Thursday, January 31, 2013

There is One Who Will Always Listen

Remember back in the day when the large discount stores would have blue light and red light specials?  Someone would speak into the intercom, “Attention customers, blue light special in aisle 7” or some such call to action.  Sure enough people who leave their regular shopping plans and file to the area where the light was revolving. Surely there was something that none of us could live without.  As soon as the temporary sale was over, the light would be turned off and everyone would disappear back into the store to continue shopping. 

Little children as well love to call out, “Attention everybody!”  This is a call for family to rally around as they do some cute cartwheel or make a speech that just melts the heart.  Even if it’s funny, the adults will take it seriously and play close consideration. All listeners lean in close to hear a child’s message.  Afterwards, hugs will go around as everyone delights in the child’s story.  Children enjoy the attention of their family.  It’s important to them to be recognized and appreciated for their unique abilities. 

Everyone wants attention.  There are times when you may even wish you had a light shining or a bell to ring.  You’ve heard some wonderful news and you can’t wait to share it. You dial a phone only to find no answer. You try tell your spouse or another loved one, but they’re busy. You may live alone without the comfort of another human being to share your life with.  You may feel that no one cares, or that there’s no one to listen as you so desperately want to share.

Oh beloved! There is One Who will listen to your joyful stories. There is One Who is always listening for you to share the wonders of your day. The Lord Himself, Maker of Heaven and Earth, doesn’t need you to shine a light or blow a horn! He hears you! In fact, He listens before you call out to Him.  He’s never too busy, He’s ready in an instant and He applauds your triumphs! When things are hard and you’re not sure where to turn, He is there as well. You reach out and find that God is your ever present comfort because His Word says so.  While others may not give you the time of day, God is your Audience of One. And with an audience like the Father, who needs anyone else? 

Run to Him this morning and share your day’s plans. He loves for you to include Him! And then in the evening, when the day is done, you can come to Him again and He’s not too tired, distracted or worn out, ever.  He will always listen, He will always applaud you, He will always be on your side to comfort, to enjoy and to reveal His love to your heart. His Word is your megaphone and when you call out to Him, He always responds. Why? Because He loves you and He’s on your side no matter what. And that’s worth seeking His face and rejoicing in His presence.

Psalm 116:2 Because He bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!

Isaiah 40:28 Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding.

Psalm 149:4 “For the Lord delights in His people…”

Psalm 139:2 You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.

Psalm 37:23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

God is Faithful and That's Enough to Go to Him

When I was a little girl, my dad sent a check with me each Monday morning to school. The check paid for lunch and milk. Faithfully I deposited the check with the teacher and went through the lunch line daily.  For some reason, I don’t even remember why now, I got the idea that cool kids (not what we called them then lol) didn’t drink milk with their lunch.  I may have been made fun of. Who knows? Anyway, I decided to fix that. I changed the check to reflect only enough money for lunch sans milk. Now keep in mind I might have been 8 years old at the most! Looking back on this, I know it didn’t look like my daddy had done the check. I still have the scene in my mind: My daddy coming to school and asking me what happened to the check.  I was terrified but I told him the truth. The rest is history.

Oftentimes when we’re faced with a situation or a predicament or a decision, we resort to fixing things our way.  I know there are times I certainly do, how about you?  We fix and we redo and we finagle and wonder. We try to get ourselves out of a tight spot, make ourselves feel better, make it easier on ourselves and more.   We are not expecting a day of reckoning, when the things we try to muddle out in the flesh come to a dead end. 

Oh beloved, God wants you to know this day that you are His! And because you are His, He has written everything out in detail for you – His Word is your financial, spiritual, physical and life planning guide! He wants you to know that when you get off His mark, He will help you get things back in order. He won’t treat you bad when you come to Him. He won’t turn you away on the brink of disaster and tell you to handle it yourself!  He won’t say No to you ever! He welcomes you with open arms and an open heart. No matter what you’ve done, no matter what situation you are in, no matter how big a predicament you find yourself in, He is there!

Run to your Father God this morning! If you need to confess a wrong, do it! He will never turn you away, refuse to forgive or make you pay.  His Essence is forgiveness. If you need help in troubles, ask Him for it. His Essence is Help. If you just want to rest in His loving arms and feel like His favorite child, go for it! He will always love you and He is always for you and that’s all that really matters!

2 Samuel 22:7 But in my distress I cried out to the Lord; yes, I cried to my God for help. He heard me from His sanctuary; my cry reached His ears.

Psalm 145:13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. You rule throughout all generations. The Lord always keeps His promises; He is gracious in all He does.

Psalm 31:22 In panic I cried out, “I am cut off from the Lord!” But You heard my cry for mercy and answered my call for help.

Psalm 145:19 He grants the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cries for help and rescues them.
(Oh Beloved! Live in the Light of His Word!  Rebekah Beene c January 30, 2013)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Dreading Another Birthday? Not When Jesus Counts the Candles!

Today is my birthday! On this day in 1956, my parents, Peck and Helen Warren, ages 43 and 56, welcomed a baby girl into their life. My father’s only living child, it was pretty wonderful for him.  He loved to tell the story: “I was peering at you through the hospital nursery window and a nurse stopped by.” She asked him about his ‘grandbaby’. To which he replied, “She’s pretty grand, but I’m her Papa!” Both my parents insisted that having me at such late ages kept them young! Having raised my own brood of kiddos, I’m not so sure about that, but having older parents gave me real insight into the value of people, regardless of their age.

No one ever says “Hey, can’t wait till I’m 50+!” But arrive at this age I have. It’s hard to believe that I got here so quickly! If us baby boomers think about it, we could be really sad. Most of our years are behind us, by all standards of life expectancy. Health could start deteriorating at any moment. Lots of thoughts cross the minds of middle agers.

I choose to be grateful to God for another day in His marvelous plan of grace! I choose to live as a Kingdom participant knowing that God has a plan for my life! Knowing that my days are numbered gives me real peace, because I can learn to make my days count so that each one can be lived for something beyond myself. I have blessings coming out and going in. I am in Christ, so I am favored and honored to be His servant.

Oh beloved, the Truth is this: You are so precious to God! God has a very special plan for your life and it starts and ends with Him. He knew you before you were even a “glimmer” in your parents’ eyes. He knew you when you needed to come to Him for grace and forgiveness. He knew you when you walked through valleys and climbed harsh mountains. He was with you when you were young and full of energy. He has been with you each day as you faced sickness, dangers, toils and snares.  He will be with you when the end of your life on this earth appears. And for you who have put your trust in His Holy Name, He will welcome you into the rest of your eternal life in heaven! In the meantime, your life is in His hands and your faith walk is not only for you to survive, but to share and be an offering of love and encouragement to all who need a touch from the Master’s Hand.

Run to Him this morning and thank Him for every spiritual blessing that is your birth right. If you don’t know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, then ask Him into your heart this day! Even if you’re getting older, He can take all your days and make them more than wonderful for His Kingdom and glory and for your best. It’s never too late to start living the Real Life! And if you do ask Him to come into your heart, please let me know. I’d love to wish you Happy Birthday!

God loves you and He’s for you and that’s worth living in the light of His Word!

Colossians 3:3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.

I Thessalonians 5:18 Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.

Psalm 65:11 You crown the year with a bountiful harvest; even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Mondays Not Mundane When God is With Us

It’s Monday.  For some it feels like back to the salt mine. Put your nose to the grindstone.  It’s just something you’ve gotta do. Often the American worker wakes up in their mid years and wonder how they got where they are.  There must be more than this may be muttered under the breath as each one after another goes to their vehicle and climbs in for the drive to the office or the plant.  Everyone starts out feeling so good about work and getting ahead. Yet after so many years, the clock punching can get old and the back goes out more than they do.

Life can be really monotonous.  It’s so repetitive in day to day life. No matter how many dishes you do, there’s always dishes to do. No matter how many clothes you wash or meals you prepare there’s always more.  Work, housework, repairs, bills, etc. Is this really it you may be asking yourself this morning.

It is what it is.  Unless…what if our destiny is not in our own hands? What if we don’t go to work alone? What if our paycheck is a gift? What if the money we have and the life we live belongs to someone else rather than just to us?

Your Mondays may have been mundane, but when you apply God’s Word to every day of the week, it’s bound to be Sunday in your heart! Every good gift you have is given to you by Him! Every opportunity to see another Monday is a gift as well. Every paycheck handed to you each payday is a present straight from the Throne Room, giving you opportunities to make it in this world.

Oh beloved, run to the Master Employer and read what He has to say about you! He loves you so much that He has given you something to live for beyond the everyday! Everything you have has been given you by the Lord!  Let Him love you and show you that your destiny is in His hands, not your own! Even if you’ve gotten to a bad spot where there’s more money than paycheck, run to Him! He not only gives you grace to make it, He is able to make a way where there is no way. Love the Lord and let Him show you how to be more than a worker, to be a light in the darkness wherever He has allowed you to be.

Oh how He loves you! Oh how He has plans for you! Oh how He will take your Monday and make it more than glorious because you are walking with the King! You don’t have to be anxious or downtrodden, for you are a servant of the Most High God! Seek His face, work as though He were your boss and thank Him for everything He gives you to do! Seek Him if you need help with your bills, your troubles, your fears. He is always with you! You are blessed, you are walking through the hard places into His loving care and your destiny is secure in Christ!

Colossians 3:23-24 Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.

Proverbs 3:26 for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

Isaiah 29:19 The humble will be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. The poor will rejoice in the Holy One of Israel.

Deuteronomy 24:14 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. NAS

Psalm 121:2 My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

It's Time to Rise and Shine!

“Rise and Shine” is a phrase I heard often as a child. My dad would wake me up every morning singing reveille and saying those words.  As a little girl, I was delighted to be woken up that way. As I grew into my teen years I admit it bugged me. What I wouldn’t give to hear my daddy say those things to me again.  After I married and had children, it’s a song my kids learned in Sunday School. “Rise and shine and give God the glory, glory!”   It was peppy and fun with gestures to go along with it.

After reading a friend’s post about the frustrations of working on a new computer that would not cooperate, I realized that it’s a rough world out there and we don’t even have to leave the house! Life can be so frustrating. The world says it’s walking in “freedom” yet chaos is everywhere. There’s very little commitment, hardly any standards and what used to be normal is viewed as weird. Life has indeed gotten topsy turvy, in a state of utter disorder and confusion. Often it’s hard to get up in the morning and to turn on the tv means hearing news about wars, murders, disasters and more. Rarely do we wake up to hear anything that will bring joy or peace or comfort.

So how do we do it? How do we live in the light when all around us is falling apart? How do we present the Truth in light of such wrong thinking? Where do we go to find peace in a world in such uproar? Can we find joy in the midst of darkness? Can we make ends meet in a world that wants more and more and more from us? What about our rights? What about our future? Who cares if we’re going off  a fiscal cliff or a spiritual cliff? Can we hang on, can we survive, can we overcome?

Oh beloved, it’s time to “Rise and shine and give God the glory!”  It’s time to wake up in the morning and praise the One Who gave you everything for life and godliness, in spite of the sorrow that hits you square in the face, the gloom and concern that wakes you up, in spite of the hurts and regrets and unfulfilled dreams. For God’s Word is your only source of hope, not just in bad times, but in good times as well. God knows you and He has promised many things to you. And His promises are not left at the altar, but rather His promises walk you down the aisle, carry you throughout your life and stay with you all the way to heaven! When the world is tearing you down, God promises to lift you above it. When people are walking away, God has promised to stay the course with you. When sorrows hit, God has promised to give you joy unspeakable and full of glory.  

I know. When you’re in the midst of the troubles, it’s hard to believe, but God loves you. I know it’s difficult some days to get out of bed, but God is the One Who wakes you up each day.  And, if God Himself is waking you up, then that’s a sure sign that He has a plan for the day, regardless of the headlines, the hurts, the fears or the concerns.   Just follow Him.  Just live by His Word. Just trust in the Only One Who loves you unconditionally and will never leave you or forsake you.

If you follow the Lord, live in the light of His Word and seek His face, everything else will work out. It might be messy along the way, but His will for your life will be completed. Hangeth thou in there, beloved!

Isaiah 60:1 Arise, shine; for your light has come, And the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. NAS

Psalm 43:3 Send out Your light and your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You live.

John 15:11 I have told you these things so that you will be filled with My joy. Yes, your joy will overflow!

Romans 15:13 I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

God's Word is Your Best Relationship Advise

“MY BOSS IS A JEWISH CARPENTER” read the bumper sticker on the back of Danny’s old 67 Dodge van. One day his boss asked him about it. “What do you mean your boss is a Jewish carpenter?” It had irritated him, evidently for a while. Danny explained that it referred to Jesus, who was Lord of His life. Once his boss understood it, he was fine with it. He even liked it! Had the boss never asked, it would have festered and could have even made things hard for Danny at work. It might make for disunity between men who actually liked one another. It could very well have gone so far as to cause Danny to lose his job. One small misunderstanding, not dealt with the right way, can make for much trouble and disunity. His boss could have called the other boss, his brother, and they could have discussed the bumper sticker and gotten madder and madder. Instead, the boss asked Danny about it. Together they discussed not only the bumper sticker but their faith. What was a potential volatile situation proved to be smoothed out and actually turned out for the better.

Often we have issues. We’re human. We hear one thing, even when the person speaking means something altogether different. Sometimes it can be our raising. If we were raised hearing sarcasm and belittling, then we might wear those feelings on our sleeve. If someone speaking to us, brings that feeling forward, we get angry and defensive. We find someone to “talk it over with” and pretty soon it’s us against them. What a simple conversation of honesty would do to make amends and keep the unity in the bond of peace.

Sometimes we’ve done all we can and someone still walks away, hurt feelings, antagonistic and done with it. We can apologize, ask forgiveness, and should, but it’s really in their ballpark. We do our best to keep forgiveness and communication in the forefront, but sometimes it’s just hard. Maybe you’ve been hurt beyond imagination. You’re not sure you can ever trust again, or you just want to get even or have your way. God knows all about our “frame” our humanity and He is mindful of us, so He helps us by His Spirit to work things out His way, so that God will be glorified and we will remain united. Satan doesn’t mind if we’re good old boys, if we gather our cronies with us or if we get offended and walk out of fellowship. But if we hold together in prayer and unity and discuss the truth with one another, forgiving one another, then the enemy can’t get a toe hold.

Oh beloved, run to Your Father this morning and tell Him all about your troubles! He knows already when you are hurt or angry. He sees your plight and knows the truth about the entire situation. Hang up the phone and hang onto Jesus! For He is your sure anchor in spite of the storm. Even if you do hear harsh words from people, you’ll never hear them from the Lord. If you find that you want to speak harsh words to others, you know it’s not from the Spirit of the Lord! Seek out His communication advice, His anger management plan and His prayer guide. Keep them so close to you so that when satan tries to misguide your feelings, you’ll be able to stand on the Word of God! He will take your defensiveness, anger, worry, fear and distrust and remold it into love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control! Oh how God loves you! And He is always for you! And that unbroken fellowship with Him is all that really matters.

Ephesians 4:3 Make every effort to keep yourselves united in the Spirit, binding yourselves together with peace.

Colossians 3:13-14 Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you.

Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.

Psalm 33:18 But the Lord watches over those who fear Him, those who rely on His unfailing love.

Ephesians 4:31-32 Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

Psalm 120:1 I took my troubles to the Lord; I cried out to Him, and He answered my prayer.

Friday, January 25, 2013

God Has "Pinned" You - You Are Chosen

I have to admit it. I love Pinterest! For those who don’t know, it’s an online “community” where you can “pin” items, quotes, recipes, etc. that you like and have found on the internet. I especially love sayings and I enjoy finding new ideas for cooking and decorating. It’s also a great way to follow someone who has ideas and recipes you like.

When I was young, a college man would “pin” his girlfriend by giving her his fraternity pin. This signified they were going together.  They weren’t just dating, they were an item. My mother spent a lot of time pinning patterns to material, so that the item she was planning to sew would be the right size and the pieces would fit together. Without pinning, the pattern would move around and the pieces would not match.  Pin the tail on the donkey could be hilarious as the blindfolded pinner tried to pin the donkey’s tail in the right place.  Often the game player would be so off the mark that the donkey was totally tail-less.

Do you know this morning that before the foundation of the world, God pinned you? He chose you as His own. He chose you to be one of His to walk with Him throughout your life.  Have you let Him give you His mark – the mark of the cross of Christ? Do people know that you belong solely to Him?  The pattern for your life God has planned for you is picture-perfect, but you must let God place His pattern on your life so that you and He fit together perfectly. If we stay close to God and His Word, even when we feel we are blindfolded, we cannot see our way,  our lives will turn out right, everything in our life will be in its rightful place.

Oh beloved, God knows you completely. He sees your hurts, your disappointments, your misunderstandings with the world, but He says to you this morning, “Come away with Me and let Me work your life out.”  Nothing will ever separate you from His love as He holds you tightly in His loving care. Plans may seem to wear away, people may seem to walk away and life can get lonely, but God will give you everything you need – from friends to spouses to jobs to ministry as you yield your life to Him. While you may want to pin your own way, it is letting God do the work that makes all things beautiful in His time.  He loves you, beloved, and He’s for you and that’s all that really matters.

Ephesians 1:3-5 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.  Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes.  God decided in advance to adopt us into His own family by bringing us to Himself through Jesus Christ. This is what He wanted to do, and it gave Him great pleasure.

1 Corinthians 3:23 and you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God.

Ephesians 2:13 But now you have been united with Christ Jesus. Once you were far away from God, but now you have been brought near to Him through the blood of Christ

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Feed Your Faith, Starve Your Problems

One of our daughter’s family has had one after another with different kinds of sickness since Christmas. Grandchildren with ear infections, stomach bugs, strep throat and more.  Even the adults have had bad colds and stomach bugs. Although none of the sicknesses in themselves have been more than anyone could handle, it’s been a drawn out affair. With the colds come runny noses, hacking coughs and high fevers. One of the old sayings my mother lived by was “feed a cold, starve a fever”. 

The idea of feeding one thing and starving another had some real merit. As believers, we have daily onslaughts of wrong thinking. If that weren't bad enough, if that’s not checked, we’ll find ourselves with wrong responses.  Things can literally go from bad to worse if we don’t do something about it.  What we feed is what where we grow. Unlike colds and viruses, which must run their course, our attitudes and feelings can be checked and the fever of hurts, anger, animosity and worry can be done away with as we feed ourselves on the Word of God. Taking in the Word of God as our daily dosage not only feeds the Spirit within us to make us grow and thrive, it starves the sicknesses that want to take us over and put us to bed every day.

Oh beloved, God knows your situation! He has seen you battling the same problem over and over. He knows you don’t know how much longer you can survive, for the hurts and the sorrows keep coming in wave after wave.  He has the cure! The Lord Who loves you has not left you without medicine for your heart and soul and spirit. He has everything you need to not only survive but thrive! He says to you this morning, Come to Me! I will show you in My Word how much I can care for you, how much I can get you through this temporary light affliction and how much your testimony of My Victorious living in spiritual health can be revealed!

Run to the Medicine Cabinet of God’s Word this morning. Each dose of His Word not only combats the sickness of heart and mind you are going through; it is the vaccination against another onslaught.  What a wonderful Savior is this: He heals us of our sicknesses and gives us a fresh healthy life every single morning! He doesn't just save us, He gives us overcoming victory so that even when the world slings it’s worst at us, we will overcome! Oh how He loves you beloved, oh how He cares for you and oh how He will walk with you, feeding you the Truth which heals all the way to heaven!

Hebrews 4:12  For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.

Psalm 121:8 The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

Proverbs 4:20-22 My child, pay attention to what I say. Listen carefully to my words. Don’t lose sight of them. Let them penetrate deep into your heart, for they bring life to those who find them, and healing to their whole body.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

God Sees No Limits on You Because He Loves You

I have lots of “old stuff” in my house. From the antique furniture to timeworn lamps, I try hard to reuse and re-purpose things. My mother was really good at that. She would see a dilapidated castoff piece that no one would want and make it seem brand new. She saw things differently than other people do. She found worth in items that others saw as worthless.  That’s why she loved auctions and estate sales. For little money, she would garner a rickety table and take it home to re-do. With just a little paint and polish it could be made to look absolutely beautiful and a greatly desired piece. Occasionally she would even find something in a roadside pile of junk and make it sparkle. It was her keen eye that saw beyond the flaws and deemed them worthwhile instead of worthless.

We tend to treat people the same way. Many of us, truth be told, are castoffs. We may have been used up, disrespected and overwhelmed. We’ve seen better days, we’re not so young anymore and there is more life behind us than before us. We get told we’re too old and of little use to those who come behind us. Businesses try to retire us, family may well ignore us and we may find ourselves feeling useless and alone. As long as we see ourselves as the world says, we will continue to throw up our hands and retreat. We may even quit doing, quit dreaming, and quit growing as we believe what others say about us. 

There is One Who sees you very differently from the way the world sees you. While the world places limits on you, God sees no such limits. Age to God is simply a number. Man looks on the outside to see the value or declare there is none. But God looks on the heart. Both in youth and in old age, God still moves and uses and blesses. It’s all about being yielded to God that gives each person their true worth. While you may have been pronounced a reject, God pronounces you are re-purposed!  Every day is a new day for God’s grace, blessings and value. 

Oh beloved, run to the Lord’s Book of Truth and find out what He thinks of you. Then look further into His Word as you discover the new things God is doing in your life. Listen closely to what He says so that your life will continue to be in His service. Not only will God’s Word heal your heart, it will give you ways to speak the truth into someone else’s life.  God loves you (period) and He’s for you (period) to give you a life that is everlasting in heaven and purposeful here on earth!

Job 12:12 Now that I am old and gray, do not abandon me, O God.  Let me proclaim Your power to this new generation, Your mighty miracles to all who come after me. 

Acts 2:17 In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit upon all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams.

2 Chronicles 34:1-2 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. He did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight and followed the example of his ancestor David. He did not turn away from doing what was right.

I Samuel 16:7 …The Lord doesn’t see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart

Psalm 92:12-14 But the godly will flourish like palm trees and grow strong like the cedars of Lebanon, for they are transplanted to the LORD’s own house. They flourish in the courts of our God. Even in old age they will still produce fruit… 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

God Will Get You Through the Dark

Danny presided over a forming chapter information meeting last night. It was held in a town in the Ouachita Mountains about 3 hours from home. It was a very nice ride yesterday afternoon as we traveled through beautiful country and saw a few deer and other wild animals. Last night, after the meeting was over it had turned dark. The ride home was far different from the ride over. The mountains are harder to navigate at night and instead of observing the wildlife we found ourselves dodging them as they bolted in and out of the headlights. What seems easy and pleasant in the daylight can turn rough and disagreeable when darkness overtakes the day. Putting your hands in the driver’s ability is no problem when you can see where you’re going, but in the depth of the darkness you just have to hold on and trust them even when you can’t see.

Everyone wants pleasant sunny days. We love to bask in God’s blessings and enjoy His beautiful world. We never know when the day will turn dark and some downturn of events comes upon us, literally obscuring our beautiful view. Everyone knows that there’s a time for the day and a time for the night, but really it’s hard to accept when it does come. What do we do when the mountains of difficulty, sorrow or loss loom in our horizon? Where do we go to find comfort and help to see things through? How do we know we will make it? It’s hard to negotiate the curves and the climb is so very steep?

Oh beloved, there is One Who is with you in the pleasant days of joy and peace. He is the Same One Who is with you in the hard times and dark moments of life that must be faced. Run to the Lord, the One Who is your Navigator. He Who is with you in the good times and the warmth of sunlight will also be with you in the nights of your life. He loves you and because He loves you He will get you through whatever it is you must negotiate. He’ll see you through sorrow, despair, and even death. There is absolutely nothing you cannot trust Him with, because even when you can’t see ahead, He knows the way! He will guide you with His loving care all the way through. He who promises to see you through will also give you songs in the night. Put your life in the One Who sees it all and promises that your life will be kept all the way to heaven.

Isaiah 51:16 And I have put my words in your mouth and hidden you safely in my hand. I stretched out the sky like a canopy and laid the foundations of the earth. I am the one who says to Israel, 'You are my people!'"

Psalm 42:8 But each day the LORD pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs, praying to God who gives me life.

Psalm 16:7 I will bless the LORD who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me.

Psalm 126:5 Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.

(Oh Beloved, Live in the Light of His Word! is published daily - Rebekah Beene copyright)

Monday, January 21, 2013

You Don't Have to Fly by the Seat of Your Pants

Old war movies often portray the hero in an airplane headed for disaster. He may be out of fuel, been shot by the enemy or lost his engines. He’s in real trouble and may have to resort to instinct to try and get the plane landed safely. We know by these movies that it works sometimes, but other times the hero is lost and people mourn. Many people fly by the seat of their pants. One definition says it means to proceed or work by feel or instinct without formal guidelines or experience.  Another says act according to one's own desires or beliefs without regard for standards for social behavior, logical sensibility, or approval. It’s usually used in negative terms.

Being a picture person I see a cartoon character with his pants on fire! He’s doing things his way, he’s not asking for help and he’s letting whatever happens happen.  It’s an ugly way to fly indeed. For those who embrace this way of living, things will eventually get ugly – you’re going to get burned.

God never tells us to fly by the seat of our pants. He doesn’t tell us to live by our instincts, our feelings or our own desires. Instead He has given us standards and instruments to measure our progress, help us on our way through His Word. And as we learn to live by His Word it gives us Godly experience to lean on to grow our faith. When we insist on doing it our way no matter the consequences, He may ground us! He will certainly let us have our way and then when we’re pulling ourselves from the rubble and call out to Him, He responds in love! Amazing isn’t it? He never says He’s done with us, even when we’re traveling by the seat of our pants. He just waits in loving care to see when we’ve had enough of us!

Oh beloved, God knows your situation. He has been watching over you to keep you safe, help you to handle things His way and to bless you when you follow His guidance! Maybe you feel that you’ve gotten burned. It’s time to turn to God and let Him lead! He’s not our co-pilot, He is The One True Pilot! He says to you this morning, let Me govern your life. Let Me lead you. Let Me call the shots and follow Me! I AM your quickest route to rescue, I AM your quickest path to blessings and I AM your staunchest ally in the worst of disasters. His promises are true – He loves you and He will never let you down. Open up His Instruction Manual this morning before you take off for departure this morning and He will direct you and keep you throughout the day.

Proverbs 29:18 When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful.

2 Chronicles 26:5 Uzziah sought God during the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear God. And as long as the king sought guidance from the Lord, God gave him success.

Psalm 48:14 For that is what God is like. He is our God forever and ever, and He will guide us until we die.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Feeling Weighed Down? Give Your Cares to Him!

My children always loved collecting rocks from the area we vacationed. Every once in a while I’ll find a small pebble or a couple of rocks in a box. There’s a big collection that our son saved in a box out in the shop and it is heavy.  I guess you could call them memory stones.  I was cleaning out my car last week and found another rock – it looks like the grandkids now want to collect them. 

We gather memory rocks don’t we? Not all the stones are from pleasant places.  Some are picked up along with hurts, discouragement or sorrow.  Some are thrown at us.  We catch each one and keep them so that we don’t forget who hurt us.  The  unkind word, the impatient response, the indifferent or ignoring disregard from those we trusted.  We go home and empty our pockets of the stones and think we’re done with it.  We place them away in the closet of our heart. But let another hurtful word or an unkind gesture come our way and out comes our collection. We add to and look it all over and it becomes oh so heavy.

We cannot avoid hurts. We cannot control how others treat us, how we might be ignored or undervalued or overlooked.  We may want the best in a relationship and yet the other party wants nothing to do with us. People walk away, lie about your life and wipe their hands of us. If we gather each hurtful or hard memory up in a collection, pretty soon we’re harboring a heavy load.  We could become so enthralled with our collection that’s all we concentrate on.

But if we give those stones of remembrance to the Lord and ask Him to help us, He will lessen the hurt and take our burden from us. We were never meant to carry this load. It’s heavy and weighs us down. If unchecked, it will actually sideline us and keep us from moving forward.  God in His mercy will turn that pile of hurts, disappointments, unforgiveness, or rejection into an altar of love. If we turn those stones over in our hearts and give them to Him, the burden will be lifted as we forgive and move on. Our hearts feel better, our load is lighter and we’re filled with His mercy to go higher with Him.

Oh beloved, God loves you! He has a wonderful plan for you life! He says to discard the rocks and follow Him! His plan is oh so sweet and His desire is oh so outrageous for you! He will carry you higher than you’ve ever been and the view from the heights of His mercy and love is beautiful! Run to Him this morning and show Him your burdens, share the truth about each memory stone and let Him heal your hurts!  He loves you so much that He will discard them for you and walk with you all the days of your life! Hurts may still come, but you won’t have to load yourself down for God walks before you and His angels surround you. What an amazing Savior!

Psalm 55:22 Give your burdens to the Lord, and He will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Matthew 11:28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

I Peter 5:7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

God's Vision Plan is Available to Bless, Keep and Guide

Danny was chopping wood while we were off due to the icy weather. He came back into the house and blood was on his cheek! A small stick he was chopping had flown up and him in the face, shattering the left lens of his glasses.  As we looked closely, we discovered there was glass in his eye!  He fished one piece out himself, and it felt better. But there were small fragments everywhere, so we decided that our optometrist could probably see better than us if there was more glass in his eye. Off we went in the sleet and mess! Sure enough, under closer examination, with delicate instruments, four more pieces of glass were deftly removed from his eye. The doctor was amazed! He said to Danny that he would have had to call 911 and would have been rolling in the floor in agony had that been his eye – “You must be tough!” 
As we got new glasses ordered, Danny told the optician the  glasses he had should have been safety glass, and she said that it was indeed safety glass and that the damage would have been much worse had it not been.   

Two lessons come to mind as I think back on the event. Danny had been splitting wood, and the big stuff had caused no problem. But that small stick about as big around as a walking staff, wreaked havoc. Many times we go through issues and problems and situations and they’re big. We walk with God and we give those huge things to Him and He walks us through it. But the little stuff, those things we think we can handle ourselves can cause big problems! 

The words of the optician about the safety glass reminds me that our problems can be awful, our hurts can be huge, our lives can appear to be dangling in thin air, but God is our safety! Without His safety over our lives, imagine what damage would occur! Even when we’re in the midst of problems, God is covering us with Himself and all that He is! 

Oh beloved, what an awesome morning to be reminded to let God have your troubles! Let Him be the safety net between you and life. Run to Him often, take every care to Him. His Word is so perfect that He can point out the little things that you might miss. He has all your hopes and cares and dreams in His hands. Your problems are not bigger than the Lord!  Let Him examine every area of your life so that you will be free of hidden problems that would cause extreme hurts later. Give Him the little problems as well as the big ones. And know that He can see so much more clearly than you can.  He knows your heart and He wants to bless every area of it. He wants you to be free of man’s thinking, free of fleshly responses and free to be all that He has for you.   This Great Physician loves you beyond your wildest imagination and has a Vision Plan created with you in mind – to bless you, to keep you and to guide you all the days of your life!

1 Samuel 25:29 “Even when you are chased by those who seek to kill you, your life is safe in the care of the Lord your God, secure in His treasure pouch! But the lives of your enemies will disappear like stones shot from a sling!

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong fortress; the godly run to him and are safe.

Psalm 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you,  and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Feeling Unfocused? It's Time to Line Up!

Remember when we were kids, the teacher said this phrase often, “Line up!”  We lined up to go outside, to go to the cafeteria, to be dismissed at the end of the day and more.  Sometimes the teacher would put her finger to her lips designating that we needed to get quiet so we could hear her instructions. Other times she might dim the lights to get our attention.  Some kids found it easier to stand still in line than others. If you couldn't line up the way she expected you to, then you might even get your name called out. “Johnny, I said line up.”  Teachers knew each of us by name and I’m sure they knew our personalities, our problems and our uniqueness. To not line up could cause delays, caused embarrassment and even trouble.  Sometimes a child would be unruly or disruptive and miss the teacher’s instructions altogether. They might miss the blessing of play time and have to stay indoors to learn to listen better. The quicker we lined up the quicker we were able to move on to our next destination.  This was especially important for recess!

We have a Teacher Who wants to instruct us and teach us in the way we should go. His plans are flawless, His instructions are faultless and His desires for us are picture-perfect. All He asks us to do is “Line up” with His Instructions.  He speaks to our hearts and at times we listen quickly and move on to the next step. Other times we falter and dawdle and wonder if we should. We can be unruly and unfocused which could cause delays in our blessings.  This Marvelous Teacher Who loves us perfectly may need to sit us down so that we can learn to listen to Him better.  All in all, His plans for us are so wonderful that His instructions become our best track and our quick obedience to His Words is for our absolute best and His absolute Glory!

Oh beloved, it’s time to line up! Line up with God’s Word. Are you having problems seeing the road ahead? Are you wondering which way God wants you to travel?  Are you wondering if you can make it? Maybe you have been in the struggle of your life and you don’t know what you will do. You've read the newspaper, you've seen the headlines, and you know your own situation so well. You feel lost, discouraged, desperate and alone. But God’s Word says you are more than your situation. You are more than the news. You are more than the things going on in your life. As He calls you into His presence and you respond those things that were your focus fade away as you live in the light of His Truth.  Open His Book of Truth and read about His loved ones and see – even those who have been losing are winners, even those who have been drowning will be pulled from the water, even those who have lost loved ones and friends and family will never be alone. Strength and honor and victory belong to you! Line up with God’s Word and you will live in His Truth – that you are loved, that you are cared for, that you are His beloved! And that’s all that really matters!

2 Corinthians 10:5 We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, 

James 1:4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. AMP

Colossians 3:16 Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. NAS

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

God Wants to Reveal His Plan to You

Loretta Young has always been one of my favorite actresses. During the holidays Danny and I watched Come to the Stable, a movie about two French nuns who come to a small American town and involve the townsfolk in helping them to build a children's hospital.

They had a mandate given to them from God. As they began working God’s plan, they weren’t exactly welcomed everywhere they went. They were told by people, including their leaders, that it couldn’t be done. Some of the people they met along the way worked hard to stop them. But they kept going forward because they felt that was where God wanted the hospital to be. They even made people mad!  They were accused of working against people, yet all the while they were just getting orders from the Lord and expecting Him to work it out. They continued working towards the goal, never letting resentment or animosity work into their system. They never let anyone’s doomsday predictions become their focus. They just kept smiling and kept expecting God to honor His plan.  

As the deadline approached it looked like their plans weren’t going to be finished, they were told they would be relieved of their duties and sent home.  They did not retaliate, fuss, fume, insist or manipulate.  They just prayed and kept trusting God.   Guess what? God honored their fidelity and commitment and the Children’s Hospital became a reality. God used two women who were not considered to be important at all but because of their prayer life and their expectations that God would answer they fulfilled their calling. 

Oh beloved, perhaps you’re thinking, “That’s just a movie”. But God wants to reveal His plan to you!  He has a marvelous plan for your life and even if it seems small to you, His plan is out of this world! He has promised to work through your faithfulness in the face of mocking, despair, antagonism and more. He promises to work around your hurts, your brick walls and your foes.  Maybe you’re in the middle of His plan and like the nuns, you’ve run into obstacles.  Don’t walk away now! Don’t quit! Don’t throw up your hands! For God Himself is with you!  You may consider yourself to be insignificant, restricted, unable or more, but God’s plan transcends your mortal weaknesses. 

Run to the Lord this morning and seek His face, for surely He is calling you and surely He is able to perform that call all the way to its completion! He loves you and He’s on your side to work and to will His plans on your behalf for the Gospel and for your blessing.  Just pray and hang on, for what God says He will perform and that’s all that really matters!

Proverbs 16:9 We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.

Psalm 37:23 If the LORD delights in a man's way, He makes his steps firm (NIV)

Psalm 90:17 And may the Lord our God show us His approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Life Has it's Ups and Downs - But God's Loving Care Remains Constant!

The weather around here has been unstable to say the least. Snow at Christmas stayed on the ground for a week. Three days ago it was 70 degrees and this morning it’s 26 degrees and the high will barely get higher than freezing. Those few warm days we had caused rose bushes and tulip trees to pop out buds, thinking that spring had sprung.  Up and down, the fluctuation is hard on people, plants and animals alike.  Watching the weather can become our focus as we try to keep plants and animals cared for.  We need to be prepared and yet there are times when we’re caught out in it and aren't prepared.  Thankfully the bad weather will change to good eventually and spring weather will turn into the blessings of summer.

Life is a lot like the weather.  It can be rather unstable. One day all is well and turn the corner of a single day and things can go off-center.  Hard times seem to get harder. One good day and we’re flying high on the blessings. But let a bad day come and we’re shriveled in the cold harsh reality of life.  Fluctuations can ruin us if we concentrate on them. If the fluctuations of life’s situations are our focus, we’re going to be so busy dealing with things that we find ourselves worn out and done in.  Cold days of sorrows and trials make us want to retreat permanently. Our hearts that swelled with joy in warmer days are shrinking in the cold of hard times. We find our feelings going up and down as we focus on the situations at hand.

Oh beloved, it’s time to wrap yourself in the warmth of God’s loving care! He knows your situation, He knows your ups and downs and how hard it has been. He knows the doctor’s report, the financial report, the credit report and more. He knows you may be stuck in the winter of your life and you may not have even seen it coming. Harsh reality has set in and your focus has been on the worst of it. But God calls you to Himself! He speaks sweet Truth into your ear. If you will take your focus off of the weather of life and put it solely on Him.  His promises to you must be your only focus, for life and people and circumstances will fluctuate, sometimes wildly and you’ll get caught in the storm without proper care! The Lord Himself is your covering and His Word is your proper attire. Take in His Word for your morning sustenance, wear His Word on your heart for protection against the day’s changing times. And when you lay your head down at night, cover yourself with His Word for its precious warmth in the night. Our God is an awesome God! He loves you like no other and because of His great love for you He will always be with you and that’s all that you really ever need.

Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. (NAS)

Psalm 54:4 Behold, God is my helper; The Lord is the sustainer of my soul.

Psalm 5:12 For you bless the godly, O LORD; you surround them with your shield of love.

Psalm 91:1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

God Spoke Wisdom and Light - So We Can Walk in His Ways

At work we do lots of things that have to do with the area of agriculture. We accept customers who come in with various samples for testing, weeds and plants for identifying as well as home related questions about cooking, canning, health, meal planning and more. Some of the most useful things we can offer to clients are the fact sheets created by various specialists and agents. For instance, a plant fact sheet gives detailed information regarding the subject including disease prevention, growing problems and how to increase productivity. One sheet, maybe 2 or 3 pages, can give the person needing it all the information for making informed, educational decisions. They do not contain old wives’ tales, home remedies or secular advice handed down by generations. They are written from an education viewpoint by people who are educated to know the facts in their particular area. 

As believers, we have lots of information that floats around.  Old wives’ tales, secular information taken as spiritual, good old boy systems of dealing with things and more.  If we’re not careful we will take this outmoded, outdated and wrong information as the Gospel.  But if we take the pure undiluted Word of God and read it as a fact sheet for believers, we will find ourselves knowing how to deal with problems, how to respect leaders, how to pray, how to be healed and more.  We can read how to love one another, how to forgive, how to repent, how to get saved…The list of facts contained within the Word of God is almost endless. Everything you and I need for life and godliness is contained in the pages of the Bible. 

Oh beloved, have you tried this world’s system of thinking and found that at the end of the learning you’re still in the dark?  Did you set out to work it all out and pull yourself up by your own bootstraps? Were you sure that the best way to alleviate all pain is to quit feeling anything?  It may be that you don’t want to know the Truth because you have dealt with things so long without Him that you’re wondering if it could be possible to do it any other way. Run to the Lord this morning! Ask Him to give you His information for the situation at hand. He can be trusted; He has your best interests at heart! And, you need to know beloved, that if you will follow His ways and step in His precepts He will bless you beyond your wildest imagination! He loves you so much that He has given you everything you need to know to walk in wisdom and live in His light! His love will teach you, protect you, guide you, and carry you all the way to heaven!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.  God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.

Joshua 1:8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.

John 15:7 But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!

Psalm 119:18 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Did You Know You're One of God's Favorites?

Yesterday one of our daughters posted photos having fun time with her middle child in the beautiful weather.  The other two were occupied elsewhere for a change.  That reminded me of my own three. I tried to spend a little time with each one on an individual basis, but it was hard after all three were here.  There was always so much to do and so little time to get it all done. Yet we always found time to laugh and pretend and have fun. We also, as parents, learned how to deal with them according to their personalities and their likes and dislikes. We knew them each one completely and distinctly.

I enjoyed telling each one of mine that they were “my favorite”.  After they were grown, I found Christmas ornaments that said, “I’m mom’s favorite – I’m the middle child (oldest child; youngest child)” which I promptly bought for all three! Often still, when we’ve spent time together or in a text just for them I will again express that they are my favorite.   Each one holds an incredibly huge space in my heart. They are bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh, so I could not disown them if I tried.  Each one is unique. Each one has certain giftings and abilities. They are not at all alike and yet oh so much alike.

God loves us, each and every one of us. He loves those who are in His family by rebirth. He loves those who aren’t in His family yet. He loves the obedient child, He loves the unruly one. He loves the one who listens to His Word and performs it. He loves his children no matter what. Each of His children, His creation, is different, but each is held very dear to His heart.  He deals with each of us, as children. He knows our distinctness, our personality and our hopes and dreams.  Because He created us He knows us. And because He knows us, He can be trusted like no other. He knows everything, good bad and indifferent and He loves us regardless. This is true love.

Oh beloved, as you wake up this morning, run to the One Who knows you! Run to the One Who knows your secrets, cares about your hurts and responds to your prayers! Run to the One Who has watched over you since before the foundation of the world! Although you may have been considered an accident, you are not and you are no mere chance of fate!  Although you may have problems and may have caused problems along the way, you are not a problem! Even if you made a mistake, turned the wrong direction or walked away from God, you are His! And, because you are His, He will move heaven and earth on your behalf as you seek His face!  Times may be hard, people may be against you, and you may not know what’s going to happen next, but you can trust the One Who loves you completely and without reservation.  You are loved by the Lord and you are one of His favorites and that’s all that really matters! 

Galatians 4:28 And you, dear brothers and sisters, are children of the promise, just like Isaac.

Ephesians 3:12 Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence.

Romans 8:15 So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.”

John 1:12 But to all who believed Him and accepted Him, He gave the right to become children of God.

Friday, January 11, 2013

When Storms Come Get Ready to Report!

As I watch the Weather Channel, I am amazed that those reporters will stand outside to report, even in the gales of hurricanes! As the storm approaches they begin to find it harder and harder to stand.  The wind and the rain beat against them with all the forces of nature. Hats are blown off and jackets are flapping. But those reporters, having been given the task of informing the public, make their stand. No matter what, they hold their ground through it all.   

They could walk away. They could focus on the storm and say it’s not worth it. They could become afraid of the bad weather.  They could get mad at the station manager for giving them that dangerous assignment.  Or, they could remember their calling and hold their ground. 

Are you thinking about walking away this morning? Where is your focus? On the storm? Are you focusing on your wants and your feelings?  Are you losing your footing and thinking that enough is enough? Whatever your feelings, whatever storm is raging in your life, God is with you!  No storm lasts forever, but God’s people do. 

Oh beloved when the storms of life are raging, stand with the Lord! Stand under His wings, kneel in the shadow of His Name and hold on for your life! When the storm subsides, not only will you be standing, you will have something wonderful to report to the people! God reigns! God’s Word is True! He will see you through. You will be reporting that the storm you went through could not overtake you, the flood you walked through could not drown you, the momentary light afflictions could not get you off your mark! Because God loves you and He’s for you, no matter your circumstances, no matter the weather, that’s all that really matters.

Isaiah 4:6 It will be a shelter from daytime heat and a hiding place from storms and rain.

Isaiah 25:4 But you are a tower of refuge to the poor, O Lord, a tower of refuge to the needy in distress. You are a refuge from the storm and a shelter from the heat. For the oppressive acts of ruthless people are like a storm beating against a wall

Ephesians 6:10 A final word: Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.

1 Chronicles 16:8  Give thanks to the Lord and proclaim His greatness. Let the whole world know what He has done.