Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Heart Thoughts from Helen

“Wait thou only upon God” Psalm 62:5

There stood an old woman on the hillside waiting in front of a modest house. Her face turned toward the wind, her arms crossed her sweatered chest, waiting. Her expression was a study in solitude, not smiling, just waiting... Who would come over those red clay hills to relieve her of her burden? Would anybody come? How long would she stand there and wait?

A dog sat by the side of that back road we wandered onto. The animal was alone, but by the expectant look on his face, he waited…alert, watching, and anticipating. There were yellow school buses on the road about that time of the afternoon. Was there a child watching for a faithful friend and waiting…?

When I traveled across the country roads of Sumter County to high school on a yellow school bus many years ago, my faithful collie dog, Princess , knew exactly when to meet me at the bus stop to walk me down that two tenths of a mile to my house. She waited for me rain or shine. I waited for her.

It has been said that we spend much of life hurrying so that we can sit and wait. Ever been there? Perhaps you’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop after a series of life’s hard knocks.

Waiting can be used constructively. I carry reading material and pen and paper everywhere I go so that in the waiting rooms of my life, I occupy myself reading or writing. Some folks like to be people watchers, waiting and watching other folks. Folk’s faces reveal a lot about folks. Being still requires practice.

Do you ever try to just be still before the LORD? It is one of the hardest things to do in life. So many of the things that we wait for are unimportant; so how do we decide what and who is worthy of our waiting?

What/Who are you waiting for?

Scripture directs us to: “… wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him.” Psalm 62:5 (AMP)

But WAIT! God is worth the wait. The Sovereign Lord of the Universe may be waiting for you this very moment to come to Him with all your hopes and expectations. He is faithful and well worth the wait.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Heart Thoughts from Helen

"Thoughts On Whistling"

“In that day the LORD will whistle for the fly that is in the remotest part of the rivers of Egypt and for the bee that is in the land of Assyria.” Isaiah 7:18

“He will also lift up a standard to the distant nation, and will whistle for it from the ends of the earth and behold it will come with speed swiftly.”Isaiah 5:26

A whistling woman and a crowing hen,

Both come to no good end.

We were busying ourselves cleaning up the Emergency Room after much trauma traveled through. I was whistling quietly as I worked in the utility area when my faithful volunteer and co-worker rebuked me with the above quote. It stopped me dead in my tracks. Being a young graduate nurse at the time and unwise in many ways I did listen when my elders spoke and I do to this day. I never forgot what she said. I did not, however, understand why whistling while you work would bring ‘no good end’.

Recently I began a precept Bible Study on the Book of Isaiah that has also stopped me in my tracks each time I study, mining the jewels that hide within the verses of this poet prophet.

If we are to believe Scripture and I DO, the Lord of Hosts (God of the angel armies) sits in judgment on His children whenever necessary. Prior to doing so He warns, He begs, He pleads with them to return, repent and be restored. They, (like we) through willful ignorance continued to rebel.

So, the LORD whistles! Can you imagine what that sounds like? I’ve never been a good whistler and can’t put my fingers in my mouth a certain way and do that really loud whistle. But when I read those passages, my mind conjured up the old western movies when Rowdy Yates of Rawhide fame swung his lasso above his head and yelled to the cowboys: “Head ‘em up, move ‘em out.” The herds of cattle mooed their way across the prairie in a cloud of dust headed for an unknown destination. Though I’m sure that’s not what God’s whistle sounds like, the memory puts a pucker on my lips as I ponder the possibilities of the shrill call of Omnipotence that can be heard all the way to Assyria and Egypt. Please do not assume that I think Clint Eastwood or James Drury looks or thinks anything like the Lord Almighty. Ahh, but I did like the old westerns. But I digress.

God whistles for the nation of Assyria, the enemy, to come in with flags flying and bees buzzing. But not only does he whistle for the armies of Assyria to seriously switch His children’s legs but He also whistles for the flies of Egypt. Flags, flies and bees. What would it be like to witness God Almighty whistling for flies to settle on the cliffs, thorn bushes and on all the watering places? Pesky flies. And a foreign flag to fly over Father Abraham’s family, the house of Israel. How absolutely unthinkable!

I wonder when or if the God of the Angel Armies whistles in our lives? Does our nation like the nation of Israel need a spanking? Has He wooed us, warned us, and waited for us to want to know Him more, to obey Him, to repent of our rebellion? Is there an Isaiah in our day to hear the Lord, heed the Lord and whole heartedly agree to “here am I, send me,”?
Can we identify the Assyria, our enemy… nationally, locally, personally in our lives?

And what about those pesky flies? I cannot abide flies and this past summer I challenged my grandsons by offering them a quarter every time they killed a fly in my house. I discovered the reason my cache of quarters emptied quickly when I realized they were intentionally leaving the door open for the flying nuisances. Will God whistle for the aggravations in your life to absolutely drive you nuts?

The next time you’re whistling, remember what happened in the past and how God recorded it for our benefit.

I’m not sure what the LORD Almighty sounds like when He whistles, but I’m pretty sure it won’t sound like a woman and it may be that no good end is in sight. If, and when He does whistle for the enemy, swift will come the judgment!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Heart Thoughts from Helen


“In a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality” (2 Corinthians 8:2)

“The Shining Barrier”, describes the bond of two lovers in the book, A SEVERE MERCY. A true story of his marriage, penned by Sheldon Van Auken, this book captured my heart back in the late ‘70’s. True to the theme, it glows with a depth of commitment not frequently seen today. The abundance of their joy expressed itself in giving to each other.

In the above mentioned love story, giving ‘a cup of cold water in the middle of the night’ evidenced one way that husband and wife’s devotion shone during what proved extremely trying circumstances. I’ve thought about the shining barrier and that cup of cold water quite a bit. I don’t shine too brightly in the middle of the night, but the depth of the nocturnal need could arouse the servant in me. Lest I give the story away, suffice to say, it’s a page turner and a two hanky book.

Love demands expression. The Shining Barrier may seem to be made of concrete or solid steel at times, however, it is true that you can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. Whether it is a cup of cold water in the middle of the night for ANY reason, or just hand holding for NO reason, love demands expression. And, of course, a box of chocolates (preferably with nuts) can go a long way in shining through some Valentine-ish barriers if they are sugar free, of course.

Jesus celebrated love by loving to give. He performed His first recorded miracle at a wedding. Wedding feasts originate with the love of one for another. Love that demands expression shining on the faces of two individuals pledging to shine through every barrier, in sickness and in health, richer poorer, etc. Jesus demonstrates the love of the Bridegroom giving His intended, the Church, an engagement ring in the Person of The Holy Spirit. He is the guarantee given to us that the best is yet to be. The engagement ring I wear on my ring finger left hand accompanies the wedding ring placed there forty-two years ago. Through the years, ‘the shining barrier’ may seem somewhat tarnished and a cup of cold water in the middle of the night could easily have been splashed in each other’s face (not actually). But then there are the truly shining moments when love endures and self is denied at all cost. Those of us married for any length of time KNOW that the sugary Valentine “love” advertised today leaves much untold of true commitment.

Until Jesus, THE BRIDEGOOM, Himself comes for His Bride and the wedding feast commences, The Spirit of God bears witness in our hearts what truly stands as The Shining Barrier, The Light of the world. That love demonstrates expression: “For God so loved the world …that HE GAVE His only begotten Son.” (John 3:16)

Love loves to give, not in measure but abundantly. (Amy Carmichael)

How do you express your love? Is it a shining barrier?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Heart Thoughts from Helen

“We don’t put up with put downs.” As I searched my notes I ran across this quote from an unknown author. It could be a motto put to good use in homes, churches, offices or most any place we congregate.

Eliminating the negative, however, does not always create something positive. In fact, emptying does not always guarantee a filling. And then there is this: ‘hurt people, hurt people’. When we feel the sharp sting of pain from someone, we automatically strike back in kind. We could go on and on with all these quips, but to what avail? Perhaps it is easier, at times, to go round and round the mulberry bush so that we don’t have to deal with real issues. Let’s go back to the initial quote, not putting UP with put DOWNS.

Affirmation goes a long way in nurturing relationships. Put downs usually put up road blocks in communications. It may exert your ingenuity to find the positive in others, but the effort pays lasting dividends.

Do you think that failure to praise God may be interpreted by Him as a put down? When we feel betrayed by God, do we turn on Him in ignorance and arrogance?

Psalm 100 gives five directives in the same number of verses.
Shout for joy to the LORD.
Serve the LORD with gladness. Come before Him with joyful songs
Know that the LORD is God. It is He who made us, and we are His.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving Give thanks to Him and praise His name.
• For the LORD is good and His love endures forever; His faithfulness continues through all generations.

When you find yourself tempted to put down someone or something pick up your Bible and read through the Psalms and see if affirmation and honor come as quickly to your tongue as did the negative opposite.

“We don’t put up with put downs”. Perhaps a good motto in every avenue of life.