Saturday, April 25, 2015

Wipe Out

Some days I just wish I could just start life over. How about you? Begin again from the beginning with the slate wiped clean. So many things I would do differently. For sure, I would spend more time with those loved ones that I miss so much now. There are messages I would have shared with others, both spoken and written. I would have trusted God more and many who influenced me less. Most of my pain was not caused by illness, but by relationships. But I can't go back and do over. I can make amends now. I can ask for forgiveness. I can  be more obedient to God's Word. I can look forward to the following promise from God and live in peace instead of regret.
"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making everything new!" Then he said, "Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true."

Friday, April 24, 2015

In Grief, You Can Trust Me

Have you recognized events when the Lord just places you where you need to be? It happens to me all the time, especially when I am struggling with a situation, especially what to write. Ever since my son, Steve, was killed, he has placed me with bereaved parents. Even when I lived in Vienna, my neighbors has just buried a son in Jordon and were transfered to Vienna.

It happened again. Last week I was having lunch with a group after a BSF study and  the lady, who I had just met and sat next to me was a bereaved parent. Then on Monday I learned the woman on the other side of me at this luncheon had lost her son over the weekend. This week another ladyin this group mentioned she, too was a bereaved parent. Then last night at the viewing, we parked next to a couple and walked into the chapel with them. As we waited to go in we got into conversation and learned that we, too, shared the same grief. Together we approached our friend. God was giving her the message he gave me when a bereaved parent approached me before my son's funeral, "I am with you and I will take care of you. Trust me."

" Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God,   the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint,   and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary,and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;   they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary;   they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:28-31

Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Song in my Heart

A song tells a story. It can be a story about love, loss or suffering.  It could be patriotic, praise a person or idea, religious, controversial or any subject that stirs the heart or moves us to action. Some lyrics remain for a very long time, becoming the theme for other art forms and others are lost shortly after we hear them. They can have a wide variety of beats from jazz to classical. Songs express feelings from sadness to great joy.

A lot of songs are featured in scripture. Some we are very familiar with like those in the Psalms. In a recent study of Deuteronomy, we discover Moses song in chapter 32. Someone described it as a Biblical Country Western song. It is one we need to read at this time, as it is descriptive of what is going on today as we loose the meaning of following one God in love and obedience. Many have slowly replaced the God of the Bible with idols representing power and prosperity. What kind of song are you singing today? How are you influencing future generations? Which God are you serving? Do you recognize the deficiencies? What do you need to do?

" He’s the Rock, and His work is perfect; everything He does is right.
    He’s the God who can be trusted, who never does wrong
        because He’s righteous and upright.    But a perverse and crooked generation has broken its word to Him.
        They are not counted as His children—not with such deficiencies."  Deut. 32:5-6

Monday, April 20, 2015

Take In The Message With Enthusiasm

Sitting in church on Sunday mornings, my mind sometimes wanders to what I'm going to do when I leave or what plans I have for next week. To get back on track, I ask the lord to help me focus and to open my heart to hear the message and to know how He wants me to apply it.

My Biblical Heroine, Lydia knew what to do with the message she heard from Paul when he visited the Bible Study she attended at the riverside in Philipi. She was a mother, wife and business woman. I'm sure she had a lot on her mind. Did her mind wander? Did she go home and promptly forget what she had heard?

Lydia invited the visiting Apostles to her home where she and her family were baptized. She was a leader in her church,  encouraged others in this international city she lived in and shared her belief with merchants who came to her business from throughout the world. So lets not just ask the Lord to help us hear the words said in church, but to take the next step and let him guide us in what to do with this information. Like, Lydia, lets do it with vigor and enthusiasm.

 "One of them, Lydia, was a business woman originally from Thyatira. She made a living buying and selling fine purple fabric. She was a true worshiper of God and listened to Paul with special interest. The Lord opened her heart to take in the message with enthusiasm." Acts 16:14

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Run From Idolatry (in any form)

" Any temptation you face will be nothing new. But God is faithful, and He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can handle. But He always provides a way of escape so that you will be able to endure and keep moving forward.  So then, my beloved friends, run from idolatry in any form." 1 Cor 10-13-14 The Voice

What are your idols? Have you made a list? What keeps you from worshipping and obeying God's word? Are we not commanded to "Love the Lord will all our heart, mind and soul?" What keeps us from doing this?

We live in a world of constant temptation...stuff that slips in to our hearts, souls and minds and places a barrier between us and God. It can be people, places,or  things. It can be attitudes, behaviors, thoughts. What are some of the idols that have slipped into your life that are intererring with your walk with the Lord? When are you going to do something about them? What are you going to do about them?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Ambassador for Joy and abundance.

" The thief approaches with malicious intent, looking to steal, slaughter, and destroy; I came to give life with joy and abundance." John 10:10
It hasn't even been a week since we celebrated the resurrection of our Lord and yet the beautiful music of the season, lily decked altars, kids in their new outfits and cheerful greetings are almost forgotten as we return to our work places and usual lifestyles. Why can't we keep that special feeling of closeness to our Lord, remembering the ultimate sacrifice he made for us? He seems far away again.
Does your life lack zeal? You are "born again" in the Spirit, but you still feel discouragement and sometimes abandoned. Is God real? How can I return to that feeling of safety and protection in His love? What is the meaning we just learned from the Resurrection Story? Do you think FORGIVENESS might be the mighty word needed, followed by Love?
Love is not possible without forgiveness. Don't allow your life to be chained in unforgiveness. Don't live a life of slavery to sin and negativity. Experience God's promises of living a life of joy and abundance through forgiveness. Communion with him in all ways and at all times is the key to releasing the bonds that keep you tied to the pain of the cross instead of freedom through Christ's resurrection. Become an ambassador for living in a Christlike manner and experience his joy and peace,