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.

Sunset in the Alaskan Bush

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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Why All Was Silent

Admittedly, this should have been a “highlight” week for me but I have been sick for the last five days. Here is the irony of realizing that our expectations do not always equal our reality.

I received confirmation that my few sample books should be arriving at my door sometime in the next few days! Once I give my final approval, Broken Hearts Healed, will be available for purchase!

So, yes, the achievement of a “lifetime” of waiting and dreams in my heart fulfilled but my poor body didn’t have the energy to celebrate. Further, you were all on my mind daily as I kept thinking, “I should post something…..a devotional, a funny story, a short meditation.” But as you can see, I did not. Silence ruled across my facebook page and website this week. I am just now re-gaining some strength and I look forward to being “back in the swing of things” this coming week. Thanks for your patience.

Lesson of the Forget-Me-Not

Consider this devotional a God moment in which He is speaking to you.

Forget-Me-Nots

I have not forgotten you. Can a nursing mother forget her child? Yet, I have not forgotten you. I have engraved you on the palms of My hands. You are precious to me. I created you for My glory, for companionship so that we would walk together throughout this life. Many things have happened to you that have caused you such pain and heartache. I know intimately all that you have carried. I desire to take the burdens from you and to fill you with joy. If you only knew how very much I love you.

Circumstances and broken relationships have damaged your ability to trust. I am aware of all that satan has done through people to keep you from believing Me and surrendering your heart and life to My care. It is the enemy’s desire to rob you of relationship with Me. The thief comes but to steal, kill and destroy but I have come that you might have life, and that life more abundantly.

Your fleshly desires for more materialistic possessions will never satisfy. Even if you gained all the wealth you long for, but have not found Me, the essence of Life itself, all would still be meaningless. Can you not look at the tiny forget-me-nots and recognize that in spite of blistering winds, trampled ground, months of seeing no sunshine as they are avalanched in snow, every summer they are still there, clinging to the rocks? Do you not yet understand? If you cling to the Rock of Ages, Jesus Christ, there will be nothing that can rip you out of My hands. There will be no difficulty or hardship that will be impossible to endure if you only cling and trust in Me with all your heart. This is a great life lesson. Few will ever see the forget-me-nots, yet I know exactly where they are, every season of the year. Oh, precious one, if I care so much about tiny tundra flowers, how much more I care about you. You are made in My image. I loved you so much that I willingly gave My life for you on the cross.

I died because of My great love for you. I died in hopes that one day you would repent of your sins and turn to Me and we would be friends and no longer enemies. I took the risk that only true Love would take. I gave all not expecting anything in return. I gave freely in hope that My love demonstrated on the cross would be so profound that it would melt your heart of stone.

I will never leave you nor forsake you. That is My promise and I am not a man that I should lie. I Am the Almighty God. Will you come to Me? I have not forgotten you. Have you forgotten Me?