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EXPERIENCING GOD’S PRESENCE (TWO WEEK EXPERIMENT!)

i THINK THIS IS GOING TO BE FUN AND EDIFYING!

THIS WEEK AND MEMORIAL DAY WEEK,

TOGETHER, WE ARE GOING TO ASK GOD TO HELP US EXPERIENCE

HIS PRESENCE, AND REPORT HERE.

HE COMES IN MANY WAYS.

PSALM 19 TELLS US THAT THE HEAVENS DECLARE HIS GLORY,

AND THE FIRMAMENT HIS HANDIWORK.

EVEN “UNBELIEVERS” HAVE A SENSE OF AWE.

IN MY LITTLE VILLAGE THE SUMMER TOURISTS

LINE THE SHORE IN THE HEART OF TOWN

AND CLAP WHEN THE SUN SINKS BELOW THE HORIZON.

THE SEASONS TOO ECHO HIS FAITHFULNESS.

WE HERE IN NORTHERN WISCONSIN WAIT AND WAIT FOR SPRING,

AND MAY BE TEMPTED TO SAY “WHERE IS THE PROMISE OF ITS COMING?”

YET COME SHE ALWAYS DOES, JUST AS HE WILL SURELY COME.

FORGET-ME-NOTS COVER OUR FORESTS,

REMINDING ME NOT TO FORGET HIM.

LIFE WHERE THERE HAD SEEMED TO BE NO LIFE,

THE RESURRECTION REFLECTED IN HIS HANDIWORK

MY LITTLE GARDEN COMES ALIVE,

AND THE TINY TREE I PLANTED TWELVE YEARS AGO,

IN REMEMBRANCE OF STEVE,

IS BIGGER EVERY SPRING, AND FAITHFULLY BURSTS INTO BLOSSOM.

CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS “GOD HAS GIVEN US TWO GREAT BOOKS,

THE BOOK OF NATURE AND OF SCRIPTURE

— AND THEY TALK ABOUT EACH OTHER.”

SO ONE WAY TO EXPERIENCE HIS PRESENCE IS TO GET OUTSIDE

AND MEDITATE ON HOW NATURE SPEAKS OF HIS PROMISES.

CONSIDER THE LILIES OF THE FIELD…

CONSIDER THE FAITHFULNESS OF THE SEASONS…

CONSIDER THAT THE SONS OF ABRAHAM WILL BE MORE

THAN THE STARS IN THE SKY…

BUT THE MOST RELIABLE WAY TO EXPERIENCE HIS PRESENCE

IS THROUGH THE SCRIPTURE.

GEORGE MUELLER SAID:

THE FIRST AND FOREMOST DUTY OF A CHRISTIAN

IS TO GET HIS SOUL HAPPY IN THE LORD.

SO EVERY DAY IN THE NEXT TWO WEEKS,

GET INTO THE WORD, WHEREVER YOU HAPPEN TO BE STUDYING.

AND IF YOU ARE NOT ALREADY IN A PARTICULAR STUDY OR BOOK,

THEN CHOOSE ONE. OR CHOOSE TO MEMORIZE A FAVORITE CHAPTER.

ASK HIM TO MEET YOU, TO KISS YOU!

WALTER WANGERIN SAID,

“FAITH IS HARD WORK, BUT ALONG THE WAY, GOD WILL AMBUSH YOU.”

I AM PRAYING YOU GET “AMBUSHED” A FEW TIMES IN THE NEXT FEW WEEKS:

IN HIS WORD, IN UNUSUAL CIRCUMSTANCES OR TIMING, IN ANSWERS TO PRAYER, OR IN COMFORT WHEN YOU NEED IT MOST.

IT MAY COME THROUGH MUSIC OR ART, AS HAPPENED FOR OUR OWN CHRIS WHEN HER DANIEL WAS FIGHTING FOR HIS LIFE IN THE HOSPITAL,

THIS PAINTING IN THE WAITING ROOM SPOKE TO CHRIS,

REMINDING HER THAT HE WAS HER SHELTER IN THE STORM.

IT MAY BE THAT YOU WILL EXPERIENCE HIS PRESENCE WHEN YOU ARE

SEEKING TO GLORIFY HIM.

ERIC LIDDELL FAMOUSLY SAID, “WHEN I RUN, I FEEL HIS PLEASURE.”

YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE RUNNING IN THE OLYMPICS,

YOU MAY BE CUTTING UP VEGETABLES AND LISTENING TO A CHILD,

AND YOU SENSE GOD’S PLEASURE, AS BROTHER LAWRENCE WROTE ABOUT IN “PRACTICING THE PRESENCE OF GOD.”

LET’S ENDEAVOR TO BEGIN THE DAY GETTING OUR SOUL HAPPY IN THE LORD IN HIS WORD — AND THEN BE ALERT THROUGHOUT THE DAY, AND COME BACK AND REPORT HOW YOU HAVE SENSED HIS PRESENCE.

THERE WILL BE NO BIBLE STUDY OR SERMONS FROM ME —

YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN WITH THE WORD,

WITH CREATION,

WITH PRACTICING HIS PRESENCE.

BE CREATIVE —

NOW THAT OUR LINK WORKS, YOU CAN LINK US TO A PICTURE OR VIDEO

YOU POSTED ON FACEBOOK.

TELL US HOW GOD SPOKE TO YOU THROUGH HIS WORD — WHETHER YOU

WERE ON YOUR OWN, IN CHURCH, OR LISTENING TO A SERMON ONLINE.

TELL US HOWEVER YOU EXPERIENCE HIS PRESENCE.

BE ALERT TO BE AMAZED, AND I HOPE TO SEE REPORTS HERE EACH DAY!

I WILL JOYFULLY PARTICIPATE TOO!

BE CONCISE ENOUGH THAT WE ARE NOT OVERWHELMED,

BUT PLEASE STOP IN DAILY TO SHARE.

WE MAY EVEN HEAR FROM SOME OF OUR SILENT FOLLOWERS!

I CAN HARDLY WAIT TO SEE HOW GOD WILL MEET US.

THEN A NEW SUMMER STUDY WILL BEGIN THE FIRST SUNDAY IN JUNE.

1. How do you feel about this “experiment?” Will you participate for the next two weeks?

2. How did you experience His presence? (Report as often as you like!)

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254 comments

  1. I thought to the George Mueller quote this morning as I was taking my souls temperature and then to see that you’ve used it here, I already feel met by the Lord in that!
    I will pray now for all of us in this endeavor to be aware of Him.

  2. I apologize–I am posting and haven’t read yet–but wanted to update on Mary E.. I just got a text a few minutes ago from Mary, in the hospital–“Rough night. My port is totally clotted up, so will need to be replaced and I am septic-bacteria in the blood.”

    I’ve let her know we are all praying for her.

      1. Yes Lord, please be close today for our dear sister Mary.

    1. Oh……I’m so very sorry to hear this.  This sounds so worrisome.

      As Deanna said yesterday:  ‘speechless’  –  except for prayer.

    2. Lizzy, tell Mary we are praying. In the midst of the sepsis, God rules and may she experience the presence of the Spirit hovering over her and bringing His comfort though the rough nights.

  3. 1. How do you feel about this “experiment?” Will you participate for the next two weeks?

     

    I want to participate but I am scared! The Bible is HUGE!  Where do I start? I want knowledge and I guess  I don’t know the New Testament well, so maybe there? What book? Please make suggestions!

  4. 1. How do you feel about this “experiment?” Will you participate for the next two weeks?

     

    I want to participate ate but I am scared! The Bible is HUGE!  Where do I start? I want knowledge and I guess  I don’t know the New Testament well, so maybe there? What book? Please make suggestions!

    1. Not sure why this posted twice….

  5. 1. How do you feel about this “experiment?” Will you participate for the next two weeks?         I like this a lot!  It’s just right for me, for I will be gone half of this coming week, and not sure if I’ll have any internet.  But I can still participate on my own, and maybe ‘report’ back at the end of the week or next week.  

     

    You shared many striking quotes, Dee.  I’ve probably heard them all before, but they are thoughts that can really stick with a person.  I’m struck by Brother Lawrence’s words.   That is where I find myself so often.   And it surely helps me to know that whether I’m working in the kitchen or diligently reading and studying the Word,  or in prayer,  God is with me and tranquility can be my experience.

     

    I do find I often pray with the most focus as I engage in mundane tasks around the house.   I think Brother Lawrence was a cook or kitchen assistant in his monastery.  Cutting vegetables (as Dee pointed out), peeling potatoes, washing dishes, stirring oatmeal, vacuuming, tidying etc……any small task that doesn’t require my full attention…can be a time when I talk (usually aloud…..for I am usually alone)  to God and leave my burdens with Him.     But I also do so look forward to being outdoors and recording how God meets me there!

  6. 1.  Ooohh, I love experiments — and data gathering 😉   Perfect way to start this phase of retirement!!

    2.  Will start with last night — a non-nature post (although I am looking forward to getting outside to harvest my lawn when the weather clears up):  I watched the movie “Polycarp” on Amazon.  It was filled with Scripture.  I saw examples of faithfulness and even joy in suffering — and how the Word encouraged believers to remain faithful, love others in response to Jesus’ love.

    1. Thanks for the movie recommendation.  I’ve seen that on Amazon.  I will watch someday!    Welcome back.  🙂

      1. Not sure that I’d go so far as to make a recommendation.  What I liked was the Scripture and that it was a little educational.  But probably not great drama 🙂    I’d probably make it a recommendation for people who have Amazon Prime anyway and are stuck inside at the time!!!

  7. So here’s where I am gonna start in the Word:  I remember when we looked closely at George Mueller & “getting your soul happy in the Lord.”  I decided to search this blog to see when Dee first brought it up.  I think this is it…https://deebrestin.com/2013/10/how-to-enjoy-god-the-song-of-songs-lesson-11.  I enjoyed rereading how Steve applied this secret from Hudson Taylor and George Mueller.  I also appreciated that the first reference I found on this blog to George Mueller was during the Song of Songs study.  I’ve been thinking about that a lot lately anyway (long story 😉 )  — SO, I am going to begin this experiment by focusing on SoS 4:9ff     Looking forward to this!!

  8. I opened my eyes this morning and my verse, for the month of May, jumped out at me from my window.
    With every sun’s rising,
    surprise us with Your love,
    satisfy us with Your kindness.
    Then we will sing with joy and
    celebrate every day we are alive.  Psalm 90:14 (The Voice)
    I was overwhelmed by God’s greatness!

  9. 1. Love this and hope to practice “getting my soul happy in the Lord.” Instead of a “count your blessings notebook” I will title my notebook “Ambushed by God!” Hah! “Surprise!, says the Lord of Heaven. 🙂

  10. It is a dark rainy Sunday afternoon in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and I am grateful your pictures filled my day with the sunshine of Ephraim memories…sunset after sunset from Anderson Dock and blue forget me nots lining a trail in Peninsula Park.  And if you happen to look out the window you just might see 2 “old folks” with white hair celebrating cherry blossoms and another sunset across the bay.  We are just waiting for some sunshine!  But today God pleasures me with the gift of memories!

    Myrt Anderson

  11. Today, I experienced Jesus when praying for my Pastor. I sensed the Holy Spirit to pray for healing. So I did although I did not know “why.” Later, during worship, someone mentioned our Pastor was experiencing flu like symptoms. Jesus know what my Pastor needed! I am humbled by obeying.

  12. 2. How did you experience His presence?      Another ‘non nature’ post as it is cold, wet and windy outdoors.  But we had such a good experience today.  A few weeks ago, we met a couple about our age who is new to our church.  We sat right behind them and much to my surprise, her name is also Wanda.  🙂  (I don’t get this often)   I’ve sought them out the next few weeks and today, they came to talk with us.  They told us their basement  (they just moved here 6 weeks ago) had taken on water last night.  We offered that we could come over and help with clean up.  It ended up that the water wasn’t as much as we were expecting and honestly, it would be better for the insurance adjuster who is coming on Monday, to see the wet carpets as they are.  Nothing was in the way or being damaged by the water remaining overnight.  So, instead, we enjoyed a visit over coffee and it was so gratifying to get to know them a bit.  We hit if off in several ways.  We’ve attended our church for 2 years, but are still feeling like we’re in the beginning stage of making friends as couples.  This just seemed so right.  We all enjoyed the visit.  I felt like we truly left as friends.  The practical help ended up being nothing more than some practical advice, but the visit ended up being so much more than lending a hand.  I really felt that God had orchestrated this!  

      1. Yes I do!  Feels like an extra bit of mercy.  🙂

  13. A few weeks ago I said yes to mentoring a young woman with lots of problems.  We have had a lot of issues getting started, met once, and are back to my calling and not getting through to her.  Even with that, I am feeling God’s hand on this.  Also, last Friday I gave my boss her birthday gift from me. This is the gift, the loan, and the offer, where I am praying she will listen to up to three sermons on CD that talk about satisfaction being found only in Jesus.  She hasn’t mentioned it, and we will see how tomorrow goes.  So in both situations I am feeling God lead.  No matter what happens with either, having been obedient helps me to know His presence.

  14. 1. How do you feel about this “experiment”? Will you participate for the next two weeks?

     

    I feel a little bit scared, like Laura! But, I believe for me it is a good thing to be challenged to “be on my own” in the Word. I used to readily read and meditate on different passages of Scripture, but have found myself to have become somewhat lazy in this. When I am in a study, I am directed as to what to do, what to read….I think it will be good for me to be self-directed. But it can be overwhelming to open the Bible and wonder where to start? Yesterday, I simply began with Psalm 1, reading it aloud and seeing Jesus in it and praying it. I also love the quotes shared above by Charles Spurgeon, Brother Lawrence, and others. I find solace and comfort in being outside in nature. I am in a place now where my heart is hurting, saying goodbye to my oldest son and his wife as they headed off for Florida. Adam came over first, and we waited for his wife’s parents to drive her here as she had spent the night at her home with them. I had found the Bible I had given him years ago and had been keeping it in my room. We were sitting out in the garage as it was raining, and I was anxious as to how he might react….I said that I had something for him to “slip into his already packed car – it won’t take up much room!” and I went inside and got it and brought it out. He seemed surprised, saying that he thought it was packed in with his box of books that had been taken by the movers, and he seemed pleased and he put it in his trunk. I know he isn’t a regular church attender anymore, but I really believe that his heart is still soft towards the Lord, and it was soft when he was a child. I had written him a letter and slipped it into his graduation card and I wrote to him how I hope that he will seriously reflect on where he stands now with God, and how only He can truly fulfill all the desires and longings of his heart. I told him that God is the Author of his life’s story and that I release him into His hands. So I hope and pray that God will meet me in my loneliness and sadness.

      1. Adam and his fiancé were married at the courthouse in a legal ceremony as she was going to move with him to Florida. Her parents, grandmother, and my husband and I attended. They are planning a wedding for next April!

    1. Susan, I love that you saved Adam’s Bible and gave it to him with the note. What a sweet exchange. I will keep you (and him) in my prayers.

  15. Oh oh oh oh oh… I LOVE this study the next two weeks!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Lord come and melt our hearts these next two weeks through your word and your creation with your presence, your surprises, your kisses… and oh please ambush me.

  16. Just a quick update here on Mary E.–she feels some better this morning, the port is likely the cause of infection and will be replaced today.

  17. I realized after I posted yesterday that I had bought a study guide awhile ago called “Christianity Explained,” but had t read it yet. As I dove into the guide this morning I read about Jesus and the woman at the well. I read how He was “ready” and waited for the correct timing to present Himself to her. I will see where this passage takes me today and report back this evening 😉.

  18. Oh all these pays are so good! Yes I love the quotes & I love it when the Lord surprises me…last weekend over mother’s day I was in Houston at my youngest son’s uni graduation..sooo proud

    My hubby was a bit harsh & critical of me so I was down when I got home…the Lord restored my soul through Psalm 57 & His touch…then on my day off He met me at Lake Michigan & cheered me with His presence..we even skipped some stones & chuckled together! :). I got a huge hug from my son when he came home..melted my heart. I will be in Boston & Maine this week with my daughter for 5 days. Pls pray for a blessed time together & His Peace. Will catch up when I can. Good to be back 😍

  19. I can identify with this quote today.

    WALTER WANGERIN SAID,

    “FAITH IS HARD WORK, BUT ALONG THE WAY, GOD WILL AMBUSH YOU.”

     

    This is a nice idea for a change to share how we are seeing God in His Word and in nature. One of the reasons I like the idea is that I often find it hard to participate here as well as doing other Scripture study projects. I am beginning to study Isaiah right now. I have lots of resources for study (which I hope to use at length) but right now I am beginning with reading through it slowly, (only consulting the ESV’s outline, and then using ESV Study Bible study notes. I don’t want to get too distracted by others ideas before I let God show me what he wants me to see of the book as a whole). This morning I didn’t really feel like reading Isaiah, as I am slogging through the chapters that have oracles against various nations (chapters 13-27). It’s not exactly inspirational stuff at first glance. But God reminded me that he always speaks through his Word and I whispered a little prayer, asking for eyes to see and soldiered thru chapters 20 and 21. I can’t say I was ambushed, but I did appreciate the imagery of gathering darkness in judgment over the nations who attacked Israel and Judah, Isaiah as a watchman seeing (through prophecy) the coming judgment, plus I noted a verse that is repeated in Revelation “Fallen, fallen is Babylon”, and how refugees fleeing war is definitely not a new concept in our times.

     

  20. I think this “experiment” is a great idea.

    Reading the comments from so many and how God is at work in their lives is a blessing and encouraging.

    Winter has hung on unusually long for central Nebraska with us even having snowflakes Saturday morning after a number of days of cold and rain.  But yesterday dawned with sunshine and clear blue skies.  I love Sundays with the opportunity to worship with family and friends and hear God’s Word taught.  After lunch and a nap we were finally able to plant our annual flowers. The beauty of God’s creation now graces my front step.

    In the evening our college age granddaughter was babysitting her littler cousins and brought them over to play some yard games and my husband started a fire in the fire pit. That meant Smores. Can you say marshmallow mess! (-:  The parents picked up the 4 little ones and took them home to bed but the two older cousins just hung around late gazing at the fire and looking at the stars. Again God’s creation was amazingly on display last night.

    None of this was planned. God just ambushed us last night after a dreary week. I dare never to take Him for granted.

  21. Dee, thank you for this format over the next couple of weeks.   I’m still here, just back in the shadows.  But your challenge compels me to say something here.   Loved the words from Spurgeon:   God has given us two great books, the book of nature and of scripture.  

     

    After a long and brave battle with Alzheimers, my dad left this world for that better country just a few days ago.   My dad was winsome and fun-loving for all of his 88 years.   Our five children all had a unique place in his heart and they knew it.   Our adult daughter Annie wanted to plant something in his memory, so she went to a nursery, not sure what she was even looking for.  When she was about to give up and go home she spotted something.   Remembering her childhood days in his huge raspberry patch, she saw some small, fragile raspberry plants hiding behind some other bigger plants.  When she moved in closer, she discovered that they were called Meeker Raspberries and she knew.   My dad’s last name is Meeker.    The Lord knew that my little girl needed to know that He was aware of her sorrow and knew beforehand exactly when it would come.  She now has a small, healing raspberry patch.

     

    During the week of my dad’s rapid decline and passing, one of my indoor succulent plants unexpectedly sent off a shoot, high above the plant, that is now flowering out  –  to me, His silent compassion, understanding and proclamation of hope beyond this grave.

     

    When our dear baby daughter Abby passed away 36 years ago, my Jesus Tears plant went into full bloom as the Lord wept with me.    That plant just sent off a new runner over these past sorrowful days and I’m wondering and watching to see if it might be blooming again.  (Wanda, do you know the scientific name of this plant?   It sends off beautiful clusters of flowers with sweet tasting tears at the tips of each tiny flower.)

     

    Needing for our Lord to make me attentive to how He speaks.  Grateful for this study to encourage me to look for him in the daily.  Spending more time in my yard.

     

     

     
    CHARLES SPURGEON SAYS “GOD HAS GIVEN US TWO GREAT BOOKS,
    THE BOOK OF NATURE AND OF SCRIPTURE
    — AND THEY TALK ABOUT EACH OTHER.”

    1. Oh Nila, I’m so sorry about your dads passing. I will pray for your family (although it seems that God is very near). Such a sweet post!

    2. Nila-what a sweet post. Meeker raspberries. I am sure the taste will be winsome. 🙂

    3. Dear Nila… so sorry about your Dad & little baby Abby 🙁     The Lord has truly ministered to u in precious ways. May He continue to heal & surpirise u!

    4. Beautiful Nila, I love the raspberries story.

    5. Nila, I am truly blessed to read your description of your dad, a man who was winsome and fun-loving and that your children all knew that they had a special place in his heart. What a beautiful legacy he has left you all. Yet, I am sorry for his passing as I know you will miss him dearly, and am praying for you and your family. The story of the Meeker raspberries is amazing! That was definitely not a coincidence, that was God!

    6. The Meeker raspberries also made me think of just how personal our God is!

    7. Nila, Meeker raspberries — what a gift!  Interesting — I haven’t heard of a Jesus’ Tears plant.  Will have to check that out.  My plants & gardening life was put on hold a couple of years ago.  During the recent rains, I spent hours reading and dreaming about future gardening possibilities.  I will add Jesus Tears to my reading list.

      Weed pulling has been my stress reliever since I was in grade school — but I think I will be resorting to chemicals now.

      Praying that God will continue to encourage and strengthen you through nature, music, and the Word

  22. Sorry to not be joining in yet–hope to soon but life is a little crazy right now. I did want to update here though too on Mary E.-new update just now-port is getting removed today at 2:30, she will not be going home today; having a consult with infectious disease Dr for a plan. She so appreciates the prayers!!

  23. Hi, Ladies. My name is Tiffany. One way that the Lord recently reminded me of his presence was while grocery shopping. I had taken another woman with me who was in desperate need of Christ. Our entire conversation was centered on him and his forgiveness and grace. She was struggling with a very heavy burden and I was trying to point her to the Lord during our commute to the store. After we arrived in the store, a lyric began running in my mind with a tune, but I couldn’t remember the song’s title or other lyrics. I just kept hearing “bursting forth into glorious day.” My phone’s battery had died so I was even unable to google it. So- I was humming the portion I knew and gave praises to the Lord for his tune. I dropped off my friend, turned on the radio, and shortly after the song was on the radio! It was “In Christ Alone”. I was immediately awe struck and so grateful to be able to know that he was ministering to me even while trying to witness during this difficult conversation.

    1. Tiffany, I loved the story about the song, you just know that God is speaking to you when something like that happens. And your boldness in speaking to your friend in desperate need of Christ.

  24. It is neither nature nor scripture, but my boss got back to me today on the birthday present I left for her.  She accepted the gift,  tried to play the CDs but didn’t have the right player, and said yes to dinner at my home next month.  She said we can talk about the CDs then, and I can tell her what they are about.  Talk about an open door!  I am scared and excited both.  AND I will be meeting with my mentoree in the morning.

    Please keep praying for my boss. Her name is Maria. She is an extremely intelligent and strong woman who doesn’t have any spiritual moorings.  And for Breanne, the young gal I am mentoring.  I can’t share any details, but she has a lot of troubles. She is a baby Christian with tons of baggage.

    So many people and things to pray for…. Mary E, Nila, Laura dancer, all of us, really.

    Lord, we lift up Your name, knowing that we really only see correctly when we are looking at You.  Please turn each of our hearts more consistently to You.  Help us to see You in scripture, in nature, and in the circumstances of our lives.  Please bring healing and peace to our sisters here. Bless Dee for all the time she invests on this blog, and enrich her times with you.  We pray in Your holy name.

  25. This morning the skies were cloudy and I thought of my husband and the bereaved family he was going to minister to at around 11 AM. The cemetery where the burial will be is in a very open, elevated area  and where the wind can be very strong. I prayed for a breakthrough in the weather. At about 900, the rains came. but by 10-ish or so, the skies cleared. Thank you, Lord! Later, my husband called and said the service and the burial later went very well. And there were more people who came than expected to offer the ministry of presence. And speaking of the “ministry of presence” after school today, 2 friends of mine “happened” to be just available to be there for me, one to share her beautiful flowers as she showed us her garden (beautiful columbines in hues of yellow, lavender, pink among a few) and the other for a walk, good conversation and dinner. Very blessed by very unexpected circumstances and people-ambushed by God.

  26. In the car on the way home from church. My second one with autism who is on the fence spiritually-he looks up to my oldest-but doesn’t claim to be an atheist thankfully. 🙂 He piped up..which never happens..”I actually got something out of this sermon..(it is on virtues and vices)…I saw how I am not really in nature a “good person” and so I want that to change.”  It’s a start. I believe God has his hand on him and God’s timing isn’t the same as mine thankfully. 🙂 So this was a kiss.

  27. Mary E. update- just received a text from her this morning–she feels “so much better” and “I desperately want to go home!” She’s struggles to sleep there. They did more blood cultures this morning. I will continue to update as I hear (here and on FB)

  28. I appreciated Dee’s comment that “the most reliable way to experience His presence is through Scripture.” and that George Mueller said: The first and foremost duty of a Christian is to get his soul happy in the Lord.

    I found the pic of George Mueller on the blog rather delightful because of his little smile. It is very unusual to see bearded older men smiling in pictures taken during that era.  He reflects a soul happy in the Lord in his picture.

    The first of the year I started my Bible reading with a goal of  reading through the Gospels. I generally read a chapter a day but I have tried to take my time doing this.  I am reading Warren Wiersbe’s commentary after I read the scripture  if I have time.  I just finished Luke and today started John.  It has been refreshing to focus on Jesus.  Since The theme of John’s Gospel is that Jesus is the Son of God and having just finished the study of the Trinity on the blog here it just reads richer for me.

  29. I thought my Lilac bushes were not flowering this yr & I was disappointed…but yesterday I stepped outside & the fragrance of lilacs filled the air! All the bushes have blooms, late, but there & so beautiful. Thank You Lord! He reaches my heart thro all my senses! He also ministered to me a few days ago thro Is 27:2-3…”A vineyard beloved & lovely…I the Lord am its Keeper; I water it every moment; lest anyone harm it. I guard & keep it night & day.” I felt His hugs & kiss on my hurting soul. Such a tender Shepherd. 🙂

  30. Recently we started a women’s prayer group that meets every other week at the church.  Even though we meet in a little church in an abandoned town, we have had a few in attendance who really feel the call to pray for our church, local area, and our country. I debated whether I would make it this week, but was fearful that I would miss out on a special blessing and of course, God’s presence was so strong!  As went from room to room, from praise in the sanctuary to the cross for confession and then to the hall for intercessory prayer, I felt all the burdens of this world roll off at the cross and I was able to give “popcorn” thanks at the end of a wonderful hour.

    1. Oh that sounds wonderful Sandy!

  31. Blessed with Scriptures shared by Adrian Rogers in this message “Peace in the midst of storm”. Thank you, Lord for your peace in the midst of the storm of my loved ones. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eQfEzow2890

  32. This is my 1st time here and just reading some of the comments, amazing and beautiful. I just want to say, you touch my heart, your words of inspiration, just lovely. Thank you. 

  33. So I have wondered where God would lead me for this 2 weeks. Lost at first but now focused…

     

    Yesterday I read about the woman at the well. I never felt like He was speaking to me through the day, so I continued with reading Mark this morning (as per my book Christianity Explained) learning  all about Jesus being an authority over everything including man. Then this evening I listened to a Nancy Demoss Wogelmuth podcast about Jesus and His place next to God; specifically Psalm 110 where King David writes about God (LORD) and his Lord (the Messiah). He is in charge! I am getting the feeling that I need to trust more in Him. In all these situations He is all knowing. It is comforting to know that Jesus is the One who knows all, is all, and is directing the symphony from the right hand of God.

    1. Laura–SO GOOD: ” It is comforting to know that Jesus is the One who knows all, is all, and is directing the symphony from the right hand of God”

      1. 👍

  34. My niece has had a very rough road as an adult. Her husband has had mental illness and addiction issues, she has has a difficult time with her job, she adopted a child who is a joy but there have been hurdles in that too. She moved recently and had no furniture other than beds (another difficult story) she had recently repaid some of the money I had loaned her. I was on the fence about cashing the check, it was paid through online bill pay so the money was out of her account already.
    My friend from church had purchased new couches and was attempting to sell hers, no one was replying to her posts. Bill and I agreed to use the check my niece had sent and make up the difference and buy the couches for her. Both women were so blessed and pleased. It gave us great joy to be able to help both of them. I love how God orchestrated the timing of it all, he knows what we need 🙂

    1. Oh, Chris. Your generosity so touches my heart. It is so touching to hear how God blessed them and gave you great joy in the giving.

  35. Jesus loves me so. Be still my soul. He holds me fast. A special blessing today in song by Kristyn Getty. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=936BapRFHaQ

    1. This song has really been ministering to me lately. Thanks for sharing it. I need the reminder today.

    1. I love that you have such opportunities to be a light there in your community Dee.

    2. Dee,

      This is a really tender entry and one that I deeply resonate with in my day to day life.  You have said so well what I have been experiencing for awhile now in increasingly disturbing ways in my every day conversations with many who I long to see come to walk with Christ and experience His new life!  I have also been smiling because 1 John was my choice a year ago as my first book of the Bible to memorize…..I failed at my first attempt but have come back to it in the recent weeks and am energized to keep on keeping on.  What a gem it is when our spirits are troubled by false teaching and we are weary along the way……I don’t know another book of the Bible that is as searing and thunderous….yet overflowing with the Lord’s LOVE.  Well, maybe Isaiah…….  🙂  I’m currently leading a study in John (excellent, deep study guide by Kathleen Buswell Nielson) and I hope you don’t mind that I lifted your quote in it’s entirety as the perfect help for one of our questions.  You nailed it!  So glad I came to look through the blog today – these many entries are all so lovely and heartening.

      1. Love seeing you here, Jackie! I was thinking of you just yesterday! So weird…then you show up here 😉. I usually think of you when I hear “our song (Good, Good Father.)” Interested to learn more about what you described here as interesting conversations with others, as Dee described also.

  36. Life is going to get very busy at my household through this Memorial Day weekend. I had an 88 year old Aunt who passed away yesterday afternoon.  She had never married but family will be traveling here from several states for the funeral so we will be having an unplanned reunion, sort of. My 92 year old mother and my brothers and their wives will be staying at my home. My Aunt was an invalid and had been in a care home here for almost 10 years. So my home will be the gathering point for my Aunt’s surviving 2 brothers and 2 sisters and a number of cousins. I am involved with helping my 85 year old Aunt plan the services today. And with making calls. I also have been planning for 25 of my husband’s family coming to our home on Monday Memorial Day for a planned family reunion and cook out.

    I would appreciate prayer for strength. I am not a naturally high energy person. So this all stretches me. Also I feel the Lord might have me to share some kind of tribute at the services.  There will be some difficult people coming for the funeral and I desire to practice wisdom and grace through this time.  But most will be a joy to have.   Spiritually it is a delight to think of my aunt set free and now with the Lord.   We are blessed as a family to know  my Aunt had placed her hope in Jesus.  My son will have the services and will preach the gospel clearly and winsomely.  Trusting God to do a good work through it all.

    1. Wow, Bev. What a lot on your plate! Sorry for your loss, but a blessing that your elderly aunt is released from this world of cares and set free with the Lord. Will be praying for stamina, wisdom, grace and comfort for you!

    2. The Lord will be your strength and your guide, Bev. Busy week-end sounds like but Jesus will be there. He will be your anchor.

    3. Praying for you Bev as you practice hospitality and deal with people both dear and difficult.

  37. So I have wondered where God would lead me for this 2 weeks. Lost at first but now focused…

     

    Yesterday I read about the woman at the well. I never felt like He was speaking to me through the day, so I continued with reading Mark this morning (as per my book Christianity Explained) learning  all about Jesus being an authority over everything including man. Then this evening I listened to a Nancy Demoss Wogelmuth podcast about Jesus and His place next to God; specifically Psalm 110 where King David writes about God (LORD) and his Lord (the Messiah). He is in charge! I am getting the feeling that I need to trust more in Him. In all these situations He is all knowing. It is comforting to know that Jesus is the One who knows all, is all, and is directing the symphony from the right hand of God.

    1. This is great stuff Laura, so glad to know that truths are coming alive to you and deepening your faith!

      1. 👍

  38. I needed to meet with our director and counselor for my health science program to brainstorm/evaluate the new curriculum I started this year. I was overwhelmed by the complexity of it all and asked God for wisdom. James 1:5 I was led to write my proposal/ideas in paper and used a table to compare/contrast what we are offering. I am thankful that between the three of us, we agreed on a path to take for the coming year. I felt God’s presence all through out the conversation and can therefore move forward from this point. God is good.

  39. Today I read Mark 4, which has several parables about growing seeds and harvesting them. As I reflected back on yesterday’s events, I realized there was a connection. Let me explain.

     

    I have a very difficult bunch of 11th graders I teach in the middle of the day. Let’s just say they don’t appreciate me or my course too much and find ways to make my life miserable for 90 minutes each day. I feel like I have run a marathon after this class each day and it is a miserable experience for sure. My boss has allowed me to use a project based learning experience for the class because a traditional track doesn’t work well. I like to call it “applied chemistry,” where we study real world problems and apply the chemistry to them. One of the projects is studying near earth ozone using an experimental bioindicator garden and an ozone monitor.

     

    Our school has been undergoing a major renovation over the last year and the garden area has been fairly destroyed with construction debris (large hunks of concrete and such). I am nervous about taking the entire class out at the same time (they act like kindergarteners often), so I have created a system where 6 students go out with me and the rest are working back in the classroom with a para-professional. You get the picture. So, yesterday we began the project and during and after the class was over I felt peaceful! The students were assignment their plants to care for, measure, and report on; we weeded and raked in the garden. Looking back, I sensed that God was with me and I didn’t feel exhausted at the end of class! Digging in the dirt (although I am not a gardener) was cathartic.

     

    How do I know He has been there? Prior to going out yesterday, a group of students had been talking about Jesus! This is not the first time a group (different) has done this. I am not very good at joining in because I don’t know if I will be admonished by my administration for doing so, so I have trended lightly in class. I just listened yesterday as they (not really the believing type) said, “Jesus wasn’t real; how could he go to heaven?” “He was real but people don’t believe he was the Messiah,” etc. this was spurned on  because another student (one I know is a Christian) took it upon himself to “bless” people during lunch yesterday! This student really caused an uproar and most likely will be spoken to today. I would love to give them “a lesson,” but here is where I fall short as a Christian….what do I say? Will I get in trouble? Do I come back after and  bring it back up (today)? Didn’t I miss the moment? Am I embarrassed of my faith?  I’m not very good on the spur of the moment, and yet, the Bible tells me I am supposed to be ready at any time. Sad today, that I missed another chance to talk about God. Maybe I will bring it back up in a couple of weeks when school is just getting out!

     

     

    1. Laura, this is all so encouraging! You are walking a fine line, I’m sure, working in the public school system and having to be cautious about what you say. Yet, He is moving….you did not bring up or orchestrate the conversation you overheard. Your students may be learning more about Him than you realize, just by observing you!

    2. Laura, what a fine line you walk teaching in a dark place. Yet, God is there, as is evident from your stories. Praying that God will give you tenderness, wisdom, sensitivity and courage to speak for Jesus at the right time.

  40. My husband is on his annual crazy bicycle trip. They are a group of 8 cycling from Pittsburgh to Washington DC. My boss took some time off and so I am free and going and visit my son and his wife in Las Vegas. We talked about it on Mothers Day, and he texted me back that Joanne had taken this upcoming weekend off so they could go to a concert but that he had never purchased tickets for it, then flights were cheap… Providence 🙂
    I have no affection for Las Vegas, I hate that they live there (they work in the hospitality industry and Joanne’s family lives there)  I pray that the darkness will make them crave the Light. Joe made a profession of faith as a child but shows very little connection to the Lord. Joanne is Laotian and buddhist but she is a wonderful person who loves me and is drawn to truth. If God lays them and me on your hearts I would appreciate your prayers for this weekend.

    1. Chris, praying for you that God will use you as you visit Joe and Joanne in Las Vegas. God is preparing the heart of Joanne – so beautiful!

  41. I hope to be able to share soon some of the ways God is truly “ambushing” me and my family lately but it has been amazing! I have been making a list of all the ways He is showing us His power, His love through our current situation. We are having our lives turned upside down by Him in the best way and I have never in my life felt more dependent and needy of Him and yet more overpowered by His abundance of care for us. We have huge unknowns ahead but He is showing me through little details and big ones–He wants to hear every need, He wants me to bring it, every detail, lay it down, and trust Him.  He is good. He is faithful. “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7

  42. mary e. update–her blood cultures this morning are showing no growth (good news!), she should go home sometimes today after they get a PICC line in

    1. Eager to hear your God ambushing moments, Lizzy. And thanks for the update on mary e. So glad that she may be able to go home today.

    1. Agreed, looking forward to seeing your list! And thank you for the news on Mary, so glad she is able to be going home today.

  43. Chris, praying for your trip and your family there. Las Vegas is not one of my favorite places either. But I have two different friends at our church who moved to our little town from there in the last few years. They were both part of good churches with active ministries in the LasVega area. It has helped me see how God is alive and well in the darkness of “Sin City” (-:

    1. This is very encouraging to me Bev, thank you!

  44. When my parents moved from my childhood home four years ago, I was able to divide and take two small stalks of my mom’s beautiful peonies. But when I replanted them here, they didn’t look like they would survive. They were sickly and droopy looking and I gave up on them. But they lived, though didn’t bloom. This spring, I have larger, healthy looking plants and they each have several beautiful blooms! I am thankful they lived because they are meaningful to me and they remind me of better days when my mom would work outside in her garden and yard.

    1. Susan, how wonderful that the plants are growing and blooming! I’m happy for you.

    2. Susan, your post reminds me that some of God’s blessings take awhile!  That seems true whether the transplant is a plant or people.  Encouraging to me because I will be transplanted in a few months — and transplanting plants as well.

      1. Renee, you are elusive now aren’t you?? Should we be praying for a kidney donor/surgery?? Please let us know how you are dear sister!