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Are You In A Dead Zone?

Screen Shot 2015-02-03 at 2.05.23 PMCan you hear me now? How about now? Those words are spoken from time to time by anyone who has ever used a cell phone. Even with more and more cell towers going up and the latest coverage offered, there are still many dead zones.

At our family lake cabin, there is a clear difference between which carrier has the better coverage. I have watched many people holding their phones with an outstretched arm on our patio looking for a bar of coverage to make a call or send a text. It’s entertaining to watch.

When I have not been able to get service, I have been bothered about it. How about you? In reality, is having no phone coverage for a little bit really a bad thing? We are so worried about checking our text messages, our Instagram, Facebook, and emails that the idea of being stuck in a dead zone seems to be cause for alarm.

In our desire to be connected to the world with our phones, we have become slaves to technology. Just before I started writing this, I was working on my Bible study and I got a text. I was going to reach for my phone to tell my husband, yes, I can talk now, and then it hit me… I was in my quiet time with God. There was not an emergency and my husband would understand if I finished my study before I called him. I almost chose to set God aside to answer a text.

That knee-jerk reaction to grab my phone and forget about my time with God was a reality check. How many times a day do I reach for my phone to check social media? Am I more concerned about how many bars I have, who is posting what, and what is trending than I am with God? What about you? Are you more concerned with those things than your relationship with God?

Finding the best coverage when it comes to our cell phone seems to be an important thing. However, shouldn’t we be more concerned about finding the best coverage for ourselves? It should be much moreScreen Shot 2015-02-03 at 2.12.47 PM alarming to be in a dead zone that applies to our salvation rather than our phone, and sadly for many, that is not the case. At the end of our lives, the number of bars we had, the number of texts, tweets, and posts will mean nothing. What will matter is, are you covered in the saving blood of Jesus?

He offers the best coverage for us in the long run and His coverage is free to all who seek Him. There is unlimited coverage and you will never experience a dropped prayer like you do a dropped call. With Jesus we all become sons and daughters of God, which means as far as plans go, there is no other family plan like His. Okay, maybe that is a bit cheesy, but it’s true… Jesus is the only way to avoid the dead zone. In John 14:6-7, Jesus said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well.” (NIV)

I challenge you to put your phone down for a while each day and spend time with the Lord. Dig into your Bible, take time to pray, go to church, and fellowship with other believers. Get to really know Jesus so that you will know the Father as well. Being covered in the saving blood of Jesus Christ is the best coverage there is. It is the only way to avoid a dead zone. Put God first! I am not saying to avoid your phone and social media just that God should be our first priority. And, by all means, share that coverage with others. Don’t let those you know and love be lost in a dead zone when they could have eternal life.

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In God’s eyes, I am…..

DSC_0272edited (1)God has a sense of humor! He woke me up last week with “she wakes before her family.” As I lay in bed, bits and pieces of Proverbs 31 were rolling through my head. I tried to close my eyes and ignore it but God was persistent. I heard “she is up before the sun” in my spirit. I climbed out of bed, let the dogs out and fed them, got a coffee cup for myself, grabbed my husband’s hot chocolate, and had it waiting by the coffee pot with a cup for him. A warm blanket was beckoning me from the couch so I grabbed my Bible and my Bible study and dug into the Word.

When my husband came out of the bedroom to grab his coffee, I laughed as I said, “God woke me up and told me that I am a Proverbs 31 woman.” Not part of a specific ministry, but God wanted me to understand how the concepts of this chapter applied to my life. I shared my rationale with my husband.

I was up before my family, I was up before it was light (daylight saving time helped make that possible), I had tended to the animals (that got a chuckle out of him), and I had his coffee cup all ready for his mocha.

For years I have felt inferior to the woman written about in Proverbs 31. If I could get a show of hands, I wonder how many other women would feel the same way. At times, I am a train wreck in the kitchen. I burn things; I add the wrong ingredient – only some of the time. If you read my Thanksgiving post you heard about the turkey that was steamed, baked, and set on the barbecue before it made it to the table. Just last week I had a pair of my undies stuck to a dishtowel from static cling. Thankfully my grown son who was helping clean the kitchen did not see the undies in the towel he was holding. The woman described in Proverbs 31 would never have her unmentionables in the kitchen!

For a whole week, God continued to wake me up early speaking the words of Proverbs 31 in my spirit. Yet I tried to avoid reading the chapter. Recently I have been studying who I am in Christ.  I find it easy to believe that I am redeemed in Christ, adopted into the Family of God, and a needed part of the Body of Christ. Those were just some of the things I found to be true in my search of the Bible, and yet for some reason I continued to be hung up on being like the woman described in Proverbs 31. She seems to be everything I am not.

One morning after my study, I was feeling a bit defeated because I could not get that perfect lady out of my head. God began to push back with His Word. Bits and pieces of the chapter I had been avoiding for years began to come to mind. He showed me what was written in Proverbs 31, doesn’t describe just one woman. The “she” is every woman who walks with the Lord. In my heart, God was showing me the qualities of many godly women. “She” is every woman who puts God first. Being the kind of godly woman shown in the chapter may look different for each of us based on where in the world we live, whether we work outside the home or at home, or if we are married or single. What each of us has in common is that we bring honor to God in all we do.

I began to realize why God brought me to this chapter. I was studying who I was in Christ and God was trying to show me that He saw me as someone I never thought I could be. I wonder if I am striking a chord in the hearts of others who feel the same way. Maybe even your heart? For years I thought she was some super woman who I could never hold a candle to. Again I wish I could see a show of hands. I know I am not the only woman to have thought, “Me? The woman in Proverbs 31? Yeah, right.”

I decided to read the chapter with an open heart and God showed me that I was worth more than rubies. I have virtue and a huge heart filled with His love that I want to share with others. He showed me that I was choosing to honor Him in my walk. As I read further, I was reminded that I have a healthy fear of Him and that I seek His wisdom and wait on His timing

FullSizeRenderI am like the woman in Proverbs 31. Yes, I make mistakes. My house is not always perfectly cleaned. I order pizza at times because my day was crazy but my walk honors God. My works are for Him and are done because of His love in me.

God looks at your heart not the dinner you put on the table. He would rather have you serve a PB and J sandwich made from a heart of love than a gourmet dinner made from a place of bitterness or obligation. My hope is that you will see who you are in God and never compare yourself to someone else like I did.

God loves you and you are worth more than rubies. You were bought with a price and it is the blood of Christ. You belong to the Body of Christ and you matter. You, my sister, are fearfully and wonderfully created and if you struggle with seeing yourself as God sees you, I hope you press into the Word of God and find God’s truth for your life.

Is there a scripture or scriptures that you cannot believe to be true for you? If there is, please take it to the Lord and ask Him to show you His truth and who you are in Him. You might be just as surprised as I was to find out that you too are like the woman described in Proverbs 31.

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Training and conditioning….It’s not just for athletes

I have a friend who for some reason thought she was “Travis Pastrana” and she took her ATV at a high speed up a sand dune. When she reached the top she caught some serious air and was thrown like a rag doll off the back end.  Her story is nothing short of a miracle and in it is a lesson for the body of Christ. 

Let me back up and tell you a little about my friend.  She is a fitness model and National figure competitor.  She has put in intensive training to reach her level of competition.  I can’t help but wonder if it was her training that saved her from an even more very serious injury that day.311494_10150246936772706_477461619_n

That piece of information is very important and with that being said lets get back to her story.  After about an hour after being thrown from her ATV she began to have some convolutions and she was taken to the hospital for an exam.  The Doctor ordered her x-rays of her neck and read them himself instead of waiting for radiology to look at them.  The Doctor explained to her that her injury was just whiplash and that she should get some heating pads and stretch her neck.  She did just what the doctor told her to do.  When she woke up the next morning she still was not feeling good.  In fact she was miserable.  Shortly after waking up my friend got a call from the hospital telling her to come in immediately and not to move much.  Panic started to set in as she heard the hospital staff talking outside her curtained off room? What could be wrong with her, why were they all talking about her?  Just the night before, the Doctor had sent her home with no brace and told her to stretch.  Now she is back at the hospital listening to the staff whispering about her with concern.

As it turns out she had a broken neck.  This time she was sent home in a neck brace and told to see at doctor in her hometown.   It was a very painful 11-hour drive to get home and I can only begin to imagine what was going through her head.   Her neck was broken and she was told to stretch it!!  By the grace of God she is not paralyzed now.

As the weeks of healing passed she told her doctor that she could not take a deep breath.  She had also told this to the doctor at the hospital where she was first seen but they never x-rayed her chest.  Her new doctor ordered x-rays they revealed one more injury.  My friend had been walking around for few weeks with not only a broken neck but a cracked sternum as well.  I was blessed to spend a few days with her at Priest Lake Idaho shortly after she was injured and I was amazed at her take on the whole thing.  She never seemed to let it get her down.  She joked about her neck brace being the perfect accessory to whatever she was wearing and she kept giving thanks to God for protecting her.

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 9.00.28 PMDuring our time at the lake we had some serious talks about our faith and the miracle that she was not paralyzed and surgery would not be needed.  As we talked, I asked her if she thought all of her training and strength conditioning was key in supporting her neck during the ATV ride back to their camp and holding her neck in place while she stretched with the doctors orders? She did feel it was her training and conditioning that gave the muscles the strength and ability to hold her head up despite her broken neck.

The lesson in this hit my Midlife Domestic goddess heart with full force and I want to share it with you.   God’s word tells us that 2 are better than one and when one falls the other can lift them up.  I am paraphrasing that but it is out of Ecclesiastics.  My friend’s body was functioning like the body of Christ is to function when a person (part of the body) is hurting or has fallen in sin.  We (the body) are to rally around them and lift them up.  For that matter carry them until they have the strength to stand on their own.  In order to do this the body of Christ must also be “trained” and “conditioned”.  It is in study, prayer, fellowship and worship that the body trains its self as a whole so that when one of it’s members or “parts of the body” is hurting the other members or “parts of the body” have the strength to hold them up through their time of brokenness and healing.

My dear friend is a miracle as far as I am concerned.  She should not have been able to take the ATV back to camp, take a ride in truck to the hospital, stretch her neck and, take another trip back to the hospital the next day.  It was her will trained and conditioned body that supported her broken neck.

So many have given thanks to God for this miracle in my friend’s life.  She is healing up great and I hope she slows it down the next time she gets on that ATV. As you have read her story I hope you seen the importance of training yourself in God’s truth so that you can help to hold up others who are hurting.  It is an on going process of training yourself in the word and conditioning yourself to have a strong prayer life.   I hope you are making time for God each day so that you are strong, trained and conditioned just like the muscles that were ready to support her neck while she healed.

 

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