Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Let This Be A Lesson To You

October 17, 2016

Luke 17:32 Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! 33 If you cling to your life, you will lose it, and if you let your life go, you will save it.

Ever had a moment when you revisited an old habit? Like attempting to smoke a cigarette years after you quit? Or calling that old knucklehead boyfriend long after you broke up? Maybe you went back to the club when your clubbin’ days were way far in your past.

Not that I would know about any of this first hand, mind you. But, I would imagine the desire for the familiar can seem easier and less complicated than moving on to some unknown destination. Sort of like going back to the devil you know versus the devil you don’t know. It might not be a smart solution, but you know what to expect. At least you think so.

That’s the trouble with looking back to what you left behind. It’s pretty much never as good as we remember it to be. And because we’re not focused on what’s ahead, we could miss all the great things God is doing right in front of us.

There is a reason you quit smoking. It can kill you. It says so right on the package.

There is a reason knucklehead is part of your past. He did not respect the woman you are. All your friends told you that. And don’t even think about going back to the club. I, er, you couldn’t dance back then with your red solo cup! Now is certainly no different.

And it wasn’t that we weren’t warned about the dangers we had left behind. Lot’s wife knew Sodom was not a godly place and that she was not to look back as the Angels were guiding her away. But maybe she was like I am sometimes.

I hear God’s word but don’t meditate on it and take it into my heart. I am a hearer only and not a doer of His word. But some warnings won’t keep coming around. Eventually we have to live with the consequences. It’s been said that one way God’s word gets in our hearts is when they break.

Remember Lot’s wife! Maybe, just maybe, this is the warning we will heed. Perhaps we’ll get this one right the first time and not have to endure heartbreak before we figure it out. The very next time God says go (or do or stay or speak or pray), then we obey and don’t look back. We let go of our lives and give him control. Even though we don’t know exactly how it will be better than what we had, we know He only wants the BEST for us.

I can just picture Jesus singing this Temptations tune…

So if you just put your hand in mine, We’re gonna leave all our troubles behind. Keep on walking and don’t look back. Forget about the past now. There’s nothing behind you. Keep on walking girl, and don’t look back.

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You are Forgiven

May 15, 2016
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18, 19

My husband and I were 30 when we got married so I didn’t want to wait too long to add children to our family. It proved to be more difficult than either of us expected. So off to the doctors we went. They did all the tests but couldn’t find a medical reason. It was during this frustrating time that I really understood the forgiveness of God.


The desire to have a child and feel a life growing under my heart was so incredibly powerful. More than any drink or drug, it ruled my every thought for so many months. And those months turned into years. Part of the crazy was the drugs I took to increase my fertility. But the other big contributor were the voices in my head shaming me.

Through all these months my mind replayed every single thing I’d done or allowed to be done to my body. Had my stupid lifestyle choices caused the infertility? The really bad relationship choices? The total absorption with doing exactly what I wanted when I wanted?

Why wouldn’t God answer my prayers for children? I had done all the “right” things – college degree, good job, wonderful husband, house in a good school district. Didn’t I deserve to have children? Was infertility my punishment for past life choices?

These thoughts consumed my days and nights. Until they drove me to my knees. What I needed was to confess, repent and be forgiven. The memory is still vivid more than 20 years later.

On my knees beside our bed, I cried out to God begging forgiveness of all the sins of my sordid past. What happened next is what stays in my mind. In the pit of my stomach I felt a revolving ball of all those sins. Every one.

And God reached in and delivered me. In those moments all that I confessed and repented of was forgiven. It literally felt as if he physically reached in and took that ball and tossed it into the sea of forgetfulness. He would remember it no more. I was forgiven. It was as simple and as incomprehensible as that.

The key would be for me to keep God’s period in place and not replace it with my enemy’s question mark. Occasionally, a memory of forgiven sin will pop into my mind. As quickly as possible I remind myself that God has forgiven and forgotten and He has made me new.

The story ends happily as my husband and I have two fantastic children. As with all dark times, if we let them, they will lead us straight into the loving arms of our mighty Jesus. Selah… Andrea

 

Honor by Association

May 3, 2016

Her husband is respected at the city gate, where he takes his seat among the elders of the land. Proverbs 31:23

City gates were part of a city’s protection as well as places of central activity. Important city-gates-01business transactions took place there. When Boaz wanted to become Ruth’s kinsman redeemer, he went to her other male relative at the city gate to have witnesses to his offer. The city gate was where court was convened and announcements were made. I imagine them as being the place to see and be seen.

Can’t you just picture the men congregating to discuss important matters of the day. Peddlers with carts loaded with fruit or birds for sale. People coming and going through the gates as they returned from travel or left on a journey. Folks coming to hear the latest news as they drew water from the well. The city gate was “the place” to hang out. Kids playing in the dust.

A seat “among the elders of the land” was a high honor indeed. The husband of the Proverbs 31 woman is respected and obviously well-known. Who wouldn’t be with such an industrious wife? His position is secured because of how his wife carries herself and stewards all that she has. He receives honor by his association with her.

My husband reminds our children that they represent the entire McCaskey family and their behavior in public should mirror that fact. Growing up, we would hear my grandmother or an aunt tell us not to “act a fool” in public. (For the record, acting a fool in private wasn’t tolerated either!) Pastors say, “Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future.”

Our actions – positive and negative –  reflect upon those we are associated with, family, friends, church, work. The same holds true for the bride of Christ – the Church. How we carry ourselves as Christians reflects back on the Kingdom of God, on the Godhead. What we do (or don’t do) in public and in private, allows others to form an opinion about Christ and other Christians.

The question I’ve asked myself recently is what am I reflecting to others? Do my actions and words bring honor to my husband?  Do the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart give glory to God? What about how or where I spend my free time? Even what I wear can impact another’s view of Christ.

Not that I’ll get it right every time, but I want to at least be aware of when my actions might shed a negative light on my husband, my family or my God. In Luke 17:1, Jesus said “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.”

Lord, help me always choose to act in ways that honor you and bring glory to your name. Do not let my actions or words cause another of your children to fall into sin or fall away from you. Amen.

Selah… Andrea

 

 

Perspective

November 10, 2015

This year God and I decided that we would work on two things: my character and allowing him to be first in everything. Let’s face it, this was all His idea. I was game for both but was not looking forward to it, at least not the character development part. When God developed Joseph’s character, there was a lot of pain, pits and even some prison. And I am not gleefully walking into a season that might, at least in my mind, lead to that.

But a few days ago in  in my mChairorning quiet time, I realized I had gained perspective on something that is a game changer for me. We have a chair in our den that my fabulous husband selected. I have spent a lot of time in that chair. A. LOT.

In my head I saw that chair as the place where I wasted a lot of time. Time that would have been better spend on something, anything else. Washing, writing, studying the Word, spending more time with my family. I have beat myself bloody over the amount of time spent in that chair.

This morning while reading a friends blog posts, I realized that yes, I have spent time in this chair flipping channels or reading the 999th romance novel. But, this is also the chair I come to when I am in the pit and need the comfort of the familiar to work my way out. This is the chair where I read my Bible and am now writing my blog.

This chair, with its wide rolled arms is where I have held my children when they needed some Mama love. It is the chair the ladies in small group get here early to claim. When the pressures of work or marriage or parenting or life with all it demands overwhelm me, I come to this chair and find rest.

Rest, like in the arms of a loving and gracious Father who wants me to know he is the lover of my soul and he wants my best for his glory. Maybe this character development won’t be quite as painful as I one thought. It is all in my perspective.

So yes, I have wasted time in this chair. And, in this chair I have felt the breath of God as He wrapped me in His arms and whispered my name… Beautiful. Redeemed. Loved. Mine.

Selah…

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September 18, 2009

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