Here’s the Answer

Why is there so much evil in the world?

Why are our families being torn apart?

Why is there so much anger and hatred in our country?

Why are addictions the plague of our century?

Why are innocent children being abused and killed?

Why are we living in a worldwide pandemic that continues to wreak havoc on our emotional, spiritual, physical and economic well-being?  Why now?

Why do bad things happen to good people?

Satan takes the credit for all of this in the first chapter of Job.  He tells God that he just got back from “roaming the earth, going back and forth on it.” (vs 7 )

And Satan leaves a wide path of destruction wherever he goes.  That’s what I’m seeing and that’s what you are seeing – the work of Satan.  He has convinced a whole lot of people to ignore the truth – just rant emotionally about whatever has upset you today. Forget about being kind, loving and forgiving, and just focus on yourself – that’s all that matters

Satan smiles whenever we believe the lies swirling all around us in our culture.  He loves it when we consult Google instead of God when deciding what’s right and wrong, good or bad.

He enjoys watching us wreck our relationships and our marriages with our selfishness.  He encourages us to be impatient, impulsive and immature.

Wow!  He is really getting a kick out of the lack of respect for authority that is growing in our country.  It’s a win-win for him because everyone else loses.

Satan smiles when he can do anything to distract us from our relationship with God.  He’ll even bring good things into our lives if they will lure us away from God. I’m asking myself – is there anything, good or bad, that Satan has placed in my life to keep me from spending time with God? Have you asked yourself this question?

Satan is very busy roaming…..

going back and forth…

back and forth…

today…..

everyday,

over our world, and our country and our neighborhoods and our homes.

Please use us to overcome evil with your good,  Abba Father.

My Special Possession – 2021

Do you have a special possession?

If someone asked me that, I would have to think awhile because I’m not very attached to “things”.   I’d probably say the ring that my mother left to me when she went home to heaven is special to me. It became invaluable to me after she was gone.

My own wedding ring is also important to me.  It symbolizes almost 40 years of love and commitment between my husband and I.  Every five years we changed or added to my ring so when I look at it, I see the history of us building a marriage that has lasted through many storms.  After our son who was a Phoenix Police Officer was killed in the line of duty, I added some blue sapphires onto my wedding ring in honor and remembrance of a great son and the awesome man he grew up to be.  Precious.

My eyes were opened to my real answer to that question several years ago as I was reading what God says in Ezekiel 44, ” I am to be the only inheritance the priests have. You are to give them no possession in Israel: I will be their possession.” God was all they needed.  God took care of them and he didn’t want them to be distracted by other possessions.

Wow!  This applies to me!  God takes care of me and provides for me.  He doesn’t want me to be distracted by possessions. My relationship with God is my most prized possession.  I can’t imagine life without him.  There is nothing I own –  my mother’s ring and my ring included – that gives me the love, joy and strength that God gives me.  Nothing else gives me the forgiveness and freedom that only comes from God.

Yes, God is my special possession.  My relationship with him is so much more precious and perfect than anything I could ever buy or own.

Many of you read this blog a couple of years ago when I initially wrote it. It amazes me to look back and see how God was preparing me through his Word for something that was going to happen.

Last year my wedding ring was stolen. One of the stones on the ring was loose so the jeweler sent the ring in to fix the stone before I lost it. The ring disappeared on the way.

I lost the whole ring. Gone. Over 40 years of building this ring with my husband stolen from me. Over 40 years of never taking the ring off except at night because I didn’t want to lose it. I had one spot and one spot only I put it if it wasn’t on my finger. I never put it in my pocket, I never put it by the sink. I knew the easiest way to lose it was to take it off so I didn’t, I just cleaned it regularly.

I would have been devastated when I got the call that it was stolen if I had not already worked through this truth about my most special possession. God reminded me that he was still walking beside me and would never leave me. His love and care and grace can never be stolen away like my ring was.

The jeweler replaced my ring with a very nice ring that looks just like my original one. It’s not ‘my’ ring but it reminds me every day that my relationship with God is my most precious possession and it can never be taken away from me.

I live my life in gratitude for all you are, Abba Father, and for all you have done for me.

In the Middle of the Fire

I don’t know how I missed it.  This very important detail was never included in the children’s version of this story.

It’s a well-known Biblical account. Three men refused to worship the evil king’s golden idol so the king threw them into a blazing furnace.  The furnace was so hot that it killed the soldiers who got close enough to throw the men in.

Here’s a detail of the story that I missed until I started reading the entire Chronological Bible each year. The king looked into the furnace and saw 4 men walking around in the fire, unbound and unharmed.

4 men – not 3.

The king called the 4th person ‘the son of the gods’. Daniel 3:25.  I believe it was Jesus, sent by God to protect Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  They walked through the fire together.

The fire didn’t stop when the three men were thrown in.

The king didn’t change his mind at the last minute.

An army of angels didn’t swoop down from heaven to save the day.

God had an unimaginable number of ways he could have saved these 3 men.  He chose to send a personal rescuer into the fire with them.  Jesus walked with them – just like he walks with us when we are in the middle of a fire in our lives.

Our fires can look like failure….

grief……

disease……

disappointment….

betrayal…..

the list goes on.

My biggest personal fire was when my son, David Glasser, who was a Phoenix Police Officer, was killed in the line of duty on May 18, 2016.  All of my expectations of what the rest of my life looked like were destroyed on that day.  The flames of that fire are still burning up pieces of my life, leaving mountains of painful ash behind.

But Jesus was there.   And he is here as I continue to walk on this very tough road piled high with grief and loss.

I have discovered that, as I remain faithful in the fire, God is using this journey to grow my trust in him, grow my perseverance and grow my faith.

My loss and pain will not go away this side of heaven but God has given me peace and a purpose.  I’m thankful for the opportunities he gives me to share what I am learning about God’s faithfulness as he walks with me daily,

in the middle of the fire.

Thank you, Abba Father. 

Really Living

A valley of bones.

Millions of bones.

When God breathed into them – “they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.” Ezekiel 37:10.

Wow!!

Growing up in church, I always thought this vision of Ezekiel should be preached around Halloween because a valley full of dry bones suddenly connecting and standing up is weird as well as scary.

How time changes things! Now I love this visual because it’s exactly what happened when I turned over my whole heart to God.  His breath went deep into my soul and – for the first time – I was truly alive.  I have an eternal purpose.  I have been re-created into one of the soldiers in his army – wearing his armor and working hard next to my spiritual brothers and sisters to share the Good News and push back evil.  Each day, I read and study God’s word – getting to know him better and listening as he speaks into my life.

Are you looking for purpose? Are you looking for guidance? Are you looking for hope?

God gives me hope.  Not the ‘I wish’ kind of hope.  This hope is cemented into my heart by the promises of God.  I know who is in control and I know he is working everything out for my good.  I know where I’m going when I leave this earth.  I know who wins in the end.

God’s redeeming love has turned my dry bones into something good and useful.  His breath moves in my heart and soul – bringing new life each day.

There are no dry bones here.

What about you?  Would you like to experience a new breath of God’s spirit in your soul?

Thank you for your breath of real life, Abba Father.

Showers of Blessing

The old hymns bring back great memories for me.

I was raised in a conservative Christian home and a very conservative Christian church in the Midwest.  I don’t remember knowing anyone in my little home town who didn’t go to church regularly.

My father was a talented musician who owned and operated a car body repair shop for most of his life.  He had a beautiful, deep baritone voice.  My mother had a nice alto voice and harmonized well.  My youngest brother had a great tenor voice.  Unfortunately, I also sing alto so my family quartet was missing a soprano but there were many good sopranos in our church congregation.  So listening to my family sing the old hymns in church every Sunday morning was a treat – definitely my favorite part of the service.

Those great old hymns reverberated off the walls as my church family sang them with energy and confidence.  And my family contributed a beautiful part of it.

Great memories!

My little town also had ‘Hymn Sings’ at the town ballpark during the summer.  We would fill up the bleachers with people from all different churches while the organizers set up microphones and amplifiers on a stage over the pitcher’s mound.  They hauled in an organ (no drums or guitars here) and handed out song sheets.  People would yell out favorites and we would fill the summer sky with praises to God for 2 hours or more.

I would sing harmony with my mom – no music, just by hearing it.  I realized many years ago that I don’t know the melody of some of the old hymns – just the harmony.  But I know the words by memory and I also have the second and third verses of many of them etched in my brain.

As I now read Ezekiel 34, these great memories come rolling through my brain as God says through Ezekiel, “there will be showers of blessing”. Ezekiel 34:26.

One of the many blessings God has given me is a long family legacy of faith and trust in God which creates awesome memories like these.

Thank you for your blessings, Abba Father.

Nothing is Impossible

I have to smile.

God tells us in the beginning of Ezra that he ‘moved the heart of Cyrus, King of Persia.’  I love this because Cyrus was not a believer.  He was a pagan king.  But he moved when God moved his heart.

Cyrus released the Israelites to go back to Jerusalem so they could rebuild the temple of God.  The king was also gave back 5400 articles of gold and silver that had been taken from the temple of God before it was destroyed.

God moved the heart of a pagan king who then orchestrated and sponsored the rebuilding of God’s temple.

That’s my God.  He uses everyone and everything to accomplish his will.  Even those who don’t believe in him are under his authority and direction.

His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

And I want to make sure I’m right in the middle of that – don’t you?

Nothing is impossible for you, Abba Father.

Right Away

I’ve never seen this before.

I’m on my 9th time reading through the entire Chronological Bible and I don’t remember noticing this detail.  God is obviously stopping me here today to bring this to my (and your) attention.

God is telling me through the book of Daniel that he heard Daniel’s prayer and sent the angel Gabriel to earth to give a message to him while Daniel was still praying.

“As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have to tell you.” Gabriel told Daniel.

Wow!  As soon as Daniel began to pray, God was responding.  Right away.  Daniel hadn’t even finished praying before God was taking action on his request.

Love it!

God is telling you and me that this is still happening today when we pray.  Before I have finished praying, God is moving, responding, orchestrating things for my good – every day, all day.

When I turn to God and pray, recognizing my dependence on him, he takes action.  I might not see him moving, but I trust that he is.  I don’t need an angel to tell me that God is listening, I have his Word on it.

Thank you for always listening and responding, Abba Father.

 

What?!

A human hand appeared and wrote a message on the wall.

What?!

Daniel tells us this actually happened in the middle of King Belshazzar’s huge banquet!  If I saw it today, it would definitely get my attention.

This is where we get the saying, ‘I can read the writing on the wall’.  Many of us don’t know that this comes from the Bible.

King Belshazzar could not understand the handwriting on the wall so he consulted with Daniel who was well-known for being able to interpret things when no one else could.  Daniel read the writing and told the king that God was bringing his reign to an end because the king had not acknowledged God as sovereign over all the kingdoms on earth.

That very night, the message on the wall was fulfilled and Belshazzar was killed.

One part of the message on the wall was ‘Tekel’ which means you have been weighed on the scales and found wanting.

The bad news for all of us is – our scales don’t look any better.  Our rebellion.  Our need for control.  Our self-centeredness.  Our busyness which causes us to ignore God.

The writing on our wall would have the same message…..

except for the fact that God loved us so much that he gave us an ‘out’.

He sent his perfect son, Jesus, to save us from the eternal separation from God.  The entire Bible is a love story about how God created us in his image and desires to have a close, personal relationship with us.

Jesus offers a gift of grace to each one of us – that’s his part.  Our part is accepting his free gift which makes the scales move in our favor.

Through Christ’s sacrifice, we can become precious children of God who are never ‘found wanting’ because Jesus did it all for us….

for all time,

for all who will believe and receive.

It is finished.

Thank you, Jesus.

 

My Heart’s Response

As I read the beginning of Psalm 106, this is my heart’s response –

I’m giving thanks to the LORD today for how good he is!  It’s impossible to describe with words the magnitude of his greatness!

I feel his blessing and his smile of encouragement when I do what is right.

You constantly show me how much you love me, Father, by giving me your guidance and help.  I find joy in knowing I am your adopted child – a daughter of the King!

Please help me make the right choices and avoid straying into rebellion.  Touch my mind, Father, when I need to remember your goodness and kindness.  Help me to always remember how you have saved me and are walking beside me.

I believe all of your promises, Father.  Your Word resonates with the core of my soul and I know what you tell me is true.

I am staking my life on it.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

It’s a Plan

I know what I’m going to do for the rest of my life.

As I read Psalm 89, my plan jumps right off the page- ” I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever.”  I will tell everyone I know about how I have experienced your faithfulness all my life, Abba Father.

I will talk about your perfect love for me and the abundant blessings you have showered down on my life.

I will walk with you each day, Father, until the day we walk into heaven together, hand in hand.

I will find my peace in your strength.  I will find my joy in your love and faithfulness.  I will find my strength in your righteousness and justice.

I will walk in the light of your presence each day, Father. 

And I will continue to sing of your great love forever.

Amen and Amen.