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Posts Tagged ‘Lord’


The oddest things hit you at the oddest times. Like when you’re in the kitchen just going about normal everyday cooking, like boiling water.

In the last few years it seems like I’ve been in an extended period of waiting. Waiting is never easy. I have yet to meet one person who would actually say they like to wait for anything. Some are more patient about it than others, but, it seems like no one would ever put themselves in a waiting spot.

So to try and make the wait easier, I’ve tried to wait in expectation for the next phase of what my life holds, and what the Lord is going to do. That being the case, recently I’ve realized that that’s not what I’ve ended up doing. Instead of waiting with an active expectation, I’ve actually just been waiting with no expectation. Instead of actively waiting, I’ve been passively waiting.

So it hit me while I was in the kitchen waiting for a pot of water to boil so I could make pasta, that waiting in life is a lot like waiting for water to boil.

Now I know the old adage that a watched pot never boils, but the reality is that if you prepare it correctly, it will, just not as fast as you think it should. All you have to do is get the pot out, fill it with water, put it on the burner and turn on the heat.

Then wait. And wait. And wait.

You can go off and do other things while it boils, but if you stand there and watch it with expectation a funny thing happens. You get to see what goes on with the water as it goes through its stages of heating up, then boiling.

At first, the water is pretty still and it looks like nothing at all is happening. Then, so suddenly you don’t think you’re seeing things correctly, there are small movements as the water starts to flow in channels in the heat. Later, bubbles start to form on the bottom and sides of the pot, just before they rise to the surface and you can truly see that something is happening.

With the breaking of the bubbles on the surface, then you know it’s time for you to do whatever it is that you’re going to with the boiled water. Like, put in the pasta so it can cook, and, you can go on to the next phase of preparing something to eat.

In waiting for the water to boil, it occurred to me that it’s the same with waiting for the Lord. We can passively wait, go off and do something else and not bother to look to see the signs that the Lord is at work. Or, we can actively wait, by doing what we are doing as we live our lives, and at the same time keep our eyes open. If we do this, then we can see the flow of the current of the Lord beneath the surface before what He’s doing boils up to overflowing in our lives.

“As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth. It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

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The other day, I looked around during one of the many storms that roll across our neck of the woods and realized that our cat was nowhere to be seen. Now, this wouldn’t seem too unusual except that he usually makes sure he is very much near one of his people all the time, which many times literally mean underfoot.

Safe icon

What does safety look like to you?

I scanned the house for him, which took all of one minute because we live in a little shoebox of a cottage. Since the house is small, and he is large, I thought I’d be able to see him with no problem.

He is an indoor cat, and even though he’d be okay outside, we live near a very busy road, so whenever it happens that I can’t see him I wonder if he’s gotten out. But, this particular time, I knew he hadn’t.

So, I looked around the house again. And, again, he was nowhere to be seen.

Finally I asked my son, “Have you seen George?”

My son looked up from his book at me, then did a quick scan of the house and not seeing his cat anywhere nearby replied, “I don’t know, maybe he’s in his safe spot.”

George’s safe spot. I didn’t even think to look for him there.

So, I went over to my desk and bending down saw that he was under it, lying full-length, which is almost 3-feet tip to tail, where the back of the desk meets the wall. The spot is his favorite place to be when there’s too much rain, wind, thunder or lightning outside because it gives him a lot of shelter, but, also allows him to stretch out and be comfortable.

After I sat down, I started thinking how each of us needs a safe spot too. For many of us, it’s our home where we feel loved and accepted no matter what. But for some people it’s not their home, but someplace else where they feel safe. Either way, it seems to be our very nature to seek out and find that place where we feel safe and protected and able to just be comfortable in who we are.

And, that’s what the Lord provides for us in every situation, whether we are in a storm or in the calm. A place with Him where we are loved, cared for and accepted. So much so, that after a while we realize that without Him we can have none of those things in their totality. It is only with Him that we can experience that safe place that only He can provide because He is truly the only safe spot there is.

“LORD, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; you have made my lot secure.”

Psalm 16:5

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Buried treasure. It has a ring to it doesn’t it? Just saying the words brings to mind pirates, strings of white pearls, gold coins and the sweet scent of magnolia trees.

Magnolia tree

Buried treasure in an unlikely place, under a magnolia tree.

Magnolia trees?

For me, yes magnolia trees. Specifically, one magnolia tree, a giant of a tree that dominated my front yard when I was small. Its roots were like gnarled brown fingers swirling and digging down into the earth. I would sit between those roots and look up, especially after the pink and white flowers bloomed. During those times, it was amazing to see how the sun would filter through the petals and take in the scent that fell gently  to the ground.

The treasure of a magnolia tree

One day my next door neighbor, who was far more adventurous than I, suggested that we play buried treasure. This sounded like a great idea to her little sister and I, who would do anything she told us to.

“Great,” my friend said to me. “You go in and see what you can find.”

So, I did. I went straight to my mother’s bedroom and found a beautiful golden ring with three big gorgeous diamonds in it that sparkled every which way. I pocketed the treasure and promptly went outside, where we decided that under the roots of the magnolia tree was the best place to bury our treasure.

Digging holes

We dug and dug, until we had made a deep dark hole. We wrapped the ring in a piece of cloth – my friend’s only contribution to the treasure – where we deposited the ring from my mothers’ bedroom.

We lived in the house for many years after that. Whenever I would climb the magnolia tree or just sit underneath its branches enjoying the scent of the flowers, I would think about the treasure and where it was buried, between the two largest root fingers at the back of the tree.

The secret of buried treasure

I never told me my mom about the treasure and she never seemed to indicate that the ring was gone until many years later, when the house and the magnolia tree were just a distant memory. By then it was too late to go digging around in someone else’s yard, even though I still remembered the tree and the location of the treasure hidden in its root system.

Instead of a buried treasure, it became like so many treasures we bury, a lost one.

Lost treasure

I was reminded of this just recently, by a story of a good a friend of my mom’s. She lost her class ring 50 years ago. One of her heart’s desires was to have her ring back, and God provided that through circumstances that only He could. You can read the story here, Class ring returned after 50 years.

God returns lost treasure

I am amazed by what the Lord does with the treasures, whether they are physical treasures or treasures of ability, we bury or lose along the way. He knows where each one of them are. And, when the time is right, He is known to return them, which makes me think that maybe they’re not completely lost like we think they are, just kept in the hands of the Lord for safekeeping.

“The king asked the woman about it, and she told him. Then he assigned an official to her case and said to him, “Give back everything that belonged to her, including all the income from her land from the day she left the country until now.”

2 Kings 8:6

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Our memories are strange things. We get so caught up in our daily living, and our future lives, that a lot of us tend to either bury the past as if it never happened or just conveniently overlook it, treating it as if it didn’t exist because in the present it doesn’t.

Polski: Kamienie pamiątkowe przy grodzisku Bró...

We remember what the Lord has done when we make a memorial.

Although for some people I think this trying to escape the past by forgetting it is just that, escape, for others it’s because we’re just really bad at remembering. It’s like our brains can only hold so much information at one time and everything else past, present and future just falls out if it doesn’t fit with what’s going on right now.

Memories

The other day my son and I had a disagreement over a long past trip to Disneyland. He was only about 3½ years old when he first went and about 4½ years old the second time he went. Even though he has an amazing memory ( he actually remembers things from when  he was 1 and 2) he argued with me that the first time we went was when he was 4. I had to pull out the old photograph albums to show him that yes he had actually gone earlier than he thought.

When he saw the photographs he did remember some parts of that trip. And, it occurred to me that the photographs were a little like small memorials to the trip and every time we saw them we would remember.

Memorials to God

Every once in a while I hear of a book or a teaching about building memorials to God, which is entirely biblical and is a really cool thing, because it does help us to remember what He has done. After all, how many times does He say,  ‘don’t forget’ to His people in the Word? The short answer? A lot. This is because He knows how short our attention spans are, and how we need to remember what He has done or else we just forget about it and start walking around with the delusion that He hasn’t hardly done anything at all.

One of the issues I’ve always had with these memorials is that the people who are advocating them always seem to say they should be outside and usually made of rocks like the ones in scripture. But, I’m just not an outdoor person. The whole point of building a memorial is to remember, but what’s the point if you don’t even notice it? I mean, if I can drive over a blue can and eventually not see it, you can bet money that I’ll walk right past an outdoor memorial to something He’s done and eventually not see it either.

Being a writer, I write things down, but even that necessitates digging through notebooks to find something to remember and doesn’t have that instant impact that takes place when you see a simple thing and are reminded of what He’s done. So, my writing doesn’t actually add up to any sort of memorial either.

God remembers

Because I thought I was someone who didn’t make any sort of memorials, I settled back into the camp of when God wants me to remember something He’ll let me know. This seems to be working, but what I didn’t realize is that He had me building memorials to Himself so I would remember what He’s been doing without my even realizing that He was building them.

I mark my Bible, but not in a way that I’ve ever seen anyone else do it. I’ve tried highlighting scripture only to find that the colors irritated me and I’ve tried underlying scripture that I thought was meaningful but it got too messy for me. But, about 2 years ago I started drawing lines in the margin of my bible next to scripture that caught my eye. After that, I found myself, writing the date next to my line in the margin, but only if God had given me the verse either by making it go 3-D on me, speaking into my spirit or giving it to me through someone else.

This resulted in a combination of those little lines, some just plain and some with dates next to them. What I didn’t realize when I started doing this was that those with the dates are my memorials to the Lord, and just because they aren’t a pile of rocks or outside doesn’t make than any less than what they are, remembrances of Him and what He’s given me and in just the right way for me to remember what He has done.

“Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”

Deuteronomy 4:9

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Hearts

Image by eirikso via Flickr

Love, it’s a funny thing. It can mean many different things to many different people. We’re given ideas about love from a multitude of different places that tell us how we express love, receive love and allow love to come into our lives.

Then we’re told how we can express love better, as if most of us don’t already know that we’re not so good at that already. Not many of us will go as far as to say we’re good at this thing called love. In my estimation those that do, either are not facing reality or have bumps along the way of their love pathways that they are guarding as closely as Fort Knox.

The funny thing is that even though we know we’re not very good at it, as is evidenced by so many books, shows and other help’s that are out there, we don’t really take the necessary steps to actually learn from the One – namely Christ – who knows all about love and how it works.

Why?

In our world of ‘me first’, the love that Christ introduces us to just doesn’t seem very personally fulfilling.

Again why?

Because sacrifice of our own self just doesn’t do anything for any of us on a personal level. And, it’s been that way since the beginning of man. Although we would all like to think that we’ve come from some sort of Golden Age when things were better back when and our culture has become something other than what it was with our “me first” mentality, the reality is that mankind has always been about “me first”. It just looks a little different in this day and age.

If we go back to Genesis and look at Abraham, a friend of God, letting his nephew choose his portion of land first, which turned out to be the best, most fertile land, some of us naturally think Abraham got the short end of the stick because he gave up his right to choose first and get the best land. Why would he do such a thing? Precisely because he was a friend of God.

David’s another one. He’s called a man after God’s own heart. Impetuous, emotional, seeming to break all of God’s law at one time or another. But, he didn’t take the kingship from Saul when he could have. David sacrificed his own life for years, living in caves with criminals, because one thing he wouldn’t do was take what the Lord hadn’t allowed him to have yet. So he showed love for Saul by waiting and in the process he sacrificed a portion of his life because he was a man after God’s own heart.

There are others in scripture and in the world around us who do the very same thing, but many times we don’t see them because what they do is so foreign to us. And this is pretty much because what God has done is so foreign to us too. We have hard time getting on-board with a God who says love is sacrifice, because we don’t see what’s in it for us.

We like a kind, gentle and loving God as long as that love is based on how we define love which generally has it’s foundation in “what does it do for me?” instead of His kind of love that says, “So what about me? What can I do for someone else?” Bottom line, is that His kind of love is a little hard for us to focus on because it’s so foreign to us. Until He allows us to focus on it it just looks fuzzy and unreal.

And with love, like pretty much everything else with the Lord, is not about how we define it, but about how He defines it and not only defines it but does it. Because He doesn’t just tell us what to do and expect us to do it, He shows us what to do then just asks us to follow Him on the path He’s already cleared for us.

“On this account the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have authority to lay it down and I have authority to take it again. I have received this commandment of my Father.”

John 10:17-18

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Decisions

Image by katietower via Flickr

Have you ever really thought about the decisions you make and where they might lead? And, I don’t necessarily mean the lofty great decisions we all make and take our time with.

There’s a scene that I love in the latest installment of the Twilight movies, “Eclipse.” In it the vampires from the ultra elite Volturi are standing looking down from a rooftop at an out of control newborn vampire army. The black caped Volturi are trying to figure out when the best time for action is, with the action being either they destroy the newborn vampire army and save the Cullen family, or they let them attack the Cullen family and possibly kill them, which is what the army was created for.

Jane, who is a petite blond vampire played by Dakota Fanning, tilts her head to one side as she considers her alternatives, then thoughtfully says, “Decisions, decisions.”

One of the reasons why I love that scene is it really shows how difficult and clear-cut some decisions can be. Pick choice A and you get consequence A. Pick choice B and you get consequence B.

There’s an old saying, ‘not to decide is to decide’ and that’s how some of us live, while others make very considered decisions about pretty much everything, while others of us live somewhere in-between those two extremes of letting someone else make our decisions and making every decision ourselves.

But, no matter how we make our decisions, it seems that most of the time in our lives once they have been made, we sort of float along not really thinking about the choices we make until there’s a definite negative consequence to what we decide, and, quite honestly in most cases that’s neither here nor there. We live with our decisions and the paths they lead us on because we really don’t know any different. This seems especially true when it comes to the things of God.

How many times do we decide to do something and not think about how it will affect our relationship with the Lord? Whether or not He would like us to do it? Or, basically even consult Him on anything except what we consider the ‘big stuff”?

I’ve talked to some people, that at some points in their relationships with the Lord, literally asked Him if they should make a left turn at an intersection, or a right. Although that seems a little extreme to most of us, it does make you think about the depth of that person’s closeness with the Lord and how that affects their decision-making.

Most of the time we miss the nexus between the decisions we make in our daily lives and how that affects our relationship with the Lord. Many times our decisions seem trivial, they don’t seem to have much of a consequence either way and the asking is just a way of including the Lord in our daily lives, a way of communicating with Him. While at other times, it’s absolutely amazing the clarity of the choice that we have, either we stay in the will of God, or we don’t.

Either way it’s all about the decisions we make and whether those decisions take us closer to the Lord, or further away.

“Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ He will quickly reply.”

Isaiah 58:9a

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Sasquatch Yeti Bigfoot Bugerbear Yowie

Image via Wikipedia

I’m constantly amazed at how different we all are from one another. We seem like we’re really very similar, and we are, to a certain degree, but our likes, dislikes and just our ways of being are really unique to ourselves.

There’s a saying that I’ve heard many times, and maybe you’ve heard it too. It goes something like, ‘You’re a one of a kind, just like everyone else is.’ I’ve always took the saying to mean that although we are all unique in our own way and everyone else is too, somehow that uniqueness is diminished because we all are the same in that way. But, when you really think about it, it doesn’t.

I was reminded of this today when my son and I went into the local Western wear store, (Turners Wild West for any of you that are interested) here in Angels Camp to look for a belt. Now, I usually don’t go into the store, frankly because the world of Western Wear is not really within my vernacular of living, but it is a really cool store that has a lot more than just Western items.

The minute we walked into the store I saw a t-shirt that had nothing to with Western anything and everything to do with BigFoot. Yes I do mean BigFoot, otherwise known as  the reclusive Sasquatch that has eluded many a Sasquatch hunter for years. The t-shirt had a giant foot on it with the words “Bigfoot Hunter” emblazoned across it.

I pointed it out to my son and asked him what he thought. He looked at it and immediately laughed because he was thinking of the same person I was, a friend’s husband who absolutely loves Sasquatch and the mystery that surrounds the elusive creature – who may, or may not, actually exist. In fact, just last week, my son saw Sasquatch beef jerky at WalMart and said we should get it for our friend.

Now, if you met this guy you’d think he was a really friendly guy who loves the Lord, and along with his wife he does amazing things in the community. Both of them have real servant’s hearts. But, you would never think in a million years that he is super interested in the legend of Bigfoot.

Every single one of us has that thing, or things, that we really like or are really interested in. These things, along with our personalities and ways of being, really do make each of us unique from one another, even though we all have that trait of being individuals in common.

I always think that some of these things really do make the Lord smile, and more than that, He delights in them because we do. I mean really, who would think that His children would be bungee jumpers, twitterers, race car drivers or even fans of Sasquatch?

“For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;”

Psalm 149:4a

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