Saturday, September 25, 2010

Of Batteries and parking spaces

I've been putting off my car registration.

I haven't been up to par, so I've been in bed mostly.  Yesterday was the due date.  So I went out to my car, papers in hand.

The battery was dead.

I called AAA, bless their hearts, and  a nice young man arrived shortly thereafter.  He hooked up his instrument - then double checked it to see if it was even working because - drum roll please- not only had the battery died temporarily, it had died permanently.  Can't hold a charge.  Nothing.  Nada. Zip.


Ok.  What can I do? I asked hopefully (please let there be a simple, painless answer!!)


The nice young man (hereafter known as NYM)  had come prepared with a battery (desert heat kills batteries on average in 2 years.  Because I don't drive often, mine lasted 4)  He was able to change it out for me in about a half hour and I was on my way.

I had to get a smog check.  Usually this entails at least a half hour or more, depending on the crush, at a hot smelly garage (no offense to car magicians).  A new "Speedy smog" kiosk had opened near home so I thought I'd try it.  Five painless minutes late I was done! 

but  - it failed the test.

AAAAAAAAAAck!  Lord, Help!

This NYM explained that it could be from a new battery or....THAT'S IT! I cried, I HAD ONE PUT IN TODAY!!!

"Today?" he said, astonished. " Lady, it takes a week to two weeks of driving for the gases of a new battery to clear out enough to pass this test."

Aghast, I replied forlornly, "ummm, it's due today..."

The NYM told me not to worry, just go to the DMV and get an extension.  It's early in the day, the DMV is still open.

"just' go get an extension.

Our DMV has lines millions of people long ( at least it feels that way)  You often spend hours waiting to be called. And the parking reflects it.

We joined the pack of circling sharks looking for a space.  Cars were left, hap-hazard and illegally parked all over the place.  I prayed out loud, asking God to help.

And - BOOM!!! - right in front of me a car pulled out - and it was in the shade!!  Hosanna!!  Praise You Lord! 

My sil (sister in law) was with me, and she pushed my wheelchair thru the door, to the end of a long h/c info line. This state cares about h/c folks, and has a special line.  The line is shorter( but sometimes it feels longer.)

A NYMguard arrived and said," ma'am "(ick)" the h/c line is now over there" and pointed us to a line marked h/c and there was only one person there.

He was short, to the point, and done.

The exhausted, bored, overworked, hard-looking gent barked "NEXT!"

I explained my situation-"youwantanextension" he broke in.  He turned to his computer, punched in some numbers, printed it out, stamped it , told me to post it in the right-hand back window of my car -


Less than 10 minutes had elapsed since parking.

Since I became ill, it has never ceased to amaze me how lovingly He provides for me.  On good days, I may have to walk a bit, things may take a little longer.  But when I"m really not doing well, parking spaces appear miraculously.  Crusty people become sweethearts.  Needed batteries appear from emergency aid trucks.  And trees grow for years just to shade my vehicle on a hot end-of-summer day in the desert.

What an awesome God we serve!  He showers blessings on the most undeserving people - like me - and smooths rough spots, straightens roads, and makes trees grow, just there.

My heart falls, face down, before Him, in thankful worship.

Spend just a moment thinking of the blessings that crop up in your day, often even unasked for - they don't happen by chance. 

Someone is thinking of you with love.

And that Someone is named Jesus.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A little Hamaan music, please!

I was blessed to go to Israel in 2006.  We happened to be present for the feast of Purim.  The kids dress up as characters from the book of Esther and go to synagogue laden with noisemakers.  Everybody brings noisemakers!  The book of Esther is then read aloud, and every time the name of Hamaan is read, they stomp their feet, whirl their noisemakers, and hiss, drowning out every trace of him.

The children learn from this, first - that God loves a good party, and second - that even when His is not seen or mentioned, He is in absolute control.

The "Wailing Wall"
In our lives, we tend not to mention suffering or disease as "coming from God."  We ask Him to deliver us from this evil and try to drown it out with noise and prayer.  But I am slowly learning that, sometimes, this very illness is the answer to some of the deepest prayers of my heart, and even if He is not seen or mentioned, He has absolute control over the intensity and duration of anything He allows into my life.

I am learning that He is moving in dynamic ways, just beyond my range of vision, yet is as close as breathing.  He is never so near or tender as when He is silent and unseen.

And Jesus, Who knows what it means to be alone, helpless and in pain, can minister to us through His Holy Spirit when we open ourselves to Him.  Trusting Him, silent and unseen, allows us to praise and turn from even severe pain to worship.  I'm not saying the pain goes away, but being in the awesome one-to-one presence of God moves my spirit to a different place altogether.

I pray that you will find this to be an effective weapon - for we enter into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

Friday, September 17, 2010

I reconnected with an old friend the other day - and it set me to thinking.

When her last daughter was born, they called with great excitement to tell me the name. I was overjoyed that her little one had arrived safely, and got used to the new name in my mind. But I was wrong.

When the birth announcement came, I discovered that they had, indeed, done me the honor of naming her middle name after me! I spell it differently than the norm, the difference being a single letter - and when they told me they what they had named her, I automatically "saw" her name in writing with the ordinary spelling. When the announcement arrived, I realized the honor I'd been given. It is one that has amazed and blessed me since that day - and the daughter is now in college, seeking to find her own path, her own walk with Jesus, her own way in the world.

What a dufus I can be! It still bothers me that it didn't "click" while I was talking to them that morning! But once a moment is lost...

And today it gave me pause again. I started thinking about how the written word is more solid of a standing, and what a difference one letter can make!

And how awesome it is to know that God took such amazing precautions in creating the Word we rely on.

To be a scribe in the Jewish world was a post of honor. The scribes would practice their craft for years until being scrupulously judged worthy of copying, onto a vellum scroll, any part of the Word.

They would begin by taking a ritual bath. Then they would begin counting the number of consonants in the passage they were to copy. Next they counted the vowels. Next they counted the number of words. Next the spaces between the words. Next the verbs. Next the nouns...and so on until the copy would be able to be reproduced exactly.

On vellum, it is possible to scrape off a calligraphic mistake. But not for a scribe of the Word. One error, no matter how miniscule, and the vellum would be burnt to embers.

Also, only the most accomplished scribe could transcribe the Name of God. He would have to stop, take another ritual bath, change clothes, transcribe the YHWH, representing His Name, often in gold leaf or blood red, take another bath, and change back into "ordinary" clothes to continue.

All work was checked carefully after finishing for errors.

And this Word has come down to us so complete, it has enabled the Bible "Codes", numeric letter sequencing that, according to the mystical rabbis, has every event that will/has ever happened in our world encoded in it. This was deduced hundreds of years ago (they also deduced from the Word that the world has at least 10 dimensions, something recently verified by quantum physics!). They have found astounding things in the Word - and all because it is written, and it was protected by our Father when it was written down for us.

Jesus could answer the evil one with the words "It is written..." and it ended the argument.

The most amazing and astounding thing is, we can do the same! "It is written" is our fortress in the swirl of temptations, in the breaking of strongholds, in the seeking of comfort and strength. It is a solid fortress in our ever changing world.

Immerse yourself in it, day by day, and your strength in Him will be as solid as the Rock it speaks of.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

September 7 2010

I've not been up to par, so I've had to skip a few days. I'm sure my fellow CI friends will understand, yet I want to apologize. So, sorry about that!

Isaiah 35:4
"Say to those who are of a fearful and hasty heart, 'Be strong, fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance :with the recompense of God He will come and save you.'"

I myself have a fearful and hasty heart. Do you?

What I am afraid of, I cry out to God to shield me from, or to take it away - and do it now, please! I want a quick end to whatever has made me afraid or given me pain.

And His answer to me is, "Be strong! Fear not!"

I can force myself to be strong. And, if God commands me not to be fearful, there must be a way to do that, too, for He never commands me to do something I cannot do.

The power lies in His promises.

I must feed on His Word and store up His promises in my heart.My illness is teaching me to trust Him and not depend on how I understand a situation (Proverbs 3:5-6) In temptation or trial I must look for the way of escape, for He has promised there will be one, and that He will never give me more than I can bear (1Cor 13:10).

And there are hundreds more of His promises in His Word, waiting for me to find them, trust them, rely on them.

He has given me the tools - and He has given you the same tools. We must force ourselves to put away our fear and search for them - to be still before Him (Psalm 46:10), knowing He is our God and He cannot lie (Numbers 23:19), remembering that His arms are always under us, and they are everlasting (Deuteronomy 33:27).