April 12, 2016
The Lord does so many things to let us know He is thinking about us, caring for us, assuring us that He is right there with us. Yes, many things. It may be a kind word from a loved one, an encouragement from someone we encouraged, a warm smile from a stranger, or an extra-special brilliance from something in His incredible creation.
But what about His Word? Does God’s voice and attention not come through to us with special potency when we read His Word? And what about when He confirms the same exact words the same day?
This last Saturday I got up very early so I could head out to the country town where my husband and I had lived for 14 years. A friend’s son, having been sickly for most of his 36 years, had, sadly, died, and I was going to the funeral. However, since I make it a point to spend time with the Lord in His Word before I eat breakfast, do chores, or go anywhere, I opened my Bible and read a few psalms. I came across Ps. 121:7,8 and I was comforted in doing so since these verses are excellent in dispelling fear while traveling. In fact, they are so consoling, that I memorized them several years ago and quote them frequently whenever I feel any uneasiness concerning safety for myself or another.
But, besides these two verses, I felt the Lord prod me to meditate on the whole chapter (the other six verses, as well). They are all about the Lord being our help and care-taker; and being that it’d been almost a year ago to the day that an unlicensed 20 year old girl had rear-ended me (from which I suffered a severe concussion and have had to be on preventative seizure medicine since), I was thankful for the Lord’s special assurance through this chapter.
Well, I had a lovely drive out there, saw a few friends briefly, and then went to the funeral. It was a very nice service, but when someone got up and read Ps. 121, and all its eight verses, I got tears in my eyes and shook my head in wonder at God’s sweetness to me. I certainly had not known anything about the content of the funeral I’d be attending when I’d read the chapter several hours earlier. But God knew; and He wanted me to remember that He always has His mind on me. –Just as He has His mind on everyone, particularly those who seek His help. Yet how often do people miss those assurances He gives? We miss them if we’re not listening, and if we don’t follow His lead. His lead is good. He walks a peace-filled path. Even if there is pain, or sorrow, or uncertainty, with Christ being the Shepherd, deep inner peace is still ours. Because we have His fellowship. Fellowship with the God of the universe, the Almighty, our Rock and our Comforter.
It may seem a small thing to some –hearing God’s voice of assurance through the Ps. 121 confirmation on Saturday. But it wasn’t to me. And it never is. It is always amazing, always special, always a wonderment and joy to me when God speaks, and when He speaks directly to me through His Spirit. –His Spirit who speaks through Creation and circumstances, and definitely when confirming His Word.
The Lord is truly a kind and caring God. And, to those who seek His voice and listen, a very tender God.
November 10, 2014
For many years now, the Lord has, through different circumstances and conversations, shown me just how true Ps. ch. 133 is. It has only three verses, and this is the part I have memorized: “How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! For there the LORD bestows His blessing, even life forevermore.”
Truly it is interesting how it works that “the living together in unity” comes ahead of “the blessing of the Lord”. Indeed, when someone approaches another person with hostility, jealousy, or a lie, the stage is set for disunity. Even a complaint, a criticism, or a disagreement can do the same, unless, of course, both people are being led by the Spirit to help one another come into full Truth.
But what happens when someone approaches another person with agreement, encouragement, aid, or thankfulness? There is unity. And once that stage is set, and especially if both people are in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, there is even greater good that comes flooding in so that kindness and peace, being nurtured, bloom and grow. The Lord, seeing the individuals choosing to walk in what is good and right and true, what is Christ-like and Christ-honoring, then brings His presence down in an even greater degree, thus causing the blessings of Life (such as peace, wisdom, love, self-control, and joy) to fill the whole area and situation.
Today a woman came up to me, a sweet smile on her face. I greeted her and said it was good to see her again, though I actually didn’t remember the details of our last meeting. She reminded me about it and told me that she and her niece had been so blessed that I had hugged them and prayed for them when they had told me about the grief they’d been experiencing. As I talked with this woman today and tried to encourage her some more by using God’s Word and His Truth, she was in complete agreement with me, adding Scriptures herself. I noticed that the more we talked about the goodness of the Lord, the more the presence of the Lord filled us, our words, and even the vicinity around us, made more apparent as someone nearby joined us in giving God honor.
Those who fear, love, and honor the Lord do speak often of Him to each other. (Mal. 3:16) And when we do, doing so in order to honor and thank the Lord, and in order to edify one another, the Lord will listen, be pleased, and grant Holy Spirit unity. This is exceedingly good and pleasant, and in this place the Lord is able to bestow on us His Life, which means all the blessings involved with abiding in His Life.
July 31, 2014
This evening I received one of the most edifying emails I’ve ever gotten. It’s from someone I hear from very rarely, maybe about once every other year, and who I do not think reads my blog, so she would not have known that my post yesterday spoke about the importance of building one another up. Maybe she does read it, I don’t know, but either way, it was incredibly kind of her to write what she did. I hope she doesn’t mind (as I’m leaving her name anonymous), but I just have to share, and save here for myself, these words which brought happy tears to my eyes. In fact, each time I read it, I get a lump in my throat. Maybe it’s because I loved her and cared about her very much (and still do) and truly feared for her about the other man she was engaged to. Hearing how well and happy her life has been, and still is, makes me deeply grateful to the Lord.
It certainly is a big encouragement and blessing when we get to hear that our efforts and/or counsel has affected another for good. It makes us glad that we ourselves listened to the Lord as He taught us and as He led us to do, or speak, or give, or go, or help in whatever way we did.
Here is her precious email to me:
I was just thinking about you this morning and wanted to thank you for intervening in my life at a critical time years ago when I was blinded in a bad relationship. Talking to you was really the turning point for me and I am so thankful to you and to God that I walked away from that relationship and that I have been blessed with a wonderful husband and great marriage for the past 8 years.
I frequently think about the conversation we had and just wanted you to know that all these years later, I still remember what you said and I am so thankful God used you in my life. It really saved me. Thank you, Rachel!
I hope you are doing well!
You are a blessing. Keep up the good work serving HIM!
June 18, 2014
One of the encounters I had downtown last Friday was with a guy who came up to me and handed me a flyer about the miracle God has done in and with his life. I noticed right away this guy’s twinkling eyes, his soft expression, and also… the scars. We talked less than a minute, but I immediately took note of the cordial and gentle way in which he spoke. The man’s name is Demetrius P. Guyton. Photos can be seen, and his story read as well as viewed through video, here:
For anyone who feels they have been hurt beyond repair, or who despises their own appearance, or who struggles to forgive, Demetrius’ story and attitude will certainly bring inspiration, hope, healing, and even excitement regarding the miracles God can do in and through any willing heart.
June 6, 2014
What an encouraging post Israeliteindeed writes today for those whom God has called to preach His Word! Here it is:
I think too of Moses when the Lord called him to be the one to deliver a whole nation out of slavery. Because he felt inadequate, he asked God to choose someone else. But God insisted that Moses was the man He had commissioned, though He did add to help him, his brother Aaron. Moses then went, and not only did he deliver the Israelites out of Egypt, but he was given a rave review for all mankind to read in Dt. 34:10-12.
Another man I think of who did not feel adequate or courageous enough to do an important task God commissioned him to do –to deliver the Lord’s people out of enemy bondage– is Gideon. But Gideon did go, he did break down the idols, and he did lead a (tiny) army to great victory. They defeated their oppressors miraculously.
If God has commissioned us to do work for Him, then, as Israeliteindeed says, we must do it, we must never give up, and we must go forward in spite of all obstacles. This we can do –by the power of the Spirit and because God has called and sent us to do it.
May 12, 2014
A friend in another country sent me today some songs to listen to by a group called Golden Angels. What beautiful songs, what beautiful words, and what beautiful faces! Watching the singers themselves –their lovely expressions of purity and of love toward our Lord– uplifts me greatly. I pray that others will take the time to listen and view these videos:
I will never be the same again
Not that You died
When we all get together
Breathe on me
I love this phrase there: “Through it all, I stand in freedom, surrendered to the everlasting peace.” Surrender to Jesus does most definitely bring both freedom and peace.
All their songs are most edifying…!
March 30, 2014
Last week a friend sent me a reminder of Scott Wesley Brown’s song, “He Will Carry You”. It is such a beautiful song that soothes the soul, a restful song that reminds us of the hope, the peace, and the rest we have in our Savior.
Here is the link I liked best at which to listen:
I would encourage everyone to listen to other songs by Scott Wesley Brown. His songs were very instrumental to me in my college years. I thank the Lord for using his ministry in my life.
Another link I’m posting today, is the song “People Need The Lord”, being sung, I believe, by Steve Green. Though it is an old song as well, I encourage everyone to view these heartbreaking pictures while meditating on what the Lord’s will is for each of us toward helping the multitudes of hurting people throughout the world. May it compel us to go out everywhere, showing Christ’s love and compassion and mercy. Here is that link: