Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Miracles and Mouths

“...The tongue of the wise brings healing.”
~Proverbs 12:18~

“A soothing tongue is a tree of life.”
~Proverbs 15:4~

“Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
~Proverbs 15:24~

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue…”
~Proverbs 18:21~

The joy of miracles encompass our lives everyday. Babies are born, illnesses are cured, diseases go into remission, the world flawlessly spins on its axis, the sun rises and shines everyday as determined, and we are surrounded by the ongoing ebb and flow of oceans brimming with life. In fact, the amount of daily miracles could fill books.

These miracles are passive to us as we breathe in their magic and experience their mysterious ability to transform beliefs. We can sleep through them, ignore them, and turn away from them, but the presence of miracles continue to exert their power and presence in spite of our lack of awareness. It is only when we choose to acknowledge miracles that we experience their life giving and changing force.

But, miracles are not only defined by what happens outside of our personal control. Each day we are gifted with ample opportunities to be a miracle to those living inside our circle of influence -- friends, family members, neighbors, clerks, servers, attendants, secretaries, phone marketers, employees, employers, colleagues, children, grandchildren, spouses, panhandlers, and anyone who inhabits our life space.

This daily miracle rests in the power of our tongues. Biblical Proverbs are laced with reminders of the life force our tongues wield. With our words we can choose to speak life or death, along with healing or woundedness. We can become a speaking miracle to a world longing for transformation. In short, our mouths are the miracles.

Teachers speak miracles by giving children hope to believe that their weaknesses become their strengths and springboard into a future filled with success. Doctors and nurses speak miracles of hope to the sick and dying. Parents speak miracles as they extend words filled with grace to faltering children who need reminding that forgiveness lifts their downcast eyes and sagging souls heavenward. Spouses speak miracles as they shoulder burdens by words of comfort. Friends speak miracles as they minister in the waiting room of hurt with those they love.  

Everyday miracles live in the awe of an aptly spoken word. Words that inspire. Words that brim with hope. Words that aspire to transform apathy into ambition. Words that believe all things are possible.

Today, be the miracle that someone has prayed for, longed for and hoped for. Choose your words with love and wisdom as you deliver them with gentleness. Let your mouth be the miracle.

Jesus, speak words of hope inward to my heart and outward through my mouth. Let others experience the miracle of healing and life through the power of my tongue. Today, and each day, I submit my tongue to creating miracles filled with hope.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Exits and Oxymorons

Exits and Oxymoron’s

And He took him outside and said, “Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them.” ... Then he believed in the LORD ... And He said to him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of UR and of the Chaldeans, to give you this land to possess it.”
~ Genesis 15:5-6, NASB ~

A large exit sign hung over the sturdy, steel door. A push bar was strategically placed mid-way on the door enhancing one's ability to believe that safety was an easy push away in the event of an unplanned evacuation.

My heart was heavy. I was leaving after a decade of nursing the hearts, minds, and bodies of the youth I had grown to love. When my eyes caught the exit sign, I understood that fresh opportunities for ministry lay beyond this land of familiar spaces, patterned schedules, and unpredictable personalities. Wet tears streamed down my cheeks until I read the sign posted on the door below the exit sign: “Absolutely no one is to open this door at any time.” The irony of an exit door with a posted warning sign not to open was too laughable for me to spend another moment teary eyed and nostalgic.

This became my “Abraham” moment. God was showing me that beyond the walls and doors of my present employment was a vast land filled with new adventures, relationships, and meaningful life work to look forward to completing. I, like Abraham, would need to believe and move past the contradiction between my feelings and what I knew to be true.

We each have been endowed with motivational gifts that compliment the life territory that God has ordained for us to possess. And just like the seasons change, our life's work will be completed on various life landscapes. We must be open and ready when God posts an exit sign and points us in a different direction. If we believe that life's exit doors are to remain closed, we will become stunted and our life's work stalled.

What new life territory has God shown you? Have you believed it is time to exit where He has you presently, or have you believed the contradiction of your feelings, friends, or fears?

Today, take a step of faith and push open the exit door God has posted. Look up and believe, and prepare to possess the new land God is showing you.

LORD, today, I will choose to cast my eyes upon you. Give me the courage to push open the doors of opportunity that you have ordained. Give me the strength to believe and trust you as I walk out into new territory.  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Please, No Door Knobs For This Girl

The Holy, the True....opening doors no one can lock,
locking doors no one can open....

~Revelation 3:3 The Message

I loathe touching public door handles. Perhaps the course in microbiology I was forced to take in nursing school burned into my mind the hidden dangers of bacteria and viruses that lurk on inanimate objects waiting to claim victory over their next innocent victim-me. I act like a one woman hazmat team when attempting to open and close public doors. 

I wish I held the same caution concerning the doors of my life. I have spent years forcing open "life doors" that have proven unfruitful and have slammed shut open "life doors" that I have viewed as ominous and threatening. The outcome has been restlessness of soul. I have felt like a frog leaping from lily pad to lily pad drowning in the life pond designed to protect and nourish me.

I am beginning to realize when God opens a  life door no effort on my part, or the part of another, can close it, and when He closes a door no one, not even me, can open it.

God assures us that His purpose and plans are specially designed to our unique personality and temperament. He will determine which doors are to be opened and which ones are to be closed. Our job is to trust Him. This trust will save us from sickness of soul and illness of mind. 

Today, I have decided to allow God to remove all the knobs on my life doors and to trust him when a door closes, or is closed, and when one opens. Will you join me?

This hands off approach is preventive medicine for the soul and a promise filled with "new dreams, new possibilities, and new beginnings." (Restored: Healing Prayers and Inspiration for Those Living with Depression by Lynne Jordan)

Today, LORD, I submit to Your Sovereign will. Hands off I stand before You. I trust your Goodness and perfect character. Open and close the life doors you have ordained for me. Amen. 


Saturday, January 4, 2014

Marching in Place

The muddiest water clears as it is stilled. And out of that stillness life arises

Each fall as the air is filled with fresh smells, crisp, clean air, and brilliant colors that no artist could ever replicate, my thinking becomes clear and I experience a settled peace that no other season brings. Nostalgia sets in. The past I recall are the marching days of band. Dressed in uniform, eye steady on the drum major, instrument held ready to bring to mouth, I was ready to perform and take part of a larger purpose. We were crisp in our moves, timely in our steps, and clear in executing our notes. When we were done, we knew we had succeeded in providing the entertainment to revved up fans seeking something to fill in the wait of half-time during football season.  

Marching bands do not step out onto the field without having spent multiple hours practicing. Our band director, equipped with clipboard and megaphone, choreographed our steps and choose our tunes. We followed his direction as if life was dependent on our absolute obedience. The most demanding moments came when, listening to the drum cadence, we had to march in place. 

Marching in place often meant we had fallen out of formation, missed a note, or that the band director simply needed time to regroup and rethink the direction and intention of his destiny for us. Sometimes there would be confusion, but marching in place offered a respite during the hot days of practice and allowed us to catch our breath and think. Marching in place was also better than when we were asked to stop marching, because it was hard to regain our momentum and recapture the rhythm collectively we had marched in sync with once we stopped. 

Today, I need the life lessons that marching in place taught me. First, marching in place allows time to process direction and intent. Life's busyness often propels us forward, but being propelled forward does not equate with direction created for meaningful purpose. Second, marching in place allows you to mark time and be ready for when forward motion is necessary. Third, marching in place provides respite from a life marked by heavy demands and multiple voices crying out for help and direction. 

Often times marching in place can feel stagnant, but there are life notes to be heard in the "stillness" of marching in place. Marching in place means we have time to think, time to dream, time to recreate, so that when we do move forward there is beauty and intent to our steps. Marching in place allows us to breathe so that when we play our "life notes" they are played in tune and on time. People need the beauty of a life lived well and marching in place is where muddy waters clear and life arises. This year, spend time marching in place and enjoy the clarity that this practice can bring. 

Father, I am willing to march in place. Provide clarity and direction as I listen for your direction. Help me keep my rhythm in stillness so that I am ready to move forward at your beckoning. Let my life be beauty and inspiration for those watching me march for you.