Angels Among Us

I am not unaware that I am getting older.  Some days I forget my age when my mind tells me, “oh, yeah, we can still do that!”  But then, later on when I’m trying to sit or lay down my body says, “girl, we can’t do that no more!”  However, the older I get I make sure that I listen to my body and do what’s best for it.  I made my brother a promise, when he was battling cancer, that I would take care of myself and not ignore when my body is talking to me.  So, when I ain’t feeling quite right, I go see my doctor.

I happened to be doing a follow up appointment this morning when my day was impacted in a very unexpected but pleasant way.  My appointment was at 8 a.m.  I got up on time, made breakfast for the kids, sent them off to school and went about my normal morning routine.  I had an extra hour since I wasn’t going straight to work so I had breakfast myself and extended my quite time.  Left the house on time, made the forty minute drive to my appointment and the moment I put the car in park I realized that I’d walked out of the house and forgot my doctor’s acquisition order for the test he wanted done.  Not to panic, I thought, maybe the doctor forwarded a copy to the office.  Get in, check in and tell the receptionist about my mishap.  She checks the system and finds no acquisition order.  Our next option, before panic sets in, is to call the doctor’s office and simply have them fax over a copy.  The message on the doctor’s line says that the office is not open until 11 a.m. today.  Now, its time to panic!

Of course, there was no way I’d be able to make the forty minute drive back home to get the papers, make the forty minute drive back to the office (if there was even time to no squeeze me in) and then get to work by 11:20 a.m.  Looking at my face, I think the receptionist could tell that I was starting to get a little anxious.  Thinking quickly, after I told her how far I had to drive to go back home and then return pending traffic, she asked where I lived and then found an office that was closer to my house.  Thankfully, that office agreed to squeeze me in but I had to get there within the hour.  I got home, grabbed the papers, made it to the office within the hour, checked in and sat down to wait my turn.

As to not let my anxiety to continue to rise, I decided to Bluetooth a message from Transformation Church on my ride back to the house from my first appointment location.  During this message the pastor referenced a passage of scripture I wanted to read.  Upon sitting at my second appointment I thought I’d take out my bible and read over the scripture while I waited.  As I began to read, I noticed a man of a different nationality watching me.  I thought nothing of it and continued reading.  A few moments later this same man walked over to me and said, “hey, what’cha reading?”  I replied, “the bible” and then told him the scripture I was reading.  He told me that was one of his favorite scriptures and sat down next to me.  He introduced himself and began talking to me about his church and ministry background.  He said that he approached me because he’d never seen anyone reading the bible in public and was glad I was unashamed to do it.

For a split second I thought, “I hope this man is not trying to hit on me because I don’t want to have to be rude.”  As it turns out, he wasn’t he just wanted to have a conversation about God.  We had a very pleasant conversation about God, my kids, his kids, his family, my work and then my name was called to see the receptionist.

The strangest thing happened.  The receptionist told me that the test my doctor ordered couldn’t be performed at that location and that I would have to go to yet a different location.  We rescheduled the appointment for a later date because it was apparent I was not supposed to have that test done today.  On my way out I stopped to thank the man who took the time to come over and talk to me.  When I told him I was at yet the wrong location again he told me that he wasn’t supposed to be there either.  He had been finished with his appointment for about an hour and the friend that was supposed to pick him up was running late.  He then shared a scripture with me, quietly prayed over me and sent me on my way with a hug.  Of course we got funny looks from the people in the waiting room because here was this short black lady with crazy natural hair and this tall white man with a bald head and sleeve tattoos on both arms sharing about God, praying and hugging in the waiting room of a medical office.  Talk about angels on earth.

I’ve heard of people having encounters like this but I’d never experienced one myself until today.  It truly made my day.  Just when I thought I was going to have a bad day and stress out over this appointment, God sent this angel to cross my path.  My whole day changed in just a few short minutes.

Trying to let God lead the way…:)

 

Granting Grace

After nearly thirteen years together sometimes he just works my last nerve!  Last night I was frustrated to no end with my Love so I decided to leave the house to get some air.  I needed to go to Wal-Mart anyway but then I figured since Chick-fil-a was right next to Wal-Mart I deserved a cookies & cream milkshake…heaven on earth!

At the light while waiting to pull out of my subdivision, still fuming, I was going over the events of the past few minutes.  Even though I was in the car by myself and no one would have known, I was silently praying to God to help control my anger as to not start cursing that man out verbally or in the quiet corners of my mind.  

Sitting my anger at that light I clearly heard God say, “grant him grace.”  Ugh!!! God has been doing that a lot lately.  Just jumping into my thoughts, reminding me that in order to complete my circle not only do I have speak my faith, I also have to act my faith.

Grace is one of those words we hear so often that we tend to brush it aside when we are frustrated or angry.  In general, we all know what grace means but in all things Christ-like we have a choice in whether or not we use it.

Like I said, I know generally what grace means but I decided to look it up anyway so that I could make sure it was really grace God wanted me to extend in this current situation with my Love. (Won’t we try to find a way not to do what God tells us to do?  The flesh is weak!)

By definition, grace is the unmerited divine assistance given to humans for their regeneration or sanctification.

In reading the definition, it was the word unmerited that stood out the most so, I looked it up too.

Unmerited – not adequately earned or deserved.

I meditated over that word for quite sometime before I started this post.  No one and I mean no one, not even I, deserve grace.  If I were totally honest I know without a doubt that I sometimes say, do, think and act in ways that anger or frustrate God yet, even though I did absolutely nothing to earn or deserve it, I EXPECT God to grant me grace.  To forgive me, bless me and love me no matter what.  So who am I to not give to others what God so lovingly and freely gives to me each and every moment of my life?

I had the most enlightening drive to Wal-Mart! I also enjoyed my milkshake but then went home with a better attitude, helped my son with an online exam, hugged my Love and peacefully went to sleep.

Learning how to listen so that I can listen to learn.

 

Life Is Like A Boat!

Jonah 1:15 – Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.

I read this passage during my quiet time this morning and it got me to thinking! Jonah boarded this boat headed in the total opposite direction that God told him to go, right?  Jonah was running and yet the other guys on the boat had no idea what Jonah he was up to.  What should have been a normal, easy trip to Tarshish turned wild as the sea began raging.  The other sailors weren’t certain but they had a feeling something wasn’t right and that maybe someone was in trouble with God, but who?

As they began tossing their cargo and trying to figure out how to calm the raging sea, Jonah said nothing.  In fact, Jonah was sleeping like a baby.  It wasn’t until the sailors woke him and told him to pray that Jonah became aware of just how dangerous a situation they all were in.  When they sat down to cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah, they asked, “what should we do to you to make the sea calm down for us?”  Jonah’s reply, “pick me up, and toss me overboard.”  They didn’t what to and they tried to go back to land but the raging sea only grew worse.  Finally, after praying, they threw Jonah over and the sea grew calm.

How many people do you have riding in your boat that’s causing the sea of your life to rage? We so often spend time trying to figure out why things in our lives are “raging” and why situations just won’t go right.  At times like this, yes, it’s great to look within ourselves to make any necessary corrections but we also need to take a closer look at the people in and around our lives. Just as God was calling to Jonah and the crew on the boat inadvertently got caught up in his correction, we, too, can sometimes get caught up in God’s correction of others.

Our sea of life could be raging because of a relationship, friendship or acquaintance.  We may not be able to cast lots but we can pray for God’s direction and ask him for clear eyes to see if those in our lives are right for us.  Then to calm our sea, we just may have to throw some people overboard.

Keep calm and trust God…:)

Be Open

I love my blog!  I don’t get to post to it as often as I like but I still love it!  Like everyone else in the world I work and have a family to take care of.  Finding a good, quiet thirty minutes to spend on my blog can be challenging, however, I have this crazy love and passion for writing.  I may not post to my blog everyday but I definitely write everyday.  I have to.  Writing is like breathing for me.  I have journals that date back to high school and it is really crazy to read and see just how much I have grown and changed as a woman.  One thing I think helps me to continue growing is my openness and willingness to try new things.  My dad had a saying, “Try it at least once.  If you don’t like it, don’t do it again but how will you ever know if you like or don’t like something if you don’t at least try it once?” My sister and I have lived by that for practically all of our lives.

Earlier this week, my life partner and I were having a discussion about how God uses even the simplest of things to speak to us.  He, my life partner, is not always as open as I am to trying new things.  He will sometimes but he doesn’t like being too far outside his comfort zone.  On Sunday, he happened to be flipping through the channels and came across the Joel Osteen program.  He had never watched the program before but something Mr. Osteen said just before he flipped the channel made him stop and listen.  He watched the entire program.  At the end, he and I talked at length about the message and how it resonated with him.  He talked about how he was glad he’d watched it because it gave him some clarity about somethings he’d been dealing with.  He also made a statement which I absolutely love, he said,  “even though I’m southern and enjoy a good hooping word every now and again it was nice to hear a good practical message that I can clearly understand and apply to my life.  It’s amazing how God can use different people to minster to you.”

I would definitely have to agree with that statement.  We never know when God will speak to us or who He will use to do it.  Yes, we have to be careful what we listen to and sometimes careful of the person delivering the message but I believe that this is one reason why it is so important to know God’s word for ourselves, so that we are able to discern God’s true word for our lives rather than simply someones loaded opinion of what we should or should not be doing.  From my dad, be open to trying new things at least once and from my love, be open to stepping out of your comfort zone… just a little.

Enjoy your day and thank you to all of the men and women who have served and are still serving in our armed forces.  Happy Veteran’s Day! 🙂

Chapter Eight – God Whispers

So imagine you are at a get together.  Things have been a little hectic in your life and its been awhile since you’ve seen or been able to chat with your best friend. You know your bestie will be at the party so wait with anticipation to see her/him because you have so much to tell them.  Finally, the bestie shows up and before they can get caught up in socializing you whisk them away from the noise to give them the rundown on the current events in your life.  Just to make sure your conversation isn’t overheard, you lean as close as possible and whisper.  We whisper because we want the intimacy of having a private and personal conversation with the person we trust more than life itself.

Sometimes when we are praying and seeking God’s counsel, we half expect him to literally shake mountains or uproot and replant trees right before our eyes in response to our requests.  Of course, God could very well do those things if he so chooses but God may also choose to respond to us in a much softer, gentler way. He may prefer to simply whisper.  A whisper from God is like getting an invitation to lean in just a little bit closer to him in order to really see and understand all that he is attempting to teach us.  When we lean in, we can enjoy the intimacy of a private and personal conversation with the one who gives us life.

In 1 Kings 19, Elijah felt weak, exhausted, tired and frustrated with the events happening in his life.  Even as he was ready to give up, God spoke to him in a clear, soft whisper.  God reminded Elijah that even in the worst of times He is still present.  There was no earthshaking, no mountains moved and no trees uprooted.  It was simply God’s soft whisper in the midst of all that chaos.

Even when life seems out of sorts and chaotic, God is aware and communicates with us even then.  We just have to lean in a little closer to hear His whisper.

 

Book Two

I spent some time in the bookstore last weekend thinking about which book would be a great book to study next.  I had a few ideas in mind and figured I’d narrow down my choices soon.  Well, I guess it’s true what they say about telling God your plans.  I walked into work on Monday and on my desk was a book that I thought would be perfect for the next study.  A co-worker happened to be out shopping over the weekend, saw the book and thought it would be a great gift for me!  How awesome!

So here it is…

Listening for the Voice of God by Margaret Feinberg

listening

The date for the start of this study will be coming soon 🙂