Bathrooms and Bereans

 

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After having four pregnancies and given birth to four beautiful children, I have become familiar with the ladies’ restroom in pretty much every place we have EVER been. It was no surprise when I needed to leave the warmth of the Farmer’s Market one cold October morning not so long ago to trudge across the parking lot to the building that housed the ladies room.

 

When I reached the steps at the door of the restroom I was surprised to find a woman standing there. I curiously asked if she was waiting to use the restroom. She said she was but that the door was locked.

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“Locked?” I asked, confused.

“Locked.” She replied.

“How odd,” I said. “If I remember correctly there are several stalls in there. Is someone cleaning?’

She shrugged her shoulders.

 

We waited…

Funny how the cold air enhanced my need to use the room, behind that door.

We waited…

The line grew behind me.

We waited…

Finally, an elderly woman, apparently familiar with this building, questioned why we were all waiting.

 

I told her what the woman in front of me had said and reached my arm beyond her to try the door in order to prove this woman’s statement.

 

I felt the blood rush to my face as the door flew open to an empty ladies’ room with no less than twenty stalls awaiting! A dozen anxious women rushed in behind me as the woman in front of me stood red faced and embarrassed.

 

I pondered over that situation all day long.

 

How often have I accepted what someone had told me without questioning it?

 

Trust is important, no doubt. Questioning my husband when he tells me that he was at work all day would be a foolish waste of energy. He’s never given me any reason to mistrust him. Questioning a girlfriend when she compliments me on my new hairstyle would be an insult to a dear friend.

 

But, there are times when we need to question things we are told. We need to check it out for ourselves. Test it. Seek proof. Then and only then can we accept it and live by it.

 

The Word of God says this in Acts 17:11: “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”

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Do you do what the Bereans did? Do you dig into your Bible on Monday morning and examine the words that you received at church the morning before? Do you know the Word well enough to digest current events from a Biblical perspective?

 

There was a time when I did not. I was battling a long standing sin in my life and was desperate to find deliverance and peace. So desperate that when I was told to buy certain audios and videos that addressed this sin and listen to them over and over again, I did.

 

I never questioned whether they were true or not. There was testimony after testimony declaring the effectiveness of these teachings.

 

These teachings led me further and further from Truth.

 

My pastor recently said something of this effect, “a sign of maturity is when we no longer get tossed to and fro by the winds of whatever religious trend is permeating the modern church from one day to the next.”

 

“All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correction, and training in righteousness.”

(2 Timothy 3:16 NIV)

 

Beware of piecing Scripture together to suit a need. I’ve seen many teachers and preachers doing this. I’ve heard many well-meaning friends do this. I’ve done this. We need to consider the Bible in its overarching wholeness when we read each and every individual passage.

 

Redemption through Christ permeates every single page. Every word needs to be read, remembered, and memorized in light of the Gospel.

 

Imagine what could have happened had I never pushed on that ladies’ room door that day. It could have been a disaster of epic proportion. Remember, there were over a dozen of us trusting one woman’s statement as truth.

 

Join me. Be a Berean.

 

Love,

DLF

 

We Need Jesus

There we were sat, I sipping my tea and my daughNew_1_DSCF0690ter and her friend sipping pumpkin spices lattes. The campus shop felt warm and cozy on this cold, rainy October morning. It had been raining all week long. The warmth of the tea filled my mouth and warmed my belly. Delightful.

 

I had my cup poised at my mouth about ready to take a sip when my daughter’s friend quipped, “Look at that guy smoking. He needs Jesus.”

 

My eyes settled on a college student passing by the window where we sat. A twentyish looking man was walking with a back pack on, puffing away on a cigarette. I thought about what my daughter’s friend had said. It wasn’t the first time she had made that particular declaration during her sleep over at our home. This little saying seems to be her first response to anyone behaving badly in any way.

 

I pondered her insight and maturity as the girls chatted about all things teenage girlish.

 

She didn’t respond as I would have.

 

If I had spoken out about that “guy” smoking, it would have sounded more like, “Look at that guy smoking. He should know better. What’s wrong with him?”

 

My response: Judgmental. Critical. Harsh. Unloving.

 

Lindsey’s friend’s response: Truth. Understanding. Caring. Loving.

 

I heard someone once question, “Why are we so shocked when people misbehave?”

 

Sinners sin.

 

The Lord has been really been working this over in my heart. I keep hearing, “Look past what you can see.”

 

We are all created in God’s image. We all have good and bad in us.

 

Oswald Chambers said this in my morning devotion today, “No human being knows human beings as God does.”*

 

Oh, how I pray to see with spiritual eyes, with more clarity than my physical eyes can see.

 

After all, every one of us just “needs Jesus”.

 

Love,

DLF

 

 

*My Upmost for His Highest, by Oswald Chambers, October 4, The Vision and The Verity

Cancer of the Soul

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I sat in my chair in a small Sunday school classroom looking at a handsome man writing on the chalk board (yes, I said “chalk board”…it was that long ago). The man was my Sunday school teacher, who later became my husband, Jim. The words that he scrawled across the board were, “Comparison is cancer of the soul”.

 

POW!

 

I cannot tell you for the life of me what else he said that day, but that phrase has hung in the rafters of my brain ever since.

 

Cancer is an ugly word. Cancer is an ugly disease. My mom died of cancer. It festered for years and she tried to ignore it. Finally, after gargantuan pressure from her family, she sought treatment. Right in the midst of chemotherapy it snuck up her spinal column and attacked her brain!

 

I’ll spare us both and not disclose more detail. You get the picture.

 

It’s sneaky.

 

It’s destructive.

 

It’s merciless.

 

What cancer is to the body, comparison is to the soul.

 

It ravages our self-worth, steals our confidence, and diverts our focus from a loving God to our “pitiful self”.

 

Or maybe it’s even worse. Maybe, just maybe, it puffs us up with pride, fills us with hauntiness, and makes feel like “god”.

 

How do we protect ourselves in a world that is filled with Facebook fabulous lives, Pinterest perfect homes, and Twitter tantalizing gossip?

 

Honestly, I struggle with this, as I suspect most women do.

 

My only answer is…the more time I spend in HIS WORD the better off I am.

 

Why?

 

First of all, it naturally limits my time with carcinogenic social media that can tear at my soul. Every minute spent reading, studying, and meditating on His Word is a minute not being spent on Facebook.

 

Secondly, it reminds me who I am, who God is, and what is truly important.

 

Third, it refreshes my soul and makes it stronger. I love spending time in Psalms when I feel a little beaten up by life.

 

Unlike physical cancer, the spiritual cancer of comparison has a cure.

 

“Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble and He saved them from their distress. He sent forth His Word and healed them; He rescued them from the grave.”

(Psalm 107:19 &20)

 

Love,

DLF

 

A Little Humble Pie

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“He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them His way.”   (Psalms 25: 9 NIV)

 

                I couldn’t have been more embarrassed. Well, maybe if I were standing in my friend’s driveway scooping up grass in my underwear, I may have been slightly more embarrassed.

But, only slightly.

Until this point in my day I was moving along with speed and grace. I had been up since five and whirling through my day.

I studied the Bible…

I walked the dog…

Got the kids breakfast…

Drove them to school…

Exercised…

Vacuumed my entire house…

Made bran muffins…

Wrote a blog post…

Drank a protein shake…

Walked the dog again…

Folded three loads of laundry and put them away…

All before noon!

I was feeling pretty good about it all when I headed to Bible study at my friend’s home. As I turned down her street, I noticed a work van turning behind me. So, I spun around and backed into her driveway as quick as I could tug my little steering wheel. I wasn’t sure which side of the driveway she wanted kept open for her husband, so I popped out of the car and rang the doorbell. I turned to look toward my car and thought, “Oh my, where did they come from?”

Wedged under my car were three bags of yard waste that I had dragged up her driveway from the side of the road. I made a huge mess! Wet, soggy grass clippings, branches, and twigs were all over her beautiful driveway. I never saw them.

I was totally humiliated.

She was gracious.

I was humbled.

Friends, I am so grateful for the Father’s loving care and attention! I beg Him to keep me in His will.  I love it when He puts me in situations like that so I can see how things really are. I can see how much I need Him! I can’t even see a few big bags of yuckiness on my own and make adjustments to avoid them. How many catastrophes has He saved me from? How many hurtful words has He kept from leaving my lips? How many sins has He helped me to avoid? On my own, I make big messes! Not one of my accomplishments could even slightly compare to His.

On my best day with all my ducks in a row, I’m still but dust…

Nothing really of my own accord…

As I give it all to Him I become His masterful workmanship in the palm of His hand.

Love,

DLF

Feet Like His

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His feet were bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters.”   Revelation 1:15 (NIV)

 

When my two oldest boys, Nick (now 24) and Michael (now 22), were feisty little guys, they were into mischief at every opportunity. Once, I walked through my back door to find Michael holding an empty container of dish soap. Beside him sat a baby pool full of sudsy water. I removed the bottle from his hands and passed judgement with the speed of a race horse pressing for the finish line. As Michael spent that sunny afternoon in his bedroom, banished from the pool, Nick played carefree in a freshly refilled pool. Later, after Michael had been disciplined, I found out that his older brother was the responsible party.

I bought into my oldest son’s schemes hook, line, and sinker. I was always busy. Too busy to judge fairly. Quick to blame and quick to pass out consequences. Both my sons suffered for it because one was treated unjustly, bearing consequences that did not belong to him. One was left go free of consequences that would have proven valuable in his training and learning experiences.

In our key verse today we learn that Jesus had feet that were bronze. I recently heard Rick Renner teaching on this verse and he said that this Greek word for bronze only appears here in Revelation and nowhere else in the Bible. He also defined it as meaning that it was bronze and frankincense. My curious mind would not stop milling over those facts. I looked it up and sure enough he was right. The Greek word is chalkolibanon, a compound word made up of chalkos: a vessel of brass and libanos: frankincense.

According to Mr. Renner, the bronze symbolizes judgment and the frankincense symbolizes prayer. Jesus, our Lord and Savior not only judges us He also prays for us.

I always had this image of Him praying and making regular intercession on my behalf. I know He prays continually for all the saints. I know that we pray to the Father in His Precious name.

What finally hit me was that He not only judges justly, He judges PRAYFULLY!

I didn’t know this truth twenty years ago when I was staring into a gazillion bubbles that warm summer day. I didn’t know Jesus at all. But, thankfully I know Him now.

Each passing day I long to grow more and more into His likeness.

Join me today as I pray for abundant growth in this area. To be like Jesus in prayerfully accessing all situations, SLOW TO JUDGE AND ABUNDANT IN MERCY.

 

Father,

May we have feet like that of Your Son and Savior. May we be prayerful in every move we make especially those in which we need Your superior discernment. May we be ever mindful to come to the Only One who judges justly.

In Jesus name,

Amen

Love,

DLF

 

 

 

Transition

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If your home is like the Fair household, you are in the throes of transition.

We have had a major transition at this time of the year, every year, for the last nineteen years.

Shifting from the easiness of summer into the rigidity of school has always been daunting.  Whether homeschooling as we did up to eighth grade or heading off to school, transition requires a great deal of energy.

Sleep schedules need to adjust.  Eating schedules need to adapt. Everybody needs to pull their heads out of the clouds and get refocused.

I’d love to share a few tips and tidbits that I’ve learned through trial and error as well as a few from other resources.  I strongly urge you to check out those resources.  I promise you, it will not be wasted time!

1. Be realistic: it’s okay to eat off paper plates, order pizza in once and while, and let cleaning out the junk drawer slide a little longer.

2. Lists, lists, lists: I love lists! Make a list for everything! To do lists. Grocery lists. This week’s outfit list. Don’t laugh at that one! I wish I had a dollar for every time I reached for a particular shirt or pair of pants only to realize I wore it earlier in the week and it still needed laundered or ironed.  Now I preplan my outfits for the week and I know everything will be wearable when I need it. Speaking of clothes…

3. Lay clothing out the night before along with all the necessary things to start a day smoothly: self explanatory, I know, but it really does help!

4. Use a notebook:  The late Anne Ortlund introduced me to the “notebook” in her book, “The Disciplines of a Beautiful Woman”.  She shares, “After several years of literally living out of it, hesitantly, very hesitantly, I shared it one time at a women’s conference.  Whammo!  It went off like a bombshell. Scores told me they were going home to buy notebooks. I shared it at other conferences, and the feedback began. I’d hear the words ‘it changed my life.’ “. (p.84)  She devoted an entire chapter to the notebook. My first reaction was, I love this book but that idea is truly out of date.  The original copyright date was 1977. I thought, I have an iPad mini and a smart phone. What on earth would I need with a notebook?  Curiosity drove me to Amazon to look and see if they even sold notebooks or day planners in this day and age. Indeed they did. I thought about it, prayed about it, and decided to order one. This one:   http://www.amazon.com/Day-Runner-Undated-Refillable-401-0214/dp/B001C8ELTK/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1441646525&sr=8-2&keywords=day+runner

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I could not live with out it now!  It has a pocket that my mini tablet fits into perfectly. I keep lists, menus, coupons, sermon notes, prayer requests, appointment cards, business cards, recorded calendar dates, goals, and much, much more in this handy dandy day runner!

5.  Stay healthy:  You may say okaaaay…how?  I love the principles in Stormie Omartian’s book, “Greater Health God’s Way: Seven Steps to Inner and Outer Beauty”.  This book is also an oldie but a goodie.  The steps are simply common sense, godly living; “peaceful living, pure food, proper exercise, plenty of water, prayer and fasting, fresh air and sunshine, perfect rest.”  Chances are if you’re not feeling great, one of these “steps” is out of sync.  Stormie says, “The Seven Steps to Greater Health are a consistent, reliable, preventative way of living that promotes good health.”  (p.27)

6. Guard your prayer time like the warrior you are:  I actually saved the best for last!!! Richard Foster shares, “Prayer catapults us unto the frontier of the spiritual life. Of all the Spiritual Disciplines prayer is the most central because it ushers us into perpetual communion with the Father.” (The Celebration of Discipline, p. 33)

I’ve probably over shared at this point. Leave a comment and add your own tips!  I’d love to hear them!

Love,

DLF

 

The Power of Invitation

The Power of Invitation

by Denise Fair

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Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field.”   Matthew 9: 37-38

 

 

Soggy mud cupped around my bent knees. Warm rays of sunshine kissed the crown of my head. My fingers scratched around in the dirt as my preschool son was swinging blissfully on the swing set behind me. An energetic one year had given way to much needed sleep in his crib. It was a perfect September afternoon.

As I pulled dwindling summer flowers from my garden to be replaced by fresh autumn varieties, my neighbor, Stacy sat beside me. A familiar scene played out as many times before. She was easy going and soft spoken with a million dollar smile that graced our regular backyard chats. Today’s chat ended with a promising offer. Stacy had invited the boys and me to her church that Thursday for a fun day of games, crafts, food and fun.

 

Moms Day Out.

 

Free babysitting for my rambunctious one and three year old boys.

 

Conversation with other women for me.

Thursday came and we excitedly followed Stacy and her daughter to their church.  Our enthusiasm mimicked that of ravenous hyperactive boys awaiting pizza delivery. Similarly, there was great satisfaction at the end of day. Mom’s Day Out delivered exactly what we needed.

The second week was equally as rewarding as we crafted stylish covered journals made from composition notebooks.  As we were cleaning up, the leader of the group made an announcement. She was passing out thin paperback books as she proclaimed that next week we would start our Bible study with week one of this book on pursuing godliness.

What?!

There I was like someone on the beach turned to smile at family while a gigantic rolling wave womped me from behind, face planted in the sand.

It almost felt like a deal breaker. But the boys were having such a good time and I needed the break. I was growing to love these kind hearted women, too! I didn’t want to give it up. But, I didn’t even own a Bible!

As we strapped into the car I found my resolve hiding behind uncertainty and insecurity. I pushed them aside and my resolve and I turned into the nearest Christian book store on the way home. If I was going to do this, I was going to do it right!

An hour later, two boys napping soundly, I sat with book and Bible on my lap and “Bible friendly highlighters” by my side…the clerk said they were an absolute necessity. As I opened those pages God’s Spirit washed over me. I cried buckets that day. I called my friend and she led me in prayer. I became a new creation that day!

I know in hindsight many seeds were planted throughout my life. The Christmas Eve services that were occasionally attended. Summer Bible schools Mom made us go to because we got on her last nerve.

Many times these seeds were watered by the prayers of God’s faithful servants.

The harvest came after one simple, powerful invitation.

 

The God Who Sees Me

 

                                                                                           

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Written by Denise Fair

August 5, 2015

 

 

The angel of the LORD found Hagar near a spring in the desert; it was the spring beside the road to Shur…She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” Genesis 16:7 &13 (NIV)

 

 

One of the benefits of coming to salvation at thirty is the treasure trove of lessons that you learn in hindsight. Didn’t we always do better on retests in high school because we learned well from our mistakes? Likewise as I reflect on my past, I can clearly see God’s hand in many major life changing events.

Hagar’s knowledge of God had come only through second hand experiences and overheard conversations between her mistress and master. Yet, He knew her. As a matter of fact, He knew things that she didn’t even know about herself.

 

The angel of the LORD also said to her: “you are now with child and you will have a son”…     Genesis 16:11a (NIV)

 

Years ago I had a “Hagar” experience. I was surrounded with over packed moving boxes up to my eyeballs. Our offer on a new home had been accepted and were pre-approved for the mortgage. The final piece to our puzzle was the approval of the mortgage for the couple who were planning on buying our tiny starter home. Repeatedly assured by our realtor that there would be no issue, I packed up our belongings and prepared for the move. The previous months were a roller coaster ride of emotions. Most were not pleasant. We were in a recession. Selling a home in that economy was akin to selling a rowboat in the Sahara.

When the phone call came that our buyers’ mortgage fell through and the seller of our new home was not willing to wait, I could almost hear the laugh of pessimists worldwide. Our contract with our realtor hand timed out.

 

I was done.

 

The day she came to remove the sign she hesitantly revealed to me that she had an offer from a single man for our humble, little home who was already pre-approved.

I sighed with the heavy heart of a tired, frazzled woman. She then told me of a new listing that was perfect for us—if we’d just try one-more-time.

 

I had no desire to go this road again.

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There was no thought to pray. I had no connection to God and no idea that He cared for me.

Somehow, someway God reached through the icy walls of my heart that day. Just as in His moment with Hagar, He revealed to me that He knew more about my life than I did.

We sold our home, bought the new one and moved in under a month. We moved right next door to a woman who would eventually lead me to Christ and become my friend and mentor.

 

Amazingly, He is the God who sees me.

 

Have you ever had a “Hagar” moment? Can you see how God has worked in your life even before you gave your life to Christ?

Please share as you feel led.

Love,

DLF

 

 

 

Hello world!

Hi Friends!  Thanks for visiting my site!

Welcome to my very FIRST post.

This is so exciting!

photo by Lindsey Fair
photo by Lindsey Fair

 

I have many plans for this little space on the internet.

The most important plan is to bring glory to God and share what He has, is, and going to do in my very simple life!

Come along with me as we unpack the power of His Grace!

 

 

 

 

 

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