Leb Blog

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Story of the Table

“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud
And your sins like a heavy mist.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22 (AMP)

The table had been around for a very long time. Built by skilled hands, a Craftsman in his own right; the table looked beautiful!

All finished, he brushes his hand over the top and he is pleased with his work.

As time passed, the color began to change. Memories of the first stain is forever embedded in the wood.

While distracted and not focusing there was spillage that changed the surface. It would never look the same again. It was marred but nevertheless the table stood upright.

Throughout the years there were carvings on it, scars from the years of its life. Nevertheless, the table stood.

If you look closely you can even see the years of wear and tear ingrained in the wood. Times of laughter and tears of sadness all recorded by the table.

The wedding is coming, and we need a table. We can't possibly use this old, beat-up thing! This is a wedding for royalty. We need elegance and beauty not old and blemished.

The Servant arrives. He is gentle and skilled with his hands.

He has come to serve, his reputation precedes him and his wisdom has always been admired.
He exams the wood. His hands begin to touch the surface. He can feel every scratch and deep crevasse that were sewn in over the years. As the examination continues his hands are caught in the rugged wood. Pierced, he begins to bleed. His own blood now applied over every stain previously accumulated throughout the lifetime of the table.

The wedding date is here! You can hear the Servant say, “I’ll get the tablecloth”.

This table still stands.

He continues, “The table will be used today, what it needs is a covering.”

He brings out the handcrafted white cloth from his tethered bag. This will be used for this special occasion.

It’s pure white. It drapes over the table and as the gentle breeze reaches the corners, the edges flow creating a gentle dance in the wind.

It has covered every stain, scar and all that marred this beautiful work of art that the Craftsman made.

Dressed in white, the table is ready.

No one noticed. The servants blood was now on the table as well.

The table still stands.

Redeemed by the Servant, the table stands at the Wedding Banquet. 

God bless you!~Liz


Friday, June 29, 2018

Lettuce Pray

The lettuce in my garden has grown marvelously this year. I take no credit! I plant, fertilize and pray!

I wait for the rain and the sun and the Lord produces great fruit!

I think one of the most remarkable experiences for me is when I see fruit coming forth from my garden.

Cucumbers always surprise me. It looks like nothing is happening and then underneath the vine and leaves, if you look carefully, in its proper time, there it is, great fruit coming forth.

Sometimes it looks like nothing is happening in our own lives. The world calls it “status quo”. If we are not careful we might begin to agree. But the truth is that the God who spoke the world into existence is still speaking to us today. He directs the affairs of men if we let him. He leads his children by his Spirit.

“For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:14)

I’ve been singing a song for the last couple of weeks, “Way Maker”. The bridge of the song goes like this, “Even when I don’t see it you’re working, even when I don’t feel it you’re working. You never stop, you never stop working”. 

That is the song that I choose to sing to my own soul! That is my confession! I will agree with God! Even if I don’t see the full picture, my eyes will focus on Him. I have been made for his good pleasure. The horizon brings a new day. In the morning his mercies are new. As I worship and pray he cultivates a heart to please him. Therefore, I will say it again, “even if I don’t see it you’re working”! 

Therefore, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He still speaks today. Let the fruit come! Bring it Lord in your proper timing.

Cultivate the gift. Uproot the weeds. Fertilize my heart. 
I can’t wait to see what you have prepared for my life.

OK now, lettuce pray! (I couldn’t help it 😊)

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Priceless Adventure

So today I drove twenty minutes to go for a walk! Yes, 3 of my friends and I each in our own vehicles (let’s not bring up carpooling) drove to the center of town to go for a walk.

I thought walking was just that, walking! No, in America we drive to our walking location, park and then we walk. I must say it’s pretty comical.

Actually, I had a fantastic time! Often in the body of Christ there is an underlying humdrum. Routines get boring and sometimes we might even feel like life’s gusto has been depleted. But the Bible says, that God has given us fullness of life. The entire world was created for us to enjoy!  So let's experience his JOY!

We must get creative and redeem back the time we have. Yes, chisel out an hour and create a healthy diversion to be refreshed by the Lord. Take a walk. Sit by a pond and search for wildlife. Perhaps a bike ride would be just the thing to do. Call a friend and go for ice cream or a cup of coffee.

Sometimes we imagine that everyone else is busy when if fact they are waiting for an invitation for an unexpected diversion. So, go ahead and make the call, text, FB whatever means of communication is at your disposal. The adventure is just about to begin.

So, as we are walking we are laughing which is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). We discuss different activities that are going on in our lives. Four different women, 4 different lives, but the same Lord. Our common ground in Christ has knit us together.

So yes, 20-mile drive for a 1.5-mile walk.

We laughed.

We glistened (sweat).

Drank water.

Priceless!

Sometimes it’s worth the drive.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, June 25, 2018

Prisoner

“The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

Who goes to a prison voluntarily? Perhaps an act of defiance, insubordination, a breaking of the law and the individual is arrested.

There is a trial, attorneys are present, some witnesses, and a judge makes the decision after the jury likewise deliberates.

Is the offender to remain incarcerated forever?

When people discuss God often no one describes themselves as an offender, a law-breaker. But that is exactly what we are. We have sinned, done wrong, committed a crime against God who is Holy.

A couple of months ago I went to visit my brother who is confined in prison. I had to rise up early & drive 45 minutes. Upon my arrival I had to fill out forms, show ID, and explain the reason for my visit. “He’s my brother”, I said.

Leave the pocketbook behind in a locker because it’s not allowed in the visiting area. Only certain attire can be worn. I’m searched, and my ID is requested again. I must have surrendered my ID at least 6 times in a 15’ stretch. I felt myself getting a “little perturb”!

I was reminded that we have all been prisoners; prisoners to sin.

The Holy Spirit of God is the only person that can enter a prison cell, visit, speak and leave and imprint that changes the heart of the prisoner.

Yes, we have broken the law and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) There is no bail that can get us out!

“The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

So how do we get free?

Scripture reads: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

The truth is that the Lord walked right through the prison walls that had me hemmed in. He passed every check point and addressed me personally. “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) I would be free!

My sin could not keep him away. His compassion and love were lavished on me! Yes, on the prisoner.

He wasn’t annoyed or disturbed at my condition.

Though it will cost him everything, including his life, he does not shrink back or consider this act of grace and mercy an inconvenience. If I was the only prisoner, he would still visit!

When the Holy Spirit enters our sinful hearts and begins to dialogue with us, he is not pointing the finger and condemning us. He is offering a way of escape! Yes, a way to be free no matter where we are.

In my short visit with my brother, encouragement is what I wanted to leave him with. I have nothing to offer that can impart life to this man except to point him to the Liberator; to the One that can enter the prison and leave an imprint that changes lives.

We have all been prisoners to sin.

We have been manipulated and lied to.

But there is a way of escape. He has the keys to every cell.

Jesus has come to set the captive free.

He is the Advocate and the Judge.

He traded places with me and paid the ransom.

He adopted me and proudly calls me his daughter.

He has given me a new identity and the former sins he remembers no more.

When life begins to close in on me and prison walls start erecting around me, I call on his Name and he reminds me, “daughter, I am right here, I will never leave you or forsake you. Truly, I have never left your side.

Yes, he loves me!

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Gentle Breeze

"The wind blows wherever it pleases.
You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or 
where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”  (John 3:8 )

As I sit outside this morning and hear the rustle of the leaves, it’s a gentle breeze that’s producing the beautiful song.  It brought a smile to my face.

My grandparents lived in Fajardo, PR. Today I was reminiscing over a visit when I was a little girl.

My grandma’s house was surrounded by trees with lots of shade. Her balcony was huge or at least it was to me. There was a little house in the back that I could enter in. I remember a sewing machine and just a quaint room that beckoned invitation.

No matter where I was in her big lot of land, the trees covered everything. I could feed the chickens, catch slugs on the ground or climb the mango tree and have a treat.  At night I would sit with my grandfather on the porch taking in the lessons on how to play domino.

It’s amazing how just the rustle of the trees can flood my mind and bring me back to a vivid childhood memory, a beautiful memory!

As the birds are singing this morning and only nature’s song is flooding my ears, the Lord also whispered to me.

He reminded me that my grandma, Felicita was a Christian. I don’t ever remember going to church with her or even knowing or understanding the walk that she had with God. I still don’t. I do recall that after she died she gave her bible to my cousin, Olgita.

As life progressed, in my twenties, I too began to serve the Lord. My cousin became ill and I remember visiting her at the hospital. As life was escaping from her and the transition of life was arriving, I recall pulling out a bible and reading from the book of Psalms to her. I began to encourage her and speak about the Lord and his goodness to her.

Sharing with other relatives, I pointed to my grandma’s bible that was in my cousin hands. She was not awake or able to conversate, but I do know that the Word of the Lord has authority and is a testament of all God has left for us. I said, “read to her from grandma’s bible”. The hope of eternal life is spoke about in the Book.

Did grandma go to church and pray for her family? I have been born-again and know that once you have this treasure, you want everyone to have it! Maybe grandma did speak to me about the Lord and I don’t remember. After speaking with my dad today, he said she was always praying, reading and in church. Perhaps as I walked the land and climbed the trees, she had prayed over her entire home that I would encounter the Savior. Indeed, I have!

Even now the wind is blowing, and the trees are moving at the Lord’s command. Even now the Wind of the Spirit is moving and speaking his purpose and direction over me.

Truly, before I was even born he knew me.

Pray, read and worship the Lord. Pray over your lineage that has not come forth yet. Cover those that will one day walk the earth, grandchildren, nephew & nieces. Pray for those that are rebelling against the Lord today. Pray for God’s intervention. Pray fervently and never forget that prayer affect today and tomorrow; it crosses over continents, causes change and effects future lineage.

Thank you Lord for saving grandma and saving me.


God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Deflection

Today is raining and I’m in Lake George enjoying a few days of rest & relaxation. Not an outdoor kind of day. I’m reclining and watching a TV program about a magician that performs tricks in the midst of everyday activities. You can find him in a grocery store or out in the street, behind any ordinary store counter drawing the crowd in.

As I watched this program the magic trick in not as intriguing to me as the language that the magician is using. As he performs “mind blowing” acts the victims are left baffled.

You can hear them saying, “that’s not possible”, “that defies physics”, “I can’t believe my eyes”, “my mind is so confused” and on and on it goes.

The magician begins to deflect the questions and continues to focus on the results of his trick. He bends the conversation to where he wants it to go. Now the victim is lured in even more. They begin to dialogue with him and concur that the effects of this act are amazing!

Against all that they know is right, their eyes trick them, their senses are confused, their hearing is deceived, and their minds are convinced that what is happening must be true!

The first deception was in the Garden. Disobedience was exercised, and the beauty of life was tainted.

Today, the enemy of our soul continues to twist daily interactions and conversation to reach his own end. The end he desires is to separate us from our God; to dilute our effects as Christians. 


What if we asked the right questions and began to filter daily activities and encounters through the Word of God? What if we tested all that our eyes saw and all that our ears heard against God’s Holy Book?  What if every thought was taken captive and brought to the Lord?

The enemy enters the Garden and says, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the Garden’?”

“The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:2-5)

So here the trickster repackaged God’s words and Eve listened. The deception was so quick that she adds to the dialogue and says, “and you must not touch it, or you will die.” And die they did. Amazing!!

If the victims of the TV show would carefully investigate and not allow themselves to remain in a state of confusion, they  might begin to reason that something else is going on. Perhaps a magic trick! But a trick nevertheless.

The magician takes a pizza topped with vegetables and meat, closes the box and places it on a chair and gives it a few spins? The vegetables and meat toppings are perfectly separated each occupying one-half of the pie. The laws of physics shout, “no way!” The victims say, “incredible” and walk away amazed at what they just saw and now believe.

At the end the magician announces they are on a TV Show known as the Carbonaro Effect and the victims begins to laugh. Some are just embarrassed that they “fell for it”.

Well, Eve did “fall for it.” Adam you know the Lord very well. You walked and talked with him in the Garden? What happened?

We all know that Sin entered the world and its effects have laced us all.

Before we point the finger and say, “fool” we must check ourselves.

The Word of God must be our guide and filter. Our enemy is clever and knows how to twist the Word of God!

” Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.” (Deuteronomy 11:16)

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” (Galatians 1:6-8)

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 5:6)

“He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” (Luke 21:8)


God bless you!~Liz

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Show Mercy?

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36 )

Here we go again, Mercy: not getting what we deserve.

Why is it that when mercy is dispensed we often don't know what to do?

We are so used to getting blamed, ridiculed, chastised and punished that when we experience mercy we are in a state of shock or better said, awe!

The world expects us to pay for our mistakes. The law requires payment.

On Saturday morning I went out to eat breakfast with some of my friends. On my way home I stopped at the supermarket to pick up my groceries. I am almost home and stopped at a red light.

Two cars in front of me was a vehicle just a little past the light signal so that they could not see when the light turned green. Once the light changed I honked a friendly beep to let them know the light changed and it was time to move. As we are all at a full stop the car behind me must have seen the light turn green as well. He doesn't honk but pressed on the gas pedal and you guessed it, KABOOM! I was rear ended, felt quite the impact in my seat.

The world demands retribution!

Sin speaks death over our lives.

The world shouts and says, "look out for Number One"; ourselves!

God arrives and demonstrates Grace and Mercy and turns the world upside down.

I put my car on park and walked around to the rear of my vehicle. The other driver got out as well while the other cars just passed around us.

The driver began to rub his hand over the bumper of my car possibly wondering, "what did I do"? We are now on the side of the road with onlookers passing by.

I watched him, this man was probably afraid and concerned of the retribution.

It took only seconds and I felt myself extending my hand to him. I caught him of guard and he did not know what to do. I re-extended my hand and he shook my hand. I told him, "God bless you" and began to walk away. He did not know what to do. For the first time in those few minutes he began to speak. He said, "thank you, thank you". As I was walking toward my door I could still hear him, "thank you, thank you". He did not explain why he hit me. He did not say it was a mistake or his fault. He embraced mercy!

I drove away with a nail punctured hole on the rear of my vehicle and scratch remnants to prove of the impact.

People expect retribution and punishment.

As a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I too stood astound, shocked, and in a state of awe that at the cross Jesus would pay for my sins. His hands pierced with nails for my wrongdoing. I deserved punishment but instead he gave me mercy and grace and paid the debt I owed.

Yes, I look to Jesus and say, "thank you, thank you". I am forever grateful and I am reminded to pour out my heart of thanksgiving in worship. Thank you, thank you Lord!

So walking away with a chipped bumper is not that big of a deal. All I have belongs to Jesus. It's Jesus' car that was hit and he said walk away and bless him with mercy. Mercy is what I gave because mercy is what I received.

God bless you!~Liz