Category Archives: Relationship

Looking Beyond

meerkat-onlineI had a dream last night in which I was telling a neighbors daughter, who was helping her mom clear the abandoned garden, that I liked dead veggies. After a while of laboring she asked if I really liked dead veggies, she was thinking it would reduce her work if able to give me the seemingly worthless vegetables.

   Some toss aside a cabbage or head of lettuce when they see wilted leaves, yet when the outer layers are removed exposing the inner leaves there is good to be found, there is still value in what outwardly seemed worthless.

   Isn’t that what the Lord does with us? He looks beyond the outside appearance to what is inside. Consider the sons of Jesse, one would be anointed king. Samuel kept looking at the outside, but God looking inside rejected each until the one son, who was not even considered by his family, or even called in from the field, was brought before him, that was the one God chose. Inside the boy was a man of strength and courage who killed a lion and a bear, who would one day kill a giant who dared to defy the God of Israel; a shepherd boy who would be a man after God’s own heart.

   When we see others are we looking at the outward person measuring them to our expected norms, acceptable appearance, mannerisms, and contribution to society? What about the person on the street corner holding a sign asking for money? Do we see a panhandler, a lazy person, an irresponsible deadbeat, or perhaps an unkempt drug addict? Do we take the time to stop and hear their story or just brush them off, or look away not even acknowledging their presence?

   A few years back I was in Sacramento for meetings rushing from the parking garage to my location several blocks away. There was a man who looked like he had not bathed or washed his clothes in some time and appeared to be sleeping on the sidewalk next to the building. I gave a weak smile, a little nod and faint hello never slowing my pace, but his words “thank you for acknowledging me”, nearly stopped me in my tracks, they struck a nerve; is that not what we all at the core want, to be recognized? Our existence acknowledged in some small way; a kind word or look that says we matter. I think of the lepers, tax collectors, harlots, and other non-acceptable people in society, that Jesus had no qualms speaking with or even touching. He took the time to look beyond the exterior that caused others to pass by on the other side of the road, and underneath He found there was something of value; He found you and me.

   Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10, He ends it saying “Go and do likewise”.

   Let’s peal some leaves and look beyond for the good…

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You Matter

Margie - Burney Falls #1Your life does matter, you have value you don’t even realize, there is much in you waiting to be revealed. You are a gift to those who know you and the ripple effect touches others you will never know. Live life to the fullest, not in excesses, but in the abundance that comes from a life lived connected to Me.

Let’s Talk Awhile

Lizard BuddiesCome closer, sit awhile and talk with Me. Do not be afraid of what I might say, even when I need to bring correction it’s from My heart of love for you, and your own best interest. It may be hard to let some things go but you have to release them in order to take hold of the better things I have for you. I always desire good for you, which is why what the enemy meant for harm – I turn it around for good in the end. You can trust Me, come – sit closer, let’s talk awhile.

Let’s Talk

What are you contemplating, what things are on your mind? Bring them to Me, let us reason together, I will share My thoughts with you, reveal some things you are unaware of so you can make the best informed decisions. I will share My plans and desires for you but ultimately the decision is yours with the free will to choose; choose wisely, I desire the best for you, the path of blessings not curses, I desire for you to prosper even as your soul prospers. I love you, my child; as a good Father I watch over you, with open arms I welcome you into where I am. Come, come let us sit together for a while and talk heart to heart.

Lamp

My word is a lamp unto your feet, don’t leave it behind as you run your race in life – lest you stumble or lose your way. Think upon Me continually and pray without ceasing, let your spirit be always open to hear the sound of My voice, ready to receive My instruction, guidance, and My love – for love is the game changer in life; receive My love and freely give it away, leave your world, your realm of influence, a better place than when you discovered it. Tend the lamp that it doesn’t grow dim or go out, so that you do not stumble in the dark or lose your way; as you tend it let it grow brighter and the way become more clear.

Want to Hear

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you really want to hear from Me? There is a cost to such intimacy, an openness – openness brings vulnerability, some consider vulnerability to be a weakness; the world teaches that weakness is an undesirable character flaw. In My value system, in your weakness My strength can be seen, your vulnerability allows me to come in, your openness lets Me use you as I desire, in the place of intimacy you hear the sound of My voice and know Me – it changes who you are. Do you really want to hear Me?

The Talent

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   A new thought struck me as I was reading the parable of the talents (Matthew 25), the one servant did nothing with what had been entrusted to him because he knew, he believed, the master to be a hard man, so out of fear he hid his talent then went on with life as usual.  
   The Bible doesn’t say what the other two servants impression of their master was. Did they know him to be hard, or merciful, full of grace, forgiving, kind? Did their view of the master allow them freedom to take a risk in doing something with what had been entrusted to them, not fearing potential failure? Did the fact the master trusted them to begin with encourage them to improve upon who they were or what they had? The parable also does not tell us if the two servants had all success or were their ups and downs, failures and slips, along the way to finally show an increase in the end.
   What we do know is the third servant let fear stop him from doing anything with what he had, which led me to the question – what is my view or core belief of God, and does it affect what I do? The later part, does it affect what I do, I’m certain is a resounding yes. What is my core belief of God takes a little more in depth pondering, as I’m guessing it does for all of us at times, and we all need to do periodic internal checkups.
   What do we let fear stop us from doing with what the Lord has given us? What talents, abilities, gifts, wisdom, etc… lay buried under fear or other excuses and reasons for doing nothing?
   If our view of God is not of Him being a good Father we need to change our wrong thinking. I admire Apostle John’s view, he didn’t just love Jesus – he knew he was loved – by Jesus, he referred to himself as the one whom Jesus loved. Can we, without question, say we know we are loved by Jesus and the Father?
   Knowing we are loved empowers us to step out. We have each been given something from the Lord that we are responsible to steward; it takes us from an ordinary life to an abundant life in Him. Let’s not despise small beginnings, as we steward well the one thing more will be added. Do we all not long to hear the words one day “Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.” Matthew 25:23.
   The joy of the Lord starts with our relationship and a right view of the Master. Is it time to change some of our thinking; to be about using what He has given us and open to see where it goes?

The Cost

shout-onlineYou wanting more; a higher level in Me? You do know there is a cost right? No it’s not financially – it’s sacrificially, what are you willing to give up in your pursuit? Mind wasting time; perhaps some pleasurable pursuits? Maybe living a simpler life – not needing to keep up with the Joneses? Are you willing to take the time to sit at My feet getting to know Me; being teachable, humble, listening and following? As you seek My kingdom and righteousness first, then the more will come.

No Greater Love

   Love Swans - onlineI know that I am loved though I may not always act like it. I am betrothed to my best friend, the King of kings. I am dearly loved by my Father, I lack for nothing, He provides for me well with all good things, yet I don’t always show appreciation. I am in a privileged group but sometimes cast my eyes elsewhere and desire what my Father says is not good for me; those things others, who are my Father’s adversaries, seem to enjoy.  As I take my eyes off Papa I wonder why they are not good, they look appealing. As I scoot closer to the fence to get a better glimpse my foot slips, I cross the line.

   I begin to be drawn further in by what my eyes behold, the desire to partake grows; I reason that just this once it won’t hurt me to try this one little thing and then I’ll go back; it’s just on the other side of the fire, I can reach it without getting burned…or so I thought! Those who seemed so caring, who once compelled me to join them, now laugh and sneer at me, their masks came off – my eyes are opened, I see the traps they set about me.

   Lured in I’m now trapped by the wrong desires of my flesh that I did not resist or turn away from. My beautiful robes now tattered and soiled, regret fills me as tears of sorrow role down my cheeks. I cry in desperation and fear, despair begins to set in, I long for home not knowing how to return and fearing even if I did I would be rejected, considered unworthy of my Father and Betroths love.

   In the dark of night I begin to see a light, I hear a familiar voice, my Betrothed, my Savior, is calling my name. I want to respond but I am ashamed, voices around me say “He won’t want you back when He learns what you’ve done”, so I remain silent. The light grows brighter – the voice stronger, He has found me in the mire, His face full of love and compassion as He looks at me, I weep. The voices flee from His presence; He reaches out His hand, taking mine He lifts me out of the mess I have gotten myself in. He places his robe on me in exchange for my filthy one. I experience complete forgiveness and a grace I’ve never known. Reconciled – I collapse into His loving embrace.

   Have I lived an exemplary life since He rescued me? I wish! Yet as the years pass I have known no greater love, our relationship grows more intimate; my desire for my Father’s ways grow deeper. The Lord’s extravagant love for me, and you, makes all other love stories in history pale in comparison, and no other will last for eternity.

   This Valentines – who has your heart?

A Heart Matter

Sherry fb picWhen we think about February, Valentine’s Day comes to mind.  The matters of the heart; love, sharing love, expressing and experiencing love, all the warm fuzzy feelings that come with new love; the depth of care, concern, devotion and life bonds that come with a seasoned or mature love.

We see around us all the cute little cut out hearts with their simple perfect shapes, all nice and clean that come in various sizes and shades of pink or red.  But, if we look at the real heart, it is rather complicated, consisting of various chambers, blood vessels, arteries and valves; an organ that is anything but simple.  One that beats strong, sending life-giving blood flowing through the body; a heart that leaps for joy at the sound of good news, yet feels it will break under the weight of emotional hurts.  A heart that is tender and compassionate or hardened, one that can be full of good or filled with deceit, it can burn with loves passion or grow cold.  The heart of man (or woman) is a fickle thing and a mess outside its’ proper environment.

The proper heart environment for humans is in fellowship with the God of love.  I am so thankful for the loving heart of God that he has towards His children.  He loves us with an everlasting love, with the love of a good Father’s heart, from a heart of compassion and a desire for our well-being.  His love for us cannot be bought or earned.  He loves us because He is love and we are His children.  A love such as His may be difficult to understand as our only comparison is that of other people, some with good intentions but who miss the mark, while others use such statements as “I love you” to manipulate you for their own gain.  The Lord does not say “I love you” to get us to do something for Him.  His love is pure and undefiled.  His only desire is what is best for us; His love is not selfish, it is a sacrificial love.  His love will stand up to the test of time; it will not fade or be withdrawn.  His love is an everlasting love, one that He desires to make known to us, to all who will receive it.