Tag Archive | God

Mama’s Reinforcer

My 3 brothers and I were rambunctious, curious, headstrong kids who were constantly experimenting, trying out new things, building contraptions, getting into scrapes.  Especially when we concocted pretend battles that earned us scrapes and more than one hilarious–if unexpected–outcome. (Tale for another time)

Yet when Mama said jump, we did.  Didn’t ask why.  Or argue.   We just understood that she was Mama, she was in charge, she knew best, and she had a little maple switch to back up her words if we disagreed.

She didn’t use it much.  She didn’t have to.  She knew that our history with her and our aversion to pain had taught us to trust her at her word.  The few times our egos got in the way and that little guy with the horns on my left shoulder prompted me to flip that big toe over the line a bit too far…I had the Truth of what I already knew reinforced.

Don’t get me wrong, I would never dare to complain about this.  It wasn’t excessive; it wasn’t cruel or meant to harm.  It was love in action; love showing us that we had firm boundaries in place for our safety and protection.  We knew that from her perspective, in her many years of wisdom earned the hard way, that she absolutely knew what was the right thing for us to do.  Our doubts were set to rest with a bit of stinging on the legs, a few tender tears, and a much chastened ego.

When I read again John 2: 4 today, (about the wedding in Cana) I had to think about mothers and their children.  As a mother of grown sons today, When I see a need to be filled, I quietly direct my sons in the same way that Mary did.  “Jack, we need more tea,” or “Seth, that box is too heavy for her.”  I know without hesitation that they will acquiesce, and help in whatever way my statement implied.  I know that’s taking huge license with the Saviour and His relationship to his mother, but that’s my personal frame of reference here.

Yet Jesus’ statement in verse 4 was, (as stated in the Hebrew Names Version),

4 Yeshua said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with you and me? My hour has not yet come.”

Jesus wasn’t being disrespectful or refusing to obey; He was simply asking her to consider His own perspective of His mission of salvation versus her more immediate temporal concern.

That is a huge lesson for me right now.  Recovering from an unexpected divorce, I have my own laundry list of immediate wants and needs that I’ve taken to Him, confident that He cares.  But He’s reminding me that His perspective is different from mine.  His purposes in the trials I face today are eternal, not temporal.

That’s quite a lesson for me.  I wanted to pass it along, for what it’s worth.  And to share with you one more bit of serendipity…the verse to encourage me that came to mind from this study was from I Peter 5:7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. (NIV).

Now, I have a children’s memory verse pad—it’s a post-it note pad with a different verse printed on every page in large print—I guess it’s used in VBS or children’s classes.  The top one was about children obeying their parents.  I used to stick them on the mirror and around the house, as reminders.

Haven’t used it in a while.  In a pinch, I turned it over and scribbled I Peter 5:7 down on the back of the last well-worn sheet that still had a bit of sticky on it. I folded the sticky edge down and stuck it with the verse I wrote showing on my bookshelf beside my desk.  It was a few moments later when I stood up to leave the desk, that I glanced at the notepad to see what the new memory verse would be.  Here it is: “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”

 

Memory verse pad

“Nothing Can Stop Us Now”

[Once again, this draft was penned in June a year and a half ago.  It’s ancient history now :0), but I’m pleased in a shy way to see how upbeat I was able to be.]

 

The last time I wrote (January 1) I exclaimed, “What’s Next, Father?”  and basically stood amazed, waiting for whatever He brought my way.

I wanted to let the few of you who still read this little chat know what has transpired since then.

Times grew worse; desperate, in fact.  I wish I could list for you all the particulars, but for now let’s just say that I can’t imagine anything worse happening to us.  (What a frightful thing to say, now I see this and wonder if I “jinxed” our journey).

Then on one of the earliest sunny days in 2014 to date, someone that neither my husband nor I had ever contacted called him and asked him to come to work for them.  Right here in Oklahoma.  No 12 hours of travel; no outlay of expense for hotel, or anything.  Just wanted him to come to work immediately.

And a couple of days following that–ending 3 years of unemployment–I was called for an interview that I had joked about a few days earlier.  I’d grown so used to pouring my all into an interview to no avail, that I just relaxed and enjoyed this one. No pressure–if I wasn’t going to get the job, there was no reason to fret and be nervous. So I relaxed, and laughed a lot, and had a great time in this interview. In fact, when I left the boss’s office, I was so pleased just to have a warm and confident interview that I was encouraged just to have accomplished that simple act.

You can’t imagine the awe and delight in my heart when I was asked to accept the position a couple of days later.  It was more than I could fathom that all of this would transpire at the same time.  BOTH of us hired within a few days’ time.

To shorten a long and rather boring tale, we’re now in a new home; smaller, but beautiful.  We have a new beginning; new jobs, new dreams, and thankfully, a new purpose.

Last time it was “What’s Next, Father?” And this time I can truly say it’s all about Him.  To quote my husband’s wedding vows to me, “Nothing Can Stop Us Now.”

 

Unfathomable Grace

I’ve been studying, preparing for a quarter’s teaching  on the subject of the Last Days…the days leading up to and following the Rapture of the saints.  We’ll be viewing the series of DVD’s titled “”What in the World is Going On?” created by Dr. David Jeremiah.  And I ended tonight’s personal study preparation by answering the questions in the Study Guide that comes with each lesson.

They’re very simple, four questions only, took me maybe five minutes to complete.  But the impact of these simple questions following the thorough, reasoned teaching of Dr. Jeremiah has made a jaw-dropping impact on my heart.

We all  sin.  Those who are saved understand that they are forgiven; that God’s grace through Jesus’ blood covers it all.  And that’s a given; a fact.  But still, if you’re tender-hearted, or have a tender conscience, at times you tend to wonder how God REALLY feels, if He will truly not stand with his clip board and a foot tapping…and even as I write this, I find I’m embarrassed to admit that, as it proves that I doubt God’s promise and His word that He says He will.  (Maybe I’m calling to mind my own tough-to-forgive nature, you think?)

The questions I answered were the following, if I can paraphrase them for you to lend a bit of the weight  of the message that I discovered in this first lesson:  Who did God choose for his covenant, Abraham or the Jews?  (IF you read Genesis 12:1-3, it’s crystal clear that he chose the man).  One man.  Abram, who lived in a city called Ur of the Chaldees.  God promised he would make Abram a great nation–the man, not the race of people.  He said he would make Abram’s name GREAT.  That –get this–I never saw this before:  THE FATE OF ALL OTHER NATIONS WOULD DEPEND ON HOW THEY TREAT ABRAM (Genesis 12:3)…can  you imagine?

All the nations that mistreated the Israelites, from the Canaanites, Hittites, and all the other tribes who no longer exist, to all the ones you’ve just heard about on the six o’clock news…all have been destroyed.  It’s history; not just a prophecy that the eternal God made, but FACT.  NEWS.  HISTORY.

He promised to Abram as many descendants as the stars in the skies and the sands of the oceans…and he promised that simply…that’s just too tiny a word to get across the import–BECAUSE HE LOVED THEM, BECAUSE HE’S FAITHFUL AND KEEPS HIS PROMISES, he promised that they will be his people, his treasured possession forevermore.  He enumerates how they were faithless, stiff-necked, and rebellious against him over and over and over.  But on the simple basis of his faithful nature; his amazing love; and his covenant with one man a long time ago, he will never ever break his promise.  In Jeremiah 31:35-37 He states it plainly:  The only way his covenant will ever be broken is if the heavens can finally be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched.  Sure.  Right.  I’ll get right on that.

As if you ever needed a rock solid concrete statement of just how unshakable, unfathomable and amazing that God’s love and Grace truly is…there it is.

Wow.

Turning Pages

Last time I was here, it was New Years’.  Life has been moving fast.

Now it happens that I’m ready to turn another page this week, and begin a brand new career.  I’m excited, and anxious to begin.  I won’t belabor the “God thing” (as people describe it) that brought me and this opportunity together.  I’ll just say that each time I bowed to what I believed God wanted for me in spite of what I wanted, another ‘miraculous’ happening occurred.  And now I find myself bent for the world of medical billing again, with the freedom to research and dig and pursue every facet of the work that I love–and that I’ve proven to be pretty adept at.

I was blessed beyond measure back in January to be selected to work for the local bank.  I learned a few of the multiple steps involved in clearing deposits, validating checks, and verifying and identifying documents related to new accounts, forged checks, wire transfers. etc..  While the work was originally totally foreign to me, I learned quickly and enjoyed the process.  I found the rest of the team I came to know were kind, and most of them helpful and welcoming.  As the process became routine, our personalities were revealed, the typical insecurities and posturing rising to the surface, but all in all it was an experience that I enjoyed and will carry its finer points with me into my new endeavors.

One memory that I will treasure in a special way:  the laugh of Joy, my supervisor.  She mentors, encourages and teaches.  She measures and delegates, carefully shaping and pointing her employees to a higher goal, excellence in action.  But her laugh.  She laughs at the slightest provocation, an unfettered, bubbling laughter that ripples over onto her staff.  I remember working like a fury during daily closing, trying to hustle and endure to the end when I would hear the pure peals of her joy-filled laughter lifting my spirits and making the work–sorry to repeat myself–a pure joy.

I remember that back on January 1 I asked, “What’s Next, Father?”  I still ask that question every day, and wait patiently now for His answers.  They’re sure to come.  Not early but certainly not late.  He has always been and will continue to answer me  “just in the nick of time.”

What’s next, Father?

Jenni on the highwayMidnight’s approaching.  I wish for something special.

Something unique to mark this year’s end.

Such a huge promise awaits just on the other side of the clock.

So exciting, that the approach has to be marked in a special way.

Special?  How about those stars shining down on me from thousands of years ago?

How about the soft, cold winds blowing across my face, that blew across the sands of the Orient  not long ago?

How could you ask for a more brilliant marker, a fancier benchmark than the glistening moon shining down on the face of the one that you love?

Ok.   That’s good enough for me.  Tonight has been recorded in a significant way.

Now, I’m ready for tomorrow and whatever He has in store.

Thank you, Lord.

Time Alone

Peaceful

Peaceful (Photo credit: gem66)

We tend to complain about the pace of things; with technology and schedules and activities, it seems we have no time to think; to evaluate who and where we are.   With priorities conflicting, family, work, leisure, the  mechanics of daily living, things can get pretty confusing.

Yet one thing I’d like to stress today, if my words have any value at all:  If you are experiencing confusion, it is NOT from God.  That’s a popular distraction of Satan‘s, to have you believe that God is sending it your way.  But remember–He’s a God of balance and order, not of confusion or chaos.

And He is a God of Peace.  Seek His peace; shut off Satan’s big mouth, (yes, you can do it) banish Satan and he must flee.      Get alone.  Follow Jesus’ example.  Go somewhere quiet and alone.  Jesus will meet you there.  Time after time  we see Him in the Scriptures slipping off to get alone and pray.   He knew the value of it.  (see Mark 1:35; Mark 6:45,46; Mark 14:32-34; Luke 4:42; Luke 5:16; Luke 6:12)

And He highly recommends it:  Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)     But don’t do it for “all these things”.  Do it for peace.  There is nothing–I mean nothing like it. 

And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 4:7)

It’s Not About Me

2013-07-23 10.25.23     You feed me.  Your astounding beauty–the sunsets you paint, the wonder of a newborn, the silken softness of dew falling off a rose petal–you feed me beauty for my soul.

You conceived of the body, soul, and spirit that is ME. You chose to create me, to give me life.  Your infinitie power keeps the breath of life coursing through my body, and you’ve set in motion your plan for my life.

And yet, in the midst of my striving I long to remember–to keep uppermost in my mind that this whole thing I call “my life” is not mine.  It’s most definitely NOT about me…but about how I can take all that you’ve given to me and create a beautiful gift that I can offer up to you.

It’s All About You.