Friday, December 8, 2017

I Love the Feeling

Oh goodness! It's been two months since I've posted to my blog. I sure have missed it and you. Sometimes God sits me down and wants to talk to me. I need to listen for me. That's where I've been. Not really having much to share just trying my best to soak up what I needed to make it through the last three months. So much going on with my family, good and different, but always looking to God for steadfastness and strength. It has been a while but I received a thought a couple of weeks ago that I feel should be shared! So here goes....

Of all things, I was mopping my kitchen floor. I HATE to mop. I sweat like a hog wallowing in the sunshine! I need to shower after I mop. I take several rest periods during one kitchen mop session! I use one of those Spin 360 mops or I'd never get finished.  Now, I LOVE the clean! I could sit for hours admiring the shiny white tile a good mopping leaves behind. The clean smell is an aroma pleasing to my nose. I always hope I have company so they can see the rewards of my labor. 

I love the feeling but I loathe the fuss. Do you know what I mean? I have to prod myself for days to mop. I spot clean. I ignore the dirt. I tell myself the floor won't stay clean but nothing satisfies me but to mop that dirty floor. The floor is dirty again within a few days but the clean feeling lingers. Clean feels so good!

You know where I'm taking this. God showed me something during my latest mop session. Psalm 51:10 says Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. I get dirty just like floors, repeatedly. I allow sin to creep into my life. I feel dirty, removed from the good clean feeling when there's nothing between me and my Savior. I know I need a good cleaning (repentance), but I loathe the fuss that gets me the feeling. I'll have to admit I'm wrong. I'll have to break down some pride. For heaven's sake, I'll have to get on my knees and Lord, you know, they hurt. I'll have to be sincere, really? I'll have to be sorry for my faults. I'll have to ask for forgiveness. I may have to apologize to somebody. What?

After I've done all that fussing with a few rest periods in the middle because you know I'm human and all that sounds like superhuman stuff, here comes the feeling. Do you know the feeling? My clean heart begins to sing Indescribable,
You placed the stars in the sky and You know them by name.
You are amazing God
All powerful, untameable,
Awestruck we fall to our knees as we humbly proclaim
You are amazing God

My right spirit is renewed. There's not another feeling like it in the whole wide world! In my entire life, I have never found anything comparable to Jesus. Have you?

No. I don't mop more often than usual, nor do any of the other chores I hate. I do view my spiritual housecleaning differently. God will surely allow me to ignore the dirt and spot clean to try to make myself feel better. Won't work. Instead of thinking "I love the feeling but I loathe the fuss", my new motto is:
Jesus loves me but loathes my mess,
Oh how I love the feeling when I confess!

Feeling clean 365,

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Wool is Itchy

Sheep teach us about ourselves.  Jesus used the illustration of sheep and shepherd many times in the New Testament. John 10:11 says "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep." What more could you want than a keeper who assures your safety while you graze all day in green pastures? Being a part of the sheepfold is a beautiful thing if we just didn't act like the sheep we are. Even under the shepherd's loving Lordship, we still need much tending.  Romans 8:23 states that we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body or if you will, the shedding of our itchy wool.

Things we have in common with sheep:
  • Slow to learn. God provides 66 books with 1,189 chapters of what to do and what not to do. How much of it do we know?
  • Demanding. Sheep demand grass, grass and more grass. They have an insatiable appetite.Sound familiar?
  • Stubborn. This one needs no explanation.
  • Lost and Straying. We just can't seem to stay on-course needing rescued time after time.
  • Dependent. Sheep can't survive and live without their shepherd.
 I didn't know this about sheep. 

Yes. Sheep stick their head through a fence and WILL NOT pull it out. The shepherd has to get them unstuck. 
Are you stuck?
Let JESUS get YOUR HEAD out of the FENCE!

Itching to Death,
The Happy Handicap

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Who Do You Look Like?

spitting image of jesus
Who do you look like? Do you look like one of your parents? When people see you do they say "You look just like your mom."? People say that to Sloane all the time. I remember many occasions, after she heard you look just like your mom, she turned to me and said "I just don't see it!". 

Rewind to a couple of years ago. Sloane posted a picture on facebook. I received a call from her asking "Why did you tag yourself in my picture?". I had already seen the post. I laughed and replied "I didn't!". Facebook recognized her as me automatically tagging me in the picture. You can't disagree or argue with facial recognition software. Sloane believes people now when they say she looks just like her mom. 

Sloane is a spitting image of me. I've heard this phrase my entire life. I looked up the meaning. Spitting image is the thought that you are the exact likeness of someone so much they could have you spit you out of their mouth.

Dr. Peter Kendrick, Professor of Theology and Culture at the Marietta campus of New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary delivered the message Sunday at my church. He recounted people telling him he is the spitting image of his dad. Dr. Kendrick is adopted. He's a native of Korea and his dad is American. I have to admit when I saw him I was puzzled by his surname. I haven't seen his dad. They may look alike?

What Dr. Kendrick said next inspired me! "What if people looked at you and said you are the spitting image of your Father God?" WOW! That's a great thought to ponder. Being recognized as the spitting image of Jesus is our ultimate goal as a born-again believer. Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 

We are made in his image. Genesis 1:26 tells us And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. But, do we ooze love and forgiveness and all the other things that make Jesus who he is?  People come pre-wired with recognition software. Who do you look like? Can they see Jesus in you?

Striving for His Likeness,
The Happy Handicap

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Are You Outnumbered?

hagar the horrible

I wish I could find the Hagar cartoon I wanted to share. At one time, I had this unforgettable cartoon in my office. I cut it out of the newspaper, taped to my computer monitor and read the funny every day for years! The cartoon had two images. The first was a huge army of Vikings with weapons aimed yelling to Hagar and his men "We have you outnumbered 500 to 1". The second image shows Hagar looking around at his FOUR men to say "Oh good. They're over-confident!". 

I still love that cartoon. The message is ingrained in my memory forever. Are you outnumbered? I felt like I was always outnumbered at work every day. However, I felt those that outnumbered me were over-confident in their own ability. Over-confidence in self is dangerous. Do you feel outnumbered? Your circumstances may seem grim and hopeless. You may be numerically outnumbered but if you have Jesus, you have THE ONE you need.

Here's proof through truth:
  1. David was outnumbered by the Philistine army but killed their giant Goliath with a slingshot and one stone. I Samuel 17
  2. Gideon was outnumbered 135,000 Midianites to his 300 men but overthrew the enemy. Judges 7
  3. Elijah was outnumbered 450 prophets of Baal to one to prove the God of Abraham, Isaac and of Israel is the only true and living God.
  4. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were outnumbered by idol worshipers, did not bow and was delivered from the fiery furnace without even a smoky smell. Daniel 3
  5. Daniel was outnumbered in the lions den but he emerged from the den unscathed while the lawmakers were devoured by the lions before they hit the ground. Daniel 6
You can never be over-confident in God. He is our only hope! You can be over-confident in yourself. You can certainly try to misuse the power of God for your own good. It won't work. The power of Jesus and everything we do will glorify the Father if we wish to receive his help.  

When you become/feel outnumbered, simply cling to His Word...

Image result for i can do all things through christ

Please don't try life alone. If you're facing a crowd of ten, you and Christ equal eleven! If it's two people, 13 devils and one big business, you and Christ equal more than conquerors! If it's three kids, five grands, a stepmom, a mean mother-in-law and a defiant dad, you and Christ equal the ability to speak peace and even the waves obey his will. Romans 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 

If God is with us?
Who can outnumber us?

Counting on The One,
The Happy Handicap

Saturday, May 6, 2017

When Thou Shalt Not becomes Thou Shalt

thou shalt not
Have you had a month like me? Life gets in the way. Tammy gets in the way. Tammy lets life put things in the way. Yes, getting side-tracked and off-track describes April 2017 for me! I haven't written a newsletter since March 22.

One of my favorite pastors always said "If you can hold it, do. But if you can't hold it, we want to hear from you!" This thought has been rolling around in my heart and head for longer than a couple of months.  So, today, you're hearing from me 'cause I can't hold it any longer.

What happens when thou shalt not becomes thou shalt? 

God spoke the ten commandments into existence in Exodus 20. Most of us can quote the six or seven "Thou Shalt Not's" from memory that God carved into a stone tablet. These commandments give us guidelines of what we should not do. Thou shalt not kill, steal or lie. Thou shalt not curse, have affairs or want your neighbor's stuff. Thou shalt have no other gods before me or worship graven images. Thou shalt not means it's a no-no, don't do it, not-ta, no sirree!

Fast forward to the birth of Jesus and let's look at his "Thou Shalt's" in Mark 12:30-32. There are only two. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like this, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The "Thou Shalt Not's" were wrapped into two simple commandments. When you love God and your neighbour, you don't desire to kill, steal or lie, curse, commit adultery or want their stuff. When the Lord thy God is first in your life, everything else falls into the right places.

Isn't it a miracle to think about how Jesus changed the world? From law to grace. From guilty to not guilty. From condemnation to righteousness. From death to life. From lost to found. What happens when thou shalt not becomes thou shalt? A world is saved. A Kingdom is come. Grace is sufficient. There is Peace on earth. Goodwill to men.

Most people don't come to church to hear what they should do but what they shouldn't do. Let us be encouraged for what thou shalt do because there is none other commandment greater than these two. Jesus simplified things for his people. We don't have to remember ten, only two.

It's no longer
but rather

Commanded to love,
The Happy Handicap