Thursday, January 30, 2014

"Stop to Look" - 01/30/14 - Exodus 1-3

God saw that he had stopped to look.(3:4)

In our women's Bible Study Tuesday night, we were studying these verses in regard to the name of our ABBA.  "I AM".  Right next to "ABBA", this has always been my favorite.  His being my "I AM" covers everything!  Every aspect of my life.  Blessings rain down upon me, my voids are filled, all trials and tribulations, "we" go through them together.  Every single breath I take in, exhale, are filled with HIM - my "I AM". 

As I studied this passage, He gave me a word picture.  I could see the burning bush on the side of the mountain, tucked a bit out of the way from where Moses was herding the sheep.  The flames had caught his eye, but the most important part of this  passage is, "he had stopped to look". 

And I was immediately hit in my heart, how often do I "stop to look"? 

Stop to look -  and see Him, in His Majesty, displaced everywhere about me? 

Stop to look -  and then draw close to "stand on Holy Ground"? 

Stop to look - and quiet my mind, my mouth, so I may hear and take in His Words? 

How often do I miss His "Burning Bush", as I hurry through "my schedule".

ABBA had the burning bush planted in one spot.  He didn't have it leaping about the landscape, trying to stop Him in his tracks.  I wonder if he would have resorted to this tactic, if Moses had continued on. 

I wonder how many "Burning Bushes" He has put before my steps, because I didn't stop? 

The "Burning Bushes" that are His "Divine Appointments".

I used to get upset because I couldn't cross off the items on "my" to do list because something (or someone) always came up and I had to switch off of the route "I" had planned out for the day.  Because of our line of work, winter is the best time to get caught up on things I had put off during our busy seasons.  Each year, I look forward to going through our home, reorganizing and purging, getting rid of "stuff" that is taking up spaces, not only in our closets, but in my life.  ABBA has become so much of my "I Am", I no longer need "stuff" to fill the voids in my life. 

No longer am I placing my worth in accumulations, no longer am I allowing the "stuff" in life to run my life.  It isn't that our home looks like a total mess, I am just becoming more and more convicted to simplify my life.  He has shown me throughout the years, many times over, life is fleeting.  He is changing my heart to live as though my next breath could be my last and I am striving to get our home, the business, shop, in order, so when my last breath does happen (and it will), Curt, Adam, Nichalas, Amber, and any others He puts into our family, are able to focus on each other - not the stuff. 

So, like Moses, instead of sheep, I am herding "stuff" out the door.  I am cleaning out the dust, creating bare spaces on the shelves, empty drawers, and loving it.  It is so refreshing and comes with the blessing of freedom.

Interruptions come and I have learned they are His Divine Appointments.  I now am excited to see what He has lined up for "our" day.

Yes, I am to be a good steward of our stuff.  But, not to let that become more important than the Burning Bush He has tucked away, or put into the middle of my path.  It motivates me to utilize the times He does give me, to be a better steward for the ridding of stuff. 

But, it isn't just about the physical aspect of my life either.  He places  the "Burning Bush" in my soul, my mind, my heart, as well.  It is so easy to get into my comfort zone, my routine, and easily miss out or even ignore the "Burning Bush".  The "Burning Bush" surrounded by Holy Ground.  The place where He wants me to be barefoot and totally focused on Him.  The place where He is my "I AM". 

The place where I need to live. 

It is only by living in the presence of His Burning Bush, that I am able to become all He has designed me to be.  It is there I have learned His Truth.  Where my heart has been transformed. 

He has filled me with the desire to always stop to look - for His "Burning Bush".

Monday, January 27, 2014

"Answered" - 01/26/14 - Genesis 41-41

"Not I, but God. (41:16)

All I did was pray.  At times, on my knees with my whole heart.  Moments between breaths, as I went about my day.  Hurriedly lifted up, when something reminded me.  At night, right before sleep, thinking of things I had forgotten "to do".  Not at all. 

How He brings me comfort.  Knowing and standing on The Promise - it isn't me.  It is His Holy Spirit who prays to Him from within me.  "Likewise the Spirit also helps our weakness: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought but the Spirit himself makes intercession for us with groaning's which cannot be uttered." (Romans 8:26)

That it is Him, not me. 

It was during communion today, He opened my eyes to look about and see.Are visitors allowed to take communion at North Church? 
                                                                                                        To see all His answered prayers. 

My husband and our oldest son, Adam, worshiping there with me.  Knowing at this same time, our Nichalas/Amber are also in their church, hundreds of miles away in Phoenix, worshiping.  A regular thing.  A lifestyle thing.  Not just pew sitters.  My "sisters" to my right.  Smiles, laughter, hugs.  A young father, with his daughter.  And his wife.  This couple we have been lifting up, for God to bring them back together.  Seeing a rebuilding going on.  A young couple serving communion.  My Stevie and Cody.  How a few years ago, there was just something about her, that captured my heart and I began to pray for her from a few pews back.  Not knowing her, except to say "hi".  Just rejoicing at watching from afar her smile and their total surrender of selves to our ABBA.  And today, they both still serve communion, but we no longer are "afar".  We are sharing life and hearts.  How they have taken ABBA's direction, started a Bible Study group, which our Adam is regularly attending.  Seeing another young man sitting ahead of me.  Shaun, who accepted an invite to our Bible Study group, and now brings a friend Carrie.  How ABBA has taken the dream Curt and I had and made it grow into the Family Bible Study it is.  Seeing women who He has brought me together with through Blog Through the Word, through Women's Ministry.  How much richer my life is.  Thinking of others who are answered prayers.  Their growth.  Their love.  How He shines through them. 

I love the time of  Communion.  Time to sit and reflect.  To thank and be blown away by His Awesomeness.  His answered prayers, no matter how I pray or don't pray. 

It is not I, but Him. 

"Breakout" - 01/25/14 - Gen 38-40

So she named him Perez (Breakout). (38:29)

Judah.  One of Jacob's sons.

I love how ABBA's Word encourages us.  How at times we have to read "the rest of the story", to see how Majestic He is.  To see how at all times, He is in control and uses all things for His Glory. 

The accounts of Jacob's sons focus mainly on Joseph.  "Come closer to me," Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. "I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt.  But don't feel badly, don't blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years - neither plowing nor harvesting.  God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance.  So you see, it wasn't you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt."  (45:4-8)

Naturally when you read of the great things God used Joseph to do, who represented Christ in being used to save the Israelites linage, it would be him who we think would be one of "the ones". 

Not Judah.

"So Judah stepped in and told his daughter-in-law Tamar, "Live as a widow at home with your father until my son Shelah grows up." (38:11)

"Judah saw her and assumed she was a prostitute since she had veiled her face. He left the road and went over to her. He said, "Let me sleep with you." He had no idea that she was his daughter-in-law." (38:15-16)

And yet God used Judah.  He used one of the twins "Perez", fathered by Judah with Tamar. 

"Perez" - which means "breakout". 

Perez was also "one of the ones".  

They are part of the lineage of our Savior.

Our Savior who has rescued us from the encasement of our sins.  Our own personal "Breakout".When we screw everything up, God comes along and breaks us out.  How God continually uses persons, throughout time, for His glory.  How He continually uses each one of us today, with all of our mistakes, to be a Vessel for Him.  Only God could do that.  Take something we have completely screwed up and turn it around, rebuild it, fix it - so it is completely right.  What an Awesome God we have - one who is completely in control. 

Our hope. 

Saturday, January 25, 2014

"Buried???" - 01/24/14 - Genesis 35-37

      They turned over to Jacob all the alien gods they'd been holding on to, along with their lucky-charm earrings. Jacob buried them under the oak tree in Shechem.(35:4)

I've always wondered why Jacob didn't destroy the items. 

Object Graveyards: The Afterlife of Everyday Things | WebEcoist

Did you know you can't bury a tire?  I  mean, you can bury it, but it will always work its way back to the surface.  Much like sin does when we try to bury it.  You have to eradicate it from your life. 

Only with His help.  His Word. 

Can't do it alone. 

Part of the process in accepting Christ is to confess, repent.  Not deny, hide, or bury.

In my walk, I have learned the hard way - sin will not stay buried.  Once you think "you" have it mastered, there they are - all those old tires.  Before you know it, you are living in a junkyard of sin, not in the place He created you to be, to live. 

You are the child of The King.  And He is not the king of the junkyard.

Whatever we bury in our hearts, that is what our treasure is.  If we are burying sin, not casting it out, we are essentially "burying our treasure of sin".  The Truth comes out in our Fruits.  Our actions, reactions, responses, thoughts - our true self. 

I have also learned it is only through and in Him, am I able to completely cast out the sins.  They will try to resurrect their ugly heads, but I now wear my Wardrobe from my ABBA.  His "hedge of protection" is about me. 

And He has also taught me, I enjoy living life so much more, in not dealing with old tires, continually resurfacing..........I enjoy living outside of the junk yard.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

"Welcomed" - 01/23/14 - Genesis 32-34

"I will soften him up with the succession of gifts. Then when he sees me face-to-face, maybe he'll be glad to welcome me." (32:20)

How often we convince ourselves that our giving, our acts of kindness, etc. are enough.  That they will "soften" our ABBA up.

Jacob was trying to be welcomed by Esau.  Obviously by Esau's acceptance, he had forgiven Jacob.  Forgiven him for a major offense.  Was it because "absence makes the heart grow fonder"?  Or had God transformed Esau's heart to be like His? 

It isn't our stuff ABBA wants.  It is our heart.  It is our soul.  It is our "self". 

If we are "doing" all the right things and our hearts are not in the right place, we won't be welcomed in.  He knows our hearts better than we do - we are unable to fool Him or pull the wool over His eyes.

So, as I go through my day - what is my motive for what I am "doing"?  Is it to bring Him or me glory?  Is it to do just enough to get His pat on the back or am I sacrificing?  What do I set my sites on every day?  Gain for Him or gain for me? 

If it is for me, I am trying to stand in quicksand.  He is the only firm ground. 

When we give Him our "self", there isn't any "maybe He'll be glad to welcome me."  

Because when we accept Christ, His arms were and are stretched out wide........

          in welcome.
... to the eleventh station of the Cross - Jesus is nailed to the cross

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

"Grace, Thanks, Joy" - 01/22/14 - Genesis 30,31

"blessed them, and then set off for home. (31:55)

My eyes were opened up to another gift from our ABBA last night during our Women's Bible Study.  We are going through 1000 gifts by Ann Voskamp, and it focuses on "grace".  This one question and discussion afterwards has embedded itself within my heart.  My heart, rising up and pushing fresh tears to my eyes, leaving a wet trail as they course down my face.  And even though I have studied, came away knowing my Savior broke bread with one who would betray Him, came away knowing He did this for me - my heart has never been touched as it has been last night.  His Words we opened up to and read, lingered in the air about us, alive and touching each woman who sat around the table.  Heart transformation from His Word.  His Word which is so alive.

4. Read Matthew 26:26-29 and ! Corinthians 11:23-26.  When Jesus broke the bread and offered the cup, He spoke this beautiful word:  Eucharisteo.   This one word captures three distinct and powerful ideas.  how did Jesus reveal each of the following in His institution of the Lord's Supper ( the Eucharist)?              Grace,               Thanks,            Joy"

The Greek word for Grace is "Charis".  I had never noticed before that it is completed surrounded in the word of Eucharisteo.  Much like I am completely covered and surrounded by Him in His Word.  Christ is God's Grace for me - for you - for all of us who accept Him.  He gave us Christ - the Ultimate Sacrifice - to cover our past, present, and future sins.  Without Christ, no one can be saved, stay saved, or grow as a Christian. 

Grace is the oxygen we Christians need to breathe. 

It was the word "Thanks" that has gripped my heart and won't let go. 

In the Scriptures, it tells us, "Before".
Listen carefully - "BEFORE" - He broke the bread. 
"BEFORE" - He poured the wine. 
Each time, He gave Thanks to our ABBA. 
Our Precious Savior, our Christ, our Jesus, our Babe in the manager - He gave THANKS. 
He gave THANKS knowing He was giving the symbols which represented what was coming. 
He gave THANKS - knowing He - He - would be on The Cross. 

He - He - who would be separated from His ABBA, our ABBA, before He went home, to sit at the right hand of ABBA. 

And why?  LOVE. 

His focus was always on Heaven.  He knew what was to come.  He knew, He wrestled in the Garden, alone with His ABBA, He knew all that was ahead.  And still He made the free choice to continue on.  To be The Ultimate Sacrifice, not only to cover our sins, but so we could have The Holy Spirit - here within us.  Our Helper. 

He showered upon us Grace. 

He did it with thankfulness. 

And He did it with Joy. 

After The Last Supper, "They sang a hymn and went directly to Mount Olives." (Matthew 26:30).

A hymn.  Extending a time of praise and worship to ABBA. 

"and went directly to Mount Olives."

The place where we see His Gift of Grace, as He continued in His steps to The Cross.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

"If God" - Jan 21: Gen 27-29

"If God" (29:20)

Just a little bit audacious.  Dear Jacob, after dreaming of God, waking up the next morning, "He was terrified. He whispered in awe, "Incredible. Wonderful. Holy. This is God's House. This is the Gate of Heaven."   He then builds an alter. 

And has the audacity to say, "if God". 

He has the audacity to tell God what to do and how then, he will be towards God.  And how gracious of him to say, "this God will be my God".  It makes me wonder who He is even praying to, "this God"? 


Does it ever surprise you how many persons in The Bible, God didn't just strike down with a lightening bolt? 

So easy to sit in judgment.  Knowing Jacob was raised in a household that also had other gods in it,  gives some insight to his behavior and his mother.  They did not view God as The One and Only God, so they didn't honor Him as such.  So many times, I too have done the same. 

My "other god" is self. 

So many times in worshiping "self", I have had the audacity to treat God without honor.  To put myself on such a pedestal, I have also said "If".  Bargaining, thinking He should be honored that I would give of myself what I deemed enough.  Oh, how self-righteous I have been at times. 

Haven Video • View topic - Lightning: Bolts of Fire (2011)It is such a blessing He covers me with grace, mercy, forgiveness - instead of lightening bolts. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Sex - the way He intended" - 01/18/14 - Gen 19-21

While reading today, throughout all the verses - sex is there.  How taking this great gift from ABBA
and not using it as He intended, becomes an issue of sin.  This article is really informative:


The Truth about Sexual Sin
Seven Reasons to Save Sex for Marriage


WHEN was the last time your media ever told you the truth about sexual sin? No one on TV pays the price of illicit sex. No one in the movies gets herpes or AIDS when they jump into bed with their fun current partner of the moment. Nobody that sings the songs connects their "I want your sex" life-style with the constant pain, crazy rages and suicide. No one on video gets hurt, blown apart at heart or devastated when they casually throw away their future with their virginity. MTV plugs sexual songs, cultivates sexual situations, pushes you into "safe sex". Then it offers the almighty cure: use a condom. True lies. "Sex cures loneliness. Sex makes you feel good about yourself. Sex makes you happy. Sex is like a box of chocolates." Excuse me? In the movies everybody is pretty, everybody looks good, everybody has great sex with anybody, anytime with no consequence. Pretty Women marry millionaires. (There's no sequel, because the marriage only lasts as long as the credits.) On screen, the famous "sexually active" athlete always gets the girl and he lives happily ever after. In real life he gets AIDS or goes to jail for rape or murder.
Only once in a long while will a man's single casual "Fatal Attraction" threaten his future peace of mind, his job, his home, the life of his whole family. Only once in a blue moon will you ever see what a "Kramer vs. Kramer" divorce does to a child and to both parents. Only now and then will a man from a people who "Once Were Warriors" learn that violence and immorality in a family lead to destruction and death.
Such rare exceptions to the rule of fantasy always hit a nerve. Somewhere deep in our souls we know what God says is true: "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body." (I Cor. 6:18-19) And judgment comes like Jason, when kids out only for a little illicit sex-play run into something wholly unexpected, terrifyingly impassive and invariably fatal. "The soul that sinneth, it shall die." (Ezek. 18:4)
Sleep with someone and you sleep with everyone they've slept with. Give yourself to someone sexually and you give away part of your soul that you will never get back.
Sex is never just sex. God says sexual sin is like nothing else in the book. It can hurt you physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It can screw up your life in ways you would never have dreamed. Blow it here and you blow it big-time. "If we persist in sexual sin with the thought that one day we will get right with God, we should remind ourselves that God may still be there to forgive and restore …but we may not be." You cannot compensate by sacrifice what you lose through disobedience. (Ed Cole)
Over a million teenage girls get pregnant every year. Free love isn't free. Each baby born to a teen outside of marriage demands more than $100,000 in government welfare. The cost of teenage child-bearing in the US alone in a single year is over 16.5 BILLION dollars! But the cost is much higher than that. What price do you put on a hurt heart? How much is a mind worth without peace? Who counts the cost of a shattered and shamed self, a lost trust, ruined respect or a broken dream? What does it really cost to bring an unwanted baby into the world, or even worse to take its little life because it interferes with someone's personal pursuit of pleasure? Free sex is never free. Someone always pays. Promiscuity has an awful price. "You are not your own."(I Cor. 6:19)
(2) Disease:
Twenty years ago there were two sexually transmitted diseases. Now there are twenty-nine. Every nine months they find a new one. Twelve million people contract a sexual disease every year in the US alone; 33,000 a day. Some, like AIDS, will kill you in just a couple of years. Some will just make you wish you were dead. Some will hurt your children.
"If you were the Devil" said one AIDS researcher "You couldn't conceive of a disease more disruptive and disturbing than one sexually transmitted that kills within a short period and for which there is no treatment." There is only one way to be sure you don't get a crippler or killer disease through sex but no one wants to say it:
Marry a virgin as a virgin yourself and both of you live with the same love all your life.
That's God's plan. If you take a long look at the ugly alternatives, it looks like He knows what He's talking about. (Prov. 5:15-20)
True sexual freedom doesn't just mean "never having to say you are sorry". It never means the ability to sleep with anyone as often as you like. You can't love someone you fear. Real sexual freedom means to be able to love without walls, without caution, without cares; to be able to trust the one you love without reservation and without hesitation. All this is possible in marriage—and only in marriage. (Prov. 27:21-27)
(3) Disappointment:
She did it because he said he "loved" her. He pushed her into it because he wanted to prove he was a real man. Her friends said it was all right as long as she really loved him. His friends told him everybody else had and what was he waiting for? Everybody said even if it doesn't work out it won't matter. And they were utterly wrong.
Sex is never casual. Sex is God's gift, and nothing God ever gives is casual. Because sex itself is so deep, sexual hurt is never shallow. What you do and what you learn in sex builds a pattern, burns a memory that will last you for life. Short of the healing hand of Jesus, scars from sexual sin never go away. Each time you link your body and your soul to someone else, the re-runs start of everything you have done before with anyone else. That is why "try before you buy" is such a stupid idea when it comes to sex. In the trying is the buying. You cannot just learn sex casually from someone and then divorce it from someone else you want to really care about in the future. Every hurt, every disappointment, every rejection carries over to the next time. You can't avoid the re-runs.
(4) Distrust:
What's so wrong with giving in before marriage? What difference does a piece of paper make? If you love someone enough to get engaged, what harm can it be to get in a little early? How else will you know that you are compatible? If you love someone, why wait?
"Not all of passion is love and not all of love is passion". (Ed Cole).
One thing is sure; the very best way to hurt a growing friendship is to violate the rules that set up your trust. Over half of all engagements break up. Many shatter precisely because the couple thought early sex wouldn't make that much difference. A broken engagement without sexual involvement means some pain and sadness, but rarely loss of friendship and certainly no sense of sin. The guilt, anger, mutual loss of respect and embarrassment that go with broken engagements triggered by premarital sex is pain few want to live with.
Think of God's love-laws as a shelter within which you will share together the best friendship, the best spiritual life and the best sex possible. He has reserved sex for one place and one place alone; marriage. Only in marriage can you build a home for real trust and total openness to each other. Only in marriage can you create the kind of life-long commitment you give to each other, "in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, till death do us part." Only in marriage can you be totally open and vulnerable to someone else knowing they will never leave you, laugh at you or let you down. The reward of the trustworthy is more trust. Living together outside of marriage is a commitment not to make a commitment. Staying on your best behavior you never really take off your mask. You never get real before each other and God.
The fence of no sex before marriage is a key test of trust. Keep your gate locked from all others and from each other until God gives you the key in your public, sacred vows. But jump that fence early, and you violate that trust. You will never be sure from that time on if you can trust either your partner or yourself. You will always live with the secret question: If we jumped the fence once and broke the rules, who says it won't happen again? If we couldn't trust ourselves to hold back before marriage, how can we ever be sure it can't happen to either of us after marriage? And that fear hurts love. (I Jn. 4:18)
(5) Dilution:
Every sexual act is a giving away of yourself. Do it with a dozen and you tear away twelve parts of your secret inner self that you will never get back. Why do you think so many people with multiple sexual partners feel so empty and disappointed that they move on to someone else? What you are looking for is MORE. God designed sex to be an investment in each others' lives forever. To love someone is to work for their highest good. Sex in loving marriage builds long-term wholeness. Sex in marriage is God's way of making two people "one".(Gen. 4:1) The Bible word for sexual intimacy is to "know" another: to be close and share on the most deep and lasting level a man and woman can experience. (Eph. 5:20-32) You can love and be loved forever! But every sexual act with a stranger strains or shatters the bond you build with the one you want as the love of your life. The ghosts come back to get you. (Prov. 5:16-20)
(6) Dependency
Sexual sin addicts. Sex, divorced from commitment and care, carries its own in-built emotional black hole. Addictions form when you try to derive lasting pleasure from something that cannot in its very nature satisfy. Sex outside of God's loving laws can never fully satisfy. Go the wrong way on this from the start, and you will find that sex can hook you worse than any drug, and with as dangerous consequences as any chemical. (Eph. 5:3-9)
Sexual addiction doesn't have to involve someone else. You can become sexually addicted by masturbation, visual or audio pornography. Sexual sin is not always fornication or sex with an unmarried person. (I Cor.. 6:18) Sexual sin can be adultery (sex with someone married and not to you) (Matt 5:7-8) sodomy or lesbianism (sex with someone of the same sex) (Lev. 18:22, Rom 1:24-32) and any form of near-sex that allows anything except actual intercourse. (Rom 13:13-14)
The Bible says: "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are." (1 Cor. 3:16) A temple is a place filled with God, where you walk with care. You don't go casually where you clearly don't belong.
Deep in the core of your life Jesus dwells. Far below the stream of words, ideas, fears, worries and imaginations, He lives in you. You can learn to dive down through the clutter of the crowd in the outer court of the surface of your life and commune with the Living God. Learn to pull out from the crowd. Anywhere, at any time, you can go where God is. Learn to wait on Him in the stillness and hear His voice. Let God show you what He sees when He calls sexual wrong sin. We only really learn by revelation or results.
Get it straight: those who aren't right or real with God won't run or rule with Him. Scripture says "Don't be fooled: no one who is immoral, an idol-worshipper, adulterer, sissified or a sodomite— will share in His Kingdom. Thieves, drunks, greedy people or those who so hate others they put them down or rip them off won't make it." (1 Cor. 6:9)
Sex is so powerful and fundamental in life that misused it becomes wholly devastating. Nothing hurts as much as the guilt, pain and addiction of immorality. Only Christ can heal the scars it makes and marks on life.
As with drugs, the worst part of the hook is never physical. What really hurts is what it does to your mind and feelings. The Bible word "concupiscence" means to be so turned on you cannot turn off. (I Thess. 4:3-8) Sex in violation of God's law shuts the door to Heaven and opens the gates of Hell. Get hooked on sex and only God's mercy can get you free and healed. If you don't want to get hooked, stay away from hookers. (Prov. 5:1-23)
(7) Divorce:
You know what you are looking for. You think you know where to look for what you need. Not to be lonely anymore. Not to feel left out, unwanted, unloved. To belong to someone wonderful. To be safe. To be cared for forever. Maybe even marriage. But when so many marriages crash and burn all around you, you need to do it right the first time.
Does sex outside of God's laws for love lead to closeness, care and commitment? Quick answer: No way. Almost without exception, pre-marital sex ruins friendships and puts the lid on any chance of long-term love. Promises flow freely in the heat of the moment, but in the cold light of the morning after, caresses often turn into contempt. "If you love me, you'll prove it," puts pressure on you to perform or be rejected. The right response to such glandular fever is this: "If you really love me, you won't ask me to." A single night of compromise isn't worth a lifetime of regret. Making love doesn't make him love you.
The test of true love isn't sex but trust. "If you love someone, you will always be loyal to them no matter what the cost. You will always believe in them, always expect the best of them and always stand your ground in defending them." (I Cor. 13:4-7 Living Bible)
Sex outside of marriage invariably leads to some kind of hurt, and hurt over sex sets a pattern for any future partner. Breaking up is hard to do. Do it often in dating and you set a precedent for your future. The pattern of dating and discarding carried into marriage is called divorce. So you hate what happens in a divorce? So does God. (Mal. 2:15-16)
Do you want your life to be different?
Listen carefully: You can have a marriage that lasts. You can have a family that doesn't break up. You can stay married to one person and love them for as long as you both live. Learn from those who failed. Then don't do what they did. STAY CLEAN. Save yourself for the special someone God can bring along at the right time. You are worth the wait.
Give yourself to somebody who isn't the right person and you can't get back what you lose. As one guy put it: "It's like giving someone a million dollars and later finding out you gave it to the wrong person. Now they're gone and so is your money. Gone for good. You don't have it anymore. And the person who should have had it will never get it."
There's only one first time. Let it be with the one you'll spend the rest of your life discovering together.
A WORD FOR THE SINGLE Its O.K. to be single. To choose not to marry because your calling, vocation or life-style points in a different direction, or because you just haven't found someone you want to spend the rest of your life with is not weird. Some of God's greatest are men and women who lived without marriage. It is the choice of many today. Some had many friends, close to them for a life-time. Yet for one reason or other, they decided to live single.
To be single and to have the grace to live single without sexual involvement is a gift God can give to those few who make the choice to share their deepest and most intimate love with God alone. (Matt. 9:12; Luke 18:29) Christian singles can feel lonely at times, but are never alone. They learn Jesus is the true source of all love and friendship, and free up their time to pay undivided attention to a world without His love. (Isa. 56:3-5) There are places singles can go that are out of range for those with the responsibility of a family. In difficult or dangerous times or situations, a single can do things and dare things that would put someone married in unnecessary risk. At the edge of the end of time, many will choose to remain unmarried for the Kingdom's sake. As Paul the single who became the greatest figure in the early church other than the disciples put it:
"I wish everyone could get along without marrying, just as I do. But we are not all the same. God gives some the gift of a husband or wife, and others he gives the gift of being able to stay happily unmarried. So I say to those who aren't married and to widows — better to stay unmarried if you can, just as I am. But if you can't control yourselves, go ahead and marry. It is better to marry than to burn." (1 Cor. 7:7-9)
"Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. ...Keeping God's commands is what counts. Each one should remain in the situation which he was in when God called him." (1 Cor. 7:17-20 - The Living Bible)
HOW TO GET CLEAN "Flee forbidden longings, those lusts that lure you when you are young. Press instead into what is real and right in character: conviction and faithfulness, unselfish affection. Rest content in Him with those who also call on the Lord's help for a clean heart." (2 Tim 2:22)
You may have already deeply, terribly blown it. You may have failed in this area and hurt God, yourself and only God knows how many other people. But Jesus can do what no one else can do. He can heal you in levels no one else can see or understand. He can make a girl who has given away her sexual purity clean again, inside and out. He can give a guy back his manhood and dignity, and give him power to be a promise-keeper. He can restore what is eaten away and give you courage to face the world with a new set of eyes. But you must do things His way now and not turn back to what hurt you before.
The steps you take to being clean in Jesus' sight are the same basic steps you take to become a real child of God. Confession. Repentance. Forgiveness. Trust. Cleansing. See the appendix "How To Become God's Child" for these steps.
Three extra things will help when you are being healed by Jesus from sexual sin.
(1) Expect miracles not magic. God's forgiveness is real and immediate; true healing may take time. You can be cured at once; recovery from the damage may take time. Don't be discouraged if it does. You may have many battles, but with Him you will win the war. Trust Him. Rest in the real and ongoing grace of Christ. When David sinned sexually in Scripture he hurt more than himself. The things he did had consequences, and forgiveness does not always stop consequences. (2 Sam. 12:9-14)
Sin hurts . Do wrong and you almost always affect others (even unborn generations) even though you stop it and even after you repent and get right. Live with it. Expect God to show you what you need to be fully free, no matter what it takes. The big miracle is always this: God loves and really forgives. Jesus died, stripped bare and humiliated and cut off from friendships and family for our sake. When He rose from the dead, He rose clothed forever with light and power and majesty to make us friends with God and put us in His own forever family. You are made fully whole. You become not just a forgiven sinner, but a new creation in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:17) "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." ( I John 1:9)
(2) God is faithful. Your cleansing is not by your own devotion or your own determination. Power over sin comes from a fresh revelation of Christ at your own point of humble (even desperate) need. Victory over sin never comes by self-effort or self-discipline. You commit your life to Jesus; He commits His life to you. He can keep you for the long haul. Hang your life and your love on His mercy. And remember: You may have times of struggles, doubts and tears, but Jesus never changes. His love and commitment to you is not based on your final faithfulness to Him, but on His own unchanging character. God references all His actions to His own lovely value. When you finally hit bottom, Jesus is already there. "If we believe not, yet He is faithful; He cannot deny Himself." (2 Tim. 2:13)
(3) Enlist a friend. In the time of His greatest test and temptation, Jesus asked His closest disciples to be with Him in the garden to pray. He Himself was God. His Father was God. He had God the Holy Spirit's power without measure in His life as a man. What did He need friends for? Learn the lesson: even Jesus was not ashamed to ask for friends to be near when He most needed to be strong. If you have a close friend who knows you well enough to pray for you when you face a big battle, he is a friend indeed. (Ecc. 4:9-10).

Thursday, January 16, 2014

"My Constant" - 01/16/14 - Genesis 12-15

"All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you." (12:3)

Snow sneaked in during the night! 
Snow, wonderful snow. Picture off of front porch.

Looking out the window this morning, I was thinking how different it is from when I was young.  We experienced snow which took forever to melt, measuring feet, rather than inches. 

Funny how things change with time.  How places we revisit from childhood always seem "so much smaller"!  How our bodies, minds, thoughts, reactions, actions are also in continual change.  Life. 

That is why I am so thankful for the one constant, never changing, steadfast, in my life.  ABBA.  Everything about Him - I depend on. 

That is why I drink in His Word each morning, for evil has a way of sneaking in during the night.

During anytime. 

Reading about Abraham this morning and realizing the Words ABBA spoke to him, my family is living proof of His Truth.  "All the families of the Earth will be blessed through you." (12:3) 

All these hundreds of years later.

I really do not believe there is any greater joy or peace, knowing those I love so dearly are His.  Knowing those He has given me to be their wife or mom, mom-in-law, those who are a piece of my heart - they are His.  And the security in knowing this, gives me the gift of our future family generations being blessed too. 

All it took was accepting Christ and living for Him.  Blessed.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"Shut-Up!" - 01/15/14 - Job 40-42

" I've talked too much, way too much. I'm ready to shut up and listen." (40:5)

Zipper Mouth
How He has spoken this verse to me!  Only the Words I clearly hear Him say, numerous times:

"Deby, Shut up and Stand Back.  You are in My way. 

He had to get stern with me, as I have a habit of not listening.  Not taking His lead.  Of thinking and doing "my way". 

In all my relationships, including my relationship with my ABBA. 

How His way works. 

In times of conflict. 

Sitting, shutting up, letting Him defend me.  His way works.  Praying, listening.  His way works. 


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

"He Speaks" - 01/14/14 - Job 38-39

Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall!(38:3)

How easily it is for us to crumble to the ground, because we forget "whose" we are.  "Whom" we get our strength from.  "Who" it is that is in control. 

How easily it is to focus on the storms of life, rather than stay focused on Him.  He needs us to be at the ready for the battles we will come up against, so He provides for us.  "And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm." (38:1)  He answers in His time and His way.  He is always there - even from "the eye of a violent storm".   

I love how He is bringing to Job's attention, we are mere humans.  He is the one who is Almighty, The Creator of All.  I love how He speaks knowingly and intimately of His Creations.  The laughter of the ostrich, although not "created very smart".  Speaking to the oceans as a living being, not just a body of waters. 

I love how He has created all of this - for us. 

I also love how He lovingly puts us in our place, when we become "too big for our britches".    How His Hand doesn't smack us out of eternity.  How His touch may be firm at times, but is always gentle.  I love how His Words completely transform our hearts, our lives, when we take in what He speaks. 

I love in reading how He has such love for His Creation of nature and the animals, His Love for we humans is ever more.

I am so in love His Words.   

Monday, January 13, 2014

"Reachable" - 01/13/14 - Job 35-37

"Mighty God! Far beyond our reach! (37:23)

He isn't you know.  "Beyond our reach". 

He is everywhere about us.  And for those who are in His Covenant, who have accepted Christ as their Savior, He is living within us - through The Holy Spirit.  We are given the "tools" in knowing Him through His Word.

I shake my head in wonder at those who refuse Him.  I am baffled at their choice to turn away and not open the door He is knocking on.  I watch them as they scurry here and there, trying to fill the voids, trying to live life their way, and see them constantly come away empty.  Come away in failure. 

That was me.  I was one who used to turn away from Him.  I was one who choose to walk in the darkness, the emptiness of self. 

I rejoice in knowing, He is not beyond my reach.  He is my all, my bestest friend.  He is my "I AM", my ABBA. 
It only took my opening the door and receiving Him into my heart, my soul, my life.  He lives within and about me, as "we", not I, walk through this journey of eternal life.  My old life died and eternity with Him happened the moment when I accepted Christ. 

Christ.  His only Son.  Who He gave as the ultimate sacrifice for sin.  Why?  Because of His great love for me.  For all. 

The only way He could become "reachable" to us. 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

"Crowing" - 01/11/14 - Job 29-31

"Did I ever crow over my enemy's ruin? Or gloat over my rival's bad luck?"  (31:29)

We are told to leave revenge to our ABBA.  With Him transforming my heart, it is getting easier to step back out of His way.  What I still struggle with is "crowing".  Sometimes out loud, but more often than not, in my mind.  It is taking great discipline and willpower to pray "in love' for those who have hurt me.  It is taking everything I am to not fall into apathy, to continue looking at them through Christ eyes and not turning a blind eye, or my back, to them. 

There is a freedom that comes from "shaking the dust", but also to be on guard that my heart does not become hardened towards my enemies.  It is so easy to love the lovable He has placed in my life, even when they are at times "unlovely".  But when it comes to the ones who don't "love" and want only to cause injury to me, it is only through and in Him I am able to be Christ like.  And even then, I fail at times. 

When reading the Psalms and other accounts in His Word, I see prayers going up to destroy and rain down revenge, upon the enemy.  Isn't this a contradiction to the Message of Christ?  Our Savior who hung on The Cross, beseeching His ABBA, "Forgive them, for they know not what they are doing?" 

He is teaching me, by lifting up my enemies in love, praying His blessings to fall into their lives, only then will my vision of them change, will their "hold" on me be broken.  They fall from the place of "enemy" to that of  sorrow filled empathy.  I am able to forgive them, extend to them grace and mercy.  And in His ways, which often makes no sense to the human mind - He enables me to "love" them. 

Genuinely love them.  No matter what they have done, or will do, to me. 

He has opened my eyes to see when I am "gloating" over them, I am bringing sorrow to His Heart.  There are none, none, that He wants to be lost. 

And that is what they are.  Lost.

By their "fruits" they are known and what is in their hearts.  The Truth always comes out. 

Knowing this fact, has given me the ability to let "getting revenge" go.  My ABBA has everything covered and He is in control.             

Only He knows the whole paradigm, only He is able to do it all, see it all and work with everyone.  Even those who seem to be uncooperative.  And that is what I am when I am all about revenge - uncooperative.  Uncooperative, when He needs me to be His Vessel, no matter the pain, inconvenience, or the unfairness.  He needs me to be set on Him.  Not myself.

He has a way of changing hearts. 

I am proof of that.  Continually, He works on mine...............with every beat. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

"His Gifts!" - 01/10/14 - Job 24-28

"And to man He said, 'Behold, the fear of The Lord, that is Wisdom ; And to depart from evil is understanding.' " (28:28)

Fear as a response to God and His deeds is so important an aspect of Biblical Faith and Life, that Fear actually occurs as an epithet of God Himself. Jacob describes the Lord as The "Fear of Isaac" His Father ( Gen 31:42 ), suggesting that Isaac had such reverential submission to The Lord that The Lord, to him, was the embodiment of fear.

Usually, however, the fear of The Lord is an inducement to obedience and service: to fear God is to do His Will. This equation appears most prominently in covenant contexts, especially in Deuteronomy, where the appeal is to serve The Lord, as evidence of proper recognition of His Sovereignty. The Lord as King demands and deserves the awesome respect of His people, a respect that issues in obedient service.

Fear of God also lies at the heart of successful living in the world.

Wisdom literature makes it clear that the fear of The Lord, is the beginning of Wisdom, a fear equated with the "knowledge of The Holy One" ( Prov 9:10 ; 1:7 ; Psalm 111:10 ). To fear God is to know Him and to know Him is to fear Him.

Such healthy fear enables one to praise God ( Psalm 22:23 ; Rev 14:7 ); to enjoy benefits and blessings at His Hand ( Psalm 34:9 ; Psalms 103:11 Psalms 103:13 Psalms 103:17 ); to rest in peace and security ( Psalm 112:7-8 ); and to experience length of days ( Prov 10:27 ; 19:23 ).

But fear of God, also produces fear of wrath and judgment, in those who do not know Him or who refuse to serve Him.

There are, thus, two sides of the fear of The Lord that which produces awe, reverence, and obedience.....

 and that which causes one to cower in dread and terror in anticipation of His displeasure.

(Dictionaries - Baker's Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Fear)

Which fear do you live in?
We are promised the gift of Wisdom through His Word.  Why live life without that Gift?  Or for that matter, any other of the innumerable "gifts" He gives us.

All we have to do is accept them.  They are all "paid in full".

Take some time and google "Gifts from God".  Then take a moment to reflect on the ones He gives you in your day-to-day life, the steps of your past journey.  Write them down.  Post them where you can read and be reminded.  Promise - He will blow you away!!!

His gifts - they keep on giving.    

Thursday, January 09, 2014

"So clean" - 01/09/14 - Job 21-23

"Give in to God, come to terms with Him and everything will turn out just fine. 22 Let Him tell you what to do; take His words to heart. 23 Come back to God Almighty and He'll rebuild your life. Clean house of everything evil. (22:21-23)

             "Give in", "come to", "Let Him", "take His Words to heart", "Come back to", "clean house"
                                                - His Words - which catch my heart.

He isn't pushing His ways upon me, He is requesting, pleading, desiring, recommending,  me to follow His Ways, which He knows is the best for me.  He gives me free-will, free choice.

                 "everything will turn out just fine",  "He'll (not may or if, but will) rebuild your life" -

     -  His promises - that fill my heart.

And still, I go back to my ways of trying to make my life be what He desires it to be, my way and my time.  And time after time, I fail.  How stubbornness and pride, pure stupidity, laziness, rebellion, are my choices over Him. 

                                                       What in the world is wrong with me during these times?????

My prayers this morning were from the tips of my toes, to the top of my head.  I cried out to Him, pleaded with Him, please change me from the inside out, give me a Christlike heart - to love as He loves.  Create in me eyesight to look at all persons through His eyes.  Remove from me anything and all things that brings Him sadness.  Not for my glory, but for His.

And within moments of that prayer.  Within moments of being in my alone time with Him, I am allowing self to get in the way. 

How thankful I am that He never tires of me. 
Always willing to redirect me when throwing "self" in the way of His progress. 
How He is able to take all things about me, good and bad, using me for His glory. 
How thankful I am that He is The Master "rebuilder" and never tires of the endless job of "rebuilding" me.

How thankful I am that He helps me "clean my heart of everything evil"  -
                          that no job is too big for my ABBA.          

           I so thank Him for how He unconditionally, continually, steadfastly, loves me. 

And that I am His. 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

"Remembered" - 01/08/14 - Job 17-20

"They'll never again be remembered - nameless in unmarked graves." (18:17)

When remembering persons who are deceased, Jesus is the first who comes to mind.  The greatest thing about Him to me is, I don't view Him as "deceased".  Unlike others who I remember, they are dead.  They don't lie in unmarked graves, but still are beneath the headstones - dead.

Surveys reveal that Jesus is the most "remembered" of all persons who have passed.  It usually takes three, sometimes only two, generations and most persons are forgotten or just a very distant memory.  After a number of years, we still hear of Elvis, Marilyn, etc., but they are not "known".  And as the years pass, persons who actually lived life with them are dead too.  At some point and time, those who are alive when you are, will die.  Dead.  Underneath a headstone, spread out over the lands or seas, buried in an unknown grave, but still dead.

And the memory of you - is pretty much dead too.

Sure, photos, journals, can be looked back on, or stories heard, which may or may not be passed down, but still you are not "known".  You are dead.  There isn't any way to live life with a dead person - they are gone.

But our Savior! 
                               Our Jesus! 

                                                  He is ALIVE!! 

                                                                                 Sitting at the right hand of our ABBA.  

The Holy Spirit, He left so we may have "The Helper" live within us.  His Word, is alive and a personal love letter from ABBA.  It is all Truth.  It is His way of having us Live life With Him.  In and Through Him. 

It saddens me in seeing the worship of others, or things.  How so many have raised someone or something to be their god.  Usually the qualification consists of a huge bankroll.  It is really scary the power persons are given today, by others, based on their money and popularity.  How people ride the waves, going here or there, in who or what they worship. 

I worship Jesus.  It is through His Word I have come to know Him, to live in an intimate relationship with Him.  To have my faith become and grow even more steadfast in a Savior who is alive.  Not dead.  He is the only one to overcome death, so I may live.  Why would I put my faith and trust in something or someone, who can not overcome death? 

Yet, even though my faith is growing, my heart is transforming, I am still human and there are some moments when I do exactly that.  I put "death" before Him.  I choose to put myself before Him. 

Yet another blessing from worshiping my Savior - who is alive - is the gift of His Grace and Mercy and Forgiveness.  The times I do stumble, He is there.  He who is alive, never leaves me,  He has rescued me from being dead, "nameless in unmarked graves".

Yes, I will die.

I will not be remembered by those here on earth, but I will be alive and I will be remembered, treasured, and Living with Him - eternally -in Heaven - along with all the others He has "remembered".       


Tuesday, January 07, 2014

"Used" - 01/07/14 - Job 14-16

 "I was contentedly minding my business when God beat me up. He grabbed me by the neck and threw me around. He set me up as His target," (16:12)

                                                                                                    "Having the world by the tail." 
       "Living life to its fullest." 
                                                                               "Nothing can go wrong." 
                          "How can life get any better."

Just some of the thoughts humans have running through their minds at times and then.......
they are smacked in the face with...........

                                                                  well............with life.

Job used to be my least favorite book to read.  I viewed it from the point of how ABBA was using Job as a game piece between Him and satan.  It seemed so unfair, for Job, to have to endure all he did, because ABBA chose him.  The account tells us that Job was a strong man of God.  He lived his life for God.  And yet, Job was targeted by ABBA.

Through Scripture, ABBA also tells us, "it will rain on the just and unjust" (Matthew 5:45).  As long as we are living on this earth, we will suffer the consequences of sin, even though when in His Covenant, our sins are covered by His Blood.  The consequences Job were affected by were direct attacks from satan, allowed by ABBA. 

                                Doesn't that seem unfair?  How can our all loving ABBA do that? 

Until I stopped looking at the Book of Job from my own personal view point, I wasn't able to see it for what it is. 

It is an account of one of ABBA's mightiest Warriors. 

ABBA knows our hearts, better than we ourselves do.  He knew, without a doubt, Job would not fail Him, no matter the afflictions put upon him.  He knew Job would be an example for all to strive for, to know it is possible to become such, even in our human weakness.  He knew Job drew his strength from Him. 

In looking at Job through Christ' eyes, it has transformed my heart in dealing with trials, tribulations, afflictions, during my journey.  He is enabling me to look more of how He is using me as His Vessel, rather than submit to wallowing in self-pity (at least for not as long as I used to!).  He is also helping me to stand back and allow Him to defend me, rather than utilize my inept defenses.  I have found too, when I step back, He shines brighter and more lives are touched for and by Him.

Now, when it comes time to read the Book of Job, my eyes eagerly drink in the Words, praying for the new insight He will give me, building me into a stronger Warrior for Him.

                                                                   What a privilege and honor to be "used" in His Battle.

Monday, January 06, 2014

"Alive" - 01/06/13 - Job 10-13

"I wish I'd never lived - a stillborn, buried without ever having breathed." (10:19)

 So many times during my life, this was my most prominent thought. Wishing I was dead, thinking life would be so much easier for myself, and others, if I wasn't here. Too chicken to actually commit suicide, but living life on the edge hoping for some "accident". I can remember vividly, stepping out into traffic to cross the street, hoping I would be hit. Without a care what the driver would have went through - or anyone else for that matter. This memory often crosses my mind when on a curb. Or sitting on a window sill, nine stories up, thinking how easy it would be to just, slip off. I lived a life of drugs, alcohol, and in all the wrong places with many of the wrong persons, trying to escape the pain of being. Although I have never suffered the physical ailments Job did, I had the mental.

 Depression. SAD.

Such a horrifyingly ugly disease. It robs a person of life itself, casting you into a pit of darkness, unable at times to determine what is real or imagined. All is taken personal with a drink of bitterness and anger. It can leave you numbingly paralyzed or running at top speed into self-destruction. Even after finding and submitting myself to Christ, I still struggle with this disease.

Thankfully, ABBA enabled others to develop drugs to help balance my system so I am able to truly live life in Him. He has also given me exercises, steps to take, when I feel the roots of depression coming on. Important gifts I have been given, is my Savior, The Holy Spirit, and His Word. I shudder to imagine what my life would be like without them. In my deepest place, I know without ABBA, I would either be dead or shut away.

 It is my prayer for others facing this demon, to see life through Christ eyes. To grab on and not let go of The Hope, which comes when focusing on Him and not self. When living life For and In Him.

This is a season many do not look forward to. Although the snow is beautiful, it is isolating. It is an invitation to stay inside, away from people, away from living life. There are more hours which are of darkness than sunlight, I pray they will notice each day, sunlight is becoming more, as we go towards a new season - spring. Spring - new beginnings, a breath of fresh air, stepping out into His Sonshine and drinking Him in - knowing another "winter" is behind us.

It is only because of ABBA I am able to hold onto the hope of His Spring - I pray others will allow Him to be the leader of their lives. I pray they will look at the innumerable blessings He showers upon their lives and thank Him for being alive.

When I look back from the place of where I wanted to not be alive, I am brought to tears of all the "living" I would have missed. Of all the passing Him on to those in my life, causing a ripple, which is touching lives and generations I am not aware of.

How thankful I am He is using my life as I "live" for Him.

Friday, January 03, 2014

"Keeper" - 01/02/14 - Genesis 4-7

""And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (4:8,9)

The guys were playing video games and I was sitting next to Nichalas, watching. Thinking. Praising ABBA. Thankful.

The verses He gave me today  were running through my mind as I sat there. ...

The three of them were playing on three separate TV's, as a team, conquering some made up land, full of horrible looking creatures. If one of them are "dying", the others are able to go and revive them. Numerous times I watched as one fell injured, they would be rescued. The rescuer was fighting his was through the enemy lines, being fired at, going into the heart of the battle. It hit my heart, knowing without a doubt, these sons of ours, look out for each other in real life the same way. There are many days they are calling each other numerous times, just to talk. They share so many dreams, concerns, memories, laughter, private jokes. There isn't any jealousy or envy to taint the deep love they have for each other. They share loving their ABBA.

It isn't hard to imagine the pain Adam and Eve went through over the murder of Abel. They lost not one son, but two that day. If it wasn't for ABBA being the center of our hearts and lives, our sons may very well have grown up and become estranged. satan loves to destroy family.

My cup runneth over knowing our sons, the two brothers, are each others keeper. Knowing Adam is also there for "our Amber". And that all three are ABBA's.