Aug 19, 2009

A Storm That Only God Can Calm

I've been thinking a lot about the word "storm" these past two weeks. Someone very close to me is going through an extremely difficult time right now, and a storm is the one word that keeps coming to my mind when I think about their situation. Just for kicks I looked up the definition for a storm this morning. It is amazing how much real weather storms and our personal storms can sound and feel alike. Here are just a few definitions that caught my eye: an atmospheric disturbance, a heavy shower of objects, such as bullets or missiles, a strong or violent outburst, as of emotion or excitement and a violent disturbance or upheaval. All of these could describe many peoples' personal storms, but the one that stopped me in my tracks and hit me hardest was "a violent, sudden attack on a fortified place."

The person I have been praying for is under one of the worst spiritual attacks I have ever seen. Their fortified place has not only being attacked, it is being destroyed with bullets and missiles from every human angle. Everyday it seems there is more conflict, more uncertainty and more to fight against. I hate this storm for my loved one and wish more than anything that they could find a quick fix, that God would grant a miracle and that the dangerous storm would blow over. So far that has not happened, and I, along with many others continue to cry out to God on their behalf.

Thankfully, one thing that God keeps reminding me throughout His precious Word is that storms DO NOT LAST FOREVER. He has also given me peace that even though we don't see God taking away the storm, he is working in it. For instance, this person has recommitted their life to Christ with a passion I have not witnessed in a very long time. Second, my loved one is surrounded by believers that are encouraging every step of their difficult battle and being the hands and feet of Jesus in helping with varied needs. And lastly, God has put all of us close to this person on high alert for our own fortified places. We are investing more in the important things like strengthening our own faith, improving our prayer lives, becoming more "others" centered and relying on Jesus to do what we are not able to do on our own.

Are you experiencing your own personal storm that doesn't seem to blow over or end? I have wonderful news for you. God has your storm covered and He will use it for good when you trust him with it fully. It may not end the way we would like and it may seem to others that He has let us down or forgotten us. He hasn't, and I believe when all is said and done with my loved one's storm, we will be praising God that He allowed it to take place.

I love Romans 8:38-39 and when I read it in The Message translation today, it gave me such a reassurance of God's love for all of us.

"So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn't hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn't gladly and freely do for us? And who would dare tangle with God by messing with one of God's chosen? Who would dare even to point a finger? The One who died for us—who was raised to life for us!—is in the presence of God at this very moment sticking up for us. Do you think anyone is going to be able to drive a wedge between us and Christ's love for us? There is no way! Not trouble, not hard times, not hatred, not hunger, not homelessness, not bullying threats, not backstabbing, not even the worst sins listed in Scripture:

They kill us in cold blood because they hate you.
We're sitting ducks; they pick us off one by one.

None of this fazes us because Jesus loves us. I'm absolutely convinced that nothing—nothing living or dead, angelic or demonic, today or tomorrow, high or low, thinkable or unthinkable—absolutely nothing can get between us and God's love because of the way that Jesus our Master has embraced us."

Aug 8, 2009

Great Movie and Great Read

Last night my sister took me to the late showing of Julie and Julia starring Meryl Streep and Amy Adams. We both laughed so many times, and even shed a few tears. I thought it was brilliant, and I want to take my culinary man to see it too. It was a movie that had a lot of levels for me as a writer and yet, I let myself just go and enjoy. You'll see what I mean if you are also a fellow writer. Most of all the movie made me want to eat. Ha ha! I do plenty of that already, but it made me want to seek out more challenging recipes. I always leave the sauces and real cooking to my husband. It is just following steps, which I do in baking all the time. Regardless, go see it. I think you will love it.

Do you all know Anne Rice? Yes, the vampire lady. Well, I had heard that she had returned to her Catholic faith and was now writing for Christ. When I was at the library last week I decided to give Anne Rice's Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt a try. I LOVED IT! ABSOLUTELY LOVED IT! I know it is just fiction, but it was beautifully written about what Jesus may have been experiencing as a young boy realizing who he was and what was to come for his life. I can't wait to read the next one.

I have been reading a lot of historical fiction this summer, especially The Lineage of Faith Series by Francine Rivers. I can't seem to get enough of my favorite fiction writer. If you have not had a chance to pick up a few and dive in, you will not be disappointed. I am also about to start her Sons of Encouragement Series. Can't wait!

I miss hearing from so many of you out there, if you have a Facebook, please let me know as that is where I've been spending too much of my free time. Blessings all!

Aug 7, 2009

Where is Susie?

My oldest daughter informed me last night that it was almost exactly one month since my last post. I kind of shrugged it off and told her, "Wow, that long?" Actually I know exactly how long it has been, but every time I sit down to write lately, my words seem meaningless. Since many of you who happened upon this are bloggers, you probably can relate in some way. If someone is going to take the time to read a post, you don't want to waste their time in the process.

However for me, my blog writing was never meant to be about writing that would get noticed for content or excellence. It has always been about a personal journal for myself, my children and anyone who happens upon it, to see how God has works in one's life who is surrendered to Him. I struggle, I triumph, I even sometimes crawl through this journey, but I press on with all my heart to seek Christ every step of the way.

Today is about seeking out a good family physician for my husband and for myself. We are both in need of a good physical and lifestyle change. Today is trying to creatively figure out how to stay in our home we know we can't afford. That may mean me going back to work part-time or putting our home on the market. Today is about praising God for what I do have which is far more than I could ever deserve. Lastly, today is about remembering God has it ALL covered, and the wisdom and counsel I seek, is readily available when I humbly go before him in prayer.

*** FYI***Faith Imagined is having a giveaway contest! She will be giving away three Amazon e-mail gift certificates: 1st place is $50, 2nd place is $30 & 3rd place is $15! Stop by her site for details and to be encouraged by this lovely writer.