And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. Yesterday as we were walking out to the camper for Bible Study I was attacked by a wasp. Mark and I love to read the Bible together and share about what it says to us. Since God talks to each of us as the OOAK individual that He created, it’s amazingly beautiful to see His Grace at work! Unfortunately we never got there – I got stung. I’m severely allergic to bee venom and now I guess that includes any of those flying biting insects. We live 25 minutes from the doctors office- They’re not always open so it was like a shot in the dark whether or not help would be there. My first reaction to the sting was shock but peace came one second later. God was with me. What do I have to fear? Nothing! I was fascinated to see how He would bring good out of this situation. God brings good out of everything for every person. I carry an Epi-pen wherever we go, so Mark administered that and I keep Benadryl pills in my handbag for the same reason. These measures will get you to the doctor’s office or hospital but they can not save you from a full blown episode. Anyone allergic to bees should have these readily available. The nurse was in and she saw me first. In her questioning of how it happened I related that we were on our way to study the Bible together when it stung me. Hmm-mm, do you think maybe God wanted her and the other person standing by her to hear that studying the Bible is good reading? I was given a shot of a corticosteroid and waited patiently for the affect to start. She discussed what was to be done with the doctor, I imagined that because I never saw the doctor, then she came back with a paper to deliver to the hospital where I was to go and wait for a possible second reaction to happen. The second reaction is iffy at best. Never having suffered from a dreaded second reaction I went shopping instead, retail therapy, all the stores were close or within sight of the hospital. I bumped into one of my favorite people, Chuck our assistant fire chief (at the first store), who was told the story with full details and checked me out giving me some wonderful advice about the itch that was beginning. Chuck was the second person to hear that reading the Bible and learning about God is a good thing to do daily. I bought a toy duck for my dog (she loved it) and a battery kill switch for the fire department’s brush truck. Mark stayed with me the entire time and made me chicken noodle soup when we finally got home. I found myself talking to God and thinking about him all day! This relates only a small fraction of the great good God does through one tiny wasp sting. Whatever happens to you each and every day can be read like a chapter in God’s Bible, when you look at it keeping in mind how God works his everyday miracles with love and attention to details.
“That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth.” Philippians 2:10 Douay-Rheims Bible
I have been trying to decide on gifts that would be appropriate for Christmas. I have been struggling with this for years, not just this Christmas. I’m somewhat estranged from my own children and family. Divorced. That terrible word because of all the painful implications. Broken vows and unfulfilled promises. They seem to have turned from God and I blame myself. The world grabbed them the first chance it could. I raised them as Christians with all the true trimmings of Christmas (Christian values, virtues and high principles for proper conduct). Now, my grandchildren have been brought up not knowing God and only knowing stuff – the things in and of this world. Here I am wondering what to give them. I would dearly love to give them a Bible but I’m afraid they’ll reject it and throw it away. My dilemma. To me, Christmas will always mean the birth of my Lord Jesus, God and Savior. Not Santa Claus. We are estranged because I am strange to them. An old fossil. Believing in God is a weird concept. Their parents, my children, are uncomfortable if and when I mention His existence. I have prayed and waited patiently for years for them to come back to the way they were raised but that hasn’t happened. I cringe at the idea of celebrating a fat red costumed man in place of the Christ who laid in a trough to become the food of our salvation.
Thanks to Gaye Francis Willard for the original artwork!
“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Life’s loud noisy distractions have a way of drowning out God’s quiet gentle urging. Tonight the rain on my tin roof and hum of the air purifier alone are making racket enough to run the quiet off. I wonder if I’m being selfish. He calls some to be missionaries in foreign countries and some to die for the faith. For me, to wash clothes, of which I clearly have too many. Or make meals, some days we have the 3, I could easily skip some of those. My waist line is increasing. My prayer life is not increasing as fast. I don’t mean to whine. I really would like to be sure that the will I’m doing is not my own. God’s will be done.
“Jesus said to her, I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25-26
Yesterday in Bible study with Pastor Bob White we were talking about the death of loved ones and this thought has persisted in running around my mind ever since.
I was with both my Mom and my only sister when they left this world. They didn’t die, their earthly bodies (those shells we drag along with us here on earth) stopped functioning. They went on living, only this time with Jesus in Heaven. Do you believe this?
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.
Starting out on the right premise is essential for understanding who God is and how to have a relationship with Him. I’m talking about the Holy Trinity, (God the Father, Jesus His only Son and the Holy Spirit).
The number one fact for me is: He is a perfect God, absolutely without question PERFECT. The only God. He can’t make a mistake.
Number two fact: He loves me with His entire heart, not just sometimes when I’m good. His love is all consuming, passionate, unfailing.
Number three fact: He is only as close as I allow Him to be. If I think of Him as up in the sky somewhere, that’s where He will be for me. If I know He is my heartbeat, so close I can’t breath without Him, that’s how close He is. He leaves it up to me to let Him in and keep Him close. The closer I keep Him the more intimate the relationship.
God is perfect, He loves us and wants to be with us . He’s a mystery gift that peeks out with unspeakable joy. You never know what He will show you! God is hidden when we’re not looking for Him. He’s there if you look. He wants us to seek Him; to feel His love; to long for Him, like He longs for us. Life is beautiful with God. He alone makes bad good. I don’t understand everything. I do understand that in order to have peace and joy, I have to be as present with God as I can.
When I take my focus off Him I start sliding down to the dark side. I loose my perspective, my peace. I become bigger than life and ignore God. When I focus on God, He is big and I am small and an object of His love. We are capable of true good only through God, the conduit of all goodness.
“This is the day the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24
My thought raced to different scenarios; someone in prison; a women grieving – who lost her child; someone struggling with addictions and then the quote I chose. In all these things there is room to rejoice when we choose God. Jesus makes every scenario better. Unless you’ve chosen Him, you will never know what I’m talking about. That’s today’s thought. Chose Jesus and rejoice!