Andyouinvitedmein’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘Christian

I started this summer knowing I would not have any money to live on. Due to a series of circumstances and a 10-month paycheck, I ended up with zero money. My mother could only help marginally. I have helped kids for years by providing a place to live and food to eat. This summer I was totally dependent on God. I will get my first check since June 2 in two weeks.

Each and every step God has moved. I’ve lost a couple of things, but overall I’ve really lost nothing. I could have used the $X,000 I would have made this summer but instead I’ve seen God move mightily.

When you are worried and put things in His hands, remember He might deliver at the last minute but He will deliver. Don’t give in to fear but press in and press forward. If you don’t have food–fast and pray.

OK…signing off…

Advertisements

I read this title last week, and thought about writing about my death. Let me say I like being alive and don’t expect to die soon. Time goes so fast. It seems like a couple of springs ago I was at the Spring Fling at Florence State University (now University of North Alabama) and getting ready for college graduation. I felt like I had the world by the tail. Thirty-seven years later I’m about to become a grandmother, and the world wasn’t always as benevolent as I wanted.

In the same amount of time since that spring in 1974, I’ll probably be dead or close enough that people worry about that elderly lady. Then one glorious day I’ll shed this old earthly body and be present with the Lord. Maybe I’ll awaken one morning and know that this is the day that I die; or it might come as a complete surprise. Nonetheless, I hope death comes during sleep. I prefer not to die in a fire or by drowning. I don’t like the cold, being buried alive or gutted like a fish like William Wallace in Braveheart. But what ever the Lord has prepared for me the end will come at a time that was assigned.

When I see His face, I don’t expect the Lord to ask me if I wore long hair or patent leather shoes. He won’t be interested in my Cadillac or lack of Cadillac. I believe God will be more concerned about what I did with my time, talent, and if I was able to love unconditionally. He might even measure all my thoughts and actions by The Golden Rule—what he called the greatest commandment. However, if today was my last day then I’d like these to be my parting thoughts:

  • Life is short, therefore handle with care. We think it is very, very long when we’re waiting for our 18th birthday. We can’t wait for our graduation, marriage and children. Then at some point time starts spinning out of control. Today you’re in the car with your two-year-old and tomorrow she’s graduating from high school. Your youngest child isn’t a baby forever and soon you’re alone and can do all those things you thought you’d never do again like sleep late on a Saturday morning.
  • Don’t spend time cursing the thermostat or the guy who pulls out in front of you. Spend more time praising God for all the blessings He’s given you.
  • Spend more time on the eternal and less time on the temporal.
  • Most of us believe we are a brilliant combination of Stephen Hawking and Pa Cartwright, but we’re more like Jethro Bodine and Clark Griswold. If we were perfect we’d have no need for Jesus to be our strength. We’re the best when we’ve given up and turned it over to Him…that is especially true when our kids are around 13. Worry less about what they’re doing to embarrass you, and love them more—unconditional love goes a LONG way.
  • Laugh at least once a day. Laugh most about yourself—don’t take yourself so seriously.
  • Remember kids are people too with ideas, feelings and dreams. Before you react remember how much God tolerates from you.
  • Remember your teenage years and all the crazy stuff you did and you turned out okay. Cut the kids some slack…instead of grounding a kid maybe a treat from McDonalds and tell them all the good things about them.
  • If you don’t have children, then find someone else’s to ‘adopt’. Parents never enough time or money, so having a favorite aunt or uncle can be rewarding for all involved. We’ve loved having Auntie Karen for our kids.
  • Speaking of family…are you close to them? Recently in the South we experienced a day of tornados that totally changed the geographical landscape, but also neighborhoods and families. What if today is the day that your family changes forever? Are there people with whom you need to make amends? Are there people with whom you need to reconcile? What’s God speaking to your heart…just your heart and not what the nosey neighbor or Sally Churchgoer wants to recommend?

One day in the next fifty decades my earthly shell will be laid to rest. It will be a day of rejoicing because I’ll finally be Home. The Bible says: to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord…and it can’t get much better than that.

Are you ready to write about your death and what lies beyond? If you don’t have that assurance, then seek Jesus today.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra by Michael Tyler

Trans-Siberian Orchestra as photographed by Michael W. Tyler

On Sunday we went to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and with all the lights and acoustics I suddenly felt like I could be on that stage performing. I was dreaming like when I was younger and it seemed like the sky was the limit on what I could do and who I could become. When you are young you don’t think about not seeing a loved one again.

The last twenty-four hours has been nostalgic in that I longed to be back at my grandparent’s house. There were certain things that could only happen there with them like my grandfather calling Santa “Santy”. Or my grandmother always burning the bottoms of cheap biscuits–those you buy in four pack for around a dollar for the four.

Everyone was welcomed at their home. Family members who might not be welcomed anywhere else were welcome to come and have a bite to eat and fellowship. Because my grandparents were peacemakers, no one who had an ought with another got mad at Jewell and Ercie for befriending the other party. This gift has been passed down to my parents as they could have hostile acquaintances come to their table and peace would take over everyone…there was no more family or friend “war”.

This is Christmas Day…the day our Savior was born and it was through him that our sins are forgiven and we are reconciled to God. Today is the day you need to find that loved one who has been outside the warmth of your embrace…if you can’t find them by traditional means search through Google, Facebook and MySpace. Make this a “Lost Sheep Day” and welcome them home.

I started this blog by talking about youth and things we don’t think of such as losing our loved ones. On Christmas Eve morning I lost a friend named Jack. He was a beloved pastor who had the heart of a child and embraced everyone. I’ve known Jack for eight years and suddenly time was gone: time to tell him how much I loved him or how much embodied the grace of Jesus in his everyday life.

On Christmas Eve night a close friend became a grandmother. That baby is just like the baby that comes to everyone. Remember that special love the first time you saw your child, sibling, friend? If you are not in touch…reach out and get in touch TODAY!!! Blessings…

Yesterday I was in church…well there aren’t many words to describe the way I felt in church. We had a guest speaker who was anything but inspiring. And as well after hearing him, I don’t think anyone would want to be a Christian. Seriously, it was all doom and gloom about the End Times. I have as much ability to stop End Times from happening as I do to stop a freight train. Therefore being scared isn’t they way to approach what is coming. It is sort of like going on a trip: you have to be prepared, and when the time comes then you will have what it take to make the journey.

When I was sharing this with my mother, and we began a discussion that even if we were smack-dab in the middle of evil we’d have to continue to show the love of Christ; then she related this story that I thought was interesting. The whole point to this is that if we knew the context of the scripture as it pertained to the culture, we would have a different take on it. And we were talking about the original Dr. Evil…

If Adolf Hitler lived next door to me, I’d have to show the love of Christ to him. I’d develop a relationship, and then wait for the Lord’s direction on specifics of what I might say or do. And then Mom said “I always had trouble with the verse from Romans.” (Romans 12:20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.) She stated that it was strange that you’d make a person feel bad when you’re doing something nice. However, she told me what it meant back in the day…

Fire was important to life. If your fire went out, then you had to find coals and bring them to your location to start your fire again. Therefore, these coals are life sustaining. So when you give grace (undeserved favor/love) to those who don’t deserve it, then you give them/him/her life. Instead of making them feel bad, they would have life. People want to live, and grace gives life.

Grace is a command. Grace isn’t always fun, and doesn’t always work out pretty. However, God is in control and when you’re doing His will, you can’t go wrong.

What do you think about the earthquake in China? What about Dafur? What about the starving children in Myanmar? What about the Christians in Laos: the pastor who was killed and now his wife continues his church and preaches grace? What about a certain child I know who is dying and his parents don’t have the money for gas to get to the hospital? These are issues that also need our attention.

As a Christian I think we need to be about the Lord’s business, and that means letting those we love know how much we love them…and we need to love them in more than just words. I’ve often heard the scripture from James quoted: “faith without works is dead.” People used it to emphasize the need to cook meals, witness or whatever to show they were/are working for the Lord. Let me put a new twist on it…

If the foundation for our faith is what Jesus did when he died for our sins. Then our faith is based on unconditional love and grace. “The works” would be showing grace and forgiveness to others. Now is a time to show what Jesus is all about. Here’s what the world is hungry for…

The Amish who embraced the shooter’s family. The church in Colorado who embraced the shooter’s family. The woman in Rwanda who has befriended the man who killed her husband and children. This is what the world is crying out for…the very thing that by passes the mind goes straight to the heart and makes people want to be better to their fellow man.

It is my opinion that my faith is only undermined when I set conditions on love. My children are strong in their faith when I’m acting like the Amish with the shooter’s family. The world wants what I have when my actions are like the Amish with the shooter’s family…

In short, there will begin to be battles now that the California Supreme Court has stepped up to the plate. We conservative Christians can fuss and fight, and maybe win politically, but what will we lose?

NOW is the time for all of us who carry the name of Jesus to step up to the plate. Our acts of grace will go to the heart…think about it…practice it everyday…watch things change.

May 12, 2008
And You Invited Me In
“In the conservative church, our problem is not having enough grace. Grace is the name of our ship and why we are saved. Extending grace when it seems impossible what the book is about.”

By Jeremy Reynalds
Correspondent for ASSIST News Service

 

 ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (ANS) It’s a tragedy that Cheryl Moss Tyler’s book “And You Invited Me In” would be considered controversial in most conservative evangelical circles.

That’s because it’s a very readable and eminently Biblical exhortation for self-described Bible believing Christians to show the love of Jesus Christ to homosexuals. Once I began reading “And You Invited Me In,” I couldn’t put it down. If you choose to purchase the book, and I strongly suggest you consider doing so, I believe that you’ll experience the same reaction I did.

Click here to link to and read the full review of And You Invited Me In by Jeremy Reynalds: http://www.assistnews.net/Stories/2008/s08050065.htm

 (Photo by Sheliah Miller of Tulsa World/AP)

The photo is from yesterday’s twister in Oklahoma. We have relatives there who deal with this all the time. A storm like this carries incredible power to rearrange a landscape and change lives. As powerful as this twister was, the power of unconditional love and forgiveness is even greater.

Several times a year my mother will report that her fellow churchmen question: Why don’t we have ‘the power’? The Power they’re looking for is the power to lay on hands and a person is healed, delivered, or whatever is needed by the seeker. It would also be The Power to raise people from the dead. Frankly, when I die just let me go on and rest in Jesus arms—don’t be calling me back. That’s just me, and I need to get back to what I intend to say in this blog.

In my opinion The Power is only two things: unconditional love and forgiveness. From there you’ll be able to witness the nine visible attributes of Fruit of the Spirit from Galatians 5:22-23: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and self-control. There’s no law against these, and people will be able to identify you as a follower of Christ because of these attributes.

Warning! Unconditional love is very difficult, but it’s something that Satan cannot copy. He can’t copy forgiveness either. And that’s The Power…this power might not be able to raise a dead person, but it’s the power that will transform a broken heart, heal a dispute, or resurrect a family.

I live in The South, and as the weather changes we experience tornadoes all spring and fall. I’ve seen hundreds of after-the-storm interviews on television. The only thing that matters to any of those being interviewed is that their family and friends made it out okay. After the storm it isn’t the gold Cadillac or the Prada shoes that matter.

Once we’re living with Jesus and can look back on this life we’ll see how important relationship is and wonder why we didn’t move quicker to reconcile. In the hereafter it won’t matter what “Sister Susie” thinks. It will only be about how much we did in forgiving and giving grace to the extent that it hurts.

So this Sunday in church think about the richness of relationship. Think about the person in your life who isn’t there anymore because of an “ought”—Bible term to mean “we got mad and haven’t made up yet.” As you reach out to them, forgive and restore, then The Power will come like a tidal wave.