Saturday, October 26, 2019

In 60 days!

In 60 days! No, it's not my birthday. In just about 2 months the world will celebrate Christmas. Some celebrate the Son others just the gifts.

Do you remember what you got last year for Christmas? Often in the hype of Christmas we begin to exchange gifts which is a great thing but toward the end of the season when we are exhausted and the shopping frenzy has come to a lull, we pick up whatever is on sale, wrap it and say, “ Merry Christmas.” Don’t be making those grins, we’ve all done it!

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16)

I'm thinking about all those gifts that we get and often shove them in the closet or maybe some of us re-gift them (oh…another grin).

What about the gifts that God has given us? Maybe that gift that he showed us awhile back and we kind of pushed it down and haven't used it. Are they stored deep down in the recesses of our hearts? Have you wondered if God would ever use you?

Let's think about this. He gave us the gift, and he expected us to use it. But what did we do? We shoved it deep down and put it away. He gives the gifts that we may be co-laborers with him in his Kingdom.

He says we all like salt!  Or we should be!

Unfortunately, sometimes we look at others and we say things like, “you are a good teacher” or
“I wish I could sing like that.” In those very statements we negate what he has already given us.

Sometimes we don't know what to do with the gift because it hasn't been cultivated. Perhaps we never even looked at it long enough to open it. We wonder if we would fail to use it properly . We allow fear to hinder us, but fear was never part of the package.

Who took this great gift and re-wrapped it? Who took this great tool that would develop us and equip us to do the work the Master has sent us out to do? It's as if the Grinch came took all the gifts, re-wrapped them under the covering of fear, disappointment, inadequacy, anxiety and it goes on and on.

“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.” (Romans 12:6b)

As I sat this morning reading his Word, I was reminded again of the calling he has given me. I know God has given me speaking gifts and the ability to teach. But I must cultivate the gift. God hands it to me and he says open it, use it and don’t be afraid!

The gift by itself would leave me a talking fool! Many can speak and many can write. The gifts that God gives are for the furtherance of his Kingdom and the equipping of the saints. He desires that we be a well-acquainted with his Word that is sharper than a two-edged sword.

I must wait on Him for his wisdom and revelation to bring His Word to life in me, first!

So, look. 
Look deep within and ask the Holy Spirit to remind you of the gifts that he has given you.

If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” (Romans 12:6b-8)

Jesus challenged those that were listening to him on the mountain, to be the salt of the earth. Salt is effective! Without it the human body dies. Without the gospel truth the soul shrivels and dies. It will continue to exist but forever be separated from God who loves us.

God the Father gave his Son Jesus as a gift to those he created in his image. Yet, without his insight, foresight and the leading of his Spirit we can’t see the need for this extravagant gift. A rebellious people wooed by his gentle Redemptive Spirit; He says, “come!”

This is the Gift that keeps on giving. Go sit with the Father, talk to him today and then be quiet long enough to listen. He is gentle, kind with clear directives to cause our lives to prosper in him. Unwrap his Word. Dust it off and dive into it.

No need to wait 60 days! Christmas arrived many years ago with a Gift for all! Will you receive it today?

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

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Taste & See!

On September 29th, most of you know I fell at church during a beautiful time of worship and
shattered my elbow. After an emergency visit, I was sent home in a cast.

My first encounter with the surgeon was that I needed elbow surgery. I heard the words, "full elbow replacement."  That same day I ended up at my primary physician who sent me for a second opinion at another surgeon's office. After seeing the surgeon that day he recommended that I go for an MRI followed up by another visit to a hand and arm specialist for a 3rd opinion.

I sought the Lord and he answered me; And he delivered me from all my fears. (Psalm 34:4)

The surgeon left me in the cast and sent me home. He said let's reconvene in a couple of weeks and see what it looks like. He said surgery was the last thing he wanted to do, to which I exclaimed Hallelujah!

The following week the cast felt so heavy that it was hindering my shoulder from movement, so I visited the doctor again. I asked if he could remove the cast. He bandaged my arm and told me to rest and to “baby” my elbow.

The poor man called, and the Lord heard him; and he saved him out of all his troubles. (v.6)

It's been 25 days since the accident. My friend Jessica took me to the doctor today. I've been praying and asking all my friends and family to continue to petition God for me for full recovery without surgery.

I will glory in the Lord let the afflicted here and rejoice. (v. 2)

The doctor took x-rays. He looked at me and his exact words were, “I don't know what it is about you.” I began to tell him and show him that I can lift my arms over my head but there were certain things that I still could not do. He was amazed at my progress. He kept smiling and kind of shaking his head.

I've had rheumatoid arthritis since I was 16 years old. The doctor said it's amazing that sometimes people with rheumatoid arthritis can recover so well.

Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. (v.5)

Well, this is my story! My God hears me when I call. He is my Healer who is putting me back together day by day. All I can say is, "rejoice with me for my God is Amazing!!"

For the last 25 days this is the Psalm that I have read, Psalm 34. I continued to praise God and God continued to remind me that he hears me and he is my Healer. Today I testify of God's goodness and his great mercy and grace that he has poured on my life. I am a worshipper of the most high God! There is no one like you Lord Jesus!

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (v.9-10)

Looking to Jesus for full recovery! Rejoice with me!

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

In Everything Give Thanks

Oh, what a glorious day! What does it mean to give thanks to God in everything? This Sunday after great worship service, we went into what I would call an overflow time of worship, and it was beautiful.

One of my team members was leading worship and I went up to the platform to worship with her. Shortly after that others joined us and it became a glorious symphony of worship unto the Lord .

After about an hour I went to step down from the platform and in a blink of an eye I slipped and  flew two feet off the platform on to the sanctuary floor. It was like a slow motion dive except that there was no water.

Well to make a dramatic story short I was rushed to the hospital and they concluded that I shattered my elbow.

I want to go backwards instead of focusing on the ambulance trip and what happens to the flesh when it goes into trauma. 

As we waited for the emergency personnel, I was surrounded by the church’s nursing team, my son and slew of others. “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5)

Do you know that nothing can happen to a child of God without God knowing about it? (John 15)
You see not only am I in him he's in me and nothing can happen to me without God almighty giving an "OK."  Scripture says that he knitted me together in my mother's womb and he knows all things, the end from the beginning. So, this fall may have taken me by surprise, but it did not surprise my Father in heaven.

So, as I waited for the EMTs to arrive I continued to worship the Lord, battle in the spirit and praise him with all my soul.

I’m not saying that I'm some superwoman and should receive accolades of how strong I am. I've had my moments of tears.  I’ve re-lived the moment several times in my head. But I will not blame God,  instead I will thank him for preserving the rest of my body from injury. It could have been worse. This mouth, this tongue, this soul will magnify the Lord.

I write to you today to ask you to pray and intercede on my behalf. We are called to bear each other's burdens and to petition the Father in glory for one another. I covet your prayers and will update you and testify of all that God is doing and will do. To God be the glory.

God Bless You!~Liz