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Entries in God (10)


Do it again Daddy, do it again!

At 3:30 this morning, I crawled out of bed, put on my flip-flops, grabbed my pillow, fixed a cup of coffee, and went outside to watch for meteor showers.  I had already arranged two chairs so I could put my feet up and tilt my head back.  The chairs were facing north and the seat cushions ready to put on.  So, I was able to get into position and comfortable fairly quickly.

As I was giving my eyes times to adjust, I think I saw a one or two faint streaks which could have been meteors.  Or, it could have been my eyes playing tricks on me and my wishful thinking.  As I sat there waiting, I wondered if I missed some when I looked down to sip some coffee.  I also wondered if they'd be so far away and faint that I would wonder the whole time if I really saw meteors.

Then it happened.  

One streaked across the sky that was so bright I declare it's tail sparkled.  If it wasn't a fireball, it's the closest thing to one I'll probably ever see.  It was so spectacular that I said "oh it's so beautiful" out loud!  And, I told myself at that moment, that sight made all this effort worth it.

In that moment I was satisfied.  But, that glorious moment also left me wanting more.  Those two emotions at the same time fascinated me.  Anyway, I felt like a child whose daddy had just delighted her because my heart was saying "do it again Abba (daddy) Father, do it again!  

So, I sat there waiting and watching for the wonder because I wanted more. All in all, I saw twelve or so streaks across the sky and even got to see a satellite crossing over.  More spectacular was what God was doing in my heart!

As I sat there for a few hours waiting for more, I prayed, I worshipped, and I wondered.  Mostly I was in wonder because the heavens truly do declare His majesty.  But still, I wondered...

When I would come inside for more coffee or look down to sip what I had, I wondered how much I was missing.  It made me wonder about all I had missed all those times when my eyes were not fixed on my Jesus.  I wondered what I would do and how I would respond if I saw the "heavens opened up and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God" (Acts 7:56).  I wondered why I kept wanting to see more.  I wondered why I was a little disappointed that the next time and the next time wasn't as glorious as that first time - that first sighting.  I wondered about so many things.  I even wondered about why I started losing my wonder.

The longer I sat there waiting, watching, praying, worshipping, wondering...I noticed that in between the sighting I started getting bored.  I had to intentionally focus.  In that moment I wondered how many life application sermons that would preach!  At some point, my next door neighbors outside light came on, and they let their dog out.  The activity distracted me.  The longer I sat there, the more distracted I was getting.  I was aware of just how uncomfortable was the position of my neck and how the dew had settled on my skin, hair, and cushions.  At one point, my stomach started growling.  Seriously?  

These distractions were annoying me.  They were messing with my ability to remain in awe and wonder! Well, I'd had my moments.  Maybe it was time to just give up and come inside.  Oh, how I wondered how many times have I gotten distracted and given up, stopped looking up, and lost my awe and wonder.  Sadly, too many times. I got up, fixed another cup of coffee and determined I would stay until I could no longer see the stars. Until there was nothing left to see.

I saw a few more meteors fly by after that. Nothing spectacular but I was ready just in case God decided to scoop up a few of those meteors in His hand and throw them down like some spectacular fireworks display.  He could do it, you know.  

The real wonder in those few hours is how God took His word which I had studied and hidden in my heart and through His Spirit brought it to remembrance. I could see with my very own eyes and experience for myself the absolute truth of His word - for me personally.  It's also a wonder how He took His word and what was going on in my mind, heart, and body to reveal to me things that go on in my life spiritually and in my relationship with Him.  God blows my mind.  Every focused and intentional moment I spend with Him leaves me saying...

Do it again Daddy, do it again.


Devil Dog & Daddy!

Every time I want to approach my daddy, I am stopped by "devil dog" (a/k/a Chipper).  So, for six years and many times a day, this is what I face:

I've tried treats, shock collars, throwing my shoes at him, prayer, laying on of hands...everything I can think of in an effort to avoid being attacked.  I grow weary of the fight.

I love my daddy.  I miss having full access to him.  Oh, he's not stopping me - it's his dog I have to get around.  So, I find myself not even wanting to talk to daddy because I don't want the hassle of dealing with his evil little dog.  (I'm not bitter or anything.)

This week as "devil dog" was coming at me, I got this spiritual picture:  I have full access to my Father God - Abba Father.  But, because I live in a body of flesh and in a world ruled by the evil one - there are lots of things that come into my mind and life that become obstacles in my relationship with my Abba Father.

So many things can come into my life that keep me from constant communication and fellowship with my Abba Father.  Honestly, I wish each one were as loud and snarly as "devil dog" and not as subtle as they often are.  You know what I'm talking about?  As subtle as these things are,  they keep me from running quickly to my Abba Father and/or quickly reaching my Abba Father.

I love what God said to Joshua before going in to take possession of the land God was giving the people of Israel.  "So, take diligent heed to yourselves to love the Lord your God"  (Joshua 23:11).  I've decided now that "devil dog" becomes a wonderful reminder that I am to take diligent heed to Love the Lord my God!  (Diligent heed = an awesome word study.)

PS - I do not believe this good thought will cause my heart to grow fond or "devil dog" or keep me from using the zapper.  But, God is a big God!


Go figure!

There Moses was minding his father in law's flock when God showed up in a very unexpected and glorious way and captured Moses' attention.  I love it!

What I love more is what the Bible says next: "when He saw that Moses turned aside to look, God called to Moses".  This will preach and what happened next is history.

As I've listened to the account of Moses, I've been deeply touched by just how human he was!  You see, Moses wasn't at all certain he was God's man. But God...God was certain of what He could and would accomplish in and through Moses!

At the very start, God assured Moses that He would "certainly" be with him and even assured him that the elders of Israel would pay "heed to do what you say". That's a lot of assurance! Oh yeah, and don't forget this conversation was all taking place in front of a bush that was burning but not burning up.  God even goes on to tell Moses that He was going to grant favor to the Hebrews in such a way that they would leave Egypt with articles of silver, gold, clothing and would plunder the Egyptians. Wow! You'd think Moses would be ready to charge, right?  Not so much.  Guess how Moses responds?  "But what if they don't believe me or listen to me."

Does this sound like a leader of people to you?  I mean, go figure. Why pick Moses - I wonder?  He had separated himself from his own people some 40 years earlier.  Actually, he was kind of old and didn't much act like he wanted to go deliver anyone. But God was telling Moses to go and there Moses was asking "what if."  I just love what God does next.  He asked Moses what he had in his hand (a staff) and then He tells him to throw it to the ground and it turned into a serpent!  Wow! Guess what Moses did?  Fled from it.  Do you love it?  But God...tells Moses to stretch out his hand and grasp its tail and Moses did. Go Moses!

This spoke to my heart.  God took what Moses had and used it to show Himself powerful and mighty.  As Moses was obedient to do, he experienced the power and might of God and each experience strengthened his faith.  Yep, that's a life lesson and it's also a tip for leading forward!  Okay, so several more miraculous signs occur and Moses is now ready to charge, right?  Nope!  He tells the Lord he can't really speak well.  Uh, excuse me...don't you think the God who just did those signs and wonders would give you the ability to speak well?  Like I would have responded any differently. Ha!  This is where God gets angry with Moses but tells Moses he will give him Aaron who speaks fluently.

Isn't God gracious?  He takes what we have, gives us His power and might and then teams us up with others to accomplish His purposes.  Go figure.  As I listen on, I hear God sending helper after helper so that Moses can lead God's people.  Some of these helpers are very interesting.  More on that later.  You know what strikes me here?  Each and everyone of us is leading.  We are using our influence to lead people toward God or away from God.  We are using our influence to impact the lives of those God has put within our reach and influence for Him - or not.  Why would God pick me to lead?  What would God pick you to lead?  Because He is able to take what we have and give us what we need.  Amen?

Listen to Exodus 3:-4:17.  I'd love to know what life lessons you hear.


Howl it out!

We used to have a white Boxer named Boomer.  Oh, the funny stories I could tell you about that dog.  In fact, if I ever need a good belly laugh I watch a video of Boomer being Boomer.  Before Boomer, I'd never had or heard a dog who howled.  When Boomer howled, the whole neighborhood heard him.  He'd get his boxer snout all wrinkled up and throw that head of his back and out would come this howl.  He only howled when he wanted his condition changed.  Like when it was raining and he wanted in the house (rather than go into his dog house).  Boomer's howl was pitiful and attention getting.  I found this visual on YouTube.

With that visual in mind, think about how we sound when we cry out to the Lord.  In our despair, we howl.  Oh, we don't often have the luxury of throwing back out heads and letting go so the whole neighborhood hears us.  But, what about those times in the shower, the closet, the car...  Or the times when the howl is deep in our hearts and we open our mouths but no sound will come?  In Psalm 18, David shares this:
"In my distress I called upon the Lord, And cried to my God for help; He heard my voice out of His temple, And my cry for help before Him came into His ears.
A beautiful example...in our distress, we can call upon the Lord!  We can howl out for help.  And you know what?  He hears our voice, He hears our howl for help - it comes into His ears.  Oh glory be.  I needed to be reminded of that truth today, didn't you?  And, it does not stop there.  David goes on to paint the most beautiful picture of God responding to our howl out.  He says God rides on the clouds, He rides on the cherub to our rescue.
"Then the earth shook and quaked; And the foundations of the mountains were trembling And were shaken, because He was angry. Smoke went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With thick darkness under His feet. He rode upon a cherub and flew; And He sped upon the wings of the wind. He made darkness His hiding place, His canopy around Him, Darkness of waters, thick clouds of the skies.From the brightness before Him passed His thick clouds, Hailstones and coals of fire.The Lord also thundered in the heavens, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows, and scattered them, And lightning flashes in abundance, and routed them. Then the channels of water appeared, And the foundations of the world were laid bare At Your rebuke, O Lord, At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils. He sent from on high, He took me; He drew me out of many waters." (Psalm 18:7-16)
Wow!  Listen to Psalm 18 and let the words dance about you, grab your heart and cause your spirit to soar so that the next time you are in distress....howl out before the Lord and then wait for He hears and He will act on behalf of the righteous! Look up - He rides on His clouds.


I've a long way to go, baby!

In my last post, I made reference to the feminist movement of the 60's and 70's.  One of the old Virginia Slim's commercials used the slogan:  We've come a long way, baby!  A great reminder to us women (baby) that things weren't what they used to be!

As I've been listening to the book of Job, I reached a point and my first thought:  I've a long way to go, baby!  Why?  Job's response to the devastation of losing his sons, daughters, livestock and home.  Did you know that after he tore his robe and shaved his head (a sign of mourning), he fell to the ground and worshiped?  Rewind...he did what?   He fell to the ground and worshiped!  And, in his worship, he declared "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."

Okay, wait a minute. I want that. I want to know God like Job knew God so that no matter what devastation and loss comes my way my response is one of worship and one that blesses the name of God.

But wait a minute...as I listen on,  Job's devastation doesn't stop there.
     Next came sore boils.
     Then came friends to sit in silence with him as his physical pain was very great.
     They babbled on and on - convinced that Job needed to fess up and get right with God.

After about 10 chapters of listening to these so-called friends go on and on I found myself saying - enough already!  Ah, but then God speaks...

Oh my!  What God reveals about Himself in the midst of Job's pain, suffering and despair are some of the most incredible insights you'll ever find about God. I believe Job 38-41 are some of my favorite chapters in the Bible.  At the beginning of Chapter 41, Job says:

...I know that You can do all things, And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge? Therefore I have declared that which I did not understand, Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Hear now, and I will speak; I will ask You, and You instruct me. I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear; But now my eye sees You; Therefore I retract, And I repent in dust and ashes. Job 42:1-6
God showed up and revealed Himself to Job in such a way that he "saw" God.  In the midst of Job's physical and emotional pain, God spoke to Job and told him wonderful things he did not know.  The visual picture that God painted for Job allowed him to "see" God in a fresh and deeper way.  Look, see - God's power and might are seen in creation!  He is everywhere, he sees everything - He knows everything.  I love this one...
Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that darkens counsel By words without knowledge? Now gird up your loins like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me! Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang together And all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who enclosed the sea with doors When, bursting forth, it went out from the womb; When I made a cloud its garment And thick darkness its swaddling band, And I placed boundaries on it And set a bolt and doors, And I said, ‘Thus far you shall come, but no farther; And here shall your proud waves stop’?" Job 38:1-11
Alrighty then.  I'm good - how about you?  I've a long way to go...but God's compels me through His Word - keep going, come closer, look...see...worship!