Fresh Manna

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The children of Israel were to gather manna on a daily basis, except for the Sabbath. They had to put forth some effort to acquire the manna. Daily, they needed to arise in the morning and discover the Lord’s provision for their families. The manna was a testimony of the faithfulness of God to His people and He supplied this food for 40 years in the wilderness.

We need to make some effort to discover the Lord’s provision in our lives on a daily basis. We need to hear His voice, read and listen to His Word, and commune with Him. The manna is there but we must make the time to gather it. A living relationship is necessary to growth in our spiritual lives. We serve a Living God and He longs to be vital to our survival.

Have you been feasting on worms and moldy bread? It’s time to change and taste and see that the Lord will meet you everyday, all the time, no matter what your circumstance or situation. Be reminded that “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” The very God that parted the Red Sea has time for you and longs for your company. Meditate on that truth and allow the Holy Spirit to give you an eternal perspective.

 

 

 

Preparing for a New Year

Picture 226As you prepare for another year, take some time to reflect on the specific blessings that have enriched your life. Spend time in the presence of God and let Him grant vision unto you for the coming days ahead. Know that whatever you may face on this earth, and in this life, that you are being “groomed” (actually “brided”) for the life to come. You are being prepared so that you will be pure and spotless, holy and righteous and able by His grace to stand robed in shining garments.

Prioritize and remember this season of Re-dedication. Examine your ways and consider your plans. What road are you traveling? Where will your journey end? What reward awaits you? Oh my friend, do not sell yourself short of the plans and purposes of your King!

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He delights to bless you as you walk in obedience to His Word. May I encourage you to wait on the Lord that He may show you what He desires you to be and to do as this year begins anew.

Apple of My Eye

IMG_3425What does the term “apple of the eye” mean? It is the reflection in the center of the pupil, the dark circle inside the iris. To view the “apple of one’s eye,” you must look closely into someone’s eyes. In the “apple”, you will see a minute reflection of your face. Go ahead, try it. You must get “up close and personal” to see it.

The Lord declares that we who follow Jesus are the “apple of His eye.” God desires intimacy. When He looks deep into the eyes of  His believers, He expects to see a reflection of Himself. He longs for His Bride to look into the eyes of her Bridegroom and see herself reflected there. As we embrace the privilege and joy of being Christians, we are now the Lord’s special people. May our love for our Beloved Messiah deepen as we draw closer to Him. May we long for Him to see in us a mirror image of His love and character.

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Spiritual Refreshing

DSC_0465We are often busy with work, bills, medical appointments, school, church and social activities. At times, God seems distant. He promised never to leave us, but our emotions crowd out the truth and we feel overwhelmed, forgotten and alone.

I remember being in Hawaii for our twentieth anniversary on a guided rafting trip. The day was gorgeous with tropical sunshine, turquoise water, white foam waves and salty sea spray. Breathless, I watched the dolphins dance, frolic and spin in the air. They thrilled me and I felt a greater awareness of God.  These sea creatures delighted in playing, having fun and enjoying life.

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Not everyone can see dolphins dance. But all of us can take time to slow down and enjoy God’s creation whether the dazzling starry skies, the glorious rainbow or the spectacular colors of the sunset.

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In these moments, God refreshes our souls, encourages our hearts and calms our fears by gently reminding us that He is always with us.

Spiritual Language

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I went on a mission trip to Mexico and “hid” in the background. A man prayed the last night, “Lord, if we only knew a little bit of Spanish so that we could communicate Your love.” I was convicted of my pride and fear. I had studied Spanish twenty years earlier but never spoke fluently so I chose silence.

I repented and God used me as a tongue for the English speakers and the Spanish ones. I shared the Gospel, encouraged fellow believers and led two people to Jesus. I had never led anyone to the Lord before. What an incredible day!mexico outreach 2005 023

The people at Pentecost heard the amazing things of God spoken in their own language. Like them, we can tune our ears to the prompting of the Spirit. Often, we feel awkward when we step out of our comfort zones. Consider the opportunities we might miss if we choose to be spiritually deaf rather than speaking the language of love.

Lord, release us from fear and pride so that we can be more effective for You.

 

 

The Lesson of the Berries

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The summer beckons everyone outside to enjoy the gorgeous scenery of brilliant rays and azure skies. After the winter darkness and cold that has lasted almost nine months, no one wants the walls and enclosures. The freedom of long four wheeler rides, boating on the river, even swimming, for the brave, has an intoxication all its own. The tundra is covered in berries—salmonberries, blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, cranberries and more– that hungry bears and people alike forage in. The tantalizing flavors of the berries are enjoyed both at picking and later on in the harsh, bitter cold winter. By harvesting now, during the potlucks later and for special occasions, berries will be served in abundance and with great pleasure. So even though it is work, it yields goodness and joy.

One is usually bent over or sometimes sits down on the squishy ground to pick the berries because the bushes do not grow tall. Into the bucket, one by one, or sometimes in a small cluster, berries are gathered by hand or berry comb. The berries are small, even when they are ripe. Pop one into your mouth and savor the flavor.

Picking berries is a picture of humility. All the goodness and sweetness is ripe and ready for the taking but one must go low to the ground to appreciate finding them. Often in life, those who are proud miss the satisfaction of simple things. They are busy looking from the vantage point of height and superiority that they do not see their need foPicture 1336r God. They are blind to their ignorance and arrogance. All around them are evidences of the Lord’s provision, yet they stubbornly cling to their own devices and self-made dreams and desires.

Their hearts are a barren wasteland that stretches for miles on end as the years pass and they move further and further away from God and deeper and deeper into pride. Yet at their feet, like the berries on the tundra, are all the answers they are searching for. They need only bend down in humility and recognize that in comparison to the Lord, they are small and weak. It is here in the place of humility where they can see the goodness of God and His wonderful love for them.

In humility, they will find sweetness in life, abundance of joy, plenty to satisfy and then they will also discover the people around them who are also walking with God because those people have found the secret of success which is humility, obedience and surrender to Jesus Christ. They are not worried about the future or the economy or the calamities that will come, for in the place of peace and surrender, they can see the vastness of the tundra of life spread before them with unending miles of provision, there for the taking, freely, if one is but humble enough to recognize it. Have you learned the lesson of the berries? Or are you still walking proud and defiant against the Loving God of the Universe?

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