Saturday, November 15, 2014

Trust and Faith When We Can’t See God

Trust and Faith When We Can’t See God

He’s about 5½ months old, 6” tall, and has the sweetest temperament. His name is Petey 

and he’s an absolute joy.  All he can do by himself is eat and sleep. He’s 100% dependent on me,

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Escape from (Almost) Certain Death

It’s hard to believe I made it out alive.  By all accounts I should be either dead, or at least in the hospital with severe injuries. But God.  God said it wasn’t my time to meet Him in person. 
I’d just left a writers’ group and headed to my dentist appointment.  I got on the freeway as the rain came down in sheets, blowing sideways at times.  The car ahead of me braked, so I did too.  But my car swerved left and the next thing I knew I was two lanes over and headed into the fast lane.  I’d hydroplaned.
My car was out of control so I veered back to the right.  Next thing I knew, I was headed SOUTH on a northbound freeway, straight into oncoming traffic!  It scared me to death.  I was afraid to turn the wheel again too hard, so I froze for a second or two, staring at the oncoming traffic. I saw cars move into the next lane in order to avoid hitting me.  It makes my hair stand on end as I write this.
I got hold of myself and turned, but not as hard as the last time.  I headed 90 degrees to the left (to the side of the slow lane).  My car stalled out.  I was a mental wreck at this point.  I tried to turn on the emergency flashers.  Once I figured that out, I couldn't start the car again.  I'm still panicking at this point, understand.
 I was off the freeway, facing sideways, and unable to start the car.  I decided to start over by just turning off the engine.  Then it worked. 

An officer saw me sideways and whipped over from the 3rd lane, pulling behind me with his lights on.  I was relieved, but still shaking.  He came to my car and asked me if I was okay.  I assured him I was, just scared. 
Poor guy, it was POURING out there and he didn't have an umbrella. When I told him I couldn't start the car until I turned it all the way off, I asked, "is that what you're supposed to do?"  He said I probably didn't have it in Park. Duh!  I hadn't even thought of that.  But I was in panic/survival mode, so I couldn't.  He helped me calm down and then I continued on to my appointment.  No cavities! At least it ends on a bright note.  
It truly amazes me (though maybe it shouldn’t) that God protected me like that.  He must have a reason. Even if it’s just to tell people about God’s protection of His children and that He’s always with us, that’s enough. 
When have you been through something where you’ve seen God’s hand in your life?  Share it with the rest of us so we can see how He continues to work in our lives today, even when we least expect it. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Sing Your Song to the World

It’s midnight and a beautiful sound accompanies me as I type away at my computer.  That bird cannot stop singing.  It seems to have so much to share with anyone who will listen.  I only wish I spoke and understood its language so I could join in the conversation. 

I also wish I had its heart and determination to share a message with the world, to whomever would stop to listen.  I guess that’s a key part of it. It’s just after midnight, most the world’s asleep here, yet the bird keeps singing its song.

What a lesson we can learn from that bird, even when we can’t see him.  We need to put our song, our heart, our message out to the world.  Regardless of whether anyone responds, our words will be out there. Some will benefit from what we say and it’ll sail past the ears of others.  We have no control over who responds to us or how they do, but that’s not our responsibility.  Our job is to simply put the message out there. Just like that bird singing its tune in the dark, we have to just keep sending out whatever message God’s given us to share and let Him take care of what happens next. 

Funny what you can learn from a bird singing at midnight.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Surprise visitor!

A bird on the dining room chair?  Inside the house?   Yep, that what I came home to Monday after a meeting that took me away from the house for about two hours. 

In my dining room, I have a window seat under 4 windows that jut out to the side of the house. 

Under the left most window sits a bird feeder where chickadees, cardinals, finches, and titmice regularly visit me and we enjoy each other’s company.  I’ve found out the hard way that if anything touches it, the feeder  falls to the ground spilling all the food. I have to stand on a ladder to put it back up on a brick that holds it there. It’s a pain.  So when I open that window, I pull the screen down to just above the birdfeeder so as not to knock it off. 
It was beautiful outside the other day so I let the soothing, cool breeze in by opening all the windows.  When I got home from an appointment that afternoon, I was greeted by a purple finch
that sat perched on top of a dining chair (straight ahead in the picture above), looking out the window, trying to figure out how to get back outside.  Whether he’d been there two minutes or two hours, I don’t know.  He'd started on the birdfeeder outside like the one in the picture, but he hopped inside and the next thing he knew he was lost in the house and didn't know what to do.

You’ve got to be kidding me, I thought to myself. After I stopped laughing, unable to believe my eyes, I opened the back door, hoping he’d fly out easily.  He didn’t move.

I went over to the window and he flew up into the curtain, afraid of me.  I felt bad for him but was able to coax him down, eventually. “I’m not gonna hurt you”, I said. “I want to help you.” I said. After a couple tries, when I put my finger under his feet he stayed there. I brought my hand down very slowly, opened the screen, and set him free. 

It made me think.  The poor guy had stepped in the house and when he realized he didn’t want to be there, he didn’t know how to get back outside.  He could see where he wanted to go and that it wasn’t far, but didn't know how to get there. 

He couldn’t get outside without my help. But he had to trust I wouldn’t hurt him first.  Tough call, but he had no other choice if he was going to get outside again. So he relaxed a tad and sat on my finger long enough for me to let him out.

Have you ever been like that little bird?  In a situation where you’re stuck, and don’t know what to do? God always has our best interests in mind and wants to get us where we need to be. We have to trust him first, then relax and let Him point us in the right direction. 





Thursday, May 29, 2014

Give God What You’ve Got

 “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” John 6:9

“It’s just five loaves of bread and two fish. What good will that do?  There’s thousands of people in this crowd!  But they’re asking if we have anything.  I guess this is something.”
I imagine the little’s boy’s thoughts were along these lines in the crowd of hungry people who’d been listening to “this Jesus guy” teach for so long. 

He looked at his brown paper bag, thought of the food Mom and Dad had packed him in case he got hungry.  He WAS hungry and Jesus had finally stopped teaching. This was his chance to grab a bite. But then the teacher’s close friends asked if anyone had anything to eat. He knew he did, but it was only enough for him.

Still, he told the men that he had a little bit of food.  Then they TOOK it from him. Oh great, he thought.  “They took all I had. What good can this do? And now my lunch is gone.”

“This is all we could find. It won’t do any good.” the disciples said to Jesus.  They gave it to him anyway, when he asked them for it. Then Jesus prayed and shocked everyone (including the disciples) when the five loaves and the two fish suddenly became too much for even the thousands of them to eat.  With all the miracles they seen Jesus perform by this time, you’d think his disciples wouldn’t be surprised. But they still couldn’t believe it. It didn’t make any sense. 

Before we’re too hard on the disciples though, let’s take a look at how we think.  Sometimes we can be like the little boy, seeing all the needs around us. We think we can’t make a dent in the world around us. Not really, especially with thousands of needy people.  

But maybe, just maybe, we should do what God says and give him what we have. He doesn’t ask us to solve the problem, just to give him what we have. When the little boy gave his lunch to the disciples and they gave it to Jesus, He took it and multiplied it to bless and care for thousands in ways no one could have imagined. 

Give God what you’ve got. He’ll take care of the rest.


Friday, February 14, 2014

God is Love

In a Bible study I’m in right now, one of the subjects that came up recently was how each of us sees God.  What do we think of when we think of God? One lady said she thinks of Him as someone she can curl up with and be held, comforted. One person said she sees Him as “the big boss in the sky.”  Another said, “God is love.” 

What is Love?

I agree that God is love, but I don’t always feel it.  So the other day I sat down and started to pick that apart.  I asked myself, “What is love? What are the characteristics of love?” 

This seems an appropriate topic for Valentine’s Day.  
As I thought about it, I came up with some words that seem to fit.  Love is:

·       Sacrificial
·       Unconditional
·       Honest
·       Forgiving
·       Protective
·       Intimate
·       Trustworthy

I’m sure there are many more. In looking over these, I recognized something.  None of them is an emotion.  They’re all adjectives that describe God, but none of them is is a feeling.  There’s something significant and wonderful about that. Feelings change, but God doesn’t, and neither do His characteristics.  No matter what we think, feel, say, or do, God still loves us. What a marvelous thought. 

What do you think of when God or another loving person comes to mind?  Share it here.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Power Of Forgiveness

Jesus tells us over and over that we need to forgive others who hurt us.  Once, he even said we need to do so nearly 500 times.  Sounds like a tall order to me.  There’s something hidden in that though.  There are at least three reasons He tells to forgive each other.

·       First, it releases the other person from the burden of being in debt to us .   

credit Stuart Miles
·       It also restores our relationship with them and we start again with a blank slate. 


·       But the most surprising result to me is that it frees us.  When we hold onto something where we’ve been wronged, it actually enslaves us. It may be all we can think about. 


How about you?  What have you found happens when you forgive someone or they forgive you for something?








Monday, January 6, 2014

Rest--it's actually good for us!

I was going through the book of Hebrews the other day since our church has just finished a series on it.  Something I read struck me as ironic