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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 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 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!