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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

A Crumb of Bread

Matthew 15:21-28 relates the story of the woman from Canaan who was begging Jesus to help her daughter who was severely demon possessed. Jesus' response seems a bit harsh, since He basically said I came to save the Jews. But she cried out again and worshipped Him. Again, Jesus replied that it wouldn't be good to take the children's bread and toss it to the little dogs.

She just didn't back down. She told Jesus that even little dogs get to eat the crumbs under the master's table. Then Jesus told her that she had great faith! And her daughter was healed.

Her faith excelled! Even though it seemed Jesus was going to reject her. She just didn't give up. All she wanted was a "crumb." Just a little. She knew she wasn't in Jesus' inner Jewish circle, but she had a need!

I love that idea of a crumb. Very tiny. A crumb of bread from the table of God is better than a loaf of bread in the hands of satan. How many times do we think our need is too small to bother God? Or too big for a miracle? What I see in the story is that the woman was not assured of an answer to her request, yet she worshipped Him. (verse 25) She agreed with Jesus that she didn't deserve the best, but yet if she could just have a crumb of His power displayed to heal her daughter, she knew it would be enough.

In my life, there has been those times I was so busy looking for the "big" that I missed the "crumb" that God provided. The woman saw the value of the crumb to feed little dogs. I believe that she knew if Jesus blessed a crumb, a miracle would happen. And it did!!

What I consider a crumb may be God's miracle for me today. Look for crumbs and worship God…believe in Him without wavering or doubting. Don't put your faith in the crumb, but into the Lord of the crumb.

God bless you

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

But I Want It!

I have been reading through the book of 1 Samuel. The Bible is so special because every time I read it, I see something that I wonder how I could have missed it. Or yet, I have read it before, noticed it, but then I see it in a new light. That is what happened when I read chapter 8. This relates the story of the children of Israel demanding a king "like other nations have a king." This demand is found in verse 5, 19, and 20.

They wanted it so badly that God told Samuel to give them a king, that they are not rejecting him but the Lord. My question was, "Does God still give us our beggarly requests because our prayers just will not take no for an answer?" I believe God does allow us to go in our selfish ways, but we will suffer for it. Then just like the children of Israel, when life gets tough, we come back to God asking "Why?"

So we are not any different than people in history. Our selfish desires take over. Look at the reason they wanted a king. They wanted to be like other nations. How often do we buy things, not because we need them, but because our friend has one. Or we want to be like our friends, or like the rest of our family. I have heard statements such as, "I will have "that" one way or other." Another one, "I will go "there" and its not negotiable." No different than Israel...they couldn't see beyond their selfish desires.

And the children of Israel did suffer immensely at the hand of kings. But does it need to be this way? Yes, suffering will come if we demand to have things our way instead of God's way. So wondering what the answer is to our dilemma, I remembered the Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." Verse 7a "be not wise in your own eyes.."

With all this is contentment. Contentment is learned. Being thankful with what you have. I was reading an article the other day which was talking about the "yet-praises" (Widow's Might) that no matter what the situation, we can yet praise Him. And we CAN!

Why are you in despair, O my soul?
And why have you become disturbed within me?
Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him,
The help of my countenance and my God.
-Psalm 42:11

God bless you

Friday, October 4, 2013

Freely Give? Give What?

This week, I have been reminded of the verse in Matthew 10:8...."freely you have received, freely give." Jesus was giving the disciples instructions on what to do and how to act when they go out to other villages to preach the Word. This was one of the things they were to do.

This week's theme verse for me is Ephesians 1:4-6....again, the last part of the verse " the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves."

As I read verses 4-6, I see several things God has given us. He chose us, adopted us, gives us His pleasure, with those few things I believe I'm quite wealthy. As I see it, there is not one thing here that our government can give to me. I just insert this sentence because I hear a lot of complaints about the government. Things the government can give me, they can take away. But those things that God gives me, no one can take away! God promises so much, He gives so much, and no one can take it away. I find great comfort in that.

But back to the verse freely you have received, freely give. What am I to give then? As I was reflecting on that this morning, God began to show me things He has given me and what I can give.

Love:  I can love someone, but what if they don't love me back? Or actually what if they hate me? Not only that, I really don't want to get involved in someone else's life. I'm really busy and if I love them, they may think I want to be a friend. You know, a friend that wants to do things, and I really don't have time for that.  Love, freely give!! 

Forgiveness: How often do I ask for forgiveness and God forgives. Do I really need to forgive others? I mean really, they have hurt me so often and continue to do it. What about the one who borrowed money and refuses to pay me back? The one who lies about me, and now my reputation is on the fence? And I'm to forgive? Really? The list goes have your own list. Forgive, freely give!

Encourage: A friend is so discouraged and depressed, oh well she deserves it. She is always complaining and talking of her woes. She got herself in the mess she's in, so let her find her own way out. Let me think, oh yes, I remember when I was really discouraged and God sent someone my way that had just the words that brought a ray of sunshine on my otherwise gloomy day. Encourage, freely give!

Kindness: A neighbor has car problems, but I have a schedule to keep. I never see them helping me. They will find someone that can help them. A mother has little ones, and needs a minute to run errands. Oh no, not me. Watching those kids, they are rug rats. She can take them along.  Kindness, freely give.

So now I have started the may continue. I am sure you have a few things you can add to the list. The thought is that we are provoked to good works, honoring our Lord. 

He freely gave everything to me and you. Pass His love on to others.
God bless you.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

In The Battle

Don't you just love it when reading the Word, things jump off the page at you!
I am reading through Deuteronomy and in chapter 20:3-4 jumped at me, "Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you."

This was given to the Children of Israel before they entered into Jericho to start the battle of overtaking the land that God had promised to them. They were to be strong and trust in the Lord for victory, but were to fight obediently, not getting involved in the pagan affairs.

This is the battle we are fighting....against the domain of the enemy. We are to fight with vigor and fearlessness. Oh we can make all the excuses for not going into this spiritual battle, but if we don't fight then the loss is ours. Why do we not fight when we know the rewards are all that God has for us. The enemy doesn't even love us, much less have blessings in a victory. Yet, we are lazy and let satan have his way.

Ephesians 1:3 "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us win the Heavenly realms with every spiritual blessings in Christ."

The "bold" words in this verse are every spiritual blessing...again in the battle Christin Ditchfield gives 3 of these blessings being wisdom, strength, and peace. But I put it into perspective of the battle I'm fighting...God gives me wisdom how to fight, strength to do the fight and peace in the victory!! 

We are not on our own in the battle! Let's fight fearlessly with God's wisdom, strength and enjoy the peace in Victory.

God bless you

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What Are You Thinking?

Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things."

What are we thinking? I don't see anything in this verse that gives room for "poor little ole me" stuff. I don't see anything that leads toward, "but what if" and it never happens. It's like I need to turn my brain off, and restart it to get it going in the right path of thinking.

How much time do we spend thinking on the negative, unjust, bad things, oh should I mention how much time are we criticizing people and the government. Let me read that verse again. Nope, I don't find anything that gives room for critical attitudes either. I believe the Word of God fits all those things that we are to meditate on. How much time do we really spend in meditating on the Word of God?

There are so many distractions, and then my mind goes tumbling around the things that need to be done, the things I failed at and wish I would have done differently. I feel trapped in my own head. How can I get out of this miserable state of mind?

Starting the day with reading the Bible gets me going in the right direction. Prayer. As we start to meditate on the Word, I believe throughout the day, God brings our attention to things around us that remind us of a verse or a song that we can meditate on.

The good thing is that even though, I have failed God, He does not fail me. He promises hold true. He takes my weeping in the night and turns it to joy in the morning. His love never fails, ever! He loves me, He protects me, and He cares for me like no other.

The final thought....He understands me because He created me. He knows my thoughts and my desires. He doesn't give up on me. Sometimes I want to give up on me...but for the Grace of God...oh the grace of God. What a precious Gift. Take that gift today and think on these things.

God bless you

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Picking Up Sticks

Sunday has just started. I'm up and waiting, friends are coming in. So I decided it is a good time to talk with you. Oh I wish, we'd be sitting together on a couch, or at a table with a cup of coffee. My mind has been rumbling on a lot of issues. I'd love to hear your thoughts on some of my "issues."

I am reading through the Old Testament, and the command for a day of rest was given to the Children of Israel in the desert. It wasn't a day to satisfy self, it was to be a day of rest. I think a holy rest. For you see, I just read Numbers 15 this morning, verse 32 says that a man was found gathering sticks on the Sabbath. God commanded the people to stone him.

Wait a minute, you may think. That is harsh, to kill a man for picking up sticks on a Sabbath. But God commanded the Sabbath to be holy. Although, we don't have a Sabbath as it were in the Old Testament, but I am wondering if there should be a day of rest for us? Would our accomplishments be greater if we took a moment to meditate on the Lord...for a day that is.

To be honest, I'm not sure we even honor God on Sunday. We go to church, but while we are there we are planning where to eat and what we will do after we leave church. Have you ever tried to sit for one hour and concentrate and meditate solely on God. The busy-ness of our life finds its way into our thoughts. Of course, we need to watch ball games on Sunday afternoon/evening. And do the laundry for we were just too busy during the week to get it done. After all, God wouldn't want our kids to go to school with mussed up clothes.

Maybe, just maybe, we are picking up too many sticks on Sunday, a day of rest. We do need a rest. We need that time with the Lord. Oh how precious those moments are, when we actually take the time and listen to Him. He takes pleasure in our abiding in Him. He is waiting to give us a rest, a refreshing. I do believe a day of Rest would refresh us more than we can imagine.

God gave us Sunday, use it for His Glory.
God bless you.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

In the Midst of Hectic-itis.

Isaiah 26:3-4 "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, For YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength."

The past week has been a bit in overload. I felt I was being pulled in every direction. I wanted to spend time with my husband, also with my mom (92 years old), make sure everyone had food to eat and clean clothes to wear. And it being the first week of school, that means new schedules were a bit more hectic. Up with the kids before 7:00, daddy got them breakfast and I combed Promise's hair. Then, Mom and I had a cup of coffee.

Oh but that was short lived...the computer is calling and we are revising the child sponsorship program. Great idea. I worked hard. Only to discover there was a glitch in the program and the next morning all my work was blank! No, I wasn't too happy but really, being upset didn't help either.

Then this morning I read this verse. I should have read it last week and over the weekend. I was looking inward instead of upward. My mind was not always fixed on Him. That's why peace is not there. Then when there is no peace, there is no strength.

Oh now it is easy to see this, since the sponsorship program is completed, school schedule is less hectic, and clothes are clean. But that isn't what I'm to do. I'm to keep my mind on Him in the midst of "hectic-itis." Is that a word? Well, it is now.

God, help me to keep my mind on You!

God bless you.