LebBlog

LebBlog

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

The Reveal

I love watching Undercover Boss.  It's a program where the owner of a business or the a CEO of a corporation dinguses him/herself and interacts with its employees.

When I read chapter one of the Book of John today this program came to mind.

The employees of these businesses don't know that they are being observed and are interacting with their ultimate "boss."

When then Undercover Boss program comes to an end, the boss reveals him/herself.

The Apostle John records the unveiling of Jesus. Jesus is not disguising himself. He is not trying to find deficiencies in the world. He knows they already exist. He interacts with those made in his image and they do not recognize him.  They continue walking with scales in their eyes unable to see the Creator of the world among them.

"He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him." (John 1:10-11)

Jesus came just as it was foretold.  The enemy of our soul works really hard to make sure we stay blind.  Groping around this fallen world, trying to "save" or make a name for ourselves. We are broken and at times disgruntled.  Our anger and disillusionment comes from a broken relationship with our Creator.  We were designed for fellowship with God.

Born in sin we don't know true Joy & Peace. The Holy Spirit draws us to himself but often we don't recognize his wooing. God loves us!  God loves us!  He is not trying to play hide and seek.  He is not masking himself so that we don't recognize him. On the contrary, he clothed himself in flesh, in human-likeness and came to be with us on earth. He came with a purpose to ransom us back to God.

John writes "Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God." (John 1:12-13)

Now that is great news!

The Undercover Boss concludes with their reveal.  Those who were disgruntled are encouraged and at times sent for proper training. Most are commended for their efforts and are even rewarded with gifts that promote continued growth and a fine-tuning of their skills and craft. Usually I am in tears by the time the episode is finished.

When our hearts realize our own mess, Jesus doesn't refuse our surrender to him.  On the contrary, he calls us sons and daughters.  Children born of God.

Just imagine the Lord taking us by the hand and bringing us close to himself.  He wipes away tears of brokeness and rebellion.  He washes us away filth that has tried to define us.  The scales that are off our eyes are tossed away.  He begins to teach us and renew our minds.  He comes developing gifts that have been in us.  There is this sweet tenderness in his words toward us.  He loves us! He knows we messed up.  He knows our distance from him lured us into all kinds of idolatry. But now he has revealed himself to us!  The past is behind and a new road has been set for us.  Let the tears flow.  He has done a new thing in us.  We are new and the old things have passed away!

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."  (John 1:14)

The true light that gives light to everyone has come into the world. (v9)

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, January 2, 2020

I'm No Puppet

“All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues 
as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:4)

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)


Driving down my neighborhood these last couple of weeks has been an interesting adventure. A lot of homes are beautifully decorated with lights shimmering in the darkness. What a beautiful picture of the light of Christ that lives in us.

Subsequently, I’ve also seen homes that look like front yard graveyards. It seems that the owners of the homes periodically unplug the power of these plastic animations in their front yards leaving remnants of what was. I must admit this is not a great curb appeal!

These plastic animations are at the mercy of oncoming storms and winds. When it is perceived that the weather is changing the owners unplug their puppets because they are unable to withstand the storm.

Everyday circumstances and things I experience have a way of filtering into the reality of my life. It propels me to examine the condition of my heart.

When the storms of life come, am I still shining bright anchored to a foundation that won't move? Is the light of Christ shining, even at times becoming brighter in the midst of turbulent winds?

The Holy Spirit has come to live within me. I’ve been redeemed, purchased and made a representative of Jesus Christ. More tenderly God calls me his daughter. He has warned me that in this life there will be trouble. But he has also promised to help me remain.

When life's troubles arrive and the winds of life take a turn, I am commanded to remain in Christ, connected an anchored to him. It is his power within me that keeps me standing and shining bright.

I am the fragrance of Christ. The joy of the Lord is within me. The righteousness of Christ has made me right with the Father.

Are we shimmering lights in the midst of darkness or deflated, defeated puppets laying down with no life that would represent Christ and all his glory?

Let the on lookers, look. This house will stand! You will not find a menagerie of deflated puppets to represent me. I bear the light of Christ within me for the whole world to see. A vessel weak at times but held together by his Spirit.

Fill me up Lord! Breath on us again. Let the light of your glory sustain us and keep us. In our brokenness, mend us back together. Keep us humble and pride far from us. Go before us and help us to follow obediently that we may experience the fullness of your glory. Holy Spirit fill us and empower us. Baptize us with your spirit.

PS:  Nothing again these puppets :)  They look cute when they are FILLED!

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

The Road

Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. (Psalm 25:4)

The community I live in is under construction. Roads are popping up everywhere. After several months of driving on a "new" road I came to a halt as I stared at a heap of dirt that could have been called a mountain in its own right. What happened to the road?

Isn't that like life? One day you are going down a road and all of a sudden there is a detour that diverts you down a new path.

Sometimes those new life trails leave us asking questions. Why am I here? Life was great before this life deviation. Why the turn Lord?

What I've learned is that the road was only temporary. It looked pretty permanent to me. There was blacktop, double yellow lines and plenty of traffic going in both directions. There was even grass growing on the side road. But, nevertheless it was short-lived.

Today this road no longer exist. That which had escaped my vision, now I clearly see. It's an entire new freeway that seemed to emerge right before my eyes! The diversion kept me focused on the temporary when in actuality there was a new way of travel, a brand new highway developing giving me easier access to places I need to get too.

The temporary distraction blinded me. My focus was blurred.

So where are you traveling to today? Has the road been changed? Perhaps the diversion is the loss of a job. Is the road filled with decisions that seem to have no answers? Often temporary roads are a "bumpy ride."

Mary and Joseph traveled such a road. Mary was young and pregnant. Joseph pledged to be married to Mary, but now she is pregnant and the child is not his. Now that's a road!

But as we follow the story of their lives, they were entrusted with the responsibility to care for another life. Not just any life, but God Incarnate! Yes God in the flesh, Immanuel - God with us. The Savior of the world emerging on earth bringing Salvation to all. For he loved the world, you & me and knew the sinful state and condition of our lives.

No matter what the road looks like we must trust the Way-Maker. He makes our paths straight and often allows situations to arise that seem like a bumpy road.

Looking back over the past year, I can see that God has always been with me. Even when we don't see it or perceive it at time, He is Faithful. Won't you trust him today to guide you?

The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way [and blesses his path]. (Psalm 37:23)

You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. (Psalm 18:36)

Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. (Psalm 119:35)

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

It's Bright in Here!

I love the fact that I am never alone. 

This is a GREAT Truth that I cherish 
and embrace daily. God speaks!

I was getting ready this morning and as I looked in the mirror I kinda' said to myself, "what can I do to make my face look radiant?" And just that quickly, the Spirit of the Lord said, "get into the Word."

I put down my makeup brush and opened the Word!

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. (Psalm 34:5)

A few minutes later my husband came in from outside. He had been cleaning the snow from the last two days.

As he is helping me unravel an item that I had in my hand he says, "wow I've been outside in the light so long that everything looks dark in here."

I smiled and said, "wow, that is truth." Those who stay in God's presence, who stay in His Word are more apt to recognize darkness quicker.

When we surround ourselves with the Truth of the Word of God, this "Measuring Stick" reveals to us our own inadequacies, our sin, rebellion, our actions that break the rules of God, and even cause our ears to hear better!

Just a small reminder my friends, stay in the Word! Allow yourselves to be enveloped in His Presence!

The Light has come!

The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, November 21, 2019

In Addition

"In addition to what you vow and your freewill offerings, offer these to the Lord at your appointed festivals: your burnt offerings, grain offerings, drink offerings and fellowship offerings." (Numbers 29:39)

The words “in addition” sound very good when we are the recipients of something great, aren’t they?

I just finished reading chapter 29 of the Book of Numbers. Ironically, I began to count how often the words “in addition” are found in this chapter.

I am not an expert on the rules and guidelines of all the offering in the Bible, but I do know that God was always teaching something even through the rituals of the days of old.

God is holy and we are not. He wants us to understand our need for Him.

There were burnt offerings, grain offerings, peace offerings, sin offerings and guilt offerings all being overseen by the priest. A system to show mankind that sin had a cost.

I wonder how we would fare if that system was in place today? I can barely keep track of them as I read it!

I believe the heart being cultivated is to release what often we hold tight. It was about giving your best to a Holy God.

The law of Moses required many offerings. In this chapter the command was, “in addition” also bring these animals as an offering. The requirement was specific, and the animals presented had to be healthy free of blemishes. In other words, the best of the best.

In today's currency it would translate to our hard-earned money.

With Thanksgiving on the horizon would we say that our hearts are filled to overflowing with Thanksgiving? What if the Lord said, “in addition” to us? Those words mean above and beyond what you plan on doing. Do more! Stretch yourself. Trust in God. 

Would we feel inconvenienced or maybe just stingy and afraid to let go?

We give at the church but what about if additional offering are presented to us? Do we justify that we gave enough?

If someone needs a financial hand, do we keep our two hands in our pocket?

If we are familiar with the scriptures, we know that the money entrusted to us is actually on loan from the Lord. He instructs us on how to use it and even when to release it. He does this not only with money but with our time and the possessions that we have. He gently spurs us on to do more. If we are still, we can hear the words, “in addition.”

During this thanksgiving season often our hearts become a little bit more tender and our ears more receptive to hearing the words, “in addition.” Praise God!

Let's do this together and when we hear the words “in addition” let's bless the household of faith and our neighbors next door. Let out actions speak of the great work that God has done in us. He has saved us and blessed us richly. 

 Let's be like the little boy who gave up his lunch on the side of the mountain and Jesus was able to multiply it and feed the masses.

“In addition”, pass this message to encourage someone else. Let's learn to bless others during this Thanksgiving season.

God bless you!~Liz

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. (Psalm 34:4)

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