Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ask For A Sign For Yourself From the Lord Your God

If all I had to eat was curds and honey I would like it fixed like this sometimes. Rita invented desserts made without sugar.  This is Kiss Pie made with fructose.

Our Precept Bible study class is studying Kings and Chronicles this year.  We are “observing” II Kings 16 and II Chronicles 28 this week.  Isaiah 7 is included in the lesson because the king we are learning about is mentioned in Isaiah7. 

Beginning in Isaiah 7 verse 10 it says—“Then the LORD spoke again to Ahaz, saying, 11 "Ask a sign for yourself from the LORD your God; make it deep as Sheol or high as heaven." 12 But Ahaz said, "I will not ask, nor will I test the LORD!" 13 Then he said, "Listen now, O house of David! Is it too slight a thing for you to try the patience of men, that you will try the patience of my God as well? 14 "Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel. 15 "He will eat curds and honey at the time He knows enough to refuse evil and choose good. 16 "For before the boy will know enough to refuse evil and choose good, the land whose two kings you dread will be forsaken.

Ahaz could have asked for a sign but he didn’t.  I’ve heard of putting a fleece before the Lord to learn His will.  But asking for a sign is apparently a means for God to build a person’s faith.  Now I’m looking forward to learning about this king and why he wouldn’t ask for a sign.  I started to think about this and realized that God gave me a sign without me asking for one some years ago.

It was after twenty or more years of marriage to my husband that I realized that I was bitter against my mother-in-law, Rita.  She was always demanding, critical, judgmental, and unhappy.  I knew that the Lord wanted me to love her but she was impossible to love.  So I asked the Lord to fill me with His love for her.  I prayed and struggled to return her evil with loving kindness.  I was in a constant battle with myself.  One of my friends befriended her and she helped me to persevere.

Then it happened.  My mother-in-law’s neighbor called us to tell us that Rita had passed out in the laundry room at her condo complex.  Of course my husband drove right over and took her to a doctor.  I called the pastor of the church she would attend once in awhile.  It had been our church before we moved.  I thought she was going to die and started crying on the phone when I spoke to the pastor.  It was then that I realized that God had given me a sign.  I did love her after all.  God had built my faith in Him that He would do what we asked if it was His will.

There is a happy ending—six weeks before Rita died, the Christian caregiver at the group home where she was living, led her to the Lord.  After that Rita was happy, content, and loving everybody.  Our son said that she hugged him.  That was the first time he remembered her hugging him.  When I see her once again she will be all changed, and so will I.  We will be like Jesus and we will love each other.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

If You Like Basketball You'll Like This Movie

Out on DVD-- Linsanity.  The story of an Asian American who loves basketball and made the NBA.

Friday, January 3, 2014

I Asked God For A New Winter Coat And He Got Me A Job

It’s 6 am and I’m nasally (probably not a word) challenged.  Can’t breath very well because of a “code in my nose.”  Maybe sitting up for awhile will help clear the airways.  Might as well write a blog while I’m sitting up!

Just finished reading “A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World,” by Paul E. Miller.  (Isn't this a good year for Millers, with a new TV show called “The Millers,” and a movie called “We’re The Millers?”  I don’t recommend the TV show, or the movie, but I do recommend the book.)  My son and his fiancĂ© gifted me with a Kindle edition of the book on the recommendation of their pastor.  I learned several new things about prayer.  Here are a few:

·      Instead of correcting others like your spouse or your children—go to God about it and see what He will do.  (Our son, his fiancĂ©, Chris, and I just went through a traumatic experience thinking that the 6-year-old granddaughter had lost both of her jackets.  The mystery was solved when her mom and dad got home from celebrating their 10-year wedding anniversary with a motor home trip to the ocean.  The jackets were packed securely in her suitcase. I did go to God and He put on my heart that several things had been lost over the years by adults.  I probably couldn’t keep track of my clothes either, when I was 6.)
·      Instead of requesting selfish things from God, get in touch with what you really want.  (Now for the coat story.  I did ask the Lord for a new winter coat many years ago and His answer was to get me a substitute-teaching job.  Later Chris got a job, which had a low salary but abundant stock options.  Suddenly the stock went up and we were able to help our church with a few items needed, several other missionary opportunities, as well as buying anything we wanted, including taking off on a 40’ sailboat for Mexico and Tahiti, and being retired for seventeen years now.  So maybe it wasn’t the coat I really wanted but the ability to have enough money to buy what I thought I needed.  On my side of the family we really have to come to the end of our rope before we will buy anything.  We figure as long as we have food, clothes, and shelter we don’t need anything else. But the party did end and we are back to where we were those many long years ago—struggling to only buy what we need. This is my prayer request now, Proverbs 30:8 Keep deception and lies far from me, Give me neither poverty nor riches ; Feed me with the food that is my portion9 That I not be full and deny You and say"Who is the LORD ?" Or that I not be in want and steal, And profane the name of my God.

Now as our prayer group is praying for our church to grow and for a children’s ministry,  our church is able to rent to 5 other churches, and we have 70 children meeting on Wednesday nights for AWANA. It wasn't what we had in mind but we trust this is God's answer.)

Well, enough about me.  What about you?  Have you ever had surprising answers to prayer?