Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Is God knocking at the door of your heart?

I have to admit that my time with God in prayer and Bible reading has not been regular like I had hoped it would be over the summer. And there are have been consequences for that. Consequences like not feeling connected to God, not experiencing the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, goodness, and self-control) like they could be experienced, being distracted from everything Satan throws my way instead of focusing on where God wants me to spend my time, not having an open eye to the things of God but rather having an open eye to the things of the world, and just a "blah" feeling that can only be described as trying to fill myself with empty things and not the "gold refined by fire" that Jesus has to offer and that I have had the privilege of enjoying in the past when I am close to Him . . and the list goes on and on.

And honestly, sometimes I fear getting too close to God and worry about what kind of "Jesus freak" he will turn me into. Or I fear the attacks that will come from Satan when I step out in faith and step into a deeper relationship with God. Does anyone else feel this way? Would love to hear your feedback and how you have overcome or at least made strides to overcome this.

But when you are saved and have received the Holy Spirit, that is a great thing about God -- is that he never lets you go! He keeps tugging at your heart to invite you back into intimate fellowship with Him.

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with me," -- Jesus says in Revelation 3:20

Are we hearing His voice? Am I hearing His voice through all the static of what comes up on a daily basis or what I chose to put in front of Him?

So I decided enough is enough . . I want to feel whole again. I have been praying the last few days for God to speak to me through Scripture and felt "spoken to" this morning through my reading in Revelation.

Jesus speaks (through John) to the different churches in Asia and to the different type of churches today. I read through each message to the church thinking, 'This kind of applies to me and our church but not completely." Then I came to the message to the church in Laodicea, who was known for its wealth. And If you think about it, we in America are also known for our wealth, possibly both individually and collectively.

Jesus spoke to John in a vision stating in Revelation 3:15-22:

"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. Because you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,' and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked. I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent. 

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches."

Do I have an ear to hear? Do we have an ear to hear?

It is sobering to think that God could spit you out of His presence being lukewarm. I don't know what that actually means and my study notes don't address that statement. But I know that is not a place I want to be. It also sounds harsh in this day and age that God will discipline those He loves -- but that is what Scripture says. You don't hear that everyday.

This is a wake-up call to me. I don't want to be "luke-warm" in my faith . . barely making a difference for God, barely experiencing the goodness that God has for me, barely conveying a message of hope and love to my kids and the kids I work with. It also isn't appealing to receive discipline from God for any of us.

But thankfully God gives us a remedy for our situation: Therefore be zealous and repent. 

I am so thankful for God's mercy when we are in a "luke-warm" condition. And I am thankful that I have the Holy Spirit of God knocking at the door to enter back into fellowship with Him.

I pray that if you haven't received Him as your personal Savior and if you feel Him knocking on the door of your heart, that you will allow Him to work in you today by receiving Him and opening the door.

Monday, August 4, 2014

What is it?

What is it?

While exploring the lake, we stopped at a sandbar to take a swim today. I spotted what looked like some sort of creature washed up on shore. I wasn't sure if I wanted to touch it and its furry tentacles hanging down from it's fleshy corrugated body. Hesitantly, I reached down and pulled it from the shore. Surprisingly, it didn't jump up at me or hiss . . . or grab my face and eat it off as I fully expected. It was somewhat soft and the body looked like a foot long caterpillar. I looked it in the face, which looked somewhat like a mole. 

I brought it back to the house and examined it further. It appeared to be root like, so I googled 'freshwater root plants' and found out it was a Yellow Pond Lily root in which beaver like to snack on and not something that wanted to snack on humans. 

I learned from a USDA website that the root is a spongy rhizome under the water with thin submerged leaves attached to it. The floating part of the plant looks similar to a water-lily and is in the same family but has a yellow flower. Some people eat the root though it is said to not be very tasty. 

The USDA website stated that Native Americans consumed the starchy root stocks as boiled or roasted vegetables and harvested the seed for grinding into flour. And there are some accounts of the root being powdered and used as a poultice to help relieve soreness or inflammation. 

So we now know what the washed up 'creature' is and will hopefully have our daughter thinking it is alive and active in the kitchen sink when she gets home!