Genesis 2:1-3

“So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested[a] from all his work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.” Genesis 2:1-3 (NLT)

With each day there was a boundary established by God, day, night, sea, land, seed bearing fruit, trees, birds, fish. Each creation had a boundary. Then He rested.

For the past two weeks, I have not given myself boundaries. I did not schedule time to write or really exercise. I enjoyed the company of my daughter, her husband and our Little Miss. Each day held it’s own excitement and adventures, even if it was just sitting on the couch watching television and playing restaurant. Each day gave me memories to cherish.

Now, we are home. Today I awoke with determination to get back into full swing of schedules. I have half succeeded. Laundry is finishing, most of the groceries are put away, and although writing has been on the forefront of my mind, these words are my only accomplishment.

I tend to be pretty hard on myself when I am not in a regimen. I look at numbers in my statistics on my blog, each time reminding myself that stats are just numbers. That does not always work for me, because with each number I see a person that has reached out to me. Each person who reads what I attempt to say is a gift to me, after all, they have taken time from their day to see what I have tried to say.

When my stats go to ‘0’ or ‘1’, I chide myself. I see in my mind a finger pointing at me and scolding me for not being where I think I should be. There are a lot of “I’s” in these sentences. It is then, that I remember that this blog is a gift also. My words do not come without a lot of prayer and my Lord sees the entire perspective. This blog belongs to Him and only through Him can I write.

So, after pushing myself to get back on track, fretting and stewing that I am not back where I think I should be, I have heard a gentle voice whispering, “Chill out! I’ve got this.” Followed by my thankfulness that I serve a God who understands me.

Hear That? God is a Gentle Whisper

 And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.” I Kings 19:12 (NLT)

After Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal, he fled to Mt. Sinai and waited to hear from God. The above verse talks about all the ways Elijah thought God would answer. I love the end of the verse though, and after the fire was the sound of a gentle whisper.

How many times do we expect a boisterous answer? We expect fire, lightening, earthquakes, booming voices, we want the drama. God is capable of all of this. But, often He will gentle whisper. We have to listen carefully, but the answer is there.

The past two days and nights we visited Little Miss’ lake house. It was a quick trip and on the spur of the moment. The late summer weather was perfect for boating and watching Little Miss tubing solo and with her Dad. This morning as we were on the lake there was a feeling of end of summer. The sun was hot, but the air was almost fall-ish.

The past days as we have ventured out on the lake I have heard gentle whispers in the air. I truly felt the presence of God. He whispered to me as I watched a pair of bald eagles circle above us. The majesty of the birds, they symbol of America, strong, independent and soaring.

I heard the Gentle Whisper speak to me as we watched the sun start it’s descent in the west. The Artist of all creation painting the sky. Giggles and laughter from our Little Miss filled me with joy to see her grow in new ways. This too, is our God softly speaking to her, urging her to conquer adventures and new activities.

God, the Gentle Whisper fills us with peace and joy. We sometimes have to slow down to experience this. Like Elijah we expect major things to show us God’s hand. God does not always shout, instead, He leans close to us, and pulls us near Him and whispers.

God in the little things

Recently I have written about the names of God. I will most likely continue with these, but the past couple of days I have seen in action all that God is.

We are visiting Little Miss and her family. During this visit I have seen our God in action in this family. I have seen His protection over this home and extended family. I have experienced God our peace in the conversations and interactions.

God is bountiful. He is present. He protects and defends us. He answers prayer. He is all in all. I rejoice in the answered prayers I have felt.

I often look to see God in all areas and situations. These past few days, I have been immersed in the presence of God.

Walking into this home is walking into peace. It is comfortable. It is filled with teasing and laughter, giggles and snuggles. I have been wrapped in peace and for that I am thankful.

May your day today be filled with all the good things from our God.

“Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them. For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Psalm 107:8-9 (NLT)

Isaiah 7:14 ~ God with Us

 “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Listen carefully, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and she will call his name Immanuel (God with us).” Isaiah 7:14 (AMP)

This verse I love. It brings comfort to me, I can’t explain the calm I feel when reading it. It is often read during Advent, the time leading up to Christmas, but it is a promise from Father God that we know was fulfilled with Christ’s birth.

Emmanuel came to earth. He left the glory of heaven, the glory of being with Father and Holy Spirit and became man. He left His home, with all the infinite power and glory and became an infant. An infant that needed to be fed, changed, and clothed. He had to depend on Mary and Joseph, two He created.

Jesus was here on earth, He was with us. He experienced all that we learned as children, skinned knees, colds, the heat of the summer, the cold of winter, hunger, excitement. He felt all that we feel. God with us.

How incredible that the God of the Universe humbled Himself and became man. How incredible for us, that He did. Emmanuel, God with us, while He was on earth as He is now.

Mighty ~ El Shaddai

“When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.” Genesis 17:1 (NLT)

Abram talked with God, and believed what he heard. El Shaddai, God Almighty. With those four words, this post is summed up. What can be added to El Shaddai, God Almighty?

In 1982 Amy Grant released a song written by Michael Card and John Thompson, titled, “El Shaddai.” Part of the lyrics go, “Age to Age You’re still the same by the power of Your Name”

God Almighty, He is everything, mighty in strength and power, capable of handling all that we bring Him. He never wavers in His love for us. He is there in our darkest moments and when we see the world as perfect. He is there for any situation we may find ourselves in.

We can’t cause dew to form, but God can. We can’t control the rain, the thunder or lightening, but God can. He speaks and the seasons change. He is Almighty God. We see dimly but He sees clearly. We can only imagine the heights and depths of this world, how deep the oceans are, what lies beneath the oceans, but our God knows as He spoke and they came into being.

El Shaddai is amazing!

A Glimpse ~ God, Our Hiding Place

“You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance.” Psalm 32:7 (NKJV)

With a shout of “Ready or not, here I come” the searching begins in a game of hide and seek. We have each played this game, trying to find the best hiding spots. Our granddaughter loves this game and I have played it with her, finding spots where she would not look. She is a great ‘hider’ too. She has stumped me many times.

Hiding in play is one thing, but I remember my youngest would often try to hide behind me when she was around strangers. I was her shield and protection. I sometimes would gently pull her from behind me to introduce her to people and allow her to warm up to them.

I have been known to just hide. This is during times of stress for me, when I need to collect my thoughts and my peace. I usually quietly head to a closet and stand there. If I have to, I take a deep breath and start to pray, sometimes crying when situations have upset me emotionally.

God is our Hiding Place. In times of distress, I can picture myself like my youngest, grabbing onto the robe of God and hiding there, occasionally peeking our from around Him to glimpse at what is going on. As He is the perfect parent, He knows I am there and allows me to use Him as a shield. But, when the time comes, He gently reaches around and brings me out, reassuring me that is it okay and I no longer need to hide.

God is always there. He is always ready to be that perfect place to hide. It is not a fearful place, or an obvious place, but He is a place of security and protection. A perfect hiding spot.

Our Foundation ~ Chief Cornerstone

“Therefore thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,
A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation; Whoever believes will not act hastily.” Isaiah 28:16 (NKJV)

As I have mentioned before, I grew up in Pennsylvania. In school we learned that our state was known as the “Keystone State”. A keystone by definition is a wedge that holds an arch together; something on which associated things depend upon. I have always been fascinated by keystones. I look at buildings trying to see the keystone.

A synonym of keystone is Cornerstone. Jesus is the Chief Cornerstone, there is nothing greater to hold us together. Without Him, everything would crumble.

Ephesians 2:19-22 says,”So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God’s holy people. You are members of God’s family. 20 Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. 21 We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. 22 Through him you Gentiles are also being made part of this dwelling where God lives by his Spirit”

Thinking about this, it is a fascinating thing to realize that cornerstones play a vital part in our lives. Everything built around us depends on a keystone/cornerstone. Without that, we would not have roofs or walls surrounding us. In fact, there would be no stable buildings. We depend on the stability and structure of things around us, otherwise we could not function as easily as we do.

Jesus is our Chief Cornerstone. He holds this world together. He is Creator, Healer, our Covering, our Peace, our Stability. We cannot function without Him.

In an arch, all the stones rely on the keystone. The keystone is what gives the arch an ability to stand. I know, like those stones, I cannot stand without the Chief Cornerstone.

The Lord our Banner ~ Jehovah Nissi

“After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”).” Exodus 17:14-15 (NLT)

When we lived in San Diego, our church would have worship celebrations with music and praise and worship. These were wonderful celebrations that took months of preparing. I remember several of them, but one stands out to me. I will try to capture the essence of this time in words, which I know will not give it just due. Click on the paragraph below to hear the music that was played.

Sitting in our pew, the doors of the church closed. The lights are dimmed and it is quiet. Then, music starts, a march, with trumpets resounding. The doors open, the lights are brought up, and children frolic down the aisle, somersaults, cart wheels, behind them, young people carrying small brightly colored flags. Then, there appears banners, large ones, being carried by young adults. The singers are singing. Chills run down your back.

The procession continues, with grace, dignity and a boldness. The group gathers on the platform and the song continues. The theme for this celebration is set. We will lift God our Banner high.

Now, for the most part we only think of God being our banner in the Old testament and in the example of a worship celebration. It’s nice, it’s a good reminder of Exodus, but that’s about all the thought it is given.

A banner can be a sign, an invitation, they also commemorate, bring to remembrance and honor. God delivered His people in a time of war, He was the banner over the situations the Israelites faced. He provided and was victorious.

The same is true today. We may not build altars, but we do tell of answered prayers. We testify of battles won with our finances, our health, our employment, our family. God is our Banner.

We proclaim the goodness of God. We tell of our devotion to Him. We say we are resting in His arms, that He is covering us. We are under His banner. It may not be a visible banner, but it is there all the same.

The children sing, “His banner over me is love.” Yes, that it is, it is also a covering, a protection that blankets us. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, and we need to lift Him up in honor, in recognition and praise.

The Lord who Heals Me ~ Jehovah Rapha

I am the God that Healeth thee I am the Lord Your healer I sent My word
And I healed your disease I am the Lord Your healer

You are the God that Healeth me You are the Lord My healer You sent Your word And You healed my disease You are the Lord My healer You sent Your word And You healed My disease You are the Lord My healer You sent Your word And You healed My disease You are the Lord My healer
Lyrics Don Moen, I am the Lord who healeth you

Exodus 1:2-26 says, “So he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree. When he cast it into the waters, the waters were made sweet. There He made a statute and an ordinance for them, and there He tested them, 26 and said, “If you diligently heed the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have brought on the Egyptians. For I am the Lord who heals you.” (NKJV)

We acknowledge that God is a mighty God, that He is good, just, protects, provides and sees us, but most stop there. Our God heals. Let me repeat that, Our God Heals.

I think our health is one issue we pray for the most. It’s easy to say we need prayer and mention an infirmity. How often do we ask for prayer and while being prayed for we are thinking, well, we’ll see what the doctor says when I go this week? I am guilty of this.

In response to this, I have to challenge myself and ask rightly, ‘If I am thinking of a doctor then why am I asking for prayer?’ Do I believe that God is more capable than a physician here on earth? God is the great Physician. He is Jehovah Rapha.

The New Testament is filled with healing miracles from Jesus and through His disciples. Our God heals.

Now, the wavering I have felt at times could be legitimate, but, I have seen God heal. He removed a tumor in me and left scar tissue, which confounded my surgeon. It was years ago and you can still see the scar tissue to this day on a mammogram.

I have seen blind people regain their sight. Twice I have seen this. One was a teenager and the other a grown man. One in Maine and the other in San Diego.

I have seen someone healed from pancreatic cancer, seen it totally removed from a person who was in the late stages of the disease.

Yes, God heals. He does it today. It wasn’t for olden times, biblical times, His healing is for now. Yet, do we pray expecting to receive a miracle? Do we ask in faith believing?

Jehovah-Rapha, You are the God who heals. Heal all reading who need a physical, emotional or mental touch from You. Remove disease, restore health to bodies. Heal those who are mentally and emotionally exhausted, restore peace and calm to them. Lord, let us pray believing that You will hear and heal. Thank you for what You do Lord. Amen

The God who Sees Me ~ Jehovah El ro i

“Then she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are God Who Sees”; for she said, “Have I not even here [in the wilderness] remained alive after seeing Him [who sees me with understanding and compassion]?” Genesis 16:13 (AMP)

Each of us have had those moments in our lives where we feel alone. We may be in a group of people, or in the middle of a job, or shopping in a mall, yet, we feel alone, isolated, unseen.

I have had those seasons. Times when I felt that if I walked off the face of the earth no one would notice. These periods can be referred to as depression, abandonment, isolation, distant, we each have put a name to the feeling.

I spent many years feeling this way. Invisible.

The verse above talks about Hagar, she was pregnant with Abraham’s son and was frightened. She fled to the desert and there she met God. This verse gives the name to God, in Hebrew El roi; which means God never sleeps, He sees, He is aware, He is the great Omnipresent God.

I had a moment when I realized that God did see me. He knew what I was dealing with, He saw my heart and my mind. He reached down to me and I knew that I knew that He saw me.

God does see us each day. He sees our discouragement, He sees our victories. He sees our doubts and fears and He gives us direction. He never disappoints, He never sleeps, He watches over us while we sleep, but He doesn’t drift off to sleep. He sees us. He sees us at our worst and at our best.

When others seem to drop off in being there for you, God does not. His presence is a constant presence. His love never wavers. He cares for us with an everlasting care. He will never leave us, for He is the God who sees us.

When I think of this, it does baffle my mind. I think I need to be worthy of His gaze, be someone or something special. El ro i, has no agenda, He meets us in the desert with all of our fears, and dread. He presents His care, His love in abundance, He is the oasis in our personal deserts. Praise Him!

Lord, reveal Yourself to those who may be struggling while reading this. Where there is that feeling of not being seen by anyone, reveal Yourself to them. Let them see Your magnificent presence. To feel drawn into Your love, Your peace, Your acceptance. Amen.