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!"

Whaaat?  

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!"


It's all about the heart!

Have you ever looked at someone's outward appearance and made a determination based on that? I have.  Not proud of this--but it...