Taking Him at His Word

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He is Risen!

He is Risen, indeed!

Alleluia!

When I struggle to accept someone’s word it is because I have been tricked before. When my trust has been violated it makes it very difficult for the next person to get a fair shake. Even though I have trust issues for good reason, I have always been able to take God at His Word. I am thankful for that faith He planted in me through baptism and nurtured through the years.   I love His work in my life even if it is difficult during the process. Looking at the betrayal of Jesus and all the other painful events of Good Friday, I can see what God has done (and is doing) for me. Right now.

Today.

And He has done it for you, too!

On the Road,

Liz

Here are a few promises to hang onto:

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Road Conditions

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This was a great road, except for the fog.

Anytime I travel somewhere, I notice whether the roads are new, renewed, or in need of repairing.

If I am in a vehicle that has bad shocks and I am on a bad road, well, it can be an unpleasant experience. But set me on a well-maintained or new road with a well-maintained car and the trip might be pretty smooth. Of course, weather plays a role. On our recent trip we traveled through fog, rain, sleet, snow, and icy conditions. We also watched cars swerve, travel too fast or too slow, and many drivers just not paying attention. I am often doing more than simply driving when I am in the car; sometimes I am snacking or singing or even just thinking. When I think about it, there are so many factors that play into a safe and enjoyable road trip. Some of those factors have little to do with me while others are definitely in my control.

  • Do I do regular maintenance on my vehicle?
  • Do I know where I am headed?
  • Do I have my travel plans mapped out?
  • Am I prepared for weather challenges?
  • Have I factored in other delays?
  • Do I have resources for an emergency?
  • Do I have enough fuel (for both me and the vehicle) for the trip?
  • Am I rested?

I can feel I am as prepared as I can be but there are always outside factors that can make an impact. Put a well-maintained vehicle on a terrible road and in bad weather conditions and it is still going to be an unpleasant trip.

But if I can remain calm and steady, it definitely helps.

Life seems like that too.

The outside conditions can change – and do – frequently. What I have control of is my response and an accurate sense of my own “condition”.

  • Am I rooted in God’s Word?
  • Am I grounded in God’s spiritual truths?
  • Am I aware of His love for me (and others)?
  • Have I watched Him give me His grace and His perspective on difficult things I have experienced previously?
  • Do I adjust my course when I see myself headed down a dangerous path filled with temptations to sin?

As I was reading Ephesians 3 today, this was one of the verses stood out for me:

 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. Ephesians 3:16-17a

When God’s Spirit is strengthening my inner being, I can deal with quite a bit of junk. How I respond to circumstances can be evidence for His work on my inner being. I can definitely tell where I am rooted by the way I respond to circumstances.

Have you had your own response to a situation that was evidence of God’s work on your inner being?

When I have a response that defies human understanding, I know it is God working on my heart because apart from him, I cannot do it!

On the Road,

Liz

Seasons….of Vulnerability

The very young, the elderly, and the infirm are the ones I think of first when I think of vulnerability. They each are dependent for someone else looking out for their needs and protecting them from dangerous situations. Or when people are battling illness–they are susceptible to other infections and their resistance is down. For some, it is the difference between life and death if they are exposed to the wrong germ.

But there are many other ways to be vulnerable and it seems for every vulnerability there is a predator looking for someone in a tender spot, accessible and with lowered defenses:

a lonely child
those struggling with depression
a widow or widower making sense of their new life
parents who have a child with a disability
anyone walking through a season of grieving
a motherless or fatherless child seeing a role model
anyone walking through a season of extended illness
a recent immigrant with limited language skills
those recently released from prison
a single parent looking for parenting help
those recently returning from active duty in our military

Looking back on your life you may be able to clearly see your moments (years?) of vulnerability. Maybe you were vulnerable due to life situations that were out of your control. Maybe you made some choices that left you open to some ugly stuff. Do you see any vulnerable people around you that could use your prayers for protection? An offer of friendship? A cup of coffee and a brainstorming session? Sometimes the vulnerable just need help knowing where to go for resources and sometimes they need a discerning ear to help them navigate through a difficult season. Surely there is someone you know who is struggling and vulnerable who at least needs your prayers!

The devil is a schemer. And we are often too arrogant to think we can fall prey to his antics. Oh, he is clever — using us against ourselves. How can we resist him? By being on our knees and with our nose in The Book. If we are standing on His solid ground then we are in a good position to help someone else get connected with what they need to navigate through this difficult life.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist,with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. [Ephesians 6:10-18]

PrayerPoint ~ Love ~ March 3

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But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

It is unfortunate that we use the word love so casually in the English language. In the context of Scripture love takes on a much different intensity. When encountering the inevitable challenges of life, it is only in the strength of the Holy Spirit that we can truly love to the depth and lengths that might be required of us. And when we ponder His love for us we can get a glimpse of the true meaning of love.
Fruit of the Spirit implies a long standing connection. Before there is any fruit, there must be a root. As you are contemplating the upcoming garden season, let’s let the Holy Spirit awaken us to the seeds, roots, and fruits that will reflect our Heavenly Father.
For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. 

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.  Ephesians 3:14-21 NIV


Letting His seeds take root so we can share His fruit!

Liz