Friday, June 27, 2014

Happy 90th to MY PAPAW!

I had the privilege to travel to Texarkana, AR for a most special occasion.  My sweet, sweet Papaw Jack Roberts turned 90 this year.  We had a little shin-dig in celebration of this precious man!  His birthday was on Sunday, which seemed very fitting, since that is his most favorite place to be.  Our family was given the opportunity to take the majority of the service on this special day.  His son, daughter, grand-children, & great-grand-children led the congregation in some worship songs. His daughter sang a special, his son delivered the message, and I... I was able to read the words I wrote about how much this man has impacted my life & the example he has been to me (along with the rest of his family).  Here are the words I used to express my feelings, but be warned.... what is being said here is not at all adequate for the true man he is - he is so much more than I could ever put into words!!! 

They say a good man is hard to find,
But this one here is one-of-a-kind.
The dearest man you'll ever meet,
A smile he gives to all he greets.
He has lived his life serving the Lord,
His daily routine includes reading God's Word.
An encouraging word he always offers,
In his walk with the Lord, he does not falter.
His love for his family is undeniable,
You can never accuse him of being unreliable.
A perfect husband to his one true love,
And she, his angel sent from above.
Knowledgeable and wise is this man indeed,
He doesn't hesitate giving to those in need.
He can find the good in anyone,
Not a single person would he ever shun.
He has been blessed with things here on earth,
But all that you see is not all that he's worth.
The riches in Glory he has waiting on him
Can not even be held by a Seraphim.
A lifetime of trials he's had to endure,
But his heart has remained flawless and pure.
A living example of God's perfect love,
This man is OUR angel sent from above.
If I picked him myself, I couldn't have picked better
For all of my problems, he has the answer.
He'll say "keep looking up baby, trust in the Lord.
You'll find what you need by reading the Word".
He has led us by example, his family -
We are all proud to be branches on this family tree!
This one-of-a-kind man from Arkansas,
He is the greatest! He is the finest! And he is MY Papaw!!!

Papaw - you are my absolute heart!!  I love you so very much and was proud to have the opportunity to spend your 90th birthday with you.  I'll never be able to express how much you mean to me with words - but I hope my actions have given you some idea.  You will forever be my NUMBER ONE!!!  I love you THE MOST!! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Trust Your Struggle

The struggle is real, the struggle is now,
It doesn’t ease up, right over you it plows,
The struggle is hard, the struggle is tough,
It takes you to the point where you’ve had quite enough.
The struggle won’t cease, the struggle you bear,
It will carry on until your life it ensnares.
The struggle is rugged, the struggle is mighty,
It’s overtaking and quite frankly appalling.
The struggle is daunting, the struggle intimidates,
It makes you feel like you’re wearing weights.
The struggle terrifies, the struggle disheartens,
It knocks you down and your heart it bludgeons.
The struggle is fear, the struggle is frustration,
It causes anxiety and unceasing trepidation.
The struggle agitates, the struggle alarms,
It renders you helpless and your will it disarms.
But… the struggle is vital, the struggle is needed,
It strips you down until you’re no longer impeded.
The struggle has meaning, the struggle has purpose,
It will keep you grounded so as not to get pompous.
The struggle has significance, the struggle has reason,
It strikes up a fire and ignites a new passion.
The struggle brings spirit, the struggle brings spunk,
It will remind you of these when you get in a funk.
The struggle brings guts, the struggle brings grit,
It gives you a boldness that you can’t counterfeit.
The struggle brings power, the struggle brings fortitude,
It is etched in your mind and on your heart it’s tattooed.
The struggle brings nerve, the struggle brings endurance,
And although it seems so, it’s not such a hindrance.
The struggle brings openness, the struggle brings honesty,
It gives you a strength and overwhelming tenacity.
The struggle brings security, the struggle brings determination,
All of your will, your desire, and your purpose it beckons.
The struggle, you see, is a difficult journey,
But it brings from the ashes a new kind of beauty.
Out of the struggle your character will build,
And the lessons you learn will be carefully instilled.
So where ever you’re going and where ever you’ve been,
You must trust your struggle to the very end.

Monday, February 10, 2014

It Is Well

"It is well", that's all she said,
It mattered not her son was dead.
She closed the door and believed with faith,
Her son would live, not just his wraith.
"Take me to the man of God"
She mounted her horse and traveled the sod.
Elisha was found and she did explain.
He comforted her, he did not disdain.
Back to her home they traveled again,
Their prayers not yet allowing an amen.
He went upstairs where the body lay,
Elisha again began to pray.
He laid himself upon the boy
And prayers again he did employ.
Elisha paced the room around
But the boys life was still unfound.
He laid upon him one more time,
As if the first were a paradigm.
Life retuned, the boy did breathe,
His life, from death, it was unsheathed.
This mother, on death, she did not dwell -
All she said was "It is well".

My life experienced a form of death.
At times I couldn't even catch my breath.
A woman of God, she came to me -
She told me things I could not see.
"Pick up your head and look above
That is where you'll find true love.
Have faith my dear, do not despair,
Temptations in life, you must forbear.
The Lord, your God, will lead the way -
You must take it day by day".
Although I listened, I may not have heard
And clear-cut lines I sometimes blurred.
This life is hard and the things unseen
We often ridicule and even demean.
Our faith, it tends to fade with time
When life proves itself less than sublime.
Life's not always easy, more often it's not,
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't do what we ought.
Find faith again and live by that!
Teach it to the ones whom you begat.
The future, of course, we can't foretell,
But we can live life knowing that "It is well"!

2 Kings 4:8-37 NASB

Friday, July 27, 2012

Who Am I?

It’s a question many people struggle with.  Life is all about the journey, the adventure, of finding out “Who Am I?”  I think, very often, most people never really arrive at an answer that “suits” them.  We live life as the child of our parents, then we might become “the friend of so & so”, the spouse of such & such, then the parent of our children.  We are never just “us”.  It’s never really been just “Angela – you know her, right?”  It’s been more like “Angela, you know Mason & Marleigh’s mom”.  Our identity almost always falls to our association with another.  As I have gotten older, now on my own, searching for my true identity, it occurs to me that no one really ever said “you know, Angela, that Christian lady”.  I haven’t always been associated with Christ.  And, why not?  Since I am, indeed, His child! 

I have been working on that now for quite some time.  I want people to look at me & see Christ in me!  So, who am I?  I am a daughter of the Most High King!  I am His chosen!  I am loved & adored by the One who created the universe.  He knows me by name!  He doesn’t refer to me as Otis & Joanne’s daughter or Mason & Marleigh’s mother – He calls me beloved!  He calls me SPECIAL!!!  He knows me personally, inside & out.  He loves me & accepts me just the way I am, with all of my shortcomings & failures – with all of my stubbornness!  He still knocks at my door, asking to come in & visit al while.  He is all knowing, yet He wants me to tell Him about myself – He wants to get to know me better by listening to me.  Who am I?  I am loved, forgiven, blessed, anointed.  I am Angela, a special child of Christ!! 

Who are you?  Exactly the same – a child of Christ!  If you have never met him personally – now is your chance!!  It’s simple, all you have to do is say this “Hi Lord, it’s me, _________________.”  Yes, He already knows your name & who you are, but it’s great to introduce yourself in a new way to Him & talk to Him just as you would anyone else!  “I have sinned & fallen short of Your glory, but I am totally ready to change!  I want to be known as a child of the King.  I want people to associate me with You.  So, I would be so grateful if You’d come into my heart to stay.  i want to live my life for You, starting right now!!  Thank you, sweet Jesus!!”  That’s it!  Now you are saved!  Your part is to start living like it!  Consult God about everything!!  Be constantly aware of His presence in your life.  he will lead & guide you!!

Who are we?  Family!!!  With an AMAZING FATHER!!!!!!! 

Click here:  Who Am I? Casting Crowns

Friday, July 20, 2012

God With Skin On - An Update!

If you haven't had a chance to read God With Skin On, I encourage you to go read it now.  Click here.  I was convinced that Regina was really an angel sent from heaven above for me that particular night!  I had been back to Wal-Mart on several occassions & never saw her again.  I even told my mother that I didn't believe she was a "real person"!  Well, just in the good old fashioned "God Way", something simply amazing happened to me the other day - or should I say, it happened to US!!! 

I was getting up to get ready for my daughter's birthday party, when my phone rang.  I didn't recognize the number, but I answered it anyway, just in case it was somebody inquiring about the party.  When I answered the voice on the other end says "Well, good morning!"  I replied with a sleepy "good morning".  The voice was not one I recognized.  She began to talk & tell me her story - she said "My name is Regina & I work at Wal-Mart."  I immediately perked up!!  I felt like the M&M from the commercial with Santa Clause - you know, the one where they all faint saying "He does exist, They do exist"!  Ha!!  Regina does exist & she is talking to me from the other end of this phone line.  She proceeded to tell me about how someone read my blog & printed a copy of it, took it to her supervisors at Wal-Mart & how they called her into the office to tell her all about it!  She said they were all in tears as they read the letter to her & gave her a copy of it.  She too was in tears because she realized that her prayers had been answered.  She didn't feel like she was really making an impact for the kingdom of God & wasn't sure that God was hearing her.  After she read the blog, she understood that God had indeed heard her & that, just as she prayed for Him to work through her, He had done just that!  She said "this letter is not about me at all, but it's about God working through me!"  She just rejoiced on the phone that day because just as God had used Regina to let ME know He heard ME, God turned right around & used ME to let REGINA know that He heard HER as well!!!  How amazing is that?!? 

Now, if that wasn't miracle enough - I was certainly wondering how in the world she knew my phone number!  As she was telling about how good God is & the story of how we first met, a customer recognized the story - she told Regina that it sounded familiar & pulled a book out of her purse & said "here you go, this is Angela's phone number."  Man - what an amazing God we have!!  To put all of this together & get us in touch again... it's absolutely astounding!  Nothing but God could have worked that out!!  It was a good 3 months from the night we met until the day she called me - so remember....

He DOES hear you when you pray!!  He DOES listen when you pray!!  Just because you don't see the results you may be looking for right now, does not mean HE doesn't hear & HE isn't listening!  He is just working things out behind the scenes!!!  When it happens, you will KNOW IT WAS GOD!!!

Be blessed today!!  I sure am!!!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Faith or Fault

Being open minded is really harder than one might think.  I feel like I have a pretty open mind about most things & a tolerance for things people around “these parts” don’t always have.  However, I have learned that having an open mind to the promises of God is sometimes a really hard thing to do.  Maybe it’s because God doesn’t always fulfill those promises “right now”; or maybe it’s because we can’t see God &, therefore, have trouble believing what He says.  We are mostly a skeptical people who need to see with human eyes & feel with human feelings – which is reasonable since we are indeed human.  But, we must also realize that we are spiritual beings as well – God created us with a spirit that lives inside & as the Bible tells us, we are to walk by FAITH & not by SIGHT.  (2 Corinthians 5:7)  We really are a faithless people when you think about it.  We say “I have faith in God”, but when it comes to the fulfillment of a promise He has given, we tend to question Him.  When God?  How God?  How long will it be God? Why not now God?  If the fulfillment doesn’t happen when we think it should or how we think it should, we want to give up on God.  We want to throw up our hands & say “whatever, God!” 

The Bible says in 2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in doing what He promised, the way some people understand slowness.  But God is being patient with you.  He does not want anyone to be lost, but He wants all people to change their hearts & lives.”  (NLT)

This verse speaks to me on so many levels today!  1st of all “The Lord is not slow in doing what He promised, the way some people understand slowness…” When God says it, it’s done… period!  Just because we can’t see it with our human eyes does NOT mean it hasn’t been completed!  In God’s eyes – it has been done!!  The way we understand it, it’s slow… but not to our God!!

Secondly, “But God is being patient with you.”  Uh-humm…. excuse me??  God is being patient with ME??  But I am the one down here WAITING!!  Patiently!!!  Well, kind of patiently… At least, I thought I was the one being patient – what does this mean?  God is being patient with me?  Matthew 6:2, 5, 16 talks about when you give, when you pray, when you fast.  Are we doing all of these things which God has commanded us to do?  Are we giving to the needs necessary – to needy people?  We don’t have to wait for God to tell us to give – HE ALREADY DID!!  Are we praying & reading the Word with diligence?  Are we fasting like we should?  If you have a specific need you are praying for, are you also fasting for that need?  Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross for us!  He suffered persecution & humiliation to save our lives that we might have eternal life with Him!  Can we not “sacrifice” a meal?  Can we not “sacrifice” Facebook for even a week?  Can we not “sacrifice” television?  Can we not “sacrifice” giving of our time?  Can we not “sacrifice” some money for someone in need?  How much “sacrifice” is it really??  What would you really miss by “sacrificing” any of these things?

Third, “He does not want anyone to be lost, but He wants all people to change their hearts & lives.”  God wants us to become repentant.  Repentance does not mean we ask God for forgiveness & then continue in the same way… doing things we shouldn’t do – or, dare I say, NOT doing things we SHOULD do!  Repentance means we ask God to forgive us & then turn from our old ways.  You change your heart and your life!!!  God wants us to put our trust in him, to change our way of living & our way of thinking.  To have FAITH that He is doing (has already done) what He has promised He would do & for us to do as He commanded.  TO GIVE, TO PRAY, TO FAST.  When we do our part, He has more liberty to do His part.  We are the ones slowing up the process!  God is being patient with us!  I think it’s time we get serious & get busy!!!  So, search yourself today – are you living with FAITH or FAULT??

Lord, I thank you today for being so patient with me!  Thank you for your sacrifice on the cross & thank you for not giving up on me when I don’t do my part.  Father, place in me a desire to do what you commanded – to give, to pray, to fast.  Help me understand that the promises you have given me are already done in your eyes & I must continue to praise you for them.  Lord, I want to be found faithful in Your sight… not at fault.  I want to do my part!  My sacrifice is nothing compared to what You have done for me.  Thank you for Your promises & thank you for being faithful to me!!  You are an awesome God!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Lessons Learned From the Pier

PC Pier

I had a friend who was going through a really hard time in her family.  Specifically, her marriage.  Her husband had not been saved & she had been praying for a really long time for him.  Through some extremely traumatic events in their lives, he got saved!  (Give God a shout!!)  The thing is, although he was now saved, they were still facing circumstances in their lives that were unspeakable!!  He needed a minute away – so, he drove down to the Pier & just sat, by himself.  As he was sitting there a man approached him – a pastor of a local church.  The pastor let him know that he came out there from time to time just to see if the Lord would lead him to someone that he could share the gospel with.  This pastor felt drawn to my friend’s husband.  Without hesitation, he opened up to this pastor & bore his soul to him.  Before departing, the pastor prayed with him & reassured him that God was in control!  Praise the Lord!  He is in control!! 

I had to work out of town a few weekends back.  I thought about that experience this man had out on the Pier.  I thought, I think I will go out there myself.  The breeze will be nice, it was a magnificent day.  The sun was shining.  All seems right with the world when you get out there, looking at the beach, listening to the waves crash on the shore, feeling the warmth of the sun kiss your face.  So surreal, so relaxing, so inviting.  I walked up to the entrance of that Pier & thought – “Lord, if you can send someone to speak to my friend – surely You can find someone to speak to me also”.  So, off I went… the Lord surprised me a little that day.  He didn’t send a person to speak to me, for Him – He spoke to me Himself!! (grin)  Here are the lessons I learned that day.

First of all, God gives us blessings from the very beginning!  He doesn’t have to wait for something to happen in our lives to start the flow of blessings.  You see, as I walked up to the entrance of the Pier, I realized there is now a charge to get onto the Pier.  I didn’t have any cash with me that day – so I was going to leave.  I did have my debit card, but didn’t want to use that for just a couple of dollars.  The gentleman behind the window asked if he could help me – I explained that all I had was a debit card.  He said, “no problem, go ahead”.  He allowed me to enter – God knew He had a Word for me that day & used the gentleman behind the window to bless me from the very beginning! 

Next, as I was entering the gate, asking God to send someone to me, He let me know that He is a Unique God.  He doesn’t speak to everyone in the same way.  He reminded me that His people are in need of very different things.  If I would open my heart, my eyes, & my ears – He would indeed speak to me.  But He would do it in a way that was unique to me!  AWESOME!!

Now, the Pier has a very special meaning to me.  It is a very sentimental place for me.  As I stepped out, I realized how far it was to get to the end of it.  (As you can see in the picture, of the Pier, above– it’s a long way  – you can’t even see the end from this picture.  What you see that looks like the end is actually only the half way point.)  What God said to me next determined my trek to the very end of that thing – He said sometimes you must reach the end before you can get to the beginning.  It took some questioning & answering for me to grasp the total meaning of that – in a nutshell – we must reach the end of ourselves for God to begin the work in us that He has planned!  Get self out of the way & He will take it from there!  This doesn’t just happen because we want it to – it is a leap of faith.  Faith requires some effort & the next thing He said to me was that we will encounter obstacles along our journey of faith! 

Just as I set out to reach the end of that Pier, I noticed along both sides there were people fishing from the sides.  There were fishing poles, tackle boxes, ice chests – all sorts of things for me to walk around, step over, dodge, to get to my destination.  I was determined to reach it.  That d2012-04-15_PC Beachetermination is what got me through it – through the vast array of obstacles that were right in front of me.  There were obvious obstacles, but then there were some not-so-obvious ones also.  Hooks!  That’s right, people were casting their baited hooks into the water – I had to be careful not to walk by when one was getting ready to cast it out.  I didn’t want to get hooked by this obstacle, after all! We must be aware of what is going on around us, so as not to get hooked by Satan & the things he puts right in front of us – that may not be so obvious! 

As beautiful as the day was, the wind from the Pier was insane!  I had my hair down that day & whew… by the time I left that place, I was a sight to behold!  NOT!!!  I was so windblown.  Not a very attractive look at all.  Sometimes what we are called to do may not be exactly what the world sees as attractive or becoming – but if God calls you to it, He will help you through it!  Obviously, life is not an easy journey to follow.  There are things that are very ugly about it, but God is the brush through our windblown hair!  He will be the one to smooth things out for us – when we turn it over to Him & allow Him to do what He does best!!! You see, I was there by myself that day – God also reminded me that sometimes it is our duty to get alone with Him.  We must ask before we can receive!  Getting alone with God is a necessity!!!

Last, but not least – God reminded me that we can’t stay where we are forever.  Eventually I had to leave the Pier.  When we find ourselves in the midst of a storm, battle, fire, trial – whatever you want to call it – He said “Angela, you won’t be here forever!”  Sometimes when we are facing circumstances that look hopeless, we find ourselves in a pit – a pit of despair & self-pity.  God does not want us to stay there!  He wants us to look up to Him & keep on moving!!  Which leads me to the very final point – He said PUSH!!!  PUSH!!!  PUSH!!! Pray Until Something Happens!

I read a quote the other day that just hit home with me.  I don’t know who actually said it, but it came from Kirk Franklin’s twitter.  It said this: “The biggest enemy to your faith will always be what you see & what your feel.  Trust yourself or trust God.  You choose!”