Tuesday, February 22, 2011

It wasn't in the whirlwind

10:19 p.m. Today's project was to take care of as many business matters as possible, including banking business, wedding business, my beauty consultant business, tax return business, and the pantry-and- gas tank-filling business. As you can tell by the lateness of the hour as I write this, I spent almost no time at home today at all!

It all began by doing business with God during my devotion time this morning, reading the exhortations of the Apostle Peter to the church, and sharing Psalm 119:98 on Facebook, a reinforcement of the value of studying God's word. Come what may, v. 98 gives me assurance that the scriptures are always with me. Then, as I journalled my worship, gratitude, confessions, prayers, and requests for direction to the Lord for the day, my trust in Him was built up even more. Ladies' Bible study was inspiring as ever, more reinforcement of the need to know and apply the Word to daily life. I prayed for a sister at the end, and then worked on ministry matters before heading out to do a facial nearby.

When we know the Bible, we know the heart of God. If we know His loving heart, we know Him. "God is love," 1 John 4:8 says. And His love carried me through my whirlwind day.

How wonderful it is to have a caregiver at home with Steve so I can take care of family business! When I came home for about an hour, Steve was fine, had eaten, chores were done, the guys had walked the dogs, and it was time for the two of us to get ready to sign our tax return. He got the dogs' food parceled out, I arranged with our daughter to feed them at 5, and then out the door we both went. Our tax returns were finalized in a time of fellowship with dear Patty from our church, and we now had less than two hours to go before I was due at Heart to Home, and Steve at Men's Bible study.

I hadn't written the devotional I'd be giving at the start of the "Low-Carb Cooking" class, something I usually utilize that day's blog post for! I'd looked through some prepared messages while we sat in the car waiting for our tax appointment, but nothing seemed to "pop out" at me. I knew God would give me a message, so we went to stock up on dog food and staples at Winco, filled up our gas tank ($42.00, more than the cart full of food!!!), and went to church. While there I realized that I needed to take a product to the customer I'd facialed earlier that day, so we took off again, thankfully, to a neighborhood near church.

Steve helped me carry my things up to the kitchen, and went to his Bible study. I joined the class instructor--head of a restaurant/catering operation at University of California Riverside--and four other ladies to chat for a while. I flipped though my binder, but couldn't find a prepared message while we were talking. What now, Lord? I silently asked. He faithfully led me to teach out of I Corinthians 13, the famous passage on love. I opened the class with prayer, and then by the Holy Spirit, taught verses 4-8, concept by concept. As I love to have happen, and what makes teaching the Bible so worthwhile and precious to me, is that we had quite a few supportive and knowledgeable comments and observations from the ladies. The class was a wonderful success, very educational as to the components of a healthy diet, and I brought home a lovely serving of "Pizza Stew" that was made for us. Next week, it's low-carb desserts!

I reflected on just when it was that the Lord spoke to me today, and thought of what the prophet Elijah found out in I Kings 19:11-12:

Then He (God) said, 'Go out, and stand on the mountain before the LORD.' And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.

All day I had been carrying out the responsibilities I am called to, in His will and timing, but was in a whirlwind of busyness, barely taking time to eat my pack lunch. I sought His guidance for each task, but was definitely not in a meditative mode!

When I finally sat still, just quiet in my spirit in the midst of our small pre-class gathering, not panicked by the lack of a written-out message, but seeking the exact scripture He wanted for those women and myself, was when God made Himself clear. I was to teach on His most prominent characteristic: love.

How He loves us! God even had one more "treat" for me this evening. Just before I began to write this, I listened to a message from my son in Long Beach, excited about a lecture he had attended at Biola with the Christian artists' group he belongs to, Derekstar. The most precious part of the message was Kriss' characteristic closing, "okay, love you, bye." We then had a marvelous talk about stewardship of the earth, the Lord, church, and true Christian fellowship when I called him back.

And I now I'll close this day by telling my Heavenly Father, "Love you!" But, you see, there's a difference in my greeting:

There's no goodbye, ever!

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