A strange gift multiplied into countless blessings… Maybe it will even bless YOU!
I open my Bible and find a bear.
I open my laptop; another is there.
So, I pause and tidy up the mud room for my daughter; slip a bear in a shoe. She’ll be surprised to find one of her chores already done for her today.
Two bears = Two kind deeds. So, I carry odds and ends from the living room to the bedrooms for my son, and tuck a bear in with the toys I deliver.
When I went to my room last night, I found my bed made with a bear on my pillow and a Cow Tale on my night stand with another bear close beside; so I prayed for my children that were so thoughtful to pass along kindness to me.
This cycle of blessing and being blessed is divine inspiration.
I was given of zip-bag of baby-boy confetti. (I’m so thankful to the friend that obeyed such a strange prompting of the Holy Spirit.) As we talked about kindness the other day, I gave each of my kids 5 blue plastic bear cut-outs with these instructions:
Go do something kind for someone and then hide the little bear where someone might find it. Don’t tell anyone what small act of kindness you have done.
Then, when you come across another one in the next few days, do another thoughtful deed and hide that bear again in another place.
Finding “be kind” reminders, seeking to be a blessing, and leaving behind a reminder to be found by someone else… Why not create your own version of this simple game of “find and seek” in your home?
this is a perfect day for a “beginning”. And I will begin by waiting.
“Those who wait (“hope” NIV, “trust” Living) for LORD will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary.” (Is. 40:31 NAS)
Could you use “new strength” in this season ahead? (I sure could.) Then, let’s wait.
wait (S# 6960) “qavah” /kaw-vaw’/ – to bind together, twist together, like a rope, to bind; collect, gather together; to expect, look patiently, tarry, wait (for, on, upon)
I will bind myself to my God, tied to the One who will never lose His grip on me, and I will wait.
How? In a literal sense I “collect” myself (“gathering together” my calendar, journal, Bible, pens, etc.), find a quiet place, park myself long enough to be still in His presence, and I “wait”, “expecting” to hear and “looking patiently” in the scripture to see what He will say to me.
In a figurate sense, I picture getting so wrapped up in God’s presence, all tangled together, wresting arms and legs, like Jacob, like a bride and groom, like a rope of many cords twisted around and around till it looks like one, until my thoughts are His thoughts, my words are His words, and my desires are His desires.
I am bound to the LORD even more tightly than I am bound to my husband. At the 30th anniversary of my salvation, I renewed my vows to the LORD, was baptized in the Jordan River (a symbol of crossing over into a new season as Christ was at 30 years when He entered into His public ministry) and purchased a ring, both symbols of my commitment to be untied to Christ as His bond-servant and His bride.
“As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid looks to the hand of her mistress, So our eyes look to the LORD our God…” (Ps. 123:2 NAS) I am His servant, and I am waiting to hear and obey what He would say to me.
It seems fitting that today* is actually “New Year’s Day” (Rosh Ha shanah, that is, the Hebrew New Year), the start of a new season, precious to the God’s chosen people and precious to me.
(*I’m showing my “humanity”. I wrote this Sept. 5th, the 1st day of Tishrei 5774, but forgot to click publish. It’s nice to be real, aaaah!)
Two of my favorite days of the year are New Year’s Day and my birthday because they cause me to stop and reflect over my life and the time I have left here on earth.
I reflect on how I’m growing in my faith, where I am weak, what God has taught me over the past year, where I have been stubborn to apply the truth I know,… and I worship.
God is patient and gracious. He is beyond all things good and wonderful that I can imagine, and He knows and loves ME. What a wonder!
He blesses me every time I seek Him. He does not count my sin against me (it is forgiven and paid for in Christ); yet, He takes note and counts every time I believe Him as “righteous”.
He has made me an heir, not only a child of Abraham through faith (Rms. 4), but an adopted and beloved child of God, His very own.
WHO or WHAT are you waiting for?
What are you expecting in faith (or fear) for this next season/year?
Are you in the regular habit of waiting on the LORD?
I showed the kids how to make bracelets today for a visual illustration as part of a long overdue lecture on family unity. Over the last few weeks we were falling into an old habit of bickering, being overly sensitive and selfish, and responding in impatient, harsh tones.
“Be difficult to offend.”
“A soft answer, please.”
“Cover it with grace.”
All my ordinary corrections were being tuned out.
I went to bed last night praying, “Lord, how can we change the tone in our home?”
I woke this morning with a verse in mind, “And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.” (Ec. 4:12)
The visual image I had dreamt was all our favorite colors woven together with a yellow chord, representing Christ.
So, today we had a much needed art lesson with the underlining themes of “family-team-unity” and “body-of-Christ oneness”.
As I tied each yellow knot over a colored string, I silently prayed, “Lord, tie us together with Yourself, with Your love, with Your Spirit.”
With each color representing a particular person, I prayed for each individual and their relationship with the other members of our family as well as their relationship with Christ.
I reminded my kids that our family is woven together to be something beautiful, and we are stronger together than we would be on our own.
We need one another, and part of being a family is being there to encourage, support, and protect each other.
“Put me like a seal over your heart, Like a seal on your arm. For love is as strong as death…” (SS 8:6)
We all need reminders to apply what we know, to walk in the Spirit, to be obedient to the Truth.
This time we were able to create physical symbol to tie upon our arms and apply Deuteronomy 11:18 a little more literally, “You shall therefore impress these words of mine on your heart and on your soul; and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand…”
Wherever your family is struggling today, I hope you will take your concern to the LORD in prayer.
Ask Him for specific, practical wisdom,
read the scripture expecting to hear from Him,
and obey in faith what He impresses upon you to do.
Social Media is a tool; it is not “good” or “bad”.
Yet, every time I get an email from FB with a link to a lengthy list of mysterious “proposed up-dates”, I feel that tug-a-war of “pros” and “cons” and am reminded that, “Ya’ never git sumthin’ fur nuthin’.”
Should I stay?
Is what it costs me worth it..?
to stay in touch with family and friends in other states/countries
to be up-dated frequently concerning loved ones experiencing a crisis or adventure
to feel connected to acquaintances and would be strangers from church and my community
to check-out my kids’ new friends and their families from a distance
to post a prayer request and have immediate intercession
to be more informed in how to pray for others and be up-dated with how God answers
to be abreast of the latest released songs, most popular sermons, best selling books, free downloads,…
to be entertained by friends’ goofy posts and video clips, silly things their kids say, outrageous quotes, pictures and comments that make me smile,…
What about the countless other benefits for ministries and businesses: promoting products and web-sites, networking with partners and colleagues, and making resources and opportunities available?
There is a lot to consider.
Should I go?
Much of the time, I feel I am more “in the know” than “connected” to my hundreds of Facebook friends.
When I talk in person with FB-friends, I hear cleverly paraphrased confessions of computer addiction and insecurity driven obsessions with this social media.
I feel we’re walking the tight rope of benefits, ever teetering toward
desperation for affirmation
preoccupation with popularity
cropped illusions of perfection
… and dare I say, hasty judgements (oh, me.)
I’m an all or nothing girl. “Always” and “never” too frequently creep into my conversations. I could give up FB tomorrow. What keeps me in this periodic cycle of debating “stay or go” is that either way I feel I’m loosing something…
I read this verse this morning…
“… And make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and to attend to your own business and work with your own hands…” 2 Thes. 4:11
“lead a quiet life”
Would this be easier with or without Facebook?
“attend to your own business”
What does this look like in a world with social media?
“work with your own hands”
Am I wasting time that would be better spent else where?
Am I neglecting my family or responsibilities?
Not to cop out, but rather to be biblical on this grey issue, in answer to the question: “will I stay or will I go”? I give you this verse: “So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself by what he approves. …everything that does not come from faith is sin.” (Rm 14:22-23) As with any other tool, whether it is “permissible” or “beneficial” is dependent upon how it is used and personal conviction.So as you post or secretly browse the posts of others, “Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.” (v. 19)
Encouraging, not gossiping; blessing, not boasting; praying, not judging; doing all things in moderation, and in faith to the glory of God.