LebBlog

LebBlog

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Contend for the Truth

(Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xIjhXt8jXsw&t=4s)

I watched an interesting movie today. A little grisly but the plot was stimulating.
Something filled the atmosphere and caused those whose eyes were open and engaging with their environment (which would be everyone) to face their worse fears to their ultimate demise. I did say it was a little grisly!

The fascinating plot unfolds. There were a few who discovered that if they blind-folded their eyes they could evade this evil. Many interesting twists and turns as the story continues to the end.

From the very beginning it was like a parable. Those that could see would die and those that were blind-folded were safer.

In the story of the blind man’s investigation in the Book of John (John 9:13-24) the Pharisees question the now restored man and badger him regarding his healing. The man answers their question by saying, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!” (v25)

Jesus was letting the world know that those who claimed their own righteousness would be justified by their own sinful efforts. Those who humbly came to Jesus knowing their own brokenness and sin, those Jesus would restore! The blind would have sight while those who could see would remain blind.

As the cinema continues, the main character who has an emotional detachment issue has to face her own fears. She finally overcomes by keeping her eyes closed and running toward the place of rescue. Through many toils and snares she reaches the place of salvation and security for her and her children.

I cheered, screamed and finally was able to breath as she enters the place where the birds are chirping, and safe haven is hers to dwell in. Interestingly, the place of refuge was a camp for the blind.

I love to dissect movies and their message to the viewer (me). This had an underlying message right out of the Word of God.

In the middle of the movie a stranger appears at the door where these few strangers are huddled together. Some urged and fought, contended not to let the stranger in. Nevertheless, the stranger is welcomed in. He seems to fit right in with them. The warning should have been adhered to. The man was an impostor desiring to bring chaos. He slipped right in bringing death inside their sanctuary.

The warning is sounded right out of the book of Jude. “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.” (Jude 1:3-4)

“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18)

The alarm has been sounded! Contend for the truth. We must be careful not to allow compromise to mix with truth. Watered-down truth is no longer truth.

Jesus, the Savior of the world has arrived. He is the way the truth and the life! (John 14:6)

“One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see.” (John 9:25b)

God bless you!~Liz


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

GOD DOESN’T MAKES SENSE | WHY OBEY?

“I want God to use me.” “I want to experience a miracle.” “I want to hear God.”

The expressions of a heart desiring God are reflected by these statements. What if God is speaking and showing us who he is but we are just not responding?

Have you ever been in a restaurant and felt the need to buy someone lunch? I’m not referring to your co-workers, friend or mom. You are sitting down, and you really can’t fully explain it, but you know you must buy that stranger lunch.

The rationale behind such a decision does not makes sense. You don’t know the person. You don’t know their financial status. Hey, perhaps they should be buying you lunch!

So, you get up pay for your lunch and tell the waitress that you want to buy lunch for the lady across the diner who is sitting with her elderly mom. The mom and daughter will never know. You leave the restaurant with a joy in your heart that you can’t fully explain!

Obedience has rewards!

Liz, I’d like you to get up and go speak to the women sitting next to you and let her know I love her. “What, God? Are you speaking with me?” So, on I went trembling but delivered the message, that God loved her. The woman was startled at first but then began to share her heartache with me. The heartache that God knew off.

I believe part of the reason we don’t see God move in our lives is because we are too smart for our own good!

The world teaches us to be rational, to think for ourselves. Don’t let anyone take you for a fool! That’s great and I agree. But there are moments when God is trying to use us, teach us and reach us by allowing us to exhibit obedience.

As God impresses upon us what he would like us to do, we must be careful that we don’t scrutinize his request to the point of disobedience. “Lord, you sure you are talking to me?” Our intellect and logical reasoning could remove God right out of the equation for a blessing based on obedience.

It’s Christmas time and your budget it maxed out. God asks you to give someone $100! That clearly can’t be God, right?

“Rahab, hide the spies.” “Who said that!” Her obedience chronicles her in the lineage of God. She obeyed.

Abraham heard God, but would he follow through? Abraham built an alter and bound his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him. “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” (Genesis 22:12)

Early morning and the sun is rising. “Friends haven’t you any fish?” (John 21:5) I wonder if the disciples thought to themselves, “no fish, just tired and hungry.” “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” (John 21:6) What, are you kidding? This body of water has no fish, trust us!

We can’t just trust our own reasoning sometimes! In their obedience the disciples caught 153 large fish. Good thing they obeyed. They didn’t even realize it was Jesus speaking to them.

Sometimes we too fail to recognize that God is speaking to us. He desires to commune with us, use us, and help us experience him.

So what ridiculous blessing is awaiting you for your act of obedience? How can you bless someone you know or the stranger you will only pass by once in your life? Perhaps $100 is just pennies for you. God clearly is speaking but will we obey? Did we send the card he told us to send? Did he say get them two tires for their car? That does not make sense, clearly that can’t be God. Get lunch, well that’s more reasonable Lord! What, for an entire month?

“We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. (Matthew 14:17) “Bring them here to me.” (v18)

“Raise your staff and stretch out your hand.” (Genesis 14:16)

“Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised” (Acts 1:4) “Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” (Acts 2:2-4)

God doesn’t always make sense. He bypasses our intellect and asks that FAITH arise. Obedience has its own reward. No one out-gives God. Obedience has rewards! Let faith arise and experience the joy of the Lord!

“I want God to use me.” “I want to experience a miracle.” “I want to hear God.”

Friend, he is waiting for your response.

God bless you!~Liz

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Passing Through...

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Just finishing a 9-day vacation.

Arriving at the airport I am in an unfamiliar car in unknown roads. The attendant asks me if I want to purchase a Travel Pass. It’s used for the roads I will travel on. It’s a toll card for the universal tax collection. I declined on the Travel Pass.

New construction everywhere. Ten minutes on the road and I have no clue where I am. A quick exit puts me in –you guessed it, a toll booth. I’m ready to pay but the sign says, “no cash”. It actually reads “no attendant!”

Well I broke the law. No where to go but down this crooked road. I wonder how much this is going to cost me? I should have taken the “pass”.

I became very familiar with the Google Maps navigation system.

One thing I learned during this trip is that I just can’t rely on what others tell me, including Google! I must look up and engage my environment.

During this trip we ended up on a on a one-way, 3-lane road. We were driving correctly, but we had a vehicle heading in our direction going the wrong way. Horns blare and praise God everyone is safe.

The Word of God is a map. It navigates us through this world, gives us warnings, insight and direction on how to travel. The Word reminds me that I am a sojourner traveling through a world I do not belong in. Look around and take it in. Note the culture but don’t adhere to all its directives. Collisions waiting to happen are everywhere.

I enjoy vacation, but I always like returning home. Maybe because its familiar.

The Bible says that our hearts long for home, he has set eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are just passing through. Don’t get used to this world because it is passing away. The never-ending changes appeal to our flesh. The lure is for us to become satisfied here. But we are not from this world (John 17:16).

There is a Navigation System available and offered to us. Take it! The tolls in this life are hefty! The Navigator himself has paid it all. We can’t afford the penalty of our errors and mistakes.

Look up! He has sent Help (Palm 121)!

Apart from God’s help we are lost. Destined for oncoming collisions. But help has arrived. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” (Psalm 32:8)

Welcome to LIFE. Would you like the Navigation System? It comes at no charge to you. You have a Personal Attendant and the price has been paid.

Jesus Christ. He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. (John 14:6) He has been sent to rescue the lost.

After nine days, my heart longs for home. Vacation was great, but I’m just passing through. My cozy worn-out couch and its familiar sounds and scents call to me.

My soul too longs for eternity. Jesus draws me and speaks. It’s the presence of God I long for.

While traveling, Lord, lead me to your refreshing Spirit. Help me know you are near.  I desire to enjoy your familiar presence that brings me comfort, joy and an overwhelming peace.

Welcome to Earth. Would you like the Navigator to show you the way? The cost has been settled.

Yes please, I’ll take HIM!

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Valley of Victory

"Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted." (1 Samuel 17:45)

You are in the valley and you see the enemy. He carries weight that is not his own hiding behind  authority, force and a shield. Covered in armor and preceded by a shield bearer announcing who he is.

"Do you not know who I am?"

He shouts arrogantly and tries to intimidate us. He questions our strength because all he sees is our frail figure. He shouts his credential to frighten us. A bully in the valley.

"Don't you know who my Father is?"

His haughtiness will be his downfall.

He sees a feeble shadow. He should look closer for I am filled with the Spirit of the Lord!

I don't need man-made armor for my Father dresses me. "The weapons I fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds."
(2 Corinthians 10:4)

The enemy's defiance rises and he tries to terrify me.

"The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.  What can mere mortals do to me?" (Psalm 116:6)

"Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
(1 Samuel 17:26b)

Our enemy rises us against us because he knows we belong to another. His defiance is against the seed, Jesus Christ himself!

"Do you not know the battle is already won?"

Victory was settled at the cross! The enemy has nothing on us.  Threats and intimidation are the weapons of a weak foe.  

"We are alive in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit that lives within us"

"And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross." (Colossians 2:15)

"You got nothing on me."

“David said to the Philistine, You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head." (1 Samuel 17:45-46a)

"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us,who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

What is stealing your joy, your well-being and confidence in God today?  What is trying to cause harm and anxiety in you?  

"Know and fully recognize with gratitude that the Lord Himself is God; It is He who has made us, not we ourselves [and we are His]. We are His people and the sheep of His pasture." (Psalm 100:3)

"God fights for me."

"This is how I fight my battles!  "

"(I) enter His gates with a song of thanksgiving and His courts with praise. (I) am thankful to Him, (and I) bless and praise His name." (Psalm 100:4)

So, take another look at the valley.  "What do you see?"

I see a defeated foe in the valley of Victory!

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, October 22, 2018

Sit With Me

”Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Revelation 3:20-22)

“Who loves you?” As a mother of a young boy, I often asked my son, “who loves you?” I wanted over and over to express to him by word and deed that I loved him. It became a fun game at times as each of us stated, “I love you” to the echo of the other saying, “No, I love you more.”

When discipline was needed, love was expressed, it wrapped the words of correction. I learned that from my dad.

The Bibles speaks of Love covering a multitude of sin. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8)

In the Book of Revelation, we see a picture of 7 churches being addressed by God. To the church of Laodicea, we hear the words, “Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.” (Rev. 3:19-20)

Here is God inviting us to repent, to make things right with Him. He even provides a table for us to sit and eat with him. He extends forgiveness for our error and wholeness for our brokenness. The Creator of everything is inviting us. Can you hear him? “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” (Rev. 3:22)

Yesterday while I was at church I had the privilege of holding my friend’s daughter on my lap. As I held her I noticed that she seemed to be losing her vibrant energy. As I rocked her back and forth her little head leaned in on my chest and she fell asleep. How precious the trust and confidence that she would be safe in my arms.

God says he will do the same for us. He invites us to a place of security and rest with Him. When I read, “To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Rev. 3:21) this is God’s invitation for me to sit and rest with him.

His arms are a place of security and a reassurance that we have been accepted. The invitation said, that he rebukes those he loves. He does it in his great love! He warns and directs. He invites us to enter in where he is. This is God asking me to rest in his arms! The call is to me.

When life has diluted our vibrancy and our energies have been zapped by life’s circumstances or by our own rebellion against God, he reminds us that we can repent and rest in him.

When I engage with God he renews me; my body, soul and spirit. I can hear my heart speak to him saying, “I love you Lord.” to which He responds, “but I love you more.” And, indeed God does!

“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)

Therefore, rest and lean into the heart of God. It’s a safe place. Repent, recline and rest, you are in the arms of Jesus!

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

The Rescue

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that
person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted." (Galatians 6:1)

I watched a video today about an dog in a very dangerous predicament.  Using a simple tool 3 brave boys begin to address the situation.

A dog wrapped in a vise-grip position by a huge snake.  The boys begin the rescue.  

I often see every day situations as spiritual lessons.  

How quickly would we go to get someone out of harms way?  Some of us would run into oncoming traffic if we saw a helpless toddler in the middle of the road.  Well, that actually recently happened and it was on the news.

We often see people jumping into rivers to save others without a concern that they themselves might loose their lives.  Advocates speak up for those who can not speak for themselves.  Every day Samaritans at the rescue of the helpless.

These are quick rescues without any regard for our own safety because others, strangers are in a life or death situation.   

When sin has tangled someone we love, do we run with the same tenacity? Do we seek ways to rescue those we love from spiritual dangers?

A snake wrapped around a helpless dog.  Three boys to the rescue and indeed free this animal.  How refreshing!  

I'm reminded of the three Hebrew boys that refused to bow down to a false idol.  Throw them in the furnace but they refused to turn their backs on the God of all creation!  And their God rescued them!

"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted." (Galatians 6:1)

We are to stay close to our God who fortifies us and leads us daily.  Help us Lord to gently restore those being led astray.  Give us wisdom and the resolve to help those being dragged away by sin.

God bless you!~Liz


Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Jesus Loves Me This I Know

"But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Luke 18:16 )

The simplicity of the Gospel.  This Sunday on my way home from church my 9 year old niece, Meyli began to tell me what she learned in Sunday school.  She told me the story of Saul who became Paul after God stopped him with a loud noise; spoke to him and asked him, "what are you doing?"

She continued to tell me that Saul was killing Christians and after Jesus spoke to him he became blind.  He had to go to Ananias so that he could be "fixed." Love it!

I listened intently as she continued.  She said, "then Saul got a new name.  His name is Paul.  Now he loves God and tells everyone about Jesus."  Then she said, "I love God too!"

I took the opportunity to talk about the Lord. I asked her if she wanted to know God too.  I told her Jesus loved her and very simply explained that he "fixes" us when we are in trouble too.  This was no long drawn-out theological explanation or sermon, just the simplicity of our need for Jesus and his love for us.

I asked her if she wanted to pray and ask Jesus to come inside her heart just like Paul.  She said, "yes!" I told her that it was important that she prayed because it was her request to Jesus.  I said, "prayer is just talking to God."

She said something like this, "Jesus I love you and I want you to live in my heart.  Thank you for listening to me.  Help me learn about you. Help me do well in school. Amen."  I said, "amen".

I told her to remember this day, Sept. 30th.  Jesus has heard you.  Don't let anyone tell you otherwise.  You belong to Jesus.  Afterwards, she said that she wanted to speak to her little sister, so she could know Jesus too.  My little evangelist!

It's simple. Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so! I'm broken and he can fix me!

I'm in the process of mailing her a children's Bible.

A shout out to the Orange County Gospel Fellowship Children's Ministry, "YOU ROCK!"  Thank you Brigid Callahan for sharing the simplicity of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Interestingly, I gave my life to the Lord when my Niece, her mother was born almost 30 years ago.  This Sunday I had the privilege of praying with her daughter to do the same.  Isn't God Marvelous!

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Grip

Sometimes life feels like we are on the last thread of hope and soon we will be left alone. The whispers say that God has abandoned us and no longer will he help us. Our own eyes deceive us as we look for aid. They are marked with sorrow and dark circles are imprinted as evidence. Sleep eludes us.

The troubles of this world have overshadowed the truth of God. The world shouts, “hang on!” We want to believe them but as we look around the difficulties of life pile on.

What are we hanging on to? Are we linked with the confidence that the world speaks off? Is the foundation we stand on built by man? Have we succumbed to their ways? Have we shouted like in the days of old, “We want a king over us. Then we will be like all the other nations, with a king to lead us and to go out before us and fight our battles.” (1 Samuel 8:19b-20)

Have we rebelled against God and then watch the effects of our choices all around us? Come back!

Cry out like David, “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.” (Psalm 51:7)

It’s the extended hand of Jesus we must cling to. Listen as the Lord speaks to Peter. “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 14:27) Peter focuses on the Lord and his perspective changed. In the middle of the water’s roar there is a stillness as the world is shut out and Peter is in the hands of the Master.

It’s that peaceful and fruitful place we want to be in but sadly our focus is often interrupted by the wind and fear that whispers that we are going to drown.

The Lord recognized that it was doubt that propelled Peter to lose his footing.

Run and escape to a quiet place with Jesus. Pour out your heart and reaffirm your own soul that only in Christ is there true rest. Depend on him and regardless of what is happening insist on staying in his grip, in his presence. “Yes, my soul find rest in God.” (Psalm 62:5-8)

Holding on to the last thread. Will it break? Fear not, did you not see his hands opened beneath you!

“Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.” (Psalm 62:8)

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, September 21, 2018

I stand in Awe!

“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.” (Matthew 9:2b)

We’ve heard this testimony often. The courage of the paralyzed man’s friends. The interruption as Jesus was speaking. The mess created in the house as the ceiling is torn open and the teachers of the law are saying that Jesus is a blasphemer.

What about the paralyzed man himself? Why did he not speak? The Scriptures does not record him saying a word to the Lord. Why?

Was he afraid to speak? Was he confident that the Lord would have mercy on him?

What went through his mind when Jesus said, “Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven.”?

Do you think that for a moment he wondered, “I came here to be healed not forgiven?” Did he recognize the sin in his own life? The Word does not elaborate on all that transpired. It does not illuminate the condition of this desperate soul.

When the Lord calls we know that we have encountered something inexpressible.

Often the wrestling for us is with our sin. We encounter Jesus and he tells us we are forgiven by the finished work of the cross. Like me, I have asked him to heal me of disease. Jesus can, he has and he continues to do so.

God created mankind in his image, the world, everything we see, and he was pleased. When temptation came, and mankind fell everything changed drastically. Sin landscaped the world and sickness ravished our perfect bodies. Sickness was introduced to the perfect world along with all kinds of evil and spiritual death. Physical death would also follow.

Sometimes we miss the correlation of sickness and sin. Not every sickness is a result of sin. After all,we do live in a fallen world. In this story of the nameless paralytic man we get some insight on the condition of the heart.

I wonder if this paralytic man understood this? When Jesus said, “your sins are forgiven”, what did this mean? Did it mean restitution? Did the paralytic man reason that today there would be wholeness in him? It was not a reward for the sick man but a gift from the Healer and Deliverer himself, the Savior of the World. Jesus was announcing that he was the only one who could forgive sin. No wonder the teachers of the law were angry.

When the teachers of the law saw this miracle that meant that a “heart check” was imminent for them!

No talking. No defending oneself. No excuses. Yes, Lord I am a sinner.

The gavel sounded, and it was in our favor. It’s for “whoever believes”.

I wondered if his silence was just a form of worship and awe. The paralytic man came in broken, a diseased sinner separated from God and left healed spiritually and physically.

The woman with the issue of blood, she said to herself, “If only I could touch his cloak, I will be healed.” No words. She hears, “Take heart, daughter, your faith has healed you.” (Matthew 9:22)

God is not contained in the ark, the tabernacle, the church or anything made by man. He desires to live within each one who confesses his need and depravity. He desires to dwell in us; he knows our need. God dwells outside of any box we have falsely imagined. He has come to forgive sin and heal us. He is Healer and the Savior of the world bringing restoration to our soul and our bodies.

“Be still and know that I am God.’ (Psalm 46:10a)

Sometimes a quiet heart is an act of worship. It allows us to listen to the song of grace and mercy being sung over us. He loves us. In reply we worship him in spirit and in truth. Thank you, Jesus!

God bless you!~Liz


Friday, September 7, 2018

Has He Been Good to You?

I got up early this morning waiting for some workers to fix by roof.  Well they did not come today, they are scheduled for next week.

I've been on the phone with my insurance company sorting our some details that needed to be corrected. 

As I was getting ready to pay some bills, the Lord reminded me that I had not yet opened His Word this morning. 

So, here I am with his Book opened. I'm reading through Psalm 103.

I enjoy writing in my Bible.  I note dates where the Word of God was specific for something I was going through.  I jot down different word translations and also praise language that reflect my heart of gratitude toward my Maker.

Today, in the margin of Psalm 103 it read June 2010.  I said, "wow, has it been that long since I made that note?"  I began to fan the pages of this Bible and I read that I gifted this Bible to myself in 2008.  That's 10 years ago, one decade!  Time passes by quickly.

One of the reasons I like writing in my Bible is that I handle this book a lot.  Therefore, as I read and run the pages through my fingers it is a testimony to me of all that the Lord has done for me and my household.

My desire is that as this book would continue to get worn out that my body would continue to be healed and transformed by the very Word of God that I hold in my hands. 

This Book holds promises that I have seen come to pass and encouragement that sustain me even today.

God is always speaking to us.  I am so thankful for the many pages of affirmation, conviction and even transformation occurring in me.

He left me this Book so I would know that he is the Savior of the World.  He indeed forgives sin and restores broken lives.

As life continues, my wish is that future generations, my grandchildren would also have their own worn out Bible. I hope that they would be able to read through my spent, worn-out book with notes that I jotted down during my lifetime giving God glory and praise for his goodness. 

I want generations to come to know that God is the same yesterday, today and for all our tomorrows. 

He speaks life and I need it.

He whispers that he loves me and I want it.

He points me to a day when He will return and I await it.

"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 103:1-5)

So, I will glue it, tape it up and preserve this family heirloom for my grandchildren to come.
There have been other Bibles that I have owned.  But this is the one to be passed on.

What does your Bible say about you?

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, August 27, 2018

Indeed Only One

Are you getting the alerts sent to you? Are your security settings up-to-date?

At the click of a button, reminders can flood you from every possible avenue you can think off. 

What’s today’s weather? How many steps did I take today? Did my bank balance drop to a dangerous low? Pick up the groceries. Oh, my manicure is due today. I almost forgot, I have a date night with my husband tonight! And on and on it goes!

All this controlled by apps and the proper settings on our “mobile brain”, I meant mobile phone.

Life is so busy that we need reminders to get things done.

Before mobile phones and clever reminder apps, life seemed simpler. Advertisements promised that we would have more time. It seems to me I have less time. The same 24 hours is now crowded by nagging beeps throughout the day reminding me of all things I did NOT do!

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

No matter how many times we read this verse, if we are not careful we fall back into the busyness of life.

The interesting thing is that we often choose to make our lives busy. Not every party invitation requires a yes. The world won’t stop spinning if we leave the dishes in the sink and rest.

Toddlers seem to be happy playing with a cardboard box and a ball. Why are their rooms cluttered with toys they barely use? Which by the way requires more cleaning time.

We drive to the sports game and then rush through some fast food restaurant and feed the family. We grab a cup of coffee to stay awake as we drive home. We arrive, sleep and it begins again with a BEEP! Yep, another reminder. Get up its about to begin again. Oh, and this is just Saturday!

Where is the simplicity of life?

Beeps, alarms, clutter, and stuff all competing for our time while Jesus waits for us to sit and talk.

Is there a reminder to sit with Jesus on our phone?

Does the phone remind us to pray?

Do we have the proper settings in place to commune with God?

Life is pulling at us and requesting our attention. It desires our time which is limited with allotted days.

I don’t have the answer to life’s busyness because I too have been trapped at times. This I have learned.

Set time to sit with Jesus. Read the Word which imparts wisdom. Being refreshed in God’s presence helps me realign my priorities.

Learn to snip away time slots to talk to God. Yes, if it requires us to schedule it in, then let’s do it! This is one reminder I want and a task I want to complete.

Is the Holy Spirit sending you alerts? We must listen and secure our time with Him.

We need reminders to REST. “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)

Beep, Beep…this is your reminder today. Sit. He is waiting for you.
This alert brought to you by "Be Inspired!"

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, August 20, 2018

Go Deeper!

Go Deeper
“And he, stooping down and looking in, saw the linen cloths lying there; yet he did not go in.”
(John 20:5)

This is the account of the disciple that arrived at the tomb to confirm the story Mary Magdalene was sharing. His eagerness to decipher the story Mary was telling caused him to run fast. He arrived, His eyes saw and then he stopped. Why didn’t he go in?

As a student of the Word of God I know that I just can’t read the Word, close the Bible and walk away. The Lord wants to open my eyes and cause my ears to hear more than what my physical body is telling me through my senses.

Peter arrives at the tomb and he looks, but then, “went into the tomb; and he saw the linen cloths lying there, and the handkerchief that had been around His head, not lying with the linen cloths, but folded together in a place by itself.”

God requires us to go closer and to discover a deeper revelation. Peter walked into the tomb. He did not know all that was happening, but his desire was to go deeper.

It’s the gift within the box, that’s within a box, within another box. The discovery of the precious stone in the tiny box is the giver’s treasure to his bride to be. She always knew that he loved her but her small quest discovered the treasure that revealed his heart in a profound way. “Will you be mine?”

The details are overlooked if we only look on the surface. The revelation of God is there for the asking. Ask the Lord to show you his heart and we’ll discover that the Good News is for the Jew and Gentile. We’ll discover that the gift of eternal life is the result of the One man’s obedience to go to the cross.

The thief on the cross choose not to heckle Jesus but to listen carefully to the words being spoken. His heart was drawn to Jesus and discovered that eternal life was his, “today you will be with me in paradise.”

Wisdom comes from God. (Proverbs 2:6)

The fruit of the Spirit is given and developed through God. The struggles of life can produce patience as we go deeper into the Word. Love can be discovered as we love the “unloveable”, those we think don’t deserve our love. We discover God’s faithfulness when in the midst of trials, we continue to call on his name day and night. We learn not only God’s faithfulness but also that the Lord has been teaching us to remain faithful in him!

So, don’t just bend down and look into the tomb where dead thinks lie. Walk in and discover that the One who was raised from the dead is still resurrecting life all around us. He is no longer there! Let’s go deeper! Open the box that’s in the box, that’s in the box and discover the Love of the Bridegroom. The treasure is you!

God Bless You!~Liz

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Another Lesson from the Garden

It looked a little different but nevertheless I continued to tend to it. I watered it, just like its neighboring vegetation. It grew tall and strong. It even looked healthier than the ones near it.

I decided to take a closer look and sure enough it was healthy. Its strength was evident in its now thick stem. Its been a few weeks. Why hasn’t it produced fruit? It kind of looks like it could be a banana pepper plant, but I think I only planted 2 this year.

I go inside the house a get some sturdy yarn to tie it up. It seems it needs some help standing tall because its laying out all over my garden box. So, I tie it. Then I tie it some more to ensure it will continue to flourish.

As I sit outside I began to look around and noticed some weeds popping up behind my garden. At a closer look, the familiarity was startling. The weeds look like an immature replica of what I just propped up!

I called my husband outside and asked, “does this plant that I just bundled up and propped with yarn look like a weed?”

No sooner than he said, “yes”, I ran inside and got the scissors. Cut it down! It’s good for nothing! But don’t pull the good pepper plant with this imposter!

Wow, I need to get some gardening lessons! I was feeding the enemy, the destroyer of the fruit! This weed was reducing productivity and it had invaded a third of the garden box. The thick stem was evidence of its aggressive growth. If I had waited any longer I might have lost the upcoming fruit.

I need to be more alert and pay closer attention! No more sunbathing, I need to do more gardening! 

Proverbs 24:30-34

I went past the field of a sluggard,
past the vineyard of someone who has no sense;
thorns had come up everywhere,
the ground was covered with weeds,
and the stone wall was in ruins.
I applied my heart to what I observed
and learned a lesson from what I saw:
A little sleep, a little slumber,
a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
and scarcity like an armed man.

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, July 20, 2018

Vibrations

What do you sound like? What is vibrating around you or better said from within you?

Yesterday I was worshipping the Lord and singing the song “I exalt thee” as I was getting ready to make lunch. This had never happened to me before. I guess because of the position I was standing in the episode became more noticeable to me.

I had a frying pan in my hand and as I was singing the sound seemed to be “caught” by the metal pan and I felt the song I was singing in my hand. It was a chilling beautiful experience.

Immediately, the Holy Spirit spoke and said this is the way it should be wherever you go! WOW, no matter where our feet tread the sound that should be emanating from us should be a sound that turns others to the Lord. It should cause those around us to feel the heart of worship. Those who encounter us should be able to catch and enter the atmosphere of praise. In all we do, those who meet us should be drawn into the presence of the Lord.

I actually felt it. It was so lovely and simple. And it drew me in closer.

We are like tuning forks. Those that “bump” into us should be able to tune into an atmosphere of worship. Yes, all of us who bear his Name!

Resonate his beauty! Vibrate and let those around you feel the atmosphere change.

We represent the King and he has called us to worship him in spirit and in truth. (John 4:24)

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth.
Serve the Lord with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
Know that the Lord Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving (Psalm 100)

God Blessyou!~Liz

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

The Story of the Table

“I have wiped out your transgressions like a thick cloud
And your sins like a heavy mist.
Return to Me, for I have redeemed you.” Isaiah 44:22 (AMP)

The table had been around for a very long time. Built by skilled hands, a Craftsman in his own right; the table looked beautiful!

All finished, he brushes his hand over the top and he is pleased with his work.

As time passed, the color began to change. Memories of the first stain is forever embedded in the wood.

While distracted and not focusing there was spillage that changed the surface. It would never look the same again. It was marred but nevertheless the table stood upright.

Throughout the years there were carvings on it, scars from the years of its life. Nevertheless, the table stood.

If you look closely you can even see the years of wear and tear ingrained in the wood. Times of laughter and tears of sadness all recorded by the table.

The wedding is coming, and we need a table. We can't possibly use this old, beat-up thing! This is a wedding for royalty. We need elegance and beauty not old and blemished.

The Servant arrives. He is gentle and skilled with his hands.

He has come to serve, his reputation precedes him and his wisdom has always been admired.
He exams the wood. His hands begin to touch the surface. He can feel every scratch and deep crevasse that were sewn in over the years. As the examination continues his hands are caught in the rugged wood. Pierced, he begins to bleed. His own blood now applied over every stain previously accumulated throughout the lifetime of the table.

The wedding date is here! You can hear the Servant say, “I’ll get the tablecloth”.

This table still stands.

He continues, “The table will be used today, what it needs is a covering.”

He brings out the handcrafted white cloth from his tethered bag. This will be used for this special occasion.

It’s pure white. It drapes over the table and as the gentle breeze reaches the corners, the edges flow creating a gentle dance in the wind.

It has covered every stain, scar and all that marred this beautiful work of art that the Craftsman made.

Dressed in white, the table is ready.

No one noticed. The servants blood was now on the table as well.

The table still stands.

Redeemed by the Servant, the table stands at the Wedding Banquet. 

God bless you!~Liz


Friday, June 29, 2018

Lettuce Pray

The lettuce in my garden has grown marvelously this year. I take no credit! I plant, fertilize and pray!

I wait for the rain and the sun and the Lord produces great fruit!

I think one of the most remarkable experiences for me is when I see fruit coming forth from my garden.

Cucumbers always surprise me. It looks like nothing is happening and then underneath the vine and leaves, if you look carefully, in its proper time, there it is, great fruit coming forth.

Sometimes it looks like nothing is happening in our own lives. The world calls it “status quo”. If we are not careful we might begin to agree. But the truth is that the God who spoke the world into existence is still speaking to us today. He directs the affairs of men if we let him. He leads his children by his Spirit.

“For it is [not your strength, but it is] God who is effectively at work in you, both to will and to work [that is, strengthening, energizing, and creating in you the longing and the ability to fulfill your purpose] for His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:14)

I’ve been singing a song for the last couple of weeks, “Way Maker”. The bridge of the song goes like this, “Even when I don’t see it you’re working, even when I don’t feel it you’re working. You never stop, you never stop working”. 

That is the song that I choose to sing to my own soul! That is my confession! I will agree with God! Even if I don’t see the full picture, my eyes will focus on Him. I have been made for his good pleasure. The horizon brings a new day. In the morning his mercies are new. As I worship and pray he cultivates a heart to please him. Therefore, I will say it again, “even if I don’t see it you’re working”! 

Therefore, let’s fix our eyes on Jesus. He is the author and perfecter of our faith. He still speaks today. Let the fruit come! Bring it Lord in your proper timing.

Cultivate the gift. Uproot the weeds. Fertilize my heart. 
I can’t wait to see what you have prepared for my life.

OK now, lettuce pray! (I couldn’t help it 😊)

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Priceless Adventure

So today I drove twenty minutes to go for a walk! Yes, 3 of my friends and I each in our own vehicles (let’s not bring up carpooling) drove to the center of town to go for a walk.

I thought walking was just that, walking! No, in America we drive to our walking location, park and then we walk. I must say it’s pretty comical.

Actually, I had a fantastic time! Often in the body of Christ there is an underlying humdrum. Routines get boring and sometimes we might even feel like life’s gusto has been depleted. But the Bible says, that God has given us fullness of life. The entire world was created for us to enjoy!  So let's experience his JOY!

We must get creative and redeem back the time we have. Yes, chisel out an hour and create a healthy diversion to be refreshed by the Lord. Take a walk. Sit by a pond and search for wildlife. Perhaps a bike ride would be just the thing to do. Call a friend and go for ice cream or a cup of coffee.

Sometimes we imagine that everyone else is busy when if fact they are waiting for an invitation for an unexpected diversion. So, go ahead and make the call, text, FB whatever means of communication is at your disposal. The adventure is just about to begin.

So, as we are walking we are laughing which is good medicine (Proverbs 17:22). We discuss different activities that are going on in our lives. Four different women, 4 different lives, but the same Lord. Our common ground in Christ, he has knit us together.

So yes, 20-mile drive for a 1.5-mile walk.

We laughed.

We glistened (sweat).

Drank water.

Priceless!

Sometimes it’s worth the drive.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
(1 Thessalonians 5:11)

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, June 25, 2018

Prisoner

“The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

Who goes to a prison voluntarily? Perhaps an act of defiance, insubordination, a breaking of the law and the individual is arrested.

There is a trial, attorneys are present, some witnesses, and a judge makes the decision after the jury likewise deliberates.

Is the offender to remain incarcerated forever?

When people discuss God often no one describes themselves as an offender, a law-breaker. But that is exactly what we are. We have sinned, done wrong, committed a crime against God who is Holy.

A couple of months ago I went to visit my brother who is confined in prison. I had to rise up early & drive 45 minutes. Upon my arrival I had to fill out forms, show ID, and explain the reason for my visit. “He’s my brother”, I said.

Leave the pocketbook behind in a locker because it’s not allowed in the visiting area. Only certain attire can be worn. I’m searched, and my ID is requested again. I must have surrendered my ID at least 6 times in a 15’ stretch. I felt myself getting a “little perturb”!

I was reminded that we have all been prisoners; prisoners to sin.

The Holy Spirit of God is the only person that can enter a prison cell, visit, speak and leave and imprint that changes the heart of the prisoner.

Yes, we have broken the law and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) There is no bail that can get us out!

“The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)

So how do we get free?

Scripture reads: “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

The truth is that the Lord walked right through the prison walls that had me hemmed in. He passed every check point and addressed me personally. “If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) I would be free!

My sin could not keep him away. His compassion and love were lavished on me! Yes, on the prisoner.

He wasn’t annoyed or disturbed at my condition.

Though it will cost him everything, including his life, he does not shrink back or consider this act of grace and mercy an inconvenience. If I was the only prisoner, he would still visit!

When the Holy Spirit enters our sinful hearts and begins to dialogue with us, he is not pointing the finger and condemning us. He is offering a way of escape! Yes, a way to be free no matter where we are.

In my short visit with my brother, encouragement is what I wanted to leave him with. I have nothing to offer that can impart life to this man except to point him to the Liberator; to the One that can enter the prison and leave an imprint that changes lives.

We have all been prisoners to sin.

We have been manipulated and lied to.

But there is a way of escape. He has the keys to every cell.

Jesus has come to set the captive free.

He is the Advocate and the Judge.

He traded places with me and paid the ransom.

He adopted me and proudly calls me his daughter.

He has given me a new identity and the former sins he remembers no more.

When life begins to close in on me and prison walls start erecting around me, I call on his Name and he reminds me, “daughter, I am right here, I will never leave you or forsake you. Truly, I have never left your side.

Yes, he loves me!

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Gentle Breeze

"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 )

As I sit outside this morning and hear the rustle of the leaves, it’s a gentle breeze that’s producing the beautiful song.  It brought a smile to my face.

My grandparents lived in Fajardo, PR. Today I was reminiscing over a visit when I was a little girl.

My grandma’s house was surrounded by trees with lots of shade. Her balcony was huge or at least it was to me. There was a little house in the back that I could enter in. I remember a sewing machine and just a quaint room that beckoned invitation.

No matter where I was in her big lot of land, the trees covered everything. I could feed the chickens, catch slugs on the ground or climb the mango tree and have a treat.  At night I would sit with my grandfather on the porch taking in the lessons on how to play domino.

It’s amazing how just the rustle of the trees can flood my mind and bring me back to a vivid childhood memory, a beautiful memory!

As the birds are singing this morning and only nature’s song is flooding my ears, the Lord also whispered to me.

He reminded me that my grandma, Felicita was a Christian. I don’t ever remember going to church with her or even knowing or understanding the walk that she had with God. I still don’t. I do recall that after she died she gave her bible to my cousin, Olgita.

As life progressed, in my twenties, I too began to serve the Lord. My cousin became ill and I remember visiting her at the hospital. As life was escaping from her and the transition of life was arriving, I recall pulling out a bible and reading from the book of Psalms to her. I began to encourage her and speak about the Lord and his goodness to her.

Sharing with other relatives, I pointed to my grandma’s bible that was in my cousin hands. She was not awake or able to conversate, but I do know that the Word of the Lord has authority and is a testament of all God has left for us. I said, “read to her from grandma’s bible”. The hope of eternal life is spoke about in the Book.

Did grandma go to church and pray for her family? I have been born-again and know that once you have this treasure, you want everyone to have it! Maybe grandma did speak to me about the Lord and I don’t remember. After speaking with my dad today, he said she was always praying, reading and in church. Perhaps as I walked the land and climbed the trees, she had prayed over her entire home that I would encounter the Savior. Indeed, I have!

Even now the wind is blowing, and the trees are moving at the Lord’s command. Even now the Wind of the Spirit is moving and speaking his purpose and direction over me.

Truly, before I was even born he knew me.

Pray, read and worship the Lord. Pray over your lineage that has not come forth yet. Cover those that will one day walk the earth, grandchildren, nephew & nieces. Pray for those that are rebelling against the Lord today. Pray for God’s intervention. Pray fervently and never forget that prayer affect today and tomorrow; it crosses over continents, causes change and effects future lineage.

Thank you Lord for saving grandma and saving me.


God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Deflection

Today is raining and I’m in Lake George enjoying a few days of rest & relaxation. Not an outdoor kind of day. I’m reclining and watching a TV program about a magician that performs tricks in the midst of everyday activities. You can find him in a grocery store or out in the street, behind any ordinary store counter drawing the crowd in.

As I watched this program the magic trick in not as intriguing to me as the language that the magician is using. As he performs “mind blowing” acts the victims are left baffled.

You can hear them saying, “that’s not possible”, “that defies physics”, “I can’t believe my eyes”, “my mind is so confused” and on and on it goes.

The magician begins to deflect the questions and continues to focus on the results of his trick. He bends the conversation to where he wants it to go. Now the victim is lured in even more. They begin to dialogue with him and concur that the effects of this act are amazing!

Against all that they know is right, their eyes trick them, their senses are confused, their hearing is deceived, and their minds are convinced that what is happening must be true!

The first deception was in the Garden. Disobedience was exercised, and the beauty of life was tainted.

Today, the enemy of our soul continues to twist daily interactions and conversation to reach his own end. The end he desires is to separate us from our God; to dilute our effects as Christians. 


What if we asked the right questions and began to filter daily activities and encounters through the Word of God? What if we tested all that our eyes saw and all that our ears heard against God’s Holy Book?  What if every thought was taken captive and brought to the Lord?

The enemy enters the Garden and says, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the Garden’?”

“The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”  “You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Genesis 3:2-5)

So here the trickster repackaged God’s words and Eve listened. The deception was so quick that she adds to the dialogue and says, “and you must not touch it, or you will die.” And die they did. Amazing!!

If the victims of the TV show would carefully investigate and not allow themselves to remain in a state of confusion, they  might begin to reason that something else is going on. Perhaps a magic trick! But a trick nevertheless.

The magician takes a pizza topped with vegetables and meat, closes the box and places it on a chair and gives it a few spins? The vegetables and meat toppings are perfectly separated each occupying one-half of the pie. The laws of physics shout, “no way!” The victims say, “incredible” and walk away amazed at what they just saw and now believe.

At the end the magician announces they are on a TV Show known as the Carbonaro Effect and the victims begins to laugh. Some are just embarrassed that they “fell for it”.

Well, Eve did “fall for it.” Adam you know the Lord very well. You walked and talked with him in the Garden? What happened?

We all know that Sin entered the world and its effects have laced us all.

Before we point the finger and say, “fool” we must check ourselves.

The Word of God must be our guide and filter. Our enemy is clever and knows how to twist the Word of God!

” Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them.” (Deuteronomy 11:16)

“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!” (Galatians 1:6-8)

“See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ. “Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.” (Ephesians 5:6)

“He replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.” (Luke 21:8)


God bless you!~Liz

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Show Mercy?

Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. (Luke 6:36 )

Here we go again, Mercy: not getting what we deserve.

Why is it that when mercy is dispensed we often don't know what to do?

We are so used to getting blamed, ridiculed, chastised and punished that when we experience mercy we are in a state of shock or better said, awe!

The world expects us to pay for our mistakes. The law requires payment.

On Saturday morning I went out to eat breakfast with some of my friends. On my way home I stopped at the supermarket to pick up my groceries. I am almost home and stopped at a red light.

Two cars in front of me was a vehicle just a little past the light signal so that they could not see when the light turned green. Once the light changed I honked a friendly beep to let them know the light changed and it was time to move. As we are all at a full stop the car behind me must have seen the light turn green as well. He doesn't honk but pressed on the gas pedal and you guessed it, KABOOM! I was rear ended, felt quite the impact in my seat.

The world demands retribution!

Sin speaks death over our lives.

The world shouts and says, "look out for Number One"; ourselves!

God arrives and demonstrates Grace and Mercy and turns the world upside down.

I put my car on park and walked around to the rear of my vehicle. The other driver got out as well while the other cars just passed around us.

The driver began to rub his hand over the bumper of my car possibly wondering, "what did I do"? We are now on the side of the road with onlookers passing by.

I watched him, this man was probably afraid and concerned of the retribution.

It took only seconds and I felt myself extending my hand to him. I caught him of guard and he did not know what to do. I re-extended my hand and he shook my hand. I told him, "God bless you" and began to walk away. He did not know what to do. For the first time in those few minutes he began to speak. He said, "thank you, thank you". As I was walking toward my door I could still hear him, "thank you, thank you". He did not explain why he hit me. He did not say it was a mistake or his fault. He embraced mercy!

I drove away with a nail punctured hole on the rear of my vehicle and scratch remnants to prove of the impact.

People expect retribution and punishment.

As a follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, I too stood astound, shocked, and in a state of awe that at the cross Jesus would pay for my sins. His hands pierced with nails for my wrongdoing. I deserved punishment but instead he gave me mercy and grace and paid the debt I owed.

Yes, I look to Jesus and say, "thank you, thank you". I am forever grateful and I am reminded to pour out my heart of thanksgiving in worship. Thank you, thank you Lord!

So walking away with a chipped bumper is not that big of a deal. All I have belongs to Jesus. It's Jesus' car that was hit and he said walk away and bless him with mercy. Mercy is what I gave because mercy is what I received.

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, April 16, 2018

Kindness is contagious!

"But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved."
(Ephesians 2:4-5 )

I grew up in the Bronx and walking the streets, taking public transportation and putting coins into parking meters was second nature.

This weekend I visited my sister in Union City, NJ and we decided to go shopping. We parked in a public parking garage that demanded quarters to be fed to the parking meter to grant us the privilege of leaving the car parked.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had to pay to park!

After an hour and half we returned. The parking garage is now full. The parking attendant is walking up and down the parking lanes to see who she can issue a summons to.

We still had 30 minutes on our meter but did not need the extra time.

I noticed to my left that the meter had expired. They could not have been there to long because when I parked the lot was empty. As the attendant drew closer to the vehicle I can tell she noticed the meter had ran out of time. I rolled down my window and said, “may I please put a quarter in the meter?” I was hoping to save the neighboring car from getting a ticket. It was just an act of kindness.

I received a quick rebuttal, “no” she said. I preceded to ask her why. She replied, “is this your car?”. I said, “no”. With a stern face she continued to proceed to write the owner of the vehicle a ticket.

There was another lady observing the entire conversation. She quickly gestured by shaking her head. The words she did not speak were clear on her facial expression.

Grace.

Grace is often described as unmerited favor, receiving a blessing even though we do not deserve it.

The Word of God speaks of One who came to demonstrate grace to us. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (John 3:16). We rejected him! We spat on his face, took abrasive nails and hammered them through his flesh producing a flow of blood. The blood that was shed would redeemed mankind to himself. We did not ask to be saved but the Lord knew our condition! We would expire to eternal separation from God.

The vehicle’s owner next to mine did not ask me to add a quarter to his expired meter. It was an act of kindness and grace. But the law, the parking attendant refused to allow grace to operate!

We all need grace.

Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit of God and it desires to be dispensed everywhere we go.

Grace usually comes along with Mercy. We often use these two words interchangeably, but they are different. I've heard it described like this, mercy is God not punishing us as our sins deserve, and grace is often described as unmerited favor, God blessing us even though we do not deserve it.

Despite the disappointment, I will offer grace again as the opportunity presents itself.

We are all born with an “expired” sign because of the Fall in the Garden. But at the Cross, Mercy and Grace was dispensed to cover our deficit!

I receive your grace Lord!  Wash over me with your mercy!

Kindness is contagious!  Try it.

"He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8)

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Free Indeed!

“So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

I often hear about people releasing birds or butterflies as a sign of celebration.

We capture the free birds and butterflies and then say we are setting them free. My first thought is, were they not free to begin with?

When Adam and Eve walked with the Lord in the Garden they were free! Free to explore the beauty the Lord had created. Adam was free and even encouraged to name all the animals. Free to walk the Garden, to play and laugh. They talked with the Lord and life was good! They were free to eat of everything in the Garden except from the Tree of Good and Evil.

We know the story. Temptation visited the Garden and though they were content, the planted thought of not having access to the Tree of Good and Evil caused them to stumble. And stumble they did, right into bondage.

The free Adam and Eve were now enslaved to Sin. A rash decision, a decision against the counsel of God led them to a life of oppression.

No more walking in the Garden and talking with the Lord. No more beauty to behold. Sin tainted it all and darkness shadowed all God had created.

When Jesus approaches mankind in the flesh he speaks to the crowds and says, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

See when enslavement came it brought darkness and death to enslave God’s creation. The freedom that came with joy, laughter and exploration of every good thing was replaced with oppression, brokenness and the probe would now be for liberty. Freedom eludes us. “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 8:24)

When the Lord spoke about freedom he indeed knew what he was offering! We were once free. We roamed without any fear of being captured and enslaved. When temptation came and lured us, the freedom that was once ours was stolen; actually, we gave it away for a moment of curiosity and entertaining the thought that we could be like God knowing good and evil. (Genesis 3:4-5)

We are like the birds and butterflies that have been captured but with deadly repercussions. When we encounter the Lord the freedom he offers is not just so we can go on our merry way and enjoy God’s beauty even with it’s tainted spin. The freedom he offers is from death! He speaks of the separation that desires to keep us from Himself. God wants to give us eternal freedom. He offers the gift of Redemption. Redemption clothed in the flesh, his only son Jesus restoring the life that should have been. A life with Him never to be separated again.

Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?” (Romans 8:24) The answer is Jesus!

“So, if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36)

Let the celebration begin! The one that was captured and enslaved to sin can now be free!

“In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” (Luke 15:10)

Father forgive me! Bring me home.

God bless you!~Liz
 

 







Monday, April 9, 2018

Blind

He replied, “If he is a sinner, I do not know. One thing I do know is that I was blind and now I see.”
John 9:25

I did not know I needed help. I did not ask for it, but it was clear that I was blind.

The story of the man born blind should resonate within all of us. The Scriptures unfold a theme on sin.

Whose fault was it that the man was born blind is the question?

What I see in this testimony is that the blind man was not even aware that Jesus was around or that he could heal him. After all he was blind. He could not see him walking toward him. Nevertheless, the Lord reached him.

I love to tell the story of how I got saved; how I went from blindness to sight.

I did not know I needed help. I did not ask for it, but it was clear I was blind. I was dead in sin!

While on vacation visiting Disney World the encounter that I had changed my life forever.

During my holiday I visited cousins that I had not seen in years. After an awkward invitation to a small church we all headed to this tiny building where the people of God were meeting. It all happened so quickly. I was sitting in my chair with my family and next thing I know I was in the front of the church holding hands with my husband and our son along side us. The pastor saw that I was blind and reached for the Word of God.

I did not know I needed help. I did not ask for it, but it was clear that I was blind.

“Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

The Scriptures reads, “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) I recall standing there and acknowledging the Lord, confessing my sins. I asked the Lord to forgive me of everything that I had ever done to displease him, knowingly and unknowingly.

I remember wondering was this all a religious act? What I did not realize is the there was a transformation that was occurring, a change that had begun at the moment of my confession. Angels rejoiced at the sound of another soul being saved. Something had happened and continued to manifest itself within me.

Honestly, I did not realize what had happened in total.

Like the blind man who received his sight, I began to see things differently. An increased hunger for the Word of God was remarkable. I could not get my fill quickly enough for the Spirit of the Lord was dialoguing with me. Even in dreams the Lord was showing me his strength and his might, his undeniable authority!

We often don’t know what we need until someone brings it to our attention.

The man blind was touched by Jesus as the spit and mud was applied to his eyes. My heart was exposed as the Holy Spirit opened my ears to hear the written Word of God. Salvation came to me and removed the scales from my eyes.

It must have been and exciting time to discern every shape, colors flooding the eye gate of the man born blind. The enjoyment of horizons that glowed with the sunlight diminishing. But above all he was able to see the face of Jesus. Of what a glorious sight!

The biggest need of mankind is to understand that God loves them! If no one else ever told us that we are loved, God surely wants to interrupt our day and let us know, “Liz, I love you”. Daughter you are blind and I have come to cause you to see.

I did not know I needed help. I did not ask for it, but it is clear that I was blind but now I see!

Jesus came for me.  "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." 
(John 15:13)

God bless you!~Liz 

Friday, March 23, 2018

Friendship

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your
mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40 )

Our the 2018 Calendar it reads that Friendship Day is August 5th. I want to celebrate it today!

The last couple of days my body has been fighting a cold. Not a pleasant scrimmage.

Last night I took some cough medicine to try and resolve the post nasal drip. It worked well, and I slepted till 8 a.m. this morning. Once I got up the coughing began. So, I took another dose of the medicine.

About two hours later I hear myself saying “no, not again”. The entire room was spinning. I could not focus with my eyes and I became concerned. A couple of years ago I passed out to wake up on the floor unaware that my pressure had plummeted.

So, what does one do in a scenario like this?

I was concerned but did not think that a 911 call was needed. Was that wise, not sure.

So, I dialed my next-door neighbor Laura and explained to her that I was getting over a cold but presently was feeling disoriented and unfocused. I gave her access to my home and told her to let herself in. Sadly, I was so dizzy and unable to concentrate that I gave her the wrong code. I managed to hang on to my couch and let her in.

Sometimes life rushes by and we forget that we have neighbors and friends that are willing and would not hesitate to help when we are in need.

Well let’s just say the visit went a little deeper that just borrowing a cup of sugar. 
Laura stood with me, helped me, took my pressure and remained until I assured her I would be OK. I left her number on my phone for a quick dial. She literally was at my home in seconds.

My appearance must have looked scary to her. Mixed matched pajamas, no makeup, crazy bed hair as  I wobble from room to room. She remained with me and offered her son who is a nurse to assist me if needed.

My husband left his work place and came home shortly to take care of me.

Well, its been a few hours now and I believe I had a negative reaction to the cough medicine I purchased. It was strong, strong and potent enough to knock my equilibrium and my orientation off.

I thank God it was nothing worse. I also praise God for my neighbor!

Needless to say, I will not be taking that cough medicine again. Just tea and honey for me!

Well, Happy Friendship Day Laura! I appreciate you caring for me when I could barely stand for myself.

Let's hear it for Laura!!

God bless you!Liz

Friday, March 9, 2018

The Bully

“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:15-18 )

Do you ever look back on your life’s trail and wonder how you have been chiseled into who you are today? Life has good experiences and bad encounters. Through it all, life leaves pathways that we can glance back at while creating footpaths toward our future.

In my childhood years I struggled with a skin disease. It could have caused me to run and hide, and to wallow in shame.

Mrs. Brown. That name probably means nothing to you. But to me it is synonymous with kindness.

We are impacted by many stimuli in our world. As a young impressionable life anything could have marked me and set me on a path that would define me as a person. 


Simon, a young Galilean fisherman. That’s who you are Simon, a fisherman. But what happens when he encounters Jesus?

Simon arrives at a crossroad. Jesus is there with encouragement, direction and his life is influenced, impacted and changed forever. 


The footsteps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord. (Psalm 37:23)

“He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. And I tell you, you are Peter, 
and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” 
(Matthew 16:15-18)

Peter’s life would never be the same.

I recall as a little girl, Mrs. Brown asking my mom if I could attend her son’s birthday party. Now that would not normally be significant. But, to me this was a special invitation. Not many received this invite. Actually, no one in my circle did.

Mrs. Brown was my 2nd grade teacher. She saw beyond my skin and impacted my heart. Her kindness still echoes in my life today.

She understood bullying. Even in the 1960’s this spirit that wants to tear down young people was running wild. I was called all kinds of names. Mrs. Brown pulled me out and loved me. Her responsibility was to teach me. The lesson she taught me did not add up like mathematics. I could have read about kindness, but she allowed me to experience it.

Now, many years later I would come to another crossroads. Life continued to be a teacher to me, and Jesus wanted front seat, my whole heart.

God himself invited me to attend his Son’s gathering. No balloons, no hors d’oeuvre or music playing. A gruesome scene, people chanting crucify him. A man named Jesus is hanging on a cross.

Why? What kind of celebration is this?

A few days later I would better understand. Jesus was taking care of the “bully in the courtyard”. Death promised me separation from God. Jesus promised Eternal Life to the one who accepted the invitation. I reached out my trembling hands and said yes.

Just like Peter, my life would never be the same. Sin dealt with at the cross. The Blood of Jesus, his great love for me, covering a multitude of sin.

As I look back, God’s hand of direction for my life is evident. From school teachers who showed me grace and loved me to the ultimate encounter with God’s Son, Jesus.

Life continues to unfold, and the experiences continue to reveal the hand of God everywhere I look.

He is a merciful, gracious, loving Father and his invitation still stands. You are invited.

Will you accept his invitation?

The bully has been taken care off!

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) 


God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

The Song

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. (Colossians 3:16 )

What happens when you are in the midst of a mistake, some oversight or perhaps a miscalculation? I am a worshipper of the Most High God! This Sunday in the middle of the worship service I found myself unable to put together the melody to a simple song. A song that I could probably sing in my sleep. Was this an oversight or a direct hit to stop me from glorifying the Lord?

I have a team of 9 others who love the Lord. I looked over to my vocal backup just to be amazed that the song was still not flowing. What is happening?

The sanctuary is packed, and all eyes are on the platform. They are waiting for songs of praise and adoration to be lifted to the Lord instead they are observers of an unprecedented skirmish on the frontline.

We live in a fallen world where chaos and confusion try to rule. Families are struggling financially, marriages are falling apart, and children are rebelling against the Lord. Do you have a song?

Our weapons are not of this world! (2 Corinthians 10:4) They have divine power to demolish strongholds.

The enemy is coming, but my God is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?” (Psalm 27:1b) The LORD fortifies me and protects me from further casualty. He is my defense.

He reminds me to “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:16)

Did I read spiritual song? Yes!!

When trouble visits, we must be armed with a song. A song of praise with thanksgiving because the LORD has not forgotten us. If we are in sin, repent and worship the Lord! If the enemy has come to taunt us, open the arsenal and pull out the song of worship. This is a world where the enemy is always on call looking to whom he can devour. Don’t let it be you! Worship the Lord!

All eyes are on the platform. Should not all eyes be on the Lord? This is a distraction.

Stop! Stop all instruments and silence the interrupted song of praise.

I begin to call upon the Name of the Lord. With all the authority He has given me, I go into my collection, weapons of praise. Let’s put our eyes on the Lord.

I hear myself say the words, “Let’s do it like this!” I began to sing a song that has been deep in my heart from the days of old.

“Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah!! We praise you oh Lord, you are my defender! I will glorify your Name! You are worthy of all praise and I will exalt your Name.” Can you hear the chorus? Can you hear the applause as we all joined in the praise of God? Hallelujah!!!!

Satan will not prevail. He will not interrupt the worship of God. I am a worshipper of the MOST HIGH GOD and I will indeed exalt HIM!

All eyes on the platform to see what the Worship Leader will do. I will do what I am called to do, I will worship the LORD. I felt His presence and the arrest of the spirit of disturbance and confusion. Let everything that has breath praise the LORD!

Why tell a story that most would want to run from? Life is those few seconds of choice where we decide if we will cave to confusion or rise to exalt the Lord. Do I hide and wallow in self-pity where Pride leads, or will I come under the Strong Tower and rise with a song of victory! I will rise. 


“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked advance against me to devour me, it is my enemies and my foes who will stumble and fall.” (Psalm 27:1-2)

Liz Trivia: This was the first Psalm read to me when I got saved almost 30 years ago! You indeed are my Stronghold!

“For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.” (Psalm 27:5)


God bless you!~Liz