Posts Tagged ‘scripture’

Two Cents…

October 29, 2017

Last Thursday, I shopped at a Dallas area grocery store that has a kosher market. I posted a picture on social media that included all my incredible finds! I filled each frame of the collage with some of my favorite items from Israel. I had a blast, and couldn’t believe I was in America! But there was one image (more like video) that didn’t make the posted frame, and it’s been reeling in my memory non-stop.

I was in the self check out lane when I realized I didn’t have my rewards card with me (you know, the plastic card that gives you all the discounts, etc). self checkoutSo, I asked the guys who were checking out in front of me if I could use their card. One of them smiled, and came over right away to offer a helping hand. Or so I thought. He was friendly at first, and proceeded to punch in his telephone number so I could get my discount. That’s when things changed. His smile faded and he looked at me with total disgust and said, “You know, it’s really ridiculous that you don’t have a discount card, by the way…” Once I picked my jaw up off the ground, I managed to say, “I rarely ever shop here. There’s not one of these stores near me.” He smirked and made some kind of chuckling sound as he rolled his eyes and walked away.

I bagged up my items, laughed to myself as I walked to my car, and whispered, “God…did that REALLY just happen?!” As I got in my car, I prayed, “Oh, NO…I will NOT pick up an offense from this! But God…I really feel like there’s a lesson for me here. Will you help me see it?” I continued to pray all the way home as the offense kept wanting to rise up in my spirit. That’s when the Lord spoke to my heart. He said, “Leigh-Taylor, this isn’t about offense…or even what happened in that moment. It’s about how you and most others want to have the last word. You feel the need to add your two cents.”

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I thought about that for a moment. I reflected back on how this guy could’ve just blessed me with his smile and his rewards card, but instead he had to insert his opinion. And that whole encounter based on the negativity of his “two cents” threatened to steal the joy I had felt moments earlier over my imported Israeli finds. And the raw truth? I, too, offer my opinions more oft than I should. Let the teachable moment begin!

I got home and started putting groceries away, when my mind drifted to the biblical account of the widow and her two mites. Since I had heard the words “two cents” from God, I thought that train of thought seemed logical. So, I went to that passage of scripture in Luke 21. I had been thinking maybe there was something about that story God wanted to drive home…but I kept reading, and that’s where I found the treasure He wanted me to unearth. Luke 21:14-19 says: So make up your minds not to prepare ahead of time to defend yourselves—for I Myself will give you speech and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute….by your endurance, you will gain your souls.” stand firm

In that passage of scripture, the disciples had been asking Yeshua (Jesus) about the end times, the destruction of the temple, and signs they should be anticipating to let them know the time was near. There are so many parallels to the season we’re in and the instruction and wisdom of Jesus to warn us against the need to defend ourselves. In my example above, I felt the need to defend myself against why this guy thought I was being “ridiculous” in not having my own rewards card. In return, I answered out of my own strength, and the need to prove my case and defend myself. Just as I was being critical of the man for giving me his unsolicited opinion, it dawned on me as I read the scripture that I had done the exact same thing…given my two cents…from a place of defense. Words have power. And if we will wait on the Lord and allow Him to defend us and allow Him to give us words at the right time, we don’t have to worry about losing anything. In fact, we stand to GAIN everything!

So, dear ones, rest today. When others give you their two cents, throw it in the bank and collect the interest by keeping your mouth shut. Trust that God will go before you and give you the words you need, and that He’ll let you know the right time in which to release them.

That’s just my two cents… (smile).

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Rerouting

April 16, 2016

Have you ever looked up an address on your GPS, looked at the overview and thought, “Oh, yeah….I know where that is.” But “just in case” you leave the GPS on. You know, “just in case” your memory isn’t what it used to be!

I needed to get my car alignment checked, and corrected. When I got new tires a month or so ago, I was warned the alignment was off, and I needed to get it checked or it would ruin my new tires in the same way it trashed my old ones.

Having the day off, I thought I should take the opportunity to actually take care of this issue since I’ve already put it off, and the noise from the tires was getting louder. So, I put in the name of the recommended automotive repair shop, looked at the GPS directions, and uttered those familiar words: “Oh, yeah…I know where that is.”  And just like that, I took off. After all, I knew where I was going.

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Well, after being warned by GPS to make several U turns, make a left turn here, a right turn there, I started second guessing myself.

Sigh.

Maybe I DON’T know where I’m going after all!

I had this thought, “Maybe I’ll just follow the GPS instructions, and see what happens.”

I STILL thought the crazy thing was wrong until I had this realization: I mixed up the two streets, Lebanon and Eldorado. The truth was I DIDN’T know where I was going, but I would’ve bet everything I had that I was right. And I’d be homeless if I did wager a dime! I was WAY wrong!

Because of my “certainty”, I lost precious time getting…well, LOST. If I just would’ve trusted and listened to my GPS in the first place, I would’ve GAINED a few things like time, patience, & peace instead of LOSING those very things!

It was at that moment, when I realized my mistake, that I heard the Lord whisper to my heart, “You do the same thing with me sometimes, Leigh-Taylor.”

Ouch.

More sighs.

“You’re right God.”

The truth is sometimes I’ll receive a directive from God, and take off thinking, “Oh, yeah. I know where I’m going.” I know Proverbs 16:19 says, “Man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.”

216969d584656bb2918624a74e033389And sometimes like my trip today, I ignore the first time His voice tells me to make a U turn, or take a right, left, etc. I keep going my own way, thinking I know best. But then something stirs. A knowing deep in my spirit that something isn’t right, and that I need to pay attention to the Voice I hear.

Oh, the time wasted, the frustration felt, and the peace lost all in the name of doing thing MY way instead of His!

I’m thankful for teachable moments like these that come from hearing that still small voice from a merciful God that gently corrected me and gave me deep insight into something more than getting my car back into alignment.

It was a spiritual check up that revealed pride and busyness were throwing off my alignment with the Father.

I’m so thankful for a gracious God who ALWAYS knows where He’s taking us, and we can trust His directions!

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

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Finding Jesus in a Parking Lot

May 6, 2015

Burdened.

Too much.

Overwhelmed.

How could I be feeling like this? I had just attended a three day women’s event at my church where I listened to the “best of the best” bring incredible insights from the Word of God, and gifted musicians who brought us into the presence of the Lord where we experienced “on earth as it is in heaven.”

But what did I have to show for it besides a bruised heart to go with my slumped shoulders?

Stress had manifested itself physically, and was matching externally what was hemorrhaging internally. I had reached my limit, but didn’t know that’s what the numbness and tingling was from. The electrical pain I was feeling started deep in my soul, and radiated out into my very finger tips.

I was shutting down.

abide2I had missed two weeks of observing the Sabbath. Twenty four hours a week consecrated to God. Holy. I had been absent from abiding with my Father. John 15:5 in the Amplified Bible says, I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing.

I had done just that. I had cut off from vital union with the Vine. Jesus. And I had become a “shriveled up grape” crippled under the pressure of my own weight along with seemingly “noble things for the kingdom” (unending prayer requests from friends, service projects for hurting warriors, and even this three day women’s event).

When I got home and tried to take a nap, adrenaline continued to course through my veins. I couldn’t settle my spirit. I knew I needed Sabbath rest, and I needed to do something that would feed my soul. I decided to get crafty and make a prayer notebook, and get organized! Yes, that’s something that makes me happy. Hobby Lobby and The Container Store each have pieces of my heart. And those pieces can be found in the aisles with Mod Podge, designer scrapbook paper, and well…anything with glitter.

So, I hopped into my car, and prayed the whole two minute trip to Hobby Lobby. I turned off my car, and proceeded to pray out loud, telling God how overwhelmed I was, etc. Then my prayers took a different turn. I asked the Holy Spirit to reveal to me areas in which I needed to repent.parkinglot

That led to me having church in my Mazda! That led to an encounter with the Lord that I had missed during an incredible conference. That led to me being reaffirmed in knowing that NOTHING can fill me like Almighty God, and NO ONE else can touch my heart like He does.

One of my favorite scriptures is Isaiah 9:6 and if often quoted at Christmas time. It says, For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,   Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

Yes, the government shall be upon HIS shoulders. That’s why His yoke is easy and His burden is light (Matt. 11:30). He is the only One with shoulders big enough to carry the world (and so much more). When we start thinking WE can do the same, we’ve stepped over the line into pride. A righteous burden can become an unrighteous burden if we’re not careful.

I may have gone to church for three days in a row, but it took me parking my car and sitting still to find Jesus.

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