Friday, October 31

Houseguest Coming

I received a message the other day to expect a houseguest, a special friend coming for a visit, someone with deep needs. Since I love giving and love my friend, I was excited at the prospect of helping out in any way I could.

So I did what every woman would do, I started cleaning the house…

Knock, knock, knock! Yikes! I’m not ready. However, I opened the door anticipating my friend but found a dirty beggar asking for a handout. Sorry, I said. I’m busy. Try next door.

…then I started preparing special food…

Knock, knock, knock! Aha! Must be my friend! Opening the door, this time I found a member from church collecting canned goods for the hungry. Sorry, I said. I’m busy. Try next door.

…then I put out the good towels and tablecloth…

Knock, knock, knock! Now what? Irritated, I flung open the door and found a neighbor’s child collecting clothes for homeless children. Sorry, I said. I’m busy. Try next door.

After everything was finished, I was pooped so I sat down to rest. Looking at my watch, I began to wonder what happened to my friend who was in such need. Doesn’t he know I’m waiting here to help him?

No more interruptions. No more knocking. As I decided to just sit there and wait, the Lord began to whisper to my heart…

I knocked on your door three times today but you were too busy to let Me in. I said I would come to visit because I had needs. I sent you the needs but you didn’t accept them as from Me. You received Me not. If you had responded to what I sent, you would have enjoyed sharing a precious fellowship with My people and with Me.”

Hanging my head in humiliation, I listened as He continued…

Didn’t I tell you that when you did something for one of the least of these, you were doing it to Me? Will you turn Me away again next time?”

If He knocks upon your door today, will you open up to welcome Him as your honored houseguest? How will He appear, as the dirty beggar, the church member, the child? Or maybe as the person sitting in the back pew crying, the young father with small children and food stamps, the neighbor down the street dying of AIDS, the single mother working two jobs to feed her children?

Who will you welcome? Whose needs will you meet?

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20 NKJV)

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, October 28

Hold Onto Your Fork...The Best is Yet to Be!

Years ago, our preacher at the time gave a sermon about a married couple. I don’t remember the details, only the basics. A wife had served her husband a great meal, and as she cleared away the dishes, she announced to her husband her usual comment, “Hold onto your fork. The best is yet to be.”

After the sermon, that saying stuck with me. As we were suffering financial difficulties, I took an old fork, tied a red ribbon around it, and hung it on my refrigerator in hopes of God’s promise of the best is yet to be. I never removed it. It’s been there for years. It reminds me that, no matter what the trial, heartache, or pain surrounding my life, God is still faithful to the promises in His Word.

First Kings 8:56b says, “There has not failed one word of all His good promise.” (NKJV) Abraham knew this. He never doubted, for scripture says he was “fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.” (Rom. 4:21 NKJV) He held on and God fulfilled His promise to him of the best that was yet to be.

Even with great faith attached to it, a promise of God sometimes stalls in its appearance because of God’s time schedule. What happens when inactivity occurs, when a promise seems to drift farther and farther away, when circumstances linger incessantly and patience wears thin? Are we more concerned about the problem or God’s promise?

If we hold onto that Word, as that scarlet cord of promise, God will always be faithful to keep it, for the One Who breathes His promises into our hearts will not fail to serve up the sweet ending.

Whatever your trials might be this day, hang on to God’s promises. Go now, find a fork, tie it up with a pretty bow, and hang it on your refrigerator, for...


~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Friday, October 24

The Mic's On!

Years ago, in another church, where we were members, our pastor told us about a very funny yet embarrassing experience that happened to him.

At his previous church, he tended to fiddle around with the volume on his lapel mic, so the sound crew set the volume and put a piece of tape over the knob to keep him from fooling with it. On dedication day of the new sanctuary, the preacher got “wired,” put on his special robe for the day, and headed out from the old building to the new one.

Only one thing…he forgot the mic was turned on!

As the members sat waiting in the new sanctuary, they heard voices over the PA system. They heard the preacher’s footsteps and his voice as he greeted others. The preacher’s wife, recognizing what was happening and realizing her husband’s routine, made a mad dash for the door to run interference. But she never made it and the preacher continued on with his routine. Entering the men’s restroom, he took care of his bodily function…and flushed!

When he finally entered the sanctuary, he was greeted by a congregation of smiling faces. He didn’t find out until later. Poor man!

As this memory made a recent visitation to my brain, and after giggling for a while, I started thinking about the repercussions of what would happen if we all were “wired” with a hot mic attached to us so everyone could hear our every word and footstep.

What would others hear? Who would suffer from our words we thought were said behind their backs? Would our children overhear us say things we wouldn’t say in front of them? Where would our footsteps take us that we wouldn’t want others to know?

Unfortunately, we speak with a double tongue. We say one thing to others and then walk in another direction. We can compare this to the word ‘antipodal,’ which means with opposite feet, diametrically opposed, opposite beliefs, exactly contrary, as if to “talk out of both sides of your mouth,” (Prov. 4:24 Msg) as Solomon said.

We don’t realize what we are doing. Job asked, “Is there wrong on my tongue? Cannot my taste discern what is destructive?” (Job 6:30 AMP) Apparently not. Talk and walk don’t match up!

Paul told Titus, “Your conversation should be so sensible and logical that anyone who wants to argue will be ashamed of himself because there won’t be anything to criticize in anything you say!” (Titus 2:8 TLB) Or the way…or where…you walk!

Is your conversation above reproach? Is your walk? What sounds would your hot mic pick up?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Sunday, October 19

The Unkinkable Hose

Once in a great while, our Kentucky summers surprise us with a respite from the normal hot and humid yuckiness and treat us to a pleasant evening. Recently, my husband and I sat on our patio to enjoy one of these rare evenings outdoors.

Hubby decided to hook up his new, good 100 foot hose to the sprinkler for the backyard. As he did, he mentioned that he wished he had gotten it a long time ago. Why? Because it does not kink and allows a continuous flow of water.

I started thinking about the unkinkable hose. It reminded me of our relationship with the Lord. As He has blessed us lately with some very needed income, I wanted to be sure my husband was keeping up with the tithe since he writes all the checks.

After I asked him about it, I said, “I don’t want to put a kink in the hose!” After we giggled about it, the thought settled into my brain as I started to think about the comparison between the old hose, which always got kinks in it and even the little kinks cut off the flow of water, defeating its purpose, and the new hose, which will never get a kink in it and will always let the water flow properly, thereby fulfilling its purpose.

I wondered…What puts a kink in the purpose for my life? What stops the flow of Living Water? Is it selfishness? Is it pride? Is it murmuring and complaining? Is it other negative speech? Or is it something I’m overlooking or choose to ignore?

Do I have a blind spot when it comes to “little sins” as little kinks? Like nibbling on the forbidden fruit of a little cheating, a little white lie, a little stealing of pens or paper from the company or altering time cards, a little flirting at work, a little dirty joke, a little gossip, a little peeking at this or winking at that?

Whatever sins you allow in your life, they will put a kink in the flow of your relationship with the Lord, defeating the purpose of your life.

When you finally unkink your life, don’t you always wish you’d done it sooner?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, October 16

The Veiled Lady

Today's devotional is a little out of the ordinary. It is written as a story prompt from the picture. Hope you enjoy it...

An empty water jar balances precariously on her head. Her face is veiled not only to avoid the searing stares of Sychar’s society but also to shield her from the rumors of a ruined reputation.

Too many husbands have drained her nuptial well and now she attempts to fill it with another, an unbetrothed suitor. She must go now to the watering hole, to draw from its depths the water to quench her parched thirst, a thirst that lies deeper than the surface of her tongue.

Slipping through the back streets, she shuffles her way out the city’s gate to fulfill her daily duty. As the sun beats down with its heaving swells of heat, she is forced to come to the well of the ancient fathers at the noon hour. The other women choose to draw water during the cooler hours of the day, coming later to remove their veils, to relax, to laugh, and to gossip, usually about this woman.

The heat of the day diametrically differs from the chill of passion that has penetrated this shunned woman’s being. The empty water jug she now carries on her head parallels the emptiness of her heart.

She hides behind a veil of secrecy, as she tries desperately to become invisible. As she approaches the well, she peers out from behind her veil, and, seeing a man who sits on the well’s edge, their eyes meet. He looks deep into the longing of her soul and sees a parched and depleted well. She sees acceptance beyond anything she has ever experienced.

“Give me a drink,” he asks.

“But you’re a Jew,” she says. “Why do you ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?”

“If you only knew. I would satisfy your hollow yearning from a living well, teeming with waters of life that never run dry.”

“Oh, sir, give me this water, that I may not thirst, nor come here to draw.”

“Call your husband to come here also,” he says.

“But, sir,” she says, “I have no husband.”

This stranger, peering into her lifeless eyes hiding within the veil, now seems to know her so well, as he recounts the depth of her past existence.

“Sir, you must be a prophet,” she says. Yet, she discerns him to be more than a prophet, for there is no hint of judgment or condemnation in his voice, only the love of the ages.

Throwing off the veil over her eyes, she sees this man for who he really is and receives the love for which she has so recklessly searched. She drops her water pot by the well and runs back through the city gate to tell the others of the everlasting love she has found in the Messiah.

Have you dropped all to tell others about the everlasting love you have found in Christ?

“Go…and tell…”

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, October 14

Poverty Came to Visit

Poverty kicked in my front door one day and made himself at home. He became an unwelcome resident for many years. Embarrassment rode in on his coattail.

His friends heard of his new home and, like a troop of vultures, congregated in my living room, chasing away all my friends. He invited Depression and Tears to be his all too frequent guests. Hunger became his constant sidekick while Lack and Need were his devoted followers. Deprivation became a thorn in my side.

They all loved to laugh at me.

Have you ever had lack thrust upon you? As the economy has taken a nosedive, the chances of it knocking on more doors becomes increasingly feasible. However, we in this country are more fortunate in our “poverty” than billions of others around the world are in theirs.

Unless you are one who is truly suffering at the poverty level, it is hard to imagine the indignation that others suffer because of their lack of this world’s resources.

This day, thousands of bloggers are posting on poverty, to make others aware of its ugly existence, whether it makes its home in our downtown shelters or halfway around the world in India or Africa.

And whether we have a little or a lot, we are to share whatever we can with others. I wonder what would happen if we did as the early church did, “There was no poverty among them, because people who owned land or houses sold them and brought the money to the apostles to give to others in need.” (Acts 4:34-35 NLT)

Giving is at the very essence of God’s love. If our hearts are filled with the love of God, we desire to give. Giving is its own reward.

What are you doing to help ease the pain of someone living in poverty? Find a great organization and donate. Help out at your local shelter. Whatever your hand finds to do, do all in the name of the Lord!

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Friday, October 10

The Old Gold Miner

One day, as I was bewailing a difficult circumstance in my life, the Lord gave me this vision of His working in my life…

With shirtsleeves rolled up to his elbows, an old gold miner knelt beside a sparkling stream of water, bubbling with life. His weather-beaten hands clutched a sizable sieve like those used years ago for panning gold. On it rested a massive amount of dirt and rocks of all sizes, shapes, and hardness.

Undaunted, he knelt there, concentrating on the debris. Shaking the sieve with vigor, then again with tenderness, he continued his apparent mission, as if on a treasure hunt for some mysterious element. The dirt and smaller pebbles slipped through the holes in the screen, disappearing downstream into waters that appeared to have a life of their own. The remaining larger, coarse rocks on the screen grated against each other, altering their appearance.

Tears began to trickle down his furrowed cheeks and fall upon the transformed rocks, washing away the leftover traces of dirt. An all-knowing smile gradually spread across his aged face. His eyes twinkled, reflecting the anticipated precious treasure, the golden gems now resting on the sieve.

He glanced up and whispered, “My Word is the screen sifting out all the impurities of your life, while the Living Waters wash them away. In My love for you, I am ever at work in your circumstances. As they rub against you, they transform you and rid you of those things that would dirty your life and taint your work for Me. As I remove them, you are made into that precious, golden gem, reflected in My eyes.”

Through this vision, the Lord showed me that, no matter what circumstances occur in my life, no matter how relentlessly they rub against me, He allows them all to be sifted through His Word, His love, and His fingers, changing me into His image and that golden reflection in His eyes.

“This means tremendous joy to you, even though at present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident - it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold…” (1 Peter 1:6-7a Phillips)

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Tuesday, October 7

In the Presence of the King

One day, with head hung down, the lowly subject known as Sinner found herself standing in the Presence of the King. He guided her to a rugged cross, stained with blood that had trickled down its post. He escorted her to an empty tomb, where burial cloths lay as evidence of One having been there. As He walked with her into the Garden of Easter gladness, she finally understood and accepted the sacrifice for forgiveness of sins.

Sinner became known as Saint as she daily sought the King’s Presence. Sitting at His feet, she received all the King’s blessings of the Holy Spirit for her life.

Then, one day, she crawled into the Throne Room as Discouraged, seeking answers to her many trials. The King lifted her up and sent her home with His Servant Encouragement to attend her in all her ways.

Entering one day as Faithless, she timidly approached the King. He immediately forgave her and imparted His Servant Grace to fill her heart.

One day, entering as Defeat, she bowed her head in shame before the Throne, asking for the King’s assistance, wondering Him why her life was a failure. He entrusted His Servant Victory to be her advocate in all the matters of her life.

Entering one day as Pride, she strutted in before the King. Shaking His head at her, He assigned His Servant Humility to kneel by her side always.

One day, entering as Grief, she fell sobbing into the arms of the King. He gently placed His hand of Love upon her head and dispatched His Servants Comfort and Peace to wipe away her tears and accompany her to still waters.

Entering one day as Selfish, she shoved her way into the King’s Throne Room, and the Selfless Lamb appeared and stood silently beside her, wrapping His arm around her shoulders and leading her to perform sacrificial acts for others.

One day, she returned as Prodigal, collapsing in exhaustion at the feet of the King. He set her back upright, wrapped a royal robe around her shoulders, placed a golden crown upon her head, and a divine ring upon her finger, sending His Servants Goodness and Mercy to pursue her in all her ways.

In all her subsequent days, she entered the Kings’ Presence on bended knees, with her head bowed in reverence, and her hands lifted in gratitude. Praise and Worship became her closest Companions…forevermore.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

Thursday, October 2

Taken Aside for a Purpose

“He took him aside, away from the crowd.”
(Mark 7:33a NIV)

Taken aside…In 1666, John Bunyan was imprisoned for unlicensed preaching. What came out of that dark, damp Bedford jail in England? Out of his captivity came Bunyan’s Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners and the most famous of all Christian allegories Pilgrim’s Progress.

Taken aside…Out of years of service in Japan and China, as a missionary in the early 1900s, and out of the imprisonment of her husband’s sickness and subsequent death, came Mrs. Charles E. Cowman’s beautiful, classic devotional Streams in the Desert.

Taken aside…Catherine Marshall, at the age of 33, suffered two years of physical imprisonment with a life-threatening bout of tuberculosis. When her husband Peter died, she took care of their nine-year-old son Peter, Jr. Out of her suffering, she authored over 20 books, among them the well-loved Christy.

Taken aside…Paul, imprisoned. The most fruitful period of his ministry. What did he do? He praised God as a prisoner, not of disease or circumstance, but as a prisoner of the Lord. Out of those times came his letters of encouragement to the churches, giving untold generations the books of Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Philemon, and possibly Hebrews.

Have you been taken aside by some life-shattering circumstance? Do you trust that God will be with you through it and use whatever imprisonment you might be suffering for the benefit of others?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~