Monday, March 22, 2010

Another God Name: Coach

I am a Facebookaholic. My favorite way to keep up with friend is to go to my home page and see what everyone is doing. Many times this not only helps me stay in touch with my friends but know how to pray for them. Often I will get encouragements from a quote or inspiration someone has posted.

Yesterday my heart was blessed as I watched our pastor sending posts every 15 minutes or so on how his daughter was doing through labor. He was the picture of a proud father and soon to be grandfather. He was making updates via twitter. This is a rundown of how it went:

“I'm at the hospital now. Worth, my grandson will be here soon. Pushing starts any minute now.”

“The Dr. just came in and said she would come back in 30 mins and have her start pushing then.”

“Pushing is on but the Dr is trying to decide if she will continue or take a break. More to come...”

“I'm so proud of my girl! She's doing awesome!! And Coach Mel is rockin' too.”

“It is on like Donkey Kong! He'll be here soon.”

“7lbs, 2oz, 21 inches long with a head full of hair.”

“Check out my grandson!” with a link to his twitter photo account.

You could just hear the excitement and pride in his voice. Obviously he was there right by his daughter’s side every step of the way. As I read his posts God gave me a vision of how He is with us.

You see, I have seen our pastor’s daughter over the past few weeks and she has been the typical “ready to pop” woman in expectancy. I remember those days.. just waiting! And then the moment for delivery comes.. so exciting, but a true effort. Painful! Exciting! Exhausting! At some points you just want to quit and have the pain over. If I hadn’t had coaching while I was in labor, I don’t know I could have made it through so successfully.

Now back to my point, as I saw our pastor’s excitement, I was reminded of God’s excitement and pride in us, His children. When He births something in us, sometimes the process is long and exhausting. Sometimes we just want to give up. But our FATHER... our COACH... is right there by our side giving us strength. Sending out updates to those who care about us so they can remember us in prayer. He is excited as we PUSH through toward His calling. He is proud as we birth the beautiful gifts He has given us. He is RIGHT BY OUR SIDE every step of the way giving us encouragement.

What are you about to birth? What has been developing inside of you? Is it time to PUSH and let God hold your hand as you labor toward delivering the beautiful gift inside of you? Let God hold your hand. Let Him be your Coach. And let Him brag on his child and the wonderful job you are doing!

Sunday, March 21, 2010


My son failed to walk. Yes... he did! He failed! He is 14 years old, but he failed to walk.

If you know me, that sounds insane. I have a healthy, handsome, intelligent.....WALKING... fourteen year old son that is gracefully walking into manhood and can walk perfectly fine. So WHY would I say he failed to walk?

My son started walking at a VERY young age. We were in the process of moving when he took his first steps at 7 months old. YES>>> he really did start that early. But... he would take a step or two and then fall. Take a step, fall! Take two steps, fall! Take a step, fall! Take three steps, fall! I think you get the idea. The fact that we were moving and had boxes stacked throughout the house made it a little easier for him because he had a box to garb onto every few steps he took.

BUT.... as I mentioned before... HE FAILED AT WALKING! Yes... you are right, that comment is completely insane. My son walks perfectly now! So why in the world would I say he failed to walk?

I want you to get a good visual on a lesson that I recently learned. I beat myself up over being a failure. Look there God, I screwed up! Oh man... Jesus I fell in that area. There are constantly things that come up in my life where I fail. I started walking.. and FAILED!!!

"Failure isn't messing up...failure is not getting back up!" You see, my son didn't fail at walking. YES, he fell many times. At one point he completely stopped walking after a hard fall and didn't start back until he was nine months old. BUT.... HE GOT BACK UP ONE DAY and started walking again!

Stop looking at the falls in your life as failure. God is being a patient parent. He is letting you take baby steps until you learn how to master that area of your life. You aren't failing until you refuse to get back up.

How refreshing! If we can take on this mindset, how many of us will have the power to stand up to Satan when he accuses us of failure? Will you choose to rebuke Satan when he condemns you with failure? Don't stop walking... don't stop trying! Remember, failure isn't falling, it is refusing to get back up!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Eat Less to Bless

I have a food addiction. Yes, I am overweight, but I am not even talking about that. When I go to the grocery store I am almost addicted to a good deal. I have one of the fullest pantries of all my friends. I have a small chest freezer full of food. My refrigerator is packed...yet I still buy food every time I enter a grocery store. It is unfortunately an addiction.

Growing up, food is the one thing we never lacked. Every family even was surrounded with food, fun and fellowship. Gratefully, I have NO IDEA what it is like to go hungry. God has blessed our family in that area, and I am thankful.

Fast food has also become an addiction of sort. Not because I crave to eat it, but because our life is so busy at times, it is just the convenient thing to do. Exhausted from work? Pick up a pizza. Not time to cook before church? The dollar menus sounds great. Like it or not, food has become a bit of a vice in my life that definitely needs some curbing.

While preparing agendas and supplies for a missions trip my boss is taking to Africa, we were talking about feeding some families she will be visiting. We found out that $40 a month would feed a family of about 3-4 people. This amazed me since I can spend $100 in one trip to the grocery store for toilet paper. Then, I was even more amazed when I saw the list of items that one family could live on for a month. Flour, sugar, oil, and a few other items. No seasonings, no chips, no fruits and vegetables... my pantry could probably feed a thrifty family for months. OUCH!!

I am going to challenge you with a challenge God has given me. We ARE blessed. And just because people in other countries are suffering doesn't mean we have to deprive ourselves, but it should open our eyes and make us aware of those around us.

How many times has the woman in the drive through looked like she was having a bad day? How many times have you passed the man that is holding a sign saying, "Will work for food."? How many times have you bought the Big Mac when the double cheeseburger would have satisfied your hunger?

God has been challenging me to "Eat Less to Bless". When I go through the drive through, I order less and hand the lady at the window $5 and tell her God wants her to enjoy lunch today. When I go to the grocery store, I leave the Pepsi (yes for those of you who know me, I HAVE done this, despite my Pepsi addiction).. I leave the Pepsi and hand the bagger who always has a smile money for his lunch. Each time I have been sure to tell the person that God honors a cheerful heart or God wants them to enjoy a blessing from Him.

I am not tooting my horn today... I am challenging you to EAT LESS TO BLESS! Who can you bless with a tiny sacrifice of food today?

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wasted Library

A dear friend and I have been working on a project that requires quite a bit of research. One of the things we have been doing is searching the goodwill and bookstores for hidden treasures of books on the subjects we are working on. We have been amazed at how many books we have found with extraordinary content. The most amazing things about the books is that most of them look as if they have never been touched.

Some of the books we have found have a bit of highlighting in them. Many of them have had the owners' name written in the front. A great deal of them will have a note, greeting card, or even a picture tucked away and forgotten between the pages. Still, many of them seem to have just been part of a wasted library and finally handed off to a bargain or thrift shop.

We decided that we would make an inventory of the books we have between us. That way we have an idea of all the resources we have. As I sat last night typing up my inventory, I realized that I have a wasted library as well. Many of the books on my own shelves are untouched, barely read, and sitting waiting to inspire and enlighten me. What a waste!

This morning God spoke to me about another "wasted library" in so many of our lives. This library is contained in one book and has a the best resources available to us. Are you following me yet? How many of you have access to this amazing library, but yet are letting it waste away? Yes, I think you know what I am talking about... it is YOUR Bible! Are you pages worn out and highlighted? Or, do you just have your name written in it to show you own access to it just in case you need it? Do you use it to tuck away special notes, pictures, and even obituaries of special people? Is your library in use?

God really pricked my heart this morning about this amazing resource that is so readily available to us all. It is full of romance, drama, self-help, motivation, mystery, action, history! Yet, we are letting this wonderful library He has given us go to waste! I challenge you today... open up this beautiful book and see what inspiration is there waiting just for you!

Take time right now. Grab your Bible. Close your eyes. Ask God to show you a beautiful story. Open your Bible. Discover the story God has for you today. No more wasted libraries!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Created with a Purpose

Well, it looks like my consistancy for blogging has averaged out to about once a month. I will be honest with you all. I really have no idea what to write today, but feel God is prompting me to post something. Maybe what He wants me to do is just exactly what I said SHINE is all about. It is about being real.

If you don't know me... I am FAR from perfect. I have a messy house, am overweight, tend to be a procrastinator, STAY tired, get stressed way too easily, overanalyze EVERYTHING... I could go on and on. But what God has been showing me lately is that it isn't all those things that define me. We are our own worst critic. Many of us will complain about our mothers or husbands, our bosses or coworkers... we complain about everyone who has criticism about us. Yet.... we put ourselves down more than ANY of those people.

God has been showing me lately that it is MY attitude that makes a difference in my day. It is MY perspective about myself that makes me proud or makes me depressed. And most importantly... it is GOD who defines who I am. He is the one in whom I find my value. He is the one who defines me. He is the one that decides whether I am worthless or not... and guess what?!?! NONE OF US are worthless in His eyes.

I think sometimes we forget to grasp onto the reality of God's love and purpose for us. He NEVER inteneded for us to sit and put ourselves down. YES... He wants us to always strive to be better, but He NEVER intended for us to drag ourselves down. God is not s God of shame. He convicts us, yes. But we can never accomplish our true purpose while living in shame.

Think of it this way. Would God want us to be ashamed of something HE created? Do you think when He looked at the earth He created and said it was good that He had any intention of us putting it down? Would you stand there before God as He created you and said, "Yeah God I know you made this beautiful creation, but that little pudge that haunts me in the mirror every morning.. well God, you could have done better." God did HIS BEST when He created you.

If we could just get our minds around the fact that each and every one of us were created for our own SPECIFIC GOD GIVEN PURPOSE. If we were not EXACTLY the way we are, it could never be fulfilled. I am not saying don't strive to be better. But start embracing ever aspect of who you are and who God made you to be. I guarantee you that once you start taking the attitude of being a beautiful creation of God, you will start to see the true beauty He wants you to see within yourself.

Be who God wants you to be today and be PROUD of the creation He made in YOU!