Monday, August 31, 2015

My bloomers surprised me

When we came home from our road trip I noticed that a plant I had (from my dad's funeral) looked to be in pitiful condition.  Plants don't last long in our home - I always apologize to plants and goldfish given to us because my track record with them is really, really not good.

I am currently in a "let's get rid of things" mode, so when I looked at this plant I thought it's time had come.  I cut off the dead leaves and watered it and kept it only because there was no more room in the garbage can.

It perked up.

And to my amazement it actually has 2 "blooms" on it this week.  It hasn't had "blooms" since my mom died (after my dad died).  It has 2 blooms from out of nowhere...just pointing upward...randomly.  For no obvious reason.

Truth is, I've watched many a plant die in my house.  My past experience was definitely influencing my anticipation of that plant's future success.

This got my attention.  It's a picture of things/people I've prayed for ... for a long time without seeing any "blooms" yet.  Am I close to saying, "DONE PRAYING  -  still NO BLOOMS"?  It reminded me that there is SO much that I can't see that's going on (with most of life).  My job is to stay faithful and obedient and hope-filled.  The Life-Giver's job is to make things bloom.

Let us not become weary in doing good, 
for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galatians 6:9 NIV)

This is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. 
For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long, but they will produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the trouble we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 NLT)

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Can You Hear Me Now?

Voices are pretty interesting to  me.  They represent something that you just can't get from the written message - like an email or a text.  But, if I really know someone well, I can hear their voice in my head while I read their message.

Our friend, Stan, used to leave messages on our voice mail.  I kept them all because they made me laugh due to his sense of humor, or cry because of his heart for God and for us.  He's Home now - no more messages.  And, some freak thing happened at some point (with electricity and our voice mail) that resulted in the loss of all of our saved messages.  Bummer.  But, I recently received a video that was made of him, right before he went Home.  It's weird, but good, to hear his voice.

Our friend, Gaylon, also had a crazy sense of humor, heart for God, and heart for us.  I got to go over to he and Sally's home one evening to sing songs of worship.  After we sang, Gaylon started talking - with a wavering voice that did not match his state police, bomb squad, doctorate spirit - he talked.  About how much God loves us.  And then HE prayed for US.  I quietly scooted my phone close to him and recorded his voice in one minute bites so I could keep his voice.  He went Home a couple of weeks later.

We were on a raft during the early part of this year, seeking out whales.  They were plentiful.  At one point the naturalist who was leading the group put a microphone in the water so we could hear the song of the whales....whales we couldn't see....whales who had a specific song they sang over and over...whales who shouldn't be able to sing because they have no vocal chords and can't breath through their mouths.  Those whales had a song.  It was amazing.

I've been asked a bunch of times, "How do you hear God's voice?"

My first answer to that question is always, "You LISTEN."  You say to Him, "I'm listening for You."  You don't hope the He yells loud enough so you can hear Him over everything else.  You quiet your heart, declare the treasure that hearing His voice would be, and then listen.  Will it match His written message (Scripture) - yes.  Will it stand when you ask someone else who is a Listener, "Does this sound like something God would say?" - yes.  The more you're with Him, the easier it is to recognize His voice.

There are few things that I will quarentee, but this is one of them.....God really loves to talk to you.  He IS talking to you.  (Like that naturalist putting the microphone in the water for us, you might need help from someone who knows His voice and His heart.  Don't be afraid to ask someone to help you, pray with you, pray for you.)  It's time.

Psalm 91:15 ESV
When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble;
 I will rescue him and honor him.

John 10:27 ESV 
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.

Jeremiah 33:3
Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.