Playing Solitaire, Seeing God

Different Ways Our Lord Reveals Himself

            God is nothing like that! But sometimes I do see Him acting this way in my life. As I hunkered inside my home to avoid Covid-19 last year I learned to play Solitaire. A few characteristics of God appeared after I learned the game well.

Primarily, solitary never describes him. God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit function differently, even though they compose one Godhead. Scripture says believers are not to neglect meeting together (Heb 10:25). During the early part of Covid, most churches were closed; later ours had services in the parking lot and used a local radio station so we could hear as we sat in our cars.  As Texas summer heat arrived, the church was cleared to move inside. This verse in Hebrews speaks about those times we get too busy or lazy to attend church, not times we cannot for some reason.

 Solitaire may reveal a suit of several numbers together, reminding me of God’s quick answers to prayer. The next card I need hides until I find many others, comparing to weeks or months that pass before I see answers. Sometimes God says no or at least not in the way I want an answer. At such times, I remember when the cards are mixed in such a way that I cannot win,

God often reveals himself in scripture, music, other people, devotionals or teaching. While the general message applies to everyone, he says something specific to the  person who needs it. The birth of a baby proclaims how well our heavenly Father knows us and gives exactly what we need (Ps. 139:13-16).

As I think of Solitaire more, I remember other times God shows himself various ways. I started watching birds because their colors, various sizes, and eating habits reveal their Creator and his glory. The multiple colors, formations, and sizes of flowers I photograph remind me of God’s unique beauty. Mountains evoke God’s majesty and the sea recalls his vastness.

A dirt dauber got between our screen and window. I didn’t want to open the window and then the screen to let him out, assuming he’d come inside. As I prayed God would show him the way he’d gotten in, he had disappeared when I looked a little later. The next day I discovered that the screen had a place where it didn’t fit tightly. (I also pray God will protect dogs that get on the street, but this was the first time for a dirt dauber.) When I see how the Creator watches out for an insect, why do I have difficulty believing he will care for me?

As my husband and I took many trips to Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, we always marveled at the mountains, large blue lakes, and animals. Once while he fished, I sat on a rock and watched a colony of ants, thanking our heroic Lord who made a creature so tiny while setting in place the huge mountain across the river.

Our loving Father uses multiple ways to draw us close, including that still, small voice  belonging to the Holy Spirit. Remembering the various ways God calls, I try to keep my ears, eyes, and heart open for his word. Will you join me?

God Will Fulfill His Purpose for You

Does God really have a purpose for our individual lives? Will He really show us how to bring that to pass? When I wonder about this, I’m reminded of what the Bible says and shows in the lives of His people in the Old Testament.

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. (Psalm 139:13-16)

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge; in the shadow of your wings I will take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by. I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me. (Psalm 57:1-2; probably written when David fled from Saul, in the cave.)

[God] who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it (1 Thessalonians 5:24.)

Since I know that the Bible says God has a purpose for me, even before I was born, I’ll now look at a few biblical people to see how He fulfilled that purpose for them.

Because David is mentioned in the verses above, I start with him, realizing that God anointed him as King over Israel while he was still a shepherd boy. However, when David became a warrior, King Saul got so jealous of David that he tried to kill him several times. This was because the people sang about how Saul killed his thousands in war but David had killed ten thousands. Even though David had an opportunity to kill Saul, he waited on God’s timing when Saul was killed in battle.  After waiting many years, David became king just as God purposed in his life.

When Joseph was in his young teens probably, God gave him a dream of ruling over his family; naturally at that age, Joseph told it to his parents and already-jealous brothers. Later his father had him take some rations to his brothers who were away from home tending sheep, but they sold him into slavery after deciding not to kill him. From slavery to unjustified imprisonment, God finally led Joseph into the real call on his life so he could make arrangements to save food while there was plenty so they’d have it when famine came. Therefore, not only were the people of Egypt fed, but Joseph’s whole family when they came to buy food and eventually move nearby.

Jesus looked so unlikely to be the Son of God. He was born in a stable with low to middle class parents, lived in obscurity for 30 years. Then for three years He performed miracles and taught the people more about God than they’d ever heard, so that the religious leaders became jealous. Finally they demanded that He be crucified because they were so jealous of His power. After three days Jesus rose from the dead and fulfilled God’s entire purpose for His life. Today we call Jesus our Savior and Lord.

If I see these promises of God in the Scriptures, then see how they played out in these lives, I think I must take those promises for myself. I must ask God what His purpose is for me and then pursue it. That purpose may not happen immediately, as it certainly didn’t with the men above. God may not even tell me what my purpose is, but my Father will certainly guide me through the years of my life to bring that purpose to pass. Only one thing can stop this from happening: me not being obedient to what God tells me to do. Even with this, God can turn my life around so that I do accomplish His purpose.

I’m reminded of the story of Jonah, the Old Testament prophet. God told him to go to Nineveh and preach to them or the city would be destroyed. Nineveh was Israel’s fierce enemy; they were cruel and strong, overcoming their adversaries. Like I’d probably do, Jonah thought who’d want them to survive. Good riddance! So Jonah took a ship and went the opposite direction. When God showed Jonah that he’d be better off obeying, he reluctantly went to Niveveh and preached to this great city. Everyone repented and the people were saved from destruction for another 100 years until they again became intolerable to God. Most of the time I doubt God takes such a strong way to demonstrate His displeasure when we walk out of His purpose. But most of the time, we’re not called to preach to 100 thousand people to save them from immediate destruction.

Not only is it important for other people that I obey God’s purpose for my life, it’s vital for me. If I don’t, I’ll never know true peace in my heart and feel fulfilled in life. I’ll just live and do whatever I do but not know the joy of a God-filled life completing the purpose my Father created especially me to do.

Always Faithful Father

I rarely think about the hundreds of times God made promises to His people and kept them. God never made a promise without keeping it, even if it was concerning evil if His people worshipped other gods. I’ve listed just a sampling of God’s major promises, sometimes with consequences for not obeying.                                                    

  • God made promises to mankind from the very beginning of people’s existence when He told Adam not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil or he would die (Genesis 2:16-17). Spiritually Adam and Eve did die, shown by their fear when He appeared to them that evening; beforehand, they’d welcomed God’s presence.
  • God made a promise to Noah that a great flood was coming on the whole earth, but to build an ark and his family would be saved. Noah obeyed and only his family survived the horrible flood (Genesis 6:11-8:12.)
  • God promised Abraham that He would make a great nation from him and Sarah. The beginning of the nation of Israel was born from Isaac, the child of promise in Abraham’s old age. (Genesis 13:1-7.)
  • Even Jesus Christ was a long-awaited descendant of Abraham. Did you know God has over 300 prophesies about Jesus in the Bible? All have been fulfilled exactly as stated except those in the future still (reference: the whole Bible.)
  • God said that the nation of Israel would be restored to their native land and did more than once after Israel disobeyed and went into captivity. Centuries later, our promise-keeping Lord did this in 1947 when that covenant became reality for the last time.

Why do I mention so many times promises God has declared and kept? Because that’s the theme of this article – God’s faithfulness to His people. To You and to Me!

At times I haven’t been faithful to God in my heart, even though I never denied Him or did what we think of as “big sins.” I simply didn’t do things I knew I should do as the child of a Holy God. Has He ever quit loving me? No! I’ve known His love, and the older I’ve gotten the more real it is, but that didn’t always keep me as close to Him as I knew I wanted to be but simply didn’t take the steps to make that happen.

When we accept Jesus Christ as our personal Savior, God makes a new and different covenant with us than the Old Testament people of God had. Why? Because Jesus became our offering to God to save us from Hell instead of us sacrificing animals to ask for forgiveness. God is always perfect and just; our human nature keeps us from being that way. God never breaks that covenant, even when we stray from Him. He always loves us as His child, even more than a parent loves and forgives a disobedient child. 

But when I strayed from God, I was like that rebellious child who even though they loved their parents, stayed away from them because they were unwilling to change their behavior. There was a gap in the fellowship and both missed it, but the child was stubborn. As people, sometimes we find ourselves wanting our way more than God’s way; that’s what happened to me. I was simply being lazy as far as God was concerned.

In Revelation 2:1-7 Christ recognizes the church at Ephesus for their good works, patient endurance and how they hate those who do evil. Jesus then gives a warning to the church, saying they have left their first love meaning – in today’s terms – they’d let family, work or self-interest come before Him. This is what I felt the Holy Spirit saying to me, that I’d put other things before spending more time with my Father.

God gives us that choice, but He always longs for us to return to our rightful place of easy communication with Him. When we choose to return, He draws us ever closer and we experience His love with greater reality. That doesn’t mean our Father doesn’t love us less when we stray but simply that our disobedience has gotten in the way of our experience of His love.

The Two Dogs

            Picture this scene with me please. I go to the animal shelter to find a dog to adopt. Let’s call the first Happy, who wags his tail, jumps up and down when he sees me and almost speaks, “Please take me home with you.” Then I see another dog named Sad who barks and growls when he sees me, seems willing to bite the hand that feeds him and who looks like he’d never become a good pet.

            Which dog do I choose? Happy who welcomes me or Sad who seems like he might bite me? Then I consider which dog needs my love more? Which dog is less likely to find a home? The answer becomes obvious, but will I do what is hard, or will I give in to my likes and take home Happy?

            Long ago I purchased a registered toy poodle but got her for an inexpensive price. Why? Because the owner breed poodles and this one had a litter which all died. The vet told the lady she’d never be able to have live pups. I didn’t care about that because our son wanted a puppy. Naturally, at first she was shy in her new surroundings, but we figured she’d get used to us soon. Quickly she became “my” pet but was afraid of my husband and two sons. Later I asked my friend who had told me the dog was for sale what had caused the dog to be afraid of males. She told me the lady had two hyperactive sons and that her husband had hit the dog with a broom a couple of times. No wonder she was afraid of men. We had her a dozen years or more and she eventually lost all her fear and was a pet to the guys in our home as well as the gals. What changed her? Love and good treatment.

            Why do I mention this imaginary story and a true one? Because many people are quite sad about our presidential election last November. I’m one of those who is, and it would be easy to gripe and complain about what’s happening in our country. But yesterday I read two articles on the internet talking about how believers in Jesus Christ and in the Bible need to react. Both basically said the same thing my pastor said in his sermon this morning: we’re not to condemn this administration but rather to pray for President Biden and his people.

            First Timothy 2:1-4 reminds us to pray for all people, especially those in authority so we can live quiet and peaceful lives. This is what God wants us to do so that everyone can come to know Jesus as their personal Savior.

The question and responsibility come to me then, Am I willing to circumvent my emotions and recognition of what I believe is right so I can pray with pure motives for a group in government that I don’t agree with? Am I willing to do as Jesus would do to pray that God would give them wisdom in dealing with the many problems our country has? Will I pray that God will bless them so that our nation can be blessed? Will I do as God has asked me to do or will I follow my own desires? I believe the future will show the answer to that question if we join together and bless instead of curse.  Death and life are in the power of the tongue and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Proverbs 18:21)

The Comfort of Love

Last Sunday morning at church Pam stood her two-year-old grandson just below the stage so he could watch her while she sang with our praise group. Christian stood quietly but clapping his hands in time to the music. Suddenly he spotted the stairs to the stage and realized he could stand right next to Meme. As he started climbing the stairs, a man well-known to Christian come up to get him but our pastor intervened and said to let him go ahead. All the congregation was watching the scene as it played out anyway, so it might as well be acknowledged. That’s when grandma took him up on the stage and put him in her chair, where he sat quietly and contented until the praise and worship part of our service ended.

As this scene occurred, I sat down and wrote in my notebook of how Christian’s actions illustrate a child of God wanting the comfort of their Father’s love. Human love may let us down at times, but His never will. More than this, it speaks of how others can try to interfere with that closeness. Now the man who reached out to Christian only had the best intentions, but in our daily lives, we do find people who try to keep us from God. Sometimes our foe isn’t a person but busyness or disinterest on our part. Perhaps we allow work or our family’s sporting events or something else distract us, so we don’t spend quality time with God.

But the child of God who understands just how dearly God loves them naturally wants to get closer to their Daddy-God, just like Christian wanted to get closer to Meme, even though he could see her about three feet away. He wanted the comfort of her love. Being next to her and holding her hand proved much more satisfactory.

How much do we want to be closer to our Father? Do we make the effort to draw nearer? Not that we must work harder for the Kingdom but that we must reach out and give quality time and seek God. He assures us that when we seek Him and draw close to Him, that we’ll surely gain the comfort of His love. Several verses refer to this: Deuteronomy 4:29; Proverbs 8:17; Jeremiah 29:13; Matthew 7:7; Luke 11:9 and Acts 27:7.

Take some extra time this week to seek out and to find more of the comfort of your Father’s love. He’s yearning and waiting for you.

Story of Anonymus Person

Soon after I posted “Receiving God’s Love,” I realized that I should have stated this story came from the Holy Spirit; it is not my life at all, except that Jesus died for my sins as well and I’m a child of Father God. I had loving Christian parents who very early taught me about trusting in Jesus as my Savior so I could have a child relationship with my Father. I simply don’t want anyone who knows me to think bad of my faithful parents. They were very good to my brother and me.

The Dandelion

The Dandelion




Photo by Jack Hawley on

“Get that weed out of my yard!” “Pull it up by the roots so it doesn’t grow again!” Most people don’t want dandelions in their neighborhoods because of their propensity for spreading when the wind blows their multiple seeds all around.

What if we look at the dandelion in a different way? Would I want to be one? Perhaps. Suppose we see the seeds of the dandelion as something good – like love and mercy. Imagine if I could live a life that spreads God’s love everywhere I go. That love would also bring forgiveness, compassion and responsibility. What if many people who call themselves Christians became dandelions, spreading the fruit of the Spirit all over our city?

The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23a New Living Translation.)

Can we even begin to imagine the difference our country would experience if everyone who calls themselves by the name of Christ displayed this kind of fruit? Think I’ll plant a dozen spiritual dandelions in my yard!



Letter to My Child

My Dear Child,

You can’t imagine how much I’ve longed for you, for the intimacy we once had, for the former joys together. If you were in some far-off country, I could understand it, but we live almost next door; yet I seldom hear from you. Yes, you often read the letters I’ve sent, but you don’t seem to take them to heart, and you rarely talk with me to discuss them. Can’t you understand that my heart yearns to explain in more detail all I’ve written there, to give you deeper insight? Can you imagine how precious your voice is to me? Each word you say, I treasure.

I realize you’ve gotten offended because you don’t understand some of my dealings; but if you were in my place, you’d have done the same thing because I see in the future and understand how things will affect you then. Because of my great love for you, I’ve allowed some things that momentarily hurt you and seem to your destruction. Dear child, you don’t recognize how much stronger you’ll become by weathering these storms and hard times. You need to grow strong and secure, not to be a pampered sloth. Just as your physical body grows weak if you aren’t busy tending to your business, so your spirit grows weak if you never have difficulties to overcome. They are there to teach you victory, not to get you down. Learn what it means to see your strength renewing day by day and your victories overcoming whatever challenges you.

Precious one of mine, you are far too valuable to simply let you slip away from me; that’s why I continually call you back to the place where you belong. Don’t get lost in the mire of the world; it can’t satisfy you. Only my presence can meet all your needs and give you the joy you long to experience once again. Come, sit beside me and hear my whispers to your heart. Show your love; don’t just tell me. Come, sit in my embrace and hear my sweet song over you. Let me show you my love for you. Wallow in it; enjoy it; let it encircle you and warm your heart again. You aren’t a stranger to me for I know you very well. Come, eat from my overflowing table and let your heart be glad. You are my beloved.

Is this our heavenly Father’s letter written to me? To you? If so, how will it be answered?

Spiritual Warfare Decree

Pure Glory

imagesby Apostle Gabriel Cross

This day, in Jesus’s miraculous name, I loose the pure powerful witchcraft breaking, law fulfilling, heart transforming love of God, against every spirit of fear, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of being hurt again, fear of success, fear of starting your business, fear of writing your business plan or vision down, fear of poverty, fear of wealth, fear of fame, fear of the future, fear of intimacy, fear of marriage, fear of abuse or being abused again, fear of the past, fear of the present, fear of authority, fear of church, fear of relationship, fear of truth, fear of oneself, fear of abandonment, fear of not having enough, fear of the unknown, fear of being alone, and all the such like. I command fear to rot and dry up in your life and cleanse all the lesser demons out with it.

We speak division…

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My Destiny

Joy unspeakable!
How can I describe this blessedness?
So far surpassing all I imagined
The greatest words cannot do it justice.

“What joy,” you ask,
“What brings such rapture?” Continue reading