Saturday, December 29, 2012

What I learned

In reviewing for Sunday School, I was reminded of an amazing lesson from Beth Moore through the James Bible study. This study has been "IN MY BUSINESS" and has been one of the most life-changing studies for my personal walk. This lesson was on Forgiveness, and who doesn't need to revisit that lesson daily? I know that I do!

In Matthew 27:50 (NASB): "Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and "yielded up" His Spirit". According to the study, the Greek word "aphiemi" means "to send forth" and is the same word used in the Lord's Prayer. In her teaching, Beth Moore explained that "forgiving" is "yielding up". Committing the betrayal to God. Not "giving up" but "giving it over". And, she reminded us that we yield out of wisdom from "above" not because of fear of someone or something on earth. We aren't to be bullied.

AMEN! Forgiveness is hard and yielding can be too, but I know in real life that when my car "yields" the right of way that I'm a WHOLE lot safer than when I "barge through". Same way with God: Yielding the right of way to Him is soooo much better and definitely safer!

1,000 gifts. . .I'm only on 56!

56.  Gorgeous white snow that hasn't been trampled by man
57.  Children who love to giggle and are a little crazy at times
58.  God's instruction to care for the widow and orphan. I have been blessed the most by this new connection with our son's orphanage. Can't wait to meet the staff who have cared for my son.
59.  Christmas with family. It is my favorite time of year
60.  Electricity and heat! I am always cold and love when I can turn up the furnace or run really warm water
61.  Healthy children
62.  A husband who provides. . .a husband who doesn't mind shoveling snow (several days this week)
63.  College friends who remain close. They are a great joy to me!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

1,000 Gifts. . .still going!

51.  Warm days in November
52.  Old pictures to remind you of great times
53.  Blankets, a bed, and a pillow. . .never forget to be grateful for this if you are blessed enough to have it
54.  People who work tirelessly for orphan care and foundations like "The Apparent Project" who make it easy to care for the orphan and the widow!
55.  A church that isn't so structured or too large to allow room for the Holy Spirit to move. Time is not pressing for us, so if God is speaking then we can speak. Love that freedom!

Praying that you are recognizing gifts today. The Word says in James 1:17 (NASB) "Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."

(in speaking about gifts) If they are good, they are GOD! (quoting Beth Moore from James Bible study, which ROCKS by the way! If you never thought James wasn't focused on faith. . .try again!!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Keep on Counting

Apparently, I am lousy at counting my blessings! When I went to see what number I was on, it was 40. Pretty prophetic considering yesterday I had a milestone birthday. That being said, I have a lot of "gifts" to count, but not the tangible, unwrap kind. Not the kind I put on my feet or hang on my shoulder. (I love shoes and purses!) The REAL gifts! God's gifts!
40. Time with family. They gave me a great celebration on Saturday. A time full of laughter, inspiration, and just good ole togetherness! I treasure each moment. And though the bday gifts they gave me aren't the important parts of life, this year's gifts are going to be hard to top! Thank you for reminding me of my sweet boy to come through your gift-giving!
41-49: For 8 "Fabulous Females" who celebrated with me tonight. More importantly, thank you for loving me and being dear friends! I miss working with you terribly! For this gal who grew up with a close family, in proximity and love, it is hard to be separated. . .even at 40! So, if I have to be away from my family, I know that I have these wonderful women who shaped much of who I am professionally! Thank you! Your celebration meant a lot to me!
50. A man that God gave to me 19 years ago! Yes, it seems an obvious gift, but I think I received the best gift available! He was designed for me, and I am forever grateful to Jehovah Jireh for this provision. God continues to show how much He cares for me! I love you Jesus!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

1 Kings 18:21

"Elijah went before the people and said, 'How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal is God, follow him.' But the people said nothing."

My interpretation: If you really believe that God is God. . .then go where He leads. But if your God is __________ (fill in the blank: money, TV, video games, your family, your job, status, your friends, your boyfriend/girlfriend), then follow it. What God knows is that who we follow already shows which one we believe. The problem is that we aren't always honest with ourselves.

I love that the Word is into my business!! God always puts me in check because He loves me and wants the best life for me. Following Him ensures that!

Be blessed!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012


This picture is amazing to me and humbles me greatly. Does my sin bring me to my knees begging for the mercy of a holy God? Yes, I know I'm forgiven. Yes, I know that there is no condemnation now that I'm in Christ. BUT, there should have been a point when the weight of my sin had me crawling to the person of Christ. It should bring me there daily. I should never be so comfortable in my sin that I don't DAILY beg Him for His forgiveness, then PRAISE Him for the shame and guilt that He takes from me. I'm afraid as a society we have lost this. We don't want to be in a church that might make us think about sin, that doesn't make us feel all giddy and emotional inside, that might call a spade a spade. We have this "feel good" mentality. However, I urge you to hear me on this: When you experience freedom in Christ, when that weight of sin is lifted, and it is no more-THERE IS NO GREATER FEELING! We are so used to carrying around the burden of sin (b/c no one wants to offend us) that we don't know what it's like to be FREE. Yes, I will continue to sin because of this imperfect body but I don't want to CARRY it around. I want to LAY it down. Please, if there is something in my life that is hindering me, tell me. I want to be FREE!
In Luke 7, there is a familiar story of a woman, known as a sinner, who enters a Pharisee's home where Jesus was dining. WAIT! So, right there, this woman is SOOOO desperate to see Jesus that she, a KNOWN sinner, entered the home of a Pharisee. GUTS! She was serious about seeing Jesus. Am I that serious? When I know I have sin separating me from my Savior, will I set aside all pride to rush to Him? Then, she pours perfume on his feet. She DUMPS out her expensive perfume on Jesus. So, I have thought about that part when I've previously read that chapter. It was worth a lot, and she gives it up freely. That is definitely a lesson, in and of itself. But this summer in a Bible study, we were reading Beautiful Outlaw by John Eldredge. He made another point that I hadn't thought of. IF she was a known sinner, my guess is probably a prostitute (although I'm no Bible scholar). But, if she was, then perfume was probably a pretty important commodity for her business. She was essentially saying, "Jesus, I am giving my sin up for You. I am pouring it out on You. Take it from me." Mr. Eldredge pointed that out in his book, and I was like "WOW". Isn't it just like God to have a "sin offering" poured out on Jesus prior to going to the Cross. I LOVE it! He is so amazing!! Jesus, please never let me grow callous to my own sin, but convict me to pour it out to you. You already put it on you, but I want to give it to you too! I love you! There is no other God that would do that for me!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Praising in the Midst of Loss

Counting blessings are most important, I believe, when we are in the midst of a dark time or season. Please don't misunderstand. . .I'm not saying it's easy or always natural but I want it to be. To continue my thankfulness, I'm trying to get 1,000 gifts listed, I will get back on track today.

37. For people who have demonstrated their love to us through this adoption process. It seems like it should be an easy road but it can sometimes feel lonely or like you are on the path but on the path with strangers, who have felt the same calling.

38. For the shelter I have, which is not necessarily the shelter I want, but it does the job!

39. For godly men and women, who walk the walk, who encourage us when we are in the midst of places and people that aren't focused on God's call, and who give us the courage to continue walking the walk as well.

This was true about a dear co-worker and friend that I lost this week. His name was Doug. You know when you meet those rare people who change the face of Christianity, who exemplify how you wish Christians were so that perceptions would change, who are who they are in and out of the church building? That was Doug. Not only was he a pastor, but he was a behavior coach who worked with children, children that sometimes struggled to keep it together, and he did so with the greatest patience I have ever witnessed. You see, I'm not patient, and I deeply admire people who are. He could soothe you with his voice in the midst of any crisis. Don't get me wrong, he wasn't perfect and He's not Jesus, but his voice was always how I "hear" Jesus's voice during the storm when the disciples were panicked. A voice saying, "No worries! The King of the Universe has this one covered! Trust Him!" However, he had reasons to be worried. Even when life was cruel and his family was hurting, his faith did not waiver. He was a testimony to an entire community! In addition, he spoke the truth. He didn't back down on his beliefs just because it might be uncomfortable, but he was strong in his beliefs. However, he expressed his beliefs with deep love and respect for those around him. At the end of the school year, I had announced that I would be leaving this school that I have loved for 13 years in order to be on the same schedule as my children. I hate change!! To say the least, it was hard to keep the tears back in those last few days, but he greeted me with a smile when I entered the building on one particularly hard day and was sorry I was going but with this amazing, encouraging attitude indicated that great things awaited me. There was just joy for what was happening in my life. Thank you, Doug, for being real, for speaking Christ through who you were, for showing us all how to love kids with unconditional love while growing them into stronger people, and for being a "hero" at our school and in the community. I know you wouldn't have wanted to be called a hero (most real ones don't), but you were! And, now you are face to face with your Hero and mine! Can't wait to be there with you! What a joyous day that will be!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Adopting From Haiti: Children of the Promise: It's Not (Just) an Orphanage. . .

So, as I was googling "Haiti" today trying to find some fundraiser ideas, I stumbled upon this blog. And, guess what? Not only is the writer of the blog adopting from Haiti. . .his children are coming from Children of the Promise, where our child is! How Awesome! I've been wanting to find a connection!! And, it should be no surprise that they are using the same adoption agency as we are!! This is so cool!

Please read his blog post for a much better description of Children of the Promise at the link below!

Adopting From Haiti: Children of the Promise: It's Not (Just) an Orphan...: A favorite movie in the Sleasman household right now is Night of the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian .  One of our favorite scenes is whe...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Our God is Greater!

Have you experienced the greatness of God lately? Thanks to a little church camp in a small town, I have! Through the testimony of God's children, I have seen a child of God walk away from an accident that doctors said was medically impossible to do (he even ran track less than 9 months after the accident), a former drug addict rescued from addiction and saved from suicide before his Senior year of high school, and a boy cry out to God because he knew that he couldn't "stop" his sin but that he needed Jesus!
Yes, our God is greater, He is healer, He is all powerful. . .what is there to worry about?
Rom 8:31:
 "What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us?"
No one!! We are His chosen people. Be strong and courageous! If the one true God is for us, who can possibly be against us!
Be blessed!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A Lesson Learned. . .The Hard Way

I hate to learn lessons this way, but this hard head of mine doesn't know many other ways!
We are in the process of adopting from Ha*ti! It's been an amazing journey so far and will be in the end as well.
The thing is when we "officially" dove in after 10 years of "listening" I felt that this would be more than just adopting a child from Ha*ti. I thought it would become more than just adopting, somehow, by advocating for adoption, helping others through the process, speaking at churches about caring for the orphans! Some sort of ministry as a result of it!
As soon as I spoke this allowed, the spiritual attacks came!
Nothing to stop the adoption, but just a lot of frustration along the way. . .making me want to throw the towel in.
This week was one of those! You see, we are in a rush because of some changes in Ha*ti. (To see the back story, please refer to
Everytime we went to do something, we learned about something we did not realize. Because we did not know about its importance, it caused a lot of stress and grief. Re-copying, extra document gathering. . .
Herein lies the lesson,
the day after I was ready to throw in the towel, I am listening to Moody radio.
Nancy Lee DeMoss is speaking, and she's talking about how she ended up staying at home to raise her kids rather than pursue her career that she wanted.
She never knew at that time that she would later have a platform to speak for women when she chose to stay home, but if she had not, she would not have had the experience for the "plan" God had later. A plan to speak on behalf of motherhood. And, she needed her experiences for that!
She added that Moses had to herd sheep for awhile before he could fulfill God's plan to "herd" the Israelites out of Egypt.
Now, that might not sound profound to you, but to me it was huge!
I don't know what his "big" plan is for us, but I do know that the more we learn and understand about the process of adoption, the better our ministry can become in the future.
We might have to go through some extra "bumps" in the road in order to better counsel someone later.
I know God's  plans are bigger than my dream of our little Ha*tian boy. And, believe me, that is a big enough plan. . .and that plan is good enough for me.
But, I think He has in mind a number of orphans He wants to see cared for. . .that maybe we can't take in but we could help someone who wants to!
Can't wait to see what is to come!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Please Help. . .

I have grown to love "bloggy world". I have met a lot of inspiring people who remind me once again that there are people out there trying to live for Christ and to be His hands and feet!
One such sight is A Place Called Simplicity
A recent post saddened us as we have just started our adoption journey.
A tax credit, which helps many adoptive parents overcome the financial stumbling block, is in danger of being unavailable in 2013. Adoption can be up to $30,000. The tax credit was a big help to many!
PLEASE PRAY for our congress men and women to reconsider this.
Read the following and consider signing the petition! It's quick, easy, doesn't cost anything, and helps out in the cause of the fatherless (Isaiah 1:17)
In 2013 the tax credit will be a maximum of $6,000 for parents adopting children with special needs. There will be no adoption tax credit available for all other adoptive parents beginning in tax year 2013.

Could you ask your readers to sign the petition at

Additionally, there is a bill in Congress trying to get passed and if it goes through there will be a PERMANENT tax credit put in place.

There are some key politicians who need to receive letters/emails supporting the adoption tax credit. The following politicians are sponsors of this Adoption Bill, if you reside in one of these states it is extremely important that you send some type of communication to them:
Richard Burr [R-NC]
Robert Casey [D-PA]
Thad Cochran [R-MS]
Kirsten Gillibrand [D-NY]
Kay Hutchison [R-TX]
Tim Johnson [D-SD]
Amy Klobuchar [D-MN]
Pat Roberts [R-KS]
John Thune [R-SD]
In addition to these Finance Committee members:

Sen. Max Baucus [D-MT]
Sen. Orrin Hatch [R-UT]
Sen. Jeff Bingaman [D-NM]
Sen. Richard Burr [R-NC]
Sen. Maria Cantwell [D-WA]
Sen. Benjamin Cardin [D-MD]
Sen. Thomas Carper [D-DE]
Sen. Thomas Coburn [R-OK]
Sen. Kent Conrad [D-ND]
Sen. John Cornyn [R-TX]

Please consider signing this petition for the cause of the orphan. Signing the petition takes about a minute, at the most.
If you live in one of the states listed above, would you please call your representative and show your support? Every call does make a difference.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pray Haiti Jewelry is Here!

Here it is!! Our jewelry for our Haiti Adoption!
Just go
(To order the double necklace)
(To order the single necklace with the bead)
Our fundraising necklaces are called:
Pray Haiti Fundraiser
Isaiah 1:17 Haiti Fundraiser

I hope you love them as much as we do!! Please help us get the word out to anyone you think might love jewelry!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A new beginning

We have started something new in our household . . .the long anticipated adoption! Our journey begins in the states and will end in Haiti! Your prayers are much appreciated!

But as we wait, my journey in acknowledgement of His gifts, no matter how small, continues.
Today, I most thankful for. . .

34. The gift of my daughter, M's, face when she realizes that I'm watching her dance. A grin gets bigger, and her face says, "Look at me! Look at me! My mommy is watching!". Not sure how long this will last, but I will cherish it while it's here!

35. Christian people in the business of adoption. It makes the process so much sweeter.

36. Maybe I'm cheating, but I'm so grateful for sunshine days, clear blue skies, and spring in the air.

I've been listening to a fictional book and have been focused on the Old Testament tabernacle in study this year, and it's made me think about day to day more deeply. When God gave plans for the tabernacle, He said that it was a shadow of the heavenly tabernacle. So, now I've started dwelling on all the things He's put on this earth to remind us of Him or to teach us about the "process" of life. Spring, of course, signaling new beginnings. . .dead things come to life. Ugliness dissipates into Beauty! I think He's trying to give us hints by saying, "Look, you don't see it all. I do! I'm trying to give you glimmers through your foggy glasses!" He's a romantic and is constanting wooing us with his sunrises, gentle breezes, cool living creatures that bring color to our world! He chases us down and speaks in the stillness. What a foothold Satan has on us when there is never any stillness. . .when we don't leave our texts/calls unanswered, when we won't turn the TV off, when we don't leave the computer screen. . .all so we can Hear Him! It's a loud, noisy world. . .let's pray for some quiet today! Let Him woo us with His voice of love to us! For there is nothing on this earth that He doesn't do better. . .His music will be better, His colors more vibrant, His light lighter than anything we have seen, His food tastier than the finest meal, and His love more extravagent and romantic than any earthly relationship!! Can't wait for THE day!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Season to Remember

Remembering the gift is SO easy during the Passover season. Although I've been away a few weeks, I have tried to remain grateful each day.

31. Thankful for the gift of God's consistency! I love His Word! I love that all things He planned were to point to His Son. . .that He even used small details to show his thoroughness. Just one of those examples is matzo bread used during the Passover meal. . .it's pierced and striped as Isaiah said that our Savior would be and was fulfilled in the New Testament. Simple bread pointing to Jesus, the bread sent from Heaven! Born in Bethlehem, or the House of Bread! Love it! God is so Good!

32. Gift of Christian adults in the lives of my children! There will be times (or many times) when they will not hear what we say, but they do hear the words of adults that they respect! Thank you Lord for that!

33. Sunny days with large, fluffy white clouds! Can't beat it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Quote

I'm not sure I should post a quote when I'm not sure where it's from; however, I found it on a piece of paper in our floorboard. It's not my handwriting, but I thought it was a thought-provoking quote.
If you know who said it or wrote it, let me know.
It wasn't me, so I take NO credit!
However, it makes me think. I'm still mulling it over in my mind.
Thought it might do the same for you.
"We rarely change until the pain we feel from the problem exceeds the pain we fear from change"

Be blessed!

Sunday, March 18, 2012


28. Hope. . .no matter what!
29.  Kids being healed from cancer!
30. Adults who invest in the lives of my daughters. I do believe it takes "a village" to raise a child. Not because Hilary Clinton said, but because the entire Word of God is about our dependence on Him and His provisions to us, which include the people around us.
 The Word of God says in
Exodus 17:11-12
"As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses' hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up--one on one side, one on the other--so that his hands remained steady till sunset."

We are not here in isolation! We were meant for one another! The Israelites were dependent on Joshua (who was dependent on God) to choose the right men for battle. The men in battle were dependent on the leadership of Joshua. Joshua's success in battle depended on Moses's arms being raised. And, Moses needed Aaron and Hur to help him raise his hands! It's a great lesson that was first taught to me by a wise man. I will never forget that sermon and was grateful to be able to study on it again through our Beth Moore study. Be thankful this week that you are not to be alone! If you feel like you are, look around. . .God has provided someone to help you hold up your arms! Be blessed!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

1,000 is a long way off!
But, I will continue to count my gifts!

23. The beginning signs of spring
24. Good friends in the workplace. . .those who can be trusted!!
25. Easy going friendships. . .those friends that are always there. . .a 2-way relationship
26. Playgrounds!
27. Food that reminds you of childhood

Father above, Praise You for loving me! For being all powerful, yet all personal!
You are the One True God! There is none like You!
You are relational! You sacrificed for mankind!
All other gods just demand from mankind!
NOT You!
Thank You Jesus for be self-less despite my selfishness!
For being Faithful despite my faithlessness!
For marking on my forehead, "Holy to the Lord"!
The only holiness I possess is by you adorning me with Yours!
Love you!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Psalms 79:13

Psalms 79:13
So we Your people and the sheep of Your pasture will give thanks to You forever; To all generations we will tell of Your praise.

20. Really funny people!! Nothing is better than a good belly laugh
21.  Empathy: To be able to feel another's pain even when you don't know them so that you can lift them up in prayer!
22. Clean, running water to use at anytime! That's one thing I definitely take for granted! Praise Jesus!!

Praise God that we serve a LIVING God, giver of life, provider, healer, Most High, Creator of the universe, Savior from our sins! I love you Jesus!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Back on Track!

Back to a thankful heart. . .
Trying to notice thankful moments in the  unexpected times. . .

16. A messy apartment
(This one is most difficult, but I realized that a messy house means it's a house full of people! What a blessing!)
17. Gifts of love shown thru acts of service!
18. Naps on a Sunday afternoon
19. Noisy, crazy days in a cramped apartment. . .it means my house is filled with young children. I want to remember these moments for a lifetime!

Have you caught the "bug" yet? I hope so!!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Every Good and Perfect Gift is from Above

Have you been noticing the gifts Your Father has flowered you with? I hope so!
It's still not natural for me to notice the little things, but I know with perseverance it will come!
Today, I have noticed the following gifts:

12.  Conviction of the Holy Spirit
13.  Loyal Christian friends
14. Innocence of my kids
15. A good night's sleep with no pain, no disturbance, just a cozy bed

It's interesting that sometimes He brings gifts to your mind when you most notice their absence!

James 1:17
"Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow."

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Gifts Galore!

8.  Secure arms of my husband
9.  Soft, precious hands of a preschooler
10. Sound of feet dancing around
11. Ability to walk unhindered

Colossians 3:15
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful."

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Being Thankful!

Philippians 4:6
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God."

As my count"up" to 1,000 gifts continues. . .here are a few more

4. People in my life who understand technology
5. That God doesn't judge us by a number on a test, given on one specific day of the year!
6. Wind on my face
7. Laughter. . .from a baby, from a 7-year-old, from a 10 year-old, from a grown man, welling up inside of me!

Are you thankful for something today? Do you have something you need to go to the Lord about? If so, go to Him with thanksgiving. Let your requests be made known to Him through a thankful heart!
I hope you are "catching" the challenge!

Monday, March 5, 2012

One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Are
I haven't finished it yet, but this book is inspiring me!
It's created a challenge of sorts. . .
To be more grateful.
To look all around for gifts that God has given me!
So, I'm hoping each day to get on my blog, and express gratitude to my Creator. . .
Because He has left an amazing world as a gift!
I just do not open my eyes enough to see!
If you like, join me!
Feel free to visit each day and share the gift you noticed that day!
Or, if you just stop by to read,
start your own gratitude journal!!
Let's see how fast we can list our 1,000 Gifts!
I'm sure it won't take long!

Colossians 3:16-17 (NASB) "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."
#1: A child in my arms
#2: Warm sunshine on a crisp afternoon
#3: A great Christian novel

God, You are the giver of all good things! Let me not forget that it is You who is my provider!
Keep my eyes open to see Your gifts, to recognize the small things!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Intimacy with Christ

Unfortunately, I just finished the final day of the Beth Moore, Tabernacle study. It was bittersweet! While I am glad to have completed a task, I will miss my time in the tabernacle! That being said, tonight. . .this is the part that stuck with me.

When you study the tabernacle, you learn that there is the outer court (Altar of Sacrifice, Laver), then you move to the Holy Place (Table of Shewbread, Lampstand, and Altar of Incense just before entering the Holy of Holies), and then to the innermost place of intimacy with God, the place where He displays His glory, where we fall to our face in awe, The Holy of Holies (ark of the covenant, ark of testimony). It's interesting when you think about it that the altar of Sacrifice (which Christ is for us) is at the "beginning" of the tabernacle in the outer court. You have to "accept the sacrifice" before you can enter further. So, it makes sense that it would be just as you enter. However, it also "assumes" that salvation (acceptance of the sacrifice) is JUST the beginning. There is so much more! How intimate do you want to be with your God?
You might ask how do experience Christ deeply in the intermost sanctuary. . .
       This is how Beth Moore's study put it tonight
  • "Be unafraid to let Him display the power of the resurrection before your eyes"
  • "Shake off the grave clothes of former lives and enjoy freedom of the resurrection"
  • "Do not be satisfied with this world and things in it"
  • "Be willing to be stripped of ALL earthly perspective & allow your mind to be renewed"
  • "Be willing to fellowship in His suffering"
"We can live our lives on the outer perimeters of our salvation, in Christ but not with Christ, or we can accept the challenge to enter and behold His glory." (Beth Moore, A Woman's Heart Study Guide, p.218)

Do you want to KNOW Him or are you satisfied with the outer court? If you are of the former thought, be excited by this scripture:

Revelation 21:3-5 (NASB) - "And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, 'Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.' And He who sits on the throne said, 'Behold, I am making all things new.' And He said, 'Write, for these words are faithful and true.'"

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A tabernacle among us?

So, at our church, we are quickly concluding the Beth Moore study, A Woman's Heart: God's Dwelling Place. And, it has been FABULOUS! I haven't blogged as much as I want. The homework keeps me pretty busy. However, we are going to review the lessons again as a group, so maybe I can share more as we go.

Basically, the bible study took us through the Old Testament Tabernacle, and God's explicit instructions for its creation and use. One thing you learn quickly as you study this is that God was SERIOUS about His dwelling place. You see, it was created so that God could display His Glory! It had to be perfect. . .for many reasons, but one reason is that it was to reflect the Tabernacle to come, the one who would dwell among men. . .Jesus Christ. The earthly tabernacle was serious business because we are an unclean people with unclean lips. If steps were not followed, man could not survive in the presence of His Glory. The components had to be carried certain ways and by certain people. Although I would not do justice summarizing the entire study, I wanted to share this "bit" from our concluding week of lessons.

1st: God created the Garden of Eden but human sin cast us from His dwelling place.
2nd: God decided to create a tabernacle so that His Glory could dwell among men. And, He did.
3rd:  The True Tabernacle came in Jesus Christ, which was not just the glory of God, but God Himself. (John 1:14 Says that, "The Word (Jesus) became flesh, and dwelt among us." The word dwelt, comes from the Greek word, "skenoo", and means "tabernacled". Jesus "tabernacled" among us. Wow!!! God once again being consistent even though we may take awhile to "catch on".)
4th:  Jesus took the True Tabernacle back to the heavens.
5th:  But because the cross COMPLETELY reconciled us to God, we were no longer separated so God's Tabernacle continues to dwell among men. . .AND. . .
6th: You see, the tabernacle. . .It's in You and me. If you have received Christ as Your Savior, then you are the current Tabernacle. Your body is it.

Now, consider the care with which God prepared and cared for the initial earthly Tabernacle. What does that mean for you and me today? I think we are a little too flippant about the Holy Spirit "dwelling" in us. We don't seriously consider what it means. . .like where do we take our tabernacle, how do we maintain our tabernacle. .. The tabernacle was meant to "reveal the Glory of God" in the Old Testament. Do you think the meaning is any less today? And, yes, I'm talking about more than the physical body. But 1 Thess. 5:23 refers to living beings in 3 components: spirit, soul, and body. So, it's the whole deal. Not to mean we should put too much emphasis on ourselves (extreme either way is not healthy; it's a balance), but that we should care for the tabernacle like God would direct. Demonstrating to Him reverence for His Glory, and so that others might see His Glory in us and desire to have a relationship with Him!!

So, maybe this New Year, we can commit to take care of our body, NOT for what it will do for us but because we are the tabernacle of the Holy Spirit, and we want to glorify Him in all things!