Wednesday July 27, 2016 Doors

Posted July 27, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Behold, I have left an open door before you, which no one can close.  Revelation 3:8

I have been stubborn and kept beating on a door which remained closed.  I just knew it was the right way for me to go.  Years later as I have looked back on my life, I have seen that this verse has the truth of life encapsulated in 14 words.  God opens the door that He wants me to go through.  There is no magic key, there is no long line, there is no deadbolt and there is certainly NOT any reason for me to keep knocking.

Unlike the door in the story of the friend in need of bread who knocked and persistence won the day, the doors that I have beat on… had no one home to open them.  Emptiness and loneliness lay behind the door.  When there was NO sign of life, I needed to keep moving.  That is hard to do sometimes, when I am “positive” this is what God is calling me to do.

It is hard to admit that I am wrong about a person or a decision.  I don’t ever want to look stupid.  Admitting that my judgement was lacking is harder than almost anything else for me.  I like to be right, is an understatement.  So I hate to admit the door that I have chosen to walk through is the wrong one.  But through prayer and discernment, my eyes have eventually been opened to God’s promises.  I am blessed because of NO and the realization that “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.  Ephesians 4:4-6

There is ONE Door.

Lord help me to have the courage to admit that there is no future for me at the locked door and keep moving.  Open my eyes and my heart to be in tune with Your direction to the place that I am called to be, do and serve You!     

Monday July 25, 2016 Stubborn

Posted July 25, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble.  Proverbs 28:14

I look back with fondness on when my children were in their “Terrible Twos”.  Where every other word was NO!  They were each contrary in their own way and I received some sage advice from my mother-in-law.  “Someday, you will want them to say NO to some things that are wrong.  It is okay to let them practice.”  She of course was right!  I wanted them to say NO and stand up for what they believed in, and do what was right instead of following the crowd who wanted them to shoplift, drink, use drugs or sleep around.  Learning how to say NO was a good thing.

I wanted them to fear to do wrong!  In many cases that meant stubbornly clinging to what they knew was right!  I have read many studies that compare teenagers with two year olds.  The testing of authority, the awkwardness caused by dramatic bodily changes  and the stubbornness are common denominators for each age.  As a parent, I wondered what happened to my once beautiful and obedient child.  In both cases they finally returned to me and I realized the “This too shall pass” is a sentiment that I learned to hold tightly with HOPE.

I am sure God looks down on His children and realizes that in many cases each of us is like a toddler or a teen.  I know that I have stubbornly rebelled and held tightly to my own will when I needed to say YES and obey… and fear to do wrong.  I am so blessed that He welcomed me home, forgiving me my sinfulness.   I imagine Him, shaking His head when I, headstrong and petulant, headed down a sinful path.

Lord I am so grateful that You are a forgiving Father who accepts me when I stubbornly set off going a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction.  Thank You for calling me back home. 

Sunday July 24, 2016 Persistent

Posted July 24, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Abraham spoke up again: “See how I am presuming to speak to my Lord, though I am but dust and ashes.”  Genesis 18:27

Never Give UP!  Our Lord told his disciples after teaching them the Lord’s prayer.  He used an example of a neighbor in need of bread who was denied with excuses like the door is locked, the kids are asleep… but persistence wins the day.

 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.  “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. Luke 11:8-10

In the case of Abraham, he bargains with God to save Sodom and Gomorrah.  God plans on destroying these cities because they are so sinful.  Abraham starts with asking God to spare the cities if there were 50 good people… and gets all the way to 10 to halt the slaughter.  The amazing thing was that Abraham KNEW he was not worthy to bargain with God and stated the same, often.  But it did not stop him from persisting in his requests to spare the cities.

Like Abraham, I am so unworthy and yet I persist in coming before the Lord.  I pray for God’s blessing for my children and grandchildren, for my marriage and my friends, for the sorry state of the world with global massacres and abundance of fear.  God listens and answers because HE is God.  Not because my prayers deserve an answer.

I am encouraged by Scripture to keep asking and I will.  For God is my Father and He has promised that He will listen especially when I am persistent.  Lord You are God through good times and bad, that You for hearing my prayers. 

Friday July 22, 2016 Known

Posted July 22, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

O Lord, You have searched me and known me!  Psalm 139:1

Most of the time I am grateful for the Lord’s knowledge of me, He knows my intentions even when I cannot deliver.  Then there are the times when I am sinful: lazy, selfish, resentful… and I think how can You love me, Lord, when I am so broken.  I then realize that is the biggest gift of my life, the fact that God has searched me, knows me and still HE loves me.  That realization is indeed a blessing.  I realize that God who has known even the greatest sinners and forgiven and cured them, has blessed them beyond measure.  That is why St Paul was willing and able to endure so much.  Why Mary Magdalene too was able to stand unafraid at the foot of the cross!  When I have realized that God knows me to the number of hairs on my head and still loves me… I am empowered to be more.

That same loving knowing drove St Augustine, Mother Teresa, and countless others to search for a deeper knowing of God as well.  Their drive to be in God’s presence drew countless others to open themselves to be searched by God and engaged in following His way.  That deep faith in His divinity prompts each Christian to allow God to move inside and take up residence.  In humility I have come to gratefully embrace then when God searches and knows me because I know, only with His help can I change to incorporate true love and devotion into my life.

God has the power to hold all peoples in His heart.  He has allowed me to grasp that He knows me and loves me in spite of myself.  That gift keeps me going on my worst days!

Lord Give me the knowledge to know You and embrace what You have in store for my life. 

Thursday July 21, 2016 Evidence

Posted July 21, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Faith is the realization of what is hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.  Hebrews 11:1

So when there is a trial and the two lawyers bring what they feel will clinch their case, they call it evidence.  Never in court would one of the attorneys say that FAITH could be submitted as evidence of the innocence or guilt of their client.  Why then does St Paul give us this very often repeated verse?

In preaching to the early churches, so much had to be taken on FAITH.  Paul was teaching in a place many miles from Israel  where Jesus lived and died.  Very few of these people had ever strayed more than ten miles from the place they were born.  Paul painted word pictures of a man who he had never met in the flesh as well.  But Paul knew HIM as well as he knew Barnabas.  Paul then was the perfect person to make FAITH real for the Gentiles and for me.

Evidence in a trial must be made incontrovertible.  The jury or the judge must find it believable and logical.   Paul helped to convert believers then as he does today by his witness to the power that he felt when He met Christ on the road to Damascus.  A voice, a blindness, a conversion from prosecutor to preacher were enough to inspire thousands of Greeks and Romans to put their faith in what Paul said.

Paul knew that his followers and converts would need ongoing encouragement so he wrote his letters to those whom he shepherded to remind them that Faith was the only thing that was real…  We look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18.

Lord thank You for creating such a great crowd of witnesses so that when my faith is weak, I can rely upon the evidence that is all around me of Your power and Your love.  Help me to be part of the evidence for others so that all may come to believe. 

Wednesday July 20, 2016 Promises

Posted July 20, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

Through His holy prophets He promised of old that He would save us from our enemies, from the hands of all who hate us.  Luke 1:70

Though the mountains leave their place and the hills be shaken, my love shall never leave you nor my covenant of peace be shaken, says the Lord, who has mercy on you.  Isaiah 54:10

Throughout scripture there are promises that God will remain faithful even though the world may crumble around me.  It is reassurance in the most trying of times.  I cannot open the bible anywhere that I will not find the message of hope being shared with me.  How can I doubt that God knows my name and is actively protecting me with these promises so lavishly spread from cover to cover of His holy word?

God promised David that His house would last forever.  Jesus fulfilled that promise and not only David’s people were blessed but the gentiles as well.  The Lord was and is the fulfillment of every promise.

God is faithful indeed.  He has kept His covenant throughout history with no rancor towards the sinfulness that keeps drawing His people away.  He forgives with a magnanimous heart and opens the gates to receive those who seek Him with a contrite spirit no matter their sinfulness.  This is the promise that I cling to and the hope that I embrace.

Lord, Thank YOU for opening the gate through Your excruciating sacrifice on my behalf.  I can never know the pain and suffering that You endured to repair the relationship and fulfill the promises that were made.  Your sacrifice has made my life a fulfillment of the promise!  My spirit rejoices in You my savior. 

Tuesday July 19, 2016 Waiting

Posted July 19, 2016 by bgovanus
Categories: Uncategorized

O my God, I trust in You; let me not be ashamed; let not my enemies triumph over me.  Indeed let no one who waits on You be ashamed.  Psalm 25:2-3

I am not great at waiting.  Gary says I am patient BUT I know the real truth… I am tapping my toes and trying to find a way to be productive.  My Motto is Make a Decision even if it’s WRONG!  So cooling my heels is hard.  I have learned that God cannot be rushed.  His plans are much bigger than my limited sight and when He delays His answer, there is a good reason.

I have learned a bit then about expectant waiting.  Being watchful and attentive to subtle changes in the situations that I am monitoring.  I prayerfully consider what God might be asking of me as I wait.  I know that when God delays… there will be an answer.  I just don’t know the day or the hour.  So as I wait, I pray for the wisdom to accept the answer.  My decisions are often wrong, and I then adjust my direction and learn from my mistakes.  God does not make mistakes.  So His answer will be perfect.  This is worth waiting for.  My humble choices in life rarely have eternal  ramifications but the ones where I wait on the Lord, always do.

I have found poignant pauses are the key to waiting on the Lord.  The times when I am not biding time but am listening and on alert awaiting the next order or command from my God so that I can stay on the path to heaven.  I trust in Him to not leave me hanging!  I know He will answer me.

I pray then… “Show me Your ways, O Lord, teach me Your paths.  Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day.” Psalm 25 4-5


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