Leb Blog

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Rescue

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that
person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted." (Galatians 6:1)

I watched a video today about an dog in a very dangerous predicament.  Using a simple tool 3 brave boys begin to address the situation.

A dog wrapped in a vise-grip position by a huge snake.  The boys begin the rescue.  

I often see every day situations as spiritual lessons.  

How quickly would we go to get someone out of harms way?  Some of us would run into oncoming traffic if we saw a helpless toddler in the middle of the road.  Well, that actually recently happened and it was on the news.

We often see people jumping into rivers to save others without a concern that they themselves might loose their lives.  Advocates speak up for those who can not speak for themselves.  Every day Samaritans at the rescue of the helpless.

These are quick rescues without any regard for our own safety because others, strangers are in a life or death situation.   

When sin has tangled someone we love, do we run with the same tenacity? Do we seek ways to rescue those we love from spiritual dangers?

A snake wrapped around a helpless dog.  Three boys to the rescue and indeed free this animal.  How refreshing!  

I'm reminded of the three Hebrew boys that refused to bow down to a false idol.  Throw them in the furnace but they refused to turn their backs on the God of all creation!  And their God rescued them!

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted." (Galatians 6:1)

We are to stay close to our God who fortifies us and leads us daily.  Help us Lord to gently restore those being led astray.  Give us wisdom and the resolve to help those being dragged away by sin.

God bless you!~Liz


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Jesus Loves Me This I Know

"But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Luke 18:16 )

The simplicity of the Gospel.  This Sunday on my way home from church my 9 year old niece, Meyli began to tell me what she learned in Sunday school.  She told me the story of Saul who became Paul after God stopped him with a loud noise; spoke to him and asked him, "what are you doing?"

She continued to tell me that Saul was killing Christians and after Jesus spoke to him he became blind.  He had to go to Ananias so that he could be "fixed." Love it!

I listened intently as she continued.  She said, "then Saul got a new name.  His name is Paul.  Now he loves God and tells everyone about Jesus."  Then she said, "I love God too!"

I took the opportunity to talk about the Lord. I asked her if she wanted to know God too.  I told her Jesus loved her and very simply explained that he "fixes" us when we are in trouble too.  This was no long drawn-out theological explanation or sermon, just the simplicity of our need for Jesus and his love for us.

I asked her if she wanted to pray and ask Jesus to come inside her heart just like Paul.  She said, "yes!" I told her that it was important that she prayed because it was her request to Jesus.  I said, "prayer is just talking to God."

She said something like this, "Jesus I love you and I want you to live in my heart.  Thank you for listening to me.  Help me learn about you. Help me do well in school. Amen."  I said, "amen".

I told her to remember this day, Sept. 30th.  Jesus has heard you.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  You belong to Jesus.  Afterwards, she said that she wanted to speak to her little sister, so she could know Jesus too.  My little evangelist!

It's simple. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so! I'm broken and he can fix me!

I'm in the process of mailing her a children's Bible.

A shout out to the Orange County Gospel Fellowship Children's Ministry, "YOU ROCK!"  Thank you Brigid Callahan for sharing the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Interestingly, I gave my life to the Lord when my Niece, her mother was born almost 30 years ago.  This Sunday I had the privilege of praying with her daughter to do the same.  Isn't God Marvelous!

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Grip

Sometimes life feels like we are on the last thread of hope and soon we will be left alone. The whispers say that God has abandoned us and no longer will he help us. Our own eyes deceive us as we look for aid. They are marked with sorrow and dark circles are imprinted as evidence. Sleep eludes us.

The troubles of this world have overshadowed the truth of God. The world shouts, “hang on!” We want to believe them but as we look around the difficulties of life pile on.

What are we hanging on to? Are we linked with the confidence that the world speaks off? Is the foundation we stand on built by man? Have we succumbed to their ways? Have we shouted like in the days of old, “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:19b-20)

Have we rebelled against God and then watch the effects of our choices all around us? Come back!

Cry out like David, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7)

It’s the extended hand of Jesus we must cling to. Listen as the Lord speaks to Peter. “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27) Peter focuses on the Lord and his perspective changed. In the middle of the water’s roar there is a stillness as the world is shut out and Peter is in the hands of the Master.

It’s that peaceful and fruitful place we want to be in but sadly our focus is often interrupted by the wind and fear that whispers that we are going to drown.

The Lord recognized that it was doubt that propelled Peter to lose his footing.

Run and escape to a quiet place with Jesus. Pour out your heart and reaffirm your own soul that only in Christ is there true rest. Depend on him and regardless of what is happening insist on staying in his grip, in his presence. “Yes, my soul find rest in God.” (Psalm 62:5-8)

Holding on to the last thread. Will it break? Fear not, did you not see his hands opened beneath you!

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8)

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, September 21, 2018

I stand in Awe!

“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2b)

We’ve heard this testimony often. The courage of the paralyzed man’s friends. The interruption as Jesus was speaking. The mess created in the house as the ceiling is torn open and the teachers of the law are saying that Jesus is a blasphemer.

What about the paralyzed man himself? Why did he not speak? The Scriptures does not record him saying a word to the Lord. Why?

Was he afraid to speak? Was he confident that the Lord would have mercy on him?

What went through his mind when Jesus said, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”?

Do you think that for a moment he wondered, “I came here to be healed not forgiven?” Did he recognize the sin in his own life? The Word does not elaborate on all that transpired. It does not illuminate the condition of this desperate soul.

When the Lord calls we know that we have encountered something inexpressible.

Often the wrestling for us is with our sin. We encounter Jesus and he tells us we are forgiven by the finished work of the cross. Like me, I have asked him to heal me of disease. Jesus can, he has and he continues to do so.

God created mankind in his image, the world, everything we see, and he was pleased. When temptation came, and mankind fell everything changed drastically. Sin landscaped the world and sickness ravished our perfect bodies. Sickness was introduced to the perfect world along with all kinds of evil and spiritual death. Physical death would also follow.

Sometimes we miss the correlation of sickness and sin. Not every sickness is a result of sin. After all,we do live in a fallen world. In this story of the nameless paralytic man we get some insight on the condition of the heart.

I wonder if this paralytic man understood this? When Jesus said, “your sins are forgiven”, what did this mean? Did it mean restitution? Did the paralytic man reason that today there would be wholeness in him? It was not a reward for the sick man but a gift from the Healer and Deliverer himself, the Savior of the World. Jesus was announcing that he was the only one who could forgive sin. No wonder the teachers of the law were angry.

When the teachers of the law saw this miracle that meant that a “heart check” was imminent for them!

No talking. No defending oneself. No excuses. Yes, Lord I am a sinner.

The gavel sounded, and it was in our favor. It’s for “whoever believes”.

I wondered if his silence was just a form of worship and awe. The paralytic man came in broken, a diseased sinner separated from God and left healed spiritually and physically.

The woman with the issue of blood, she said to herself, “If only I could touch his cloak, I will be healed.” No words. She hears, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” (Matthew 9:22)

God is not contained in the ark, the tabernacle, the church or anything made by man. He desires to live within each one who confesses his need and depravity. He desires to dwell in us; he knows our need. God dwells outside of any box we have falsely imagined. He has come to forgive sin and heal us. He is Healer and the Savior of the world bringing restoration to our soul and our bodies.

“Be still and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46:10a)

Sometimes a quiet heart is an act of worship. It allows us to listen to the song of grace and mercy being sung over us. He loves us. In reply we worship him in spirit and in truth. Thank you, Jesus!

God bless you!~Liz


Friday, September 7, 2018

Has He Been Good to You?

I got up early this morning waiting for some workers to fix by roof.  Well they did not come today, they are scheduled for next week.

I've been on the phone with my insurance company sorting our some details that needed to be corrected. 

As I was getting ready to pay some bills, the Lord reminded me that I had not yet opened His Word this morning. 

So, here I am with his Book opened. I'm reading through Psalm 103.

I enjoy writing in my Bible.  I note dates where the Word of God was specific for something I was going through.  I jot down different word translations and also praise language that reflect my heart of gratitude toward my Maker.

Today, in the margin of Psalm 103 it read June 2010.  I said, "wow, has it been that long since I made that note?"  I began to fan the pages of this Bible and I read that I gifted this Bible to myself in 2008.  That's 10 years ago, one decade!  Time passes by quickly.

One of the reasons I like writing in my Bible is that I handle this book a lot.  Therefore, as I read and run the pages through my fingers it is a testimony to me of all that the Lord has done for me and my household.

My desire is that as this book would continue to get worn out that my body would continue to be healed and transformed by the very Word of God that I hold in my hands. 

This Book holds promises that I have seen come to pass and encouragement that sustain me even today.

God is always speaking to us.  I am so thankful for the many pages of affirmation, conviction and even transformation occurring in me.

He left me this Book so I would know that he is the Savior of the World.  He indeed forgives sin and restores broken lives.

As life continues, my wish is that future generations, my grandchildren would also have their own worn out Bible. I hope that they would be able to read through my spent, worn-out book with notes that I jotted down during my lifetime giving God glory and praise for his goodness. 

I want generations to come to know that God is the same yesterday, today and for all our tomorrows. 

He speaks life and I need it.

He whispers that he loves me and I want it.

He points me to a day when He will return and I await it.

"Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—
who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s." (Psalm 103:1-5)

So, I will glue it, tape it up and preserve this family heirloom for my grandchildren to come.
There have been other Bibles that I have owned.  But this is the one to be passed on.

What does your Bible say about you?

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, August 27, 2018

Indeed Only One

Are you getting the alerts sent to you? Are your security settings up-to-date?

At the click of a button, reminders can flood you from every possible avenue you can think off. 

What’s today’s weather? How many steps did I take today? Did my bank balance drop to a dangerous low? Pick up the groceries. Oh, my manicure is due today. I almost forgot, I have a date night with my husband tonight! And on and on it goes!

All this controlled by apps and the proper settings on our “mobile brain”, I meant mobile phone.

Life is so busy that we need reminders to get things done.

Before mobile phones and clever reminder apps, life seemed simpler. Advertisements promised that we would have more time. It seems to me I have less time. The same 24 hours is now crowded by nagging beeps throughout the day reminding me of all things I did NOT do!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

No matter how many times we read this verse, if we are not careful we fall back into the busyness of life.

The interesting thing is that we often choose to make our lives busy. Not every party invitation requires a yes. The world won’t stop spinning if we leave the dishes in the sink and rest.

Toddlers seem to be happy playing with a cardboard box and a ball. Why are their rooms cluttered with toys they barely use? Which by the way requires more cleaning time.

We drive to the sports game and then rush through some fast food restaurant and feed the family. We grab a cup of coffee to stay awake as we drive home. We arrive, sleep and it begins again with a BEEP! Yep, another reminder. Get up its about to begin again. Oh, and this is just Saturday!

Where is the simplicity of life?

Beeps, alarms, clutter, and stuff all competing for our time while Jesus waits for us to sit and talk.

Is there a reminder to sit with Jesus on our phone?

Does the phone remind us to pray?

Do we have the proper settings in place to commune with God?

Life is pulling at us and requesting our attention. It desires our time which is limited with allotted days.

I don’t have the answer to life’s busyness because I too have been trapped at times. This I have learned.

Set time to sit with Jesus. Read the Word which imparts wisdom. Being refreshed in God’s presence helps me realign my priorities.

Learn to snip away time slots to talk to God. Yes, if it requires us to schedule it in, then let’s do it! This is one reminder I want and a task I want to complete.

Is the Holy Spirit sending you alerts? We must listen and secure our time with Him.

We need reminders to REST. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Beep, Beep…this is your reminder today. Sit. He is waiting for you.
This alert brought to you by "Be Inspired!"

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, August 20, 2018

Go Deeper!

Go Deeper
“And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.”
(John 20:5)

This is the account of the disciple that arrived at the tomb to confirm the story Mary Magdalene was sharing. His eagerness to decipher the story Mary was telling caused him to run fast. He arrived, His eyes saw and then he stopped. Why didn’t he go in?

As a student of the Word of God I know that I just can’t read the Word, close the Bible and walk away. The Lord wants to open my eyes and cause my ears to hear more than what my physical body is telling me through my senses.

Peter arrives at the tomb and he looks, but then, “went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.”

God requires us to go closer and to discover a deeper revelation. Peter walked into the tomb. He did not know all that was happening, but his desire was to go deeper.

It’s the gift within the box, that’s within a box, within another box. The discovery of the precious stone in the tiny box is the giver’s treasure to his bride to be. She always knew that he loved her but her small quest discovered the treasure that revealed his heart in a profound way. “Will you be mine?”

The details are overlooked if we only look on the surface. The revelation of God is there for the asking. Ask the Lord to show you his heart and we’ll discover that the Good News is for the Jew and Gentile. We’ll discover that the gift of eternal life is the result of the One man’s obedience to go to the cross.

The thief on the cross choose not to heckle Jesus but to listen carefully to the words being spoken. His heart was drawn to Jesus and discovered that eternal life was his, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

Wisdom comes from God. (Proverbs 2:6)

The fruit of the Spirit is given and developed through God. The struggles of life can produce patience as we go deeper into the Word. Love can be discovered as we love the “unloveable”, those we think don’t deserve our love. We discover God’s faithfulness when in the midst of trials, we continue to call on his name day and night. We learn not only God’s faithfulness but also that the Lord has been teaching us to remain faithful in him!

So, don’t just bend down and look into the tomb where dead thinks lie. Walk in and discover that the One who was raised from the dead is still resurrecting life all around us. He is no longer there! Let’s go deeper! Open the box that’s in the box, that’s in the box and discover the Love of the Bridegroom. The treasure is you!

God Bless You!~Liz