Leb Blog

Friday, December 26, 2014

Flip the Calendar

Psalm 90:17 (NIV)


May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us—yes, establish the work of our hands.
I remember listening to a song when I was young during this time of the year; as the new year began to make it's entrance, it caused me to reflect on the year that was escaping me.  There was a sense of sadness and apprehension.  Its as if the older I got; somehow if I missed something I would never be able to regain it again.  Was there a task or an event that somehow eluded me?  Did I miss participating in something grand with no opportunity to recapture that moment?  Call it a whisper that spoke; life is moving quickly and you can't stop it.  You're getting older; life is changing all around you. Perhaps it was a sense of evaluation but it was intertwined with trepidation. Time is ticking, the clock is moving and the calendar page I flipped read a new year.  
It was just yesterday, that I was 10 years old playing outside on the Bronx sidewalks; designing the concrete streets with my new found tool, soft, porous sedimentary rock-- o.k. chalk;  riding bike and imagining that I was older as I played with dolls; opening fire hydrants (though it was illegal) and experiencing the joy of summer fun as we soaked in the sprinkles of city water. Adolescent, an unscripted time, never did I wonder about how quick life would unfold.  
Ok, I know this may be sounding somewhat odd.  Perhaps you are saying, "Liz, it's Christmas and New Years, what are you thinking"?  Come with me for this ride.

As a christian and at the age of 51, let's settle something, I find life fascinating!   It's a glimpse at my past with an exciting anticipation of what's yet to come.  I'm expecting God to use me, aren't you?

The world preaches a chosen "look"; a world wrapped in a marketing campaign that promotes a certain "you" if you want to succeed; even implying you can only flourish and thrive if you fit this "mold".
Luke, chapter 2 unfolds the greatest story ever told. Did you read about Simeon?  The Bible says that he was waiting for the consolation of Israel; revealed by the Holy Spirit, he would not die until he had seen the Lord's Christ.  How old was he? Simeon's life had a purpose.  A promise given to him and he saw the fulfillment wrapped in flesh with his own eyes. 
Did we quickly glance over Anna the prophetess, the eighty-four year old widow?  I guess she could have complained and wondered why she had to have sorrow be her companion but instead she speaks of the redemption of Jerusalem; we also know that would be our redemption, Jesus Christ himself.
Let's go back a little further.  Abraham, a one-hundred year old man.  A promise that included an offspring.  Hey, this man is old and his wife, well she's up in numbers too. Did you say offspring?
Forward, we see Zacharius and Elizabeth, John the Baptist parents, chosen by God in their latter years.  An older couple with "no" possibility of having children, none-the-less the forerunner to the Messiah. God broke the mold.
I'm seeing a picture here; God is not constraint by anything.  My Creator is able to complete and bring to fruition the purpose of each one of us regardless of age, gender, status, rich, poor, failure, success or anything else that the world would like to box us in.  
The whispers of the world have no hold on us.  
John, the writer of Revelation had walked with Jesus as a young man.  Persecution was a known friend to him.  God revealed incredible truths that we read in the Scriptures; a future when the Lord would return and take home his Bride.  The world exiled him only to have him escorted into a glorious revelation of a friend that sticks closer than a brother; into a world where the natural eye does not see; a fertile ground for the Spirit of God to encourage and breath hope into the life of one of his own.
The older I get; every breath that God allows me to breath is another opportunity for me to see God a little more clearer.  The steps of the righteous are ordered by God.  That which He starts in us the Bible says he is going to complete. 
I'm no longer a little girl anticipating getting older.  I am in the center of God's will waiting for the Lord to continue writing my life.  With his very blood he has purchased me and his purposes are unfolding. 
Flip the calendar and I'll tell you what I see now; another opportunity to enjoy my God.  I grow a little richer in the knowledge of his Word and every morning is an opportunity to experience something grand.  When I was young, a little girl before I knew the Lord, my "life's journey" was what I could accomplished with my own strength and wit.  As a surrendered, brought to life-believing child of God; I understand that life is an exciting expedition led by the Spirit of God.  He causes life to come forth when the world would say it can't happen.  He makes promises that he keeps.  He's not concerned with my worldly status and actuality prefers to defy all "odds" for the glory of His Name! All my days are ordained and written in His book before I even one came to be (Psalm 139:16).  It is a Happy New Year!


God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com


Thursday, December 11, 2014

What am I?

In my world  there is nitrogen and oxygen in the outer atmosphere. I will never visit that realm.

I'm surrounded in a quiet peaceful world; not gases but fluid encircles me.

I've been made to bring enjoyment, causing even the youngest to admire me.  In my quiet world it often takes a lot of ruckus to ironically create excitement. 

My first encounter in the hands of men came hundreds of years ago.  Today I am still appreciated. 

I have the ability to change the atmosphere; the weather is transformed, altered at the moment you handle me.

In my genesis I was pretty simple.  Men have chosen to embellish me; lights, music, even causing their own faces to reflect off me.

I don't mind if you grab a hold of me; toss me, shake my world and I will continue to bring you joy!

What am I?

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, December 5, 2014

Blackout

John 1:5-14 (NIV)
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 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. 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. 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.

Tuesday night; it's very warm; the sound of a beating heart is all I hear.  I'm startled and I awake.  Assuming there is something physically wrong, I attempt to walk to my bureau to check some of my vitals.

I feel a coolness on my back.  My eyes open and I see lights.  Where am I?  Slightly disoriented; I look around and realize I am on my bedroom floor, but how?  I questioned for a moment if I was dreaming; but the reality my eyes conveyed said get up, you're in trouble.

I managed to pull myself to my feet; I woke up my husband and said, "I don't feel good".  The next thing I remember, I am on the floor again but this time with my husband and son next to me.  It's a version of Ground Hog Day and I'm the star of this strange movie.

I'm unconscious on my floor, in the darkness and I did not even know it until I awoke.  Sounds familiar?

For every believer that has gone from darkness into his Marvelous Light, you understand what I am trying to say.  I walked this earth, lived my life and enjoyed all that was before me.  Life is good.  But, take the veil of my eyes; cause my ears to hear; awaken my soul and I see the LIGHT (1 Peter 2:9)!  If God had not rescued me, I would not know what living really was.  Salvation, a gift from my Father above.

I blacked out twice in one night. This event was real!  By the mercies of God I awoke; he put breath back in my lungs and I am overwhelmed by his goodness towards me.

Everyday is precious.  Can't take for granted the gift of life.  The question is are we in darkness or in the light.  May we not be like those who saw Jesus with their own eyes and denied him.

Assisted by my husband and son, I'm back on my feet. I'm extremely exhausted and I'm taken to the bed to sleep. In hindsight I should have called an ambulance to be evaluated that night.  I'm thankful, extremely, for God's mercy.  I did follow up with a physician that evening.  I was told I had an episode of Syncope. More test remain; I feel tired, but well; thankful I see the Light!

His mercies endure forever! Psalm 136

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, December 4, 2014

A Mystery laid on the bed


Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.

I was recently remembering an incident that occurred in my family when I was about 10 years old.  My grandparents lived in the Bronx in a 7 story project building.  One evening an accidental discovery in my grandma's bed caused every member of the family to hover over her bed.  No one could figure out this mystery.  It seemed that jewelry if placed on my grandma's bed would begin to what seemed to slowly vanish.  My dad, as he laid down to nap on my grandma's bed discovered that his gold bracelet was changing; almost evaporating as he watched.

As we looked and inquired, including me, a young girl, items made out of gold were being consumed if placed on the bed.  The discovery was so intriguing and yet terrifying; a costly side-show if you will.  Gold is expensive no matter what era we live in.

After exhausting all possibilities the police was called to see if the could solve the mystery. It almost seemed like a game; let's see if it will happen again, at the cost of someone's precious gold jewelry.

It was a secret, a riddle that no one could solve. We are intelligent people.  What's happening?  After a while, this little girl seems even afraid.  Something's eating everything; a monster, a ghost?

Mysteries that seem to have no answer intrigue us, don't they?

Why would God in heaven, send his son to die?  Now that's a mystery!  A mystery by definition is something unknown, obscure, a secret, perhaps something or someone unidentified? 

When God sent his son, though some think of it as a mystery, the truth is that God has been speaking to us for a long time.  Go back and read the Bible from the beginning and there he is, Jesus waiting to be discovered; waiting to be announced to mankind dressed in flesh.

Sometimes mysteries are just truths waiting to be discovered.

My mom worked for a pen factory that laced it's product with a chemical element, atomic number 80, symbol Hg.  Well if you know your science, the mystery's name is Mercury!  Yep, one of it's properties is that it dissolves gold.  I can't even imagine all the negative health affects that this scenario may have caused.  Mercy God, mercy!  That night, we began to  understand what was happening.  My grandma would come home from work and empty out her pocketbook on the bed covers.  In her bag was a pen that her daughter, my mom, had given her.  As the pen "leaked" some of this mercury, the gold that came near it;
anyone laying on the bed with gold rings, bracelets, etc. would be consumed.  What a costly nap!

Go back 2,000 years.  This man that came in the flesh known as Jesus, the son of Mary is the begotten Son of God. No mystery, no hidden agenda.  If you want to know him he reveals himself to you.  If you call upon his name and cry out for salvation, there he is!  Want your life changed, your sins forgiven; the God that seems unknown and far off reveals himself to you...to me!  In the flesh, born in a manger.

This indeed was a costly and extravagant gift.  Unlike the gold we lost on my grandma's bed, this mystery wrapped in flesh cost us nothing!  It cost him everything and he gladly came. 

Look again on the bed; the bed covered with hay, actually no bed at all but a trough in a smelly environment.  It's the King of King making his entrance for all to see; It's God himself in the flesh coming for all to experience the release of the burden of sin.

Have gold, lay it by His bed.  Bring frankincense & myrrh.  This is the KING!  He does not come to take but to give! 

The gifts we bring are out of thanksgiving and gratitude.  He needs nothing except that those created in his image recognize and receive him.

No Mystery, just a revelation that will change your life!

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com




Thursday, November 6, 2014

Take a closer look


My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:15-16 (NIV)
My dad called me today as I was on the McDonald's drive through line getting lunch. He wanted to talk to me.  He asked me if I knew the time I was born?  That's a random question especially since I am 51 years old.  I took a guess but confused it with my son's time of birth.  I was born at 8:30 PM.  He was going through some old photo albums and came across my first baby album. He began to give me other details of my early days of life.  I was a little thing.  I weighed 5 lbs.15 oz. with a length of 18 1/2 inches. He continued he described some of my first discoveries; at one month I could turn over on my own; at 2 1/2 months I discovered laughter; at 3 months my feet and hands were the greatest game as I could engage with my tiny feet and hands and did not need a rattle for entertainment. At 10 months I discovered freedom as my little feet and legs took motion. Here comes trouble!  I haven't been able to sit still since then.  Those who know me can say, amen!  :)


What a beautiful picture of a little life emerging and discovering life.  I'm sure I brought much love and joy to my parents.  They have been so good to me!


The Bible says that God has a book on me too.  His details are more descriptive and have layers and depths that I can't not really measure. He has a way of looking into the inner parts of my being that no measuring tape or scale can gauge or evaluate except him.


I may have been a cute little thing but there was something that I was born with that God saw fit to remove, something pretty ugly. 


The book he has on me has everything there is to know about me, even things I don't know about myself or have yet to figure out. 


As the Lord has sought to get my attention there have been numerous accounts of another trying to get my focus to be on everything except the Lord of all Creation. 


LOOK there is "an ear mark" on my book.
Age 25; trip to visit Mickey Mouse in Florida.  God begins to write: I finally got her to focus.  I drew her to a small gathering of my children, a little church far from distractions and I spoke to her heart. I  reminded her that though she thought she was perfect, there was a stain of sin that only I could take care.  I used a servant of mine, a shepherd of the flock to inquire of her; did she know that her life had been marred by sin and did she understand  that I came 2000 years ago to remove that from her? 
In my baby book I have a copy of my foot print; my foot dipped in ink and stamped on paper; proof of my identify so that there would be no confusion of who I belonged to.
In my Father's Book, there are imprints of another's hands and feet. Droplets of blood shed by Jesus; proof of the price he paid for me; a sign of my new identity so that there be no confusion that I belong to Him.  You see, in that small little church, as the pastor ministered the Gospel, I found myself agreeing with what God says about me;  All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away (Isaiah 64:6).


Wrap me in a pretty pink blanket and take in the fresh scents of a new born. There is more if we take a closer look.


Don't miss the great gift that God himself wrapped in flesh and sent for us; for if you take a closer look this little girl that has grown up and is now 25 years old on vacation with her family; she has the stain of sin on her life and she does not know it.  I praise the Spirit of the Living God who called me out of darkness and into his MARVELOUS Light!  That day my certificate read "re-born".
I enjoy both of the books about me.  One has glimpses of my life; the other has everything about me, even before I was woven in my mother's womb.


Thanks dad ("papi") for reminding me of all God had done with this life.


I praise you Lord!


Now it's your turn; look at your baby photo album  but don't forget that God has a book on you too. Is your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life?  What does the Lord's books say about you?
May our hearts be tender allowing the Spirit of God to speak to us.  Now, take a closer look.






LISTEN | Look a little closer by Helen Baylor






God bless you!~Liz www.LizRod.com

Friday, October 31, 2014

Show me your Glory



Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”Exodus 33:18



In the early days shortly after the Exodus we read of God's people quickly giving up on waiting on the promise of God and choosing to do things their own way.  They chose to "find" their own way and in turn almost lost it;  many dying for their rebellion.Ornaments, jewelry taken off; an offering if you will  to make for themselves a "god" they could bow before.  A people who fell down before a false god, though they had belonged to another;  the Deliver that had just parted the waters and allowed them to walk on dry ground while their enemies drowned.

The Lord knows all about us and the road we are to travel.  As we entertain desires that are not from God, the Scripture says that is will lead to death. (James 1:15)  We have to filter every thought through God lest we find ourselves sinning against God.


 A promise from God to lead his people to the Promise Land.  God knows us well.  He has placed our feet on a road that leads to life; will we divert and at what cost?


Then the Lord said to Moses, “Leave this place, you and the people you brought up out of Egypt, and go up to the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, saying, ‘I will give it to your descendants.’ I will send an angel before you and drive out the Canaanites, Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. Go up to the land flowing with milk and honey. But I will not go with you, because you are a stiff-necked people and I might destroy you on the way.” (Exodus 33:1-3)


Wow, those are difficult words to hear.  The Golden calf did not speak, but here is God delivering a message that caused their heart to tremble; gripped with fear and rightly so.  It's like when our parents warn us of imminent danger or we go against their protective guidelines and we find ourselves in sin.  We at time might hear the words, "go ahead son...go ahead daughter"  but the repercussion are yours.  That's what God said to the Israelites.


But Moses cries out on behalf of the people.  Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth (vs 15-16)?”


 A desperate cry for mercy.  Moses even goes as far as telling God to blot out my name; Lord if you dismiss these people; dismiss me too.  An intercessory cry on behalf of the people.


Are we willing to cry out to God on behalf of the LOST!  My brother in Christ, Victor gave this great acronym for the word LOST.

Let
Others
Save
Them


See, we have to remember that the Lord in his mercy has saved us so we can in turn share the GOOD NEWS!  Yes someone, God himself, loves us and sent his son to die on our behalf because of our rebellious way. Jesus, took our place so our names would not be blotted out of the Book of Life.  Glory to God! Nothing escapes God.  We might sin in secret but He knows.  We think no one will find out, but the Lord knows the heart.
 

A quick run to the Mercy Seat of God is what we need.  A desperate cry for mercy. Look how God answers Moses: And the Lord said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.” Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”





And the Lord said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the Lord, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.” Then the Lord said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen. (vs 17-23)” How merciful and gracious!  This is the God I serve. Thank you for mercy Lord. Show me your Glory!


He knows when I have fallen, he knows the hairs on my head, he knows when I do wrong, yet he calls me to himself and allows me to cry out in repentance and he restores me again. He allows me to see his Glory once again; his Presence that causes me to bow in worship.


God bless you!~Liz www.LizRod.com

Friday, October 24, 2014

What am I?

It's seems like just the other day I could see from the horizon life so beautiful and new.  As time goes on and change occurs, because it does; it will come, I have a sense of apprehension but also anticipation. 
I know I was not made to remain the same and even now the transformation is occurring.
 
The seasons are so beautiful and yet I have my favorite time of year.  Life brings gentle breezes that cause me to want to soar, almost clap in a symphony as scents of every beautiful flowers emit their fragrance.
 
Have you ever taken a vantage view from the top of a mountain; the large landscape to behold?  It's all creation in its place sharing and acknowledging the beauty He has made.
 
It's time.  I have matured and there is evidence. 
 
I have been made for a purpose and another passing moment has arrived. It reveals a new sense of beauty in me.  It's a visible change for all to see.
 
There is a sense of urgency to want more; the light is what I want but it escapes me. Alteration and transfiguration, is part of my life.
 
I look around and I see separation.  The tenderness is gone and I feel parched and yet I can no longer drink.
 
It's the breeze again but this time it seems as if it wants to take me away.  It seem darker and colder but I am not afraid. 
 
I hear what seems to be like a fire when it cracks; like crumble paper tossed to the ground as the wind moves it without any direction.
 
I have fallen and the end has come.
 
What am I?

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, October 10, 2014

A Jealous God

Deuteronomy 4:24
For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

What a week; my every thought has been consumed with this great love that God has for me.  It  has reached a peak that has caused me to weep even at my desk at work.  I think of God's warning in the Garden.  I reflect on how Jesus came down to his creation (me) and was willing to be marred, spit on, hated, rejected and ultimately put to death because of his love for me.  There have been layers of his love presented to me in these last two weeks.  Oh how great is our God! 

During a Bible Study last week a young man by the name of James gave a beautiful analogy of how God saw me.  A created being made to reflect the image of God; like an antique mirror tossed into a rummage sale.  The mirror was not left discarded but purchased; tenderly restored to it's luster to reflect the image of the Purchaser.  God sees himself in me!

Of all the things that God created, he chose to have his image reflect in me........in you....

A jealous God; a passionate God pursuing after me.  He guards and protects and challenges anything that dares to intercept his chasing after me. 

A song has resonated in my heart, Relentless Pursuit.  Jesus has come after me and flooded my heart with an incredible love for Him and I run, run after him....for he only satisfies!!!   Taste and see that he is Great!!!

So can anything change this great love that God has for me or for you?  Can anything cause us to ponder if its true? Only the enemy can try to come in and whisper to us that we are of no value, that life is not worth enjoying every precious moment that he gives us.

What's your story today?  Are you happy, sad, disturbed, confused, dismayed, wishing somehow things were different.  More time, more money, better health, different job.....and on it goes.

Have you made a decision to involve our Great God on all things?  Have we committed that we will not allow the thief to come and destroy our joy--our peace? 

See, the thief can only steal what we hand to him.

I CHOOSE to give him nothing!  I have been made perfect in the sight of God, reflecting his face so that all can see we have a Creator who lavishes us with his love. 

DARE to intercept his goodness toward his own and you will encounter a jealous God!

He is a wall of sea water engulfing the enemy (Exodus 14).  He is in the sound of the trumpets and glass routing the enemy (Judges 7).  He is in the earthquake as the words are spoken, "It is Finished" (Matthew 27).

In this world we will have trouble (John 16:33).  The world is fallen and cursed (Genesis 3). But listen to what the Lord says as he speaks through his servant Paul; For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,  neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:38-39). 




GET IT...NOTHING!  This life is short and the Spirit of the Lord is pointing us to a higher ground...a place of perfection with the Lover of our Soul!  He is coming back for ME!  I am not left at the alter waiting; but the Bridegroom is coming!!


Sickness, disease, disappointments, in plenty and in want---I CHOOSE YOU JESUS because HE YOU CHOSEN ME!

God bless you!~LizRod
www.lizrod.com


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Pursuit lead to Marriage

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Today is a day to remember....at least for me.  Thirty-five years ago I started dating this young man by the nickname of Papo.  Little did I know my life would change and 3 years later we would be married. I'm sure he would not be shy about admitting his pursuit for me.  He showered me with kindness and love; convinced me to share the rest of my life with him.  Happy "dating" anniversary Papo.  Yeah...I'm one of those girls that remembers these kind of dates :)


Jesus also has pursued me.  He drew me and lavished me with love. He said he would be willing to die for me and he did (John 3:16).  He brought me to the Father, something I could not do without him The Bible says, that I am the Bride of Christ made perfect without spot or wrinkle (Ephesians 5:25-27).  And yes,  I remember the day I surrendered and allowed Christ to lead me down the aisle; redeemed and made whole...Hallelujah!  A life changing event; from death to life!




God bless you!~Liz www.LizRod.com

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!

Genesis 2:15 (NIV)

The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Often in reading Genesis 2:15, the thought that comes to mind is that God created the first man Adam in the Garden.  But  the Scripture says, God put him in the Garden of Eden.
He placed him there to work and enjoy creation.  As I was studying this one verse, the phrase "take care of it"  lends to the concept of "guarding" the garden, tend,  or to watch over, or even a watchman.
He had the perfect occupation in a perfect sanctuary. Looking around at the beautiful creation that God placed him in.  He had perfect fellowship with God.  A place to communicate with God, a place of worship.
In the Garden, this place where Adam could adore his Maker, worship was as natural a breathing.  I could imagine, every task he did, tending to all that God had already created; discovering all the beauty and colors and fragrances...wow..exclamations of praise must have echoed throughout the Garden. I could picture Adam bellowing out from behind the trees, tasting every plump juicy fruit, "Lord this is good". Yes, God created all things and he said it was good.  Praise and adoration flowing from the core of Adam's being; love and reverence, thanksgiving and every imaginable act of worship poured out to God! It was out of reverence and obedience that Adam enjoyed this intimacy with God.
When Adam failed to guard the Garden, God's Garden, death entered in and man was displaced because of his disobedience.  If the Lord asked Adam to "guard" the garden would that imply that there was an enemy lurking somewhere? Well, what we do know is that indeed an enemy lured Adam and Eve to sin and the results were just as God said, "you will surely die".
We see the introduction to the shedding of blood even as the Lord prepares garments for the children that disobeyed. Instead of requiring their blood, God gave them garments made of animal skin.  Here we are at the beginning; it is the mercy and the love of God that provided a covering for them. Somebody had to die. A shadow of the things to come.  Christ himself would shed his blood at the appointed time to cover for the sins of the world.
A broken paradise.  A fallen man.  A cursed world.  Worship interrupted by a distraction.  They let their guard down and were deceived.
Since the Fall of man it has become more challenging to worship our God.  Interruptions cause our focus to shift.  Distractions call for our attention.  Pride brings out a mirror and asks us to look at ourselves removing God from his throne and placing a little image of ourselves to adore instead. But, for the worshiper that desires to honor God,  he leads them besides quiet waters and he refreshes their soul.  He give us glimpses of his glory that leave us in awe! Though the place of worship in the Garden is gone, he comes to indwell every believer, he comes and makes residence in us calling us back to a place of intimacy with Him.  Once again we feel the breeze of the day and sense his presence; we know he is here.  He allows us to engage him allowing even a change to occur in us.  Glory to God!
Much has changed; The Garden protected by a flaming sword. Though we were expelled, He pursued us.  It's a relentless pursuit. We've sensed him calling and we've ignored him. The Word became flesh and walked among us but we did not recognize him.  He came to die, was crucified and we despised him. "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)
For the true worshiper that seeks him, being in his presence is life, a longing fulfilled! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord!
God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

First Words

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 2:7(NIV)


I'm always thinking about worship and what it truly looks like. You see I fail in my ability to always bring to God what he deserves therefore I examine and challenge my heart to take a good look inside and see it's intentions, it's motives.  It's only out of a sincere heart of worship that the Lord is honored and given reverence.  It is then that the worship experience has begun. God doesn't need a song for after all, Scripture says he is the song depositor; "He put a new song in my mouth" Psalm 40:3  What he desires from me it a genuine heart that desires to bless him.  
He reminds me who I am; I'm his.   He has made me his heir and co-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17) It's out of a heart of gratitude that praise rises up.  I can look at my life and know that the Lord's hand is shaping me.  He takes a broken mess and makes something beautiful.
Sunday morning I was thinking about Adam .  Adam was the first man that God created. Ever wonder what Adam's expression was when he saw his Maker?  When he looked around and saw the beauty that his eyes beheld for the first time, what did he say?  The Scriptures say that the Lord formed man and that he breath into his nostrils.  When Adam beheld his Maker what were his first words?

God is Spirit.  When Adam was created he was perfect, without sin and enjoyed great intimate fellowship with the Lord.  Worship must have been as natural as breathing.  

Overwhelmed by this thought of Adam's encounter with God lead me to ponder; did he talk, did he sing, did he bow, what did he do? I imagine he began to adore his Maker.  A right relationship with God, no sin, no fallen flesh to compete with, no source of contention between his built-in desire to worship God and the ability to just bless the Lord.

Breath entering his lungs, the Spirit of God hovering over this clay that had just been formed.  Made to reflect God.  Made to return God's Glory back to Him.  Made in the likeness of God; a spirit being clothed in flesh.  No pain, no sickness, no envy, no strife, no jealousy, no arrogance, no....no...no.  No need for anything for his life was made complete.  I believe Adam must have adored God from the moment his eyes opened; from the moment he realized he was alive. 

I can image Adam just singing to the Lord...Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me...bless his holy Name! It was perfect communion with God!  What else does one do when encountered by God?  Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me....bless his holy Name!

Though much time has passed since that day in the Garden, I believe this is also the heart of every soul who has trusted God's son Jesus with their very lives.

Yes, now we have pain, disease, selfishness has slithered in, every manner of sin, and our hearts at times are divided.  But like David the psalmist said, Lord give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name!  Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness.  Psalm 86:11  There is still a cry deep inside that desires to magnify and glorify our Maker.  I've been in the secret place where his presence is there; I've tasted of his goodness and he is real; I've dived into a flowing river that refreshed my soul; I've trusted in the finish work of the cross and I've been changed. 

Yes,
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 105

If you are a parent you know the joy of hearing your child say 'mama" or "daddy" for the first time.  It's thrilling!  Just imagine the heart of  God when you call his Name!
Glory to God!



God bless you!~Liz 
www.LizRod.com


Monday, August 11, 2014

Pass by Them

Later that night, the boat was in the middle of the lake, and he was alone on land. He saw the disciples straining at the oars, because the wind was against them. Shortly before dawn he went out to them, walking on the lake. He was about to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the lake, they thought he was a ghost. They cried out, because they all saw him and were terrified.nImmediately he spoke to them and said, “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Mark 6:47-50 (NIV)

Greetings from North Myrtle Beach!
Taking a few days of R&R with my husband.  This morning I am reading from the Book of Mark; came to chapter six and read the words "He was about to pass by them".  Did I read "pass by them"?  Was Jesus really going to leave the men he called to his side by themselves; leave them in the middle of the storm all alone?

Jesus, I am struggling today, are you going to pass me by?  This is our question at times, isn't it?  Just as the disciples were learning more about themselves, they were also learning more about Jesus.

The Great Teacher was shaping the frighten, flesh dependent fisherman how to notice and call on the Lord in the midst of their trouble.  When the storm is raging, the Lord is on the shore watching.  When the Lord enters the troubled waters he is waiting for us to take our eyes off the wave; waiting for us to NOTICE that he is patiently waiting for us to invite him and request his help.

I take much comfort in knowing that I am not alone.  I too am continuously learning; the Lord always teaching me that he is with me. 

At the sight of the tomb we hear the angel of the Lord speak. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.” (Matthew 28:5-7)

See at this time many had learned how to call and look for the Lord.  So here they are at the tomb, looking for him though they thought he was dead.  They had a better understanding of who their master was.  A better understanding, but not complete.

So the women begin to search for their Teacher. Indeed they do find him.  The Resurrected Lord, the Creator of the World, the Redeemer of mankind, ALIVE!

We read that Jesus assures them that he would be with them always even until the end of time.(Matthew 28:20)

He commands them to go into the world and tell others about him. Perhaps the story went something like this for Peter.  When I met the Lord he allowed me to be a student of his.  I remember the day that I was in trouble and afraid, I was in the storm and it wasn't until I called upon him that the storm, the waves became still. I have followed the Master and he has changed me.

I, Jarius was afraid that my daughter was going to die that I knew I had to go see him, to seek his help for my little girl.  I thought it was too late for she had died.  But, Jesus said, little girl get up and breath was returned to her. He must be God!

The testimonies of many are written in the Word of God; the Helper, helping the weak.  The one who Calms the Storm helping the fearful. The "I am" resurrecting the dead.  The Healer helping the sick.

He is forever revealing himself to us.  Have you missed him?  Did you not see him on the shore?  Did you see when he got up and step into the water? 

Learning to recognize Him for he is everywhere, I can't escape him.  This morning once again I was reminded, He is with me.  Thank you Lord!

Have you overlooked the Spirit of God when you were in need, forgot that he is here? It may seem that he is going to pass you by.  Perhaps he is waiting for you to call on Him.

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Power in the Testimony

 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” Acts 2:13

As the true-story of the Day of Pentecost unfolds in the book of Acts, a statement is made that causes Peter to place the foolish talk of men in its proper place.  Jesus spoke to the disciples before his departure and said, "Wait for the gift my Father will send".  So as the gift arrives, men of no faith can not understand it.  They begin to say that the manifestation of the Spirit of God, this gift that has been sent to empower the believers, that somehow what the crowd was "hearing" was invoked by wine.  That's pretty funny.  If anyone was to believe that "they" were drunk, it would have been the crowds who had too much wine; the ones "hearing" the Galileans proclaiming the Glory and Goodness of God in "their" language! 

Whenever the Lord appears, men of no faith, men whose hearts are like stone are unable to receive what the are trying to understand with their mind alone.  Somebody of faith, a representative of the Kingdom must speak out and testify what the Lord is doing.  So, Peter begins to speak, reminds them of the prophecies spoken long ago,  "I will pour out my Spirit on all people".  (Acts 2:17)  As he begins to explain what is happening, the Spirit of God is at work drawing men to himself via the testimony being shared. A work of the Spirit of God drawing men to himself, we see this unfold; "When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”.  That day, the Bible says that 3000 were saved!  In the Book of Revelations we read about overcoming; triumphing over the enemy of our soul; "they overcame by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony".  There is power unleashed from God in the spoken testimony; a demonstration of the reality and authority that is and comes from God!

"The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people.  They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead". (Acts 4:1-2)  Here it is again.  Men threaten and unable to grasp the truth.  We read, Peter filled with the Spirit begins to testify again about Jesus. The lame man is healed but the heart of flesh can not understand it. In the midst of Peter being jailed and released, more men are drawn to the Father and the number of believers increases  Glory!

As Peter addresses the rulers and elders, he begins to share again about the authority of Jesus; are you upset because this cripple man is now walking?  It's like saying, what is your problem--do you prefer that he stay sick; is it that your heart of flesh can not perceive the things of the Spirit? 
 
"Jesus is
“‘the stone you builders rejected,
    which has become the cornerstone.’

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:11-12)

Look at the Stone that is being rejected.  It is and has become the model, the template and order by which man must conform.  He will hold this structure together. On him will rest and is all Truth.  He is building a spiritual house, the Living Stone, drawing men who are willing to come under his authority.  "As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ".(1 Peter 2:4-5)  His yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matthew 11:30)  He takes the broken and fixes us!  He takes confusion and dispels it!  He takes the heart of flesh and makes it pliable so that the Master Builder can work with is and assimilate it to this Spiritual House he is erecting.

The testimony, a tool used  to proclaim the truth and cause the arrogance, pride and unbelief of men to be challenged. It's a struggle between belief and unbelief; pride and humility; darkness and light.   He is gentle and meek. He chases after us with his love and truth.


God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com

Friday, July 11, 2014

Fireflies

“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 5:14-16

Fireflies; it's the adventure of Summer days as a child.  Taking a hold of any empty  jar, whether it was a glass baby food jar or an old jelly or mayonnaise jar, we'd empty them and we'd go around the neighborhood catching fireflies.  It's their bright little abdomen lighting up and begging us to capture them; once caught we couldn't wait to show them off;  it's our prize!

Today, are we shinning bright; so illuminated that those around us want to "catch" what has been put into these jars of clay? When our lives are touched by the Lord; when our lives are changed and we experience forgiveness and newness of life, we shout it out to all who want to listen.  We experience this transformation like a butterfly bursting out of it's cocoon; we are free, liberated and forgiven. Whooo...fly...fly....a freedom that's new and a weight that is gone. As time goes by, sometimes our light or joy becomes diminished.

Fireflies light up as a way to attract, to call out for mate; a perfect design by God.  We go around catching them because their light is intriguing and interesting.  We marvel at the glow and have even discovered that the darker it gets as night falls, the brighter our little prize in the jar becomes!

I want my life to reflect such a light that those that are looking want to "catch" it.  In a world where hope seems gone, pain seems to be common and despair wants to rob and turn off our light; I want to shine even brighter, don't you?  Life is an experience with trials but with Christ he has enabled us to overcome.   May not always be easy, but yes, overcome! 

While catching these fireflies as a little child, I inevitably would accidentally hurt the firefly.  I got to close and  touched it's little belly and my harsh hand would cause it's demise.  It's like us, often in the midst of our walk, people say the wrong thing causing us pain; false accusation, jealousy, bitterness, anger all manifesting in actions that hurt one another.

Interestingly, I remember that even when I accidentally, in my curiosity brought this little creature to it's end, it's LIGHT continued to glow.  Even in death, this creature continued to shine.  It reminds me of Stephen; while his accusers stoned him he continued to glorify God, letting his light shine until the end. "When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him. But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep". (Acts 7:54-60)

There is plenty of darkness in this world we live.  The smallest flicker shines bright in darkness. Find us faithful Lord and help us to overcome.  “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 5:14-16)

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.2 Corinthians 4:7


God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Swapping Appointments

Luke 5:3 (NIV)
Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.
A typical doctor's office; many needing to see the doctor and I hear a conversation that moved my heart to action.  This morning I had an "emergency appointment" with my dermatologist.  I've been struggling with an unusual area of skin that needed attention.  I've visited the doctor twice and spoke to them just a few days ago. I'm still not convinced of what is attacking my skin, so on to the doctor I go again; an appointment "squeezed in" just for me.

It's an elderly couple at the front desk, checking in but the receptionist says, "your appointment is not for this morning but for 2 PM this afternoon."  A little dialogue goes on, back and forth; each trying to convince the other that they are correct. The elderly lady points to her appointment book/calendar and says, "it's right hear, this is my bible".

Well, whether she really has a Bible and has read it; whether she knows the Lord or not, I do not know. I do know every one  needs the Doctor!

I've often heard that people won't listen to what you say but will surely pay attention to what you do (my translation).

As I looked at this elderly couple, wondering how long they may have had to drive; all the effort it probably took to get to the doctor's office, I found myself getting up from my chair and going to the receptionist and saying, "this couple can have my appointment, I can come back this afternoon." 

I believe when I addressed the receptionist; mentioned that I had something to tell her; she seemed to express, "what now" can't you see I am dealing with this confusion.  She wasn't rude but I could tell her mind was wondering how did the mix-up occur and how was she going to fix it.

As my words of giving up my appointment reached her ear, she smiled.  She said, "oh a
ren't you a sweetheart".  I looked at the elderly couple and said, "you can have my appointment, enjoy your day".

A sweetheart...hmmm......I'm surely a follower of Christ hoping to let my actions speak louder than words.

For a believer who has seen the "Doctor" and whose life has been "healed", this kind of action is what we do.  There are many who are not just sick in their flesh but their spiritual life needs the attention of The Doctor. 

For me these last couple of months have been a world-wind of doctors, ailments without a "full" explanation, visit after visit.  In the midst of this the Lord has ministered to me that in the middle of what seems confusion to everyone including the doctors who are trying to figure out how all my symptoms connect; the Lord ministered peace in the midst of chaos.  Yes, when the wisdom of man fails, I see God in the midst bringing order.

It seemed like a simple gesture to swap appointments.  I see a bigger picture, we all have an appointment with God.  One day we will all stand before his presence and give an account for our lives.  He has offered us his Son; he has given each of us an appointment which we WILL keep.  Are we ready? No swapping appointments; can't say we are not ready; we can't say take the elderly couple first.  When the Doctor calls, the one that offers spiritual healing, we go right into the Office--The Throne Room of his Glorious Presence. Let's be ready, we all need to be healed. Jesus answered them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. (Luke 5:3)

By the way, the Doctor not only healed me spiritually, He is doing an incredible work in my physical body too!!!!  Glory!!!!

I await the Wisdom of God to be imparted to my physician this afternoon :)

God Bless You!~Liz
www.lizrod.com