Saturday, July 23, 2016

Radiant People

Clean Hearts

You know, we can “pretty up” and clean up our physical self.  We can buy the best makeup, get the best haircuts, buy the nicest clothes, but, we cannot buy a “clean heart” or a pretty heart.  God has to give us that.  You know, all of the stuff on the outside is just “stuff” that  we can purchase and make oneself look “pretty”.  But, you cannot purchase “radiance” or “peace” or “contentment”.  I can’t help but think of some people who just seem to radiate, those people radiate because they are filled with the Holy Spirit.  The first clue on how to radiate is found in Psalm 34:5.  It tells us,
Those who look to him are radiant;
  their faces are never covered with shame.

If you look up the word “Radiant”  it means to “glow, something that is “bright” or “Clean”... You and I both know of people who are radiant… they just have something special about their countenance that cannot be purchased in a store.  They have a pure heart that is not ashamed.  This is what the  second part of this verse leads to… not being ashamed.  Some people cannot get their hearts cleaned up by Jesus because they have no room for Him.   God’s word says in Ephesians 4:31

Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.

You cannot have Jesus if you have any of the above things in your heart.  Jesus and sin cannot abide together.  If you can’t have Jesus present in your heart, you cannot be radiant.   I cannot help but think of mug shots that have been posted online for all to see.  Do people usually look radiant in their mug shots?   Nope… not usually.  People usually look weary and tired, many times the very opposite of radiant.  Why?  Well, people in mug shots have usually been caught disobeying the law of man, and therefore, they disobeyed God’s laws.  
So this leads us to look for ways that we can find God’s radiance and become more like him.  Here are a few ways that we can keep our hearts pure.  

  1. We can do all things without Grumbling and questioning.  (Philippians 2:14-16)

This verse doesn’t do SOME things without grumbling… it says to do ALL things… ouch!  I took a few minutes to look up what exactly is “grumbling”.  Grumbling is unrecognizable noises.  They are loud enough to be heard by others, but quiet enough to to not know what exactly is being said.  Grumbling states dissatisfaction in a situation. says that it is a “growl”  I say, grumbling is never a positive thought, it is always a negative reaction.  How many times do we grumble at something that we know God wants us to do.  How many times do we grumble at serving others that you know don’t appreciate you.  God wants us to walk in a  manner worthy of Him… and you cannot do that and grumble at the same time.  The second part of this verse says to do ALL things without QUESTIONING…. Ouch… How many times have I said, “Why me God”  Why are you asking me to go down this road alone… why are you not doing this God… so many examples of me questioning God.  He must get tired of it.  In some of the texts it implies that questioning and quarrelling carry the same attributes.  Yes, questioning and quarreling are negative aspects of us humans.   We cannot radiate God’s love if we are living lives that are quarrelsome.  

2.  The second way we can have radiance is to follow Proverbs 24:1.  

Be not envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them.  For their hearts devise violence and their lips talk of trouble.  

It is so easy to fall into this trap!  So many times that “desirable” group is full of evil.  Their lips talk about others and devise evil against others.  You know, my answer to all of it is to let God deal with them.  

I cannot help but think that envy is a disaster for the human heart.  Seriously… people who are envious will devise evil towards others.  Many times people who are full of envy… hate believers who are full of the spirit.  Remember… Satan hates God and anything or anyone associated with Him.  But, we have to remind ourselves as believers how EASY envy comes to US, if we are not prayed up!  
Some examples of us being envious may include but are not limited to:  
  • When a friend gets a brand new car and you really want one
  • When someone we know doesn’t really work that hard, but gets a raise!  
  • When someone has no problems having children, but you can’t.  
  • Your home is falling apart and your friend is getting hers remodeled.  
  • When someone gets accolades for a job well done and you have worked just as hard.  
This list can go on… but once envy starts, it is hard to stop it… it will build itself up into bitterness.  And bitter people cannot be radiant because they cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit.  

3.  The third way we can be Radiant is to not be ashamed.  

2 Timothy 1:8  tells us that we are to “ not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling… Our faces Will be radiant if we are NOT ASHAMED…

You know.  How many times has something been “going on” in our families and we felt that if we stood up for our beliefs we may be “picked on” or made fun of?  I know over the years, I have had times of silence… where I should have stood bold of the testimony of Jesus.  

Jesus wants us to share his love with all that we come in contact with.  We are not to limit our love to “now”, but for the the after as well.  How can we share our testimony to others.  

I have had 2 friends in their 40’s be diagnosed with terminal cancer in the past month.  I have been reminded how very short life is.  

13Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 14Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 16But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil. 17Therefore, to one who knows theright thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
James 4:13-17

We cannot waste any time.  One of my favorite quotes from Charles Spurgeon says

“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”

I had the privilege to tell a young lady today that as she was going through a difficult year, Noel and I had been praying for her.  We would get up 3 to 4 mornings at 5:30 and pray for her and several others on our list… but she was the real reason we got up so early.  It has blessed my soul to see her begin her walk with the Lord again.  God has been good.  

Can you imagine what America’s Churches would look like if we took what Spurgeon said and lived it out “for real”????
Not a one of us is too old to do it.  

In summary… we must live lives so that our faces are radiant.  That is what will set us apart.  People can see the difference.  Clay and I watched the movie Chariots of fire this weekend for the first time.  It was good, but what struck me most was that Harold Abrahams was terribly angry and just wanted to win.  When he lost it was a struggle.  He had no peace.  When he met and began to run against Liddell , he seemed even more jealous… but not just over his abilities to run faster, but the peace that Liddell had.  Abrahams wanted it.  In the end, we don’t know if the Jewish Olympian ever knew Jesus.  We know that he was impacted by the radiance and peace of Liddell.  

I pray we all will exemplify and share Jesus… and our faces will be Radiant.  :)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thou, Oh Lord

The past few days have seemed to crawl by.  I am amazed at how I find peace in what God is doing, and yet, I have cried a thousand tears.  I think that people tend to equate crying with weakness, and yet, even Jesus cried when Lazarus died.  Jesus cried and I am certain he was fully aware that he was going to raise him from the dead.  In our society we like to say that if you cry, you are weak.... but I personally think that tears are just a way of allowing our hearts to draw nearer to God in times of trial, when you are scared, and even in the times of great Joy.  Yesterday, Clay called around 10:30 am.  I knew that when he called me yesterday, it would be the last time I heard from him until Thursday.  It was one of those  calls that you really don't want to end, but you know it has to come to an end.  I knew he was heading into a place much like Daniel was sent to as well.... the Lion's den.  I cried.. But God reminded me of so many times when He sent His servants into places, not to scare them, but to bring light to His Glory and  His mercies.  As I sit here this morning, I am reminded of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  They refused to recant their faith and were thrown into a very hot furnace.  But we know what God did.... He sent His angels to protect and provide for these precious servants.     My husband and 149 other men from Georgia have gone into a place much like the lions den and the fiery furnace... and our God is a shield for these men through this time, just as he was for Daniel and  Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego .  So, here is the song we sang Easter Sunday in choir..... It has been the song of my heart this week... for Clay and for our family as we eagerly wait to hear from him next week.  They will be singing this in N.K.  as well.  I will try to post the Choir video with this later. 
God Bless... 

 Thou, Oh Lord
Many are they increased that troubled me
Many are they that rise up against me
Many there be which say of my soul
There is no helpe for him in God

But thou, oh Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
Thou, oh Lord are shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head


I cried unto the Lord with my voice
And he heard me out of His holy hill
I laid me down and slept and awaked
For the Lord sustained, for he sustained me

Thou, oh Lord are a shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head
Thou, oh Lord are shield for me
My glory and the lifter of my head

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Untitled Hymn

One of my favorite songs is called "Untitled Hymn". I am not exactly sure why it is called "Untitled", but I think the words can relate to everyone.

Weak and wounded sinner
Lost and left to die
O, raise your head, for love is passing by
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus
Come to Jesus and live!

Now your burden's lifted
And carried far away
And precious blood has washed away the stain, so
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus
Sing to Jesus and live!

And like a newborn baby
Don't be afraid to crawl
And remember when you walk
Sometimes we
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus
Fall on Jesus and live!

Sometimes the way is lonely
And steep and filled with pain
So if your sky is dark and pours the rain, then
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus
Cry to Jesus and live!

O, and when the love spills over
And music fills the night
And when you can't contain your joy inside, then
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus
Dance for Jesus and live!

And with your final heartbeat
Kiss the world goodbye
Then go in peace, and laugh on Glory's side, and
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus
Fly to Jesus and live!

I find myself sitting in a back room in the Fox theater when I sing this song. I guess I allow my thoughts to wonder back to the Fox because that is where Clay had his heart attack. I am so thankful that he didn't experience his final heartbeat at that time. God had mercy and grace on us and allow Clay to have a second chance. I am so thankful. I think that we have found ourselves "living" more since then.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Think on "these things".

This past week Clay and I and the kids did our "usual" Wednesday night dinner at the local Mexican restaurant. I have always loved Mexican food. Several months ago, I asked the people who work there if their chips were cooked in a dedicated fryer. This simply means that the chips were cooked in a fryer with only chips... not flour tortillas and such... I was informed at that time that they cooked them in a dedicated fryer. Well I went last week and found out that they do cook other things in the oil... which means, I have been eating gluten for the past few months. Clay and I knew I had been feeling rather "rough" over the past several months, but couldn't figure out why. When I explained to the waitress that I couldn't eat the chips anymore, because they have gluten in them and I had been feeling sick, she kept telling me, that I looked "fine". I would be "ok" to eat the chips. She was looking at my "outside" and not my "insides". To her, I was just fine! I was in excellent condition! But on the inside, my body has not done well, I am tired, sick, and my joints hurt frequently. My point in this story is not for you to feel sorry for me, but to think about how "my story" can really relate to all of us.

As believers, we look "fine" on the outside. We are going to church, smiling, praying at church, answering questions in Sunday School, singing in worship, etc... We look "fine" on the outside. But so many of us are walking around "sick" on the inside. We are allowing the world to eat away at us spiritually. Maybe it is the friends that we choose to spend time with, what we watch on T.V., maybe it is our extensive use of the Internet, it can be anything at all that causes our minds and hearts to drift away from Gods will or His word. Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8
We read Paul's advice to us in Philippians 4:8 :

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Now, last time I checked, there is very little truth spoken on television or the Internet. Honorable television is rarely found on our shows today, there are adulterous affairs, premarital sex, and vulgar talk on almost every channel at any given time of the day or the night, none of these acts are honorable at all. Purity is a joke on about every television show, people laugh at the thought of anyone being pure. They are usually the "joke" of the show, not the hero. Lovely is a half-dressed woman wearing to much makeup, excellence is "so called" journalism on the network news, the praise shown on any of our media outlets is the praise of man, and last time I checked, none of these things offer salvation.
I say all of this not to condemn any of us for watching television, playing on the internet, or enjoying the news, but to remind us that our Almighty Father wants us to dwell on "good things" so that we can be healthy on the inside. Once we have seen or read something, it is automatically internalized and we can never erase it from our souls. We can seek forgiveness, and ask the Lord to remove it from our memory, but it has already done damage and it is irreversible. The great thing about all of this is that we are allowed to "heal" and grow once we study, pray and set our hearts to think about "these things"
My Celiac Disease has caused some irreparable damage to my intestines, but a small portion of them will be able to be repaired by me not eating a gram of gluten. See, I had been eating gluten once a week for a few months and it has caught up with me now. I think in the spiritual life it is the same concept. If we only spend small amounts of time with the Lord, we get caught up in the world and find ourselves "sick" and in desperate need of Christ. We must keep a check on our daily diet so that we can be "healthy" and nourished.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

From Celiac to Heart Attack... Where do I begin?

Where to begin?

I guess I could begin by talking about how my baby sister and how she and her baby experienced the miracle of birth in a way most mothers never have too. She found out after she delivered the baby that she has Vasa Previa. A serious condition that involves that umbilical cord being in the wrong place and being dangerously without a "wrap" over the vessles. Her umbilical chord was completely exposed to whatever may come. The doctor was shocked that Kade healthy. Apparently out of 100 babies born with this "thing" only 4 will make it. I am so thankful that Kade was one of the 4 that made it. The other complication that "could have been" was that my sister could have bled to death. The doctor considered it a miracle that she didn't and that when the baby was born, he was alive. God was good to us.

In the past month, I have found out that I have Celiac Disease. Sounds innocent enough, right? After having a colonoscopy and an endoscopy, I found out my colon is in terrible shape. I also found out that having Celiac Disease also involves me taking "gluten" out of my diet completely. There is no cheating when you have Celiac Disease. It is not a "choice" to take gluten out of your diet, it is a demand. If I do continue to eat gluten, I will have serious complications and major health issues that will plague me always. Gluten is simply "wheat" and "wheat derivatives" It is in almost everything imaginable. I have been shocked at how much of our foods contain wheat. I will be going to the doctor this week to find out how old my bones are and I go next week to have a test done on my small intestines to make certain that they are cancer free. Many times Celiac disease will transform itself into other things... one thing being cancer.

To top off my last three months, my best friend, my earthly rock, MY Clay had a massive heart attack on May 15. I am still reeling from the events of this past week. Here is the story:

Several months ago, my mom, called to let me know that "Mary Poppins" would be at the Fox Theater in May. She knows that this is one of my all time favorite movies and knew that I would love to go, so she bought us tickets to go see it on May 15, 2010. The only reason we chose to go on May 15 is because the calendar was free at the time for that date. (Several weeks later, I realized that Noel had a Wash Board Band performance, but it was too late. We had our tickets and could not change the date. ) It was all a part of God's plan for us to GO to the Fox on May 15.

We decided to take 1/2 a day on Friday and go up to Atlanta to "play" as a family. We left around 1:00 with Mom, Clay, myself, and the kids to go up to Atlanta. As we rode along 75 south, our tire made an awful noise and we realized it was flat. It has "busted" somehow. We pulled over and Clay worked to get the tire changed. He was our hero! The tire was the one facing the road and we had people going 85 mph right next to where he was changing a tire. We had never experienced a flat in the Van and we found that the spare tire was UNDER the middle of the van and we had to lower it using some "creative" thing that Dodge came up with. Clay got the tire changed and we were thankful that no one got hurt!!! We ended up at Sam's in Macon and they fixed our tire and we were finally off!

We got to Atlanta and went straight to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Of course, I have to ask for a gluten free menu and the Chef had to come out and explain to me what I could have that was on the menu. He was great and the food was wonderful. We left and my sweet husband took two of my kids swimming... they had begged and begged. They froze, but had a blast! :)

The Downtown Marriott is NOT the quietest Motel on the doors slammed all night and we really didn't get a great rest, but who cares! We were going to see Mary Poppins! We woke up late, went to eat an early lunch at "Ted's Montana Grill” (they had a Gluten free menu AND it was delicious!!!) We finished eating and Clay and the kids went to the van around 12:30. Clay said at this time he sneezed several times VERY hard and they hurt his chest. We left the Marriott and went directly to the Fox. Mom had purchased a parking pass so we didn't have to look for a spot and we were fairly close to the Fox. We got out and walked around the Fox and looked at the architecture and just enjoyed checking out downtown Atlanta. My camera battery died and Clay being the gentleman he was, took the camera bag and walked all the way back to the van and put it away so that I wouldn't have to carry it around all day. Clay said that at this time, he didn't feel great but wasn't feeling "horrid". He came back up to the Fox where we were first in line to get into the theater. He stood there and watched me and the kids act like children! lol. We were so excited! They opened the doors at 1:00 sharp and we were allowed into the theater. We then had to wait by our curtain until 1:20 when they let us into the seating area of the theater. We looked around and were impressed by the orchestra pit and the cool cameras they had for the players. The sky in the Fox Theater was so beautiful. It looks as if you are outside on a cool, clear Georgia night. We went and sat down. Clay took Clayton to the restroom and came back and stated that he still didn't feel good. He felt like he had severe indigestion. I went to find Tums and Ibuprofen for him. When I got back, the EMT on duty at the Fox had begun to walk Clay to a room in the back of the theater. I dropped off my pocketbook with my mom and ran to catch up with them. I knew that if Clay had asked for help, he was truly sick. The time was about 1:30--Once we got to the room, the EMT, put an oxygen mask on Clay... He was sweating horribly and was cold as can be.... The EMT was asking questions and trying to figure out if it were a heart attack or something else. He promptly called 911 for backup help. As I sat there and watched, I realized that things were serious. I began to ask God to please help... I began to wonder what was happening to MY Clay. My Clay is never sick. The ambulance got there and the ladies worked very quickly to take care of him. They put a heart monitor on immediately and began to do their work. They printed out one EKG "thing" and decided he needed to go to the hospital. The Fox employees recommended Crawford-Long Hospital, but the Emergency girls said that the ER was super busy there and thought it would be best to take him to Piedmont since he was having heart pains. Best decision made that day! The best we can figure we were on our way to Piedmont around 2:00/2:15 ish. SECOND best decision of the day was when the EMT worker gave Clay 2 Nitroglycerin tablets and an aspirin. Once we got to Piedmont, they had 4 nurses waiting at Clay's appointed room. Everyone who was there had a job and they didn't waste a second of time. I was amazed. I felt as if I was in a time warp or watching a movie... It didn't feel real. At this point, I am not sure that I was feeling at all. I couldn't cry and I couldn't think. My Clay was on that gurney and they were shaving him and drawing tons of blood from him and they were printing out little EKG reports.... and then one of the PA's came in and read the EKG and said... it is a heart attack. WE need to move NOW. Within seconds, the doctor shows up and tells Clay that he is having a heart attack and that she felt he needed to have a heart cathertization done. She grabbed his hands and felt how cold and clammy they were and told the nurses they had to move NOW... The nurse replied that the team wasn't there yet... The Doctor said, I don't care we must go NOW.... When they move, they RUN... I had to jog to keep up with them! They left me in a dark hallway with a bunch of gurneys and told me to stay put. It was a long hallway that didn’t really have any character to it. It was just a long hallway that was very lonely at that moment... the nurse said that she would come back for me. At this time.... I cried... I cried out to Jesus in ways only He could understand. I wasn't crying hysterical, I was just so grieved… MY soul was calm and broken... I didn't know how to ask what I needed... but God knew exactly what I needed. I am now reminded of Romans 8:26 where it says that "Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." I can say that I truly felt the spirit. I understand this verse now. The scripture goes on to say:”Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” I felt the spirit and could sense his presence in that hallway. The verse goes on to one of the most quoted verses we hear today… “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” I know that the spirit was with Clay and was with me. A few minutes later a nurse came and took me to a waiting room in the hospital. It did not have but a few lights on and it was empty. I had no idea where I was or what I could do. I was completely at the mercy of the Lord… thankfully. I did call a few people at this time. But, for the most part, I just sat in that dark room by myself. I was fine with it. I felt that God was at work that day and I knew that He would get the glory. I prayed that God would make Clay’s heart well. A few hours later the Dr. came out and gave me the “grave” news. She informed me that Clay’s heart attack was one of the worst kinds. It was 100% blockage of the LAD artery. This is the artery that supplies the largest part of the heart blood. This type of heart attack is also called the “Widow Maker” because few men or women survive this kind of heart attack. She informed me that she wasn’t certain how much of Clay’s heart would survive the lack of oxygen. She told me that we would know within a few days how much of his heart muscle would “die” and how much would live. She didn’t give me much hope and was very honest in her assessment. I asked her what would happen if his heart muscle “died” and she never really gave me answers… she just would say, let’s talk about that when we get there. Clay spent 2 nights in CCU and my mom and I spent two nights on the floor of a “waiting area”. I didn’t sleep but about 30 minutes the entire night… my best friend was in CCU and I couldn’t see him. I just wanted to sit with him. The doctors came to us on Monday and informed us that Clay’s numbers were nothing short of amazing. The doctor expected Clay’s numbers to be around 5,000-6,000. She told him she was shocked to see his numbers at 2200. The doctor told us that Clay had a massive heart attack with moderate damage, the only way she could explain it was that they were able to get to the heart attack right after the 100% blockage or right when it happened. Amazing. It was truly God’s grace.

To be continued….

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

So Blessed

As I look around me at so many families falling apart, I cannot help but thank Jesus for keeping us together! I think it sounds like a trivial thing to say, but it is so true... "Jesus is the glue that binds us together" I don't know who said it first, but I am in total agreement with it! I am so thankful that my girls are at least TRYING to live in a room together. I pray that God would use this time to grow them stronger together as sisters. I pray that they learn to have a deep rooted love for one another. Clayton has his own room and I pray that he is going to be allowed to be a BOY! He will not have to deal with the "pink and frills" any longer. I am praying earnestly about what God wants us to do about a home. Should we add onto this one? Should we fix this one up and sell it? What would Jesus do? It is hard to know in this situation. We love our home now. The only two things we really desire now is a pool and an extra bedroom. God knows our needs and our wants and is faithful to do His will. I will trust in Him. Thanks be to God! :)

Friday, May 8, 2009


Joy is turning into an amazing girl.
Tonight we got our second, I am sorry to tell you that you did not make it" note. The ache and hurt that came from her cries broke my mommy heart. She wailed. She just knew it would say "congratulations! " and it said, " I am sorry." God knew just what the letter was going to say. I had prayed He would decide for Joy to be a cheerleader or not. It doesn't matter that the judges happen to be local people who had neices and cousins trying out. God was still in control. I know this. "The plans of a man he devises in his heart, but the Lord directs His steps". ( I think that is how it goes... I need to check on that! lol) As we drove home, Joy cried harder than I think I have ever seen her cry. It was one of those angry, exhausting, cleansing cries. But, I am so proud of her. Around six o'clock she began to call her friends and tell them that she was happy for them. And she would look at me and say, " I really am." I think that she really was happy for them. She is sad for herself, but she has found a way in her sweet heart, to be happy for her friends. There are a lot of adults who cannot do this. I am thankful for my girl. I am praying for the woman God is turning her into. I think she taught me a lot of lessons today.