Dishwasher fiasco- saves the day!

As often is the case the text came through first.

“Mom is this normal?” (sent from my teenage son at home with his two younger siblings)
Ugh! was my first response and bursting out laughing was my second.

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I certainly needed the laugh as I sat in the wound specialist office learning how to pack my son’s wound. Making every attempt to stave off nausea and keep my face neutral to not betray concern.
On a normal day, the overflowing suds would have angered me or at the least annoyed me. At the time it arrived, it was a perfect gift. It reminded me life would get back to “normal crisis” mode soon enough. I wouldn’t have to endure looking at my son in such acute pain (worse yet I was the one inflicting it) every day for the rest of my life. I would get to deal with far more creative albeit messier troubles.
God is good? And knows exactly what we need when we need it. No human could have devised such a plan of the overflowing dishwasher to restore my thankfulness. But that is exactly what the dishwasher did.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 (NIV)

The dishwasher fiasco was the perfect gift at the perfect time from the God who knows me so intimately. He rescued me before I asked. God’s tender care for my heart never ceases to amaze me.
Prayer: Thank You, Jesus, for always knowing exactly what we need. For the humor and the unexpected reassurance of Your presence. You are so gentle with our hearts. What a blessing to be known at such an intimate level. You are worthy to be praised and our thankfulness overflows. Continue to meet us right where we are at – in our messy lives. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

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Surprised by beauty

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Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. (Gal. 6:7-10, NIV)

I transplanted the phlox on the right from the overgrown one on the left only one year ago. I never expected it to take off so well. One day I came around the corner and there it was in full bloom.

Never underestimate the small seeds that we sow. The warm “hello”, the smile and the perfectly timed “sorry”.  With God all things are possible and our small efforts He can transform into beauty.

Thank You, Jesus for the surprise of beauty in our lives. The flowers in bloom, the person who lends a hand, the warm regards of a stranger. Take our seeds that we plant in kindness and magnify them to demonstrate Your love. Thank You, for allowing us to be a small part of Your miracles. Amen.

Look, Mom!

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“Look, Mom!  Come on, come on- they hatched, they hatched.”

There is nothing like the enthusiasm of a four year old. My daughter is creative, intelligent and her enthusiasm holds no bonds.  This of course means my house is in a constant state of chaos as it staggers under the pull of her latest creative explosion.

As you can see in her enthusiasm to see the newly dyed eggs hatch, into baby chicks. She helped the hatching. By squeezing them till they exploded she didn’t even wait for the paint to dry. (only for my back to be turned)

Did baby chicks receive liberation from their shells?

No, definitely not.

My daughter lacked the understanding that hard boiled eggs did not in fact house cute fuzzy chicks desiring a good cuddling. They did however house a big mess.

Proverbs 19:2  (NIV) Desire without knowledge is not good—    how much more will hasty feet miss the way!

 

How many times do we squeeze the living day lights out of the egg? Hoping to help along the situation that God clearly has in control. His mighty hands are already moving for us and we try to throw ours in the mix.

Oops! We just created a mess.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, save us from our own desires to jump ahead and rush where we have no wisdom. You tell us in Your Word that if we lack wisdom then we should ask. We are asking now. Grant us discernment to know whether to stay or go. To lie down or get up. We need Your might hand in our lives. We wait expectantly upon You. Cover us in Your blood as we rest in You.  Amen.

Ouch!!!

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Acts 26:14 (NIV)

 We all fell to the ground, and I heard a voice saying to me in Aramaic,‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’

They all fell down which means they all felt the power of the Living God but Jesus only spoke to one.

He speaks to Saul the man in active, vengeful and deadly pursuit of those who claim Christ as their Lord. Asking why did he continue to kick against the goads?

Goads are a long stick with a horrible metal hook at the end designed to steer an oxen in the direction he should go. If the oxen kicked against the goad it would impale the beast. This of course would be horrifically painful.

The maker of the Universe was not only interested in stopping the persecution of His church but also  in the life and pain of the man who was doing the persecution.  This kind of love is scandalous, outrageous and absolutely delicious.

From the scripture we can read that apparently Jesus had been goading Saul to go in the correct direction and up until this point Saul had ignored it. Then something drastic happened he was thrown to the ground and was blinded for three days.

I have seen it in my life and in those I love that claim Christ as King that they kick against Jesus’s goads and directions only for so long before Jesus takes drastic action. Blinding us for three days? …  Maybe.

 

Will you choose the pain of the goads or the freedom of Christ? 

Prayer: God, Your mercies are great. We stand in awe of Your love and ask that You deepen our walk with You. We desire to hear Your voice only, loud and clear so that we might respond with immediate and complete obedience. Your will is great, wise and holy. Help us to lay down ourselves so that we might pick up Your greater life. Help us to live a life of worship.  Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

This pain can’t be good!?

 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,

    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”Luke 2:14 (NIV)

 

What is favor.  It’s easy to understand when we are well fed, comfortable and without turmoil. (or is it?)

What a slippery trick of the enemy. Because to live in the comfort zone is NOT favor.

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Photo by Louis Blythe on Unsplash

I repeat it is NOT favor.

Comfort Zone living is NOT favor. 

Wealth is NOT favor.

Everyone loving you is NOT favor.

                  Favor is living and being in the center of Christ’s presence. Favor is the movement towards sanctification because of His mercy. He will not leave us where we were. To restore us to our original creation design we will not be comfortable.  We will be without earthly means of reliance we will be blessedly forced to acknowledge Christ as King and our only Provider of all things.  What a blessing.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, stretch me, have Your way within me. I renounce comfort and cling to You. In Your blessed mercy rescue me from myself. I seek Your presence, Your glory and Your power. I willingly lay down what I think are my needs in order to obtain Your will for my life. You are greater than and greatly to be praised. All glory and honor be to Christ Jesus the Savior of the world. Thank, You Jesus. 

 

 

 

Yes and Amen

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For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ they are [all answered] “Yes.” So through Him we say our “Amen” to the glory of God. 2 Corinthians 1:20 (AMP)

Both parts of this verse just blow me away.  First, when I think of all the promises of God I feel small and yet infinitely blessed. Second, our only obligation to Christ is to say “Amen” to be in agreement with His glory, His lordship over our lives. Then we get to walk in all the promises of God.

All we have to do is acknowledge Him in all things and let Him make the decisions in our lives great and small then all the promises of God are released on us.

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                    Yet… In my daily life, the pain, busyness and monotony —- the sheer exhaustion seems to suck out the “Amen” from me before I can utter it.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, You deserve all the praise and I desire to give it to You. Teach me of Your ways, reveal Your heart to me, take me deeper and deeper so that I might dwell where You are in my everyday life. Reign in my wandering heart and mind to keep them focused on You and Your promises. Teach me what it is to dwell in the secret place and abide under Your shadow in every moment not just those I deem sacred. You have given me my life and every moment of it. I acknowledge You have chosen me and set me apart for Your good pleasure remind me; that all time is Your time. I surrender my moments to You have Your way Lord, Jesus. Amen

 

Psalm 91:1-2  (KJV)

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

His face shine upon you!

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Photo by Aditya Saxena on Unsplash

Prayer: I put the name of Christ upon myself and those I love and He will bless us. The Lord will bless us and watch, guard and keep over us; The Lord make His face to shine upon and enlighten us and be gracious( kind, merciful, and giving favor) to us; The Lord lift up His(approving) countenance upon us and give us peace(tranquility of heart and life continually). We agree with Your word God and seek Your face. Put Your name upon us and we will be filled with joy. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Prayer adapted from, Numbers 6:24-27 (AMPC)