Monday, December 31, 2012

Gentle Surgeon II

Gentle Surgeon II

Praise Jesus my Lord
Who is aware
I need, at times
To be without a tongue
But is patient enough
To mold and remake
My unworthy mouth
Into the instrument
He desires
In spite of me!

(C) Marijo Phelps - use giving proper credit - all rights reserved.


Sunday, December 30, 2012

“Old” in the Lord and Still Being Made New

“Oh, God, I am a mess, I have been walking with you for some years now and you are still correcting, fixing, changing….”
Does that sound familiar to you? Then praise Him. He hasn’t given up on you. You ARE growing. Quit with the groaning and look at the progress of the places He has walked you through. He is patient and steady even though sometimes you are not. OK, how do I know? I am probably your twin, that’s why. And He is whispering to my heart once again:
My daughter, I love you, I’ve heard your prayers, your heart’s desires.

I’m recreating in you a clean heart with pure desires and Jesus first. Rejoice at the new work. Rejoice at My might and My power in your weakness. I am raising up a Bride, a peculiar people – be among the number and again I say rejoice.

You are My beloved. Yield as I draw you close. Dwell in My Word. I shall make you strong in Me. Fear not adversity for I, Jesus have overcome as shall my Bride! Selah

In Psalm 37:4 our ultimate focus is made clear, to delight ourselves in the Lord and he will give us the desires of our heart. Don’t focus on your desires and get all wrapped up in them, but rather get wrapped up in Him, He will do the rest.

Going on to Psalm 51:10 the psalmist is imploring God to create within him a clean heart and to renew a steadfast spirit within him.

How many times have you caught a glimpse of your own heart and it is not pure or clean or having the right desires? You are in good company if David, a man after God’s own heart, would feel the same way. The key is he sought God, dwelled in His Word, got up, shook of the mud and dirt and was forgiven to be able to try another day. I am not advocating a license to make choices that break God’s heart. But, if and when we do we can repent, turn again and away with sorrow and ask for forgiveness.

In 2 Corinthians 12:9 we are reminded that God’s grace is sufficient for us and His strength in made perfect in weakness. Even knowing we can and will trip, stumble and fall God makes a way for us to be set free, freely forgiven. He knows us. He KNOWS us. He knows us and still chooses to have relationship and pour out His love on us. Think about that for a minute. Then praise His most incredible name!!

John 16:33 speaks about the peace we can have in Jesus. The world giving us tribulation but Jesus has overcome that world and we can be of good cheer because of that.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you that you are strong on our behalf, that you clean up our heart and then give us the desires of our heart. I think you place those desires in our hearts and then fulfill them, You who know us so well. We so appreciate that You have overcome the world and we can be overcomers with and through You! AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Trusting and Believing In One Who Will NEVER Let You Down

In the gospel of John, Jesus says,

"In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."  That is a promise of God!  Hang on to it with all your might. When difficult times hit, remember that though there will be trouble, God is with you and He will help you overcome.   (Amen)

and do ~Press On for the BEST is yet to be..!!
Have you ever told someone you’ll be there and then something happened and you were not there, whether emotionally, physically, spiritually you simply did not or could not show up? I suppose we have all experiences friends or family “letting us down” in that way too. There is Him who is closer than a brother who will never let you down.

Trust not in your own understanding but lean unto Mine. I am with you and do go before you always. Have care, not to get caught up in trifles unnecessarily but trust and believe in Me. 

Your ways are not always mine but know that you are learning and growing in Jesus, my son. 

Your obedience shall bring forth fruit in my vineyard. Go unto your Jerusalem and I will open doors for you to speak about and share your Jesus. 

Be ready. I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.

Psalms 119:34 is a plea to God from the psalmist for understanding so that he can then keep God’s law and even observe it with his whole heart.
What a reasonable thing to ask for, understanding to help us know why and enable us to be more obedient.

You know those acronyms? ILY, LOL, BTW – don’t they make much more sense when you know and remember what those initials stand for? “I love you” jumps right off the page. whereas “ILY” might not. Back a few years ago my sister and I used LOL for “little old lady”, not it means lots of luck. And I don’t think that anyone had invented BTW as by the way too far back. So, if we understand God’s laws it makes sense that we’d relate to them better and be able to function within them better too. That means doing a little digging in His Word and praying. Are you up for that? It is time well spent.

Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my favorites. It is the foundational scripture the Lord gave Mick and me when He wanted to move us to Colorado almost 17 years ago. Colorado, where we didn’t know a soul, didn’t have jobs or have any idea why our Lord wanted us here. We came. We have been blessed and blessed and blessed. But that’s another story for later on. This proverb morsel encourages us to trust in the Lord with all our heart, lean not to our own understanding, acknowledge Him in all our ways and He shall direct our paths.
Think about the strength in those words. God’s strength: trust with ALL our hearts, no halfway commitment here; put aside how we are understanding this issue, acknowledge God in ALL our ways and then He will direct our paths. Was that easy? Nope but it started us out on the greatest adventure of our lives and we are blessed, Blessed, BLESSED!

It is easy to give up “control”? No, but when the one we are yielding to is the Lord Jesus Christ we simply cannot go wrong, there is no better way.

Prayer: Lord Jesus thank you for being willing to teach and have patience with us! Help us to soak up the fact that our understanding is, well, pretty puny, Yours is beyond compare. Help us to act like we know that fact at all times. You are SO able and we are “but dust”. AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Things Not Yet in Hand

Have you ever heard those who say “if I can’t see it or touch it, I don’t believe it?” Well, they should quit reaching for a light switch when then enter a dark room then, shouldn’t they? I know of no one who has “seen” electricity. A few of us have, unfortunately, felt it and lived to tell but is not something we’d like to sign up for every day I am sure. Yet that doesn’t stop us from believing in it enough to throw that switch each time we enter the darkened room, does it?

I can’t see the Lord God either but that does not stop me from believing Him and taking Him at His word (the Bible), listening to those things He lays on my heart too.  Even today I can hear Him whispering:
My child, I have not forgotten, nor is my arm too short or My timing incorrect or even lacking much. 

Trust in Me and I shall give you those hidden desires of your heart, know the foundation is being laid even now.

In 2 Samuel 7:28 the Lord is lifted up and the writer affirms Sovereign Lord, you are God, your words are trustworthy and you have promised good things to your servant. Though that was written many, many years ago it is still true, a promise that believers in Jesus Christ can hang onto even today.

The psalmist states in Psalm 20:7 that some trust in chariots, some in horses but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. What do we place our trust in? When you think about it, how bad could it be to have trust in and rely upon Him who placed the stars in position? It almost looks like arrogance to trust in things other than the Lord God Almighty. How could He who created us not know better than we do?

I am well aware to the lengths a person can go to in trying to convince themselves that there is no God, that the Bible is a collection of well meaning “fairy tales” and that it doesn’t prove anything or agree with SCIENCE. I have been there and done that in my nine long years as an atheist. I was wrong. More and more scientific discoveries by people who do not claim to be followers of Christ are lining up with what the Bible has said all along. It is becoming to the point where it takes more “blind faith” to think there is no god than it ever does to believe it the God of the Bible.

Our psalmist goes on to say in Psalm 40:4 that he trusts in God and asks that God not let him be put to shame, nor let his enemies triumph over him. Do you know that God did not let him down? Does that help you to be able to trust God today in those same areas of your life? I surely hope so! HE is able!
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, our trust is in You. There truly can be no other yet many times we act like there is (many others) please forgive us and help us to hang tightly unto Your hand and walk, talk, think, act within that partnership only! AMEN
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Monday, December 24, 2012

How to Avoid Being Overwhelmed

Merry Christmas
Christ our Savior is born.

Things seem to be getting pretty messed up in this old world of ours. Look at the headlines, turn on the computer news, listen to the radio or TV and it is enough to make you quite ill…. Unless you know and understand the end times which are explained in the Bible. None of this current chaos is a surprise to God and He really does have things in His most capable hands. They should not be a huge surprise to a believer either. Listen carefully as He whispers reassurance to your heart:
My child, I have created the very wind and white clouded sky, flooded in My sunlight to bless you and draw your focus up to Me. Let not the trouble crowd in and overwhelm you. Look to Me, beyond, the author and finisher of your salvation. Like a fine, handcrafted piece you need a little more sanding, buffing and another coat to enrich your glow. Have no fear. I AM the master craftsman skilled in creating a perfect, individual you, so that all your personality, though distinctly you, reflects Jesus Christ, your Lord, in the uniqueness of Jesus in you. Fear not, I Am in control. Yield. Be flexible as I soften you, make you pliable in the molding warmth of My love. My Spirit desired to teach and lead you, to praise Me through your lips and being. Let go, allow Me to be your great I AM. Pure love has no ulterior motives. I hunger for your fellowship. Let me give your nonexistence the meaning I lovingly planned for you. I Am love. I Am yours. Be vulnerable and learn my loving openness as I come in to sup with you.

In John 14:27 the Bible speaks of peace. Jesus is quoted as saying that His peace He leaves with us. This peace is not as the world gives, I can say a big THANK YOU to this one, can’t you? Jesus goes on to say to not let our hearts be troubled, neither to let our hearts be afraid. If you know Jesus you can breathe a huge sigh of relief upon reading this promise. His promises are like gold. He is able and willing, He says it and that should settle it!

In Hebrews we find this encouragement: Hebrews 12:2-3 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (NKJV)

Proverbs 27:17 speaks of iron sharpening iron and likens that process to a man sharpening the countenance of his friend.

I think that is a great analogy. The word picture grabs me and makes clear what can happen between two friends.

1 John 4:18 tells us there is no fear in love but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. It goes on saying that he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

Besides realizing that I am not perfect yet (was there any doubt in this one to begin with, nope) I also see that God is love. And what more “perfect love” is there than Jesus. I can then picture Jesus taking charge of any fear I have and casting it out of me!

In Philippians 2:5 we are encouraged to let this mind be in us which is also in Christ Jesus. Now, can you imagine Jesus being worried or fretting or wringing His hands in dismay? Can knowing He has things in order and under control free us up? I hope it can each and every time!

Psalm 32:2 gives a blessing to a man(woman) to whom the Lord doesn’t impute inequity and in whose spirit there is no deceit. How can we fit this description? Keep short lists with the Lord. If we do sin, ask forgiveness and purpose not to do that thing again.

Revelation 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. (NKJV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, what would we do if there was a knock, we answered and You were there to come in and sit at our table? Prepare our hearts! I know You could also take care of the table – since You had no problem with feeding the thousands. What a sumptuous feast it would be – to gaze upon Your face and form and drink of that which You’d chose to share. Prepare our hearts. AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Why Do We Always Want to Be in the Driver’s Seat?

We were trying to buy the tiny lot to build our first home. The cost breakdown came in too high. My dad decided on a business proposition as he wanted to invest in land but not where he was living. He rarely ever helped in his children's finances but he offered here. We bought the lot and then more things came in "over budget". I was at the point where I thought it was never going to happen and the Lord laid this on my heart.

Cannot I control? I who bedecked the starry heavens in ornamental splendor? Cannot I work out the small details for one of my beloved child's heart's desires? 

You may choose to REST in who I am or limp, encumbered for a time under the weight of cares you needn't assume in the first place. Is your loved one going to fail you? Did he? Neither will your Father in heaven. 

Breathe in my peace. Fret not. I am working miracles of self revelation in your husband to encourage him, draw him and help him be sure. You allow him and I AM to take the responsibilities for your covering. 

I have gone before you and the way is being prepared. 

I love you with an unquenchable love and am acting out that love in your life, home and marriage for My glory. 

Breathe in my peace, receive. 

Daughter I am your beloved, your redeemer, your ways and means preparer. Know with a certainty you have no need to doubt but enjoy this time as it unfolds for you. Be lifted up now.

We built the house and had much fun (and "blood, sweat and tears" equity) and 4 years later sold it and got completely out of debt, then built another. God is good!
In Genesis 50:21 the bible encourages us to not be afraid saying God will provide for us and our little ones, going on to say that he spoke kindly to them and comforted them. I think this might apply to us ever today.

In John 14:27 Jesus is speaking of the peace he gives to us, not as the world gives but Jesus peace. I have found that it rises above the world the cares thereof. The Lord goes on to say to let not our hearts be troubled or afraid.
Do we trust Him enough to believe these scriptures and allow the Lord to actually drive the car? Do we trust Him to get us to our appointed destination, the best one we could ever arrive at? Can we trust Him enough to turn over control to Him, the one who made us? If we can’t trust the Lord Jesus then who can we trust?

Prayer: Dearest Lord Jesus, help us to remember, moment by moment, who is able to guide, direct and lead us right where we are supposed to be. The wisdom of the world is foolishness. Help us to follow hard after You, the best shepherd we could ever hope to have! AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.

Friday, December 21, 2012

THE Most Amazing Cat Toy

.....Oh, my GOODNESS, it is the biggest cat toy I have ever seen! It twinkles and sparkles and flashes – oh, look at those BALLS, just for ME…. smash, crash…

“Mom, Hooney just attacked the Christmas tree and knocked it back into the wall.” lamented Caleb.

“Caleb, can you catch that rascal tabby and put him in the basement? He needs a permanent “time out””, said Mom with a sigh.

.....Ahhh, shucks, and I was just sure that toy was put there just for ME… meow… let me just duck behind this couch and maybe they will forget me......,purred Hooney while scrunching under the couch.

“Mommy, where’d Fat Cat go?” puzzled Liliana.

“If that calico knows what is good for her, she’ll be asleep somewhere instead of helping Hooney destroy the Christmas tree we just put up!”, called Mom from the kitchen.

“ I can’t get him, Mom, he just swatted my hand and is WAY back behind the couch. Besides he is too big for me to lift.” “You need to be on a diet, Hooney, your tuna breath is amazing too…” muttered Caleb trying to catch the hiding orange feline.

.....Ffft, I will NOT go to the BASEMENT. There is nothing any fun down there....., Hooney huffed as he wiggled his hind end and took off to hide behind the other couch. Just barely running by the tree , for one more swipe at a tinsel covered branch, with a fragile looking ornament – SHATTER….

“Mom, this time he got the big star of Bethlehem and flattened it all over the floor in a million pieces!”, yelled Caleb.

“You crazy cat! What’s the matter with you? I am NEVER going to get dinner into the oven at this rate, get OVER here….” hollered Mom running into the living room. “Gotcha, and down the basement you GO!” Mom exclaimed as she unceremoniously dumped Hooney on the top step and slammed the door.

.....Harumph, YOWL, I can’t believe this, if that wasn’t a giant cat toy they why in the world did they put it right in the middle of MY HOUSE.....?! With that, Hooney covered his eyes with his paws.

“Hand me that dust buster and let me get rid of this glass, Caleb”, asked Mom.


“You know, Mom, I don’t think Hooney knows what the Christmas tree and Christmas are all about, does he?” asked Lilliana as she picked up the little manger with the baby Jesus in it.

“You know, Lily, that would be a real good bet.” answered Caleb, turning to his Mom, ” but Jesus didn’t come to save Hooney, did He?”

“No, Jesus came to save people like you and me and Daddy and Lily…. we have all said and done things which break God’s heart, we need to ask forgiveness. That’s why Jesus came, not to save cats and dogs. You are So right, Caleb”, said Mom.

“Hey, Fat-Cat waked up and she put her paws under the basement door, they’re playing!” observed Lily.

Thump, thunk, thud, thud….

“Quick, let’s turn on the tree lights and enjoy each ornament and what it means while they are playing,” grinned Mom.

“Yeh, and don’t anybody open that basement door!” said Lily as she snuggled close to her Mom.

Come visit my blog!
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

How Capable is God in Your Life

Today could be your last chance to accept Jesus. Pray this prayer now! Dear Jesus, I ask you to forgive me of my sins. Thank you for dying on the cross in my place. Thank you for rising from the dead to beat Satan and death. Come into my heart and mind as my Lord and Savior. I give myself to you. Amen! ***Write "Amen" if you just now asked Jesus to save you. Your Friends need to hear about Jesus, so click "Share" today.

Are you walking on water in the middle of the storm or are you going through fiery trials thinking you are ready for the burn unit, maybe a little bit of both is happening to you right now. During the time I was thinking about this and bringing things before the Lord I was particularly concerned about a friend. Many other times in my walk with the Lord I found myself in the trial and tribulation department. This study can apply to both situations. I think I can be pretty sure when I say that if you are a born again believer you definitely know there IS a battle, and then you hear His still, small voice whispering in your ear:
My child, think it not strange the fiery trials you’re going through. Remember Peter, as he kept looking up to Me, did what was humanly impossible through the power of My Holy Spirit. You cannot walk on top of the stormy waters but for Me. Yet I can take your hand and you shall walk in a new dimension; one humanly impossible, as I, Your Lord lift you up.

Come unto me all you who are weak and heavy laden and I will give you rest/renewal/restoration. I shall lift you up if you relax in My arms. Yield, snuggle in My everlasting arms, have a good cry, pour out your heart to Me, my daughter. I LOVE you. I weep with you and I desire to release you into that peace and joy you long for in your walk/life.

Dwell in/on My Word. Praise Me. I shall change your heart and circumstances beyond what you can believe or hope. Run to your Father and let it all out. I AM the burden bearer. Press in as never before. I AM victory – lift up your arms/eyes to Me. I shall release you both. Selah.

Have you ever wondered what kind of man James was? I certainly have when I read some of his writings. James 1:2 starts out his part of the Bible with a bang. Notice he didn’t say, hang on, this will not last for long or your character is being perfected through this. What kind of man could say “count it all joy whenever you face trials of many kinds?” Who did he know that helped him be this radical? What had happened in his life for him to be able to make this very abnormal assertion? Actually, he knew the same Lord and savior that, gulp, we do, the Lord Jesus Christ who was fully human and fully God. Oh, my.

I am not sure how this affects you but I could tell you a bit about me. Yes, times of trials get a bit less daunting over the years. Not because I am so wonderful or incredible but because He is. I have seen that Jesus is faithful, creative, takes my hand and walks me through. I will readily admit that I do not get up in the morning when I am facing something daunting and shout “goodie, a chance to rub off some of those lumps and bumps in me.” I sit and wonder what kind of a character transformation it would take to make me thing differently, yes, I know Jesus is more than able. “Yes, I have been through the fire before and He has brought me through. Sometimes I feel I am “retaking” the midterm for Patience 101 over and over and over, how about you? And that is just one example.
Then we take a look at Peter. Did I mention that having Peter in my Bible gives me hope? Well, it does. Good old “open mouth and insert foot” Peter. Yes, I definitely claim him as my brother! In this instance he was the only one in the boat who stepped out and walked towards Jesus.

Matthew 14:30 states that Peter (my brother) got out of that boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus! Then he began to look around at the wind and was afraid and began to sink but at least he cried out “Lord, save me!”. During the storm he knew where to turn, to Jesus. Yep, I am proud to call him my big brother and continue to learn from him all the time.]

Psalm 146:8 is full of promises for us telling how the Lord gives sight to the blind. I suspect that it is not only referring to physical sight here but also spiritual sight. I have been SO blind. Since I gave my heart and life to Jesus I have been getting better and better eye exams each year. Physical eye exams and certainly spiritual.
Have you ever heard it taught that if you come to Jesus all your problems will be solved? Well, David, who was a man after God’s own heart had a different view of this all. In Psalm 18:6 he spoke of being in distress. No, that is not a “negative confession”, that is David speaking truth and reality. Yes, David was distressed BUT he knew where to go for help in his distress. “I cried to my God for help”. We cannot do it all ourselves, we were not made to be self sufficient but to need our God. Does that surprise you? It shouldn’t. And then David said something wonderful. God heard him. Just as He will and does hear us.

No wonder David’s response in Psalm 61:4 is that he longs to dwell in God’s “tent” forever and take refuge in the shelter of God’s “wings”. He knew from experience where his place of rest was and so can we.
In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says “come unto me all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” To me, this verse amplifies and affirms what David was saying in Psalm 61.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, please be with my sister and be the lifter of her head.  Help her draw even closer to You through this trying time. Thank You for Your wisdom and comfort for her. Help me to be your arms reached out and your hands extended and show me what that means. AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

snowing today in the mountain meadow time for MICK'S SOUP

Mick’s Soup

2 turnips peeled and diced
4 medium potatoes scrubbed, diced with skins left on
4 carrots peeled and cut up
1 onion cut up
2 cans chicken broth or 3 bouillon cubes and 3 cups water
1-2 cups frozen cut up okra
1/2 large can tomatoes cut up - put juice in soup too
2 cups cubed ham or chicken breasts
1-2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
red and/or black pepper to taste
cut up fresh parsley (I put in the whole bunch)
1/2 head shredded red cabbage
Cook until the veggies are tender. May thicken with a solution of a couple teaspoons corn starch in water.

We are sitting at 13 degrees and had  snow overnight - still snowing, so I thought a soup recipe might be in order today.  I just made a pot for dinner tonight but whole different recipe. Do some banana bran muffins and you have a complete dinner.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Resting in His Word and Peace, He IS Good for It You Know

Photo: (sd)

If a friend told you they’d meet you at Golden Corral at 11AM for lunch do you think they would show up? Do you go to the restaurant waiting for them to come? Do you act upon the verbal communication you had with that friend? Most of us do just that and trust if something changed our cell phone will soon be ringing, don’t we? How about when our Lord and Savior gives us His Word about something, either His written word (the Bible) or when He speaks to our hearts with that still, small voice:
I give you My peace, my daughter, I have heard your cry. Rest in Me and weary not. I AM that you might be and become more in Me. I love you – selah, my sweet daughter.

In Psalms 31:22 the scripture speaks of our panic when we think God is late or maybe hasn’t heard or shown up. The psalmist says in essence that he is cut off from God’s sight and then goes on saying yet you heard my cry for mercy when I called to you for help. We humans are the ones who need vision correction, hearing aids or reminders in Blackberry or Daytimer format. Our Lord, on the other hand, has things pretty well thought out and under His control. Can we accept that?

In Lamentations 3:56 the writer states that God heard his plea and then asks that God not close his ears to the cry for relief. And you know what? Based on my experience with our Lord I would suspect that He answered that prayer very well.

We are promised in Matthew 11:28 if we are weary and burdened we can come to Jesus and He will give us rest. What a promise and I have personally experienced this fact many times. I know that you could think of times when it has been such a real promise for you too.

What does our faith rest upon? I Corinthians 2:5 states that our faith is not to rest upon men’s wisdom (thank the Lord for that one) but on God’s power, God who put the planets and stars in place and made the intricacies of the human brain cell. Think about THAT kind of power for just a moment.

We are so puny it is sometimes laughable that we think we can out reason God. In 2 Corintihans 12:9 that one is covered too, something about when we are weak, probably most of the time if we are honest. God’s grace is sufficient, His power is made perfect in weakness (ours). Paul goes on to say that he will boast gladly about his weakness do that Christ’s power may rest upon him. That sore of gives a whole new look at those times when we think we are weak doesn’t it? We are weak. Our Master Designer not only recognized that but gave us HELP in that circumstance. Oh, that wonderful love of Jesus covering us once again!

Prayer: Oh, Lord Jesus, your Word is SO full of promises. And they are ours for the asking! THANK YOU for showering us with good gifts even when we are SUCH children so much of the time. Praise Your most incredible Name! AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Dumb Things

(From this past August....)

Do you ever do dumb things? I need some back up here so I don’t feel quite so inept. It is Mick’s first day back to work and in his own company. He has also gotten another call about a job this morning. God is answering prayer and things are looking good!

Our real estate agent and friend asked for some of Mick’s business cards as she has clients who are looking for a contractor. I put them in an envelope and jumped into the truck to run them down to the mail box. Grabbed my wallet, keys and took off. It is a beautiful day in the mountain meadow, maybe I can see some mama elk and their babies with spotted coats. I think I will go the scenic way home. It is about 17 miles instead of 2 ¾.

Got to the next dirt road and it was in “ripple chip” condition, usually if you go faster when the road is like this it helps minimize the effect. So off I go until I hear that sickening whapity-what, whapity-whap.

Oh, Lord, please do not let me have a flat tire, I do not do flats and since I grabbed by wallet I have no cell phone.

Flat tire! I mean flat to the rim. No houses near so I drive a bit and stop by a driveway. I am in my cute Italian sandals with the 2 ½ inch heels that look like cork. There I go, open toed up the dirt and gravel driveway which goes up the hill and disappears into the trees. I cannot see the house yet. Tacked on the first tree is the most emphatic “no trespassing” sign I have ever laid eyes on. “NO, not for any reason, violators will be prosecuted”. I am guessing a 66 year old with a flat tire and no cell would also be prosecuted.

I am praying as I go back to the truck and with flashers on drive slowly down the road. The next place I do not have a good feeling about so I drive on thinking maybe I can drive home? And Wondering how much a replacement rim would cost as tales of bent rims come into my mind.

I drive on and there is a cute, curly headed lady in front of her green house weeding with a huge (giant Schnauser) canine by her side. I pulled in to her drive waving.

“I was wondering what was coming down the road – it sounded like a huge truck and Max was barking….”
“Hi, I am your neighbor from over on 71, Marijo Phelps, I have a flat…. Could I use your phone?”
“Sure, have one in the greenhouse – come on in.”

Max sniffed. Max already had breakfast, thankfully. Actually, Max was a gentle giant and quite the dog!
I have one number memorized, our next-door neighbor Don. Ring, ring, ring,

By that time I envisioned him GONE. What then? Mick was in the Monument. “Hello” came the voice in a barrel (I think Don always had his phone on speaker phone mode.)

“DON! Do you feel up to a rescue, this is Marijo…”

I told him where I was and that I had a flat. He was about to take another neighbor to the VA in Denver for a doc’s appointment but said he would send someone.

The “someone” ended up being Gordon, our neighbor on the other side, trauma medic in the service and not too bad with a tire jack either!

Mrs. Olsen, the greenhouse lady, invited me to walk into the greenhouse any time I had a flat and use the phone. Gordon told me to please put his phone number in my wallet and on the way home I waved at Don taking Paul to Denver.

Have I mentioned lately that I love our mountain meadow, and the people who live here. Gordon and Mrs. Olsen both said “we have to look out for each other!”

I am so blessed. I also have never lived in a place where we get so many flat tires! SO fill me in on some dumb things you have done lately?

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use giving proper credit only.
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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Do You Hear Him?

Our ears are most incredible. We listen to music, hear voices of all those who come into our lives but we don’t really “hear” God. His voice speaks to our “heart” rather than our ears. Sometimes we fail to hear Him even when He is speaking to our heart. Not long ago I “heard” Him speaking to me in that very still, small voice:
Daughter, it is not necessary to talk constantly when you come before me. Listening is part of it, and then I can talk/flow to you. Maybe you think I am quiet. You go through “quiet spells” at times because you don’t prepare your heart and your inner ears. I love to share with you, to tell you of my love and care. All I need are listening ears and a quiet, focused spirit. You are my beloved daughter. Come into my presence with thanksgiving and into my courts with praise, and then pause so I may respond and reply. My peace and strength shall be yours - this is how I share the mind of Christ with you.

In Job 11:13 we are encouraged to prepare our hearts and stretch out our hands towards Him.
David, the Psalmist speaks in Psalm 95:2 encouraging us to come into God’s presence with thanksgiving, to shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Who could better know about this avenue of approaching God than David.
! Corinthians 2:16 asks who had known the mind of god that he may instruct Him and then goes on to say but we have the mind of Christ. I cannot even begin to fathom that but I do accept it.
In Philippians 2:5 we are encouraged to “let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. I can’t explain how that works physically. I can see a computer chip being transferred or dream up many other possibilities. Thankfully we can accept this and walk in the truth presented here.

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for your patience with me. It seems like so many of my troubles are with the mouth – too much, too soon, too open…. Please help me to moderate and modulate and hush to learn from you! AMEN 

We can listen and hear God. His voice always lines up with what is already in His Word, the Bible. The choice is ours to tune in or tune out. I suspect it would be a not so wise choice to “tune out” – He loves us and definitely has our best interest in His heart!

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Jesus Whispering to Our Hearts Devotional (Words from the Lord Series)

The best teacher I think I ever had for making a point that everyone in that room listened to had a unique delivery method. Instead of raising his voice to make his point he’d lean forward over the podium and whisper the most important part of his lecture. All in the class hushed and leaned forward eagerly to see what important part of the lecture was about to come out of his mouth. It got our attention each and every time and we truly listened. Imagine your Lord and Savior doing the same thing. The Bible tells us to tune in to that “still, small voice”. It is when we are quiet before Him and focused on Him that he can speak the loudest, often times in a whisper:

Daughter, it doesn’t always have to come to you what I am about to say for you to write (it).
I may choose to whisper a thought or word of encouragement into a corner of your mind for momentary encouragement, some too precious to be written, some too heavy to bear for more than that first moment; truths to be resurfaced over and over until you’re able and ready (open) to grasp and hold them, coming up gradually as a red sunrise.
Awesome revelations, perhaps they are frightening at first glance, but real and “normal” as they unfold embellishment with a fire that creates a beauty, special beauty even greater than the daily sunsets.
Cling to those revelations as I bring them up. You will learn them and make them part of you as I deem you able to stretch and grow; as you yield to My molding.
You cannot yield unless you recognize that you are holding back…. Rest in Jesus as He does His life redeeming work within you! Selah
PS 51 “let the bones which thou hast broken rejoice”

Psalms 51 is one of my favorites. I like to read it over and over with discovery of even more each time I re-read it. Please take some time with this chapter for yourself to see what it says to you.

The psalmist is first asking for God’s mercy, not based upon anything the psalmist did or didn’t do but based upon God’s love and compassion. David asks to have his transgressions blotted out and to be washed and made clean from all his sin. He continues recognizing his sin and that it is against God only that he has committed those sins even back to his birth. He even indicates that God can make him whiter than snow. That should give hope to all of us.

What an attitude he then reveals in saying he would like the bones which God broke to rejoice. To me that is showing David’s total and utter trust in God and his assessment or David’s condition. Even in that pain to know it is “good for him” and necessary. Imagine your broken bones being encouraged to “rejoice”. No wonder the Bible says that David had a heart for the Lord.

And to then hear that he had hope and expectation that God could and would create in David a “pure heart” and give him, once again, a steadfast spirit, welcoming David into His presence and restoring David’s joy. David is requesting to be made whole so he could then teach sinners and have them turn back to God.

This Psalm alone is full of so many good and wonderful promises. There are even more in the rest of the psalm but I want to give you an opportunity to chew on it yourself and see what they Lord will speak to your heart. Be encouraged and built up in Jesus most capable and incredible name!
Prayer: Lord God, at first it sounds SO hard to ask that the bones which You have broken rejoice. But You don’t want me to walk with a limp or not walk at all. You are the Great Physician and know what needs to be done for complete healing and wholeness. I submit to Your ultimate wisdom and Your Physician’s hand. I also place my hand in Yours as You continue to make and remake me – WHOLE in You. Amen

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Letting Go and Trusting God

I often wonder why it is sometimes so difficult to let go and trust God. What is it within me that can’t quit hugging myself and reach out to Him who created me in trust? How difficult should it be to put all my faith even in a moment in Him who created the universe and put the very stars in place? Jesus who has a plan for my life, a plan for good and not for harm, a plan to have me prosper in His economy of prosperity. OK, maybe I can quit clutching and grabbing at myself, prying my fingers off my arms to try to reach out to my creator. When I look at it that way it becomes a “no brainer”.

My daughter, I AM in control, I AM God of the mountains and God of the valleys. 

Is My arm so short it cannot reach? Have I not said and shall I not perform? 

I lay things on your heart for encouragement and direction, not to create fear or tension. 
Know that El Shaddi is present and a very comforting presence. Know I AM opening and I shall close those doors behind, soon and very soon. 

You've been tested. I AM is your escape. Rest against my breast and under my wings. Selah. 
It is not Santa Claus but the God of heaven and earth at work on your behalf. Rest daughter, rest in Jesus.

In Isaiah 59:1 we are encouraged that His arm is not too short to save nor is His ear to dull to hear. Isaiah 50:2 God asks why when he came there was no one and when he called no one answered. This is hitting a bit too close to home here but I guess that’s what is meant by scripture being active and sharper than any two edged sword. I think it just hit me. Then the verse asks again if his arm was too short to ransom the reader. Or does he lack strength to rescue. He then reminds the reader, and this writer, that his rebuke dries up the sea, he turns rivers into a desert and their fish rot form lack of water and die of thirst. Yes, this is a very convincing word picture, isn’t it?

I know I am pretty puny. Why do I even entertain the thought that I can “make it all better by myself”? Why am I ever that stumbling toddler hanging tightly to my own arms wrapped around my body rather that lifting my hands and arms to Him who longs to hold and help me?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, we know from rescues over and over that your arm is not too short. We lean on those arms today and trust you to become huge in the face of our request and needs. Help us to trust and realize more and more your greatness on our behalf! AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.

Monday, December 3, 2012

God’s Promises Speak to Our Hearts Part 2

He Knows Me

My daughter, impetuous tempest that you sometimes are, tarry. Listen to Me. Seek my wisdom in the Word. Come before me with thanksgiving and praise.

Luke 24:49 speaks to the followers of Jesus to wait in Jerusalem to be equipped with power from on high. I don’t know many of us who would say to the Lord that we have enough power or be willing to give some back to Him because we were just too powerful. One look at our lives with that incredible pair of glasses called “hind sight” will tell us that most of us need a bit more of His power. Yes, most of us can honestly say we need a bit more of Godly power while turning loose of the toddler attitude, “Daddy! I can do it myself!”

Fine Tuned Ears

Fine tuned ears = draw nigh unto me and I will draw nigh unto you so when you're feeling distanced from the Father, sit at His feet and praise, worship and pour out your heart. Hear and try.

In Luke 7:38 we are given a word picture of a woman devoted to her Lord. She stood behind him weeping, wetting his feet with her tears. She then wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. Think of this selfless act of devoting and honoring Jesus. They wore sandals and there was nothing like a paved road. They walked everywhere through anything you can imagine. It was hot, feet were dirty. That’s why a good host would have a foot bath in place when you arrived as his guest. Who do you think she was focused on? It was not herself.

With You Always

Daughter, some days what I would impart to you is not profound or pertinent to KNOWLEDGE, rather that I AM with you always.

Did he call you to be a missionary? Well, I think Matthew 28:19-20 settles that for all of us. I know, you might think I am meddling again but you tell me what you thinks this means. Matthew is inspired as he writes the words of our Lord saying “GO and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Then comes His promise with that mandate that He will be with them (us) always to the very end of the age.
Notice the absolutes and commands: GO, make disciples, baptize, teaching them everything (not part) and then I WILL BE WITH YOU, always. What more do we need and how can we but go into our Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem and the “uttermost” parts?

Prayers for Unsaved

Daughter, all the saints in heaven rejoice when there's a soul saved. Claim Jesus for those I have promised you. Stand on the Word and my word to you and KNOW. Rest in my assurance. Lift them in love.

1 Timothy is a further challenge. I might add here that our Lord Jesus will not ever, no never ask us to do the impossible. Even when we look at a challenge and think “I can never do that” he is promising us by that very challenge that HE will provide all that is necessary for us to do it, by His asking. He will not lay something on us that is impossible to do. Maybe WE can’t do it but that is when His strength comes through for us in our weakness. That way we will know who really “did it”. It will be Jesus through His Holy Spirit in us, jars of clay.
1 Timothy 2:8 speaks of men everywhere lifting up holy hands in prayer, without anger or disputing. Ladies, we are not off the hook here either as I suspect “men” in this case means “mankind” who love and call Jesus their Lord.

All Too Quiet Times

Daughter, grapple not with the apparent silence but lift up your faith to me.

John 8:30 simply states that even as Jesus spoke many put their faith in Him. His written Word still speaks to us today as does His still, small voice. Many are yet placing their faith in Him.

Physical Illness

Fear not nor be dismayed I really am the lifter of your head in righteousness. You shall not be devastated or destroyed. I love you. My grace is sufficient even for your illness, so is my healing touch.

Don’t you love how well God knows us and then writes things to let us know that fact? Psalm 3:3 the inspired psalmist writes about God being a shield, his glory and the lifter of his head. Maybe he was dead tired, maybe he was recognizing how feeble he was and that only his Lord and God could even lift his head up. Whatever the case I am so glad David put that in there. Just those little snapshots can give us much hope. God notices when we are tired. He notices when we are feeble and not to condemn but to come and lift us up. Wow.

Anguish Not

Anguish not, but trust me. I love you most purely.

We are told that trouble and anguish have taken hold on David yet God’s commandments are his delight in Psalm 119:143. What focus, what hope and what a relational sentence. David admits his trouble to the point of anguish and then shows us by his example to look beyond. This time he is not even looking beyond to God’s promises but to his commandments. Oh, yes! So when our Lord instructs us to “anguish not” we can, indeed, trust Him and His incomparable love for us.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.