I have already been to the grocery this morning, have dinner in the crock pot and need to be in my car and headed north in 15 minutes…20 if I want to grab a coffee on my way through the small town 8 miles north of here.
And I do.
I very much want to do that.
So here is the thought o’the day.
I don’t know if I can credit my mom, my dad or both of them or some comedian my mom heard and retold the story enough that I thought it was hers.
But she would laugh at the concept of the way we react to milk being possibly sour.
The joke goes that someone takes a drink of milk and then hands the glass to someone they love saying, “I think this has gone bad. Taste it.”
At our house we were all like…yeah, no. I’m good. If you think it’s sour, let’s go with that as our truth.
It occurred to me recently that a similar thing happens in my conversations.
Someone does something kind of rude to me or hurts my feelings and my first response is to tell someone else what happened as if to get a second opinion on the validation of my feelings.
I am not saying we don’t need to share our feelings with others, but asking them to taste the raw bitterness so we can feel justified in our assessment of what happened is not fair to that unsuspecting friend or family member.
God is teaching me as I age, and hopefully gain some wisdom, that He is really the only one I should take the first full cup of sour milk to and ask what just happened.
Evaluating the situation and processing my response in His presence FIRST is a much better plan.
It seems when I take this approach, we either work things out in a holy space and I can leave it there, or He raises up the right friend at the right time in the right way so that with a right heart, I can share my struggle without excessively maligning or highlighting someone else’s error.
It is gray and dreary here on the prairie and my plans got switched up a little so I am once again tapping out this note in a somewhat rushed fashion, but it is only because I lingered long at the table this morning and took time to come into God’s Presence because I do what I tell you to do.
The best way to celebrate this season of Advent is to make time in the very busiest season for the main thing. Over the years I have learned that none of the other stuff will be done with a right heart if I don’t do this thing well each day.
While I do believe first thing is best, some mornings it just cannot happen so on those days, take it along for your lunch break or make sure you sit down in a quiet place before you go to bed. There is time in our day for this focusing on God’s Word thing.
It’s not “I need Jesus and coffee”…it’s “I need Jesus” and I am thankful He doesn’t mind me sipping from a mug or three as we spend time together <3
Today as I read Luke 9, there was a theme that stood out to me and it may be because I have been fighting this virus …or several consecutive viruses…for really too long.
I noted that in the opening verses of the chapter, Jesus gathered His newly appointed “Twelve” and commissioned them before sending them out on their first missionary journey.
“Summoning the Twelve, He gave them power and authority over all the demons and to heal diseases. Then He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.”
Luke 9:1&2 *capital H added by me*….CSB
We are told in verse 6 they traveled from village to village proclaiming the good news and healing everywhere.
Verse 11 says:
He welcomed them (the crowds who followed Him), spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing.
We see Him take authority over a demon who has made a child unwell since birth and teaching His disciples the element of determining the way to deliverance through fasting and prayer.
I once made a hospital visit and as I struggled to find a place to park I thought about the impact a ministry of healing enacted through all followers of Christ would have on the hospitals and pharmaceutical companies…doctors, nurses, rehab facilities.
If you heard a loud gasp just now it would be coming from some people I love dearly because I happen to know and be related to and love some of the best in the health care industry.
But think about it.
Sickness is big business in our country.
Think how different the landscape of our communities would look if we, who follow Christ, just went around proclaiming the kingdom of God and healing everywhere.
Blows the mind, doesn’t it?
I have been in places where people prayed over someone and they were healed.
I have served on prayer teams where lumps were prayed over and when the test just before scheduling surgery was done, no lump was found.
And I have prayed fervent prayers for healing and watched that precious one slip away to Jesus while we shook our heads and wondered how we will keep putting one foot in front of the other as we continue the journey without him or her.
I have prayed myself and others through a health crisis and watched as God did amazing things to grow our faith and character and compassion…and then bring healing.
I have no answers today but many questions.
If all that matters is heaven, why would Jesus heal?
He wants us to walk healed and whole here on earth…but then….
If health and wholeness matter, why don’t our prayers “work” every time?
Have we missed it as Christians?
Is it our lack of faith or our ignorance in how to pray?
And we also know that death will eventually come to all of us until He returns so where are the lines drawn?
My eyes rest this morning on my life verse taped to the bottom of this computer screen.
Call to Me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvelous and wondrous thing that you could never figure out on your own.
Jeremiah 33:3 The Message
I have questions and He has answers and it is in walking with Him and talking with Him and listening that I learn and grow.
Like the disciples in Luke, I get it right sometimes and then I turn around and blow it.
I stumble and He catches me and helps me up and we continue on.
I am learning and growing and praying that I will increase in faith to believe Him and to believe and live what He taught me.
I am asking Him to show me where I am falling short in just acting in faith and where I am needing to understand His ways are higher than ours.
It is in the questions that we have to stop and listen for His answers and to seek His heart over our own understanding.
Be blessed, fellow traveler, as we journey onward <3
It is the Second Sunday of Advent and I woke early and spent much time in front of these little candles relishing the quiet and the gift of extra moments to just dwell.
The desk calendar by our computer has this phrase this morning…
“The greatest thing your heart can experience is God’s presence.”
So true and this is my breath prayer for all the people I love. To experience God’s presence.
And if your eyes happened to land on this page here today…whether we have officially met or not… then you and all you hold dear are also included in that prayer, my friend <3
I could have shared any number of thoughts from the many accounts of Jesus’ activity recorded in Luke 8, but I have a note jotted down in the margin of the page in my Bible and it is dated January 1 of this year.
The basis for the note is the closing section of Chapter 7 but since it is Sunday and a day of rest, I hope you don’t mind if that is all I share with you.
Verses 36-50 are Luke’s version of the sinful woman who anointed Jesus with her most precious possession and her tears.
I simply wrote on the first day of this year…
Lord, I have been forgiven much. I love much. Break open my broken heart to love more.
Be blessed in whatever this Second Sunday of Advent brings your way knowing …. you and I have been forgiven much.
We had a whirlwind weekend that included a visit from Sarah and Joel’s postponed birthday party while several of our troopers have been under the weather with whatever junk is currently making its way through the family.
Our fun-loving Emmett had to miss the festivities and to give you an indication of how miserable he feels, he didn’t even complain about it although his eyes looked quite sad when the party bus returned.
That is such a powerful word to capture what un-wellness does to us.
Flu and viruses are physical manifestations of what happens when all is not going right with how God intended us to live.
Even our outer skin hurts as our body fights off the invaders in an effort to bring us back to health.
Our bodies and our souls, our minds and our spirits are geared to wholeness and healing and when that is under attack, we are often sidelined as we deal with the aches and pains of our malaise.
Misery is said to love company, but when I am feeling the effects of it – whether emotional or physical – I would argue that I tend to be like a wounded animal seeking a den to crawl into.
Interaction with others is too much effort and only enhances my discomfort.
But there is a place of quiet rest and healing when we are suffering and it is near the heart of God.
Whether we are warding off a fever or dealing with the inner turmoil of a broken heart, God meets us in these isolated places with a tender sustaining power.
He is very interested in helping us regain wholeness and health in our bodies and minds and spirits.
He is for us and as we continue to yield to Him…in all seasons…He meets us where we are.
A prayer for you today:
Heavenly Father, there are so many who are unwell among us. Some are struggling with physical health issues – whether viruses or more serious and chronic illnesses.
Many among us are broken hearted through and through.
We are weary and the world around us is moving at such a rapid pace that we fear we will be overtaken and drown as we paddle to keep our head above water.
We want to stop…we want to take time to get well…but the demands of each day keep us in places of turmoil.
So Father, thank you for Your Grace that sustains us and is at work within us to fight for us.
Lord, we know that You will restore us to health and wellness as we yield to You in these seasons.
Grant us Your favor and Your peace. Breathe Your life into us and renew our faint hearts. Thank You for the mercies that are new each day.
We love You and we set our hearts to be near You this day <3