Linda's Cozy Mysteries

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The Zest Of An Empty Nest--By Linda P. Kozar

What is your passion in life? 


Think backwards. When you were a student, your passion was  an area of study you aspired to build into a career upon graduation. After that, many of us hoped to marry and start a family--redirecting our passions toward that end. Some of us walked away from promising careers or worked part-time instead in order to do so. Then, for many years after that, we lovingly concentrated on raising our children--putting their gifts, talents and dreams above our own. But when the kids begin to leave for college and pursue those dreams, many a stay-at-home mom begins to reassess her life, reviving dreams and passions that once burned brightly in her soul. 


Though the sight of a child's vacant room draws raging streams of tears from a mother, an empty nest is confirmation that you've done your job. Think of it that way. Though it is sad to see the family separated, every mother knows in her heart that her children must mature and prosper on their own. A robin doesn't question why her birdies fly away and neither should you. Instead of looking at an empty nest as a gaping hole in your heart, view that empty nest as a gift from God. The block of time you spent nurturing and raising your children can now be used in other ways. Here are some ideas:

  • Rediscover your husband! Go on dates and trips together. Have fun!
  • Take art classes. Watercolor, oil, mixed media. Sculpting. Pottery making. Or learn something unusual like Italian glass bead making. Get the creative side of your brain working!
  • Sign up for creative writing classes and join local writing groups.
  • Go back to school and finish your degree or acquire an advanced degree and look for a job. Many people work way beyond the traditional age of retirement (if they are blessed enough to find a job).
  • Volunteer at church, a local food pantry--Animal Shelters, Meals On Wheels, Habitat For Humanity etc. There are lots of options and a lot of places need you help.
  • Read! All the books you've put off reading because you didn't have time. Well, now you do.
  • Learn public speaking. Join a local Toastmasters group and then use your speaking or storytelling abilities in schools, clubs and other organizations and public forums.
  • Teach a Bible class in church.
  • Take photography classes. Learn to use digital media and editing techniques in PhotoShop. Or transfer and edit all your old videos onto DVDs.
  • Reasearch your family ancestry and design a family history book or create a family history website.
  • Write and self-publish a family cookbook with all your treasured family recipes for your children.
  • Do those scrapbooks for your kids-you know--the projects you started 18 years ago:)
  • Clean out the kid's rooms and repurpose them as craft, exercise or media rooms. Just make sure you have enough beds for when the kids and eventually grandkids come to visit. (Murphy beds are a great solution).
Remember, just because your nest is empty doesn't mean your heart is! You will always love your children and follow their lives from a distance--celebrating in their successes, comforting them in their failures. Your role as a mother will change from disciplinarian to that of a wise counselor. Your children may or may not take your advice, but that's okay. At least they asked, right?


These are just a small sample of ideas to get you empty nest moms started. I hope they help. There's a new book and movie out that advises people to "Pray, Eat, Love", but believers know that after you pray, everything else falls into place. Blessings to you!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Zoned Out On The Fourth of July--by Linda Kozar


from page 197~July 4th~Babes With A Beatitude--Devotions For Smart, Savvy Women of Faith (Howard/Simon & Schuster 2009)

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you"
--1st Thessalonians 5:18
Picnics and sunny days go together, but there was nothing traditional about this Fourth of July. Lightening zigzaggd through sheets of thunderous rain. I guess it was God's version of fireworks. As if that wasn't enough disappointment, our teens chose to spend the day with friends, so my husband and I watched the 24-hour Twilight Zone marathon on TV until one of us got hungry.
Since things were a bit damp from all the rain, my husband decided to fire up the grill with the leaf blower! (He thought of that himself.) Once the flames calmed down a bit, we grilled shish kabobs and eggplant, since neither of us felt like eating the traditional burger or hotdog.
As we thanked God for our food, we realized how blessed we were to even have a meal on the table when so many people in the world go to bed hungry. Between the weather , absent family members and the food, there was certainly nothing traditional about this Fourth of July. Even our prayers set off a different kind of fireworks--a zeal for God and thankful hearts filled with praise.

Beatitude Check
On Independence Day and every other day, let's be thankful that we are dependent on our Father God, Who provides for all our needs according to His riches in glory! (See Philippians 4:19).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Love Letters--by Linda Kozar


Since Babes With A Beatitude came out in December, I have received many notes, emails, phone calls and messages in response. Dannelle has received similar letters and notes on FaceBook. In April I received the following email:

Linda, I just had to tell you! My sister got saved, and the Lord let ME lead her in the prayer! We were on vacation in the mountains for 3 days and we read your devotional together each morning. Do you remember autographing one for me to give to her? On the 2nd day it happened! On April 25, 2010 my sister, Kay got saved !!!!!!!!!!! I can't stop laughing and crying at the same time !!!!!!!!!
Thank you for all of the times you prayed for her over the years. God is SO GOOD!
Love you,
Lori

Yesterday I received a letter in the mail from a dear woman named Kay Bukovec. Here's what she said:
Just a note to let you know how much I am enjoying reading "Babes With A Beatitude."

Keep Writing,
Kay Bukovec
These letters mean so much to us! We would like our readers to know how much of a blessing it is to hear from you. Writing these devotions was not by any means just a job, it was a sacred privilege. They were, and are a labor of love. It's not as much about the writing as it is about the ministry. We were not called to write this book by accident, but by divine appointment.

I've created a "Reader Testimony" page on this blog just to list some of these wonderful messages about how God used these devotions to transform lives, strengthen your faith or inspire women to follow and trust Him more closely. We would love for you to share your story if you feel the gentle call of the Holy Spirit leading you to do so. Tell your story for His glory!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy and FREE On My Birthday--by Linda Kozar

Maybe it's because I'm getting older, but I had a wild idea this year--to discover every deal, freebie and coupon available to me as I turn a year older. Crazy, I know. And perhaps not everyone's idea of a fun time on their B-Day. But maybe it's because I AM getting a bit older that I find the whole idea kind of fun, or maybe in this economy it isn't such a bad idea. I think it might even be green (humor me on this one please--after all it's my B-Day).

First I have to give a shout out to Amanda who does my highlights at Toni & Guy, The Woodlands. Besides being an AWESOME Color Artist, when I mentioned to her what I was doing on my birthday this year, she didn't charge me a penny! A complimentary highlight and color! Hallelujah! The first of many totally cool birthday perks!

Anywho, tomorrow on my birthday the first thing I'm going to do is pay a visit (the only paying I'm going to do today is pay a visit:) IHOP to get my FREE BIRTHDAY MEAL. At Red Robin I get a FREE GOURMET BURGER OF MY CHOICE. At La Madeleine I receive a FREE PASTRY AND A FREE REFRESHING GLASS OF MANGO TEA. Dickey's BBQ--I receive a FREE BEVERAGE IN A BIG YELLOW CUP and if i buy a sandwich i get another FREE SANDWICH. At Baskin Robbins I get a FREE 2.5.OZ SCOOP OF ICE CREAM OR SOFT SERVE AND $3 OFF ANY CAKE. At Red Mango--a FREE CUP OF DELICIOUS YUMMINESS! World Market sent me a $10 GIFT CERTIFICATE TO BUY A LITTLE GIFT FOR MYSELF AT THEIR STORE. At Coldstone Ice Cream I get a FREE SCOOP OF ICE CREAM. At Olive Garden I receive a FREE BIRTHDAY CAKE AND SONG! At Macaroni Grill--A FREE DESSERT AND OPERA STYLE SONG SUNG AT MY TABLE. FREE BOWLING AT AMF Lanes!

As you can probably tell by now, I'm going to be pretty busy tomorrow and I'll be working off all those calories for a long time. But it'll be worth it! So think of me on my Birthday FreeDay! Below is a small list of sites and more free stuff if you want to do likewise on your special day!



Baskin Robbins – Baskin Robbins will send you a coupon for a free 2.5 oz scoop of ice cream on your birthday plus other special promotions when you join the Baskin Robbins Birthday Club.
Ben & Jerry’s – Get a free ice cream treat on your birthday when you become a ChunkSpelunker with Ben & Jerry’s.
Benihana - Join “The Chef’s Table” and receive a Benihana Birthday Dinner certificate worth $30 to use during the month of your birthday.
Blue Bell – Members of the Blue Bell Country Club will receive a gift certificate for a free half gallon of Blue Bell Ice Cream during the month of their birthday.
Cold Stone Creamery – Cold Stone Creamery will send you an email with a coupon for a free ice cream creation to enjoy on your birthday. All ages are welcome!
Disneyland – Get free admission on your birthday when you register in advance. You will need to bring the confirmation along with your ID to the park.
IHOP – Come on into IHOP and get a free meal (a sundae at some locations) on your birthday. (May not be available in all areas.)
P.F. Changs – Come in and get a free dessert on your birthday.
Sephora – Sign up as a Beauty Insider and get a free gift from Sephora on your birthday.
Walt Disney World – Free admission on your birthday when you register in advance and bring the confirmation along with an ID.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Good to the Last Drop--by Nancy Williams, LPC

Nancy Williams has a new book coming out!  
"Secrets to Parenting Your Adult Child" 
Bethany House Publishers, Spring 2011
Read Nancy Williams on our Babes Website too www.babeswithabeatitude.com. 

Today is one of those great Spring days. Cloudless blue sky, temperature dancing in the high 70’s, a gentle breeze blowing the new leaves emerging on our trees. Vibrant colors popping up all over. I love this season so I took time this morning to sit outside with a fresh cup of coffee and greet the birds that came to serenade. Unlike some of you who jump out of bed and hurry into your day, I like to ease my way into my schedule and I can’t think of any better way than with beautiful weather, nature’s delights and a fresh cup of coffee.
Have you enjoyed a fresh cup of coffee lately? Not one from a pot that was left sitting on the burner too long. Not one you set aside and let get cold. Not a stale cup you’ve tried to re-warm. I’m talking about savoring a fresh brewed cup of coffee. Whether you prepare it yourself or visit a local coffee shop, freshness is key.
Making a tasteful cup of coffee begins with a coffee maker that connects to a strong power source. Then you need a clean pot that’s free of residue and without cracks that might lead to leaks. You’ll also need a filter to separate the grinds from the final brew. Then there are the ingredients—clean water and fresh ground coffee beans. We might have the same type of coffee brewing system; however, each of us can choose the blend of coffee that reflects our personal taste. Flavored? Decaf? Chicory? Mild?
Coffeemaker plugged in. Filter and ingredients in place. The “on” button tapped. Now it’s time to do what doesn’t come easily to many of us: wait. Not my preference, certainly. After all, when I want a cup of coffee, I’m typically ready for it right then. I don’t want to stand by and wait. Fast food restaurants and convenience stores know about our impatience, so they have coffee waiting for us to grab and go. The problem there? It’s not always fresh. Perhaps it’s true that some things are, indeed, worth waiting for. So, we wait.
In due time, cold water and ground beans brew into a sweet aroma and full flavored beverage. As you pour a cup, you realize it’s more than simply drinking a hot liquid. It’s the experience of letting the cup’s warmth permeate your hands as you gently savor each sip. In the morning, that first cup is a gentle nudge to greet a new day and prepare to experience what’s in store. Mid afternoon sometimes calls for a “pick-me-up.” Coffee after a meal invites companions to linger awhile and share a slice of life.    
While enjoying a fresh brewed cup of coffee this morning, I began to look beyond my cup to the process of living life itself. Can we experience a “fresh brewed” life?  Perhaps it starts with a well-made coffee maker connected to a strong power source. For me, personally, God fuels the energy I need to make life work day after day, as I stay connected to Him. Then I need to make sure my “container”—my mind and heart through which the essence of my life flows—is clean and free of past residue that might alter the
flow or affect the taste. I also need a good filter to sift out harmful impurities. Ingredients are the next consideration. How will I blend talents, beliefs, opportunities and relationships to create the freshness of life I want to experience? And what about choices? Do I merely settle for what others are having? Or, am I willing to explore possibilities and choose something that fits the blend of life I desire? Then, there’s the waiting. Whether I’m brewing coffee or allowing time for things to come together in my life, sometimes I must patiently wait.
Today’s a perfect day to savor coffee and savor life; to delight our senses and energize our spirits. God has blessed us with opportunities to experience life to the fullest. Now it’s up to us to brew a fresh cup each day, savor its richness and do all we can to make it “good to the last drop.” Enjoy!


Nancy Williams, LPC is a licensed professional counselor, life coach, speaker and writer. Send questions or comments to her at www.nancywilliams.net.





From Nancy's Tribune Column – Keeping Your Balance, Nancy Williams, LPC
 Print Date – April 14, 2010

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Longing--By Linda Kozar

Uncle Joe and Aunt Rosalie 2010
Today, April 9th, my Aunt Rosalie passed away. Her death took us all by surprise. The whole family is mourning her loss. But God is sovereign and His ways, perfect. This evening, my sister texted me and told me to read the Babes daily devotion. This is it. . .

"He came and touched the open coffin. . .'Young man, I say to you, arise.' So he who was dead sat up and began to speak"--Luke 7:14-15.

Jesus is the resurrection and the life, and He can most certainly raise people from the dead. But He didn't raise everyone who died. And what glories they left behind when they returned to the land of the living! What a sacrifice to come back to earth from sublime and heavenly places!
Losing one we love is a pain like no other, and a yawning emptiness lingers for quite some time. We question God's decision to take our loved one away, not for lack of trust, but because we are so grieved by the person's absence. It seems the rest of the world continues as if nothing profound happened, while our world has come to a sudden halt.
But God also sends us peace and comfort in ways we didn't even know were possible. Over time, we are able to sort through our grief and discover new reasons to live with a renewed purpose. Nature sends us little signals that we're coming out of a storm, like a rainbow or a blooming flower found in a blanket of snow. Losing a loved one is a storm everyone will face one day, but God will be right there with you, holding your hand.
Beatitude Check
Jesus, who raised the dead can raise your spirit from the depths of grief. It won't happen overnight because the pain of loss is so great, but it will happen. God has a plan for your life and desires for you ot find comfort and peace once again. If you are grieving now, let God help you. He will carry your burdens.
God knew that our family would have particular need of this devotion today, but I'm sure there are many of you who could easily say the same thing. How many times do you open a book of devotions, or your bible and read your life in those pages? Or hear a song on the radio that describes exactly what you're going through? Praise Jesus--He knows exactly what we need. He is our daily manna, our bread of life.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Sunshine and Lollipops--by Linda Kozar

Do you ever wake up in the morning and feel absolutely wonderful? 
No aches or pains--just a marvelous feeling of well being. And happy. So happy you feel like skipping.
I'm not done yet.
You have a good hair day. Your clothes fit. Your shoes don't hurt. Your children obey. You win at Monopoly. (I'm talking Boardwalk, Park Place and owning ALL the railroads and utilities). You score the perfect parking spot at the mall. You find $100 bill on the ground on your way into the mall. Everything you want to buy is half-price but when you get to the register, it's 75% off!
Stay with me.
You arrive home to find your husband cooking dinner. Afterwards, he takes out the garbage, cleans up the kitchen, sweeps, mops, then vacuums the entire house. Then you sit on the sofa together and actually talk. Well, actually he sits there and listens to you talk. REALLY listens. No bobble-head kind of listening going on.
Then your husband asks if he can read a love sonnet to you. It's so beautiful, tears well up in your eyes (tears of joy) but then he tells you he actually wrote it just for you--skipping lunch to toil over it every day for a month. AND he made a colorful toaster cozy for you from elbow pasta and dried beans.
At the end of the day, you lay your head upon your perfect lavender-scented pillow and instantly fall into REM sleep. You dream of puppies and rainbows and lollipops.
The end of a perfect day.
We all dream of days like that. But the reality is we only experience moments like that. The closest I ever came to a perfect day was winning at goofy golf. No seriously, I made a hole-in-one through almost the entire course without even trying! It was awesome!
But then there's heaven. . .
Heaven is an eternal day. There are no shadows in God's eternity. His days and His ways are perfect. Our idea of the perfect day here on earth is only a shadow of what God's has prepared for His people. THE perfect day.
So tomorrow when you spill a five pound bag of flour on the kitchen floor and the kids forget their lunch and you have to make a special trip to the school and the dog is sick and your car breaks down and you're overdrawn at the bank--THINK of that perfect someday in eternity and praise the Lord for your days here on earth with those you love. Our imperfect days test us--often to our limits, but cause us to grow in Christ, in perfect faith. 
Have a blessed day my friends. A sunshine and lollipop kind of day!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Show Me Your Glory Lord--by Kate Young

I recently attended a 3-day conference where the glory of the Lord was very heavy. What does that mean to me? Well, my body pulsed with what feels like a low voltage of electricity. It usually starts with my hands tingling. Then it can progress into a pulsing in my hands and forearms. When it becomes stronger, I feel the tingling of that electric feeling all the way through my body to the point I can feel it in my toes. Sometimes, I feel it as a swirling in my torso so that my whole body feels like it is a flag waving slowly in a breeze. Sometimes my mouth, tongue or lips buzz. Sometimes I began to weep and sometimes I begin to laugh. It's all part of my experience of being in the presence of the Lord, knowing the holy spirit is filling me up as I worship Him.

I thought after this 3-day conference I would be so energized from spending so much time in the Lord's presence. It was such a shock that the following day, I spent much of my time in bed sleeping like I had not sleep for a week. The next day I needed to rest quite a bit as well. And on the third day, by the time we got to our prayer time at the end of our bible study, I was ready to fall asleep again! I was wondering by now, "What is WRONG with me??" I had no symptoms of sickness except this heavy fatigue.

God is so faithful to answer our questions. Ten days later, I am reading a book, The Supernatural Life, by Cindy Jacobs, and the words on page 168 jumped off the page at me. She said that flowing under the annointing tired her out physically. She could not handle the power flowing through her without considerable rest. And, it was confirmed to her by others went through the same thing. Ah ha! Here is my answer to my exhaustion. She also said she believed as with physical stamina, one could build themselves up with spiritual stamina. I suppose she knows this to be true being so farther along in her ministry than when this happened in the beginning of her ministry.

I was reminded by the Holy Spirit of the verses in Exodus 33 as I pondered all this:

Then Moses said, "Show me your glory".

And the LORD said, "I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. But," He said "you cannot see my face, for no one may see my face and live."

Then the LORD said, "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen."

I have learned that by the words of our testimony, the power of His word is released for others. If you would like to experience God's glory in a supernatural way, ask him just as Moses asked him. His Word also says you don't receive because you have not asked in James chapter 4. I can understand too why the Lord protected Moses in the cleft. The glory of the Lord is too strong for our flesh to handle all at once. But He is gracious to give us our portion and will increase it as needed for any situation. He never gives us more than we can handle. Thank you Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit to baptize and indwell us when we ask.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

An April Fool's Day Blessing--by Linda Kozar

Today, 17 years ago, I was busy giving birth to my April Fool's Day blessing--my youngest daughter, Lauren. If you don't own a copy of Babes With A Beatitude, here's today's entry about her. Would you please wish her a happy birthday?
Building Memories
"Through skillful and godly wisdom is a house (a life, a home, a family) built, and by understanding it is established (on a sound and good foundation).--Proverbs 24:3 (AMP)
My youngest daughter was born on April 1st, and as soon as she was old enough to delight in them, we enjoyed playing April Fool's jokes on her. In fourth grade she asked me to bring birthday cupcakes to school to share with her classmates during their lunch period and to bring her favorite fast food (Chick-fil-a) for lunch. Of course, I agreed.
Instead of her favorite food however, I handed her a regular lunch in a plain brown bag. I could see she was disappointed, but I winked at the teacher who had conspired with me to hide the real lunch. Surrounded by a long table full of classmates and friends, she pulled the sandwich bag out without much enthusiasm. But her eyes, wide as kiwis, stared in disbelief at a sardine, M&M, peanut butter'n mayonaise sandwich, complete with little fishtails sticking out the sides!
A smile blossomed on her sweet face, and between all the laughter and "eeews" of the other kids, she gave me a big hug. 
"Mom that was the best April Fool's joke ever!"
Beatitude Check
Caring for your family means more than just providing for their physical needs. Families thrive on faith, fun, love and laughter. Traditions build strong, abiding relationships--a reflection of our relationship with God the father. Build a strong relationship with your family today:)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Test me in this," says the LORD Almighty, "and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it. – Malachi 3:10

This is the only place in the bible where God actually challenges us to test him…in our tithes and offerings. Easy said…easy done? Not so much for everyone. It may be second nature to those of us who grew up in a Christian home, or maybe to those who felt like they had enough to go around. The idea here though is to give from the first fruits, and to give cheerfully.

For God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Cor. 9:7

In the bible, giving of the first fruits meant you were to give your first lamb. What if you didn’t get another?! It literally meant that you were faithful to God’s word, that you told Him, “God, I believe you are a big God, and that you will provide for me and my family. I give you my first Lamb to praise and bless you.” Thinking about tithing the way they did in the Bible can really put tithing in perspective for today. What if God asked for your whole pay check and you didn’t know where money was going to come from for your bills? Could you do it?

So, your blessings may be great or they may feel small, but God still asks for a portion. Getting into the reality of it, here are some ways to pay your tithe if it is tough to make it to church with your check. In talking to friends and family members, there are a variety of ways to keep this simple. Some people get the cash out immediately in order to have it available at church, you can put a paperclip on it and label it “God’s Money”. I use online banking to send a check as soon as I get paid, and don’t even have to pay for a stamp! This is right to do for the Lord, because, it is all His after all!!

For some however, committing to God that first 10% is committing far above and beyond what you see the bills are. I have a few suggestions for that.

  1. Examine your heart and ask God to give you the understanding of his word, and what that will mean to your finances.
  2. Reach out to Godly resources around you; pastor, friends, trusted websites (Crown Financial Ministries, DaveRamsey.com, Focus on the Family)
  3. Sit down and write out your income and expenses. If you are already in the red, you definitely need to examine where exactly your money is going. This might be another indication to perhaps take a finance class (there are many offered through churches) or read one of the many books out there on Godly finances.
  4. Commit to God your first 10%, and write the check as soon as you get paid.

Thinking about tithes, I have so many awesome testimonies about this. Be blessed, and know that there are many resources out there if you feel that you need support. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions!!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Comments on our February 21st Devotion "Father Knows Best"

Having confidence in your obedience, I write to you, knowing that you will do even more than I say.--Philemon 1:21

I've felt like Jonah on more than a few occasions in my life. But running from the Lord's will is always disastrous. It's not an option I want in my life. So why did Jonah run?

Because of unforgiveness. The people of Ninevah were BRUTAL. They did unimaginable things to his people--tortured them, destroyed whole families. Horrible memories flooded his head. He hated them. The last thing Jonah wanted was for these despicable people to repent and be saved. So he ran.

He got on a ship, knowing full well that God would pursue him. When a storm threatened to sink the ship, the sailors prayed to their Gods to no avail. They called Jonah from his nap in the hold. Now how could a grown man sleep through a life-threatening storm? Jonah had no problem sleeping--as long as he wasn't headed to Ninevah, he didn't mind heading to a watery grave. When they called him on deck, he admitted that it was all his fault and told them to throw him overboard and the storm would cease. He was more than willing to die.

With relectance, the sailors threw him overboard and the seas were immediately calm. Which is right about the time Moby Dick (a whale) swallowed him. 

Now the sailors thought he'd been eaten by the whale--a tasty snack or something. But Jonah was in the belly of the whale for 3 days and 3 nights. The stomach acid bleached his skin white during that time. When the whale washed up on shore and Noah climbed out through his mouth, he was a sight to see!!! No wonder the people of Ninevah repented! Jonah probably looked like a ghost. But aside from that, God had already laid the groundwork. The hearts of the Ninevites were ripe and ready to repent! And they did!

Did this make Jonah happy? No! He was in Ninevah against his will. God sent him, but Jonah's heart wasn't in it. In fact, he mourned more over a silly plant that barely shielded him from the harsh rays of the run than he did the whole city of people. (Granted, his skin was probably extremely sensitve after being bleached white.) But the point is, the whole city of Ninevah repented and Jonah was depressed over it!

Are you and I like Jonah sometimes. You bet we are. Running from God's perfect will is not an option I choose to exercise--running from God is always disastrous. 

If you're running from God right now, stop. Pivot your position! Don't wait for God to get your attention. Expecially when He sends a whale to swallow you up!


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Following God's Lead--by Dorothy McCann


Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. --Psalm 119:105 
Last night I was walking through my house and it was pitch black. I could see absolutely nothing. Now, particularly with my “tripping” tendencies, one might think that this would be a rather dangerous task. But, much to my surprise, I never fell. Though “blind," on my walk that night, I have walked around my house so many times that I knew where each piece of furniture was. I knew I needed to watch for my son’s shoes at the end of the stairs. I knew that there was a pillar in the center of the dining room. I didn’t need anyone to lead me through. I walked through the "familiar" without a problem.


This made me start thinking about the old Sunday school illustration of a Christian walking blindly through life with Christ guiding their hands and lighting their footsteps.  I realized that although this greatly depicts how we should “walk” through this life, there is another part of the illustration, if we are truly honest with ourselves. Through the familiar parts of our lives, we know (or at least we think we know) all the steps. We have traveled them a hundred times before and we are generally not concerned with tripping or falling in them. It could be a relationship, a job, or family, or a million other “familiar” aspects of human life. We tend only to lean on our Guide when the territory is new or unknown. We are scared that the next step may lead to pain and loss.

However, even within the familiar, there is always a stray shopping bag (work with the metaphor people) or a backpack that could cause us to fall or stumble, even in the environments we feel we know so well.  Now, obviously this illustration is used to show how we need Christ in the unfamiliar places where we fear each step we take. But, also, remember that He is also there in the familiar. In fact, He waits to guide you through every aspect of your life. Now, this also means he may wish to lead you from the familiar to the unknown, or simply to guide you past the obstacles you are too over-confident to see. Either way, you don’t have to walk in the dark by yourself. And even if you know the path, isn’t always more comforting to have a friend along for the ride?