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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Time Out

Dear Friend:

Do you ever have days where thoughts are racing through your mind?

Things like:

Am I really doing enough?

Am I doing too much?

What if I do too much and get sick?

Am I doing what God created me to do?

I just don’t feel like I am making a difference?

This work I am doing is not fulfilling.

I got to do more.

Maybe if I just get a job.

How am I going to get everything done?

I have to be honest, I race some of these thoughts in my head. What a battle it can be.

So this morning I said to the Lord. Enough is enough! This head of mine has to stop! Understand this has been going on for a couple of days. Finally I am surrendering to God and saying “Time out.” What is the truth about all of these thoughts? Then I prayed.

Maybe you need to pray with me: Father in heaven great is your name. Lord help my anxious thoughts, bring peace to my spirit (taken from Phil. 4:6-7). I thank you for always being my God. Sorry for taking so long to come to you. Thank you that you know the plans you have for me and you will make them known. (Phil. 1:6) Just walk me through today. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

I think the title “TIME OUT” is so cute. I sense God talking to the 2 year old in me saying “Elaine you need a time out to sort with me. Come on now go in the corner and spend time with me. You are not being punished, but you are going to be refreshed.

So I am going into the corner for refreshment, do you need to go there to?

Being refreshed,

Elaine

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Most Unexpected

Dear Friend:

As I sat in church this past Sunday the sermon touched my heart, and I feel compelled to pass a story on 2 your heart.

The speaker was telling his story of his 2007 summer trip with his family. On a beach in California, with his13 year old son they, joyfully dove into the cold water excited to spend time together. Soon as they got over the cold water shock and the fun of the waves they both began to realize that the tide had pulled them out further than expected and farther out of the sight of family members. Panic began to set in the Father’s heart realizing he was in over his head and out of control. As thoughts of death raced through his head all that came to him as a God fearing man was the embarrassment now of not praying, but looking at his wife and other children on the beach and the panic growing on his son’s face. The Father was lacking energy, scared and struggling, but knew he had to get to his son. Once the father reached him, the boy tried to climb on him and they were both going under. Then the Father tried to throw his son toward the beach which really only moved him a few feet. He just kept pushing him forward. At the same time realizing the boy needed to take his energy and put it to use also or they would both die. The boy’s reflection afterward recounted “I was underwater and had given up, and then suddenly from below, my dad threw me up and out of the water. It was only after that, I got hope and began trying to swim.” The boy became engaged and began to swim with all his might. The Father’s determination began to feel like hope, overwhelming love and God’s goodness. After what seemed like 30 minutes, the Father with one last push got the son into the arms of an Uncle making his way out into the water. The Father sighs with relief that his son is saved and almost gives up himself, but with every last drop of energy he gets to the Uncle who brings him ashore. The Father was rescued but felt very sick and very weak. He takes the week to recover, but only to end up in the hospital near home very sick with kidney failure caused from complete muscle exhaustion. Upon weeks of being toxic and having kidney dialysis he survives but is 32 pounds lighter. The weeks of uncertainty were very hard on the whole family.

As the son tells his story “after being rescued standing on the beach watching his Father struggle to make it, a peace came over me. I knew how much my Father loved me and I knew that my Father was at peace seeing me safe.”

This reflection that the boy read from his own diary after the incident, struck me. Let me explain. Being around people who have experienced from their parents wounds, tiredness from rejection, betrayal and lack of love, I have seen so many people today have a lack of sensing love from the Father in heaven for them because of their earthly Father. Asking people if they want to have a personal relationship with Jesus is a big leap. If our earthly relationships with those we trusted have been damaged, that makes it very hard to rest in the arms of a Heavenly Father. Right there in church I witnessed a perfect example of Fatherly love for a son and that translated into the life for a son of such assurance of who he was and who his father is. The Father paved a way for his son to understand the Father’s love and except Jesus freely and together they will make a difference in this world.

I ask you today, how do you view your Father on earth? Pray today, Father in heaven is there anything blocking me from receiving your unconditional love?

A Father’s love for his son/daughter is something so huge. Can we grasp it if we have been hurt by our earthly Father? I can tell you I have seen it over and over again, it can be hard. Listening for the answer on this prayer will take time. I guarantee if there is someone you need to forgive and release to God, this will be the greatest revival in your soul. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth exploring.

I am adding this right before I was about to send this out. My friend’s husband died this week after a 5 week battle with cancer, he was just 60 years old. At the funeral his daughter got up to say a few words, she quoted this verse.

Psalms 86:5 You are forgiving and good, O Lord, abounding in love to all who call to you.

After quoting this verse she told the story of how her Father had to come to her once and ask her for forgiveness for the way he handled something with her earlier. That is what stuck out in her mind for all the years that they spent together. She said “the earthly Father points you to the heavenly Father.” That is what he did for her throughout her life, by example his actions were like the Father in heaven, forgiving and loving.

Receiving the love,

Elaine

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Enchanted

Dear Friend:

I was watching the movie “Enchanted.” Have you seen it? I have to say it was worth seeing. If you did not see it, I am sure if you grew up seeing any of the Disney movies like “Snow White” or “Cinderella” this sort of combines them. Today what I want to focus on is the “Red Delicious Apple” that was given to the princess to entice her into believing “if” she eats the apple things will change for the better. Hmmm? I wonder where this age old idea came from.

Don’t wonder any longer. I am going to tell you where it came from, God’s word. Right in the beginning of the world back in Genesis, READ GEN. 2:15 TILL END OF CHAPTER 3 IMAGINE YOU’RE IN THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GARDEN EVER CREATED AND SINK INTO THE DRAMA OF Adam and Eve’s story. God said “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Satan (the serpent) responds by deceiving or confusing Eve to what God really asks in verse 3:1 “did God really say, ‘you must not eat from any tree in the garden?’” She replies ‘you must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’” She sort of quoted what God said didn’t she? The serpent asks “you will not surely die.” “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” This was a lie! LIE= FALSE STATEMENT WITH DELIBERATE INTENT TO DECEIVE FOR DETRUCTION. God lovingly is like our parents. He knows what we should and should not do and lovingly tries to steer us in the right direction for our own good. Right? Sometimes we hear the truth and know the right thing to do, but our thoughts make an argument in our mind and lie to us and we end up changing our mind. Kind of like a train on one track when it gets to a fork in the track and switches to another track.

You know in “Snow White” and “Enchanted” a prince charming had to come and save the princess with a kiss, because she ate the apple. She did not deserve new life, but the Prince loved her so much that he gave her new life “free” she did nothing to earn it. Jesus is our “Prince” he is the solution to the most unforgiveable sin that started in the Garden in Eden, acting apart from God caused separation. Indeed Eve and Adam did not physically die, but their eyes were opened and life was completely on their own free will. We have that free will today. God really has called us to draw near to Him and the only solution he could bring was Jesus on the cross, by His death and resurrection. We keep separating ourselves from God with some new philosophies that are out there today. Here are a few:

1. Eckhardt Tolle’s book A New Earth. Some truth mixed with philosophy. Just like Eve did with the serpent in the Garden. Truth mixed with lies.

2. If I am good, I will go to heaven. How good is good enough?

3. There is not evil in people. Everyone’s perfect?

4. My fortune cookie said “rely on your own good judgment to lead you to success.”

Do you leave God out of decisions?

You maybe asking “Elaine, aren’t you being a little harsh?" I am just quoting God’s word, ask Him if I am being a little harsh, he said it not me.

Praying scripture: Proverb 3:5-6 Lord help me trust in you with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding; in all my ways help me acknowledge you and you will make my path straight. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Enchanted by God,

Elaine

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Relationship

Dear Friend:

Hi how are you doing today? I have just came back from travelling to Florida and California. So I have been doing some casual reading. An interesting book that I read is called “Mistaken Identity.” It is a true story about two college girls at Taylor University in Michigan who were in a car accident. Ironically the two girls look very much alike. One of the girls lived and the other died. The coroner mixed their identity up. This was on national news when the accident occurred April 2006. For five weeks one of the girls suffered from being in a coma from brain damage and was given the name of the dead girl. So the wrong parents were called in to care for who they thought was Laura, but really was Whitney. At about five weeks the parents, boyfriend, friends and siblings discovered the mistaken identity. They then had to call the parents of Whitney and tell them their daughter did not die, but has been living under their care for five weeks. The ID came from dental records. You would have to read the book to really get how these parents were mistaken to care for Whitney believing that it was Laura.

The extra ordinary circumstances were undoubtly odd, but the story of both families being united by them is incredible. Both family’s faith and RELATIONSHIP with Jesus was what truly got them through such unimaginable circumstances.

I know people that are full of faith and have a personal relationship with Jesus. They know his character and love. Because of that relationship I see the character of Jesus in them and it spills out in their daily life. Some of us judge and say “oh they are always talking Jesus, they are so religious.” The personal touch these families had because of their relationship with Jesus became very profitable when it came down to this real life situation. Their powerful God tools were in place for crisis and they used them. What are some powerful God tools? Let me list a few:

1. Assurance of a sovereign Jesus.

2. Prayer

3. Community of believers to support them.

4. Forgiveness

5. Mercy

6. Grace

7. Love

All taught by the master or as the Bible says the High Priest which is Jesus Christ the King. Let me quote what scripture says

Hebrews 4:14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess.

4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are--yet was without sin.

4:16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. “

Jesus experienced the death of a friend also. When Lazarus died the bible says “Jesus wept.” These two families held on firmly to their faith and went to Jesus throne of grace with confidence and they received mercy and grace in their time of need.

Do you need to go to the throne today?

Let’s pray: Father in heaven thank you for being my high pries who goes through the heavens so that I can hold firm to the faith I profess. You alone can sympathize with my weaknesses and troubles. Help me to approach your throne of grace with confidence, so that I may receive mercy and find grace to help me in my time of need. (may want to list the needs) In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Grace be with you,

Elaine