Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Dear My Beloved" - 04/30/15 - Psalm 102-104

When reading His Word - personalize it.

It is after all His Love Letter to you............

"Praise The LORD, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise His Holy Name.

Praise The LORD, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits-- who forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases, who redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion, who satisfies my desires with good things so that my youth is renewed like the eagle's.

The LORD works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed. He made known His ways to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel:

The LORD is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love.
He will not always accuse, nor will He harbor His anger forever; He does not treat me as my sins deserve or repay me according to my iniquities.

For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for me - who loves Him;
as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed my transgressions from me.

As a father has compassion on his children, so The LORD has compassion on me - who loves Him; 

for He knows how I am formed, He remembers that I am dust.  As for me, my days are like grass, I flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.                                 

But from everlasting to everlasting The LORD's love is with me - who loves Him,

and His righteousness is with my children's children-- with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts.

The LORD has established His throne in Heaven, and His Kingdom rules over all.

Praise The LORD, you his angels, you mighty ones who do His bidding, who obey His Word.
Praise The LORD, all His heavenly hosts, me - His servants who do His will.

Praise The LORD, all His works everywhere in His dominion.
Praise The LORD, O my soul.(103)



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

"Source of my Life - The LORD" - 04/29/15 - 1 Chronicles 7-10

So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against The LORD , because of the word of The LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, and did not inquire of The LORD .(10:13-14)


My devotional this morning pertained to Godly wisdom.  We are promised through the reading and studying of His Word we will receive the gift of Wisdom.  I think about the lengths Saul went in asking what direction to take in his life.  I think about the times he only went to himself and did what he wanted.  I think about how his actions led to his death. 

I think about how opposite my life would be, if not in His Word each and every day - drinking in the gift of His Wisdom.  His Wisdom which I strive to follow as I walk each step in this journey of life towards Home. 

Sharing this from In Touch Magazine:

Godly wisdom can be defined as the capacity to see things the way the Lord sees them and to respond according to His principles.

One of the great benefits of this mindset is peace.

Generally, when life’s running smoothly and all is well with us and our loved ones, we have no trouble experiencing contentment. But often when situations become difficult, God’s perspective eludes us, and our peace is rapidly replaced with stress, anxiety, and fear.

To view a difficult circumstance from the Lord’s perspective, we need to see it encompassed by the boundaries of His character and attributes.

Even when the particulars of life are beyond our control, the One who rules the universe remains sovereign over all things—down to the smallest details.
He loves us unconditionally and always works for our best interest.

Therefore, if He has allowed a situation, there is a divine plan and reason, and the outcome will be for our good and His glory.

That wise perspective will lead to a godly response—complete confidence and trust in the Lord despite any pain or hardship. Because of the indwelling Spirit, we have the assurance that He is more than adequate for whatever comes our way, which means we are sufficient in Him.

When difficulty hits, don’t let sound wisdom vanish from your sight.

Keep your eyes on the Lord.

By seeing every situation through His eyes, you can rest in His wisdom and good purposes.
Then stress will lift, anxiety will be replaced with peace, and confidence in the Lord will silence your fears.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"He Is my Eternal" - 04/28/15 - Psalm 81, 88, 92-93

"Thy Throne is established from of old;
Thou art from everlasting." (93:2)     


In all moments on this journey - what am I standing before? 

Is it before various idols I have chosen to worship?

Idols of worry, fear, status, money - idols of this world?
Idols which come between my ABBA and me.

Is it my ABBA - sitting on His Throne? 
The Almighty. 
The Eternal. 

What do I place my faith, my hope, my joy, my confidence, my all in? 
Do I go before Him each day and crawl up into His lap? 
Do I take for granted how He delights in me?
Do I take for granted He gave His only Begotten Son for me?
Do I take for granted because of Christ, I am able to come before Him continually? 
To share "me" with Him?
To be with Him?
To draw strength, God-fidence, Love from? 


My ABBA isn't sitting on a Throne away from me. 
He sits on a Throne which can include me. 
It's my choice to act upon His outstretched arms. 
Arms which want nothing more than to encircle me. 
Arms which want nothing more than to hold me next to His Heart.

Each moment.  Eternally.

Monday, April 27, 2015

"Song From My Heart" - 04/27/15 - 1 Chronicles 6


"Now these are those whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of The Lord, after the ark rested there.  They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of The Lord in Jerusalem; and they served in their office according to their order." (31-32)                   

While reading today's Scriptures,  I noticed there in the middle of the listing of the High Priestly Line and their cities, was the section regarding the "Musicians' Guild". 

Throughout the years,  my sister, Teresa, would try to share her love for Christian music and I would politely nod.  Eyes glazed over.  Not really comprehending. 

And then the Holy Spirit began to dance within my heart to the words of praise being sung.  As I tucked more of His Word into my heart, I began to recognize passages being put together with the musical notes.  I began to fall in love with the worship of praise music.  I began to stand before Him, words washing over my soul, just listening and silently praying the words of the songs.  

There are many Scriptures validating our ABBA's love of music.  of praise.  Of its importance. 
It delights Him.  It is commanded of us.

When the boys were quite little and I would sing, they covered their ears and said, "No mommy,No".  I have always felt there will be a sound proof booth for me in the choir room of Heaven!  Many times I find myself not singing because the sound of my voice ruins it for me.  But then - then - there are times when I am alone in the car, or the house, and His praises are being sung and I can. not. help myself.  

I sing.  Or try to anyway.

He has brought to mind, He created my voice.  He knew before the world was formed the sound of my voice.  And He delights in it.  It isn't squawking to Him.  My voice is being lifted up to Him through the Love in my heart.  The Love that makes it a beautiful sound to His ears.  The Love for Him in my heart has not only transformed my voice - it has transformed the all of me.    

When ABBA hears me.  sees me.  thinks of me.  He sees me through the Love of my Savior.  My Christ.  And in Him - I am Holy.  I am Beautiful.  I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

I am His Beloved. 

Loving my ABBA.  So much.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

"His. I am His" - 04/26/15 - Psalm 73, 77-78

"Nevertheless I am continually with You; You have taken hold of my right hand.
With Your counsel You will guide me, And afterward receive me to glory.

Whom have I in heaven but You?
And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 

My flesh and my heart may fail,
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You.

But as for me, the nearness of God is my good;
I have made The Lord GOD my refuge,
That I may tell of all Your works."(73:23-28)

Amen.



Saturday, April 25, 2015

"Choosing To Be" - 04/25/15 - 1 Chronicles 3-5


"They were the potters....., resident potters who worked for the king." (1 Chronicles 4:23)

How often do I become so full of self - I forget - I am only a mere potter for God. 
 
He is The Master Potter and everything I have is coming through me from Him. 
 
I am only a vessel for Him to use, to bring glory to Him.

The day our Savior rose from the grave was the day which represents a new covenant between God and His people.  It isn't because of anything I have produced from the clay.  It is because of Christ and His works that I am free. 
 
All are free who abide In Him. 

If they choose to.

There is the story of the scientist who was going to prove God wasn't real by producing a diamond from a piece of coal.  He claimed he was able to produce the same beauty God did.  God agreed to the challenge.  As the man bent down to pick up the coal, God told him, "Wait  - you have to create your own piece of coal".   Being a resident potter, I am only able to produce from what He provides.  It is His clay, His wheel, His Hands which guide me. 
 
Again, I am only a tool.
 
If I choose to be. 

I pray throughout my growth In Him, I will never forget it is only because of The Sacrifice Christ made for me that I may be with our Abba eternally.  It isn't because of my works, my gifts, or talents. 

Only in Him - Christ - The King. 
 
If I choose Him to be - my King. 

Friday, April 24, 2015

"LORD - my LORD" - 04/24/15 - Psalm 43-45, 49, 84-85, 87

"How lovely are Your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts!

My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of The LORD ;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to The Living God!!!!

The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, My King and my God.

How blessed are those who dwell in Your House!

They are ever praising You. Selah.

How blessed is the man whose strength is in You,
In whose heart are the highways to Zion!

Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring;
The early rain also covers it with blessings.
They go from strength to strength, Every one of them appears before God in Zion. 

O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.

Behold our shield, O God, And look upon the face of Your anointed.

For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness.                                                         

For The LORD God - is a sun and shield;
The LORD -  gives grace and glory;
No good thing does He withhold from those who walk uprightly.                             
                            
O LORD of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!(Psalm 85) 

Thursday, April 23, 2015

"My ABBA Named Me" - 04/23/15 - 1 Chronicles 1-2

"Adam" (1:1)

Throughout the reading today my eyes scanned over the many names.  Beginning with Adam.  The first man.  The man we all began from.  Our roots.

Many of these names I am unable to pronounce and wonder however did they come up with this mix of letters!  Some I recognize from other accounts in the Scriptures.  My brain kept thinking about how we are all given a name and we are all intertwined somehow, someway on this earth. 

The ripples of us. 

The ripples of those before us, those we create, those ahead of us will create - all will touch the ripples of others. 

I have been thinking most of the day about the names of persons in my life.  Names that come along with a ripple which had in some way of forming me.  I thought about the different persons I encountered today, learning their names and visiting, knowing our "ripples" were touching.  I stand amazed at how important we are to our ABBA. 

He not only knows us by name, He loves and cares enough to give us a name. 

When you bestow a name upon someone, it is usually a process which takes many times saying one over and over until the right one rings true in your ear and falls easily from your lips.  I think about the ones I love and how I delight in saying their names.  How I delight in remembering "ripples" associated with each name.  How I love to hear them call - my name.

The Scriptures today of all the names are not just a mixture of vowels and consonants.  They are the names of someone.  Someone, who are part of your family tree.  Someone, whose "ripples" have become a part of you handed down throughout the ages. 

I love knowing when I die, my ABBA has a new name chosen just for me.  One He will delight in saying.  Because that is just how much He loves me.  Just how much He loves all of us. 

He gives us a name He has chosen just for each one of us.  Wow!  Just hope I can pronounce it......

Kids Talk About God by Carey Kinsolving

"I think God will give me 'Bubba' as a new name," says Andrew, age 11. "'Bubba' means like a good friend. I think everybody will have a good name in heaven because there is no evil there."
If there's a southern section of heaven, Bubba should work just fine.

It's "Scooby Doo" for Drew, 7. "He's my favorite character, and he's always funny."

"My name will be 'Glitter' because my halo will glitter if I live the life that pleases God," says Jesse, 7.

Please notice the word "if" in Jesse's statement. Eternal life is a free gift received by all who trust the Lord Jesus as their savior, but kingdom rewards are earned by faithful service. Those who live in dependence on God experience the power of Christ's life in them. God has reserved new names on white stones for those who live overcoming lives.

"To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written, which no one knows except him who receives it" (Revelation 2:17).

Victorious athletes in the ancient Greek games received a white stone. In this case, God writes on a white stone a new name that only the recipient knows.

Michael Jordan is known as "Air" Jordan. Have you ever heard of Eldrick Woods?
What about "Tiger" Woods? Eldrick is Tiger's birth name.
I seriously doubt that anyone's new name in heaven will relate to their athletic prowess.
I wonder if the widow whom Jesus commended because she gave two mites (copper coins) to the temple treasury will be called "Mighty Mite." We can only imagine.

Husbands and wives sometimes develop endearing names for each other that they reserve for private moments. God has intimate, personal names for faithful believers.
"If God gave me a name, it would have something to do with horses because I love them," says Jordan, 9. "They are so beautiful. So I would be called 'Wild Stallion.'"

I've seen wild stallions running free in the Nevada desert. God wants us to run free and unfettered in our love and devotion to him. He gave us the desire for intimacy, beauty and adventure. All attempts to fill these desires apart from God end in frustration and futility.

We may think we're running free when we run away from God, but we've been bridled by the evil one. "Eternity in our hearts" is how the Bible labels our longing for reality. Author John Eldredge explores this longing like no one else I've ever read.

We like to put God in a box confined to our Sunday-morning church experience. But what happens when God appears in a burning bush, as he did to Moses? If God issues new names commensurate with our character and overcoming experiences, why not aspire to something interesting? How about names like "Fireball," "Burning Heart" or "God-Chaser"? An aspirant to such a name won't be sitting entranced for hours a day in front of the TV.

The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "But His word was in my heart like a burning fire" (Jeremiah 20:9).

“I hope my new name is 'Love,'" says Rebecca, 9.

Think about this: God wants to give you a new name better than any name achieved by the fame and fortune of this world.
Memorize this truth: Revelation 2:17 quoted above.
Ask this question: If God gives you a new name in heaven, what will it be?


  



Wednesday, April 22, 2015

"Each One of "You" - 04/22/15 - Psalm 6, 8-10, 14, 16, 19, 21

And these God-chosen lives all around—
what splendid friends they make!(Psalm 16:3)''

I just want to tell you, "thank you".   As the years pass by, I am continually blessed beyond crazy to be "friends" and "family" with those He has woven my steps within. 

I love He knew before time whom I would be "friends and family" with.  How He had already orchestrated the music of souls and created the song of life I now sing. 

I rejoice.  In. Him.  Through each of You.

Through each of "you" I hear His words of love, encouragement, accountability. 
Through each of "you" I feel His arms wrap around me in a hug from the heart. 
Through each of "you" I see delight in His eyes as they rest upon me, as I see His through "yours".  Through each of "you" I am reminded over and over what a beautiful ABBA we have -

for each of "you" are made in His image.

Each of "you" - breathtakingly beautiful. 

My heart floweth over.  My joy cascades.  My life is full. 

I so look forward to being together throughout eternity with Him and "you".
Thank you - each one of "you".

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Stirring The Pot" - 04/21/15 - 2 Samuel 1-4

"Abner called out to Joab, “Are we going to keep killing each other till doomsday? Don’t you know that nothing but bitterness will come from this? How long before you call off your men from chasing their brothers?”   “As God lives,” said Joab, “if you hadn’t spoken up, we’d have kept up the chase until morning!” Then he blew the ram’s horn trumpet and the whole army of Judah stopped in its tracks. They quit chasing Israel and called off the fighting."  (2 Samuel 2:26-28)




Our Abba, He grieves beyond our wildest imagination when His family is torn apart.  satan who enjoys nothing more than sitting back, watching the destruction, occasionally stirring the pot.  At what point is it, in which we have taken a person and dehumanized them?  To the point of not loving them, not forgiving them, hating them?  How is it that we come to the place where we want nothing more than to "kill" them? 





When we take the focus off of Him.  When we stop seeing life as spiritual warfare and take everything personal.  When it becomes all about "me" and not Him.  My way and not His. 

He tells us, "Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet" (Matthew 10:14).  Notice - He doesn't instruct us to hate or not forgive.  Just to "shake the dust off your feet".  It may be we are not the ones to reach these particular ones for Him - reminder - He has a huge family!  We are to continue to love them as Christ, to Christ, and pray for them.  Not be caught up in thoughts of revenge, defense, anger, or bitterness.  Those thoughts are doing nothing, but burdening and darkening your soul.  Most likely, the person or persons you are obsessed with, are not even thinking about you.  (I know, how could they not??  Focus on Him, not self.) 

Be the Warrior and Vessel for Him that defies the act of destruction.  Continue to pray for them.  God is bigger than anything and in control of all situations.  It may be a person will never accept His ways, their hearts may remain hard, but do not let yours become the same.  Hate only the act of sin - not the sinner. 

This instruction may sound arrogant, but it is so we don't get sucked into the middle of a tornado of destruction.  There are times we "need" to separate ourselves, when we stand in/on His Truth, from those who do not.  Before we do not see everyone, each one of us, are created in His image.  Everyone, each one of us, He loves and desires to be His.  Everyone, each one of us, He gave His only Son so we may have eternal life.

Everyone, each one of us.

It is also so we do not have the mindset of "killing" others, who He desires to be a part of His family.  We may have to separate, denying the temptation to fall into bitter feelings or animosity towards someone.  So we may leave with peace in our heart and mind and do not take any resentment towards others with us.  In other words, we are not to take anger, hurt, blame, or regret with us when we "shake the dust".   

We may be tempted to be upset when we are rejected, falsely accused or blamed.  We are to leave it there and move on, praying that God will send someone in who does help them see His Truth.  Praying too, that we continue to see His Truth, stand firm in/on it.  To resist the urge of allowing "self" to interject our own twist to His Truth.  Staying firm in His Word daily.  Drinking it in, allowing it to consume our heart, mind, and soul.

No matter how much satan continues to stir the pot, adding his own special ingredients of destruction, we are to leave all thoughts of ill feeling behind and move forward with God's peace in our hearts and mind.  It isn't our responsibility for how a person responds.  It is our responsibility for how "we" respond, not allowing their negativity to remove our focus off of Him or to weigh us down. 

Shake the dust and move on. 

Move on to His next Divine Appointment. 

Focus on His face.  Focus on the many, many blessings He showers upon you, fortifying you. 

Focus on that this is a spiritual battle and we will have times of hurt. 

Focus on the end of your journey and your eternal home - Heaven. 
 
Heaven - where there is no satan.  where there are no more pots to stir.   

Monday, April 20, 2015

"Knowing" - 04/20/15 - Psalm 121, 123-125, 128-130

"I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come?

My help comes from The LORD,
 
Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow my foot to slip;
He who keeps me will not slumber.

Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.

The LORD is my keeper;
The LORD is my shade on my right hand.
The sun will not smite me by day, Nor the moon by night.

The LORD will protect me from all evil;
He will keep my soul.

The LORD will guard my going out and my coming in from this time forth and forever. "(121)

Our ABBA - He does this for each one of His.  Have a wonderful day - Knowing. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

"Shelter Through The Storms" - 04/19/15 - 1 Samuel 28-31; Psalm 18

"David strengthened himself with trust in his God.  Then David prayed to God"(1Sam 30:7,8)

I love David.  His example of how often he relied on God.  How often when I become fearful do I react like he did or go running scared?  What a lesson I get from these verses.  Life isn't always fair.  Sometimes when you feel like you're "walking in sunshine", storms will suddenly sweep in. 

One of the many things I love about standing firm in Him is that He helps me be aware of the storm clouds that are coming.  He also surrounds me and protects me.

I can remember being young and sneaking out onto the front porch during storms to watch the sky, the effects of the wind.  I love storms.  I think it would be so neat to be a storm chaser.  But, I love storms when I am watching from a safe place.  As an adult I have I have learned that porches are not a safe place, lightening can strike you even while watching from a window. 

David was in a storm of life and he knew that he would have to go into the middle of it.  He also knew that He would be safe because he used the most powerful weapon he had - "he prayed to God".  Most times God does allow us to watch the storms from a safe distance, but sometimes we are required to go in the middle of it.  Being thankful during these times isn't my strong suit.  Afterwards, when reflecting - I am.  Weathering the storms helps me grow in Him and also in becoming who He created me to be.

Another thing I remember from my youth living in the country, were all of the underground storm shelters that people had in their yards.  They were usually quite close to the house and also used to keep their canned goods and vegetables in.  This wasn't a space used only for storms - it held their foods to live on during the winter months.  Also, by keeping their foods in them, they would have something to eat if their homes were destroyed.  It was also something that had to be maintained and cleaned.  The brush had to be kept back from the door for quick, easy access.  Yearly cleaning of the inside, removal of any spoiled foods, snakes, rodents, etc.  I can remember helping my great aunt dust off her shelves and cleaning off the jars. 

His Word is exactly that to me - my own personal storm shelter.  I have it in my heart and it is my spiritual food to live on, to keep my heart clean and organized.  I know though that for years I really didn't utilize it all the time.  It sat there in "my yard".  As I walked by it, mowed, lived around it, I became so used to it that I didn't see it.  How thankful I am that He made me aware of it without having to weather a major storm! 

David prayed - how is my prayer life?  How often do I really step down into my "storm shelter" and just pray?  Perhaps that is why He keeps waking me up in the middle of the night.  Our life is so busy now during the day - He knows that this time of morning is still.  Kinda like the calm before the storm - He is preparing me for the day ahead.

"Strengthened myself with trust in my God" for any storms that will come up. 

Not may - but will.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

"In Your generous love I am really living at last!" - 04/18/15 - Psalm 17, 35, 54, 63


God - you're my God! I can't get enough of You! I've worked up such hunger and thirst for God, traveling across dry and weary deserts.   So here I am in the place of worship, eyes open, drinking in Your strength and glory. In Your generous love I am really living at last! My lips brim praises like fountains.   I bless You every time I take a breath; My arms wave like banners of praise to You.  I eat my fill of prime rib and gravy; I smack my lips. It's time to shout praises!  If I'm sleepless at midnight, I spend the hours in grateful reflection.  Because You've always stood up for me, I'm free to run and play.  I hold on to You for dear life, and You hold me steady as a post." (63:1-8)



 "It was 20 years ago that I enjoyed the privilege of portraying Jesus in the film The Gospel of Matthew.  The experience was life-changing as I came to understand The Lord in ways I'd never imagined.  I discovered His joy, His heartbreak, and the fire of His passion.  I also discovered how remarkably alone Jesus was when He walked the earth.

After all, who could possibly understand a man whose thoughts and ways were so astoundingly removed from those of any other person?  Even His closest companions never "got it" until after He'd ascended to His Father.  How alone does that leave a man - especially that Golgotha day? 

When we filmed the crucifixion scenes of Matthew, I arrived on the set after a three-hour make-up job that was so authentic none of the film crew could bear to look at me.  I recall thinking of that scripture, "He was....like one from whom men hid their face" (Isa. 53:3), and realizing it was very real.

Then the filming began and the brutality was remarkable.  We were just "faking it," and the awfulness was indescribable.  I remember hanging there and seeing the faces all around me, just staring.  A little girl from the local village where we were filming just cried and cried.  They all would have loved to help me somehow.  But it was something I had to go through alone.

I thought of Jesus looking out and seeing His mother, John, and others.  As much as they loved Him, there was no way they could understand His motivations that day.  As much as they'd have loved to somehow help Him, it was something He had to do - alone.

Then came the moment of alone beyond alone.  "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46).  And you and I could be born again.

Today is a day to shed all our wanting and live as The Lord desires:  thankful.  We have the privilege of understanding Him as those who walked by His side never could, and our response can be nothing other than to fall on our faces in profound gratitude.  Glory to Jesus!!!!!" - Bruce Marchiano
 
 

Friday, April 17, 2015

"My Avenger" - 04/17/15 - 1 Samuel 25-27



“When God completes all the goodness He has promised my master and sets you up as prince over Israel, my master will not have this dead weight in his heart, the guilt of an avenging murder. And when God has worked things for good for my master, remember me.” (1 Samuel 25:30-31)
 

How easily it would be to slip into the routine of "getting even".



 Instead of turning it over to God. 


 This verse opened my eyes to why God commands that He is to seek revenge, not us. 


The guilt.


Being attacked, taken advantage of, being treated as "less than", double standards, all these and more, Christ endured.  More than I will ever comprehend, and still He turned the other cheek. 


God turned more than that.  He turned His back on His Son, my Savior. 


So, when I am 'wronged", shouldn't it be easy to turn it over to God?  If my focus is on Him, only then is it possible.  Otherwise, I am all about "me".  My way.  My revenge.  It is only through Him I am able to keep my mouth shut, when words that slay, want to pour out.  Words which once spoken, cannot be retracted.  I stand amazed at the times I have spiritually seen Him, standing there in front of me with His Hand held up to hold me back.  Telling me He has my back and He will take care of the situation.  In my silence, His Words are loud and clear.  Our world and self has led us to believe if we are silent, we will be walked on.  We will be treated as though we are stupid.  In actuality, we are stupid when we spout off at the mouth. 


In my walk of faith and trust, I have to rely on His time and His way.  And some of those times, it doesn’t make sense to be silent.


As God sent Abigail, He sent us Christ, to intervene, to take from us the guilt we would put upon ourselves when avenging.  Let Him take care of it.  We have more important things to concentrate on.  Loving Him and making Disciples.  Making our way Home through our journey in life.  A life with less stress, more joy.


No “dead weight in my heart”. 

Thursday, April 16, 2015

"Thank You, Each and Every One of You" - 04/16/15 - Psalm 56, 120, 140-142

"When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You.                                                                    
In God, whose word I praise, In God I have put my trust; I shall not be afraid. "(56:3-4)

His timing is so perfect.  His Word - always - is the right ones I need at the exact time. 

I wasn't, you know, afraid today.  The prayers being lifted up for me were raining down upon me and I felt His peace.  I felt no pain during the procedure.  Test results from the bone marrow biopsy will be in next Thursday, when I have my follow up appointment. 

I am honored.  I am blessed.  More than I can comprehend.  More than I can express. 

Thank you for your prayers.  your encouraging words.  your love. 

How our ABBA so blesses.  How I am so blessed. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

"Your good name is my Hope" - 04/15/15 - Psalm 7, 27, 31, 34, 52

"I trusted in the generous Mercy of God then and now.  I thank You always that You went into action. And I'll stay right here, Your good name my hope, in company with Your faithful friends. (52:8-9)


There are times when I forget to where He has brought me through His "generous Mercy".  There are times when I physically cringe.  When my path comes across someone from my past and I pick up and again dress myself in the garment of "shame".  I allow "shame" to cover up the transformation ABBA has taken and clothed me in.  Much like a ratty, dirty, old bathrobe. 

My mind becomes focused on the mistakes I made rather than on His face.  I focus more at the places of sin I wallowed in, the missed opportunities when I could have been a Vessel for Him and instead WAS (I stress WAS) a vessel for and of sin.  I am focusing on me, instead of my Savior. 


My Savior who was hung on the cross and took upon Himself

all -
all -
my sins. 

All -
all -
of my shame. 

He did this so I could be ABBA's.  So I could live my life intimately "in" the world of ABBA.  My Savior took that old bathrobe and cast it aside. 



I forget I have vowed to "stay right here, Your good name my hope, in company with Your faithful friends" and then there I am, in certain situations, digging through the decay of garbage, retrieving the bathrobe of sin, and putting it on.  Hearing the words of lies.  Picking up "doubt". Believing I do not belong with His faithful company. 

But then, my ABBA begins to speak.  Softly I hear His Voice, coming from my heart, where I have buried His Words.  I am cleansed from "shame", from "sin".  I am covered in His Blood. 

I am His. 
I am His Beloved.

He gently takes my face into His Hands, leading my eyes into His, where I drink in His Truth.  He surrounds me with those who are "in" Him, who see me in love.  Who see me as His.  Who have given me the gift of mercy, as they have been given mercy.  He has placed me "in company with His faithful friends

And He again, removes the bathrobe of shame, casting it aside, revealing me, clothed in His Truth.
He leads me back to my place, right there in the company of Him. 

"His good name is my hope".

The words of this beautiful song by Jason Gray is an awesome reminder of Christ dying on the cross to make us new.

Now I won't deny
The worst you could say about me
But I'm not defined by mistakes that I've made...
Because God says of me

I am not who I was
I'm being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy and I'm dearly loved
I am new
Who I thought I was
And who I thought I had to be
I had to give them both up
Cause neither were willing
To ever believe
I am not who I was
I'm being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy and I'm dearly loved
I am new
I am new
Too long have I lived in the shadow of shame
Believing that there was no way I could change
But the one who is making everything new
Doesn't see me the way that I do
He doesn't see me the way that I do
"I am not who I was
I'm being remade
I am new
I am chosen and holy and I'm dearly loved
I am new
I am new
I am not who I was
I'm being remade
I am new
Dead to the old man, I'm coming alive
I am new
I am new
Forgiven, beloved
Hidden in Christ
Made in the image of the Giver of Life
Righteous and holy, reborn and remade
Accepted and worthy
This is our new name
This is who we are now..."
 
 
 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

"Part of The Misfits" - 04/14/15 - I Samuel 21-24

"So David got away and escaped to the Cave of Adullam. When his brothers and others associated with his family heard where he was, they came down and joined him. Not only that, but all who were down on their luck came around—losers and vagrants and misfits of all sorts. David became their leader. There were about four hundred in all."(1Sam 22:1,2)




I was never part of the "in" crowd.  There are many memories tucked away of enduring the "joys" of being made fun of, not included and even bullied.  Until the past few years, I still allowed "bullies" to intimidate me.  To fall back into believing what they saw or said about me was truth.   God has  opened my eyes, not only to myself and how He sees me, but also to those who used to intimidate me. I stress "used to".

Some days there are moments which bring up memories I had buried deep. Not deep enough obviously. In trying to fill a void, to fit in, I have done many things I am so ashamed of. Thankfully, God reminds me I haven't been that person for over 30 years and our Savior's death on The Cross has covered me in His Grace and Mercy.  In Forgiveness.  Through His Blood I have been made new.  I have been - Redeemed.

In the past,  all I wanted was to be included with those who treated me as an outsider. Now - I don't care. It is because He has filled the void and I am His "misfit".  He has blessed my life and given me so many treasures - Curt, Adam, Nichalas, and Amber to name a few. My life is very rich and very full. He has surrounded me with those I love and am loved back. Those whom I am able to be myself, accepted and know I truly belong in His wonderful family of "misfits"! There aren't enough words to express how very much I love this "family" He has blessed me with. And every day He introduces me to more siblings. How great is our Daddy!

The best part is I am still a misfit in this world.  Throughout Scripture,  I look at the people Christ surrounded Himself with and they were mostly the same as the band David had surrounded himself with. Losers and vagrants and misfits of all sorts.  I see now,  being a misfit was actually the best thing that could have happened to me.

I love God is able to take the "losers" and make them winners. I love He is able to take my shame and remove it from me with His forgiveness, grace and mercy. I love how He has taken my sins and used them for His glory.  I love how He took the world's rejected and made us totally accepted. I love He has exchanged the world's measuring stick for His own.

But most of all, I so love knowing - without doubt -  I am one of His "misfits".
 
Redeemed. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

"My Dependable Love - My ABBA" - 04/13/15 - 1 Samuel 18-20; Psalm 11, 59


 I can always count on You—
God, my Dependable Love.(Psalms 59:17)

How much David loved God.  I had never really thought much of  how his world was turned upside down in such a short time.  He went from being the "runt" son, the shepherd boy to a warrior and son-in-law of the king.  From being out in the wilderness, alone for long amounts of time, to being anointed king, to being in the company of armies, royalty.  He went from fighting bears and lions to killing men. 

I doubt in his wildest dreams did he ever envision his life becoming as it did.  Or that he himself would be a king.

Throughout it all though, he loved -  loved God.

In telling Saul of killing the lion and bear, I don't feel he was bragging.  He was protecting his sheep, even laying his own life down.   Just as he was protecting the name of God.  David loved deeply.  Sometimes, I get so caught up in the story of David I miss out on the emotional side of him, until I get into the Psalms.  Reading of all the warfare causes me to forget he was a man of great compassion and love.  He was just wanting to bring honor to God and getting caught up in the drama of life. 

Saul was a crazy man and David still gave him honor because he knew Saul was one of God's chosen.  It takes a great man to not take things personal - spears being thrown at you -  and stay focused on God.  What an example for me to carry in my heart as I go forth and come up against giants or spears.  It helps to put things in perspective in a big way.....I mean really how many nine foot men do I come up against, or a "friend" throwing spears at me?  Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying some of the things we have to deal with in our lives aren't just as serious - but we sometimes take every single thing and make it into a big deal.  Mountains out of molehills.  Through it all - David drew strength and stood firm in knowing that God was his Dependable Love.
 
Am I as David.

 The part of this account which stands out to me the most was Jonathan.  This was probably one of the first times David had felt this overwhelmed with life and God blessed him with a friendship.  It doesn't seem as though David received much support from his brothers, his father called him the "runt", he had a wife who loved him, a father-in-law that did/didn't.

I am so thankful my "Jonathan" is my husband, Curt. He has been with me to face giants for almost 33 years and I pray daily for a minimum of another 50.  It took a number of years for our walks to have finally come together as one in Him.  We were talking about this the other morning and realized it began to happen when Curt started reading his Bible almost every day.  He said when he misses a day his mood, outlook and everything is out of sorts.  I pray people will come to know how essential His Word is.  The "Blogging through The Word" isn't about getting numbers for me - it's about teaching and reaching others one by one, as Paul did in his ministry.  It is so amazing what the ripple effect is for one person.  Can you imagine how the world would be changed if we were all in His Word?

I pray people will come to know how essential it is to have His Word implanted within our hearts.  our souls. our minds.

To face and overcome the giants and the spears with Him. To stand firm in Knowing His promises.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

"Training In Him" - 04/12/15 - 1 Samuel 15-17


"God, who delivered me from the teeth of the lion and the claws of the bear, will deliver me from this Philistine.” (17:37)

He delivers us through the lions and bears, to prepare us for the giants.  As I am looking back, each battle I have fought at the time, seemed like a giant.  Hind site shows me it was only a lion or a bear.  Not to be taken lightly, it was training.  Training for me to be dependent on Him.

So many times when facing a "giant" I allowed fear to dictate my actions.  I sometimes stood and used my own fighting techniques, which was futile.  Or, I would turn tail and run, using my escape plan, only to become captured and controlled by the "giant".   

So many times there have been my lack of Trusting in Him, even after all the "giants" He has delivered me from. 

It has only been in growing more intimate with Him, I am learning to stand in faith and follow His lead.  Follow His way.  It is only through Him that there are more times of  standing back and He is fighting the "giant", while I remain "still and know He is God".  The times when I "let go and let God".

It is in His Word I have gained much wisdom and strength.  Through the account of David, coming up against Goliath,  He allows me to see -  fear wasn't even in the picture. 
 
David had "Godfidence". 
 
He acknowledged His "Living God" and stood firm on faith,.  Drawing deeply from his prior training with the "giants" in which God had already delivered him from - each and every time. 

With each step I take closer in my Abba, the giants are falling away. 

With only a small stone David killed Goliath. 
 
My Abba is much bigger than any small stone. 

And any giant. 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

"Divine Appointment" - 04/11/15 - 1 Samuel 13-14

"And all because you didn’t keep your appointment with God!” (1 Samuel 13:14)

 

A few years ago during our weekly Bible study, we were discussing about how life can rob us of peace if we allow it.  This led to the way life can rob us of so much, if our focus isn't on Him.  Barbara said, "she didn't want to miss God."

Her comment hasn't left my thoughts.

Divine Appointments.

God has them lined up for me each and every day.

Whose appointment book am I living by - His or mine?

How often am I in such a rush to keep my agenda, that I miss out completely who or what He has set up for me that day.   Christ went away, in the early morning, to be with our Abba.  Throughout His Word He tells us to dig into it, consume it, make it part of our heart, our life, our being.  This isn't done unless we schedule in "ink" to be in His Word every day.  I think about how we are able to "pencil" in weddings, funerals, doctor appointments, lunches, etc., yet we are sometimes even unable to "pencil" in an appointment with Him every day. 

During the past years, I strive to meet with Him first thing every morning.  It isn't often that I miss our time together, going over His Love Letter to me.  He gives me the needed verses I am to carry with me throughout the day.  This time with Him isn't a habit, it is an essential part of my life.  Those times when I push our meeting to later in the day, messes up my focus.  Thankfully, His Word is powerful and alive, which keeps me going until I make it to my Divine Appointment with Him.

But, how different my day goes when He and I meet first thing.  My day begins totally focused on and in Him.  I find myself eagerly awaiting my "Divine Appointments" He has set up for me with others throughout the day. 

Eagerly.

 It is with excitement when I recognize I am in the middle of His appointment I am to have with another and think about how long He has had this planned.  How He has grown me to this time and place.  Prepared me to be a vessel for Him in this exact appointment.  Nothing is by chance.  Then there are the times I come away blessed and filled, because I needed to be with the person or place He set up for me.  I needed to draw living water, encouragement, accountability, reinforcement, essential tools He knew I needed from that appointment.

Barbara's words - "I don't want to miss God". 

I don't. 

I do not want to be so busy with my way, my time, focused on me, the mundane things of life that really don't matter, that I miss His beauty walking right by me.  I do not want to break His heart because He is waiting for me to make our appointment or any other He has set up for me.

I do not want to be like five of the ten virgins who were not prepared to meet their groom.  I do not want to be as they were - gone - because they had to run and get more oil.  I want to live my life looking through Christ eyes and ready for my Divine Appointments.  Yes, I will miss some, but it is a goal I have set for my life.  I know that the only way it will occur is when I set "in ink" my daily appointment with and in Him. 

In His Word, in constant prayer - "In" Him.

I do not want to miss God.

The biggest part which blows my mind regarding our first thing in the morning "Divine Appointment"  -  He desires, looks forward, wipes His appointment book clean, to be with you.  with me.

You and me.
Not to be erased, cancelled, or changed - "We" are His Divine Appointments He writes down in ink! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

"Dealing" - 04/10/15 - 1 Samuel 9-12

 "Nahash said, "I'll make a treaty with you on one condition: that every right eye among you be gouged out! I'll humiliate every last man and woman in Israel before I'm done!"
 The town leaders of Jabesh said, "Give us time to send messengers around Israel—seven days should do it. If no one shows up to help us, we'll accept your terms." (11:2,3) 

How many times because of our choices, are we backed into a corner.  Feeling trapped, not knowing which way to turn and then we make a decision without consulting God.  This account doesn't  say the town leaders would consult God then get back with them, but that they would send messengers around Israel.  Calling in the troops without consulting the Commander in Chief.  And how many times like the Israelites do I do this?  And then find because of my not consulting Him - I am in a jam?  How many times do I feel I have life by the tail and I can make a risky choice - only to have it turn on me.  Can you imagine making such a deal as they did?  Every - not just some, but every right eye.  And what kind of person comes up with this???  And they are making deals with them?

So easy to sit in judgement of their foolish dealings.  It is about then I see the board in my own eye.  I look back upon my life and see many, many times I too made deals with "the devil".  Thinking I had the upper hand and I didn't.  For almost 25 years I lived like that.  Until I found myself in a corner - married with our first son - and realized  I needed to give my life over to ABBA.  To stop making deals with the devil.  I now had too much to lose.  I had a son I loved more than anything, watching  and learning from me. 

"At that very moment God transformed him—made him a new person!"(10:9)

God did this to me.  The moment I made the choice to accept Him as my Savior.  I had been baptized years ago, because everyone was doing it.  Now I knew I had within me the Holy Spirit and He was there to guide me.  I had His personal love letter to me, His Word, in which to learn of Him and obtain the gift of Wisdom. 

From my intimate relationship with Him I have received such hope.  Knowing without a doubt I am His and He is mine.  Forever.

 "Samuel said to them, "Don't be fearful. It's true that you have done something very wrong. All the same, don't turn your back on God. Worship and serve him heart and soul! Don't chase after ghost-gods. There's nothing to them. They can't help you. They're nothing but ghost-gods! God, simply because of who he is, is not going to walk off and leave his people. God took delight in making you into his very own people."(12:20-22)

I love the words of Samuel. As long as we are breathing there is another chance with God. He wants nothing more than for us to be His - of our own free choice. There were many "ghost-gods" I chased before finally realizing the only way the void within me could be filled was with Him. There aren't enough words to express the blessings which come from worshiping and serving Him with my heart and soul. To be amazed that a love you share with Him continues to grow and grow when you think you've met the max. 

He took my stumbling blocks and made them into His stepping stones.

"All Of Us - THE Designer's Original" - 04/09/15 - 1 Samuel 4-8


Then we'll be just like all the other nations. (8:20)


It is such a temptation to compare ourselves to others.  When we do, we end up doing one of two things, or both.  Either we end up wallowing in self-pity - envy - jealousy - because the grass looks greener over there for "them" or we become self-righteous in comparing and convincing ourselves  we are "better than".

We end up serving and focusing on "self".
 
One of my hobbies is building birdhouses.  Taking cast off "junk" and incorporating it into an original design.  Each one is different and unique. ABBA created each one of us in His Image.  He took the "best elements" and even though we threw in some "junk", He still uses all of us, every bit, for His Glory.

When I am focused on Him, I find it exciting and thankful, knowing I am "one-of-a-kind".  Knowing He designed me for His Glory and to do a "job" that only I can do.  I am part of His Body - The Church - and He has a plan for me.

How often do I find myself looking at other women and wishing.  Wishing I was as pretty, as thin, as confident, as outgoing, and sometimes as financially and socially placed where they are.  Before He transformed my heart, I was consumed with this way of thinking and it tore me down.  It caused me to be even more insecure and feel more inadequate.  I see now, looking back, self and satan were wallowing and focusing on "doubt". 

Throughout His Love Letter to me, I read His personal message.  "I am fearfully and wonderfully made", "I am His desire", "for He loved me so much He gave His only Son".  Over and over He reaffirms to me, I am His, specially created, for a special use, for Him. 

Why ever do I submit then to the occasional thinking and wishing I were like other "nations".  Why ever do I think my "design" would be better than His?  In transforming my heart, He is showing me that the best comes from Him being within me.  The more of Him within, the more of Him shines through for others to see.  This True, Radiant Beauty, is what draws others to Him. 

"He that getteth wisdom loveth his own soul" (Proverbs 19:8)
In learning to love me as He loves me, nothing else matters. 

It isn't about "me" - it is all about Him. 

I know now, without a doubt, He made me original.  Sure, I still struggle with comparing and will until I die.  Thankfully, I find more often than not, I am living life in His security.  Each day I look forward to the "Divine Appointments" He has set up for me.  For me.  Knowing the "me" He created is who He needs to be part of the mixture.  

But, it is my choice to follow His lead.  To be different "in" Him.

THE Designer's original!!!

Wednesday, April 08, 2015

"Hannah - May I Be As She" - 04/08/15 - 1 Samuel 1-3


I am greatly ashamed for the many times throughout the years when I have read about Hannah, the sacrifices she made, and did not recognize her as the strong and great woman of God she was, sooner than I did. One of the many great blessings of rereading His Word each year is how He has helped me in "getting to know" those I had often "skimmed" over. I so wish I could have spent time with her, to know more about her.  There is so much I have been taught through Scriptures, I can only imagine how much I would learn if able to have shared life with her face to face.

The blessings I receive from the little I do know, are amazing. She first captured my heart with who she turned to in her pain - God. She never turned inside and lashed out at the injustice she endured. To live as a barren woman in those days was one of the greatest types of shame. She was looked at as a complete failure. And yet, how her husband, Elkanah, loved her.

Her first great love though - is God.

"Hannah was praying in her heart, silently. Her lips moved, but no sound was heard. Eli jumped to the conclusion that she was drunk." (1:13) "The only thing I've been pouring out is my heart, pouring it out to God."(1:15) How often do I pray to God in such a way? Do I take the privilege of prayer and take it for granted? How often does it look to God as though I am drunk - because I am pouring my heart out to Him. How often do I hold back bits and pieces I feel He won't like, won't accept, won't find important or won't change? How often do I forget He desires to hear all of my heart.

I look upon her with great admiration and respect. She loved God so much that she vowed to give Him back her son if she were to be blessed with one. And she did. Jewish children were usually five years old when they were weaned. This is probably how old Samuel was when they left him with Eli the priest - to live.

I look upon her with great admiration and respect. When I picture the separation, I don't see Samuel smiling and waving goodbye. I envision tears and fear as he stood beside a man, Eli, whom he did not know. I envision a little boy watching his mommy and daddy leaving him. Could I have done this? We lost two babies which I think is one reason I have hung on and cherished Adam and Nichalas so much. But, at times I have been very guilty in placing my worth in being their mom, in loving them more than God.

Hannah left with a song -

"Hannah prayed: I'm bursting with God-news! I'm walking on air.
I'm laughing at my rivals. I'm dancing my salvation.  Nothing and no one is holy like God.....(2:1-10)

The boy Samuel stayed at the sanctuary and grew up with God.(2:11)

Hannah left with a song.

I look upon her with great admiration and respect. A child's character and personality are "formed" by the time they are five. It says so much about Hannah as a mommy in the man who Samuel grew up to be. We only know for sure she saw him once a year when they went to make sacrifice, no other time is written about. God blessed her with other children, but none can take the place of the other. We know that Samuel lived in Ramah when he was older, I like to assume that he was spending time with his family.

I gain much wisdom and strength from Hannah. When Adam was living in Liverpool, NY and now  with Nichalas and Amber in Phoenix. I draw comfort in Hannah's focus. It was totally on God. She didn't fall into a pity party for not being able to spend more years with Samuel - she was thankful for the time she had. She turned to God in her great pain and drew strength and comfort from Him. By doing that - she had peace and joy.

Joy in a situation where I would be in tears. I pray I may be the mommy Hannah was. I pray our children and generations to come will be known as Samuel was -

"Samuel grew up. God was with him...Everyone...recognized that Samuel was the real thing—a true "child" of God."(3:19-21)

I pray this for our children and all future generations, from their roots in ABBA - to be His.  For ABBA to use them for His Glory.

"But I will raise up for Myself a faithful priest who will do according to what is in My heart and in My soul; and I will build him an enduring house and he will walk before My anointed always."(2:35)

From Hannah I have learned how to have a song in my heart.....always.

 

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

"Not An Ordinary Saturday" - 04/07/15 - Ruth 1-4

It was an honor and blessing to be asked to read scripture for the wedding of one of our "sons" and his bride a few years ago. After praying about it, God gave me:

"But Ruth said, "Don't force me to leave you; don't make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I'll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I'll die, and that's where I'll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us!"(1:16-17)

What a wonderful wedding vow to give each other - to be one In Him from the beginning of their journey together.  And what a wonderful vow to take to our Father from our heart.  To become His hook, line, and sinker.  To be totally sold out for Him - in the good and bad times.  When life is going along with no bumps, or when it seems each and every step you take is met with an obstacle.  The account of Ruth tells us Naomi changed her name to Mara - which means Bitter. 

I pray no matter what steps I am to take in this life, I will not lose focus of His face.  I pray I will not become a Mara - bitter.  I pray I will always know His hope and that He is in control.  Time after time in Scripture, He gives us the promise of hope.  We are told He is in total control and we are in The Palm of His Hand. 

Thankfully, Naomi refocused and saw the hope God gave her before her life ended here on earth.  "Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "Why, God bless that man! God hasn't quite walked out on us after all! He still loves us, in bad times as well as good!" (2:20)  I continually pray when I lose focus on His face, which I will, I may quickly refocus on His hope.  I so do not want to live out my life in Bitterness. 

My mind keeps going back to "that day".  Today the weather so matches "that day", it is colder, overcast and with a few sprinkles.  I keep thinking about on "that day" my Savior was separated from our ABBA because He had willingly taken upon Himself my sins.  "That day" of in between.  "That day" readying to bring about the end of the war.  It was "that day" before He overcame death and satan.  

Each moment we are given a new beginning - it's our decision to live in the hope or in the bitterness.

To live as though each moment is our Easter. - the day after "that day". 

Monday, April 06, 2015

"Under The Same Moon" - 04/06/15 - Judges 19-21

At that time there was no king in Israel. People did whatever they felt like doing.(Judges 21:25)

Throughout the readings of Judges, I have not enjoyed it.  There has been such ugliness.   I have such incredible sorrow in how people are outside of God.  So many of the verses seem to ring true of today.  I wasn't hearing what He wanted me to know.  My focus was about the status of the people, their sins, the way the world was.  The mistreatment of the women, the way people would "bend" the laws to suit their desires, how they would make a vow and change things up so they wouldn't lose face.  And again, I am reminded of how we humans really haven't come that far over the years.
 I was only focusing on the discouraging status of today's world.

This past Friday night as we were driving home,  the moon was absolutely beautiful.  Hanging up there, it seemed larger than normal, so bright it almost hurt your eyes to look at it.  And yet you couldn't take your eyes away from it. 

And then it hit me. 

One night in a garden, far away from Quincy, Il - kneeled a man.  A man who was wrestling with the greatest journey He would ever, ever have to take.  A man who was in communion with His Father.   A man who knew all the sin in this world, and still loved each and every soul that lived and will live.   

It hit me.

This man who looked up at this same moon as I was - how so very much He loves me. 
 
He prayed knowing His Daddy was going to separate Himself from Him - just for me.  The heartbreak they were going through in that garden.  This man who made the choice to make a necessary separation from His Father until He arose from the grave - so I may be with Him for always.  For all who chose to take Him as their Savior. 

The King of Kings.  My Savior.


It hit me.

He wants me to focus not on the hopelessness of sin, but on the Hope of Him.
He took all the ugliness of us in sin and transformed us into His Beautiful. 
No greater Love.

Sunday, April 05, 2015

"Traded For The Bribe Money" - 04/05/15 - Judges 16-18

"When Delilah realized that he had told her his secret, she sent for the Philistine tyrants, telling them, “Come quickly—this time he’s told me the truth.” They came, bringing the bribe money." (16:18)

Most nights, the last thing I remember thanking God for is my Curt. 

Usually, I am holding his left hand and my fingers touch his wedding band.  There is something about him wearing that band of gold that touches my heart.  Knowing that when someone sees it on his finger, they know that he is "taken". 
 
 He is mine.

We will be celebrating 33 years together this coming June 9th, the anniversary of our first date.  In that time, we have been through many ups and downs.  Thankfully, we made it - only because of God's help. 

Exactly 27 years ago, we were in a major down.  I can remember being on my knees and begging, pleading to God, that He would save our marriage, that Curt would not leave us.  I didn't know where else to turn.  Thankfully, I turned to ABBA, because He is who kept us together.  Almost 12 years ago we were in another major down.  This time it was me who wanted out.  I know that I hated our marriage and thought I even hated him.  There were such harsh and painful words that I threw out at him.  Wanting only to hurt and drive him away.  But, he went down on his knees and begged to God that I wouldn't leave.  He refused to let me go, as I refused to let him go, so many years prior.

 He reminded me of a little rat terrier that had a hold of my pant leg.

I cling with thanksgiving to the many Scriptures telling me how God knows my heart better than I do.  He knew without a doubt, under all the hurt, anger, harsh words - my heart was head over heels in love with Curt.  Through our ABBA, His Word, prayers, counseling, friends who fought to keep us together, we have made it through the many battles during our upward climb on this mountain called marriage. 

Today, He has blessed our relationship in needing only the required regular maintenance, as we continue this climb which will continue on until death do us part.  I go to sleep at night, live throughout each day, so very thankful and blessed beyond words, that our Abba kept us as one.  Not only for ourselves, but for our Adam, Nichalas, Amber, the future grandchildren and the next generations beyond. 

When I read of the relationship that Samson and Delilah shared, I wonder if he was really in love with her or was it just lust?  Did he share his "secret" because he did love her or was he exasperated by her nagging?  Was there ever a moment, afterwards, that Delilah regretted what she had done?  Did she realize that there was something there in Samson's heart for her?  Did she ever think about what she traded in for bribe money? 

How much like the relationship in a marriage is our relationship with God.  We are given the "secret" of Christ and reject it for the bribe money of satan.  So many do not want to put the vested interest or work in relationships anymore, choosing to take the easy way out. 

 As some do with their relationship with God. 
   
My heart breaks when I think about the "Delilah's" of this world.  They hold in their hands the key to eternal life and cast it aside. 

 For the bribe money of satan.