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FEBRUARY - MARCH 2017


WHAT WOULD MARTHA SAY?
by Wanda Lee

   

February - March 2017

                                                                 
                                                              What
Would Martha Say?

            There is much to be said when my 2 year old grandson comes for a visit. He is a light in our hearts and every consideration is made for the comfort of his stay. Our day is filled with plans of keeping this boy happy and content.  Grandmaís ordinary life gets set aside for the time he is with us, and chores that I would normally do on a regular scheduled basis get ignored.  And I find it kind of unique that when my son and daughter-in-law stay the night, anything my grandson needs or wants prompts a response like, ďAsk Grandma.Ē  

            The mere fact that he is two and a very busy boy means never taking your eyes off of him. Not used to having little ones around for a quite a few years meant retraining the eyes to be attentive and rearranging our priorities. It took some practice and it took having him come on a regular basis to adjust to this new walk of having a baby in the home again.

            So this weekend of having him visit I was sitting on the floor playing trucks with him and I had come to realize just how dependent this little boy had become toward me. He relies on grandma for everything because grandma will fix it. Grandma will do it! Then I thought of the similarities in regard to my relationship with Christ. How I had personally become co-dependent upon the Lord for my every need.  Jesus will fix it and Jesus will do it!

            I am reminded of a story of Martha and Mary in (Luke: 10:38-42) and how I identified myself with Martha who was cumbered about much serving.  There was a time that I let the worries and responsibilities of the day take hold and be the priority in my day. By the time I fulfilled these, there was nothing left in reserve for my relationship with the Lord.  The results of this behavior left me feeling exhausted and empty. There was a time when I read this Scripture and would get ticked at Mary too. How come she gets to sit at the feet of Jesus and I have to do all the work?

            The key answer to my question is; trusting the one who will fix it and who will do it! What we make a priority in our lives will bring us to a place of one who worries or one who trusts in Jesus. When I learned to keep my eyes attentive to the things of the Father, the need to worry dissipated and the strength to fulfill my duties were strengthened because I included Christ in them. Not all difficulties were removed from me, but I had Christís strength to encourage me to continue to walk and keep my eyes focused on His word.

            As a grandma I teach my grandson how to climb the stairs to the slide or how to swing on the swing, reassuring him that grandma will help and hold onto him so he wonít fall. He trusts me because I am always there to make sure he doesnít; like Mary who was dependent upon Jesus. She knew who her helper was. She knew she could trust Jesus to take care of whatever needed attention, and this brings me to my final point in this story -- the promise in this Scripture reveals itself to those who are reading this.

            As we look outside to the world and across the nations there is an uprising of contention and mayhem. It can be said that it is a huge distraction to those who try to keep their eyes on Jesus and trust Him to work this all out for the glory of His name. One need not look for very long to see Christians turning against Christians as the confusion continues to grow. Christians are hesitant to say anything for fear of being attacked verbally or otherwise. But this is the time we become like children and trust the Father. Keeping our eyes upon Him and keeping our words close to the Fatherís heart. Itís choosing to follow His word no matter the circumstances, and believing He will hold onto us so we wonít fall.

            That fall is the fall of confusion, losing hope in our Savior & losing trust, and the only way we can reassure one another is by keeping our eyes focused upon Him. He knows the plans He has for us. He knows what needs to happen.  They are His plans and purposes that we as Christians will follow His will; no different than the plans I have made to entertain my grandson. He follows grandma through every plan, though he may not know the purpose yet nor understand why we do some things the way we do. All he knows is that the outcome will be good.

            When we choose Christ the outcome will be good. Jesus says this in Scripture (Luke: 10: 42, ďBut one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.Ē What a promise for us to cling to during these trying times. I encourage you as you look at this Scripture to keep your eyes on Jesus and trust Him to work out the details. I encourage you to continue to pray for the nations, that all will know His name and believe on the everlasting Christ Jesus. I encourage you to pray for our enemies that Jesus will make a way, and remind you that by choosing the good, it will not be taken away. What would this Martha say? Like Mary, I choose to sit at the feet of Jesus

   

                                                                 Secret Places

      Guess what? I have a secret!!!! No one in the whole world knows.  You can try to guess what it might be but Iíll never tell. How many times in your life have you heard those statements come from your lips or your friendís lips? All the attention is given directly to the word Secret. Sound familiar? Sometimes that one little word we call secret can wreak so much havoc to the person holding the secret as sometimes the focus of the secret is often larger than the secret itself. 

      As I recall many times in my childhood the words from my grandmother; no good thing comes from keeping a secret or the telling of one. In short she was saying that most things we keep in secret are not good for us and telling a secret is no longer a secret. I must admit there were times I didnít agree with her words and yet even today in the recesses of my mind her words repeat themselves.

       Puzzled by this I decided to do a little study on secrets. The dictionary describes the word as concealed, hidden, confidential,  so that didnít sound bad to me but then I read surreptitious, furtive, underhanded, sneaky -- ok that didnít sound good, but then as I read further I saw the word mysterious. Now that word sticks out. I think of all things mysterious and conclude that the only thing mysterious in my life is Christ Jesus. 

       So I take it a step further and search in Scripture and His wisdom unfolds before me. Right there in front of me is a treasury of Scripture on such a word. Such a small word yet such power is held within its letters. Secret.. Secret is a placeÖ It sits somewhere in the middle of Sin and Sanctified. Itís a place of affliction or a place of Hope, and depending on which side of secret you stand will warrant its outcome.  

      One only has to read of the personal journey of great men such as Job, David, and Jeremiah, 
just to name a few, to decipher on which side the human heart stands. Today one only needs to hear and watch the personal testimony of Society, both in the church and out of the church, and it is pretty much self evident.  All too often it isnít the secret that causes us to stumble, itís our choices in who we tell it to. Itís as Jeremiah spoke in Lam 3:10,11 "He was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places. He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate." 

      As we read further in Lam 3:23-25 it says,  "They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him."  We see that Jeremiah saw both Godís judgment and Godís mercy. Jeremiahís darkest moments in agony was his secret, and he chose the right side of secret to testify. He knew where he would be strengthened with this assurance. God had been faithful and would continue to be faithful. 

      Now letís take a good look at Job and set his story into the now. As your typical everyday hardworking man who didnít know the discussions held between God and satan, and letís look at his secret places. Job was in total agony, both physically and spiritually. and no doubt dumbfounded by his condition because of the many losses he suffered. He did all the right things for God. He worshipped God, obeyed Godís commandments etc., so why was this happening to him? His focus was on why. That was his secret. But what did he do with his secret? He told it to his friends. As we read Job we see all the discussions of his friends and the conversations went round and round and nothing really was resolved. They all had an opinion but that didnít fix Jobís condition. Then Job decided to talk to God. He finally took his secret to the right side and God revealed Jobís pride. Job confesses and accepts that God is God and God will do what God will do simply because He is God and everything is restored to Job. AmazingÖ 

      And then there is my favorite man David.  Now Davidís response to his secret is quite a different response than that of Jeremiah and Job. As we read; David knew the meaning of Sin and he knew the meaning of Sanctified but He sat right directly in the middle with his secret. He did not take the secret to either side. He told no one not even God. He held onto his secret 'til his bones waxed old. In other words 'til even his bones hurt in his body. (Psalms 32:3) Setting David into present day, Heís still a man after Godís heart and has a whole lot of responsibility, and the work load can be overwhelming at times. He has a tremendous testimony of hardships and blessings. One only has to walk in his shoes for a few minutes to experience what struggles he faced. Yes David was a king but he was a man first, built with all the emotions of man today. He was not a super hero with super powers. He was an ordinary man with extraordinary struggles who wanted to please God but he waited 'til he was sick and hurting before he let go of his secret.   Maybe He allowed himself to suffer in self affliction because he knew he had sinned and he deserved to suffer punishment. But in the end he chose the right side of secret and allowed God to be his God and judge by confessing his secret, and his choice was right as God chose to forgive him and set him under His shadow.

(Isaiah 45:3) And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.

(Psalms 91:1) He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

(Matt 6:6) But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

      Sanctified is the secret place He longs for us to sit in, so would it be safe to say the words my grandmother spoke, that no good thing comes from keeping a secret nor the telling of one?

 

 

 

                                                                                Little Notes 
                                                         (Sometimes It Ends with a Note on our Heart)


        This morning as I begin to clean out the very thing that gets neglected the most, I was overwhelmed as to how much I had stored in my purse. Though it goes with me everywhere, I am always shocked at what I have carried with me and wonder why it's so heavy to carry around. The weight of it is usually the indicator that it's time to sort. 

        As I begin this journey I laugh at some of the stuff I crammed into it, and I ask the question, why do I carry all this stuff with me? Do I really need this? I usually dump it out in the middle of my table and begin from there. 

        I make separate piles for the items that are a must and piles that can be moved to another spot. I will be the first to admit that not having a pen in my purse and a note pad is just not right and its usually the very first thing that goes back in, but a girl doesn't need nine pens and four notepads.... 

        As I complete this chore, I focus on the pile of notes I didn't put back into my handbag; notes or as some would call them lists, reminders of the things we need to do, or shop for. 

        I have incorporated making notes into my lifestyle because it helps me remember the many things I need to accomplish in a day. As I search in my notes, those to keep and those to dispose of, I can see by the amount of notes just how busy I was and it answers the question of why I felt so tired and weak. 

     On some of those little notes I had written ideas for a song and/or Scripture verses  for me to meditate on to get me through the day. ( 2Cor 12:9) "And He said unto me: My Grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness, most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." Those were "keepers," and so I begin to transfer them to my prayer journal. As I am writing them down the Rhema of His word begins to reveal itself.

    Our hearts can be like the purse or handbag we carry. We stuff it full of the many things we experience throughout our day. What we don't realize is that we hung on to some stuff that wasn't necessary. We can't see that because we are overwhelmed by the urgency of accomplishing the list and the many distractions that come our way, we begin to store up worry, concern, doubt and anxiety, and yes, we might have said a prayer as we began but the greater majority of our thought process was on the list that we didn't give to Jesus. We thought we did, but then in a flash we took back control. 

        Throughout the rest of that particular day the weight begins to grow yet even heavier, and we are exhausted by the end, and yes, and even sometimes we are too tired to give thanks to the One who helped us, allowing our burden to cloud our thankfulness.

        So today as I sorted the things in my purse, Jesus sorted out the things in my heart, and I'm left with one question: If I saw what lay before me a head of time, would I have moved forward? I think sometimes the application of Christ into our lives begins and ends with a note on our hearts. 

        Thank you Lord, for your grace truly and ever abiding in us. For when we come to give you thanks we will see the sustaining notes of the Father.

 

 

   
May 2016
                                                                Heart Responses

            In light of our Christian walk, what would cause us to stop and ask this question: ďLord, what direction would you have me go?Ē Are we asking for an actual direction or a response? Depending on the circumstances that surround our reasons, we search out the ďwhysĒ in a particular situation, which usually dictates movement toward reflecting on the familiarity of this question. ďIn layman terms, how come Iím at this particular crossroad again?Ē Just recently I had the privilege of experiencing this and I was surprised at what Christ had revealed and what I had gleaned on a personal level.

            Six months ago I had purchased a new pre-leased vehicle. The decision to purchase such a vehicle was motivated by the logical reasons that suited my needs, such as safety in the winter months, transporting music equipment to and from concerts and so on and so forth. I felt blessed and I was grateful to Christ for simply just the privilege of being able to have a new vehicle, but I canít say that my heart was feeling the wow factor.  

            I remember the purchase of my very first car; I was so proud of it. I showed it to everyone I knew and I loved pointing out all the fancy features it contained.  I would gaze out my living room window and see my new car parked on the street and say to myself: Ah thereís my new baby! I didnít think about those feelings until one day last week when my husband backed into my new vehicle. He was running late for an appointment and didnít see where I had parked. After hitting my vehicle, he got out of his truck with a horrific look of dread on his face, only to hear my response; ďHoney go, just go, youíre already late for your meeting.Ē Assessing the damage as he drove out of the parking lot, I found myself feeling sorrow for my husband. He was under duress with multi-tasking his duties as employer of our company and being a care giver to his parents. My husbandís father was being moved into palliative, and his meeting was for that particular purpose.  

            As I walked back into the office building I felt like I had been standing in this place before and I could see the crossroad in front of me, and I remember asking with my inside voice: ďLord whatís up with this? Every vehicle I purchase gets smacked within a few months of purchasing. How come?Ē My heart was torn with feelings of sorrow for my husband and the questions of how come. Then a statement Iíd heard many times throughout my Christian walk banged the inner walls of my brain: History repeats itself Ďtil we make a change!  Oh Lord not that again! Now what changes need to happen? I was so busy seeking out what needed to be changed that I didnít see Christ pointing out the changes that had taken place in my heart until much later that evening when my husband arrived home from work. As my husbandís truck pulled up into the driveway I remember praying; Lord lift his burden. I just knew he was in a place of dreading the outcome of our discussion that was yet to come. Confirmation revealed itself as he entered the house. He was already apologizing before his shoes were off.

            Within his third Iím sorry of the day I responded with: It happens. Stuff just happens; Then I proceeded to give him a quick history of the vehicles I have purchased over the years and how each one was christened with a dent, chuckling as I spoke. But at the same time Christ is giving me a history of my responses to each vehicle that had been smacked. I had owned four different vehicles and with each one I had a different response. My first vehicle, I only had for three months when my 16 year old son decided to take it out at 1:00 am in the morning to see if he could drive, and rolled the vehicle. I remember all too well my response and so does everyone else in the community. My reaction was one of pure anger and upset. The second vehicle I owned, I only had it four months before my husband backed into another vehicle with it. Again, I found myself upset and spewed words, though the words could not be defined as kind, nonetheless they were not as angry as was with my first reaction.

            My third vehicle I owned for five months before my neighbor slid into it with a flat deck trailer he was hauling, ripping the left front fender and bumper.  With him standing at my front door, confessing what he had done and ready to give me all the information I would need for insurance purposes, I found myself upset because I had damage to the vehicle but calm because his insurance would restore it to new again. There was no verbal exchange in the way of anger; not even as I told my husband about the incident. What I do remember was how blessed I felt because this neighbor was so honest. He could have driven away and not said anything, but he didnít. Now here with my fourth vehicle being damaged I found myself more concerned with my husbandís heart than with the damage to the vehicle. It can be fixed. What I found so unique was the response that flowed from my lips. It wasnít how I said what I said but what Christ said through me and the peace that swallowed up the room that we were standing in.

            At the same time I was speaking to my husband, revelation of Christís word was flowing in my heart from a Scripture I had been given a few weeks prior. It was the most exciting thing ever for me to experience. (Luke 12:34) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. For what did I glean?  The rhema of Christís spoken Word is held in this Scripture. I was able to recognize the seeds of maturity that grew in my heart responses. The evidence revealed by each event of a vehicle dented. For what do I hold as my treasure? Christ Jesus! And so there will my heart be also. The value of your heart is not the heart itself but in the first responses of our heart.

 

 

                                                  SECRET PLACES

             Guess what? I have a secret that no one in the whole world knows.  You can try to guess what it might be, but Iíll never tell. How many times in your life have you heard those statements come from your lips or your friendís lips? All the attention is given directly to the word ĎSecret.í  Sound familiar? Sometimes that one little word we call Ďsecretí can wreak so much havoc to the person holding the secret as sometimes the focus of the secret is often larger than the secret itself.

            As I recall, many times in my childhood these words from my grandmother: ďNo good thing comes from keeping a secret or the telling of one.Ē  In short, she was saying that most things we keep in secret are not good for us, and telling a secret is no longer a secret.  I must admit there were times I didnít agree with her words and yet even today in the recesses of my mind her words repeat themselves.

            Puzzled by this I decided to do a little study on secrets. The dictionary describes the word as concealed, hidden and confidential;  so that didnít sound bad to me but then I read surreptitious, furtive, underhanded and sneaky.  O,k that didnít sound , but then as I read further I see the word mysterious. Now that word sticks out. I think of all things mysterious and conclude that the only thing mysterious in my life is Christ Jesus. So I take it a step further and search in Scripture and ďHisĒ wisdom unfolds before me.

            Right there in front of me is a treasury of Scripture on such a word. Such a small word yet such power is held within its letters. ĎSecret."  Secret is a placeÖ It sits somewhere in the middle of Sin and Sanctified. Itís a place of affliction or a place of Hope, and depending on which side of secret you stand will warrant its outcome. 

            One only has to read of the personal journey of great men such as Job, David, and Jeremiah, just to name a few, to decipher on which side the human heart stands. Today one only needs to hear and watch the personal testimony of Society, both in the church and out of the church, and it is pretty much self evident.  All too often it isnít the secret that causes us to stumble, itís our choices in who we tell it to.  

            Itís as Jeremiah spoke in Lam 3:10,11, ďHe was unto me as a bear lying in wait, and as a lion in secret places. He hath turned aside my ways, and pulled me in pieces: he hath made me desolate As we read further in Lam 3:23-25, ďthey are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him  We see that Jeremiah saw both Godís judgment and Godís mercy. Jeremiahís darkest moments in agony was his secret, and he chose the right side of secret to testify. He knew where he would be strengthened with this assurance. God had been faithful and would continue to be faithful.

            Now letís take a good look at Job and set his story into the now. As your typical everyday hardworking man who didnít know the discussions held between God and , and letís look at his secret places. Job was in total agony both physically and spiritually and no doubt dumbfounded by his condition because of the many losses he suffered. He did all the right things for God. He worshipped God, obeyed Godís commandments etc., so why was this happening to him? His focus was on why. That was his secret. But what did he do with his secret? He told it to his friends.

            As we read Job, we see all the discussions of his friends, and the conversations went round and round and nothing really was resolved. They all had an opinion but that didnít fix Jobís condition. Then Job decides to talk to God.  He finally takes his secret to the right , and God reveals Jobís pride. Job confesses, accepts that God is God and God will do what God will do, simply because He is , and everything is restored to Job. Amazing!

            And then there is my favorite man David.  Now Davidís response to his secret is quite a different response than that of Jeremiah and Job. As we read; David knew the meaning of sin and he knew the meaning of sanctified, but He sat right directly in the middle with his secret. He did not take the secret to either side. He told no one, not even God. He held onto his secret Ďtil his bones waxed old. In other words, Ďtil even his bones hurt in his body. (Psalms 32:3).

             Setting David into present day, heís still a man after Godís heart and has a whole lot of responsibility, and the work-load can be overwhelming at times.  He has a tremendous testimony of hardships and of blessings. One only has to walk in his shoes for a few minutes to experience what struggles he faced. Yes, David was a king, but he was a man first, built with all the emotions of man today. He was not a super-hero with super-powers. He was an ordinary man with extraordinary struggles, who wanted to please God, but he waited until he was sick and hurting before he let go of his secret.   Maybe He allowed himself to suffer in self affliction because he knew he had sinned and he deserved to suffer punishment. But in the end he chose the right side of secret and allowed God to be his God, and by confessing his secret, his choice was right as God chose to forgive and set him under His shadow.

            (Isaiah 45:3) ďAnd I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.Ē

            (Psalms 91:1) ďHe that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.Ē

            (Matt 6:6) ďBut thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.Ē

           
Sanctified
is the secret place He longs for us to sit in, so would it be safe to say the words my grandmother spoke, that no good thing comes from keeping a secret nor the telling of one?

Blessings,

Wanda Lee