Archive | January, 2013

Silent Sweet Germs

25 Jan

Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take your stand
against the devil’s schemes.
Ephesians 6:11 

 No such thing, huh?  I didn’t think so either, until I woke up the other night miserable ~ tossing and turning … my stomach, that is.  An early morning sudden run to the bathroom (pun intended) was the first of many, including body aches, feverish chills, and an extreme lack of energy.  I did have enough oomph about me to try to analyze where this mess came from.  I got a flu shot, and I haven’t been around anyone that has had the stomach bug … or so I thought.

Cole and Lillianne at Papaw and Mimi's house

Cole and Lillianne at Papaw and Mimi’s house

Last weekend was a delightful one as Mimi and Papaw’s house was a lively place, full of little people activity, noise, and love … Cole and Lillianne came for a couple overnights, and oh what fun we had!  So much fun that Cole asked if we could come home with him and sleep over at his new house.  Sorry Bubbas … we both have to work the next day.  Little did I know what awaited me the next morning …

Miss Lillie pointing at you!

Miss Lillie pointing at you!

So, it is now Friday.  By now, we have come to the conclusion that our little stomach bug culprit was Miss Lillie.  She’s such a sweetheart, most always a very happy baby.  She is a very meticulously nosey child, with her pointy finger always out, wanting to poke around and look at things.  We find her quite irresistible … needing to often kiss that little pointy finger, along with her chubby cheeks, and giving her squishy hugs.  Once again … little did we know what was brewing on the inside of this precious child while she was being so irresistible. The convincing proof was some horrific smelly dirty diapers on the last day she was with us, along with some unusually fussy moments.  By then, it was too late.  Besides, how did we know?  Lillie is constantly cutting teeth, having 4 already, and this growth process sometimes causes such symptoms as well.  We never dreamed that she was silently and ever so sweetly carrying around stomach flu bug germs.

So, I know for a fact, that germs can be silent and sweet.  So does Lillie’s entire family, including the dog.  Momma believes that she and Lillie have actually had it twice, since they both felt better for about 2 days then began all over again with the miserable routine.  Bless their hearts!   I’m sure Kim is continually spraying the house with Lysol, trying to get that ol’ bug out of there!   She’s probably also thinking about putting little face masks on her little loves until the flu season is past just to add more protection to their flu shots.    Makes me think about the scripture in Ephesians about putting on our armor …

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God
so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood,
but against the rulers, against the authorities,
against the powers of this dark world
and against the spiritual forces
of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:10-13

 

As the verse above says, our real struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against Satan himself.  For this reason, we do need to stay fully clad in the armor of God ~ at all times!  Just like Lillie with her little finger, sometimes Satan very meticulously will point us out and try to draw us away very quietly and ‘harmlessly’ until all of a sudden we realize we’ve been duped.  Our armor was not on tight, we were missing a piece, or we did not stay alert to the schemes of Satan.

 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled
around your waist, with the breastplate
of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness
that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith,
with which you can extinguish all the
flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the
sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions
with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert
and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6:14-18

 

Won’t you join me in the midst of this extremely contagious flu season, to not only often wash our hands and take extra vitamin C, keep the doctor’s phone number handy, but continue to kiss and hug the babies.  All the while, Satan is roaming to and fro seeking who he may devour … let’s keep our full armor on, properly in place, polished, and ready for the spiritual battles we face.

 Therefore put on the full armor of God,
so that when the day of evil comes,
you may be able to stand your ground,
and after you have done everything, to stand.

Until next time,
Debbie

P.S.  If you are reading this from the automatic e-mail you received from Morsels of Mercy, please click here https://morselsofmercy.wordpress.com/ to go to the actual website and check out all of the extra family photos!

A New Calendar

11 Jan

I lift up my eyes to You,
to You whose throne is in heaven…
so our eyes look to the LORD our God,
till He shows us His mercy.
Psalm 123:1-2

 

Cole and Lillianne

Cole and Lillianne

Halloween - cowboys!

Halloween – cowboys!

One of my favorite gifts this year is my 2013 calendar.  Its pages are unique and unlike any other calendar in the world…it was custom designed just for me!  With the flip of each new month, another special picture is highlighted to view, reminding me of many loves, special occasions, and God’s hand-picked blessings that are mine.  Then with the addition of my own personal notes on specific dates, the New Year is off and running…ready or not!

In anticipation of the New Year, I posted a status on Facebook asking my friends for suggestions of something new to add to my daily devotional time.  How fun to read the variety of responses, including 14 different recommendations and a promised gift in the mail!  Sure enough, a few days later I received a package from my dear friend in Long Pine, Nebraska, with a copy of one of her favorite devotionals inside, Every Day Light by Selwyn Hughes.  The reoccurring message in the first few days of this book is to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.

The green one-eyed Monster

The green one-eyed Monster

I often write about God’s very personal and intimate communication with me … well, He can also be very humorous.  Last Saturday, our kids in Baltimore moved from their townhouse of 2 ½ years to a much larger home that they are purchasing.   Mimi and Papaw spent the entire weekend with them, helping where needed.  After two marathon days of cleaning, packing, and the actual move of house and home, we all fell into bed late Saturday night.  Tim and I always take up residence on the futon, which is located in the basement / play room, this time next to a bin of toys that the previous owners left behind.  Sometime in the dark wee hours of Sunday morning, a man’s voice broke into our sound sleep and very clearly said, “Whatcha looking at?  I’ve got my eye on you!”  Jumping out of bed, not having a clue where I was or what I was doing, I began to realize our surprise visitor was coming from the bunch of toys next to our bed.  By the light of my iphone, I began to dig through the playthings until I found the culprit, who must’ve settled in his resting place just enough to apply pressure to his “PUSH HERE” arm which makes him talk.  When Tim and I retrieved our unwanted guest, we laughed as we pushed his arm repeatedly to hear all of the silly things he can say.  I looked for the on-off switch, put him back with his friends, and crawled back into bed.  A few days later after I opened my package from Nebraska and began to read the devotional, I thought of our green one-eyed monster friend who said …  “whatcha looking at?  I’ve got my eye on you!”

One of my most loved Bible stories is in 2 Chronicles 20  ~  King Jehoshaphat and all of Judah were facing large armies which they could not possibly destroy.

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard  and said:

 

    “O LORD, God of our fathers, are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in Your hand, and no one can withstand You.  O our God, did You not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend?  They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for Your Name, saying,  `If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in Your presence before this temple that bears Your Name and will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear us and save us.’

 

 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory You would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.  See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession You gave us as an inheritance.  O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”


All the men of Judah, with their wives and children and little ones, stood there before the LORD.

 

Did you read that?!  All the men with their wives!  And children and little ones!!  All of their lives were at stake here … even the little ones!

 

Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jahaziel son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite and descendant of Asaph, as he stood in the assembly.


 He said: “Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to You: `Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not Yours, but God’s.  Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel.  You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.’ “

 

Oh!  You must pick up your Bible and read the rest of the story!!  God does deliver them and does so without them even having to fight!

What’s going on in your life today that has you afraid and discouraged?  What big army is lurking in the distance, ready to crush and destroy you?   I know several people who have recently lost loved ones while others are quickly losing their battles or are suffering with long-term illnesses.  The unstable economy leaves us all with realistic questions of concern.  The escalating  violence in our communities put us all on guard for the safety of our families. Everywhere we look, there are problems, heartaches, and concerns.

As written by Selwyn Hughes in Every Day Light,

“The reason our problems often seem overwhelming is because we allow the things of time to loom larger in our gaze than the things of eternity. The tiniest of coins, when held close to the eye, can blot out the sun. Let’s begin to lay hold on the truth that life works better when we know how to glance at things but gaze at God. Seeing Him clearly will enable us to see all other things clearly.”

In the beginning of this New Year, in the midst of all the legitimate concerns of life and death … Above all, won’t you join with me in keeping our gaze Heavenward?  Today is January 11th.  In just a few tomorrows, the calendar will flip to February, and then on to March. Before I know it, my calendar will have the Halloween Cowboys up, quickly closing in on Christmas again.  Time does not miss a step on our journey called life.  Let’s keep our eyes fixed on the One who never disappoints and will be with us all to the end.

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus,
the author and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before him endured the cross,
scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:2-3

Until next time,
Debbie