What do I really need?

SHOPPING FOR GROCERIES IN A WASHINGTON, DISTRI...

SHOPPING FOR GROCERIES IN A WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA SUPERMARKET – NARA – 555652 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each morning everyone gathered as much as they needed, and when the sun grew hot, it melted away. On the sixth day, they gathered twice as much—two omers for each person—and the leaders of the community came and reported this to Moses. – Exodus 16:21-22

When I buy groceries, I think I have purchased just the right amount, but it always seems like I am throwing away food that has gone bad because my husband and I just never got around to eating that particular food. We didn’t need it.

It is amazing to think that God knows exactly what we need each day. Many times, we think we need more. There seems to be a fear of not having enough. I understand that some children who have lived in situations where there wasn’t enough food for them will continue to hide food away even when they are in a much better circumstance with plenty. They still carry the fear of being hungry.

Trusting God for our daily bread is an exercise we must practice at all times. By doing this, we will gain peace in knowing that God will supply. It may not be all that we want, but it will be exactly what we need.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for teaching me what I need differs from my wants. There is always abundance in your storehouse. Amen

Faith Tip: Notice what it is you need to survive for today. Thank God for providing for you.

Drop the rock…

holding stone

holding stone (Photo credit: tamaki)

Then the Lord said to Moses: “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘When you cross the Jordan into Canaan, select some towns to be your cities of refuge, to which a person who has killed someone accidentally may flee. They will be places of refuge from the avenger, so that anyone accused of murder may not die before they stand trial before the assembly. These six towns you give will be your cities of refuge. Give three on this side of the Jordan and three in Canaan as cities of refuge. These six towns will be a place of refuge for Israelites and for foreigners residing among them, so that anyone who has killed another accidentally can flee there. – Numbers 35:9-15

My friend had been hurt. Someone she trusted betrayed her. She was tricked into thinking that this person was unable to go to an event with her because of sickness. She later found out that the one she trusted went with somebody else.

Many of us have been hurt by similar situations. We want to pick up a big stone and throw it at them meaning to do harm. But remember Jesus with the woman caught in adultery in John 8.  All the Pharisees had the stones in their hands ready to kill the woman. As Jesus wrote in the dirt, perhaps words that reminded each of them of their own wrongdoings, the stones dropped one by one onto the ground … a testimony of their own guilt.

We are ready to avenge someone who has done wrong … especially against us. God knows all about what happened, so we don’t need to make a case. We can let him handle it, because he knows exactly what to do. Can we trust him in this?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for taking care of times I have been wronged and have wronged others.  I pray that I can let go and let you handle it. Amen

Faith Tip: Is there a situation that you are holding on to and still feeling the barbs of resentment. It’s time to let go and be free. Trust God in that he will handle it in a perfect manner.

There’s a reason to celebrate!

So Moses told the Israelites to celebrate the Passover, and they did so in the Desert of Sinai at twilight on the fourteenth day of the first month. The Israelites did everything just as the Lord commanded Moses. – Numbers 9:4-5

Celebration helps me remember important things in life. For example, this past weekend my aunt and I went to celebrate what would have been the 100th birthday of her mother/my grandmother. We had a theme of doing things that she would have liked to do. So we went to Frankenmuth, Michigan, and looked in all the places of interest … especially Bronner’s, and ate the chicken dinner at the Bavarian Inn. We played rummy in the hotel with Looney Tunes cards, had birthday cake, ice cream, and just had a fun time.  At Bronner’s, we had personalized ornaments made to commemorate the day. We celebrated a life that was important to us.

God has done so many wonderful things for us that we could really celebrate every day. It’s important to remember what God has done because it encourages us to go on. Knowing the great love and power that God has makes us stronger on the inside to do what we are called to do. Celebrate that today.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the great things you have done in my life. I pray I may never forget them and continue to celebrate you. Amen

Faith Tip: Find a reason to celebrate God today.

Are you a victim?

Ball and chain

Ball and chain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

God makes everything come out right; 
he puts victims back on their feet.
He showed Moses how he went about his work,
opened up his plans to all Israel.
God is sheer mercy and grace;
not easily angered, he’s rich in love.
He doesn’t endlessly nag and scold,
nor hold grudges forever.
He doesn’t treat us as our sins deserve,
nor pay us back in full for our wrongs. – portion of Psalm 103 The Message

There was a man down on his luck. It seemed like everything he attempted to do in life failed. He was a victim. However, looking back on past choices in life, it seemed like the perfect storm for failure. There may have been an event in his life where he was hurt. That would make him the victim in that instance, but not a forever victim.

Being a victim is a role that is taken on when someone or something affects their life. However, remaining in the role is a choice. If everything that happens in life goes through the mind file of victim, then there is a limitation on what can be done. However, breaking free from the victim chains and taking responsibility and making good choices will allow a person to truly blossom into the person they were meant to be.

God gives us what we need to do this. His grace and mercy cover our many bad choices. There may be consequences, but there is always love and redemption in Jesus.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for picking me back up when I have fallen. Your love has carried me through many valleys, and I pray that the freedom you have given me will encourage another. Amen

Faith Tip: Have you taken on the role of victim for something that has happened long ago? It’s time to be free from that. Allow God to help you through the transition.

Complaining again?

Photo of a typical refrigerator with its door ...

Photo of a typical refrigerator with its door open. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The whole Israelite community set out from Elim and came to the Desert of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after they had come out of Egypt. In the desert the whole community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. The Israelites said to them, “If only we had died by the Lord’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death.” – Exodus 16:1-3

“There’s nothing to eat.” How many times have we heard or thought that as we look for something to prepare for dinner? It’s not that the cupboards and refrigerator are bare, but just what we want to eat isn’t there, or perhaps the preparation feels like too much after a busy day. We complain about what we don’t have instead of seeing and appreciating what we do have.

I remember feeling like this a day before going grocery shopping. I felt like there was nothing to make for dinner, but when I really looked at what I had, I found rice, beans, frozen meat to be thawed and carrots and celery. It was plenty of items for a great meal using wonderful spices. It was a feast. I just needed to focus on what I had rather than didn’t have.

Our spiritual life can be like that, too. We journey through life thinking we don’t have enough and we need more to be happy and successful. That is not the message of God. He knows exactly what we need and provides it. If we concentrate on what we have in our life, we may be surprised of all the ways we are blessed.

Prayer: Forgive me, Lord, when I don’t acknowledge the blessings you have given me. I pray that I recognize them and keep focused on them so that I don’t fall into the complaining pit. Amen

Faith Tip: Make a list of the ways you are blessed and thank God for them.

What’s that burning over there?

Moses before the Burning Bush

Moses before the Burning Bush (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 When the Lord saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush,“Moses! Moses!”

And Moses said, “Here I am.” – Exodus 3:4

For me, one of the good things that came out of having cancer was an awareness of the need of others who suffer. Being a part of the cancer community became a call to work in supporting others who are or have dealt with it. The cancer was my burning bush.

God sends many burning bushes to us throughout our life when he wants to get our attention to invite us to join him in his work. So many times, we are distracted by what’s going on around us that we sadly miss the large flaming shrub that should be so obvious to us.

Consider the burning bushes in your life that called you to action. How were you blessed? What did you learn about God and yourself? The important part of seeing a burning bush is our response. Like Moses, will we say “Here I am”?

Prayer: Lord, you are doing so many things at the same time that I can’t fully understand how you do that. I am so thankful for the burning bushes you place in my life knowing that you want me to join you in some work. I pray I may say, “Here I am, Lord.”

Faith Tip: Today, keep an eye open for a burning bush. God may be calling you for something special.

 

The Power of Relationship

Moses holding up his arms during the battle, a...

Image via Wikipedia

The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.”

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. – Exodus 17:8-13

This past weekend, I spent some quality time with God’s people. It was a pilgrimage. Together we journeyed in discovering more about God. What did we discover? God’s great love for us expressed through each other. We found out that we needed one another not only through the weekend, but perhaps more after the weekend.

Gathering together in God’s name is a call. We were never meant to travel life alone. Yes, we have the Holy Spirit inside of us and I praise God for that, but there is another element needed in those God puts in our life. Sometimes the relationship is life-long and sometime just for a season, but they are both crucial for our spiritual makeup.

The power of God’s love and grace is dynamic when people that follow Jesus gather together. It must be experienced for it can never be fully described in words. I encourage you to make plans to get together with some friends and family who know what this means, and be ready to show others who don’t know the great bond they are missing.

Prayer: Lord, I thank you for the relationships you have brought into my life, especially my relationship with you. I pray that I demonstrate the power of your love to those I come in contact with today. Amen

Faith Tip: Consider the people God has placed in your life. How do they uphold you? What part do you play in supporting another?