Taking time out to enjoy sand between my toes and to renew the soul.
- Yes Man (cafe119.wordpress.com)
- Is There Sand In Your Well? Illness and Disappointments (chronicillnesspaindevotionals.wordpress.com)
- Lent Heart Prayer Day 26 (mikeraburn.com)
I received this letter via email several years ago. It is a letter that I keep in my bible. And, it is a letter to be shared with others. Have a wonderful day!
I am God. Today I will be handling all of your problems. Please remember that I do not need your help. If the devil happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, DO NOT attempt to resolve it. Kindly put it in the SFDJTD (Something For Jesus To Do) Box. It will be addressed in MY time, not yours. Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold on to it or attempt to remove it. Holding on or removal will delay the resolution of your problem. If it is a situation that you think you are capable of handling, please consult me in prayer to be sure that it is the proper resolution. Because I do not sleep nor do I slumber, there is no need for you to lose any sleep. Rest my child. If you need me, contact me, I am a prayer away.
Mick Jagger from the Rolling Stones sings a song about waiting for a friend. Brad Paisley recorded a song; Waiting on a Woman where Andy Griffith is sitting on a bench with Brad giving him advice about waiting on a woman. Everyday it seems that most of us are waiting in some sort of line, in traffic, waiting for an appointment, anticipated phone call or waiting for a prayer answered.
Today, we live in what I call a microwave world. We don’t want to wait for anything! Instead, we want our answers right now, we want to hurry up and get to where we are going and NOT sit in traffic. We arrive at our scheduled time for an appointment where we may not actually be seen for an hour passed the appointed time and we grow inpatient and grumble that our precious time is being taken away.
It’s in the waiting where while I stood in line waiting my turn that I have met the neatest people and had the most interesting and sometimes entertaining conversations. There have been times when sitting in traffic where I look over at a sign that says something I needed to hear or it’s something that makes me chuckle that gets me through the rest of the day. It’s in the waiting on an appointment, I have listened to someone share their concerns about a loved one or of something they were going through. It’s in the waiting for that phone call that I was able to think things through and pray a little more before responding to the call that would be coming in.
Waiting is a season in life. All of us go through this season at some point and time. There are those of us who go through this season of waiting many times throughout our lifetime. In this season of waiting, we sometimes feel as though God is not there but in all reality he is there.
From my experience, I sincerely believe God makes us wait so we can experience him all the more. Remember the saying; great things come to those who wait”? This quote is true but it is in the waiting where God is showing great things all around us.
But those who wait on 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.
When reading the Old Testament many twists and turns take place. Some of the events in the bible would put soap operas like All My Children to shame. And, the characters would put JR Ewing to shame. Although, there was misbehaving, mischief and scheming in the Old Testament, it never failed that God used these schemes, people for his glory.
Rahab a very unlikely candidate to fulfill God’s purpose. She was a prostitute and lived a pagan life . Yet, she willingly hid the Israelite spies from the king of Jericho. Rahab lied to the king and his men that she did not know where the spies had gone. Thus, sending the king and men of Jericho on a wild goose chase to find the Israelites who had come to take the land of Jericho. Rahab tells the Israelite spies that she knows their history and what God has done and is doing for them. She went against the grain of her people by professing that God was the only true Yaweh to the Israelites. She made an agreement with the spies that her family and her life would be spared in return for what she had done for them. Thus, she and her family’s lives are spared and in the end God uses this unlikely lady of the evening for his glory by putting her in the genealogy of our Lord and Savior. God redeemed her and she became the mother of Boaz.
Boaz became Naomi’s kinsmen redeemer. This was done when Naomi’s daughter-n-law followed her back to Bethlehem. Ruth was Moabite. Again, a person who worshiped other gods besides the true Yaweh. However, when Naomi tried to convince Ruth to return back to her homeland and not travel with her, we are familiar with the words Ruth spoke to Naomi: “Entreat me not to leave you, Or to turn back from following after you; For wherever you go, I will go; And wherever you lodge I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God, my God.” ( Ruth 1:16) In that very monologue, Ruth denied the other gods her people worshiped and acknowledged the one true God, Yaweh. If you are familiar with the Book of Ruth any at all you know that she ends up with Boaz and they give birth to a son, Obed. Obed is the father of Jesse.
Then there was the time when God approached Samuel to bring forth his son to be anointed King. Samuel just knew his son, Eliah would be anointed because of his good looks. Yet, Eliah is not the one God wanted. After approaching God with his other sons, God asked if Samuel if he had another son. Samuel responded by saying that he had one who was out tending sheep. God told Samuel to bring David to him. Thus, we know the rest of the story….David was anointed king.
Remember the story of King David and Bethsheba? David saw Bethsheba from across the way and he was captured by her beauty. He wanted this woman for himself. David wanted Bethsheba so badly that he had her husband murdered. Not only did David have an affair with Bethsheba, and her husband murdered so that he could be with her all the time, we know that David slid on that slippery slope more than once in his life. Yet, he as a man after God’s own heart. In other words, God knew David’s heart and used all the twists and turns of his life. Not only did God use David’s twists and turns but out of Bathsheba’s and David’s relationship, a son named Solomon was born. From Solomon we get the best advice and wisdom we could ever ask for known as the book of Proverbs.
Can you see what is happening? All of these unlikely people are building the most beautiful genealogy. They are in the genealogy of prophesy being fulfilled in God’s time. The prophesy of God coming to us in human flesh,to be our redeemer kinsmen, to walk among us and to teach us of his marvelous grace. We better know this prophesy and walking human example of grace as Jesus Christ.
Oh, I could go on of unlikely characters in the bible who God uses including more women and men not only in the Old Testament but in the New Testament as well. For example, who did Christ call to follow Him? He called dirty old fishermen and tax collectors. And, there is Paul. For the longest time he persecuted the Christians but in turn he became persecuted because he became a follower of Christ.
In our society today, we have a tendency of sizing people up. We are quick to judge someone of their appearance, where they live, what they drive, what they may have done or not done, and who they know. We may even look in the mirror and size ourselves up at times and question who we really are and ask ourselves what do we truly have to offer. Yet, we fail to see the hearts of others. We fail to see ourselves as God sees us. Some of the best witnesses for Christ I have encountered in my life have been people in a homeless shelter. They have been people living on the street that gave me that word of encouragement I needed to hear at that moment. It has been people who have very little to offer willing to open the door for me or simply give a smile that warmed my heart.
Jim and I love the following commercial. The first time we saw it we were rolling in the floor laughing.
Isn’t this commercial so much of how we size people up? We see someone who is different from us, who may be dirty, have an addiction, a shady/shaky past, or not the best outward appearance and draw a conclusion before we even give them a chance? If we are going to walk in the footsteps of Christ, we must see each individual as God sees them. We must seek their heart.
Along with seeing others’ hearts as God sees them, remember the next time you look in the mirror and you find yourself sizing yourself up. When you start asking what is your purpose in life, know that God can use ALL of you, no matter your past, for his glory. Each one of us who walk this earth is a child of God. God sees our hearts and says, you are “all my children.”
When I was a little girl the biggest frustration my mom had been finding shoes that would properly fit my feet. I have a small foot and a very short heel thus making it hard to find shoes that would not slide on my foot as I walked. My small foot and finding a shoe that fit when I was a teenager was even harder. We wanted to find a shoe that looked more age appropriate for me but the only thing that would really fit my foot was a shoe from the little girl’s department.
Over the years, I have learned more about how to shop for a shoe that would fit properly fit my foot. I will admit that there are some shoes that I get from the little boys’ department as well as the little girls’ department. As a matter of fact, I found the cutest pair of athletic shoes in the girl’s department this past weekend. And, just like any normal female I could not resist to do nothing but try them on and purchase them. These shoes are a perfect fit.
Trying on shoes and finding shoes to fit made me think about how we search to find out where we fit in throughout our life. We all have different factors we have to think about when we are looking for our “perfect” fit in society. Sometimes, our finding this purpose/calling in life takes us trying different jobs, volunteering in different areas of life, and doing a lot of soul-searching.
Our finding our purpose and place in this big world is often dictated by our educational/training backgrounds, geographic location and sometimes physical limitations. For me, it is the latter when it comes to finding that perfect fit and/or place in this world. Yes, there are physical limitations that I have had to come to terms with of what I can and can’t do.
Over the last month, there have been some things to come into my path that I became really interested in pursuing. Fortunately, these things are things where there was and is no rush so that I could and can pray and search about what I can and should do. The thought process has been like trying on a shoe. Do I really like the shoe? In other words, do I really have a passion for this proposed path? Does the shoe slide on my heel? In other words, would I be able to handle the added responsibilities both physically and in ability?
In recent days, as I have gone through this self-evaluation, seeking wisdom from my Father and talking with my husband, I realize that pursuing these journeys are not where I need to go. As I realized and acknowledged my physical/medical limitations, I at first became frustrated. My first question to God is; ‘why?’ . I tell God that I don’t feel like I am doing anything productive.
As this thought process and questioning God, played and re-played through my head, God spoke to me. He opened my eyes to what I am doing and what I CAN do. Even though, it is not possible or meant for me to pursue these paths in front of me I can pray for the ones who will answer the call to these paths.
God also reminded me that my place in this world is what I am already doing and it is something that I am very passionate about doing. I love to send cards of encouragement to people who are going through storms in life, who are not well and cards to people who need just a little wind to pursue what they are doing, to send congratulations when the occasion calls for it. I also love to send cards just to say;’ hello and I’m thinking about you.’
We live in such a fast paced world and with all the social media a hand-written note or a card signed and sent through the mail is becoming a lost art. Think about the last time you got a card in the mail and how good it made you feel. There is nothing like sending a personal touch of love, encouragement, blessings and prayers through the good old snail mail.
Along with God reminding me that I can pray for others and sending cards, He reminded me of how I present myself as an empty vessel to be filled with His words to share with people in this world through my blog writing. Many times I have gone out searching for that perfect shoe and the perfect fit to go with an outfit but I run into dead ends. Yet, as I return home, I look in my closet and find that I had the perfect shoe with the perfect fit all along. In other words, God has directed me to my place in this world. I just failed to stop and realize what I was/am already doing to make my mark on the world.
God calls all of us to do different things to make this a better place. Some are called to do big things and are able to carry big loads. Then, there are those of us who may have limitations that called to do simple things that can make a big difference. The important thing is that we do all that we are called to do with joy in our hearts and allowing God to work through us in all that we do.
Are you trying to find a good shoe that fits and having no luck? Maybe, it is time to go home and look in your closet and see if you already have that shoe you are looking for. In other words, go to your Father and talk with Him. It is in talking to Him you may find you have already found your place in this world. Or, He may show you a better shoe that is a better fit. Listen to His small still voice and be ready for what He shows you and directs your steps.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight. ” Proverbs 3:5
Several years ago I worked in a Christian Bookstore. When customers would come in and purchase bibles for themselves or for other people, it was customary to ask if they would like to have the bible imprinted. Imprinting meant using material to press down on the leather that would place the name on the bible for a lifetime.
In life we are constantly imprinting whether we realize it or not. How? We imprint by the words we speak, how we react in certain situations and how we carry ourselves on a daily basis. Through our imprinting, we show our true appearance. This appearance is what God sees ALL the time, our heart.
In the video above, a four-letter word flies out of the little boy’s mouth and the dad realizes he has made an impression on his son. The father’s eyes are opened to how much his son is watching his actions and listening to his words. The little boy expresses how much he wants to be like his daddy.
When we accept Christ into our lives, we are allowing God to imprint our hearts and lives. It is in this imprinting that we would desire to be just like our “daddy” God. We should want to walk in the steps of His Son, Christ and extend the grace that has been extended to us to those placed in our path’s.
As we journey through the days ahead, may we realize that people are watching us, our actions and listening to our words. We may never know who’s life we will be imprinting.
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in the world, in conduct, in love in spirit, in faith, in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In ALL your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
“Lord, You are the beginning, the end, and the very essence of love in me. Open my eyes to see as You see and love others through me.” Sandy Smith
If you have watched the movie, Sister Act 2 you are familiar with this scene and song. Though the nuns are called by God to love and ministers to others, they have seemed to have built a wall between them and the community. They have put fencing around their living quarters and school for protection. Then, Whoopi Goldberg’s character, Deloris aka Sister Mary Clarence brings them to reality. In order to make a difference beyond their walls, they needed to get back into the community, be seen and put their calling and God’s love into action.
How many of us who proclaim to be Christian stand inside our homes, churches, or offices and see a world hurting? Yet, we do nothing. Instead, we build fences, walls and withdraw in order to protect ourselves from the ugly that is outside our door. We pass judgement on people, their lifestyle and situations. In other words, we keep the word, Christian as a noun and not an action verb.
God sent his Son, Jesus to be an example of putting love into action, of accepting others no matter their lifestyle, situation or demons. He didn’t pass judgement on anyone. Jesus simply loved. He came to take barriers down.
These days it seems that people are feeling more that we are in the end times and some have even predicted when Jesus will physically return. But we are reminded in scripture that we do not know the day nor the hour of His return. Yet, we must remember we DO encounter Jesus every day. He reminds us of this in Matthew 25:37:40
Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord when did we see you hungry and you, or thirsty and give you
something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes to clothe you?
When did we see you sick or in prison and go visit you? ‘ The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you , whatever you did for one of the least
of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
In other words, Jesus was telling us to put our love for Him into action. In a hurting world, isn’t it about time we began to take down fences just as the nuns did in this movie? Isn’t it about time we put the word Christian in action making it a verb? Is your love for Christ a noun or verb?
The other day I was going through some old files and I came across this prayer I received on email many years ago. I do not know the author but it says it all when it comes to putting our Christian faith into action.
Help us to remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic
last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day
and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework,
do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.
Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed disinterested young man
who can’t make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old student,
balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting
his student loan for next semester.
Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot
every day (who really ought to get a job) is a slave to addictions that we can only
imagine in our worst nightmares.
Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoying slowly through
the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring
this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week,
this will be the last year that they go shopping together.
Remind us each day that all the gifts you give us, the greatest is love. It
is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to
just those who are close to us, but to ALL humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to
forgive, show patience, empathy and love.
Working for God on earth doesn’t pay much…but His retirement plan is out of this world!!
How about it? As Christians, may those we encounter each day see that Christian is a word in action!
- the resurrection in verbs (theblogofkevin.wordpress.com)
- Sunday’s Message: “Christian This, Christian That …” (newportchristian.wordpress.com)
- Love is more of a Verb than a Noun (samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com)
We are all on different journeys taking different roads in life, but in the end the road will take us all to the same place….heaven. In the words of Michael W. Smith….”Pray for me and I’ll pray for you.” Enjoy your day and may you feel God’s presence on journey.
I like frogs. It doesn’t make sense of why I like them because I would not dare pick one up because they are slimy. And, as a kid I was told I would get warts if I held one. Yet, there is something about them that intrigues me.
FROGS. Fully Rely On God’s Sovereignty. Each one of us has reached a crossroads in our life, a life changing decision, a one hundred and eighty turn in mid-stride of our journey, or a time when we felt that we were at the end of our rope. In these particular moments in life, we have a lot of “why” questions, and there may be a chance we had to make changes that we weren’t really ready to make. It is in these moments when we truly must simply Rely On God’s Sovereignty.
When I think about relying on God’s sovereignty, I think about Moses when God called him to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and out of slavery. Think about it. Here is a guy minding his own business and then one day God appears to him via a burning bush and tells Moses; “here is what I want you to do.” Can you imagine the butterflies in Moses’ stomach at that moment and possibly his blood pressure and pulse rate all going up at the same time? Yet, he relied on God and obeyed God and God’s authority.
Because Moses relied on God and obeyed, God’s people were led out of slavery and to a new land of freedom. In the process, however, the Israelites did not take a straight path to the Promise Land. There were moments when they doubted God and doubted Moses’ direction that was given by God. In the end, they make it to their destination.
Have you been tapped on the shoulder by God to change direction in your journey? Have you had something to happen that has put you at the end of your rope? Are you at that crossroads where you have to pick which direction you will take next? Is God calling you to do something that makes your heart race, your blood pressure go up and takes you totally out of your comfort zone? If your answer is yes to any of these questions , know that you are a child of a most Sovereign God who loves you very much. Listen to His direction and allow Him to guide you on your journey at this moment. Yes, you may get off course a time or two just as the Israelites did but know you can Fully Rely On God’s Sovereignty. God WILL get you to your destination.
Frogs. Another reason I like them is for the music they make on hot summer evenings. As I hear them sing along with the rest of God’s creatures, I am reminded of how they are relying on God for ALL of their needs. It is their song that reminds me that no matter what life brings or what new turns that come along, the God that I worship is a Sovereign God on whom I can fully rely on!
Teach me, LORD the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
“We’ve got commitment” were the words that Jim spoke into my ear as the flight attendant closed the hatch to the airplane. I cut my eyes at Jim wanting to bop him but could let go of the arms of my seat long enough to do so. Then, the plane began to taxi out to the runway and once again Jim with a big smile on his face said; “no getting off the plane now….we really have commitment.” Once again, I wanted to bop him but couldn’t because my hands were clenched even tighter to the arms of the seat.
It was October, 2002 and we were flying to Washington, DC to attend funeral services at Arlington for my grandmother. It was also post 9-11 and I had not flown since that awful September 11 event that devastated our country. As our plane was slowing moving towards the runway, I remembered standing at my grandfather’s grave site in Arlington in June and looking over and seeing the side of the Pentagon under repairs as a result from the of the plane crashing in on that September morning the year before. Fortunately, it had worked out where we drove to DC back in June for my grandfather’s services but this time due to schedules and such there was no other option but to fly.
Hearing the words; “we’ve got commitment” did make me feel a bit uneasy. Yet, I knew that there was nothing I could do but to try to relax and place my travel mercies into the expertise of the flight crew and into the hands of God. Fortunately, as the flight began to progress, I was able to relax a bit and let go of the arms of the seat.
As we began to approach Washington, DC at sunset, I was relieved that the flight was almost over and that I would soon be hearing the landing gear engage for us to land. However, in this process, I looked over Jim’s shoulder out the window and saw some of the most beautiful scenery down below me. Our Nation’s capitol is a very awe striking scene from the air and at sunset. It was one of the most beautiful landings that I had ever remembered from previous years of flying.
“We have commitment.” How does that word, commitment make you feel when you here it? Do you get anxious and wonder, “what have I gotten myself into?” Or, do you get butterflies in your stomach to the point you hold the arms of the seat so tight that no one could pry your hands off if they tried? Commitment can be a scary word for all of us.
Yet, if we think of commitment as the psalmist write in Psalm 37:4-5: “Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust Him and He will do this.”we see the word commitment in a whole new light.
You see, the psalmist is telling us that we should commit everything to the LORD. Each day we should commit everything in our possession to God. This means placing our family, our friends, our situations, trials, victories, and every little spec of our lives into God’s hands. It is when we commit all that we have and all that we are into the hands of God we are truly trusting Him to work in our lives. When we do this, we are able to relax and look out into the world just as I looked out of that airplane window and see God’s beauty all around us. Furthermore, we are more open and able to experience the blessings that God has in store for us.
Nowadays, I hear Jim’s voice in my head at times saying to me; “we’ve got commitment!” Do I get anxious when I hear these words playing through my head? No. Instead, I chuckle at him giving me a hard time and in his own way trying to get me to lighten up and trust the ones in charge. Also, it reminds me every day to commit all that is on my plate to God and trust God. After all, the old hymn reminds us to “only trust Him.”
“We have commitment.” In other words; “Let go and let God.”
A little FYI: You will notice in my post that I mention going to my grandfather’s funeral in June and you will see the head stone says he passed in May. These are both correct. Arlington gives you a date and time of when the funeral services will be held.
- Do Not Fret (butchdean.wordpress.com)
- Trust Him (chanteea.wordpress.com)
- Are You Busy? Be Still and Know God – Inspirational Bible Verses (darrellcreswell.wordpress.com)