Bragging on the wonderous works of my God

Posts tagged ‘love’

Aware

Yesterday morning I felt compelled to fall on my face before the Lord God. Not on my knees, but my face.  His majesty, love and sovereignty were overwhelming.

“The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.”  Ps. 126:3

I was listening to the song “Aware” by Salvador and the words just jumped out at me.“Make me aware; make me see that everything I am is not all about me. Take my world; turn it around so the obvious can finally be found.”

In the last two years, my “world” has been turned upside down. Humanly speaking, I have lost my home, my job (actually happened in 2008 to which I turned to real estate and we all know how that went…), my Daddy, my health. But during the entire process, I saw what faith can do.  Believing that God has our best interest at heart and trust in Him, we will then see through a different lens.

I had an expectant heart that God had a plan for my life.  He did not disappoint.  I am living in the house of my dreams. I don’t own it, but you know what?  Abraham didn’t own a house. Jesus didn’t own a house either.  This world is not my home! I am just passing through. My true home lies in Heaven with my Savior.

I lost my mobility in August of 2011 due to an acutely inflamed sciatic nerve, but gained an awareness of a need that had long been neglected—my health.  The Lord has turned my health around. It is absolutely NOTHING I have done, except eating whole, natural food. It is for His honor and glory. I have not even been physically able to exercise so that He alone can take the credit. It is sometimes still painful to walk but I am praying that the Lord will restore my mobility when my health is where it should be.

I now am working my dream job. IF I hadn’t lost my job, my house…I wouldn’t have taken a lower paying, part time job that led to this one. I say it that way because when I first lost my job, I was making fantastic money. It wasn’t until we were at the point of “desperation” that God opened a door for me that I would have never taken IF He had not engineered the circumstances.  God had a plan and it was more than I could have dreamed.

He has made me more aware of Him than I ever knew before and I cannot get enough. I want to know Him more.

He is the “obvious” that can be found when we open our eyes.

Advertisements

Heroes

I tend to watch TV with a different viewpoint than most.  Take, for instance, the hit show “Once Upon A Time.”   It is based on the fairy tale characters we grew up with as kids with a twist. The evil queen has taken away their perfect, happy ending lives and banished them to a town called “Storybrook.”  In this town, they have no clue of their past lives. The queen is the mayor and is still very well aware of who everybody used to be and spends her days wreaking havoc in everybody’s personal lives.

I started looking at it this way.  We live in “Storybrook” with the prince of the power of the air (a.k.a Satan) who has been given a limited free reign on this planet until Jesus returns to set things straight.  Of course, anything Satan does, he has to get permission from God.  It always serves a greater purpose, if God allows it to happen.

When Jesus does return, we will go to our “happily ever after” lives.  Satan and his followers will be condemned, forever, to the lake of fire, separated from God.

I can’t seem to help myself when I watch TV.  I am always comparing it to Scripture.  We have all of these “superheroes” who battle evil and win.  Where do you think they got that idea from?

Everybody wants good to win.  Movies where the bad guy wins don’t usually get good reviews. And the reviews I am speaking of don’t come from the paid movie critics. I’m talking about normal folks, like you and me.

We all want a hero.  We all want a knight-in-shining-armor to come in and save the day.  At least women do.  I’m not sure about how guys feel on this one.  🙂

I tend to do the same if I hear a secular song.  A romance song makes me think of the only One who can romance us and completely fill our soul with His boundless love and not leave us wishing for more.

Hallmark Man and I  watched the movie “Immortals” this weekend.  I was looking for spectacular action and cool effects.  The movie itself was rather boring and gory.  It seemed like they made it gory without purpose. Too much blood for my taste.   I watched the movie “300” and enjoyed it immensely. I don’t have an issue with blood itself, this one just seemed to go overboard for shock factor.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen the movie…skip this part.

Near the end when the gods (Zeus, Athena, et al) were fighting the creepy dude and his back-from-the-dead army (I didn’t pay attention as to who was really called what…sorry about that), it just blew my mind that these gods could be killed.  I mean really?? I guess whoever wrote the movie didn’t take into account what the name “Immortal” actually meant.   Helloooo…if you can kill it, it ain’t immortal! (imagine that with a southern drawl, if you will)

Who wants to serve and worship that kind of god?  I am so glad my God is alive! He is eternal, immortal,everlasting, invisible.  And as the Newsboys so eloquently put it in their latest song, “My God’s not dead, He’s surely alive!”

Redemption

I was reminded of a song by Nicole C. Mullin this past week, “I know my Redeemer lives.”  The very same day, I was reminded of Steven Curtis Chapman’s, “My Redeemer is faithful and true.”

“Redeemer” is not a term used today by Americans so why is this so great?

Our first introduction to “Redeemer” in Scripture is in the book of Ruth, via “kinsman redeemer.”

According to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical theology, a “kinsman redeemer” is:

Male relative who, according to various laws found in the Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act for a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need of vindication.

It continues with more details on the Old Testament but I wanted to point this out.  He puts it so much more eloquently that I could ever dream.

Although the doctrine of redemption from sin is taught extensively in the New Testament, it is not connected closely with the Old Testament concept of kinsman-redeemer. Christ can, however, be regarded as an example of a kinsman-redeemer since He identified Himself with us and redeemed us because of our need. Hebrews 2:11 states that “Both the One who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers.” Jesus is not only our Redeemer from sin, but as Hebrews 2:16-18 and 4:14-16 point out, He is a kinsman to us and understands our struggles. Thus He is able to help us in our times of need. (Stephen J. Brame)

Jesus was fully God and fully man all at the same time. He suffered hunger, sleepiness, pain and anguish. He laughed and He cried.  His heart was fully devoted to each one He came in contact with while He was here on this earth to show His unfailing, everlasting and deep love.  It is a love that no one can fathom.  It is a love that fills the deepest void in our lives.

Nothing on this earth can compare to what Jesus offers us.  Though invisible to us now, we will see Him face to face and know Him just as we are fully known.

He laid down His life willingly to save us from eternal separation from God because of sin. He left His throne where myriads of angels adored Him and saw Him in His glory to come to earth.  He was born in a barn. I  know what you’re thinking, “No…manger!”  But who uses that term today?  He was born in a place where the animals were sheltered with hay and water.  It was literally a barn. He was raised as a Jewish carpenter’s son.  He worked hard and lived in submission to His earthly parents. He was humble.  He showed us what humility and obedience were all about.

How many times have you been to work and were asked to do something that you felt was “beneath” you?  Jesus did as He was told until it was time for His ministry.  The last 3 1/2 years of His life were the most powerful, life-changing events ever recorded in History.  Yet, people want to deny His Deity.

If Jesus were just any other man, why are people so afraid of His message?  Why are they pushing Him out of schools and you cannot invoke His name in prayer?

Because He lives.   He ever lives to intercede for us.  He is our Redeemer and the demons tremble at His name.

His Eye is on the Sparrow

Remember that old hymn?  “His eye is on the sparrow, so I know He’s watching me.”

I was reminded of that this weekend when I was sitting in our spare bedroom doing my Bible study.  I kept seeing something flutter past the window.  It was extremely windy outside so I wasn’t sure if it was leaves or birds.  I began to hear faint chirping so I realized quickly that it was some sort of small bird.  I kept trying to get a peek at the bird, but no luck.

Sunday afternoon, it was beautiful, but still windy.  I was in the same room doing some stretching and I heard the chirping again.  I figured it had to be in the bushes near the window and I began to look again, praying in my heart that the Lord would let me just see the birds.  I was tickled when a short time later, I saw movement in the bush.

I finally saw it.  A tiny sparrow.  They were building a nest and not quietly, I might add.  It was amazing that I could see them.  I had a great vantage point.  I could watch without disturbing them.  They are soooo cute!

I smiled as I watched the bird chirping and fluttering around.  It had no idea I was there or even watching.  Just reminded me that God watches over us all the time. He never sleeps and even when we don’t “feel” Him, He is there.  He’s always the doting Father ever watching, ever protecting those that are His. That is what brought the smile to my face as I watched those little birds.  I felt loved and secure knowing that my Father loves me and watches over me.

Hold On Tight!

Do you ever feel like you are flying by the seat of your pants and life is just nuts and you wonder when you are going to land?  Last week was just that nuts for me.  It seemed like the longest week of my life but it was so busy!

God has just been so merciful and gracious, in spite of my blunders.  I love that about Him! 

As some of you may or may not know, we are upside down in a monstrous mortgage that we cannot pay.  We realized that we were in a sinking ship and after much prayer….and I mean MUCH prayer…to the point that  I sometimes felt like God was sighing as I repeatedly came to Him for an answer or to just lay out what was on my heart, we knew we had to give up our home.  I had so many “what ifs” going on and “how?” and all sorts of questions imaginable.  But another thing about God that I love is that He is so patient and He remembers that we are but dust and understands that as Beth Moore put it, “it is scary to be us.”  We don’t know everything like He does.  Trusting in blind faith is hard only when you aren’t sure the path you are taking is the right one. That’s the problem I was having. 

We had looked around at a few rentals and I was so discouraged by what I saw.  One day I had lunch with a friend from church and she said, “Why don’t you rent Jason’s house? He hasn’t been able to sell it for a year.”  Jason was our former youth minister who took a position in another state.  With the housing market being the way it is, his house was just sitting.  So I called him and offered what we could afford to pay monthly.  He said he hadn’t really considered renting it but it was an idea he would run by his wife.  Long story short, we came to an agreement.  It happened to be just as his current listing for sale was ending and no prospects in sight.  I believe all of this was God’s timing, for both of us.  He was paying two mortgages and we were paying a super-steep one.

This house is a little smaller than the one we were in but I love everything about it.  You know the Scripture in Psalms that says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart?” I know that to be so true!  Indulge me for a moment to share how He has done just that!! 

Our house that we owned faced east and west. Everytime the wind blew, we didn’t get it coming inside.  It was rare for their to be an east/west wind. It always seemed to come north/south.  It used to frustrate me so bad when I wanted the wind and fresh air to flow through the house.  But this house we are renting faces north/south. I can open my windows and get a wonderful breeze!  I know some of you are probably rolling your eyes right now. My teens would definitely do that.  But this is another thing I love about God, if it matters to me, it matters to Him! 

When Louis and I got married back in 1986, we moved to a neighborhood where we were on the main road.  Cars at all hours of the night driving by.  I didn’t want that again.  But, the house we moved into was the same.  It wasn’t bad until the last couple of years.  Boom-boom boxes from cars coming by at 10-11 o’clock at night drove me nuts.  Car lights shining in the windows because of  the way the street turned.  People tossing their trash into our yard.  I left Savannah to get away from that and here we were right back in the mess.  The rental is off the beaten path.  A single driveway leads to our house and our neighbor’s.  It is so quiet out here.  I can see the stars! No blinding lights from the neighbor’s big halogen lights!  No trains going by at all hours of the night either.  I just love it!!

 There is a chain of convenience stores in our area that I just love. They are clean and have amazing food and their chewy ice can’t be beat. Everytime I go near a Parkers, I go in it.  I have fussed about them not coming to Rincon—even sent them an email. They are everywhere else so why not there??  Well, we are now less than 5 minutes from one.  WooHoo!  While we were in the process of moving, and obviously too tired to cook, we have been eating there. The macaroni and cheese is homemade and the fried chicken is delicious!  I think I’m going to turn into a fried chicken, I’ve eaten that so much in the past week.  God is so good!

I fell in love with Effingham county mainly because of the ruralness of it.  The northern part has farms and when I drive past those, I would almost veer off the road because I was too busy enjoying God’s creation:  cows, goats, sheep, donkeys, pigs, horses…I just love it.  You know what is funny?  If we had been looking for a house to buy, I more than likely would have never considered where we are now.  But God, in His sovereignty, knew exactly what I loved and even though “this world is not my home,”  He gave us a wonderful place to live on this planet until our time on earth is done. 

Last week was moving week for us.  I rented the U-haul and about that time, my husband’s work picked up so much that he couldn’t take off.  My son was working night shift.  It was raining.  What a crazy time.  I had to be the motivating factor in getting it all done.  My husband seemed to think we could take our time and move a little at the time.  It would be OK if we lived just around the corner but it was a 25 mile round trip and gas is not cheap.  We have experienced challenges during this and it just seemed like we were overwhelmed but the Lord got us through it.  My van was wrecked  (my son’s fiance was coming to pick me up from one house to the next and not knowing where she was, ran the van over a stump and ripped off the spare and disconnected the a/c hoses from the back) and our refrigerator burned out (ice maker was smoking and kicked the breakers), thank the Lord we had another one. Inspite of all of the obstacles, bruises and soreness…we are still here, Praise God! 

I’m telling ya, life is a wild ride.  God is never boring. So hold on tight and enjoy every moment!

Overanalyze it?

Do you find yourself overanalyzing things?  I do.  Sometimes that’s a good thing and other times, it is just wasted energy. 

The other day as I walked out of a room and back into it, my dog wagged her tail as if I had been gone a long time. She was happy to see me.  It made me think about how God sees us.  I heard a pastor one time say that when we wake up, God is delighted to see us.  He loves us so much that He wants to spend time with us.  Some people are going to take this wrong but let me preface this by saying that the things God created gave us glimpses of His glory and I’m using this as that.  I am not saying that God is like a dog.  I am saying to open your mind and see Him as the loving God that He truly is.

No matter how bad I feel, no matter how bad I look, no matter how bad my breath is…my dog loves me.  She doesn’t care if my hair is messy or if I am wearing make-up. She doesn’t seem to notice. She wags her tail happily as I come into the room and licks my face whenever she can get to it.  I accept that love without question.  Do we accept the agape love from God that He so freely gives us as easily as we do from one of our pets?

How many of us are “hiding” in shame from God because of who we are inside?  Do you realize you cannot “hide” from God?  He knows every intimate detail of your life.  HE created it! He sees everything you do in secret.  He knows your inmost thoughts.  Yet, in spite of all of that, He loves you anyway.  It has NOTHING to do with what you have or haven’t done.  It is who HE is.  He IS love.  He cannot deny Himself. 

He loved us so much that He died a horrible death to redeem us back from sin. 

How many times have you been told “God loves you” and you blew it off?  The love that we share with another soul on this planet pales in comparison to how He feels about you and me.  If we were the only one on this planet, He would have died for us.  He loves us that much.  LET Him love you. I was born and raised in a Christian home.  But it wasn’t until I went through Henry Blackaby’s “Experiencing God” that I realized that I was not “letting” God love me.  I remember when the light bulb went off in my mind, I just cried.  I took the wall to my heart down.  It is a shame and totally about pride when you don’t think you are good enough. God hates pride.

Look at the intricate way you are put together.  Do you really think that happened by chance?  Look at creation and how it works together and has been going and keeps going every day.  The sun doesn’t move out of place.  We have just the right amount of oxygen in our atmosphere not to kill us.  Our God is an awesome God.  He is everywhere all at once. 

Have you ever sat and just studied a cat?  The way the fur grows, all of the colors, how some fur stops at a certain length, how their heads almost do a one-eighty degree turn, the sandpaper tongue…yet you will not find two exactly alike. You will never find two snowflakes alike or two leaves.  Have you ever seen a classroom full of kids draw? Nobody draws the same thing.  Each person is individually created and designed purposefully by God.  God has an amazing, indescribable, unfathomable imagination. 

Sometimes I think about all of the people since the beginning of time that have been created and wonder how He could love and want a relationship with that many people.  My finite mind cannot comprehend some of the great truths of Scripture. 

We see glimpses of God in everything on this earth.  He has given us emotions, just as He has, but only a taste.  We were not given a full dose because we cannot handle it.  One day when we are gone from earth and are living with the Lord, we’ll see everything in the spiritual realm as it truly is.  One TV commercial that comes to mind as an analogy is about an allergy medication.  The screen is not really clear.  It has a film over it.  When you take that medication, the film disappears and you see brilliant colors and everything so clearly.  Even the apostle Paul says that right now we see in a mirror dimly but one day we will see Him just as He is and we will be like Him. 

I spend a lot of time lost in thought pondering the Word and the wonder of God.  It is sometimes during those quiet moments that He gives me a glimpse of Himself.  I love it when He does that!  As a child of God, I think it is OK to overanalyze things.  God is very deep.  He said in His Word that we will find Him when we seek Him with all of our heart.  Are you seeking God today?

Sex, Celibacy and Monogamy…Oh my!

Does it ever strike you as odd that advertisers seem to use sex to sell anything?  Unfortunately, in the society in which we live, sex sells or rather I guess I should say lust sells. How depraved we have become. Sex is not the whole reason for living.   I get disgusted watching TV because it seems that every single show has to have something sexual in it.  Do we, as a society, actually talk to one another like that or is TV trying to push a liberal agenda to get us thinking that it is OK to degrade one another?

God created sex in a marital environment so that the man and woman could share an intimacy with each other and no one else.  It brings pleasure and procreates.

It is still not the entire reason for living.  In marriage, it actually plays a small role compared to the rest.  What happens if your mate becomes paralyzed or dysfunctional?  Does that end the marriage?  Of course not. But how many people today actually honor their marriage vows?  “For better or for worse, in sickness and in health…” 

Jesus taught to esteem others better than ourselves.  It’s kind of hard to do that if you get frustrated with a mate who cannot “service” your needs and you seek fulfillment outside of the marriage.  You’ve broken that trust and committed adultery. 

The world has tried to ingrain in our psyche that we cannot live without sex when the truth is, yes…we can.  True love is a commitment, not a feeling.  You married for better or for worse and seemingly the “worse” is here.  Your spouse cannot function.  How do you handle it?  Think if it were you.  Would you want your spouse to just give up on you and go find someone else?  How selfish would that be?  Don’t berrate your spouse because they have a physical issue and cannot perform. If you are loved, cherish it.  Do you know how many people are in an unloving marriage?

I used to think that older couples who slept in separate beds was horrible.  I see now that being able to sleep while your spouse snores like a freight train in another room is coping.  I used to think that being celibate after a certain age was a death sentence.  I was wrong.  God has given me the grace to get through this just as He does any other “obstacle” that may come my way.

How do you do it? Stop listening to songs about romance and sex.  Refuse to watch anything on TV that has sex in it. When a scene comes on in a movie that has a couple having sex, leave the room until that scene is over.  Focus on the Lord and what He wants.  Stay in His Word.  He will give you the grace to get through it.

Life goes on….even without sex.  There is beauty in so many every day things. Look for the beauty.  It is there!  God is giving you a gift of life every day.  Cherish it. Serve Him.

Tag Cloud