My Eyes

It’s amazing!

How do my eyes work?how-or-better-who

I don’t know.  I know there’s a retina and fluid and a lens and a lid and….more parts.

But how can I see through them?

How intricate is this whole process that enables me to see light, dark, colors and shapes?

This is total mind-boggling for me.  I know there’s a scientific reason.  But who created the science behind it?

I don’t have to look any farther than my eyes to believe in a Creator God.

I don’t understand everything about God.  How could I?  I only have a 3.5 pound brain.  My brain is like a grain of sand compared with God’s spaceship of genius.  And that doesn’t even come close to describing God’s intelligence……its just the thing I can think of with the most lights, buttons and bells 🙂

I can only understand God at a very basic level and, after that, I just have to trust him.  I have to trust in him even though I can’t explain him.

I have to have faith.

I am grateful that God is beyond my understanding.  I am grateful that he is all-knowing and all-powerful even though I can’t sufficiently fathom what either of those two words describe.  I am grateful that he is eternal.  I can’t imagine what that means, either, but I know that it’s true of him.

Because he has told me in his Word.

And I trust him.

I am trusting him with my life….

and I am trusting him with my death.

Thank you, Abba Father.

In the Beginning…..

A new page is turned.

New possibilities have opened up.

What’s going to happen?

I don’t know.

For some reason, many of us say that we don’t like change.  But then we generally like new beginnings.  When we make choices that cause our lives to change and we can call it a ‘new beginning’, we’re ok with it?  But we don’t like change?

Yes, we are strange and wonderful creatures.

And I am one of the strange and wonderful creatures who likes change.

Change is good.

I was taught to like change through my over 34 years of working for corporate Jack in the Box.  We were constantly moving and adjusting and changing.  If I didn’t like a change, I didn’t have to wait too long  for it to change again.  As long as my strategic brain could see us improving – hitting goals and moving forward – I liked it.

This has really helped me enjoy our electronic age where things change so quickly and so often.  I’m typing this on my new ‘retirement’ laptop with a touch screen and the whole computer can turn into a pad.  I haven’t figured out much about this computer beyond doing what I’m doing right now.  But I will!

One of the things I love about God is – he doesn’t change.

In the beginning, God.in-the-beginning-genesis

He was here before the beginning and he will be here after the end.

He has promised – it’s a fact.

In our crazy world of unknowns, God wants to be known by you and by me. He gives us his Word.  He gives us his Spirit.  He gives us a spiritual family.

He wants us to know him and he guides us towards himself as we read, listen and obey.

I am extremely interested in discovering the new possibilities God is going to bring my way in 2017.  As I start reading through the Bible again for the 6th year in a row, I am confident that God has new things to teach me and he also wants to remind me of other truths that I know but I’ve forgotten.

I’m so glad you are taking journey with me.  I would love to hear more of your thoughts and experiences as we take this trip through God’s word in 2017 together.

Thank you for new beginnings, Abba Father.

Not a Democracy

We are blessed to be living in a country ruled by a democracy.Jan 28 2016 Not a Democracy

Those of us who have chosen to let God be King of our lives are now living in a Theocracy.

It’s all about what God wants.

His desires.

His plans.

His purposes.

How easily we forget that!

If we want God to be Lord of our life, we have to submit our own plans and desires to him.

We have to make the choice each day to take ourselves off the throne of our lives and put God on it.

Each hour.

Of every day.

Please help us make our lives a true theocracy, dear Father.

 

More Than Enough

We can often feel like we don’t have enough –

enough money to buy enough stuff to make us happy.Jan 27 2016 more than enough

So, let’s ask ourselves.  How much stuff will it take to make us happy?

We’ve all experienced that empty feeling a little while after we finally buy something we’ve wanted for a long time.  Something we thought about so often that our want turned into a need.  Something we really thought would make us happy.

Yes, we were happy.  It was great!  For a while.

And then we started to think about something else that we really wanted.  That we needed.  I will be happy when I get this next thing….

We weave a tangled web of discontent when we focus on our desires.

We are reminded of God’s provision as we read the historical account of the daily miracles God gave to the Israelites when he gave them manna in the morning and quail at night after their exodus from Egypt.

In the middle of the desert.

Quail at night.  Manna every morning.  Enough for each day.

He provided for them thousands of years ago.

And he provides for us today.

Just like the Israelites, we are often discontent with God’s provision.

We don’t trust him to take care of tomorrow so we are a workaholic today.

We don’t think he provides enough.

We can’t wait.

So we run up our credit cards, getting deeper and deeper in debt.

My small group Bible study is completing Financial Peace University by Dave Ramsey.Jan 27 financial peace university

I’m reminded that it’s never about how much we make, it’s about how much we spend.  These 2 numbers need to match up.

We’ve taken several other financial studies through the years because we know that how we treat our money is important to God.  So we have a lot of it figured out but we’ve gotten a little sloppy in some areas.  I’m looking forward to improving our plan for telling our money where to go.

Avoiding debt is a huge factor is being able to be content with what God has already given us.  Paul reminds us in his letter to the Philippians that we have to learn to be content. He calls it a secret because so few people learn it.  That’s not easy in the midst of our culture which worships the ‘god of More’.

It comes down to trust.

Do we really trust God to provide for us?

Can we learn to be content with what he provides?

I believe that God provides more than enough when we are focused on him.

He provides for us physically and, even more important, he provides the important things that money can’t buy like love, peace, and joy.

How much joy do you have in your life?

We trust you to provide what is best for us, Abba Father.

We Live in the Light

As believers, we don’t walk in the darkness.Jan 25 2015we live in the light

God’s light of love, grace and peace shines on us day and night.

Unless we make a choice to move into the darkness.

It’s always our choice.

Yet, even in the darkness, God is waiting for us to choose to move back into his light.

We are never separated from his love.

But it can feel like it.

It can feel like we’re all alone in the darkness.

It can feel like God’s not there when we are paying the consequences for things we’ve done when we’ve strayed.

That’s how it feels, but it’s not the truth.

As we read through the plagues God brought upon Egypt, I start feeling a little sick.

Boils.

Hoards of bugs.

Fields of dead animals.

A river of blood.

And then there was the plague of darkness.  A darkness so deep that it was ‘felt’.

Have you ever ‘felt’ darkness like that?

The closest I ever got to that feeling was camping out on a side of a road on the top of a mountain in a forest outside of Flagstaff.  After we turned off our lanterns and put out the campfire, the trees and clouds covered the moon and it was hard to see my hand in front of my face.

I ‘felt’ the deep darkness.

It makes me question the popular view that hell is full of fire and heat.  That night I wondered if hell could be more like this….. black…. cold….nothing.  Complete separation from the Light.

Total darkness covered all of Egypt for 3 days.

But then we read that God shown his light down on where the Israelites lived!

The Egyptians were living in this deepest darkness while the Israelites living next to them had light.

How awesome!

I imagine giant spotlights shining down from heaven just where the Israelites lived.

And that is how we, as believers, live today.  God’s spotlight of love and grace and truth shines down on us each day.

When we choose God, we choose to live in his light.

Thank you for the wonderful gift of your light, Abba Father.

 

Faltering Faith

Do I really believe that God can do anything?

Really?

Anything?

I might say that because it’s in the Bible so I know its true.

Yes, I know it’s true.

But do my actions show that I really believe it?

God is teaching us in the historical account of Moses leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt that he really can do anything.Jan 23 2016 faltering faith c

It’s the same lesson he had to teach Moses thousands of years ago.  Because Moses’ faith and trust in God needed to grow if he was to become the great leader God knew he could be.  The great leader his people needed him to be.

As we read the account, we get clear glimpses of Moses’ lack of faith.  In Exodus 6, Moses starts bring up excuses for not doing what God wants him to do because of his ‘faltering lips”.

It wasn’t his lips that were faltering – it was his faith.

At this point, he didn’t really believe God could use him to free the Israelites.Jan 23 2016 faltering in faith

And that lack of faith shows.  It shows up in his words.  It shows up in his actions.

God had told Moses that he was going to use Pharoah’s hardened heart, his stubbornness, his pride.  God was going to strike the Egyptians with wonders so Pharoah would know Who is was dealing with.  God even told Moses that he was going to kill Pharoah’s first-born son.Jan 23 2016 faltering faith b

God laid it all out for Moses but Moses just didn’t have enough faith at this time to believe and act on that belief.

Not yet.

One of the great lessons we can learn from the Exodus story is that our faith can grow just like Moses’ did.

Yes, his faltering faith was pretty evident in the beginning.

But that changed.

Moses let his interactions with God transform him.  The better he knew God, the more his faith grew.

Later, whenever the people of Israel were afraid, Moses was the one reassuring them – loudly proclaiming a rock solid faith that God would deliver them.  Moses’ old faltering faith had been replaced with a close relationship with God which made Moses one of our famous patriarchs of faith.

So – – do we really believe that nothing is impossible with God?

And, if we believe this, how does it show up in our actions?  Our decisions?  Our choices?

How solid is our faith?

We love you, Abba Father.

 

 

 

What is in Your Hand?

What do we already have?

How can we use it for God’s purposes?Jan 22 2016 what is in your hand

We may think we’re not smart enough or rich enough or talented enough for God to use us.

Moses thought he didn’t speak well enough to go back to Egypt and talk to Pharoah for God.  He was also afraid that the Israelites wouldn’t believe that God had sent him.

Moses was afraid because he was focused on himself.

God, Creator of the Universe, has no limitations.

He used what Moses already had in his hand – a staff.

Today, God asks us to do the same thing – to use what he has already given us.

And to trust that he’ll show up.  He will accomplish his purpose through us.  Through our faith in him.  When we’re focused on God and not our own limitations.

What do we already have in our hands that we can use for God’s purposes?

Please open our eyes, Abba Father.

Bad Intentions

Other people with bad intentions often cause us harm.

It happens to all of us.Jan 21 2015 bad intentions.

But wait!

God has promised us that he has plans for a great future for us.

He is omnipotent.

Everything that touches our lives has gone through his hands.

He can stop anything.  But sometimes he doesn’t.

Is it possible that, like with Joseph, God can use the bad things that happen in our lives to accomplish good?

Do we believe that?

Do we trust him enough to face every bad situation in our lives with the certainty that God will use it for good?

Can we wait patiently for the good outcome?

Can we walk through the dark times with our eyes focused on the Light?

Joseph’s brothers intended to kill Joseph.

And God transformed that situation by making Joseph a blessing to all of Egypt.

What people intended for bad, God used for good to accomplish what he wanted.

I believe God can and already has done this in the dark times of my life.

What do you believe?

Please help us trust you, Abba Father.

The Years of My Pilgrimage

We are all on a pilgrimage.

A journey.Jan 20 2016 years of my pilgrimage

We are making our way from our birthplace to our heavenly home.

We are called to devote every day here on earth to completing our God-given purpose.

We are called to grow deeper each week in our relationship with God.

We are called to let God change us to be more and more like Christ every year.ftdDSC_0527

Almost 2 years ago, I had the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Israel.

It was a very different, and yet familiar, place.

I had heard and read so much about what had happened in Jerusalem that I experienced an odd sense of deja vu as we pushed through its crowded streets.

Tears rolled off my face as we made our way down the Via Delarosa – the Way of Suffering – where my Savior dragged my cross that day so long ago.  In my mind, I could hear the shouting and the curses of thousands of years ago bouncing off the stone walls on either side of me.ftdDSC_0523

And, then……..

the overwhelming peace and stillness of the garden.

It was done.

The price was paid.

And Jesus was no longer there.  He had risen, just as he said!

Amen!  Hallelujah!ftdDSC_0564

The years of our pilgrimage here on earth are not easy…..

but we know where this journey ends.

At home.

Full of joy.

Surrounded by peace.

With our Father.

Thank you, Abba.

Make It Count

We are never alone.

God is with us.Jan 18 2016 Make it count

Just like he was with Joseph thousands of years ago.

God was in the  dark pit with Joseph where Joseph’s brothers left him to die.

He was in Potiphar’s house as Joseph ran away from the advances of Potiphar’s wife.

He was in jail where he helped Joseph interpret dreams that eventually freed him.

God helped Joseph as he ruled Egypt, second only to Pharoah.

As we read the historical account of Joseph, we see him walking with God, year after year.  We watch him become more mature, become more wise.

The Joseph who devised a plan which saved his family and all of Egypt from starving was not the same Joseph who irrationally told his older brothers they would bow down to him someday.

Joseph had walked with God and he had grown up.  Joseph had let God change him into a wise, strong, faithful and forgiving man.

As a result, Joseph conquered significant adversity in his life and he had a huge positive influence on a multitude of people around him.

Joseph made the fact that God was with him count for something.  He let God transform him into a man who would save the lives of a whole nation.

God wants to do this same thing in our lives.  He wants to mold us into the people he created us to be.

Wise.

Patient

Forgiving.

Christ-like.

Please open our eyes and hearts to your transforming power, Abba Father.