The Old is Made New Again

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Restoration. The word holds hope and joy and of things yet to come.

When my husband was a teenager his stepdad bought this 1960 356B Porsche Cabriolet. At the time it was in perfect working condition, or so we thought. My husband has always wanted this car and his stepdad told him one day it would be his. A few years ago, after we had comfortably settled my father-in-law into assisted living, we brought the car home. The car had sat garaged for many years and began to fall into disrepair. My husband’s intention was to always restore the 356 to its former beauty.

Here are some things we’ve discovered in the process. It is by the grace of God alone that whenever my father-in-law drove this car he was safe. The ‘mechanic’ that had originally restored the car had done so in such a way that if it weren’t for Providence, driving this car could have resulted in a catastrophe.

The other thing we have learned is restoration takes time. A.LOT.OF.TIME. My husband completely gutted the inside of the car, has taken apart all mechanical and moving parts and has spent countless hours cataloguing all parts, researching and locating original or close to original parts as possible, networking with other Porsche restorers and finally coming to the point of putting it all back together. Please don’t misunderstand me, even though many times this task can be frustrating and seem daunting, it brings my husband joy. He loves working with his hands and God has uniquely gifted him with knowledge, wisdom and passion for this type of work. By trade he is an aircraft system engineer and aircraft mechanic.

Restoration. It can be the same in our own life can’t it? Allowing Holy Spirit to completely empty us of who we thought we were in Christ. Taking apart all the working pieces only to make room for the putting back together with a newness in our minds. It isn’t easy and it most definitely can be messy, it can take countless hours of prayer and crying out to God and may even require godly counsel for spiritual and emotional healing.

But God.

But, God promises that after suffering for a little while HE will RESTORE you. He will make you stronger, firmer AND more steadfast.

Precious One, that is truly good news!

Shalom!

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Lingering with God

 

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Do you linger with God? Are you wondering what lingering with God might even look like? I know I was yesterday morning as I was reading this article The Lingerers And The Fragranced Ones Are Catching The King’s Attention” by Dawn Hill.

The word linger means, “to stay in a place longer than necessary, typically because of a reluctance to leave; to spend a long time over something.” I am reminded of King David’s words in Psalm 27:4, One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple. Dawn Hill
Later in the day I was caught pleasantly by surprise as I sat down to listen to a teaching on writing by Lisa Allen over at Compel Training and the title of her teaching is “The Most Important Hour of your Day – Learning to Linger.”
Lisa has many wonderful insights but the core of her teaching for me were these points on what lingering with God might look like. As Lisa explained what her lingering with God looked like I realized that I have been lingering all along but now see it with a fresh set of eyes. I use to be a list checker and call it a day, however, that wasn’t really spending time with God it was completing a task. Since I can sometimes be tempted to go back to list checking, I like the flexibility of lingering. Lingering helps me to remember there isn’t a right way to spend time with God. He simply wants you to come and seek Him and he will show you how He wants to spend this special time with you.
  • Have a special place that you go to sit in the presence of God, making sure it is comfortable but not overly so that you are too comfy and could possibly fall asleep.
  • Have all you essentials at your finger tips.
    • Any devotions that are speaking to you at the moment.
      • for me this includes “Power of a Praying Parent” and “Praying for Your Adult Children” both by Stormie Omaritan, and “Jesus Always” by Sarah Young.
  • A book that you are reading that furthers your spiritual growth.
    • I’m currently reading “The Letters in Red A Study on the words of Jesus” by Lee Wilkerson.
  • Bible study material perhaps something you are studying on your own or with a small group/life group.
    • I’m working on “Nehemiah a heart that can break” by Kelly Minter. Great study by the way!
  • 3×5 cards. I like to buy the pack with all the different colors. As I’m reading Scripture and a verse(s) stand out at me I write them down as prayers over my family.
  • A journal to record what you feel Holy Spirit speaking to your heart.
  • A Bible or two and different translations.
    • My go to favorite is my NIV study Bible prior to 1984.
    • The Message, although this is not an official translation, I really like to easy to understand thoughts of The Message.
  • Worship Music.
  • Sermon or training podcasts. This is ought to be used with great care, only because we can become distracted by this tool and the result is it takes away from our lingering with God rather than contributing to our growth.

I hope this has encouraged you! Please leave some ways that you linger with God in the comments.

Shalom!

 

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The Kindness Factor

 

Screen Shot 2017-03-12 at 4.08.08 PMHate is a very strong word. In our family we like say, “dislike with great intensity.” I dislike with great intensity how the ways of this world can sometimes cause us to be suspicious.

This afternoon I was in line at the grocery store. The man in front of me kept turning around in my direction and clearly invading my space and I was becoming very uncomfortable. Just before it was his turn he walked away and the checker was left asking me whose groceries were next. As it turns out this man comes back with his wife who has a separate basket of groceries and quite a bit more than her husband had already put up on the conveyor belt, in fact my groceries were already there as well. I told the man’s wife to go ahead of me to which she was very grateful.

Her husband came up to me and told me I was too kind. I replied, “The world needs a little more kindness.” He said, “I hope I can return that kindness sometime.” I told him, “Yes, pay it forward.” He touched his wallet and very kindly said, “You want me to pay for you?” I smiled and said, “No, pay the kindness forward!”

There is so much animosity these days, especially across social media. It was nice to experience God’s grace even as he was gently reprimanding me for my earlier suspicions.

Precious One, that is why it is so important for us to be continually connected to The Vine; to Jesus. Only He can calm our emotions and show us the good in every situation.

Shalom!

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Open The Floodgates!

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Last year, in an attempt to conserve water and because our state was in a severe drought, we set our sprinklers to come on once a week; just enough to give our plants a drink and hopefully keep them a brownish green.

The summers here can push upwards of 100+ degrees, and even though we live relatively close to the bay, we have micro climates causing the differing temperatures around this region. Needless to say, our plants began to die. I decided to start pulling out the dead plants to prepare our yard to become drought resistant. I started working on a fern like plant that was completely dead and thought that it would simply come up out of the ground with little to no effort. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was relying on the presumption of my first mistake and rather than test the ease of pulling this dead plant out, I grab a hold of it and yanked. Now, mind you, I was wearing some heavy duty, industrial strength gardening gloves; not those dainty gloves with cute designs of flowers and flower pots and gardening tools. There is nothing wrong with those glove, in fact I have owned many in my passion for gardening days.

Did I mention this dead plant had very dead thorns that were still as sharp if the plant had been alive? During my second mistake one of those thorns pierced through my heavy duty industrial strength gloves and into my skin. Thankfully, I was able to get the thorn out and continue my work.

Months later I realized that my finger was still sensitive where the thorn had gone into my skin and realized there was still a piece of the thorn left! With the help of some essential oils I was able to retrieve the rest of that pesky thorn.

Sensitive. That is how the subject of tithing can be. Very sensitive. I mentioned in this blog post about a Bible software I had been wanting and received a complimentary download of the basic package. It was while using this software that Holy Spirit began to speak to me about tithing from a verse in the book of Joel. I know, I was surprised as well and I love when He connects verses together and they walk hand in hand like the best of friends!

The seed shrivels under the clods; the storehouses are desolate; the granaries are torn down because the grain has dried up. Joel 1:17.

This verse reminds me of Malachi 3:10. While the NT does not comment on how much we ought to tithe, only that God loves a cheerful giver, signaling that we, indeed, ought to give.

And what does God say he will do when, we stepping out in faith, bring the full tithe to him? He tells us to test him. The Sovereign King of all heaven and earth and everything in it tells us to test Him and see if he will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that there will not be room enough to store it! When was the last time you tested God with your tithing? Do you trust Him to do what he promises and to be Who He says he is?

The storehouses in Joel 1:17 were desolate because God’s children had turned away from God and having turned away they also stopped giving back to God.

Thank God for giving you the faith to bring your full tithe to Him so that there will be always be food in his house and wait expectantly as he pours out a blessing so large you will simply have to give more back to Him because you will not be able to contain it!

Precious One you were set apart to have faith that God will do what he promises and to believe He is Who he claims to be.

Shalom!

Use Your Words

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Earlier this morning as I was praying I was thinking about an encouragement that I see often across social media in various forms. The thought is if we are meeting with resistance or experiencing push back then surely God is getting ready to bless us. I’m still looking for where that is specifically in Scripture and if you have any verse references please leave them in the comments.

Resistance and push back are simply part of the enemy’s plan to lie, cheat, steal and destroy.  Especially when we begin to choose to go deeper into an intimate relationship with God. Satan doesn’t want us to know one iota more about our identity, authority or inheritance in Christ than we currently do because he knows what that will look like for him and glory to God it isn’t pretty!

As I continued to pray this morning I heard Holy Spirit gently whisper, “You push back, you resist.” In a moment’s notice my prayers did an about face and I began to fight back in prayer like the mighty warrior that I am.

Spiritual warfare is so real that is why it is so important to be in God’s word everyday. Holy Spirit infuses you with Scripture that he imprints on your heart and in your soul and when the moment is called for He brings the right verse to mind. He gives us His words for the battle.

Precious One, as the old saying goes, “Them’s fightin’ words!”

Shalom!

 

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