Archive for June, 2009

Content with Cancer

June 30, 2009

Whenever a person is diagnosed with cancer, typically one of the first questions to the doctor is, “What can we do to eradicate the cancer?” The options could be surgery, followed by radiation and chemotherapy. We know the downsides of the treatment plan, but the advantages outweigh them hands down.  We will take extreme measures. We want to live.

I wish we were that motivated to eradicate the cancer that is killing our inner man. We walk around with bitterness, resentment, envy, pride, anger, lust for years. Living with cancer. Content. These cancer cells are looming larger every day we don’t seek treatment. They bombard our thought lives constantly.

When we catch them early, refuse to live that way, and go to the Great Physician for surgery, we can be healed. The cancer doesn’t have to be terminal. Unfortunately, countless thousands choose death rather than life.

Don’t live with cancer of the soul. You can beat it. Make a daily appointment with the Great Physician. Follow His treatment plan. It works.

Expecting great things of God,

Cheryl

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Pedestals

June 29, 2009

I was thinking about pedestals this morning so I decided to look up the definition. It is a “supporting structure.” It’s common to use the phrase, “to put on a pedestal,” which means “to glorify” or “to idealize.”

It’s dangerous to put people on a “pedestal.” Why? They can’t stay on it. After I experienced betrayal in a relationship years ago, I decided it was time to take every person I admired off the pedestal. That included my seven brothers, ministers I respected, all of them. Why?  All flesh is weak. Apart from God’s grace in our lives, we are all capable of doing the “unthinkable.”

Another reason for taking everybody off the pedestal? It’s a bit crowded. There’s only space for one… God.

Always hopeful,

Cheryl

Thirsty?

June 23, 2009

Are you thirsty? Thirsty for success, significance, sex? The

thirst is legitimate, but we get in trouble when we use

illegitimate tactics or means to quench the thirst. What’s

illegitimate? It may be legal, but if the action displeases God

it’s illegitimate in His eyes. And what He sees and says…counts.

So how do we quench our thirsts…fulfill those longings and

desires that at times seem uncontrollable? We drink of Him,

Christ. He said, “If you drink of me, you will never thirst again!”

Folks are looking for a drug that will do that. A sexual

experience that will do that. Enough money to fulfill every

fantasy. This thirst quencher is FREE! All one has to do is

come with an empty cup (you can’t fill something that’s

already full) and say, Jesus, I need you. I want you. You have

what I need. If you can quench my thirst, I’m willing to try

you. Here’s my life. Fill me with you.”

It’s not just a one time filling, though, just like we don’t eat one

meal and say that’s it, I don’t need to eat any more. No, we eat

several meals a day, not to mention the snacking. Some of us

drink  multiple cups of coffee a day.

This is a continual refilling of our cup…of His flavor.

I love doing this in the early morning. Starting my day,

offering my cup to Him, emptying myself of myself,

 acknowledging His Lordship, His rule in my life, and in the

 Universe. I take my mind off of me and place it on Him…

His sovereignty, His greatness, His awesomeness. My

problems seem small when I do this. I meditate on His

 Words before I hear other’s words.

I need to get His perspective on life before I read the day’s

latest news. I plug into His agenda for my life. I find that when

I feast on Him, eat His words, drink of His unfailing love, and

take in as much as I can…I am FULL.

What difference does this make? A lot. If I am full of Him

and satisfied by Him, it makes it easy to say “No” to illicit

lovers, quick thrills, quick schemes, prideful thoughts,

depression. I’m full. I’m satisfied. I’m not needy. I don’t leave

the house looking for love in all the wrong places. I’m full of

 love…pure love. I’m full of joy. I’m full of contentment.

This offer of getting your thirst quenched is available to

anyone.

I thought about it this way this morning. Remember when you

were a kid and sports groups were forming and the captains of

the teams were choosing players. Maybe you weren’t a very

good athlete and you’re standing there hoping and praying that

somebody would pick you? Everybody knows you aren’t

very good. All you want is not to be left there standing alone.

Picture this scenario…Jesus walks on the scene and says,

I pick you (and He points to you!). In fact, He picks you, not

last, but first. You can’t believe it. Everybody around you know

you blew the last game! Jesus knows that too. But that doesn’t

matter. He specializes in choosing the broken, the downcast,

the depressed, the drugged out, the sexed out, the bottomed

out and says…I want You on my team. I can resurrect

whatever is dead, restore what is broken, make dreams come

true. Just follow me, drink of me daily…and you will

NEVER thirst again.

Expecting great things of God,

Cheryl

It’s a New Season!

June 21, 2009

Today is officially the first day of summer. I love this definition

of summer: the period of finest development, perfection, or

beauty previous to any decline.

Are you ready for summer in your life? It can begin

today. It did for me early this morning.

I went to bed somewhat downhearted. Life has not turned out

the way I expected. I wanted fruitfulness in every season.

Instead I got some barrenness.  Unfulfilled expectations can

produce embarassment. Hopelessness.

But my Heavenly Father always knows when I need a dose of

encouragement. It usually comes when I read His love letters,

written in the Bible. I opened it to one of my favorite

passages (I Samuel 1) to read the story again of one my heroes,

Hannah. She was experiencing a long season of physical

 barrenness. She was embarrased because she could not

 produce a child.

I started crying. For the first time I realized…that was my

problem. I had never admitted to God (or to myself) that I was  

embarrassed by my situation…that I did not have the

 opportunities I wanted;  my life was not meeting my

 expectations (there’s that word, again).

I read to see how Hannah handled her barrenness.  She

 acknowledged it to the one person who could do something

 about it. God. She wept and cried out to Him. The passage said

 it was God who had closed her womb. He created the

 postponement, the problem, for His purposes. I had not seen

 my “postponement” of fruitfulness from God…that He was in

those details.

 It’s so easy to give Him credit when life works out

exactly as we’ve planned…but God is also in the details of

delays and disruptions.

Hannah cried out to the Lord and said, “Remember me, your

servant.” She was in essence saying, “Lord, only you can turn

my impossible situation around.”

After reading this passage, I asked the Lord to forgive me for

being embarrassed about being in this place in my life. He

showed me that I was too consumed with what others

thought of me. Eleanor Roosevelt said “no one can make you

feel inferior without your permission.” Then I asked Him to

“Remember me, your servant.” I reaffirmed that I am here to

play the role in His script, not mine. Then I decided that my

praise to God would never be dependent on my

circumstances. He controls them. My life is wonderful

today. Why? God is guiding me along the path He ordained

 and He promises to get me safely through every

valley.

I put my walkman on and went for a walk with praise

music blaring in my ears and  a smile on my face. I went

skipping down the trail singing and saying in between,

 “Lord I’m going to praise you like I have  10 million dollars

 in the bank. I’m going to praise you with all the exuberance

 I can  muster because you are my life. You have changed my

 perspective. Every day you give me opportunities to be

 fruitful, to be the best I can be, to give an encouraging word

 to someone who is thirsty. It’ s what I do with those

 opportunities.

First I need to encourage myself daily with the  Word that

 wells within me. Then I am empowered to  encourage others.

 That’s fruitfulness. Blooming where you are planted.

 If the garden is suppose to be any bigger than what it is

 today…God will make it grow.

I’m embracing this new season of summer. A load has been

lifted. The SON is shining brightly. I’m in the period of my finest

development, perfection. My beauty has been restored.

I encourage you to do what I did. Acknowledge your pain.

Your embarrassment. Take it to the only Person who can

handle it and change you…God. Cry out to Him  until He speaks.

When He does…praise will flow from the depths of your heart.

You will have His perspective on your season. You will change.

Expecting great things of God,

Cheryl