Off-Roading with God–Mama, Part 1

They say that truth is stranger than fiction. In my life, I have found this to be true. What I tell you about my early years in the home with my family is as true as my memory and knowledge can be. My siblings have their own stories to tell. I tell you nothing about them that is not relevant to my story, except to say that it took many years for us to become close as siblings or friends. Much of that is attributed to our mama. It is not my intention to judge my mother, though; I’m just going to tell you my story. It is not a comprehensive, reveal-all, “pity me” sort of tale. It is also not a story of hate, and it is by no means a how-to book.

Mine is a story of survival, salvation, and overcoming. It is a story of a loving God–my true Father–and the difference knowing Him has made in my life. Don’t start looking for the fairy-tale ending just yet, though. It’s not that sort of story, even though God is very central to every bit of my life from the age of 18 (actually, before then, but I just didn’t know it at the time).

It’s a story of truth. It’s a story of struggle.

This is a story that may make you shake your head–not because God let my story happen as it did and did not make it perfect, but that God is perfecting me right smack dab in the middle of the storm. Because, you see, life before Christ and life after Christ did not change a whole lot on the human level. But He changed me. And those changes have made all the difference.

It took many years to recognize it, but I did finally come to know that God has been involved in every facet of my life from before I was born. I am most certainly not a super-saint. But God is a super God. I am simply a plain old girl, who was protected by God and am being used by God to live my life for His glory.

Click here to read Mama, Part 1.

Off-Roading With God

Hey, y’all, I’ve begun a new page on my website, in which I intend to share the story of my life. It chronicles the “adventures” I have experienced and ultimately tells about the God who knew and loved me before I was born.

Many times we are led to believe that being a Christian–that being known by God–means we will never experience difficulties in our lives. One could only wish that were true. But the real truth is that Jesus told us we’d have difficulties, some of which would be very bad. He also told us that He would never leave us. That’s the real truth. It’s why I can tell my story. Because through all the bad that happened, God was always there. I might not have known that at the time, but I came to understand the truth of it as I learned more about Him. It’s not an easy story to tell, but if my story helps even one individual relate, if it helps even one individual know they are not alone and that God is there and knows and cares and …

Anyway, go here, and let the story begin!

The Enemy is a Liar

On several occasions I have noted that God sends the same focused message out to many pulpits and classrooms. I love it when He does that! They are timely for us; they were planned by Him. 

Our church has lately gotten back to Sunday school and we are slowly working our way back from 2020. As one of the adult class teachers, I had considered the several study options available, but one kept rising to the top, a study on the lies of the enemy (“The Truth about Lies,” by Tim Chaddick). Not totally convinced about it, I took a few days to pray and consider. During that time, I traveled to Pennsylvania to visit with our son’s family, giving me plenty of car quiet time to think. At one point I grew tired of the silence and dialed into a Christian station. The first song I heard was “Truth Be Told,” by Matthew West. Following right behind that was “If We’re Honest,” by Francesca Batistelli. Hmm. After hearing those songs and having my creative juices begin flowing, I felt confirmation that the study about lies of the enemy was what I would go with. 

Just yesterday, I grabbed my phone to play some music on the way to church. My phone has car mode, and based on my past song lists, it picks music for me, so I’m not messing with buttons while I drive. The first song it played was “Fear is a Liar,” by Zach Williams. This song is not in any of my playlists–it was just a random song Amazon picked based on my music interests. Just further confirmation for me that our current Sunday school study was on track, and relevant for the times. Then, during morning worship–with no knowledge of the subject being taught in the adult class–our pastor brought a message titled, “Fear is a Liar” (Numbers 13-14). And for the final song of the service, he played the song “FEAR IS A LIAR”…! 

Fear causes us to question the promises and goodness of God. It is one of the enemy’s greatest lies and a weapon he uses to keep us from experiencing the blessings of God.

I know a lot of people don’t feel that God works in this manner. That’s okay. I honestly believe that the Holy Spirit worked through these means to confirm my prayer about what to teach. Someone needs to be reminded that we need not fear a defeated enemy. Someone needs to be reminded that the world is full of lies and liars and that we must be aware. Someone needs to be reminded that God will always tell the truth and is always trustworthy. He has not changed His mind about what His word tells us, and anything that deviates from that is not truthful. 

1 Peter 5:8-11 – Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. So resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brothers and sisters who are in the world. After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.  To Him be dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Y’all, the world will try to tell you that what you “want” is what you should have. Check it out with God first. If He has a word to say about it, trust that. Do not let the fear that the world will scoff at you or mock you for following God keep you from overthrowing the lies of the enemy in your life. 

Use Your “Inside” Voice

I recently subscribed to a program designed to help improve my writing skills. It checks grammar, punctuation, and voice, among other aspects. I dropped an article into the program and implemented all the changes it suggested. After completing that process and re-reading the article, I discarded the corrected post, because it left me with a bad taste in my mouth and little else. I could not find one ounce of “me” in that sterile, perfectly worded document.

I discarded the program, too, and here’s why: while I understand that it’s a good thing to have my spelling and punctuation proofed, I strongly resist the attempt to change my writing voice.

Every writer has their particular style. I write to touch people and encourage them. Rough and raw it may be, but if you get what I’m saying from the emotion poured into my words, then it was for your benefit. Praise God! If I use a writing program that removes all of “me,” I may have a technically correct essay, but will it speak to my targeted audience?

My ultimate goal in writing is this: I want folks to know they aren’t alone, that someone is going through the same situation, and mostly I want them to know that God is smack dab in the middle of the fray, and He’s on our side. (the writing program wouldn’t like “smack dab.” *wink*)

Have a good day, my friends.

Sunday’s Coming

As it may be for many Christians, Holy Week is my time to focus on Jesus’ sacrifice. I spend this week listening to my favorite musicians sing of the wonder of that glorious morning and reading again the Scripture accounts.

In my day, the music of Dallas Holm, Sandi Patty, and Don Francisco filled our home during Holy Week. If you’ve never listened to Dallas’ cd, His Last Days, your soul will thank you for doing so. I pondered the questions posed by Jesus to His disciples, “Do you believe in Me, and in the words I say?” Good questions. I mourned the torture Jesus endured; and I grieved His death. Dallas’ cd ended with Rise Again (seriously, listen to this cd!), and grief dissipated as I celebrated the joy of what was coming early Sunday morning.

Though the actual events occurred two thousand years ago, each Easter I observe them anew. It is a ritual observed to remain focused on Jesus and what He did for me. As is my habit, I bound out of bed and watch the sunrise. Our children now have their own families, and I don’t know how they celebrate the resurrection. Our immediate household will once again celebrate Easter Sunday morning with our old favorites, like this one from Sandi Patty.

How about you? How do you celebrate the week between Palm Sunday and Resurrection morning? Sunday’s coming.

Shout it in the streets… He is risen! He is risen, indeed! Hallelujah.