Thursday, June 30, 2011

Willing hands and walking feet

"She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy."  Proverbs 31:20
Another repost from 2010...

There she is again...that Proverbs 31 lady.  Was she nearly perfect or what?  Out of everything else she does she has time to volunteer!  She makes a difference to others in her community.  In the online communities I follow there has been a lot of talk about making a difference in the lives of others.  I mean truly making a difference.  Not just sitting around watching distressing things on TV and thinking, "Man, I really hope someone comes along and helps these people."  No, YOU are actually the one making the difference.  What?  Me?  I don't have time for that!  I don't have extra money to give to that cause!  You've gotta be kidding.  God wouldn't ask that of me...but He does.

"He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.  And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt."
Deuteronomy 10:18-19

What God loves we should love.  He loves, defends, and cares for the fatherless, widows, and aliens.  Shouldn't we do the same?  I think the "alien" here applies to us in New Testament days as someone who doesn't know Christ.  Not a foreigner to our land, but one to our God.  We were aliens to God before we came to know Christ.  He could not accept us as we were into His heavenly kingdom because of our sin.  Therefore, He sent Jesus to represent all of our sin and to provide our acceptance into the heavenlies by His death on the cross.

So what does this mean for us as Christians?  It means that we should love our fellow man and our hearts desire should be to help others in their times of need.  Take the people of Haiti for example.  When the massive earthquake and destruction hit there were people coming out of nowhere to help with money, time, and resources.  Most of them were not Christians.  But what about those that were?  The Christians were able to donate the same thing the non-believers were, but they were able to give something even better--the message of Hope!  The gospel...Jesus!

You don't have to go far away to make a difference in someone else's life.  There are plenty of people in our own towns that need help.  There are soup kitchens, homeless shelters, food pantry's, children's homes, drug rehab centers, and I could go on.
You don't have to be rich or have a lot of time on your hands to make a difference to someone else.  You just have hands that are willing to serve and feet that are able to walk where He sends them.  I don't want to just sit around in my comfortable little life and let the world of opportunity God has given me pass by.  I want to do what Jesus instructed before He was taken back to Heaven to wait for His return!  What about you?

"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."  Acts 1:8 
Or a translation that we got at World Changers 2009:  You will be my witnesses in Belton (your hometown), and in all South Carolina (your state)and America, and to the ends of the earth.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Waiting on the Mail

"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord." Psalm 27:14
I am on a mission trip the remainder of this week and thought I'd repost this from June 2010...

Well it has been a week of lasts for us at the Morrison household!! Summer is here but with it comes a little dose of saddness. Our Zach had his last day of kindergarden...I can't believe it has been 5 years since we brought our baby boy home from Guatemala!

I realized today while waiting on the mail carrier to bring my very last minute VBS craft supplies (VBS is tomorrow!) that there are two kinds of waiting: the be productive while you wait or the chew your nails and spaz out wait. I have the tendency to go for the later kind of waiting...I mean, how can you be productive when you are waiting on something that can change the outcome of your best laid plans?

Take today for instance. If I don't get the supplies I need for the VBS crafts today, then I will have to hunt like a mad-woman to find something else by tomorrow. Not to mention, I have already paid for what I've ordered and would have to deal with the hassel of returning the items. I could go on and on...where is that mail lady anyway!!

But when I stop and think about it what does the Bible have to say about waiting? Isaiah 30:8 says, "Blessed are all who wait for Him!" Psalm 40:1 "I waited patiently on the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry."

These are just a few examples but I get the feeling God is trying to tell us to wait...patiently and productively. Productive waiting means that while we wait on our answer from God we don't just sit still and fret. We continue to work for Him and the Kingdom. We continue to pray, read our bible, perform in our ministry-we don't just sit idle. Sitting idle can lead to a host of other problems like unbelief, fear, loneliness, and many other things.

So, I choose to wait productively today. I've played with my boys (gotten them away from the TV, Nintindo), did some laundary, looked at my stuff for VBS tomorrow. And what do you know, the mail lady just pulled in my driveway!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Storms of this Life

'You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast because he trusts in You.'  Isaiah 26:3

We have had several evenings here lately that have produced severe thunder storms.  I'm not talking about the pretty one's that just blow in, dump some rain, display a little lightening, and then move on.  No, these things are monsters.  They've brought 100 year old trees down like they were saplings.  One night after another, we wait and see where these storms are headed.  We don't want to be caught off-guard.

The same can be said for me when I face the storms life blows my way.  I don't want to be caught unaware.  Unfortunately, most of the time, I am just that--Surprise!  Why is that?  I know to expect trials here on this earth.  I get moving along with the good times and take for granted there's a storm brewing around the corner getting ready to blow in.  I take my focus off God and put it onto myself, that's where I go wrong.  I should always keep my head lifted towards Him, never take my eyes off of the Word.  Grace Fox gives 8 great tips on focusing on God, not on fear:

*Write Scripture promises on index cards and put them where you can see them
*Memorize and meditate on Scripture
*Fill your home with praise and worship music
*Seek silence in God's presence
*Make an altar of remembrance to celebrate (remember what He's brought you through)
*Take problems to the Lord rather than to a friend
*Talk to the Lord throughout your day
*Read material that directs your thoughts towards God

I can guarantee you storms are going to come, but if you keep your focus on Him you will be prepared when they blow in.  You will not be caught unaware, instead you'll be armed and ready to stand your ground.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hidden Affections-A Review

Hidden Affections  I'm sure you know by now that I love to read.  I gave up secular fiction several years ago, but found the endless world of Christian Fiction.  When the opportunity came to be a reviewer for Bethany House, I jumped on it.
The newest book I've previewed is Hidden Affections by Delia Parr.  It is the tale of an unlikely couple destined for love.  They fight it tooth and nail, but in the end they can't fight God's plan for their lives.  So much like you and I, huh?  We fight His will for our lives more times than not.  We struggle to live our lives the way we want to instead of the way He has planned for us.
Pick up this book if you're a fiction reader.  It makes a great beach read (which is where I read mine, it still smells like the beach) or just an easy read if you want to get away for awhile.  Happy reading!
A copy of this book was sent to me for review by the editor

Thursday, June 23, 2011

SPF Jesus

'The Lord watches over you; the Lord is your shade at your right hand.  The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.'  Psalm 121:3

Last week while we were at the beach, I experienced the worst sunburn ever!  This comes from a girl who used to lay out on the trampoline with baby oil slathered all over her.  I had even put on SPF 30 (might've even been 50) that morning, or so I thought, and reapplied like a good girl should do.  This burn was so intense I couldn't even lay in the bed without the feeling of needles sticking into my back.  When I looked in the mirror, my back didn't even really appear to be red!  What kind of sunburn was this?

Thankfully, the burning sensation was better the next day and I was able to go back out into the sun (with SPF 70 on this time).  When I started memorizing Psalm 121 as part of the bible study on fear I am doing this summer, I came to verse 3 and the sunburn analogy jumped out at me. 

You see, Jesus is our sunscreen and Satan is the sun.  Satan tries as hard as he can to get into our head and burn us with his lies.  If we're slathered up good with the word of God, like we should be, then his lies just bounce right off and don't absorb into our heart.  But girl, beware if you go out into the sun without a good SPF of Jesus on your mind.  The devil's lies will seep into your heart quicker than you can say *Ouch* and sear right into your heart.

I've decided that God allowed me to have the awful sunburn so that He could make this point in my life.  I am a tactile/visual, anything that causes as much pain as I endured will forever be etched into my brain.  I will put on my SPF Jesus every day when I wake, before Satan has the chance to burn me with his lies-how about you?

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Tuscaloosa tornado 4/2011

‘We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up until the present time.’ Romans 8:22

If you’ve watched the news lately, you’ve seen how natural disasters have seemed to increase steadily in the past few years. It seems as if the earth has gone topsy-turvy on itself. Earthquakes, tsunami’s, tornadoes, fires--if you can name it, we’ve seen it. Some of my co-workers have been talking about these things and wondering what is going on. I’ve heard one of them express worry and fear over the thought that one of these things is going to happen in our little corner of the world.

As believers, we know that man wasn’t the only thing that was corrupted in the garden of Eden, creation was also. It was meant to be perfect, created for His glory, and for the perfect man to watch over. But when sin entered the world, His perfect creation was subject to the curse as well. His children realize this fact and we can rest in the knowledge that creation is just groaning for its restoration, as we are.

When I hear others discussing these events and all that is taking place, I can jump at the chance to share the hope of glory. I can exhibit a peaceful countenance that makes others ask how I can be so calm in face of all the disaster and uncertainty. Don’t join in the speculation and fearful commentary of others, but be armed with the truth and be ready at all times to share the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A is for Ant

Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8

I have always been fascinated by the ant. They seem to have no purpose, but boy do they work hard. They are always on the move, working their little selves into a frenzy. In my curiosity about these small creatures, I Googled them. I figure if something is going to work that hard the least I can do is find out why. I found many educational and informative answers, but my favorite is this one:
They teach us:
To be active and always busy, to cooperate with others, to follow the leader, to do work to the maximum of our capacity ( Ants can lift more than their weight) to save for the lean period.
They are capable of identifying sweet and bitter. There is a test to verify pure honey. If you put a drop of honey on the floor and if the honey is pure and good, no ant will come nearer to that because honey belongs to the bitter group honey is sugar inverter.  They foretell the weather especially rainy season.
Who knew? Those pesky little creatures that we'd rather step on than bother with actually have quite a purpose. They made it into the Bible, after all. I like to think the main purpose of the ant is God's way of showing us how to work. Even when we seem to have no purpose, we should work for others as if we were working for Him. According to Proverbs, the ant doesn't even have a boss to tell it what to do--he just does what is instinctive without question. What if each of His children worked with this kind of ethic? We could be a force of good for the Kingdom. Something to think about next time you get ready to squish one of these hard I'm off to find my honey...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Riding the Waves of Freedom

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior; Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east and gather you from the west. Isaiah 43:2-3,5

We’ve been on vacation this week at the beach and I’ve truly enjoyed watching my son and hubby play in the ocean. My oldest son puts on his life jacket (we really don’t want him floating out into the Atlantic Ocean unless he‘s properly outfitted) and then he goes out into the deep water with his Daddy. He proceeds to climb upon Daddy’s back and they wait…and wait…and wait for the perfect wave to come. When it finally does, they ride it into shore and roll up on the beach like two small beached whales. So cute…

Their frolicking reminds me of how my Daddy says He’ll carry me on His back at all times. In good times and in times of fear and uncertainty, He has promised to be with me because of who He is. His unfailing love is the one thing that I can count on to be unchanging in this ever-changing world. I don't have to worry about being swept out into the ocean because Jesus has promised to carry me all the time. I can rest on Daddy’s back and let the waves of life take me wherever they desire.

I began reading Grace Fox's Moving from Fear to Freedom while on vacation and what an awesome read it is! If you haven't picked up a copy, make sure that you do! She gives some practical examples of how to overcome our various fears and I'd like to leave you with one such example:

Four basic truths about our Father:
1). God remains steadfast against life's uncertainties (Hebrews 13:8)
2). God cares about the details of our lives (Matthew 10:29-30)
3). God always keeps His promises (Psalm 34:4)
4). God brings good from every trial (Romans 8:28)

Take these truths to heart. They are not empty words. He loves us with an unfailing love and wants us to leave our fears out in the ocean's depths and rest on His back!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

God, My Earth-suit is Not Fitting Right

This is a repost from last year and I thought I'd share it again in honor of my Daddy for Father's Day as well as his upcoming one-year cancer birthday!  Happy Father's Day!! 

My Dad is in the hospital...again!  For those of you who don't know, he was diagnosed with Stage III Renal Cell Carcinoma several months ago.  He underwent a partial nephrectomy (took out part of his kidney) in July.  He has battled a leaking kidney since then.  He's had a stent placed and has never been without his good friend 'foley catheter'.  It's been no fun.  We didn't want it for him and I know he could've done without it. 
But as my sister-in-law said, "It's not why me, but why NOT me?"  No one wants to deal with health problems, but we live in a broken, sinful world and our bodies reflect that here on earth.  Thank God that we'll be whole on the other side, but until then we must travel in these not so great 'earth-suits' that most of the time just don't seem to fit right.
He was supposed to go back to work part-time this week, but once again God has His hand all over it.  He's not ready.  He doesn't even have the strength to go all day without a nap--definitely unable to go back to a management position at the hospital.  And of course God knows that.  Sometimes He has to put up obstacles to save us from ourselves.  A little fever here, a leaking kidney there--it's all in His plan.
It's been in His plan all along.  The way the cancer was found was all God.  Dad went to the ER for a totally unrelated problem, had a CT scan, and the edge of the mass was caught on tape!  Things unfolded from there and God met us at every corner.
From the preacher that prayed with Dad at the car lot to the admitting nurse who asked to pray over him before surgery--God has shown up in a mighty way.  We don't understand why God allows things to happen to us or our loved ones, but we know from His word that:
'And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.' Romans 8:28

Papa John & Baby Charlie
Sometimes the good isn't seen on this side of heaven, but sometimes He gives us a glimpse of the tapestry He is weaving that is our lives.  The question is--how will we respond to the path He calls us to travel as the tapestry unfolds?  I want to walk mine with strength, peace, and purpose for the cross.  I know my Dad does too.  We'll see where the path goes from here.  Wherever it takes us will never be away from His side.
'I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.'  Isaiah 42:16

*Today, Dad is cancer free and back at work full-time.  He feels great and we thank God this Father's Day for the blessing of having our Dad/Papa here with us still!*

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Where Does My Help Come From?

What is the best way to overcome your fear? Is to see a shrink? Hide your head in the sand while the world passes you by? Become a recluse? I've tried all of the above, plus some, and none of them seemed to work for me. The best and only way I've found to overcome my fears is Scripture memory. One such passage I've decided to commit to memory over the next six weeks is Psalm 121:
I lift up my eyes to the mountains—
where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of Heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.

The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.

What words of comfort these are to me. I challenge you to find passages of Scripture that speak to your situation and commit them to memory. This is the way our Father speaks to us and allows His healing to soothe our souls.

Enjoying time away with the family...missing all my bloggy friends--be back next week!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chains of Fear

'The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold in my life, of whom shall I be afraid?'  Psalm 27:1

I've said it before and I'm saying it again--I am in bondage to certain irrational fears.  That's just how it is.  Thankfully, my bible study group is beginning a new study by Grace Fox, Moving From Fear to Freedom, and it couldn't come at a better time for yours truly.  I have the strangest fears.  I'm not even gonna list them.  You would think I'm weird.  I think I'm weird.  But as I'm reading the book that goes along with the study I am beginning to see that I am not alone in my weirdness.

Thank God I am not the only one who has a problem with bondage to fear.  I don't have a lot of other problems in my life (Praise God) and I think fear is where Satan has chosen to attack me.  I know it is.  He can get a foothold in my mind by using my thoughts against me.  Even an innocent thought or conversation around me can trigger my irrational fear moments.  I don't even attempt to watch the news anymore.  I so want to be free from this!

Am I the only one here who feels this way?  Statistics show that I am most likely not the only one with these thoughts.  I am diligently seeking Him and what He is going to do through me as I break through these chains Satan has wound tight around me.  I know that with Him all things are possible.  He won't let me down.  He wants me to be free.  I'm hoping that once I've come through to the other side I'll see the purpose of this journey through fear.  I know He has a plan in it.

I am vacation bound!! Ten days at Myrtle Beach State excited and ready to get away for a little R&R. I'll be checking in regularly and doing a few posts ocean side :-)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


Have you heard this new song by Laura Story, Blessings?  It's a powerful reminder that God's blessings are not always sunshine and roses.  Sometimes He chooses to bless us with tears and rain.  Take a moment to listen if you've never heard it.  I heard it at just the right moment.  I needed reminded of the fact that blessings come in all shapes and sizes.  God's idea of a blessing and mine are not always the same.  Imagine that?!

Monday, June 6, 2011

What Was God Thinking?!

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.  Isaiah 55:8

I want to know what God was thinking when He gave me a special needs child.  I really do.  I want to know why He put this child here for us to nurture and help grow.  We went to my older son's field day this past week and I watched Sam as he tried to play with a little girl from his Wee School.  She knew him.  She approached him first.  She was kind and even tried to help him stand up once. Cute as it was, it absolutely broke this Mommy's heart.  He couldn't run with her.  He couldn't stoop on the ground quite like she could.

Why couldn't I have had three 'normal' boys?  Why was I the one who had to have the special child?  Selfish thoughts, I know, but they are honest thoughts no one wants to say out loud.  Please don't misunderstand.  I love my son more than anything (except Jesus), but I really, really want him to have a normal life.  I don't want him to face adversity.  I don't want him to be made fun of or have his feelings crushed.  I want him to be able to run and play without getting hurt.  I want him to be able to go to 'normal' school and just be a boy.

As I write this, I begin to see that this is how God felt about His Son.  He didn't want Him to grow up and be crucified, but He knew that is what it would take to redeem this fallen world.  He gave His Son life, just to have it taken away from Him again.  But what happened after was worth every bit of suffering and pain He'd endure at the hands of mere men.  I will hold onto this thought for my Sam.  Even though he may have adversity here on this earth, his eternity will be so much sweeter.  There he will be whole.  His life here will have meaning in the way we raise Him to love Jesus and to depend on His strength.

Maybe now I know at least part of the reason God gave us one of the special children.  So we could learn to lean on Him and to draw our strength from Him.  He entrusted us with a treasure, even if we choose not to see it sometimes.  We will be blessed as we rear this child into the man He has designed him to be.  I thank Him for the gift He has given to me, the gift He chose jsut for me.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Little Green Aliens

“When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the LORD your God. "  Leviticus 19:33-34

This verse was part of my devotion this morning and when I read the commentary, I had to chuckle.  The writer was using the words alien and foreigner interchangeably.  The use of the word alien brought back a memory from the birth of my third son last year.  I went into labor 6 weeks early and was getting some preventative medication in the hospital.  It was then that I first saw them...little green aliens doing a line dance across the hospital room floor.  I can still see them even now and they are as real to me as the sweet baby boy I hold in my arms.

Our Lord is not referring to my little green alien friends in this passage, of course, but one must ask herself exactly how this applies today.  I've never been a foreigner in Egypt.  Have you?  But we were all once foreigners to God.  We were blocked from Him by our sin.  Jesus took care of that issue on the cross and once we accept His gift of salvation we are no longer strangers to God, but a part of the family. 

I bet each one of us knows of at least one foreigner in our sphere of influence.  Not the guy at the Mexican place or the one who speaks broken English down at the Gas-n-go, but the alien that may live right next door to you.  The one who doesn't know God.  That one.  Do you know one?  God tells us to love them as our self and treat them as native-born (or one of His own).  Is that your attitude towards them?  That would be a no for me.  I judge them and tend to look down on them for not believing as I do.  That is wrong.  I am rightly convicted and from now on will treat the aliens in my life like 'one of the gang'.