Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The Lord is My Fortress, Protecting Me

God is everywhere, even in the day to day. The past few days, for me, are a prime example! My vehicle is not new by any means. It was bought “used” and is currently 11+ years old. I joke that it is slowly being rebuilt as parts and pieces wear out and have to be replaced. Most of the time, the issue is caught before serious problems occur. Only once, praise God, has the car broken down and by the grace of God I was in a neighborhood and not traveling 65 mph or more on a busy freeway! At that moment, the car simply shut down. I lost all power and God sent three great people to help me push it out of the intersection where it died. Not to mention, I was mere blocks from the school my children attended at the time, so I easily could have walked back there for assistance AND the guy behind me, at the intersection, was a parent of one of the students at the school whom I recognized. God had me covered! Always! I believe He faithful has me protected.

He did so again today, yesterday, and each day prior. This time, my vehicle had a “shimmy” action going on. And, keep in mind, I do a lot of driving around...usually with children in my vehicle. On Monday, I took the car to a shop but the mechanic was not in for the day. Tuesday, I returned to that same place but was told they could not fix what they believed to be the issue because they did not have the proper equipment. The initial assessment based on my description of the problem was a possible brake issue...mainly focused on the rotors. After a small, though not thorough assessment, the focus shifted from the rotors to the bearings. However, as I mentioned before, this shop was not equipped to fix that sort of problem. I was not charged for their time.

Today, I ventured over to another shop that was recommended to me. Here, at first glance, the mechanic said my tires had multiple areas of concern and needed to be replaced as soon as possible. Wait! Say what? No one else had mentioned the tires! Further, each time I get an oil change I ask the mechanics to look over everything. The last time my tires appeared they needed to be replaced, I was informed. And, I have been told repeatedly my tires are “only a year old”.

Around the corner was a location of my regular tire company. Their inspection confirmed that of the mechanic and a history of my tires showed they had traveled in the ballpark of 70,000 miles but were only guaranteed for 65,000.

There were two distinct times I felt as though I was going to cry, this afternoon. The first, was when I was told how bad the condition was of my tires! I was in disbelief. Surely the mechanic had to have been looking at the wrong vehicle. My tires, at a glance from me, looked okay. But, before the tires were removed from my vehicle I was shown the patches of metal showing and how low the tread actually was. My doubt vanished immediately. Praise God I, and my passengers, had not ended up on the side of the road somewhere with a blown tire...or worse!

Today, and everyday, I am so thankful to be covered and protected by an all knowing, all powerful God! All honor and glory is His!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

By the Grace of God I Am What I Am

1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1. ESV.)

“The assurance of things hoped for.” Isn’t that nice? Doesn’t it give you a warm, fuzzy feeling all over? 2 Corinthians 5:7 says,
for we walk by faith, not by sight.

Nothing compares to God, of course. Yet, if I had to pick something I know is there but cannot be seen, I am reminded of a magnetic field. I believe it was Wayne Grudem who brought that to my attention in his book Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. I have a note in the book which reads, “A magnetic field is invisible, but that doesn’t mean it is not there.”

Reviewing parts of Wayne Grudem’s book gets me itching to dive into it, again. My heart’s desire is to be immersed in God’s word every moment of each day. I am compelled to research it, to look to those who seem to understand it better than I do or who can help me break it down and chew on it for a bit. People like Wayne Grudem, John Piper, and John MacArthur. Many were the times, when I was a child and adolescent, I used to sit on the trunk of my parents’ car communing with God. I have loved and never wanted to be apart from Him for as long as I can remember.
by the grace of God I am what I am (1 Corinthians 15:10. ESV.)
My prayer for all of my children is that each of them will love God and Jesus even more than I do!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Command Me to Come to You

It has been a while since my last post. When I am not writing, I miss it terribly. And yet, I am taking a moment to get some ideas out of my head and none of them are exiting. I actually need them to tumble out of there so I can concentrate on my paralegal studies.

A couple weeks ago, I was reminded of 1 Peter 5:10 which says,
10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.

We spent all last week going places around Austin, La Grange, San Antonio, and Dallas with company from out of town. Now, it is back to school work and the day to day.

Hebrews 4:15 & 16 just popped into my head. It says,
15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Have you ever tried to describe something to an individual who has never experienced it before? In a movie, there is a scene where an adolescent boy tries to “show” colors to a blind girl (Mask, 1985). I believe this is a great illustration of how getting someone else to understand what it is like to “walk in our shoes” or to “see” can be quite a challenge...and vise versa. Thankfully, for us, Jesus experienced the flesh. He wept, He was tempted, He was despised and rejected, He was tortured, etc. So, He is able to empathize with us in what we are going through, ourselves, and then some!

This past weekend, one of the pastors spoke on Matthew 14. The pieces of scripture that struck me the most, in this season, were and still are Matthew 14:28 & 29. Jesus invites us to come. I feel we do not desire God on our own...He calls to us (Romans 9). Further, I pray each of us may have the wisdom to recognize His voice and to follow Him through the narrow door (John 10). Jesus says, “Come,” and when we doubt and are afraid, He reaches out His hand so that we may grab it and feel secure. How awesome is that?!

28 And Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." 29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" (Matthew 14:28-31. ESV.)

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