Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to Reality

Psalm 27:4 ( NIV)
One thing  I ask from the Lord,this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.

Alaska- What a beautiful part of God's creation!

We arrived last night and due to the time change I am still awake :) Alaska along with the Grand Canyon have been two places that were on my "bucket list" if you will. Earlier this year I was able to get a glimpse at the Grand Canyon and now my eyes have seen Alaska.

It's massive, more than my eyes were able to fully capture. It's the same feeling I got when I looked at the Grand Canyon. It's interesting because I'm never sure what I am supposed to feel or what my reaction will actually be. After looking at God's beautiful creation it doesnt' take long for me to feel small. I've looked, stared, pondered, and just stood in awe at the enormous landscape of mountains. Mountains covered in such thick clouds; heavy fog, hovering over the peaks so as not to recognize where the mountain even ends. I thought of how Scriptures describes God's presence (Exodus 24:16), it was incredible. We traveled though Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan and of coursce Glazier Bay. The immense size of the the glazier; is breath taking. It's frozen water, thick blue ice that I tryed to take in with my eyes. In the stillness and quietness of the moment; you are starring, trying to comprehend the colossal image before you and suddently a roaring sound of thunder begins to absorb the quietness. It cracks, roars and rumbles; its the sound of the glazier dropping pieces of ice; ice chucks rolling down mountains and glazier pieces falling into the oceans.
Its a private "4th of July" exposion. It was really a spectacular view to embrace.

Again I was reminded of another Scripture passage that speaks of Jesus coming into Jeruselum and the crowd is shouting Hosanna. Some Pharisees ask Jesus to hush his disciples. Jesus replies, if they keep quiet the stones will cry out (Luke 19:40). It's the world that God created that I am beholding. Creation, speaking of God, his invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, clearly seen so that we are without excuse. He's real and creation testifies.(Romans 1:20)

As we were leaving Sunday morning, packing and getting ready to return home, I chatted with another passenger quickly and said, "well, back to reality"; to which he said, yeah it really stinks (that's not the word he really used). I turned to my husband and I said, I love my reality! Don't misunderstand me, I enjoy vacation; its great to get away and this was one of my best vacations ever. But returning home always brings my heart joy. I have often shared this sentiment with others because I really do like "my reality".

I enjoy the ordinary, the simple everyday motions of life. For me that means being a wife and a mom. It encompasses a job and that which is dearest to my heart, serving the Lord in his house. This is the first time that I can remember being away from church for this long, and I must say I was home sick. My "reality" was given a great "splash" of "awe". Awe that my heart experienced and my senses could not fully comprehend. As extraordinary as it all was the "awe" is really for the Creator. Alaska, just a tiny demonstration to the the words God spoke and that we read in Genesis . He made it all and my heart woships him. The Gift Giver is greater than the gift. The Creater more magnificant than his creation.

Glad to be back in realty. Here are a few snapshots of God's creation.
God bless you!~Liz

Sunday, August 19, 2012

You Can Keep Your Gift

Daniel 5:16-17 

Now I have heard that you are able to give interpretations and to solve difficult problems.  If you can read this writing and tell me what it means, you will be clothed in purple and have a gold chain placed around your neck, and you will be made the third highest ruler in the kingdom.” Then Daniel answered the king, “You may keep your gifts for yourself and give your rewards to someone else. Nevertheless, I will read the writing for the king and tell him what it means.

Daniel once again called to explain a dream; a mystery that the Lord had given King Belshazzar. First it was Nebuchadnezzar's dream; a king who's advisers could not tell him what was troubling him. Here comes Daniel, a young man, in exile, under a new ruler, called to stand before the king. We know that Daniel prayed; also asked his friends to join him, known to us as the three Hebrew boys. They prayed and called on the Lord for Mercy, seeking the Face of God for wisdom, insight and revelation (Daniel 2:17). God was Faithful! We read Daniel was placed in a high position  and lavished with gifts; made ruler over many (Daniel 2:48).

We now see a new king on the horizon;  once again, we see "men" in high positions with a total disregard for the King of Kings; no respect, honor or fear for the God of Heaven and Earth. So as King Belshazzar is drinking  away with his circle of friends, he asks that the "sacred articles"  be used for an "ordinary  occasion" He takes that which was set aside for the Lord's  House,  the Lord's  service, and uses it to "puff himself"  as  he parties with his nobles. Is there no fear, Belshazzar? God is the one who deposes kings and raises  up others  (Daniel  2:21). So as the scriptures tell us; this mighty kingdrops to his knees (now he's trembling  with fear) as he sees the writing on the wall (Daniel 5:6)

Daniel once again interprets God's message. But this time he refuses the "gifts". Why?

The first time around he was promoted  by God to a high position, so why not take the purple robe and the gold chains too? I don't know if I can fully answer that question.

Daniel  has seen one king after another  have total disregard for his Lord. He knew that it was God who had delivered him into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar, to Babylon; and it was God who had preserved him. He saw Nebuchadnezzar lose his mind, crawl and eat like a wild beast. Fear was in Daniel's heart. He knew whom he served.

A subliminal message to the current king and all to come.  I, Daniel serve the Lord. No gifts can turn my heart against the Lord; no royal offerings can manipulate the "insight and revelation"  the Lord  has given me. No threat can cause me to bow my knee to anyone or anything. Tell me not to pray and I will open my window and pray three times a day and call on the Name of my God (Daniel 6:10) You can keep your gifts (Daniel 5:17).

I Daniel have been set aside for the Lord’s use, a sacred "article" if you will. I don't mingle with the common and I am not your entertainment. I am the Lord's anointed used for his sole purpose, for the Glory and Praise of His Name alone! Educate me in the way of the Chaldean, but my heart is sealed with  the Truth  of God. Threaten me with death, throw me in the den, keep your meat & wine, for I will not defile myself. I fear God more than man (Matthew 10:28).

I Liz (place your name), am the Lord's anointed!  Help me God to be faithful to you. Use me for the Glory and purposes of your Kingdom. Continue to teach me Lord, I am listening. Though I have failed at time, I pray for your continued hand upon my life; that I may hear the still small voice of my God, obey and follow your instructions.

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, August 10, 2012

She Graduated Before Me

2 Corinthians 3:16-18 
Yesterday I celebrated my husband's birthday.  Thank your for all your kinds words and birthday wishes....I made sure he got them all!  

I don't have a Face Book account; I don't have a Twitter account; what I have is the privilage to share the Word of God via email, God's Great Word!  

Throughout the years I have shared some of the events that have occurred in my life.  My life belongs to God. He is always speaking to me and through life's journey he carries me.....then I often share it with you, my friends and family!  It's like we are sitting at a table, having a warm cup of coffee, leaning back and just sharing life!

I have been thinking about this all week; sometimes crying, but definitely thinking about the last hours I spent with my mom.  No one is ever fully prepared.

I recall the day before she slipped away, the conversation I had on the phone with her; the urgency I felt to share Jesus with my mom.  God knew.  

Yes, children graduate and through tears, parents often congratulate their children knowing that life has taken a turn. The dynamics of a home will changed; and children don't stay home forever.  They graduate, mature and some start their own families and the cycle begins again.

Has your sin stained garment been washed by the blood of the Lamb? The Father sent his son to personally give the invitation to the party.(John 3:16) 
Will you be there?

But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit,  and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.   And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Some may already know, today is the one year mark; the day my mom departed from this earth; the day when the perishable was clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality (1 Corinthians 15:54)

I started to compare her departure more to a graduation.  

We too, will all come to that graduation day, when we will leave this earth and this time instead of leaving our "home" we will be arriving there.  Our home is not this earth.  Jesus is preparing a place and he promises to bring us to himself. (John 14:3) 

So, even though my heart still aches; the truth is that my mom graduated before me!  One day we will all gather together and the celebration will begin.  Hmmm...come to think of it...the party already started.  We don't wear caps & gowns, but a robe of Righteousness has been given to us along with a crown.  But take a closer look,  the crowns are being cast down before the Throne of the Most High God!  The singing has already begun, can you hear it...."Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was,and is, and is to come". (Revelation 4) It's a gathering for the saints, those who have trusted in the Name of Jesus for the forgiveness of their sins.  

Thank you for allowing me to share the mountains and valleys of my life.  God has been good!\
God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Papo

Ephesians 5:22-23 

Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.  For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.

Today is my husband’s birthday! Happy Birthday Papo!

I'll tell you a little bit about him. He operates in the give of service. He's never looking for the spot light, but actually runs from it :)

He treats me like a queen (ask anyone who knows me).  He's a gentleman who still opens the car door for me after, soon to be, 30 years of marriage.

He tucks me into bed and always kisses me good-night.  He's usually the first one to apologize even if I'm the one at fault.

He is gifted in many areas; works with his hands and is highly skilled; though if you ask him, he thinks his is ok.

I love this man!  I pray today on his birthday, that the Lord would continue to draw him, teach him, protect him from the enemy of our soul, and use him; that the gifts and talents the Lord has given him will continually be rendered to the Lord for the furtherance of God's Kingdom.

May the Lord bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you! God bless you! ~Your wife Liz

God bless you!~Liz 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sometimes You Need A Little Encouragement

Matthew 14:28-31 (NIV)
“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and
caught him. “You of little faith,”" he said, “why did you doubt?”

John 21:4-7 (NIV)
Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered. He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish. Then the disciple whom Jesus loved" said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.

Ever noticed the contrast before? Peter a disciple of Jesus along with the other 11 walked with Jesus. They learned first hand, literally watching the miracles, even at times being assistants in the work; watching 5 barley loaves and 2 small fish miraculously feed about 5 thousand (John 6). I'm bringing the spotlight on Peter today; I find him fascinating. A Galilean fisherman that followed Jesus after his brother Andrew encouraged him to meet the Messiah, the Christ (John 1:41).

He seems like your ordinary guy; you know like you and me. He's evangelized if you will, becomes a follower of Christ. He zealous for the things of God; devoted and even enthusiastic about his walk with the Lord. Peter has encountered the Lord; it's the Lamb of God that has taken away his sin.

Ok, our turn. It's Liz, it's you; we have been changed. We have come face to face with the one that offers us eternal life; we've been supernaturally changed. The Bible says we are "new". A new attitude is recognized in us. A new found joy that we have never experienced. Life is good; it's like walking on water, nothing can trouble us - or can it?

Early in Peter's walk during a storm, he sees Jesus from afar and is startled. Jesus, shows up in the midst of "the storm". Afraid and not sure what to do; does he not recognize that the Christ is in the midst of his trouble? “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water." So, Jesus goes along with the request. Peter, "come". Well, we know what happens, it all starts well and then down he goes.

We have criticized Peter enough; how could you not trust him; did you not recognized him? Has this not happen to us? Life has many troubles; there is sickness and disease, there is financial stresses, the children walk away from God even after you have poured every ounce of yourself into teaching them of the One who Loves them. Marriage was going well and then, well heartache. The spouse is not into "church" with you and you find yourself going to the House of God alone. Death comes unexpectedly to someone you love....yes...we can sink, sink, sink.

"Lord save me". Maybe it's "Lord help me" or "why me". The Lord reaches out his hand and catches us so that we are not consumed by the waves of life.

Fast forward just a little. Christ is crucified and now what will be of Peter. Peter, you disowned the Lord even after you said you would die with him (Mark 14:31) ; when trouble came, you could not even stay afloat in his presence. Now what? Peter encouraged by John, hears the words, “It is the Lord!”

Now, we know already that Peter is not going to walk on water, we doubt he will ever step foot into the rough waters again. Sometimes after walking with the Lord and discouragement grabs a hold of us or failure sets in, we are afraid to try again. When we have let someone down, or said the wrong thing, we find it difficult to engage again. Engage with the Lord and also engage with those around us. The enemy will whisper and remind us of every disappointment and failure we have ever been connected with.

As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.

Here comes encouragement wrapped in a fellow friend. It's John, encouraging his heart broken friend. I wonder how often Peter wrestled with his choices; Liar and Christ denier, One of little faith, used by Satan, for the Lord spoke to Satan while looking at him and said "get behind me Satan". (Matthew 16:23). Not such a great resume is it?

We all need a little encouragement. A friend to spur us back to believe. A friend to minister the very breath of God to bring life into our dry, dead bones again (Ezekiel 37). Someone to help us see beyond our failure and like Peter, go from sinking to jumping back into the water.

We may read about Peter's disappointments and failures, but that is not how he ends, Glory to God! Peter who the Lord said "on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it" (Matthew 16:18). Jesus said this of Peter in spite of the failure we remember Peter by.

Feeling discouraged today? Cried until you have not tears left? Questioned why, maybe even questioned God? Life not going the way you planed it? Has your tongue caused you trouble? God indeed speaks to us as well. What has he said of you that you anchor on to but in the midst of trouble forget? Perhaps he has called you his friend, like Abraham. Maybe you are the deliverer of the captive, like Moses. Maybe after being in the pit for sometime like Joseph, he wants to promote you for the sole purpose to "feed the hungry". Perhaps there is a calling on your life and you feel disqualified. Let me break it to you gently, no one is qualified. Apart from God we can do nothing (John 15:5). Don't let yourself get detached from Vine that sustains us....and yes he does loves us!

May the Spirit of the Living God breath your way and may you feel the refreshing wind. Allow and don't turn away the one that has comes to refresh you in the Name of the Lord, it may be someone you don't expect. Allow yourself to be built up again and believe that you indeed are more than a letdown and that life can indeed be joyous again. A full life, like the Lord promises (John 10:10).

Do you love me Peter?

Do you love me Liz? Do you love me Liz? Do you love me Liz? Questioned three times, not for Jesus' benefit, but an encouraging, reassuring word for me.

God bless you!~Liz


 Acts 9:32-34 As Peter traveled about the country, he went to visit the Lord’s people who lived in Lydda. There he found a man named Aeneas,...