Saturday, December 28, 2013

That I May Know Him

Why is that people always say, “If it’s God’s will then things will go smoothly?”  I have searched the Bible and can’t say I find that to be necessarily always the case – in fact in most cases it is the exact opposite!  Jesus said, “I do always those things that please the Father…” and look at His life!  He was born in a manger, He had no place to lay His head; He was falsely accused, mocked, and ultimately crucified!  He lived a sinless life, and fulfilled God’s will – but it was not clear sailing!

It was God’s will for the children of Israel to leave Egypt and look how that happened!  When God saw that His children were in bondage He sent Moses to release them – but it was not easy!  In fact when Moses first asked Pharaoh to let the people go, Pharaoh’s response was, “And Pharaoh commanded the same day the taskmasters of the people, and their officers, saying, Ye shall no more give the people straw to make brick, as heretofore: let them go and gather straw for themselves. And the tale of the bricks, which they did make heretofore, ye shall lay upon them; ye shall not diminish ought thereof: for they be idle; therefore they cry, saying, Let us go and sacrifice to our God. Let there more work be laid upon the men, that they may labour therein; and let them not regard vain words.”  He made things more difficult for them!

That was just the start!  Now, after they did leave and God did fight their battles for them along the way, when the time came for them to finally get their promised land – listen to what God said, “Rise ye up, take your journey, and pass over the river Arnon: behold, I have given into thine hand Sihon the Amorite, king of Heshbon, and his land: begin to possess it, and contend with him in battle.” Deuteronomy 2:24

God does promise He will fight our battles, but the battles must still be fought!  Often when we are striving to do God’s will we begin to question if we’re on the right track or pleasing God when things become difficult; we search our lives (a good thing) to make sure there is no sin – and we become discouraged when we're trying to do everything right, and things aren't going well. I know -  I've lived there many times! The Lord has recently shown me the verses I quoted above that, unlike what I had previously convinced myself, God does not promise that things will be easy or smooth just because it is His will.  And as for believing that suffering while trying to do God’s will is an indication that we’re not doing something right we see that in opposition to transgressors He does promise guidance, deliverance, and even good understanding –again not necessarily the easy road! I see that Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;” “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Many years ago a priest told me that Jesus was a failure because He died.  Can you believe that?  His death, burial, and resurrection is our victory!  So, while what we’re doing for the Lord may at times feel like failure or so difficult, and cause us to question what is happening, we should rather consider what Paul said, “But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;



Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.”

So take heart – you’re in good company.  “Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.”



Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Prosperity

This morning in my Bible reading I read from 2 Chronicles and once again this verse caught my attention.

"And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him to prosper."  2 Chronicles 26:5

We all want to prosper – but what does that mean exactly?  What does prosperity look like?  I know most people will consider one prosperous if they own a lot of material goods – a nice home, a nice car, designer clothes, etc.  But the truth is I have known people that have lots of material things that are absolutely miserable!  In fact I remember a time in my life when we were going through some of our darkest hours – our daughter had cancer, we were going through a recession, our lease was up on our car so we had to turn it in, and we had no money for another one, groceries were scarce…as I said a very dark time.  With all that was going on – we, our family, knew that God was carrying us through, that He would take care of us, and He put many people in our lives that were praying for us, providing blessings for us – and we were at peace.  At the same time someone I knew very well, someone that looked very prosperous because of all the material goods they possessed, had no peace at all!  Their home was in complete turmoil, they had no support group, and none of their worldly possessions could help their circumstances.  So, prosperity is not found in material things!

In the Scripture I quoted above we see that Uzziah was able to prosper as long as he sought the Lord!

"And he made in Jerusalem engines, invented by cunning men, to be on the towers and upon the bulwarks, to shoot arrows and great stones withal. And his name spread far abroad; for he was marvellously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up to his destruction: for he transgressed against the LORD his God, and went into the temple of the LORD to burn incense upon the altar of incense."  2 Chronicles 26:15, 16

Once Uzziah thought that he was strong and "successful" he quit seeking the Lord and became proud.  That pride let to his destruction.  He was prospering when he was weak in his own eyes. "Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong." 2 Corinthians 12:10

I know it doesn't make sense to say that when we are weak, then we’re strong, but I have come to understand that when I realize how weak I am, I can then receive the strength the Lord has for me.  

One of my favorite songs, "The Refiner’s Fire" sometimes almost feels like my life’s anthem.  

Here are the lyrics:

There burns a fire with sacred heat
White hot with holy flame
And all who dare pass through its blaze
Will not emerge the same
Some as bronze, and some as silver
Some as gold, then with great skill
All are hammered by their sufferings
On the anvil of His will

Chorus:
The Refiner's fire
Has now become my souls desire
Purged and cleansed and purified
That the Lord be glorified
He is consuming my soul
Refining me, making me whole
No matter what I may lose
I choose the Refiner's fire

I'm learning now to trust His touch
To crave the fire's embrace
For though my past with sin was etched
His mercies did erase
Each time His purging cleanses deeper
I'm not sure that I'll survive
Yet the strength in growing weaker
Keeps my hungry soul alive

The last line in the second verse speaks of the strength we gain from trusting the Lord through our trials as a life giving force that only God can create.  The original meaning of the word prosper is “to make happy.”  Money can’t do that!  Oh sure, it is nice to have money to be able to buy things when we want them – but in truth, money can’t buy happiness!  Only God can give us true joy. “Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.  Nehemiah 8:10 If the joy of the Lord is our strength and we see that God’s greatest joy is when we walk in truth as stated in 3 John 4, “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth”; then we are stronger when we walk in God’s truth, with God, in His counsel, and as we delight in His Word we are promised prosperity!   

 “Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:1-3

In Psalm 73, (read it when you get a chance), we see the psalmist is tempted to believe that prosperity is tied to money; that when one has material goods, or a trouble free life, it is an indication that they have prospered. He is conflicted because he sees that ungodly people are prospering in the world while he is suffering.  In further reading the Psalmist comes to realize that because of God’s mercy he allows the foolish (the fool has said in his heart there is no God) to enjoy a measure of so-called prosperity because in the end they will face destruction – while he (God’s child), on the other hand, may be suffering here on earth, in the end realizes that God is always with him and will carry him on to glory.  It is kind of like allowing the convicted murdered to enjoy the best meal of his choice before he is executed – at least allow them a small pleasure because what they are about to face for all eternity is horrible!

As long as you seek the Lord, He will make you to prosper, you will be marvelously helped– but once you start thinking you’re strong, your deceitful heart will lead you to destruction!  This month of November as we all pause to thank, remember to thank God for everything - He is your strength!

 “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.”  Psalm 28:7

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Forgiveness

Forgiveness -what a wonderful word.  Forgiveness is something we all long for – and something that was purchased for us at GREAT COST!

Forgiveness for our sins was paid with the Blood of Jesus! 

“In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace” Ephesians 1:7

In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins” Colossians 1:14

Forgiveness – God loved us so much that He gave His only Son to die in our place so that we could receive forgiveness for our sins.  What a freedom we enjoy when we know we've been forgiven!  I remember so clearly how I felt after I was saved and knew that I had received forgiveness from my heavenly Father through Jesus His Son!  It was as though I had been carrying chains and shackles around with me that I had grown so accustomed to carrying I didn't even realize how heavy they were – until the weight was gone! 

In a very small way it is like the difference a mom feels when the need to carry the entire baby paraphernalia is gone after her last child no longer requires a diaper bag filled with everything she could possibly need, stroller, blankets, car seats etc.  I remember when my 4th child was all done with the diaper bag and so forth that I kept feeling like I was forgetting something – my arms were free!  I actually remember it very clearly – we were going to the Santa Clara County Fair and I didn't need a stroller, diaper bag, Sippy cup – nothing!  I remember raising my arms in the air and saying, “Wow! I am free!  I don’t have anything I need to carry – I am even going to leave my purse in the car!”  I didn't realize they were was burdensome while I needed them – I had grown accustomed to carrying all those things with me for the 7 ½ years as I went from 1 to 4 children in 5 years!

We are all so very thankful when we are forgiven.  Forgiveness is something given to us as a gift from God…and probably one of the hardest things that God has commanded us to give.  I know people have a hard time parting with their money – but I believe more people struggle with forgiveness.

I know that I find it easy to forgive someone that has injured me – but it is a different story when I must forgive someone that has harmed my family! Yet, God does not place any parameters around “who” we are to forgive, In fact in Mark 11:25, He makes it pretty clear who we are to forgive when He says, “And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”   

Refusing to forgive is a form of pride; it is an act of disobedience.

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses." Matthew 6:14 – 15

On the other side of forgiveness – is judgment.  While forgiveness for our sins from God brings us redemption and allows us to know freedom; not forgiving puts us in the place of a judge, condemning someone and deeming them unworthy of forgiveness.  That puts us in a horrible place!

Jesus showed us the danger of not forgiving…

"Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses." Matthew 18:32-35

That’s a pretty strong statement – wouldn't you agree?

Furthermore in James we are warned…

"Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?"  James 4:11-12 (Basically saying, "Who do you think you are?")

In order to do that we must humble ourselves in the sight of God – we must receive the grace that God will give us as we humble ourselves and forgive others.  “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”  James 4:5

We are living in a day where there is so much turmoil in this world – as wives, mothers, Christians, we need to be in a place where our prayers are answered – and that won’t happen unless we forgive “any” against whom we have “ought.”

Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven: Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”  Luke 6:37, 38


Hope you'll forgive me for this looonnnggg post :)  Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

What About Joseph's Brothers?

Have you ever thought about Joseph’s brothers?  I was recently thinking about them and their story and was once again reminded of what a loving God we have.

Joseph’s brothers were jealous because he was favored by his father (a big NO, NO!) and he kept telling them about his dreams of one day becoming a prominent person in their society.  Here he was one of the youngest 2 sons, and he was telling them that he would one day have dominion over them, and that even their parents together with the brothers would bow before him.  Between their jealousy and his dreams of grandeur they hated him and could barely talk to him!

They were so envious and jealous of their brother (not to mention flat out angry at him because he was a 17-year old tattle tale in their eyes for reporting to their father of their evil deeds) that they decided to get rid of him.  They wanted to kill him, but by God’s grace he was spared of that and was instead sold as a slave!  They lied to their father and told him that Joseph was dead and lived for many years as though he had indeed died.

Many years later we know that Joseph’s dreams did come true.  He governed over Egypt, and  when there was a dearth of food and famine in all the land, Joseph’s brothers had to go to Joseph to get food.  Of course being so many years had passed, they did not recognize him, but he knew who they were! They did indeed bow before him, and he had the dominion over them just as he had dreamed.  In the end their brother forgave them and provided a place for them to live where they would have plenty of food for the whole family! 


Now, I said all that to point out some thoughts I had while pondering this.
  1. Joseph’s brothers hated him and considered him proud while they were too proud to think they might one day bow before their younger brother
  2.  They basically “killed” their brother – definitely in their hearts they committed the very act; but honestly they ended his life as he knew it and their life with him.  They conspired together and sold him into slavery not knowing what would become of him.
  3. They lied to their dad about Joseph’s whereabouts, even allowing their dad to grieve his son's death when he hadn't even died!
  4. They lived with their guilt and when things went wrong they always thought they were being punished for what they had done
  5. When there was no food, God provided for them
  6. God provided a place for them to live
  7.  In the end when Joseph was in a position to pay them back for their evil deeds, he forgave them.
Genesis 50:15 And when Joseph’s brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him.
16  And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying,
17  So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.
18  And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.
19  And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God?
20  But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
21  Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

Now, they don’t sound like very nice guys, certainly not worthy of all they received in the end!  But, as I see it, in spite of all that, God still provided for them!  Joseph realized that he had suffered all of those things so he could be in a position to save their lives!  Joseph is a type or picture of Christ; the innocent suffering for the guilty as a sacrifice so that they might live.

What about Joseph’s brothers? Sadly, I have to say that we’re often just like them.  We do wrong because of our own pride and then try to get rid of what is exposing our sin instead of getting right with God.  We are like a teenager that recently said to me, “I don’t like being told to do things I don’t want to do!”  (who does?)  The beauty in this is that just as God provided for those wicked men and showed his love, grace, and mercy for them – He still does that for us today!  God loves us and provides for us even though we’re sinners.  “But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

Live thankful in that love have a wonderful day!



Friday, August 2, 2013

Who Me? Couldn't Be!

“Who stole the cookie from the cookie jar?  YOU stole the cookie from the cookie jar!  Who me?  Yes you!  Couldn't be!  Then who?”  Remember that old game from elementary school?  Funny thing is no one will take “credit” for taking the cookie from the cookie jar, because we don’t like to admit we’re wrong, we don’t like to be found guilty; it is always someone else’s fault.  

When my children were little no matter what happened or who did what, somehow it always seemed to be one of the other one of my children’s fault.  In fact, one of my kids even went so far as to say that it was his brother's fault that he hit the ball over the fence and broke the window because he pitched it in such a way that the ball would go over the fence no matter what!  He was dead serious!

Of course Adam and Eve placed the blame on someone else even though they knew that God was all knowing and all seeing!  And…they still tried to hide and cover themselves – seems ridiculous, doesn't it?  Yet, that is what we all do at one time or another.  We try to rid ourselves of guilt by finding someone else to blame.  Today’s society feeds that character flaw by giving everyone an excuse for what they do and someone else to blame for all of our problems!  That is not a healthy attitude and it is a very dangerous one as well.

One of the greatest things we can teach our children is individual responsibility.  It is our nature to always want to blame someone or something else for the things that happen to us that we don’t like.  Oh, but we’re oh so quick to take full credit for any good that we do.  Pride is at the root of that problem, and boy, are we all full of pride.  And while it is true that we may be the recipient of another’s cruelty, we do not have to respond in kind!

If we as parents can teach our children to take responsibility for their own actions we will save everyone from a multitude of heartache.   One of the biggest problems with always placing the blame on others for our actions is that it leaves us as constant victims!  The truth is that though others may wrong me, I am still responsible for my response. 

When God allows difficulties in our lives it is for our making, not our breaking!  

Hebrews 5:8 teaches,  “Though he were a Son, yet learned he obedience by the things which he suffered;”

1 Peter 5:10 further explains, “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.”

1 Peter 2:21 & 23 also shows us what we should do… “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps… Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:”


If we can learn ourselves and teach our children to commit ourselves to “him that judgeth righteously” as Jesus did, we’ll focus on what we do rather than what they did!   I know for myself and my children I would much prefer someone learning obedience that is complete, established, strong, and settled than   constantly being a victim!  “As for God, his way is perfect” commit yourself to Him today – He will judge righteously!

Have a wonderful day!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Piles of Dirt

Last year the Lord allowed us to move into a home that has a sizable yard.  One of the things that we looked forward to was growing fruit and vegetables in our own garden.  I was so excited as I bought the seeds and imagined all the fresh vegetables we would enjoy for dinner.  I was equally thrilled as my husband/farmer/pastor rototilled the yard and set the rows for our soon coming bountiful harvest!

What I didn't imagine was that so many creatures would be so enthralled with our garden.  There are strange lady bug looking beetles that ate our broccoli, and the squirrels have stormed through our strawberries – and now the moles are eating through the roots of the lawn!
I have learned that lizards are my friends as they eat many bugs, and I enjoy watching them do their push-ups on the dirt before they conquer our pesky infestations.  I have also learned that playing whack-a-mole is much easier when the mole is raising its head in a game than when they’re peeking up through the fresh pile of dirt!

As I sat in the house watching my husband use the shovel to whack the mole, and then resort to using the hose to try to flush the demon out, I began to ponder (after laughing of course) about moles and how they work undercover destroying the roots without being detected until there is dead (or no) grass and a pile of dirt!

I think sin is the same way – often sins in our lives start out undercover without being detected until there is not only no more growth, pretty soon the circumstances of life may look like a pile of dirt – a mess everywhere!  As I pondered further (can you tell I live in the country, did I mention that my next door neighbor is a cow pasture?) about flushing the moles – I thought about how that’s what we need to do when sin tries to sneak in – flush it out with Water, the Water of the Word, just as the Bible says in Ephesians 5:26, “That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word…” speaking of the church. 


Not a one of us would welcome a mole in our yard, and those piles of dirt are not pleasant at all! Why on earth would we welcome sin and the mess that it brings in our lives?  We know that the temptation to sin is lurking in this wicked world – let’s keep ourselves clean by the water of the Word so that we can flush sin out of our lives and avoid those piles of dirt!

Have a wonderful, dirt pile free day!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

And They Lived Happily Ever After



And they lived happily ever after.  Isn’t that what we all want?  I know that’s what I want; I know I like to watch movies that have a good ending.  I hate it when movies end up sad and there is no resolve to a problem!  I know that in “real life” things don’t always turn out the way we hope and that we must face hard truths – but why should I have to watch it?  I like to watch a movie to escape…not to face more harsh reality!

I like the corny movies – the ones where the girl gets the guy of her dreams, where the bad guys get their due rewards, and the heroes get the deserved recognition.  I especially love old movies from the 40’s.  During that era everyone dressed up – guys even wore a tie to baseball games!  In those days the administration did not allow criminals to get away with their crimes – by the end of the movie they had to be caught.  I like that and of course wish it would always be that way!

 
I was thinking about that this morning, and I realized that for those of us that are saved we really will live happily ever after…in heaven.  That is the only real happily ever after that exists!  I want that for all of us, and most importantly, so does the Lord.  The Bible says in John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”
God wants each one of us to live happily ever after with Him in heaven.  If you have been born again, trusted Christ as your Savior – you have His promise for eternal life that He purchased for you with His own blood that He shed when He died for you on the cross.  His infinite love for us is amazing.  Right now He is preparing a place for us so that we can be with Him.  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”  John 14:2, 3

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”  Revelation 21:3, 4 
One day, if you have been born again you will live happily ever after in heaven with the Lord.  If you have not yet trusted Christ’s finished work on the cross for your salvation, won’t you do that today?  

These verses from Romans 10 will help you.

9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

I hope you have a wonderful day realizing that you really will live happily ever after!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

It Can Happen to You!




Have you considered how often we hear instruction or warnings and walk away either not believing it is true, or we just think it will never happen to us?  I remember as a kid my grandparents warning me, it seemed, about everything!  Everything was dangerous or life threatening…I was certain that they simply did not want me to enjoy my life.

Then, there are the statistics we hear, and again, we either think that someone else will be the 1 in a million that is the actual statistic.  I remember when my daughter was born on my 25th birthday I was so thrilled to receive such a gift, but I was also had a weird feeling because someone else I knew had a child born on their 25th birthday that was born with cancer – so it bothered me – I was afraid that she could get cancer too.  Then a few years later I read a statistic that 1 in 4 children get cancer…and I looked at my four children and felt a little more worried about the idea that one of my children could get cancer.  I remember talking myself out of it and siting that we already had a child in the family that had cancer and so certainly it wouldn’t happen to more than one child in our extended family!  Then as if that wasn’t enough I found out that one of my cousins, a girl named Kelli, had cancer!  Wow, how in the world many things had to happen to scare me about the idea that my daughter could get cancer?

 Job 3:25 says, “For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.”  A few years later, in 1991, my daughter was diagnosed with Wilms Tumor – cancer of the kidney.  I know that probably sounds like some Twilight Zone moment, but I believe that the Lord was preparing me.  I was not saved when the majority of those “signs” scared me about cancer, but I am thankful that by the time my daughter was diagnosed and had to endure major surgery, radiation, and 18 months of chemo-therapy we had the comfort of the Holy Spirit indwelling us. Glory to God, my daughter (and the other Kelli, my cousin) survived their cancers and are healthy today these 20+ years later.  

This year, this whole year so far, I have had serious health issues.  If anyone asked me about my health on December 20, (the day before I became ill) I would have said that I was very healthy.  I had no clue that my organs were failing, or that my pancreas and liver enzymes were 10,000 times higher than normal.  After I was treated, I found out that 1 in 6 patients develop pseudo cysts.  I was the one.

So, why am I pointing this out?  Because we need to quit thinking that it’s always going to be the other guy.  It can happen to you!  I don’t want to scare you out of having 4 children, or cause you to panic if you get weird vibes because of similarities – BUT, there are things we can prevent!  There are things that don’t have to happen.  There are problems that can be avoided if we would only listen!

I’m talking about receiving and following counsel, listening to instruction, and heeding warnings – because it can happen to you!  My grandparents may have been ridiculously over protective, but they were trying to protect me because they loved me and they didn’t want anything bad to happen to me on their watch!
In the Book of Isaiah, chapter 28:10 – 13 the Bible teaches us about rules and regulations.   “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little: For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.  But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.”  The intention behind all the rules and regulations is to give you rest, so you don’t have to worry – so you could behave with confidence…but instead they received it as a hindrance, something they felt would hold them back.  They honestly thought that the precepts and lines would trap them!

Sound familiar?  Kids react that way to their parents and authorities that present layers of acceptable behaviors and warnings against danger that will help us grow and mature as Christians.  With each line and precept that we embrace and obey we grow in grace.  I know that a lot of people today don’t like standards – they don’t want someone to tell them what is acceptable or not and they cry “legalism!”  They are just like the people in Isaiah that will not hear and miss out on the rest and refreshment that is intended. 

Will you please heed the warnings?  I have learned – it can happen to you; the good and the bad.  It is my prayer that you’ll receive the rest and refreshment because God’s plan for you is good; He loves you!  


 Have a wonderful day!