December 24, 2010

What a Present!!

"God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble"
Psalm 46:1

I want to share a devotional from Faith's Checkbook, by Charles H. Spurgeon.  When I read this, it seemed so appropriate for this time of year---when most everyone in the world is going from "here to yonder" shopping, looking for the most special presents for their loved ones.   After reading the devotional below, I'm sure you'll agree that the very best "present" is our God---Who is our refuge, our strength....He's always ON TIME....more than near, but abiding within us!  Doesn't that make Him the very BEST Present after all!? 
Even if you may not have any presents under the tree---if you have God---your Heavenly Father, Jesus, your Savior---The Holy Spirit---Comforter and Divine Enabler---You have the very best Present~Who is PRESENT within your own heart!
I wish you all a Very Merry Christmas!!

Enjoy the following devotional from C.H. Spurgeon's "Faith's Checkbook."

December 22

Immediately Present

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble"
Psalm 46:1
A help that is not present when we need it is of small value. The anchor which is left at home is of no use to the seaman in the hour of storm; the money which he used to have is of no worth to the debtor when a writ is out against him. Very few earthly helps could be called "very present": they are usually far in the seeking, far in the using, and farther still when once used. But as for the LORD our God, He is present when we seek Him, present when we need Him, and present when we have already enjoyed His aid. He is more than "present," He is very present. More present than the nearest friend can be, for He is in us in our trouble; more present than we are to ourselves, for sometimes we lack presence of mind. He is always present, effectually present, sympathetically present, altogether present. He is present now if this is a gloomy season. Let us rest ourselves upon Him. He is our refuge, let us hide in Him; He is our strength, let us array ourselves with Him; He is our help, let us lean upon Him; He is our very present help, let us repose in Him now. We need not have a moment's care or an instant's fear. "The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge."

Christmas Hugs and Hershey Kisses! 

December 14, 2010

A Wise Woman's Hands

She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.  Proverbs 31:20

I was reading in Proverbs the other day and paused when I came to this verse.  The Holy Spirit prompted me to do some "digging deeper," so I began to look at that verse.  Immediately I noticed a few words:  "hand," "poor," "hands," and "needy."    In our modern language, we think of poor and needy as being "one in the same."  But the Lord has hidden something special for us.

Look at the word "hand"---"she stretcheth out her HAND."  The Hebrew word for hand is:  kaphaph~ which means "hollow or flat of the hand, palm."  

The word "poor" in Hebrew is:  anah, which describes someone who is afflicted or depressed, brought "low" or "humbled." 

Things began to get interesting when I looked up the word "HANDS"---plural.  The form of this word is referring to an OPEN hand, as opposed to the first "hand" in the verse--which depicts a closed hand. 

A discouraged or depressed person needs someone to walk with them, hand in hand, by their side, to minister to their emotional needs.  While walking hand in hand with this "poor-in-spirit" person, the virtuous woman sees them through the eyes of her Father, and will point them to Him..for only He can truly meet their deepest need in such dark and discouraging times.  

She stretches out her hand to the discouraged heart because more than likely that person has withdrawn from others.  Do you know anyone who has withdrawn from their normal day-to-day routine?  Despair pulls a person away from a source of Godly strength:  other Christians who are walking in the Spirit.   Stretch our your hand to this one, and then don't let go.  Walk with them, listen to them, or just be there in silence, as the two of you walk hand in hand through the darkness until the Son-shine breaks through the clouds.

The last part of this verse refers to her hands being OPEN....always giving to the needy---the person who is "in want"---actually NEEDS something.  The virtuous woman will have the means to meet the needs of others who are lacking....and she keeps her hands open constantly outpouring her gifts to others in need.  The Lord sees He can trust her with big blessings because she doesn't keep her fists closed; instead she's always reaching out to others, giving, not taking.

Her hands are an extension of the Father's.
During the Christmas season especially, there are many "poor" and "needy" people around us.  Someone may have lost a loved one and this is their first Christmas without that loved one.  Life's circumstances may have them completely overwhelmed and seemingly with "nowhere" to turn, except within.   STRETCH out your hand, take their hand and walk with them.  Be there for them.   There may be others who wonder how in the world they will meet their monthly bills, much less give their children a few gifts under the tree.  Do you have something to share?   A meal?  A box of Christmas cards with stamps, that they may not even be able to afford to send this year?   It doesn't take much, especially when they have so many needs.  Relief is only an outstretched hand away.
"Is there anything I can do for you?"

What a wise woman she is.  And God can safely trust her because her eyes are looking outward, to others.  "How can I be a blessing to a broken heart?  How can I meet a need today?"   This is just one verse in the description of a virtuous read the entire description and try to "measure up" to her can leave a woman's heart feeling defeated.  HOWEVER, I believe that each morning she met her Heavenly Father in the quiet hours before dawn, and asked Him to direct her steps and keep her "eyes peeled" for Divine Appointments, and being totally dependant on the Divine Enabling of the Holy Spirit to accomplish His will through her willing heart.   She first reaches her hands up to the Father for Him to fill them with whatever she will need to pour out that day.   This indeed is a virtuous woman.  

She looks to Her Provider to fill her hands with something she can give to others.
There's another pair of hands I'm thinking of right now. . .the hands of our Savior. . .He walked with the poor and discouraged, ministered to their needs, and then opened up His hands and stretched them out to be nailed to a tree...the cross of Calvary.  The outpouring from His hands was His precious blood---the blood that cleanses us from all our unrighteousness!  Let's remember our hands are an extension of His.  Each day we are to die to "self" and as we do, we'll become more like Him.  We can extend His gift of salvation to everyone around us if only we'll lift our hands to our Heavenly Father and ask Him to fill us with every need and enable us to share the outpouring of His dear Son's sacrificial gift on Calvary.

(from Photobucket)
Thank You dear Father for this precious hidden treasure...all You wanted me to do was a little digging..and there it was, a wonderful visual and valuable lesson to learn.  Help me be more like this virtuous woman.  So many others are hurting and lonely, or are in dire straits financially.   Please help me be a blessing to these hearts, especially during this Christmas season---what better time than when we celebrate the Gift of Your Love to us---Your dear Son, Jesus.  
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

December 13, 2010

A Little Story

" quietness and in confidence shall be your strength..."  Isaiah 30:15

She had once again come to her "closet"---the place she sought refuge and quiet time with the Lord.   There wasn't much to this closet~ just four tiny walls and a floor.  Although the floor was cold and hard, she always felt this place was a refuge because the Lord would embrace her with His wings.

Her heart felt battered and beaten, and her eyes were welling with tears. "Would others even notice? Would they even take the time to sense her pain? Or would they just see only what their eyes observed and come to a judgmental conclusion...a false one?"

It didn't seem to matter because the Lord showed her "in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."  Normally she'd run to a friend to unload her burden, even though that usually made her feel worse--(to hear herself repeat her circumstances would be like having to swallow the same bitter pill all over again). This time was different. It was just between her and the Lord. As she sat there, tears rolling down her face, He reminded her of a request she had made earlier that year:  to be tender and compassionate. When she made that request of Him, she knew that probably meant her heart had to be pounded, beaten nearly to a pulp---just like the meat tenderizing process.

Just as the ocean pounds at the shore and begins the erosion process, the heart's tenderizing process changes its shape too~~chipping away the stony edges of the "protective wall" she had built. When the Lord is the One in charge of tenderizing, we can trust that the outcome will be good. The changed heart will be molded into His image. Knowing this in her heart didn't take away the pain though. She still wondered at the seemingly indifference of others. That's when He came. Just as the Lord intended to pass by His disciples in that storm-tossed fishing vessel, He passed by her in her stormy heart.

When He spoke His tone was gentle but with great certainty. "Dear child, you're feeling entangled by circumstances. For so long you've been waiting for My deliverance. You've felt so alone while others passed you by. As you're entangled, and drowning, silently begging for someone to help, you've wondered why you're still all alone? Yes, I have the means to untangle you; but I've let you struggle, I've pounded at your heart until it is tender enough to receive what I want to tell you: Look around. Others around you are drowning, entangled by the seaweed of sin. So many do not even realize that they are drowning, and eternally shackled by their sin---they owe a debt that they can never repay. Yet, you hold the wealth of knowledge within the very heart strings of your soul. Why do you not reach out to them and offer them the wealth of hope that I am?"

Her heart overflowed with the pain of realizing how true His statement is. She asked Him to help her remember this lesson, and begged for a chance to offer the wealth of the gift of His salvation to others.

There is no mistaking when the Great Shepherd passes us by and calls out to us in the midst of our darkest storms. Even through the raging seas and howling winds, His voice is loud and clear, yet somehow remains as gentle and as pure as a snowflake gliding through the crisp winter air.
She knows His presence is always with her, yet sometimes He remains silent. The silence can be so heartbreaking....but she learned He is silent to cause us to seek Him, to call out to Him, to beg for His help. And when He does speak, it makes the length of the silence worth it!

The above little "story" was just something the  Lord gave me to share. 
Dear Father, make me a blessing to someone today.  I may not have much material "things" to offer, but I hold within my heart the very wealth of Your eternal salvation through Jesus.  Instead of rushing to the nearest mall or toy store to buy gifts for someone who's likely to toss it in a corner of their room within a matter of weeks, why can't we rush to our neighbors to bring them The GIFT of HOPE through Your Son?  This doesn't cost us anything except a little bit of time.  We prepare our lists, but where is the heart of our lost loved one or neighbor, whose entanglement by sin's debt could mean an eternity apart from You, on that list??  Offering hope to a lost and dying world should be on the top of our To Do Lists. The things of this world fade, but Your salvation is eternal and everlasting.   Please allow me the chance and courage to share Your Son, The One true Gift of Christmas, with others, for Your glory.   In Jesus' Name, Amen.

November 30, 2010

A Remedy for Losing Hope

Would you be able to recognize the Lord if He passed by you in your storm?

But the needy will not always be forgotten, nor the hope of the afflicted ever perish.    Psalm 9:18 (NIV)

Still in the final weeks of the semester and three more tests...but I wanted to drop a note to say hi to everyone.   Sometimes when we're in the midst of our darkest times in life---storms or trials, it's comforting to know that the Lord will pass by us, just like He did with his disciples--who were in the little fishing boat, in the darkest of the night, while a storm was raging all around them.  The Lord passed by them, walking on the water, probably with the intention of them to recognize and call out TO Him.  However, they feared Him, thinking He was a ghost!   He had just calmed the seas not long before that, and earlier the day before had fed the multitudes of people....all while the disciples were there, handing out the baskets of food. (Mark 6:45-52)

Has the Lord brought you through a difficult time in the past and it strengthened your faith?  Certainly He has done this for me and my family!  However, why is it that when another storm rages, and the skies are darker than ever, we tend to "LOSE HOPE" ???   Ever had that sinking feeling?  I'm sure the disciples did too! 

I wrote those two words down the other night...and just looked at those letters....and that's when the Holy Spirit began to minister to my heart.    I hope to be able to share what He revealed to me in a clear way so that you too will receive a blessing.

L O S E   H O P E        What happens when we lose hope?  Actually what CAUSES us to lose hope?  Well....take the letters L and S from the word LOSE.    When we Look at our Situation with (and here's the O and E) Our Eyes----with Our Eyes!   Look at the Situation with Our Eyes, and we'll probably lose hope.

Look at the word HOPE now:     When we put Our Expectation in His Promises we receive HOPE.  Faith is Our Expectation in His Promises ~and this brings HOPE!  

No matter the circumstances we're going through, let's stop Looking at the Situation with Our Eyes, and place Our Expectation in His Promises!     I can guarantee that THIS will bring HOPE to any heart that has lost all hope. 

This storm you're in could be a test.  The Maker of all Creation is walking on the stormy sea! 
He's passing by---do you recognize Him and call out to Him for Help and HOPE? 
 Do we look at life with Our Eyes?  Or with Our Expectation in His Promises?  But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  Hebrews 11:6 (KJV)

I know that the letters aren't in any special order...but the lesson's there.  Maybe it's just like in life:  we can't always LOOK at it with our common-sense-eyes, but have a little faith that sooner or later He'll make GOOD SENSE out of ALL of this!  :)

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Dear Father, forgive me for looking at our situation with my eyes.  I place my Expecation in Your Promises to take good care of us....thank You for teaching me these lessons, even when I feel the "situation" is far from the best.   Under the direction of Your Holy Spirit, Paul reminds us...urges us to give thanks, in everything... He was in prison...He didn't wait til You released him to give thanks, nor did he give up HOPE~for his expectation was in Your Promises!  And You Honor Your Word.  I believe that You ARE.   You stay true to Your Word, for this is Who You are!   Thank You for "passing by" me the other night, and wanting me to RECOGNIZE YOU in this storm.   I do!  And I call out to You, for my expectation is in You.
In Jesus' name, Amen

November 19, 2010

Hide and Go Seek

Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 
For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.  Colossians 3:2, 3 (NIV)

Just a little note to let you all know that I'm still "out here."  Just have a lot going on, with the semester winding down...well..let me rephrase's not really "winding down"--that sounds like things are slowing down.  HA.  On the contrary!  Whenever it ends it'll be more like it's "Coming to a screeching halt."  LOL (But not for long!)

Anyway---so much has happened, and every now and then I jot a mental note "this would be a good blog post,"  but the time's not been afforded me to sit down and actually write it.  Maybe one day.  :o)

We have one last practical (Lab Exam) on the upcoming Tuesday.  It's gonna be a doozy!  SO, that's why you've not been hearing from me...It's pretty much "crunch time" til the end of the semester.  Hard to believe that it's almost MUNCH time...Thanksgiving--- So much to be thankful for, even in the trying times. 

"This is embarrassing," says Betsy, the VW.

I was thinking last night about how ironic it is whenever we're feeling "stripped down to the basics" that's when we really begin to APPRECIATE those basics in life.   Then I pictured a car, being stripped down for a new paint job.  It's old layers of chipped paint, dings, rust from the elements---all are being removed, smoothed out, stripped away for one purpose:  to reveal the basic skeleton of the car.  But why?  Well, hopefully to begin the priming stage, to prepare the body of the car for a new shiny coat of paint.

Are we feeling stripped down by the elements of life?  Are we feeling pretty banged up from the pot holes on life's road?  Has our "windshield" been hit by a large "rock" or "flying missile" from that dump truck in front of us and now we "can't see clearly"~~ we're dented and looking not-so-new?  Makes us want to hide, right?  Maybe it's time to seek a highly qualified Mechanic.   The Lord knows what He's after...and when we're feeling stripped down, "not-so-shiny and new," dinged up, rusted out---He's preparing us, priming us for a new paint job.   He's after something.  It's good to get stripped down to the basics sometimes---albeit very humbling, I know.  But take heart....God's not going to leave us exposed and feeling vulnerable---He's after much  more:   to make us NEW....more like His Son.

"Ahhh!  This is MUCH BETTER~and well worth being temporarily
stripped down to the basics," says Betsy the Shiny Red VW.

Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the
kingdom of God like a little child will
never enter it.” Luke 18:17
So, no matter what---this Thanksgiving, even if things are bare, and we're feeling pretty humbled by the "outward appearance of our circumstances" REMEMBER our Creator is priming us, preparing us for that new coat of paint.  Things will begin to look up... and UNTIL THEY DO, it would do us ALL SOME GOOD to LOOK UP to Him ...with trusting eyes, knowing He's up to something special in our lives, no matter where we are on the "Rocky Road of Life."

Thanks for your friendship and checking in on me.  Your comments over the past few weeks have been received with such a heart-felt gratitude that the Lord has brought y'all into my life, and how He's using this vessel to be an encouragement to YOU.  :) 

Like Jesus said, we are "hidden in Christ," so let's be sure to set our minds on things above (on HIM) and not on our circumstances.    Kind of gives a new meaning to "Hide and Go Seek" doesn't it?  :)   
If I'm not able to write again...I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving.  No matter the size of the feast on your table, remember the Unseen Guest Who is there and be sure to tell Him THANK YOU for all He has done, and what He is GOING to do too!  (I'm still diggin' trenches, y'all!)  :)
Thank You, Father, for the times of being "stripped down"---for we know that You are busy working on us, just like You promised~~You will finish the work You started on this Body of Christians.  We're all in need of Your skillful hands to make us brand new in Christ!  Help us to remember that we're HIDDEN in it's important to remember that others need to see HIM, and not us when they're looking at us. . .and as we're hidden in Christ, help us to SEEK YOU in everything...for YOU ARE in everything.. You allow every circumstance that touches our lives---even the ones that may bring a ding or a scratch---all of these things are allowed by You, so please get the glory in every aspect of our lives.  In Jesus' name, and for His glory and sake we ask...Amen.

Thought since we had a "bug" theme going, I'd add a pic of me and some of my SR classmates in 1989, with what they referred to in the yearbook as "Bug Fever."  LOL
BTW, "Betsy" was my little "yellow bug."  Mom and Dad bought her the Friday before I was born and I was driving her when she "clicked over 100,000 miles." 

It was a special moment.  LOL

November 5, 2010

To Dig or Not to Dig~A Question of Faith.

“And he said, Thus says the Lord, Make this valley full of ditches. For thus says the Lord, You shall not see wind, neither shall you see rain yet that valley shall be filled with water, that you may drink, both you, and your cattle, and your beasts. And this is but a light thing in the sight of the Lord: He will deliver the Moabites also into your hand.” 
2 Kings 3:16-18 (KJV)

One of my favorite "old" devotionals is Charles H. Spurgeon's "Faith's Checkbook."  Today's particular devotion has been a favorite of mine, since 2001.  Bryan was out of work from a ruptured disc, and awaiting back surgery.  We had two "itty bitty" children, ages "nearly 3 and almost 1"---and no paycheck coming in..whatsoever!   Our youngest needed baby formula, and we didn't even have enough money to buy a container of formula.  After reading the above-mentioned verses in the devotional, we prayed and "dug the trenches," having faith that God would fill them, somehow..  Next day arrived, and nothing out of the ordinary happened, and I remember as the sun was setting, with no "sign of water" in the "trenches," just wondering, but still trusting.   The phone rang, and it was Bryan's dispatcher, who has since passed away.  He called and asked if he could stop by.  He came by and said, "You know, I thought that maybe you might like to get out of the house sometime and go to Wal-Mart." (He had given us several boxes of groceries a few weeks before.)   He continued, "I got to thinking that maybe I've not brought something that you need, and it would do you some good to just get out of the house a while."   He handed us a gift card to Wal-Mart.   Bryan and I both began to cry.  We shared with him how we needed baby formula, and had prayed just the day before for the Lord to provide somehow.  Bryan's dispatcher was unsaved at the time, but he was a tool in God's hands to provide for us. . . and we were able to share this with Bryan's boss, and later led him to the Lord before he passed away in 2006.

Anyway, ever since then, I can look back, and remember how God brought us through, when we literally had NOTHING, except of course, TWO little children who looked to us for their daily needs.  I've often considered the verses in Deut. as God's promise for meeting our PHYSICAL, MATERIAL needs. All we have to do is "dig the trenches,"  trust Him---and prepare for Him to unload His provision for our daily needs.  
"Give us this day our DAILY bread."

However, this week, even though economy has pinched our wallets, pockets, and everything, AGAIN, and the pressure of the "upcoming holidays" and "birthdays" loom in the not-so-distant future, the Lord opened my eyes to something else:  

Have you ever felt you were in a wilderness?  A "dry spot"---maybe even a place of non-blessing? ?  Perhaps you'd wandered off into a "wilderness" away from fellowship with the Lord?   Trials brought you in to the valley of discouragement, and you'd run dry??   Take heart!!   In verses 7 and 8, King Joram asked Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, to go with him to fight Moab.  When Jehoshaphat agreed, King Joram asked, "Which way shall we go up?" and the reply was:  "The way through the wilderness of Edom." 

I don't see how ANY OF THIS can be a "Means" for a blessing  ?? 

Does your wilderness seem to be a way "UP" ? ? ?  Probably not!    They were going UP to fight a battle.   Our tests and trials are a BATTLE, but they WILL take us UP~~to the One Who can FIGHT and WIN our battles for us.  

We've been TOLD to DIG trenches...and SEE that HE will provide WATER.  This is not only for our physical needs, but our SPIRITUAL~~We NEED to be FILLED with the Living Water, the Power of the HOLY SPIRIT, in order to WIN ANY BATTLE, or do ANYTHING for the Lord!  We must be completely EMPTIED of ourselves in order to PREPARE for the FILLING of the Holy Spirit, THE Living Water.   They did dig the trenches~~but before that, they had to BE THIRSTY?  ARE YOU?  If so....Have YOU dug the "trenches?"  Are you PREPARING for a BLESSING from above??  We tend to wait for Him to bless us, and think that "Once we see the blessed Rain begin to fall~~THAT's when we'll prepare to receive the blessing."  NOT SO with FAITH!!  You and I must dig, prepare, and then BELIEVE He will bless.  . . Even in the dry wilderness~~The "Land of NO HOPE."   (See, He's not telling us to get out the shovels in order to bury us!)  There IS hope!!!   ;o)

Are we ready for a blessing from ABOVE??
The key is what do we do each morning?   Verse 20 says " the morning, when the meat offering was offered, that, behold, there came water by the way of Edom, and the country was filled with water."   How can WE offer a meat offering to the Lord each morning, when HE HIMSELF has already become our Lamb?  We can take THIS very wilderness~ the discouraging, overwhelming trials (even our desire to be filled by His Holy Spirit), and offer them to Our Heavenly Father as a our meat offering!  That's when our trials, coupled with our humble spirits, offered up to Him as worship, becomes a sweet smelling savor to our Father.  As Spurgeon says, this is "Our Duty!"   The Divine Omnipotence has allowed this for our good, and now we can become a reflection of HIM by doing Our Duty: availing ourselves to HIS power! 

Are we a reflection of HIS power? 
Being STILL and being FILLED
by His power is the way to reflect HIM!

Are we willing to dig trenches?   What happens when I get squeezed into the midst of Divine Grace??  You see it don't you?  The word D.I.G.   Hmmm....Think I better go find me a shovel!   :)  The faith to dig is given to us by Divine Grace.  So let's get in the middle of it....and start digging!  Trust HIM for not only our daily material needs, but most of all for our SPIRITUAL need---to be emptied of ourselves and FILLED by His Living Water!! The Holy Spirit!  Moving water has POWER...has ENERGY!    Make no mistake, when the Holy Spirit moves, there is POWER....DIVINE Energy!   

OK...since He does say all we need is "Faith, the size
of a mustard seed,"  I'll accept it if you choose this size. 

I'm ready to start diggin'...
how 'bout you? 

What size shovel are YOU going to grab?  

But for me, I think I'll grab one of these:

Now, LET'S Start DIGGIN'!!!    :)

Dear Father, Thank You for revealing even DEEPER truths from the very same passage I've read every November 4th for years in my devotional today.  It's so easy, Father, to get BURIED by the troubles in life~be it financial, marital, emotional, physical---just to name a few!  But Father, You don't want us to be BURIED, but to be DIGGING~~Preparing the dry, dusty wilderness to be WATERED!  You can bring forth much fruit from even the driest of lands, Father.  Here we are, a thirsty people. . .but we come, shovels in hand, to start digging the ditches.  We trust FULLY that You can and WILL fill these empty, dried up trenches with everything we need to be a blessing to others, bearing fruit, MUCH fruit, for Your glory.  And You'll do it by using no "ordinary means" too!!
In Jesus' Name, Amen.

I encourage you to click on Faith's Checkbook and read the devotion by Charles H. Spurgeon.  I'm sure it will be a blessing to your heart!  November 4th's is the one I'm referring to.  :)

October 18, 2010

Tag, I'm it. :)

I'm rather slow at blogging this week, since school has kept me busier than a bee.  But, I just realized I was tagged by Debbie at Heart Choices.  ;)  Yippee. .
Let me see if I can answer her questions.

Here are her 7 questions:

1. If you could travel anywhere with no thought to cost, where would you choose to go?  ~~ Oooh.  This is a good question.  I honestly have always let "the thought of cost" keep me from even dreaming.  Sad isn't it?  So this question catches me off guard. .  .But I have to say, that from pictures I've seen, I'd like to take a trip to Alaska.   Then, there's the little dreamer-girl in me that would like to go to the very mountain that "Maria" weaved in between those white-trunked trees on The Sound of Music, singing "The hills are alive..."  :)   (No, I'd not attempt to sing!!)  LOL 

2. What song would you choose for someone to sing at your funeral? ~~ Another good question.  Music is close to my heart.   I'm finding that "No One Ever Cared for Me Like Jesus" has a special place in my heart---and for anyone at my funeral that may not be saved, I'd just like to tell them that no matter what I went through, the Only True Friend that cared enough for me to give His life for me is Jesus, and I would like to tell them about Him and what He has done for me ~~ and for THEM TOO.

3. If you could spend a day with anyone, (dead or alive) who would you choose? ~~ My sister, Sherri.  She passed away at the age of 22 in 1997.  To be able to spend another day with her would be a blessing, for sure!  Someone would probably have to scrape me up off the floor from having a heart attack first--because the thought of seeing her again makes my heart POUND almost out of my chest.  "I miss you, Sher-Bear." 
Sherri, 1997. Before she passed away.

4. What do you want people to remember you by? (since I got a bit morbid) ~~ That no matter how imperfect I was, my desire was to seek the Lord and be the daughter He wanted me to be, using whatever abilities He equipped me with for His glory.  How I tried to look to Him in everything that happened, and hopefully He helped me grow to be more like Him with each passing day.

5. Are you a early morning person or a night owl? ~~  Hoot Hoot...Does that give you a clue?  I'm a night owl.  Always have been, always will be.  :o)  

Where's my coffee??

6. What is your favorite meal to prepare? ~~ this is hitting below the belt, Debbie. LOL I'm no Martha Stewart. . .so don't be 'xpecting a fancy-schmancy entree here. :) It's gotta be the old fashioned Chicken Pot Pie that is my husband's grandmother's "classic" recipe! :) But, now that I'm thinking about it, I had a blast cooking up Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings last year! (Ended up in the ER with a messed up back after being on my feet for so long, but hey, it was worth it!) LOL

I recommend wearing supportive shoes or slippers while
being on your feet for hours on end, especially on a hard
ceramic tile floor.  "Back support~~It's a good thing."  LOL

7. What would a perfect day be like for you? ~~ Weather: No humidity... sunny, a cool breeze, but not too hot.  Blue SkyPeople to be with:  Not having any time to be with Bryan, just the two of us, lately---I have to say that a perfect day would be just a day of Bryan and me "taking a chill," being together, ANYWHERE, with no stress or physical pain to put a damper on the day. 

Okay, Debbie, I've answered the questions..thanks for tagging me and letting me join in on the fun.  I'm glad I realized I was tagged.  :)   Now, if only I could figure out how to tag you back.  LOL   Oh...I'll just send a hug instead. .  MMmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

October 16, 2010

The Pierced FOIL

He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins." Col. 1: 13-14 (NIV)

Foiled Again!
Have you ever made plans or set goals, paying careful attention to every little detail as to how you would arrive at that goal, only to have something happen to "foil" your plans?   Ugh!  

Maybe it's late, and my brain is a bit "fried" from all the studying this week, but it seems a bit ironic to say "foiled" when referring to my plans being "Ruined," and yet we use "foil" to cover food (to "keep it from getting ruined" for the time being.)  LOL  

Oh, anyway, when I was younger, my childhood friend, who was VERY creative, was over one night and asked me to "get out a roll of aluminum foil---bring it in here to the TV!  I've got something 'cool' to show you!"   So, with mom's permission, I brought the foil in there and wondered "what in the world" she had come up with now!  :)  Based on the excitement in her voice, the anticipation began to grow so much that my little sister "got in on the action" and had to see what was going on!   Well, Marsha--my friend, took a pin and began to poke holes in the foil . . . .of course I thought, "What is she doing?!"  But the smile on her face made the wait worth it. . . I knew it had to be good.  Finally, after what seemed like "an eternity," she got some scotch tape and began to tape the poked foil onto the front of the old TV screen.   Then she said, "Turn out the lights!"  Hardly able to contain her eagerness, she began to smile really big!  "Click"---lights were out...then she went over to the TV (we didnt' have remotes back then!  LOL)...she turned on the TV and VOILA!  There was "a million" twinkly, colorful lights reflecting from the TV!   With all the "OOoooo's & AAAhhhhhh's!" heard from her "audience," you'd have thought she was a magician!   My parents even "watched the TV show" too! :)  
This was before "Must See T.V."
Sometimes when our plans get "foiled," we become discouraged, even falling into the pit of despair.  "This was NOT supposed to happen!"   I know. . . I know.  Trust me.  But~recently the Lord opened my "eyes" to something:   "Is the servant greater than his Master?"    We can be assured that He understands EVERYTHING we are going through, because He has walked on this earth---endured suffering beyond our imagination.  Anything He allows us to go through is to teach us something about Himself---to make us more like Him---draw us closer TO Him...and just purge us of the "US" in us. (the "Ugly Sin" in us.)    To suffer is no fun---to have plans "foiled" is disappointing--maybe even painful!   But let's allow Him to pierce us--to pierce this "foiled" plan, or maybe even this "foiled life" we may feel we are living---pierce it through--and then in turn, we'll begin to let His LIGHT shine through us!   
WOW! What a Picture!
One pin hole poked through the "TV Foil Display" was "just okay"---but MANY holes revealed the MOVING COLORS that were on the TV screen behind the foil.  OH!  It was just the "coolest thing" ever!  MOVING COLORS!  Think of it!    Our "Foiled" plans, even the temporary "Veil of Darkness" being pulled over us, is just a tool in God's hands to pierce our hearts, tenderizing us to His Love, allowing HIS COLORFUL, MOVING LIGHT to SHINE through so others around us can say, "Ooooo!  Ahhh!   Why are they so COLORFUL?"  And we can say, "it's not why, but WHO!!"    

Our Lord's hands, feet and side were pierced on that cross, to cause a Fountain of Life to flow~~ Let's just be sure to get Plunged INTO His precious blood.  Guess what happens when I am plunged into the MIDDLE of the Fountain Of Life!    F O I L    THE ENEMY's PLAN to destroy my life is FOILED!!!!!!!     
Can we picture the HAPPY DANCE going on here?? 

So, it may seem like you're plans are getting poked through---and everything is just falling apart!   Be sure that YOUR plans are HIS plans!   Be plunged into HIS Fountain of Life--that's the first step to having His and YOUR plans to coincide.  Then~let these "piercings" remind you of Your Master and HIS piercings---We, after all, are NOT greater than our Master--so when He allows us to suffer, He's allowing us to fellowship with Him!  And when we fellowship with Him, we'll begin to beam HIS LIGHT to others!
One day the VEIL is going to be pulled, we shall see Him face to face.
And the only piercings left to behold will be the ones
on His dear hands, and feet and side!
Thank You, Father, for reminding me of that simple "foil" craft from many years ago, and turning it into a special lesson.  It's so hard to have "our plans" be "foiled again!"  But that's just it!  These are "OUR PLANS!"  Let our plans mesh with Yours, and let Your light Shine through the piercings in our hearts each day.  These piercings keep us tender!  Thank YOU Jesus, for enduring the cross, and being pierced for me!  For US~~the "Ugly Sin" in all of us!  We love you!!  In Your Name, Amen.

H.U.N.T. ~~ Hugs Until Next Time,

October 10, 2010

Are You in a 'F.O.G.' ??

Thou shalt no more be termed Forsaken.
Isaiah 62:4 (KJV)
Have you ever experienced what it felt to be forsaken?  By a loved one?  By a friend?  Have you (or I) ever felt that maybe, even though we KNOW that God will never leave nor FORSAKE us, (Heb. 13:5) that maybe He had?  He had become very quiet, and it seemed His presence was "not there" ??? 

Maybe unconfessed sin in our life had caused a barrier to come between us and the Lord, and therefore caused a strain in our relationship with Him ~~  How could He fellowship with us while there was something (unconfessed sin) between us?   I understand.  Maybe the GUILT from our past, even though we know we're FORGIVEN~has caused us to feel "as though we're still forsaken."  Not forgiving ourselves is a BIG reason why a lot of us don't experience the Abundant LIFE that God has given us through Christ.

To feel "forsaken" in the spiritual sense is a :

Feeling of being 
Oppressed and
Ruined because my
Sin and Shame
Keeping me from
Enjoying my
New life in Christ. 

Whoah.   Ever been there??    Oh yes, I have..."been there, and DONE THAT!"  That's a sly trick from the enemy to keep us under his "thumb"~ and essentially "in bondage," even though we've been SET FREE through the atoning work of Christ on the cross!

To feel "Forsaken Of God" is to actually feel as if we're in a F.O.G.  Where is HE?  "The smoke and ashes from the piled up rubble of my collapsed life are blinding me from seeing His face!  Why, I can not even MOVE since I can't SEE anything in this spiritual F.O.G. !!"
I can't seem to SEE A THING here, PEOPLE!!!

Well, let's step out of this F.O.G. . . and hop right into another F.O.G. shall we?  No, we're not hopping from the frying pan into the FIRE!??   Well, maybe we ARE---into the FIRE of the 

Watch this:  We can experience the Favor Of God by remembering:  

Faith in God brings the Forgiveness Of God.
Abundant and
Victorious Living follow, when we're
Overtaken and
Regenerated by His POWER to
Enable us to Enjoy HIS
Divine Life within!!!

Looks  like THIS FOG is lifting~~ MY SPIRIT anyway! :)

Cha-Ching!!!!  Now, THAT'S MY KIND OF FOG!!!!   When I was a SR in high school, our "Family Living" teacher used to tell us "Get out your notebooks, this is a meatball (or "important tidbit of info to chew on.")  Well, well well----this just puts "Cloudy with a Chance of MEATBALLS" into a WHOLE NEW PERSPECTIVE, don't ya think?!  LOL 

Anyway, I was actually STUDYING anatomy, and then the Lord reminded me of the verse in Isaiah and applied that to a situation I recently experienced.   So I thought I'd share this with you ~~because I KNOW that "what He tells us in darkness, that share ye on the rooftops."  (Matthew 10:27) OK, this blog is not a rooftop, but it is a platform of some kind.  :)    BTW, if I don't do well on this week's A & P quiz, I'll just tell the instructor, "My brain must've been in a F.O.G."  LOL 

Well I must get back to reviewing flashcards.   But before my next post, whenever the Lord leads that to happen, be thinking about "which F.O.G." you are in. . .we're all "in a F.O.G."~~let's make sure it's the GOOD FOG---to be FAVORED of GOD!  And the only "Light" we need to have SHINING ahead of us is HIS WORD onto our path!  Don't forget that He will NEVER leave us NOR FORSAKE US, no matter what!  So let's be FREE to enjoy the Favor Of God, since we're NO LONGER termed FORSAKEN!!   :)

H.U.N.T. ~~  Hugs Until Next Time!