Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Daily encouragement and courage!

Good Morning, or whatever is the best greeting to you, in your part of the world!

It is the wee bit hours of the morning; however, I felt Directed and compelled to write and include the wonderful message that I heard on the 'Hour of Power', this past Sunday morning. This 'Continuing the Adventure' is so true; and this is NO tid coincidence, as I feel too, that this is very appropro in our lives. My spirits have been extra bolstered with this inspirational excerpt I am about to quote. I am very appreciative and 'Thank you, Lawrence Wilkes!'

Perhaps you will tune into the 'Hour of Power' as their ministry provides genuine hope and empowering encouragement!

"Continuing the Adventure!
Written By Lawrence Wilkes
Well folks, I want to continue the journey…no, the adventure. Let's continue the adventure with God. Last time, we talked about Moses leading the people out of bondage and into the desert, into all kinds of expressions of God's love for them. They went through tough times in the desert places, but they went through miracles, as well. In fact, when you stop and think of it, I'm not sure that miracles happen unless there's a tough moment, a situation that brings about a miracle where God steps in with the people. And so we saw that last week and we were amazed how God entered into the lives of those people; guided them, directed them, gave them a cloud during the day so that they would have a covering from the heat of the sun in the desert, and at night, a pillar of fire to give them a focus area so that they would not get lost in the dark; they would know where they were as they followed that light.

And so God was with them giving them manna in the desert. Manna is God's blessing to the people when they cried for food. Every morning it was there. They asked for water and water came out of a rock. A miracle. You don't see that very often. And then they asked for meat and the quail came and they had meat on their tables.

God provides all of our needs in a marvelous, marvelous way.

So all through that journey, God was with them, performing miracles as each need arose. Now, as we enter into the book of Joshua in chapter one and on, we find that Joshua and the others are now on the shores of the Jordan River. And so there they all are; they've made it! Now, they just have to cross over and they're in the Promised Land. There they are, looking across when Moses, their great leader, died. And there they were, all of these people; he'd led them all this direction, all this way, and now Moses died. But, if you notice in the scriptures, there's not an awful lot made about it. It's just that this man who led the people passed on.

And now God provided yet another leader, and his name was Joshua. He's not a stranger to the scriptures because way back, when the ten spies were sent into the land to spy out the land, he was one of them. And he was one of a couple of them that came back with a good report. Do you recall? There were about ten spies; several of them said that there were giants in the land. There was fear in their hearts, and they were blocked by the fear of these giants - tall people.

Yet Joshua looked at this situation. He didn't see that. He focused on what there was. And what he said there was that the land is flowing with milk and honey. And the grapes were huge. They brought some back on a huge stick to show everyone what wonders this land had for them. Now they stood on the banks of the Jordan River about ready to enter over into the Promised Land. This was the major test. Was the man, Joshua, the leader that Moses had been? Sometimes we talk about a leader stepping aside and saying it's going to be a difficult thing for the next person to walk in the shoes of that man, but Joshua had his own shoes. He had his own sandals, and he took up the task. He was a man who walked by faith, not by sight. He was a man who had the sense of the adventure, of life with God, and so he walked by faith.

There they were, on the edge of the Jordan. Would God's blessings and power be upon Joshua as it had been upon Moses? The test came. They needed to cross that river and they needed to go across on dry land. And so God, through Joshua, performed that wonderful miracle where the rivers receded. I don't think any of us have ever seen that except on television. The waters receded and the people crossed over on dry ground. Wow, what a day to walk through the miracle, and to be part of the miracle of the moment. What a time that was as they skipped and jumped and danced across on dry ground. This time, the Egyptians were not behind them to try to kill them. No, they were there now in the Promised Land. What a place to be in. And so they rejoiced and they commemorated the moment by raising up a pillar of stones so that whenever anybody came along and asked what the stones meant, they could say that this was the place where God, through Joshua, was faithful to His people and performed a miracle, and the people of God walked across this river on dry ground. We need those moments, don't we? We need to look back and to thank God, and to commemorate, and remember the blessings of God. But now they looked forward, and do you know what was ahead of them? It was a city called Jericho. In those days, a walled city was a fortress, a fortified place, and it was very difficult to battle against or to take a city that had walls built around it. Now, these walls were not just made of some concrete brick that you might find on the edge of the highway or freeway. No, these were thick walls where people actually lived in caves carved into the walls; very thick. They tell us that Jericho was also built in such a way that the walls leaned slightly inward so that they were not inclined to fall out easily.

Now, these people, as many as there were, how were they going to take this walled city? It was a formidable, impregnable city that was ahead of them. Today, we could have tanks and we could just mow down the wall, no problem, but not in those days. They had, at best, some bows and arrows. They may have cut down a tree to make a battering ram, perhaps. But, it would take them a long time to try to take that city.

Finally, someone suggested that they just simply walk around it, then go ahead and move on into the land. But that was not wise because you would have other enemies ahead of you yet to conquer. You would have enemies ahead and you would have Jericho enemies behind. Not a good military plan to put yourself in that kind of jeopardy. No, Jericho had to go. It had to be taken. And how were they to do it?

If you're like me, when you face a problem, don't you come up with all kinds of solutions and you offer them to God? You tell Him, in other words, the way you want it done? Isn't that something? I still haven't learned that lesson. Time and time again, I go through all sorts of these different things. I pray, "Oh God, if You could just move this, and do that," and outline the plans. But, He never does it that way. He always does it better. It's always better than I could ever think of. And have you ever noticed that when He does move, His timing is not our timing. I want it now. And somehow or other, His timing is just a little different. But when God acts, it doesn't take care of just one little problem. Many problems, all of a sudden, are all touched and it's multifaceted in a marvelous way, and we stand back and say, "Oh God, You are awesome!"

Don't you think those people of Israel were all gathering around in bunches over their coffee or tea or hot goats milk, all sitting around saying, "You know, this is what we ought to do. We should do this, and we should do that, and we should tell Joshua how to lead this thing and get this military operation under way." And Joshua, as you read into chapter 5 of the book of Joshua, came alongside the people, listening to their wrangling, all of their talking, all of their suggestions. Then, he needed some quiet time. And he went out, no doubt, to look at that walled city and wonder, "How do we do this? What are we going to do to get through this problem?" It's at that time that he seems to be looking down at the ground, and then looks up, and suddenly there in front of him is a man with his sword drawn. That's a little threatening, don't you think? A man was standing there with his sword drawn. Joshua could have lost his head in that situation. No one knew for sure what was going on. The man is standing there with his sword and Joshua says to him, "Are you for us or are you for our enemy? Whose side are you on?"

The most surprising answer comes back.

Isn't it interesting, folks, you and I, we're like this. We always want to choose sides. If you don't agree with me, then you're on that side. And if you come my way, you're on my side. But we always want to choose sides and divide things up that way.

The man with the sword, however, puts that stuff aside and says, "Neither. I'm not on your side, and I'm not on the enemies' side. But, as captain of the host of the Lord, the Army of God, have I now come."

Now the question is, are you on the Lord's side? Do you see the difference how that all changes now? It's not a matter of whose side God is on, the question is: Are you on the Lord's side? At that point, Joshua immediately recognizes this is none other than God in the flesh. In theology, we call it a theophany where God appears and it's not clear whether it's the Father or the Son, and so they just call it a theophany. However, this appears to be the Lord Jesus Christ, Himself. It's called a Christophany, where Jesus appears before the incarnation, and there He is. Joshua, recognizing this man is representing God Almighty, immediately falls down on his face to the ground. Sometimes you and I have to get down to earth before God can lift us up and make us move on into higher things. There he is, down on his face to the earth, and he's in an attitude of worship. The man says to him, "Take your shoe off your foot for the place where on you stand is Holy Ground." And that confirms, for that was what was said when the voice came from the burning bush and spoke to Moses those many, many years ago. The voice from that bush that was not consumed by fire said, "Moses, take off the shoes from your feet for the place where-on you stand is Holy Ground." And so Joshua did that and had a time of worship.

I think sometimes, my friends, that when we come to the walled cities of our lives - and they do come – when there are difficult times, when something must change or be resolved and it doesn't happen even though we try and try but it doesn't happen – it is then that we need to back off and remember whose side we're on and choose Him, and stand with Him.

So Joshua chose that day to stand with the Lord. It became obvious that day who was going to win the battle. It wasn't going to be the people of Israel; it was going to be the army of the hosts of the Lord led by their captain. Wow. Can you imagine the relief and the release that came into Joshua's heart once he knew that God was in control?

I think, my friend, that you and I put ourselves through an awful lot of stress unnecessarily. We worry about things, we try to manipulate something, we try to twist it and turn it to make it fit and to make it do what we want it to do. When we come to those kinds of moments, what we need to do, my friends, is one thing: Worship God. Worship God and recognize whose side you're on and that's what Joshua did.

From Joshua chapter six on, you find that God gives the plan of attack. He's going to involve the people but in a very minimal way because God is going to perform the miracle. And God comes out with a plan that I dare say not any person on earth would have ever thought of because it almost seemed ridiculous.

God says to Joshua, "Tell the people to gather together and you get the priests to blow the ram horns."

Normally in the scriptures, we find that the ram horn is used in religious services, and the silver horn is used in military exercises. So it's interesting that this is not perceived as a military exercise, but rather a religious exercise that God is taking them through. Whatever it is, God tells him to take seven priests with the seven ram horns and start leading the people, and there's a succession in how this should go - a processional. They must walk around the city of Jericho, blow these horns, and that's it. They marched one time around every day for six days. You may be wondering the same thing that the Israelites were wondering: What on earth is this accomplishing? Isn't this a bit silly?

But the people obeyed because, through the wilderness journeys, they had learned one thing: Obey God. Trust and obey, for there's no other way. God will lead and guide. And so they did. And for six days they did this exercise.

Imagine the people inside the city of Jericho hearing these horns blasting as the procession went all the way around the whole city each day. I bet you at first they laughed and probably thought, "Oh they're blowing their horns; they can't do anything else because our city is impregnable. They can't do another thing but to blow their own horn."

Then the seventh day came, and on that seventh day, they blew those horns again. By this time, the people had marched around seven times. Then Joshua tells them, "Now, shout and the Lord will give us the city." And so they shouted and the miracle happened. The walls came down and Jericho was defeated that day by the host of God's army.

I believe, my friends, that when we give our problems to Him and simply focus ourselves on the worship of God, not on the problems, but on worshipping God, it changes our focus. It puts us into a positive, possibility-thinking mode that takes away the threat and the fear of the problem. Do you see the difference?

Right now, you're probably thinking of some impossible thing that's in your heart and your life. All right, now turn and worship God. Worship Him. Who is He? He's a God of miracles, He's the God of grace, He's the God of wonder. We could go on forever with the wondrous names of God, describing who He is. He's all of it. So why would you focus on the problem? Focus on God and He will deliver the walled cities in your life.

Joshua, at one point, said to the people of God, "Choose you this day whom you will serve. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Amen."

Tidbit - I quote from Lawrence Wilkes. "In fact, when you stop and think of it, I'm not sure that miracles happen unless there's a tough moment, a situation that brings about a miracle where God steps in with the people."

Bittid - I quote again from Lawrence Wilkes. "I think, my friend, that you and I put ourselves through an awful lot of stress unnecessarily. We worry about things, we try to manipulate something, we try to twist it and turn it to make it fit and to make it do what we want it to do. When we come to those kinds of moments, what we need to do, my friends, is one thing: Worship God. Worship God and recognize whose side you're on and that's what Joshua did."

There are many bittids and tidbits of ephifanies here, methinks! Courage, Faith, Trust in the Lord, Postive thinking, Prayers, etc.

The photos are of our huge beautiful magnolia tree! Many passerbys have commented on its magnificent luscious white blooms! A young man took a picture of his sweetheart, wishing to use the tree as a romantic background! This inpired me to take these two photos. One in the afternoon and one in the early evening. Wonderful Blessings!

Hope this provides you with a tidbit of comfort when facing your walls / obstacles etc. Simply place your Trust in Him, and He will Direct your path.

We have a full day tomorrow, so am going to fall back asleep for the few bittid hours, before it is time to get up. Here is wishing you an even better day than the day before. At the end of the day, you can reflect a bittidz, and give Him Thanks with a grateful heart. Regardless of circumstances, 'Praise Him In ALL Things!' You will feel as if a huge burden has been taken from your heart and shoulders, and you will be better equipped and prepared to joyfully embrace each tidbitz day as it unfolds.

Peace and God Bless.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Reflections of Blessings & Gratitude in the garden!

Good Morning, or whatever is the best greeting to you, in your part of the world!

It has been a wee bit of time since I last wrote. Many matters have taken place, and we are in the midst of moving forward.

Received this wonderful message from a friend and I feel it is a wonderful uplifting tidbitz to share.

" S0 True....

"When your hut's on fire!"

The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day, he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming.
Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. He cried out, 'God! How could You do this to me?'
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island! It had come to rescue him!
'How did you know I was here?' asked the weary man of his rescuers.
'We saw your smoke signal,' they replied.

The Moral of This Story:
It's easy to get discouraged when things are going bad. But we shouldn't lose heart because God is at work in our lives, even in the midst of our pain and suffering.
Remember that the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground... It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

P.S. You may want to consider passing this on because you never know who feels as if their hut is "on fire" today."

Alan and I enjoyed a quiet R & R weekend and it was all the more meaningful to us. A very special Easter to remember! Alan and I have much to be thankful for, and we are grateful for each and every day! We all have our 'trials and tribulations'; although sometimes, it does feel that as soon as one jumps through one hoop, there are more hoops following. We spent a reflective time 'in the garden.' We relocated here last summer and we have quite literally left everything alone in the garden. We wanted to be surprised by Spring and what new life it would bring.

Working with one's hands and in the garden is so peaceful. It is as if you are in another world; where worry, doubt, fear, discouragement, sadness, etc are all far away. The fact that Christ was buried, then arose again on the third day, really hit home to me this weekend! All our mistakes, burdens, sins etc are buried with Christ! With His Ascension, there is hope, rebirth of Faith, new life, new beginnings, new starts!

Over the holiday weekend, we also met many dogs with their owners. We had left over bittid treats (from Blue) so, we have been giving them away. Most of the people live nearby; so we have enjoying making new friends. As mentioned in earlier posts, we will be welcoming another doggie into our lives; and we will know when the 'right' time is. There are many dogs out there who need good homes!

A litle bittidz; but helpful encouragement. Watched the Vision Channel and was impressed with 'Bobby Schuller's message at Easter, on 'The Hour of Power.' He may be a young man, however, I feel very discerning and courageous! He has much to offer and I hope many people of all ages will check the website out! There are so many wonderful ministries to appreciate. I also enjoy Dr. Charles Stanley. The particular ministries that I watched on our T.V. were / are NO coincidences! Very interesting, methinks!

These are a few tid photos I took of what has appeared in our garden! His magnificent Creation! More Blessings to be joyful for! The 'found' wooden box container of the colourful 'violas' are majestic! Plus the hanging basket of wild 'greenery in abundance!' (The basket is temporarily sitting upon another 'found' larger wooden container, which we appreciatively will utlize for our cherry tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers etc). A perfect area for our ticbit spices, herbs, and vegetables! Also, the thick snow-like foliage of the beautiful magnolia tree in a blanket of white blooms! We have also seen a couple of ladybugs, as well as some large bumblebees. These are good indicators for a thriving and healthy garden!

Tidbit - Continue to perservere. Do not give up!

Bittid - Trust in Christ and He Provides in His Time, in accordance with His Will, Purpose, and Plan.

The pink rhodo is one of the plants we moved with us from our old home. It is flourishing in a gorgeous fuschia colour! The other rhodis are sprouting forth, and it is exciting to see all the new life and growth!

As mentioned, Alan and I are getting on with things. We feel as if we have been given new life and we are learning from experiences, as well as growing in our Daily Walk with Christ. "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you." That is very true!

Peace and God Bless.