I Am With You

The sunrise on the lake my Daddy's first morning in heaven.
Yup, I think he got to help God design it to send to me!

October 1
I write to you this week dear friends of reflections of this time in my life.  Of God's perfect provisions and testimony of how He carries us when we are too weary to walk.

There is no sense in trying to convince me my Savior does not  live.  I KNOW He does.

I have an app on my phone entitled Jesus Calling.   I want to share the timeline of how I received some of these messages.  When we are tired and thirsty, in a desert place, maybe unable to consume our  regular Bible Study, if we will just reach out for a sip of water, He will sustain us.  Keep God's Word near by, if only as an app on your phone.

Here's the irony of this one.  Hours before it came on my phone, I was lying in bed with my father. At one point he took both is hands and cupped my face in them.  He said, "I love you" and kissed me on the lips.  It was a blessing we should bestow on each of our children.  Then imagine my heart thrilling as I read this Jesus Calling the next day when he died.

"I am with you and all around you, encircling you in golden rays of Light.  I always behold you FACE to face.  Not one of your thoughts escapes My notice.  Because I am infinite, I am able to love you as if you and I were the only ones in the universe.
Walk with Me in intimate Love-steps, but do not lose sight of My Majesty.  I desire to be your closest Friend, yet I am also your sovereign Lord.  I created your brain with capacity to now Me as Friend and Lord simultaneously.  The human mind is the pinnacle of My creation, but so few use it for its primary purpose-knowing Me.  I communicate continually through My Spirit, My Word and My creation.  Only humans are capable of receiving Me and responding to My Presence.  You are indeed fearfully and wonderfully made!

I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.  Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.  This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.  Psalm 34:4-7

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honor and glory from God the Father when the voice came to him from the Majestic Glory, saying, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." 2 Peter 1:16-17

Now this is eternal life; that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.  John 17:3

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14

God's Goal

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Ephesians 1:4 

But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
Colossians 1:22 

September 30
Yesterday, God and my most cherished earthly Daddy, decided it was time for him to enter heaven, God worked out the details to allow me to be with him until his very last breath.  As we begin to look back on the details of this last week, we see God all over it!  On Friday, he asked me to call one of our sons. who was supposed to be coming in to visit Daddy this coming weekend. I dialed the number and my father told him to "come now".  Saturday night, this son and his wife arrived around 10PM with their 1 year old son.  My Daddy lit up, calling each of them by name.  I headed upstairs to get some sleep and our son stayed with my father through a very rough night, as his body began to shut down.  In the morning, his wife, who is....are your ready....a HOSPICE nurse, felt it was necessary to get some meds to help comfort Davedaddy (as the grandchildren and great grandchildren call him.)  The last two hours were quite peaceful.  Our daughter in law used her training to help the grandfather she loved go to peacefully to Jesus.
I hope these photos aren't offensive to you.  They are beautiful to me! I'd prefer to be beamed up quickly to Jesus, but if the process is one that lingers, I'd love to get to go with my loved ones holding on to me!
 This picture is when they arrived and he called out in joy each of their names!
There are no words to describe the perfection of how this man lived on earth.
His kindness, devotion, sense of humor and high standard were beyond any I've ever experienced.
He taught his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren well to the very end.

Today's Seeking Him, by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, was a prefect middle of the night message for God to give me the day after my father's home going.   Such a reminder of why we are here. While my favorite earthly example of how to live is gone, Jesus is still here teaching me.  My father has been made wholly, HOLY and is with his heavenly father!  I  can't wait to join them!

God's Goal 
“It seems like as soon as I repent from one thing, God brings a whole other sin area to my attention! I guess I’m glad, but it’s so hard! When can I stop thinking about holiness?”
Nancy Leigh DeMoss: There are a lot of important reasons to pursue holiness. One of them is that holiness is God’s ultimate goal for us. He has eternity in view. He didn’t save us just to make our short time on this earth easier. He wants to make us holy as He is holy, so we can perfectly glorify Him and enjoy Him for eternity.
First John 3:2 says, “We know that when He appears we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him as He is.”
So what’s our response? John goes on: “Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.”
Are you living in light of God’s ultimate goal for your life? Today let’s cooperate with God in His eternal goal to make us holy.
With Seeking Him 

Expectations

September 28-29

Some girl friends and I were talking about how "expectations are you appointment with disappointment." I confessed to times when I'd had a rough day and thought..."Maybe my husband will walk in with a bouquet of flowers."  When it doesn't happen a bubble is burst.  I've also set myself up for disappointment thinking I will be included in something (where I would have included certain people in like situations) and the call never came.

Interestingly, I came home after a long day and began to work on a Bible Study about "God's glory" and there were these words: "Often we see God's glory best against the contrast of life's dry seasons...God's glory discovers us where we are. Moses illustrates this point well. Shepherding was beneath Moses' education and economic EXPECTATIONS.   He was reared as a royal, but for 40 years this prince chased sheep.  Moses accepted this situation and served where he was, then God's glory showed up.  My sister, be faithful even in the desert seasons because that's where God's glory often appears."


So now Israel, what do you think God expects from you?  Just this:  Live in his presence in holy reverence, follow the road he sets out for you, love him, serve God, your God, with everything you have in you, obey the commandments and regulations of God that I'm commanding you today-live a good life.  Deuteronomy 10:12-13

I'm in a dry place as my sweet father is struggling with his health. I sat with my siblings yesterday as we were certain he was about to take his last breath. On my way to the city where he lives I was sure I heard the Lord say..."You will see my glory."  I am earnestly watching as I pray for my father's comfort and peace.

Unknown Caller

September 27
The phone rang and I rolled over in bed to see the caller ID screen flash the words "Unknown Caller".
I didn't pick up.  The letter to "Occupant" comes in the mail and goes directly in the trash.  Things that aren't clearly identified are often avoided.
In America it would be difficult to say the gospel is unknown.  Channel search on TV or radio and you will run into it. Walk into a Lifeway store or the Christian section of a Barnes and Noble and you can find it. If you are on a college campus attend Young Life, Campus Crusade, FCA, Athletes in Action, RUF, BSU and what you may have thought to be an unknown caller, will make Himself known to you!
Check out what Paul has to say in Acts chapter 17.

Athens
16 The longer Paul waited in Athens for Silas and Timothy, the angrier he got—all those idols! The city was a junkyard of idols.
17-18 He discussed it with the Jews and other like-minded people at their meeting place. And every day he went out on the streets and talked with anyone who happened along. He got to know some of the Epicurean and Stoic intellectuals pretty well through these conversations. Some of them dismissed him with sarcasm: “What an airhead!” But others, listening to him go on about Jesus and the resurrection, were intrigued: “That’s a new slant on the gods. Tell us more.”
19-21 These people got together and asked him to make a public presentation over at the Areopagus, where things were a little quieter. They said, “This is a new one on us. We’ve never heard anything quite like it. Where did you come up with this anyway? Explain it so we can understand.” Downtown Athens was a great place for gossip. There were always people hanging around, natives and tourists alike, waiting for the latest tidbit on most anything.
22-23 So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them. “It is plain to see that you Athenians take your religion seriously. When I arrived here the other day, I was fascinated with all the shrines I came across. And then I found one inscribed, to the god nobody knows. I’m here to introduce you to this God so you can worship intelligently, know who you’re dealing with.
24-29 “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! One of your poets said it well: ‘We’re the God-created.’ Well, if we are the God-created, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to think we could hire a sculptor to chisel a god out of stone for us, does it?
30-31 God overlooks it as long as you don’t know any better—but that time is past. The unknown is now known, and he’s calling for a radical life-change. He has set a day when the entire human race will be judged and everything set right. And he has already appointed the judge, confirming him before everyone by raising him from the dead.”
32-34 At the phrase “raising him from the dead,” the listeners split: Some laughed at him and walked off making jokes; others said, “Let’s do this again. We want to hear more.” But that was it for the day, and Paul left. There were still others, it turned out, who were convinced then and there, and stuck with Paul—among them Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris.


245 Babies a Second

 I love these fresh from the oven shots of our grands.
September 26
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.
Genesis 1:27
 My sister in law went to be with the Lord this week.  Her granddaughter, my great niece, was telling me about her grandmother dying and going to heaven.  She asked me where we were before we came to earth, if we were just hanging out in the heavens.  I explained we were a thought of God's and we talked about all he thinks about to create each person with their unique characteristics and talents.  Then she asked, "How many people does he create a day?"  The phones came out and the Googling began.

The response was an average of 350,000  people a day!  WHOA!  We were all blown away.  That equated to 245 babies a second.  We realized how incredible the mind of God is as we realized there was no way we could even think up all the necessary elements that would go into the external designing one baby in a second! (Hair, eyes, nose, ears, lips, voice, skin color).

God is great! And He has a great plan to bring his children home!


Brokenhearted

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and 
saves those who are crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18
September 25 
Right now I am in close proximity with the brokenhearted and trying to encourage the crushed in spirit.
It's one of those toilet bowl times, when the waters of life are swirling and you are praying no one goes completely down.
The mind is an amazing thing. I'm staying at my father's home, which is 2 blocks from the large area hospital. All night I heard helicopters landing and taking off from the roof of the hospital and I dreamed a disaster movie, where my children and grandchildren were at an amusement park and the power source for the park exploded.  It was truly a nightmare!
I woke up praying....Take every thought captive!

May we keep our eyes and hearts open every day and know how to share Jesus with the brokenhearted and crushed in spirit.

How Far do You Trust Jesus?

September 24
Do you trust Jesus?  Are there boundaries related to that trust? For instance, do you trust Him with your health, but not your finances?  Maybe you trust Him with your marriage, but not your parenting.
You were able to trust Him with high school dilemmas, but the college choice and career path are better left to your own decisions.
You have to appreciate the honesty of the girl in this video!

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=F9E0JJNU&utm_source=GodTube%20Today&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=09/21/2013

Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.
Psalm 20:7

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.  Psalm 143:7-9

Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.  The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.  Psalm 145:13

Without Faith...

September 23
Several years ago I remember seeing the broadcast below about a young artist, Akiane.  From her website, it appears she is now at least 18 years old.

http://www.godtube.com/watch/?v=WWPWPPNX&utm_source=GodTube%20Must-See%20Video&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=09/22/2013

http://www.akiane.com/home

On the godtube interview she states: "Without faith you can't communicate with God."

Hebrews 11:6 tells us that Without faith it is impossible to please God.

The Bible study I am currently participating in teaches the concept of "Calming the soul."  In Psalm 42, "David quieted his soul by remembering what God had done."  Priscilla Shirer.  She goes on to say, "Calming your soul into a state of dependence on God also requires discipline.  Our natural tendency is to trust our own ambitions, gifts, talents, abilities, and earthly wisdom to make decisions."

Where is your faith today?  Growing, I pray.


Something Wonderful

This bird, created by our grandson, makes me smile and feel wonderful!

September 21-22
"Something wonderful is about to happen."

No, I am not giving birth!  No one else is getting married around here.  This is simple a phrase I saw on Pinterest and am going to paint and put at my front door!  It evokes joy!  It is an awesome attitude to adopt!

Yesterday, I entered a local hardware store to pick up some spray paint.  It was 7:45AM and the gentleman assisting me said, "How is your day?"  I replied with pep, "Well, so far it's been great!" (Thinking to myself...the sun hasn't been up very long.)
I echoed the inquiry back to him.  "I hope you are having a good day." Quickly, he stated matter of factly,   "Every day is a good day."  Pleasantly, that shocked me.  I wanted to respond,
"Everyday is God's day, therefore a good day. They just dish up differently."

Here's a happy greeting or farewell:
The amazing grace of the Master, Jesus Christ, the extravagant love of God, the intimate friendship of the Holy Spirit, be with all of you.  2 Corinthians 13:1 

Stop Stewing, Trust God and start Doing

Cooking up good times with a grandbaby.
September 20
But Jesus was matter-of-fact: "Yes-and if you embrace this kingdom life and don't doubt God, you'll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles.  This mountain, for instance, you'll tell, 'Go jump in the lake,' and it will jump.  Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God."
Matthew 21:22 (MSG)

Oh we of little faith.  Moses learned there are consequences for our unbelief.  The Bible study I am currently in had a "stop you in your tracks" comment by Priscilla Shirer.
"Failure to do exactly what God asks, regardless of how strange or incomplete His instructions seem, shows lack of faith in God Himself. It shows we don't trust that He is God and knows what's best.  By not doing what He tells us, we are saying that we don't think God is wise enough or capable enough to handle our situations."

Oh, the times God has placed a request on my heart and I have stewed and stewed, not wanting to do it.
Sometimes I wonder if when I get to heaven it will be like watching a reply of God's version of  "Let's Make A Deal".  God will say, "If you had just done what I asked, look behind Door #1 and see whose life would have been changed."  Instead I ended up using Joe's life and look at the difference for the kingdom he made.
We stew and stagger in our steps to obedience because of concern for what others think, more than concern for what God thinks.  In the end, we miss the blessing.

The Clutter


September 19
How does it happen?  The clutter keeps creeping in!  Yesterday morning I tackled the front hall closet and a few drawers, but I have some major "clean outs" waiting to happen.  A dear friend today said, "Don't worry, winter is coming and there will be time then!"  That's the problem, so many things take precedence.  The good weather, lunch with friends, the necessities of life...laundry, cooking and communication!  Cleaning out the clutter takes time and a conscious effort.
The study I'm presently tackling, called "He Speaks to Me", has already had me realize in order to hear God we have to clean out the clutter of our spiritual lives. While I was cleaning, I had the radio tuned into Victory FM 88.3, which has biblical teaching most of the day. Adrian Rogers came on with a tough to listen to message called "Winning the Battle for the Home".
It is not for the faint of heart, but if you want to be challenged to clean up your act, take 30 minutes and tune in.     http://tunein.com/program/?ProgramId=29872&StationId=22645

God is all about our business friends.  He likes to clean out not only the clutter, but the debris that brings damage to us and to others who are around us.  He is so chocked full of goodness though.  After he does a thorough cleaning he makes us feel refreshed.  After our time together God sent me an email via a woman I had just met recently.  The tears dripped down my cheeks as I read it, for I know unbeknownst to her, she had just been a hug from Jesus!

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.  
The statues of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
Psalm 19:7

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.
Proverbs 11:25 

A Fake

September 18
I read in the news this week that Betty Crocker is a fake personality.  Click on the link to see a slideshow of her portraits over the years.  She gets younger!!!!!

http://www.kitchendaily.com/read/history-betty-crocker-general-mills?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl27%7Csec1_lnk3%26pLid%3D374984

There are a lot of "fakes" out in the world, especially in the area of beauty.  Unfortunately, there are "fakes" when it comes to people.  Scam artists, falsifiers, impersonators and fair weather friends.

Opening our Bibles to Matthew 24:23-25 we are warned about "fakes".   If anyone tries to flag you down, calling out, "Here's the Messiah!" or points, "There he is!" don't fall for it. Fake Messiahs and lying preachers are going to pop up everywhere.  Their impressive credentials and dazzling performances will pull the wool over the eyes of even those who ought to know better.  But I've given you fair warning.

Paul addresses our authenticity in Romans 12:9-10
Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.

Learning Something New

September 17
We've embarked on a new Monday night Bible Study here at Shiloh. It is Priscilla Shirer's study He Speaks to Me.  For the next few weeks I will be taking the lesson each day and turning the teaching points into a prayer to transform our lives.

Looking back over the notes I took on the first video there are some "action words".  Actions we need to take for our faith to grow and to position ourselves to hear God.
REALIZE we need Jesus.
EXPECT him to help us.
DEPEND on God for everything.
TRUST!

"They (children) are excited by learning something new and delight in discovering new truths."  I'm laughing over that quote, because lately, I've been the recipient of trainees.  Two weeks ago at a retail store,  my checkout girl was experiencing her first day on the job. Bless her heart, I threw three new situations her way and she had no clue how to handle any of them and was quite embarrassed. I explained how I loved to learn something new every day and was excited to watch her learn, so not to fret.  Then I told her manager what a great attitude she had. Yes, it probably took me an extra 20 minutes that day, but when she keyed in my phone number to begin the ringing up items process; and saw my personal information she said, "Boo Andrews, I've heard of you. I have friends who have come to your house for Bible Study."  I was so thankful I had been nice.

A few nights ago, I called in a pizza order to go. A voice just answered "hello". I thought I must have dialed the wrong number.  Then the poor waitress got all tongue tied trying to answer correctly.  The situation deepened when I tried to order a half and half pizza!  Again I said, "Don't worry, it's great to be learning!"  When I went to pick up the pizza that sweet gal came out from behind and counter and hugged me!  The manager came out and said, "What is going on here? Is there a problem?" We laughed and she confessed her faux pas. Fortunately he laughed too!

I think God smiles as we learn new Bible truths! We may get confused and put Zacchaeus in the Lion's Den and Daniel up a tree, or go totally blank and not have a clue who was married to Abraham.  Try explaining the Trinity as a new student of the Bible and you may get a dazed look. But the want and the willingness to learn pleases God.
Do we have a childlike relationship with God?
Are we excited to learn something new each day in His Word?
Are we trainable?

Train up a child (or a grandmother) in the way they should go...

Let's pray:
Lord, help us stay excited about learning something new from Your Word each day. May we delight in discovering new truths and totally trust You with child like faith. Remind us daily that joy and freedom lie in obedience.  So where Your Word tells us to seek You continually, may we be found faithful.
In Jesus' name, Amen

Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually.  Psalm 105:4

Authentic Worship

September 16

Remembering a young man, who grew up with our children and is now a missionary in Africa with his young family, I thought back to something he shared with me once upon returning home to the states.  "The worship is so pure in Africa. It's beyond anything I've ever experienced in America.  There's no holding back."

A few weeks ago I was walking with praise music playing on my listening device and found myself twirling around in the street, with my hands lifted high.  I was lost in the praise. It truly was intoxicating, but I am fortunate no one locked me up.  Just as I started to write the words..."That sort of praise needs to be done in private."...I thought about my young friend's comment. I bet they dance down the dirt roads where he is praising the Lord and singing out loud.

Our joy in the Lord needs to abound!
Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, 
so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Romans 15:13
 Lloyd John Ogilvie wrote of an authentic worship:
"Sovereign God, gracious Father, blessed Redeemer, inspiring Spirit, I worship You for Your faithfulness, lovingkindness, judgement and mercy.  The offering I bring to my worship is myself.  Nothing in my hands  I bring; simply to Your grace I cling....All that I have and am belongs to You.  The life You have given me is Yours, the blessings You've given me are because of Your goodness, and my triumph in the future is assured only as I trust in You alone."

Give to the Lord the glory due His name;
bring an offering, and come before Him.
Oh, worship the Lord in the beauty of His holiness!
1 Chronicles 16:29

If you need a laugh, click on this link for Prancercise!  My husband says when you praise dance it is... PRANCING in the Spirit!

The Fuel of our Spirits

September 14-15

A friend emailed me this C.S. Lewis quote, which she had used when teaching Bible study recently.
"God designed the human machine to run on Himself.
He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn...
There is no other...God cannot give us happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there.  
There is no such thing.

 Previously, I've mentioned the high school quarterback, whom we claim as a grandchild of ours.  Each week I ask the Lord to give me a word and a scripture for this young man.  Yesterday, the word was
fuel.  Total surprise set in as I searched Biblegateway for the word fuel.  Twenty-five options came up in the Message translation and I felt this one was perfect to encourage a quarterback. 

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.  
Romans 12:11-13

Well, the game went into OVERTIME!  (We listen on the computer.)  This verse was perfect for an exhausting game.  The Trojans lost the toss and had the ball first  (I feel like my husband who drags the suspense out when telling about a game.)  They scored a touch down and successfully went for the extra point. Whew.  Then it was the Rebels chance to respond.  Our stomachs were churning...it had been such a long night and our fellow had taken helmet to helmet contact.  Wait! What did the announcer say?  Interception.  My husband and I looked at each other, high fived and rejoiced!  They won!  
Our sweet boy texted me at 12:21 AM  "Love you so much. It was crazy. I'm so sore."

He carried the word of God into that game and the Holy Spirit fueled him and allowed him to "play all the harder" because I know he was "praying all the harder!"

Here is God's sense of humor...reread the verse..."Don't burn out..."  The name of the team they played was Byrnes.  BURNS.  Pretty good word and verse for that week!

Lukewarmness

September13
Adrian Rogers defined lukewarmness towards God this way: "Lukewarmness is a way of saying, "God, I believe in You, but You just don't excite me."

(Something in there rings of what might be said in some marriages as years wear on.)

Revelation 2:4 says: Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first.

The Message translation has a more contemporary twist.  But you walked away from your first love-why?  What's going on with you, anyway?  Do you have any idea how far you've fallen?  A Lucifer fall!  Turn back!  Recover your dear early love. No time to waste, for I'm well on my way to removing your light from the golden circle.   

God's love does not disappoint. I've had a busy, busy week, but each time I've returned to Him, I've been so fulfilled.  If we had a lukewarmness gage related to one's love for Jesus, possibly like one of those temperature strips you can place on your forehead to take your temperature, I fear more lives than not that we tested would read in the lukewarm range, than those who are hot on fire for Jesus!

Let's stop right now and tell Him we love him.  Then sometime else today tell another person how much we love Christ!

The Double Whammy

September 12
My head was spinning from an overload I had allowed it to consume.  My husband came home from work in the same condition.  Had I been "tuned in" as I wrote about earlier, I would have received the message God had for me through my husband's experience.  Fortunately, I opted for a quiet time with the Lord the next day and I didn't miss the lesson.  God even gave me a review that same afternoon when I tuned into the Revive Our Hearts daily radio show.  Nancy Leigh DeMoss had this to say about how we react when trials or trouble strike:

You go where you can find God.  That's where you turn. 
You don't ultimately turn to your husband. 
You don't ultimately turn to your friends.  
You ultimately turn to God. 



God just made me smile as I went to Biblegateway to look for the reference on the all familiar verse..Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Mt 11:28 
Typing in the phrase "come to me" there were 566 verses which popped up!

We need to go, go, go to Him everyday!

Are You Tuned In?

Crab ears!
September 11
While traveling home Sunday from an adventure with some of the grandchildren, I was trying to tune into Christian radio along my route.  One click of the "seek" button and I heard a minister say, "Church should be like a mother giving birth. Church should be birthing believers and training them up to send them out into the world."  Now there's an analogy to which I can relate.

In my channel surfacing, I found myself getting distracted as I was following detour signs, talking on the phone and probably just day dreaming.  I would zone back in and realize I was on a country station, a rap station, or talk show.  Tuning in takes a skilled ear. The skill level is heightened when it comes to listening to God.  How easily we drift away from Him.

The Message translation often makes me smile. This is one of those times as I looked for verses related to "tuning in".

Soak me in your laundry and I'll come out clean, scrub me and I'll have a snow-white life.  Tune me in to foot-tapping songs, set these once-broken bones to dancing.  Don't look too close for blemishes, give me a clean bill of health.  God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life.  Don't throw me out with the trash, or fail to breathe holiness in me.  Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails!  Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home.  Commute my death sentence, God, my salvation God, and I'll sing anthems to your life-giving ways  Unbutton my lips, dear God; I'll let loose with your praise.  Psalm 51:7-15

Good friend, take to heart what I'm telling you; collect my counsels and guard them with your life.  Tune your ears to the world of Wisdom; set your heart on a life of Understanding.  That's right-if you make insight your priority, and won't take no for an answer, searching for it like a prospector panning for gold, like an adventurer on a treasure hunt, believe me, before you know it Fear-of-God will be yours; you'll have come upon the Knowledge of God.  Proverbs 2:1-5

Dear friend, listen well to my words; tune your ears to my voice. Keep my message in plain view at all times.  Concentrate!  Learn it by heart!  Those who discover these words live, really live; body and soul, they're bursting with health.  Proverbs 4:20-22

HOSPITALity

Offer hospitality without grumbling.
1 Peter 4:9
September 10
Friday, Nancy Leigh DeMoss had on her radio show, one of the best pieces on God's command to "offer hospitality" that I have ever heard.  It is taken from 2 Kings chapter 4:5-13.


One day Elisha went to Shunem.(E) And a well-to-do woman was there, who urged him to stay for a meal. So whenever he came by, he stopped there to eat. She said to her husband, “I know that this man who often comes our way is a holy man of God. 10 Let’s make a small room on the roof and put in it a bed and a table, a chair and a lamp for him. Then he can stay(F) there whenever he comes to us.”
11 One day when Elisha came, he went up to his room and lay down there. 12 He said to his servant Gehazi, “Call the Shunammite.”(G) So he called her, and she stood before him.13 Elisha said to him, “Tell her, ‘You have gone to all this trouble for us. Now what can be done for you?

Now while this woman put a small addition on her home for the prophet Elisha, she did not decorate it elaborately.  :-)  We may simply be called to offer a meal, a place to sit and cry, a glass of water to a hot UPS man!


The theme continued yesterday with an open discussion of a group of women sharing the different ways "hospitality" can look at various stages of our lives.
I promise  you it is worth the 20 minutes to listen.

http://www.reviveourhearts.com/radio/revive-our-hearts/opening-your-heart-and-home/

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have
entertained angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:2

I'm praying today for each of us to be found faithful in this way.

Love One Another

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil' cling to what is good.
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:-9-10

Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for each other, love one another deeply, from the heart.
1 Peter 1:22 
September 9
Witnessing some of our grandsons spending time together this past week was such a blessing.  They love one another deeply and the smiles do not cease when they are in one another's company.


Boyd Bailey wrote in a devotional this past week: "Relational equity is the trust and goodwill we build up over time with those we love. The goal of other centered people is to make more relational deposits than withdraws. They serve more than they are served. They love more than they are loved. They honor more than they are honored. They care more than they receive care. They give more than they take. They generate emotional energy more than they withdraw emotional energy. They pray more than they request prayer."

Sincerely loving one another is just plain fun! Sincerely being loved is equally as elating.  
Who can you think of that feels adored by you?
Who can say that you are devoted to them?
Who have you honored above yourself lately?

Reserved

September 7-8

Checking into my hotel the other night, the manager on duty said he was sorry, but he could not find my  reservation. I explained I had just made it online that afternoon.  "Ah, it hasn't posted at the front desk," he replied, "No, problem."

Yikes, there are some people who are going to be surprised when they receive a similar notice that their heavenly reservation has not been posted.

Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven."  Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew your, Away from me, you evildoers!"
Matthew 7:21-23

Even though a person sins and gets by with it hundreds of times throughout a long life, I'm still convinced that the good life is reserved for the person who fears God, who lives reverently in his presence, and that the evil person will not experience a "good" life. No matter how many days he lives, they'll all be as flat and colorless as a shadow-because he does not fear God.   Ecclesiastes 8:12-13

Fire and Water

September 6
The evening after laser surgery I needed a safe place to lay my head, before heading on to enjoy the grandchildren.  The Founder's Inn on the campus of Regent University is such a place. I crawled into bed, thankful for the care package a neighbor had packed for me, and rested my burnt head!  When I awakened in the morning I decided to set off on a little walk across campus.  Seeing the sleepy headed eight o'clock classers made me laugh.  I'm a morning person and my cheery "Mornin" greeting received some less cheerful responses. Immediately, I counted it a privilege to be on a Christian college campus and prayed for strength for the students and faculty.  As I walked past Pat Robertson's house, I thanked God for his ministry. The 700 Club television program, turned on in our family room, is where my husband knelt and prayed to receive Christ many years ago.
This is such a beautiful place.  Below are a couple pictures I captured with my cell phone.  May they remind you today of God's every lasting refreshment and may they set your hearts on fire to serve Him.

The living water...
 Jesus answered, "If you knew the generosity of God, and who I am, you would be asking me for a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water.  John 4:10

Go into all the world and serve God with a passionate fire.

Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."  Hebrews 12:28-29

The Sad News

My man leading the way to the fiery furnace.
September 5
Here's an inside look at the continuation of my laser surgery experience.  I failed to mention yesterday that I was quite nervous making this journey alone, because of all the unknowns.  All I knew was the nurse had told me it would be very painful, but only take 10 minutes.  Then in 1-3 days I should feel better.
Numerous friends had offered to go with me, but because the location was halfway to the home of a couple of our grandchildren, I couldn't stand to be that close and not go on to VA Beach and get some hugs.  Thus, it was most convenient to make the trip alone.  The plan was to book a hotel room in which to recover that evening.  At 6AM the day of the procedure I arose ready for the journey, my husband came into the bedroom to say I needed to love him and be submissive. "Affirmative," I replied, as I waited to hear what he wanted from me. He explained, that he was going to drive to Richmond in a separate car and be with me for the procedure.   THANK YOU JESUS!  The tears poured down my cheeks.  What a comfort it was to have him at the end of the surgical chair squeezing my feet as I endure what I now call..."The fiery furnace experience."

I just love this story in Daniel chapter 3


19 Then Nebuchadnezzar was furious with Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, and his attitude toward them changed. He ordered the furnace heated seven times hotter than usual 20 and commanded some of the strongest soldiers in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So these men, wearing their robes, trousers, turbans and other clothes, were bound and thrown into the blazing furnace. 22 The king’s command was so urgent and the furnace so hot that the flames of the fire killed the soldiers who took up Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, 23 and these three men, firmly tied, fell into the blazing furnace. 24 Then King Nebuchadnezzar leaped to his feet in amazement and asked his advisers, “Weren’t there three men that we tied up and threw into the fire?”They replied, “Certainly, Your Majesty.”
25 He said, “Look! I see four men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed, and the fourth looks like a son of the gods.”
26 Nebuchadnezzar then approached the opening of the blazing furnace and shouted, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, servants of the Most High God, come out! Come here!”
So Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego came out of the fire, 27 and the satraps, prefects, governors and royal advisers(AD) crowded around them. They saw that the fire had not harmed their bodies, nor was a hair of their heads singed; their robes were not scorched, and there was no smell of fire on them.

The nurse explained to me there would be two lasers used on the incision area. She said it would feel like bee stings.  An accurate description of the first process.  2-3 minutes of continual bee stings.  Then the surgeon says, "Ok, now you are going to feel some heat!"  Not an accurate description.  He should have said, "Hold on as I apply this blow torch to your forehead!"  I'm sure Jesus was in there with me and I have come out on the other side today.  Hastily, I exited that office yesterday, thankful to have my husband holding me up and I believe "Holy Moly" was what I said as the office door closed behind me.  We took an elevator down to a lobby where I sat beside a walled waterfall. The nurse said usually they give out ice packs, but they were out of them.  I contemplated sticking my head in that waterfall!

Here's the sad part of the story.  I was so nervous before hand, and in so much pain afterwards, I missed the opportunity to be Jesus to all the people in the waiting room.  Five people sat there with faces cut open awaiting to hear if all their cancer had been removed. The devil distracted me and I know I missed opportunities for the Lord.   I did give out two gifts. One to the business manager and one to a nurse.  Oh, how I hope in some way, God uses those little jesters.  Yesterday, was not all about Jesus, it was all about me.  :-(

Mark well that God doesn't miss a move you make; he's aware of every step you take. The shadow of your sin will overtake you; you'll find yourself stumbling all over yourself in the dark. Proverbs 5:21-22 The Message

But praise God, Jesus is all about forgiveness of sins and God's mercies are new every morning.

Let Faith Arise

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
Hebrews 11:1 


September 4
The call came from a neighbor indicating they were in our cove with a care package for my upcoming trip back to the surgeon.  Yummy peach bread, a Sprite, chocolate covered raisins, assorted other sweets and a note of encouragement.  The gentleman asked me, "What are your needs?"
It struck me, that once again, I had fallen into "Go, just get 'er done mode", accepting "It is what it is," without believing "With God all things are possible."   How many times this summer have I come alongside others praying for peace and specifics before their surgeries, yet, I wasn't applying that faith to my own life.  Where was my faith?

Driving to Richmond, where I would receive a laser treatment related to the skin cancer surgery, God had my attention with all he provided.  I kept the radio on a Christian station and God's love overflowed!

The Song What Faith Can Do reached deep into my heart.
Please take 3 minutes and sing along!  I promise it will bless your day.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NreUhPk9s9Y

Stopping for gas near Charlottesville, VA, I felt God's presence all around.  As I walked into the convenience store, another lady was walking in as well. She looked at me with a big smile and said, "Your scarf is beautiful."  Thanking her I replied that it was a gift from my daughter and it certainly was nice to have a daughter and daughter in laws to keep me in style. She agreed!  As I was pulling away from the pump, a gentleman, who looked like a retired Globe Trotter, was walking around the building.  (I so wish I had taken his picture.)  He was wearing white socks, which came up over his knees, short gym shorts and a coordinating top.  He must have been 7 feet tall.  He smiled an enormous smile and waved and waved to me.  My first thought was..."God is that an angel?"  Happiness just covered me.  Assimilating other possibilities in my mind, I finally concluded that possibly my license plate had made him smile.  It reads..."Im4Joy"!

Pulling back onto the highway the next song came on, which had me raising my hands...ok, since driving, only one hand...in the air in praise to Jesus.

Let Faith Arise
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2_31DNGyxI

What are you facing today that you might just need to let your faith arise and go before you?

Projections/Predictions

September 3
Have you ever planned an outdoor wedding? You go daily to the weather channel, as many days out as you can, to get the prediction for the big day.
Do you know any sports fanatics?  They study team rosters, the health, happiness and attitude of the players and gobble up every bit of info from the message boards looking to project the outcome of an upcoming game.
How about pregnancies...before ultrasounds predicting the sex of the baby was a fun, then there are predictions of the day of delivery and the weight.

Webster's defines prediction: to declare or indicate in advance; especially: foretell on the basis of observation, experience, or scientific reason.

Projection is defined as: an estimate of future possibilities based on a current trend.

From his experience as a follower of Christ and obviously one of the most inspired writers of the Bible, Paul writes of a couple projections/predictions

For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: "As surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God."  So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.  Romans 14: 10-12

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.   Philippians 2:9-11

Below is Chris Tomlin's song called, All Bow Down.  One day we will.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK9m4I0Dtcg

Sitting in Love

This dog cracked me up last night when she crawled up in her master's lap.
September 2
Sometimes I have major break throughs, when it comes to grasping concepts about our relationship with our heavenly Father.  Last week as I was preparing to go visit my 93 year old father, I realized how much I enjoy just sitting with him.
As a child, there was the desire to please him and to perform well (whether academically or in sporting events) for him. Also, as provider, He was the one to whom my wants were expressed.  Becoming a parent and home owner myself, the hunger to gain understanding and wisdom from someone who was wiser set in.  As he became a widower and was living alone the relationship changed to where I found joy in serving him.  Now he has wonderful care givers and I have a peace that he is content and ready to head to heaven when the Lord calls, but I still long to just sit in his presence and feel his love.

As my mind drifted through the progression of the father/daughter relationship it hit me how much it mirrors our heavenly Father's relationship with us.
When we first come to know the Lord we want to "get it right," to please him in this new relationship.
We also launch into a prayer life, which normally is a list of "give me's" or please fix this.
At some point we begin to know the depth of the wisdom available to us through the Holy Spirit and we seek out Biblical truths and soak in knowledge.
With those applications active in our lives, we establish lives of Christian service.
Seldom are we taught the best part...to learn to just sit in the love of the Lord and simply tell him how much we love him.

The Lord looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.  Psalm 14:2

One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.  Psalm 27:4