Thursday, October 22, 2009

Redeemed, How I love to Proclaim It!

I spent most of Monday afternoon in the word studying for our ladies' Bible study. We are studying the fruit of the Spirit and we are on kindness. One of the definitions was "tender concern for others; the genuine desire of a believer to treat others gently, just as the Lord treats them". I would study for awhile then get up and go across the room and get down on the floor and pray and thank God for His kindness. I did this several times, because I couldn't sit still. I was supposed to be down on the floor. I don't know if it was because I felt so unworthy of His kindness or just an overwhelming sense of gratefulness. I'm pretty certain is was 100% both.

See, right in the middle of studying I get a text message: "I'm sending you a computer, don't buy one". Now I know I said earlier that God's redeeming arm may have nothing to do with computers or vacuums, but I know how my God is. I know that He loves me and cares about what I care about. If He wasn't going to replace those things for me or provide a way for us to replace them, He would make it ok with me. Really ok. I was good with that.

The next day I'm out at the barn when someone drives up to the house. A few minutes later the girls run out to get me so I can see what is sitting in my living room floor. A vacuum cleaner that picks things up when you vacuum!

I almost feel bad for telling you these things. You may think that there are a lot more important things that people need and they are not seeing God's hand. You are right, there are. That is why I feel unworthy. What I do know is that His heart is for all of these things. We have to trust that heart that loves ours. Sometimes we don't see His hand quickly in something and we lose faith. It is in those times that we are experiencing His goodness because everything that filters through those big loving hands is for my good. Even the waiting times. Especially the waiting times.

Don't shorten His redeeming hand. If you are not seeing the answers you need right now, hang on, they are coming. Don't take things into your own hands. Let the Redeeming Lord of Isreal take those broken, hurtful things in your life and make something so very beautiful out of them. When you can't see His hand, trust His heart.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


HANNAH - hini flu -recovering

LEAH - hini flu - recovering

RACHEL - hini flu - recovering

COMPUTER - overuse - dead

VACUUM CLEANER - strangulation by excessive hair - dead

This week has to be better. Michael was banned from the house because we have a couple of people he needs to be available for in these last weeks of their lives. He didn't need to be sick. I've been giving Tamiflu, Theraflu, Ibuprofen, water, apple juice, orange juice; I've been rubbing vicks vapo rub on chests, under noses and on the bottom of feet for the last week. In between times I have laid hands on my computer, kicked my vacuum cleaner, and washed alot of blankets, sheets, and pillow cases. The flu cases are recovering, but no such luck for the computer and vacuum.

I'm super excited.

One of my favorite scriptures in Isaiah says we are not to shorten the redeeming arm of the Lord. Only He can redeem the broken things in our lives. Okay, okay, I know it doesn't pertain to things like vacuums and the like, but, then again maybe it does. See, His heart is for me.

Did you hear that? HIS heart is for ME!!!

All that is hurt or broken in my life, He can redeem. I'm going to trust Him with that.

I know that God redeems all that is lost, messed up, broken, or misused in our lives. Every mistake I've ever made, He can redeem. Every hurt I've ever endured, He can redeem. I am so in love with knowing that. All these things can be used to bring Him glory. Even a stupid broken computer.

Because His heart is for me.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Feast of the Tabernacles

If you live in east Texas you know that fire ants really like it here. What you may not know is that their mode of transportation is water. For real. They all hold legs and ride down the rapids of rain run-off until someone yells "JUMP!" then they all jump off and quickly begin building their mound. We have had bookoos of rain in the last couple of weeks with bookoos more expected in the next two days. Needless to say we have bookoos of fire ant mounds. That is a cute word, isn't it - bookoos?

Yesterday we were all sitting eating lunch and Michael commented on all of the fire ant mounds in our yard. I said, "It reminds me of the Feast of Tabernacles." He said, "That is exactly what I was thinking - the Feast of the Tabernacles." His eyebrows were up so I knew he hadn't thought of the feast at all. Might have even been mocking me a little bit. Surely not.

Anyway, I was just imagining the trip down the water for these little guys. I'm sure in their little ant ways they were laughing, singing, and I'm oh so sure there were a couple of boys scaring their moms by turning loose with most of their legs, shouting "Look ma! no feet!" Can't you just picture it?

For a couple of weeks I was studying about the Feast of Tabernacles and the pilgrimage of the adult Jewish males to the temple to celebrate the ingathering or harvest. Most often they would pack up mama and the little ones to go along for this joyful holiday filled with celebration. There were only three requirements for this holiday: the building of a temporary shelter or booth (to symbolize when the children of Israel dwelled in temporary shelters as God led them through the wilderness and provided for their every need); the taking of four kinds of foliage; and rejoicing all seven days. Just a thought: what if we were required to rejoice the whole time we celebrate our holiday season? Is that possible? A goal, maybe?

When the Jewish people were on their pilgrimages they would sing the Psalms of Ascent beginning with Psalm 120 going through Psalm 134. In Psalm 120 they were in a foreign land longing to be in the presence of their God. Don't you know that the closer they got to their beloved Jerusalem the louder they sang, the more they laughed? They had to have been tired, though. Can you imagine the young moms? I remember what it was like when the girls were babies going across Texas for Christmas. We had a heated suburban, bottles, disposable diapers, and later on, movies that could keep them entertained, but I was pretty stressed by the time we reached Grammy and Opa's.

Their goal was to be where God was because He didn't dwell in their hearts like today. He dwelt in the temple. They were eager to be with Him. Their journey runs so parallel with ours if we really think about it. We are on a journey to our heavenly Jerusalem. There should be joy in the journey. An anticipation that makes the others question the hope that is in us.

The difference is that we have access to Him 24 hours a day but sometimes others can't see the rejoicing in us because we are so overwhelmed with world stuff that it covers up the God stuff. Shame on us. We don't have to walk for miles. We just have to say "Jesus". Whisper "Jesus". Cry "Jesus". Immediately He is there to answer, to crouch over and embrace us, or to let us cry at His feet until we're done. My prayer for me and for you is that we will be eager to be with Him. That we will rejoice daily in the fact that we can call on Him at any time. That others will see that joy.

I'm expecting more tabernacles in the yard in the next few days as fellow sojourners catch up to their relatives. After they celebrate a few days and I know we have no more rainy forecasts, I'll stop pretending they are pilgrims on the way to the temple and start pretending that they are fire ants with a vicious sting. I'll go feed them a little Malt 0 Meal so they will enjoy a little sweetness before they go meet their Maker.