Monday, April 21, 2008

On the Border!

I was on the border this morning. I'm sure you ladies know what I mean - my temperment could go either way: good or bad! Mondays typically go the wrong way for me. It's nobody's fault, it's just the nature of Mondays. I could feel it rising up in me as I looked at things that needed to be done at home, at a fairly busy schedule this week, as I felt yucky from this cold/sinus flare up - I wanted to blow up at somebody for something - it didn't matter what. I managed to keep the lid on as I drove Drew to school, although I could tell he could tell....

But it turned around. The moment I sensed it was when a good friend just came in to chat - catch up on the weekend - talk about what's coming up - just talk, nothing deep. So now, as the morning has passed and afternoon has arrived, I almost feel like a Tuesday! I'm looking forward to my walk later this afternoon, to thinking about a May Bible Study event, to just going home.

So remember that sometimes when you reach out to others in normal routine converstaions, it can change their day. They may be on the border, and you can nudge them in the right direction!


Friday, April 18, 2008

Thus Far

Last night we had a WONDERFUL covered-dish event with our WOW Bible Study Ladies. We had not been together since before Easter, and it was so good to gather for fellowship. We sang Come Thou Fount as our hymn prayer, and the second verse says, "Here I raise my Ebenezer." Ebenezer - Stone of Help - from I Samuel 7:12 -"Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen.He named it Ebenezer, saying, 'thus far has the Lord helped us.'" This happened as the Israelites were battling their old enemy, the Philistines.

Do you have an old enemy that just won't let you go? I think we all do...something that nips at our heels all the time...something that seems to pop up around the next corner. We think we're done with it, and it raises its ugly head...again. I can't tell you how many times I think I've gotten over something only to have it in my face yet again. What's the only way we can win the battle? With the Lord, thus far the Lord. We can't overcome those enemies without God as our helper.

I think I need an Ebenezer to remind me that "thus far" God has helped me. If He gets me "thus far" won't He help me go further? He wants us to be free of our enemies, He really does want us to be victorious. Find yourself an Ebenezer - something that visually reminds you how much the Lord has done for you "thus far." And remember that He will carry you even further.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Worship & Praise

Today was Youth Sunday, and our group did a great job! The drama was powerful, the music uplifting and the shepherding stories personal. I do believe it provided one of the best opportunities to worship and praise our wonderful Lord and Savior. I'm tired...but it's a good tired. It's one where you feel the work was worth all the energy.

I have to say we have one of the best youth groups. You can see how God has impacted their lives and continues to guide them. They have fun and truly care about each other. How fast they grow up! I remember when many of them were born. Time goes by too quickly. But also so much for which to be thankful. Children growing into such beautiful young adults. It is a miracle. A reason to truly worship & praise!

Friday, April 11, 2008

What do people see when you leave?

For my walk at the Park this morning, I wore my Youth t-shirt from a couple years ago. It's black and on the back is a big orange sunrise with the words "God is Great." As I passed people during my walk I wondered how many people noticed the graphic...I'm not sure how they could miss it, really. But it started me thinking...what do people see when I leave? Have I left them with a glimpse of the love of God or of my selfishness? Unfortunately for some reason this week, I'm afraid it's been the latter. The words of Psalm 42:5a came to me the other day, "Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?" Truth is, I don't know why I have been downcast lately. I am so blessed, as I was reminding in song this morning.

But because I have been downcast lately, I'm afraid people have not gotten a glimpse of God as I walked away. I want to change that. The second half of verse 5 of Psalm 42 offers a remedy for this situation, "Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God....therefore I will remember you." That's the prescription for my "blues" - hoping in God, remembering all God has done for me and praising my God. The focus is on Him and not on me. Which is my problem 90% of the time!

So I ask you, when people encounter you, what do they see when you leave? Is it you, the world, or is it God's grace, mercy, forgiveness, love, acceptance. Put your hope in God and praise him!



PS: How about American Idol! God is good!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Reality of God's Grace

This coming Sunday is Youth Sunday at our church. It's where our middle school and high school youth have the opportunity to lead the congregation in worship. I poured out prayers to God this morning to please make this a meaningful service for the congregation, for the message to get through loud and clear. That only His glory would shine through. The message? It's God's amazing grace for us; it's how God is always there for us to get us through those difficult times of temptation; it's how Jesus is our Shepherd. To me, the drama is powerful. As I read through the service yesterday, I got tears in my eyes, because of the reality of the message.

I pray it's not lost on the youth either. I feel like when I'm trying to tell them of the wonderful grace of God and the abundant life He offers, that sometimes their eyes glaze over or they get that look. Maybe we don't fully realize the significance of God's love for us until we've been through some difficult times. Not that these youth don't have problems, but maybe they haven't seen the harshness of the world, yet. I pray that when they do, they will remember these times in the Youth Group -- that they come to see and experience the reality of God's grace.

To me, that's the most difficult part of working with the youth - making God real and relevant to them. With adults, we know the times we've experienced God's grace, Jesus' love, the Spirit's guidance. In a world of me, me, and a little more of me, how do we point the way to Jesus?

As I was walking yesterday (and listening to my praise music) a visual image came to me. It was of all kinds of people with their candles lit. That one person at a time, one candle at a time, one light at a time, God shines through the darkness. And when we gather our lights together, it is a beacon that cannot be missed! So...I think that's my answer to making it relevant to the youth...I make it relevant in my life...I let God's light shine through day at a time - maybe even one moment at a time. That as we let God's light shine, the reality of His grace shines through - and maybe, we have more of an impact than we realize. To God be the glory!

Friday, April 4, 2008


OK...I think Friday just might be my most favorite day. I am blessed to be able to "flex" and have Fridays off. I love being able to take it a little easier on Friday mornings. My MO is to take Drew to school and head to the Park to walk. I always have my ipod with a mixture of worship & praise music, oldies and beach music and a little rock. This morning it was so much fun. There is nothing like uplifting W&P music - one after the other - to remind us of the faithfulness of our God. It just starts my day off right.

For my morning devotions I read Deuteronomy 10. Starting at verse 14 Scripture says, "To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the Lord set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations, as it is today." Think about that statement...everything belongs to God yet he chose us - he chose you - he chose me to set his affections on us. Don't think that was just for the Israelites. Check out Ephesians 1:4, "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight." Is that not mind-blowing? Do you feel insignificant today? Remember that God chose you. He set his affections on you.

One of our ball team moms tells each child at some time during the year, "You're my favorite." And she means it! God does too, we are all his favorites. Verse 17 says, "For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes." He doesn't love your neighbor more than he loves you...he doesn't love your sister, brother, child, friend more than he loves you.

What should our response be? "Fear the Lord your God and serve him. Hold fast to him and take your oaths in his name. He is your praise, he is your God" (Deut. 10:20-21a) Let us ever hold fast to our God...make HIM your favorite every day...start your day with him...remember all he has done in your life and let him be your praise!!!!

I love you all!

Susan B.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Just Noticed

You know what I have just noticed? I have always spelled Y'all incorrectly. Why did I think it was Ya'll? I tried to correct it in my last post, but obviously it didn't work. Have I been out of it or what? Nobody ever said anything. YIKES!

Oh, well....

God's Peace, Y'all

Summer, Winter, Summer?

Man, was it COLD tonight! Drew had a baseball game and the high all day was about 48 degrees! It misted rain off and on tonight. We won...Drew had a good game...but this weather is something! I hear tomorrow is supposed to be in the 80's. This year's weather seems like a menopausal woman - hot, cold, hot, cold! I don't think my feet have recovered yet!

Just thought I would blog a little before I go to bed. I am so excited - I have found electronic bill pay. What fun! If this all works out I may go to electronic billing. Yep...I'm going GREEN and I'm saving money on stamps. More money for shoes! Not really. I've got to make a serious attempt at cutting back on spending. Think we're heading right into a recession --- in reality we're probably almost there. The grocery store and gas station have just about done me in this week.

The Braves are tied in the 10th inning,K is asleep in the chair and D is probably talking to his girlfriend. He has grown up too fast! While K and I have gotten younger every day. At least that's our on-going joke - you know how everyone else looks older when we see them; however, we have not aged at all. NOT!

At least I'm off tomorrow, but working here at the house. Need to clean - for what it's worth. Community Service Day in town Saturday. Don't know if it will be good weather for outside work or not. Would LOVE to sleep in. Come on rain! (That is so selfish!)

Guess I'm rambling too much. Time for bed.... Later, Ya'll! :)