Thursday, October 14, 2010

Scriptures Given... Lessons in process

Isaiah 30
18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
he rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice
Blessed are all who wait for him!
19 O people of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. 20 Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. 21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it."

In the midst of walking on the path before me I was met by a deep disappointment. Then the Lord being the personal God that he is reached down and balmed my soul with a worship song line that repeated in my heart and mind -- I WILL give you a garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness... now where would I find that promise? Isaiah again, chapter 61 but I needed to look in several versions and read each before and after the refrain I kept hearing,
Amplified Bible vs 3To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion--to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit--that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

New King James vs 3 To console those who mourn in Zion,
To give them beauty for ashes,
The oil of joy for mourning,
The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness;
That they may be called trees of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”

And this final quote from David Jeremiah's devotional for today which is a constant reminder that the relationship I have with God is dependent upon my sustaining it through His Word...
Amid the difficulties of life, we often need rest; but we should never fall asleep spiritually or lose our daily habit of reading from the "scroll" of God's Word. Be diligent at staying on God's pathway. Stay alert and keep your Bible close at hand.
"God, as being very tender of me, hath not suffered me to be molested, but would with one scripture and another strengthen me against all."  John Bunyan
May you be blessed in the process of your walk with God as well...

Monday, August 30, 2010

Reminders of God's Faithfulness

Last week of summer -- today's scripture reading was a psalm I memorized in Texas in 1997 -- The Lord has used it often in troubled times as a reminder of His role in my life. Pastor Dave used verses 3 and 4 in his sermon yesterday and Dr. Jeremiah referred to it today also. Must be what I need to focus upon
Psalm 121 --
1 I lift up my eyes to the hills—
where does my help come from?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot slip—
he who watches over you will not slumber;
4 indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD watches over you—
the LORD is your shade at your right hand;
6 the sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all harm—
he will watch over your life;
8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going
both now and forevermore.
We just got confirmation of our B&B reservation for next weekend. The last time we went away on Labor Day weekend (to Lancaster, PA) we had tropical storm Ernesto and got across the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel right before they closed it! The waves breaking over the roadway above was a true illustration of God's power.
Vince is on vacation this week and now preparing the house, cleaning and priming the generator for the approaching hurricane Earl -- just in time for another Labor Day weekend. Unlike during Isabelle, he'll be home and not at work.
Just having the reminder of the physical storms we have weathered and the faithfulness of God through those times... it's a great help as I await test results from a health problem. God watches over my life and KNOWS the results, so I need to rest in His Everlasting Arms and recite Psalm 121.
May you rest in those same loving arms...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Being changed

However holy or Christlike a Christian may become, he is still in the condition of "being changed."  John R. W. Stott
My prayer for today -- may I continue to be changed by the Master each and every day... to not be willing to be changed would mean I stagnate.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Hermeneutics & Providence

First day of online class -- Hermeneutics began on Tuesday but I hadn't had a chance to access it until this afternoon. Have already listened to the lectures for the week -- will need to do my reading next so that I'm able to comment online.
Our ladies Bible study class finished the book of Esther, Beth Moore study this week -- the time passed so quickly. But the results will be felt for a long time to come. The Lord changed my Ebenezer during this study to "providence." The next week I experienced the Lord's providence on retreat -- a reversal of destiny! This study has had such an impact on my spiritual growth, I'm excited to see where it leads.
The hardest part was the previous Ebenezer of "wait" the Lord had given -- a warning actually to not "react" but to "process what was happening" and allow Him to show me how this fit in His plan.
The actual events -- being recognized by leadership for excellence this year at Discovery Program -- when I had reached the depths of despair, God revealed what he was doing through it all as He has done at other times of spiritual growth. Wanda's words for me: servant-heart, spiritual warrior and adaptability were another encouragement from the Lord. When we went away on our leadership retreat I didn't have to drive -- we were all together in one car and I didn't have to worry about the menu -- just brought what I was told to bring! What a blessing and time of refreshment...
How grateful I am that we are intimately intertwined in relationship with our Heavenly Father. As I listen for His still small voice, I learn not to jump ahead of Him but walk in the path He's revealing.
As difficult as it seems during times of pruning and burning the accumulated brush, what I desire most is to be molded into one who reflects the glory of the Lord. May He be the one others see in me and when they do -- may He receive ALL the glory for what He has done. I'm so thankful to NOT be who I WAS, to be clay in the potter's hand. May I always remain wet clay that clings to the potter for what He alone can do in and through me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Lessons from Esther

Wednesday nights will find me around a table with other Sunday School teachers from our church sharing what we have gleaned from our Beth Moore study in Esther, It's Tough Being a Woman! It's my favorite evening of the week -- sharing with sisters who love God, love the children they teach, are getting to know each other more than a Sunday morning or evening allow. We pray for each other and can share concerns. We are held to a higher standard because we teach but we also know it is the calling God has placed on our lives. We want our students to LOVE God and KNOW His Word intimately. The Bible is more than something we carry to church, read for our lessons and memorize. Planting seeds with the Word, letting it beome part of our bone marrow, learning the depths of meaning and being taught new lessons in material we've read or studied before is exciting. We pray that the passion we have for the Word will be evident and contagious.
Everytime we study a portion of scripture there is an application that is personal for each of us. Personally the realization that God will empower me to finish the Hermeneutics class regardless of the amount of work required along with my work schedule because God will redeem my time and energy. I can't do but HE can enable me to through His strength. For such a time as now!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

New year, new Ebenezer. This year's is "WAIT." I guess I needed to have strength to learn to wait... Not patience, nor longsuffering, but WAIT. I now understand a little more about the why of "WAIT." In January after Vince had the flu (two weeks with swine) there erupted on his leg a sore. It took two weeks for him to show it to me. When he did it looked scaly and strange. By the next week it had doubled in size (about 2 1/2 inches by 1 1/2 inches). At which point I made a doctor's appointment for him, went home from work, woke him up and took him to his appointment. The doctor seemed concerned and wanted him to see a dermatologist. She off-handedly said, "Just to make sure it's not cancer..." That set off an internet search which led to squamous cell skin cancer. The sore on his leg was the perfect example of those posted on the web. He had an appointment with the head of dermatology at EVMS in Norfolk the following Wednesday. With Vince being diabetic, she took the cautious approach -- rather than cut it out first, since diabetics heal slowly especially on the lower leg, she prescribed a cream that he needed to apply twice a day. The 8 am, 8pm routine began. With a followup visit to the doctor two and a half weeks later. Looking back on the experience Vince called it his being "washed in the Jordan seven times."
I shared the concern with our small Bible study group on Weds evening and the women began to pray. We were praying for a rash rather than cancer. After a week of treatment, the scaly center patch was gone. There was still a large lump in the middle of it which looked red. Another week and he complained of something coming off and it hurting like heck! A little red line remained but it looked clear compared with what we started with. The women had faithfully prayed and God had answered their prayer! On our return visit to the doctor, Vince was given a clean bill of health. He told Sara and Stephanie God had healed his leg and then testified to it in Sunday School this week. We give all the glory and honor to God who is our Great Physician.
It will be interesting to see how "WAIT" plays out through our year.