Friday, July 24, 2015

Early in the morning...

"But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold And a refuge in the day of my distress. " Psalms 59:16

There is something about the early morning and "meeting" with the Lord.  It has always been my most favorite time to sit in His presence. I think what started it was many years ago when my late husband got up his usual time (around 6:00 AM) to get ready for work and he saw our son, who was a teenager by then in his room praying and reading scriptures at that early hour. My husband was an avid Bible reader, but would do his devotional time usually after dinner; and let's face it , how much can you really get out of reading the scriptures when you're tired with a full tummy? But what he saw our son doing that wee hour in the morning inspired and encouraged him to get up an hour earlier each morning and spend time not only reading the Bible, but really allowing God to meet with him.

What can I had a rippling effect and before long instead of dragging my body out of bed around 6:30 to make my husband coffee, pack his lunch and see him off...I was getting up earlier to spend some time in God's presence. We each had our own meeting places.  For some reason my husband found the bathroom to be his "sanctuary"...go figure, but it worked for him  :-).  Me...I loved sitting out on the back porch, no matter how cold it was.  It just seemed like the right place to be early in the morning, with the birds singing and the sun slowly coming up over the horizon. I can feel Him in the quietness of the earth waking up to a new day.  When I read the Bible it is like Him speaking directly to me, when I pray it is me speaking directly to Him. It's an invitation, for the Holy Spirit to come and sit with me a while.  He reminds me of His Goodness and Mercy. I recount the times that He saved me from things that could have destroyed me, of times when I knew that He was there for me. Times when it has been lonely, but I KNEW that I was never alone.

My heart weeps for this world because what I see is a whole lot of people without Hope.  To be hopeless is very sad.  I know what it is like to feel as if there is no hope. As a young person before I met God for the first time...I thought a lot about ending it all by taking my life.  And then there was that time as a young married woman, I did try to end my life.  Thank God that I did not succeed, but it was very embarrassing in the ER trying to explain to the medical staff why I did what I did.  When the words were coming out of my mouth they did not make sense "I give up and no longer want to exist" wonder they all looked at me like I was crazy.  But I wasn't crazy... I just had no hope that things would get any better. And that is what being hopeless feel as if your situation will never get better.  What a lie! I believed that lie for a very long time, until one day, after a neighbor had been praying for me (unbeknownst to me) , that I surrendered my heart and life to Jesus Christ. Not only did I received Hope, but Peace and real Joy.  And He is the only One that can restore your Hope and give you real Peace and Joy.

So my early morning times are very precious with Him, because not only did He save my life, He has rescued me time after time again and again. So many devastating moments and yet...He whispers " I am with you" Times when I have lifted my hands and said " I can not and will not go a step further because this thing is too hard"...He whispers "Yes you can because I am with you."  Times when I've messed up big time and say to myself "I'm not worth it."  And He whispers " You are worth it to Me" and I am reminded of His Sacrifice...for me...and you.

Yes those early morning times restore my strength in Him, it puts the gas in my spiritual tank so that I can get through the day with the assurance that I am not left alone to figure this journey out. He is my stronghold and refuge and He desires to meet with me. When I come early to meet with Him, He is already there, waiting and eager to listen , comfort, even chastise and most of all with love.

"Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls." Matthew 11:28-29

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Are we really free?

July 4th, declared a day of Independence from Britain's rule over what was to become the United States of America. Freedom from Britain's tyranny, a real reason to celebrate, especially with  all the lives that were sacrificed to attain that freedom.

I wonder sometimes if people think of the sacrifices that were made so many years ago, while they crank up the barbecue, enjoy the beach, family picnics, etc, etc.? Of course there is nothing wrong with celebration, but why do we really celebrate this holiday? To be honest I think that the farthest thing from our minds are the young
soldiers that willingly left their homes to fight in the war, or the older soldiers that left wives and children. I think that basically to us nowadays it means a day off of work, family reunions and cookouts. How do we get so far from celebrating the real meaning of the holiday?

Well on a more personal level, what about me? Have I allowed the day to day activities of life to diminish the true meaning of sacrifice? Have I allowed MY personal circumstances in life to override the great price that others have paid so that I could be a beneficiary of better living.  I think of my parents that sacrificed so that all of their children could have a better education than they did. There are so many benefits that we all have in our lives that have
come because some else LOVED us so much they were willing to go without so that we might have.They gave their all, maybe not seeing the results in their lifetime, but by faith doing it so that we could enjoy. So instead of me, and I make this personal, complaining about what I don't have, I should be celebrating what I do have. Instead of seeing all that is wrong in life, I should be rejoicing over the fact that I have so much that is right! Instead of having a pity party and inviting who so ever will listen to come, I should be thanking God for the Grace He has given me to make it in this life and inviting others to trust Him.  I should be celebrating my True freedom, my freedom in Him.

He indeed gave the ultimate sacrifice. So when we shake our fists at God in our grief and say "You don't understand how I feel!" We are so very wrong, He knows...He knows very well what it is like to not only see a loved one die, but to also see Him suffer. The men and women of the America Revolution gave their lives, sacrificed themselves so that freedom would come to their remaining loved ones and their country. God sacrificed His Son Jesus who willingly laid down His life so that anyone that accepted that gift and trust Him would have True freedom on Earth AND throughout eternity. That calls for celebration!

I think that I am speaking more to myself through this post...I am so blessed! Some things in life we don't choose...who our parents are, how we were raised, physical and some health limitations and when we lose loved ones. These things can have a major negative impact on our lives, but even though we do not choose these things, God can use them for our benefit. We must trust Him to show us how to live this life to its fullest. Only He can show us through His Word how to walk in True freedom. "If you abide in my Word you are my disciples indeed and you shall know the Truth and the Truth shall make you free!"John 8:31

 He has already paid the price and greatly sacrificed so that we can succeed. We are Free in Him!  And for that we Celebrate!  "Therefore if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed."  John 8:36   
 Happy 4th of July Everyone!