Tuesday, July 21, 2015

a bit lost...

It seems I've been doing this a lot lately--staring at a blank piece of paper (or screen in this case) with no idea what to write.

I know I need to write. I can feel something inside me withering because the words haven't been coming lately. Every time I try to, though, I just get...lost. The words seem to be getting stuck somewhere, and I'm not sure if it's the wiring in my head, heart, or hands that keeps getting crossed. Maybe it's a mix of all three.

In all honesty, I'm at a bit of a loss right now. A loss for words, but that's not all. I feel a bit lost in general. Does that come as a surprise? It has to me, to be sure. 11 and 1/2 years into my marriage, after 2 kids and 2 degrees, and now after we've moved back "home" to the hills of Arkansas I feel a bit like I'm wandering aimlessly with no idea what direction I should be going.


You would think that after writing a devotional all about following the Way when you can't see the path, I would have that figured out for myself, but I haven't found that to be the case. Sometimes, it seems to work that way...I can teach a lesson before I've really come to terms with it myself.

This would be the time when I would normally figure out just what it was I was trying to say, but it really just isn't happening this time. Life is all crazy and things seem bent out of shape, and I can't quite wrap my head around what I should be doing or which direction I should be headed...

So instead, I'll leave you with the verse I've had on my mind a lot lately:
Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
~Philippians 1:27a

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

love mercy...

"He has showed you, O man, what is good.
And what does the LORD require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God."
~Michah 6:8

Mercy. In the dictionary and concordance in the back of my Bible, it says mercy is forgiveness or compassion. In another sense, though, we have an opportunity to "love mercy" in a very tangible way.

If you've never heard of the Mercy House, you should hop over there and check it out. To give you the short version, the Mercy House is a place for young ladies who are about to become mothers. They move into Rehema House (Rehema=Mercy in Swahili) where they are loved by beautiful servants of God, and where they are shown that their lives and the lives of their beautiful babies are full of promise because of God's love for them. It is the result of one woman (and her family) saying yes to a crazy dream God put in her heart.

Now, though, God has opened doors that lead all over the world. Through those doors are artisans who are now being given the opportunity to support themselves and their families using the skills and talents God gave them.
About a month ago, I received a beautiful pair of earrings from artisans in India.
(Mine are just like the ones on the far right--sorry, in the move I can't really get to the right cords to connect my camera and computer to show you a real picture!) They came to my mailbox through the Fair Trade Friday Club. You can get a new pair of earrings each month, along with a trinket bag to keep them in. If the earrings one month aren't your style--or if you look at them and say, "Oh, my sister would love these!"--you can give them to someone else using the gift tag that gets added to each bag.
 
If you aren't an earring person, there's also an option of getting a box of goodies each month, full of beautiful things that are giving some beautiful people the chance to earn a fair wage.
 
I haven't started the club yet, but once I get an address (oh, the joys of moving!) I'm going to be signing up. What a beautiful way to love mercy...
 

when we forget

It feels like the world is falling apart. In all honesty, it's been falling apart since the moment sin entered the Garden. The 2nd Law of Thermodynamics says that order tends to chaos, meaning an ordered system will become disordered over time, and that's exactly what has been happening since this earth began.

We've been sheltered here in the United States, to be truthful. We've had the chance to live in a country founded on belief in the Creator, started by men who knew that only God's blessings and mercy could sustain such a country. But now, it seems as if our country--and those leading it--has turned its back on God. We've redefined life, marriage, love, right, and wrong, things that were never ours to define to begin with. We've accepted sin--even condoned it--in every facet of life: greed, sexual impurity, envy, deceit, gossip, arrogance, disobedience, and faithlessness are all commonplace (see Romans 1:24-32).

As we look around at our country and see how quickly people have turned against God, I think it's easy to forget.

We forget that God is still in control, that His throne isn't shaken just because people have refused to recognize Him as King.

We forget that His power isn't dependent on us, and that He said, "My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please" (Isaiah 46:10b).

We forget that He is still working miracles in the lives of His children, such as His beautiful daughters in Kenya whose lives have been touched by the Mercy House.

We forget that He said, "Turn to Me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other. By myself I have sworn, My mouth has uttered in all integrity a word that will not be revoked: Before Me every knee will bow; by Me every tongue will swear. They will say of Me, 'In the LORD alone are righteousness and strength'" (Isaiah 45:22-24).

From our view, order tends to chaos. From God's view, though, everything we see as chaos He sees as moving toward His purpose.