Monday, December 05, 2005

Wake Up!

Mark 2:1-12
And when He had come back to Capernaum several days afterward, it was heard that He was at home. And many were gathered together, so that there was no longer room, even near the door; and He was speaking the word to them. And they came, bringing to Him a paralytic, carried by four men. And being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying. And Jesus seeing their faith said to the paralytic, “My son, your sins are forgiven.”

I sat in my living room this morning in a trance, almost. We just finished four performances (I dislike using that word, but nothing else is coming to me at 5 A.M.) of our church’s Living Christmas Tree. My back is hurting, my feet are tired beyond tired and I don’t know that I want to see the inside of our church for another month, let alone on Wednesday. I know that feeling will change between now and then since our church is a second home to me.

I prayed on my armor, first thing when I sat down with my Bible. I feel good there. Then I just sat on the couch. No real thoughts connecting in my head. No desire, other than a passing one, to write in my prayer journal. “Okay, God, why did you wake me at 4:30 in the morning if there wasn’t something important to meet with You about?”

Beyond the “duh” moment of just MEETING with God for no reason other than fellowship, came the urge to flip through the Bible in one of my favorite ways. I close it, stick my fingernail in a portion without trying to figure out what part of Scripture I’m headed for and open the book to see what God has for me. I, in my tired mind, thought I was somewhere in one of the Old Testament prophets. Nope, it was Mark 2.

I read the story of the paralytic all the way through, but my mind really stopped on the first part. I have to wonder who was the most determined? Was the paralytic the one telling the four men to climb onto the roof, carrying him mind you, and then to DIG into someone else’s roof? Then, not only did they dig that hole, they lowered him THROUGH it. We’ll never know who’s bright idea this was, but this isn’t like some of the parables Christ told. This was real. Someone wanted to be healed by Him so badly they went to these kinds of extremes. And we can’t even be bothered some days to get in our cushy cars and drive to church on Sundays.

I never said I was going to be soft on things so get ready for a punch. :-) WE are the paralytic and we’re suffering. WE don’t have the determination to have our friends dig a hole in someone else’s roof and get our healing. Wouldn’t want to inconvenience someone by putting a hole in their roof, how rude! Or to ask someone to do something we could do ourselves. We don’t have the desire to be with Christ no matter what. Oh, we give the lip service to living for Christ, but we do nothing which shows that for the most part.

I know some who have gone to far away lands and done mission trips for Him. I’m not knocking that at all. I have to admit I’m glad God hasn’t called me to do that and follow through on it. I AM knocking our everyday lifestyles, especially here in the good old U.S.A. How many reading this today have opened their Bibles before they checked their email? I didn’t, I confess. How many of us OPEN our Bibles and spend ANY significant time with the One Who can heal us, body and soul? How much study have we done on a certain word in Scripture to see what God’s original message was to us rather than man’s interpretation? Or even to see how many verses use that word? How many of us have spent more than the reading time required in Scripture without really stopping to think about a passage? How many of us have prayed more than the cursory, “Help me today, God, to get through _________” fill in the blank? How many of us have sought the answer to that “get through” in the Book which gives us all the answers?

God has shown me that His church, the body of believers, is sick. There are few healthy specimens of Christ walking around in the world today. Many live by their own insights and experiences rather than seeking the Truth for how to live a life in Christ. We are the paralytics and the lepers desperately needing the healing of Christ, but lacking the drive to seek it, doing whatever it takes to get it.

Here’s my challenge to you. Get off your duff and start making God first in your day and life. He asks for the first fruits of our labor and that includes our waking. Sacrifice a bit for Him. He did a lot more for us.

Mark 1:35 – “And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.”

He’ll meet you there. He promised.

Monday, November 28, 2005


You’ve probably seen a bumper sticker saying, “God is my Co-pilot”. I know I have and I used to think it was a good one. Not anymore. It’s all about CONTROL. No one wants to say it out loud, but we humans WANT to be in control of our lives. We feel threatened when anything gets out of the “plan” we have set in our minds for how things should be done. From there it’s a downhill spiral into fear, anger, resentment, and sometimes bitterness against God for “what He’s done to me”. Forget that He’s given us everything we need to keep out of the situation if we just rely on Him and not ourselves. It’s still HIS fault, right?

Here’s a truth we all need, and I mean NEED to fix in our minds: GOD IS GOD AND I AM NOT. Whether we really WANT to acknowledge the sovereignty of God and His ultimate control over our lives or not, He still IS sovereign and holds the final say. My mom has said many times, “This is God’s sandbox and we have to play by His rules”. If you don’t like that, I challenge you to find another sandbox.

Some interesting things have happened in our family over the last two years. It’s been a rough road of unknowns and flat out fears sometimes as to what is coming next. But every time we let go and allowed God to have the control of the situation it came out SO much better than we could have manipulated it to be. I think we’re finally learning to let that control go sooner.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’”

The plan of God is for welfare and HOPE. What happens when we try to take back over? Calamity. The definition of calamity? According to Webster’s dictionary: 1 : a state of deep distress or misery caused by major misfortune or loss or 2 : a disastrous event marked by great loss and lasting distress and suffering *calamities of nature* *an economic calamity*

Anyone see a difference in the outcomes from when God has the control and when we try to take control? Hmm.

STOP FIGHTING GOD. You are wrestling with the Almighty God, Creator of everything and you have some misguided thought that you MIGHT win. Talk about arrogance. We humans think we know better than the One who put this world in motion with just a thought. Psalm 8:3-9 says, “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, The moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained; What is man that Thou dost take thought of him? And the son of man, that Though dost care for him? Yet Thou hast made him a little lower than God, And dost crown him with glory and majesty!”

My father recently noticed a change in my email signature line and it prompted a discussion. For years Psalm 46:10 has been MY verse. “Be still and know that I AM God….” The New American Standard Version of Scripture reads, “Cease striving and know that I AM God…” and I’ve changed my sig line to say this instead. Why? I see SO many people striving to be God in their own lives. I then see, and sometimes have to help council them through, the calamity which ensues. “Be still” has a great meaning. I doubt the NAS version will start being seen on coffee mugs and such anytime soon. But the MEANING of the NAS version is what appeals to me. Quit TRYING TO BE GOD and let Him do what He does best!

I’ve also seen bumper stickers which fix the original problem and say, “If God is your Co-pilot, move over.” Try it God’s way. The road is going to be bumpy, more than bumpy at times, but I guarantee His way is MUCH better in the long run.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

The Wedding Day

I don't know any women who haven't at least thought about what their wedding day would be like. Most dream of the fairy tale with the long white dress and Prince Charming waiting to sweep them away. Some have even tried to have that “perfect” day. Some have achieved it. My own wedding, due to my willfulness, didn't turn out like those original wishes. My husband and I have joked over the years that we should have eloped! :-)

My dream wedding has changed. "Wait," some might say. "You're already married! How can you be dreaming of another wedding when you have a husband?" You're right. I have an earthly husband and he's everything God intended him to be in my life; love, kindness, fun, joy, laughter and strength. All those things are for the HERE of earth. I have a Groom who is even more than I could ever want or imagine. Let me tell you about my dream Wedding Day.

You see, there's an enormous amount of anticipation for this day. Long ago I made a promise to my Beloved. I promised to wait for Him and be His bride. I didn't know all the ramifications at the time, of course. I was too young. But over the years He and I have grown so much closer. He gives me little gifts to show His love for me. I sigh with delight over each one, though sometimes the path to the gift is rough. My longing for the time we can be together has grown as well. So, with such anxious delight I dream. I dream of...

Standing at the end of a long hallway with a set of closed doors in front of me. All is pristine with cleanliness and an air of peace surrounds me while excitement zings through me. The robe I'm wearing is without wrinkle or stain or spot, (Ephesians 5:26-27) having no hint of any. It's sheer beauty takes my breath away being of such a pure white as I've never seen before. (Revelation 3:5) I know Who awaits me behind the doors. I know He chose me and wants me as His. There’s no doubt in my mind of how He will see me, but I can’t wait to see the look in His eyes when I see HIM for the very first time.

The doors slowly open and reveal my Daddy, waiting with a huge smile on His glowing face. His pride in me and my Groom fills the room with it’s treasure. For a time I can’t do anything but grin back. Then my gaze falls on my Prince of Peace. Oh, what a moment.

There He stands clothed in garments of such purity it near dazzles my eyes to look at Him. His face, wreathed in a smile so big it stretches almost to His ears. His arms are flung out, begging me to hurry to His side so we can spend all of eternity together. His laughter, filled with joy and love floods over me like a balm, letting me know His own delight is none too contained. But His eyes. Oh, those eyes which look at me and have seen ALL of me to the deepest corners of my heart. Eyes flooded with joyous tears. Tears course down His beloved cheeks as He watches me come to Him as I came to Him so long ago, but now I finally make the walk which will unite us for all time in the same place.

Here is where my dream wanders a bit. Like the song, “I Can Only Imagine” by Mercy Me, I wonder if I’ll dance? Or will I sing as is my want here on earth? Or will I just fall into a puddle of joy at His beloved feet? Will I be able to take a breath for the emotions clogging my heart to overflowing? Will tears run down my own cheeks to finally see Him face-to-face?

In my dream I hear my Daddy say, “Well done, my good and faithful slave.” Then I hear the most beautiful word spoken from such perfect lips, “Come.”

Honestly, I think I’ll run. I’ll run faster than I ever have before. You see, there’s been an anticipation I just can’t explain to you, driving in my heart toward that day when I will be with my Groom forever. I love my life here on earth, don’t get me wrong. My heart knows this is not HOME, though. Home is where my Groom is and I long to be there with a longing beyond human words.

His outstretched arms will fold around me and the ceremonial feast will begin. Forever will finally have a Face.

Come quickly, Beloved.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Other Side of the Armor

Last time God prompted me to remind His children to suit up for the battle. My pastor’s father mentioned to me a few years ago a “flaw” in the armor. There is nothing protecting the back! You might suppose God is expecting us to have HIM watch our backs. True. You might also think He wants our brothers and sisters in Christ to help guard our backs. But DO we?

What I am about to say will anger some and I don’t really care. Conviction hurts and the Truth of the Word of God will slice through our sin quicker than we might want. The church as the Bride of Christ needs to wake up and stop playing the games of the enemy and the world.

I’ve said it many times…Christians eat their own. Church divisions are known by unbelievers as much as they are by believers. Denominational differences seem to be fodder for the “church wars” and worship styles help things along. Traditional vs. contemporary. Which is right? Which is what God would have us do? That’s for another session.

We are tearing apart the body of Christ! Every time we say something negative about a brother or sister it is shooting hurtful darts at the Savior. It doesn’t matter if you THINK what you’re saying is in love. Is it TRULY? Is it something which builds up and edifies? Romans 14:19 says “So then we pursue the things which make for peace and the building up of one another.”

I don’t see it much. I do see Christians with less than humble attitudes when it comes to wrongs they believe they have suffered. I do see divisions in churches over the music played or not played. I do see people looking down on those who come to church in less than a suit and tie/dress and heels, as if Christ even WORE shoes most of the time. I do see hypocrisy in expecting someone should be better because “they go to church” and yet wanting grace for our own faults despite our own church attendance.

James 1:17-27 says “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures. This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless.

Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

When was the last time you were “quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger” with a brother or sister in Christ? Do you READ the Scriptures on a consistent basis and therefore “receive the Word implanted, which is able to save your souls”? Are you a DOER of the Word or are you one who has been deluded? Take the mirror example. Do you hold in your spiritual stomach for the time it takes you to get through church on Sunday and then let the gut of worldliness hang out for the rest of the week?

This is harsh. This is TRUTH and I don’t see it being lived like it should be. God has taken what little gloves I used to have off. The time is drawing close when He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant” or “Depart from Me, I know you not”. The spitting out is closer than a lot want to believe. Stop being lukewarm. He’s not interested in lukewarm. He wants hot or cold.

Bridle your tongue. Give control of your lips and tongue over to the One who WILL build up His body because He loves it and gave Himself up for it. Don’t allow your religion to be “worthless” because you have torn up another in the body with your wayward tongue.

I’d love to see brothers and sisters in Christ LOVING on each other despite their differences. Scripture tells us they will know us by the love we have one for another. Do they?

Food for thought. Feel free to pass this on to those who agree or disagree.

A. M. Wilson

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Suit Up

I've mentioned some of the things God has been doing in my life since April when He had me start praying the "armor of God" on each morning. I got to thinking about it the other day when I noticed a lot of Christians walking around without their defenses up. Strife, discord, hurt followed in the wake.

Why don't we use the equipment God's given us? Do we just not KNOW? Are we not taught to use all He's supplied for our daily living in Him? I wonder sometimes since so many of us walk around so badly damaged from attacks the enemy has launched our way finding no resistance.

Ephesians 6:10-12 has everything we need to start our day guarded against the attacks. We first find, "Be strong in the LORD and in the strength of HIS might." We tend to start our days running. How much more could we accomplish for Him if we just used HIS strength and might to get through the day? He doesn't wear out, but we certainly tend to by 5 o'clock!

"Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil." Wow. This armor can withstand what the evil one can lob our way. Why in the world would we NOT use it? What's the definition of crazy?

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." We contend with others around us in the flesh, but we don't battle the REAL enemy! How much of our attitude is "schemes of the devil"? I would be willing to bet more than we realize.

"Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything to stand firm." I want to stand firm. I don't want to be swayed by every shifting thought that comes to mind. I want to stay on track with His will in my life at all times. How do I think I can do that without His help? Crazy....

"Stand firm, therefore, having girded your loins with truth..." Truth. What truth? Well, that might seem like a silly question, but have you opened the Word of God today? Do you on a consistent basis? Do you hunger and thirst for more of what He has to impart? Do you hide it in your heart so the "truth" He's given for us is what you've wrapped around you to keep out the lies of the devil?

"...and having put on the breastplate of righteousness..." Guarding our hearts is a breastplate, when we bother to put it on, which can withstand attacks from satan! (I don't like to capitalize his name, too much credit :-))

"and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace..." Re-read my post about peace. Is the peace you're seeking HIS peace to ride out the storms or a peace to get rid of all storms? Which is He wanting you to have?

"in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish the flaming missiles of the evil one." Faith is believing without seeing. Our walk with Christ is a walk of faith. Few of us have ever seen Him, but we believe He's there. This piece of equipment is so versitile! It can move around and protect us from any direction the missiles are flung!

"And take the helmet of salvation..." We're supposed to be keeping things out of our minds which might corrupt or poison our thoughts. But do we? With the helmet firmly in place we can be more assured our minds are protected. Every sin we commit is conceived first in the mind.

"...and the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God." It comes back to knowing the Word. In and out of season, we have to KNOW the Word of God. With these words God has inspired we can be protected, loved, encouraged, rebuked, enlightened, EQUIPPED for all He's called us to do. But do we READ it? Do we chew on the wording and seek out its original meanings? Do we WANT to learn more from Him, but lack the discipline to make the time in our lives. Ouch.

Why walk around defenseless in this evil world? Why not put on the God-given armor to protect you and stand firm against an enemy who has come "to steal and kill and destroy"? The enemy has no compunction against destroying you. Why not make it impossible through the strength of GOD'S might?

Food for thought. Feel free to pass it on. Thanks to those who have commented and let me know how God's words to me have touched you. It means a lot. :-) I'll have to spell check this later. Gotta get kiddos off to school. :-)
A. M. Wilson

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Acceptable Sacrifice

Malachi 1:1-14

"The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi. "I have loved you," says the LORD. But you say, "How have You loved us?" "Was not Esau Jacob's brother?" declares the LORD. "Yet I have loved Jacob; but I have hated Esau, and I have made his mountains a desolation and appointed his inheritance for the jackals of the wilderness." Though Edom says, "We have been beaten down, but we will return and build up the ruins"; thus says the LORD of hosts, "They may build, but I will tear down; and men will call them the wicked territory, and the people toward whom the LORD is indignant forever." Your eyes will see this and you will say, "The LORD be magnified beyond the border of Israel!"

Sin of the Priests

"A son honors his father, and a servant his master. Then if I am a father, where is My honor? And if I am a master, where is My respect?' says the LORD of hosts to you, O priests who despise My name. But you say, "How have we despised Your name?'
"You are presenting defiled food upon My altar. But you say, "How have we defiled You?' In that you say, "The table of the LORD is to be despised.'
"But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.
"But now will you not entreat God's favor, that He may be gracious to us? With such an offering on your part, will He receive any of you kindly?" says the LORD of hosts.
"Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates, that you might not uselessly kindle fire on My altar! I am not pleased with you," says the LORD of hosts, "nor will I accept an offering from you.
"For from the rising of the sun even to its setting, My name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense is going to be offered to My name, and a grain offering that is pure; for My name will be great among the nations," says the LORD of hosts.
"But you are profaning it, in that you say, "The table of the Lord is defiled, and as for its fruit, its food is to be despised.'
"You also say, "My, how tiresome it is!' And you disdainfully sniff at it," says the LORD of hosts, "and you bring what was taken by robbery and what is lame or sick; so you bring the offering! Should I receive that from your hand?" says the LORD.
"But cursed be the swindler who has a male in his flock and vows it, but sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord, for I am a great King," says the LORD of hosts, "and My name is feared among the nations."

God gives nothing but the best. He didn't allow some second rate sacrifice to die on the Cross for the cleansing of our sins. He sent the Lamb without blemish or spot. Do we give back to Him an offering without blemish or spot? Or do we give back only what we think we can get away with?

I'm not talking money here. It has nothing to do with that. I'm talking about ourselves. Are we giving Him ALL of us or only what we think He should have? Is what we DO give Him the best we have? Are we thinking we can get away with offering Him second rate goods, hearts which are not completely seeking Him in all things, and still receive the first rate blessings?

You see, God knows us inside and out. He sees it all. There is no blindness in Him, especially to our sin. He's got quite a keen sense of awareness to disobedience. We may think we can just ignore His call on our lives, but He sees it. He is grieved over it and our blessings are marked accordingly.

What is it He's calling for in your life that you've thought you could get around? Ask Him to search your heart and show you where He's working and you're getting in the way. Psalm 139:23-24 says, "Search me, O Lord, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any hurtful way in me and lead me in the way everlasting."

Don't try to do the self exam. You're bound to find a ton of stuff, but it might not be what the Lord wants you to focus on right now. Let Him shine the light into the corners of your heart and reveal that which is keeping you from the full measure of His blessing.

Wait till you see what He can do with a perfect offering.

In Christ,
A. M. Wilson

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


1 Corinthians 15:50-51 - "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed."

I've dreamed of heaven. I didn't want to come back. It was years ago. Before my son was old enough to eat on his own. I don't think he had said his first "Mommy" yet, even. My daughter was 5 or 6 years down the road. My husband hadn't finished college and gotten his first full-time job. I wasn't even a youth director yet. So much I would have missed, but it all meant nothing to the longing I had in my soul to be Home.

The song by Mercy Me I Can Only Imagine gets me every time. How will I respond? In my dream I ran to Him. There were people in my way and I tried desperately to get through the crowd. He stood in front of me clothed in whitest white with His arms open wide to hug me and a smile on His face which could light the earth. There's a catch in my heart thinking about it. I don't remember His face other than that smile.

I love my life. I'm blessed with healthy and wonderful children, though they make me wonder some days. My marriage is strong and healthy. We live in a nice house with our dog in a great neighborhood. We've got a church family that resembles what Scripture calls the body to be. There are some who will think I'm nuts for wanting to be rid of it all. But I do. I'm not suicidal or going to start wearing sackcloth and ashes. But here on earth is not what I'm living for.

I have stood in front of my kitchen window and wept with the longing in my heart to be Home. For Him to come and take me back. There's NOTHING on this earth worth what He gives. The overwhelming joy and love and peace I felt in that small time He let me's indescribable. I wish sometimes He hadn't given me that picture.

My Groom will come back for me, someday. He's my Betrothed. We are covenanted to be together forever. I will stand before Him, clothed in the richest of robes, righteousness, and hear Him call me by the name He gave me when I first became His, a name I don't even know yet. But I'll hear it for the first time. I know it will be the sweetest music my ears have ever heard. I long....

Come quickly, Beloved.

"He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' AMEN. Come, Lord Jesus." Revelation 22:20

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I Deserve...

While reading in 1 Corinthians 13, otherwise known as the "love" chapter, I noticed something. It's a very familiar passage of Scripture. We even had it read at our wedding since it's my husband's favorite. You know how it goes, "love is patient, love is kind..." etc. In trying to meditate and dig more deeply into Scripture to find hidden treasures, I came across 1 Corinthians 13:5 "...does not act unbecomingly, it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered..." and I thought WOW what a lot of meat to chew on.

Break it down a bit - "does not act unbecomingly". I've been examining myself lately to see if there is anything in me which doesn't measure up with how Christ would want me to behave. One of my new favorite memory passages is Psalm 139:23-24 "Search me, O Lord, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way."

I have to wonder if there are things I laugh at which grieve my Savior. Or words I speak which hurt the witness He would have me be. I'm supposed to be letting Christ get control over my tongue according to Scripture. Look over James 3:5-10 where it tells us the tongue is "the very world of iniquity".

And that's just in how I TALK! What else is there in my behavior He would have me change? I don't know yet, but He'll show me.

How about "it does not seek its own"? Here we go. How many times have I heard, or said myself, that I don't DESERVE to be treated in such a way? Well, I'm right. I don't deserve to be treated as well as I am on this earth. I DESERVE, because "the wages of sin is death" Romans 6:23, death. I gave up my "rights" when I accepted the Savior who DID NOT deserve the treatment He endured for me. He gave up His rights so that I, made perfect by His blood, may spend eternity with Perfection. I didn't deserve anything except the horrible consequences of my sin, but He loved me enough to give up what He DID deserve. That's love.

Next is "is not provoked". I'm in trouble again. My hubby tells me I'm a candidate for road rage. I don't think I'm quite that bad, but we've noticed I tend to attract the "idiot" drivers. Hubby says he doesn't encounter the same volume of bad drivers on the road when I'm not in the car. I can't attest to that, obviously. But I can tell you I seem to find them. And, yes, I do get provoked. Easily.

When my son doesn't obey directions and it ends up causing life in the house to be more difficult. Yep, I'm provoked. When my daughter chews through another cord on something plugged into the wall in the 10 seconds I ran to the restroom. Provocation again.

I think, though, the biggest issue for people in general is the last part of the first Scripture. The "does not take into account a wrong suffered". How many marriages would there still be if this were the case? How many families would still be speaking to each other? How many of us would have spoken more kindly to someone at work? How many kids would know they were loved by their parents? How many churches would be actively thriving for Christ? How many more people would know the Savior?

When something is "taken into account" it is recorded. It's logged somewhere in our brains so we can bring it back up again. I call that historical fighting. We dredge up the most minor things to fire at the offending person. It all goes back to the title of today's blog..."I DESERVE". We take those wrongs and file them away in our little brains because we feel we DESERVE better. We deserve to be treated more kindly, be more appreciated, more -fill in the blank here-. I'm not saying we should excuse obviously wrong behavior. Scripture is pretty clear on those, but what about those slights we record?

Today, ask God to show you something new. Ask Him to show you where you are dwelling on whatever that person just said which tweaked you. Ask Him to give you His forgiveness, and remind you they are still a work in progress, JUST LIKE YOU ARE. None of us are THERE yet. We won't be getting THERE until Christ returns and takes us Home. Ah, Home...that's for another day.

In all of this remember, 1 Corinthians 4:4-5 "For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord. Therefore do not go on passing judgment before the time, but wait until the Lord comes who will both bring to light the things hidden in the darkness and disclose the motives of men's hearts; and then each man's praise will come to him from God."

Don't take all of this on at once. Pray about what the Lord would have you see and work on in your walk with Him. Don't just assume you know. He might surprise you with something you hadn't even thought was an issue. Let HIM be the One to examine your heart and shed light where necessary changes need to be made.

In all things, PRAY. Seek Him. He promised those who seek Him will find Him. I pray you seek with all your heart today.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ever wake up and wonder what in the world God has in store for you? Your first waking moments are taken up with a sick child VERY early on a night you were up late? Or, as in my case this morning, your pet has intestinal problems and has left a "present" of the softest form on your floor and a lovely aroma permeating your home?

Lately I've been praying for God to order my days. I've told friends we better be SURE we're ready for Him to do this before we pray it. Not as if He won't order our days anyway, but if we are seeking His will for our days we had better make sure we are prepared for what He will do.

Take a typical day in my household. Notice I didn't say a typical day, period. My household is not typical by any stretch for MANY different reasons. :-) Mornings are chaotic with breakfast getting fixed (while trying to make sure my daughter doesn't put something other than a waffle into the toaster or burn her tongue on said appliance), mid morning is spent keeping her out of whatever her current obsession seems to be, afternoons take on the war-of-the-wills when it comes to nap time and actual SLEEP, evenings are an obstacle course of cooking and running around the house after her, and bedtime (that blessed time of day) is spent in sopping wet bath time and sweet nightly prayers. Now, this is typical for just the daughter in the household. There's dad and son (with the assortment of neighborhood friends parading through the house since it's still summer for 7 days). Also, church work, volunteer organizations - - and just normal household stuff are added into the mix.

God has been working on me, a lot, in keeping myself open to where He is at work in others lives around me. In April I started praying Ephesians 6:10-19 each morning. Here's what the NASV says: "Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the Gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming missiles of the evil one. And take up the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel..."

The last two verses, after the armor is on, are the ones which are the focus of my prayers more than the rest. I WANT to be ready with prayers for the the saints. I WANT to be open to the leading of the Holy Spirit when He calls me to helping one of His saints. But I have to be WILLING, at all times as the Scripture says, to be used by Him. I have to listen and be ready to drop whatever I'm doing if He calls me to be there for someone. Most of you, especially if you have my phone number :-), have called me at one time or another with a problem or concern. I know that's a time when the Lord is working in MY life to make me obedient in everything. I'm learning to put aside what I think I should be doing and let God work in my life for the good of His will.

But, it's a struggle sometimes. It's a CHOICE. I can be frustrated over not getting what "I" wanted to do completed or I can rejoice that the God of the universe chooses to use me to further His purposes. Being the optimist I am, I think you can figure out which one wins the most. :-)

So, YOU have a choice today. Do you allow Him to use you as HE sees fit and to bless you accordingly? Or will you fight against the blessings He longs to give you for your obedience? Your choice, but be ready for whatever comes your way. It will be challenging, but the rewards are more than worth it.

Matthew 25:21 "His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master."

In Christ,
A. M. Wilson
"Cease striving and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

Thursday, July 28, 2005


I’ve had many people tell me they are desperately seeking peace in their lives. This morning I had a thought. Which KIND of peace are they looking for? Are they wanting circumstances which are currently taxing their strength to be gone or are they wanting the peace only Christ can give? Hmm….

For myself, the blessing of Christ’s peace has been unbelievable. For those who know me well, you understand a lot of the things that have gone on through the years and are still going on today. From family members who struggle with all kinds of issues to a daughter with special needs we haven’t even totally pinpointed yet, my life is a roller coaster of uncertainty. There have even been financial issues the last couple of years just to keep things interesting. You know, the small kind like do we sell our house and move into an apartment so we can get the bills paid. Minor stuff. But through it all I have a great peace. People can’t seem to understand it, and I don’t know that I do fully. It’s there nonetheless. The deep peace of knowing my God is Sovereign and in control to work things according to His will for the good in my life.

Scripture tells us, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” Hmm…"do not LET your heart be troubled, nor LET it be fearful.” Sounds like we have some control over this, but I think that’s another day’s topic.

In thinking about peace, I realized there are two very distinctive kinds of peace. My pastor talked a bit about it last night as well. There’s the cease fire kind of peace in wars. The sort of calm when all the bombs in life stop being lobbed our way. This is the peace “as the world gives”. It’s temporary until the missiles start heading your way again. It will NOT last. Then there’s the TRUE peace which settles deep within and ONLY comes from a relationship with Christ. Not “church”, not other Christians (though true believers can help that relationship grow), but the one on One daily living with the Savior.

See, we want the outside stuff to stop. We want things to be easy. We want life to be rosy and pretty all the time with no trials or tests. Guess what? It’s not going to happen whether you walk with Christ or not. Those tests are there for the heart which is not fully His to show you it’s not possible to do it on your own. For those who have given their lives over to Him, the tests and trials are to refine us and get rid of the impurities that keep us from being more like Him and doing what He calls us to do.

Peace from Christ is being in the middle of the battle and keeping your eyes on the One who has won the war. It’s letting HIM worry for you. I promise His shoulders are much more capable than yours are. It’s not stressing over the big OR little stuff because you know, deep in your heart, He loves you and has no plan to hurt you. The promise of Jeremiah 29:11 says, “’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” Now, He doesn’t plan for there to be calamity, but we can certainly get ourselves INTO calamity when we aren’t sticking close to the Prince of Peace.

How do we get that elusive peace? Reading the Scriptures, seeking Him in our daily lives. Looking to Christ as our example of how to live in peace though storms rage and people try to “kill” you. He never lost His cool even when they were hanging Him on the cross. His words were, “Forgive them for they know not what they do.” Now there’s a peace I want. My prayer is that you are seeking the same peace from the ONLY Source.

In Christ,
A. M. Wilson
"Cease striving and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10

Thursday, July 07, 2005

I’ve never done a blog before, nor do I read many. God gives me insights every once in a while which I just feel the need to share. I have no idea how often this will happen. Probably three times a week to start, but we’ll see where He takes us. I’m not a cream puff when it comes to my opinions or my faith. I’ll lay it out there and you have the ability to pray about it and search the Scriptures on your own to see what He will reveal. I don’t pull punches, nor apologize for the Truth of the Word. God wrote it for a reason. Seems to me we should pay attention whether we like what it says or not.

I’m a mom. I’m not a theologian, a pastor of a church, or even the member of a particular church. But I believe the Word of God speaks to all of us who read it with the spiritual eyes God’s given us.

Take my reading this morning for example in my translation of choice, the New American Standard Bible. Our pastor has been going through Corinthians. I was reading in Chapter 7:1-6, but also 6:16-20. The verse that jumped out at me was 4 – “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does; and likewise also the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.”

Putting aside all the mess the Corinthians were in when it came to spiritual matters, God showed me something. Take a look at verse 20 of the previous chapter. “For you have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body.”

What price? The price of the broken body of Jesus Christ on a cross. Our debt was paid with blood and death. My Groom, Jesus, died on that cross so that I could be free from all the things this body on earth tends to want to do. My Husband/Groom, gave up authority of His own body so He could fulfill the duty to me, His Bride/Wife.

Do we LIVE that way? Do we truly live as if we remember the price He paid for us? Do we even ask Him what we should do with our body today or do we blithely go about doing what we think is right and never look back? I have to admit my life falls more in the latter category than I’d like to believe.

Take back your “marriage” to Christ. Give back to Him the authority to tell you what to do today. Where to go, what to eat, when to sleep, who to speak to and what to say. Start small, He’ll meet you there. He promised.

In Christ,
A. M. Wilson
“Cease striving and KNOW that I AM GOD…” Psalm 46:10 NASV