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 ( - 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".