verse of the day is Psalm 34:7. “The angel of The Lord encamps around those
who fear Him, and rescues them.”
verse came to me one morning as I lay in bed thinking about a wonderful evening
we had at Grandma & Grandpa’s house recently listening to missionaries Leon
& Lorraine Dillinger tell stories about their experiences in Papua,
was of the day that Leon set out to another tribe to bring them the
gospel. That evening, as he and his
companions prepared for bed, they went to turn on the radio but the batteries
were dead. They fumbled around, found
some new batteries with which they replaced the old ones, turned on the radio, and settled down to listen to the news.
The next day they packed up and continued on their journey.
was not until many years later that they heard the rest of the story. It seems that some of the surrounding natives
who had heard about the Dillingers were afraid that their spirits would be
offended by the Spirit of the Dillingers. That very night that Leon was in his
tent working with the radio, some of the natives had set out to kill him to appease the evil spirits
they worshipped. As they crept toward the tent with their spears in hand, they
paused at the flap of the door just as the missionaries had replaced the
batteries and turned on the radio. When the natives heard the “voice coming
from the box” they turned and fled into the darkness leaving the missionaries
they returned to their villages they told their chiefs, “There is no way we
were going to kill those men because their Spirit is much greater than ours. We
heard Him talking out of a box.” Fifty years later thousands of the Dani tribe
have come to know The Lord as their Savior.
was so encouraged and blessed by this story.
How many times have you or I been protected by the hand of God and didn’t
even know it? For those who trust the
Lord there is no need to fear anyone or anything. Nothing can happen to us that God does not
allow. As the popular Christian song
goes, “The God of angel armies is always by our side.”
Good Morning Nieces and Nephews,
“In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not
our kids to the pet store to see all the cute bunnies and chicks. Before going I made them promise they would not even ask to bring any animals home. I should
have made that promise myself because when I saw those cute little bunnies, I
convinced myself that our albino rabbit Marshmallow needed a friend, and we
came home with Marble, a cute floppy-eared black and white bunny!
beyond their cages, we have a small playpen in our backyard. We put the two
bunnies in it to get to know each other. While they were munching on grass and
hopping around, we got distracted with other things, and before long, Marble had
hoped through the bars and came around the house to our front door! I realized
that she was too small to be left alone in the playpen without supervision.
the bunnies hop in the playpen while I would sit on our back porch and keep an
eye on them while doing my reading. With all the hawks, dogs, and coyotes
around our place, I have to make sure to put Marble quickly back into the
safety of the playpen boundaries if she ventures out.
began thinking of the protective boundaries God has placed around our lives. I
realized we are not like Marshmallow, who is forced to stay in the playpen
because she is too big to fit through the boundaries. We are more like Marble
who is able to hop out.
secure, safe, loving boundaries and venture out in our own direction. Yet, just
like I’m watching close by on my porch, ready to redirect Marble, God is never
far from us. We never leave his eyes-view. He’s ready to rescue and save us.
that want to lure us out into the open to swoop down and devour us . . . all
the while making us think that we are experiencing “freedom.” True freedom is
recognizing that God loves us and every command (boundary) that He gives us is
for our good and the honor of His Name.
may be doing the same thing – buying another bunny and another cage. I wouldn’t
think of getting a pet without getting a home for him. Funny how we don’t argue that cages and crates are in the best interest of our pets, yet all too often look at God’s boundaries for our lives as restrictive. May our perspective be in line with God’s Word so that we know the benefits of choosing God’s ways and let His truths set us free!
The verse of the day is Jeremiah 10:23. “I know, O Lord, that a man’s life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.
A few weeks ago I enjoyed watching your cousin’s hamster, Brute, running around in his glass cage. When tired of burying himself in the fluffy bedding, he searched around the outside of the glass looking for a way to escape the confines of his home.
One day your cousin Christian and I put him in a green plastic ball and let him roll around on the floor. He ran and ran covering all lengths of the big room. I am sure he felt elated in his newfound “freedom,” but if his little hamster brain could think, he would realize that he had just gone from one type of confinement into a much smaller suffocating sphere of plastic. The fact that he was able to roam around the whole room wasn’t freedom at all, but only a diversion from his everyday existence.
Though Christian and I decided to allow him the ability to explore, we knew that if we let him completely loose he would run away, get lost, and probably die of starvation or injury. So we did the next best thing by giving him opportunity while still maintaining control.
People are often like Brute. We get tired of the place that God has put us and desire to experience more of what the world has to offer. Sometimes God allows us that opportunity for the purpose of showing us that doing things our way, though often exciting for a time, ends up restricting us more than we were before. We may believe that we are controlling our own destiny, but the truth is that our lives are never our own. We belong to God and He directs our steps.
God is a kind and loving God who places boundaries in our lives not to harm us, but to protect us. He has plans that are to prosper us and not to harm us; plans to give us a hope and a future if we do things His way. If we would recognize God’s plan as the safest and most productive way to live, we wouldn’t chafe under our circumstances, but would embrace them.
I hope Brute enjoyed his foray through the room, but in the end I think he was glad to get out of that suffocating ball and go back into his cage where he belonged. Let’s remember that we, like Brute, belong to a loving Master Who wants only our best and Who will protect us to the extent that we allow Him to do so.