Innocent Distractions

It started out innocently enough.

It started out innocently enough. Looking through YouTube videos I happened upon watercolor tutorials. I had been in search of videos that would teach me how to sketch better. It was a great idea except I became distracted and lost sight of the prize. Now there is nothing wrong with watching videos to learn how to do things but it’s the time spent watching and doing, that can become the problem. Realizing my lack of discipline I decided I wanted to learn to listen to God better. Things didn’t turn out quite the way I had planned. Instead of listening, I became even more distracted when I happened upon a watercolor video about making homemade Christmas cards. So I started to make them.

I became so focused on making the cards that I lost sight of spending time with the Father. So much for listening. I was doing the right things, praying, doing devotionals but I wasn’t spending the quality time with God that He deserves.

As I thought about that, I realized that the whole time I was wanting to hear from God, He was trying to speak but I wasn’t stopping long enough or being still long enough for me to hear Him. You know, kind of like that person who asks you a question and moves on to the next question or topic before you can answer them. That was me. I wanted more of Him but I wasn’t waiting for Him to speak, instead I was moving to the next topic. Aren’t you glad that God doesn’t treat us like that? Can you imagine if He did? Maybe that’s why He has so many teachings on what we our relationship with Him should be like so we could use that role model to have that kind of relationship with others. Why He took time give examples for us to follow.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Romans 5:8

We love Him because He first loved us.

1 John 4:19

Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

Colossians 3:12,13

But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection.

Colossians 3:14

God bless!

The Christmas Tree Lot

Passing by a tree lot on the way to church one Sunday, I was surprised at how crammed the parking lot was with vehicles. It wasn’t even 8:30 a.m. yet people were vying for a parking spot bringing traffic to a near stop. I must confess I couldn’t help but wondered how many would make it to church that morning. As quickly as that negative thought entered my mind I repented and asked the Lord to forgive me for my attitude. Who was I to judge anyone? We all have something that can easily distract and draw us away from our relationship with the Lord if we aren’t careful. Something that is for sale if we aren’t careful to guard it, to protect it.

As I thought back to that day, the Lord reminded me how easily someone can be to be drawn away from Him. That when we take our eyes off of Him, we become vulnerable and open a way for the enemy to take territory from us if we aren’t careful. Just as we have to take time and nurture our relationships with family and friends, we must also take time nurture our relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus gave up everything just so we could have an opportunity to become sons and daughters of God. He died that we could live. To nurture such a valuable, precious relationship, we need to spend quality time with Him and not only seek Him, but listen when He speaks. Reading the Bible is important. It’s how we learn about everything that God wants us to know. Prayer is important. It’s how we communicate with Him. But listening is the most important thing we can do to get to know Him. To grow our relationship with Him.

But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, and will be secure, without fear of evil.

Proverbs 1:33

To dwell safely and be secure without fear of evil…isn’t it worth taking the time to listen? God bless.

Happy Thanksgiving

Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:18

As you celebrate Thanksgiving, what are you thankful for? This has been a crazy year but in everything we are to give thanks. I am thankful my husband is cancer free! I am thankful for my family and friends and their encouraging words when I try new things. I am blessed to have a wonderful family, friends both old and new, and a heavenly Father who loves unconditionally.

Abba, thank you for Your mercy and grace that are new every morning. For the people You place in our lives to encourage us and help us to grow. May we always seek You and put You first in everything we do. Help us to remember to extend mercy and grace to others just as You have given it to us. In Jesus name, amen.

Celebrating God’s Goodness

Wow. What a year. Earlier this year we found out that my husband had thyroid cancer and had to have his thyroid removed. Between the discovery of the cancer and the actual surgery, Covid-19 hit. After surgery he had to have an ablation to confirm there wasn’t any lingering cancer cells. Here we are in November and my husband finally had his ablation. Now most people when they hear the word ablation they automatically think heart. Not in this case. He had to swallow a radiation pill. Yep, a special diet for two and a half weeks, 2 days before the procedure he had a shot and the day before the procedure he had another shot. Then he was quarantined for three days at home where he couldn’t be around people. Room Service please! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thinking about the past few weeks with the strict diet and then the quarantine, I thought about how God can use those minor distractions in life to encourage us, to help us grow stronger in our relationship with Him. It can also, if we aren’t careful, be used by the enemy to try and discourage us to take our eyes off of the Lord.

For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.

Psalm 27:5

It could have been so easy to become discouraged during this time. Sometimes we can take things for granted and don’t realize it until we are forced to take a step back. We had to read the labels of everything we bought. If it had salt, we had to avoid it. Dairy products we had to avoid. (Egg whites were allowed) We became rather proficient with label reading. (Something we probably should be doing all the time.) We did find some new permanent food fixtures in our house as a result of the diet. Hamburger buns made from scratch. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Hubby decided he liked them better than store bought. But guess who gets to make them? ๐Ÿ˜‚ Although I will admit that it isn’t that hard to make so I don’t mind.)

The care we had to take in making sure we were following the diet brought to mind how we nurture our relationship with the Lord. Do we spend quality time in His Word? Do we spend quality time in prayer talking and listening to Him? If we don’t take the time to nurture our relationship with God then we are neglecting the most important relationship we will ever have. How can we expect to nurture and grow our relationships with our family and friends if we neglect the most important relationship of all? How we nurture and grow our relationship with God reflects how we will nurture other relationships in our lives. If our relationship with God is one of little communication, our other relationships will suffer the same lack of communication.

O God, Thou art my God; I shall seek Thee earnestly; my soul thirsts for Thee; my flesh yearns for Thee, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.

Psalm 63:1

and

You will seek Me and find Me, when you will search for Me with all your heart.

Jeremiah 29:13

My husband had a post ablation whole body scan to make sure there were no lingering cancer cells. PRAISE GOD he is cancer free! To God be the glory! Thank you to those who prayed for us. God bless!

Faith Healed You, Go In Peace

The woman with the issue of blood. Put yourself in her place. You’ve spent all that you had on medical advice and yet no one is able to help. You’re in debt up to your eyeballs and about to lose your house. You hear about this Man who can heal anyone and you think, you’ve nothing to lose and if you can get close enough just to touch even His coat then you can be healed. That is, if what you hear is true. But you have nothing to lose so why not check out where this Man is going to be next. You happen to overhear a conversation and learn that He is passing by any minute so you begin to search the crowd for signs of this Man. There! There He is and He’s going to be passing by in front of you. You see Him and the look on His face is so loving, so caring that you allow yourself to be swept up by the moving crowd.

You begin easing your way through the crowd determined to get near to Him. You get shoved from behind and stumble but not before seeing Him pass by. No! You silently scream as you scramble to gain your footing. But with your illness you’re slow to react and soon He is moving on getting further away. In a desperate attempt to get close, you push your way into the crowd and suddenly you see His back. One last shove and you stumble again this time your fingers grasping the air and then…you feel your fingers brush the coattails of His coat and immediately you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are healed. You feel energized, ready to tackle the world until you hear “Who is the one who touched Me?” Busted. He had stopped so quickly and turned to face the people behind Him, you barely managed to get out of the way.

“I did it. I touched your cloak.” You say. His eyes fill with compassion for you as He says “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.” You knew you were healed when you touched His cloak, you felt the healing power flowing through. But His words touch you and confirm that you are healed.

Can you feel it? Can you feel the love and compassion flowing through Christ? Jesus was on His way to heal the daughter of Jarius, an official of the synagogue and yet He stopped and spoke to this woman. Jesus affirmed what this woman confessed, that when she touched His cloak she was immediately healed. Jesus said her faith made her well and to go in peace. In other words, don’t be afraid. You chose to believe and by faith you followed through which led to your healing. I can’t help but to wonder why Jesus said to go in peace. Was it for her benefit or that of the people surrounding them? Was it to keep the people from trying to harass her after He was gone? Maybe He didn’t want her to feel embarrassed over running after Him to heal her. He wants us to run after Him. He wants us to seek Him, to find Him, to follow after Him, and to share the Good News with others.

The enemy digs, pokes, pushes, invades, and doesn’t give up when he has made it his mission to turn as many people away from the Father as he can before his time of reigning comes to an end. He already knows that he has lost the battle. He already knows that when it is finished, he will spend eternity in the lake of fire and brimstone but before that happens, he is going to take as many as he can with him.

The thief comes only to steal, and kill, and destroy; I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly.

John 10:10

The devil will do everything in his power to put a wedge between you and God. If we were to dig, poke, push, invade, and not give up on the mission of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ, imagine how many people we can reach for the Father. The enemy wants you to fear and tremble; God wants you to be bold and courageous. Which do you choose? God bless.