Wednesday, April 24, 2019

God's Creative Lessons

My dog, Henry, is special. He's intelligent, full of fun, and courageous.  However, Henry is also full of mischief and although he's been easy to train he is not always well behaved and it has been a daily challenge to teach him good manners. I think it has a lot to do with the fact that he is a seven-month-old Labrador Retriever with all the energy, strength and mischief that is common to the breed at this young age. Some days I wonder if it was unwise to have chosen to adopt a lab puppy, especially at my age.

One recent morning, he was up to his usual mischief. He'd stolen my television remote and thought it was great fun to destroy it. And even more fun to keep it away from me. He wasn't about to give up his prize. After much effort on my part to rescue the remote, I was near tears and pleading with Henry to take pity on me. I tried to reason with him and told him, "Henry, I love you. Why are you doing this? I picked you from a whole litter of pups, knowing you were the one for me. I've loved you. I've taken good care of you and made sure you are well loved and well fed. I've spent countless hours training you, and I've been patient with you (most of the time). I know you are special and I have great hopes for you." 

And then ...

I heard the voice of my Heavenly Father. He said, "Bonnie, I created you and I chose you. I have loved you, watched over you. I have given you everything you need for health and life. I have great hopes for you. And yet, sometimes, just like Henry, you go your own way. You refuse to listen to me."

I stopped trying to convince Henry to cooperate. My frustration melted away. As my countenance softened, so did Henry's, and he gave me the remote.

How often I'm like Henry. And as he trusts me, I also can trust The Father. If only I will listen to Him. He loves me and always wants what's best for me. And even when I'm being stubborn and willful He doesn't give up on me. He always forgives me. 

How wonderful is my God. 

If I am willing to listen, He teaches me, sometimes in creative ways, even using my mischievous puppy, Henry, to help me see what is real in life and to help me better understand how deeply I am loved.

Is He speaking to you in a creative way? Be listening. 

Grace and peace to you from God,


Wednesday, April 10, 2019


God reminds me of His truth, often in surprising ways. For instance, a few nights ago I clicked onto Netflix and scrolled through the movie selection and came across one that had never before appealed to me. But on that night I felt like something lighthearted and decided to watch a  movie called Penelope. To my surprise I enjoyed the story. But it's something one of the characters said at the end of the movie that caught my attention most.

"It's not how powerful the curse, but how much power you give the curse."

That statement got me to thinking.

In the movie a witch had placed a curse on a family centuries before and that curse destined a beautiful child to be born with a pig snout. I won't say more about it because I'd hate to give away too much of the movie in case any of you might want to watch it. 

The curse theme got me to thinking about all sorts of curses, or what I'd rather refer to as lies. Lies that we bring upon ourselves or accept from the mouths of others, or simply come to believe because of circumstances, or an idea we accept rather than God's truth. 

I'm certain we all have lies we believe about ourselves rather than the truth. I have a bunch. Some I've come to see as lies and others I still drag along with me. 

  •      I'm not intelligent. I listened to that one for many, many years. 
  •     I have reason to be afraid. I still struggle with that one. However, when I look back over my life and remember the many risks I've taken, the times I stood up when no one else would, and when I've stepped out because I was sure it was what God wanted even when I knew there would be consequences to pay ... I see the lie. I'm only fearful when I give power to the lie.    

There are others that try to keep me down, keep me isolated or stuck. 

  •      I can't do that.
  •      I'm never going to be capable of ... 
  •      When my vision is gone I won't be able to write.

     And more.

Lies. All lies. 

We need to see them for what they are, destroyers from the enemy, satan, the author of lies, who wants to see us fail, relishes in keeping us weak and afraid, and powerless to serve the Lord. He wants us to believe he has the power. But he only has as much power as we give him. Because in Christ we are powerful, and all things are possible. Christ gives us insight to see the lies and courage to stand up to them. He helps us see that we can be more than we believe we can.

Out Father gives us all that we need. And tells us how to battle in Ephesians 6: 10 - 18 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power . Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand, Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers for all the saints.

We can shut out the lies and listen only to truth. We are able because we belong to The Father. We are His. 

Never forget. Do not live under a curse.

Grace and peace to you from God,