The River

Years ago, I went to San Antonio to a telephone company school for 2 weeks. That weekend while I was there, several of the students who were from the area invited us who were from out of state to go downtown to The River.

We parked on the street, which was almost totally deserted and walked down the stairs to where shops and cafés lined the river on both sides. The river was packed with people, walking on the banks, shopping, and riding in flat-bottom boats on the river.

When I saw the famous “River,” I was astonished. “You call this a river? It’s no bigger than Bull Creek in Vinita, Oklahoma,” I told them. “I’ll bet I could wade across that river and it would never reach my waist. We have the Grand River in northeast Oklahoma, and what about the Mississippi River? Now those are rivers.” But of course, those San Antonians were proud of their river, as they should be, so no offense.

I remember lying on a quilt in the back of the station wagon in the dark, listening to Daddy and Granddad talk in hushed voices while they fished off the bank of some river all night. It was probably Grand River, below the dam at Langley.

There’s another river that I love to think about, but I’ve never been there. It’s been described several places by different people, but my favorite description is in Revelation.

“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb….. There shall be no night there: They need no lamp nor light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light.” Revelation 22:1, 5 NKJV.

I can just imagine Daddy and Granddad sitting on the banks of the River of Life in heaven, pure and clear, fishing and enjoying their new life, but they won’t be fishing in the dark. No, the Lord Himself is the Light.
Lavon Hightower Lewis

Building an Altar

The dearest place on earth to my heart for many years was the old wooden altar where I asked Jesus to be my Savior when I was 7 years old. And I frequently knelt there in that same tear-stained spot at my end of the altar to meet my Lord in prayer.

Years later, at a different altar, I rededicated my life to Jesus and then put my 3-year-old son on the altar to dedicate him to the Lord. That same altar was where I was married the second time and where I dedicated my daughter when she was two weeks old. I found my place there at the end of that altar too, where I shed many tears in prayer over the years.

Abraham built an altar at Bethel, which means “House of God,” in Genesis 12. Then he built an altar in Hebron, which means “Friend of God.”

Abraham’s last altar was on Mount Moriah, where Abraham made the ultimate sacrifice, his only son Isaac, but God stopped the sacrifice and provided a ram caught in the thicket to take Isaac’s place. This was symbolic of God providing His own sacrifice, His only Son Jesus. Abraham named that altar Jehovahjireh, “God, my provider.”

From Bethel the “House of God,” to Hebron “Friend of God,” to Jehovah Jireh “God my Provider,” the names he gave the altars suggest he was getting closer to God as he traveled on his journey.

Can you point back to the altar where you gave your heart to Jesus? In your journey through life, have you moved from worshiping at the House of God, to being a friend of God, to knowing that God is your Provider?

Hebrews 10:19, 22 NKJV, “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, ….let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith.”

God always hears our prayers, no matter the position of our bodies, as long as our hearts are knelt in prayer before Him.

Called by Name

We have an indoor cat named Sassy, but she doesn’t know her name. In fact, most of the time we just call her “kitty,” as in “here, kitty, kitty, kitty,” so I guess her name is really Kitty.
We used to feed 5 or 6 cats outside. That practice got started innocently enough. A couple of cute little kittens wandered up, so hubby felt sorry for them and started feeding them. After a while, he wanted to quit feeding them, but it was winter, so I asked him to keep putting out food till spring. Then it was almost winter again and the cats had more kittens.
The outside cats didn’t have names and they scattered when the back door was opened. If you tried to call them, they ran out of the yard. Since hubby fed them, you would think he could get close to them, but they were too wild. They should have been named, held, touched, petted, and talked to when they were babies, like we did with our indoor cat.
Jesus said in John 10:3-4,14 “The sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name. . . And the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.”
Just like my indoor cat has become familiar with my voice by being around me, I have become familiar with Jesus’ voice, by hearing Him speak through His Word, the Bible. A non-Christian might think this is strange, that I can say, “I hear Jesus speak and I know His voice,” but I have been listening for His voice since I was a baby Christian, just like my indoor cat listens for my voice.
Spending time reading the Bible and talking to the Lord gives me a relationship with Him. When He speaks through His Word, I hear Him. When I speak to Him, His ear is open to my prayer and He pays attention.
Jesus is my Good Shepherd and He calls me by my name.

The Harvest is Ready

Fall is truly upon us. The hay is in, the pumpkins are almost ready for harvest, and we are getting ready for winter.
This time of year, the farmer walks the fields, checking the harvest. The machines are repaired, oiled and gassed up, and ready to go. All the harvesting supplies are made ready.  Everything that has been done all through the year has lead up to this point. From the plowing, planting, fertilizing, right through the irrigating or praying for rain, the farmer has been preparing for this moment when the crops are gathered in.
God has given us the good fruit of the earth another year, just like He promised in Gen. 8:22. “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night shall not cease.”
God has been preparing us all our lives for the harvest. One plows, another plants, one fertilizes, another waters, but God gives the increase.
The church has been planting and watering a long time. Most churches are full of people who have been prepared for harvest time through the teaching of the Word of God. Many faithful workers in the church are now being prepared to be harvesters in the fields.
Spiritually, too, the harvest time is nearly upon us. God has oiled and gassed us up, repaired what need fixed, and now we are getting ready to go. God is walking the fields, checking the heads of wheat, looking at the clouds, gauging the season. He knows it is just about time. Any time now, the harvesters will be heading into the fields to gather in the precious grain of the Lord—the people.
Jesus Himself spoke of this moment when the last great harvest would take place at just the right time. Don’t you have a saying, ‘It’s still four months until harvest’? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest.John 4:35.
The call of God is going out. “Prepare for the harvest.”