Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Horse Communicator!

Yep, that's right! The horse communicator! Aren't you glad you tuned in today!? What is a horse communicator? Well you got me! If you know right now, please email me and let me know because I have no clue how this works or if its even real. And yet, here it is, title to my blog today and focus of my writing....go figure.

In reality, I do know what a horse communicator is or, more to the point, what they sell themselves to be. Whether or not they are real? Well, lets just say the jury is still out on that one (and probably will be for some time). So what is a horse communicator? It is a person who claims they can talk to horses, by simply looking into their face, and telling the owners what is wrong with the horse. The horse actually speaks to the person is what happens-or at least that's my understanding. I picture this process not unlike the picture I picked out of a person trying to communicate with a horse. Doesn't it look like she is communicating with the horse? He must have a lot to say and must be in serious distress.....Looky there, I'm a horse communicator and I'm not even at the place with the horse! Ok so that was thrown in to make you laugh, so go ahead and laugh. But I wonder if maybe on some level, I'm not a horse communicator too? I mean I know my horses very, very well. I can tell if something is bothering them and if something is hurting them just by their body language; they way the keep close to me when I don't have food(!); the actions they perform in the field or when they are with me out of the field. See, I told you I was a horse communicator! Haahaa.

I don't believe that people can talk, literally talk to horses or dogs or cats or birds, although there are those out there who desire for anything to make their pet more humanlike and will pay anything to make that happen. What do I really believe? I believe that we become tuned to our pets, not unlike we become tuned to our family, and we can tell when something is bothering them and most of us can figure that out in a matter of minutes or maybe days, so see you're a communicator too! Now aren't you glad you tuned in?! Its the same way with God, believe it or not, He still communicates with us in many ways. Most of the ways are through scripture and many of us can feel that communication and yet many of us have a hard time believing it. Some of us go through times when there is a drought, so to speak, where we heard His voice clearly and then He just disappeared, and still some of us call 'hoodwink' on the stories of hearing God's voice. So here I am, a non-believer of the horse communicator and a returning hearer of God's voice, how in the world am I going to make this connection for you? I can only tell you this, everything I read this morning (well up to the horse communicator story) was saying "follow Me". (Just to clarify, the horse communicator story was not a devotional but a story, a real one from a horseman, who already knew the answer before he paid someone to tell him the problem.) 2 Cor 4:15-17 "Therefore, we do not loose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day to day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal." Why this scripture and why the horse communicator? For me, I look for something that is real, factual; something that I can touch, something that can tell me now what I want to hear, not unlike a horse communicator to an owner. People, we, use horse/animal communicators, and probably pay them well, because we want someone to tell us exactly what the animal wants! We do not want to wait, we do not want to ponder and take time with our pets, we want it NOW. The same is true for with a walk with God, at least for me. I have a tendency to want an answer today....ok that's called impatience! And there it is, the answer to my horse communicator non-belief. The answer was there all along, impatience, busyness, and ultimately laziness to figure out and listen things that I already know but don't want to wait for.

You and I are probably not that much different. I'm sure you are, at some point, just as impatient as me when wanting an answer, and like me, you probably would rather pay someone to give you the answer you already know but just want someone else to say.  That is unbelief.  And so a struggle of unbelief begins, when does someone give me what I want, tell me what I want to hear, and do it now? I want it now, not in 3 days, 4 years, or 50 years, but now. I want to know now, as do you. And yet, the answers are not a now answer, they are a long way ahead of us, at least most of them. So we search for someone here to give us the answer and direction that we long for now. When all along the answer is right in front of us "fix (your) eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen".....ahh, belief.  I struggle to fix my eyes mostly because it is easier to fix my eyes on what is in front of me as opposed to what is not, and yet "follow Me" keeps repeating itself in my head, in the unseen.

I don't believe that there are horse communicators, people who can talk to animals in humanlike voices, but I do believe that God speaks to us daily, we just refuse to hear it. I don't have a true close to this writing, just a short prayer. Lord help me fix my eyes on what is not seen, on the things that You have prepared for me. Show me that desperation and impatience do not show me the way, for those are temporary and fleeting. Show me how to follow You. Amen."

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hyssop? Really?

I know, I know - what in the heck is hyssop? Well at least that's what I asked myself when I heard the reference this morning. So I was somewhat surprised to find it's a plant and a very fragrant and beautiful plant too!(Honestly, something I'm considering planting.) I was surprised too to see it looks similar to lavender. So I did a little research on hyssop and thought I'd share some of what I found out with you...aren't you excited?! I knew you were (haha)! So hyssop, a little education, there's a lot of websites and information out there regarding this lavender looking plant and I found information from medical/drug sites that talk about "beliefs" from herbalist to just simple plant sites that discuss the plant itself. This particular plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean area, it was transplanted to Europe and then to America by immigrants. What I found also very interesting is that every site, from the medical ones to the generic blogs, site the plant in the Bible and Biblical references! HUH? So what is hyssop? Its an herbal plant that has a camphor-like odor that can be dried for decoration (the major use), dried for extracting an oil from it to make a tea for elixir (by herbalist) which is used help with sore throat and some cold relief, left to bloom it can help prevent some insect infestations and attracts bees - honey from hyssop is said to be very, very flavorful and good to taste. So, there's your hyssop lesson, aren't you glad you tuned in today!? :)

Hyssop. In all truth I heard this word in my channel surfing this morning and I happened to stop on a Raleigh channel that airs a Minister from a Raleigh church and he was talking about being restored (there was more but this is what I heard). He was referencing several areas but centered on this verse Psalms 51:7 "Purge me with  hyssop,  and I shall be clean; wash me and I will be whiter than snow." Hyssop is only referenced in the Bible and for as much research is out there, no one can find the origin of this plant (this from many websites mostly those from medical site). David was speaking here, he was asking God to cleanse and heal him from the inside out (this from commentaries). I was curious when I heard this statement on the TV and so I listened for a while. The reference scriptures were really all over the Bible but the message was this, in simple terms, "God restores what the enemy has stolen". That was it...that's all. John 10:10 "The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, I came that you may have life and have it to the full..."  I know this scripture but have no idea what it has to do with the Psalms reference or at least I didn't have an idea. When David asked God to "purge" him "with hyssop" he was asking Him to restore his heart, restore the things that had been stolen from him, restore him to joy. Sounds similar to John 10:10 not exactly but similar don't you think. I wonder what the enemy has stolen from you, I wonder if you know all that the enemy has stolen from me (even tho in all honesty I'm not willing to share "all"), and I wonder if He really restores and how He restores? When will he restore? Don't you want to know how He's going to restore? I do, sometimes every day I wonder...when? And yet everything in scripture says "I will restore" or "he will restore" everywhere it says this in one form or another, in one way or another, He tells His people/children that he will restore them the things that they missed or the things that were stolen. You may not see the connection in the 2 scriptures I chose - but both of them describe theft, and ask or tell of restoration. In Psalms, I think David was in torment (as was most of his writings and prayers) and his heart was broken and he was in distress; in John, Jesus was telling the people that He is the restorer from the enemy's desire for distress, hurt, and broken hearts, He will restore...but when? Maybe some hyssop right now wouldn't be a bad idea.

If you are still reading, even through the obvious crazy start, weird middle and struggled into end, I guess you are probably going through all the things that the enemy has stolen from you, if you're not well then you are a much stronger person than I. In reality, I think many of you are probably making a mental list of the things, people, land, and life that you have lost. You, like me, are recounting the hurts, agonies and struggles that you have been through. And like me you are probably wondering when is my life going to be full? When will it be restored? I believe, in all actuality, for me anyway, it was restored; it was restored when I accepted Christ as my savior, when I realized and become close to God for the first time in my life. So why do I need to be restored? Because through this struggle of life, I have had more stolen from me. More hurts, more heartbreak, more distress, more, more, more....more than I ever thought I could withstand. I bet you have too. "I came that you may have life...." I will restore.

Believe it or not, you and I have been restored, even though I believe that more will be restored in time. When? I don't know. How? Have no idea. Do I hope it doesn't take 40 years? Yes, I do! But, through all this life, through all this time of waiting for full restoration, I believe that restoration is in the horizon; set far off so that it looks as though I am still in the dark and unrestored, walking blindly through life with no direction or hope for restoration, and with no hyssop in my bag. Hyssop is actually in my bag, hyssop is full in my life, I just misplaced it for a while, lost it in the dark. I've always had it, I just didn't know it.  "I came that you may have life.." He is my hyssop. Is He yours? I bet He is you just don't know it, you've just misplaced Him in the dark. He is my hyssop.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lead Me

Do you like music? I love it. I like to hear it all the time and most of the time I find a way to dance to it; my husband would say I dance whenever I can, no matter where. I guess, to some degree, he is right, he'll love seeing that! I was cleaning this morning and heard a song I haven't heard in a while, one that when I first heard it I was just drawn to the words. Songs can do that to you; they can make you remember a place or time when you were growing up, they can bring a memory that was long forgotten, or they can bring an emotion so strong that you can not deny its presence. That's what happened this morning. I heard a song.

Do you know what it means to be lead? I know for most of us we know what it means to follow, but to lead, what does that feel like? What does it mean to lead? I don't really know, not really, not when you get down to it, I have no idea what it means to lead. And I'm sure for most of us that statement is true. We may move and go through things in a leadership position and sometimes we lead the way toward some set goal. But do we mean to lead or are we leading at all? I don't know but this morning I heard this song "Lead Me" by Sanctus Real and thought about those words lead me. I know for all purposes we can as for leading, seek leadership, find leadership, and know what it is but to be lead or to lead I believe most of us have little experience. So I looked up pictures of 'lead me', funny I know! But you would be surprised what you find when you look up Google pictures for a phrase, I was when I found a picture of 2 horses walking in snow, one leading the other, and like a passion I looked up horses in snow. I found many pictures of horses in snow, some taken some drawn, and this one. You are probably thinking "what in the world does this picture have to do with a song by Sanctus Real?" Well you would be on the right track because I wondered the same thing and I have to say that it only has to do with the fact that it speaks to me. Horses have a leader in every herd, a dominant horse that takes on the position of leader, the one who is always first in every situation, one who - no matter what- they go ahead...they lead. I have wrote on horses many times and probably this song too but I was to lazy to go back and find it. This particular picture shows ponies being lead by their 'alpha' to some destination; ears pricked forward, not hesitating in the blizzard, he leads. 

I looked up those words "lead me", trying to find them together in the Bible and I did not find them. So I broke the words apart and searched first for "lead" and found Rev 7:17 "For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eye." Odd that I should find this scripture; odd that it is one of few came up with the word 'lead' in it and in the context that I was looking for. I wasn't planning on this scripture; I wasn't looking for this type of scripture, whatever that is. But there it is...and it jumped off the screen at me, it stood out at the moment I was looking. And so I was drawn to the place in my heart that still sheds tears and started looking for other places where 'lead' could take a hold of this emotion and help me bury it once again. That didn't happen! But I was lead to this John 16:22 "So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy." Just to caveat here, I am aware that this is Jesus talking to the disciples of His death and return. But I find it odd needless to say, that this scripture was brought to my attention after Revelation 7:17, don't you?  I see that there is a link between these two scriptures; one tells of being lead and one tells of seeing my loved one again. I know in context that these scriptures do not go hand in hand and probably never will to those scholars who commentate. But they ever so do for me, do you see it. These two scriptures read to me in this way 'Now you are grieving, now is that time for your grieving. But I, who sits at the center of the throne will lead you one day, lead you to the love that you miss, lead you to the well of living water that you can not see right now, and I will wipe your tears away, and your joy will return.'

I don't know what it means to lead, I really never have, but I do know what it means to grieve and have those who you do not know ask for my help in their time of grief. Asking me to lead them. I have more than faltered at this task presented me, but I did not intend to lead in any way. I feel that leading is a measure that no one person should take on lightly and yet I find myself in those positions of leading that I neither desire nor need. And continually I ask what does it mean to lead? I am far from the strong pony in the blizzard leading his herd to a designated point. I am far from that one who looks forward with pointed ear and fixed eyes leading ever forward no matter what the condition. I am far from a leader and I ever look for someone to lead me through this time that I am in. I look for someone who is a leader to step forward and lead the way but I really don't have to look far. He will lead me to the living water, when I am ready to follow and when it is time. He will wipe my tears away and fill me with the joy of seeing those I love again. When it is time, He will lead me out of this place; with pointed ear and fixed eye, not unlike that little strong pony, He will lead me.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Kill Me If You Can"

I know, I know....what in the world? First, no this is not a book review of one of James Patterson's new books. Second, no this title has little to do with the what is coming in this blog.  But I do love a good "take me away" book and this book did just that last night. Almost so that I didn't want to put it down and could have read all night. It is, of course, a classic murder for hire story - filled with unexpected information and the usual "I hired you to do this but now I need you to do this too" plot. There is the usual, as you might expect, unsuspecting schmuck who, I hope, will be the hero of this story, and the obvious "somewhere in the middle of all this chaos" love story.  And I love to read James Patterson, he has a certain way of getting you drawn into a story line without you even knowing it happened, a writer whom I could read just about anything he writes, and someone I am never disappointed in! But this particular book started with, literally, a bang. A story that really is starting to shape up into backstabbing, angry men who are holding grudges for long ago and having someone else do the dirty work that has simmered in their minds. You wouldn't think this type of plot to be the center of a blog, especially not one reviewing this book, and yet here it is, right at the beginning.

It is strange to me how I remember certain titles and ideas for writing here come about. Most of the time, they are related directly with a devotional that I read or a scripture that sticks out; other times it has to do with something that has happened, a course of action for the day or even something that I wish had happened.  So the thought that this book, a murderess story, would find its way here, is strange to me. I think it more strange that place I am going (the end of this blog) and the plot of this story are very similar, almost exactly the same. This particular title, although I have stole it from James Patterson and his co-writer, was one that I wasn't going to use. I wasn't even going to mention the book title at all-just allude to a new book and writer that I am indulging in to make my point. I just couldn't come up with a title to fit-this one does seem to stand alone, catch an eye, and maybe intrigue someone enough to read on. How does this fit me? Well, among other things, this plot drew up some unresolved issues in my head; okay, that's not entirely true, I was already on the anger part of the issues in my head, this book kind of unearthed some that I have been trying to forget. It hasn't worked out so well for me! So strange it is that a book drew me to something I am so familiar with, so comfortable with, that I was drawn to write about it. At the same time, while I was reminiscing about those things and people that made me angry or hurt me, I was given a solution. Like I said, it is strange sometimes how things make their way onto this page. There is a man, in the book, who, in just 2 short lines, let the cat out of the bag and became the focus of my morning blog. He is a bitter, probably middle aged man, angry that he is not the boss in this story. He holds a grudge from his teen years against his life long friend and cousin, whom, by the way, is the boss! Holding this grudge, he begins his path to being the bad guy, the true bad guy. I am much like this character, well minus the fact that I'm not hiring anyone to commit murder, stealing, or smuggling illegal things from the black market. But in reality, deep down, I am much like him. I am holding grudges, ones that I thought I had forgiven and forgot. Ones that if I had had the energy I would have spat out the words fuming in my head at the time. Ones that if I had been there at the time of the offense I would have been put in jail for my actions. And over the past 2 days, all of those long forgotten and thought forgiven things have been emerging slowly. Coming to my mind with unbelievable clarity it is as though the offense had just happened. All from friends, people whom I have known and would have never thought to act in the way they did, people whom I would and have defended, not unlike the character of this book.

I wonder sometimes what was going on in the minds of these friends/acquaintances when the offense occurred? What were they thinking? How could they say or begin to think that saying what they were saying was appropriate? Thus begins the dredging of angers that I have not let go. Last night, that was affirmed that I am still holding these grudges, the title that I didn't want to use poured out of me to the point of not being able to sleep. The whole time I thought of these things that linger in my head on occasion and out of nowhere came an answer, one that I didn't want to know, although one I have heard and have known for some time.  Rom 12:19 "..."It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord." This is not an unfamiliar passage to me; not one that I had to search out, it is one that I have highlighted and underlined in my Bible. "It is mine to avenge". I kept those words tucked away somewhere and last night when I was putting my book down and thinking of all the people whom I'd like to confront, these words came to me. Call it what you will, I call it strange. And even tho the memories of the hurts and angers that I still hold kept coming, there was no desire left for me to go get 'em, so to speak. They were just what they are hurts and memories of anger. I do so wish I had the courage to spout back at a friend when she accosted me in the front yard shortly after the loss of Kaleb and Thad. And I have spent many nights reliving that day - yelling at her the things in my head. I have longed to say. To be the person sitting with my friend when she was told how to handle her grief and her friend did nothing but sit there; I can see myself being the young girl I once was, not thinking about consequences and ending up with assault charges hard on my head.  And yet they are just thoughts and memories that I allow myself to hold onto, "it is mine to avenge". I know that, I have known that for some time, so why did this come up now? Where did it come from? "I believe that God does not play dice" (a quote by Albert Einstein) but He does take a record of those things that are not for our good. I believe that even when I am angry, generally at Him, those things that I can so do something about come flooding back, giving me the gumption to go make my own amends. That is what was happening yesterday and last night. I am still holding those grudges, among lots of others, but I have been angry at God and when I stir that emotion, the door is opened for those old grudges to be relived. "It is mine to avenge" that is His promise to me for those wrongs that I live through. How does that work when it is Him that I hold a grudge against? It doesn't. Plain and simple, it doesn't. The grudge against Him is one that I must work through, one that on faith I can get to a 'non-avenging' mind, one that with time and I will know that He does avenge all those things done against me and He does heal all wounds - even those wounds and grudges that I hold against Him.