Friday, June 22, 2012

The lost - 05/16/12 - Psalm 144-145, 88-89

How blessed the people who have God for God!(Psalm 144:15)

It was Sunday night after we attended church and we were walking.  Nichalas and Amber wanted to take us to the vegan "Chicago Diner" in the heart of Boystown.  Out in the streets there were persons standing around the bars, on the sidewalks, talking.  It was more of how they were dressed, than how they acted, that gave indication of what they were really wanting.  I told Curt it was so obvious that they wanted sex and not a relationship, much like animals.  That made me sad, but it was the lost look behind their smiles that grabbed my heart.  It was the spiritual heaviness that weighed me down as we traveled through the people on our way to the Diner.

I was reading today about a man who grabbed the five year old daughter of the rancher he was working for in Texas.  He took her into the woods.  Her father ran after them and found the man half naked, on top of his daughter.  He grabbed him off of her and beat him.  Then he called 911 because he was then trying to save his life.  The man ended up dying.  There were numerous persons who were very irate about his defending his daughter this way.  Thankfully, the grand jury ruled that the father was only guilty of protecting his daughter.

Studying Jude the other night and I can't shake these verses or the picture of the emptiness that these lost souls have:

"These people are warts on your love feasts as you worship and eat together. They're giving you a black eye—carousing shamelessly, grabbing anything that isn't nailed down. They're—

Puffs of smoke pushed by gusts of wind;
late autumn trees stripped clean of leaf and fruit,
Doubly dead, pulled up by the roots;
wild ocean waves leaving nothing on the beach
but the foam of their shame;
Lost stars in outer space
on their way to the black hole." (Jude 1:12,13)

There are so many who do not know Him.  So many who are lost and living the lie. So many who do not live a blessed life because they have elected not to follow God.  I am finding it hard to believe how blatant people are about their sins.  They don't care who they hurt, who sees.  It is all about satisfying self.  When I read in the Bible some of the times when sin much like the world we live in today, I remember Solomon's words, "there is nothing new under the sun". 

My heart hurts for them and God.  How He desires to have us Know Him.  How He desires that we cast aside our self made gods and worship Him.   Draw near to Him.

As I was thinking about the events above, I am so thankful and blessed that not only myself, but my husband, sons and daughter follow the one true God.  That our grandchildren will be raised knowing Him.  I pray that the life He has given me will be one that leads others to Him, so they may live a blessed life rather than one of emptiness and pain.

I pray that they may come to have God as their God.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Flappy mouth - 05/15/12 - Psalm 131, 133, 138-141, 143

Post a guard at my mouth, God,
set a watch at the door of my lips. (psalm 141:3)

Immediately when I first read this, I thought that I was to keep my mouth shut.  When rereading it though, I realized posting a guard is much different than what I had pictured.  He wants me to talk - just talk as He talks - not how I would. 

There are many times that I can actually feel the Holy Spirit nudging me to "shut up".....and more and more I follow suit.  There are many times when I get a case of "flappy mouth" and He will zing me with a scripture.  And more and more I am actually stepping back and shutting up.  Don't get me wrong, I still have miles to go on improvement.  And there are times when I fall back into the old habits.  Why is it that bad talking about someone gives you a sense of power?  Pride?  The more He convicts me, the feelings of shame override any power or pride. 

I recognize that the main reason my words are different is due to His Word.  It wasn't until I started to be In His Word every single day that my mouth started lining up with my heart.  The more sold out I am for Him, the more my "talk matches my walk".  So many persons are turned off by the "Christians" who say they are followers of Christ, but when they get a case of "flappy mouth" - the real truth comes out.  I pray that I lead more to Christ than not.  I pray that the words that come out are pleasing to the guard.  I have read this verse as a prayer request.  I know that He knows my heart better than I do, that He knows I desire to please Him, that I so love Him.  I know because of that - He has provided the guard to set watch. 

Knowing that once words are spoken they can not be brought back, at times makes me feel physically sick as I recall some of the words I have spoken.  How very thankful I am that He is bigger than any words I have misspoken.  That doesn't give me free rein to speak as I want, but it does give me the desire to please Him out of love. 

So I am thankful that I am learning.  That my talk is more and more matching my walk with Him.

Just a vapor - 05/14/12 - Psalm 103, 108-110, 122, 124

He forgives your sins—every one.
He heals your diseases—every one.
He redeems you from hell—saves your life!
He crowns you with love and mercy—a paradise crown.
He wraps you in goodness—beauty eternal.
He renews your youth—you're always young in his presence. (Psalm 103:3-5) 

When I look in the mirror sometimes, I am shocked at what I see.  When I think of the age I am, I am shocked that this much time has passed so quickly.  I am my parents age and they are my grandparents age.  My kids are my age!!!

I look at these verses and wonder if this is a clue as to what heaven will be like.  I know that through the death and resurrection of Christ and my being in Christ, my sins are forgiven - even before I commit them.  And through Christ I am also saved from hell.  In Revelation it talks about castings our crowns before Him. 

                "Physical beauty has a shelf life"

As for diseases, there are often times while on this earth that we are not healed.  This body that He has given me is aging and showing signs of wear and tear.  There are wrinkles, bulges, and flappy/bumpy skin that wasn't there a few years ago. I think it was in my 40's that I stopped waving at people in sleeveless tops.  My aunt pointed out once that I had "chicken wings".  Now I am starting to rethink the wearing of sleeveless tops!   So I am wondering if this "beauty eternal" is referring to the beauty I will have in heaven. 

I so believe that by the age of 35 your face shows exactly what you carry in your heart.  It seems that many never smile or have that twinkle in their eye for they have such a hardened heart.  But if you really look into the face of an elderly Christ follower - they shine - they are so beautiful you carry the image of their face with you.  Studies show that married couples, even people and their pets, begin to look alike as they age.  They take on the same mannerisms, expressions, etc.   These Christ followers have walked and lived In Him for so long, they look like Him. 

That is why I really don't mind getting older in some ways.  The closer to Him I become - I feel younger, healthier, joyful, peace, free.  I do mind that time is passing so quickly and our time with our kids is more apart than together.  On the flip side of that though, it is closer to the time of being together forever in heaven.  I do mind that my body isn't able to do the things it used to, or have the energy, strength, endurance, it used to.  It is hard to believe that one day I won't be able to do even the little things - like go to the store, up and down steps, etc.  That is just how it is with our earthly bodies.

So seeing that so much of these verses goes against the earthly bodies natural aging, makes me again wonder - is this a taste of what heaven is like?  Or is it talking about our souls and not our bodies?

Footprints - 05/13/12 - Psalm 68-70, 86, 101

"Blessed be the Lord— day after day He carries "me" along.
He's "my" Savior, "my" God, oh yes!
He's God-for-"me", He's God-who-saves-"me". (Psalm 68:19-23)

One of the things I love to do with His Word is personalize it.  To take the you's and us and make them me and mine.  Because that is what His word is - my own personal love letter from Him.  From my Daddy.

His Word has so transformed my heart and vision.  For the most part, I am able to recognize and relish in the fruits of the Spirit.  How thankful I am that most of my days are good days.  That even when there are worldly problems He has enabled me to see that He is bigger and in control. 

How very thankful I am that no longer do I feel weary.  I am so grateful that He carries me -- day after day.  I am not on this journey alone.  Nor am I the one in charge.  It has been such a burden lifted to hand my whole life over to Him.  To not be in charge of my relationships, our home, our business, of anything!  I am just a steward for what is His. 

He has helped me to see that life isn't about the physical labors - it's about the spiritual battle.  In the whole scheme of things - stuff doesn't matter.  Do I want to leave a legacy of stuff, jobs well done or a line up of souls I have touched for Him. 

The souls win hands down!

He has helped my focus to look into the eyes of the people I pass in the streets.  To see past their plastered on smiles and fake laughter into a heart that is lost.  I was once in that place - the place of hell.  I am so thankful that He has transformed my heart into one that wants to gather all I see to Him. 

So they can know:

"Blessed be the Lord—
day after day He carries "me" along.
He's "my" Savior, "my" God, oh yes!
He's God-for-"me", He's God-who-saves-"me".

So they too can personalize their love letter from Him.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Joe Versus the Volcano - 05/12/12 - Psalm 61-62, 64-67

Take a good look at God's wonders— they'll take your breath away."(Psalm 66:5)  

For the past few nights, He has been showing off with His lunar moon.  What a beauty!  We got in from working until dark the other night and there it was - hanging in the sky - so bright it seemed more like early morning dawn. 

Living in this hollow is nice and cozy, but I do miss the view of looking out and beyond.  Tonight His moon could be seen from our back yard.  Instead of going directly in to shower, I sat on a bench in the garden and was completely taken in by His beauty. 

He took my breath away. 

It reminded me of something I wrote in 2006:

Did you see it? For the past two nights - the moon?

Last night it came out big, orange and moved so gracefully over the sky. Alone, the house completely dark, I was drawn to my window - just to sit there and gaze in amazement.

What a Father.
To put something up there, so far away, so controlled, so dang gone bright.

And then it began.......


What a Father.


What a Father.

What a Father.
And then - Prayers

What a Father.
My heart just opened up, under the spell (no not of the moon) of Him. I sat there unable to pry my eyes off that ole moon. I can see how some could worship that giant piece of rock. I can't understand it. How can you look and not see. Someone so much bigger and brighter and in total control. The one who made that moon.

What a Father.
And I thought about in the movie "Joe Versus the Volcano", when he is on a raft in the ocean and the moon comes up and it almost covers the whole sky, being so big. I thought about how much I would like to witness something like that. I thought about that is how I feel about my Father. I desire to have Him become bigger in my "sky" of life, to completely cover it all. To be so big I can not see anything else but Him.

And I realized, He can. Only if I allow Him to.

What a Daddy.

Dancing bones - 05/10/12 - Psalm 35-38

" But let me run loose and free,
celebrating God's great work,
Every bone in my body laughing, singing, "God,
there's no one like you."(Psalm 35:9-10) 

For years I would beat myself up for being so sentimental, emotional, serious and deep - until I realized that is how He created and designed me. 

I have always admired persons who are able to "let go" and not worry about what others think of them.  Who can "let go" and be themselves no matter where they are.  To laugh and be silly.  Those that can "let go" when their picture is being taken. 

If I am aware of a camera in the area, I become stiff.  And that is revealed in the photos. 

That is also how I become when I am around someone who I feel intimidated by.  That pushes my buttons.  I so want to stop doing that.  Curt and I were talking about the image we project and he said when I get into uncomfortable surrounding I don't get loud or bossy.  I become quiet and try to disappear and that comes off as stuck up and sometimes - self-righteous. 

The goal I have for my life is that when people see me - they don't - they see only Christ.  I desire so much to leave behind the bitterness and anger, lack of confidence, being consumed with "me".  I so desire to become this verse no matter the situation:

" But let me run loose and free,
celebrating God's great work,
Every bone in my body laughing, singing, "God,
there's no one like you."(Psalm 35:9-10)

I so desire that the bitterness and anger I carry doesn't get in the way of Him.

Slowly He is helping me to cast it aside - helping me to forgive and even forget.  He is helping me to step out of my comfort zone and "let go".  I am delighting in this - the feeling of freedom in not carrying that burden around.

Letting go - so that when He "takes" my picture He sees that every bone in my body is laughing and singing,

"God there's no one like you"

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

My Curt - 05/09/12 - Psalm 27-32

God makes His people strong.
God gives His people peace."(Psalm 29:11)

My Curt saved my life today.  For real.

I have realized more than ever this year that my body is really aging.  I have also realized how very much I need Curt and his physical strength in our business.  I am unable to do all I used to do. 


After today, He has removed that frustration and replaced it with total thankfulness. 

I grew up on a farm and was the oldest child. Even though I only weighed 115 - I was strong for a girl.  I was raised working hard - lifting heavy stuff - taking care of livestock - running equipment - baling hay -  I was my dad's "boy".  A lot of my "worth" was in my strength and how hard I could work.  That has carried over to today.  To me it is a sign of weakness to depend so much on Curt.  I also forget that he is a man and much stronger than I am or ever have been.  He also has greater endurance than I do/did. 

God has helped me realize that it isn't a sign of weakness to depend on Curt to carry more of the physical weight in the business.  We do work well together and I am able to carry my share of the work.  He said the other day he doesn't feel like he is carrying me.  The scripture about the cord of three can not be broken reminds me of Curt, myself and God.  In all of our areas of life.

Today - we were mowing at Aldi's.  I was frustrated because I was delayed getting started due to a phone call.  When we both start out together, we end up being done at the same time.  I took off with the little mower and Curt was ahead of me using the weed eater. 

Behind the store on a rather steep hill are evergreens that I use the little mower to get up underneath of the branches.  As I started to mow around one, Curt came to the top of the hill weed eating.  Suddenly he stopped and motioned for me to come up beside him.  I turned off the mower and went up.  He pointed out on the branches of the tree I was about to mow under a swarm of bees.  There were so many of them that the large branch was bent down and almost touching the ground - right at the level the mower would have been.  It was a swarm 1' x 4'. 

God knew before He created the world about those bees, about my phone call, about Curt being ahead of schedule on the weed eater.  He knew that I would/am depending on Curt for strength in more ways than physical.   Curt supports, encourages, looks out for, loves - me.  He is my best friend and how much I love sharing our lives, our sons/daughter, our home and our business with.  I am so thankful that I don't have to do it on my own - nor do I want to. 

I so desire to share my life with my Curt. 

He knew in the thanksgiving I have for my husband, I would find peace. 

My thanks to you.......05/07/12- Psalm 12-17, 19-21

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

I just want to tell you - my family in Christ, "thank you".   As the years pass by, it is such a blessing to be "friends" and "family" with those who walk In Him. 

I love how this blog has brought me closer to you amazing women.  Your words of how His scripture touches your hearts are now buried within my heart.  Through your insight I am able to learn and grow In Him and His Word. 

I love that He knew before time that I would be "friends and family" with you.  There is such a blessing to grow In Him together through His Word.  May He reveal to you how often your words have been an encouragement and strength when I most needed it. 

I so look forward to being together throughout eternity with Him and you.

Thank you.

white as snow - 04/26/12 - 1 Chron 20:1, 2 Sam 11:1-12:14, Psalm 51, 2 Sam 12:15-25, 5:14-16, 1 Chron 14:3-7, 3:5-9

Generous in love—God, give grace! Huge in mercy—wipe out my bad record.
Scrub away my guilt,
soak out my sins in your laundry.
I know how bad I've been;
my sins are staring me down. (Psalm 51:1-3)

I can remember when I was little, going into the basement with my mom and watching her do laundry.  She had the old wringer type of washing machine.  I remember how red her hands were from the hot water, sweat on her face and the dirty clothes. 

There were the old cloth diapers. 

Even though she would soak them in the diaper pail, they were still in need of washing.  She had to reach into that nasty, dirty, water and pull them out one by one.  Wringing them out and putting them into the washer.  They were stained yellow and brown from the messes that my sisters made in them. 

Ugly and smelly. 

After they went through the wash cycle, she would then have to reach in and take them out one by one.  Putting them through the wringer to extract as much water from them as possible so they would dry quicker on the line.  This was before they had a dryer and no matter the weather, they had to be  hung out to dry.  Sometimes in the winter they would freeze and she would bring them in to hang on chairs, a line strung up between doorways, to thaw out. 

And almost every time after washing, wringing, and drying - they came out white as snow. 

Today, I enjoy doing laundry.  When Adam was little, we used the cloth diapers.  I had the modern day washer/dryer set.  I still did and do use my clothes lines whenever the weather permits.  There is something in me that enjoys the taking of a dirty garment, getting it clean, hanging it on the line, smelling that wonderful outdoors scent as I take it down and fold it, putting it away for the next time. 

I know that when God is "doing my dirty laundry" - it isn't something He delights in.  I know that He had to give me the blood of His only Son to wipe away the stains and dirt that cover me from my sins.  I see my mom's chapped, red hands and know that Christ became bruised and bloody as He was the cleansing power of my "dirty laundry". 

I also know without a doubt that God enjoys taking me in and drawing in the sweet, clean smell I offer up to Him.  I know without a doubt that His hands tenderly fold me into being the garment I need to be for Him.  I know without a doubt that He is readying me for "the next time" when He needs me to be used for Him. 

I know without a doubt that I have been "washed whiter than snow".

Monday, June 18, 2012

Amazement - 05/11/12 - Psalm 39-41,53,55,58

You know me inside and out, you hold me together,
 you never fail to stand me tall in your presence
so I can look you in the eye." (Psalm 41:12) 

It amazes me how often I try to convince myself that He doesn't really know me............that if He did He wouldn't really love me as He says He does. 

His love - it is so unconditional, so overwhelming, so............incomprehensible. 

It isn't until I get to heaven that I will know through and through - without a doubt - the extent of His love. 

And satan loves that I can't comprehend the whole picture of His love.  he loves that I doubt, that I put myself down, beat myself up when I mess up. 

This is where the amazement comes into the picture. 

I know what I am like inside, down deep.  I know the hidden thoughts I have, the silent words I think,

I know the dirt on me. 

And in all of that "knowing", He knows me even better - through and through - "inside and out".  He "Holds me together".  He doesn't leave me in a jumbled mess.  He "holds me together". 

I think about when you hold onto something or someone who is in a mess - usually it is close to your heart.  That way you are able to use your body and your hands in "holding it together".  That is exactly where God holds me.  Close to His heart.  And when He has achieved putting me back together, He holds me at eye level and admires me.  He drinks me in.  He desires to be the center of my life. 

He loves me.

satan and self want me to believe that I have to hide from Him when I am a mess.  Through His Word I have learned truth.  He stands me at eye level to Him - so I can look Him in the eye and we can celebrate together. 

This makes me think about the connection Curt and I have.  When at a social event, across the room from each other, we can look at each other and know what the other is thinking.  Without any words - just a look. 

That is the connection I have with my Daddy. 

With just a look I know - I am His and He is mine.