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)

Judges 16. “Then she said to him, ‘How can you say, I love you, when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies’. And it came to pass, when she pestered him daily with her words and pressed him, so that his soul was vexed to death, that he told her all his heart, and said to her, ‘No razor has ever come upon my head, for I have been a Nazirite to God from my mother’s womb. If I am shaven, then my strength will leave me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.’ When Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, ‘Come up once more, for he has told me all his heart.’ So the lords of the Philistines came up to her and brought the money in their hand. Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees, and called for a man and had him shave off the seven locks of his head. Then she began to torment him, and his strength left him. And she said, ‘The Philistines are upon you, Samson!’ So he awoke from his sleep, and said, ‘I will go out as before, at other times, and shake myself free!’ But he did not know that the Lord had departed from him” (Verses 15-20). The saddest words in the entire Bible are found here, “And he did NOT know that the Lord had departed from him.” I have read the story of Samson many times and every time those words pierce my heart. Why? Because it is such a sad picture of Samson’s walk with God. It is also a sad picture of this world’s walk with God. God gave and gave to Samson, but all Samson did was take. He gave nothing back. No honor, no glory, no praise. God does the same with us, everyday He causes the sun to shine on the just and unjust. Everyday that we live and breath is a day that He has allowed. Every smile, every tear, every emotion we feel is a blessing from God. Yet we do not praise, honor, or glorify Him. What does God say: “Depart from me I NEVER knew you”. We are living the saddest words ever written… “And [they] did not know that the Lord had departed from [them]“.

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)

Judges 15. “Then he became very thirsty; so he cried out to the Lord and said, ‘You have given this great deliverance by the hand of Your servant; and now shall I die of thirst and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?’ So God split the hollow place that is in Lehi, and water came out, and he drank; and his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore he called its name En Hakkore, which is in Lehi to this day. And he judged Israel twenty years in the days of the Philistines” (Verses 18-20). I think I have more then adequately relayed my feelings about Samson. In this chapter we see the results of his sins, and it is not him who pays the penalty for it, but his wife and her family. While I understand the reason, I can’t help but realize that had Samson been obedient in his nature toward God this whole story would read differently. Here’s the premise of the story so far. Samson, who in the previous chapter had basically thrown his wife away, goes back to get her. But her father believing that Samson had given her up gives her to another man. Samson gets mad and burns the Philistines corps. So in retaliation the Philistines burns the wife and her family. This makes Samson even madder so he kills 3000 Philistines all by himself. It is there we pick up our story. God has given Samson a huge victory, and what does he do? He whines and complains that he’s thirsty. Okay, granted killing 3000 men all by yourself could make one feel drained, and yes, thirsty, but shouldn’t the first action be to thank God? I am no mathematician, but I am fairly certain that it is statistically impossible for one man to kill 3000 men without some form of DIVINE intervention. Here’s my point remember to THANK God. He deserves it. Yes God answered Samson’s whiny prayer. But in reading the story of Samson, it seems that Samson, spent a lot of time missing the point and it wasn’t until the very, very end that he got it. Don’t miss the point, don’t be so caught up in how much God has blessed you with, that you take Him for granted. Be grateful for ALL He has done and ALL He is doing. Samson’s story would have been a whole lot different had he done this one simple thing.  

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)

Judges 14. “Then his father and mother said to him, ‘Is there no woman among the daughters of your brethren, or among all my people, that you must go and get a wife from the uncircumcised Philistines?’ And Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me, for she pleases me well.’ But his father and mother did not know that it was of the Lord—that He was seeking an occasion to move against the Philistines. For at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel” (Verses 3-4). In the bible I have to be honest when I say that Samson is my pet peeve. He reminds me of a spoiled brat (sorry if that sounds harsh). He is like a little kid that just wants what he wants and can’t see (or chooses not to see) anything beyond his own need. What is interesting though, is that despite all of that God still used him to accomplish His purposes. Note that when Samson’s parents where upset about his choice in brides, it was actually God who was allowing the union, because He had a different plan. What’s my point? God can even use our disobedience to accomplish His will. Yes, you read that right. I did NOT however say there wouldn’t be consequences for the sin itself, read the entire chapter, Samson’s sin had consequences. Here’s the deal God will ALWAYS accomplish His purpose. He is GOD. Just in case you didn’t understand, I’ll say it again. HE IS GOD. But our obedience or disobedience determines where we fall on the scale… blessed or cursed.

DAY 268 (2014)

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So true!

So true!

Yesterday I went for an interview. It is for a really good company, I previously applied for the same position with the company. I even went as far as flying to NY from Florida to do the testing. However, a week after I was informed that I was no longer a candidate for the position. I was disappointed, but I let it go. Yesterday when I sat with the interviewer he pulled up my info and then got this rather quizzical look on his face. His expression said, “What the heck?!” So I asked, “Why do you have that expression on your face?” He laughed and said, “I have never been able to control my expressions. I have gotten in trouble a lot for that.” I told him I’d like to play a game of poker with him… :) . He laughed and then said this, “I don’t understand why you didn’t make it through the last time. You passed the testing.” Huh… we continued the interview (I did not have to take the test again… Yay!). On the drive home I started to wonder as to why God had closed a door that could have had me moving to Western New York  with a job to come to? Then my mind ran across my friend Karla. Why is this so important? I wrote a post about her recently (not sure of the DAY). She is a friend that I had invited to church on multiply occasions, each time she told me no. However, she finally said yes in July. Had the comapny hired me I would have left Florida in March, never attempting to ask her again. Then my mind ran across Miss A. Miss A was a patient who previously had gone through chemo, was found to have resolution of the disease. However, several months later in April was diagnosed with a new very aggressive form of cancer that literally has a six week window of life expectancy (that is the standard prognosis for most people diagnosed with this form of cancer). During that time I bought her a devotional because I felt that God told me to do so. It is now September and Miss A is not only is alive, but walking and talking on her own (which is miraculous). Here’s what I realized God had a reason that was BIGGER than I could have imagined. His purpose was eternal. Today Karla has inherited a peace that she says she can’t explain. Miss A’s husband once told me that both he and his wife read the devotional everyday. It’s the first thing they do every morning. Yesterday the interviewer said something else that floored me. “When a door is closed it is ALWAYS for a reason”.  He’ll never know how true his words were. God had a much better plan.

“To the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These are the words of Him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open” (Revelation 3:7).

Lesson: Let God shut and open the doors as He wills. The outcome will always be worth it.

Side story: Today I got a phone call for Final Interview… God’s got a plan :)

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)

Judges 13. “So the woman came and told her husband, saying, A Man of God came to me, and His countenance was like the countenance of the Angel of God, very awesome; but I did not ask Him where He was from, and He did not tell me His name.  And He said to me, ‘Behold, you shall conceive and bear a son. Now drink no wine or similar drink, nor eat anything unclean, for the child shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb to the day of his death.’ Then Manoah prayed to the Lord, and said, ‘O my Lord, please let the Man of God whom You sent come to us again and teach us what we shall do for the child who will be born.’ And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the Angel of God came to the woman again as she was sitting in the field; but Manoah her husband was not with her. Then the woman ran in haste and told her husband, and said to him, ‘Look, the Man who came to me the other day has just now appeared to me!'” (Verses 6-10). I love Manoah’s wife. She didn’t keep it to herself, everything God shared with her, she shared with her husband. At no point did she think, “This is crazy I can’t tell someone else this”. As crazy as it sounded she said it anyway. Many times fear keeps us from sharing what we believe, or what we have experienced with God. Fear of how people will react, how they will perceive us. I like that none of that mattered to her. She adhered to God’s voice, shared what she learned and her, her husband, and ultimately all of Israel were blessed due to her obedience. 

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)

Judges 12. “Then the men of Ephraim gathered together, crossed over toward Zaphon, and said to Jephthah, ‘Why did you cross over to fight against the people of Ammon, and did not call us to go with you? We will burn your house down on you with fire!’ And Jephthah said to them, ‘My people and I were in a great struggle with the people of Ammon; and when I called you, you did not deliver me out of their hands.  So when I saw that you would not deliver me, I took my life in my hands and crossed over against the people of Ammon; and the Lord delivered them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me?’ Now Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead and fought against Ephraim. And the men of Gilead defeated Ephraim, because they said, ‘You Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites and among the Manassites'” (Verses 1-4). Ephraim did not help Jephthah go to war, but wanted a part in the glory of what God had done in Jephthah. It wan’t that Ephraim felt bad for not participating, as much as a “How dare you win without my help” attitude. Instead of repenting for their lack of  compassion they opted to war against God’s judge (bad idea). God will use whosoever is willing, Ephraim was NOT willing and Jephthah was. If you don’t want to miss out on what God is doing, then be a willing vessel. 

DAY 266 (2014)

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Yup. Even a dead battery can be a tool for God to use.

Yup. Even a dead battery can be a tool for God to use.

Remember yesterday’s post? I talked about speed bumps and potholes on the journey. Yesterday’s thought was all about how God many times uses those moments to start something “new”. Today let’s just say (instead a pothole)  a giant meteorite fell from the sky and caused a crater in my day. I don’t know if I mentioned it in previous posts, but today I had a job interview. It was scheduled for 12:15. I had been feeling iffy about the job, since they called me. Mostly because when I asked the recruiter about the job, she couldn’t give me any info at all. Isn’t the the job of a RECRUITER, to know the job you’re recruiting for?  Maybe I am the only one that thinks that way. However, I had previously made a promise to God, to walk through any door He opened. The fact that they called and wanted an interview, to me said, “OPEN DOOR”, so despite my apprehension I decided to walk through. So this morning I got up, had my devotion.  Had breakfast. Then took my time getting ready. I printed out a couple extra copies of my resume. I always arrive anywhere at least fifteen minutes early, so I decided to leave at 11:45 (the job is really close to where I live). I walked out to my car, put the key in the ignition and heard this… CLACK, CLACK, CLACK. ???? She worked just fine yesterday. I didn’t leave any lights on or doors open. Maybe it’s just a fluke, so I try again… CLACK, CLACK, CLACK. Nope it’s really is NOT going to start. I did’t know what to do at first, normally my first call is to my boyfriend, but uhmmm, he’s in FLORIDA. I get out of the car and think to myself, “Why Lord?”I call the roadside assistance from my insurance they come out and jump start the car, and I immediately drive it to SEARS auto. Two hundred and six dollars later, my car is working. Now I’d like to say I know why God allowed this. But genuinely I don’t know why, YET (He never leaves me in the dark for long). But I am assured that I will. Yes, paying 206 dollars for anything when you don’t have an income coming in leaves you feeling a little… However, while I don’t know why it happened I know that God has not forsaken me, and that He has a plan and a purpose. That same promise I made to walk through any door He opened, I also promised that I would let Him shut whatever door He chose to shut. Today He shut a door.  As for the two hundred and six dollars? God will provide. He has NEVER failed me.

“Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that'” (James 4″14-15).

Lesson: Those who see God’s hand in EVERYTHING, find it easy to leave EVERYTHING in God’s hands. Leave it in His hands, they’re big enough.

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)

Judges 11. “So she said to him, ‘My father, if you have given your word to the Lord, do to me according to what has gone out of your mouth, because the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the people of Ammon.’  Then she said to her father, ‘Let this thing be done for me: let me alone for two months, that I may go and wander on the mountains and bewail my virginity, my friends and I” (Verses 36-37). Be careful of your words. Don’t make idle promises to God. I am sure at the time Jephthah wasn’t thinking that his vow was idle. I am sure the intentions of his heart were good. “Lord id you do this, then I’ll do this…” We do it now as well, the barter. The price Jephthah paid for his idle words? His one and ONLY child. Some may be thinking God spared Issac why not this child? There is a difference, God asked Abraham to sacrifice Issac to test Abraham’s heart. Jephthah vowed to give the first thing that came out of his house after battle to God as a burnt offering, IF God would help them defeat the enemy.  God did what he asked. He made the vow, without ever thinking about what it would mean. Don’t idly vow to God, just to get what you want. God held Jephthah to his vow, He will do the same with us. So think and pray before you speak. God holds us to our word. 

 

DAY 265 (2014)

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What words are you using?

What words are you using?

So if you have been reading my blog for a while you know I love God first and foremost. But you also know I have a love for all things Korean, so much so I have been learning the language for the past year and a half. It is a beautiful language and oddly not as hard to learn as you’d think considering the letters look more like pictures. My friend will often tease me by reading Korean characters based on what the symbols look like (to them) something like this, “the standing man is hugging a tree and crossing his legs” (yes, they’re a little abnormal… it’s why I love them).  Learning this language is one of the things God used to help me step out of my box and explore the world around me. Today I have been thinking a lot about the things we let into our world, and how each new interaction changes us. Oddly I would never have this interaction with Korean had I not had surgery. I had six weeks of recuperation, which for a person who doesn’t really like being bored, was the most horrible experience, EVER. After a couple weeks of American TV and old movies I was going crazy. Enter the internet. I started surfing the web, watching random videos, I landed on a link for a Korean drama called Boys Before Flowers. I was hooked. It was both hilarious and refreshing. I then decided it would be more fun to understand what they were saying instead of just reading English subtitles, and thus started my journey into learning the Korean language. What’s the point of this very long story? Sometimes bumps in the road and potholes on the journey is God’s way of saying step out of the box, try something new. Don’t just settle for the same old. One year later my Korean journey saw me spending three weeks in Korea on a missions trip. I am not sure why I felt the need to write this today, probably because I know that we  can miss so many things because we tend to stay with what we know. We stay in the box. So today just a little encouragement don’t miss your adventure because you’re too comfortable. Find the “NEW” that God has for you.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland” (Isaiah 43:19).

Lesson: Don’t settle for comfort, seek the adventure. Don’t miss God’s NEW