Do You Have An Irma?

I woke up this morning, as with most mornings, with God’s praises on my tongue. I thought back to my pre-Christian life and followed that through to the present.

There are two forces at work in everyone’s life. God has a plan for you, and so does the enemy, Satan, the devil, the one who is out to destroy you and me.

I met my husband in business school, the land before meeting my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. My neighbor in the apartment across the hall offered to read my palm. I was inrigued so I let him. We didn’t know each other yet he knew I had just been through a broken engagement and that it was permanent. He also told me that within thirty days I would meet the man I would marry and it would be a solid relationship. It happened exactly as he said. Now, I’m not saying he was in tune with God because he had to get high before he read my palm. Nevertheless, the message he gave me was no doubt (at least in my mind) God’s plan for me.

Sometime later I was in the office of the housemother and another man was there who also knew nothing about me. He heard me talking to her about having my palm read. He walked over, grabbed my hand and said I would be divorced, have four kids and my first husband would die in a car accident.

Fast forward four years and my husband and I have a young son and my husband isn’t sure he’s ready for the responsibility of a family. He leaves me and takes off hitch-hiking. By this time we have both accepted Jesus’s invitation to receive the free gift of salvation, but that didn’t mean everything was perfect. When God starts blessing the devil starts messing. God chased my husband back to me and then he joined the army. Four years later we now had two kids and he was honorably discharged from the military. I was going to church and he wasn’t. He wasn’t happy with me and I wasn’t sure what to do.

My husband has never been abusive to me, but he had closed himself off. I tried for months to change the situation and was considering leaving–not because I wanted to but because I wasn’t sure how much cold shoulder I could take. One day at church I talked to my dear friend, Irma, who had been married and dumped a few times. I asked her what she thought of me leaving.

“Is he beating you?” she asked.

“No.”

“Is he beating the kids?”

“No.”

“Is he providing food for the family?”

“Yes.”

“Are the bills being paid?”

“Yes.”

“Then hang in there and keep praying. Trust God to work everything out. You don’t want your kids to suffer through losing their dad, and go through the guilt of not being able to provide for them the way your husband does. If you need to talk you know I”m here for you.”

If I had not followed her advice the second palm reading may have come true: what I believe was Satan’s plan for my life. My kids would have grown up to be entirely different people than who and what they are now. My husband and I would not have the fabulous relationship we do now. We’ve been married forty-five years and are closer now than we’ve ever been. It just gets better every year.

By the way, Satan tried to take my husband’s life many times in car accidents while he was working for a company that kept him traveling. But God in His mercy and grace has protected us and has kept us from any major harm.

I hope every lady out there has an Irma in her life to talk to when things get tough. I have, unfortunately, lost touch with my friend as we have moved around a bit, but I think of her often, pray for her, and thank God for putting her in my life during the roughest time in my life.

 

 

 

The Hand of God: Will You Obey?

First and foremost I write for the Lord. I have prayed over this post and asked God to use it for His honor and glory, that it may lead someone who doesn’t know Him to want to get to know this amazing, powerful, mighty, everlasting, loving, gracious, merciful, heavenly Father. I have also prayed that those believers who are trying to straddle an imaginary fence, living with one foot in the world and the other on the side of churchianity, will be convicted by this post and turn to God with a loving heart, seeking God’s love, patience, mercy and forgiveness.

I’ve been studying the book of Micah lately. He was a contemporary of Isaiah. The book was written to the people of the Northern Kingdom of Israel and Judah around 742-687 B.C. During this time the priests were among the chiefest of sinners, causing the people to sin by their own example as well as neglecting the teaching of God’s word (the books of the law). The priests had no compassion for the people and their plight; they were more interested in themselves and what they could squeeze out of the common folk. They would then cry out to God when the people murmured and complained against them. God refused to listen to them.

My point in writing this little devotion today is to hopefully awaken some of our clergy (and everyday people who claim to love God but live in defiance of His word). All of us, clergy or no, are responsible for the example we set for those around us. We are responsible to be an ensample (that means as close in similarity as possible) of Christ because the world is watching, looking for real, genuine faith. Young believers, those who have only know Christ a short time, need to be shown how to live by God’s rules and statutes. They sure won’t get it from non-believers.

Our country has been so blessed by God for so long that it seems we have taken His blessings for granted. When those planes hit the twin towers in New York on Sept. 11, 2001, people flocked back to the churches and the expression, “God Bless America” was once again heard on the airwaves and in rallies. However, it wasn’t long before America forgot God again and went back to business as usual. “Okay, God, thanks for listening, but we’re okay now. We’ll call again the next time we need you.” That’s the same thing the priests did in Micah’s day, and God said, “Nope. I’m done with your hardheartedness. I will send more trouble because that’s the only way to get you to do what’s right.”

I personally know people who claim to be Christians that think it’s okay to be shacked up together without benefit of marriage. I personally know Christians (at least they say they are, not my place to judge, but it is my place to point out error) who say they don’t have to go to church; they can worship God anywhere. The fact is, yes, you can worship God anywhere, but if you aren’t willing to obey the scripture that says not to forsake the assembling of yourselves together, then you can’t have true worship either, because you are walking in defiance, disobedience to God’s word. We should worship Him everywhere. He alone is worthy of our praise. But without church, you can’t be praying for your brothers and sisters in Christ; you aren’t tithing (it isn’t supposed to go to a TV preacher; the Bible says to take it to the local storehouse); you aren’t contributing to the spread of the gospel by supporting missionaries; and you aren’t giving your brothers and sisters a chance to pray for your needs. If you aren’t in church, you aren’t in communication with them, and they don’t know what you’re going through.

For those of you who think God is just a big bully; you want to blame Him for your choices (yeah, I get that from my daughter too, her choices are my fault? Really?) because He is omnipotent, think about this: If you really believe He is omnipotent, all powerful, and you refuse to repent, thus inviting His wrath and condemnation, don’t you think you’re being foolish? Your attitude doesn’t change Him one bit. The prudent (wise) thing to do would be to repent, ask for forgiveness of your sins, and turn your life over to Him. After all, He is smarter than you are; He is wiser; and He is definitely more powerful. If you can’t beat Him, join Him. The devil tried to defeat God thousands of years ago. He lost the battle and was kicked out of heaven. Now the devil is trying to wreak havoc in our lives to get back at God, especially those who choose to follow God. But remember, after this life spans eternity. Where you choose to spend eternity is your choice.