One of the things I love about my job is the interesting people who come in to the store. A few weeks ago an older woman came into the store and as I was helping her I asked her what project she was working on. She told me and we talked about it for a minute but them she said to me “ hold out your hand I want to give you something” I was not sure what to think but I held out my hand anyway. She placed in the palm of my hand, this little rock that was painted like a ladybug. As I looked at it she began to tell me that she finds these little rocks and paints them to look like little bugs of some sort. This happened to be a ladybug. She then went on to tell me that she selects certain people to give them too and I was the one she selected that day. She went on to tell me that she gave it to me to pray for me and that it was to remind me to pray for someone and her. I felt honored that she chose me that day and placed the rock in my pocket. I did pray for her and someone else that day every time I put my hand in my pocket and felt that rock. But then it ended up on my dresser. Today as I was dusting I saw that ladybug rock and was reminded not only of that beautiful lady but, of what that ladybug rock meant. So now it’s in my office next to my bible and my computer fulfilling it’s purpose to remind me to pray for that precious lady and someone else today. My prayer for that precious lady is for her health and a steady hand to make those little rock bugs and the boldness to reach out and encourage others to pray.
There’s a verse in Genesis that has always fascinated me. It’s Genesis 2:11 and God said, “ Who told you that you were naked”? The reason I love this is first that God was asking a question that he knew the answer too. He knew He did not tell them that they were naked. But he knew who did. This question is accountability first to God then to ourselves. I have had several conversations with believers whether they were friend or acquaintance, as they tell me about situations in their lives and what they are thinking concerning a situation. I would hear from them things that were hindering them or stopping them from doing something. For instance, I went to a banquet with a friend the other night and afterwards we stopped to just talk. She was telling me that she had such a strong desire to go to this certain church. As she talked and explained what she was feeling about going to this church, she said, “ I have to wait”! I looked at her and “said,” “ who told you that you have to wait”? Did God tell you? Did your husband tell you? As she turned to look at me with wide eyes she “said,” “ what do you mean? I again asked her “ who told you that you have to wait? She “said,” “ no one told me. My response was “ why do you have to wait? You see there are two main voices that we hear, Gods and satans. But we also have a voice and often listen to our own reason as we are deciding what to do in our lives. Isaiah, 55:8 says “for my thoughts are not your thoughts neither are your ways my ways,” “saith” the Lord. You see, I asked that question to my friend so she could discern whose voice told her to wait. She was quite surprised as she thought about my question and realized that it was her own voice that was she was listening too. I have learned so much from Gods question to Adam and Eve. You see God, was asking you and me that question. That question alone makes us have to be honest with God and ourselves “who told you”? Hopefully that question will show us if we are truly listening to God and being obedient. So if you are in a conversation with me and struggling with something I will ask you “who told you that” so you can know who’s voice you are listening too. I also will ask myself this question as I’m sorting through life’s choices. Going back to the beginning in Genesis keeps me going forward in my walk with the Lord. I love this question because it brings me face to face with my Father and makes me accountable for me.
Often times in the morning as I’m waking up I find myself in far away places and almost always talking to a group of people. Call it dreaming or vast imagination or even imagining your worst fear. For me speaking in front of people has quite a fear connected. So anyway as I was in this place which happened to be my class reunion. I was telling my fellow classmates my life story from the point of graduation to the present. To the high achievers in my class I’m sure I was quite boring and to those who lived similar lives it was hum drum. But I was telling them the highlights the lowlights the tragedies and the triumphs of my life through the years. I do know that in reality I have the most children and grandchildren of those in my class so I highlighted that quite well in my talk. Besides the fact I shared that early in my adult life I became a believer in Christ.
I even shared some struggles when I made that choice. As I was ending my talk a scripture came to mind and its in Revelation 12:11 “ And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and the word of their testimony;” I began to have a revelation of the power of this scripture. I was sharing the tragedies, triumphs and struggles and realizing that at the moment of accepting Jesus in my heart I had the power of the blood of Christ to overcome the adverse things. The “ him” is the one who seeks to kill, steal and destroy us in anyway he can. John 10:10. And the word of their testimony is Jesus Christ who is the word and our testimony is our life in the word, Christ in us. That our lives are a testimony of Jesus in us as Savior and as Lord. As I fully woke up that morning I had a revelation in me that will never leave me or forsake me. For I am that living testimony of the life of Christ in me and the power of the blood of Christ that covers me. And that’s living life!
As I was reading the last chapter of Luke this morning and before I got past the first paragraph I was marveling at how everything in the scripture has meaning and how at that moment I realized I understood so little and so much seemed to be hidden. I was thinking about a scratch off ticket, not necessarily a lottery ticket. I was thinking about the hidden treasure or message that was under the scratch off substance and how until it’s removed you have no clue. I then thought about the scriptures that all the mysteries and hidden treasures in them and how it would take the Lord to open my eyes and reveal to me the mysteries and meaning in his word. As I kept reading the very thoughts I had just been thinking came to life. After the resurrection two of the disciples were walking on the road to Emmaus. Luke 24:15 when Jesus came right up beside them and began to walk with them. Their eyes weren’t opened at that moment to recognize him and it wasn’t until they were breaking bread with Jesus later that day when their eyes were open to see that it was Jesus with them. As soon as their eyes were opened Jesus left them. After eating they traveled back to Jerusalem and told their story to the others. Luke 24:35 says “ He was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.” We know that Jesus is our bread of life and his word is Jesus. Today we know that it’s the Holy Spirit who opens our eyes to see Jesus and leads us into all truth. He also teaches us along the way and reveals the hidden treasures of God as we read the scriptures and seek him. So that we can see Jesus no matter where we are and what is going on in our lives. Ah I love it when a good mystery is revealed. And that’s living life!
Family dynamics are always full of drama, heartache confusion and miscommunication. I’m pretty sure every family has some if not all of these. Yes my family has it all. As I was talking to a family member this past week, she was telling me that she had a family meeting with her sisters, brother and their spouses. In this meeting they were able to begin the process of reconciliation over so much hurt that had divided them for far to long. As she was telling me all about it I could see an onion being peeled by layers and as she talked each layer had a different aroma. You guessed it, not a very good one at that. But also as she was talking and the layers were being peeled back I began to see the good that was coming out of this meeting and that once they got through all the layers the aroma was going to be a blend of sweet over powering the strong pungent aroma along the way. Also with each layer came a new set of tears. Beginning with bitter stinging tears and ending with tears of joy. Now she did tell me that they are still in the process of peeling back the layers but so far the communication has begun to flow and reconciliation has begun. This family member is encouraged and since she is in the middle of this family dynamic I think I’m more encouraged than she is. The scriptures tell us that Love covers a multitude of sin, and when it’s a family dynamic and many family members are involved there is surely a multitude of sin. But the key is to have a heart that is willing to listen and receive and to ask for forgiveness and to forgive. Repentance and forgiveness is key in all relationships and as we embrace them here on earth then we will be embraced by them with our Heavenly father. For as we forgive we are forgiven. I will continue to pray for each one of them that their hearts will be truly humbled and the multitude of sin will be covered by their love for one another.
Psalms 16: 9 says that “ A mans heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”
In my job I meet some very interesting people. People who have turned their craft into a business and others who have interesting hobbies and others who are thinking about turning their hobby and craft into a business. The other day a lady came into work and as I was helping her I always ask what their craft is, she began to tell me not only what her craft was but also the opportunity that has come her way. I was very excited for her and asked her if she had thought about having a partner in this opportunity. She lit up and said “no but are you interested”? I said yes and we exchanged numbers. On the following Saturday we met and looked at the building that would allow this opportunity to happen. The building was perfect the rent was even more perfect and the possibilities were endless. So we left one another and said we would be in touch in a couple of days. When we talked again it was pretty obvious that we were both on the same page. We knew that we couldn’t quit our existing jobs and go into this full time. We didn’t have enough capital or near enough inventory. So we decided to keep in touch and see where we were in the near future. A few days later while at my grandsons wrestling meet she text me. As I read her text, the scripture in psalms came to life. After over 30 years at her job she had been let go. I was amazed and very thankful at Gods faithfulness to direct my steps. I text her back and told her how sorry I was for her but now she had the time to concentrate on her craft and build her business. I ask God to bless her and sent the text. I am still amazed at how this played out and so grateful that I allowed God to direct my steps. And that’s living life.
Today is a very sad day for me. I received a text from a very close sister in the Lord who is going to loose a grandchild. Her daughter after an MRI has just found out the baby boy she is carrying is not growing and some organs are not in place. Whether they will have him after birth for a short while or he is stillborn is yet to be known. My heartache is heavy for them and flowing with love through my tears and prayers. You see just this year at the end of February I experienced the loss of a grandson. I have lost not just one but two grandsons on my life. The first we lost at five months to a bronchial infection. He was an identical twin and on fathers day five years ago when we were getting ready to have a family cookout instead we mourned the loss of our little love. The second was on a Sunday. On Saturday, the day before, we went to a baby shower for our son and daughter in law. Both come from a large family so this was quite a celebration. At four am on Sunday we got a call from our son at the hospital our grandson was gone. Full term, perfectly formed everything in place, the placenta had ruptured death was instant. When we lost our twin we have the life of the other as a reminder of our loss, but in reality the loss is felt in our hearts. I hold onto Gods promise that I will be reunited with my loved ones when I get to heaven. Our grandsons are playing in heaven with Jesus for- ever in our cloud of witness’s cheering us on to eternity. Oh what a glorious reunion but until then I will hold them in my heart still missing holding them in my arms. Our strength is in Christ alone and joy does come in the morning. In these times of loss joy does come in the mourning!