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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Decisions

This was a week of decisions. How to do it, when to do it or even if we should do it. Have you ever been in that situation? Life is a walk of decisions. Many times we make decisions without even realizing it. What to eat, what to do, when to go to bed, etc.

As we grow in life our decisions should show more wisdom. It would do us well if we would pray more about decisions. When Rachel and Agape were quite young, we had given them a little spending money before going to Walmart. When they arrived and started looking at everything (remember they were visiting from Haiti, and had never seen so many things to buy) they quickly decided they wanted more than what their money could buy. After some thought, they said, "we need to go outside a bit and pray to see what we should buy." Pleased. (If only that would have followed through once they were teens. :)) Yes, even our spending should be decided in prayer.

In Hosea 14, the children of Israel were encouraged to make a decision—to return to the Lord, and plead God to take away their iniquity and receive them graciously again. God's answer was "I will heal their backsliding and I will love them freely." Wow, it can't get better than that. After I walk away from God, worship idols, and reject God, He will love me freely again!!

I know we are not God, but for today can we make a decision: To love the one who has hurt us. To love freely the one who has done us wrong. Can we forgive?

What is your decision?
God bless you



Thursday, July 28, 2011

In the Desert

I know I just posted on the blog last night. But I need to share this while it is fresh on my mind.

Although last night I was struggling, this morning I opened the Bible in Hosea 13, where I have been reading and found these verses Hosea 13:5-6 "I cared for you in the wilderness, in the dry desert where no water was. When they were fed, they became satisfied; when they were satisfied, they became proud; as a result, they forgot me!" (NET translation)

Desert walks, desert times are so frequent. Yet there is where God gets our attention. In the desert, no one else around. Dusty, dry and hot. No coffee partner, no tea party, just me. AND GOD.
I look up and there is His light, His comfort and His glory. Oh He hasn't taken me out of the desert yet, but He is there with me. He feeds me there. He gives me to drink. He cares for me. I am satisfied.

"Lord, do not let me become proud, do not let me forget you, O God." And so this day, may serenity of heart and soul be mine, be yours. God is ever with us.

If you are in the desert today, be encouraged. God is there with you. Learn the lessons He has for you in the desert.

God bless you

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tranquility

I thought I was blogging on tranquility, but now my heart doesn't feel so tranquil. Should I continue, or wait until tranquility comes?

What causes this turbulence in my heart? Self. To be honest that is what it is. Self. The battle. Change of plans. I need to call someone and tell them plans have changed. When I lived in Haiti, this was a daily occurrence Everyday we had changed plans. So why the battle now? Because it involves self! Self is a very strong being. Never wants to lose a battle.

I am sure in the long run, the new plans will be better. "Lord, give me peace and help me to submit to your way."

I did receive my permanent prosthesis today. So now I'm adjusting to #4 since the quake. My goal is to be able to walk without a cane or walker within a few days.

God bless you


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What I Miss

As I was lying in bed last night, my mind started down the path of "I miss."
I miss—not being able to get out of bed and walking to the bathroom instead of hopping on 1 leg, carrying a cup of coffee to my desk, getting into the car and just going, changing clothes without taking a leg off and putting it back on, making the bed without doing a balancing act (do you know how much balance it takes to make a bed on 1 leg?) Try it sometime. Hopefully soon all this will change, well at least most of it.

Then I thought of Jesus. I wonder if He had His list of "I miss"—I miss being in the presence of my Father's glory, having a satisfied stomach without eating, being in the temple instead of going to the temple, (He was the temple), not having clean feet all the time, sitting beside the Father and all the angels, most of all a peaceful place where there is no hate.

I can't imagine leaving Glory to come to earth! We are on earth, do we yearn for our Father's Glory? Or are we having so much "fun" on earth that glory isn't so appealing just yet?

Have a wonderful day.
God bless you




Sunday, July 24, 2011

Gossip

The message we heard this morning was on gossip, and the scripture used was Psalm 7. Encouraging us to not look at the gossip when someone talks behind our back, but instead look to the Lord.

But verses 3-5 is a different matter and one that I hope we do not need to pray:
"O Lord my God, if I have done this: If there is iniquity in my hands, If I have repaid evil to him who was at peace with me, Or have plundered my enemy without a cause, Let the enemy pursue me and overtake me; Yes, let him trample my life to the earth, and lay my honor in the dust. Selah."

We were in Sarasota this weekend. Busy and fun. Meeting with new friends and a few old friends. Mostly meetings. We would have loved to meet with you too, but time didn't allow it. So put your name in for next time. God is truly faithful and good.

God bless you

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Seal of Ownership

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 "Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ. He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come."
We are heading into a weekend. Many times we look at weekends as a time for relaxation and recreation. Rightly so, after a hard week of work. But no matter what your activity, just remember you are "branded" and are owned by our Creator. Give Him the Glory due His Name.

" Your plans can be torn up like a jigsaw puzzle. You may have a little grave on a hillside somewhere. I have. May I say that we all have our Marahs. You will not bypass them. You cannot detour around them, skip over them, or tunnel under them. God uses a branding iron. I remember West Texas, in the spring of the year when the calves were branded. As a boy I would see the branding iron put down on a little fellow. Oh, how he bellowed! It made me feel sort of sad to hear him cry. But from then on everyone knew to whom he belonged. After a calf was branded, it would not get lost. God does that for us today." (J. V. McGee)

Meetings all weekend. Fun seeing friends again Sarasota.

God bless you

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Let Go and Let God

"Let go and let God." Have you ever heard that phrase? Have you tried to do it? What is the most difficult thing in your life to "let go and let God?" Mine is our children. Mothers understand. We want to protect our children. I remember when our children were teenagers, I'd pray and ask God to be with them, protect them, and spare them from evil. Guess what? Soon I'd be trying to help God answer all those requests. I'd give God our children, then take them back, just convinced that God surely needed my help. I'm so glad that God is patient. One thing that I know, God can do it so much better than I can.

I remember different times in prayer, God would remind me that He knows where our children are at all times and He loves them more than I ever can.

This morning a distraught grandmother called me, in tears, because her children have now moved to another state. God knows. God cares. God loves them more. Is it easy? No. God can use these seasons for them and us as grandmothers and mothers.

What ever it is in your life that you are having a difficult time letting go and giving it to God. I encourage you do make that step and trust Him. He Can. "There is nothing to hard for the Lord." Genesis 18:14

God bless you

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

All Men Shall Know

What shall all men know? Really want to know?

John 13:35 "By this shall all men know that you are my disciples if you have love one for another."

It doesn't say if we love God, but by the love you have for one another that is how all men shall know who we are. I'm afraid our love falls short of this. This love should draw men to God. The love we have for one another should bring curiosity from those in the world. Or am I over-reacting to this?

I think this doesn't need many word. I will let the Word of God speak for itself.

Does the world know we are disciples?

God bless you

Monday, July 18, 2011

Two Doves

The quake is 18 months in history, and yet the stories ring on.

Today I was speaking with a "friend" from the West Coast whom I have never seen, only spoken with on the phone. But it is one of those contacts that one just knows that it is orchestrated by God. She told me she had been to Haiti, and someone had taken her past our "house" rubble pile. She entered the yard, then went and stood on the rubble pile. As she stood there for a bit, two doves came out from underneath the rubble pile. There was a message in this. Out of the rubble there is peace.

And so it can be in our rubble piles of life. God can send peace beyond comprehension. God is ready with open arms to take our rubble and replace it with peace. He never aimed for us to live in the rubble. At least not to stay there.

Jesus promises, "My peace I leave with you."
God bless you

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Worthy is the Lamb

Every day we hear commercials which make us think we "deserve" the best. We deserve more than we have. It is all about me. Woe is me.

Today in the message we were reminded that in the Old Testament, when someone sinned they brought a lamb to the tabernacle and gave it to the priest. The priest didn't inspect the person who sinned, but the lamb which was to be without spot and blemish. If the lamb wasn't perfect it was rejected. It didn't matter what the person did, but what he offered for his sin.

We know that our sin needed to be atoned for as well. We had the perfect lamb on the altar. Jesus was perfect, without spot or blemish. He never sinned. YET, He took my sin on himself and took death for me. Now when He looks at me, He sees His righteousness, not mine. Did I do something to deserve this? NO!! I can't even begin to pay my debt.

I didn't deserve that. I wasn't worthy, yet because of His love for me, He counted worthy. Praise the Lord. But now I do not own myself. Jesus is my Lord. He alone is the Lamb of perfection and is worthy of all the praise I can offer to Him.

What the world has to offer, that they think we deserve, has no lasting value, if any value at all. There is nothing that is more precious than the Blood of Jesus. Worthy is the Lamb!

God bless you.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Gift of Love

My mother just had her 90th birthday. They had a party for her, and one of the extended family gave her a gift of gifts. A round "cake" which is small boxes shaped like slices of cake and each day she opens one of the boxes for her gift. Excellent idea. She is loving it. She can hardly wait for the next day to open another slice of cake. It has 16 slices (gifts) to open.

This morning I was reading Hosea 11, and there it was—a slice of cake—"I taught them to walk, taking them by their arms; but they did not know that I healed them. I drew them with gentle cords, with bands of love, and I was to them as those who take the yoke from their neck. I stooped and fed them."

God did all of that for the nation of Israel, even though they had walked away from Him. They built altars to idols, lived in adultery, hatred and disobedience. YET God continued his love.

God is the same today. He picks me up out of my rubble, cleans me up, loves on me gently, takes the burden so I can move on in a relationship with him. How awesome is that!! It really can't get much better than that.

Take a bite from this cake of love and enjoy the day. God is so good and wonderful to us, in spite of who we are. We don't deserve it, but it is His Grace that continues to shower us everyday.

God bless you

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My Heroes

If you were playing Family Feud and the question was to name your heroes, what would your answers be? I'm sure family feud would have sport heroes, national heroes, military and superheroes. Yes, there are many who have accomplished so much.

The dictionary's definition of a hero is "a man of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his brave deeds and noble qualities."
Many people have shown courage beyond normal, such as a saving a drowning child, or pulling someone from a fire.

This month's Voice of the Martyrs magazine sees the ones who have been tortured for their faith as heroes. Yes, those are truly heroes. As well as, Abraham, Joseph, Daniel, Paul, Peter and the list goes on and on. Those are worthy of honor. They have suffered and set us an example. The world may not know much of them, but they are heroes. Their testimonies have lived on through the ages.

Stand strong. Stand faithful and be counted among God's heroes.

God bless you

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Another Surprise

I returned to the doctor to adjust my prosthesis. I am already at the limit for socks after 1 month of a prosthesis. They told me it could take up to 6 months for my leg to shrink into a size for a permanent prosthesis. Today he looked at it, start measuring and declared the good news, "You are as small as it will get." So he molded me today, and in 2 weeks I should have the trial prosthesis. This came as a total surprise.

I seem to live in a very systematic schedule, and when I look around I see no way to make that change. I plan to do things, but after working a while I get very tired. Everything takes more time to accomplish. I am thankful that God has given me the energy to get a lot of office work caught up. Actually in that area I feel quite accomplished.

I have several friends that are battling disease and loneliness. Some are at the crossroad of decisions. I can pray for them. I was listening to C.S. Lewis today on Mere Christianity. He said our God is not limited to space or time. All His children can pray at one time, but it doesn't mean that God can only listen to our prayers at that very second because He has no limitations. When our children talk to us, we need to listen at that moment so as not to lose the opportunity.

Since God is not limited, is it possible that He hears our prayers years before we pray them? There have been many times that God has answered my prayers that I knew He had prepared that answer before I prayed it. For example, not too long ago I prayed for a financial need to be supplied. That day an unexpected check was in the mail. I know God had nudged that person to send a check before I had prayed it.

This may be food for thought as you retire tonight.
God bless you

Monday, July 11, 2011

His Thoughts Not Mine

Yesterday at church we were clearly reminded that God's thoughts are not ours, and His ways are not ours. God does so many things that we stand back and say—not out loud of course, He may hear it :), "What are you doing, God? That's just not how it is done culturally."

What about when He said Jacob I have loved and Esau I have hated? He's a God of love, how can He hate? He makes vessels of honor and some of dishonor. That doesn't seem right, why make them if they are vessels of dishonor. Well, the truth is that you and I cannot explain this because we do not think the same way God does. And guess what? He still loves us even though we do not understand. His love is unconditional.

A few thoughts flew across my mind—I asked myself, "When did you take control of the throne, Barb? When did you deceptively sit on the throne and decide that I can figure things out." Another thought came to me, that is the way with husbands and wives. We don't think the same. We don't process problems, goals, or ideas the same. Many times it is more than we can handle and we begin to doubt our husband's ability to make decisions or whatever the case may be.

We should strive for unconditional love to our spouse and to others. Oh that is difficult since we have no clue how to even love unconditionally. That is why we put a limit on God in His love toward us. If we have failed, we think His love is out the back door and we need to try to chalk up some good points to win His love back. Wrong! He loves us unconditionally.

Isaiah 55:8-9 "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."

Proverbs 3:5-7 "Trust in 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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and depart from evil."

God bless you

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Not My Own

"Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s." (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NKJV)

One of the first vocabulary words of a child is "mine." By the time they are 2 years old, they think they have their kingdom built and a throne to sit on. How do they learn that so quickly? Sad to say, we are born with a very self-centered nature. It is a very difficult to break this from a young mind, and rightly so since we as adults are still so selfish and carnal.

When I read this verse this morning, I was reminded again that I am not my own. All I have is not mine at all. Even if I would have earned it, I can't claim it as God gave me the ability to accomplish whatever I accomplish. May I end with the last of the verse...it is easier to glorify God in our spirit than our body, at least we can deceive ourselves in that thinking.

I challenge myself to glorify God in my body as well as in my spirit. If I do this I cannot make excuses for sin that I would consider acceptable.

God bless you

Friday, July 8, 2011

Surprise

I went to the orthodic doctor today for a checkup. When he heard how many prothetic socks I am wearing to make it fit, he tells me I am ready for a permanent one. I was so surprised. This is my gift for pushing myself, walking and keeping at the turtle pace.

So for those of you who think I will be running a marathon soon, the answer is yes! The Turtle Marathon! :)) I am still slow on my feet, but will soon get there.

Praising the Lord one step at a time. After all this, will I be qualified to write a book on patience and walking a step at a time? I'm just saying...

And yet, I find myself, "Lord give me a right attitude and thankful."

Be blessed

Thursday, July 7, 2011

God's Delight

Hosea 6:6 "For I delight in faithfulness, not simply in sacrifice; I delight in acknowledging God, not simply in whole burnt offerings."

As I read this verse, I reflected on how often I wanted God's delight, but wasn't willing to come seriously with obedience. That is what was happening with the nation of Judah, they wanted God's delight but not give him their idolatrous living. But God would have none of it. He knew their heart.

God doesn't want my church attendance or my tithes if it is only a ritual. He wants my heart fully trusting Him. Not a bandage for wounds but true healing. Doing good deeds is another "cover up" for true heart conditions. How often do I try to turn God's hand to think He will accept me if I just do some good deeds? Won't work. God wants a repentant heart that desires Him without reservation.

Today was a good walking day. All day without the walker, only a cane. That is progress. I will see if it really is progress when I go to the doctor tomorrow.

God bless you

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Empty

I feel like Elijah after his great victory on Mount Carmel. He prayed for fire to burn the altar, and it burned the altar and licked up the water around the altar. But immediately after that he hid by the brook feeling he was alone.

I don't feel alone, but empty. I am walking better every day. I am able to work in the office for quite a while before feeling like my brain is burned. So much better than even last week. But I feel empty. The word to notice is "feel", so we do not live by feelings but by faith. Satan would love for us to live by feelings. Oh my that would be disastrous. But for the Grace of God....

He promises to never leave us, to always be with us even to the end. Help me Lord to stay focused on your goodness and not on the world's situation. Help me to think on that which is noble, good, trustworthy...Phil 4:8.

Today I was translating letters that sponsored children in Haiti wrote to their sponsors. So many wrote how they were so afraid during the quake, but now are no longer afraid. One that touched me was when a little girl asked for prayer for her mother who has epilespy, and often falls into the fire. I assume it is the fire when she cooks.

I hope you had a good day.
God bless you

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fireworks

Last night, we took the children to a nearby park to watch the fireworks. Promise could hardly wait until the "show" started. She wanted to see the big ones. When it started they were glued to the colors and beauty of it all. As I watched the show and listened to the loud booms and pops, I was reminded of a verse "Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away."

All the noise and lit up sky made me wonder what it will be like when heaven and earth passes away. The loud noises were also a reminder of the earthquake, which was a definite reminder that earth will pass away. If man can light up the sky with man-made fireworks, what will the glory of God be like? I think we will not be able to describe it.

Today I walked from family room to living room with no support at all. So that was progress again. I pray soon I will not be "tied" to either cane or walker. But I'm trying to be patient.

God bless you

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Disciples

In Matthew 14 we read the account of the disciples in the boat in the middle of the sea of Galilee when a big storm arose, high waves and wind. The disciples were afraid they were going to drown. Then as if that wasn't enough they saw what they thought was a ghost walking across the lake.

We know it was Jesus, and they soon realized who it was when He called out, "Be not afraid."

This is you and me...in the middle of a storm. We feel alone. Everywhere we look, we only see more storm, more waves. We are paralyzed with fear. What do you fear...being alone, heights, disease, finances, failure. The list goes on. But the answer is the same...Be not afraid. God has promised never to leave us or forsake us.

I wonder if the disciples were saying "If only we had left shore." We do the same thing—we step out and we think we have failed, then the "if onlys" start in. But the truth of the matter is if we never step out away from the shore, we miss the deeper things of God. For it is in the midst of the storm that God shows Himself more clearly. In the midst of a storm, our prayers are more serious, not many words..."HELP, LORD" and He does.

Romans 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? [Shall] tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

The answer is in Romans 8:38-39 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Today I walked a bit further with only a cane and not my walker. This is progress.

Be blessed

Friday, July 1, 2011

In Me

"In me there is darkness, but with Thee there is light
Iam lonely but Thou leavest me not
I am feeble in heart, but Thou leavest me not
I am restless, but with Thee there is peace
In me there is bitterness, but with thee there is patience;
Thy ways are past understanding, but Thou knowest the way for me." Dietrich Bonhoeffer

I am reading "When my World Falls Apart by David Jeremiah, actually I have reading it for quite some time. I read this quote in the book, and it so describes me/humans. God's ways are so past our understanding. I think I have things figured out, then something happens that so astounds me.

Today we met with some very dear friends from Canada en-route to Haiti. They had a bit of a lay over at the airport, so we picked them up, went for lunch and had them back in time for their flight. What a treat it was!

Today was a good day for walking. Now when I say that you must know I didn't walk far. But I did walk more with my cane, and it was quite comfortable. So I would say it is progress.

Have a wonderful weekend.
God bless you