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Posts Tagged ‘devotional’

I was in a scene from an old black and white movie, or so it seemed. The kind where you are walking in a thick mist by the sea docks. All you can hear is the sound of your own footsteps on the planks and the methodical wail of the fog horn somewhere in the distance. The grayish, moist fingers stretch to envelop everything around you. Do you move on through the thick soup carefully placing one foot in front of the other as you tap to make sure the path is solid? Do you stand still and hope this opaque veil will lift, or wait for God to grab your hand and lead you through it? Lord, give me a signal, a flash of a torch up ahead to let me know if I am going in the right direction.

I choose to trust – a purposeful act of believing that He is here watching over me. Yet at the same time somehow, because He is not temporal as I am,  My Lord is also outside the fog handling whatever it is I am not yet privileged to detect with my faith eyes.  Perhaps, I must re-train my eyes to see only Him, and not what I having been choosing to see.

Is that a faint glimmer of the Light of the World through the mist up ahead, beckoning? I ease towards it with renewed hope. I am on the right path after all.

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen
is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. . . For we walk by faith, not be sight. 2 Corinthians 4:18, 5:7

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I found God today at the end of the day. Actually I had been surrounded by witnesses to His glory and love all day as I manned the phones for a share-athon for a local Christian radio station. Between the other volunteers, the people dropping off snacks, and the listeners who called in, the God talk filled the call center. It was like floating in a sun-drenched river on a hot Texas summer day – a soothing, refreshing time you don’t want to end.

But in the back of my mind a ripple of angst was forming. The pebble had been dropped. I had a conference this weekend and I needed to work on my workshop presentation. My week of have-to-dos was stacking up. I had been manning the share-athon for two days, had a church women’s board meeting the next day as well as two more meetings, a newsletter to get out, and 8 articles to write and post for a client’s blog sites before I left Friday morning.

As I drove to my Toastmasters’ meeting last evening, I tried to plot out enough time over the next two days to rehearse. Maybe as I drove the four hours to the conference center? Well, I could rehearse the talk but it would be kinda hard to practice the power point portion on the highway. I could stay up late or get up early . . .maybe both?

As I walked in the room, the one who was leading the meeting told me there were no speakers that night. Last-minute cancellations had been texted to him – nothing major like an illness or tragedy, just life-stuff which had gotten in the way. So I was the only speaker.  I had brought my power point equipment to do a short demonstration on how to begin your speech, a Toastmaster teaching module. Much to my regret, the newly formed group had already heard that presentation through another Toastmaster several weeks back. Oh. Now what. The ripples grew.

Then, the Holy Spirit whispered in my soul’s ear. This is a church. Practice your workshop talk here.

I asked the group and they all agreed that would be fine. In fact, one lady had read most of my Bible study Between the Window and the Door on which this workshop was based. Three weeks prior, God had told me to give her a copy because she was going through a rough in-between time in her life. Coincidence that she had brought it with her?

Another pebble dropped. Did I have the right flash drive? Then I remembered. The one on which I was to download the Toastmaster module was, for some unknown reason, malfunctioning last night. So I had dug out my workshop flash drive and loaded the module on that. Yes, God had guaranteed that I had the right flash drive.

As I spoke, the words flowed from my brain.The power point presentation went smoothly. All the slides I’d prepared worked perfectly. That sweet woman at the back who had been reading the Bible study sat smiling and nodding. She was a real encouragement to me. The others became engaged in my talk. After it was over, they gave me great feedback.

The waters calmed.  I floated in the knowledge that My Father in Heaven cares enough to orchestrate events weeks in advance which would accumulate into the perfect time for me to prepare my talk on how His grace is ever-present, even in the in-between times.

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On this 10th anniversary of that tragic day in Manhattan, at the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania, there are many new reports recalling those few hours of panic, terror and destruction. In the midst of Ground Zero, the heat of the explosion and the force of the collapse of one of the Twin Towers caused two I beams of steel to weld together in the shape of a  rugged cross.  The commentator said when they unearthed it, it was as if God was saying, “I’m here.”

Looking through mImagey clip art for a picture, I rediscovered one a missionary couple I support had sent me from Japan right after the earthquake and tsunami. Hovering out of the rubble where a church once stood, the congregation had constructed a makeshift cross so they could hold services.

When we lived in Baton Rouge, a mega church had erected three crosses at the entrance to their church site on the Interstate 10. After Katrina, those crosses became a beacon. One of the major food banks and distribution centers were in a warehouse next to them.

I have worn a cross since I was 16. It was bought with my first pay check. At times I feel it next to my skin and it reminds me He is there next to me, touching my life.  I rarely feel it when I am joyful or confident or upbeat. But when my day is in rubbles, then I do feel it next to me – warm and comforting. It is a reminder of whom it is I belong. Instead of a dog tag, it is my God tag.

God reveals Himself in the midst of tragedy. His cross provides a ray of hope in despair, of control in chaos, and the security of Daddy watching over us in the middle of fear. The next time life throws you in the midst of chaos and your world is tumbling around you – look for the cross.

And lo, I am  iwth you, even unto the end of the age.  Matthew 28:20

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Yesterday another lady and I, who are on the women’s ministry board for our denomination, drove about two hours south to support a small church in our jurisdiction. They were having a fall bazaar. It was a good chance to meet some of the ladies and personally invite them to the function we were having for all the women in a month’s time.

One lady, who was somewhat elderly, had a booth of beautifully handmade beaded jewelry. She explained how learning to do beadwork had kept her busy since her mother passed away last year. She’d been her mother’s caregiver for over 6 years. I saw the deep pain in her eyes, but I also saw God’s comfort.  I could tell He had been there with her, through her church, her friends and in this new endeavor. Her faith was a balm for her sorrow. Hovering between us as we talked was the Holy Spirit wrapping her in a love that will never leave her.  It made me realize anew how He’s there for me, and you, and all of us who believe, giving purpose to our times of sorrow and  emptiness.

I will turn their mourning into gladness; I will give them comfort and joy instead of sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13b

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I’ll admit there are days I just do not feel His presence. Usually those are the days I am stressed over something- probably the one thing I keep laying at His feet then snatch back. Most of the time it has to do with finances. Freelance writing and being your own boss is wonderful. Yet, most of the time I feel like Indiana Jones in the the scene where he is searching for the Holy Grail and steps out in faith over an abyss. God does provide the ledge I cannot see with my eyes, but at times I still look down and my knees become wobbly. That is the time I should get down upon them before trying to take another step. I don’t always do that.

Years ago I was given a book that was similar to the old Where’s Waldo series, except you had to look for Jesus in each scene. Sometimes He was easier to spot. Sometimes, not so much. I’d call over a friend or family member and say, can you help me find Jesus? Ah! Slap in the forehead time. Friends and family can help us find Jesus when our eyes are just too filled with tears or clouded by our own circumstances.

Then there are times, He reveals Himself in a way that makes you suck in your breath – like the Bible verse of the day which popped up on my cell phone app today after I was was stressing over if I needed to find a job to supplement my freelance writing and why no one was responding to my resumes –

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go. I will counsel you with my eyes upon you. Psalm 32:8

Yes, Sir. On I go over the abyss.

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