Sunday, May 26, 2019

GROWING SEEDS: "My Letter To The Graduate"

Graduation Week  
(Originally posted in May 2017)

Dear Graduate, 

As you cross that long stage in front of your family and friends and eagerly close one chapter and open the next, there are a couple of things this old lady whose tassel was moved from the right to the left a thousand years ago would like for you to know:

Be An Individual.  There is a reason you are alive.  This culture we live in makes it far too easy to look alike, act alike and believe alike.  Discover who YOU are.....and don't be afraid to be different.  That goofy graduation cap on your head is a ticket to life.  You can stand out and you can be the change you wish to see in the world.  Learn to fly solo......

Help Others.  We all have a calling in life.  And if there's one lesson I've learned over all others, it's that we are placed on this earth to help other people.  In the book The Original Human Dilemma (2004), supposedly in hell, they sit around a great pot, all hungry, because the spoons they hold are too long to bring the food to their mouths.  In heaven, people are sitting around the same pot with the same long spoons, but everyone is full. Why?  Because in heaven, everyone uses their long spoons to feed one another.  So learn to feed others.  Discover the lesson of helping will serve you well in this life.

Don't Let Technology Be Your God.  As someone who is writing this to you from her laptop with her cell phone charging as she types with buds in her ears, I know a bit about this subject.  Techno-gadgets are merely distractions.....just look around you....even us old people have made our phones our god.  If you are going to make a difference.....put down the cell, take the buds out and spend less time in front of the screen.  Put Real Life First.

Place God as the Driver of Your Life.  Really hear this....NOTHING else matters if you don't have God as your Driver.  You are traveling down the Highway Of This World at a rapid speed.  GET OFF....NOW.  There are exit ramps along the way and they lead to a narrow, difficult and rarely traveled path.  But this path is unlike the highway that leads to certain death and an eternity in hell....the narrow path leads you HOME. will most likely arrive home sore, scratched and tired from the bumps along the way, but you will LIVE to see Home.  

And be happy......that's exactly what God intended you to be!

Now go....jump into that next chapter with both feet!

Sunday, May 19, 2019

GROWING SEEDS: "Don't Waste Your Light"

"He Breathed The Word, 
And All The Stars Were Born."  
Psalm 33:6

Picture this...

God...bigger than life...bigger than earth...bigger than the universe.  And He's blowing His breath straight-up into the heavens and making stars.  Like a sparkler on 4th of July, the bright stars are born by the very breath of God.   Can you just imagine??

When I was a chubby little girl with thick glasses, one of my favorite things to do when it wasn't cricket and grasshopper season, was to lay out in the backyard and stare up into the night sky.  I would daydream about soaring past the bright stars, zipping past the man-in-the-moon and flying straight into the arms of Heaven.  I still, at almost 60, daydream about this on those clear starry nights.

But He didn't just blow life into the stars; He blew life into you and me.  He imagined you first...then He smiled and blew breath into your mother's womb.  He always meant for you to be a light.  And much like the shining stars in the sky were always destined to be a light to others.  You see, God doesn't waste His breath...He breathed you and me into being for a specific reason.  It was no was no "chance" happening.  There was a plan.  There was always a plan.

This little light of mine
I'm going to let it shine

Just as a star is meant to shine brightly as we lay in the grass looking at it from a trillion miles away, we were meant to be that same light to others.  But our light doesn't have to be seen trillions of miles away; it only has to be seen by the stranger at Brookshires, at Walmart, our friends and family at home, school and work, and yes, even at church.  It's our destiny...our one purpose and reason for being here.  To be the light He made us to be....and to love and trust the One who blew breath-light into you in the first place.

God never wastes His breath...don't waste your light.

Let it shine...Let it shine...Let it shine.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

GROWING SEEDS: "We Serve A God Who Allows Hurt"

A few weeks ago, I found myself in a roomful of friends discussing each of our "coming-to-Jesus" stories.  It was a spontaneous minute we were talking about our grandchildren and what color to paint the living room and the next, we were talking about how we each individually came to be friends with Jesus.

I love conversations like this.  I visualize Jesus quietly sitting at the table with us, whittling wood into a toothpick or something, and smiling.  Smiling cause He already knows our stories yet, goodness...He loves being a "bug-on-the-wall" listening to us share them with each other. 

The more I listened to the different stories, the more I discovered a common-denominator in each of our roads and relationships with Christ.  The commonality was, as our relationships with Christ grew, so did the difficulties, disappointments, and discouragements in our lives.  It was as though the tighter we held Jesus' hand, the stronger the winds smacked us in the face.  I would be amiss if I weren't honest enough to tell you I have wondered, on rare occasions, if whether the relationship was worth it.  I would imagine you have too at some point in this journey...if you're honest with yourself.  

So why are difficulties and disappointments part of the reality of our journey with God?  

Because in the words of one of my favorite authors, Lysa Terkeurst, "If the enemy (Satan) can isolate you, he can influence you.  His favorite entry point of all is through our disappointments (& difficulties).  But we serve a God who allows hurt.  But we also serve a God who uses hurt for good."  In other words, he wants to CRUSH you, sweet friend, by massively discouraging you!

Some time ago, I had a "friend" march herself over to my house and slam-dunk a hurtful comment straight into my heart.  It was like kerosene being thrown onto my already smoldering heart at the time.  But here's the really cool part of this story: Soon after she left, it was as if "Someone" were standing straight-up in front of me and saying:

"That - Was - Satan, Liz".

Please know I'm not calling my "friend" Satan, but I am saying he used her to discourage disappoint CRUSH me with his oversized foot.  And it worked.  For 5 minutes.  
When the winds of Disappointment, Difficulty, and Discouragement threaten to blow you off course, step back and listen for His voice to remind you who your enemy is. You might be surprised by what you hear.