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The God of Great and Small

The God of Great and Small

In a pottery and glass gift shop in the mountains of North Carolina, I came across a tiny piece of glass art and bought it. When I first saw it, I wondered how the artist managed to make something so tiny, about 1/4″ in size, yet with unique, distinctive parts. Its smallness is what made it special to me. I named her “Suzie the flea” because of the joy she gave me. I also saw she had a destiny to fulfill in God’s kingdom of love. Since then, she’s flown by airmail many thousands of miles across the country to bear witness to God’s creative love and favor. The recipients have sent her back to me after she’s lifted their hearts. Suzie represents to me persons who are “little” in God’s kingdom yet each one holds a dear place in His heart.  Their smallness is endearing to Him. These are the hidden ones who stay in the background; they are not in the spotlight of God’s kingdom. He’s jealous to keep them there for His own reasons. I take great comfort in that. No more striving to be someone I am not. I am confident in this alone: God favors me and has destined to use me with messages of His love. I am small, like Suzie. Yet I am dear and can be greatly used in His kingdom. As can you.

 

 

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Longing for More of God

Longing for More of God

Psalm 27:4 NIV: “One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple.”

My goal this year is to see God more clearly and dearly. Nothing matters more than this.

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God’s Thoughts in Ours

God’s Thoughts in Ours

As a seasoned God-listener, I know prayer is not only one-way dialogue.

Once I felt surprised by something I felt God “said” to me. I wondered,  Is this my thought or God’s?

The next thing that popped into my head was a question. A loaded one. “What is thought?”

God had asked me a lighthearted (which I sensed inwardly) yet “weighty” rhetorical question.

What is thought?

I queried “What is thought?” in an internet search engine. Wow! Somebody gave me an answer.

Curious, I read it. God smiled at me the whole time, of that I’m sure.

Neuroscience engineers might not include “God’s thoughts in ours” as part of their science, but they have mindboggling things to say about the nature of thought.

This article is by Elizabeth Dougherty; from the MIT School of Engineering’s article—“Ask An Engineer.” I provided a link to the entire article below.

Dougherty wrote: “The human brain is composed of about 100 billion nerve cells (neurons) interconnected by trillions of connections, called synapses. On average, each connection transmits about one signal per second. Some specialized connections send up to 1,000 signals per second. ‘Somehow… that’s producing thought,’ says Charles Jennings, director of neurotechnology at the MIT McGovern Institute for Brain Research.

“An electrical signal propagates like a wave along the long threads called axons that are part of the connections between neurons. When the signal reaches the end of an axon, it causes the release of chemical neurotransmitters into the synapse, a chemical junction between the axon tip and target neurons. A target neuron responds with its own electrical signal, which, in turn, spreads to other neurons. Within a few hundred milliseconds, the signal has spread to billions of neurons in several dozen interconnected areas of your brain . . . imagine how trillions of connections and billions of simultaneous transmissions coalesce inside your brain to form a thought.” (Used with permission.)

That explains everything, right? Oh, how I love God. “How great are your works, LORD, how profound your thoughts!” (Psalm 92:5 NIV).

God is gloriously, impossibly complex but manages to dumb down everything into very simple, understandable terms. His thoughts are voiced in us so simply. Sometimes we get just a prompting or a strong urge–He doesn’t even need words. But He likes them a lot.

Inspiration is God getting His thoughts into ours. I wonder if electric impulse signals are a lightning show going on in our brains in which our neurons dance with God’s when they come to us. We are fearfully and wonderfully made. God made us to receive His thoughts but His thoughts are not ours, they are above ours in every way.

Of course the safe place to gain God’s thoughts are in the Bible. That’s the place of God’s most reliable “self-revelation” — the place He’s chosen to speak to inspired prophets and apostles. Anything evil, harmful, condemning, or unloving would not be from Him. The Word of God is always communicating with us and uses all sorts of creative ways to do so.

We just need ears to hear–which is spiritual receptivity. We just need to tune in.

 

Credit: What are thoughts made of?   https://engineering.mit.edu/engage/ask-an-engineer/what-are-thoughts-made-of/

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Hope

Hope

It’s Sunday today. One week after the senseless, violent murders that took place in a small Christian church family in Texas. What a horrible, tragic thing!—and to happen in a place of worship. Our country is still mourning the deaths of too many innocents taken in Las Vegas. What is happening to our society? Why is there so much hatred everywhere? We are worried about the evil in the hearts of the leader of North Korea and in ISIS terrorists, but evil is lurking in countless, lost souls worldwide.

And it is everywhere. Nowhere is safe. The cliché “What is this world coming to?” is a resounding cry that echoes from our hearts in our everyday thoughts. Lord, God of heaven and earth, save us!

A generation shows how fast things are becoming evil. When I was growing up, I could freely play outdoors all day long. At age twelve, I took a city bus on my own to a large metropolitan downtown. When I left the house on summer days, I’d take off on my bicycle early in the day and return in time for dinner. My parents never worried about me. I had no cell phone or tracking device on me. We didn’t need it.  Now my children are parents. They are afraid to let their children play in the backyard.  As grandma, I’m sometimes brought in to help keep their kids safe. If we lose sight of a child for a few moments at the store, we panic. One of us must escort the kids to the school bus stop and meet them there when they are dropped off. A school bus is still considered potentially dangerous for my twelve-year-old grandson.

I am reading John Eldredge’s new book, ALL THINGS NEW. Talk about the need we have for hope, this book couldn’t be better timed. I have been praying with this book, turning every truth and insight into communication with God. I haven’t gotten far into the book’s pages to know the author is reminding me of what I’ve known, as a follower of Jesus, for a long time. I just needed to hear about my “hope” in depth from a man of God, a person who understands human hearts and God’s heart and has a way with words that hits the mark in our souls. Thank you, John Eldredge, for being sensitive to God’s heart at this time and for giving us the reminder we so desperately need.

People of the Kingdom of Jesus, we have what we need for these days. We are in the know, even though we still ask “Why? Why? Why?” as we hear the “bad news” on the News every night. Beloved brothers and sisters, we know where we are headed. It’s just that at this time, we need the Lord’s comfort and His reminder. Hang on to your hope.

Lord, let us “see” that we are in the Last Days with eyes of HOPE, focused on You and Your promises. What we most hope for is around the corner.

I told the Lord this morning that my hope lies in Him, in His promises for the GOOD, love, and beauty He wants for all people. His Kingdom is about to fully come and will invade the darkness and cast it away. God wants us to be comforted and uplifted. Faith, hope, and love are the strongest powers we have—and they come from God. What is happening in our world is that we are spinning faster and faster towards the “restoration of all things” that Jesus promised us. It will get darker before the DAWN. Let your hope rise. We were made for the kind of life that began at the dawn of Creation—our paradise lost. But Jesus promised to make all things new here on this earth. Do yourself a favor, pick up John Eldredge’s book. It will do your heart good.

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