DAY 36

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“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

I learned this fact today and it grieved my heart:

“Approximately 1 billion people throughout the world go to bed hungry every night.”

This is a statistical FACT. However, for most of us stats are just numbers. Numbers used to quantify or classify a situation. Sadly, we DON”T pay attention to statistics. Today this statistic became real to me, as it took on human form. I had a conversation with someone today, that made me realize how much I take for granted, and how little I have to complain about. I, like many people, have had financial issues. But I have never had to take a drill and extract my own tooth…I have dental insurance. I have been hungry, but I have never had to rummage through garbage cans to find food…I have a Walmart card. I complain when my AC doesn’t work, but I have never had to sleep on the streets…I have NOTHING to complain about.

Food for thought. We have many more blessings than we think. Let’s stop looking at what we don’t have. Instead, let us be grateful for what we already have. Here’s a thought…instead of always getting, why not try giving?

So what am I thankful for today? I am thankful that someone (whom the world sees as a statistic) taught me that stats are NOT just numbers.

Random (hopefully inspired) Thought

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I have hidden Thy word in my heart. (Picture by Lisa R)

I have hidden Thy word in my heart.
(Picture by Lisa R)

Joshua 11. “When Jabin king of Hazor heard of this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the kings of Shimron and Akshaph, and to the northern kings who were in the mountains, in the Arabah south of Kinnereth, in the western foothills and in Naphoth Dor on the west; to the Canaanites in the east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites below Hermon in the region of Mizpah. They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots—a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. All these kings joined forces and made camp together at the Waters of Merom to fight against Israel. The Lord said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them, slain, over to Israel” (Verses 1-6). Mmmmm… as I am reading these chapters I can’t help thinking that the kings of these territories made it too easy for Joshua, they kept coming to him. He didn’t have to seek them out or go looking for them. The kings saw God’s hand move mightily for Israel, why did they still come? Unbelief. Yes I know it sounds strange since the fact that God was with Israel was so apparent. They may have known there was a god, but they didn’t believe in the ONE TRUE GOD. Unbelief can and many times will leave us defeated and cast out of God’s will for us. Don’t miss it. Don’t make it easy for the enemy. Believe. Then LIVE it.

Random (hopefully inspired) Thought

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I have hidden Thy word in my heart. (Picture by Lisa R)

I have hidden Thy word in my heart.
(Picture by Lisa R)

Joshua 10. “On the day the Lord gave the Amorites over to Israel, Joshua said to the Lord in the presence of Israel: ‘Sun, stand still over Gibeon, and you, moon, over the Valley of Aijalon.’ So the sun stood still, and the moon stopped, till the nation avenged itself on its enemies, as it is written in the Book of Jashar. The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day. There has never been a day like it before or since, a day when the Lord listened to a human being. Surely the Lord was fighting for Israel!” (Verses 12 -14). God LISTENED. He did NOT however bow to Joshua’s will, instead He listened to the cry, to the heart of His child and did what Joshua asked: God fought for His people. He gave Joshua light for 24 four hours allowing the children of Israel to clearly see the fight. Many times we don’t fight well because we can’t see the battle that is raging, we are blinded by the darkness in our lives. Joshua knew night was coming, he knew it would be easy for the enemy to hide, he did not want to disappoint God. So he cries out, “Sun stand still!” And it did. Joshua knew the God that had provided Abraham a lamb, was the same God that had killed the first born of every Egyptian right down to the cattle, and THIS GOD was ABLE to make the sun stand still. He believed, he trusted and he asked without fear. I envy Joshua a bit, because he knew he was exactly where God wanted him to be. He was doing exactly what God wanted him to do. That’s why he had no fear. Today my prayer for you and I is this: Like Joshua let us approach God without fear, let us be exactly in the center of His will: Let us hear Him say, “No set of circumstances can ever isolate you from My loving Presence” (Jesus Calling, Sarah Young).

Random (hopefully inspired) Thought

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I have hidden Thy word in my heart. (Picture by Lisa R)

I have hidden Thy word in my heart.
(Picture by Lisa R)

Joshua 9. “The Israelites sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the Lord. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath” (Verses 14-15). They didn’t seek God and thus made a promise based on a lie. Today my morning journey with God did not start in Joshua 9. God and I traveled to many different places but it all came down to one lesson: “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed” (Proverbs 16:3). Joshua should have know better, the elders and leaders should have know better.  God had orchestrated and directed every single part of their journey thus far, so why did they not bring this one thing to Him? My belief, SELF PRIDE. We all have it, that part of us that says, “No worries God, You just sit back. I got this.” The problem…uhmmm, we DON’T have it. God wanted Israel to take over the promise land with none of the remnants of the ungodly nations remaining.  This way there wouldn’t be the temptation to compromise. He was giving them the chance to live again as a nation under Him, but making this deal with the Gibeonites meant that there would be a remnant of ungodly people left, there would be a tiny door left open for compromise to enter in. Compromise is like potato chips you can’t have only one. If we want to be blessed. If we want our plans to succeed. The answer is God. He needs to be the one we commit our plans to, and no matter how easy the decision may seem, still TAKE IT TO HIM FIRST. Leave no room for compromise. 

Random (hopefully inspired) Thought

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I have hidden Thy word in my heart. (Picture by Lisa R)

I have hidden Thy word in my heart.
(Picture by Lisa R)

Joshua 8. “Then the Lord said to Joshua, ‘Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Take the whole army with you, and go up and attack Ai. For I have delivered into your hands the king of Ai, his people, his city and his land. You shall do to Ai and its king as you did to Jericho and its king, except that you may carry off their plunder and livestock for yourselves. Set an ambush behind the city” (Verses 1-2). Chapter 8 makes me think about Chapter 9. Here’s why. Achan was greedy and selfish, but had he waited, had he been obedient God would have blessed him. Because in the city of Ai God allowed Israel to keep the spoils and to keep the plunder, Achan would not have had to hide anything from God or his brothers. Waiting it is so hard, especially when our flesh wants everything now, now, now. I recently moved. I have arrived at my destination, however, my furniture has NOT. I am in the waiting stage, each day that my items do not come I get more and more agitated, because I want it NOW. But I have to wait patiently for the arrival. The point? The time it has taken for the furniture to arrive has allowed me to find a place to live and settle a few things before I had to spend hours even days, unpacking. Although I wanted it NOW. The time spent waiting was necessary and needed. Don’t despise waiting and don’t be greedy. Waiting teaches us patience, but it also helps us appreciate the things we DO have.  In little or plenty we are blessed because God loves us. 

DAY 238 (2014)

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In life we either fly or crawl. One requires that we let go of the load, and the other requires that we bear the burden. The choice is ours: Free to fly, or burdened to a crawl.

In life we either fly or crawl. One requires that we let go of the load, and the other requires that we bear the burden. The choice is ours: Free to fly, or burdened to a crawl. (Picture by Lisa R.)

I have so much to say. There is so much that God has done in past week and a half, but I fear I will never be able to express adequately all that I have been learning. All that I have seen Him do. As I was pondering what to write and how to write. I determined that the message I wanted to most convey was the reason I had decided to embark on this journey in the first place. I wanted to see God work, but I also wanted to be used. Here’s the best way I can tell my story:

The Flying Flower

Yesterday I went for a run in my new neighborhood I happened upon a butterfly. It was white with a little bit of yellow in the center it reminded me of a daisy. A flying flower. I stopped and watched it for a bit. Then I had this thought how does a butterfly come into being. Even the smallest of children know that butterflies first start out as caterpillars. So how does this unattractive, usually stepped on bug become a flying flower? It let’s go of the old. It literally has to dissolve all of it’s old outer layer  all the way to its core. This produces a protein rich goo-like liquid that then regenerates and grows all the parts necessary for the bug to become what it was truly meant to be. A flower with wings. Right now in my life I am in the stage of letting go of my outer core, so that I can become what God intended. Life has thrown many curve balls my way and instead of swinging I hid in fear worried that I might get hit. As I looked back on my life I saw many missed opportunities, many open doors that I failed to walk through. I was not ready to let go of that outer protection I had built up. Sadly though it meant I was crawling around like a bug, instead of soaring like a butterfly. Today I can say I have seen God do amazing things in the one week I have been in Buffalo, He has met me right at the point of my need. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. Each experience has helped me shed a new layer of the outer core and has pushed me closer to the place that Christ has prepared for me. Here’s the truth we are ALL either crawling or flying. We are either living the life that God has for us or we are living according to the world. One gives us the freedom to soar. One holds us down and all we can do is crawl. The choice as always is ours. Choice wisely.

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people, He will beautify the humble with salvation” (Psalms 149:4).

Learning to fly and not crawl. Learning to shed what is not needed so that I can lay hold of what is (needed).

Random (hopefully inspired) Thought

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I have hidden Thy word in my heart. (Picture by Lisa R)

I have hidden Thy word in my heart.
(Picture by Lisa R)

Joshua 7. “Achan replied, ‘It is true! I have sinned against the Lord, the God of Israel. This is what I have done: When I saw in the plunder a beautiful robe from Babylonia, two hundred shekels of silver and a bar of gold weighing fifty shekels, I coveted them and took them. They are hidden in the ground inside my tent, with the silver underneath.’ So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran to the tent, and there it was, hidden in his tent, with the silver underneath. They took the things from the tent, brought them to Joshua and all the Israelites and spread them out before the LordThen Joshua, together with all Israel, took Achan son of Zerah, the silver, the robe, the gold bar, his sons and daughters, his cattle, donkeys and sheep, his tent and all that he had, to the Valley of Achor.  Joshua said, ‘Why have you brought this trouble on us? The Lord will bring trouble on you today.’ Then all Israel stoned him, and after they had stoned the rest, they burned them. Over Achan they heaped up a large pile of rocks, which remains to this day. Then the Lord turned from His fierce anger. Therefore that place has been called the Valley of Achor ever since” (Verses 20-26). Think the punishment was too serve? Then we clearly don’t understand God’s disdain for sin. But more importantly we don’t understand the effect of sin. God said, “DON”T do this….” Achan did it knowing that he was sinning (he wouldn’t have hid it so carefully otherwise). Not only did he know he was sinning, he knew the cost of his sin and chose to do it anyway. His selfish behavior cost 35 men their lives. Upon seeing the consequences of his actions, he still choose not to own up. I genuinely believed that had he confessed God would have been gracious to forgive, however, he chose instead to continue acting as though life was normal. It wasn’t until God personally called him out that he admitted his sin. He didn’t admit because he was wrong, he admitted because he got caught. There was no repentance. That is the problem with sin, it causes one compromise after another, a little at a time till your heart is hard and you don’t care about others you only care about…YOU. That’s why the serve punishment, that’s why God completely eradicated any trace of it. We need to do the same in our lives (no I am not saying to kill ourselves, that is not the message here) I am saying kill the sin. Let go of what keeps God from blessing us. Eradicate it, don’t let anything stand in the way of what God has for us. God disdains sin and if we don’t kill it, it will kill us (and just so you know not all death is physical). 

Random (hopefully inspired) Thought

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I have hidden Thy word in my heart. (Picture by Lisa R)

I have hidden Thy word in my heart.
(Picture by Lisa R)

Joshua 6. “When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. They devoted the city to the Lord and destroyed with the sword every living thing in it—men and women, young and old, cattle, sheep and donkeys” (Verses 20-21). God likes the impossible plans. Okay not impossible for Him, but impossible for us unless He does it. So what was the plan? God brings Joshua in the huddle, “Okay Josh, here’s what we’re gonna do. You and the millions of people I have given you charge of are gonna march around the wall of Jericho once a day for six days. Yeah, I know it 7 miles long, but you got this trust Me. Then on the 7th day I want you and your millions of people to walk around the wall 7 times… yes, yes it’s 49 miles. No big. Then after you and the people have completed your 49 mile trek. I want you to shout, scream, MAKE SOME NOISE! Yes, yes you’ll will be out of breath (you just walked 49 miles), but do it anyway.  Here’s the kicker at the sound of the trumpets and shouts the walls of Jericho will fall straight to the ground! So what do you think?” Joshua’s reply, “Sounds good to me!” Here’s what I want you to see, the Bible has never hidden people’s weakness, failures, or complaining. I have read and re-read Joshua 6 and at no point did I read that the people were tired, grumpy, or even too weak to scream. Why is that? Because God’s in the business of making the impossible, possible. I woke up grumpy had to take my brother to work super early, my furniture still hasn’t arrived and I am so over blow up beds and sitting on the floor. But I read this and realize I don’t always know why God chooses to do things the way He does. But like Joshua when God brings me into the huddle and tells me the game plan, I want my answer to be…”Sounds good to me!”