Saturday, April 27, 2013

"Hannah - whom I draw Strength from" - 04/09/13 - 1 Samuel 1:9-4:11

“After the child is weaned, I’ll bring him myself and present him before God—and that’s where he’ll stay, for good.” (1:22)


What a woman of faith.  Of love for her Abba.  Of love for her child. 

Her Samuel. 

A true mommy who presented him before God and left him at the temple because that was what was best for her child.  She wanted him to be with God, even if it meant sacrificing her time to a once a year visit.  Aside from this yearly visit, scripture doesn't say if other visits occurred.  Regardless if they did or not, Samuel was not with her in their home.  She wasn't there to receive the day to day blessings of being a mommy.  She didn't get to experience all the "firsts" in his life.  She wasn't able to tuck him into bed, brush his hair from his eyes as he excitedly shared something about life.  His skinned up knees weren't there for her to kiss, to hold Samuel in comfort as he cried in pain.  She wasn't there on those nights when they lay so far apart in the dark.  Samuel, a small child, three to five years old, laying there alone in the dark, crying for his mommy.  Hannah, lying there in the dark, aching for her child, the child she begged God for. 

The child she gave back to God.

Because of her great love for God.

Her love for God that surpassed any other loves she had - even that for her Samuel.

Does my love for God surpass any other loves that I have?  Am I selfish with my loves?  Are my loves really about my needs, my wants, my desires?  Do I make my loves my god? 

I used to. 

My loves, which I made into my god were my Adam and Nichalas.  They were who I got my worth from, filled my voids, who I sacrificed to.  My putting them above every other love was damaging all my other relationships, particularly with God and Curt.   I put them into a position that they weren't able to handle.  I think about how my worshiping them was so destructive.  I honestly thought my worshiping  them with so much love and honor would build them up, make them more of the men God designed them to be.  It didn't.  They weren't designed to fill my voids.  Only God can do that.  I was only adding pressure to them. 

God in His awesomeness changed me, changed my heart to fall "in" love with Him and put Him as my first love.  In my heart change, I gave my sons over to Him.  They really weren't mine to begin with.  God has blessed me with the gift of them and I realized for them to become the men God designed them to be - I had to step back.  They had to walk on their own "in" God.  I had to sacrifice them to Him.

Yes, there has been pain in my heart putting them in their rightful place.  I draw strength in the example of Hannah and her great faith.  Even before she knew God had blessed her with a child,  "Then she ate heartily, her face radiant." (1:18)  She had absolute faith that God, as her first love, would take care of her - no matter His decision.   I draw strength in her giving up her Samuel to Eli, a stranger that didn't even recognize her when she came back to leave Samuel.  Her strength in God - that He would take care of the gift she was giving back to Him. 

I draw strength from her in giving up my loves
                                                                        that I have put above my love for God.

"Gracious Gift" - 04/08/13 - Ruth 4:13-22, 1 Chronicles 2:9-55, 4:1-23, 1 Samuel 1:1-8

"Boaz married Ruth. She became his wife. Boaz slept with her. By God’s gracious gift she conceived and had a son." (Ruth 4:13)

Naomi's heart was given such joy in the birth of her grandson, Obed.  Technically, he wasn't really of her blood - he was fathered by a man from her husband's family and Ruth wasn't her blood daughter.  It was through the act of marriage she became woven into Obed's family as his grandmother. 

I wonder if she lived long enough to see the birth of David, if he sat upon her knee? 

How God did indeed fill her life with hope and blessings of new birth. 

Much like He weaves us into His family through the new birth of accepting Christ as our Savior.  By joining into the covenant with Him, becoming the Bride of Christ. 

"Boaz married Ruth.  She became his wife.  Boaz slept with her."

They were joined as husband and wife in the way God designed and they became one.  "By God’s gracious gift she conceived and had a son."  

"By God's gracious gift."

Much like He has done with my life.


He gave me "my Curt" almost 31 years ago.  Our hearts were angry and bitter, much like Naomi's..  We were so focused on the cycle of the have nots, didn't gets, not fair, it is totally amazing that we ever were able to see Him.  Continuing on with the cycle, struggling to just keep our heads above water, in the river of lies, we were swimming in.  Fighting against the current of self, which was pulling us under, into the depths of despair and grief.  

All the while, He was standing there, right in the river with us, holding out the only rescue from the cycle we were in. 

He was holding out the gift of Christ.    

We have taken His gift and He is within our hearts, souls, and minds.  He has broken the cycle we were in and transformed us.  He has used us as His vessels to raise our sons up "in" Him, to know Him intimately. 

It isn't just in the gift of our sons that I see His Fruits.  They are scattered everywhere throughout our lives.   We so delight in all of these fruits, which have crowded out the seeds of the world, that used to grow up and overtake us.  But honestly, it is the Fruits of our sons, coming right after the joy of our marriage union.  Much like Naomi, my heart has and does so delight in our sons and daughter-in-law.  This morning I woke up and after thanking God and praying for them, I began to think about becoming a grandmother one day.  Imagining the different ways I would see their parents in them, our relationship, and mostly of sharing the delight with their parents in introducing them to the wonders of God.

Our hearts sing out knowing that because Curt and I have chosen to break the cycle, our sons will be raising, from the moment of conception, their children up "in" Him. All of our future generations have already been being prayed over for a number of years. 

"By God’s gracious gift" of His Son - His cycle continues on.


"Starved" - 04/07/13 - Ruth 1:1-4:12

God hasn’t quite walked out on us after all! He still loves us, in bad times as well as good!” (2:20)

Looking back, there were many times I felt that God wasn't with me.  I wondered why I was put into certain situations that I had no control over, the treatment I received. 

There were many times I felt totally alone. 

And starved.

Deep down within me there was such a void, such a deep,  deep void. 

I ached because of it. 

Constantly walking down dark paths, trying to fill that void, but I always came away lonelier and hungrier. 

Totally empty - yet filled with sadness.

Since I have begun walking In Him, I know that He was and is always with me.   There was never a time that He wasn't.  The situations I was in, came about because of free will and consequences of that.  It wasn't part of His plan.  It was of the world.  He was there protecting me from things I was completely unaware of.  He desired me to be His. 

I am so aware of Him being with me through all trials, tribulations, joys, sorrows - all of my life.  Since I have become intimate "in" Him, I know without a doubt - I am His.  Those that tell me they don't feel He is with them, I gently try to put their focus back onto Him and off of themselves and the lies of the world. 

We are promised that there is nowhere we are able to go that He isn't able to go also - when we are His. 

"Cancer of Sin" - 04/06/13 - Judges 19:1-21:25

"They asked, “Shall we again march into battle against the Benjaminites, our brothers? Or should we call it quits?”
And God said, “Attack. Tomorrow I’ll give you victory.” (20:28)

There are times the cancer we are to be rid of is someone we thought of as a "brother".  There are times when a "brother" is one we shake the dust from our feet because their fruits/actions are destroying us.  Our "brothers" are to lift us up, make us feel loved, honored, cherished, wanted and hold us accountable.  But, if the measuring stick they are using to hold us accountable is their own and not God's - they are a hindrance in our  growing "in" God.  They are trying to mold you into their way of thinking, their standards, their rules. 

It is all about them.

Just like cancer.  It doesn't care about making your body healthy - it is set on destroying you.

The you God created you to be. 

I have been praying that God will open my eyes and others to His Truth.  And yes,  He has been opening my eyes to so many Scriptures that show me where I am or not standing firm "In" Him.  His Word is my measuring stick and He is ridding me of the "cancer" that is in my heart.  He is replacing it with His healthy Truth and transforming it.  He is also showing me that in order to cleanse my heart, that also entails putting up healthy boundaries. 

I have finally come to the place of knowing that although He doesn't want separation, He has instructions for us to "shake the dust from our feet".  Christ told us that He came into this world to divide.  To divide us from sin - sin that becomes a cancer within us.  "Shaking the dust" doesn't mean I haven't forgiven, that I no longer love those persons, it just means that I can not walk in gray in order to belong.  It means that when someone is telling me it is their way or the highway, I can choose the highway because what they are demanding of me, isn't the same of what God is demanding.  He doesn't rule with double standards, these type of persons are only about what benefits them.

These persons come from all over, even from within the church.  He is opening my eyes to the Truth that they are wolves in sheep clothing and how much destruction they leave in their path.
Time after time in Scripture we see examples of how God rid His people of the cancer.  The verses today are not about strangers in the land, but their "brothers", the Benjaminites.  Can you imagine the mixed emotions some of these people were going through?  Perhaps some of them knew each other.  Shared life with them.  Were even friends. 

God is adamant about our not walking in this journey and flirting with sin.  He is telling, us you can not play with fire without getting burnt.  No matter how quick you think you are.  Once sin gets a hold of you - you are taking the chance of your heart becoming hard towards God and going to the place of eternal fire.  Totally separated from Him.

As long as we are able to see that our fruits are His, by using all of Scripture as our measuring stick, we then know we are walking in Truth.  He didn't promise this journey would be without pain, but did promise us we would have total victory "in" Him.  Christ suffered beyond what we ever will for standing firm "in" Him.   

We have courage and hope when remembering the pain of shaking the dust, isn't near what the pain of the cancer would be. 

"Delilah's" - 04/05/13 - Judges 16:1-18:31

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

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

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

He is mine.

We will be celebrating 31 years together this coming June 9th, the anniversary of our first date.  In that time, we have been through many ups and downs.  Thankfully, we made it - only because of God's help. 

Exactly 25 years ago, we were in a major down.  I can remember being on my knees and begging, pleading to God, that He would save our marriage, that Curt would not leave us.  I didn't know where else to turn.  Thankfully, I turned to Him, because He kept us together.  Almost 10 years ago we were in another major down.  This time it was me who wanted out.  I know that I hated our marriage and thought I even hated him.  There were such harsh and painful words that I threw out at him.  Wanting only to hurt and drive him away.  But, he went down on his knees and begged to God that I wouldn't leave.  He refused to let me go, as I refused to let him go, so many years prior.

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

I cling with thanksgiving the verses telling me how God knows my heart better than I do.  He knew without a doubt, under all the anger, harsh words - my heart was head over heels in love with Curt.  Through His Word, counseling, friends who fought to keep us together - we made it through the major down.  Today, I am so blessed with a marriage which only requires maintenance.  I go to sleep at night, live throughout each day, so very thankful and blessed beyond words, that our Abba kept us as one.  Not only for ourselves, but for our sons and daughter-in-law and future grandchildren. 

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

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

As some do with their relationship with God.    

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

For the bribe money of satan.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"Ripples" - 04/04/13 - Judges 11:29:15:20

Some days later when he came back to get her, he made a little detour to look at what was left of the lion. And there a wonder: a swarm of bees in the lion’s carcass—and honey! He scooped it up in his hands and kept going, eating as he went. He rejoined his father and mother and gave some to them and they ate. But he didn’t tell them that he had scooped out the honey from the lion’s carcass." (14:8-9)

Drama - What I think of as I read through these verses of Samson's life. 

How he goes from being a servant for God into a servant for self.  Eating honey from a dead lion carcass?  Why would he even want to go back and check on the carcass?  Not only was he becoming unclean by touching the carcass - he ate honey from it!  Along with the bees -there would have been maggots, flies and stench.  But then, why do we constantly go back and look at sin.  Before you know it, you're down on your knees, reaching into the decay, eating of it, sin now becoming a part of you. 

 I too, have and do the same, as did Samson.  Going back to check out sin - sitting down to eat of what I think is too good to pass up, ignoring the filth it is surrounded by.  Ignoring the way the filth of sin will cling to me - become a part of me as it passes through my lips. 

This proves that we alone can not even be around sin - it will consume us.  It is only through Christ we are protected.  Only In Him are we in a shield that is impenetrable. 

There is a flip side of the lion's carcass.

It is us in sin.  Dead.  Only God can transform total ugliness of sin into the pure sweet honey. 

Don't miss out an important fact in these verses.  Samson gave his parents the honey without telling them where it came from.  In their eating of it, they unknowingly became unclean.  When Jesus left, He left us to continue as His vessels in making disciples.  One drop of water creates a ripple.   Our  living life is a drop of water.  Every single thing you do has consequences - good or bad - touching  lives all around you.  Those who are living and those to come - even those who are gone that were once in your life.  When you look into the mirror, deep into your soul, ask yourself - what are you passing on? 

Are you a part of our Living God, passing on to all His pure sweet honey - the gift of Him, eternal life.

Or are you a part of the carcass of sin - the decayed, maggot infested, stench of eternal death.

What is your ripple? 

"Worthlessness" - 04/03/13 - Judges 9:22-11:28

"Abimelech went on to Thebez. He camped at Thebez and captured it. The Tower-of-Strength stood in the middle of the city; all the men and women of the city along with the city’s leaders had fled there and locked themselves in. They were up on the tower roof. Abimelech got as far as the tower and assaulted it. He came up to the tower door to set it on fire. Just then some woman dropped an upper millstone on his head and crushed his skull. He called urgently to his young armor bearer and said, “Draw your sword and kill me so they can’t say of me, ‘A woman killed him.’” His armor bearer drove in his sword, and Abimelech died." (9:50-54)

There are times when it seems as though the enemy has encircled us, trapping us in the tower and we have nowhere to go.  No escape - believing the enemy will win. 

And then - 

God pulls out of His hat, what we think is worthless, insignificant, without any power, the smallest of small - and uses that to overpower and destroy the enemy.

When these verses were written, and today in some civilizations, women were considered less than dogs. 

I wonder what do I hold at such a low level of worthlessness in my gifts and talents.  All of what He gives us is to be used as part of our weaponry against the enemy.  Not some of, but all of our gifts and talents, even those we feel "aren't good enough". 

He has created them, given them to us . They are part of Him, part of "us" who He made in His image.  He designed us for His purpose.  I read this today, and it struck home how often we don't utilize what He has given us.  How often we do not use His measuring stick to evaluate how "good" our gifts are.   "I’m reminded that there really is nothing new under the sun. All we can do as writers and readers and thinkers and lovers and pray-ers is to link arms and pull when someone’s stuck, or push when someone’s scared, and pray when we’re all lost. Not because we are hopeless, but because we actually know that there is Hope and we just all need reminded of it in different ways and at different times.” (Sharp Paynes)  

There is so much we think is useless or not good/talented enough and then we don't utilize them to help strengthen someone in "His" family who is fighting the enemy.  Someone who needs to be reminded that there is Hope. 

Someone who is trapped in their "tower". 

"Outsized" - 04/02/13 - Judges 7:1-9:21

"God said to Gideon, “You have too large an army with you. I can’t turn Midian over to them like this—they’ll take all the credit, saying, ‘I did it all myself,’ and forget about me."  (7:2)

God uses all  things for His Glory. 

Even when we pick up doubt, focus on it, and it becomes fear.  

Our imagination sets in.  The lying voices ring out loudly in our ears.  We begin to take everything personal.  Begin to believe that we are losers.   Begin to see obstacles of life are just too big to be removed or even to make our way around.  

Much like the Israelites felt each moment that Goliath came out and taunted them.  Taunted them and God.  They shook in fear.  

And along came David.  A young man, a slingshot, a small stone.

And His Faith.

In God.

David was so outsized there was no denying that God was in control.  


How God wants us to be, so we won't forget about Him and go on thinking "we" did it.   He uses our doubt and fears, when we feel "outsized", for His glory.  Looking back to those "mountain in the road" moments in my life, I can see all proof  - it was God who got me through, over, or around.   

There are times that God will peel us down to what we think is nothing, so He is all we have to depend on.  He removes our pride, our way, our revenge.  There are so many times His way doesn't make sense, because we are still focusing on that doubt. 

But in the end - it always does. 

His way always wins.

"Ready?" - 04/01/13 - Judges 3:31-6:40

"Deborah got ready and went" (4:10)   

"Wake up, wake up, Deborah!  Wake up, wake up, sing a song!" (5:12)

It is starting - I am getting that anxious feeling. 

The weather is finally at a point where we can no longer deny that spring is here.  For the past 18 years I have always gotten that little fear in the pit of my stomach.  Today, I realize that doubt has reared his ugly head and I am focusing on it.  I am letting the lies intrude into my head.

Doubt that our clients want us on their property.  Doubt that the business will carry us through another year.  Isn't that crazy that I allow myself to fear? 

Even through the state of our economy God has blessed "His" business with growth.  Word of mouth is our only advertisement and already - before the season has begun - we have had calls from current and new clients.  For us to do more work. 

It stems back to the feelings of not being wanted or worthy.  Of not having faith that He will provide.  Even if He decides that there is something else in store for our journey.  Is there a part of my faith that gets security in the income?  Is there a part of me that struggles with having faith that He will provide?  Or is it back to those feelings from long ago?  Things I am working through.

And on top of that - my winter "to do" list isn't done.  I still have two closets and numerous cabinets to go through and organize.  The garage and shop are still in total disarray, items that are sacked up to go to Goodwill haven't delivered themselves.  Wanted to cut back brush while there wasn't any leaves on it.  That great "to do" list.  At times it overwhelms me and I can't move.

And who made this list?  Me. 

Isn't that ridiculous. 

To put that much stress and anxiety on myself.  The only job that I need to be concerned about is to go as I live and make disciples.  All the other "stuff", yes, I am to be a good steward of.  But, not to the extent that it controls or I get my worth from having it done. 

"Deborah got ready and went"

Getting ready for what?  Going where? 

The most important questions I need to ask myself every day.  Peter tells us to be prepared if asked why we believe what we believe. 

I need to be ready for the Divine Appointments that He has set up for me each day.  I need to be so focused on Him - not the earthly things - that I follow His lead.  He is using His business as a tool for His Work. 

It is when I focus on Him, trust and have faith In Him, knowing that He is in control of all - the anxiety and fear diminishes to nothing.  It doesn't matter if the "to do" list is completed, if I am a good steward 100% of the time.  It matters knowing that even if I am putting my best effort forward, still I will fail, but His grace and mercy has me covered! 

"Wake up, wake up, Deborah!  Wake up, wake up, sing a song!"

Wake up and live in the joy that He is my "I AM".  He has every single thing covered.  Including who our clients are - or are not.  We have chosen to work for Him.  Sing a song of praise!  What a burden has been lifted when I have faith and trust completely that He is The Boss - in all of my life. 


"Drowning" - 03/31/13 - Judges 1:1-3:30

"I’ll use them to test Israel and see whether they stay on God’s road and walk down it as their parents did.” (2:22)

Every single day. 

I fight.

Every single day, I fight from slipping into the pit of depression.


It is from the pit of hell.  It not only affects you, but everyone around you and those that they are touching.  It affects the day you are presently in and those days to come. 

The generations to come.

Throughout the years I have been on medications, in therapy, to help battle this horrible disease.  It is an unseen monster that wants nothing more than to destroy you from within.  There have been many, many times that I have contemplated suicide or just going through the motions of floating through life.  I bow my head in thanksgiving, when I think about how His grace, mercy, His being bigger than anything, His being in control, have been a shield to my Curt and our sons.  How my heart weeps when I think about how depression has caused so much heaviness in their lives. 

There were times when I felt I was "okay" and decided that I didn't need the meds or the therapy anymore.  The only "weapon" that I picked up 28 years ago, which remained in constant use, was being in His Word.  I know that His Word protected me, us, from what could have happened, even when looking back it was obvious I should have never went off the meds. 

I wasn't "okay". 

No longer am I on the slippery slope into the deep waters of depression.  Some days, I stand so far away from that slope, that it is just a tiny speck in my minds eye.  But, there are some days, when I am right up close.  When if I allowed myself, I could slide right in and be pulled down to the bottom.

Yes, there are times when this battle seems out of my control.  I know that it is a chemical  imbalance.  But still, there are healthy steps, healthy exercises I must choose, in order to take myself away from that slippery slope.  It is the fresh memories of being pulled down, doing everything that I can to stay afloat, which keeps me continually utilizing what keeps me healthy. 

At times, only the tip of my nose was above the surface. 

And then, even my nose went below water, my lungs were bursting for air, my eyes were wide open and I was reaching up.  It was in the struggle of desire, my hands burst through the thick surface of depression and He grabbed my hands. 

I am constantly reassured, encouraged, able to stay away from the slippery slopes, when I think about Peter.  In Matthew 14:30-31, he is walking on water, towards Christ, "But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”  Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

"Immediately" - Jesus is constantly there - Jesus is constantly watching. 

He knows when I have failed the "test" of staying away from the slippery slopes.  He knows when I have chosen to not utilize the "weapons" He has given me. 

He is there too.

"Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of me"  - He is my lifeguard and lifesaver.  There isn't any depression too deep for His reach.  He takes hold of me and pulls me out.  He takes hold of me and draws me away from the slippery slope.  He takes hold of me and leads me to green pastures.  He leads me through the valley of darkness.

He always has a hold of me. 

I am in the palm of His hand. 

"But seeing the wind, I became frightened, and beginning to sink I cried out, “Lord, save me!”  

I took my focus off of Him, I was tested and became focused on myself, on the world, on the wind about me.  You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

I removed myself from the palm of His hand. 

I let go. 

I am unable to pass the test the world, myself throws at me.  In opening up about this "secret",  my Curt now helps when he begins to see me struggle.  He knows this isn't something I can just "shake" off.  It is an internal battle.  No longer is he feeling his only choice is standing back, hopelessly watching, not knowing what to do.  Together in God we are fighting this.  We both know that it is an essential part of my life to continue in healthy choices, utilizing the healthy weapons, tools and His Armor. 

I am promised that Christ has been through every single temptation that I will.  The souls of the world were literally on His shoulders - how He had to battle the temptation of drowning in depression. He gives me such hope when tested.  Such an example to follow. 

To remove myself from the slippery slope.

"that I may stay on God’s road and walk down it as my Christ did.”

Thursday, April 18, 2013

"Gray" - 03/30/13 - Joshua 22:1-24:33

“Now, stay strong and steady. (23:6) Because God is God, your God. Because He fights for you, just as He promised you. (23:10)

Black and white - no gray with God. 

It is either His way or none.  No in between, straddling the fence.  Christ said He will spit out the lukewarm.

Standing up in Truth is hard.  Particularly, when it is with those that we believe are to love us.  How quickly it is forgotten that throughout the years and tears, we stood beside them when times of trouble came.  Gave up our time, our home, parts of our life to be there.

Because God led us to. 

And when evil steps in and rears its ugly head - we are left standing alone. 

We quickly learn that what we thought was love - wasn't. 

It is obvious that we were being used for their benefit. 

But, the truth we stand firm in is that God fights for us.  All we do, we try to do for His glory.  When we begin to do it for self, then rejection becomes personal.  We lose focus, begin to partake in the self pity party.  Bitterness, revenge, defensiveness come as our guest.

He tells us to "stay strong and steady". 

The sea of life becomes at times so rough we think we will drown. 

Doubt is there waiting to be picked up and to become our focus. 

Doubt that God has our back.  Doubt that the Truth we are standing firm in, isn't Truth  - that their way of life is.  Doubt that Healthy Boundaries aren't needed - that it is okay to walk in the gray.

Because God is our God - we know that doubt is the lie.  He is fighting for us, no matter the pain, sorrow, anger we feel - He is fighting for us. 

We need to focus beyond -  - that He has already won. 

"This Day" - 03/29/13 - Joshua 19:49-21:45, 1 Chronicles 6:54-81

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

Today is Good Friday.

Such a very bittersweet day.

A day that causes my heart to break, my eyes to tear - when I think about what our Abba and Savior went through this day.



Knowing that within hours, his friend, his travel companion of these past three years, one whom He had shared life with, not only life as they walked the dusty roads, but also the key to life of eternal. 


With a kiss. 

The lamb would be led to slaughter.

This day - He stood there, knowing He was God, power to crush them all with only a look - He stood silent. 

This day - He felt the pain from the thorns shoved into His head, that pure and beautiful head.  The whip of glass and stone, across His back, tearing the pure and beautiful skin to shreds.  His blood, that pure and beautiful blood, splattered and running, covering sin.  His ears, those pure and beautiful ears, hearing denial, curses, and taunts from those who had claimed to have loved Him.  His eyes, the pure and beautiful windows to His soul. 

His soul. 

His pure and beautiful soul, which He poured out for me.

For us.

For all.

His love.  His pure and beautiful love.

He gave up all He was.  All He had. 

For love. 

This day. 

This day - when the sun would turn to dark. 

This day - when it seemed that satan had won.  That all God had said, was lost. 

This day -  is the day -  is the beginning of the end. 

This day -  is the day He became our sacrifice, our hope, when it seemed all was lost.

This day -  is the day His blood was shed for me - for my sins.

This day - is the day He died for my sins.

"Not one word failed from all the good words God spoke to the house of Israel.

This day - Everything came out right."

"Uncomfortable" - 03/28/13 - Joshua 18:1-19:48

“How long are you going to sit around on your hands" (18:3)

Get off my duff.

Quite easily, I could sit in my comfort zone for hours, days, months, even years.

That isn't what He expects me to do.  The "comforts" He has blessed me with are an encouragement for me to get out and lead others to those "comforts".  

"Go as I LIVE, making Disciples".

Can not very well LIVE if I am sitting in my "comfort room".

Yes, I can open up my "comfort room" for others to come and enjoy.  Most often though, they are ones that have already found the "comfort" of being a part of His family.  Not saying that spending time with His family is a bad thing, but Jesus gave us example after example of spending time with those outside of "comfort".  And most times, those outside don't feel "comfortable" coming into my "comfort room". 

Until you are In Him - His "comforts" are........uncomfortable.

So - which do I choose.  Getting out of my "comfort room" and getting into my uncomfortable place - their comfort room.  Or - extend the invite, they reject, and continue to sit back enjoying my "comfort room" and not be concerned.   Focusing so intently on our "comforts" we forget about or ignore those outside His "comforts". 

How easy it is, after being in the world and recognizing that it really wasn't a "comfort" place at all, so now you want to remain in His "comforts".  It is our natural bent to be selfish.  To become settled and lazy. 

To become, well, comfortable. 

Only through and In Him are we able to go against our natural bent and be transformed.  He will change our vision to seeing those outside of Him as lost and that time is flying by.  That all of us are dying and last breaths could be - just a breath away.  To see others as "Divine Appointments" that we have to leave our "comfort rooms" to make.  The urgency in not breaking these Appointments.  They may be the last appointment the person, He has lined up for you, will have.  You may be the only vessel of Christ they will see.

Do you hear Him as He tells you quite plainly - "Get out of your comfort room."

"Seas in Life" - 03/27/13 - Joshua 15:20-17:18

The Great Sea is the western border. (15:47)


God put them there for a reason. 

How often do I test the boundaries?  Walk the fence so to say.  Put my toe in the waters, testing the temps.  Thinking it is "just right" and wade on in.  At times even going underwater and checking out the bottom.  Scuba diving - looking for lost treasure.  Floating in that sea of sin.  Water lapping up against my blowup raft as I bask in the sun. 

Rose tinted glasses perched upon my nose. 

And then, 


                                                                      the shark comes in..............

God gives us boundaries for our safety.  They are nothing to play with, cross over, jumping back and forth over the line. 

Playing games with sin. 

I once heard in a sermon about a high fence that divided the land.  Buried too deep for animals to dig under and too high for any to jump it.  For generations the fence stood, as a boundary, until it was removed.  There were generations of deer born in these forest before and after the fence.  And today, even though the fence is no longer there, the deer still do not cross the boundary line.  They have been conditioned throughout the generations not to go beyond that point. 

Even without the fence.

How am I at my boundary line that God has placed around me?   Did I train our sons to stop or to play?  Did I teach them that sin is serious.  It is not a game to play with. 

A sin is a sin.  There are no different levels.  All of sin separates us from God.


Because He is Holy. 

Christ makes us holy - never will He cast us out, unless we remove ourselves from Him and go beyond the boundary.  Beyond not only the boundary line, but outside of Him. 

Each time we test the boundaries, is an opportunity for sin to make our hearts hard. 

God has given us His seas and everything else we need within our boundaries "in" Him.

Use His seas. 

Not the seas of sin.

"My KING" - 03/26/13 - Joshua 12:7-15:19

"And these are the kings of the land that Joshua and the People of Israel defeated" (12:7)
"but I stuck to my guns, totally with God, my God" (14:8)
"And the land had rest from war." (14:15)

How we appoint "kings" in our life without realizing it.  In giving them power to rule us, be it in fear, we have then appointed them to be king over our lives.  How many "kings" have you appointed?

And why? 

Why do they rule over you?

What is it the hold that you are in fear of losing. 

I have been transferring the power to rule over me, to God. 

My Abba. 

My Daddy. 


He rules in love, no double standards. 

He desires what is best for me and is pruning and ridding my life of garbage. 

Garbage that is a result of being in a toxic relationship. 

Healthy boundaries can only be set if I have stuck to my guns.

In only a way He is able to do - He provides rest from war - even while in the middle of a spiritual battle zone.  He is preparing me for future Divine Appointments.  The experiences of life that He has brought me through are preparing me for life to come.  I am excited as I recognize He has/is equipping me in a war I have already won because I have appointed Him my King! 

What a freedom!

"The Winning Side" - 03/25/13 - Joshua 10:1-12:6

"The men of Gibeon sent word to Joshua camped at Gilgal, “Don’t let us down now! Come up here quickly! Save us! Help us! All the Amorite kings who live up in the hills have ganged up on us.” (10:6)

Fear comes in when we allow doubt to become injected into our hearts.  Doubt that God is in control, He is bigger.  We need to call out in Him for help, but not because of fear. 

Because of faith in knowing that He is in control. 

He has our back, front, and sides. 

He loves us and wants what is best for us. 

"Joshua told them, “Don’t hold back. Don’t be timid. Be strong! Be confident! This is what God will do to all your enemies when you fight them.” (10:25)

At times when we recognize our enemies, they seem bigger than what they really are.  Bigger than life so to speak because we allow them to overtake, consume us.  We have taken our focus off of Him and there is no way we are able to defeat an enemy on our own.  Self comes in and love goes out.  We become intent on revenge, destruction for our glory and not His.  There may be some enemies He doesn't destroy because He is using us to bring them to Him - because in Him we are strong.  We sometimes forget that major fact. 

He tells us to stand firm when putting on His armor.  Stand firm against the enemy.  Don't take it personal - it's not about us.  We just happen to be God's most treasured creation and satan wants to use us to hurt God.  satan doesn't make it personal for us, we just happen to be what he knows hurts God the most.  He uses us because of his hatred towards God.  God protects us - because of His great love for us.

See how self is like satan? 

Self is out to put oneself above God - like satan. 

This is our real battle. 

This is when we call out to God for reinforcement. 

This is when we put self out of the picture and focus on Him. 

The winning side of Him!

"Shaking the Dust" - 03/24/13 - Joshua 7:1-9:27, 1 Chronicles 2:7

"The men of Israel looked them over and accepted the evidence. But they didn’t ask God about it." (Joshua 9:14),

Have you ever been torn by what is set before you in the evidence?  That what is going on, you know that it isn't according to God, yet you go ahead and accept it?  Let it become a part of you and your life. 

Or sometimes, do you see the evidence - know it isn't of God - and take a stand? 

A stand in God - even if it means separation. 

satan throws forth his tool of "doubt".  It lays there and we acknowledge it instead of ignoring it.  At times we even pick it up and consider putting it into our pockets.  And sometimes, we go ahead and do.  satan can only present doubt to our lives.  Only we can insert it into our hearts, minds - our pockets.  We begin to doubt if His way is the best and insert our own rules. 

Joshua and the men of Israel had so many questions for the people of Gibeon, but not one for God.  Because of that, they had to live life with them and there were consequences of their decision. 

He is the most important one to present our questions to.  How often do we go on and neglect doing that?

I struggle now with "shake the dust off your feet.".  How do you not take personal when you are attacked or rejected for standing in Truth?  It doesn't matter what is said or done to me - it is how do I react to that?  Do you go on and ignore?  Exclude?  Are they dead to you in life, but alive in your prayers for them?  Do I allow them in my life as the Gibeon's were to the Israelites and have faith that God will get me through the consequences of that?  Or upon seeing the evidence -  their fruits -  they aren't Christlike, do I journey on apart from them? 

Curt and I were talking that in order for our lives to be intertwined, they have shown us by their behavior, it is their way or the highway.  If we do step down to their way, we are stepping outside of Truth and away from Him. 

That isn't even an option. 

My question to Him is, "how do you remain Christlike to one, that because of the evidence, you're to "shake the dust off your feet."?

"My Canary" - 03/23/13 - Joshua 3:1-6:27

"When you see the Covenant-Chest of God, your God, carried by the Levitical priests, start moving. Follow it. Make sure you keep a proper distance between you and it, about half a mile—be sure now to keep your distance!—and you’ll see clearly the route to take. You’ve never been on this road before.” (3:3)

I love that my Savior has made it so that I do not have to keep my distance from my Abba - from my Daddy.  Because of Christ - I now am able to walk knowing my Daddy encloses me from all directions.  The road not journeyed.  His Word is my map.  My map for the gold mine.  The gold is the Treasure of lost souls.

Today, the practice of using a bird to test the air supply has become part of coal mining lore, but the ideology behind it has become a popular expression. The phrase "living like a canary in a coal mine" often refers to serving as a warning to others. The actual canary had little control over its fate, but it continued to sing anyway. Unlike the canary, whose fate was in the hands of its handler, our Jesus had the free will to offer Himself as my Savior. 

He gave His life in order that I may be made pure and holy, so I may have an intimate relationship with my Daddy.  He has taken away the poisonous gases that are in life and replaced it with the pure, sweet air that I now breath.  He went before me as a sacrifice, so I may go forward into the mine. 

Underneath the earth's surface lay the tunnels.  Tunnels that wind their way for miles, that come to dead ends, that have no light, are sometimes flooded or have experienced a cave in.  Unless you look at and carry the map of these tunnels, you are basically walking blind.  People have already went in and surveyed to create these maps, so that workers are able to know where to go, where the mine is producing, and where not to go. 

I am instructed, "as I go to make Disciples for Him". 

I look at this much the same way as mining for gold. 

Without looking into His Word, carrying it with me - I am stumbling about.  Wasting precious time, missing out on Divine Appointments.  I am instructed to go into the tunnels of this world and grasp the lost souls that are wandering about in the dark.  I need to shine His Light into their darkness.

When Christ returned to God, He left with us our Helper, The Holy Spirit.  We also have with us His Word.  It is up to us to "go and make Disciples".

If I were mining and decided not to go into an area that had been made safe after the canaries death, what is the use of sacrificing the canary? 

If I don't go into the tunnels for the treasure of lost souls, after He has prepared me, aren't I saying His Sacrifice wasn't worth it.

Monday, April 15, 2013

"HOME" - 03/22/13 - Deuteronomy 33:1-34:12, Joshua 1:1-2:24

God’s beloved;
    God’s permanent residence.
Encircled by God all day long,
    within whom God is at home.” (Deuteronomy 33:12)

Did you catch the best part of this verse? 

"within whom God is at home.”

He is talking about you, His beloved.  You who are "in" Him and He is "in" you.

Permanently - unless you decide to kick Him out. 

Just one of the many things about my Abba that amazes me.  He gives me free choice to love Him....or not. 

He isn't like the intruding mother-in-law, the butt of all jokes, comes to visit and never moves out, takes over the entire house and runs it her way.  He is the polite guest that only goes where you allow Him to.  Not that He doesn't want to be everywhere, He is not intrusive.  He desires that your house will become a home that revolves around Him. 

He loves us that much, knowing what is best for us  - is Him.

He calls me "His beloved".  And because I have invited Him into my "heart home", He sees me in all stages.  When I have my best clothes on, my hair is fixed and makeup in place.  My "heart home" is picked up and spotless, all areas organized and purged.  He sees me at my best, and still dust bunnies flutter around my ankles - not matter how much I clean. 

I will strive to have my "heart home" be totally His until my last breath. 

There will be times that He sees me at my worst.  My hair hasn't been combed and is wild about my head, the robe I am wearing could stand up by itself in a corner, if you could find a corner.  My "heart home" is a mess, cluttered and dirty, dishes mounted upon the counter, flies buzzing around rotten food.  TV is a continuous source of noise and foul language that my mouth sometimes imitates. 

Because I live in the world, because I am human, there are times when my "heart home" isn't reflecting Him.  Thankfully, I have asked Him into my "heart home" as His "permanent residence" and I am "encircled by Him all day long".  He holds me accountable when my housekeeping falters, encouraging me and helping me to get things cleaned up and in order.  He shows me that my "heart home"  has to be at the ready for the Divine Appointments He has made for me.  My love for Him is prevailing over my backsliding and I find myself desiring and continually striving to give my "heart home" over to Him. 

You see, I love living in my "heart home" when He isn't a guest, but a member of my family.  When He is the Lord of my "heart home".  I am blessed beyond words when I submit to His ways and follow His example of keeping my "heart home" in order.  I love not having the "ugliness of sin", amongst the beauty of His Home - my "heart home". 

I love that I am "within whom God is at home.”

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Our Waltz" - 03/21/13 - Deuteronomy 31:30-32:52, Psalm 90

 "Listen, Heavens, I have something to tell you.  Attention, Earth, I’ve got a mouth full of words.
My teaching, let it fall like a gentle rain, my words arrive like morning dew.  Like a sprinkling rain on new grass, like spring showers on the garden.  For it’s God’s Name I’m preaching—respond to the greatness of our God!
The Rock: His works are perfect, and the way he works is fair and just; A God you can depend upon, no exceptions, a straight-arrow God.
His messed-up, mixed-up children, His non-children, throw mud at Him but none of it sticks." (Deuteronomy 32:1-5)

There are times when I am so full of Him, that I can not contain myself. 

There have been times in my exuberance of Him that I have caused persons to run, run fast, away from the "crazy woman spouting off about God".  I had not yet learned the art of sharing Him and letting His Word "fall like a gentle rain".  It was more like a violent storm.  I cringe when I remember telling someone they would be in hell if they didn't accept Him as their Savior - without any grace or mercy on my part. 

So thankful that He is bigger than my mistakes.  Even mistakes I made with good intentions.  I was, and still am, grasping those who are in satan's grasp. 

As a new Christian, I had not learned the art of fineness.  Nor had I dug deeply into His Word and become intimate In Him.  I was a new babe in Him.

How over the years He has opened my eyes and ears and shut my mouth!  I am so thankful that I know, hear, and most often heed His voice.  I still stumble through and mess up "Divine Appointments" - I call them growing pains.  He has also shown me that my job isn't as a Harvester - it is a Seed Planter.  He has given me the gift of encouragement.  Amazing how knowing my job and utilizing my gifts has allowed Him to shine!  In my enthusiasm and passion to bringing people to Him, to show them how He is The Rock that turns their lives around, He has given me grace and timing.  More often I feel I am dancing as a witness for Him, than stumbling about, stepping on feet. 

He as taught me to waltz. 

But at times while dancing, "His messed-up, mixed-up children, His non-children, throw mud at Him but none of it sticks."

It hit me once, while wiping the mud off of me, that it wasn't me they were aiming at. 

It was Him.  

The mud balls of rejection sometimes had bits of gravel in them and I was feeling wounded.  I was taking it personal, making it about me, even at times feeling sorry for myself.  I had forgotten I had chosen to be a vessel for Him to use for His glory.  Scripture tells us that there would/will be times that standing in His Truth will cause division and attacks.  His Armor shields us from that, if we have put it on and keep it on. 

There are persons in my life who claim to walk in His truth, yet their fruits do not show it.  I have been praying for open eyes for myself and others to His truth.  Last night in group, Andrew spoke to us how satan has only one tool that he uses, and how we take it and run with it.  Run in the opposite direction of God. 

That tool is doubt.

How blessed I am that He has literally laid Scripture in my path to validate and encourage that I am standing firm in His Truth.  The Scriptures that show me not to doubt, my heart and life is sold out in Him.  I am totally, head over heels in love with my Abba - my Savior - The Holy Spirit - His Word.

Why?  Because of how I have been transformed.  That He has opened my eyes to His Truth and I see, even when I stumble or mess up, my heart's desire is to please Him. 

Because I love Him so. 

His Word - it is my own personal love letter from Him.  Through it, through my family In Him, my fruits, I am reassured that how I am speaking, living, working In Him is The Truth. 

It is of Him.

I am confirmed and affirmed - by Him.

"And let the loveliness of our Lord, our God, rest on us,
    confirming the work that we do.
    Oh, yes. Affirm the work that we do!" (Psalm 90:17)

"In the Dark" - 03/20/13 - Deuteronomy 29:2-31:29

"So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him" (30:19,20)

Usually, the first thing I think of when I awake in the morning is my "Abba", my Daddy.  Most often, the last thing I remember before falling asleep is praising Him for my blessings. 

This morning, snuggled down in the covers, I thought about my life before Him.  How many years I went without Him crossing my mind at all.  Even during Christmas and Easter.  I may have given His name a fleeting thought, but I didn't pray or even recognize Him as real.  He was, more or less, just the name of some person, power that lived way up there.  I believed He loved others and was involved in their lives.   I just never believed or felt He looked at me in the same way. 

Yet, there was something within me that kept searching for that something I couldn't give a name.  I knew there was a void within me, but didn't even see that it was a void.  I was hungry, rather starving, but couldn't put my finger for exactly what.  No matter how much alcohol, drugs or men I consumed - I still continued to search.  I see now that I was searching in a pitch black room with my eyes wide open, and seeing a glimpse of light here and there.  It was towards that light that I would head and be pulled off track by some worldly fix. 

 I look back and it is hard to say exactly when I discovered the door.  That Christ was the key.  It opened without resistance - when I pushed against it.  His hand was pulling the knob on the other side at the same time.  He was there waiting. 

As He had been, from the beginning. 

I was  finally out of that black room. The door had been there the whole time.

Not even locked.

How many times had I stumbled right by it,
not recognizing the light as an outline of a door.

His door.   
Now I know that Curt was one of the numerous wake up calls He gave me.  Even though neither of us were Christians, God was using us to help each other in our search for Him. 
All things for His glory. 
Until having Adam did I recognize it was God I had been searching for.  Throughout my life I had been looking for love and acceptance.  He gave it to me through our children.  Never before had I experienced an unconditional, accepting love, as that from them.  Thankfully, He has opened my eyes to see that same love from Curt.  I never felt worthy of this type of love from him and continually sabotaged it.  What a blessing that Curt hung in there! 
And God!  I finally recognized this is a mere glimpse of how much He loves me. 

"So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him"  

This I have been doing and will continue until my last breath.  I have chosen Life.  I have chosen Him to fill all my voids.  No longer do I walk in the shadow of death, progressing through the dark room to hell.  Such relief I feel knowing that my choice in teaching them of Him, which began at their birth, has led our children to an intimate relationship In Him.  I almost vomit when I think where my previous choices could have led them to stumble and live in the dark room.  I send up praise to Him, knowing that our grandchildren will be taught of Him as their fathers - from birth.  I pray that the cycle of Him will continue. 

It is only by "holding fast to Him", obeying His voice, that I am enjoying this ride of living.  Of life.  That no longer am I in that dark room. 

I am so deeply, head over heels, in love with my Abba, my Daddy.  I yearn to hear His voice, spend time with Him, receive His love as it showers over me. 

I love that He led me to the choice of Life.

God so blesses. 

"Circles" - 03/19/13 - Deuteronomy 26:1-29:1

"And today God has reaffirmed that you are dearly held treasure just as He promised" (26:18)

Today was the last day for our Tuesday morning Bible Study. 

The last day always has a sense of sadness for me.  In a short amount of time, God has a way of drawing His daughters together into a sisterhood.

He did it again.

I love knowing that before time began  - He knew. 

He knew that I would be in a room, sitting around a table, digging into His Word, sharing Him and sharing life with these women.  That we would be of His family. 

So many years I struggled with having a sense of not belonging.  Not being treasured.  Even when I was first a Christian, I had not separated out God from the relationships with humans.  I didn't recognize Him as He was. 


I kept basing Him on what I knew humans to be, thinking that He was that way too.  

It has been through His Word, my own personal love letter from Him, that I have finally grown to be intimate with and "in" Him.  He gave me Psalm 139 to ponder, chew on many times when I would struggle with not being a dearly held treasure by others.  His verses in the Psalm became my light at the end of the tunnel.  It became the Truth that I learned to stand firm in and on. 

It became my measuring stick.

I love to end our study with special prayer time.  Each one of us take a turn sitting in the center of the rest of us, holding hands, and enclosing them within our circle.  We then lift that person up to Him, praying over them, sharing our hearts to Him of our love for this special treasure. 

We have "reaffirmed that they are dearly held treasure" not only to each of us, but to God.

In the same way that Christ has encircled me and lifts me up to my Daddy, my Abba. 

Psalm 139

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me,
And the light around me will be night,”
12 Even the darkness is not dark to You,
And the night is as bright as the day.
Darkness and light are alike to You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;

16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were ordained for me,
When as yet there was not one of them.
17 How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
19 O that You would slay the wicked, O God;
Depart from me, therefore, men of bloodshed.
20 For they speak against You wickedly,
And Your enemies take Your name in vain.
21 Do I not hate those who hate You, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against You?
22 I hate them with the utmost hatred;
They have become my enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.