Monday, September 26, 2016


"In his heart man plans his course
but the Lord determines his steps"
(Prov. 16:9)
"We interrupt this regularly scheduled program to bring you this important announcement!"

Sound familiar? And why does it always come right at the good part of the show?  I can see you now, talking to the T.V., moaning, groaning and complaining.  But one thing cannot be denied...the announcer got your attention! For a brief moment, your mind was focused on one thing...what's coming next! 

No doubt we feel the same way when God interrupts our neatly devised plans!  Whether it be a quiet hour or two with a favorite movie or T.V. series; a trip you've dreamed about and saved for; or dreaded news, like sickness or death...God has a right to interrupt our plans!! 

This is not a statement that I've found peace with easily but through spiritual wisdom and experience have learned to accept.  Even as I write this blog, interruptions have occurred.   Yet, I've treated each one  as a reminder from God that life is not always about me and what I want!  What I have on my schedule may not be on His agenda!  Every once in awhile, I need to stop and find out what God is trying to teach me!

Case in point.  Earlier this week, I saw an episode of The Steve Harvey Show, where NBA star, Magic  Johnson and his wife, Cookie was interviewed.  I figured it was one of those celebrity publicity gigs to promote a book or something... it was.  But, it intrigued me.  I knew Cookie was a professed Christian and I often wondered how her faith got her through Magic's HIV crisis and more recently, her son coming out gay!  Talking about Holy Interruptions!

Later while watching another show, there  was Cookie again, this time by herself, scheduled for one of those pseudo-spiritual talks with Oprah, on Super Soul Sunday.   Knowing how eclectic  Oprah's spirituality can get (still haven't figured out her true spiritual foundation), I was curious as to whether Sister Cookie would stay committed to her faith...she was!

Oprah, as you know is a skillful interviewer, digging deeper perhaps than most guests would like.  Yet, there was no way she could get around it. For all the Holy interruptions in her life: Magic's unfaithfulness; a HIV health scare that threatened her life and the life of her unborn child, her son's homosexual life style, she refused to give credit to anyone BUT God for getting her through.

Time and time again I heard her mention boldly without hesitation the core of our faith: Praise,  Prayer, God's Word, and God's Sovereign Grace! It made me think how much we could and should learn about those times when God interrupts our plans!

1.  First, acknowledge that He is our Awesome Creator - He can do what He wants, when He wants and however He wants (Rom. 9:21) Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

2.  Second, when we surrender our lives to Christ, our bodies are not our own (I Cor. 6:19) 
Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in  you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own:

3. Third, in your planning always prepare your heart for God's intervention (James 4:14-15)
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.

4.  Fourth, refuse to give up on your faith, even if things don't work out the way you want. He is still worthy of our praise. (Job 13:15) Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face.

 5.  Lastly, by His grace you can make it with prayer and perseverance because it's all good! Romans 8:28) And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.


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Tuesday, September 13, 2016

GRACE DRUNK!...Living Under the Influence

"Do not be drunk with wine.."
Eph. 5:18
Hello Readers,  it's been a couple of weeks since my last post but give me a moment and I'll explain why!  You see, I (along with about 150 women) have been on six-week Love Binge!!!

Yep! oh tee-totaler me (one who never drinks) have imbibed with sheer abandonment, sipped every ounce of the spiritual fruit of the vine served, and am now living under the influence of God's Amazing Grace!

I just concluded a wonderful bible study by Jerry Bridges, Transforming Grace: Living Confidently in God's Unfailing Love.  I read this book many years ago and instantly fell in love with it!  Since then I've read three different books by different authors on the Doctrine of Grace and studied it in several formats!  But this time it was different!  

Maybe because of the season of life that I'm in! Perhaps because I had faithful sisters doing the study with me! Or maybe by the Grace of God, it was just time to make some powerful changes in my perspective, attitude, and behaviors! This study is doing all that for me and I have a feeling it is doing something similar in others.

The book of Ephesians is one of those books in the New Testament that you keep going back to over and over again!  I know that there is rarely a week that goes by that my devotionals don't point me there for some serious reflection.  Because I've never been a drinker of alcohol, It was easy for me to just cruise over this admonition by Paul in Ephesians 5:18, "And do not get drunk with wine, which leads to debauchery.  Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (NIV) Drunkenness wasn't my vice you see! I've never had the desire to be under the influence of anything or anyone....UNTIL NOW!

It is in verses 19-21 that made all the difference to me: "Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs.  Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."  Until you've done the study it might be a bit hard to explain because Grace is like that!

It's  often uncomfortable, confusing, seemingly unfair and makes you do some down right crazy things like: loving people you don't even like; give money away when you can't pay your rent, work hard to serve people who don't even appreciate it! But you do stuff like that when you're GRACE DRUNK, under the influence of God's undeserving Love!  Take a look again at these verses from Ephesians 5: 

Vs. 19 - When you're Grace drunk you'll start talking to yourself! Speak to one another (and yourself) with gracious songs of peace love, unity, and joy to the Lord! Your tongue gets right!

Vs. 20 - When you're Grace drunk you learn to be thankful! Even the difficult circumstances and people in your life, because you know God's loving kindness is going to see you through it all.

Vs 21 - When you're Grace drunk pride is replaced by humbleness! God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (I Peter 5:5-6) You learn to give a little bit in some circumstances, because you choose to be joyful rather than to be right!!!

So my dears, the next time one of your friends invite you out for a drink, surprise them with a bit of new bubbly,  It's called the Fruit of the Spirit:  Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness and self control!   LIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF GRACE!


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