Saturday, December 28, 2013

"His Winds" - 12/28/13 - Revelation 7:1-10:11

"standing steady with a firm grip on the four winds, so no wind would blow on earth or sea, not even rustle a tree." (7:1)

How I love the wind.  On a hot summer day, its gentle, cooling caress across my face. 

A Kiss from my ABBA. 

Standing in the middle of His open fields, the dark clouds billowing about, circling about, high above my head.  The winds sweeping down, causing the trees and grasses to bow down low before Him.  Surrounding me within His whirlwind, useless are my hands in trying to hold my hair from my eyes. 

                                                                                                                        His strength is felt as His winds press against me. 

His winds,
growing the waves to heights unimaginable, in the vast open seas, carried to rest on the shores,
miles away. 

His winds, are able to blaze heat across the plains, burning the grasses with the help of His sun. 

And then the season of coldness,
                                                        turning everything it touches into His sparkling ice.

How all of His Winds, are in control, even when from our viewpoint -  they run wild. 

Such is our life. 

At all times, He is in control.  No matter the celebrations, times of rest, circumstances, situations, trials, tribulations. 

He is in control. 

Knowing He is able to control the winds, to such a point to "not even rustle a tree".

How then.......

                why I doubt, at times.

He is "I AM"

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"So Humble" - 12/26/13 - Jude 1:1-25, Revelation 1:1-2:29

 I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those Loved by God, The Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything’s going to be all right; rest, everything’s coming together; open your hearts, Love is on the way! (Jude 1:1-2)


Jude opened his letter with his introduction as "slave" to Jesus Christ.   He could have written, "half brother".  Willingly, he lowered his position to be underneath his half brother.  Earlier in Scripture, there are accounts of Christ's earthly family rejecting His being The Messiah.  I don't know if Jude was one of the brothers who made fun of Him, came with their mother to put Him away, because they felt He had lost His mind, but I do know his introduction paints a picture of a humble man. 

This is yet another example of how I am to be a humble woman in and for my ABBA.  I could easily spout off the many verses stating the fact I am His beloved, His daughter, His, when attacked by the worldly persons.  I struggle at times, less than I used to, to defend myself.  

But lately, how He has transformed my heart. 

I rejoice in the freedom of letting go of expectations and drinking in the moments He has given me.  I stand firm and bask in the blessings from The Fruits of The Spirit, not allowing anything to rob me of them. There is a struggle though, when His Truth comes out, casting Light upon lies, not to stand in self-righteousness, not to scream out, "I told you so". 

He reminds me, but for His grace, I would be where the world is.  If not for His defending me, I am nothing.  It isn't something I have done.  It is all about Him.   He is showing me those who are lost and in such deep need of Him. 

To be a servant for my Master, means being a servant to others.

Even the unlovely.  The ones who need Him most.  The "ones" I used to be as.  The "ones" I sometimes still am like. 

My Master loves me, even in my unloveliness.  His transforming me, is enabling me to love as He loves.  No matter how unlovely. 

                                                      My Master - who became a Servant for me.

Jude could have easily written his letter in a self-righteous manner, but he didn't.  He cast aside his "credentials", so all who read his words would see, he came from the same place they did.  He would be in the same place they were, if He didn't have his Master - Christ Jesus.

He was able to love as Christ loves, because he set aside self and looked at all, all, through the eyes of His Savior.  In doing this, God's Glory shines through, without any hindrance from Jude.

His humbleness is there throughout all his words.

My Master is growing me, transforming me.  It is only "in" Him that I am able to be truly humble.

So His Glory does shine through - with less hindrance from me.

Monday, December 23, 2013

"Gone" - 12/23/13 - I Peter 5:12-14, 2 Peter 1:1-3:18

"Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a Holy Life?  Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival." (2 Peter 3:11-13)

Do I live in such a way?  Do I look at everyone I am with and wonder if they are ready?  If not, what do I do about that?  Or am I more concerned about self.  What I want to do, to have, to be in this life. 

Christmas is here once again.  Many years ago, we cut way back on gift giving and never looked back in regret.  How much I enjoy getting, what little shopping we do, done in usually an hour or two.  It has left us with many hours free to spend as we wish.  This morning, we met our "boys" for breakfast and lingered around the table, visiting and catching up for almost two hours.  Last night, we were with loved ones, playing games, eating snacks, just being.  There isn't any stress.  I love how we are allowed to "enjoy" Christmas. 

In growing "in" ABBA, I am now striving to live every day as we do Christmas.  Taking care of the essential things, settling for much less "wants", purging and organizing our home.  Simplifying our lives.  Not only has this eliminated debt for us, but also the burden of taking care of "stuff", spreading ourselves too thin, living pretty much stress free.  There really is a blessing in living each day as our last, focused and eager for our Savior's return.  Knowing this is a temporary place makes it so I don't want to invest a lot of time or money into the material things.  I want to invest the blessings of time, money, talents He has provided us with in other persons. 

I pray you will choose to live Christmas and every day - as though it was your last day.

Friday, December 20, 2013

"Firm Foundation" - 12/20/13 Hebrews 11:1-12:39

"The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see." (11:1-2)

Perhaps, just thinking, the key to Faith and Trust, is actually how we look at the trials and tribulations we are going to go through.  What if, we were to look at them in excitement - knowing ABBA has everything under control.  Knowing when we get through the experience, He has something even better waiting for us.  What if, we were to be thankful in and for all things.  What if, we were to not take our focus off of Him?   What if, we were to carry His Word within our hearts.   Stand firm in it and live by it?  What if, He were our "firm foundation"?

Perhaps, we would believe how firm our foundation is.  We would sink our feet in, grip our toes down into the promises He has given us.  We would stand, bend, kneel, as He directs, no matter the elements that come our way.  But, we wouldn't break.  We would follow our Leader's directions. 

Without hesitation.  Without doubt.  Without fear. 

We would know He is "our handle on what we can’t see."

Just thinking, we need Him to be our "firm foundation".

Thursday, December 19, 2013

"Freedom to LIVE" - 12/19/13 - Hebrews 8:1-10:39

"The Blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives, inside and out. Through the Spirit, Christ offered Himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead-end efforts to make ourselves respectable, so that we can live all out for God."

Sunshine and melting snow. Small rivers running over the earth, towards the low spots in our valley.

I stood watching the many squirrels bounding about in the trees, thinking how nice their energy and agility would be! Their gracefulness and ease in which they leap from branch to branch. There never seems to be a fear about them. When they do fall, they are up and about very quickly.

The verses today brought to mind how our precious Savior has freed me - totally! And even though my body is aged and unable, as if I ever did have the gift of grace, my heart, soul, and spirit are now able to bound about as the squirrels - celebrating LIFE! It is my choice to drink in this freedom He has given me. To go through this life, on our journey to Heaven, to thoroughly enjoy the Fruits of The Spirit!!!

What a kiss of life He has given us "so that we can live all out for God".

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

"The Love Letter" - 12/17/13 - 2 Timothy 4:19-22, Hebrews 1:1-4:13

"God means what He says. What He says goes. His powerful Word is sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, cutting through everything, whether doubt or defense, laying us open to listen and obey. Nothing and no one is impervious to God’s Word. We can’t get away from it—no matter what." (Hebrews 4:12-13)

 Resentment or contentment. Two of the choices we have when His Word is presented to us. Do we react like a child having a tantrum during the parts that don't suit our fancy? Or do we rest in the Fruits of The Spirit, knowing His Word "is". It "is" enough. It is The Truth. It is everything this world was built upon.

When I was younger, I hated to "have to read" The Bible. It was boring, didn't apply to my life, the persons written about were more or less "out there". In my heart they weren't real. His Word wasn't real. This marks the 15th year to read through His Word. I knew my heart needed a transformation and He led me to pledging to read through The Bible every year, for as long as I am able. This didn't start out as a daily event, but grew into one. His Word has become as essential to me as oxygen. I don't even consider not "eating and taking it in" every day.

During this time, I have fallen deeply and madly in love with His Words. They are so full of meaning and sustenance to me. And like "a surgeon’s scalpel", it has cut down deep into my heart, removing from me the darkness of sin. I realize this is an ongoing surgery until I die, but how much I love having the cancer of sin removed from me. Looking back at my life, there are so many moments which are nothing but ugly. His Word keeps me from wallowing in the misery, guilt and shows me how His Blood covered all of my sins. All of them.

In falling "in" love with His Word, I now read of persons He has written about, who I now know are part of my lineage. My roots. My Family. They are human, just like me. They slipped and fell, some more than others, still His glory shines through them. As He does with me. His Word has taught me the lies of this world are nothing more than tear downs. satan wants us to believe his lies, to draw us away from our ABBA. Throughout the verses today, it talks about "rest".

I am so thankful "in" His Word - I find complete "rest". His Word has taught me, He is in control. He has given me only two essential "job" instructions. Love Him with all my heart, soul and mind. To go, as I live, making Disciples. His Word is my "how to" guide. He didn't leave us to blunder down the path of life, He has set everything we "need" to know before us in His Word. His Word "laying us open to listen and obey". His Word makes life worth living "in" Him.

My passion is to lead others into His Word - so they may also fall deeply and madly "in" love with our ABBA through His Word.

Your own personal love letter........from Him.

Monday, December 16, 2013

"The Gift" - 12/16/13 - 2 Timothy 2-4:18

 "When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders." (2:2)

We decided years ago to cut way back on Christmas gifts. It was easy to work out since there were four of us, so each would receive three gifts, going off the three gifts Christ listed from the Wise Men. Just the number, not the actual gifts - couldn't afford those!! 

 Another thing we did, each of us would pick out a person/persons we didn't spend much time with, bake cookies together, deliver and visit. There were some who thought we were depriving our sons, but I am thankful we did it. Christmas was becoming too much about the world of retail and not the birth of our Savior in our home. Each year, Curt has read the Christmas story from Luke, we then have a prayer circle, tell what we are thankful for the past year and then open our gifts. This was just the way we decided to celebrate His birth and for our family - it worked/works.

I love these verses - particularly the part about not getting "caught up in making deals at the marketplace". The marketplace - it hasn't a care about Christ birth, how much debt you will be accumulating, how empty you'll feel after the moment of unwrapping has passed. There is only one gift which is able to cause you to feel like celebrating every moment - no matter the circumstances - for the rest of your life. It is the gift of our Savior. It is a gift paid in full. How many are on your Christmas gift list to give the True Gift of Life? I am praying you don't get caught up in the world's way of celebrating, but "concentrate on carrying out orders" - ABBA's orders. Be a deliverer to those who need The True Gift of Christmas. Every day - as you live - not just at Christmas time.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

"Breathless by ABBA" - 12/14/13 - I Timothy 3:1-6:10

"Everything God created is good,
                                                and to be received with thanks." (4:4)


Even the sky
was snow white.

In Awe, I kneel before Him.

Breathless by the display of His Power

                                                                              and Beauty.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

"Off of the Train" - 12/11/13 - James 1:1-3:18

"Real wisdom, God’s wisdom, begins with a holy life and is characterized by getting along with others. It is gentle and reasonable, overflowing with mercy and blessings, not hot one day and cold the next, not two-faced. You can develop a healthy, robust community that lives right with God and enjoy its results only if you do the hard work of getting along with each other, treating each other with dignity and honor. (3:17-18)


For a moment, her steps hesitated as she came into the Great Hall.  She looked even smaller than the last time we met, a few more lines etched into her face, her eyes not as bright.  The results of worry and sadness could be seen, not only in her face, but the way her body had begun to bend even further from the weight of the burdens she carried.  I stepped towards her, and for a moment I saw the glimmer of the younger woman I had grown up with, the woman whose sky blue eyes would twinkle as diamonds reflecting the sunshine.  Her smile was touched with her heart, as I could tell she missed me.  But, before we came together, the shadows of her burdens brought up the walls of defensiveness and protection.  There wasn't a hug or touching, just a yearning to. 

We left the Great Hall and ventured out into His City.  Even though His Sonshine was basking down upon us, she never removed the coat she wore, swallowing up her tiny frame, clutching it tightly around her, afraid to let it open up and expose herself to the elements.  She was silent and in deep thought, as we walked over the bridge, looking at the clear waters far below.  Passing by the display of the windows of life, she would forget and let out a gasp of pleasure.  I could see the farther we came away from the Great Hall, she was also leaving behind the train she had just gotten off  and was drinking in the delights He had set before her.  Every once in awhile, her hand would find mine as we stepped off the curb into the street.  There was fear and distrust as the bustle and noise surrounded her.  Even though it was completely safe, I knew the fear and distrust came because she was so out of her element.  Out of her comfort zone.  She was out of the false sense of security she found while on the train.  Time and time again, I could feel her eyes upon my face.  And when I would look back at her, I could see the thoughts of wonder, pride, hesitation, sorrow. 

It took us most of the morning to reach the far side of the city.  There were times when we had to rest, the walk exhausting her.  The evidence of life wearing her down and out, can no longer be hidden.   I could tell there were moments she wanted to turn back, fear and distrust bringing out another element, that of anger, causing her to desire to be back on the train.  Through much of our time together,  I was silent, only speaking the words ABBA had given me to say.  He gave me the realization this walk, this time together was for her.   I was being used as His vessel.

The city behind us, the waters reached out with no shoreline as far as our eyes could see.  The waves came in continually, the spray from the cool water touched upon our faces.  She grinned in delight.  I watched as her steps in the sand began to leave footprints of a dance.  Lifting her hands up high, her voice singing praises to our ABBA, she was shedding the burdens from her soul.  Casting them into the waters of life.  

The sky began to darken.  Before we left the waters edge, she ran back and began to pick up her burdens the waves had washed back upon the sand.  Her hurried steps brushing the footsteps of her dance into a memory, as she rushed about gathering them up before the fingers of the waves could take them into deeper waters.  We started our journey back through His City on our way to The Great Hall, her coat tightly clutched around her.  She took my hand.  I could see how torn she was about going back to the train or staying with me in His City.  "Come, join us on the train", had slipped from her lips throughout the day, except for the time we stood at the waters edge.  I had to say no.  

ABBA has shown me through His Word of Truth, His Wisdom, I had to get off the train she rode on with the others.  He has led me through the Great Hall to His City of Life.  To live a Holy Life and be His Vessel to whomever He has decided I need to walk with.  Others who have gotten off their train, who have been off and grown wise from their journey, to teach me, so I may teach. And also, those who only get off for a little while.  To walk with them through the City, praying they will choose to stay. 

There were tears in her eyes as we parted.  My heart ached and for a moment, I was torn.  satan wants me to believe when getting on the train that will bring about joy and comfort, but it won't last.  ABBA has led me to realize they are riding on the train of insanity.   Expecting different results while traveling on their train going in circles on the same track.  He is showing me, there will be moments, days, she will come to the City and ABBA is using me to be her guide, her companion. 

And in my prayer for Him to use me as His Vessel, filling my heart with His grace, mercy, forgiveness, and most of all love, perhaps that is what is needed for not only her, but the others, to get off the train and come live "in" His city.   

"a healthy, robust community that lives right with God."

Thursday, December 05, 2013

"Anchored In Him" - 12/05/13 - Acts 27:1-44

"But rocky shoals prevented us from getting close. We only managed to avoid them by throwing out drift anchors." (27:17)

The first, and probably most well known use, of the drift anchor is to aid vessels in heavy weather. A boat that is not kept bow- or stern-on to heavy seas can easily be rolled by the action of breaking waves. By attaching the drift anchor to a bridle running from bow to stern, the boat can be held at any angle relative to the wind. This is useful in sailboats in conditions too windy to use the sails to maintain a heading, and in motor vessels that are unable to make sufficient headway to maintain steerage.

One Season of The Battles is upon us. 


For some, this season runs year long - shopping for next year beginning at the after Christmas sales.  Others, just before Thanksgiving - strategically planning their Black Friday attack.  And then there are those who scramble - Christmas Eve shopping, hoping to find something that doesn't resemble last minute shopping gifts. 

Christmas is just one of the seasons in which it is so easy to get caught up in the whirlwinds of living on this world.  The seas of life are deep and often times, overbearing.  There are times the waters look calm, beautiful in the sunset or sunrise, but underneath the surface, life is teeming about.  And then, there are times when the storms are producing waves that will break apart the ship you are in.  As they did the ship Paul was on, in these verses. 

I had never really thought about the importance of a "drift anchor", until ABBA brought this verse out to me this morning.  It's job isn't as a regular anchor, to hold the vessel stationary, but more as a brake.  It is also to keep the vessel from overturning, being swamped by the waters. 

How often is life such as this?  Where there are times ABBA has us stationary, resting, filling up, a preparing place, and then He pulls up anchor and away we sail.  From the verses read, Paul comes across with one important fact - there was much fear on the boat.  Fear of not doing.  Fear of death.  Fear of stepping out in faith, following a plan that seemed totally absurd.  ABBA instructed them to sit and wait.  On His time, His way and they would all be saved.  Not one life would be lost.

How often do we, in the storms, believe our way is the best?  When our faith isn't in the shipbuilder, but the ship itself?  ABBA provided for each of the men - non swimmers and swimmers both.  Those that were unable to swim, the planks from the ship were used to float to the beach.  How Awesome is that?  He knows we need to ride through the storms which will be a part of our lives, but He knows we need to do it His Way.  Not ours.  And He has provided a way for us to be safe "in" Him - our Savior. 

He knows we need to have the "drift anchors" attached to our lives.  The anchors which act as a brake when the seasons of the world whirl their way across us.  How easily it is to get caught up in keeping up with the standards of the world and forget His standards are the ones which matter.  The ones which last, are solid, are a foundation of Truth to stand on.  Our "drift anchors" are found in His Word, through the indwelling of The Holy Spirit within us, by accepting our Savior, by falling head over heels in love with our ABBA. 

Only then, the "rocky shoals" of the world, trying to prevent us from getting close to Him, become
nothing but an obstacle He is bigger than.  One He swims or floats with us around to the beach. 

 "At daybreak, no one recognized the land—but then they did notice a bay with a nice beach." (27:39)

In Him - there is always, always Daybreak after the storms.  Promise.