21 September 2018

The LORD Knoweth

(Guest post by my sister, Ruth Lauridsen)

    I KNOW thy works and thy labour and thy patience. Rev 3:2a
    But he KNOWETH the way that I take. Job 23.10

    For he KNOWETH the secrets of the heart, Psalm 44:21

     The Lord KNOWETH the thoughts of man. Psalm 94:11a

    For he KNOWETH our frame: he remembereth that we are dust. Psalm 103:14

     The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and KNOWETH them that trust in him. Nahum 1:7

  …for your Father KNOWETH what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matthew 6:8

   The LORD KNOWETH them that are his. 2 Tim 2:19b

  Are you down and thinking that God doesn’t see you or care for you?
  Keep in mind that God KNOWS all about you, and He knows everything that is going on in your life at present! Cast all your care upon Him, He truly cares for you!

20 August 2018

Dare to Be a Daniel

(Lessons from Daniel)
Read Daniel chapter 1
"But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the portion of the king's meat, nor with the wine which he drank: therefore he requested of the prince of the eunuchs that he might not defile himself." Daniel 1:8
Daniel and his three friends found themselves in a place where their faith and obedience to God were put to the test. Would they stand up for what was right and risk getting in trouble or would they go along with everyone else?
Could they say no to what was wrong?
At some point in your life you will also be put to the test. You will have to choose like Daniel whether you will go along with the crowd or obey God. It might be at school, at a job, when you leave home, at university or even just at home with your family. You don't have to go far to feel the pressure to be like everyone else.
If you have grown up in a Christian family, you are very blessed! But that will not save you. You need to have your own faith and commitment to God that Daniel had. You need to purpose in your heart that you will be true to God and say no to what's wrong no matter what the consequences are.
God honored Daniel for what He did. God blessed him and his friends. You don't lose by obeying God. That doesn't mean that everything will always be easy. Hard times will come. But there is nothing better than being on God's side.
It is not easy to be different. It takes courage. But Daniel is proof that it is possible. He is also proof that God honors those who honor Him.

17 August 2018

A Little Boy and a Big Load of Wood

This morning a truck dumped a big load of firewood in our driveway. From past experience, I've learned to drop everything and get it in the shed as soon as possible to keep it from getting wet! But the grass was very wet and there were many puddles, so I didn't want my 2 year old who can't walk yet, to come outside with me. My four year old was the only other person at home, so I decided to put Lydia in her cot with some toys to keep her safe while I worked on the firewood for a while. I asked Joseph to stay in the same room with her, so he could call me if Lydia needed something. 
"But I want to come outside and help you," he answered.
"It would help me more if you would stay inside and look after Lydia. You can help me later when she is having a sleep." I explained.
Joseph obeyed cheerfully and everything went well. I got half the wood in the shed while they played happily.
Joseph might have felt more useful helping me put wood into the shed, but he was being more helpful playing lego and being with Lydia because that's what I needed.
While I worked on the wood, I thought back to when I was a teenager. I had a strong desire to be a missionary. I just wanted my schooling to be finished, so I could go. I felt like I'd be more useful to God on the mission field than at home. But all the doors were shut to going anywhere. Instead God opened up many opportunities right where I was. Over a few years, I was able to start my own Sunday School. In time, community children started to come along too that I was able to share the Gospel with. I was able to become a leader at a Girl's Brigade and was given the responsibility of teaching Bible Lessons every week. I was able to organize Girl's Sleepovers and eventually started a Girl's Club. I was able to be a missionary right in my own back yard.
 During this time, my future husband came along. He lived nearly five hours away, so we had a long distance relationship. Before we ever discussed where we would live after we got married, I secretly hoped he would want to move to my area, so I could keep doing all my little ministries. Then one day I got a text from him saying he had just brought a house. It hit me that I would be the one to move, not him! I guess most 'bride to be's' would be happy that their future husband could buy his own house, but I cried! I realized I would have to leave everything behind to go to a small town with a big church where I didn't see how I would be needed at all. I thought I would be of much more use to God to stay where I was. But like Joseph, I just had to obey God and trust that He knew best.
In time, in my new area, God opened up different kind of doors and opportunities. This blog is one of them!
So the lesson is, if you are where God wants you to be, you are in the most useful place! You may not see any value to what you are doing, but if it's where God has put you, be cheerful and do your best. If you trust and obey Him, He will use you. Even if you are sick or have a disability and feel useless. God can use you even then.
 And if He wants you to be somewhere else, He will open the doors. If not, He has a purpose for you right where you are.

12 August 2018

Now by This I know

(Lessons from the Widow of Zarephath)
Read 1 Kings 17:17-24.
God is providing food each day for this widow woman, her son and the prophet Elijah through this terrible drought. But then another disaster happens. The boy gets sick and dies.
She goes to Elijah who in turn goes to God. God hears Elijah's prayer and brings him back to life.
This is the part of the whole widow story I puzzled over. What is the purpose of it? What can we learn? What was the point of her child dying when God had miraculously provided food so he wouldn't starve?
Sometimes we can't make sense of things that happen in our lives. We can't see the whole picture.
But look how the story finishes.
"And the woman said to Elijah, Now by this I know that thou art a man of God, and that the Word of the LORD in thy mouth is truth."
What good came of this? Her faith was strengthened. Now she knew from experience that what God says is true. If her son had never died, she wouldn't have had the joy of seeing God work in an amazing way.
There are things that have happened in my life that I have also puzzled over. What is the point of this? How can any good come out of this? Why, Lord?
But because I have gone to God in my troubles, I have experienced the truth of God's Word in the Bible through the difficult situation. I can also say, "Now by this I know that God's Word is true."
A few months ago, my husband and I went through a very stressful time. It's a long story, but we needed a very large amount of money. At the last minute God provided every last cent in an amazing way. To see God provide in such an amazing way, we had to go through a stressful time.
But our faith was strengthened and our view of God became bigger. It was not a pointless experience.
For God to truly be real to us and for us to have a strong faith in Him, we need to go through difficult times. Through them we will see the truth of God's precious promises.
Take your troubles to God in prayer and watch to see what He will  do. He may not do what you hope for Him to do, but He will do what is best. Have faith that you will become a better person because of this trial.
Any experience that brings us into a closer relationship with God, is worth going through.

7 August 2018

Seek Ye First

(Lessons from the Widow of Zarephath)
And Elijah said unto her...make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son." For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.1 Kings 17:13-14
What comes first in your life?
Elijah was God's messenger who was speaking God's words. So for the widow to obey his words and bring him some food first, she was obeying God and putting him first. That took faith and obedience.
When she put God first, her needs were taken care of.  Her food supply did not run out, as they would have otherwise.
And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.1 Kings 17:15-16
God had given us a similar command and promise.
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and all these things (food, clothes-basic needs) shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33
If you put God first, He will provide your needs.
Is God first in your life? Is He your top priority? How do you know?
Let's try this test. This covers just four areas of your life.
1) Decisions.
How do you make decisions? Is it based on what will make you happy? Is it based on what others will think of you? Or do you pray about it, ask for God's wisdom and guidance, and base your decision on what He shows You? Are your decisions based on what God thinks and wants?
How do you begin or end relationships? Is it all based on you--what you like, think, feel etc.? Or do you pray about it, for God to show you the right mate in His time? Does the way you act in relationships honor God? Do you ask Him for wisdom?
3) Time
How do you spend your time? Is God in your schedule?
Do you squeeze Him in if you have a space and if you feel like it? Or is your time with Him important--a necessity? Do you pray about what God wants you to do with your time?
4) Career/Job/Future
How do you decide what you will do with your life?Is it all about what you want? Or do you pray and find out what God wants you to do? Are you willing to be whatever God wants you to be?

How do you do on your test? Is God number 1 in your life?
The widow woman was much better off when she put God first. For her it was literally a matter of life and death! You will also be blessed if you will put God first. It is the way you were created to live! Living for yourself only brings emptiness. Living for God brings joy!