“JUST MY HEAD IS THIRSTY”

May 13, 2013
Milos with his bike

Milos with his bike

Exhausted from our bike ride around the neighborhood, our grandsons and I were pushing our bikes up the last few yards of our driveway. The dialogue with four-year old Milos, who has a unique perspective on things, went like this:

Grandma: “Wow! I’m really tired! How about you?”

Milos: “No, just my head is thirsty.” (Actually he said “firsty”)

With that declaration, Milos disappeared into the kitchen and guzzled a glass of cold water.

That episode reminded me of a promise that God made to His people thousands of years ago, recorded by the prophet Isaiah. Even though God promised it for a special people-group at a special time, I claim it for myself and our family, also.

God said: “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.” (Isaiah 44:3) With that, God promises to generously quench our thirst; not just our thirsty heads, but much more importantly, our thirsty souls. Then He goes one step further to assure us of His provision for the spiritual needs of our families.

Like all God-fearing parents and grandparents, we often pray for our families. Just as Milos was in a hurry to get a drink when his “head” was thirsty, we pray that we and all of our children and grandchildren would be quick to run to Christ when our hearts are thirsty. When we do that, God will do exactly what He promised to do: He WILL pour His Spirit on our descendants, and His blessing on our offspring, with satisfying rivers of living water!

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink.
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,
out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John 7:37,38

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A FATHER OF THE FATHERLESS

July 8, 2012

Talking with one of my cousins not long ago, we were catching up on happenings since the last time we visited. She lost her husband to cancer, and experienced a series of unfortunate events since then. In spite of the hard times she went through, she was absolutely exuberant as she recounted how faithful God was – and continues to be – as He shows His goodness to her and her 17 year old daughter.  She mentioned that they are living out the truth of Psalm 68:5 that assures us that God is “a father of the fatherless, a defender of widows”.  If anyone would understand that aspect of God, it would be my cousin; she grew up fatherless also, having lost her dad in a tragic accident when she was a young child. Her mom passed away suddenly a few years ago, so she really is a fatherless widow!

She pointed out that it’s one thing to read that verse; it’s quite another to live it out when you have no one to turn to. Not a dad. Not a husband. Not a mom. No one. That’s how she is really learning to lean on God and trust Him for every detail of her life, and that God is allowing her to experience Himself in a way that she never did before.

Recalling our conversation, I thanked God that I had a loving, godly Dad until just a few years ago, and that I have the most wonderful husband….but I also had to ask myself: “Shouldn’t I also depend on God the way my cousin does anyway? Shouldn’t I embrace Him as my father, sustainer, provider, guide, and comforter as though I didn’t have anyone else?…” Hmmm…

God give us all the grace to depend on Him 100%, and not on others! THEN we’ll see new facets of His goodness and faithfulness that we’ve experienced before. Just ask my cousin!


BENEFITS

January 13, 2012

A very dear friend of mine who is a retiree of a major airline mentioned to me not long ago that the company is reducing some of their retiree benefits. Together we lamented that she won’t be allowed “companion passes” anymore for travel, and even her own travel passes will be restructured to favor the company more and the retiree less. (BTW: She and her husband are traveling as much as they can before those benefits are cut!)

Talking about benefits reminded me of Psalm 103, where the Psalmist David wrote: “Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits.” (verses 1 and 2)

A list of some of those benefits follows: complete forgiveness; healing; redemption; a life crowned with God’s lovingkindness and tender mercy; satisfaction and renewal. The rest of the Psalm elaborates on even more of God’s benefits. As I thought about my friend’s reduced benefits, I saw a stark contrast between her plight and God’s benefits towards us. Hers will be reduced; God’s benefits will increase and continue on throughout future generations! Look what David expressed in verses 17 and 18:

But the mercy of the Lord (BENEFIT!) is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children (BENEFIT!) to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.

Isn’t it reassuring to know that His mercy is a benefit that will never be reduced? Isn’t it encouraging to remember that his righteousness is a benefit that will cover even our children and their children…and their children…and their children….? Understanding how God multiplies His benefits causes me to bless the Lord along with the Psalmist and praise Him – the Faithful Giver of abundant, everlasting, generation-to-generation benefits!


LEARNING TO “DO WITHOUT” IS GOOD

November 4, 2011

The year was 1954. There were six children in our family between 15 and 3 years of age when Dad was laid off at Firestone. Thankfully, he didn’t see it as the end; he saw it as a new beginning. Being tired of the daily grind in the “rubber shop”, Dad took a leap of faith and started his own business, “Pavkov Sand and Gravel”, doing grading and excavating. Times were tough as he built his reputation and clientele. Not only did he have to provide for himself and mom, plus six growing kids; he also had to pay his employee/s and was buying machinery for the business, very often covering the expenses of costly repairs on the machines. Dad worked hard, putting in long hours to pay the bills and meet all of our needs. Under these circumstances, we grew up learning that there were things that we could “do without”; that was good!

Looking back on those years, I can see that God used them to train me for the future. As Jorge and I raised our family of three children in Argentina, we saw lean times and often had to “do without”. Just like in my childhood, our life was simple and God always met our basic needs. By the generosity of many family members and friends (to whom we are forever grateful!), God showed us His faithfulness over and over. Our children also learned to “do without”; and that was good!

And now?… We can appreciate that He used all those years of training to get us where we are now. There were a lot of things that we “did without”, but God never failed us; we never had to beg. Because we’ve learned to “do without”, out of necessity, we are choosing to continuously apply that wise principle of frugality and simplicity to our living. We realize more and more that everything we have is a gift of God’s grace, and we can totally agree with the Psalmist who wrote: “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his descendants begging bread. He is ever merciful, and lends; and his descendants are blessed” (Psalm 37:25,26)…and THAT IS GOOD!


HIS TRUTH ENDURES TO ALL GENERATIONS

September 27, 2010

“For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations” Psalm 100:5

Something I remember most about my Mom was that she loved to read. In spite of that fact that she only had an eighth grade education, she was well read in the classics, and many other books. But because she loved the Lord, what she read most was her well-worn Bible. That means that it was very normal to see her in the big green chair in the living room, or by the dining room table with her Bible; reading and re-reading those passages that gave her so much wisdom, comfort, guidance and strength throughout her lifetime. Up until her last days, at 95 years of age, even with her mind dimmed by dementia and her sight diminished by macular degeneration, Mom would use a magnifying glass and read her large print Bible.

Happy Birthday, Denise!

Today is our oldest child Denise’s birthday. Please understand that I’m not bragging here, just standing in awe of what God was able to do in her life because HE is good, HIS mercy is everlasting and HIS truth endures to all generations…. Denise, who came into our lives 33 years ago, has become a wonderful lady. God has fashioned her into an intelligent, diligent, responsible, fun-loving, caring person. And as if that weren’t enough, she received Christ into her heart at a young age and has delighted in reading His Word ever since. When she was in Junior High and High School in Argentina, she would get up on her own before anyone in the house was up, fix her breakfast and retreat into her room where she would spend time reading her Bible, getting strength for the day. When she went off to college, she continued to do the same. Being a married working woman, she still is drawn to the Word as her source of daily wisdom and strength.

Remembering Mom, and thinking about Denise just confirms again how faithful God is. His truth DOES endure to all generations! It’s a proven fact in our family! Click on the link below and listen to this beautiful song and worship God because HE is good and HIS mercy endures forever, from generation to generation….  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KAGZ8HmiWCM


“FAST FORWARDING” FOUR GENERATIONS

March 12, 2010

“Therefore know that the Lord our God, He is God, the FAITHFUL GOD who keeps His covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.”   Deuteronomy 7:9

My paternal grandma was one of nearly a million victims of the encephalitis epidemic of 1920, leaving Grandpa to raise their four young children alone. I was told that every night, when the farm chores were done and dinner was finished, Grandpa sat at the kitchen table and read his well-worn Bible. I wonder if he held fast to the same promises for his children that I do for ours… I’m sure he thanked God for His faithfulness in his own life, but I wonder if he fully understood the far-reaching effects of God’s faithfulness….if it ever crossed his mind that not only his four youngsters (Ernie, Ted, Mildred and George), but his grandchildren (my generation), great grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren would all be links in the chain of generations that would also experience God’s mercy, stand on His truth and enjoy His blessings and salvation. If he could have “fast forwarded” four generations to where we are now, he would have understood even more how faithful God is, and seen just how true His promises for our families are! Praise God! They are never ending! He promised that His salvation is from “generation to generation”, and His covenant and mercy “to a thousand generations”!

So as we pray for our children and grandchildren, let’s claim Gods promises. Let’s keep trusting Him to fulfill His promises in them, and be assured that He will still be faithful, even if we fast-forward four more generations…and four more generations….and four more generations…

Here are some promises for our families that we can trust God for:

Psalm 103: 17, 18: “But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him, and His righteousness to children’s children to such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them.”

Psalm 102:28: The children of Your servants will continue, and their descendants will be established before you.”

Proverbs 20:7: “The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.”

Isaiah 44:3: “For I will pour water on him who is thirsty, and floods on the dry ground; I will pour My Spirit on your descendants, and My blessing on your offspring.”

Isaiah 51:8: “But My righteousness will be forever, and My salvation from generation to generation.”

Isaiah 54:13: “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”


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