Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Prayer

As shadows flee and sun awakes
My heart doth sing a song of praise
For all You are and all You've done
For those like me, who love Your Son.
For cleansing us from all our sin
And giving us new life within,
For meeting all our daily needs,
Our anxious hearts filled with Your peace.
For friends and family far and near,
To both Your heart and ours so dear,
Lord, bless us all in every way.
Be with us this Thanksgiving Day.
Lord, give us grateful hearts that we
May share with others our love for Thee.

Dee Dee Wike -- 11/23/11

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Sharing the Hope this Holiday Season

The holidays are here.  For many of us that means calendars filled to capacity with semester-end school activities, holiday parties, and shopping to buy gifts for those special to us.  We will be presented with numerous opportunities to give to others, but what is it that we need most to share this holiday season?

Personally, there is nothing I need this year that can be wrapped and placed under a tree.  Since I am not in a position to give a lot in the way of material items, the best gift I can come up with to share with others is hope.  Hope for the homeless and heartbroken, encouragement for the lonely and downtrodden -- HOPE.

As you go about your activities this holiday season, ask God to give you opportunities to share the gift of hope with others, whether it be by donating your time or money to meet the needs of others less fortunate than yourself or simply inviting a lonely friend to spend time with your family during the holidays.  "Let the Word of God dwell in you richly" (Colossians 3:16) and "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give a reason for the hope you have" (1 Peter 3:15).

Christmas is all about hope -- the hope that entered the world as a child, died on the cross as our Savior, and rose to reign as King.  Will you share that hope with others this Christmas?

Saturday, November 19, 2011

No Place Like Home

Sometimes we want to run away
To live a life of ease
Where worries magically disappear
And strife gives way to peace.
The stress we live with everyday
Becomes too much to bear
When we forget all things to take
To God in daily prayer.
Although God loves and cares for us
He never promised ease
But we can stand upon the Word
Of Him who is our Peace.
If solitude and peace you seek
And freedom from all care
Remember, He who is your Peace
Has promised to be there --
Always with you, never failing
Those who are His own.
Run to Jesus knowing that
He is your "home sweet home."

Dee Dee Wike -- 11/20/11

Friday, November 18, 2011

How Will You Live?

Living, moving, being in Him
Because He lives in you,
Searching for ways to be used by God,
Seeking His will to do.
Fleeting days quickly passing,
Little time does leave us
Looking for ways to tell the world
About our Savior, Jesus.
How will you spend this day, my friend,
Serving yourself or others?
Resolve to be His hands and feet
In the lives of your sisters and brothers.
Live as a vessel of His light and love
As you go about yur daily affairs,
Knowing that others will see God in you
As His love, grace, and mercy you share.

Dee Dee Wike, 11/18/11

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just Be

The clock ticks relentlessly as I sit here with You.
It knows all the things I desire and must do.
With rhythm so steady it beckons me away
From the peace of Your presence to face a new day.
How I long for the luxury of more time spent with Thee
Where instead of feeling rushed I can simply "just be"
Alone in Your presence, wrapped up in Your love,
My mind not on earthly things but focused above.
Lord, open my eyes and please help me to see
That as long as You're with me I can simply "just be."

Dee Dee Wike -- 11/17/11

Monday, November 14, 2011

Morning Prayer from a Desperate Heart

Oh Lord, I don't know where to start.
I come to You with an aching heart
That desperately wants to know You more,
To know just what You have in store.
My mind is cluttered and over-filled.
Oh, how my soul longs to be thrilled
With thoughts and words from You alone!
Displace the clutter, re-take the throne
Of my aching, wretched, callous heart.
Forgive my sin and in me start
A new work in this heart of stone.
Oh, make it clean to be Your home,
A place where love and peace are found,
And mercy, grace, and trust abound.
Lord, make me new and help me be
A servant who lives for Your glory.
I yield myself to You today.
Lord, in my life please have Your way.

by Dee Dee Wike, 11/14/11

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Why Oscar is So Grouchy

The other day I was thinking about Oscar the Grouch.  For as long as I can remember the cranky Sesame Street character has fussed and bothered about every little thing, just like some people I know and live with, including myself.  As I considered the source of his grouchiness, I wondered if perhaps the reason might be that Oscar is living in a trash can filled with stinky, messy garbage.  That would make me more than a little cranky.  In fact, some days I walk in my house and quickly become irritated because of the messes that are simply part of our day-to-day existence.

Our lives are not unlike Oscar's trash can.  We live in a culture characterized by foul language, filthy entertainment, and sinful habits that leave us irritated much of the time.  Perhaps that is because the very sin we live with is contrary to God's laws and will for our lives, and knowing that creates conflict within us that makes us cranky and downright difficult to be around.

Perhaps if Oscar got out of his trash can, cleaned up his act, and took a stroll in the sunshine he'd actually be a pleasant fellow for a change.  So might we if we confessed our sin, turned away from the negative influences that leave us dirty and marred, and actually stepped into the light of God's love.

The struggle against sin will always leave us with feelings of conflict.  Paul wrote of this very conflict in Romans 7:14-20:
We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.  I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.  For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.  Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

If you are feeling a little grouchy today, check your living conditions.  Confess your sin, ask the Lord to clean you up, and walk in the light of His love.  Before long you will find a spring in your step, a song on your lips, and joy in your heart.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The Best Gift

Thanks to the commercialization of Christmas and the ever-growing competition by merchants and advertisers to whet our appetites for the latest technology gadgets, coolest fashions, and hottest toys, our children make their wish lists weeks before the holidays and pad them with more expensive gifts than we can possibly afford.  The season of giving has become a season of getting for many, and the joy and wonder of Christmas are replaced with stress and worry about how we are going to pay for it all.   

Christmas was once a time when thoughts of peace on earth and goodwill to men were ideals that were considered precious, ones which we strived to embrace all year long.  But more often than not we make Christmas—and all of life—about ourselves and our wants, not what we can offer to others to foster a more peaceful and meaningful existence. 

On the first Christmas, God sent His only Son to live among us.  He himself is our peace (Ephesians 2:14), yet because many of us have not received the gift of salvation that Christ offers, we do not know what it means to have peace with others or ourselves.  Christ was God’s greatest gift to mankind, but many have not unwrapped the gift of salvation and therefore cannot possibly know the true joy and peace that come from an intimate relationship with the One whose birth we celebrate this time of year. 

The best gift of all is not the car in the garage, the new computer in the family room, or the diamond engagement ring symbolizing the love and commitment between a man and woman, but rather the Babe in the manger whose birth the very angels in heaven celebrated on that first Christmas night.   As we consider the gifts we will give others this year, why not give God the very best gift of all – our surrendered hearts and lives?  Guaranteed to bring a smile to His face, it is the one gift God will never return for a refund.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A Girl Can Dream

And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. -- Joel 2:28, NIV
No one will ever give me the title of "Biggest Loser" -- I love food too much for that and simply don't have time to exercise -- but I am without a doubt in the running for "Biggest Dreamer."  My dream life has always been very active, resulting in chronic sleep deprivation as my mind works overtime to process what is on my mind and in my heart.

Last night I had wonderful dreams!  Dreams so good that I woke up thirty minutes before the alarm was set to go off even though I'd only had about four hours sleep.  In my dream I re-enrolled as a Mary Kay Beauty Consultant (third time's a charm, right?).  I said to my director, "Maybe this will open the door for me to meet some of favorite people."  Immediately Beth Moore walked through the door!  Oh, how we laughed when I hugged her and told her what I had just said to my director!  Beth Moore is at the top of the list of people I want to meet because of her passion for God's Word.  Next, after half-heartedly throwing my name into the drawing for a new Honda Odyssey, I learned that I had won the minivan!  (I have been praying for an affordable used car for our family, but I like the notion of winning a new one much more!)  All three things occurred in my dream within a thirty minute period.

Joseph, an ordinary boy whose father loved him more than his brothers, was a dreamer, too.  When he shared his dreams with his family his dreams nearly got him killed!  After being cast into a well by his brothers, who were consumed by jealousy, and imprisoned for a long time because of a woman consumed with lust, God exalted Joseph to a place of leadership and put him in the position to do good to many, including his own brothers who had forsaken him and left him for dead.

What is your dream today?  Perhaps your dream is to make a lot of money, have a lot of influence, or be younger physically that you are chronologically.  Or maybe you dream of making a difference in the lives of the people around you by doing the things that God dreams of -- walking in obedience to His Word, knowing and doing His will, and serving others by shouldering their burdens and encouraging them as they face the challenges of living in a fallen world.  If your dream is not something that is consistent with God's will for you, then pray that He will place His dream in your heart and fulfill it according to His purpose.