Part of a Lump

Part of a Lump

Does not the Potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?” Romans 9:21

        I am the eldest of six children; we have the same parents which means that the six of us are from the “same lump of clay” but we are VERY different. In fact, I could write a birth order article. Although I do tend to be the bossy, feel responsible, oldest child – my siblings don’t take kindly to my “birth given role.” There are some statics – we all ADORED our Mom and learned to love the Lord, eventually all accepting Jesus as our PERSONAL Savior, by osmosis and we all respected our Dad; loved them both dearly! But, there are also many differences ~ two of my brothers are law enforcement officers… the other is now a pastor after spending a career in the Coast Guard. I made most of the sporadic and ill-advised decisions; my two sisters are lovely women of God; one quietly serves the Lord and the other very publicly and wonderfully serves the Lord. The latter is our “baby.”

        I’ve spent many years ~ erroneously and sinfully ~ envying my baby sister; she is EVERYTHING I am not. Like our Mom, she is instantly admired and respected by everyone she meets. She could walk through any high school and be mistakenly taken for a student. She was, deservedly, “Teacher of the Year” at her school last year. Please know, I am not, for one moment, glamorizing her life… she has fought many spiritual battles but she always appears to have life “all together.” She is in the process of having her first book published; I will admit to having spent the last month being disappointed that it is not me; one of my hearts’ desires, for many years, has been to write a book. However, neither that nor other things I’ve longed to do just don’t seem to be in God’s plan for my life.

        I haven’t posted for a while because I have been struggling with God on the question, “What IS Your will for me?” What does “be available” mean? Why did I go through the angst of college if You aren’t going to USE me? Not only is this a chronicle of God’s answer to me but also a public admission of my sin and a U-turn in my prayer life. My blogs may be on and off for a few weeks but please bear with me; I need to digest God’s answer.

        God has shown me that to “be available” doesn’t mean I will ever be recognized but it also doesn’t mean I will spend the rest of my life seeing the result of doing His will; I simply need to TRUST MORE in His call knowing that only HE may see the result. It means that I may serve Him in a check-out line or random social event with the woman sitting next to me or on a late night train returning from Quantico with the ill-attired, loud, yet sad looking woman who asks, “can I sit here?” This blog entry is already too long but to make a long story shorter, she had come from Albany, NY to Baltimore, MD to identify her twenty-two year old son who (after only a week) had hung himself in a jail cell. Allowing God to minister to her, through me, was God’s call to “be available,” I know that now! Sometimes God needs to SHOUT before we listen!!

God has given me the desire of my heart…

and I didn’t even know it!

I thought I’d find it in HIS public service…

but He had other plans to show it!

I’m blessed to be loved by a husband…

as I’ve never known before!

My illness allows me hours at home…

to rest but also to explore

His WORD. To “be available” to pray, to listen,…

to those online or face-to-face

To share a shoulder, an ear, encouragement, or the love of God…

comforting words or tales of His grace!

I may never be “successful” or recognized as “special”

But ~ thank You Lord; I’m blessed!

I’ve recognized the power of simply being me; the pot you’ve formed

From the lump of clay; so different from the rest!

 

Lord; for Your love, for Your molding; for Your forgiveness, and for a new tomorrow … THANKS!

Pray About It

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3: 16, 17

For many years my Mom and Dad cancelled out each other’s votes but they voted. We were raised with the mantra, “One can only complain about those in office if you voted no matter whether for them or against them. Although the New Jersey primary is too late in the political calendar to really count for much AND, even though I think the Electoral College and our primary system are obsolete and seriously outdated, I will vote in the primary. Who I will vote for still remains a mystery to me both in the primary and the general election but I do know who I will not vote for… unless God shows me different.

I don’t understand how God can ask us to support those in office or how the Lord is always in control or how God’s omniscience works but I know how to pray. For that reason, I remain virtually undecided even when being bombarded with news coverage that is constantly offering their opinions. I pray, pray, read the official candidate webpage and then pray some more. It is becoming increasingly difficult to stand out as a Christian without being accused of offending someone; but I pray! I believe that God will find a way to let me know which lever to pull and, I also believe, whichever candidate becomes our next president… God will still be in control – at least ultimate control.

I’m sure each of us can think of a time when God allowed us to have what we were praying for… sometime for our good and sometime not but the choice was ours. Many of you believe as I do; that the U.S.A. is headed on a direct path AWAY from God but don’t believe – for one moment – we can go along for the ride and allow others to make our choices! God didn’t create robots; he created mankind; He created choice! Yet He also longs to hear from us; desires conversation with us; and is waiting to help us make the right choice; even in our vote!

“Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account.” Hebrews 13:17

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Indespensable & Indescribable Gifts

Indispensable & Indescribable Gifts 

“On coming to the house, they saw the Child with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their treasures and presented Him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:10-11 

“Now eagerly desire the greater gifts. [Love Is Indispensable] And yet I will show you the most excellent way.” I Corinthians 12:31 

“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” II Corinthians 9:15

Five years ago, my mother met Jesus ~ six months ago; my dad joined her! What a GIFT it must have been to her to introduce daddy to Jesus! One month after my mom met Jesus, the Lord ordained a very precious GIFT to me ~ my husband Rick; he in deep love, accepted the GIFTs I offered him ~ four children and two grandchildren. Together, we were to receive two more GIFTs, another daughter and another granddaughter; indispensable and indescribable GIFTs!

Over the five years we have been together, we have received many gifts some of little value and others of great value but not one has been indispensable or indescribable. I believe, just as there is a big difference between happiness and joy, there is a big difference between a GIFT and a gift; a lesson God taught me over the holiday season last year. The gifts of the holiday season have been scaled down a lot at our house and we have prayerfully agreed to place emphasis on our responsibilities to give our children and grandchildren the GIFTs of our legacy.

Just something to think about… There is NOTHING material I need; NOTHING! What I should request is a month’s use of a dumpster. I find it incredible that when many, many Americans are asked “What do you want for Christmas?” ~ The answer is “A gift card to….” I’m wondering, where is the love thoughtfulness in simply exchanging money? My prayer, this Christmas, is that God will continue to show me and mine the value of His Indispensable & Indescribable Gifts.

… God gave each of us a present on that night so long ago.

It’s a Gift that keeps on giving if our spirits can receive.

It’s the secret joy of living if our hearts can just believe.

The Father gave the Son;

The Son gave the Spirit;

The Spirit gives us life

So we can give the Gift of love… and the Gift goes on…

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Repayment

Repayment

“He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:10, 11

My grandson just turned 13 years old and, believe me, there are many things he says that catch me off guard. Some are funny, some cause me to think, “Huh,” and others are quite insightful. Usually I am amazed by the latter but it sure does make me think about the maturity he is developing. I pray for him and my granddaughters harder than I can ever remember praying for their parents… not that I love them more but the world gets more perverse every day! However, last night he said something that still has me laughing!

First, he told me that he (finally) brought his lunch bag home; this was followed by “But, I don’t want to use it anymore. Can you just use a bag?” Ok, I thought, he is growing up; after all, lunch bags are for little kids. The he said, “Oh, yeah and can you pack me three snacks instead of two because I keep running out before snack time.” Ok, I thought, he is a growing boy and 8-4 is a lon-g-g day, especially with an hour plus bus ride each way. Then came the punch line, “And, can you please send me five snacks tomorrow because I owe two.” Obviously snacks are bartered in middle school, not shared!

As I’ve snickered about my 5’11 ½” grandson bargaining for snacks in the afternoon, I’ve also thought about repayment as a general topic. My husband and I have been going through a really rough patch financially. We’ve prayed and listened, we’ve confessed our poor decisions and choices, made lifestyle changes and can see light at the end of this dark tunnel. It’s been tough but there are also so, so many “God smiles” we’ve witnessed! GOD’s love is GREAT! For there is nothing we could ever do to repay Him; even more amazing, HE DOESN’T ASK!

“God’s greatest blessings often come costumed as disasters. Any doubters need to do nothing more than ascend the hill of Calvary.” Max Lucado

 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

Tiny Terrors

Jesus replied “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 (NIV) 

I am not a chef and will admit to not knowing much about mustard seeds, except that they are tiny. They were once described to me as being about “the size of a pinhead”. 12 years ago, something else was described to me in the same words, a deer tick.

I don’t know much about deer ticks either but, in my case, a tick I’ve never seen; changed my life. I was a working woman, handling the day to day responsibilities of a busy customer service desk while overseeing the work of 5 others. Without warning, I was at home on total bed rest; never returning to my job permanently. My post-Lyme disease syndrome has become part of my life; like a pebble in my favorite sneakers. Imagine, tiny deer ticks carrying the power to negatively affect the health of a grown human being!

Look again at the tiny mustard seed, described by Jesus in Matthew 17:20, which, when filled with absolute belief, can affect a mountain. Was Jesus literally describing a landscaping miracle? I’m not a theologian but I’ve seen mountains moved in my life. There are times when my faith seems small, dark times of pain or circumstance; but He has proven His faithfulness over and over in my life. He is my comfort, my provider, my companion, and my source of joy!

         “Precious Lord, my prayer today is not for grander things…

         Your love and presence in my life are why my spirit sings…

         I know You gave Your life for me, a debt I can’t repay…

         And I will praise and worship you along life’s rocky way!”

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

ONE

“I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from Me there is no savior. I have revealed and saved and proclaimed; I, and not some foreign god among you. You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God.” Isaiah 43:11-12

A few years ago I sat across the desk from my then current pastor. He was talking about a book he was reading. In the book a Christian was investigating the theory that there is ONE God (Our God) and that there are many paths by which we can approach His throne and find salvation, forgiveness of our sin. The pastor stated that he didn’t believe the concept but, as He was not God, he was not the one who would make the decision. God would judge in the end and we would have no way to contest His choice.

In the scriptures we read that there is only one road; the one that runs straight through the blood of Jesus. It is a narrow road but not a hard one to find. In fact, as children, many of us learned that it is as easy as A, B, C. However, even some Christians are double guessing this “one road” principle because it appears to label Christianity as elitist, judgmental and ostentatious. The world sees us as believing our way is the ONLY way and everyone else is lesser than us, even the wonderfully good people of the world who live moral, honest, and generous lives, caring for the needy of the world.

Why is it so hard to just accept that there is one – highly advertised, available to anyone, free road to forgiveness, reconciliation, and hope of Heaven? Why do people insist on looking for a new, cleaner, and more easily acceptable starting block than the foot of Calvary’s cross followed by an open door at a borrowed tomb? Why would people who are taught and governed by the law of love become elitists, separatists; grabbing for inclusiveness instead of reaching out to welcome seekers? The road to God begins as wide as any ten lane highway in California; why does it end as narrow as a wooded country road? Highways narrow to roads because of a lack of traffic. I wonder… is that because we Christians aren’t advertising the entrance to the highway or the lack of belief that we, the proud, self-sufficient peoples of the twenty-first century need anyone but ourselves or fill in the blank?

GOD said, ““I, even I, am the Lord,

and apart from Me there is no savior.”

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org

Thirsting

Thirsting

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek You; I thirst for You, my whole being longs for You, in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

There is no part of Chronic Lyme disease syndrome, Fibromyalgia, and Diabetes that is enjoyable; if there is I haven’t found it yet. I try desperately to live as normally as possible but there is one “side effect” that I can not ignore and will, when necessary, ask for help; that effect is thirst. Sometimes I believe a herd of camels could live in my mouth it gets so dry; my lips parch, my gums and tongue will pull back; it is simply not pretty. When I get to that point, nothing but water or iced tea with lime (my favorite) will satisfy my thirst. I strive to never get that dry but sometimes we run out of water when we are out and I tell my husband, “I MUST have something to drink.” He sweetly pulls into the next available place for me.

In the above passage, David speaks of thirst; dry, parching thirst. Yet, he is not talking about wanting a drink of water even though he refers to it as such. What David longs for is a quenching of his soul; David is longing for a touch from God. I can certainly relate to that because I live in a “dry and parched land where there is no LIVING WATER;” the kind that Jesus spoke to the woman at the well about. “If you knew the gift of God and Who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water.” John 4:10 It is such a dry world; I’ve even gone Christmas shopping for hours without EVER hearing a TRUE carol. Even in a world where the Bible continues to be one of the best-selling books; the world gets drier all the time. In my opinion, too many people know ABOUT God but don’t know Him and even those who do know Him keep Him low on their list of priorities. I don’t know about you but when I thirst for the Lord, I know where to find Him.

Oh God, You are my God and I will ever praise You

Oh God, You are my God and I will ever praise You.

I will seek You in the morning and I will learn to walk in Your ways,

And step by step You’ll lead me and I will follow You all of my days!

 

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

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

Ministry website: www.asistershugs.org