Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Legacy For and In Him" - 02/25/15 - Numbers 3-4

"anointed priests ordained to serve as priests."(3:3)

My heart is heavy.  It has been for a number of weeks.  My dear sister and friend learned of her mom being full of cancer.  They were told their time together here on this earth would probably not go beyond the months of this coming summer.  It breaks my heart knowing at this moment her family is gathered about her as she is readying to leave and go Home.  Home to her ABBA.

I have met her mom off and on throughout the years, but never knew her more than casually.  But I do know her daughter and her family personally and through them I am one of many who has been touched by the woman of God that she is. 

I pray you hear this - through them, I have been touched by the legacy of God this woman has left for her children. 

I love how our ABBA works.  How He touches so many lives through ours.  Even when we haven't a clue who.  or how.  He is always at work.  Yearning.  Desiring. For all to come to Him.  It is why we are to be His Disciples.  Going forth and leading others to Him.  So they may become Disciples too.

Because she choose to live her life for ABBA.  Because she choose to love Him more than anyone or anything.  Because of her choice - I have been touched by ABBA through those she was given to care for.  To raise up.  To nurture.  To make Disciples.  Her child.  Her daughter. My sister.  My friend.

In Christ.  Who is our High Priest.  We too are made Holy.  We too are now a royal priesthood.

This morning her granddaughter, whom I also call sister and friend, shared some moments spent with her grandmother last night.  I pray you will draw inspiration from this woman of God.  I pray you will be touched by her legacy and strive to leave His legacy behind wherever it is our ABBA has you step.

"Made it up safely. Got to say hello to my grandma. She was on three doses of morphine and did perk up after I grabbed her hand, kissed her cheek and told her it was me. She said I love you Julie. you should hear what was said for her goodbye when she was coherent earlier.... Wish I would have made it in time for that.. She had the children come in and spoke to them, then spouses and gave them instructions on how to take care of her kids. Then had grandkids in, and she gave words of wisdom. She then recited Psalms 23, and asked that the family sing amazing grace... In parts! ( that's where my music comes from). Oh how she loves our Heavenly Father !! He will be so happy to have her home , but she will be missed! She is resting. And I will be too soon. Hope she rallies one more time so I can get some of those words of wisdom! Love you ladies!"

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

"In The Order Of God" - 02/24/15 - Numbers 1-2

"The People of Israel did everything the way God commanded Moses: They camped under their respective flags; they marched by tribe with their ancestral families."(2:34)

There is such an order about God. The way He has designed everything.


Every single thing.

This wasn't some rag tag group of over 603,550 people. They were organized. In order. I can only imagine what this sea of people looked like from afar. The gold, jewels, their clothes, shoes that never wore out. All being led by a pillar of fire at night and a cloud in the day.

And still the people had a choice. As do we. To do everything the way God commanded. It is His way or the highway so to speak. On our own - away from His care - or under His wing in the palm of His hand.

My life -  How well ordered is it? I strive to be a good steward of all He has blessed me with. Tax papers were delivered to the accountant the 2nd of this month (PTL!!!). Our home and shop are getting a total clean/organization are on the "to do" list. I am tired of losing precious time looking for "something", taking care of "stuff". Stuff can be such a burden when not organized, sorted through and cast out what is not needed or used. I don't imagine the Israelites had a lot of "stuff" to load around. Reminds me of the wagon trains that headed west. Upon leaving they took so many "things" they couldn't live without, only having to leave it along the trail on their journey. I don't want to continue my journey with "stuff" I think I can't live without only to realize when it is too late,  I've been carrying all the wrong "stuff".

 I want my "stuff" to be about Him - eternity - love.

My spiritual life - how well ordered is it?  I love how He is taking me through His word each year. How writing about verses has made it more real. It sticks to me. In drawing  me closer to Him, it has also been transforming my heart.

Being organized - order in life. So like the universe He created. He created for six days and Sabbath on the seventh. Do I "create" six days and Sabbath on the seventh? Do I Sabbath everyday?  Thankfully, yes.   And what a blessing it is for me. For my relationship with Him. For my relationships with everyone and everything. 

I love how His Scripture is so alive.

How it all corresponds within itself.

How His Word gives order to my life.

Monday, February 23, 2015

"Living Devoted to Him" - 02/23/15 - Leviticus 26-27

 “No human who has been devoted to destruction can be redeemed. He must be put to death."  (Leviticus 27:29)

Does this scare you?  I mean scare you in such a way that you feel you will lose control of your bowels?  It needs to. 

Because of free will we decide who we are devoted to. 

Him or self. 

Him = eternal life.  self = eternal damnation. 

Living apart from Him now = eternity apart from Him when we die. 

What are you devoted to?

It seems at times when we read God's laws, they seem harsh and unforgiving.  God doesn't just "zap" you, but teaches you first.  Before the people were instructed to stone a person, the laws had been presented to everyone.  It is the destructive one who blatantly sins before God and His people.  If God continually moves the line in the sand, then the cancer of sin would grow and take over everyone.  They would take the ways of sin into their hearts. 

Wonder what our society would be like today if there wasn't the three strike rule.  If a person who killed or raped someone was executed instead of having their hand slapped.   Would pedophiles be so bold if they were taken out and shot instead of maybe going to jail and then released into society.  Studies show that there are many person who repeatedly commit crimes because the sentence really didn't affect them.

I am thinking stoning would.

Then I wonder if I would feel this way if it were one of our sons. 

As an obedient servant of God, I would have to. 

The key word in this verse is "devoted".  It is their desire to bring destruction upon all.  There would have to be a point where I sacrifice my child for the sake of those he is destroying.  How hard it would be to do this, particularly if I were ordered to throw stones too.  How do you remove yourself from your own flesh and blood?  When their desire is not of God, does that change how we look upon them?  Every one that sins is some mothers child.  At one time they were carried under a mothers heart. 

We are called to love all.  How do you love someone who rapes and beats an innocent child?  How do you look past the sin and love that person. 

Only through Christ. 

God so loved the world - that means sinners - so much He gave His only Son so we may have everlasting life with Him.  When a person "devotes" their lives to destruction, they still have to face the consequences of their actions.  While serving their sentence, they can and sometimes do find God.  He does release them from their sentence - through early release or through death unto Him. 

My question is - are we going to be held responsible because we have continually moved the line in the sand, allowing those devoted to destruction to continue?  Do we live being responsible for protecting and keeping the cancer of sin out of our family?  Do we live intently - with each breath we take - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,"(Matthew 28:19)

The one sure way of preventing the cancer of sin to spread is leading all hearts to Him. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

"Living By His Standards" - 02/22/15 - Leviticus 24-25

"And no double standards: the same rule goes for foreigners and natives. I am God, your God.” (24:17)

It used to be that when I was offended, I felt it was due to being disrespected. 

God has been opening my eyes to truth and in the process; I discovered it wasn't about disrespect at all.  It was the double standards.  Often times it seems the world believes what is okay for one, isn't okay for another.  I used to have a fear of standing up for myself.  Lately though,  I have begun thinking, "what is the worst thing to happen if I do?". 

I am recognizing that people, who set their living on double standards, tend to be bullies.  Since I hate confrontation, I make an easy target.  Then the passive aggressive side of me shows itself in my words of malice, conversations of revenge to self.  Bitterness and anger begin to flow in and my heart becomes hardened. 

This way of living was weighing me down.  I felt as though I was being buried alive.  It was separating me from God.  It isn't that I am set on revenge; I leave that up to God.  It is about standing up for truth, for walking in His ways, of not allowing me to be a scapegoat anymore.  He has given me His strength in saying, "enough".  I love this quote I read the other day, "critique only becomes criticism if you fear other people by craving their approval or fearing their rejection. But living in light of gospel truth means you know that your most devastating evaluation has already been made: You have fallen short of God’s glory in every way possible. But you still get “two thumbs up” because of Christ’s righteousness. That frees you from the sting of falling short in the judgment of a fellow creature."

Curt and I were discussing how someone you are looking at stands outside of Christ, may well be looking at you the same way.  How do you know who is standing in truth? 

By our fruits. 

Who in their fruits is allowing Christ to shine?  Who is being a light for Him? 

I was allowing the double standards of the world to dim my light.  I was bringing fungus into my heart and it was hardening towards those who I was offended by.  I did not love them as Christ does.  I was looking at them through my "self" and not feeling sorrow for where they are, or are not, in God. 

“Order the People of Israel to bring you virgin olive oil for light so that the lamps may be kept burning continually." (24:1)

I was causing God sorrow in allowing my "self" to run out of "virgin olive oil" because I was filling it with my own oil. 

I was living my life in double standards by not living by His Word.

I was living as it was okay for me not to be Christ like towards a person - even towards God.  But, oh how wrong for anyone to treat me as such. 

Who do I think I am - god????

That is exactly where I was putting myself.  I was putting "self" before Him.  I was running out of oil.  I am so blessed and thankful that He has opened my eyes to Truth.  That He has held me accountable and through His Word my heart is transforming to be more like His.  I am also so thankful when He "trims and prunes" me to be more like Him. 

That He doesn't rule with double standards. 

Saturday, February 21, 2015

"The Choice To Be or Not To Be" - 02/21/15 - Leviticus 22-23

I Am God who makes you holy and brought you out of Egypt to be your God.

I am God." (22:32-33)

It isn't our works.  Our moneys.  Our time.  Our talents.  Our gifts.
It isn't anything about us that makes us holy.

It is only through our Savior - Jesus Christ.
It is only through His Blood we are made holy.

It is our own free choice to accept Him.
It is our own free choice to live a life honoring Him.
It is our own free choice to be head over heels in love with Him.
It is our own free choice to draw nearer to Him.

Friday, February 20, 2015

"Tough Love" - 02/20/15 - Leviticus 19-21

Lev 20:7-8 "Set yourselves apart for a holy life. Live a holy life, because I am God, your God. Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you. I am the God who makes you holy."

Throughout this passage (Lev 20:1-22:33) He states, "I am God". There is no discussion, debate or argument. He states a law and then, "I am God".

This gives me thoughts about parenting. So many are into being their child's best friend rather than their parent. They are into negotiating rather than being the rule maker. There are many, many mistakes I made with the boys. Thankfully, God is so much bigger than my mistakes. When you plant yourself firmly in His Word, you are given wisdom which is a necessity for parenting. Kids want discipline/rules - it is their security. It is also a sign to them that they are loved. "Tough love" parenting is hard, but thankfully my Daddy loves me enough to "tough love" me. His discipline, teaching, rules, encouragement, sometimes allowing me to suffer my consequences from bad choices, aways being there, have made me into who I am today. "Striving to set myself apart and live a holy life." We are blessed with two Godly sons. We've never struggled with drugs, alcohol, partying, girls. We set boundaries and unless there was a justifiable reason, the line in the sand wasn't moved. When they were young, we took a discipline class at church. I can say without a doubt it was the beginning of how they turned out today. "Striving to set themselves apart and live a holy life."

I am not claiming our sons are perfect.  I am only claiming that throughout the years Abba has given us the blessing in seeing how His way works - regardless of how often we failed and continue to fail as parents.  None of us are perfect, which is why He has given us His Standards to strive to live by.  How thankful I am for His grace and mercy!!!  It has been for His glory to hear words from others how much they enjoy Adam or what a testimony Nichalas and Amber have been in their relationship, their choice to stay virgins until they married, after dating for five years. It is such a blessing in seeing Adam, Nichalas, and  Amber's  life choices bringing glory to God.  To see how ABBA is using them where they are planted.

And all of this is only because of Him.

It breaks my heart when I think back to all the mistakes I have/continue to make. How thankful I am for the relationship I have with them. To say I am sorry and ask for forgiveness. I am so thankful that God is the foundation of our relationship. Otherwise, we would not have been able to endure all of the hardships or my many mistakes.

I'm not being hard on myself - just honest. I was in such a depression most of the early years, focused on me. Not Him. Perhaps that is why I yearn for a do-over.

When I think again of "tough love", I picture a child floating in the ocean - this world. Our parenting is their life preserver, surrounding them as they float in this vast space. The rope to the ship is the rope to Him.

That is what His Word is to me - my life preserver. The rope - the Holy Spirit which binds me to Him. I am thankful for His law, His Word and blessed because He is my God. How He has transformed me to be Holy.

That He is a God who parents me in "tough love".  His Holy - Pure - Love.
Because He desires what is best for me - even more so than I do for our sons. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

"Fungus Does Spread" - 02/19/15 - Leviticus 16-18

"Obey my laws and live by my decrees. I am your God. Keep my decrees and laws: The person who obeys them lives by them. I am God." (18:5)

In yesterday's reading He spoke about an unclean home, "If the fungus breaks out again in the house after the stones have been torn out and the house has been scraped and plastered, the priest is to come and conduct an examination; if the fungus has spread, it is a malignant fungus. The house is unclean. The house has to be demolished—its stones, wood, and plaster are to be removed to the garbage dump outside the city." (14"43-47)

        My heart. 

It is where He lives and how often has a fungus been introduced that I allowed to take over.  To cause an uncleanliness in my heart?  What I put into my heart is what I become. 

Until I die, there will always be a fight against the "fungus".  Of serving Him or serving "self".  He has promised me that there isn't one temptation that I will encounter that He hasn't provided a route of escape. 

And still - there are times - when I will stay right there and submit to the temptation.

And the fungus will be introduced, again. 

Each winter during our down time, I have the goal of reorganizing and purging our home of items that we no longer use.  That have been sitting in drawers, shelves, etc., gathering dust and taking up space.  Some of these items I discard because they are no longer any use to us, but some I find I have held onto because I was getting my worth from them.  Some items were only here because of sentimental reasons or as a way of being a part of a relationship or person. I go into this purging thinking that one day I will be gone and I do not want Curt and the kids to be consumed with sorting through all the stuff.  I want them to be able to focus on Him, each other.  I try to rid my home of the "fungus" that is sitting unseen on a shelf.  There have been too many families, that I have been a part of or seen, torn apart because of the "stuff" a person left and how they left it.  I try to remember that Christ lives here and to give Him access to every square inch of our homes.  The physical and the spiritual. 

I have learned that even though you cut off the green mold on cheese, you aren't cutting off the roots that have went deeper than the line of mold.  Temptations that we chose to fall victim to are so like that.  The roots will grow deep, unseen, throughout your heart, penetrating into your mind, your life, your body language, consuming all of you. 

Unless your heart is covered in His blood.  Covered in and through with His grace and mercy. 

It is the "penicillin" so to speak, that saves you. 

Sometimes there are "stones" in my heart that will have to be removed.  They are "stones" that I allowed self, or others, to put there.  They are "stones" of lies.  But God doesn't leave my heart with unfinished walls.  He fortifies them, rebuilds them up with His Stones of Truth.

It is in the rebuilding process, using His stones,  that I see my heart becoming more than just a house with Him, but a home.  And there is a difference.  My home In Him - with Him as the center, creates my life as Him as the center.  It is transforming me to reflect Him more and more.  To escape from the temptations - the fungus - the mold.

It has Christ as the Cornerstone.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

"The Riches of Him" - 02/18/15 - Leviticus 14-15

 “If he is poor and cannot afford these offerings, he will bring one male lamb. (14:21)

There is no question, no doubt.  There is no "if". 

I am poor.

Before I was saved that is.

There wasn't anything I could do to "earn" my way into Heaven, into His courts.  Nor could I "work" my way in. 

It used to be that I received great feelings of worth in my "acts of service".  In my "fruits of labor" - including our sons.  The more I sacrificed in my time, money, even my family for His church, the more I believed that I was closer to Heaven. 

To Him.

My time was all caught up in doing "things" and not doing "things that mattered".  I was "doing" the Bible Studies, attending services, involved in a million groups, but I wasn't applying my heart. 

Pretty much doing the "art of lip service". 

And I was becoming poorer and poorer. 


"He will bring one male lamb."

He did you know. 

He provided the Lamb of Christ.  I recognized that I was poor and couldn't afford the offering.  There wasn't any offering that would equate to the Lamb that He brought. 

And I stopped.  I listened.  He taught me an important word.  "No".

In my trying to "work" my way into Heaven, I had completely cast aside His Lamb.  I was also depriving others from giving a blessing by trying to do everything myself.  I was trying to play god and do everything my way. 

I was continuing to live as a poor person.  I was rejecting the riches He has provided.  I was missing out on the Fruits of the Spirit. 

He transformed my heart and my life into resting In Him.  Following His lead, instead of mine, of what He wanted me to do.  Saying "no" so others could say "yes".

He helped me stop and enjoy the riches intimacy "in" Him brings.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Siblings" - 02/17/15 - Leviticus 11-13

he is unclean: he shall dwell alone; without the camp shall his dwelling be. (13:46)

My sisters "in" Him just left.  We spent an evening studying His Word, growing closer together, sharing, vulnerable.  Just being ourselves and knowing - without doubt - we love each other deeply.  Even without the masks we put on when in the world.

I love knowing - without doubt - because He has cleansed me - I am never alone. 

I love knowing I am living within the camp and not without.  Not without the siblings He has blessed me with.  Not without the unconditional love I receive from Him.

I love knowing I will never have to cry out, "unclean", "unclean". 

Because of Him - I belong.  Forever and then some. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

"Never Alone" - 02/16/15 - Leviticus 8-10

"Distinguish between the holy and the common, between the ritually clean and unclean."  (10:10)

In this world of darkness, I am so grateful when I encounter a brother or sister unexpectedly.  To be out of my comfort zone, look across the room at a stranger, and hear the Holy Spirit tell me - "your sibling". 

And you just know - without a doubt - that they too - are His child. 

It isn't because they dress like royalty, but they are clothed in Him.  There isn't a neon arrow pointing at them, but His Light radiates from within them.  They aren't surrounded by body guards, but His angels, His Spirit surround them.

It is because He lives within our hearts that people looking are able to distinguish us as holy.  It is because of His blood that I am covered and clean.  That is what makes us stand out in a crowd.  This is also why we are rejected, attacked, bullied, and ostracized by the world.  The way we are supposed to be - not of the world, but in the world.

We in Him are different.

I love to hear the "small world" stories that people share.  I love that no matter the distance from your comfort zone, He provides a family member to be there to encourage and lift you up.  Or to be there as a fellow warrior in the spiritual battle. 

To know that we are not alone. 

That He cares and loves us so much, He provides "family" as we go - as we live. 

Sunday, February 15, 2015

"The Ultimate Sacrifice" - 02/15/15 - Leviticus 4-7

“The priest makes atonement for him on account of his sin and he’s forgiven."(4:26)

Nine times in these verses.

Nine times.

God tells us nine times that there is atonement. 

The atonement we need is the reversal of the alienation caused when we sin, restoring us to oneness with God and His forgiveness.  Over and over again in these verses we read of the different sacrifices, preformed by the priests, needed for the different types of sins.  Sacrifices that would need repeated, continually throughout the years, until the Death and Resurrection of our Savior.
The Last Sacrifice.

Christ is our High Priest.  The meaning of High Priest is Bridge Builder. 
Our High Priest is the bridge to our Father.  A bridge that is needed because of our sins.  Sins that God can not be a part of because He is Holy

The Sacrifice of our Savior brings us an atonement that is forever.  He is The Sacrifice for our sins that we have, do, and will commit.  Regardless of the type, the intentions, the mindset - forgiven.  If we confess and repent.  If our hearts turn and run from the sin, striving to live our life for Him. 
If - we enter into His Covenant. 
I have been listening to sermons on being aliens in this world.  As I sit and listen, I see so many examples in my life where I am "different".  Realization that His measuring stick is different than the world's. 

How it has caused division. 
Seeing that persons of the world are unable to forgive me for sins I have confessed and asked forgiveness for, it used to cause me to think I was doing something wrong.  Or not doing enough.  His Word has caused me to realize that He is who I need to focus on for forgiveness.  He is who matters.  My going to persons and confessing is an act of worship to Him.  Regardless of how they respond - I still have to be Christlike.

The Lord's Prayer tells us to "forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us."
He is helping me to see that after I confess, ask for forgiveness and repent, even then if I never receive the forgiveness from others, it doesn't matter.  It is about my relationship with Him.  It is about being Christlike for Him.  They aren't God.  They aren't who determines my salvation.  They aren't who deems if I am forgiven or not.

And in that equation is also "myself".  Forgiving "me" for sinning against Him.  When I sin, it affects Him.  His whole Body and I have to let it go.  Stop doubting if I did enough.  If I am acting, talking, being the right way, measuring up to the standards of others in order to gain their forgiveness.  I have to forgive "me" as God has and does.  If not, I am putting "myself" in His place, deciding that the sacrifice of Christ wasn't enough.  

My Savior is enough.  My Savior is "The Priest".

My Priest.

“The priest makes atonement for me - on account of my sin - and I am forgiven."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

"How's Your Salt?" - 02/14/15 - Leviticus 1-4

Present all your offerings with salt. (Leviticus 2:13) 

"The role of salt in the Bible is relevant to understanding Hebrew society during Old and New Testament periods.  Salt is a necessity of life and was a mineral that was used since ancient times in many cultures as a seasoning, a preservative, a disinfectant, a component of ceremonial offerings, and as a unit of exchange.  The Bible contains numerous references to salt.  In various contexts, it is used metaphorically to signify permanence, loyalty, durability, fidelity, usefulness, value, and purification."

I love the Message translation of Jesus speaking about salt - it is right to the point.

 “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage." (Matthew 5:13)

I tie this in with the verse from today and think about how each day I place myself on the alter as an offering to Him and wonder "how is the salt"?  Have I resisted the world and self coming to Him as a pleasing flavor?  Or have I been contaminated and unsuccessful at being an effective disciple?  And it isn't about offering some of myself, but all of myself. 

Lot's wife was unable to totally give up what she desired and was focusing back.  Her eyes left His face and she became a pillar of salt.  I desire to be the salt He needs me to be.  I don't want my legacy to be a "pillar of salt", but a perfectly seasoned life with a pleasing aroma to Him.  

"Present all your offerings with salt" -  just sort of slipped in there and got me to wondering why. 

What is it about salt that is so important as part of the sacrifice.  In Mark 9:49-50 He speaks about salting of the condemned, which is a rhetorical device indicating the severity of the punishment.   "Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another."  The salt here refers to the goodwill that "seasons" positive friendships and compassion.  Colossians 4:6 uses the metaphor of salt seasoning in speaking with intelligence and consideration. 

During ancient Palestine salt was variably and widely used as a symbol and sacred sign.  It was used as a covenant of friendship, sometimes the eating of it was required.  Salt land is a metaphorical name for a desolate no man's land.  Defeated cities were sometimes salted to consecrate them and curse their re-population.  Bishop K.C. Pillai, from India, testifies that the salt covenant is much more than a covenant of friendship.  it is an irrevocable pledge and promise of fidelity.  Those who have taken salt together would rather die before they would break their covenant. He further states that the penalty for violating such a covenant is death.

Sound familiar? 

Through the death and resurrection of Christ, we are now offered the New Covenant.  God is holding it out to us for the taking.  All we have to do is offer up ourselves.  He will not pull away or break this covenant when we accept it.  Only we are able to break it, by turning away. 

How many of us are in the place that we would rather die than break it?  How many of us are seasoned with just the right amount of salt?  How many of us are a pleasing aroma to Him? 

Friday, February 13, 2015

"No Games - Natta" - 02/13/15 - Exodus 39-40

"Whenever the Cloud lifted from The Dwelling, the People of Israel set out on their travels, but if the Cloud did not lift, they wouldn't set out until it did lift. The Cloud of God was over The Dwelling during the day and the fire was in it at night, visible to all the Israelites in all their travels." (40:36-38)

Remember the game of "Simon Says"?  Only if putting "Simon Says" at the end of the command were you to move. Otherwise, if you did move, you were out of the game.  Sometimes, "Simon" would cheat and claim he did or didn't say "Simon Says".  Then it became a  game of confusion and dissolved into arguing, hurt feelings - division. 

In  "living" there are so many things that come up that do not seem fair.  Causing drama - hurt feelings - division.  These are the times I need to focus on His face in trust and faith that He is the one in control.  satan is trying to bully his way into the leadership role so we will follow his instructions.  he doesn't want any winners for God.  To him it is a game and his whole goal is destruction. 

To satan - we are just pawns.  To him - this "game" is really between him and God.  We are only tools that he is using to hurt God in the way he knows hurts Him the most.  Because God loves us that much.  Think about all the times that satan inflects his evil on us, it is usually where it hurts the most.  When he hurts us - it hurts God even more so. 

Because God loves us that much.

The people were to stay or march at God's command and they obeyed.  Their eyes were focused on His cloud.  They were always at the ready - "it made no difference—when the Cloud lifted, they marched." 

How at the ready am I to march?  Do I become so comfortable when He has me stay that I lose focus and am not "at the ready".  Is my heart so in tune in Him that I am seeing every opportunity He places before me to be a disciple?  While I am "staying", am I preparing to march?  Or am I just sitting back and enjoying my comfort zone.  I need to be fortifying myself at all times in His Word.  The times when I go through the trials and tribulations of life, I need to remember that I am hopeless in myself.  That always I am able to lay hold of my Daddy who is mighty and whose faithfulness surrounds Him.  Knowing, without doubt, that He is working out His purpose, a far greater purpose than I can conceive, if I will only keep my focus on Him and not myself, I will see His glory in all situations. 

Regardless of if I am staying or marching, I know my life is not a game to Him; it has an eternal purpose He is working out for my good and His glory.

I am so thankful that I serve a Daddy who doesn't play games.  Who doesn't lie, or cheat, or play favorites with His children.  That He wants all of us to be winners. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

"Made of the Best Materials" - 02/12/15 - Exodus 36-38

Throughout the verses today, it describes the materials involved when constructing The Tabernacle.  Acacia Wood is commanded to be used in the building of so many things. It is prized for its extreme durability and the grains' "flame-like" appearance. When different light is shone on it - it can change color. It can be cleaned with water - so dense it won't permeate it. Untreated it can last up to 40 years. Not prone to scraping, holds up to hard use, doesn't need coddled. Resistant to fungus - which causes rot. Extract is used to help endurance of other cheaper woods.

Most of the Acacia wood was then to be covered with a veneer of gold. Pure gold is very soft. It is one of the few pure metals that is yellow. Chemically unaffected by air, moisture, corrosion. Most malleable and ductile of all metals. One single gram can be beaten to a sheet of 1 sq. meter. An ounce can be beaten into 3000 square feet. Gold leaf can be beaten so thin it is translucent, which appears greenish blue because it strongly reflects yellow and red. It is used as an infrared shield. Readily creates alloys with many other metals,, which then modify it to be utilized in different ways. Gold has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recorded history. Gold standards have been the most common basis for monetary policies throughout human history.

Acacia wood. He knew this was the best wood to withstand the travel, the weather conditions, take down/put up, the journey. Just like with us.

Our foundation must be made of "Acacia wood".

Only He can make us extremely durable through His Word, the Holy Spirit within us, Sabbath time with Him. Only by giving up "self" and becoming one with Him do I become "the most durable" for my life's journey. It has to be His "Acacia Wood". All the qualities it holds, can be mine too. The durability, the beauty, originality - so many things that are found only in this type of wood. Such beauty in His inner works.

And then to cover it in gold. It amazes me that they were able to construct all of this in the middle of the desert, in a tent city. To be able to obtain materials needed - no local lumberyard! The gold - another miracle. From the Egyptians. As early as 2600 BC Egyptian hieroglyphs claimed gold was "more plentiful as dirt". It is first mentioned in Gen 2:11. He provided all the resources needed to build this sanctuary - in the desert - in a tent city.

And it brings to mind how He provided the resources which transformed my "tent" into Acacia Wood - His sanctuary. How He has covered my "Acacia Wood" in His gold. Valuable and highly sought after by Him. Precious. His Gold standards I strive to live by.

How in my sacrificing of self, my King of Kings has turned me into His Golden princess.

It takes my breath away knowing that when He looks at me - He only sees beauty. He is so proud of me. He is so in love with me. He desires to be with me. All the things I see, think when I look at our sons - He feels so many times over for me.


I so love that I am the daughter of The King.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

"One Day" - 02/11/15 - Exodus 33-35

"God continued, "But you may not see My face. No one can see Me and live." God said, "Look, here is a place right beside Me. Put yourself on this rock. When My Glory passes by, I'll put you in the cleft of the rock and cover you with My hand until I've passed by.              

Then I'll take My hand away and you'll see My back. But you won't see My face." (33:20-23)

All today these verses have struck my heart.  What an ABBA we have.  One who loves us so.  One who created us to be with Him.  One who desires - desires with all He is - to be with us. 

I think about how it was in the garden with Adam and Eve.  They spent time together with God.  Face to face.  Adam and Eve were without sin.  Until the apple...........

I think about how it had to have broken our ABBA's heart.  Not being able to be together face to face any longer.  Knowing if they were, they would die because He is Holy. 

Even though we have cell phones, are able to Skype, not sharing face to face time, when Adam lived away from here,   Nichalas and Amber are living in Phoenix,  it brings about a physical pain at times.  Even knowing they are happy, ABBA is using them where they are planted, as life continues on here without them, there are so many moments I wish were being shared together. 

Just an inkling of how our ABBA yearns to be with us face to face. 

But because of sin.  Because of sin He gave us His Son.  Because of sin, He gave us The Holy Spirit as our companion and Helper.  Because of sin, He gave us The Word as our own Personal Love Letter.

I think about this conversation between He and Moses and am pretty sure He wanted more than anything to have face to face time with Him. 

I think about how He shines through His family here on this earth and how He loves us through them.  I think about how I can see Him in the faces of those who live life with and for Him. 
And my heart smiles.

I think about how there aren't any words to adequately describe how
it will be one day in Heaven where we will be sharing eternity with Him.  Face to face.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

"In Plain Site" - 02/10/15 - Exodus 30-32

"When the people realized that Moses was taking forever in coming down off the mountain, they rallied around Aaron and said, “Do something. Make gods for us who will lead us. That Moses, the man who got us out of Egypt—who knows what’s happened to him?”  So Aaron told them, “Take off the gold rings from the ears of your wives and sons and daughters and bring them to me.” They all did it; they removed the gold rings from their ears and brought them to Aaron. He took the gold from their hands and cast it in the form of a calf, shaping it with an engraving tool.  The people responded with enthusiasm: “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up from Egypt!”  Aaron, taking in the situation, built an altar before the calf.
Aaron then announced, “Tomorrow is a feast day to God!” (32:1-5)

Isn't this the same group of people who just a few days ago were shaking in their sandals at the bottom the mountain.  

"All the people, experiencing the thunder and lightning, the trumpet blast and the smoking mountain, were afraid—they pulled back and stood at a distance. They said to Moses, “ You speak to us and we’ll listen, but don’t have God speak to us or we’ll die.”  Moses spoke to the people: “Don’t be afraid. God has come to test you and instill a deep and reverent awe within you so that you won’t sin.”  The people kept their distance while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was." (20:1-21)

Blatantly sinning, right there in plain sight of Him.  Could they not see the cloud of God anymore?  Or were they choosing to ignore it?

Much like I do when I make the choice to sin. 

Right there, in plain sight of God. 

Rather bold, aren't I.  Or just plain stupid.

The thing is, when I am focused on His face, everywhere I look - I see Him.  In His nature, His people, even the things He has enabled man to create. 

My mind is always running from one thought to another.  While baking a cake, I am astounded at all the different recipes that are created from the same basic ingredients.  And whoever thought to put these mixtures together.  Working outside I think about the people who walked before me.  How the landscape has changed.  Wondering what things they saw and experienced.  What caused them to come to this place or to leave.  I think about the people He has caused my paths to cross with and wonder who my ancestors paths crossed to help make me who I am today from ideas, prayers, thoughts handed down.  I marvel about Him.  I am amazed over and over that before He created the world - He knew. 

He. knew.

Everything there is to know about me.  Where, who, when. 

Every. single. thing.

Inside and out.

And then,  my focus is caught up by self or the world.  I turn from marveling about Him to complaining.  It becomes more about my time, my way - about me.  

It is like when I exit from the shower, wipe the mirror with my towel, and see only ugly in the reflection.  I don't marvel in the creation of me.  I only cut it down, believe the lies of the world of what I "should" look like - I begin the process of tearing me apart - one sinful thought at a time. 

I am guilty of worshiping "the golden calf" - the lies of self and satan. 

Right there in front of Him. 

I sometimes forget in my sinning, He is everywhere.  Always. 

I have moved my focus from Him. 

And then I hear His voice - "For you are fearfully and wonderfully made, my child".  I begin to hear His other promises, His truths, and I again focus on His face. 

My thoughts go forth in thinking of how He created such a miracle in the human body.  The precise way that everything fits and works in perfect harmony.  How all the parts are needed to complete the cycle of living.  He even designed us with a touch of His humor.  Look at the little toes, the belly button, and why did He make toenails??? 

All it takes to get me refocused on Him is His Word. 

His Word is my vision of God in the thick cloud covering the mountain top Moses climbed and stayed.  High above, so I am able to see Him everywhere I go.  How He changes my vision to see His beauty in all His creation. 

Even when looking in the mirror. 

Monday, February 09, 2015

"He Is" - 02/09/15 - Exodus 29

I'll make Aaron and his sons holy in order to serve me as priests.

I'll move in and live with the Israelites.

I'll be their God.

They'll realize that I am their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt
so that I could live with them.

I am God, your God. (44-46)

I love living on the other side of the Covenant.  Knowing I am secure in the Ultimate Sacrifice.
Jesus Christ - my Savior. 

And even though my heart grieves knowing He had to be sacrificed because of sin, my sins, there are times when I take Him for granted.  When I do not "take my shoes off on Holy Ground". 

When I decide my way is more important than that of my ABBA and allow it to supersede my life.  When I know there are sin issues in my heart and instead of eradicating them from within/throughout, I instead walk or talk my own way in life.
When I know the Holy Spirit is convicting me of sin and I turn a deaf ear or blind eye.
When I hang onto the security of my comfort zone, instead of stepping out in faith where He is trying to lead me.

I love living "in" Christ.  Knowing the Holy Spirit is within me.  The Creator of all lives within me.  Within all who have accepted Christ as their Savior. 

When you stop and think about that fact, does it just blow your mind??  It should. 

God lives within His. 

And yet, there are times when I take the things I have brought along on "our" journey out of Egypt and put them before me as my god. 
There are times when my thoughts, my mouth, my actions, are not a reflection of Him. 

I love knowing I am not alone.
I love knowing He is my Helper. 
I love knowing "in" Christ I am covered by His grace and mercy.  By His forgiveness.
I love how His living within me is conforming me with the desire to rid myself of that which is not of Him.  Why?  Because each and every moment I find myself falling more and more in love with Him. 

That is all He wants.  After everything He has done.  Because He loves us so.
Is to be our God.
Your God.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

"A Gift for Him" - 02/08/15 - Exodus 28

"Consecrate them so they’ll be soaked in holiness, (30:29)


     1.  to make or declare sacred or Holy; sanctify.
     2.  to dedicate (one's life, time, etc) to a specific purpose.
     3.  to ordain (a bishop)
     4.  to cause, to be respected or revered; venerate:  time has consecrated this

Throughout the reading for today, it occurred to me how He fills our senses of touch, smell, taste, sight, hearing. Just as the commands fill His senses. Reminding me once again we are made in His image.

We learn what the acts of consecrating Aaron, his sons, and future generations to be priests were. So much blood. Wondering as I read,  if they washed the blood off their garments. The amount of stench and flies from all the slaughter. The ugliness that was happening while sacrifice was prepared.  More than once it speaks about something that deals with the sense of smell.

 "Then take them from their hands and burn them on the Altar with the Whole-Burnt-Offering—a pleasing fragrance before God, a gift to God." (29:25)

God spoke to Moses: “Take fragrant spices—gum resin, onycha, galbanum—and add pure frankincense. Mix the spices in equal proportions to make an aromatic incense, the art of a perfumer, salted and pure—holy. Now crush some of it into powder and place some of it before The Testimony in the Tent of Meeting where I will meet with you; it will be for you the holiest of holy places. When you make this incense, you are not to copy the mixture for your own use. It’s holy to God; keep it that way. Whoever copies it for personal use will be excommunicated.” (30:34-38)

I don't know if it was to help cover up the smells of slaughtering or to take our minds to another place, away from the smell of sin.  Rereading the commands, visualizing, knowing they haven't running water, they are in a temporary set up, all the blood and waste, there isn't a way that the smell could be covered up. 

The more I ponder on these verses, I really think it is to remind us of the sweet Holy smell of Him.  To remember that on the other side of the Cross, is our Savior. 

He has something for all of our senses, even smell, for the worship of Him.

"Whoever copies it for personal use will be excommunicated.” (38)  Such a strong punishment.  But then, He commands strong punishment for disobedience.  He has His reasons.  They aren't for us to understand, defy, or question.   Because He is Holy.  He is God.

He has commanded The Way to Him - it is only through Christ our Savior.  Only in Christ are we consecrated, made and declared sacred, holy, sanctified.  Throughout time we humans have taken His ways, His Commands, and added our own twist.  We have added to or taken away from His Word to "tickle our ears".  To try and cover up the stench of sin. 

Looking at myself, I wonder how often I have taken His perfume and copied it for my own personal use - "consecrated" my "self"?  How often have I believed I am my own savior, that my ways are right and that I am god? 

Every single time I chose to serve "self" instead of Him.  Just as the world continues in doing this,  with my sinning, I am just as guilty.  It is only through and because of Christ that I am consecrated - to be soaked in Holiness. 

I have to put all of my sins, all of my "self" upon the alter of Christ, my ultimate sacrifice. 

To rid myself of the ugliness of sin and death. 
Becoming "a pleasing fragrance before God, a gift to God".   

Saturday, February 07, 2015

"Constantly Provides Wherever We Are" - 02/07/15 - Exodus 25-27

At Timna Park, 20 miles (32 km) north of Eilat in the Arabah, a life-size replica of the biblical tabernacle has been constructed. While no original materials (e.g., gold, silver, bronze) have been used, the model is accurate in every other way based upon the biblical description.

"over that a covering of dolphin skins" (26:14)

Throughout the years, this part of materials commanded has always caught my eye. 

Dolphin skins - in the desert? 

Here is what I have discovered:

The Israelites had just come out of slavery - not a position that attained much wealth - certainly not the amount God called for to build the Tabernacle.  Here is just a few - Gold - 2800 lbs (not ounces, but pounds) -  “Use a seventy-five-pound brick of pure gold to make the Lamp stand and its accessories."  Silver - 9600 lbs, Bronze - 6700 lbs. 

The Israelites would have carried a lot of the materials for the Tabernacle out with them from Egypt.  Not an easy task I would think.  We know that Moses had asked the people of Israel to ask the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelery and for clothing. These were given to the Israelites in large enough quantities for the Exodus record to state that they plundered the Egyptians. 

"The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing.  And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians." (Ex 12:35-36)

The covering was made from either badger or seal/dolphin skin (there is some uncertainty as to the correct translation from Hebrew). But there is no uncertainty as to its function: this covering formed a thick, protective, weatherproof layer over the Tabernacle. No amount of baking heat from the sun or wind-driven sand-storms or rain could disturb the treasure contained within the Tabernacle, thanks to this covering.

So whether all these goods were brought from Egypt or whether some things were gathered along the way, we cannot really tell.  If the covering was porpoises, I found that they were very common at that time in the Mediterranean sea and actually swam up the Nile river quite a ways. They were harvested by the Egyptians and their skins used quite extensively for shoes and other leather garments. They say that it is a very soft supple skin similar to eel skin. From what I read about it they were considered a rather luxurious item, but were still fairly common in Egypt.

Also, even though the people of Israel were in the wilderness, if you check a map of possible routes, they were often not far away from the Red Sea, especially if Mt Sinai/Horeb was east of the gulf of Aquaba.  Here is an interesting comment from Easton's Bible Dictionary:

"The dugong, very plentiful in the shallow waters on the shores of the Red Sea, is a marine animal from 12 to 30 feet long, something between a whale and a seal, never leaving the water, but very easily caught."

The Israelites could conceivably have sent hunting parties out to get the porpoise/dugong/sea cow skins, although nothing is mentioned about it, these items for the Tabernacle were donated by those with a willing heart. 

"And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord's contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments.  So they came, both men and women. All who were of a willing heart brought brooches and earrings and signet rings and armlets, all sorts of gold objects, every man dedicating an offering of gold to the Lord.  And every one who possessed blue or purple or scarlet yarns or fine linen or goats' hair or tanned ram's skins or goatskins brought them" (Ex 35:21-23)

How awesome is that.  He provided them with all these riches and those with willing hearts, brought it back to Him.  To use for His glory.  The way it's supposed to be - even today.

He supplied what was needed for the Tabernacle in the middle of the desert.  As He also supplies what is needed, as we walk in the desert here on our way Home.

I keep going back to the dolphin skins.  I think about their purpose - "to protect treasure contained within the Tabernacle from the elements".  If it were to rain, the water would run right off.  During sand storms, it didn't get torn apart, it was a solid shield.  The heat would have been reflected off.  The skins would have saved what it covered.

Dolphin skins - Protecting treasure contained within the Tabernacle. 

The Holy Spirit.  Christ Blood.  His Word.  My Daddy.  Protecting - treasure/me - contained within the  - Tabernacle/Him.

Even dolphin skins go back to Him. 

Friday, February 06, 2015

"Sabbathing" - 02/06/15 - Exodus 22-24

"Work for six days and rest the seventh so your ox and donkey may rest and your servant and migrant workers may have time to get their needed rest."(Exodus 23:12)

Nichalas, a few years ago, taught me of the importance of taking Sabbath. He was so right. Our society has come so far away from taking a Sabbath.

The Sabbath isn't about a day - it is to rest daily IN Him - IN His Word.

It is a time to worship, the adoration and praise of God.

Too busy, too selfish, too "self". Everything worldly points to hurry up, just do it, fill every minute up with work, school, activities, etc. Just go, go, go. And satan loves that.

And the more "busy" we become, the less "Sabbathing" we do.

 Too fast, too soon is the speed of life. Before you know it you're looking back and realizing you are past middle age. Less time ahead of you than behind. How much of that living was spent "Sabbathing"?

We are told to pray without ceasing. Do I? For the past 15 years I have tried to Sabbath each morning In Him. The heart transformation I have experienced through being in His Word every day is mind blowing. It has helped me so much in not being anxious, to let go of "my" schedule and follow Him. Too see that all will work out.

Whenever I see someone who is on constant go, looking anxious, tired, frazzled, I just want to shout, "Stop - Sabbath In Him".

I know it doesn't make sense, so much about Him doesn't.

 That is where the faith, trust, and focus come in as your tools. Amazing how when I spend a block of time resting in Sabbath with Him every day, it begins. The peace and joy. The fruits of the Spirit take hold and rule my life. Priorities change. Things are accomplished. I am blessed with a structured life even in the middle of this chaotic world. And I find the world looks on in wonder because it really should not work that way. Taking time to Sabbath In Him should put me behind and it only puts me ahead.

You have to Sabbath.


Thursday, February 05, 2015

"Special Treasure" - 02/05/15 - Exodus 19-21

 "If you will listen obediently to what I say and keep My covenant,
out of all peoples

you'll be My special treasure.

The whole Earth is mine to choose from,

but you're special:

a kingdom of priests, a holy nation.' (19:5-6)

If I listen and do. 

Such a simple command with blessings beyond my imagination.

Yet, I often choose to do the opposite. 

My way versus His way. 

How when I became His, I stepped into the role of priests. 
My life is to be dedicated "as I go, making disciples for Him". 
I am special. 

As are you. 

As is everyone in this world. 

He made us, His. 
In His image. 

all we are required is to listen and do. 

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

"Together is a Must" - 02/04/15 - Exodus 16-18

"And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill.  It turned out that whenever Moses raised his hands, Israel was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was winning.  But Moses' hands got tired. So they got a stone and set it under him. He sat on it and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. So his hands remained steady until the sun went down."  (17:1012)

"This is way too much for you - you can't do this alone."(18:18)    

I came away from His Word today affirmed once more - we can not do life all alone.

Last night my best friend, my "sister" in Him, was unexpectedly standing on my doorstep.  I love having relationship with others who know they are always welcome into my life at any time.  any moment.  It was a time of just connecting.  laughing.  venting.  sharing.  and talking about our ABBA.  I will carry in my treasures, seeing her inside out beauty under the soft glow of the lamp. 

There are so many in my life who cover me with prayer.  with encouragement.  with accountability.  with love.  There are so many in my life who I see Christ shining through and am honored, blessed they have chosen to share life with me. 

I love the strangers He puts into my life, even for just a moment, and reveals to us - we are siblings through our Christ. 

There are many moments when I am blown away when He opens my eyes to the love pouring out from Him through those who let me know - I am not alone. 

We need each other - to share life and all that comes with it.  Our ABBA designed us to need, interact with each other, but most of all -  we were made with the need of Him.


Tuesday, February 03, 2015

"Each One of Us" - 02/03/15 - Exodus 13-15

"Moses stretched his hand out over the sea: As the day broke and the Egyptians were running, the sea returned to its place as before. God dumped the Egyptians in the middle of the sea. The waters returned, drowning the chariots and riders of Pharaoh’s army that had chased after Israel into the sea. Not one of them survived." (14:27-28)

There was a party going on with the Israelites after they made it through the Red Sea.  After they walked through on dry land, walls of water on both sides, 600,000 men on foot besides women and children (Exodus 12:37), they turned and saw the Egyptians - dead - washed up on the shore. 

All of them were dead.  No survivors.

And the party began.

The Israelites were in awe of God.  Raising their voices up in a song of praise.  Moving their feet and bodies in a dance of worship. 

And what about God. 
"Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness" (Genesis 1:26)

This didn't apply to just Adam and Eve. He made all of man "in Our image" - In His image.

We worship a God of love. 
A God that is pure and holy. 
A God that created each and every one of us. 

Including the Egyptians.

They were ones He desired to be called His own.  They too were created because He desired them to be with Him.  Eternally. 

God didn't create any of us - not one - to perish. 

But, because of free choice - many have and will. 

How many times do I get caught up in being a survivor and not remembering the lost? How often do I not see those who are out to sea, drowning?  And if I do see them - "desire" to help them to Him? How often do I look at the lost as not being in His image and write them off - dehumanize them...... 

I think about how God used the Egyptians for His glory and how that had to have ripped His heart out.  Knowing when they drowned, their last breath was also their last chance to turn to Him. 

It is because of how He has shared Himself with us through His Word I am able to picture how torn He was.  That He was rejoicing with the Israelites in their worship of Him. 

And at the same time - He wept over those that lay dead on the seashore.

Monday, February 02, 2015

"Rescued" - 02/02/15 - Exodus 10-12

'It's the Passover-sacrifice to God who passed over the homes of the Israelites in Egypt when he hit Egypt with death but rescued us.'"(12:27)

I love the security in knowing - Christ is my Passover-sacrifice.

Because of Him - I will be going Home one day to the Promised Land.

Until then though - I live here - for and "in" Him.

He has rescued. 

Sunday, February 01, 2015

"Which Way" - 02/01/15 - Exodus 7-9

"Then Pharaoh turned and went into his house with no concern even for this."(7:23)


How it will and does harden our heart.

How it will and does promote us to turn and walk away from ABBA.

How it will and does change our lives so we haven't any concern for that which involves our Father.  His people.  His will.

We are in the middle of spiritual warfare.  Spiritual warfare for your soul. 

Each and every moment we live will entail our making a choice. 
To follow our ABBA or to follow self.

Each and every moment will entail our feet to turn and follow Him or to turn away with no concern.