Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Cheetahs Allowed!

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around
like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. “1 Peter 5:8

Five of us sat around a beautifully decorated table, drinking our tea, eating cucumber sandwiches and enjoying an afternoon of girlfriends. No husbands and no children. Just five females with little girl hearts and grown women schedules.

After chatting and laughing, time led us deeper in our conversation. We talked about our heart hurts and soul joys. The glory of God shown upon us simply because a) we invited Him to be among us and b) we were real with each other, not apologizing for tears nor editing our words.

This is community. And it is VITAL.

My pastor described an attack of the enemy in church this past Sunday using the analogy of a cheetah.

The cheetah runs after the herd of gazelles with amazing speed. He can’t attack all of them, so he gets between them and separates one family. As he chases them, he looks to the weakest and separates that lone gazelle. Then he catches up to it and unmercifully pounces and devours.

The enemy of our hearts wants to devour each of us. One way we can fight him is to make sure we are not isolated but in community, surrounded by those who will strengthen our relationship with Jesus.

I am so blessed to have friends who point me to God. We could use our time together drinking tea and gossiping or drinking our tea and tearing someone else down, but we don’t. At least we try not to.

What is your community like? I have many friends and many more acquaintances but my community, those who I trust my heart with, are folks that love me for me, tell me the truth, and encourage me to follow Him.

Dutch minister Abraham Kuyper wrote, “He is your friend who pushes you nearer to God.”

If you don’t have a community like this, start praying for one. It will take time but pray, seek and wait. You might find it in a Bible Study or a group of Jesus followers who serve in a capacity that is important to you. You may find it in friends or fellow parents. When the Lord leads you to a community, cherish it and take care of it.

And don’t be afraid of the cheetah, but be aware of the cheetah “He who is in you, is greater than He who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4

Friday, September 21, 2012

Deep and Wide!

It's Five Minute Friday and I am blogging on the prompt "Wide" suggested by the Five Minute Friday leader Lisa Jo Baker. Interested in knowing more and joining the gang, go to

Five Minute Friday

Mrs. Wright would stand up and announce, “Okay, Sunbeams, it’s time to sing.”

We’d pop up from the colorful round rug and stand up, stretching our five-year-old bodies. “Jesus Loves Me” would already be playing. Our Southern Baptist Sunday school room was a tiny dot in the middle of West Texas, but to me it was the center of my universe.

One of my favorite songs that our little lungs would belt out was “Deep and Wide.”

“Deep and Wide, Deep and Wide, there’s a fountain flowing Deep and Wide…”

We’d add hand motions and for fun try to sing it really quickly and really slowly. I loved it.

Forty-five years later, the lyrics to that song come to mind as easily as my phone number. Engrained on my heart, it evokes childhood joy and the simple pleasure of innocence. And as I think about it today, I realize the meaning behind those lyrics. It’s all about the love of Jesus!

His love pours over us. Unconditional, all consuming and without end!

I see that little Robbie in that Sunbeam circle and I smile. Little did she know, angels were dancing around her and Jesus’ love was being poured out like a fountain on her five-year-old heart.

The great news? Today nothing has changed but time. I’m now a 50 year old Sunbeam under a waterfall of His great Deep and Wide love!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

At 50, I've Realized Some Super Powers!

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 1:18 – 20 (emphasis added)

As I grew up in West Texas, I did not have a favorite super hero. I never wondered how I would manage to save mankind while moments away from being smashed to death by two walls closing in on me. (A predicament often seen in the old Batman shows.)

My eyes were filled with stars and hearts and I dreamed of being the wife of John Boy Walton or being the 7th Brady Bunch member. Robbie Walton. Robbie Brady. Nice sound to it, right?

But I did watch the show “Wonder Woman” and sat amazed at the powers of a woman with a perfect figure, invisible plane and jewelry that could shoot lasers.

I just turned 50! Half of a century of living. I am a wonder woman in my own right, just as any gal who has turned 50. The other day my friend Desha from California and I were talking about my home of Colorado of 5 years. She said, “You can drive in snow? That’s a super power.”

It got me thinking about the super powers I have obtained through my time here on earth. Here’s my list. See if you relate:

• I am able to balance a checkbook while finding extra money for a night out with my family. This takes x-ray vision to see the available pennies.

• I can take a nap almost anywhere at any time, even though I am an extremely light sleeper.

• I am able to make myself invisible in order to keep eyes on my boy. Most moms have this power.

• My ears can attune to a hurt friend even when it’s not apparent. This power is a recent one, a true gift of maturity.

• Although I am nowhere near being faster than a speeding bullet, I can locate a sale item in a store faster than any 20-something.

• Instead of being able to scale the sides of buildings, I am proud to say that I have the super power of scaling the wall of fear and flipping myself over. With time, my super power of courage has multiplied.

• And finally, I can fly through the stupidity of inane chatter and gossip, jealous biting and trivial pettiness. Words that attempt to hurt me and make noise to distract me from God’s message have become simple obstacles to fly through, my cape flapping in the wind.
Do you have some of these same powers? I hope you do and I hope it hasn’t or won’t take you 50 years to realize them. Here’s the secret of walking into my life with the freedom these powers have given me: The power of God!

The same power that God used to raise Jesus from the dead is available for each of us. And not just for silly things like napping. Although sometimes the most spiritual thing you can do is take a nap!

This power is available to us to be able to walk through difficulty with our heads held high. This power can give us the joy of the hope of God through dismal pain. This power can cause us to hear His voice and follow His commands. And this power enables you and me to LOVE others in a way where only Jesus can get the credit.

Want real Super Powers? You don’t have to wait for a birthday. Ask Him now and Holy Power, Batman!! He will come!

Friday, September 07, 2012

Hannah, full of gracefulness

A stepdaughter is a wonderful gift from God. Not always easy, but delightfully rewarding in so many ways.
I met Hannah when she 8. Big chocolate eyes and long brown hair with an uneasy willingness to let me into her life. Memories of her cross my mind like I’m looking through a scrapbook of photographs. A little girl flying high on a swing in a park. A doe eyed daughter clinging to her Daddy. A young teenager spending her money at the mall the minute it was given to her.
Once we took Hannah to a gymnastics lesson. Her dad and I sat on the bleachers and watched her run and tumble. She was 10 or 11 and gangly and enthusiastic.
I remember watching her learn to cartwheel.  John and I, ready to clap and cheer her on, watched in dismay as she fell flat.  It was as if we were watching an Olympic ice skater do her routine only to fall down during a triple.
“Go Hannah…go…go…OUCH!”
She was fine. Undeterred she went again and again. Her spirit was willing but her body…well, not so graceful.
Two weeks ago, John and I travelled to California to meet Hannah’s first child, a sweet little princess named Natalie. Hannah still has chocolate eyes and long brown hair. Her uneasy willingness to allow me into her life has disappeared. She placed little Natalie in my arms and said, “Meet Grandma.”
I watched Hannah being a new Mom during our short visit and it made me so proud. It was if I was watching an Olympic Mother, new to the sport but enthusiastic and confident. No stumbling falls.
Just grace. My sweet stepdaughter, the graceful Hannah.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Remember Who You Are!!!

I put this picture up because God knows each flower - He remembers
each one - how much more does He remember us!

“In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war, Joab led out the armed forces… but David remained in Jerusalem…” 1 Chronicles 20:1

“ ‘The Lion King.’ A perfect example.”  
 “What? How?” I’d been talking to my husband about identity.
 He brought up a Disney movie. (The source of many great lessons.) :0)
John went on to explain. In the movie, “The Lion King” Mufasa appears to Simba in a vision and says  ( in that deep voice of James Earl Jones) “Remember who you are!” Simba thought his father’s death was his fault and therefore he wasn’t worthy to be the king. So he tried to escape his life by adapting the philosophy of a warthog and meerkat – Hakuna Matata.
Simba forgot who he was and needed reminding.
Are you like me and find yourself forgetting your identity?
I’m not talking about an occupation or a position in a family. I’m talking who you and I are in Christ. Ephesians 1 spells it out. Who am I? I am redeemed, forgiven, blessed, accepted and chosen. (Among other adjectives.)
When we forget who we are we adapt philosophies the enemy brings. Lies that take us to that place of thinking and believing we are less than who we are.
King David, a man after God’s own heart, forgot who he was. 1 Chronicles 20:1 says, “In the spring when kings went to war…” David didn’t go out and battle. Instead he stayed home and had an affair with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. He forgot he was a king, and his choices led to tragedy.
So how do we remember? We remind ourselves daily. We ask the Spirit to remind us. We remind others, and by doing so, remind ourselves.
You, the one reading this! Let me remind you WHO YOU ARE!
If you have asked Jesus to forgive your sins and lead your life, you are:
REDEEMED! If you are redeemed, don’t walk around in guilt. You are HIS. He bought you with a price on that cross.
FORGIVEN! If you are forgiven, you can’t go around binding yourself to tiny dreams and tasks because you are not worthy of a bigger life. You are forgiven completely. So live in freedom and go big!
BLESSED! If you are blessed, don’t go around living life like a victim of circumstances. Hard times and trials come, but you are not a victim! You are a victor through Christ because He has blessed you with every spiritual blessing!
ACCEPTED! If you are accepted, you can’t go around in insecurity feeling uniquely bad or in pride, especially gifted. You are accepted just as you are, not because of anything you do or don’t do, but because of Jesus. Your acceptance is because of God and His character, not your failings or successes.
CHOSEN! If you are chosen, don’t go around feeling like what you have to offer is not important to your children, spouse, and coworkers. God chose YOU to live the life you have. So stand up tall and keep in touch with the One who chose you to go for it!
It’s time for you and me to remember who we are!
The past few months the enemy has begun a barrage of evil whispers, trying to convince me of my identity: Robbie you are a menopausal woman of near 50 who hasn’t accomplished anything in her life. You are a writer who can’t get a book published because you are not good enough. You are a victim of some kind of stomach disease that you should just lay down for.
It’s time for me to remember who I am! I am a redeemed child of Christ who lives for the King who adores me! I am a forgiven gal who can live in freedom! I am an accepted girl who God absolutely delights in! I am a chosen woman whose purpose is to love my family, seek Him and spread joy. I am a blessed, blessed, blessed writer who has the awesome privilege to use words to encourage.
Fellow sojourner for the Lord, I implore you. In the midst of grief, remember who you are. In the midst of going through a job loss or divorce, remember who you are. In the midst of a promotion or a dream coming true, remember who you are!
Now think it to yourself using James Earl Jones’ voice: (Cause when he speaks we listen :0) ) “Remember who you are!”