Isaac

7 years ago, less than 2 weeks after Katrina hit, I jumped on a bus with fellow college classmates to aid in the relief efforts.  We slept on the floor of First Presbyterian Church in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.  While cleaning out trash filled landscapes and stripping out mold filled homes, I witnessed the smell of rot and the overwhelming emotions of the people of Ocean Springs.  After the devastation of everything they owned they still showed remarkable endurance with grace and poise.  I will never forget seeing pictures of Ocean Springs before Katrina hit while eye witnessing the devastation.  Even better, the smile and laugh of the mother and wife who carried a sense of humor through it all.  The memory of her character and class will never leave me, her home address, Washington Ave. Ocean Springs.

This morning I was reminded of this charming town on the gulf coast when I turned on my TV and saw Washington Ave 5 feet under water, a stones throw from First Presbyterian where I slept on the floor in Ocean Springs.  Back then, we didn’t know the death toll Katrina left.  All over you could find, spray-painted on the side of buildings or on plywood, large circles with and X making 4 sections to hold numbers.  Numbers representing, the number accounted for, the number found dead and the number missing.  We now know that 230 people died in southern Mississippi due to Katrina.  I know that this storm, Isaac, is a trip down memory lane, a nightmare, for those who reside in Ocean Springs and southern Mississippi.  My thoughts and prayers are with them today.  I know they will endure with poised grace and with their strong, southern and classy character intact.

Bridge to Biloxi

Biloxi Bay and Destruction of Hwy 90

Washington Ave. after Katrina
First Presbyterian
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Fear

Do you ever feel empty?  Like you are missing something?  If you take a moment to focus on the emptiness do you feel panic stricken anxiety start to rise up in you? What do we fear the most?  I don’t know about you but I fear NOT living.  I know, I am not supposed to fear anything but God himself.  That’s what scripture says.  However, I am not perfect, nowhere near perfect.  I struggle with lots of things but one thing I struggle with right now, today, is a fear of not living my life.  It’s hard to describe.  The thought and feeling of waking up when I’m 40 and wondering where all the time went.  Or worse waking up at 80 and realizing I could have done “so much more”.  But then I realize there is a fear stronger than this one.  It too, is just as unhealthy, a fear of putting myself out there and failing.  Not just failing – but – miserably, famously failing on all accounts.

I realize in the grand scheme of things no one cares that much – other than me.  If I fail no one is going to give it a seconds notice.  Sure if it is epic enough people may talk about me for 2 minutes but really, probably not.

However if I can share my fears, be open and honest about them.  Then maybe, just maybe I can begin to overcome them.  And maybe on an even bigger level help someone along in overcoming his or her own fears.

I can’t imagine what my life would look like or even become if I was bold enough to overcome my fear and do what I feel led to do.  How large of a footprint could I put on this earth?  What change, difference could I ensue?    What change, difference could YOU ensue?

If you could overcome the fear that’s been holding you back and let loose your passion, your desire to do something and do it now, what would you do?  Who would you become?  If you are still young like me, what will they say when you’re 40?  Better yet what will we all say when we are 80?

At 80, I want to say, “I did it all.”  I’m gonna say it! And I when I do I will be smiling from ear to ear and if you know me at all, I’ll chuckle and just move on to my next BIG thing.  If I am breathing I want to be LIVING.

After all, I serve a LIVING God who is active and at work in the lives of His people.  He is speaking to us, living through us, making His name famous among us.  “He is the same yesterday, today and forever.”[1] “His word is living and active.” [2]  He reigns at the right hand of the Father. [3]  He will come riding in Gory to reign on the New Heaven and New Earth.  Life, light will win.  Victory is ours because victory is His.  He has conquered sin, hell and the grave. [4]  That same power lives in you. [5]  Claim your authority and walk in it.  Stand up, victorious in life.  Live the battle as a bold and courageous solider.  Advancing the Kingdom of Heaven.  Carry your mantle, your inheritance while boasting in Christ Jesus.  Do not be ashamed for the Lord your God is mighty to save, mighty is He. [6]  His name is above every name. [7]  At His name every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. [8]

And while you focus on Him, keep your eyes on Him. [9]  You will overcome the fear, the fear of failing and the fear of NOT living.  “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.” [10]  As you claim your stake, your lot in this life, you will conquer sin, hell and the grave and LIVE!


[1] Hebrews 13:8

[2] Hebrews 4:12

[3] Acts 2:33

[4] 1 Corinthians 15; Romans 6:8-10

[5] Ephesians 1

[6] Isaiah 63:1

[7] Philippians 2:9

[8] Romans 14:11; Philippians 2:10

[9] Hebrews 12:2

[10] John 16:33

Unfailing Love

It is hard to put pen to paper to explain the most real, deep, personal, tangible, most intimate relationship of my life where I have received unfailing love.  I wish with all my heart, mind, body and soul that I could give you those personal experiences that your spirit could be one with mine to know the pure beauty of the reason for living and breathing the relationship your being was created for, destined for.  To be fully and completely satisfied in your soul, in the depths of who you are, your being.  To love someone so intimately that you NEED them, every hour, every breath, every thought, you need Him.  And to KNOW, not only believe but KNOW that He will never leave you nor forsake you.

“Then David continued, “Be strong and courageous, and do the work. Don’t be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.”‘ – 1 Chronicles 28:20

Once you’re intimately with the Lord there is no other place you would rather be.  With Him you are Free.  In Him you are meant to be.  If you are in Him all you have to do is to be.  You don’t have to worry about “the doing”, “the task”, “the mundane.”  You can be, abide in Him.

“I have loved you even as the Father has loved me. Remain in my love.  When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love, just as I obey my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.  I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!  This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.  There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.  You didn’t choose me. I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask for, using my name.  This is my command: Love each other.” – John 15:9-17 – New Living Translation

To be continued…

The Adventure

Welcome to my adventure of writing, more specifically blogging.  I just want to write.  I have no idea what this will turn into but I welcome you to join me in the journey.  So I commit to writing with honesty, boldness and courage.  To brave the fear and put my thoughts out there.  I desire to address topics of faith and love, to inspire people from the everyday to the extraordinary.  Encouragement runs through my veins but I also have been known to not show too much compassion or mercy.  It is much more exciting to light a fire under someone, to motivate them to do something they didn’t think possible.

Tonight my husband Aaron did that for me.  He motivated me to finally start this journey.  It is terrifying for me to write.  I love it and hate it all at the same time. Pushing the publish button and not the delete button will be the hardest part of this for me.  But, it is as they say, with great risk… comes great reward.

So here is the beginning…