Monday, May 21, 2018

Righteousness and Peace Kiss

Psalm 85 [Psa 85:4, 6-7, 9-13 NKJV]
4 Restore us, O God of our salvation, And cause Your anger toward us to cease. ...
6 Will You not revive us again, That Your people may rejoice in You?
7 Show us Your mercy, LORD, And grant us Your salvation. ...
9 Surely His salvation [is] near to those who fear Him, That glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.
11 Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 Yes, the LORD will give [what is] good; And our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness will go before Him, And shall make His footsteps [our] pathway.

His people had once again been rebellious, just as we all can be. They were held captive by their sin, yet they longed for their relationship with God to be restored.
I can relate. I have times in my life when my relationship with Him is not what it should be. Times when I just want to hide from Him even though everything in me screams to be one with Him. It’s as though I can’t find a way. It was as though the Israelites could not find their way.
So we beg God ... they begged and prayed to God: “Turn us, O God of our Salvation and cause thine anger toward us to cease!” (KJV) “Wilt Thou not revive us again that thy people might rejoice in Thee?”
Rescue us from ourselves. Bring us out of this captivity. Revive the life and breath in our souls.
Revive! This is from the Hebrew word “chayah” with this meaning: to live, have life, remain alive, sustain life, live prosperously, live for ever, be quickened, be alive, be restored to life or health.
Turn ... Restore .... Redeem .... Make New. Quicken me! Make me live! Sustain me and prosper me! Restore my health and well being! Only God can do this in us. He is the One that turns us back to Him. When we cry out to Him and turn to Him, He returns to us. Charles Spurgeon wrote “Yea, He is first in the reconciliation and turns them when otherwise they would never turn of themselves.”
Without His willingness and His love for us, there is no turning back to Him. There is no revival unless He does the reviving.
“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” (KJV) Psalm 85: 10
Mercy and truth are met together! This is no chance meeting. This is an encounter long planned out and planned for. A joining together for a purpose. For God’s purpose and plan to reign and rule and love His children in mercy and revealing His truth to us in the person of Jesus Christ.
Yet this part! This takes my breath away! “righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” This is sheer poetry come to life.
Kissed. From the Hebrew word “Nashaq” meaning the idea of fastening up; to kiss, literally or figuratively (touch);mutually connected; joined together; also (as a mode of attachment), to equip with weapons:—armed (men), rule, kiss, that touched.
You kiss what you love. A kiss is intimate and personal. A kiss joins you with another. It connects you. It binds.
Righteousness comes only from God. He is the only Righteous One.
Righteousness and peace have kissed, becoming so intimately intertwined with each other that you can not have one without the other ... as Christ kissed the earth, becoming so joined with His creation as to be a part of it... a part of us.
He was intimately with us, in our lives, walking, talking, breathing, equipping us with what we need to do battle against evil, reviving and restoring us to the Father. He was Emmanuel, God with us.
He gave us the Holy Spirit that lives in us.
He kissed our souls with Righteousness and made us at peace with Him.
Righteousness and Peace kissed at the cross where Mercy and Truth met, and God became at peace with His creation because of His Son Jesus who provided for our salvation.
We are justified by faith and at peace with God through Jesus Christ. He has made us righteous as though we had never sinned, as though we had never worshiped or kissed an idol. As though we had never turned away from Him.
So if you are held captive by your own choices, if you are wandering and want to return home, if you are just tired of the life you have been living, pray and ask forgiveness. Ask Him to help you turn from that captivity and set you free. Ask the Father and He will save you.. He will do a work in you and revive your relationship with Him.
He will show you how to live your life in righteousness and He will bless you.
His promise to us is true.
You might say He sealed it with a kiss.

05/08/2018

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Unfazed


We go about our lives letting every little thing filter into our thoughts and into our attitudes. 

From dreading the Monday morning alarm going off, to worrying about relationships, finances, paying the bills. Can we afford groceries this week? Will we be able to pay for the kid’s new clothes, shoes? Oh wow! The car needs gas. Again? For Heaven’s sake, a birthday or holiday is coming up! How will we manage that? The doctor’s report? Not to mention the normal every day stuff that goes along with co-workers, friends, “the boss”, birth, death, taxes. Did I mess that up? Did I say or do the wrong thing? Is he / she mad? Will I get to keep my job? Does he / she love me? I’m not good enough. Am I pretty enough? How did I get into this mess? Again!?

The list is endless. At least it seems that way to us.

These not so little things add up and become giant crashing waves in our lives.

We let life get in the way of living.

Worry and dread are nothing more than the devil attempting to distract us from being the person that God created us to be. 

The new creation in Christ.

The born again power wielding believer.

The prayer warrior, minister, missionary, encourager, teacher, spouse, parent, child of God, over comer, that He sees when He looks at us.
 
I believe that God sees us as we are.

But I believe that He also sees us as the completed work that He makes of us.

He is unfazed by our lack of cooperation. He will have His way with His children. But it saves us a lot of work and time if we will just cooperate and trust Him and allow Him to change us from the inside out.

I like that word. “Unfazed”.

Fazed is defined as: Disturbed, disconcerted, daunted, worried, vexed, violent impact.

It comes from the Old English word “feeze” which means: to beat, to drive off, agitation, to frighten, alarm or discomfit, to surprise and create discomposure.

Please don't feeze me.

These definitions are all components of fear.

We let these mindsets creep into our lives, beat us down, drive off our faith, and determine our responses and actions.

So if I like the word “Unfazed”, why do I define “fazed”?

To demonstrate that being unfazed is the direct opposite.

Fear does not come from God. Fear comes from the liar, satan.

Peter was walking on the water, exhilarated and in awe! Until he took his eyes off Jesus and took note of the waves. Only then did he begin to sink. He let the devil distract him with fear.

Jesus wasn’t even paying any attention to the storm.   He didn't have a care about it.

Again, He was unfazed by what should have, at least in our eyes, concerned and daunted Him.
 
We’re human. We get distracted. We encounter stormy waters on a daily basis. We get a bit vexed by it. We are daunted, frightened by the storm and wonder how we are going to make it with our heads under water because we sank once again.

Oof!

Let's plan to act on faith and rely on Jesus in advance of storms.

Let’s make a deliberate intentional effort to become so entrenched in our faith that we look first to Jesus when those distractions and storms come.

If God is unfazed by what we worry about, shouldn’t we also be without fear?

He does not give us a spirit of fear. 

“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 )

So don’t be fazed by life. Don’t live in fear and dread of what a day may bring. Don’t convince yourself (or be convinced by the liar) that things are bad or terrible.

Yes, I know that bad things happen and we do go through a lot. But I also know that if Jesus told us to “...be of good cheer. I have overcome the world...” (John 16: 33) when troubles come, then we should trust Him to be with us and guide us as we go through these terrible, horrible, very bad days instead of being overcome by them. 

We should be unfazed as He is unfazed.

No, it’s not easy .... until you do it.... step by step ... day by day.

Maybe you fail. Maybe you get overwhelmed by a circumstance.

But remind yourself of who you are in Christ and that He gives you power to overcome.

So you start again.... step by step ... day by day.

Because the faith and the power is still there in the middle of your bad day. It belongs to you because you are an heir of the One True God. He didn’t leave you.

In fact, you may find yourself being a little cheerful, or a LOT cheerful looking to Him to see what wonders He will do in your life. Again! 

You may find yourself looking forward to what God might accomplish through you in a bad (or good) day when you live and trust in that spirit of power and love and a sound mind.

Look to Him. Trust Him. Believe Him. Take Him at His Word. All fear and worry will disappear.
He will give you peace.

Live life unfazed.


Kathy Thompson Ellis
All scripture references are from the NKJV.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Random Evening In An Emergency Room






Friday afternoon I get a phone call. 

"We need to take your Dad to the ER."

We tried to convince him to go in an ambulance so that he would not have to sit in the waiting room.   Ambulance patients arriving get preferred treatment in the ER.   They are rushed right into the sacred halls of the actual exam rooms rather than being consigned to the black hole that is the average ER waiting room. 

But he refused that preferential treatment, not believing that they would make him wait.

Four hours after arriving ... his name is finally called and he is taken back to actually be treated.

In those 4 hours in the time warp, we witnessed quite a few startling and disturbing incidents.

First of all, the waiting room was filled with people and we were told that some of them had already been there four or five hours!   But who knew, maybe we would make it out of there quickly!   We could only hope.

We found a little corner of the room and began serving our time.   It was a cozy little corner next to the vending machines that kept humming loudly in my ear preventing any sort of communication with my fellow waiting room inmates.

I watched as we all settled in.  There was a little girl with braided hair making her rounds in the room.   First she grabbed a tissue off the dispenser on the wall and pretended to blow her nose.   Then she ran back and wallowed all over her big sister who was maybe twelve years old and amusing herself by chewing on her thumb.   She didn't appear to be too perturbed by little sister who squirmed and wiggled for a minute and then decided that she needed to use the hand cleanser dispenser and wash her hands, followed by a visit to the bathroom. I don't know if she washed her hands in the bathroom or not.   These two were kind of cute.  I have no idea where the mother or father or other parental unit type person was.

For all I know these two little ones live in the ER.

Weary of the roar of the vending machines, I got up to walk around and find a quieter, cooler place.  So I stood in the entry way and in view of the triage area hoping against hope that the triage nurse would spot me and realize that my Dad had not yet been seen by a doctor. 

He wouldn't make eye contact.

In the meantime, my daughter in law Lindsay, who had come with us to help out, had struck up a conversation with two women who were there because one of them had an insect bite.   The lady was just sure it was a spider bite.   Lindsay, being familiar with these things, started telling her what they needed to do about it, naming the medicine that they needed and how to go about treating it. 

There's no telling how long those two had been sitting there, but they immediately left the hospital and rushed to a local store to buy the recommended medicinal items over the counter.   They found a means of escape and seized it as quickly as they could!

While that was going on, the doors whooshed open and a gentleman in one of the hospital's wheel chairs arrived being pushed by another fellow.   

The man in the wheel chair was groaning in pain and carrying his boot.   His bare foot was hanging off the edge of the little foot rest thing on the wheel chair.    Fortunately, it was still attached.   I was scared to look at first.

His buddy parked him and said "You okay?"

"Yeah" Boot Man groaned.

"I gotta go then!" and the so called buddy left him sitting there without even so much as a
hug or a pat on the back or even "I hope you'll be alright."

That's not my kind of buddy.   But hey!  At least he got him to the black hole.   He did his duty.

I stood there listening to Boot Man moan in agony as he completed the entrance exam papers to give to the ladies waiting behind their dual computer screens to check in the unsuspecting  victims ... umm I mean patients.

When he was finished filling out papers, I looked at him helplessly sitting there.    He had no means to get to the check in ladies.   The wheel chair was not meant for self propulsion.   It had to be pushed by somebody.

"Do you need some help getting to the desk?" I asked as he was looking desperate and attempting to find a way to cross the 12 foot expanse between him and them.  He was considering crawling.

"Yes ... groan.... please!"   So I pushed him across in the wheel chair trying to avoid hitting his foot against the desk and causing him even more pain.  

He was eventually finished with them.  I guess he passed the exam papers!  One of the check in ladies actually pushed him down the hallway so he could sit in front of the triage room and watch while others were called back to be treated before him.    I'm telling you this was sheer torture.   Boot Man was almost in tears from excruciating pain and they were first taking care of others who had no visible signs of injury or sickness.   Inhumane it was.

In the meantime, my Dad is still sitting listening to the vending machine singing its song.

Spider bite lady returned.

She just wanted to stop back by and thank my sweet daughter-in-law for all her help.

Who would have thought anyone would willingly come back to the void just to say "thanks ma'am!"

I was impressed.

A little girl came in with her parents.    Little braid girl apparently knew her, because she immediately ran up to her and started hanging off the wheel chair and talking like they were old friends.  Or ... she could have seen a fellow child and decided that they were in this together so might as well make the most of it.    They struck up a conversation like only little kids can do.

"Why are you  here?"

"I have a hole in my heart!"

WHAT?

Wait a minute.   Go sit and wait your turn.

About 3 hours after we arrived, a  lady across the room stood up and said to no one in particular, "I'm out of here!   This is ridiculous!  I've been here 5 hours and I haven't been treated yet!"

"Don't go!   Don't do it!" my sister's fiance said loudly from our post by the vending machines.  "Don't!"    (Yes, we had quite the entourage there to share in my Dad's sentence.   We wouldn't let him serve it alone!)

She didn't heed his advice and left to go suffer, forgoing the hope of any future medical aid. 

A few other people sat there for a while, contemplating the odds of ever seeing a doctor.  A light dawned on their pained faces as they got up to leave and escape the torment.   "I'll show them!   I'll leave!   I can do it!  Freedom!!!!!"

No Eye Contact Nurse called out a name loudly and Little Girl With The Hole In Her Heart was the lucky one!  

I guess a hole in your heart is more important than a lame foot or a swollen arm.

My Dad's odds of seeing a doctor were going up!

Still standing in the entrance area, I watched a couple come in.   She was bent over in pain.  I didn't know what was hurting but she was not in good shape.  As soon as she sat down, the check in lady gave her a bucket.   That did not bode well for the rest of us!

Oh No!

She leaned over the bucket, trying to hide her face.  Even worse, she was trying to quietly vomit.

Well, that didn't work.   Not the quiet part anyway.

Boot Man's wife arrived. I guess it was his wife.   She stood by his powerless wheel chair and held him as he began to cry.  

Bucket lady and her husband came and sat down near my family, the place closest to the public bathroom.

I meandered back to check on my folks and struck up a conversation with Bucket Lady and her husband.    She had kidney stones.  Wow!  Ouch!   Well, at least it wasn't something contagious!

Every five minutes or so she got up to run into the bathroom and upchuck!    When she wasn't in the bathroom, she was writhing in pain.

Nurse Lindsay set off to find a wash cloth so Bucket Lady could at least have a cold wet cloth to help her in her distress.

At some point in time, Boot Man was taken somewhere.  He disappeared when we weren't looking.

Out of the blue ... a disembodied voice called my Dad's name!    He was finally being called back to an exam room and we were going to be able to exit the  torture chamber!

As we began to walk towards the escape hatch, I heard Bucket Lady cry out.

I stopped in my tracks, had an internal debate,  turned and walked over to her.   She was leaning over onto her husband, head down and gasping. 

My hands touched her gently and I prayed "ease her pain...Lord".

I don't even know if she felt or heard me.   Her husband looked at me and gave me a sincere "thank you."

Later, Lindsay is still out in the waiting room while we were back with my Dad.   Bucket Lady comes stumbling out of the bathroom for the umpteenth time and begins to collapse.   Five months pregnant Lindsay yells for help and rushes to catch her before she hits the tile floor.

Eventually, Bucket Lady's name is called and she also goes through the hallowed doors of the exam rooms.

I saw her later, no longer in pain as she was being wheeled out the doors.   She reached up and took my hand.

My Dad, who spent the next two nights in the hospital being treated, is well and home now.

He says next time we'll call an ambulance.




















Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Exposed

 shame embarassed GIF

Privacy is important to me.

Although I might share my heart with someone one on one, or with trusted friends and family, for some reason I find it difficult to disclose my inner-most in the written word or bring attention to myself.

Mind spasms and writhing anxieties consume me when I even think about it.

I read others written words.  They are baring their souls to the world.   Sharing their shortcomings, their failures, their fears, their terrible bad thing.

Those things are hard.    It requires caring enough to help others by sharing the ugly part of yourself.

How do they do that?   I want so badly to have that kind of courage.

So God can use me to have an effect somehow.

So here I go.

I am absolutely terrible at and embarrassed by self promotion and too prideful to share my deep dark.

I guess it does boil down to pride.

Today I was interviewed for a local Christian television program.   Surprisingly to me,  I had been invited to share my testimony in what will be a public forum.   Thank you Jesus!  

My testimony is the same as others.  It's Glorious!   God has done amazing things in my life.  He has saved me, changed me, made me new, born again, provided and sheltered. He does this for all His children.

We are admonished to always be ready to give a reason for the hope and the joy that is within us.  So I was happy glad and agreed to show up and share... although inside my belly was jelly and I was in a tizzy all week until the day of the recording, excited and understandably nervous at the prospect.

I'm always ready to share my testimony and share Jesus with others.   Always.

It is a struggle and battle royal to promote myself, even though God has given me the ability and mission to share Him with others in speaking, teaching, and in the written word.

So this happened.

The gentleman began the interview and started out by asking about my e-book, "Splattered Faith". 

What?  I was taken aback because I was totally prepared to share my story, but not prepared at all to answer questions about the book I wrote.

It took a lot of courage for me to even put together an e-book and send it out there for the world.   It takes even more bravery for me to share it on social media and ask people to "Hey! Go read my book!"

Every time I share something from my blog, I cringe inside.

Ennywhoo:

Thinking that I was going to share how wonderful God has been to me and then maybe throw in on the side at the end of the interview, maybe,  "Oh, yeah, I have a little e-book on Amazon if anyone is interested at all .. thank you very much.  That's all folks!"  I was completely caught off guard and struggling to answer his questions.

Driving home, I was just sick inside and my mind was going 50 different directions wondering how in the world did I end up in that seat answering those questions and what did I even say out loud anyway?   Did I make sense?  Did I repeat myself? Did I ramble?  

Did I look silly?  Did I embarrass myself?  

Pride.   Worried about embarrassing myself by promoting myself.  

God gave me this incredible opportunity to share what He has done.  And I'm worried about being embarrassed when I am not actually promoting myself, but promoting Him!

I have battled pride all my life.   Not that I think I am better than others at all.  I don't.  

It's just that I have an  issue.

It is a struggle with self esteem.   It's a fury inside me that dreads public embarrassment.   

God says "Kathy, get over yourself."

And then He shows me this:

"Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame." Isaiah 50:7 (NLT)

I have no idea what I looked like, sounded like, or said in this interview.    I haven't seen it yet.

I do know that before I even got to the studio, I had prayed.  I have been praying all week that He would put His words in my mouth and use them somehow to reach somebody.

God has always answered my prayers.   

I trust that He answered this one also. 

How can I live a "Nevertheless" life if I am afraid?

This has given me courage!  This has allowed me to set my face like a stone and do His will.

I will not be disgraced. 

God is never disgraced.

If you have a story to tell, do not be afraid.  Tell it!

If God has given you a vision or a work to do, do not be afraid.  

Step out in faith, and He will fulfill it.


 





 

Ocean

The ocean soothes me. It reminds me of how huge and mighty is our God.

It amazes me that the ocean can just lap at the sand on the beach in gentle little ripples. How in the world can a body of water so hugely heavy and powerful just gently caress the shore one day then rave and pound the sand on the next as though it is battling the beach for its very existence?

We do that.   Or I do.   One day I'm fine.   The next I want to scream at the world in resistance to circumstance or dark pain.


I choose to live without timidity in this battle. I choose to fan the flame of the gift that God has put in me and live in His spirit of power and love and self discipline. (2 Timothy)

Days of peace in my spirit even though the storm rages around me.   Even though the toilet overflows or the bills are past due, or emotions flood my being, I will keep His peace as I battle on.

Because He has already won.


Thirty.

Thirty.

Thirty things.

I walked through my house today and deliberately counted the things that I would not leave behind were I to move.  

Besides family pictures, clothing, dishes and whatnot, you know?   I wanted to have an idea of what items in my home really mean anything to me.  

Is thirty things a lot?  Or is it a small amount?  

I don't know.

I laughed because in the end, none of it means anything.   

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Little Girl Dreams





As a little girl, I had a lot of dreams about the future. 

Some of them were pretty silly, but hey!  Little girls get to be silly.

I wanted to be a missionary, a teacher, a  stewardess, a nurse, a mother, a go-go dancer, a ballerina, an actress.  I wanted to be on American Band Stand and I wanted to marry Elvis... and then I wanted to marry Mickey Dolenz of "The Monkees" fame even though everyone else was in love with Davy Jones.

This dates me, but one of the most popular songs and one of my favorites as a small child was Doris Day's

"Que Sera, Sera"

When I was just a little girl
I asked my mother
What will I be
Will I be pretty
Will I be rich
Here's what she said to me

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be

When I grew up and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart
What lies ahead
Will we have rainbows
Day after day
Here's what my sweetheart said

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera

Now I have Children of my own
They ask their mother
What will I be
Will I be handsome
Will I be rich
I tell them tenderly

Que sera, sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future's not ours to see
Que sera, sera
What will be, will be
Que Sera, Sera

If you get to be very old at all, you realize the truth in these lyrics.   The future is not ours to see.   I don't know that any of us would be brave enough to carry on if we could actually see the future.

The lingo now is:  "It is what it is."    I detest when someone uses this phrase, as though a situation can not be changed.  But you can not deny the truth of it.    Sometimes it just is what it is.

But "it" can be changed when you have the audacity to believe that God is working even in the most trying and difficult circumstances.   When you believe that whatever the outcome, God will turn it to your good and His glory.

Though we can not see the future, our futures can be more amazing than we could imagine when we give our future and our plans and our circumstances to God.  When we let Him make the arrangements and do the work in us.

Little girls dream big.   God's dream for us is even bigger and better!