Saturday, April 28, 2007

Utter Joy

I told my husband today that he was exuding sweetness. He had been so thoughtful and wonderful. He responded, just dip me in sugar and call me a Krispy Kreme.

Did my husband present me with diamonds, flowers or romantic cards? No, it was something even better. Karl knows how much I love waterfalls. Living in the Ozarks, as you drive through mountain passes and high bluffs, it is not uncommon to see water gushing over the rocks. On our way to church today, we passed two of these waterfalls (in the winter, when it freezes, it's like you're driving through an ice pass, with huge walls of icicles on either side of you).

Knowing how much I love waterfalls, Karl rolled down my window just as we passed it, so I could hear the rushing water sound. I never asked him to do that, he just did it because he knows how much I love waterfalls.

It was little things like that all day today. It was my husband knowing me, taking the time to learn what makes my heart full of joy, and doing everything he can to help me enjoy those things.

As we continued our drive to church, other things happened as well. They seemed to be little gifts from God all along the way. Just as Karl and I enjoy doing special things for each other, based on our interests and favorite things, so God longs to do special things for us. We often find Him outdoing Himself on Sabbath.

Jesus desperately wants to send lots of little thoughtful sweet moments our way. Have you been looking for them? Jesus knows your heart. He knows the things that bring you joy, and He thrills to do special things to give you joy, especially on Sabbath.

Enjoy the special things that God wants to do for you. Spend time with your Lord and you just might begin to notice how many of these special things He's been doing all along.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Knit Armor

I never know what to expect when Greta gets up in the morning. Last week, she came to where I was in the kitchen preparing breakfast. She had her broomstick horse and a square pillow from her bed. She was using the pillow as a shield and the horse as a sword. Her words were simply, "I'm ready to fight."

The 'I just got out of bed and I might still be grumpy' look on her face told me that she was indeed ready to fight. I was fighting too and I lost. I totally gave in to laughter.

Today, that precious four year old girl was again wearing armor and playing some kind of game with her brothers. Only this time, her sword was a long pink feather and she had a square pillow featuring the cartoon character, the Tasmanian Devil, as her shield. This time she kicked it up a notch, she was wearing a knit hat for her helmet. Of course, having seen pictures in the Encyclopedia, Greta knew that the helmet covers the whole head. So she had the knit hat pulled all the way down over her eyes and was trying to chase her brothers without bumping into any walls.

Again I lost the battle and gave in to peals of laughter. Then it made me think. Greta didn't have a real helmet, so she made one up. But because it wasn't a real helmet, designed to protect while still allowing you to see and function, her makeshift helmet was actually keeping her from fully enjoying her play.

It made me wonder if we don't do the same thing. God says plainly in His book that there is a helmet of salvation. The Bible makes it very clear that salvation comes only through faith in Christ. It is nothing we do of our own. Yet many times, we refuse the helmet of salvation generously given to us, at the cost of the life of the Son of God, and choose to put on our own makeshift helmet of righteousness by works.

Like Greta, we eventually discover that it's not the real thing and not designed to protect us the way it should. Like Greta, we bump into walls and get hurt because of our makeshift helmet.

The armor of God is available to all. Have you put on the true helmet of salvation lately?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Don't believe the lie

I was reading this morning about Bible Prophecy Fulfilled. Jesus says He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. That means He was in the beginning and He also knows what happens in the end. God knows the future and in His mercy and loving kindness, He reveals that future to His servants, the prophets.

When we look back on the prophecies in the Bible that have been fulfilled, to the letter, it is absolutely amazing! What accuracy, what detail and what a miracle that it was foretold hundreds and even thousands of years in advance!

Hitler and Napoleon had to come to terms with the fact that Bible Prophecy said their plans would never come to pass for another great world empire. Napoleon eventually saw it and his folly. Hitler grew angry and vowed that God would not get in the way of his plans. But history tells the story, that God predicted thousands of years before.

There are those who mock and scoff when we say we are Christians. They even say things such as we are believing in some kind of fairy tale or myth. Really?

Never give in to the lie that we have nothing to hang our faith on. God's Word and prophecy fulfilled are a sure foundation. God doesn't leave us without any reason for our faith. He merely asks us to exercise it.

We have more than enough of God's power and providence to hang our faith on. Faith is not blind trust. Faith is believing in the promises that are in the future. Promises made by One who has already shown that He keeps His promises. It is not blind faith. It is faith that must hang on through the trials, because in the end that faith will be rewarded because God is faithful.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Lauren and Hosanna

My daughter just celebrated her 4th birthday. She got a package in the mail from her Oma and Opa who live in Georgia. They sent her a beautiful doll. It's from a special series and the doll has a name, Lauren. Lauren also comes with her own baby doll. My little girl decided to name Lauren's baby doll, Hosanna.

It's kind of neat going through the house and seeing my daughter playing with Lauren and Hosanna.

My prayer is that praise to God will always be on her heart. Especially as Jesus is coming back to take us home.

Monday, April 2, 2007

Shields Up!

So I gave my oldest son this assignment in school last year. It was looking at our doctrinal beliefs and putting them into his own words. Any big words he didn't understand, we looked up in the dictionary, so he wouldn't just be taking my word for it, but really making sure he learned new things.

When it got to the belief on Spiritual Gifts, Michael put it in his own words that Spiritual Gifts are a shield. A shield? How is that you may ask. Well, according to our church's fundamental belief on spiritual gifts, when we have a gift and use it, we guard ourselves against false doctrine and false manifestations of the Holy Spirit. Michael, being a 10 year old boy and seeing the word guard, automatically thought of a shield.

But think about it. God gives gifts to each of His children. Everyone has at least one gift. You can read about Spiritual Gifts in Ephesians 4, Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12. If you were to have the gift of exhortation, meaning to strongly advise or urge earnestly for the good of your fellow Christian, and you didn't use that gift, then someone else may take it upon themselves to do the job God gave you to do. What happens when a car mechanic tries to do brain surgery or a dentist tries to build a bridge? People trying to do things God didn't gift them to do can cause hurt and pain and problems in the church. So by using your God given gift to minister to your fellow man, you are protecting your church from harm.

Don't be afraid to use the gifts God has given you, but always use them for His glory and to further His cause. Shields up everyone!