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The big, capable hands of God.

All my life I’ve been aware of my large hands…large for a woman that is. No one thinks twice about the large size of a man’s hands but to me, when a woman has large hands, people can take notice.

Her only flaw:

The Seinfeld show even devoted an episode to this subject. Jerry had started dating a very attractive woman whose only flaw was that she had man-hands—meaning her hands were large and coarse like a man’s. Many of the Seinfeld episodes came from the perspective of very self-indulgent characters who superficially put value on the wrong things. But I admit when I watched that one, I realized that having large hands was a very real thing. (Don’t remember? Here’s a very brief CLIP from that episode.)

Over the years, I’ve taken less notice of the size of my hands and instead have focused on what those hands can do. In the photo above you’ll notice just how many puzzle pieces I can hold at one time. This comes in very handy when putting 1000 pieces back into the bag for storage. (tee hee)

Here are a few other things my larger-than-normal-for-a-woman hands can accomplish:

  • Comfort and support when offering a personal prayer.
  • A “big” demonstration of love when holding onto a grandchild’s hand.
  • It’s easier to clean up a mess of spilled cereal. Silly but true.
  • They hold a lot more peanut M&M’s than someone else’s more petit hands. A definite advantage.

While I still at times wish my hands (and feet I might add) were smaller, mostly I’m able to accept they’re simply a part of me and “me” was created by God. And He makes everything beautiful and perfect.

But most importantly…

When I look at my hands, they remind me of the even bigger hands of God—hands able to create, hands able to protect, hands that enable, hands that perform miracles, hands that enfold in love, hands that protect, hands that can be trusted.

So, if looking at my hands turn my attention to God, then my hands indeed are perfect. And I love them. I absolutely LOVE them.

But Lord, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter; your hands made us all. (Isaiah 64:8)

What do the hands of God remind you of?

Mimi

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Does God want our kids mowing the lawn? A guest post from Jason Wright.

A friend recently shared this story with me and it’s a good one. Of course, I’m now sharing it with you. Please use this LINK, then skip over the FoxNews flash headlines and get right into the article that follows.

The author, Jason Wright, is a New York Times bestselling author, columnist, and speaker. He’s written lots of books and is a popular speaker. Some of his topics include inspiration, faith, and the lost art of letter writing. Want to know more? Just click HERE.

Let me know what you think about today’s post. I bet you’ll agree with me that this story reminds us some very important truths.

Mimi

Confession Time!

I’m confessing and it pains me to know I even need to.

I almost had a car accident the morning and it would have been totally my fault. Worse than that is knowing I could have caused great injury to someone else or someone else’s property.

Why? Because while driving I had a momentary lapse in concentration. Sure did. After running errands, I was on my way home and simply put, not paying close attention. I wasn’t on the phone, wasn’t listening to the radio. In fact, if you’d have asked me a few seconds earlier, I would have said I was practicing very safe driving.

I only knew I nearly caused an accident when, after turning a corner, I heard a car horn blaring at me, and out of the corner of my eye was able to see a car driving past way too close for comfort.

I immediately felt terrible.

I felt terrible, but I also thanked God for protecting the other person as well as myself. I still desperately wanted to express sorrow to the other driver, but there was no way to make that happen.

I bet you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. Not necessarily while driving a car but perhaps without meaning to, you caused or almost caused harm to someone else through your words, an action, or even a look.

As a believer, most times I think I’m fairly kind-hearted. And since I genuinely care for others, it really is never my intent to cause hurt. Yet I do. Just this past weekend, I hurt the feelings of our youngest grandson. After spending some great time helping him with a game he devised for the adults, I blurted out a clue he didn’t want me to. And that blunder cancelled out all the fun we had had up to that point.

My heart was heavy with grief and I couldn’t apologize enough. I wanted to take back my mistake. And I wanted to erase his pain. But none of that was possible.

In life, we will undoubtedly cause pain to others.

Sometimes on purpose and many times without intent. Likewise, on occasion, we will find ourselves on the receiving end of pain.

While I couldn’t do much more than apologize to Callan, there are a few things we can do when we find ourselves on the giving or receiving end of pain. If we doled it out, we need to apologize, as quickly as possible. Even if we don’t find out until later, we need to do what we can to correct the situation as soon as we realize what we’ve. With sincerity and without blaming the reason on anyone or anything else, our heartfelt apology will go a long way to righting the wrong.

If, however, we find ourselves on the receiving end of a hurtful action, we also have a choice in our own re-actions. It’s so easy to take on the offense, play the victim card, and wallow in the pain. Whether or not the other person ever apologizes or even realizes what they’ve done, just forgive them. Yup. It’s that simple.

Everyone is guilty.

Everyone is guilty of uttering words they wish they could take back. We’ve all inflicted pain…yes, even on purpose. We may even have caused pain without realizing what we did or said was hurtful.

If we are quick to forgive, the pain can hopefully begin dissipating sooner. Often, a conversation won’t even need to take place. You simply forgive in your heart, and move on.

Other times, a conversation will be warranted. These conversations can help the other person understand how their actions caused pain. And they may clear the air about long-held beliefs and feelings. Sometimes we may discover the pain we felt is simply our response to a circumstance. That there is really nothing to forgive. And that the painful response may be a signal to ourselves that we may have an area in our lives that needs the healing touch of the Lord.

So, Callan, if Mommy is reading this to you, I hope you know how sad I felt for disappointing you and messing up your game last week. And I hope you can forgive me. I love you so much and feel terrible that something I did, caused you to feel so sad.

Let’s Pray

Father, the truth is…we both experience and cause pain to others. Sometimes on purpose; many times, without even realizing it. Help us to be attentive to Your voice when you bring these circumstances to our attention. May we be quick to and quick to forgive.

Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. (Ephesians 4:32 NCV)

With love…Mimi

I’m proud to be an American!

In just a few days the nation will be celebrating the anniversary of our independence. I thought it fitting that I share Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA. It’s just one of those songs that brings you to your feet in joyous acclamation for the freedoms we enjoy every day in this great land. Feel free to turn up the volume and sing along!

Don’t move now!

While cleaning out some old writing files the other day, I came across a post I thought was so great that it must have been written by someone else. There was no notation on it attributing it to anyone so I assumed I copied it from internet, forgetting to include the author info. Imagine my surprise when I did a keyword search of my writer friend’s files (covering years of her posts) and discovered not only did I write it, but she published it on her own website.

It really is a good read and a great lesson in trusting God with your life and with His perfect timing. Originally written in 2008, I share it now with you.

How I began to dread hearing that.

Every seven minutes, for 2.5 hours, while laying on an oh so hard table for two MRI’s in one day, I would first hear, “It’s your break,” meaning I could move, all too quickly followed by, “Don’t move now!”

You know the drill. You’re perfectly fine until those words are uttered. Then, all of a sudden, your nose itches, your leg twitches, or in the unlikely event you actually begin to fall asleep, your head does that big jerk thing—how in the world are you supposed to follow the instructions about not moving!

I actually thought I had it licked after the first hour and ten minutes. I’d made it through; I knew what to expect. Or did I?

The second time around everything was magnified.

The intervals seemed to come less often while the break time itself sped by. I didn’t dare sleep and I was about all prayed out, which is what I had done to pass the time during MRI #1.

Don’t move now! Don’t move now! DON’T MOVE NOW!

I realized it wasn’t the technician talking to me this time; it was God. And He wanted to talk to me about the times in my life when He’s also told me, “Don’t move now.”

God began reminding me of the times when I wondered why doors of opportunity weren’t opening for me. Turns out He was saying, “Don’t move now.”

God may urge us to stay put for many reasons—for our protection, because the timing of a new venture isn’t quite right, because there are still things to accomplish in our current situation, to give us rest, and so on.

And while we can indeed become restless, or bored, or itch for something new, if God is telling us, “Don’t move now,” then we need to tune our ears to hear and then obey.

The children of Israel learned this.

When they were running for their lives from Pharaoh and the rest of the Egyptians, God would clearly show them when and where to move. “By day you led them with a pillar of cloud, and by night with a pillar of fire to give them light on the way they were to take (Nehemiah 9:12, NIV).

I’m betting the “move” part was fairly easy to do since they were being chased. It’s often times the “waiting” that’s so difficult. But the Bible even talks about this in Philippians 4:12 (NIV) when Paul says: “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation.”

So next time you hear in your spirit the words, “Don’t move now,” take heart, dear one. God may be telling you to rest in Him. Know that He’s got a purpose, trust that He’s leading you, and continue doing what you’re currently doing until He tells you when it’s time to move on.

Pray With Me

Father, you are God and you are good. You are completely trustworthy and I can rest in You. Though I get anxious at times and find it hard to be still, I know You’ve got my life in Your Hands. So please help me to not move ahead of You. To be patient. To lean into You during the times you are telling me to be still. And to joyfully appreciate your continued protection and direction in my life.

Mimi

Happy(?) Father’s Day

How did you spend Father’s Day yesterday?

I’m sure many had special get-togethers to honor their dads. For me, I typically get to spend the day with my dad because we only live a few miles apart. But this year, we got to enjoy the day with my brother Rich and his family as well while on a little vacay in New York. Since Rich rarely gets to spend Father’s Day with our dad, this was very special indeed.

But while Father’s Day for many is a fun-filled day or activities or appreciation, I’m also certain some dads and their kids are separated by miles so cards and phone calls have to do. And I’m equally sure there are many households without any celebrations or remembrances at all simply because there isn’t a dad present due to death, divorce, or abandonment.

We all have a heavenly Father.

If you are one of those without a dad to honor, there is good, good news. Because you still have a wonderful Father who loves you beyond words.

Don’t believe me? Well, read the following excerpts from a crosswalk.com article by Cindi McMenamin entitled 10 Ways God is the Perfect Father (in Case Yours Wasn’t). You can CLICK HERE to read the entire article on Crosswalk.

You will never have to earn his love:  You may have felt that you had to earn your father’s love and respect by accomplishing great things to make him proud of you. God is not a father like that. Romans 5:8 tells us that “God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

He has your very best in mind:  It’s natural for humans to be selfish and consider themselves before anyone else. So, if you had a dad who was unselfish and willing to sacrifice his own comfort for yours, you had a gift – a glimpse of what Your Heavenly Father is like. Scripture tells us, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” ( Romans 8:32).

In Matthew 7:11, Jesus said: “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” God not only has the ability to give you anything you desire (as long as it’s good for you), He also knows your situation down the road and what will be best for you in the long run, as well as eternally.

He knows you intimately:  It is one of the deepest needs of the human race. To be intimately known. Yet sometimes we hide who we really are out of fear of rejection or that someone may lose interest in us when they discover what we are really like, warts and all. Scripture says your Heavenly Father knows you intimately.

In Psalm 139, David said, “You have searched me, Lord, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways” (Psalm 139:1-3). God knows your thoughts before you think them, your words before you say them, and your actions before you carry them out. And with all that intimate knowledge of you, He continues to love you like the perfect Father.

Parting thoughts…

If you found yourself a little down yesterday because your own dad has passed away, I hope you were able to savor sweet memories. But if you don’t have a dad due to something else, my prayer is that you’ll be able to delight in knowing you have an absolutely amazing Heavenly Father who holds you in the palm of His hands and who loves you beyond measure.

Mimi

Being held in God’s hands.

Several months ago, I read a devotional that reminded me that we should rest in the Father’s (God’s) hands. His hands can be trusted. His hands are strong. His hands are secure. His hands are comforting. His hands are protective. His hands are all-encompassing.

I was so taken with the image in my head of what this would look like, that I jotted a reminder to myself to search for the perfect image of His outstretched hands. Maybe I could even superimpose my name in the palms of those hands, then print out the picture, frame it, and display it on the wall to serve as a constant reminder that I’m in God’s hands.

Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

Alas, I’ve been unable to find the perfect image or to figure out how to insert my name short of hiring someone to draw the hands with “Cindi” in them.

But just looking at the photo above and reading over my notes about being in God’s hands serves to remind me that God’s got me. He’s never letting go. He chose me with those hands. And with those same hands He drew me to Himself.

You, too, are in His Hands.

There’s very good news, my friend. You are also in those hands if you know and love God. If His son’s sacrifice has been acknowledged by you, if you’ve repented of your sin that separated you from Him. If so, then you are indeed in the wonderful Body of Christ. And securely in His hands.

But that same great news is also available for those who have not yet acknowledged Christ’s sacrifice. If you can imagine God’s beautiful hands outstretched toward you and take it as His call to you to come to Him.

Roman’s 10:13 reminds us that “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.”

The how.

Also involved is acknowledging your sin. It’s a condition of our heart and we’ve all sinned. Romans 3:23 states “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Recognize that there is a penalty for that sin. “The payment for sin is death. But God gives us the free gift of life forever in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6:23 NCV).

Ok, so I’m a sinner and the payment for that sin is eternal death. Now what?

Glad you asked. Accept or believe that the death of God’s son Jesus on the cross was for you. Yup, without even knowing you, Jesus died a horrible death making that totally impossible payment for your sin so you could become part of His family and know that your eternity is secure with God. “God shows his great love for us in this way: Christ died for us while we were still sinners” (Romans 5:8).

WOW. That’s amazing, isn’t it!

Let’s review.

We’re all sinners. But God loved us so much, even without knowing us, that He had a plan. That plan was to have His son, who lived a perfect life and therefore was a perfect sacrifice, die a horrible death on a cross to pay the punishment for our sin. We repent or turn away from our sin-life, believe the death of Jesus was for us personally, and we become a part of God’s family. Eternity starts the moment this happens, even while on earth. So, from that moment and forever, we’re children of God and in His loving, beautiful hands.

What is our response?

I imagine there are two basic groups of people reading this. Those who are already in God’s family and those who are not. If you’re already a believer in Christ, then use today’s post as a launch to praising Him for all He’s done for you. For holding you in His very loving, capable hands.

And if you are not yet a believer in all God’s done for you, then don’t wait any longer. Make today the day, YOUR day, to turn from your sinful ways, to acknowledge all that God has done for you, and turn your life over to Him. Then rest in the assurance you are now resting in God’s hands. The hands outstretched that now carry your name in them.

With ever so much love,

Mimi