Good morning everyone. Well, I am not counting days anymore. Unless, God takes a different turn, most of us are home bound until April 30. Praise God that we can go out for fresh air and exercise. Prayers for those that keep this country moving forward and those medical professionals that are working to save lives.
So, today is April 1, April Fools Day, for those of you that like to play jokes on your friends. My daughter informed me that April Fools Day has been canceled. Apparently, it’s posted on Facebook. No I did not bother to check, but I don’t think it really matters. Anyway, as my daughter, said “It has been canceled because nothing could be more of a joke than what we are experiencing at the moment.” She said that’s what posted on FB. Haha. Right? The reason I mention it is because on this day in 2017, I reconnected with my first love – over Messenger.
Yup. I hadn’t seen or heard from this man in 30+ years. When FB came online, I was not a big fan, so it took me a while to learn that I could search for old friends. And so I did. I found a profile of a man – I thought might be him, but I couldn’t be certain. He had aged and he had a mustache, that I know – the guy I dated didn’t have, at least at the time. So anyway, this was back on Dec 30, 2010. I sent a message asking if he had been stationed at Kelly AFB, in San Antonio, in 1981-82. I did not get a response, so I figured it was not the right guy. No big deal. I sent out a dozen messages to old friends. And, I did hear back from a few old friends. TY FB!
Well, to my disbelief, I received a message on March 30, 2017, but I did not see the message, or open it until April 1. Talk about an April Fools joke! God is so funny! It was almost seven years later after I sent that message that I got a response. I could never have imagined that I would ever hear, or see this man again, much less marry him. And you know, later. There is a funny here. My daughter and I had moved to Boerne in Feb of 2017. I still had some stuff packed. And as I was going through a box of old papers, I found my old address book. And guess what? Yup. In that old address book, was his address and phone number. It was his folks info – that’s were he returned after he left the air force. And his folks still lived at the same address and still had the same phone number. I thought that was so funny – funnier because through the years, after my divorce, I would rummage through old papers, and there was that old address book. It didn’t cross my mind to throw it away. It never occurred to me to even try and see if the info was still correct. And I recall seeing that old address book when we packed up to make the move, but something wouldn’t let me trash it, so I threw it back in the box. There’s a little more to the story, but I just wanted to share that little bit. That was so funny! God works in ways we cannot even possibly imagine.
So the Lord has been working in my life the last ten few years. I should say He has been working at transforming my thoughts, my attitudes, and instructing me on who He really is. And to do that, He did some dramatic stuff – part of that was to drown out many of the voices talking about God. I listened to three voices, David Jeremiah, Jentezen Franklin and James Merritt. And even their voices went silent when God finally got me to that place where we could meet.
Today, we are flooded with the voices of people that want to sell us their God. Yes, even the God of the Bible – as if He were for sale. There is a God of bounty. He can answer all your prayers, make all your dreams come true. Heal all your hurts. And you know, that God is real – but what He has to offer comes at a price. What was it – that God said?
2 Timothy 3:12 “Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
1 Peter 4:12-14 “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy.”
Acts 14:21-22 ” And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
Rich Mullins was talking about this years ago. And from what I’ve read and even heard from people I know – the consensus about Rich Mullins was that he was way out there. He was down to earth, but he did not fit the mold of the good Christian. Why? More than likely it was his appearance and his words. But, think about it; what did the Jews think about Jesus? They were expecting a messiah dressed in grandeur, but that’s not how He came. Early in my walk, I was told by more than one woman, that a Christian woman had to dress to fit the role of a godly woman. What does a godly woman look like?
Rich Mullins was probably a voice that evangelicals wanted to drown out. Why? Well, probably because church goers don’t want to hear… “Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won’t also cost you yours.” – Rich Mullins
For me, there have been few Christian lyrics that really moved my spirit, not many, but a few. Here are three…
“In this time of desperation, when all we know is doubt and fear there is only one foundation. In this broken generation when all is dark, You, (Jesus) help us see there is only one salvation. We believe – Writers: Jeremy Lynn Epperson / Matt Hooper / Richie Fike
“There’s a wideness in God’s mercy I cannot find in my own and He keeps His fire burning to melt this heart of stone. Keeps me aching with a yearning, keeps me glad to have been caught in the reckless raging fury that they call the love of God. Joy and sorrow are this ocean and in their every ebb and flow now the Lord a door has opened that all Hell could never close. Here I’m tested and made worthy tossed about but lifted up in the reckless raging fury that they call the love of God. Writer: Rich Mullins
“But the voice of truth tells me a different story. The voice of truth says, “Do not be afraid!” The voice of truth says, “This is for My glory” Out of all the voices calling out to me, I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth. Writers: Mark Hall, Steven Curtis Chapman
Here, I am talking about having a relationship with the living God. All of us will experience difficult times. For sure, all of us will experience death, at some point, either that of a loved one, or our own. But the good news is that God will be there – for the good and for the bad things that happen on this earth – through the good and through the bad times that happen in our lives. God wants everyone to be saved. Will everyone be saved? That question is not for us to ask.
I do know that God doesn’t save us just to go sit in some big fancy church, or a small humble looking church, to sit there and look pretty, so others will come too. No. I think God is bigger than that. And He has plans bigger than we can imagine. And He plans according to His will and His timing.
So, as we are asked to sit out these unprecedented times, in the solitude of our homes, likewise, we must also wait on God to works things out in His perfect will and perfect times. How this new normal will take shape – is yet to be seen.
I have to remember, as anyone that puts her/his trust in God must, that in these times of desperation, challenging times, unprecedented times, you name it … God is still God. He still feeds the birds, waters the grass, keeps the rivers flowing, gives us blue skies and clouds to make us wonder. He keeps us in His thoughts. His mercies are new everyday. As Christians, we don’t always talk in Scriptures. We don’t live in Scripture. We don’t live in church, because we are the church. The Scriptures should be living in us and through us. The word of God is alive and powerful. We are the temple of God. It is Spirit of God that gives life to these mortal bodies.
Hebrews 4:12 “For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11
Sometimes we have to open our eyes to see the glory of God. Sometimes, we have to be a friend. Sometimes we just have to open our arms to hug someone. And all the time – we should love.
Because like Rich Mullins would say…
“Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in your beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken.” – Rich Mullins
And what did Jesus say?
Do everything in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:14
Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19