Thursday, September 7, 2023

A Little Change

Yesterday I spent the entire day with my dad and my sister. As we get older it's harder to care for ourselves and we need help. Sometimes we welcome it and sometimes we don't.

When I was young, living at home with my parents, I remember waking up early in the morning and tiptoeing into my parents room grabbing my dad's pant and checking his pockets for loose change. I would travel to school on the train and it was always important to have money in the event I needed to make a call. Yeah, in those days we used phones that were actually attached to a pole and you had to put real coins in it. 

One dollar worth of coins would enable me to get a snack at the local "bodega", make a phone call and maybe still come home with spare change. In those days a dollar would take you a long way.

This memory came to me yesterday while I was visiting my 82-year-old dad. I parked my car in New Jersey and realized I had to feed the parking meter. In today's world I barely carry any currency that does not come in the form of plastic. So, what did I do? Well, I didn't check my dad's pocket but I did ask him for coins for the meter. As he went to his little jar and poured out $2.00 worth of quarters for me it was like I was a little girl again dependent on my dad.

As time changes it's my dad that is dependent on my sister and I now. Getting old has challenges. For the most part my dad is healthy and in his right mind and for that I'm thankful to the Lord. He has taught us many things. He is a man of integrity. He raised a good family and now it's our turn to take care of him. Every decision we make is not always an easy one.

The Bible says that in the council of many there is wisdom. (Proverbs 15:22)

Suffice it to say it was a good day. A long day but nevertheless successful. We made some decisions and then we changed them again. He is content.

If you are reading this today and still have your parents this is my two-cents worth of council to you. Seek the Lord he is available. Sometimes we think we know all the answers, but that job belongs to the Lord. Listen to those that have gone before us. Parents are a gift. If your parents are still alive hold on to them tightly.

The roles change. They took care of us and now we take care of them. The challenge is we also are getting older. We may not always have the energy that a caregiver needs. All the Lord requires is that we do our best. Let's honor our parents and we will also honor the Lord!

"Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the LORD." (Leviticus 19:32)

“Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12)

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, August 31, 2023

RoboVac Prayers

In the book of Matthew there is a story about Jesus speaking to the people. God wants the heart. There is an intimacy that he wants with me.

I've been serving the Lord since my 20s. I remember when I encountered him, he made known to me my sin, restored me and called me his own. I had been walking aimlessly through life. I did not really know it. Truly if you asked me if I knew the Lord, I would have said yes. I did not know my sin.  He showed me how much he loved me and that he wanted me for himself. 

Sometimes we go around life just doing stuff without any real purpose and more importantly in the absence of joy.

Last Christmas I received a gift from my husband. It was something that I chose.

So, what did he get me, you ask? Well, he got me a RoboVac.  No laughing. He's not trying to get me to clean. I keep I neat home, but I could always use more help.

So, we unpacked this robot. I downloaded the app. I even instructed Google how to command it to vacuum.

Well, was it worth it?

The RoboVac does work! 

It’s interesting how the Spirit of the Lord speaks.  He’ll use any circumstance or object lesson to get to us.  As I was having my coffee, God showed me in a practical way what he meant when he spoke about ”babbling like pagans” when it comes to prayer.


In the book of Matthew, the Lord is instructing the people how to pray, how to help the needy and give to others. He was encouraging us not to look for applause for doing what we are supposed to do.
Pride usually whispers, “What’s in it for me?”

He wants authentic, raw prayers. Remember, he wants a relationship with us, not just religious acts.

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.  And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.” (Matthew 6:6-8)

My RoboVac is doing a great job. But it's still missing some areas that have dirt. When I use the manual vacuum I can get to areas where this automatic robot is missing.

I'm vacuuming with intention.

Sometimes when I pray, I may be in a rush, so I just spew out a list of things I want God to do for me. First of all, we just read that God already knows what I need. Yet, I proceed with my list.

Sometimes my prayer life can be just like my RoboVac.  Oh, I am praying but I'm so robotic I wonder if I'm even getting God's attention.  Babbling is what the Lord calls it.

When I purposely sit to hear the heartbeat of the Father, the Bible says he inclines his ear to me. He's listening and he wants me to hear my heart's desires. The intention must be to hear from God.

God is not a genie, and I should not behave like a robot.

Sometimes I justify my rush, rush prayer to the fact that life is busy.

Wow, Jesus who walked in the flesh, having an assignment from God to rescue us from this fallen world, took time to pray and to be still before God, to hear his instructions, to be edified and strengthened in his quiet time with his Father.

I must do the same.

The RoboVac has a pattern that it follows.  It goes up and down in linear lines to do its cleaning.

According to Matthew, the Lord has a map for me to follow as well. I must remember how to honor him. Yes, I can ask him for anything, he is my Father! What the Father wants is my heart.  Open and bare before him.

Outside of the routine and mundane we find the ever-flowing Spirit of the Lord that wants to meet with us and guide us. 

Unplug from the robotics and allow the Holy Spirit to lead. 

I must pray with intention.

It’s better to be an open book and let the Lord see all the dirt then to try to impress a God who already knows my weakness and brokenness. 

Lord sweep over me. This is me Lord and you know me well. 

Talk to the Father he is waiting.

God bless you!~Liz

Saturday, April 15, 2023

If you play with fire you're bound to get burned.

If you play with fire you're bound to get burned.

I remember hearing that phrase even growing up as a little child.

Really? Who would want to play with fire?

This idiom is a warning against folly. It's a red flag for dangerous and unsafe acts or behaviors that can lead to pain and injury.

This week the news reported the warning that it was Red Flag week. What does that mean? It means that the conditions outside are conducive for spontaneous fires. It won’t take much to start a fire. The humidity levels are low and often winds can promote fires that can engulf acres of land.

These fires don't apologize or give warning to anything in its way. It will consume the dilapidated house along with the mansion down the road.

Yesterday evening I received photos from a friend. The images depicted the danger of the flames running rapidly through a local neighborhood.

As I stared at the photo it was so surreal. I could see the danger, but the image was so captivating.

As I spoke with my friend the Lord impressed me, that's exactly what happens when my children are very close to sin.

It's a captivating time. Often, we will reason that “we can handle it.” We say things like “I know what I'm doing.”

We are convinced we have a grasp on our situations, environments, troubles, marriage, gambling, drinking, drugs, and on and on it goes.

Something even less subtle is when we pull back from gathering with the Saints. The Lord has made it clear that we are not to forsake coming together.

Sunday, the first day of the week, is an opportunity for us to gather, worship the Lord, giving him thanks for who he is. Praising him for protecting us from darkness that was unbeknownst to us.

The fire is neighboring us. Sometimes we see the smoke. The danger is when we are captivated and drawn in. Wake up! Sin visits us all. It tempted Jesus in the desert. Jesus, the Word overcame him with the Truth!

We need our safe net! We are not strong enough to fight without the Helper! The safe net is prayer, touching and agreeing with someone before we become attracted and fall. Run! Run! Sin is crouching at the door waiting to see who will open it. (Genesis 4:6-8)

Water is what is needed to quench this wild fire. Fire departments will fight this on foot and from the air. The fire must die. Fire lines are created to break and stop the flames from this destructive path. If left alone it will continue to burn and destroy everything.

The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit himself is our Counselor and will warn us even before we see the smoke. He will direct us. He will use others to warn us. God will cause a donkey to speak just to save us from the threat.

God himself that will draw the fire lines so that sin won’t be entertained and cause our fall.

We need to resist the pull of sin from every angle. Physically we remove ourselves from the path of temptation. Spiritually we call on the One that is our Helper. He will make a way of escape for us. Follow Him. He knows how to get us out of the fire before we get burned.

Look around. If the landscape is changing perhaps, it’s because the flames are coming. God sees it is all. The warning has come. Run!

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Good Diet

How miraculous!  God provides fresh food daily for his people. He still does that today! When we open his Word daily, he is speaking life to us.  It’s nourishment to us, his people.

But what happens when we skip a day?  Ok, let’s say two days.  Life gets busy so now it's three days.  We did not realize that life’s complexities were going to send us in a direction that was not on our calendar.  Now what?  Did you eat?  What will keep us going?  Where is the spiritual nutrition he has so aptly given -  that we have neglected to eat?

We thought that yesterday’s bread would be sufficient. 

We are depleted. We are sluggish and our spiritual vitality is being hindered by the lack of the “Good Diet”.

Run!  Go back to the table of the Lord. 

Do you see it?  It’s a beautiful spread of sustenance that will keep us alert and healthy.

Come, sit at the table. 

Manna is daily.  Yesterday is gone.  God has something GOOD for us today.

Sit, eat and note his presence is with us.

He gives us His Word for our lifetime. 

God bless you!~Liz


Friday, November 18, 2022

Get Up!

Have you called on Jesus? He told the paralytic man who had been sick for 38 years, to get up and to walk.

Sometimes life’s opposition, whether it's sickness of the physical body, anxiety, depression or just the unfamiliar walkway we're traveling, ­- it seems like it will never change!

We are stuck in familiarity when God wants to do something new!

When I read this story and I hear the man was sick for 38 years, the assumption is that this man was sick his whole life. But what if he was older than 38 years old and maybe at one point he was well and then he got sick? What if he just wanted to return back to wholeness and health? Perhaps a heart of sorrow was reaching out to the only one who could restore him?

Jesus later encounters him and tells him to stop sinning unless something worse happens. Not all sickness comes from sinning against the Lord. This is a fallen world. 

One thing I do know is that God is merciful and gracious. He is able to heal, restore, redirect, bring life to the dead and redemption to the lost.

So, GET UP.  Go to the Master - to the Healer -  to the Savior  – He knows how to RESTORE!

"When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath." John 5:6-9

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, September 19, 2022

The Cycle

It's a crisp morning. 
There are leaves all over the backyard. 
My feet crush them as I stroll about my deck making that beautiful brittle crunch announcing that Fall is coming.

All I hear are the sounds of God's creation. Birds chirping in the background, squirrels running up and down the tree trying to store some food for the upcoming season. The chipmunks stop when they see me hoping I don't see them as they scurry about the piles of leaves and branches.

This is one of my favorite times of year. Once again, the cycle begins.

Hopefully you remember when you were young, and you learned to ride a bike and the freedom that you gained. For me that freedom was about half a block in the Bronx but nevertheless in my mind it was a highway. No matter how many times I rode back and forth it was an adventure! I imagined I was on a freeway. In my imagination I would stop to pay the toll. Yes, this was way before E-Z pass! So much fun. The imagination of a child, how exciting.

Fast forward a few decades and I’m still going around in circles. The landscape has grown and changed. This is life. There are cycles that we go through. But, can I learn from theses journeys?

The Bible speaks about the Israelites and their travels. Our great God chose them, revealed himself to them, explained to them what pleased Him and what would be best for them in this adventure of life.

Today he is still intercepting our travels to reveal himself to us. Have you seen Him? Have you recognized his whispers as you travel? Have you marveled at his creation that he made just for us?

This morning the Lord reminded me of life cycles. Yes, we have seasons that cause our landscape to change. I'm amazed at how trees are stripped, perhaps even commanded to let go of their leaves. It seems like death. But give it some time and the seasons will change again and you'll see life spring up.

A young girl. Riding my bike back and forth noticing new things without a care in the world. I could see friends waving at me. Even the wind visited me causing resistance as I pedaled. Pebbles often appeared that I missed the first time causing a bump on the road encouraging me to hold on just a little tighter.

The sun is about to go down and dusk will arrive. I recognize his walk, I recognize his stride. It was my father arriving home. My day’s adventure was about to close. Dinner will be served and soon a new day would begin along with new adventures.

What cycle are you in today? Are you struggling with belief? Has doubt come to visit and its trying to shake you from your foundation? Has discouragement arrived? They may be real, but they're just pebbles on the road. Hold on tight, stay focused. Lift your head and look forward. 

Do you see him? Do you recognize him? Yes, it's your Father. He wants to sit and have dinner with you. You will share your day and he will once again give us direction. He has the Map for Life. He covers us with his love. He'll encourage you and remind you today is about to end. He gives sweet sleep to his children.

A new day will arise and he will go before you. There are cycles in life. Seasons change.

God is with us. Lean in. Listen and hear his heartbeat for you! He has sent us a Helper. Yes, he has been there all along. It's a tandem bike and he has chosen to let us ride with Him!

Share the adventure! 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Blessing is in the Chicken Aisle

I usually do my grocery shopping online. But today I actually walked into the supermarket.

Have you ever had the Lord whisper something to you in the most peculiar places? Well today it happened to me when I was in the chicken aisle at ShopRite.

I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few items and then began to browse. Once again, the sticker price on meat alone shocked me. The prices on chicken legs took me to the Old Testament of the Bible. Yes, right in the chicken aisle.

2 Kings speaks of a famine in Samaria where a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels. Every time I read that scripture, I can envision a donkey's head and it surely does not seem appetizing to me. But in the midst of a famine, it sold for 80 shekels.

“There was a great famine in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels.” (2 Kings 6:25)

Please don't misunderstand me.  I'm not saying we're in a famine but for some it may feel that way. Times are difficult.

So, what did the Lord minister to me? It was a word of hope and encouragement.

Hope a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
Encouragement the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope. (Oxford Dictionary)

I began to think of how many may be struggling even to put one meal on the table for their family. It might be a family member, a friend, a neighbor, maybe even our enemy.

I personally don't like to waste food. Yet, sometimes I find myself doing exactly that. Perhaps I made too much of something and after a couple of days it is discarded.

I’ve learned when I cook, I immediately wrap whatever is leftover and try to give it to someone. It might be something as simple as my son's favorite meal so I drop it off to him. My heart is encouraged to know that my son enjoyed the meal I made. There was no extra effort involved, it was leftovers.

Do you know someone who might be blessed by a meal? We can become chefs in the kitchen where a bag of potatoes and a few pieces of chicken can be transformed into a message of hope and encouragement. Literally the hands and feet of Jesus!

It's interesting sometimes we think a person has to be in a financial need for us to share a meal. 
Sharing meals in the Bible was just part of life.

We have cocooned ourselves. What are we afraid of? When did we stop living? We are a gregarious people.  That's how we share the love of God!

I recall being a young girl watching my mom in our Bronx kitchen make coffee. Brewing Bustelo and filling the air with its aroma. The scent would travel to the upper floor of our city building where our neighbor lived. In no time at all, Anna the neighbor would come down for a cup of coffee. Sometimes my mom would send me on a coffee run and I would be the messenger of blessing. The gift doesn’t have to be lavish. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money. The blessing of this exchange is still producing fruit to this day. 

Yes, in the chicken aisle at ShopRite the Lord told me to write this message. Share it with your friends. Encourage them from their bounty to bless someone today. We don't have to wait for someone to be sick or in need before the blessing begins.

Hope a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Encouragement the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope. We can do both today!

My heart has been encouraged many times. I've had friends drop off meals, soup, fresh corn, pasteles, coffee and on and on it goes. No, I wasn't sick or in need for every delivery. It was just a kind gesture that made my heart glad.

At the end of the Bible story, the prophet Elisha appears on the scene. “Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” (2 Kings 7:1) 
The man of God was correct and the famine broke.

There is a lot we can do to serve others. Sometimes we just need a reminder even if it's in the chicken aisle at ShopRite.

May the Lord use you to bless someone unexpectant. Amazingly the reward will be yours.

To God be the Glory.

“May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

God bless you~Liz

A Little Change

Yesterday I spent the entire day with my dad and my sister. As we get older it's harder to care for ourselves and we need help. Sometime...