Mid Morning Favor from God

Contrary to the report on Ron’s weather app, the sun was shining today, so we drove up the mountain, 1000 feet above Lake Superior to the “Lake of the Clouds.”

With my Mama in 1955

It was a beautiful drive to the top of the mountain. And today, as we parked and walked the 100 yard embankment to the cliff above, years of imbedded memories surged in the form of droplets in my eyes, welling up and rolling down my cheeks. I’m sure that my daddy and mama would have never thought that the memories of this very place, which they had created within me and had kept alive through photos taken with Daddy’s new 35 mm Kodak in 1955 would stir up fresh within me all these years later. You’ll see me as the little blonde girl in the older pictures. See more pics below.

Until today, I had never been back to The Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains.

But I’ve wanted to.

I’ve hoped to.

And I’ve thought about it ever since.

This was a desire of my heart.

Today was the day.

Oftentimes God grants us the desires of our hearts. He loves to do so. He knows those things – even the little things – that will delight us. In fact, He surrounds us with His favor. His favor is like a shield around us. I had lived much of my adult life unaware or unknowing or not believing that I was favored by God, but about eight years ago, in the most difficult time of my life, I became cognizant of it. I believed the Word of God. And I embraced it, finally trusting that God loves me and wants to show me favor.

The Oxford dictionary defines favor as “act of kindness beyond what is due.” And that’s just what God did for me once again – at the Lake of the Clouds. He granted me an “act of kindness beyond what is due.” He allowed me to go back to a very peaceful time in my life, remembering all those years ago, on the edge of this same cliff but feeling absolutely no danger because I was protected by my Daddy and my Mama. And God allowed me to know the same serenity of this peaceful setting today, completely protected by Him, my Heavenly Father. 

My Mama 1955 (My Daddy stands in the same spot in the featured picture at top of post.
I’m standing in nearly the same spot as my mother – 65 years later. My heart is full!

Then He opened my eyes to see even more: the beauty of this place. He filled me with the joy of being there with my husband, Ron.

We hiked miles across the encampment and down to the base of the lake below. My heart was full-of God’s favor.

God loves to give you the desires of your heart. Ask Him. Then look for it. Sometimes it’s huge. Sometimes it’s in the little things. 

Undeserved. Unmerited. But it is mine. And it’s yours: the Favor of the Father. And it is all because of Jesus. Grasp it. Hold on.

Click here to learn to become a believer: https://kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer/

While you are on this website, please “subscribe” to receive future posts.

Further reading: Psalm 37:4

With Grandpa and Grandma Locke, my mother, my brother Larry, Aunt Carolyn, and Uncle Dick. 1955

Early Morning Wisdom ~ Post 4 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

The Porcupine Mountains are unbelievably remote. Our campsite is at the Northeast tip of this huge state park; the mountains and thousands upon thousands of trees are in the middle; and Ironwood, the only big “town” in this part of the U.P., is near the Southwest end of the park, probably 30 miles “as the crow flies.” Click here if you’d like to see a map of the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park Porkies_Unit

Lake Superior covers all the North side of the park, and as I wrote in my Day 2 post, forests and small townships or four-corner villages border the south side of the park.  (Click here for a short video “Under the Radar – Porcupine Mountains”  to see the magnificence of this State Park – the largest in Michigan.) So in this park, I have no Internet connection. In fact, I rarely have cell service. Now, it’s easy to say, “So what? You don’t need Internet during this time,” but it’s quite another thing to actually be the person without it! That’s me. So without connection, I haven’t been able to work on my website or “post” my blogs as I had planned. Each day, Ron and I have gone to the “Welcome Center” here in the park, and I have lugged my laptop, connected to their WiFi, and worked on various writing projects for a while. We were headed there this morning when . . .

I’ll come back to this, but first I’ll touch upon the “Seeking . . . wisdom” part of the title of my writing series during this getaway.

Have you ever asked God for wisdom?  I know the Bible tells us to do so. And I’ve asked Him for it many times – generally regarding a specific issue, i.e. “God, grant me wisdom to know what decision to make . . .” We read that He liberally gives us wisdom when we ask. When I “titled” my series of pieces I’m writing during this getaway, I included “Seeking . . . wisdom.”

Anyway, that’s how I expected it during this getaway. I expected to gain wisdom from His Word. But this morning, the wisdom He gave was simply spoken directly to me – oh, not in a voice, as such, but . . . well, here’s how it happened:

We regularly discuss plans for our days here at the park. Ron always checks the weather forecast, so we know which day would be best to hike, which day would be best to drive to waterfalls and other points of interest in the park. You get the idea. Well, each day has also included a bit of time at a place near the entrance of the park where I can “connect” to the Internet and get good cell connection, as well.

Suddenly this morning, with maps on the table and the weather forecast in front of Ron, God spoke to me, you know, like I just mentioned above. It was like He was saying,

 “You should not be using this time to get ‘connected’ to the Internet. You should be using this time to get ‘connected’ to Me. And to get ‘connected’ to Ron. You’ll have plenty of Internet ‘connection’ time when you get home. Don’t use your getaway time, struggling for connection to anything else.”

I responded,

“Thank you, Father, for wisdom.”

You can ask God for wisdom, too. The Bible tells us He’s so very generous in extending wisdom to us. Wisdom speaks to us, gives us knowledge and understanding, blesses us, and so much more. It’s exciting to think of how He will give it to you. We know you’ll always find it in His Word!

Further reading: James 1:5; 

Proverbs Chapters 1, 2, 3, 4

You’ve just read Post 4 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

If you have not yet read Post 1, Post 2, or Post 3 from this series, you might want to click on each post to read them in sequence.

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If you’re a subscriber, look for Post 5 – “Mid-Morning Favor from God” tomorrow. Otherwise, find it on this site! Bless!

I think my plans are the best!? Post 3 in the series, “The Getaway: Seeking . . .”

Ron and I have a passion for waterfalls, so today we made plans to see five waterfalls in surrounding areas outside this huge park as we drove to Ironwood on the Wisconsin border. Five waterfalls.

We saw one

It was just a mile out of the campground, the remaining four to be seen further on. This one was striking.

Now I know why the rocks are red here. It’s the iron. The water flows over red rocks. Iron ore was pulled out of these mountains for years. I suppose iron will always be detected on these shores.

So we were off to a good start. On to the next waterfall.

And we drove and drove and drove, seemingly following the directions in the brochure, “Western Upper Peninsula Waterfall Guide.”

“Turn left on USSF222, which turns into 400.”

So we did. We turned left.

It was a beautiful drive down a gravel road through Ottawa National Forest. Miles and miles. But it didn’t lead to a waterfall – or even to a river. Perhaps if we’d gone further?

We did not find the waterfall on the West Branch of the Ontonagon River.

On toward Ironwood we drove, enjoying the beautiful landscapes, slowly but steadily progressing to the next two waterfalls on the Black River.

“North on Blackjack Road. Past the two gas line clearings. Park off the road.”

So we did. We passed the gas line clearings and parked in a low spot off the road.

No signs. Was it private property?

We did not find the upper and lower waterfalls on the Black River.

We drove on, stopping for lunch at a roadside park on the way. I placed a red-checkered tablecloth on the table , pulled lunch out of my vintage red picnic basket. It was a true picnic! As we ate, we enjoyed nature around us. A yellow butterfly drank nectar from an orange flower. We sat in the warm sunlight, at a picnic table, on the side of a small mountain, in a desolate area. Like the butterfly, we were drinking nectar – the nectar of the moment. We listened to the sounds of nature and ever so slowly started to unwind and leave behind some of the burdens we had carried with us to the north. Afterward, we drove on toward the waterfall on Planter Creek, but we never located . . .

“Wertanen Road on M-28 north after County 519,” so . . .

We did not find the waterfall on Planter Creek.

So we arrived back at campsite earlier than expected, and I stretched out on my new gravity chair, one I’d had for several weeks but had never taken the time to relax in. Now, in the warm, late afternoon sun on what had begun as a cool day, I was extremely tired. Soft waves lapped the red rocks. My body rested. Then my mind rested. It was the Sound of Silence I was seeking when I came to the north. It brought rest. Physical rest often precedes spiritual rest, the kind I’m seeking by dwelling in His Secret Place. I had made a day’s worth of plans of discovering and enjoying a number of waterfalls. My plans didn’t work out. It was certainly not the first time, and I’m quite sure it won’t be the last!

As I rested, reclined in a most comfortable gravity chair, in a most tranquil setting, I listened to His Whisper.

Jesus whispers,

“Kathi, you are good at making plans. But I’m better. Listen and I will give you the right answers. Dwell in my shelter and your plans will be great.”

Are you good at making plans like I am but realizing that most importantly you need to be listening to Jesus Whispers?

Further Reading: Proverbs 16:1,3; Psalm 91:1

While you are here on my website, please “subscribe” to future posts. Thank you!

You have just read Post 3 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

(If you have not yet read Post 1 and Post 2 from this series, click on each.)

Look for Post 4: “Early Morning Wisdom” Click here to read, if it has already been published.

 

Mid Morning Favor from God

Contrary to the report on Ron’s weather app, the sun was shining today, so we drove up the mountain, 1000 feet above Lake Superior to the “Lake of the Clouds.”

With my Mama in 1955

It was a beautiful drive to the top of the mountain. And today, as we parked and walked the 100 yard embankment to the cliff above, years of imbedded memories surged in the form of droplets in my eyes, welling up and rolling down my cheeks. I’m sure that my daddy and mama would have never thought that the memories of this very place, which they had created within me and had kept alive through photos taken with Daddy’s new 35 mm Kodak in 1955 would stir up fresh within me all these years later. You’ll see me as the little blonde girl in the older pictures. See more pics below.

Until today, I had never been back to The Lake of the Clouds in the Porcupine Mountains.

But I’ve wanted to.

I’ve hoped to.

And I’ve thought about it ever since.

This was a desire of my heart.

Today was the day.

Oftentimes God grants us the desires of our hearts. He loves to do so. He knows those things – even the little things – that will delight us. In fact, He surrounds us with His favor. His favor is like a shield around us. I had lived much of my adult life unaware or unknowing or not believing that I was favored by God, but about eight years ago, in the most difficult time of my life, I became cognizant of it. I believed the Word of God. And I embraced it, finally trusting that God loves me and wants to show me favor.

The Oxford dictionary defines favor as “act of kindness beyond what is due.” And that’s just what God did for me once again – at the Lake of the Clouds. He granted me an “act of kindness beyond what is due.” He allowed me to go back to a very peaceful time in my life, remembering all those years ago, on the edge of this same cliff but feeling absolutely no danger because I was protected by my Daddy and my Mama. And God allowed me to know the same serenity of this peaceful setting today, completely protected by Him, my Heavenly Father. 

My Mama 1955 (My Daddy stands in the same spot in the featured picture at top of post.
I’m standing in nearly the same spot as my mother – 65 years later. My heart is full!

Then He opened my eyes to see even more: the beauty of this place. He filled me with the joy of being there with my husband, Ron.

We hiked miles across the encampment and down to the base of the lake below. My heart was full-of God’s favor.

God loves to give you the desires of your heart. Ask Him. Then look for it. Sometimes it’s huge. Sometimes it’s in the little things. 

Undeserved. Unmerited. But it is mine. And it’s yours: the Favor of the Father. And it is all because of Jesus. Grasp it. Hold on.

Click here to learn to become a believer: https://kathiwaligora.com/become-a-believer/

While you are on this website, please “subscribe” to receive future posts.

Further reading: Psalm 37:4

With Grandpa and Grandma Locke, my mother, my brother Larry, Aunt Carolyn, and Uncle Dick. 1955

Who is Traveling? (Post 1 in the series, “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place of Rest, and Wisdom”

Post 1 – From “The Getaway – Seeking Sounds of Silence, the Secret Place, and Wisdom”

Today’s highway is paved, flat, barren, and ugly, but adequate and necessary, nonetheless, for our purpose of journey – pulling our little “home away from home,” headed north to our destination, yet 600 miles away. My driver, the man I’ve journeyed with nearly 50 years must scan the road, follow the lanes, obeying the signage and lineage. I choose to observe the landscape instead of the road.

Tall, straight birch and poplar border the edge of the thick, dense woods, filled with pines and hardwoods with wider foliage, but also tall and straight, and as the birch and poplar, all evidencing their struggle to reach the sky, all in search of sunshine. The forest floor beneath them is plush with seedlings and saplings. Green life is unending in these groves of the north. Neither wind nor fire has squelched the growth. We see indication of past attacks of those enemies, as they have tried, time after time to destroy, but they have never fully succeeded. And it’s all because of the new growth, found deep in the womb of the soil, rooting and rising – toward the sun.

The sun is the sustenance of the green life, its reason, its purpose.

Today, as we drive north, the sun is reflecting off the flora around us, revealing deeper and varying shades of emeralds and olives and limes, and sages. Up and down the hills of the fallow path we travel, the trees stretch upward. We sometimes view them at levels below their roots, sometimes above their tops, looking down at an unending pillow of forest jade.

Intermittenly, a sandy trail weaves through its thickness. I wonder who, if anyone, has traveled that trail today, and if so, where was he going? And why?

I travel to reach a quiet spot where I hope to avoid daily routines and distractions. I seek a deeper communion with Jesus. I hope to find rest in the Lord and rid myself of the distress of unrest flaunted by the media. I hope to calm my heart. I hope to listen and to hear.

There are a billion people on journeys today, and I know very few, yet God knows each one. He knows you – your needs – your desires – your hopes. And He wants you to rest in Him. In fact, He offers it.

While you are on this website, please “subscribe” to future posts!

Further Reading: Psalm 91

Click here to read Post 2 in this series: “I Own This Property on the Great Lake.”

 

 

 

Where should I go now?

I’m asking that question of myself! Where should I go now?

Do you ever feel that way? Wondering whether or not you should go a certain direction, take a specific path, or pursue a different avenue?

I’m in that place right now – regarding my writing.

Where should I go now? I’ve asked God. I know He will answer. Just not sure when or how.

Meanwhile, . . .

I’ve decided to continue,  one step at a time,  in a certain direction, down a specific path, pursuing a different avenue.

I know He will lead me as I go.

What about you? Don’t be dormant. Move forward. You’re not too
old, too busy, too sick, too discouraged, or too weary. You’ll find Him ahead of you in that direction, that path, or that avenue. “Come to me,” He says!

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

From Matthew 11

How does God summon His power?

My kitchen is filled with staples!

Merriam-Webster dictionary defines this type of staple in the noun category:

a:a commodity for which the demand is constant

b:something having widespread and constant use or appeal

c: the sustaining or principal element : substance

As I prepare meals, I’m in constant demand for bread, milk, salt, oil. When I’m running low on a staple, I need to add it to my grocery list because it’s difficult, if not impossible, to cook and bake without any one of these sustaining substances.

Summon your power, O God; show us your strength, O God, as you have done before.

Psalm 68:28

To consider the power of God is amazing!

It’s awesome!

Psalm 68:28 has been a “staple” to me! I’m in constant demand for it; it sustains me; it is my substance! When I recognize my need for God — to heal or to intervene as only He can; when I don’t know what to do; how to pray; or even if God is listening, I pray this verse. It reminds me of amazing, awesome power of God. And at the same time, I am asking God to show me that power.

 

I wonder how and why He has to summon it! Does He summon forth His Holy Spirit? Does He summon the angels to work?

1) The first part of our Bible Study is to study that power – a) What, how, why, when, or from where, does He summon His power? b) Whatdo we learn in the Bible about God summoning or calling about His power?

2) Next, let’s consider how he shows His strength (“show us your strength, O God, as you have done before). a) What has God done in your life that has shown you His strength? and b) What do we learn in the Bible about God’s strength?

Please post your comments / replies to this post. Add throughout the week. Respond to other’s postings. We’ll conclude this study on Wednesday, January 16. (I’m expecting great things on that day – will share more about that later!)

Let’s study the Word together because . . .

“. . . the righteousness that is by faith says . . . The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart. . . that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming.” (Romans 10:6-8)

…the joy is in having Him so near!

Wow! In our brief study of Romans 5: 1-5, I was overwhelmed by what God taught me through His Word and my study partners. How can we rejoice in suffering? I’ve gleaned from these honest ladies, and I’d like to share it with you:

Amy commented, “It really is JOY. Is it the happy, skipping, life is wonderful, kind of joy? NO. But.. It is the incredible joy of having that intimate, deep, dependence on, and relationship with HIM. When nothing makes sense . . .  when all is dark . . . when all seems lost . . . that’s when His light of peace and JOY penetrate your soul. Yes indeed, there is joy in suffering. The wonderful, incredible joy of holding hands, and being held by our Great, Loving, Compassionate Father.”

So the joy isn’t in suffering – the joy is in having Him so near.

Deb openly confessed from the depths of her heart, “I’m not rejoicing in my sufferings – I’m still waiting to rejoice.”

Why is it worth the wait? Why is it worth the suffering? Because of the end result.

Our passage shows the steps it takes: suffering > perseverance > character > hope.

The end result is hope!

Please read Deb and Amy’s comments in full – see the Bible Study posting, “Rejoice in Suffering? How?”

And  look for our next brief, online Bible Study soon. “The Word is near you. It’s in your mouth and in your heart.” (Romans 10)

 

Rejoice in our sufferings? How?

Through him we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings (Romans 5:2-3b)

What?

If you are suffering, for whatever reason, you might join me in wondering

how in the world

can I

 ever

rejoice in my suffering.

In fact, it might even make you cry to think about it. Because when suffering, crying comes

easily

and often

to some of us.

(Crying is coming easily and often to me right now!)

This week, let’s read Romans 5:1-5. Then, in your comments to this short Bible study, discuss the word, “rejoice.” What does it mean?

Use your concordance to find other verses or passages that include the word “rejoice” or  “joy.” In doing so, narrow your findings to those verses or passages that might help explain the connection found in rejoicing and suffering. In other words, what does the Bible tell us about rejoicing (or joy) and suffering?

Please share your findings and ideas – then come back to comment on others.

Today is Friday, November 23. Let’s share and comment throughout the next week; then look for a new posting on this continuing study of Romans 5:1-5 on or about Friday, November 30.

I look forward to reading your comments, verses, passages, and ideas.

ps. When you make your comment (below), be sure to check the box or boxes to be notified when others comment on this same study. It’s all a good part of the study!