You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence... Psalm 16:11

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My Blog

Ridley Barron Ministries has been working on our new website for several months now. It is up and running full speed ahead. We continue to pray and dream about new things coming under our umbrella of ministries. I can't wait for you to see what God is up to.

This will be my last post on blogspot. Please take just a moment and go to and click on Blog. Then click on Lisa's Blog. There you can simply click on RSS feed or enter your email to keep receiving my blog updates. I am so grateful that you have been a follower of my crazy writings. I am always open to hear what your interest, thoughts and comments are in regards to what I share.

I pray for you, as my readers and I would ask that you continue to pray for me as I am in the middle of writing my book.

Big Jesus love!


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

What Does Your Table Look Like?

With Thanksgiving only a day away, I keep coming back to the table. I am not referring to decorating because my mom is hosting Thanksgiving this year. I am not referring to going back for seconds although her cooking is worthy. I am referring to the table itself and what it represents.

My mom is know for some of the prettiest table decorating. She puts thought and effort into it. There are amazing colors, candles, napkins and inviting themes that make you want to hang out there well beyond the last crumb. If you think about it the table represents so many things. The table is not only a place of provision and abundance. It is a place where conversations happen. It is where business transactions may occur. It is a place where friends gather. It is a place of laughter or prayer. It even has religious symbolism.

I have a glass top table in our kitchen and the finger prints that once stressed me, now remind me that with four teenagers, there is still table activity. I still believe whoever is home should be at the dinner table. There were times growing up when the world would call and my dad would step away from the table. There was the time I sat at the table for the last time before heading out to my own apartment. There were the times I sat by myself and reheated my dinner as a single mom. There was the conversation at the table when Morgan let her wall down with Ridley. There were the nights Ridley sat with a calculator and went back and forth from praying and figuring on how to make the church budget work. Ahhhh, the table and all its memories.

In reading my Bible this afternoon I found this verse, "May the table set before them become a snare; may it become retribution and a trap. May their eyes be darkened so they cannot see, and their backs be bent forward." (Psalm 69:22 & 23) At first reading, this didn't sound anything like the sweet table memories I have. I did some digging and realized that God is referring to the unbelieving. The message was to those who feast on the things of the world and become blind to the things that are good for them. When the delights of the world combine with corruption of our nature, then we don't see what we really need to feed ourselves in a healthy way. False desires become the fuel for sin in our lives and our feasting table becomes a snare.

As you pull up a chair tomorrow to some of the most beautiful tables and some of the tastiest foods, I pray that your focus and your heart is healthy. May you smell the aroma of Christ in your life. May you be completely filled with the love of Christ. May you desire His best in your life. May you let Him prepare the table where you can find the most complete satisfaction. May you be grateful for His grace and faithfulness. Sit with a new awareness of gratitude. God may have decorated your table a little different than you pictured this season, but He is absolutely the best at knowing what you needed. Taste and see that the Lord is so good and stay a while. Sit at His table and rest. He is waiting for you to pull up a chair.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What Is Going On With This Marriage Stuff?

I don't even want to answer the phone lately. I have received too many calls where I hear devastating news about people I care about. In the last several weeks, I have had five phone calls asking for prayer and encouragement because another marriage is falling apart. A couple of weeks ago I was parked in the Walgreens parking lot when I got one of those calls. My heart fell as I literally covered my mouth in shock. The story sounded all too familiar but the characters were different. It is a story that I only want to share about myself. I never want anyone else to experience. I know they will.

Last week Ridley and I were headed to the airport and my phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and I immediately looked over at Ridley. He asked why I wasn't answering the call and I explained that I was afraid to. As I dialed the number back, I began praying that the news or need would be a good one. It wasn't. Adultery had reared its ugly head once again and this time I was mad. After hanging up, I blurted out, "What is going on with this marriage stuff?"

So what IS going on? I know commitment is thrown out the window at the first sign of difficult. I know that Americans have "rights" and maybe that perspective is flowing over into their marriage. Maybe entitlement trumps honesty and integrity. Whatever the case may be, I am praying for marriages to be strengthened. ALL marriages. I am praying for families to heal and be restored. I am praying for husbands and wives to be best friends.

If you find yourself at the window ready to throw your commitment out or you are too tired to try, let me help just a bit. Almost about every man or woman has bills. They all have issues and they have bad days. They all age and their bodies change. The things they own can be gone in a minute. I say that to simply say, if you think replacing your spouse with someone else is a better life couldn't be more wrong. You are just starting the cycle all over again. The Bible says in Proverbs 5:32, "But a man (or woman) who commits adultery, lacks judgement; whoever does so destroys himself.

Love your wife. Love your husband. Fight for your family. Choose to do the right thing. A selfish decision can bring self destruction. Proverbs 5:32 says so.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Shame On Me

Shame on me for thinking the way I think at times. It is a good thing that my thoughts are not His thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8). Shame on me for thinking the lady in the grocery checkout doesn't need to be spending her food stamps on quality meat. Shame on me for thinking the homeless guy carrying a smartphone has his priorities wrong. Shame on me for thinking the CEO of a corporation is selfish for having a company jet. Shame on me.

I find myself more desperate to imitate Christ and yet my fleshly ways rear their ugly heads. How does that happen? If I truly read and adopt all the promises and commands in The Word, how does my brain over power the truth so often? I mean, I am one deep thinking chick most of the time. I have to be. With the past that I picked out for myself, I constantly have to retrain my thoughts. I often tell ladies that after certain situations and circumstances, you will never think the same again. Of course God can do the whole renewing of the mind, but it still requires us "taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ" (aka my translation "Trap the crap" from 2Corinthians 10:5).

God doesn't do His best with lazy sons and daughters. He wants Kingdom kids that are go getters. For example, Christ wants us to serve. The outcome of that serving is His responsibility. He wants us to love. The willingness of the recipient is up to Him. He wants us to tithe and then He is the one from whom all blessings flow. So, if I am to look at people through the eyes of Christ (at first glance) then I have to work at it and Jesus will help me to see all things in a beautiful way.

I have struggled with eye infections since June. I have been to the doctor almost every two weeks and have been on meds since that time. My eyes stay red and water constantly. Basically, I look like the most emotional and depressed Christ follower. It has been a constant nuisance and reminder. I have been reminded to pray for new eyes....physically and spiritually.

So let me tell you what I have learned with my new eyes. I have personally experienced all three "shame on me" moments that I mentioned in the beginning. After learning more about the people and trying to see things differently, this is what I found. The lady at the grocery store with her food stamps has a son with very specific allergies and she is doing her best to take care of his diet within her limits. The homeless man with a smartphone has it for a reason. He has to be able to check in for his work shifts so he can make enough money to get his kids back. He also desires to stay in touch with his kids until they are back together. By the way, the smartphone was a donation if you just wondered why he didn't have a cheaper phone. I know this because I thought the same way at first. Lastly, the CEO with the private jet uses his jet to fly people all over the country. It is his ministry to love on others that may not be able to afford travel or for someone who has an emergency. He also spends air time getting to know people and their stories a little better. He is a busy man who still finds time to make people feel special. He is a man giving back for the ways that God has blessed him.

Shame on us for assuming the worst at times when God really wants us to see Him at His best. I challenge you to look at things differently today. Get to know the characters in God's story and in those moments you will see of the most beautiful things God is up to. The real blessing comes when He just might use you and your new eyesight to help out.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lunch On The Other Side Of The Tracks

I had planned not to blog about my lunch adventure a couple of weeks ago. I changed my heart and my mind. My prayer this morning was for my heart to expand as much as Jesus needed it to in order to love all the people that He is putting into my life. The more I get out and meet new people, the more I realize God wants us to love people.

I think we tend to throw the word LOVE around a little too loosely. We love certain foods, we love certain movies, we love certain songs, we love whatever. The Bible says numerous times that we are to love people. (Leviticus 19:17, John 13:24, John 15:12, John 4:11, 1 John 4:7, 1 John 3:14). Now that doesn't mean you can't tell your friend you "love her hair". However, I wonder if it has become so easy to throw love out everywhere except to people. I mean the strangers or the people who look different than us. People across the world understand the impact of love. Even people who don't believe in Jesus Christ understand the real meaning and feeling of love. Imagine if that was lived out in the way God really intended.

These are the thoughts and prayers of my heart and a few other friends lately. So we decided since we have grown up in Jesus together, it was time to really love people. We have shared tons of lunches over the years. As much as I love lunch with friends, we did the math and realized we could be loving on a lot of people during those hours and still be together. As we gathered around a kitchen table for the first day of outreach lunch, we prayed for the Holy Spirit to guide us. We made our homemade cookies and headed out. We went to the area where we had all driven past numerous times over the years. We couldn't tell you one story about any of the people who live in that area. That was about to change!

We knocked on doors and were greeted with uncertain faces that quickly softened when they realized we didn't have an agenda or campaign material. We shared laughs, stories, and prayers with several. As we rounded a corner of a row of houses, we saw a man sitting on a front porch. As we approached, we heard his little radio and saw his denim overalls. He waved and greeted us with the same look of uncertainty. Our conversation was sweet and interesting. Mr. Scruggs lived by himself and had been in that house for forty years. He had ten kids grown and busy. He knew history about our small town and was overjoyed with our simple homemade cookies. He asked for seconds as he joked and stood to share hugs. I will never forget Mr. Scruggs. Pushing back my tears, I felt guilty for the years of lunches and my selfishness. He invited us back soon and that is a lunch I look forward to.

As we finished the small section of homes, we had extra cookies. We went over some nearby railroad tracks and the scene was completely different. Within just a few yards, the houses were grand and well kept. The hired help was out in the yard and I have to admit that our homemade cookie offer suddenly made me a little nervous. I wasn't sure what reaction we would get. The greetings of uncertainty didn't fade as quick and the smiles weren't so obvious. There were looks of confusion and doubt. One person even offered to pay us for the cookies. I wondered if they would even eat them. I quickly wanted to go back to the other side of the tracks.

I don't share any of that for anything more than to challenge you. There are people everywhere waiting to be loved. There are people who love their things and have forgotten the love of people. There are lonely people with lots of love stored up to share. You don't have to give up your friend lunch or your Starbucks run. Just find a way to share it with someone else. It will fill you up in so many awesome ways that you will want to have lunch out every day.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Finding My Way Through the Memories

With yesterday being my birthday, I couldn't help but think about memories. Most of the time it has been more fun for me to think about the memories of my younger days with family and celebrations. As I got older, special events and birthdays became a magnet for disappointment. When I was married before, I found myself dreading those memory making moments. I had grown somewhat numb to the treatment I got (or didn't get) on days like my birthday. However, I worried about my kids, my extended family and my friends as they watched with anticipation of a new opportunity for things to be different. Those special people in my life stepped up each year to try to recreate sweet memories for me. Those did matter and carried me most times.

Being married to Ridley for four years now, I find myself wanting to slow down time since I just found him. Then at times I want it to all go fast so I can have more memories under my belt that are happy, loving and fun to remember. Part of "do overs" in life is finding the balance between what to remember and what to forget. It is about remembering the things that are productive to remember so you can trace God's grace in your life and live grateful each day. It is letting go of the old things that try to creep into the new memories and eat away at them like a cancer.

A couple of weeks ago I was at a family reunion with Ridley's family....his big, extended family. There were eighty plus people there and typically that is what you will find every Memorial Day Weekend. I sit and listen to stories and honestly, I still try to remember who goes with who. It is a lot to keep up with. I love getting to know each family member and I love listening to stories as I try to cram as many in my memory bank as I can. They have been so loving and accepting of me and my girls. On Sunday morning, during this year's family reunion worship time, there was a memorial service moment where we remembered and reflected on the family that has passed away. With each picture on the screen, I had very few memories to reflect on. I sat in my chair almost wanting to squeeze my eyes shut as if to make some appear in my thoughts. I will admit it was a bit of an empty feeling. There were pictures of Josh and Sarah as well. I am the first to want to keep those memories alive for the people I love, but in that brief moment I felt I was in the way.

For the next few days, my thoughts would trail to my negative memories that I really want to forget most of the time. Then my thoughts went to the fact that I don't have very many new memories to cling to. That doesn't mean I don't have great friend and family memories over the years, but I am referring to my immediate family, grown up memories. I guess you could say it is the mom, the dad and the kid memories. I couldn't find my place in the memory department. It was almost like watching a DVD and rewinding or fast forwarding to get to the right place in the movie, but you just keep passing it by.

As I was driving one of the days after the reunion, the verse Jeremiah 1:5 popped in my head from nowhere. (I just want to say I don't always remember where something is in the Bible so I have to look it up. Don't ever feel bad for not knowing where to find the verse. It is most important to just know it). Jeremiah 1:5 says, "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb". In that moment, I took a deep breath and peace landed smack dab in my heart. I am a Jesus memory!

If you are feeling like you are trying to find your place, your worth, your name, or your memory. There is one constant thing you can anchor to. There is one single point of reference you can always go back to safely. There is one mark you can always bank on and shoot for. You are a giant, Jesus memory! May that single thought land smack dab in your heart today and give you PEACE.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nobody is Looking

Like most people, I watched several tribute shows regarding the anniversary of 9/11 over the weekend. I too remembered where I was, what I was doing and even the thoughts that ran through my head in those moments. As I reflected, I tried to put myself in some of those people's shoes. I imagined the people on the airlines that knew things were going wrong. I thought of the men and women who were trapped in smoke filled buildings and what must have gone through their heads. I thought of people on the streets that had to witness strangers jumping out of windows from the 100th floor. So many images were swirling in my thoughts every time I reflected on that one day. Then I realized something else. I couldn't tell you the name of one single person who was a hero that day.

I know there were many. In the worst of times we often see the best of people. There were men and women who pushed through their own personal fear to calm others. There were strangers that helped others with medical conditions down the numerous flights of stairs. There were the police and the firemen who risked their lives to go into the danger. There were moms and dads that made the tough decision to sacrifice, knowing they had family anxiously waiting to hear about their well-being. With that many people affected and that many people pulling together, I can't remember one person's name that made a difference that day.

I want to be that kind of hero! I don't want my name on a book cover so I can be remembered. I want people to hear about the Author and Finisher of real faith who can restore hope and provide healing. I don't want credit for loving on people. I just want a loving God to become real and personal to a world that is lonely and looking. I want to run the race that God has personally called me to run not to be a winner, but to share the kind of strength that comes from God. I want to be a no-name hero for God!

You see, it takes two hands to hold the horn we want to toot when we get prideful. I believe Jesus wants us to use those two hands to pray and to grab a hold of someone as they face the impossible. When nobody is looking, we are to love and serve at our very best understanding that we are doing it just because our heart genuinely wants to. At all cost, are we willing to be that kind of hero? Jesus was. He sacrificed big time for you and for me. People didn't believe Him and He didn't care. He knew what was good and right. Today, people still don't believe Him. He knew that was going to be the case too and He died for us anyway.

Be a no-name, do it anyway, kind of hero!!!!