Monday, July 2, 2012

So Thankful for Freedom…



John 8:36 “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."

I LOVE counting my blessings and the more grateful I am…the happier I am! I am just plain blessed!  I am so grateful to God for allowing me to live in the United States of America!  I have such precious freedoms living here.  I am free to come and go as I please.  I am free to hold whatever job I am willing to qualify myself for.  I am free to worship God as He commands me from His Word.  It is a precious thing to be living in a country that is filled with such freedoms.  Except for a brief tour of duty in Germany, I have lived here all my life.  I have never, not known freedom.  Not everyone in our world can say that!  That is a wonderful thing and it is a terrible thing as well.  It is so easy for me to take that freedom for granted.  If I am not careful I will forget to praise God for this tremendous gift and to pray for His protection of the freedoms I enjoy! I have to really purpose to keep in mind the high price that was paid by my forefathers, who secured those dear freedoms for me.

As incredible as the freedom that I have enjoyed all my life is, there is another freedom that I hold most dearly.  It is a freedom that was purchased at an even  greater price.  It is a freedom that can never be taken away.  It is the liberty I have in Christ.  It is a deeper freedom than any I had ever experienced before.   It isn’t a freedom to DO something but rather a freedom FROM something!  I am free from the bondage of sin!  The Bible describes a life before salvation as being a slave.  When Christ died on the cross He paid for my redemption from the slave market of sin!  I am now free indeed!  It is important for me to remember to praise and thank God for my country’s freedom.  It is so much more imperative that I guard my heart in regards to the freedom I have in Christ. Just the privilege of having His Word in my language and being able to read it every day is a remarkable blessing! Add to that, the blessing of having a church where I can hear it faithfully preached and defended is an freedom I must not take for granted.  With all these freedoms surrounding me, the most vital question I must ask myself is, “Am I appreciative of these precious gifts or am I squandering them by living for myself?”               



Liberty is not something we should take lightly nor take for granted.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Heavenly Sunlight

I have truly been enjoying the sunlight lately. I love how it wraps around me and warms me, just like a hug! It reminds me of my childhood growing up in Texas! It seemed like every day there was filled with sunshine. I have fond memories of playing under the bluest of blue skies and feeling the warm embrace of the sunshine while growing up. When I married my husband, we moved to Germany. Germany was quite the culture shock for me! Not only were the language and customs different, but the weather was as well. The first time I experienced a full week of rain, it left me dragging and so depressed. I had to force myself to get out of bed in the morning. I then realized how much I took sunshine for granted in my life. I expected it to always be there and when it was not, I crumbled. It was like I completely forgot that the sun was still shining just as brightly as ever, just above the clouds. The Lord has been speaking to my heart about all the things I still take for granted. I grow so used to these things, that I forget to thank Him for them. I expect them to always be there and when they are not, I find myself dragging around and depressed. How selfish of me! I forget to thank the Lord for all His blessing to me! I have a wonderful family that loves and honors me. I have an excellent and prayer-filled Pastor who preaches what God needs me to hear and sacrifices his time and energy to help my family. I have a church family that loves me, accepts me and prays for me. I have a Christian School for my children to attend, filled with teachers who love my children fiercely and would lay down their lives for their souls. How could I ever get down in the dumps with all these tremendous gifts from my Heavenly Father? The Lord knows that I sometimes need the cloudy times in my life so I’ll continue to appreciate the sun. I need to take heed to that lesson and appreciate the other more important things, because some day they may no longer be there…. Once again, I am reminded that I am blessed beyond measure!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Blessed By Two Senior Saints




I am blessed beyond measure by the people God has placed in my life.  I’m trying to actively appreciate the place God’s people have in my life.  The Lord has really impressed on me to meditate on the gift of two very special people… Bro. and Mrs. Silcox.  Bro. Silcox is our staff Evangelist and a former pastor.  The Silcoxes are the parents of our pastor’s wife and they are now members of our church family here in Larimore.  In order to truly express how much these two people mean to me and how they have been a blessing in my life, it would take pages and pages.  The Lord has given me the difficult task of paring it down to only a few.

                As I ponder on these two special people, my mind settles in on several things.  I love how gentle and caring Mrs. Silcox is with all of us ladies.  She loves each one of us dearly and she really takes the time to let each of us know that.  She always has a hug for me and an encouraging word.  She tries to be led by the Holy Spirit in saying exactly what I need to hear.  There have been times when I am feeling completely defeated as a mother and the next thing I know she is there, telling me how one (or more) of my children have blessed her.  She has told me on several occasions that she thinks I am doing well as a mom.  I can not put into words how much that has meant to me over the years.  Bro. and Mrs. Silcox are the picture of faithfulness.  Most older folks become self-focused and reclusive.  Not the Silcoxes!  They put most younger folks to shame with their faithful attendance and zeal for all things spiritual.

                Both of the Silcoxes are great examples of taking care of the body that God has given us.  I have learned more from their example than any college degree could offer.  I am thankful that they are always ready to share knowledge learned over the years, with anyone who is willing to listen.  I remember the early years of raising my children and seeing doctors all the time to treat all manner of illnesses.  Since I began listening to their sage advice and have changed my family’s eating habits, we rarely have any illnesses at all!  My family is so much healthier now and I owe this debt of gratitude to the teaching of the Silcoxes!


                The greatest impact these dear people have made in my life came before I even met them.  It is because of their unwavering devotion to the Lord and to the work God called them to,  that years later I was able to hear the good news about the Saviour and to truly understand my need for repentance.  I’m so grateful that Bro. Silcox chose to leave all that he knew and a job that he loved, in order to share His Saviour with a dying world.  He sacrificed his plans and his dreams and submitted to the Lord.  I am blessed because of it. Because of his obedience to the calling of the Lord, countless souls have been saved, numerous churches have been planted, and many missionaries have gone in our stead.  Those are treasures that money cannot buy; only submission to our Heavenly Father secures them.  I am praising the LORD for the blessing the Silcoxes have been in my life and in the lives of so many others!  I truly am…..blessed beyond measure!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Refuge


When I was little and troubles came, I always ran home. It was such a safe haven for me. I was loved and protected there. I knew my family would always accept me, love me and help me. When I look back, I see that my home was a place of refuge. If you asked me to describe a shelter, it would look like that small backyard in Texas. It would have green grass, blue skies and two towering pecan trees. Shelter would have my family near and a swing set upon which I could try to touch the clouds with my toes!

When I married, the definition of shelter shifted. Shelter was no longer a place, but a person; my husband. I knew he was a safe haven for me. He was in the military and that meant that we moved around a lot. I could no longer run to a place for refuge but now to a person who would love me and accept me. That was all I needed in my young adult years and untouched by the realities of life. Soon however, I came to realize that this world offers no permanence and all the places I considered to be refuges could not always be there and be counted on. Someday that backyard with the towering pecan trees would belong to another family. Someday, my husband might not be here. I came to realize that I needed a refuge that would never move or be changed.

I am blessed beyond measure because my permanent Refuge, the One that will never change or leave me, came searching for me! My Refuge wooed me and drew me. My greatest joy came when I understood that once I accepted that Refuge by trusting faith, I could never, ever lose it! This personal relationship cannot be sold and it cannot be taken away from me! I am praising the Lord that He sought to be my Refuge! Now when I think of shelter, I simply think of my LORD and Saviour Jesus Christ. I am so abundantly blessed!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

My Husband…More Than I Deserve


In preparation for this column, it sure is encouraging and enriching to truly stop and meditate on my blessings on a regular basis. In this busy life, it is so easy to not even notice the little things that God gives us and those “little things” tend to be the very things that make our life the happiest. I find more and more that I really am ~ blessed beyond measure! I have been anointed with the oil of gladness! Lately, I am once again praising the Lord for the husband that He gave me. I do not deserve such a kind and loving man in my life.

My husband is the most selfless man I know. He is always putting my needs or the family’s needs above his own. I have to really be vigilant in order to ensure that HIS needs are met, because he is always putting himself at the bottom of the list! He is the example of Christ in our family! I am so thankful for that!

My husband shows me the greatest respect. It is something that if I am not careful, I will take it for granted. He esteems me above all others (except for God) and he will not accept anything less from our children. Disrespect for me is never tolerated in our home, even when I am wrong. I cannot express what a treasure that is. It teaches all of us in my family that respect is not an option, but required. That translates into reverence to God, who is truly worthy!

The thing that I am most thankful for in my husband is his love and devotion for the Lord Jesus Christ. A husband who is devoted to the Lord is one of the best gifts to any family! He loves the Lord more than anyone or anything in this world. That makes him an even better husband and father to each of us in the Lehman family. No, he is not perfect…but I’m so grateful that he is willing to love and serve the One who is! My husband strives to lead us in the way we should go and for that ….I thank him and thank my Lord for blessing me beyond measure!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

My Pastor's Singing


I am blessed beyond measure by the pastor that God has given me. He is a most gentle shepherd and I could spend hours writing praises to the Lord for him. I am impressed to ponder and praise the Lord for one thing in particular about my pastor. That would be, his singing.

My pastor has a beautiful singing voice. I am so thankful that he uses it to worship the Saviour! Music is so important in my worship of the Lord and my pastor ensures that we are able to worship in the beauty of holiness and in truth! When I hear him sing I am lifted up in praise of my Jehovah God!
My family knows how dearly I love to hear my pastor sing. When I am in Children’s Church or in Nursery and miss when he has sung a solo, they are always so sad for me. My all time favorite song that he sings is O Holy Night. I was blessed to hear him sing that once again on Christmas night!  I have heard many versions of that song, from the London Philharmonic Orchestra to Andy Williams, but none can hold a candle to the way my pastor does it. Yes, he truly has a beautiful voice and yes, the accompanists who play for him are truly top notch. Yes, he always chooses lovely arrangements also.
However the reason I am so blessed and love his singing so much, is because of the Spirit with which he sings. His singing is so filled with the Spirit of God, sung from the heart and completely void of just the “mechanics” of singing, that I am transported in worship to the very throne of God!

Thank you, Pastor. Your ministry in music is a blessing to me! I am truly blessed beyond measure!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Cocoa

I am finding that the ‘little’ things….and sometimes the not so little things to be thankful for, are easy to spot if I’m looking for them and I find that once again….I am blessed beyond measure! This month I found my ‘blessing’ in quite and unusual place. I am blessed beyond measure by the dog the Lord gave to my son, Adam.


He is a cute little mutt but that isn’t what makes him so special to me. He has taught me immeasurably about how to love the Saviour!

Cocoa absolutely loves my son with all his heart, with all his mind and with all his soul (if he had one)! When Adam is away from home, Cocoa is absolutely bereft! He whines at the door or window just hoping for a glimpse of his master. When he finally gives up waiting for him, he goes and sleeps on Adam’s bed where he feels closest to the one he loves. When Adam is home, the dog is glued to his side. He sits as closely to Adam as he possibly can. Cocoa keeps his eyes glued to Adam and watches his every move. He doesn’t want to miss a command or any chance to be closer to his master.

When I see the absolute devotion Cocoa has for Adam, it convicts my heart. Am I anywhere near as devoted to my precious Saviour as Cocoa is to Adam? Is it my only goal in life to be nearer to Him? When times are dark and I can’t see the way, am I in position to catch a glimpse of my LORD? Am I striving to keep my eyes on Him so I will never miss a command or a chance to serve Him? Oh the mountains that could be moved if I were as faithful to my Master as Cocoa is to his!