LebBlog

LebBlog

Friday, March 29, 2019

Drink

I have a tender memory when I was a little girl. I remember being on vacation with my parents
heading north to Canada. We stopped at a rest area to stretch out and get some food. I remember my dad hiking a few feet up a nearby mountain and encouraged us all to sit.

He took his pocket knife and poked around in the grass. To my surprise a fountain of water seemed to appear. I was so intrigued. He encouraged us to drink as he himself brought some of this crystal-clear water to his lips. I recollect being skeptical about engaging with this new-found thirst-quenching water. As my dad drank, he prompted me to drink as well. Truly, I don’t recall if I did.

I grew up in the Bronx. Water came from the faucet not the ground!

What I did not understand at that early age was that Water Springs are drinkable. There is a natural filtering process created by God to give us life-sustaining water.

In a simple statement, rain that falls on soil finds its way into permeable rock such as limestone or sandstone and through natural gravity finds its way toward a river or stream.

The stream that was intercepted by my dad’s pocket knife was a natural spring.

There is a process here. Pure water does not reach my lips just because it falls from the sky. It falls on the surface and gets into the mountain side. It must travel through rough patches, be refined by rocks and yet still it needs to go deeper so the refining process can produce life-saving water!

Are you thirsty yet?

Jesus said, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” (John 7:37b-38)

See, life can be difficult. The troubles of this world seem to hold us hostage. Just when we come up for some air it seems we are back into the thick of difficulties.

The Apostle Paul realized that the troubles of this world were producing something good in him. “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. “ (Romans 8:18)

Oh, the trouble is not pleasant, but it does cause us to press in deeper toward the Lord. He himself brings forth a purity that otherwise would not come.

The grace of God is always refining us.

Our desired changes don’t rise to the surface by themselves.

Like a beautiful Spring flower pushing its way through the still frozen ground surface, the process produces a beauty that reminds us life is emerging again.

“In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls.” (1 Peter 6-9)

“In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33b)

I’ve come to know that Jesus who offers life-saving water can lead us through the hard places that try to consume us. He walks us through the valley and takes us by the hand into greener pastures. It’s a hard process to come out on the other side.

But Jesus intercepts time and Scriptures says that on Mount Calvary Jesus himself was cut in to, a piercing that caused his blood to flow.

A much-needed sacrifice for the purification of our lives. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

The woman at the well was probably skeptical and wondered what this Rabbi was offering. She was broken but desperate enough to ask Jesus for the Living Water he offered. “The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” (John 4:15)

She left his presence rejoicing and transformed.

Are you thirsty?

John Newton put it like this, “Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come; 'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far and Grace will lead me home.”

I live in Orange County but you won’t find me at the edge of a mountain. Today my water comes in a bottle. Nevertheless, its Spring Water for me. Water that carries life with natural minerals.

Broken and desperate is the condition of the heart before we encounter Jesus.

He knows how to lead. Join me as we reminisce through this old hymn.

“The Lord has promised good to me. His word my hope secures. He will my shield and portion be as long as life endures.” (Amazing Grace)

God bless you!~Liz

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Breaking News

I overheard the news anchor say, "the person was last seen wearing a black shirt, dark jeans and a
backpack". I thought to myself, "what kind of description is that?" That can be several people I know. That could be me!  The description was so vague. They have so little to go on. The investigation has to continue if they are going to arrest the correct person.

How is God described today? If we had to tell someone about him and give details, would he be described like any other god?

This is Sally from TruthNews, "can you describe God to me?"  "In my mind, god is powerful but I guess not all-powerful because sometimes evil wins." "Someone must have created god because things are not created out of nothing." "He must have a beginning and I guess an end too, right?" "This world is a free-for-all and god can't seem to rule, he can't be everywhere; have you seen the news?" "I guess he needs to get some rest. Everyone gets tired! Perhaps tomorrow when he awakes things will be better." "God, is there a god?"

It seems amusing but sadly our world is in trouble much like the days of old. We need to know about the One True God, Yahweh!

In the Book of 1 Kings there must have been some who were misinformed; a correct description of the True God of Israel needed to be proved, put on display for all to see (especially for Ahab). 


In a very powerful but comical encounter, Elijah challenges the prophets of Baal with a very well known practice of that day regarding sacrifices. The prophets of Baal begin the sacrifice ritual to their god. "So they took the bull given them and prepared it." Then they called on the name of Baal from morning till noon. “Baal, answer us!” they shouted. But there was no response; no one answered. And they danced around the altar they had made." (1 Kings 18:26) Scripture reads, that they cut themselves in an attempt to have Baal light the fire.

Well, Elijah can't seem to take it any more and he mocks their efforts and their god. He says to them, “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.” So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention." (1 Kings 18:27-29)

Vague descriptions lead to unclear answers.   

"At the time of sacrifice, the prophet Elijah stepped forward and prayed: “Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command. Answer me, Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again.” Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, they fell prostrate and cried, “The Lord—he is God! The Lord—he is God!” (1 kings 18:36-39)


The Bible is filled with a detailed description of God. He has written to us with proof of who he is so that we won't fall for trickery or be mislead to follow false gods.  He shows us who He is from the very beginning of time.  He lavishes us with his love and calls to us.  He reveals himself, and points to his marvelous creation that testifies of him.

We are in trouble and we need a Savior!

He takes broken hearts and heals them.  He speaks to us with such tenderness calling us sons and daughters.  He rejoices when arms are opened to him causing celebrations in heaven over the lost son or daughter returning home. (Luke 15)

I'm your news anchor today. I will describe him clearly using HIS own resume.

He has no beginning and no end. "Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God." (Psalm 90:2) 

He spoke into the darkness and created the light. "The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light." (Genesis 1:2-3) 

"Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion. For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him! " (Isaiah 30:18)

"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." (1 Corinthians 14:33) 

"Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." (Psalm 121:4) 

And yes, he is the son of God! "And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased."" (Matthews 3:17)

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His [a]only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." (John 3:16)

So, how would you describe Him?  

Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27)

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Shut In - Shut Out

"The animals going in were male and female of every living thing, as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord shut him in."  (Genesis 7:16)

Ever felt like the “crowd” won’t let you in their circle? Perhaps God has shut you out.

The Lord shut Noah in to give him a safe haven. He was spared from the destruction all around him.

Surely, he felt the waters pound on the side of the wooden ark, God’s wrath hitting every part of the ship. I wonder how often Noah looked at the sealed door and remembered that God himself had shut him in. His security, his trust and future preserved by the hand of God. The winds howling day after day as the deadly waters filled the earth shutting Noah out from God’s wrath. The stench of death was all around him but his escape was in the obedience.

Much time was spent with the Lord. Every detail prescribed. Build the ship because the rains are coming. Noah could not fully understand but he obeyed. God shut Noah in to preserve him and shut him out from his global annihilation!

Adam and Eve were shut out from the Garden. But their exit would not be the end. The Messiah was coming. The enemy of our soul had gained entrance into their lives, but the penalty of sin would soon be overcome.

As we allow our spirit to listen closely to the Lord we will often here him ask us to get away quietly with him. Sometimes that gentle whisper comes in around 3 a.m. when everyone else is asleep. He wants to close us in so we can hear him clearly. He invites us into the tabernacle like he did with Moses.

He will gladly shut out all the earthly distractions that come to steal and destroy our relationship with Him. The noise of the world pounds hard and it makes luring invitations to us. “Sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.” (Genesis 4:7b) Allow the door to be shut and run to the Lord! 

Those outside the Ark mocked Noah. Jeremiah brought a similar warning and the people mocked him as well.

Jeremiah replied, "But if I say, “I will not mention his word or speak anymore in his name,” his word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot.” (Jeremiah 20:9)

It’s in the quiet times that the Lord continues to permeate and flood us with his presence! He fortifies and strengthens us as we remain in his care.

We are Messengers of Life carrying this same fire! It’s the fragrance of Christ. “He uses us to spread the aroma of the knowledge of him everywhere.” (2 Corinthians 2:14) 

As we stay close to the Lord the world around us loses its grip. Jesus spent time alone with the Father because he knew that soon he would be shut in. The cross would call, and the grave would consume him but not overtake him. On the third day the sealed tomb door exploded wide open with his Redemptive Power on display for all to see! Death could not keep him and the penalty of sin was paid.

“But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you. Surely, Lord, you bless the righteous; you surround them with your favor as with a shield.” Psalm 5:11-12

The next time we "feel" shut out let's remember that God may be protecting us and preserving us for a life-saving adventure! We must bring the Good News to all.  The boat is ready.  The rains are coming.  Even if we are mocked we must share the Love of God. It's like fire shut up in my bones!

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Thump, thump. Can you hear it?

Is the shout clouding our judgment or common sense? Our hearts are racing, and all we can feel or hear is our own heartbeat. 

It’s a parade of opposition closing in over us!  We feel as if we are in a tunnel and everything is shrinking except for the noise.  The clamor is powerful because we chose to move backwards.  After all everything inside of us is shaking and commanding me to cave in.

Often when we feel intimidated or afraid, we run through a gamut of emotions. Reason is somehow obliterated, and it seems easier to go with the crowd.

During Jesus arrest and public accusation, we see such a case.  What was Pilate afraid off?  He had three opportunities to set the record straight, to release Jesus but the crowd’s noise silenced his convictions.

“For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore, I will have him punished and then release him.” “But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.” (Luke 23:22-23)

Have you been cornered and accosted to change what you know to be right?  Has fear of people caused you to be silent? It’s amazing how crafty the enemy has become in his pursuit to shut out truth and justice.

Pilate let the fear of the crowd change what he knew to be true.  Jesus was beaten and crucified.

Elijah ran away from Jezebel after he heard the message delivered to him that Jezebel was coming after him. This was a prophet mightily used of God but now running to the heartbeat of fear.

Jesus was crucified but rose from the dead!  Elijah encountered God in a whisper that encouraged his heart to focus again.   

What can we do when errors and wrongs are trying to manipulate us? How can we stand up for what is right and not succumb to the noise?

Sometimes stating what is right has to be learned because for some of us it does not come naturally.  It is easier to stay in the boat than to rock it!

We must recognize what we are thinking.  Our thoughts dictate what we feel, and they produce actions. Self-dialogue is good.  Communication should be respectful of others.  But we must practice assertiveness and state what we want to say.  Fear of other’s opinions will cripple us.

If we don’t address and speak what we want to convey, the silence will reap resentment in our own hearts causing stress and even anger at ourselves.  The thought, “why did I not say something” often reverberates within us.

Speak the truth with respect and promote honest dialogue.

We must acknowledge truth and learn to speak a yes or no when called for.  Often, we are afraid of what we should say.

Being quiet is a powerful tool. But, when we are called to speak, we must push past the fear and speak up.

Truth will prevail.

Let's not get caught up in the noise.

Pilate had three opportunities to release Jesus, but he was silenced and intimidated by the crowd.

Today we have an opportunity again to address and speak with respect to the situations that want to overtake us.

Humbly stand before the presence of the Lord like Elijah. Let his presence realign the heart.  Let our minds be renewed and our tongue surrendered to his use.  Every member in our body for his glory.

“When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? (Psalm 118:5-6)

God bless you!~Liz