“The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Lk. 2:12 NLT
From the heart of my family to yours – may you have a Very Merry Christmas!
My writing is late today for several reasons, but the main one is I couldn’t pull any thoughts together. Then tonight while watching Tim Allen in Santa Clause 3, it occurred to me – do we treat God like Santa?
I ask because in the beginning there is a scene with Tim Allen -as Santa, and he says “What does Santa do? He delivers!” What does Santa deliver? Gifts, toys, and our wants – down to our last whimsical wish. This is the season for Christmas movies, and I love all of them! They are upbeat, always end good, and everyone ends up happy. They are a great escape for a couple of hours because real life doesn’t always work that way.
As we get older do we still ask Santa for things, and deep down hope he delivers? Last night’s movie was Elf with Will Farrell, I laugh every time I see it. Towards the end, Michael Hobbs, played by Daniel Tay grabs Santa’s big book. In it all the names are written and what each person asked for, Michael Hobbs is trying to improve the Christmas Spirit when he takes it to a reporter and proceeds to tell her what she asked Santa for, after sharing what several children had asked for. She asked for an engagement ring, and for her boyfriend to stop dragging his feet. Deep down there’s still a kid in all of us, or we wouldn’t take our requests to Santa. There’s the inner child that loves to hear the Ho-Ho-Ho, and get the candy cane from the white glove! We put on our best clothes to go see the man in the red suit, and prepare months in advance what we will ask for. We can recite our items in seconds, and may even take time to write it down. Just in case Santa forgets.
Parents, and grandparents, listen intently to each child’s request in an effort to obtain the item requested of Santa. We don’t want to make Santa look bad, after all we don’t always get what we ask for from God. Because of that do we attempt to make Santa real? Could it be because we can touch, feel, and see Santa we gravitate towards the belief? His kindness and infectious laugh that makes his belly jiggle like a bowl full of jelly, the help he gets with the elves, and Rudolph’s red nose! Have we made Santa bigger than God?
About 10 feet away stands a three foot Santa, next to the nativity scene. Santa is taller, and figuratively bigger, but the power to behold is the comparison to the three inch baby in the manger.
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isa. 9:6 NLT
My Santa has packages in his bag, and hanging from his arm. The baby lies in a blue blanket holding nothing.
“She gave birth to her first child, a son. She wrapped him snugly in strips of cloth and laid him in a manger.” Lk. 2:7 NLT
I love Christmas, Santa, snowmen, sleighs, and songs but they don’t compare to the reality of Jesus in my life. The gifts Santa brings are tangible, and eventually will break, get donated, thrown away, retuned, or put up never to be seen again. The gift baby Jesus has is intangible. It is the gift of eternal life.
“The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!” Lk. 2:11 NLT
His gift cannot be taken away, discarded, put up, or given to another. His gift is for you, me, and all who believe. In Jesus, not Santa.
“If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. The LORD helps and delivers them; He will deliver them from the wicked and will save them because they take refuge in Him” (Ro. 10:9 & Ps. 37:40 HCSB)
HE is: The True Deliverer! Who do you seek gifts from?
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016 re-post from 2014
*picture from savingsmania, fanpop
There’s a popular Christmas Carole that rings throughout my ears all year. In fact, it is the basis for my blog, ministry, goal, and passion for others. You may be familiar with it, it is the song “Do You Hear What I Hear?” by Noël Regney.
It is a song of a shepherd boy in the field that encountered the angels announcing the birth of Jesus. The lamb saw the star in the sky, and heard the angels singing. It is assumed the shepherd boy heard and saw because he goes to the king to present a question. Did the king know what the shepherd boy knew? If so, they were to bring Him gifts.
When God makes himself known you can’t help but see, hear, and tell. To keep quiet would be to combust from the inside out. The song begins with the night wind talking to the little lamb. Could that be the lamb the shepherds were guarding? Telling them the shepherds will be leaving in a few minutes to see the baby Jesus, telling them they will be left alone but do not fear for God will shepherd them until they return, or telling them of the birth first before the angel appeared to the shepherds? Because the night wind saw a star dancing in the night! It must have been the star the wise men saw! After all as the song goes the tail was as big as a kite! The star located in the East was seen from afar as noted in the Book of Matthew.
“We saw his star in the east.” Mt. 2:2
I wonder if it was before the angel appeared to the shepherd boy the lamb asked, “Do you hear what I hear?” (Regney) I picture the angel of the LORD approaching because the sky was ringing, high above the trees, the angel’s light shone brightly and the voice was as big as the sea, as it proclaimed the Messiah has arrived in Bethlehem! (Lk. 2:8-14)
“an angel of the LORD appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.'” Lk. 2:9-10 NLT
And as the shepherd boy made his way to the manger where the baby lie, I wonder if he echoed, and shouted, the words of the prophet Isaiah from centuries earlier
“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s armies will make this happen!” Isa. 9:6-7 NLT.
God said it, and did it!
And as the boy runs swiftly, leaving his breath behind him, rapidly moving toward the future of the world that lay wrapped in swaddling cloths, snuggled in the hay, heavn’ and nature sing in the night sky – do you hear what I hear?
“The Child, the Child sleeping in the night. He will bring us goodness and light, He will bring us goodness and light.” Noël Regney.
Do you hear what I hear? Do you see what I see?
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2014, re-post Dec 2016
*picture by philliplight, soul-reach
Twas’ the night in the manger, when all through the countryside not a lion was stirring, not even a bear. The cattle was in for the night, along with the townspeople, in hopes that tonight would be like no other.
The shepherds were in the fields, watching over their flocks. And the wise men in their finest clothing, saddled up their camels, packed up their gifts, and had just set their paths for their long awaited journey.
When up in the sky there arose such a light, the shepherds dropped their staffs to see what was the sight! Away from their fears they flew like a flash, ran to the light, and covered their eyes.
The light from the angels shining brightly down from heaven gave the luster of day to the night sky above, when what to their amazement should they hear, but today in the town of David the Savior was here!
With the angels to accompany them, they moved so quick. They knew in a moment it must be Christ the Lord. More rapid than lions, they traveled afar, and they shouted and sang and called Him by name:
“He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!” (Isa. 9:6b)
Their search took them to Mary, Joseph, and the baby. The sight to behold was the baby lying in a manger.
And then in a twinkling, the wise men appeared. They heard outside the clickety clack of camel hooves, with the sight of their entourage, and gifts to give: frankincense, myrrh, and gold.
And then, in an instant, they joined in praising and glorifying God, for all they heard and seen. As Mary pondered in her heart all she had heard, she held tight the little baby Jesus.
He was dressed in cloths wrapped tightly around him. The gifts all around him and the animals paying homage. He looked like a normal baby boy: gentle, small, helpless, and yet held all the power of God.
His cry how gentle, his tears so wet, his cheeks were so round, and his sleep patterns adrift. His glow almost blinding, his little fingers wrapped tightly, as his mother cuddles him it leaves everything undaunting. He was normal like any other baby yet the one thing that is different is his Father – The Almighty. It was at that moment they knew they had nothing to dread.
He cried not a tear but went straight to sleep, the tiny baby Jesus, and they all smiled when they saw him, in spite of themselves. As the baby went to sleep they sprang out of the manger, and away they all went back to their places. But I heard them exclaim as they left out of sight,
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests!” (Lk. 2:14)
© 2014 Gentle Whisper Ministries- re-post Dec 2016
*picture by christmaskid. realmagda, goodlandspanish
I saw this picture and immediately thought, isn’t this how things are at times: everything happens at once, runs together, and there’s no break. We have a four letter word for it – LIFE.
There could be: health issues, relationship issues, work issues, home issues, wayward children, school issues, dependencies, financial issues, and the list could go on with things life seems to bring. Sometimes they come in groups not just alone.
“He changes the times and seasons,” Dn. 2:21a
Depending on where you live you may experience drastic changes in seasons, while others may not experience much of a change. For today the seasons I’m referring to are not related to the weather, but to life and the events and circumstances we find ourselves in. We may find ourselves in a hard season by our own doing, and other times by things outside of our control.
Either way it is God that controls the seasons, and how long we remain in them.
Having grown up in the Midwest I’ve heard, “It’s best to have a cold winter to kill everything off” meaning any illness in the air. However, it is no fun when temperatures get below zero, and your nose sticks together when you breathe, pipes freeze, and the snow is so hard it crunches underneath your feet like broken glass when you walk. Even your breath seems to freeze in mid-air, and you are bundled up so tight that you can hardly move. Some of you that have experienced extreme weather are shaking your heads in agreement right now.
But what about when life gets into the winter stage? Extreme situations have moved in that cause our breath to freeze with worry, and fear. Our eyes are wrapped up tightly in the situation at hand, our hearts crunch with each beat that our future is doomed. A blizzard has swept in and right now it prevents us from seeing past the current.
In my life’s current situation I can certainly find a reason to put myself in the lower left corner, the darkest of blue, the dead of winter, where everything is at a standstill. There is no glimpse of summer, let alone spring, or any vibrancy of fall. Yet, I am reminded by Daniel.
“He changes the times and seasons.” Dn. 2:21a HCSB.
The first picture tells me, even if I was in the lower left corner of winter, the next season is coming, and on the way the green of spring may get sprinkled in, until He places me in the summer season. Jesus himself says,
“In this world you will continue to experience difficulties.” Jn. 16:33 MSG
As far as the winter months killing everything off perhaps, as Beth Moore said in her study, Daniel, Lives of Integrity, Words of Prophesy, “maybe God, was doing a new thing and I just hadn’t taken the time to receive it” (39).
Whatever season you find yourself in may we take the time to receive it, and dress it up. If it’s winter to build a snowman with our circumstances “put a corn cob pipe and button nose on him, and be a jolly, happy, soul.” Frosty the Snowman, Walter E. Rollins.
If its spring may we pick the flowers in bloom, put them in a vase, and celebrate the beauty it brings.
“sing a new song to the LORD! Let the whole earth sing to the LORD!” Ps. 96:1 NLT.
When we move into the bliss of summer, during the warmth of the heat may our feet race to the beach, apply our sunscreen, and remind ourselves there is no better SPF than the Lord.
“For the LORD God is our sun and shield. He gives us grace and glory.” Ps 84:11a NLT.
During the fall as the hand of God directs our lives we may find some things are falling and changing. The scenery around us erupts with vibrant colors of gold, oranges, reds, and yellows remind us,
“The basic reality of God is plain enough. Open your eyes and there it is! By taking a long and thoughtful look at what God has created” Ro. 1:19b-20a MSG.
With the air filled with the smell of fall spices, may we carve out time to be with Him, for he says:
“You know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.” Mt. 6:32-33 MSG.
Let us not just carve out our pumpkins, squash, turkeys, and ham, but also carve out time to be alone with our Maker. This will carry us into the season that always follows fall. Whatever season of life you may be in, embrace where you are now. As hard as that might be He says,
“I will never fail you. I will never abandon you. So we can say with confidence, ‘The LORD is my helper, so I will have no fear. May God, who puts all things together,
make all things whole. He controls the course of world events,” Heb. 13:5-6a, 20a & Dn. 2:21a MSG/NLT.
I don’t know how long each season will last, but I do know who’s in control. Do you?
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016 re-post from 2014
pictures from jewishfolksongs.com, mmirsvsky, allbackgrounds
As the study of Daniel came to a close today I found the title Beth gave ironic, “Time Gives Way To Eternity.” (Moore – Daniel Lives of Integrity Words of Prophecy) What is the end, really becomes the beginning. So many times in life we get so caught up in the ending, and look at it as a bad thing.
What if we changed our perspective and instead said,
“This is just the beginning for a new thing!” In Revelation Jesus says, “Look! I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5a HCSB)
Even Daniel, as the book closes in chapter twelve, is told by God, “As for you go on your way to the end, you will rest, then…” (Dn. 12:13a HCSB). The word “then” indicates a next thing, something else, and it’s not over. What is it in your life that appears, by all the surrounding circumstances, to be the end?
In my life I have had several things that I thought was the end, however given some time it was not. When one job would end and I would think, I’ll never find another job, one would present itself. When a relationship would end, another would begin. Maybe not right away, which is a good thing. You may be thinking, well it was the end because of a death. I cannot say if that person will be in heaven or not and you will see them again, only God knows. What I can say to you is:
“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. There is no favoritism with God.” (Ro. 10:13 & Ro. 2:11 HCSB)
Isn’t that refreshing! Everyone! No favoritism! In my family my brothers and I have a joke with our parents that one of us is the favorite. Since I am the only girl, my line is “I am the favorite daughter!” Of course by reverse logic, as my youngest brother likes to point out, the opposite would also be true. I’d be the least favorite, ha-ha! Either way, there’s a favorite. Our mother, like any other mother, takes the politically correct route by saying each of us is her favorite by position in the family, or by career. That’s safe because there’s only one oldest, one middle, and one youngest, and we each have our own careers. One is not better or more loved than the other. The same is with God – no favorites.
As life moves us through our planned out journey each step builds on the other. As we go through twists, turns, trials, and triumphs we take with us a piece of that experience into the next place, path, and purpose. Take a moment to reflect on your life. What have you learned, and gained, from each experience? Did you think at a particular moment –this is the end? Yet, you are still here.
Earlier this week, I will share with you, it was not good for me. I was feeling like everything was hopeless. I called one of my best friends and shared my frustrations, thoughts, and feeling with her. Since I know her and the struggles she has, I knew she would agree with me. That’s what I was looking for. I can’t be the only one that knows who to call when I want someone on my side. I wasn’t looking for encouragement. The invitation was to join in on my pity party. Can you relate? Do you do the same thing? Can I just tell you, I had my party hooked up! Balloons, streamers, confetti – it was an all-out event full of “woe is me’s,” and I had someone to join me! Together we were having one of the best pity parties until – another One showed up.
This is what happens when a child of God throws a fit, and thinks it’s the end. The Holy Spirit in the midst of the party interceded, in the weak moment of: woe is me, all is lost, it’s the end – He shows up “and helps us in our weakness.” (Ro. 8:26a NLT). At that the party was over, and she and I laughed! Our sorrow turned to joy! Oh don’t get me wrong the troubles are still there. Just not as prevalent because
“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Ro. 8:28 NLT).
God has no favorites, and in fact waited for two of His children to get together before intervening and ending the pity party. Your sorrow will turn to joy, as a new thing begins.
When we find our self in the wilderness, and the forest thick before us, with darkness surrounding, dig deep in the recess of our memory and proclaim,
“forget all that (whatever is in front of you, behind you, covering you) – it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun (by ending what was)! Do you not see it?” (Isa. 43:18-19a NLT parenthesis mine)
So what we think is the end is really the beginning.
Dear one, like Daniel, your story is not over. Girlfriend, guy friend, we have eternity ahead of us. The time with God will be for an eternity. How do you even begin to measure that? I am such a goal-oriented, people person, that given any opportunity to make a list, and I’m on it! I’m your girl! Thinking of eternity for me, gives me time to make quite the to-do list, and sitting at the top will rest these words:
“Then the One seated on the throne said, “Look! I am making everything new.” (Rev. 21:5a HCSB)
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2014 – re-post, edited, Dec. 2016
*picture by thehappinesszone, deviantart, webmastergrade
Tomorrow will mark another day I journey across the Bay.
Last week I was listening to some lessons on-line by Beth Moore, in this particular lesson she said, “Sometimes God has us experience things so we can minister to another, and so that we can speak about it.” I agree, yet my spirit cried out “when can I stop experiencing all the hard things, and begin to experience good things?”
Have you been going through some rough days, months, or years?
I may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I firmly believe that we all do experience things so that we can help another, and encourage another, when they experience them.
But man. You too? I know, right.
I will echo the words of the Apostle Paul –
“And I want you to know, my dear brothers and sisters, that everything that has happened to me here has helped to spread the Good News.” Phil. 1:12 NLT
Before someone tells me we are very fortunate in America. That there are millions across the globe that have nothing, and daily have to walk miles for food. There are millions of others that deal with an illness, or incurable disease. I agree with you. Travesties far worse. When your world was flipped upside down, it becomes a challenge to put those things into perspective as you stare into the forest before you.
My perspective is from someone that had their life mapped out, everything was going well, until – it was flipped upside down. The table began to tilt with the lay-off. Three and a half years later it was upside down. But isn’t it funny that while upside down I had only one way to look – UP.
I’ve heard it said “it is better to have nothing than to have and lose it all.” I never really understood that. I was one of those that would say, “It’s only things,” “If you lose your job you can get a new one.” Those statements are true, but the ability to cope is much tougher. It was three years before I found a job, a full-time, permanent, with benefits, job. The ones in-between were part time, or seasonal, and the pay was marginal.
“…the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me; this will lead to my deliverance.” Phil. 1:19b NLT
Can you relate? Have you been there? Are you there now?
If you are, I understand. When the table of our life gets flipped upside down its:
“Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.” Phil. 2:4 NLT
I know how your emotions can be up one day and down the next. I know how others close to you won’t, or don’t, even offer to help. Their reason – “you never asked.” I mean really? You can’t just do something? I know how the people you thought were your friends never called and asked – how are you? How are things? Instead they stayed away. If someone would have asked me five years ago, if all this would have happened. I would have probably said, “unlikely.” How wrong I would have been.
None of us know the path God has laid out for us. But what I do know, having journeyed on the road you may be on today, is to keep going. Don’t give up.
When you want to stay in bed, with the covers over your head. Get up.
“I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little.” Phil. 4:12 NLT
What may be in front of you now is the forest, and you can’t see the tree, but friend just put one foot in front of the other, and keep going.
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Phil. 4:13 NLT
During this time look for what God wants you to do? In the midst of everything this blog was birthed. It came with ease, although at times I suffer writer’s block, or time constraints, but God will make a way for His will to be done.
Each day I made a list of three things. I had to do these three things in order:
Start small. Make your list to fit your situation. Find at least three things to do each day. Something to keep you busy, productive, and focused, as you journey on your path.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.” Mt. 6:33 NLT
We who love Jesus are all called to spread His Good News. Wherever God plants your feet – share. Talk to people. Friend, you and I are not alone in our struggles. It may be dressed differently, but it brings with it the same fears, tears, and doubts.
“Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!” Ps. 96:2-3 ESV
I wish I could tell you that tomorrow your struggle will be over. But, I cannot. I have no idea. Except that one day it will end. The gates of heaven will open and things will begin to change. Hang in there. In the meantime, sing, seek, and declare glory to Him.
In the years of my struggle, I learned a side of God that I had not known before. Friend, I pray as you seek Him in your time of struggle you will learn more about the God that loves you. His Son that gave His life for you, and the Spirit He gives today for wisdom.
“Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be hoy and without fault in his eyes.” Eph. 1:4 NLT
Tomorrow as I journey across the Bay, day in and day out, I’ll watch for opportunities to share, encourage, and inspire, another – for His glory.
“No, dear brother and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.” Phil. 1:13 NLT
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by tenspeedhero, imgarde, pixgood
Today is October 30. The day known as All Hallows’ Eve. The day before the world renowned Halloween, or All Hallows’ Day. Something else I just learned Halloween is also, All Saints’ Day, as noted by BBC – Religions, and the Catholic Church.org.
I am not Catholic; however, having grown up in the church in a different denomination, Halloween was never referred to as All Saints’ Day. Even today the church I attend does not promote Halloween. Many churches promote Fall Festivals, and the now popular Trunk-or-Treats.
I will admit, and most likely will receive a frown from my pastor and bible study teacher, I like Halloween. I like the fun of hay rides, bonfires, pumpkins, carvings, costumes, S’mores, ok and a scary hay ride is fun too. Scary, but fun. I like the Disney Halloween movies, and some of the Classics. It is part of the season. Where I live now we don’t have pumpkin patches, or orchards, and the leaves really don’t change. However, the weather in October brings a crispness to the air by removing the high level of humidity that is the typical blanket of air. Fall and winter where I live bring with it fantastic hair days!
Last night my boyfriend and I went on a scary hay ride, and after we left he made a comment, “You know what’s really scary? Life and all that comes with it.” Yes, it can be.
That comment triggered a few scenes in my mind’s eye. Some of the scenes that began to come alive were:
I’m sure you could add to this list. Those in those shoes I’m pretty sure if Frankenstein, A Werewolf, the Scream character, Freddy Kruger, Michael Myers, or Jason, showed up at their door it would be nothing. The things they face – are much scarier.
Wasn’t he right? Life is scary.
Yet what I find scarier is this scene:
“I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to what they had done, as recorded in the books.” Rev. 20:12 NLT
We hear over and over – live for today. Just do it. But, on this All Hallows’ Eve – the thing that remains the scariest is on the Day of Judgement – we will all be judged according to what we have done.
I can hear the church people standing in contention saying – Jesus has forgotten, and forgiven our sins. Yes, I agree. However, God is clear that all will be judged according to their deeds. Does not matter who you are – From the Apostle Paul to the homeless man on the streets. You, and I too – judged. SCARY.
After proclaiming and confessing that Jesus is Lord.
“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, is it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.” Ro. 10:9-10 NLT
I believe a lot of people come to Jesus thinking he is the ticket to winning the lottery. He is in the sense of:
“For everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” Ro. 10:11 NLT
“Christ died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.” Ro. 8:34 NLT
“When the Father sends the Advocate as my representative – that is, the Holy Spirit – he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you.” Jn. 14:26 NLT
But He is not, in the sense of having a life living in the rose garden. He tells us to be prepared, things will get tough.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way…” Ja. 1:2a NLT
“…There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a while.” 1 Pe. 1:6 NLT
So friends, I agree – Life is SCARY. And the Haunted Hay Ride we may be on takes us through:
And many more, but one thing remains constant –
“The LORD is for me; so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” Ps. 118:6 NLT
And that, my friends, is NOT SCARY.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by pinterest, wallpaperup
For such a time as this…
Those six words continue to echo in my head. As my birthday inches forward I find myself moving closer to the bi-centennial clock. I can’t help but wonder – what will be.
As I was working on a new project today I came across a document I had written out in 2008. My eyes stared at the words and my mind went into rewind to visit where I was then. I was in full swing in my career. I started on the path to finish my bachelor’s degree, just for an accomplishment. I didn’t plan to switch careers.
Until one day, I decided to go after a dream that was laid to rest back in the 1980’s. Everything begins with a thought. I was an empty nester, and thought – why not. What do I have to lose?
Looking back. The answer I would discover years later was – everything. And yet, I have gained so much more.
For such a time as this….
When life puts us in the spin cycle things get out of sorts, and our clarity can become blurred. We lose focus, and may begin to ask the age old question – now what?
Has life ever been on track for you, then all of a sudden it spins out of control? If so, has it stopped yet? Mine hasn’t stopped, but it has slowed down. I have tried not to think about what was because that is gone. Can’t change it. Can’t get it back.
In the words of the Apostle Paul I try to keep my eyes focused forward.
“I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus.” Phil. 3:12-13 MSG
I imagine Queen Esther and Daniel both thinking the same thing. They had things planned out. A dream, a goal. And then, life changed. For Queen Esther she ends up leaving her uncle’s house. Her comforts, friends, and own bed, only to be recruited by the king’s men. Friends, this is not Cinderella’s story. It would be more like Disney meets The Bachelor, followed by Survivor. She is forced to compete with other girls in the kingdom, and go through a 12 month beauty process. Esther 2.
Daniel on the other hand, a young teenager, hanging out with his friends, was living everyday life in Jerusalem. All of a sudden finds himself taken into captivity to Babylon. He is now required to learn their ways. They put him in culture classes to become one of them.
In both instances both Daniel and Esther found themselves in new environments. Learning new things. Dealing with new people. And, in both instances they remain true to themselves. And, to God.
Esther had to deal with facing the king without an invitation. To do so meant death. Yet, in an effort to protect her people – The Jews. She goes.
“Esther sent back her answer to Mordecai: “Go and get all the Jews living in Susa together. Fast for me. Don’t eat or drink for three days, either day or night. I and my maids will fast with you. If you will do this, I’ll go to the king, even though it’s forbidden. If I die, I die.”’ Esth. 4: 15-16 MSG
Daniel, along with his three friends decide they will attempt to control the only thing they can while living in captivity. What they eat. This is to remain true to God.
“But Daniel was determined not to defile himself by eating the food and wine given to them by the king. He asked the chief of staff for permission not to eat these unacceptable foods.” Dan. 1:8 NLT
For the Apostle Paul, Queen Esther, and Daniel, their lives were turned upside down. What once was the sky reflecting off the water, the water reflected off the sky, and for them there was a reason.
For such a time as this…
They embraced it, and forged ahead. When life reflects upside down for us, when we get thrown into the spin cycle, do we forge ahead? Do we remain true to God? Or do we conform to society’s standards?
The words that stood face to face with me today, that were scribed in 2008, were written as part of a development plan I was writing for myself.
Express a desire to achieve a particular accomplishment.
Today that’s not an option for a particular accomplishment. However, where God has placed me is not in a palace with a king, or in Babylon in captivity. Like the Apostle Paul I am not facing the Sadducees and Pharisees.
In similar form I am in a new environment. Meeting new people. Tapping into old skills in an effort to pour into my co-workers, motivation, encouragement, and a sense of accomplishment. I have shared stories, related to others, and empathized with them. But today, when those five words stood at attention, as my eyes scanned each letter, I find myself asking the same question the Queen Esther’s uncle asked her –
“Who knows if perhaps you were made… for just such a time as this?” Esth. 4:14b NLT
Today as the bi-centennial clock ticks forward the goal to retire at 50 has faded, but God has placed my feet on a new path. A path that will lead to new goals, new dreams, and a new accomplishment that will fit –
For such a time as this…
Wherever you are at in life today ask yourself the same question, and who knows, if perhaps you were made –
For such a time as this.
©Gentle Whisper Ministries 2016
*pictures by 4freeimagesforyou, lifehappens
I will be posting articles written in the past due to time constraints to write in the present. I hope you find them as refreshing and encouraging as I do. They tend to still be relevant. Hang in there with me folks, and pray God opens up time to write, and the words flow like water.
“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” Ecc. 3:1NLT