Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lost Pens

Looking for writing pens—I think I’ve spent one-eighth of my life looking for pens. It can’t be just any pen—it has to be the one that my daughter gave me, or the one I wrote my favorite poem with.
Other “stuff” too. You’ve done it before—you were sure you put that favorite blouse from last winter in that drawer in the guest room. Lo and behold—it’s not there now!
How many of us “look” for that special gift for that certain someone who has asked you to enjoy their birthday with. Nothing will do until you find the “perfect” gift.

What are you constantly looking for? That verse of scripture you were sure you knew? That story in the Bible that you thought was so familiar that you forgot the exact words?
How exciting to find those scriptures and recall the “true” story. Our memories elude us sometimes into thinking we actually know something, only to find through the years the story has faded or become twisted.
That’s why we read and re-read the Bible: to search for the truth for today. When we find the lesson for today’s verse we live in freedom. Like finding the object we are looking for. Eureka! We exclaim.
It was right where the Lord wanted us to find it at the right time in our life. It fits our life situation at present.
My friend when you find God’s word for your life today you have found a treasure far out-weighing any object you may find. You find he peace and tranquility that only come from diligent seeking.
Well, I found in my pen-caddy today about 20 pens. They all returned to their “home” somehow after months of wondering where they were. I simply forgot about that one pen and began collecting the pens I found throughout the day.
By Lanell Stuart

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Paul and Isaiah

Paul was raised in a strict religious environment. He came a long way from home to Jerusalem to the temple where he wished to “preach” or at least expound on the Bible. The bible, which was the first five books of our Bible, were his guide to life. He knew the religious leader, Gamaliel, a great teacher of the Jewish Law.

I never knew, before Beth Moore, Gamaliel told the religious leaders of the day to “Leave Peter and the apostles alone, if they are not of God, their beliefs will slowly die away and the people will stop following them but if they are from God you will  only find yourselves fighting against God.” (Acts 5:38-39 paraphrased)* Many of the religious leaders believed in the things Jesus taught, they just weren’t strong in their beliefs to want to give up their “status” in the “religious” community. 

Paul and Isaiah reflected greatly on the spiritual aspect of Godly things. They knew the Lord well.

How much time do we really read and reflect on the Bible or better yet, the things of God? How much do we know “about” the word verses how well do we “know” the savior?

I have been lax at really studying the Bible in my “Joy of Living” Class I take on Wednesdays. I manage to get the lessons done for the week. But, in the end, I wonder how well do I really “know” Isaiah?

Even if it is a kind of “rushed” study of the whole book, I can get a glimpse into Isaiah’s mind and life. (It is a long book.) He, like Paul was “close” to God. He loved the Lord, and I have to wonder, “How well did he know the Savior?”

How was it to live before Christ? Expecting Him any day. Knowing how He would come into the world as an infant and be raised as a human yet, Lord.

Did Isaiah wish He could wait till the Lord came into the world before he went to Heaven? Did he have aspirations of knowing the Lord and Savior as a human?

Probably like Paul, Isaiah came to know the Jesus, through God. It was a spiritual acquaintance. Paul however, came face to face with the Lord Jesus; Isaiah had a spiritual awakening with The Lord, God. However difficult it is to imagine knowing these two men, they were spiritual “Giants.”

I hope I can come to know Isaiah more in the months to come and really get insight into the people of God.
*Acts 5:38-39: Therefore, in the present case I advise you: Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fall. But it it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.) NIV
By Lanell Stuart

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

The Tangled Web

The Tangled Web

Have you ever been caught in a spider’s web? Ewe, we react, “How quick can I get rid of this thing!” It’s sticky and the more we try to resist the more determined it tries to stay on you.

Life can become entangled like a web. “Just stay away from me,” we tell Satan. The more determined we become to live for Jesus, the more determined he is to make you stay in a sad, miserable state of being.

We can become entangled with others lives to the point we just want “out”. But God is urging you onward. “Don’t give up on the unlovely. Keep loving them and showing them the way back to God.” I think that is what God would say to us. Remember you were once unlovely in God’s sight. Someone took the time to invest in my life to bring me to the a fullness of loving God again. Someone took the time to pray for me that I may be brought to the point of saying, “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation.” (Psalms 51:12, KJV) And it has been restored.

My web is unraveling, slowly. I am returning to Lord’s way for my life. Returning, to escape the spider’s web that promises rewards for my life, but never succeedsed.
The Lord is restoring to me the joy of my salvation. You also can obtain that reward through loving friends and family.

Everyone comes into your life for a season and a reason. We can learn through each incident in life. The Lord leads in mysterious ways, Paul announces in his word to the Colossians in Chapter one, verse 27. It says, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of the mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” God makes known the mysteries of our life, which is to know Jesus better.

He says in Ephesians 6:19, “Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel.”
I pray you will not get caught in the spider’s web of deceit that promises rewards that are not there in the end.

The promises of grandeur and fulfillment do not lay in the promises of man but in the promises of God. Seek God and all will be added unto you. (My words paraphrasing from Mt. 6:33 NIV)

“Love the Lord with all thy heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6, NIV)
By Lanell Stuart