Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just thinking. . .

So, I have to say that I am a bit nervous when I think of my kids going to our high school. Not b/c it's bad, but b/c it's big. . .and I wasn't sure how much "Christian thought and speech" would be allowed. Not because there aren't Christians there, not because I think my child should not be in public school. . .It's just that I grew up in the Bible belt. All our Christmas programs were about, well, Christ. (Imagine that!)
However, tonight, I went to hear our god-daughter sing in the Christmas program in her school. And, guess what? Jesus name was sung. Christmas hymns were sung. And, as God has reminded me lately, where His name is spoken, it does not go out void. Because Jesus Christ, Savior, Emmanuel. . .are all-powerful words, names of the most High! So, tonight, in public school, His name resonated within four walls! It will change hearts, it will cause questioning, HE will be glorified in ALL places at ALL times! That is one reason I think it's so important to say, "Merry Christmas". . .Not b/c I think it's bad to say, "Happy Holidays!", but because I want the NAME, "Hashem", to be spoken! Creation cries out daily. . .well, the creation that obeys His voice! The human part of creation. . .we could improve! So, cry out His name today, tomorrow, and each day after! Let the earth be filled with His praise!!
Merry CHRISTmas to you!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

From the hymn "Great is Thy Faithfulness"
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside!
"Great is Thy faithfulness!" "Great is Thy faithfulness!"
      Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided—
    "Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!
From the hymn, "His Eye is on the Sparrow"
When Jesus is my portion?
A constant Friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches over me;
His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

Funny how God works. Speaking in the moment. Making everything come together. Making you shake your head, thinking, "He did it again! He still hears me! He knows when to bring lessons to me to stabilize my faith." He is faithful.
So, the lyrics that I opened with were no accident (nothing is). He brought these songs to me from the music group Selah this afternoon as we were driving all over the countryside following church.
The lyrics penned. . .exactly the thoughts I was gathering to blog about. . . .
Our Sunday School session as well as our homework this week from the Beth Moore study (A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place) focused on "manna". So, you may say, "Really, manna? There's a lesson in that?" Yes, there is, and a great one at that!
Exodus 16:14-18 NASB
"When the layer of dew evaporated, behold, on the surface of the wilderness there was a fine flake-like thing, fine as the frost on the ground. When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, " What is it?" For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, "It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat. 'This is what the LORD has commanded, 'Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.'" The sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little.
When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat."

The focus of our study was on the underlined portion. We are given what we need for the time. Not excessive. . .not too little. Grace for the moment. Mercy for the moment.

Recently, in reading The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom, she tells this story that her dad gave when she asked about the topic of sex, but she was too young to understand the answer. (Corrie speaking):
“And so seated next to my father in the train compartment, I suddenly asked, "Father, what is sex sin?"
He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.
Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?" he said.
I stood up and tugged at it.
It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
It's too heavy," I said.
Yes," he said, "and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.”
(Later she restates it this way)
“Some knowledge is too cannot bear it...your Father will carry it until you are able.”

When we think about situations "before" we are in them, we think that we could not do that, we could not survive it. . .but that's what is amazing about God (his grace and his mercy), HE CAN! He gives us just enough "manna" for the moment. Oh, it's always there, miraculously given by God, but we have to gather it. It's not up to us to make sure we don't have too much or too little. If we do one or the other, HE will give us what we need in that moment.
When Jesus came down to earth, He said that He was the bread (manna) of life.
John 6:32-35
"Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 'For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.' Then they said to Him, 'Lord, always give us this bread.'
 Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.'"
Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means "House of Bread".
Then, when teaching us how to pray, He says "Give us THIS DAY our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11). Not bread for tomorrow, not bread to store up, but bread TODAY! And, guess what? It will be enough b/c it's the bread of life. (If you read more in Exodus, you will find that manna stored for the next day was full of maggots. . .a death of sorts).
Or, another way to pray that prayer, "Give me this day. . You, Jesus. . enought grace and mercy to make it through today! Because I also know that "Your mercies are new every morning. And, Your faithfulness is Great!" (paraphrased from Lamentations 3:19-24). I love the last verse of this section, which goes so well with the lesson today, "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I have hope in Him."

So, imagine that as this lesson came into my life, I have been given the opportunity to pray for those around me who need more "manna". . .more of the Bread.. ..more of Jesus. A relative just buried her 38-year-old son, who died suddenly. A loss that came, not long enough, after the death of her husband. A family friend from childhood lost her husband last night to a tragic accident at the age of 31. A family with 4 young children, and they were in the process of adopting a 5th.

There are rarely good answers in this world, but prayer. So, would you pray? Pray that they would receive the size "omer of manna" that they need for today. And, each day pray this as His mercies are new every morning?
I hope you have been blessed by God's Word as I am. It is alive!
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow
When Jesus is my portion?
A constant Friend is He:

 "Great is Thy faithfulness," Lord, unto me!
Don't forget to look around! The lesson He has for you today is FOR today! He will bring it. . .not too early, and NEVER late!

Friday, November 4, 2011

A thorn in our side. . .Healed by thorns in His crown

Because our Sunday School class is doing "A Woman's Heart, God's Dwelling Place", a Bible study by Beth Moore, many of my posts will be a reflection of that study.
So far, this is a thought that has intrigued me. Try to follow my scattered thoughts for a moment.
Genesis 3:18 "It (the land) will produce thorns and thistles for you."
Genesis 22:13 "Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket (thorns) by his horns."
Mark 15:17 "They put a purple robe on Him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on Him."
Psalm 18:2 "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."
Before sin, no thorns. After sin, thorns. After sin, a need for salvation. Abraham's son about to be sacrificied and Yahweh provides the ram. . .stuck by his horns in the very object that resulted from our sin. . . thorns. Christ referred to as "the HORN of our salvation". As he becomes our sacrifice because of our sin, the horn (Jesus) is caught in the thicket (crown). . .which is only their because of our sin. What a reminder. . .it was ever-present in the mind of Christ as the thorns pressed into his skin, "This is why you are here. . .to remove their SIN to bear it yourself." Always present, always reminding Him. And, it reminded the faithful around that their sin was being "worn" by their King.
Wow! Talk about a God of detail. I really believe everything means something. We don't always see it. When time is no more, I look forward to Him whispering to me. . ."Look back, see what I was showing you there!" Even then, He will be glorified for His presence in my life even when I was too blind to see it! What a day when I will receive sight! Can't wait for the clouds to clear!

Monday, October 31, 2011

God Reminds Us

So, sometimes the lesson we learn from God is not always a comfortable one! But, I want to try to praise Him during the good and the bad.
When I was reading The Hiding Place a few weeks ago it struck me that anytime something horrible happened to the character that God would use it to remind her that He suffered in all things too. That He understood our sufferings. . .to an even greater degree. That He suffered more than we can imagine in our own worldly sufferings. That He knows how we feel.
He reminded me recently that He has felt all alone, rejected by those around Him, left by those who were supposed to be closest to Him. The Father even had to forsake Him on the cross.
Praise God that although we feel times of loneliness on this earth that we will never be fully alone. Even if others don't stand by, HE ALWAYS stands with us, carries us, befriends us, encourages us! I'm sooooooooooo grateful that He took on my suffering. . my loneliness! I love you Jesus!

Hebrews 13:5: He will never leave you or forsake you!!

Behind. . .Again

So, once again, I have neglected my duties! I will try to do better.

I am currently in a new Beth Moore study, A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place, so many of my posts will center around what I am learning from her. I hope you don't mind, but there is a lot of homework so I'm not doing a lot of "extra" stuff.

For tonight, this is simple. I call it a "Bethism", but I loved the phrase she used after talking about Adam and Eve in the garden. . .once they knew they were naked and were ashamed. It's not that they were ashamed of being naked but they were ashamed b/c of their sin. . and God had to "make a covering" for the shame like He did for us on the cross! The phrase she used was "The enemy says, 'cover up.' God says, 'I got you covered!'"

I hope in each moment that you realize, if you've accepted the gift of Jesus, that He's got you covered!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Keeping His Face in Our Sight

Just saw this amazing video while I was on Tim's facebook (and, no, I wasn't stalking this time!!). It's an interesting video after finishing the book, "The Hiding Place", by Corrie Ten Boom. This is the 2nd time I've read the book, and personally, I think it's a must read every year. The ever-present reminder of Jesus and His sacrifice is what kept Corrie and her sister pressing on for their higher calling while they ministered in a concentration camp. The portrait of Christ as painted in the gospels reminded them that He suffered more. No matter what they encountered, the scripture came alive in each circumstance. Everytime they were tempted to be selfish. . .it was Him and His Word that guided them on the true path. Reading the book opened my eyes greatly to my own selfishness, which I think has grown worse with each passing year. Please pray for me to be selfless, like Christ, putting others' needs ahead of my own. To be thankful in all things. . .no matter the circumstance! If I can keep this image of my Savior, the lover of my soul in the forefront of my mind, it will make the daily struggles seem easier to bear!
Praise Jesus for the gift of artists who give us a visual reminder of Him!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

After my ranting. . .

So, I'm over my ranting about being changed. . . Now, I want to flip sides and say that while we ARE to be changed. . . We still screw up. . .Even the old and new testament heroes did. . . God is pretty patient. . .more forgiving than we know. . .and loves us beyond our comprehension!

Philippians 1:6 says, ". . .being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." (NIV)
Now that's awesome. . .I'm not done yet! I think the key to my "rant" the other night is when we "pretend" that our sin is OK b/c we are saved, and we have no desire to change. I have to check my heart often and ask, "Am I allowing God to finish His good work or am I still in my toddler stage throwing fits because it's not all about me?" There is a big difference in pushing towards the mark, stumbling, but getting up and continuing AND running the race backwards or refusing to run. Be encouraged. . .He's not finished with you yet, and that means there is probably more change on the horizon!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Church. . .It got me thinking!

The word seems to evoke many emotions among people. Why? Because it's made of people. You have to understand that going into it. But, God created us to be relational. It seems the entire Bible leans towards community. Abraham didn't see all the promises of God made to Him, but He knew it wasn't really about Him, but rather a group of people. Yes, God is relational. Personal to us. But, because He is relational, He has created us to be relational, vertically and horizontally. All that to say this. . .church should always inspire you to learn and ask more questions. It should be encouraging but should also inspire you to run the race, to fight the good fight, to move closer in your relationship with the Lord tomorrow than you are today. So, in reality, it shouldn't always make you happy. It shouldn't be "feel good". Change doesn't always feel good. And, if we are in a relationship with Him, we should be forever changing. So, the following "devotional" or thought for today stems from what we have been talking about in church. Or, maybe it's just what I needed to be reminded of.
I hope you have it. I hope you have asked Jesus to Lord over your life. I hope you have accepted His gift. It's free. It's life-changing. . .

OR it should be.

Why is it that when we are saved we sometimes think, "Well, that's enough. I've got my ticket, but I'm gonna live life like I want it." So, we ask Christ to live in our hearts, but not to change us. . . not to cause us to strive for better. So, I will continue to live with my boy/girlfriend, or I won't lie too much just when it might be in someone's best interest, or it's OK to cheat as long as it doesn't hurt someone, or I will still run around with the same people doing the same thing without showing them the change, or I'm only stealing from Uncle Sam. . .so I won't report my side earnings. What is that? When I read the Bible and about those in the New Testament, I see lives TRANSFORMED. . .CHANGED. . .Saul even got a new name (Paul), but what if Saul said, Jesus is great. I'm saved, but I'm just gonna kill a few more Christians (just the ones that are a bad testimony). WHAT? We would be appalled. But for some reason the same change doesn't apply to our lives. We don't wanna be bothered. It's a "personal" relationship. I live how I want. So glad Jesus did not adopt that mentality. It is about Him and serving others for Him. The following scripture is what made me go on this rant tonight. Reviewing the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. . .a chapter talking about the faith of Abraham, Sarah, Moses. . .and on and on. But, I like this part (referring to those Old Testament Heros) from Hebrews 11:33-37
"who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated. . ."

Wow! They did awesome things through the power of God. But guess what? Things didn't always go smoothly. Some were put in prison, tortured, mocked, stoned, sawn in two. Do these sound like believers in Yaweh who were like "Well, I'm a Hebrew. I've been circumcised. That's enough. I'm in"? NO!!!!! I'm sure there were those who acted like that, but they were not mentioned. They aren't the ones we are given as models of faith. Things are going to good and things are going to go bad. That is life. The question is what am I doing while I am living, good or bad? Isaiah 54:17 says that we are more than conquerors and that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Peter, Paul, Stephen, James. . .they knew this. And once they were changed, they were changed. It was evident. 2 Peter 1:12 says (Peter speaking) that I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them.

I need to be reminded to LIVE the change that's within me. When the Holy Spirit dwells within you, you have to change. Continual sin and the Holy Spirit don't coincide. I often wonder if I lived after the resurrection of Christ would I be one of them that was unashamed and unafraid. Or, would I dare to continue living selfishly while those around me died for there faith?

Just a little food for thought. . .

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Just Thinking. . .

I love when sermons, ideas, lessons, books, people make me think deeper about God! Even if I'm not sure what has been said is true, it makes me think more, dig more, become more curious. I'm currently reading a Christian historical fiction book. Now, it's fiction for a reason, so I'm not claiming that everything in the book is the truth to stand on. However, it has a little paragraph in it that I LOVE and thought was so true, even for today. This passage is from a book by Bodie and Brock Thoene, "Fourth Dawn", pg. 49. The book talks a lot about Jewish names for planets, star constellations, etc. in Jesus time. Now, I am no expert in that area and so I haven't verified the information. But again, it's the idea that made me think, and I hope it does the same for you! This passage is based on what the "watchers of the stars" noticed as the conception of Christ drew nearer.

"On clear nights Zachariah climbed onto the roof and gazed into the heavens and saw the certain sign of Messiah as Mars, the star called "The Adam" in Hebrew, moved nearer and nearer to the constellation of The Virgin (Virgo). The branch lifted high in her right hand, the shock of wheat in the other, the constellation of The Virgin told a story to anyone with eyes to see and a mind to ask the questions." (HERE is the part I love) "As the eternal plan quietly unfolded on earth, the heavens proclaimed the glory of God! Great wonders were transpiring above the nations. Yet except for a handful of men, no one on earth took note of the signs of the times."

Does that sound like today? Signs all around, but no one cares to notice. I do believe that God put ALL things around us to point to him. Not to be worshipped (as I think evolution has encouraged us to do with the creation), but to point us to the Creator! I just wish I knew how to study it! This book has made me want to know more about Hebrew and my Jewish heritage. It just seems so difficult to get started. Maybe you can help me. . .

Wouldn't it be great for the world to see what occurred in the heavenlies on the night of Jesus birth? His conception? It was no little event in the history of God's plan. The universe had to be proclaiming His name!

I hope you're thinking! I can't seem to stop wondering!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Devotion Day: Powerful

Feel powerless. . .

Your child falls and breaks their arm, and you can't take away the pain

Your country is attacked and thousands of innocent people lose their lives, and you can't fight back

Your best friends divorce, and you can't bring them back together

Your family chooses a different faith, a different path, and you can't make them believe in Truth

A child is molested-you know it-the system fails him/her, and you can't protect them

A tornado sweeps through and destroys all you have, and you can't turn back time & bring it back

But there is one who holds power. . .His name is the Christ, Jesus, Yeshua, fully God, fully man

Mark 5:25-34 NASB

"A woman who had had a hemorrhage for twelve years, and had endured much at the hands of many physicians, and had spent all that she had and was not helped at all, but rather had grown worse-- after hearing about Jesus, she came up in the crowd behind Him and touched His cloak. For she thought, "If I just touch His garments, I will get well." Immediately the flow of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of her affliction. Immediately Jesus, perceiving in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around in the crowd and said, "Who touched My garments?" And His disciples said to Him, "You see the crowd pressing in on You, and You say, 'Who touched Me?'" And He looked around to see the woman who had done this. But the woman fearing and trembling, aware of what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction."

We have access to this power. . .it's called prayer. No, God is not a genie in a bottle, but He has given us the Holy Spirit. . .do we access it like we could? Do we "feel" the power that He gives? When we experience situations like listed above, we often grieve, agonize, worry. . .Why?
Because we can't fix them. Often, we have to live with it. But how do we live with it? By laying them down at the foot of the cross. By constantly lifting the people and the situation to our Lord. No, we don't have the power to change. . .but I serve a God who raises people from the dead, heals the sick, and even more amazing, can take away the sins of the earth. Everything else seems like child's play compared to the removal of sin.

Tap into the power. His power can forgive your sins. His power can move mountains. I just have to let Him work through me OR get out of His way!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mercy for Monday

So, this bit of mercy was delivered to me through a testimony of a dear friend. . .a woman who was my worship mentor at camp. I was blessed to see her a few weeks ago, and my heart needed that! She has been battling cancer for years. I hadn't seen her without her hair (when I was with her at camp in the past, she hadn't cut her hair. It was long and gorgeous), and she was radiant! Still smiling, still the same God-centered woman! I asked her how she was feeling, and she says (the way only she could). . .paraphrased, "I don't ask myself that. I can't. The Word says that in Him we live and move and have our being. So how I am is not the concern, I am in Him and I live and move in Him." Praise God! What a teacher in her actions! Love that woman! So, for this week, I hope that you will meditate on the following scripture and be reminded that it is in Him that you live and move and have your being!
"For in him we live, and move, and have our being. . ."

Acts 17:28 (KJV)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Getting back into the Swing of Things!

So school has started, and I need to use my quiet mornings to get my blog going again! It has not started so smoothly. So, I decided to ease back into it although this is not my normal day to write.
I hope this is an encouraging moment of truth for you. His Word for our soul.
Isaiah 53:10-11
First of all, GREAT chapter! Plan of salvation. . .from the Old Testament. It just proves that you can't understand the New Testament without the old!!
"But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand. As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities."

Jesus Christ, Yeshua, the Exalted One, the Messiah foretold in Isaiah. That alone is amazing, but as I was being taught from this scripture, I loved the words, "pleased" and "satisfied". Because it reminded me that Jesus "gave up" His life for me, and Isaiah says that His soul was anguished but that it satisfied Him. It pleased the LORD.

That is almost too much for me to handle. It's a verse I've known for a long time but lately it's really stuck with me. . .the Creator of the Universe was, essentially, glad to do what He did. It satisfied Him to die in my place.

And, while it seems too difficult to handle, I imagine that if my child was dying, and I was offered the opportunity to die in their place that I would probably be pleased to do so. And, I'm nothing but a sinful woman at heart. He's so much more! Thank you LORD for giving us life that speaks of You! You have put us in these relationships so that we can understand just a glimmer of Who You are! Everything around us has meaning. Everything whispers Your Name!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Devotion Day: All of Creation Sings

I love music! One thing I love most about it is that it is something that I can take from this world. Music will still abound when I meet my Creator. So awesome to think about! The following scriptures were part of a lesson from the Stepping Up study I just finished through Beth Moore. I had read the scriptures before, but now in a new light. . .

Job 38:7: God is talking to Job and asking some (what I would call) "sarcastic" questions, such as Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Then in verse 7 it says that during the creation, "the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy"!! Wow, music was already on it's way during the creation of the earth. The STARS sang! Angels shouted for joy! Can you picture it???

I guess I never thought about it much, but Psalm 150:6 says that all that has breath praise the Lord. So, the next time your dog barks for no reason maybe he's giving a shout out to his Creator. I'm sure living creatures, other than humans, are much more compliant in the praise department. Isaiah 55:12 says that the mountains and the hills will break forth with shouts of joy. Revelation 5:13 also adds that all created things (in, on, under heaven and in the sea) "speak" honor and glory to the Most High! Now that should be interesting to be a part of!

But what is even more awesome is that our God sings. Zephaniah 3:17 states that God rejoices over US with singing, in Matthew 26:30 Jesus sang the Psalms, and in Hebrews 2:10-12 Jesus sings praises to the Father! WOW! Thanks to Beth for bringing all these scriptures together!

In light of this, I wonder what He thinks about our music that is not praiseworthy.

Not judging, just wondering what He thinks about His creation once again twisting what He meant to glorify Him.

The overall Bible study was on the Psalms of Ascent. Psalm 124 says (paraphrased from HCSB), "If the Lord had not been on our side, let Israel say. . .Then the waters would have swept over us. Praise the Lord who has not let us be ripped apart!" What I love is Beth's interpretation, which makes you think. . .(from pg. 53 of her workbook), "If God hasn't been good to you, don't bother. If He's never rescued you, save your breath. But if He has, and you know He has, lift your voices and give Him the praise due His name!"

I'm wondering how much "wasted" breath I've uttered today? Better get busy praising!

Don't want the rocks to cry out!

"I tell you if these (His followers) become silent, the stones will cry out!" (Luke 19:40)

Praise the one, true God today!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Devotion Day: Things You Don't Expect to See

Things that you don't expect to see (not saying you won't. . .it just doesn't seem right)

A uniformed police officer riding in the BACK of a police car.

A cat chasing a dog up a tree.

A vegetarian eating a Big Mac.

An Amish lady with a hot pink designer handbag

A doctor smoking.

A waitress refusing to take an order.

A Hardees working wearing the golden arches.

A hula dancer working in Nebraska.

A teacher who hates books.

Disney World with no mouse.

Texas without cowboy hats.

A hunter sleeping in during hunting season.

Black friday with no sales.

An active marine overweight.

A bakery without doughnuts.

A member of P.E.T.A wearing a fur coat.

Col0ssians 3:12-17 (NASB) - So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

A Christian without compassion. . .A Christian who is unkind. . .A Christian who is proud. . .A Christian who is harsh in word or deed. . .A Christian who can't forgive. . .A Christian who only loves those who love them. . .A Christian without peace in their heart. . .An ungrateful Christian. . . .Christians who don't teach or encourage others. . .A Christian who doesn't worship. . .

Hmm. . .things you don't expect to see? Thanks to a sermon I heard by Bob Coy on Colossians 3 I was really convicted about this. I had to ask myself. . .am I moving towards becoming a Colossians 3 believer OR am I in the paragraph above. . .something you don't expect to see (and not in a good way)! Maybe the world has become so used to seeing Christians behave in an unexpected way that they don't know what to expect from us. No wonder Christianity in America is stagnant and bland and no longer causing change. If we lived with compassion, kindness, humility, forgiveness, lovingkindness, gratefulness and teaching others to do the same and showing the peace we have in Christ, our world might really understand who we serve and that God is God Almighty! Someday the world will know but God will have to do it by showing Himself. Then, every knee will bow!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Daily Devotion: Just thinking

So, I've been on a bit of a break! Please accept my apologies. I really had good intentions when I started this blog and plan to try to get back on track. But be forewarned, my summer schedule is NOT very organized, and we are gone a lot!

In my current summer Bible study, we have been encouraged to have "face time" with God daily. Not just praying like normal, but being prostrate before the Lord. Beth Moore's little phrase is "the way up is down". It has been humbling. Recently, after we returned from a weekend wedding, I was spending a little time on my face, and God reminded me that He uses ALL things around me to point to Him. I just don't always recognize it.

I had been thinking how good it felt to lay in my bed following a 3 1/2 hour road trip. That led to thinking how at the beginning of vacation it's always sooooo exciting. Even a road trip! Thinking about where you are going! Getting to eat in various places! Snacks in the van (all the things I won't keep in my house)! Then, you have fun while your there, but at some point you are ready to come home. Then, when you reach home, what joy! All of this entered my head while in face down position, and God said, "See. It's kind of like life. Starting the journey. . .everything on earth is exciting and new. Every little thing is interesting. Then, you journey through life a bit, and you start wishing you were home. And, the way home. . . is less exciting, kind of tiring, and you're just ready to rest. Then, you are home! What joy!!!! That is how it will be with Me once you arrive. What joy!"

I hadn't really thought about life like that but I think it's true! We are to press on in this life, but we should be eagerly awaiting our arrival at home!

Jesus said in John 14:1-3 (NASB)"Do not let your heart be troubled;believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."

"How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God." (Psalm 84:1)

How lovely a dwelling place You have created for us here, but my soul longs for Your dwelling place surrounding Your throne where Satan has lost and battles are gone forever!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mercy for Monday!

Wow! When I started this blog, I knew He was merciful. But this past week, He has proven it again! He showed up! Yeah God! You are so awesome! And, believe me, this understanding of His mercy wasn't because things were going great. . .they weren't, but it was in that distress that He showed up again. So, imagine when I came across this scripture in a devotional that I was delighted! His mercies are new every morning! Praise Jesus!

Deu 1:30-31 NASB - 'The LORD your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes, and in the wilderness where you saw how the LORD your God carried you, just as a man carries his son, in all the way which you have walked until you came to this place.'

Wow! The Creator God, Elohiym, carried me to where I am now. . .all the places I've walked, just like I carried my daughter tonight who was scared of the storm. You are carrying me! I don't know what is to come, but I do trust that You will be there! I love you!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Devotion Day: The deliverance of the sons of Jacob

This week, I have no words of my own, but had to be reminded to go back to something God taught me this fall and the prior summer through a Beth Moore study, Patriarchs.
Gen 45:4-11 NASB "Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come closer to me." And they came closer. And he said, "I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God. . ."

These are the thoughts that Beth provoked in us following this scripture:

  • Joseph framed the entire picture in the sovereignity of God. It was their only hope of healing.

  • Feelings of distress and anger towards others sometimes can't rival those we have towards ourselves.

  • Our great pain can mean someone else's deliverance, even someone who helped imprison us.

  • If we refuse God's means of our deliverance, we could easily find ourselves destitute. It's a humbling deliverance to break our pride.

My thoughts. . .in the end God works all things together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28). . .even when we are the one who cause the imprisonment. That sometimes in God's mercy He causes things to happen to draw us to Him to prevent us from making bigger mistakes. . .we just don't see what "might have been". That sometimes our pain is for someone else's gain. That sometimes I must shut my eyes so I can cling to what I know about Him.

The song, "Blessings", by Laura Story has made me think. I pray for healing, blessing, safety, shelter, forgiveness, but (I don't know about you) I don't normally pray for trials. I am sure that Joseph did not pray to be enslaved and stolen from his father for years at the hands of his brothers. And, he didn't know for a LONG time what God was doing. He didn't get to see the bigger picture of preparation for the exodus and God's bigger plan for the Jewish people. Sometimes, we never see His plan. I think this most excites me about heaven. . .seeing how God's hand swept over us to protect us from ourselves. . .to see our trials in a new "light". And, most of all, I will see how my trials were not just about me. That his plan is bigger than my "here and now", it's about His plan to bring all to Him. I can't wait to see through His eyes! And, as the song "Blessings" says, "What if the rain, the storms, the hardest nights are His mercies in disguise?" Although a cloudy day makes it difficult to see the sun, it's still there. . .it never goes away!

And so Joseph said to his brothers, "As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good in order to bring about this present result, to preserve many people alive." (Genesis 50:20)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Mercy for Monday

Matthew 5:43-46

"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy. But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
so that you maybe sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have?"
So, why is this so hard? Jesus, who had most reason to feel betrayed, still prayed for His enemies even on the cross by asking His Father to forgive "them" for they did not know what they were doing.

Father God, please break my heart for my enemies! Show me how to pray for them. Help me to pray with the right spirit! Holy Spirit guide my words to the Father's ear that they be Your words and not mine.

You were even betrayed by Your closest confidants! Yet, You forgave! With Peter, maybe it's because You could see who he would become, and You knew the betrayal was short-lived. I think this is why we must pray 'Your will' because You are outside of time and You know what is to come! You know the true hearts of people; and therefore, You know how to intercede. Help me close my eyes and trust who You are. . .that when I don't understand I can be confident that You do! It takes nothing to love the loveable! Give me Your fruit of the spirit that I might have true kindness, goodness, and gentleness that only comes from You!

Thank you Lord for what You are going to do!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Devotion Day: Trust

Psalms 37:5 "Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it."
Psalms 118:8 "It is better to take refuge in the LORD Than to trust in man."
Isaiah 26:4 "Trust in the LORD forever, For in GOD the LORD, we have an everlasting Rock."

Today I was thinking about my lack of trust, which is often a result of fear. For the past few years, my anxiety has increased riding with others in cars, particularly with my husband. Now, I'm not claiming to be a good driver myself. . .it's just that "in control" thing. When I'm riding, I have too much time to look around and see what we might hit "if" we ran off the road. The reason for my concern is that Tim prefers to look out at the land rather than the road. I've actually watched him look more to the side than out the front of the van, so I feel the need to watch the road. However, in my husband's defense, he has NEVER randomly swiped a mailbox because he is too close to the side although there are times when it's like I'm in a 3D movie and things are flying into me. This is what I think is going to happen sometimes. I blame my irrational fears on my active imagination! So that we don't end up in divorce court, I have had to create some accommodations for myself, which now include closing my eyes when I feel that we might hit something (not when I'm driving, just when I'm riding). And, guess what? My fears are relieved because I am no longer allowing the physical evidence to outweigh what I know about my husband. When I close my eyes, I trust that he will safely pass the "close to the road object" like he always has.

Just like in this "worldly" example, I was thinking that maybe when life gets rough and what I see physically causes me to worry about what's next in my life that maybe I just need to shut my eyes. By closing my eyes, I don't see the physical but am reminded of the spiritual. I can then soley focus on who God says that He is and who I know Him to be. . .from His word and from His work in my life. I don't have what I see in the moment competing with who He is in the everlasting. I can completely trust in Him. And, the funny thing is that when I close my eyes in the car that I feel instant peace. There is nothing in front of me to fear. And, I think that when I close my eyes because I have been focusing too much on what I can see in this world that I will feel true peace in Him. Because at that time, I will be resting in the God who has always been in control and has never steered me wrong!

Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight."

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mercy for Monday

Psalm 25:1-7: "To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust (all others will fail me)
Do not let me be ashamed
(for You are most worthy of praise and You were not ashamed of me);
Do not let my enemies exult over me
(Instead, remind me to pray for my enemies that they would bow to You. If you are for me, then who could be against me?).
Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed;
Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.

Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths

(I want to understand the depth of Your word).

Lead me in Your truth and teach me (Help me discern Truth),

For You are the God of my salvation;

For You I wait all the day (Whether You come today or a 1000 years from now, I will wait) . Remember, O LORD, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,

For they have been from of old

(From the beginning of time Your mercy, Your covenant love has been present).

Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;

According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O LORD

(I know that You haven't forgotten me. If Your eye is on the sparrow, I KNOW You watch me! Praise You!)."

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Devotion Day: Are you Salty?

*used for seasoning or flavor
*"salt out": (verb phrase)To seperate a dissolved substance from a solution by adding more salt. In other words, by increasing the salt content of a solution, it will turn a dissolved substance back to a solid. (And, of course, my husband the science geek had to explain this one to me. And, don't worry, he is flattered by that title!)
*increases thirst
*melts ice
*awakens the senses (smelling salts)

Salt scripture:
Matthew 5:13 "You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt has become tasteless how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled under foot by men.
Mark 9:50 NASB - "Salt is good; but if the salt becomes unsalty, with what will you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another
Luke 14:34 NASB - "Therefore, salt is good; but if even salt has become tasteless, with what will it be seasoned?
Col 4:6 NASB - Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.

Being Salty:
*Are you lukewarm, something no one wants to partake of, or are you hot or cold? Seasoned per se? Who wouldn't rather have salty fries? Christ has called us to be set apart. Are you living in Him? Are you set apart, salty, not bland? Do you give people the desire to have what is living in you?
*Do you "salt out"?: I thought this was particularly interesting that if you add salt (not just one granule. . .so it takes a "group")to a substance dissolved in a liquid that the substance would solidify again. So, I was wondering. Do I bind with a group of other salty believers in order to "bring back" or "encourage" others to come back to the person the Lord made them to be? Do I help them separate from the world around them that they have "blended in" with? Do I assist when someone is depressed to bring them back to solid ground? No, I don't mean that I am the answer to everyone's problems, but didn't Jesus have the disciples. Yes, there were moments when He was abandoned, but didn't even He seek out others to be "set apart from the world". And, as a group did they not help others "solidify" into something separate from the world around them. I don't know about you, but this really made me think.
*Does my life and my words cause others to thirst? To thirst after Christ? To want more of Him? To want righteousness that is only obtained through Him? Or does my life cause others to run the other way? I hope you are feeling the need for a nice drink of refreshing water! Isn't it great to also make one another thirst to go deeper into His word?
*Do I melt ice or create a skating rink? I was thinking of this in terms of what I bring to work or my home. Am I salty enough to break the ice caused by gossip, misunderstanding, sleepless nights, hurt feelings. . .or do I just add to the ice chunks?
*Do I awaken the senses, like smelling salts? Do I glorify Christ, speak often enough about Him that it awakens the dead man in the unsaved? Do I love enough to "share" the best gift ever or do I keep the container closed while I walk through a sea of unconscious men?

Please do not misunderstand me. . .I do nothing to become salty. He makes me salty. But, I do plenty to contain my salt in the jar rather than spreading it around. I think in the world of the "church" we get confused sometimes. I by no means believe that I can do anything to be something other than the sinful person I was born to be. But, I do believe that there is power in the Holy Spirit. Because of that power, I am changed. I should live changed. Otherwise, I have denied the power. There is no goodness of my own, but because he has changed me, I have through His power to "do" as He calls me to do, to "live" as He calls me to live, and to "be" as He calls me to "be".

In reviewing scriptures on salt, I am learning that there is even more to this story. There was a covenant of salt in the OT, which makes the last part of Mark 9:50 even more interesting. Maybe I will share later, or maybe I have just made you thirsty.
Be salty today!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Worthy of Praise!

A few years ago I was in a Bible study over the summer. During that time, I was really convicted to praise more. I feel that in my Christian walk, and maybe you can relate, that I spend too much time asking and not enough time praising, thanking, worshipping. If I counted the amount of things I ask for to the amount of things I thank Him for, I believe it would be pretty lopsided. That being said. . .

  • Thank you Lord for getting Melissa through her surgery successfully! You are the author of life!

  • You are the Healer! Thank you for sending Loren home today!

  • You hold us in the Palm of Your Hand. . .why should we fear!

Got some praising to do? Feel free to post some!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Mercy for Monday! We need some!

So, I missed my first devotional post last week! My sincerest apologies! I honestly did not know if I was coming or going. I haven't been that busy in a long time, and I was exhausted!

There have been lots of prayer needs around here! Maybe the spiritual battle is what is wearing on me! But, if you are praying, please remember the following:

  • Gerald, continued healing from his stroke. His family for peace and rest

  • Dorothy, in the hospital after a fall. A faithful prayer warrior

  • Loren, my "daughter" in the spiritual realm, a young diabetic battling the flu and in the hospital trying to get better

  • Zach & Melissa, fighting hard to help their unborn child. . .surgery tomorrow

  • Linda, salvation

Psalm 121:1-8(NASB)
"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forever."

Look up! He is there! We serve a personal God. . .not a statue that is unmoving nor a multitude of gods not powerful enough to do it all! He did it all, He does it all! He created all we see. Jehovah God, the Covenant God (YHWH) who is our keeper, who gives us shade when we are overheated, who is able to keep our souls (without our help!), our protector, our watch tower! Praise You Jesus! You are in all things!

Thank you that your mercies are new every morning!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mercy for Monday

So, my week has started off with a bit of a "jump start", and I didn't get my merciful Monday post done before Monday began. So, it will have to be an ending for Monday!

Father God, we are grateful for Your mercy this day. . .that you continue to be mindful of us after so many years of rebellion. And, today, we pray Phillipians 4:4-7:

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!"
Joy is found in You Lord and only You! Help us to be grateful and thankful for You alone!
"Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near."
Thank you for being a God who is close, not far away. Near not only in presence but in Your knowledge of me!
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God."
Help me to cast my worries on You. I trust that Your timing is perfect. Help me to lay my concerns and requests at your feet while thanking You that You are already answering.
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
May your spirit of peace overcome my heart. May my mind rest from the wrestling within. Guard my heart that no one can steal the peace you give. Thank you Father for Your mercies this Monday! They are new every morning!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Devotion Day

Thinking on the Passover & the Feast of First Fruits fulfilled through the Death, Burial, & Resurrection of Jesus Christ:

This week started off with a fabulous Sunday School lesson of reading through the scriptures about the crucifixion of Christ. Just meditating on His humble path to the cross! And, why a cross you might ask? For you and for me. I love how Psalms 8:4 puts my thoughts (& probably yours to if you understand being freed from bondage!), "What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him?"

Since the week started so focused, I wanted to try to keep stay focused this week. . .every day. I found that when I open my ears and tune myself to Him that He provides amazing worship! Thank you Jesus! You are ALIVE and well!

Because I am starting a study of Isaiah and I love that it is the Old Testament leading us to Christ, I wanted the devotion this morning to simply be an old testament prophesy about our Messiah! I hope that you know this Jesus. . .the power that He holds! May the reading of His word bless you today because it is a GOOD Friday!

Isa 53:3-11 (NASB)
"He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;

And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried;

Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;

The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.

All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way;

But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth;

Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,

So He did not open His mouth. By oppression and judgment He was taken away;

And as for His generation, who considered that He was cut off out of the land of the living for the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?

His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death,

Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
But the LORD was pleased to crush Him, putting Him to grief;

If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.

As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied;

By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many,

As He will bear their iniquities."

I lift my hands to believe again, Lord! You are faithful God forever! Let faith arise! And, open my eyes! (Words adapted from Chris Tomlin's new song "I lift my hands")

Monday, April 18, 2011

Mercy for Monday

I think Mondays are hard days. Back to the grindstone. Diving into the world. I really don't like it! I prefer to have everyday be the weekend. Safe at home with my family. That being said, I thought I would try to start off Monday by using a Psalm to pray over the week. I hope this helps you too! What better way than to use the Word to ask for mercy as we start the week!

(Adapted from Psalm 130; a song of ascents)

Out of my deepest despair, I cry to you God! Please hear my cry! May your ears be attentive to the voice of my petitions. If you marked down my sins, how could I stand? But, praise Jesus, there is forgiveness with You, that you may be shown reverence! I am waiting for the Lord. In Christ, I hope! All His children, hope in Him, because with the Lord is lovingkindness (convenant love!) and endless redemption! He will and has redeemed us all from our sins! Praise Jesus!

A Psalm, which was a reminder to Israel that redemption was coming to wait on the Lord and to remember His lovingkindness. A reminder to us, grafted in as children of the promise, that he has brought redemption and to wait on the Lord for His imminent return by thinking on his lovingkindness! Be reminded of His mercy on this Monday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Devotion Day: God's Promises

Worth continuing. . .

So, last week our devotion focused on the “word” of God. That it was active, living, and blessed. It’s sharp and is able to divide truth from fiction.

As I was reading (for entertainment) this week, I started thinking about “confessing the word”. Confessing referring to the following: “to tell, make known”. Word referred to as “what God says in the Bible”. There are a lot of things that we can confess. Confess the sins of our neighbor, confess the mess we are in, confess the “events of the day”. However, as I was reading, I was challenged with “How often do I confess His Word?” When life isn’t going like expected, I can confess all my trials OR I can confess the promises of His Word. Demonstrating that even though what I see in the moment does not look so good that He already has promises spoken over my life. So, why don’t I just “confess it”? I’m not a “name it and claim it” sort of gal, but I do believe that every word in the Bible is absolutely true (E.W.I.T.B.I.A.T). And sometimes, I just need to be reminded.
Isa 55:11 says, “So will My word BE which goes forth from My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.”
Isa 40:8 says, “The grass withers, the flower fades, But the word of our God stands forever.”

So, let’s remember some of His promises together! Use them today as you pray. You can’t go wrong praying the scripture because you KNOW that His will is in His word!
• Jeremiah 29:11-13: 'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
• Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go."
• Rom 8:37-39 “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
• Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
• Philippians 4:19 “And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Wow, that’s a LOT of supply when you think about His riches!)
• Zephaniah 3:17 "The LORD your God is in your midst, A victorious warrior. He will exult over you with joy, He will be quiet in His love, He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.”
• John 14:1 "Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
• Hebrews 13:5 “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, "I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU"

There are so many more!! Please add in the comments as God brings them to your mind!

I want to leave you with the best one of all. . .(well, they are all good!)
• Romans 10:8-13: “But what does it say? "THE WORD IS NEAR YOU, IN YOUR MOUTH AND IN YOUR HEART"--that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. The Scripture says, "WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED."
(All scripture from the NASB)

May God bless you today as you pray His Word over your life and the lives of others!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Devotion Day

Hebrews 4:12 "For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts & intentions of the heart."

Greek word: zaō
•living water, having vital power in itself and exerting the same upon the soul
•active, blessed, endless in the kingdom of God

Greek Word: energēs
•Used as “effective” in Philemon 1:6 “Your faith may become effective through the knowledge. . .”

Greek Word: tomos: derivative of temno with a more precise meaning single cut versus repeated.
Defined: Sharper
1 verse in Greek with this word (from what I understand)

The Word of God is living, active, blessed, exerts vital power upon the soul and is endless in the kingdom of God. It is effective, not inactive or sedentary . . .just as Philemon 1:6 when Paul & Timothy prayed, “that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ's sake.” It’s active and sharp. From what I could understand, the Greek word for “sharper” is tomos and is a derivative of temno with a more precise meaning of a single cut versus repeated cut, such as in hacking. God’s word does not hack away but rather uses the skill of a master surgeon (The Great Physician does more than heal) in order to cut with precision that, in the end, would bring about healing and restoration to our souls. His Word is important in that it divides truth from fiction. In a world that constantly tells us that it’s “all about us” and “you’re OK as long as you are happy”, we need something sharp to “take out” the sickness that plagues us. His word is alive; therefore, if it lives in us, should it not be active. Should we not be offering life, true life, to those around us.

The word is referred to as the sword in Ephesians 6. In Revelation 1:16, it says, “. . .Out of His (Jesus) mouth came a sharp two-edged sword. . .” The scripture is the word of God. Jesus is referred to as ‘the Word becoming flesh’ (John 1).

In putting all these verses together, it makes me think. . .what is coming from my mouth? If the Holy Spirit resides within me, then the “words” coming from my mouth should speak life, should be truth, should help in healing. This reminded me of the verse from James 3:8-9, “But no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord & Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God.”

Guilty. Lord, help me use my tongue to be uplifting, edifying, and speaker of the truth. Continue to use your Word, sharp and active, to grow me in this area.

I pray that in some way God’s word was able to guide you today! May you be blessed!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


I used Isaiah 49:15-16 as the "theme" verse because I find it amazing! What's amazing? That the Creator God, the Alpha & Omega, the Mighy Savior, the Great Physician, God Almighty, Jehovah Jireh, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. . .would remember me! That He would love me so much that He would "engrave" me on the palm of His hands. That the "engraving" would also designate His love through the cross, the nail-pierced hands. This engraving gives support to John 10:28 when Jesus says,

"I give them (my sheep) eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand."

I guess it is kind of hard to snatch me if I am engraved!!!!!!!!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Getting Started

I find starting a blog is the most challenging. So, I thought I would just begin with an explanation of what you might find here:

  • A weekly devotional of something from the Word of God that He has been leading me through

  • A quote from a book or person that has inspired me during the week

  • A moment of thanksgiving, time to remember what God has done

  • And, I hope many comments from others either asking questions, answering others' questions, or adding your own element of what God has shown you in reading His Word

Thank you for joining me on my own journey to deepen my faith and to keep myself digging into His Word!