Archives

Extra Icing

John 10:27,28 – “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.”

I had an amazing experience yesterday.

I was seeing a client and this client told me, out of the blue, that they thought their death was close. This client has multiple medical issues but seems to be functioning fairly well. I probed a bit and found out more information but nothing that would necessarily substantiate the fears that were expressed. 

Yet, I felt the Holy Spirit impress upon my heart that I needed to confirm and/or present the plan of salvation to this person. And I did. It was amazing. I told my client very bluntly and candidly about what it takes to KNOW that death is not the end. And my client confirmed that they had the free gift of salvation in their heart. 

I’m a nobody. I love what I do. I love being in contact with people and helping them and walking through all sorts of situations and problems with them. But when I get the opportunity to speak to someone I have grown close to about Jesus and His free gift of salvation- well, that’s just extra icing on the cupcake. I don’t push it but I don’t hide it. And when God was speaking to my heart yesterday, for once, I listened. And it was beautiful!

So I want to encourage you to live it out. We never know how long we have or how long the person across from us has. Yesterday, I heard His voice and I followed and it was truly a blessing in my life. I encourage you to do the same. Happy Wednesday. 

Mighty Man of Valour

Joshua 10:7-10 – “So Joshua ascended from Gilgal, he, and all the people of war with him, and all the mighty men of valour. And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee. Joshua therefore came unto them suddenly, and went up from Gilgal all night. And the LORD discomfited them before Israel, and slew them with a great slaughter at Gibeon, and chased them along the way that goeth up to Bethhoron, and smote them to Azekah, and unto Makkedah.”

Happy Memorial Day from Kauai!

I just finished my morning perusal of Facebook and was admiring all the posts relating to this day. All the pictures of the soldiers. All the pictures of the families crying next to their loved one’s tombstone. It makes me so sad. I think about all those families who have lost loved ones and who have loved ones on the front lines. I appreciate all those people who willingly put their lives on the line for me every single day. Their sacrifice amazes and encourages me. 

And I know this day is a day we set aside to remember our military and their sacrifice, but I also want to remember the military of the past – the long ago past, say, Biblical times. 

Joshua was a warrior. He was devoted to the Lord and he was devoted to Moses. He was one of the scouts to the Promised Land that said, “Come boys! We got this!” when all the others said “No way!”. He was a “mighty man of valour”. 

I want you to take a close look at this passage. You see, Joshua went up to fight these guys. But I want you to look at Who went up before them – the LORD. Now, when you see “LORD”, the writer is talking about Yaweh. This is the Most Holy Name of God. This name is not used frequently. When the writer wrote it, they had a very specific ritual they had to go through just to write it. 

But my point is this – Joshua was not a mighty man of valour on his own. What made him so was his firm belief and confidence in God. He knew that God + him equals more than any one person or army could conquer. He knew that with God on his side that nothing was impossible. He diligently asked God what He wanted him to do. He determined in his heart to follow after God no matter how crazy or ridiculous the plan sounded (remember Jericho?).  This was a true mighty man of valour. 

So to all our military personnel and their families, I salute you and I encourage you to seek out the One who makes you a true hero – Jesus Christ. He is the one who can make you mighty man of valour as well. And remember, you don’t have to be in the military to be this mighty man of valour. You can be a mighty princess of valour too! All it takes is a firm determination to seek out Christ in all that you do and follow Him no matter what. 

Gifted and Talented

Romans 12:3-8 – “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.”

Do you consider yourself gifted? We don’t really talk about this a lot. We don’t want to draw attention to ourself. Yesterday at church, we had a young lady bring a special. She played her guitar and sang “Amazing Grace”. It was to a different tune and it was beautiful. She did an amazing job. She is very shy though. All the attention was way out of her comfort zone. 

God has given each of us different abilities. Some have the gift of teaching – they should teach. Some have the gift of singing – they should sing. Some have the gift of encouragement – they should encourage. Some have the gift of preaching – they should preach. And then there are those jobs that we don’t often think about – decorating, organizing, serving, managing money, protecting, cleaning, childcare – all of these things are important, and this is just a short list. 

My point is this – God has blessed each and every one of us with different gifts and talents. Some are seemingly important and huge and some are seemingly meaningless and small. But they are ALL important. God does not give us something that is not important. He doesn’t give us something that He doesn’t intend to use. 

So, use whatever God has blessed you with to serve Him. It may be challenging and hard but you can do it. Sometimes using our gifts and talents puts us out of our comfort zone, but that’s okay. Just step out onto the ledge and go for it. I guarantee that the risk will be worth it. God will smile. 

$10 or $10 million

2 Timothy 4:7,8 – “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Yesterday in Sunday school, I proposed this question to my class – Hypothetically speaking, would you rather have $10 now or work for me for 20 years, giving up all you plans and dreams for me and doing all that I asked you to do without complaint, and I would give you $10 million at the end? Guess what most of them said. They said $10 now. I was a little shocked that someone didn’t want the $10 million. The point of the little exercise was to teach them that God offers us so many blessing for following Him. But sometimes those blessings come a ways down the road.

We live in an instant society. I find myself getting frustrated when the internet won’t load a page I want to look at quickly enough. Or I get frustrated when my online banking is down for an upgrade. Silly stuff like that bothers me. And it shouldn’t. It’s crazy. But we are all about instant gratification. We want our stuff and we want it now.

Yet God encourages us to wait. He wants us to live our life for Him but sometimes He makes us wait for our blessings. And that can be tough.

I know that with every load of laundry you fold and every load of trash you take out and every meal that you cook and every ride that you give to school can be difficult. I know that it is time consuming. I know there are a million other things that need to be done instead. But you are serving. You are running the race. I know that every Sunday school class you teach and every minute that you spend in the nursery and every second you spend cooking for the potluck is a moment in time that you have given of yourself. I know that every paper you write and every class you attend and every homework assignment you complete can be taxing. And I know that every dollar you earn and every complaint you listen to and every mistake that you fix makes you want to pull your hair out. BUT…

“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”

Just remember, you are “loving His appearing” when you do all that you do for Him. All that I just mentioned, that is what you can do for Him. That is serving Him. That is loving Him. That is showing Him your dedication to Him by living your life for Him. That’s what He wants when you are His.

Hungry

Proverbs 15:3 – “The eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.”

Do you realize that in the place that you live right now that there are probably hungry people within a stone’s throw of your house? And I’m not talking about casually hungry. I’m talking “I haven’t had enough to eat for days” kind of hungry. There are people out there, close by, who can’t afford a new pair of cheap tennis shoes. There are people out there who are trying to figure out a way to make it to next month without losing their electricity and water.

I don’t appreciate these situations like I should. I have never been truly hungry. I have been blessed that if I need new clothes, I can go get them. I have been blessed with a good job and an awesome husband so that I don’t have to worry about paying my bills. For the most part, these are foreign concepts to me.

But last night I was searching the Internet for a food bank in my area. We are doing a teen project at church and would like to donate canned goods to a local charity. I found out that 10,000 people in my small part of the world are hungry at some point every year. And 4,700 of those are children. 4,700!!! That’s 47%! How can that be? I have been told stories by one of the young ladies at my church that when she was in high school that this club she was in would provide canned goods for students to take home over the holidays so that they had something to eat when they weren’t in school. I can’t imagine. Just shows the bubble that I live in.

But there is One that sees it all – Jesus. He sees these people who are desperately struggling. He knows their needs. He sees their heartache. So, you might ask, “Why is He letting these people struggle and go without?” I don’t know how to answer that question. But I do know this, He has given us the opportunity to step up and step out. 1 John 3:18-20 – “My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things.”

You and I have the opportunity to be the help that someone needs. We have the opportunity to do something. It doesn’t have to be anything big. You could simply pick up some extra groceries at the store this week. You could go volunteer to stack food at the local food pantry. You could volunteer at a soup kitchen this weekend. You could give a donation to a provider of needs to those who truly need it. There are lots of ways to help.

But more importantly, you need to do it for the right reasons. If you go in there with pride in your heart and tell every one every where what you have done or are planning to do, you have just blown it. You have received your reward. You see, God wants us to help others because they need it, not because you need a pat on the back.

So today, I want to encourage you, princess, to step out of your comfort zone and do something for some one else. Show them God’s love by giving of yourself unselfishly. Find some way to reach out to those in need anonymously.

Perspective

Ezekiel 4:4-6 – “Lie thou also upon thy left side, and lay the iniquity of the house of Israel upon it: according to the number of the days that thou shalt lie upon it thou shalt bear their iniquity. For I have laid upon thee the years of their iniquity, according to the number of the days, three hundred and ninety days: so shalt thou bear the iniquity of the house of Israel. And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.”

Ezekiel was a prophet of God to the children of Israel. I have been studying Ezekiel these last few days. I have decided to do a personal Bible study on Tuesdays and Thursdays. It has been very interesting.

When I read these verses yesterday, I stopped in my tracks. God told Ezekiel to lay on his left side for 390 days. Three hundred and ninety days! It is recorded that God bound him with a rope to stay in that position. And then when he had those days completed, he was to roll to his right side and stay like that for 40 days. Forty days! That’s like 14.5 months! So, of course, my practical mind kicks in – how is he going to go to the bathroom? How can he possible lay like that for that long? Maybe I’m reading this passage all wrong; help me out if I am – we are in this thing together!

God asked the prophets of old to do some really out there things to get the attention of the children of Israel. God was always desiring repentance from their sin and for them to just walk with Him. Yet, oftentimes they just didn’t listen, even to the wild and wacky outcries of the prophets. Bless their hearts. They tried so hard and were so obedient to the Lord.

When was the last time God told you to lay on your left side for 390 days? My guess is never. But what has God asked you to do? I guarantee that it is no harder than what He told Ezekiel to do. And Ezekiel did it. I’m not sure how, but he did it – I’m sure of it.

As I was driving along yesterday, I was thinking about this. We all have things that God has asked us to do. Yet, we belly-ache and moan about it like He has asked us to do something horrible and outrageous. Why is that? Shouldn’t we be excited to serve our Lord?

My challenge to you is to determine what it is that God has asked you to do. And then go at it with a fervor. Get it done with joy in the Lord. Be happy that He has chosen you for this task. Remember that it is all about perspective and you have to line yours up with His.

Loyalty

2 Timothy 4:3,4 – “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”

In my Sunday school class yesterday, we talked about loyalty. Dictionary.com defines loyalty as “faithfulness to commitments or obligations.” Loyalty is hard to come by in our world today. People change opinions and their minds all the time – depending on the direction of the wind. It is sad really. What people have stood behind and depended upon for years now seems cliche and unnecessary.

Yet, loyalty to Christ is absolutely necessary. Too many people are walking through the doors of the church building without the desire for a commitment. They want a short term fix for their long term problem. Some think that coming to church will appease God so that they can get what they want. They aren’t there for worship. They are there to appease the genie. There is no loyalty or desire for devotion in their actions. And that is sad.

It saddens me to think that people are missing out on an opportunity for a long term solution. Yes, it requires action and decisions and an openness to God’s leadership. But the benefits of loyalty to Christ far outweigh any tough times one might incur because of Him. You see, loyalty to Christ for me is an extended family. I have people who care about me because they want to, not that my blood family doesn’t care, they are just really far away. Loyalty to Christ also means that I have a friend all the time. When I’m by myself, I’m really not. Jesus is always there. Loyalty to Christ also means to me that there is no question of right or wrong. He always has the right answer. I always have the Guidance in the right way to go. Now, whether I follow that Guidance is a whole other issue.

Loyalty is more than a once a week thing. Loyalty is an every day thing. I choose every morning to get up and be loyal to my husband that day. I get up in the morning and choose to be loyal to the commitment I made to my job. Loyalty is an every day choice.

So let me encourage you, princess, to be loyal. Choose today to be loyal to Christ. Determine in your heart a way that you can show your loyalty to Him and go with it. Not only will you bless His heart, but it will bless yours as well.