Translate

Thursday, August 7, 2014

I WILL FEAR NO EVIL - FOR THOU ART WITH ME

My husband and I were standing in the early voting line the other day and we were talking to a delightful lady about politics and life.  Mostly, my husband was talking and to some who really know us, he can truly capture a conversation when it is something that he is passionate about.

As the conversation progressed, the subject of the evils found within the political realm and in the world engulfed the topics.  This is where my "Holy Spirit" senses perked up.  

"I will fear no evil" kept echoing in my ear.  Yes, there is unspeakable evil in this world we live in - evil so overwhelming that it literally takes your breath away; but God is with us.  I am a firm believer in what the Word says about "the return policy."  

"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; For whatever a man sows he will also reap."  Galatians 6:7  

This verse in Psalm 23 does not mean that fear or evil will not come but it does mean that I choose not to fear because God is ALWAYS with me.  It means that God is greater than whatever comes against me.  It means that He is larger than fear.  It means that fear does not come from Him.  It means that evil has to come through Him before it can even approach me! 

Over and over again God confirms His Word:

Psalm 3:6 - "I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side."

Psalm 27:1 - "The LORD is my light and my salvation-- whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life-- of whom shall I be afraid?"

Psalm 49:5 - "Why should I fear when evil days come, when wicked deceivers surround me--"

Isaiah 43:2 - "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Everything Means Everything

John 4:16 - “Go and get your husband,” Jesus told her.
17 “I don’t have a husband,” the woman replied.
Jesus said, “You’re right! You don’t have a husband— 18 for you have had five husbands, and you aren’t even married to the man you’re living with now. You certainly spoke the truth!”

The Lord knows everything about us and He knows how to get our attention.  Thank God that the Samaritan woman told the truth; this would have been a longer conversation if she had tried to hide her issues.  

He told her to go and get her husband.  What or who does He tell us to go and get?  Would we be so honest to say, "I do not have a thus and so...  Well, would we?  Think about it.

Jesus told her, in verse 13, that anyone who drinks from this well water will come back to the well again because they would be thirsty.  This natural water would quench the body temporarily but those who drink from the water that He gives will never thirst again.  

She wanted this kind of water. She was tired of trudging down to the well during the heat of the day.  No one else would talk to her because she had a "reputation."  No one wanted to be near her because she had been rejected five times already by her husbands.

They wanted to be with her but they did not want to stay with her.  She was passed around like an old piece of furniture.  She looked alright on the showroom floor but when they got her home she did not fit.

If she got His water then she would not have to return to that place again.  She would never have to return to the place of pain, the place of shame, the place of ridicule, the place that made her feel uncomfortable or unwelcome. 


She pleaded for Him to give her this eternal thirst quenching water.

Jesus will deal with our natural desires to bring us to where we need to be in the spirit.  "Go get your husband!" "I do not have one," she said.  "You are telling the truth, you have had five husbands and the one you are with now is not yours."  Now you know that cut her deep.  The truth always cuts deep when we try to hide it but once it is out, we are free.

How would He know what was going on in her life?  She knew that He did not live in her town plus He was a Jew. Their people did not even associate with one another.  How did He know?

She said, "Look, you must be a prophet."  Since she discerned that He was a prophet, she decided to ask about the reason for separate places of worship.  When we find out that people can see us, we will try to change the subject, won't we?  

After He spoke into her life about what Father God is looking for, she decided to tell Him what and who she and her people were looking to see.

He said, "I AM He!"

Announcing that He Is the Messiah was enough for her to drop every concern that she ever had so that she could share what had just happened to her.  Knowing Who He is will make you run and tell somebody!

She dropped her jars!  She dropped the empty vessel that was created to hold that which would not last.  She dropped her mission of repetitiveness.  She dropped her concern for what others thought about her.  She dropped the curtain that she had hidden behind.  

She said, "Come see a man who told me everything that I have ever done!"  

This revelation came to me while I was talking to another woman of God:  

The Samaritan woman said He told me EVERYTHING that I ever did.  Everything means everything.  John just gave us a glimpse of "everything" but I have no doubt that her statement of everything meant "everything."  We were not let in on the everything in her life but just like the Samaritan woman, we have some "everything" going on too!

John wrote in chapter 21 verse 25 "Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written."

The Love of God can handle our known and hidden sins.  He knows our truths and He still offers us Living Water.  He still offers us His Spirit.  He still offers us His Living Water.  And in spite of us, He shares with us Father's plan for worship.  

23"The Father is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth.  24 For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

Yes, I have no doubt that this woman and Jesus had a lot more to discuss.  When she started running toward town, every weight had been lifted from her.  Her Redeemer was here!  Her burden bearer was here!  Her heavy load sharer was here!  Her Light was here!

What happens when we release our truths unto Jesus?  What happens when we drop our issues at His feet?  What happens when we share the glory of the Lord with others?  

Verse 30 let's us know - "So the people came streaming from the village to see Him."  What happens?  Others believe and go to see Him for themselves - that is what happens!  Empty jars are dropped and Living Water swirls and fills their bellies.  Worship breaks out like the noon day sun!  


We are free indeed!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

YEA, THOUGH I WALK...

Everyday it seems that my body finds a new pain located in a new place.  That's the price of aging but the Lord's reassurance is, "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me."  Psalm 23:4

That's the great assurance!  God is with me.  While visiting our children and grandchildren in Germany, my body betrayed me.  The tiniest bit of food would make me swell.  My feet were swollen; my legs began to ache and would not allow me to keep up with everyone but God was always there giving me strength.  

Every time I walked into a cathedral or passed a sign that displayed the cross of Christ my strength was renewed.  I walked through the shadow - oh yes I got a good glimpse of the shadow of death; but God was the Light that blotted out the shadow.

Father was in every song that I sang, every prayer that I prayed and every glimpse of happiness that I shared with my family.  He was there in their eyes.  He was there in their kisses.  He was there in their hugs.  He was there in the kindness of strangers.  He was there walking with me through the valley.  Praise the Lord for being with us!

Friday, January 10, 2014

OUT OF REVERENCE FOR CHRIST!


There is a Scripture in Ephesians 5:21 "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ."

In today's world, the emphasis is really on how an individual looks and how much an individual is worth.  There are very few writings that focus upon the heart of an individual.  

Marriage seems to be run off the rails in today's world.  Commitment to one another is a comedian's punch line.  Love centers around Eros in these times. (This kind of love is referred to as madness.  It is erotic love.)  

People rarely experience Philia which is a friendship kind of love.  People who used to love one another were friends first.  They genuinely liked one another. How many couples (that you know) are friends?

Look around and see how many couples seem to experience Agape' love.  (The selfless kind of love.)  

If you are already married, it's not too late to hear what I'm saying and if you are getting ready to get married, please hear this word.  "It is not what is on the outside that you should be looking at, it's what is on the inside."

Here are a few insights for the single couples that are thinking about marriage.  

1. Have you sought God for your intended?  Proverbs 18:22 "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord."  Romans 8:14 "For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God."

People see what's pleasing to the eye and what's pleasing to the flesh and then, BOOM, a decision is made.  "He looks so good, girl."  "She's so fine, man." And that's where it begins and ends - no wisdom, no discernment, just lust. God didn't say yes and guess what, He wasn't asked.  But we will seek to consult Him when we desire to exit the relationship!

2.  Do you know where their loyalty resides?  Genesis 2:24 - "This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one."  John 15"13 - "There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."   Ephesians 5"25 - "For husbands, this means love your wives, just as Christ loved the church.  He gave up His life for her."

Not only would some people not love this way, you had better not get sick!  "I love you honey but if you need someone to be with you while you are throwing up then we are going to have to call in some help!"  "No baby, I don't clean bottoms and I'm not too keen on tops either."  "I'm sorry that you don't feel well, maybe you could call your mom to come and take you to the doctor's office."

Don't ask them to make you soup more than twice - oh boy, it's an out and out  declaration of war...  Just how much do you love that person?  Through sickness, because sickness will come.  Folk like the "and health" part but let's just not deal with the illness stuff because "It's just a little too much - I didn't sign up for this!"

If the in-laws want to straighten out the spouse (not their child), just think about where the line is drawn in that part of the relationship.  "You don't make meat loaf like my mommy!"  And the reason for that is - your spouse is NOT your mom! Cut the apron strings and cleave unto your spouse!  

"Honey, what happened to the rent money."  "Well, I loaned it to the folk because they were a little short on their vacation cruise down-payment."  "What!?"  And that's when the fight started....

3.  Do you respect each other?  Ephesians 5:33 - " So again I say, each man must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband."  If you aren't through running around - playing games and making up rules that apply to you and no one else, please wait and don't get married.  You will ruin your life, your spouse's life, your children's lives, and your family's lives.  Apparently, no one has made it clear that when you marry, there are other lives affected by your union.  If there is a mess in the mix, then everyone will be stepping in the mess.

Respecting your spouse builds your relationship - not what others think about your relationship.  Don't allow others to bring mess to you concerning your spouse, let them know that they will (to their regret) get their feelings hurt.  You may have a legitimate grievance with your boo but take that to the house and not to the multitude.  You are not Christ and you don't have to feed them - with your family news!  I'm just saying...

3. Do you want to get married or do you want a glamour shot?  Sometimes planning a wedding last longer than the marriage!  If you want glamour shots, get some cut outs and flash away; but if you want a marriage, that will take commitment, sacrifice, endurance, patience and selflessness!  You are not marrying yourself, you are marrying your betrothed...

4. Who is running the show?  Mark 10:‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”  

Man cannot undo what God has joined together!  Hey, but you can run it off into a ditch because you want to run the show instead of God.  Just a word to the wise!

I could add a lot more to this list but I won't bog you down right now.  Just think about your choices.  For those who are married and never considered asking the Lord anything, it is not too late.  You may think it's your spouse but maybe, just maybe it's you.  Take a good look into God's mirror (The Word).  Judge your own heart.  Pray for your spouse and let God repair the breach.

Mark 10:They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”  “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied.  Did you hear what Christ said?  The decree of divorce was written because of the hardness of that person's heart.  Oh you can love, if you CHOOSE to love.  

"What brought all this mumbo-jumbo on today, you may ask?"   Well, this month we (hubby and me) celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary.  If I told you that it was a piece of cake, there would be an entourage of people who would disagree with that statement.  But if I told you that it was worth the journey, there would be two that would say amen - me and my spouse!  

No, I don't like picking up after him all the time but I live here too.  I like organization.  So I do it.  No, he doesn't like to hear me talk all the time but he endures it because he likes me and he lives here too.  

We have become each other's best friends.  Friends fuss and disagree and want their own space sometimes but all of that makes up a marriage.  We have six children and fifteen grandchildren to prove it....  They love us and we love them....

Love as God leads you to love; choose as God leads you to choose, be strengthen with the joy of the Lord - and do it - Out of Reverence for Christ!  

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

HE LEADS


We don’t always know where we need to go or how we need to rest but the Shepherd does.  So often, if we are attentive to hear, He will lead us where we need to go, when we need to go, and how we need to go.  He leads!  If we could just surrender the reins of control to Him, life would be so much more – extra.  When we are led, we won’t have to contend with thoughts of “which way, how long, or where to.” 
Why do we hold on to leading when leading belongs to God?
The comforting word in this verse is “me!”   He leads “me!”  He stops in a moment of eternity to lead me.  It is an awe-inspiring moment in the mind to know that He stops to lead us, to talk to us, to assure us, to love on us!  God sees our moments of restlessness and stops to tell us “I need you to go here” or “I need you to do this,” or “I need you to pay attention to that!”

Father will not just allow us to go any old where, He leads us in the paths of righteousness!  He is the forerunner and He points us in the direction of uprightness, honesty, respectability, honorability, worthiness.  He shows us the paths.  He directs our steps.  He points the way. 

If we are led to a path of unrighteousness, dishonesty, unworthiness, immorality, then we know that He is not leading us and we are traveling down the wrong paths. 
Stop!  Take stock!  Get on the right path!
Why, because He leads us for His Name’s sake.  His Name is accredited!  His Name is proven!  His Name is sanctioned!  His Name has authority!  His Name is recognized!  His Name has the Glory!  His Name has the honor!  His Name is above every name!
He leads us into right living for His own Glory!
Father sat me down because He loves me.  He sat me down so that I could be led.  He leads me because sometimes as a sheep I can go astray.  He designs my paths because He knows the route that is best for me!    And He does all of this for His Glory, for His Name’s sake, and for His Purposes.

Psalm 100:3 “Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us and not we ourselves.  We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”  NASB

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

HE RESTORES MY SOUL

He brings back my soul.  When we try to have a piece of equipment repaired, we either send it back to the manufacturer for repair or we reset the system (as in a computer)  back to restore to factory condition.

During the time that God set aside for me to heal was a time of restoration.  I was broken both physically and spiritually and I needed (unknowingly) a Potter's Wheel experience. 

A car can be running fine until it doesn't.  The key starts up the engine, the gears set the direction and the foot pedal moves or stops the vehicle but if there is undiagnosed trouble in the vehicle, the operator is not aware of a problem until it no longer functions properly.

I was running with all engines fired up but still I overlooked the hidden undiagnosed problem - stress.  I needed a factory overhaul - I needed to be restored to factory condition.  The only way a problem can be fixed is that you read the manual for instructions.  Who writes the manual?  The creator writes the manual.

The creator can have several repair shops and it's the creator that designs and sets up the shops where repairs can be made.  I was sent to an overseas shop.  A place where I only knew a few people and a place where nothing was familiar to me.  I had to rely totally upon the Creator and the helpers He sent to oversee the repairs.

There in a place of complete peace and wonder the Creator initiated His repairs.  He made me lie down.  He made me rest beside still waters.  Only the Creator knows how the creation is truly put together and what makes the creation function properly. 

He knew that I wouldn't rest on my own; He knew that I was not properly sleeping so He surround me in green pastures, drew me alongside still waters and made certain that I wanted for nothing.  (His helpers saw to that!)

When a vehicle has to be checked, it is lifted up and diagnosed to see what lies within. 

I was already broken and didn't know it so He placed me upon the wheel of repair to show me the results of the diagnosis and to make me over again - anew.  
 
I was restored.  My smile returned.  My joy returned.  My peace returned!

God knows His creation and He knows how to restore it.  We, however, have to be willing to allow Him to do what He does best. 

Are you in a place?  Let the Shepherd do His work!  Is your spirit crying out for a makeover?  Jesus is the Master Designer!  Do you feel that you have lost your focus?  Christ is the reconstruct-or. 

He not only restores us (bringing us back to our original factory condition) , He renews us with additional vigor, health and soundness of mind.  He's like that!  He knows just what's best for His designs.
 
Taste and see that our Creator is good!

Friday, November 22, 2013

HE LEADS ME


 
He leads me beside the still waters.  To get to Europe, you must travel over the waters – either by air or by water.  Usually, when I am preparing to fly I become so anxious that I am a ball of nerves before boarding any airbus.  This time, however, it had to be the Lord’s Peace that prepared me for the journey.  I could care less about the flight or how long it would take.  Mind you, our scheduled flight was cancelled only hours prior to departure.  Hilarious!  God had a plan.
By the time we touched down in Germany, I was so ready to see my family that everything  encountered was awesome to me.  I didn’t realize it until we arrived at the children’s home and I reviewed the pictures I had taken - that every few miles driven we passed over waters.  There were streams and rivers, canals - everywhere.  They were still, peaceful waters.
The morning after our arrival it rained.  That didn’t matter to us, we loved the water.  We walked in the water (rain).  We drove in the water (rain).  We laughed through the water (rain).  We were awestruck in the water (rain).  Open heavens were everywhere.  There were moments when the sun streamed down on our vehicle and everything else was cloudy.  Even while we walked down the cobblestoned streets of the town, the rays of the sun beamed down on us while everything else was covered by clouds.
Awesome God! 
He leads us to peace!   Looking at all the wonders of God leads us to peace!  Enjoying fellowship and relationship with others leads us to God’s Peace!   
He leads me beside the still waters!