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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 "...to 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, grace...now 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 on...you 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 list...you 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.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Plate Full of Stress or Joy?

The first week of school done. Away with summer schedules, swim time for the kids, and not a "no mistake" schedule or we'll be late. It is a bit easier to have the kids on a schedule, but it comes with a price...making sure uniforms are clean, Promise's hair combed and ready for school, breakfast eaten, school bags ready, and out the door by 7:40 am! No, I do not do this alone...daddy is in on the activity!

Then let's add working on a different program for the child sponsorship program, which needs to be completed before Patrick returns to Haiti. My mother is also visiting with us right now, which is a joy to have her. She's 92 years old and a fun "spunky." She takes care of herself and makes no demands. And it is fun having an apple fritter and coffee with her.  A favorite. I want to give her my attention. I want to give Patrick attention. I don't want to ignore the kids. Of course, it would help if my prosthesis would be fitting a bit better. Hopefully it will be fixed in a couple days. Oh my oh my!!

Do you ever feel like you have more on your plate than is possible to digest? That's where I'm at right now. How can I make it special for everyone around here and still keep my sanity? Well, it really isn't that bad. I go back to reality...if I feel I don't have time or have joy in doing what I'm doing, then perhaps I have forgotten to ask God how to juggle my time. For you see, God doesn't ask us do to more than He gives us time to accomplish it.

If we stay within God's timing and work, then the stress is taken out of the job. That's the secret. Our focus then, is on God and not me. God will never give me more than I can do. Then to have joy in all God gives me to do, no complaining. The job gets done better and my heart will be grateful instead of stressed.

Just a closing thought, most stress is self-induced. So if we have more on our plate than we think we can handle, let's look to God and fill our plate with joy. The stress will need to leave as there is no room for it!

God bless you

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Inner Strength

Ephesians 3:14-21 "For this reason I kneel before the Father,  from  whom every family  in heaven and on the earth is named.  I pray that according to the wealth of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in the inner person,  that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, so that, because you have been rooted and grounded in love,  you may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and thus to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to him who by the power that is working within us is able to do far beyond all that we ask or think, to him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen" (The Net Bible)

This is a very familiar passage of scripture, but this morning a few things sort of hopped off the page for me. I love it when I think I know a scripture, and then POP! here is something new! God is amazing. For instance, how do I pray? Most of the time, "God I need strength for today." But now, how about praying God give me the strength that will glorify You? For you see, if He strengthens me, what will I do with it? Usually go about doing the things that I see need to be done. But according to this scripture the idea is not only to be strengthened to do what I see needs doing...like today—laundry, straightening the house, caring for the kids, cook...all of that takes strength, but to be strengthened for His glory.

The strength I really need is for my inner being. Why? Number one so that I can be rooted in love. Oh my...how many times in my physical strength I find myself mumbling because of all the things that need to be done. But now, strength for my inner being so that, I can be rooted in love, because without that, I cannot possibly know the immensity of God's love. His love surpasses knowledge!  Filled with His love, then God can begin to do those things in my life that are beyond understanding.

So as I read this, I was thinking....I need to redirect my prayers a bit. Praying more for my inner strength so that I am filled with His love, then He can work in me that which surpasses all knowledge. But first, I must allow Him to strengthen my spirit and have His love rooted in me. Love that will spread wherever I go. 

As I read the verses again (which is Paul's prayer), I realize there is nothing there to gratify the flesh. There is no spot for "me." The only way I see to get me out the way, for a moment, is to keep my eyes on Him. I remember asking my dad once, "Does living for the Lord ever get easier as you get older?" His answer  was, "No, there is always a battle for self." 

But God has promised victory! He has promised never to leave us! There are so many promises of His faithfulness  to us. So no matter of our age, we can begin to focus on God for His glory. Even to the point, of laying aside a sport event so that we can bask in His love. If I take care of all "my" things first, what I want to do, etc, then seldom is there time to allow God to fill me with His strength so that I can have a better comprehension of Him.

Today I want His fullness, be rooted in His love, I want to comprehend His love—even in a minute way that my earthly body can begin to know, and I have found that He has always worked beyond of my understanding. Answered prayers beyond what I could ask or even think of asking!! 

God bless you...and today ask for His strength in your inner being.


Monday, August 12, 2013

The Scavenger Hunt

Reading the Bible can be like a wonderful scavenger hunt. This provides priceless treasures found no other place. That is what I love about reading God's Word! But yes, it is for me to obey, not pick and choose what I want.

I was reading in Genesis about Joseph, and how many times "the Lord was with him" was mentioned. What an amazing thing to say about someone. The Lord prospered him. Whatever he did was successful! But, he suffered in the meantime, before he was great in the eyes of Pharaoh. In spite of Joseph's faithfulness in his walk with God, we never read, The God of Joseph. No that title belonged to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. They were the fathers of the Israelites.

So why is this a scavanger "gem" to me? Well, as I was looking at this and the phrase "the Lord was with him" was repeated several times, I wondered if those around me see that the Lord is with me? What imprint do I leave? When I'm having a rough day, do others see that God is with me? Oh it may be easy to throw out joy and happiness when things are going good. People saw Joseph was "different" in the midst of his suffering.

Joseph was hated by his brothers, taken from his father, sold as a slave to a foreign country, falsely accused, thrown in prison, and forgotten in prison!! And we think we are having a "bad hair day"?  In all these things, "the Lord was with him."

God was using Joseph to save a whole nation, the nation of Israel!! The bottom line is, we do not know what God has in store for us to do. But what we do know is that God needs our obedience so that we can qualify for whatever He calls us to do. Psalm 63:8 "My soul follows close behind you; Your right hand upholds me." 

God has a plan for each of us. Where He guides, He will provide. What does He provide? Joy, peace, sleep at night, physical needs, strength, His spirit...and the list goes on. We may not be a "Joseph" but we can be His Light in this troubled world. Let the world see that "the Lord is with you."

God bless you.


Friday, August 9, 2013

A Sad Day

My heart breaks when I think of the parents whose 2 year old daughter died in a farm accident. Oh the parents and siblings. What a sad time! So many tears are shed! One of the family said, "I will hold my baby even more now, as we do not know the timing of our children."

Some may be asking, "Where is God in all this?" "Why?' Is there an answer? Humanly speaking, no.  Our world is tainted with sin, sadness, tragedy, and ugliness. The key word is SIN. Satan is a Destroyer. He knows no love. All he knows is to destroy. Yet, in all this, God  is near His children. God never leaves us.

All that is left at a time as this, is to go to God with our broken hearts. God is the Healer. He is our Peace.

Perhaps you too, are experiencing a tragedy right now. Look to God. Turning your back on God because of a tragedy you don't understand will not take the hurt away. It will only cause more problems. God is the only One who can walk through the tragedy. He will prove His faithfulness! He will because He is the "I AM" for all times, yesterday-today-tomorrow.

Let's pray for those who are suffering now. God is their Healer. He is their Strength and Peace.

God bless you




Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Limp to Freedom

I have been reading the account of Jacob, in Genesis.  At a young age, his mother taught him deceit. She taught him how to plan the deceit. That started his downward spiral in life. The first step was selfishness when he sold a bowl of lentils to his brother for his birthright.

Then came the day when his mother taught him how to deceive his father and brother so that he would receive the blessing of the firstborn son, even though his brother was the firstborn. Jacob was afraid. But his mother told him she would take the curse that would come from it.

Not many days later, he was on the run to escape his brother's anger. His mother again lied to Isaac as to the reason Jacob was leaving the house. The stage has been set, and Jacob goes to his uncle's house. Laban then deceives Jacob my not giving him the daughter promised him.

At the end of Jacob's time with Laban, he then deceives Laban taking more livestock than right should have been his. For 20 years he hadn't seen his brother Isaac, yet he was still afraid. He knew he had to face him, but what he didn't know is that he would come face to face with God first.

The "thread" I see through all this is fear. The Bible says "what a man sows that he shall also reap." (Gal. 6:7) Sin follows us through our life until we confess and accept God's forgiveness and Grace.  Life is miserable "on the run." We may think we are hiding or running away, but eventual there is a day of reckoning. Jacob's reckoning came on the banks of a river, God and him did battle. Jacob came out of the battle with a limp, but with a forgiven heart and trusting God.

Through the Bible God uses the title, "The God of Jacob." Amazing! After all Jacob did, God said He was the God of Jacob. And He longs to be the God of us. He longs to hold us, to bless us, to cover us with His Grace.

Have you met God at the river? Are you tired of running with fear? Freedom in Jesus is waiting for you, maybe you will have a limp but you will be free.

God bless you

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Desert Walk

Psalm 84:5-7 has long been a picture of my life with my Lord.
"Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring: The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion." (NKJ version)

The past couple months has been a walk in a desert, the walk was dry and lonely. I was on a pilgrimage. The valley of Baca is a place of tears. Those tears formed an oasis, a place of hope and refreshing.  The translation given in the verse says we go from strength to strength, other versions use glory to glory.

Personally, I see how God has taken me on walks of loneliness and testings. But He is also a God who sees me in the desert, just as He saw Hagar, Abraham's slave who was running from her circumstance. Yet God called her to return to where she came from. My oasis or strengths came as a verse of scripture, a phone call, a post on Facebook and always the verse or calls were exactly what I needed for that moment. But God, doesn't let me stay there. He leads me on to the next oasis.

When I am on a walk as this, I have the choice to continue to follow my Lord's bidding or I can be stubborn and decide it is too difficult. God never gives me more than I can handle. He promises never to leave me or forsake me. He promises His provisions and protection. It really is a winning battle. I have the victory! He showers His Grace on me as I walk through tears, struggles and even at times confusion.

But I don't stay there, I will continue to walk until I appear before my God. As I reflect over the past couple months, and specifically the past 2 weeks, I know God was challenging me to a greater level of trust in Him. So many times, that still, small voice telling me which way to go, what to do or not to do. Oh it wasn't so easy, but definitely worth the desert walk!

I can declare that God has proved Himself faithful to me again!
I will share a few scripture references that were very special to me, and you can look them up in your Bible.
Psalm 42 (I came back to this one several times)
Habakkuk 3:17-19 (rejoicing when all else fails)
Philippians 4:6-7
Romans 12:12  Rejoicing in hope...some days hope looked quite hopeless, but it wasn't. God was in the cloud.

I do pray I can continue to faithfully blog again.
As always, God bless you!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Thoughts to Ponder

Habakkuk 3:17-19 "Though the fig tree may not blossom, Nor fruit be on the vines; Though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, He will make my feet like deer's feet. And He will make me walk on my high hills."

As I read this verse this morning, it resonated and confirmed a truth that I have been thinking of for quite some time. I have been troubled for quite sometime about the posts of Facebook, by Christians, who are constantly bashing President Obama and the government. Why does this bother me? I don't believe according to scripture that it is the place of a Child of God to lash out at our government. They may be wrong in their decisions, we may suffer because of the decisions, and the decisions may not be according to God's Word. We cannot expect people who do not believe in God, or believe the Bible to make right decisions.

What should we do about the president and the government? Look at the verse...are we hungry? Can we still buy food? Do we have jobs? Are we in prison for our faith (I'd hate to hear the complaints of some if they were). No matter what happens, we need to learn to praise the Lord.

There was a post of FB giving a list of Obama's sins. Is that what we want? Someone to post my sins for the world to see? Who are we to post his sins? I'm not saying this because I am agreed with the decisions of Obama and his government. According to scripture we are to pray for him. Most countries have had wicked leaders for years. We have had an easy life...we are spoiled... we are a "me" country. What I want is what I deserve to have. Is God pleased with this?

I was listening to a teaching by Pastor Joe Focht. He nailed it...our problem today is not the government, our problem today is the church. Amen! The church is more concerned about being politically correct, making sure the world is comfortable with the service. We have a watered down gospel, so sinners don't feel convicted. Call a dinner at church, the place is filled. Call a prayer meeting, only a few show up.

Let's get back to God's Word....we need to tell people of God's love, and also of His judgement...hell. We have the answer to the problem...Jesus!

Let's share Jesus. Pray for the president and our country. Let's learn to praise God, even when the vines do not bear fruit.

God bless you.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Are You On Time?

We arrived in church last night, totally forgetting that the service had started at 4:00 pm rather than the normal 6:00 time because of the concert afterwards. What a disappointment. We had already missed church 2 weeks in a row because of sickness. So we returned home.

How much more tragic it will be for those who miss the Eternal, never-ending Worship Time in Heaven. We are called to be prepared, not to be deceived. Yet all around us we see life happening as if there is no end here on earth. I enjoy watching Jeopardy, but am always amazed that Bible questions usually stump the contestants. They know the questions found around the world, but are poorly acquainted with the eternal Word of God.

Appointments and schedules are all a part of life. Get to the airport too late, you miss the flight. Get to church too late, you miss the service. Miss the doctor's appointment, you reschedule. Late for your wedding...??? Maybe there wouldn't be a second chance.

There is only one appointment that cannot be rescheduled...that is the final call when Jesus returns to gather His Bride. We must be ready...we cannot be late for that...and honestly, what is so important on earth that would even make us be so negligent as to miss this final call?

We do plan to go to church today. There is redemption in forgetting the change of a service time..we can go today.

God Bless You

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

What a Week!

Last week was a reminder that we really aren't in control. The control I'm responsible for is my attitude.  Yes, attitude. It would have been easy to cry out, "Not fair." But it wouldn't have changed a thing. It would have made the situation more difficult.

Last week: Rachel left for Haiti for a week to help on the surgery team. Agape had a filming assignment for school (which involved 2 full days).  He also had class and work at school. It wasn't the greatest timing to have sick kids all week, and no school 2 days...very interesting. When I saw the bumps in the road, I realized I would not plan one other thing all week except babysit. I was thankful for books to read, not only for them but for me, too. The Lady Bug and Memory games were used a lot. No need to ask if I won memory...have you ever played memory with a 6 year old...dear me...she wins every game.

"All things work together for good to those who love God" so what good was it? None of the little ones had to go to the doctor. I never got sick along with them. In the whispers of the Spirit, God reminded me that He was here with us. He had it all under control. And He did.

By the end of the week, I wasn't sure I'd know how to relate to an adult, but when that test came I think I passed.

Be thankful in all things...

God bless you

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

"Honey, Did You Hear What I Said?"

I've been thinking the past few days of my response to God. For instance, as I read the scriptures, am I really listening? Do I really concentrate and give Him my full attention? It is sad, but there are many times I'm distracted. Thinking of things I need to do, places I want to go, and people I should talk to. Oh, the list goes on and on.

Reading through the Old Testament, people had the same problem. God would speak, would call them, and they would not listen. I wonder if God felt like taking them by the shoulder and shaking them, "Would you please look at me and listen to what I am saying?" Does this sound familiar?

We want our children to listen. Stop what they are doing and give us their full attention. So difficult. But let's take it a step further, for those of  us who are married. What about those times when you know  you told your husband the plan, and a few days later, "Why didn't you tell me this?" The normal response from us, as a wife, is "Honey, I did tell you, but you were on the computer, or watching a ball game, or..." Whatever the case may be. We know they weren't paying attention. It is frustrating to us. We want our husband to  pay attention when we talk to them.

They don't really intend to shut us out, well maybe sometimes they do. But do they not realize how much we'd like their full attention? Maybe God allows this so that we can know how God feels when He speaks to our heart and we just don't listen. We have our own agenda. We do have our Bible open, but while we are reading, we plan our dinner meal, make our grocery list, answer the phone....so many interruptions.

God gives us the rules. God shows us the way. We just don't listen. We are "busy." How would my life be different if I really listened when He speaks.

I wonder if Patrick heard me when I said "I need those signatures and forms filled out?" I wonder....I'll know when he returns home. :))

Help me to listen, Lord.
God bless you

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Favorite Color

Promise and Nate are at the table making valentine cards. Then I heard Nate say, "I'm going to make one for God and Jesus, then when I go to heaven I will take it to them." There was a pause, "But I don't know what their favorite color is."

He wanted to make the best for God and Jesus. How often have my sacrifices been second best? I found his statement profound. Oh yes, a child at play but wanting to give Jesus what He likes best. Am I more interested in what Jesus likes best, or is it more important to have what I like best and then ask Him to bless it. A bit turned around in my thinking.

What is the offering that I lay on the altar? Is it a sacrifice, or just a little thinking to appease God with what I have given? God is not to be fooled. He sees into my heart, even the deep recesses of my heart. Yes, even those areas that I would rather hide from His eyes. But not to be. I cannot hide anything from Him. Not because He wants to destroy me or embarrass me, but because He loves me so much. He knows what it is I need for contentment.

When I give second-best, I am not happy. I know that small convicting voice that nudges me to give my all. Oh but self, but me, wants it my way. But I can't have His way if my way stands in the way.

What is your favorite color, Jesus? I want to give my best for you.

God bless you

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Almost

Have you ever thought of the many "almosts" in our lives? I was almost late for work/school. I almost missed my flight? I almost failed the exam. I almost went to the altar Sunday after the message. Then the scariest of all...

"I almost just DIED!! Along with my nephew lil Nate!! We were walking into school when a senile old lady slammed on her gas in the parking lot, did a donut, and smashed into a parked delivery truck, in front of which Nate and I were standing. Scariest moment ever!! Thanks to the gracious Lord and my mongoose-like reflexes, no one was harmed! Within a nanosecond, I had lil Nate resting safely in my bosom between the grasp of my arms as I whisked us both out of harms way. It was legendary but I'm still shaking like a boss!" (Agape's experience this morning)

Then a flash-back: Patrick and I almost died in the quake. We almost didn't have a way out of Haiti in time. Patrick almost died in the hospital.

But one thing for sure. God never has an almost!! He never is almost too late. Almost too busy. Almost too tired. Almost too early. No, God is never Almost. He is always faithful, good, right and for sure, never late! He never almost forgets. He remembers you and me. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Not almost the same, He is the same!

All morning the song, I Will Rise, has been "humming" through my mind. And we will rise the moment He calls our name. Not almost rise...we will rise.

God bless you



Friday, February 1, 2013

I Can Do Nothing

John 15:5..."without me you can do nothing."
Well, that puts me in my place when I think I'm doing quite well. If there is anything of value accomplished in me, it isn't really me but Jesus in me. When will I ever learn that flesh just gets in the way all the time. It is truly my enemy.

We really are helpless creatures. If Jesus recognized His need of the Father, how much more do I need to realize that I am helpless without Him. I can't breathe without Him. I can't make my heart beat. Oh yes, the doctor can shock it to make it beat, but again, without God's will and power to do so, hearts would not beat.

Think of a baby, then a toddler, then a child, teen, and adult. During the growing process, we as parents, teach our child to do many things. We can teach a child to walk, talk, eat, play, read, write, etc. But we cannot teach its lungs to breathe, or the heart to beat. We can't teach its brain to think. Our bodies are so intricately designed. There is not one thing about me that the Father doesn't know.

So since I can't do anything without Him, I realize I need to ask Him what it is I am to do, then obey and my work will be blessed. Rather than making my plans, telling God what I am going to do, then ask Him to bless it. Does this make sense?

And this is what I was trying to digest when I couldn't sleep last night. What is God doing around me, so that I can join in the work. There are some upcoming activities that I really am not excited about, until last night. Just perhaps God is working in these activities and wants me to be a part of the work. I'll pray for a right attitude.

Without Him, I can do nothing. But with Him, I can change the world, my little world, that is.

God bless you

Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Effects of Sin

Today's message was convicting. The teaching is from the book of Daniel, chapter 3, when Shadrac, Meshac, and Abedego had a choice. They could choose to worship the statue or the fiery furnace. Of course, we know the end of the story. We know that God delivered them in the furnace. They came out not even smelling of smoke, their hair was not singed.

But they didn't know the outcome...the one thing they were convinced of and believed is that their God was able to deliver them from the fire, but even if He didn't they would still serve Him. Pastor Bob gave examples of choices that we have today to choose God rather than the god of this world. You know, at the work place, do you shy away from speaking out truth. What about adultery? No one would ever know? Do we believe our "little white lies" are ok, and we'll never be found out?

2 Samuel 12:14 "But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the Lord show utter contempt.." this was after David had killed Bathsheba's husband, trying to hide the sin he committed with Bathsheba. For you see, sin usually snowballs into greater sin. But it doesn't stop there. The verse says, we also cause the enemies of the Lord to show utter contempt to God.

That is one of the most convicting verses I have read in a while. When we are tempted to disobedience to God's word, let's remember it is not just going to affect us. This will cause even the enemies of God to show more contempt.

We are God's light in a very dark world. Let's walk in that light so that we do not have consequences of sin, but rather a choice that will please God and also bless others, and convict the enemies of the Lord. 

We have choices. Let's make the count for the Lord.

God bless you

Friday, January 25, 2013

Cleaning Job

Yesterday Patrick and I were in the car going from point A to B. The sun shown brightly into the windshield. Oh my, every speckle of dirt was magnified. I remarked, "Wow is the window ever dirty." Patrick's response, "The sun always makes it look dirtier."

How true in our life. The dirt is magnified when Jesus shines on it. I may think my sin is not so bad, until...the Light shines on it. Then it is quite nasty. Now of course, I can choose to go another direction so the Light isn't quite so intense on the "sin" spots. But they don't go away. It just keeps on getting dirtier. Just like the windshield, if we don't wash it, more dirt collects on it.

The only way to clean the windshield is with soap and water. The only way to clean my heart of sin is the blood of Jesus. In His blood is power to clean every speckle of sin. But too many times when the cleaning process begins, it is painful so I tend to detour the cleansing. But eventually I need to come back to the Light and have Him clean things up again.

A favorite song of mine (I have quite a few favorites) is Power of the Cross by Kristyn Getty.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aowdjLeaCYs

God bless you

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Little Foxes

I haven't posted for a number of days, for a number of reasons. One, just not in a writing mood. Then, of course, the work load was heavier. Children home from school. My cousin's husband passed away which is sad. I wanted to be in Sarasota today.

Have you ever had a frustrating day? That was me today. No valid reason for it, except for the harder I worked the more work I found to do. Then I wasn't being so thankful either. Found myself concentrating on the job at hand, instead of the blessings around me.

Tonight I ask myself, why did I let the frustrations take over? I don't like when I do that. Now tomorrow is Sunday, and I do hope I have a better attitude. A thankful spirit. There are so many things to be thankful for. For you see, not being thankful brings complaints. It isn't the big things that give me problems. It is those little things that creep in and begin to attack the thought process. I'm thinking of the verse in Song of Solomon 2:15, ..."the little foxes that spoil the vine..." and that is what it is..the little things that spoil things.

What little foxes are in your life? What are the foxes that are eating and destroying the goodness of the Lord in our life? Oh we need to root them out. Take them out of our life, so that the vines of thankfulness, grace and joy are not spoiled.

So what I think I should do is go to bed, have a good night sleep and start the day on a right track tomorrow. Doesn't that sound like a good idea? Away with the little "foxes."

Good night and God bless you

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Our Life...A Display Case

The memories are strong today. Flashes of the quake, the pain, the crying...not only in our lives but the thousands of people who lost loved ones through the quake. Remembering the fear people lived in for months after the quake.

The message tonight at church was so appropriate for an anniversary message. I'm sure the pastor had no idea that quake survivors were in the audience. His message was on asking questions, especially "why?" when we just don't understand. Many times we ask why because we don't see the final picture. HIs message was focused on John 9.

When we humbly accept God's path for us, and follow Him, learning to praise Him even though we do not fully understand. When we obediently accept His will for our lives, He uses our life for a showcase for others. His light shines forth for others to see Jesus through us.

I remember when Patrick was finally out of the coma, and almost ready to be transferred out of intensive care, he had asked the nurses and doctor to gather around his bed. He thanked them for the good care, helping him through a most critical time in his life. While he was talking, a nurse stood a bit away from the foot of the bed, and then nudged the one beside her and said, "Please make him stop thanking us. Don't let him go on. We don't hear these things from patients." But Patrick continued his praises to the medical staff. I thought of this during the message, God used Patrick as a showcase for Jesus.

Our light for Jesus is so needed in this dark world. So if you, as a child of God, are suffering just know God sees the whole picture. He can use you in your suffering for His praise. We see suffering as a negative thing...God sees it much differently. I know that suffering has given me a clearer picture of who God is. Yet, when I see the stars at night, I realize I really don't know His Grandeur at all. His greatness is far beyond my understanding.

I am so thankful I serve a God who is not contained in an earthquake, He is One who Everlasting, Ever Loving, All Knowing, All Seeing, Full of Grace and Mercy. Ahh, What a God we serve!!

God bless you.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Leaving a Legacy

Where has the time gone? Not only are the holidays past, but on January 4 my sister and I went to Kansas for our aunt's funeral. I was still in Sarasota when we decided to go. We are so glad we went. My only regret was that I had not spent much time with my aunt. She left a legacy for the family and the community. One of her grand daughter's in-law said, "She loved like Jesus." Quite powerful. One of her sons said, "She was not perfect, but she was a good woman." A giving person. As the pastor said, "She gave out of her poverty and not of her abundance."

While we are living, is the time to be working on a legacy. What is it you want to leave for your family? Only your "things?" Your money? Is there more that we could leave that would have an eternal impression on our families? What do we want to be remembered by?

My focus needs to be on eternal things, not to be over-indulged with the things on earth. We can soon be discouraged and disgruntled if we only see the condition of the world. Oh we hear so much complaining of our government. I don't know why. We are warned in the scriptures that these things would come to pass. We have been warned. The end is near.

We have signs and scriptures to help us know the end time of the world. But not so much for the end of our life. We do not know when God will call us home. Some people are called home instantly. Others suffer on a bed of pain for many days. The important thing is that we are ready.

While we still have breath, let us work diligently to accomplish the work God has called us to. Let's be diligent to leave a testimony for the Lord.

My aunt only had a few short days in 2013, then eternity began for her. She is in the presence of Jesus! It really can't get better than that. Be Ready!!

God bless you


Thursday, January 3, 2013

My Request versus Leanness of Soul

Already on day 3 of 2012. Family fun, lots of food, laughter, and then....remembering those who have not had such wonderful times. Those who lost loved ones, those who have had family members in the hospital, and those who were just very lonely.

I am closing my time in Sarasota with a flight to Kansas for the funeral of my aunt. My sister and I will represent our family since mom is not able to go that far in cold weather. Speaking of mom, she loves her new home in Florida. Oh how she is enjoying grandchildren that drop by to see her. It is a joy to see her happy and content in her home here in FL.

For me, there are no new year resolutions. It is a day by day walk with Jesus. Every day desiring to be more of who He wants me to be. Day by day being a woman of Grace. Oh but I have so much to learn. The love of God rings loud and clear as He shows me the way, and waits patiently for me to learn the lessons along the way.

I read a verse the other day that stopped me in my tracks. Psalm 106:15 "And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul." This was speaking of the children of Israel in the desert as they tested God, and this was His response. I wonder how often that has been my situation. I begged and demanded something of God. He gave it to me, but in exchange I had leanness of soul. God help me!

So as I make my requests known to God may I search His will, and not demand what would bring leanness of soul.

I ask you this: How are you starting the New Year? 

God bless you