So Much More

“But because of his great love for us, God, which is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions- it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,”. Ephesians 2: 4-6

Oh they love us! Jesus paid it all, just for us. He went into the pit of hell for every sin ever committed, his suffering we will never really realize. But he did it gladly for each and every one of his children. We may not acknowledge it but he hopes we will. When he raised his son back to life and seated him on the throne next to him to rule and reign forever we were included. You see the horrible debt was paid. Grace was extended to everyone who will accept it. It is not something we do but what he did for us. God looks at those who have accepted that grace with new eyes. He sees us as white as snow. We are heirs to his kingdom just like his son. We need to wrap ourselves around that thought. I can only imagine this throne room. As I say the Lord’s Prayer, as I like to say it each morning. I picture what it must be like. Oh, it would make an awesome scene from a movie. I can see the intense glow radiating in that room, all that glory must be overwhelming. I know when Jesus was transfigured here on earth it blew the disciples away. But also imagine everyone worshipping before them saints and angels all bowing down in humble adoration. This is my God. He wants me to come into his presence. Do you feel what an awesome privilege that is. We’re talking King of kings the one supreme God. Maker of everything. Oh I so want all he has for me. I love being in his presence. I can sit in my room with worship music drowning out all the nursing home noise and it’s just me and God. I listen to each song visualizing each word and I can’t help but cry tears of joy. This world we live in is not our home. We are destined for a much greater life. Oh we have 70-90 years here if we are lucky but what awaits us is just hard to imagine. This morning the pastor of our church tried to help us see how this short little visit to earth is. He described a fish being tugged out of the water. Flopping around on dry land and choking for air. It is not meant to be here, nor are we. We can do the best we can but sin comes and we keep flopping around. I kept hearing the song “This world is not my home”, my treasures are laid out somewhere beyond the blue. Someone else said it’s like taking a camping trip because we are roughing it. No mansions like heaven, and life gets messy at times. We go through different tests that cause us to grow. Now even though it’s camping I want s’mores, fishing, beautiful mountain grandeur and cool pine breezes. In other words I want a full and abundant life. Well I believe God does want that for me too. But I also believe you have to go after it. Go after his presence. It takes work but I’m in. The more time I give to him. The better it gets. I find my priorities really changing. It’s available and we are meant to have it.

Don’t you want it too.

God Is All

“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power

and the glory and the majesty and the splendor

for everything in heaven and earth is yours.

Yours, Lord, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. 1 Corinthians 29:11 NIV

Lord you are so wonderful. Your ways are so good. I am just so grateful you have blessed me so for all of my 60 years. I look at the world around me and it does shout of your glory. You made a masterpiece for us to enjoy each day and I will never take that for granted. I love that you plopped me down in beautiful Arizona. From the beautiful sunsets to the cool tall pines. I could never see it all. Yesterday I got to enjoy our botanical gardens and it was a perfect, sunny, 72 degree day. I saw so many cacti so different and unique. Small to large and some really weird and prehistoric looking plants. Nothing average or boring. You are creative. They had a wonderful butterfly exhibit. I really enjoyed going through this enclosure. I saw thousands of butterflies everywhere. Up close they are so delicate and lovely. They were flying all around me and landing on me. From a huge monarch to tiny little ones. So much to enjoy in this world. The people you have sent into my life, I choose to enjoy each and every one. Friends, family, and those I don’t know yet but long to know better. You have helped me learn the importance of being grateful. Every morning even before I open my eyes, I can come to you and say thank you. A bright new day, maybe cool, or warm, rainy, windy, or snowy(which I sure miss). So much goes into the upkeep of this great planet but you do it effortlessly, because, you designed it so well. You thought of absolutely everything. Scientists try to know things, and they have come quite a long way thanks to you. They will never begin to discover all that you know. Your plans for us are so good. I really enjoy that you sent me to a church that I just love. It is beautiful and it is so good at finding needs and filling them. I am right in the center of what you are doing. You use me even though I am nothing special, just your daughter, and that’s more than enough. I have seen so many answered prayers and you work in some awesome ways. Everyone I meet is made in your own image and I know that you love them, and that you died for them. Help me to see them with your eyes. Thank you so very much.

Do you take the time to be grateful?

A Name

“The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”

Proverbs 18:10 NIV

What’s in a name? Oh, the precious name of Jesus. The sweetest name I know. My God, the creator of Heaven and earth, the one true God. I have been made righteous through the blood of Jesus Christ. I can run to God whenever. He is all that I need and all that I want. Our God has many names and with those names many attributes. God is so efficient that just one name doesn’t begin to describe him. Everlasting Father, he is and was and always will be more than we could ever need. He is with us every minute even until the end of time. Alpha and omega, first and the last, the beginning and the end. This is such a comforting feeling. He is there for us always. Adonai, owner of all. Everything is Gods, everything that was ever made was made by God just for us. God is so good. Holy one, Yahweh, I am, Jehovah, Mighty God, El Shadai, The Word, Messiah, the Light of the world, Cornerstone , Prince of peace, Holy Spirit, Comforter, Creator, Emmanuel, Bread of Life, Savior, Jesus Christ, Yahweh Rapha, Yahweh Nissi, Yahweh Jirah, El Oh Lamb El El Roi, El Quanna, Yahweh Shalom, Yahweh Shammah, Yahweh Roha and so many more. But he is alive and not dead. He is in charge. Everything he says he does, he does. He doesn’t depend on me to do anything on my own. No great things that I must do to make him love me. To prove that I deserve anything. He just asks that I love, and obey him. Which is in my best interests anyway. He always hears me and always answers me. There has never been a god like him, nor will there ever be. He does deserve the highest praise for all he is and does. Many gods claim to do much with no proof. Gods of healing, fertility and abundance, but do they really do anything. They don’t ask us to love others, or even be a selfless loving human being. Someone who can and will make this a better world for all. He is everything we claim him to be and more. I have a track record with him to prove it.

Do you know this amazing God?

Be Light

” And God said, “Let there be Light,” and there was light.” Genesis 1:3 NIV

This one short phrase really says so much. In the very beginning ALL was dark, and there was nothing. When God said this God was very aware of our need for him. We were never meant to live apart from him. In the beginning he walked in the garden with the man and the woman, sharing all he had with them. It was never about us, but everything he can do for us. He made a perfect garden far better than any man could create. The animals he created are more beautiful and unique, but everyone of them has a purpose in this world. They are made just for the environment they were created to live in. Whether it be cold or warm, and flat or rocky. I do not know how you can look at some of these wonders and not think about their creator. Jesus is the light of the world and God is light, in him there is no darkness. Without him there would be nothing. Contrary to many so called wise men who say, “The Earth just happened.” In all its unique perfection and purpose. This is so far from anything that has happened and there would be no way to prove it. We all know man is far from perfect, and to just grasp at straws proves it. The Light of the World spoke and things happened. Amazing and awesome things happened. Their abilities of greatness and wisdom are evident. Everything was taken into consideration. How would the plants be watered? What would the people eat? In the very beginning the world was perfect. Man didn’t need clothes because the climate was moderate. Everyone ate plants and there was no death. Everything they could ever want was available. God has called us to be his light to the world. We are anticipating Jesus great return, but Jesus is waiting for his people to stand up and be that light and be victorious. He has called us to be salt. What this world desperately needs. So many people have become complacent, thinking that the world is just going to get worse. That it’s just too late. But Jesus has asked us to continue sharing the gospel to all till he does return. And we don’t know when that time will come. Tomorrow you may change someone’s thinking by the love you share and they could be saved. If we just give up how will we know just who might have been saved from death. It can be something very simple that finally gets through to them. So don’t give up. Continue to speak hope and love. So many people just don’t know that there is hope or that they are loved. We should never stop being light because this is such a dark time. Even some who call themselves Christians, just do not know the hope that is set before us.

What can you do to be light?

His Workmanship

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 NIV

This week was my yearly vacation to Special Touch Camp. Each year people with disabilities, whether cognitive or physical get to go to a Christ centered camp where for five days we get to do great things that we don’t normally get to do. If you have any handicaps and want to go where you are loved unconditionally and get to do many exciting and different things, I highly recommend it. My favorite is soaking in the hot tub and just relaxing. It is not easy getting me in or out, but whatever you want they make it happen. One year I rode a zip line through the trees and landing in the lake. This year a friend of mine went on the screaming swing, where they pull you way up in the air and let you go screaming all the way. We play games, do crafts, sing, hear great messages and eat great food. Everyone there loves God and loves to serve others. This week we talked about how we are made so perfectly and uniquely. God never makes anything poorly and we are perfect. No two people are alike and we are so loved. At one of the services the pastor gave out beautiful flowers, all different and unique. It made me remember one morning as I sat in the patio praying I had a vision, because I was awake but I saw a beautiful field of millions of different flowers . God told me that is how he sees the people he has made. It doesn’t matter if we have handicaps, addictions, or problems. No matter your color, nationality, or difference God sees you just how he made you. Whatever potential he sees in us makes him smile. Of everything he ever created we are his best work. Created just like him to think, reason and to do great things. He knows the beginning from the end. Though I once made big mistakes he saw just what I would become and do for him. We are all a messed up bunch having our own needs and wants. When we stop worrying about ourselves and start worrying about others and their needs, that’s when God can start meeting our needs beyond our expectations. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. God put in my DNA everything I would ever need to fulfill his purposes for me. I may be in a wheelchair, unable to walk or stand,and to even care for myself. I can’t speak clearly but he has enabled me to do great things for him. Right where he has placed me he has given me many assignments and let me change lives.

Do you know how perfect and wonderful you are?

God’s Provision

“I am the vine; and you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit ; apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5 NIV

This verse has so much to say about our walk with God. Who God is and how he sees his awesome plan for us. God is the one who made us and he is apart of us. We were never meant to be apart from God. Our need of him is so very important in every aspect of our lives. If we want to be all that we can be then we need to cooperate with him. He does know what is best. He has great plans for us. To be a people for himself that will bear much fruit, this fruit is the characteristics and traits that will further his kingdom. We will be loving, joyful, peaceful, long-suffering, gentle, good, meek, temperate, and faithful. These are the fruits he desires to see in us. He uses the example of a grape vine for good reasons. If God is a grape vine then we are connected to him and will produce fruit like his. Grape vines produce grapes. We can not on our own decide to produce some other fruit such as tomatoes. We are to be more like him each day. He decides what we need to be and what is best for all. We also need to stay connected to him. He is our power source. When we do what we want and not what he has asked us to do we will be week, and ineffective . We need to spend time with him. A relationship with him is very important. Anyone you have ever had a relationship with is first, important to you. You spend time together, sharing, the good and the bad together, and grow closer to each other. Another thing about a vine is being connected, always, every day. If you are not connected to him, his vine, you are disconnected. If you are disconnected you will die. It may be a slow, miserable death, but with no nutrients you will die. When a vine dies it is cast off and burnt up. You don’t want to be cast off or dead do you? You will not be very productive if you are dead. As I was reading my Bible today I was in Deuteronomy. The Israelites had just spent forty years wandering in the wilderness and the whole time God provided for them. They were brought out of Egypt in such a mighty way. Even when they faced their first struggles God was strong. Splitting the Red Sea so they walked right through, in the mud, no! The walked on solid, dry ground. He provided water when they needed it, food for thousands of men, women and children. They demanded meat and God sent them quail. Their clothes and shoes held up for forty years and did not wear out. During this time they married and raised families. He kept them safe and strong. Because there were more people after forty years and all the original ones died in the desert. Only Joshua and Caleb remained from the original bunch. When they came into the promised land God fought for them. No matter how big or how strong their enemies were, they did not stand a chance. But he warned them to leave certain people alone. Because he had already blessed them, such as Esau’s family and Lot’s family. Those who God has blessed shall remain blessed.

Do you want to be one of God’s blessed people?

Satisfaction

“I have food to eat that you know nothing about. My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to finish his work.” John 4:32&34 NIV

When you are passionate about something you will find so much satisfaction in doing it that you can forget other things. I sold homes when I was younger and I would get so busy that meal times would come and go and what I was doing was so satisfying that I wouldn’t even notice that I had missed a lunch. I felt I was making a difference in someone’s life and that kept me going. That wasn’t anything that was life changing but it was important to someone. Right now I am so close to God and seeing him do so much. I am so amazed that he is willing to let me be a big part of what he is doing and now I am making a difference. God is so good and I want to do all I can for him. In Matthew it says, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into his harvest field.” Whenever I think of doing God’s work I get excited. I’m saying, “Send me, send me.” I want to be a part of when God is moving. It brings so much satisfaction. He is so busy in so many peoples lives and I just love being a part of it. So many people are busy worrying about what they need or want. “What about me?” When I started running after God and making a difference in others’ lives. Especially wanting to see people growing in their walk with God life got so much more exciting. I didn’t even think much about my needs but they are always being met and exceeded. So many others needs are being met and exceeded also. It is all consuming. I get so excited that I just want to see and do more. Before my stroke I just didn’t get it. I didn’t get involved and I didn’t have a special relationship with God. He might move in a service that I was in and I would see it but I didn’t really understand. Now everything is different. I will never forget the time the music we were singing just lept off the page and I saw every word and what it truly meant to me. I sit up on the front row during worship and the passion and emotion of the worship team seems to flood over me like a tidal wave on the beach. I get so emotional and God’s love is so strong. I just want to be more involved. It is never enough. If I have been praying or given money for a certain need I am so blessed when God moves.

Do you want to be a worker too?