Wednesday, August 31, 2016

"Rescued" - 08/31/16 - Ezekiel 22-23

"You have despised My Holy things and profaned My Sabbaths" (22:8)
How ugly is life when outside of Christ. 
Throughout these Scriptures today, I am reminded again, nothing is new under the sun. 
How the world has taken the gift of life and discarded it through abortion, murder, abuse.
How the world has taken the gift of each other as His family and turned one against another. 
How the world has taken the gift of lovemaking between a husband and wife, and turned it into sex with whomever and even whatever, whenever  and wherever. 
How the world has taken "us", all of whom are made in His image, and distorted it into believing He has made us incorrectly.   
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, those in Him are made clean through The Blood of our Savior. 
We have been given Wisdom and discernment through His Word, strength from The Holy Spirit  to resist sin.
In Him we have been covered with Grace and Mercy. 
He has given us everything needed to be intimate in Him and more like Him. 
He has made us Holy.

I am reminded again,  there is much of His Beauty shinning brightly through the ugliness of sin. 
He is greater, as are we, when in Him. 
I am reminded again, "we" in Him are the beauty amongst the ugliness.  the darkness.  all which is opposite of Him. 
I am reminded again, the urgency in going and making Disciples for Him. 
I am reminded again, we have a choice when coming up against each and every temptation.
And again, I am reassured - He is our ticket out.
I am reassured again, His Glory does prevail. 

"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, August 30, 2016

"Passing Through" - 08/30/16 - 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)
I have found with growing older, you attend more funerals.  You are praying more often for those suffering from sickness.    
Yesterday evening I was blessed with spending time at the playground with Charlie and Ella.  Just playing.  We spent at least 10 minutes watching a couple of fishing worms wiggle about on the sidewalk.  Their delight at finding and observing them was like finding gold to me.  Each time I am with them, I hear over and over, "they are stopping and smelling the roses".  
Perhaps that is why grandchildren are such a blessing. There are less responsibilities and we really are allowed, if we take the time, to savor each moment.  Moments which are so fleeting.  
It was many years ago I realized time goes too fast - too soon.  I have lived with an awareness that life really is fleeting. 

There are often times I wonder what signpost we are following in our walk.

In our daily journey, we will  be coming to many a fork in the road.
How do we determine which way to proceed?

There are only two options.  With Him or without Him.

Are we finding when walking His way,

following His lead, 
we are drawing closer to Him? 

We will become more like Him when walking in His Footprints.
His way has made us Holy.

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. 

I love 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. 
We only have to choose and commit to His way.

I love how His Family is here with us on this journey to help each other. 
 Support each other.

I so love knowing our ABBA is the final destination when we choose Him.

What signpost are you following? Where are you heading?


Monday, August 29, 2016

"Leave It Behind" - 08/29/16 - Ezekiel 18-19

"I won't keep a list of all the things he did wrong. He will live.
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)

While sitting at our table visiting, waiting for our food, across the room a flash of white caught my eye as the woman exited the restroom.  She was totally unaware of the white tail caught on the bottom of her shoe that was 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 at times 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?
Or the times we cringe when others keep their own list of our sins, instead of standing firm in His Truth.  All it does is cause us to be embarrassed. To walk with our self weighed down in shame and doubt. It inhibits us from being the Warrior for Him.  Whom He designed us to be.

He has surrounded us with The Truth of His Word. The Holy Spirit lives within and about us. His Family holds us accountable and affirms us in Love. 
Listen and stand firm in His Truths.
They are being spoken to remind us.
He wants nothing more than for us to "no longer living wrong but living right - really living."  Eternally.
This may sound disgusting, but God is telling us.
 LEAVE THE LIST WHERE IT BELONGS.Right there with the used TP.
He finds sin totally repulsive.  As we need to as well.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

"Dear My Beloved" - 08/28/16 - Ezekiel 16-17


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

This much do I love you.
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 Eternity,
                                Love your ABBA

Saturday, August 27, 2016

"Realization" - 08/27/16 - Ezekiel 13-15

"And you'll realize that I am God.'"(13:23)
The drops of water cascaded down upon me, wetting the front of me as though I were in the shower.  I was picking crabapples this morning before the sun had a chance to dry out the trees from last nights downpour.  Crabapple pie.  Nichalas' favorite and I wanted to have them in the freezer for when they are back at Christmas. 
Driving home I was looking at the corn and seeing how it is turning.  Harvest will soon be upon us.  There are more leaves littering the lawns, some of them displaying their glorious colors before they become dust.  My eyes were drawn to the bold color palettes of the flowers popped out against the green of the grass, waving their heads in the gentle morning breeze. 
Everything looks so fresh and clean after the rains. 
Everything brought my ABBA to mind. 
I couldn't suppress a smile as I realized everything about my life constantly brings Him to my mind. 

When was the moment for you?
The realization that He is God.  
I have always believed there is a God. 
I just never believed He was to be my God.
I believed 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 mommy. It was at the moment when I first held Adam and could count his fingers, his toes, gaze into his eyes  He blew me away in His Awesomeness in the creation of  this child who had just been in my womb.  From just a seed and egg, using my body to nourish and grow him. Amazed.
I began at that moment to realize all is in His time and His way.  He knew before time began I would be laying there in the hospital bed, holding the gift of Adam.  Nothing is by chance.

I began at that moment to live with my eyes wide open.  To bless me three times again in having the gift of a child within.  Our Nichalas and two in Heaven.  I began to look about and see the miracle of life in all of His creation.  Perhaps that it why I enjoy the job He has given me so.  Each and every day I am blown away by the beauty of His sky to the beauty of His vegetation.  His animals.  We humans. All whom are made in His image.  I love thinking about all He has created and how it works.  Each element needed.  Running in a fluid motion.   
He created all from nothing. 
I began at that moment to drink in His showering of Love upon me through His Son. His Word. His Family.  To grow into an intimate relationship with Him.  One that has and will continue on until I die.

I began at that moment to realize - He is The One True God.

Friday, August 26, 2016

"The All Of My Heart" - 08/26/16 - Ezekiel 9-12

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

I am able to recall many moments throughout my life when I thought my heart was near to bursting because of the joys. When I felt it was breaking into a million pieces as it laid heavy within the walls of my chest. It is amazing how many emotions are carried within this muscle the size of our fist.   

Our hearts.

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

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

But then, when I look at the blessings which cause my heart to over runneth - I am so thankful my heart is continually being transformed into one like His. To drink in deeply His pure and perfect Love.

In having a stone heart, I wouldn't know the pain of losing those I hold dear, but I also wouldn't know the joy of loving and being loved by them.

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

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

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

Thursday, August 25, 2016

"Then" - 08/25/16 - Ezekiel 5-8

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

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

It will be such a relief when the struggle between serving ABBA or serving "self" is ended.

 No more "then" moments.

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

I love how our ABBA lifts us up as He grows us into Him.
Our hope during the "then" moments.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

"Consumed" - 08/24/16 - Ezekiel 1-4

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

What is you passion? What causes your heart to skip a beat, energize you, is on your mind more often than not? What is it that causes you to find yourself constantly thinking about your ABBA?

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

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

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

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

 And then, He began to transform my heart. His Word is so powerful. So alive.  Even one verse a day has the power to transform your heart as you take it in and chew on it.  It sinks in and spreads throughout you - much like honey. Sticky as it covers over everything and so good for you.

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

  "Son of man, get all these words that I'm giving you inside you. Listen to them obediently. Make them your own. And now go. Go to the exiles, your people, and speak. Tell them, 'This is The Message of God, The Master.' Speak your piece, whether they listen or not." Then The Spirit picked me up. (3:10-12)

"But then when the time is ripe, I'll free your tongue and you'll say, 'This is what God, The Master, says: . . .' From then on it's up to them. They can listen or not listen, whichever they like. (3:27)

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

 Billy Graham upon being asked if he believed all of the Bible, responded with, "If it said Jonah swallowed the whale, I would believe it."  I too have come to this point - His Word has become my essence.  I now find whatever happens in my life, wherever my eyes rest upon, my brain and heart constantly come back to  thinking upon Him. Through His Word I am promised the gift of Wisdom and discernment.  I am promised I will know His voice.  When comparing the "me" I once was to whom I am growing into - much wiser choices.

Through this heart transformation, He has led me to desire for everyone to experience the results of consuming and having their hearts transformed by His Word.
His Words - my passion. my love. my delight.
Our own personal Love Letter from our ABBA.
Our roadmap to Him.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

"Face to Face" 08/23-16 - Lamentations 3:37-5:22

"You came close when I called out.
You said, ‘It’s going to be all right."(3:57)


It may be the changing of the season. 
It may be due to all the first day of school pictures from others bringing back floods of memories with our Adam and Nichalas were little. 
I imagine it is a combination of all, plus a lot more. 
But lately, more often than not, my heart has been hit with that deep down ache to have all of our family here together.  Keeping busy helps. It helps me from thinking, counting, wishing, crying.

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

But sometimes.......
When it is the three of us working together at our business, the three of us when it had always been the four and now eight. Watching Curt and Adam as they talk or goof around, missing the third man of our hearts. Hearing bits of conversation from Adam's end when talking to Nichalas, the missing him coming through in his voice. Hearing him say, "I love you" before hanging up. Knowing they speak often and from their hearts, not superficially . Having some of our "kids" over for supper and wishing I could pick up the phone and include Nichalas/Amber.

Just being able to see them face to face and be in their presence.
There isn't a day which goes by that I don't think about and whisper up a "hello" to our two in Heaven.  I find days where I struggle knowing it will be a total of six months before seeing Nichalas and Amber again "face to face".   I try to shake it off and "buck up". To focus on all I am blessed with.  Adam, Ashley, Charlie and Ella all living here.  Seeing and being with them regularly.  Knowing there are other mom's out there who won't be seeing their children and haven't for much longer.  Some I know endure the separation until meeting in Heaven.  I try to keep the right perspective.  To not feel sorry for myself.  To see the blessings in all the lives they are touching as Warriors for our ABBA in this far away place He is using them.  
Yet there are moments when memories creep in and I find myself trying not to cry. 

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

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

Blessed and thankful for this ache in my heart - as it is a reminder of just how much my ABBA loves and desires me.

 Because the all of Him desires to wrap His arms around me as we look face to face.  To be in my presence.  To "come close when I call out."
To be near and whisper in my ear, "It’s going to be all right."

Monday, August 22, 2016

"My Hope" - 08/22/16 - Lamentations 1:1-3:36

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

As far back as I can remember there were numerous times of just wanting to die.  But it was the vast, stark, aloneness that is most vivid. A black void within my being. The place of "nothingness".

There are days where I join battle with my ABBA, using each and every tool He has given me against the disease of Depression. 
I don't ever want to return to that place.
I don't want to forget either.
I don't ever want to take for granted where He brought me from.
Where He helps me from returning to.

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

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

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

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

He is my Rock. my bestest friend. my Love.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

"For Him" - 08/21/16 - Jeremiah 51-52

"He burned the Temple of God to the ground, went on to the royal palace, and then finished off the city. He burned the whole place down." (52:13)
We began last Saturday spraying on the levy vegetation that is trying to take it over.  Driving the tractor over the huge rocks on the steep incline was definitely getting out of my comfort zone.  I know my mowers, but our old 1964 Ford tractor is still somewhat of a mystery to me. She reminds me a lot of a skittish colt.  Curt walking over the same rocks as he sprayed, would often start to lose his balance as they shifted under his feet. 
As I was watching and praying for safety, I thought about if he fell and knocked himself out (or worse), how I would be unable to move him.  The cell phone service there is not reliable and the closest house was a few miles away.  When we parked our trucks earlier, the persons living there were not at home. 
Funny how our ABBA brings certain thoughts into our minds.  Perhaps so we will be aware of the situations and pray.  It turned out we ended our day in the Walk In Clinic.  Curt took a hard fall and dislocated his middle finger.  Thankfully, he was able to walk up to the tractor and we rode it back to the truck.  I knew our ABBA was there when he fell because it could have been much, much worse. 

As we sat in the waiting room, I was thinking about how hard we still work.  Both of us being raised on a farm have grown up doing hard physical labor.  As far as material wealth, nothing was pretty much in our cup when we started our journey together. We are both blown away today at how much our ABBA has blessed us.  Yes, we still work hard, but the reasons have changed. 
Everything we have is His.

Nowadays we throw in the towel if overcome due to the heat or exhaustion. I know just a few years ago we would have sweltered through. But it seems now we call it a day and pick up tomorrow  where we left off.   He is showing me to take time and spend it with those He has put into my life.  To balance work and play.
ABBA has brought to my attention no matter how hard you work for stuff - everything depreciates. All about the landscapes are many vacant homes, rusted out vehicles. Graveyards full of bodies. Bodies that are but dust and the stuff that is in the caskets, rotted away.

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

As I came towards him, he was tearing himself down with the angry words flowing from his mouth. He finally heard me say, "It was an accident. Thank The Lord, no one was hurt or killed". Our eyes were opened to how much our lives could have changed in that moment. How easily he could have slipped or tripped jumping over the rails of the trailer onto the drive.  How easily he could have been run over, pinned in, killed.

It is only a truck.

ABBA has transformed our hearts into working for Him rather than the world. To opening our eyes to the fact - this is His business.  We are his workers.  And how quickly life could change in a brief second. 
And to the fact.

 It is only a truck.

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

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

It is only a truck.

I ask you - what are you working hard for?

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

Saturday, August 20, 2016

"Redeemed By The Blood of The Lamb" - 08/20/16 - Jeremiah 49-50

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

I love this promise. This promise for me. For you. Because from the moment when we are "in" Christ.  When we have repented.  Turned around and are continually striving to give our hearts, our minds, our actions, our words to Him.  Sins - all of them - past, present, future - are forgiven. Covered in His Grace and Mercy.

satan wants nothing more than for us to believe otherwise. he, or others, even ourselves, continually throw up into our face the sins we have committed. It's our choice in what to do with these attacks. We can pick up the sins and envelop ourselves within the world of doubt, the darkness, ugliness, unwanted.  Of shame.

We can stand in and on His Promise.

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

"THE" milestone where He was showing just how much He loves us.

Friday, August 19, 2016

"The All of His Word" - 08/19/16 - Jeremiah 46-48

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

 What comfort and peace we are given in His promises. 
No matter the situation we find ourselves in.  He is always with us.  He is always in complete control. 
Last night at Curt's Uncle Web's visitation, his daughter, Holly, said she wanted to know some scriptures to find comfort in.  Instantly, I thought about the Psalms.  David, who wrote most of them, went through every emotion in life and beseechingly sought out our ABBA.  David.  A man after God's own heart.
I have been pondering Holly's question and realized, although I do find great comfort and encouragement from the Psalm's, it is throughout the all of His Word I gain the most.  It is throughout the all of His Word I am able to grow more intimate with our ABBA.  It is throughout the all of His Word I am able to grow and fall in love in growing knowledge of Him.  In growing knowledge of my Savior.  In growing knowledge of The Holy Spirit. 
In reading the all of His Word, I am able to see how mere persons, such as myself, lived through the seasons of living this life.  Learning from their experiences as they either turned towards our ABBA or walked away.  How He has, is, and always will be - right here - at the ready for each one of us to lean into and on. 
In reading the all of His Word, I have come to see The Truth, to gain Wisdom, to have my heart continually transformed into how He created me to be.  
In reading the all of His Word, I have come to see it for what it is. 
My own personal Love Letter from my ABBA.  My Daddy.
The Love Letter He has written to and for each and every one of us through The Gift of our Savior.  Our Jesus Christ.

All we have to do is to have Faith and Trust in the all of His Word.  To stand firm in it.   "Depend on it".  
To know, without doubt, when you are "in" Him - He is always on your side.  Guiding.  Protecting.  Comforting.  Celebrating.  Sharing.  We are promised we will know His voice.  Never alone.  Never dismissed.  Bathed in His Pure Unconditional Love.
How exciting to know you are on the side which has already won.  And one day.  One day.  We shall all be together with our ABBA celebrating eternity.  No more sorrow.  No more pain.  No more tears. 


Thursday, August 18, 2016

"Heart Praying" - 08/18/16 - Jeremiah 41-45

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

 I have been asking myself what prayer do I offer up persistently?

 At first, I couldn't really think of anything. You see, I am a "drive by" prayer warrior. When someone or something is brought into my focus, I lift them or that up. Curt on the other hand is the persistent prayer warrior. He is very consistent to offer up the same issues every night. What relief in casting aside any quilt or shame when recognizing this is how ABBA created me. To know without doubt "In the same way The Holy Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray, to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning's too deep for words;(Romans 8:26)

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

 He gave me a smile as I was going to work this morning and saw the full moon in the western sky peeking out over the treetops, settling down from its time of night time watch.   I offered up thanksgiving for His beauty.   

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

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

Getting there - praying my persistent prayer......
"Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; 24 And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way." (Psalm 139:23-24)

Search Me O God
by Matt Slick

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

"There Are Always Rainbows" - 08/17/16 - Habakkuk 1-3

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

 I remember the first time I really picked up on this verse. "The problem " - as God gave Habakkuk to see it. 
It went right to my heart.  "The problem" -  isn't the problem itself.
 "The problem" -  is me.
I have often taken "The problem" as God gave me to see it and looked at it through my own eyes, instead of His.  I have often taken my focus off of my ABBA and turned it onto me. I have often stopped looking at people, things, events, happenings as Divine Appointments.  An opportunity for His Glory to shine through.

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

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

It is when I see the world through His eyes I am able to truly enjoy freedom in The Fruits of The Spirit. He enables me to endure all which is heaped upon me. Through His eyes I am able to see the blessings through "The problems". 
I am able to see a rainbow in the midst of a storm. Any storm.
I smile as I think about all the blessings He continually rains down upon me throughout the storms.

There are rainbows upon rainbows. 

 "I'm singing joyful praise to God. I'm turning cartwheels of joy to my Savior God!
Counting on God’s Rule to prevail, I take heart and gain strength. I run like a deer.  "(3:18-19)

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

"Whose I Am" - 08/16/16 - 2 Kings 24-25, 2 Chronicles 36


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Now God has us where He wants us,
with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus.

Saving is all His idea, and all His work.

All we do is trust Him enough to let him do it.

It’s God’s gift from start to finish!

We don’t play the major role.

If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing!
No, we neither make nor save ourselves.

God does both the making and saving.
He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does,
the good work He has gotten ready for us to do,
work we had better be doing.

But don’t take any of this for granted.

It was only yesterday that you outsiders to God’s ways had no idea of any of this,
didn’t know the first thing about the way God works,
hadn’t the faintest idea of Christ.

You knew nothing of that rich history of God’s covenants and promises in Israel,
hadn’t a clue about what God was doing in the world at large.

Now because of Christ—dying that death, shedding that blood—you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.

The Messiah has made things up between us so that we’re now together on this,
both non-Jewish outsiders and Jewish insiders.

He tore down the wall we used to keep each other at a distance.
He repealed the law code that had become so clogged with fine print and footnotes that it hindered more than it helped.

Then He started over.

Instead of continuing with two groups of people separated by centuries of animosity and suspicion, He created a new kind of human being, a fresh start for everybody.

Christ brought us together through His death on The Cross.

The Cross got us to embrace, and that was the end of the hostility.
Christ came and preached peace to you outsiders and peace to us insiders.
He treated us as equals, and so made us equals.

Through Him we both share the same Spirit and have equal access to the Father.

That’s plain enough, isn’t it?
You’re no longer wandering exiles.
This kingdom of faith is now your home country.

You’re no longer strangers or outsiders.

You belong here, with as much right to the name Christian as anyone.

God is building a home.
He’s using us all—irrespective of how we got here—in what He is building.
He used the apostles and prophets for the foundation.

Now He’s using you,

fitting you in brick by brick, stone by stone,
with Christ Jesus as The Cornerstone that holds all the parts together.

We see it taking shape day after day—a holy temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple in which God is quite at home." (Ephesians 2:10-22)

Monday, August 15, 2016

"HE IS" - 08/15/16 - Jeremiah 38-40 Psalm 74,79

"God is my King from the very start;

He works salvation in the womb of the earth.

With one blow You split the sea in two, You made mincemeat of the dragon Tannin. You lopped off the heads of Leviathan, then served them up in a stew for the animals.

With Your Finger You opened up springs and creeks, and dried up the wild floodwaters.
You own the day,
You own the night;
You put stars and sun in place.
You laid out the four corners of earth, ...shaped the seasons of summer and winter."(Psalm 74:12-17)

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

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

Sunday, August 14, 2016

"Praying Hard" - 08/14/16 - Jeremiah 35-37

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

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

There aren't any contest regarding who says the best prayer.  All our ABBA wants and desires is for us to share our hearts with Him.  Even when we are unsure of the words to use.  The Holy Spirit within us knows. He leads me to lift up others to Him. 

I rejoice in hearing of those being baptized, I may not know each one personally, but I pray for the new members of His Family. I pray The Holy Spirit will continue to grow and lead them. I pray they will take His lead.  I pray for their passion and love for God to only grow deeper and stronger roots. I pray for their Faith in Christ to remain firmly implanted within their heart and shine out for others to see and desire for themselves. I pray for His hedge of protection to be about them, their families and friends. satan is on the warpath - angry as all get out and he will be - without doubt - attacking any which way there is.

I mourn for those who are in pain.  I may not know each one personally whom I hear of, but I pray for them.  I stand in awe of those whose eyes are never torn from ABBA - no matter the pains they are enduring.  Their faith, their putting their hearts into His care.

There is such power as we bathe one another in prayer. 
It is through and with His Family I am growing in Him. I learn and see so much of His Word come alive as "we" do battle - together.  I am so thankful and blessed to be a part of this treasure. I couldn't imagine life without His Family. It is through ABBA and His Family we are able to rise up above the ugly head of satan. For "in" Him - "we" are bigger. " we" are stronger. And yes, "we" are on the winning side.

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

Saturday, August 13, 2016

"His Rains" = 08/13/16 - Jeremiah 32-34

"The last word is, I will have mercy on them" (33:26)
It was sweltering as I worked in the shop yesterday.  Occasionally a cool breeze would find its way in through the open doorways and kiss my sweat drenched body.  I watched the skies, yearning for the rains to come and bring relief from the stifling humidity and heat. Praying the storm clouds dancing about would bless us with the needed moisture.  Bringing refreshment to the plants I was delaying on watering,    

My heart smiled as I saw the skies open up and His rains came down. I thought about how gentle rains give the earth another drink of water. All the plant life opening up to receive this precious gift of life, storing the abundance for the dry days ahead.

Much as I do, when studying and taking in His Word.
How His Word has become a part of my daily essential needs so I may grow and become more like Him.  So He may shine through me.

Continually striving.  Less of me.  More of Him.

I love rainy days.
Actually, I love rain. storms. wind. The  cloud display on His magnificent canvas. I love the sound of rain hitting our tin porch roof as I sit under it, protected from the elements. 
But there are also times, when working in the heat and the rains come on unexpectedly, I stand out in the open and let His refreshment cover over me. Washing me free from the dirt and grime I have accumulated throughout the job. Cooling me down and refreshing me.
And although His rains were brief, yesterday was one of those times when I stood in His gift of delight.

There are other times when the rains aren't so gentle and I will stomp through a puddle. Hold my face upright and drink in the drops falling from the sky. When I laugh in the freedom of being His child.

 I love His rain.

His rain is always a visible reminder to me of how He pours down upon me His Love.
 His Forgiveness.
His Grace.
 His Mercy.

 How thankful I am in knowing our ABBA has "The last word".

What an Awesome ABBA we have. How much He loves us.
"His Rains" coming down upon us. Always.
 "God, being rich in mercy,...
even when we were dead through our sins, made us alive together with Christ".(Ephesians 2:4)

Friday, August 12, 2016

"Lavished Upon!!" - 08/12/16 - Jeremiah 30-31

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

No matter how we may worry.  stew.  attempt control. 
No matter how much we may plan.  prepare.  budget. 
The reality is most everything in life is completely out of our hands. 

So why not put it into His?
There are times when life is thrown a loop.  When what we have planned out, just doesn't happen.  Or ABBA changes up our path in getting there.  Only He is able to see the whole paradigm.  Only He knows what is ahead and being His Beloved, He has laid out the best plan for His. 

We have to have Faith.  We have to have Trust.  We have to submit and follow His lead.  Accept His time.  His way. 

satan wants nothing more than for us to focus on the things trying to tear down, causing us to doubt.  he wants to rip our eyes off our ABBA and become consumed by the worry, envy, jealousy, bitterness, anger (just to name a few).  To miss out on the innumerable blessings ABBA continually rains down upon us, as we walk through this world.

 I find the times I take my eyes off of my ABBA, are the times I am blind to the blessings surrounding me. If I allow myself, I could let all the rains of life ruin the parade of living He has placed me in.

There is so much more to this life. 

All the moments of  "sitting on pins and needles" is such a waste of time. How often am I this way in my living life?  Becoming  anxious about the unknown outcomes, the "what if's", and take my focus off of Him? Of  doubting His being in complete and total control? How many moments do I waste, instead of enjoying the moment which only comes once? 

I mean - really - all we need to know is His reminder, over and over, in His Word -
"God told them, "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect LOVE, LOVE, and more LOVE!"
I find I don't want to miss, "Seeing what great LOVE The Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!"(I John 3:1) 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

'He Stepped Forward" - 08/11/16 - Jeremiah 26-29

"But in Jeremiah's case, Ahikam son of Shaphan stepped forward and took his side" (26:24)
"This man, along with his father, served as a scribe under Josiah when The Book of The Law was found in the temple (2 Kings 22:8-14).  Ahikam's brother Gemariah also opposed Jehoiakim's burning of Jeremiah's scroll (6:25).  This faithful family was supportive of Jeremiah and was instrumental in saving his life." (Taken from my Bible study notes.)

Immediately, upon reading the above verse, our Christ came to my mind.
How thankful I am it is He whom I depend on.
Unconditionally loved by. 
Accepted by.
Rely upon.
Trust in.
Knowing without a doubt.
He has taken my side.
He is my Defense Attorney so to speak. 
He has promised He has my back when it comes to covering my sins with Grace and Mercy.
With His Blood.
He is the one Who has interceded for me so I may reside with my ABBA in Heaven one day.
For Eternity.
He is the one Who is transforming my heart, my life, the all of me to be more like Him.

No greater Love than The Love Christ has for me.
For you.

He died and rose from the grave proving this.

Why ever would we rely on anyone or anything other than Him.