Saturday, January 28, 2012

An iPhone and An Answer to Prayer

If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
Even there Your hand shall lead me,
And Your right hand shall hold me.
Psalm 139:9-10

If I drive my car to the Verizon Wireless Store
And dwell in the sea of gigabyte savvy people
Even there Your hand will guide me
To the right salesperson to help me.

I am not sure what a gigabyte is.  I don't own an iAnything.  And I have a Smarter-Than-Me cell phone.

So, when my sweet husband decided we would give Joshua his very first cell phone this past Christmas, I needed his guidance.  I would fly and he would buy.  Before I could fly to the cell phone store, Jim would have to tell me what to buy.

After doing some research on-line, Jim chose a cell phone for Joshua and texted to my cell phone exactly what I should ask for at the Verizon wireless store.  While I am rather good at using computers, cell phones and the such, the thought of gigabytes, generations, memory capability, service plans and application usage just makes my head spin!

So on my way to Verizon, I said a little prayer to God.  Please go before me, God, and let this be a smooth and efficient purchase.  Lord, please give me a salesperson that treats me more like a sister than a customer.  I want to make a wise purchase and know that I wasn't taken advantage of because of my lack of gigabyte savvy.  Please give me a salesperson that treats me like their sister.  Thank you. 

The store was busy with the before-Christmas rush, but I only waited a few minutes until one of the salesmen called me over to the counter.  He introduced himself to me and asked how he could serve me. Telling him I was there to purchase our son his first cellphone, I began reading the text from my husband stating exactly what I should buy.  The saleman gave a wide smile.  The two customers on either side of me chuckled with understanding.  (They must not have gigabyte savvy either!)

I asked the salesman to show me the phone and I asked a few questions about it.  I called Jim briefly to clarify something, and the salesman even happily got on the phone with Jim to be sure I was getting exactly what he wanted for Joshua.  The salesman was friendly, down to earth and very helpful.  Thank you, Lord.

While he was waiting for our order to go through the computer system, I asked him if he could take a look at my cell phone as my texting hadn't been working properly.  He gladly took my phone and fixed the problem quickly.

And then, the answer to my specific prayer.  I hadn't even realized what I had prayed until the Lord answered it perfectly.

Oh, I see you have the same Bible application on your phone as I do, he said.  Have you seen the new feature they have on there?  What's your favorite version?  I like the NKJV.

My jaw dropped.

He was my brother in Christ.

I am his sister in Christ.

God's beautiful answer to my prayer.  So simple.  So amazing.

So thankful.

I shared with him the prayer I had prayed on my way there, and told him he was an answer to that prayer. He smiled as if to say of course God answered your prayer that way.

Thank you, Lord, for a salesman who treated me more like a sister than a customer, because I am his sister in You.

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love,
in honor giving preference to one another;
Romans 12:10

Thursday, January 19, 2012

My 2012 Annual Spotlight Verse(s)

A holy life worthy of God.  A worthy life that honors Him.  This seemingly-lofty goal is what keeps coming back to me for my 2012 annual spotlight verse.

As I have been reading the Bible and praying the last several weeks, these verses are swelling up in my heart and are in the forefront of my mind. I recently journalled many verses that I am asking God to gently use to reshape my heart this year, but these "live a life worthy" verses kind of sum them all up for me.  (There's a lot of refining left to do in this heart!) 

" a life worthy of the calling you have received."
Ephesians 4:1b
"For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory."
1 Thess. 2:11-12

"But as He who called you is holy,
you also be holy in all your conduct,
since it is written, "You shall be holy, for I am holy.'"
1 Peter 1:15-16
A life worthy of God.  Living a life that honors the only Worthy One.  A holy life because He is holy.
At first glance, this goal may seem lofty and unattainable.  But because He tells us to live a life worthy of Him and because "His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness"  (2 Peter 1:3), I know it is possible.  By His Spirit and His grace.
Our Gather & Grow Bible study group is studying "Holiness" by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.  (This is the third book in her Bible study trilogy "Brokenness, Surrender, Holiness".) She writes:

"Because God is holy, we must be holy.  And here's the good news -- because God is holy, we can be holy.  If you are a child of God, the Holy God lives in you.  He is the standard for your holiness, and He is the source of your holiness -- He is your righteousness.  He can wash your unholy heart with the blood of Jesus and make you clean - so the world will know what He is like." ~ Nancy Leigh DeMoss

God has blessed me beyond measure with a wonderful husband and two precious children.  He has given us treasured family and friends.  He has provided for us in amazing ways. 
Yet, life is offering me some unique challenges this year, all of which I know are flowing through God's hands of love. Strrrrreeeettttttching is taking place in many ways in my life.  So living a holy life that is worthy of Him, while always a relevant and necessary charge, is especially grounding for me during this season of life. This one command covers everything.  Thank You, Lord, for Your faithfulness!

The wisdom in His gracious requirement of "live a life worthy of God" gives eternal perspective, focusing on Him and His purposes and glory. "God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him."  Ephesians 1:4
"Honor God" is our family dictum and goal.  "Honor God" are the words with which we usher our children good-bye.  Honoring God is our daily prayer.   Living a life worthy of Him honors Him.  "Honor Him, for His is your Lord."  Psalm 45:11
So, I tell you my 2012 annual spotlight verse (as I have done in the past years) to share my heart.  But honestly, I share it for accountability.  As I publish it and put it out there, when the going gets tough I can't run too far without the Holy Spirit convicting me and without one of you tapping me on the shoulder reminding me when I am being challenged, saying "Sharon, live a holy life worthy of the calling you have received.  Live a holy life worthy of God."  He calls us into His kingdom and glory.
Promise me you'll tap me on the shoulder.  I want to honor Him and live a life worthy of Him, especially in the stttreeeettttching!
"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
Colossians 1:9-14