Teaching You to Swim

My parents took me swimming at a local pool when I was younger. In fact, my dad taught me how to swim. In my mind, back then, he was absolutely fearless! He’d splash into the water – open his eyes and let the chlorine mix with his eyeballs (I wore goggles…); He would run and jump into the deep end of the pool; He would stay underwater for what felt like hours. He’d do all the stuff that you’re afraid to do when you are first getting comfortable with the water. He did it to show me that there was nothing to fear with water. (And, he also did it because he liked it!) I thank God for my daddy – he swims like a fish and he taught me how to be comfy in the water – much like a fish.

So now, I’m a decent swimmer. Sure, I’m out of shape now but I do believe I still remember how to do a few basic strokes. In college, I learned to do a pretty good crawl stroke. Once I got everything synchronized and moving, I could glide across the water with relative ease.

And life is like that.

Once we get everything synchronized and in order we can swim along seemingly effortlessly across a placid pool. It builds you up and you move out of the pool and into the sea, confidently and effortlessly. And for the most part, you do well.

Yet at times we encounter some resistance. It gets harder to swim. And sometimes it looks like all we’ll be able to do is to tread water. Despite our best efforts, we cannot get to the shore and it seems like the tide is coming in. More and more water is hampering our efforts and we cry out for help but no one is around. It’s just you and the waves which appear to be crashing down on you. What do you do?

You have two choices.

When the water/resistance is added and you feel overwhelmed, you can struggle against it, wear yourself out, and ultimately drown

OR

You can relax in the water and let the current of God’s comfort carry you, always keeping your eye to the shoreline and when things have calmed down, you will know how to swim your way back to where you were supposed to be, or you may even wind up in a place that is better than where you were. You can trust that God will be the perfect lifeguard and will guide you back to shore.

You see, God is not interested in your demise. He wants you to trust Him and not struggle against that situation alone. He wants you to know that He is always there – standing by. He will never leave you nor forsake you. God is not interested in seeing you drown when difficult circumstances come. Yet, in the midst of those circumstances, he wants to make sure that you learn how to swim.

So, submit to the learning and you will never regret that you did. I learned how to swim in the pool and in life. Now, I am comfortable in the waters of life. It does not mean that I like it when the sea swells come, it just means that I am not consumed and will not drown because I know that I can “relax and float” through the problem because God is on my side.

He wants you to walk (or shall I say swim) in that knowledge as well.

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I don’t understand, but God does

Wow, what a week!

Sometimes things happen and we don’t quite understand. I don’t understand why my friend had to die when he died. But God knows.

I don’t understand how an airliner crossing the Atlantic could go down killing all on board. Pitot tube? Really? It brought up a sudden and unusual fear in me as I make preparations to go transatlantic next month. But God knows and He cares so He calmed my concerns.

I don’t understand how a factory with some many workers could suddenly explode in one section, killing three people, affecting a community.

I don’t understand how a computer operated train could suddenly crash into the back of another, killing nine people, affecting yet another community.

I don’t understand that after all the international tragedy and local tragedy how yet tragedy can hit us nationally once more. For this week alone, we had seen three celebrity deaths: Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson. I don’t understand, but I know Who does.

In thinking about this situation, my heart goes out to everyone that has lost someone – even if that someone is a celebrity that you really didn’t know but felt you knew. For instance, I didn’t know Michael Jackson but I grew up listening to his music and feel a sadness now at his death. I feel grief for his children, his family and his fans.

Sudden death just is not easy; death itself is not easy. And it makes us think once more about the finiteness of our existance. I am not going to spend much time trying to figure out the things I don’t know. What I will do is to pray for the bereaved – myself included. And, I will cast my cares on the Lord for I know that He cares for me. He cares for you too.

So no matter how you are feeling about everything that is going on, know that you can trust God. Know that you can take your cares and concerns to Him. He knows and understands how you are feeling and He will comfort you.

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What Happens When We Keep God’s Commandments

Update: So, now, I know it’s not just me….there’s something wrong with my scheduler… sorry folks but at least I caught it early this time. Enjoy the post!


Hey Bloggy Buddies,

Sorry about yesterday’s post. Apparently Blogger and I had a misunderstanding about when I actually wanted the post to post. Ah, technology and me. The incident had everything to do with my not typing in the date correctly. I came to the site to post a new blog for Wednesday and viola, I saw Monday’s post – not Tuesdays! Well, at least it was easy for me to figure out what happened. Mr. Blogspot, I promise, I’ll do better!

So – onward!

Today, I want to talk about what happens when we keep God’s commandments. Now, if you are like me, when you hear the word commandments, you immediately think of two things:

1. stone tablets with roman numerals

2. The Ten Commandments movie with Charlton Heston … MOSES! (Okay, I couldn’t help myself)

Anyway, back on point, that’s what I think about first when I hear the word commandments. Now, after giving it more thought – say a millisecond later, I think about the things that God has specified for me (and you) to be about or not be about. You know, that Exodus 20 stuff. The stuff that trips people up and gives them a false excuse about why they don’t won’t to join church or get saved right now. But, the commandments go way beyond Exodus. In fact, they are scattered throughout. Because God loves us, He tells us exactly how we are to live. He tell us what our lives ought to be about.

Sometimes people will ask me, If I feel constricted in my walk with the Lord. And, I tell them the truth. Yes. But, that’s only when I am not walking closely with the Lord. I have found that the closer I get, the free-er I feel. (Yes, I do recognize that’s not the way to write free – but I’m making a point here…) So, the closer I get to God, the more I want to do what He commands. I don’t care about pleasing myself, I only want to please Him.

And while being close to the Sovereign God of the Universe is reward enough in itself, we also have promises associated with being obedient to Him. He’s a good Father. If we look at Proverbs 3, we will see that if we will remember the commandments of God and secure them in our hearts, “length of days, and long life, and peace” will be added to us.

So, what happens when we keep God’s commandments ? The good life.

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When You Don’t Know What to Do

What do you do when you don’t know what to do? That’s a question that lots of people ask. And, I have the answer. It’s right in the Bible, tucked in Proverbs 2 – wanna see?

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: [he is] a buckler to them that walk uprightly. – Proverbs 2

Go to God! I know that it is so much easier to go to our friends and confidants. We call on our family and those who are in the know about seemingly everything, but God wants us to come to Him. Afterall, anything that anyone knows springs forth from the Father anyway. He is wisdom. So, why not cut out the middle man and get straight to the source?

Yep, I hear ya. He may not be on your speed dial and you will have to be still to hear His voice but the wonderful thing is, He always answers. You won’t have to leave a message and wait for Him to be available to talk to you. He’s always listening and ready to commune with you. He’s always in the right spirit – never in a bad mood. He’s already ready already.

So, when you don’t know what to do, know Who to go to. He will see you through. He will take care of you. You can count on it!

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Have Mercy!

I really like David. He was so “real.” David was in touch with his feelings, inspired and able to communicate to us exactly how he felt. He had a demonstrable and full range of emotions. I like that because I do too. Full range. And, if you catch me at the right moment, you’ll see them – full range.

But, when we look at David in Psalm 51, we encounter a humbled David. Nathan, the prophet has spoken with David and convicted him of his sin. I can only imagine the depth and weight of what David was feeling at the time. Afterall, he had committed adultery and arranged for a murder to cover up his indiscretions. Yet, even still, David, recognizing his depravity went to the Lord with a cry out for mercy. He opens the Psalm with a request – have mercy!

He is very clear and doesn’t spend time beating around the bush with the Lord. He recognizes that he is in need of mercy from our Righteous God. And, he recognizes that he needs it in abundance for he says “have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy loving kindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” [KJV, verse 1] Now, this is significant. David is not looking for “a little dab will do ya” type mercy. He is asking God to have mercy according to His own attributes. He is asking according to God’s loving kindness, which is limitless. He is asking for mercy according to God’s abundant mercy when he says “unto the multitude…” God is never short on anything and David, in full recognition of his state and God’s ability, is asking for mercy. He is crying out to God for as much mercy as possible.

And, when he makes his case here, he then goes forward asking God to blot out his transgressions. Oh, he knows he doesn’t deserve this to be done, but he is asking in faith that it might be done, according to the attributes of God.

We sin too. For some of us, we go to the Lord seeking mercy. We are humble before the Lord in the same spirit of reverence like David. Yet some of us do not approach our sins this way. Sometimes we get stiff neck and defiant when confronted with our sin. We approach forgiveness of our sins in our own strength. But I wonder what would happen if you would just let go of your own strength and depend on His. Would you humble yourself and admit that you have sinned, confess your sin and then go to the Lord and ask Him to have mercy?

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Will You Rest?

Chunks (my godson) likes to rest in my arms. When he was an infant, he would snuggle up really close to me. He liked my body heat and he could hear my heart going wild over him. As he slumbered, he would every once in a while, crack a little smile. He was dreaming about all the times he could wrap me around his little finger.

As he has grown, and lived his first year, he still likes to rest in the arms of those who love him. I haven’t seen him for about 2 months, since he decided to move to another state and all, but I’m told that when it comes bedtime, the same is still true. He does not like to go to sleep by himself. He likes to be close.

And while he may not be dreaming of ways to wrap me tighter, he does like the security. Before he really knocks out, he’ll still lift his head up or look around just a bit to make sure you’re still there. And when he confirms your presence, well, it’s good night world. He’s sleepy, secure and satisfied that he’s not alone. So, he goes to sleep – resting well throughout the night. Even snoring sometimes – yes! A baby. What!?!! Okay, breathing heavily as he slumbers….

This scenario reminds me of how we can interact with our Father – the Heavenly One, of course. Can it be said of you … of me, that we like to rest in the arms of our Father? Can it be said that we check back in to make sure that He’s still there by praying and talking to Him? Can it be said that we are not secure to move forward until we feel His presence and/or receive confirmation of His plan for our lives?

Or is it the case that we really do what we want to do without the benefit of resting? If we will take the time to really rest in God, things would go smoother for our lives. If we would just sit with Him, knowing that He is faithful to us and is our provider, then we would not get out of synch with Him. But, it’s when we jump out of His lap – or never even bother to sit there in the first place that we can count on mistakes being made.

In the arms of the Lord, no evil can touch us, for our Mighty God will defend us and watch over us as our Protector. In the arms of the Lord, peace is available, for He Himself does not dwell in chaos. In the arms of the Lord is where the good life is lived. He’s there with us, holding us close – never leaving us nor forsaking us.

So, I wonder if you’ll be like Chunks is towards the ones that love him. Will you rest in the arms of the Lord?

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Reverence His Name

I want to look at some lyrics today. This song, entitled “Worship Medley” but referred to by yours truly as “Jesus, We Reverence Your Name,” is from Kurt Carr’s CD some time ago…now, what was the name of that CD???? Hummmm. I’ll think on it and get back to you. Nevertheless, I want you to look with me at the lyrics to this song. If you’ve never heard the song, jump on the internet and try it out – I saw one site giving free downloads but of course, that was a few clicks ago. The tempo is slow and meaningful. Soulful, if you will. They are singing to the Lord.

Worship Medley(recorded by Kurt Carr & The Kurt Carr Singers)

You are God
The only sovereign God
The only living God
Everlasting, ever loving, ever giving God
There is a name that I love to proclaim
Master, Savior, Jesus
No name compares to its awesome refrain
Jesus we reverence you name, with our praise
Jesus we reverence your name.
Oh Jesus, oh oh oh Jesus
Your name is awesome and greatly exalted
Jesus, oh oh oh Jesus-us
Jesus we reverence your name with our praise
Jesus, we reverence yourName
Jesus we reverence your name!
Oh how I love Jesus (x3)
Let me tell you why I love Him (x2)
Because He first loved me.

Ah…the song is on the “Awesome Wonder” CD. The song opens with a statement of TRUTH. God IS. Just as He says of Himself, I AM. He is sovereign and living, and everlasting, ever loving, ever giving! Great God! Just look at those attributes! Oh we worship an awesome God!

Then we start talking about that name…Yolanda Adams sang “That Name” and boy can she sing! Or, as we say in these parts, “that gurl can sang!” Yep, that’s some good slang right there. Back on topic, we recognize Jesus as our Master and Savior – we reverence His name with our praise. That makes me happy right now! Praise you Lord Jesus! Bless Your Name!

I like the way that this worship medley ends because it says something very critical – we can worship Him like this because of what He did first – He loved me and He loved you. Amazing!

So, if you get a chance, check out the actual song, I’m sure it will move you!

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Singing His Praises

It’s Monday Bloggyworld! And, I believe that the sun is out and it’s going to be wonderful. I know because I have a personal forecasting system in my spirit that says no matter what comes my way, today is going to be a great day! I’ve been making up songs and singing them in praise to the Lord. This is not methodical, mind you. The songs just burst forth on their own. Saturday night, as I prepared for Sunday’s service, I sang…and sang. Well, okay, I made a lot of joyful noise unto the Lord, but you get me!

Even now, I am humming a song, but you’ll know this one – “Come to Jesus.”

Come to Jesus x 3
Just now x 2
He will save you x 2
Just now

That looks like a math formula doesn’t it. Well, maybe it is the formula for PRAISE!

Told ya – my praise is bursting forth!

I like that song. Repetitive yet meaningful. Patient – melodious.

When I have a song in my heart that is a praise offering to the Lord, the events of the week just don’t bother me because I have got my eyes fixed on Jesus.

You see, on Saturday, I did the Susan Komen Race for the Cure (Recreational 5K), cut my grass at home and then attended a funeral for a dear friend. The day was physically and emotionally exhausting. But God was right there, keeping me, loving me, encouraging me. So much so that I just wanted to literally sing His praises!

Won’t you join the chorus with me of those who will sing praises unto the Most High God!

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Never Alone – Never Forgotten

Never Alone. Never Forgotten.

This weekend should prove challenging. I will celebrate with breast cancer survivors at the Komen Race for the Cure and I will, in the same day, mere hours apart, bury my friend that I’ve been blogging about.

My emotions will run from one extreme to another … and yet another.

For also on Saturday, is my godson’s birthday. He will be one year old. He is quite the little guy already. He says “mama”, “dada” and …. “nite, nite.” Adorable, right?

See, lots of varying emotions packed into one day. But, I know that since God has brought me to it, He is faithful and He will see me through the mountain tops and the valleys.

I am never alone. And, well, I really want to say it like this – I am NEVA alone – putting a little attitude with it. You’ll grant me that, right? I am never forgotten by God. He says “can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee.” – Isaiah 49:15. See, never (ah hem… neva alone).

And, that’s comforting to me. Know this, as His child, God never leaves you nor forgets you. At times, you may FEEL alone or forgotten but don’t depend or rely on your feelings. Just trust God. Know in your heart you are “neva” alone and “neva” forgotten.

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Become Faithfully Obedient

You know, God is so faithful to us. Even when we would be hard-pressed to demonstrate our faith, God is there. Even when we are hard-headed, stiff-necked, and downright defiant, God is still there.

His chosen people, the Israelites, provided evidence of His faithfulness when they were faithless.

Deliverance out of Egypt. Done.
Destination Promised Land. Done.

God is so faithful to us, full of mercy and grace – and we can do nothing to deserve this treatment.

Those same Israelites, whined and complained in Egypt; whined and complained in the wilderness. Their disobedience cost them 40 years. And only their descendants made it into the Promised Land. In our worldly eye view, some would say they didn’t deserve an opportunity to live past the wilderness because of all they had done. But, praise be, we serve a faithful God, that keeps His word.

Now, don’t get too comfortable. God keeps His word but He wants us to honor our commitment to Him when we gave our lives to Him. God is looking for our obedience. When we are faithfully obedient, we are walking with the Father. Some would say that we are lock step with Him if you can imagine that. I believe that God is pleased when we obey Him – afterall, obedience is better than sacrifice. He wants our obedience. He does not want us to be hard-hearted, stiff-necked and downright defiant. In other words, He wants us to be faithful.

I wonder just what would happen if the believers of God all became faithfully obedient. I believe that we would have an opportunity to glimpse Heaven on Earth.

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