Monday, October 30, 2017

Waiting and Loneliness

A picture is worth a thousand words. What does this picture say to you? Is it just an anonymous person sitting alone or could this picture represent you? This picture speaks more than a thousand words to me. It speaks volumes!

This picture speaks of waiting. Have you ever waited for something to happen or manifest? Although we have heard, Good things come to those who wait, waiting can be agonizing. Waiting can be difficult and discouraging!

This picture speaks of loneliness. No one else can truly know how it feels to wait for your desire to manifest. They can only be there with you. Waiting is an experience of isolation. You can be lonely even surrounded by people. "Loneliness is and always has been the central and inevitable experience of every man." (Thomas Wolfe) Loneliness comes with life.

But there is a loneliness which comes from waiting on God. Unless we can find the comfort of solitude our waiting will make us sick. Hope deferred makes the heart sick. (Proverbs 13:1) Learning to wait represents a deeper sense of trust. "What God does in us while we wait is as important as what it is we are waiting for." (John Ortberg)

The loneliness in waiting can draw us closer to God. God teaches us how to wait. But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. (Isaiah 40:31) 

Learning to wait upon the Lord develops a sense of dependency on God. This understanding is closely related to Psalms 127:1, Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. We cannot make our desire come to pass but we can trust and rely on God. Such dependency is built when we wait.

Learning to Wait on God

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Seeing and Hearing Your Change of Season

 Look up into the trees and you will see many things during the autumn season. Leaves are changing color and something is moving them gently before they fall to the ground. Just the slightest movement indicates there is something else in the trees which the eye cannot see.

Autumn is the season of change and nature is a living object lesson for all who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Today I saw a mother bear and two cubs in the trees. Today is a time to play but soon play will give way to hibernation. Look up into the trees and you will be reminded that life is a revolving cycle from action to sleep. A time to work and a time to rest.

John 3:8 You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. (The Message)

Our spiritual life has seasons of "seeing" and "hearing." Look up into the trees and you will also hear the wind of the Spirit. You can't see the Spirit but you can hear the sound. Maybe we are too busy seeing and fail to hear what God is wanting us to hear. Sight and sound can be found as we look up.

The small bear cubs I saw today have no idea of the upcoming hibernation season. They have never slept through an entire winter. They have never been in the dark for months, but their mother has and she will show them the way. She will teach them what they need to know for the season change ahead.

Holy Spirit is already waiting for us to move from our autumn season to winter. He is in our next season and because He knows the way He will guide us. The wind in the autumn trees is the wind of the Spirit. Jesus said, "You have no idea where it comes from or where it's headed next." Jesus knows we do not know where we are headed next but the Holy Spirit is guiding us in the right direction.

Recently a tropical storm moved through my state. A small oak tree in my back yard had been the resting place for a covey of doves. The storm destroyed the majority of the tree but the doves
returned to their place of rest following the storm. No leaves to hide them but they were in their tree. Your tree may have gone through a shaking and the leaves have been blown away, but it still is your place of rest. Here is your place to hibernate; your place of peace. 

Matters of My Heart

Jeffrey E. Miller wrote this post and it is 100% accurate for me. Lord, help me!

It is possible for us to have an appearance of obedience without true obedience. That’s because God does not only take our behavior into consideration, but also our thoughts and motives. That’s why the Bible tells us that although man looks at the outward appearance to make judgments about his fellow man, God looks at the heart to draw His conclusions. For God, heart matters are the heart of the matter.

At this point many people will feel hypocritical, recognizing that their heart and their behavior don’t always perfectly align. If this is your story, don’t seek to live more authentically by lowering your behavior to match your heart. Rather, pray and ask God to cleanse your heart and your mind to match your shiny veneer. Purity of motive, not alignment of deeds to our impure motives, is the goal that honors God.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Time to Keep Silent

When a person is going through a difficult time how do we respond? Are we too quick to give them our pet scripture verses or are we truly present with them? There is a time when we need to be sensitive to their pain. We often say too much and this can only deepen their despair. True friends are "there" with them. When the time is right the Lord will open their mind and spirit to receive a word which will provide guidance.

The Agony Of Divine Delay

This new message is for anyone living in the agonizing delay between tragedy striking and God intervening. It’s about the times in our lives when God seems absent, invisible, deaf, silent and indifferent to our pain and suffering.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Life Shifts

I recently traveled to Utah on an extended prayer pilgrimage. I was alone in order to be quiet as I prayerfully sought the Lord's guidance for this season of my life. I had officially retired three months before. I was aware a new season had begun but did not know any specific details. Little did I realize how my future was about to shift. I returned three weeks ago and much has occurred in my personal life.
God has blessed me with supernatural health my entire life. I give Him praise. A week before my trip my primary care doctor heard something different when listening to my heart. Following the trip, I have had several tests and met with the head cardiologist at the VA. I was very impressed with her knowledge and compassion. The echocardiogram has revealed that I have a hereditary heart condition Hypertrophic Obstructive Cardiomyopathy. It is the condition that caused my mother and her parents to experience cardiac arrests. I have a few more tests scheduled next week. I am not afraid or worried. I am sharing this with you for one reason and that is to explain the rest of this post.
I had no way of knowing I would learn about this issue with my heart when I retired or when I made the prayer pilgrimage. I knew that I had not felt right physically for the past two years. Now I know what was going on. I also was aware that the Lord was about to make a major shift in my spiritual life. Everything in my life began to be shaken and still continues. As I stated, I am not afraid. “Yet once more,” denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain." Hebrews 12:27                                                     
On the prayer pilgrimage to Utah, the Spirit revealed that it was time for a new book called, "The Narrows." I have started writing and it is taking shape. 
This morning I received more direction. It is a time for a shift for this season. The Lord called me to proclaim the Gospel in 1974. The calling has taken me in many directions as He led. Now it is time to share in a way that will reach the maximum number of people in this new season. Pastor Erik West, Grace Life Church in Jemison, once told me that God had put too much inside me to leave me on the shelf. I am understanding this more today. It's time to be taken off of the shelf and the lid open! Watch for new ways of sharing the good news.