Over the past few months, I have been having a hard time hearing God. When this happens I feel as if I am without direction. I feel empty. It is my own fault, I have not been reading the word as I should. I have not been sitting in quiet meditation waiting to hear God’s voice. Over the summer I was caught up in some drama and that is how it started. It was one of those speck in the eye thing. Someone had made judgmental statements and they were trying to push my son into marriage. At first I was reading God’s word and praying about this situation. I knew my son was being manipulated by some really bad people. I know God was going to open up a situation so he could see the truth and run away. God did and he did; but I felt I needed to hurry things up. My attempts caused a great deal of turmoil and in the turmoil, I lost track of what was really important God. I was reading Luke chapter 5, you know where Simon Peter and his partners had spent an unfruitful night fishing. Jesus said go out one more time and put your nets down over there. Peter said, that is the last place I an experienced fisherman would have chosen, but because you say so I will. They took the boats out and put the nets down were Jesus said to put them and wella the caught more than the nets could hold. That is how Jesus works, he pulls things from where you would least expect it. With my son’s situation, the girlfriend told a terrible lie (any lie is terrible) but she would not own up to the lie. She denied it even after being presented with irrefutable proof that she was lying. It was really a small thing, but he realized that if she would stick to a lie concerning small matters, how much more would she stick to the lie about big matters. So he dumped her. Her family fought it, but he just stood his ground. This was seriously a God thing and I was a fool to not trust God. I am still struggling to hear God right now and I need to hear because I am at a crossroads, uncertain of what I should do with my life, how can I help provide for the family and serve God as well? I know that I need to fall into the word. I need to spend time in quietness. I need to listen. God is talking he doesn’t always show us through a boat full of fish. Most of the time, it is small quiet prompting. Maybe those emails that I thought I had blocked as spam because it is one of those you can get jobs if you pay us money are a clue. No I am not intending on paying money to have a job. but maybe I need to spend some money to promote my work. Pray with me won’t you? Is financial investment in myself needed? Can I do this for free? I think the answer is no, I think I need to take a big leap of faith and invest in “God’s business” and trust him to provide the income. After all don’t small business do this all the time? invest in themselves and if they are Christians they are investing in themselves doing the work. Oh yeah can not forget that step; and trusting God to open up the income?
Joshua 9:1 Tells us to be strong and to be COURAGEOUS in the Lord. (my paraphrase)
recently, I was thinking of a time when I was struggling with fear and doubt. Afraid to do with what God was calling me to do, which was stay the course. I was thinking about our financial goals and wondered how are we going to make these goals if I continue in my part-time job? If I continue teaching our slightly autistic son how to be independent. (something he fights against) I mean we need around 15-20 thousand dollars by spring to make much-needed repairs on the house. Oh and my printer has died, and my laptop needs a new battery, but its days even with a new battery, are maybe another year. The other thing that I want to do is to send some written work to publishers and become published. Aren’t those two necessary, so why are they breaking? We are trying to save money not spend more! The more I thought about it, the more fear gripped my heart. The interesting thing is that while I was busy in fear, my husband has started to act boldly. That is just it, God uses the evil ones plans against him. He knows the hearts of men and women. He knows that I will be gripped with fear, but he also knows that I have been praying for my husband to be courageous and bold as the leader of the household. Through the fear, I stepped down completely and allowed my husband to take charge. Actually he had to take charge because things were falling apart, we were not saving money. I was unable to shop thrifty. (according to my kids, Lincoln jumps off of the penny and says let go all right already) but I found myself crying to my husband that everything was a mess and that I was having trouble functioning. See he generally leaves the household stuff up to me. But this time, he stepped up and said well we need to do this, this, and that. Somehow, I knew that God was behind this change and that my husband, was being courageous and bold. As I took this step the fear started to dissolve (the evil one lost his grip). Sometimes we just have to trust that God is working through our husbands and allow them to lead. Allow them to be the men God made them be. Then we will find the peace like a river, the strength of a MOM WITH A NEW BABY, and the courage of a warrior.
Deuteronomy 15: 4-11: I heard a commercial recently it stated that the average age of a homeless person in the United States is 9 years old. This is sad. If you Google the statistics “homeless in the United States” you will find that information confusing, the average statistic from groups that run homeless shelters state over 5 hundred thousand people sleep on the streets on any given night in the United States. This includes: slept in a shelter, or other temporary housing. Temporary housing may be provided by the government, a charity, a friend or family member. It really is a sad state of affairs. People are homeless for a variety of reasons. The landlord raised the rent, the home I was living in is now condemned, they cut back my hours at work, my job ended. We think it is just the crazy and the lazy that are out of a place to live; but often it is not. Sometimes it is the physically disabled because they do not have anyone to help them. Sometimes it is a person trying to find work. One person said it is the drug addict that is without a place to live, I think to myself at 9 years old? What ever our reason is for not helping for not doing something for the homeless; according to the Bible, we are wrong especially if it is a family member. what can one person do? well one person can donate time, money or gifts to organizations that have been developed because of this situation. One person can take a family member into their home to help them out in time of need. One person can start a program in their neighborhood to help the homeless. You do not have to be the one on the streets reaching out, if it is not your calling it is not your calling. However to neglect the poor and the needy is wrong. The Bible tells us throughout scripture that God expects us to do something. Whatever is our calling towards the poor and the needy, If we neglect that calling then we are not following Jesus as well as we should.
4 However, there need be no poor people among you, for in the land the Lord your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5 if only you fully obey the Lord your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6 For the Lord your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.
7 If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the Lord your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. 8 Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need. 9 Be careful not to harbor this wicked thought: “The seventh year, the year for canceling debts, is near,” so that you do not show ill will toward the needy among your fellow Israelites and give them nothing. They may then appeal to the Lord against you, and you will be found guilty of sin. 10 Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to. 11 There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.
I know that is an odd question for a blog that is about Jesus and His love for us. An odd question for a blog that is about sharing the Love Jesus has for us with others. I mean this love is not for sale. We can not buy our way into heaven with gold, silver, or by our own works. We love bargains, what better bargain than free? Salvation after all is free. Following Jesus is free. It does however require a commitment. Commitments are not free. Or are they? What is the cost in being kind? Sometimes it feels inconvenient. Take yesterday for example, I went to my favorite Laundromat. It was unusually busy. Still I took the time to see if I had any quarters for the lady who works there. She collects certain coins. She does not collect them for herself, she helps people fill their collections. Collecting quarters is serious business. She also takes the time to talk to every single customer. She will pray with you right then and there if you ask her. She remembers information about every single customer. She does this freely because of her love for Jesus spills over to others in a way that is rarely seen in this world. She loves so freely that when I arrived yesterday, she immediately told me that she had a wash cloth that I had left the previous week. A washcloth, which I had bought in a pack of a dozen on sale for less than five dollars. A washcloth that was not important to me. I am rather thrifty with my cash. It is why I am going to a Laundromat. Instead of buying a new washer, mine is in pieces being fixed. I don’t dry my clothes there because my dryer is in good working condition. There are Laundromats which are closer, but I go clear across town to this Laundromat because of that lady, the lady who finds even a washcloth of a customer important. It reminds me how everything about me is important to Jesus. Jesus who gives even the worst sinners Love and for free, no strings attached. I would not have to do anything for this lady to have her help me. I do thing for her because I see Jesus in her and want to support her efforts in loving Jesus. She has such a gift for loving people I feel that maybe by being there some of that will rub off on me. But in case it doesn’t I can support her in her ministry, financially when I can or feel God calling me to help her. I can support her emotionally by listening when things are overwhelming to her. I can support her through my prayers. Because of my love for Jesus this “cost” is not a cost at all. I can do this as a gift because I love Jesus. After all free is the best sale of them all.
1 Timothy 5:3-10: Originally the church was taking care of all it’s widows, then Paul saw the burden, just as Peter had when he appointed Stephen and others as Deacons to provide care for the members of the church (Acts 6). Instead of appointing deacons, a job he left to Timothy, he defines an order in which widows should receive help. One thing that he does in particular, to me just makes sense. We should take care of our families. If there is a family member that is no longer able to work, the family should care for that person. Paul specifies women. But today men and women both work, many until they are physically or mentally unable to work. The sad part is often if they don’t care for them, they wind up on the street as beggars. This is a very sad state. They young and the very old living on the streets, is a situation which we as believers should not tolerate especially if it is a member of your own family. Paul continues to say that this is sin. verse 8: 8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Today’s society tends to work both ways. I have seen children kicked out of their families homes as soon as they turn 18, or graduate high school, or a variety of reasons leaving society to “handle” what they have refused to do. It is not Biblical. Just as taking care of your parents and or grandparents is Biblical. We need to reach out to our homeless and actually do something (James 2:16, 1 John 3:17). It is one of the ways that we show God’s love to people. And seriously if we refuse to care for our own family, then how do we expect others to trust us when we say we care about the homeless?
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame.8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well-known for her good deeds,such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.