Friday, November 18, 2022

Get Up!

Have you called on Jesus? He told the paralytic man who had been sick for 38 years, to get up and to walk.

Sometimes life’s opposition, whether it's sickness of the physical body, anxiety, depression or just the unfamiliar walkway we're traveling, ­- it seems like it will never change!

We are stuck in familiarity when God wants to do something new!

When I read this story and I hear the man was sick for 38 years, the assumption is that this man was sick his whole life. But what if he was older than 38 years old and maybe at one point he was well and then he got sick? What if he just wanted to return back to wholeness and health? Perhaps a heart of sorrow was reaching out to the only one who could restore him?

Jesus later encounters him and tells him to stop sinning unless something worse happens. Not all sickness comes from sinning against the Lord. This is a fallen world. 

One thing I do know is that God is merciful and gracious. He is able to heal, restore, redirect, bring life to the dead and redemption to the lost.

So, GET UP.  Go to the Master - to the Healer -  to the Savior  – He knows how to RESTORE!

"When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”  “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked. The day on which this took place was a Sabbath." John 5:6-9

God bless you!~Liz

Monday, September 19, 2022

The Cycle

It's a crisp morning. 
There are leaves all over the backyard. 
My feet crush them as I stroll about my deck making that beautiful brittle crunch announcing that Fall is coming.

All I hear are the sounds of God's creation. Birds chirping in the background, squirrels running up and down the tree trying to store some food for the upcoming season. The chipmunks stop when they see me hoping I don't see them as they scurry about the piles of leaves and branches.

This is one of my favorite times of year. Once again, the cycle begins.

Hopefully you remember when you were young, and you learned to ride a bike and the freedom that you gained. For me that freedom was about half a block in the Bronx but nevertheless in my mind it was a highway. No matter how many times I rode back and forth it was an adventure! I imagined I was on a freeway. In my imagination I would stop to pay the toll. Yes, this was way before E-Z pass! So much fun. The imagination of a child, how exciting.

Fast forward a few decades and I’m still going around in circles. The landscape has grown and changed. This is life. There are cycles that we go through. But, can I learn from theses journeys?

The Bible speaks about the Israelites and their travels. Our great God chose them, revealed himself to them, explained to them what pleased Him and what would be best for them in this adventure of life.

Today he is still intercepting our travels to reveal himself to us. Have you seen Him? Have you recognized his whispers as you travel? Have you marveled at his creation that he made just for us?

This morning the Lord reminded me of life cycles. Yes, we have seasons that cause our landscape to change. I'm amazed at how trees are stripped, perhaps even commanded to let go of their leaves. It seems like death. But give it some time and the seasons will change again and you'll see life spring up.

A young girl. Riding my bike back and forth noticing new things without a care in the world. I could see friends waving at me. Even the wind visited me causing resistance as I pedaled. Pebbles often appeared that I missed the first time causing a bump on the road encouraging me to hold on just a little tighter.

The sun is about to go down and dusk will arrive. I recognize his walk, I recognize his stride. It was my father arriving home. My day’s adventure was about to close. Dinner will be served and soon a new day would begin along with new adventures.

What cycle are you in today? Are you struggling with belief? Has doubt come to visit and its trying to shake you from your foundation? Has discouragement arrived? They may be real, but they're just pebbles on the road. Hold on tight, stay focused. Lift your head and look forward. 

Do you see him? Do you recognize him? Yes, it's your Father. He wants to sit and have dinner with you. You will share your day and he will once again give us direction. He has the Map for Life. He covers us with his love. He'll encourage you and remind you today is about to end. He gives sweet sleep to his children.

A new day will arise and he will go before you. There are cycles in life. Seasons change.

God is with us. Lean in. Listen and hear his heartbeat for you! He has sent us a Helper. Yes, he has been there all along. It's a tandem bike and he has chosen to let us ride with Him!

Share the adventure! 

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

God bless you!~Liz

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

The Blessing is in the Chicken Aisle

I usually do my grocery shopping online. But today I actually walked into the supermarket.

Have you ever had the Lord whisper something to you in the most peculiar places? Well today it happened to me when I was in the chicken aisle at ShopRite.

I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a few items and then began to browse. Once again, the sticker price on meat alone shocked me. The prices on chicken legs took me to the Old Testament of the Bible. Yes, right in the chicken aisle.

2 Kings speaks of a famine in Samaria where a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels. Every time I read that scripture, I can envision a donkey's head and it surely does not seem appetizing to me. But in the midst of a famine, it sold for 80 shekels.

“There was a great famine in the city; the siege lasted so long that a donkey’s head sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a quarter of a cab of seed pods for five shekels.” (2 Kings 6:25)

Please don't misunderstand me.  I'm not saying we're in a famine but for some it may feel that way. Times are difficult.

So, what did the Lord minister to me? It was a word of hope and encouragement.

Hope a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.
Encouragement the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope. (Oxford Dictionary)

I began to think of how many may be struggling even to put one meal on the table for their family. It might be a family member, a friend, a neighbor, maybe even our enemy.

I personally don't like to waste food. Yet, sometimes I find myself doing exactly that. Perhaps I made too much of something and after a couple of days it is discarded.

I’ve learned when I cook, I immediately wrap whatever is leftover and try to give it to someone. It might be something as simple as my son's favorite meal so I drop it off to him. My heart is encouraged to know that my son enjoyed the meal I made. There was no extra effort involved, it was leftovers.

Do you know someone who might be blessed by a meal? We can become chefs in the kitchen where a bag of potatoes and a few pieces of chicken can be transformed into a message of hope and encouragement. Literally the hands and feet of Jesus!

It's interesting sometimes we think a person has to be in a financial need for us to share a meal. 
Sharing meals in the Bible was just part of life.

We have cocooned ourselves. What are we afraid of? When did we stop living? We are a gregarious people.  That's how we share the love of God!

I recall being a young girl watching my mom in our Bronx kitchen make coffee. Brewing Bustelo and filling the air with its aroma. The scent would travel to the upper floor of our city building where our neighbor lived. In no time at all, Anna the neighbor would come down for a cup of coffee. Sometimes my mom would send me on a coffee run and I would be the messenger of blessing. The gift doesn’t have to be lavish. It doesn't have to cost a lot of money. The blessing of this exchange is still producing fruit to this day. 

Yes, in the chicken aisle at ShopRite the Lord told me to write this message. Share it with your friends. Encourage them from their bounty to bless someone today. We don't have to wait for someone to be sick or in need before the blessing begins.

Hope a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen. Encouragement the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope. We can do both today!

My heart has been encouraged many times. I've had friends drop off meals, soup, fresh corn, pasteles, coffee and on and on it goes. No, I wasn't sick or in need for every delivery. It was just a kind gesture that made my heart glad.

At the end of the Bible story, the prophet Elisha appears on the scene. “Elisha replied, “Hear the word of the Lord. This is what the Lord says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of the finest flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria.” (2 Kings 7:1) 
The man of God was correct and the famine broke.

There is a lot we can do to serve others. Sometimes we just need a reminder even if it's in the chicken aisle at ShopRite.

May the Lord use you to bless someone unexpectant. Amazingly the reward will be yours.

To God be the Glory.

“May the LORD bless you and protect you. May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you. May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)

God bless you~Liz

Sunday, July 3, 2022

The Dress

In 1982, I was engaged to be married. 

I remember as a young lady I relied on the use of bridal services to help the big day come to pass.

One thing I knew for sure. I wanted to design my own wedding dress. I sketched it out and patiently took clippings from bridal magazines.  I remember flipping through the pages.  Month after month I would purchase magazines with the latest trends. After all I wanted to know what the world was wearing.

I designed the sleeves, the length of the dress, sketched out the neck all and of course the material that would bring this garment together.

After almost 40 years of marriage the story of the dress is still fresh in my mind.

The seamstress took my sketches and clippings.  She designed the dress according to the style I gave her. 

I'm only 19 years old. A young girl unaware that soon I would encounter One who loved me even more than my husband to be.

The dress was almost complete.

A few more tweaks, after all this dress would be stamped in every photo and memory forever.

What a ride!  What a thrill!

A few weeks before my wedding day, the bridal store shut its doors without warning.  

In 1989 my life would change. I traveled with my young son and husband to the state of Florida.  This trip would take a twist that would affect my life forever. I visited a small church with my cousin who was a born-again believer.

I found myself at the church altar with the pastor asking me if I wanted to give my life to the Lord Jesus Christ? Quite frankly I wasn't sure what that meant. I had been to church before and grew up doing my due diligence, but give my life to Jesus?

It's a marriage. The Bridegroom preparing his bride.

There was an issue of wardrobe.

He offered me a new dress.

For a quick moment I remembered I was already clothed.  I don't need a new dress!

In those few moments there was an internal conversation that was happening, a dialogue of love that was being spoken over me.

Is as if he said, “your dress has wrinkles, the stains that the world has placed on you I'd like to take them away.” 

What stains?

You can be in the world Liz but don't let the world be in you.

Watch your eye gate.  All that you see is not all that there is. 

There is a lure, a draw, a bait design just for you. The intention is to keep you from Me.

Open your eyes my daughter. This dress is for you.

After the bridal store closed down I was able to get my unfinished dress back. 

What do I do with a dress that's halfway finished?  I can’t sew. My search began again.

This time I would choose a dress that was already designed. It was right off the rack, as if it was made just for me.

That evening in the small church I traded my dirty rags for beautiful white garment.

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness, as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.” (Isaiah 61:10)

My design was flawed.
 Yes I looked just like the world wanted me to look.
But the God who loves me wanted me to look different. He would do the change!

The intimate quiet conversation echoed in my inner being.

As a Christian I know the Lord has called me out of the world even though I still live here. Jesus himself prayed to the Father not to take his children out of the world but to keep them from evil. (John 17:14-16)

He still speaks to me today, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

Can you hear him?

“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

The dress off the rack looked beautiful. The photos still testify of it today.

I was still attached to my worldly dress. I cut it to the knees. On my wedding day I wore two dresses. The one that was perfectly designed for me and the one I designed.

What a foreshadow in the two dresses. The dress of the world that I couldn't let go and the perfect dress that was on the rack all along.

The Dressmaker took my filthy rags and exchanged them for a beautiful robe of Righteousness. 

Like the young girl that wanted to design her own dress, sometimes I go back into the world's closet.

But I hear the Dressmaker singing over me reminding me. His love speaks to me.  

“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.” (Galatians 5:16-17)

Liz, a young girl with an awe for a dress designed by the world was intercepted by the Dressmaker. 
He has clothed me in his Righteousness and continues to love me to this day. 

Actually, this is a forever APPOINTMENT.  I have been SUITED UP!

What are you wearing? 

God bless you!~Liz

Friday, May 20, 2022

Empty Bag

"Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine."  (1 Samuel 17:40)

I am an organizer. I'd like to prepare in advance, arrive early and be ready. It's the administrator in me.

David, a young man, was sent on an errand to bring lunch to his brothers at the front line of a battle. This young man had no fear and it seemed like no concern about delivering food to the frontline.

I wonder how I would have prepared. Perhaps I would have packed my own lunch just in case I was delayed. Take plenty of water and have my camo gear on!

David is on a mission from the Lord, and he doesn't even know it. His lunch delivery will be intercepted, and David will be used by God to bring victory to Israel and glory to the Lord!

Preparation and planning is a great quality to have nevertheless when God is doing something in us and through us we must remember he will accomplish what he started. He will do it with our empty hands and everything at his disposal.

David had a lunchbox not a sword.

God will accomplish what he wants even if it seems we are unprepared. King Saul tried to help him and offered his armor. But the armor was too big. David rejected the armor.

David was a young worshipper and a psalmist. We know he was anointed by God because Saul himself called for him when he was tormented by an evil spirit, and the evil spirit left.

He honored God and acknowledged God’s authority as he spoke to the Philistines. “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. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.” (1 Samuel 17:45-47)

He was a humble shepherd. He verbally recited his resume to King Saul. “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”          (1 Samuel 17:34b-37a)

So, when thrusted into life’s difficulties, why worry? I don’t have to be concerned whether I have planned all things out. Truly I never can.

“Then he took his staff in his hand, chose five smooth stones from the stream, put them in the pouch of his shepherd’s bag and, with his sling in his hand, approached the Philistine.” (1 Samuel 17:40)

David’s reliance on the Lord is noted here. His pouch, the shepherd's bag, was empty. He really was on a lunch delivery run. Nevertheless, he was ready to be used by the Lord.

I guess it was no strange thing for David to go to the brook and grab a few stones and put them in his bag. David picks up 5 stones. But, all he needed was one.

Whatever situation we are in or the one we might face tomorrow, we must in humility acknowledge God in all our ways. He makes the way for us.

For David the enemy was conquered with a stone from the brook. For us it may look a little different.

The battle for us may be won if we keep our tongue in check.

The enemy may be overcome as we quietly pray through our pain and tears. God brings the victory.

Like David the worshiper, the sacrifice of praise brings breakthrough. Though sorrow may last for the night joy comes in the morning. (Psalm 30:5)

“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” (2 Corinthians 10:4) And sometimes God will use a stone.

God will accomplish victory for himself. We must be willing vessels. He will use frogs, locusts, turn the sky dark, part bodies of water, bring down walls as we shout in praise, 'cause the sun to turn back and provide daylight, and on and on.

We have nothing to fear. Indeed, my God owns the whole earth. (Psalm 24:1) If he wants to use a stone from the river to bring victory for himself, let his name be praised!

Our armor consists of prayer and submission. The victory is his and he provides the weaponry.

Listen, can you hear the river bubbling. Incline your ear as David splashes through the water. No fear. He is listening to the Lord’s instruction. His sandals are wet, his legs are sturdy. He bends down to pick up 5 stones. Perhaps from the distance he can still hear the taunting from the enemy.  He is determined. He takes one stone at a time and places them in his shepherd’s empty bag. He walks away from the brook with his garment wet. He is focused. He marches right back to the front line. His confidence was not in the size of the stone or how many stones his bag could hold. His trust was not in his skill. His faith was in the Lord!

“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)

God bless you!~Liz  

Thursday, May 12, 2022

Deep calls to Deep

“Her husband Elkanah would say to her, “Hannah, why are you weeping?
Why don’t you eat? Why are
you downhearted? Don’t I mean more to you than ten sons?” (1 Samuel 1:8)

A woman in distress. Her longing cannot be met with physical things. Food won’t satisfy; her brokenness comes from a place that only God can mend, and it’s for his glory.

Elkanah meant well. Her husband tried to bring comfort to his wife. She wanted a child. This was something the Lord had to do to bring glory to himself.

Her longing was deep. Indeed, deep calling out to deep.

“The deep of man’s need calleth unto the deep of God’s fulness; and the deep of God’s fulness calleth unto the deep of man’s need. Between our emptiness and His all-sufficiency there is a great gulf. . . . Deep calleth unto deep. The deep mercy of God needs our emptiness, into which it might pour itself. . . . Nothing can fully meet the depth of our need but the depth of His Almighty fulness” (SMITH, JAMES AND LEE, ROBERT, HANDFULS ON PURPOSE FOR CHRISTIAN WORKERS AND BIBLE STUDENTS, EERDMANS, 1971, VOL. 8, P. 11.)

God’s desires cannot be satisfied with earthly or material stuff. It can’t be satisfied with emotions, a temporary “joy-fix”. Other people can't appease the emptiness that only God can satiate. It must be birth from God for God's purposes and use. Elkanah’s questions missed the vast emptiness that God was trying to satisfy.

Are you waiting on God? Then wait. Man cannot fulfill the purpose that God his birthing within us. God does all things well in his perfect timing. Yes we must continue to cry out to him for he put the desire within us and he alone well satisfy it.

“Why am I discouraged? Why is my heart so sad? I will put my hope in God! I will praise him again—my Savior and my God!” (Psalm 42:11)

Hannah waited and God delivered. She gave birth to Samuel who became a prophet unto God. Samuel anointed King Saul and King David; two men, one after the flesh and the other after God’s heart. King David in all his frailty, mistakes and sin was used by God mightily. He is in the lineage of Jesus Christ the only begotten son of the Father who brought salvation to all mankind.

If you wonder why the struggle is big, that’s because what we do not see is even bigger.

Father glorify yourself in us. We wait on You!

God Bless You!~Liz

Saturday, February 26, 2022

"When you have money no one is ever really your friend" - Death on the Nile

Quote from "Death on the Nile."

”When you have money no one is ever really your friend.”

In today's world money is a god. It has always been a god.

If God owns everything, can I be trusted? Will my greedy heart go after all that God owns? Can my love for him be skewed by what I can get from him?

“The earth is the LORD's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1)

Many have sought God for what they can get from him. What's in it for me? 

What if the life-saving gift that he is offering is rejected? What if what we're looking for is achieved as we humble ourselves?

Everyone desires peace, love and joy. We want to discover and attain all that life has to offer. Unfortunately, in our search, if left to our own devices, we may obtain what we want and miss what we need.
"What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?" (Matthew 16:26)

“For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” (1 John 2:16 NLT)

God the Father in his great love for us sent his son Jesus to earth that we indeed may live life to its fullest. Jesus came to give us life but the war that was waged continues to operate. It steals, kills and destroys everything around us. (John 10:10)

If God owns everything, can I be trusted? Will my greedy heart go after all that God owns? Can my love for him be skewed by what I can get from him? Will I miss the bigger picture?

The Lord who formed me, (Psalm 139) and knows me well is interested in lavishing me with his love! Yes, even his resources for life. 

Can I really be called God’s friend?

God has looked upon me. He knows my brokenness and need. He knows that I can easily be tricked into a downward spiral of depravity.

So, what does the Creator of Heaven, who owns everything do? He sends his Son Jesus to earth. He takes a world of chaos and turns it right side up.

He reminds me of the new life he offered Nicodemus. It’s available for me too! “You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 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 3:7-8)

Will the God who owns everything trust me? Jeremiah reminds us that our hearts are desperately sick. Who can know this heart and fix it? (Jeremiah 17:9) Only the Lord!

Hollywood says, ”When you have money no one is ever really your friend.”

Yet, God has called me his friend and he owns everything!

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

In humility and need. I surrendered to the Lord for new life and forgiveness of sin. What did I get in return? New life! Eternal life and sins washed away.

What does the Creator of the world say about me? 

 As his son walked on earth, this is the message to his followers, to his disciples, to his children. “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:13-15)

He calls me friend. He reveals the Father’s plan to me.

“This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’” (Jeremiah 33:2-3)

All who call upon my name shall be saved. (Romans 10:13)

It seems no matter where I search in his Book, there is a call for me to come to him. The Owner and Creator of everything wants me! He remembers that I am but dust and bids me to come.

He desires to lavish me with his great love! (1 John 3:1) Salvation is the gift for the far off, the broken, the greedy, the swindler, idolater, rebellious, the confused, the cheater and the cheated, the sinner who thinks there is no hope.  We are not beyond his reach.  He is the Restorer to the broken and crushed in spirit.

He has come to give us life and everything we need in this world and beyond. Will you trust him today?

The gift is free! “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

God owns everything and wants me and you! Salvation establishes our relationship with the Creator.  He calls us friends and loves us!

He can't stop thinking about us and died for the re-establishment of our relation with the Father.  Noah was given the olive branch, delivered by a bird.  We have been given the new life delivered by the Son!

God bless you!~ Liz

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Quick Decisions

 I recently placed an online order. This is a very common activity for me. I'm savvy and know how to look for a good deal.

With the cold weather and the wintry mix that we've been getting I placed an order for some rock salt. I want to be prepared. My eyes caught a good deal on some ice melt so I proceeded to order this bucket that would carry me through the rest of the winter.

What keeps me and holds me together as I live my life? I am a believer. What does that mean? I have heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. I trust Jesus. He came to save my life. I believe that he died on the cross and on the third day rose again. When he left the earth, he sent what he promised, the Holy Spirit, which guides me daily.

And she lived happily ever after.

There are forces, a spiritual war that believers are caught in. My life is redeemed and belongs to the Lord. Yet there are entities trying to diminish my effectiveness.

Everything is not what it seems to be! Read the fine print!

The warning - stay on the alert! I'm an excellent shopper yet I got caught off guard in my recent purchase.

I’m savvy, I was confident.  As I shop online I often ask the Lord to show me what I need because often my shopping cart is filled with what I want.  That is a discipline that I continue to learn daily.

As a believer I must remain vigilant.  It's more than an online shopping experience. The repercussions are costly.

Everything must be filtered through the Word of God.  My emotions may be easily fooled.  The heart must be examined by the Lord.   A constant dialogue with the Holy Spirit must be my daily pursuit.  My heart might try to trick me. My emotions can be easily fooled. “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)

Everything must be tested.

The apostle Paul spoke to the Corinthians and warned them! The enemy of our soul is a great deceiver. He lies, he deceives, he tricks, and if we’re not careful his influence can lead us astray.

Many have been led astray by false teachers and doctrine. (2 Corinthians 11) This is not a pit that the people of old fell in. This hole exists and consumes people today.

It's beautifully decorated. The road is wide, lined with trees.  If you listen carefully, you might hear the conversation. It is not the birds chirping and praising the Lord early in the morning. The rustle of the tree leaves speak of danger.

It's the same conversation that Adam and Eve had with the serpent. A little twist here and a little change of language and mankind was deceived and fell.  Disobedience left a terrible imprint.

The Bible says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14)

God’s Word reminds us, that he who delights in the Lord, “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither—whatever they do prospers.” (Psalm 3)

Pick up the sword! It is the Word of God. Pray and ask the Spirit of God to give direction. He can open our eyes to really see and cause our ears to hear correctly. Pride can come in and begin to tell us that we are secure. But we must consult with our heavenly Father. Fight to remain!

My online order status said it would take a little longer for delivery, so I cancelled the order. 

A few days later I received a package in my mailbox. I don't have a big mailbox.  The item was wrapped in plastic. I looked at the package and I was baffled.  I had no recent orders. I began the unwrapping process.  I'm still unsure. What could this possibly be? As I removed all the packaging, inside this plastic bag was an item the size of a handball.

Lo and behold, there was a tiny little mini bucket of rock salt. Now if you are as confused as I was  - now we can laugh! The item that I ordered (in my savvy shopping excursion) was not a big bucket of rock salt. The small print under the item description read that this was a miniature rock salt bucket to be used as a Christmas tree ornament! It’s January!!

Oh, the lesson isn't finished. This tiny replica cost me $23. Praise the Lord I got a refund!

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)

It can happen that quickly. Deception, trickery, accusation, pride, a world wind of confusion, anger, misrepresentation, lying, stealing, a whisper laced in gossip – be on the alert!  There is a battle waging!

I'm not as savvy as I thought I was.

I'm thankful that as a believer I have a great Counselor to give me advice and direction. He teaches me about what I need, not what I want.

Lord, I am your child. Lead me and I will follow.

The Lord does not use fine print. He makes it very clear to all who will listen. He loves us.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

“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)

The quickest decision we can make that leads to life is to say yes to Jesus! That's NO DECEPTION - it is life!

God bless you!~Liz

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

The Witness Has A Ripple Effect

Ever wonder who's listening to you? When was the last time the Lord sent you to minister the gospel to

someone? Did you accomplish the mission?

In the book of Acts chapter 8, Phillip is sent to an Ethiopian eunuch with a message.

It takes place right after the apostles are scattered shortly after the death of Stephen. Phillip heads to Samaria and there he ministers the gospel. People are delivered from evil spirits and the sick are healed! Then the Holy Spirit instructs him to go to Gaza, another town in Samaria.

The story of the eunuch unfolds. We know that the eunuch is reading the book of Isaiah and Phillip begins to share the meaning of this prophetic writing. As they are driving in the chariot the Ethiopian eunuch sees a body of water and asks to be baptized.

The part of the story that I want to focus on today is the fact that this Ethiopian man was not alone. He gave orders to stop his chariot so that he may be baptized. (Acts 8:38)  

My question.  Was there a ripple effect to Phillip's act of faith and obedience?  The scriptures do not mention anyone else being baptized or for that matter anyone else engaging in conversation with Phillip. Nevertheless there they were listening to the God changing message of the Gospel.

Often when we have to deliver a message the Lord gives us, our view is so narrow. The message transforms lives!  Our obedience in delivering the message can cause multiple lives and families to be changed.  

Is it possible that others are listening? When we bring the message in the public square -  the public is listening.  It's no longer just the one person we are speaking with.  

The word of God is so powerful, and God’s love is so immense that he wants everyone to be saved. God's desire is a none would perish but that everyone would come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Sarah’s eavesdropping caused her to laugh when the angel of the Lord spoke to Abraham. At first she did not believe but indeed God’s word came to pass.

The witness has a ripple effect! The next time God dispatches us on a mission let’s remember it's more than what we see. We are messengers that God is using to bring the world to himself. What a privilege to be used by him!

"He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." (Mark 16:15)

May the Spirit of the Lord use you to expand his Kingdom; to bring many from darkness to light! (1 Peter 2:9)

God bless you!~Liz


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