Saturday, August 31, 2013

"The Lord's Army" - 05/03/13 - 1 Chronicles 23:1-25:31

"They were on regular duty to serve God according to their assignment and the required number." (23:31)

All that David was doing, in delegating the people, was centered around God. 

Much different than our country and so many other places in the world.  If I didn't know God was in total control, that He has my back, that I am in the Palm of His Hand, I would be afraid.  Afraid of the consequences our country is facing, and going to face, because of the choices the leaders, elected by the people, are making. 

Today is our Nichalas' 25th birthday and I wonder what this world will be like when he is my age. 

I am so thankful our whole family is part of His army, knowing we are part of the hope for the future.  There is nothing new under the sun, and life goes through regular cycles.  I love knowing our children have chosen to be His Disciples and His Army is continuing to grow.  I love there is hope in this dark world and our children are a part of that hope. 

I am honored, for most of their lives, they have allowed themselves to be His Vessels. 

In the past six months, it is alarming how rapidly our country is spiraling downward.  How quickly the forces of evil are making things which before have been tolerated, now openly approved of.  How the sins of the world are becoming the normal and the ways of God have been "black listed". 

History shows us that throughout time, a empire will kill itself from within, when ruled by sin. 

As we are being ruled by sin.

The ones in charge become so overloaded with self power, they crush and destroy the ones who are under them.  Sinners, who believe their way of life is the way for all, end up being killed by the very sins they are pushing to "become".  They are pushing their rights, all the while stepping over and trampling ours. 

Prayer in schools - out. 

"In God we trust" becoming out on the money. 

Ten Commandments displayed in a courthouse - out. 

God's ways being taught in schools - out. 

God's family order - a minority. 

People upholding human life over animals. 

Wars raging throughout the lands. 

The cancer of sin is spreading throughout our world.  It is not a silent killer anymore.  It is blatant in rearing its ugly head, intent on destroying anything and anyone that walks in God. 

The spiritual battle is plain to see - are you looking? 

Are you taking a stand "in" Him?  Are you putting on His Armor every day, ready to fight?  Not only for the Army of God, but for those who are lost outside of Him. 

This is why we are here - to go as we live and make Disciples.  We each have different gifts and talents, are you using them for His glory?  or are you standing back, silently watching evil unfold its dark wings?

To fight this cancer of sin, we need to be on regular duty to serve God according to our assignment.


Friday, August 30, 2013

"A Pinch" - 05/02/13 - 2 Samuel 24:1-25, 1 Chronicles 21:1-22:19

"I’m not going to offer God, my God, sacrifices that are no sacrifice.” (2 Samuel 24:24)

An emotional giver – that is me. 

I get caught up in the highs and feel like giving everything to save the world.  At least I am cautious and check out what I am giving towards.  Curt has helped me realize I need to pray about the issue and then follow His lead. 
I used to give monies until I felt a “little” pinch  because I didn’t have faith that He would provide.  Even when I knew, without a doubt, He provides.  During the downward spiral of the economy, our business has continued to grow.  Right now, we are so behind! 
We have finally comprehended that tithing isn’t only about the money, it includes our time and services too.  And now, we have grown more in living and believing everything is His.  He is getting us out of our "comfort zone" - to truly sacrifice. 

Before He transformed my heart, I did it for my glory.  I wanted that “pat on the back” and the recognition. 
Then God could have His glory. 
There is a saying, “you can’t out give God”.  I find this so true and so hard to live by during the times I slip back into gaining security in material things.  How foolish is that! 

Now I continue to strive to give, regardless of what is needed, what He has placed in our hearts for His family.

           Beyond that “little pinch”. 

"Targeted" - 05/01/13 - 2 Samuel 22:1-51, Psalm 18

"You saved me from the bullies.
    That’s why I’m thanking you, God,
    all over the world." (Psalm 18:48)

In becoming more Christlike, which the world views as a weakness, bullies tend to target those persons even more.  It amazes me the arrogance bullies have, which is often a cover for their own weaknesses. 

There is an art to being a bully.  They have manipulation and lying down to a science, turning things around so the victim is often the one who is blamed.  They have a power.  Often creating a cast of puppets, their own personal army, to help carry out their acts over those they have set their sites on.  They also use their own measuring stick and double standards to rule over their little empire. 

The bullies make themselves king or queen.

I can recall many incidents in my past, in which I felt scared, alone, helpless, defensive, wronged, angry, controlled, and powerless.  The manipulation and lies that came from the bullies, resulted in my being beat, ganged up on, threatened, ridiculed, and being the scapegoat from something I didn't do. 

My words in defense were cast aside, the bully was believed to speak in Truth. 

Even when their fruits proved otherwise. 

Even when they were actually caught in their lie. 

For some reason, their "puppets" choose not to see the evidence of truth.

God helped me see that I was doubting the fact that He was bigger than any of my bullies.  In ways I used to stand in fear, I now stand in Godfidence.  My faith has grown to trust Him in all situations.  His Spirit enables me to see myself In His Light, when I am surrounded by the darkness of bullies. 

Before God transformed my heart and vision, I felt I needed to change.  To become whatever the bullies wanted me to be, so that I would be accepted.  So that I would not be a target. 

He has caused me to recognize so many things about bullies.  Whatever I did or how I changed, it would never be enough for the bully to be satisfied.  It was their power they had over me.  I would have to become their puppet - I would have to give up standing in His Truth and stand in their lies.  Often times, when they attack, I am reminded of a barking dog.  Some will bite if you stand up to them, but most often they turn and run with their tail between their legs. 

God has given me His Armor in which I dress myself in every day.  He has taken away from me the desire to belong or please the bully and their army. 

I am so thankful that He has taken away my fear of them. 

No longer do they hold any - any - power over me. 

"Dehumanizing" - 04/30/13 - 2 Samuel 19:31-21:22, Psalm 7, 1 Chronicles 20:4-8

"The woman told Joab, “Sounds good. His head will be tossed to you from the wall.”  The woman presented her strategy to the whole city and they did it: They cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and tossed it down to Joab."  (2 Samuel 20:21,22)

Life and people are so far removed from the Garden of Eden - God's original plan before sin was chosen.

There is so much tolerance today – of what seems "normal", therefore, we become numb to the hugeness of sin,  the destruction.  How it becomes nothing to "cut off someone’s head".  How much we have dehumanized people with the act of abortions, how we treat the elderly, homeless, those who are different. 
Each one of us are made in His image.  His treasure.  His desire. 
Each one of us.
The standards so many live by are not His, but their own, and often double standards at that.  Constantly changing as they judge, condemn, and even kill, because someone is not living as they deem they "should" be. 
His pure Love is not what most persons are looking through - it is self-love.

These people are given much power and I wonder why?  How did they arrive at the station of where they are at? 

So many of these destroyers are self-righteous, deciding who is a treasure,  who has a worth, even who is worthy of forgiveness, with no regard to God and His ways.  No fear for His punishment.  

My heart breaks for what breaks His.  How far away so many people have went from Him.

And He tells me my heart has to watch that I do not dehumanize the dehumanizers -  becoming like them

 The state of so many people today, are cutting off their own heads and tossing them before satan.  

Committing suicide to side with the side of sin.

Dehumanizing because "they" believe they are god.


"Why would you want to mess with God’s legacy like that?” (2 Samuel 20:19)

"So Many" - 04/29/13 - 2 Samuel 17:15-19:30, Psalm 3, 63

God—you’re my God!
    I can’t get enough of you!
I’ve worked up such hunger and thirst for God,
    traveling across dry and weary deserts.
So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open,
    drinking in your strength and glory.
In your generous love I am really living at last!
    My lips brim praises like fountains.
I bless you every time I take a breath;
    My arms wave like banners of praise to you. (Psalm 63:1-4)

Because you’ve always stood up for me,
    I’m free to run and play.
I hold on to you for dear life,
    and you hold me steady as a post." (Psalm 63:7,8)

Sitting on the bench, I couldn’t help but smile, as I watched them. 


Of all ages. 

Parents swinging and dipping their babies toes down into it.  Little ones running, screaming, laughing as they ran through it, on this first warm day of spring.  I was sitting on a bench at the fountains.  Watching how different God has made each of us, not only in our looks, but our temperament. 
A beautiful little girl reminded me of a duck.  She was following another  little girl, mimicking her every move.  Even in holding up her “skirt”, while not wearing a skirt.  Never did that little hand unclasp the hem of her short tee shirt.  Wherever her leader went, she went also.  Whatever action, she was a perfect copy. 

The little boy made his way about the waters on his own.  Splashing whomever happened to be in his way.   Running through the water falls and squealing with delight, as he came through the other side completely soaked.  His mom soon joined in.  Not caring at all what she looked like to others.  They were in their own little world – delighting in it.
Four sisters ran from one end to the other, until one was completely soaked.  When they came over to their mom, who was sitting right beside me, her excitement quickly fizzled out.  Her mom was reprimanding her for “not thinking long term” and getting soaked.  She would have to ride in the car like that.  I wanted so badly to say, “pick your battles.  Your child will most likely remember getting “shoulded”, instead of the giggles, screams, and laughter the four of them had – getting soaked”.  I kept my mouth shut and prayed.

And continued to pray for all that I was watching.    
Wondering how many of them have an intimate relationship with God or even know His name.  I so want my fellow man to know Him.  All the thousands of persons I have been seeing today, I wonder.  I pray as I walk down the streets over them.  I may not meet them face to face, but I believe my Divine Appointment today was to pray over them.  I cannot contain my love for Him. 
Now, as I sit in Union Station waiting on my train, I look across the room.  There is a woman with two books in her lap, she is writing and turning pages back and forth.  One of those books is Her Bible.  Another woman sits two seats down from her, also studying her Bible.

Here in the middle of the city -  In the middle of the crowds - He is.

I continue to pray for those about me.

"Potatoes" - 04/28/13 - 2 Samuel 15:1-17:14

compared to that this Benjaminite is small potatoes." (16:11)

There are times when we come up against a piece of life and forget God is bigger than anything.  Or anyone.  These are the times we bend down and pick up Doubt, instead of picking up His Word.   Looking back behind us, the events we turned over to Him, which seemed so big at the time, are sometimes such a distant memory we have to really dig to remember. 

And though He is bigger than all, He wants us to give over to Him everything, even the small potatoes.  If not, we are in danger of becoming so full of "self" taking care of the "problem", we forget about Him.  We begin to rely and live on/for  "self" - until the next "big potato" comes along - then we run to Him for help.  Or become angry our "self" world has been invaded. 

To escape the trap of self-love our focus needs to be on Him continually, never doubting He will take care of us........

regardless of the size of the potatoes. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

“Creating Monsters” - 04/27/13 - 2 Samuel 12:26-14:33, 1 Chronicles 20:2-3

King David heard the whole story and was enraged, but he didn’t discipline Amnon. David doted on him because he was his firstborn. " (2 Samuel 13:21)

I have often wondered why David took the ostrich approach when it came to being a parent.   After her rape, she would have felt worthless, but to have her father not hold Amnon, her brother, her rapist, accountable, I don't know how she endured the pain.  The Scriptures show us often how favoritism corrupts the family unit which God created.  He didn’t intend for a parent to love or treat another child superior.   And when a parent does, it creates a monster.  The parent isn’t parenting, they are enabling.   These monsters are a breeding ground for manipulation, lying, division, and sin. 

I am sure that there have been times when those who are not favored or made the scapegoat, felt they would never get a break.  They grow accustomed to having the worst believed about them, and instructed their behavior must change to conform to those that are favored.  It sometimes seems how everyone is to treat the favored one, is much like holding court for royalty.
There is such comfort knowing He is bigger than anything or anyone.  And even when we are “raped” by favoritism, He is in control and His Truth will come out.   It is during those times we must remind ourselves, we are His favorites and unlike humans, He loves us all, nor does He rule with double standards.  He is our Caretaker, our Father.  I love how He is able to actually remove from our memories mountains we have come over, so we no longer have to "endure" the pain, but be free of it. 
Filling us with Him, His ways, His Words. 
Loving all of us as "His Favorite". 


Saturday, August 24, 2013

"Motions" - 04/26/13 - I Chronicles 3:5-9, 14:3-7, 20:1, 2 Samuel 5:14-16, 11:1-12:25, Psalm 51

"Going through the motions doesn’t please you,
    a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice." (Psalm 51:16-17)

She stood at one of the three sinks in the public bathroom.  The one in the corner.  Her stuff was piled on the floor beside her, level with the counter top.  In one hand was the remains of a dirty rag and the other held a small sample bottle of hand sanitizer.  Over and over she continued to wipe down the counter.  Wringing the remnant of the rag under the full force of the water.  When the bottle of sanitizer was empty, she held it under the water, until it was filled up.  At times, she would rest her weary head in her hands as she viewed what she was doing as a never ending job. 
Nichalas says Chicago is a place where you can never be alone, but is one of the loneliest cities in the world. 
She stood there with women surrounding her, the line snaked around and out the door, yet she was in her own world.  Talking to herself, mumbling words I could only pick up here and there.  The anxiousness and anxiety poured out of her eyes like the water pouring out of the faucet. 

Her actions brought to mind these verses.  Her “flawless performance” in cleaning the sink, was only smearing the unseen germs around on the counter top.  Over and over she was going through the motions, all the while using improper tools.  And when she was done, she let go a breath of relief.  Her pride in her work was momentary.  In her mind, she still saw the filth. 

Much as God does when we are trying to remove sin in our lives our way,  or just going through the motions. 

For a number of years, I have been praying that God will break my heart for what breaks His.  I have intentionally ignored the Holy Spirit, as He tapped my shoulder of conscience, while flapping my lips.  I have been so guilty of the sin of malice.  Even though I justified my sin with the fact I was telling ugly truth, it was in malice I was flinging the words about.  In my prideful way, I wanted to hurt as I have been hurt. 

My life has areas that are “heart-shattered”.  In being held accountable by a person who doesn’t care for me, I could have reacted either in defensiveness or in a Christ like manner.  Thankfully, I realized it wasn’t about the person, it was about Him.  I needed to confess, ask forgiveness, and repent to set my heart right "in" Him.  It didn’t depend on the reaction of the person.  Realizing I need to set healthy boundaries to keep my heart pure in Him.  I was trying to cover up issues by pretending or not standing in Truth. 
The setting up of healthy boundaries has brought about “heart shattered lives”.  It means that I cannot be a part of those that tear me down, trying to mold me into what they think I need to be, utilizing their own measuring sticks.  This has created a needed emptiness, brokenness in my heart  to fill and repair. 

With His love.