Hide and Seek

Hiding. Sal was hiding in the tunnel of the corporate building, way in the back by the loading docks, hoping no one would come looking for him. But he knew it wouldn’t be long before they found him. Still, the quiet gave him a few minutes to think back on his conversation with Sam a few days before.

“Sal, come here,” Sam called to him.
“What’s up, man?”
“No, come over here, away from the water cooler. I don’t want anyone else to hear.”
“Okay. What’s going on, Sam?”
“Congratulations, buddy!”
“Congratulations for what? What are you talking about?” Sal asked, genuinely confused.
“The promotion! I overheard the Big Guy telling his assistant that he is going to put you in charge of the company!”
Me? You’re kidding, right?”
“No way! He said you, I am positive. He said you were the one he chose. Look at you, trying to be all modest! You know you have the skills.”
“No, I have some skills but I am not sure I have enough skills to run this company.”
“Well, man, he must think so, cause I know what I heard. Besides, you know he will walk you through it step by step.”

Me? Run the company? Sal thought from the dark corner in the tunnel. But he knew it was true. He also knew that Sam was right – the Big Guy would be with him every step – so why was he hiding? Why this silly game of hide and seek? Fear? Insecurity? Disobedience? Rebellion? He didn’t really know and it didn’t really matter.

“Sal? Is that you? What are you doing, man? Come on, everyone’s waiting for you. You are such a nut! Let’s go!” Sam shook his head and the two men headed back to the corporate office.

Hide and Seek - Here I am!

Did you ever play hide and seek as a kid? Most of the time I couldn’t stand the suspense of waiting to be found and would jump out of my hiding spot in excitement before my seeker would yell “Ollie, ollie, oxen free” ~ whatever that means! But as an adult there are many times when I want to hide and I don’t want to be found. I don’t want my Seeker to find me and take me outside of my comfort zone, my cozy, little hiding spot. Sometimes I don’t want to step up and take on the roles and responsibilities I was created for ~ even though I know, like Sal, that the Big Guy will walk with me every step of the way. Why then do I sometimes hide? Fear? Insecurity? Disobedience? Rebellion?

Do you find yourself playing hide and seek with God sometimes? Me, too. So did many of God’s own chosen people – just read the tenth chapter of Samuel to see how Saul tried to hide during his coronation as king. So let’s not feel too badly. But let’s not stay hidden, either. Let’s jump out of our hiding spots! Let’s jump up and say “here I am!” and most importantly, let’s remember that the Big Guy will walk with us wherever He takes us.

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. Luke 19:10


Heart Healthy

 

How's Your Heart?

Hearts. I like hearts. You may have noticed the heart background on my blog, the heart on my website. I am a life long doodler, and hearts have even become my doodle of choice lately. What’s the fascination? Is it the shape? Partly. I particularly like it when the heart has lots of curly cues going off in all directions ~ but that may have something to do with my hair!

 “Now that guy has heart!” We recently watched the movie Rudy after not seeing it for many years. It is the story of a young man with an unquenchable desire to play football at Notre Dame -even though he had very little athletic ability, was half the size of their average player, and struggled with his studies due to dyslexia. An unlikely candidate for success in this endeavor. Because Rudy has become synonymous with being a overcomer, a dream achiever, we all probably know that he does eventually have a chance to play on the team. So to what do we attribute this feat? We have already established that he didn’t have the qualities our society would deem necessary for success; in fact, he was told that many times to his face ~ just give it up, Rudy!

Heart. Rudy had heart. It is the seat of passion. Passion is what drives us ~ both towards good and towards evil. Heart is powerful. Not only is your heart what keeps you alive physically – let’s face it, without it we die – but it is also what keeps us alive spiritually. A sick and dying heart, or worse yet, no heart, will eventually lead to death. That’s why we get our hearts checked. Blood pressure too high? Better make some adjustments to diet, exercise, maybe even medication. Heart too weak? Better see about strengthening it with exercise. What about motives? Are the motives of your heart in check? Maybe it’s time to run a diagnostic on your values. What about the level of your passion? Do you have any? Enough? Too much? The right kind? It might be time for a passion transfusion.

Most importantly, what is your heart towards God? Have you given it to Him? A heart is too precious a thing to hand off to just anyone ~ you want a master surgeon when it comes to the center of life and the seat of passion. It’s time for your heart check appointment ~ so what are you waiting for? You won’t find more steady and loving hands than those of the Master.

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12


Sister, can you spare a…?

© Sherri Camp | Dreamstime.com

 Generosity. I gave a dollar to some cause  at the checkout at CVS the other day. That’s generous. Oh, and at church on Sunday, I put some money in the tithe basket. Again, generous. In fact, I have many vices, but I have always felt that generosity could comfortably be put on the asset side of my character balance sheet. I like to give, I hold onto things pretty loosely. Yes, generous. But how generous am I really? The other morning I read about a woman who had wanted a baby so bad. She had waited years and prayed for a child but to no avail. To make matters worse, she had another woman in her life who was blessed with many children. And this woman (I can’t call her a friend) would flaunt her children in front of her day and night. Have you ever been so brokenhearted you just couldn’t eat? I have and that’s how broken this woman felt.

In desperation and in brokenness she prayed to God to please bless her with a son. And now she made a very bold, a very unselfish, and a very generous promise – “God, if you will give me a son, I will give him back to you to do your work for the rest of his life.”

Wow! That’s a bold promise! A child, a baby boy, with tiny little hands, a chubby face, loving eyes gazing into his mama’s eyes ~ if God were to bless this woman with this baby, she would willingly give him to be raised in the priesthood to serve God. I have given away lots of things over time, some of them very valuable. I have given away thousands of dollars over the years, even when we didn’t have thousands of dollars left over. I have even given away my time in service to others. But this kind of generosity I don’t have, yet.  

I have two children, one a son. I remember the days they were born. I remember their little hands holding mine, their little lips kissing me good morning and good night, the smell of Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo on their hair. I didn’t think I could love anyone, other than my husband, more than those kids. I still feel that way. So, could I willing give them up for someone else to raise for God’s work, His kingdom, His glory? You see, this woman friend of ours wasn’t handing them over to child services ~ it was a worthy, generous act on her part. Even under these noble circumstances, is it possible? When your heart has yearned for something almost to the point of death, could you give it up, willingly, generously? Could I keep a promise like that? I honestly don’t know.

Our friend was able to keep her promise. When her child was old enough to eat on his own, she brought him to the priesthood to be a servant to God. She handed him over. Over the years she would see him on visits, maybe once a year or so. God honored her generosity and made her son a great prophet to his people.

Surrendered to God. Unselfish. Generous.

God tells us he blesses a cheerful, generous giver – He tells us we can’t out give Him. If God says it, then it must be true. This brokenhearted, beaten down, barren woman who generously offered her one and only son back to the Lord, was later blessed with many more children. It makes my dollar donation at CVS seem mighty small this morning. Generosity. A new definition might be in order for me ~ how about you? Fellow followers and seekers, what are we really willing to give for the Lord? After all, He gave all for us.

“I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him.  So now I give him to the LORD.  For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD.” And he worshiped the LORD there.
1 Samuel 1:27-28 (Hannah speaking of her son Samuel)

 


The Gift of Laughter

Laughter – It’s a Gift from God – Use it!

Laughter.  When was the last time you laughed uncontrollably?  I was blessed to have this happen twice in two days!  

“Honey, do you want me to do that for you?” I asked my husband.  You see he was driving and fiddling with his cell phone and well, we all know that’s a no-no. 

“No, I got it,” he said, “Check this out, it’s magic.”

 And then he said, in a commanding and slightly louder than normal voice,  “Call Mom!” 

Then in a slighter softer voice, he said, “No. No.”  Loud again, “Call Mom!”

 And again. “Call Mom!”  “No. No.”  “MOM! Call MOM!” Yeah, this was magic all right!

 I did my best to suppress the loud, rolling laughter building in my belly.  I held it in so long, I almost couldn’t breathe.  And then I let loose.  Hahahahaha!!!  Hohohohoho!!!  Tears rolling down my cheek!  Catch my breath – get it under control!  Nope.  Gone again.  Hahahahahaha!!!  Hohohohoho!!!

 Even my husband began to laugh.  When I got it together, he handed the phone to me and said, “Could you dial my Mom’s number?”  And muttered something about how the magic worked great yesterday.

 We’ve all heard it.  We’ve all read about it – laughter is good for us.  It is good for our physical, mental and spiritual well-being.  So why is it so hard to let loose and just have a belly aching laugh? 

 Maybe it’s because life is hard sometimes – sometimes a lot of times.  I understand.  I am with you on that.  And life is serious – think of all the important decisions we have to make from day to day.  But I think I may be making it harder than it has to be.  I am thinking that maybe I am taking life, and myself, too seriously. 

 Today I had another belly aching, laugh till you cry moment.  Now granted, both times there was someone else involved.  So, am I laughing at their expense?  I really think not.  Both my husband and my friend laughed right along with me.  We all realized the benefit of laughter – so really, I was probably doing them a favor, right?  And the truth is, that if I would only look at my own self and the things I do less seriously, well, I would have plenty of material to keep myself in stitches for days!  I can only imagine the laughter that goes on in heaven when God sees some of my silliness. 

 Then our mouth was filled with laughter,
and our tongue with shouts of joy;
then they said among the nations,
“The Lord has done great things for them.” Psalm 126:2

The Lord has done great things for us ~ and one of them is giving us the gift of laughter.  So, don’t wait another day! Tear the wrapper, throw away the bow ~ open your present! Find something to laugh about today ~ even if it is at your own expense.  It’s a small price to pay for such great benefits.

 


God’s Glasses

Whose glasses are you wearing to view your world?

Vision.  Have you ever been challenged by poor vision? As a young girl, I had a lazy eye and wore glasses before I even knew how to read.  Years went by and fortunately I could see well enough to get by without glasses~ fortunately because vanity would never have allowed for that as a teenager! But as I have aged it is impossible to see clearly without my contacts or my spectacles.  It’s amazing how much my vision is impacted by whether or not I am wearing my glasses.  But I also realize that the way I see things is also impacted by the glasses I wear.

The other day I hit a crisis in the middle of a real estate transaction.  So much about this transaction has been challenging and the line of people affected by the outcome long.  Stress and emotions were high.  Nerves were shot.  I left the city building department in a fog, unable to cope with the news that our transaction might be delayed for weeks with thousands of dollars added to the cost.  Then I had my meltdown.  Tears streamed down my cheeks and I knew a panic attack was not far away.  This problem just seemed so impossible, so outside my control, so exhausting.  I was tired of it all! As I sat in my car, the tears and emotions had so clouded my contacts that I couldn’t see clearly ~ my vision was a mess.

I called a loving friend who coaxed me back from the emotional ledge and when my vision cleared I went on my way.  It took a day to recover from the blow of the bad news but when I did I came to see things a little differently.  What I had viewed as a crisis and an insurmountable problem is really just an inconvenience.  Yes, the deals may fall apart. We might have to start over. People will be upset. Money will be spent.  Needed income won’t be realized.  But no one will be homeless or destitute ~ just inconvenienced.  For us the income may come later ~ but God is my provider for today.

You see, I realized that when the crisis hit, I grabbed the wrong glasses.  Have you ever accidentally put on someone else’s glasses? Awful, isn’t it? Well, I picked up the glasses of the enemy who would love to cloud my vision with thoughts of doom and worry.  Glasses that narrow your focus to the temporary and fleeting.  Thank God that I found the right glasses and got my vision back! God’s glasses are the right prescription for every vision problem you have.  God’s glasses give you a broader view, they allow you to see truth, to distinguish between a real problem and a mere inconvenience.  Most importantly, they allow you to see things from a heavenly perspective. My friend, let me ask you, have you had your vision checked lately?  Maybe, like me, you have grabbed the wrong glasses.

 “For we live by faith, not by sight.”  2 Cor 5:7