Saturday, January 21, 2017

Do and Be

"Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." ~Paul to Timothy

For the longest time, I've asked the Lord to help turn my heart away from the riches that are transient. I've prayed for him to show me how to lay up my treasure in Heaven. After he straightened out my perception of treasure, the Spirit led me back around to this. This morning, I was given this answer.

Do good. Be rich in good deeds. Be generous and willing to share. The first letter Paul wrote to Timothy held this small capsule of truth. The narrow path lit up!

"Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have wandered from the faith. Grace be with you." ~Paul to Timothy

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Destroying the Fields

We are in the process of preparing a small piece of dirt for our garden. It is by no means big enough to supply our food for a week let alone a year for the two of us. My husband cleared and tilled the plot with a tractor and left me the task of picking out the rocks. I've spent hours picking rocks and tossing them out of a small garden spot in order to till in steer manure and make the rows  prepared for the seeds. To keep the animals away from the vegetables, we stretched a fence around it and made a small gate. It was hard work and I couldn't imagine having to do it without the help of machinery.

While this process was taking place, I couldn't help but think how hard it would be to know that you wouldn't eat if the crops didn't produce and your future depended on saving enough seeds from one year to the next to replant. I thought about the process of breaking fallowed ground by hand and hoping the weather would bring success to the seeds. I thought about Old Testament famines so severe women ate their own children. When I ran across the story of Moab's rebellion and Israel's retaliation, I couldn't help feeling sad for the women and children in their towns but surprisingly, the thing that hit me hardest was the destruction of their fields. It was a horrible scene to me.

"They destroyed the towns, and each man threw a stone on every good field until it was covered. They stopped up all the springs and cut down every good tree..."

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Free to Be a Kid

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men." ~Luke

I was reminded today how grateful I am for the things that God did not include in the Bible. As I watched a little boy gleefully tumble around and seriously hammer molding with his sister's magic wand as a tool; it got me thinking about Jesus' childhood. I'm grateful that his childhood could be free from centuries of scrutiny simply because God wanted it so. I shudder to think of the rules that religions would've gleaned from a description of the childhood of the son of man. His childhood was to be that of a normal human. His mother got to treasure those learning moments in her heart and his father must have had a touch of pride when the little boy picked up a hammer and imitated the man.

"And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom, and the grace of God was upon him." ~Luke

Monday, March 14, 2016

Bird Food

"The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook." ~1Kings 17:6

Reading about Elijah and how the ravens fed him always fascinated me. The picture in my children's Bible that I had growing up depicted his meals as a happy picnic complete with silver plate and napkins. Perfect slices of white bread being munched down by a jolly man dressed in white all the way down to his sandals. I loved the thought of the ravens hopping up and placing their offering on the plate and watching with interest as he ate. When I stumbled across the whole truth in 1 Kings for the first time, my view of Elijah's meals would drastically change! Yuck.

I began to think about being fed by ravens today. What would their offering be? Roadkill? Ketchup packs? Half-eaten hamburgers and cold fries? I kid you not, that's how my mind works... Anyway, I was praying about this on the way into town today when I stopped for a raven hop-flying across the road and in its beak it was barely able to carry an unopened bag of Doritos corn chips! My view of Elijah's meals changed once again. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad being fed by ravens!

"Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!" ~Jesus

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Future Dreams

"Then Joseph said to them, 'Do not interpretations belong to God? Tell me your dreams.'"

I was struck with the thought that mankind can't predict the future, we can only react to it. If we could predict the future would we want to know? My mind wandered to Joseph. Here he was in charge of the dungeon he'd been thrown in and he asks two of his fellow prisoners why they looked so dejected. Honestly, my first thought was, "maybe because they're in a DUNGEON with no clue what's going to happen to them?!" But no, they both had dreams that were haunting them. Both dreams were predictions of the future. Both dreams came true and three days was the whole future for one of those prisoners. Would you want to know?

I wonder if the doomed baker asked Joseph about this God that interpreted his dream. Would he be inclined to not believe Joseph's testimony? Would he ask questions regarding Joseph's credentials for interpreting dreams? Past references? Would he try to find reconciliation with this God or use all outside influences to try to gain his freedom and thus prove God wrong? Regardless, the next three days must've been stressful for the man!

"Pharaoh said to Joseph, 'I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it." "I cannot do it," Joseph replied to Pharaoh, "but God will give Pharaoh the answer he desires.'"

Monday, January 4, 2016

Healing Our Land

"If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." ~The Lord

You want God to heal our land? Here's what we have to do. If you identify with being one of God's people, if you call yourself by his name then here is what we have to do: Humble ourselves, pray, seek God's face and turn from our wicked ways.  He's never been shy about judgment. Anyone who has read the first five books of the Bible can tell you that.  

 As one of God's people here in America, I need to humble myself. I can be puffed- up and complacent. Complacent especially in prayer. It's easy for me to pray for the people far away whose pain I'm not affected by and I won't be required to get involved with. But what about my neighbor? What about my community? I don't want the accusation of worshiping God with my lips while my heart is far from him. I began to fervently pray for my neighbors, my neighborhood and my community. Since I started praying, I have seen the Lord's hand in my community and have watched in wonder as properties have been cleaned up and people communicating with each other to work together to better our small town. Even the local tavern is getting a facelift!

Seeking God's face. I've come to the conclusion that this means being face-to- face with my fellow believers. He's our Father and just as a child can physically look like his earthly father, each one of us bears a unique resemblance to our Heavenly Father. We are made in God's image. I was never meant to isolate myself. This is not a solo journey. I seek God's face in God's people. Someday, I will see Jesus face-to-face and I know I will recognize him!

Turning from wicked ways is perhaps the biggest stumbling block. Half the time, I don't want to admit that there is any wicked ways in me! Realizing that I'm saved by grace though humbles me enough to be able to face my sinfulness without shame and allows me to confess and be cleansed from all unrighteousness. I don't want to suppress the truth in any way.

If you truly want t God to heal our land, He's told us what we need to do. Let's do it!

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them." ~Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Following the Leader

"Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me." ~David

I've been praying for direction. How does God want me to invest my talents and time to further his Kingdom? I shared this recently and a friend reminded me that everyone wants to know what God's will for their life is. We get the idea that it's this big and fantastic life changing epiphany when in reality it's making the small choices every day to choose that which glorifies the Lord. Whether it's doing dishes, sweeping floors or serving customers it needs to be done with an attitude of gratitude as if you were doing it for the King himself.

"And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him." ~Paul