My Crush on Andrew

Andrew, he makes me smile! I think I have a crush on him…no…I KNOW I love him! Totally so. I hope that when I get to heaven, after Jesus Christ, he would be one of the first I see.

Andrew, the Apostle, often goes unnoticed, and yet he did profound things. He was a God-chaser and a room maker. He first followed John the Baptizer, and when John the Way maker and room maker pointed out The Messiah to him, he believed John. His faith followed action – he honored his former mentor by stepping into The Way he was shown. And no…he was not going to leave his brother behind. He went home and told him that he had seen the Messiah and urged him to come step in His Footsteps. His brother, Simon Peter, was the one to whom Christ handed the Church. A ‘little’ act of networking by…sigh…Andrew…hooked God up with ministry predecessor.

Andrew did not stop at his brother, one time, Greeks came to see Jesus…and it was he and Philip that brought these…Gentiles…before the King of kings. Gentiles…like most of you are, like I am. I am amazed at his foresight. It took his brother Peter, rebuke from his brethren, after Christ’s Ascension to even accept that Christ Jesus was relevant to Gentiles…and yet here….I love Andrew.

But for me, the most profound of his evident understanding of his Messiah was, when they stood in ministry before 5000+ hungry men, and Christ asked them what to do about their hunger. Phillip…was overwhelmed, as you and I often are, by the size of the challenge. “Where will we get the resources in time to satiate their immediate hunger! We don’t have the money!” Andrew, sigh, he pointed to a ‘little matter’ that meant that their situation was not as desperate as Phillip made it out to be. “There is a little boy here, with a little food – it is not right to say that we don’t have anything. We have a little.” And The LORD of all creation, who made everything by just His Word, the Word of God, spoke. And 5000+ hungry people ate to their fill, and there was substantial left over, so that each one of the disciples could ‘take home’ a considerable ‘doggie bag’.

I am a lot like Philip…a lot. We think that by always taking note of what is not working, we are made heroes…but I learnt more than once, that focusing on that angle too much can cost you your health, your money, your relationships, your very life… Andrews on the other hand do not ignore the crisis, but they also never forget the ‘little things’, the single things…the tiny pivot points. And God honors their faith, and gives them so much, much more than they would dare believe He could. Little is MUCH when God is in it. May God give me eyes and faith, like that of Andrew…and even more.

“He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.” Jesus Christ in Luke 16:10

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Holes in The Hand of God 2

THERE ARE HOLES IN THE HAND OF THE ALMIGHTY GOD. He releases abundance through these – He is not in the habit of withholding what I need. He does not hoard in fear of tough times. I have heard the testimonies of the brethren, that He was with them, and has done great things in their lives. I am a witness to these, and am overwhelmed. Yet, honestly, I guard my heart against the disappointment for believing presumptuously, believing amiss. And that has cost me. My experience has taught me to believe that He is Faithful to others…There are ‘holes’ in The Hands of The Almighty God – MY Very FUNCTIONAL and Eternal Father. With those hands He raises my head, to look to Him, so He can steady the storm beneath my feet – so I can walk the waters of this storm as I behold His Glory. There are holes in The Hands of my Father. And I will trust Him to come, to pour into my life, what I need today. My Father is Coming – He WILL come.
 
” But Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples kept telling him, We have seen the Lord! But he said to them, Unless I see in His hands the marks made by the nails and put my finger into the nail prints, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe [it].
 
Eight days later His disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, though they were behind closed doors, and stood among them and said, Peace to you! Then He said to Thomas, Reach out your finger here, and see My hands; and put out your hand and place [it] in My side. Do not be faithless and incredulous, but [stop your unbelief and] believe!
Thomas answered Him, My Lord and my God! Jesus said to him, Because you have seen Me, Thomas, do you now believe (trust, have faith)? Blessed and happy and to be envied are those who have never seen Me and yet have believed and adhered to and trusted and relied on Me.”
John 20:24-28

Mending Altars

“…its smell was pleasing to The Lord.” Leviticus 8:21

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A lot was on my mind this morning as I prepared for a time of reading and meditating on God’s Word. I was grateful to God. Tomorrow marks a year since the mild stroke that attacked me about a year ago. How I was doing – what I had lost and what I had gained. I was thinking about my weight, which I struggled to loose, in which God had granted me victory over in the first five months, and over which, I was now experiencing painful defeat. What was the use of fighting anymore? Nothing had really changed. I was singing, presumably to God, but my heart was elsewhere.

“Jesus answered, unless I wash you, you have no part with Me.” John 13:8

Suddenly a vision split through my mind as out of a terrible horror movie. I saw a woman, a ghostly woman with an upturned face as in worship, hands held before her, she opened her mouth as though to sing, and instead, a cloud of flies, black flies, hundreds of them streamed out of her. I was rebuked, I repented. I was raising unholy fires before God, and He had shown me exactly what He thought of it.

“You are not to do as we do here today, everyone doing as they see fit, since you have not yet reached your resting place and the inheritance The LORD your God is giving you…Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offering anywhere you please. Offer them only in the place The LORD will choose…” Deuteronomy 12: 8, 13-14

We read through the books of Deuteronomy, 12 and 13 today, and what I got from God, was that He takes the lead in worship. I must present myself, in totality. He is not impressed by anything else, even if we are thinking of Him in a grateful way – He will show us where, and how to love Him and adore Him, by The Holy Spirit. God had been talking to me about repairing broken altars – His in my live, and in the lives of those around me, in His Kingdom. Many other things were taking His place in our lives, primarily the chase after the cleverly elusive Shilling. We were hungering for this more than for God. We felt that having it would solve all our problems, and the lack of it, was blamed on God, and for the many aches we were experiencing – just like last year, same time.

Then the entire family gathered before God at the end of the day. And as we would have it, God led us again to the theme of sacrifice, this time in Leviticus 8. I wondered what this sweet smell was. God taught me through my children. My life, our lives are an act of worship…one continuous act. Sometimes we worship God, in the best of times. But many times… God narrowed in particularly to the way I give. He has emphasised to me, that a man can only receive what is given to him from heaven. But His ‘challenge’ was, what happened with the messenger. How do we handle being message bearers from heaven to the man or woman. This broke me.

“But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2

Much of the time, our altars are so broken, and we perceive the errand on God’s behalf as an injustice. The person we are being sent to is undeserving in our eyes, they do not conform to our ideals of what they as servants of God and recipients of His grace should. Sometimes we create stories about them, stretch threads, pick at these, to convince ourselves that God will overlook our half-hearted at best, and no hearted service to Him…because after all…they are offensive to us. So we give only part of what we have been sent to give, with a thorough put down to the recipient, that makes them weep and not rejoice over the gift they have received. Because it was wrapped in hateful insults to their integrity. And we turn away, and try to worship God, but we are like rotting flesh, giving off a stench that has cuddled into vermin that flows incessantly from our bellies.

“Our offering to God is this: We are the sweet smell of Christ, among those that are being saved and among those that are being lost.” 2 Corinthians 2:15

This message has been, for me, long. And I have a hunch, a strong one, that God is not done with it yet. But as I share what He has given me with someone, I hope that we would take time to go before Him, like Elijah did on Mount Carmel, and repair God’s altar in our lives. That His Fire would come from heaven and consume both us and our giving, because we have been found pleasing to Him, and that we would give off, a sweet smelling aroma to God in heaven, and the world around us.

Shalom.

vipslit@yahoo.ca

“So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as living sacrifices to Him. Your offering must only be for God and pleasing to Him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship.” Romans 12:1

Trembling at The Word God

DSC08973This morning as I took a walk, my conversation with God was basically me shouting “I give up – I think I heard wrong – this is too, too painful, shameful and exhausting!!!!” and He kept saying “Trust in Me, do not give up, I have this.” But it was too hard, had been too long, it was getting darker and heavier instead of better…A friend, [a new bride who is in crutches after an accident that crushed her foot a month after her wedding], had just ‘WhatSupped’ me to find out about a certain situation in my life over which she was praying…and I had told her, and my pastor friend [who I woke up this morning] that I was quitting. She – they both said, “we will pray even harder.” Two other friends texted me from Isaiah 43:19 and John 16:33 [these had/still have no idea the import of their messages to me this morning]. And another to tell me that being low is not my portion.

Suddenly I sensed a desire to just LISTEN to one of my oldest and dearest friends. So to quiet the battle within me, I called her as I walked…for no particular reason. I was glad she was getting on fine…but she told me something that just stopped me, because it is a confirmation of what God has been telling me this past weekend “Vip, God is taking us through a time where we must honor His Word above our emotions.” Basically “Word over Emotion.” I have awesome friends! Thank You Lord – I still feel like quitting, but I WILL tremble at Your Word as You have assured me that You Who began this thing in me, are Faithful and You WILL complete it._NIK5654

Someone else is about to give up on a situation that has been sustained for a while by only The Word of God…It’s hard…makes no sense any more…That Word is enough. Please, lets not give up. I look forward to sitting next to You in Glory, and hearing the testimony you almost aborted today. Don’t Quit – Tremble at the Word of God.
Shalom

“But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.” AMP

““The people I value are not proud.
They are sorry for the wrong things they have done.
They have great respect for what I say.” NIRV
Isaiah 66:2

vipslit@yahoo.ca

My Life – An Errand From God to God

DSC09497Where are you today? Do like being there? Would you prefer being somewhere else? Are ‘they’ treating you right? Would you wish they treated you, just a little bit better. I was thinking just the same of the place I was. But I have a Loving, Powerful, Gentle, Awesome and EXTREMELY WISE HEAVENLY FATHER.  His Words…they make sense out of what may seem senseless today. What if..just what if…my being where I am today, is a matter of life and death for someone…someone I am too self-focused to see right now?

Just so that THEY would KNOW FOR SURE that GOD IS PRESENT where you are, God may send YOU through humanly unconventional means, sometimes as a slave – well, almost. His Way may be humbling even ‘horrendous’ but I do myself well to remember that the entirety of my life is an errand from God to someone/people and then back to Him with fruit, that they may KNOW He cares about them and their situation. Your/my ‘small’ voice raised in love and truth may unsettle kings and kingdoms to turn their focus back to God. May He open my eyes to Who needs Him this day, that I may send them to Him, for the breakthrough that they need. Hear this, my prayer, Heavenly Father. Amen.

vipslit@yahoo.ca

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“The Syrians had gone out in bands and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid, and she waited on Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, Would that my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! For he would heal him of his leprosy. [Naaman] went in and told his king, Thus and thus said the maid from Israel…

And he brought the letter to the king of Israel. It said, When this letter comes to you, I will with it have sent to you my servant Naaman, that you may cure him of leprosy.When the king of Israel read the letter, he rent his clothes and said, Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man sends to me to heal a man of his leprosy? Just consider and see how he is seeking a quarrel with me. When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, he sent to the king, asking, Why have you rent your clothes? Let Naaman come now to me and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel…

Then he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, as the man of God had said, and his flesh was restored like that of a little child, and he was clean. Then Naaman returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and stood before him. He said, Behold, now I know that there is no God in all the earth but in Israel.”
1 Kings 5

The Forgotten Unforgetable

DSC08973Its been a hard week and am tired. And yet I am strangely energized. As I sat listening to God, I heard a voice say ‘go read Exodus 3’. I had been thinking about God hardening Pharaoh’s heart and setting him up for his eventual fall, as He delivered His people, so I thought Exodus 3 was about that. But God is not predictable. He had a new lesson to teach me.

The scene is set, a former prince, sits forgotten in the wilderness of Midian. A wilderness that had accepted him as its own, and even provided him with family. He sits as a son, tending his father-in-laws flock. Self-exiled, murderer, rejected by his natural and first adoptive people. Its interesting to note that God did not run out of options in terms of providing another family to accept Moses, take him as their own. He sits and then sees a sight and goes to investigate it, and we are told that God noticed that he noticed, and therefore spoke to him. Of cause God already knew Moses would.

Moses probably wanted to forget his name and his people. Something that is bound to happen when we are disappointed with our birth family and nation. But God had a purpose for all this, and time came for this old man to manifest His growth and maturity in relation to God. it was time to go back, and be the answer that those who had turned their backs on him last time he did them a favor, needed. ‘Why isn’t it someone else’ responsibility LORD – someone who is more favorably disposed towards them? Someone they hold in regard? Why me? I am forgotten – and if anyone remembers me, its probably not really a pleasant memory.”

There may be times when you and I feel hunted down, hidden or forgotten. When God speaks a Wondrous Word to us, we wonder if He has the wrong address, or if it could be possible, that just this once, the All Knowing, All Wise, Almighty God could make a mistake with us. Worse, you have so forgotten where God had you before, and with that, your own ‘name’. I thank God that He NEVER forgets His Name, and our ‘namelessness‘ is irrelevant to where He is taking us, and what He will do with us, in His time. The TRUTH and FACT that He is with us, gives us all we need for the journey. Your wilderness experience has a timing, held in The Hand of Him Who is Above the Law He created – and is Holy – APART from us. Let us go with His Thoughts…that is the only way, we will get anywhere. Look what He did with Moses – the forgotten became UNFORGETTABLE.

Shalom

vipslit@yahoo.ca

“And Moses said to God, Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?…And God said to Moses, I Am Who I Am and What I Am, and I Will Be What I Will Be; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I Am has sent me to you!”
Exodus 3

Travelling A Cut Away From the Norm

This morning, I was trying to get from one end of Nairobi, to another, using a short-cut – which sometimes, as in this case, refers to an un-finished road branching away from the main tarmac road that presumably has all the traffic. I noticed that the car in front of us had sped on and we kept catching up with the dust it left in its wake. I could not see the one behind me, but one must have been there, at a distant, catching up with ‘our’ dust. And then there were the vehicles on the opposite lane…with their dust. Most times, from my vantage point on the back seat, I could not see the way ahead. The driver was calm, I was not. He gently reassured me that nothing bad would happen to us, that was not meant to happen, as he could see the road ahead.

It struck me then, that life’s like that. Especially when you take the road less traveled; there is usually someone who did it before, and sometimes…they blow ‘dust’ on your face. Then there are those who are travelling the opposite direction – these also affect your progress, by the amount of dust they may blow on your line of vision. It all depends on WHO is behind the wheel of your life, how well they know the road you are on, and your comfort at any one time on your ability to trust them to get you ‘there’ safely.

Like Job of old I declare today, that “But He knows the way that I take [He has concern for it, appreciates, and pays attention to it]. When He has tried me, I shall come forth as refined gold [pure and luminous]. My foot has held fast to His steps; His ways have I kept and not turned aside.” 23:10-11

and I adopted Carrie Underwood’s prayer ” Jesus, take the wheel
Take it from my hands
‘Cause I can’t do this on my own
I’m letting go
So give me one more chance
Just save me from this road I’m on
Jesus, take the wheel”

vipslit@yahoo.ca

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