Old Men and Women Shall Dream Dreams

In the book of Joel there is a Scripture about the elderly dreaming dreams when the Spirit of God pours out His Spirit. It’s in Joel, chapter two, verse twenty-eight.

Today, when I thought about an older spoon I chose to stir my tea, wondering if it’s a cancer risk to use it, felt sure that God’s still small voice said, “Do I not see you and have I not taken care of you?”

I answered Him, “Yes, my God,” which reminded me of a dream from the other morning, a warning. An unsettling series of pictures and reactions.

I dreamt before waking up the other day. A dog-like creature in a cage with black severe eyes. Pointy ears, long pointy snout, and a very long tail, I knew it was Satan.

Before long, I became accustomed to him. He was out of the cage and some of my dread of him was gone.

Later, he’s rolling in the grass and I’m walking along looking at him acting harmless. Then, I woke up!

I felt alarmed that the most evil creature in all of creation whom Jesus said about in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy,” that creature felt so familiar.

Jesus continued to say in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

God is loving, strong, compassionate, and speaks clearly in Joshua 24:15, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

In verse 20 of Joshua, chapter 24, God says through Joshua, “If you forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.”

God has blessed America so much over the years, it’s rather incredible. Not that everyone is well off, we have our poor in America. When the Pilgrims came to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean from England via Holland, they were escaping from persecution for their Christian faith. They dedicated this continent to God and found friendship and help to live from the Native Americans that occupied the land before them. Thus, we celebrate Thanksgiving the last Thursday in November as a remembrance of God’s grace in keeping them alive.

Today, when visiting my daughter, she was listening to a report from Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. He described a temple built in New York City dedicated to Baal, one of the gods warned against by Joshua! Baal followers threw their children in the fire to their “god” Baal.

Americans have thrown babies and some of their moms to their death, so to speak, in abortion clinics across the land. God became furious with the Jewish people for leaving Him to follow false gods and for burning up thousands of their children to serve Baal. Imagine how He feels about Americans that have murdered over 63 million babies to the god of convenience, our own Baal.

The Israelis found themselves captured by aggressive, harsh captors and taken an incredible distance to ancient Babylon. Will Americans wake up and repent and return to a gracious, merciful God or will they rebel against God, ignore the enemy of our souls and suffer under the hands of conquerors?

After my dream of the other day, I sought God today as I haven’t for a while. Not that I haven’t been praying and reading Scripture, but today I quieted down to listen and to pray for this grand country that is filled with moral chaos in the minds and hearts of some. I fasted television and blogged according to God’s direction.

May God bless you and yours.

Marriage Helps

 

 

 

https://www.focusonthefamily.com/media/daily-broadcast/managing-marriage-conflicts-in-healthy-ways will take you to a site that enables you to hear their daily broadcast on September 26, 2017 at Focus on the Family radio.

 

It features Greg Smalley and his wife Erin, talking with the show’s host, Jim Daly. The featured resource that Focus on the Family offers in connection with the program is pictured below:

 

Erin, Greg and Gary Smalley wrote book, The Wholehearted Wife: 10 Keys to a More Loving Relationship, which was published by Tyndale House, Carol Stream, IL and copyrighted in 2014.

 

The Smalley’s and Jim Daly discussed the benefits of conflict and the dangers of unrestrained conflicts that cause harm.

 

“Focus on the Family” radio’s input blessed our family dynamics numerous times over the decades that I’ve listened to them and to the experts they interviewed. If you’ve never heard their broadcast, I invite you to check them out now.

May God bless you.

Listening Skills, II

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Have you ever noticed that before you say something if you start meditating on God and His ways, you may change your mind and your words? I asked my husband to go to a store 50 minutes away from home because he was going to be nearby.

He agreed but didn’t want to because I needed one and a half yards of 45 inch wide fabric to make a curtain for a door. I wrote out the size needed, cut off a swatch of the remnant and told him he could ask the saleslady. Usually he calls me, but my note told him to ask for advice. My mistake was forgetting she was a SALESlady. They didn’t have 45 inch wide fabric – it was 44 inch wide fabric. I would have said, “Fine.”

She said, “Let’s go to 92 inch wide fabric or somewhere near that width. As she measured for the yard and a half, they came to the end of the bolt. “Would you like the extra yard at the end for half price?”

“Okay,” he said.

When he got home with a large plastic bag with lots of folded fabric inside, my eyebrows lifted. “Here’s your fabric. I don’t like shopping in a store mostly for women.”

“Why didn’t you call me?” I asked after he explained his purchase. He might have said, “Be glad I got it for you.”

I don’t remember.

I told my daughter. From my peripheral vision I saw him standing there, listening. I snuck into another room and called my other daughter. Now I’m telling her that I’ll certainly have enough fabric and there he was to get something and he’s listening.

So, I prayed about it and thought about it. Just because I’m trying to eliminate clutter, it’s not that big of a deal. I did thank him for going out of his way a bit and taking the time on a busy day.

The next day I’m telling a friend at church but now I’m saying, “Maybe there’s a reason for the extra material,” and he comes into the room and this time he joins the conversation and we’re laughing.

I did buy fabric for curtains for another room and I told the young girl I needed more than the bolt held. She assured me that there was plenty. I bought it at a store an hour from home and sure enough, the length was off. I called some fabric stores and got online to find there wasn’t any available. This extra material may allow me to add some length.

The thing I realized is how often my husband listens to me when I’m unaware.

Occasionally I’ve started to relay something and he’ll say, “I know, I heard you on the phone.”

This got me thinking of verses Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34, (ESV): “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Mat 12:35  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

Mat 12:36  I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Mat 12:37  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Being an extrovert, words come easily to me at times, and one day I got worried. My spouse said if I spoke in a way that offended God, repented and asked forgiveness, I wouldn’t need to be concerned on judgment day. Big sigh of relief!

Not only have I found out that my husband listens to me when I’m not sure he is, but I realized that he’s good at reading non-verbal communication. If I’m mad about something but I’m not sure if it’s a good time to bring it up, he’ll see me avoiding eye contact, biting my lower lip and being extraordinarily quiet, possibly tapping my foot or doing other restless gestures. Then he’ll ask, “What’s the matter?”

I got online today to see what Focus on the Family’s website had to say about communicating. I read two articles out of many, and here’s the link to one of them: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/effectively-communicating-with-your-husband

I enjoyed what I read, but it just helped me to springboard to this idea for this blog. Although I couldn’t find the reference, one comment about communicating being hard work struck a chord with me. When I’m tired, I have to force myself to pay attention to the other person and to try and decipher what they mean.

Hope you’re communicating effectively. May God bless you!

On Kindness

I got off track reading a Proverb a day, so I thought I’d get back to it today. I went to Proverbs 31 and then flipped to Proverbs 1. I had to quit at Proverbs 3 because I promised someone I’d do them a favor today. As I read Proverbs 3:3,(ASV)  Let not kindness and truth forsake thee: Bind them about thy neck; Write them upon the tablet of thy heart:, I got thinking that the words “kindness and truth forsake thee:” have not grabbed my attention in the past. I was always ready to go on to verses 5-8.

Pro 3:5  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

Pro 3:6  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Pro 3:7  Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

Pro 3:8  It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones.

I went to a funeral this week and I transported some food for people that couldn’t drive to the meal after the committal. The lady working at the funeral parlor said I was kind. I got thinking that a Christian ought to be kind.

It says in Luk_6:35, (KJV): But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.

I really enjoy getting to know God more even though sometimes it’s scary. He is loving and kind, yet He’s huge and He knows everything and He’s strong and He’s God!

I hope you have a blessed day.

 

 

 

Reasoning

Yesterday I wrote about trusting in the Lord with all our heart and not leaning on our own understanding from Proverbs 3:5.

 

I thought how God asks us in Isaiah 1:18 (KJV), to “Come, let us reason together,” saith the Lord, “though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be white as wool.”

 

God encourages people to get to know Him. Proverbs is filled with references from Solomon to his sons to seek Wisdom – one of God’s attributes.

 

In Proverbs 16:16, (KJV) it says, “How much better is it to get wisdom than gold! and to get understanding rather to be chosen than silver!”

 

In Matthew 6:33, (KJV), Jesus says: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

 

He’s telling His followers not to worry about food and clothing. God will provide. Jesus also told believers in Luke 6:38, (KJV),  “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

 

That’s why believers have a faith walk. God’s directions contradict the world’s directions. When I’ve tested God’s Word, it’s been true.

 

My newborn son many years ago contracted Echo Virus, which destroyed 90 % of his liver. The infection specialist at a major university hospital told us the virus could move and destroy his heart or other major organs.

 

My husband and I didn’t break down crying or behave like we were in the middle of a crisis. She said, “Do you hear what I’m telling you?”

 

We assured her that we heard her clearly. We told her we were praying for our son and trusting in God. She shook her head and walked away.

 

It took thirty days before God healed our son and our faith and our emotions hit highs and lows. When my faith climbed the summit, his faith might be at rock bottom, and vice-versa.

 

Even our nine year old daughter prayed when I couldn’t believe for an IV to be removed from the baby’s scalp. The Lord answered her prayer!

 

Reading in Psalm 34:8, (KJV), I found, “O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”

 

It’s our choice.

 

God bless.

 

 

 

Savoring the Magic

Today started like any day might, but it turned into a day of joyful encounters with unexpected friends at a family reunion picnic. My sister invited a good friend and her daughter to the event but didn’t let me know. What a delight!

Then within a half hour or so, my daughter and her four children arrived. She drove her brother, my second son, to the picnic as well. More joy. Seeing extended family and family-like friends, plus my sister, Barb, made my day.

My husband and I drove on a newly paved highway through the valleys of upstate New York. My youngest daughter and her boyfriend accompanied us and we discussed the hilly terrain. Are they small mountains or high hills? I tried to find out on the internet, but it was inconclusive, in my opinion. So, I’ll do more research. That’s what writers do. We care about details that others may find boring or a waste of time. Then we ponder the wonder of it all. Give it our perspective and possibly turn it into a poem or a children’s story or consider it for a setting in a novel. Sometimes I have to remember to live in the moment because my mind starts fashioning new worlds and pretend people and I realize I missed what someone was saying, or I didn’t glance at the stars when I went from the car to the house.

If I live in a fantasy land, the important can be neglected. I remembered saying I was going to read the book I bought at Montrose Christian Writers’ Conference, entitled, “The ABC’s of Who God Says I Am,” by Kolleen Lucariello. So, I read chapter one this week. I thought of the vulnerability she displayed as she described an incident in her high school years. Marlene Bagnull taught at a writers’ conference in Rochester, NY, possibly in 1991. My first writers’ conference. She told us that vulnerability in an author is a key component in good writing.

I look forward to reading more of Kolleen Lucariello’s book. It made me think. I left its pages feeling encouraged.

If you get a chance to spend time with family and friends, savoring their smiles and the sunshine on a creek, hoisting little ones to view the seaweed and the black and jade-colored dragonflies, do it. Live in the present, and if you’re a writer, capture the magic of life.

When the reality of life gets hard, a story can catapult me into another time and place. I return with renewed vigor and hopefully some nugget of truth I never appreciated or understood before. Life needs balance.

Tomorrow morning, I plan to go to church and sing songs that remind me of the goodness of God. I expect it’ll be as most of the Sundays that have come and gone, but one never knows what God may orchestrate. 🙂