LebBlog

LebBlog

Saturday, October 26, 2019

In 60 days!

In 60 days! No, it's not my birthday. In just about 2 months the world will celebrate Christmas. Some celebrate the Son others just the gifts.

Do you remember what you got last year for Christmas? Often in the hype of Christmas we begin to exchange gifts which is a great thing but toward the end of the season when we are exhausted and the shopping frenzy has come to a lull, we pick up whatever is on sale, wrap it and say, “ Merry Christmas.” Don’t be making those grins, we’ve all done it!

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

I'm thinking about all those gifts that we get and often shove them in the closet or maybe some of us re-gift them (oh…another grin).

What about the gifts that God has given us? Maybe that gift that he showed us awhile back and we kind of pushed it down and haven't used it. Are they stored deep down in the recesses of our hearts? Have you wondered if God would ever use you?

Let's think about this. He gave us the gift, and he expected us to use it. But what did we do? We shoved it deep down and put it away. He gives the gifts that we may be co-laborers with him in his Kingdom.

He says we all like salt!  Or we should be!

Unfortunately, sometimes we look at others and we say things like, “you are a good teacher” or
“I wish I could sing like that.” In those very statements we negate what he has already given us.

Sometimes we don't know what to do with the gift because it hasn't been cultivated. Perhaps we never even looked at it long enough to open it. We wonder if we would fail to use it properly . We allow fear to hinder us, but fear was never part of the package.

Who took this great gift and re-wrapped it? Who took this great tool that would develop us and equip us to do the work the Master has sent us out to do? It's as if the Grinch came took all the gifts, re-wrapped them under the covering of fear, disappointment, inadequacy, anxiety and it goes on and on.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:6b)

As I sat this morning reading his Word, I was reminded again of the calling he has given me. I know God has given me speaking gifts and the ability to teach. But I must cultivate the gift. God hands it to me and he says open it, use it and don’t be afraid!

The gift by itself would leave me a talking fool! Many can speak and many can write. The gifts that God gives are for the furtherance of his Kingdom and the equipping of the saints. He desires that we be a well-acquainted with his Word that is sharper than a two-edged sword.

I must wait on Him for his wisdom and revelation to bring His Word to life in me, first!

So, look. 
Look deep within and ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of the gifts that he has given you.

If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6b-8)

Jesus challenged those that were listening to him on the mountain, to be the salt of the earth. Salt is effective! Without it the human body dies. Without the gospel truth the soul shrivels and dies. It will continue to exist but forever be separated from God who loves us.

God the Father gave his Son Jesus as a gift to those he created in his image. Yet, without his insight, foresight and the leading of his Spirit we can’t see the need for this extravagant gift. A rebellious people wooed by his gentle Redemptive Spirit; He says, “come!”

This is the Gift that keeps on giving. Go sit with the Father, talk to him today and then be quiet long enough to listen. He is gentle, kind with clear directives to cause our lives to prosper in him. Unwrap his Word. Dust it off and dive into it.

No need to wait 60 days! Christmas arrived many years ago with a Gift for all! Will you receive it today?

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Taste & See!

On September 29th, most of you know I fell at church during a beautiful time of worship and
shattered my elbow. After an emergency visit, I was sent home in a cast.

My first encounter with the surgeon was that I needed elbow surgery. I heard the words, "full elbow replacement."  That same day I ended up at my primary physician who sent me for a second opinion at another surgeon's office. After seeing the surgeon that day he recommended that I go for an MRI followed up by another visit to a hand and arm specialist for a 3rd opinion.

I sought the Lord and he answered me; And he delivered me from all my fears. (v. 4)

The surgeon left me in the cast and sent me home. He said let's reconvene in a couple of weeks and see what it looks like. He said surgery was the last thing he wanted to do, to which I exclaimed Hallelujah!

The following week the cast felt so heavy that it was hindering my shoulder from movement, so I visited the doctor again. I asked if he could remove the cast. He bandaged my arm and told me to rest and to “baby” my elbow.

The poor man called, and the Lord heard him; and he saved him out of all his troubles. (v.6)

It's been 25 days since the accident. My friend Jessica took me to the doctor today. I've been praying and asking all my friends and family to continue to petition God for me for full recovery without surgery.

I will glory in the Lord let the afflicted here and rejoice. (v. 2)

The doctor took x-rays. He looked at me and his exact words were, “I don't know what it is about you.” I began to tell him and show him that I can lift my arms over my head but there were certain things that I still could not do. He was amazed at my progress. He kept smiling and kind of shaking his head.

I've had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 16 years old. The doctor said it's amazing that sometimes people with rheumatoid arthritis can recover so well.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. (v.5)

Well, this is my story! My God hears me when I call. He is my Healer who is putting me back together day by day. All I can say is, "rejoice with me for my God is Amazing!!"

For the last 25 days this is the Psalm that I have read, Psalm 34. I continued to praise God and God continued to remind me that he hears me and he is my Healer. Today I testify of God's goodness and his great mercy and grace that he has poured on my life. I am a worshipper of the most high God! There is no one like you Lord Jesus!

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (v.9-10)

Looking to Jesus for full recovery! Rejoice with me!

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

In Everything Give Thanks

Oh, what a glorious day! What does it mean to give thanks to God in everything? This Sunday after great worship service, we went into what I would call an overflow time of worship, and it was beautiful.

One of my members was leading worship and I went up to the platform to worship with her. Shortly after that others joined us and it became a glorious symphony of worship unto the Lord .

After about an hour I went to step down from the platform and in a blink of an eye I slipped and  flew two feet off the platform on to the sanctuary floor. It was like a slow motion dive except that there was no water.

Well to make a dramatic story short I was rushed to the hospital and they concluded that I shattered my elbow.

I want to go backwards instead of focusing on the ambulance trip and what happens to the flesh when it goes into trauma.  As we waited for the emergency personnel, I was surrounded by the church’s nursing team, my son and slew of others. “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5)

Do you know that nothing can happen to a child of God without God knowing about it? (John 15)
You see not only am I in him he's in me and nothing can happen to me without God almighty giving an "OK."  Scripture says that he knitted me together in my mother's womb and he knows all things, the end from the beginning. So, this fall may have taken me by surprise, but it did not surprise my Father in heaven.

So, as I waited for the EMTs to arrive I continued to worship the Lord, battle in the spirit and praise him with all my soul.

I’m not saying that I'm some superwoman and should receive accolades of how strong I am. I've had my moments of tears.  I’ve re-lived the moment several times in my head. But I will not blame God,  instead I will thank him for preserving the rest of my body from injury. It could have been worse. This mouth, this tongue, this soul will magnify the Lord.

I write to you today to ask you to pray and intercede on my behalf. We are called to bear each other's burdens and to petition the Father in glory for one another. I covet your prayers and will update you and testify of all that God is doing and will do. To God be the glory.

God Bless You!~Liz

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Aliens in Need of Change!

On such a beautiful day I decided to take a trip to an indoor mall. As I walked about, music was
playing in the background. I don’t go to the mall often and quite frankly never really notice music playing throughout this concrete city.

But, today not only did I notice the music, I also noted some of the lyrics. One song repeating over and over again, “I will never change”. I could not make out the rest of the lyrics. I shook my head, smiled, a cheeky gesture to myself. Lord, I’m glad I am not the same person I used to be. I’m thankful that you are not done with me yet. I am a broken mess and I do need a change!

As I continued to walk another song playing at an adjacent store caught my ear. “I feel like an alien.”

I’m like, “really?” Truly I have no idea what each writer had in mind and I don’t know the rest of the lyrics. This time I believed I giggled to myself.

After a few seconds, I began to agree with what I heard. I am an alien! 

Often when I’m in public I like to watch those around me. Often, I can see despair, pain, and a sense of need and brokenness. Not knowing what we really need we succumb to whatever this world has to offer.

But, the Word of God sings a different tune. It too speaks of pain, loss, and regret.  Its a people in need of change. We need a supernatural encounter!

The Bible reiterates the same story, the same theme from Genesis to Revelation. It speaks of the condition of our hearts, the core of our being. It describes the struggles we face and the illness that plagues us. Sin ravaging every part of who we are. But Jesus introduces a cure that indeed changes the essence of who we are. He is the remedy!

Once we were carefully intertwined with the Father. But Sin interrupted our relationship. Our disobedience broke the family.

Jesus calls and offers a way of escape from this broken corrupted flesh. As you read this Love Letter you can hear the Father call.

“Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul."  (1 Peter 2:11)

See this world beckons us to participate in all it has to offer. It desires to keep us from the Father, bound in every activity to alienate us from the Good, Good Father.

We indeed are a people that need to be changed. As a believer in The Resurrection and the Life, Jesus himself, I know that I am an alien. I am passing through, sojourning until God calls me home.

Therefore, lets peruse the streets but be ready to share the Good News! There is deliverance from this sinful state. We are aliens passing through. We are in need of change and Jesus is the answer!

“Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26)

"For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the [a]sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do." (Galatians 5:17 Amplified Bible)

God Bless You!~Liz

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

An Invasion of my Privacy

The thoughts of a man are known by God. The outside of a man is looked upon by others. It's easy to see perfection on the outside even when the heart of man might be troubled on the inside.

But God who is merciful allows the heart to stop beating if you will enough so that he could speak. Let the clamor and the noise of life stop.

In the mist of the silence we hear his voice. The tenderness yet authoritative instruction for us is to also look within and see the motive behind all our actions, thoughts, and even our pursuit of him. 

It's a great feeling to be on top of the mountain. Everything looks well. Everything feels good. 

But God knows how to invade my privacy!

Sometimes we don't even realize the error of our way, our complacency, or how we are slowly drifting. If the Lord does not intrude we will misrepresent him and find ourselves in disobedience.

No one likes to be confronted but I've learned when the Spirit of the Lord CHECKS ME, it is good. We look within but often through a lens that we ourselves have manufactured. The lens is skewed. We go along with it and agree with the report, “all is well.”

I know I have nothing to offer except brokenness and emptiness.

I'd like to say, "but Lord look what I have done." But there is no “I” in this adventure. I have been purchased, redeemed, and become one who inherits the blessings of my Father in heaven.

Like a Good Father he knows his children well. He knows what to give us and what to keep from us.

All I have is an empty jar, a vessel crafted by his very hands in need of filling. This invasion is for my own good. He speaks and asks me to sit, close the door and wait. He reveals the things that are deeply hidden in my heart. He points them out and then asks if he could remove them.

In the struggle to keep the gates of my heart closed to keep my privacy to myself, he reminds me that he knows me well. Apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15)

I state my brokenness. I have nothing to offer. As I sit and meditate on his Good Name, he unveils the troubles in my heart. It's always an exchange, the brokenness for the refilling by his Spirit.

The intrusion is welcomed like a good surgeon invading a rotten wound to bring life again. Removing the diseased tissue and digging deep allows for healing to come.

”Rising to the surface of my heart came those little unspoken attitudes and thoughts that had passed by unnoticed and which I saw had offended the heart of God .” (“The Undone Worshiper” by Matt Redman)

Here is my heart God. Your daughter, one who worships you, one who desires to continue to mature, one who has been purchased by the blood of your son Jesus, one who gives you permission to intrude, search me out Lord and see if there be any wicked way in me. (Psalm 139)

Restoration can only come when I acknowledge I’m in need of renewal. Bring my heart back to its proper place. Restore in me a clean heart Oh God.

Sometimes we think that it's a major sin in our lives that keep us distant from God. But, it is a slow transition of power we give up that creates a wandering. Unless God himself intrudes it would leave us drifting away from his presence.

God bless you!~Liz

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Mercy & Kindness | I Stop for Chihuahuas!

Who said life is boring?

After a long day at church, glorious mind you, I began to drive home about 2:30 in the afternoon. I was tired and hungry.

I’m driving through back roads to avoid traffic. I come to a stop sign to cross a very busy road. The road in front of me is a hill and before I had an opportunity to cross this main intersection something caught my eye.

There are two chihuahuas running down the hill. This sounds like the beginning of a bad joke but trust me it was no funny matter.

One was wearing a green harness and the other a red one. It was as if two horses were racing down the hill. Sadly, they were heading right into oncoming traffic.

So, what do I do? What does anyone do who wants to save lives, man or beast? I put my car on park and began to wave down traffic. Cars from all four direction began to stop. These two tiny dogs, no bigger than my cat are playing in the middle of the road. The owner nowhere to be found!

A friend of mine that was a couple of cars behind me was wondering what the car pileup was? He recognized me in the middle of the road and he also joined the frenzy to try to stop these dogs from getting killed!

The entire time I am praying, “Lord please don’t let them get killed!” At one point I found myself squatting in the middle of Route 17M to coax this tiny creature to safety, but to no avail.

There were about 6 people that I could count trying to get this creatures to safety. One lady had a leash and was trying to grab him. One gentleman in a convertible opened his driver’s door and the dog jumped in. That was our opportunity to restrain him. The lady with the leash secured this tiny ball of hair while the man in the convertible held the dog by his chest. This little creature in his excitement and confusion bit the lady with the leash in the bizarre frenzy. No stitches I believe.

I volunteered and insisted that I would find the owner. The dog was placed in my car after a 15-minute ordeal on this busy road.

The second chihuahua was nowhere to be found. I was determined to find its owner.

Lord knows I could not bring a dog home to my four cats!

So how does the story end? How good is God!! I drove up the road slowly praying and hoping to encounter the other dog. I found the dog walking with its owner. She looked like she was searching for something. Most likely the little runt I had in my car.

I stopped and asked her if she was missing anything. She said, “yes.” I returned her dog alive and well. I was so thankful to God that blood was not spilled on that road today.

Who says life is boring?

Praise God the story ended well.

Total strangers on a busy road. Stopping traffic to save the lives of two little creatures.

How much more did God already do for us? He was willing to get in the middle of our sinful lives; visit us and walk with men. He purchased salvation at the cost of his own life; spilling his own blood for the redemption of mankind.

This story ends well too! On the third day he rose from the dead! He offers this gift of life and reconciliation, an expression of his grace to who so ever will receive it.

He placed himself in harms way to save you and I!

The gift is free. The cost was his blood!

Praise the Living God who reigns forever and ever! Amen

"Do not let mercy and kindness and truth leave you [instead let these qualities define you];
Bind them [securely] around your neck, Write them on the tablet of your heart."
Proverbs 3:3

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Urgent Care

Three o'clock in the morning and I'm still tossing and turning. It's not that I just can't sleep, but I am finding it difficult to breath deeply. In addition my chest feels heavy.

I've been here before. Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) has a way of appearing in the middle of the night without any special announcements.

I believe this is the issue so I get up early and call my doctor. First the operator encourages me to get medical attention by going to Urgent Care. All she heard was heaviness in the chest and difficult breathing. I assured her that this was most likely an RA issue. She continues to stress that I should hang up and go to an Urgent Care. We hang up. About 20 minutes later my doctor calls me. He has seen me in this condition before. But to my surprise he remarks, "no messing around with Prednisone, get yourself to a cardiologist ASAP!" He said, let's out-rule any issues with the heart.

Scripture likewise encourages us to examine ourselves and to guard our hearts. Heart issues can surface at any time without warning. Often, we bury emotions, pain and different matters and never go back to resolve them. We might find ourselves easily aggravated or having small scenarios become exasperated quickly all because our heart is off beat.

The Lord wants to get to the root of the issue so that we can become free & healthy in our thinking, emotions and just enjoy this beautiful life he has given us.  Whether its confrontation and resolutions we have avoided, God's Holy Spirit come along side us to settle the matter.  We don't have to be afraid.  We do however have to bring restoration for PEACE to continue to flourish.

So, I get to the Cardiologist and though he is aware of the RA disease that has destroyed many of my joints, he too pushes past the "obvious" and begins to conduct several studies. EKG, check! Heart sonogram, check!

The consensus is that if the heart has an issue, then RA flareups are now secondary. Well, praise the Lord, all test came back and I passed!! The last test, chest x-rays which actually checks the chest cavity and lung surroundings is pending. I'm looking forward to a good report. I took some medication to reduce inflammation and it has proven effective, praise God!

Check the heart first! "Above all else, guard your hear, for everything you do flows from it." (Proverbs 4:23)

I was reminded again today that the heart is key to life, both physical and spiritual. Let's guard it and saturated it in the Word of God. He can keep it healthy and strong! Then, as life's situations come knocking, we will be better equipped to address them.

God knows how to get past the "obvious" and go deep to resolve what troubles us.

I've committed my heart and soul to the Lord.
Examine me Lord and heal anything that may be causing arrhythmia.  

God bless you!~Liz