Friday, May 2, 2014

Real Time

Think I'm going to take some time off line. Think I can do it?
So much to do in the yard this weekend.”…

“No, hehehehe. But you must.”

This was a question I posted on April 25th, 2014 to a Twitter friend from Australia.  It was vital I get away from everything so I could refresh and gain new perspective.  The only way this would happen is if I left my house; so that’s what I did.  It was a time for change.

Welcome new friends this week from:

New on DFBHonduras, United Arab Emirates, Costa Rica, Saudi Arabia, Italy,  Chichester, England (UK); Germany, France, India, Sevastopol; Ukraine; Swan View, WA, Australia; Iloilo City, Philippines; Ljubljana, Bohinj, Slovenia; Yokosuka-shi, Kanagawa, Japan; Bridgewater, NS, Cranbrook, BC, Canada; Netherlands; Belgrade, Serbia; Chile; Taiwan and Poland.  So glad to see more from Ukraine back here.  We miss you Russia.

USA: Jessup, Georgia; Elizabethtown, Kentucky; Volcano, Hawaii; Omaha, Nebraska; Portland, Oregon; Carrabelle & Poinciana, Florida; Verona, Woodbury, NJ; El Campo & San Angelo, Texas; LA, Lomita & Coto De Caza, California; Clarksville, Arizona; Cary, North Carolina; Salem, Oregon; Madisonville, Tennessee; Kabetogama, Minnesota; Boston and Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts.

Keep our friends who suffered from storms in prayer this week as you pray for all the followers of Daily Favor. (DFB - Daily Favor Blog)

If I’ve missed anyone forgive me. Please share this challenge and invite more friends to join us.  You are making a difference!

Don't miss out on this week's challenge below.
Going to movie theaters isn’t something I do often, not because I’m against it, but because they are usually too loud.  However, we heard about the new film Heaven is for Real and thought we might be able to fit it in our weekend schedule.

Since we still had to do a bit of traveling over the next few days, we decided to see the 1:00 PM showing.  By the time we got through the busy snack line they were already playing the opening previews.  (Movie popcorn is a must!)

You’re going to laugh at this, but it’s OK, I won’t get offended. (J)

It really was this cheesy.
Not having eaten anything yet I thought it would be better if I had something more substantial than popcorn, so decided to get nachos with cheese.  (Too funny right!  And no I didn’t get any candy.)

Trying to find seats in the dark was hilarious.  My husband was behind me persuading me to go one way, but I couldn’t see the aisle.  I was bumping into seats and changing directions as he was guiding me from the back.

When he sat down he looked at me and quietly said, “I got cheese on my pants.”  He was carrying his soda and my nachos while I held the popcorn.  Stretching over the seat that was between us he grabbed my right arm and whispered, “Did I get any on your sleeve?”  Glancing at my clothes he didn’t see anything.

He’s Been on Daily Favor

Good stuff ... found my message!
It wasn’t long into the movie that the pastor mentioned that he had been “asking a lot of questions” lately.  Smiling I leaned over and said to my husband, “He’s been reading my blog!”

A few minutes passed and now he was talking about “the journey.”  Laughing I once more looked to my right and said, “Now I know he’s been on Daily Favor!”

Almost two hours later the room was empty, that is except for us.  As we made our way to the exit with me leading, my husband made this statement, “Oh, I got cheese on your back … and sleeves!”

I didn’t know he had bumped into me before we sat down. While holding the nachos in front of his chest, they smashed into his shirt landing cheese first!  Of course it dripped down making a puddle on hubby's lap.

Here I’d been sitting in cheese and apparently smeared it on the seat for a few hours!  It was quite a mess, and one I had to wear the rest of the day.

Impromptu Picnic
A spot all to ourselves.

Do you remember last year when we tried to go on a picnic for months and it didn’t happen?  We planned and canceled every scheduled one. 

Well, along our drive we decided to go on one.  It wasn’t planned and turned out beautifully, plus we met several nice people and their pets.

We Have to Do This!

Since we never know where we’re going to be, we try to take opportunities to see things when we can.  We had no idea when we would be finished our business, so we opted to take a mini side trip to a lake before it got dark.

Driving a few miles out of the city we came to a lovely spot that had a better picnic area. Too bad we didn’t know about it earlier that day.

My husband dropped me off on the roadside and went to find parking.  (Don't worry, I was always in his view.) It wasn’t hard selecting a spot; not many people were there that time of day.

God Met Me on the Beach

He parked the car and watched me from afar. I made my way down to the shore and for the next hour no one existed in my world except for God and me.  It was completely empty and all mine (for a little while anyway.)

Not a beach, but perfect shore for walking...
Like a five year old I played, stepping into the lake with the ripples sneaking under my feet. 
Back and forth I jumped when the waves tried to touch my shoes.  The more I moved the more I sank into the muddy shore.  No worries, this doesn't matter to a kid.

The wind was blowing my hair across my face and sending the waters quickly back to their home. Climbing on rocks and collecting tiny shells (they weren’t sea shells my hubby so bluntly corrected me) I hopped and bopped, bent down and scooped up treasures having a most glorious time all by myself.

Every so often I would glance up to the car and wave.  My “driver” would do a half wave or thrust his arm out the window acknowledging me.  It was the second time I waved that I realized something about the Lord.

While I was having a good time, God was there watching me as a Father cares for His child and seeing everything I did.  During that time I didn’t think of anything … nothing at all.  Seriously, not one thought entered my mind.

I was at total rest and feeling secure.  In all my life I don’t know if I ever felt that kind of relaxation or serenity.

A few minutes left and we had to be on our way.  Making his way down to me my husband got to experience a small part of what I had been living in “real time.”  He often points out that this was a “days of Heaven on earth” experience that the Bible talks of in Deuteronomy 11:21.

Not too many of us enjoy it, even though it is always available.

A Four Letter Word Jesus Used

Trying to find time to actually “rest” is extremely hard these days. With the economy the way it is all over the world, and with Christians being persecuted is it even possible to enter into God’s rest here on Earth?

“Rest – freedom from action or labor;
peace of mind or spirit, repose, sleep. See Sabbath.”

It’s not only possible, but God ordains it.  Look what He told Moses when he was mentally exhausted. 

“The LORD replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest – everything will be fine for you.” (Exodus 33:14 NLT)

When I made the declaration that I was going to take some time off work, I wasn’t sure if I could do it.  As a matter of fact I almost didn’t, but due to storms I couldn’t use the computer.  God gave us shelter by placing a safety shield of favor around us and I got rest in spite of myself.

“For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.” (Psalm 5:12 NKJV)

The Bible shares with us that Jesus spent many times alone with God. During these visits He ate, prayed, cried, slept and yes, rested. 

What we learn from these examples is that it’s not a sin or laziness to rest.  God wants us to rest physically and mentally.  It’s in those “down” times that we usually encounter our best moments with the Lord.

Let me share a few places where the Lord establishes that rest is to be a part of our daily lives if we are to find favor from Him.

“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”(Psalm 91:1 NLT)

This is telling us where rest lives – in God’s shadow (protective  covering).

“It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to His loved ones.” (Psalm 127:2 NLT)

Not resting is actually foolish if you take the Word of God seriously, and He does expect us to do that.  Sometimes we think we don’t have time to rest like the nation of Judah did.  What did our Heavenly Father have to say about that one?

“… what the LORD says: “Stop at the crossroads and look around. (Where are you on your journey? … so to speak.)  Ask for the old, godly way, and walk in it.  Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls (spirit not physical).  But you reply, No, that’s not the road we want!” (Jeremiah 6:16 NLT)

 We have permission from Jesus to rest, so why don’t we?

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28 NLT)

We know that rest will be ours when Jesus returns and our work on Earth is done. This refers to that special kind of rest that is mentioned in Hebrews 4, but God promises it to us now – in REAL TIME here when we need it.

“And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted (this is here on Earth, not Heaven) and (meaning it will always be ours) also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from Heaven with His mighty angels.” (2 Thessalonians 1:7 NLT)

This rest is only for those who trust in Jesus as their LORD and Savior.  Relaxation isn’t rest and vacations aren’t restful most of the time. The type of rest that we need is the one that refreshes spirit, mind and body.  It’s available to all who will believe.
Take a look at what the author of Hebrews reveals.

“For only we who believe can enter His rest. As for the others (unbelievers) God said, “In my anger I took an oath: They will never enter my place of rest.” 

Even though this rest has been ready since God made the world, Christians don’t take advantage of their benefit package through salvation. (from chapter 4 verse 3)

Scripture makes it pretty specific as to who will get this gift of favor through resting.  God Himself made provisions for rest by building it into the week categorizing it as the day of rest, but we don’t utilize it. (found in Genesis 2:2 and Hebrews)

So this is what we’re going to do …

This Week’s Challenge:
 Give it A Rest!

Our motivation
Complete rest for the spirit,
 mind and body.

Next week (unless Jesus comes) will be full of surprises that come to us in joy, sadness, weakness and strength.  The task is to find a place where you’ll encounter Jesus … just the two of you (Jesus and you only get it?)

- Shut off your phone (for at least a few hours).  Don’t schedule anything, but just go.  It takes effort to plan things, and this is about pure rest even from your own mind.

- When you get to that place (God will lead you where to go) take nothing in your hand or pockets …like slipping a phone or other gadget in your clothes that could possibly summon you away from your time of rest.  You can’t even bring a Bible or note pad to where you will walk or relax.  Leave those items in the car or nearby for later. 

- Now this one will really surprise you … don’t pray or ask questions either.  Simply, just “be” in that space with God.

Approach this time as a child would if they were with you. They totally trust you to have everything they need and bring only their desire to be with you on the journey.

I truly believe, you will have the most refreshing time, even though it may be brief.    The key to this working is to cast everything on Jesus when you come to Him for this time of fellowship. 

God beckons Let the Children come.  That’s you … that’s me. The only way to true rest … come to Jesus for Real Time and live!

P.S.  Did the cheese come out?  Almost all of it after Hubby washed my clothes twice.  Thus proving the gospel message to be true - only Jesus can get rid of “all” the stains!

Until next time, God grant you the favor of true rest.

What's New this Week: Something that I have myself!

Bradford Exchange by Ardleigh Elliott 
Maybe you don’t know the Living God that I know, but would like to have this kind of favor in your life also.  Click on the above tab “Tell Me” for more information on becoming a child of the Savior.

Content and Image Copyright from Favored1. Do not copy. A.N.A. logo by J.C.Penney, Inc.
Scripture reference was taken from the New King James Bible Version provide by Bible Gateway.
Image credit: GoogleImages or Dreamstime Creative Common License if not specified.
Image: Time (Come to Jesus sung by Chris Rice)