Friday, August 29, 2014

"Uncle Jim" -08/29/14 - Ezekiel 9-12

I'll give you a new heart. I'll put a new spirit in you. I'll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm-muscled heart. Then you'll obey my statutes and be careful to obey my commands. You'll be my people! I'll be your God!(11:19-20)

My cousin, Teresa, called yesterday morning. Her voice came through the phone lines, traveling over the miles, to share our Uncle Jim had died unexpectedly.

And instantly my heart hurt.

Throughout these past hours, my mind has been flooded with many, many memories of a very special man. He always had an ornery grin and delighted in seeing me. Always.

The first memory I have of him is being home on leave from the Vietnam War over Christmas. He grabbed me up and threw me in the air over his head. I remember looking down at his grinning face, laughter bubbling out from him, as though I am looking at a photograph.

The war changed him. He didn't talk of it much, but I have heard throughout the years bits and pieces of the hell he endured. Before his marriage ended, there were two children brought into our family. Angela and Jimmie became his pride and joy. I am so thankful for the relationship he shared with them. I am praying their memories will help their hearts during this painful time.

Our hearts.

"I'll give you a new heart. I'll put a new spirit in you. I'll cut out your stone heart and replace it with a red-blooded, firm-muscled heart."

Honestly, there have been many, many times I wished for a heart of stone. A heart that couldn't, wouldn't, didn't feel. It would have made enduring so much easier.

But then, when I look at the blessings which cause my heart to over runneth - I am so thankful my heart is being transformed into one like His.

 In having a stone heart, I wouldn't know the pain of losing my uncle, but I also wouldn't know the joy of loving and being loved by him.

"You'll be my people! I'll be your God!"

Our ABBA is the only one, the only way, to have a blessing during the pain. He is the only one who is able to fill the hole left by those we love in their passing. He is the only one who can mend our hearts, for He is the Great Comforter. The Great Mender. He made our hearts. He knows our hearts.

He also reminds me this place isn't what life is all about. This is only a temporary place and one day - one day - for eternity -
there will be no more death.
there will be no more pain.
there will be no more suffering.
There will only be completed and new hearts.

"Then" - 08/28/14 - Ezekiel 5-8

"Then they'll know that I am God!"(6:14)

Just makes me wonder why ever do we always have to come to the "then" point?

It will be such a relief when the struggle between serving ABBA or serving "self" is ended.
No more "then" moments.

But until then - I will keep growing, preserving, relying on Him to overcome the sin moments. How thankful I am for His Grace and Mercy. For His showing me, when looking back, how very far "we" have come!

I love how our ABBA lifts us up as He grows us to Him.

What's Your Passion?" - 08/27/14 - Ezekiel 1-4

"Son of man, eat this book that I am giving you. Make a full meal of it!" So I ate it. It tasted so good - just like honey. (3:3)

Have you wondered what your passion is? What causes your heart to skip a beat, energize you, is on your mind more often than not?

What is it that causes you to find yourself thinking about ABBA - again?

For me - it is being in and sharing His Word.

It wasn't always this way though. I used to find His Word - aka The Bible - so boring. Wondering as my eyes fell over the scriptures, however did this relate or apply to my life? More often than not, I was skim reading - rather than searching for buried treasure.

In 1998, for reasons I can not remember, I committed to God that I would read through The Bible every year I was able, until I die. And so far, I have.

The first few years, I wasn't reading every day. One year I read the whole New Testament on New Year's Eve. There were many days I would let it sit and then pick it up for some cram skimming.

And then, He began to transform my heart. His Word is so powerful. It sinks in and spreads throughout you - much like honey. Sticky as it covers over everything and sooooo good!

I found myself yearning to meet with Him every morning. I was excited to open up my Bible and begin to search what verses He would use to speak to me. I started to insert my name throughout the scriptures, putting in dates and little notes for what was happening. I began to personalize my Bible.
It was becoming my own Personal Love Letter from my ABBA.

 "Son of man, get all these words that I'm giving you inside you. Listen to them obediently. Make them your own. And now go. Go to the exiles, your people, and speak. Tell them, 'This is the Message of God, the Master.' Speak your piece, whether they listen or not." Then the Spirit picked me up. (3:10-12)
"But then when the time is ripe, I'll free your tongue and you'll say, 'This is what God, the Master, says: . . .' From then on it's up to them. They can listen or not listen, whichever they like. (3:27)

And now, His Word is bubbling up within me. I'm not your preacher on the corner with the bullhorn, but I can not contain Him inside. The Holy Spirit prompts me and at times His Words spill right on out, leaving me in Awe of how our ABBA is able to use me.

And in His own special way, His Word has become my essence. I now find that whatever happens in my life, my brain and heart are thinking upon Him. Through His Word I am promised the gift of Wisdom, and comparing the me I once was to who I am growing into - much wiser choices.

I so want everyone to experience the results of consuming and being transformed by His Word.
His Words - my passion. my love. my delight.
My roadmap to Him.

"Closer Still" - 08/26/14 - Lamentations 3:37-5:22

"You came close when I called out.
You said, ‘It’s going to be all right."(3:57)
Keeping busy helps. It helps me from thinking, counting, wishing, crying.
But then there are moments of stillness and my heart is physically aching.

Aching for our Nichalas.
Aching for our Amber.

How blessed I am for being in an age of modern technology, to be able to speak or even see them through Skype. How blessed I am for remembering and taking out special memories to carry me through until the next time of being together. How blessed I am to have Adam home. After having them all three gone at once, I don't take any moments for granted. My life over runneth with blessing.

But sometimes.......
Working on Adam's home together, the three of us when it had always been the four and now five. Watching Curt and Adam as they talk or goof around, missing the third man of our hearts. Hearing bits of conversation from Adam's end when talking to Nichalas, the missing him coming through his voice. Hearing him say, "I love you" before hanging up. Knowing they speak almost daily. Having some of our "kids" over for supper and wishing I could pick up the phone and include Nichalas/Amber.

Just being able to see them face to face and be in their presence.

I was peeling potatoes at the sink last night and my heart was hit with that deep down ache. Knowing it will be another four months, making it a total of six, before seeing them again - I shook it off and tried to "buck up". Even this morning, thinking about our phone conversation last night, hearing his voice, I am trying not to cry -
these darn hormones.........

And I think about how much ABBA missed His Son those three days when separated after The Cross. I think about how much His Son missed His ABBA - His Daddy. What I am experiencing is nothing compared to what they endured.

Endured because of Love. Endured because it was the only way I could be, we could be, with our ABBA - eternally.

Blessed and thankful for this ache in my heart - it is a reminder of just how much my ABBA loves and desires me.
Because all He desires - is to see me face to face and be in my presence.


"He Has" - 08/25/14 - Lamentations 1:1-3:36

"I said to myself, "This is it. I'm finished. God is a lost cause." It's a Good Thing to Hope for Help from God. I'll never forget the trouble, the utter lostness, the taste of ashes, the poison I've swallowed. I remember it all - oh, how well I remember - the feeling of hitting the bottom. But there's one other thing I remember, and remembering, I keep a grip on Hope: God's Loyal Love couldn't have run out, His Merciful Love couldn't have... dried up. They're created new every morning. How great Your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left. God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly Hope for help from God. It's a good thing when you're young to stick it out through the hard times. When life is heavy and hard to take, go off by yourself. Enter the silence. Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions: Wait for hope to appear. Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face. The "worst" is never the worst. Why? Because The Master won't ever walk out and fail to return. If He works severely, He also works tenderly. His stockpiles of Loyal Love are immense. He takes no pleasure in making life hard, in throwing roadblocks in the way"(3:18-33)

I can remember numerous times just wanting to die, but it was the vast, stark, aloneness that is most vivid. A black void within my being.

I don't ever want to return to that place.
I don't want to forget either.

He has brought me from the bottom of nothingness - to Him. He has filled me within, throughout, every bit of me. No longer do I feel the aloneness, but there are times I feel the heaviness and hardness of life pressing in on me.

He has taught me that is when I need to fall down on my knees before Him. My head in His Lap, His Word coming from within my heart and drowning out the lies of doubt, which are trying to pull me under the waters of life.

He has and is showing me, I must be stripped bare, down to nothing, to become all He has made me to be. He must dress me in His Truths, so when I look into His mirror, it is His beloved I am seeing, not the destructive view of self or others.

He has taught me His Standards are what I desire to live my life by. His unconditional Love is what I sink my feet into, curling my toes up and gripping in hard. He is my hope when all feels hopeless. He has transformed my life, my whole being, into His Treasure.

He is my Rock. my bestest friend. my love.
He is my all.

"Only A Truck" - 08/24/14 - Jeremiah 51-52

He burned the Temple of God to the ground, went on to the royal palace, and then finished off the city. He burned the whole place down. (52:13)

I was thinking the other day about how hard my man works. All of his life, it has been hard physical labor. As far as material wealth, nothing was pretty much in our cup when we started our journey together. We are both blown away today at how much our ABBA has blessed us. We still work hard, but the reasons have changed. 
Everything we have is His.

Yesterday we threw in the towel, due to the heat. I know just a few years ago we would have sweltered through. But lately, we call it a day and pick up tomorrow (or whenever) where we left off. ABBA has brought to our attention no matter how hard you work for stuff - everything depreciates. All about the landscapes are many vacant homes, rusted out vehicles. Graveyards full of bodies. Bodies that are but dust and the stuff that is in the caskets, rotted away.

Before setting out yesterday, I was standing at the back of my truck in our driveway, checking to see if all we needed was there for the work ahead. Curt was loading up the tractor and mower onto the trailer attached to his truck. In only a matter of seconds the truck brake didn't hold and everything started to roll back down our drive. Rapidly picking up speed, because our drive is really a hill. Curt jumped off the tractor, over the side of the trailer, ran up and climbed into the cab, just before it slammed into the front of my truck.

As I came towards him, he was tearing himself down with the angry words flowing from his mouth. He finally heard me say, "It was an accident. Thank The Lord, no one was hurt or killed". Our eyes were opened to how much our lives could have changed in that moment.

It is only a truck.

ABBA has transformed our hearts into working for Him rather than the world.

It is only a truck.

In a way only He could do, when we become less in working for Him, we are filled up completely. With Him. Much as He did as a cloud in the Temple.

But when you are working for self or stuff - the void is never filled.

It is only a truck.

I ask you - what are you working hard for?

The harder you work at this empty life, the less you are.(51:58)

"Promise" - 08/23/14 - Jeremiah 49-50

"God's Decree - "they'll look high and low for a sign of Israel's guilt - nothing; Search nook and cranny for a trace of Judah's sin - nothing." (50:20)

I love this promise. This promise for me. For you. Because when we are "in" Christ, sins - all of them - past, present, future - are forgiven.

satan wants nothing more than for us to believe otherwise. he, or others, continually throw up into our face the sins we have committed. It's our choice in what to do with this attack. We can pick up the sins and envelop ourselves with the darkness, ugliness, unwanted.

Or we can stand in and on His Promise.

Instead of wallowing in shame and regret, we can look at our past sins as a milestone. A milestone of where our ABBA has brought us from. A milestone He used for His Glory. A milestone of when He came in and shone His Light, removing all our guilt through The Blood of our Savior.

A milestone where He was showing just how much He loves us.

"On Your Side - Always" - 08/22/14 - Jeremiah 46-48

Yes, dear Jacob my servant, you have nothing to fear. Depend on it, I am on your side.(46:28)

What comfort and peace we are given in His promises.

All we have to do is "Depend on it".
He is on your side.
How exciting is that!

"Persistent" - 08/21/14 - Jeremiah 41-45

Whether we like it or not, we'll do it. We'll obey whatever our God tells us. (42:6)

Last night in group, we studied the parable about the unjust judge and the persistent Widow. Through it, Christ is teaching us about persistent prayer. In ABBA's own way, He has made sure I am getting His message. Sunday's sermon was on this exact parable and one of my Monday morning devotionals was......yep. You guessed it - on prayer.

I have been asking myself what prayer do I offer up persistently? At first, I couldn't really think of anything. You see, I am a "drive by" prayer warrior. When someone or something is brought into my focus, I lift them or that up. Curt on the other hand is the persistent prayer warrior. He is very consistent to offer up the same issues every night. What relief in casting aside any quilt or shame when recognizing this is how ABBA created me.

His requirement is I pray from my heart. To be completely transparent and genuine in my conversations with Him.
He desires - desires - the whole of me.
And my time.

On my knees this morning though, He gave me a smile.

As I was praying to Him, He had me realize my persistent prayer - not only in the morning hours, but those throughout the day and at times in the middle of the nights.

I am a woman after God's own heart. Growing and becoming all He has created me to be. I am also a woman who struggles in giving up "self" to obey Him - no matter what. What a blessing He gives me in seeing He is cleansing me and how far He has brought me to override guilt and shame.
In Him I am redeemed. I am covered in His Grace and Mercy.

Getting there - my persistent prayer......
"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." (Psalm 139:23-24)

Search Me O God
by Matt Slick

These are perhaps some of the most poignant words in the entire Bible. In these two verses there is so much. We see the Psalmist asking God to search him--to look to the deepest part of what he is--his own heart. Why would the Psalmist ask this? And, why would any of us ask it? The reason is simple. We cannot know our own hearts as well as God can. He indwells us, knows every thought, is aware of every feeling, and He understands us better than we do. If we ever needed anyone to reach down in the depths of our hearts to find out what is unholy so that it can be removed, it is God.

 David is the psalmist. David is asking God to prove, to test his loyalty because he is not like the wicked men spoken of earlier in the Psalm. David desired God and God's Holiness.

When God asked Solomon what he wanted, Solomon asked for wisdom; and because he did not ask for money, and power, or fame, God blessed him with all of them. Wisdom was a great thing to have. Nevertheless, Solomon fell into idolatry in his later years; and his wisdom did not help him in the end.

By contrast, David said, "One thing I have asked from The Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of The Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of The Lord, and to meditate in His Temple." (Psalm 27:4). Even though David committed adultery, murdered Bathsheba's husband, and used deception to cover his great sins, God, who knew this would happen, said of him through Samuel, "The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His People..........(1 Samuel 13:14). There was a quality in David that pleased God. What was that quality? It was David's heartfelt desire for The Lord.

You need to know this because it will help you to understand the intimacy that David sought with God which ultimately led him to ask God, "know my heart." David seeks God in the most intimate place and asks Him to examine him there. David asks God to see if there is any hurtful way in him--in the deepest part of his being. David was being vulnerable.

Is there any hurtful way in your heart? Would you be able to ask God to search your heart down to the deepest levels and reveal to you the secrets that not even you know are there? Would you trust God enough to ask Him to expose and root out of you that which is displeasing to Him? Do you have the courage to bow your knees, to lower your head, to lay prostrate before God, and to become as vulnerable as you can to Him as you ask Him to look into your heart to see if there's anything bad in there and to deal with it accordingly? Such a request grows out of humility as well as increases humility. It is the ultimate trust in God. It can be scary. But it is definitely good.

-He asked to be led by God in the everlasting way. This means to be corrected and sanctified by God's loving hands.

David did not know The Messiah since Jesus was far distant in the future. But David knew The Messiah would come. You, on the other hand, know the everlasting way--if you know Christ as your Savior. Jesus, who is God in flesh, who died on The Cross and rose from the dead bodily, is The Everlasting Way. Therefore, for you to be led by God in The Everlasting Way is to be led to Christ.

"No Problem" - 08/20/14 - Habakkuk 1-3

The problem as God gave Habakkuk to see it (1:1)

Today is the first time I really picked up on this verse. "The problem "as God gave" Habakkuk to see it.

It hit me that "the problem" isn't the problem itself, "the problem" is me. I have taken the "problem" as God gave me to see it, taken my focus off of ABBA and turned it onto me. I stop looking at people, things, events, happenings, through His eyes and look through my own.

That is the point of the real problem - I begin to take "problems" personal.

ABBA has been hitting me over and over the head - life is not all about "me". It's about Him and how He needs me to be for His Glory. Not my own.

It is when I see the world through His eyes I am able to truly enjoy the Fruits of The Spirit. To endure all that is heaped upon me. To see the blessings through the "problems". It is when I am able to see a rainbow in the midst of a storm. Any storm.

The rains this week have really played havoc on our work schedule and changed our normal work plans into working over at Adam's. I could get anxious, but am not. Instead, He is letting me see this time together, readying Adam's home is a blessing. Even in the rubble of plaster, lathe, dirt, dust, nails and more nails, sore muscles (major awareness of no more youth), there is a joy in the memories we are creating.
Monday, we uncovered a sheet of the Quincy Journal on the plaster dated August 15, 1910. I found it fascinating ABBA had us uncover something that had been buried for 104 years and FOUR days. It led me to think about all the memories made within these walls, in the yard out back, and pray for those to come (God willing) which Adam would be creating on his own. As I was taking debris to the dumpster out back, music from within the neighbors window was flowing through the air. It was a praise song. A worship song.

I smiled and offered up thanks for ABBA also providing part of His family in the home next door.

 Yet another rainbow.............
"I'm singing joyful praise to God. I'm turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God!"(3:18)

Just Stuff" - 08/19/14 - 2 Kings 24-25, 2 Chronicles 36

And then he plundered The Temple of everything valuable, cleaned it out completely; he emptied the treasuries of The Temple of God, the treasuries of the king and his officials, and hauled it all, people and possessions, off to Babylon.(2 Chronicles 36:18)

ABBA opened my eyes to an awareness about "stuff" while watching the show "Storage Wars". I enjoy seeing what value they get for their discoveries. It constantly amazes me how so many persons just walk away from, forget, or just don't care about "stuff". At first I thought they were foolish, but then ABBA helped me see things from another perspective.
"Storage Wars" is an eye opener to see how others will one day dig into - and I mean that literally - without any care about the sentimental value of my stuff. It has caused me to reevaluate what I am keeping and why.

Every once in awhile I will watch an episode of "Hoarders" and relate it to going to the doctor. It becomes my motivation to look about this place ABBA has blessed us with and rid it of more "stuff". There are still some things I am hanging onto, but only because of the sentimental meaning behind them. Things I am working on getting rid of because bottom line - they really aren't something I enjoy or would have purchased on my own. I am trying to live with less. Not only because of the freedom for myself, but the freedom the kids will enjoy not having to wade through and rid of "stuff" when I am gone.

In The Scriptures, the people placed such pride and their worth in the Temple and within a short amount of time it was destroyed. Burned or carried away - totally dismantled. Today, I look about to see if I am allowing anything or anyone be what I place my worth, my pride into.
I am His Temple. The Holy Spirit resides within me.

The "shell" of me will one day return to the dust it came from, but the "soul" of me will be joining my ABBA. I am to be a good steward of this "shell" (failing miserably at times), and keep it in order. Keep it filled with only things that honor ABBA. Keep it clean. Keep it at the ready.

My daily "temple keeping" begins with His Living Word. I fill it within me, taking it into my heart and receiving nourishment from it throughout the day as I chew on it.

He is helping me to not get my worth out of stuff accumulated. Helping me to not get my worth out of my work.

Helping me to not get my worth out of who I am, but "whose" I am.

"For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called “uncircumcised” by those who call themselves “the circumcision” (which is done in the body by human hands)— remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For He Himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in His flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in Himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which He put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through Him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of His household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus Himself as the chief cornerstone.

In Him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a Holy Temple in The Lord.
And in Him, you too, are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by His Spirit."(Ephesians 2:10-22)

Anything" - 08/18/14 - Jeremiah 38-40 Psalm 74,79

God is my King from the very start; He works salvation in the womb of the earth. With one blow You split the sea in two, You made mincemeat of the dragon Tannin. You lopped off the heads of Leviathan, then served them up in a stew for the animals. With Your Finger You opened up springs and creeks, and dried up the wild floodwaters. You own the day, You own the night; You put stars and sun in place. You laid out the four corners of earth, ...shaped the seasons of summer and winter.(Psalm 74:12-17)

It doesn't matter the circumstance. the situation. the celebration. the sorrow.

  anything of life - anything - your ABBA is The Great "I AM".

"Praying" - 08/17/14 - Jeremiah 35-37

"Pray for us - pray hard! - to the Master, our God." (37:3)

There are times when we are so not able to do anything - other than pray. When our words ring out hollow. When our actions aren't enough. When we can't be the one to "fix it", protect, or keep safe. There are times when the evil in this world rears up its ugly head and we realize just how very small we are. When it is just "us".

This morning His family gained another member - a young man, Joshua. As he was baptized, I prayed for him. I prayed The Holy Spirit would continue to grow and lead Him. I prayed for His passion and love for God to only grow deeper and stronger roots. I prayed for His Faith in Christ to remain firmly implanted within his heart and shine out for others to see and desire for themselves. I prayed for His hedge of protection to be about him and his family. satan is on the warpath - angry as all get out and he will be - without doubt - attacking any which way there is.
Within moments afterwards, I was standing in a small room, one of many forming a circle to pray for our sister, Jessica Moore, and her family. In the early morning hours her sister had been killed in an auto accident. My heart was in awe of the prayers from the lips of those who lived life with the one who was gone. Their faith, their putting their hearts into His care. From the day I met Jessica, it is her faith and ability to forgive that hit me hard. This young woman who walks the talk.
It is through and with His family I am growing in Him. I learn and see so much of His Word come alive and do battle - together. I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of this treasure. I couldn't imagine life without them. It is through ABBA and His family we are able to rise up above the ugly head of satan. For "in" Him - we are bigger. we are stronger. And yes, we are on the winning side.

So many are celebrating, hurting, struggling, looking. So many I can not live day to day life with, but I am able to pray for.
Prayer - it is our "lifeline" to and from our ABBA.
I am just reminding you too, "Pray for us - pray hard! - to the Master, our God."

"Raining Down Upon Me" - 08/16/14 - Jeremiah 32-34

"The last word is, I will have mercy on them" (33:26)

The rains are gentle again, giving the earth another much needed drink of water. All the plant life is opening up to receive this precious gift of life, storing the abundance for the dry days ahead. Much as I do, taking in His Word. How His Word is part of the daily essential needs I have to grow and become more like Him.

I love rainy days.
Actually, I love rain. storms. wind. cloud display on His magnificent canvas.

I love the sound of rain hitting our rooftop. Knowing I am covered from the elements. But there are also times, when working in the heat and the rains come on unexpectedly, I stand out in the open and let His refreshment cover me. Washing me free from the dirt and grime I have accumulated throughout the job. Cooling me down and refreshing me.

There are times when I stomp through a puddle. Hold my face upright and drink in the drops falling from the sky. When I laugh in delight.

I love His rain.

His rain is always a visible reminder of how He pours down upon me His Love. His Forgiveness. His Mercy.
How thankful I am that our ABBA has "The last word".
"God, being rich in mercy,... even when we were dead through our sins, made us alive together with Christ".(Ephesians 2:4)
What an Awesome ABBA we have.
Praying you enjoy "His Rains" coming down upon you. Always.

"NeverEverQuit" - 08/15/14 - Jeremiah 30-31

God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love! (31:3)

What a great reminder this beautiful Friday (and every other day)!

Off to finish up our weekly mowing and then work in my gardens or help Adam at his home. Last night, after a relaxing time eating supper and visiting with my "sisters", I attended the guys softball game. They won!!! But then afterwards I found out it didn't count, as they had to forfeit before I got there and were playing just to play.  

All that "sitting on pins and needles" was a waste of time. How often do I do that in my living life? Do I become anxious about the unknown outcomes, the "what if's", and take my focus off of Him? Of His being in complete and total control? How many moments do I waste, instead of enjoying the moment? 

I mean - really - all we need to know is His reminder, over and over, in His Word -
God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!

"Promise - He Is" - 08/14/14 - Jeremiah 26-29

"But in Jeremiah's case, Ahikam son of Shaphan stepped forward and took his side" (26:24)
Immediately, upon reading this verse, Christ came to my mind.

How thankful I am it is He whom I depend on.
Rely on.
Trust in.
Know without a doubt.
He has taken my side.
He is my Defense Attorney so to speak. He has promised He has my back when it comes to covering my sins. He is the one who has interceded for me so I may reside with my ABBA in Heaven one day.
No greater Love than the Love Christ has for me. For you.
He died and rose from the grave proving that.
Why ever would we rely on anyone or anything other than Him

"Throw Aways" - 08/13/14 - Jeremiah 23-25

"I'll take over and gather what's left of My sheep, gather them in from all the lands where I've driven them. I'll bring them back where they belong, and they'll recover and flourish." (23:3)

They were on the cart, shriveled up from lack of water. Sitting in the full sun, when semi-shade was what the label called for. Upon closer inspection, I could see there were small, new leaves as the plants were struggling to survive. 75% off was on the sign... for these castoffs.
Yesterday I spent most of the daylight hours planting these castoffs. I have been watering them for the last week, trying to get them a little stronger in their pots before sitting them in the ground. They have now become part of the landscape vision He has given me for across our drive. So far, none of them have bit the dust and are even producing new blooms.

How this effort has taken a toil on my body! Sore is an understatement as muscles I haven't used for awhile are screaming out in protest. Thankfully, I am able to even smile as I find a need to readjust how I bend - or not bend due to the knees. More than once I sent up a prayer for some of the energy, flexibility, and stamina I once had. To be able to put into a days work all I used to be able to. And to work until the sun went down. Last night I was watching the sun sink down over the hill from my couch - showered and ready for bed.

Planting these "castoffs" continually reminds me of how He has taken and transplanted me into His care. He took my shriveled up soul and now it is flourishing. What the world deemed as having no value, no worth, He gave His only Son to save. My pains are nothing compared to the pains He endured to make sure I would be firmly planted in an everlasting way to continually bloom for Him. Working in His nature is one of my favorite ways to spend time. It constantly reminds and draws me closer to Him. My praying, therapy, cleansing, growing time.
No longer a castoff, I am so thankful and blessed to be a woman after His own heart.
"And I'll give them a heart to know Me, God. They'll be My people and I'll be their God, for they'll have returned to Me with all their hearts." (24:7)

I laugh out loud in delight at the number of this chapter and verse
what a great reminder for us 24/7!

"A Most" - 08/12/14 - Jeremiah 18-22

But God, a most fierce warrior, is at my side.(20:11)

Warfare. The constant state of His children living on this earth.

"Most fierce warrior".

What comes to your mind when you read this name for your ABBA?
One who loves, desires - you - more than anything.
One who gave His only Son - for you - to be with Him eternally - if you choose to be His.
One who conquered the grave - fought death - and won. For you.
One who gives eternal life - beyond this world - our temporary place of living life.
 Eternal. With Him. You.

ABBA has a way of putting things in perspective, if we listen to Him. When we are in the midst of battle though, at times it is hard not to be overwhelmed and take our focus off of Him. To see battles as "Goliath's" and begin to believe they are bigger than our ABBA. To think we are fighting this war alone.
I think about men like Hitler. Just an ordinary man who rose to power slowly and steadily. Never thought of as a threat by many. Never thought he would direct such evil in the world. Such an example to see how satan works.

 So often, we think we can overcome the "little sins" on our own.
 We can't.
 A sin is a sin.

 They are all a foothold for the evil one. They will all snowball into an avalanche, if we don't eradicate them from the get go. If we try to do battle on our own.

If we don't follow His leading, putting on His armor He provides for us. If we don't allow Him to be in control of our life.

What comfort in knowing - He is bigger than any "Goliath".
But God, a most fierce warrior, is at my side.

A most Fierce Warrior.
at my side.

"Roots" - 08/11/14 - Jeremiah 14-17

"But blessed is the man who trusts me, God, the woman who sticks with God. They're like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers - Never a worry through the hottest of summers, never dropping a leaf, Serene and calm through droughts, bearing fresh fruit every season (17:7-8)

What a beautiful word picture of His family.

 I love looking about and seeing all His Fruits dropping from the ones I love in Him. How blessed I am to be in His Forest, in this lifetime. He is the great "I AM".
 Praying you enjoy your Monday - putting down roots in His River of Life and bearing His Fruits.

"Use Me, Please" - 08/10/14 - Jeremiah 10-13

All this is nothing compared to you, O God. You're wondrously great, famously great.(10:6)

There are times when I pick up doubt.

One of those times has involved Blog Through The Word.

I was..........attacked. That's a pretty good word. In regard to my writings. The attack caused me to pick up doubt. I began to wonder if I was wasting time. If perhaps the words flung at me were truth, if I should stop.

And then my laptop started to act up. Was this a sign? Today isn't the first time when I have written and everything will freeze up. Or refresh all on its own and the words typed are no more. It isn't the first time it only "acts up" when writing on this page and otherwise is running in top form.

I love how "wondrously great" our ABBA is. How He knows me intimately inside and out. How He knows exactly what was needed for me to drop "doubt" and turn away from the attack.

How He has transformed my heart into seeing through His eyes (most times) and not taking some words personal (most times). How in the last few weeks, He has been using His family, reaffirming about this FB page. The words of affirmation have come face to face, through notes, through words of other persons which have gotten back to me.

I love knowing He is greater than any obstacle satan will use to try and trip me up or stop me.
I love how all things are used for His Glory - even my attempt of sharing my passion to lead people to be in His Word daily.
Without any doubt, I am so humbled to be used by Him.

In anywhichway,whatorhow.

"Freedom" - 08/09/14 - Jeremiah 7-9

spreads malicious gossip (9:4)

That was me. Even though I was speaking in truth, things that had occurred, I was doing so in a malicious way. I was taking things personal, I was hurt, and I wanted to hurt back.

Amazing how quickly pride comes into the picture. I wanted bad things for them. I wanted to hurt them as they had hurt me.

Amazing how the ricochet process began.

"Ricochets are a hazard of shooting because the bullet that ricochets poses a danger of causing collateral damage to animals, objects, or even the person who fired the shot.
In rare cases, ricochets can return to the shooter".

My words of malice had returned to me. My heart was becoming bitter and angry. It was no longer just one person, it was numerous ones, whom I was taking many things said - personal. I had taken my eyes off of ABBA and focused on "self".
My life had become obsessed with the "wrongs" done to me. I felt it was my responsibility to have revenge. To defend myself. To expose the hidden.

Self-pride had created an ugly monster.

Thankfully, my ABBA took the bull by the horns and held me accountable. He brought me to my knees in confession and I have asked those I spoke against for forgiveness. Only because He has broken my self-pride, am I able to be at peace that some have extended it, others have not. To pray for them and love them through Him.

He has also led me to pray I will become like "water on a duck's back", when I am attacked.
He has shown me, it isn't me they are attacking, but Him.

This process of change He has done within my heart, has brought me closer to Him. It has given me a freedom I wouldn't exchange for anything. How amazing is He! He who can transform the ugly heart into His beauty.

So love loving my ABBA.

"His Soil" - 08/08/14 - Jeremiah 4-6

"Plow your unplowed fields, but then don't plant weeds in the soil! (1:3)

Wednesday night in group, we studied the parable of the seed and the soils. Yesterday, ABBA gave to me the word "husband". In looking up the different definitions, I discovered it also means "tiller of soil". Being a farm girl - I love this!!! While reading through different sites on "tilling your heart" yesterday, I came across this article (which goes well with the words He spoke to me today!) Pray you enjoy.

Tilling, Sowing, and Fertilizing Scripture
by Ed Cyzewski

The fields in my southern Vermont valley are still damp from the March snow melt. Streams running down the sides of mountains remain swollen, and the Battenkill River licks over its banks as it rushes toward New York state.

As the ground thaws over the coming month it will soon become possible to turn the earth. With a few consecutive days of sunshine and unseasonably warm temperatures the farmers will start up their tractors and plow their fields.

It's lovely to see freshly turned soil where yellow, barren stalks once stood from the previous year's harvest. Whether living in Pennsylvania, Indiana, or Vermont, the sight still does something to me-there's a wonderful anticipation in that act. Soon the farmers will be sowing seeds, waiting for the corn and soy beans to emerge. As for myself, I'll be turning over chunks of dirt in our own garden, mixing in leaves and compost, looking forward to patches of lettuce, sprawling tomatoes, and hopefully, heads of garlic if all has gone according to plan this past winter.

There isn't a lot of life there yet. Nothing is sprouting from the ground. However, everything I do in the coming months will have a profound influence on the health of this summer's crop.
And that brings me to reading scripture.

More often than not the act of reading scripture each day feels like the hard work of tilling a garden, hauling compost, and sowing tiny seeds. I think we sometimes set ourselves up for disappointment by expecting miracles to happen, angels to descend, or the Holy Spirit to drop in as we read these sacred words. Many times Bible study feels like, well, study.

It's not unreasonable to expect God to use scripture in powerful ways, and there are times when words jump off the page and into our lives, bringing renewal and the life of God. However, in the grand scheme of things, I think that reading scripture is a way that God tills the stiff, barren soil of our lives, sows words of life, and then, whether immediately or later, those words will sprout with power and relevance. In other words, we read scripture to get the life of God within us so that the Holy Spirit can water them and bring about new life. It may happen right away, but oftentimes we end up waiting for the benefits to become apparent.

Just as a farmer must always till, plant, and harvest every year, we have the same responsibility to continue reading scripture, sowing new seeds, and allowing God to raise up new life. When we least expect it, the seeds of scripture sown into our lives will be brought to life by the Holy Spirit.

Whether in my garden, at work, or in town, I have been noticing a powerful connection between the amount of scripture I read and my daily connection with God. God is bringing up stories, verses, and words as I pray throughout the day. It feels like the Bible comes alive in those moments, bearing fruit in ways I could have never anticipated.

The Holy Spirit is at work in our prayer lives and in our reading of scripture; however we sometimes must dedicate time to the hard work of letting scripture till and take root as we read it daily. We may not see the benefits right away, but if we can keep up with it, the harvest will be tremendous.

"My True Husband" - 08/07/14 - Jeremiah 1-3

God's Decree. "I, yes I, am your true husband. I'll pick you out one by one - This one from the city, these two from the country - and bring you to Zion. (3:14)


I love this strong word. This word that flows gently from your depths as you speak it.
My "true husband" who will fill every single need and desire I have. My provider, comforter, protector, leader. He who will treasure and cherish me. My "true husband" who will love me more than I can possible comprehend. More than I can ever love Him in the same depth. Unconditionally. Pure. Holy.

My "true husband" who has chosen and picked me out. To be His bride. To take me home to our Zion.

Husband - he who tills the soil.
My "true husband" who tills my heart to grow it into more like His.

"Three Years" - 08/06/14 - Zephaniah 1-3

They'll make their home in God. This core holy people will not do wrong. They won't lie, won't use words to flatter or seduce. Content with who they are and where they are, unanxious, they'll live at peace." So sing, Daughter Zion! Raise the rafters, Israel! Daughter Jerusalem, be happy! celebrate! (3:12-14)

Today marks the third year anniversary of Mr/Mrs Nichalas Holtschlag!!!!!!

It is in moments of feeling sorry for myself that I find myself with a lump in my throat and the ache in my heart is more pronounced. Thankfully ABBA reminds me of how happy they are, how He is using them where they are planted, and I am able to refocus onto Him.

He shows me that they love where they live, their jobs. How much they love and are involved with their church. Their mission field each day they go to work as teachers to so many of "their kids".

How content they are.

He shows me that Adam is living life the same as well. He has made his first loan payment on his home and still isn't living there. There are rooms gutted down to the studs, rooms still needing to be cleaned. It has been a blessing to work with him making his house into his home.

What peace I have in knowing ABBA knows exactly how I feel. How I struggle with not having all our kids here close by and yet at the same time am excited and happy in how/where they are being Warriors for Him.

My comfort is knowing - without a doubt - no matter where they are living -
He shows me that our children have made their "home" in God.

"Living For ABBA" - 08/05/14 - 2 Kings 22-23. 2 Chronicles 34-35

He lived the way God wanted. He kept straight on the path blazed by his ancestor David, not one step to either left or right. (2 Kings 22:2)

Standing in line and watching the pictures on the screen, as we waited our turn to share a tear, a hug, a word of love and encouragement. In those precious photos I was able to catch glimpse of a man of God living life. The candid shots were my favorite, they caught the silly side of Dick, the smiles with Betty and their kids. They caught the depth and passion they shared with each other. One of my favorites of them was taken just recently, outside by the fence, their lips locked in an embrace. I looked over at my man standing there beside me and prayed we would have the same love, devotion, passion in the years to come. 
The pictures continued to touch my heart.

Although there isn't a "perfect family", I am so thankful when I see the fruits of persons of God. I rejoice for them in getting to know what a Godly husband, wife, parent is. What a blessing this family and others who come to mind, have been in this world of sin. My heart was reminded upon seeing so many yesterday at the visitations, whom the busyness of life keeps us apart from, in how His Love is shared through His family. Of the hope that prevailed through the sadness, knowing these two precious souls were with ABBA.

His Word spoke to me today, reinforcing me, we are to be His Vessel. We are, through ABBA, to harvest many souls. Each person we encounter. Each person who is listening or watching from afar. We are to live each breath for Him.
For we are much like the pictures on the screen yesterday.

I pray we are all leaving footprints of "whose" we are - His.
Living "the way God wanted. Keeping straight on the path blazed by their ancestor David, not one step to either left or right."

"How He Loves" - 08/04/14 - Nahum 1-3

"God is good, a hiding place in tough times. He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help, No matter how desperate the trouble." (1:7-8)

We are beginning our week differently, this morning and this evening we have two funeral visitations.

Doris Walton. Love that woman. Her smile that went from her heart to her eyes. That little twinkle of mischief.

Dick Emmert. So thankful for this man.

Years ago, Curt was asked to join a men's Bible Study group just starting up. It was through Dick, Wayne Tallcott, Steve Lotter, that ABBA began to grow my man "in" Him.

How grateful I am to have been touched and led by these two servants of our ABBA.

I love how our ABBA, has without a doubt, taken these two souls into His presence. I love how our ABBA is a place to those who experienced day to day living with these two, for comfort, strength, guidance. A "hiding place" through these tough times.

I love that our ABBA loves as He does. "God is good".

"He Has Your Back" - 08/03/14 - 2 Chronicles 32-32

He only has a bunch of mere men; we have our God to help us and fight for us!" (32:8)

Another great reminder when it feels we are up against something or someone too big for us to endure.

Not a thing.
No one.

Not one.

 is bigger than your ABBA.

 You are not alone! EVER!

"How Often" - 08/02/14 - 2 Kings 20-21

"How do I know whether this is of God and not just the fig plaster? What confirming sign is there that God is healing me and that in three days I'll walk into The Temple of God on my own legs?" (20:8)

Wondering - how often do I doubt God and insist on proof?
How often do I think even the every day things came about from "the fig plaster" and not Him?

 All about me is the constants of ABBA.
Constants that consistently prove He is "I AM".
And yet, I either take for granted, don't acknowledge, question, doubt, and at times, even take credit. 

Praying I will see and know Him in all moments, no seconds, of life.  I am finding the more of Him I see, the less often I want to miss out on Him. So love, loving my ABBA!

"No But" - 08/01/14 - Isaiah 64-66

Still, God, You are our Father. We're the clay and You're our Potter: All of us are what You made us (64:8)

"You" made us. Not the opinions or criticisms of others. Not the doubts that creep into our minds and flow down into our hearts. Not the lies of satan.

"You" - our ABBA. God, "You" are our Father.

My ABBA did it again.
For the past couple of weeks, I have been going through a low place in my journey. Doubt was creeping in and I was allowing it to have a voice. A voice that was growing louder than His Truths. It didn't come alone - it came with suffocation and darkness. Doubt has as subtle, but determined way of enveloping your whole being and trying to remake you into what you aren't. What you never can be. To forget that He is our "potter". He designed and made us. And ABBA doesn't make junk. or trash. or mistakes. or failures. or shame.

We are His Beloved.

Doubt is satan's most powerful tool in taking your focus off of your ABBA and putting it onto "self".

Last night, He placed me within a circle of my sisters and we shared. We grew. We laughed. We dug into Him and His Truths.

As a mother comforts her child, so I'll comfort you. You will be comforted in Jerusalem." You'll see all this and burst with joy - you'll feel ten feet tall - As it becomes apparent that God is on your side and against His enemies. (66:13-14)

He spoke directly to my heart through our study. Not only to me, but all of us in the room. How can you not believe and trust in Him? It isn't by chance that words we need, persons we need, become present in our lives at the exact moment we are at the place of needing to turn back to Him and His Truths.
Last night ABBA comforted and worked His healing, reminding me, I am His design. I am "fearfully and wonderfully made". I am beautiful - inside and out.
And 10 ft tall - no "but" about it.

"Important Reminder" - 07/31/14 - Isaiah 59-63

"So He became your Savior.
In all your troubles, He was troubled, too. He didn't send someone else to help you. He did it Himself, in person. Out of His own love and pity He redeemed you. He rescued you and carries you along" (63:8-9)
Just a reminder. Just another validation of how much your ABBA loves you. Enjoy your Thursday! (and every day!)

"I Need" - 07/30/14 - Isaiah 54-48

Pay attention, come close now, listen carefully to my life-giving, life-nourishing words. I'm making a lasting covenant commitment with you, the same that I made with David: sure, solid, enduring love. (55:3)

Just as rain and snow descend from the skies and don't go back until they've watered the earth, doing their work of making things grow and blossom, producing seed for farmers and food for the hungry. So will the words that come out of my mouth not come back empty-handed. They'll do the work I sent them to do, they'll complete the assignment I gave them. "So you'll go out in joy, you'll be led into a whole and complete life. The mountains and hills will lead the parade, bursting with song. All the trees of the forest will join the procession, exuberant with applause. No more thistles, but giant sequoias, no more thorn bushes, but stately pines - Monuments to me, to God, living and lasting evidence of God." (55:10-13)

Curt dumped out our rain gauge and reported we had received a little over two inches. I was excited - it meant a break for a couple of days from watering the flowers. During the past few years, I have started to plant more perennials than annuals. Once they are established, I don't have to water them as frequently, unlike the annuals, some of which need water every day depending on where they are planted.

I have discovered I am a mix of perennial and annual. As an annual, I need His Water aka His Word each and every day. I need His Word for strength to endure the heat of the battle which makes me weak. I need His Word to grow the perennial roots within me to stand strong "in" Him. I need His Word as fertilizer, root stimulator, weed preventative in this garden of life. I need His Word so I may come back stronger after the season of winter able to grow in the season of spring. I need His Word to bloom where I am planted. I need His Word to reproduce Him in my seeds. I love how The Holy Spirit is the wind carrying the seeds of Him when I am in the season of harvest, so others may grow in Him.

I love being one of His in His Garden.

"Leaning On" - 07/29/14 - Isaiah 49-53

For anyone out there who doesn't know where you're going, anyone groping in the dark, Here's what: Trust in God. Lean on your God! (50:10)

There were many times during my past I was "groping in the dark". Searching. Trying to numb the pain through the arms of a man, fog of alcohol or drugs. I still came to in darkness. I was in the habit of leaning on the wrong things. Not trusting anyone or anything. Stumbling through life.

There was the moment in darkness when I was sitting on a window ledge nine stories up. Contemplating. The reality of falling wasn't on the agenda. Driving. Contemplating. Not taking the curve ahead. The reality of a crash not there at all. I can recall many moments of darkness and even though I wasn't aware at the time, He was there pulling me in. Into His Light.

I didn't know where I was going. But still, I kept going. From one patch of darkness to another.
Thankfully, even though I still struggle with the outstretched fingers of depression and sin, He has given me tools, which I use, and "we" overcome it. I don't venture in the darkest of darkness as I used to. Most moments find me trusting and leaning on Him. My ABBA. My Daddy.

Each night I lift up to Him praise in getting me through another day, escaping the anger, bitterness, jealousy, malice, sadness and depression. How much I love leaning and trusting in Him. My cup runneth over.

No longer is darkness where I am living life.

"All of us" - 07/28/14 - 2 Kings 18:9-19:37, Psalms 46, 80, 135

Who do you think it is you've insulted? Who do you think you've been bad-mouthing? Before whom do you suppose you've been strutting? The Holy One of Israel, that's who!(2 Kings 19:22)

Many years ago, I figured out "sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me", was a lie. Words can either build up or break down a person. Sometimes they cut so deep it causes a physical pain.

Have you ever considered the power you hold in the muscle of your tongue?
It is so easy to get caught up in the gossip, slander, malice. It is so easy to get caught up in the headiness of praise.
It is also so easy to forget, it isn't the person or persons you are attacking - it is ABBA. He created all of us. In His image.

All of us.

Even those you find offensive, distasteful, those you deem not quite as good as you, different, lost or found.

All of us.

So, the words we throw out regarding someone, are actually words thrown out towards ABBA. He is so protective of His children. Doesn't that scare you just a bit? To think when we attack another, behind them is their Father who will react like a wet mother hen. A bear whose cubs are missing.
All of us.

Including the one we usually speak the ugliest to - ourselves.
How often we look into the mirror and view ugly or not "enough" and in some cases too much "enough". How often we knock down praise from someone in false humility or actually not thinking we are worthy of the blessing of encouragement. Or how we become so full of self and choose to live life our own way, "strutting our stuff" before our ABBA.
The solution is to keep totally focused on ABBA, but we don't. More often than not, we focus on self. We take words directed towards us as personal instead of looking at the speaker through Christ eyes. We compare our selves and come up either too good or too bad.
I pray that we instead see, speak, treat, love on, each and everyone of us as ABBA does.
His Beloved.

"Doubt - No More" - 07/27/14 - Isaiah 44-48

I've wiped the slate of all your wrongdoings. There's nothing left of your sins. Come back to me, come back. I've redeemed you." (45:22)

He has opened my eyes to the spiritual warfare about me. I am so thankful for that. I am so blessed in knowing as I grow closer to ABBA, satan will be using all the tricks up his sleeve trying to cause me to doubt.
Doubt - you know, that one "sin" I committed all those years ago. Or that other "sin" I fell down in and wallowed for awhile - just the other day.
Doubt - that my sins are bigger than ABBA and I allow "shame" to be my focus. Not the grace and mercy ABBA poured over me from The Cross.
Doubt - that causes me to listen to the lies satan, self, or others whisper into my soul. Lies that I am not who ABBA says I am, which is "fearfully and wonderfully made".

I am so thankful for His Word - my own personal Love Letter from Him - to reassure, confirm, validate - I am His.
Through Christ, I am made Holy. I am made Pure. I am cleansed so I may be with my ABBA. Through Christ, He only sees me as His image.

I am so thankful to know, without a doubt, I am redeemed.

What great words to hear from our ABBA, our Daddy.

"I've redeemed You".

"O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God.
They cannot be numbered!
I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!
O God, if only you would destroy the wicked!
Get out of my life, you murderers.
They blaspheme you;
your enemies misuse your name.
O Lord, shouldn’t I hate those who hate you?
Shouldn’t I despise those who oppose you?
Yes, I hate them with total hatred,
for your enemies are my enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Point out anything in me that offends you,
and lead me along the path of everlasting life.

"From Your ABBA" - 07/26/14 - Isaiah 40-43

Dear Beloved -
"That's how much you mean to Me! That's how much I love you! I'd sell off the whole world to get you back, trade the creation just for you." (43:4)
I gave my one and only Son for you.
No greater Love than the Love I have for you.
Unconditional and for eternity -
Love, your ABBA

"Forever Young" - 07/25/14 Isaiah 37-39, Psalm 76

 Whatever time I have left is spent in death's waiting room. No more glimpses of God in the land of the living, No more meetings with my neighbors, no more rubbing shoulders with friends. This body I inhabit is taken down and packed away like a camper's tent. Like a weaver, I've rolled up the carpet of my life as God cuts me free of the loom And at day's end sweeps up the scraps and pieces. (Isaiah 38:10-12)


Ironic when you think about what a big part of living it is. 
From the moment we are conceived, we begin the process of dying. While in our youth, we don't look at death as one of the things we will experience. A close family friend died from leukemia when he was much younger than me, and I didn't think about death happening to me. I know from an early age I didn't understand everything about death, I still don't, but did recognize it meant separation. I know there were those I wanted to be with, yet couldn't because of death.
Throughout the years, death has been a visitor in the path I have walked. We have two children whom I never held in my arms, only in my womb and heart, but know ABBA has them in His care. I am able to look back and see many instances where death was near, for self and others, but ABBA held him back.
Death. Not a guest I particularly care to entertain in this journey of living.

At times with the years have come the moments of wishful thinking. My body is a constant reminder of making its way to death and I yearn for the youthfulness in movement, lack of aches and pains, the lack of wrinkles and sags. My mind isn't as sharp as it used to be - which is scary when knowing it never was much more than a dull knife anyway! The hearing is missing out and the mind is substituting in parts of conversations. And each day the eyes grow dimmer with each blink.

And during all this, He has given me "glimpse of Him in the land of the living". I love being "young" in Him and experiencing the excitement of life. Of Divine Appointments He has lined up for me each moment. Of the joy in sharing life with His family. Of just the delight in all He has surrounded me with.
I can choose to go on this limited time journey either focused on Him or on "self". I can wallow in the puddles of self pity or skip through them laughing in the rains of life. I can turn my face upward under His Sonshine or sit in the caves of shadows. I can drag in my heels and sit right down in the comfort zone or run free in the meadows with Him. Playing tag with my Bestest Friend and knowing He will let me catch Him.

It is my free choice to drink in each moment He blesses me with or live in unquenched thirst.
Most important of all though, He has removed any fear or regret in my coming death.
ABBA has opened my eyes to see, when in Him - death is actually a good thing.
Death is the last step in this journey before I am with Him face to face - for eternity.

"Direct from ABBA" - 07/24/14 - Isaiah 35-36

His Words far surpass mine:
Wilderness and desert will sing joyously, the badlands will celebrate and flower - bursting into blossom, a symphony of song and color. Mountain glories of Lebanon - a gift. Awesome Carmel, stunning Sharon - gifts.
God's resplendent glory, fully on display. God awesome, God majestic.
Energize the limp hands, strengthen the rubbery knees. Tell fearful souls, "Courage! Take heart! God is here, right here, on His way to put things right And redress all wrongs.
He's on His way! He'll save you!"
Blind eyes will be opened, deaf ears unstopped, Lame men and women will leap like deer, the voiceless break into song. Springs of water will burst out in the wilderness, streams flow in the desert. Hot sands will become a cool oasis, thirsty ground a splashing fountain. Even lowly jackals will have water to drink, and barren grasslands flourish richly.
There will be a highway called the Holy Road.
No one rude or rebellious is permitted on this road.
It's for God's people exclusively -
impossible to get lost on this road.
Not even fools can get lost on it.
No lions on this road, no dangerous wild animals - Nothing and no one dangerous or threatening.
Only the redeemed will walk on it.
The people God has ransomed will come back on this road.
They'll sing as they make their way home to Zion, unfading halos of joy encircling their heads, Welcomed home with gifts of joy and gladness as all sorrows and sighs scurry into the night. (35)
How can you not want to live for Him? Knowing you are headed Home? With Him.
Unfading halos of joy encircling your head - welcomed Home.
With gifts of joy and gladness
as all - ALL - sorrows and sighs scurry into the night.

"ABBA Knew" - 07/23/14 - Isaiah 31-34

My people will live in a peaceful neighborhood - in safe houses, in quiet gardens. (32:18)

For the past few weeks, much of my free time has been spent working on making Adam's new house a home. It has been a bonding time between the two of us, even with a couple of moments of a little tension! Bonding time with his friends who are helping out. I am so blessed with the relationships I share with our children. I am so blessed to work each day with not only my boyfriend/husband, but our oldest son. It was an added perk working as the four of us, when Nichalas/Amber were home.

Working today, I thought about how neat it is our ABBA knew, from the beginning of time, I would be on a ladder, in our Adam's home. Discovering bits of old wallpapers and wondering about the previous owners. Who they were, their taste (which seems to have run into the flower theme), how old it was. Within each room I have been working, I have also been praying over the areas that will one day house memories. Nails, boards, walls, floors, all creating a place where he will be living. I have prayed over his bedroom, for he and, God willing, his bride. It has brought a grin thinking about little feet belonging to neighboring pieces of our hearts, coming up on his front porch, stretching up on tiptoes to ring his bell. Praying for moments when these little ones will one day play with his future children. As I have washed down walls, I have also bathed them with prayers for those who will be sharing time together within them. For the hedge of ABBA to be about this place, inside and out.
And even though there is plaster coming down, subfloors being ripped up, no furniture, no food, no clothes, no personal belongings, each day it is feeling more and more like his temporary "home", while here in this life.

What joy there is knowing ABBA is setting up residency.
What peace there is feeling Him here. Amongst us. No matter what walls we are within.

"I AM REDEEMED!!!" - 07/22/14 - Isaiah 28-30

"But you will sing, sing through an all-night holy feast! Your hearts will burst with song, make music like the sound of flutes on parade, En route to the mountain of God, on the way to the Rock of Israel." (30:29)

The chorus winds it way throughout my heart and mind all the day and night.

"How I Pray" - 07/21/14 - Hosea 8-14

Sow righteousness, reap love. It's time to till the ready earth, it's time to dig in with God, Until he arrives with righteousness ripe for harvest. (10:12)

Yesterday during worship and praise time, the words to the songs were hitting my heart. How I desire to be Christ like.

Not for my glory, but for His.
Not for His approval, but because I am so crazy in love with Him.

 How I pray each step I take, each breath I take in and release, each movement and moment, all me  will be for Him. 
How I pray He will use me as His vessel in all and every way.
How I pray I am not seen - only ABBA is.

"Most of All" - 07/20/14 - Hosea 1-7

I'll plant her in the good earth. I'll have mercy on No-Mercy. I'll say to Nobody, 'You're my dear Somebody,' and he'll say 'You're my God!'" (2:23)

I so love being planted in Him. My good earth. I love how my roots have sunk in and taken hold in the firm foundation of Him. How He has enabled me to weather the storms of life and grow stronger. Only because of Him.
I love knowing my past, present, future sins are forgiven. That He has covered me in His mercy and grace - as the leaves cover the trees. I love knowing these "leaves" will never fall off. I love that His "Sonshine" feeds me, as the sunshine provides nourishment through the leaves, down to my inner core.
But most of all, most of all, I love that no longer am I "nobody".
I am my ABBA's "dear Somebody". And He is my God.
No greater love.

"Holding Fast" - 07/19/14 - 2 Kings 18:1-8, 2 Chronicles 29-31, Psalm 48

He held fast to God - never loosened his grip - and obeyed to the letter everything God had commanded Moses. And God, for his part, held fast to him through all his adventures. (2 Kings 18:6-7)

I sat with the phone to my ear and listened to our Nichalas as he prayed. I lifted up praise to our ABBA when the words he spoke came across the line. Blessings I was given in hearing another example of how big our ABBA is. How He is in complete control. How He is bigger than all my many failures throughout the years.
Nichalas has asked for prayer regarding his job at a fairly new charter school. Next week they will be going door to door recruiting. If they are unable to enroll 15 students, his teaching job will be dissolved. Not only is his job in jeopardy, but the school itself. His frustration could be heard earlier when he was telling me the parents don't have to pay anything for their child to attend this school - all is state paid. The reason they don't is because their child tells them they don't want to attend a school that is so strict and hard. And the parents listen to their child. Opting instead to send them to public school where they are not worked with one on one, slip through the cracks, and don't obtain the tools needed to raise above the poverty level they are living at. He then prayed more about these children than his job. These children He knows need God in their lives. These children he has grown to love and be used as ABBA's vessel to reach them. He is totally at peace with whatever ABBA has in store for him. Whatever doors He closes and those He will open.
The faith our children have in their ABBA.
How they hold fast to their ABBA.
They know without a doubt, "And God, for His part, holds fast to them through all their adventures."

"Like a Blanket" - 07/18/14 - Isaiah 23-27

Through the night my soul longs for You. Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to You. (26:9)

While working at Adam's yesterday, I was reminded again of what living in the city was like. Bits of conversations drifted in with His cool breeze through the open windows. Children laughing across the alley, as they played. The one side of a woman's conversation who stood talking on her cell phone from her front porch. A man talking and walking his dog. Life was going on about this little house I was helping make into a home for our son. At a little after six I set out for the home of His Family only six houses down. There in their living room I was surrounded by my beautiful sisters, "His Beloved". We dug into His Word, we opened up our hearts, we grew. He worked the soil of our hearts and souls. 
As I returned to my car in front of Adam's, it was now dark. The neighborhood was quiet, settling in for the night. I smiled as I walked past the home on the corner, knowing inside were three pieces of my heart. Praying not only for them, but the houses up and down the block.
His love covered me, His joy overflowed within me, as the darkness covered the homes like a blanket. I had forgotten the peace of walking through a sleeping place filled with people lined up next to each other. People who ABBA has placed our Adam in the midst of. People who are part of our Divine Appointments. It's so exciting to think ahead to those He has lined up to be part of our journey here.
"Through the night my soul longs for You. Deep from within me my spirit reaches out to You."- there on that sidewalk - He covered me as the night light covered the people around me.

"The Savior" - 07/17/14 - Isaiah 18-22

When they cry out in prayer to God because of oppressors, He'll send them help, A Savior who will keep them safe and take care of them. (19:20)

A Savior.

Our Savior.
My Savior.

For much of my life I tried to fill the God void with the world. Through the use of drugs, alcohol, men, I was still left empty. Still searching.

It wasn't until the birth of our Adam that I realized I had the responsibility to raise up this gift "in" ABBA. Through years of studying His Word, I know now where that realization came from. It was through the many prayers lifted up for me from elderly women in the church I attended growing up. It was through the seeds planted while attending church camp when young. He has also blessed me in looking back and recognizing those in His family who stepped into my life, some for a short time, some for the long haul. It was through all of these tools He used to introduce me to my Savior.

No longer am I searching, but now I am digging. Digging into the heart of my ABBA. Digging to the very center of Him to fill the whole of me.

Yesterday, under His Awesome, beautiful sky, I lifted up praises to Him.
There aren't enough words to express the feelings of falling deeper in love with Him with each breath that I take.
And how He has/is using me to introduce others to their Savior - our Christ.

"The Savior" - who will keep them safe and take care of them.

"ABBA's Mountain" - 07/16/14 - Isaiah 13-17

What does one say to outsiders who ask questions? Tell them, "God has established Zion. Those in need and in trouble find refuge in her." (14:32)

Zion - my mountain of ABBA - my place of refuge while living in this world. Nothing, no one, anything, is bigger or able to destroy my Zion. He is always there, my refuge. Never moving. Steadfast and True.


There are numerous accounts of how a person who walks in ABBA versus a person who walks in the world handles life. My mind is instantly filled with persons I know who have been granted with much and are a model of humbleness, versus those who are filled with pride. Those who have went through death, illness, sorrows, poverty and other horrors and allowed ABBA to shine through the darkness in their response. Mother Teresa. What an example of our Christ living in a dark world. Within the world of castoffs, she lived in her Zion mountain.

How blessed I have been also living in my Zion mountain. How protected and cared for, even when having to deal with the harshness of the world and its people. But, there have been times I left my Zion mountain, thinking "the grass is greener" over there. It isn't.
I desire so to lead others to live in the Zion mountain. The mountain of ABBA. I read through the scriptures today of the consequences for those who live outside of Him and realize the urgency in His Words to us - "Go and make Disciples".
As I go.
Am I using all the time, gifts, talents for Him or am I using them for me?
There are so many "in need and in trouble".
Are you helping them find refuge in Mountain of ABBA?

"Parenting 101" - 07/15/14 - 2 Chronicles 28, 2 Kings 16-17

indulged in the outrageous practice of "passing his sons through the fire," a truly abominable thing he picked up from the pagans God had earlier thrown out of the country. (2 Chronicles 28:3)

My heart is sickened when picturing this practice. So many recordings in Scripture of how far away from ABBA people became and in this place the things they did to their children. Some practices would place the live babies into the walls they were building as sacrifices. There were times when children were eaten. beaten. sold. put into sex trafficking. aborted.

Things done then, still done today.

And I wonder, how do you come to such a place.

It happens when we walk away and are totally focused on "self".

So many children throughout time have not been treated as the beautiful blessing they are from our ABBA. They have not been trained up "in" ABBA, nurtured, protected, cherished, treasured, loved in the family He designed. In many streets, of any country, you will walk and see children on their own. Resorting to any means to survive. Being taken advantage by those who are stronger, many without any way to escape. Children who are "being passed through the fires of worldly desires".
Being a parent isn't about being a buddy or living life for self. It is about sacrifice. It is about putting another's needs above your own - even when there isn't instant "rewards" or "gratitude". There are so many moments when you feel you aren't measuring up, want to throw in the towel, crying out for "Calgon to take me away", but you don't. The fruits of good parenting are so worth the tough love you put into raising your children.

It can leave your mind spinning with all the instructions on raising kids today.
His Word - it is tried and True. Time after time He gives us accounts on how He parents us. How He loves us unconditionally, even when we are unlovely. Even unlovable.

I know I have fallen short of His example many times over, but thankfully, our children when I have said I am sorry and asked for forgiveness, granted it to me. I know there are times when I have looked upon our children and felt anger, dislike at their actions, hurt, and rejected, He has given me His example of unconditional Love, extended grace and mercy.
His Word has taught me there is a difference between being a mother and a mommy.
It is only because of His Word, I experience the blessing and joy of knowing the role of "mommy".

"If I Hadn't of Been" - 07/14/14-Micah 1-7

"But we live honoring God, and we're loyal to our God forever and ever. "On that great day," God says, "I will round up all the hurt and homeless, everyone I have bruised or banished. I will transform the battered into a company of the elite. I will make a strong nation out of the long lost, A showcase exhibit of God's rule in action, as I rule from Mount Zion, from here to eternity. (4:5-7)

His Words from the sermon yesterday hit my heart and haven't left. How often we take out our sins from yesterday's and rehash them, carry the guilt and shame in our daily living. Nothing satan loves better, for it tears us down. How it saddens our ABBA. In doing this, we are saying The Sacrifice of our Savior wasn't enough. We are instead choosing to live in condemnation, rather than in His Grace and Mercy.
He has transformed my heart into being thankful for all of my past "Job moments". If it wasn't for the hurt and homeless moments, I wouldn't be as aware of the blessings of His family He rains down and saturates me with today. If I weren't battered from the yesterday's, I wouldn't bask in the healing balm of Love from His family He surrounds me with. If I hadn't of been lost, I wouldn't know the joy of being found by Him. I wouldn't desire Him with my all. If it wasn't for the longing in my soul when it was empty, I wouldn't know the overwhelming feelings of my thirst being quenched by His Word. If I hadn't of been weak, I wouldn't know what it is like to live in His Strength.
My heart. My life. My all.
Welcomed into the home of our siblings, we sat around the table last night sharing and catching up with visiting members of our family. Family we don't get to see as often as we want to, but when together we always pick up where we left off. In worship yesterday, I was greeted with bright eyes, hugs from the heart, from numerous siblings I see week to week. Lunch with my "sister" and our girls. How I have loved sharing so many "kids" throughout the years with extended family. Studying His Word throughout the week with siblings, sharing life and growing in Him together.

Living by ABBA's standards, unconditional love and acceptance from my "family".
Time spent in the company of the elite.

"Whole of me" - 07/13/14 - Chronicles 27, Isaiah 9-12

"Yes, indeed - God is my salvation. I trust, I won't be afraid. God - yes God! - is my strength and song, best of all, my salvation!" (12:2)

I pray Isaiah's words will ring out from within you and take over your whole being. There is no better way to live life - in and for Him!
Off to spend time worshiping ABBA with His family - how blessed I am to be a part of.

Nichalas/Amber arrived safe and sound in Phoenix last night - happy to put the suitcases away for awhile. Adam, Jordan, and I cleaned his upstairs yesterday, ready to tackle the downstairs next. The perks of seeing Julie/Scarlett provided a smile and a popsicle. Curt enjoyed a great time on the course, came home and got the equipment ready for Monday. Not sure what is on the agenda for today - bookwork sometime for sure and maybe work on Adam's kitchen.

Looking forward to another day He has blessed me with! Pray you are enjoying yours!

"Not a Drifter Anymore" - 07/12/14 - Amos 6-9

People will drift from one end of the country to the other, roam to the north, wander to the east. They'll go anywhere, listen to anyone, hoping to hear God's Word - but they won't hear it. (8:12)

me - this lost years ago. 
what a dissolute way I went through life.
So thankful His Word has/is transforming my heart.
How I love "living" life with/for Him!

Who are you sharing His Word with - in actual speech, actions, heart?

Curt is enjoying his day on the golf course for a tournament benefiting Care Net in Carthage. I am off to help Sir Adam clean his new home. Excited to hear the plans he has for the future and able to help him get moved in. What an exciting chapter in his life. Nichalas/Amber arrived in Colorado last night to camp under ABBA's big beautiful moon - did you see it?
I was looking at His sky last night. The different dimensions stood out as the clouds moved through in front of His beautiful bright moon. With thanksgiving I praised Him for making this world in different dimensions. The beauty of shadows, the depths of colors, the display of shapes. How bland this world would be if not in 3D. Much like the gift of love. Could you imaging what it would be like not experiencing the depth, the width of His Love.

His moon last night = just a taste of His Awesomeness.
Enjoy this day He has blessed you with!

"Of All" - 07/11/14 - Amos 1-5

"Out of all the families on earth, I picked you"(3:2)

My family - here in our living room at 5 this morning, standing in a circle, holding hands and praying to our ABBA. Selfishly asking for safe travels, to keep two pieces of our hearts on this earth awhile longer, before they departed on their journey back to Phoenix. Since standing at the end of the walk and seeing their red taillights turn out of sight, I have kept busy. Reality hadn't set in - until right now - when He spoke to me in this verse. We won't be seeing them again, ABBA willing, until Christmas.
 During the night, sleep wasn't my companion. I found myself kneeling before Him, feeling His Hand on my head as we conversed, His beautiful moon looking down through the window. I was reminded over and over through His Words - "He picked me". In the times of my weakest moment, when I want nothing more than to break into heart wrenching sobs, He gave me the image of Mary. A young woman, no longer able to stand because of the heart wrenching pain seeing her son, her baby, nailed onto The Cross.

He gave me the image of this woman who drew her strength to endure from her Lord. 
He gave me perception that in Him there is never an eternal separation. 


It never hit me until this morning what she endured being the mommy of our Savior.
No matter the age of our child, we will always be blessed by the brief glimpse of yesterdays. 

Looking at our young men today, for a flicker of a second I will see the little boy from yesterdays in their eyes, a certain expression, the wrinkle of their nose. Their hands able to hold my whole hand in them, when just a few yesterdays it was mine that held all of theirs. Their smiles and antics as they make new memories cause me to remember all those times of watching them grow up as best friends. Conversations today are shared with whispered words from the past darting in and out from the keepsakes in my heart.
Our ABBA gave Mary the blessing of seeing her son again after His sacrifice on The Cross. I can only imagine what it must of been like to realize without doubt she was the mommy of The Son of God. I don't have to imagine though what it is like to be the mommy of children of God.
He has given us the blessing of bringing Adam back, in seeing him grow and being used on the mission field of Quincy. I love seeing and being part of this team mission work with Adam. The families ABBA has brought into our lives through his friendships with their kids, brings such excitement as we are introducing them to ABBA.
He has given me strength to overcome the ache within my heart having Nichalas/Amber so far away. They are on the mission field for and in Him. He has comforted me in blessing upon blessing, of seeing their fruits for Him, to overcome the selfishness of wanting them close by. He has also shown me it is all about His time and His way. He has given me joy in hearing their plans to move back here one day.

He has given me strength to be content and thankful in all situations. 
To be thankful for the gifts of Skype, cell phone, and internet in today's way of being together. 
He has given me recognition how blessed we are for any time spent together.
Just as He "picked" Mary to be the mommy of our Savior, He handpicked me to be the mommy of Adam, Nichalas, Amber, and our two in Heaven.

He "picked" me to introduce them to their Bestest Friend - our Jesus.
Our Savior.