Tag Archives: Bible

Sometimes trees don’t dance with me

imagesI read the Bible for twelve straight hours yesterday.

I wanted to know what it felt like for the Israelites to hear Ezra read the Torah as recorded in Nehemiah 8.

I cheated.  I read while reclining on the bed, then prompted on a pillow, and finally snuggled in my deep cushioned couch.

People were tougher then;  they stood for hours.

I had no real encounter or revelation.  They bowed down and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground while weeping over the Word of God.

Maybe I should’ve stood while I read.

The Levites calmed the people and sent them home to celebrate the sacred day with a feast.  I went to bed hungry because I’m dieting.

The next day the people started the week long Feast of Tabernacles because they now understood the words that had been read to them.  I returned to my typical routine, unchanged.

Can anyone out there relate with me?

Or am I the only believer who wants desperately to know more of the LORD, to please Him in everything I do, to experience those “wow” divine moments, yet I have more “duh, what was that all about?” days.

Good thing we live on this side of the cross or life would be depressing.  I get up each day with fresh mercies raining down on me.  I don’t hold myself to the standard of perfection; I walk in grace.

13029634688qB892I sang aloud all the Psalms to the Lord.  So what if the trees didn’t dance with me.

I fasted from all technology and worldly distractions while reading books of God’s Word.  So what if an earthquake didn’t shake me from my bed.

I did it because I wanted my Lord to know He’s most important to me.  He doesn’t need to prove anything to me.  He proved His love and power on the cross.

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Santa Slayer or Truth Teller?

Last night I did the unthinkable for many Americans.  It was not intentional.  It happened so quickly.  One moment I was telling the greatest story ever told to a room full of eager children, and then the next moment, I announced, “Santa is not real.”

Gasps from the children and adults assured me I had made a huge mistake.  It went something like this…

Me:  An earthquake shook, the soldiers fell as if dead, and the stone rolled away.  Guess what Jesus did?

Kid:  He walked out of the tomb.

Me: He is alive!  God raised Him from the dead.  He died for our sins so that His perfect blood could save us.  He rose from the dead so that we could have new life.  Isn’t that the most wonderful story ever?

Boy:  But how did He die again?

Me:  He didn’t!  He’s still alive!

All Kids:  Really?  Where is He?

Me:  He’s in heaven sitting beside God the Father.  Guess what he’s doing?

Kid:  Watching over us?

Me:  Yes, He’s watching over us but He’s also praying for us.  Right now, He’s praying that each of us will open our hearts to Him, love and obey Him.

Same boy:  Does He watch us in the shower?

All kids:  giggles

Sharon, other teacher:  He watches your heart.

Me:  Jesus loves us so much that He died so we could be free from sin.  He prays for God’s children and He watches over us.

Girl:  Just like Santa.

Me:  OH, He’s so much better than Santa.  Jesus is real and Santa is not.

It went downhill from there.  A perfect moment when the kids were so engrossed to my words that they are almost in my lap with anticipation.  How did Santa come into the picture and ruin everything?  It was a God moment.  Everything in me cringed when I heard Jesus compared to Santa.  I couldn’t let it stay in their minds like that.

I wanted the kids to leave there knowing the amazing love of their Savior, instead they left wondering about Santa.  And of course within 10 minutes, I had an irate parent rebuking me for my ignorance.  Shaming me for what I did.  Informing me that though her daughter loved coming to Kids Club, she would never be allowed to return.

Then the mom said, “I know Santa is not real but it’s my place to decide when to tell my children the truth.”  Yes, it is the parents’ responsibility to tell their kids the Truth, not mine.  Someday she (and a million other parents) will stand before Almighty God and before His Glory they will wonder why they ever chose to lie to their children.

I struggled all night.  The people-pleaser me was devastated by her attack.  The fearful me was afraid of more attacks.  The insecure me shamed myself for not having more control over my tongue and ruining everything.   The Spirit in me prayed.

Father, take my blunder and make it wise.  Open the hearts and minds of the children to see Jesus as Real.  Your name being honored is all that matters.  Heal the hurts.  Crush the lies.  Bring us into unity with You.  Protect the children and the truths stored in them.  Give me wisdom to face the attacks.  May everyone involved see Your glory.  Amen

 

How has Santa become such a force that when exposed for the lie that it is, rage ensues?    That young girl’s simple statement showed me that in her mind, Santa is a god equal to Jesus.  Has Santa become an American birthed religion?

How is this child going to feel when she realizes she is banned from hearing the truth?   How do children cope once they learn every adult they trusted has lied to them?  I was never taught to believe in Santa so I have no experience to relate.

Will you share?

Living Terrified

Darkness smothered all hope.  Tom and Sarah knew God had called them here and He would protect them.  For years, they have walked the streets giving food to the hungry and shelter to the homeless.  It was not unusual for a call to come.  

 

Tom was needed.  There was a report of ship coming to port.  Often times these ships carried slave traders.  Mostly young children, stolen or runaways, who would be sold in the underground market.  Most were never seen again.  They existed in a hell on earth.

 

Tom and Sarah used every penny they earned to rescue these children.  When the alarm came, Tom rushed to investigate.  Hours later another call comes to Sarah asking her to bring more money. 

 

Sarah normally would never take their 12-year-old Suzanne in the streets without a male escort but tonight there was no choice.  They both knew the dangers and how to maneuver the narrow passageways.  God was with them.

 

Making their way among the merchants and street urchins was never easy but this evening the masses of people shrunk the already narrow passageways to what seemed only inches of walkway.  The yanking and pulling fought against the mother and daughter’s linked arms. 

 

A quick run through the alleyway to the right would bring them where they could find Tom.  Grasping Suzanne with all her strength they plunged ahead weaving through the graveyard of stored shipping crates. 

 

Neither spoke, their heartbeats communicated their fearful determination.  Just as they turned the final corner to see the light from the port, Suzanne was gone.

 

There wasn’t a cry.  There wasn’t a tug.  She just wasn’t there.  Sarah held her arm one second and the next she held only air. 

 

No one was in sight.  No movement in any direction. Nothing except the mountains of crates looming on both sides.

 

“Suzanne!  Suzanne!  Answer me.  Where are you?”  Panic nearly strangled the words from her lips.  Sarah began to pound on boxes, over turn baskets, and rip at barrels. 

 

There had to be a trap door.  People don’t just vanish.  “Oh my God, children vanish here.  This is how they do it.  They steal them right from their mother’s arms.”

 

“Oh God No!  NOOOOOOOO.  Suzanne!  Su-zannnnne!”

 

 Fingers dripping blood from the splintered crates and barrels, Sarah thought of her only hope. 

 

“Help, I need help.”  Her fingers trembled as she tried to pound out 911.  The three numbers were elusive.  Sarah crazed with fear, could only scream.

Here is where I woke up.  Yes, another vivid nightmare.  I dream terrified because I live terrified.  I never realized it before now.  This week and this dream, served as another warning.  I need to defeat the darkness of my mind.

I woke early Monday morning feeling fine.  I put the final touches on my morning Bible lesson.  An hour later, I started to get dressed, that’s when it hit.  At the time I had no idea it was an inner ear issue that caused severe motion sickness.

No, for the next few hours, I was just terrified.  I couldn’t stand, walk, or even move my head in the slightest degree for the room spun at terrifying speeds.  Nauseous waves tormented my already cold and clammy body. I truly thought I would die.  I cried out in prayer but nothing happened.  I panicked.  I called my 911, Mike.

I’m writing this in the wee hours of Thursday night, as I lay awake in prayer.  I held and prayed for little Eli the first hours of the night.  I begged the Lord to clear Eli’s lungs and heal the rattling congestion.  I fought the panic viewed illusions of him catching whopping cough and pneumonia from his daddy.  Fear kept me begging.

Why do I live so terrified?

Because I don’t Believe God.  He made it clear to me in the darkness of the night.  He spent hours reminding me of His Word. The centurion believed Jesus’ words and without any proof of the healing, left His presence and started home to find his son healed.

A poisonous snake bit Paul and everyone watching knew at that moment he was sure to die.  Paul simply shook off the snake and showed everyone watching that no illness will stop a saint from doing the will of God.

What good am I to the Lord if my only response to a crisis is to lose all my senses in fear, screaming “Oh God, NO!” and dialing 911?

There’s coming a day when those we think are called to protect us then become the harshest enemies to all Christians.

I don’t want to be a wimp for Jesus.  I want to believe He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do.  I want to live strong!  I want to dream different.

Sarah and Suzanne take the passageway through the storage graveyard.  Neither spoke, their heartbeats communicated their fearful determination.  Just as they turned the final corner to see the light from the port, Suzanne was gone.

 

There wasn’t a cry.  There wasn’t a tug.  She just wasn’t there.  Sarah held her arm one second and the next she held only air. 

 

No one was in sight.  No movement in any direction. Nothing except the mountains of crates looming on both sides.

 

Sarah knew instantly, her daughter was in the clutches of their worse enemies.  Child sex traders were merciless.  She started to scream, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!”

 

Louder and more confident with each breath.  “Jesus I know You are here.  Shine Your light in this darkness.  Show me Your glory!”

 

“Jesus, Jesus, Je-susssss!”  The ground trembles and shakes as the Light splits the darkness. 

 

Sarah shouts louder, “Jesus

 

Crates began to burst open.  And as quickly as she disappeared, Suzanne emerges from the darkness running into her mother’s outstretched arms.

 

“Praise You Jesus!  Come, child, we have other children to save.”

 

Yes, Lord I want to believe You for that kind of life.