August 21, 2018

What is that in your hand?

God gave Moses a mission and Moses worried that people would not believe that the LORD had spoken to him.  God asks Moses “What is that in your hand?” (Exodus 4:2) That is God’s way of showing that when He gives us an assignment, He’ll give us all that is needed to fulfill it.

Do you ever wonder if who you’re hearing is really the LORD?  Or a time of thinking you should be hearing from Him and He is seemingly silent?

I think of the question, “What is that in your hand?”, and I look at mine and see empty.  At first glance I found that discouraging, disappointing but as I stopped and answered the question with an honest, “Nothing”, some thoughts quickly occurred to me.

First off with Jesus our hands are never empty.  There’s work to be done and sometimes it is only the life stuff, the day to day.  Second, the quietness of God is not a bad thing, He may seem quiet but rest assured He’s working on something for you.  Third, a shorter "to do" list is a blessing, a time of rest, a time to immerse in and into the peace of the Holy One.

“Wait patiently for the LORD.  Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” (Psalm 27:14)

“Be still and know that I am God!  I will be honored by every nation; I will be honored throughout the world.” (Psalm 46:10)

“How can a young person stay pure?  By obeying your word.  I have tried hard to find You— don’t let me wander from Your commands.  I have hidden Your word in my heart that I might not sin against You. I praise You, O Lord; teach me Your decrees.” (Psalm 119:9-12)

And it began to make sense, I inhale one of those breaths that seemingly fill every cell of my body and I see myself at an airport gate, waiting for the call of my flight, sitting there doing what I do while waiting, read.  Seemingly empty hands are the perfect setting and I pick up the Bible and wait, patiently, still and knowing, hiding His word in my heart and praising Him for what is in my hand.

What is that in your hand?
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(Bible verses from the New Living Translation)

August 9, 2018

Transparency

It may sound crazy to say one should be transparent with God when God knows us better than we know ourselves.

Yet as I sat with Him this morning, ending (or so I thought) our time (before the day took off running) at Psalm 38.  I found myself voicing things I’ve kept placing under the umbrella of “You know…” , things that for a while I’ve wondered why I didn’t really feel He knew...

Things poured out of me like a much needed rain on a dry land, no umbrella to cover my words, no “You know”, just an opening up of things that I know He knows but that He needed me to say. 

The transparency needed was me to Him and to me, a very needed and transparent conversation with my Father.

As David said in Psalm 38:9

All my longings lie open before you LORD;
my sighing is not hidden from you.  

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February 22, 2018

FORWARD....

Psalm 143:10 (NLT)
Teach me to do your will, for you are my God.
May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.

First read His Words, then
Offer Him praise and pray,
Rest in His promises
Wait expectantly
Always trusting Him and being
Revived by His constant presence.
Daily, forward.

First, read His Words, then....forward, it won't be easy, but it is my word for the year.



July 13, 2017

Oh The Joys!

The world has become a place where I cry more often at acts of kindness then I do the atrocities, kindness is a dying thing.  Some say “no good deed goes unpunished” it is a world of me, me, me. When the world of takers takes you and starts to pull you down there is one thing and only one thing to do and that is go up.

Hunker into that favorite spot, turn off the noise, the TV, Iphone, Ipad, Ipod, and get out of “I” and into the great “I AM”.  Grab hold of the Holy Bible and go away with Him by yourself "to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Taste and see that the LORD is good.
Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in Him!
Psalm 34:8






May 24, 2017

The Beauty of Simple

Several months ago I moved and I can’t lie, it has not been easy​, the move itself or the adjusting​.

Physically it has been my first real taste of realizing I am not as young as I used to be, downsizing from a one bedroom apartment to one bedroom takes it tolls on the body.

Emotionally, leaving my home of 22 years takes it tolls as well, missing some of the freedoms, feeling as though I ​may have ​left me behind.

Spiritually, trying to keep the same routine in a new environment simply was not working.

Through www.biblegateway.com I was presented with a ​40​-Day Prayer Challenge from Max Lucado and his book “Before Amen”.  

I didn’t fit it into my normal ​devotions​ I let it be ​my ​devotions in hopes of getting back to my normal rhythm​.  Each day we began with the prayer below, read one Scripture and another short prayer.  Truly all probably takes less than 5 minutes.  It has been most refreshing​ and reviving....turns out I didn't leave me anywhere, slowly I am coming around to that routine that I love so, beginning each day with One I truly do love.  And all I needed was to ​begin each day with ​ sweet ​praise and petition:

Father, You are good.
I need help.
They need help.
Thank you.  
In Jesus’ name, Amen

There is such beauty in simple.
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https://maxlucado.com/products/before-amen-the-power-of-a-simple-prayer-2/

January 20, 2017

January 20, 2017

Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)
24 This is the day the LORD has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.

Today is a day of change in our country.  A new president just now sworn into office, as I type this our past president of 8 years and our new president are all out of the White House and an amazing staff of people are transitioning it from one family to another.  A carefully orchestrated move and set up for our First Family.

Today I must tell you he did not get my vote.  He never had my vote; it took a couple weeks to get over my disappointment that Mrs. Clinton would not take office.  Yet it was her words that, in the midst of my disappointment I clung to…we must give him a chance. We must continue to do good. 

Today we must, like other presidents of our lives, pray for him regularly.  

Today as I saw his hand on the Bible and heard the oath from his mouth I had thoughts of thanks that we are still a country that a hand can be placed on the Holy Bible in public without fear of harm.

Today as I see our first families, the previous and the current, I am thankful that we do have a say.  That we do have the right to vote and that it doesn’t end for us there.

Today we have the chance to do our part, it is not all him, we have a part and we must continue to do good things.

Today I am thankful that once again we have two people and their families willing to try.  

Today I am thankful that God sets the people, the times and the places.

Today, am I completely at ease of President Trump and Vice President Pence motives or plans or pasts? No.  Have my motives, plans or has my past always been perfect?  No.  

Today I am at ease that whether this is the beginning of something great or the end of something great there is one true fact.  The one and only El Shaddai is in control of it all and because of that this indeed is a day He has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

LORD God Almighty, I lift up to You now President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and their families, shower them with Your wisdom and discernment, Your grace and mercy.  Protect them LORD, draw them near to You that through them Your perfect will be done.  I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen. 



November 19, 2016

Simply because they are a person…

I read something by Max Lucado* (in a book of his that I've read and re-read) that if Jesus could teach us one thing it would be that a person has value simply because they are a person.

I love that, after the creation of the things of the world God created man. And it was good, very good.

Over 20 years ago I lived in an area where racism ran rampant and it shocked me.  Young and naive it saddened me and I couldn’t believe that racism actually existed to such a degree.  Now, older and not as naive, I'm happy to say it still shocks me.  It seems to be worsening not improving, we’re moving further and further from love and respect of each other.

Some say that our parents and or our leaders must be our right example, and I agree. Yet what about when they are not the right example?  What then?  Who then?

Micah 6:8 (NLT)
O people, the LORD has told you what is good,
    and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
    and to walk humbly with your God.

I get tired of hearing it (and certainly have had my share of failure at it); I almost don’t want to type it as the world is so narcissistic that I doubt this will be well received but people of planet earth … we need to be the bigger person and do right, love mercy, walk humbly with God.

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*No Wonder They Call Him The Savior by  Max Lucado

November 9, 2016

November 9, 2016

1 Timothy 2:2-4, 8 
I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

Many year ago, in the back of a Bible I had been given, was an outline of sorts as to how to arrange prayers so that the many areas of our lives and the many requests are organized and can be touched on consistently.  Another of my lists that I find useful in life, an update is now needed.

Thursdays for me is the day I focus on the United States of America and its leaders and their families, the list will be edited to now include Donald and Melania Trump, Mike and Karen Pence and their families.  As I pray for the Obama and Biden families to transition to their new posts in life, I will pray the same for the Trump and Pence families and forward for the next 4 years.

Year ago I heard a pastor suggest these prayers for our leaders:  that they know Christ and accept Him as Savior, that they do the work, that has been assigned to them by God,  with kindness, compassion, integrity and generosity.

And so it begins:

Dear Lord this morning I lift up to you the Obama, Biden, Trump and Pence families, in particular Barak, Joe, Donald and Mike, Lord I am confident that You indeed know what You are doing (Jer. 29:11 MSG), these men are in Your hands, I respect Your judgment and pray that first You fill them each with the Holy Spirit and that it is You, Your wisdom, discernment, power and desires that lead them as they lead the United States of America. I pray for citizens that we also, seek and heed Your wisdom and discernment in our daily lives, over all LORD, your will be done, I pray and ask in Jesus’ name, amen.


November 8, 2016

November 8th, 2016

Proverbs 3:5-6
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your paths.

Today is a day that will show a lot about us as Christians.  Do you trust Him; truly trust the LORD with all of your heart?  Do you lean on His understanding?

As the polls close and concession and acceptance speeches are made, this is a day for us to shine for Him.  We all have a choice, a privilege, I cannot tell you how to vote, but I can tell you that at the end of today, I’m going to trust the only One worthy of my trust.

Romans 13:1 …for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Trust in Him today, tonight and every moment forward.  And pray for those authorities that He establishes.

1 Timothy 2:2-4, 8  I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  Therefore I want the men everywhere to pray, lifting up holy hands without anger or disputing.

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the peace that cannot be explained fill you today and always and through all our days, amen.
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October 25, 2016

Chronicles and Numbers…

Those books of the Bible I often get to and think why God would have us know these things?  Lists that go on and on, I admit at times finding these books monotonous to simply read.  To study, they are quite interesting, but that is not the point of this post, perhaps there is no point to this post, we’ll see.

Today as I sit for a moment and think of the coming weeks, a pet sitting job in progress simultaneously with a move and a vacation in the midst of it all.  I begin to make lists and strangely that makes me smile.

1000s of years from now, no one is going to pick up my lists and read them, let alone study them. They are only significant to me and most likely only for this period of time, but I like my lists.  It takes the things that are rolling around in my head in the most disheveled manner, puts them into a visual that somehow clears my head.

I know that God, in His Sovereignty, doesn’t need lists to remember or to organize or to clear His head. And somehow, just now as I realize a common thing between us (He likes lists too!) I feel that peace that is not explainable.  I sit thankful that He gave us lists, lists to teach us of our history and perhaps to help me feel less crazed about my lists.  Thankful that in this strangest of ways, He has transformed me a bit into His likeness.

In the midst of change He doesn’t change.

He changes us.

And I’m ready, lists and all.

Numbers 1:1 (NIV)

The Census
1 The Lord spoke to Moses in the tent of meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: 2 “Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one.


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August 4, 2016

Covered ...

Recently at a women’s conference I took a fall and today found out the knee has quite the issues an arthroscopic surgery may be necessary, MRI and time will tell.  I was very discouraged when the doctor told me, but as I walked away I remembered ‘He is God, I am not’.  I held up my hands and simply entrusted this to Him.

When I fell, I really could have been much more seriously hurt, I was out of town, I was on my own, I asked for prayer from friends and family…I made it through the conference, back home and I sit here now remembering. The conference was about how we are covered by God.

Divinely covered, His covering is above us, before us and around us. 

Whatever struggle you're going through it would be my guess you'd rather it pass and pass quickly.  I thumbed through my journal for this week and my eyes settle on 1 Peter 1:6:

So be truly glad. 
There is wonderful joy ahead,
even though you have to endure
many trials for a little while.

He’s got you covered.



*Living Proof Live Conference, July 15-16, 2016, Ontario, CA

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July 30, 2016

It's Time

An early love in my life was that of reading, I’ve long said that a good book is like going on vacation at minimal cost.  Although my tastes have changed I do still love to sit and read and one of my favorite authors is Charles Swindoll.  I don’t recall ever not enjoying one of his books, he is one of my ‘go to’ authors when looking for a book on a particular subject or simply for something new to read.  Years ago one of my brothers had on his end table in the living room “Living on the Ragged Edge” by Charles Swindoll.  A book digging into Ecclesiastes, a diary of King Solomon, I added it to my small library and here it is years later, I find myself just now pulling it from the bookshelf and reading it, I guess it is finally time.

Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes - Solomon talks of how there is a time for everything; the corresponding chapter 5 of “Living on the Ragged Edge” it titled, “Do you know what time it is?” as he does so well, Pastor Swindoll digs into the topic.

He quoted Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and I found the quotes quite profound still in these times.  I must first say I had never heard of him; according to Wikipedia he is a “Russian novelist, historian, and short story writer. He was an outspoken critic of the Soviet Union and its totalitarianism and helped to raise global awareness of its Gulag forced labor camp system”.  Swindoll says of Mr. Solzhenitsyn “I don’t believe he walks on water and I certainly realize he is far from perfect, as we all are, but I do think you would agree he’s a wise and seasoned man”.

Mr. Solzhenitsyn was interviewed in the Wall Street Journal and he was asked “What hope is there for the West?”:

“The time when the West could save itself by its own exertions may already have passed.  To save
itself would require a complete change in its attitude when in fact these attitudes are still going the
wrong way.  … the only miracle that the people … can pray for is a profound change in their hearts.”

When asked, “Do we have a single main underlying moral ill that one can identify?” he answered:

“Besides cowardice, selfishness.  We hear a constant clamor for rights, rights, always rights but so
little about responsibility.  And we have forgotten God.”

Living on the Ragged Edge was published in 1995, the interview about 2 years prior to that, so here we are, 20+ years later, still going the wrong way.

It’s time, time to remember God.  Time ends, when it ends where are you going?  What about your children, your grandchildren…  There are two choices and if you’re not sure Pastor Swindoll points us to the better of the two, he points us to Jesus Christ, “…who came to give men and women hope, forgiveness and assurance…”

John 1:12, “But to all who believed Him (Christ) and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.”

I can attest to the fact that Jesus does indeed give hope, forgiveness, assurance, eternity in my heart.  I’ve accepted Him and He has never failed me.

Ecclesiastes is Solomon’s journal on the point of time and life under the sun being that like chasing the wind.  As the book progresses he realizes and teaches us it is all meaningless without God.

I end with the final words of chapter 5 of Living on the Ragged Edge:

“The gift of eternal life is there to be received.  So take God’s gift while you still have time.  Along with Solomon’s list of contrasts, there is still one worth considering.  There’s a time to reject and a time to accept.  Make this your time to accept”.

Indeed, it’s time.

All quotes taken from “Living on the Ragged Edge” by Charles Swindoll