Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Road Runner

Don't you realize that in a race everyone runs, but only one person gets the prize? So run to win! 1 Corinthians 9:24 (New Living Translation)

Have you ever seen the cartoon Road Runner? In episode after episode Wile E. Coyote tries to trap and destroy the Road Runner. The Road Runner is just going along minding his own business. Doing his thing. The Coyote has elaborate plots and schemes(often aided by the Acme Corporation) to blow up, trap and destroy the road runner. But every time, the trap ends up blowing up in the coyote's face. The Road Runner goes on about his merry way, speeding by with a "beep, beep!", oblivious to the trap that was set before him.

That's how it is with us. Our Enemy, that wily Devil who goes about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour, has set a trap for us. He wants to steal, kill and destroy and he's willing to use whatever tools are at his disposal to catch us, delay us, deny us, destroy us and keep us from our divine destiny in Christ. He will use people, circumstances and situations to deceive, discourage and disqualify us from running our race.

But like the Road Runner, we don't have to worry. No weapon formed against us will prosper. It doesn't mean that the fiery darts and arrows won't hurt us, discourage us or even delay us. But we already have the victory through Christ Jesus.

The attack and plan of the Enemy will blow up in his face and we'll be going right along like the Road Runner. Say"Beep, beep" , get out of my way. I'm on the road fulfilling my purpose going to my divine destiny and keep it moving. Don't give up. Stay in the race. Keep the course that God has given you.You've already got the victory if you don't quit.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Deliverance in the Storm

"A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm." Mark 4: 37-39

My son's class recently read a novel called "Hatchet" about a boy who survived a plane crash. In the novel, the boy is aboard a small aircraft on his way to visit his father in Canada. The pilot of the plane has a heart attack and the plane lands in a lake in the Canadian wilderness. The boy survives and learns to live off the land. He makes himself a shelter, learns how to start a fire, hunt and store his food.

Spoiler Alert: Toward the end of the novel, a violent tornado comes through and tears apart everything that the boy has assembled. But what the tornado also does is bring the crashed plane to the surface of the lake. When the plane re-surfaces, the boy is able to get back in the plane (which includes the dead pilot's body) and get the survival kit out which includes an emergency transmitter. The emergency transmitter sends a signal out that leads to the boy's rescue.

The boy had become comfortable surviving in his situation and at first glance, the storm seemd like a catastrophe, but it set up the situation for his deliverance.

Storms, like Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina, can be violent and destructive. Storms are scary. Storms disrupt and dismantle. Storms are uncomfortable. But storms are inevitable--in the natural and in the spiritual. 

Storms in our lives can be painful and uncomfortable. Deadly and destructive. We can have stormy situations in our relationships, finances, careers and health. Divorce, disease, addictions, accidents, disasters, bad choices and undeserved actions of others that deeply hurt us can cause the winds to whip, lightning to flash and flood waters to rise in our lives.

The saying goes that either you're going through a storm, coming out of a storm or about to enter a storm.

But remember that you're "going through" the storm, not staying in it. Storms don't last forever. And there's a purpose for your storm. Your deliverance is in your storm. There's rescue from your situation in your storm. There's a miracle in your storm. And there's a lesson in your storm.

In the storm, you learn to depend on God, not yourself. In the storm, you learn to trust God. In the storm you discover that the Lord is your refuge and your strength, a very present help in the time of trouble. We learn lessons in the storms. We learn to depend on God. We learn to trust God. We access what is important. We take refuge in God. The storms of life can destroy us and leave us destitute or give us an opportunity to refocus, reinforce and rebuild even stronger.

God may be using your storm to uproot and bring to the surface some dead stuff that you need to go back to explore so that you can get what you need to not only survive but be rescued, delivered and set free. You're surviving and making it and you've learned a lot of lessons in the wilderness, just like the boy in the book. But the time may have come when God is saying, "You've been in the wilderness, a place of solitude. You've learned some lessons. But now it's time to come out. You've got places to go and things to do and if I didn't send this storm and disrupt some things and get you out of your comfort zone, you would never reach your destination/destiny."

In the storms of life, God reveals his power to us in new ways. You may feel like the disciples in the boat during the storm, saying "Jesus, don't you even care." But Jesus is right with you, in your storm and he can speak "Peace, be still" and your inner storm will cease and he will give you peace, even if the storm outside is still raging.

He'll take us by the hand and we'll walk on water. There's a miracle in the midst of the storm. We'll do the impossible as long as we keep our eyes on him.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Purse Foundation: Helping educate young people about domestic violence

Her friend’s murder gave her the strength to escape abuse and inspired her to help others be free

By Erika Lee
Nova and I met in college when she tried out for a dance team of which I was a member. On the day of try outs, I was responsible for recording everyone who was auditioning for the team.  I remember recording Nova. Watching her dance was breathtaking. Nova had a style about her that was unique.

Needless to say, she made one of the finest dance teams on the campus at Illinois State University. The dance team was like a family. We spent several hours every week with each other practicing for events. I remember when Nova and I went shopping for pajamas for our dance team’s fashion show. Nova and I had to model in kiddy pajamas. The skit was about us being kids who did not want to go to sleep.  In the skit, you could see the mom putting us to bed and as she walked out the room, the music came on and Nova and I jumped on our beds, laughed and danced.  As the mother returned to find us awake and out of our beds, she waved a belt in front of us.  We quickly jumped back in our beds to avoid the punishment. 

 Quite often, this memory of Nova replays over and over in my head.  When I reflect upon my own childhood, I remember life with no real worries or burdens.  I also think about how Nova’s son Noah will never experience having his mother come in his room and hug him or hear her say goodnight. 

 Nova and her daughter Ava were found shot to death in her apartment. Her son Noah was found asleep in a chair covered with blood stains from possibly trying to awake his mother and infant sister. Nova’s ex-boyfriend was arrested for the murders and is currently awaiting trial.

The shocking news of Nova’s death made me reflect upon the relationship I was in. No one intends to be in an abusive relationship, but I was in denial that I was even in one.  I did not realize that walls were being created to keep me held in bondage and at the mercy of my abuser. My relationship with my abuser was physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive. I thought I had met the one. He was charming, attentive, and caring. After much time had been invested in the relationship, those qualities I thought he possessed, no longer existed. He turned into someone I didn’t know, someone he never showed me—his true self.

 I had mistaken him choosing my clothes for me, as his way of caring about me. I had mistaken him telling me that certain people were not my friends as his way of looking out for my best interest. I had mistaken him keeping me away from all the activities I was involved in as his way of showing me that he loved spending time with me. I had mistaken him asking me to leave my job as his way to be a provider for me. I had mistaken him constantly calling me when I was away from the house, as his way of making sure no one had harmed me.  I did not know the red flags or warning signs of a possible abusive person or relationship.  I had never seen an abusive relationship growing up and never thought it would be something I would ever encounter....

To read the entire story, click on the photo to read The Well Magazine.

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Top At the Well Postings for October 2012

Here are the top At the Well postings for the month of October. None of them were actually written in October (as a matter of fact, none of them were written this year and one is a listing of top postings for last December) so I guess people are finding their way to At the Well through Google or other search engines. Whatever the case, I hope that if you didn't read these posts the first time that you enjoy them now or if you did read them, you find something of value again.

Miss California (May 28, 2009)

My Heavenly Home (June 18, 2010)

Top At the Well Postings for December 2011
At the Well Headlines

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