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No ‘Under the Radar’ with God!

5 Aug

I have to laugh when I see pictures or videos of dogs who think their owners can’t see them. Here are three trying to hide “under the radar.”

DogsHiding_ISeeYou_LOLwithGod

It’s been said radar had a huge impact on how World War II was fought and won. Radar helps ships “see” with radio waves. It helps the crew of a ship know where enemy ships and aircraft are located, see through the fog in the daytime and navigate at night.

I always love it in military movies when a crew technician alerts the ship captain, “Sir, I see something on radar!” Then the captain can take appropriate action.

I’m reminded that God sees me in the great sea of humanity, even though I feel like a tiny blip on His radar screen.

In the story of Hagar, in Genesis 16, Sarai’s Egyptian slave was cast out from their presence, but the angel of the Lord “found” Hagar near a spring in the desert and gave her a message of promise and hope.

Then Hagar said (v. 13, NIV), “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.” In fact, the name of the well where Hagar rested was then named Beer Lahai Roi, meaning “a well to the Living One Who sees me.”

God always sees us. We can never fly “under the radar” of His presence (Psalm 139:7; Jeremiah 23:24).

But Hagar, in Genesis 16:13 (Amplified version) adds, “…have I here also seen [the future purposes or designs of] Him Who sees me?”

God not only sees us, He sees us with purpose. He not only sees our current situations or predicaments, He also sees our potential and what He will accomplish in and through us.

As I contemplated these verses, I thought, “Am I concerned about seeing others, or am I too fixed on my own life, unable to “think on the things of others” (1 Corinthians 10:24; Philippians 2:4, 21). Oh how we need the mind and eyes of the Savior! (Philippians 2:5)

It’s convicting to ask, “Do I see others with the same love, concern and grace that Jesus sees me?”

The Lord says to me,

“Beloved Daughter, I see you and I am presently working in your life. Now go see others with my eyes. See who they might be as I work in their lives.”

This means rejoicing when others rejoice and weeping when they weep (Romans 12:15), bearing the infirmities of the weak (Romans 15:1), and responding in love and kindness without drawing attention to myself (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). It means seeing potential in people instead of judging them, and encouraging rather than simply passing by.

I have much to learn about God’s eyes. I can see Him “seeing” others all throughout the scriptures, and He continually adjusts my vision.

These days, more people are showing up on my “radar” and it is my joy to love and serve them as the Lord leads.

God sees. Do you? What might seeing with God’s eyes change about your responses to our hurting, confused world?

– Graphics of dogs, courtesy of pexels.com (static.pexels.com/photos/9440/light-dog-lamp-kitchen.jpg) and http://theverybesttop10.com/dogs-hiding/

 – Dawn

The Buddy System

1 Aug

As a young mom of two boys, I often wondered why socks were missing. Now I know …

I saw a funny comic by comic artist Lonnie Easterling. Matched sets of socks approached an open washing machine. On the wall behind the machine was a sign that read, “Field Trip Today!”

The first set of socks looked back over the group and said, “Okay! Everyone remember the Buddy System!”

LOL.

When my in-laws and I went on vacation last year, we left our dogs at a kennel … together. They are doggie buddies and loved their time together. BuddiesAt the window_2013

Beau, a chihuahua-terrier mix, and my maltipoo, Roscoe, have been buddies since puppyhood, and they still love to get together for a few days. When Beau stays for a while at the “Wilson Doggie Resort,” these pals are inseparable.

This photo shows them sharing the platform by my desk, peering through the screen, under the blinds, to see who might be passing by.

For better or worse, they lead each other into all sorts of escapades.

Buddies can do that. That’s why the Bible tells us to choose our friends carefully (Proverbs 12:26). Wrong buddies can lead us astray

When I lived in Iceland as a teen, there were days that got “blizzardy,” and we were told not to venture out into the snow alone. “Take a buddy with you,” I heard. “If you fall into a deep drift, your friend can help you get out … or if you fall in together, you can stay warm until help arrives.”

Now I never knew whether to take that “buddy system” advice seriously, but the concept sure did stick.  And later I found out it’s biblical. Ecclesiastes 4:9-11 says,Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone?”

We need buddies for the tough times. They can help us, or they can at least comfort us until the tough times pass.

The biblical patriarch Job didn’t have comforting buddies. Oh, they wailed with him over his circumstances, but I don’t remember too many encouraging words. And his wife didn’t help much either. (Of course, I was reminded she went through those trials with Job too — many of the same losses!) I would hope that Job, being the spiritual leader of the family, could counsel her with the same counsel he ended up giving his own heart.

But I know I need “buddies.”

I didn’t always believe that. I was pretty self-sufficient.

I thought I’d only need buddies for hard times. I didn’t have a clue.

I didn’t realize I need buddies for growth, challenge, accountability, encouragement, vision and a whole lot of other positive things.

We were never meant to exist or function alone. God knew Adam needed a partner (Genesis 2:18). And He knows we need buddies (I call them my Sister-Girlfriends); we were created for community. The Bible says the disciples were sent out in twos (Mark 6:7; Luke 10:1). Probably for encouragement, but also because they likely had different gifts and skill sets!

I don’t consider God my “Buddy,” as many Christians do. No, he is my Father God – the Sovereign Ruler who loves me. But one of the truths I learned later in life is the concept of the strength of a “threefold cord” (Ecclesiastes 4:12). While this may be talking about a third person coming alongside to help two people, I also like to think that the Lord is the third partner. He is the partner in my marriage – the glue that made my Bob and I stick together in tough times. He is also the partner in many of my other relationships.

Yes, I need people. I don’t want to do life alone. And I don’t have to. My Father God is always with me (Deuteronomy 31:6; Isaiah 41:10; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5b; 1 Corinthians 3:16). I have the privilege to live for Him and bring Him glory – to live for His purposes – but it’s wonderful to know He cares about my needs too.

Knowing Him beats the Buddy System any day.

Who is your best earthly buddy? Have you told your buddy lately how thankful you are for her (or him)? Have you thanked the Lord today for His constant presence in your life?

– Dawn

Three Ways to Cope with ‘Windy Days’

7 Mar

Two guys were standing inside a building of a local theme park. They were looking outside, and it was WomanOnWindyDay_croppedan extremely windy day.

The area’s custodian, the one who had the job of sweeping up debris, was a very small woman (4’10″& 90 lbs) and she was having a rough time trying not to be blown away. When she asked her park manager what she should do, he replied: “You have a warm down jacket don’t you? Well put rocks in all the pockets!”

Then a minister, who was standing nearby, suggested she say a little prayer to ask the Lord to help her cope with the wind.

Then the park clown suggested she could kill two birds with one stone by saying the prayer she said each night. He said, “You know, the one that goes:’ Now I weigh me down to sweep…‘”

LOL!

All of us have “windy days,” don’t we? Days that threaten to knock us off our feet. Days that cause debris to flurry around us. Days that feel like hurricanes. All we want to do is survive.

Here are three ways to cope with the strong winds that blow through your life.

1. Be sure you are “weighted” correctly. At the park manager’s suggestion, the woman placed rocks in her pockets to help weigh her down. The Rock that is our secure foundation on “windy” days is the Lord (1 Corinthians 10:4; Matthew 7:24-25). We are founded on Jesus Christ, and we continue to build our lives on Him. His Word will help us stand in the storm and in every circumstance, and we will find our faith strengthened in the process.

2. Call out to God. The pastor’s advice in the humorous story above is certainly good counsel. When the winds of adversity come, cry out to the Lord (Psalm 57:2). Either the Lord will make the winds subside, just as He calmed the storm in Mark 4:37-40 – replacing fear with faith and giving you peace – or He will help you go through the storm as He did for Paul in Acts 27:14-44. He will deliver you out of your troubles (Psalm 37:17).

3. Rest in the Lord. The clown’s advice, though silly, had a bit of truth in it. He mentioned her bedtime prayers, suggesting the idea of sleep. Instead of fretting, we can rest knowing that God never slumbers (Psalm 121:3-5). He’s always watching, always aware of what’s going on in His children’s lives (Psalm 91:1, 5). We can “lie down and sleep in peace” (Psalm 4:8). But that “rest” continues even when we are awake (Psalm 37:7); we can have God’s peace all day long (John 14:27).

The One who is our “Refuge and Strength” is a “very present help in trouble,” and the secret of abiding in His peace is to “Be still” and know that He is who He says He is – the God of the universe (Psalm 46:1, 10a); and if God is for us, who or what can be against us? (Romans 8:31, 35, 37-39)

Who then is this that even the wind obeys Him? (Mark 4:41) It is Jesus, the Mighty God, our Refuge and Peace. I don’t know about you, but it helps me to know that God is in control of all things, even my Windy Days. Have you found this to be true?

– Dawn

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