Tuesday, June 5, 2012

His Plans for You

On the surface it was just a rusted out old well pump.  There was nothing special about it to a passerby.  It sat in the flower bed, surrounded by dark mulch, an alligator walk way, and old tires made into flower pots.  But if you cover up the gray and rust, it’s a beautiful object.  It could bring joy.  And if you attach a hose to it and the spigot, it may work again.
This well pump is sitting in my front flowerbed, just waiting for the plans we have for it.  A coat of grey paint, a new hose and this old ugly item can be transformed into looking gorgeous and pretty.  If we can get it to work as part of the watering system for the front of the house, that would be even better. 

Yesterday, a neighbor came and offered money for this.  When the offer was given to me, I immediately said no.  They tried to get me to waiver, but I can’t sell it.  It has family history.  It has meaning to me.  My family thinks I’m crazy for not taking the money, but I can’t part with it.

Is this how God treats us?  He sent Jesus to cover our rust and breathe new life into us.  He died so that we can be apart of his family and no matter how much Satan wants for our soul, God will not sell us out.  We have meaning and history with God.  You have meaning and history with God. 

Jeremiah 29:11

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

He Knows

It’s been a long weekend.  We enjoyed the nice weather, did a little shopping, mostly window, and are now getting into a routine for summer.  I asked Allie yesterday if it was weird being off school and she said that every day felt like Saturday.  I have to agree with her.  I’m sure Mike doesn’t because he has not let up on his schedule.  He did not get any extra time off from work, but we did get to spend most of the weekend together. 

This summer is going to be strange.  I will be working either 9 to 5 or 1 to 9, Mike works his 12-hour shift and if Allie finds a job (pray for that), then she will be working.  Poor Timm will be alone at times.  That may or not be good for him.    Being alone can be good.  I like to be alone, most of the time.  I think that is why I get up early (not usually on purpose) to enjoy some quiet time alone.  It could just be that my body is tired of laying.  I am not sure.  But Jesus went to be alone to pray, to meditate.  I think he always had a lot on his mind, I’m sure.  He had a heavy heart for those that swarmed after him, needing his leadership.  As a shepherd, he saw the need in all the people of that day.  He can see the need in you and me too.  As a shepherd knows what his sheep need, Jesus knows what we need and provides it.  It may be someone to come into our life and touch us.  It may be a situation that will get us on track.  He knows us, and you know him.  It may take some time, but in the end, you will know that God was the one orchestrating your life.

Psalm 23:1
                The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Matthew 9:36
                When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Thank You Veterans.

This is my Thank You to all our Veterans.  The ones who came back, and the families of the ones who didn't.


I never thought that this is where I'd settle down,
I thought I'd die an old man back in my hometown,
They gave me this plot of land, me and some other men,
for a job well done.

There's a big white house sits on a hill just up the road,
The man inside he cried the day they brought me home,
They folded up a flag, and told my mom and dad, 'We're proud of your son'.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company,
I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done,
I can rest in peace, I'm one of the chosen ones,
I made it to Arlington.

I remember daddy brought me here when I was eight,
We searched all day to find out where my granddad lay,
And when we finally found that cross,
He said, 'Son this is what it cost, to keep us free'.
Now here I am a thousand stones away from him,
He recognized me on the first day I came in,
And it gave me a chill, when he clicked his heels, and saluted me.

And I'm proud to be on this peaceful piece of property,
I'm on sacred ground and I'm in the best of company,
And I'm thankful for those thankful for the things I've done,
I can rest in peace, I'm one of the chosen ones,
I made it to Arlington.

And every time I hear, twenty-one guns,
I know they brought another hero home, to us.

We're thankful for those thankful for the things we've done,
We can rest in peace, 'cause we were the chosen ones,
We made it to Arlington, yea, dust to dust
Don't cry for us, we made it to Arlington.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Who Needs to Change?

1 Timothy 2:1

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.

I like this verse.  Well, most of it.  I like that Paul ask us to pray for all people.  Not just your friends.  Not just those who you think need prayers.  Everyone.  Ask, on their behalf, for God to help them.  That part is easy.  But, why is it so hard to give thanks for them?  

The people that you aren't crazy about, that give you grief no matter what you do, the ones that you just do not understand, where are they on your list of prayers?  Usually, I pray that God helps me have an understanding heart when it comes to these people.  I remember my grandmother telling me that maybe it isn't the other person that God wants to change, but maybe it's you.  Wow, that was powerful when she said it.  It knocks you down a notch or two, doesn't it?  But wait...the thought that God is using that contrary person to change your perspective is wonderful.  God is always working on us to mold us into his likeness.  Sometimes this may be the way he does it.  So keep praying.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

He Does Supply You Needs

Philippians 4:19

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.

This has been a rough couple of weeks.  But amazingly, or actually not, we are doing okay.  At the end of August, I lost my job.  To be honest, I was looking and not happy where I was.  It was a relief to be let go.  I wasn’t going to quit, unless something better came along, but when they let me go, I actually had a few months off and got to help out wholly with the kids’ marching band.  I finally got a part-time job and started October  31st.  During that time, I searched for a job and focused on my family. 

I started the job and it was part-time.  It was completely foreign to me.  I have never thought of myself as a salesperson, but yet, I am doing it, and I am pretty good at it.  I’m not the best, and I fumble over my pitch, but I am trying.  Anyway, I still drew unemployment, but things started to get tighter and tighter.  We squeezed (and are still squeezing) as much as we could out of each penny.  It’s not fun, it’s not easy, but we are (barely) floating.  God still provided.  Sometimes we had to wait on certain things, Christmas was smaller than ever, but everyone got something fun.  Several people gave us things unexpectedly and we are forever grateful for them and especially my parents.

Now, through my learning and hard work, I now have a full-time job, better pay and God is still providing.  Let me give this example.  Last week we planted our garden.  We planted beans, watermelon, cucumbers, zucchini,  and peppers.  Dad has planted tomatoes, lettuce, radishes.  God willing, between us, we will have an abundance.  Yesterday, Mike was out trimming bushes and our neighbor brought us 7 tomato plants, a bag of beans and some Miracle Grow potting soil.  He said to give back what we don’t use.  He and his wife are sweet and we enjoy them, but we didn’t expect this at all. 

This is my second week as full time and my first week without the unemployment.  We have relied on the little bit of money as gas money for three of us.  This week, we are hoping to make it through without it.  It’s been hard and Friday is payday, but God is keeping me calm and I honestly have faith that we are doing okay.  Allie is applying for jobs, so we are crossing our fingers, Mike is working a little overtime, and we are doing okay.  There are still bills to catch up on, some unexpected things that we need to deal with, but God has kept us under his wings, sheltered, fed and each need answered one way or the other.  For me this is a testimony of God’s amazing grace through Christ.  He does take care of you, you just have to be willing to accept the help as it comes. 

Thank you for all your prayers, thoughts, coupons and love.  We love you too and want to repay the kindness some day.  I hope I will see the opportunity when it comes along.

Monday, May 21, 2012


 Romans 14:8

For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord.  So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's.

We all want to belong.  We all want to be accepted.  Whether we kid ourselves or not, we want to belong somewhere.  Some people join every group they hear about.  Some people are more selective.  Sometimes it's the group that recuits, and sometimes, it is the group that is more exclusive in their members.  But God isn't like that.  All you have to do is follow God's commands, accept his free gifts, and you are in!  How easy God has made it to be a Christian.  He has always had the invitation there for you to accept, you just have to accept it.

I Have Decided To Follow Jesus
Lyrics:  Unknown

I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
I have decided to follow Jesus
No turning back, no turning back.

2. Tho' none go with me, I still will follow,
Tho' none go with me I still will follow,
Tho' none go with me, I still will follow;
No turning back, no turning back.

3. My cross I'll carry, till I see Jesus;
My cross I'll carry till I see Jesus,
My cross I'll carry till I see Jesus;
No turning back, No turning back.

4. The world behind me, the cross before me,
The world behind me, the cross before me;
The world behind me, the cross before me;
No turning back, no turning back.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Helping Out

Last night, I went to a band meeting for next season’s high school marching band families.  It was to inform everyone of what the band has been doing, what has been going on with us, and what to expect.  It was also to rally volunteers and donations.    As part of the boosters, we are all about the kids.  We are all about making sure the kids have what is needed to have a great time in band.

Isn’t this true of everything you are a part of?  We are happy to help out a great cause, but sometimes it seems that we only hear of those that keep asking.  I am trying hard to become more giving.  I am the one that seems to forget.  I forgot that the second Saturday of May was when the postal workers collect bags of food.  I forget to bring in food for the food pantry.  I need to change my ways. 

When you do not seem to know what to do, ask.   Your church has a lot of great causes, needs, and wants and you may be able to fill one of them.  Our church asks for one hour a week of studying God’s Word, one hour a week of serving, and one hour a week of fellowship (I think fellowship is including).  It’s easy to do the studying if you come to church and worship and hear the message.  It’s easy to serve if you are on a committee, a working in the nursery or help out at our food pantry.   Can you give 1 hour a month for your not your church, but for your God?  He will bless you more than you know.

Matthew 25:31 – 46

31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’
44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’
45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’
46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. 

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Being Content

It’s a beautiful day.  The sun is starting to come up, the dew is on the grass and God is on his throne.  What more could we want?  We always want more, don’t we?  Sadly that is so true.  We are never satisfied.  We are always yearning for more.  We are always wanting to get ahead.  We are always thinking about the next big thing. 

I try hard not to worry about others and what they have.  For Mother’s Day, my husband asked me what I wanted.  I said, “I do not need anything.  I don’t want anything.”  He kind of got mad and said, “Well we need to get you something.”  No, they don’t.  Finally he suggested some vegetation for the garden.  Now that’s something I agreed to because in the end, we all will use and eat that.  There is nothing more I honestly want.  My family is pretty healthy, we are following God and He is taking care of us.  What more do I need?

Philippians 4:10 –  13

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Today, I was looking on facebook at people’s statuses.  Several people commented on the fact that it is their child’s last day of school.  “Where has all the time went?” is a question that seems to be asked.   It is amazing how quickly we go from being babies, to children, then on to adults.  Growth and maturity is important in a life.  As a mother, I know that I couldn’t have gone on with my children being babies forever.  They had to grow, learn and mature or I would die of exhaustion.  All those sleepless nights!

God wants us to mature in our spirituality too.  We start off as babes in Christ, learning that God loves us and that his son, Jesus died for us.  I didn’t fully understand this, but as an eleven year old, I did understand the yearning and importance I felt to be one of God’s adopted children.  I was raised in church and a Christian home, and I listened, knew the Bible stories, and understood enough to want to be saved from myself.

Now, 33 years later, I am a bit more mature in my spiritual walk.  I am writing this devotion, doing whatever God leads me to do, and still trying to study.  I have matured, but I never feel that I know enough, or even anything.  When my kids come to me with strange questions, I still sometimes say “Go ask Marty or Michael.”  Not that I feel like a failure, but I do realize I am not always understanding of some things God teaches.  I also think that God sends us through times of testing that make us stronger.  Our family has been going through something for the better half of a year, and I think we are pulling together, relying on God, and teaching each other how to be more faithful to Him.  It has not been just one thing, it has been several.  So keep praying for us.

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 

These verses from James 1, are some I rely on a lot.  There is a lot of meat.  I love verse 6.  When you ask God for something, believe that he will give it to you in some way.  I know that sometimes he will tell us know, or not right now, but that is okay.  He always knows what we need more so than I do.  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

It has been way too long.  I am trying hard to get back on track in a lot of areas of my life, and this is one that I have neglected for too long.  I hope that you will forgive me.  Life is too short and I really enjoyed writing and telling you my thoughts, so I am going to give it a go again.    I hope this blesses you.

2 Timothy 1:5 I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

I have a great mother.  She is firm, but gentle, patient, kind, supportive, yet stern.  No matter the circumstance, she always wants to make sure I am okay.  She worries more than she should, which, when I type it out seems strange because I am a mother too, but she worries a lot.  As strange as this sounds she has grown as a person, a Christian, and I enjoy watching her.  When I was a child, she was the first recollection of someone introducing me to Christ.  I remember sitting in bed and mom reading a bed time story to me, but it was a big book of Bible stories.  I loved looking at the pictures and seeing the wrath of God rain down on his people’s enemies, or the love Mary had for Jesus when she gave birth. 

As a mother myself, I try hard to see how she felt when she was raising my sister and me.  We all have similar experiences as parents, and I am thankful for that.  The bond between a mother and child gets stronger and sometimes it is fierce.  I love my mother and I thank her for her Christianity, and I thank God for how he chose her as my mother.  There is nothing like a mother’s love.  There is also nothing like a child’s love for their mother.  I hope you expressed your love and appreciation for your mom today or you remembered your mom who may have passed already.  The best thing you can do is honor her by telling your children and their children about her.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Sometimes You Have to Read it For Yourselves

Daniel 8:1 - 14
 1 In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. 2In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. 3 I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. 4 I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great.
 5 As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. 6 It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. 7 I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it, and none could rescue the ram from its power. 8 The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.
 9 Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. 10 It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. 11 It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the LORD; it took away the daily sacrifice from the LORD, and his sanctuary was thrown down. 12 Because of rebellion, the LORD’s people[a] and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.
 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the LORD’s people?”
 14 He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”

This vision fascinated me.  Much more than the last one.  Daniel's descriptions of the ram and goat and their horns was interesting.  I love the commercial that ran in the last year about the goat that went after people on the street to get them to spit their gum out.  I do not think I would want to go up against a ram or a goat.  That would hurt.  So for the two animals to go against each other and the goat to actually win...well, that is a surprise.  Read the rest of this chapter in Daniel to find out what it all means to him.  It's very interesting and worth the read.

Friday, February 24, 2012

I have nothing to fear

Daniel 7:15-28

5 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16 I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.
   “So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: 17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18 But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’
 19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
 23 “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.[b]
 26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27 Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’
 28 “This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”

I agree with Daniel, this is deeply troubling and I think I would have been sick to my stomach at this interpretation.  The whole dream was so scary and odd that even Daniel could not handle this on his own.  He asked someone to tell him about it.  I am not going to even try to give an opinion on this.  I just know that God has already saved me and I have nothing to fear.  I do hope I am already gone before all of this takes place.  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Only One for the Job

Daniel 7:13-14
13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

In my very limited studies, (mostly listening to songs, preaching, and reading the Bible), these verses are about Jesus.  Daniel had a vision and in this part of it, the "son of man" approached "the Ancient of Days" and interestingly was led to where God was.  I love that God is called Ancient of Days.  First, it makes him seem sold.  I like that God is the oldest living thing.  I have an appreciation for older, wiser people.  I think this is because I do not feel wise or older (even though I am turning a year older soon).  Those that have come before me have given their legacy to us.  They usually know what is best.  I don't always feel that way.  Just getting my kids through this time in their lives makes me feel inadequate at times.  
God, in his infinite wisdom knew that Jesus was the right person for the job. God gave him power, authority and glory.  Everyone that knows Christ and his kingdom comes to realize that it will not pass away.  He will not ever be overtaken.  Praise God for his choice.  For Jesus was the only one for the job.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Keeping My Mouth Shut

Daniel 7:8-12

 8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
 9 “As I looked,
   “thrones were set in place,
   and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
   the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
   and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing,
   coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
   ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
   and the books were opened.
 11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12 (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)

This strange vision that Daniel had is odd.  Verse eight describes a horn that had eyes and a mouth and was saying boastful things.  The visionary was fixed on the horn because of it's words.  Sometimes we all say boastful things.  We all let our pride get the best of us.  But we have to try and reject this sin.  We have to learn to be humble and not let our pride get the best of us. I am guilty of being boastful.  I am sure we all are.   I try and not give my opinions often, unless it's something I am in charge of.  I try to not speak my mind and keep my thoughts to myself.  It's not easy, but with God all things are possible.  I keep by the old adage, if you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything.  It applies here.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

John 3:16-17
16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
As does most people, this is one of my favorite verses of the Bible, John 3:16. But the seventeenth verse is just as important. When I was a young choir member at church, we sang a song that was based on John 3:17. I remembering disliking the song. I think it was because of the tune, but I was a young Christian and did not want to sing it. But, being the faithful and good choir member I was, performed it. Today, if I could find the music, I might consider singing it again. What a valuable message. God sent his son into the world, not to condemn the world, but to save it. How I long to get that message out to the world. I see people every day that want to be accepted, loved and forgiven, but are scared that someone will see their faults if they walk into a church. I like that a my brothers and sisters see my faults and still love me. It still makes me want to do better, and grow, but at least I know I am forgiven. We need to start doing the same for strangers. See them for themselves, and love, accept and forgive them. That love and acceptance is what we all want and need to thrive. Start today by doing something nice for someone. It could be just saying a nice word, sending a note or phone call to a someone you haven't seen in a while. No matter what, love the unloved. Do not condemn them, they get enough of that from the world. Love them the best way you know how. Then your Valentine's Day may get brighter.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Snow and Fire

Daniel 7:9-10

9 “As I looked,
   “thrones were set in place,
   and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
   the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
   and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing,
   coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
   ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
   and the books were opened.

What a marvelous description of God.  First, Daniel calls him Ancient of Days.  What a title of years.  Most of us do not want our kids to call us ancient, yet for God, because he has been forever, it fits.  
Next, He always is associated with snow and the color white.  I think white is purity and yet, it seems to have a softness about it.  God is also described with fire many times.  Snow and fire?  I think this makes his presence fierce.  His throne was blazing, as was his wheels...wait, what wheels?  Maybe his throne was more like a chariot.  Also the river that he has coming out before him is on fire.  Strange description.  But, as always, it is fitting for him.  
Daniel has not scared us with this description, he has given us a clear glimpse of what may be expected when we do get our turn to see God.  I can not wait for that!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Foggy Vision

Daniel 7:4-8

 4 “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.  5 “And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
 6 “After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
 7 “After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
 8 “While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.  

What a terrifying vision.  Four beasts all powerful and smart.  A lion with eagle wings, a bear that needed to eat, a leopard with wings and four heads.  Then the vision turned dark and a scary monster with iron teeth and horns and one of the horns had eyes of a human and a mouth.  That would be enough to scare me.  These qualities make for uneasiness in the pit of one's stomach.  I' sure Daniel was not sure what to make of it at first.  But as always, God had a purpose in this vision.  Sometimes we just have to go along until it's revealed, no matter how scary.  I think it's like being in fog.  Sometimes your visibility is through the distance.  Sometimes it's clouded and you can only see what's right in front of you.  I love fog, especially in San Francisco.  It is always dense, cool, yet pretty and gives a sense of uncertainty.  When the fog comes in thin and high, the sun burns it off quickly.  When the fog comes in thick and dense, it may take all day to clear.  Either way, you have to wait for it to lift before you can see clearly.  Daniel gives that uncertainty words, as he speaks of this vision.  But he trusts God and so should we.  He will lift the fog from our eyes when he feels the time is right.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Dreams Scare Me

Daniel 7:1-3
1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
 2 Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3 Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

I think dreams that I have in my sleep are the worst.  I think it is because I don't understand why I have them most of them time.  Am I worried about something?  Did I eat something I should not have?  Did God want to show me something?  I can't answer any of these, and I think that unknown is what drives me crazy.  Also, do all dreams mean something?  Boy, I hope not.  I have heard of some weird stuff.  If they mean anything, I don't want to know.  I think in these cases ignorance is really bliss.
In the Bible, when someone had a dream, there was usually someone around that was an known interpreter.  Nowadays, I am not sure I'd trust anyone to tell me what a dream means.  It is creepy that someone else would know what I am dreaming.  It doesn't seem normal.  
But Daniel interpreted dreams for many people.  It was a gift that was given to him by God.  He even interpreted his own dream. As we will see, Daniel's dream was strange, but as usual, God was trying to send a message. I'm glad my messages usually come from the Bible or people around me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Let God Take Over

Daniel 6:25 - 28

25 Then King Darius wrote to all the nations and peoples of every language in all the earth:
   “May you prosper greatly!
 26 “I issue a decree that in every part of my kingdom people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel.
   “For he is the living God
   and he endures forever;
his kingdom will not be destroyed,
   his dominion will never end.
27 He rescues and he saves;
   he performs signs and wonders
   in the heavens and on the earth.
He has rescued Daniel
   from the power of the lions.”
 28 So Daniel prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus[b] the Persian.

This decree bothers me. King Darius seems to be sincere, wanting everyone to pay homage to God, but Darius still referred to God as ..."the God of Daniel".  With everything that has happened, why doesn't he realized and accept that God can be his God too?  It baffles me that we can be so hard-headed at times about things like this.  Things like, admitting we need each other.  Admitting that we need help.  Admitting that God is awesome and in control, whether you like it or not.  We harden our hearts and minds toward him, toward everyone.  We don't like to be told what to do or how to do it, so we turn away.  Each of need to wake up and figure out what God wants from us, not what we want from God.  Let go and let God do his thing for your life.

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Kevin Bacon Game

Daniel 6:24
 24 At the king’s command, the men who had falsely accused Daniel were brought in and thrown into the lions’ den, along with their wives and children. And before they reached the floor of the den, the lions overpowered them and crushed all their bones.

Harsh!  What you do, no matter what, affects others.  It doesn't matter if it is good or bad.  The trickle-down affect may be in place, or the "Kevin Bacon degrees game".  It all started with the actor Kevin Bacon.  He has worked with so many others that they were measuring how close people are to him.  You know, how many people are between you and someone else?  Like, I sing in choir with one person, they were in a trio with another, who is married to so-and-so.  That is three degrees between me and so-and-so.  Same with your actions.  What you do today can cause riffs for quite a long time.

The men who tried to accuse Daniel ended up in that lions' den, as well as their wives and children.  Was it really that important?  I guess to them it was, but to make their families suffer this terrible death too?  So be careful. Think hard about your actions.  Be coming a Christian was a positive affect on your family.  But do you really act like one around them?  Do you keep your language clean?  Do you talk about others negatively, do you blow up at everything?  Look at your life and see what changes you can make that can affect your family in a positive way.  Then for this weekend, act on it.  Pray and talk to someone outside your family to keep you accountable.  I will do the same and if you see some changes, let me know.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Miracles Do Happen

Daniel 6:19-23

 19 At the first light of dawn, the king got up and hurried to the lions’ den. 20 When he came near the den, he called to Daniel in an anguished voice, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?”
 21 Daniel answered, “May the king live forever! 22 My God sent his angel, and he shut the mouths of the lions. They have not hurt me, because I was found innocent in his sight. Nor have I ever done any wrong before you, Your Majesty.”
 23 The king was overjoyed and gave orders to lift Daniel out of the den. And when Daniel was lifted from the den, no wound was found on him, because he had trusted in his God.

How nervous King Darius was as he ran out to the lions den.  He was hoping for the best, fearing the worst, and his stomach was in his mouth.  As he called out Daniel's name, he could feel his emotions rising.  What had he done?  His friend, his advisor, was the recipient of a terrible plot scheme and the king had no control.  The king just had to have a little faith that this God that Daniel quietly, yet faithfully served was real and would save him from the starving lions.

As the king came closer, he heard nothing.  Not a sound was coming from the pit.  He yelled out for Daniel.  Daniel yelled back that he was safe!  His God sent an angel to close the lions' mouths and keep him from harm all night.  His God was truly a God of rescue.  

Have you felt rescued lately?  Are you in need of a miracle?  God gives them out every day.  We take so many things for granted that we don't even see it.  The trees budding, a baby being born, safety in the eye of a storm.  Look around today and listen to God.  He will show you a miracle.