Monday, October 31, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: Where is God When Your Heart Aches?

Where is God When Your Heart Aches?
By Roy Lessin

And the Word (Christ) became flesh (human, incarnate) and tabernacled (fixed His tent of flesh, lived awhile) among us; and we [actually] saw His glory (His honor, His majesty), such glory as an only begotten son receives from his father, full of grace (favor, loving-kindness) and truth. John 1:14 AMPC

The meaning of “Tabernacle” reaches into the deepest places of our hearts. Its impact was first known to the people of Israel in the book of Exodus (29:4), was revealed to the early church through the Gospels (John1:14), and is spoken of in the book of Revelation as an extension of God’s loving care to His people in the final days (Revelation 7:15 AMP.)  The word “Tabernacle” brings to us one of the clearest revelations of the love and care of God for His people. It says to us that God has chosen to come to us in our need, to draw close in intimacy and compassion, and to cover us with His presence.

When God’s people go through great hardships and heartaches we often wonder what can be said that will bring true comfort and hope? One of things I believe we can say with strong affirmation is that God is there, in the midst of it all, drawing closer than any friend or family member ever could. This is at the heart of Jesus, our Tabernacle. Jesus didn’t stay away from us, hiding from our sorrows in heaven; He came to us and tabernacled with us.


In the book of Revelation, God reaches out to those who have come through great tribulation and spreads His tabernacle over them—the tabernacle of His presence to protect and shelter them. In the midst of our deepest sorrows, tears, and struggles God spreads the tent of His presence over us!

How close is God to you when we face our greatest trials and difficulties?  The Bible tells us that God collects our tears in His bottle, and that one day He will wipe away all tears from our eyes. How close is He to you when your heart aches? He cannot collect your tears in His bottle and be standing at a distance. To be a collector of your tears, God is not even an eyelash away.  

©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley. Permission to forward on social media. For reprint permission, email meadowrequests@gmail.com

Friday, October 28, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: Riptide

Riptide
By Roy Lessin

A few years ago, someone shared with me the horrors he experienced after discovering he was being pulled out to sea by a riptide.

“It was dusk when I decided to hook up with one more wave before calling it a day. I was stretched out, face down on my surfboard, as I worked my way toward deeper water. When I passed the first line of breakers I turned my board toward the beach and waited. As I lazily floated on the water I lifted my head and noticed that the beach seemed much further away then I remembered it being a few moments earlier. I started to paddle, hoping to move my surfboard closer to land; however, instead of moving forward, I continued to drift further out to sea. 

I paddled harder, but the beach only grew more distant. At that moment, I realized I was caught in the pull of a riptide. With the sun setting I knew that it wouldn’t be long before I would be heading out to sea in complete darkness. In desperation I cried out to God, ‘Help me!” In an instant, from out of nowhere, I saw a wave forming behind me. It caught my board with a mighty thrust and carried me all the way to the shore. I knew, beyond a doubt, it was the hand of God.”


A riptide is a strong surface flow of water returning seaward from near the shore. It can be extremely dangerous, dragging people away from the beach and leading to possible death as they attempt to fight the current and become exhausted. Hundreds of people are rescued from their clutches each year.

I believe there are spiritual riptides that can be a danger to our walk with Jesus Christ. Sometimes they can be subtle and go unseen, but once we are in their grip, they can pull us away from our peace, our joy, and our confident trust in the Lord. 

Riptides are stronger when the surf is rough as the result of a storm. When we go through rough times and difficult circumstances, the pull of the enemy can be the strongest. He can attack our minds with thoughts of fear, anxiety, doubt and worry. These thoughts can work like riptides as they try to bring us into the deep waters of discouragement, depression, or despair.

Riptides are also stronger when the tide is low. We need to guard our hearts whenever we sense we are emotionally or physically down. If we are not careful, we can be swept into the enemy’s riptide of lies when we are overworked, exhausted, physically weak, or going through great stress or disappointment.

If you sense you have been pulled into the enemy’s riptide, do not panic; do not try and fight your way out in your own strength. Instead, cry out to the Lord and ask Him to deliver you. In Psalm 34:6 we read, “This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” The Lord is your deliverer, your redeemer, your rescuer, your lifeguard. He is mighty to save; He will rescue you and keep you from going under.

This post originally appeared in October 2008 on Meet Me in the Meadow. ©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table. May be reposted in social media without permission. Permission to reprint, please email meadowrequests@gmail.com 

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: Chosen

CHOSEN
Not by man, but God-
Wholly set apart!
Saved to be a servant,
Who knows the Father's heart.
REDEEMED
Not by fate, but grace-
Yielded to obey!
Called to be a vessel,
Who gives His love away.


-Roy Lessin




©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley, Marina's Kitchen Table. Permission to repost and share on social media. For printing permissions, please email meadowrequests@gmail.com

Monday, October 24, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: I Have Overcome the World

I Have Overcome the World
By Roy Lessin

I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have [perfect] peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer [take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted]! For I have overcome the world. [I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.]  John 16:33 AMP



I’m thankful that God is in control; that He is on the throne; that He is wise and good; that we stand upon a kingdom that can’t be shaken; that He knows His own; that He knows what He is doing; that our lives are in His hands; that He is working out His plan; that He has overcome the world!

©2016 Roy Lessin, Meeting in the Meadow. Photo by Marina Bromley. Permission to forward and use on social media. Reprint permissions, please email, meadowrequests@gmail.com 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: Skilled (Proverbs 22)

Skilled

Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; Proverbs 22:29 AMP


The word diligent can mean skilled or ready. Diligent is another way of saying that it is important to be prepared. Abraham Lincoln said, “I will prepare myself and then my opportunity will come.” Leonard Ravenhill said, “The opportunity of a lifetime must be ceased in the lifetime of the opportunity.”

In Exodus we read, “Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and wisdom, with intelligence and understanding, and with knowledge and all craftsmanship, To devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, In cutting of stones for setting, and in carving of wood, for work in every skilled craft.” Exodus 35:30-

It is important that you do your work well, but it is also important to be growing in your work and in your skills. Don’t settle for “just getting by.” Continue to find ways to grow, to expand your learning, and to improve your skills.

Lord, thank you for the gifts and abilities you have given me. Thank you that I can serve you with my heart and my skills in the workplace. Show me new ways to learn and to grow. Keep me fresh and ever growing. I want to always be in a place of readiness and willingness to serve and honor you.

©2016 Roy Lessin, used with permission. Originally posted 10/2008. Photo by Marina Bromley. Any requests to re-print may be directed to MeadowRequests@gmail.com


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: I Will Come to You

I Will Come to You
by Roy Lessin

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever---the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you…Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. John14:16-18,23 (NKJV)


It is an amazing thing to discover what actually took place within you the day you “believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and were saved.” Yes, Jesus came to you as He promised, but how did He come? Jesus said in John chapter 3, “You must be born again.” This means that each of us is in need of a spiritual birth. The moment you were saved, Jesus came into your life through the person of the Holy Spirit. But, that’s not all. Jesus said in John 14 that His Father also came into your life.

This amazing mystery is possible because the Holy Spirit is called both the Spirit of God the Father, and the Spirit of Christ (Matthew 10:20, Romans 8:9). Think of it…the unity, the harmony, and the fellowship of the Godhead have entered into your life when the Holy Spirit took up residence within you. Even if you can’t understand or imagine the truth of it, you can believe the truth of it! No one in the Godhead—not Father, Son, or Holy Spirit—is nearer to you, or loves you more than the other. Each One is daily involved in your life in the deepest way possible.

Why did Jesus come to you? Why did the Father come to you? Why did the Holy Spirit come to you? Not to condemn you, not to make you uncomfortable, not to treat you as a stranger, and not to make you feel like you don’t belong… They came to make Their home with you, and They came to make you feel at home in Them as a beloved child in the family of God.
..........
This is an original post ©2016 by Roy Lessin. Used with permission. Photo ©2016 Marina Bromley. For permission to reuse please email meadowrequests@gmail.com 

Monday, October 17, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: A Servant Leader

A Servant Leader
by Roy Lessin

When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:41-45 NLT



There is a great difference between those who are living for themselves and those who are living for Jesus. This is apparent in the workplace. Consider these differences in the area of leadership.

A servant-leader is:
Someone who can set direction and inspire instead of being bossy. 
Someone who makes others successful instead of using them for his advancement.
Someone who is genuine instead of a manipulator.
Someone who motivates through encouragement instead of through fear.
Someone who takes time to listen instead of being set in his ways. 
Someone who builds others up instead of picking them apart.
Someone who creates loyalty instead of mistrust.
Someone who imparts vision and unity instead of confusion and dissension.


Father, I want to serve you with a true heart. Work in me the heart of your Son, the heart of servant who is willing to lay down his life for others. May I express before others the attitudes and actions that are a true reflection of your heart.

This post originally appeared in October 2008, ©2016 Roy Lessin. Used with permission. Photo ©2016 Marina Bromley. For reprint permissions email meadowrequests@gmail.com

Friday, October 14, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: A Few Quotes

A Few Quotes 

Let me tell you what real surrender is. It is simply resting in the love of God, as a little baby rests in its mother’s arms. –Fenelon



We are not often called to great sacrifice, but daily we are presented with the chance to make small ones—a chance to make someone cheerful, a chance to do some small thing to make someone comfortable or contented, a chance to lay down our petty preferences or cherished plans. This requires us to relinquish something—our own convenience or comfort, our won free evening, our warm fireside, or even our habitual shyness, reserve or pride. –Elisabeth Elliot

©2016 Roy Lessin, photo by Marina Bromley. Used with permission. Originally posted 10/2008. Any requests to re-print may be directed to MeadowRequests@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: A Serendipitous Obedience, by Laurie Marie Hopper (Guest Post)

A Serendipitous Obedience

The following story by Laurie Marie Hopper, is based upon a message I wrote for DaySpring over fifteen years ago. This account is humorous in places, but it is also a reminder to us of the power of prayer and the way the Holy Spirit works to touch the hearts of others.  -Roy


Being the mother of four active boys has filled my life with a myriad of experiences, some more exciting than others. Since they all four have gone to the same high school, I've almost worn the pavement down on the road over the last eight years taking them to and from school.

Day after day, I began to notice this one particular man, a tall, older, distinguished looking gentleman. Every morning, there he was walking with his lunch bag in hand and a lanyard I.D. tag hanging from his neck. I naturally assumed he was walking to work.

One special morning I heard God's still small voice on the inside of my heart telling me to pray for the man. I snorted," Lord! I don't even know that man! How could I pray for him?" The gentle voice replied, "You see him every day! Why don't you make a difference in his life instead of just blowing past him? Be aware of the people who cross your path on a daily basis. Reach out to them." The next day the same thing. Now, I have had a relationship with God for 36 years. And in that 36 years I have learned to hear God's voice the hard way. Funny, the more time I spend with God the more sensitive I am to Him when He talks to me. Kind of like the saying "The harder I work the luckier I get" type of thing. Anyway, I obeyed, and I began to pray for him every morning when I saw him.

I would pray for God to bless him and his family, for God to give him a good day. I would pray for his health and his job. I began to pray that God would help him with any problems he might be having and for God to fill his life with love and meaning. Well, this went on month after month. Were my prayers making a difference in his life? Was my obedience in praying for him making a difference in mine?

Now, I have the best job in the whole world. I am the head of the greeting card department at Berean Christian Store in Bakersfield, California. I get to talk about God all day long at my job. I get to pray with people, listen to Christian music, and be surrounded by godly literature. Who could ask for anything better?

As in all retail business, working with the public has its challenges- Christian or non. One day I was having a particularly difficult time of it and as I was putting up my greeting card order I kept coming across Roy Lessin's poem titled "Just Think.” It seemed that everywhere I looked on this day that poem was there: On a plaque, on a journal, in framed wall art. I thought to myself, "Come on, Roy, get a new poem now and again. Let's get some new material going here!"

I'm usually not a negative or complaining person, but for some reason I was irritated that this poem was just EVERYWHERE! Not ten minutes later a well-dressed couple walked into the store. I greeted them with a smile...and low and behold...it was the man that I prayed for every morning!! You know, you just can't pray for someone as much as I prayed for him and not feel a connection. My spirit leaped within me. I said, "Is there anything I can help you with?" He and his wife replied rather stoically, "We are just here to get a card for our daughter. She just had a baby and there were some complications." I said, "Oh! Okay. Just let me know if you need anything.”

As they began to look at the baby cards, I could not help but overhear because I was putting up product just a few feet away. They read a few cards out loud together, talking in hushed tones. Then they began to read a baby card with the poem (you guessed it) “Just Think” on it. As they began to read this card, they both started to softly cry. Then the words they read began to be broken with sobs in between. Before long, they were both weeping. I was so moved with compassion for this hurting Grandpa and Grandma, and they had no idea who I was or that I had been praying for them for many months! I couldn’t help myself. With tears in my eyes, I wrapped that little woman in my arms and began to pray for her, the daughter, and the baby who were obviously so very precious to them. She sobbed in my arms as I prayed.

The gentleman had been so overcome with emotion that he pulled out his handkerchief and went to a nearby corner of the store to try to compose himself. The Lord helped me to pray a prayer that encouraged and uplifted them. He put just the right words in my mouth that day. They wiped the tears from their eyes and said,” Thank you! This card says it all for us! Thank you for praying for us!”

And just as quickly as they came in, they were gone. I was left standing there with the most awe-struck feeling. What just happened? God came down and touched my world!

What did I learn that day? So many things!! Like, some things are TIMELESS. For instance, an old poem that was written years ago under God’s power and anointing can, and is, still touching lives today. Similar to the Bible, God continues to encourage and motivate man through the written word. God’s insights are fresh and new, no matter when they were written! The power of words, especially when they are inspired by God.

I also learned that God has His reasons when He asks you to do something. I’ve come to realize, over time, that He has my best interest at heart. His instructions may seem insignificant, but if you will obey Him and do what He says, He will make something surprisingly beautiful (serendipitous!) out of your obedience. Like me, maybe you will get to help someone in their time of need. Or, the tables could be turned, and you will be the someone in need who is greatly helped by the one who is being obedient to the whisper of God.

I continue to drive two of my sons to high school every day and I still see that man walking to work. You can bet that every time he is seen, I habitually pray for him and his family. He probably will never know who I am, and that’s okay. The satisfaction of being obedient and knowing why ... so I could be a help and an encouragement, is enough to warm my heart and prepare me for my next adventure with God.

-Laurie Marie Hopper


©2016 Roy Lessin, photo by Marina Bromley. Used with permission. Originally posted 10/2008. Any requests to re-print may be directed to MeadowRequests@gmail.com

You may read the poem "Just Think" by Roy Lessin, at DaySpring.com's website here.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: Diligence (Proverbs 10), by Roy Lessin

Diligence
By Roy Lessin

He becomes poor who works with a slack and idle hand, but the hand of the diligent makes rich. Proverbs 10:4 AMP


One of the flaws in education is placing a strong emphasis on grades and not on character. A person can graduate college with academic honors and be morally bankrupt. Poor character impacts every area of our lives, especially the workplace. Many times I have heard employers say, “It’s so hard to find good help. People don’t know how to work.”

In the apprenticeship system, young people grew up learning a trade and learning how to work with their hands. Children who grew up on farms often learned that playtime was a privilege, not a right. Everyone who has a job has a choice to make. He can either be slack in his work or diligent. Employers notice the difference and reward those whose work is honest and noble.

Jesus, teach me to work as you worked. You knew what it meant to be in the workplace day after day, as an apprentice and as a craftsman. Show me what it means to be persistent and hard-working. I want to have the consistent joy of going home each day knowing I have put in a good day's work and have done my best. 


©2016 Roy Lessin, photo by Marina Bromley. Used with permission. Originally posted 10/2008. Any requests to re-print may be directed to MeadowRequests@gmail.com

Friday, October 7, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: A Few Quotes

A Few Quotes

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Creator calls a butterfly.
–Elisabeth Elliot



When we have nothing to keep, we have nothing to lose—that is freedom.
–Elisabeth Elliot


Fear God and become fearless.
–Elisabeth Elliot


©2016 Roy Lessin, photo by Marina Bromley. Used with permission. Originally posted 10/2008. Any requests to re-print may be directed to MeadowRequests@gmail.com

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow: "I AM," by Roy Lessin

"I AM"

God replied to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. Say this to the people of Israel: I AM has sent me to you.” Exodus 3:14 NLT

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM!” John 8:58 NLT


God used the burning bush to draw Moses aside, to hear God’s voice and to discover how God wanted to use him. What Moses heard was God’s plan, not Moses’ plan.  God does not come to us and ask, “What is it you would like to do with your life? Just let me know and I will back you all the way.” It is God’s plan that we must follow.

When Moses heard what God was calling him to do he immediately began to look at his resources instead of God’s. Moses’ focus was on what he couldn’t do instead of on what God could do. God did not say to him, “Come on Moses, you can do it. You can do anything if you just put your mind to it.” What God wanted Moses to understand was that God was the one who would fulfill Moses’ calling. It was okay for Moses to say, “I can’t” but he also needed to say “You can!”

Let the burning bush be a reminder to you of God’s call and plan. He is the one who has called you and will equip you. He is the one who sends you and goes before you. He is the one who is your wisdom, your authority, and your confidence. He is your great “I Am.”

As the “I Am” He is the God of the past, the God of the future, and the God of today. He never says, “What I once have been I can no longer be.” He never says, “What I will be in the future I cannot be today.” God is always in the “eternal now.” All that He was He always will be.

When God says “I Am” He is saying that He is all-in-all. He is your provider and He is your provision, whatever your need may be. In trouble, He is your peace; in lack, He is your sufficiency; in changing circumstances, He is your contentment; in difficulty, He is your joy; in weakness, He is your strength; in battle, He is your victory; in impossibilities, He is your miracle worker.

©2016 Roy Lessin, used with permission. Originally posted 10/2008. Photo by Marina Bromley. Any requests to re-print may be directed to MeadowRequests@gmail.com


Monday, October 3, 2016

Meeting in the Meadow; What's It All About?

Surprise! After a year of prayer and consideration, both Roy Lessin and I have come to a place of peace in posting together again!
Roy and I began working together about 3 years ago, when he had his blog "Meet Me in the Meadow" sponsored by DaySpring. When they "retired" his blog, we weren't sure what God had next for his writing, his archives, and my photography. We are reposting old posts, and sharing new writing, as Roy provides it, so it will be accessible online again. You can find it posted here, as well as on Facebook at the Marina's Kitchen Table page, and a new blog page for Roy called "Meeting in the Meadow."
We welcome your comments, and hope that you'll want to share the materials with others. As always, the writing remains property of Roy Lessin, and the photography is my own property. Please write for permission to share in any printed form. You may share on social media by keeping the attributes in place.
Blessings on your day!
Marina

What's It All About?
By Roy Lessin
It’s about the painting, not the frame; it’s about the treasure, not the vessel; it’s about His truth, not our opinions; it’s about His glory, not our looks; it’s about His love, not our niceness; it’s about His purpose, not our plans; it’s about His kingdom, not our agenda; it’s about His reign, not our rights; it’s about His life, not our efforts. It’s about Jesus!
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18
For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. 2 Corinthians 4:6-7

©2016 Roy Lessin, photo by Marina Bromley. Used with permission. Originally posted 10/2008. Any requests to re-print may be directed to MeadowRequests@gmail.com

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Book Review: Kit Kat & Lucy

"During Mom's last week, we spent lots of time together, talking. I wrote in my journal then: "It's a sad time but a soft time." Once she told me, "I sleep so well at night. Then I wake up thinking of all the things I'm going to do, and I'm ready to jump up and do them." She seemed bewildered as she looked down at her cancer-ridden body. "And every morning I'm so surprised I can't."  - From Kit Kat & Lucy, by Lonnie Hull DuPont

This is just one of the many different moods expressed in this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it!

It had been a while since I've had cats underfoot, and I wasn't sure what I could expect about a cat lovers book, but it was just what I needed. The experience is so easy to relate to, and the author writes openly and honestly about everything from anxiety to vets. It was refreshing to read, and although I'm not ready to go out and get a cat, it reminded me of what they are like and the ways their personalities come forward.

I think that this book would make a perfect gift for anyone who loves animals, especially cats. It would also be a good book for someone who suffers from anxiety or depression, to let them experience what owning a cat (or a cat owning you!) might help with. It was easy to read, and there were times I laughed out loud at the antics of the felines.

I was a little disturbed by the few times that she repeats stories towards the end (to set up the next situation), but I found it easy to skim over them.

(I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher for my honest review.)
#kitkatandlucy
https://www.amazon.com/Kit-Kat-Lucy-Country-Changed/dp/0800727320