Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"He - Is Bigger" - 08/16/17 - Job 38-39

"And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm." (38:1)

The storms of life.  We all have to walk through them.  It is our choice to walk through them with Him or "self".  And sometimes, we feel we are following Him and He leaves us in the midst of one.  Or perhaps we are running after Him and a storm comes out of nowhere, surrounding us, and we tremble in fear.  Or anger.  Believing the lie that He has forsaken us and left us to endure the storm alone.  Or that we have to endure a storm at all.

Then we make the choice to wallow in the mud puddles left behind.  The mud puddles of "self pity".  Or we begin to run on our own course, thinking we'll escape the storm - our way - and land in quicksand.  And then we find ourselves sinking.  And sometimes we do nothing - except give up.  We lose faith that He is bigger than the storm and we make the choice to just sit.   Pretending that we will wait it out, when really we are becoming full of self pride, stubbornness - and hatred seeps in.  Or we lose our trust in Him and stand frozen in time - not able to move at all. 

“Why do you confuse the issue?
Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Pull yourself together, Job!
Up on your feet! Stand tall! (38:2-3)

He tells us that there will be trials and tribulations.  That life isn't fair and we will have storms to walk through.  We begin to put "our" spin on things, taking His ways and trying to make them our own.  We come along and "confuse the issue".  We make the storms - all about "self".  When really just like in Job - it's about the spiritual warfare.  We forget that He is in control of all and has prepared us for battle of storms.  We need to "pull ourselves together, get up on our feet and stand tall".  In Him.  Our Commander in Chief.

The darkness of a storm slowly coming across the sky, blocking out the sun.  So like the darkness of evil as it slowly creeps over the people.  With the art of deceit, and grace of seductiveness, false beauty of manipulation, it wraps its fingers around the souls of those who are being flung about in the winds of the storm.  Tolerance is its rain, media is the winds that blow throughout the land - causing damage to all in its path. 

And at times, we forget. 

That He is bigger than any storm. 

As the sun brings everything to light,
brings out all the colors and shapes,
The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—
they’re caught in the very act! (38:14-15)

He is the Son of God.  The one who overcame death, who gave His all for of our sins.  He brings everything to light.  Everything.  Bringing out the colors and shapes that have been covered in sin.  He cleanses everyone who is in Him.  He brings to light those who are wicked.  No where can they hide.  Their guilt is there for all to see - The Son has conquered the storms.

How thankful I am that He reminds us over and over again. 

He is bigger than any storm.

“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.
I should never have opened my mouth!
I’ve talked too much, way too much.
I’m ready to shut up and listen.” (40:4-5)

To follow His way through the storms.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"He Is Here" - 08/15/17 - Job 35-37

 "It's God's breath that forms the ice, it's God's breath that turns lakes and rivers solid". (37:10)

I can remember when I was in Jr. High, just a few years ago............a freeze came over the area after the rains.  The field next to our house was covered with a sheet of solid, smooth ice.  I can remember skating over the field in the dark under the moonlight.  The exercise keeping my body warm, my breath freezing in the air as it escaped from within my chest.  Although I wasn't much of a skater, I could manage to stay up and glide over the surface.  The best I ever got was to achieve a tight circle turnabout then going into a backwards skate.

 I love in winter when the sunshine is making diamonds over the snow covered earth.  How they sparkle and reflect everywhere my eyes rest, as I take in the beauty of His landscape.  Winter isn't my favorite season, but how much of His beauty He gives us in His freezing temperatures.  I love how He flocks the bare trees with an artistic flare after a heavy snow.  Amazed the thin branches don't break as they bow down before our ABBA.  How the footprints of His animals leave their mark, giving us a clue to where they have traveled.  How the sounds are much clearer.  The air seems cleaner.  The cardinals puffed up and sunning themselves, their red is like a splash of paint against the snow.  Everything is so stark that anything with color is more vibrant to our eyes. 

I. love. His. nature.

A gift to us.

His verse takes my breath away.

 "It's God's breath that forms the ice, it's God's breath that turns lakes and rivers solid".

 Never before had I thought about how when walking on ice, we are actually walking on what His breath has formed.  What a marvel knowing He is that close. 

He has transformed water with His breath - HIS BREATH - into something we are able to walk upon.

And like water, He transforms our thoughts from complaining of the cold, fearful of the ice, yearning for the spring, to instead be in awe of Him. 

To look at winter as yet another sign - He is near.  He is here.  With us. For an eternity.


Monday, August 14, 2017

"Our Light" - 08/14/17 - Job 32-34

"A messenger who would mercifully intervene,
    canceling the death sentence with the words:

    ‘I’ve come up with the ransom!’
Before you know it, you’re healed,
    the very picture of health!

 “Or, you may fall on your knees and pray—to God’s delight!

    You’ll see God’s smile and celebrate,
    finding yourself set right with God.

You’ll sing God’s praises to everyone you meet,
    testifying, ‘I messed up my life—
    and let me tell you, it wasn’t worth it.

But God stepped in and saved me from certain death.

    I’m alive again! Once more I see the light!’
 “This is the way God works.

    Over and over again

He pulls our souls back from certain destruction

    so we’ll see the light—and live in the light!"  (33:24-30)
I am so thankful for our Messenger.  Our Jesus Christ.  Our Savior.
He who has made it right.  For eternity.
Living in The Light! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Our Ripples Felt" - 08/13/17 - Job 29-31

"I was known for"(29:12)

In Chapter 29, Job is giving an account of what his life was once like. 

I wondered after reading today, what am I known for?

Is it as a follower of our Christ?  Is Christ evident when I share life with others?  Is Christ felt through my actions, words, deeds? 

Time slips so quickly.

"Already" it is almost the middle of August.  "Already" we are in the second half of 2017.  2017!!!!!  "Already" I have lived over halfway to 100.  "Already" I have been married for 34 years.  "Already" I have born and attempted in the raising of two sons.  "Already" they are now young adult men with families of their own.  "Already" time has passed and never to be regained except as a memory.   "Already" have many opportunities been given to lead others to Him.   

"Already".  Too fast.  Too soon.

 Are the ripples we create known for being His?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

"That's Wisdom!" - 08/12/17 - Job 24-28

"God alone knows the way to Wisdom, He knows the exact place to find it.
He knows where everything is on earth, He sees everything under heaven.
After He commanded the winds to blow and measured out the waters,
Arranged for the rain and set off explosions of thunder and lightning,
He focused on Wisdom, made sure it was all set and tested and ready.
Then He addressed the human race:
'Here it is! Fear-of-The-Lord - that's Wisdom, and Insight means shunning evil.'"(28:23-28)
The gift of Wisdom is there for each of us.  Promised through the studying and consuming of His Word. 
After reading these verses in Job this morning, I picked up my "In Touch" publication to read today's devotional from the sermons of Charles F. Stanley.
I just love how ABBA pulls all things together through the Wisdom in His Word!
"The Way to Acquire Wisdom"
Knowledge is a prized commodity in the world, but more important than knowledge is Wisdom (Proverbs 8:11).  God wants us to view life from His viewpoint and evaluate everything according to Biblical principles.
How are believers to acquire this God-given insight?  The obvious answer is that we must seek it.  Too often, however, people who say they want to be wise do little to actually make that happen.  Like any worthwhile treasure, Wisdom must be actively pursued and carefully gleaned from its sources.
The first source is The Bible.  Proverbs teaches that we should pay attention to God's life-giving Words and hold His commands in our hearts (4:20-22).  These days information is broadcast with the slant of the people who packaged it.  The only way to know the right perspective - namely, God's - is to read His ancient "broadcast" and apply its principles (8:33).
Another source of Wisdom is the counsel of godly men and women (12:15).  The Lord at times brings fellow believers into our life to offer Biblical advice, encouragement, or reproof.  In Proverbs, those who ignore the words of a righteous person are labeled "fool."  Don't be foolish.  Surround yourself with other followers of Christ who are also seeking Wisdom as their treasure.
Our Heavenly Father ensures that those who seek Wisdom will find it (8:12, 17).  Diligent believers will discover they possess abundant treasure:  In addition to godly insight they'll have knowledge discernment, and prudence - rare riches in the modern world.  Use them well." 

Friday, August 11, 2017

"His Grace Rescues" - 08/11/17 - Job 21-23

"Yes, even the guilty will escape, escape through God's grace in your life." (22:30)

 The memory crept in from out of nowhere.  Came right in and filled the space behind my closed eyes as I knelt in prayer before Him.  A memory of a past sin I have confessed, repented of. 

satan is always standing there, at the ready, holding up the robe of shame and doubt.  It gives him such pleasure when we reach out for it, and proceed to put it upon our shoulders.  (Thankfully our ABBA is helping me to resist doing this more often than not.)

Our ABBA constantly reminds us in His Word that through Christ:
We are His chosen one. 
His Prince or princess. 
We are His. 

It knocks the wind out of me, my stomach churns, tears can not be contained when I allow myself to think about "what if".  What if He had not of been there to intercede?  What if He had not of been in complete control?  What if He had of given up on me? 

Looking back I can plainly see, my journey would  have not placed me here today. 

Through the memories I see the ugly mask of sin I was wearing. 
And still. 
He reached out through all the ugliness and filth to touch me.  To rescue me.  To claim me as His own. 

He Loved me in my ugliest.
He Loved all of us in our ugliest.
An unconditional, never-ending Love.

We are guilty of so much, yet He freed us from paying the cost of our sins once and for all through The Gift of our Savior. 
There is no greater Love.

Just as we are to Love others.  and our "self".  To look past the mask of sin.  the filth.  the ugliness of sin.  To look past and love as He loves.  To see we are all made in the image of Him. 

I am not the only one the gift of grace is extended to.  Each of us are a vessel He will use to let others see how His Grace rescues.  Each of us are one He will shine through to Love as He Loves. 

If we choose to let Him.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"Still" - 08/10/17 - Job 17-20

 "Still, I know that God lives." (19:24)

This verse is where I fell in love with Job.

After all the pain, suffering, abandonment he was going through.
he believed.

 In my life, as I come across the elements of living, be it the joy of the rainbow during a rain storm, the bone chilling wind that sweeps across my path during a time when I am trying to keep my balance on the slippery ice.  My parched, dry throat while I wander through the desert, or the softness of the grass against my skin, as I lay down beside the still waters.  The way my eyes strain to see the end of the horizon, the end of the universe through the stars, as I stand on the mountain tops.  The way I feel when I am running through the meadow of life with Him, dancing with the butterflies, dipping our toes into the cool stream of water.  Swinging over and letting go of the rope as we fall into the deep, blue green waters.  The sounds of laughter as it tickles my ears.  The cleansing of my soul as tears fall from my eyes.

Do I
in all of living -

 He desires and commands us in many ways to be "still". 
It is by being "still In Him", then - only then -
are we are able to truly Love as He Loves -
unconditionally and without expectations. 
To have our feet firmly planted
in His "still" foundation.  
True living for Him only works when we are completely
in Him.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

"We - His Warriors" - 08/09/17 - Job 14-16

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now, when it comes time to read the Book of Job, my eyes eagerly drink in the Words.  Praying for the new insight He will give me as I journey onward towards Home.  Building me into a stronger Warrior for Him.  "Going and making Disciples". 

                                                                 I count it a privilege and honor to be "used" in His Battle.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

"Cycle of Seasons" - 08/08/17 - Job 10-13

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

 So many times during my life, this was my most prominent thought.

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

 Depression. SAD.

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

Thankfully, ABBA enabled others to develop drugs I have had to take off and on throughout the years to help balance my system so I am able to truly live life in Him. He has also given me exercises, steps to take, when I feel the roots of depression coming on. He has led me to set needed boundaries.

Important gifts I have been given, is my Savior, The Holy Spirit, His Word. His Family. I shudder to imagine what my life would be like without them. In my deepest place, I know without ABBA, I would either be dead or shut away.

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

These past few weeks I have been watching the sunshine coming in at a different angle and set sooner than the day before. At times there is a kiss of fall in the air as our ears are hearing the sounds of locust singing their praises throughout the day.  So many signs that the season of summer is falling away from us.  Fall the welcome mat season of one many do not look forward to.  Winter.

Although the snow may be beautiful, it is isolating. It is an invitation to stay inside, away from people, away from living life. There are more hours which are of darkness than sunlight, I pray we will notice with each passing day, sunlight is becoming more as we go towards a new season - spring. Spring - new beginnings, a breath of fresh air, stepping out into His Sonshine and drinking Him in - knowing another "winter" is behind us. Knowing He provides the continual cycle of the seasons. 

It is only because of ABBA we are able to hold onto the hope of His Spring - I pray others will allow Him to be the leader of their lives. I pray they will look at the innumerable blessings He showers upon our lives and thank Him for being alive.  No matter the season we are in.

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

How thankful I am He is using our lives as we "live" for Him.

"Your life would be brighter than noonday; Darkness would be like the morning.
"Then you would trust, because there is hope; And you would look around and rest securely. "
Throughout the years I have written in the margins of my Bible alongside verses which touched my heart.  I smile as I reread these little notes, dated on the day they were written, seeing how much my ABBA has grown me. 

Grown me through all the seasons.  Only through Him. 

So many things He has taken my fingers and pried them away from.  Things I was clinging onto for dear life.  my comfort zone.  So many ways, He has taken my freed hands and put into them His own.  His own Hand to lead me into uncharted waters.

I didn't so much love it at the time, but now am so thankful He takes the time to grow me into whom He designed me to be.  Yes, I still have much growth left within me, but at least I am growing towards His Light instead of keeping my soul in the dark closet.

I love looking about the changes He has produced in my life and knowing, without doubt, I am resting securely in Him.  He is our Hope in all of the seasons. 

He really does - you know - "take the darkness and make it like the morning".

Monday, August 07, 2017

"Continually Striving" - 08/07/17 - Job 6-9

"He will yet fill your mouth with laughter And your lips with shouting."(8:21)

Next to this verse I had written in the margin of my Bible, "I so desire this in my heart - 01/21/11".
I smiled as I realized again how much He has blessed me with this request. 
I do hear laughter coming from my mouth more often than not. 
I do feel like shouting from the depths of me how much I adore and so love my ABBA. 
Throughout these past years He has/is changing my focus to be on Him and not myself. 
He has shown me while focused on Him, it doesn't matter when life isn't fair here.  And yes, I know I still have much room for growth, but I do see growth! 
I love that along with the blessings of laughter, The Fruits of the Spirit have free reign within me. 
They are growing and manifesting, continually changing me from the inside out.  I love how He has changed me from within to delight in all of living my life here on this world.
New Years Resolutions have never been a big thing for me, mainly because I couldn't keep them.  Again, I am going to strive to implement advice given through an article I once read with the teaching of our ABBA.   
There are billions of people on our planet and clearly those anchored in God, have a peace and joy which surpasses all understanding, no matter the circumstances they are in.  The rest are bouncing back and forth between happiness and unhappiness depending on the day.

There are certain traits and habits chronically unhappy people seem to have mastered. But before diving in with you, let me preface this and say: we all have bad days, even weeks when we fall down in all seven areas.  It is whom we have our foundation in that affects the outcome.  A foundation either of ABBA or our "self"/world.

The difference between a happy and unhappy life is how often and how long we stay there.
Here are 7 qualities of chronically unhappy people.

1. Your default belief is that life is hard.
Happy people know life can be hard and tend to bounce through hard times with an attitude of curiosity versus victimhood. They take responsibility for how they got themselves into a mess, and focus through the leading and help of ABBA, to move through it as soon as possible.  It is called confess, repent (complete turn around) and move forward.
Perseverance towards problem-solving versus complaining over circumstances is a symptom of a happy person. Unhappy people see themselves as victims of life and stay stuck in the "look what happened to me" attitude versus finding a way through and out the other side.

2. You believe most people can't be trusted.
I won't argue that healthy discernment is important, but most happy people are trusting of their fellow man. They believe in the good in people, versus assuming everyone is out to get them. Generally open and friendly towards people they meet, happy people foster a sense of community around themselves and meet new people with an open heart.
Unhappy people are distrustful of most people they meet and assume that strangers can't be trusted. Unfortunately this behavior slowly starts to close the door on any connection outside of an inner-circle and thwarts all chances of meeting new friends.  It blinds them from seeing the person ABBA has put into their path.  Either for their needs or the other person.  It hinders the role of being His Warrior.

3. You concentrate on what's wrong in this world versus what's right.
There's plenty wrong with this world, no arguments here, yet unhappy people turn a blind eye to what's actually right in this world and instead focus on what's wrong. You can spot them a mile away, they'll be the ones complaining and responding to any positive attributes of our world with "yeah but".  They are the ones who are attending "the pity party".
Happy people are aware of global issues, but balance their concern with also seeing what's right. I like to call this keeping both eyes open. Unhappy people tend to close one eye towards anything good in this world in fear they might be distracted from what's wrong. Happy people keep it in perspective. They know our world has problems and they also keep an eye on Heaven.  This world is but a temporary place. 

4. You compare yourself to others and harbor jealousy.
Unhappy people believe someone else's good fortune steals from their own. They don't trust ABBA has enough goodness to go around and constantly compare yours against theirs. This leads to jealousy and resentment.
Happy people believe they carry a unique blueprint that can't be duplicated or stolen from -- by anyone  or anything on the planet. They believe in the unlimited possibilities through being His and don't get bogged down by thinking one person's good fortune limits their outcome in life.  They know, without doubt, they have the best gift.  Eternity with Him.

5. You strive to control your life.
There's a difference between control and striving to achieve our goals. Happy people take steps daily to achieve their goals, but realize in the end, there's very little control over what life throws their way.
Unhappy people tend to micromanage in effort to control all outcomes and fall apart in dramatic display when life throws a wrench in their plan. Happy people can be just as focused, yet still have the ability to go with the flow and not melt down when life delivers a curve-ball.  Resting in the confidence, when grounded in Him they know He is in complete control.  Therefore, nothing else matters.
The key here is to be goal-oriented and focused, but allow room for letting life happen without falling apart when the best laid plans go awry- because they will. Going in His direction is what happy people have as plan A, thus eliminating a need for plan B.

6. You consider your future with worry and fear.
There's only so much rent space between your ears. Unhappy people fill their thoughts with what could go wrong versus what might go right.
Happy people take on a healthy dose of delusion and allow themselves to daydream about what they'd like to have life unfold for them. Confident in knowing ABBA wants only the best for them.  Unhappy people fill that head space with constant worry and fear.
Happy people experience fear and worry, but make an important distinction between feeling it and living it. When fear or worry crosses a happy person's mind, they'll ask themselves if there's an action that can be taken to prevent their fear or worry from happening (there's responsibility again) and they take it. They lay it down at the feet of our ABBA.  Letting Him have it.  (Not going back to pick it up either.) If not, they realize they're spinning in fear, exactly where satan wants them to be.

7. You fill your conversations with gossip and complaints.
Unhappy people like to live in the past. What's happened to them and life's hardships are their conversation of choice. When they run out of things to say, they'll turn to other people's lives and gossip.
Happy people live in the now and dream about the future. You can feel their positive vibe from across the room. They're excited about something they're working on, grateful for what they have and dreaming about the possibilities of life ABBA will be sending them through.  In the ways they will be used as His Warriors.

 Obviously none of us are perfect. We're all going to swim in negative waters once in a while, but what matters is how long we stay there and how quickly we focus back on our Father. Practicing His directions daily is what sets happy people apart from unhappy people.  It isn't about doing everything perfectly.  It is focusing on His Grace and Mercy, not playing the martyr.  Not being filled with bitterness, anger, elements of the world, but being filled with Him.

Walk, fall down, get back up again.  And yes, we will repeat until becoming perfect in Heaven. It's in the getting back up again where all the difference resides. And our ABBA is with us in every step. 
For the despondent, every day brings trouble; for the happy heart, life is a continual feast."
(Proverbs 15:15)

Sunday, August 06, 2017

"We - His Family. Needed For Each Other" - 08/06/17 - Job 1-5

"You yourself have done this plenty of times, spoken words that clarify, encouraged those who were about to quit.
Your words have put stumbling people on their feet, put fresh hope in people about to collapse.
But now you're the one in trouble - you're hurting! You've been hit hard and you're reeling from the blow."(4:3-5)
There is a need -
For each one of us.  There is a need for each one of us to do as our ABBA commands.  To Love one another.  To Love one another in ways of encouragement, accountability, acceptance.  To walk along side of each other and build up, hold up, keep up, as we live through this life. 
All of us.  Each one of us. 
We will either be walking along on the smooth winding highway or the road littered with potholes.  We will be walking through areas of needing sunglasses from the brightness of The Light or in areas where every flashlight is needed to navigate our way through the darkness trying to block out The Light along our route. 
All of us.  Each one of us. 
We are all needed. 
To share.  To help fight off.  To give. To receive.  
To just be. 
Be there for each other. 
That is why He created us as His family. 
We.  His Family Whom He lives through for each other to know Him face to face. 
So blessed am I.

Saturday, August 05, 2017

"Our ABBA - Our Daddy" - 08/05/17 - Proverbs 30-31

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

The song "Good Good Father" was coming in over the radio.  The words filling the room and my heart.  There are moments when how Loved I am takes my breath away.  When I can do nothing more than pray the words to a 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 beautiful reminder on this day - and all days -

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

No greater Love than The Love our ABBA has for each one of us.   

Friday, August 04, 2017

"Through His Eyes" - 08/04/17 - Proverbs 27-29

"Your face mirrors your heart" (27:16)     

For the most part, I am pretty successful in avoiding my reflection in the mirror.  When I do stand before one, I am usually focusing on the hair, makeup, not my actual self. 

And those moments when I do actually look at me - it is with an overly critical eye. 

I am my worst enemy. 

Since having Adam 32 years ago, I have struggled with my weight.  Before that time, I was thin as a rail and could eat as much of anything I wanted, never gaining an ounce.  It seems I wore my metabolism out during my youth.  The other day I was organizing photos and realized there aren't too many of me.  Seems I am also pretty good about avoiding the camera.  These photos also made me wish I was as "fat" now as I was back then.  Because I am always comparing my body to before pregnancy, I am coming up fat.

And ugly.

"He who gains Wisdom, loves His own soul"(Proverbs 19:8)

To love "me" as He loves "me". 
The reason He wants me to do this, is when I do, nothing else matters. 
"I" don't matter because all of "me" is LOVED.

Instead, there are oft times -  

I pick up "doubt".  I begin to view the inside/out of me from the perspective of the world or self.  Comparing, putting down, forgetting. 
He created "me". 
He created the all of "me". 
He created "me" in His image. 

I know until I die, I have chosen to become more like Christ with each breath I take. 
I also know there will be times I fail - often in a big way. 
But - who am I
to say ugly? 
Not perfect? 
Not enough?

Who am I   
to not look at "me" - as He sees "me". 

When looking at "me" through my eyes, I am looking through the distorted image from a sideshow funhouse. 
He has shown me, if I choose to believe, through His Words and also the voices of those He has put into my life, no one sees "me" as I do.  They don't see someone whose hair is out of place.  whose clothes are a little tight.  whose whole inside needs an overhaul. 
They see someone they love.  
Someone they feel is beautiful inside/out. 
Just as I do them. 
Isn't it sad we don't see ourselves through the eyes of those whom love us. 
Isn't it sad we don't see ourselves through the eyes of our ABBA. 

Our ABBA doesn't see fat. 
He doesn't see ugly. 
He doesn't see flaws we pick out and focus on. 

He sees us as "His Beloved". 
He sees us as perfect through His Son. 
Our Savior.

He sees our hearts as one that is running after Him. 

Thursday, August 03, 2017

"Apples of Gold" - 08/03/17 - Proverbs 24-26

"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 our 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". 
It doesn't take much though.  Just one word here or there and much damage will occur.  Inside our minds and outside of  "self".

I am so thankful He is bigger than our "words".  So thankful He is in total control.  So thankful those in Him have The Holy Spirit within as our Helper.  Reminding us are not alone in this transformation.

And so, so very thankful He covers us with His Grace and Mercy - as He is continually  transforming each one of us to become more like Jesus.  in the words we speak.  in the thoughts our minds think.  in the actions of our "self".
For the betterment of this world, I pray He continually fills each one of us.  Drowning out that which is not of Him.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

"Taking to Heart" - 08/02/17 - Proverbs 22-23

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

Walking out to the truck yesterday morning to start my day, I was able to hear His Voice in His nature.  In the predawn hours, I could 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 came in and touched my senses.  How I love the clean smell of Him. 
 I receive the peace and joy in the gift of His Word in the 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. 
From the sunrise to the sunset yesterday I was driving the tractor cutting down the grasses growing in ditches or meadow areas.  The blue sky overhead kept taking my breath away as huge, white clouds raced across the expanse.  It was a perfect day for cloud watching, but I had to be satisfied with a quick glance. 

The woods surrounding the meadow captured the last rays of His sunshine.  Patches of light made their way into the depths of the forest, outlining the trees that usually stood in darkness.  All about me He showed off His greatness.  His Awesomeness.  His strength.  How mighty He is. How He so blesses my days.
Alone, without distraction, I was able to listen and talk with our ABBA as I worked.  Lifting up those whom He brought to my mind. 
His Word ran through my heart and mind.  
"Treasuring His sweetness deep within".

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

"Loving Us" - 08/01/17 - 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, He is transforming me to be 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 whom 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 and for others. 

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

Monday, July 31, 2017

"We - His So Loved" - 07/31/17 - Proverbs 16-18

"but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." (18:24)

There are moments, such as those yesterday, when I will sit and just drink in those about me as we are gathered together in worship to our ABBA.  My heart comes near to bursting, tears of overwhelming joy threaten to spill out, as I take in the beauty of my loved ones surrounding me.  Loved ones who have a part of my heart.  Bonded together in blood and His Blood.
He has filled my life with a taste of what His Love is like through His family. 
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.

How He has filled my life and heart with His family whom have become my eternal 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, July 30, 2017

"His Revenue" - 07/30/17 - Proverbs 13-15

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

I'm not calling our visitors oxen.  But I am thinking how much our home relates to this verse when we have persons come to stay.

Whenever visits come to an end and all head back, scattered throughout our home are reminders of how full this place is whenever someone has been here.  Just like my heart. 

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

I try to ready our home before anyone coming with putting most everything in its place, except where we are remodeling the downstairs (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. 

"We Belong" - 07/29/17 - 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.
It delights me when we have people unexpectedly drop by for a visit.  Most every Wednesday night our home is filled with  members of our "soul family" as we gather to study and share fellowship, 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"

Saturday, July 29, 2017

"Our Fruits" - 07/28/17 - Proverbs 7-9

It's through Me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens, and the years of your life ripen.  
Live wisely and Wisdom will permeate your life (9:11-12)

Some years ago, it was while sitting in the service, the casket in the front of the room, hearing the words of the minister, I can still remember how it was another moment of a vivid reminder all of us will die. As I am aging, it seems there are more and more funerals we attend.  That "we are the next generation in line" is rapidly approaching. 

Curt and I find ourselves discussing our funeral plans and needing to buy a cemetery plot part of our conversation, whereas those thoughts were fleeting in the years past.  Each day brings another awareness.  From the moment of conception.  We begin the process of dying.

Often I ponder how am I using my life?  What will I be leaving behind?  What will be my legacy?

"your life deepens"

"and the years of your life ripen" 

"will permeate your life"

I love these words.  Knowing through His Love Letter, The Bible, we receive the gift of Wisdom.  I love how He has given His children the true drink of living.  How He has quenched our thirst, and no longer are we wandering on this journey, but headed with purpose on the path to Him.  With Him. 

If you look, we are able to tell much about a person at their funerals by their fruits.  By the relationships we are able to look in on.  To those whom ABBA was their life, in their fruits we see the delight of life, even through the sorrows, it shows in their smiles.  Smiles which come from their hearts, light up their eyes, and spread joy to those around them.  Even in their grief.  They never lose the hope.  the peace.  the joy. 

 I often come away from my time in His Word with questions of what kind of woman am I.  What memories and tools am I handing down.  Do I delight in life?  Does my fruit show this too? 

I come away knowing our precious ABBA is our Father.  The perfect Father.  He has given us the gift of Wisdom - one of the many perfect tools we need to bear His Fruit in our short time on this earth. 

I come away knowing what a legacy He has given us.  Passing on The Gift of Him.

Friday, July 28, 2017

"Ever Brighter" - 07/27/17 - Proverbs 4-6

"But the path of the just is like the shining sun,
that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.."(4:18)

In previous years, when questioned what was my favorite season, summer was always the one I checked off.  As I am growing older, my physical body is enjoying the season of spring.  In my spiritual growth, I am enjoying the hope each spring represents with new growth after the slumber of winter.  It seems each spring brings me a greater awareness of those about me and the passing of time.

For the past nine years we have met on Wednesday nights with part of our family. We are digging in and studying His Word.  Chewing and consuming it.  Placing it into our hearts and minds.  These persons make up my family.  His family bonded forever together through The Blood of our Savior.

 Each week I sit in wonderment of those He has blessed into my life and heart.  Our home is bursting at the seams with The Gift of Wisdom He has placed within these siblings of mine.  How much I have learned, am learning, will learn from each one of them. 

One woman, before her health started to decline and could no longer meet with us, I found I was always delighting in His words from her lips.

She isn't very big, she has lived longer on this earth and experienced more than myself or the others.  But upon reading this verse, I instantly thought of her. 

She isn't growing dimmer with the years, she is growing brighter.  The Light of our ABBA is shinning out through her eyes so brightly, they twinkle.  Her gentle smile has taken on the one from our Savior.  Her whole demeanor is filled with quiet, yet strong, grace.  Looking at her is looking at "the full light of day". 

I think about how she has lived up to the name her parents gave her.  Ruby. 
She literally sparkles, just like a rare, perfect, beautiful jewel in our ABBA's  crown.  Invaluable.

There are so many others in my life whom I delight in being around and gleaning from their life as they walk "in" His steps. 
Ones who live so opposite of those who have decided to sit back, waiting for their time here on earth to end and have decided to make living all about themselves.  Missing out on the many Divine Appointments due to continually looking inward and not outward. 

 As His child we don't want to be the dim light of the sun just before it slips below the horizon.  We need to truly live. Allowing Him to shine through us "shining ever brighter till the full light of day". No matter our age.