Saturday, January 12, 2013

A Sacrifice

Hi friends...I have some disappointing news.  My son's laptop died and so until we can get it repaired he is taking my computer back to University.  It looks like I won't have access to my blog until at least February 3rd.  I'm extremely disappointed, but have to help out #1 son.

Thanks for understanding and I hope to see you in 3 weeks.
Blessings and prayers,
PS. If you're looking for today's post, just scroll down below!
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A Little Bit Wiser

"If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."  
James 1:5

Before I began my quiet time this morning, I bowed my head as I always do, asking the Lord to prepare and speak to my heart.  I also very intentionally committed this avenue of sharing to the Lord, and asked Him to open up His Word to me and give me understanding so that I would be His channel, for the purpose and encouragement of anyone who's eyes read these ponderings.  I specifically asked Him for wisdom.  I long to see hidden truths. I want to grasp not just the literal meaning, but God's heart that inspired each word.

Very quickly goosebumps were rising.  I opened my devotional book and almost immediately read, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

WOW LORD!  How quickly You responded.  The answer comes in my asking.  The desire for wisdom was planted, I recognized my need, and I asked.  Is it really that simple?  But there it is: if I lack, then I ask, and God gives. And how does He give?  Liberally and without reproach.  

God longs to open up His teaching freely, lavishly, abundantly and without reproach.  Do you know the tenderness in that last phrase?  His Spirit explains things to us "without reproach".  He doesn't shame us for our lack of intelligence.  He won't call us dumb for asking.  He will never laugh at us or express disapproval with our inquiries.  No ridicule.  No making us feel inadequate.  No disgrace.  

As we sit in His classroom, He gently puts His arm around us and says, "It's OK that you don't understand right now.  No worries.  I will help you.  I will interpret My Word to you in ways that you will grasp it's meaning.  Then, once you understand, you have a responsibility.  The accumulation of knowledge alone can result in selfishness and pride. I am opening my Word to you to change Your heart."

How do we know if our interpretation of God's Word is from Him?  James goes on to tell us that the "wisdom that is from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy."  (James 3:17)  Each one of those descriptions causes my thoughts to pause as God searches my motives and intent.

If any area of our decision making, actions, advice or comprehension lacks the above characteristics; 
       if our response isn't virtuous or if it has hidden agendas; 
       if it isn't kind, considerate or courteous; 
       if it isn't willing to yield to reason;
       if it's all about me and my way;
       if it isn't gracious and producing prosperous results; 
       if it's showing favouritism or is pretentious, insincere or false, 
that wisdom is not from God and should never be credited to Him.

Father, today I confess to You my lack of understanding.  Lord, there are areas even now that You are revealing to me where I have sought my own wisdom without being "easy to be intreated".  I have stubbornly held to my opinion to protect and promote self.  Through Your Holy Spirit, continue to open up Your Word to me.  May my understanding be divinely informed.  Thank You that You promise to give to those who ask.  May even my asking come from a pure heart.  Lord, I just want to know You.  Rise up within me a deeper desire for Your Word and then when I open it, feed me my portion for that day and let me grasp it's truth, giving me the ability to share it here and double the blessing.
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Friday, January 11, 2013


"I will praise the name of God with a song, And will magnify Him with thanksgiving."  "Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me..."  Psalm 69:30,Psalm 50:23

Oh Lord, I come to You this morning with much praise on my lips and thankfulness in my heart. Last night a friend called and shared with me the miraculous way You had just worked in her life.  My response to her initially was giggles of delight.  The joy inside came bubbling over in the form of laughter.  No words could adequately express my response.  Oh Father, such happiness in Who You are and what You alone have done.  In fact, I just realized, even as I type this now I have the biggest smile on my face, a natural, unrestrained response to Your goodness.

Lord Your generosity to Your children overwhelms me at times.  This situation had been big...I mean, we're talking HUGE, and You have done exceedingly, abundantly more than we could hope or imagine...and quite honestly, I don't believe You're finished yet.  *smile*   Your Word says that You inhabit the praise of Your people, and as we lift up Your Name even now You continue to plan ways to restore the years the locust have eaten.  I think of how You returned to Job twice as much as what he had lost.  You are a God of completion.  When You start a good work, You carry it out.  As unworthy as we are, You give us unrestrained access to unlimited promises.  May we walk in obedience that You may fulfill them all in and through us.

Father, may our continued praise usher in an encore.  It's not that I'm not ecstatic at what You have done.  The performance You have given demands continuous applause.  A standing ovation!  You have graciously, favorably answered countless hours of travailing prayer, but I believe You are bigger still. I don't believe it's time for the curtain to close on this story yet.  I'm going to ask for restitution, not just of tangible loss, but restoration from pain, hurt, unfounded accusations, deformation of character, and false judgement. Attacks have left this dear one with a timid sense of self-worth.  A child of Your's has been very deeply wounded.  Father, show her how much You value her.  Enable her to breathe fresh hope.  Bring complete healing to body, soul and mind.  Plant dream seeds and give her a vision for her tomorrows.  Don't allow the enemy to steal her present opportunity to rejoice in You.  May she not entertain doubt or second-guess the validity of what has been spoken.

Lord thank You for the gladness that accompanies praise.  I thank You for this joyful feeling that companions Your presence.  Even at this moment I pause and breathe in deeply.  Yes, You are here.  Your nearness overwhelms me.  Thank You Lord for demonstrating Your power once again.  Remind me often of this moment, and when You do, return with the memory the enchantment of amazement that can only be described as You.


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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Captivity or Captivated

"Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive;..." Psalm 68:18

Whenever God repeats a verse to me in my quiet time, He has my attention.  Sometimes I don't always recognize it's significance immediately.  I suppose that's why He has to speak it again to my heart. *smile*

Christ has led captivity captive.  The state, place or period of being imprisoned is being held restrained through Jesus.  Confinement by sin becomes impossible as He declares forever our liberty.  

Think of it...captivity is captive. If something is held or contained, bound or behind bars, it has no access.  Through His Son, the Lord has made freedom possible to us all.  Any opportunity for imprisonment, whether in body, soul or mind, is being held by nail-scarred hands declaring that we can live without sin's control.  We are not bound by evil, nor can it impose boundaries of fear, insecurity, worry, anger, etc...  We are no longer servants to sin.

So, if we are no longer servants to sin, why is it still such a struggle?  If Christ has declared captivity captive, why are we not walking in liberty?  Why are days spent in despair?  Why is sin rampant?  Satan is the captor, and he is unwilling to see anyone free from sin. Christ destroyed sin's power over us at the cross, as well as the effects of sin, death and hell, but it's presence is still palpable.  As a believer, sin cannot bind us for eternity, but as it rattles the prison doors and shakes it's chains it sure can distract us. 

What has tied a rope around you?  What is holding you prisoner?  Is it a feeling...a circumstance...a habit..what is making you feel captive?

There are choices we need to make daily.  We can be lured by evil's enticement or we can be held by the One who holds captivity and be captivated by Him.  May He alone capture my heart today.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Lord, forgive me...

"For You, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined.  You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs.  You have caused men to ride over our heads; We went through fire and through water; but You brought us out to rich fulfillment."  Psalm 66:10-12

Reading these verses this morning, my heart could relate.  The truth of God's Word resonated inside me.  Over the past month my world was rocked.  My faith was refined.  Today I saw God bringing us to the richness of fulfillment.

What characterized my faith over these last 5 weeks?  Did I live believing that God knew my family situation and was taking care of us, even when moments of despair threatened?  I don't know that I walked through the "fire and water" well at all times.  There was discouragement.  There was resentment.  There was disappointment.  There was fear.  I don't know that trust was always evident in my actions or my words.  It's easy to claim faith when my feet are no longer burning from the intensity of the fire's flame.  It isn't difficult to hang on to hope when the flood water's aren't threatening to suffocate.  In my 'now', standing on this side, with many prayers already answered, the praise and thanks flow ceaselessly, but what about in my 'then'?

Lord, what about in the heat of the blaze...
                when I was waiting to see You move...
                when the coals were so hot that my thoughts were singed with panic...
                when the net of despair entangled me and I got caught in knots of  fear...
                when the options seemed few and the doors locked?
Lord, would others have seen my faith when the battle was fiercest?  Did they look at me and wonder the source of my strength?  I know there were moments of confusion and heartache, but Lord...was there doubt?  Did I let myself succumb to disbelief?  Did I hold tight to Your promises?  Did I live as one completely trusting in the One who quenches any fire and gains victory over any storm by walking on the water?

Lord, please forgive the times I feel like I'm carrying the weight of my circumstances alone.  It's so needless.  You offer to bear my burdens.  Why do I so often hold on to them?  Lord, forgive me for sleepless nights, for trying to take control, for second-guessing Your promises and for allowing anxiety, worry and despair.  Father, I pray that You will continue to help me through these trials of refinement.  Allow me to see You in my difficulties and distresses.  Allow others to see You in me.  Possess me with Yourself.   Thank You for bringing me out to a place of "rich fulfillment". Father, that is Your promise.  Deliverance.  Not just survival, but finishing well, beyond what I could ask or imagine.  Continue Your perfecting work in me.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Without Words

This morning Lord, I came to Your Word with expectation.  I quietly and eagerly prepared my heart to hear what You were waiting to speak to me, but nothing jumped off the page.  I read the verses again wondering what I had missed.  Was my mind distracted?  Was I not focusing on Your truth?  Was there any unconfessed sin standing in the way?  Where was the verse that was going to carry me through the day?  Your Word is always alive and active, where was it breathing fresh life to my soul today?

I read once that God is sometimes silent with those whom He knows will continue to wait on Him.

Father, let me be one You can trust with Your silence.  Yes Lord, I will wait.  Maybe it's good to learn early in the year that there are silent days.  There are days when my coming and kneeling will be met with heaven's solitude.  But, in the quietness, You are there.  You were there.  Like best friends who can sit together without saying a word, understanding the special wordless exchange, You came and sat with me.  In the speechless encounter other senses were awakened.  I could taste that Your Word was still good.  I could see Your love, grace and mercy.  I felt Your nearness.  The fragrance of Your presence permeated this place of sanctuary.  I was held in a moment of holiness.  I closed my eyes and saw You.  I reached out my hand and I knew Your righteous right hand was holding me.

Father, may these quiet times each morning not always be about me.  Help me not to be annoyed and aggravated when nothing specific is spoken.  May it not always be the Word that You give me that is of most value, but may it be my longing just to be with You.  Teach me to sit fully satisfied in the silence.

Lord, I realize You don't need me, but You long for my companionship.  May I, Your child, be a cup of cold water in Your Hand, willingly ministering to Your Kingly thirst of relationship.  Let me embrace and welcome silence as a gift; the gift of knowing that words are not always necessary because our friendship is deeper and Your love unfailing.  You speak without Words.  You articulate Yourself to me even through speechless wonder.

Without uttering a sound, You have filled my heart today with our wordless conversation.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Our Mover

"Truly my soul silently waits for God...I shall not be greatly moved."  
"My soul, wait silently for God alone...I shall not be moved."  
Psalm 62:1a,2b, 5a, 6b

I sure can relate to the transition in wait from David's Psalm above.  Do you see it? The Psalm begins with confidence and assurance declaring a soul's waiting.  Very quickly the Psalmist's resolve shifts from content to command.  "Truly my soul silently waits" becomes the imperative, "My soul, wait silently."  The initial serene and satisfied soul needs to be summoned to silence and waiting.

I have often seen this similar pattern copied in my life.  When a new challenge is placed before me, I resolutely affirm my belief in God as my rock, salvation and defense (see the first part of verses 2 and 6).  Without question I declare that my soul is silently waiting for God to act and will for His good pleasure.  However, like David, not much time elapses before I need to change my tone and intentionally begin to enforce the wait.  Soul silently waiting becomes soul, wait silently!

Just because we know the "what" to do, doesn't always make the doing easy.

In both verses David states that he shall not be moved.  Why is that?  Because he knows that Someone is moving on his behalf and that is the reason for the wait.  The Lord is moving and setting in place all that needs to be prepared so that when He finally invites us to come, the path has been readied and we will walk forward holding His Hand.

Today realize that we have a Mover who is taking action in our waiting.  He most definitely is not silent.  He is tending to all the details of everything that concerns us, and that is why our soul can rest.  God is in control.

Let's boldly instruct our souls today to wait silently; God is moving on our behalf.

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Committing My Works to His Will

"Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established."
Proverbs 16:3

As today is the last day of "holiday mode", tomorrow a new year of activity begins.  I have been really praying about how the Lord desires me to schedule my calendar in 2013.  I want to live life with purpose and on purpose.  

In a few hours the January work routine resumes, yet I feel unable to make any commitments.  My life has been swallowed up in hospital and now nursing home visits, both parents desiring daily time so that their days aren't as long and monotonous.  I understand their needs and I love being able to see them and hopefully bring a few hours of "joy" to their day.  That being said, I need some other directions and diversions as well.  My thoughts are currently focused on my parent's care and all the concerns of their affairs.  I feel I have lost touch with the "outside world".

This morning the Lord is calling me to commit my works to the Lord, and my thoughts will be established. As I ask the Lord to direct my days, everything I will do, everywhere I will go, and as I seek Him to guide me into every hour, He will place in my mind ideas and plans that He will allow to take root and develop.  The Lord will counsel me on how to fulfill the plans He places in my heart.  As I surrender to His will for me, the dreams and desires He gives will be agreeable with the Divine and they will come to pass.

Notice the progression of this verse.  Commitment comes first.  The very thing I said earlier that I feel unable to do....commit.  I definitely want my thoughts established therefore there are some commitments I need to make. I want my mind settled on whatsoever is good, pure, worthwhile, pleasing and right, but commitment to the correct action proceeds this shift in thinking.

Commitment isn't easy.  To dedicate ourselves to one thing, we give up other possibilities.  Each choice moves us closer to the Lord or further away.  Avoiding commitment we avoid advancement.  Think of it this way, committing to read His Word daily we are making a choice to give up using that same time sleeping, watching television, or checking Facebook.  Committing to attend Bible Study weekly we are giving up the opportunity to use that same time to go shopping.  Committing to make a meal for a family in need we are surrendering that hour of "me" time with a cup of tea.  Our commitments speak loudly of where our loyalty lies.

Lord, I desire to commit all my works to You.  Most often it's not lack of knowing what to commit to, as it is motivation to make the commitment.  Commitment is work.  It's often not easy to make the choice required. Father fill the gap between my desiring and my doing.  May I not waste time on selfish indulgence, catering to my own willfulness.  I lay my empty calendar before You.  As You fill my days, may I surrender quickly and may You permanently position my thoughts in alignment with the mind of Christ so that even when my will crosses Yours, I will see the good in Thine and learn to be pleased with it.

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Saturday, January 5, 2013

Awakening the Dawn

"I will awaken the dawn."  Psalm 57:8b

Well, there's no doubt I awakened the dawn this morning.  In fact, I was awake long before the dawn.  Having gone to bed early, exhausted, my heart wakened me with thoughts of my daddy.

Yesterday went amazingly well.  As we drove up to the nursing home dad exclaimed, "Finally, I'm home".  That exclamation shocked us, although it shouldn't have, as the Lord had told me early December, from His Word, that He would set dad in a place of safety for which he yearned (Psalm 12:5).

Upon entering the building we were met with kindness and understanding, as well as some familiar faces that made these first difficult steps more welcoming.  So much I could write about the day, including dad whispering to me, "Sweetheart, thank you for applying yourself to whatever you had to do to get me here."  Those moments came as indescribable gifts from God.

After meetings, paperwork and other required needs concerning admission completed, the staff set our family up in a private dining room to enjoy a complimentary meal together.  Honestly, they couldn't have been more gracious or extended the welcome any warmer.  Their tenderness to us was touching.

After lunch as dad settled into bed for a nap, the difficulty of leaving became extreme.  Dad too was beginning to understand more clearly that he was remaining without us.  He asked when he was going home.  He inquired as to when we'd return.  He implored us to come back quickly.  Do you know how hard it is to utter those assurances and kiss your hero goodbye without crying?

My tummy has been turning ever since leaving.  My head keeps telling me that God is in control and that He miraculously made a way for daddy to be where he is, but it still hurts.  I lay awake, my thoughts anticipating dad's nightly needs.  Did someone come quickly?  Was daddy confused?  Does he feel lonely...afraid...abandoned?  My heart can hardly stand the pain of separation.  

This morning I have awakened the dawn, but with sorrow instead of song.  God's Word calls me to do so with lute and harp and praise.

Father forgive me for my lack of trust.  Forgive me for thinking that You cannot provide more than adequately for daddy's needs.  Forgive me for allowing fear and anxiety to disturb my sleep and keep me from resting in You.  Help me to see Your infinite love and limitless grace.  As my precious friend Ruth reminded me, may I not allow other voices to confuse what God has already confirmed.  May I be able to relinquish my control and have a resolved confidence that You are in control.  Lord, let me taste Your all sufficiency and experience Your peace. I give myself afresh to Thee and lift my quivering voice in song.  Strengthen my song.  Crescendo it's message.  I lift my praise to You.

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Temporary Move

"This is not your rest." Micah 2:10

I have to admit, my breath caught in my throat as I opened my devotional book this morning and my reading began with those words: "This is not your rest."

Today as we plan to move daddy to a nursing home, I am reminded again that this is a temporary move.  It is not his rest.  True rest can only be found with God in our eternal home. 

I'll be honest....I've struggled so much with this over the past weeks.  My dad is the most godly man I have ever known.  He was not the disciplinarian in our home, so I can truthfully say that I don't ever recall dad raising his voice or saying one unkind word.  He is a man of integrity, intellect and influence.  He is an educated man, but also could be a great tease.  He has embraced life to the full and until a couple of years ago, lived each day with vigor.  He continues to impact my life in ways that will remain with me forever.

Even though he struggles with remembering and his thoughts wander, when asked to say the blessing before a meal, He often still speaks with authority, sharing of God's goodness in a "King James" manner which makes my heart smile.

Over the course of the last year we have seen his frame falter.  Physical pain makes him uncomfortable and he is content to sleep the day away.  His appetite rises and falls, but he often still enjoys a good meal as long as it is smothered in Ketchup.  Some days upon seeing me I'll see the recognition in his eyes as he says, "Bells"! (Daddy has always called me "Bells"; short for "Joybells".)  Other days my heart breaks as I can tell that although he shakes his head in agreement and responds politely, he has no idea who I am.

With mom still hospitalized since her fall on December 8th, daddy needs round-the-clock care.  My older sister selflessly took a leave from work to care for dad, but his needs are so extensive we had to begin intentionally pursing long-term care.

Here's were my struggle remains.  As a lay-Pastor and phenomenal father, I have watched my dad serve the Lord all his life and I want what's best for daddy.  Recognizing my sisters and I can't give that "best", we have sought direction from the Lord.  Miraculously the Lord opened up a bed for dad at the nursing home that was our first choice.  Not only have we heard of great care, but it's location is close to all of us which will make frequent visitation easily accessible.  However, in my heart of hearts, I know the best home for daddy is heaven.  At 87 years old, he has lived a full and wonderful life.  He has remained a faithful husband for 68 years (mom and dad will celebrate their 69th anniversary in May should the Lord allow them to tarry).  He is the best dad in the world and ministers to others everywhere he goes, being Christ's ambassador to all who come in contact with him.

Watching daddy now...seeing his confusion...knowing of his constant pain...often living in a place where the once familiar has become foreign, my heart longs for daddy to know the comfort and healing of his forever home.  With tears filling my eyes, I surrender my daddy.  Lord, I want the best for him.  This move today will disorient him.  I hate it.  I know You are guiding us, but taking daddy to this nursing home breaks my heart.  I need strength from on high.  

This morning my entire devotional reading included verses of heaven being our home.  Promises that God will wipe away all tears from our eyes.  A time of no more death, sorrow, crying and pain.  Former things passed away.  The weary finding their rest.

Lord, You see my heart.  You know the ache mixed with the deep that wants only the best for daddy.  You Lord are His only real true rest.  May daddy find his rest in You here on earth until You take him to the room You've prepared for him in glory.  Give us all divine strength today and may daddy know Your love...and my love too!  Love you my dear, old dad, Bells.

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Sandwich of Hope

"He led them forth by the right way."  Psalm 107:7
"...the LORD alone did lead him. - Even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you." Deut 32:12, Isaiah 46:4
"I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever. I will praise You forever, Because You have done it; And in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good." Psalm 52:8b-9

I closed my Bible this morning and began to pray.  Today was going to be the day, wasn't it Lord.  Today was the day Your promise, spoken to me on December 13, 2012 was going to be fulfilled.  Almost a month ago, with my sisters and I trying to understand God's desire for my dad concerning long-term care, the Lord gave me this verse:

"'For the oppression of the poor, for the sighing of the needy, Now I will arise,' says the LORD; 'I will set him in the safety for which he yearns.'" Psalm 12:5

"I will set him in the safety for which he yearns."  Yes, the word "him" really was in italics.  The verse jumped off the page as I realized the Lord was telling me He was going to find a place of "safety" for my dad.

This morning, after a very difficult day yesterday, I opened my devotional book and the first verse I read reminded me that God was leading us "by the right way...even to old age".  He was going to carry and deliver us.  The last verse I read encouraged me to praise because God had done it.  Had done it.  Past tense. These verses appeared like two slices of fresh bread, sandwiching hope.  In between those verses the "meat" of the message reminded me that God was our Guide.  It spoke of the exceeding greatness of His power that is at work for those who believe and that every good gift comes from the Father above.  Yes, today would be the day we would receive the call. 

I phoned both my sisters, shared my reading with them, and said, I believe today is the day.  Both my sisters were in agreement with me, trusting in God's Word.

The phone rang around 11am.  It was our case worker.  Not only was there an opening for dad in a nursing home, but it was at our #1 location request.  We were told how impossible this would be.  Not with my God.  NOTHING is impossible with God.

Although this really does come as an answer to prayer, the task ahead will not be an easy one.  Please pray for my sisters and I.  Tomorrow morning we will be taking daddy to his new home.  Here he will receive the 24/7 care he needs.  He who began a good work will walk with us and give us the strength and courage to meet the challenge of tomorrow knowing that God has placed daddy in a place of "safety for which He yearns."

Yes Lord, "You have done it"!

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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What Right Do I Have?

"What right have you to declare My statutes, 
Or take My covenant in your mouth, 
Seeing you hate instruction 
And cast My words behind you?"
Psalm 50:16b-17

The Lord is issuing a warning to those of us who desire to claim and proclaim God's Word.  If we are personalizing His promises we also need to be living by His laws. We can't have the fulfillment without the obedience.  We can't enjoy the privilege of the promise without implementing His instruction.

So often we love to find a verse that declares God's goodness to His children in a situation.  We copy it out on index cards.  We write it in journals.  We'll post it on Facebook.  We'll memorize it.  We claim it as ours.  I won't deny, all of God's promises are "yes" in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20) and all of His Word is true, but far too often we find ourselves in a situation where we need to see the Lord move in a miraculous way and suddenly we begin appropriating His Word while living far from Him.  We want God to do His part at no cost to us.

While justifying actions and lifestyle decisions that God does not condone, we still desire Him to bless our endeavors and fulfill His Word.  Stop and ask yourself: Am I walking in His truth in all things?  Is my life pleasing to Him or to me? Do my thoughts, behavior, activities, conversations, movie choices, friendships, etc...reflect Christ's choices? Am I living a surrendered life of self-sacrifice?  Is my goal to please the Lord in all things? Am I spending daily time in His Word and in prayer?  Am I confessing sin and abiding in Him?  Is my life producing fruit with an ever increasing harvest?  Am I waiting on Him and listening for His voice and walking in His way?

God is asking me to search my heart.  I don't want anything standing between my believing and God's fulfilling.

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Who Am I?

"Who am I, O LORD...that You have brought me this far?"  1 Chronicles 17:16

A devotional I was reading this morning concluded with a question that overwhelms me as I consider all the Lord has done.  "Who am I, O LORD...that You have brought me this far?"  My "this far" has contained countless blessings.  Who am I Lord, that You would favour me and look upon the details of my life, gracing me with so many touches from Your Hand?

As I reflect back over my previous and my present, God's faithfulness is woven through even the most complicated of tapestries, and the most recent as yesterday's stitching.

Since early December my family has been wrapped in the unexpected need of caring for two aging parents.  My mom had a terrible fall that sent her to the hospital on December 8th.  Currently at a Rehabilitation Center out of town, she has also been in quarantine with flu-like symptoms.  As mom was primary care-giver for my dad who requires 24/7 care, the concern of finding long-term nursing assistance for him has arisen.  My two sisters and myself have been spending our days between the hospital and our parent's home doing all we can to minister to our mom and dad.

Yesterday, at crisis point, with details too many to relate, we were asked to take dad to a nursing facility that would not have been our choice, but it was the only one with a room available.  As weary as we are my sisters and I called out to the Lord to help us in the decision making.  There were many tears.  We are physically exhausted, but we want the best for our dad.  We surrendered to the very real possibility that dad may have to stay at this nursing home until another option becomes available.  It was breaking our hearts.

When the Case Worker called back about 2 hours later, a miracle had taken place.  The only facility with a bed, the one we didn't want dad to go to, had been removed from the list due to an outbreak of flu, no-one would be moving in or out.  The Lord had removed this nursing home from the list and taken the decision out of our hands. God didn't want dad there either *smile*.

Although this means more time in the waiting and uncertainties, He has brought us "this far" and we continue to wait on Him for our daily strength and guidance.

Yes, Lord, who am I that You would care so tenderly, giving me the assurance that Your plans will prevail in all my concerns for mom and dad.  You have a perfect placement for dad, and until that door opens, I will wait on You.  Thank You for closing this door so quickly and demonstrating Your love for us all.  I know You will continue to breathe life into my tired soul.

Overwhelmed by Your care.  Who am I....just a weary child, calling out to her Heavenly Father and believing He will be there.

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