Be Still and Know… {8.23.17}

Do you hear from God? Do you sometimes wonder if it’s God or simply your own thoughts? I can answer yes to both of those questions. be still and know that I am godI regret the times of inaction on my part due to wondering if it was God or me with these “great ideas”.  I have decided this past year to push forward as long as it lines up with God’s Word and is not contrary to His Word. It never hurts to do the “right thing”, even when we’re not sure of the outcome and even when we think we are going to look silly. Been there – done that. I’m thinking back on a time a few months ago when I saw a young lady in a store, sitting on a bench with her head down looking forlorn or upset. I walked past her and then the thought came to me that I should check on her to make sure she was ok and see if I could help. So…when the though persisted, back I went. I said hello and asked if she was ok. She said YES and apparently, she was just reading something on her phone or simply taking a break. Oh well. Maybe it was me or maybe it was God just seeing if I would obey, even if…

I don’t know about you but I am usually “busy”. If my hands aren’t doing something, my mind is whirling. We don’t have to be physically active to still be preoccupied and active in our thought life. In recent years God has spoken to me the most clearly and most often when I’m in bed. It’s usually when I just wake up and my mind hasn’t started reviewing my “to do list” yet, and I’m “still”.  Quite often it seems like the thoughts are “out there” or at least “out of my league”. That’s another indication that it’s God speaking. Usually it’s something that either I don’t think I can do or it takes me way outside of my comfort zone.

Sam writing on framingWe are building a house and last week our grandson was checking out the construction with his parents and decided to write his name and date on a wall board. His Mom sent us a photo. I must have been thinking about that when I went to sleep. Anyway, when I woke up the next morning, these scriptures were in my head (see below) and I felt like God was telling me to write scriptures throughout the house while it was still in the framing stage. Not only to write the scriptures but to also pray them over the house.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 “These commandments I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

So, we selected specific scriptures scripture unless Lordfor different areas of the house and my husband and I went about writing them (29 of them actually). I also wrote them down in my prayer journal so that when they are all covered up, I’ll still know what scripture is written where and can continue to pray them. We may end up with more scriptures because I’m hoping that other family members will add to them. I have to say, I love walking through the house now and seeing God’s Word in every area. It’s comforting and brings me hope and joy.

God is serious about remembering, scripture use giftsspeaking and writing His Word. This same message is further on in the Deuteronomy text.

Deuteronomy 11:18-21 “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.”

Was this God speaking to me or was it my own thoughts prompted by our grandson’s action? I don’t know for sure but I know it is not contrary to God’s Will. We also know that seeds have been planted. The building superintendent on our house called and told us that he noticed scriptures written throughout the house. scripture offer hospitalityMy husband told him that we had done it. He said, “I don’t have a problem with that.” So, every day now until they are all covered up, the workers will see God’s Word. His Word is not empty. If one person seeks God from them, hallelujah!

My lesson from this: I’m trying to be still and listen because God’s voice isn’t always loud and booming. He wants us to be still and listen for it. Here’s what happened when God was speaking to Elijah in 1 Kings 19:11-12 “The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire came a gentle whisper.”

Have a blessed day and remember to “Be Still and Know…”

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Water Lilies {8.19.17}

Last week as I was driving to pick up my Mom, I drove past two small retention ponds. One of them has had water lilies for a few (or maybe several) years now so I always look for them. This time, however, I was amazed at how enormous and beautiful they were! I could not even see any water in the pond. It was totally covered with the lily pads. They were so beautiful that on our way back down that road, we pulled off and I got out and took a picture of them. Of course the photo from my phone does not do them justice but I hope you get a glimpse of how beautiful they are. water lilies 2It reminded me of God’s message to us in both Matthew and Luke which reminds us not to worry. Here’s the Luke version: “Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith”! (Luke 12:27-28) Not only can and does God grow things in the soil, He grows them in the water. The common thing is that all living things need a root system for growth. The same is true of us. We need to be rooted in Christ in order to grow. And, we have to read His Word to be fed so that we can mature to our full potential, just like these beautiful water lilies.

I am constantly thrilled with the beauty God took time to create that we get to enjoy. Nature is amazing and we so often take it for granted. Plants, grasses, harvest, flowers, clouds, sunrises, sunsets and another thing I saw last week, rainbows. Here’s what God says about the nature He created in Romans 1:20 “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.” We don’t have to look far to see God! There is no other explanation for life. Only God!

If we neglect to praise God as Creator, here’s what Jesus says will happen. “I tell you, he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (Luke 19:40). Take a look outside at the beauty our Creator has given us and don’t forget to thank and praise Him. We certainly don’t want to leave it up to the stones!  ENJOY creation! He wants us to!

 

Packing and Moving {8.8.17}

Have you ever packed and moved? If so, you probably are hesitant to read this blog post. We recently moved, downsized – really downsized! We are building a house so after we sold our home, we found an apartment (with a garage – thank you, God). garage storageThat’s great because after we sold some things, gave some things away, and pitched some, we were actually able to fit it all in. It took some really creative organization and we just hope we don’t need anything that’s in a bottom box in the garage (we have a narrow path to the door from apartment to garage). But, God blessed us with this place and we are thankful.  I have to say though…it was a struggle and the night we actually slept here, we were pooped (maybe a better word is exhausted but you get the idea). Counting this apartment, we have lived in 10 different homes in the past 35 years. Funny though…I don’t remember the actual moves. Maybe I blocked them out of my mind or maybe it was because I was younger then. Regardless, this move really knocked the wind out of me. If I had to carry boxes down those stairs another day, I might have gone on strike (ha ha). During this process though I began to think about the Israelites and felt humbled, a little bit guilty and a whole lot of thankful! After all, we had time – time to sort, time to sell, time to pack, time to move (it went right down to the wire but we made it 1 hour before our house closed and we had to be out). Grumble and complain – can’t do it when I consider my blessings. Let’s take a look at the Israelites.

Their exodus took place at night. exodusThey were told it was coming but still…did that prepare them for the moment’s notice to get out of town? I wonder. They grabbed what they could carry and off they went. Then as they traveled, God went before them in a cloud. When the cloud stopped they camped. When the cloud moved, they moved. They always had to be ready to pick up everything and take off. (Numbers 9:15-23) They followed the cloud and did just what the Lord commanded, when He commanded (immediate obedience – after all, is delayed obedience really obedience?).

Exodus 15:11 “Who among the gods is like you, O Lord? Who is like you – majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, working wonders”? (Remember all the wonders He showed them during their trek? Parting the sea is one of my favorites but so very many…) Exodus 15:13 “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” God is good – all the time. He knows all; He created all. We can surely trust and follow Him!

I have a hobby – quilting. It’s a hobby I thoroughly enjoy (especially since I share the hobby with my daughter) but along with that hobby I have tons of stuff (supplies). As I was boxing up all the fabrics, books, tools, etc. I was a little overwhelmed myself with how many boxes it took to accommodate all my “treasures”.packing boxes.png In my defense (or justification), most of what I make is given as gifts but still – I think I might have to live to age 100 to use up everything! Humbling, a little embarrassing and extremely motivating to get busy and sew. I started thinking about what God says about our “treasures”. Matthew 6:19-21 says, “Do not (stop) store up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store (start) up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

I sometimes wonder, if I just had time to grab what I could carry and leave everything else behind, what would I grab? What would you grab? Makes you stop and think doesn’t it? What are our “treasures”?

god-is-loveWell, we are settled now until the next move and I would like to leave you with this verse about treasures – God’s treasures. Deuteronomy 26:17-18 “You have declared this day that the Lord is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey him. And the Lord has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands.” If God is not yet your Lord, please seek Him. When you seek Him, you will find Him. His word tells us so. You will find what has been missing from your life in God, only in God. Have a blessed day!