Tag Archive | seeking

A Treasure in Wood Chips

I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden riches of secret places, That you may know that I, the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel. (Isaiah 45:3 NKJV)

A Child of the King

Before taking the youngest three grandactives to the playground a few weeks ago, I suggested Sydney leave her mood ring on our kitchen table. She assured me it stayed on her finger. So I didn’t press the issue. The kiddos played for a couple of hours on the swings, the teetertotters, bouncy animals, and the jungle gym. Finally, they decided they needed something to drink, and we headed home. Sydney looked a bit moody. I questioned her.

“Eli lost my ring.”

“What was Eli doing with it?”

“We were playing a game. I gave it to him. He put it in his pocket. It fell out.”

We took the other two grandactives home. Pap got them drinks, while Sydney and I headed back to the playground. I told Sydney to pray that Jesus would help us find her ring in the wood chips that covered the entire playground—yeah, finding a needle in a haystack.

We searched the ground below the swings. Sydney climbed through the tunnels in the jungle gym. I scanned the ground beneath the jungle gym. We looked around the teetertotters and the bouncy animals. No ring. Sydney went back to the swings to search again since that’s where Eli had hung upside down. I paused by the slide and whispered another prayer.

“Lord, please show us where that ring is. It sure would mean a lot to this child…and to that one.”

I reached for a glittering object. My hear sank when I realized it was a wrapper off a pack of cigarettes. “Why can I see things like that and not the ring?” I turned, searching. Another object sparkled in the sun at the bottom of the slide. I picked it up and twirled it between my fingers then raise my hand.

“Sydney, look what I found!”

She ran to me. I gently pushed her ring on her finger. She sobbed as I said, “See how much God loves you.”

We never would have found that ring without the Lord’s help. He knew exactly where it was. But finding the ring wasn’t the important thing that day. Sydney found a treasure I pray she never forgets—God loves her and wants to show her priceless treasures that last for life.

When we go through cancer, it may feel as though we’ve lost something very important to us. Our hopes may dwindle with our health. But God wants to restore our sense of wellbeing. He has promised to give us treasures in dark places. We have to enter those places to find the treasures, just like Sydney and I had to return to the playground to find her ring.

We could have prayed all night and day for two weeks and never would’ve found it if we hadn’t gone looking for it.
God desires to help us, to comfort us, and to restore what we’ve lost through cancer. But we have to do our part. We have to seek the treasures He has for us. They may not be what we think we’re looking for. They may be treasures of far greater value than health. They may be treasures for eternity.

How about you? What has God helped you find?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks.

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Advent 2016 Day 8

“Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you without a guardian-redeemer.” (Ruth 4:14)

Read: Ruth 3:1-11; 4:9-10

Jesus Loves Even Me

Jesus Loves Even Me

After the death of her husband, Ruth decided to leave her home and family to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, also widowed, back to Bethlehem. With no men to take care of them, Naomi sent Ruth to glean what she could from a relative’s field as was the custom of the culture. Ruth did as she was told and soon gained the attention of the field’s owner , Boaz. He made daily provisions for the widows, indicating his interest in Ruth.

Again, Naomi instructed Ruth in the Israelite customs, telling her to go to Boaz at night and sleep at his feet. Boaz knew Ruth was asking him to be her guardian-redeemer and agreed to settle the matter in the morning. Becoming Ruth’s guardian-redeemer meant Boaz agreed to buy Naomi’s deceased husband’s property and marry Ruth. Thus, Boaz committed to taking care of and providing for both Naomi and Ruth for life.

In comparison, Jesus is our guardian-redeemer. He has redeemed us and calls us His own. In Him, we have all we need for this life and for eternity.

Today, let’s find ways to honor our guardian-redeemer.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

 

Make My Path Straight, Lord

Proverbs 3:6  In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

fall-path-with-deer-4-webThis past year, my path seemed anything but straight. It’s had more twists, bumps, and tummy-turning drops than the nation’s biggest rollercoaster and haunted house combined. We no sooner got beyond one incident that another one blasted us in the face.

I began to analyze Proverbs 3:6. If I submit all my ways to God, He will make my path straight. Hadn’t I done that? I thought I had, at least to the best of my ability. I asked the Father to reveal to me what I had missed. I learned that Jesus is the Way. In Him there is no darkness. And He never promised we’d go through life struggle-free. In fact, He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

“But what about the straight path?” I asked.

Again, my heart heard His words, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

I realized the path God has promised to make straight is the spiritual path we travel when we accept Jesus as our Savior and not the physical or emotional journey we travel in this world.

But how do we enter and remain on that spiritual path no matter what this life hands us?

I wrote on acronym using the word PATH to help us remember. For the next four weeks, I’ll share one of the letters on this blog.

P is for Praise 

God, not only for what He does, but for Who He is.

A good method of praising God is alphabetically name God’s characteristics. I’ve made a list to get you started. But by all means, add to it.

A – Almighty God, Author and Finisher of my Faith; B – Buckler, Banner; C – Christ, Crucified; D – Deliverer; E – Everlasting Father, Eternal; F – Faithful, Forgiving; G – Gracious, Glorious; H – Hope, High-Priest; I – Immanuel, Infinite; J – Justification, Judge; K – King of kings; L – Lord of lords, Lamb; M – Majesty, Marvelous in all His ways; N – Nobel; O – Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent; P – Prince of Peace, Propitiation; Q – Quick to Forgive, Quote worthy; R – Redeemer, Resurrection; S – Savoir, Sovereign; T – Trustworthy, Truth; U – Unique Son of God; V – Valiant; W – The Way, Wonderful; X – Excellent (okay, I cheated a little there. If you have an X word, please share it with the rest of us.) Y – Yahweh; Z – Zealous

How about you? How do you Praise the Lord?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Worth the Wait

The Lord does not delay [as though He were unable to act] and is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is [extraordinarily] patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9 AMP)

DSCN5168A week without a kitchen sink constitutes an interesting lifestyle to say the least. Our new cupboards are in place and functional—we put the knobs on them this evening. I even put a few items in their new homes. The microwave, stove, and refrigerator make it somewhat feasible to prepare meals. But the lack of a counter top and sink creates some difficulty in cleanup as well as food preparation.

Nevertheless, the dismantled kitchen is taking its toll me. I can’t find ¾ of our pantry supplies and utensils. I know everything is in boxes in the basement … but which box? The disorganization of that part of our house has flooded into the remainder of the house, including my brain. I find it more difficult than usual to concentrate, plan my day, and shift through priorities. Thus, my patience is growing thin. I’m anxious to see the finished product. I’m anxious to have full use of my kitchen. I’m anxious to reorganize. I’m anxious to have some sort of normalcy back in my life. I don’t want to wait for the contractor to come back to do the final adjustments. I don’t want to wait for the designer to install the counter top and sink. I don’t want to wait for the back-ordered faucet to arrive. I know it’ll be worth the wait. But still … I WANT IT FINISHED NOW!

In Jesus' EyesLet’s face it, remodeling isn’t the only aspect of life in which I grow impatient. When crisis strikes, God begins a new work in me, and I feel like a kitchen in the remodeling process. He has to tear out old habits, the shabby attitude, and the broken emotions before He can install a Christlike image in my heart.

Reconstruction takes time. My usefulness seems limited, almost dysfunctional even. Now and then, I sense His adjustments as His works. But I wonder if anyone notices the changes He’s making in me. I wonder if I’ll ever love and forgive others as God has loved and forgiven me. I wonder if I’ll ever get the hang of being Christlike.

Yeah, I know it’ll be worth the wait. But still …

How about you? How is God remodeling your heart into the image of Christ?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

Be Aware of the Giant Hoax

Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 AMP)

Giant Hoax

Giant Hoax

There’s a report floating around Facebook, claiming a group of archaeologists discovered the remains of giants in Greece, thus, proving the authenticity of the Bible. It even went so far as to say that one of the skulls they excavated could’ve been Goliath’s head. That particular skull was separate from the body and bore a crack between the eyes—obviously from David’s stone, according to the article.

At least one flag should’ve popped out at me—this dig occurred in Greece. David killed Goliath in Valley of Elah, which was in Judah not anywhere close to Greece. But no. I ignored that “tiny” piece of knowledge. In my zeal to prove the accuracy of the Bible, I reposted the news.

A day or two later, I decided to check out the creditability of the article on Snopes.com. In case you’ve never heard of the site, it’s designed to debunk rumors, myths, and legends and give us the facts. To my dismay, I discovered the giant-skeletal find was a hoax. Not only had I fallen for it. I caused others to fall for it as some of my Facebook friends reposted the spoof.

Ha-ha! The joke’s on us. These types of shenanigans make Christians look foolish in the eyes of the world. We owe it to ourselves and to our Lord to carefully investigate every article we post on social media and only post what’s true.

We also owe it to ourselves and to our Lord to carefully examine the teachings to which we adhere. Not all who claim to know the Word and preach it, study the Scriptures. Even our pastors and Sunday school teachers can falter in their understanding. We should hold one another accountable by studying the Bible and asking God for wisdom regarding His truth. When we fail to check the Scriptures to see if what we are being taught is true, we run the risk of spreading lies further diluting the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Let’s show ourselves God-approved by examining the facts before repeating or reposting the spoof.

How about you? Have you ever reposted an article on social media that seems so terrific you had to share then found out later it was a hoax?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

P.S. To my Facebook friends who reposted the giant article, I sincerely apologize and pledge to be more careful to check out the facts before I repost.

Good News

For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 NIV)

Jesus is Coming Soon

Jesus is Coming Soon

 

This morning I called my mother. She wasn’t feeling well. She thought her heart “acted up” again last night. When that happens, she feels tired and not quite with it the next day. I’m thankful she’s doing as well as she is.

As our conversation continued, I told her my mother-in-law fell over the weekend. She, too, was okay … stiff and sore, but nothing broken … another blessing. Then, I told my mother that one of my former classmates passed away last week suddenly. I was so very sad to hear about it. Mother was as well.

Then she said, “Don’t you have any good news?”

I said, “Yes, Jesus is coming soon.”

“What?”

“Jesus is coming soon.”

“What?”

“Jesus is coming soon.”

“I think I suddenly went completely deaf. I still didn’t catch what you said.”

“Do you have your hearing aides on?”

“Yes.”

“Jesus … is … coming … soon.”

“Who’s coming soon?”

“Jesus.”

“I’m still not getting it.”

“J-e-s-u-s, Jesus.”

Silence.

“Mom, did you hear me?

“No. I’m sorry. I still didn’t understand what you said.”

“It’s okay. Look it up in the Bible.”

“Oh!” She laughed. “I get it now. It’d be great if He came today.”

“Yes. It surely would be.”

Funny how she heard all that bad news without any problem isn’t it? I promise I didn’t talk any louder. She just couldn’t quite comprehend what I said.

Isn’t that how people are though? We hear all the bad news, all the negative comments, and all the meaningless dribble. But when someone mentions the Good News of Jesus Christ, something goes amiss. Our hearing suddenly deafens. Our batteries die. A bird sits on the phone wire. We simply fail to comprehend the significance of the message.

I told Mother Jesus is coming soon, because she wanted some good news. I couldn’t thing of anything better than that.

I shared our conversation with you, because I thought you needed to hear some good news too.

How about you? With whom can you share the Good News today?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Seeing Ourselves Through God’s Eyes

What we are is plain to God, and I hope it is also plain to your conscience. (2 Corinthians 5:11)

Mystery Eyes Seeing ourselves through God’s eyes isn’t always easy. In fact, for the most part it’s pretty difficult. Before we know Him, He sees us as crippled, blind, deaf, lost, and hungry and thirsty. We are empty and avoid of good. The best we can do appears as filth rags to God (Isaiah 64:6). Paul described us this way, “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient” (Ephesians 2:1-2).

Dead! It’s very difficult to view ourselves as dead when we are living, breathing, feeling. But if we don’t know Jesus Christ on a personal level that’s exactly what we are…dead.

However, God loves us even though we are nothing more than dead. He wants to bring life, and not only life, but abundant life to us. So we accept His invitation through Jesus Christ to be born into eternal life. And our position changes. We no longer hunger and thirst, for He has filled us with the Bread of Life and has giving us Living Water to drink. We are no longer lost, for He has found us. We are no longer blind, deaf, or crippled, for by His stripes He healed us.

We now possess a crown and a garment of righteousness. We are children of the King of kings. And as difficult as it was to see ourselves in reality without Christ, it seems equally difficult to see ourselves as God sees us with Christ. Pure, worthwhile, royalty as well as servants, heirs to Christ, redeemed, and loved.

Looking at ourselves as God looks at us takes courage and practice.

However, our vision must also become farsighted. We must learn to look at others through Christ’s eyes. See the truth in their condition whether it be with or without Jesus. Then we should act with as much love, mercy, and grace as we received.

We are all unworthy. But not one of us is worthless as the enemy would have us believe.

How about you? Through which mirror do you see yourself?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

PS Guess whose eyes are in the picture and come back in a few days to find out. Better yet, follow me via email and be sure to get my updates. Thanks.