God’s Love

My husband and I met friends for lunch today. Both men rushed to pay the bill, but our friend spoke seconds sooner to the waitress, so she called it. We got treated again. The last time we met them for lunch, I asked the man, “Will you ever let us pick up the tab?”

He smiled and said, “No.”

My husband was asking me to hurry so we could beat them to the restaurant, but I was mopping the kitchen floor. I forgot that he intended to get there before them to alert the waitress that we would be buying. We got there before the intended time, but she had written the wrong time in her planner because they tend to run late. She forgot she put in the reservation as half an hour earlier, and they did run late, but they were seated a few minutes before we arrived.

Part of the pleasure of seeing our friends is that we have a lot in common. Yet, we’ve known them long enough to discuss things we don’t agree upon and listen to each other and think it through. If we still have differing opinions, we don’t care. It’s not going to rock our world.

The man began talking about the love of God. He had planted some rose bushes together at his home. One was dwindling to a small root and not much above it. His wife was ready to dig it up and throw it away. He wanted to give it another chance. So, he dug it up after he’d made a huge hole in the ground away from the other rose bushes. He placed rich soil in the hole first, added some peat moss, if I remember correctly, added the half dead plant into the ground, covered it gently and then fertilized it and watered it. It began to prosper, to quote the fellow. His wife said, “You should see those roses now. They put the other ones to shame. Of course, he’s out there babying it all the time. Aphids better not come near.”

“That’s right,” he said. “If aphids attack the other roses, I’ll say, oh, they’ll be okay. But let an aphid land on this plant, I’ll pick off the ones I can see and then I’m out there spraying the bush to kill the bugs.”

To my amazement, he said, “That rose bush withered and dying reminds me of me before I found Christ. I didn’t even know I was miserable and hungry for God before I found Him. Then He led me to Him, dusted me off and started prospering me. I’d never be where I am today if it weren’t for Christ. I’d be nothing without him.”

He said it so humbly and so sincerely, it brought a tear to my eye. This man is a business man. I’ve only known him as prosperous and caring. One time we were eating a meal in a nice restaurant and a young couple came in. They sat in the table next to ours and when they went to leave, none of their credit cards worked. When he became aware, he paid for their meal. After they left, he said whether they pulled a scam on him or not, it didn’t matter, because he paid for the meal with money that God allowed him to earn. He counts his possessions as belonging to God and on loan to him and his family. Obviously his wife agrees. They are wonderful partners.

My husband said, “God is jealous for us. I understand that because of being married. It’s a good jealous, wanting us for Himself and protecting us and keeping us on the narrow path away from the harm of the evil one.”

“That’s how God is with us. He watches over us. He’s there for us,” our friend said.

We all agreed with him because we’ve seen God care for us in many circumstances. We’re all getting older. We’ve lived through some difficult times and that is when we appreciate God the most, when we’re at the end of ourselves, we decided.

My husband’s mom’s favorite Scripture was Psalm 91, which is all about God watching over us and caring about us! I love that.

Whenever we see our friends, we talk of so many things – the state of the business world as he sees it – he travels extensively, the state of the Union – the United States of America, whatever insights he’s discovered in the Word lately. His wife blesses us big time, too, although she’s the quietest of the four of us. They care about God, they care about us, they care about others and they keep up with the times. It makes for fascinating discussions. Lord willing, we’ll see them again in the winter months.

It’s always iffy when the snow flies, but NYS is prepared for winter weather and we drive through most of it. The only time our counties close down for snow days is when the wind and snow are so bad it’s impossible to see, or if the snow has gotten so high quickly that cars and trucks get buried in it before the snow plows can clear the roads. That’s pretty rare.

May God bless you and keep you, no matter what is going on in your life.

Events in a Day

 

I woke up this morning with chores and responsibilities on my mind. After I ate some breakfast, I started doing some of them, but I wanted to get into the Word. I looked for a Bible study book and did some short items on my list here and there.

Later, I began hunting online for a Dragon Speak system by Nuance for my computer because after placing an ad in the Shopper, a man called for me to transpose something and to do some light editing. He wanted to know how fast a typist I am, and I had to tell him that I don’t know. I write about six days a week and type most of those days, so I’m not a slow typist. My sister is a professional typist and I mentioned that I am not as fast as she is. So, he told me he had this Dragon Speak system on his computer that enables him to speak the information into it, so he doesn’t have to type it all out from the notebooks.

I asked why he doesn’t keep at it. He doesn’t have the time. He’s hired me to do this project for him and he bought the software for my computer, an upgraded version than his own since I’m a writer. I gotta tell you. I felt blessed by God. He went on to say that in his business he does not buy items that are used by householders. He buys professional quality.  Then he paid by PayPal, so I had to set up a business account to receive payments from customers. That took some time.

Around five-thirty, my husband left for a meeting and I got thinking I’d start supper for when he got home. He had a late lunch. I called my daughter to see how her day was going and she asked if she’d called me. “No.”

“I wanted to invite you to a ladies’ house that is hosting a Bible study with a missionary couple from India. It’s dish to pass for the evening meal.”

“What time is the meeting?” I asked. At 6:30.

I had started a sink full of dishes that I was determined to finish. I told her I’d show up, but I might be late. So, I started a rice dish for the gathering and a crockpot of soup for my husband’s supper. He likes soup. Cut up an onion for this pot, cut more for the crockpot. Add butter and oil to the onions on the stove for the rice dish and stir like mad. Leave that and start chopping carrots and celery.

Then the phone rings. It’s my daughter. Can I pick up my son-in-law at the grocery store? His car died. Okay, tell him I’ll be at least ten minutes.

Later on, in the dark I find my son-in-law’s car easily enough and he’s inside. He brings his store bought salads since they both worked that day. As we get closer to the home, I begin to realize that I haven’t been there in such a long time, that I would have gotten lost. He knows the way.

Sunday night his car broke down, so they attended our evening service at church. They said it was a God ordained breakdown. They were tired and would have driven right past our building and gone home.

Tonight, as I dropped him off I told him if he hadn’t been in the car, I would have been in trouble. He said it was another God ordained breakdown and he was sure his car would start. I waited to see. It started up immediately and off he went. They almost bought a car a few weeks ago, and God prevented them from buying it, it was a scam. Fortunately, they bought the wrong kind of pre-payment card and the scammers couldn’t cash those. The company refunded all of their money. God watches over them!

I didn’t intend to go to a Bible study, but I got blessed big time. I hope if your day gets rearranged by the Lord or by circumstances beyond your control that it will work out for good.

Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses:  Rom 8:28, (KJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

May God bless you.

Does God Provide for Everyone?

One of my daughters mentions that God is a wonderful provider almost once a week. Her husband started a business so their income depends on other people buying his services. He works hard and does a good job, so that helps his business.

This week a friend hired her to watch her children for three days while her regular babysitter takes a break. Last week my husband offered her a lawnmower that belonged to his dad, who passed away over five years ago. The mower has hardly been used and he usually bought good quality items, so she said, “Yes.”

Her husband told her later when they spoke that they didn’t really need it; they have one. She didn’t tell her dad never mind. When their lawnmower died this week, she called to brag on God, again.

I see Him providing for so many people that seem financially stuck that it’s not hard for me to ask God to move on their behalf. When Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He started out, “Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name….”

Our Father – I’ve heard some say with reverence – “He’s my heavenly Daddy.

I get why He blesses her. As a human mom, it delights me to give my kids and grandchildren necessities and sometimes I even spoil them. So since God is our heavenly Father, He likes to shower us with blessings and He makes things out of things we can’t even see as it says in Romans:

Rom 1:20, (KJV): For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse…:

And again in Colossians it mentions that God created all things:

Col 1:16, (KJV) For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

Col 1:17  And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Col 1:18  And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.

Col 1:19  For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;

It’s speaking here of Jesus. Praise God.

Anyway, the thing about God’s spiritual laws is that they work for believers and non-believers. In the book of Malachi, the Jews were reminded to tithe and not rob God. He also tells them that if they give, God will open the windows of heaven and have man pour into their lap:

Mal 3:8, (KJV)  Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Mal 3:9  Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation.

Mal 3:10  Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Mal 3:11  And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

Mal 3:12  And all nations shall call you blessed: for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith the LORD of hosts.

My children have never been hungry because they are all givers. They may not all attend church regularly or even tithe, but they have a heart to help when they see people in need. My daughter gave away a kitchen set because her pastor didn’t have some furniture when they first moved here. She gave it away knowing she would need something herself before long and her husband agreed to it. As soon as her former boss heard she gave the set away she said, “I have a set from an estate from my parents tucked away. You can have that one when you’re ready.”

She hadn’t even moved out of her tiny apartment yet.

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

He had been admonishing the Jewish people not to worry about clothing and food. He told them God would provide if they would seek Him first.

Many people that don’t seek God work hard and earn good money and they see their neighbor in need and buy them groceries or see starving children in Africa on the television and send money to organizations to feed the children. God pours out His blessings when those with resources give to the poor and to the widow.

My husband also reminded me that the Word of God says He gives to the just and the unjust. Why bless thieves? Maybe He likes to give out of a loving heart. Maybe He knows eternity is going to be awful for them so He wants them to enjoy a tiny particle of time here on earth. I don’t know. He knows everything.

Well, I’ve typed beyond midnight again. I get thinking of so many aspects of God’s character, I write more than I anticipate.

May God bless you. Sorry it’s so long if you stuck with it.

Traveling through New York State

Image result for catskill mountains

My husband and I drove through the Southern Tier to get to Poughkeepsie, NY last week to go to a conference there. The Catskill Mountains towered over our small sedan. Many of the cities end with the word kill. I searched the web to find that “kill” at the end of a location refers to a body of water, like a creek and is from the Dutch influence in America.

We ate a great sub soon after we entered Fishkill, NY. Sal’s Pizzeria and Restaurant caught our eye. We both ordered eggplant subs, mm good. Friendly service made the stop worth making and bears repeating if we head that way again.

Craig and I order the same thing at Rico’s Pizza shop in the Southern Tier and their’s is excellent, too.

This is my season to get around. Craig and I went to Buffalo to see our daughter, the grandkids, our son and my two sisters. One of my sisters moved to TX shortly thereafter. I wanted to see her before she headed to warmer climates. I admit, I cried a bit at the idea of her being gone. Part of the reason is because my youngest sister died almost a year and a half ago, so my siblings feel more precious to me.

Sometimes I take family for granted. As a Christian, I have brothers and sisters in Christ that I rub shoulders with on a daily basis, so maybe that’s why I lose track of the real deal when life gets busy.

But there’s something about blood relatives with the same history, some of the same memories, different slants on shared events. It adds a deeper dimension of relationship, a richer hue from the artist’s palette, so to speak.

I love every one of my brothers and sisters even though we’re separated by miles and sometimes philosophies. They show their love for me in kindness and hospitality.

One of my siblings offered me a trailer to move into if ever I found myself in need of a home. Tears welled up at the thought of his caring attitude. He has family of his own to support sometimes.

Whenever I feel anxious about the economy, God often reminds me, “Trust Me.”

There are many promises in the Bible of God’s provision for those who love Him and seek Him. With His help, I do love Him and seek Him, as imperfect as I am.

I thank Him for my flesh and blood family, for my siblings and mentors in Christ.

If you haven’t expressed love and appreciation and possibly forgiveness to your family and friends, don’t waste another day. It’s worth the time, it’s worth any uncomfortable feelings.

When you do, the results are up to others and God,  but you’ll know you did your best and that will give you peace.

Did I mention I’m heading to Buffalo the day after returning home from Poughkeepsie for eight days? New York State is diverse. Not a hill to be seen in the Buffalo neighborhood.

God bless!

Gathering III

When I went to this house full of people of mostly acquaintances, and I’d heard the prophetic giftings flow like water out of a broken pipe, on the ride over I told the Lord I didn’t want a Word from anybody. One Word for my daughter talked about her being like a daughter to a lady and the lady being like a mom to her. That they would be as if they were joined at the hip. I saw my daughter searching for eye contact with me. Later, she said, “Mom, were you okay with that prophesy about me being a daughter to someone else?”

I told her I was okay with it, because I know I’m not perfect and maybe this person could fill in some of the gaps where I fell short. Was it easy to hear? Not necessarily. Was it easy to respond that way? Easier than it would have been some years back. I thought of the Scripture that says if we follow Jesus and lose our parents or siblings because of persecution, God will give us many more. That was a paraphrase, and I have not rejected her for her faith, but it seemed to fit my thinking. I’m secure enough in our relationship to share her.

So, as I soaked in the presence of God as we worshiped the Lord, I heard Him say, “Cast all your cares upon Me for I care for you.”

Then later I was thinking, Lord I wouldn’t mind a Word after all. Then, “Am I not enough for you?”

This is the second time in a month’s time that I’ve heard that phrase. I was fretting because my husband lost some money. “Am I not enough for you?”

“Yes, Lord, You are enough,” I told Him.

I meant it then, and I meant it at the gathering. It gives me peace to know He’ll be there in relationship and in provision. To God be the glory.