Monday, June 30, 2014

"I desire that my life shall be ordered by Thee"

Sunday evening our church dismissed service so we could attend the last night of Pilgrim camp here in Frankfort.  One of the songs in the pre-service was a medley centered around "I Want to Be Like Jesus".  Since then, this phrase from the hymn "My Wonderful Lord" has been going through my mind over and over. 
I desire that my life shall be ordered by Thee!
What exactly does this mean?  I think a common misconception by Christians is that as long as we live a sinless life, go to church, dress appropriately, and "follow the rules", it will all be fine.  But, to go along with this phrase, we have the verse in Psalm 37:23 that says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord".  "Ordered" is a word that usually has a negative connotation to it.  Just ask my son David about being "ordered" in the Marine Corp.  As soon as I typed that, a thought came to me - do we feel that way about God?  That He is like a drill sergeant yelling out His instructions to us?  Oh my - I sure hope not! 
No, here is what I think instead.  When we live in full surrender to God, it won't matter what He asks of us.  His words, His leadings, His guidance, His direction - these do not come about by "orders" but by a loving Father who sees exactly what we need to do. 
Here would be the best example I can give you.  Sometimes wives have a hard time with this whole word of "submission".  I would confess this hasn't always been easy for me.  However, I have learned a valuable lesson.  This will probably sound weird but following my husbands "orders" gives me a sense of relief.  I trust him, trust his leadership, trust his Christ-centered spirit and know that what he asks of me is best for me.  And, it also takes a load of my shoulders - because I trust him, I don't have to fret and stew and worry as much.  To me, that translates to my relationship with my Heavenly Father.  His "orders" are in my best interest.  He knows what is best, what is right, what is needed, what is necessary.  I can trust Him, trust His leadership, trust that He will not lead me astray.  I am not sure if my analogy makes sense to anyone but it does me so.....:)
The part of this phrase that really stands out though is this....."I desire".  There are a lot of things I desire - vacation, date nights, time with my kids and grandkids, a new car, a remodeled kitchen, new shoes, new purses, to not work anymore, to go to London - this list could get pretty long.  I desire a lot but, do I really desire that my life be ordered by Jesus?  The meaning of the word desire is to wish or long for, to want or to crave.  Do I long for my life to be ordered by Christ? 
For me personally, to dig a little deeper means that I desire EVERY area of my life to be ordered by Him no matter what it is.  What I wear, how I comb my hair (I know, that one is weird but not for me), my home, and a big one for me - what I eat.  I think every area of my life would be much better if I allowed it to be ordered by my Jesus.  How much better off would we all be and our world would be if we allowed every step in our lives to be ordered by Him!! 

My prayer today is that Jesus will help me ask for His leadership and guidance and then to follow as He says.  I pray that my ears will be in tune with His voice in EVERY area of my life.  

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Father's Day Weekend

This is my daddy.  He is currently celebrating year number 19 in heaven.  Oh the memories we have of him!  From my earliest memories, Dad was a huge presence in my life in more ways than one.  I remember the first time I went to the altar at our church in Ohio and Daddy standing over me patting my head while I cried my little 3 year old eyes out.  And, I am pretty sure no one could hit a softball like my dad.  He would stand around home plate, tell us all to "back up", toss a ball in the air and hit it with one hand - usually waaaaaaaaaay over our heads.  Most people don't know this but my dad had an ornery streak about him.  If you don't believe me, ask the people who went to youth camps with him!  :)  He had a very healthy fear of snakes and water.  For proof of that, the only time he came close to bopping David Jr. upside the head was when he tossed a rubber snake at Dad.  Naturally, I was cracking up but one look at Dad's face reminded me I had better "gently" remind my son to NOT EVER do that again.  I think the thing I am most grateful for that my Dad taught me was about the power of prayer.  I can't answer for my siblings but for me, when Dad prayed about something I quit thinking and worrying about it because it just seemed like Dad had this "direct connection" to Jesus.  He prayed for something, it happened - plain and simple.  Now, if he were here he would probably correct that but in my mind that is the way it happened.  I miss him.  I miss taking him a cup of coffee and hearing him say, "Sis, quit watching the cup you are going to spill it".  :)  I miss him NEVER getting beat at "mercy" with my brothers!  :)  I miss his loud, usually on tune singing.  I miss his preaching.  I miss his hugs.  BUT, he makes heaven sweeter and for that I am grateful!
This is my father-in-law.  I should probably explain a bit......Dad has Parkinson's.  We always said that Dad Fulton would never be able to get any slower.  Oh man, were we ever wrong!  :)  At Christmas a couple years ago, we set up the Wii and convinced Dad to bowl.  There was a problem with this.  He beat everyone.  And, I do mean everyone.  It didn't matter who he played - kids, grandkids....he beat them.  Do you know what I get from this?  That man lets nothing get him down.  Yes, he is slowing down and things are getting more difficult and life just isn't as easy as it used to be BUT, he is still going at it.  His body is failing but his mind is sharper than ever it seems.  One of my favorite things to do around him is to get his two boys telling stories and watch him laugh so hard but never make a sound. :)  A couple weeks ago, without him know it, he taught me a lesson.  His voice is much more quiet than it has ever been but, he ALWAYS has something to say that you need to hear.  So many of his qualities have been passed to his son that make me love and appreciate this man more every single day. 

This is my husband - and if you read this blog, you already know that!  :)  We are the proud parents of three kids, have three "in-law" kids, and 4 completely wonderful grandchildren.  When I think of this family, I thank God every single day that we have this man in our lives.  He is the best husband, dad and Papaw we could ask for and we love him.  Dave loves his kids.  He loves being with them although it "looks" a lot different now than it did a few years back.  :)  But, here is what I know.  My children have always known that their dad loved their mom.  Always.  They always know that God is first.  Always.  When they were little, they could always count on a wrestling match at some point before bedtime.  Always.  They know that Dad loves Adventures in Odyssey.  Always.  They could always count on Old Time Radio at some point on a trip.  Always.  They can always count on a long discussion EVERY Christmas while reading the Christmas story.  Always.  (Yes, that drives certain members of our family crazy!!!)  They know if they ever ask what's "wrong" with something he will ask them what's "right" with it.  Always.  They always know that Dad is there for them.  Always.  They know that Dad prays for them every single day.  Always.  They know that Dad can pretty much fix anything that is broken.  Always.  There is so much more to this man that there will ever be blogger room.  But, this I know - between me, my kids, their spouses and their babies - we will definitely make sure that he knows what we think of him tomorrow.  And, you know what I think is pretty neat??  We actually try to tell him that ALL YEAR LONG! 

So there you have it - my thoughts on Dad's.  What a heritage we have and how awesome that we get the wonderful privilege to pass it on!