A Teachable Moment

I had a moment today.  It just happened on Tuesday instead of Monday (smile).  You know I love mornings…if I could just get my mind and body to get moving to greet them!

This morning my granddaughters were here at nine a.m.  (I did manage to be clothed and in my right mind….well, close!).  I love the time I get with them.  I only wish my energy didn’t give out as quickly as it does so I could take them more often.  Needless to say, roughly three and a half hours later when their mommy took them home, I was ready for a rest!  But the peace and quiet gave me a second wind, so I washed the dishes, swept the floor, and did a few other little chores, then proceeded to make some lunch.

I hadn’t realized how hungry I had gotten.  I was starving!  Before I even carried my food to the table, I said a quick prayer and took a big ol’ bite of my burger at the counter!  Then I heard it.  I heard that still, small voice in my spirit;

“Do you hunger for Me like that, so you simply cannot wait to be filled with My words and My Spirit?”

Ouch.  Oh how I want to.  I do spend time with Him daily, whether a lot or a little.  But….like that?  I had to ask myself; is it usually because I know that I’m no good without Him and I need Him (which is a pretty good reason)?  Or am I truly hungering and thirsting for Him so much that I can’t wait to devour His Word and spend time quietly alone with Him?

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”  Matthew 5:6

Scripture often describes our longing for God as an intense hunger or thirst.  If you have walked with God any length of time, you’ve learned that nothing this world has to offer satisfies our desires and longings like God can.  Time in His presence satisfies our soul hunger in a way that nothing else ever can.  The cool thing is, the more time we spend with Him, the more we desire that time with Him, and the less we desire other “things”.

“O God, You are my God; I shall seek You earnestly; My soul thirsts for You, my flesh yearns for You….”  Psalm 63:1

The NIV states 1 Peter 2:2 a little more plainly, where Peter tells us:

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation.”

Other translations use the words; desire, long for.  Same idea.  We need to desire, and feed on the Word of God to grow in our salvation.  Otherwise we remain spiritual babies, immature in our faith.

We don’t think twice about feeding our bodies.  I was reminded of this very clearly today, the way I couldn’t wait to get some food into my mouth!   Yet why do we neglect our time in His word?  Why do we allow ourselves to get so caught up in the busyness, and other things in this life that we literally starve our souls?

In John 6:35, Jesus himself said; “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”

So my challenge to each of us…spend some time in your Bible, feeding on the Bread of life.  As Psalm 34:8 says; “O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!”  You will be filled.  You will be satisfied.  You will be blessed and joy-filled.

Leave a comment and share your moments where God has clearly spoke to your spirit.  I’d love to hear how you are listening to Him and growing in your walk with Him.

Until next time,

Debbie

The Beautiful Dance

Today we are blessed to add one more year to our marriage history…now 37 years. We are so thankful to God for His blessings and how far He has brought us. I had plans of posting some “then and now” pictures and writing a new post…there is so much I’d love to say about life together with this wonderful man! However, if you know me, I cannot always keep up with life and follow through with plans because this chronic illness likes to get in my way more often than not! So for now, I will share this post from our anniversary at the beach last year. Hope you enjoy!

Gazing Toward the Son

AnniversaryThe artistry of dance can tell a beautiful story.  I’m no expert and I’m only a dancer in my imagination.  So please don’t judge me, but despite the scantily clad dancers, I have watched every season of DWTS.  As I watch, I imagine myself light on my feet and breathlessly dancing the Quick Step.  I feel like a princess as I glide around the dance floor (in my imagination of course) dancing the Waltz.  I even bought an exercise DVD of Latin dances featuring some of the DWTS cast.  I thought; “This is going to be so fun!  Exercise and even learn to dance a little!”  Umm…not so much.  Let’s just say that I’m glad I was alone and the blinds were closed!  I’ll stick to dancing in my imagination, thank you very much.  However, I digress.

I think marriage is very much like a beautiful dance.  Sometimes we are…

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Our Refuge in the Storm

DSCN0794I am so thankful that God will never let go of us (Josh 1:9, Isaiah 41:10, Heb. 13:5), nor can anything or anyone snatch us out of His hand (John 10:28-29).  But sometimes we have to seriously work at, and focus on drawing near, staying close, and holding on to Him.  Circumstances in life can tend to rip and tear and pull at us until we are an anxious, frazzled, and weary mess.  Can I get an “Amen”?  Life happens.  Many things we simply can not avoid, so we must know how to ride out the storm safely and securely.

Last week we had a storm blow through.  The wind was howling and whipping around, rain was pelting….and my daughter-in-law sat safe and dry looking out her window, amused at the garbage cans rolling down the street!  But there is usually nothing amusing about the storms of life that blow through.  One minute everything is fine…and the next minute our life can be changed…sometimes forever.  Storms of life can hit any one of us at any given time.  A diagnosis.  An accident.  A job loss.  Death.  I was thinking this morning that when the storms of life strike, it’s a lot like being out  on a boat far from shore, and seemingly out of nowhere a storm blows up.  You have no where to go.  You must  ride.  it.  out. 

Fortunately, when we have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we can run to Him.  He will hold us securely…even as we lose our grip.  He is an anchor for our soul, sure and steadfast (Heb. 6:19).  Many places in the Bible it speaks of God being our refuge.  A refuge is a shelter, a place of safety and protection.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Psalm 46:1

In Matthew chapter 14, we read that after the feeding of the five thousand men (plus women and children), Jesus immediately made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of him to the other side.  Once He finished sending the crowd away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.  Verse 23 tells us it was then evening and He was there alone.  Here is where I find this story exciting  (not diminishing the miraculous feeding of over five thousand!);

We read that the boat was already a long distance from land and was being battered by the waves because the wind was contrary.  I don’t believe we can be sure how long they were in the storm, but scripture does tell us in verse 25 that it was the fourth watch of the night, which is somewhere  between three and six a.m., when Jesus came to them.  In the midst of the howling wind and waves tossing the boat to and fro, Jesus came.  Walking. On. The. Water!  Of course the disciples were terrified.  Wouldn’t you be?  They thought He was a ghost, and they were screaming and carrying on like a bunch of… can I say it?  A bunch of girly men!  But Jesus, kind as He is, didn’t chastise them.  He immediately told them:  “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.”

I love Peter.  Like many of us, he would just speak whatever came to his mind at that moment.  So he just shouted out (in vs. 28); “Lord if it’s You, command me to come to You on the water.” Did you get that?  On the water!  So Jesus simply said “Come!”  I have to believe He just kind of shrugged His shoulders as He said it.  No eloquent sermon or parable.  Simply, “Come!” But really, isn’t that what He says to any of us?  We get battered and tossed about in the storm swirling all around us, and Jesus says simply “Come.”

Scripture tells us that Peter did get out of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. 

But he took his focus off Jesus for a split second.

Seeing the wind he became frightened, and began to sink.  But he cried out; “Lord save me!”

Verses 31 and 32 read; “Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and DSCN0048took hold of him and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”  “When they got into the boat, the wind stopped.”

What storm are you in the midst of?  Do you feel like you are drowning and there is no escape?  I wish I could give you a hug right now, but I can tell you this; cry out to Him and He will immediately take hold of you!

Ride out the storm with a laser focus on Jesus, not the wind and waves.  Have faith that He has ahold of you and He will not let you drown. 

He will keep you steady and calm.  You may feel like you’re only hanging on by a thread, but He won’t let go of you…or me.  Cry out to Him.  Invite Him into your storm.  With Him, we are able to ride out any of life’s storms safely, securely, and calmly.

Have you ridden out a storm with Jesus?  I’d love to hear your story.  Share in the comments…it just may help someone else who’s in the storm.

Keep gazing toward the Son.

Love,

Debbie

 

Monday Moments

So how has your Monday been today?  I pray you have spent some time with the Savior and sensed His great love for you.  It’s good to stop and ponder that now and then.  We need to be in awe of this great Gift we have been given.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!  1 John 3:1a

I am so thankful that His mercies are new every morning (Lam.3:22-23).  Because though I have the best intentions, I inevitably fail.  Chronic illness or not, on any given day I will fail at managing my time wisely, eating my proper portion, being the wife God calls me to be, or being the friend I want to be.  I will probably fail at being the godly woman I long to be.

But God….

God knows my desires and He knows my struggles.  And He knows yours too.  No matter what happened yesterday, today, if we opened our eyes, we have been given a clean slate … a fresh start … another chance to get it right, to make a difference!  He’s there cheering us on when we get it right.  And when we don’t … He’s right there to pick us up, dust us off, and help us to start all over again ( isn’t that an old song?)!  All we need to do is keep coming to Him in prayer and in His word.  He will give us the courage, direction, and encouragement we need to keep going.

Don’t let feelings of guilt and / or discouragement cause you to give up on whatever it is you know you are to be doing.  That’s exactly what the Enemy wants for you to do.  That’s his M.O.!  If he can get us to feel discouraged or paralyzed with fear or guilt so we quit trying … guess who’s won the victory by default?

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  1Peter 5:8

In Exodus chapter 17, after God had clearly given the Israelites victory in battle, Moses built an altar and called the name of it …Jehovah – Nissi … which means “The Lord is my Banner”.  He is our banner of victory in all of our spiritual battles.  Don’t quit.  Instead, look to Jehovah – Nissi to be your banner of victory.

Keep remembering and rejoicing because …

  • He lavishes His great love on you
  • His mercies are new every morning … you have a clean slate
  • He is your Banner of Victory in the battles you face … let Him fight them for you.

I pray your sleep is sweet on this Monday evening and you awake with a song of praise in your heart and on your lips for His wonderful love for you!

As always, if you know someone who may be encouraged…please share!

Counting Blessings,

Debbie