Counting down the days until Christmas morning? Today I decided to pretend that every day is Christmas Eve. That way, I can just relax and let the season roll over me. I do not intend to let the world steal my Christmas Joy. In remembrance of our Savior, Christ’s birth …
And she (Mary) brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:7 NKJV
The yard looks Christmassy. Every window facing the street is strung with blue, white, and multi-colored LED. The timers are functioning perfectly. The lights come on and go off right on schedule. I sit in the dark looking out of the festive windows of my living room and ponder what my life would be like if Jesus had not come to save me. Indeed, what would the entire planet be like by now without Jesus?
There’s one last thing I need to do with Dad’s New Testament Bible. It’s time to put it away. Dad’s testimony is posted in several articles on this blog and will hopefully be read by many people in the coming years. It hurts my heart, but the binding is pretty much shot.
Sorting out the loose pages, I decided the last thing for me to do is the old-fashioned remedy – no, not duct tape! A hair band will do fine –
at least for now. God’s Word lives on inside its covers and it is up to my Father in Heaven whether to use this relic as a witnessing tool in the future – or not.
The last thing left now is what some call closure. I just chalk it up to another crying day in a tough but victorious year in our Lord Jesus:
“Thank you again, Dad. The last thing you accomplished posthumously with your little Bible was this quote from page 381”:
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And before Him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. ~ Hebrews 4:12-13
So hey! It looks like God is still using Dad’s Bible to send His message out; and it’s not the last thing.
My daughter found this painted stone at Red Rock Canyon last week. Soon it will be placed far, far from Nevada – for someone else who needs inspiration.
What is going on? A project is trending about leaving a stone of inspiration for another person to find. The message painted on the rock is meant to inspire that person who in turn leaves it in another location for the next person to find and so on; a paying it forward project, so to speak.
My daughter found a Proverbs 3:5 Inspiration Stone:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; ~ Proverbs 3:5 NKJV
If you are somewhere in Alaska, you could be the next person to find this rock:
Proverbs 3:5 is a precious message. Isn’t it miraculous how God’s Word ties us all together and binds us to Himself with a painted rock? You know what is even more amazing? This rock may have been created by God millions of years ago in order to be picked up and lovingly painted by someone living now; left in some random location for another special someone to find, who may be blessed in a personal way just by finding it. Think of the journey of this one little stone. This rock is about the size of a large egg and look what it can do! God is using it as a witnessing tool to spread His love message to a vast number of people.
WOW! What can you do compared to a rock? Hmmmm …
I love the next verse:
In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. ~ Proverbs 3:6 NKJV
I believe God is doing a mighty work with this project by directing the paths of individuals all over the planet to read and to think about His Word; and to share in being God’s witnesses. I like the word “laugh” painted on this rock. I laughed when I realized how God keeps everything so simple for us. He makes it so easy to witness for Him that sometimes it’s fun.
Have you found one of these rocks? Be on the lookout – Evidently, they are all over the place!
Sometimes we would like to participate in God’s work, but don’t know how. In this case, I didn’t find the rock – my daughter did. She was inspired to bring it to me so that I could tell you the story and then place the rock in a location frequented by lots of people. So easy. Praise God, I became part of all this, even though I didn’t go anywhere or find anything.
What can you do? Suggestions:
If you know an “inspiration found” story, you can share it or post the link here in comments.
If you are God-favored and find an inspiration rock, please tell us!
Share this article and see who else knows about this.
Find a group doing this and join up. Paint your own inspiration stone. Get it circulating.
I am leaving this Proverbs 3:5 Rock somewhere in Alaska this week. It will be found and another story will unfold. Another person will be inspired – and another – and another …
If you need more inspiration, here is a link to my article, What Can You Do?
(If you don’t find a stone of inspiration, don’t worry. The Bible is full of God’s messages to you. The same important stuff is all in there. Read it. Live it. Share it.)
Start over; and this time, make the priority obedience to God’s will.
Two years ago I was at this very spot. I was at the end of Dad’s message he wrote in his little pocket New Testament. There are two verses circled, Hebrews 4:12&13, that speak of the Word of God being sharper than any two-edged sword and that before Him no creature is hidden. But that is not why I need to start over.
Today I realize that I am right back where I started. I must learn how to be obedient to God’s will. Just as Jesus walked out His life in a fleshly body here on earth in accordance with God the Father’s will, so I must follow.
The reason I need to start over is not found in chapter 4 of Hebrews, but chapter 5:
In the days of His flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to Him (Father God) who was able to save Him (Jesus) from death, and He (Jesus) was heard for His godly fear. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience through what He suffered; and being made perfect He became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey Him, being designated by God a High Priest after the order of Melchizedek. ~ Hebrews 5:7-10
So, beginning with persistent, loud, tearful and fearful prayers, Jesus was heard by the Father who allowed His Son Jesus to suffer so that He could learn obedience to God the Father’s will and to perform God’s will perfectly.
Got it. I am just having the hardest time ever walking it out. Oh, I have prayed, hollered and cried; I have complained about all kinds of suffering, but the Apostle Paul has me tagged:
About this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need some one to teach you again the first principles of God’s Word. You need milk, not solid food; for every one who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their faculties trained by practice to distinguish good from evil. ~ Hebrews 5:11-14
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for being dull of hearing. Help me to practice distinguishing good from evil in this complicated and dark world. Help me to learn to be obedient to You by becoming skilled in Your Word. Help me to start over with enthusiasm, resolve, and godly fear. May I boldly occupy until you come, and glorify the Holy Name of Yeshua, the Messiah, Amen.
Dad’s New Testament – pg 194
I made known to them thy Name, and I will make it known, that the love with which thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. ~ John 17:26
I just wanted more time together. Just another hug . . . one more chance to hold his hand . . . tell him how much I love him again . . . I would have given . . . anything.
My stepdad battled Alzheimer’s for over ten years. Our last days with him have been crying days – mostly for him.
One family member said, “I hate what Alzheimer’s does to people.”
I agree. As my stepdad slowly broke down under the insidious disease process, we crumpled emotionally beside him. There were times as we held hands at the dining table that he would look away with a hurtful expression on his face and mutter to the wall, “Oh well . . . It is what it is.”
In my heart I waged war; won his battle by finding a miraculous cure; traded places; did more; did anything to prevent what we all knew was happening. But in reality, I had no such ability or power.
The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom. To Him be glory for ever and ever. Amen. ~ 2 Tim. 4:18 NIV
My stepdad was a Christ believer. His heart was huge for everyone he knew; and he was so loved in return. Then our prayers for a miracle were painfully answered as our family expected – but dreaded. My stepdad was released from Alzheimer’s torment a few days ago. Even though I am mourning the loss, I am thankful to God for mercifully calling him Home. He will no longer suffer. He is leaping for joy in Heaven with Jesus, friends, and family in Glory.
My friend, John, called yesterday to pay his respects to Mom. He told me to “just look at it as if he has graduated.” Thank you, John. That simple encouragement has comforted me more than anything else. Graduation means a reward at the end of the struggle; the victory over life’s hurts. His diploma is now a page in The Lamb’s Book of Life with his name written there for all to see. It means honorably finishing the course and moving on to a new beginning. Thanks to Jesus, It is finished! Jesus paid the price for our sins and didn’t leave anything undone. He has done everything that no one else is able to do. Thank you, Jesus. I know that I will see my stepdad again when it’s my turn to graduate.
My stepdad was a boxer as a young man – a fighter; and he fought the ravages of time (he was 85) and of Alzheimer’s right up until the end. Even though he could no longer speak the Words, I will copy them here on his behalf; as I am confident he owned this scripture as he took his last breaths:
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Tim. 4:7-8 NIV
My stepdad was also a race car driver when he was young. He always drove a pickup truck and never relinquished his set of keys after he quit driving. I’m sure he hoped he would need those keys again someday because that truck is still parked in his garage.
Gosh! I would give anything to see him driving it around in Heaven right now . . .