When I am in your Word, I feel you close to me. When I sit silently, I hear your sweet voice.
Please forgive me for taking a vacation from you this summer. Rattling off excuses will be of no use. The bottom line, I was selfish with my time. Apple got it right when they named their products iPhone and iPad as they are hand-held me-focused toys with a few business uses. I spent my time intertwined on the web commenting to friends on facebook and reading email after email in Yahoo all while my Bible sat on the end table in the front window getting a sunburn.
Please forgive me for taking you for granted. I feel like I wasted this beautiful season without you near. Recent days have not been good for me. My smile flipped into a frown. My aches turned into pains and when loneliness crept in, I realized I had not spoken with you in quite a while.
I am sincerely sorry for neglecting you. Thank you that you meet me where I am. You are the Father running to meet His prodigal child. I am going to end this blog to spend time with you.
In Jesus’s Name I Am Forever Yours,
I ♥ God
“Therefore, my friends, I want you to know that through Jesus the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to you.
Living amongst four cats makes life interesting. I often watch when one cat stalks an unsuspecting cat while they are in the midst of rolling around the floor playing with a toy or dutifully cleaning themselves. The stalker walks ever so slowly, being sure not to be noticed. Each step is orchestrated pace-by-pace with moments of statuesque poise until the opportune moment arises and they are able to pounce and attack their prey.
I attempt to distract the stalker because I care about the unsuspecting cat enough to protect them. When the attack happens before I can intervene, I rush to comfort the cat that was preyed upon; assuring them that they are okay and that they need not fear the other cat. Although this type of activity is in their nature, I prefer a peaceful dwelling.
My cats are not demons, but this activity gives me a visual of how demonic forces prey upon humans.
We go about our lives, enjoying times with family, friends and even alone time. At each moment, the devil sits waiting in the shadows for his opportunity to prey upon our weaknesses. Have you felt envious of your friend’s success? Have you become filled with despair because you lost your job? Have you started to record a list of wrongs so you can have ammunition to throw at your spouse during the next fight? Do you invite anger to ride along with you as you drive from point A to point B? Do you numb emotional pain by over-indulging in alcohol? Has gossip slipped through your lips? These circumstances are not all-inclusive, but they are examples of weaknesses that the devil preys upon.
Jesus restored a demon-possessed man in Mark 5:1-20. He called out the legion of demons from the man and sent them into a herd of about 2,000 swine grazing nearby. The swine went crazy and rushed into a nearby lake and drowned.
Angels may run interference numerous times for us every day, but it only takes one small crack in a weakness and the devil slips in and starts to wreak havoc in our lives. When we cannot control our envy, despair, recorded lists of wrongs, road-rage, addictions, gossiping, or anything else that is a personal weakness, remember that we do not have to lie down and give up. Call out to Jesus. He will rush in and comfort, he will assure us that we will be okay because he prefers to live in a peaceful dwelling.
Let me take this time to pray upon you, in the words of Paul to the Ephesians 3:14-19
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
In Jesus’s name. Amen.
The more the earth rumbles during an earthquake, the more damage occurs. Buildings fall, sidewalks buckle or separate, dishes and windows break, homes are in ruins, and lives are turned upside down. First responders arrive with medical aid, the American Red Cross assists with shelter needs, and people volunteer their time and talents to help with miscellaneous needs.
My family and friends are experiencing personal earthquakes and after-shocks. I do not have medical training to aid the sick and I am not a volunteer with the American Red Cross. What I do have to offer are promises from the Bible.
For those who give their time and talents:
Honor your father and mother,
and love your neighbor as yourself.
It is a sin to despise one’s neighbor,
but blessed is the one who is kind to the needy. Proverbs 14:21
For those experiencing cancer and treatments or failing health:
Woe to me because of my injury!
My wound is incurable!
Yet I said to myself,
“This is my sickness, and I must endure it.” Jeremiah 10:19
Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their
synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and
healing every disease and sickness among the people.
For those feeling lonely, scared or broken:
Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and staff,
they comfort me.
For those who are held in the bondage of sin:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this:
while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
For families and friends of loved ones who have recently passed away:
My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not
so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a
place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will
come back and take you to be with me that you also may be
where I am.
Then young women will dance and be glad,
young men and old as well.
I will turn their mourning into gladness;
I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13
For those who are experiencing broken relationships:
Shout for joy, you heavens;
rejoice, you earth;
burst into song, you mountains!
For the Lord comforts his people
and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.
The more the earth rumbles during an earthquake, the more damage occurs. However, God will send you a first responder if you need medical attention, an American Red Cross worker if you need shelter and His people to assist your miscellaneous needs. God holds you in the palm of His hand and he loves you.
If your particular situation is not listed above, feel free to open your Bible and seek out the Lord’s promises. If you do not have a Bible of your own, you can go to http://www.biblegateway.com and look up God’s promises for your life.
I spent December 31, 1997 all alone. I had neither anyone to reminisce about the old year nor anyone to make plans for the new. I sat cuddled under an afghan watching television.
December 31, 1997, as I sat at the feet of Jesus, my Lord, singing praises to Him, I heard my name paged over the heavenly intercom. I went as quickly as I could to get my message and found out that I needed to spend time with a woman named Kristine.
It was one cold New Year’s Eve. The weather forecast predicted 14 degrees with -12 as the wind chill. As I sat watching television, I heard a dog barking out front. Upon opening the door, I saw a Dalmatian sitting on my front porch. Thinking he got out during someone’s party in the neighborhood, I yelled at him to go home and shut the door. Minutes later, the dog continued to bark.
I flew to Kristine’s house and peeked in her side window. She was sitting on the couch, wrapped in an afghan, and she was talking on the telephone. When she hung up, she started to cry pretty hard. I wasn’t sure what the conversation was about, but it broke my heart to see her all alone on New Year’s Eve.
As I paced the driveway trying to come up with a plan to be with her, I had a brilliant idea…I would turn into a Dalmatian and bark on her front porch. Surely she would wonder what was going on and open the door. I’d show her my puppy-dog eyes and she would melt.
“Woof, woof, woof”, I barked on the porch. Sure enough, the door creaked open and she saw me, but she told me to go home and shut the door. “Woof, woof, woof”, I barked even louder.
I am usually afraid of big dogs, but this one seemed different. I opened the door again and looked for a collar and did not see one. I felt bad for the dog being out in the cold, so I allowed him in my house. He followed me down to the basement as I gathered some old towels so I could give him something to curl up with on the back porch. I didn’t have any food, but offered the dog a bowl of water.
The door opened again and I turned on the puppy-dog eyes. She noticed I did not have a collar on and wondered who my owner’s were. As she patted me on the head, I could tell she was feeling sorry for me because it was really cold outside. She let me in the house! She let me in the house!
I followed her down some stairs and back up again. Kristine grabbed some old towels for me to curl up with and sent me to her back porch. She apologized for not having any food for me, but brought me a bowl of fresh water.
I checked on the dog frequently, wondering if it was too cold on the porch. Knowing the porch is not insulated, I allowed the dog into the house. He seemed content to be with me and really did keep me company and took my mind off being alone.
Kristine kept checking on me because she thought it was too cold for me. She let me in the house with her. I was so happy to be near her.
We rang in the New Year together and soon it was time for bed. “What do I do with this dog?” I thought to myself. He seemed pretty intent on keeping me company and followed me up to my room. Even though I begged the dog to lie on the floor, he insisted on lying at my feet. We slept until daybreak.
We watched the ball drop in New York City. Kristine wished me a Happy 1998 and said she had to go to bed, so I followed her up to her room. She kept telling me to lie on the floor, but I wanted to be close to her and remind her that she was not alone. I curled up at the foot of the bed and we slept until about 7:30 am.
I could not keep a dog in the house so I told him he had to go home. I opened the back door and had to push him out. He sat looking at me in the driveway. I had to practice tough love and shut the door without looking back. I did; however, run to the side window to peek at him to see what direction he would head. He walked to the front yard, barked at my house and ran over to the neighbor’s manger scene set up in their front yard. This dog barked like crazy at the baby Jesus and ran down the street and out of my sight.
Kristine told me it was time for me to leave as she walked me to the back porch and said her good-byes and shoved me out the door. I just stared at her as I sat in the driveway. She shut the door and went in the house. I could see her peeking out the side window to watch me. I slowly made my way to her front yard. I barked “thank you” and ran over to the neighbor’s manger scene in their front yard. I love seeing baby Jesus so I barked like crazy at Him. I saw Kristine watching me and I turned and walked down the street and out of sight.
Hebrews 13:2 (NIV)
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
1998 was a pivotal year in my life. God became real to me and he continues to bless me in great measure.
Happy New Year Everyone!! May God be real in your life and bless you in great measure.