Saturday, May 21, 2016

Word Thirst

His eyes drifted shut.

He blinked furiously. Must. Stay. Awake.

Dull light flickered from the lamps in a lazy dance that lulled him deeper and deeper into a trance-like state. It was after midnight, and Paul continued to talk and talk and talk. He desperately wanted to hear what Paul was preaching. He wanted to know God.

An ache formed in his hip and back from trying to balance on the windowsil.

His eyes slide shut again. Maybe if he kept his eyes shut for a few minutes, that stinging feeling from trying to hold them open would go away. Then he would be able to focus.

Just a few more minutes...

Based on Acts 20:7-9

"On the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and he prolonged his speech until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where we were gathered. And a young man named Eutychus, sitting at the window, sank into a deep sleep as Paul talked still longer. And being overcome by sleep, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead." Acts 20:7-9

Paul was a talker. And let's be honest. He was gabbing away here, and while he was droning on and on, people were getting tired. It was past midnight. They were exhausted, and the dim lighting from lamps wasn't helping.

But they stayed.

And a young man named Eutychus was so devoted to hearing this message, that he didn't leave even though he was dead tired - excuse the pun.

Is our thirst for God so strong that we wouldn't, couldn't leave even though we could be watching TV, hanging out with friends, checking things off our to-do list, or sleeping? (As a mom of a baby on a sleep strike, I don't underestimate the severe, deperate need for sleep.) Does our thirst for God outweigh all other things?

I know that I want my thirst for the Word of God to be stronger than anything else in this life. I, we should want to be like all those people - Eutychus included - who stayed.

V. Joy Palmer

Thursday, May 12, 2016

"The Secret Place"

Isaiah 55:2-3

"Listen diligently to Me, and eat what is good.
And let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me.
Hear, and your soul shall live;
And I will make an everlasting covenant with you --
The sure mercies of David.

Psalm 91:1-2

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."

Psalm 63:1-2

O God, You are my God; Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Psalm 46:10

Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nation's,
I will be exalted in the earth!

Psalm 34:8

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Psalm 27:8

When You said, "Seek My face,"
My heart said to You,
"Your face, Lord, I will seek."

These are just a few verses that remind me that it is His heart that we as His people need to spend time in His presence. We need to draw close! We must meet with Him in the secret place of His presence!  It is in this place that He speaks! It is in this place that we encounter Him and realize that it is His desire is to share His heart with His people! In case your not convinced ... read the book of Isaiah and highlight every time He says the words, "Listen to me." (For example 46:12, 48:1, 12, 16, 49:1, 51:1,4,7) 

Still not convinced that it is crucial to the life of a believer? There is always, always, always the example of Jesus to consider ... "So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed." Luke 5:16

Sunday, May 8, 2016

"Call Her Blessed"

Image result for happy mothers day

Happy Mother's Day!

My mom and I were talking a couple days ago. I asked her what she wanted for mother's day, and she said she didn't want anything. I pressed her, and she jokingly said a bag of dirt for her flower gardens.

Nothing says "I love you, Mom," like a bag of dirt.

Yeah, right.

But that's a mom for you. They love to bless their children, help them, make life easier for them, and they will love any bizarre gift that comes from the heart.

Because you gave it to them.

I haven't been a mom for very long, but from the moment I knew I was pregnant with my baby girl, there isn't anything I wouldn't have done for her. I would give my life for her, almost did. Since becoming a mom, I have a new appreciation for all that my mother and all the motherly women in my life have done for me. I'm so thankful that they continue to be there for me.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms, stepmoms, mother-in-laws, aunts, birth moms, adoptive moms, and "second" moms out there. You guys are amazing.

"Her children rise up and call her blessed...." Proverbs 31:28a

V. Joy Palmer

Friday, May 6, 2016

We Can't Understand

"O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it." Psalm 139:1-6

I just have a thought today, guys.

We don't understand the magnitude of God's love for us.

More than that. We can't understand the magnitude of God's love for us.

The first five verses in Psalm 139 talks about how well God knows you. When you sit and when you stand. When you go to the grocery store. God knows all your little habits, and how you like your coffee in the afternoon. He knows your thoughts, and what you're going to say before you say it. He knows where you're going in life, and He has awesome plans to help you. His hand is guiding you. He wants to do all this, to know all this. Because He ardently loves you.

And then verse six says this:

"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it." Psalm 139:6

We don't understand God's love. God tries to convey it in the Bible. He tries to help us understand, but our broken hearts, our limited understanding, and our doubt gets in the way.

"For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39

You have no idea how much God loves you. You don't understand it. I certainly don't understand it! But it's true. He does love you, me, us. So next time you forget, when you feel unloved and unworthy, say this to yourself:

"I have no idea how much God loves me... But He loves me!"

V. Joy Palmer

Monday, May 2, 2016

"We Are Asking!"

Joel 2:23-29

Be glad then, you children of Zion, 
And rejoice in the Lord your God;
For He has given you the former rain faithfully,
And He will cause the rain to come down for you--
The former rain, and the latter rain in the first month.

The threshing floors shall be full of wheat,
And the vats shall overflow with new wine and oil.

So I will restore to you the years that the 
swarming locust has eaten,
The crawling locust, The consuming locust, 
And the chewing locust,
My great army which I sent among you.

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
And praise the name of the Lord your God,
Who has dealt wondrously with you;
And My people shall never be put to shame.

Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
And that I am the Lord your God and there is no other.
My people shall never be put to shame.

"And it shall come to pass afterward
That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh;
Your sons and Your daughters shall prophesy,
Your old men shall dream dreams,
Your young men shall see visions;

And also on My menservants and on My maidservants 
I will pour out My Spirit in those days.

Zechariah 10:1

Ask the Lord for rain, 
In the time of the latter rain.
The Lord will make flashing clouds; 
He will give them showers of rain,
Grass in the field for everyone.

Lord, with our hearts set on You, we as Your people cry out, "Holy Spirit, come!  Bring the former and latter rain together. O Lord, send Your rain!"