Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I, Being in the Way

What great stories I’ve been reading the past couple of weeks!  So exciting.  And interesting!  Oh…did I mention that I’ve been reading from Genesis, the first book of the Bible?  Yep.  Exciting. Interesting.  While reading I’ve been reminded of several of my former Pastor, Dr. David Shepherd’s, sermons from the late 1980’s.   Could not help but chuckle to myself as I read in Genesis 8:7-8 about Noah sending out the raven and the dove to check and see if the waters of the flood had gone down enough for him and his family to leave the ark.  Only those of you who have also heard Bro. Shepherd’s sermon titled “The Raven and the Dove” will understand!  Trust me!

And then in Genesis 24 the sweet story of how the servant of Abraham was led by God to find Rebekah for a wife for Isaac, Abraham’s son.  Bro. Shepherd titled his sermon on this “Seeking a Bride for Isaac” …if my memory serves me correctly. This servant of Abraham had prayed before hand and asked God to let him know which woman He had chosen for a bride for Isaac by letting her not only offer him water from the well but also water for his camels.  Which is exactly what Rebekah did (Genesis 24:18-19 And she said, Drink, my lord: and she hasted, and let down her pitcher upon her hand, and gave him drink. And when she had done giving him drink, she said, I will draw water for thy camels also, until they have done drinking.)

Abraham’s servant was so awed that God had answered his prayer so vividly that Genesis 24 26-27 say “And the man bowed down his head, and worshipped the LORD. And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master’s brethren.”

As I read this several days ago, the phrase “I being in the way” seemed to leap out at me.  Abraham’s servant meant that because he was in the right place …because of trusting God to show him the way….he was led straight to the woman God had chosen to be Isaac’s wife…Rebekah.

But then I thought about another way we can use that same phrase “I being in the way”.   Have you ever said to someone, “Would you mind moving? You’re ‘in the way’ “.  Or have you not thought that you needed to move some clutter that had accumulated because it was “in the way”?  This meaning of the phrase usually talks about something that is a hindrance.

So then I compared the two meanings as they might apply to our spiritual lives.

1.If I pray and ask God to guide me, then at some point I will be “in the way” , or in the right place for Him to use and bless me.

2. If I don’t seek God’s will in my life, then probably sooner than later, I will be “in the way” of His having His way in my life.  And most likely I will also then be “in the way” of others finding life in Jesus Christ. 

So it’s a matter of choice I guess.  I can chose to be “in the way” by  trusting God’s leading in my life and be where He can use me best.  OR I can chose to be “in the way” by ignoring God’s instructions and becoming a stumbling block to others. You have the same choice.  Which way will we chose to be in? The right one I hope!

 May God bless you greatly during this Christmas season as we celebrate the birth of Jesus!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sometimes Wishes Do Come True

It was 1965.  I was twelve years old and I wanted a guitar so badly! Not that I could play one by any means! No. But I wanted one just the same. I knew they cost a lot of money and that my family could not afford many frivolous gifts for Christmas so was pretty sure I was wishing in vain! But I did go ahead and voice my wish to my Mama and Daddy.

Usually Christmas Day around our house was a busy time with family coming in for dinner and at the age of twelve I was already helping Mama do a lot of the cooking and cleaning for company.  I was the youngest of seven kids and by 1965 I was the only one left at home. I have nieces and nephews close to my own age so I always looked forward to them coming to visit on Christmas. They were more like cousins to me and I'm sure I was nothing like an "Aunt" to them! ha  Perhaps because of Christmas Day usually being busy, Mama, Daddy, and me most often exchanged/opened our gifts on Christmas Eve.

(Entry in my "Five-Year-Diary" from December 24, 1965)

Christmas Eve came and Mama brought out a big box.  I can't remember if it was even wrapped or not,  but inside this big box was the stuff dreams are made of...my wish come true!  A guitar of my own!  I loved it! It didn't matter, nor did I realize, that it was just a cheap guitar that would prove very hard to play.  What mattered was that it was mine and exactly what I had asked for.  There was a simple "Learn How to Play Guitar" book included and so in a couple of weeks I had taught myself to play several songs. Oh how I loved singing and playing that guitar. Alone or with friends. 

I wondered for a long time how it was that my parents were able to find the money to get me a guitar that year. Much later Mama finally told me that a appliance dealer in town was giving away guitars with the purchase of a new appliance that year and he had an extra guitar left which he sold to her. I'm sure at a low price that she was able to afford. I really thought that was a pretty awesome story.

That guitar traveled with me to many states and even Canada while on summer choir tours with the Youth Choir from First Baptist Church. It holds a special place in my heart still, although it has been retired and when I play the guitar now I have a much better, easier-to-play one that Benny gave me...also for Christmas!...several years ago.

Why did I even voice my wish for a guitar to my parents all those years ago as a twelve year old when I knew in my heart they could not afford one? I wanted a guitar! So why am I hesitant to ask my Heavenly Father..Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the hills themselves!.... for the things I would like to have? I suppose that over the years I have lost some of the child-like faith that I had back in 1965. But I'd like to get it back!

Jesus wants to hear from me. He wants to hear from you. In fact, He invites us to ''ask'' of Him in Luke 11:9-13 (And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father,will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?)

Jesus tells us that if we as imperfect humans give good gifts to our children, how much more shall He give to us when we ask Him. It may not always be a tangible gift that we receive. Verse 13 talks about the Father giving the Holy Spirit to those who ask.  But sometimes it just might be a gift that you can see and touch that He gives to us! God knows what we need...and what we wish for!

I wish for you this Christmas season that you receive a gift from the Father above that will meet a special need in your life at this particular time! He is able!

God bless you!