GM of the Universe

Yesterday we had a guest pastor preach, Pastor Greg Surratt. We are in the middle of the book of James, and his task was to preach on the will of God.

the-book-of-james

People always want to know what the will of God is for their lives. Pastor Surratt delivered a great message on that topic, but I took away something else – what the will of God is not.

I was rocking right along with his message but came to full attention when Pastor Surratt said, “Quit trying to be the General Manager of the Universe.”

As my daddy would say, “You just quit preachin’ and gone to meddlin’.”

I’m a southern momma. Being GM of the universe is in my job description just under “Psychoanalyze adolescent brains” and “Have knowledge of all lost, misplaced, once unwanted but now desperately needed items of all members of your family.”

I mean, come on. If I don’t control everything, who will???

He went on to say that stress is what you feel when you try to take control over things which you have no authority. (You know, like the universe.)  Hmmmm….  Had to chew on that for a few minutes because southern mommas are supposed to have authority over everything, right???

Nope.  Not even close.  I think the people sitting behind me might have been blinded by the stream of light coming from the big ‘ol light bulb coming on above my head.

I just have to say this southern momma felt a little lighter, a little more free last night. Sure, I still have responsibilities and roles, but last night I realized how small they are in comparison to God’s job. It’s freeing to know He’s in control of every situation, both good and bad, small and ginormous. As Pastor Surratt said, “Nothing catches God by surprise. He’s already working on a solution before you know there’s a problem.” Well amen to that!

“’For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.’” (Isaiah 55:8-9)

This southern momma needs to remember on a daily basis she ain’t the General Manager of the Universe. I’m just thankful I serve the one and only God who is.

Watch Pastor Greg Surratt’s full message here:  http://www.churchofthehighlands.com/media/message/finding-gods-will.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

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Something Better

When I was in high school I thought I wanted to go to a hoity-toity school. I had good grades, lots of activities on the ‘ol high school resume, and friends in the class above me had gone on to Harvard and Yale. My parents took me to visit Duke and yep – that’s where I wanted to go to college.  (Never mind how in the world I thought my parents would pay for that.  I didn’t even give it a first OR a second thought in my self-centered teenager brain.)

 Duke

And I thought I’d get in. I thought it would be a slam dunk based on my grades and activities.

It wasn’t.

I can still remember opening the rejection letter from Duke. I remember literally wailing on my bed thinking my life was over and I’d never amount to anything because I didn’t get into the school I wanted.  (OK, so I acted like a spoiled brat.  What teenager doesn’t when they don’t get what they think they are entitled to???)

Looking back on it now, I know God was protecting me from failing out of school. See I thought I was smart in high school, but then I went to college and realized how hard it is and how many REALLY smart kids are out there. If I had gone to Duke I seriously think I would have failed out. And I never would have lived with my roommate at Auburn who dragged me to a Christmas break job where I met my husband (which is a GREAT story for another day).

I was so disappointed over one situation not happening like I thought it should. I know God was trying to get me to hear Him say, “If you’ll just hang on I’ve got something better planned for you.”

But I wasn’t listening.

Disappointment is a tough horse pill to swallow (kind of like those fish oil capsules. What’s up with the megapill anyway?).   When we are in the middle of self-pity it’s almost impossible to trust in His plan for our lives, to truly believe He has a better plan for us. And if we don’t trust Him we worry about the outcome. And we can be bitter if the situation doesn’t turn out like we think it should.

As I heard on the radio the other day, “Worry is believing God won’t get it right. Bitterness is believing God got it wrong.”   Ouch.

Look at what happens when we choose to trust in God’s plan for our lives: “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

Trusting in God’s plan for you will help you grow strong. You will not fear when problems come and you will be able to bear fruit even in times of mental, physical or even spiritual drought.

God’s plan > Leigh’s plan. Every. Single. Time. 

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.

The Barbie House

When my daughter was four I asked my dad to build her a Barbie house for Christmas. I just didn’t like any of the plastic ones I saw when I went to the 7th level of hell – Toys R Us. (The 6th level would be Chuckie Cheese…)

I knew Pop would do a much better job than the ones I saw in stores. He was living in Birmingham at the time and we were in Atlanta so I couldn’t view the house as it was being built. I started getting a little concerned when The Nana frequently called me with comments such as:

This Barbie house is taking on a life of its own…
I don’t think you understand how big this Barbie house is becoming…
He’s trying to find little lights for the outside sconces…

And I kept telling her it would be fine – I mean how massive could this thing be?

Massive enough that we needed my husband’s Suburban to transport it. Massive enough that when we moved to Auburn we had to find a house with a playroom big enough to house it.

You see Pop bought a Barbie doll so that he could build a two-story house to her specifications, meaning she could walk through the front door and stand up in her house, walk around and have a big time without ever having to hunch over. The house had a den, a kitchen and an awesome master suite on the top floor. And it had lights, too – real, working lights that could be turned on and off room by room. (I am thankful he didn’t decide to make the plumbing come to life…)

Barbie House

Pop produced a Barbie house WAY beyond my expectations. My daughter spent HOURS and HOURS and HOURS behind the house – it was one of the greatest gifts she could ever receive but never imagined was coming her way.

I asked Pop for one thing and was blessed with much more. And sometimes I have to remind myself that God can do so much more than I can imagine. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine…” (Ephesians 3:20)

“Immeasurably more.” As in I can’t measure how much God can do. I try to limit a limitless God with my simple knowledge and limited understanding. Only when I let go of my expectations and accept His sovereignty do I receive blessings beyond what I ask or imagine.

“Immeasurably more.” That’s exciting stuff, people! Let go of your expectations and let Him do immeasurably more than you can ever imagine. 

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.

Good Morning Everybody!

Sunday morning I woke up to the most horrible noise.

My dog was gagging in the den. Oh Jesus, please no. Not on the rug. I could hear her struggling to cough up whatever sock, dishtowel or stick she had ingested who knows when. And all I could imagine as I tripped in my sheets, grabbed my glasses (I’m almost legally blind, you know), tore open my bedroom door and started running for the back door was a pile of dog throw-up on my carpet, ‘cause you know they NEVER throw up on the tile or hardwood floors.

So as I desperately try to get her outside I type in the wrong code for the house alarm, unlock the back door and shove her outside just as the DEAFENING alarm goes off at 7:16 a.m. and wakes up anyone in my neighborhood that isn’t going to their 8:00 church service.

GOOD MORNING NEIGHBORS!!!
(Sorry about that…)

When we are in a state of chaos and confusion we often make mistakes that are loud, obnoxious and can affect those around us. The enemy loves to spin his web of confusion all around us and wait for us to get tangled up so that he can pounce on us with his poison like a spider does to a fly, causing us to make hasty decisions with detrimental consequences.

 Spider

The first step in untangling yourself from the web of the enemy is to remember that confusion and chaos does not come from God, and the second is to combat the situation with scripture. Both can be done if you memorize this verse: “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.” (1 Corinthians 14:33)

Then take a minute to slow down and breathe. Pray through the situation. Seek God’s wisdom and intervention instead of barreling through the problem on your own. (Yeah I can be the proverbial pot calling the kettle black on that one.) God promises clarity and understanding when we do, and He always delivers on His promises: “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)

Don’t make a hasty decision out of panic. Stop, pray, breathe, seek and receive God’s wisdom in every situation.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.

Pursuit of Perfection

Saturday night I was watching one of those news magazine shows on TV – I can’t even remember the name of it (the mind is the first thing to go, you know) but it was documenting women’s pursuit of perfection through plastic surgery. (Did you know Gangnam, South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world?)

They showed good results and results that looked like something out of horror movie. (Who in their right mind would think you could buy industrial grade silicone and inject that straight into your body???)

I’ve never had any work done but Lord knows I’ve thought about it. And I’m certainly not against plastic surgery – like many other things plastic surgery can be extremely beneficial for patients.

Unless you get addicted to it.

 Michael Jackson

I guess one of the most documented and worst case scenarios is Michael Jackson’s repeated nose jobs, but good gravy they showed a lot worse on TV Saturday night. (Exactly which cartoon character has lips like THOSE???) While watching these women purse perfection I wondered what doctor in their right mind keeps performing these dang surgeries? Can’t anyone just say, “Hey sister- take a look in the mirror. A good long look. I think you’ve had enough…”

And then I thought how sad it is that they are seeking perfection here on earth. Cause it ain’t gonna ever happen.

Sure – we can all do things to look better. (I could lose a few pounds if I would give up my jar of joy but I’m not so just don’t start on that.) But to think we will ever be perfect while here on earth is a frustrating, fruitless endeavor.

Believers know that one day we will be perfect.   We will stand before God faultless, blameless, a citizen of heaven and eternity. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.” (Ephesians 1:4)

Obsession with perfection on earth will always lead to disappointment. But pursuing perfection in Christ should always be the goal, and thankfully it will one day be fulfilled when we take our place in eternity! 

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.

Make Up The Bed!

This week my son is playing in a golf tournament in Macon, Georgia and staying in the house of one of my husband’s good friends.

And as any southern momma would do, I gave him the list of proper manners and tasks that he darn well better do while staying in someone else’s home:

Pick up your towel and hang it up on a towel rack (he’s actually pretty good at this one).
Say yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir and no sir to everyone at all times (again, pretty good but just in case).
Do not eat them out of house and home (this one has me worried).
(And the one I’m most fearful of) Make up that bed every morning. His feet aren’t supposed to hit a blade of grass on that golf course unless his bed is made.

And I guess I must have done all southern mommas proud, because this is the text I got at 6:01 Sunday morning:

 Bed Made

Isn’t that what we mommas want? For our children to be respectful, behave and treat other people’s stuff better than they treat their own when they are with other people?

Well I guess that’s what Jesus would like out of us, too.

If my son leaves his wet towel on the floor of the bathroom and his clothes strewn all over creation those parents would never think I’ve taught him anything at home (except they have 2 college age boys of their own, so I’m thinking they would cut us some slack…).

But the point is this: if we don’t reflect Jesus to others everyday, how will nonbelievers ever know what it is like to live with him every single day?

Being a believer isn’t all sunshine and roses, happy faces and puppy licks on the face. Trouble comes. But it’s how we handle both the good times and the bad times – and even the everyday, sometimes boring times that can make others want what we have – a relationship with Jesus.

As the Apostle Paul wrote, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Let’s all try to be a good example of Christ today so that others will know the upbringing we’ve received.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.

 

The Carpenter

My dad (Pop, as most everyone here knows him) has a little hobby of woodworking.  Actually, it used to be a little hobby, but when his tools, saws, wood and other knick-knacks started to overrun his garage he and The Nana bought a house with TWO garages – one for cars and one for all his woodworking stuff. (Nope.  I’m not even making that up.)

And just to brag on him a minute, here’s his latest:  a double dresser for this momma.

 photo

He’s built bedside tables, end tables, chest of drawers, buffets, computer desks, shelves, display tables for the retail store I was a part of – you get the picture.  Honestly, it if weren’t for him I probably wouldn’t have half the furniture in my house.

Sometimes I call him with a big project, and sometimes I’ve called him needing something smaller – a shoe rack, a bench for the laundry room, etc.  He can look through his pile of “junk” (as The Nana calls it), find scraps of wood that most people would throw away, and create a beautiful piece that serves a unique purpose.

Jesus was a carpenter, too.  And He can take the scraps of our lives and build them into something beautiful so that we can serve our unique purpose.  Often times we must be broken first, lying in a heap before He can do His thing.  Why?  Because when we are a mess of scraps we realize we need the help of the one carpenter who can make us beautiful again.

“Forget the former things, do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!”  (Isaiah 43:18-19)

It’s so hard, sometimes almost impossible to forget our scrappy past.  But Jesus can do a new thing in us.  He can take your broken past and build you into a new creation, but you have to be willing to submit your life to the one carpenter who can do the work.

Blessings!
Leigh

You can follow me on Twitter @LeighThompsonAU and enjoy my sometimes inspirational, sometimes humorous, sometimes quirky Tweets!

And if you like what you read, please share with others!  God told me to write for Him and my goal is to spread the gospel with a bit of humor and a lot of grace.