WHERE DID THE TIME GO?

No matter our age, at some point we all look around and wonder, 

“Where did time go?”

The young person who was sure they had plenty of time to get the school project done, now sits in the twilight of the day staring at a blank page with a looming deadline coming up with the sun.

A mom enters the end of the day with dishes in the sink, the bedtime story not read, and lays out her work clothes for tomorrow ... barely able to keep her eyes open.

The dad who works so hard for his family that he never sees them and though he laments the situation, it seems there is no other way.

A silver haired couple gazes lovingly at their toddler’s picture and realizes he now has gray hair. Does he know they love him more now than ever?

 

We are portioned our days from the Lord and we have enough for what we are to do. Oh I’m sorry … did that sound too simplistic? Yes … well the other theory is that the Lord purposely gave us insufficient time for what He designed us to do. You pick.

 

Lately I have been thinking about this problem because even though I am in an ideal situation to complete my goals … I’m not. So I reviewed who God is and who I am; then decided the problem must lie with me. Now everyone else can go with your own conclusions, I’m just sharing mine.

 

Logically then if I have sufficient time from the Lord to complete the life He intends, with the work He created beforehand for me to do, me running out of time must mean? Yeah that’s what I came up with too. I’m putting pieces in my life that aren’t really part of the plan and taking too much time for lesser activities.

 

So I headed back to the Bible and checked things out. What did God say was His work and what does He see as most important?

 

            John 6:28 & 29

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent”

 

            Matthew 22: 36 – 40

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

 

So now that I am back on track with what’s important to God, I looked at my life again and was reminded of the analogy of the jar that was filled with rocks, pebbles, sand and coffee. I don’t know who to credit but it isn’t me.

 

The jar is life and the first things to fit in are the large rocks, which are the most important parts of our life. The pebbles, some pretty important things to do but secondary. The sand – everything else – I’m thinking my solitaire games may qualify.  Last but not least, the coffee is poured around everything else, showing there is always time for coffee with a friend.

 

So just some examples … because if you decide to go with this – you and God will work this out together:

ROCKS: These get priority time every day

            God – love Him first. 

            Relationships (love my neighbor) 

PEBBLES

            Work **don’t worry God knows we have to work – put Him first and He will clear a path. Put Him second and we will struggle**

            Church ** Yep don’t scream – important BUT God comes before church and if done in that order – He will give us something to contribute to church other than a warm bottom on a chair.

            **anything that is important but not God or people

SAND

            And here my friends seemed to be where I was spending the majority of my day. Playing in the sand … the things in life that distract us from rocks and pebbles.

COFFEE

            Yep – there is always room for coffee with a friend!

 

Love,

Bev

            

 

HEART'S DESIRE

I was reading in Genesis this morning about how God had chosen and blessed Abram (before the name change). Abram had wealth, resources, a beautiful wife, victory over enemies and carried with him the promise of God to make him into a great nation.  Pretty sweet life.

 

Yet one day after a huge victory when God came to Abram and said:         

         “Do not be afraid, Abram.

         I am your shield,

         Your very great reward”

Abram had an unusual reply.

 

He questioned what God could give him, because his heart’s desire was for a child and that God had not given him. 

(Genesis 15)

 

I felt for Abram. 

 

I too have received many blessings from the Lord and enjoy His fellowship, however I also have a heart’s desire as yet unfulfilled. 

 

I read on and the Lord’s word came to Abram promising he would indeed have his own child and further Abram would have offspring as bountiful as the stars in the sky.

 

I was silent for a moment and then as tears began to fall I talked with God. I told him I didn’t feel I was living in victory but I know I have been blessed.

 

         “But God … this __________________ is my heart’s desire.

And though I have prayed for it for many long years, I have suffered and pleaded to no avail.”  And then I asked again.

 

Oh were you waiting for a big finish? Well that was it. 

 

Abram came away from the conversation with God and believed Him and it was credited to him as righteousness.

 

Me … well I didn’t hear that I would be receiving my heart’s desire. But from other Scriptures, I know God heard me. I know that God is perfect. I know that He is faithful. He loves me – proven by the gift of His Son for my salvation. 

 

Am I sad and sorrowful that my heart’s desire is not within sight? Sometimes. I keep asking and believing the Lord knows what is best. 

 

The worst thing we can do with our heart’s desire is give up on it. So hang in there … talk to the Lord honestly and believe in Him. 

 

If mine comes through one day while I’m still here … I’ll let you know. In the meantime, I would consider it a victory today for God if those who read this will pray and trust God with their heart’s desire.

 

Love,

Bev

#yashmeajourney

DROPPING THE STONES

 I am a believer in Jesus Christ, that He is the Son of God, the only way of salvation.

 

I am a believer in God’s Word, perfect, true and living.

 

I believe Him about what is sin and that His Holy Spirit convicts us when we do wrong. 

 

I believe in confession, repentance and forgiveness as the Lord leads us into a relationship with Himself.

 

I believe in the power of the blood of Jesus Christ to cover us completely so that we, though we are all sinners, can come into the presence and fellowship of God.

 

I believe when Jesus taught us not to judge others, that He was serious. 

 

The teachers of the Law and the Pharisees flung a woman down before Jesus. There was no question of her guilt; she was seized in the very act of adultery. The Law required she be stoned to death.

 

In voices of false concern and tinged with self-righteousness, the religious leaders asked Jesus “what do you say?” Their motive wasn’t a true spiritual question, but rather they wanted to trap and accuse Jesus. But our Savior always sees the heart.

 

The leaders and crowd stood with stones in their hands, ready to kill the sinner.  Jesus, the only perfect judge among them, gave this response:

            

            If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.

They all left one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left.

            Then in a stunning act of mercy, the only One who could condemn her … chose not to do that but rather told her to “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

 

Under the Law I would be an adulteress … since I was married and divorced.

                        In Christ today I celebrate 38 years of marriage to the man God gave me after forgiveness.

 

Under the Law I would be a murderer … because anyone who is angry with his or her brother is subject to judgment and anyone who calls another a name is in danger of the fire of hell.

                        In Christ the Holy Spirit has worked faithfully with me over many years on conquering anger. We are still working.

 

I could go on but you get the picture. I would be listed with those who are not allowed into God’s presence or eternal life.

 

But thanks be to God the Father who sent His own Son to be our salvation and His Holy Spirit to be our guide, my story will end differently. 

 

I am still far from perfect. Confession, repentance and forgiveness are part of my daily life as I walk with God … a walk I don’t deserve but I am so grateful to continue.

 

Revelation 21:8 “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur …”

 

Our identity when we are in Christ is none of the above.

Without Him, we all qualify.

Let’s stop calling out the sin of others, that is the job of the Holy Spirit and He does it best.

 

My prayer today is that we would allow others to enter that walk with Jesus. We have no right to stop them. We need to drop the stones.

 

 

A CALL TO PRAYER

I understand there are masses of people who do not believe in God’s authority, but this message is for those who do. This is about coming apart from the noise of the world for a moment to decide how to proceed. This is the suggestion …

 LET’S PRAY

Somehow even believers have been caught up in the crazy, malicious chaos that now comprises our political discussions.

My brothers and sisters – this should not be.

I Timothy 2: 1and 2 – “I urge then first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone – for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness…”

We are not to be standing and shouting amidst the malice of our times … but rather praying to our God in the quietness of time alone with Him. 

2 Timothy 2:23 and 24 – “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And God’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.”

We need to be faithful in reading the Word of God, since He was faithful to give us not only the written word, but the Word made flesh … our Lord Jesus Christ. 

Hebrews 4:12 and 13 – “For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”

 

 I am only one person, but I believe in God … in His Word … in His Son … in prayer. Can we withdraw from this world of violence and malice into a quiet space in our homes … to do something worthwhile that will yield answers from the only One who has them?

 

Please … in the name of Jesus … let’s stop joining the world in arguing … let’s pray.

 

DIRECTION IN A WORLD OF CHOICES

Today’s verses are Proverbs 3: 5 and 6 (take a peek in the “verses” tab if you don’t have your Bible handy).

These verses are well known, popularly quoted, endlessly referenced … and rarely lived, because in this world of a million choices with everything acceptable to somebody … we get lost.  

I’ll make this blog personal since I can’t speak for anyone but me. If this helps one person in the universe draw closer to God for answers … well then it’s been a good day … and for sure direction is on the way.

 

Confession: I can’t really figure out what to do with myself since I retired. Oh I’ve tried several things, I had plans before I retired, I’ve had well-meaning suggestions since I retired and I have sought the counsel of people, books, media etc.

But well … here I am. And by the way just to keep the record straight, I have prayed and scoured the scriptures. I have kept moving in this decision-making process leaving no stone unturned.

And that as it turns out is my problem with finding direction.

I did everything but let God “make my path straight”.

Trusting in the Lord with all my heart isn’t a fast-paced search for an answer - 

                It takes place in the quiet and staying still portion of my day … so I needed to find one.

 

Leaning not on my understanding requires me to pitch out a few logical ideas of my own – 

                 Pushing off the solid wall of what I think and what other people think … and even what looks like it might work. 

Acknowledging Him in all my ways takes focus.

                  Thinking where I am and praying for the Lord’s will every moment of every day – nothing is to be left outside of recognizing God is my Heavenly Father, my Savior, and the Holy Spirit who guides me.

 

The promise when this is done?

                        And He will make my path straight.

Trust in the Lord with all my heart.

Don’t lean on myself (or others or society or … you get the picture) to understand life.

Acknowledge God everywhere I go… with everyone I meet.

 

Reading a verse and living a verse are two entirely different actions.

Hope this helps us toward living the Word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOME THOUGHTS ON THE GOOD SAMARITAN PARABLE

If you haven't read it in a while, this is a powerful lesson that could literally change the world. Ah but perhaps you are busy today. No matter ... spend a few moments reading Luke 10: 25-27. I promise it will be worth your while.

So these are some thoughts I had ...

Being a neighbor is a choice ... having nothing to do with the block we live on.

Religion can get in the way of goodness and mercy. Religion can make the hands and feet of Christ stumble to the other side of the road from folks who need us most. So ... go for relationship over religion.

The best thing to give a wounded person ...

                   the bandages of kindness

                    the oil of compassion

                     the refuge of love.

Your turn ... what are your thoughts on this parable?

 

KNOWLEDGE … UNDERSTANDING … GOD’S TAKE = WISDOM

Let’s take a look at reading God’s Word and attaining wisdom. We read the words and gain knowledge, we pray and God helps us understand, we look at situations in the Word and realize what God’s take on things is … and that is wisdom – applying God’s words and ways to our lives.

 

Lots of believers prefer to spend their time in the Word cruising through the New Testament. It seems easier to understand. It appears to be a plainer type of message. And let’s face it … the God in the New Testament sounds a little nicer. I get it. When new Christians ask where to start, I also send them to the gospels first. It is critical to understand what our Savior Jesus Christ has done for us … the gospels deliver that message that Paul declared as most important. Jesus Christ – born as the Son of God – suffered and crucified for our sins – risen as the firstborn of the dead – breaking the enemy’s power forever.

 

But that doesn’t complete our understanding. Let’s talk about that word a moment. If we have understanding, it means we comprehend the situation … we have insight or good judgment … an individual’s perception or judgment of a situation.

 

Today’s message is to declare that we cannot have comprehension of what Christ has done unless we take the totality of God’s Word into account. While the gospel starts us and the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom … let’s keep going. The proverbs make a great case for seeking wisdom and it is a journey, not a one-stop dispensation.

 

Knowledge … understanding … God’s take on things = wisdom.

 

Some things we are missing if we skip reading the Old Testament:

 

1.     God’s Holiness – Nothing unclean or sinful could touch the mountain of God. We can’t understand the sacrifice of Christ and how badly we need a Savior without knowing the Holiness of God.

2.     God’s wrath – Yes that’s right and another reason we skip to the New Testament. But the fact remains a Holy God has righteous wrath at a world that blasphemes Him, ignores Him, reduces Him to human standards, and blatantly indulges in sin without repentance. If you slap someone in the face they will become angry. And although they perhaps turn the other cheek, continued disrespect will earn you a lesser relationship and eventually perhaps no relationship at all.

3.     God’s love – Right … it all starts in the beginning and continues with real life relationships between God and those who worshipped and obeyed Him. It’s a big love, with remarkable things that happen and prayer life that is a two-way conversation. Imagine talking to God Almighty.

4.     God’s character – There is rich depth to the passages that reveal the heart and ways of God. And when life hands us trials and sorrows that we can’t understand … we can lean back on God’s character and trust.

5.     Themes – Reading through we can’t help but notice themes and they root in the Old Testament and take wings in the New. For example … OT shows all the times that God’s people get impatient waiting on His promises and what happens when they do. Jesus admonition in the Golden Rule is rooted in the OT laws. Faithfulness, mercy – God’s record is perfect … mankind’s is no where close.

6.     Passages relate to the “end times” in several places … not just Revelation

7.     Profound images of sin are found showing what sin looks like to God.

8.     Beautiful passages of what Jesus will be bringing when He comes and descriptions of the hope that we have because of Him.

 

I could go on forever.

 

God made sure the written word contained everything we need to become people glorifying Him and living with purpose and passion.  So take a moment and read … and consider diving deep…

 

            Old and New Testament … One glorious God.

 

Happy Reading!

 

 

UNTIL... and IF ONLY...

Have you ever found yourself caught up in the drift of thought:

         “I can’t wait until…”

                  I’m done with school

                  I get a good job

                  I get married

                  I have kids

                  The kids are grown

                  A promotion comes

                  I have some money in the bank

                  My mortgage is paid

                  Retirement

 

         Lots of other phrases fit the end of that sentence. So we give up the moments of life looking to a future, which we neither know nor control.

 

         Sometimes we look to the past:

                  “If only…”

                           I had gone to school

                           I had taken the other job

                           I hadn’t married that person

                           I had done better with my kids

                           I had used my money more wisely

                           I had sought a writing career earlier in life (okay so that one is mine)

 

         We have those moments of  “if only” …  a backward glance to a time that is gone. A time we can’t change, with events we can’t live over… even if we know how to do it better.

 

       It isn’t wrong to anticipate a possible future joy, if it is done in the spirit of “God willing”. And it isn’t wrong to review the past as the road God walked with us to bring us to now.

 

         But it is now that we live. It is this moment we decide what place God has in our lives. It is here in this place of today that we decide what we believe about Christ. Today we choose right this minute if we will build our house on rock or sand.

 

I have decided today that I can wait for all things “until…” - God says: “It’s time.”

 

I glanced back this morning… the “if only” was calling. But then I remembered God was weaving it together for good … the broken places, the sorrows. I could see the Lord pouring the oil of forgiveness and mercy on my past.

 

His hand then gently turned me to this moment of joy and contentment in His presence.

 

Please join me in this moment.

 

Love,

Bev

 

         

LIVING LIKE A SQUIRREL

In our Bible study group we sometimes get off track and our friend Curt will yell, “Squirrel.” Meaning of course our minds are operating on that track, darting from thought to thought. Now the whole group uses the term and we are usually quick to refocus when someone says, “Squirrel”.

 

Our puppy, Tuppence, likes to chase squirrels and is ready to go off on a mad dash any time one comes into view. Recently on a walk, I was watching her stalk two of them. I just stood perfectly still to see what would unfold.

 

One squirrel put its nose in the air and looked around. Like lightening he ran back to the safety of a huge tree close by. The other one - cut of a different personality - looked at Tuppence then at the safety of the tree.

 

But just a few feet ahead of the squirrel was an irresistible acorn, so after assessing the situation … danger vs. greed … you guessed it. The squirrel darted for the acorn and waved caution to the wind.

 

Just like in the parables of ordinary life that Jesus told with farmers and fields, I could feel the lesson forming. God is in everyday events and is everywhere, able to teach us in a moment if we remain in Him.

 

After getting my puppy under control (that squirrel was lucky for the leash and my quick reaction) I meandered along on the rest of our walk thinking … I live a little like those squirrels.

 

My strong protection stands ready in the Lord my God and sometimes I run to Him.

 

But I have to admit that I have my days where the enticements of the world catch my attention and like our random thoughts in Bible study that can pull us from a moment of revelation … I too allow something in the world to pull me from the place of God’s shelter.

 

For the squirrel – it was the lure of more food … a moment of greed where he ignored the instincts that keep him safe and decided that MORE was worth the risk.

 

For me … and you? We face that lure everyday. Keeping safe within a perimeter of obedience or just a few more steps toward what looks good.

 

Ahhh … its an old story … check out Genesis 3.

 

With love,

Bev

TOO BUSY? THERE IS SPIRITUAL WARFARE FOR THAT

If I had a nickel for every time I have reported to others on my busy schedule … I would be a millionaire.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard others say how busy they are … I would be a millionaire.

If being busy added to the true treasures of life … I would be rich indeed and so probably would you.

 

But I have decided if I keep going in this direction of “busy” … I will be without true riches and caught in a prison of poverty made of overscheduled days followed by sleepless nights. So although I’ve always tried to be a law-abiding citizen, this former probation officer has decided on a prison break.

 

Now before those of you who know me start thinking, “Well she can do that … she’s retired.” …

Let me assure you the enemy has seen fit to slither this “busy” battle into every lifestyle of people who are trying to do the “right thing”. This is particularly true as we approach Christmas.

 

Jesus taught about this tyrant of busy in the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Martha was busy with preparations for dinner, which included Jesus – a good thing to do. But her sister Mary was sitting on the floor at Jesus feet, doing nothing but listening to him speak, an activity that Jesus named as a better choice.

 

Keep in mind Jesus deeply loved this family … both sisters. But when Martha came to him pointing out Mary wasn’t helping her -  here was His response:

         “Martha, Martha … you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.”

Being busy all the time is not a badge of honor if it means we don’t have time for sitting at the feet of Jesus.

 

So the spiritual warfare for this?

 

·      Be still and know that He is God. Stop what we are doing and pause during the day to think about our Heavenly Father.

·      Read the Christmas story. No Bible today at work? Click on the VERSES tab, I decided I had time today to type it out for you.

·      Choose to read God’s Word … there is always time for the blessing this will bring to our lives.

·      Pause and pray … the Lord waits for His people to ask for His guidance … it will be a path we have time to take and the treasures will be eternal.

 

Anybody else up for a prison break? The Lord stands ready with freedom from busy.

 

Love, Bev

GOD HAS THE POWER

2 CHRONICLES 25:1-10

 

The story of Amaziah, King of Judah, who while he amassed an army from the people of Judah to face a formidable enemy … did not quite think he had enough power to win.  And so as we have talked about so often … he decided what was needed by his own knowledge.  More soldiers right?

 

Amaziah went and paid a hundred talents of silver (about 3 ¾ tons) to men of Israel to accompany the army of Judah. Sounds like a plan.

 

PROVERBS 3: 5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”

         What a human mind devises as a solution … no matter how good … is less than best.  Especially if we are walking off on our understanding and circling away from what God has said.

 

What happens next is interesting and evidence that the Lord intends to keep us on the right path … if we will simply pause and listen and then … wait for it … OBEY.

 

2nd Chronicles 25:7 & 8

“But a man of God came to him and said, - O king, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the Lord is not with Israel … not with any of the people of Ephraim. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow.”

 

Amaziah hesitated for a moment and then asked “But what about the hundred talents I paid …”

The man of God replied, “The Lord can give you much more than that.”

 

Amaziah dismissed the troops he had paid from Israel.

The Lord delivered the enemy into his hands.

 

The Lord is more powerful than our best efforts.

He is more knowledgeable than our brightest scholars.

The Lord is a better leader than any Democrat or Republican.

He has 100% track record on making the right call.

 

God has the power to guide us into the best life ever although the path sometimes looks a bit precarious – we are safe.

 

The Lord knows humans need saving – we sin, we stumble, we get confused.

 

So this season, let’s put aside the stuff we think will make for a great Christmas (3 ¾ tons of stuff)… let’s go with His idea … Jesus Christ, His own Son, our Savior.

 

 

WHAT'S ENOUGH?

Scripture Reference: Exodus 16

 

I love the account of God’s stumbling nation of Israel after He delivers them from slavery; they get together in the desert and grumble against their leaders. They wish for former days, they want the bounty of food they had in Egypt. The people have already forgotten the terrible conditions they lived in before God prepared their exodus from slavery.

 

Somehow stumbling and grumbling and wishing for something else rings a note of familiarity to me … I struggle. So every so often God shows me again the story of the manna … His own bread from heaven for His people, complete with specific instructions.

 

While the people were sure they were going to starve, God of course had a plan. His provision was perfect, bread from heaven. They were to gather exactly what they needed for each day except for the sixth day then they were to gather double. So that when the Sabbath arrived, the people could rest according to God’s plan. Bread in the morning and meat in the evening … stewardship was set up … a measure for each person.

 

The ones who gathered much and the ones who gathered little … everyone had what they needed in the end. Of course, true to humanity, some tried to gather extra to store it paying no attention to the instructions. The result … it was full of maggots and began to smell.

 

What about the day before the Sabbath when they gathered double? It was fine. Six days they were to gather, the seventh day was a Sabbath. Simple instructions. The perfect amount of food. The people rested.

 

So what’s enough? God’s provision. It is perfect in quantity and quality. Wherever we find ourselves today friends, we can be sure that God has not forgotten us and that we will have enough … of everything we need … for our lives each day.

 

So the cliff notes?

1.   God provides perfectly for His people.

2.   If you don’t want maggots – don’t be greedy.

3.   God’s instructions are not to be messed with

 

(sorry to my former English teachers for ending the sentence with a preposition … for everyone else thanks for tuning in today)

 

Love,

Bev

 

Lord ... grant me a rainbow

Like the first one you made … when the flood was over … when you blessed the people … a sign of Your promise.

 

I’m drifting in the ark of Your provision, but wondering when the raging waters will still. Was it like that for Noah? He trusted you completely, building and gathering, then waiting and seeking signs the flood was over.

 

Noah waited patiently in the process of God’s new beginnings for life. Even after he knew the dove had landed her feet on dry ground … he waited. Even when the cover of the ark was lifted and he could see with his own eyes the land was dry … he waited.

 

Until Noah heard the voice of God calling him forth, releasing Noah and his family to once again enjoy God’s creation and then …

 

Noah built an altar. He didn’t rage against God for the destruction of the earth; he didn’t chastise God for not being fair; he didn’t mourn the loss of his home and friends.

 

Noah built an altar. Worship. He sacrificed until there was a pleasing aroma lifted up to the heavens … and the Lord spoke in His heart … and once again blessed the earth and mankind.

 

The Lord gave food to eat, purpose for living and solemnly warned that we will be held accountable for the lives of others. For although our hearts are inclined to evil; we are made in the image of God.

And then the Lord set the first rainbow into the clouds above the earth as a sign of His promises and His presence in the lives of the people of earth.

 

Father, the storm has been long for many of Your people. Please help us to wait it out until we hear Your voice.

Help us remember in these troubled times, that You will demand an accounting for the lives of our fellow man.

 

Lord … Almighty God … grant us a rainbow.

 

 

He faithfully teaches us ...

God uses ordinary things in life to show His extraordinary character. A holy heavenly Father, too magnificent for our puny understanding, He reaches down to faithfully teach His beloved … that’s us!

Jesus, Savior of the world, spoke in stories of everyday life. He fed with a couple of fish, a few loaves of bread, and nourished the souls of thousands. He was faithful … all the way to death.

The Holy Spirit, our precious comforter and guide, nurtures us daily until His fruit blossoms in our lives. He is a faithful gardener in a world of weeds.

 

Faithfulness. I love that character of God. Although I have a tiny seedling growing, I love that fruit.

One of the ordinary things in my life that taught this extraordinary quality?

 

Ahhhhh … read the story… FAITHFULNESS

THE WALK

Many of you know we have a new puppy, Tuppence. One of her favorite things to do is to go for a walk. Nose to the ground sniffing what’s gone before her, lifted in the air for possibilities of what lies ahead … she makes a jerky progress down the road until she comes back home.

 

         Today as we walked, it was an unusually rough day. Those of you who have had puppies know what I mean. It was a day that Tuppence decided what was behind us was better than what was ahead.  She heard a rafter of turkeys (sorry just looked this up and that’s what they call a group of turkeys … I couldn’t resist) … and then she planted her feet and would go no farther.

 

         Yep … scared of that strange sound up ahead. I pulled … Tuppence pulled back.  I explained the situation to her … she doesn’t speak English. Finally she went forward.

 

         So I said (to no one in particular), “This walk would be so much better if she would just walk with me and stop pulling and being afraid”.

 

         And then I heard it in my heart.

 

                           “Sound familiar?”

 

         Asking Christ into our hearts means He sends the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives. That was Him.

 

         I’ve heard the Spirit speak great comfort and encouragement during times that were dark and bleak.

         I’ve heard and felt a gentle course correction when I was holding on to the past or straining toward the future.

         More often than I’d like to admit, I’ve heard the clear conviction of sin in my life and my heart has stilled in sorrow.

 

And so as I finished the not so straightforward walk with my crazy puppy – I received all three …

 

With love and prayers for our walk with God,

Bev

 

 

 

 

 

 

SPIRITUAL WARFARE by Lauren Lindsey

I know we talk a lot about spiritual warfare and arming yourself with scripture, but not everyone knows what that means. I didn’t. Until recently.

I’m going to explain the spiritual war I recently experienced, in hopes that it will help others understand what this means.

In order to understand spiritual warfare, there are five steps to the whole thing.

 

First, you have to be able to recognize God. You have to know His ways and know His voice when He talks to you. It is different for each person, but if it lines up with scripture and is holy, it is probably God. I also feel it in my heart, when He is talking to me. That is how I know when it is God.

Second, you have to recognize Satan. If you don’t know the difference between right and wrong, then you’ll never understand a war.

Third, you need to arm yourself. Clearly, you can not go into a spiritual war zone with physical swords and armor. But, as Bev always says, your Bible is your Sword. And God is your armor. By knowing the word of God and being readily equipped with it, you are ready for war.

Fourth, fight. You are ready now. You have recognized God, you have acknowledged the wrong, and you have trained and equipped yourself for war. Make sure as you fight through this battle, you are strong with God. Do not doubt the abilities of your God.

2 Chronicles 15:2

“...the Lord is with you when you are with Him…”

Fifth, recognize the victory. Think about the war. If God won, congratulations! This is a victory for you, too! If this battle went to the enemy, the war is not over. It is time to be still and reconnect with God.

 

Now that you know these steps, here is my experience.

 

I was talking with a friend of mine and I said that my faith is everything. Without my faith, I have nothing. (Without God, we have nothing.)

This is step one.

He countered my comment with that it is okay to have Faith, but that it doesn’t have to be my everything. There are still things aside from Faith.

This is step two.

After a few texts of going back and forth stating that my faith is number one and the most important thing I have, I felt a wave rush over me. I recognized it as God preparing me for war.

With my Bible as my sword, God equipped me with the verse Matthew 16:23.

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.’”

Very quickly after this I felt Satan’s argument diminish. As he fled from my friend, I realised God’s victory. My victory. And it was amazing.

 

“You are the only King forever. Almighty God we lift you higher. You are the only King forever. Forevermore, you are victorious.”

 

Synchronizing Life

A quiet heart

     A clear mind

           A body in service

                A soul at rest …

 

I walked around the blacktop track near my house wondering why I couldn’t achieve these, at least on any regular basis. So I asked God …

 

         Matthew 7:7 – “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”

 

I reminded God of my age and that I would need an answer right away. I don’t recommend telling the Lord about the timing and I normally don’t - however I was impatient and frankly a little on the cranky side.

 

He impressed two things on my heart.

 

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”

 

We proceeded in prayer … Holy God and sinful seeker … and here is the substance of my answer:

         While my heart is often on the Lord, my mind is wandering.

         While my soul longs for Him, my strength is on other things.

 

There is a reason the Lord gave the above as the top command. He knew our lives needed to be synchronized for us to live to the fullest. Heart, mind, soul, body … all working together in faith.

 

I prayed I could obey His answer and communicate that thought to others for encouragement.  I’m leaving that in His hands … and timing.

 

The second part …

 

         He told me to leave my age alone.

 

         I thought I was doing a practical thing … “adjusting to my age” …

My heavenly Father reminded me …

Because of Christ … I have eternal life. So I’m actually quite young.

 

I hope many folks reading today will consider synchronizing … and eternity.

 

Love,

 

Bev

 

TURNING AROUND

Hey … long time no blog.

Sorry.

No – not to people …

Don’t get me wrong, you are all important to me. But let’s face it; if I don’t write God’s word He will get it to you. Because you are all important to Him.

 

So my apology is really to God since He called me to write and I have been disobedient.

 

We have all walked down the path of disobedience. It’s important to turn around. So maybe my experience will help somebody out there who is struggling along that path where the enemy snatches the Word, the world chokes us and our roots don’t hold. (Matthew 13:1 -23)

Want to hear how He got me?

 

An eerie silence just washed over me as I was typing … yep that’s the problem.

What if nobody is reading this?

What if I’m wasting my time?

What if I have no talent?

What if no one is impacted?

    Like my blog comes up and everyone pushes “delete”.

 

 

In the midst of several weeks of doubt and failure to write, along comes my friend and guest blogger who says,

 

“I don’t think we are writing this for others. I think the Lord has us writing this for ourselves … and to be obedient.”

 

Say what???!!!

 

And then of course the Lord sends me to the book of Jeremiah.

Anytime conviction is coming, it’s off to the book of Jeremiah. I love God’s Word … all of it … but I have to confess when the Spirit calls me to Jeremiah, I begin to squirm.

 

And then today … Mark 4:40 – He said to His disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

 

That pretty much said it all.

 

I am afraid … of failure … of looking stupid … of wasting my time.

 

I have expressed these fears before and the words of my oldest son rang in my heart again …

     “Really mom … you think you might be wasting your time writing for God?”

 

So yeah I’m here again … imperfect. I’m sure I missed a comma somewhere. Pretty sure I haven’t gone viral. My books are still at the bottom of the Amazon rankings … but the most important One reading (who am I kidding -perhaps the only one reading) is pleased by obedience.

 

I Samuel 15: 22

“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the Lord?

To obey is better than sacrifice and to heed is better than the fat of rams.”

 

Okay … turned!

GOD'S CHARACTER - Justice with a side note of vengeance

A mere human, I will fall short on presenting God’s character so … please be sure to check out the “verses” tab and read His words.

 

Some ideas when we think of justice?

         Fairness – Equity – Impartiality – Objectivity

         Honesty – Righteousness – Morality

 

And vengeance defined as:

Punishment inflicted or retribution exacted for an injury or wrong that is done.

 

But God’s character of justice is a million times bigger and more perfect than ours will ever be and unlike us … He actually pulls it off … always.

 

God’s justice is nourished by wisdom as He stands outside the confines of time. He knows what has been and what is to be …  God holds our hearts and motives in His hand and examines them with care.

 

God doesn’t just talk about justice … He acts in justice … sending His own Son into the world … bringing us a justice wrapped in mercy and love.

 

Perfectly able to incorporate “an eye for an eye” with “turning the other cheek” …

 

We can wind up mired in sin when we take revenge into our own hands … but God knows how and when to bring justice with vengeance – He does not ignore the cries of the afflicted.

God will not turn His back on true repentance … but will bring a justice of forgiveness to those who seek Him.

 

 

A patient, perfect justice

     That cloaks a world of sin

Our God of mercy watches

      To see who will come in

 

To a kingdom with an entrance

         Narrow - but open to all

Designed before the world

         To answer a sinner’s call.

 

A patient, perfect justice

         That can’t be found on earth

Except as He walks among us

         And we receive new birth.

GOD'S CHARACTER - FORGIVING AND MERCIFUL by Lauren Lindsey

With the passing of Easter,

now is a great time to talk about God’s forgiveness.

 

It is first important to know the definition of forgiveness:

A term used to indicate pardon for a fault or offense;

an excuse from payment for a debt owed.

In the Bible, some synonyms for this are Nasa’, salach, or aphiemi.

 

1 John 1:19 and Mark 1:4 are both verses which state

that we are to confess our sins and ask for forgiveness.

But how do we know we will be forgiven?

Why should we be forgiven?

 

This is where the Crucifixion and Resurrection become important.

If you are unfamiliar with the story, check out Luke 23 & 24

Romans 5:8 explains it pretty clearly.

 

When Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit,

It cursed them and all their offspring.

 

God’s first attribute, as you may have read last week,

Is that he is Holy.

There is no place for sinfulness near God’s holiness.

So how are we ever supposed to gain eternal life?

 

I like to think about a song I know when addressing this:

 

“You didn’t was Heaven without us,

So Jesus you brought Heaven

My sin was great, your love was greater.

What could separate us now?”

-What A Beautiful Name by Hillsong Worship

 

While I realise that this is now combining God’s forgiveness and love,

I don’t think you can talk about one without the other.

John 3:16-17 is a good example of that.

 

Colossians 1:13-14 elaborates on the fact that through Christ,

We can be forgiven.

 

Matthew 26:28 is Jesus speaking to his disciples as they sat together

for his last meal with them on Earth.

Jesus’s blood was poured out to forgive us.

 

God didn’t want Heaven without us.

So he sent his only son down to save us.

Our SIN is great,

But His LOVE is still greater.

 

WE know we can be forgiven because Christ’s blood was shed to do so.

 

Now while saying all of this, it is very important to note the unforgivable sin

in Mark 3:29 and Luke 12:10

 

Psalms 32:5; 65:3; 78:38 are all statements of God forgiveness as well.

 

It is important to know God if we are going to serve him.

His first attribute is that he is Holy.

And he is such a forgiving God.