Monday, May 18, 2020

Reminder


 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17

There are few things in this world of which I am absolutely certain. One of those is that I am saved by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ. Another is that He in His infinite kindness has blessed me with a wonderful husband.  My husband is not perfect and I can assure you that his wife is not either. We are great together and as I said, that is a huge blessing. I am thankful to need very few reminders of how blessed I am to have that man in my life, so it was extra heartbreaking for me when I watched a sad scene unfold in the grocery store yesterday.

          As I entered the checkout line the man in front of me, next in line, with his things sitting right next to the cashier, went to stand a few feet away. Given that we are still in pandemic mode, I checked my position. No, I hadn’t gotten too close. As I was wondering why he moved, the explanation rolled up, a woman in one of those scooter deals.

          Her husband stood bagging their groceries and apparently there was a mix up about the payment method. The wife had headed to the car but had to return to fix the problem. They were not kind to each other, both were a bit snappy  but the husband was the worst. He bit her head off every time she spoke. She wheeled away again and the gentleman in front of me returned to the line. He looked at Cranky, who was just rolling his cart away and said, “You should be thankful you have a wife.”

          Right there I felt my heart break. That poor man! To speak that way to a stranger, I thought, his pain must be deep enough, and maybe even new enough that he just couldn’t help himself.  He also made an excellent point.

          How often do we snap at those people closest to us? Or ignore them? Or just simply take them for granted? My spouse, child, parent, grandparent, friend will be there next week. Will they?

          What about our stuff? Is it a given that we have a home? Food? Clothes? What about our freedom? I live in a military town which makes me more aware that our freedom is not free. I’m a Christian which is an even bigger reminder that my freedom and salvation come at a huge cost, not to me, but to Jesus my Savior.

          I hated being a witness to those two people being so rude and cruel to each other. I hated much more hearing the pain in the voice of the other observer but I am grateful to all of them. They were reminders to me to look at my life and say THANK YOU, JESUS!

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Power


 

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Submit yourselves then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7  

For some reason, don’t ask me, I couldn’t possibly tell you, I decided to do a little renovation project. Due to the fact that it involves a fairly large piece of furniture and some pretty noxious smells, I’m doing it outside on our porch.

          When I first went out there this morning, I had the lovely accompaniment of bird songs. I had my music playing and the birds seem to just blend in with that, so precious. The second round was the same but on my third time out there a crow decided to throw a party. This may or may not be fact, but it appears that the way a crow summons his buddies is to squawk as loudly as possibly. LOUD! First it startled me, then it irritated me. “Shut up!” I yelled at it, loud enough for my neighbor to turn his head. Oops, not you sir, not you. No, I was not yelling at my neighbor, I was yelling at the ugly, disturbing sounds of that crow. That crow, which had jarred my mind away from the beautiful praise song that was playing….. Oh!

          That’s when God really got my attention. You see, the crow did shut up. Granted several of his little crow friends arrived on the scene shortly after but there was no more squawking. Two little words, spoken loudly and with authority that I don’t really have, I mean, I don’t control crows, made the awful distraction stop. Message received Lord.

          I need to speak to the devil that way. When he intrudes on my thoughts, my faithful, joyful, God-honoring thoughts, I need to say, “Shut up!” Then redirect my thoughts and place them right back on God.

          In fairness, that crow and his buddies have far more right to be in my yard than Satan has to be in my head.  Yes, the crow was annoying but he can’t hurt me. Satan can do huge damage in a very short amount of time with minimal effort on his part, if I let him. Read that again. If. I. Let. Him. NO! Shut up!

          I’m happy to report that on my next foray to the porch, (this is a spray, wait, spray, wait, project) our very majestic hawk was meandering in the yard, quietly, as is his nature. My music played, I was able to keep my mind set on Jesus, pray that I am not totally ruining this lovely piece of furniture and praise Him for reminding that where the enemy is concerned, I do have power, the power of the Holy Spirit.

 

Sunday, May 3, 2020

There She Is


This is a rerun of an older message. I was reminded of it this morning and it seems that someone needs to hear this, to know that God loves you and is delighted to know you. So…..

There She Is

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12

 

Reading that verse this morning I was filled with joy at the idea of being fully known by God. This is a new experience for me. Any thought of God, of my Father knowing all about me has, up until very recently, made me quite uncomfortable, even ashamed. I’m human, all the way through and as such have done and said things I so very much wish I hadn’t. But God loves with perfect love. In the verses just prior, the very well known section of 1 Corinthians, it says, “it [love] keeps no record of wrong.” Thinking about that, about always, always, always being welcomed into my Father’s presence reminded me of a little friend of mine, Brittany.

Brittany’s mind doesn’t work in what we refer to as the “normal” way. She tends to grab hold of a phrase or two and repeat them over and over until something else catches her attention. The crazy part is that every now and then she gets a hold of one and uses it semi-appropriately. One of her current favorites is “There she is!”  My guess is that she hears it from her daddy, a man who clearly adores her.

Thinking about being fully known and at the same time fully loved by my Father I could see him, looking at me, catching my eye and saying, “There she is!”

Beloved, our Father feels that way about us all the time. It doesn’t matter who we think we are or what we are doing, through the sacrifice of Jesus we have been made beautiful and forgiven. I have no idea what details Abba sees when he looks at me. Tall? Short? Talented? Awkward? I couldn’t tell you. I barely know what I see in me. This I do know, whatever he sees, he loves. How great is that?

I am very grateful to Brittany for shedding a new light on this Scripture for me. In my hardest, darkest moments as well as my happy ones, I plan to picture my Abba looking at me and saying, “There she is!”