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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Nothing is hidden from God!

  “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight…” (Hebrews 4:13).  God sees all; He understands; He sympathizes. (vs. 15)

*Time runs short for a couple searching to find another home to move into before their current home’s closing date. Meager finances provide limited options!
*A friend totaled her car. She had liability insurance only and now no funds to buy another car.  
*A job lay off threatens to evict a family from their home.
* Three dear women cry out to God with emotional and physical pain. They are desperate for help and healing.
* Lingering sicknesses drain energy, dash hope, and invite fears.

 Nothing is hidden from God. When we come to the end of ourselves, God shows up! He did for Hagar.

Hagar became Abram’s mistress when Sarai had lost hope of conceiving the long-anticipated child of promise. Trying to fix the problem, Sarai made matters worse.  “Abram, sleep with our maid, Hagar.” Sure enough, Hagar became pregnant.

 Imagine 2 wives and 1 husband living in the same household! Naturally, jealousy, resentments and mood swings kept the household heated. Now, add to the mix, Hagar’s pregnant hormones.  Sarai won’t put up with her. She treats her pregnant maid so harshly, Hagar finally flees.

Hagar believes no one cares; she feels alone and lonely.  But God reached out for her.   
       
Collapsed by a spring in the desert, the angel of the Lord appears and speaks to Hagar. He gives her hope and direction for the future. The truth grips Hagar’s heart. “You are the God who sees me.” (Genesis 16:11)

God had seen Hagar! He had found her! He had called her! He knew all about Hagar’s troubles. He showed her where to go and what to do and He gave her a promise for her future.

Isn't it awesome to think that the living God sees us?  Every moment of every day, He sees with eyes of love. Nothing can separate us from His love. Are you convinced of that? (Romans 8:38) Others may overlook you; others may not understand what you’re feeling or going through. But there is One who does understand. He reaches out to you in love and compassion. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Remember God's Goodness this Thanksgiving

I’m searching for the perfect ‘thanksgiving keepsake.’ On it, each family member will record “what I’m most thankful for this year!” Last year, all fourteen of us, (adult kids, their spouses, grand-kids and John and me), inscribed our thanks upon an oval shaped 24” x 20” thick, flat, grayish, rock. Each of us scanned our bank of good memories to choose “one thing” to write on it which we were most thankful for!  

This keepsake currently sits in a prominent place in our sun porch. It’s a perpetual reminder of God’s goodness. Every time I glance at it, thankfulness feeds my soul.

 “I am thankful for God calling me out of darkness into His wonderful light, and for blessing me with an amazing husband and 3 perfect girls.” Noelle (my daughter-in-law)

 “I’m thankful for Ally’s pre-marathon injury because God used it to allow us to grow together in Him, and to be the husband I’m called to be.” Jason (my son-in-law)

 “I’m thankful for Jesus and my mom and dad.” Lana (my 5-year-old grand-daughter)

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Greatest Thanksgiving with the 'Least of These'

A week before Thanksgiving, my husband, John, and his college buddy, Tim, scouted out St. Paul’s run down central district. Tim, a former missionary kid, persuaded John and I to help feed the homeless. We considered ourselves nothing more than “poor” college students with little to offer this outreach.

A dilapidated diner grabbed Tim’s attention. “Let’s go in.”

Tim gently pushed open the wooden door dangling from its rusty hinges. The stench of grease saturated the room.

“What can I do for you?” asked an elderly lady wiping the counter.

“We’ll have a cup of coffee,” Tim answered politely. The coffee poured out jet-black, thick like gravy, tasting like tar.

“We’re serving a free turkey dinner at my apartment on Thanksgiving Day,” said Tim. “We can feed five homeless people. Would you get the word out?”

On Thanksgiving, I peered through Tim’s apartment window. Four shabbily dressed guests crawled out of Tim’s car and shuffled up the sidewalk. My stomach did somersaults.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Rescued from Satan's Grip

You and I will face death one day. After death, either an eternity of heaven or hell awaits us.  The good news is that Christ came to set us free from hell. Free from the fear of death. Debra tells, in this true story, how her husband was rescued from Satan’s grip.      

For many years I prayed for Brian’s soul to be saved. The week before his death my worn faith had nearly given up. But God didn't.

The afternoon before my husband died, my sister, Pam, joined me at Brian’s bedside. When I fell asleep on the couch, Pam asked the Holy Spirit to fill our home. At that moment, a white dove perched on the bird feeder, tap-tap-tapping the bay window and it was peering in at Brian. Pam gasped. Then she heard, “It’s OK. He’s mine.”

Never before or since had a white dove come near our house. A white dove symbolizes peace and love. Spiritually speaking, it’s a sign from the Holy Spirit.

That evening fear tormented my husband. Horror distorted his face. He stared at the ceiling wide-eyed, his arms flinging upward to protect himself. Brian couldn't talk when I asked him what he saw. Gently squeezing his hand calmed him, but only until the next terrifying vision. Would Brian spend eternity in this frame of mind, I asked God. I told Brian I loved him and said good night. To my amazement, he said “good-night,” the only words he had spoken in two days.