About Me

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Rock Hill, SC, United States
"My heart is overflowing with a good theme. I recite my compositions concerning the King. My tongue is the pen of a ready writer." (Psalm 45:1) This verse has become a life verse for me. As I continue to walk it out, I realize this journey as a breast cancer survivor has changed me but does not define me. I remain the loved, chosen, redeemed and blessed child of the living God who supplies me daily with more hope, strength, grace and courage than I ever dreamed I could possess! God has been so good to me ... indeed my tongue is the pen of a ready writer ... poised to tell the story of my faithful Father! I love Him so!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Where Does All The Time Go?

I can't believe that March is almost gone. In just a few more hours we will flip the calendar and start again at the beginning with another "First", another "Day 1" of a brand new month. Oh how quickly the days and years go. We often race through life with little regard of what might be waiting around the corner.

We all do it. Rush, Rush, Rush! We leave the house, usually in a hurry, and forget to say "Goodbye" or "I love you" to those we share life with. Once on the outside, we avoid opportunities that might inconvenience us. Why?  Because we've built no margin in our day to offer a word of encouragement to those who cross our path. No margin to discern the pain of others and be the very one to offer them hope. We neglect sharing a word of life with someone because we don't want to offend them.  So we just keep quiet and justify our silence. "Maybe tomorrow", we reason, "and I'll be more prepared. I'll have more time."

Could it be we've become numb to the fact that life is so very brief? But, what if tomorrow doesn't come for you, or for them? Or what if it does come but it looks vastly different than you had expected it to look? Let me just get to the heart of the matter because I'm burdened about something and I'm not going to beat around the bush ... time is too fleeting! I'm seeing this reality all around me lately. In fact, I say it as recently as Tuesday.

Tuesday, you may recall (if you live around here) has been the ONLY sunny, warm day this week. A day that you just think all is well in the world for everybody, right? I mean, for me it was a day when the house was clean, laundry was caught up, dinner was planned, the sun was shining ~ you get the picture ~ peace and order all around and so I headed out for a wonderful, refreshing walk. But sometimes a closer look quickly reveals that all is not well. Real life is happening all around us. People are hurting, grieving, losing their grip and my heart just breaks for them. Which is exactly what happened when I got in from my walk and turned on the local news. 

Little did I know that while I was out walking, a car accident had taken place nearby claiming the life of a local high school senior. Hearing the news, my heart immediately began to pray for a faceless, nameless mom and dad that I will probably never meet but possibly at that moment were somewhere receiving the news that their son was gone, forever. Taken so abruptly and in such a horrific way. It was more than I could stand! Seriously! My heart broke into a million pieces for them. And so I began to pray ~ taking a cue from the book of Daniel (chapter 9) ...

"So, I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications (vs 3a) ... 
for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, 
but on account of Your great compassion. (vs 18 b)" (NASB)

 I prayed for their comfort. I prayed that Almighty God would surround them with His great love and compassion even in the midst of what must be the most suffocating of emotions and pain. I prayed that, even though there are no easy answers to life's hardest questions, that knowing God is sovereign will be enough. I am still praying for them that He will be enough!

You see, I'm convinced that resting in God's sovereignty does indeed have to be enough. Don't misunderstand me, when tragedy strikes we don't just stick our head in the sand and say, "Oh well!" No, that would be denial. In this life we will have hard questions, countless tears, deep doubts, burning anger, fear, broken hearts but guess what? He can handle it all

His lovingkindness and patience with us is so vast! His love is so lavish! He remembers that we are but dust and, therefore, is not caught off guard by our range of emotions. We present all our supplications, as Daniel said, not on any merit of our own but totally dependent on God's great compassion for us! And so, I say it again ... in the end, the conclusion we must come to is that He is sovereign and that fact, alone, must be enough!

I've been in Psalm 90 today and at first glance it can be little depressing. I mean, really, it speaks of the frailty of man, our many afflictions, our sin and God's wrath but look deeper. It also speaks of, it declares, the eternity of God,  His mercy and grace and joy. It speaks of Hope which is found only in Him.  Psalm 90, in part or in whole, our reality to face as we walk through this life. Our decision to make too ~ to exchange all that we are for all that He is. 

And so, I want to share this Psalm with you in the hopes that you will be encouraged in whatever you are facing in your own life. I pray that you will be undone in His holy presence. Absolutely in awe by His majesty, His glory, His splendor! May you find yourself facedown seeking Him, His wisdom, His joy, His favor ~ fresh and new or maybe for the very first time.

   A prayer of Moses the man of God.
 1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place
   throughout all generations.
2 Before the mountains were born
   or you brought forth the whole world,
   from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
 3 You turn people back to dust,
   saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
4 A thousand years in your sight
   are like a day that has just gone by,
   or like a watch in the night.
5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death—
   they are like the new grass of the morning:
6 In the morning it springs up new,
   but by evening it is dry and withered.
 7 We are consumed by your anger
   and terrified by your indignation.
8 You have set our iniquities before you,
   our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9 All our days pass away under your wrath;
   we finish our years with a moan.
10 Our days may come to seventy years,
   or eighty, if our strength endures;
yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow,
   for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11 If only we knew the power of your anger!
   Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due.
12 Teach us to number our days,
   that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
 13 Relent, LORD! How long will it be?
   Have compassion on your servants.
14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
   that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days.
15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us,
   for as many years as we have seen trouble.
16 May your deeds be shown to your servants,
   your splendor to their children.
 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us;
   establish the work of our hands for us—
   yes, establish the work of our hands. 
Psalm 90 (NIV)

Remember, we are not promised tomorrow ... so we've got to get it right today and that's made possible only by His grace.  Oh, my friend, how I pray that you know Him. Don't risk the uncertainty of another day without Him!

Holy God, thank you for your great compassion; Your mercy and grace. You continually stun us with you splendor and majesty. And I ask that You would walk with us through the moments of our days teaching us to number them. Teach us to gain a heart of wisdom!

In Jesus mighty and matchless name!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

It's all just a bit upside down!

It began turning upside down when one day in my quiet time I felt the Lord impress upon my heart to read a particular Psalm backward ~ upside down, if you will ~ you know, by reading the last verse first until I reached the first verse last. So, of course, I did what He said and, I must say it has been a rich exercise. One in which I've gained a lot of insight, albeit upside down insight, and it has greatly enhanced my understanding of the passage as I read it again forward! Now I'm seeing upside down truths everywhere ... with a spiritual eye and toward a spiritual application.

I was even reminded that the physical eye, which the Lord God has created, receives images upside down on the retina until they are interpreted by the brain to be right side up. All in a split second! Incredible! That's the wonder of our human body ... only God could have been so creative!

And, He's quite the creative One when it comes to the inner man too. Think about about these upside down's in Paul's writing to the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi ...

Phil. 2:5-8
Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, 
who although He existed in the form of God, did not reqard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself ...

Wait, What? That's upside down ... The God of the Universe humbling Himself?  Laying aside His glory? Emptying Himself, taking on the form of a bondservant? The world says ... stake your claim! Look out for yourself! Be important no matter what the cost!

But we, who are in Christ, don't consider what the world says. We consider His Word to us and so consider John 1:11 ~ He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him.

They were looking for a mighty warrior not a humble servant. He didn't meet their definition of Deliverer. It was all upside down in their thinking and they didn't have eyes to see it. They couldn't grasp who He was. Even though He walked among them. Teaching them on the hillside, by the shore of Galilee, in the synagogue as "One with authority." They simply missed it.

But to those who had ears to hear; to those whose hearts were opened to the things of the Spirit ~ they understood His upside-down teaching. They understood when He said that the first would be last (Matt. 20:16); that life is found by losing it for the sake of Christ (Luke 17:33); that real living begins when we die to self (Gal. 5:24); that it is better to give than to receive (Acts 20:35); that the greatest in the kingdom is the one who is servant of all (Matt. 20:25-28).

Can we wrap our minds around this upside down way of life? It is so contrary to what the world teaches and yet, that fact should not surprise us. We know that we are in the world but not of it! We're gonna stick out!

So, don't be afraid to live life upside down.  This upside-down way of living has a way of loosening bonds and allowing lasting contentment and joy to take root. Laugh when you feel sad! Sing when you feel like crying! Trust when you are afraid! Stand strong and brave in the face of adversity! Give with no expectation of receiving! Serve with no ulterior motive! Be willing to be last and not first! All for the sake of Christ Jesus!

The world can't help but notice and just maybe, they'll want a little of your "Upside-Down-ness!" and I know we look good to the Father when we're upside-down for His glory and fame!

Cindy K