Congratulations!

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for choosing love and for dreaming big 60 years ago in the face of those who couldn’t see, and didn’t believe.

Thank you for taking giant steps of faith to venture far and wide believing that if we just stayed together life would be good. You have always exemplified perseverance. Even when it looked like there was no way, God was faithful. Thank you for walking through the way that He made.

Thanks for choosing life and commitment and hope for the future because by your example your children, grandchildren, and now great grandchildren are choosing these values too.

Because I know you well, I know you never thought you were doing anything grand, but history tells a different story. Somewhere in heaven Hebrews 11 continues to be written. I feel sure a line has already been written, “Now by faith, Gary & Patricia Milford served God and…”

Thank you for being you and you. You’re a true story of how love and commitment and stubborn grit by faith in Jesus can overcome every hardship.
You are SO LOVED!

Here’s to many more years of watching God at work, weeping with joy, whispering gratitude and telling of God’s goodness for the generations!

Eyes on Jesus… You’re shining!
~lisa

When leaders sin…

David said to God, “Was it not I who ordered the fighting men to be counted? I, the shepherd, have sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Lord my God, let your hand fall on me and my family but do not let this plague remain on your people.”  1 Chronicles 21:17, NIV

~Obedience~

This is the word Holy Spirit has highlighted for me as a focus for spiritual growth in 2018.  It is an obedience unto God as a first priority.  I figure the best place to begin seeking for instruction is to dig into Scripture.

This past week I pulled out my oldest NIV Bible and began looking up Scripture from the concordance containing my focus word.  In the process, I landed in a goldmine of wisdom located in 1 Chronicles 21.

As I read through this chapter a number of times over several days, I was fascinated by the first sentence.  “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David…”  Immediately, we recognize the tempter speaking his native tongue, lies, to one of God’s beloved children.  I was reminded of the serpent who started up a life-altering conversation with Eve in Genesis.I have sinned

So, as I pondered this chapter, I realized that the truth of 1 Chronicles 21 is critical wisdom for anyone serving the Lord in leadership.  I want this hard learned and costly lesson of King David, who was a man after God’s own heart, to be etched in my memory for the next time Satan might want to incite me to disobey God.  I was asking Holy Spirit to do this for me.

While I am not a poet, as will become quite clear in just a moment, these words readily spilled out as a simple outline for future reference.  I pray you too will find the value of these truthful words as God calls you up to lead someone somewhere moving toward Him at some time or another.  You see, while we’re not all natural born leaders (aka shepherd boy David) God does call all of us to lead someone.

I believe as children of God it is our responsibility to be leading others in discipleship and remain as a disciple at the same time.  Ultimately, the highest leader in human terms is still subject to Almighty God.  The really good news is that our Father God hears our cries when we mess up and cry out for rescue.  He loves us deeply as we fumble with temptation and He always forgives us in repentance.

 

Satan with temptation was the inciter.

David intrigued with counting his kingdom was the decider.

Joab standing on the truth of God was the intervener.

Still, David enthralled with having his own way continued as the overruler.

God, always true to His character, was promise-keeper and discipliner.

David, at great cost, was convicted of his sin and became the repenter.

God mercifully heard David’s cry, yet still sent out the punish-er.

You see God turns His ear to His children’s urgent cry for rescue, yet consequences are necessary to make us wary of the tempter.

As a good Father, God made David the consequence decision maker.

Then punishment fell hard from the hands of God’s messenger.

David cried all the more for mercy, “I am the sinner”.

And gracious, merciful God, in the end, was the relent-er.

 

Don’t take my word for it!  My encouragement is that you go read the whole of this true history and wise counsel for yourself.  Ask Holy Spirit what He wants you to know through this word of the Lord.

For myself, I’m asking to have eyes to see temptation at my doorstep.  If I miss it and grab temptation, I want to have someone in my life who will boldly speak truth to steer me clear of a sinful choice.  And I want to be humble enough to take heed of warnings spoken in love.  Finally, I pray you’ll enjoy your feast at His table as much as I have this week.

For His glory and our good!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I have the honor and privilege of writing weekly devotionals for Daughter of Delight on Instagram.  This post with some slight variation was first posted as an original devotional for Daughter of Delight on Instagram – 1/27/2018.

I invite you to please take a moment to visit @daughterofdelight on Instagram.  I feel certain you’ll be encouraged and refreshed!

Eyes on Jesus… you’re shining!

~Lisa

Day 1: How will I {WORSHIP} in the famine season?

In the days when the judges ruled there was a famine in the land, and a man of Bethlehem in Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he and his wife and his two sons. Ruth 1:1

I was there when each of our two sons prayed to Jesus and asked Him to live in their hearts. I was also there when each of our two sons was baptized. And I was there when each of our sons, not wanting to hurt my feelings, asked me to stop talking to them about Jesus.

{worship}

For me, wife of one husband and mother of two sons, these are opposite sides of the same coin. The best of motherhood on one side and the worst of motherhood on the other, at least for a mother who committed herself to raising sons in a Christian home.

As each of our two sons prepared to leave home for college I gave each one my ‘flying the nest’ speech. It went something like this:

I’ve taught you all I know to teach you. I’ve told you all I know to tell you. And I’ve shown you all I know to show you. You’ve been raised in the truth of the Word of God – certainly not perfect, but I’ve given you my best. And so now, I send you out to find your own personal faith – to make it your own and to know that you know what you believe.

Honestly, both of our sons love me and respect me. They did then and they do now. I know for a fact neither one wanted to hurt me. I also know for a fact they left on their own journey each one two years apart hoping to leave the church/faith stuff at home like all the stuff they left in their closets.

As our oldest left home, I asked the Lord for a Scripture to use in prayer for this son. The Lord answered with abundant mercy to my weary mind, heart, and soul. He gave me a dream and truth from His word.

In my dream, I could see this son moving through an open door, which I was unable to walk through. I was terrified at first, but the Lord allowed me to stand at the door and look. To my pure delight, I could see our son walking with Jesus at his side, arm around our son’s shoulder, conversing and laughing along a pathway.

I awoke full of hope with this Scripture on my lips…

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

And I have been proclaiming this hopeful truth for our son regularly since 2009. Though he left our home in a spiritual famine, Jesus has been teaching me to worship Him through the truth of His word in prayer and continually holding up the dream He gave me for an anchor of hope.

give thanks to You God

As our second son left our home for college, I asked again for a Scripture through which to knot and anchor my prayers for him. This is the one who, after hearing my ‘flying the nest’ speech, left me with these words, “Mom, you have faith for me.” (In other words, you do it for me)

This last leaving was more painful. I felt the spiritual famine. My heart pleaded for a dream. No dream. And the Scripture the Lord gave me was this…

I give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever. 1 Chronicles 16:34

My thoughts ran to Naomi (Ruth 1) and they still do at times. I wondered…often…many times with tears, “Lord, what does this mean?”

Give thanks even if my son is living in a spiritual famine? Declare you are good even if he doesn’t remember the truth sewn into the fabric of his being? Proclaim and stand on the truth that your steadfast love endures forever even if he never receives your love for him?

I’ve been praying, I give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love for our son endures forever, as an act of worship since 2011.

And yes… it is true… and I do… Give thanks to You God. You are good. Your steadfast love endures forever…. even in the midst of spiritual famine.

Ponder:

  • Are you in a spiritual famine season?
  • What emotions are bubbling up as you read about worship through a season of spiritual famine? Will you record these emotions in a journal?
  • Will you take your thoughts, your questions, your emotions into the Throne Room of God, sit at Jesus’ feet and ask Counselor Holy Spirit to help you filter it all through the truth of God’s Word?
  • Will you allow God to teach you to praise and worship Him through the famine season? We give thanks to You God for You are good and Your steadfast love endures forever. Amen.