Leb Blog

Friday, December 25, 2015

The Sign Jesus


It is my pleasure to tell you about the miraculous signs and wonders that the Most High God has
performed for me. How great are his signs, how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; his dominion endures from generation to generation. Daniel 4:2-3 (NIV)


From the beginning of time He has been trying to reach us. He’ll address his enemy, which is also our enemy. The fight will be fierce, for our very soul and existence is in the balance.

Let the overshadowing of the Holy Spirit bring forth a child through a young girl. He will be ridiculed and his identity will be questioned. He’ll grow up like what seems to be a normal child; who would believe that God would humble himself to be like one of us?

His brothers will dismiss him. His mother will reflect. His earthly father will embrace him as his own.

The rulers will challenge him and every demon is hell try to destroy HIM.

He’ll be hunted, despised and never fully recognized for who he is.

Look inside the manger and it’s a little baby. Follow him over the years and you’ll see the wisdom of God all over him.

Hear him speak and your soul will thirst for something to satisfy it.

Join the crowds that hurl insults or secretly go along his path and your own heart will reveal the yearning inside to belong, but to what?

His fragrance remains wherever he’s been.

Bring him before the people, before his family; take him to rulers and kings.

Try and shake him to reveal his character and it becomes more evident who he is.

Look for the SIGN!

The prophet’s foretold of him; at times to their demise.

Angels announced it.

Shepherds believed.

Kings trembled.

A baby in a manger crowned KING from his birth.

Crucified on a cross of disgrace so as to purchase us for himself.

He'll silence the enemy and make a spectacle of the traitor.

"They are mine" you can hear him say.

Follow him to his grave and wait a few days.

Look again!

An empty grave is the SIGN.

No longer there; death could not keep him.

Take a look again and this baby is a man; this man is the Son of God. The Son of God is the chosen Lamb of God. This Lamb is the Sacrifice that has canceled our debt.

Every angel, creature, elder and all creation bows to the KING.

Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.

Worthy, Worthy, is my KING.

This baby Jesus is He.

Merry Christmas.

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The River



Acts 16:29-30 (NIV)


The jailer called for lights, rushed in and fell trembling before Paul and Silas. He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”


When the message comes
and what we hold on is shaken
Every standing foundation removed

The release we experience
the Spirit’s Freedom
An invitation for the New

I stand by the River
WASHED

Never knew what held me
Trembled in fear
consumed by the night

I thought I’d give up
HE
pierced this darkness I’d trust

Death ripped
EXPOSED

What must I do to be saved


I cried out to the Lord
The Author of GRACE

Written by Liz Rodrigues


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Confessions of the Dress

Isaiah 61:10

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

I'm so glad that the Lord has saved me and clothed me in His Righteousness.

The Bible says, "all my righteous acts are like filthy rags." (Isaiah 64:6)  I can barely select a dress to wear nevertheless clothe myself in righteousness.

101 Dresses it what my sister called me.  In my shopping adventure for a recent "Gala" event; early on I purchased a dress.  The local store did not have my color so I ordered it on line.  The dress arrived; yes, I finally got the dress.  I'm done. Right?

I'd like to say that was true.  I normally don't wear dresses but felt some pressure to conform to the evening attire requirement; after all this is a Gala and everyone will be at their best! This was a call for ladies in gowns!

This dress "drama" almost consumed me.  It almost became an idol to me. 

Life teaches me lessons and the Holy Spirit speaks to me. 

Toward the end of this dress ordeal; after shopping the whole wide world (www) I ended up returning every dress I purchased.  I purchased a short dress, a long dress; they were black, purple, "A" line, straight line, long sleeves, short sleeves...I mean it was ridiculous!

I'm only confessing this to demonstrate how silly we can be and how something as simple as a dress can consume us to the point of just crazy-dumb!

Along my adventure I discussed this with my husband, my son and especially my sister who had already affirmed that the original dress was perfect.

A few days before the Gala I heard the Spirit of the Lord whisper to  me, "You are attempting for perfection, but you will not attain it".  What??

He reminded me through this crazy adventure that when he died on the cross it was because I was flawed.  Sinned had ravished my life and I was tainted. What?  I only want a dress.

He reminded me that I am always dressed in royalty fashion; wow much better.  He has clothed me in His Righteousness.  His covering keeps me ready for his coming, when the King will arrive to take His Bride home.


YES, that will indeed be an extraordinary celebration.

There is nothing wrong with wanting too look your best, but if it consumes us than we have crossed the line. 

He said I am beautiful from the inside out.  No outside ornament or dress can replace what he has already done.  Glory to God!

So, I embraced my original black dress.

I remembered my original covering from the Lord.

Back  to my senses! 

BTW, the dress was not so bad.  If my husband said it looked good, that's all that mattered!

If my God tells me I am beautiful and made perfect in his sight...that's all that matters! 

I am dressed in His Righteousness!

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com
#lizrod

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Identified with Christ


 I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” (Song of Songs 6:3a)


Social Media has a lot to say; a public forum that speaks via friends, strangers and even enemies.

Would you agree? 

This platform that allows the whole world to speak into our lives and often tries to define us is growing like wild fire.

I’m not against Facebook or LinkedIn, after all I am part of their population. 

The question that’s on my mind is; if God had an account on me (which he does), what would it say?  How many “likes” would he post on my account?  I’m not speaking about literal comments we post on Social Media but about our REAL lives!

Do we read the Bible as he encourages us?  Do we habitually forsake gathering with the saints?  Are our hearts rendered to Him in worship, causing us to be broken and in awe of his Majesty or is it just another song? Is forgiveness part of who we are, even when it’s difficult?  Will our children view our lives as a legacy they want to reflect? Is there enough proof in our lives that states that Jesus is Lord?

I’m reminded that all that I am, I owe to the Lord.  Every gift, every skill, all that I’m entrusted with—every possession, everything; even my very breath! Lord let my life bring you glory!

It’s humbling to read what others say in the public square. But the question remains; God what are YOU saying about me? 

He not only “likes” me, he LOVES me! “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) My name is in His Book.  I did not write it; He purchased it for me.“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” (Revelation 21:27) He calls to us, changes us and then allows us to follow him. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matthew 4:19)

Are you in? Linked to the Lord; transformed by His shed blood. I am my beloved’s and my beloved is mine.” (Song of Songs 6:3a)

I’m concerned about what God thinks of me; after all I’m his daughter.

We cry out! Help us Lord in our areas of weakness.  Forgive us for our sins.  Cause our hearts to be surrendered to you.  Thank you for loving us and dying on the cross; being the very ransom to purchase my soul. My feet have decided to follow you every day that you give me breath. Let the name of Jesus be praised!!


 My life: “like” or “unlike”
www.IdentifiedwithChrist.HisDomain

Multiplied by Need to Breathe

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, October 16, 2015

Encouragement


Romans 12:10-13  (NIV)
Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

I have treasures! 

I have a treasure box.  In my treasure box I have little notes that God has sent my way.  I keep them and when my heart seems heavy or I begin to have doubts--I take a peek in my treasure box.

What can a word of encouragement or a little note do? I keep my little jewels of affirmation and hope together; notes that you have sent and I have hid for future days when my heart may seem discouraged. 

The Lord uses others to bring encouragement; sometimes even prophetic words that seem unreachable but yet come to pass.

Thank you for your words of kindness over the past years!

Keep sharing your heart with others; it's like a breath of fresh air!

Yes, Your Word oh Lord has sustained me and has breathed life to me.

ENCOURAGEMENT:
An action of giving someone support, confidence, or  hope.
Persuasion to do or to continue something.

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, October 9, 2015

Filthy Rags

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)

I have a favorite pass-time, drinking coffee.  It's not just any coffee but my favorite is Dunkin' Donuts. 

As I was on my way to church yesterday, I stopped by the drive-thru to get myself a cup.  As I pulled up to the drive-thru window I pulled really close to a "drive-thru" garbage can. 

Now, if you know the voice of the Spirit of God you are aware that he is speaking all the time. So as I reached over to my cup holders to get rid of the old cups and bottles, I heard myself say out loud, "only in America" more like "you got to be kidding".  I mean really, how lazy am I.  Not only did I not get out of the car to purchase my cup of coffee, I did not even get out to get rid of the garbage that had pilled up in  my car.

Okay, I know you are probably wondering what does this have to do Jesus, after all I am a writer inspired by His Word. Follow me.

How long do we hold on to sin; looking for the right time; a convenient time to release it.  We have issues, we have sinned against God but we refuse to let it go.  We convince ourselves that either it was not our fault or that we have to some how work it through in our minds before we can make a confession to the Lord.   We can't enjoy the present moment because it is contaminated by yesterday's sin.  We can't worship, we can't read His Word, we can't, we can't and we can't. We act as if we have the ability to clean ourselves up.

Don't we want to be free?

Like cups that linger in my car until I am ready to discard them, so it is often with our sin.  The Bible teaches us that we are to quickly confess and we will be released. 

If I leave my cups long enough in my car, if somehow they have spilled over; now I have a bigger mess.  I can  no longer just grab my cup and toss it.  NO, now I have to scrub deep into the cup holder because the seepage of my drink has pierced its container and now my cleanup is worse.

Sin can seep into every part of our life if we hold on to it.

The next time you get in your car, look around; any garbage?

Check your heart; what is residing there; has it affected other areas of your life?

Get rid of it; you don't need a drive-thru window to clean your car.

AND  you surely don't have to wait another moment to be free.
Right now we can confess and feel the release come from our God! 

It's in the practical things of life that the spiritual often comes to life.
Let's clean up!  No sooner that I confess my sin, the Lord digs deep leaving no trace of sin if I allow him.

READ THE ENTIRE CHAPTER click here

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com


Monday, October 5, 2015

My Numbers tell a Story

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit
drieth the bones. Proverbs 17:22

Late this afternoon I had an appointment with a health counselor regarding my blood sugars; I am diabetic. It’s been a few years that I had seen her but at the request of my physician I went.

I have no known issues; this was more like a routine event.

My visit resulted in some very interesting findings; things that we “know” or hear about, but today I experienced it firsthand.

She asks me a few questions and then proceeds to download my blood sugars from my machine. She tells me things look pretty good and that I am well controlled—Glory to God!

I tell her a little about myself, sharing how I serve the Lord.

As she continues to review my numbers; she is looking for patterns and she asks, “what happens on Fridays, whatever it is it must be good”.

I kinda’ chuckled and said, “that’s my Bible Study Night”, why? She proceeded to tell me that medically speaking as she observes my readings from Monday to Friday, that Fridays is the best day based on my chart.

I have always known that serving the Lord is not only a spiritual blessing but this transformation also affects my physical flesh. My body recognizes and anticipates going to the House of God and it feels well.

Our conversation continued.

I am pretty much well rounded emotionally, but there is this one area that causes me stress (I’m still in progress and need to overcome).

My counselor says, “What goes on, on Tuesdays and Thursday during the day”. I almost fell of my chair. I replied, “I go to work”.

This is my area of stress.

Medically speaking she could see my body change as she read my blood sugar numbers.

So I prodded a little more; “tell me counselor, how are my numbers on Monday and Wednesday”? I have been taking Mondays off from work and on Wednesday I operate from my house. She said, “Pretty good; what happens on those days”?

I answered, “Mondays I am off and Wednesdays I work from home”.

My physical body is affected based on my environment. When I am at my office my body declines; when I am home or anticipate going to church my body improves.

Go figure!! A merry heart doeth good like a medicine!

One of my favorite pieces of Scripture is from Psalm 103. Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases. Psalm 103:2-3.

O.K. pray from me, I need to fully overcome and make some changes.

I did not think that my body was being affected, but obviously it is. I want my numbers to read as if I lived in the HOUSE OF GOD!!

Praise the Living God, He actually lives inside of me!!

He reminds me, same power that raised Jesus from the grave lives in me! Liz don’t forget!! Glory to God!

God bless you!~Liz

Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Chase

Isaiah 61:10 (NIV)

I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.



Time moves without obeying any stop or yield signs.  It seems like yesterday, I was a young girl being pursued by a young man who seemed to have an interest in me.  Truth be told I had an interest in him! The year was 1979, the Federal debt was $829.5 billion; the U.S. Voyager I space probe photos reveal Jupiter's rings;  Michael Jackson released his first breakthrough album, Off the Wall; average monthly rent $280.00 and the cost of a gallon of gas .86 cents. NO I don't have this memorized, I Googled it! 


What is edged in my mind is the day he came into my life.  In the recesses of my mind, I can see what he was wearing as he leaned on his brown Montego vehicle.  He drove to where I had just moved just to say, "hello". Well--HELLO!

We dated and in 3 years time we got to know each other and then the question, "will you marry me".  HELLO----Yes!  It's been 36 years since the day he pulled up just to bring a greeting.  


Time is an interesting thing; it encapsulates my life.  It let's me know how old I am; reminds me of yesterday and even how long it's been since I last ate.  So, three years later we got married and lived happily ever after.

Well, happily ever after is for fairy tales.  Marriage is hard work; a commitment to each other no matter time brings.  I love this man and I am surrendered to him till death do us part.  He is the covering and provision  that God has sent for me.  He would do anything for me--I know that!!  I love him!

Outside of time is another who desires my hand in marriage.  Actually he will allow his hands to be pierced for the sake of the union.  He shouts from the beginning of time, I love you!  He will re-arrange anything to make me his.  He will leave the Throne Room but never his royalty; He will release a song over me, begin to build a home in glory for me and will satisfy the debt I owe.  This debt is not Federal but Spiritual; sin that has tripped me.  His love will pursue me until I can recognize his call for me.  He will chase, follow me and reveal his eternal love for me.

This relationship is not easy.  I often make more mistakes; break the Father's heart but he is commitment to me!  He is my eternal covering and had made provision to cover my mess.
That year the sin debt might as well been a billion times a billion because one sin was enough to separate me from Him.  But, he loves me.  He paid for my debt.  He is the Groom that has lavished this bride. He loves me!  I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels. (Isaiah 61:10)

Papo thank you for sharing this life with me!  Jesus thank you for making me whole and sending this man to love me.  Thirty-six years goes by pretty fast.  Eternity is forever; have you considered the One that is drawing you to Himself?

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com


Monday, September 14, 2015

It's the most wonderful time of the year!



Psalm 143:8 (KJV) Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…… No it’s not winter but the season that precedes it; it is FALL (perhaps not officially)!

This is my favorite time of year with Spring being second in line. As I sat outside this morning in my pajamas, cup of coffee in hand it was glorious! To any visitor that would have stopped by my house this morning- I look like a wreck. You know ladies, you just got up, the hair is a mess; I brushed my teeth and outside I went as if it was a long desired treat!

The breeze was invigorating; I felt like I could climb the trees in my back yard and sway and compete with all the branches that moved to the song of the gentle wind; I was jealous.

God’s creation is so beautiful and as I sat there talking with my Lord and thanking him for the beauty my eyes beheld and the breeze my face felt, well it was a private time of worship with me and my Father.

I rocked back and forth on the swing in my backyard with Bible in hand reading of the different mentions of praise in the Scriptures; so many authors with expression of praise unto God.

There is a boasting and celebration for the great things that God has done! I read once again about the various times of thanksgiving, hands extended in praise to our Lord. The very visible expressions of praise as the writers illustrate how they bowed down to the Lord; the instruments they plucked to honor the Almighty; the songs that were sung in times of pain and victory. Oh praise the Lord oh my soul!

I too began to speak and sing out loud as I praised my God.

Prompted by the very experience of the gentle breeze, my soul began to express thanksgiving unto God!

I was reminded of the day my life changed. Yes, like a gentle breeze I was swept away by the Lover of my Soul! “ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”(John 3:8)

God is so good! Thank you for saving my soul! Thank you for revealing yourself to me over and over again! There is an expression of praise in the Scriptures; in the Hebrew it reads “Todah”. It is an expression of thanksgiving, bringing an offering and in one mention it alludes to an offering of thanksgiving even before the victory comes. “Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me (Todah), and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” (Psalm 50:23)

Oh, let us praise his Name! The victory indeed belongs to our God. We all have challenges. Today as I sat outside perhaps an eyesore to whoever passed by; I indeed was visited by the Spirit of God and enjoyed a refreshing time in his Presence! I don’t repel him; he does not care what I look like in the morning or any other time; he is acquainted with suffering (Isaiah 53:3) and he desires my company. He wants me to engage with him daily. “And he talks with me and he walks with me and he tells me I am his own”! YES!!! He loves me!

Can I sing a Christmas song at the end of Summer—yes I can. It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dynamic World

John 3:8 The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

I live in a DYNAMIC WORLD. Just when I think I have all my "ducks lined up" a wind comes and knocks one down.

Change comes for many reasons and I may not always embrace it.

Like a wind that comes unexpectedly, so is life and all its adjustments.

Every time one or two or even three of my "ducks" get knocked down I ask the question, "why?"  Sometimes change is for my good; sometimes change is a rebuke.

In the Bible we see Yahweh, our God bringing change so quickly, it's like a wind; actually it's the Spirit of God moving for His divine purposes.

In
Genesis 8:1 we literally see the wind dispatched to bring Noah to dry land. Man's sin had provoked the Lord and he wiped out everything that had life from the earth except for Noah and those on the Ark.Exodus 10:13 tells us how God called the wind from the east to bring a plague of locust on Egypt. 

Wind an instrument of God to bring conviction, judgment or blessing; his very Spirit changing hearts and sometimes landscape.
Exodus 10:19 reads, that Pharaoh acknowledged that he had sinned against God and then the Lord sent a strong west wind and carried the locust away.

The Israelites escaped when the Lord sent a strong east wind that parted the Red sea allowing Israel to escape and their pursuers to be overtaken by the water
Exodus 14:21-22 .

Metaphorically when we see "wind" in the Old Testament, often judgment is seen coming from the east and deliverance or relief from the west.*

He feeds his people in the desert
Numbers 11 when they grumbled against Moses, really their grumbling was against their Delivering God. 

In the New Testament Jesus describes Salvation coming like a wind. Yahweh uses wind for his bidding in the Salvation call. In the Book of John he speaks to Nicodemus and speaks of being born of the Spirit.

God will do anything to get out attention with his great love; he wants us!

Every time change arrives like an unforeseen wind; life making a turn that I am may not ready for, it does not mean I have sinned against God or somehow missed the mark. Sometimes the Lord needs to remind me that I am His and perhaps it's as simple as wanting to get my attention so we can talk. 


Possibly I have neglected to spend time with God in prayer. If somehow I have become self-reliant, a very dangerous place to be; he may have to send a gentle breeze knocking down my "perfectly" duck alignment so he can get my gaze back on Him.

In a dynamic world, I am lead by a Dynamic God. He does not operate in a "cloning" fashion. He is Unique and works all things out for my best. His helicopter view of my life allows Him to see the end from the beginning.

I must stay dependent on Him. 

Ducks knocked down; no longer in control, we may ask "why?"

If I have sinned, I best repent and get right with the Lord. 

We all need adjustments.


Many years ago he knocked down every "duck" I had. I was captivated by his love and the sweet wind of the Spirit came and my life was never the same; born again by the Spirit of God!

It's possible He will find you a righteous man or women who seeks him daily (read
Job).  He may allow what seems unfair to occur, but at the end it brings glory to God.

So how many ducks are standing today? Perhaps we need a chat with our Father!

*Reference: Old Testament Theology of the Spirit of God by Wilf Hilderbrandt

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com

Thursday, August 6, 2015

One Score | 20 Years ago...

...in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Today is the beginning of a new chapter in our lives.  After 20 years of service my husband has said, "thank you" and moved on.  The Scriptures says, "in everything give thanks" and that's what I will do today. 

I thank God for using my husband's current employer to make provision for my family.  God provided for us through this family-owned company to put food on our table, clothes on our back and shelter over our heads. Even a long-time dream I had came to fruition as we traveled to Alaska.

We've grown as individuals and as a family.  We've matured in the Lord and seen other lives transformed as well.  My mother-in-law was taken from this earth quickly without warning; a painful reality that this life is short.  I saw Salvation visit my father-in-law Avelino and also my mom one day before the Lord called her home.  

Hospital visits to share the Good News resulted in lives changed as I witnessed my uncle's salvation and my other uncle's heart encouraged as the Lord called him. Most recently my cousin Hector surrendered his life to Jesus after yet another bedside outpouring of the Spirit of God.  My brother Moses bowing his knee to the Lord behind bars--God is merciful!

Why go back and remember because it testifies of where we are today.  I rejoice in all that the Lord has done!  

This week brings change.   Sunday is my husband's birthday.  Monday marks four years from the last day I saw my mom on earth.  It's a week with a lot of emotion.

In everything give thanks!

A lot happens in a score (20 years).  

My now adult son was only eleven years child.  My husband and I have celebrated over three decades of marriage.

We endured the Blizzard of 2015, Hurricane Sandy  in 2012 and the Blackout of 2003.

Blizzards, hurricanes and blackouts--some are weather related and yet there is another type of these that we experience in our lives.

In everything give thanks!

But this  morning when I awoke I was reminded that God is over ALL.  With a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude, I say I rejoice today; thank you for my breath this morning.  Thank you for the family you have placed me in.  Thank you for every encounter and heartache.  Thank you for never leaving me. Thank you for the new adventure; we are in your hands--no other place I rather be!

Happy birthday to my husband, Papo! 

I am filled with JOY--not joy like the world promotes but that which comes from the LORD--eternal JOY.

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com

Friday, July 31, 2015

Road Work Ahead

Hebrews 12:1-2 (NIV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

All week I have been redirected by construction signs all over my neighborhood. The road is ripped up; furniture trucks are making deliveries; all kinds of re-routing going on!

What if I did not know how to get to work?  But,  the truth is that the signs are letting me know how to get back on the right road that will lead me to my destination.

Whether young old, the more we walk with the Lord the more we recognize how the "road less traveled" is often intercepted so as not to allow us to reach our end, our purpose.

The Apostle Paul said that he "fixed" his eyes on Jesus--he had every intention to finish this race; to arrive at this glorious destination.

The construction signs on the road this week were intended to point me in the right direction.  If I choose to leave the route; if I begin to complain that the road is bumpy or that I have to  make to many turns--I might miss my destination or at the very least arrive frustrated.

Again, in the Book of Hebrews we read "for the joy set before him" speaking of Jesus; He stood the course. He was tempted by the devil, disowned by the disciples, mocked by men and his own Father turned his back on him. If there were not enough--he was crucified for sinful men! But, glory to God, he stood the course! 

We learn from the Master; the Apostle Paul gleaned from his Lord and was able to remain.

How is the road you are traveling on today?  Are their bumps, redirection signs, closed roads, perhaps their are flags waving letting you know you are going to fast--slow down, stay the course.  Look closely, the Author & Perfecter of our faith is motioning us toward the finish line.

Good thing we know where we are going, right? 

He has made it so that no matter the bumps, if we stay the course we will indeed be welcomed  home. 

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod,com

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Yard Sale

1 Thessalonians 4:16 (NIV)
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.


Sunday on my way to church I noticed a sign that seemed to point toward a cemetery and it read, "yard sale".  Yard Sale--what on earth would they have to sell? 

What do we have that God has not given to us?  Is there something you possess or enjoy that has not been provided by the Lord?  Well if we understand that every good and perfect gift comes from the Father above (James 1:17) then we can surely say the answer is NO.  Everything is provided by our Creator.

What do the dead have to sell?  Obviously, I am being silly for we know when we leave this earth we take nothing with us.  So if indeed this sign was pointing toward the grave yard--the profits of the day would be pretty poor.

Ah, but wait until the Lord returns and a worth that has been poured into lives is revealed-- then that grave yard will be hopping!  The dead in Christ rising as the Lord makes his entrance!  Yeah....now we have something of worth that has kept us during the days we were alive.  Mortal flesh being transformed; "for the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).The Redeemer poured out his life on us--literally his blood to purchase mankind for himself.

See, we really possess nothing--but if we have surrendered ourselves --God possess us! 

While on earth, all that he has entrusted to us is for us to share; to make sure no one around us is naked or going hungry.  We can't fix the entire world, but we can just start with the ones God has put within our reach. 

Bring someone lunch today; give away some clothes--not the one with rips, but the ones you really like.  Let nothing possess us!  Someone needs a day of rest--if you can, set it up and bless them.

On a personal note, I am looking forward to spending time with my two sisters, Betty & Iris.  It seems we never spend time together--life continues to move and we don't stop.  Well, if God wills, we are stopping and I am looking forward for a time to rest and laughter with my sisters.

My mom has been called to glory so we want to celebrate her memory.  Ooooo I can't wait!

A yard sale at the cemetery has nothing to sell.  What we find is a hidden treasure that no man can buy.  We discover that the dead in Christ have had a transformation that redeemed their lives; One who paid  the price and has made sure we are his forever!  We are not for sale--we have been purchased by the Master!

The next time you drive by a cemetery, remember--soon there will be a party going on! The dead in Christ have taken this gift of eternal life with them and soon the transformation will be evident to all!  The dead bones will rise!

Have you been transformed? 

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's Viral

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

At first it could not be identified.  I’m marked by an ugly red stripe.  Once you take a closer look you realize its bringing destruction to the flesh, along with pain and shooting electrical stings. As the blisters appeared and the red patch surfaced more clearly it was finally diagnosed as shingles.    That’s me—this week!  It’s possible that I was infected as early as last week.  But it took time to emerge and by then it’s too late, you must let it run its course.

At first I just endured it.  Now that I know what it is I am on the attack mode!

When Sin visits at first we may not be able to identify it. Sometimes we can be tricked into thinking it’s no big deal. We may entertain the thought that we can handle it and that no harm will come of it.  If we leave it to infiltrate our lives soon this "soul eating - spirit diminishing - peace devouring " disease will consume us.  There will be pain and regret if we let it travel and make itself at home.  It’s viral; a virus spreading information for your demise.

The Scriptures says that we are the ones that make Sin feel at home.  There is a desire that gives birth to sin and sin when full-grown gives birth to death (James 1:12-16).

As I look back, one of my first thoughts was that it might be shingles; even my first emergency doctors’ visit noted that.  But there was a second guessing which purchased me two more days of grief.  On Monday, I visited my personal doctor who knows me well; she said, “You have shingles”.  She quickly put me on an anti-viral medicated to halt the process of this virus in my system.

When it comes to sin, second-guessing leads us further down the path of destruction.  Not sure if it’s sin? The Bible says, that the Holy Spirit will tell us.  But what if our sensors are dull; lost their ability to hear from God because of the state we’re in?  Ask a friend or someone you trust to help you identify the sin. 

We may not have a red mark or blisters spelling it out—“you’re in sin”!  But often the identifying markers are a withdrawal from church involvement, reading the Bible, praying and worshiping.  We find ourselves distant from the Doctor, Jesus himself!

Before the sin virus continues to spread and destroy our flesh and spirit—get the antidote.  Confession will set us free.  Run to the Doctor there is no waiting line.  He’ll take us right in to his presence.

The antidote will free us even though the marks of sin may remain for a while.  In time, the flesh, the heart, the mind and spirit will be fully restored.  He makes all things new, we just have to ask and confess.

The Shingles have halted.  The flesh is healing, may take another couple of weeks.  I am reminded once again that God has given men wisdom and all healing comes from him.  He is Jehovah-Rophe.  He not only heals, healing is what He is!  He is the Healer!

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com

Monday, June 29, 2015

Happy Birthday Mike!

Psalm 139:13-18 (NIV)

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 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. How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them,they would outnumber the grains of sand—when I awake, I am still with you.

Today my son, Michael is 31 years old.  Happy birthday son.  Every year I find the perfect morning hours and begin to tell my son of the day he was born.  The great joy his dad and I experienced when this little life was entrusted to us. 

Even with my mistakes, which I'm sure I did, I pray that God can continue to shape this life and impress the very heart of God in  Michael.

I have been questioned, "you mean you tell your son this story every year"?  The answer is yes!  I am 52 years old and if my mom was alive and recounted the day I came into this world, I would be glued to her voice and to the story of when God chose to give me breath.  Life is precious and it goes by quickly.  

Mike, Happy birthday!  We love you and are proud of the man that God has shaped you to be and all that he continues to do in your life.  Stay close to the Lord, know his ways and seek to please him.  Listen for the quiet direction of the Spirit of God which does not contradict his Word.  Happy birthday son, I love you!

God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com

Monday, June 15, 2015

The Table

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18).

Wikipedia says that hospitality is the relationship between the guest and the host. I remember growing up as a young girl in the Bronx, visiting family especially my aunt Myrna and my grandma. No matter when you arrived the host (my aunt & grandma) would always bring out a pot of coffee. Often crackers would follow with a little butter or perhaps some grape jelly.

The same atmosphere was established in my home, with my mom. Come and visit and my mom would quickly make you feel like royalty. The coffee is brewing, the bread is coming out. You see it was not necessarily what was brought out, but the spirit of hospitality that was at work. I have learned much from my mom.

It was a delight to be welcomed to sit and chat for a while. If we lingered then the sandwiches would follow. Sometimes this became an all day affair and dinner scents, a pleasant aroma would soon be in the background as savory beans and rice would begin to simmer. The Hispanic spices would permeate the entire home!

Sitting at a table and reclining is a welcomed pastime I'm sure in many cultures. We have been made for relationships.

Lately I have been meditating on the table; the place where we meet, recline, meet eye-to-eye and share.

On Saturday, May 23rd, just a few weeks ago, I went to visit my cousin Hector Alvarez. Hector was sick and in the hospital. I can't bring Hector to my home and I can't go to his, but can we both meet at the table. The table I am referring to is a place where we can recline and pour out my heart with Jesus.

Jesus is always drawing men to himself almost as to say, sit here, stay a while, let's talk. Even though my Father in Heaven owns everything, he is gentle, meek and humble. He could bring out a "spread" that would be second to none, but what he is after is the relationship; the broken relationship that needs restoration. In the book of Isaiah the prophet writes; Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool (Isaiah 1:18).

God who has come in the flesh to reconcile mankind to himself wants to talk with me, with you. It's as if he has invited me to this table so that his enemy (me) can be made right with Him (God). He does not have to communicate with me after all what does the holy and the unholy have in common? But his love draws us.

There is this great love that God has for us and we often miss it. He has asked me to sit and talk it out. Me? Yes, me and you.

So on Saturday, my cousin and I took the invitation from Jesus and sat together for a while; yes in the hospital room the invitation was extended. We prayed, we cried, we called  out to God. We sang and we could hear the invitation come quietly. Hector, will you come and sit, let's talk, let's reason together.

When Jesus invites us a few things often happen; if pride has a grip on us and won't let us go, we will argue that we are o.k.; we are good; I got this Jesus, I'm not so bad. Truly we are the ones holding to the pride.

Jesus who humbled himself and came to earth in the flesh to rescue us from death has made the invitation. If you look closely, he is a King. The King of kings has extended the invitation, the one who can pardon and who operates in reconciliation.

My cousin began to express that he had done a lot of bad things in his life. I said, me too and the rest of the world as well. For there is no one good, not one (Romans 3:10)!

As the Spirit of the Lord began to minister to our hearts, I gently reminded him that he needed to call out to God himself. As he begins to ask the Lord to help him, we are both crying, and I begin to worship the Lord in song for he is worthy to be praised!  

He has come and swept Hector off his feet. He has made him whole, not holding his wrong-doings against him but reconciling my cousin back to himself. It's not about how much wrong we have done but about how much wrong he can wipe away. The Bible says that when we are reconciled to God he chooses to remember our sins no more and will not hold them against us (Hebrews 8:12). He will take our sins on himself, a sacrifice that will pay for it all; the Son of God on a Cross; resurrected and now sits at the right hand of God.

See, an invitation to sit at the table does not have to be complicated. It's a table and two chairs. It's God and its us. It's forgiveness requested, forgiveness extended. An acknowledgement that I need a Savior and one indeed has come.

At this table there is no food for my stomach; what I find is rest for my soul. He has satisfied a yearning to be accepted, to be forgiven, to be made new.

The Bible says, "Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him".
I will loose and hide myself in Him that I indeed may be found (Psalm 34:8)!

One table, two chairs, a King, and a prisoner being set free! Oh yes, he is GOOD!

Do you smell the sweet scent of the Spirit of God making restoration, reconciling souls to himself? It's an aroma that can sweep through the entire house if we allow it.

This invitation is always being extended, have you sat with him yet? 
 He has a table for two with your name on it.

On Thursday, June 11th Hector went home to be with his Lord!

Tonight's the wake and I pray that all who hear the invitation would sit at the table and experience reconciliation as the Host pulls out the chair and asks us to sit with Him.


God bless you!~Liz
ww.lizrod.com









Thursday, June 4, 2015

No Service

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?

Psalm 139:7 (NKJV)

Wednesday evening my husband asked me to go fishing with him.  I am not a "fisherman", don’t even own a license, but the invitation was for company; a pass-time with my husband.

A 45-minute ride and we arrive.  We are setback off Seven Lakes Drive, a beautiful view. 

We unpack his fishing gear, my chair and my book.  Suddenly I hear, "no service".  I asked my husband, "What was that"?  It seems his phone announces when he is out of the Verizon Wireless service area. 

About every 10 minutes or so it would make the announcement over and over again; pretty annoying.  Not sure if it's because he has an antiquated phone (sorry sweetheart) but you could not hush this thing! 

So here we are in this quiet, beautiful piece of God's earth and I begin to think.  Here we go! 

How often did Adam and Eve hear "the sound", perhaps not audibly but in their spirit?  No service!  No communication! Disconnect!

Thoughts going through their minds or perhaps bickering, “We should not have eaten from the tree; it was your fault; and the blame game continued. 

They have been cast out of the beautiful garden; a place of freedom and continual worship and conversation with GOD. No service-No provision.

An echo that reverberated in the very core of their being; it can't be turned off.  Its Manufacturer embed; a reminder of their disobedience but if you listen closer it tells a deeper story of a Redeemer that is to come; a Hope of restoration.

Everywhere I looked yesterday there was such beauty.  The water reflected the trees.  The trees swayed in the mild breeze. Rocks and twigs of every size crunched under my feet as I walked the trails.  A quiet place--only the sounds of creation echoing from mountain to mountain.  Oh, I forgot, and the "no service" sounds from my husband’s annoying phone periodically interrupting the quiet evening.

In the midst of all this, I found time to talk with God.

The Spirit of God is always reminding us if we wander off course.  If somehow I have left the "safe" zone, the Holy Spirit speaks and gently reminds me to turn back.  If I leave the place of safety, I will be reminded, “you are approaching the ‘no service’ zone”.  Turn back!  Run to the place of safety!

Phone companies can only service you if you stay within their "coverage areas". 

The Lord also has provided a way for us to communicate with him. 
When we disobeyed we loss connection with our Creator, but He quickly sent a team to help us! 

Jesus died to bring restoration. 
The Holy Spirit was sent to keep the communication. 
He is our help when we are in trouble.
A fine-tuned Help Center!

Find yourself in a "no service" zone; quickly there is one that can restore service even if it seems you have wondered off too far.

He can reach you and is willing.

He finds pleasure in your fellowship.

Call on the Name of Jesus! He knows how to bring restoration.


God bless you!~Liz
www.lizrod.com

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

An Invitation Extended


After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.”Revelation 4:1


I'm reading a book called the Hallelujah Factor, it's the second time around. It describes the importance and even the imperative state of worship that I must be in. God is worthy of praise and praise makes a way for God to work! Hallelujah!

The description of Satan needs to be highlighted so we can see how much God inhabits our praises (Psalm 22:3) and how much Satan despises it.

A created being made to worship God. He has not always existed, he was created like everything else God has made. His task was to worship God, but when pride settled in, this creature decided he wanted not only to be like God--he wanted to be God.

The bible describes him as having precious stones that adorned him and his body was so that even every moment produced if you will a sound (Ezekiel 28:12-17) that brought worship to God who sits on the throne and is forever praised.

As we move forward we see Satan fall (Isaiah 14:12).

We have been created by God to worship him. It's the creation made in HIS likeness (Genesis 1:27).

I'm going now straight to the Throne Room of God (Revelation 4).

John the Apostle who has been exiled to the Island of Patmos has received a revelation from God that is part of this great manuscript that God has left us; we find his testimony in the book of Revelation.

This is what the Lord revealed to me.

I wondered what John was feeling, what emotions and thoughts were going through his mind. Was John ever depressed at times or in despair; did he wonder about the other disciples and their demise? He is alone on this island. I assume fishing alone must have reminded him of the time he walked with Jesus. He walked with Jesus, saw him beaten, crucified, and put in a tomb. He saw him resurrected, walked and ate with him again and saw him taken into glory. Could he still be despondent?

I wonder this because we all go through times that are challenging. We hold on to the promises of God and search within to cling to hope.  


There is a Door, take a peak. Hallelujah!

John sees a door that compels him to enter. This door was not closed but beckoned him to come in. As John takes a peek and walks through this door he sees things that were even difficult to describe. He sees creatures and elders bowing before the Throne; flashes of lighting and thunder; the sound of praise being lifted up to the one who sits on the Throne. 


You see, this throne is not empty---on it is a King who's Kingdom has no end!

I have often heard this scripture quoted with many who have elaborated on it. Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1). What the Lord ministered to me is that the Lord gave John a revelation that he wrote down for us to read over and over again. This door that was open, John got a glimpse at EVIDENCE that the invisible world is REAL!


See, John who was alone and afflicted has now seen the invisible Kingdom that is the reality that we hold on too. This prisoner has now been encouraged one more time. 


Hold on John, I'm coming again (Acts 1:11)

Therefore, if I find myself downcast, if my countenance has been afflicted and Satan has come to bring discouragement and torment, I MUST remember that the same open door that John saw is available to me. I take my focus off this temporary world and look to the invisible which is my reality and begin to praise my God. I join all creation to bring God glory! 

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord (Psalm 150:6). I have been reminded one more time that praise releases my God to work; to cause my focus to shift; to cause every part of my body to bring God praise. 

It's not Satan who stands before God in worship. No, it's me the one created in HIS image; the one that was redeemed by his precious blood. The child that was rescued and given a new song to sing. 

Who will separate us from the love of  Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? (Romans 8:35)

Nothing!

When life seems difficult, when Satan is trying to steal my joy, I am reminded that God himself, the fullness of who he is lives in me! 


I will praise him with all I have. 
The invisible Kingdom that is eternal is what I will fix my eyes on! 
This world that I see with my natural eyes is fallen and temporal. 
God is eternal and is worthy to be forever praised!

Walk through the door--there's a celebration going on!


The invisible it our reality!

God bless you!~Liz