There seems to be “testing in the air” at this present time. So many of the people close to me are being tested right now and being so in tough ways. I am deep into Isaiah right now in my bible reading and God is challenging the Israelites to keep their eyes on Him and Trust Him rather than the graven images man has made.
Today, we may not have the manmade images of the times before Christ, but there are an abundance of things we turn to before we ever turn to God and proclaim His Word over the circumstances we are facing. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
As I was journaling this morning and asking God what He wanted me to know from Him for today, He reminded me that my knees are used best when I proclaim my trust in Him while there. In so doing He then reminded me to look up to see His Face. As I did I could sense my own self being empowered. This empowerment is all in the name of TRUST and FAITH. God is man’s Creator. Every aspect of man’s nature had a Godly purpose which Satan has tried to use for man’s destruction. Yet, I give to God these issues claiming God’s original design to show forth in issues today. I don’t know what God has in mind but I know He does so I put my TRUST in Him and will respond as He nudges me to do so.
It is often said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. Well, an item which has been of great concern has been laid wide open and it was done with the wisdom of a child. The outcome is yet to be determined, but it can now be dealt with due to the innocent steps of a kid. Matthew 18:4 says, “So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” It is incredible to see the simple trust child has in their Father when they are taught to have Faith. I saw this yesterday and I simply praise this kid for his belief. We adults try to figure out so much when God asks us (tells us) to have the faith of a child). After yesterday I’m reminded what this looks like.
God is so Amazing. My first thought yesterday was what I wrote in the first sentence–God works in mysterious ways. Yet, there is nothing mysterious about what a child did acting on his Faith. I not only need to grow in my simple Faith but I also want to be one who reminds others by my own actions what simple Faith looks like.
Last night our quartet sang for a dear lady who is now house-bound. She has been a part of my life for over 50 years going back to when my career started as a teacher. She was part of our school’s PTO, she had been a room mother for me when her youngest was in my classroom. She was instrumental in our church’s worship over all of these years and served on the church board when I also did. I’ve treasured her wisdom and her connection with God. Singing God’s praises for her was a blessed time. Not only was it a blessing in and of itself, I also found that right across the street from her new home location lives another lady I worked with the first 7 years of my career. She is a widow too. We went over and had her join us. It was a beautiful reunion and all in the name of Jesus. I love these opportunities God provides!
There are times when I would like to have God make choices which simply tell what to do. However, it seems that He always wants us to seek Him, but He then leaves the choice to us. I love that He gives us choice–He wouldn’t be the God He is otherwise. I am just perplexed to know if opportunities which come about are ones God wants us to take? I’m facing this at the moment and I don’t have Light shining in either corner. I’m just going to move forward into each day to see if a Light does click on. I do know to Trust and Obey. Sometimes this just takes patience.
Today’s devotional message was one of deep purpose and meaning for me. I had already journaled regarding some issues needing God’s intervention. I know most of them are not in my hands to do anything about except to pray. I don’t underestimate the power of prayer, so I am seeking the real Power of God to intervene. As I journaled and asked Jesus what He wanted me to know for today, He told me to look up. Looking out only allows me to see the problems I already know. Looking up allows me to see well above the problems and to see the God Who not only sees the problems, but He sees well beyond and how the path of the problem leads to Him. This I needed to hear.
As I read my devotional after journaling it took the above message to a deeper level. It asked if when we seek God, do we seek His Hand or do we seek His Face? II Chronicles 7:14 says: “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My Face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” The emphasis of the devotional reading was to seek God’s Face. God had already told me to look up. I loved the added message to SEEK HIS FACE. The devotional said if we seek His hands we are seeking things or action. However, if we SEEK HIS FACE, we will see the very GOD we serve. In it we can fully TRUST.
As soon as I read this I felt a peace. The storm which rages can rage. I know it will lead to my Father. All I needed to do is “see His Face” to know I can TRUST HIM. His Face gives that ASSURANCE that I had come to the right place and sought the right source of strength–GOD HIMSELF!
Our family has been gathering for a few weeks now every Sunday afternoon ahead of our oldest grandson leaving for the air force. This has been a rewarding time if for no other reason than seeing the grandkids having such a fun time playing with one another. Along with this, it gives me ample time to be with the kids and talk through “life” as they are in the midst of the tougher parenting years. My grandson had told me he wanted us to meet weekly so (in his mind) there would be no wounds in the family when he left. He wanted there to be real peace between all of the family members. It is amazing to me to watch how God is answering a 23 year old’s request.
I am always impressed with God’s leadership. Yesterday in the Mending the Soul class there were only 2 present. One of them was new to the class but someone I know well from Celebrate Recovery and he has decided to join. The other 3 members had said they wouldn’t be present yesterday due to family events. The 2 yesterday were not present the week before so I took the time to catch them up with the other 3 so next week we are all on the same page. I wasn’t sure how we would work this out but God already knew. God is timely and thoughtful. The intimate conversations about being completely honest and open during the class time were able to be done in a smaller setting so next week as we all step into chapter 1, we can do so with a willing heart–surrendered and trusting. GOD IS AMAZING!
For several weeks now I’ve been burdened with a heaviness in my soul. I couldn’t identify it except if I paused for a moment I felt it. I would quickly dismiss it as a “presence” fighting the class we’ve started on Sunday mornings: Mending the Soul. I was just enduring it thinking it will go away once we get going. During this time I’ve been tempted over and over to go back to the old habits of the past to salve this evil presence. The voices would say the familiar message like, “you deserve a break so gratify yourself”,
Yesterday I was with my grandson for a few hours as we worked in his yard planting a tree and several shrubs. It was a very rewarding time as we talked through some tough topics he’s facing. Later in the afternoon I was called by two different men in our Celebrate Recovery group who had witnessed God doing abundant work in their lives of late and the one had just happened yesterday when the job he wanted was given back to him now that he is sober. The boss had even called and talked at length with me prior to awarding the job.
This morning God has been showing me the importance of my not enduring a spirit of warfare as I’ve been. He wants them recognized and rejected. Then He wants me to replace them with the self-love, self-appreciation and self-confidence believing that I am worthy of His Love. I don’t need to carry the burden of warfare. I know this weight so well. I grew up with it almost always being present. Yes, it eventually drove me to sinful replacements which God wants me to know once and for it are buried at the Cross if I will quickly follow the 3-R’s and replace them with the 3-S’s. The fruit of this is my peace, but equally great are the magnificent phone calls of yesterday knowing God is working using our story to help others. Wow! God is SO GOOD!
Jesus is always at work and He wants us to be part of it as He nudges us. I am reminded of this so often. Our men’s share group in Celebrate Recovery is encouraged to stay in touch with one another during the week when one is struggling or praising God for a prayer’s answer. This hadn’t been happening. I was nudged to create a phone list which we now carry with us. Since getting that done I’ve been contacted each week by different members. We also talk about doing this more now that we have the list. It’s amazing how one little step is all that is needed for others to take an important little step on their part. It all starts with obeying The Holy Spirit’s nudge.
Today is a day of helping my oldest grandson. It is fun to spend time with him these days ahead of his going into the air force. He always has interesting questions and comments which help me understand the younger generation. I well remember having similar conversations with ones I trusted at that point in my life. A good listener who listens to understand is a lot like the wisdom Solomon wrote about in Proverbs 24:3-7.
God is always at work and so is His Mighty Team: Jesus and The Holy Spirit–THE THREE IN ONE. The meeting yesterday morning seemed to go fine. The gentleman who came talked at length of the family issues. It turns out I know the parents well but I do not know the children personally. I have only met some of them very briefly. We talked for a couple of hours and it was done. As I journaled this morning I was asking Jesus about what was missing from yesterday? He quickly reminded me that we aren’t always planting seeds in fertile soil when we are addressing issues in life. Often we have to expose the issues as weeds which need to be pulled, darkness which needs Light and the sources of weeds and darkness. There was much of this discussed. As I met with my prayer warrior in the afternoon she had already made a copy for me of a prayer declaration–Blessings Upon Your House. This was without even knowing of the morning’s visit. As I read the declaration I knew God was at work. When I got home I took a picture of it and sent to the gentleman. Penetrating Satan’s darkness with God’s LIGHT is always the right place to get started.
Our day ended with our weekly Celebrate Recovery. There is a new sound system in the youth room we use which has made worship tense for the past few weeks trying to figure out how things work. The two trained for it aren’t there when we practice so we set a training for us yesterday ahead of practice. It was amazing. We also had a new drummer yesterday who is young and understood the technology instantly. Our practice was as worshipful as the actual time with the group. All I could do was say–THANK YOU JESUS!
It appears I did not enter a blog yesterday?? I know I had several things on my mind about the day from the time I got up, but I sure didn’t intend to leave this part out. My apologies. I suppose the journey has a day like this–but, hopefully not too often!
Yesterday had several unexpected blessings arise. I had changed my days with the one district since the principal and superintendent were gone Monday and Tuesday. The trip they’d taken also included 4 teacher leaders. They all came back very enthused about what they’d learned. Since both of these admin’s are not returning next year I was very pleased that the teachers are on board sustaining the work we have done the past three years. New leaders can quickly dissolve good work without even knowing it. I’ll work with these teacher leaders now in the interim to write the plan/goals for the coming year which new leaders can work with and hopefully embrace for their ensuing years.
This morning I have a man coming to meet with me. He talked with me last Sunday after service about some divisions in his family with siblings. This man is the age of my own children so he is not talking about his own children, but the siblings he grew up with. I’m not sure I even know this man’s family since he’s fairly new to our church. He heard me talk at the men’s breakfast a couple weeks ago which triggered him to want to “get my input” on whatever the issues are. This is one of the times when total surrender to God’s guidance is needed. After lunch I’m meeting with my prayer warrior. She and I haven’t sat down together for several weeks so I’ll be glad to share all that is taking place with her so she can better understand how to pray. I’m so grateful for her spiritual influence in my life.
I go through these periods of time when I’m uncertain of God’s purpose for the activity of the day. I suppose all of us have these days. Today is just the opposite. It is one where the intent is definite and I pray the outcome will be rich. Last week I met with the superintendent of the district and we set today’s agenda. It is a hard topic and conversation, yet hopefully it will be rich. I realize I’m being vague with details, but I can’t talk specifically about them. I do believe all of us relate to these times when we need to have difficult conversations. It is a time to be sure it is God’s agenda being met and He has been given the lead in it. I do look forward to today and to see how God works in it.
As the sun is coming up I can see just how windy the day is outside. It isn’t a pretty one. It matches some of today’s turmoil in reality. My prayer is that as we face the storm today we can do so well anchored knowing God is leading and not man.