What’s Your Calling?

I keep hearing sermons or discussions among Christians about people following their calling from God. Then, I read book titles or newsletters on the same topic. Inevitably, the question arises, “Have you taken time to seek God to see what your calling is for life? What did God create you to do?”

When I’m thinking I’m hearing God in my thoughts, often it’s “Feed My sheep,” or “Write.” Sometimes it’s “Clean” or “Rest.”

(Eph. 2:10 NKJV):  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. 

This verse made me think our calling as a Christian is to walk as Jesus did. Not in malice, wrath or in jealousy, or covetousness, not causing strife, or gossiping. Gossiping hurts people’s reputations-it’s akin to murder.

So, I’m mindful of God’s commands in the Word and I’m trying to do what I think He wants me to do. When it feels like more than I can handle, I cry out to God for wisdom or whatever will get things done. God is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble; it tells me in (Psalm 46:1 NKJV). “Praise You, God!”

May God bless you.

Letchworth with Friends

This is the scene I saw today with two friends and my husband, although the water is lower because New York State needs rain. It’s still beautiful there and the trees must be drinking from underground reserves because they are vibrantly green.

 

I got this picture from http://nysparks.com/parks/79/details.aspx and the website provides lots of details about the “Grand Canyon of the East.”

 

I was thinking how one never knows what a day will bring. We met our friends there for lunch and a chance to catch up. We ended up taking a walk and suddenly a couple from our home town looked shocked to see us there, maybe because it’s a small world. My husband shook his hand and we met his wife and then I introduced our friends and after a few moments they went their way and we went ours. We walked on pavement and uneven stone steps and then later on wood chips as we traversed the side of the river, high above the banks sometimes. Sometimes close enough to make us want to scamper down to walk next to the water or put our bare feet in it. Lots of signs warned us not to enter the area near the water. It was so tempting, but we resisted.

 

After good food at the Glen Iris Inn and wonderful conversation, we had walked and talked some more before going our separate ways. As we exited, six – eight State Trooper cars and/or police cars flashed their lights at the side of the road. Every car got stopped and a few might have gotten searched. We wondered if they were looking for someone.

 

It’s pretty rare when we get stopped by police and I’m glad about that. I couldn’t help but glance at our registration sticker and inspection sticker to make sure they were up to date. All was well and our car doesn’t have room to hide anyone in it. The full size van with dark windows ahead of us got stopped and asked to pull to the side of the road. I began praying if there was an escaped criminal nearby they wouldn’t harm anyone. I asked for God to protect the police men and everyone in the park. You never know what might be going on and that’s not always a bad thing. Not that I believe in being like an ostrich with my head in the sand. Not at all. I’d rather know what I need to know. It’s excess things that jar the senses and are being taken care of in a judicious manner that I’d rather leave to qualified people.

 

I’m glad God is on the throne, working things out according to His perfect plan. Yet, I pray for His intervention because for some reason, He wants to hear from us. He wants us involved. Jesus said in Mat_5:44, (KJV): “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

 

Again, in Mat_6:6, (KJV), Jesus said, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

 

Here, Jesus is saying to pray for souls: Mat_9:38,(KJV): ”Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”

 

In the Old Testament, God sent a season of a lack of rain as punishment. 1Ki_17:1, (KJV), And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.

1Ki_18:1, (KJV), And it came to pass after many days, that the word of the LORD came to Elijah in the third year, saying, Go, shew thyself unto Ahab; and I will send rain upon the earth.

 

Three years with no rain because of evil King Ahab and his evil wife Queen Jezebel.

 

God is over all.

 

May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His mighty right hand. I appreciate the blessings He’s sent my way – friends and Him wanting to hear from me. Wow!

 

 

 

Roses and Prayer

My husband and I took a two mile walk tonight. When we pass one house on a corner lot, I always pull a rose forward and inhale deeply. They’re some kind of antique rose with a delicious scent.

We have climbing light red roses that may be fifty years old or more. They smell really nice, too. New York is having a dry summer so far. I keep praying for rain. There are lots of lakes in New York, so I think we’re okay, but I figure it never hurts to pray.

I’ve had many answers to prayer over my life – more than I can remember – although I have lots of journals from over the years.

Then there are prayers where God said, “No.”

Sometimes I could see why He said, “No,” months or years later. I thanked Him, actually.

Other times I accepted the fact that it wasn’t going to go my way, and I didn’t know why.

When I’ve prayed about people’s messes and things got messier, I figured their free will might have hindered the answer.

Sometimes I wondered if I gave up too soon. After all, Jesus is quoted in Luke 11:5-13, (ESV) this way: Luk 11:5  And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves,

Luk 11:6  for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’;

Luk 11:7  and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’?

Luk 11:8  I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs.

Luk 11:9  And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Luk 11:10  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Luk 11:11  What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent;

Luk 11:12  or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion?

Luk 11:13  If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Only God knows.

May God bless you!

Change Hinderers

I have to admit, I like change. Yet, at a conference where my husband and I, as leaders, were being coached to change, I didn’t like it. Anxiety sat on my shoulder, what would this change do to the flow of things back at the building?

Who am I? Why did I resist the ideas for change. When did I, um, change?

After I looked at the resistance to change at that meeting, I decided to take a deep breath, get over the idea that I might not want to look at new techniques, and became more open. I’m sure the instructor appreciated that. If leadership won’t consider anything new, forget implementing anything after the training.

As some may know, I’ve started keeping a time-log. I’m on week two. It amazes me how quickly time flows and how hard it is for me to keep an 8.5 by 11 inch piece of paper with me at all times so I can keep track of the fleeing half hours. So, I’ve cheated and tried to remember. Where did that half hour go between eating lunch and finishing a note to my neighbor, now living in assisted-living quarters hours away? How is it that she’s gone and I rarely made it over to sit and chat? How is it that I didn’t know she was lonely until after she moved away and her daughter told me? And surely, it didn’t take me half an hour to say hi, how are you, I miss you.

The other day, I intended to clean for three hours and write for five. The phone rang. “What time did you say you were coming over today?” After setting up an appointment for the afternoon, I called my friend. “Remember our walk, can you make it this morning?” Oh, man. How many hours are there in the day? Overbooking when I’m actually keeping track shows the tendencies that have sabotaged me in the past, which is what this exercise is all about.

Today, a friend needed a ride to see some people. Her close friend called me to see if I could accommodate her, because she was too upset to drive. A friend looking out for another friend, and I agreed. I wouldn’t want emotional duress to cause an accident. So I packed my computer in a bag with a Bible and a writing book and money for lunch. I’m glad I was available, but as soon as I find my time paper, I’ll have to block out three hours of time for a sandwich and the drive and maybe two verses read.

Sometimes when people know you are trying to diet, or to be less available, or kicking the addictive behavior you enjoyed with them, they’ll give you little hints as to why you shouldn’t even bother. “You’ve tried that before and it didn’t work, don’t worry about it.” Or, “I’ll miss you. Surely you don’t have to skip time with me.” Or “What kind of a friend are you? We always go to the ice cream stand after class? One hot fudge sundae a week won’t kill you?” Etc. Etc.

I’m reminded of what Cecil Murphey said to me, “What are you willing to give up?”

For a person who likes change, I can see that I have some routines that I like. I read a book for a resource for a marriage book I’m working on. The man had Asperger’s Syndrome. If I remember correctly, his wife pointed out that he spent forty-five minutes looking in the mirror in the morning while she got their children fed, bathed, dressed, and then got herself ready for work. I think people can fall into time-wasting habits and not even be aware. This man wanted to help his wife and improve his marriage. His book is: “The Journal of Best Practices: A Memoir of Marriage, Asperger Syndrome, and One Man’s Quest to Be a Better Husband,” by David Finch.

He altered behaviors for the benefit of his wife, himself and his children. He didn’t allow others to hinder his progress. As I change and grow, I’ll continue to note hindrances of my own making and maybe see some from others. Then I’ll have to decide, “What am I willing to give up so I can stay seated at the keyboard or to avoid a trip to the dr.s office or hospital, etc.?”