Running

“While King David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, the watchman went up to the roof of the gateway by the wall. As he looked out, he saw a man running alone.  The watchman called out to the king and reported it. The king said, ‘If he is alone, he must have good news.’ And the runner came closer and closer.” II Samuel 18:24-26 

The disappearance of a step-father from Sports Authority Field in Denver, CO has been all over the news for the last few days. It seems that a man and his well-loved step-father went to a Denver Broncos game; they walked together toward the men’s room but when the young man came out, his step-father was gone. For over 48 hours there were people all over the country looking for the man; he was found safe at a Kmart located over a hundred miles from the stadium. Questions abound but his family will say nothing more than, “he is well and at home with us.” His disappearance could have been intentional, medically related, or totally without reason but somehow, somewhere, in some way… he was running.

I can relate to this man in many ways. There have been times in my life when I’ve been despondent and looked around myself without answer; I’ve wanted to run. I’ve wanted to simply load my grandson into the car with me and go; change our names, disappear into nowhere, and begin again. I would hope that not many of you can relate to that feeling but I’m sure some of you can. It’s a terrible feeling; I’ve fought it and, with God’s help, I’ve learned to run toward Him. Like last week. I felt like the world was closing in around me, I RAN into the Rock, allowing God to cover me. I listened, I read, I opened my heart to His Word. GOD IS GOOD; He supplies our needs, no matter how strange they may seem to others for HE KNOWS US LIKE no one else ever will!

The man running in the above passage was not bringing good news to King David but I am… GOD LOVES YOU~ JUST AS YOU ARE!!!

Just as I am, though tossed about with many a conflict, many a doubt,

Fightings and fears within, without, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind; sight, riches, healing of the mind,

Yea, all I need in Thee to find, O Lamb of God, I come, I come. 

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive, wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;

Because Thy promise I believe, O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

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In the Cleft

In the Cleft

“When My glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by.” Exodus 33:22 

I have a life verse, John 3:30. I also have a verse that was the light that opened the door to my understanding of the intimacy God desired with His children, I John 3:1. I could list verses I cling to in unique situations, verse that speak to me about my children, my grandchildren, my role as a wife, as a counselor, as a servant of God; the list could go on and on. I’m sure you each have a plethora of verses like this too. The verse I run to for comfort when I feel like the pressures and idiosyncrasies of this world are closing in on me is shown above, Exodus 33:22.

I picture myself running with a huge dark cloud closing in on me. I am running toward the Lord, knowing He is right ahead… somewhere. I round a slight bend and see a rather wide chasm in the mountain wall to my left (it would have to be wide as I am not a little lady) and I slide into it. Suddenly, a shadow covers the opening yet the tiny chasm is well lighted. I turn and see a splendid room. A fire for warmth, fruit for nutrition, a computer for material comfort, and two soft, perfect chairs where I can rest. I know, without asking, that God will send His presence into the second chair. I have no fear, no apprehension; I feel deep peace.

I know I won’t be in this room for long, maybe a day or so, but I know it is where I have to be. I’m protected by the Lord who WILL NOT let me fall. Maybe the world is going by outside my cleft or maybe time is standing still … don’t know, don’t care… but I am here with the Lord. All is well! I promise you I have not gone off the deep end but I need to be here with God; He needs to wipe my tears, He needs to hold me, He needs to refresh me so I can love Him and those around me better! When He removes His hand, I will leave… then I will be back!

God be with you ‘til we meet again;

By His counsels guide, uphold you,

With His sheep securely fold you;

God be with you till we meet again.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Priorities

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build” Ecclesiastes 3
I sincerely doubt, when King Solomon was writing Ecclesiastes, that he was thinking about “a time for an oil change, a time for a new MotoX screen, a time for a 3DS power supply or a time for an Ipad repair but that is what my week looks like. That, in addition to one meeting at Mats’ school, taking him back and forth to school, and getting ready for a long anticipated trip to colonial Williamsburg where we will meet up with our VA family for the weekend. And, praise God I am a stay at home wife/Grammie, in addition to all of the household chores that we women love to enumerate while the men in our lives think … “tough jobs: laundry, cooking, and vacuuming.” Yet, considering that there were no modern conveniences, I’m certain that the shepherds to kings had crowded schedules “way back then.”

Sitting here, listening to the radio play light pop and the sound of mechanics speaking “mechaniceze,” I am wondering what the background noises were in the palace while the King was writing. My mind does wander, folks … sorry . In actuality, I am thinking about our time constraints and the urgency to set priorities. What are the priorities in your life? Weekdays, my husband works long hours, most days he leaves the house before 6:30 am and returns after 7:30. Mats needs to be in school by 7:45 and his school days is over at 3:40, unless he has soccer. I think my day is the most diverse; I could be doing any number of things. Yet, we try to gather together at Mats’ bedtime and hold hands to pray together. I always laugh to myself when Mats declares, “I really don’t have anything to say tonight, I will say Amen.”

Just as almost everything we own has to have its battery charged; so do we! It isn’t just nice if we can get to church… it is VITAL to keep our batteries charged! It isn’t good that we can find time to be in the Word most days… it is our nourishment! It isn’t just a blessing when we can spend “family time”… it is food for our lives and memories that will last a lifetime!

Whether you sing this song in your heart and mind for the Lord or your family:

“The daily grind is stealing me away again,
when I just want to lay back down
Another night gone and don’t know where it went.
What I need more than anything right now…

Is time with you, more time with you
To laugh and talk and play and share more love with you.
There’s nothing that I’d rather do, then spend time with you”
(lyrics by Billy Currington)

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society
Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone
Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Desire

“I desire to do Your will, My God; Your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8

The above verse is the highlighted verse on Bible Gateway.com today. It is a popular verse but, as I read it, it opened itself to me in a new way. It was almost as if David himself was reading it to me. Psalm 40 was written as a song of thanks, a way for the on-the-run David to express his gratitude and swear his devotion to God. At the end of the psalm, he is back into fear and anxiety mode, ending the psalm with supplications for protection and help.

The word “desire” jumped off the page today, its meaning is “to long or hope for.” To have a longing or hoping for holds a deeper connotation than a simple “want.” I want a yellow sports car with a convertible top, preferably a jaguar but, in reality, I doubt that I will ever ride in one, much less own it. A few of my desires are to serve the Lord, to love my husband completely, and to be faithful as a Mom/Grammie. These things I desire are the MOST important things in my life and I would do almost anything to fulfill those roles. But, just as I fail to love Rick unselfishly and err as a Mom/Grammie, I don’t ALWAYS do the will of God.

I KNOW what the scriptures say about God’s will for my life as a child of God, just as David knew the law of God. Just as He was taught the law from childhood, I’ve been taught His will and deeply desire to do it. We have no excuse but we have something David didn’t have; we live under God’s grace. How blessed we are to be able to go directly to the Lord’s throne, “it is through Him and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.” Ephesians 3:12

“It’s my desire to do Your will,

To bear my cross up the rugged hill.

It’s my desire to give You my life,

So when it’s done, I’ll be at Your side.”

 

(lyrics by James Cleveland)

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Preparingch

“’Where do you want us to make preparations for you to eat the Passover?’ Jesus replied, ’Go into the city to a certain man and tell him, ‘The Teacher says: My appointed time is near. I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples at your house.’ So the disciples did as Jesus had directed them and prepared the Passover.” Matthew 26:17-19 

I spent a couple of hours last night after the guys went to bed doing something I enjoy doing, auditioning music. Our church is in a small suburban mini-city. For many years, there has been a community Christmas celebration and, year by year, churches have “dropped out.” The R.C. church was absorbed into a parish, the Interdenominational church chose to do “its own thing,” the Baptist church doesn’t have a choir, and then there is us. So, this year we are hosting the celebration and, aside from the schoolchildren’s choir, we will be the celebrants. Rick and I have been asked to prepare a duet and I’ve been asked to prepare the Sunday school children. I am ecstatic!

Making preparations for any area of service to the Lord should be an exciting time. I believe if you find yourself begrudgingly attacking a task, complaining about meetings or rehearsals, or gossiping about your peers in service, you may want to ask the Lord if you are on the right path to doing His will. Believe me, I haven’t always “seen” this and have, regrettably, taken to wrong path too; sometimes I have taken on an area of service because no one else volunteered or (this hurts to even admit) thought I was the best fit for the job or had an ulterior motive. Personally, anytime I hear a pastor or fulltime church worker complaining, I wonder about their heart’s call.

I try not to be too hard on the disciples but even in the story of the preparation for the Passover (which we commemorate as the Upper Room discourse), they left out a very important task. No one planned for the menial task, usually a servant’s job, of foot washing. Although Jesus used His washing of the disciples’ feet as an object lesson to them (and to us) of servanthood, who really looks at the washing of others’ feet as an opportunity to serve the Lord? Hmmmm… 

I will serve Thee because I love Thee,

You have given life to me.

I was nothing before You found me,

You have given life to me.

Heartaches, broken pieces, ruined lives are why You died on Calvary.

Your touch was what I longed for, You have given life to me

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 

My grandchildren are 9 1/2, 11 and 12. They are the two most beautiful young ladies and one handsome young man the world has even seen. Two love to read, one not so much. Two love to watch Dr. Who; they all love to play Pokemon. Their parents were born yesterday, I think. I (and the other parents) was as proud of them and I was of mine. I knew they would be smart, savvy and successful adults. I raised them to love the Lord, I prayed for them. I had big plans for the, just as, I am sure, they have plans for my grandchildren. Today’s dreams are to become a power hitter in MLB, to be a vet, and to read every book of interest to her in the Library of Congress.

I’m sure when I was born my parents had plans for me (of course as times were rather different then), wife and mother plans. Well, I became both but the plans I followed were mine, not theirs. Sadly, even though I have been a Christian for most of my life, they weren’t God’s either. God never would have planned for me to marry the wrong man, at way too young an age. Nor would he have planned for me to marry a closet addict who would threaten my life multiple times, physically abuse me, and emotionally tear me to pieces. They were fruits of my bad decisions; I’m not proud of them but they are mine to own.

The confusing thing to me is how we justify verses like Jeremiah 29:11 and the messes that Christians find themselves in. Then I think about the plans my parents had for me, those I had for my kids, those my kids have for their kids … good plans, prosperous plans, safe plans. I’m certain there are some Christians who follow the urgings of the Holy Spirit from the day of their conversion, I know parents whose children seem to follow the “dream plans” of their parents but are they many?

In order for us, even as Christians, to return the love of God we must have free will. People with free will must choose to listen to their grandparents, their parents AND their God. Not until I totally surrendered my life to the Lord and tuned in to His voice, both in my heart and in the Word, could I truly see His plans for me. I still wander off the path once in a while but I hear His voice and sense His presence … shouting, “This is NOT my plan!” To follow or not to follow is my choice…

God’s got a plan. A plan for each man,

It’s good and it’s honest and true!

But one has to listen, give Him control,

And be willing His wishes to do!

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Quickly

“May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

This is the hundredth devotional that I’ve tried to write as a blog. I try to keep the content more current and the subject a little lighter. Yet, I must keep my theology solid as what I do, I do for the Lord! If I ever feel like I am skirting the truths of the Word of God or compromising what I believe, I pray that God clearly holds up a “stop” sign as wide as the sky! Using fairly simple examples from my everyday life and paralleling them to scriptural lessons isn’t always easy but it is always necessary. The disciples and apostles lived a very different life than we do; can you imagine Paul walking around with a tablet? Yet, God still calls His children to be set apart from the world; He calls us to live the law of love!

The hundredth blog has come quickly, at least for me. However, nothing has changed at rock bottom. I am still traveling on the same road seeking to do the will of God. I am still astounded and honored to be used of the Lord; even more to be loved and embraced as His child! The scripture above is the verse of the day on Bible Gateway; it was such validation as I prepared to put the words that were in my head on paper. It is my prayer for today and for as long as I live; “May the words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in Your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” 

Make my life a prayer to You, I wanna do what You want me to:

No empty words and no white lies, no token prayers no compromise.

I wanna shine the light You gave through Your Son You sent to save us

from ourselves and our despair; It comforts me to know You’re really there

(lyrics & music by Keith Green)

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

answers

“I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me and hear my prayer.” Psalm 17:6 

We were all very excited when my son-in-love was hired for his dream job. He is an Eagle Scout and is dedicated to Boy Scouts of America. He is also an outdoorsman, enjoying wildlife and the wonders of nature. Being the ranger at a Boy Scout Reservation (camp) is a perfect fit for him. My daughter and he were also excited because they were moving in to a brand new, three bedroom home with three bathrooms. The old house on the camp was being replaced; their new home was shiny and perfectly suited for them. There were only two problems with this move; it is 35 miles from their son’s school and from their beloved church. The first was resolved easily, Mats moved in with his Grammie and Grandpa weekdays. The second, not so much; Boomer has to work Sundays and attending the church seemed to become harder and harder. Rick and I could see that Mats was “missing” his church friends and their meeting together.

As I’ve mentioned before, Rick and I were church shopping even though we loved the people of the church were we met. However, we could not attend there anymore because of a theological difference with the pastor. We had been praying about a new church home and trusting God for the answers. As always, GOD IS FAITHFUL in big things and little things (hence the small letters in this blog title)! Last spring, one of our friends told us that “our” church was getting a new pastor. We have been back in the congregation for three months and the first priority for the “new” pastor was a restructured youth group! Mats attended the kick off meeting last Sunday and, in his words, “it was fun and ‘our’ new pastor is cool.”

One would think, by now, that I’d never question the fact that God WANTS to give us the desires of our heart when it is His will; I know He does. Yet, there are times when time goes by and no answer seems forthcoming, I am not a patient waiter. Yet, as most of us learned as children, “God answers prayer, God answers prayer, God answers prayer with yes, no or wait!” I praise God for looking down on one “church family lonely” Grammie and answering her prayers!

“I call on You, my God, for You will answer me; turn Your ear to me

and hear my prayer.” Psalm 17:6

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Light

“Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of Light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the Light, and will not come into the Light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the Light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” John 3:19-21 

My grandson is a mess to get up in the morning. He grumbles for at least 10 minutes and when he finally starts to move he wants darkness until AFTER his shower. There are days that I go into the bathroom and he has hung a robe over the small window. Today, as I moved the robe a bright stream of light came in the window and shined directly into our free standing shower. Oh my goodness, could I see the soap buildup in the shower! So, before I left the bathroom, I sprayed it down with foaming bubbles and scrubbed until the shower now shines!

“Light” is an important word in the Bible. It is used to describe the children of God; we all know the passage about being salt and light to the world! We need to allow the light of God to shine out to this dark, dark world. It also uses Light as a descriptive word for God. Just as the sun shined on my shower this morning and enlightened me to the fact that it needed cleaning; the perfect nature of God shines into a world of evil. We are commanded to live in the Light; walking daily with God and serving as a channel of His goodness. We are also told to live as light, to travel through darkness in total transparency and honesty so the world will see the differences in a world without lies and ambiguities. I heard Hell described once as life without the Light of God; can you even imagine how horrendous a world would be NO LIGHT, not even a glimmer of His goodness?

Walking today in the steps of the Savior,

Upward, still upward, we follow our Guide;

When we shall see Him, “the King in His beauty,”

Happy, how happy, our place at His side.

How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior,

Stepping in the Light, stepping in the Light,

How beautiful to walk in the steps of the Savior,

Led in paths of light.

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Wonder

Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created human beings on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? Deuteronomy 4:32

I’m sitting here at my computer listening to the sound of three young men, two 12 year olds and one 13 year old, “play.” Well, actually they are each playing on a different type of electronic device, one Kindle, one IPod, and one 3 DS, chatting with each other, and also picking at each other. Just listening is hilarious but don’t tell them I said that … typical preteens. Half of what they say makes no sense and the other half is almost civilized. Wasn’t it just yesterday that these same First Class Boy Scouts were starting cub scouts and the day before that two of them were in baby carriers? They were not six months old, born in two different states only five days apart; one with ruddy skin and red hair, the other with glistening light skin and blonde hair.

Time goes so quickly; can you imagine what Moses would think today if he visited the earth for an hour? He was astounded by the burning bush inhabited by the Spirit of God. Today, I watched on television as a grilled cheese sandwich was delivered by parachute to a hungry customer in New York City; how many human advances did it take to simply watch that silly video? Yet, the voice of God hasn’t changed! He still longs to speak with us; He desires relationship with us and offers His love in exchange for our sin!

So often, I waste time reliving yesterday … an absolutely unchangeable time. We can’t recall actions, behaviors, or words, no matter how deeply we wish we could. We can plan for tomorrow but we can’t control it! What we have is today, this moment, this breath and every one of us has a choice to make. Will I use “things” that are available to worship and evangelize the Lord? Will I take this “moment” available to thank God for the life He has given? Will I cherish the memories of days gone by and rejoice in them or learn from them? OR will I mourn yesterday and wallow in its hold on me?

“I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God.” Isaiah 61:10

 

Unless noted, scripture is NIV ©1984 Int’l Bible Society

Hugs +/or ChIPS ©3/05 Eleanor J. Gale-Boone

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org