Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time there was a little girl who felt very misunderstood and actually unsure of who loved her. She longed for a pet, a very specific pet. Alas, pets came & went but none were this pet. Of course she loved each of them and something in her died when she lost each one. Someone else chose each because of whatever reason they had and she accepted each. It seems it was not meant for her to have a four legged friend very long for something always happened to them.

Somewhere in the distance there was this hissing whisper, “you are not worthy of your dreams, you’re not worthy”. She did not know her accuser but what she heard felt true, had she ever had the special pet she wanted, had they lived or remained with her very long? So, deep inside she believed…believed she was second best and what she deserved was too.

A perception was born, a foundation laid. This become woven in the fabric of who she was, unnoticed because of her acceptance. She stopped dreaming, in all areas giving preference to others, enabling their dreams to the extent of her ability.

One day she found her pet…the specific one she had always wanted! Happiness wrapped its arms around her. Oh, how lucky she was! She couldn’t believe it!

They lived together one year and then he died.

Hiss, you’re not worthy, hiss, came the whisper again. She listened. Again, it came. It was familiar, it seemed to ring true.  Ah, but this time she knew who her accuser was and the nature of the lies he spoke. Each hiss brought forth the lies woven in her being. But now instead of validating the recurring lie, it was met with truth! Truth! She was loved by her heavenly Father, chosen by Him!

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.  John 15:16

Chosen!! Not discarded. Not forgotten. Loved and selected by the King! The Giver of good gifts!

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28

No more lies. They make come but they will not be believed. She knows she is loved and her heart is full of praise and delight in His presence!

Goodbye Snoopy,  my friend.  January 29, 2013

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“He sees you when…..”

Can you finish the title? At this time of year?!?—- it’s a shoo in!

“He sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake”

I couldn’t even count how many times I’ve heard or said “Santa’s watching”. Seriously, I’m supposed to be good? Because Santa’s watching?? Hmm, the promise of presents OR the lack of them…

I don’t remember if it had the desired effect on me, nor do I remember if it did with my children. Without thinking, instilling receiving and not giving of Christmas.

You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from You. Psalm 69:5

We need to know El Roi – The God Who Sees! He sees!

Just knowing that has always brought me so much comfort. I’m not sure it would if I didn’t know Him as Sovereign, as Merciful, as Loving. Otherwise I might just feel condemned, judged, and without hope – because I know how sinful I behave in spite of my good intentions!

Should it encourage us ‘to be good’ when we know we’re being watched? Well, I believe we do act accordingly when we think someone is watching.

 ‘what will he/she think of me?

“he sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake; he knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!”

If we could just take our worries over what people think or our preoccupation with appearances and grasp the God of heaven does see us, our behaviors & attitudes would change. Conviction would pave the way and our hearts would become kinder, less entitled, and more giving!

God sees you & me when we’re sleeping and He knows when we’re awake!

I Will Never Leave You

I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

What does one do when they feel forsaken, forgotten? Questions scream louder than the thoughts in one’s head, ricocheting off the broken pieces of the heart. Why? WHY? Where are you God?

The world cries with Newtown, Connecticut.

Where are you God?

Each child precious, each adult endearing. Gone.

Where are you God?

In the midst of the tears He whispers ‘I am here‘. His own heart breaking with ours.  “I. Will. Never. Leave. You. Nor. Forsake. You.”

Evil exists. I am with you.

Pain penetrates. I will comfort you.

Strength fades. I will carry you.

Now is the time to remind ourselves, to remind others, of God’s attributes. He is faithful, He is merciful, He is the Prince of Peace, He is the Redeemer, He is the Restorer, He is the Provider, He is the Comforter, He is Strength, He is good, He is loving. Whatever we need, He can and will supply.

One day at a time. One step at a time.

A Sleeping Giant

I have had the pleasure of getting to know and hearing preach a dear brother from Africa. Africa is one of the places I witness God’s plan of bringing forth beauty from ashes.

Pastor Chris spoke of miracles matter-a-fact…a retelling of common occurrences. Not unusual, normal. I’m talking read in the Bible kind of miracles – normal.

Now, I ask you, church, is this your experience? Are we in America experiencing that kind of encounters frequently with God?  

 And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons…Acts 10:344  (Do you hear “It is no secret what God can do! What He’s done for others, He’ll do for you! With arms wide open, He’ll carry you through! It is no secret what God can do!”?)

This should be our normal too! We have so much comfort & freedom here I am afraid we are the sleeping giant. We depend on our devices and programs far more often than we do God. I’m not saying our programs are bad; we just operate on what we can do rather than what God can do. Let’s get over our methods & cry out to God as if our lives depended on it! We can expect miracles when we expect Him to act on our behalf. It’s not so much what we do, it’s what He does! Our part? Surrender and relationship with the One who created us.

Another truth Chris spoke, ‘we need to get over thinking we are fighting for God – it is He who fights for us’! The Spirit inside me did cartwheels when I heard that! Isn’t that what Moses did, Joshua did, Gideon, and many others did? ! And, what happened in Judges when the Israelites started doing what was right in their own eyes?

Lord, help us to lean on You, depend on You, call on Your name! We need You desperately! Reveal where we depend on ourselves and may we be quick to repent. You are the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow AND what you have done, are doing, and will do for others You WILL do for us. Move on our behalf. We need miracles here….wake us up! For Your honor, Your glory, and the display of Your power. Amen and amen.

 

Ayden Christopher

This sweet baby is my grandson. Why, am I introducing you to him? Well, that’s because I am so thankful for him.  When my daughter was 8 months pregnant with him we discovered he had a heart defect. Special arrangements had to be made because not every hospital can deal with heart defects. Ayden was born August 14, 2010 with Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome. This picture is his birthday. He had to be whisked off immediately after birth. This is the prep he had to go thru.

Ayden lived 12 days due to complications. There are surgeries to correct this and many children live.  He didn’t make it to the first one. Our time with him was precious-howbeit painful. We celebrated his 1 week birthday, we have a pic of  him wearing a college ring (his uncle’s). We savored every small thing!

God is Sovereign and sometimes it hurts. When you lose a baby the grief is different but still enormous. It’s every thing Ayden didn’t get to do, we didn’t get to do with him, all our hopes and dreams we grieved. I’m crying as I’m writing BUT I still smile when I look at sweet face. I cannot wait to see him again! I’m thankful I will, I’m thankful for him! Though his life was short he is loved tremendously!

 

Horses, Chariots, & Man – oh My!

Fears become almost living, breathing things. I say almost because fears exist in our minds. What we are afraid of, no doubt, is often tangible….but it is not fear itself.  We can know this because we may or may not share the same fear but the object remains the same. Hmm, already the weight of a fear is diminished when we  consider others are not afraid of it.

Psalm 20:7 saysSome trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.

This is the sure fire way to NOT be afraid – remembering the name of our Lord! Why? because He is with us, because He tells us 365 times in the bible not to fear, because He is for us, because His arm is not shortened, because HE’S GOD! So what does it mean to trust in chariots & in horses? Well, those are symbols for things that make sense to us for winning battles, being victorious, and just plain & simple safe. Chariots would be like tanks and horses, like migs. Yeah, I know, there’s a huge difference, but in bible times they would have offered the same comfort. We want something we can t-o-u-c-h and s-e-e. But here’s the problem – if we can touch and see it, it’s limited. God is not.

The Red Sea parted and the Israelites walked on dry land – only to have the Egyptians swallowed with their horses and chariots on the same ground. The walls of Jericho fell after it was encircled for seven days. Gideon and the 300 men with him defeated the Midianites by blowing trumpets and breaking pitchers. Over and over in scripture we see where the battle is the Lord’s!

Romans 8:31 says: What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?