Wednesday, October 16, 2019

I'm right here!

A week ago, my three-year-old grandson along with his three older siblings stayed with us for 7-days.  Our normally quiet house was transformed to accommodate four more little humans with various needs and temperaments.  
It was a full house with plenty of action, bursts of noise, sounds of laughter and sometimes there were tears.
Even though it's been over a week since they left, I  can still hear my youngest grandson calling, "Grandma, where are you?"  
There were times, while he was here that I left the room he was playing in to put a load of laundry in the washer/dryer or step into the garage to get something out of the freezer for dinner.   
Almost, every time I was out of his sight, I heard his sweet voice calling out to me, "Grandma, where are you?"  
My response would inevitably be, "I'm right here."   And with those words, I would quickly come to his side.  Once he saw me, his face would form a sweet smile and he would go back to whatever he was doing.  But sometimes, he would run to my side and hug my leg.  
When my grandson called, I came.   

It's what grandmas do.

It's what God does for us too.
In Deuteronomy 4:7 in the (NIV) Bible, it says, what other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the Lord our God is near us whenever we pray to him?  
 I think we can all identify with this simple illustration of me and my grandson,  but how much more powerful is the picture we see in Deuteronomy 4:7. Our prayers to God and His response to us when we pray is the ultimate comfort. 
There have been times in my life when I called on the Lord and the picture of Him standing near me would bring a smile to my face.  And I'm not ashamed to say, there have also been times where I have run to Him and took hold of His leg like a fearful child in sheer desperation because of a need I faced.
Are you in one of these places today where you are asking, "God, where are you?"  If you are, find comfort in this—He hears and He draws near.  

"I'm right here!"

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

The Prayer

Have you ever heard a child pray?    

The words of their prayers are so precious and sincere.  Nothing about a child's prayer is showy or flowery in speech.  Their prayers simply state their need and believe the request has been heard by a person they trust.  

A child will pray with equal faith no matter if a friend has a boo-boo or the food needs blessing.  

A child believes they can ask whatever they have need of, and God will hear their prayer.  Maybe that’s why Jesus told us that we should be as little children.

In the Bible, from cover to cover we find many kinds of prayers for numerous situations.  

The Lord's Prayer in the Gospels is a teaching prayer.  Jesus said, pray in this way, “Our Father, which art in Heaven…”

The prayer of Jabez in 1 Chronicles 4 is a prayer of faith.  He prayed, “…Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory!...”

David prayed in Psalms 51 from a heart of repentance, “Have mercy on me oh God according to your unfailing love…”

Hannah's petition in I Samuel 1, was a plea with a vow attached, Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant…” 

Jesus prayed from the cross a memorable prayer of forgiveness, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

And in Numbers 6:24-26(NIV) there is a prayer that most of the Christian world has labeled the benediction prayer.  This is a prayer with a special pronouncement of security, grace, and peace.   

Whatever your need may be today, be encouraged, God hears our prayers.  

Have a blessed day!

“The Lord bless you and keep you; 
the Lord make his face shine on you
and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you
and give you peace.”

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

The "Rule Follower"

I've always found the whole birth order thing interesting.  The 1st born who are traditionally the “rule followers” and the 2nd born who are the “fun-loving social butterfly types.”  Of course, this isn’t a hard and fast rule just an observation on a percentage basis, I presume.  

You know, there is something to be said about the “rule follower.”  After all, Jesus was a firstborn...and a “rule follower” too. 

When I think of rules, I think order, smooth sailing and a peaceful existence.  If everyone would follow the rules life would be so good.

God set up rules from the beginning.  Adam and Eve had one rule—ONE and they broke it.

God gave Moses the 10-commandments.  Ten rules and in his anger, he cast the tablets down and broke them all.

In the Bible, when I think of rules, the book that comes to my mind is Leviticus.  This book is jampacked full of rules for things no one would ever guess a rule was even needed for, but none the less—the rules are recorded there.

Do this!

Don't do that!

If you do this, then this will happen then you'll have to do this or that to make it right. 

It's tiring just thinking about it.

The book of Leviticus can be daunting with the tedious lists of rules and regulations.  By chapter 3, most readers will jump right over this book in hot pursuit of character-driven Bible stories.  

Yet, if the reader will properly take the time to understand the pages of this book, they will unfold the rich wisdom and practical instruction supplied to the readers on these pages of the Bible. 

In Leviticus 17:11 (NIV) it says, For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life. 

The book of Leviticus is best described as a guidebook (kinda like a book of rules) for God's people pointing us to holy living and worship.  But before we can avail ourselves of these two things, first we must deal with the sin issues in our lives.

In the Old Testament, the only way to deal with sin was through sacrifices and offerings.  Sin required a sacrifice--a life for a life and Jesus became our once and for all sacrifice when he surrendered His life for us.  

Next time you think of the book of Leviticus, remember to be grateful for our firstborn, rule following Savior who became the once and forever sacrifice that reconciled us to God the Father.

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

A Way Out

Escape Rooms have been a popular group activity for the past few years.  These rooms are where people work together to try and escape a room in less than an hour with minimal clues.  

Personally, I’ve never done this.  

The activity seems to hold potential for fun, but I'm still a bit skeptical about the whole process.  I believe for success in an event like this, all the player needs to be team players and allow each member to play to their strengths.  

But, even if you are the best team player in the room, as the clock begins to tick down, at some point, the alfa male (or female) in the room will manifest to take on the responsibility of giving directions.  This isn't such a bad thing because having a leader is a necessary part of finding a way out.  

The alfa male in the "Exodus-escape room" was a reluctant Moses.  It was DL Moody who said this about him.  "Moses spent forty years thinking he was somebody, forty years learning he was nobody and forty years discovering what God can do with a nobody!”

When we face impossible situations in our lives, we don't usually have a Moses or an escape room team helping us find a way out.  But God is able to take impossible situations and make a way of escape for us.   Like the impossible situation, the children of Israel faced with Pharaoh's army behind them and the Red Sea in front of them.  In the natural, there was no way of escape for them.   They were in an impossible situation with no way out!  

In the Greek, Exodus actually means a way out, and just like the popular Escape Rooms of today, someone behind the scenes is holding the information that will help you escape.  There is a way out of these escape rooms--the players just need to figure it out or ask for help. 

In Exodus 14:21 (ESV) it says, Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord drove the sea back by a strong east wind all night and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.

The Lord provided a way out for the Children of Israel, and He will provide a way out for us!  

Are you facing an impossible situation?  Do you feel like there is no escape for you?

That's wrong!  In I Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) the Bible says, 

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation, he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Spritually speaking, no one wants to find themselves in an Escape Room situation, but if I find myself in such a place, I want to be on God's Team!  He will always provide a way out--a way of escape!

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

I believe!

Having been raised in the church and choosing to dedicate my life to serving the church, I have seen many things change.  Some for the good and some not so good.  

In spite of these changes, there is one basic truth that remains unchanged--believe in God. 
I don't claim to be a general contractor, but I do know that a good foundation is paramount for the longevity of any structure.  

What is the foundation of your relationship with God?

In America, there is a large group of people who would admit they believe God exists.  But believing God exists is far different than believing in God. 
Believing in God is another story.

Abraham believed the promise of God that his descendants would be more numerous than the stars.  He believed God existed, and then he believed in God

When God revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush, Moses did not simply believe that God was real, he believed that God was going to deliver the Israelite people out of bondage.  He believed this because he believed in God.

Jesus cried out from the cross, “Father forgive them...," He didn't just believe God the Father existed.  He was able to extend forgiveness because he believed in God, even in the face of death.

Believing God exists doesn't take much effort, but to believe God is at work in our lives, to believe His Word is true, to believe He has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us requires us to live radically different lives.  Lives that are built on a firm foundation, solid and unmoveable.

In Genesis 15:6, this foundation of believing in God was laid for all of us.  

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

In the New Testament, Ephesians 2:8-9 says,

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
not by works, so that no one can boast.

The foundation that we build on is believing in God, just like Abraham, Moses and even Jesus did, I believe.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

My Victory

I like to give credit where credit is due.  And I especially like to get credit when it belongs to me.    

I mean, if I did all the work and someone else stepped up to take the credit, I wouldn't appreciate that--at all. 

But Really?  Can anyone ever hear enough about how wonderful they are?  I think not!

Yet, God has this awesome ability to do just that.  He'll do all the work and give us the credit.  I like this scenario even better than me doing all the work and getting all the credit. 

There is a song that has been around a few years, but it's new to me called, Defender.  There's a phrase in this song that captured my heart. Here is my interpretation of what the song says, "You fight my battles, then call them my victory!"


God does the work and then gives me the credit.  He gets down and dirty in the trenches with my enemies, then (as the song states) brings me the head of my enemy and calls it my victory!

He goes before me into battle with my enemies.  

He fights for me.  

And I am victorious through Christ's efforts on my behalf.  

The story of the children of Israel standing at the Red Sea as Pharaoh’s army approaches is a game-changing moment for them.  They have no choice but to trust God to fight for them.   They actually aren't even trusting God at this time but complaining. (shocker) And accusing Moses of bringing them out of Egypt to die in the wilderness.  But God is about to show them, with the parting of the Red Sea, that He will fight for them, and they will be victorious.

When Believers trust God to fight their battles, fear and hopelessness will flee.  We learn when we allow God to fight for us that no battle is too big for our God.

He hasn't left us defenseless either.  In Ephesians 6, we read about the armor of God, then in verse 10 it says; (NKJV)  

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. 

Are you facing a battle?  Are you feeling defeated?  Your Defender is waiting to make you victorious!

God is surrendering all the credit, when He fights for me then calls it my victory

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

"Anything new?"

In two days, I'll be married for 44 years to my sweetheart.  We've had eyes for each other since I was 15 and he was 16.  

The picture to the right is of us with our 10 grandchildren taken about two years ago.  It's a favorite.

My husband is a saint for putting up with me all these years, and I love him dearly!  

Those who know him well, also know he has to touch base with me multiple times a day.  (Sometimes multiple times per hour.)  

It's just his way, and most of the time I love him for it...except he has been known to call at the most inopportune time.  
  • Like, when I'm checking out at the grocery store, and I'm fumbling around in my purse getting money to pay the cashier.  
  • Or when I'm driving, and my phone is buried in my purse on the other side of the car.  
  • Or when I'm up to my neck in the middle of a home improvement project with paint dripping from my just moistened paintbrush.
  • Or when I'm carrying an armload of laundry down the stairs.  
  • Or when I just said, goodbye to him at the backdoor and he's backing out of the driveway.
If there's one thing my guy is--it's consistent!  ...and he almost always asks when he calls, "Anything new?"

Through the years, and especially since cell phones, he needs to be connected with me to know what if anything new is happening in my life.  

He must think I lead a fascinating life when he's not around.

Some in my circle, may not understand the need my husband has to connect with me, but God understands.  Our Heavenly Father has the same interested in knowing what we're up to and if anything new is happening in our lives.  

The Lord eagerly waits for us to connect with Him on a daily, hourly, even minute by minute basis because He loves being a part of our lives.  

·  God wants to hear from you: Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”  Psalm 50:15
·  God wants you to be at peace: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7
·  He cares about you: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1Peter 5:7
·  He wants you to be strong in Him:  "But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on the wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary; they will walk and not be faint." Isaiah 40:31
·  He is for you:  "What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:31 
·  He loves you—Oh, how He loves you: "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: while we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
·  And He’s sticking around:  "For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

So, I guess I'm saying, "If anything new is happening in your life--let HIM know!"

I'm right here!

A week ago, my three-year-old grandson along with his three older siblings stayed with us for 7-days.  Our normally quiet house was tra...