Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Revelation of God's Heart

I was feeling somewhat guilty for not attending to other matters today, but rather chose to write these blog posts. Then God seemed to say to me, "Don't you think I might love to have you brag on Me?

I thought that was so precious, I just had to share it.

A Friendly Reconnection

Just thought enough to call an old friend in Colorado with whom I had been out of touch. I looked up her number on the Internet to get it, but now I have it in my address book. She will be turning 81 in six days and celebrating her birthday at a family reunion in Oregon. It was refreshing chatting with her.

I had been thinking about her anyway, probably over the past weeks. I wondered even if she was still alive. When I first looked online for her phone number, her name appeared in a couple obituaries. I thought, "oh no!" I felt so badly for missing another opportunity to speak with her. I wept. But then I was comforted. I looked again online and noticed she is still living. Her name appeared in obituaries as a survivor and not as the deceased. I was so relieved.

So, the phone rang until the machine picked it up. I began to leave a message until she picked up the phone. Wow! Was she surprised to hear form me, but so was I to hear her voice again!

Her name is Raebeca. I used to do sewing work for her. It was piecework but I enjoyed it. I found her ad in a Christian job directory back in the early 90s. We had kept a friendship all that time. She still does sewing and I think I would still be working for her on a contract basis if I was nearer to her. Anymore, manufacturing work is harder to find because of the massive outsourcing, but with the Internet, anything is still possible. In fact, she inspired me to consider selling my wares online which I am motivated to do now. She had asked me if I was doing the street selling thing as we talked about in another conversation. I told her I wasn't. So that is when she brought up about selling online. I told her about a client of mine who does that and is rather successful with it. In fact, I may consider selling on Craigslist, policy permitting.

What prompted me to call Raebeca today was that I had watched a TV episode of Andrew Wommack teaching on God's love in way that deeply ministered to me. It really touched me to the core when he emphasized how we need to receive God's love in order to give it, and that our motive for doing anything for God ought to be based on a love relationship with Him. I knew that but sort of drifted away from it. I needed the reminder and it was all fresh and new for me, like I could start all over without the condemnation for not having done it all right.

Where Raebeca comes into the picture is that she is a partner of Andrew Wommack Ministries International and has encouraged me to connect with his ministry. I have his book Spirit, Soul & Body which I have yet to finish reading, and quite frankly, I didn't care for his teaching. I used to think of him as kind of arrogant but today I felt utter humility and grace proceeding from him.

But today for the first time I was able to receive and came away encouraged and renewed. I called Raebeca to tell her about it and that I would be subscribing to his podcasts.

Andrew Wommack is such a humble man and really presents the word in a way that is so practical and authentic. I invite you to check out his ministry and material. He's not into making money as much as he is dedicated to getting his life-transforming material into the hands of believers who sincerely want to grow in Christ and be pleasing to God. While I was still living in Colorado, I wish I could have attended his conferences and visited his ministry.

As for my rekindled friendship with Raebeca, I believe the quality of our fellowship will be different from now on. I feel encouraged to be creative again.

Thief on the Cross

In April 2004 while making a move from Denver to Glenwood Springs, just 160 miles apart, I was saying my goodbyes to people I had known throughout the many years I lived in Denver, particularly in the building I lived in for fifteen years. My neighbor Karen Wilson with whom I didn't always get along, who was rough around the edges, left me a very touching note by my door, wishing me well in my move.

Well, I was prompted to respond with a gift. I gave her a hat I bought on my first visit to Glenwood Springs back in 1980. It was a woolen knit hat made in Italy. I was very fond of it although I rarely wore it. It was off-white with stripes of fuchsia in various tones. I hesitated giving it up. But I knew that I knew that I was supposed to give it to Karen who was very sickly at the time, although she was not that much older than me. I didn't know what she was suffering from. But with difficulty, I released the hat.

Then, a few months later I was impressed to send her a card which I finally did. But just previous to that, I kept hearing "thief on the cross," not knowing who that was referring to. I thought it might be my father who had ostracized me. I was clueless at the time.

Some time had passed since I mailed the note to Karen. I had pretty much forgotten about it. Then one day in July that year, it appeared in my mailbox unopened. It had some handwriting on it as to why it was returned. It said, "Deceased." I was in shock and overcome with grief.

I ended up still going into work that evening as scheduled. I paced the floor where I was working in sorrow. Then, I heard what I believed to have been the Holy Spirit asking me, "what are you so grieved about?"

I was a bit taken aback by that. I responded, "I'm saddened about Karen."

Suddenly, I remembered the words, "thief on the cross." I then understood who that message was referring to. My countenance changed that instant from downcast to peace and joy. God is faithful!

Then, years later when I finally moved to the Bay Area, I found a cream-colored hat of the same style and fiber as the one I gave to Karen. Only this time, it's more of a tan tweed and mostly solid color. I still miss the other one, but was pleased to find this one at a bargain.
Thank You, Lord, for your faithfulness!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Attest to Tithing

I recently recommitted to tithing. However, my resources have been depleted and I am being stretched to trust God for provision. This past month I was unable to pay my bills on time and found myself having to contact my phone carriers and utility company to alert them to my need to make late payments. They all seemed willing to work with me. 

In my conversation with my cellphone carrier I inquired about a pay-as-you-go plan. I was told that their best plan would cost around $30 a month. I wasn't going for it. After reviewing my account history, they made an offer that I simply could not refuse. I ended up with the $30 a month plan which however locks me in for two years contract with them, and they decided to forgive the $45 bill that was due.

Now if that is't God, I don't know what was! I got to testify in church last Sunday. It has to have been a result of tithing and my good standing as their customer since June of 2005. Thanks be to God! This month's bill was around $28! Wow God!