Friday, January 24, 2014

Divine Delivery

Deuteronomy 31:8 (NASB) "And the Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear, or be dismayed."

Last week, Amazon announced a potential program they are calling "anticipatory shipping."


Based on customers prior shopping habits, purchases, and wish lists, Amazon plans on sending your package before you hit the "complete my order" button.  The market experts are watching what you buy and predicting with confidence what you NEED to purchase, so much so, they are willing to package it up and send it to you before you officially shop. I am "anticipating" that Amazon feels that a "bird in the hand" is money in the bank!  If I was to receive something in the mail from Amazon based on my last several purchases, it just might be a coffee cup with a picture of Denzel Washington on it or a crocheted Snoopy hat!  Actually, when I think about it, I might keep both of those!  Maybe this might work!

This week, my brother-in-law experienced answers to prayers that were not specifically sent or anticipated. Our loving God made His way AHEAD of him in a situation dealing with his and my husband's elderly parents. The delivery came speedy and efficiently, giving us continued hope in a difficult situation. I know prayers were sent generally, but God made a way through the heavenly places, shipping off a generous supply of grace and truth before we knew what was happening.

Many times we do not know all the in and outs, problematic dilemmas, snafus or our own neglectful  blunders, even the ideas and assumptions of others that may affect us. When we live a life of faith, a life that consistently relys on His great power, His sovereign grace, His protection and His wisdom, we can be assured that He goes ahead of us. He's packaging up an answer, a blessing, an encouraging friend, a verse, a message of hope, even a song on the radio,  before we even order up our prayers and hit the "Amen" button.

I know this without a doubt, God orchestrates people and situations in my life that keep me accountable, reveal His Love, and answer a prayer beyond what I could even imagine. This week, God guided my family in such away it became obvious to several of us that God's omnipresence and omniscience flew in ahead of a situation we did not know. His delivery was timely and perfect! Opening up His goodness, we see His name all over it. That encouragement propels us to continue to seek His wisdom in the important decisions we are making concerning the care of our parents. This was a good week.

The Lord knows us. He knows our HABITS, our HEARTS and our HOPES.

Lord, I am so thankful to you because sometimes I forget to hit the "complete the order" button; I am so "wrapped" up in  myself, so unprepared at times, forgetful, busy...well a lot of times, overwhelmed. Lead me Lord to the quiteness of your Word, where I can shop for what fills my order with strength, hope and expectant COMPLETE deliveries! Amen.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Labor of Love

I Corinthians 15:58 NIV Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

For the last 9 months or so, I’ve had the pleasure of hosting a small group fellowship in my home with four very special friends God handpicked. The calling came one night; I believe the eve of Good Friday. Engaged in an on-line conversation with a classmate from high school, she personal-messaged me on Facebook determined to share her newly discovered faith, her recognition and filling of the Holy Spirit in her life. It seems she found me to be a “spiritual one” on her Facebook and felt comfortable enough and excited enough to want to talk with someone, anyone who seemed to know, have insight on “knowing” the Lord. She thought that I would “get it!” Bursting to talk about the Lord and all He was doing and revealing to her in life, nobody around her seemed to share her enthusiasm.  I got it, and we typed back and forth while God slowly whispered to me to continue this dialog up close and in person.

“Start a small group,” I heard Him say. “Trust me.”

Conceived in the next few days, W.O.R.D.: Woman of Righteous Determination, began forming in the womb of obedience. Two other sisters I invited in faith arrived on time and our “play dates” with the Lord and each other began to take place, late Tuesday afternoons. 

Two teachers, one elementary and one junior high, a business owner and myself.  Two divorced, one married, in a blended family.
Together, 9 adult children prayed over.
We all attend different churches.
We’ve all had extreme experiences in life.
We all love the Lord and want more of Him. 

We all share a womb-story, a birth story, growing pain story, and a healing story.

The Holy Spirit moved; me, their only common denominator.

Well, no I wasn’t.

Our Father, God, the Creator.

We laughed. We cried. The transparency of trust guided us into relationship-fellowship that I believe was truly Holy at times.  To say we bonded is an understatement.

After a few months, God brought another young lady back into my life. We worked together years ago. Catching up in a parking lot one summer afternoon, God stood with us, bringing back all that He does when we begin to speak of His greatness in our life.

She would join us.

Adopted in.

Ministry happened. God moved in conversation. Powerful! 

2014 brings change, new commitments and challenges.
New blessings and opportunities.

 I will continue to pray for this group of woman who speak boldly, love deeply and serve each other tenderly in word and deed.

Celebrating Thanksgiving together. 

I will pray for His direction for W.O.R.D.

Tonight while getting my hair done, a circle of 3 other woman sat around in various stages of beautification, a few of us under the drier, a few getting treatments, etc. They seemed to know each other…maybe.

They were sharing about the Lord, his provision, their Holy Spirit moments, inspiring one another, quoting scripture to each other, and sharing a miracle--a sister moment. I never said a word, just smiling and slowly nodding my head under the drier, in an Amen from my heart of hearts—“sisterhood styling!”

I got it!

I have it!

It’s how He works!  In community with each other, in fellowship with each other, in SHARING our foibles, our flesh moments and our Aah-Ha, I got it God moments! 
He is glorified! We are blessed!  Beauty Queens! 

I long to be a part of loving and conceiving.
Giving birth and even letting go.

Butterflies show up.


 Father God, I love you. You show me Your love in such amazing ways.  You continue to direct me to so many new and exciting opportunities. You surround me constantly in everything I do with the most amazing people, True Believers, even strangers who speak boldly of Your goodness in the salon tonight.  Thank you. I wait for the positive result of continued obedience while growing in this new season. I pray for the opportunity to be a part of something bigger, to share and develop Your Hope in others. I am ministered to, too. Thank You for feeding me in the sweet milk of Your Word. Guide me through every contraction in my labor of love, a child longing to bring You glory. Amen. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Forecast: Warming Trend

Job 37:9-10 "Out of the south comes the storm, and out of the north, the cold. From the breath of God ice is made, and the expanse of the waters is frozen."

Do you have a friend who always sets you straight? Your go-to person, someone who seeks the Lord first in their life-decision making? Job did. I hope he appreciated this friend, for he gave him a lot of support in a desolate season in his life. Elihu, though young, reminded him of God's sovereignty, righteousness and God's Majesty. Some of Job's close circle of buddies bailed on him and left him with discouraging words, sinking under the ice of despair. But not Elihu. He ministered to Job and counseled him, leaving us with the same reminders in the book of Job of God's magnificence and control of all creation.

Job, I am sure must have been "frozen" in grief over his losses. Yet God knew what He was capable of and saw the beauty beyond the storm. The intricate details of Job's heart and soul, revealing the Glory and majesty of the Lord, eventually shined again on Job's recognizable face. Like a snowflake, Job, a unique and specially designed servant of the Lord, did not understand all that happened  to him. 

Soon, after wrapping himself in the warmth of trust and obedience, God restored everything to His servant Job and he was able to see 4 generations. 

We look to see, that though all seems cold, impassable and unbearable, in God's timing the forecast is always one of hope and restoration. That's so cool!  

Continuing in Job, verses 11-14 remind of of God's sovereignty: "Also with moisture, He loads the thick cloud; He disperses the cloud of His lightning. And it changes direction, turning around by His guidance, that it may do whatever He commands it on the face of the inhabited earth. Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen." 

Read it again..."Whether for correction, or for His world, or for lovingkindness, He causes it to happen." 

 God has a reason for the black ice in our life. Don't allow the devil to make you slip, fall and bruise up bitterness.  Have on your proper armor, your praying knee pads and your "ice skating partners." Together you can take the steps in a cleared path,  trusting that your Spring awaits you. 

Lord, you've given us in your Word an example of a man who loved you beyond his circumstances. In his humaness, Job's belief and healthy "fear" of the Lord, restored his life even though he suffered a "titanic" loss. He listened to wise counsel, seeking Your wisdom. Sometimes, we may only see what is on the surface, but you Lord are bigger than our storms and wider than our misery. You can melt a heart frozen in grief and despair with your warming promise of Spring redemption. Thank you Lord for giving us wise counselor-friends who wrap us in the warmth of love, easing our chills. In turn, may our warming spirits rekindle Your hope in a world frost-bitten by the enemy. Amen. 

Verse 14: "Listen to this, O Job, Stand and consider the wonders of God."

*(Thanks to Google for the images)*