Lessons from an ice storm

There has been an ice storm here in Kansas City, Missouri. Not as bad as the epic Central Plains one in 2002, which left up to over 2 inches of ice over affected areas and knocked out electrical power to more than 650,000 residents and trees shattered under hundreds of pounds of ice. Still not fun, though. I miss my hot coffee. 

coffee and Bible
coffee and Bible

As I write this in my journal, I’m sitting here on our loveseat in the front entry room in my comfy blue hoodie, pj pants, purple Hello Kitty slippers, and huddled under a soft blanket and colorful quilt that Ray’s grandmother hand-made to stay warm, since the electrical power went off about 8 AM today.

Red chair and loveseat
Red chair and loveseat in front entry room

After I read my Bible and prayed for safety for our family and all affected by the storm, I crawled under the blankets and went to sleep. Just as I was dozing off, the power came on. When I woke up, it was off again. I joked with our daughter Heather that maybe I should just stay asleep.

Ray's grandmother's hand-made quilt
Ray’s grandmother’s hand-made quilt

It’s really no joke, though. Our daughter Heather has to drive to Overland Park, Kansas, for work today and our daughter Leah has to work in town, too. My husband Ray is working at the ER and he says the electrical power is on and off all over town, and they are very busy. It makes me think of Third World nations like Haiti, which has frequent power outages and only 25% of the population has energy supply.

2017 ice storm
2017 ice storm

While the leaves encased in ice on trees look beautiful, like Narnia’s winter Wonderland, the ice is wicked, especially to drive on.  Our neighbors’ plant looks dead. The ice instantly kills.

our neighbors' plant
our neighbors’ plant

However, one thing situations like this do is create absolute dependence on God. There’s nothing I can do but wait (and I’m such a control freak sometimes, so it’s hard!). I can’t fix the power. Ray can’t fix the power. 

branches with ice
branches with ice
Are you plugged into God’s power?

It makes me muse, how much power of God do I have in my life? How much do you?

“…but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”–Acts 1:8

Do we read and meditate on the Bible, God’s living word?

Do we spend time with God in prayer and worship?

Asian woman praying
Asian woman praying

Do we lean on God and trust Him when storms come?

heart of ice Source: http://timoelliott.com/photos/2013/01/17/a-heart-of-ice/
heart of ice
Source: http://timoelliott.com/photos/2013/01/17/a-heart-of-ice/

Are our hearts filled with the warmth and holy fire of God’s love, or are they cold, distant, and unresponsive to Him and others, encased in ice like the trees’ leaves?

leaves encased in ice
leaves encased in ice

Today I pray for my family’s safety and all those affected by this ice storm. I pray electrical power is quickly restored and protection from car wrecks. And I pray that you and I will be plugged into and empowered by the Spirit of God in 2017.

Lessons from an ice storm.

trees with ice
trees with ice

While I believe in preparation, I love this quote I found: 

“It is a lifelong failing; she has never been prepared. But how can you have a sense of wonder if you’re prepared for everything? Prepared for the sunset. Prepared for the moonrise. Prepared for the ice storm. What a flat existence that would be.“–Margaret Atwood

The power just came back on. Making my coffee now.

***

Me with my first book, Walking with God
Me with my first book, Walking With God

Do you need to get plugged into God? Read my book on prayer Walking With God, available at Amazon as an eBook. Click here to learn more or buy now.

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The sign of a mourning dove

mourning dove
mourning dove http://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/mourning-dove

This morning I overslept but maybe my body just needed more sleep. As I sat in my office ready for the day, I heard the sound of a mourning dove outside. I love doves. They are so peaceful.

Ray had to work some extra shifts this past week, and we weren’t able to have Passover on Friday night, so we had it Sunday night. Since I met Ray, we have celebrated a Messianic Passover as an annual tradition.

Ray was doing this when I first met him. I’d never heard of a Messianic Passover before. He’d read in the Bible where God commanded His people to celebrate it each year (Exodus 12:14-30), and felt convicted that he should do it, too, but from the perspective of the Messiah Jesus already having come.

He studied more about it and began celebrating it each year. We’ve always celebrated it together, with our children. This was the first year that we didn’t; Heather and Eden are grown, and Leah was with her friends Sunday night.

Unknown to the Jews, there is symbolism of Jesus all throughout the Passover! I’m thankful God has passed over my sins because of Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross!

During the Passover, there is a part where someone in the family is supposed to open the front door to “let Elijah the prophet in.” When I did this Sunday night, I opened our front door and saw a dove outside. It made a sound, and then flew up into the sky. I thought it was so cool, and Ray did, too. We took it as a prophetic sign of the Holy Spirit. (Matthew 3:16, Mark 1:10)

When I heard the dove this morning, I remembered the dove at Passover. I felt it was just God confirming as a sign that He is with me and my family, He loves us, and He is watching over us. This is reassuring since there’s weather reports of severe thunderstorms, hail, and even a tornado in the midwest tonight! 

Do you believe that God speaks through signs, nature, and other unusual ways? Leave your comments below. 

 

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God, make me Your conduit

Today I was really encouraged by a friend’s comment about me in a Facebook group and wanted to share my thoughts with you. In the forum, we post weekly or even daily prayer requests as needed, and I’d asked for prayer for God’s wisdom to lead and guide me for my “next step.”

One friend, Cindy Ortagus, said that she’d pray for God’s leading for that next step and that I’d continue to be used as His “conduit,” for Him to speak through me to the world around me.

Cindy had received that word conduit before when praying for me several months ago and had sent me a card in the mail about it. She said that word keeps coming to her as she prays for me.

Cindy's comment about me as a conduit
Cindy’s comment about me as a conduit

The word resonated with me, and today I looked up the definition of conduit on the online Free Dictionary:

1. A pipe or channel for carrying/conveying fluids, such as water.

2. A tube or duct for enclosing electric wires or cable.

3. A means by which something is transmitted: an arms dealer who served as a conduit for intelligence data.
4. Archaic A fountain.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Medieval Latin conductus, from Latin, past participle of condcere, to lead together; see conduce.]

Wow! There is so much there.

My desire is to be a carrier of God’s love – Christ’s LIVING WATERS.

Like a duct for enclosing electric wires, I want to be a duct for the Holy Spirit’s POWER.

I want to be a means for transmitting GOD’S WORD, His prophetic messenger of truth, love and forgiveness.

I want to lead together women of God.

I want to be a fountain of God’s anointing.

God, make me your conduit.

Remove anything obstructing the conduit, anything blocking or hindering Your love and power, so Your Spirit will flow freely into and through my life, heart, and spirit to others in the world.

The Great Conduit
The Great Conduit

Conduits’ origins

In the Middle Ages in London, the Great Conduit was built to ensure public access to safe, clean water. This was a complex system of pipes that brought water from a large fresh spring at Tyburn to a pumping house with cisterns at Cheapside. This fed local cisterns all over London.

“The head of the conduit was placed near a natural spring and the water from the spring was used to fill a nearby cistern or tank.  From the cistern, the water flowed through pipes for a distance of a mile or more.” The water was stored in a larger cistern equipped with taps for dispensing the water.

Interestingly, the conduit houses were not only used for storing and dispensing water, but also served a secondary function as billboards for moral instruction.(http://waterhistory.org/histories/london/)

Conduits were vital to give people clean, fresh, wholesome water to drink and to prevent diseases.

Jesus gives us His living waters to give us abundant life, to set us free from sin, and to heal us.

“But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” ~ John 4:14, NLT

God, make me Your conduit.

The Bible has many stories of what God could do with men, women, and children who were yielded to His purposes. They became  unobstructed conduits of His Love and Power.

Abraham and Sarah couldn’t have any children, yet God chose them to be the father and the mother of the Jewish nation because of their great faith, with their descendants being a “great nation” – as many as the stars. When Abraham was 100 and Sarah beyond childbearing years, they had their son Isaac ~ through Abraham the Jews were born. (Scientists estimate there are between 100 billion and 1 trillion stars in an average galaxy, and about 100 billion to 1 trillion galaxies in the Universe.)

Moses told God that he stammered and couldn’t speak, but God reminded him that He’d made Moses’ mouth. Moses went on to became the deliverer of the Jewish people out of the slavery in Egypt. One of the most famous and miraculous of his feats was parting the Red Sea for the Jews to cross over when Pharoah and his army were pursuing them to bring them back to Egypt.

Samson, a Nazirite consecrated to God from birth, had supernatural physical strength from God to kill 1000 men with the jawbone of a donkey. (Judges 15:16)

Queen Esther, an ordinary Jewish girl, became the deliverer of the Jewish peoplewhen Mordecai wanted to have the nation wiped out.

David was a man after God’s own heart and a great warrior for Him, killing tens of thousands of the Israelites’ enemy, the Philistines.

Samuel was just a little child, yet he heard the voice of God in the temple and “none of his words fell to the ground,” becoming one of Israel’s most accurate prophets.

Jesus, the only Son of God, only did what God told him to do and say, doing many miracles. The New Testament records only 37 of these miracles, but the Apostle John said, “If everyone of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” (John 21:25)

Mary Magdalene, “just a woman” in a society which viewed women more as property and objects, and who had seven demons cast out of her, became the first evangelist after seeing Jesus resurrected in the garden.

God, make me Your conduit.

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