Not So Empty Nest Days

Cherishing the days past while moving towards the days ahead, BHG

I Know!

 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being a priest to me. And since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.” – Hosea 4:6

 In today’s age, people are destroyed, or die, for lack of many things. Poverty brings along with it lack water, food, shelter, etc. People have been known to die in freezing weather because of a lack of shelter or the lack of warm clothing. In smoldering heat, people die from a lack of shelter, water and relief from the heat or air. People all over the nations are dying from a lack of food supply, or famine, and medical attention. Even here in the United States famine is greater than we would like to acknowledge. But the one thing we don’t here of as much is people dying from a lack of knowledge. The sad thing is, most of the lacks I named above, are hosted from a lack of knowledge. The knowledge that they can reach out for help to get food and water, a runner may die of heat exhaustion because of the lack of knowledge to drink plenty of water and seek shelter when overheated. That’s what we even sometimes do in our spiritual walk.

About a decade or more ago, there was a flood of stories in the news about children who had drowned in their own backyards. These seemingly innocent children were wandering out of their houses to go into their fenced in backyards, all safe, to gaze and even play in the pools that their families owned. Knowing how a pool can look when it’s ridiculously hot outside, I’m sure these toddlers and preschoolers only wanted to play in the water like they do in the bath tub, some out of curiosity and some out of relief. But somewhere between getting the latch to the back door open to walking outside alone to being hypnotized by the blue crystal like waves in the water or dropping a toy in the water, they reached in and stretched too far which allowed for them to fall in. Some screams were heard but for the most part they went unheard, being muffled by the overpowering water that seemed to rush over them. Now, I am going to be honest, in my lost state of mind, rushes of judgment came over me as I heard story after story. The questions, I’m sure not just from my mind, of “How could you let this happen?” and, “Where were you that you couldn’t hear your child drowning?” and even, “What kind of parent leaves their child unattended?” rang not only at the TV but also landing in each parents ears. What stemmed from that was a slew of safety devices and pool lock up systems but the most important thing, in my opinion, were the teachings of pool safety. We became aware of dangerous possibilities and even though most would tear up their pools and lock up their kids or chain them to their sides; this wasn’t how to keep them safe. I now know that the lessons, giving them the knowledge is what would.

We all teach our kids safety rules, even in their infancy stage. The word no, even though there was a period when that was said to be wrong, came out of each of our mouths when we saw our newly cruising or newly crawling baby reach for a certain danger. It didn’t stop there. We would then tell them “no” when they would put things into their mouths, try to pull things down from our tables via their new best friends, the table covers and when they were old enough to explore outside even be a few feet away, “stranger danger” was a lesson they were taught. Now none of these lessons were fool proof. Things still happened, accidents and mishaps still occurred, sadly there were children still abducted. But it wasn’t because of our lack of knowledge. And I am convinced that of all the things we could ever pour into, teach, or give our kids, knowledge is the most important. We give them knowledge of God, our love for them, etc. We are most certainly their first teachers and what we give them will stick like a steak and potato meal.

My youngest daughter, who is now 15 going on 35, has always been a little quick with her reach, not always paying attention to what she is reaching over or for. I remember one particular time when she was about 7, she was helping me in the kitchen, she was in love with Rachel Ray and had to make sure I was doing things right and reached over the front burner to grab something. Did I say this child is over-adventurous?! I immediately grabbed her little hand and told her sharply, but lovingly, “Naria don’t reach over the stove like that. Ask for help. You need to pay attention to what you are doing. You could have gotten burned.” I then kissed her, when what I really wanted was to strangle her precious little neck for the near heart attack she about gave me, and told her as she got older, she would be able to reach on her own without the danger of getting burned. Oh why did I say that to her? Did I also mention she is my child that must prove what I say wrong, every time? Time passed and maybe a year later, I was playing with her and noticed a dark mark on her elbow, the same arm that she had reached with. “Mama (my nickname for her), what is this,” I asked. “Oh that is a burn I got when I reached over the stove one time. See I was trying to get the salt (another killer in our family) and I didn’t know the stove was on.” I was flushed with guilt (where was I), anger (didn’t I already tell this child not to do that), and sympathy that she had to dress her own wound with no kiss or love from her mommy (even though that was because she had deliberately disobeyed me). I gave her a hug and told her I have rules to keep her safe and that I was sorry she had to be in pain by herself but to never do that again.

Isn’t that what God does with us His children? He lovingly teaches us, gives us a Book of instructions in black and white for us to read yet we still don’t have knowledge of Him. Wow! That reminds me, a writer once wrote an article for a prestigious newspaper concerning black people, “If you want to keep something from them, put it in a book.” That is profound, so profound that even though he WROTE that and it was published, circulated and even spread through email and other social networks, blacks STILL don’t have knowledge or even know that we can receive it. God wants us to have a full knowledge of Him. He wants us to have wisdom and clarity, read James 1:5 if you don’t believe me or Proverbs is filled with places where through Solomon, God is saying receive His wisdom and the knowledge of Him. Pray and ask Him to give you that today. Don’t perish another day because of your lack of knowledge. I have learned that it is not what you know, but Who.

Father, thank You for Your wisdom You love to bestow on us. Thank you that Your mercy is new every morning and we can start over seeking Your wisdom and the knowledge of Who You are again. Show us Your face, Lord in the midst of who we are. Give us that healthy fear of You and the wisdom and knowledge that comes along with it. In Jesus name. Amen!

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The Beauty in Nature

“God’s voice is glorious in the thunder. We can’t even imagine the greatness of his power.” Job 37:5

 When I was younger, I had a huge fear of thunder. I can remember jumping out of bed and either going with my brother or my parents just to be protected from this invisible being. Anything that was a decibel over a dull roll was too intense for me. I carried that into adulthood and frequently sought out someone who I felt could protect me from this menacing noise. I even, without knowing it, gave this fear to my oldest daughter. When she was younger she would venture into mine and my then husband’s room to seek comfort. I can remember one really bad storm in Omaha that produced thunder that could crack sense into a hard head all by itself! The day started out dark. It was a period when I was working after having my youngest. We had dropped the two youngest off at our friend’s house to watch them and Makaila, my oldest, at school. I remember noticing her slowly get out of the car to come give me a hug and saying to her, “Mikki, you are in a building that can protect you from the thunder, okay?” She made some mentions of the clouds being green (someone had taught her how to know when a tornado was coming, not so helpful at times like these) and what was she going to do if there was a tornado. I assured her that I was not that far away from her and her school had a plan in case such a thing happened, but that it wouldn’t. Well, there was a tornado that touched down that day, farther away from us, thank God, but the rain and wind howled so much that during the tornado warnings we had, our office had to seek shelter. Right after we were allowed to go back to work, I quickly called Makaila’s school and asked about her class and how she was doing (I love close knit, small schools). They assured me that she was fine and was back in class learning. She did inform me later on that night that she was really scared and just thought about what I had said to her, to comfort herself.

I think back to those days and wonder, if I had known this verse in the Bible, how much time I or she would not have wasted being afraid. But God isn’t only in the thunder. He is in nature itself. Society has made up this character named “Mother Nature” and she is used for several things. She is apparently the one who decides our weather, she is also the reason we have earthquakes and the like, you apparently don’t want to mess with her and mix up the order of her things, and she is also the one that apparently calls on women every month. Whew! She has a full load, doesn’t she? I am thankful that I can view nature as much more than some bipolar woman who lives in the abyss with different switches that decide whether we will have a nice day or bad one, whether it will rain or just be cloudy, all depending on her mood.

God has recently been showing me His splendor in nature. How only He can produce the colors we see at the exact time only to have them fade from orangish red into nighttime black skies or reddish orange into blue day skies or even more baffling, grey days. He is showing me the colors of flowers, the creation of things, even how our bodies work with nature. It is an incredible worship time for me and I take loads of pictures just to remember and relive that worship! He has given me talent, I am noticing, in photography and when someone finally gives me a Nikon D3200 camera kit or a Canon EOS 5D Mark III camera kit, or both, I will be publishing the pictures I take as I go from state to state. I will call it The Nature of Worship and it will be a book to remember and stop and wonder of such a God who could do these things He does!

Are you having a bad day? Are you going through a particular hardship right now? Stop and look at His wonders to allow Him to remind you of His love for you. These beautiful wonders are not for His benefit, He didn’t make them just because, He made them for us, so that we could behold His beauty and even in hard times be in awe of the greatness of His power!

God, You are the greatest Artist I know! Your artwork is something to behold yet we pass by it every day and take it for granted. Help us today to see You in nature, to stop and smell the flowers you gave us, to pull over and watch the sunrise or sunsets You don’t have to allow us to see, while we are still in the land of the living. Help us not to take You or Your power for granted. In Jesus name. amen!

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Just Ask

Just Ask

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.  But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind.  For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. James 1:5-8 ESV

My daughter goes to a Christian school in our town called Omaha Christian Academy. She has been there for two and a half years now and my son went there for his last two years of high school due to bullying and bad influences. I am on the prayer team there with two other ladies and we get together weekly to pray for the school, direction, staff, families and kids. A big prayer of faith we have had recently started out as asking God to work in the heart of a potential donor. You see we need a bus for our kids to go on trips, scholastic and sports wise as well as other clubs. We started out saying that we needed to pray for the money to get the bus but then God reminded me of my own prayer holding to the promise that I will have a vehicle of my own and that He would supply it. So I told them this story and said why can God not so this for our school? He is a God of the impossible! HE can supply our needs and He can do without the help or reliance of others!

So anyway, I read devotion the other morning from Joseph Prince and although his devo was about something else, the last sentence in this first paragraph spoke something else to me:

“One of my heroes from the 1800s is a man of faith called George Muller. With faith in God, he built five large orphanages and housed some 2,000 orphans annually. He never asked a soul for money, but brought every need before the Lord. He literally prayed in millions of dollars throughout his life to keep those orphanages going.” -Get God’s Medicine Into You Joseph Prince

Here is an email with a prayer I felt led to pray that I sent when I forwarded this to my two prayer partners and another friend God introduced me to!

“YES!!!! Chew on the first part of this especially about George Muller!!! The first paragraph, last sentence!!!! AMEN! AMEN! AMEN!!! PRAISE GOD WHO HEARS AND ANSWERS!!!! We don’t need to pray for new donors per se as much as we do donations!!! And then open our hands and expect to receive!!! James 1:6-8 comes to mind to remember when we pray!! Not to pray and cross our fingers but to pray, with thanksgiving, in expectation of what He already has for us!! The picture I get is of a parent who has something a child is looking at in a store and the child, instead of asking the parent, stares and wonders and even doubts that if he/ she asks that the parent would say yes. But when they finally do look to their parent ask, IT IS GIVEN!!!! Oh I am so excited for what’s in store and how He will blow our minds view!!!

ABBA Father, thank You for this revelation!! Thank You for being so patient and kind while we figure this out and ask others or wonder and doubt!! Would You, Lord, increase our faith TODAY!! Would You prepare signs and wonders for our eyes to see and blow doubt out of the water as we step out of this constricting, limiting boat called comfort and on to the unknown waters You have called us to! Would we not look at our circumstances as our needs and cry out in anguish but look to You, Jesus, and cry out praises instead!? Fill us Lord with your strength to endure! ABBA, remember us with the favor that You bestow upon Your people! Conceive in us new fervor, new strength, new boldness and as our speaker said last November, new COURAGE to step out into the unknown because we know You!! You are a God of the impossible!!! Exceed our requests and expectations today Lord! In Jesus name! AMEN!!!!”

I don’t know what else needs to be said other than we believe we shall see the goodness of The Lord in the land of the living! Not only when He comes to take us Home but now!! I am believing for this bus to be donated just like I am believing for El, our Provider to give me the good and perfect vehicle He has for me!! Whether He uses this donor, Woodhouse, who give freely as the Word says, or He Himself hands it to us, I know that it is on the way!! I do NOT lack wisdom or waver in my prayers for this bus!! I thank Him for what we do not see and pray GOD HELP OUR UNBELIEF!! 

What are you believing Him for? What has promise has He made to you? Can I remind you that his Word will NOT return to Him void?! Stop looking for resources or relying on your own and trust in the Source who gave you those resources!! His bank is everlasting! He Bank is never closed, never goes bankrupt and always gives freely to those who believe along with some gifts of grace and mercy! Believe in His goodness and mercy, declare His promises for your life and watch Him deliver!! FEDEX can’t beat His timing!! 

Lord, I just want to thank You for Your goodness and mercy! Thank You for the lessons and trials You take us through to strengthen our faith! Thank You for never giving up on us and for blessing us in spite of ourselves! Thank You for OCA’s courage and faithfulness and how they care for Your children! Pour into us this week Lord as a school, and as a family! As we all get together to pray for this need, I pray that You would meet the needs of others through us and in us! Thank You for continuing to entrust these families to us and even bringing about more! Increase our faith as You increase our children and as needs arise like more teachers, a gym of our own and bigger space! Make Your Face to shine on us and make us a bright Light to this neighborhood, this city, this state and this nation! Thank You for Your perfect blessing of a bus and Lord, thank You for my perfect vehicle!! In Jesus name! Amen!

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