Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Answer the Call

948175_telephone_46And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast. 10For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. — Ephesians 2:6-10 (NIV)

I’ve noticed a commonality lately with many unequally yoked spouses. Many have shared with me that God has called them to cease petitioning for their unsaved spouses’ salvation and to begin thanking God that it’s already in place. I know this to be true in my own situation, but I wondered how I could back that up biblically.

This Sunday, my pastor unknowingly revealed what I needed in the above verses. If you take at the first verse, Paul says “God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms.” Our place is secure and already established. And there’s much more to this multifaceted jewel:

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

My Hubby My Hero

935633_heroI think I fell in love with my husband all over again Monday evening. Our family is facing a crisis at the moment, which called us all to join together and participate in something he normally would refuse. My sweet guy not only came, but he didn't fuss, argue, or resist either.

As I sat across the room from him, I fell in love with him in a whole new way. For the first time in twenty-one years, he was my hero. He came to the rescue of his family. At one point I looked at him and said, "I don't think I've ever loved you more than I do at this moment."

Read the rest at S.U.M.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hit Again

Img_0293Last Friday as I was driving home with my daughter in typical California rush hour traffic, I got rear-ended. Again.

Two years ago we traded in my gas guzzling car for a nice, shiny red Honda Civic. I picked up my daughter from school one day and got rear-ended by the poor 17-year-old in the SUV behind me. I say poor because I totally lost my cool, hopped out, and started ranting how the car was only a week old. Brand spanking new.

I was not at my best that day. I apologized to this poor kid who felt so horrible for hitting us, and I could tell he felt his world had just crumbled into total darkness. I later found out that was because he wasn’t supposed to drive his car to school.

Uh oh. We both learned big lessons that day. I asked God to help me keep my cool if I was ever in the same situation again.

Well, last Friday, as I said, I got rear-ended. Amazingly, I stayed completely calm, got out of my car, and checked out the damage. A nice dent the size of a basketball waved hello along with his entourage of scratches in the nice shiny red paint.

And the last two years were so peaceful and damage free. The guy behind me suggested we move out of traffic. I paused for a mere second. Long enough for the thought that he might take off to present itself to my brain and my heart to say, “Let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.”

Sigh. Why didn’t I at least use my cell phone to take a picture of my bumper and one of his license plate, which I didn’t even take time to notice? (In CA we have both front and back plates).

Well, you guessed it. I drove ahead a bit and found a church parking lot to pull into. He kept going, never to be seen again. Boy, did I feel stupid, but I did learn another lesson and will know how to handle it the next time it happens, which it most likely will.

After spending the next few hours beating myself up for being so gullible and feeling rather stupid, it suddenly dawned on me that I never lost my cool. When the guy hit me, I remained calm and polite (though I sure would like to give him a piece of my mind now).

God had certainly answered my prayer from two years ago. And the reward in this (yes, there really is one) is that the dent in my bumper popped out by the time I got home. Only the cover was damaged with some scrapes.

Life will inevitably throw us these curves, but knowing God sees (yes, whoever you are, God saw and will deal with you at some later date for your deceit) and equips us to handle these surprise situations.

I may have left the scene of the accident with a dent, but I landed on my feet mostly undamaged and a lesson learned. But most of all, my prize is knowing God was at that intersection before me, ready to answer a two-year-old prayer.

And that’s the best kind of accident insurance anyone could have.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Chain of Effectiveness

1018103_broken_chainFor this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. — 2 Peter 1:5-8 (NIV)

For years I’ve sought to understand why it is so difficult to an effective Christian. When we read the storied of the disciples and the thousands brought to Christ in one day, I wonder what we’ve lost in this day and age. What’s different now compared to then? Why is it so difficult to be effective in our own generation? To our own families and spouses?

Read the rest at S.U.M.