What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Psalm 27:14 “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”

How good are you at waiting? Whether it be waiting on a traffic light to change to green, or waiting for the tea-kettle to boil, or standing in the check out line at the grocery store, or waiting for quitting time on Friday…whatever the situation, if you’re human, you most likely don’t enjoy waiting! Perhaps I should just stick to speaking for myself…Okay, I am not the most patient person!

But now we are talking about waiting on the Lord. The Psalmist encourages us to “wait on the Lord, be of good courage”, and He shall strengthen our hearts. So, how do I go about doing that? For the past several years (I won’t say exactly how many years) I have been waiting on the Lord for direction and encouragement for my personal life’s goals. My heart was saying, “I want to write a book for Pastor’s wives and women in general…a book of encouragement and inspiration.” But my mind was saying, “What could YOU possibly have to say to other women that would be meaningful and encouraging? You can’t even get your own act together emotionally or spiritually long enough to make any sense! And the old author of doubts and discouragement was whispering in my ear, “You write a book? Ha! Who do you think YOU are?” Yet, in my heart I believed that this was what the Lord wanted me to do, but I just couldn’t get me out of the way! Besides, now we aren’t even in a pastoral ministry anymore, so really, what could I possibly have to say to other pastor’s wives and women?

In recent months I was challenged by a friend to consider speaking at a Women’s Retreat. Again I recoiled at the thought, saying to myself “What do I have to say that anyone else would want to hear?” “What qualifies me to speak, or write, or say anything to anybody?” Then one day I heard a song on the radio sung by Matthew West entitled “Something to Say”, and the part that was shouting out at me from the radio that day was:

“You’ve got something to say, if you’re living, if you’re breathing, you’ve got something to say…you know if you’re heart is beating; you’ve got something to say…And no one can say it like you do…God is love and love speaks through…you got it, you got it, you’ve got something to say!”

I had to turn up my radio and listen a little closer to the verses:

“Wake up, 7:32 a.m…. Can’t believe it’s time to do it over again

Yesterday, it took all that you had…and you’re wondering if you’ll ever get it back.

But the whole wide world is waiting for…waiting for you to step out that door!

Come on, and let your life be heard today…”

(Chorus…You’ve got something to say!)

“Listen up, I got a question here…would anybody miss you if you disappeared?

Well your life is the song that you sing and the whole wide world is listening

Well the answer to the question is: You were created; your life is a gift 
And the lights are shining on you today…” (Chorus…You’ve got something to say!)   (Matthew West ~ “Something to Say”, Word Music Publishing)

“Wait on the Lord, be of good courage…” But Lord, my courage has failed. I’ve listened too long to the voice of discouragement and failure and it has become a part of my thinking. So how do I get back to where the Lord can speak to me and through me without my hindering Him?

Hebrews 10: 19-24 helps provide an answer:

“Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh, and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works…”

I can only enter back into His presence when I have allowed Him to cleanse my heart from an “evil conscience”, and have also allowed Him to wash my body with pure water. I must examine my own heart and ask God’s forgiveness for my sin of doubt, fear, and faithlessness, and for allowing my mind to listen to the evil whisperings of the enemy of my soul. When I have accomplished this, I can then “wait on the Lord” and “be of good courage”…and know that He will hear my petitions and that He will respond according to His will and loving-kindness.

So, Here I am again, Lord. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to get back to You. You gave me a job to do… to “consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,” and that is what this writing is all about. Lord, I want to dedicate this writing to You, that You may use it to encourage my sisters (and maybe a few brothers?) in Christ. I fear that I have not been waiting very patiently on You, Lord, and I allowed myself to become discouraged along the way. Please forgive me. If it pleases You, cleanse me from my doubts and fears, and help me to be of good courage. Teach me, Lord, to wait on You for the right words to say and the inspiration that can come only from your Holy Spirit to make this instrument a pure vessel and channel for Your love and instruction. Thank You; Lord, for your patience with me. Amen.

“You’ve got something to say! So just say it!”

(This post is an excerpt from the introduction to the book I am writing...watch for more details soon!) 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Practicing Hospitality via the Internet

Romans 12:10 says, "Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."

As I started writing this last night I was reflecting back over the events of the day. My day started out with the slamming of a door, sent through my trusted friend, my email. While scanning through the emails that had accumulated overnight I noticed a generic electronic message of rejection from the HR department of a business in which I had just had a second interview a couple of days ago. As I left the "peer interview" spent with five staff members, who had each grilled me with their routine stock questions, I was told that I was definitely in the "top three" being considered for this position. Of course, I have heard this numerous times over the past seven months of my employment search. That statement along with the supposed encouraging words that I should be "so proud that you have even been called in for an interview since we had well over one hundred applicants for this job..." hasn't done one thing to further my career or my bank account.

Obviously I was a bit angry to receive this email first thing in the morning, not to mention just downright discouraged and frustrated. However, that resounding closed door spurred me to start searching for that open window that I know God has waiting for me right around the corner. Somehow in my distress I stumbled upon this "blogspot" and decided to give it a try. Now, I don't know exactly where this will lead, if anywhere, but for now it appears to be an open window. Through this window I can see great potential for growth, encouragement, and possible ministry...not just for myself, but hopefully for any readers who may stumble upon this and feel led to voice their opinions, words of wisdom, or thoughtful insights, which leads me to the following:

The second door I heard slam was in a message I received on my Facebook post. One of my facebook friends, whom I have never met in person but with whom I have enjoyed a rather interesting and delightful dialogue of diversity in opinion and thought, made the statement that she was going to have a cup of hot tea. I chimed back that I love hot tea, and would she mind if I joined her? Perhaps the suddenness of my intrusion into her privacy stunned her, and she immediately responded that only if I stayed in my own house! I guess I was a little taken back by her response and so I thanked her for her "warm hospitality", but she had no fear of me flying through the computer to her door. My friend further explained that she is agoraphobic, and the mere thought of someone inviting themselves to tea at her home threw her into a panic, even though she knew there was no real way that I would actually be coming to her home. I apologized and reassured her of my sincere desire to continue our communication via facebook, and that perhaps we could share a cup of tea while visiting online. Another friend chimed in with the idea of a "virtual cuppa tea". And so another window in my mind popped open...using this blog as a "virtual cup of tea"; a way to visit and share ideas, dreams, perplexities, concerns, prayer needs and answers with my friends...perhaps a way to unlock some doors for those who feel trapped or lonely or afraid because of the pain and hurt they have already suffered outside that door.
I don't pretend to have any answers in my own strength, but I know Who holds the keys to unlock all the doors of our hearts and minds. I also know that there is comfort and strength in the presence of One Who desires to come in and visit with us and even dwell within. That is my prayer for today...that whatever is said or done here will be used for God's glory and our edification. Especially that we will be "kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly (sisterly?) love, in honor giving preference to one another..." that's what this blog is all about.

So, pour yourself another cup of tea, coffee, latte, or a smoothie, and sit down and chat with me for a while. Maybe we'll share more than just a "cup of virtual tea"...maybe we'll even open some new windows together as we move beyond those closed doors.

Some food for thought: What are some of the "closed doors" you have experienced in your life, and how have you seen those closed doors help move you toward an "open window"? Let's share some ideas and experiences that may help others in their journey.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Closed Doors, Open Windows - The Beginning

Isaiah 43: 18-19 "Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

Someone once gave me a plaque to put on my wall that said, "When God closes a door, He always opens a window." I kept it on my wall for many years, although it was often moved from one wall to another as we saw one door closed on that particular home and place of employment, and a window opened in a new location. I finally got to the place where I hid that plaque, because it was beginning to feel like we had a perpetual door slamming shut and I got tired of rehanging that plaque on a different wall. However, the truth I need to focus on is the fact that I did have another wall on which to place it...because God had in fact opened another window. In reality, God has always opened another window whenever we heard that proverbial door slam shut on our hopes and dreams. He has never failed to open another window for us, albeit, perhaps not always a window that we had ever thought of before, or even that we would have considered had it not been for God's supernatural guidance and intervention on our behalf.

Lord, right now I am in one of those places between the slammed door and the open window...and I have no clue where or when that window will open. I know I can trust in You, since You have promised in Your word in Isaiah 43:18-19 that You will "do a new thing" (open a window?) and that You will "even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert." Here I am Lord, ready to travel that road or cross that river, whatever it takes to reach that open window. Thank You for Your message of hope and encouragement today. I can hardly wait to see what window You are going to open next! Amen.