Friday, September 30, 2016

"LOVE Fulfilled" - 09/30/16 - Matthew 2, Luke 2:39-52

"Jesus was born."(Matthew 2:1)

Being born.  Such a miracle in itself. 

I think about the circumstances, situation, time of when Jesus was born.
How many prophecies He fulfilled during His life. 
How many He fulfilled before, during His birth.

Jesus, the babe in a manger. 
Born for one purpose. 

To die on The Cross, for all of our sins,
to raise from the grave, conquering death,
so we can be with our ABBA eternally. 

Our Savior. 
What a Savior.
No greater LOVE.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

"Hand Chosen" - 09/29/16 - Matthew 1, Luke 2:1-38

"Then Joseph woke up. He did exactly what God's angel commanded in the dream"(Matthew 1:24)

I love watching Adam with Charlie and Ella.  I love seeing how they have become part of his heart and life, even though they aren't his through blood.  I love knowing they are his through love and that they are a gift from our ABBA.  I love how much richer his life, and all others these two little ones touch, have become.  I love seeing how complete he is in being a husband and daddy.  I love how he has become the spiritual leader in his family of four, raising them up to know our ABBA.  Walking beside Ashley, as they are training up future Warriors for Him. 

There are many persons whom God has allowed to be a parent.  It breaks my heart when seeing those who elect to allow themselves to be a priority over their child.  Or children.  How thankful I am there are many others though, who elect to sacrifice and give of themselves, as they love these children.  As our Adam is doing with these two precious gifts. 


You know, I've often wondered about Joseph. 

Joseph.  The man who was hand chosen to help raise our Savior.  The man who would be there from the moment of conception, to love and guide our Savior.  A child not of his blood, but that of his heart.  The man who would have our Savior as His stepson. 

What character traits did our Savior glean from him.  How did they interact. Their relationship. Did they ever wrestle.  What did they build together.  Discuss deep and serious things,  Did Mary confide in Joseph things in her heart, causing Joseph to protect his "stepson" even more.  Did he ever stand and look at our Savior, his heart in his throat, knowing.  Seeing our ABBA in the face of his stepson.  What it was like to love our Jesus throughout those growing years. 

There isn't much written about him for us to know.  He is from the family tree of Abraham.  He is a carpenter.  We don't know about his finances, social status, what kind of donkey he rode, what he did in his spare time. 

We do know He was a man of God. 
He was hand chosen by God, just as Mary was, to be in the role of parent to our Savior. 

He was so loved, trusted, approved by God.  ABBA wouldn't place the care of His only Beloved Son in just anyone's hands.

His heart was one that desired to please God. 
No matter what.

It was a time when a woman who became pregnant before being married was to be stoned.  Joseph could have easily went this route, instead "Joseph, chagrined but noble, determined to take care of things quietly so Mary would not be disgraced. While he was trying to figure a way out, he had a dream. (1:19,20)

No matter the consequences, "he did exactly" what he was commanded.

How often are we as Joseph?  How often do we allow other factors to surpass what our ABBA has instructed us to do? 

For we too are so loved, trusted, approved by God for His work. 
Hand chosen to love as He loves.

Even though there aren't many words about him, I learn so much from Joseph. 

He didn't consider what was in it for himself. 
He was all about how he could be used for the glory of ABBA. 

No matter the consequences.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"God's Morning Beautiful" - 09/28/16 - Luke 1, John 1:1-14

Good morning! You're beautiful with God's beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with you.
(Luke 1:28)

How easy it is to compare.  To watch TV, look at pictures in a magazine, online, look at other persons. 
How easy it is to compare and most times.  'We' come up short.  Very short.

For some time, He has been convicting me of the way I speak of  and to my 'self'. 

Not only to Him and others, but also in my own thoughts, when referring to 'me'.

The way I instantly cut my 'self'  down when looking at photos, my reflection. He is listening to every word and thought I have.  And most of them, in reference to 'me', are very unkind and critical without a drop of grace and mercy. 
I am my worst critic.  I would never dream of speaking to another as I do to  or about 'me'.   He has opened my eyes to how often I take the blessings He gives 'me' through the words of others and dash it to the ground because I don't see my 'self' as He and others do. 

How often are all of us harder on our 'self' than anyone else?  How often do we choose to view 'me' through the distorted lens of self, basing our standards on the world's view?
Each and every time we are tearing apart 'me', is actually an attack on God and others.
For my 'self', with Curt I am saying he doesn't have very good taste when it comes to whom he is sharing his heart with.  Every time I tear my 'self' down in regard to my role as a mom, mom-in-law, grandma, family, friend, I am saying those who hold 'me' dear haven't very good judgment.  I am saying their words of love, praise, compliments, are lies.   I am saying they aren't very good managers of time when thinking there are better ways to invest than in 'me'.  When I see the delight in ones eyes upon seeing 'me', I immediately wonder why ever do they desire to be with 'me' and in a sense reject their greeting.

What I am doing to those ABBA has placed into my life is on such a small scale to what I am doing to my ABBA. 

He created 'me'.   'I' am made in His image.
When we accept Christ as our Savior.  When The Holy Spirit lives within 'us'. 
'We' are nothing more than beautiful and holy in His sight. 
 'We' are stunningly, breathtakingly, beautiful from the inside out. 

Through His family, He has surrounded 'us' by so many who see 'us"' as He does, and often 'we' are being a hypocrite. Why is it so easy to see others as beautiful and not our 'selves'? Why is it so easy to encourage others in seeing their 'self' as He does, and not take our own encouragement? Why is it so easy to believe His Word applies to others and so hard when applying it to our 'self'? 
When He says many times throughout His Word,
'You'. Are. Beautiful." 'we' usually bend down and pick up doubt.    
Why is it so hard to believe when others say 'we' are beautiful? 

"Good morning! 'You're' beautiful with God's beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with 'you'."
These were the first words spoken to Mary from God through Gabriel.  Our ABBA didn't have to say these words, but He knew what was coming.  He knew this young teen child/woman would be coming up on some serious moments of self doubt.  Of criticism from others and probably her 'self'.  He knew there were moments ahead when the world would look at her as 'ugly'.  When the world could come in and stone her for being pregnant out of wedlock.  He knew there were moments when she would look at her 'self' as ugly.  He knew she needed to know, to hear, to focus on His Truth.

Just as our ABBA has placed each and every word in His Word,  He knows at all times we need to pull it from within our hearts and cover our 'self'  in it.  He knows the road we walk through this world will bring on many attacks.  He knows how essential it is we use His measuring standards and not our own or the ever-changing one of the world. 

He knows each and every second we need to stand firm, hearing, knowing and believing when He says,

"Good morning! 'You're' beautiful with God's beauty, Beautiful inside and out! God be with 'you'."

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

"Oh. How He Loves Us" - 09/27/16 - Malachi 1-4

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

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

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

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

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

Dear friends of ours have an old barn where they host parties.   And whenever I attend, although the craftsmanship throughout draws my eyes in admiration, I enjoy most looking out the frameless window at our ABBA's landscape beyond, while sitting at a table in the company of loved ones.  His beauty of the fields, tree line, the sky, making it hard to tear my eyes away.  Breathless He leaves me in showing me a "painting" which surpasses any of those painted by the hand of man. 

There is a lookout spot near our home where sometimes Curt and I drive to park at the top of the ridge to watch the sky.  One evening we went to watch the moon rise up and prepare for its journey of the eclipse.  We waited in vain as a huge cloudbank only intensified.  Every once in awhile you were able to see the brightness behind the clouds, knowing it must have been something to see.  Later on at home, I awoke from falling asleep on the couch, to a room full of a soft, gentle light.  I smiled as I looked out the window.  Up above the clouds His great moon shinning down, illuminating the landscape before me.  His timing.  His way. 

I am stand in awe of those He has placed within my heart in this life and eternity.  How often I find myself just drinking in the beauty of Him, seen through them.  People.  I love seeing a glimpse of someone in the lineage through the face, mannerism, build, of their relatives. How beautiful each of us are.  I could get lost in the beauty of the eyes alone, especially when seen through a magnifying glass. Their colors, shapes, even sizes. Skin.  How He has made each of us our own unique, beautiful color.  Hands, representing so much of life lived through wrinkles, callouses, scars - so much strength.  So much strength when folded in prayer.  Our feet to carry us.  How He has made us to walk upright.  How He has created our bodies to move from one place to another, each one in their own unique stride. 

 These past few years has had many of our "kids" having babies of their own.  Each time,  I know I will be blown away once more in His miracle of life when holding these little ones, who will be only a few hours into this world.  I will once again be reminded in how He has used the different genes from one another to create another.  How He has created a whole "someone" from the sperm and egg of a man and woman.  Designing the woman to be a part of the process and then to give birth to new little ones. So many, many ways He has shown His Love to "us".  How He adores and desires "us".

So many ways He says to us, "I love you".

And then we will reply, "really?".

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

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

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

Monday, September 26, 2016

"How Much" - Nehemiah 11-13, Psalm 126

"It seemed like a dream, too good to be true, when God returned Zion's exiles.  

We laughed, we sang, we couldn't believe our good fortune.
We were the talk of the nations - 

 "God was wonderful to them!"  
God was wonderful to us; we are one happy people.  

And now, God, do it again - 

bring rains to our drought-stricken lives. 
So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest. 
So those who went off with heavy hearts
will come home laughing, with armloads of blessings."(Psalm 126)

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

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

How much I love being His.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

"Wowed" - 09/25/16 - Nehemiah 8-10

Blessed be your glorious name,
    exalted above all blessing and praise!
You’re the one,
    God, you alone;
You made the heavens,
    the heavens of heavens, and all angels;
The earth and everything on it,
    the seas and everything in them;
You keep them all alive;
    heaven’s angels worship you!" (9:5-6)

There are moments when I am outside looking at the sky and am just "wowed" by His paintbrush.  His creativity.  My breath is taken away as the waves of clouds make their way across the expanse of the horizon.  Shapes take the form of imaginary creatures, buildings, places.  The other night at sunset they looked like a city shining out with His Glory.  I wondered if it was just a taste of what Heaven would look like.

There are nights, I will be standing before our dining room window, looking out at our nighttime landscape lit up by His huge full moon.   I love His living canvas. Sometimes I will be sitting on the back steps listening to His sounds. Drinking in the light of the moon, which is shining so brightly through the lacy design of the clouds, as they waltz across the sky. Even the scent of a skunk, wafting through the air, is unable to spoil the beauty of the night. 
 It is moments like these I see how great is His love. How great is He, who created all of nature for our enjoyment. What an Awesome ABBA we have. His greatness brings me to my knees in worship. The crispness of the night wraps around me, much as The Holy Spirit wraps around my heart, my soul, my mind. Even though the huge vastness of the skies are above me, His Word comes to mind, giving me comfort and closeness. I know He is here, with and within me, on our back steps.

Delighting in me - delighting in Him.

Take a moment and admire His nature. He loves showing off for you.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

"Smoke and Mirrors" - 09/24/16 - Nehemiah 6-7

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

it is said in Scripture satan is the father of lies.  his bag of tricks, will and does, include doubt and fear.  he wants us to believe in his condemnation that we can never be saved or good enough, over ABBA's word of Truth.  In Christ - we are Redeemed.  he wants us to believe we aren't able, strong enough, equipped, smart/talented, to carry out the mission ABBA has given us: 
To go and make disciples.  To live a life for and in our Christ. 
But there is one thing he will say which is truth. 
We are all he claims us to be,  if we are outside of Christ. 
It is when we are inside of Christ, he pounces. There are many stumbling blocks satan throws out onto our path, trying his best to get us to sit down, venture off in the wrong direction, to give up. 
It doesn't matter what ABBA has for you to do, satan will pull out his bag of tricks.  he wants nothing more than for you to not be a warrior for ABBA. 

Unfortunately, there are times we will pick up the tricks he lays out before us and consider if they do apply to us.  There are times our attention will be diverted.  There are times when we throw out lame excuses to delay our mission ABBA has set up for us.  In the study, "Altar Ego", the author brings up Moses and how after God has told him he would be the one to free the Israelites, Moses throws back at God, "I can't speak well". 
I love how God shoots straight from the hip in His reply, "I AM who made your mouth". 

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

Count it a blessing when attacked by satan.  It is a sign you are causing damage against him and he considers you to be a threat as ABBA's Warrior.  Have confidence in where and why ABBA has placed you as His Warrior during this spiritual warfare which is going on all about us.  Take comfort knowing our ABBA is bigger than anything satan will throw out.  Take courage our ABBA is always in complete control.  Stand firm in His Word, for "it comes about when all our enemies heard of it, and all the nations surround us saw it, they lost their confidence; for they recognized that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God." (6:16)  Embrace the hope knowing our ABBA is not a trickster.  He is The TRUTH.

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

"Continuing Onward" - 09/23/16 - Nehemiah 1-5

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

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

 "In the dark, continuing".  Continuing onward.  Or continuing to stay.

I find it isn't a coincidence when reminded of those dark valleys,  My ABBA gives me strength and courage.  Be it through His Words coming over the radio through numerous Christian artists,  His colors in the turning crops against the beautiful sky, reminding me He designed and created beauty in all.  He has given me His Words in my heart to remind me, "I am His Beloved". 

Through Him my eyes have been opened to His blessings continually falling down upon me, casting off the darkness.  The songs, the sermons, bright eyes and hugs, words spoken by others, to the simple thing of finding chicken breast on sale for $.99 a pound.  Everywhere my eyes fall upon, I am reminded of how much He loves me.   
It was time to head out to Adam's football game and I debated about staying home.  It had been a long day and honestly, lounging on the couch sounded really good.  The sun had sunk below the horizon as Curt and I made our way over the hill.  I could see Adam, Jacob, and the other players on the field below as they fought for the ball.  Sitting between them and me on the bleachers were three more parts of my heart.  

With the lights illuminating their outlines, I knew He was shinning down upon them too, pointing out to me, telling me, "these people are part of your many blessings".  Two bright eyes sparkling in delight, her smile covering her face as she pointed at me.  Within seconds Ella was running up the hill towards me calling, "Grandma Deby".  Following close behind was her older brother, Charlie.  It amazes me how little children love so freely.  And how I delight in this gift.

There at the end of my day was my treasure.  part of my family.  Adam,Ashley, Charlie and Ella.  Our ABBA then added to the mix a phone call with Nichalas and Amber.      

Our ABBA.  Our Savior.  The Holy Spirit.  His Word. 

Always, always there - bringing delighted Light into darkness. 

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

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Ready To Go?" - 09/22/16 - Ezra 7-10

"My God was on my side and I was ready to go"(7:28)
This coming Saturday is the city wide cleanup day.  A day when our trucks and trailers will be used by family to load up their "stuff" so it may be hauled to the dump.  This is also a growing day for me. 
I have a problem of becoming sentimentally attached to things.  Of allowing my worth to be caught up in my "stuff".    I have a problem of saving things for a "just in case" time.  It sometimes seems I was raised during The Depression.  It pains me to see what others are throwing away, when many things could still be used by another.   The old saying, "someone else's junks is someone else's treasure", holds dear to me.

 Thankfully, the older I am becoming, the less "stuff" I desire to have around me.  It used to be where I had our walls, surfaces, displaying different items, now there is a lot of bare space.  During the winter down months, I like to go through, organizing the home, ridding it of even more "stuff".  "Stuff" I don't use or no longer want to take care of. 
ABBA has transformed our hearts to ridding our lives of debt, rather than accumulating it by buying more "stuff".  We utilize our original 1977 kitchen with its beautiful avocado green stove and all.  It would be so easy to transform it into a 2015,  but we want to get the home paid off before that takes place.  And mostly, any remodeling is to up the value of the home for the day when we have to move and sell.  I try to have the office work up-to-date, as well as all other areas in our life.  
Not there completely, but closer than I used to be.

I am striving to live as though I will be taken "Home" at any time. 

It is my goal to have the home/business side of things taken care of, so if I do go first, Curt, Adam and Ashley, Nichalas and Amber, are able to focus on each other, not wading through mountains of "stuff".  In His way of  changing my way of living, He  has given me such a freedom.  There isn't the heavy weight of "stuff" pulling me down, occupying my time, keeping me from being "at the ready".

There are still times I pick up things of the world and try to insert it into a nook or cranny, thinking it won't matter.  But before I know it, it has expanded and overflowed into other areas of my heart.  He is having me see through His eyes, the things of this world can not take up residency as a god within a heart of Him.  He is also opening my eyes to see the "bargains" of this world aren't the "great deal" after all. 

They end up costing more than you can imagine. 

There is a show I enjoy, "Tiny House Nation".  If we didn't use our home for ABBA through hosting Bible studies, having persons stay with us when they need to, or the business, this way of living very much appeals to me (Curt though - not at all lol).  It amazes me when seeing a tiny home completed, how much they have incorporated into them.  Everything is in its place, multipurpose, and easily packed up and ready to go. 
This is how I want my heart and my life to be.  He is growing me to the place where my heart is much like the homes in "Tiny House Nation".  To have my worth and value in being "whose" I am.  Not the "stuff". 

The gifts and talents He has blessed me with - to be used for Him.  To be at the ready, to get out of my comfort zone and go out to where He leads me.  Needs me to be.  Go.  Do. 
To carry only what ABBA wants me to have.  To only be full of Him. 

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


Wednesday, September 21, 2016

"When We Are His" - 09/21/16 - Esther 6-10

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

When reading Esther, it gives me a heartsmile knowing I don't have to wait to be summoned to go before our King. 

What great comfort in knowing, without doubt,
No matter the hour or place, our ABBA is always waiting for us with welcome arms. 

What great comfort in knowing, without doubt,
our Savior has/is/does intervene with The King on our behalf.

What great comfort in knowing, without doubt,
our Savior's blood has covered us with grace, mercy, forgiveness, cancelling out death for our sins. 

What great comfort knowing, without doubt, 
He shields us from the catastrophic destruction our sin would cause, blocking the "boomerang". 

What great comfort knowing, without doubt, 
He is there as we endure the consequences of our choices, taking the brunt of it all for us. 

What great comfort in knowing, without doubt, 
He has our backs.   

What great comfort in knowing, without doubt, 
In Him we are redeemed.  Our sins are forgiven and forgotten. 

What great comfort in knowing, without doubt,
in Him we have The Gift of The Holy Spirit within and about us.

What great comfort in knowing, without doubt,
He loves us with an unconditional, pure, Holy Love.

What great comfort in knowing, without doubt, 
He has made us a new person - His. 


Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"You" Are" - 09/20/16 - Esther 1-5

"Perhaps this is the moment for which "you" were created."(4:14)

We were in Branson with my cousin and his wife for the weekend and in a shop, P. Graham Dunn, that carries Christian products.  I found being there so soothing for my soul.  Bringing joy.  All of the products for sale had a scripture on it. 

There was one on display, which is now on our living room wall, that had the above verse on it.  This verse has been running through my mind as I continue in my walk. 

Isn't is something as a child of ABBA, "you" are royalty.  

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

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

Think about it - "YOU" are royalty.

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

So, how do "you" utilize your title?

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, September 19, 2016

"Shine! Shimmer! Glow!" - 09/19/16 - Zechariah 8-14

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

For the past few nights. the full moon has given off so much light.  Rightly so, it is called the Harvest Moon.  Named this for it gave the farmers extra time to work the fields at night before headlights were part of the norm. 

Alone.  The moon is unable to give off any light.  It takes the light of our sun being reflected from its surface to illuminate the world below.   

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

Without the sunlight, I wouldn't have noticed them.  Without the sunlight, our moon would not stand out from the darkness of the skies. 

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, September 18, 2016

"Beyond My Dreams" - 09/18/16 - Zechariah 1-7

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

 It was a day spent watching Charlie play football and soccer.  Getting hugs and smiles from Ella as she played in the grass by the fields.  The weather was perfect for being outside.  During the day we were surprised by a pop in visit from my soul sister, Teresa, and "our" shared girls, Katie and Krissy.  As I drove away from Adam and Ashley's home, I couldn't help but smile.  How blessed am I in the relationships I share with them and Nichalas and Amber.

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

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

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

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

How very blessed am I.  My cup runneth over.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

"Yes. You" - 09/17/16 - Haggai 1-2

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

I can never remember seeing such vivid pinks, purples and grays last night in a sunset.  The camera could not capture the Awesomeness of our ABBA's handiwork, no matter how many shots I took.  My heart smiles when I recognize ABBA showing off for our enjoyment.  And only because of how very much He loves us. 
I often think about how everything He has created works together.  Some ways can be explained and others we shall never know.  All of creation has a job description. 
And "we" , "we" are the best of all His creation. Only "we" are made in His image.  Yet how often is it we wonder, doubt, balk, at the "work" our ABBA has given us. There are times we are so into "self", we completely miss the "work" He has set before us and miss out on the blessings gleaned from the "work" when done.  When we are so absorbed into "what are my gifts?", we don't use any and miss out on the Divine Appointments He has set up for us. 
No matter where your journey takes you this day and every day, remember - nothing is by coincidence.  Look forward in excitement to where He is leading you, using you, growing you, completing and transforming you.  All steps are gaining ground closer to being Home with Him!

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

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

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

But He is.

He's more than enough.  

His grace is more than enough for you. 

You are who you are - you are where you are - because He set you on this path, plotted this course for you. 

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

When you know Whose you are, you will know what to do.

In Him,
 YOU  - are His Masterpiece. 
Ever more so than the most beautiful sunset or anything else of His creation.

Friday, September 16, 2016

"His Sea of Joy" - 09/16/16 - Ezra 4-6, Psalm 137

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

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

They remained focused on Him.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

You see, I am so looking forward to going swimming with His family - for eternity.
In The Sea Of Joy.

Thursday, September 15, 2016

"Lineage To Our ABBA" - 09/15/16 - Ezra 1-3

"They had thoroughly searched for their family records but couldn't find them. And so they were barred from priestly work as ritually unclean.  The governor ruled that they could not eat from the holy food until a priest could determine their status with the Urim and Thummim."(3:62-63)  

I can see her in me as I relish in the role of Grandma Deby.  She was always playing, reading, teaching us.  Be it on the floor, at the table, on the couch with her arm around one of us as we cuddled in next to her as close as we could get.  She had the gift of making each one of us feel as though we were one to be treasured.  My Grandma Dorothy. 
I couldn't decide what name to be called by Charlie and Ella.  There were many that nudged at my ear, but when I realized I would be called "Grandma" as she had been;  I felt honor and blessing to have this title added to my name. 
My love for genealogy comes from my G'ma Dorothy.  Before she passed, she had researched and written down names, dates, little notes in small brown books, giving each of her three children one.   I have the one she gave to my parents, kept in a fireproof box.   There is a site I have used and searched records, going back to even earlier generations.  It has also been fun looking into Curt's family tree as well. 
My G'ma Dorothy was an excellent storyteller, sharing the memories of persons past, many of which I still remember and have told our sons.  I had given her a book to fill out and received it back when she was gone, it was still as I had given it to her - not an ink mark on any page.  Recording her never worked out either, but how thankful I am for still being able to recall the sound of her voice.  As I become older, I find each day missing her even more and more.  Wishing so much she could be here to experience life with my family. 

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

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

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

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

"The governor ruled that they could not eat from the holy food until a priest could determine their status with the Urim and Thummim."(2:63) 

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