Monthly Archives: May 2014

Why I Call Him Papa.

I wish it were my original idea to call God “Papa”. The notion came from reading “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young. It’s a wonderful fiction story in which Mr. Young brings God to life in a very unique way. There’s a huge debate to this day about the book…which is sad to me for many reasons…all I know is at an extremely sad and painful time in my life, friends introduced me to this book and it ministered to me in ways I find hard to explain.

Anyway the main character in the book, “Mack”, was wounded by the murder of his child and God came to him (remember..FICTION…so don’t get too torn up ) 😉 as PAPA in a very personal way. Men, including his father, had failed Mack in significant ways and left him wounded to his soul. I identified with that (I’m sure you identify as well).

Until the latter years of his life, my biological father and I didn’t have much of a relationship. PAPA graciously gave me the opportunity the last  five years he lived (at a tremendously high cost; the death of my sister) to make peace with him. I also made bad choices regarding men, had my heart stomped on many times. Then regarding God, I thought for years I was his grand mistake believing He really had no regard for me…until I came to Him and got to know Him for myself.

Suffice it to say, to me, PAPA is a term of endearment. It’s calling God a personal name with love…not because it’s expected or I have to. I call Him PAPA because I WANT to. I love Him and our relationship is very personal, unique, and individual. I TRUST Him to LET Him be personal to me and I want to share His special-ness (I know not a word) in a deep way; thus, PAPA.

I needed you to know the story behind the name hoping it’s not a distraction for you when you read my posts on Facebook, my blog, etc.  He IS my PAPA. Jesus IS  my Savior & Redeemer. I’m not ashamed to tell you how much I love Him (them) and how grateful I am for His (their) love toward me. Love you PAPA!  😉

Snowflake God

How many people have lived, inhabited the earth from the beginning until now? All individuals, all created by God, all separate and unique. All of them. Mind blowing isn’t it?

When someone bakes cookies and uses a cookie cutter, even a spoon, the goal is to make them look the same, be the same size, be evenly baked and taste exactly the same as the first one. Our Creator isn’t like that. He creates us uniquely different and He does it on purpose.

There are others we identify with in various ways. Some may even look like us. Twins have the same biological makeup but their personalities are different. Mind-boggling isn’t it, that we’re all different and yet, He knows the very hairs on ALL of our heads!? He KNOWS us intimately, and doesn’t get us confused or mistakes us for someone else. He knows us one-on-one. What delights me may do nothing for you, and vice-versa. He individually draws you, reveals Himself to you differently than He does me. He’s intimately personal because He loves you personally.

Therefore be assured He will work through, speak through  and draw through what’s going on in your individual life. Even the mistakes, heartaches, blessings and curses will be taken by the One who loves you most to bring ultimate good out of. He already knew you would make them as He knows the beginning from the end, and He will customize glimpses of Himself in the ugly as well as the pretty just for YOU. That’s how much He loves us. The whole, complete span of our lives is putty in His hands (whether you realize it or not) designed to grow our personal relationship with Him.

He is a “snowflake” God. He has personal, deep, dedicated love relationship specifically for you, not cookie-cutter love that’s the same across the board. It’s said that each snowflake that falls is unique and no other is like it. How is that possible? Does that mean they’re unique to the snowfall and the next time it snows there will be a match? You could try to prove that theory but it would be impossible I think. So I’m content to focus on the beauty of the snowfall and the One who created it and not try to prove or disprove the theory. Doesn’t that defeat the chance to enjoy the blessing? That’s life you know; that’s the bottom line of FAITH: trust God and what He says. Sometimes it’s too big to make sense of. Today, it’s enough to believe and be grateful for His individual, just-designed-for-you love. And, that is enough.

The Occupation of Preoccupation

I’m having one of those days. I received my usual unconventional wake-up call (Baxter the cat scratching on my head to wake me up earlier than I intended) and rolled out and got my day started. With my first cup of coffee, I thought of everything that needs to be done today and that’s when the problem started. I was tired already. About 30 minutes into my stupor – the state of mind I find myself in when I try developing a plan and realize it will never work…that stuck place…then it hit me. I’ve started wrongly. The cat…the day’s stuff…the overwhelming feeling of knowing I can’t do this by myself. I was totally occupied by being preoccupied. I have so much to do today I don’t know where to start. So, I just sit there, thinking about it. Stuck. Preoccupied with what is to occupy this day.

I was reminded, once again, that none of this is doable (for me) without God’s strength, His grace and mercy. He provides what I need to get through the day. When left to myself to take care of it, none of it gets done. No wonder people (including me) at times) are in a turbulent desperate state when time with Him isn’t included…when we don’t turn to Him for help. Can you relate?

Life sometimes devours our joy if we let it. When I realized what was going on and where I went wrong, a decision had to be made. Do I continue on in this state of mind or, regardless of the load of responsibility, do I stop and go to Him?  You’d think after all these years and having been in this same preoccupied/over-occupied spot I would learn.

That’s the point of this blog this morning…realizing that my strength…even my want to, to be strong is in Him. He’s my source; my resource! All these diversions, I believe are designed to make me not give Him a thought, much less clear my mind and spend time with Him. I see clearly that even my will to fight the urge to give up today is totally in and on Him.

I think a do-over is in order. I think I’ll push the restart button and cast – chunk – purposefully THROW all my cares to Him because He cares. I’ll sit with Him and get into His word. I’ll look up all the verses about anxiety and see what He says. I can’t do today any other way. I think I’ll occupy myself with the One who knows me best and loves me most. I hope you will too!

The Heavenly Prescription

Sometimes things don’t make any sense whatsoever from this perspective. I just don’t get it. I don’t get the why so often. For some reason we think as we live with God here He’s required to let us in on what He’s doing. When He does give us a glimpse of His “view” of what’s going on around us, we still tend to try to figure it out and while we ponder and persevere, the whole reason for the insight gets distorted and we are more confused than ever.

Spiritual things seldom make good common sense. That’s hard for us isn’t it? We have to have a reason for everything. Spirit defies logic. Flesh and Spirit are in constant conflict and when the choice needs to be made, we side with or go with what makes sense; we settle for a flesh reason and miss the Spirit reason.

I had the privilege of speaking at my church yesterday. While standing in front of the very few people who were there I was more than a little surprised at what I saw. I’ve been associated with these people for months. I’ve come to know them and love them but I must tell you, I didn’t like what I saw at all.

I saw lots and lots of pain. I saw them wearing their battles. I saw fatigue, sadness and evidence of their lives all over them.  To be honest, we’re a brand new church; we don’t have many who worship with us and I couldn’t figure out why in the world the Lord prompted our Pastor to ask me to speak. It didn’t make any sense. I almost said no! Then when I got to the front and saw what he sees every time he stands in front of us, I got it.

I know how hard life is. I may have not faced what you face, but I have had some serious battles. I know what it’s like to be wounded, even hurt down to your soul. I also know the best remedy or the feel-better solution for pain. His name is Jesus. Want to know how I fight and keep the joy in my heart and the smile on my face? I keep the Lord front and center…or at least I try. My escape is spending time with Him. Every day, no matter what is going on in my life, He is my ‘first thing’.

I don’t make light of anyone’s suffering. I know what it’s like to wake up consumed with a heavy load of sorts, to have the first thing that pops into my mind something about me or someone I love and what they/I am going through. I have to choose to divert. I can stay consumed with trouble, fear, worry, or I can choose a diversion.

There are many choices for diversion too. Have a drink, take a pill, eat something that will make you feel better, watch something on TV to name a few. OR, you can talk to PAPA and ask Him for comfort and strength,  pick up His Word and dive in.  I have found this to be the key to unlocking my joy that is sometimes buried deep under pain. When joy is touched, I find it has to manifest itself. It has to show; to come out in some form.

May sound silly and simple but I dare you to try it.

What Language Do You Speak?

Let’s be honest. Sometimes we “church people” speak “church” and when trying to communicate with those who are un-churched and unsaved something is lost in the translation. Better put, we’re speaking a foreign language and sometimes (I think) they can’t understand a word we say.

I have to remind myself that if people don’t have the Spirit (given to us when we accept/believe in/believe on) Christ, then they can’t understand or “see” as we do. We tell them to pray and read their Bible, right? The Bible says you can’t understand the Word without the Spirit. Are you telling them to do something you don’t do, or only do on Sundays? mmmm…a whole different story there…

That’s why people are confused and angry. They hear us TALKING the talk but don’t see us WALKING the walk. We are double minded. Did you know your countenance speaks volumes? You can “witness” by not saying a word. You can be inviting, caring, friendly and loving and that goes a much longer way…and SHOWS people more than anything you say.

Watch your language. If you tell someone to read the Bible, be sure you read it yourself first, and then tell them how they can be opened to understanding God’s Word. You can tell them what God spoke to you…but be sure you leave the “church lingo/language” out of it. Before you do, pray the person’s eyes will be opened which means to ask that they will be opened to God. Not you. Speak to them lovingly, not judgmentally, where they are. Ask God to give you a loving, concerned Spirit and attitude…and a heart that matches His. Better yet, ask for His heart for them to be revealed to them.

It’s good to share Jesus with anyone and everyone. Jesus walked AMONG the ones society rejected and He used down-to-earth methods (parables) to teach and to get His message out there…He used things He knew they could relate to. That’s what I’m saying here. Be real. Jesus came “down” to us to reveal Himself. He came to where we were and He still does! Don’t make folks confused or feel they are inferior and can never understand.  God will give you the perfect words to speak and will give you the courage to say them. Just love.

Speak the language of His love and then watch Him do the work.

Blessings…

New Season, new blog

I am finally HOME for going on six months. I kinda think a new blog is in order…to commemorate this transition. I don’t think we’re quite “there” yet (and sometimes wonder if we ever will be)…but we’re almost at the six month mark of this life-changing journey and I am feeling a little more “settled”. So much has happened…I can’t wait to tell you. God has granted me the desire of my heart -to move back to E TN- and He’s shown me so much about TRUST…just going on nothing but faith. Folks thought I was crazy; people got mad…tornadoes, etc….changed their minds I think. Confirmed to me exactly what He said. So, get ready and join me on this journey. As is everything else in my life…it’s a little unusual but never boring. I’ll be posting/blogging here from now on. Be looking for a new website; I’m working on a couple more books…lots to do. I’m not getting any younger and it’s time to get on with this. My desire…my dream…it’s up to God…but I have to do my part. pray for me? Cheer me on? Help when needed? Great!!