Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Gathering Manna

I'm in my third week of an incredible Bible study by Beth Moore. It's called A Woman's Heart God's Dwelling Place. I think Mom would've liked her. Last night Beth was talking about how Jesus is the living manna from Heaven. Through the study and what she said I concluded that we have to go out and gather Him daily. She spoke last night about the manna being symbolic for our needs and we have to go before the Lord daily and say this is how it is. Then we can gather what we need. This morning I began to think about the effort she said it took. The Israelites had to get up, go outside their tent and go get the manna. She said each of us have to do this for ourselves but I recalled that back in the day the instructions were for the men to go and gather for each person in their tent. At the end of her life my mother couldn't do for herself physically. And I think there were days she couldn't do for herself spiritually either. She needed her daily ration of strength brought to her by the Man of the tent. She needed others praying on her behalf. Jesus provides that strength whether we go out and gather or He makes a house call at the request of someone else. The key is recognizing our daily need and His daily provision. Daily. Mom understood that as evidenced by her prayer life. When she was too weak to pray she had friends and family praying for her. The other thing that dawns on me is that we don't know each other's needs. My mother's needs were obvious. Other needs go unnoticed because we don't share our lives. Don't hide in your tent alone suffering. Open the flap and let your need be known.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Braille code seemed overwhelming when I first started my classes. Six little dots in various combinations make the 26 letters of the alphabet. I got that eventually and even understood the pattern. I can see now how it all works together. I understand. I came across something I'd forgotten about yesterday. I was getting ready for Bible study and wanted to share a song my mom had written. I had the lyrics printed up on pretty paper for her memorial service and knew I had extra copies. In the box were all the cards people sent me. I read a few and realized the 12 Gideon Bibles were donated in Mom's name. When I got to Bible study a woman there had a Gideon Bible. I don't know if my mom had anything to do with that but this woman is on a journey to understanding God. It is a continuing journey. Unlike Braille, He doesn't seem to have a set pattern but He is consistant in His faithfulness. In answering a question out loud last night I understood something about an incident that happened many years ago. I thought my mother needed avenging and my brother needed to be out of both of our lives for good. God had a different plan. He told me to love and I did. Years later God used that relationship I did not severe and the voice I did not allow to become bitter to show my brother the way Home. I'm still overwhelmed that God would use me for such a vital task. Overwhelmed in a good way. I will never have the same understanding of God that I do of Braille. Braille doesn't overwhelm me any more. I hope God always does. He can overwhelm me with His Grace, Mercy Peace and mysterious ways any time. The hard part for me will be to remember He's at work. I am to rest in that and not strive to understand it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Psalm What?

I gave away my mother's Braille Bible after she passed away. It is my hope that it's bringing joy and comfort to others as it did for her. When she lived with me she boxed up the 18 or so volumes and only had 2 books out at a time. Whatever book she was in as she read thru the year and her book of Psalms. She'd read a Psalm before bed. We had a baby monitor in her room in case she needed us during the night. The device was dug out of the closet after she wandered into our daughter's room and couldn't find her way out. How she didn't trip over the skateboard we'll never know. I was reminded of this yesterday when I saw a car with a personalized license plate. It was a Psalm reference but which one? Without a colon all I saw were numbers. Was it 9:12 which talks about avenging blood or 91:2 which is about God being our refuge and fortress? Or was there a colon and dash missing. Was it 9:1-2 which praises God and talks about telling of all His wonders? I don't know, just like I didn't know what Psalm my mom was reading one night when I turned on the monitor. I could hear her reading but it wasn't spoken words I was hearing like when someone reads aloud. I could hear her fingers brush across the page of raised dots. It struck me then. Mom was caressing the living breathing Word of God. I haven't done my Bible reading yet this morning. My eyes hurt from a head-cold. But when I do get to it I know there will be visual distractions all around me. As Mom read though, the only thing she was touching was her Bible. It wasn't easy being blind but I can't help but think it was less distracting.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

3 Dots 3 Days

Lots to do today so I'm sharing a devotional involving Braille code. I wrote it a couple of years ago now I think. It's so hard for me to keep track. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1 (NIV) In Braille code one to six dots are used to represent letters, punctuation, words, or to change a word. When the letter C stands alone becomes the word can. But if you put dots 4-5-6 before the C it becomes the word cannot. Those three little dots wield much power, changing a positive into a negative. What else has such power--three days. Over 2000 years ago three days changed the course of human history. Jesus died, spent some time in a borrowed tomb and rose again, conquering death. He also conquered the devil changing what he can do into what he cannot do in the life of the believer. For those who are in Christ, Satan no longer has the power to condemn. We are sinners saved by grace. Now that’s not an invitation to sin but an understanding that fallen man needs a covering. The devil can no longer use shame to make us feel guilty for our wrongdoing. The bumper sticker fades but the message remains: Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven. So the next time someone tries to make you feel unworthy of Christ’s love, just remember He chose to die for you. Unfortunately, Satan hasn’t read the memo. He’s still going to try to condemn and control. When you stand firm in Christ’s power Satan cannot control you. It’s a message that’s hard to apply. Our lives seem so out of control but we can give that control over to God. When we allow Him to reign, rust corrodes Satan’s tool box, filled with big and small things designed to turn us away from God. But rust doesn’t deter him from trying to wield the sledgehammer of alcohol and drugs. Rust doesn’t stop him from reaching for the drill of distraction or any of the other tools. Satan can try to use his tools but he cannot succeed when we are in Christ through prayer and reading our Bible. When we pray, let us not forget to thank Him for Calvary. Those three days changed our history. That should be the first of our blessings we count. How will you let those three days change you?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Lord, I need my lightbulb changed

The other day the flourescent light bulbs in my kitchen finally burned out. They had become dimmer and sometimes flickered but I didn't bother maintenance until they went out and I was cooking by the dim light that came in from the hall. Hey, what can I say, growing up with a blind mother has served me well. One of her favorite "when he was little" stories to tell about my brother was how he would go around the house and turn on the lights with his bottle. I guess she didn't really think to do it. And a lightbulb was never changed unless someone told her it had gone out.

I wonder if spiritually we behave similarly. Jesus calls us to be the light of the world (not light bulbs which as you know fail.) But what happens when our light grows dim or is inconsistant (flickers)? Do we notice? My maintenance man was here within the hour to replace the special bulbs. The Lord is even quicker. He can relight our fire if we only ask. My mother didn't know it was time to replace a burned out bulb until someone else told her. I can't think of a time when spiritually my mother's light burned out. She was such a strong woman of faith.

My kitchen is now brighter than it's been in a long time. Spiritually I can be too. "Lord, light the fire again." ( This is also a title to a song by Brian Doerksen)