Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"Let me Count the Ways" - 09/30/14 - Malachi 1-4

God said, "I love you." You replied, "Really? How have you loved us?"(1:2)

It used to be I wondered if God loved me.  I always felt His Love, His blessings were for everyone else and I was on the sidelines watching the Love unfold.  How His Word has transformed not only my heart, but my way of thinking and seeing life. 

There is no longer any doubt nor do I reply, "really?" when I hear Him tell me how He loves me. 

I have found when I am focused on Him, all my senses are on overload from His Glory showing off for me. 

For me.

His nature continually blows me away.  This morning as the sun came up, it cast its golden glow across the drive, illuminating the colors on the flower blooms, causing them to shine out in the predawn darkness.  The shadows adding depth and dimension to the garden area He has enabled us to create out of the dense underbrush.  The old hedge trees stand over the new plantings, their twisted, ancient, branches home to so many of His birds and other critters.  The leaves are beginning their slow, eye catching death as fall begins to make herself at home before the final act of winter to end this cycle of seasons. 

I am in awe of those He has placed within my heart in this life.  How often I find myself just drinking in the beauty of Him, seen through them.  People.  How beautiful each of us are.  I could get lost in the beauty of the eyes alone.  Their colors, shapes, even sizes.  When seen through a magnifying glass.  Skin.  How He has made each of us our own unique, beautiful color.  Hands, representing so much of life lived through wrinkles, callouses, scars - so much strength.  So much strength when folded in prayer.  Our feet to carry us.  That He has made us to walk upright.  How He has created our bodies to move from one place to another, each one in their own unique stride.  How He has used the different genes from one another to create another.  To see a glimpse of someone in the lineage through the face, mannerism, build, of relatives.  To be able to create a whole "someone" from the sperm and egg of a man and woman.  For the woman to be a part of the process and then to give birth to new little ones. So many, many ways He has shown His Love to "us".  How He adores and desires "us". 

And then we will reply, "really?".

Last night I prayed He would awaken me before His sun came above the horizon and this morning I smiled as He gently called me to begin my day while it was still dark outside.  I smiled for I knew, even with that simple prayer, He listens.  Always. He is there.  Always.

It used to be I was so focused on what I didn't receive, I missed out on what He did/does give me.  I was looking at the unfairness and not seeing the even greater of "Him".  Being so focused on me, I missed out on all of "Him" around me. 

Each moment I am striving to be focused into and onto Him.  It is then I am able to know with all of me - Yes, how He so loves me.

Monday, September 29, 2014

"Armful of Blessings" - 09/29/14 - Nehemiah 11-13, Psalm 126

"It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God returned Zion's exiles.   We laughed, we sang, we couldn't believe our good fortune. We were the talk of the nations - "God was wonderful to them!"  God was wonderful to us; we are one happy people.  And now, God, do it again - bring rains to our drought-stricken lives.  So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest. So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessings."(Psalm 126)

How I love knowing my relationship with ABBA is not a dream, but real life.  How much I love being with His family, my family, as we are one in worship with Him.  How much I look forward to being together 24/7, face to face with Him.  How I love His rains, giving me nourishment, refreshment, when my journey is drought-stricken.  How I love knowing He sees the whole paradigm and sees a plentiful harvest when I am picking up doubt and wondering if what I am doing for the Kingdom is causing any growth for Him. 

How I love when He brings His Light to the heavy hearts and life is lived with armloads, not handfuls, of blessings.

How much I love being His.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

"He Is" - 09/28/14 - Nehemiah 8-10

Still, because of Your great compassion, You didn't make a total end to them. You didn't walk out and leave them for good; yes, You are a God of grace and compassion."(9:31)

no matter what we have done.  will do. 

In Christ - we are Redeemed. 

In Christ - we are His - for eternity.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

"The Trickster" - 09/27/14 - Nehemiah 6-7

 "There's nothing to what you're saying. You've made it all up."  They were trying to intimidate us into quitting. They thought, "They'll give up; they'll never finish it." I prayed, "Give me strength." (6:8-9)

So many stumbling blocks does satan throw out onto our path, trying his best to get us to sit down, venture off in the wrong direction, to give up.  It doesn't matter what ABBA has for you to do, satan will pull out his bag of tricks.  he wants nothing more than for you to not be a warrior for ABBA. 

his bag of tricks, will and does, include doubt.  he wants us to believe in his condemnation that we can never be saved or good enough, over ABBA's word of Truth - in Christ - we are Redeemed.  he wants us to believe we aren't able, strong enough, equipped, smart/talented, to carry out the mission ABBA has given us.  To make disciples.  To live a life for and in our Christ. 

We at times will pick up the tricks he lays out before us and consider they do apply to us.  How often do we throw out lame excuses to delay our mission?  In the study, "Altar Ego", he brings up Moses and how after God has told him he would be the one to free the Israelites, Moses throws back at God, "I can't speak well".  I love how God shoots straight from the hip, "I am who made your mouth". 

Our ABBA is so Awesome, He is able to use all of us, good and bad, for His Glory.  Our ABBA uses the strengths and weaknesses of us to help each other, to grow relationships.  Just think about all the conversations Moses would have had with his brother Aaron, his interpreter.  Think about how often He has used you, or placed others in your life, whose strengths/weaknesses grew you closer.  To each other and to Him.

I have found it is only through my submitting to do things His way, relying on His Strength, I am able to continue on.  There's no stopping us when we rely on Him.   He gives to us His strength through The Holy Spirit, His Word, His family.  Only then is the intimidation from satan seen for what it is. 

Just a trick. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

"Continuing on" - 09/26/14 - Nehemiah 1-3

"So I went up the valley in the dark continuing"(2:15)

There are times when getting out of our comfort zone reminds us of the valleys we have journeyed through.  Some moments, places, words, are able to take us back and we then stand at a crossroad.  We can either go down the "valley of memories", sinking into a pity party, picking up doubt, considering His Word is not Truth, or we can turn and place our focus on our ABBA. 

 "In the dark, continuing" - continuing - onward - or continuing to stay. 

Yesterday I was being bombarded with memories from the dark valley.  My ABBA gave me strength and courage.  His Words came over the radio through numerous Christian artists, His colors in the turning crops against the beautiful sky reminded me He designed and created beauty in all.  He gave me His Words in my heart to remind me, "I am His Beloved". 

Through Him my eyes were opened to His blessings falling down upon me to cast off the darkness.  The songs, the sermon, words spoken by others.  Even finding chicken breast on sale for $.99 a pound!  There wasn't much time left for Adam's football game by then, and I debated going on home.  It was out of my hands when coming to the stoplight, I found myself turning right and heading for the game.  Parking at the top of the hill, I could see the players in the field below as they fought for the ball.  Sitting between them and me on the bleachers were parts of my heart.  

With the lights illuminating their outlines, I knew He was shinning down upon them too, pointing out to me, telling me, "these people are part of the many blessings when out of your valley".  Two bright eyes shinning in delight, her smile hidden by her binky, her little body bound up in such excitement, squirming to get down, her little legs pumping as fast as they could around the bleachers to where I was at.  

There at the end of my day was my little friend.  Nora.   

Just like my ABBA.  Just like my Savior.  Just like The Holy Spirit.  Just like His Word. 

Always, always there - bringing delighted Light into darkness. 

"I said, "God, God-of-Heaven, The Great and Awesome God, loyal to His covenant and faithful to those who love Him and obey His commands(1:5)                       

Thursday, September 25, 2014

"Tiny House" - 09/25/14 - Ezra 7-10

"My God was on my side and I was ready to go"(7:28)

Nichalas and I were discussing our will the other day.  He and Amber have decided if anything should happen to Curt or I, her parents, they would move home to help out.  Our conversation then turned to being ready to move and how stuff, obligations, can slow you down.  There is a new show I enjoy, "Tiny House Nation".  If we didn't use our home for ABBA through hosting Bible studies, having persons stay with us when they need to, or the business, this way of living very much appeals to me.  The older I am becoming, the less stuff I desire to have around me.  It used to be I had our walls, surfaces displaying different items, now there is a lot of bare space.  During the winter down months, I like to go through, organizing the home, ridding it of even more stuff.  Stuff I don't use or no longer want to take care of.  ABBA has transformed our hearts to ridding our lives of debt, rather than accumulating it by buying more stuff.  We utilize the appliances showing off their beautiful 1977 avocado green colors in our kitchen.  It would be so easy to transform it into 2014, but we want to get the home paid off before that takes place, to up the value of the home for the day when we do sell.  I try to have the office work up-to-date, as well as other areas in our life.  Getting there! 

I am striving to live as though I will be taken "Home" at any time.  It is my goal to have the home/business side of things taken care of, so when I do go, Curt, Adam, Nichalas, and Amber are able to focus on "them", not wading through mountains of stuff.  In changing my way of living, ABBA has given me such a freedom.  There isn't the heavy weight of "stuff" pulling me down, occupying my time, keeping me from being "at the ready".

I have come to the place where my heart is much like the homes in "Tiny House Nation".  It carries only what ABBA wants me to have.  There are still times I pick up things of the world and try to insert it into a nook or cranny, thinking it won't matter.  But before I know it, it has expanded and overflowed into other areas of my heart.  He is having me see through His eyes, the things of this world can not take up residency within a heart of Him.  He is also opening my eyes to see the "bargains" of this world aren't a great deal at all, they end up costing more than you can imagine. 

It amazes me when seeing a tiny home completed, how much they have incorporated into them.  Everything is in its place, often times multipurpose, and easily packed up and ready to go.  That is how I want my heart and my life to be.  Full of Him.  The gifts and talents He has blessed me with to be used for Him.  To be at the ready, to get out of my comfort zone and go out to where He leads me.  Needs me to be.  Go.  Do. 

I desire my "tiny heart" will be "huge in Him".  For Him.  At the ready.  "Ready to go." Always.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Comfort - 09/24/14 - Esther 6-10

But when Queen Esther intervened with the king, he gave written orders that the evil scheme that Haman had worked out should boomerang back on his own head. He and his sons were hanged on the gallows.(9:25)

What great comfort in knowing, without doubt, our Savior has/is/does intervene with The King on our behalf.  What great comfort in knowing our Savior's blood has covered us with grace, mercy, forgiveness, cancelling out death for our sins.  What great comfort knowing He shields us from the catastrophic destruction our sin would cause, blocking the "boomerang".  What great comfort knowing He is there as we endure the consequences of our choices, taking the brunt of it all for us.  What great comfort in knowing He has our backs.   

What great comfort in knowing we are redeemed.  In Him we are made new.  Our sins are forgiven and forgotten. 

What great comfort in knowing He has made us a new person - His. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

"Royal Child" - 09/23/14 - Esther 1-5

"Who knows? Maybe you were made queen for just such a time as this."(4:14)

I'm not saying you're a queen, but as a child of ABBA, you are royalty.  

You are either a prince or a princess.  No frogs in His court either.

Each one of us is His Masterpiece.  Made in His image.  Created for His pleasure whom He desires to be with - always. 

Think about it - YOU are royalty.

No matter what your earthly position or status is, YOU are a member of His Royal Family. 

So, how do you utilize your title?

Is it for the service of self or for your ABBA?  Are you all about introducing everyone you meet to your ABBA for adoption, or have you set yourself apart from those who "don't belong"?  Do you see each meeting with someone as an opportunity to share the unique gift of His family?  Or do you pick and choose whom you deem is worthy of this position?

Fact is, none of us, not one, is worthy to be called His Child.  We only deserve Hell. 

It is only because of The Sacrifice of our Savior all - not just some - have free will to become His and have an intimate relationship with our ABBA.  "

With that relationship comes the responsibility of becoming more and more like our Christ with each step we take.  Christ didn't shun people, He welcomed them into His life, His heart, His way. 

Do you realize "you were made "royalty" for such a time as this"?    How exciting is that!                

Monday, September 22, 2014

"Sonlight" - 09/22/14 - Zechariah 8-14

"Then God will come into view, His arrows flashing like lightning! Master God will blast His trumpet and set out in a whirlwind. God-of-the-Angel-Armies will protect them - all-out war, The war to end all wars, no holds barred.  Their God will save the day. He'll rescue them. They'll become like sheep, gentle and soft, Or like gemstones in a crown, catching all the colors of the sun.  Then how they'll shine! shimmer! glow! the young men robust, the young women lovely! (9:14-17)

Standing at the kitchen window this morning, the sunlight brought my attention to them.  Strands upon strands of spider webs, clinging to the railing of the deck.  There would be great feasting upon the many bugs caught up in them.  The gentle breeze moving them, reflecting His light like diamonds.   Sparkling. 

Without the sunlight, I wouldn't have noticed them. 

Without His Sonlight - my heart wouldn't be transformed, transforming, to where He has brought me today.  I wouldn't notice all of the beauty He has set before me.

These verses He has given me today are filled with the word pictures of His Light.  How exciting to see the display of His Glory face to face one day.  But until then, I am able to see it everywhere I look.  In His nature, His people, even in me. 

Slowly I am finally seeing that I am also one of His Masterpieces. 

Not because of anything I have done, only because of Him  Only because He reflects off of me.  Only because of Him do I sparkle and dance.  Only because of Him am I "like gemstones in a crown, catching all the colors of the sun."  A gemstone in His Crown.

Only because of Him do I now,  "shine! shimmer! glow! a woman lovely!"


Sunday, September 21, 2014

"Enduring the Torture" - 09/21/14 - Zechariah 1-7

"Well, the message hasn't changed. God-of-the-Angel-Armies said then and says now: "'Treat one another justly. Love your neighbors. Be compassionate with each other.  Don't take advantage of widows, orphans, visitors, and the poor. Don't plot and scheme against one another - that's evil.' (7:9-10)

We drove away from the Lamm home last night, heading towards ours, with our belly's full, as well as our hearts.  This family has taken us in and accepted us with their arms wide open - as we have theirs.  I love the relationships that have developed and are growing.  I love watching and interacting with the little ones, anticipating with joy the years ahead.  I don't like watching football and that was our after dinner agenda.    It is only because of the persons I was surrounded by that I was able to endure the torture of what was before me on the screen. 

We have been meeting almost every Wednesday for the past five years in a Bible Study with persons who have become our "family".  I love when out and about, looking over and seeing one of them.  The connection that is there and knowing it is only growing stronger with each passing day.

Every other Thursday there is a group of women, His Beloved, who meet to study His Word, grow together "in" Him.  This group of sisters He has brought together to share life with. 

I think about all of the people in our lives, some for many seasons, and have to sit back, undo my top button, because my life is so full.  He has taken strangers and created a family.  The freedom to be myself, to know without doubt I am loved, accepted, treasured, cherished, is a gift I wouldn't trade for anything in the world.  The joy of knowing and hearing encouragement, delighting in the blend of "us" as we share and create new moments and memories.  The security and peace of acceptance, being lifted up and not torn down, seeing me as I am - His.  The blessings of being surrounded by Him through His family.

It is only by being surrounded with His family that I am able to endure the tortures satan throws up at me.  My family not only loves me through Him, they hold me accountable, grow, nurture, replenish, and refresh me. 

How very blessed I am. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"Chosen - YOU" - 09/20/14 - Haggai 1-2

"I've looked over the field and chosen you for this work.'" The Message of God-of-the-Angel-Armies."(2:23)

We are now into the third week of a new study, Altar Ego, by Craig Groeschel. 

Again, I am blown away by our ABBA's timing.  Nothing is by coincidence - nothing.

He knew I needed to not just read this book, but to study it.  To take time and chew on it - consume it and allow it to work in the transformation of my heart. 

How often we wonder, doubt, balk, at the "work" our ABBA has given us. There are times we are so into "self", we completely miss the "work" He has set before us and miss out on the blessings gleaned from the "work" when done. 

No matter where your journey takes you this day and every day, remember - nothing is by coincidence.  Look forward in excitement to where He is leading you, using you, growing you, completing and transforming you.  All steps are gaining ground closer to being Home with Him! 


In all of history, God decided that in this one little slice - this seventy years or eighty-two years or ninety-one years, whatever time you have on this earth - this was the single point ideally suited for you to serve Him and bring Him glory.  Out of all of the nearly infinite possibilities, there was no better time for you to be born with your unique gifts, talents, skills, and personality.  God knew you before you were, and He put you right where He wanted you.

Unfortunately, many of us don't believe we are masterpieces.  We focus so much on our perceived deficiencies that we convince our selves that God wouldn't use us, or perhaps even that He couldn't.  Because we have not grasped who we are, we work hard to focus on all the things we are not.  Consequently, we're not living out our true purpose, no wonder we're frustrated.  If you don't know the purpose of something, all you can do is misuse it.

Who are you?  Think about everything that characterizes your life and defines you.  Think about the experiences you've had, the decisions you've made, all the people you've loved, the trophies you've won, and all those times you've blown it.  Are you good enough?  By yourself, no.

But He is.

He's more than enough.   His grace is more than enough for you.  You are who you are - you are where you are - because He set you on this path, plotted this course for you.  And right now, in this moment, as you're reading the words on this page, it's because God put them in front of you for you.  (And you know it's true, don't you?)  Without Christ, there's something wrong with you.  But with Christ, you are God's Masterpiece.  you are created for His purpose, and you have all you need to do all God wants you to do.  And nothing will be wasted; God will use everything in your life to fulfill His vision for you.

When you know who you are, you will know what to do."(Craig Groeschel).

YOU  - are His Masterpiece.


Friday, September 19, 2014

"Building for Him" - 09/19/14 - Ezra 4-6, Psalm 137

Then the Israelites who had returned from exile, along with everyone who had removed themselves from the defilements of the nations to join them and seek God, the God of Israel, ate the Passover.      With great joy they celebrated the Feast of Unraised Bread for seven days. God had plunged them into a sea of joy.(6:21-22)

The reward of remaining steadfast in their work of rebuilding the temple.  No matter the circumstances, the people they came up against, the situations.  They remained true to ABBA.

They remained focused on Him.

They remained on course to following His lead.  His ways. 


In Him we are His Temple where He resides.  Within us.  We are part of His great commission,
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of The Father and of The Son and of The Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."(Matthew 28:19-20)

How often do we allow ourselves to take our focus off of His commission and stop "building"?  How often do we set aside our tools and go off into the world for a time of serving "self"?  I strive not to each moment of my days for I am so in love with ABBA, I desire to please Him continually.  (Unfortunately, there are many times I don't). 

When my life is said and done, I want to be one "who had returned from exile, along with everyone who had removed themselves from the defilements of the nations to join them and seek God ate the Passover."

 "With great joy they celebrated the Feast of Unraised Bread".

"God had plunged them into a sea of joy."

I love the word picture we are given here for His followers.  There is nothing like diving into the cool waters and feeling them remove the heat of the day from your body.  To feel the coolness refresh you.  To ride the waves, build sand castles, to delight in His nature. 

You see, I am so looking forward to going swimming with His family - for eternity.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

"My Genealogy" - 09/18/14 - Ezra 1-3

"They had thoroughly searched for their family records but couldn't find them. And so they were barred from priestly work as ritually unclean.  The governor ruled that they could not eat from the holy food until a priest could determine their status with the Urim and Thummim."(3:62-63)  
My love for genealogy comes from my G'ma Dorothy.  Before she passed, she had researched and written down names, dates, little notes in small brown books, giving each of her three children one.   I have the one she gave to my parents, kept in a fireproof box.   There is a site I have used and searched records, going back to even earlier generations.  It has also been fun looking into Curt's family tree as well.  My G'ma Dorothy was an excellent storyteller, sharing the memories of persons past, many of which I still remember and have told our sons.  I had given her a book to fill out and received it back when she was gone, it was still as I had given it to her - not an ink mark on any page.  Recording her never worked out either, but how thankful I am for still being able to recall the sound of her voice as I remember.  

G'ma Dorothy was a little woman with a huge heart.  I loved seeing her under 5ft frame enveloped in a hug with my over 6ft sons.  We always kidded that they stole their height from her.  She gave me many "gifts" throughout my life that I am still using.   Not material items, but items from her heart.  She gave me a gift of roots and through her recollections, the persons I am from, came alive.  Without her, I wouldn't know the incidents, there wouldn't be any "personalization" of the persons, just names and dates. 

This "personalization" is one of the reasons I am so in love with His Word.  He has given me recollections of my ancestors, persons I have come from and they are now part of my life, my heart.  No longer are they just names in a book, but my great, great, greats, grandparent, aunt, uncle.  They are part of my lineage.  My lineage to my ABBA.

How much satan wants us to believe we can not be a part of this lineage.  he wants us to believe the lies that we don't belong, therefore we can not be saved.  It is one of his biggest lies which he throws out so we begin to doubt.  And when we begin to doubt, we begin to take our focus off of our ABBA and onto ourselves.  We begin to doubt we are able to be who and what ABBA designed us to be.  We begin to believe we are "unclean" and must be "barred from priestly work".   We begin to doubt our lineage. 

From the moment we accept Christ as our Savior, we become locked into His Family.  Christ is our High Priest, The Bridge Builder, to our ABBA.  It is through Him we then become a priest to carry out the duty of bringing others to Him.  To His Family.   Our Family.

"The governor ruled that they could not eat from the holy food until a priest could determine their status with the Urim and Thummim." 

How thankful I am it isn't just "a" priest, but "The Priest" who has searched out and determined my status.  He "bought" me into His Family. 
How blessed I am to eat The Holy Food for eternity. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

"Glowing" - 09/17/14 - Daniel 10-12

"'Men and women who have lived wisely and well will shine brilliantly, like the cloudless, star-strewn night skies. And those who put others on the right path to life will glow like stars forever.(12:3)

Just a little encouragement for you this day. 

I love how He speaks so, to us, through His Word - His gift of Wisdom for us to drink in.  How easily we become bogged down by the lies of this world and forget.

Forgetting this is our temporary place.  We are just traveling through to our final destination, bringing along as many as we can to our Savior - Jesus Christ. 
Forgetting we are to be fishers of men. 

Forgetting it isn't about us, it is about Him. 

It is my prayer your eyes will be wide open to see the persons He has set before you this day - all days you are given.  There isn't such a thing as a coincidence in whom you will share moments with.

How exciting knowing we have the choice to "glow like stars forever" - His stars! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

"You are much Loved!" - 09/16/14 - Daniel 7-9

"You had no sooner started your prayer when the answer was given. And now I'm here to deliver the answer to you. You are much loved!"(9:23)

"No sooner started". 

Your ABBA is always listening.  at the ready.  always.

He has your full attention.  Usually though, He is waiting.

Waiting for us to come to Him.  Desiring nothing more than the "all" of us. 

Our attention.  our heart.  our mind.  our soul.

And He always gives us an answer. 

After - He has let us know how much He loves us.

May not be the exact answer we are praying for.  He knows best, only He is able to see the whole paradigm.  He is God - not us.  Prayer isn't a dictation from us to Him instructing Him how to run things.  Prayer is to be a continual time of communication, baring our all before Him and leaving everything at His feet.  So we are able to be before Him naked and unafraid.  unashamed.

Prayer is a time to focus on how much He loves us, growing our faith in His ways.  Not ours. 

And most of all - it is a time to know - The Creator of all is listening and telling you

first and foremost -
"You are much loved!".


Monday, September 15, 2014

"Miracles" - 09/15/14 - Daniel 4-6

"King Darius published this proclamation to every race, color, and creed on earth: Peace to you! Abundant peace!   I decree that Daniel's God shall be worshiped and feared in all parts of my kingdom. He is The Living God, world without end. His kingdom never falls. His rule continues eternally.   He is a Savior and Rescuer. He performs astonishing miracles in heaven and on earth. He saved Daniel from the power of the lions"(6:25-27)

I was sitting on the couch and looked up to see Curt holding Adam in his arms, there in the doorway.  Adam was laying limp and Curt's face was covered with tears, everything about him was showing the fear he had. 

Adam had been run over by his truck.

He laid him on the couch.  Adam was aware of all that was going on, talking to us, his body unhurt.  Looking back now, I think he was so frightened by Curt's reaction he remained calm. 

Curt was driving his ton truck back to the brush pile to burn brush and the boys had ridden in the back to help.  When they hit a bump, Adam flipped out and the dual back wheels ran over him.  Curt had swept him up, and ran carrying him to the house - his heart in his throat.  

I have never doubted if Curt loves his sons.  This is one moment which stands out just how much.  He had lost two brothers early on in his life, and the fear of losing one of his sons has never been far from his mind.   Death has a way of touching us and leaving its mark. 

We had removed Adam's coat to check him out and after determining he was okay, I noticed it laying on the floor.  As I spread it out, the muddy tire tracks marking their path were easy to see. 

Even today I am in awe of the miracle ABBA delivered that day.  With the sleeves spread out as though Adam were still in it, the outside wheel had run up and over his arm, right next to his head.  The mark of the inside wheel stopped in the middle of his back.  Somehow, someway, the inside wheel didn't follow the outside wheel to go over his head. 

I hope this description makes sense.  There isn't a logical explanation when looking at the tracks on his coat.  This wasn't the first time ABBA stepped in and preformed a miracle with our Adam. 

When he was in the birth canal, his heart beat started to go down drastically and an emergency C-section was preformed.  After everything was done, Adam and I were resting when Dr. Matthews came in to see us.  He told me there was nothing short of a miracle in Adam being alive.  The cord, placenta, and Adam's head were all in the birth canal trying to get out at the same time. 

Death used to scare me to the point of overwhelming me.  I would sit up through the night, just watching our Adam and Nichalas as they slept.  Afraid they would stop breathing.  Afraid they would die.  After losing two babies, I allowed my sorrow and fear to get in the way of ABBA and rob me of the joy of being a mommy.  Even of a wife. 

How much He has transformed my heart through His Word.  I draw strength from Daniel in his courage, his loyalty, his love for our ABBA.  As I imagine what it was like for him to be lowered into a pit without physical escape, surrounded by lions, I am able to see through ABBA's words, Daniel never took his focus off of ABBA.  No matter the surroundings.  The situation.  The consequences. 

What a witness.  What a warrior of our ABBA. 

I pray I may be as Daniel. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

"Always with me" - 09/14/14 - Daniel 1-3

 "I see four men, walking around freely in the fire, completely unharmed! And the fourth man looks like a son of the gods!"(3:25)

How I love that my Savior walks with me always - even in the "fires" of life. 

Never without Him am I. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

"He Really Meant It" - 09/13/14 - Joel 1-3

God's Judgment Day - great and terrible. Who can possibly survive this? Change Your Life   But there's also this, it's not too late - God's personal Message! - "Come back to Me and really mean it! Come fasting and weeping, sorry for your sins!"   Change your life, not just your clothes. Come back to God, your God. And here's why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, This most patient God, extravagant in Love, always ready to cancel catastrophe.(2:11-13)

How great Thou Art.  How great Thou Art.

"This most patient God, extravagant in Love, always ready to cancel catastrophe". 

There is none other like Him, nor will there ever be.  His mercy and grace continually amaze me at their limitless depths.  His everlasting, unconditional love fills me and my heart overflows. 

He is my center.

I didn't always live life like this though.  It took a total change from me, for He has given me - all of us - free will.  My choice to come to Him had to come from within my heart.  It was the only way a heart transformation could take place, so now it is my whole of life, not just my "clothes" that has changed.   It isn't about being "good enough", doing enough "good things", being a "good person".  It has to be the whole of me running after Him, not just the lip service.  I must walk the talk and my fruits will show if I am or not. 

I had to "Come back to Me and really mean it!"  It wasn't just an act. 
It is now my way of living this life He has blessed me with.

As God, He could easily take my sins and lord them over me.  Treat me in a way I am deserving of, but instead He covers me with grace and mercy, unconditional love, total forgiveness.  In doing so, I find myself falling before Him in repentance, in sorrow for how I have hurt Him, others.  He could easily put His foot upon my head, keeping me down.  He doesn't.  He lifts me up into Him, giving me words of encouragement, instruction to Love and forgive as He does.  He gives to me examples in extending grace and mercy as He does. 

He could easily then let me go about stumbling my own way.  He doesn't.  For once His, always His - unless I walk away from Him.  Never does He go away from me.  Never does He reject me.  Never does He stop loving me. 

No matter how often I slip and fail.  No matter how often I serve "self" instead of Him. 

He wants nothing more than to cancel the final catastrophe - that of being separated from Him eternally. 

"And here's why: God is kind and merciful. He takes a deep breath, puts up with a lot, This most patient God, extravagant in love".

He really meant it.

Friday, September 12, 2014

"The Tree" - 09/12/14 - Ezekiel 46-48

He told me, "This water flows east, descends to the Arabah and then into the sea, the sea of stagnant waters. When it empties into those waters, the sea will become fresh.   Wherever the river flows, life will flourish - great schools of fish - because the river is turning the salt sea into fresh water. Where the river flows, life abounds.  Fishermen will stand shoulder to shoulder along the shore from En-gedi all the way north to En-eglaim, casting their nets. The sea will teem with fish of all kinds, like the fish of the Great Mediterranean.   "The swamps and marshes won't become fresh. They'll stay salty.  "But the river itself, on both banks, will grow

fruit trees of all kinds. Their leaves won't wither, the fruit won't fail. Every month they'll bear fresh fruit because the river from the Sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will be for food and their leaves for healing."(47:8-12)

I love taking this verse and applying it to my soul.  my heart.  my life.

How it was "the sea of stagnant waters" before His Waters flowed into me. 

How He has transformed my whole being into "fresh water" - flowing and life abounds.

Where I am not alone, where I stand "shoulder to shoulder" with His family - my family.  Casting our nets - living as "fishers of men". 

How even though there are still "salty places, which aren't fresh" in my life, His waters are more vast.  His waters are where I come to refresh, to be made strong.  His Waters have cleansed me and I know I will never again be stuck in the mires of the swamps and marshes.

How I love that I am a strong "tree" in Him, a tree which bears fruit for Him.

How I love that He is The Tree, The Tree, in which my roots have come from.  The Tree in which the leaves never wither, which provides the constant fruit.  The Tree of Eternal Life.

How I love He feeds me, provides for me. 
How I love the cool, healing balm of Him.  

How I so love His Words - His personal love letter to me. 
and you.

His Trees.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

"Bestest" - 09/11/14 - Ezekiel 44-45

Serve from your best and your home will be blessed.(44:30)

I used to think Adam and Nichalas were my best from everything I have ever produced.

They aren't.

It isn't that they aren't the best, it is that they are not mine.

Just like everything else in my life.

I am blessed in being who He appointed to be a steward for what and who is in my life.  I am not the owner.

Yet, how often do I hold back the "best" of things and offer up to ABBA my seconds?  Holding on to satisfy my selfishness, to fulfill my self-worth, to feel security? 

In serving Him up the "seconds", I am not fooling Him at all.  It isn't that He needs my "best", He instructs us to give to Him the "best" for a reason.

If we don't, the "best" will become our gods.

I used to get my worth and satisfaction, my love fill if you want to call it that, from Adam and Nichalas.  By placing them first in my life, I was not only placing ABBA further down the list, but also Curt.  I was also placing a huge burden on Adam and Nichalas.  There isn't another human  (or thing) who is able to fill our God-void. 

Sure, I still wrestle with placing security, my worth,  in things of this world, but it isn't the battle it once was.  I find more and more I want less and less of things - stuff - to fill my life.  I love being with Adam and Nichalas, but have put Curt above them. 

And above Curt?  Is my ABBA.  He has become my "bestest friend". 

Better than the "best".  So blessed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

"Nora" - 09/10/14 - Ezekiel 42-43

"And I will accept you with pleasure, with delight!  Decree of God, The Master."(43:27)

I have a little friend, Nora.   She is a beauty with big expressive eyes, blond hair with curls - which is usually up in two little pigtails.  Almost always smiling ear to ear.  Adorable is my little friend.

The first time I met her, we were at a ballgame and the rest of her family was there too.  When her two little cousins came walking up, Nora's delight in seeing them took over.  She was so excited, she was unable to contain herself.  She went running up to them, joy bubbling out from within her, her little body full of excitement as she went in for the hugs. 

Nora looks at all of life like this. 

Although you are unable to understand most of what she is saying when "talking", you are able to see excitement bubbling from within, through her eyes, her body language. 

When I watch her, my heart overflows with joy in how she delights in seeing me - just being near me.

I know without a doubt, this is how my ABBA is when I draw near to Him. 

There is such a gift in the acceptance from our ABBA and others.  A gift which makes you feel special, loved beyond comprehension.  There is such joy when seeing another's eyes light up in delight when seeing you. 

Unconditionally, joyfully, delightfully loved by Him through others.

I so love the "little taste of Heaven" He gives me.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

"His Touch" - 09/09/14 - Ezekiel 40-41

"God touched me and brought me here."(40:1)

Don't you love knowing nothing is by chance.  Don't you love looking back and being able to see God touching your life, bringing you to where you are today?  Don't you love seeing how He is using you for His Glory?  Don't you love His loving you so much, He touches you?  Brings you closer to Him?


Love without touch is cold and meaningless.  Study after study shows an infant needs touch to survive.  It is said that the touching of the top of your head is one of the most fulfilling touches we can receive. 


To think The Creator of everything takes time, makes the effort, comes close enough - to touch you.

And not only touch, but to bring you to where He needs you to be - for your best interest.

I love He made me a nurturing mommy with our sons.  I love it is normal to still hold the hand, touch the arm, hug, run my fingers through the hair, of my grown sons.  I love that touch between us is pure and Godly, just a taste of what being touched by our ABBA is to us. 

Doesn't it make you marvel in how He created us?  That we need, desire touch.  Time after time in Scripture, we see where "touch" was an essential part of The Ministry of Christ.  Our ABBA's  Awesomeness continually takes my breath away.  He could have easily made us without any senses.  Without any emotions. 

How thankful I am I know His touch. 

Monday, September 08, 2014

"Beautiful" - 09/08/14 - Ezekiel 38-39

Eventually the memory will fade, the memory of their shame over their betrayals of Me when they lived securely in their own land, safe and unafraid.   Once I've brought them back from foreign parts, gathered them in from enemy territories, I'll use them to demonstrate My Holiness with all the nations watching.  Then they'll realize for sure that I am their God.(39:26-28)   

Simply amazing. 

He is the only one with the power to remove our shame so we may stand tall and live "in" and for Him.  He is the only one with the power to take the darkness of sin and make it into "beautiful" for all to see and know Him through.

He is the only one with the power to have all things work for His Glory.  All things.

Beautiful are we "in" Him.                  

Sunday, September 07, 2014

"His Garden of Eden" - 09/07/14 - Ezekiel 35-37

"this weed patch has been turned into the Garden a Eden!"(36:35)

It seems our progress is so slow!  I am so thankful and grateful for my Curt.  He who is able to dig holes for plants at a much quicker pace than I am able to - usually three (or four) to my one.  We were working on the area across the drive tonight, trying to get the plants into the ground so their roots will become established before the winter months set in.  In my head, I am able to see the end results like a photograph.  Through my eyes I am able to see it will be awhile before the photograph in my minds eye is a reality. 

And amongst the new plants are old weeds still hanging on after spraying, pulling, chopping.  Trying to take back their ground from the new plants.  In the midst of them I found a beautiful purple flower.  No idea where it came from, what it is, but will be transplanting it in a more prominent place. 

I have found particularly along the woods edge, it is the hardest to keep the "weed patch" from overtaking the gardens.  The roots run deep and wide from within the woods, all the way out into the clearings we have created for new plants.  And how persistent they are!  It takes constant effort to keep them at bay.  Either with a chemical or physical work. 

Like the heart.

Constant effort.

But, how He gives me encouragement.  The times when I feel or think I have failed Him, I look down and happen upon His "purple flower", there amongst the sins of life.  His Beauty.  Reminding me.  I am His beauty.  His Beloved. 

His Word is the nourishment I need to grow His Garden of Eden within.  I have to continually take it in so it will "chemically" ward off the sin.  The Holy Spirit is my gardener, pruning, turning the soil, keeping away the roots of sin that threaten to take over my heart - my Garden of Eden.  Strongest in the areas where it is darkest, there along the edge.  The place in the shade, away from His Sonlight. 

I pray continually for Him to search my heart and remove anything that is not of Him.
I pray continually for my heart to become His Garden of Eden.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

"My True Shepherd" - 09/06/14 - Ezekiel 32-34

"And when a wicked person turns away from his wicked life and starts living a just and righteous life, he'll come alive."(33:19)

I was this wicked person.

It is only because of His Grace and Mercy I no longer am and now walk "in" Him.
It is only because He came after me, found me, kept me - as His.

"And when a wicked person turns away from his wicked life and starts living a just and righteous life, he'll come alive."(33:19)

This verse He has given me today just keeps spilling over in my heart. I have come ALIVE!!! And what a wonderful day to enjoy being ALIVE!! Even though I am mostly in the office, outside for a bit to hang laundry on the line, praying I will get my inside work done soon to be outside until dark - or physically needing to come back in - I am able ...to see His Beauty from the window. The blue, blue sky, hear the locusts buzzing in worship. I was looking at the needles on the pine tree and how they glisten in His sunshine. Much like we shine, glisten, reflect, His Sonshine in the dark world. Isn't it Awesome this beautiful nature He created - just for our delight. So thankful to be ALIVE "in" Him and see it through His eyes. What an ABBA!!!

"'God, the Master, says: From now on, I myself am the shepherd. I'm going looking for them. As shepherds go after their flocks when they get scattered, I'm going after my sheep. I'll rescue them from all the places they've been scattered to in the storms. I'll bring them back from foreign peoples, gather them from foreign countries, and bring them back to their home country. I'll feed them on the mountains of Israel, along the streams, among their own people. I'll lead them into lush pasture so they can roam the mountain pastures of Israel, graze at leisure, feed in the rich pastures on the mountains of Israel. And I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep. I myself will make sure they get plenty of rest. I'll go after the lost, I'll collect the strays, I'll doctor the injured, I'll build up the weak ones and oversee the strong ones so they're not exploited. "'And as for you, my dear flock, I'm stepping in and judging between one sheep and another, between rams and goats. Aren't you satisfied to feed in good pasture without taking over the whole place? Can't you be satisfied to drink from the clear stream without muddying the water with your feet? Why do the rest of my sheep have to make do with grass that's trampled down and water that's been muddied? "'Therefore, God, the Master, says: I myself am stepping in and making things right between the plump sheep and the skinny sheep. Because you forced your way with shoulder and rump and butted at all the weaker animals with your horns till you scattered them all over the hills, I'll come in and save my dear flock, no longer let them be pushed around. I'll step in and set things right between one sheep and another. "'I'll appoint one shepherd over them all: my servant David. He'll feed them. He'll be their shepherd. And I, God, will be their God. My servant David will be their prince. I, God, have spoken. "'I'll make a covenant of peace with them. I'll banish fierce animals from the country so the sheep can live safely in the wilderness and sleep in the forest. I'll make them and everything around my hill a blessing. I'll send down plenty of rain in season - showers of blessing! The trees in the orchards will bear fruit, the ground will produce, they'll feel content and safe on their land, and they'll realize that I am God when I break them out of their slavery and rescue them from their slave masters. "'No longer will they be exploited by outsiders and ravaged by fierce beasts. They'll live safe and sound, fearless and free. I'll give them rich gardens, lavish in vegetables - no more living half-starved, no longer taunted by outsiders. "'They'll know, beyond doubting, that I, God, am their God, that I'm with them and that they, the people Israel, are my people. Decree of God, the Master: You are my dear flock, the flock of my pasture, my human flock, And I am your God. Decree of God, the Master.'"(34:11-31)

"Stirin Up" - 09/05/14 - Ezekiel 28-31

 "'And then I'll stir up fresh hope in Israel - the dawn of deliverance! - and I'll give you, Ezekiel, bold and confident words to speak. And they'll realize that I am God.'"(29:21)

I so love that our ABBA gives us His Words to speak and we don't have to rely on our own.  I so love that He is my "fresh hope" in any situation.  I so love He is in complete control.

Most of all, I love that I realize He is God.  My God.
Wouldn't want to live life any other way.

"Not a New Dress " - 09/04/14 - Ezekiel 24-27

Again, you'll be an example for them. And they'll recognize that I am God." (24:27)


Isn't it exciting to know He uses us again and again. 


You will be, not might - will be - an example for Him.

I am so very thankful for all the prayers, words of encouragement. For His Love coming through so many. The next two days, as we bury my Uncle Jim, will be difficult and I don't need to make it harder by making this all about me. It doesn't matter what outfit I will be wearing.

 It matters who I am wearing.

Knowing I am going to be around those I am estranged from has been promoting a vicious battle these past few days. Trying not to yield to "what if" scenarios and focus on being more like Christ. Trying not to replay over and over words that have been spoken to and about me and filling my head instead with His Words. Obsessing instead on His Truths.

Praying I will be strong "in" my ABBA and He will shine through the darkness. My heart breaks, not only for the passing of my Uncle Jim, but also for the state of where the family He placed me in is at. I am fighting the urge to allow fear and doubt to creep in, focusing on squeezing into an outfit and all the other worldly matters, instead of Him.

I know He has prepared me for any situation, for His timing is perfect. I am praying today and tomorrow I will not be there - only a vessel for Him.

And in His perfect timing, this is the devotional He blessed me with this morning. Yet another fortification, as He has been doing each and every day for the past week.
 He knows me so. And loves me so. He knows what I need.

And it isn't a new dress. It is more of Him. His Word.

"Just Plain Ugly" - 09/03/14 - Ezekiel 22-23

How ugly is life when outside of Christ.  Throughout these Scriptures today, I am reminded again, nothing is new under the sun.  How our world has taken the gift of lovemaking between a husband and wife, and turned it into sex.  How the world is totally wrapped up in the whoring of satan.  How sin has turned the beautiful Garden of Eden into what we live in today.

I am reminded again, of how amongst the filth of sin, I am made clean.  I am given Wisdom through His Word, strength from The Holy Spirit, to resist sin.  He has given me all I need to be closer and more like Him. 

I am reminded again,  there is much of His Beauty in the ugliness of sin.  He is greater, as are we, when in Him.

"No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."(I Corinthians 10:13)

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

"Not Wandering Lost" - 09/02/14 - Ezekiel 20-21

a kind of signpost erected between me and them to show them that I, God, am in the business of making them holy.(20:12)

Just wondering what sort of signpost you are following.
In your daily journey, you'll be coming to many a fork in the road.
How are you determining which way to proceed?

Are you finding when walking His way, following His lead, you are drawing closer to Him? You are becoming more like Him when walking in His Footprints.

I love how His Word is our map. The Holy Spirit is our guide. To point out the right directions when His "Map" doesn't make sense or we aren't liking where it is leading us. How The Holy Spirit prepares us for all types of terrain. I love how our Savior is our Light. How He has already covered all the ground we will, He has cleared the way from all that is a danger to our soul. How His Family is here with us on this journey to help each other. Support each other.

And I so love that our ABBA is the final destination.

What signpost are you following? And where are you heading?

Monday, September 01, 2014

"Your List??? - There is None" - 09/01/14 - Ezekiel 18-19

"I won't keep a list of all the things he did wrong. He will live. 23 Do you think I take any pleasure in the death of wicked men and women? Isn't it My pleasure that they turn around, no longer living wrong but living right - really living? (18:22-23)

The flash of white caught my eye as the person exited the restroom. She was unaware of the white tail caught on the bottom of her shoe, following her. I caught up to her and quietly told her. Her face flushed as she quickly turned, head down and reentered the restroom.  When she came back, her eyes scanned the room and came to rest on me, sending me a silent thank- you. She was smiling and I smiled back.

Seems at times, we are all guilty of not checking our "list" at the door. satan puts his dollop of super glue on the list and we continue to live life with it trailing behind us. Or in front of us. Depending on the circumstances, of where our focus is.

Seems we forget about His Grace and Mercy.
How His Blood has cleansed us. Redeemed us.
No longer are we the sinner we once were, when in Him.
Why ever do we choose to carry this list with us when we don't have to? To cringe when others keep their own list of our sins?  All it does is cause us to be embarrassed. to doubt. to walk with our self weighed down in shame and doubt. It inhibits us from being the Warrior for Him that we are to be.

He has surrounded us with His Word. The Holy Spirit lives within and about us. His Family holds us accountable and affirms us in Love. Listen to His Truths.

They are being spoken to remind us to leave the list where it belongs.
Right there with the used TP.

"Dear........" - 08/31/14 - Ezekiel 16-17

"I, God, The Master, gave My word. You became Mine. (16:8)

No matter what - as soon as you accepted Christ as your Savior.

"I'll firmly establish My covenant with you and you'll know that I am God. You'll remember your past life and face the shame of it, but when I make atonement for you, make everything right after all you've done, it will leave you speechless.'" Decree of God, the Master." (16:62-63)

For Always - Love your ABBA

"It Hit Me' - 08/30/14 - Ezekiel 13-15

And you'll realize that I am God.'"(13:23)
When was this moment for you?

I always believed there is a God, just never believed He was to be my God. He was here for others. It was through the gift of Adam, I realized He found me worthy enough to entrust me with such a precious little one. He opened up my eyes to see how much He loves me through the role He gave me as a mom. He blew me away in His Awesomeness in the creation of Adam (and Nichalas) from just a seed and egg, which I carried within my womb.

And since then, my eyes are wide open as He has been showering His Love upon me through His Son. His Word. His Family.

He is The One True God. My ABBA.