Every time I go to the beach for R & R, God uses the time to teach me principles about who he is and how He works. This trip was no different. In fact, because He is so faithful to … Continue reading
Grandmother smelled of sugar lemon drops, Juicy Fruit gum, and the mustiness that follows a morning mass filled with incense and random splashes of holy water. She was round, soft, and good for planting several sloppy kisses on me a … Continue reading
25. Have you ever thought about the significance of this number? The first thing that comes to mind for me is Christmas- the 25th day of December, set aside for celebration of our Savior’s birth, giving to the one’s we … Continue reading
“And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.” Acts 2:2 On the final evening of our time in Haiti we experienced what would be recognized … Continue reading
I have a major flea phobia. I detest the little critters. Having indoor dogs, I’m on constant flea watch to the point that I think I drive my family nuts. I Frontline my dogs regularly and lament the fact that … Continue reading
The kids are in bed, the house is quiet, you finally take a moment to exhale, maybe even sink into your favorite chair. While you’re there, do you ever reflect on the accomplishments for the day…I mean truly take an account of what all has happened from the time you first opened your eyes that morning? I know that when I actually take the time to define the meaning of the day’s events I begin to see that for the most part, life is moving toward positive spiritual growth even through set backs. We begin to see how God orchestrates every minute of the day for the divine purpose of growing us. We begin to see that even though we always feel there aren’t enough hours in the day to do what we want to do, that somehow we actually accomplished a great deal and that ultimately, there was just the right amount of time to do what absolutely had to happen in order for God’s plan to remain in motion.
Do you keep a reflection journal? If you don’t, oh you should. It’s like a growth chart for grown-ups! Write down your prayers. Write down your goals. And instead of writing a “to-do” list, write a “Ta-dah” list where you reflect and celebrate all the things that were accomplished in your everyday life as well as your spiritual life. Write down life lessons learned. Write down how God has answered a prayer. Watch your faith grow faster than your children are shooting up that chart. Watch the next morning come with less worry and anxiousness, knowing that you’re already set on a spiritual path that leads to good for all of those who love the Lord.
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We’ve been following the Israelites around in the wilderness for 40 years in our Chronological Bible reading. Well, we’ve not actually been following them for 40 years; we’ve just been reading about them wandering in the wilderness since February 6th! Yesterday, March 25th, we crossed the Jordan and entered the Promised Land with the Israelites in our reading.
What could have taken these people just a few days took 40 years to get to the land God had promised when He miraculously led them out of slavery in Egypt. The reason: grumbling, complaining and neglecting to trust God along the way! Finally, one generation died off and God gave the go ahead for them to enter Canaan. Just before entering the Promised Land, Moses reminded the people of several things they needed to remember about God. You can read about it in Deuteronomy 6:4-13.
• They were reminded that the LORD their God was the one and only.
• They were to love the Lord their God with all their heart, soul, and strength.
• They were to teach their children about God at all times; when they were at home, along the road, when they went to bed and got up…pretty much all day!
• They were not to forget what God had done for them when they entered the land flowing with milk and honey.
• They were not to follow other gods of the peoples who were already living in the land.
I sure am glad to be reading about the Israelites’ journey rather than taking it with them! However, I’ve had a few wilderness times of my own where I’ve been stubborn, rebellious, and whiny. Although I’ve learned lots of things from the journey of the Israelites, here are a few of the many things I have observed:
1. Complaining and grumbling will get you nowhere fast. God miraculously delivered the Israelites from slavery in Egypt through parting the Red Sea, but three days into the journey they began to grumble and complain because they didn’t have any water. Their complaining eventually led to God saying, “Okay, have it your way. You will not enter the land that I promised. Instead, your children will be the ones to enter.” (my paraphrase)
2. God provides even when I don’t deserve it. God provided for the Israelites not just with water, but with manna and quail to eat even though they constantly felt like God had forgotten them. God’s love for His people remained constant even though they messed up time and again. He never changed.
3. God has the plan and I must trust Him when His plan is not going according to my plan! God knew the plans He had for them if they would have waited on Him. So often I want to default to my plan rather than waiting on God to show me His plan. Every. Single. Time. His. Plan. Is. Better.
4. Remember not to forget all that God has done along the way. Moses wanted to ensure when they got into the land, they did not forget who had led them there. Nothing in the land, the cities, houses, vineyards, etc. had been provided by the people. God was the Provider and Moses wanted to make sure they remembered it!
It is so easy to ridicule the Israelites for not trusting God until we realize we are guilty of the same. Want a surefire way to remember and not forget all God has done for you? Count His blessings. Let me encourage you today to begin to make an ongoing list of things for which you are grateful. Every so often go down the list so that you won’t make the mistake the Israelites did and forget that God is the provider of “every good and perfect gift.” James 1:17
Leave your comments below and let’s count God’s blessings.