Sunday, February 22, 2009

Speaking in Code

When I was a little girl my dad came up with what we affectionately called "Code 2". Code 2 simply said everything that needed to be said at bedtime, or at the end of a phone conversation or as someone was leaving. It stood for goodnight, I love you, sleep tight, don't let the bed bugs bite, goodbye, have a great day, drive careful, etc. I think it may have come into existence after a phone call I had with my dad while he was at work. I ended the call with "I love you dad" and he said "okay, talk to you later". Uh...."I LOVE YOU DAD", and after much berating by me he finally said "I love you too" with a room full of co-workers listening in. I'm not completely sure I have this story right, but I have a memory of something close to this scenario. And so Code 2 was born. Only our family knew the code's true meaning.

Do you ever feel like God is talking to you in code? Do you find yourself desperately looking for signs from God, just needing to hear from Him somehow? I have often wished God would just speak audibly to me. It would be so much easier!

How does God speak to His people?

Sometimes God chooses to speak in an audible voice. God spoke audibly to Samuel, but Samuel didn't realize it was God. It took Samuel several times before he finally figured out that it was in fact God calling his name. As much as I would love for God to speak to me in an audible voice, I am sure I would be like Samuel trying to figure out who was calling my name! Moses experienced God talking to him, but God's voice came through a burning bush. I can't even imagine how Moses must have felt listening to God while watching the fiery bush. Jesus spoke to Saul on the road to Damascus while a bright light from Heaven blinded him. Talk about getting your attention!

Sometimes God chooses to speak through dreams. In Genesis 28 God spoke to Jacob through a dream, showing him a ladder that went from the earth to heaven with angels ascending and descending on it. Speaking through dreams must have been a family thing because God also chose to speak to Jacob's son Joseph in a dream. According to Genesis 37, God spoke to Joseph in a dream telling him that someday his brothers would bow down to him.

Sometimes God chooses to speak through angels. The Bible tells us about many times God spoke through angels. An angel of the Lord spoke to Zechariah (Elizabeth's husband), to Mary, to Joseph (Mary's husband), to the wise men and to many others. In several instances the angel speaking would start with "Do not be afraid"....I can understand why!

Sometimes God chooses to speak through others. Once God chose a donkey to do His speaking! God spoke to David through Nathan the prophet. And Nathan didn't have good news to share. God used prophets throughout the Old Testament to speak to the nation of Israel and beg them to repent of their wicked ways. God certainly spoke to many through the Apostle Paul and his letters to the early churches. In fact God is still speaking through Paul today thanks to the Bible!

Sometimes God chooses to speak through His word. In the book of Acts, we are told of a time when Phillip came upon an Ethiopian Eunuch who was reading God's word and Phillip was able to help him understand. God tells us to hide His word in our hearts so than we might not sin against Him (Psalm 119:11).

While I am fairly certain I won't be encountering any talking donkeys, or facing a burning a bush, I know God speaks to me today. Much like the Code 2 my family established, only I know how and when God speaks to me. He speaks to me through others. I can't tell you how many times I have had a burden on my heart and then heard a sermon on a radio talk show that was clearly God speaking to me. He speaks to me through His word. Have you ever opened the Bible and God gave you a scripture that spoke to your exact need? I know, I have.

Heavenly Father,
I pray today that you will open my ears that I might hear from you. Give me a desire for more of you. Remove the distractions that take my focus away from you. Help me to be still and listen. Your word has promised that if I seek you with all my heart you will be found. Oh, Father God, how I want to be enveloped by you. Speak to me today. Guide and direct my every thought. And I pray, speak not only to me, but through me.
In Jesus name I pray,

Monday, February 16, 2009

She Said What 2

You just never know what is going to come out of the mouth of a child! They say the funniest and strangest things! Not too long ago I shared with the bloggy world Hannah's favorite new saying, Sweet Mother Molasses. Well she has moved on. It has been awhile since I have heard her sarcastic tone say "Sweet Mother Molasses, mom!" But today I heard a new one.

Hannah and two friends were playing house when I heard it. They were getting ready to go somewhere in their "cars" when I heard Hannah say, "come on Erin you are going too slow, I'm going as fast as a monkey with a shaved butt!" The whole room erupted in laughter and we asked Hannah what in the world does that mean. She doesn't know, but assumes a monkey with a shaved butt would be faster than one with a hairy butt! I can't believe I just typed that!

Of course we had the little talk about how we probably shouldn't be talking about butts...even shaved ones on monkeys. Good grief!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Saved At The Hereford House

As a Southern Baptist girl attending a Southern Baptist church I have sat through many public invitations for decisions of the heart. I know all the words to all the verses of "Just As I Am". Of course at my church a public call or invitation is given at the conclusion of every church service and this past Sunday was no exception. Several people walked down the aisle to publicly share decisions they had made. As the associate pastor introduced those making decisions my heart was touched by one of the stories told. Along with a couple acknowledging their desire to join the church, a man was introduced that had accepted Christ as his Savior the previous Wednesday.

This man had visited the church the Sunday prior and had filled out a visitor's card. A member of our Faith Evangelism team got his visitor card and invited him to lunch at a popular steak restaurant called the Hereford House. For a short time I was on the Faith Evangelism team and most of the visits we made were to Christians looking for a church home, but we were always ready to share the Gospel message. This time the man wasn't just looking for a church home, but was searching for something that only Jesus could provide. While sitting in a busy restaurant during the lunch rush hour the Faith team member shared the Good News of Jesus. Right then and there, somewhere between the salads and dessert, this man prayed that Jesus would be the Lord of his life. The senior pastor of the church was coincidentally having lunch that day at the very same restaurant. After this man had prayed, he went and shook the pastor's hand and told him he was now a part of God's family! I think if I had been there I would have been inclined to jump up on one of the tables and say "excuse me, um hum, can I have every one's attention please, today, here at the Hereford House, a sinner has just been saved!" How amazing is God grace!

Salvation is free to anyone who asks and is available anytime and anywhere even at the Hereford House! My heart was challenged with a question upon hearing this story. How many times do I find myself having lunch with an unbeliever? Am I looking for opportunities to share my faith every moment of the day? Are you?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

See You In My Dreams

Work travel can certainly have its perks, but as a single mom, traveling can be difficult to say the least. Hannah hates it when I travel and I don't blame her because it completely disrupts her world. She stays with my parents each time I travel and they are so great to run her back and forth from school, make sure she has her homework completed, take her to dance classes and this week, they need to remember the Valentines she has to share for both school and dance. On top of all that she has to be taken to get her allergy shot. My parents are saints! I know I have said this before, but boy, did God bless me in the parents department! To make this week of travel even worse both Hannah and my mom are feeling a bit under the weather. My mom has a horrible cold and Hannah has a stomach ache.

When Hannah was still little, probably 3 or 4 years old, we started a fun traveling tradition to help ease the sting of separation. Each night when we are apart, whether I am traveling or she has a weekend with her dad, we meet in our dreams. Sometimes she picks where we meet and sometimes I pick where we meet. We have met in some fantastic places. During this past summer we met in China for the opening ceremony of the Olympics. On election night this past November we met in Washington D.C. as we waited for the election results. We've met at the beach, at Disney World, at Sea World, in Paris and several times we've met at the American Girl store. Of course we can't really control what we dream about, but our travelin' tradition gives us something fun to think about as we drift off to sleep. And the next day we always have a blast telling each other what we saw on our trip. Tonight, as I type this blog post, I am sitting in a hotel miles away from Hannah, but in just a short while I'll be readying myself for a good night's sleep with thoughts of Rome in head. Rome was Hannah's pick as she wants to see the "place that is now crumbling down". I assume she means the Colosseum.

We have such little time to shape and mold our children. There's little time to hold and hug them and tell them how much we love them, before all too soon a kiss from mom is, well you know, like, so em-barrassing! I want to savor each precious moment, drink in everything about her childhood as I help guide her on a Godly path. As I sit here in this hotel missing her tonight I take comfort in knowing we always have Rome, or Paris, or wherever our dreams will take us.

Father God,
I pray tonight that you will place a hedge of protection around all of us during my travels. And I pray that you will bring healing to my mom and to Hannah. I praise you for giving me parents who are willing to step in where needed and for making me Hannah's mom. I thank you for each and every precious moment of her childhood and pray that her faith in you will continue to grow; that she will know you more and love you and want to serve you. I pray that she will make good choices that bring honor and glory to you. I praise you for who are, the Almighty God, Creator of all things.
In Jesus Name I Pray,