Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Deadly Silence

A very dear friend asks me this question recently. "Why can't I feel God anymore?" She went on to say that "if I hold on to Him but cannot feel Him, am I believing in vain?"

Truth is I am not certain how to answer. What do we do when we cry out to God time and again feeling nothing within us but sadness, confusion, or worse - complete emptiness? Have you been there? I have! Times in my life when if only God would give me an answer, I could move on. If only God would show up and say everything is going to be fine, I wouldn't have to worry and fret.

Over the past few weeks, my husband and I have been in the progress of buying a home. My goodness how the phone rang, the emails popping up every time I opened my I-Pad. The air was full of both of excitement and business. We are now waiting as things have gone to the under-writer of our home loan. Everything has grown so deadly silent. If only the phone would ring, if only one email would pop up I wouldn't have to worry or fret.....

Faith! Yes, faith is the answer that fits the question to a tee! When I don't feel Him, I remember the times in my life when He allowed me to touch the very hem of His garment. When I can't hear Him, I remember the times when He spoke so clearly to me that the heavens seemed to be raining down on me. In faith we can stand and choose to remember the faithfulness of God. In faith we can stand on the promise that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. We may not hear him nor feel Him right now but He is here for He promised He would be.

The loan officer was one of the most encouraging young man I have ever had the pleasure of doing business with. He was confident enough in our application to say he would give it a 100% chance of getting past that under-writer. If I stand on that young man's promise, am I believing in vain? Perhaps, but what if I just give up because the silence is simply too deadly?

Guess what? God is so confident in not only who He is but also in you that He promises if we wait (even in the deadly silence) He will see us through. He promises that at times we will have to wait in faith believing His word. "I will never leave you!"

"Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV

Be sure to visit Spiritual Sundays blog for great weekly post of hope, encouragement and truth.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

He Came So...

Ponder this with me for a moment!  Jesus left a place with walls of precious jewels, streets of pure gold and rivers of crystal. He came to be born in a dirty, smelly stable to a world where most would NOT accept Him.  He came to die on a rugged cross.  Why? 

He came so that those who would accept Him could one day walk on those streets of gold and drink from the crystal waters.  So that He could have us forever with Him in the place with walls of precious jewels.   Wouldn't you agree Jesus paid a great sum just to receive your love and belief in Him?

Prayer:  Jesus help me to also remember the reason you came and gave all.  You gave your all so that we might have life ever after with you.
Scripture reference: Revelation 21:18, 19, 21; Revelation 22:1; Luke 2:7 and John 19

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Strength in Numbers

While praying this morning the Holy Spirit reminded me "there is strength in numbers."  Often I have shamed myself for thinking in terms of how many attend the bible study I have the privilege to teach.
So it took me by surprise to hear the words "strength in numbers."  

Often we get so comfortable with just the average or enough that we forget more can be better.  See we live in a world where pride is rampantly dangerous!  However that pride is all too often based on "self".  You know what I mean, the "it's all about me" generation.  If we think of our home church becoming big or bigger, some of us shiver because we won't be the same or we won't know everyone.  In some cases perhaps it’s that we won't know everyone's business (just saying). 

This morning I am reminded that Jesus is very comfortable with numbers especially when speaking of His Kingdom.   In Matthew 9, He tells us (his disciples) that the harvest is plenty but the workers are few.  Jesus said these things after going throughout the cities and villages teaching, proclaiming (preaching) the gospel and healing.  Now there is another sermon for sure, the work that is to yet to be done!  But let me move on.

Paraphrasing verses from Matthew 25, the master says to his servant “here take these 5 talents multiply them and bring them back to me.”  The servant did as commanded! The master saw and said "well done, good and faithful servant."

In Matthew 16, Jesus told Peter "on this I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it."  Don't you agree Jesus must be about building and numbers?

In "Ministry Life Coaching" (my class) God has given me two fundamental sayings which are our platform for going forward.  We are "not in competition but we are into reproduction (making disciples)".   And the second fundamental saying truly tells us how we are able to accomplish that task.  "Our Spiritual Gifts are God's abilities given to us for His glory and to build His Kingdom."

To my Fort Mill Church of God peers and the Ministry Life Coaching group, friend's day is coming. Have you decided to help build His Kingdom?  Remember "there is strength in numbers!"  And to my blogger friends, how about you?  Are you busy building His Kingdom?
In His Service,
Linda J

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

This and another encouraging devotions can be read at Spiritual Sundays

Monday, October 8, 2012

Hide and Seek

Thoughts of my son, Michael and his youngest daughter danced into my mind this morning during my quiet time. Thoughts of how Rebecca would be downstairs with me and as soon as she heard Michael come in the kitchen door she would run into my bathroom to hide.  Making his way downstairs he would begin to say "where is Rebecca?"  Although she always hid in the same place, he would open other doors in his search for her.  As soon as his hand touched the bathroom door handle her laughter would begin.  With her ear-piercing screams of delight, she would run to receive his hugs and kisses.

There are periods in my life when I go eagerly into my prayer closet.  As I go it is as though every part of my being is crying out to be with God.  However during the dark unsure periods of my life I find myself hiding.  The prayer closet seems almost dangerous and certainly a place that guilt of being so unsure will have to be dealt with.

This morning as I thought of Rebecca's father playing the game with her, I realized like Rebecca though I hide I know my Father will come to seek and find me.  When He enters the room (my heart,) my every sense of being screams with the delight of a child being loved.

Just as Michael knew where his daughter hides so my Heavenly Father knows where this daughter hides.  Can we truly hide from God? Of course not!  Does God know of my guilty feelings and of my lack of faith?  Of course He does! Still He will come calling, "daughter, where are you?" 

Psalm 139:1-12 - NLT

O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.

Picture Credit: http://i286.photobucket.com/albums/ll118/Jacazza/Hide-N-Go-Seek.jpg

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

A Lot Like My Father

"You look a lot like your Father."  What strange words to hear as I was praying.  Still without a doubt these words echoed in my heart.  Even stranger I knew these words were not referring to my earthly father.  With both my mind and heart racing, I whispered "how could this be? Me, no way! I make so many mistakes as I try to love and serve you God, my Father."  Then I am reminded I am indeed His little girl....  

Do you remember trying to imitate your parents?  Without losing respect here, I must say I was not one who would want to look nor act like her earthly father. Still there are many generational traits that perhaps are obvious to my family, certainly more so before my coming to know Jesus as Savior. 
So how does one look like God, our Heavenly Father?  Paul, in 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) says it like this "So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord--who is the Spirit--makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."

As in 1 John 3:2 (GWT) I will say loud and clear, what I am to be isn't completely clear yet but I am thankful this morning that the Holy Spirit reminded me that I am to look like my Father!

"Dear friends, now we are God's children. What we will be isn't completely clear yet. We do know that when Christ appears we will be like him because we will see him as he is." 1 John 3:2

Friday, July 13, 2012

Slow and Steady

What was that turtle thinking, crawling, creeping across our wide dirt country driveway? Where was he going? And why did he have to move so slow?  Does he not know I am in a hurry?  

Then it hit me "slow and steady wins the race."  Like the movement of that small creature, I also find myself moving slowly in the direction that God has called me too.  

That turtle may have indeed been moving slowly in my standards but he was moving diligently toward his goal.  And guess what, he was moving the very pace God had planned for him!

How about you?  Are you moving slow and steady (diligently) toward your God given goals? Perhaps like me at times you feel like you are not only moving the speed of the turtle but not getting anywhere to boot.  However, nothing could be further from the truth...  We must just keep diligently moving!  Would you join with me in memorizing the scripture and praying the prayer below?

"The plans of the diligent lead to profit as surely as haste leads to poverty"  Proverbs 21:5

 Abba Father, according to your Word if we diligently follow the plans (dreams, visions) you have given us, they will lead to profit.  Let us not be too hasty and run ahead of You.  Teach us just as the turtle moves slow and steady, we too can profit in doing so.  So that we may indeed proclaim in the end "we have won the race, completed what you have asked of us."  

Check out other stories of hope at Spiritual Sundays

Saturday, February 11, 2012

True Love

Being a counselor at times offers unbelievable rewards. One of those rewards came my way this week as a client shared one of the most beautiful, touching stories I’ve heard. It was a story of love, not just any love but the LOVE of all loves, the love of our Abba Father.

Her story as I recall it: “As I set in church, the praise and worship was so great although I cannot recall the songs because I was lost in praise and prayer. With my eyes close I envisioned being at the feet of God praying, tears of joy flowing. Suddenly, the Lord’s hand reached down toward me as He whispered come daughter, here sit on my lap. As I crawled on His lap, He placed my head on His shoulder. Such peace and love I have never felt before.”

“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matt. 11:28

“I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Mark 10:15

Read other stories of love this week at Spiritual Sundays

Friday, February 10, 2012

Full of Promise

Who can take a nothing day

And suddenly make it all seem worthwhile
Why it's You, LORD and we should know it.... 

 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
                      Romans 12:12

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Where do we go from here, Lord?
The Lord replied, "where ever you will allow Me to lead you...."