Do You See What I See?

Sometimes I get so excited about a new revelation. But when I share it with some people, they just don’t get it.

When this happens, Satan is delighted. It gives him an opportunity to make us doubt the truth of what God showed us.

He also tempts us to just give up in sharing with those who don’t see what we see.

Elijah the prophet was praying for rain. He saw it coming in his mind and spirit. He could have looked to the horizon himself. But instead he had his servant look.

It took seven times of looking before his servant saw it. But finally he did see it.

“But Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he crouched down on the earth and put his face between his knees.

“He said to his servant, ‘Go up now, look toward the sea.’ So he went up and looked and said, ‘There is nothing.’ And he said, ‘Go back’ seven times.

“It came about at the seventh time, that he said, ‘Behold, a cloud as small as a man’s hand is coming up from the sea.’

And he said, ‘Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, so that the heavy shower does not stop you.'”…
1 Kings 18:42-44

There are many caterpillar people who don’t know yet they are destined to be butterflies. Don’t give up on them.

Keep sharing what The Lord has revealed to you. Have faith they will see it too!

Scars

Many of us try very hard to cover up our struggles, our wounds and scars.  We believe they will somehow detract from our Christian witness.

And yet Jesus, who could have resurrected without His wounds and scars chose to give a vivid Life Lesson.

He called Thomas’ attention to His wounds, even encouraging him to touch them.  Why?  Was Jesus seeking pity?  No!

He wanted him (and us) to understand that reality was He had suffered.  He had already told them plainly, “In this world you will have trouble.” (John 16:33)

But the greater reality came through His next Words.  “But take heart!  I have overcome the world!”  

Whatever has happened, is happening or will happen in your life, He can still bring New Life through you.  Your scars are not there for you to pick the scabs off and be hurt all over again.  Your scars are there to remind you Jesus is covering and healing your wounds.

I find most inspiring those people, who are honest and up front about their struggles, but also show true beauty even while under attack.

They proclaim faithfully through their lives the reality of

“The One Who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world!”  1 John 4:4

Sing To The Lord!

God sings to us.
He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His Love, He will rejoice over you with singing!

Zephaniah 3:17

True worship happens when we sing, not just about Him, but when we sing to Him.

Some of the most secular songs can be turned into praise by simply changing one word of the song and singing it to God.

Try it.  Change the word “she” to “You” in this song about The Greatest Love Story of your life.

Here is the link.

I Surrender All … But That …

Many of us have sung with great enthusiasm, “All to Jesus I surrender.”

But then He asks us to surrender something we just can’t part with. And we say, “Well, I surrender all, but that.”

We say we would go anywhere to advance God’s Kingdom.

But then He asks us to go somewhere we would never want to go.

What if every place we end up is really our mission field assignment? What if our assignment is not to preach the gospel with our own rhetoric or service, but it is to be truly surrendered to Jesus living Life through us?

I once had a group of nursing students to whom I gave the assignment to ask their nursing home resident what their plans were for the future.

The student assigned to the resident who was over 100 years old and bedfast balked at the assignment. The student said, “How can she answer that when she doesn’t have a future?”

I did not let her off the hook. I encouraged her to ask. When she reported back, we all smiled at her resident’s plans for the future.

The elderly lady said, “I’m going to lie right here as long as The Lord lets me and I am going to let you learn on me.”

Would you surrender all to Jesus? Would you go anywhere He wanted you to go? Would you be willing to let Him fully live in your body in whatever way He chooses?

When He says, “Who shall I send and who will go for us,” would you say, without hesitation, “Here am I. Send me!”

Here is the link to a song to reflect on your answers.

Daddy, Hold Me Up So I Can See!

Jay brought in the groceries and set the bags on the bar.

Our son in law was in the kitchen talking to Jay as they unloaded the groceries.

Gideon was watching with great interest from his toddler view. He knew there were all kinds of things being revealed from the bags.

He could partially see them, but wanted to see more. I watched as he moved around, trying to see. But it was to no avail. Everything was simply too high for him.

But then he knew what he needed to do. He went straight to his Dad and held up his arms to be picked up. His Dad cheerfully obliged him and showed him the groceries.

I watched in wonder as I watched this real life parable. Sometimes we see the tip of Glory and we want to see more.

We move around in all directions, trying first one thing and then another, to see more. But it does not work.

We are not always as quick as Gideon was to figure out what to do. We often lie on the floor, kicking and screaming, and wonder why God will not show us more.

But The Truth is God is very willing to pick us up and lift us up. He is glad to show us more. We just have to reach up and surrender to His Loving Arms.

I love this verse where Luke recorded that God does not begrudgingly give us the kingdom. He is pleased to give it!

Your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom!
Luke 12:32

Here is the link to one of my favorite songs that gives praise to The One Who lifts us up.

Prayer For Mothers Who Hurt …

I was very blessed to have had a wonderful mother. Thank you for letting me share my memories of her this past week.

However, as we now celebrate Mother’s Day, let us not forget there are many who cannot celebrate in the same joyful way.

I invite you to join me in prayer for these mothers.

Those who did not have loving mothers. Their memories are painful.

Those who were left by their mothers. A part of them remembers growing near their mother’s heart, but they never had the joy of a continued sharing of life.

Those who had abortions and regret it. Many carry the silent grief of all they could have had, but chose not to. No matter what the reason for their choice, their hearts still remember what they tried to get their bodies to forget.

Those who are raising children, who are challenged by disabilities. They carry burdens every day as they help their children face the world. They are tired. They are stressed. But they never give up.

Those whose children have left and never returned. They carry the pain of waiting for the phone call or waiting for the closed door to open again.

Those whose children have chosen badly, in spite of all their efforts to teach them and guide them. They are horrified, as they visit their children behind plate glass or in cemeteries. They still ask themselves what they could have done to prevent such tragedies.

Those whose children have died, whether it was from miscarriage, illness, accidents or senseless violence. They still seek answers. They still long for their children.

Those who long to be mothers, but it has not happened yet. They are already mothers in their hearts, but their bodies are not there yet.

Those whose mothers have died, whether young or old. They were not ready to let them go. They long to spend this Mother’s Day with them. They need their touch just one more time.

We see all of you in spirit and ask our Father God, Creator of the universe, to lift you up and strengthen you and give you renewed hope and faith.

You are treasured mothers and daughters. We remember you and lift you up.

As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you.
Isaiah 66:13

Happy Birthday, Daddy!💖

If my father was still in his earthly body, he would be celebrating his 117th birthday today.

He lived a full life during his 96 years on earth.  Even though I was born at a time that made him an “older” father, God blessed us with many years together.

He so often repeated his favorite stories and jokes, we, who are his family can still recite them today.

He really changed very little in appearance over the years.  He laughed when he recalled people telling him he looked just the same as he did twenty years earlier.

He said, “At first I was really flattered.  Then one day, I realized they might be telling me I looked that old twenty years ago!”😱

It would be hard to sum up his life briefly, but if I tried, it would be through his own words.

“It would take more than 24 hours a day to thank The Lord for all our many blessings.  Thank The Lord over and over again!”

“Prayer is the biggest power we have.  Pray always.  But pray with an open mind.  See what God has in mind.”

“I love you with all my heart … and I mean that.”

He also said when we were leaving, “Don’t forget me.”

I could never forget you, Daddy.  I think of you every day, but especially on days like today.  Heavenly birthdays undoubtedly get celebrated every day, but today I send you all my love from earth.

You Are A Promise Fulfilled!

You are here as God’s Promise to former generations that their work would go on.

You are His Promise that every thing they learned and passed on to someone would continue.

You are the arrow sent from their bow, flying through time to hit its mark.

You are the bow, even now being fashioned to pass along their work along with yours to people you may never know.

You have been given life to be The Light to The Life.

Be The Light. Be The Promise fulfilled!

Jesus said, “Become what you believe!”
Mathew 9:29

Here is the link to a wonderful song about our being the fulfillment of Promises God made long ago.

Blessed Are Those Who Mourn …

I worked as a nurse for many years.  I saw death and grief up close.  I always shared grief on some level.

But I have found that now that I am retired, I feel the grief of others even more intently.  It is as if I “gunny sacked” some of that grief while I was in the midst of it.

When you are a health care worker trying to save lives, you cannot take the time to fully feel.  You have to stay focused.  You have to be there for others.  You have to be calm, at least on the outside.

One of the dangers of not fully feeling is that it becomes habitual.  As patients, we have seen many nurses and doctors who were so emotionally distant we felt we were being cared for by robots.

When I supervised nurses and later taught nursing, I always told them that after taking care of patients, it was essential they take a break.  

They needed to feel the enormity of their tasks … their privilege to be a part of it … and also the necessity of releasing their feelings of powerlessness in not being able to control every outcome.

I told them that after every death, they needed to take a few moments and realize they had been at the climax of a life lived on earth.  Even if we did not know the patient well, there had been others who did know them and love them.

Today we learned of the death of a 20 year old exercise rider, who fell off a horse at Keeneland.  

I did not know her, but as I read the news, I realized there were those who were caught up in grief … trying to process the unthinkable … trying to release hopes and dreams for the future without her.

I was talking to Jay about the tragedy when we went to the lake at Lexington Green.  We always enjoy saying hello to the swans, geese and ducks.  This time of year is always exciting as new babies are being born.

But tonight was different.  As we passed through the parking lot, we saw a duck repeatedly pulling at something.  Being curious, we circled around and then got closer.

And there was the continuation of the grief story.  The duck’s mate lay obviously dead on the payment.  And he was frantically trying to revive her.  

He pulled at her over and over again.  He put beak to beak as if attempting to give her CPR or gather up all the kisses he would not have in the future.

My heart broke for him.  How does one comfort a duck … or a person?  Nearby stood another duck, present, but not intruding … being there with his friend and just allowing him to have these final moments of intimacy.

We watched and prayed for them.  It is what Jesus asked of His Friends when He was in sorrow in The Garden of Gethsemane.

As the tears came later at home, I realized I was crying for all who grieve tonight.  I feel it.  I share the burden.  I care.  I am praying for you.

And I am praying for a little duck who has lost his mate.  Jesus said,

“… two little sparrows … not one of them will fall to the ground without your Father’s leave (consent) and notice.”

Matthew 10:29

I am sure it is true for ducks and people too.

God, What Is The Plan For My Life?

I have always loved planning and organizing. I love wading into a mess and seeing how I can transform it into something neat and orderly.

I am a list maker. I try to take what I know and make a five year or more plan that seems reasonable and possible.

I like routines. I like the thought that at a certain time I am going to do something. It gives me a feeling of security, like there really is a future and one where I will be comfortable.

If things don’t turn out as I planned, I always review in detail where I went wrong … what I overlooked … how I can be sure this never happens again.

I think God shakes His Head in sadness as He sees me trying to run His World and in the process, picking up many burdens I don’t need to carry.

I overthink things way too much.

I absorb far too many anxieties that turn into outright fears.

I struggle with information overload as I try to have enough knowledge to have power over my world.

For the past few years, our lives have been full of unplanned things, some disastrous, some exciting and joy filled. It seemed God wanted to teach us a lesson. When we did not get it to begin with, He presented it in another way.

What was that lesson? Quite simply, God is God and I am not.

In some of the most challenging of times, I asked The Lord where we were going. He said, “We are here.”

I thought He did not understand. I restated my case, “If I don’t know where we are going, how can I make a plan to get there?”

He repeated, “We are here.”

“But … but … but … what about the plan?”

He said, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“But,” I persisted, “When are You going to tell me the plan?”

I thought I heard a great celestial sigh. Then He said, “I did already. Here it is.

You are here.

I am here with you.

I have The Plan.

Follow Me, step by step.

I will tell you everything you need to know when you need to know it.

Trust Me.”

I take comfort in Paul’s admission that he was still working on some things, but he had not attained them yet.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus!”

Philippians 3:12-14

Here is the link to a song about trusting God. I invite you to enjoy and reflect.