Against the Wind

A Conversation with God 7/29/16

Me:  God, I’m confused.

God:  About what, my child?

Me:  Well, how can Christians, who are filled with the same Holy Spirit, perceive the world so differently?

God:  Different…how?

Me:  For example…refugees.  Some think we should turn them away in order to protect what is rightfully ours.  Then others, who also claim to be Christians,  think we should open our arms and welcome them into the safety of our country.

God:  Have you heard the story about Moses and my people, Israel?

Me:  Yes Lord, I learned it in Sunday school.

God:   Well then, as you know, when they were slaves in Egypt, Moses lead them out and eventually into a promise land I had prepared for them.  Before I let them go into this promise land I gave them a few guidelines about how I wanted them to live.  As I recall, a few of these guidelines dealt with refugees and how to treat them.

Me:  Well, what did you tell them back then?

God:  Basically, I told my children to give foreigners food and clothing; but I didn’t stop there… I also told them to love the refugee and to remember that they themselves were once foreigners in a strange land.

Me:  Well…did they do it?

God:  Some did and some didn’t.  Once, hundreds of years earlier, there was a whole city, her name Sodom, who shunned foreigners and  mistreated the poor and needy.  It became so bad I had to do away with her in order to protect the innocents.

Me:  Lord…

God:  Yes…

Me: I still don’t understand why some Christians think we should and other Christians think we shouldn’t.  I just doesn’t make sense to me.

God:  Well, tell me what you feel you should do.

Me:  My heart seems to be saying…to love…

God:  Then maybe you should follow your heart.

Me:  Yes, Lord.

God:  And Lisa…

Me:  Yes Lord?

God:  Don’t worry about the other Christians…that’s my job.

***

When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. (Leviticus 19:33-34)

He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt. (Deuteronomy 10:18-19)

Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. (Ezekiel 16:49)

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength:  this is the first commandment…love your neighbor as yourself.  There is non other commandment greater than these.  (Mark 12:30-31)

Follow your heart…even if it flies against the wind.

 

 

Unstoppable Love

A Conversation with God 7/28/16

Me:  God, I’m so tired.

God:  Come to me and rest.

Me:  It’s just this world is getting me down. I’m so tired of hateful, mean-spirited judgement.  So tired of the poor being downtrodden so the rich and arrogant can gain.  I’m tired of people being mistreated because of the color of their skin, their religion, their gender and who they love.  I’m so tired and confused about this election…so many lies…so much division and way too many walls.

God:  Come away, and rest a while.  I will be your refuge.  Lay hold of the hope I give and let it be an anchor for your soul; for I am sure and steadfast.  Find your strength in Me and know how much you are loved.  Nothing will ever separate you from me because my love is unstoppable.  You are a gift to me and a gift to this world.

Me:  Thank you Lord.  I will lay myself down and rest in your loving presence.

God:  And…Lisa…

Me:  Yes, Lord?

God:  It’s going to be okay.  I got this…

***

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  I am persuaded, that neither, death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 8:35-39

Come…and rest a while.  Mark 6:31

Come unto Me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matt 11:28

We…have a strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us:  [This] hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast… Hebrews 6:18-19

IMG_5227
Clouds in the sky on a warm summer’s day. Photo taken from my backdoor step.

 

 

A Conversation with God 7/27/16

IMG_5194
Gracie Lou…newest member of our family

[Me:]  God, why can’t puppies be born with bigger bladders?

[God:]  Puppies have been born for some 65 million years, give or take a million or two, why the need for bigger bladders now?

[Me:]  Well, Lord this morning I stepped in her piddle-puddle…barefoot and before coffee; and I have to say it wasn’t a very pleasant experience.

[God:]  I can understand how that may seem like a crisis…especially before coffee.

[Me:]  Yes…I guess it was sort of a crisis because I had already prepared a delicious cup of coffee with my favorite Cold Stone Sweet Cream, and was on may way to a comfortable chair when I happened to step in something wet.  Sure enough, the “wet” was golden in color, so I had to put down my coffee, go into the kitchen, grab some paper towels and the bleach cleaner, walk all the back and clean up Gracie Lou’s mess.  By the time I was able to sit down my coffee was cold and the only way I like cold coffee is if it were made to be cold from the start.

[God:]  Hmmmm…Yes, I can see how that could be quite frustrating.  I’ve gotten a lot of frustrating stories this morning.  Take for instance…

[Me:]  Oops, excuse me Lord.  Gracie just awoke…gotta take her outside before she squats.  I’ll be right back.

[15 minutes later]

[Me:]  I’m sorry it took so long, Lord.  After Gracie peed she ran to my garden with plans to chew up my squash plants.  I’ve told her no some “fifty-million” times!

(deep breath)

Well, as fate would have it, I was still barefoot, and I didn’t want to take a chance in stepping in poo, so I had to go all the way back inside and put on my shoes.  Shoes on, I go back outside and Gracie is licking the dew from the grass.  Well, of course, it becomes obvious to me that she’s thirsty; so I have this debate in my mind as the whether I should give her some water or not…as giving her water would only serve to intensify the problem. Well… I just could stand the thought of her being thirsty so I gave her some water.  Whew!

(deep breath and a pause)

[Me:]  So, God, you were saying?

[God:]  Yes, I was letting you know that I’ve had numerous conversations lately and many of them were crisis stories such as yours.  Take for instance, all the way from Alaska, I heard someone cry for help.  A 220-foot fishing boat was filling with water and would soon sink.  Thanks to me, all 46 crew members made it into the rafts.  I sent the Coast Guard  to make sure each one made it home safely.

(God pauses for a moment)

And just yesterday two soldiers, were shot and killed while in the process of protecting a woman from a lone gunman.  Both of these  good Samaritans had children.  I am saddened they will have to grow up without their fathers in their life.

(God pauses again)

Here’s one you may find interesting, as I know how much you love our four-legged furry friends.  Just last week two dogs were left alone, without water, on a tar roof in Newark New Jersey.  As the temperatures rose to 96 degrees the tar on the roof started bubbling and burning the dogs’ paws.  Both of them tried in vain to escape the roof.  The tiniest one, a Yorkie, kept running to edge trying to find a cool spot and the other guy, a pit bull, was covered in hot tar and had given up hope.  Animal officers rescued the two dogs and took them right away to get medical attention.  I’m happy to say both survived and both are being loved by their new caretakers…caretakers much like yourself.

(God pauses again)

You know…Gracie Lou is one blessed little puppy to have a mommy like you.  Thank you for taking care of one of my beloved creatures.  I truly love them all and I’m saddened even when one of my sparrows fall to the ground.

(God pauses and looks to me with tender eyes)

[Me:] (bowing my head)   Lord, I’m sorry for complaining, especially when there’s so many in the world truly suffering.

[God:]  That’s okay my child.  I understand. Hang in there because the blessings Gracie Lou will bring to your life, will far exceed the frustrations.

(God pauses)

[God:]   And…Lisa…

[Me:]  Yes, Lord…?

[God:]  Just remember…Gracie’s bladder grows bigger as each day passes.

***

Romans 12:12

(paraphrased)

Rejoice in hope; be patient in tribulation; and continue in prayer.  

A Conversation with God 7/26/16

(Many seem to find God elusive, but I talk to Him everyday)

[Me:]  Lord, will there be front porches in heaven?

[God:]  Why would you need a front porch?

[Me:]  Well, it was on a front porch where I first learned to shell butter beans.  I remember sitting with mama, shelling beans from a big old metal dish pan.  I would shell those plump bean pods until my thumb hurt and turned green…literally.

[God:]  So, you would like a front porch in heaven to shell butter beans?

[Me:]  Um…well..to be honest, I guess I never really liked shelling those ole beans, and sometimes it was way too hot; as I grew up in North Carolina and the summers there can be pretty toasty.

[God:]  If you didn’t like the shelling and the heat, why would you ask for a front porch?

[Me:]  Well, when I think back to those days I feel happy…but…I also feel sad…  I guess, that would mean the memories are bittersweet?

[God:]  Tell me what you remember.

[Me:]  Are you sure, God?  I know you are extremely busy and you do have a world to oversee.

[God:]  I’m never too busy for you, my child.

[Me:]  Well…if you’re sure…(God smiles at me)  I remember those summer mornings when my mama came home, after working all night at JP Steven’s Cotton Mill.  It was early, the grass still wet from dew and the sun still low enough for the morning to be cool, she and I would go to the garden and pick whatever was ready for picking.  I still remember the feel of the cool earth cradling my bare feet, its darkness spilling over and between my toes.  We went from row to row picking those ole beans and I thought, at the time, we would never finish.  Afterward, mama found two of her biggest bowls, one always being the dish pan from which we washed our dishes, and she filled them, near to overflowing with the beans we had just picked.  By that time the sun had risen higher and its heat kissed and freckled my skin. (I pause with nostalgia)  Just me and my mama sitting together on the front porch…(A tear escapes my eye)

[God:]  Why do you cry?

[Me:]  I miss my mama.  (tears flow down my cheeks)

[God:]  Dear child, front porches are nice, but it was never the porch that made those times special; instead, it was the time you spent with your mama.

[Me:]  (Now I’m crying…my heart hurting, longing to be on the front porch shelling beans with mama, again.)

[God:]  Oh..my child, I know you miss your mama.   She’s here with me and I’m taking good care of her.   Your mama wants you to know how much she loves you and she too is missing you.  Trust me, my child, one day the divide will be bridged so we can all live together, forever…never again to be separated; and on that day I will wipe away all tears.

[Me:]  Thank you, God.  I love you.

[God:]  I love you too.  And…Lisa…

[Me:]  Yes, Lord…

[God:]  There will be front porches in heaven.

***

Revelation 7:17

For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters:  And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

10455917_10204558174699331_3410357358904183577_n
My sister, my mama and me (baby) with Aunt Bessie’s porch in the background.

 

 

A Conversation With God 7/25/16

maxresdefault

[God]:  There is no limit to the variety of ways I can communicate with you.

[Me]:  My part is to be attentive to your messages.

[God]:  Listen to the birds calling one another.

[Me]:  As I listen I hear your love calling to me.

[God]:  Find me in the tragedies and see me in the faces filled with grief.

[Me]:  Let me be You to those who suffer.

[God]:  Search for Me as you go through out your day.

[Me]:  Open my eyes that I may see.  Open my ears that I may hear.  Amen

***

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

Jeremiah 29:13  And ye shall seek me and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.

(Inspired from the devotional, Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)