Archive | March 2017

Drawing up

James 4:8 – “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”


This picture was taken Wednesday night before church started. Isn’t it beautiful?!

When I first noticed it, the scientific part of my brain kicked in and I thought about the sun drawing water into the sky to create clouds. Then I began praying for rain – we need it very badly. Then I saw something different – now this may be a bit crazy, but play along. 

Our sun lights our earth. It creates an amazing amount of light that shadows are the only thing we see relating to darkness when we see it shining. The sun “draws” water into the sky through evaporation. It uses that water to create new clouds to bring water in the form of rain, usually, to hydrate the ground to grow plants. 

Jesus is the Light of the world. He shines so much Light into our life that darkness runs and hides. He also draws men (and women) unto Himself. He brings us to Him to teach us, nurture us and build in us a new creation. 

Are you seeing the connection? Can you see the metaphor in the picture? Do you appreciate the fact that God painted that picture in the sky to remind us of His handiwork in our life?

Wow. I just love it when God does something like that!

Let God draw you to Him. Let the Light of His love flood over your heart and chase away the darkness. Let His nurturing Spirit and His comforting warmth bring you joy today. Happy Friday. 

Advertisements

Under the cloud

Matthew 28:20b – “and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.”

I have been reading a fictional account of a Biblical truth regarding Caleb. It tells of his life and story as it relates to the children of Israel and their exodus from Egypt. While reading it the other day, I couldn’t help but stop and ponder for a moment about how it must have felt the day that the cloud was no longer over the children of Israel. 

Think about it, from the time they left Egypt until they crossed the Jordan river, they had a cloud to provide protection from the hot sun in the day and warmth from the fire within at night. There was an entire generation that grew up under that cloud. They were a generation that knew only of the cloud and its’ movement. They were a generation that had only eaten manna from Heaven. 

Can you imagine what it would have felt like to wake up one morning with none of that there? I tried to find when the cloud left and the manna stopped but didn’t find a specific time. It just seemed to no longer be available. 

Sometimes when we choose to walk away from God, it feels like He is just no longer available. In actuality, it is us that is unavailable. We are the ones who have left Him, not the other way around. 

God never left the children of Israel even when they left Him. He never forgets His promises. He never forgets your name. He always remembers your burdens and successes and faults and highlights. 

So if for some reason or another you feel like you have gotten up and God is…gone, He’s not. You have moved, not Him. 

Search your heart. Identify the sin that has built up the wall that is keeping you from His loving protection and guidance. Tear it down and rest under His cloud. 

A moment of praise

Psalm 95:1-8 – “O come, let us sing unto the LORD: let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. In his hand are the deep places of the earth: the strength of the hills is his also. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands formed the dry land. O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker. For he is our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today if ye will hear his voice, Harden not your heart, as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wilderness”

So, yesterday morning after I had completed my Sunday school lesson preparations, I sat out on my porch with a delightful cup of slightly warm coffee. I heard the birds chirping, the woodpecker pecking, the rooster crowing, the donkey brawling (I had no idea there was a donkey living near me!) and saw the glorious green of all the grass and plants around me. And I wondered – how could someone possibly get up that morning and look out their window and not want to praise the Lord?

Sometimes I think we take for granted how awesome and big and wonderful and loving and awe-inspiring God really is. Yep, there is lots of green things around my house that needs to be trimmed. For some reason, grass has decided to grow in my paving stones. The garbage stinks up the garage. My floors are dirty. But God gave me a beautiful home with already established plants to make my home beautiful. He gave me a fabulous porch area. Garbage stinking up my garage means that my family is fed and we had plenty this week. My floors are dirty because my family is healthy and active. 

I choose to praise the Lord. 

I choose to see God’s rich blessings in my life. 

I choose to accept His free gift of salvation and unconditional love and forgiveness. 

This week, choose to praise Him. Choose to hear Him. Don’t harden your heart. Don’t turn a blind eye and/or a deaf ear. Hear and see all the wonders around you and praise the Lord.

This morning…

Genesis 25:31-34 – “And Jacob said, Sell me this day thy birthright. And Esau said, Behold, I am at the point to die: and what profit shall this birthright do to me? And Jacob said, Swear to me this day; and he sware unto him: and he sold his birthright unto Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and pottage of lentiles; and he did eat and drink, and rose up, and went his way: thus Esau despised his birthright.”

This morning, the kids were eating breakfast and my son asked for a catalog that was near my daughter. Now, a bit of back story – A discussion arose concerning the temperature outside and the fact that my husband’s car only has seat warmers for the front seat. He was planning on taking the kids to school and my daughter was lamenting over cold seats in the back seat. She begged my son to allow her to sit upfront. He, of course, declined the request stating that was his place to sit. 

Back to the story – my daughter agreed to give him the catalog if he would allow her the front seat. He proceeded to reach across her for the catalog. To which she responded, “Come on Esau! Sell your birthright, you hairy brother!”

Now, this particular antidote has no real deep spiritual meaning. However, my children were having fun early in the morning with Godly stories in their mind. The scene itself made me smile, but what warmed my heart was the Biblical reference. God was on their mind. 

So, enjoy your day and always keep God in the forefront of your mind and your day! Happy Friday!

Candles

Proverbs 18:28 – “For thou wilt light my candle: the LORD my God will enlighten my darkness.”

I love candles. I have one in my kitchen that smells good enough to eat! They chase away darkness. They chase away odors. They bring comfort. They give light. Candles are so fun to have around. 

Candles were mentioned many times in the Bible, probably because they were the main source of light aside from the sun. Yes, I know, this is all very basic.  

But let’s think for a moment how to enjoy a candle. In order for a candle to be effective, you first have to trim the wick. You have to cut it. The wicks go crazy if they are too long when they are lit. And then there is the process of lighting the flame. You have to rub two things together that cause a spark. You have to create friction and fire to make a candle effective. Candles are no good if the wick is never lit. It will never fully serve its purpose if we just leave it up for decoration. 

We are the same way, if you know Jesus as your Savior. In order for you to serve your purpose, sometimes you need to be trimmed. And that is no fun. You also have to be lit. Friction has to happen and a flame has to be started. Something has to light your fire, so to speak. 

Who better than Jesus to trim you up and light your fire?!

We are instructed by Jesus to be a light of the world. Matthew 5:14-16 – ” Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  A light, by deduction, is a candle at night. Therefore, we need to be a candle in the world. And we need Jesus to be the One trimming us up to shine for Him after He has lit our flame in our heart by salvation.  I love candles. 

So let me encourage you today, first, to accept Jesus as your Savior if you have not already done so. And then, let Him keep the wick trimmed so that you can live brightly for Him. It’s easy to let the world try and blow out your candle, but stand firm. Guard that flame in your heart. Let the wind fan the flames instead of blowing them out. Happy Wednesday!

Another anniversary…

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 – “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.”

It was 15 years yesterday that my Daddy went home to be with the Lord. I had several days leading up to yesterday that were really tough. I cried a lot. But yesterday wasn’t too tough. I kept busy and when the tears threatened, I distracted myself. 

But as I laid in bed last night, memories of that day came flooding back – details that one usually forgets, I remembered. But here’s the thing – I saw them as blessings, well…all but one of I’m being honest. Anyway, I was remembering how my mother-in-law and her best friend packed my suitcase because I was in no state to do so myself. By the way, I was never able to get everything back in. I remembered my Aunt meeting me at the gate at the airport, which was not done after 9-11. I remembered my mom’s pastor and his wife picking us up at the airport. I remember the sweet church ladies who brought my mom new dish towels – “no one wants a bunch of people in the house with yucky dish towels”, they said. 

Acts of love that during an impossibly hard circumstance made things a bit more tolerable. 

Blessings. 

Now, you may be asking yourself what these verses have to do with this recall of my day. Paul wrote that we should rejoice and give thanks in all things and pray without ceasing. I’m guessing that means even in the loss of a loved one. I’m guessing that means even 15 years later. 

I don’t think the sting of that day will ever go away, but the blessings I see in the memories of that time are sweet. I rejoice in the fact that one day I will see my Daddy in Heaven. I pray that God will give us what we need on a day to day basis to show His love to others just as I was shown. And I am thankful for those who reached out to me in my darkest hour and touched my life in a way that still affects me today. 

Bearing the burden

Galatians 6:2 – “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

It seems to have been a common theme this weekend- bearing one another’s burdens. As I sat here this morning finishing my Bible reading, I wrote out my prayer requests. It was really long this morning. We have several at my church that are definitely standing in the need of prayer. 

You know, when you read this verse, it can be taken a couple of different ways. One way is to see that we need to come alongside and physically assist others that need help. There are plenty of people that need this type of action. They need food or financial assistance or help with a loved one or something like that. They literally need a helping hand. 

Another way to see this verse is through the eyes of prayer. Prayer is an amazingly powerful tool that we have readily at our fingertips 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. That means there is no time, no place, no circumstance in which we cannot pray. Even in places where prayer is frowned upon or illegal, you can still pray. Speaking from the heart can never be tamed or squashed. We all know and have people in our life that need prayer. 

So, what is keeping us from bearing another person’s burden whether physically or prayerfully?

Ourself. That is the only reason. Our selfishness and self-absorbed behaviors keep us from bearing one another’s burdens. We get so wrapped up in our own life and perceived needs that we block everyone else out. 

God has brought us together for a reason. He sees a need in my life that only you can fill. And He sees a need in your life that only I can fill. We need to be diligently and fervently bearing one another’s burdens – in whatever way is necessary. 

This week, choose to see and open your heart to someone else’s burdens – and share your own. We all need prayer – let someone know how they can pray for you today. And if you are in need of some physical assistance, ask for it. Your brothers and sisters in Christ are there for you. You just need to say the word and allow them to bless you and be blessed themselves by helping bear your burden.