Friday, December 28, 2012

"Harness the Wind" - ‎12/28/12 - Revelation 7:1-10:11

"Then he told me, “These are those who come from the great tribulation, and they’ve washed their robes, scrubbed them clean in the blood of the Lamb. That’s why they’re standing before God’s Throne. They serve Him day and night in His Temple. The One on the Throne will pitch His tent there for them: no more hunger, no more thirst, no more scorching heat. The Lamb on the Throne will shepherd them, will lead them to spring waters of Life. And God will wipe every last tear from their eyes.” (7:14-17)

What is tribulation?  It isn't the same for each person. What one may breeze through, another may not be able to lift one foot for many days to overcome.  God knows each of our hearts better than we do.  He knows what is a trial and tribulation for each of us.  And He is in control. 

At times when doubts about His being in control seep in, His Word again confirms that He is.

"Immediately I saw Four Angels standing at the four corners of earth, standing steady with a firm grip on the four winds so no wind would blow on earth or sea, not even rustle a tree." (7:1) 

We are able to utilize the wind, create a false wind, thinking we are in control with our abilities. 

But, only He is able to produce and harness it. The wind - an unseen force - yet He has His angels stand steady in the power of it while they hold it back with a firm grip. He knows we need His help to overcome. He wants us to rely on His strength, not our own to prevail - to become stronger in Him. For others to learn from. To lead. To be teachers. 


How can I doubt that He is able to bring me through the tribulations I will encounter when He is able to be in total control of the wind?


Friday, December 21, 2012

"Willing" - 12/21/12 - Hebrews 13:1-25, I Peter 1:1-2:3

"This is the Word that conceived the new life in you.

So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God." (I Peter 1:25-2:3)

 
It isn't a coincidence that as I have been cleaning, organizing, getting rid of stuff in our physical home, He has also been helping me clean my spiritual home - me - my heart.  Our bodies are the temple that He lives in when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.  His Word has/is helping me see how I have neglected His temple over the years.  I have added to it stuff that only served the purpose of junking things up and collecting dust.  It took away from the beauty of His temple. 

Some of the "stuff" I had housed in the temple were malice, pretense, envy and hurtful talk.  I had to be willing to throw it out - God won't come in and force His way - He wants our hearts to be willing to live His way.  He will show us things that we need to be rid of, but it has to be our free choice to do so.  Otherwise, we will look past Him, out the door to the stuff in the dumpster, clinging to it and wanting to bring it back into the Temple - our hearts. 

Our hearts have to want to be free of the stuff.

As I walk through this world, there will be many times I have the choice to respond with a Christlike attitude or lower myself and respond as the world would.  He keeps a quote from a book I recently read run through my brain, and changing my heart, "regardless of the type of actions toward Christ, He always - always - responded in kindness".  This has become my guide to the trials and tribulations I will walk through.  I also stand on His promise that the truth will prevail.  When I am living my whole life "in" His truth, when it does finally prevail - I will not have moved.  I no longer have to worry about defending my actions, my thoughts, my way of living.  He is in control. 

His Word is also helping me to see that for each of us "cleaning house" is on our own time schedule.  Just because I am getting my "temple" in order, doesn't mean everyone else is.  So, I am also keeping that in mind.  If I go in and "make" someone get their "temple" in order, they will only hide the things they aren't ready to throw out.  And eventually everything we have hidden in our hearts, our temple, come out into the open.  It is seen in our faces, our fruits, our responses. 

In preparation for the coming week when our family is under one roof I am letting go.  What will be - will be.  Because I am throwing out the "stuff", His beautiful furnishings are able to shine.    How my heart does sing!  I have at the ready, not having to dig to find them, all the fruits of the Spirit. 

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit." (Galatians 22-25)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

"Just passin through" - 12/20/12 - Hebrews 11:1-12:29

"Each one of these people of faith died not yet having in hand what was promised, but still believing. How did they do it? They saw it way off in the distance, waved their greeting, and accepted the fact that they were transients in this world. People who live this way make it plain that they are looking for their true home. If they were homesick for the old country, they could have gone back any time they wanted. But they were after a far better country than that—heaven country. You can see why God is so proud of them, and has a City waiting for them." (11:13-16)

When the leaves have fallen from the trees, the underbrush has died back, we can view our neighbors to the south.  They are all hanging around, there on the hill, we only know two or three of them.  Actually, they are very good neighbors - never loud, not in your business, no guilt about spending time with them, they pretty much keep to themselves.   Their current address is St Anthony Cemetery. 

I am kind of wondering if things will be different tomorrow.  According to the Mayans the world will be ending.  I am in a dilemma regarding shopping for groceries and presents.  And how exactly did they predict the ending?  Is it a big bang?  Does everyone suddenly die?  Will those of our neighbors who died in Christ, come shooting out of their graves to meet God - right before I take off ? 

Wonder if they'll wave and throw out a "hi neighbor"? 


Talking and joking with some people about tomorrow, I thought about how many go about their business while living here and forget that one day God will return.  How some find the whole God thing a major joke and haven't time to take Him seriously.  His coming again isn't something to joke about. 

My heart has changed so much over the years.  I really do feel like a transient in this world.  It used to be that I was so focused on making a living, growing the business, obtaining a home, driving a nice vehicle, etc.  And now...........God has blessed me with so much materialistically, and I am very appreciative of it all.  It just isn't what my heart is set on.  It isn't what I find my worth in.  The world's measuring stick is no longer the one I use.

My life is about my faith in Him.  "It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him." (11:6)  This faith has grown my heart to draw closer to Him.  It has caused me to live my life wanting to please Him, live for Him, become more Christlike with every breath I take. 

I know I could not continue to live without this faith.  It has gotten me through so much in my life and will continue to do so.  It doesn't matter if tomorrow is the end of this world.  What does matter is that I live each today as though it were my last day.  That all who He has me to encounter - they meet Him through me.  That I stand in my faith knowing no matter the situation I am in, His glory will shine and His way will prevail. 

"God had a better plan for us: that their faith and our faith would come together to make one completed whole, their lives of faith not complete apart from ours." (11:40)


What a blessing and how neat it is knowing that those who lived in their faith before me and me in my faith,  are part of His plan - working together -  passing Him on.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

‎"Bestest" - 12/19/12 - Hebrews 8:1-10:39

So, friends, we can now—without hesitation—walk right up to God, into “the Holy Place.” Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The “curtain” into God’s presence is his body." (10:19-21)

I love that I can crawl up into His lap at any moment.  That He is always inside of me.  Always right by my side.  I am so thankful I belong to a Daddy that is everywhere all at once!  There is not any place I can go that He isn't there.  I love that He "desires" me to be with Him. 

Desire - to wish or long for; crave; want.

His desire is for me.  For you.  For all of us. 

This is why He gave us Christ.  He desires that we "walk right up" to Him.  That He becomes and stays our "bestest" friend.  He desires that He is our whole life.  That He is the first, last, and in between thought throughout our days.

Is He?

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

"With both hands" - 12/18/12 - Hebrews 4:14-7:28

"We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek."   (6:18-20)

"Never let go".  Yet, how many of us end up doing so?  Or hang on with one hand while holding onto the world with the other?  How often do we decide to put our own mix into God's plan and totally mess it up?  How often do we chose to hold on to something that is "breakable" rather than the "unbreakable" He provides?  How often do we serve self rather than Him? 

Each and every time I decide to do things "my" way rather than His.

And then there I am again, "running for my very life to God".   How thankful I am that my Daddy knows me, the times my choices will become consequences that create storms.  How blessed I am that my Savior has "run on ahead of me" to be my "unbreakable spiritual lifeline".  How His grace and mercy rain down upon me, turning the icy, cold storms of life into a gentle, warm spring rain.  A rain that I can stand in, my face uplifted, my dry, parched soul drinking in His nourishment. The Holy Spirit living within me helping me to hang on tightly. What comfort there is in knowing that even though I do "let go with both hands", He knows that in my heart of hearts I so desire to please Him, love Him - to not let go. 

Yet I do.

Why?  Bottom line is that I have made the choice to serve self.  I have decided that I am more important than Him.  That I know what is best.  That the temptations of the world are what I want rather than Him. 

And that is another reason I am so thankful for His Word.  It is His plan that He has given me for the storms of life.  For the times I serve me rather than Him.  It is my road map to getting back into "holding onto my lifeline with both hands".   It is my own personal love letter from Him that ensures no matter what, He will never - never - stop loving me.  He will never - never - yank away His lifeline.  It isn't my Daddy prying away my hands on that lifeline.

It's me letting go. 

Monday, December 17, 2012

"Christ"mas - 12/17/12 - 2 Timothy 4:19-22, Hebrews 1:1-4:13

"And so this is still a live promise. It wasn’t canceled at the time of Joshua; otherwise, God wouldn’t keep renewing the appointment for “today.” The promise of “arrival” and “rest” is still there for God’s people. God himself is at rest. And at the end of the journey we’ll surely rest with God. So let’s keep at it and eventually arrive at the place of rest, not drop out through some sort of disobedience."  (Hebrews 4:8-11)

How different the holidays are for each of us.  Some are filled with wonderful memories - others the opposite.  My heart is so sad as I think of the future Christmas' for those in Sandy Hook and other places that are suffering.  How very thankful I am that as I journey through this world, I have the gift of Christ for eternity.  The gift that draws my focus off the "why" and trust in Him.  The gift that tells me that He is in complete control, even when my eyes are trying to convince me the opposite.  It is so essential to take advantage of the turmoil of evil and offer His peace to those without the gift of Him.  I pray that each of us will seek out and give that gift to all He puts into our path - always - until we are at "rest with God".


Often in the celebration of Christmas, we forget the reason of why He came to be among us as a human.  That Christ left His place with God to journey as we do through this world.  He resisted each and every temptation, He experienced each and every emotion we do - and He never, ever took His focus off of His Daddy - our Daddy.  When I focus on His death and resurrection, the part that puts things into perspective is that Christ chose to be my sacrifice, He chose to separate Himself from God - totally - for those three days.  Because He loved me that much.  And I then wonder - who am I not to love all others as He loved me?  To forgive as He forgave me?  To make giving the gift of Him an essential part of my journey here. 

How easily I make "self" my number one priority. 

So, I pray that I may not get caught up in the drama of Christmas.  I pray that I will turn over to Him and not take things personal.  That I will focus on the gifts from Him and not the attacks from satan.  And there will be attacks.  The family getting together to celebrate Him - how satan hates that!  I am so thankful for His Word that speaks to me and prepares me for my journey towards my rest with Him.  That even though I will fail, I will stumble, I will stand and wallow in the mud puddle of self pity - I do know without a doubt - I will "get over it", readjust my focus onto Him, and carry on. 

How very thankful and blessed I am to carry "Christ"mas with me always. 

And that "Christ"mas carries me - always.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

"Shaped up" - 12/16/12 - 2 Timothy 2:1-4:18

"Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us."(3:17)

One of the things I am learning about faith is that as it grows - fear diminishes.  As faith grows - sin doesn't have as many footholds as it once did.  Fear used to be ever present in my life.  Because of my past, I have always been afraid of anger.  Of conflict. 

It used to be when I was out in public and someone across the store was arguing, I would be afraid that they would turn to look at me, blame me for their predicament.   I was always afraid that I wouldn't measure up, be able to do the task at hand.  It was too easy to beat myself up over a situation, to lack confidence that I was good at something. 

This is one of the greatest gifts I have gained from being in His Word.  He has "put me together and shaped me up - for the tasks He has for me".  He has prepared me.  Equipped me.  Designed me.  Put me where He needs me to be.  He has given me an instruction manual.  I am not walking blind or confused.

 Instead of walking in fear - I walk in excitement.  I look forward to what is around the next corner.  I walk hand in hand with Him as we celebrate this journey together.  He is giving me comfort and encouragement in seeing that, although I am not perfect, there are quite a few successful tasks behind me. 

And all because of Him.  Of Him using me as a vessel for Him.   In our marriage, our children, our relationships with family, friends.  In our business.  In all of my life. 

So, when the time comes that I doubt, focus on fear, He reminds me that I can stand firm in His Word - on and in Him.  He has promised me I am prepared for that task. 

No matter what that task is.

Monday, December 10, 2012

"‎Pass Him on" - 12/10/12 - Philemon 1:1-25, Philippians 1:1-2:11

"Every time your name comes up in my prayers, I say, “Oh, thank you, God!” I keep hearing of the love and faith you have for the Master Jesus, which brims over to other believers. And I keep praying that this faith we hold in common keeps showing up in the good things we do, and that people recognize Christ in all of it. Friend, you have no idea how good your love makes me feel, doubly so when I see your hospitality to fellow believers."(Philemon 1:4-7)

How will I be remembered?  How am I known now?  What will I pass on?

Perhaps it is because I am now on the downhill run of life  I find myself thinking about death more than I used to.  It has become a reality, rather than some far off event that doesn't have much to do with me.  The sweet ignorance of youth.

There are times that I seem to be standing in the center watching while life is swirling about me.  I see that my g'ma is nearing the end of her life here, my parents remind me of my grandparents more and more.  Last Sunday we had to take my dad to ER and in my minds eye when I see my Curt supporting him to the car it looks more like my grandfather than my dad.  Our Adam will be 28 this February - only two years from 30. 

30 - wow. 

Because of Adam, Nichalas, and Amber's places of living, we only see each other two times a year.  It causes the changes in them to be more evident.  It causes me to see more clearly that we have two adult sons - no longer children. 

Too fast - too soon.

So in my thoughts, my death does come to mind. 

How do people see me?  What will be remembered about me?  They say that we are only one generation from being totally forgotten.  With a sense of urgency I wonder more about what I am passing on to the generations that will not even know my name.  My time here is so fleeting compared to the generations to come.  I am only one small ripple in the lineage that I am in.  How very thankful I am that His Word, in which we have raised our sons, is alive and will continue to live on.  That they are in an intimate relationship with Him, and it is my utmost prayer that they too will carry on His teaching to their children.  I pray that they will be the spiritual leaders in their families with God as their role model - training those to come.  

I am so very thankful that God helped Curt and I break the cycle.  That even with all our mistakes and flaws, His glory has shone through and continues to do so.  That we are part of the legacy that belongs to Him.  That is hope for the future of those that do not know Him. I don't know if we will watch from above the future generations, but how exciting to think about those they will touch in the future because He used us today.   When I think about my death, I don't think about it being an ending, but rather that of readying me for my next leg of my journey.  Of my going "home". 

I pray that if there is one of my future generations that is into genealogy, who happens to be standing at Curt and my headstones years from now, it will be said, "they were my great, great, great, great, grandparents who walked intimately with God. 

 
Because of them, we know Him."

Monday, December 03, 2012

‎12/03/12 - Acts 21:37-23:35

"Get up and get yourself baptized, scrubbed clean of those sins and personally acquainted with God."(22:16)










I am so thankful that I am in Christ - scrubbed clean of all those sins. 

No matter how I try - I sin. 

It is with such thanksgiving that I know His blood has set me free from eternal separation from God. 

I am so thankful that I am intimate with Him.  That our relationship grows each moment, each second, each breath I take. 

I love that He is my Abba, my Daddy, my bestest friend. 

I love the life I gain from being in Him. 

I pray that I may draw others to Him - so they also will know.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

‎"Dance His talk" - 11/27/12 - Romans 11:1-14:23

"If the way you live isn’t consistent with what you believe, then it’s wrong."(14:23)

If asked, I will say,  "Yes, I believe in The Father, The Son, The Holy Spirit, and His Word".  I believe in these with all that I am, but do I 100% of the time "walk His talk"?

Unfortunately, "No". 

I do try. 

I am so thankful for His grace, mercy, and forgivness in the times that I slip.  When I am focusing on self, rather than Him. 

When I get in the way of Him. 

Each and every day I pray that He will use me.  And each and every day He does.  Even when I slip - He uses that for His glory.  It isn't that I want to be lifted up for all to see, I find that He is changing me from the inside out.  I want my life to be for His glory - not mine.

I pray each and every day that He will convict me when I am not "walking His talk".  When I feel that I need to seek revenge, stand up in defensiveness when wronged, to feel sorry for myself and attend the "mepityparty".  The times that I act on the feelings of doing it my way, regardless of who or whose feet I trample upon. 

Even when they are God's feet.

When I picture myself walking "my" talk, I see much slipping, falling, stumbling, sliding around.  It is totally uncontrolled - no matter what I hang onto, how hard I try.  There is not a graceful rhythm about my steps.  There is only destruction.  Much like a new snowfall that has the mark of an animal fight - their steps and blood have destroyed its' purity, its' beauty.



I pray that when I "walk His talk" the new snowfall of life holds the pattern of a graceful dance.

That the untouched snow surrounding our steps reflect His light - sparkling as diamonds in the sun. 

His Son.



Friday, November 23, 2012

Let. it. go. - ‎11/23/12 - I Corinthians 16:1-24, Acts 19:21-20:6, Romans 1:1-32

Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.(1 Corinthians 16:13-14)

"Go slow. Be God-struck. Grant grace. Live Truth. Give Thanks. Become the gift. May the grace and truth of our Father surprise you all over again this weekend, friends!" ~Ann Voskamp

Today in my devotional reading, I kept coming across "giving up self".  No coincidence - again.  God has everything occur for a reason - particularly His Word.  When He speaks to me certain Words - He knows they are exactly what I need to read, consume, and chew on at that time. 

"Keep my eyes open"

"Hold tight to my convictions"

"Give it ALL that I've got"

 " Be resolute" - to be firm in purpose or belief; steadfast

"Grant grace". 

"Love without stopping".

I am so convinced that there needs to be a support/how to group for the blending of people.  God is enabling me more and more to not take personal the actions of how a person is raised.  I am struggling though in what words to express how we feel regarding rudeness and still relay that we love unconditionally.  How to have accountability without causing defensiveness or division.   At what point does reaching out become enabling?  How far do we "back off" and yet not have others feel like we are making them choose between sides.  What actions and words do we continually give because we desire unity rather than two sides.  

How obvious the differences are in a Godly family blend versus a worldly family blend.  How they don't see anything wrong in using their measuring standards rather than His. 

And when another episode occurs, His Word is there to reassure and guide me. 


 


             Let God.







Continue to heap mounds of love and grace upon them.  In His grand scheme of life - does "it" really matter"?  Is "it" really worth consuming my whole being and ruining every other aspect of my life?  Is "it" really worth stealing joy out of the innumerable blessings He is continually giving me?  He enables me to see that He is using us to be His warriors to spread His light on a lost people.  People who He wants to be part of "His family blend".   They are bllind to His truth, beliveing they are living for Him, but their fruits prove otherwise.  When I look beyond myself, stop taking personal, I am blown away at how He is using us.  That before the world began, He knew that the fruits of "Curt and Deby" would be used as part of His warfare.  That our family unit,  in His eyes is worthy of being a tool for Him - how much grace and love He has given us - given me - when I have been rude and living life by my measuring standards.  That it is only because of His grace our family belongs to "His blended family" and not the "world's blended family".  A sin is a sin.  Sin separates us from Him - unless you are "In" Christ.  Only then do we experience forgiveness, grace and mercy.

And then I hear Him say, "Do only what truly matters - Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping...............








Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All situations - ‎11/22/12 - I Corinthians 11:2-13:13

But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.(13:13)

Today, we are attending lunch at Washington school.  There is a little boy that God has laid upon our hearts, and we will be surprising him for his Thanksgiving meal.   

I am thankful that God has given me the ability to love, to love deeply.  The problem I encounter though is that sometimes I become self-righteous in my loving.  I begin to measure other people against my measuring standards on how they are living, how they are loving or not.  He is so helping me with this.  To use Christ' measuring stick - not my own.  For when I utilize mine - I shut out people.  I tend to focus more on what they do, say, act - rather than that they are His child too. 

And more often than not - a lost child - no matter their age.  

It has always been a struggle being around bullies when little children are present.  There are some that enjoy being  mean towards them until they cry or even physically shake from fear.  Some of them stand on the sidelines and laugh at the reactions.  And some just stand and pray. 

That would be me.  I am coming to a place where I know I am to speak up, stand up for these little ones.  Just haven't figured out what words He wants me to use that are healing rather than cause defensiveness.  I know that anger and self-righteousness on my part needs to be gone from my heart.  Only love for them needs to be present. 

That is where I struggle.  "Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly in all situations."  Towards all people.  He is bigger than any bully.  He is in control.  And I have asked, am asking, that He will use me in whatever way possible for His glory. 

He is also showing me that I am just as much as sinner as they are.  That when I don't love as Christ does, I am nothing.  I get in the way. 

His measuring stick is the only one that works in all situations - all situations:

"Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.


Love never dies." (5-8)

Monday, November 19, 2012

"1000 gifts" - 11/19/12 - I Corinthians 4:1-7:40

 "It’s important to look at things from God’s point of view."(4:6)

"I do want to point out, friends, that time is of the essence. There is no time to waste, so don’t complicate your lives unnecessarily. Keep it simple—in marriage, grief, joy, whatever. Even in ordinary things—your daily routines of shopping, and so on. Deal as sparingly as possible with the things the world thrusts on you. This world as you see it is on its way out."(7:29-31)

I have recently finished the book,  "One Thousand Gifts",  by Ann Voskamp.  Aside from His Word, this is probably the most heart/soul/mind/life changing book I have ever absorbed.  I love how His timing is. 

Over a year ago I received this book as a thank you and started to read it.  After only the first two  chapters, I put it down and didn't pick it back up.  For my birthday this year, I was given another copy as a gift from a dear, dear sister.  His timing - this time as I dove into it...........I had to make myself read it slowly - I have had such a hard time putting it down.

This task of writing out my "1000 gifts" has so helped in looking at things from God's point of view.  It is so helping me to live my life through Him.  It has really made the verses He spoke to me today ring truth. 

"Time is of the essence."

How essential it is to live my life as I am living for Him.  To not wallow in self-pity, to not focus on me, but on Him.  To look into His eyes with every breath that I take.

Every breath.

I am thankful for so very much.  Right now, I am looking back over the past few months and realizing medicines He created have been such necessity in my life as well.  In 1985, shortly after Adam was born, I was diagnosed with borderline manic depression.  There were numerous medicines I was on, which seemed to help me out.  Then, thinking I was "okay", I decided to try life with only the medication of His Word.  It is amazing how depression sneaks up on you - affects your vision/focus without you totally realizing it.  How what is really not "normal" is soon seen as "normal".   Looking back - I see that I never should have went off the meds.

Looking back - I have many regrets as a wife, mom, total person.  So many highs and lows could have been prevented if only...........

God let me know in His way that I needed to go back on meds.  I have.  It was the best thing I could have done for me.  For my family.  For my life.  For my focus. 

A dear sister asked me the other day, "why did you stop".  I replied, "I thought I was okay without them." 

I so wasn't.

I also know that is why I couldn't read through this book the first time.  My mind wasn't able to focus on Him.  I wasn't able to absorb the message He needed for me to have. I needed to be stable. 

I love that I truly do feel/know the Fruits of the Spirit.  That I am living life as I go - for Him.  In all things.  Perhaps that is why I am finding myself so excited about this Thanksgiving.  That He is filling me up, even though Nichalas and Amber aren't here with us, with my the rest of my "family".  Filling this home to celebrate Him!

I am able to see His "1000 gifts"............

Start counting yours

and never stop.





Sunday, November 18, 2012

"Blended or not" - ‎11/18/12 - Acts 18:24-19:20, 1 Corinthians 1:1-3:23

"Curiosity about Paul developed into reverence for the Master Jesus."(Acts 19:18)

I wonder if my life, my choices make people curious.  When I am looked at, is there something different about me?  Do I stand out in the world because I am different? 

Or do I blend in?

And then if I am looked at - do they see Christ and not me?  It states that, "curiosity about Paul DEVELOPED into REVERENCE for the MASTER JESUS". 

DEVELOPED REVERENCE MASTER JESUS. 

Am I a vessel for His light that He is using to draw others to Him - to see Him?  Are my words, actions, thoughts, a reflection of Him for all to see. 

I keep going back in my head to the verse, "the harvest is plentiful, the workers are few".  How am I working?  Do I set my own hours, working only when I feel like it?  Am I on vacation? Am I retired?  Have I been promoted from where I started out? 

Am I at the point where when others see me - they don't.

They see Master Jesus.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

"God willing" - ‎11/17/12 - 1 Thessalonians 5:12-28, 2 Thessalonians 1:1-3:18, Acts 18:4-23

“I’ll be back, God willing.”(Acts 18:21)

Am I being selfish?  Yes, most times. 

So often I will state about doing something, or an event happening, and not add, "God willing". 

God brought to mind Adam's trip - I prayed with others that God would deliver him home - here on earth.  I often pray for a hedge of protection to be about those I love - so no harm may come to them.  Asking that God will keep them safe.

I have been struggling with this way of praying - I am recognizing how selfish I am.  I am wanting them to remain here with me.  It is such a blessing knowing that Curt and our kids are His - so I do know - without a doubt - where they will be eternally.

Selfishly, I am not wanting their eternity to begin quite yet.  What I am really praying for is that God's will is based on my time schedule in taking them to their real home - with Him.  I do confess - I have a great fear of Curt and the kids dying before me.

Why? Because it's more about my heart's will - of not letting go - holding on tightly.

So, is that really loving them more than myself?  Am I really praying for what is best for them?  Sure - I can/do try to justify my selfish prayers by even throwing up, "so they can do more work for you".  In my heart I do desire that all they do will glorify Him, but an even greater part is that I want that while they are here with me. 

The struggle between His will/my will continues.  Even Christ struggled with this in the garden.  Thankfully, He submitted to God's will.  I am so thankful He is convicting my heart to follow His will more often - drawing me closer to Him - holding me accountable.  Showing me that His will is the way that works.  That there is no greater role model to pattern myself after than my Lord and Savior.  For the gift of the Holy Spirit and His Word to listen and be guided by. 

God vs self.

Interesting note:  Selfishness has the base word "self"................


Friday, November 02, 2012

‎Grow on.... - 11/02/12 - Matthew 26:57-27:10, Mark 14:53-15:1, Luke 22:54-71, John 18:25-27

Peter said, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed.

Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter.

Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.(Luke 22:60-62)



Today's Scriptures states that, "Peter followed, but at a safe distance"(54). 

He never lost his focus on Christ  - until it was spoken that he also was with Christ. 

At that point his focus changed.  It settled on himself and he went into a defensive, self protection mode not letting God take care of him.  He stood away from Christ - as did Judas.  The difference in these two is that Peter's focus went back to Christ.  "At that very moment, the last word hardly off his lips, a rooster crowed. Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter."(61).  It doesn't say their eyes met across the crowd, but I feel they did - for Peter then remembered.  "He went out and cried and cried and cried".

Guilt.  Grief.  Brokenness. 

And after his brokenness came rebuilding. 

At times we don't think He is aware or even involved with what is going on, being so caught up in our lives we forget He is all knowing, all seeing, everywhere at one time.  We begin to live life focused on self. 

And then we see Him looking at us. 

We need accountability - it causes repentance, turning away from sin, following closer to Him. The guilt can either convict us to change or consume us to such a point of being stuck. Our choice. You can either be overwhelmed and broken down by the burden of guilt

or accept what Christ did on The Cross and grow on.  Casting  the  burden into His waiting Shoulders - learning from it - gleaning from it for your journey ahead. 

 It all goes back to our focus.

In New Testament times, capital punishment was sometimes carried out by tying a murder victim's body directly onto the perpetrator's back. Wherever he went he was literally weighed down by his crime, with no way to escape the stench of decomposing flesh. Eventually the bacteria-filled corpse infected him too, and he died an agonizing death - as we will also die when taking on guilt.  

Peter broke down.

But he didn't turn away as Judas did - he sought out forgiveness and left the burden of guilt at Christ feet. Christ is designed to handle our burdens - we are not. It will consume us - it will break us - it will slowly rob life from us - as it did Judas. He never refocused on Christ, "Then he went out and hung himself". (Matt 27:5)  

You can slowly die from the burden of guilt or grow on in Him. 

Grow on so He may use you and all that has happened in your life.  Your mistakes, your sins, your everything - for His glory. 

It's your free choice.

no guilt intended...........

 


‎"Friend" - 11/01/12 - Matthew 26:36-56, Mark 14:32-42, Luke 22:39-53, John 18:1-24


Immediately Judas went to Jesus and said, “Hail, Rabbi!” and kissed Him.  And Jesus said to him, Friend, do what you have come for.”(Matthew 26:49)







I have always been amazed at this verse.  Jesus knew, He knew that Judas was full of satin, yet called him, "friend".  He allowed him to kiss Him. 

All the while - He knew. 

As I read this verse throughout the years, I put Judas into a box all by himself.  Until realizing that a sin is a sin and any sin separates us from God, I never felt I was the same as Judas.  Yes, in my life I have sinned.  Many a time - and will continue - I am human.  The battle to serve God or self will not end until my last breath.  But - I never felt I sinned as much as Judas. 

And I have. 

And I will.

Again, I stand amazed at my Christ.  Knowing what He did - and still - He loved Judas.  He always reached out to Judas in love, grace, and mercy.  Judas rejected - not Christ.  And Judas was the one who sinned.  Not Christ. 

Then He puts into my heart and mind, "Deby, who are you not to extend love, grace, and mercy - to everyone.  Who has betrayed you in such a way that Judas betrayed me?  When did you go to the Cross?" 

And I fall to His feet - humbled.  I pray for those when looking at me to see Him - not me.  I pray for Him to remove any sin from my heart.  I pray that I may be Christlike to all - and yet........

There are times when I hang on to the bitterness and anger.  Knowing that it hurts my Daddy and delights satin.  I am listening and heeding the urging of The Spirit more than not.  I am releasing that which is sin and focusing on Him.  I am having faith that He will take care of those who cause me harm.  I am seeing things through His eyes - the spiritual battle and not taking things so personal - making it all about me. 

I am learning to let go and let God. 

I am learning to call all, "Friend", praying that they may know Him.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

‎For always - 10/31/12 - John 15:18-17:26

 
Christ prayer - for me...........for you. 
 
In His heart before we ever were......for always.......
 
"I’m praying not only for them
But also for those who will believe in me
Because of them and their witness about me.
The goal is for all of them to become one heart and mind—
Just as you, Father, are in me and I in you,
So they might be one heart and mind with us.
Then the world might believe that you, in fact, sent me.
The same glory you gave me, I gave them,
So they’ll be as unified and together as we are—
I in them and you in me.
Then they’ll be mature in this oneness,
And give the godless world evidence
That you’ve sent me and loved them
In the same way you’ve loved me.
 Father, I want those you gave me
To be with me, right where I am,
So they can see my glory, the splendor you gave me,
Having loved me
Long before there ever was a world.
Righteous Father, the world has never known you,
But I have known you, and these disciples know
That you sent me on this mission.
I have made your very being known to them—
Who you are and what you do—
And continue to make it known,
So that your love for me
Might be in them.  (John 17:20-26)

Monday, October 29, 2012

When I am Judas - ‎10/29/12 - Matthew 26:1-5, 14-30, Mark 14:1-2, 10-26, Luke 22:1-30, John 13:1-30

"Judas, with the piece of bread, left. It was night."(John 13:30)

The last thing that Christ gave him, a piece of bread.  I imagine the gentleness, love that Christ had as He handed it to Judas.  Telling Him, "“What you must do,” said Jesus, “do. Do it and get it over with.”(27).  How just before this He dipped it into the wine which represented His blood.....

I wonder what Judas did with this last gift.  Did he fling it away from him in disgust, anger, fear, as soon as he was outside?  Or did he carry it in his hand, forgotten, in his haste to betray Christ.  Stuffing it into his pocket and finding it later - wadded up, dried or moldy.  Did it bring to mind Christ face, His hand as He handed him this last gift. 

My heart breaks when I read - "left.  It was night." 

So often after a time of communion with Him, eating the bread and drinking the juice that represents His body and blood, I too have "left".  I go from day to night in my thoughts or actions - sometimes both.  I know that satan cannot enter into me, as I am full of the Holy Spirit being in His covenant, but still I sin.  I share in communion with Him, leaning upon His breast as His favorite disciple did, and then "left" is my choice.  I so hate that about myself.  I so know that I cause deep grief and pain to His heart in some of my choices.  I so know that sometimes I reach into my pocket and find His gift wadded up.....and am reminded.  

I see His face, His hands, look into His eyes as He is on the cross.  I see His overwhelming love and am driven to tears.  I feel that love wash over me - and my heart falls into repentance - again.  I feel His light change my night to day.  And again I am in communion with Him.  I praise Him so much for His grace and mercy.  For His unconditional love.   

 “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.”(Luke 22:15-16)

How He "looks forward" to being with me in communion - when I am totally focused on Him. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

‎Reckless - 10/23/12 - Matthew 26:6-13, 21:1-11, Mark 14:3-9, 11:1-11, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:1-36

"In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is, destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal."(John 12:25)


Forgiveness God's way - when thought about from a human perspective doesn't make sense.  We think that revenge, defensiveness, rightful anger, cutting a person off, are the way to retaliate to someone who has hurt us. 

I recognize today that many of the people who offend me are acutally pressing buttons that sometimes have nothing to do with the moment.  I am also recognizing that the reason there is even a human reaction to the "pushing of these buttons", is because I haven't completely forgiven. 

Amazing how much power something can be given by holding onto it. 

In the past year, through events that have occured in my life, God is teaching me.  Making me face issues that I haven't forgiven.  He has thrown back the rug that I have been sweeping the pain, anger, bitterness under.  Thinking they are hidden by my smile, my clinging to the Word - and they aren't.  God has a way of allowing us to walk around or over the bump in the rug - for awhile.  Then He has us deal with it - His time, His way. 

Most times His ways don't make much sense - they are opposite of everything we think is the "right way".  The way to protect us.  His ways seem to leave us even more vulnerable, more exposed.  But - when you follow His ways - there is true freedom in Him. 

But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

 Legalism is helpless in bringing this about; it only gets in the way. Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good—crucified."(Galatians 5:22-23)

I realize the way I try to hold onto "my" ways are killing my life for what it could be when living His way. I am literally choking the life out of life - much like holding water in the palm of my hand.  It still seeps away until nothing is left.  My clinging to the past of cherished moments, putting my identity in position, wife, mother, beauty instead of Him has been stunting my growth in Him.  Holding onto not forgiving has been hardening my heart, creating bitterness, anger, self-righteousness and self pride. 

In these past few months, I have decided to let go.  My prayer for years has been for Him to remove all evil from my heart - and He has/is.  How exciting for me to forgive.  It goes against everything I have believed worked and blows my mind the effect it has.  "But if you let it go, reckless in your love," - reckless in my love.  By cleaning my heart, becoming reckless, I am now loving and praying for those people who have hurt me - doing what doesn't seem normal or fair to me.  I want to be near them knowing that I may be the only vessel of Christ they are exposed to.  I want them to have a life In Him - to experience the fruits of the Spirit.  To truly live life.  To be intimate with Him.  It is amazing how living His way really is true love - a love that keeps growing and consuming my heart.

And knowing with everything I am it is a love  "I’ll have it forever, real and eternal"

Monday, October 22, 2012

"Sisters" - 10/22/12 - Matthew 20:1-34, Mark 10:32-52, Luke 19:28-44, John 12:1-36

Jesus said, “What can I do for you?”
The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”
 "On your way,” said Jesus. “Your faith has saved and healed you.”
In that very instant he recovered his sight and followed Jesus down the road.(Mark 10:51-52)

My deepest prayer, my deepest wish - is that when people look at me - it isn't me they see, but Him.  My Lord, my Savior, my Love.

After a weekend spent totally worshiping Him, focused totally on Him, surrounded by sisters in Him, my heart is tender.  My eyes well up with tears as emotions are yielding eagerly to Him - thinking about the words of wisdom, encouragement, excitement while sharing dreams, thoughts - seeing in my mind Christ brightly shining through the faces of those I so love. 

It was a wonderful weekend.  The conference was great.  The food - could eat some now!  But - it was the time spent around tables, time spent in the van, time spent sitting up late (or early depends on how you look at 2am), that touched my heart the most and caused another growth spurt In Him. 

I love how He holds me accountable through His family - their words - how their compassion and love drips all over.  I love how they are not judgemental, self-righteous, sharing wisdom gleaned from being - and I mean being - in His Word.  How He realigns my vision to focus on Him and not me. 

I love how listening to their hearts lay open and revealing puts my trials and tribulations into perspective.  Listening to how they walked through their valleys with Him and learned to let Him carry them, lean on Him, and become stronger for Him.  Learning from them. 

I love how I have prayed “Rabbi, I want to see.” and how He answered.

"On your way,” - as I go about living.

said Jesus. “Your faith has saved and healed you.”

following Jesus down the road - in a van with my sisters............






Wednesday, October 17, 2012

In Everything - ‎10/17/12 - Luke 12:35-13:21, John 9:1-41

 Jesus said, “You’re looking right at Him. Don’t you recognize my voice?”
  “Master, I believe,” the man said, and worshiped Him.(John 9:37-38)

I am so very thankful that I know His voice.  Even during the years I wasn't a Christian, I heard His voice - and did not submit to Him.  I was looking right at Him, yet through Him.

I can remember being in a drunken or drug induced stupor and feeling so lost.  so empty. in such a dark, dark place.  a bottomless pit. a void.  and hearing a whisper.

Looking back now, I know it was Him.

I am so thankful I no longer abide in that place of not being intimate with Him.  That He has filled the void and no longer do I turn to alcohol, drugs, men.

That I turn to Him. 

I love that I worship Him.  That I see Him everywhere.  That I praise Him for the beauty and joy of life.  For my husband.  our children.  healed relationships.  forgiveness.  the fruits of the Spirit. 

Yesterday, while working I lifted my face up to be kissed by His leaves falling gracefully in their splendid colors to the ground.  I smiled while watching them get caught up in a whirlwind, reflecting their colors in the sunshine, as they danced. 


My Father is so awesome. 

The last thing I remember before falling asleep last night was thanking Him for blessing us with a home surrounded by woods.  For His sounds of singing through the insects, animals, wind and trees coming through the open window. 

For the sound of my husband breathing beside me. 

How blessed and thankful that I recognize His voice in all that He surrounds me with. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

"‎Vomit up" - 10/10/12 - John 6:22-71, Mark 7:1-23, Matthew 15:1-20

Jesus replied, “You, too? Are you being willfully stupid? Don’t you know that anything that is swallowed works its way through the intestines and is finally defecated? But what comes out of the mouth gets its start in the heart. It’s from the heart that we vomit up evil arguments, murders, adulteries, fornication's, thefts, lies, and cussing. That’s what pollutes. Eating or not eating certain foods, washing or not washing your hands—that’s neither here nor there.”(Matthew 15:16-20)

Fruit of self. 

What we really are inside comes out - can't hide it forever.  Even if only at home - your children will be what you really are - they learn from example. 

God sees all, knows all.  You could go to the grave fooling mankind, but not God.  Some people who are "so good" all their lives, change when older.  I really don't think they have changed  - too old to keep up the false cover or they no longer care or no longer can hide what they really are. 

Taking the high road - His road - has helped me in the process of letting go, forgiving and moving on.  So thankful that my heart has the fruits of the spirit and it is replacing the rotten fruit that is inside of me. 

Vomiting up that which is not of Him - purging me - making me clean. 

Not a very pretty picture - but a necessity of life - if I want my fruit to be of Him.  Cutting out the cancer to save me. 

"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
 And see if there be any evil way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way."(Psalm 139:23-24)

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

"Mommy dearest" - 10/09/12 - Matthew 14:1-36, Mark 6:14-56, Luke 9:7-17, John 6:1-21

"Already coached by her mother, she was ready: “Give me, served up on a platter, the head of John the Baptizer.”(Matthew 14:8)

 
Whenever I read this scripture, I find myself wondering what kind of life Herodias’s daughter ended up having.  Did she have nightmares?  Was her heart so hardened by that time, that what she did catapulted her into an even more sin filled life?  Or did God touch her heart and break the cycle her mom began? 

Society has taken away the importance of the family unit over the past generations.  I know that all of us are different and there are some women who feel it is more important to have a career outside of the home.  In our case, I was too selfish.  I didn't want to arrive at a door to pick up my sons and hear of their "first" from someone I had chosen to take care of them.  We made it our priority for me to stay home and sacrifices were made.  There were many years that we barely made it, pulling in a $13,000 for our annual income.  I was able to supplement Curt's income by running a daycare and when the boys were both in school I began cleaning houses and mowing yards as well.  Anything to be able to be a stay-at-home mom.Thankfully, Curt felt as strongly as I did about this.  He too sacrificed. 

Looking back it makes me cry of the many screw ups I did as a mommy.  I mean that literally.  It breaks my heart knowing that I wasn't the best mommy I could have been because I was too focused on me and not God.  How very thankful I am that God is so much bigger than my mistakes!  I am so thankful too, that the main thing I knew and made the most important priority, was to teach the boys about God and His Word.  From the moment He gave me Adam, my heart was changed.  I knew to my inner most being that I must introduce them to Him.  To know Him intimately.  And looking back, I know this was all God, because I didn't know Him intimately then.  He drew me into His arms and heart through our sons.  And He also drew Curt in. 

I go back to thinking about Herodias and what kind of mom she was.  Training her daughter to dance seductively - was that all?  Was she also willing to give over her daughter's body if needed?  Probably.  Herodias was all about herself.  She saw her daughter as a tool for getting what she wanted.  She had no thought or concern about her daughter's well being.  I think about so many mothers out there today that are the same.  In our world there are so many children being used in the sex trade.  Some women choose to have children on purpose to be used as money tickets from the government, drugs, a tool to "keep a man" or to carry out their sinful ideas. Molding their children to carry on the sinful cycle. 

So far removed from how God intended children to be treated. 

I often pray for mothers to become "mommies".  I so feel that a healthy family unit is part of the progress needed to help make our society healthy again.  Introducing children to an intimate relationship with God.  The time around the supper table with each other, talking, listening and sharing each other- without the distractions of the world - aka phones, TV, books, computers,etc.   Making the home a safe haven from the world.  A building tool for a healthy foundation.  To give God the glory in any situation they are in and make Him the center of their world.  It scares me knowing there are many "Herodias's" training up children in this world - until I remember my Father is in control.  That He is bigger than anything/anyone. 

Last night I was watching about children being stolen by Joseph Kony in Uganda (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/9006024/ns/dateline_nbc/t/children-war-uganda/ - a must read) and wonder what type of mother Kony had.  He imagines he’s a reincarnation of Jesus and calls his group “The Lord’s Resistance Army.”  It makes me wonder as America becomes further and further from God, what will prevent something like this from happening here?  I don't blame all sinful choices people make on their parents.  There comes a time when we make our own choices based on our own decisions.

But, I can't help but see how some women have taken such an important role and responsibility and lessened it on their priority list.  Time goes too fast, too soon.  There aren't any "do overs".  Once those moments have passed - they are gone.  I pray that the women whose eyes aren't opened to how precious the gift of a child is - will be.  That they will see how very important their role is in being the beginning of training up not only their own children, but her future generations.

I pray that they will be "mommies of God". 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

On the prowl - Mark 1:12-13, Matthew 4:1-11, Luke 4:1-15, John 1:19-2:25

Next Jesus was taken into the wild by the Spirit for the Test. The Devil was ready to give it. Jesus prepared for the Test by fasting forty days and forty nights. That left him, of course, in a state of extreme hunger, which the Devil took advantage of in the first test: “Since you are God’s Son, speak the word that will turn these stones into loaves of bread.”

Jesus answered by quoting Deuteronomy: “It takes more than bread to stay alive. It takes a steady stream of words from God’s mouth.”
(Matthew 4:1-3)


 
I was "chewing" on today's reading while running errands.  I feel this is probably the strongest example of how essential it is to utilize God's Word in all of the Bible.  Christ didn't bring out a sword, or order His army of angels to win over satan - He simply used God's Word. 

Just as Christ was in the desert, so are we.  As we proceed in our journey through this wasteland called "the world" onto our home in Heaven, we too are often in a state of extreme hunger and exhaustion.  We are made in His image.  He created us to have one on one communication and life with Him.  I don't know if I would have done exactly what Eve did, probably.  But, it caused His perfect plan to change.  Death and separation came into the world.  And also a void.  A void that only He can fill.  Without Him as the center of our life, we are going through the motions of living while in extreme hunger.  I have been reading through His Word every year since 1998. It shames me that even though I am in His Word almost every single day, I still let self be my god. 

Times when I decide my words are smarter, cause more pain.  When I feel life isn't fair - which often it is not - and take up my words in revenge.  Three different times in the scriptures today satan tempted Christ.  And each time He quoted God's Word.  Each time.  Not a sermon - just a verse.  Just a fact.  Just truth.  It was all about God.  Nothing about Himself, His own glory.  All about His Father - my Father.  The many times God doesn't make sense I have learned to not wonder "why", but to just "do it" His way.  When we are at our weakest - He is at "our" strongest.  Rely on Him, not self. 

Again, all that Jesus used to fight back was God's Word.  How well do I "know" it?  How much of it is tucked into my heart at the ready?  How often do I fight back with it?  satan/self like to fool us into believing that when we are at our weakest - we are the most vulnerable.  And satan is there, like a lion on the prowl, watching, waiting, knowing that we will become weak from hunger of not being fed by God's Word.  He will and does attack.   Because when you are His, satan never has you out of his sites. 

Never.

But, neither does God.  The one that is in control.  All knowing, all powerful.  Already won.  That's my Daddy.  The one who sent a personal love letter to me called the Bible. 

The love letter with the "secret code" to fight the battles while in the desert and to come out on the winning side. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Machete = wrong turn - ‎09/25/12 - Luke 1:39-2:40, Matthew 1:18-25

"Glory to God in the heavenly heights,
Peace to all men and women on earth who please him."(Luke 2:14)

Since deciding to take the "high road", I have felt the true joy and peace that can only come from God.  What a blessing to experience this instead of the heaviness, dark, sick feeling that comes with bitterness, anger, and revenge.  Which always comes when I decide to take "my road". 

Even with all the good intentions, intimacy I feel with God after worship time, how quickly I can slip.  Yesterday, after writing and praying in thanksgiving for Curt, even right up to walking out to the truck, I changed course.  He offended me and I became defensive.  Very defensive. 

So much for taking the "high road".

So much for visualizing about being on the mountain, winding my way to the top.  There I was going off into the brush, using my tongue as my machete to knock down anything in my path.  Including my husband.  Why do I do that?  It isn't easy to walk His way all the time, but it is far easier than trying to get through all the obstacles of the "self" road.  The destructive obstacles. 

How thankful I am that God takes time to knock me up side the head and kick me in the arse - putting me back in the direction of the "high road".  It's still my choice, but He isn't about to let me go without a fight on His part - or to walk alone.  He is always with me.  We both know it's all about self/satan wanting to be god instead of Him.  And there are times, often times, that I have to live through the consequences. 

Thankfully, He is at the center of Curt and me.  Harsh words turned into prayers with each other.  Turned into gentle words of love, lifting each other up and apologies.  Only because of Him.  Through Him. 

I think about how my heart has been singing since loving those who offend me to Christ, instead of lashing out in defense.  How He is changing my heart to pray for others outside of Him, my eyes to see that they are lost souls, opening my ears, mind, heart to love as He does.  Not taking everything personal (as often) and seeing this for what it is - spiritual warfare.

I feel, see, know that pleasing Him brings peace.

It's that "mountain top" experience that comes with taking the high road........



Monday, September 10, 2012

My Truth Hero - 09/10/12 - Daniel 10:1-12:13, Ezra 4:24-5:1, Haggai 1:1-15

He said, ‘Don’t be afraid, friend. Peace. Everything is going to be all right. Take courage. Be strong.’(Daniel 10:19)

Do it just for me. Honor me.(Haggai 1:8)


The ongoing battle of focusing on Him or me. 

Struggling with my place as a mom again and my place as a warrior for Him.  Feeling like I really don't matter.  Desire a closer family, more calls, more time, more words.  Just so miss being more of a part of their lives.  Is that wrong?  Keep thinking about the saying, love something and set it free - if it comes back it was yours to begin with. 

Sometimes, I feel like pulling back completely just to see if they'll call me, miss me, want me in their lives.  Hard to hold back the tears. Tired of putting into this relationship and not getting back.  Tired of having my heart hurt.  I just want a close family unit. 

And then He lets me see that when in my pity party - my vision isn't accurate.  He brings into my focus how many, many times He put into our relationship and I rejected/neglected Him.  How He always has/is there for me....He never rejected me.  How much more He has invested into our relationship and I haven't any right to whine as I do about earthly relationships that "aren't fair".  He lets me see that they are busy living life, it isn't out of neglect that they don't call more often.  It isn't that they don't miss me.  He helps me see that I am taking things waaaay too personal.  I am directing everything toward me. 

They are happy - they are where He needs them to be planted at this time.  They are what they are today because not only of Him and their dad, but also because of their mom....me.

He brings to mind the many, many times they do show and tell how they love and miss me.  The many, many memories planted in my heart of the hugs, laughter, kisses, looks, time spent - that I am important to them. 

They walk with God.  They are independent.  They are providing for themselves.  They are happy and well adjusted.  They have goals, plans and are striving to live them out.  Would I rather they were living at home, dependent on us - no. 

Just wish there was a better balance between the two.

I am thinking that my 53rd birthday coming up next month, obvious signs of summer coming to an end, my mom turning 71.  That this time of having your children be adults and having their own lives - it really sucks at times.  Leaves me feeling confused about my place in their lives. 

Events that are signaling that time is marching on are really playing on my heart. 

Too fast, too soon. 

Thanking Him for His verses today - that not once, but twice He tells me not to be afraid - that He knows my hearts desires -  that all will be more than okay - it will be all right.  To take courage in Him - to be strong in Him.  and lastly -

Stop focusing on me.  Focus on Him - that all I do - including being a mom - do it all for Him.  For His honor - not mine.  To let go and stay strong in His promises.  To stop taking everything so personal.  It isn't all about me. 

My job isn't finished as a mom - the responsibilities have changed and I am adjusting.  With Him as my leader.  My friend.  My Daddy.  My teacher.  My Helper.

The truth is in Him. His Words. His promises. 

‘don’t be afraid. From the moment you decided to humble yourself to receive understanding, your prayer was heard, and I set out to come to you.(Daniel 10:12)

"and I set out to come to you."



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Inside out - 08/23/12 - Ezekiel 24:15-25:17, 29:1-16, 30:20-31:18, Jeremiah 34:1-22, 21:1-14

"But your sins will eat away at you from within" (Ezekiel 24:23)

Truth - it always, always, prevails.  You can try and bury it, deny it, twist it around- yet it always comes out. 

That is the way it works with our hearts too.  What we have inside of them, will come out.   You can see it in our expressions, the lines/wrinkles that are formed by the face we wear.  Your eyes, the window to your soul become hardened, pained, full of sorrow, happiness.  Some persons wear their feelings on their sleeve.   Others bury them deep and pretend that life is a bowl of cherries.

And some persons, call themselves "Christians", but their hearts belong to self/satan.  And what you are inside will overtake your life - your whole being. 

I love the saying, "just because you sit in a pew doesn't make you a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car".  

One of our questions in group last night was, "if you are done with sin".  No way!  But, even though my heart still struggles with sinning - it's different now.  Before I didn't care if I hurt God.  Now, the Holy Spirit and His Word convicts me.  My "Christian family" holds me accountable.  All of these elements help me to grow - to walk away from sin.  Thankfully, I am growing and some things that used to tempt me, no longer do.  That doesn't mean that self/satan aren't right there throwing other sins in my path!

He promises, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as man can bear: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation make also the way of escape, that ye may be able to endure it." (I Corinthians 10:13) 

It is my choice what to put into my heart, my life. 

The truth will set you free - no longer a slave to sin. There are not enough words to describe the feeling of knowing I am free from the cancer of sin eating away at me from the inside out. 

I pray that when I am seen, I shine because of Him totally taking over my heart, soul and mind.