Friday, May 12, 2017

Sanctuary of Tranquility: I saw you....

Sanctuary of Tranquility: I saw you....: My first truly memorable encounter with Jesus was during the winter of 2007.  I had been attending a church my oldest daughter had discovere...

I saw you....

My first truly memorable encounter with Jesus was during the winter of 2007. I had been attending a church my oldest daughter had discovered , 
a church we both truly enjoyed. The music was uplifting; the congregation, super friendly, and the pastor and his family were wonderful.
 This was where I gave my heart to Jesus Christ. 

One particular cold, snowy Saturday evening my daughter and I attended the candlelight service. As I glanced around at the familiar faces in church that evening, my eyes fell upon a very beautiful, very pregnant woman. 

I watched as she juggled a young child in her arms and kissed him sweetly on his head. I couldn't help but notice the proud and loving husband sitting next to her with his arm draped over her shoulder. 
The love they shared was overwhelming to me and brought on a tremendous feeling of sadness over a child I had never known. A child who was aborted when I was very young. 

Towards the end of the service,  the pastor asked that we close our eyes, and without looking at others, raise our arms if there was anything in our heart we wanted to confess to Jesus. 

With no thought of condemnation, my arm shot right up. didn't realize until much later that on that cold winter night, I was saved  from a very painful burden by a Grace only God could deliver. 

John 3:2-3 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know it is from God that you have come as a teacher; for no one can do these miracles you perform unless God is with him.” “Yes, indeed,” Jesus  answered him, “I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

It took some time for me to comprehend what happened to me that evening but my reaction and confession were certainly not news to Jesus who had known of my sin and what was going to happen that night in that church since before time began.

That evening may have been the first time I encountered Jesus, but He had encountered me many, many times before without my realization. 

In fact, as I reflect on my life, there were a great many times when I dismissed fortunate things that happened to me, and simply considered myself to be lucky when the truth was simple, Jesus had me in his scope and He was watching over me. 

John 1:48  Nathaniel said to him, "

How do you know me?"
Jesus answered him...
"Before Phillip called you. 
When you were under the fig-tree,
 I saw you." 


"I saw you." 
Spoken by Jesus, those are some really powerful words. 
He knows everything about us. We have absolutely no secrets from Him.
 In fact, he knows more about us than we know about ourselves; we're only fooling ourselves when we pretend he doesn't know what's in our hearts and why we do and say the things we do.

 Matthew 10:31 tells us that we are worth more than many sparrows and not one of them can fall to the ground without being noticed. 

He loves us so much, swhy would we ever lie to him or pretend that he doesn't know what our needs are and exactly what we are doing? 

 Jesus knows everything. He knows about that time you stuck your tongue out at your sixth-grade teacher, how many times you skipped school in the 11th grade. He knows all about that pack of gum that you stuck in your pocket at the mom and pop store and he knows that you lied to your husband about how much you paid for that new dress and he knows what you do in the dark of night. Because of his great love, he understands why you did it and why you lied. So, instead of lying to him or pretending he doesn't know and understand us, we need to realize that he is the very best friend we could ever have in our lifetime and just start talking to him. 

Tell him everything. Even if He knows it already, he wants to hear it directly from us. There is absolutely nothing you or I can tell him that he won't forgive.  He won't gossip about you on Facebook and he won't ignore you the next time you cry out to him. He loves you, and he loves me, and he has a great big plan for our lives. He has an adventure specifically designed for each and every one of us and it doesn't include dragging around guilt and being miserable or feeling unloved and un-forgiven. 
We are ALL very much both loved and forgiven.   

In Luke 19 we read a story of a man named Zacchaeus who lived in the town of Jericho. He was the chief tax collector and according to verse 2, he was also un deservingly rich.  

One day Jesus was passing through Jericho and Zacchaeus wanted most desperately to get a glimpse of him but since he was very short in stature, he decided to run ahead on the street Jesus would be coming down and climb up into a Sycamore tree so he could see Jesus when he passed by. When Jesus got near the tree, he looked right up and said to him

“Zacchaeus, hurry and come down, for I must stay at your house today.” So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.
 7. All that saw it grumbled, "He has gone to be the house guest of a sinner." 

Jesus knew Zacchaeus was in the tree without even looking up. He also knew that the man was a thief, scoundrel, and a sinner; but most of all, Jesus knew Zacchaeus had a heart problem that nothing in the world could fix but his own special kind of love.

He knew that about me and he knows the same thing about you.
Trust him, love him and he will rock your world.  

Blessings to you! 



Thursday, May 4, 2017

Sanctuary of Tranquility: Why Pray When You Can "Go Fund Me"??

Sanctuary of Tranquility: Why not ask God instead of Go Fund Me?: What are your feelings about praying? Back in February of 2015, I wrote a blog about praying and not giving up. It was then and continues to...

Why Pray When You Can "Go Fund Me" Instead?

What are your feelings about praying? Back in February of 2015, I wrote a blog about praying and not giving up. It was then and continues to be what the Bible tells us to do. I have personally found prayer to be very rewarding and it has helped me develop a closer relationship with God. I have seen the hand of God make amazing transformations in people's lives in areas of health, finances, and relationships.
Witnessing God on the move is always amazing. It doesn't really matter if the prayer we see answered is for our self, or for someone else, it is the coolest thing ever!

There are, however, times when prayers aren't answered as quickly or in the way that we would have custom designed for ourselves (e.g. our way).

Yet even in some of the worst case scenarios, when things don't go the way we are hoping, God simply had a different plan. He had His promised plan...

Jeremiah 29:11-1311 For I know the plans I have for you”—this is the Lord’s declaration—“plans for your well-being, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. 12 You will call to me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.

In this world of getting what we want immediately, if not sooner, we tend to forget that God is both sovereign AND omnipresence. He knows exactly what we need, and when is the very best moment for us to receive it. He listens for sincerity in our prayers and humility in our hearts and conversations and makes His own determinations regarding how things are going to go.

But for some reason, people who should know this, totally abandon all thought off prayer and seek instead an easier, quicker way to get what they think they want, need or what would be fun to have.
God never promised us a cushy life. He might give us one, and then again, He might not. When we truly belong to Him, He searches our hearts and our motives and because He knows every last thing about our situations and circumstances He and only He determines what is best.

So if we know this and we know He wants us to talk to Him about our needs and desires why do we abandon our one on one chats with our Papa and set up Go Fund Me Pages?

Weren't Go Fund Me Pages designed for victims of fires and serious accidents? Designed for people who have urgent needs? Lately, I have been seeing one right after another of these pages set up for people who want to skip the praying part and just get the stuff. As Christians, why are we operating out of fear instead of faith?

Are we so afraid that it might take to long, or it might not be exactly what we want that we skip the prayers and go right to the ME part? Where is our faith? Do you believe in God or not?
How can we convince our maker; the one who loves us more than anyone in this world possibly ever could, that we have Faith in Him when we leave Him out? How can we convince others who don't know Him yet of His goodness when we blatantly demonstrate that we don't trust Him with our needs ourselves?

Just a thought....