Did I See An Angel?

May 19, 2011

 “For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.”  Psalm 91:11 

Does God still send us angels?  If He does, in what form does He send them?  Would we know it if we saw one?  I had a vision of an angel a couple of weeks ago at church.  It was at night and I was one of just 2 or 3 folks in a prayer vigil.  I later mentioned what I had seen to one of them but he didn’t see what I had.  Does this mean it wasn’t there?  Could it have been just the way the light had shown through the window at that precise hour of the day?  I began to think so.  Still, I did continue to think of angels surrounding us and recalled that someone had prayed for me and as she did so, she had a vision of angels surrounding me. 

Hmmm . . . I wonder.  My life has been stressful for a while.  I like the idea that I have angels protecting me.  Still, I wondered what I really was seeing that night at church a couple of weeks ago.  A voice inside argued against my hope that it truly was a vision of an angel and not just light playing tricks on my eyes.  Then something happened!  I was at church in the evening again recently and in similar light conditions.  I was sitting in the same area as I had the night in question.  This time when I looked up, I saw just the ceiling.  If it had only been the light’s reflection through windows that had caused me to see what I had seen that night a couple of weeks ago, I should have seen the same thing again.  I didn’t, though.  However, I felt the love of the Lord and felt a peace flow over me and through me profoundly as I realized I had indeed seen a vision of an angel that other time. 

Did my not seeing one this time mean they weren’t there with me?  No, it did not.  Sometimes we need to see things with our eyes and are blessed with the opportunity.  Other times, just knowing in our hearts that we are loved is more than sufficient. 

“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”  1 Peter 1:8

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He Takes Delight IN YOU!

May 16, 2011

“The LORD your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”” – Zephaniah 3:17

We have been told time and again that He loves us and yet I’m not sure we are able to come even close to fully grasping the magnitude of that love.  However, please read the quote above and believe it.  If you’re having a bad day, believing in this love will make it a good day.  If you’re having a good day already, this will make it A GREAT ONE.  God bless you all.


Christ is Lord!

May 16, 2011

Psalm 142: 1- 2, 3a, 4-5

“With my voice I cry out to the LORD; with my voice I plead for mercy to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way!

Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” ” (ESV) 

“With my voice, I plead for mercy.”  Hmmm . . . my voice.  It expresses what’s inside me.  I can show pleasure.  I can laugh.  I can sing for joy!  Good things.  I can recommend a great movie, or a fine restaurant.  I can be a witness to the Lord’s amazing love!  Using my voice to plead for mercy, on the other hand, does not sound too appealing.  However, the Psalmist is, at least, pleading to the Lord.  Perhaps, the Psalmist is stronger and wiser than I am.  When I’ve felt “down and out” I have often tried “everything else first.”  I know better, mind you, but still I find that my reflex is to struggle with the weight that’s too heavy for me.  I then stumble under its overwhelming power over me, hurt myself, and do no good for anyone.  Then, in a defeated and displeased tone of voice, show my feelings to those nearest to me.  This is not singing a joyful song, nor is it drawing others to the Lord.  If anything, it could draw them away from Him.  Not a choice I’d ever choose to make, but unfortunately, being human and thus imperfect, we do not always reflect the light of Christ no matter how badly we desire to. 

It is at the very least difficult, and I’d venture to say impossible for us to be forever joyful.  I’m tempted to say that if we showed ourselves that way, people would worry about us!  On the other hand, the more we draw near to Christ, the more the evil one tempts us and he knows where to find our weak places and knows just what to say.  As we draw closer and closer to Christ, the evil one tries harder and harder to break that relationship into broken fragments which turn into doubt, fear, rejection, abandonment, and hopelessness.  The Lord is still with us.  He speaks to us in a soft and loving voice.  When the evil one shouts, it’s necessary to turn away and silence him.  It can be done.  I had to do this today.  I can’t say it’s the first time and I know it won’t be the last.  What did I do this time?

I wish I could tell you that I always react this way.  No, I must admit, I am more prone to getting into a bad mood and taking it out on those around me.  Not something I’m proud of or recommend, nor is it something I’m consciously aware of at the time.  Oh, I even, in those moments, feel justified in my grumbling and then get upset with those who react to my grumbling with their own!  I am relieved to report that this time, I didn’t do those things.  If you know me and are someone I have done this to in the past, I’m sorry.  I will try to get it right next time.  Meanwhile, I found these words of comfort:

Romans 8:38-39

“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (NKJV)


Jesus and Teddy Roosevelt

May 13, 2011

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”
     —  Theodore Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt was onto something!  Hmmm . . . Was Teddy thinking of me when he said those words?  No, while family folklore may lay claim to our being related, he couldn’t possibly have been thinking of me.  However, I find those words packed with practical information and wisdom.  How often have we heard (or said) “but what can I do?”  However, in Christ, we have all we need.  He equips us for the work He has for us.  He places us where He wants and needs us to be.  He speaks to us, holds us close and hugs us while surrounding us with His grace and blessings.  He desires to make our burdens light, if we’re willing to hand them over to Him.  He leads us in all we are called to do.  Popular magazines may try to make me feel like I lack much, but in Christ I lack nothing!  As I see it, Jesus and Teddy Roosevelt are telling us the same thing! 

Yes, Lord.  I’m listening and I’m ready to serve!  Lead on!

Gardens at Mepkin Abbey

 


Hello Satan!

May 11, 2011

Okay, this may not be my most blissful post, but it’s heartfelt and honest.  Please know that when you are focused on the Lord and His path for your life and when you give your heart to Him, the evil one will do all he can to prevent this.  Hey, did he not try this with the Lord Himself just before the crucifiction?  This is true.  Read all about it in Matthew’s Gospel, Matthew 4:1-11. 

Well, my friends, if the devil tried to win the heart of Christ, surely you don’t think he’ll stay away from trying his ways with us?  We’re without a doubt easier targets than our Lord.  I say this knowing that it’s true because my life in the last two weeks has been full of the Holy Spirit and full of an awareness of the love that Jesus has for me and full of a new hope in a future that I’ve been seeking for over 3 years now.  Naturally, Satan chose someone close to me to say things that would plant a seed of doubt, steal my joy, and IN THE PAST possibly cause me to take the easy way out and quit. 

When we are in a life changing situation and in a close walk with the Lord, that’s exactly when Satan works hardest and he can be really convincing about how wrong we are.  He will plant seeds of doubt in your mind that you’re not listening to the Lord correctly.  You’re not hearing what He really said.  Don’t listen to Satan.  Pray, listen, and follow only Christ.  You will know His voice – it’s the voice of LOVE. 

If you could also pray for me, I’d appreciate it.  Have a prayer request of your own?  Comment with it and I’ll pray for you as well.  Thank you.


Present! Ooo! Ooo!

May 9, 2011

Close your eyes and think about the word present.  What do you see?  How do you feel?  Do you envision someone who loves you and who knows you so well that they have chosen the perfect gift for you?  Do you feel loved?  Excited?  Protected?  Do you feel, at once, all of these things and yet at the same time are you also feeling at peace? 

 I’m thinking of this as I ponder the path my life is taking just now.  I’ve been on it for some time and stumbled.  I’ve stumbled a lot actually.  Seems getting up and dusting off and limping onward isn’t working very wel for me.  I’ve thought a lot about all I had before and where I used to be as I, at the same time, wondered about where I wanted to go, and where I really thought I should be going.  I have felt as though I’ve slipped and stumbled so much that any dubious progress I’ve made was lost . . . time and again I’ve felt like I was left with nothing . . . or was I? 

Matthew 28:20 tells us that Jesus said “I am with you always to the very end of the age.”  So, returning to the original question I asked, what do you think of when I say “present.” Most of us think of a gift.  The quote here from Matthew assures me that I am not alone, though the path I’m on sometimes makes me feel that way, and assured me I am not left with NOTHING.  Jesus is with me in the PRESENT.  I need to focus on Him, on the present.  The past is done.  The future is a mystery, but with Jesus in the present with me, I stumble less and less as I trust Him more and more.  With Him I feel at once loved, protected, excited, and at peace.  What a present that is!


Mother Teresa and Walt Disney

May 9, 2011

I was pondering the path the Lord seems to have me on at this moment.  I was wondering if I “got it right” and  found myself doubting . . . after all, I want to do big things!  It seems as though I am not getting anywhere.  Oh,  okay there are some little developments, but when it comes to keeping my “eyes on the prize” as  somebody once said, I’d have to say it seems pretty far away still.  I pray, I listen, or try to.  When are the big things going to happen?  As I pondered this, I read something that Mother Teresa once said, “Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”  How simple that sounds, but how often do we blow it?  Seriously, how often do we find ourselves doing something that a small voice inside tries to warn us about, and we argue with that “small voice” that “it’s just a little thing.  It doesn’t matter.”  I want to do BIG THINGS in my life, but if I am given small things to do for the Lord and I am not faithful in them, surely He’s not going to entrust me with the BIG ones?   

As I thought about the many ways I have prevented the Lord from enabling me to do His work, I also realized His vast capacity to love and to forgive and it was just then that I read a quote from Walt Disney which summed things up well for me.  Walt said “It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”  We cannot do the impossible, however, when we give our lives to Christ, we become His body in this world and through Him all things are possible!  Our Lord has so much for us to do for Him in this world.  We do not need to worry about OUR ability.  Surrendering to Him in all things is the key, the big and the little things.  He used Mother Teresa, Walt Disney, fisherman, tax collectors, murderers, adulterers, and even me!  Praise Him!


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