Friday, August 28, 2009

Football and God

Tonight is the official kick-off of the football season for the high school my husband and my kids have attended. I have to say that it brings a little excitement to our lives. I grew up with a Dad who coached football, basketball and track. I was literally raised on the field, court and track. Football is in my blood. And it's not just the game but the fans, cheerleaders, band, watching the players and coaches and concession stands. Our home is only a block or so from our city stadium so even when our team isn't playing we can hear the announcers and bands from the other games. This is our 22nd Fall to live in our house and last night was the first football game of the season for the stadium. My husband was going out to mow when he turned around at the front screen door and said to me "listen, do you hear that? The band is practicing". After dinner my husband and son set off for the hill overlooking the stadium (it has been named "cheap scape hill" for as long as I can remember) to watch part of that game. There was definitely a twinkle in my husbands eyes when he left and when he returned.

We are a football family. We love the Penn State Nittany Lions and Joe Pa. I love the Dallas Cowboys and my husband and son love the New England Patriots. It can get a little crazy here on game day!!

It never fails that when we turn the calendar over to the month of July, sometime within those first 2 weeks my husband will make the comment, "the first football game is right around the corner". It is so dang cute!! You can feel the excitement and anticipation slowly increase over the next month or so. Then on the first night of the season it is like Christmas morning.

I was thinking today that I wish I could have that excitement in my life all the time when it comes to God. I get complacent at times. I want that burning feeling of the power of God in my life. Knowing that every morning when I awake God is there waiting for me. And don't get me wrong I do get that feeling sometimes, I just want to have it all the time. It takes effort on my part. God is there every morning and throughout the day, just waiting for "me" to say, "Hey God, what do you want to do today?" or "Hey God, how do you want to use me today cuz I'm ready and waiting". I want that! I need that!

If I can get excited about football, then I can get excited about God. I feel it in church during worship and even when I hear a great speaker like Beth Moore or Joyce Meyers. I need to get that feeling all the time. Carry it with me all day long.

There is a song at Christmas time that says, "Why can't everyday be like Christmas?". Well why can't everyday be for God?". Why can't we everyday be ready and willing to do whatever it takes to be in the presence of God? Listening, watching and waiting to see what God wants us to do. Wouldn't that be an exciting way to spend our days? The anticipation of what God was going to call you to do?

So tomorrow when I wake up, I'm not going to wait for God, I'm going to ask God right away, "Hey God here I am, what do you need me to do today?"


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

How Does God See Us?

My son's school now has a software program that enables the parents to view their children's daily grades, attendance, assignments and missed assignments. It is a great tool for both the teachers and parents, but I am sure for some students, my son included, it isn't very appreciated. While I was looking over my son's information, it got me to thinking about something.

What if God had a software program where you could just click on a computer and it could tell us how we were doing? Maybe it could keep track of the times that we were not friendly to someone, didn't take the time to listen to someone, it could tell us when we gossiped, but at the same time could tell us when we were friendly, how we took the time to help someone, the times when we forgave someone. What would that be like if God kept track for us and then we could see it right there on the screen? Would we really want to see it? Would I be like my son and not always want to know how I have been?

I would hope that there were more times that I was nice and helpful and forgiving, compared to when I was not. I also know that we are not always aware of our actions, words or thoughts, we get so busy in our daily lives that we aren't even aware of how we treat others. We make excuses for our behavior. "I'm tired so it's okay to not be patient", "I've got a lot of work to do so that's why I don't have the time to listen".

Before the new software, kids were able to make excuses about not handing in homework, "the teacher didn't give us an assignment", "I didn't hear the assignment", "I didn't know we had a test". With the new software it is much harder to make those excuses. The information is printed clearly on the screen.

But God doesn't have a software program. It's up to us to monitor our actions, think before we speak, to be forgiving, compassionate, loving and kind. To take the time each day to make a difference in the lives of the people we meet and come in contact with. And maybe, by our actions, we can help others to see who God is.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Great Day To Shout!!

Have you ever had a day that you just want to "Shout to the Lord!"? That is exactly the kind of day that I have had. Everything just seems to have fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. Now don't get me wrong, I'm not going to get over confident or fluff my feathers, because I know that tomorrow I could get sopping wet from a torrential rain, but today was a great day!!

Having meaningful conversations with my kids and friends, collaborating on a project at work, laughter & lunch with friends and being invited to preach at my families home church, made this day a day to "Shout to the Lord!" in thanksgiving and praise.

Thanksgiving for all the opportunities that He has opened the door for me, God loving friends, and a wonderful family.

Praise that He is the Almighty, Wonderful, Loving, Redeemer!

"Come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him. For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods." - Psalm 95:1-3 (NLT)


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Love Never Ends

Yesterday a dear man from my church passed away. He was one of my volunteers who would help assemble the newsletter each month. He and his wife had just celebrated their 60th wedding aniversary. 60 years of being together, raising children, watching grandchildren and adoring their great-grandchildren. 60 years of holding hands, secrets shared, smiles, sharing worries & joys, working together to build a life together and a family.

I think of his wife today and wonder how she will go on? How does one cope when suddenly the person who you have shared 60 years with is no longer with you? Taken so suddenly you were unable to say goodbye. How do you deal with the overwhelming loss and memories that will flood your mind and soul? The moments that will come when all of the arranging is done, the funeral is over and family return home to their everyday lives, how do you live during those moments of eating breakfast, deciding what your plan is for the day, needing to share a thought or a worry and that person is not there with you? When a memory comes back to you and you turn to that chair that they sat in and it is empty, what do you say?

I am saddened for her. But I am also reminded that love never fails. Love will continue on. The love that they shared will go on and they will be reunited one day. I thank God for that. God gives us the ability to love and to share that love with someone else. Love will help his wife to go on. Love will fill her days and comfort her nights. And God will be right there with her. Giving her strength, comfort and peace.

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.


Thursday, August 20, 2009

God's Rainbow!

Today I saw the glimpse of a rainbow in my life. The storm that has been pounding down on my family for the last 5 years is finally coming to an end, and I know that God has been right there with me the entire time. It is a battle that has been hard fought. I have watched my daughter being hunted down and torn apart by evil of an extrodinary strength. Through it all God has heard our prayers. At times we cried out in pain, worry, anger, fear and confusion. I can now look back and see that I am not the same person I was 5 years ago, none of us are. My relationship with God is stronger and closer. He has given me strength and perseverance that I never thought I could have. God is so great! My love for God and my faith in God are so much stronger. God has rescued my daughter out of the grips of evil and she is coming home. Home to a new start, a new chance of a great life. When I look back I can thank God for the storm that has crashed around us. I have learned patience in God. Patience in waiting and listening for God's word. I know that while my daughter was fighting the evil around her God was protecting her and comforting her. I want to shout it for everyone to hear. GOD IS GREAT. ALL THE TIME. ALL THE TIME. GOD IS GREAT!!!

In 2006 when God spoke to my heart while I sat by the lake, he told me that my daughter would be fine. He told me to be patient. He asked me to trust him. I did. I will trust in God the rest of my life. I will trust in God when the next storm comes. God will see me through. God is great!!



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A New Day!!

A journey starts with one step and this is a new journey and a new step. I'm not sure why I decided to start a blog. Maybe it is to be able to write down my thoughts, tell my story or possibly help someone who has gone through the same parental challenges that I have faced. What ever the reason I am happy to be taking this step.
I have felt God nudging me to do more but I am finding it hard to decipher exactly what that is. So I am trying new things. Seeking out what God is telling me. I love discovering new things everyday. I find myself growing and changing along the way. What a great day!!