Monthly Archives: February 2010

Can We Trust God?

It is Sabbath again. I am comforted to know Jesus loved to sing hymns.

Mark 14:26 tells of a scene which happened before Jesus and Disciples left the table for the Garden of Gethsemane. They sang a hymn.

What if that hymn were Psalm 118?

A few excerpts:

v1 – Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.

v6 – The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me?

v7-8 – The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man.

v 14 – The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation.

v 17-18 – I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the LORD. The LORD has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death.

v 22-23 – The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes.

v 24 – This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

v 28-29: You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. NASB

Imagine singing this hymn before being captured, tried, judged, taken before Pilate, lashed 40 times and crucified.

How can I begin to comprehend this kind of trust Jesus had in God, knowing what would happen to him?

This is the kind of trust I pray for.

For those who wish to have the complete Psalm 118 – it follows:

Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting. Oh let Israel say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let the house of Aaron say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” Oh let those who fear the LORD say, “His lovingkindness is everlasting.” From my distress I called upon the LORD; The LORD answered me and set me in a large place. The LORD is for me; I will not fear; What can man do to me? The LORD is for me among those who help me; Therefore I will look with satisfaction on those who hate me. It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in princes. All nations surrounded me; In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off. They surrounded me, yes, they surrounded me; In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off. They surrounded me like bees; They were extinguished as a fire of thorns; In the name of the LORD I will surely cut them off. You pushed me violently so that I was falling, But the LORD helped me. The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation. The sound of joyful shouting and salvation is in the tents of the righteous; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. The right hand of the LORD is exalted; The right hand of the LORD does valiantly. I will not die, but live, And tell of the works of the LORD. The LORD has disciplined me severely, But He has not given me over to death. Open to me the gates of righteousness; I shall enter through them, I shall give thanks to the LORD. This is the gate of the LORD; The righteous will enter through it. I shall give thanks to You, for You have answered me, And You have become my salvation. The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief corner stone. This is the LORD’S doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day which the LORD has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it. O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the LORD; We have blessed you from the house of the LORD. The LORD is God, and He has given us light; Bind the festival sacrifice with cords to the horns of the altar. You are my God, and I give thanks to You; You are my God, I extol You. Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.  NASB

I pray God’s Blessings Upon You!

Gifts From God

It is feeding time at the Lazo-Davis home; feeding time for our dog Crystal. Each time I feed her, you can tell she sees her food as a gift to her. If I am a little late, she will come lay her head on my lap. If I tell her to wait, or it is not time yet, she will patiently wait until I am ready to prepare her food.

Are we this gracious when we ask God for something?

Jesus tells us to not worry over our needs, God will provide.

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  Matthew 6:31-33  NIV

However, when we pray, do we trust God to provide, as my dog simply trusts me to provide? If I do not feed her, she will wait on me. If she has to fast, say for some surgery on the next day, and I do not bring food to her, she still loves me. I assume she figures it is not for her to have food tonight.

Yet when God similarly does not grant us something we just totally know we need, do we accept His decision? Or instead do we rant and rave? Do we pout? Do we beg?

Or do we Trust and keep asking in humility, waiting upon God because He knows what is best for us?

Something again I dwell upon.

Your Sacred Writing Space

Ever think about the place you write? Is it sacred?

With what and whom are you surrounded? Do you invite God into the process of your writing?

Are you able to imagine yourself in a globe of sorts where Creativity and Inspiration happen, even in a crowded environment? Are you able to write in a separate room with a closable door?

Writers need both Creativity and Inspiration as well as Perspiration and Determination to write. Bouts of silence are needed so you can listen to promptings from God.

Being able to touch the heart of your mind so you can translate it to the keyboard or paper requires concentration, reflection and prayer. Yes – you can achieve this in a crowed room of people eating or drinking warm beverages. However, it is hard to achieve this when you are interrupted by others, whom you care about.

I personally have a closed door policy. If the door is closed – please do not interrupt, unless you are dying. This allows me to pray uninterrupted, or spend some time reading scripture in quiet while I am  writing.

If the door is almost closed – it is fair game to interrupt. 🙂

Remember above all else that your writing is important! You are expressing the very essence of who you are. This makes writing an important skill to be honored and honed. Regardless of whether you win awards with your writing, your writing is due respect.

Creating a sacred writing space so God can participate will keep your writing fresh and pertinent.

Is He Dead or Alive?

A brilliant aspect of snow is that animal tracks are magnified. Glancing out the front window after our recent two inches of snowfall, I saw numerous tracks. I investigated a hole under the edge of our porch similar to one we had two years ago.

Time again to set the trap! What will we find this time? Should I bait with meats to attract possums, or vegetables for rabbits? I decided on sardines in oil – more smell.

Evening.

“What’s the dog barking about?” Dan yelled down from his upstairs office.

“Crystal wants to go outside?” I answered, assuming I knew her desire.

I let her out. Wait – she’s running around sniffing and listening.  What’s up with her? First a lot of barking, which is unusual, now her only interest is in going to the front of the house. I am confused.

My brain slowly catches up as I say to her, “Let’s check the trap.”

Crystal helps me check the trap, which indeed has a possum. I think she likes checking the trap because there are lots of smells.

As we came back inside I called up to Dan, inviting him to join us in examining our uninvited tenant. “How did Crystal hear the Possum from inside the house?” we ask ourselves.

We pad out into the cold in stocking feet and pjs. Crystal is fascinated by the possum staring up at us from the cage. Nothing dead about this one! It is 10:30 at night; we are ready for bed. I guess possums don’t play dead at night.

I couldn’t just leave him caged overnight in the cold, even if I did feed him dinner.

So off we went to find a place in the countryside to leave this little critter.

Unlike two previous occupants of that hole, he eagerly ran into the distance.

Maybe in a few days his mate will follow – assuming we again caught one half of a breeding pair – and she will also fall prey to some really good oily sardines.

A Letter From Kohl’s

Today a letter came from Kohl’s, the department store.

I imagine it is in response to the new credit card laws passed by Congress. They are supposed to protect individuals, who have been forced to pay exorbitant interest rates on remaining balances.

Kohl’s said “Now, APR’s will generally vary with the market based on the Prime Rate, but do not go below the stated minimum APR in your Cardmember Agreement.”

This is a fancy way of saying – no firm rate for their consumer card anymore! That is Scary!

The answer is very simple, but not easy to follow. Either do not charge – or pay off what you charge monthly.

Not possible you say? Well, it is if we stop using consumerism as a hobby.

Gone are the days of ‘Shop till you DROP!’ and fast are becoming the days of ‘What is free (or affordable) and fun as well?’

Is our world changing? Maybe. It takes a majority of us to make a change. It won’t happen with a few.

But wait – the new laws from Congress are to help consumers not be enslaved by their credit card debt! Congress is trying to say we can spend more and not pay as much, because of these new wonderful laws.

But – we will still be in debt until we change our habits!

Our Choice to make.


Crystals From God

Sunlight plays on the ice crystals coating my trees from last night’s ice storm. As they sparkle and catch the light I am joyfully entertained by the myriad of colors exuding from their surface.

Dazzling whites, golds, blues, greens, reds – so many colors I can’t name them all. Branches shimmer and sway in the wind, with their ice coatings creating a delight to gaze upon.

How can one ice storm bring so much beauty? As I stand watching I am overwhelmed with a sense of God’s Glory being displayed by a simple ice storm.

Who else could decorate cold barren seemingly lifeless trees, making them seem priceless. I wanted to go pick the diamonds I see sparkling from the trees. I would be rich!

But I am rich, because I know God, the creator of this marvel. I do not need diamonds, or any other kind of gemstone to be rich. I only have to admire the handiwork of God, letting it flow over my soul, healing me.

Jesus tells us that the lilies of the field were clothed better than King Solomon in all his finest. Today my trees were dressed finer than I ever expect to dress.

So I decided to take a walk amongst the beauty. In a stand of river birch, when I stood still, I could hear the clacking of the branches coated with ice. It was like a low tone bell calling. When I moved away from the trees the world was once again silent. As I moved back into the grove I listened to God’s music, cherishing this moment as I was not sure if it would ever happen again to me.

God can be like that. He shows you a part of His creation, and lets you decide to cherish it or pass it by. Today I choose to cherish this amazing beauty.

My prayer is to always be awake to God’s creation as I am today.

Are You In Tune With Your World?

“Theologian Karl Barth is said to have observed that the Christian of today should have a Bible in one hand and a newspaper in the other.” from introduction to: “Paths to Prayer” by Patricia D. Brown

This statement I believe to be true. How can we be relevant to others in our world if we do not know what is happening around us?

As children we consider many adults as: ‘Not being with it’ or ‘Not cool!’ or ‘Whatever!’  As such we do not listen to someone like this, and we disrespect them, because we feel they do not really understand the current paradigm in which we live. They ‘Just don’t get it!’

What did Jesus do? He traveled in both the circles of the poor and the rich. He dined in the homes of both. He talked with both at the temple where he taught. He healed both rich and poor. What about the middle class? I am not sure that there was one in the time of Jesus. There were the haves and have-nots.

When you associate with others, as Jesus did, you begin to understand who they are and what they value. Provided you listen to them and truly care to understand what they say. I believe our Lord did care about others enough to learn what they cared about. I believe Jesus listened to others, as well as taught.

By leaving my comfort zone, staying current with society and learning about others, I can become more compassionate and loving. I think that is what we are called to be as Christians – Caring, Loving, Real and Present individuals to others we meet.

Praying With & For Others

Some of you reading my blog have prayed for me, with me, or I have prayed for you.

Whichever it is I dedicate this verse to you:

The Lord bless you and keep you;

The Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you;

The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6: 24-26 NIV

I hope you feel blessed.  I sure do!   🙂

For those who have not prayed for me – Please do so. I am blessed by God Almighty because of all the prayers prayed for me.

For those who want me to pray for you, send me an email with your request – then pray along with me, in truth believing your request will be answered!

Jan@lazodavis.com

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.  Psalm 19:14 NASB

The Earth Is Resting – Are We?

It is snowing once again, yet many people are wondering when Spring will come. They are tired of snow and winter.

Me – I am watching the Earth rest from it’s labors under a blanket of snow. As the snow and rain water the earth, Renewal is taking place. Soon we will have our Spring and it will be grand and glorious! God’s statements in springtime are a wonder to behold.

When do we take time to Renew? To recharge ourselves from the battles we fight which drain our resources?

Or do we?

We expect a car to need gas when the tank is near empty. Why do we expect ourselves to be able to run on empty?

Maybe I am not asking the right question.

Is the right question: How do we refill our tank when we are on empty?

I think it differs for us all, but we do have similarities to Renewal.

  • I believe we must take time to dwell with God in Adoration of God. God Inhabits Praise!
  • Leaving work and exercising the other half of our brain
  • Finding time to spend with a friend chatting, or writing a letter
  • Reading and exercising my brain
  • Exercising my body
  • Sitting quietly in meditation
  • ETC – You get the concept

The key is to have a way to recharge ourselves, because today it is not built into our world. We are expected to Always be on the GO!!! and as such don’t even think we need to recharge, when in simple truth we do.