After 430 years of slavery the Israelites were led out of Egypt by Moses only to be caught between the flood waters of the Red Sea and the Egyptian chariots bearing down on them. In a moment God intervened and rolled the waters up on either side, dried the river bed, and caused the people to walk (or maybe it was run) across unto dry land. Then God waited until the whole Egyptian army was in the river bed and then rolled the waters over them completely destroying the army and their king. Exodus 15 tells the story of Moses beginning the worship service by singing and then later Miriam leading the women in singing and dancing and rejoicing with their tambourines. The question I have is “Where did the tambourines come from?” They must have been readily accessible. When the Israelite women were packing in a hurry to leave Egypt they must have been scared. They knew what the Egyptians were capable of, they saw what God was capable of, and they were leaving to go to go where? So what did the women think while they were packing that caused them to put the tambourines on top? This was a people who hadn’t seen God move their whole lives until now and how did they know that they might need a tambourine, an instrument of rejoicing? Continue reading
Years ago I watched a televised church service called “Ever Increasing Faith” (Pastor Frederick K. C. Price). As I was thinking about the story of Elijah in I Kings and comparing his journey in faith to mine I was thinking that our faith walk tends to have many ups and downs or cycles rather than it ever increasing. My heart desires that my faith would grow and grow, but my reality is more of an up and down journey than a continuous upward march. I noticed that others tend to have that same journey.
When Elijah, the great Old Testament prophet, appears in I Kings 17 we see a man full of faith, ready to carry the word of the Lord to evil King Ahab. It reminds me of my early born-again days Continue reading
Did you see the report of a young man who fell down as if he were hurt while playing soccer? They stopped the game. His girlfriend as well as his teammates gathered around him in fear that he was seriously hurt, and then he got up on one knee and asked her to marry him. It has made the TV news but I must say that if I was that girl I’d be mad at him. As I used to say to my children “timing is everything” and for me that would be the wrong time to ask me for my hand in marriage, when the adrenaline is pumping from fear about a serious injury to the one I love. I’d rather have him ask me in a more private and romantic setting.
I’ve been thinking a lot about timing lately. I have a friend who has finally gotten part of his promise from God but is still waiting for the rest of the promise. I have a granddaughter who wants things to happen easily and quickly. (Don’t we all?) And I seem to be in another transition or season in my life. So I have been thinking about God and what He is trying to show me about time. Continue reading
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2)
When Joyce Meyer taught on this passage she pointed to the fact that we all will get pruned whether we bear fruit or not. The Lord is in the shaping business. Like a great gardener He knows what needs to be cut off to stop dead, diseased, unhealthy, or out-of-control growth. He also knows how to prune back a healthy, fruitful branch and make it more productive in the following season.
I had a real life example of this when I looked out my upstairs window to notice for the third year two trees in our yard that looked like they might be dying. Since they were on the property line I was afraid Continue reading
Paul, near the end of his life, encourages a young pastor named Timothy to run the race until the end looking to receive a reward not from the Olympic Committee, but from the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. (I Tim. 4:6-8) That, too, has been my goal and the theme of many of the Bible studies I’ve taught.
Start where you are in serving the Lord,
Claim His sure promise and trust in His Word;
God simply asks you to do what you can—
He’ll use your efforts to further His plan. (Anon.)
Through the years I’ve learned a few things about running the race. One is that the times and seasons in your life may change how you run it or the equipment you use. There was a time I ran my race by learning how to become a better wife and mother. My focus was on how to do better and then share what I had learned with others. There was also a season when I Continue reading
In the past year since my Mom died I’ve been thinking a lot about my future demise. She was just twenty years older than I and I’ve heard the devil say, “You’re really getting old. See how your body hurts and you don’t have the energy you used to. Look at those wrinkles and that gray hair peeking out from under the color you pay the hairdresser to put on.” I’ve also heard the tick of an imaginary countdown clock as one birthday has rolled into another. “20 years left, 19 years left.” Never mind that the Bible teaches that no man knows his time. (Before you think this nugget is too depressing to read I’d like to urge you to stay with me a little while longer.)
They say that age is just a number, but I can’t believe I’m 67 years old. Even my 5 year old granddaughter thinks I’m old as she anxiously asked me if I’d still be alive when she got married! (Preacher’s kids hear a lot about death and funerals.) Yet there seems to be a part of me that still feels young. Most of the time I feel as if there is a young woman in me that still loves the joy of life. Alan’s 80 year old grandmother felt the same. She told us decades ago that, “You are only as old as you feel.” I also remember my mother telling me Continue reading
Thirty years ago I bought a book that was titled “Bloom Where You Are Planted” and I have spent the last 30 years trying to bloom where I wanted to be planted. I have learned that God plants you in a place and expects you to bloom there. Many books I have read suggest that what is pleasing to God is that you get a vision and then transplant yourself in the area where that vision can come to pass. I have found that that does not work for me. Whenever I try to help God by digging up my roots and trying to move them to another place, although it may work for a time, I find that God has eventually closed instead of opened doors to my new place and sent me back to my original plot of land. Continue reading