It Is Not Good For Man To Be Alone!

It is not good for man to be alone. 

It occurred to me today that God made this statement before man was alone. 

God created a beautiful garden where man could dwell, a garden that was good and the ground cooperated with him as he cared for it. Remember, there was no curse yet. 

God made sure the garden provided for all of his earthly needs.  He had plenty of food for nourishment.  He was given fresh water to sustain his life, keep him clean and supply him with an endless source of recreation. Put a man near water and his imagination can entertain him for a lifetime.  Why else would waterfront real estate be so highly valued?

God surrounded him by animals of every kind.  I’ve had dogs, cats, birds, rabbits and hamsters and each one of them has filled my life to varying degrees with love, affection, joy, laughter and companionship. Adam had every animal imaginable. I’m quite sure they all loved him. His days would be filled with games, races, frolicking and a never ending number of tricks played on his fellow garden dwellers.  Adam never had a childhood, so it’s easy to believe he must have had a lot of “impish little boy” needing to find expression. 

He lived in a place that was good, surrounded by all things good, and he was good. Sounds pretty good to me.

And if that was not enough, God walked with him in the cool evening breezes. God walked with him, and they chatted. God was his beloved Lord. He was a friend to him. God came into the garden and they hung out together.  Did they laugh together at Adam’s retelling of the game of tag he’d played with the monkeys that afternoon? Did God tell him things like; “The garden is looking good son, you’re doing a fine job of taking care of it.”  In my imagination I hear Adam telling God that he was finally able to skip a stone SEVENTEEN times today.

I have a hard time believing that he thought he was alone.

But God knew something Adam didn’t. He knew that sin was waiting to take Adam captive and enslave him for all generations to come. He knew that sin was going to separate Him from Adam, Adam from the garden, and put a curse upon the land. God knew Adam was going to be alone before Adam even knew what alone was.  And a loving Father who saw what was coming said; “It is not good for man to be alone.”

That same loving God met my greatest need before I even knew what I needed. He saw my need for forgiveness. He saw my need for love, acceptance, approval, encouragement, trust, faith and hope. He saw my need from the garden and He looked ahead and saw His Son hanging on a cross.  Jesus saw me when He looked down from that cross and said; “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

And He saw you from the cross. He saw you and He looked at you with a love that gave everything. He knew all you would ever do, say, or think and he said; “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Once you see Jesus looking at you from the cross, paying for your sin, and offering you forgiveness, you will never be the same. When you look into His eyes and see a Holy and Righteous God looking back at you, you’ll see yourself as you really are and you can’t be that person any longer.

God tells us from Genesis to Revelation that He always has taken care of us, always will take care of us, and He is faithful.  He’s never once let me down, and even in times past when I’ve run out ahead of Him… He was ahead of me, providing for me the whole time.

As I’ve looked at Adam, God has shown me, once again, that He loves me. He knows and provides for my needs before I’m even aware of them. And He tells me in the Bible that I shouldn’t be worried about anything, He’s got it all covered and I can trust Him.

I think I’ll put all my cards on the table, bare my soul and cling to a loving Father that has done all that was needed to put away the sin that had separated us. A loving Father that will always be there for me… because it is not good for man to be alone.

 

 

 

  

I’m not a fan!

​I’m so excited about this new year. This is the first year I’ve ever been able to say “I’m not a fan”, and the reason is very simple. I can hardly believe it took me 63 years of wandering on this earth to reach the end of my road, but it has. Last year when my life fell apart, yet again, I didn’t even try to pick up the pieces. I was done, I gave up, ollie ollie oxen free free free, cry monkey. Whatever term you want to use, that was me. Then the most amazing thing happened! God said; “Finally! I’ve been waiting for this.”

​Life has been so wonderful since May 17, 2012 (you can read why below in an earlier blog entry), and it just keeps getting better. Why, you may ask? Simple, because I’ve become a Follower of Christ.

​I’ve actually thought I was a Christian since 1971 when I first asked Jesus to be my Lord, but He’s now shown me that I’ve been a fan, not a follower for all these years. No wonder there was so much inconsistency in my life, so much confusion and disappointment. I continued to plug away, I am extremely stubborn and a very slow learner. But now I can sing those wonderful songs that declare such things as “I Surrender All” and “I Once Was Blind, But Now I See” and know it’s true.

​Many of you may be shaking your heads and saying to yourselves; “Seriously, she thought she was a Christian all this time?” Maybe to you it was obvious I wasn’t, but I honestly believed I was, even though much of the Bible didn’t make sense to me and I still had so many questions. I thought maybe things just weren’t supposed to make sense this side of heaven.

​But I’ve found out God loves me, He really does love me, and He WANTS to show me the plans He’s had for me since the creation of the Universe. He wants to have a relationship with me, He wants me to know Him and He wants me to understand how deeply and intimately He knows me. He wants me to read His Word and understand it, and I do, I really do, for the first time ever. Every time I pick it up now He shows me something about Himself, or me, that I never saw before.

​Relationship is so much different than religion. Religion has soooo many rules, most of which I always fell short of keeping. Relationship is all about love. He shows me every day He loves me and each day I love Him more. He tells me; “If you love Me, you will obey Me.” And I do, I really do want to obey anything He asks. It’s all become so simple really.

​Another lesson He teaches me is just what it means to follow Him. As simple as that sounds it’s amazing how many ways I’ve not let Him lead. He shows me every day new ways I can step aside and trust Him to direct my steps, thoughts, decisions and… well, you name it. I’ll share one with you so you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.

​Many years ago I heard the story of a man that was meeting a long-time friend for lunch. He was nervous because he was getting ready to launch a new ministry and his friend was very wealthy. He wanted to give the friend an opportunity to help financially, but he didn’t want it to look like that was the only value his friend had to him. While they were walking into the restaurant together his wealthy friend spotted a penny on the sidewalk. Stopping to pick it up, he looked at it, got a big smile on his face and put it in his pocket. This surprised the man because he knew his friend was extremely wealthy and yet he seemed to find such pleasure in finding a penny on the sidewalk.

​During lunch the man asked him; “What was up with the penny on the sidewalk, why did you stop and pick it up and look like you were so pleased with it?”

​His friend took the penny out of his pocket, handed it to the man and asked him; “What does it say?”

​The man looked at it and said; “It says; ‘In God We Trust.’ “

​”That’s right” he replied; “A long time ago God challenged me, every time I see a penny, to pick it up and ask the question, was I trusting Him at the very moment I saw it? Today, the answer was yes!”

​I liked that story and so I’ve adopted the same practice. It’s been amazing to me through the years how many different and unexpected places God has found to place a penny for me to see. This morning, after spending a glorious time alone with Him I went to take a shower. When I looked down I giggled as I saw a penny tucked into the fold of the bath mat. I picked it up and said to myself; “Of course the answer is yes with this one.”

​Immediately God spoke to my heart and asked me; “Shouldn’t you ask Me for the answer to that question? From now on, ask Me when you find a penny, I’m the only One that knows your heart and I will always tell you the truth.”

​You see what I mean? I was pridefully thinking I could answer that question on my own. I realized yet another area of life that I had been leaning on my own understanding. I had answered yes when the true answer was no, because I wasn’t looking to the only One that is qualified to answer that question for the answer.

​I can’t wait to find the next penny God has waiting for me. Next time, I’ll ask Him; “Lord, am I?” And I know He will show me that I am, or show me why I’m not.

​See what I mean? It’s relationship. He’s teaching me a new way to think, a new way to see the world, prayer has become something that I don’t think I could live without, instead of an obligation. I’m excited about every day, to see what He’s going to show me next.

​This is a Most Excellent Adventure, being a Follower and not a Fan!

Heaven On Earth

I’ve come to realize that when you think you’ve got it all figured out… you’re in real trouble.  That is something I didn’t understand as for the last 17 years I wandered around in the desert convinced I knew where I was, where I was going and how to get there.

Just like a relationship with anyone you are close to, our relationship with God should be constantly changing with new mysteries unfolding. Even though He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow, (and this is the part I never understood) our knowing Him is forever growing. The more time we spend with Him, the more of Himself He shares with us. And incredibly, He wants us to know Him deeply.

How many wives, through the years, have complained that their spouses won’t open up to them? We want to know what they think, how they feel, right? And these are the very things that God longs to share with us. His Bible is His love letter to us. In it He reveals all we need to know about Him and about ourselves. The Creator of the universe, the very One that thought all of this up wants to give us all the answers to life.  But we foolishly say; “No thanks, I’ll figure it out on my own.” We’ll read and listen to the opinions of any tom dick and harry and ignore the wisdom of the One that truly does have all the answers.

Why do we do that? Because tom dick and harry don’t require that we agree with them.  They don’t insist that once we hear them on a subject we obey. Tom, dick and harry let us keep our own opinions, they let us maintain the status of ruler of our lives and God doesn’t do that.  He says you will only find Him if you search for Him with all your heart, and once you find Him you immediately understand that staying close to Him, which is the only place you ever want to be now, requires obedience.

And as we obey Him, He gives us more of Himself, and the more we know of Him the more we want of Him. And knowing God my friends is the closest you can get to heaven on earth.

Trust and Obey!

I can hardly believe it’s been over a month since I last posted here.  It’s certainly not because nothing worth writing has been happening. I’ve grown, been challenged, been stretched, wept, laughed and celebrated God’s extravagant love for me.  But for some reason I haven’t felt inspired to share it here.  Not until now, now that my dog has talked to me.

I recently got custody of my dog.  It’s on a temporary basis, to see how she does and whether this is the best place for her. She likes being with me, I’m sure of that.  But she’s a dog, a miniature schnauzer, bred to explore the world one sniff at a time.  She needs to run free in the streets of London or New York City rooting out rats. That’s her purpose. At least when we were out in the county she could outsmart a mole once in a while and keep the deer from attacking us, which she seemed convinced they would do if she didn’t run them off.  Yes, she gets to be with me, but now she lives in a small room and only gets a couple of walks a day.  I don’t know if she considers me worth it.

Her first evening with me she was acting a bit restless and uncertain of what was happening, so I put her on my lap and petted her until she relaxed. I was talking soothing messages to her when she sat up and put her front paws on my chest.  As we sat nose to nose, looking deep into each others eyes, I very calmly yet matter of factly said to her; “If you will just listen to what I say and obey me you will be very happy.”

Instantly I heard that same simple yet profound message echoing back to me from God. He was smiling as He spoke to my heart that it really is that simple!

Kieth Green said it in a song:

Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way, to be walking with Jesus, than to Trust and Obey!

Amen!!!!

A Freedom that cannot be lost

Tomorrow is the 4th of July, the day we celebrate freedom.  To the generation that began this tradition I think their celebration was probably very different than what we declare freedom to be today.

I visited Poland shortly after they were liberated from communist rule and saw people, especially the elderly, still afraid to congregate in the streets.  I went there with a group doing street ministry, dramas in the streets, and I could see their eyes constantly darting to the left and to the right, afraid they would be apprehended for standing in a group.  Many passed by quickly with their heads hung low, and I was told they were afraid it was a trap and if they stopped someone would make a note of it and visit them in the night, and not for coffee.

I came back to America with a new appreciation for the freedoms I had here.  But that was in a day when I could still pray or hold a christian meeting in a school without offending anyone.  When the pledge of allegiance was something to be proud of.  When no one questioned whether it was appropriate to pray before a ball game or during a graduation ceremony.  A time when a school concert held in December was a Christmas Program, and it wasn’t deemed illegal to display a nativity scene on government property and sales clerks everywhere coud still wish you a “Merry Christmas.”

Just as many of the Polish people were living in the fears of their past, I think many of us here in this country are living in the belief we still have the freedoms of the past.  We’ll gather tomorrow, from east coast to west, small towns and large cities.  We’ll wave flags and be decked out in red, white and blue but I wonder how many will realize that what they are celebrating are the freedoms they remember from earlier years?

I know what I will be celebrating tomorrow, and every other day.  That is the freedom I have as a believer in Jesus.  He paid my debt for my sin so that I can be free; free to walk with Him, free to say no to sin, free to find out exactly who He created me to be and what the plans are He has for me.  But most importantly this freedom that comes from Him can’t be lost, stolen or taken from me by any means.  No matter how many freedoms we may lose in this country due to unrighteous leaders, I know that the freedoms that come from the Creator of the universe are mine and are guaranteed to me as His beloved child.

As the Apostle Paul I can declare I am a bond-slave of Jesus.  A slave by choice, my life is not my own, I’ve been bought with a price, the precious life of my Savior.  I go where He says and I do what He asks, and I’ve never felt more free in my life. True and everlasting freedom comes when you lay down your life and follow Jesus.  Only then can you know what it really means to be alive and to be free!

The Future is looking Hopeful!

Lately I’ve come to realize I’m not very good at watching.  I don’t have a problem watching a movie, I can watch and enjoy, even if I don’t appreciate the direction it’s headed, I don’t ever consider jumping into the movie and taking control of it.  That would be an episode for “The Twilight Zone.”

What has brought me to this realization is that the Lord has been telling me that He wants me to view my life as I would a movie.  When He began speaking this to me it made me realize just how hands on I’ve been with my life.

He showed me that if I was in a theater, and on stage was the story of my life, I would be the one running from spot to spot trying to figure out where I should be for each scene while frantically looking for the script so I would know my cues and lines.  I would never be quite satisfied with any of the scenes and would continue to play them over and over in my head, trying to figure out where I went wrong or what I should have done differently.

But then He stepped onto the stage, and He took me by the hand.  He walked me down to the front row, sat me down in a recliner and said; “Now, put your feet up and enjoy the show.”  He even handed me some popcorn (calorie free of course) and my favorite soda.  Then He gave me the most important instruction of all; He assured me that if I needed to do anything or speak any lines He would be sure to tell me. 

Of course we didn’t get very far before I felt like Rachael in that episode of “Friends” where the love of her life, Ross is marrying Emily, and when it comes time for his vows he says; “I Ross, take thee Rachael…”  oooops!  And Rachael jumps to her feet and asks those seated around her; “Did he say Rachael?  That’s me!  Do you think I should go up there?”

I still find myself being a Rachael, I jump to my feet, ready to rush in… but I’ve grown because now I can wait, and if I don’t hear the command to go I sit back down and put my feet back up. 

And do you know what I’m noticing?  The play that is my life is really alot more interesting, exciting, and safe feeling when I’m a spectator instead of the driver.  I also never question that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be, or that I’m saying just the right thing.  When you follow the instructions of the Master, the One who created all of life and knows the plans He has for each one of us, things just seem to make alot more sense. 

“For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for hope and a future.”  Jeremiah 29:11 

Squirrel ! ! !

Something I’ve been enjoying has been interrupted. That upsets and frustrates me.

My enjoyment has been imagining myself as one of the disciples as I read the four gospels; Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. I’m so familiar with these books that recently, while reading, I found myself doing that thing we all do sometimes when we’re driving. You know, when you realize you’re almost where you are going and you don’t remember getting there?

Lately I’ve been reading and suddenly realize that even though my eyes were skimming the words, my mind was on vacation somewhere else. So to become more fully engaged, I decided to imagine I was there, walking with them, hearing Jesus’s words in the context of the environment and the feelings of the people I’m surrounded by.  At first it didn’t seem alive, but the more I did it I have to believe the Lord began filling in some of the blanks, because everything around me started feeling very real; the sounds, smells, fears and questions that were in the air as He spoke.  I even found myself turning to Peter one morning and asking; “What did He say?”  OK, so maybe I do have an overactive imagination, but the point is I was really enjoying myself walking with the disciples as they walked with Jesus.

The interruption came in the form of allergies. I have never had allergies in my life, so I didn’t recognize what was happening at first.  But can I just say; if there are worse allergy attacks than what I experienced, I don’t ever want to know what they are. I honestly thought I was going to die a couple of times. I ached everywhere, went back and forth between fever and chills, couldn’t sleep then couldn’t stay awake, and that was all before it hit my eyes. I woke up one morning to beet red eyes that were glued shut. I was so sensitive to light that sunglasses in a darkened room was too bright. It went into a full blown sinus infection, my jaws ached, my ears ached, I could hardly swallow and I was trying everything to beat it.

A few days into the allergy attack, I got a message from a friend asking me to be in prayer for her because she had a “messy conflict” she was dealing with. That same day I got a phone call from another friend saying she was getting unexpected company from a person that has been acting very uncharacteristically recently and he was bringing some new friends of his.

So I suddenly found my life derailed by two mysteries and an illness. The illness kept me away from my normal activities, which only gave me more time to ponder the mysteries, trying to figure out what was going on behind the scenes in both cases.

When I finally began to feel a little better and attempted to get back to my journey with Jesus and the disciples, I found that my thoughts were constantly being taken captive by the two mysteries that were still unsolved. If you ever saw the movie “Up” then you know what I mean when I say I felt like I was one of those robot killer dogs that couldn’t resist the temptation of a squirrel! I began to call the two mysteries in my life my two squirrels that kept popping up and capturing my attention no matter how hard I tried to ignore them.

After a few days of this, I was praying one morning and asked the Lord; “What can I do, I don’t want to keep dwelling on these questions, but I can’t stop myself?” At that moment He surprised me with a crystal clear answer.

 He handed me a shotgun and said simply; “Shoot the squirrels.”

And you know what? It worked! Now, whenever I’m trying to study or pray, if a thought wanders across my path trying to interrupt me… BAM! I shoot it and it’s over!

So if you see me walking along, or sitting and reading and suddenly I look up and shout BAM! You’ll know I just shot me another squirrel. You might want to try it. It works for me.