Thursday, March 13, 2014

Written in Red



I have just finished a wonderful book titled "The Secret of Happiness," written by Billy Graham, published in 1956 by Doubleday & Company. Doctor Graham dissects each verse in Matthew 5:1-12, as expressed in the 8 Beatitudes.

What spiritual enlightenment gleaned from Jesus's famous teaching, now known as the "Sermon On the Mountain."  This season of Lent, my heart turns to the cross, and the Holy Spirit reminds me to see these teachings are just as relevant today as they were 2000 years ago. I want to draw close to Christ, closer than to a friend, to sit at his feet and learn from the Master. I am spending time away from some popular distractions-social entertainments- and instead putting my heart into these devotions.

As I reflect on the last days of the life of Christ, and now symbolically walk through them with him in my study, I feel Jesus is in need of me- as I of He- and though vainly my perspective seems, Christ says otherwise. My feeling is validated and revealed in my study of his predawn prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane. In John 17:10 while praying to the Father for the disciples sake, Jesus prays- 

" All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them." 

Yes, he needs me, and all his followers now, just as much as he needed the disciples to stay awake, and watch and pray that fateful night he was arrested. When I am spiritually sharp I reveal his glory- the glory of the Son passed down from the Father, and now my glorious inheritance.

No doubt my lamp is dingy and in need of a good cleaning, and so today I ask my God to help me to restore and renew my passion for sharing the words written in red, and in return I give all the glory to Christ- the man who saved me- and the God who sustains me. He deserves it all.

I need the help of the Holy Spirit to stay vigilant, on guard, to offer assistance in awakening a world still suffering from spiritual stupor. I hear in my spirit the duty of this call is..

.."Be the salt, be the light- to the lost and hungry people who are still looking, walking, and hiding in the dark-. illuminate, shine. Dawn draws near, and soon all will see the true light of the world revealed, great will be the reward for the good and faithful servant."

Read the Beatitudes

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Foward







I have learned the secret of being content in all situations- it is in the power Christ gives to me when I let go- and let him lead me. If you are feeling lost, defeated, alone and in a dark place-  Iam praying you will stop, drop and listen to this song of victory. It is for you.

Friday, September 28, 2012

God Watching





Last winter asleep in my bed, in the quiet of an early morning, hours before sunrise, my eyes opened from a deep sleep, and I  felt the quiet of a peaceful stillness. As my eyes began to focus, I saw a warm glow from a light shining through the window spilling over onto the carpet.

Looking up, without  a twitch of muscle or movement, except for my searching eyes, I could see the source of this soft light, a full moon. I instantly knew then, from the depths of my heart, that the Creator of that moon, my Father in Heaven was watching over me, with all the tender loving care a father can give through the dark of night. The fullness of God's character was shining right over me. Why? Because he loves me. I could feel it covering me like a warm blanket on a cold night.


I know that same feeling of a loving parent watching over their child; often I too would slip into my sleeping childs room at night to check on her, to see that all was well. Standing quietly, motionless beside her bed, an overwhelming love would fill my heart, and mesmerized I would watch her- breathing little baby breaths, smell the scent of freshly powdered skin, and admire the beauty of the intricate details God designed. I would marvel how this life was blessed to me as caregiver, guardian, teacher, and parent. Oh, how the love would spill out of my heart and I would touch her little back, and resist the desire to hold her, and share this feeling.- content instead to watch her lie in sweet dreams.


I am sure that was Gods intent as well that early morning, to be content to watch over me as I slept there peacefully- yet the magnitude of His love and care is so strong, it opens eyes instantly, turns darkness to light, and peace to anyone's night. This is God's divine nature. He is the embodiment of every good thing created, and so my spirit was quick to wake, for it knows the Father- and seeks Him. I felt secure, loved, cared for and special to know that God is personal and watches over me. How blessed to be in the fold, how marvelous that I can see and feel the darkness turn instantly to wonderful light.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Lukewarm



Revelation 3:15-20

15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 


I love taking hot relaxing baths at the end of the day, but disappointment sets in when I come back and find I've drawn a tub full of lukewarm water! Occasionally, I will in rote memory set the water, and not really test the temperature, leaving it to run while I set out to do something else. Arriving back and finding my bath is lukewarm and worthless I have to start over.. such a waste of water, and time, to draw another bath. Complaining to myself... had I just taken the time to be attentive to the task, instead of running off impatiently to do something else... I would now be enjoying a good long soak.

Jesus, in the book of Revelation, is speaking to the church in Laodecia regarding his plans for lukewarm Christians who want to straddle the fence of living for riches and fame, over living a life of honor to Christ, having love and compassion for other's. I write this cautionary reminder, not out of condemnation, but out of that same love for other's- for I know the way of losing God's favor for a season of selfish living... it is devastating for the Christian. But I also rejoice in verses 19-20- knowing He loves us so much he never leaves..

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come inand eat with that person, and they with me.

The book of  Revelation is a priceless look inside the glorious plans God has for the faithful, and valuable insight into His expectations for right living- from now until that day comes when He calls us home. We who follow in "The Way" need to take the time daily to stay focused, to check our temperature, to drink of the living water (God's word), refusing to allow lukewarm living to takeover our faith walk.. 

This is the final hour, and for some the last chance at seeing God through the passion of Christ. If He spits you out it will be like the bathwater going down the drain to the sewer. You are still water, and of great value, but to de deemed worthy, will have to go through a rigorousness process of  restoration- at least for a while, until your treatment is complete- and in time you become fresh and vibrant again, stamped and labeled by God's own hand -redeemed, worthy, renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Peace and blessings.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Truth



When I was a little girl, there was a popular game show on TV entitled  "To Tell The Truth". It was fascinating because the premise was that a panel of celebrities had to guess the identity of a contestant who had an unusual occupation, or story to tell. The three contestants, all claiming to be the same person, would answer questions from the celebrities but only the real person had to tell the truth. The other impostors could lie and pretend to be the real person, while each star briefly interrogated them. The celebrities had to follow a set of rules and guidelines on the questions they could ask, and were also given a time limit. When the bell went off, and the time was up, each star would decide who they thought was the real person- in other words- who was telling the truth. 


It was interesting to see at the end, how some "liars" could stump the panel into believing they were the the correct choice, while the honest and real person was rejected- and it was their own life! The savvy panelist would ask the right questions and in turn, help the whole group get to the truth- if they listened well. The same technique helps a good police officer, prosecutor, or judge in real life, for they know from experience that often the truth is all mixed up in false impressions and lies. We as Christians also need to exercise the same method in our faith walk. We need to ask the right questions to grow in the knowledge of Christ. We need to make sure we are not stumped by the impostor, the deceiver, who is an evil spirit trying to keep us away from the truth of God.   [Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1John 4:17]


Jesus told his disciples that they needed to hold to his teaching, and they would know him, and the truth would set them free.[Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." John 8:32] Dear ones, I can't stress this enough- you need to know God- to know God, by taking the time to read God's word, study, and meditate on the truths recorded in the Bible. This is your study reference guide for testing, so when the impostor comes to trick you to believe something contrary to what God has planned for your life, you will know that this is not a spirit from God.

When the end time comes, when the trumpet sounds, and the announcement is made  (like in the game show), "Will the real Jesus please stand up?"...don't be the one stumped. If you are dead wrong, you will lose more than a little bit of your pride. You risk everything, and all because you didn't listen well and believe the real truth.



Friday, May 11, 2012

The Promised Land




My husband and I have prayed and fasted many times over the years. Several powerful scriptures we pray and use for meditation to keep God's promises close to our hearts are 1 Chronicles 1: 4-10, the prayer of Jabez and Jeremiah 29:11, the letter to the exiles in Babylon from God.

We first studied these scriptures to know them and to make sure that we did not just randomly pray these verses, or take them out of the context they were meant for and use them for our own terms and definition.  

This is a common mistake among Christians, but not advisable. God's word is anything but common for his very power lives within this written word. It is truth, it is specific and direct. 

To know God takes time, time to study and digest the meat of his words, and what the passage is conveying to man. Then in God's time, after a marriage of his word, and our faith he answers, and fulfills his promises.

Last year we had to make some important decisions for Bruce's career path, after the real estate industry collapse, and a business venture failed to provide the fruit of his labor. We felt confused, lost and somewhat downtrodden at times- but we still remained constant in our belief that God had a plan for our lives.

I made a decision to claim (out loud) the powerful scripture Jeremiah 29:11 every time I heard the clock chime the hour from the college tower. I could hear the chime from our home in town- so hundreds of times I would stop and proclaim this verse - whether I was taking a walk, out watering the plants, sitting on the porch, admiring the moon from my back yard,  lying in bed in the still of the night, or upon awakening in the morning. 

I think my dogs even know the verse by now for my routine was when the first chime began I would stop and say " Listen, listen. For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, but to give you a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11)

I see now that this was building our hope and trust in God's sovereign authority. Our part was to stand on that promise. God's promises will come true for those who remain faithful, constant and persevere. God was building our faith and Christian character, something more valuable than the material gain that would come later. For now there was still some things we needed to let go of- some were emotional, and some physical.

Even though it was tough at times to lean day by day on the promise instead of the provision, we were standing firm and continued on in our prayers and fasting. God was there too, we could see the signs, and we knew he loved and cared for us, and that his vision was far greater and wiser than ours. And it was...

It was during our second fast of the first quarter of the year God's answer came. I know God honored this sacrifice as the time to bring forth the promise. We had just completed a 21 day fast the month before, and then joined another church for a Easter fast.

Now fasting is not easy, at least not for me.The first one I did years ago was actually the easiest because I did not know the pangs of hunger that would come and stay with me; so each fast to me seemed harder. Bruce did quite a bit of water fasting, seeking God deep in his heart; he was so humble, never complaining. We both spent time in prayer together and separate. And God spoke..

Just before the fast ended a wonderful career opportunity was offered to Bruce. A position with a company Bruce regretted leaving years ago. An offer quite unexpected- just days before our fast was to end, and the day after we decided to look outside our present boundaries. 

The position required a move almost a 1000 miles from home.  So when you pray the prayer of Jabez and say yes to expanding your territory- watch out- you better be serious.

The decision was easy, for we knew the company, Bruce's supervisor, the timing, and the territory.  All was divinely selected. But still, just as the Israelite's had to use courage to cross over into the promised land, the same command of "Be strong and courageous" was needed for this move. 

Many difficult changes, details, and decisions had to be made- not to mention  a year of commuting for Bruce was still to come. But it was worth it all, and necessary for Bruce to have time to work and me to be there when my father passed away.

Now as I sit here writing this from a lake house in the New Hampshire mountains, with my husband, 2 dog's and cat by my side, I feel incredibly blessed, and so grateful for the promises have come true. I knew I was always blessed, it's just expanded and grown into a new expanded  promised land.


"Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain. And God granted his request."