Tunnel Vision

I’ve had it.  Have you?

I think it happens to all of us at times – especially when our emotions are running high.  Then I see only what I want to see.  I notice only what I’m expecting, not what is actually happening.  When my perception clouds the facts, I can go down a path of thinking that is not right, it is not helpful, and it is not true.

If I don’t realize what I’m doing, I can go to a dangerous place which creates havoc in my life.

So I can relate with Hagar as I read her story in Genesis.  Abraham banished her and their son, Ismael, out into the desert with food and a container of water.  Because she was focused on this one container of water, she felt that all hope was gone when it was empty.

She prepared to die.

She forgot all about reaching out to the Creator of all Things – who created water.  His angel had spoken to her and guided her before but Hagar was in the tunnel – not looking for any way out except for death.

God heard Ishmael’s cries.  “Then God opened Hagar’s eyes and she saw a well full of water.”

What?  Was the well there all along and she just wasn’t seeing it?  Was she so lost in despair and discouragement that she didn’t even look around?  Or did God create the well for her?

We don’t know – either way, God provided for her.

And he provides for me constantly.  I need to remember that because, like Hagar, there are situations where I get tunnel vision, especially when emotions are involved.  When I’m lost in my incorrect thinking, I need to remember to reach out to the One who has all the answers.

Please open my eyes to your plans and provision, Abba Father.

My Ticket to Ride

How close can I get to God?

That’s a great goal, isn’t it?

I’d like to get as close as Enoch.  Enoch was Adam’s great, great, great, great grandson and we read in Genesis that he walked in close fellowship with God.  “Then one day he disappeared, because God took him.”

Enoch never died.  God just took him home.  I don’t have any control over it, but that’s the way I’d really like to go.

Elijah was the only other person that we know of who God took up to heaven before he died.

How many bonus points does it take to get a chariot ride up the heaven?

God has a huge sense of humor so he knows I’m just kidding.  I was once told that it’s ok to joke around with God and that makes sense to me.  He is always watching us so we might as well make him laugh.

I wonder how many more people have ‘disappeared’ or gotten a chariot ride up to heaven?  It’s a safe bet that we don’t know about them all.  I prefer the chariot ride because I wouldn’t want the people I love who are left behind to have any questions about what happened.

It is obvious that both Enoch and Elijah had a very close relationship with God.  That must be the ticket.  So I’m going to work on my relationship with God knowing he has already determined my last day and what my trip into heaven is going to look like.

But it never hurts to ask, right?

Please put me on the chariot list, Father.

 

Secure in 2019

I am anchored in the love and truth of my Father.  Held secure in his arms, I can let the winds of the world swirl around me without getting lost in it.

Today starts a new year.  2019.  I’m excited to see what God has planned for the next 365 days.  He has shown me enough so I know he is in the middle of orchestrating something – he is on the move.  I’m just not sure what he is doing – yet.

So I begin this year watching for the pieces of God’s plan for 2019 to start falling into place and asking him to reveal to me my part.

I have no fears for 2019.  I have learned a very big lesson about the uselessness of being afraid.  God is in control of my wisp of time here on earth and, when its done, he will take me home.

There is nothing to fear.

I am anchored.

Today I start again ‘In the beginning’ of God’s revelation to us – for the 8th straight year.  I am glad you are on this journey towards the truth with me.  My prayer for you, my fellow traveller, is that you are also anchored deep within the love of our Heavenly Father.

He is faithful.

Please bless all of us as we grow stronger in our faith in 2019, Abba Father.

Growing

It is coming very quickly – 2019.

New Year’s resolutions have gotten a bad rep because so many of us break them within a day or two of making them.  I’m a goal-oriented person so I like them……..

as long as I limit them to things I REALLY want to do.  I try to stay away from making resolutions that sound really good but I’m not really committed to making them happen.

Here’s one that I’m totally committed to continue making happen in 2019 –

“Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Savior, Jesus Christ.”

These are the words Peter uses to close out his second letter.  There are several other things I would like to accomplish in 2019 but this one I am definitely going to do.  And I have a plan.  Please feel free to join me in any or all of these –

*I’m going to read the entire Bible again – for the 8th year in a row.  I have found that reading the entire revelation of God feeds my soul much more than hitting various chapters or verses.  I love the chronological Bible because the natural progression through history makes more sense to me and helps me understand what God is saying.  I bought a new chronological Bible for 2019 to see a different perspective since some of the actual dating of events is not confirmed.

*I’m going to continue to memorize scripture.  My big goal is to memorize the entire book of James.  Yep, all of it.  Yep, it will take years, especially since I don’t have a good memory. It’s a God-sized task and I know he’s up for it.  So far, God has helped me memorize James 1 and most of James 2.  He constantly blesses me by speaking to me through these words that he has etched on my heart and mind.

*I’m going to continue in a women’s Bible study group that I’ve been a part of for almost 20 years.  This is a serious group which meets every Thursday of the year except for Thanksgiving.  We have homework every week.  Preparing for the study is one of the benefits of the study – it gives us extra one on one time with God.

*Last year, my husband and I moved an hour away from our old church and God hasn’t pointed out our new church home to us yet.  I’m sure he will make our new spiritual family obvious to us in 2019 and I’m looking forward to that.

I’m committed to this plan and I’m confident that God will use it to grow my faith in 2019.

What are your goals for 2019?

Do you have a plan?

Please help us be intentional in growing our faith, Abba Father. 

Don’t Be Fooled – It’s not OK

Hearing his whispers…..

seeing him move….

recognizing the coincidences that happen all around me are really ‘God-incidences’.   My sensitivity to the movement of the Holy Spirit is a vital part of my daily walk with God.  He shows me what the pieces of the puzzle look like and then I watch him put them into place.  I  try to be aware of him moving around me and open my eyes to what he is orchestrating right in front of me.

This sensitivity to the Holy Spirit has increased as my knowledge of God and my personal relationship with him has grown.  I see him working his purposes out in my world – using every opportunity to love me and bless me.  He is training me as he puts me in many situations which stretch my faith and cause me to ask for wisdom.

This sensitivity to the Holy Spirit also makes me more aware of the things on earth that are not from God –

lies….

deceit….

greed……

lack of respect…….

sexual depravity…..

I feel my heart recoiling from these characteristics of Satan which are very alive in our culture.  I can’t stand them.  Satan wins when we give into evil and say its ok for us.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect.  I have struggled and do struggle with a variety of all of these things throughout my life.  But I always knew it was wrong.

It really disturbs me when I see some of Satan’s work being widely accepted within our culture.  I hear people say, ‘it doesn’t hurt anyone so its good’.

No, it’s not good.  It’s not ok.  Participating in and condoning these things degrades the culture we all live in.  It exposes children to these evils way before they are mature enough to correctly deal with these issues – filling their minds with a twisted truth which will haunt them the rest of their lives.  It all gives Satan a bigger foothold in our world as his infectious evil grows.

As my sensitivity towards God increases, all of this gradually bothers me more and more….

and it drives me to continual prayers for the people in the diseased and darkened culture around me.

I lay my world at your feet, Abba, with the knowledge that you hear us, you love us and you want the best for us.  Heal our souls, Father.

 

My Ancient Prayer

Paul prayed words like these over the Colossians thousands of years ago and today I pray them over you and I:

Dear Father, please fill us with the knowledge of your will by giving us wisdom and understanding through the Holy Spirit.

May we live a life that pleases you.  Help us do good works which bear much fruit for your Kingdom.

Guide us, Father, as we grow closer to you.  Please strengthen us with your power and might, giving us great endurance and patience as we run this race of faith.

Thank you, Abba, for adopting us into your Kingdom of light.  We lift our praises to you for rescuing us from the slavery of sin and darkness.  You have bought us and we live eternally in the presence of the Son you love, our Savior, who redeemed our souls.

You are an awesome Father who has listened and answered the prayers of your children for thousands of years.  We know you are listening today.  We love you. 

In the redeeming name of Jesus we pray, 

Everyone agreed and said, “Amen”.

24/7/365

Five more days until Christmas.

Five more days before we celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Well, that’s not really true.  We actually start celebrating the birth of our Savior way before the 25th of December.  We are celebrating him when we put up our Christmas lights.   Jesus is the Light of the World.

We begin celebrating when we start buying gifts for one another.  Jesus was God’s perfect gift to us.

We start celebrating Jesus’ birth when we invite friends and neighbors over for Christmas festivities.  Jesus loved us first and wants us to share that love with others every day – not just on Christmas.

My celebration of Jesus’ birth can’t be limited to just one day or one month.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life for me every day.

He is my hope.   He fulfilled God’s promise of grace providing a way for me to have a personal relationship with my Abba Father.

So I celebrate Jesus’ birth and life every day.  I am grateful for his death and resurrection every day.  I look forward to seeing my Savior standing next to my Father in heaven someday.

And Christmas is still a special time for me because the rest of the world joins in to celebrate.

Happy Birthday, Jesus.

A Very Bad Trade

If I watch enough of today’s news….

and read enough Facebook posts….

and hear enough ‘discussion’ on talk radio or podcasts……

I will be very confused on what is true.  I won’t know what’s really going on.  I will hear some opinions that I agree with (so they are right 🙂 and other’s I don’t agree with (so they are obviously wrong).

If I listen to all of these voices, my own perspective will lean one way…..

and then the other.   Oh, that sounds good – I’ll climb on that bandwagon!

Look around!  This is happening every day.  If I had to pick one word that I think describes our current culture the best, I would have to pick ‘confused’.

Paul nails it in Romans 1, “They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator – who is forever praised.  Amen.”

There are way too many loud voices in our world spouting all kinds of lies.  Since we are so digitally ‘connected’ these lies continue to spread and start to look like something people generally believe.

It’s scarey.  Because it’s still lies, no matter how many people believe it.

I am reminded of what is true whenever I sit down with my Bible in my lap.  It gives me the chance turn off all of the voices around me and listen to God speak truth into my head and heart, feeding my soul.  God’s words cut through the cacophony and confusion, providing a solid foundation that does not change as the winds of the world shift and swirl around me.

God is my compass and he is the solid ground I stand on.  His Word is my map which he is using to point out to me – one step at a time – the path that is taking me home…

where I will praise my Creator forever.

Amen.  Let it be so, Abba Father.