The Exhaust Pipe

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When our son was younger he was a very curious little guy, as I am finding most little boys to be! One day, when he was about two years old, we were out running errands. As we were getting everyone out of the car, our son was standing at the back of our Suburban. I could see that all too familiar curious look in his eyes, it happened in a split second. Before I could call to him, “don’t touch that it’s hot!”, he stuck his tiny, chubby little boy hand into the exhaust pipe! Thankfully he pulled his hand away quickly and the burns, while they indeed hurt, formed blisters that healed quickly. Needless to say, he still has small scars on his pinkie finger from that short-lived moment of curiosity 17 years ago.

Sometimes our journey with Christ can be like the story of my son and the exhaust, can’t it? God’s word is full of wonderfully beautiful instructions for our life, yet, like a curious two-year old, we, at times, stick our hand into the exhaust and suffer the consequences. Sometimes it only takes one time and we never do ‘that’ again. I can safely say my son never, ever, put his hand into a hot exhaust car pipe again! At other times, our curiosity gets the better of us and we revisit the ‘hot pipe’, thinking we know more than we did the last time, yet, somehow we still end up with burns. Why is that?

This morning in my devotional reading I read these verses; “Do not do as they do.” 2 Kings 17:15c; “Do not worship other gods.” 2 Kings 17:37c; “Do not forget the covenant I have made with you, and and do not worship other gods.” 2 Kings 38 emphasis added.

King Jeroboam had enticed the Israelites away from following God. The Israelites had been taken into captivity by the Assyrians, and while the Israelites at one point turned back and worshipped God, at the same time they were also worshipping the gods of the people in the lands that they were held captive.

As I was reading, praying and writing in my journal, Holy Spirit spoke to my heart that the leaders of the countries of the world are like King Jeroboam, enticing their citizens away from worshipping God by making worldly decisions that cause the creation of God to sin against Him. Therefore, let us be diligent in wrapping our fellow citizens and our countries in prayer with the words of Paul.

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

Holy Spirit is concerned for this generation and all consequent generations and their worshipping of other gods. We may not worship gods as the Israelites did but what about modern-day idols? Television shows, books, movies, internet? Interestingly, I was resistant to sit down and spend time with God this morning. I sensed God wanted me to peer into my heart and look at something I didn’t want to see. Oh, Lord have mercy, the idols I see there! Therefore, let us pray for ourselves, our family and friends, indeed the entire Bride of Christ, as well as, those yet to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

“Rather, worship the LORD your God; it is he who will deliver you from the hand of all your enemies.” 2 Kings 17:39.

Shalom!

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What If

Doubting Thomas was one of Jesus’ apostles. He refused to believe that Jesus had risen and was no longer dead. He needed visible proof that Jesus was who he said. He wanted to see the wounds on Jesus’ body that he sustained from hanging on the cross.

If you’ve ever experienced doubt you know that it can be debilitating at various levels. To doubt is to be uncertain about something or believe something isn’t true, even though you know that you know. Doubt is tied to fear and the enemy will use this tactic to pervert the glory of God. He will laugh at you and mock you and attempt to cause you to gaze at doubt instead of keeping your focus on the one true God, Jesus Christ. Why? Because he despises the advancement of God’s kingdom here on earth and he gets fired up, literally and figuratively, when the scoreboard reads Jesus 1 Satan 0.

But the truth is that Jesus goes before us and is our rear guard. He commands and brings with him an army of horses and chariots of fire! We may think we need ‘physical’ proof but we don’t because our soul resonates with the Spirit that lives inside us and he speaks the truth of God’s word throughout our entire being because He is the truth.

As a sweet friend reminded me, “It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.”

Jesus 2 Satan 0.

Shalom!

Expecting Nothing

Photo credit Maria L.

Photo credit Maria L.

Sometimes, when we’re very still and quiet, we see the distractions in our life, that the world calls inconveniences, an opportunity to be ambassadors to the kingdom of God, our rightful inheritance in Christ. While the world says,” Dont get involved that’s none of your business,” the Spirit says “Come! Join me in what I am about to do!”

Before you know it and right before your eyes God unwrap’s a beautiful miracle and invites you in. And, right there in that miracle God meets you. He says, “Here I Am, open the eyes of your heart and see Me!” You step into the miracle, carrying the gifts God has given you, not expecting anything from God, only wanting to help because he called to you. All too soon the miracle is complete, never over, for His miracles last for eternity, and you long for more. More of Him.

You are overcome and there are no words to describe this wondrous time with God, knowing that you can’t keep his grace and love from the experience all to yourself. But, for now, you’ll treasure these things in your heart for just a little while.

Shalom!

Late To The Party!

Well, good morning blogosphere and Friends! I may be late to the party and that’s okay, better late than never, I say! Yesterday I discovered this song and I can’t get enough of it!

Theoretically, I’ve been late to another party and I am so glad I finally found my way there. For months one of the prayers of my heart has been for God to show me how to be the me he created me to be in my family. He answered that prayer last night at church. Our Pastor gave a wonderful sermon on leadership. Specifically about leadership in the home and the different aspects of what that may look like depending on one’s home situation. After the sermon there was a question and answer time. Well, let me back up. During the summer months we have a series titled, “Real Questions Means Real Faith.” During the message we are invited to text in questions, confidentially, and after the message we have a question and answer time where we can all participate.

Last night one question was asked about the wife’s role in leadership within the house. Oh, man, each answer was so sweet to hear. There was so much wisdom and knowledge and I was touched to the very core of my soul. Seriously! You see, leadership within the Body is natural for me, but for a very long time, my position within our home has been obscured. Both my husband and I are strong leaders but in different ways and that’s really cool. God brought two halves and fit them together as whole – in Him! I feel like a veil, a cloud, a something has been lifted from my entire body. I feel new, I feel like I did the morning after I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Everything looks clearer, brighter, richer.

As I was thinking about all this last night I asked God, “why now?” Before he could answer I decided it doesn’t matter. It is what it is and it is glorious!

I told one of the prayer circles that I travel in to please pray for my family, there’s a new leader in town and she is free to be who God created her to be and that is ME!!

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20a emphasis added.

Shalom!

What We Ought To Be Telling Them

Two balanced rocks contrast a sea of stones under a blue sky.

Sticks and stones may break some bones and names will hurt.

When I was younger I was teased and called names; ‘fat butt’ and ‘cow eyes’. In high school my best friend since kindergarten lovingly, so he says, called me thunder thighs. What can I say? I was a cheerleader and I played basketball. It was pure muscle not fat. In today’s society I was definitely bullied, but that isn’t where I’m going with this. I was judged by others because of my physical appearance.

I’ve been studying and preparing for a teaching that I will be presenting soon and as I was looking at several verses one of them jumped off the page at me. Thoughts began to bombard my mind in quick succession. Why, as the beautiful Bride of Christ do we allow ourselves to be distracted by what is going on in the world? Why is it so important that our opinion be heard? Why are some, whom profess to be believers in Christ, so vitriolic toward others? Why are such hurtful words and sentiments shouted out over the world-wide web to this group or that group, this person or that person?

Scripture speaks to us in 2 Peter 2:10.

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, thief-cowboy-mascot-tattoo-vector-illustration_my--CZand the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.”

Why are so many busy advancing the kingdom of Satan with judgement of others when we ought to be sharing the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ?! Jesus is coming soon and like a thief we won’t know when. The heavens will disappear, everything will be destroyed by fire and the earth will be laid bare. Do you want to be around when this happens?! God doesn’t want any of his beautiful creation to perish but for all to come to the knowledge of the saving grace of Christ. And, he left very precise instructions for us that we are to make disciples of ALL the nations, which includes ALL people groups, which includes terrorist or not, murderer or not, adulterer or not, drug addict or not, tattooed or not, homosexual or not, transgender or not, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

And if that isn’t enough for you, he speaks this to us in 2 Corinthians 5:10.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Hand drawing heart in sand on the beachDo you want to hear Jesus list the names of those who received less than the grace of Christ from you, when you have received nothing less than grace from God? Lord have mercy, Bride of Christ, please wake up and share the love of Jesus with EVERYone! John tells us that in this world we are like Jesus, (1 John 4:17). Please put aside your personal feelings and be just that. We don’t get to choose to love the one’s who ‘look’ like us, we are called to love all. If you are firmly rooted in the love of Christ you have nothing to lose and nothing to fear and everything to give. What do you have to fear in loving others who live differently than you, look differently than you or act differently than you? Nothing, you don’t have to give up your convictions to love with the love of Christ! It isn’t about you. It is Christ’s love in you that attracts others to you, don’t stop there, don’t stop half way. Love the way Jesus loves, without condition.

May we all hear the sweetest of words from the lips of our beloved Savior, when at last, He calls us home.

Well done, good and faithful servant!

Shalom!

The Appearance Of A Blessing

birthday_1100012909-012914-intLast week, even though I stayed in communion with my precious Jesus, I was in a bit of a funk. I was trying very hard not to fall down that dark hole where negativity boldly lurks, mockingly in front of the shadows. By Thursday I was crying out to Papa specifically asking Him to have a friend text or call me. The following day a sweet friend of mine, who is a newer believer in Christ, sent me a text with a beautiful prayer, which was exactly what I needed to hear. The day I received this text was also my Birthday and by the end of the day I was overwhelmed and inundated with such warm Birthday wishes and a sweet time spent with my husband and our three children, all of whom were under one roof – the kids, and not very common these days!

Scripture beautifully speaks this verse to us.

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11.

You see, that longing we many times feel in our heart, God put it there and he longs to fill it. Many times we choose to fill that longing with other things; over eating, excessive shopping, excessive behavior, but these things are simply a temporary fix. Only God can fill this longing. This longing is eternity and one of the deepest desires of our heart and soul is to be with our Creator, in eternity. How gracious is God that while we are still here on earth he fills this longing if we allow him to?

I believe one of the biggest misconceptions of a blessing is that it comes in the form of a monetary windfall. But, what if God’s blessing was causing you to be late for an appointment and you missed being in an accident? What if a blessing came because of a loss of a job and God has something even better waiting for you, but you were too afraid to let go so he did it for you? What if a blessing comes as a result of many fallen tears?

I know this is a cliché, but be thankful for your many blessings. Be alert to how they are exquisitely wrapped and how elegantly they are delivered just for you.

Only God can fill the longing in your heart.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21.

Shalom!

The Double Portion

wheat field scene

Does it occur to you that whenever you venture to eat out at a restaurant your meal almost always comes as what appears, seems and ‘feels’ like an extra portion, thereby making it a double portion? Back in the early 80’s I was diagnosed with hypoglycemia or low blood sugar, which is the opposite of diabetes. Apparently, my pancreas created too much basket-with-raw-food-vector_z1lbQbvuinsulin. I have since been healed of this disease but I still follow the dietary habits of lower carb choices and six smaller meals a day. This shouldn’t present itself as a problem while dining out, except for the fact that I LOVE food! So, if I’m eating a particularly good meal, I don’t want to stop at the small meal stage I quite often continue to the ‘oh I shouldn’t have eaten so much’ stage!

But, what about your spiritual life? Do you crave a double portion? I know I do! I want a double portion of every blessing God has for me. Is this simply pure selfishness? I don’t believe so and here is why. The prophet Elisha wanted a double portion of his mentor, the prophet Elijah’s, ministry, as Elijah was about to be taken up to heaven. Essentially, what Elisha was asking Elijah was to make him his first-born heir. The custom of the time was that the first-born son would inherit a double portion of the father’s inheritance.

As believers in Christ we have been adopted into God’s family AND we share in Christ’s inheritance as first-born sons and daughters of God. As Scripture speaks, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:5a.

Scripture also tells us that Jesus has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the spiritual realm in Him! Come again?!! Here are a few of what these blessings are; salvation, adoption into

classic cloudscape. Blue sky with ornamental clouds

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.. Ephesians 1:3

God’s family, forgiveness and insight, the gifts of the Spirit, freedom in Christ, living victoriously regardless of current life situations and eternity! And, these blessings are not meant only for eternity, they are ours here and now, front and center. Why then, do we often walk around feeling defeated, unloved and out of sorts? Perhaps because we sometimes temporarily lose sight of these ever present blessings.

Precious One, seize the day, tell the ‘devil’ to jump off your shoulder and the monkey on your back his ride is over, in Jesus’ Name!

Papa, thank you for the sacrifice of your beautiful, beloved Son, who died on the cross for the forgiveness of our sins. Holy Spirit thank you for reminding your Bride everyday of our freedom and inheritance in Christ. For showing us how to walk in our freedom and inheritance. Thank you Jesus that we are your sheep and your sheep hear your voice, you know us and we follow you. Amen.

PS-take out boxes not needed and left overs are always welcome!

Shalom!