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Monday, July 30, 2012

God is Not Man

Numbers 23:19-20 "God is not a man, that He should lie, nor the son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Behold, I have received a command to bless; He has blessed, and I cannot reverse it."

These are verses in the story of Balaam and Balak. Balak being the king and wanted Balaam to come curse the children of Israel. God told Balaam not to go. That wasn't good enough for Balaam. He prayed asking God if He really meant what He said. The Bible doesn't say that verbatim, but finally God said he may go, but only speak the words given him.

He went and instead of a curse, He blessed them which angered King Balak immensely. The verses given were the response Balaam gave Balak in his anger.

This story resonates a twinge within me. How often has God told me "no," but it wasn't good enough. I either prayed again, laid out a fleece (to make sure I understood). As an addition to this, laying fleece is basically a lack of faith.

Just as "no" for our children are a safety net. We say no because we know what is best for them. So it is with God. He is not a man, He knows what is best for me. He promises and He fulfills His promise. His faithfulness spans throughout the generations. His love reaches from Creation to Eternity. It never ends. His Goodness is more than we can ever imagine.

We do not see the full picture yet, but we will. God tells us, that now we see through a glass darkly, but then we will see Him face to face. This is a very humbling thought, to meet Jesus face to face, knowing what all He has done for me and how often I have failed Him. But He is not a finger pointing Lord, His forgiveness is complete.

In closing, what God has spoken, He will accomplish!

God bless you

Saturday, July 28, 2012

But I Want

It is pouring rain right now! "Lord, as you wash the earth with refreshing rain, so wash my heart and soul with your grace that I may be clean and whole."

Today I am sad, but don't know why. I got up sad. This is when it is so important to praise Him...sacrifice of praise.

Numbers 20:3-5 Then people contended (complained and argued) because there was no water...these were adults, but acted like kids..."daddy, we want..." "There is none but God will provide, He always does." "But I want it NOW."

Then it is the "If only and why" statements. I know it wouldn't be easy to be without water. But they had already seen so many miracles. Didn't they remember them and God's power? When life is difficult, satan attacks us with the negative and takes our gaze off the Lord and sets our eyes on our desires. Usually selfish desires.

Can we accuse the children of Israel? Absolutely not. We do the same thing. But when we don't get what we want, we buy our way through the situation...well many of us. You know, hire a lawyer, grab for insurance, blame the government, after all they are responsible for providing for us. Really?

This is what the children of Israel did in the desert—they blamed Moses for every difficulty. We best be careful who we blame and accuse for our lack of things. Maybe, just maybe, God is taking things away from us so that we can see His Hand in providing for us and not depending on "whoever" to provide.

God can and God will!

God bless you

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adoption

Romans 8:15 "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”


We had lunch and swimming time at Dave and Betty's house. Betty gave Promise a doll that she found on a shelf, that was up for grabs. She made a paper for it, asking Promise if she would like to adopt her. The whole event was so fun, Promise's eyes as big as a saucer and immediately falling in love with her new "baby" Becky! Then to see the joy in Betty's eyes as she watched Promise loving on the doll!


This reminded me  of  our adoption with God through Jesus! When we have Jesus in our heart, we are filled with joy. Oh, if only we could see the face of the Father, as we come to Him. His eyes are filled with love and joy. His arms enfold us into Him. We may call Him Abba, the endearing name for father! How can we miss this so often? Too many times we think of God as the harsh judge, instead of the Loving Father, ready to forgive! 


Promise's doll can be a daily reminder to me, the joy my Father, my Abba has when I come to Him. The love He wants to dote on me if only I take the time to allow Him to do so. Romance involves caressing, and I have a romantic relationship with my Father. I need to allow Him to caress me in His Word and with His gifts.


If we are redeemed, then we are blessed beyond words!! God has given us the Best.


As Promise was holding her doll, she said, "Oh I was just waiting for a doll like this!" I can almost hear God saying, "Oh I was just waiting for you to hold you and love you!"


Allow God to wrap His arms of love around you.
God bless you

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Compliment

Numbers 12:3 "Now the man Moses was very humble, more than all men who were on the face of the earth."

A short verse, but dynamite! This is the ultimate compliment. Moses didn't have the normal "rungs" on his success ladder— rich, a mega church, a legend in sports, good looking.... Was Moses perfect? No! He complained to God about the work load, his complaining "church" people. In Numbers 11:11-15, he asks God what he is doing to afflict him with these people. And in verse 15 he says to God, "If you treat me like this, please just kill me and now..."

Does this ring a bell? "Look, God, I've had all I can take. If this is the thanks I get, just let me die." In another conversation Moses had with God, complaining, God answered him, "Is my arm shortened?" In other words, am I not sufficient?

I can learn so much from the life of Moses. He really knew God intimately! He wasn't afraid to bring any of his complaints and problems to God. But he listened when God spoke. How often I read the Bible and am not "listening" to God's message to me!

My prayer today: Lord, help me to listen. Let me carry the work you have for me today, without complaint. Lord, help me not to put more on "my plate" than what you give to me."

I'm so thankful the life of Moses is in the Bible. What a man of God!!

God bless you


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Surely Goodness and Mercy

Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."

This morning as I was listening to a message online on this verse, the pastor gave a new insight to this verse. I had always pictured this verse in David's early life as a shepherd, or on the run from King Saul. But this pastor suggested that this could have been a Psalm at the end of David's life.

At the end of his life, he knew who God was! He knew what being a shepherd was all about, and how God was a Good Shepherd, providing all of his needs. David knew that God had provided for all his needs. In another Psalm David declares that his greatest desire was to be in the House of the Lord, not his palace, his throne, or with his wealth, but in the presence of God.

Psalm 23 gives a picture of one who is truly satisfied with the simple things of life, and the necessities of life not the wants. My years prior to Haiti, definitely had a greater "need" list, than I had at the end of my time in Haiti. Actually as I look back on what I thought I needed to live, is almost humorous. Perhaps my age is the reason this Psalm resonates so clearly with me, seeing it in a different perspective.  To trust the Lord for every need, and to be thankful for each provision is a step by step learning experience. To desire the house of God more than a "shopping spree" (which is not one of my "things"), or a sport event, etc is also growing in the Lord.

We soon realize that there is no lasting satisfaction in anything outside of the presence of the Lord. Therefore, my needs list is quite diminished as well. My thinking is, "If God hasn't provided it, then it must not be a need." Things of this world will soon pass away. We can experience the sweetness of God's presence here on earth when we are thankful for His provision. Our eyes are on Him.

The Psalm ends with "surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life. Oh for the Goodness of God!

I will close on a bit of humor with this last phrase. Many years ago, one of my co-workers at the hospital had 3 kittens and she named them—surely, goodness, and mercy. She said they would follow her all the days of her life. Smile. A good way to be reminded of God's promise!

God bless you

Friday, July 20, 2012

Can I Understand?

Proverbs 20:24 "A man's steps are of the Lord; How then can a man understand his own way?"

How can I understand? I can't. God is too great for me to even begin to understand how He orchestrates not only my life, but everyone's life. How do our prayers work? How is it that I can pray for someone today, and that prayer is answered a thousand miles away!! Impossible!!

But that is the God we serve! He is infinite and beyond my understanding! Today as He is working in my life and providing for me, He is also working in China and sending an angel inside a prison where one of His children is being tormented because of Jesus! Wow! that is so incomprehensible! We cannot understand God and not our own way.

Do you ever find yourself doing something or thinking something, and saying, "Where did that come from?" I woke up during the night, and a name came to my mind. This is not someone who I have had a long friendship with, but prayed for her. I find when a name comes to me, out of "nowhere", it is someone who I should pray for.

But on the flip side of understanding God, I find myself trying to figure out why someone does something or says something that doesn't seem quite right. I think I should not try anymore, after all, if I am too much for me to understand how do I think I can understand the ways of another?

The question is not why does she does that? But how can I love in spite of what she does or says?
Sometimes it would be so wonderful to have a group of you here so we could just talk about these things. I would love to hear your views!

God is incredibly faithful and Good!

God bless you

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Folly or Wisdom

Floors mopped. Check. Bathroom cleaned. Check. Pineapple upside down cake completed. Check.
Now ready for friends flying in from Haiti, as they overnight to then fly to Costa Rica tomorrow. I'm so glad we can furnish a bed for those who need to overnight.

Reading Proverbs 18 this morning, I came to verse 13. It jumped off the page. "He who answers a matter before he hears it, It is folly and shame to him." Lord, help me. How often I have formed an opinion or "answer', if you please, to a situation that I don't have all the information! And sometimes, it is while the person is talking to me, and I am busy finding a solution.

Because my husband isn't one who gives a lot of details to things, I'm sure I'm not the only one married to a man with the "gift." Smile. Then I assume I know the answers or even worse, accuse someone before really understanding the situation.

For me, it is an ongoing effort to "be still" and wait until I have the details to try to solve a problem. If I never have the details, then it wasn't mine to solve. My prayer is that I walk in wisdom. Wait on the Lord, and keep quiet. That is, not to talk until the Lord tells me. Recently there have been different situations going on, that I wanted to scream out the answers to problems. But I'm so glad, I didn't. Until now, I don't know details. So answering to this matter without knowing the details would have brought me to the level of folly (stupidity) and shame.

Guard my heart and my tongue, Lord.

God bless you


Monday, July 16, 2012

God's Economy

Proverbs 16:16 "How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver."

Is it any wonder the world is in the condition it is in? The running after wealth, and spending money we don't have. The younger generation maxing out credit cards to model after TV celebrities. No more families sitting together reading the Bible. Parents working, and some 2 shifts to pay off debts but to spend more. What is wrong with this picture? Out of control!

What is God's economy? Give and it shall be given to you. Share. Live simply. Easier said than done. But wiser, much wiser. I don't even know how God does it. How does it work? I mean I'm down to my last dollar, I give it away and that day in the mail there is a check for much more than I gave away. This means that check was on the way before I gave my money away. So knowing God's faithfulness, why is it so difficult to give our last dollar? I'm talking to myself here.

In Malachi 3:10 God says to try Him out to see if He is faithful to return to us when we give for Him. And He is faithful. The key is that we do not set our own standard of living. God sets our standard. It isn't what I think "I deserve," but what God knows I need. Then be thankful in His provision.

His Word should be more precious to me than a bank account. Someone can always steal our riches, but no one can take the Word of God from our hearts.

God bless you

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Courtesy Call

Yesterday the phone rang, and I was sure it was a courtesy call. I answered anyway. And immediately was "ruffled and bothered." I admit I was a bit snippy to the caller, as he wanted to know how many fire alarms we had in the house. Am I worried what I would do if the house caught on fire...on and on.

Immediately after I hung up, I was convicted that I had missed the perfect opportunity for a witness for my Lord. I wish he would call again. This may be the way the conversation should have went:
"How many fire alarms do you have?"
Me: I don't know, but I have the best fire insurance. It is the blood of Jesus!
"Are you worried if your house would catch on fire?"
Me: No, God's Word promises me that He will go with me through the fire. He is the ultimate protector. Do you know Jesus?

Oh how often we miss the opportunity. I'm waiting for the next courtesy call. Yes!! I don't need to be snippy, but just need to take the opportunity and speak out for Jesus. Although the verse below is a prayer by Asa when the Israelites were going into battle, but I will remember it for the multitude of courtesy calls. A new mission field!

"Asa cried out to the Lord his God, and said, “Lord, it is nothing for You to help, whether with many or with those who have no power; help us, O Lord our God, for we rest on You, and in Your name we go against this multitude. O Lord, You are our God; do not let man prevail against You!” (2 Chronicles 14:11 NKJV) 

God bless you

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tired Brain

The morning is starting with my brain going full speed ahead, and yet getting nowhere. Ever had one of those mornings? What I want to do is go back to bed and start over again. Maybe round 2 would be better. This is just want satan wants, me to get up with a tired brain, and forgetting to be thankful in all things.

Proverbs 12:25 "Anxiety in the heart of man causes depression. But a good word makes it glad." Ahh, the book of Proverbs is so good! Full of good words, and gets me going on the right track. Thanksgiving does make the heart glad. It's almost impossible to stay depressed when I am truly thankful. If I look at the condition of the world, it would be easy to be depressed. Until I look into the Word, and I see heaven is getting closer and closer.

But until heaven comes, there is laundry, dirty dishes, cleaning, office work, preparations for the school year both for Agape and Promise, prepare for Rachel and Nate's arrival in a few weeks, and the list goes on and on...

On another note, pray for the shipments to come out of customs! Patrick can't come home until he has those shipments out. Not to mention, he needs the supplies that are in customs.

I pray you are having a good day.

God bless you

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Praying and Answers

As I promised yesterday, I would share about praying our needs or praying the answer to our needs. I believe many times we miss the answer to our prayer because we formulate in our mind how God needs to answer the prayer. Good example: "Lord, I want to draw closer to You. Give me moments to draw near." God puts us on a sick bed for a few days, we complain, totally forgetting our prayer. God always sees the greater picture of our prayer requests.

I remember reading a short article many years ago, about a lady who had prayed that she could have a glimpse of Jesus. At the end of the day, she reminded the Lord of her prayer, but He hadn't answered it. He replied, "I came to your house 3 times today, but you turned me away." A homeless person, an elderly person and a sick one, but she had no time to be bothered.

If you pray for patience, you are sure to receive some trials. We cannot learn patience when all is going our way. I really doubt if patience would be served on a silver platter, telling us to store it for a useful time. Patience is developed. Moses' bootcamp was 40 years in the desert, to then be another 40 years in the desert leading a stubborn and complaining group of people. I was 30 years in the "desert" and I am so thankful God didn't allow me to leave the desert in my first year there when I so begged Him to let me come home. After the 3rd time, I knew the door was shut tightly. I know I could not have learned the many lessons I learned

I am not an expert on how God answers prayers. But I do know He answers prayers in the way that is best for me and at the time that is best. I am so thankful that God has not answered all my requests. Yes, you read it correctly. I have not always been so wise in my prayers. If God had honored all my prayers I would have destroyed myself.

God delights in His children, but God wants the Glory and obedience. I am reading through Exodus, and in chapter 33 Moses reminded God that He still hadn't told him who is going to help him with the children of Israel. Moses said, You have told me Your name, your promise that you'd go with me, but you haven't told me who will help me. Read through 34, and Moses lands on top of the mountain for 40 days and nights, no food or water, him and God alone. I have a feeling when Moses came down off the mountain the name of who will help him wasn't so important anymore

Praying is a growing experience for me. Growing in Jesus will also bring a change in our prayers. Why? Because our desires change. Don't out-guess God. His answers are usually so much more than we could ever imagine, that is if we are obedient. Example: What if Moses would have told God he isn't going up the mountain unless God gives him the name of a helper. You may say, "well, that would be stupid." Would it? Have you ever told God to do something for you, then you'll do more for Him?

For me, most prayers become a sacrifice on my part or obedience. God knows us each in our way, so God answers prayers that is right for each of us. God is so good and His ultimate purpose is to mold us to be more like Jesus.

God bless you

Monday, July 9, 2012

Miracles or Luck

The more I read the scriptures, the more I am amazed at God's continuity throughout the scriptures. His faithfulness to His people is proven throughout the scriptures. Miracles upon miracles! Why were there miracles then, but now we just don't see them as much, if ever? I personally believe we would see more miracles, but we do not give God the opportunity. The States has wealth, and most who live here have money. So we can buy our way through most situations. When tragedy happens, the first thing most people do is strike out for insurance instead of praying. We depend so much on our government to provide and do everything. Those days are fast coming to an end.

In other countries, people do see more miracles. The sick are healed, provisions are given, and even in some cases the dead are raised. I also believe that many times God has provided or performed miracles, and we say, "Wow, I was lucky!" Does this sound familiar? And perhaps, we think it is just a way of expression, but we need to be more verbal about God's provision. Give Him the glory!

God is faithful when we pray! He merits glory. But you may say, but I have prayed and God didn't answer...did you pray the need or the answer? That's a blog for another day! Let's talk about that tomorrow?

God bless you

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Can God Trust Me?

This morning my niece posted this on Facebook, and I deem it good enough to pass on to you.

"God has to take us into the valley and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the point where he can trust us with the reality of the vision. Ever since God gave us the vision, He has been at work." -My Utmost for His Highest


This is so true. How can God trust me with His vision, if I can't take suffering? That is His vision. To have His children purified, cleansed, strong and faithful. This is accomplished in suffering, not in good times.


So the question is, do I suffer gracefully and with thanksgiving? Do I know His Word well enough to be my mainstay during suffering? I guess I have been thinking a lot with the condition of the world, our country. But the encouraging thing is that we already knew times were going to be tough, but we have God's promise...


He will be with us all the way!! It can't be better than that. He is so ultimately faithful.


God bless you

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Family Fun

I hope you had a wonderful July 4th holiday. Independence Day. Our country was birthed on the Ten Commandments and religious freedom. We have lost that now. This still gives us an opportunity to be the candle in a dark world. I wish I was like a beam of light, but a candle gives a lot of light when there is darkness. Let's be that small flame wherever we go.

I was in Indiana to celebrate my mother's 91st birthday. It was a special time. Lots of laughter, talking, coffee, late night chats,  and just having family fun time. This will go in my "book" of memories. Beautiful ones.

Humor: While there, several times I would get phone calls from Haiti, but I didn't recognize the number, so I just didn't answer. Thought I'd check it out later. Phone calls from Haiti can be a bit pricey, so I didn't want to waste minutes and it be a wrong number. I was at the airport, phone rang again. You guessed it, haitian number. I answered it and it was Patrick! He got a new number, and of course I didn't recognize it.

God is good to give us family!!

God bless you

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Storm

I was just reading an article on the storm in the midwest. So many states involved, yet it wasn't a tornado neither a hurricane. So much damage and a few deaths. It seems like "craziness" until I look at it again. I believe there is a greater Power behind it. God does control the wind and the waves. This is another warning and wake-up call. We need to be spending time talking to our Father. He warned us....read Matthew 24. There will be things happening that we have never seen before. Hail in Haiti? Yes, even that.

The political "storms" coming from the White House. I believe they must come for God's end time promises to be fulfilled. No it won't be fun, those storms will affect us. We will suffer, and I don't even pretend to know how much that suffering will be. But I do not believe God wants us as Christians to complain and let everyone know how much we disagree with the leaders. We are commanded to pray for them, not lash out against them. But I do understand. This is a difficult thing for Americans. We aren't "supposed" to suffer in this country. We are supposed to be able to do as we want, after all we work for our money.

Read Exodus, and see how hard the children of Israel worked, were beaten. But in the end God blessed them. He delivered them. That is Grace. Although we are on the brink of days of hardship, yet we are also on the brink of Grace. God has promised to never leave us nor forsake us. He promised to take care of us. Just remember there is no leader in a country that can twist God's arm to make Him do what they want.

But God can "twist" man's arms. He can harden hearts and He softens hearts. If you know God, then you have the Best there is in this time of our nation. Utilize your time praying instead of complaining. Change will come, "but lift your eyes for your redemption draws near."

Enjoy the Lord today

God bless you