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