Thirsty For Christ Thursday

The Long-Awaited Promise: Fulfilled

{This post is dedicated to my precious grandmother, Florence, since she ‘so loves’ reading this blog. Merry Christmas, Grandma!}

Thursday

I cannot stand waiting. As a matter of fact, I sometimes drive 10+ miles out of the way for the sole purpose of avoiding traffic and stoplights. When it came to ‘waiting’ on a husband, by the time Craig finally showed up when I was 28 years old, I was about to throw in the towel. And the most difficult waiting of all? Jonah.

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Still, after more than three years of praying and hoping, we are awaiting the arrival of our child – Jonah Elizabeth. (See the story HERE.) At times, it seems as though God’s promise will never come to fruition. At other times, we both feel that Jonah is closer than ever.  But the waiting – well, it never gets any easier.

Three and (almost) a half years is a long time…Or at least it seems that way until you compare it with how long the Jewish people had to wait for their promised Savior:

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“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
though you are small among the clans of Judah,
out of you will come for me
one who will be ruler over Israel,
whose origins are from of old,
from ancient times.” Micah 5:2 NIV

That was prophesied about 700 years before the birth of Jesus! Talk about a long wait!

But it was a long wait that was well worth it. And over and over again, throughout the Old Testament, the Lord reaffirms His coming through the prophets:

2 Samuel 7:16
King David’s throne would be established forever

Daniel 9:24-26
Daniel predicted when an anointed one would be rejected

Deuteronomy 18:15-18
God promised another prophet like Moses

Genesis 22:18
The Messiah would be a descendant of Abraham

Genesis 49:10
The Messiah would come from the tribe of Judah

Isaiah 7:14
Isaiah foreshadowed the virgin birth of Jesus

Isaiah 9:6-7
There would be a son called God

Isaiah 11:1-10
Nations would seek the counsel of Jesse’s descendant

Isaiah 35:4-6
He would perform miracles

Isaiah 40:1-5,9
The Messiah would be preceded by a messenger

Isaiah 42:1-9
The Messiah would be a light to Gentiles

Isaiah 49:6
God’s salvation would reach the ends of the earth

Isaiah 50:6
Jesus was spat upon and beaten

Isaiah 53:1-3
The Messiah would be rejected

Isaiah 53:4-6
God’s servant would die for our sins

Isaiah 53:7
God’s servant would be silent before his accusers

Isaiah 53:9
God’s servant would be buried in a rich man’s tomb

Isaiah 53:12
God’s servant would be “numbered with the transgressors”

Isaiah 61:1-2
Isaiah foreshadows the ministry of Jesus

Jeremiah 23:5
The Messiah would be a descendant of King David

And that is merely a smattering of instances of Messianic prophecy from the Old Testament!!

The Lord reaffirmed His promise of a Savior, His Son, for many, many years before that promise was fulfilled…and now, here we sit – more than 2000 years after the birth of Christ, saved.

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Just as early Christians used the symbol of the ichthus to show their faith, we can use the traditional colors of the Christmas season as a reminder of the true meaning of this beautiful holiday.

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Red – the color of blood; Jesus’ death on the cross to save the world from sin.

Green – the color of life; The eternal life gained for us by our Savior’s death on the cross.

“…When we see the bright colors of winter decorations, we can remind ourselves and each other of the true meaning of Christmas. In this season, …[we] celebrate God so loving the world that He gave His only Son to us in human form (John 3:16-17; 1:14). In that way, Jesus could know and suffer all that we do, yet [doing so]without sin (Hebrews 4:15). He died for all our sins as the perfect sacrifice, reconciling sinners with a holy and just God, so that all who ask for forgiveness of their sin and turn to Him can have eternal life (2 Corinthians 5:4, 18-19; Hebrews 2:17).” -Saved By Grace Bible Study

Whatever it is you might be in a season of waiting for right now, know that all the promises of the Lord are well worth the wait – even if it is more than 700 years. (Please, Lord, don’t make us wait 700 years for Jonah!!!! 😉 )

 This Christmas, keep the true celebration  in your heart – the long-awaited birth of the Messiah, our precious Savior, who was, and is, well worth the wait.

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Have a beautiful and very Merry Christmas, y’all!

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My Choice Monday

The Most Awesome Anxiety Attack

Monday

Have you ever had an anxiety attack?

I know it can be a different experience from person to person, but for me, anxiety feels like my heart is about to beat out of my chest. My thoughts become so singularly-focused, I can hardly concentrate on anything else, and I feel jittery – like I’ve had 2 energy drinks and 3 cups of coffee.

But it doesn’t take a frightening situation or a nerve-wracking possibility to create this sensation for me.

This is how I feel when God has charged me with a mission – something to complete and take hold of. I don’t feel like I can possibly sit still or accomplish anything until I address what God has placed in front of me.

And why do I feel this relates to an anxiety attack?

Well, I can’t think of another human experience that is as overwhelming…When God tasks me with a plan…or even just a hint of what He has in store, I can’t contain myself! From reading God’s Word and my relationship with Him, I know a sliver of just how BIG and MIGHTY and ALL POWERFUL He is! With Him, the possibilities are simply endless, and how overwhelming that is for us as mere humans.

But this anxiety is an exciting one of possibility, adventure, thrill. Serving Jesus Christ and His Kingdom is an awesome challenge and responsibility, but nevertheless, I have never felt more comforted than when I knew He was solely in control and our steps were completely dependent on His Word.

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of [the nations in the Promised Land]; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV

“I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparable great power for us who believe.” Ephesians 1:18-19

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us.” Ephesians 3:20

We are all called by God to do His work. He may call you to travel many miles on His behalf, or simply to stay right where you are, but you are called.

And this should excite you beyond measure.

If you are ‘stuck’ in your church service week after week, hearing the same story about walking in the power of Christ, and never doing anything about it, then you aren’t living your life to the fullest potential. And that is the saddest result of a Christian life I can think of.

When you reach Heaven, at the end of the days God has numbered for you on this earth, and He asks you how you spent your time, are you satisfied to tell him:

“ Oh, Lord, I went to church when I could…”

“I know you wanted me to feed the poor, but I was just too tired when I got home from work…”

“Precious Jesus, I was in church every Sunday! I sang songs about Your glory each week, at the top of my lungs! I listened to every sermon about Your incredible power!!”

But Jesus responds that that is not enough. We are saved by faith, of course, but faith without works is dead. If you are truly a follower of Jesus, you long to follow Him – anywhere and everywhere He leads.

Matthew 28:19

Go to the people of all nations and make them my disciples. Baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit…”

Acts 22:15

“For you will be a witness for Him to all men of what you have seen and heard.”

Ephesians 6:20

“…for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.”

1 Timothy 4:12

“Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”

Is it scary? YES.

Is it completely against everything this world teaches? YES.

But it is at once the most incredible decision to follow Him at all costs. When you decide to stop being an armchair Christian, Jesus will use you in incredible and amazing ways.

Are you ready for your ‘anxiety attack’?

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TTC Tuesday

No Matter What

Tuesday

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

Here at The Newlywed Lefebvre’s blog, Tuesdays are for thanking Jesus, and there just isn’t a better month for that ‘theme’ than November – Thanksgiving time!

As I’m reading (straight through) the Bible, I’m noticing that the book of Psalms is a lot more than what I had at first envisioned – a book of (boring) poetry and songs and flowery language. Quite the opposite, actually. As I read the book (actually five separate books, combined into one), I’m realizing that David (and the other authors of the psalms) had a heckuvalot in common with me and the rest of us average joes (janes?)!

Psalms are beautiful prayers; cries out to God in anguish, in joy, in hope, in fear, in sorrow; deep shouts of praise and thanks! Just open your Bible to the middle and I’m almost certain one of the psalms you come upon will speak to your heart.

Today, we will look at two psalms that denote thankfulness – perfect for Thank You Jesus Tuesday and for this time of year:

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise; give thanks to Him and praise His name. For the Lord is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.” Psalm 100:4-5

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” Psalm 107:21-22

It is so easy to thank God when things are going well. When everything is moving along and life is hunky-dory, we are almost quick to forget to thank Him for His goodness. But the question is how on earth do you thank Him when things are NOT going well? How do you praise God in the midst of suffering?

You thank God during times of trouble because you remember the cross. Hebrews 4, verses 15 and 16 say:

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

We can thank Him during our times of need and weakness because He is not some lofty god who rules from on high, apart from his creation – He came to earth in human form and lived a human life, ending with His suffering on the cross as the one and only sacrifice for our sins.

We can thank Him at all times because “…God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

No matter what – I will praise Him in this storm and in the sunshine that follows.

So today, as I sit here with a yucky sinus infection, and my sweet Mama Dee is in a brace and awaiting orthopedic surgery for her broken patella, I am thanking my Savior for the beautiful life He blessed me with, and for the gift that is my grandmother. As we await His beautiful promise of our precious Jonah Elizabeth, I thank Him that He not only knows us by name – but gave such a beautiful name to our future daughter.

What storm are you waiting in today, and how can you be thankful in its midst?

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Food For Thought Friday

Food For Thought: Are you a Light or a Flicker?

Friday2

Wanna know something funny?

This Facebook post:

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…received 40 likes.

This one: Blog.3

…received 35 likes and 5 comments.

But this one, on the other hand:

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…received one ‘like’.

And this one…Blog.1

…only got “one”, as well.

So why am I mentioning this? Do I really care about how many “likes”, comments, shares, or re-blogs we have?

Not in the least.

But I do find it ‘funny’ – and not in an “LOL” way – that we are so quick to “like” a ‘pretty’ picture, “share” bad news, or comment on a post about fashion or friendship…and yet, we stray away from sharing, posting, liking or remarking about our faith on social media.

Craig and I certainly don’t author this blog for the income it provides (read: zero). We don’t share our faith because we desire fame, or tons of “likes” or “followers”. This blog is up and running today not because I have a wealth of time to write it, but because Jesus calls us to stand up for him!

In a world where violence is rampant; evil is portrayed as ‘good’ and normal, and the name of Jesus is a dirty word… We are called by him to shine like a light on a hill:

 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that[a] they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”  Matthew 5: 14-16

How are you interpreting that scripture? Do you think being a LIGHT for all the world to see means fading into society so that no one out there knows your beliefs? Do you think it means hiding your faith? If that is how you’re living, you aren’t truly being a Christ-follower…

Now, listen. I am not here to judge, nor am I judging. But I love you people. I pour my heart and soul out to you weekly, and have (on and off) for almost three years. I write to you because Jesus has called me to do so, and because I love Him and long to follow Him more closely, I must obey.

Trust me. I am not perfect, nor am I claiming to be. I am a sinner. I mess up every single day, but that doesn’t stop me from striving to be the daughter of the Risen King I know I am.

Don’t shy away from sharing your faith – from letting others know what you believe and WHO you follow, and WHY. If you truly love Him, then don’t you want others to know the indescribable joy with which He fills you, in spite of all circumstances?

Be different. Shine like a light in the darkness. Do you know how many people have said to my face, behind my back, or behind the mask of a computer screen that I am a Jesus Freak? That I am “taking things too far”? That we take this “church thing too seriously”?

So. What.

It doesn’t matter what anyone else says, but Him.

Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.’ Matthew 7:21-23

So, therein lies your ‘food for thought’…Are you shining the light of Christ for all to see? I don’t care if you “like” my posts or share them or comment on them. But I do hope that you will never be ashamed of or afraid to reveal your faith.

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Food For Thought Friday

The Age of Reason

Friday2

Good Morning Friends,

Today, I wanted to talk about something that seems to have been a recurring theme in my quiet time with Jesus, where I am currently reading a devotion called “Good or God: Why Good Without God Isn’t Enough” by John Bevere via my awesome Bible app.

In today’s society, we have made laws, built standards around what we deem as good, rather than what God says is correct. When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, God told them they could eat anything they chose in the whole garden. Really, from what the Bible tells us, there were no restrictions on what they could do and how they spent their time. The one and only rule was that they were unable to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, because, God said, this tree would give them the knowledge of good and evil.

The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:15-17

Hmmm…’you are sure to die’…Death, from eating fruit? That’s interesting…or perhaps, did God mean it would be separation from Him – which is death?

Let’s look at the serpent’s reply to Eve when he tempted her to eat from the Tree of Knowledge:

“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied.“It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. Genesis 3:2-6

Why would God keep Eve from something so beautiful and delicious? Why would He keep her from knowledge? Perhaps this is the exact moment we should come back to whenever we are tempted to strike out on our own path, when some thing or idea or action or person looks really good, we should ask ourselves…Is this good or God?

Sure, the fruit looked delicious. After all, that serpent has assured Eve that only good and wisdom would come from eating it. Why was God withholding something so wonderful from them???

Maybe, He was withholding something that appeared good because He knew it would lead to horrible consequences…

Because they disobeyed and chose their own good, Adam and Eve were subject to numerous consequences, but most importantly, they were separated from God.

I don’t know about you, but in my mind, the image of the Tree of Knowledge looks like a drawing from the cartoon I remember (and dearly LOVE) from my childhood: School House Rock. The trunk is spelled out with the word REASON and the leaves and fruits of the tree are all words like SELF-LOVE, GREED, SELF-RELIANCE, CO-EXIST:

tree of knowledge

Eating from that tree’s fruit literally poisoned the human race. So many times we try to reason things out, according to our standards, our knowledge, our experience…and I believe we can all agree, our knowledge, experience and standards don’t even begin to hold a candle to the vastness of God. The Bible tells us we are to have child-like faith:

I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”         Luke 18:17

Think of a small child. Now, imagine this child has had a nap and woke up in a good mood or this illustration may not be helpful for you to visualize! J The child is about 3 years old, tiny. He can’t see over much of anything, but he wants to walk…and he’s still not the steadiest on his feet, so you – the parent, not wanting your precious child to fall, have to hold his hand and guide him as he walks through even the living room in your home – making sure he isn’t stepping onto a stray tack on the floor, keeping him away from the sharp corners of the end table. He doesn’t even see those things – but you do, and you don’t want him to get hurt….

That is how we should approach our relationship with our FATHER GOD. He is able to see those things, those consequences, those results that we cannot. He wants us to hold out our hands for Him to reach down and be our guide through life. Just as that child trusts his parent to keep him safe and lead him steadily across the living room, we need to trust our Lord to lead us to Heaven.

Making decisions based on our knowledge is as treacherous as allowing your child to run across the street unsupervised and alone: He can’t see the oncoming traffic, and neither can we in our own lives. Aren’t we blessed to have a Father in Heaven who not only knows what is ahead for us, but wants to guide us and lead us and direct our paths.

Imagine you’re sitting in traffic. It isn’t hard for me to do at all… 🙂

The cars in front of you just are not moving. People are honking their horns. You have somewhere to be, and you are going to be late if this mess doesn’t clear up!! Argh! So frustrating!!

But lucky you, you see a road just a little further ahead that you can turn off onto. A shortcut!! Yes! You’ll make it to your appointment on time, and you can skirt around all of this traffic…

That’s what you think…

But what you don’t know, is that on that road is a stalled tractor. It’s taking up the entire road, both lanes. And because it’s a side street, and not the main road, it’s going to take a lot longer for help to arrive to move the tractor out of the way.

What you thought – based on your knowledge, experience, and reasoning – would be a shortcut ends up putting you completely off track. You’re going to be greatly delayed in getting to your destination…

If only you had been able to see the road ahead, you would have seen this coming and never taken what appeared to be a shortcut…

God has this ‘vision’. Being omniscient, He knows what is on the road ahead and He has the very best in mind for His beloved. What may seem like a frustrating traffic jam, might be heading directly for your ‘destination’, while what seems like a shortcut could be taking you in an entirely different direction, delaying or even completely derailing your arrival.

brokenglassWhat blessings are we delaying or possibly, derailing, because we want to take ‘shortcuts’ or our own perceived “best routes” through life, rather than letting our Father lead us, in child-like faith?

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What's Up Wednesday

Pilgrims & Pillow Fights

wordless wednesday

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, Y’all!

Today, you should be very thankful because I come bearing few words! 🙂 On this day before Turkey Day, we are sharing some pictures of what we have been up to.

If you read yesterday’s post, you know we traveled to Plymouth, Massachusetts to really get into the spirit of Thanksgiving. Not only were we able to see Plymouth Rock & the Mayflower II, we also ventured upon the National Monument to Our Forefathers – which was absolutely breathtaking:

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It was a stark reminder, through everything going on in our country today, of the principles our great nation was actually founded upon…

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We had a lot of fun, and I strongly recommend visiting Plymouth, MA!

Remember us telling you we had a Youth Ministry Lock-In a few weeks ago? Well, we finally recovered enough from the night of NO sleep to share the photos:

wpid-20141115_204729.jpgwpid-20141115_213658.jpg wpid-20141115_204144.jpg wpid-20141115_200243.jpg wpid-20141115_201121.jpgIn other YM news, this past weekend, we held the Christmas Craft Fair, at which our youth group manned the “Wisemen’s Treasure Chest”… We raised $444 (yes, really – if you read this blog regularly, you’ll know why that makes us smile!) for our group!!

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Well, we are settling in for the day… A Nor’Easter is heading through and it has been SNOWING all day!

wpid-20141126_132634.jpg wpid-20141126_124614.jpg wpid-20141126_132624.jpg wpid-20141126_132534.jpg wpid-20141126_132519.jpgThese are some shots from earlier this morning…So excited for snow and snow with my husband HOME!!! Yay!

snugglesFrom our little family (minus Craig who is behind the camera, and Miss Daisy who is most likely under the bed snoozing) to yours, Happy Thanksgiving Eve!

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What's Up Wednesday

Uncle Craig & Aunt Pier

wordless wednesday

Lucky you! You’re in for a NEARLY wordless Wednesday – but stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog…it’s FULL of WORDS. 😉

This weekend we traveled to Minnesota for the first time from Maine, all to see our beautiful niece, Eden.

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wpid-img_1806.jpg wpid-img_4253.jpg wpid-img_1083.jpg wpid-img_9986.jpgIsn’t she adorable? 🙂 Can you say a quick prayer for God to bless us with sweet Baby Jonah soon?? This experience only increases the baby fever! 😉

We also spent some time with Marty & Danielle – Marty is Craig’s first cousin, and Danielle is his beautiful wife. 😉 We always have a BLAST when we get to spend time with them!

wpid-20141011_205532.jpg wpid-20141011_204948.jpgAnd, of course, NO family trip can do without some group photos! These turned out really well!!

DSC01777 DSC01790Until tomorrow!!

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Thirsty For Christ Thursday

A Porch With A View

Thursday

If you’ve ever asked God to lead you and to work in your life miraculously, you know the warmth that overwhelms your entire being when you recognize His will, follow Him and watch Him work. It is absolutely incomparable to anything else you’ve ever experienced.

Almost a year ago to the day, Craig and I knew we were ready to move on from our house in Dallas. Where were we to go? We had no idea. But we knew it was time for something different. At the time, we figured just another house in Georgia would do, and so we set about looking at the worldly ‘figures’ of how we would make that transition. With the market the way it was, we knew our house needed something to make it stand out from the crowd and with our new addition, Lucy, we decided that something was a fence.

So, we started building. And while it was a great addition for Lucy, and not much later, Caroline, when we finally got around to putting our home on the market, the fence wasn’t enough. We needed something more.

We prayed. We asked for God’s Will to be done. We gave up OUR desires and OUR dreams and OUR “ME ME ME!” attitude, and we asked God to soften our hearts to hear His voice in the matter. It wasn’t long before we ended up at FullTurn Church, where we began to insurmountably grow in our faith, and it wasn’t long thereafter that Craig came to me with the ‘suggestion’ from God that we simply “PACK”.

As you know from previous blogs, we ignored that suggestion – until we absolutely couldn’t let His voice fall on deaf ears any longer, and we packed.

Never in our wildest dreams did we consider God would move us to Maine. But He did.

As I sit on our patio this afternoon, with a cool breeze blowing in my hair, I look out at the steeple and the cross I can see in front of me, and I feel the warmth of His Presence.

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As I sat in my office at St. Bartholomew’s in Cape Elizabeth yesterday, I pondered how will I get everything ready for my youth group in time?!?! And God whispered, “Don’t worry. Follow me. I will show you. I will lead you. I will guide you. Don’t forget, I lead you here for my purpose.”

It is a wonderfully freeing understanding to realize that following Jesus doesn’t mean you are ‘dropped off in an unknown place’ and left to your own devices. It means that as long as you are in His Will, He’s holding your hand.

Isaiah 41:10

10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Sometimes I don’t think we realize just WHO God is. The King of the Universe is your guide – not your horrible boss, or your overbearing ruler. He is both your Creator and your constant companion. Take heart.

Love You All.

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Thirsty For Christ Thursday

Conversations With God

Thursday

So often people send me an e-mail or stop me in a conversation and tell me how ‘lucky’ I am that God speaks to me in the way He does. I have simply replied with a smile or a knowing nod, and left the topic at that. Thinking I should elaborate, but never delving into that discussion.

Until now.

This entire week, I have been nudged by the Lord to speak about this – about the way He speaks. To all of us. Yes, every single one. All we have to do (and we aren’t) is listen.

Job 33:14-18

14 For God speaks in one way,
    and in two, though man does not perceive it.
15 In a dream, in a vision of the night,
    when deep sleep falls on men,
    while they slumber on their beds,
16 then he opens the ears of men
    and terrifies them with warnings,
17 that he may turn man aside from his deed
    and conceal pride from a man;
18 he keeps back his soul from the pit,
    his life from perishing by the sword.

Why do we think that the God of the Bible isn’t the same One who reigns today? He is the same miraculous, omniscient, wonderful Guide and Counselor who spoke to Moses, Abraham, Job & Paul. He wants nothing more than to have a real, true relationship with His children – and we are His children.

Let’s take into account what prayer is. Prayer is a conversation with God -conversation means both parties speak! When you pray you come to God was thanksgiving; you come to God with requests; you come to God with concerns. But do you realize that if you only sit and listen, He answers?

You may not hear from Him in verbalized words. He may speak to you as you are reading His Word. He may speak to you through a friend or loved one. He may speak to you in the written words of another. He may speak to you within a sign in the environment. Remember that this world is His creation, and He can speak to you however He chooses.

He chooses how you will listen best.

Personally, I have asked God to be blunt with me. I need that. I will be the first to admit I am hard-headed as a brick wall! And literally, He answered that prayer for me! He is blunt
with me… As long as I listen!

Think about the nature of God. The Bible tells us that God literally is love. So what kinds of things do you think of when you think of love? What are traits that go along with love? Generosity, kindness, happiness, goodness, caring, diligence, compassion … If God is love and these traits and many others are representative of love, then wouldn’t these things be spoken to you by God?

We humans, by nature, are not filled with love and generosity and peace and goodness. We are filled with the greed, with selfishness, with anger. These things are human traits. These things are of the world – not of God.

So when you feel something deep in your bones that is good, honest and pure. That is God. That is not you; that is not the world; that is not Satan.

When the desire to do something out of the kindness of your heart comes about, that is the Lord speaking to you.
You can even test what you heard to make sure that it is of God and not yourself. You can read the Bible to see if what you feel is coming from God is biblical. You can pray about what you feel God is telling you. You can see the work of God in the lives and environment around you, and qualify that it is verifiably from God.

If you are one of a married couple, you can speak to your husband or wife and let them know what you feel God is telling you. I tell Craig when I feel God is speaking to me. We both pray about what I feel the Lord is saying or what Craig feels God is telling him.

If it is truly from God, and not of ourselves, we will both begin to feel the same way and feel without a shadow of a doubt that the message is from God. If not, we know that it is a personal desire and not of the Lord.

For example, when we first put our house on the market, we looked at another home. We both, after much prayer, felt that the Lord was leading us to humble ourselves. We felt that He was leading us to do more for His Kingdom and less for ourselves. The home we felt He was leading us to would be small and well under our budget.

We found one that fit the bill and I, for one, fell in love with it! It was way under budget, and it was the kind of house I could see us in, complete with a front porch swing! Craig did not feel the same way. Not at all. But still I really felt like this could be our house!

We both prayed about it for months! But Craig never felt God speaking to him in that way at all! In the end, I realized it was my own personal desire. I felt the house would be a quick fix for us, and I personally wanted the house. God was not leading us to that place. He was, in fact, leading us to be more humble, but not to that house.

He really does speak to all of us! We need only be still and listen to him!

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TTC Tuesday

Pack!

Tuesday

When we listed our home for sale on the morning of March 28th, it was with excitement and a sense of the unknown. We knew we wanted to move into a new home, but we weren’t sure where…or when…or what it would be like; we just knew that we were not living in “our” home. But besides the feeling we were living somewhere that wasn’t ‘the place for us’, there were no onlookers to our home, not many bites, no phone calls of interest….and frustration set in.

Not too much later – some time in April, Craig came to me and said, “God is asking us to pack.”

But, sadly, we didn’t listen. Each weekend there was a different excuse:

“I’m tired.”

“We’re too busy.”

“Where will the boxes go?”

“What will we eat off of if we pack up all the plates?”

…so we never really packed…

Until, one day, we truly decided to delve into making Maine our new home. We had chosen that I would take my Post-Baccalaureate pre-requisite courses through the University of New England – in Maine, and Craig would be flying out of Portland…On a whim, I sent out applications for several positions in the Portland area…and like a rocket got some responses…Then an interview…and then, I felt a still, small voice whisper that I needed to be looking in the local church bulletins, not on Craigslist.

And so I did… and lo’ and behold the first bulletin I found was for “Cluster 22” which included 3 parishes and a parochial school just outside of Portland…and they were looking for a Youth Minister…and contemporary musical talent.

Thank you, Lord, for your bluntness.

I need that. 

I e-mailed the contact person…and she e-mailed back…and we scheduled an interview…

And before I knew it, I was standing in the narthex of St. Bartholomew’s in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, after just having seen what would be my office, and discussing Athens, Georgia – the common birthplace of both me and my interviewer!

The flight I non-revved home that evening was supposed to be full – as in no way, no how was I going to make that flight. And before I knew it, OVERSOLD turned into 7 available seats…and my name was miraculously at the top of the list.

I returned home excited. We talked things over. We prayed. I got a job offer from St. Bartholomew’s to become their Youth Minister. And then a phone call for a ‘shadow’ with the other position I had interviewed for.

I turned in my notice at work, and we began making plans to move. Packing.

And later that week, I received a phone call from a real estate agent. For some reason, she had chosen my number from the three listed – our realtor (my Dad), Craig and me – but I was at work and able to talk which is very unusual – and also in an extremely ‘tell it like it is’ mood.

She asked if she and her clients could view our home that morning. Craig just ‘happened’ to be home, and was able to spot-shine the house and take the dogs to the park – so that worked out perfectly. But before I let the agent get off the phone, I told her, “Please tell your clients, if they like our home, to make an offer. We are very motivated. We are moving to Maine, and we are ready to sell and move forward. Make an offer, ANY OFFER! Oh, and by the way, we have upped our commission to 4% for the buyers’ agent – just wanted to make sure you had seen that in the listing.”

And that evening, we received a phone call. Not only had we received an offer on our house. We received a full-price offer with (only) a 3% commission – not even taking the 4% we had offered!!!!

And today, when Craig was waiting for the inspector to show up the couple who have our home under contract made it a point to let him know, and to share with me, that our home was the answer to their prayers. They feel led by the Lord to our home!!

Whoa….

When we submit to His Will…the things that can occur are nothing short of miraculous!

The moral of the story is: “When He tells you to pack, don’t wait one single second. PACK NOW!”

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