Saturday, March 31, 2012

Self-destructive Cycle - Judges 1:1-3:30

"They cut off his thumbs and big toes." (Judges 1:6)

Throughout Joshua we are told of the many wars.  Wars that were necessary for eliminating the Promise Land of pagans - who like a cancer would destroy the Israelites from within.  As I read today a summary of wars, it again reminds me - we are still fighting for souls.  The scriptures continually point out I too, am a warrior. 

God has equipped me with all I need to fight in this battle for souls.  Being on the side that won, God of all is my Daddy and Leader.  A full armour - a Book detailing for me all moves needed in the strategy of war.  I am surrounded by His hedge of protection, the power of His family joining together and fighting as one.  I am not alone!

And still with all He has equipped me with - I cut off my "thumbs and big toes". 

A warrior in order to shoot a straight arrow and hit the target, must grasp the string with both his fingers and thumb.  He has trouble balancing and running without his big toes.  They were disgraced because they could no longer fight. 

I do this when I decide to serve me over Him.  A self-destructive cycle.  Much like cutting off my nose to spite my face.  Something I find myself doing continually in the roles of my life.  How thankful I am that He completely heals me, sets me straight and we begin again - numerous times.  How thankful I am that He is bigger than my mess ups.  That His grace and mercy have me covered. 

One of my greatest fears is Judges 2:10 - "Then another generation grew up that didn't know anything of God or the work He had done".  There aren't enough words to express how thankful I am that our kids know Him intimately.  That they are about being a light for Him - a warrior. 

But, I see when I look around so many who do not know Him.  He is giving me a sense of urgency to be the best possible warrior for Him. 

To take care of my "thumbs and toes" so I am not not be a disgrace. 

This isn't about serving me - it's about serving Him and lost souls.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Journey and sacrifices - (Joshua 22:1-24:33)

"Now, stay strong and steady....... Hold tight to God, your God, just as you've done up to now." (Joshua 23:6-8)

In 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
In 1620 the Mayflower set sail.

Just two of many, many historical events that required people to "stay strong and steady".  All on the way to a new life, new dreams.  All these people wanted better for themselves and their families - generations to come.  So much and many were sacrificed for the dreams to become a reality.

God cleared the way for the Israelite's dream to become a reality.  His only request - "stay strong and steady - hold tight to Him".  And still that is all He wants - desires.

He wants to clear the way for me and mine.

I'm not one that likes surprises, suspense, the unknown.  I believe that goes back to a control issue.  Would I have left all to journey onward for the better?  Do I today?  Do I leave my comfort zone to journey into the world as a warrior for Him?

All through Joshua there were wars, destruction, killing and purifying.  I like to be on the other side - at peace.  My comfort zone. Yes, God wants me to enjoy the "fruits of the land", but not at the expense of souls.  It is so easy to settle in and be content at doing nothing except enjoy "the fruits of the land.   

And before you know it -  it is all about serving self.

I pray that the words of Joshua, the journeys many have made throughout the centuries, the sacrifices - I won't take them for granted.  That I will also sacrifice and journey onward for those ahead of me. 

What an honor and blessing to be part of His lineage.  Part of His army.  Part of His plan.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

something new

Today begins a first for Curt and me.  We are going on the "90 Day Challenge" together.  In the 30 years we have been together, never have we tried weight loss/healthier living together.  I'm thinking in 90 days it'll just be getting the right weather to show off our new beach bodies!

I was reflecting on this today and had to smile at how much I love and trust this man.  How much I also trust that he loves me.  Otherwise, I never would have had the nerve to stand in my swimsuit while he snapped a front and side view.  (No those will not be published on this site.)  I was also thinking about his photos.  Even with the added pounds, I still feel my heart well up inside and realize it isn't about how he looks.  It's what he is in his heart.  It's about Who he has in his heart. 

Not that I don't find Curt handsome - I do - that's an added bonus! 

Over the past 30 years we have both grown from walking outside of Christ to walking in Him.  I have been blessed in watching his growth over the last few years and see more than just a glimpse of who God created him to be.  What an honor it is to be called his wife.  My heart aches for him when I see the hurt that was/is caused by his blood family.  I ache as a mommy, knowing that he as a little boy never had nurturing parents.  Many times I can imagine how he was when he was little by the way our sons were.  They are so like him in many ways.  For that I am thankful. 

I pray to be blessed by minimum of another 50 years together with him.  I pray that they are filled with laughter, good health, many family memories, sharing grandchildren, travel and making our home a sanctuary for Him.  I am excited because God has been using us as a team, and so look forward to many more opportunities to be a vessel in His work.  Together. 

It makes me smile that 30 years ago I was so skinny, and Curt was in great shape - never would I have thought we'd look as we do today physically.  I also never would have imagined that we'd be as in love as we are and that it continues to grow.  It amazes me that not only do we spend much of our free time together, we work together.  And almost, I say almost, all of the time we really are getting along quite well. 

I am so thankful that I am blessed with getting to spend as much time as I do with my best friend.  That Christ is our bestest friend.

03/29/12 - TRUTH

"Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel. Everything came out right." (Joshua 21:45)

With the upcoming presidential election, it is hard to determine who is speaking truth. With acquaintances, friends, family, it is also hard to know truth from them. Even with self - truth is not spoken 100% of the time. Most often the lies we tell ourselves are more damaging than all the others combined.

It is amazing the power of words. At times when lies prevail they seem more powerful than truth. But, eventually truth does prevail - always.

What words do I stand firm on? Live my life by? Use for guidance? Obtain wisdom from? Each day words from various sources bombard my mind, infiltrating into my being. Do I offset the lies with His Truth? I must fill myself with His Words each and every day as a needed life/living support system. It is the only way I am able to know Truth. No matter the situation - everything does come out right when I walk in His Truth. At times it may seem the lies are winning, but He really is in control.

There is absolute in that the Truth has/will set me free.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

03/28/12 - Rolling in it

"The inheritance of Simeon came out of the share of Judah, because Judah's portion turned out to be more than they needed".(Joshua 19:8)

Often times when I think of inheritance, I think of wealth. I forget that in order to obtain it a death has to occur. That it includes not only property, titles, money, but also rights, obligations, and oftentimes debt. Everything that person had becomes yours if you are the heir. It can be a blessing, a burden and sometimes both. If numerous heirs, it can divide them.

Last night I was reading an article about the lottery. It's something like 340 million, third highest it has ever been. I also was reading about Bill Gates and how he has spent 1 million since last October on his 15 year old daughter. She is competing in the Winter Equestrian Festival. He is worth 64 billion.

There is a part of me that thinks it would be nice to have wealth like that. There are many things Curt and I have talked about that would be nice to do anonymously for people - organizations. Easter is coming up and it would be nice to fly Adam back for the weekend so we could all be together. I'd like to think we'd use it for God's glory and not become worldly. I don't know how it would change us. It would. I think about the kids and what they would experience - not just the good things, also the bad. How could you ever know who your true friends are? Some persons would not feel any boundaries as they came to ask for money. There would be such a loss of privacy.

And then too, I think of the inheritance I have received. One that surpasses all wealth - all worldly possessions- that gives me everything I need. My inheritance came at the cost of an innocent man's life. A man who gave up His life so I may live eternally with my Father.

This world will pass - as will all the millions and billions of dollars that are in it. I know that for some persons money is their god - their hope - their road to death. I do know I may not be able to fly our Adam in for the weekend. I may not have a million to spend on a sport. I may not have the million or billion in our bank account.

But, what I do know is because of my inheritance from my Savior - I have wealth beyond my dreams.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

03/27/12 - Couldn't or wouldn't

The people of Judah couldn't get rid of the Jebus"ites" (Joshua 15:63)
But they didn't get rid of the Canaan"ites" who were living in Gezer.(16:10)
The people of Manasseh never were able to take over these towns—the Canaan"ites" wouldn't budge. But later, when the Israelites got stronger, they put the Canaan"ites" to forced labor. But they never did get rid of them.(17:12-13)

God had instructed the people to totally destroy all who lived in the Promise Land that were not following Him. He knew the people would be turned away from Him through these people. They already had proven this numerous times. Again, God knows best - that is what He wants for me.

I think about the "ites" that I allow to live in my life. A little tidbit of gossip here and there, sneak a few handfuls of cookies, procrastinate instead of just do, the self-righteous thoughts that creep in as I compare others ways, bitterness and anger when buttons are pushed that I have not let go. Lots of "ites" and they could totally take over and destroy me.

This marks my 12th year to read through His Word. At first I did it out of a sense of duty, and not every day. One year I read the entire New Testament on December 31. At first it was an obligation to fulfill a vow I had made to Him. My heart wasn't in it. Just going through the motions.

And then - He happened.

Over the years I have come to love being in His Word every day. It has become as much of a part of me as breathing. His Word is so alive and has/is transforming my heart. I have fallen head over heels in love with Him after digging in and reading my own personal love letter from Him - His Word.

Yes, I still have "ites" in my heart, but not as many. The way He is helping remove all the "ites" from my heart is such a blessing. For the first time ever, I am really able to pray in love for my sister.   Not a sister love, but a Christlike love. I can actually feel Him loving her through me. Because I am allowing Him to use me.

So removing my "ites" - it is often because I wouldn't not couldn't. I decided to hang onto the sins that I wanted - to serve me. The Israelites had their own reasons for hanging onto the "ites". Greed, selfishness, lust, self, and it turned out to destroy them from within in. satan works that way. he usually doesn't start out with a bang, but a little bump or nudge. Then as we grow accustomed to the sin as a way of life, when it feels good, etc., he ups the dosage.

There are days when I could say I can't read His Word because life got in the way. The reality of it is I am choosing not to. It's all about making Him my number 1 priority - and sacrificing something of me to do so. I am so thankful He has lead me, convicted me, blessed me through His Word every day.

Because of it I have/am experiencing a total heart transformation.

Monday, March 26, 2012

03/26/12 - Choices

"but I stuck to my guns, totally with God, my God." (Joshua 6:9)

There are times when I will stand up straight, hold my head high, and walk with determination. Determination to make the right choice in bringing glory to Him, to not fail Him. And I do fail Him. Usually before the first step is placed.

Thankfully, He is right there with me - blessing me with forgiveness even before I fail, giving me encouragement and direction to live on. And I do. In all those times I fall - He never, ever leaves me or turns me away. He always has my back, my front, my sides, my all. He always sticks to me like superglue.

There have been times when I read about the Holocaust, different Martyrs deaths over the centuries, and I wonder, "would I die like that for Him". I know without hesitation I would die for our children, and most likely Curt. But, would I die for the cause of Christ if I had to choose?

One of the stories from the Holocaust that has always stayed in my heart is that of a young mom. She had two small children, a boy and a girl. The Nazi's made her choose which child would be executed or they both would be killed. She ended up choosing the little girl to die. She felt the little boy would be stronger, was older and may just make it through the hell they were in. She took comfort in knowing that her daughter was with God. How do you live with that choice and not feel guilt? Or hate towards the Nazi's? To not let the evil consume you?

You stick to your guns - totally with God - my God. Not just halfway - totally. It's when He brings to mind my Christ and all He has done for me. How He "stuck with His guns" and choose me. That gives me determination, encouragement, to bring honor to Him.

Each and every day I have to die to self - I have to stand beside Him no matter what - and trust in Him.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

03/25/12 - Out of the war zone

"And Israel had rest from war."(Joshua 11:23)

God is giving them the Promised Land. I wonder did they have any clue as to how much blood and destruction it was going to entail to receive it? Did they think the 40 years of wandering were the toughest part of the journey.

Sometimes, I really feel because of our choices, we have to endure an even greater battle to get where He wants us to go. I know though that His glory will come out in all things. And like little children, if something comes easily, we take it for granted, become bored with it. We don't usually appreciate or value it.

To have rest from the war - what a wonderful season to walk through. While on earth, there isn't a time when we will have a life totally without some part of a war in it, but we do have His peace and joy. Being a follower of Christ isn't easy. Particularly, when we allow our choices to take the place of Him. Thankfully, throughout all the choices - good or bad - He is still there. And when we follow His lead, accept His choices - it makes being in active duty a time we can grow and build in/for Him.

I am thankful for my times of rest from active duty. The war has been won by Him, but the battles are still being fought. We are continually surrounded by evil, in a raging spiritual battle. It can wear you down. That is why while resting we have to take care of us, fortify us in His Word, communion with Him, listen and learn, prepare for the next time in active duty.

Rest is not about being lazy or doing nothing. It is about preparing. For we are in the midst of war.

A war for souls.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

"The death toll that day came to twelve thousand men and women—everyone in Ai." (Josh 8:25)

It's important that in our walk with God we don't get more about hating sin than with loving people. 12,000 men and women were killed. All of these people were created by God. Loved by God and desired by God to be with Him. Sometimes when I read of the people who were killed, Pharaoh and his army, etc, I forget that God's heart would have been breaking.

It isn't that He wants to pick and choose certain people to save. He wants us all. Because He is Holy though, when a person decides to cling to sin and not Him, they will suffer the consequences of their choice - eternal death. Thankfully, He gives us opportunity to cling to Him up until our last breath.

I pray that I will not become self-righteous knowing I am one that will be with Him eternally. I pray that I will look upon the lost with a sense of urgency to bring them to Christ. 12,000 is just a drop in the bucket for all the lost souls. Every moment someone, somewhere has died without being in Him. What exactly am I doing to be a part of the movement to prevent this?

Today there are so many causes people are passionate about. Our world today seems to be more about the rights of animals, environment than those of people. But as a Christian, how am I as a "soul rights" activist. Am I active or placid? Do I see the opportunities to sow seeds for Him in all my steps? To be in the movement to bring more souls to Him?

I pray every day that what breaks His heart is breaking mine.

And I am active about that.

Friday, March 23, 2012

03/23/12 - Follow His way

"you'll see clearly the route to take. You've never been on this road before." (Joshua 3:4)

Throughout Joshua 3:1-6:27 there are times God's instructions don't make sense to me. Here Joshua is told to have the people follow the ark from a distance of at least half of a mile. I would feel safer being closer. Have the priest carry the ark into the middle of the Jordon, a flooded Jordon, wait while 40,000 plus crossed over on dry land. No dawdling. (I wonder how long they stood and did they take turns holding the ark.) Build an alter on the opposite shore from 12 stones that came from where the priest stood. Make stone knives and circumcise all the men. Have a feast. Inquire from a man who suddenly appears before you and tells you to take off your sandals because you are on holy ground. Then march around this city once a day for six days. No talking. Only the blowing of ram's horns before starting out. On the seventh day, circle seven times and on the seventh shout! The walls will fall down. Destroy everything/everyone except a woman and those in her home (which is still standing amongst the ruins) and the metals.

Quite the plan. Some of these instructions seem so off the wall. And I know why He does what He does - "because God will work miracle-wonders among you." (Joshua 3:5) He has/does/will prevail.

Just as in my life, His ways seem totally against what I "think" should be the way to respond. When someone attacks me, I am told to love them, turn the other cheek, pray for them, give them more than what they request. When I come up against a "flood of water", He tells me to sanctify myself and step in. Can you imagine how the priest were feeling? All this water, carry an ark, and told to cross. I'd be looking for a boat or a shallow place to cross. And just as in life He has us cross where we feel is the worst place - only to provide us with "dry land".

He knows what is best for me - better than I do. He is taking care of me - guiding me - clearing the way - protecting me. All He has asked me to do is follow His lead.

"you'll see clearly the route to take. You've never been on this road before."

He's been down this route before - He created it! I never have been - I need to trust His way. His lead.

Even when it doesn't make sense.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

03/22/12 - Through sands in the hourglass.........

"Don't get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you're going. And don't for a minute let this Book of The Revelation be out of mind. Ponder and meditate on it day and night, making sure you practice everything written in it. Then you'll get where you're going; then you'll succeed. Haven't I commanded you? Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take." (Joshua 1:8,9)

It blows my mind at times that I have seen 52 years already. There are parts of my life that went by in a blur. Other years seemed to have stayed around for a long time. I'm not upset about aging - wouldn't do any good! Do I look forward to it? Not really. Even though I know that when those in Christ die, they are with Him eternally, selfishly I want to keep some persons in my life forever. Without the aging process for some of us!

My g'ma is going to be 92 this year. My parents are in their 70's. Curt turned 55. We'll be together 30 years in June. Adam is now closer to 30 than 25 and Nichalas and Amber are inching towards middle 20's. Where did the days go?

Then there's my body! Weight won't come off. I feel fat rolls as I sit, walk. My skin has lost that youthful glow. And the cottage cheese look on my legs is so not good for wearing shorts! No longer am I able to lift as I once did. Not only because of ebbing strength, but my lower back. Sleep comes earlier in the evening and leaves even earlier in the morning. I can see signs of aging with Curt too. He is still strong, but I see him weakening. Getting tired faster. No - I do not embrace aging. Scripture says that gray hair is a sign of glory. Maybe for a man. I can not believe what a hassle it is to color my hair and how often! And no - I am not going natural.
Sometimes I think about death. Statistics say usually women outlive men. Thinking I may have a life without Curt brings tears to my eyes. How I love him - my best friend. No one has ever put up with me as he has and loved me so - except God. I've known quite a few women who have buried their children. We have two in heaven, but selfishly I do not want to bury Adam, Nichalas, Amber or those to come.

If I allowed myself, thoughts of death could consume me. Scare me. Become my obsession. God tells me to meditate on His Word - day and night. He promises me I'll get where He wants me to go, if I stay focused on Him. Life isn't an easy journey. But, walking in Him there are blessings in all things, situations. I also receive strength and courage through Him.

He also has shown me to savor each moment. Do I look back at the end of my day and smile at how I chose to spend my time? I started keeping a separate journal this year listing only in it what made me smile that day. I don't want to forget, or take for granted, the big or small smiles He gave me. I don't want to let fear of growing older, of death rob me of those.

He tells me not to be timid. Embrace my fears, get to know them - dance with them - then they can no longer have a hold on me. He is with me every single step of the way. Being in His Word every day has transformed my heart and focus. He is everywhere I look. He is enabling me to savor life, set my priorities to His measuring stick not mine. That living here on this earth really isn't what it is all about. That really living is living with Him eternally.

There is nothing that can stop time except to die. Until that happens - it does march on. I am blessed with many memories. Blessed with the fact that I dread seperation from us that death brings for those I love, because He taught me how to love deeply. Blessed with the promise as long as I am alive, there will be more smiles. Blessed in knowing He conquered death.

So my lesson from Him - "Don't get off track, either left or right, so as to make sure you get to where you're going" - be it with thoughts of aging, death, memories, etc. My number one job in my journey of life is to go and make disciples. Too many are dying not knowing Him. Too many moments are being spent without Him being the focus. Too many are living in total fear of death.

And He has also shown me to cherish each and every moment.

Time goes - too fast, too soon.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

03/21/12 - To Fly

"You found me out in the wilderness, in an empty, windswept wasteland. You threw your arms around me, lavished attention on me, guarding me as the apple of your eye. You were like an eagle hovering over its nest, overshadowing its young, Then spreading its wings, lifting them into the air, teaching them to fly. You my God alone led me" (Deut 32:10-14)

You found me. You rescued me.

Never will I be able to convey all of my thankfulness. Never will I be able to convey all of my love for you. You are so very amazing - that you - the Creator of everything - and I am the apple of your eye. My heart swells with emotion trying to grasp that. My head knows I never will totally, not until I am with you face to face. Even then I wonder if I will ever really be able to grasp your total greatness - your love for me.

How over the years I have felt your arms surround me. So many times looking back as I walked in the wasteland. I could actually feel you holding me. And today - such comfort I have in knowing they are still and always will be holding me.

Thank you for teaching me how to fly. Thank you for breaking me free of the the chain of my past that kept me tethered to the ground. I see now how you have been growing me over the years and in just the past few months you are preparing me for something more. I don't know what - yet.

I do know I no longer am staying in the nest. You have taught me that living is about flying. Living is about soaring to new heights - teaching and drawing others to you. It is about getting out of my comfort zone. Being led by you. Spreading my wings so to speak.

It is about getting out of the nest.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

03/20/12 - Dancing with God

"Look at what I've done for you today: I've placed in front of you

Life and Good
Death and Evil.

And I command you today: Love God, your God. Walk in His ways. Keep His commandments, regulations, and rules so that you will live, really live, live exuberantly, blessed by God, your God, in the land you are about to enter and possess. I call Heaven and Earth to witness against you today: I place before you Life and Death, Blessing and Curse. Choose life so that you and your children will live. And love God, your God, listening obediently to Him, firmly embracing Him. Oh yes, He is life itself"(Deut 30:15,16,19,20)

Dancing With God.

As the trees sway in the wind, the grass bows down to His breath, the leaves swirl in His whirlwind, the snow - glittering like diamonds - being gently lowered to the ground, He leads me in the dance of life.

I follow His lead, most times. Occasionally even stepping on His toes as I try to lead. We twirl and whirl in the grand room of life - together - as I firmly embrace Him. I listen obediently as He whispers in my ear which steps we'll dance. When we rest and gather our energy for the next set, I draw strength from Him.

I have chosen His way of Life and Good. In doing so - I live, I really live. Exuberantly and blessed by Him.

I have fallen madly and deeply in love with my Lord. My Abba. My Daddy. My very bestest friend. And today as I look out and see the amazing beauty of His spring, I yearn to dance with Him. To laugh with Him. To celebrate with Him.

I am so thankful my husband and children dance with Him too. Delight in Him as He does them and me. That they follow His lead. I am so thankful that they see themselves as a light wherever He has them dancing.

I have looked and seen. Before me He placed

Life and Good
Death and Evil.

I have chosen Life and Good.

Live and God.

Monday, March 19, 2012

03/19/12 - dearly held treasure

Deut 26:17,18 "You've renewed your vows today that God is your God, that you'll live the way He shows you; do what He tells you in the rules, regulations, and commandments; and listen obediently to Him.
And today God has reaffirmed that you are dearly held treasure just as He promised."

Calling for 82 today - the last day of winter - and the earth has been awakening with a vengeance from its very short winter nap! The beauty of the green, green grass against the flowers, trees, blue skies, are breathtaking - refreshing. Happening almost before my eyes.
New life - new resolutions - renewed determination - renewed vows. How thankful I am for His grace and mercy which give me "spring" each and every day. Each and every moment actually. How He "refreshes" me and we begin again. Reading this am, Deut 26:1-29:1, caused fear in my heart. Not for myself - Christ has me covered. It is for those outside of Him. There it is in plain English, what life outside of Him is - and He brought to mind those I know who are.

I am thankful He is cleansing my heart - to love like Him, that my heart breaks for what breaks His. That He is beside me, guiding me to continue in my covenant with Him. I am so thankful and blessed to know I am His bride. What a totally fulfilling relationship I have with Him! How I love and adore Him. How I know, without a doubt, He loves me. Even when I break a vow, He still forgives and never "divorces" me. How this love we share, makes me desire to show - not prove - my love for Him. To share Him with others, so they too can know, feel what it is all about.

Not part of a treasure or "a" treasure, but all of His treasure.

Being "dearly held treasure".

Sunday, March 18, 2012

03/18/12 - Sowing seeds

Deut 22:9 "Don't plant two kinds of seed in your vineyard. If you do, you will forfeit what you've sown, the total production of the vineyard."

Eventually the truth does come out. We will be known by our fruits in all things. I've often thought that around age 40, a woman's face will reveal what is in her heart. Over the past few years though, as the world falls further from God, I think it is now around 35. If she is beautiful on the inside, her face will radiate that. So often, one whose heart is of the world has a face that becomes hard and bitter. You can not hide what seeds you have sown. There is always a ripple effect from our choices - always. It amazes me how far we as self-centered people can touch lives beyond our imagination. Just think what the effects would be if we were God-centered.

There isn't any walking the fence with God. You are either with Him or against Him. No gray areas. How quickly the seeds of the world can choke out the seeds sown for Him. The key to a healthy lawn is a healthy grass root system. This crowds the weeds out, stands strong against the elements and disease. But, it must be properly maintained to flourish. As we too must maintain our seeds in Him, with His Word, a church family, fellowship with believers, serving Him. Focusing on Him and being in an intimate relationship with Him.

Only then can we enjoy the Fruits of the Spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."
(Galatians 5:22,23)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

03/17/12 - No tolerance

Deut 19:20 "Clean the polluting evil from your company."

Sin is so like a cancer. It begins in one little cell/area and can/will consume you if left to do damage. Sometimes satan is aggressive and takes over at such a rate, it leaves his victim wondering what happened. I think of Haiti that is immersed in voodoo, demons in broad daylight. satan doesn't just come out in the dark there. Then I think of the USA. he is more subtle here, sneaky. he is using tolerance to cloak his movements, but becoming more aggressive as we become more tolerant. We become accustomed and view the sins as normal.

Either strategy he uses accomplishes destruction from within. he has only his interest in mind. To go against God and we are his pawns. he sacrifices, without grief, conscience or hesitation.

What sins have become "normal" to me? Being self-righteous, judgmental, gossip, lie, lazy, not being a good steward, not "as I live, living my life totally for Him? How often do I excuse my sin rather than "clean the polluting evil from your company"?

I am covered with Christ blood. My sins have/are forgiven, but this doesn't give me free reign to allow sin in my life. To let it become "normal". God doesn't tolerate sin - He can not - He is Holy. I am so thankful that I belong to a God who wants only my best for me. I am so thankful for my Christ, my Savior, who has "cleaned the polluting evil from your company".

That when I fail - He doesn't. That He has "washed me whiter than snow" -

with His blood.

Friday, March 16, 2012

03/16/12 - the "good' food

Deut 15:10-11 Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures."

So - what am I stingy with? Who am I stingy towards?

Food. Rather certain kinds - the "good" stuff. I can remember hiding some foods when the boys were young so I wouldn't have to share. How old was I? What a lesson I taught them. Fortunately, they take after their dad! I love to cook, have people over. But, I don't like sharing what's on my plate. I always say, "You know I love you, if I share my "good" food with you."

We enjoy having people in His home. For the past three years, almost every Wednesday night, our Bible study "family" has met here. I love doing for others. Most others. Some persons I feel are more about abusing the system and I become judgemental. I really struggle with helping these persons out. I share pretty well with most - my time, gifts, money, talents.

Another area I fail in is accepting blessings. I know it is because of self pride/control. As long as I don't accept the blessing, no one thinks I am in need. I have everything under control. When I first had my disease, all the medical expenses completely broke us. We had to go on food stamps. During Christmas we were a Good News family. Didn't have any money and God used this time to work me over. My eyes were opened wide! I really wasn't in control of anything.

Over the years since, He has blessed us so much in all ways. Our business, the home He is allowing us to live in. We don't drive the fancy cars, live in a mansion on a hilltop, hobnob at all the fancy places, but we are so rich. Looking back I see now we always have been. He always provides our needs. Because of His great love, I so desire to please Him, share blessings to bring glory to Him.

He has taught me to live each day as though it is my last. During the past years, He has helped me to become thankful for my disease. It has set my priorities! We are all dying - take advantage of each moment - it may be the last one. He has also taught me to accept blessings. Every time I begin to say, "no thank you", I can hear Him tell me, "Deby, by not accepting this blessing they have for you, you are preventing them from receiving a blessing from giving".

All our money, this home, our business, our equipment, furnishings, clothes, even the "good" food - belongs to Him. It's not even partially mine. Lately He has really helped me see that. I am just His worker. I don't have to wear the yoke of ownership. He takes care of it all. My job is to be a good steward.

To give blessings out to all people.

And to receive them too.

03/15/12 - Top 10 of blessings

Deut 12:28 "Be vigilant, listen obediently to these words that I command you so that you'll have a good life, you and your children, for a long, long time, doing what is good and right in the eyes of God, your God."

The knowledge that our children are in Him. What a blessing and security that is. Being "planted" away from us, living their own lives - IN Him.

What peace and joy there is in knowing, without a doubt, if their lives were to end this minute -
they would be touching the face of God.

I couldn't imagine not living for Him. To not wake up or go to sleep thinking of Him. Thinking of Him, praising Him, throughout the day. Working for Him - do as I am living for Him. I couldn't imagine training up our sons outside of Him. I couldn't see any comfort in not knowing that although we are separated with miles, we are together as a family in Him. I couldn't imagine any comfort without all of His signs reinforcing that they are planted where He needs them to be at this time.

I think back throughout all the years and know that so much would have been missed without Him. The joy and excitement they experienced in church. All the many, many conversations about what scriptures meant to us. Having Him as the center of their growing up. I couldn't imagine the peace that I have seeing how God has planted them in new church families. The extended "siblings" touching their lives. Not having the peace and joy watching Adam in his journey towards achieving his goals. Not having the peace and joy watching Nichals and Amber in their journey together as well. I couldn't imagine not having the blessing of knowing our future generations will be trained up in Him.

"Be vigilant, listen obediently to these words that I command you" -

I couldn't imagine not having the "ripple effect" my life is causing not

be for Him.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

03/14/12 - Blessings

Deut 6:5 "Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love Him with all that's in you, love Him with all you've got!"

7: 12-13 "And this is what will happen: When you, on your part, will obey these directives, keeping and following them, God, on His part, will keep the covenant of loyal love that He made with your ancestors:

He will love you,
He will bless you,
He will increase you."

How very blessed I am. So thankful.
I love God. He is my bestest friend.

It wasn't always like that. For years, I chose not to have anything to do with Him.. Even today - there are times I revert back to being childish and follow "my" way. But, throughout all of my wayward times, I never stopped loving Him. Even when in my darkest time - I still loved Him. Just not in the right order. I was more about getting my cake and eating it too.

God has given us instruction for a reason. Only He is God, only He can see the whole paradigm and only He knows why it is essential to follow His way. And still I chose to rebel and try to live my way.

I emphasis "try".

After years of studying, I have come to the conclusion there are only two gods in this world. It is either God or self. And it is our free choice whom to follow. The other things that are called 'gods" are actually only the things we place before God to serve self. Which is what I struggle with everyday.

And why?????

Not only in Scripture, but in my life, it is proven time after time - His way is the right choice. I can see in my life and see His blessings or I can see where I chose me and it went all wrong. How thankful I am that He is bigger than my choices. That He is bigger than my messes. He is my superglue.

All I have to do is follow His way.

Just strive to love Him with my all -

before me and my all.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

from Hell

"But you—God took you right out of the iron furnace, out of Egypt, to become the people of His inheritance—and that's what you are this very day." (Deut 4:20)

Often, I thank Him for where He has rescued me from. Often, I realize even when I lived apart from Him, He still shielded me from what could have happened. Often, I thank Him that I haven't had to suffer the consequences I could have - He rescued me. He rescued me from the fires of hell.

My iron furnace was a life of being in the world. Trying to fill a void, only He could fill, with secular things. He removed my soul, my spirit, from the world - Egypt - and brought me to Him - His place. Even though I was worn over, dirty, full of self - He wanted - no - He desired me to be His.

And my inheritance! Wow!!! The King of Kings, Lord of all is my Daddy! I am His princess. I am His heir to an inheritance that all earthly things can not even compare to. I have a mansion with many rooms being built, I will live in a place where gold looks like glass. But the very best part of my inheritance is that I will walk and be with my Daddy. He will live with me in my mansion, walk on the street of gold with me. The King of Kings. Forever.

On the very day I accepted Christ, I became His daughter. There was not a waiting, trial, or testing period. It was immediate. Bound in a never ending covenant.

Sealed in His blood.

Monday, March 12, 2012

03/12/12 - In the land of giants

"we even saw Anakite giants there! I tried to relieve your fears: "Don't be terrified of them. God, your God, is leading the way; He's fighting for you. You saw with your own eyes what He did for you in Egypt; you saw what He did in the wilderness, how God, your God, carried you as a father carries his child, carried you the whole way until you arrived here. But now that you're here, you won't trust God, your God—this same God who goes ahead of you in your travels to scout out a place to pitch camp, a fire by night and a cloud by day to show you the way to go."(Deuteronomy 1:28-33)

Fear - One of satan's strongest tools. Only when I am focused on Him is fear prevented from totally consuming me. He is leading me - always. Look at where/what He has already brought me through. Leading the way - I just need to follow Him.


The funny thing about fear is it becomes nothing when I give it over to Him. Things that I allowed myself to be consumed with, stay up all night and worry about, I can not remember 99% of what I was so afraid of. I do not like surprises. I enjoy a movie more when I know the ending before watching. The suspense of not knowing kills it for me.

He carries me as a Father carries his child. Near His heart, in His arms.


He gave up His life for me. Many times I am so focused on "He gave His only Son" (John 3:16), I "forget" that God, Christ, Holy Spirit are one. Yes, God gave His Son - yet He also gave Himself. He died for me - to save me.

What a Father.

And this is the Father who carries me.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

03/11/12 - Abba's Coconut

Numbers 35:34 "Don't desecrate the land in which you live. I live here, too—I, God, live in the same neighborhood."

Three years ago, we had house plans, a builder, financing - no land. Everything we found was either too expensive or it wasn't a place where we felt lead to build. Many years ago, a former preacher, shared in a sermon about monkeys and coconuts. A monkey will punch a hole in the coconut, just large enough to put his hand into. When he has a hold of the coconut meat though, he is unable to extract his hand because the hole is now too small. The monkey will starve to death because he is unwilling to drop the coconut meat.

We are often like the monkey - unwilling to drop the coconut meat so we can have the whole coconut. God brought this sermon to Curt and my minds as we continued to come up against closed doors. After much prayer, I finally gave up the "coconut meat" - the plan to build a home.

God has a neat sense of humor. Within two weeks we purchased the home we now live in. We were the first to look at it, bid on it and God gave it to us under appraised value. The neatest part of this place though is the set up. Our house plans had included separate living quarters, as we were wanting to have missionaries live with us when home on sabbatical. God reinforced He wanted us to have this place when we entered the walkout basement. Two bedrooms, living, dining, bath and a kitchen. It made us smile in seeing and being a part of His plan for our home. Since living here, He blessed us for nine months with the McMichael's. The blessings we received having four boys and their parents share our home with us were too numerous to count. For the past three years almost every week, we have shared a Bible study with persons who have become much more than friends - our family.

We desire to use this place for Him. It is nestled in a hollow, surrounded by trees. A sanctuary for Him. I pray that all we do, say and think will bring glory to Him throughout the time He allows us to be here. I pray that we will not desecrate it in any way. In the original Hebrew, "Abba" means "Daddy". This place belongs to our "Daddy", He lives here within us.

In His home, "Abba's Coconut".

Saturday, March 10, 2012

03/10/12 - leaving tracks

"you can be sure that your sin will track you down."(Num 32:23)

Growing up around coon hounds, I know that once they are on a scent, they don't get off. When they tree a coon, they'll stay at the bottom of the tree until they are told to move off.

What a warning God gave us. It could be very scary, without hope, if I did not reside in Christ. Sin is a dark, evil place. I do not want to be alone when being tracked by sin. And I am being tracked. The more I grow in Him, the more satan wants me to be destroyed.

There's another thing about tracking. Sometimes, something or someone will "scatter the scent" and the dogs are not able to track - they lose the scent. That is what my Christ does for me. He comes behind me and covers over my tracks. He laid down His life to cover my tracks - all so that sin can not track me. I know we are in spiritual warfare. I see sin all about me. Each day I fight to resist leaving tracks for sin. I know that I can not do it alone. This is yet another reason I am so thankful I have Him.

The runaway slaves - without the underground railroad, they would have run without destination, without places to stop, hide, rest, as the hounds came after them. God's plan is much like the underground railroad which was well organized, loyal members, gathering in and making disciples, saving lives. And often they were Christians.

Until I am in Heaven, sin will be tracking me, trying to entrap me. I am running in His underground railroad. I am helping others to escape through it too. I rest in the assurance that He is "scattering my scent".

Knowing that sin will run right on past me as I hide in Him.

Friday, March 09, 2012

my cousin

I can remember learning about my cousin having cancer at a graduation party. Sharing his fears, trying to be strong for his son. It has been a hard, hard fight these past few years. Yesterday, he lost the battle with cancer - he was only 44.

He took with him parts of many persons hearts and left part of himself in those same hearts. I have many memories of him from the years past that I now am so thankful for.  He has taught me and so many others that people are the important things in life.

People and fishing.

His stepson wrote two beautiful heart shares this week:

"The past week I have been thinking alot. About things I have done and the past and things that will go on in the future. I am scared of what is going to be happening in my future. What I am going to be doing in my life, but in the past 48 hours I have relized that all that will be ok with the amazing family that I have that supports each other all the time. Brad has helped me out alot. To become a... better man, give me support on my decsions in life, help me out with problems I get into, and makeing my mom fell wonderful about herself. I have the pleasure to know someone so great in my life he is one of the strongest and bravest men that I know. He has had one of the hardest battles that anyone can ever face. You are one of my top idols. You will never be replaced in my heart Brad. You have been like a 2nd father to me. I love you alot. And for everything that you have done for I want to say thankyou for everything you have done for me and my whole family. I love you and I wish I could help you out more or even give you some of my years of life so you could stay here longer and bring the joy you do to my mother and family." 03/04/12

"Brad passed away some time I was at school... When Mrs. Westermyer picked up the phone i just had that felling that he did. I felt different inside, but a good kind a different. Like I know now that he doesn't have to suffer anymore and that he is in god`s hands now and he`ll take care of brad. I loved him alot. He tought me so much through my life. How to be a gentleman and how to be brave and keep on fighting. My mother is deeply hurting from him passing away, but i know she`s a strong lady and that i will always be there for her and love her as much as humanly possible just like brad has done. Brad I am going to miss you and your songs, your inapporite jokes, and the way you made my mother fell. I love you very much and my thoughts are with you as you make your new journey up towards the beautiful gates of heaven. I hope you find a great fishing hole that you can catch the biggest fish ever. You shall be missed for ever and ever. You had an impact on so many peoples lifes. I`m really looking foward to meet you again when it is my time to go to the Gates of heaven. I shall see you then... -Love Coltin Taylor" 03/08/12

I love you Brad.

03/09/12 - All of me.

"all donated by the soldiers" (Num 31:53)

Where is my heart? Is it in a place where I desire, without hesitation, gladly - donate my all? All equals everything. Is there any part of my heart I hold back from donating?

This morning as I prayed, He again cleansed my heart. What a continual process that He never walks away from - Thank you Daddy!!!!

As I was praying for God to surround our family, as we grieve over losing my cousin, there are some persons that it will be uncomfortable to see.

We never have gotten along - even when we were growing up. And I see the part of my heart I am holding back is the revenge, satisfaction, worldly confirmation I get when I ignore her back. In my heart I have pretty much developed apathy towards her. Even after just losing Brad yesterday, it still didn't affect me on what apathy was doing to my heart. By holding onto that - I was serving self/satan.

I have been praying, praying, praying, that Brad knew God - intimately. All attempts by me to share Him were not responded to. Curt pointed out last night that I did try. I know God has put me in a closer relationship with Teresa (Brad's sister) for His reason.

God had me realize this morning, I am His soldier and I am not even seeing how the brokenness between others and me is breaking His heart. In my weak defensiveness, self, pride, me, me, me, vision I missed that. His heart is breaking, because I am holding on to a part of my heart to serve self.

He is changing me. I am desiring to donate it all to Him - because I so love Him. He is changing me to love Him more than self. Only through Him am I able to pray for His blessings for those I held apathy towards.  He is convicting me - growing me.

So that one day - my heart will be - All donated.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

03/08/12 - Organized

Numbers 28:31 "Remember, the animals must be healthy."

How is my tithe? Is it first fruit - cream of the crop - the best of the best?

We try to follow Dave Ramsey Financial Peace. This year I want to buckle down and follow it closer as I used to. Tithing - we do. I want to go beyond the 10%. We try. There are many ways to tithe. The hardest for me is my time. I like being home, working here. And often He "interrupts" my schedule. I know He is teaching me that there isn't such a thing as "mine" - it is His. That not only goes for stuff - it goes for time, gifts and talents.

Do I give Him "the healthy animal" or the leftovers? My goal for my tomorrows is to get our home/shop cleared of "stuff" that is a burden. To be organized. Looking for something causes so much lost time. Time I could be giving to Him. Our money goal is to get reorganized. We have goals and are achieving them, but there are some I am lax on.

Groceries - need to utilize coupons, etc. I recently "organized" our freezers and threw out 2 large bags of old food. It was 99% fruits and veggies. What a waste. I am back on a monthly menu plan with once a month big grocery shopping. I am being convicted about the waste. Waste of His time, money, and stuff.

He has blessed me with so much. I want to be the best steward I can be for Him. I want to be organized so I can give Him my first fruits - the cream of the crop - the best of the best.

To be scrambling throughout life, being stressed, and weighed down because I am unorganized - isn't what He designed.

I want to give Him "healthy animals".

For His glory.

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

03/07/12 - More than a heehaw

Numbers 22:28 "Then God gave speech to the donkey. "

There are times I wonder how often I miss hearing Him speak. As of yet, I do know I haven't missed a donkey! There are so many ways He does speak - through His Word, His people, His nature - and also the still small voice within me.

He promises me "I am the Good Shepherd. I know my own sheep and my own sheep know me......They'll also recognize my voice." (John 10:14-18)

How often am I so focused on going "my" way, that I do not recognize/hear Him when He speaks? It, again, goes back to focus. If my focus isn't on Him, I'll be so absorbed with me that I'll miss "the angel of God" standing in front of me.

Looking back at my life, I have always felt His angels watching out for me. There were many times I was protected from harm. He brought me to this place where I am today. I am so blessed and thankful for that.

I am so blessed to work outside - to be in His nature. To mow in places that usually I am the only one to be there week to week. To be under His vast sky and watch the storms come in, the lightening across the river, the birds. A bald eagle fly in towards me, the sun shining on his head, turning it into a beacon of bright white. I am so blessed on hot, hot days and the wind will brush against my face cooling me off - a kiss from God.

I am so very blessed to be able to crawl up into His lap 24/7 and be with Him. That He is always within me. Talk to Him about anything and know He desires me to be with Him.

I am so thankful for how His Word has transformed my heart and vision. That I do listen, draw near to Him. That I am becoming more concentrated on this journey of life being for Him and not my way.

That I recognize His voice.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

03/06/12 - Flaunting It

"flaunting his behavior in front of Moses and the whole assembly" Num 25:9

The idolatrous and adulterous orgy at Shittim (Num. 25) that resulted in 23,000 deaths by plague.

I think about our world today. I see how so many "flaunt" in front of God without shame or guilt. I know, at times I too am guilty of the "flaunting", but I feel shame, guilt, sorrow and repent. I was thinking I never would "flaunt" like that. God gently reminds me that a sin is a sin.

How many times have I gossiped, held bitterness and anger in my heart, tore someone apart in my mind instead of praying for them. How often, even unaware, have I been jealous, envious, lied, cheated, stole?

A sin is a sin.

Only when I repent, when I am striving to be like Him - then my heart is trying not to "flaunt".

"Phinehas, he was as zealous for my honor as I myself am" (Num 25:11)

Am I this zealous over the "flaunting of sin". Kirk Cameron recently stood up, and based in Scripture, proclaimed homosexuality is a sin. Because it says so in Scripture, that is why he believes it is. People/media have been attacking him all over. Joel Olsteen, when asked, skirted around the issue. He said scripture says so, but never came out and said, "me too". Persons like Kirk Cameron give me hope. They encourage me. They also put me to shame when I recognize the many times I am not zealous about fighting sin. Loving the person - hating the sin.

This world is turning away from God and on the road to self-destruction. Only when we become zealous, holding persons accountable, making disciples for Him, will it turn around.

"That stopped the plague from continuing among the People of Israel. But 24,000 had already died." (Num 25:9)

Monday, March 05, 2012

03/05/12 - Climbing the mountain

Numbers 20:26 "So take Aaron and his son Eleazar and lead them up Mount Hor. Remove Aaron's clothes from him and put them on his son Eleazar. Aaron will be gathered there; Aaron will die." (Aaron was 123 years old when he died on Mount Hor.)

This is a picture of Mt. Hor.
I'm wondering how their climb was. That's quite a mountain to climb at any age. What did they talk about? Their life together, growing up- while apart - growing old - the journey God had taken them on? How was Eleazar feeling? Did he know, have any idea? Did Moses share with Aaron what God had said - or did Aaron already know? Did they bury him or leave his body to the elements? Did God bury him? I imagine this climb was as hard on Moses as Abraham's was with Isaac.

Even when we have faith and know without a doubt where one in Christ will go - death is hard......Bittersweet. In my selfishness I desire the person to remain here with me. I think often of those that have gone before me - and how I miss them. My g'ma Dorothy - more so as the years go by. Our two babies - wondering what they'd look like - be like. Today they would have been 25 and 22. How different our lives would have been with them here.

The other night as I was falling asleep, I was thinking about the fact I am on the downhill side of life. At times it scares me, how quickly time flies - the years. It motivates me to get my life organized - my home, etc. It gives me a sense of urgency to look/act on opportunities He puts before me.

My cousin, Brad, is 44. He has been fighting cancer for the past seven years and we know, unless God gives us a major miracle, his battle will be over any day. I have lost two other cousins, Cyndi at 30 and Ricki at 41.

I remember like yesterday, living in Kearney, MO, God weighed upon my heart for days to call Cyndi. I hadn't spoken to her in years, didn't have her phone number. I received a call from mom letting me know that Cyndi had suddenly died on her couch. They discovered she had congestive heart failure. Whenever I think about not following God's urging, I get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. Talk about wishing for a do-over. I think about her life, low lost she was, and wonder if God was going to use me as a lifeline to Him. Or just to touch base and give her some joy. We were very close growing up. Our lifestyles, choices, distance had drawn us apart. No fights or anything - just drifted apart.

With Brad, I don't have the urgency to call or see him. I tried earlier on and he never responded back. I do have an urgency to pray. His nephew, Michael, is a very strong Christian. I pray for him. That he can be Brad's "Moses" as they climb up the mountain. I know I can not be every one's "Moses", but I can be a light for Christ to everyone I meet. Even if only for a moment. He is so strong, so awesome, and can do so much more in a moment than I can in a lifetime.

As I age, I pray I am a tool for Him. Everyone is dying, making their journey to their mountain top. To remove their clothes and be gathered there.

Everyone will die.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

03/04/12 - Flirting

Num 16:26 "Back off from the tents of these bad men; don't touch a thing that belongs to them lest you be carried off on the flood of their sins."

How often do I flirt with sin? Do I run up and touch it - then dash away? Do I bat my eyes at it, thinking I am in control?

Sin is so real.

"Carried off on the flood". Not a trickle, or a small stream, or even a river. Not a flood, but The flood.

One small bite of a forbidden fruit - flood over the whole world - our Savior crucified on the Cross - separated from God - resurrected - conquering the grave. '

One small bite.

How do I go among the world and not allow sin to touch my soul? Not allow it to penetrate my life? To not be curious about it and stop to check it out?

Only by being totally enveloped in Him. His Word - directs me - leads me. The Holy Spirit - protects me. Christ instructs me to be sly like a snake and gentle like a dove.

It's when I decide to take control and do things my way - instead of His. Then sin touches me. satan is the father of lies. he knows what will entice me - draw me - catch my eye. To draw my focus off of God onto him or myself.

It's all about keeping my focus on God. Not to be curious or flirt with sin. Through Him I am able to really see what it is. A sin is a sin. It separates me from God.

After all, curiosity killed the cat.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

03/03/12 - Tassels

Numbers 15:37-41 God spoke to Moses: "Speak to the People of Israel. Tell them that from now on they are to make tassels on the corners of their garments and to mark each corner tassel with a blue thread. When you look at these tassels you'll remember and keep all the commandments of God, and not get distracted by everything you feel or see that seduces you into infidelities. The tassels will signal remembrance and observance of all my commandments, to live a holy life to God. I am your God who rescued you from the land of Egypt to be your personal God. Yes, I am God, your God."

What are my tassels?

During my life, so often, my tassels were me. I was totally focused on - me. I lived for me. I was seduced by the world. Even after having Adam and Nichalas, I would often put them before Him. They were my worth - not me in Him.

I lived in the land of quicksand and mirages. Exhausted - trying to survive "my way" was killing me. Within me was anger, bitterness, darkness - such a feeling of emptiness.

And then, I made tassels and hung them on/in my heart.

His Word.

I dig into it. I chew on it. I carry it in my heart.

My heart - totally transformed by Him through His Word.

What are my tassels?

His Words of hope, promises, security, love, peace, joy. The map to my promised land. My "40 years of wandering in the wilderness" have been done for 27 years now. He is my "own personal God". I am marching towards my Home - Following Him. To be with Him - Forever.

He is my tassels.

Friday, March 02, 2012

03/02/12 - The Grumblers

Numbers 11:1-13:33

The People fell to grumbling over their hard life. Moses "grumbled" to God. Miriam/Aaron talked about Moses and his wife.

And God heard.

He sent quail, fire, and leprosy for Miriam. (Why did Aaron get off again?) I wonder if when God called them out before Him, were they trembling? Were they even aware God knew what they had said?

How often am I so focused on self, my way, me, me, me - and think as I grumble, "He can't hear me". My grandma Dorothy used to say when we talk to ourselves we are really talking to the devil, as we say things we wouldn't say otherwise.

He does hear. And yet I still grumble and complain. Paul tells us, "to be thankful in all things". I try. I try to look and see others lives whose are far worse than mine. I try not to compare - to covet - to be jealous. And often, when life isn't fair, I grumble.

Because I have lost focus. When Moses grumbled to God about all the responsibilities. That he couldn't handle them all - God listened. God then provided Moses help. How often do I try and do it all and can not. God provides me help and I still say no - I will. And grumble about being stressed and overloaded.

I have a hard time letting go. The "power", control, doing things my way. Nichalas and Amber's rehearsal dinner we held here. There is no way I was going to get everything done. And God provided.

Our home was descended upon by our friends. They invaded! Washed windows, scrubbed floors, cabinets. One even scrubbed our toilets by hand after not being able to find my brush. (That is love.) We were invaded by love.

Not everything on "my list" was completed. In the end, that didn't matter. The funny thing is, most everyone was outside! And our friends made sure we enjoyed ourselves. Not once did someone come up and ask Curt or myself a question about what to do. They all took care of us. They made sure we were able to celebrate our children without any concerns.

Because He took care of us. Because we belong to His family. He surrounds us in love. Real love.

In these scriptures I have learned - STOP grumbling. He is listening. Focus on Him - not me. He is in control - and He loves me. I also learned - be careful what I ask for!

The quail were over three feet deep and as far out as a day's walk in every direction. (Num 11:31) Can you imagine! I need to let go and let Him. His way. His time. Not mine.

Watch my grumbling when I feel life isn't fair. Because it isn't. I need to keep my focus on Him and be thankful. In all things.

"God answered Moses, "So, do you think I can't take care of you? You'll see soon enough whether what I say happens for you or not." (Num 11:23)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

03/01/12 - "I'm not coming"

"Moses said to his brother-in-law Hobab son of Reuel the Midianite, Moses' father-in-law, "We're marching to the place about which God promised, 'I'll give it to you.' Come with us; we'll treat you well. God has promised good things for Israel."
But Hobab said, "I'm not coming; I'm going back home to my own country, to my own family."

Moses countered, "Don't leave us. You know all the best places to camp in the wilderness. We need your eyes. If you come with us, we'll make sure that you share in all the good things God will do for us." (Numbers 10:29-32)

How often do I hear, read, know God's promises - and say "I'm not coming, I'm going back home to my own country"? How often does "back home" look better to me than what He has in store for me? How often do I become too attached to "back home"?

These past two months, digging in, praying to hear each day, writing it down, has changed me. I see that I am more focused on Him. I love how His Word is growing me. Causing me to refocus on my purpose - to make/train disciples.

We finished up our last Downline Disciple class last night. He is over and over again telling me - "Watch - Do". I've been praying for doors to open. Every encounter I am wondering, "Is this the one". I am so thankful that by refocusing, I have been able to enjoy life.

Today, Terry is coming over to talk to us in regard to changes at ADM. Before, I'd be so anxious - thinking only bad thoughts. Now, I am just waiting and know He will provide. Curt and I are both wanting to be used by Him. It may or may not be through our business or this place.

Bottom line is - I am waiting on the sound of the Bugle. Numbers 10:1-10 Bugles were blown to notify the people if they were to march, stay, fight. Whatever His call. It isn't about going "back home". It is about where He is taking me.

I have recognized I have been too wrapped up in the past. I have been clinging to the "good" memories trying to fill in the void the hurts from my childhood left. Only He can fill that void. Good memories are just that - memories. And even though I have felt they fill me, actually they are robbing me of my present. Particularly with the boys. It is hard, no impossible, to treat them as adults if I am constantly remembering/focusing on them as babies and being young. God has blessed me with two awesome adult sons. I need to march on with them. Creating new memories that are okay to take out and look at occasionally. Not to live through them.

"Blow the bugles.....they will keep your attention on God. I am God, your God." (Num 10:10)

To me the bugles represent God's Word. It keeps my attention on Him. He tells me......

I am God, your God.