Practicing His Presence

Interesting how the Lord connects things in our lives if we just take a minute to assess what’s happening each day. Call it coincidence or God incidents, I prefer to see God at work in my life rather than fate. I share instances I’ve encountered through my Godly musings the last ten days or so.

I awoke thinking of a rhyme from my childhood I couldn’t quite remember. The next morning, I went to a garage sale for the woman I cleaned for. Lo and behold, I found a tin with the verse on it:

“Monday’s child is fair of face,

Tuesday’s child is full of grace,

Wednesday’s child is full of woe,

Thursday’s child has far to go,

Friday’s child is loving and giving,

Saturday’s child works hard for a living,

But the child who is born on the Sabbath day

Is bonnie and blithe and good and gay.”

This got me thinking about what days my four children were born on and what day my siblings were born. I have not delved into those dates to find the days, but probably will another day to see if any of this poem is true.

Saturday after evening church service, I went looking for a packet of seasoning for the greens I picked [from our garden] that afternoon. The woman I currently help gave me a packet her daughter uses, but I read the recipe wrong, thinking I needed two pounds of prepared greens, but that meant two pounds of greens straight from the garden, which were then prepared. Walmart being the closest store, I started there, although Price Chopper had come to mind first. They had the right brand of packets, but not for greens. I managed to buy a small packet of bacon crumbles to add to the pot and came back to the produce section just in time to see Joe, the 94-year-old man I mentioned last week, with his daughter & granddaughter, also shopping after church.

I proceeded across the road to Target, and having to use the facilities, I found a young girl who didn’t know how to use the automatic soap or water faucet. I was able to guide her, and she looked much relieved.

Next, I stopped at Hannaford and cruised the aisles, not finding what I needed, but was able to share a few smiles. When I got back in my car, I surrendered to the Lord’s original prompt and went to Price Chopper, where I was able to encourage a woman in the produce section, then found a rack with the brand of seasonings I was looking for. I found one packet of the greens mix, obviously one that had fallen off the rack and been put on top. I realized Father provided for my needs. I had a good interaction with the young man at the checkout and was able to share how God put it there for me.

Remembering the Monday’s Child episode, I realized the prompts were God speaking to me, so the next morning’s episode trippily blessed me! I had a mental picture of us eating at Cracker Barrel, which we do fairly regularly, but we were seated in the far section of the dining area where we haven’t sat in some time. Yesterday, John decided we’d go to Cracker Barrel for brunch after looking at storage sheds. Lo and behold, the hostess sat us at a table on the far end. It was a blessing seeing things we hadn’t and meeting a new waitress.

I don’t think I’ve told you readers, but I am doing two devotionals at once. I have The Prophet’s Devotional by Jennifer LeClaire, which is a one-year devotional, and recently finished Kevin Zadai’s 60 Day Healing Devotional and began Beni Johnson’s The Joy of Intercession, A 40 Day Encounter. It’s a real God- instance when they frequently jibe.

Genisis 28:16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.

Jennifer used this scripture to point out that “God wants us to walk in an awakening that makes us aware of His presence not just when we are in a worship service or when we hear His voice or when we have a dramatic encounter.” (pg. 221, July 17) She mentions Brother Lawrence and the book The Practice of the Presence of God, how he learned to see God in the mundane tasks of everyday life. Her prayer:

“Father, in the name of Jesus, help me to crucify my flesh so I can be more sensitive to Your heart. I want to know when You walk into a room and when You leave. I want to be aware of what You are doing in and around me. Help me practice Your presence.”

This was Day 7 in Beni’s book, a section titled: “No Agenda Required”. She stresses coming to God without our own agenda, making room for an interaction with Him, agreeing with His will and His Word.

1 Corinthians 1:20-22 Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident. God affirms us, making us a sure thing in Christ, putting his Yes within us. By his Spirit he has stamped us with his eternal pledge—a sure beginning of what he is destined to complete. The Message

Added to these devotions was the sermon from Saturday evening, fighting our giants. God has provided just the right weapons, talents and skills for our battle. King Saul tried to put his own armor on David to fight Goliath, but it was not the weapon God had trained him to use. The slingshot he’d used in the fields was the demise of that giant.

My takeaway from these two devotionals and the sermon is: Don’t bring your own agenda when you want to spend time with God and feel His presence. Our Father in Heaven has a lot to say to us, His children. Let us open ourselves to practicing being in His presence, first reading His Word, then taking time to realize where He is in our daily walk. Adding on the sermon, God has brought us through things in our life that have given us the skills for the plans He has for our lives. What weapons do you have to fight your giants? According to 1 Corinthians, knowing what God has said “Yes” to and adding our “Amen” to it is the way to victory.

By the way, Beni Johnson has gone on to be with the Lord recently and I count it an honor and privilege to have the Lord choose this book for me to use at this time.

Honoring the Life of Beni Johnson

Jul 15, 2022

On Wednesday, July 13, 2022, Beni Johnson, beloved wife and Co-Senior Leader to Bill Johnson, passed away surrounded by family and friends after a prolonged battle with cancer. As Pastor Bill communicated that evening on his personal Instagram account, “She is healthy and free.”

In our prayers for Beni, our community felt called to fight the good fight, full of faith to the end. Beni powerfully modeled this way of prayer for us. Upon her death, we declare with all God’s Church that He is good, even as we grieve together.

Thank you for your prayers for Beni, and for continuing to pray for the Johnson family. We look forward to honoring and remembering her impact, and celebrating her life at a memorial service in the near future.

The Glory of the Lord is found where you look for it.
Our back yard is testimony to His glory and abundance.