Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Denise's Dailys

What a great weekend we had! We were able to spend the weekend with a precious body of believers who desire to have God use them to reach out to others. It was amazing to see people listening to the Holy Spirit and many making renewed commitments to reach out to their neighbors, friends, and family. Robbie and I went home praying that these decisions weren't made out of "peer pressure" or out of emotion, but that these folks will truly allow the Holy Spirit to guide them to open doors with folks around them.

There were a couple of truths that came home to me anew this weekend as well. The speaker at one point said that we won't just be accountable for what we say and do in front of others, but what we do, say, and think when we are alone is what matters most to God. Ouch.

The other thing was that I could be doing more. Sure, I'm in front of people every weekend telling them about Jesus, and I try to reach out to my neighbors with various activities. But what if today was the last day I had. What would I be saying to the grocery store clerk and the dry cleaning lady and the mail carrier? Now, I'm not saying we should cram the Bible down all of their throats, but are we looking for open doors to serve and love people? Are we ready when God sends someone our way who is as our pastor would say "ripe for the picking"?

I want to be ready. That is my heart's desire, and so I ask for the Lord to prepare my heart.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Chronic Illness

I promised to be vulnerable on here, and I ask you would be too. I'm going to hold up my end of the bargain. I've been going through a struggle the past week or two. You know that back and forth in your head thing we all go through where one side says, "But it's a good idea" and the other side says, "But I'm scared" and so on. Well, here's my dilemna. Let me know if you can relate.

My feet, hands, and legs have been hurting really badly over the past month. I think mostly due to weather (and probably stress if I'm being totally transparent here). At the same time I'm re-reading an email I received a few months ago from some dear friends in New York who have found a specialist in irisology (I can explain this later if you want) who would like to see me when he's in town for a conference in February. I have his number, and I'm supposed to call him. Doesn't sound like much of a dilemna, does it?

You see, I haven't been to a doctor in over 2 years, because I got to the point where I was completely spent and done with having to tell the story over and over again only to have them say "huh, that's weird." You think I'm kidding, but if I had a $1 for every time a doctor has said that to me in the last 5 years, I'd be able to pay for my kids' college by now.

So the thought of opening up that door again makes me want to run the other way. Yes, I do want to get better, and I know there is a slim chance that could happen with this doctor. But the roller coaster of emotions you go through when they think they've figured it out and they put you through another round of tests, then on yet another medicine that either does nothing or gives you awful side effects...well, it's really hard to gear yourself up for that after 5 years.

Sometimes it's just not worth it. On the other hand, if God has brought this doctor across my path to allow healing in my life, I certainly don't want to miss out. So I guess the moral of the story is, sometimes you have to step out and be uncomfortable and vulnerable and trust that God will not give you more than you can handle, because He may just have another miracle waiting in the wings. I'd appreciate your prayers for courage as I call him...maybe...today.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone! Wow, what an interesting past month. We had the opportunity to meet a bunch of new folks at the Christmas events we had. There are a lot of hurting folks right now. It's easy to assume everyone's okay and happy at the holidays, because that's how they look on the outside. But that's so often not the case. Some are just barely making it. Don't assume the pain is over just because the holidays are. Seek out people who are hurting and show them Christ's love. Take the time. Believe me, I'm preaching to myself as much as anyone. I talked with person after person who shared stories of burdens they are carrying around every day. People are hurting. And if as a follower of Christ, we do nothing, we are quenching the Holy Spirit big time. Instead, ask the Holy Spirit to lead you to someone who is hurting today and pray that you will be guided as to what to say or do to be an encouragement to them today and to point them to the One who CAN help.