I cannot express how grateful I am that God is so evident in our trip to see my sis. She is able to do anything, it just takes longer to walk to the car, get ourselves ready, etc. But, it is a great blessing to find all my fears were for naught. I fought fear and anxiety a good deal ahead of arriving trying to Trust. Now that we are here I see just how much God has done that I hadn’t even expected. Bonnie says God has her still here because He wants her to proclaim His Glory! That much alone makes me joyful!
We spent most of the day yesterday with my Aunt Billie and my cousins, her kids that live here. It was such a fun day starting at church with them. I love their church and the Spirit of God which is very evident.
One big lesson this trip has already taught me is that praising God ahead of time because He is God, is exactly the right thing to do. Trusting God, knowing He cares far more deeply than we ever could, is to be a daily practice. God has already shown me just how much He cares!
It is so good to be here in California with my sis Bonnie! Her place is small but very convenient for her and it works out well for us to actually stay here. This is a real answer to prayer. She says she has hardly slept for two nights waiting for this time to arrive! God’s promises are so true and I am a very grateful brother to find this so true once again.
We are headed to church with our Aunt Billie and her family so this will be short. God is Good and we never want to lose sight of this!!
The trust I wrote about yesterday regarding this trip we are taking in another hour was being challenged as I awoke early this morning. My guts were filled with fear, and anxiety was challenging each and every part of the trip. The “what ifs” were wanting to take charge. I knew upon awakening I needed to get up and challenge this. As I started my devotions and journaling I immediately praised God for all the unknown work He is doing and will be doing. I praised Him for the Light He is already blinding the enemy with. I thanked Him for a peace I didn’t know at the moment but for the peace He will provide. I then opened my devotional and its title was: “I Am Here”. It’s first words were: “Your praise reaches me. Your worship touches my heart. I haven’t withdrawn myself from you….”
There are a number of obstacles which look like severe health issues that could be used to stop this trip. However, I know now better than ever that this trip is to take place and to take place in the name of Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord. I can see the Light of God shining there and back so onward we go!
There are not too many things I like about winter. However, there is something about winter that no other season gives me and that is HOPE. Every winter is followed by a spring and I love spring. Every winter I can look out my windows on the worst of weather days and still see the new life which will be coming in a just a few more weeks! Hope is a wonderful gift God plants within each of us!
Tomorrow we fly to S Calif. to see my two sisters, both of which are struggling with their health. Alice is 87 and has just been diagnosed with COVID even though she has no symptoms. I don’t know if we can even see her while we are there. Bonnie has had a couple of major strokes in this past year so life has changed dramatically for her. We will be staying with her even though her new place is quite small. God has reminded me many times of late that I don’t need to worry about this trip. He is their God just as He is mine. See this trip as a blessing for which it will be. So, I remind myself of this each time something tries to creep into my mind/emotions. I can TRUST God and I shall.
Two of our quartet members were sick yesterday so the quartet to sing for our friend’s funeral turned into a duet. The “funny” thing about this is that the two of us who sang were the two this lady accompanied before we became a quartet. God has connections He makes which always surprise me.
My time with my prayer warrior was another uplift. If I’m alive at 90, I hope I can be as profitable for the Lord as she is. What a gift she is to all who are connected to her and her prayer list.
Saturday my wife and I fly to California to spend a week with my two sisters and other relatives. Both sis’s are dealing with major health issues and we haven’t been able to be there for two years due to the present circumstances. Yesterday I was called by my older sis’s daughter saying my sis has COVID so I don’t know if we can even see her. She is in an assisted living place. My sis is very frail. Only God can open whatever doors so I’m leaving this dilemma with Him. I’m praising Him because He is worthy to be PRAISED!
Today is a very different Wednesday. I’m usually in a school/district every Wednesday. However, today is the funeral service for a very dear lady and our quartet is singing for it. After the service and the dinner which follows, I’m meeting with my prayer warrior. I have many things I’m wanting to talk with her about. She is the one who put me in touch with the devotional I’m now using for this year as well as The Passion. Reading these two together is eye-opening, mind-opening, and spirit-opening every day.
I have never made the connection that the Beatitudes were delivered by Jesus to better represent living for Jesus replacing the Old Testament’s 10 Commandments. Also, it has never occurred to me that serving The One True God is critically important because our God is the only God who provides the doorway to eternal life through Jesus Christ His Son. Of course, both of these realities are not new information, but reading them this morning in conjunction with one another makes me realize even more how deceptive Satan is in trying to keep so many “other gods” before man to confuse his mind and emotions making flesh promises. Our God is so AMAZING!
Praise in the human sense has always been something I’ve not paid too much attention to. I know its importance in working with kids and their learning and I’ve seen its effectiveness in this field time and time again. I’ve also known that we are told to “give praise to God in all things, I Thessalonians 5:18. I remember as a much younger adult that I didn’t need to praise God “for” all things, but “in” all things. This was important at the time because praising God for abuse seemed absurd and contrary to anything God stood for.
Today, the entire idea of praising God has a much richer meaning/purpose. I am learning that praising God is a spiritual matter. No one knows better than me to trust God in the midst of any and all circumstances. He doesn’t always change the “ugliness” of circumstances, but if we stay with God, not turning our backs to Him, He will use the circumstances to grow us more and more into His likeness. This is why we praise God “in” all things rather than “for” all things. It is easy for me to see this today. 30 and 40 years ago I just let this message go. I couldn’t make sense to it. Mainly, the reason I couldn’t make sense of it was due to my unwillingness to confess what had me in bondage. I didn’t want the world to know what was going on inside of me for fear of the consequences. I have no idea what God would have done if I’d addressed all of this earlier in my life. I won’t dwell on this for it is part of my past. I’m just grateful God has brought me to the understanding that I desire to PRAISE HIM in all things knowing He is my One True God.
To be a new creation–this little phrase will likely be one I wrestle with the rest of my life. I know that I already am a new creation simply from inviting Jesus into my heart and life. I know that somehow this new creation brings me in line with Jesus so that when God sees me, He sees the creation He intended originally. He doesn’t see the sins of Earnie or the sins done to me. My new devotional daily message is driving all of this home. Now that I’m reading the Passion I find the translator being used to help clarify God’s rich purpose in sending Jesus for our sakes–my sake–yours and mine. I have to admit–I’ve always wanted my being a new creation to be present in this earth of ours free from all temptations and memories of our past. Well, I know to let this wish go. But, how does one cling fully to the reality of Jesus in our lives 24/7? This is my goal and I’m staying with it.
Today was an early rise one. My wife and her sis plus her sis’ daughter in law were headed to Vegas for Mary’s store shopping. I was the chauffer who needed to have them at the airport by 5:30 am. So, they are there and I’m up earlier on a Sunday morning ready for the day. It works out well in that I’m on worship team today so I need to be at church early anyway. These little details always make me smile seeing how God works them out without me ever noticing until they come together like this.
This morning I began The Passion–New Testament translation of the Bible. I’m already seeing that it directly brings out some clarity I haven’t noticed before. This is all about God’s Kingdom which is Spirit and not flesh. I’m starting to shift my thinking realizing that a new creation is to live in God’s Spirit even though I dwell in the flesh. I’ve always thought I had to live in the flesh and do the best I could remembering I’ve got God’s Holy Spirit within. Staying focused on being a new creation is allowing me to begin to better see that I can live in God’s Spirit if I stay awake to it. The Passion brings out this focus so I’m going to appreciate going through it a verse/chapter at a time.
God is never done with us/me. I’m so thankful He is the definer of patience, love and all of the fruits of the Spirit. I definitely want to grow in each of them as this new creation awakens more and more.
Have you given thought to how much Satan wouldn’t want any of God’s children to know what a new creation actually is? God has been nudging me daily to stay into the three little books of John which have an overriding theme which is God’s Love. A new creation awakens more and more to what God’s Love is really like. Also, the devotional I’m reading continuously hits on this same theme.
I haven’t written in this blog the amount of temptation/torment I’ve been experiencing this month. As I went to bed last night and was going over the day with Jesus I was hit with the message that Satan doesn’t want me to know this freedom and the love God provides for His new creations. He wants me in the bondage I’ve known all the earlier years of my life. I don’t know why it has taken me so many days to realize this (it isn’t a new reality by any means). No matter, I’m just glad to now reawaken to stay on guard. A new creation is still living in a sin-infested world. Just writing this makes me smile. God really is a wonderful GOD!