Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Dancing in the Rain

For the last two nights we have had some SERIOUS rain here in Bismarck. The title I gave this devotion made me think of Gene Kelly in the old movie Singing in the Rain. If you haven’t seen it I would strongly suggest it.

There is a scene where he danced with great joy, by himself, in a downpour of rain. I don’t remember why he was happy but he didn’t wait under an awning for the rain to stop. He didn’t care about getting soaking wet or looking really peculiar…he just danced for joy! How many times have I literally stood still by my kitchen door--or in a store--waiting for the rain to get less intense so I can get to my car without getting wet? TOO MANY!!

Now, how many times have you stood still at your heart’s door waiting for the storm in your personal life to pass before you stepped out, wet with tears, to praise God, smile, encourage others…and fulfill your place of service? Truly, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain.”

What does God say about this matter?

Psalm 30:5 “….in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”

I have the promise…the promise of God that my weeping will end. I am told “in his favour is life:” and I know to be in God’s favor I must walk in obedience, abiding in Christ.

My joy is found in my abiding in Christ—trusting Him and believing His Word. So, in effect, I choose when to dance; praise, thank, glorify the Lord: I choose when to dance by choosing to do right, think right, be right with God in the midst of every storm of life. God will, when I have set my heart and relationship right with Him, do the turning of my sadness into joy so that I can praise Him,

Psalm 30:11-12 “Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness; To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.”

Psalm 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.

Psalm 150:4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

Ecceliastes 3: 1 and 4 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:….A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;”

There is a time to weep and grieve over loss and heartache as long as we do not grieve as the world does…without hope. I know from much personal experience that we can grieve and have sorrow and still praise, thank and do all God has asked us to do BECAUSE of Who He is, not because of what is happening in our lives.

I Thessalonians 4:13 “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.”

This morning I am reminded of David and his great sorrow of heart. I am reminded of how he called out to God and remained serving, thanking and praising God, through it all. David said, “my flesh also shall rest in hope.” He did not sorrow as those who have no hope.

Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Are we dancing during the rain of our lives? Remember, we can only see a rainbow through the rain…and the rainbow will come!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Time Flies

I’ve been going back and forth in my mind about adding to my blog for quite a while now. I didn’t realize how long it had been since I had posted anything until I looked at my blog today. WOW ~~ July 13, 2009. It has been almost a year!!

A lot has gone on in that year. We got back into our church in August, but it was not completely finished until December......yes, it took a whole year to finish it. I must say, though, it was worth the wait.

The beginning of 2010 started off busy for – which is nothing new. Between home, church, work and the kids schooling is was amazing that we ever fit anything else in, but we always seem to.

In March we had a surprise occur in our lives – although nothing surprises our God and for that I am thankful. My mom was diagnosed with lung cancer. This has drastically changed the lives of many in my family....especially my mom. She is doing great and keeping a very positive attitude, which I truly believe is half the battle.

We moved her in with us since she lives 75 miles away from Bismarck, where all her treatment is taking place. That has been quite an adjustment for all of us.

During all of this time and transition with my mom God decided now was the time to give us a house. We know it was of the Lord because we had stopped looking. We are all very excited....expected closing (and moving) day is July 15th.

Other exciting news is that we start our Annual Missions Conference tomorrow evening!! We will have Pastor Adams with us. Jeff and I are so excited. We haven’t seen him in over 15 years. He holds such a special place in our hearts and lives that I can’t even put in into words. He will arrive today so we are in countdown mode!!!!! The only thing that could have made this even better is if Mrs. Adams had been able to come. Maybe next time!

On now, my devotion for the day.....
Are You Just Existing or TRULY LIVING??

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."
John 10:10

Over the last few months I have spent a lot of time in clinics and the hospital with my mom. I know it is not the happiest place to be and I decided at the very beginning to always try to show those around me a happy face.

Ever since I made that determination in my own heart I have paid special attention to the faces of the people around me ( no matter where I am ~~ home, church, the store, etc.) and I have been disappointed by the small number of people who were actually smiling.

There was a song in the 80’s called Jack and Diane. Part of the lyrics to that song say, “Oh yeah, life goes on....Long after the thrill of living is gone,”

Well, what about your life? Have you lost the thrill of living? I hope not.

To live life to the fullest is COMPLETELY different than merely existing.

In fact, Jesus said that part of His mission was to enable us to live life to the fullest:

"I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly"
(John 10:10).

He came so that we could experience life to the fullest ~ not according to the standards of this sad and evil world ~ but life as it was intended to be. It is life according to the designs and desires of the God.
By coming to provide forgiveness for rebellious, broken people, Jesus has made it possible for us to live a life of joy and hope in a world of despair. Don’t let the trials, care and concerns of this present world steal your joy. Don’t go through life just surviving. Make sure you live each day God gives you to the absolute fullest...no matter what that day brings with it!!

Jesus came to bring us life-Abundant living, full and free;
Trusting Him to save and keep us
Gives us joy the world can see.

To know God puts a song in your heart and a smile on your face.