Monday, September 14, 2009

The Real Gift

As I stood in front of our booth at the Morgnton Festival on Saturday I saw a number of different people from all walks of life. Some were happy. Some were sad. Still others were dressed in many different types of clothes and hair styles. Children of all ages gazing at all the sites to be seen as they were walking down the streets with their eyes looking in all directions. As I spoke to the people passing our way, some were amazed that I would speak while others were very cordial. There were those that just looked at me and kept walking. We were giving away horse shoes with people's names hammered on the hores shoe. People were amazed that we would do this for free. They did not understand that we had an even greater gift to give them if they would ask for it. As the day went on, I would use the horse shoe to start a conversation about this wonderful free gift that I was so wanting to give each and everyone that came our way. This gift is something we all need in order to get our rewards when we die. This gift is Jesus our Savior. He died on the cross for our sins so that we could have eternal life in Heaven. This gift is totally free. All we have to do is to admit we are sinners and ask for forgiveness and believe that Jesus is God's son and that he died for our sins and rose the third day. The only thing left is to ask Jesus to come and live in our hearts and that my friend is the best gift in the world. You will never be happier than at that moment when Jesus comes into your heart. This was our real gift to these people. The horse shoe was extra. John 3:16 explaines this gift completely. On the horse shoe this verse was stamped on the ends. The person's name is in the center of the horse shoe, right in the center of God's amazing love for us. The Real Gift straight from God's heart to our heart. There were 33 that received that gift that day. AMEN!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

For That Fearless Hero

There are times in life when no matter what we have done and no matter how much we have poured into a job, there is going to be someone that will either not like what we have done or just be completely jealous of the things we have accomplished. These are times that we want to either just lash out at these people or just simply take our stripes and hope that our lives will come together again. This can be one of the loneliest times in our lives. It seems that we are the only one in the world that has done something terribly wrong and everyone is out to get us and take a piece of us as they do.

It is a good thing to be able to call on family, but even that does not heal all the wounds. You know in your heart that you did the best that you could under the circumstances and acted in the best interest of all involved, but there is still that one who wants so badly to make us look bad and tear down all the good that we have done. They just simply cannot stand to see us rise above the rest of the group, even though we have earned it.

Jealousy is one of the most terrifying and destructive enemies in our society. It lurks around every corner and is patiently waiting for that time that it can jump out and attack us and tear us to shreds and then just go about its business like nothing ever happened.

When the dust settles, you'll find jealousy sitting there smiling and taking all the bows, while we just sit there and wonder if it is really over and life can begin to go back to normal again. Still this does not even begin to make any of it feel better or even make sense to us.

This would seem to be a time that we could feel sorry for ourselves and wonder "Why me?" Bad times are events that we can use to grow and to better ourselves if we keep our eyes on Jesus and don't let our enemy win the battle. They may win the earthly battle, but not the spiritual battle. God knows what has taken place and He will direct our paths on to something even bigger and better if we but keep our eyes on him and trust him. Matthew 6:33-34 says, "But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself." KEEP THE FAITH!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tea Pot or Tea Cup

A tea pot is a beautiful vessel that holds a very aromatic, steaming, hot, vibrant tea. This tea has been brewed to perfection. The tea pot contents are then poured into the tea cup which holds the tea. The tea cup is then given to your guest to enjoy and savor the flavor. It is your gift to them for their friendship. You may even offer a cookie or a pastry for them to enjoy with their tea. All these acts are given for a dear friend, one in whom you care very much. Let's say that your friend was very complimentary of your tea and cookies, but did not eat them. The tea sat there in the cup and got cold and lost its wonderful flavor. The cookies became stale and lost their crunch. Would they be good to eat at this point or would they have any value at this point? No. the only thing to do would be to throw the cookies in the trash and pour out the tea in the sink and wash the cup.

With this said, let me make a simple analogy of this event. God pours down rich blessings each and every day to each one of us and fills our hearts with His love and mercy. It is what we do with these blessings that decides whether we are a tea pot or a tea cup. If we in turn pour these blessings out for others to enjoy and gain wisdom and strength, we would be said to be the tea pot. If we just kept them inside and never did anything with them or shared them with anyone, then we would be said to be the tea cup.

If we are a tea pot which pours of its blessings to others,then God will continue to bless our lives and give us even richer blessings so that our heart is filled to the rim with His love and mercy. If we are the tea cup and don't pour out what God has given us, then we will keep our blessings to ourselves and enjoy them for a time, but then they would become cold and stale and loose their flavor and would not even be pleasing to us anymore. They certainly would not be good to share with anyone else because they have lost their savor and meaning.

The more we share what God has done for us, the more people we reach for His glory and the more lives we influence and help to know the wonderful blessings God has in store for them. It is this that helps others to understand the love of God and will help them come to a saving relationship with His son Jesus Christ.

So I ask You. Are you a Tea Pot or just a Tea Cup. Both are very lovely and look alike and belong to the same owner, but how useful are you in your witness to others about the loving care and mercy of God. Only your actions will show where your heart is and what you really want to accomplish with your witness to others.

Matthew 10:42 says, "And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuradly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward." This tells me that if we continue to pour out God's blessings to all, God will always reward us for our efforts and what we do will not return void in His sight.

TEA POT or TEA CUP! You decide.

Friday, August 21, 2009


As we live our lives daily, God sometimes has a very interesting way of letting us know just what he wants us to do. There are situations that we are placed in and we cannot for any reason figure out just why we are there. Several times I have found myself in places with people and situations that it wasn't until after I left I knew why I was there. I teach in our community college and during one of the clinicals there a student was very upset. She had just started preceedings for divorce because her husband had an affair and she was very distraught about the situation. I saw that she was having difficulty and ask if there was anything I could do to help. She told me about the situation and how hard it was for her to do this because she had a little girl to think of in this as well. I explained to her that God does not want us to live in that type of situation and that according to the Bible she could divorce him. This made her feel better. I had just got my website up and running and gave her the address. I told her that I had some articles there that would help her and also had some stories for her little girl, as well as, a site with many types of activities there for her little girl to do. She went home that day and when she came back to clinical the next day she told me she and her little girl spent several hours on the site. She said that she read the articles and felt better about her life and her little girl enjoyed the stories and they found lots of things to do together on the link there in the Kid's Corner. She was much happier and said that she had a renewed strength in her life and felt that she could go on with her life with determination to do what was best for her and her daughter. I had no idea that day I would be counseling one of my students, but that was God's little job for me that day. It says in Psalms 32:8 that, "I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; I will guide you with my eye." This tells me that God is always there and will guide us to the place we should be and give us just what we need to fulfill his work. God has never let me down in anything that I have ever attempted in His name. I believe totally and completely in His promises to me.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Stepping Out of the Box

Stepping outside the box is sometimes very hard to do. I recently stepped outside the box and totally stepped out on faith in God. I was at a Seniors Conference in Tennessee in October of 2006 and the main emphasis of the evening service was missions. I enjoyed the music as I always do, but there was something very different about that night. The program started with a parade of flags from all the countries in the world. The first flags were from countries that had Southern Baptist missionaries there spreading the word of God. The second group were from countries that had not heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. As I watched these flags go by, I remember saying to myself we have a lot of work to do before Jesus comes again. My heart burned for these countries that had not heard the gospel.
The keynote speaker of the conference for that night was very vocal in telling us that we needed to go and tell these countries about the love of Jesus and spread the gospel to all the nations. His emphasis was that we were seniors and would be more apt to have the time and resources to go to other countries and tell others about Jesus. It was as though I could not sit still during his message that evening. He finished his message by giving a time of commitment. His call was for anyone willing to go for a week to one of these countries and to spread the gospel. He asked that anyone that would be willing to go to please stand up. I jumped up like a Johnny Jump-Up doll. As I stood there, I could not control the feelings that ran through my heart at that moment. I felt as though my heart were going to burst and there was an immediate feeling that God was all over me and it was a wonderful feeling. The next feeling I remember was asking myself, what have I done? My pastor and his wife were sitting next to me and knew what had happened to me. They were very happy and proud for me.
After I went home, I began to search the internet for missions trips to foreign countries that were for medical missions since I am a nurse. I found numerous ones and I applied to several. They were eager to go and as time went by, these trips did not make for various reasons. This went on for about four to five months. One day after I had spent some time looking for an opportunity to go, I just looked up and said, "God what do you want me to do?" I felt that I had made the right decision that night in Tennessee, but was having second thoughts about the whole thing. I gave up and stopped looking for a while.
One evening when I went on line to get my emails, I ran across an email from the Ukraine. I could not believe my eyes. I opened it and it was from a mission strategist there who had seen where I had applied for mission trips to foreign countries and they wondered if I would be interested in going to the Ukraine to serve. They were planning a Summit in Apex North Carolina where they and several other missions strategist would be there talking about the needs in that country. It just so happened that I had asked off for that week from work because it was going to be our church revival and I wanted to go. The meetings were going to be the same days as our revival. The only problem with that was that Apex was 41/2 hours away from where I lived. The meetings started at 8:00am and our revival started at 7:00pm. I knew in my heart that I needed to be there. Something was drawing me there and I knew that something was God.
I arrived the first morning and was met by the mission strategist that had sent me the email. I don't know how she knew who I was, but she did and she helped me register and go to my first meeting. While I was there I heard about all the needs in that country and my heart really began to burn and I wanted to go full time as a missionary. I met a lady who was a trip organizer for groups of people who wanted to go to the Ukraine to serve. She and her husband became friends with me and she told me that if I ever wanted to go on a trip to call them. She gave me her business card and I tucked it away in my wallet. They traveled many times during the year to the Ukraine and would love to have me join them.
While I was there, the mission strategists informed me that the church where we were meeting was planning a trip to the Ukraine and they needed a nurse to travel with them. This was very exciting and I immediately said yes, I would go. We kept in touch for a month or so after the meeting and then people began to drop out of that trip and it soon was obvious that we could not go. After this I did not know if I would ever get to go on a trip. I began to search the Internet again for more opportunities to serve. One day I remembered that my friends there had given me their business card and told me to call if I wanted to go on a trip. I gave her a call and she said that her church was going in October and that I would be more than welcome to come and go with them. I was so excited about this. We had our first meeting and I realized that I did not know these women and they did not know me and we were going away for 9 days to do a women's conference in Kherson, Ukraine. I had never done or participated in a women's conference before and did not know what I would do or say. The team leader passed out a book entitled "My Heart, Christ's Home" and told us to read it and to use that book to decide what we were going to speak on-when we were in the Ukraine. As I read that book, I kept on saying to myself, you are a nurse, what can you do there?
We had to have our rough draft of our message in by the next meeting. I prayed very hard to see what I was suppose to speak about. I felt led to do something medical and at the same time do something spiritual. I decided to speak about health issues and how to provide care for non emergent medical needs such as sprains, colds, fevers and so on. Then I would speak to the pain in the heart, but it was not a physical pain, it was a spiritual pain that came from not knowing Jesus as their Savior. I used the analogy of a butterfly going from the time it was in its cocoon until it made that slit and was finally able to make its way out as a beautiful perfect creature that soared through the skies.
While we were there, several of us sang in a trio and sang solos. Music has always been a passion of mine. My first degree in college was in music. This trip was not about what was my abilities, but to teach me that if I wholly leaned on God's direction, that I could be used of Him for His work and that He would provide me with the resources to use and at the right time. I must say that this was an awesome experience and that being in the absolute center of God's will for your life is an humbling but exciting experience, one that you will not soon forget.
Since that time, I have spent time in telling others about Jesus here in our own country and am making plans to go on another foreign missions trip. I have spent a great deal of time telling others about my trip to the Ukraine and what an awesome experience it was to be there and God lead you through all the aspects of that trip.
I once heard someone say that you really can't be a very good foreign missionary if you can't be a missionary here in your own country. That made an impression on my heart and has caused me to search my soul for the strength to always be about my Father's business, whether here or far away. I have since committed my life totally to doing His will. It does not matter that you are not in a specific place or time, just that you are in the absolute center of God's will for your life and that you are totally willing to do whatever He leads you to do.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We'll work Till Jesus Comes

We all know that some day Jesus is coming back to take His church home to be with Him for eternity. Until that day it is our responsibility to work and strive to be the best we can possibly be for Him. There are numerous ways to accomplish this. First, we can just tell people what Jesus has done for us and work to lead them to Christ. This is a wonderful way to spend your life. The only problem with that is that God did not make all of us evangelist.
We all have different talents and gifts. We would not be able to accomplish much if we all did the same thing. Therefore, we must use the gifts and the talents that God has entrusted to us to do His work. He gave you and me our own personality, talents, gifts, strengths and weaknesses. He did this for a purpose. The purpose for this is you ask, is so that we can get His work done and done right according to His blessed will.
We don’t know how much time we have left on this earth. It may be years, months, weeks, days or maybe even hours or minutes. No matter what the time line, we are commanded by God to spend our time here on this earth doing His work. We are like an orchestra. God is the conductor and the rest of us are all the instruments in His orchestra. If we were all flutes, then there would be no depth to our sound and if we were all bass violins, then there would be no sweetness to our sound. We all have our part and we must all do our part as God deems for our lives in order for His orchestra to have that sweet melodious sound that He is leading us to produce.
If we put as much effort into doing God’s will as we do trying to make excuses why we shouldn’t, we would be able to do much more for Him and God would bless us and our work so enormously. If we all work together and use what God has given us, then His work would get done and we would accomplish much more in a shorter time.
In essence, TIME is our enemy. We don’t know how long we have until our lives are complete. It behooves us to work diligently and with great enthusiasm to get His work done and accomplish much for Him. We need to spend our time working as if there were no tomorrow, for there may be no tomorrow. Only God knows!