God Loves To Travel In Style And Incognito

What do you know about cars?  For one thing, did you know how inefficient they are?  I had to laugh out loud when I learned that cars take up a huge amount of space on this earth but get driven around mostly empty.  Government statistics have shown that the private car in the United States carries only 1.6 people in them per trip!

Okay, I know what you are thinking…What does the above trivia piece of information about cars have to do with participating in a conversation with God using Scripture?

Well, I’m so glad you asked.

Today, as I was traveling up the highway, heading to the Half Price Book store, to purchase a book by Linda Page entitled Healthy Healing, I decided to turn on my car CD player.  A highly popular gospel tune by Reverend Hezekiah Walker entitled  “Every Praise” blasted out from the speakers and immediately the beat caused me to sway with the rhythm and to pat the steering wheel as though it was a drum as I drove down the street. (Click below, skip the ads and watch the street performance of Mr. Walker.)

Lyrics
Every praise is to our God.
Every word of worship with one accord
Every praise every praise is to our God.
Sing hallelujah to our God…
Upon reaching Half Price Books’ parking lot, I could hardly bring myself to turn off the music.  The testimony in song was such a blessing to my soul.  I finally exited my vehicle and entered Half Price Book Store while still softly humming the melody of the tune.  I found my book, retrieved it from the shelf and approached the checkout line.

A few customers were in line in front of me, so I took this opportunity to turn aside to examine some for sale items on a shelf while at the same time still humming “Every Praise”.  Just then a strange thing happened.  I felt something pressuring against my back.  I turned and to my surprise, I was facing the customer that was ahead of me in the checkout line.  Immediately, I apologized for bumping into her, but she smilingly corrected me and said she purposely leaned back to hear what I was humming because it sounded so soothing and gave her such joy to embrace my happiness in this troubling world.

(WOW!!! I immediately thought, Lord you are doing it again.  Just like last week.  You have opened another door to present Yourself to me and to others and to give me an opportunity to witness.) 

The next thing I knew, we were both giving God praises and thanking Him for his ever presence in our lives, seen and unseen.  (You know He loves to travel incognito.)

NOW, all I want to know from you is this…

What radio station is permanently set on your car radio?  Or what artist’s music CDs do you tote around in your clove compartment for entertainment?  Do you realize that this sanctuary place of yours can become an arsenal of ammunition to prepare you to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ?  Read the verse from 2 Timothy 4:2 (NIV) below:


May I give you a word of advice:  Use the time while you are driving in your (empty) car to think about this:
Scripture Lesson:“Finally my sisters and brothers, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”  Philippians 4:8

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GOD SAVED US BY GRACE TO SPREAD THE GOSPEL

Blog-God gave us grace to spread the gospel

Jesus said, “I brought glory to you here on earth by doing everything you told me to.”  John 17:4   Can we, too, recite those words before the Almighty?

PROLOGUE…

Today, I feel good!…doo-dah…doo-dah..doo-dah…doooo!  WHY?  Because God allowed the actions of three young complete strangers to bless me real good.  Big as day!  In all of His glory.  Smiling.  Silently.  Just chillin’.  He said to me, “My child, I know your plans for today and I’ll be with you.”

Okay.  I’m not crazy.  But I did, I did see Jesus…where of I am rejoicing.  Here is how it all played out.

HIS FIRST STILL SMALL VOICE…

This past Wednesday morning I met with my contractors and went shopping for a lot of materials to renovate a rental property I own. Afterwards, I stopped by the Sears Outlet store in my town to examine a refrigerator I had seen advertised on the internet.  The young sales person who assisted me was extremely polite and explained that the refrigerator I was inquiring about was not at her store, but actually located in another city.  However, she was anxious to show me another refrigerator that she thought I would like much better.  And the price was sweeter, too.

As we walked towards the  appliance display area I informed her of my intent to pay cash for the unit.  The sales lady immediately began to exclaim how she wished she could get to the place where she could buy big ticket items for cash, but with her family obligations, her small salary and her daughters college tuition, she did not see herself becoming financially secure for a very long time.

(I immediately thought, Lord, how can I witness to this woman?)

As we continued to walk, I listened to her recite how extended family members, needy friends, poor money habits, job hopping and other money grabbing situations had put her into a mountain of debt with no savings plan in sight.  By this time, we had reached the ‘for sale’ refrigerator with a sign that read ‘take an extra 10% off’.   I immediately made a calculation that if I purchased this model I would save an additional $200.  WOW!!

I was overjoyed and in my enthusiasm, I looked at the sales person and exclaimed; ‘you have blessed my soul today.  The Lord has truly used you in His plans towards me this day.’  The clerk looked stunned and her eyes got big.  “What do you mean?  What did I do?”

“You went an extra mile,” I said to her.  “Just before you returned to the store from your lunch brake, two other sales girls had looked up on their computers the first refrigerator I wanted and told me it was not in stock.  They both dismissed me, and I started to leave the store.  But, just then you darted in the front door and one of the other sales girls called to you to assist me.  The rest is history and you have made a cash sale and the Lord has provided me with a better deal, and I have saved some money.”

“Wait!  You mean, the Lord had something to do with this?” the sales clerk asked.  “Yes, He did,” I said.  “And He used you to perform it.”

“I don’t understand,” was her response.

“Remember, earlier, you were explaining how you are having trouble managing your money?”  Well, I believe the Lord wants to show you that if you trust Him, He can surely help you manage your income and to direct you on how to make better decisions about financial matters.”

“You see, I am a believer and a missionary and trust the Lord in all things,” I told her.  “And for the life of me, I can never beat God giving on my behalf.  He’s awesome. He’s full of surprises and today He used you to bless me.  Further more, I know, if you will allow Him to work in your life, He will do the same for you.”

The Sears sales clerk did not say much to me after that.  But she was softly smiling all the while she was writing up the sale.  As she handed me my receipt, she said, “I’ll definitely  remember what you said.  Thank you for your wisdom and advice.  Have a wonderful day.”

I left the store glorifying the Lord.  My short, silent prayer request was instantly answered.  The Lord had set up an opportunity to bring in another one of His sheep into the fold.  I did not have to preach like Paul or scold or condemn.

All I had was the here and now! All I had to do was show some love and compassion.  All I had to do was to spread the Gospel.  And to let people know that what God has done for others, He will do for them.  The Holy Spirit will take it from there.

HIS SECOND STILL SMALL VOICE…

Just before returning home from my shopping trip I decided to stop and get something to eat.  I chose a fast foods taco restaurant and indulged my self with a drink and 2 crispy supreme beef tacos.  As I looked around the eatery, I observed 2 young African American  men as they conversed in their booth while awaiting their order.  They were engaged in a lively conversation full of laughter and slang expressions and having a great time.

But here is what surprised me.

After they retrieved their food orders from the front counter and had returned to their booth, they both bowed their heads and whispered a long silent prayer.  As I watched, I smiled and thought, God, you are still definitely on the scene.  I appreciate Your presence in my life and in the life of these young men.  Praise and thanksgiving is not dead.

Just before I left the restaurant, I walked over to the young men’s table and asked if I could address them.  I commended them for giving thanks in a public place and asked the Lord to continue to bless them.  They both smiled and returned the blessing.  And one of them exclaimed to me that he was a young deacon in his church.

To God be the glory.  And may we all accept our Devine Assignments while here on earth because all we have is NOW!  Yes, to God be the glory for the things He has done.

And How’s your day been?  😊

Scripture Lesson:   It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus’ and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others. Ephesians 2:10

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God Hosted A Luncheon Especially For Me

In the information security industry, professionals have the option of receiving security certifications in a wide array of specialties. These lessons, combined with experience, make for an effective worker and a worthy job candidate.

This week I was reading Pastor Rick Warren’s book entitled The Purpose Driven Life when I received a ‘stay-at-home’ lunch invitation from God.  There were no ifs, ands or buts about it.  My invitation was sent special delivery.

To be honest, at first, I was not aware of what (or WHO) led me to the book, but I was compelled to open and browse through it after reading the sub-title printed on the bottom of the book cover:  “What on Earth Am I Here For?”

So, I opened the book and the page fell on Chapter 12; “Developing Your Friendship With God”.

As I began to read Chapter 12, all I could think of was alphabet soup!  I reference soup because as I have shared with some of my readers, I have been going through a layer of sicknesses that according to the doctors I will be facing for some years to come.  Some home remedies have been suggested that I change my diet and begin consuming lots and lots of soups and salads.

Personally, I was praying and asking the Lord to examine my motives, frame of mind and service to Him.  I was reminding Him of His many promises of contributing comfort and care for His people.  I was seeking a closer walk with Him and His plans for my life.  In other words, I wanted reassurance of our friendship.

God’s response to me was written in the first sentence of Chapter 12:  “(My child,) you are as close to God as you choose to be.” (p. 92)  The Holy Spirit continued to speak and He said; I AM your friend and always will be.  It is up to you to develop your friendship with Me.

THUS BEGAN GOD’S RECIPE FOR OUR LUNCHEON MEAL:  ALPHABET SOUP(*)

(*) And Pastor Warren’s chapter 12 provided our divine recipe.

                        He offers his friendship to the godly.  Proverbs 3:32
A Acceptance Guard against leaving your first love. Phoniness breeds pain
B Bold Ask God to make His request of you plain; take notes
C Confess Tell your Good News story to others. Friends tell friends.
D Deliberate It takes a desire for Him more than anything else
E Energize You must have the energy to pursue
F Frank Don’t forget to mention your faults; be honest when confessing
G Gratitude Be gracious towards others just as He was gracious  and merciful towards you
H Honesty Learn to share your feelings honestly and completely
I Intimate God can handle your boldness and frankness; humility is the key
J Joy Rejoice because you have been freely redeemed
K Kind Do not mistake God’s kindness for weakness.  Stay focused.
L Listen Reframe from being judgmental; evaluate, trust
M Meditating Let your prayer life express your sentiments passionately.
N Negotiate Express any anger or resentment; don’t hold grudges
O Obedience The main characteristic of friendship…keeping the commandments
P Passionate Learn to care about what He cares about
Q Question It’s alright to complain, argue and even challenge…with love
R Release Remember, all things work together for good…desire peace
S Share Expressing your doubts takes you to the next level of intimacy with friends
T Trust Developed over time
U Understanding A true relationship isn’t passive; it is active.  Go, be, do…
V Vivacious Put value on things God values.  Care about others.
W Worship Friends with God does not make you his equal. Worship him not people.
X Exemplary Be an example; imitate Christ; strive for excellence
Y Yearn Obey God not out of duty, but out of love and trust for him
Z Zealous Bitterness is the greatest barrier to friendship…read Psalms…be inspired

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED OUR LUNCH TOGETHER.  TRY THE SOUP…YOU’LL LIKE IT!

Scripture Lesson:  Draw close to God and God will draw close to you.  James 4:8a

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!   

God Knows Your Heart

hands-heart-love-305530

Examine My Heart, Lord!

Now that’s a scary thought!  Especially now, when all eyes and ears are glued to the television…watching the 2020 Impeachment of the President of the United States of America!

Is your heart steadfast on Jesus and His Word?

Are you reminded of the Names Isaiah (9:6) ascribed to Our Coming Lord and Savior: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Are we depending on Him to sort things out?

Are we remembering the scared charge given us in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20)? Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Where is our faith these gloomy days?

I want to encourage all who are under the reading of this blog to take courage!  Rejoice! and again, I say, Rejoice!  Continue to draw men and women, boys and girls to our Savior.

Let your hope be unto the Lord God Almighty.  Let your trust be in Him who created the Heavens and the Earth.  Let your hope be vested in a Higher Entity.  Let not your heart be troubled.

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem and the USA.  Amen

Scripture Lesson:   Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.  Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.  Know that the Lord is God.  It is he who has made us and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.  Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.  For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.  Psalm 100:1-5

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God Specializes In Raising Up People

woman-wearing-red-hat-and-sunglasses-1729931

“Use me, oh, Lord, until you use me up!”

Isn’t it amazing how God raises up certain individuals to do his bidding?  I’m not just talking about imminent tasks, but events that will not happen for generations to come.

And what is more amazing is that when God sets his plans in motion, he rarely changes his mind.  In other words, in God’s sovereignty, we are to understand and believe that God can use anyone or anything to achieve his divine purpose.

I remember a time when I was much younger that I wrote a poem entitled “A World Of Make Believe”.  How unlike God I was when I wrote down my thoughts.  The poem went like this:

Oh, but to be free, oh, but to be unattached, what wondering I would do.  I would travel to far off places and visit cities anew.   I would live in a dream world and pretend to be a queen that ruled over all the lands, all the people and all the seas.

 Bah!  Tis nothing but fantasy with no depth neither reason nor cause; for truly I am satisfied just the way things are.  Nevertheless, something inside me is crying out aloud: “Seek love, adventure and excitement and you will thereby obtain power.”

“For then a swelling in your breast will come from joys you’ve never known, as you gaze out upon the world and turn its love to song.”  Yes, because life is not always a pleasure it causes many-a-woman to dream.  To manufacture make believe of which things she holds high in esteem.

Bah!  Tis nothing but fantasy with no depth neither reason nor cause;  for truly I am satisfied just the way things are. 

Well, obviously, I wasn’t satisfied just the way things were, and that line about ‘power’, strictly rubbish!  The only true thing in the poem to date is that I have traveled to far off places and visited cities anew.

My point is simply this:  When God decided to announce the future for his world, he was very specific as to who would deliver his people, Israel, out of bondage from Babylon.  God chose Cyrus.  God had already shown Isaiah (41:25) this man who would be from the northeast.  And Scripture says that God revealed this man’s name more than two centuries before he conquered Israel from Babylon and the Medes.

Cyrus was a pagan Gentile king who some say was a foreshadow or Jesus Christ.  God put into the mind of Cyrus, King of Persia, not only to deliver Israel from Babylonian captivity, but to also assist them in rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem.

Oh, how I wish that my forethoughts could be so destine to impact the future.  How I wish I could hear more clearly from on high and be more of a true servant for our Lord and Savior.

Please don’t misunderstand me.  God has done marvelous things for me whereof I am mighty glad.  I just want to be used more and more by him.  My prayer is ‘order my steps in your word, King Jesus, order my steps in your word’.  For I am truly available to You.

Always remember, just as God used pagan kings to deliver his people from bondage, he can use you and me.  Amen!

Scripture Lesson: 

 I am the one he has stood by and loved for thirty years. A Prayer, Scriptures On Prayer, Prayer Times, Bible Prayers, Daily Prayer, Bible Verses For Encouragement, Power Of Prayer, Prayer Board, Bible Teachings

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God’s Response To My Question: “What’s Food Got To Do With It?”

What Would Jesus Eat?

(WWJE) What would Jesus eat?  Savor the flavors the Savior tasted!

Did you know that God has a sense of humor?  I found that out a long time ago and the Holy Spirit and I shared a lot of laughs.  But recently, I had been anxious about a lot of things and it made me kind of out of sorts with myself.  Let me share with you my predicament.

Within the past week, I had to endure an impending surgery.  The procedure had been scheduled to be performed after the 2019 year-end holidays and I was good with that.  I celebrated a milestone end of November 80th birthday party; entertained a host of out of town relatives; made lavished accommodations at a popular hotel; partied with a celebrity group of friends and loved ones; and received lots of gifts, cards and congratulations.

During the Christmas season, I received rave revues on a church Christmas play I directed and performed in, along with twelve other ladies from my Sunday School class.  I also gave and received a bundle of lovely Christmas gifts.  And finally, I brought in the New Year on my knees.  Life could not have been better…thank the Lord!

Now its January 2020, and since celebrations and holidays were over, I decided to dedicate some quality time to prepare myself for the scheduled surgery.  I had full confidence in the power of my Lord and Savior to pull me through the ordeal, so most of my meditation time was spent in communing  with God through A-C-T-S…adoration; confession; thanksgiving; and supplication.

I told very few people of my medical condition, but did assemble a group of 6 people (including my Assistant Pastor) to accompany me to the hospital for prayer on the morning of the surgery.

WITHOUT A HITCH, ALL WENT WELL WITH MY OPERATION IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THE NIGHT BEFORE, MY E-MAIL ACCOUNT WAS HACKED AND ALL OF MY SENT, STORED AND SAVED INFORMATION WAS PERMANENTLY DEPLETED BY THE CULPRITS.

That act alone, almost knocked me off my prayer mantra…”Be not dismayed what ere betide.  God will take care of you.”  Now here’s where the humor part comes in.

A few convalescing days after the surgery, I heard the Lord distinctly say, “My child, watch your diet.”  My response was quickened with a response of, “Oh, Lord, what’s food got to do with it?”  Later that evening I went out to a restaurant with a friend and had a delicious crab cake dinner.  Boy of boy, was it yummy!

THE NEXT DAY, I WAS SICKER THAN A DOG AND CONTEMPLATING RETURNING TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM OF THE HOSPITAL…IT WAS JUST THAT BAD!

No, I didn’t hear God say, I told you so.  He’s not that kind of God.  But I was led to research several books in the Bible that listed foods, because with some sicknesses, the body can heal itself when those foods are digested.

God was trying to tell me that everything I am eating is not good for my digestive system nor my health.  So, I am making an appointment with a dermatologist to have an allergy test.  I know that the Lord is looking out for my best interest and my only hope is that I am listening and will receive His instructions.  (All I can say is ‘make it plain, Lord, make it plain.)  The older I get, the thicker the wax gets in my ears.  And believe it or not, when I grabbed my herb book entitled Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss, it automatically opened to information on the herb Angelica.  It said, Tea made from this herb dropped into the eyes helps dimness of sight and into the ears helps deafness.” (P. 199)

     “God”, I said…”You’re funny!”  Grinning Face With Smiling Eyes on SoftBank 2014

Below are some Bible Scriptures I found that seemed as though God sent a message directly to me:

 Bible Verses about Food

Scripture Lesson:     Most Relevant Verses

Ecclesiastes 9:7

Go then, eat your bread in happiness and drink your wine with a cheerful heart; for God has already approved your works.

Psalm 107:9

For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.

Genesis 1:29-30                                                                                                                                        Verse Concepts

Then God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food”; and it was so.

Genesis 18:6

So Abraham hurried into the tent to Sarah, and said, “Quickly, prepare three measures of fine flour, knead it and make bread cakes.”

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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GOD PROVIDES TEACHABLE MOMENTS TO HELP US

Blog - God provides teachable moments

Brown and White Eagle 

“Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.”  Isaiah 40:30-31

While serving the Lord, has there ever been a time that you needed to stop and rest; or to admonish someone for taking too long to grasp God’s principals; or you allowed your pride to do things that you knew were wrong?  I’m certain the answer to those questions are a “resounding yes”!  Nevertheless, I have another question for you.  Did you know that while in that state of rest, teaching, and self-promoting, you still have an obligation, per scripture, that you must be prepared to meet the needs of other people who may interrupt your schedules?  In fact, it is during those times of sabbatical and renewal that God uses as ‘teachable moments’ for his elect.

WHAT DO YOU MEAN, SISTER TEACHER?

While re-reading a couple of biblical passages in the Old and New Testament, I saw something anew.  I saw in Numbers 20:1-11 where Moses struck the rock in order to bring forth water for the Israelites instead of speaking to the rock as he and his brother, Aaron, had been directed by God.  Moses missed an incredible teaching moment because of his short temper.  While Aaron watched silently, Moses did not give glory to God.  Sorrowfully, it was this incident that caused Moses and Aaron not to enter the Promise Land.  (Moses was frustrated with the people God had given him to lead, and Moses lashed out at them instead of showing compassion.)

A second example of God providing mankind a teachable moment is found in Mark 6:30-52.  Here we find the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with 5 loaves and 2 fish.  When the disciples complained to Jesus that there was no food to feed so many people, Jesus’ response was for the disciples to feed them.  The disciples actually felt like the crowd was intruding on their private time with Jesus.

The disciples had a smart-aleck response: “Should we go and buy 200 denarii worth of bread and give them something to eat?”  You see, the disciples were jealous because they wanted Jesus all to themselves in a quiet place.  They even asked Jesus to send the people away.  The disciples had not yet learned that even while in a state of rest, followers of Christ have an obligation to meet the needs of other people who may interrupt their schedule.

Jesus used His demonstration of walking on water to show his disciples that even while He was alone and resting on land, He looked out on the sea and saw that the boat that the disciples was in was being battered and tossed to and fro.  Jesus interrupted His rest, walked out on the sea, stepped into the boat and spoke peace to the waters.  Scripture says Jesus did this because the disciples had not understood about the loaves of bread because their hearts were hardened.

If Jesus’ Disciples needed a teachable moment…what about you?

Are you open to God’s correction?  Are you so proud that you believe that you do not make mistakes when it comes to serving God?  Do you allow pride to get in the way of serving God with a pure heart and an upright spirit?

While reading these passages, I was reminded that Saints of God must always remember to put others first.  Sometimes that is hard to do especially when we are tired and weary.  We feel that we deserve some quiet time.  Some time to refresh ourselves.  But be warned.  That may just be the time God wants to grow you and take you higher in His service.  Moses and Aaron failed the test.  Jesus’ disciples failed the test.  (But remember, in these times of teachable moments, no one’s salvation is forfeited.)

Pray and ask God to make you an instrument of His peace.  I’m guilty, too, and must examine myself.  We all fall short sometimes…but we all must get up, too.  Be blessed my child.

Although the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi is not Scripture, it is befitting for this blog.  Please read and apply the teaching therein.  Converse with God for a deeper understanding.

Click http://www.tgifmasterminds.com every Friday for a new post from the Master’s servant manager…ME!