There’s a well nearby. You’ve probably seen it. It’s in a dusty abandoned town. You wonder who used to live here and why they all left.

Many people have traveled by this well on their journeys through life, but either didn’t notice it, decided not to check it out, or tried it but left for some reason. It doesn’t appear that the well has been used in a long time. You are not even sure if the water is good. The top of the water looks unappetizing . . . . disgusting actually – covered in dust, dirt, germs, bugs and grime. Who would even want to use this well or drink its water? You dip your finger in to just taste it anyways as you realize how thirsty you are, but you only taste the stuff on top. Yuck. You’re not drinking that! But your thirst remains.

You decide to move on. . . . to find something more appealing . . . more appetizing . . . more eye-catching and tasty. You heard there was something better down the road. So you turn your back to the well and head off.

I urge you to come back.

Things are not always what they seem.

There is more to this well than the casual observer and wanderer will ever know.

Let me help you draw up the DEEP water from the well. That is where the best water resides – where the cooler, refreshing, life-giving water is. It is not tainted by the dirt, dust, germs or bugs on top of the water. Nothing has touched this deep water except the bucket and cisterns that are allowed to draw deep into it.

Are you that kind of cistern or vessel?

Are you ready to go deep?

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Setup for the Miraculous!

Have you ever felt "set up" by God? :)

Have you ever felt tested?

I'm sure most of us have. I know I have.

But I am grateful for it.

Why am I grateful? How can I be grateful?

I am grateful for the increase in faith that has developed out of the testing. I am grateful for the increased peace and patience that has come from it. I am thankful for the increased sense of love, power, mercy, grace, support, provision and more. I am a better woman, mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and lover of God today than I was before I was ever tested.

How can I be grateful . . . it's basically a choice. Like most things in life - it boils down to a choice. Will I choose to be grateful, or will I choose to grumble, complain, get angry at God (or others), worry, live in fear, be depressed, question God, and more? When I look at the benefits/consequences of either choice - I like the results I get from the first one better! So I CHOOSE to be grateful . . . to be full of JOY in the midst of trials and testing.

I love the book of James. It starts off with just this topic - "Trials and Temptations".

James 1:2-4 - "Consider it PURE JOY, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Doesn't that sound like the kind of results you want . . . the better "benefits (or consequences)"? I will lack NOTHING! That's the road I want to take!

What have you been tested with lately? Relationships? Finances? Parenting? Work issues? All of the above? Here at our house we have been set up for the miraculous to happen . . . for God's glory to shine! How?

We are in need of more finances to make our budget work. Our kids are getting bigger, hungrier, and despite all my commands to stop growing - they keep disobeying - either that or their clothes keep shrinking! :) My husband and I have been praying for God to show us how HE wants us to handle our finances and how to bring in more income to meet our needs.

I applied for a job recently but didn't hear anything for 2 weeks. I assumed the position was filled. In that time, God opened up some doors for me to be able to write more - to a larger audience than my blogs reach right now. We knew this was from God and felt His peace in pursuing it. It is not a paid "job" though. But there is still peace to pursue it. God has promised to meet our needs (and then some!)! I also had a dream (that's too long to explain) that I felt the Lord was saying I needed to focus on writing, mothering, etc, and that THAT was my "job". I told my mom and sister that I didn't think God wanted me to get this job I had applied for. But wouldn't you know it . . ..

A couple days later - I had a job offer. I rethought everything. Maybe this was God sending His provision? I accepted the job. It seemed like a good thing - a God thing. In all practicality, it made sense. However, neither my husband nor I could shake that "check" - that Holy Spirit check in our spirit - that pit or knot in our stomach whenever we thought about me working. I knew that I knew that I knew that this was not what God wanted. Was this a test?? (it reminded me of the story of how God told Ivan and Isabel Allum they were to marry each other and Isabel was offered the "perfect job" - but taking it would have meant that she wouldn't be able to marry Ivan. She turned it down and trusted in what God said. You can read the AWESOME story here.) At least we were not being tested like Abraham and being told to sacrifice one of our kids (though . . . that would cut down on our expenses here. :) hee,hee. Just teasing of course!).

I turned down the job. It felt good. I was at peace again. I was ready for God's blessings to be showered upon us because I obeyed! :) hee,hee. (though i was still thinking about whether to take back the few C-mas presents I bought when I thought I was going to have a paycheck coming in.) I did expect God to move mightily in our finances soon! . . . . but . . . .

One day went by . . . . nothing. Two days went by . . . .nothing. Three . . . .and then . . . Brrrr. . . . Our furnace isn't working right. We woke up freezing (again - it's been acting funny since this past winter)! We called a heating and a/c tech to come out right away. Bad news. . . . . . we are leaking carbon monoxide into the house and have to turn off our furnace right away and not turn it back on! It will be between $2000-$7000 to fix or get a new furnace! Yikes! This isn't the "financial blessing" I was expecting. :) Now we are still over our budget each month, our cars are in need of repair, we don't have extra money for C-mas (it's all on a credit card right now) . . . . and we need a new furnace! I think we have about $50 in savings too!

So God . . . . you like to up the ante, eh? It reminds me of the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal - both calling down fire from their god to see who's sacrifice would be burned up. Elijah didn't just call down the fire . . . he made sure the sacrifice, wood and ground were soaking wet first . . . to make it seem impossible for it to ever catch fire. But what did God do? He showed up the other "gods" and burnt Elijah's sacrifice to a crisp! Go God!!

I don't have a clue how we are going to pay for all this. I don't have a clue how we are going to live on the income we have coming in now. But I do know this . . . God has ALWAYS taken care of me! I will continue to listen and obey ALL He commands and asks of me - because I know that HIS way has ALWAYS been better! It doesn't mean it's always been easy . . . . but the end result is soooo much better!! And what great stories I have to tell - of His grace, His mercy, His love, His power, His salvation, His provision and more!

So - where are you in your current struggles? What has your response been so far? How will it change after reading this? Do you trust God enough to choose to "consider it PURE JOY" - despite what the circumstances look like? Even if you don't think you can trust God . . . try it! What's the worst that can happen by choosing to be HAPPY during hard times instead of being miserable? :) Think about it.

I pray a blessing on you today - a blessing of prosperity, of peace, of joy, and of God's incredible love in your life as you CHOOSE to obediently follow Him and decide to trust Him - in EVERY situation (good and bad) in your life. You won't regret it!!

Going a bit deeper . . . .that's for sure!

Lori :)
ps - I will let you know how it turns out . . . but you can bet that God has it all planned out already! I'll have to share some of my other stories of God's provision, power and more later!

My sister just sent this to me and I thought I would post it.

Recipe for Miracles

1 part of knowing who you are
1 part of knowing who you aren't
1 part of knowing what you want
1 part of knowing who you wish to be
1 part of knowing what you already have
1 part of choosing wisely from what you have
1 part of loving and thanking for ALL you have

Combine ingredients together gently and carefully, using faith and vision. Mix together with strong belief of the outcome until finely blended.

Use thoughts, words and actions for best results.

Bake until Blessed.

Give thanks again

Unlimited service


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