To Be...Content... Whatever the Weather

This is artwork from our youngest son...23 years ago!
I still pull it out every winter!

February 22
Where did our snow go?  We were in Florida and missed the little one in January.  Feeling a little cheated, yet I must confess I'm enjoying these 80 degree temps in February.  A girlfriend said the other day, "Winter is not over!"
There's an anonymously written poem called "Whatever the Weather."

"Whether the weather be fine or whether the weather be not,
  Whether the weather be cold or whether the weather be hot.
  We'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not." 

Monday we received a call from a neighbor friend from our past who had moved to the Fort Lauderdale area. Heart broken he told us his wife had been battling colon and pancreatic cancer, which took her life way too soon.  He said, "Boo, Pam asked me to call you with this news.  She has died. She was an amazing Christian to the end. You would have loved how she encouraged the young doctors at Duke who would come in the room with their heads down bearing such bad news.  She'd say, 'Don't be sad for me, I'm heading to a much better place!  I knew I'd get there one day, I just didn't know when."  

Deke and I sat in silence after hanging up the phone.  There was a tinge of discontentment as we both wished we'd made the time to visit after they moved to Florida. Fortunately, we can be content for we shall see her again, as we share a deep forever love for one another through our bond in Christ.

Paul paints us a beautiful picture of contentment in Philippians chapter four.  Most likely he is writing while being under house arrest. He's explaining to his friends that he has experience life's ups and downs and found the constant to be Christ.  

"I'm glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess-happy that you're again showing such strong concern for me.  Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me.  You just had no chance to show it.  Actually, I don't have a sense of needing anything personally.  I've learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances.  I'm just as happy with little as with much, with much as will little.  I've found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am.  I don't mean that your help didn't mean a lot to me-it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles."

💗Biblegateway's love verse for today.
"Do not those who plot evil go astray?  But those who plan what is good find love and faithfulness."
Proverbs 14:22

To Be...More Alive

February 22
Whew! Billy Graham, a life well lived for sure!  He said when he saw God he wanted to hear, 
"Well done, good and faithful servant." (Mt 25:23) No doubt that's what he heard yesterday.

I heard one reporter share a quote which is written on literature at The Cove Retreat Center: "Someday you will read or hear that Billy Graham is dead. Don't you believe a word of it. I shall be more alive than I am now. I will just have changed my address. I will have gone into the presence of God."  Billy Graham  

Last night, when we walked towards the house after being out to dinner, I was staring up at a star lit sky and said to my husband, "Life is so short!"  Then I came inside and saw that Billy Graham felt the very same way as I read this Washington Post article:  

"Once when he (Billy Graham) was in his mid-60's, a teenager asked him what surprised him most in his "old age."  He answered without much hesitation:"the brevity of life."  

It's so true!  
More from that same article. "The journalist David Frost asked the mature Graham what he would want the first line of his obituary to say. "That he was faithful and that he had integrity," he replied.  "And that I was faithful to my calling, and that I loved God with all my mind, heart and soul."  

"I urge each of you to invest your lives, not just spend them," he told another group of young people. "Each of us is given the exact same amount of seconds, minutes and hours per day as anyone else.  The difference is how we redeem (them),...You cannot count your days, but you can make your days count."  A good life and a good time were not the same."   

For certain, Billy Graham lived a very good life and now is having a very good time in heaven! 

"For instance, we know that when these bodies of ours are taken down like tents and folded away, they will be replaced by resurrection bodies in heaven-God-made, not handmade-and we'll never have to relocate our "tents" again. Sometimes we can hardly wait to move- and so we cry out in frustration.  Compared to what's coming, living conditions around here seem like a stopover in an unfurnished shack, and we're tired of it!  We've been given a glimpse of the real thing, our true home, our resurrection bodies!  The Spirit of God whets our appetite by giving us a taste of what's ahead. He puts a little of heaven in our hearts so that we'll never settle for less."  2 Corinthians 5:1-5

💗Today's Biblegateway love verse.
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love." 1 John 4:18

To Be...Out of Control (In His Control)

We had a major blowout on the highway Monday. 
Thankfully my husband was driving and we were able to get off the road to safety.
 My man did an impressive job of changing the tire after giving up on AAA finding us.
My scripture card verse that morning was..."Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."
Joshua 1:9

February 21
The past week of letting God be in control with this house sale situation has been so freeing.
It has caused me to hit my knees and watch what God is doing.  One friend said, "He's not finished yet."  No, He never is!

Saturday morning I felt led to go to iTunes and listen to their Top Ten songs in the genre of Christian and Gospel. I went expecting God to speak and it was a glorious time.
This particular song, Control, by 10th Avenue North really hit home.

"Oh, how You love me, somehow that frees me to open my hands up and give You control.
  I give you control, Oh, I want to give You control."

God has renewed my Spirit, He has put passion back in my life to radically serve him even at this stage in my life.  I think I shared how a couple weeks ago a godly woman spoke over me and said, "The sweetest years of ministry are ahead of you!"  I believe that and am listening and relinquishing control.  I know God is always on the move and I am willing to move wherever and whenever He wants.  Life does not stay the same, but for today, here we are at Shiloh.

On that same morning I picked up my scripture card for the day and read Romans 12:12
"Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer."

A great verse! I decided to check it out in The Message and it caused me to do my Hallelujah dance.  This one needs to be posted at Shiloh!  It's my new life passage.

"Don't burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. 
Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. 
Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. 
Help needy Christians; be inventive in hospitality!"  
Romans 12:11-13 

💗 Today's Biblegateway love verse  
"Love your neighbor as yourself."  Romans 9:10

To Be...Filled with Freedom

5 year old grandson's cow painting!

February 20

"The same God who gives freedom also gives perseverance, purpose and peace."

The text came from our realtor, instead of an offer, they had decided to pursue other properties.
"The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh.  1 Samuel 3:21

"You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you."
Isaiah 26:3

More to come...It's God who is on the move, not us...this week!

💗Today's Biblegateway love verse
"He who conceals a transgression seeks love, but he who repeats a matter separates intimate friends."  Proverbs 17:9

To Be...Not Normal

February 19
Last week I shared how I missed the mark on having a heart like Jesus.  I missed out on being totally sold out for Jesus.  The flesh was ruling! God gave me several opportunities to confess my heart condition and fleshly actions to some sisters in Christ.   Most of them graciously said, "You reacted perfectly normal." Later, my Bible Study Fellowship leader called and asked if I had any prayer request. I shared my journey and choking back tears said, "I don't want to be normal."

Thirty minutes later a call came from our realtor saying the clients were reconsidering and would like us to have an appraisal done.  Really Lord?  Was this because I had confessed my sin and repented? We were not open to doing an appraisal and said, "Just make an offer."

The waiting and wondering set in once more.  I began to journal and read God's Word.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight."  Proverbs 3:5

Then I shifted into worship mode and pulled up a couple random songs on my iTunes account.
The first one rocked out: "What This World Needs" by Casting Crowns
"What this world needs is...
A Savior who will rescue
A Spirit who will lead
A Father who will love them in their time of need."

Amen!  We need to share the gospel.

The second, more soothing song by Francisca Battistelli is called "Holy Spirit"
"Holy Spirit you are welcome here. Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere.  Your glory God is what our hearts long for, to be overcome by Your Presence Lord, Your Presence Lord."

The Holy Spirit is so present at Shiloh.

The journaling continued...Where you lead Lord, I will follow.  Thank You for the last lesson and I pray I can use it to be a testimony to how you mold and teach.  I praise You Father and ask you to guide us into this unknown. In Jesus Name. Amen

Opening Priscilla Shirer's study, Discerning the Voice of God I read...
"If God hasn't told you what to do yet...keep doing what He has for today.  Stay the path. Simply,
'Delight yourself in the Lord.' Psalm 37:4  Life's interruptions are divine interventions....God guides us progressively.  If He gives us too much we'll either rush impatiently toward it, or we'll be so intimidated by His assignment that we will recoil from it and run the opposite direction."

Good God nibbles!

Unable to sleep I went back to God's Word and was directed to 1 Samuel chapter three where young Samuel is in training under Eli and he struggles to recognize God's voice. Three times he thinks Eli is calling him.  Finally, Eli explains it is God calling and Samuel answers the Lord and serves him faithfully. Then verse 21 says...

"The Lord continued to appear at Shiloh."
Now that was a show stopper for me.
In my trying to figure God out mode, I asked my husband if maybe since my stroke had slowed me down we'd missed the mark here at Shiloh with ministry. Maybe he was sending new younger, better listening servants to do ministry here.  In BSF we've been in Romans 10-11 where the Israelites (Jews) didn't receive the Gospel, so God sent it to the Gentiles.  I want to receive God's message!

"Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me."  Psalm 119:133

To be continued...

To Be...Cautious For We Can Stumble

We just stayed out of the surf!

February 16
"Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:2
Yesterday, I shared how a scripture card with this verse confirmed a conviction from the Lord.

Last week, I returned home late one afternoon from my elder care run in Roanoke to check on my in laws. One is at home with caregivers, the other in a nursing home.  Upon arriving home, I  noticed we had a voice message on our landline.  A realtor was asking to show our house, which is not on the market, the next day.  We only had a few hours to prepare, but decided to go ahead and let it show.

In the hours between the showing and receiving a call back from our realtor, whom we had asked to be involved, I abstained from the temptation to go on and look at where we would possibly go, but my mind went to wondering. Would we buy, would we build, would we take the money and run?

An offer was not made, but an offense to God was made by me.  Never once in those few hours did I ask the Lord how we could bring glory to Him if the house sold.  Never once did I ask Him where He might be calling us to serve. It was all about "me" and how would we be provided for in the next step.

My heart was not right.
"Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me."  Psalm 51:9-11

My mind was set on earthly things. which are of no eternal value.  I stumbled.  I missed the mark.
Forgive me Lord.

"For this is the original message we heard: We should love each other."  1 John 3:11MSG 

To the Presence of Heavenly Hosts

February 15
This is a thought provoking,  precursory post of one to come about how God used a birthday gift of beautiful painted scripture cards with faceless angels to speak a confirmation into my life. Given the feminine resemblance I don't want to stir up controversy. 

If you study about angels in the Bible you will learn that they are all referred to in the masculine gender.  Study more and you learn that they are unique created beings, who are most likely genderless. Humans don't become angels.  Angels were created before the creation of the world.
God asked Job, 'Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation...and all the angels shouted for joy?'"  Job 38:4, 7

Read more:

Here is an article on how female angels came into the world of art.

This is one of those areas I don't have to understand, but simply thank God for creating angels who watch over me. Whatever God has created is perfect and we are going to be in awe of His angels when we see them in person.  I bet there are some sopranos in those angelic choirs!

Angels had an impactful influence on the shepherds who traveled to Bethlehem to see the baby Jesus.
I love this translation Luke 2:13-16 in The Message.

"At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises: Glory to God in the heavenly heights, peace to all men and women on earth who please him. As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over."  I bet they did!

Once again we recognize that God's ways are not our ways.

The verse He used to grow me on the back of the angel painting card is:

"Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things." Colossians 3:2

💗Today's Biblegateway love verse.
"This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."  1 John 4:10