God Speaks Through YOU

Sometimes I get asked hard questions. Questions that are so far afield from my “default settings” that I hardly know how to answer them. In those times, I am thankful for the wisdom God has given in his Word.

In the Bible, I find relevant answers to tons of questions.

In the Bible, I find strength and assurance as I step out in faith with God to answer the questions put to me.

I don’t dare trust my own instincts where important decisions are involved. I need God’s perspective and His Word to make that next right choice.

Note: Some people coming to me with questions, but not wanting to hear God’s wisdom. Those who do, I cannot help. I understand this, and accept it. I can, however, share godly wisdom with those who want to know God’s answers in the midst of their struggles.

Today, if someone asks your advise or for your help, will you bravely share what you know of God’s Word? Will you let Him say what He needs to say through you?

Emulation

Her three-year-old stuck both hands in his jeans pockets and looked down, reflecting upon what he’d done.

“I’m sorta like a man,” he said. “Cause see, I have my hands in my pants…like a man.”

His swagger suggested a hint of pride in his accomplishment. His stance. He rocked back and forth on the balls of feet, satisfied.

We all want to be like someone.

Who do you want to be like?  What trait do you see in that other that most impresses you?   

Holy Spirit Fire

Last Sunday, those in the lil corner room read from Acts 2 and discussed together Holy Spirit fire.

It was of great interest to me that the Holy Spirit, as it manifested itself to the faithful at Pentecost, appeared first as a single unit and then broke off into smaller tongues-mini fires of grace that came to rest on individuals.

What an amazing sight it must have been to see it happen–see the Spirit of Prophecy and Grace come to dwell with men in this way.

Undeserving men.

Previously: unholy, salty, selfish guys, and wanton women.

Now: sanctified, set aside, focused, devoted, prepared, waiting…

I found a You Tube video of a fire tornado yesterday and it made me think of our discussion.  Granted, the fire in this clip is generated and controlled my men, and it is beautiful, but imagine what it might look like if it were God’s fire.

God’s flame.

God’s Spirit in their midst.

The Bible says the Holy Spirit is like fire, but also like the wind.

Unpredictable.

Blowing wherever it wishes.

Not to be controlled by men.

Where will it blow next? Who will be blown over by it?  When has the Holy Spirit of God touched your life and left you singed by His glory?  

Monday Music-Blessings

Faith to believe…

Sometimes we think it means no problems, no complications, no messiness in life. No hard!

We are wrong.  We are shortsighted.

Faith to believe means surrender to me.

Surrender to His plan.

Surrender to His means.

Strength through surrender.

I know its a foreign concept, but remember, we are not of this world.

Remember!!!

Stop Drills And Your Happier Life

What is a Stop Drill, you ask?

It’s like a fire drill, and just as important!

Here’s how to conduct a Stop Drill.

Buy a couple of bags of your favorite candy, snack, or dime store rewards/stickers. Go into the yard or living room or basement to set up the exercise. Ask the kids to line up at the opposite end of the room from you, like they would to play red light/green light. Now, explain that every time they obey your command to stop the first time they are told to, they will get a treat.  Commence issuing directives, including sudden STOPS.  You’ve just completed a Stop Drill.

Note:  Popcorn makes a great reward for Stop Drill practice, since you can give one piece each time the kiddos respond correctly without filling them full of sugar.

Before you start an Stop Drill, remember that its best to reward right behavior, and move past wrong behavior rather quickly.  If the kiddos don’t respond properly to your commands, or they fail to respond, don’t give up. Keep trying.  Practice makes perfect.

Here’s why Stop Drills are important:

Three-year-olds get lost in big box book stores, AND half-blind Grampas can’t keep up with said three-year-olds when they book it outta there at full speed on those wee chubby legs of theirs.

When a three-year-old decides to break ranks and run…

Hearts pound.

Palms sweat.

The perpetrator laughs.

Legs MOVE.

Voices call down aisles.  “Where are you?”

Junior is lost!

Vanished.

Escaped.

Still giggling, gleefully. Rotten kid!

Panic sets in.

What if?

Have you been there?

This post is not about the fear, the relief, or the reprimands associated with losing a child in a big store.  Well, maybe it is a lil, but it’s also about preparedness (and humor, always humor).  It’s good to bring a little levity into frightening conversations, right?

But seriously (or not), Stop Drills are about next time.

They’re about conditioning kids in a way that teaches them to do what we say, when we say it, so that when we yell DUCK, MOVE, or DID YOU HEAR ME?, they will act…out of instinct, and for their own goodness and safety sake.

How can practicing Stop Drills help you live a happier life?

1. First, Stop Drills stop “why” questions in their tracks.  No longer do you have to say, “because I said so,” every time you want your child to stop doing that.

2. Stop Drills condition kids to stop, thereby helping young’uns learn how to instinctively respond to your directives.

3. Stop Drills relieve parents of worry when their kids are operating outside of arm’s reach, but still within screaming distance.

4. Stop Drills make it less likely that your child will be hurt, especially as hurt pertains to kids running into the street unaware of the danger a busy street implies.

5. Stop Drills reinforce the need to be safe through obedience.

Remember: You can train an old dog new tricks, and young pups are even easier!

In conclusion:  If Stop Drills don’t sound right for your situation, you can do what I did when my kiddos were little.  Tell them if they go near the road you will 1.  Spank them, hard. 2. Let the pigs get them.  Hey, no judging. My methods worked and that’s what matters. ;)

Have you ever lost your child in the store or the park? What were you taught to do that you do without thinking these days?

Acts of the Apostles–Strange Fire

You’ve traveled with friends to a hotel in a nearby city. You’ve come together for important meetings concerning work you’ve been commissioned to do in the future for the church. You’re excited about the meeting and wondering what will happen there, what you will learn that will enable you and others to help your church move in a new direction.  You’re together with your friends and church family, waiting, when the conference room you are in is shaken by a violent sounding wind. It’s noise, not movement, so you don’t feel anything and yet you “feel” as if the whole world is shifting, changing, and will never be the same again.

What looks like flames or tongues of fire appear and settle on each of your friends; some on shoulders, others on tops of heads, some floating in front of chests or gracing the back of hands. Each person is affected similarly and yet differently.  Its surreal and you’re stunned by the appearance, as well as the beauty and translucency of the flames.

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You find it hard to look away.

Everyone present in that room is affected by this “occurrence,” including you.  Strange!  In that moment when you finally reconnect with reality, you realize a foreign and confusing sound has reached your ears from within the confines of the conference room. What is it? It’s not the wind this time, but conversation. Words are filtering out into the air around you, and they sound like language, but language you don’t understand.

You wonder if you’re dreaming, sleeping, or having a stroke, maybe. Confusion.

As soon as you get acclimated to the strange sounds about you, you begin to understand that you, too, are speaking strange words. Words you’ve never learned—fit together into conversations that are equally unfamiliar to you. Your teeth, your tongue, your cheeks, even your mind is scrambling, working at forming patterns of speech. You recognize the message you’re sharing is about Jesus, but you have no idea how that message could be coming out of your mouth.

The forming of the vowels are strange to you. The consonants, too.

Strangers are running into the room now, flooding into this confined space and pulling you out into the hallway.  You’re dragged down into the lobby; streets below you suddenly appear under foot. Certain members of this gang are asking you questions about Jesus, how you know him, what he’s done in the last forty days—where He is now.

It’s frightening at first, then exhilarating when you understand they are not here to kill you.

You are telling them about Messiah; your Messiah, Jesus. They understand you, but how can that be? You don’t understand you.

What is happening?

Why are you involved?

What does it all mean?

At that moment, you catch sight of your wife, across the way, talking to people but looking directly at you. She is confident. She is smiling. She is ministering, even as she is talking a mile a minute and shaking her head and explaining.  She’s glowing.  She is looking at you! She knows, and you are beginning to understand. Strange Grace is at work in the room, and you’ve been chosen.

You!

Sinful you.

Fallible you.

Forgiven you.

Willing, you!

Have you been privy to strange happenings of divine origin in the past?  Did it frighten you to know God was near enough for you to feel his breath on your skin?  What do you expect to happen when you enter into the space occupied by His Strange Fire?

Music Monday-Come Alive

My niece gifted me with a great worship album recently, How Can It Be, by Lauren Daigle.

If you haven’t heard Lauren’s music before, let me introduce you to her through her song, Come Alive.  It’s a story of prophecy, symbolism, battle, victory, and soldiers, not to mention the power of the Holy Spirit to bring life where once there was nothing but dry bones.

Lauren is a sister who knows how to worship!

Thanks, Dear One, for the CD.

Lovin’ this album.

Spring in NEPA–Mowing Season

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One day after having eye surgery my guy was back at work.  Of course, his activity in this picture might have had something to do with my threats to make him walk the plank if the lawn wasn’t soon mowed.

Yeah, he’s sooo scared of me, can’t ya tell?

Funny story: When Mr. met with the surgeon for a follow-up appointment yesterday, he asked him, “So, Doc, can I get on my bike now?”

Doc: You mean a motorcycle?

Hubs: Yeah, I’m good to go, right?

Doc: Well, I dunno, maybe you could ride around close to home, but you better not go far until you get a feel for things again.

Hubs, winking in my direction as he says it:  My wife is giving me a dirty look right now.  [Doc had his back to me, while examining his patient.]

Me: I’m only doing that because he had a hard enough time finding the meatloaf on his plate last night.  Kept trying, kept missing it. I think his depth perception might be a little off right now.

Doc:  Yeah, considering that, I think its good to wait a while before you get back on the bike again.

Men and their motorcycles!!!  Craziness.

I mention all the talk of the bike because the hubs has his bike helmet and full face shield on in this picture.  Doc had said to him when talking about riding, “Do you wear a helmet, glasses, when you ride?”  He was concerned about dust and debris flying into the eyes as the Mr. rode dirty roads.  Hubs heard him on that, and translated it into a warning to protect those eyes while doing anything that could shoot dirt or dust into his face.  Note: cool sunglasses under shield.

What’s that about teaching old dogs new tricks?  Hmmm…

It was sweaty under that shield, but Mr. kept it on and the lawn looked great when he was done.

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As you can see, the trees in the hedgerow are still pretty brown, but they’re greening up.  And the dandelions. So. Many. Dandelions!!!  I didn’t get a picture of them, but they were all over this  morning. Amazing how those things can grow up literally over night.

Before I close out this Friday post, I thought I would post a picture of Mr’s rock wall.  Its a work in progress.

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My hubs loves laying up rocks, and I love the look of a rock wall, so this project is a win-win for both of us.

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I think it’s safe to say that spring has sprung in NEPA, and we are lovin’ it.

What corner of your yard do you like the best?  What projects will you be working on this spring?