Tuesday, May 31, 2016

"Security" - 05/31/16 - Song of Solomon 1-8

In a world that is continually changing its standards of what is popular, what is in, what is. 

I find my security is resting in the knowledge.

He is mine.  I am His. 

Monday, May 30, 2016

"Sojourners" - 05/30/16 - Psalm 119:89-176

"What you say goes, God, and stays, as permanent as the heavens.
Your truth never goes out of fashion; it's as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up.

Your Word and Truth are dependable as ever; that's what You ordered - You set the earth going.
If Your revelation hadn't delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came.                            

But I'll never forget the advice You gave me; You saved my life with those wise words.

Save me! I'm all Yours. I look high and low for Your words of Wisdom.
The wicked lie in ambush to destroy me,
but I'm only concerned with Your plans for me.  
I see the limits to everything human, but the horizons can't contain Your commands!                            

Oh, how I love all You've revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long."(89-97)
His reminder.  His comfort.  His Truth. 
Right there - first Words I read this morning. 

He is I AM.

Comparing myself to how I was in my yesterdays, I have improved greatly.  There are still moments when I fail and fall back into an old habit.  When I allow the whispers coming from the enemy to draw my attention off of my ABBA.

My g'ma Dorothy used to tell me, "it's like a rocking chair.  Even though you rock and rock, you're never getting anywhere".
She was referring to "worry". 
I have been striving to eradicate it from my life by depending and believing in all - all - He has written to me in my love letter from Him - His Word.  I have been striving to lean on The Holy Spirit and draw from His Wisdom which I receive from digging into His Word.  I continually strive in becoming more intimate with my ABBA, desiring more than just a superficial relationship. 
And for the most part, He has helped me overcome the noise of the whispers.
Sleep has not been my friend for the past few weeks. 

There is much on our plates and it seems time just slips on.  We spent the weekend helping Adam and Ashley continue to ready their house into a home for them to move into.  I see what the stress of paying two mortgages, car payment, childcare and other expenses is doing to them.  Thankfully, they are so centered around our ABBA, have a great support team, and know they are in a temporary place, that the arrows satan is shooting, aren't coming between "them".  But as a mama, I am fighting not to allow their stress become mine. 

Nichalas and Amber will be heading out soon on their annual trip back home for their summer visit.  I am trying to ready our home, get ahead on our work so we have a flexible schedule to try and make the most of every moment the short time they are here.  All the while knowing, everything will work out.  It always does. And yes.  I am also trying to squelch the imagination of "what could happen"  during their journey. 
It has been bittersweet having our sons become grown men and leave the "nest".  There have been, and most likely will be more of those moments when my heart physically aches from the days which accumulate between all of us being together.  How I delight in Adam being back and living here with his Ashley, Charlie and Ella.   To spend time with them.  Just to hear their voice in person and see their faces on a regular basis. 

One of my greatest joys has become just sitting and looking, watching our kids. 
His beauty within and outside of them, continually takes my breath away. 

"Marvelous are His works". 
And again, as He reassures me during the attack of satan's arrows, the whispers trying to get into my head, we are but sojourners here on this earth.  Picking up and journeying through the dangers and potholes of this world, towards our place at "Home" in which our Christ has went and prepared for us. 

He continually reassures me the all of our ABBA is as permanent as the heavens. 
In Him, He is as the air we breathe, surrounding us and within.  No matter where we journey.   
Every moment, He knows  I need to "hear" He is in complete control. 
"What you say goes, God, and stays, as permanent as the heavens.
Your truth never goes out of fashion; it's as up-to-date as the earth when the sun comes up.

Your Word and Truth are dependable as ever; that's what You ordered - You set the earth going.
If Your revelation hadn't delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came.                            

But I'll never forget the advice You gave me; You saved my life with those wise words.

Save me! I'm all Yours. I look high and low for Your words of Wisdom.
The wicked lie in ambush to destroy me,
but I'm only concerned with Your plans for me.  
I see the limits to everything human, but the horizons can't contain Your commands!                            

Oh, how I love all You've revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long."

Sunday, May 29, 2016

"What Do I Ask" - 1 Kings 3-4; 2 Chronicles 1; Psalm 72

"God said, "What can I give you? Ask."            
"Here's what I want:
Give me a God-listening heart,
discerning the difference between good and evil." (I Kings 3:5,9)

It isn't in the "stuff" I shall find freedom. 
It isn't through another person or even my "self" I will live life to the fullest for Him. 

It is only through and "in" Him that I am able to be set free.

It is in my intimate relationship with ABBA.

He offers Himself to each person.
He is there, the same as He is for every one. 
As I go through life, what is it I most desire? 

Is it to be Christlike.

Serving Him in every breath I take and release.

 Or is it serving "self",  making life all about me?


Saturday, May 28, 2016

"Heart Free" - 05/28/16 - Psalm 119:1-88

"I run in the path of Your commands, for You have set my heart free".(32)

I love all His days given to me, but I love storms.  I love rainy days. 

I love the coziness that comes from being on the inside looking out through the windows, knowing I am safe and warm inside.  I love the memories tucked into my heart.  One I treasure most is when the boys were young, after a downpour, along with Jacob and Lucas, we went outside and played in the water running down the street on its way to the river.  We made little boats out of paper and sticks to have races.  We were soaked to the bones from the splashing.  Laughter filled the air. 

I love the refreshment which comes from the warm, gentle summer popup showers, pouring down upon me, hot and sweaty from working outside.  I love dodging through the big fat drops, trying to take cover before it is a solid sheet of water. 

I love water. 

A physical life source, as are His commands. 

I love how His Word has transformed my heart, as the rains transform a plant drooped over in dryness into one standing firm and tall, refreshed. 
I love how His Word has given me the promises and Truth deep within my heart, as the rains penetrate into this earth. 

I love how His Word tells me I am covered with His Grace and Mercy through the Blood of my Savior, as the rains pouring down. 

I love how His Word has given me new life.  Just as the rains.

My dearest ABBA,

I love to run in the path of Your commands, as I love running in the depths of the waters, making its journey to the rivers, seas, and oceans after a hard rain.

I love drinking You in, as I taste the coolness of Your pure water raining down upon my upturned face. 

I love You have set my heart free in Your Love, as the rains coming down from the heavens.

I love I am Your Beloved.

Friday, May 27, 2016

"Delight my Soul" - 05/27/16 - 1 Kings 1-2; Psalm 37, 71, 94

"When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul."(Psalm 94:19)

This morning it was hard to wake up from the beautiful dream I was having.  God has given me the gift of dreaming as though I am watching a TV show and this morning the star was our Adam when he was all of two.  We were playing together.  I could actually feel his little hand touching mine.  Kissing the back of his neck as we snuggled.  It was hard to wake up.  Knowing 29 years have flown by since those days of having our sons as toddlers. 

There have been times when I reflect back on my past, when I was single, my role as a wife and mommy - and I cry.  I cry because hind site really is 20/20.  So many things I did/have done wrong. So many moments I have caused great pain and sorrow to my ABBA.  my Christ.  The Holy Spirit.  To others.  So many moments I have wasted away.  Instead of savoring and drinking in each one.

If I allowed myself, I would become anxious and think I haven't been nor will I ever be - "good enough".  Such a burden is removed when I see He is so much bigger than my mistakes. When I see and believe,  He uses all - all - things for His Glory.  When I see He has given me "more precious moments" to "delight my soul".   

Curt and I brought into our marriage so much garbage from our past.  It has taken years to break the cycle, get off the insanity train,  and follow God's plan.  What a difference in "living" this has made! 

satan loves when I start beating myself up with regrets.  When I think about instances of what I did, said.  He loves when I feel sick inside and am not seeing I am covered with the grace and mercy of ABBA.   he loves when I pick back up and pack the bag of garbage around, allowing it to interfere in my living life with God. 
There is a reason for ABBA's command in Philippians 4:8-9,

"Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realized. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies."

All we are to focus on - is What and Who our ABBA is.  We are to focus on Him.  We are to focus on His consolations and His promises, written to each of us throughout Scripture.  Not the lies of satan.  Not the lies of this world.  Not the lies we tell ourselves.

I so pray for Curt, myself, Adam and Ashley, Nichalas and Amber, Charlie, Ella and all our future generations, and for others, to have an uncluttered and focused heart for Him.  I so pray, they will each see themselves as our ABBA sees them.  "Fearfully and wonderfully made".  I so pray, they will obey Him and live by His directions and counsel. 

To focus on His truths. 

I love when looking back I am seeing how He is cleansing my heart - taking out the garbage so to speak. 

I don't know if this is true or not, but it helps illustrate how a cluttered and unfocused heart will eventually consume the all of you.  In ancient Rome there was a form of capital punishment which was gruesome and terrifying. The punishment was if you murdered someone, your victim’s corpse was then chained to your back. As the sun beat down on you and as days and weeks passed, rancid odors would nauseate you as the body rotted and decayed. Infection quickly set in as it seeped into your own body and killed you.  Thus the one murdered, killed the murderer.

If we allow our mistakes to be our focus, we hinder ourselves for Him.  We are allowing the "garbage" to seep in and become a part of us.  To slowly kill us.  We are robbing ourselves from the fruits of The Holy Spirit.  "But the fruit of The Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness"(Gal 5:21-23). 

With each passing day, the more I guard my "treasures' from Him.

 And these fruits - these fruits are my "treasures". 

"And give my son Solomon an uncluttered and focused heart "so that" he can obey what You command, live by Your directions and counsel""(1 Chron 29:19)

  "So that". 

"So that" we are living in the freedom - being all He has created us to be. 
"Delighting my soul".

Thursday, May 26, 2016

"God so Blesses" - 05/26/16 - Psalm 111-118

 Hallelujah! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God,
Who cherish and relish His commandments,     

Their children robust on the earth, And the homes of the upright - how blessed!     

Their houses brim with wealth And a generosity that never runs dry. 

Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people - God's grace and mercy and justice!   The good person is generous and lends lavishly;  No shuffling or stumbling around for this one, But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.     

Unfazed by rumor and gossip,

Heart ready, trusting in God, 
Spirit firm, unperturbed, Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,     

They lavish gifts on the poor - A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.
An honored life!
A beautiful life!     

Someone wicked takes one look and rages, Blusters away but ends up speechless. There's nothing to the dreams of the wicked. Nothing. (112)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

"My Closets" - 05/25/16 - I Chronicles 26-29, Psalm 127

 "the closets for storing all the holy things"(1 Chron 28:12)

 I love how He gives me the verses each day. Before reading,I pray to hear when He "speaks" to me. It is such a delight when I actually feel my stomach do a little flip when I "hear" Him.

This morning as I was reading through about the security guards, the financial affairs, military organization, tribal administrators, the temple plans, etc. I kept thinking, "I'm not hearing Him". And then, almost at the end of reading - it leaped out at me - "the closets for storing all the holy things". I immediately thought, "what? what in the world - closets?".  It set me thinking about my closets.

There is an old story about Jesus coming into your "heart" and wanting to have every "room" within. It takes you through the living room, He talks about the TV and what you watch. The kitchen, bath, bedroom, etc. and as you guide Him through - you give over to Him each "room". That is until you come to the end of the hall to the closet. It is there you change from gracious to rude host. You stand in front of the door and are unwilling to open it because you do not want Him to see inside. It is in the "closet" you have "hidden" everything that serves self and not Him. When I hear of persons walking away from our ABBA and leaving everything He has to offer because of what is in their closets, then I again recognize this is where their treasure is.  This is why God wants to see and know what we keep there.  

It almost physically pains me when I have to "hurry up and hide something" in my organized drawers or closets.   Curt is a digger. He also doesn't organize very well - doesn't utilize space. He is a "hurry up and put it away in the first empty space" guy. It used to drive me nuts when he would dig through organized areas. Then God transformed my heart and I realized it is a blessing to have him in my life - and "share" my organized areas with him.  I know, it is hard to believe there may be a day I will actually miss straightening up after him.   

This verse tells me that God does provide closets.

 They aren't a bad thing. It's what you put in them.

 Are they holy things? Would I be ashamed if I could see persons going through my things when I am gone? How about when God goes through my "closet" within my heart?

There are times when I am watching something on TV - I hear Him say, "is this Holy". It isn't pornography or anything like that - it's just worldly things. I love murder mystery shows, and sometimes the violence is so worldly. I am finding things I really enjoyed - not so much anymore.     satan wants us to become numb or tolerant of the worldly things.

That is why it is so essential to fill my "closet" with His Words to overcome the words of the world.  

As far as being ashamed. Yes, I fail so often.

At times I will catch myself thinking unloving thoughts......towards someone who has "done me wrong".

 I need to be praying and forgiving.

At times, I am totally focused on "self" and not Him.
At times I allow anger to stew and the words that come forth, aren't Christlike.
At times I am self righteous, judgemental, envious, coveting, lazy, procrastinate, and all about "self".

Right there in the middle of the top shelf.
And if I am not submitting to His "cleaning", that stuff will totally consume the all of me and my heart.

I am so very thankful His grace and mercy and all things Holy, are also stored in there. He is helping me feel the urgency to "clean" when I am around hoarders. Those who have their "closets" crammed full physically, spiritually, and mentally. It drives me to come home and throw out!

How thankful I am that He is bigger than anything in my "closet". I know until I die there will always be little dust balls here and there. But, I also know He will keep on "cleaning" with me no matter what.

All I have to do is stand back and open my "closet" door.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

"His True LOVE" - 05/24/16 - Psalm 131, 138, 139, 143-145

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

There are often times an actual spiritual heaviness will weigh down upon me as I go through life, seeing there are so many who do not know Him.  So many who are lost and living "the lie". So many who do not live a blessed life because they have elected not to follow God.  There are times I am finding it hard to believe how blatant people are about their sins.  They don't care who they hurt or who sees.  It is all about satisfying the god of "self". 

A few years ago we had been visiting Nichalas and Amber one weekend when they lived in Chicago. They had wanted to take us to the vegan "Chicago Diner" in the heart of Boystown. It was a Sunday night after we attended church and we were walking. Out in the streets were persons standing around the bars, on the sidewalks, talking. It was more of how they were dressed, than how they acted, giving indication of what they were really wanting sex and not a relationship. And when I looked beyond the clothes, the actions, I saw a sadness behind their fake smiles, grabbing my heart.  

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

Recently, we were listening to the valedictorian speak at the small country school graduation of my niece.  It was a speech about "me" or "I".  No one batted an eye when she threw in, "this was the year her mother encouraged her to come out of the closet and threw away the key".  No one seemed upset there wasn't any mention of God throughout the whole ceremony. 

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

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

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

The world has taken the gift of LOVE and tainted it in so many ways.

When I read in the Bible some of the times when sin is much like the world we live in today, I focus and stand in the hope of Solomon's words, "there is nothing new under the sun".  Throughout His Word, we are promised over and over.  He is in complete control. 

There are so many moments the sadness causes my heart to actually hurt for others and God.  How He is grieving.  All He desires is to have us "Know" Him intimately.  How He desires we cast aside our self made gods and worship Him.  To draw near to Him.  For us to know real, pure, Holy LOVE.

I have been thinking about the events above and other times it is obvious those I am surrounded by do not have an intimacy with our ABBA.  I am so thankful and blessed for not only myself, but my husband, our sons and daughter-in-loves,  who are following The One True God.  Seeing and knowing our present and future grandchildren are being raised knowing Him.  How I am blessed to be surrounded by His Family as I go through this world.  How I find hope in seeing Him through all of my steps. 

I pray this life He has given me will be one to help lead others to Him, so they may live a blessed life, rather than one of emptiness and pain. 
For them to live in the True LOVE.
I pray that they may come to "have God as their God".


Monday, May 23, 2016

"On Duty" - 05/23/16 - I Chronicles 23-25

"They were on regular duty to serve God according to their assignment and the required number." (23:31)

I can recall some years ago walking through Arlington Cemetery with Curt.  As I read the grave markers, my heart was overwhelmed with sorrow.  Looking up to see our Adam and Nichalas walking ahead of us. Alive. 

While those surrounding us had died at a younger age than they were at the time.

This coming weekend marks a day, Memorial Day, when we honor all of those, and their families, who have given their lives, not only in death, but in time, pain, sacrifice, for the freedom we are gifted with today. 

War began when satan wanted to take the place of God. 

And each of us have been given an assignment in this war for souls. 

Before he died, all David was doing in preparing and delegating the people, was centered around God. 

Much different than our country and so many other places in the world.  If I didn't know God was in total control, know He has my back, know I am in the Palm of His Hand, I would be afraid.  Afraid of the consequences our country is facing, and going to face, because of the choices the leaders, elected by the people, are making. 

I look at all the young persons in our lives and wonder what this world will be like when they are my age.  I am so thankful our whole family is part of His Army, knowing we are part of the hope for the future.  There is nothing new under the sun, and life goes through regular cycles.  I love knowing our children have chosen to be His Disciples and His Army is continuing to grow in those He touches through them.  I love there is hope in this dark world and we are a part of that hope.  I am honored and blessed in seeing throughout their lives, they have allowed themselves to be His Vessels.

It is alarming how rapidly our country is spiraling downward.  How quickly the forces of evil are making things, which before have been tolerated, now openly approved of.  How the sins of the world are becoming the normal and the ways of God have been "black listed". 

History shows us throughout time, a empire will kill itself from within, when ruled by sin. 

As we are being ruled by sin.

The ones in charge become so overloaded with self power, they crush and destroy the ones who are under them.  Sinners, who believe their way of life is the way for all, end up being killed by the very sins they are pushing to "become".  They are pushing their rights, all the while stepping over and trampling ours. 

Prayer in schools - out. 

"In God we trust" becoming out on the money. 

Ten Commandments displayed in a courthouse - out. 

God's ways being taught in schools - out. 

God's family order - a minority. 

People upholding human life over animals. 

Wars raging throughout the lands. 

The cancer of sin is spreading throughout our world.  It is not a silent killer anymore.  It is blatant in rearing its ugly head, intent on destroying anything and anyone that walks in God. 

The spiritual battle is plain to see, but are you looking? 

Are you taking a stand "in" Him?  Are you putting on His Armor every day, ready to fight?  Not only for the Army of God, but for those who are lost outside of Him.
We are promised He will fortify us with all the weaponry needed in the spiritual war surrounding us.  This is why we are here - to go as we live and make Disciples.  We each have different gifts and talents, are you using them for His glory?  or are you standing back, silently watching evil unfold its dark wings?

To fight this cancer of sin, we need to be on regular duty to serve God according to our assignment.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

"Forgiving" - 05/22/16 - Psalm 108-110

"For Your Mercy is great above the heavens.  And Your Truth reaches to the clouds."(108:4)

I can remember sitting across the room from them.  She leaned back, crossed her arms, and said, "We knew you were wild in high school, but didn't know how wild".  He said under his breath, but loud enough to be heard, "disgusting".  I didn't say a word and she leaned forward telling me the name of the person who had given them the information. 

The words running through my brain did not come out of my mouth.  I sat and listened to the accusations without feeling the need to defend myself.  There wasn't any reason to. 

I knew at that moment, Mercy was not part of their agenda.  The time they were referring to was over 35 years ago.  Unlike then, I had been living a life, walking with my ABBA for almost 30.  The person whom they named, was not known for being a truth speaker, yet I was not even questioned about the accusations.  Along with no Mercy, there was no "benefit of doubt".  They were and have chosen to see me through their eyes and nothing I have or will do is able to change that. 

Nothing.  Except my ABBA.

This happened almost three years ago and how I have struggled in the hurt to extend mercy and grace to them.  To forgive and go on.  There are often times when reading the Psalms I breath a sigh of relief.  Many times the curses the psalmist wants to call down on his enemies seem very harsh and unforgiving.  Only because of our Christ, I never came to this place of wanting any type of vengeance upon them.   It is hard to understand how we should take this kind of language in the different Psalms, in the face of Christ's teaching about loving our enemies and doing good to those who hurt us. 

However, two important points are clear:  the psalmist left vengeance in the hand of The Lord, and he also clearly understood the reality of wickedness.  We must remember that forgiveness is not saying, "It wasn't really bad."  True forgiveness does not pretend that sin did not happen; it recognizes evil, and then releases the desire for vengeance into God's hands.  God has promised that He will judge the wicked in the end. 

How I rejoice in knowing I have such an ABBA.  In knowing, no matter my sins.  Or when they have and do occur.  They are forgiven.  I live life standing on and in His Truth.  His Truth which has transformed my heart and given me such freedom. 

In the end,  it is only because of His Grace I will not be judged as "wicked".  I became covered by The Blood of my Savior.  From the moment I accepted Him into my heart.  His gifts of Grace, Mercy and Forgiveness transform my heart, causing me to pray for "all" to have an intimacy with Him.  And for some the prayers are from afar. 

We are instructed no matter the actions of others, we must forgive.  (This doesn't mean "forgetting" and subjecting yourself to the mistreatment.)  Our ABBA knows, it is only through the forgiving of others, we then overcome feelings of anger, bitterness, or revenge. Forgiveness can heal spiritual wounds and bring the peace and love that only God can give.  It enables us to view "all" through the eyes of our Savior.  "All".  Who are made in His image. 

To the world, it totally doesn't make sense to be as Christ.  They look upon this act as a weakness.  In reality, it takes super God strength to forgive and extend mercy.


Saturday, May 21, 2016

"Procrastination" - 05/21/16 - 2 Samuel 24; 1 Chronicles 21-22; Psalm 30

"You're all set—get to work! And God-speed!"  (1Chron 22:16)

David went to such great lengths to prepare the materials Solomon needed to build The Temple. He did it not for the bragging rights that his family was the one, but he did it for the glory of God.

 David was so excited -you can hear it in his voice.

While reading this, God brought to my mind the many (many) times He has excitedly prepared me for His work, down to the smallest detail, and instead of jumping on board -

I procrastinate. 

Remembering the many times, as a mom, I would come up with some "awesome" activity to share with the boys, only to be met with, "later mom".

It took the wind out of my sails.

Why do I think I don't do the same to God?

 Here He is -

wanting only the best for me.
Preparing everything I need.
Knowing me better than I do.
Having on hand the blessings that touch my heart.

And I will greet Him with, "later ABBA".

Each time I come up with such lame excuses when He shares with me what He wants me to do:

"I don't know the right words to say"
"they don't want to have me around"
"I'm tired"
"I'll look really dumb and embarrass you"
"too busy"

 And He reminds me yet again.

He. is. in. control.

It isn't by chance He has me planted where I am, how I am, who I am with.
It is all part of His design.

 And He has "prepared" me.

Just as David was preparing Solomon to build the temple, He has/is preparing me for work in building The Kingdom Come. 

How selfish I am in the times when I decide "my way" is more important.
My body is His temple.
He has supplied me with the knowledge of salvation, opportunities to share it, and I have audacity to say, "later ABBA".

 It is during those times I have decided to choose "self" instead of Him.
 It is during those times I missed an opportunity to reach "one more" for Him.
 It is during those times I allow all the materials He prepared for me to go unused.
To sit idle.

Who do I think I am to answer The Lord in such a way?
Having total disregard to Who He is. 
He who is the great "I AM".

I know in all the times I have jumped up in excitement and began to "build",  I have received more blessings than I can ever acknowledge. It is during these times of serving "Him" instead of "self" I find I am really living.  

Continually I am praying, no matter the situation - in faith I will "get to work".
To stop responding to Him with, "Later ABBA".

Friday, May 20, 2016

"Am I?" - 05/20/16 - Psalm 95, 97-99

"Sing to The LORD a new song,
for He has done marvelous things;
His right hand and His Holy arm have worked salvation for Him.

The LORD has made His salvation known and revealed His righteousness to the nations.

He has remembered His love and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;
all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout for joy to The LORD,

all the earth,

burst into jubilant song with music;
make music to The LORD
with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn--
 shout for joy before The LORD,

The King.

Let the sea resound, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it.
Let the rivers clap their hands,
let the mountains sing together for joy; 
let them sing before The LORD,

for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.(98)

Through the open window.
I can hear the rain hitting the tin roof and wonder does His Word seep into my all?
I can hear the birds outside, singing nonstop and wonder does my heart sing also?

Everywhere I look, I can see the grandness of His nature and wonder do my eyes take for granted all He gives?
I can feel the elements of nature, all under His control, and wonder do I Trust in His control of my life? 
I can look back and see the places where He has brought me through and wonder how is my faith for days ahead.
I can watch the hands on the clock ticking by and wonder if I am utilizing each moment for His glory.
If I am living for Him and not self.
I can see the beauty in the faces of those He has placed into my heart and life and wonder if I take them for granted.  Or do I fill my days caught up in the "to do list" of life and not the lives of those about me.

I can read this psalm and wonder - is my heart near to bursting in my love for Him in such a way I am unable to contain it?  Do I sing?  Do I dance?  Do I leap for joy?  All because I can not help myself because His love runs through the all of me? 

I can remember we are given only one life, one moment, one second, one chance - to live as He desires - so full of Him we are near to bursting.
Am I?

Thursday, May 19, 2016

"Saved" - 05/19/16 - 2 Samuel 22-23, Psalm 57

'Then David spoke to The Lord

And he said:
“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
The God of my strength,
in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation,
My stronghold and my refuge;
My Savior, You save me...."(2 Samuel 22:1-3)
What a man of God was David. 
His steps did not always follow the path of our ABBA's ways, but he always turned back.  Repented.  Redirected himself to focus on our ABBA.  His sins have been written down for the whole world to know throughout the ages, but he never forgot ABBA. 
He always knew what he did mattered to ABBA. 
Most of us will never have our sins written out before the world.  And for those of us "in" Christ, "He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west."(Psalm 103:12)
This doesn't give us a freedom to do as we wish, (once saved always saved mentality) but His Grace and Mercy does give us a freedom when we repent from those times we do not follow the path of our ABBA.   
"Our Savior, You save us...."

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

"Dancing In Heaven" - 05/18/16 - Psalm 5, 38, 41, 42

You know me inside and out, You hold me together, You never fail to stand me tall in Your presence so I can look You in the eye.  Blessed is God, Israel's God, always, always, always. Yes. Yes. Yes. (41:12,13)

While watching the dancers at the wedding, I so admired their ability to let loose and have fun.  The way they didn't care about how they looked, how they moved, they were just enjoying the music as they were enjoying life. 

Even though I was perfectly content to sit and watch, listening to a great band play many songs from my youth, I did wish for their confidence.  The confidence to be and do, without the inhibitions of doubt, guilt, fear, and shame.  It isn't to be the life of the party in why I want this confidence, it isn't even confidence I really want - it is "God"fidence.  It is by having "God"fidence, I am able to be who and how, He designed me to be.

So, I am reminded when reading this verse, He is why I am able to stand tall and look Him in the eye.  He created me to be in His company, to share and live life face to face with Him.  He knows me inside and out - He knows what I am capable of and set me in the places I need to be.  Nothing is by coincidence.

He is growing me in "God"fidence each step of the way and I am so looking forward to the day of letting loose

 enjoying His Wedding in Heaven
                                               dancing with my Groom.      

"But You'll welcome us with open arms when we run for cover to You. Let the party last all night! Stand guard over our celebration.   You are famous, God, for welcoming God-seekers, for decking us out in delight. "(5:11-12)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Each" - 05/17/16 - 2 Samuel 19-21

"The woman told Joab, “Sounds good. His head will be tossed to you from the wall.”  The woman presented her strategy to the whole city and they did it: They cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and tossed it down to Joab."  (2 Samuel 20:21,22)

This world and people are so far removed from the Garden of Eden - God's original plan before sin was chosen.

There is so much tolerance today – of what seems "normal", therefore, we become numb to the hugeness of sin,  the destruction.  How it becomes nothing to "cut off someone’s head".  How much we have dehumanized people with the act of abortions, how we treat the elderly, homeless, those who are different.  It isn't only during the act of wars this has happened.  Throughout time, man has chosen to take persons and cast them aside as you would garbage. 

"Each" one of us are made in His image.  His treasure.  His desire. 
 "Each" one of us.
 The standards we tend to live by are not His, but our own, and often double standards at that.  Constantly changing as we judge, condemn, and even kill, because someone is not living as we deem they "should" be. 
His pure Love is not what most persons are looking through - it is self-love.
There are times when people such as this are given much power and I wonder why.  How did they arrive at the station of where they are at. 

So many of these destroyers are self-righteous, deciding who is a treasure,  who has a worth, even who is worthy of forgiveness, with no regard to God and His ways.  No fear for His punishment.  

How far away so many people have went from Him.
The state of so many people today, are cutting off their own heads and tossing them before satan.  
Committing suicide to stand with the side of sin.
Dehumanizing because "they" believe they are god.

And He tells me my heart, "Deby, you must watch you do not dehumanize the dehumanizers -  becoming like the world".
I must continually watch that I don't forget. 
"Each" of us is made in His image. 
"Each" of us He desires to be His.
"Each" of us are a precious soul He created.

I must continually be praying
my heart breaks for what breaks His. 

I must continually be looking
at "each" of us through His eyes.

Monday, May 16, 2016

"My God" - 05/16/16 - Psalm 26,40,58,61,62,64

"My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.

On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The Rock of my strength,

my refuge is in God.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah."(62:5-8)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

"He Grieves" - 05/15/16 - 2 Samuel 16-18

"Then King David was deeply moved and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept."(18:33)


In many ways mental suffering is more intense and devastating than physical suffering. 

It was hard for David to even imagine taking up life again and going back to Jerusalem as king. 

It is only The Lord who can give courage in such moments, and He often does it by reminding us of who He is, what He has done in the past, and what He promises to do in the future.

Sandwiched in these certainties, we can begin to see that His Hand is on us. 
Even in our grief."

(NKJ study notes)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

"During the Battles" - 05/14/16 - Psalm 3,4,12,13,28,55

"But You,


shield me on all sides;

ground my feet,

lift my head high;

With all my might I shout up to God,
His answers thunder from the holy mountain.

I stretch myself out.
I sleep.
   Then I'm up again—rested, tall and steady,

Fearless before the enemy mobs Coming at me from all sides.

Up, God! My God, help me!
Slap their faces, First this cheek, then the other, Your fist hard in their teeth!

Real help comes from God.
Your blessing clothes Your people!"(Psalm 3:3-4)

It seems as though everywhere are ears are tuned, the upcoming elections are being discussed.  The candidates, the condition of our country, the lack of trust in the words the media are spitting out.  How easy it would be to become caught up in the lies of the world and live in total fear.   

I love how His Word reminds me over and over again throughout The Spiritual warfare going on about us:

He is our shield.
Our grounding. 
Our pride. 

I love how I am able to "stretch myself out".
How I am able to "sleep in peace". 

I love how because of Him - I am "rested, tall and steady". 

The Truth always comes out.  Just as in light overpowering darkness - so is Truth over lies. 

I am finding in The Spiritual warfare going on about us, it is the lies that are wearing me out.  Constantly being on guard with what enters my heart.  What words do I or don't I believe. 

I see persons whose lives are a house of cards that is falling apart.  I pray when they hit bottom they will rebuild In Him, not in the false sense of "self" they have lived in before. 

In The Spiritual warfare going on about us, I am so thankful that He is my shield on all sides. 
And even though I am standing firm In Him - I still need - need - His protection. 

I pray for discernment with words I hear spoken from everyone.  I pray for the lost souls, which are so very lost, but think they have the world by the tail.  I pray for others not to fall victim to lies which bring about anger/bitterness.  A life of separation from our ABBA.  I pray they will draw strength and courage from God and The Truth of His Word. 

I love I am free to stretch myself out

To live with my arms open wide, outstretched to the heavens, standing on the tips of my toes.  Trusting completely throughout this Spiritual warfare going on about us,  I am completely protected.  I am no longer vulnerable.  For even in the midst of this battle raging about us - I stand grounded In Him - His Truth.

I love through His Word I hear His voice of Truth over the voices of lies.
And rest in Him.
During the Spiritual warfare going on about us.

Friday, May 13, 2016

"All of Us Are" - 05/13/16 - 2 Samuel 13-15

King David heard the whole story and was enraged, but he didn’t discipline Amnon.

David doted on him because he was his firstborn. "
(2 Samuel 13:21)

I have often wondered why David took the "ostrich approach" when it came to being a parent.   After the rape of his daughter Tamar, she would have felt worthless, but to have her father not hold Amnon, her brother, her rapist, accountable, I don't know how she endured the pain.  Although Absalom, her brother took her into his home, he told her, "But now keep silent, my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart"(13:20).  Really??? 

David's "ostrich approach" caused so much pain.  division.  heartache. 

His lack of holding Amnon accountable caused Absalom to wait two full years in seeking revenge for his sister through the killing of their brother.   It is admirable  how he was towards his sister, even naming his daughter after her, but he held onto the anger and bitterness.  For two years he spent his life planning, waiting, growing a hardened heart.  He allowed the sin of his brother to rob him of a life God wanted for him. 

David's lack of holding Amnon accountable most likely destroyed any relationship he had or would have with Tamar.  It also was the beginning of the end of his relationship with Absalom.  I imagine also with the children of Absalom.  The ripples were being felt down the line. 

The Scriptures show us often how favoritism corrupts the family unit which God created.  He didn’t intend for a parent to love or treat another child superior.   And when a parent does, it creates a monster.  The parent isn’t parenting, they are enabling.   These monsters are a breeding ground for manipulation, lying, division, and sin. 
I am sure those who are not favored or made the scapegoat, felt they would never get a break.  They grow accustomed to having the worst believed about them, and being instructed their behavior must change to conform to those who are favored.  It sometimes seems how everyone is to treat the favored one, is much like holding court for royalty.
There is such comfort knowing He is bigger than anything or anyone.  And even when we are “raped” by favoritism, He is in control and His Truth will come out.   It is during those times we must remind ourselves, we are His favorites and unlike humans, He loves us all, nor does He rule with double standards.  He is our Caretaker, our Father.  Our ABBA.
I love how He is able to actually give us peace in our memories of mountains we have come over with Him, so we no longer have to "endure" the pain, but be free of it.  Removing all the elements which cause hearts to become hardened, robbing us from the life ABBA planned for us. 
He gives us a life rich in "the fruit of The Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22)  A life which breaks the cycle of destruction. 
Filling us with Him, His ways, His Words- so we are able to not take personal the attacks and look upon all persons in love through His eyes.  Creating ripples of Him for all future generations.
Our ABBA - loving all of us. All of us.  As "His Favorite". 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

"Heart Shattered" - 05/12/16 - Psalm 32, 51, 86, 122

"Going through the motions doesn’t please You,
    a flawless performance is nothing to You.
I learned God-worship
    when my pride was shattered.
Heart-shattered lives ready for love
    don’t for a moment escape God’s notice." (Psalm 51:16-17)

She stood at one of the three sinks in the public bathroom.  The one in the corner.  Her stuff was piled on the floor beside her, level with the counter top.  In one hand were the remains of a dirty rag and the other held a small sample bottle of hand sanitizer.  Over and over she continued to wipe down the counter.  Wringing the remnant of the rag under the full force of the water.  When the bottle of sanitizer was empty, she held it under the water, until it was filled up.  At times, she would rest her weary head in her hands as she viewed what she was doing as a never ending job. 
Nichalas once said Chicago is a place where you can never be alone, but is one of the loneliest cities in the world. 
She stood there with women surrounding her, the line snaked around and out the door, yet she was in her own world.  Talking to herself, mumbling words I could only pick up here and there.  The anxiousness and anxiety poured out of her eyes like the water pouring out of the faucet. 

Her actions brought to mind these verses.  Her “flawless performance” in cleaning the sink, was only smearing the unseen germs around on the counter top.  Over and over she was going through the motions, all the while using improper tools.  And when she was done, she let go a breath of relief.  Her pride in her work was momentary.  In her mind, she still saw the filth. 

Much as God does when we are outside of Christ, trying to cleanse sin in our hearts by doing things "our" way.  Or just going through the motions during our walk with Him. 

The all of our life - it has to be all about Him.  
It has to be from a changed heart, not just lip service. 
Looking at my life I see many “heart-shattered” moments as He has/is growing me.  Cleansing my heart with The Blood of our Savior.  Shattered from the life of "self", of just going through the motions, as my relationship with Him has moved from superficial to intimate.

"Heart-shattered lives ready for love".
The Love of our Savior.  Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

"All Things" - 05/11/16 - 2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 20

05/11/16 - 2 Samuel 11-12; 1 Chronicles 20

"All Things"

"Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah.

But David stayed at Jerusalem. 

Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king's house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.      
So David sent and inquired about the woman.

And one said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 

David sent messengers and took her,
and when she came to him, he lay with her;

and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.
The woman conceived;
and she sent and told David, and said, "I am pregnant."  (2Samuel 12:1-5)                                                  

Her hands were tied.  As a woman in that era, she had no rights.  no voice.  no choice.

Bathing on the rooftop in the cool of the night was a common practice back then.  It wasn't a place to put yourself on display.  It was simply the place where you bathed.

David the king was home.  Standing upon the roof top in the spring.  A time when kings go to battle. 

That wasn't common practice. 
His role was to be on the battlefield watching over his men.  Not on the rooftop watching the wife of his bodyguard, Uriah the Hittite and also the daughter of another of his bodyguards, Eliam.  

Have you ever noticed the ripples produced when we are not in the place where ABBA wants us to be?  The restlessness which comes upon us when not doing the will of God?  How we always end up getting ourselves in a pickle, seeing we can't correct the situation on our own, and then we turn to ABBA, crying out for His help.  

"Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.                                                         
When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and she became his wife; then she bore him a son.
But the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD .(2 Samuel 11:26-27) 

Thus far we have David the king, sending messengers for the woman he saw from afar and staking claim on her.  Even though she belonged to another - Uriah - whom he happened to know, probably quite well.  We then have David set up the execution of Uriah, after his plan to have the pregnancy lay on the husband and not himself, didn't go how he wanted it to. 

"In the morning it happened that David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah."
(2 Samuel 11:14)  

Uriah was carrying his own execution plan.  A good and faithful servant.

"Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon." (2 Samuel 12:24)

I wonder often how Bathsheba felt about David.  Did she fear him?  Was she "star stuck"  Was she a conniving woman who saw this as a way to get ahead in life?  Did she stand up straight and look at the positives?  Did she fall in love with him?

"and she gave birth to a son, and he named him Solomon
now The LORD loved him
and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah for the LORD'S sake.
(2 Samuel 12:24-25)

"Jedidiah" - Beloved of The Lord

You realize, don't you, that you are His "Jedidiah".  His Beloved. 

No matter what sins in your life, when you repented and asked Jesus to be your Savior, He then covered you with His Grace and Mercy.  Our ABBA promises us, "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." (Romans 11:36)

No matter what you have done.  where you are/have been.  He is there - arms outstretched - desiring nothing more than to bring you into His fold. 

As He did with David.  David - whom I have grown to love throughout the years of reading His Word.  David - whom I relate to often.  David - human - just like me.  just like you.

David -  "God testified concerning him: 'I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.' (Acts 13:22)

Put your name in the place of "David" - For "you" are His Jedidiah.  I promise.