made brownies one evening this week.  I had a sweet tooth craving and she didn’t feel like going to bed on time, therefore baking brownies together seemed like a logical solution.  Those sweet times are fewer and farther between these days, as she is wanting more and more time with her friends and less and less time with me.  But I digress.

After carefully cracking the eggs into the bowl containing the brownie mix (did I mention it was lazy brownies from a box?) Addy started the hand mixer.  After everything was sufficiently combined I poured the batter into the pan.  That’s when Addy asked to lick the beaters.  And I told her no.

She was so disappointed.  I mean, what is the point of baking brownies with your mom if you can’t even lick the beaters right!?  I told her she couldn’t lick the beaters because I knew I was going to give her the whole bowl to lick.  She didn’t know that was going to happen, but she trusted me when I said no.  Granted, she wasn’t happy, but there wasn’t a big meltdown either.

So often in our lives we ask God for the beaters and he says “no”.  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and  not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11)  This isn’t a promise of prosperity, but it is a statement that we can trust in God no matter what.  God knows us.  He knows the greatness and the goodness that He has in store for us.  When we miss out on the beaters, sometimes it is so we can lick the bowl.

If you’re at a “no beaters” point in your life, be encouraged today.  God sees you, he loves you and He is going to grow you to be more like Christ with each day and every circumstance.  Hold strong in your faith; God is worthy of your trust, love and faithfulness.  The bowl is worth the wait.

James 5:10-11 – As an example of suffering and patience, brothers, take the prophets who spoke in the name of the Lord.  Behold, we consider those blessed who remained steadfast.  You have heard of the steadfastness of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful.

Psalm 8:3-4 – When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 – But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Romans 5:2-5 – Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

 

 

Suffocating Reality

Today I was suffocating in the reality of life.  Nothing bad really, just stress upon stress.  I had to get some air.  Do you ever have those times when you envision taking a plane to a remote location on the other side of the earth where no one will find you, where you have zero guilt or regret, and you run away from all your problems?  I needed to step outside my world to reflect and breathe a minute.

Every minute of every day we are dying.  Every second that goes by is a second closer to death.  And we get to choose how we spend those seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years and decades.  We get to choose if we want to live free in Christ or live suffocating without him.

In taking a time-out to breathe, I realized I wasn’t trusting in God.  My plan, my way, my ideas were better than his.  He wasn’t going to handle my problems how I wanted them handled.  Then I surrendered.  Lord, I surrender all to you.

The moment you surrender everything to God you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders.  We are not meant to carry the burdens of this world alone.  For it is through those trials that we lean on Christ the most and, by leaning on Christ, we grow closer to Him.

If you are suffocating in the reality of life today, stop and breathe.  In your moment of stillness, surrender, truly surrender, all of your problems and worries to God.  He will take care of them in ways that are bigger than you could ever imagine.  Trust that His plan is greater than yours.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5)

You’ve got this sister.  You CAN do this.  You WILL make it through.  To God be the glory for ever and ever.

Psalm 34:8 – Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.

Isaiah 40:28-31 – Do you not know?  Have you not heard?  The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom.  He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Romans 8:31 – What, then, shall we say in response to these things?  If God is for us, who can be against us?

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

So Lush and Green!

My favorite road to drive down is Ottinger Rd. in Westlake, TX.  The trees on opposite sides of the road are so full and lush that they form a canopy over the road.  When you drive you’re transformed into a different world, one of beauty and possibility.

Here lately the trees have been extra green and the grass has been extra lush.  We’ve had rain almost every day for the last week, and the landscape is loving the relief from the heat of summer.  It makes the drive down Ottinger that much sweeter.

Just like the grass and trees, we, as individuals, can’t grow without the rain.  Sometimes rain in our life is gentle, sometimes the rain is a harsh, pounding storm.  For whatever reason (probably my own hard headedness!), my life seems to be comprised of more hurricanes and tornadoes than gentle lulling rain showers.

It’s through the greatest trials in life that God’s glory can shine the brightest.  God uses our sufferings in life to reach others for Christ in a way that only God could orchestrate.  He has grown my trees, watered them abundantly and woven them together intricately to display his beauty through his creation, my life.

Our lives are on display for all to see, dead or alive, messy or clean, perfect or not.  I pray my life appears abundant and lush like the trees on Ottinger Rd., and I pray that God continues to bring me storms so that I might continue to grow in my knowledge and understanding of Him.

Check out The Day of the Ugly Cry and also Blessings by Laura Story for additional encouragement.

Romans 5:3-5 – Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

Romans 8:17-18 – Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.  I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.

James 1:12 – Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.

James 1:2-4 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

No Perfection Here

My life is messy, like stupid messy.  It’s highly likely that I bring all the drama on myself; however, I presently choose to live in denial on that subject.  You definitely won’t find the key to stress-free living on this blog!  Hopefully, to God be the Glory, you will find hope, joy, love, grace and mercy-filled living, though!

My heart has recently been greatly burdened by a personal ongoing trial.  It’s the kind where the situation’s tentacles reach into every orifice of every facet of your life.  I felt  so lost and overwhelmed (and still struggle with those emotions!).  My quiet time consisted of a lot of tears, a little snot and an empty heart.  I cried out “God, I don’t know what I’m doing!”  I was lost and seeking resolution to my hurt and relief for my pain.

When you have those situations where you don’t know what to do, pray to God.  Surrender control of the situation to Him.  He has all the answers and, not just the answers, but the perfect answers.  When you are lost and don’t know which way is up, pray to God that He show you the way.  Looking for God’s direction?  Stop, pray, seek and ye shall find.

It’s painful when sometimes the answer is “wait” while we are amidst our suffering.  There’s no clear “solution” to my situation at the moment.  There’s no do or don’t do, stay or go, lift or drop.  That means the solution is to wait and pray.  My calling at this moment is to love God and that includes loving Him through my suffering.

I pray that God would bless others through the trials in each of our lives.  Live your life as a witness to God’s grace, love, mercy, joy and hope.  May God be glorified through our sufferings and pain.  Lord give us the strength and wisdom to surrender all to you even when it hurts.  Bless, encourage and uplift us as we weep at your feet.

Matthew 7:7-8 – “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.  Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one.”

Philippians 4:7-9 – And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me – practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Psalm 31:7-8 – I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul, and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy; you have set my feet in a broad place.

The Parts We Don’t Like

Okay, I can’t speak for all men, or even for all women, however it seems to me that almost every woman has a part about her body that she doesn’t like.  Thick ankles, mommy tummy, love handles, too big “this” or too small “that”, the list is endless.  In a day and age that glorifies personal appearance and self worship, we are all too apt to focus in on those areas of our bodies that we don’t like.

And I’m no exception.  Regardless of my pant size I don’t like my midsection or shape.  I don’t like my scars from past surgeries.  My body is bent from scoliosis.  Insecurities, each and every one.  (Public confession has to be good for the soul right!?)  I can’t change my scars or my spine, but I like to pretend I have control over my pant size.  The constant striving to drop pounds and inches will drive you mad!!

The Bible says to lose is to gain (Luke 9:24-25) and while God wasn’t talking about weight, or even body issues for that matter, that scripture got me thinking.  I’ve been so focused on what I want to lose that I haven’t focused on what I stand to gain.

Our battle over sin isn’t about losing/stopping the act of sin itself, it’s about a heart change that leads to loving, submitting and serving God more and more.  If you are stuck in the cycle of sin, don’t try and focus on eradicating the action of sin.  Instead, pray for a heart that would love and serve God more.  Pray that God would intervene in your habit of sin.  You’ll find that the more your heart centers on a growing relationship with Christ, the more that sin will die.  For where light is, present darkness cannot exist.

Luke 9:24-25 – For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.  For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses or forfeits himself?

Psalm 119:25-29 – I am laid low in the dust; preserve my life according to your word.  I gave an account of my ways and you answered me; teach me your decrees.  Cause me to understand the way of your precepts, that I may meditate on your wonderful deeds.  My soul is weary with sorrow; strengthen me according to your word.  Keep me from deceitful ways; be gracious to me and teach me your law.

Hebrews 10:23-27 – Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.  And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.  For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.

1 John 1:7-9 – But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.  If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.

Galatians 5:19-21 – The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.  I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Mark 8:35 – For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.

 

 

Photo by rawpixel.com from Pexels