Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Completely Surrounded" - 06/30/16 - 2 Kings 5-8

"He said, "Don't worry about it - there are more on our side than on their side."
Then Elisha prayed, "O God, open his eyes and let him see."
The eyes of the young man were opened and he saw.
A wonder!
The whole mountainside full of horses and chariots of fire surrounding Elisha! (6:16-17)

This is one of my favorite events in Scripture.

I love how ABBA shows us we are never alone.  How He has us completely surrounded with His army.

 I love knowing, even though while in the midst of a spiritual battle, He is in complete control and I am on the winning side.  HIS! 

I pray for the eyes of those in Him to be opened and remember His promises during the battles. 
That we will stay focused on the fact that our Savior has won the war.
That we will keep our eyes on the prize.
That in Heaven, we shall have no more battles.
Only celebration.


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

"The Holy Spirit" - 06/29/16 - Obadiah; Psalm 82-83

"But not so on Mount Zion - there's respite there! a safe and holy place!" (Obadiah 1:17)

There aren't enough words to express how much I love meeting with our ABBA first thing in the morning and reading His Love Letter to me. His Word.

How much I love to kneel before Him and feel His arms wrap around me, His Word entering into my mind, my heart, my soul - preparing me for the day ahead.

Although I love my time with Him, even more so, I love that my "Mount Zion..." isn't just in my alone time with Him each morning. 

My breath has been taken away more than once or twice during my time here on this earth.  Our ABBA' beauty in His Creation is mind blowing.  Looking at pictures from the trips Nichalas and Amber have taken, while in Zion National Park this past February, I am reminded once again at how huge HIS mountains are. 
Not only on this earth, but of our spiritual "Mount Zion". 
No matter the spiritual terrain I am "walking" through, my "Mount Zion" goes with me wherever/whenever I go. 
The Holy Spirit is often overlooked or short changed in His power. 
 It causes me to shudder thinking about living life without The Holy Spirit. How often I feel His nudging, His probing, His protection, His Love throughout the day. 

The Holy Spirit.  He is our own, personal, "Mount Zion".  

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"Watching" - 06/28/16 - 2 Kings 1-4

"Your life repeated in my life. I want to be a holy man just like you." "That's a hard one!" said Elijah. "But if you're watching when I'm taken from you, you'll get what you've asked for. But only if you're watching." And so it happened. " (2:9-11)

How I desire for me to become Christlike.
 How I beg ABBA to transform my heart so I am not seen,
but He is.

Each day I pray -
Less of me to be more of Him.

Three times Elisha said, "Not on your life! I'm not letting you out of my sight!" (2:2)

Do I have this same commitment, this same drive, this same desire as Elisha?
 Or do I let myself take focus off of my Christ and look elsewhere?
 Do I allow self.   or someone.   or something else.   become my Love Idol?

It is only by watching Christ with all we are that we are able to become like Him.
Anything.  Any Thing.   
Anything else we absorb into ourselves will filter through to our fruits.
I am humbled knowing when I  do fail, His grace and mercy covers me.  I am Forgiven.
The Holy Spirit, His Word, refortify and transform us. I am Redeemed.
All are made in His image.  
"We" are working on getting rid of the extras I have chosen to add to His image. 
As Elisha with Elijah - I am not letting my ABBA out of my sight.

Monday, June 27, 2016

"Training" - 06/27/16 - 2 Chronicles 19-23

"his mother training him in evil ways"(22:3)

You know, there is nothing more the world and satan enjoy than for us to pick up doubt and run with it. 

There are times when looking back, I begin to focus more on the things I did incorrectly than what I did right in regard to being a mom. or a wife. or a Christian. or any other role I have been given.  But it is as the role of "mama" that I tear myself down the most.

And then my ABBA reminds me I did do the most important thing as a mom. I introduced and trained up our sons to intimately know their ABBA.

Ashley and I were discussing how we both feel we are "never good enough". 

And it is true.  We will never be "good enough". 

This is why we need our Savior.  This is why we need His Grace and Mercy. That is why we need The Holy Spirit.  His Word.  His family.  That is why we need our ABBA.

satan wants us to recognize we will never be "good enough" and lose faith.  he wants us to feel hopeless in any situation.  to feel beat up.  trapped with no way out.  he wants to destroy us.

Our ABBA on the other hand - He wants to fulfill us in areas we are not "good enough".  to build us up.  to give us hope.  courage. and joy.  He wants to complete us.  For it is only "in" Him, through Him, by Him that we become.  Good enough.

I continually praise our ABBA for being so much bigger than all - yes all - of my "not being good enough".

How our ABBA so blesses.  I am so thankful He is in complete control.

As we walk through this journey, He has put each of us into the lives of others, giving us the gift of training up someone or someones.  Be it for a season or a lifetime.  I am praying we are training them up for Him.  So all will become "good enough" in Him.


Sunday, June 26, 2016

"Peace Eternal" - 06/26/16 - I Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 18

"They enjoyed three years of peace"(I Kings 22:1)
The heat hit my body as I stepped outside through our kitchen door.  I had noticed the apricot colored sky from the living room window and decided to walk out of our little valley to check out the sunset.  As I continued down the road a bit, I was left breathless by the colors our ABBA had splashed across the sky.  The clouds spread out in just the right places.  My ABBA never disappoints, when I stop to look at all of His artwork throughout this world. 
The passing cars under the overpass broke the stillness surrounding me.  It was so peaceful out this evening.  Drips of water from the brief shower clung to the grasses along the road.  I thought about how blessed my life is.  How full my heart is.  I thought about how I love having the peace that surpasses all understanding within and about me. 

He often lifts my soul by the beauty of His paintbrush.
How thankful I am He has created me with the awareness of His nature and the sense to stop and see Him in it. How I delight in seeing the blue skies with white clouds running after each other. The leaves dancing in delight to the music of His wind. 
 And His colors!
The different shades of greens throughout the woods with a pop of color from His flowers. His shadows creating depth.
 I so love the time when I am still and know He is - my "I AM". 
 My ABBA. 
I so thank Him for The Fruits of The Holy Spirit, "love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control".  (Galatians 5:22-23)
I so thank Him how nothing in this world can take those from me - they are mine to cherish and allow to surpass any situation.
I so thank Him knowing these moments of total peace are not just moments.
For "in" Him,  they are eternal.
*Sunset photo by my little sis, Teresa Jones DeWitt.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Strengthened" - 06/25/16 - I Kings 20-21

"Go, strengthen yourself and observe and see what you have to do" (20:22)

In the scripture given to me today, I recognize how often ABBA has given me so many others to help strengthen me along with His Word and my intimate relationship with Him.  Often times while out,  I will cross paths with my  "siblings".  With each bright eyed greeting, hug, and catch up conversations, I came away "strengthened" and reinforced in how much He loves me through others.

I look around and see how He showers me continually with love from others.  His "showers" give me emotional and spiritual  nourishment needed for walking in this journey. 

I also need reinforcement for the physical strengthening.
These past two afternoons I have been blessed in the time spent with our grandson, Charles.  He is "six and a half", and there are many memories I want to make with he, Ella, and other future grandchildren,  as we grow older.  Yesterday, I introduced him to fishing for the first time.  Even though I never got my pole out of the back of the truck, it was one of the most enjoyable days of fishing I have ever spent.  The fish he kept pulling in, fit in the palm of my hand, were small but mighty little fighters.  And when they weren't attacking his bait, he was checking out the tons and tons of frogs living in the pond.

 ABBA has given me this body and I have abused it with the wrong foods.  With too much food and not enough exercise. There are so many activities I am wanting to do, but the body isn't able.  And mostly because I have/am not taking care of His temple in a proper manner. 

  All of us in Christ have been commissioned to "go and make disciples".  It is the toughest job we will ever do.  A job we must strengthen ourselves and be prepared.  At the ready for  all The Divine Appointments He sets up for us.  And this includes our physical body.

The ladies group I am in, His Beloved, is being led to not only grow in our spiritual and mental lives, but our physical as well.  We are being convicted about the foods we consume.  How we exercise and keep our "temples" in shape.  We have learned taking care of His temple is as important as taking care of all other aspects of our "self". 

 Just as I need help from His family to strengthen myself in my spiritual, emotional walk, I need help for my physical.  He has helped me in how He provided His family for all of us to draw strength from Him through. I pray He is using me as His vessel to help strengthen others as well. 

For there is strength in numbers.  And I love being one of His "numbers". 


Friday, June 24, 2016

"Ever Full" - 06/24/16 - 1 Kings 17-19

"As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, "Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand."                                                         
But she said, "As the LORD your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die."

Then Elijah said to her, "Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. "For thus says the LORD God of Israel, 'The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the LORD sends rain on the face of the earth.' "

So she went and did according to the word of Elijah,

and she and he and her household ate for many days.

The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty,
according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through Elijah." (17:11-15)

"So she went and did".

I wonder if it was because she hadn't anything more to lose, since she had resigned herself and her son to death.  Or if it was because she believed. 

How often when I feel I don't have anything more, do I give up to self or to Him. 

Do I resign myself to the little bit this world has to offer, or do I take up His Word and grasp onto His ever giving Love? 

How often do I choose to live life eating from the "bowl of flour which is never exhausted or the jar of oil never to be empty? 

How often do I choose to live my days consuming all He has to offer in exchange for the "little bit" I hold in my hand from self or the world? 

Thursday, June 23, 2016

"True Delightment" - 06/23/16 - I Kings 15:25-16:34, 2 Chronicles 17

"And his heart took delight in the ways of The Lord." (2 Chronicles 17:6)

There are moments when His ways don't make sense.  When the results of our choices bring about consequences causing only pain.  There are moments when it seems the darkness about us will completely swallow us whole.

There are moments when we pick up doubt and feel He isn't "I AM".  Those are moments we need to remember, it isn't His intention to destroy us, it is His intention to save us.

Why else would He sacrifice His only Son for us.

From the mouths of some I have heard our God must not be a loving God to allow the bad to happen in our journeys here on earth.  I feel we have no idea how "bad" things could be, if it wasn't for His intervention.  His protection.

Those are the times we need to stand firm "in" Him.  Those are the times we need to have faith in His ways.  For only He knows the whole paradigm.

I have lived a life without Him and am amazed I stumbled through the valleys of quicksand and tar pits trying to suck me down into the belly of hell.  I know now looking back, I survived only because of His great Love. 

There are moments when it is quite easy to rejoice and delight in His ways.  To celebrate the answers of prayers when the blessings feel as though they will drown us.  Yesterday, after many prayers we were blessed with the early gifts of Brynlee and Malia Zimmerman.  (both they and their mama Natalie are doing super.)

Those are the times we need to tuck away into our hearts to gain strength from.  Those are the times we need to utilize in getting through those not so great moments. 

How thankful I am knowing, without doubt, as the storms of life swirl about me
each and every moment.  Not one is left to "chance".  Our ABBA is in complete control.
No matter the outcome. 

 Our lives here aren't what He intended when He created the world and "us".  Throughout all of The Scripture, we read how He gave "us", yet another opportunity.  The Garden of Eden was a place without sin, until both Adam and Eve made the choice to disobey.  How easily The Lord could have destroyed them then.  But He gave "us", yet another opportunity.  He gave "us", yet another opportunity, in having Noah build an ark and be in it.  Over and over, throughout His Word, we read accounts in which He has given "us" yet another opportunity.

He gave "us", yet another opportunity, through the death and resurrection of our Savior.

Through our Savior we are given the gift of Grace and Mercy.  This doesn't mean we have the freedom to blatantly sin, it means we are covered when we do.  And we will. 

We are all given the free choice to obey or not obey His Will.  To accept or not accept the gift of His Son.  Freedom to be His or not to be His. 

As long as there is breath within us, as long as it is before the final days, we have been given, yet another opportunity.  An opportunity to be redeemed from when we have "provoked The LORD to anger."  (I Kings 15:30) 
An opportunity I pray all will take before they can't.  Delighting to be His as He delights in being yours.  Bringing about "true delightment in the ways of The Lord."


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

"Relying In Him" - 06/22/16 - I Kings 15:1-24, 2 Chronicles 13-16

"Because they relied on The Lord God ."(2 Chronicles 13:18)

As I flung the dead rabbit into the woods from the end of my shovel, I felt something brush against my upper arm.  I didn't see any blood or other matter as I checked for what had hit me.  Walking away from the edge of the woods, I was again caught up in prayers for Lucas, Natalie, the babies, and for all those hearts who are involved. When I reached for my glasses that were hanging from the neckline of my shirt, I realized instantly what had brushed against my arm.  I was soon standing back at the spot where the tall grasses were matted down from my feet. 

After several minutes of  looking through the overgrown underbrush, I prayed out loud,  "Daddy, I am going to need your help in this one."  He answered immediately as I looked down and the lens reflected the last of the evening sunlight.  As I picked them up I heard Him say, "I am able to take care of your glasses and those babies.  Rest in me my child."

Lucas and Natalie Zimmerman.  Lucas whom I took care of with his brother, Jacob, beginning when they were two and five.  These two brothers who have grown up with our Adam and Nichalas.  Two families who have "shared" sons all these years.  Sons who are now men and still as brothers.

Right this moment Natalie is in St. John's Hospital in Springfield, IL.  Others, Jacob, Nichalas and Amber are there as well.  The doctors are doing everything they can to stop her premature labor in order for Brynlee and Malia to do some more growing in their mama's womb before joining their big brother, Abel, at home.  Five days minimum is the goal for tonight.  Amazing isn't our ABBA.  Knowing it takes nine months for a baby to grow, yet in just five days enough will happen to ease the doctors concerns. 

It was there, in reading of the account of wars Asa, king of Judah, would be involved in, that His verse caught my heart, "Because they relied on The Lord God ."  That is exactly what He wants us to do.  To rely on Him.  During all of the living of this life. 

His family numbers are more than we are able to count. We have been given so many tools to band together and lift others up to Him.  So many are praying for this little family.  In all steps of living, so many are praying for each other.  Talking to our ABBA. And knowing - He listens.  To each and every word.  "In the same way The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of The Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."(Romans 8:26-27)  

What hope there is knowing we are not alone.  Ever.  What blessings rain down upon us from each other. What security there is in knowing, without doubt, our ABBA is in total control. 

In all ways.  For always. 

"For The Eyes of The Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." (2 Chronicles 16:9)

"Pomegranates" - 06/21/16 - 2 Chronicles 10-12

"But the final verdict on Rehoboam was that he was a bad king - God was not important to him; his heart neither cared for nor sought after God."(12:14)

"The only time I've thought, "Wow, maybe there is a god,' was when I saw an exhibition of spectacularly gorgeous minerals from the bowels of the earth."
"The acclaimed actress speaks her mind on sex, love, solitude,- and her passion for pomegranates."
Helen Mirren

"Passion for pomegranates". 

I can remember how the sadness came upon me after putting the magazine down.  For a number of years I enjoyed her acting talents, but now all I can think of when she comes to mind is how very sad to live life without ABBA as the center. 

How sad to not even acknowledge "maybe there is a god", when all about us is miracle after miracle, proof of His Awesomeness. 

 Perhaps I feel such a sadness because it reminds me of when I lived in such a way.  When my "passion" was for self and this world, "for pomegranates".  So pathetic.  So empty. 

So lost.
There are so many going about life this way.

While reading The Scriptures these past few days, accounts of all the wars, the sin infested ways of the people, reminding me much of our world today.  And only because ABBA has transformed my heart am I able to be filled with sorrow, compassion, instead of self-righteousness. 

Thinking back through my life, I am able to pinpoint certain persons who I know continually prayed for me.  I am able to remember older women in the church who were vessels and examples of our Christ.  Men of God come to mind in the spiritual examples of ABBA's Holy Love.  For all of them I am thankful, even though it is only in looking back I am able to see what I didn't see then - a lifeline to my ABBA. 

I pray He uses all of His children the same way.  I pray we are to a lifeline to Him for those who are lost.  Those who are searching.  Those who are unaware of Him. 
I pray when we are seen, it is Jesus they are looking at.  Living as His vessels.

I pray for all whom He has touched through those living for Him - the complete opposite of this verse  "But the final verdict on Rehoboam was that he was a bad king - God was not important to him; his heart neither cared for nor sought after God.(12:14)

I pray the sadness never leaves us, so we may not lose the urgency or compassion for those who are not "in" our ABBA.
For those whose "Passion is for pomegranates". 

Monday, June 20, 2016

"HIS Word" - 06/20/16 - I Kings 12-14

"What's your counsel? (12:6)


We speak them.  Hear them.  Absorb them.  Avoid them. 


A combination of letters, given meaning. 

Fascinating when you think about it.  How He has given us the gift of communication.  How we are able to understand, comprehend, relay, share. 

All with the power of words.

Even sign language, charades, other means of communicating, are based on words. 

He has given us the life changing, heart transforming gift of His Words - The Bible.  Our own personal love letter from ABBA.

I think about all the blood, sweat, tears, joy, sacrifices, which came about from giving us this Gift.  And how often do we take it for granted?  How often do we not make it a priority to absorb in our daily walk?  When I used to clean homes, a client had a large coffee table Bible sitting on a table in their upper family room.  One day it was in their downstairs living area and I was excited thinking that someone had actually opened it up and read The Word.  My client was upset that it had been moved and asked me to put it back.  It was the only Bible I ever saw in that home.  I was the only one, except that one time, who touched it - and that was to keep it dusted. 

His Word - our promise to receive Wisdom as we absorb it.  His Word - is it what you base your counsel on?  Or counsel from your own self?  When you go to others for advice, comfort, encouragement, accountability, is their counsel based in His Word?  Are you striving to become Chistlike - example after example given to us through His Word, or are you emulating another human instead?


Sunday, June 19, 2016

"Our Good Good Father" - 06/19/16 - Proverbs 30-31

"The believer replied,
"Every promise of God proves true;
He protects everyone who runs to Him for help. "(30:5)

As I stood in worship this morning, the tears kept spilling out. 

We were singing "Good Good Father".  There are moments when how Loved I am take my breath away.  When I can do nothing more than pray the words to the song and let His Love rain down upon me.   

Oh, I've heard a thousand stories
Of what they think You're like
But I've heard the tender whisper
Of love in the dead of night
And You tell me that You're pleased
And that I'm never alone

You're a good good Father
It's who You are, it's who You are, it's who You are
And I'm loved by You
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

Oh, and I've seen many searching
For answers far and wide
But I know we're all searching
For answers only You provide
‘Cause You know just what we need
Before we say a word

You're a good good Father
It's who You are, it's who You are, it's who You are
And I'm loved by You
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

Cause You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

You are perfect in all of Your ways
Oh, You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways to us

Oh, it's love so undeniable
I, I can hardly speak
Peace so unexplainable
I, I can hardly think
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
As You call me deeper still
Into love, love, love

You're a good good Father
It's who You are, it's who You are, it's who You are
And I'm loved by You
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am

You're a good good Father
It's who You are, it's who You are, it's who You are
And I'm loved by You
It's who I am, it's who I am, it's who I am
You're a good good Father

You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways
You are perfect in all of Your ways

What a wonderful day to be reminded this day - and all days -

because of Jesus, we have a Father who is always there.  

Happy Fathers Day my ABBA.    

Saturday, June 18, 2016

“ABBA Father” - 06/18/16 - I Kings 10-11, 2 Chronicles 9

"Praise be to The LORD, your God, who has delighted in you" (I Kings 10:9)

Although the Queen of Sheba gave praise to The Lord, the language of politeness in the ancient world does not necessarily suggest she was converted.  It was a custom for visiting dignitaries to customarily praise the god of the host nation. 

It could be after listening to all the wisdom Solomon shared, the Queen of Sheba, - she missed it.  
That she didn't get it. 

Tomorrow we will be celebrating Father's Day and I am reminded in Scripture there are many different names used to describe God. While all the names of God are important in many ways, the name “Abba Father” is one of the most significant names of God in understanding how He relates to people. The word ABBA is an Aramaic word that would most closely be translated as “Daddy.” It was a common term that young children would use to address their fathers. It signifies the close, intimate relationship of a father to his child, as well as the childlike trust that a young child puts in his “daddy.”

It is such a blessing to know when talking about ABBA - you KNOW - without doubt -

He is.
Your God. 

"Your" God. 

Up close and personal.  Not distant and superficial.

"Your" ABBA.  "Your" Daddy.
And in Christ, "you" are His.

Friday, June 17, 2016

"Taking Delight" - 06/17/16 - Ecclesiastes 7-12

"Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine!  Even if you live a long time, don't take a single day for granted. Take delight in each light-filled hour" (11:7-8)
The sun is breaking through the shadows across our drive.  Here and there you can see pops of color as the flowers are illuminated from the sunbeams chasing away the last of darkness from the passing night.  The lilies are raising their heads to drink in the nourishment from His sun. 
There are often times while out working, I stop and raise my face to the heavens feeling the warmth of the sun against my skin.  The way His breeze will brush against my hot skin, bringing to mind a kiss from Heaven. 

Although I love the work He has blessed me with (I do so delight working out in His nature), I love even more delighting in living in a life drenched in His "Sonshine" - each and every "Sonlight" filled moment.  Sharing an intimacy with our ABBA.  Looking up and feeling Him cover me inside and out with His wonderful, marvelous, glorious, Awesome Sonshine. 

The Cross gave us access to our ABBA. 

There is no need for sunblock - His "Sonshine" is guaranteed to be cleansing in all ways.  His "Sonshine" purifies us of any cancers.  His "Sonshine" won't burn you to a crisp.  His "Sonshine" only causes healthy, fruit producing growth. 
How much I love the many ways He has opened my eyes to be thankful for each and every day - not taking life for  granted. Taking delight in each light-filled hour"


Thursday, June 16, 2016

"Endless Buffet" - 06/16/16 - Ecclesiastes 1-6

"We work to feed our appetites; Meanwhile our souls go hungry"(6:7)
All across our country you see them.  Signs advertising the promises. 
All you can eat buffets. 
All you can eat. 
For a price.
Curt loves a great buffet.  I can take or leave them.  I find upon entering a door of one, I instantly turn into a cow and need to fill all four digestive departments inside my newly expanded stomach.  Upon leaving, I usually feel miserable.  And vow never to eat at such an establishment again.
It isn't that there is anything wrong with a buffet.  Food is one of my weaknesses and I know buffet's are a temptation for me.  Striving for moderation.
There is one "all you can eat" buffet I do not walk away from miserable after consuming the meat.
His Word.
It is the only "food" I consume which satisfies my soul.

Do you take time to "eat" of Him and His Word each day? 
Is your time spent with Him a priority? 
Moment by moment? 

How I have come to love taking time with Him each morning and listen to Him speak to me through His Word. He causes me to be more aware of Him, His ways. His Word sustains me and I find myself "chewing" on what He has given me throughout my day. My conversation (prayers) are the dessert I partake of. My eyes are open to the Divine Appointments He has set up for  me. 
I love how He feeds my soul from His endless buffet.  His Word.
I pray for all to enjoy their soul being fed - not only today - but for always - with His Food.


Wednesday, June 15, 2016

"Drowning In Him" - 06/15/16 - Proverbs 25-26

"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."(25:11)

There are times I struggle so.  I have learned it is essential to fill myself up with His Words - to a point they are overflowing.  It is the only way my words are seldom in the mix.

Thankfully, He is bringing me along.  I am praying I will stop throwing up road blocks hindering His transformation of my "self".  

I find it doesn't take much though.  Just one word here or there and much damage will occur.  Inside and outside of my "self".

I am so thankful He is bigger than my "words".  So thankful He is in total control.  So thankful I have The Holy Spirit within as my Helper.

And so, so thankful He covers me with His Grace and Mercy - as He is continually transforming me to become more like Jesus.  in the words my mouth speaks.  in the thoughts my mind thinks.  in the actions of my "self".
I pray He continually fills me.  Drowning out that which is not of Him.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

"We Belong" - 06/14/16 - 1 Kings 9; 2 Chronicles 8

"Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said,
"My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel,
because the places the ark of The LORD has entered are Holy." (2 Chronicles 8:11)
His wife couldn't live in the palace because she was not of the chosen people.  an outsider.

I smile knowing - one day my ABBA will come for His. 
Jesus has went on ahead and prepared a room for each one of us.  In His Father's house.

We will not be living on the outside looking across the way. 
We have a room "in" His House.
Because we belong to Him. 
For eternity. 

The Bride of Christ.  Yes, we are. 


Monday, June 13, 2016

"More Than 'Just A Name" - 06/13/16 - Psalm 134, 146-150

"He counts the number of the stars;
He calls them all by name."

I can remember going through different names when we found out Adam was within my womb.  We came down to a few favorites and I started to say them out loud, listening to how they sounded to my ears.  For boys names we narrowed it down to Christopher Adam or Adam Christopher. 

At the time I pretended I was at his future wedding and listening to the vows being said, in deciding which order to place the two names we had chosen.  Christopher Adam Holtschlag seemed to flow better. 

When Nichalas was born, they brought the birth certificate in to be filled out.  We had decided on the name Nichalas Tanner.  I was alone, still a little doped up from the medicines received for the C-section, and for the life of me couldn't remember how to spell Nichalas.  Being too embarrassed to call a nurse in for help in the spelling, I sounded it out.  He is the only one I have met with Nichalas spelt as it is versus Nicholas, and I have come to love how his name sounds, even if I am one of the few that still calls him by his given name, instead of Nick.

Our other two children, although I never actually met them face to face, I felt in my heart were our daughters.  Our Shara Renae and Elyssa Beth (for my grandma Dorothy Elizabeth) are 29 and 26 this year, residing in Heaven. 

Picking out a name for our children was an exciting and daunting task.  We were giving them a gift of which they would be called throughout their lives, unless they changed it.  It was a name of which others would associate with them.  They were names which would and have become part of my heart.  I love how their names roll off of my tongue and are music to my ears.  I love when they respond to the "call" of their name.  Their bright eyes showing they know they are loved when "called".  My heart leaps when I hear their deep voices become gentle at the "call" of "mom". 

Our names when "called" from loved ones are an endearment.

I think about this verse when gazing up into the night sky.  Trying to see the "end of the stars" covering the ink black vastness above me.  My brain is unable to count the amount of them, and yet our ABBA has taken the time, treasured each one enough, to give it a name. 

Each one.  He "calls" by name. 

Sounds personal doesn't it.

Our babies, we gave them a name because even before they were born into this world, they became a treasure the moment I knew I was carrying them under my heart.  We gave a name to our "treasures" not as a label of property.  It is a name we "call" them, for they are parts of our heart.  

Just as our ABBA has chosen a name for each one of His. 
And "calls" each one of us.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

"His Mercy" - 06/12/16 - 2 Chronicles 6-7, Psalm 136

"For His Mercy endures forever"

The Biblical meaning of "mercy" is to be spared or rescued from judgment, harm, danger, or trouble.

We are reminded 26 times in this Psalm of His Mercy. 

His Mercy given to us when in Christ.
His Mercy we are undeserving of.

His Mercy given to us. 

Because how much He LOVES us. 

Each one of  "us".

We can not buy it.  do enough "good works" to gain it. 

It is only through The Blood of The Lord Jesus Christ, we have "mercy" granted to us for all of eternity.

It is only through The Blood of The Lord Jesus Christ, the withholding of judgment against us happens.

 It is only through The Blood of The Lord Jesus Christ, we are cleansed from all sin. 

His Mercy.  Is LOVE.


Saturday, June 11, 2016

"Darkness No More" - 06/11/16 - I Kings 8, 2 Chronicles 5

"The Lord said He would dwell in the dark cloud.
I have surely built You an exalted house.
And a place for You to dwell in forever."(I Kings 8:12-13)

I love seeing the sunbeams pierce through the dark clouds.  How they stretch out, extending the light into the dark. 

Much as He has done with the dark cloud of my "self".

Casting His Light into the inner most corners and illuminating my all into His.  Creating me into His Vessel of Light. 

Solomon built a most beautiful temple to house The Ark of The Covenant.

Through accepting our Savior, He took my body and created the most beautiful temple to house The Holy Spirit. 

I Corinthians 3:16 says, “Do you not know your body is a temple of  The Holy Spirit.” Andrew Murray, in his book The Spirit of Christ, elaborated on this in a way that was very helpful to me. He said in the Jewish temple there were three courts: the outer court, the inner court, and The Holy of holies.

Murray described how our bodies are like the outer court. The inner court is like our mind, our will and our emotions. But inside of us is The Holy of holies where The Spirit of God dwells. The Holy Spirit dwells inside our spirit. So inside you and inside me is The Holy of holies. The Holy of holies is in you. Verse 17 of that chapter says, “The temple of God is Holy, and that temple is what you are.” That will help your self-image to know, when in Christ, The Holy of holies is in you and in me.

And the day this shell of my body is ready to be returned to the earth, my soul will journey on to the place He has prepared for me.  Heaven.  Eternally.  With Him. 

No more dark clouds.  For in Heaven.  His Light is so bright the sun is not needed. 

Friday, June 10, 2016

"Uniquely Made" - 06/10/16 - 1 Kings 7; 2 Chronicles 4

"Now King Solomon sent and brought Hiram from Tyre.
He was a widow's son from the tribe of Naphtali, and his father was a man of Tyre, a worker in bronze;

and he was filled with wisdom and understanding and skill for doing any work in bronze.

So he came to King Solomon and performed all his work." (1 Kings 7:14)

You know, I can mow a mean yard.  

I can cook a decent meal.  
I can keep a pretty clean and organized home (most times).
I can keep the books and do the billing for His business.

When I get to thinking about it, there are a lot of things I can do.  

But.  there are even more things I can not do.

If I allow myself to focus on the "can not do", instead of the "can do", I could become very discouraged.  very bitter.  very jealous.  

Our ABBA has given us each gifts and talents.  He has given us each the same amount of time in a day.  He has given us His Word to gain Wisdom.  and discernment.  

He has given us each the ability to "know" where and how He needs us to be in His body.  

It is so easy to fall victim to the game of "compare".  To think what we are able to do isn't worth much.  To look at others and see ourselves as "less than".  Not as "good as".  nor as "talented".  We haven't a clue what goes on in most persons lives, yet continually we put them above us on the comparison chart.  

And then we believe, there isn't anything about ourselves our ABBA is able to use.  

That. is. a. lie.

Each of us is invaluable to Him.   Each of us is an important and essential part of His body.  Each of us  - He uses for His glory.  

Instead of looking at the "can not do", look eagerly for His Divine Appointments which only "you" are able to "can do". 
He has put "you" in the exact place. 
at the exact time. 
with the exact person. 
and needs all that "only" you "can do".        

Thursday, June 09, 2016

"Investment" - 06/09/16 - 1 Kings 5-6; 2 Chronicles 2-3

It took Solomon seven years to build it. (2 Kings 6:38)

 One of my favorite things to do is going through empty, abandoned houses or buildings.  I love looking at the craftsmanship, imagining the people and their lives while living in these places. Thinking about the conversations and memories that were made by the persons who experienced life within the walls.  I think about the excitement for those who built these places and their anticipation to move in and make it a "home". 
There is a show on tv where a woman is taking these buildings, condemned to be torn down, and rebuilding them, making them back into a home.  Today, you can take a drive in a city or out in the country and see many such places.  Sitting forlorn.  Just a shell.  Four walls which used to surround the making of memories.  Sitting empty - stripped of their former glory.

I think about all the work, the time, the cost, the materials, the manpower, which went into the building of the temple. 

Over the years, it was completely destroyed.

Everything that is manmade will one day be destroyed, no matter how elaborate. 
How expensive. 
How finely crafted.

Eternity.  Either in or out of our ABBA.

And that is all that really matters.

What do we invest a lifetime building?  What are we passing on? 

Who are we inviting to come live with us in the place Jesus is preparing for us?

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

"Each Day" - 06/08/16 - Proverbs 22-24

"Listen carefully to My Wisdom; take to heart what I can teach you.
You'll treasure Its sweetness deep within; (22:17)

I am sitting here with the windows open, able to hear His Voice in His nature.  I can hear the mournful call of the doves drift in and out amongst the sound of the other birds singing their welcome to this new day.  The tree frogs are singing in joy, defying their tiny size with their loud chorus.  His cool, refreshing breeze comes in and touches my senses.  How I love the clean smell of Him. 

I receive the peace and joy in the gift of His Word in these early morning hours.  The world still in slumber as the sun rises up overhead to begin another new and beautiful day.  How His nature rejoices.  How my heart opens up and receives - Him. 

 "Treasuring His sweetness deep within".

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

'The Only Way To Love "Me"' - 06/07/16 - Proverbs 19-21

"He who gets Wisdom loves his own soul." (19:8)

This verse hit me in between the eyes a number of years ago.  I realized I didn't love me.  Love me as He loves me.  

Because of that, I was allowing myself to be in situations I felt worthy - or rather unworthy -of.  I believed I wasn't included in the Promises He has told each of us, we are given.  

I was also searching for Love in all the wrong places.

Through His Word, He has transformed my eyesight when looking at me.  For the most part, I am able to see me through His eyes.  To ignore and cast aside the lies of the world and my self.  Yes, I still fight the urge to believe, "I am too fat, too ugly, too stupid, too much bad/evil", to amount to what He designed me to be. 

We are promised the gift of Wisdom through knowing His Word.

It is through Wisdom we are able to love our own soul - as He does.

Not the way of the world, which only promotes self love. 

Loving our own soul as He does, it promotes growth in our love for our ABBA, for others. 

Because when we love our own soul as He does, "self" doesn't matter anymore. 

Monday, June 06, 2016

"THE One" - 06/06/16 - Proverbs 16-18

"but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (18:24)
He has filled my life with a taste of what His Love is like through His family.
Every. where. I. turn. 
I am greeted with ones who love me.  Ones who delight in me.  Ones who want to share life with me.  Ones who lift me up.  Ones who encourage me.  Ones who hold me accountable.  Ones whom are His.
This past weekend was filled with many delights spent with our children.  A garden party with one of my daughter-in-loves, Ashley.  Brunch after celebrating worship together with Adam, Ashley, our grandchildren, Charles and Ella. 
In a few days we will be celebrating life with Nichalas and Amber coming home for a bit.  Because they want to be here. 

How He has filled my life and heart with His family whom have become my brothers/sisters.  My dear friends. How my heart smiles at the thought of so many I see in my minds eye. 
It constantly astounds me how loved I am by so many. 
Ones who have opened up their lives and hearts and allow me the honor and blessing to become part of their lives.
Yes.  My life is full of immeasurable riches. 
I know those whom He showers love upon us through and we grow in relationship with, are a constant reminder of THE One who Loves us even more so.  THE One who unconditionally loves us more than we can imagine.  
They are but an inkling of The Love from THE One - who desires to become our bestest friend.
He has.  He does.  He will.
Our Jesus.  Our Savior. 
"THE Friend.  Who sticks closer than a brother".

Sunday, June 05, 2016

"Taste of Heaven" - 06/05/16 - Proverbs 13-15

"Where no oxen are, the manger is clean, But much revenue comes by the strength of the ox."(14:4)

The last few days of the countdown are here!  Nichalas and Amber will be heading out tomorrow from Phoenix journeying towards home.  After a visit in Dallas with her sister and husband, Meghan and Phil, they plan to arrive here sometime this coming Friday!!!!  Yes.  I am just a little bit excited.

I'm not calling them oxen.  But I am thinking how much the days ahead will be relating to this verse.
Whenever their visits come to an end and they head back, scattered throughout our home are reminders of how full this place is whenever they are here.  Just like my heart. 

The voices.  The laughter.  The times of our family being all together.  Will always ring through my ears.  The images of each one pressed into my heart, as keepsakes between the pages of a book.  

I try to ready our home before their coming with most everything in its place, except where we are remodeling the downstairs bath (still).  The floors will be clean.  things will be dusted.  laundry caught up.  beds will be made with freshly washed and hung on the clothes line sheets. 

My manger will be clean.  It will be organized and ready. 

And so, so empty. 

Of life.

So much strength do I gather from those who come into this home.  Their wisdom.  their unconditional love.  their delight in living life.  their sharing.  their caring.  their welcoming us into their hearts and lives.

One dear brother, Steve, would say often throughout their days of a visit, "this is a glimpse of what Heaven will be like when we are all together under one roof".  For eternity.  How much I agree with him.

"Much revenue" I have gained when our home is filled - money does not count as my wealth. 

Saturday, June 04, 2016

"Part of His Family" - 06/04/16 - Proverbs 10-12

"The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger"(10:3)

Most times, our home is very quiet as only Curt and I are living here. 
But then there are times when it is overflowing with voices, little and big footsteps, laughter and the sounds of people.  When furniture is full and floor space is limited.

There are times when we put all the leaves into the table, the kitchen countertops are loaded down with food, and I can feel the filling up of my heart and soul. 

These are moments our ABBA is filling me up with the love from my "soul family". 

These are the times we are being fed the food of love.  of joy.  and of wisdom. 
How much I grow and delight in the special persons whom He has given me as part of my heart.  Just like food, He knows how my soul needs nourishment.  He knows memories being made become treasures in my heart to sustain me during times of drought.  Like a cool drink of water for a parched soul they are.

If all goes to plan, by this time next Friday, we will have our Nichalas and Amber here to stay for a bit.  I am looking forward to Adam, Ashley, Charlie, and Ella being here and the making of more family memories.   It delights me when we have people unexpectedly drop by for a visit.  Most every Wednesday night our home is filled with  members of my "soul family" as we gather to study His Word.  Every other Tuesday a group of my "sisters" come together, bonding, falling deeper in love with our ABBA as we grow through His Word. 

This home.  It is His. 
It is His and we are blessed, honored, beyond words to use it for Him.  For His glory. 
We are blessed and honored, beyond words, to fill it up with our "soul family".  
To fill it up with those He has put into our lives. 
All the while, being fed by Him. 

It is the little moments that are really the grand events in life. 

It is the many ways He feeds me.  His Word each day I take of it and chew on it throughout my days.  Constantly my eyes fall upon persons or things and His Word is brought into my thoughts.  He feeds me.  Through the love and honor from those He surrounds me with. 
How I delight in the food of life He gives me. 
The everlasting food of His Love through the many members of His family.

Thank you my ABBA.  For knowing.  for providing.   
"The LORD will not allow the righteous to hunger"

Friday, June 03, 2016

"Living In Wisdom" - 06/03/16 - Proverbs 7-9

"My child,

keep My words,
And treasure My commands within you.

Keep My commands and live,
And My law as the apple of your eye.

Bind them on your fingers;
Write them on the tablet of your heart.

Say to Wisdom, “You are my sister,”
And call understanding your nearest kin,

That they may keep you from the immoral,
From the seductress who flatters with their words."
(Proverbs 7:1-5)

I love you - ABBA