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

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

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.

His blood has "covered" us.

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


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