Mimi & Poppy Camp!

Mimi & Poppy Camp!

Well this past weekend was a special one. We had all three of our grands visiting us for a little less than 72 hours. We called it Mimi & Poppy Camp and we had all kinds of scheduled activities for them. It all started off the moment we picked them up with Road Trip Bingo, and each time they won, Mimi gave them a prize, then there was the sing-a-longs on the way to our house too. We sung to the top of our lungs some of our favorite songs. When we finally made it back to our house, I had special snacks in the refrigerator in the basement that was just for them. The basement in their playroom. Being the Event Planner that I am, I had the next day filled with field trips, pool time and games, golf cart rides then ending the evening with a movie, and popcorn in our PJ’s and that was followed by some object lessons for the devotions Jeff and I had planned.

 

During one of our nights object lesson, we had the kids put together a puzzle backwards, looking at the gray side, not the picture side. Jeff explained that, is like our life sometimes, each thing that happens to us in life, is like a piece of a puzzle and God is putting each piece together because He as the perfect plan for us and although sometimes we can’t understand it and we can’t see what He is trying to do. We have to trust Him even when we don’t understand what is going on.  Jeff had one of them read Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plan to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future.” We can trust God even when we can’t see what is going on because He has a plan and it is for your good.

 

I think the highlight of the weekend for me though, was when we met their parents back in Wichita and instead of being excited to go home, they said “Quick Mimi!!, Take us back to your house, we don’t want to go home!!” Of course they were happy to see their parents too. But I have to say, my heart was so happy when they begged to stay with me. I felt I must had succeeded in making them feel special enough to want to come back. As, I sat reflecting on the weekend. I remembered my own Grandma. She always made me feel so special.

 

I remember when she took me into her kitchen one day, and showed me where in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator, at the back she had hidden the cans of root beer she had bought just for me. She told me “Now, This is our little secret, we won’t tell your cousins about this, this is just for you” She made me feel so special that day, it was like I was her most favorite person in the whole world. My grandma was a woman would loved the Lord and certainly showed me that love.

 

All this got me thinking, what if we made every person we came in contact with feel as special as my grandma made me feel and hopefully I made my grands feel. You know one of the other things we talked about with our grands was that we were made in God’s image. We had the kids take modeling clay and create and image of themselves out of it.  We talked about how they look like their parents.. We read in Genesis that God created us, how because we’re made in God’s image and we are suppose to act like Him and when people see us, they should see Jesus in us. .

 

We talked about how God sent His only son to die on the cross for us so that we could have life eternally and live with Him in heaven one day. I don’t know about you but someone dying for me, seems like a pretty special act. There is in fact no greater gift to give, than for someone to lay down their life for us. I know if someone died for me I would be forever grateful and anytime they would ask me anything I would do my best to accommodate them anyway I could.

 

We’ll it’s like that with Christ isn’t it? He gave His life for us, and out of pure gratification we need to follow what He asks us to do and one of those things is to reflect Him. In His time here on earth He showed unconditional love to all no matter their social status or how familiar He was with them.  

 

I have to admit. I struggle with this I am often socially awkward in new situations with people I don’t know, and although I appear to be an outgoing person, sometimes in those situations. I can also appear aloof and maybe even snobbish when I don’t mean to be. I am striving to really be the type of person that everyone feels welcomed and loved by. I not only want my grandchildren to feel special when they walk away from me but everyone I come in contact with.

 

I believe we see Jesus doing this throughout His time here on earth and God calls us to do the same. But things like this don’t happen without an intentional commitment to make it happen. It is so easy to slip back into the our old habits if we aren’t intentional everyday.  

 

Oh! And apparently, I was not the only one grandma loved, and wanted to make feel special.  As my cousins and I sat around the funeral home, after our grandma passed away. All of the sudden one of my cousins speaks up and says. “Well, I know Grandma loved me more because she hid my favorite candy in the bread box for me” and another spoke up and you guessed it, Grandma had hidden something special for them too, She led everyone of her grandchildren, to  all to believe we were the ones she loved the most.

 

So, how about we all be like my Grandma Northcutt this week. Let’s make sure everyone we come in contact with feels like they are the most important person in the world to you! Let’s reflect God’s Love.  Whether it be the person you meet on the street or the coworker you see everyday. Smile, shake their hand, or give them an encouraging word or complement. Let the love of Jesus and all the gratitude you feel towards Him be reflected in all that we do!

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Actions Speak Louder Than Words- Lessons Learned

This past weekend was our churches annual fundraiser. It is the Christmas in July Arts, Crafts and Vendors fair held every year at the Recreation Center here in Greensburg. It is always one of those things you look forward to, but at the same time dread because it can be a lot of work. But we do it because it is for a good cause and it is always fun once you get there and get started. This year our church hosted about 35 vendors, we always try and keep everyone in the spirit of things, by playing Christmas music, and I sit at the door and wish everyone Merry Christmas. I also invite the guest attending to sign up for door prizes that we draw every hour and I serve as the general information person for the vendors as well.

 

This isn’t my first Rodeo with something like this. I served on the De Soto Days Festival Committee for probably 10yrs, where we previously lived, and I ultimately ended up chairing the Committee for the Annual City-Wide event.  This event welcomed some five thousand people to our community for a weekend of fun, from a carnival, to food & craft vendors, a car show, a parade and a live band every night. But beside the committee of volunteers that helped with this annual event, I could of not done any of this without my family.

 

See one thing, we have tried to instill in our family was the fact we are a team. That means whatever one person is doing the rest support them and by support I mean gets in and helps, shows up, whatever it takes. So because of that, my kids grew up at events like this. I dare say, they even looked forward to it. Something like this required our family to stay at the event almost 24 hours a day for 3 days straight.  My last 2 kids who were still at home then, must of been about 8 and 10 or so years old when we started serving our community in that way, back then. So none of this is a strange to them. They are almost 21 and 23 now.

 

But honestly, with the kids off to college these past 4 or 5 yrs. Things have been shaken up a bit at our house and well, lets just say it isn’t as much fun doing events without our whole gang around all the time. So needless to say, nothing thrilled me more then having my kids at the event this year. I had a proud momma moment this weekend, I had to step away from the information table for a minute and ask my two youngest to watch it for me. Since were at the table while I was sitting there.

 

As I was away from the table I looked over and out of the corner of my eye I saw both my kids, assisting guests, helping vendors, they looked so grown up and were acting so professional. I just watched for a little bit and I can’t tell you the pride that swelled inside my heart. Oh! Not that I really felt like I have done anything. See, I was happy because my kids had learned how to treat people with respect and handle situations in a professional manner. They have become such great adults. I literally had the thought, well I can die now my children can make it without me. Now, mind you I have never sat my kids down and given them the 5 lessons on how to run a Arts and Crafts Fair, but they learned by watching their father and myself. They have worked along side their father and I at events for years and saw how we have handled different situations at times like this. They have help carry more tables and showed vendors to their booths then most kids their age.

 

The truth is, there is so much more I hope my kids to have learned from me. Because ultimately, what they have learned in my event planning career is not important, it will not give them anything eternal because teaching our kids to live with an eternal purpose, and introducing them to a real relationship with God, is the ultimately the most important thing we can teach our children. Proverbs says in chapter 22 verse 6 says “ Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

 

Our children are watching us all the time. What we accept they will accept and even take it to the next level. They will push the boundaries of what we have condoned to the edge. So the question is what are we teaching our kids just by our actions? It is the subliminal messages we send to them by doing what we do everyday without even thinking about it. The products we buy, the places we go and the type of people we hang out with. All teaches our children what is acceptable and what they should do. Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV says….. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

 

If we don’t make going to church a priority we should not be surprised if our kids don’t attend when they get older either. If they don’t see us praying and reading our bibles, they aren’t going to. If they don’t see us making God’s word a guide of how we live our lives they won’t either.

 

So, what are you teaching your kids? Or maybe you are like me and your kids are already grown and out or almost out of the house. Is there something you need to go back an apologize to your kids for?  Is there something you need to encourage them to do that you realize now you could’ve done better?

 

It is never wrong to admit to our kids we messed up. As each of us get older, we often realize we have made some mistakes, we see our kids often reflect the worst habits that we have instead of the best. And if we ever think that we can tell our kids one thing and do another. We are simply fooling ourselves. We need to live what we want our kids to learn, and that also means we need to spend time with our kids, all to often in this day and age, everyone else is raising our kids but us. Teachers, Coaches, have all been left to babysit our children instead of us choosing to raise our children ourselves.

 

What we have to remember is God gave our children to us, to raise, not someone else and when we stand before Him on that final judgment day- You can be rest assured we will be held accountable for what we taught our children or what we haven’t. So, lets make sure, from now on our actions are speaking as loud as our words because trust me, they are watching. The question is, are we listening to what we are teaching them. Because, this life will soon be passed, but only what’s done for Christ will last!

I Wish I had Her Life……..

I Wish I had Her Life……..

Well for the first time,  it happened to me I have heard other people talk about doing it, but the other day it happened to me…. I was scrolling through facebook and saw a friend of mine and thought, “ I wish I had her life!” and as soon as I thought it, it was as if the Lord said to me. You don’t know the tears she has cried.

 

Have you ever just looked at someone else’s life, and thought…. “I want their life! They never seem to have any problems, their world is perfect” Well, first off what you need to remember is, Their life is not without worries, or chaos, they cry at night when they go to bed or worry about their family just like you do. Why? BECAUSE WE ALL HAVE PROBLEMS and it doesn’t matter how big your problems are, when it is your problem it is HUGE to you.   

 

Often times, we look at someone else’s life and think,  “The grass is greener over there”, and if we only knew what their water bill cost to get it that way, we might reconsider our “Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence”  philosophy.

 

But why is it that some people never act like they have any problems while others lives seem to be consumed with them? Well, I think some people have learned the secret.                       
They have just chosen NOT to post their struggles and complaints all over the inter web and or be Negative Nancy when you see them on the street. Perhaps they choose to take their concerns to God as we all need to do.                                                                                          

 

Satan wants us to be so focus on ourselves that we can’t see the issues of everyone else around us. See that way, we can’t follow what God’s word says to do, but I can assure you. There is someone out their that has a problem bigger than yours.

 

I’ll never forget their was a season in my life where I felt very alone, Okay, there have been many of those seasons. But this particular season there was one particular person whose job responsibility in my mind,  should of been to check on me, and she didn’t.

 

I can remember thinking, why isn’t she reaching out to me? Why isn’t she calling and checking on me? I remember thinking maybe I should call her and then I rejected that idea in my head because it wasn’t my job to check on her, it was her job to check on me! At least that is what I justified in my head and why I begin to allow myself to be offended. Which was then snowballed by the fact that I was alone. I soon became so self absorbed I was only focused on myself and my problems.

 

Then about 3 or so years later, I heard that she had been personally dealing with some similar situations I had been almost at the very same time. It was at that point that it hit me! I was so focused on myself I had not even considered she might have been going through something herself, and if I had reached out to her as I had thought about, perhaps we could of helped each other. In fact maybe her struggle was greater than mine. I will never forget how horrible I felt.

 

I will never again get offended when someone doesn’t call me over an extended period of time and just assume they are being rude or mad at me. No! Now my first thought is, I wonder if they are going through something? I think “ I better check on them!”

 

Through the grace of God I had made it through that season of life and that little lesson has kept me from drawing into myself so much.

 

See I had allowed Satan to use my struggles to distract me from reaching out to someone else. I had been so focused on myself I wasn’t even looking at someone else or thinking of anyone else.

 

All too often we fall into our own pit of self pity and discouragement. Often in a hole we dig ourselves because we refuse to look up from ourselves and look at others.  

 

It has been said by doctors and psychologist that the best thing a person who is depressed or in emotional need can do,is reach out and help someone else. But all to often we get sucked down into a self-center pit that quickly spirals out of control.

 

In times like this, we need to remember what 1 Thess 5:11 says, Therefore encourage one another and build each other up….. In this passage Paul is giving us final instructions for the days before the Lord’s return. He tells us to not forget to hold on to faith, hope and love because that is our salvation from our troubles. Paul, urges us to encourage one another in faith, hope and love. He warns us that, some are going to be in darkness, or deceived and he tells us not to be sucked into that path but hold fast to what we know and to encourage one another in that!

 

So this week, as you go about your day be sure to look outside yourself. Don’t be deceived and sucked into the idea it is all about you. If we look hard enough there is always someone who has problems bigger than you do. Find someone who needs an encouraging word. Be someone else’s miracle, while you are still looking for your own.  God’s word clearly calls us to encourage one another because when realize the only real hope we have is in our faith and trust in the Lord. We won’t be seeking consolement from everyone else, because we will be too focused being the hands and feet of the one who has given so much for us, Jesus Christ.

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?

I love weddings! And there is nothing I like more than a Royal Wedding. This past week I set the DVR early and recorded the Royal Wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markel,  on 2 different channels on my DVR. Because I didn’t want to miss a thing! As the day grew closer and the hype of the event begin to escalate, I begin to ask myself, why do I like watching this so much?

Is it because I watched his mother get married?

Is it the dream of being a princess?

Is it the idea of Royalty and all the wealth that comes from it?

Is it because she is an american?

Is it the dresses?

Is it the hats?

 

After pondering over this for most of the past week. I came to the conclusion I love the tradition, I love the heritage that comes with it all. The castle is over 1000 yrs old. The center broch used in her tiara dated back  from the 1800’s. The gold for her ring is made from the family’s own chuck of gold from wales. The dress code for guests were, men could wear a morning coat, uniform, or sport jackets, and women must wear hats, dresses should at least be knee length, and their shoulders covered.  There is something rich and wonderful about the traditions, that comes with Royalty. There is a standard of excellence that I just love!

 

I have reminisced a lot about Tradition/Heritage this last month. As the Assemblies of God celebrated 100 yrs in Kansas, realizing I had lived over half my life with that great heritage. I am proud to have been raised in a home that decided to draw a line in the sand and say we will not be like everyone else. I am thankful for the heritage that has been afforded to me.

 

I have done my best to instill those same values and beliefs in my kids. I pray everyday that the same heritage and values I was raised with will not slip passed those who come after me and be considered  remise or unimportant. After all, I realize that the ultimate value I was raised with is a relationship with Jesus Christ that above all else is the most important thing. But because of that personal relationship with Christ. It calls for me to live a life different than others, a standard of excellence as well,  I have a heritage of this. But what happens if my kids and grands and great grands (one day) refuse to hold on to that same heritage. What will I do?

 

Like the New Royals, they will  also have a choices to make. The next generations will have to decide how to hold on to the roots of what they have been taught, while making a difference in the new world that seems to develop new hurdles that desires to keep them from that standard of excellence, day after day and  year after year.

 

As I pondered this in my heart. I was reminded of a young man in the bible that ultimately refused to follow the heritage of his family. He decided to live on the “Wildside” of his parents faith. He wanted to push it to the edge. He wanted to rebel against what he had been taught was right.

Samson who appears in the Book of Judges, 13-16 of the Bible,  was an Israelite who followed the Nazirite life, which included not drinking or cutting their hair. A Nazarite took a vow, This vow required the person to: Abstain from wine, wine vinegar, grapes, raisins, intoxicating liquors, vinegar made from such substances, and eating or drinking any substance that contains any trace of grapes. As well as touching anything dead.

 

Samson’s mother prayed for him as she was barron. One day an angel appeared to her and told her she would have a child and this child was to be raised as a Nazarite as he was going to be save the Israelites.

 

Samson was anointed with special power of strength. He had a God given gift that was to help him defeat the Philistines. Unfortunately, Samson got cocky,  He didn’t follow the traditions of his family and let the love of a woman outside the traditions of his faith lead him astray. He decided he would play to close to the enemy and ended up losing his life over it. He ultimately accomplished what God desire, but I have to believe, God’s original plan did not include Samson giving his life for it.

 

So that is the question we have to answer today. When is it okay to compromise your beliefs and traditions that make up that heritage? The Royals, are now marrying divocee’s and for the first time ever, there was an African American spoke at the thousand year old Windsor Chapel. Samson choose to marry outside his traditions of marrying within your own country. Samson choose to sleep with a prostitute that would soon be the end to his demise. He allowed his pride and jealousy to reek havoc on the Philistines.

 

Did either lowered their standard of excellence?  The angel told Samson’s mom to raise him as a nazirite which included not drinking alcohol, but Samson, allow the lust of his flesh to deceive him. Is one worse than the other? What is important here to remember is that anything that comes between you can God is wrong. When we believe that we know better than what the scripture says we have a problem.

 

God’s word is our absolute truth. There is no compromising it. God has given us His word not because He hates us or wants to make our lives miserable but He has given us His word because He loves us, He has given us His word because He wants to protect us. All too often today we are lowering our standards to fit in with what the world says.

 

On the opposite side many of us are willing to die on a mountain of controversy that God doesn’t even care about. It is important to teach our children the love of our Heavenly Father. He is not a God up in heaven waiting with a hammer in his hand, just looking for us to mess up so He can knock us on the head. If we do it right and our kids really grasp the fact that God loves them, then they will long to desire to please Him and follow after that standard of excellence.

 

So what are you doing today? Are you studying God’s word so you will know what it says? Or are you just taking someone’s word for it? Because when we don’t know what to do. We need to know what God’s word says.  That is the only standard of excellence we need to follow

REDO Part #2 a continuations from Praise Him!!

This article was originally written in October 2010. I am re-sharing this to remind us of how faithful God is.  As I talked about in my article last week. this is just some of the memories that was going through my mind as I was singing “Great is your faithfulness, your promise still stands this in my confidence you’ve never failed me yet!! (Do it again, by Elevation Worship)

 Have you ever felt like you wanted to just quit, and holler re-do, or just hit the reverse button on this life altogether?

I have!  It has been one of those days…… no weeks…..no months……. OK! really a couple of years.

Between finding out our youngest has some learning disabilities, a job loss (still unemployed after 2yrs), being responsible for the care of my handicapped elderly mother, and now finding out that a 14yr hope, dream and vision that we know God wants us to do, appears to be on hold once again!  I have come to my wits end.

I am wondering; what’s the next step and where do we go? What do we do? What did we do wrong? My head is spinning with questions of uncertainty. What curriculum to use for my child now? Have I already screwed him up? How are we going to pay for the special curriculum? Am I really this bad of a parent? Will the next phone call I get.  be that my mother is gone?  What have I done so wrong that God has allowed me to go through this? The questions are endless and so are the accusations the devil flies at me.

I feel my family has been on a long journey, a wandering in the wilderness per say for the last 11yrs. All I want is a “normal” life.

So, I go to the Word.  I open the bible to Joshua 5. Here are the children of Israel, those promised the Promised Land.  They have wandered in the wilderness for 40yrs on the hope and dream of a promise their parents had only talked about.  All this generation knows is God’s provision, simply that God covers them with a cloud by day to keep them cool in the desert and provides a fire by night to keep them warm. Manna falls from the sky to feed them. All these people have known is God’s provision and that they have been promised a land flowing with milk and honey.

Think about it, all these people (about 2.5 million) and all but Caleb and Joshua, have now only eaten manna all their lives, they have known nothing but God’s provision for every part of their life. Every part of their day and night for the last 40 yrs., literally all their lives, has been about getting to the Promised Land. Now they have just crossed the Jordan River (on dry land, another provision of God) they can see the Promised Land and God tells them to make a camp, celebrate the Passover and get circumcised. They can see what God has promised them and the scripture says……

Joshua 5:12 And the manna ceased on the morrow after they had eaten of the old corn of the land; neither had the children of Israel manna anymore; but they did eat of the fruit of the land of Canaan that year.

THAT YEAR!!!! Really???? Is it saying they waited a year???  A YEAR???? Seriously??? Here they are they can see what God has promised them and they have to sit there and look at it for a year

Maybe you have been waiting on that “Promised Land”, whatever it is for you in your life, and it seems like once again you’re on hold.

The reassuring part to this story for me is threefold:

  1. God provides. The whole time, in the wilderness God provides. So, no matter what we’re going through, whatever wilderness we may feel like we are in, God will provide.
  2. They do make it to the promised land. God does not leave them hanging, but He sees them through.
  3. We have nothing to be ashamed of. The past is the past, Gods word says, forgetting those things behind me I press on…I reach forth… Basically, Keep going! God is about to bring you to a higher ground!

Whether you are in the middle of what feels like a 40yr wilderness journey, or you may be so close, can see what God has promised you and yet you must sit outside and wait before you can reach it. Know this …. That today, whatever your wilderness, whatever your Promised Land whatever your battle… God will provide, He will see you through to the other side and you WILL come out victorious! You are a priceless, valuable treasure to God and He loves you.

And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. Galatians 6:9

Praise Him!!

This past Sunday I attended the Church in Wichita that Chad’s College is associated with. They have a annual end of the year event at the church and invite all the families of the students to attend. Well, since Jeff must preach on Sundays here, I am always the representative for the family on events like this. Once Amy came down from Kansas City and joined me, but this year, we had a surprise for Chad. His oldest brother and family drove in from Tulsa to surprise him.

Chad and I arrived at the church early because he was on the agenda of the service. Church began, and Lee was nowhere to be found. But as the whole church stood in the worship service singing Lee comes up taps Chad on the shoulder and asks if the seat next to him is taken. Chad was thrilled his brother was there, but we were both excited to see J.J.  See he is my first grandson and named after Jeff so to have a third in the family is super special. As I took J.J. in my arms still standing and singing with the congregation, the words of the song ”Do it again” by Elevation worship came out of my mouth…

“Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I’m still in Your hands
This is my confidence, you’ve never failed me yet”

Those words were repeated several times as I stood there. As I sung them,   I couldn’t help but first look at the little one in my arms and in my mind I went back in time, when his daddy was about that age and how I would tell Lee, “Now one day you are going to have a son and you will call him, Jeffrey Lee Miller the Third after you and your daddy”. I told him that often throughout his life, it was a silly little dream I had, but I prayed it would come true and it did. Then my mind jumped to all the learning difficulties Chad has had and the times I had cried out to God “What should I do? How can I help him? I recalled all that Chad has overcome just since being at school in Wichita. From failing every class his first semester, except Student Success Class (Go figure? How does that Happen?) to this year passing all his classes with C’s or above. Memory after memory kept running through my mind of just how good God had been to us.  The time Lee had an infection in his thumb and he almost lost it, but we prayed, and woke up the next morning to new skin growing on it, God healed it. I remembered the time we didn’t know where our next meal was going to come from but God provided that check in the mail. I recounted over and over again of God’s faithfulness in our lives! As I sung out to Him“You’ve never failed me yet!”

All this got me thinking……. What if, we would all just do that? Just look back and recount all that God has done for us. Because I must tell you. My heart swelled with gratitude when I considered what He has done. Is my life perfect now? Absolutely not! Do I still have problems? Yep, every day! But see one of the verses in that song says…

“Walking around these walls
I thought by now they’d fall
But You have never failed me yet
Waiting for change to come
Knowing the battle’s won
For You have never failed me yet”

I think all too often instead of looking at what God has done for us, we focus on what we haven’t gotten. What we prayed for and never came, or when the circumstance didn’t turn out to be what we expected. But our faith can never be measured by whether God answers our prayers or not. Our faith can only be measured by the sure fact that we believe who God says He is and we trust in who He is, knowing if we will follow Him that in the end He has the best plan. It is called dying to our-self. We have to learn to give up our will, and our way if it doesn’t go as we had hoped and we trust in the Master’s plan.

But all too often we act like a 2-year-old who when they don’t get their way, throws a fit and refuses to play nicely. Let me encourage you this week, take the time to think of all God has brought you through, then praise Him for being there even when you didn’t know it and providing and protecting for you and your family. Maybe even look up this song and listen to it. Because let me tell you as we focus on the faithfulness of God, if we won’t quit if we will continue to trust in His faithfulness. Yes, it may not turn out like we had hoped and our heart maybe breaking but I promise when the dust settles, and all is said and done, we may even have to be standing before our Heavenly Father one day before we find out, but in the end we will find out, we can trust Him!

He has a plan and He is faithful. When Chad graduated from High School not being able to read much more than a 4th grade level because of his Dyslexia and other learning disabilities, all of which have no cure. We never dreamed He would be attending a Bible School where he had to read and write so much. We assumed he would end up in a more manual labor job because that is where he is gifted at. But God had a different plan.

So, no matter what mountain you are going around right now, or how many times you feel like you have been around it. Trust God, give Him glory right where you are. Don’t make Him perform to your specifications before you will praise Him. Because if you demand that, He isn’t the God, you are! And let me tell you, You nor I are God or even close to being one.

I have to be honest, there was a season of my life, I was a little mad at God, because my kid has to work 10 times harder than any other to do the same thing another kid easily accomplishes. Chad is incredibly intelligent yet struggles to get it out. But I had to choose, to trust God, even though I couldn’t see how He would use this for His glory. I choose to trust, to keep going. I refuse to lose faith in a God I knew was faithful! And I would be lying if I said I still don’t have to encourage myself every now and then by remembering what God has already brought us through.

So, this week, let’s do what Psalms 150:1-6 (ESV) says

Praise the Lord!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heavens![a]
Praise him for his mighty deeds;
    praise him according to his excellent greatness!                                                                                                                         

 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!

Praise him with tambourine and dance;
    praise him with strings and pipe!
Praise him with sounding cymbals;
    praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord!

Hero

Let me be honest, I love listening to music! It has inspired me and encouraged me but as I have gotten older I find I care less about who is singing the songs I hear on the radio.  I just do good to remember the words to sing along!

For years, music was a huge priority in my life. I sang every day; followed my favorite artist; knew every word of every song they sang. I entered musical competitions and won; I opened concerts for some famous groups – people who are literally dead now. Boy!! I sound old!! But truth is I was doing this between the ages of 13-17 and the average age of the members of the groups back then was probably 50. I was even approached about making a record by a Christian record producer. But I turned it down because all I ever wanted to do was be a wife and mother.

So, needless to say, two weeks ago when we attended the Gathers concert, I sang along to the top of my lungs with songs I had grown up with. I am not going to lie, I can’t help wondering when I watch those Homecoming videos if I could have been there.

This past weekend we went to a totally different genre of music. We attended the For King and Country /Skillet concert. Now to be completely honest, neither Jeff nor I really knew what we were getting into, going to the United Wireless Arena. You see, I didn’t recognize the name of the group, but there were several from our church who wanted to go. So, because I am so busy, I trusted their judgement and didn’t bother looking them up and seeing if I knew any of their songs.

I am the kind of person who believes you can worship the Lord in about any style of music. I sincerely believe that if you think you can only worship the Lord in one kind of music, and you have a true disdain for everything else, you probably aren’t worshiping God. You are worshiping the music, the tune, the memory you have associated with that song, etc. So, I do my best to discipline my will and desires to be open to what God has for me, not just what I want or is traditional and comfortable to me.

When the group, For King and Country, came on the stage, I recognized most of their songs right away and their testimony and message was awesome. But I noticed, the audience was only semi-participating. Then, Skillet came out and the place came alive.
I only knew one song Skillet sang and I only understood a few words of the rest of the songs. But here is what I did see: I saw a group of young people from the ages of probably 8 up singing along with every song; the attendance was at least double what it had been the previous week when the Gaithers were in town; and what touched my heart more than anything was seeing one young man jump to his feet and raise his hands when he heard the song “Hero.”
Here are just some of the words to that song: “I’m just a step away, I’m just a breath away, Losing’ my faith today, It’s just another war, Just another family torn, Just a step away from the edge, Just another day in the world we live, I’ve gotta fight today, To live another day, Its just another war, Just another family torn, I need a hero to save me now, I need a hero to save my life, Who’s gonna fight for what’s right, Who’s gonna help us survive, We’re in a fight of our lives, Who’s gonna fight for the weak, Who’s gonna make’em believe, I’ve got a hero, Livin’ in me, I’m gonna fight for what’s right, Today I’m speaking my mind, And if it kills me tonight, I will be ready to die, A hero’s not afraid to give his life, A hero’s gonna save me just in time, I need a hero to save me now, Who’s gonna fight for what’s right, Who’s gonna help us survive, Who’s gonna fight for the weak, Who’s gonna make’em believe, I need a hero, A hero’s gonna save me just in time.”
Tears ran down my face as I saw the passion of the people in the audience, who were singing this at the top of their lungs. Words that to me sound as if they are coming out of pain and despair. These people were totally different from the generation of people who had sat in these same seats the previous week. Songs sung previously, were words like, “He Touched me;” “Because He Lives I can Face Tomorrow;” I Will Serve Thee Because I love Thee;” and “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I know”. One generation sang the praises of their King, another generation was calling out for a King to save them.
All that got me thinking. We have a generation that is crying out for help. Their lives are in shambles, homes torn apart, and if you read last week’s story I believe a lot of it stems from what I talked about there.

Here’s what God spoke to me: it doesn’t matter if I like the music! What He’s asking is, “What am I doing to be the Hero to the next generation?” God has called us all to share His love with others. His word says to “…Love one another as I have loved you…” John 13:34-35.  Notice it doesn’t have any exceptions that say, “Unless they listen to ‘that music,’” or “As long as they don’t look weird.” We have a dying hurting world that is going to Hell, while we sit on our privileged pews waiting for the world to come to us in the church. If you believe any of this is OK, you’ve bought into the lies of contentment that Satan wants us to believe.

I am so thankful that there are concerts like this. This group welcomed all those who didn’t know Christ. The lead singer gave his testimony of living with an abusive father, his mother dying of cancer when he was 15. He shared how one day in his bedroom he asked Christ to be his Savior, his Hero. It’s time we get real; it’s time we get transparent to those around us and share our struggles and challenges. It’s time we take the hand of someone who isn’t as far along in their walk with Christ or maybe hasn’t even begun one and take their hand and love them into the kingdom of God. Whose Hero will you be today?

This article was originally written April 16, 2018