Thursday, July 7, 2011

Casey Anthony "NLOE"

"Much like an unkempt garden, Christians are susceptible to being over-run by a critical spirit. We allow a judgmental thought to linger too long, and it takes root. Soon it has infiltrated our lives--including those around us. Rather than being an encourager, a builder for Christ, we've become Satan's destructive tool....How do we avoid the strangling weeds of a critical spirit? Begin looking at things "NLOE" (in light of eternity). Focusing on eternity and desiring others to join us there will certainly help us to be less critical and more about encouraging others and spreading God's love."

This was a powerful devotion for me, especially in light of the Casey Anthony murder trial verdict. Not guilty?? Really??? I found myself full of a critical spirit and judgment, and I couldn't stop talking about it. Before I knew it, I truly was being used as Satan's destructive tool.  But what happens when I look at the trial verdict "NLOE"?  My first thought is that all judgment belongs to the Lord and He will take care of everything in the end.  Casey Anthony is HIS business, not mine.

My second thought is "there but for the grace of God, go I."  I don't like to remember what I was like as a 22 year old who didn't know the Lord.  My life wasn't that different from Casey's.  I was worldly, self-focused, and on a search for pleasure no matter who got hurt in the process.  I was also the mother of a toddler.  I like to think I wouldn't have made some of the choices she did, but I do remember making some poor choices for the sake of my own convenience.

Finally, I realize that if I see her "NLOE" I'll pray that she comes to know the love of Jesus and that she will allow Him to turn her life around.  Jesus loves her----He might not like what she did, but He loves her as a person and doesn't want her to go to hell.  When I heard the verdict, I did.  But today I am seeing her "NLOE" and I'm committed to pray for her salvation.  Where would I be today without those who faithfully prayed for me?  Where would you be?  Would you like to join me in prayer?

Father God, I come to you in the name of my Savior Jesus and I ask you to touch and heal Casey Anthony's twisted soul.  Fill that empty place where her heart should be with the fullness of Your love, joy, and peace.  Bring her to full repentance and then use her life for Your glory. Heal the lives of all who suffered because of her sin.  I thank you that Caylee is safe with You forever.  In light of eternity, take victory out of Satan's hands and redeem this one he seeks to devour.  I ask it in Jesus name, amen.

Who knows?  Maybe one day Casey Anthony will teach a women's Bible Study.  Now THAT would be a victory. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Moving Mountains

"Few things are more persistent and intimidating than our fears and our worries . . . especially when we face them in our own strength."

I read that in a devotion the day after the battle I shared in my last post.  Reaching out in prayer first to the Lord, then asking for prayer from my sisters in Christ, gave me the strength I needed for victory.  To continue my story, I have a special friend in my life that I was in a Bible study with 30 years ago.  I hadn't seen her since that time, but periodically, often with many years in between, she will call me out of the blue and say, "The Lord gave me a song for you in my quiet time", and then she sings to me of His love and compassion for me just when I need it most.  Or she'll say, "God gave me scripture for you," or "I have a Word from the Lord for you," and she will speak directly into my situation which she couldn't possibly know because we haven't had contact in years.  That's how I always know its really the Lord.  

On the very day of my battle I had asked the Lord to send me someone to encourage me and to give me a Word from Him.  I told you about the friends who called, and the visit from my daughter-in-law, but what I didn't tell you was that the phone rang later that day and a familiar voice said, "OK, what's going on; I've been praying for you like crazy!"  It was my prophetic friend just calling  "out of the blue"!  I said, "No, you tell me what you've been hearing from the Lord and then I'll know its from Him".  Everything she said was spot on, and two of the scriptures really resonated with me.  One was Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."  The other was Zechariah 4:6-7, "Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the LORD of hosts. Who are you, O great mountain? Before Patty you shall become a plain!" 

The devotion spoke of the discouragement of the the people of Israel after the captivity when they returned to Jerusalem to find a mountain of rubble.  Then the word of the Lord came to them from Zechariah and He encouraged them that by God's power the mountain would become a flat plain.  It went on to say,  "You may be facing a mountain today---a financial mountain, a health mountain, or maybe a relationship mountain.  You have tried your hardest to remove the rubble, but you are tired, and weary, and ready to give up.  It's good when you come to the end of yourself.  That is when you finally reach for God.  Ask the Holy Spirit for help.  Let God show Himself strong on your behalf.  Drop your shovel, stand back, and watch Him move that mountain!" 

Since I read that devotion, I have seen and heard references to mountains everywhere!  As I've stopped trying so hard to MAKE things happen, I've seen God working more and more, and the mountain of debt rubble is beginning to shrink!  We have a long way to go but my hope is restored.  He is giving me hope and a future. When I think about all of the beautiful, loving people He set into motion just to encourage me in my time of need, I am completely in awe.  All praise and glory goes to Him, and my love goes to Him and to all of you who were there for me.  May He repay you in ways I can't.