LebBlog

LebBlog

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

Thursday, August 1, 2019

Can He Deliver?

‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’ (Numbers 14:16)

Have you ever wondered if God can deliver?

In the true account of the deliverance of God's people into the Promise Land, this statement was uttered to God by Moses. "If you put all these people to death, leaving none alive, the nations who have heard this report about you will say, ‘The Lord was not able to bring these people into the land he promised them on oath, so he slaughtered them in the wilderness.’" (Numbers 14:15-16)

God's reputation, who he says he is, has always been interlaced in all the accounts of His Word. "God said to Moses, “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Exodus 3:14)

Can God deliver?

The people had grumbled against God because in their eyes the difficulties of their deliverance was intolerable in comparison to their enslaved lives in Egypt, an enemy now to God's people under the rule of Pharaoh.

Who are we under?

If we serve the Lord, why do we complain of life's difficulties? Is God able to deliver?

In God's mercy, he inclines his ear to his Moses as he pleads for God's hand to be held back. The Israelite's preferred to be enslaved instead of on the road to freedom, the promise of God!

God heard their grumbling hearts and was about to remove them from the face of the earth.

Moses pleads for his mercy to act!

What is it that we think that God can not do? Is he able to save? Can he bring us out of bondage into a place of freedom and liberty? Can he deliver on what he said he would do?

We struggle with doubt, perhaps are uncomfortable as God is moving us into freedom. We at times prefer to stay in chaos, sadness, depression and all sorts of bondage because we are familiar with it. We have become "one" with our infirmities and bondage. We speak death over ourselves like the Israelites, "If only we had died in Egypt! or in this wilderness!" (v2)

Change makes us feel like we are loosing control. We move with hesitation toward uncertainty. We don't want to let go of the past even if it has removed our joy, peace and well-being from us. We trust our bondage and not the road to freedom.

Who is our Master?

Is it "Pharaoh" the representative of bondage, or is it Jesus, "The Lion of the Tribe of Judah" who has come to set the captives free? He came in humility, surrendered to the cross, died but did not remain in the ground! "Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:25)

Can he deliver?

God's hand relented as Moses pleaded with his face to the ground. They were kept alive but those 20 years and older died in the wilderness for their disobedience.

"The Lord replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the Lord fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. " (v20-23)

He is able to set free! Trust his character! In the difficulties, trust his hand of change and deliverance!

Father, we fall on our face and ask that you forgive us for our rebellion. Help us and guide us Holy Spirit to see your mighty hand and strength as you deliver us from bondage into a place of freedom. Let our confidence in you rise up! May our dependence rest on You, Lord! Let your Kingdom come! We are moving according to your command and your great mercy toward us. Amen


God bless you!~Liz

Friday, July 19, 2019

Do it again...

A time of worship.

Elijah a Prophet of God calls together a time of reckoning as Ahab the king of Israel took Israel deeper and deeper away from the Lord and from worshiping the One True God!

Elijah commands Ahab to summon the people from all over Israel and to meet him on Mount Carmel. (1 Kings 18:19) He asks him to bring the fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherah who eat at Jezebel’s table.

Ahab sent word throughout all Israel and assembled the prophets on Mount Carmel. (v20)

This showdown was intense.

Elijah will not only make a spectacle of the prophets but will very methodically begin to give honor to God in front of the entire assembly.

Israel had failed to serve the God who delivered them from Egypt. The God who revealed himself to  repeatedly.

Look how the Lord uses Elijah to call their attention to the past and to the present.

Elijah says to the people “come to me.” He begins to repair the altar of the Lord which had been torn down. (v30)

Elijah is setting the stage for a worship service!

Elijah took twelve stones, one for each of the tribes descended from Jacob, to whom the word of the Lord had come, saying, “Your name shall be Israel.” (v31)

He reminds them where they came from. Twelve tribes scattered, with descendants looking at Elijah minister life to them again. A wake-up call! He reminds them they had an identity and repeats it to them. God knows your name. Actually, he gave you the name!

He takes the sacrifice, a bull cut into pieces and arranges it on the alter. (v33)

Here is the opportunity presented to them. Draw close to God!  With every stone placed I believe the reminder is clear.  God's people who had been called out of bondage and given the the land which they occupied had misrepresented God.

God’s people had become defiled by choosing to bow down to idols.

In our contemporary world, we enter sanctuaries and gather in our beautifully decorated buildings. But the call is the same.

Draw near to me. Come close my child whom I have called by name. Repent and turn back to me.

“Then the fire of the lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench.” (v38) 

And today, as the Holy Spirit makes his presence known and we allow our hearts to be convicted, restored and renewed we too will fall prostrate and cry, “The Lord he is God.” (v30)

When we have strayed and somehow feel like there is a chasm between us and the Lord, what must we do?

Cry out to God repent and let him remind us again that we are his. His mercy today reached us a long time ago and continues to draw us to himself today.

Nothing else can satisfy. This world will lure us and have us bow down to the lust of our flesh, the lust of our eyes and the pride of life that reaps destruction.

“But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and all of you know the truth. I do not write to you because you do not know the truth, but because you do know it and because no lie comes from the truth. Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life.” (I John 2:20-25)

We repent. Restore us again.

“I know the night won't last . Your Word will come to pass. My heart will sing Your praise again/ 
Jesus, You're still enough. Keep me within Your love. My heart will sing Your praise again. 
Your promise still stands.  Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness. 
I'm still in Your hands. This is my confidence, You never failed me yet. 
I've seen You move, come move the mountains. And I believe, I'll see You do it again .
You made a way, where there was no way. And I believe, I'll see You do it again.”

(Lyrics by Elevation Worship, Do it Again)

God bless you!~Liz