Rainbows are beautiful

Rainbows are God’s sign to us of his beautiful promise.

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him:“I now establish my covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.” And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.” (Genesis 9:8-17)

Okay, I’m just going to say it…

I hate that the rainbow has been perverted and used as a symbol of sexual sin.

So much in our world has been perverted. That’s how Satan works. He twists God’s word around. He deceives in an effort to destroy.

For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became foolsand exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them. (Romans 1:20-32)

I don’t hate sinners – I am one. I hate sin. We have somehow confused the two. Somewhere along the way we have decided that if we don’t go along with or promote the sin, we are not loving the sinner. That is simply not true! God loves all of us. God hates sin. Sin is revealed so that we can repent. God gives us the grace and power to free us from our sin (whatever it is). Life is full of choices. That is one thing we ourselves control – our choices. God has given us freedom to choose. However, true freedom comes only as we realize we are sinners, repent, turn to God and accept Jesus as Lord of our lives. Then we can truly live in a life of freedom – freedom from being a slave to sin.

So when you see a rainbow, it is not about sex or sin. It is the sign of remembrance of a beautiful covenant from God. Let’s be thankful and give Him all the glory and honor He is due. He is the creator. We are the created.

Sin should not be worshipped, celebrated, honored or glorified. Sin is sin.

Only God should be worshipped, celebrated, honored and glorified. Only He is worthy.

Standing

Every time I read Daniel 3; I wonder – Would I stand? Would I stand firm in my faith? Would I stand firm for my God? Would I stand firm in obedience to God even if it might cost me my position, family, friendships, maybe even death? Would I stand with God and for God? Or would I crumble to what appears to be the power at hand? Would I give in and give up? Would I take “the mark” to “live” here on earth? I hope and pray I would stand but I guess none of us really know what we will do until we get there, do we? That’s why we must be proactive instead of reactive. If we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail.

We are certainly being tested today. Our freedoms and our faith are under attack every day. Those “in charge” are trying (and succeeding in many ways) to control us, to make us fearful, to make us dependent up on “them”. They are promoting racism in the strangest ways that if we dig a little and look at the facts, we see their lies revealed. They are trying to divide us because they know that divided, we will fall. We fall to temptation, temptation to evil. Only united will we stand. Think about those persecuted in Germany when the “brown shirts” came. They were shocked but the plan had been unfolding for a long time, beginning with propaganda (overtaking the media). Sound familiar?

Our faith is being attacked and our freedoms are being attacked. I am reminded of the song by Lee Greenwood “I’m Proud to be an American”.  Here are a few of the lyrics.

And I gladly stand up
Next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain’t no doubt, I love this land
God bless the USA

Do these words ring true to us? Will we stand up for America? Will we stand up for God?

In Ephesians 6:10-18 we are told to put on the FULL ARMOR OF GOD. He tells us what that is. He tells us why we need to be armed. It is so we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. There we go…if we are armed, we can be confident that we will be able to stand. What is this armor God talks about? Truth, Righteousness, Readiness, Faith, Salvation, Word of God, Holy Spirit led Prayer. We are to always be alert and ready. God says that after we have done everything (put on all His armor), we are to STAND.

I plan to stand! How about you?

Alone and Exposed

We all tend to view ourselves and others as parts of groups. Even when asked about ourselves, we tend to put ourselves in a group or groups. For instance, we will say something like: I am (blank); I am a (blank). Maybe it’s what we do for a living, our relationship with another person or group, etc. We tend to think that way don’t we? That’s not a bad thing but somehow we can turn it into a bad thing. It’s easy to see that there is an all-out effort these days to pit one group against another. Usually one is “supposedly” good and one bad, depending upon which group you prefer.

God woke me up this morning with some reminders. I want to share them with you.

We may look at the things going on in our world and think all hope is lost. Remember the old saying, “It’s not over until the fat lady sings”? I heard something recently – “The fat lady hasn’t started warming up yet.” In other words, it’s not finished until God says it’s finished.

“Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but not with God; All things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

God reminds us that what we see with our eyes and hear with our ears is only outward appearances but God judges the heart.

“However, as it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” 2 Corinthians 2:9-10

“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

He reminded me of Saul. He tried to destroy the Christians. He thought he was on the “good side”, doing a “good thing”.  When we look back at what he did and the group he associated with, we would certainly not consider him good, would we? However, God had a plan. It couldn’t be seen at the time by eyes or heard by ears but then, in God’s perfect timing, a miraculous thing happened. God got a hold of him and things changed dramatically. I won’t type his story here but check out Acts 9. We may not have been against God like Saul, but God tells us that if we aren’t for Him, we are against Him. Standing on the fence doesn’t give us “brownie points”. We must choose a side.

“He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters.” Matthew 12:30

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.“ Hebrews 4:13

The thing is, none of us will be surrounded or sheltered by whatever group/groups we associate with when we stand before the Lord, whether each day on earth or on judgment day. We will all stand alone and exposed. We will give an account for our lives, our thoughts, our words, our actions. We can’t hide from what we might think we have kept hidden deep inside ourselves. God sees and knows all. We better come clean now and allow God to reveal any sin in our lives and repent (turn away from it), seeking His will, His way, His glory.

“Do not {translation – never, never} repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written “It is mine to avenge, I will repay, says the Lord. On the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:17-21

As a dear friend told me once (thank you Connie), God doesn’t call us to judge others, but we should be “fruit inspectors”. Just as people will view us by the fruit we produce, we view others by the fruit they produce. We should not condone evil behavior or join with it. We should fight against evil. But, we should leave room for repentance by praying for them. ALL things are possible WITH GOD.

So, while evil is out in the open and becoming bolder every day, remember, God isn’t finished yet. The fat lady isn’t warming up. People get ready…

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians6:18

After all, God wants ALL to come to a saving knowledge of Him through Jesus Christ. Our job is to point people to Jesus, share the Good News of salvation, and walk out our faith in loving obedience. There is a spiritual war going on – a war between good and evil. Let’s join God’s army and follow His plan of attack!

Eyes Wide Open

It’s been quite a while since I’ve posted a message on my blog. Honestly, I just didn’t know what to say. I didn’t feel like God had given me a word. But, maybe it’s just that I had been overwhelmed like most of us. About a month ago, however, God woke me up extremely early in the morning and my thoughts came together with a message. I made some notes but unfortunately, I procrastinated. Again, early this morning, God woke me up and this message was on my mind.  I believe now is the time He wants me to share it. This may end up being a long message and if so, I pray you will hang in there with me until the end. Here goes…

I think those who know me would say I have been naïve most of my life. I grew up pretty sheltered from bad things in the world. I am the oldest of three girls and while our Dad was protective over all of us, I’m sure he was even more so with the first – me. I just never expected that people might be lying, cheating, or breaking the law. The thought never occurred to me. A couple of things come to mind. When I was a young adult I was in Burger Chef (some of you may be old enough to remember this fast food restaurant) with my Mom. We were in line waiting to order. I smelled something really strange and bad. I mentioned to my Mom, “What is that smell”?! She said, “Leslie, don’t you know what that is? It’s marijuana.” Obviously I didn’t know what it was and asked how she knew. She said she had heard on the news what is smelled like. Seriously? My Mom knew more about marijuana than I did? Another time, several years later, my husband and I were in New York City. We walked around the streets (it was not what I expected) site-seeing. It was very different from the small town where I grew up. Anyway, afterwards my husband and another man were talking about how they were selling drugs on the streets, out loud calling out their drugs and prices. I said, “where was that”? They both looked at me like I was crazy. It was happening all around me and I didn’t even notice.

Sad, isn’t it? How can I effectively fight the enemy if I don’t even realize he’s there? For many years after that I was still living in my own little world. Married, working, raising kids – never paid any attention to news or current events, not even that the school system had changed what our kids were being taught. When did they change our history books? When did they take God out of the schools? Was I asleep? I think I was simply sleep walking. I was oblivious to what was going on around me. I was so focused on what I had “to do” each day, just going through motions of my responsibilities (but neglecting maybe the most important responsibilities as a human and parent – to KNOW what is happening and stand up for right over wrong. Thankfully I have repented of that and God has forgiven me, but I had to turn from that behavior and make sure I was aware of what was happening around me.

For many months now (maybe a few years) I have been praying these things for our nation. That…

  • Truth would be revealed
  • Eyes would be opened to the truth
  • Pride would not keep us from turning from sin
  • Humble hearts would be turned from evil to God
  • Those plotting and committing evil would be exposed and held accountable
  • God would not give us over to our own evil desires but would grant us grace in our repentance

Many in our nation are deceived – their eyes need to be opened. What I didn’t realize is that God had to open my eyes! He opened them to what I talked about in the previous paragraph, how I had lived in “darkness” to the evil around me. Thank you God for opening my eyes.

I must admit that even as recent as a week ago, I was resisting listening to prophetic messages. I was so afraid that I would be listening to a false prophet that I missed listening to what God had to say. He (God) reminded me that He is still the same today as He was yesterday and will be tomorrow. He speaks through prophets. Even though He speaks to us directly, He still uses prophets to get His message to us. If we abide in Him, His spirit will confirm with ours whether the word we hear is true or not. I need not be afraid. So, I have listened to some and God is so good – they all had the same message. I felt at peace more than I have in the past few years. God is working on our behalf. He always gives warnings to His people in hopes that they will return to Him. He wants all to come to a saving knowledge of Him through Jesus Christ. Sometimes we want Him to act now – but His grace and mercy are great. We must remember that He wants all to turn to Him. However, there comes a time when enough is enough and God acts. I believe now is that time. It is my whole-hearted belief that God is not going to give our nation over to our evil desires, but He will restore our nation back to “We the People”.  The “world” will lie to us, but God never will. My eyes are wide open now and my hope is in the Lord. I am committed to keeping my eyes open and focused on Him, never again to keep my head buried in the sand but to stand up for righteousness. God gives His Children what we need to fight the spiritual battle of good versus evil. We have the full armor of God available to us. We just need to use it.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore, put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.  Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (Ephesians 6:10-17)

Don’t believe everything you see and hear. Don’t be afraid. Trust in God. He will lead and guide you to truth. But, we have to seek truth in order to find it. Keep your eyes wide open. God can and will do amazing things we can’t even imagine. To Him be all glory and honor and praise!

Saying Goodbye

Sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye. When my sisters who live out of state come to visit, it’s hard to say goodbye when they leave because we don’t know when we will see each other again. When we leave a job or home that we enjoyed, it’s hard to say goodbye. Some even find it hard to say goodbye to fall when winter sets in and they know cold is on its way. But I think the hardest goodbye we ever say is when a loved one dies. A week ago today we said goodbye to our precious grandson. That’s something you never expect to experience. heartbrokenYou always think that you will die before your children or grandchildren. It’s shocking and it’s heart-breaking.

While our grandson was baptized as a teenager, we hadn’t spent as much time with him these past years as we wished so we weren’t really sure about his relationship with God. In the middle of the night Thursday/Friday and Friday morning I prayed that God would bless me by giving me some indication that he was in fact in the arms of Jesus. I knew that even though my heart was broken that he wasn’t here with me in person any longer, that would bring comfort to my soul. We buried him this past Friday. I won’t go into specifics, but God not only gave me an indication, He gave me two. God is so good!

Ecclesiastes3_1-2Our hearts still ache talk to him and our arms still ache to hug him, But, we are comforted that he is with God. We are strengthened in our resolve to pray fervently for our loved ones, our neighbors and our nation. Some don’t know God. Some may know God but aren’t growing in their faith. Some are simply struggling and need encouragement. I am now much more prayerfully passionate about the salvation of others and more fervently praying for them.

We have beautiful memories of our dear grandson and I am so thankful for them. He was so very sweet. So, for now we have said goodbye here on earth but will meet again in heaven. Of that I am eternally grateful.

Isaiah 58

As I read this chapter in Isaiah, I could not help but think of our nation, our people, and the church. Like all of scripture, we can apply this chapter to our lives today. It’s a good “self-check” and offers points of prayer as we seek God on behalf of our families, communities and nation. May God’s church kneel down in prayer and stand up for God.Isaiah 58

“Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
    Raise your voice like a trumpet.
Declare to my people their rebellion
    and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
For day after day they seek me out;
    they seem eager to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that does what is right
    and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
They ask me for just decisions
    and seem eager for God to come near them.
‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
    ‘and you have not seen it?
Why have we humbled ourselves,
    and you have not noticed?’

“Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
    and exploit all your workers.
Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
    and in striking each other with wicked fists.
You cannot fast as you do today
    and expect your voice to be heard on high.
Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
    only a day for people to humble themselves?
Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
    and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
Is that what you call a fast,
    a day acceptable to the Lord?

“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
to loose the chains of injustice
    and untie the cords of the yoke,
to set the oppressed free
    and break every yoke?
Is it not to share your food with the hungry
    and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
when you see the naked, to clothe them,
    and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
    and your healing will quickly appear;
then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
    and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
    you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.

If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
    with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
    and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
then your light will rise in the darkness,
    and your night will become like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.
12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
    and will raise up the age-old foundations;
you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
    Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.

13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
    and from doing as you please on my holy day,
if you call the Sabbath a delight
    and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
and if you honor it by not going your own way
    and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
    and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
    and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

This says it all. Amen.

Unusual Sighting

I was unprepared for the very unusual and unexpected sighting I received this morning. As I got up and was walking toward the front of the house, I saw through the glass in the front door something large walking across my neighbor’s front lawn. As I got closer, I realized it was a wild turkey. wild turkeyWhat was it doing in our neighborhood where there was nothing but houses, no woods, no stream, etc.? It walked across the grass until it got to their front walk and then proceeded on the concrete path. I thought it was so funny that the turkey was walking on the sidewalk. Anyway, then it headed across the street and into another neighbor’s yard where it walked around their backyard and in between the rows of houses where I couldn’t see it any longer. This was certainly a new sight and out of the “norm”. I was unprepared. I didn’t have a camera or my phone with me to take a picture. No one else was up, so I couldn’t even share it with anyone. We have seen eagles, hawks and of course, geese in our neighborhood but this is the first time I’ve seen a wild turkey. It was certainly an unusual sight.

As I was thinking about this unusual sight., I considered another unusual sighting that will be coming our way. I wonder how many of us will be surprised as I was this morning. We have been notified in advance but how many of us really consider it and will be prepared? Jesus Christ told us Are you readythat He will return one day. He also told us what to expect to see before His return. He warned us against false prophets and those claiming to be him. Will we be ready, or will we be deceived? Will we hesitate or will we celebrate?

Matthew 24 gives us all we need to know to be prepared for the very unusual sight of Jesus’ return. “At that time, the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other…Therefore, keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. But understand this:… So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:30-31, 36, 42, 44)

Jesus return is certainly expected. Our hope for eternity is in Him. But the question we must ask ourselves is, are we prepared for His unusual sighting?

Training Wheels

Many or most of us are living under a “stay-at-home” order and are “social distancing” from extended family and friends during this horrible Covid-19 pandemic. It’s certainly a different way of life than what we consider normal. Sometimes the walls of our homes can seem to close in on us and we can get irritable, depressed and scared. Isn’t it a blessing though that it’s happening during spring when we can see the new growth of our lawns and the beauty of spring flowers? Where I live it has been sunny several days this week. I have been able to sit on my front porch and speak or wave to neighbors walking, riding bikes or jogging past.IMG_3781 Yesterday while I was again on my front porch reading a book, I heard quite a commotion down the street. A little boy was learning to ride his bike without training wheels. There was much emotion and encouragement being shouted his way as his Mom walked alongside him with her hands on his back, encouraging him. His Dad was shouting that he was doing great and that he could do it! Many times, they went back and forth, shouting encouragement. Then, he tried it on his own. You should have heard the exclamations of joy! I wanted to clap and shout myself, but I was several houses down and I didn’t want to scare him off balance. It was pure joy to see and hear that family enjoying this newfound freedom in their young son. He had been “training” on his bike for some time and was now ready to go it alone, without the crutch of training wheels.

This morning as I woke up and was praying, God reminded me of yesterday’s experience. He showed me that this little boy’s training wheels are like when we are learning God’s Word.hebrews-5-11-14 We need others to teach us. We need others to go alongside us as we learn about God and His plan for our lives. But, just as this little boy finally wanted to move forward to a 2-wheeler, we, too must move forward in our faith walk.

We can become lazy in our Christian walk and let others do the work for us. We can sit in church every Sunday and listen to a lesson and then go about our week without putting it into practice. We can pray about things we want to see God do without quieting ourselves, reading His Word and listening for His answer. We can think about the scriptures we know without searching them again for new nuggets of truth that the Holy Spirit will give us.

Now is a difficult time in our nation and world. We can’t gather in large groups. We can’t hug each other for encouragement. It is the perfect opportunity to seek God ourselves.2-timothy-3-16-17 It is the perfect time for us to draw closer to God. It is the perfect time to increase our prayer life. It is the perfect time for us to reach out to others with a phone call or note of encouragement. It is the perfect time for God to get our attention. Will we listen? Will we take off our “training wheels” and ride along with God on our own. After all, no one can take us with them to heaven and we can’t drag another along with us. It’s a personal walk of faith. We all need each other for sure but we go to heaven on our own. Are you allowing God to train you?2-wheeler Are you willing to take the risk and lose those crutches you might have been using and ride forward with God? It will be so exciting! We will feel like shouting for joy as we draw closer to Him! God promises it will be worth the risk. Go for it! Let Go and Let God!

The Little Things

This is a crazy time in our world right now. We are literally fighting for our lives. While we are not moving about as freely as we are accustomed to, we have much for which to be thankful. I am so thankful that we have a God who never leaves us. No matter where we are or what our situation, He is only a prayer away. I am thankful for our President and Vice President and all those who are making decisions in the best interest of our country and its citizens. I am thankful for all the medical staff, firefighters, police officers, EMTs and paramedics, grocery store workers, gas station workers, restaurant workers, and the many others that my mind can’t remember now. I say thank you and pray that God blesses you with safety, rest, peace and even joy as you tirelessly work for all of us. You are appreciated.

I know that some are plotting evil and trying to profit off the misfortune of others. That has always been a part of humanity and always will be until Jesus returns. But I am constantly reminded of the Romans 12goodness of mankind. In trying times, it seems the best or worst can come out of us. I am so happy that I am seeing the best most of all. Many are helping their neighbors, doing what they can to provide much needed resources. Both corporations and individuals are stepping up to fill the gap. Little things when done by many, make a big difference. It makes me proud to be an American. The past few years have had many at each other’s throats and I am seeing now most of us are coming together as a country and putting the needs of all before the wants of our own. I think God gives us glimpses of this to encourage us.

The other day I was in a drive-thru line at a fast food restaurant.drivethru There was an elderly lady in the car in front of me. She appeared to be in her 80s and was having a difficult time with her order. I wondered if it was the first time she had ordered in a drive-thru line. She was alone in her car. She finally moved forward and so did I. While she was at the window to pay, I heard the cashier tell her that the person in front of her had paid her bill. That made my heart leap for joy. I have seen this before and done this before but…this was a special moment for me. I believe she needed that encouragement and love at just that moment and it warmed my heart. It may seem like a “little thing” but, to her that day, I believe it made a huge impact.

This is an entirely different thing but yesterday I received a “little thing” from my husband. He was spraying our yard for weeds (and he was using weed spray) – check out my previous post “Mistaken Identity” on March 4.4and5leafclovers He came in the back door and called for me to come see what he had for me. It was a four-leaf clover. He has brought me those before but this time, he also had a five-leaf clover with it. He said he was spraying and looked down and saw both right next to each other. Now, I don’t believe in luck or superstitions but…this brought a smile to my face and lightened my spirit. I felt like not only was it a gift from my husband, I believe it was also a gift from God. Sometimes the little things speak volumes.

Often, we don’t think we can make much of a difference, but we can. One person can make a difference. One “little thing” we do could be a big thing for someone else. I am encouraged to keep doing the “little things” I can and allow God to multiply them as only He can. That way, we will make a positive difference. What “little thing” can you do today?

I’d love to hear your stories of people doing the little things in your community. Please comment so we can all be encouraged. Thank you and God Bless.

Say your prayers, wash your hands, and keep your distance – just don’t forget to keep in contact with others. God is in control and we can trust Him!

Mistaken Identity

Spring is fast approaching. Flowers are poking their heads out of the ground; birds are singing; and we are all starting to get “spring fever” – itching for warmer temperatures. At least here in the Midwest we are. As I am witnessing nature’s new birth, I am reminded of something that happened several months ago. My husband regularly sprays for bugs inside the house. We don’t mind the little creepy crawly things God created but would much rather they stay outside. Anyway, one day I was in my sewing room sitting at my desk and my husband walked past with a sprayer. He was spraying around the baseboards with what he thought was bug spray. However, I noticed that the container said weed killer. I asked him about it thinking that JUST MAYBE, he was using an old container but had the correct mixture inside. But, not so. He had simply picked up the wrong one. In his behalf, they do look very similar – same size, same brand, same spray nozzles. Unfortunately, he had already gone through most of the house before I noticed what he was doing. The good news is that no weeds have grown up in our house this year! mistaken identity

Have you ever mistaken a stranger for someone you knew? I have. And, I have had people ask me if I were someone who I’m not. I’ve heard many times that “we all have twins/look-alikes”. Maybe that’s so. It may be something in physical appearance or expression but whatever it is, it does happen.

I think the most heart-wrenching story of mistaken identity that I can think of is the one that began on April 26, 2006 when a van collided with a tractor-trailer. I’m sure most of you can remember the story as it was all over the news. One young woman died and one lived. They were mistaken for each other and the mistake was not realized until five weeks after the accident. I cannot imagine the emotions those two families went through. Across the nation people grieved and sympathized with all of them. It was hard to fathom. It seemed impossible that something like that could happen, but it did.

Just like the above example, in the case of the weed killer and bug spray mix-up, the mistaken identity went unnoticed for quite a while. The weed killer spray had already covered most of our house before being recognized for what it really was. Isn’t that like Satan? He gets in and covers quite a bit of ground before we know he is “in the house” so to speak.

These mistaken identities are innocent mistakes. But Jesus warns us of others who purposefully try to get us to mistake their identity. These identity mistakes have eternal consequences. The bad news is that it must be easy to be misled because we are warned many times against it. The good news is that we can be prepared, and our eyes can be open to the imposter. God provides all we need to discern the truth and recognize the true Messiah. Lies are often disguised as truth. We must be on guard and be in constant contact with the truth giver – God himself. Here are some things God says about mistaken identities.

Matthew 7:15 – “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.

matthew 24-24

1 John 4:1-6 – Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. They are from the world and therefore speak from the viewpoint of the world, and the world listens to them. We are from God, and whoever knows God listens to us; but whoever is not from God does not listen to us. This is how we recognize the Spirit[a] of truth and the spirit of falsehood.

2 Peter 2:1-3But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute. In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping. revelation 20-10

 

The moral of the story is this… those who remain faithful and watchful; those whose hope and trust is in the Lord; and those who stand firm and stay strong win in the end!