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Monday, January 15, 2018

God Will Make a Way!

One day, I traveled alone, returning home, and became confused.  I was not sure which direction would take me home.  That was the day I purchased a compass to know my directions. The feeling of lost-ness was overpowering. All I wanted was to be Home! Reassurance came when I neared familiar landmarks.   
So, it is in our journey on this earth. We need a Guide to trust and direct us to our intended destination. The Word of God and Hymns we sing are the sign posts on our journey.  Our light along the way are our brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ.
         Reading and singing the sign posts without understanding of the testimony and import will confuse us. It is when the lyrics touch our hearts with new understanding, we know God is speaking to us and changing us! Over and over, new each time, we hear and learn. Then we know His great love.  The ‘Why’ of His love astounds us. He prepares us for the work He has prepared for us.
         Little did Don Moen know the piano lessons he detested would prepare him to comfort others and share God’s love. Don was unaware, as he opened the Bible and began to read Isaiah 43:18, God would give him a song. I am the Lord, your Holy One, Israel’s Creator and King I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters, making a dry path through the sea.
         As I read this scripture, I wonder…where do I turn when my world is turned upside down? All I want is to do something to right my world again. A lyric, a road sign, flits into my mind-view, “Where do we go, but to the Lord!”
         Isaiah 43 contains the words Don Moen read as he flew across the country to sing at the funeral of his nephew. He wondered what he would say to the grieving family. It happened so quickly. The sister of Don’s wife, and her husband, a doctor, were driving from Oklahoma to Colorado for a vacation with their four young children. The four children, unbuckled their seat belts and lay on the bed in the back of the van to sleep as night approached. At a remote intersection, an eighteen-wheel truck appeared. Neither the drivers of the van or the eighteen-wheel truck saw each other. The truck driver hit the rear of the van with such force, all four children were thrown out, killing the oldest son.
The Dad and Mother found three of the children, but the oldest, nine-year old son was found lifeless nearby. They waited for forty-five minutes for the ambulance. What agony, what thoughts went through the Dad’s mind while holding his son and waited. The mother knew she had to accept this as God’s will or she would turn her back on God and grow bitter.
The next day, after the funeral, the grieving parents were held in Don’s arms, weeping, as he sang the song, God had given him from Isaiah 43:18-19. Our Compass, our Guide assures each of us every step of the way when we trust Him and believe that He is Able. Hebrews 7:24-25 - But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. Therefore, He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

God will make a way
Where there seems to be no way,
He works in ways we cannot see
He will make a way for me.

He will be my guide
Hold me closely to His side.
With love and strength for each new day
He will make a way, He will make a wa

What did God mean in Isaiah 43:19? - For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Just as God delivered the Children of Israel from the evil of bondage, He sent Someone who delivers us from the bondage of sin, Jesus Christ, our Lord! The same God who is written about in Psalm 8:1, O Lord, our Lord, your majestic name fills the earth! Your glory is higher than the heavens.
         What is the new Way God wants us to see?  How can we be sure it is God leading us?  Will we reach the destination we desire? Jesus is the all these questions, for God’s way is to follow Jesus. Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.  If you had really known me, you would know who my Father is. From now on, you do know him and have seen him!” John 14:6-7.
Psalm 16:11 – You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 18:30-32 - God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. For who is God except the Lord?  Who but our God is a solid rock?  God arms me with strength, and he makes my way perfect.
2 Corinthians 3:9-11 - If the old way, which brings condemnation, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new way, which makes us right with God!  In fact, that first glory was not glorious at all compared with the overwhelming glory of the new way.  So if the old way, which has been replaced, was glorious, how much more glorious is the new, which remains forever!


Tuesday, January 09, 2018

Open the Eyes of My Heart, Lord!

        Which of the five senses causes me to be most grateful?  To me, gift of sight is such a blessing. Growing up, I watched my Uncle Jacob read Braille, faces, and food on his plate with his fingers. (Accidents during his youth caused his blindness.)
         Glaucoma causes the blindness of my husband.  This blindness adds to the confusion of his mind. His blindness means he depends on others to ‘see’ for him. Yet, he trusts in Jesus, His Savior, without sight to see.
         Cataracts usually means surgery to remove the blinding growth on our eyes. When we allow ‘cataracts of sin’ grow in our hearts, it dims our spiritual sight of Jesus. Not until we accept Jesus, can He erase and wash away our sin, and we clearly see the glory and power of Jesus.
         Why is it our eyesight dims as we grow older? What is the purpose? ‘Bucket Lists’ of things to see becomes our focus when we have sight!  Then with age, our sight dims. Our spiritual sight becomes clearer to see Jesus. The extraordinary places we choose for our Bucket Lists are often the creation of God, or the gift of constructing something grand. 
         If what we see is simply a check-off list with no further thought leading to worship or spiritually seeing God, of what lasting value is it? Is a ‘bucket list’ simply a hidden longing for Jesus?
         I enjoy the sight of glorious sunsets, falling snow, new green leaves, birds flying in the sky, and new innocent babies. They remind me of the precious ever new-ness of our Lord. Recently, a grandniece sent me a family picture of my grandparents. This photo reminds me of generations of family who opened the eyes of their hearts to see the glory of Jesus.  I enjoy pictures of family memories and the photo of a new great-great grandchild, far away.
         In this praise song, Paul Baloche captures our prayer we have thought and we have prayed.  In the depths of darkness, we long for a hope to draw us out of our darkness and into His light.
         This praise song came as praise prayer, “Open the eyes of our Hearts, Lord, that We May See You!”
         Paul Baloche (born in 1962) realized the spiritual value of these words.  Although he has also written other praise songs, including Above All, Hosanna, and Your Name, he values the way – Open the Eyes of my heart… draws men and women into worship.
         The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes. Psalm 19:18.
         In nearly every case, when the heart is written about in scripture, it is not the physical heart, but the spiritual aspect.  The writer continues, the heart and not the brain, nor the liver or any other part of human flesh is tied to the origin of emotion and conscious. The heart is the center, not only of spiritual activity, but of all the operations of human life. (Eva Marie Everson).

         Open the Eyes of my Heart
         I want to See You
         High and Lifted up
         Shining in the Light of Your Glory
         Pour out your Power and Love
         As we sing Holy, Holy,
         Holy, Holy, Holy,
         You are Holy, Holy, Holy,
         I want to See You
         You are Holy, Lord.
         How much do we hunger and thirst to know Jesus, our Lord? How often do we long to visit with Jesus in prayer? How often does our heart long to belong only to Him? The following are scriptures lead us to contemplate in our quest to be fully His on this Earth.
         Ephesians 1:18- I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance.
         Psalm 95:1-3 - Come, let us sing to the Lord!  Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.  Let us come to him with thanksgiving. Let us sing psalms of praise to him.  For the Lord is a great God, a great King above all gods.
         Matthew 6:22-23 - “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light.  But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!
         Philippians 2:9-11- Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Psalm 119:17-18 - Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.
         James 1:5-6 - If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
         Colossians 1:9-10- So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better.