Wednesday, May 31, 2017

"During The 'Then' Moments" - 05/31/17 - Ezekiel 4-7

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

Just makes me wonder whyever 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 us, when looking back, how very far "we" have come!

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

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

"Highway To Heaven" - 05/30/17 - Ezekiel 1-3

"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.

Monday, May 29, 2017

"Our ABBA Is Not Temporary" - 05/29/17 - 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)

There are a few FB groups I belong to where persons post pictures of places, things that have been abandoned.  Whenever seeing such places I instantly think about all the memories, good and bad, that filled to the brim all that is now empty. 

After reading today's verses, I looked up at the ceiling fan spinning on its slow cycle and thought about how quickly the decay of nature, if allowed to run its course, would stop the fan, rot the ceilings out and it would most likely end up on the ruined floors. 

There are times when I am in town working and think about it is only boards, drywall, etc. keeping persons within those walls, separated from the world outside.  Often times the homes are sitting only the width of a room apart.  How quickly we can easily feel safe and secure in those walls we call our home. 

This morning as I read about the destruction of The Temple, the destruction of Jerusalem, the taking of many lives, and some being taken as slaves to a foreign land, I kept thinking how many of them had probably felt invincible within the walls of the city gates.  The beautiful walls of The Temple.  The walls of their homes. 

It would only take a moment for our world to be destroyed as we know it. 

Today we recognize and give thanks for all the men and women, their families who have sacrificed for the freedoms we embrace living in America.  Instantly there are persons within my family whom I know firsthand came back changed from their experiences of the wars they fought in.  No longer were they innocent young boys.  I can think of those I know who have been in the trenches and still, there is a haunted look within the center of their eyes they try to keep hidden from the world. 

War was not in our ABBA's original design of this world. 

Free choice was though and He knew we would need a Savior from the Spiritual Warfare going on about us until our Savior comes again, because we would choose sin over Him during different times in our lives.  He knew we would need The Ultimate Sacrifice and gave His only Begotten Son for us. 

For us.   

 So coming away from reading this morning, He asked me, "What are you working for?" "What are you sacrificing for?". 

The things of this world, which shall be destroyed or The Kingdom Come, which is for Eternity.
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.

I ask you - what are you working hard for?

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

Sunday, May 28, 2017

"In Christ - We Are Redeemed" - 05/28/17 - 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.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

"On His Side" - 05/27/17 - Jeremiah 46-48

"Yes, dear Jacob my servant, you have nothing to fear. Depend on it, I am on your side."(46:28)
We live in a world which is in a continual spiritual battle.
As His Warriors, we are right in the thick of it all. satan wants nothing more than to have us walk away from our ABBA.
What comfort and peace we are given in His promises with each of our steps.
All we have to do is to have faith. "Depend on it".
When you are "in" Him - He is on your side. We are never alone in this fight as we make our way Home.
We are on the side which has won.


Friday, May 26, 2017

"Prayer Is Our Time of Intimate Communication" - 05/26/17 - Jeremiah 42-45

"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? How do I respond to His answers of "no", "yes", or "wait". 

  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 we pray from our heart. To be completely transparent and genuine in our conversations with Him. He already knows all that is within us, but wants us to share the all of us with Him.
He desires - desires - the whole of us.
And our time.

 He gave me a smile as I was going to work this morning and saw the sun peeking out over the treetops, chasing away the night sky to the east.  On the west however were the telltale signs of rain which has driven me back home.   How often I am left breathless by the beauty of His nature.   
So often I am able to feel myself draw closer to Him through His nature, the words of worship songs, the memories created with my "siblings".   And in my moment of reflection while driving alone in my truck, He helped 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.  Much like His sunshine coming up over the horizon and chasing away the darkness.  Giving us hope in the new day's Light.
In Him we are redeemed. we are covered in His Grace and Mercy.

Praying my persistent prayer while continually striving:
"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)

Thursday, May 25, 2017

"The Only Way" - 05/25/17 - Jeremiah 38-41

"Listen, please. Listen to God’s voice. I’m telling you this for your own good so that you’ll live." (38:20)

How much He desires for you to be His. 

How much He has done to show His great Love for you.

All because He wants you to live.  Eternally.  With Him. 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

"Lifeline To Our ABBA" - 05/24/17 - 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 us 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 we are growing in Him. We 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.
 He is continually reminding us not to lose heart. "Pray for us - pray hard! - to the Master, our God."

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"His Loving Rains" - 05/23/17 - Jeremiah 32-34

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

 Throughout the night I could hear the rains as they cascaded over the roof, gurgling through the gutters.  Our back yard is one big water puddle reminding me of the pool that was once there.  I think 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 inside covered from the elements. But there are also times, when working in the heat and the rains come on unexpectedly, I stand out in the open and let His refreshment cover me. Washing me free from the dirt and grime I have accumulated throughout the job. Cooling me down and refreshing me.

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

I love His rain.

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

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

 "God, being rich in mercy,... even when we were dead through our sins, made us alive together with Christ".(Ephesians 2:4)

 What an Awesome ABBA we have. How much His love covers us as the rains.


Monday, May 22, 2017

"Expect More Love, Love, and more Love!" - 05/22/17 - 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.

It is during the times we take our eyes off of our ABBA, are the times we become blind to the blessings surrounding us. If we allow our "self", we could let all the rains of life ruin the parade of living He has placed us in.

There is so much more to this life. 

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

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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

"And He Stepped Forward" - 05/21/17 - 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 verses, our Christ came to mind.
How thankful I am it is He whom we are able to depend on.
Unconditionally loved by. 
Accepted by.
Rely upon.
Trust in.
Knowing without a doubt.
He has taken our side.
He is our Defense Attorney so to speak. 
He has promised He has our back when it comes to covering our sins with Grace and Mercy.
With His Blood.
He is The One Who has interceded for each one of His,  so we may reside with our ABBA in Heaven one day.
For Eternity.
He is The One Who is transforming our heart, our life, the all of us to be more like Him.

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

He died and rose from the grave proving this.

Whyever would we rely on anyone or anything other than Him.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"He Brings Back" - 05/20/17 - Jeremiah 23-25

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

 It is often at the end of the planting season I will find them.  Sitting back in a corner on a cart or shelf, shriveled up from lack of water, sitting in the full sun when semi-shade was what the label called for. Upon closer inspection, I can often see there are small, new leaves as the plants are struggling to survive. Usually 75% off or more is the value placed on these castoffs. If not purchased, they will then go into the dump.

Many I have brought  home and spent most of  my free daylight hours planting these castoffs, after watering them for a week trying to get them a little stronger in their pots before setting them into the ground. Throughout the years I am able to see many of the castoffs have become part of the landscape vision He has given me for across our drive and other garden areas. This spring tells me only a few have bit the dust and those that have survived have produced new volunteer plants.  Blooms are abounding from these castoff plants.

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

Planting "castoffs" continually reminds me of how He has taken and transplanted us into His care. He takes our shriveled up soul and now it is flourishing.

  What the world deemed as having no value, no worth, He gave His only Son to save.

Our pains are nothing compared to the pains He endured to make sure we would be firmly planted in an everlasting way to continually bloom for Him.

  Working in His nature is one of my favorite ways to spend time.
 It constantly reminds and draws me closer to Him.

 It is my praying, therapy, cleansing, growing time.

 No longer a castoff, I am so thankful and blessed to be a woman after His own heart.
I smile when seeing the chapter and verse 24:7.  A reminder of our Hope 24/7.

Friday, May 19, 2017

"THE most Fierce Warrior" - Jeremiah 18-22 05/19/17

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

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

 "Most fierce warrior".

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

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

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

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

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

What comfort in knowing - He is bigger than any "Goliath".

For God, a most fierce warrior, is at my side.

THE most Fierce Warrior.
at my side. at your side.
Fighting for whom He loves most - each and every one of "us".

"Sticking With God" - 05/18/17 - Jeremiah 14-17

"But blessed is the man who trusts Me, God,
the woman who sticks with God.
 They're like trees replanted in Eden, putting down roots near the rivers -
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season (17:7-8)
I was watching "Secret Swimming Holes of America" on the Travel Channel one night and I kept thinking about how after the airing of the program, they are no longer "secrets".  There is something about water holes, water falls, and other bodies of water.  They are places that draw you to them for refreshment from the oppressive heat.  "He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters." (Psalm 23:2)  They are places to quench your thirst. 
They are places where life is abundant.  Where vegetation and animal life alike are there for the nourishment of water.  "Putting down roots near the rivers -
Never a worry through the hottest of summers,
never dropping a leaf,
Serene and calm through droughts,
bearing fresh fruit every season."

What a beautiful word picture of His family.

I so love looking about at His family and seeing all His Fruits dropping from the ones I love in Him.  "Fresh Fruit."  In "every season" of life.

How blessed I am to be in and a part of His Forest.

He is the great "I AM". 
Our Great "I AM"
My Great "I AM".

Praying you enjoy all the days you are given. 
Putting down roots in His River of Life while bearing His Fruits.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

"He Is The Wind" - 05/17/17 - Jeremiah 10-13

"He brings the wind out of His treasuries." (10:13)

 Whenever I read this verse, I ponder on how valuable the wind is that it is kept in "His treasuries".  Have you ever wondered what our world would be like without the wind?

  1. no atmosphere
  2. no pressure differentials

The first case is trivial. But what about the second case?

As the sun heats the earth, it creates convection currents, because hot air is "lighter" (less dense- increase T, need to have a matching increase in P, V or a drop in n) and rises. As the earth rotates, it causes these currents to spin, and random propagation and other induced motion (like evaporation and condensation of water) causes all of the effects we experience as wind.

It is hard to envision a situation in which wind would not be a factor. One such scenario might be to construct giant arcologies, which segmented the air into separate smaller blocks and so discouraged long-range concerted behavior from piling up large differentials such as experienced in hurricanes or other low pressure cyclones.

The other case would be no heat- the sun is cold, the planet is frozen. But that would likely also mean no air as well, since it would condense.

Life without wind seems pretty bleak." Matt Harbowy (former PhD student, Chemistry, Cornell University...
Funny how we take for granted the things we deem as "simple".  Like the air we breathe.  And yet God keeps the wind in "His treasuries."
Throughout His Word there are analogies of The Holy Spirit to the wind. 
In John 2:5 Jesus answered, "I tell you The Truth, no one can enter The Kingdom of god unless they are born of water and The Spirit."  Note:  "spirit" means "wind" and the verse translate literally:  "no on can enter The Kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the wind".
In accepting Christ, The Holy Spirit lives within us.  We become His temple in which He dwells. 
"His Treasuries". 
There are often times while I am working in the heat, I will feel His wind against my face.  Cooling me off and delighting my soul as I think of its touch as a kiss from my ABBA. 
Life without His wind is beyond bleak.  It is death. 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

"Clean" - 05/16/17 - Jeremiah 7-9

“‘Clean up your act—the way you live, the things you do—so I can make my home with you in this place."(7:3)

No matter how much we "clean", we would never be able to have our Lord live within us.  For He is Holy.  completely.  through and through.
And us.  Well.  We are not. 
When outside of Christ. 
It is only through and "in" our Christ we are made Holy. 
Only then are we able to be with our ABBA.  For our Christ is the only filter which is able to "clean" us.
This doesn't mean when "in" Christ we have free reign to live our lives whichever and however.
The amazing part of our heart transforming through our Christ is when we come to the place where our only motivation is pleasing our ABBA because of LOVE.
Not for what we get in exchange.  Not for how "good" it makes us feel. 
We get to the place where "we" don't matter.  Only ABBA.
And then we desire for the all of "we" to be totally His. 
At Home within our hearts. souls.  and minds.

Monday, May 15, 2017

"The Tiller of Soil" - 05/15/17 - Jeremiah 4-6

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

Earlier this morning I was standing at the window looking out across the drive to where we have cleared out woods and created gardens. Amongst the small weeds I can see some of the vines reaching out from the edge of the underbrush. All of them trying to regain a foothold and overtake what we have worked hard to keep clean around the new plantings. It amazes me after all the tilling, spraying, pulling and mulching, the weeds still persist.
I thought, "Just as sin continually persists about us". Trying all ways to regain a foothold and overtake what Christ cleared away and made pure. Holy.     
Yesterday, ABBA gave to me the word "husband". In looking up the different definitions, I discovered it also means "tiller of soil".  His Scripture this morning reminded me of this article I came upon while reading through different sites on "tilling your heart".
Pray you enjoy.

Tilling, Sowing, and Fertilizing Scripture
by Ed Cyzewski

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, May 14, 2017

"We. His Bride" - 05/14/17 - Jeremiah 1-3

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


One meaning is "he who tills the soil".
 I love this strong word. "Husband".
 This word that flows gently from your depths as you speak it.
 Our "True Husband" is The One who will fill every single need and desire we have.
Our "True Husband" is our provider, comforter, protector, leader.
He is "The One" who will treasure and cherish each one of us.
Our "True Husband" who loves each one of us more than we can possible comprehend.
 More than we shall ever love Him in the same depth.
"The One" who Loves.   Unconditionally. Pure. Holy.

 Our "True Husband" who has chosen and picked each one of us out.
 To be His bride. To take us home to our Zion.

 Our  "True Husband" who tills our hearts. Growing it into being more like His.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

"We. His Fearfully and Wonderfully Made" - 05/13/17 - Isaiah 64-66

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

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

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

There are times when we allow Doubt to creep in and allow  it to have a voice. A voice that will grow louder than His Truths if we choose to let it.  Doubt never comes alone.  It always comes with suffocation and darkness. Doubt has as subtle, but determined way of enveloping your whole being and trying to remake you into what you aren't. What you never can be.
 To forget our ABBA is our "potter". He designed and made each one of us.
 And our ABBA doesn't make junk. or trash. or mistakes. or failures. or shame.

We are His Beloved.

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

It is when we refocus on Him and look about we can see how He places us within a circle of our siblings.  We see how we are able to share. To grow. To cry.  To laugh.    We are given the opportunity to dig into Him and His Truths while in His Family.

He speaks directly to our heart through  His Word.  Growing us to come away from picking up Doubt.   How can we not believe and trust in Him? It isn't by chance words we need, persons we need, become present in our lives at the exact moment we are at the place of needing to turn back to Him and His Truths.
 Looking back we can see the times our ABBA comforted and worked His healing, reminding us.  We are His design. We are "fearfully and wonderfully made". We are beautiful - inside and out.
We are made in His image. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

"We. His Delight" - 05/12/17 - Isaiah 59-63

"You’ll get a brand-new name
    straight from the mouth of God.

You’ll be a stunning crown in the palm of God’s hand,
    a jeweled gold cup held high in the hand of your God.

No more will anyone call you Rejected,
    and your country will no more be called Ruined.

You’ll be called Hephzibah (My Delight),
    and your land Beulah (Married),

Because God delights in you
    and your land will be like a wedding celebration.

For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
    so your builder marries you,

And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
    so your God is happy with you." (62:2-5)

Sometimes, I wonder what my new name will be.  Will it be a name I have never heard, can't even begin to pronounce?  It marvels me knowing our ABBA is taking the time to name each of us with a name which perfectly suits us.  A name given to us by He who knows us through and through.

How we struggle in believing the worlds words and treatment as truth or believing His Word as The Truth. 

In this life, the world has named us "a burden".  How very thankful to find I am actually His "Blessing".  His "Beloved".  The world's view is ever changing because of its double standards.  It is when we live by the world, we will view and name ourselves and those about us as "a burden".

There isn't anyone who knows us better than He does, nor is there anyone who Loves us more than He does.  

How much our ABBA desires when coming up against the world and the words of lies it is continually shouting at each of us,  when we choose to stand in and on His Truth.  

For each of us to have His Word tucked within our hearts. 

To know and believe. 

"Because God delights in me
    and my land will be like a wedding celebration.
For as a young man marries his virgin bride,
    so my builder married me,
And as a bridegroom is happy in his bride,
    so my God is happy with me."

Our Abba calls us Hephzibah  (His Delight),
    and our land Beulah (Married). 

Thursday, May 11, 2017

"His Flowers" - 05/11/17 - Isaiah 54-58

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

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

Due to our "winter" being over the first of March this year,  we hit the ground running and haven't stopped.  Nor do I see a slow down in the near future.  It is a blessing from our ABBA to supply the work for His business, but it is causing me to rethink planting many annuals at our home this year.  Each day I am thinking about wearing blinders as we travel down our drive so as not to see all the work needed done at our home.  Our war with the woods isn't in our favor right now in its quest to reclaim areas we have cleared out.  There is landscaping to be done, bushes to be trimmed, even a yard to be mowed.  I am reminded of the cobbler whose family never has shoes, but all of the clients do!  

Our ABBA has been leading me over the past few years to plant more perennials than annuals. Once they are established, I don't have to water them as frequently.  Unlike the annuals, some of which need water every day depending on where they are planted and how hot it is.  And although I love the pops of color with annuals, there are too many times at the end of a work day when I just don't have the time, daylight or energy to water them. 

It has been through the love of gardening He has shown how I am a mix of perennial and annual.

As an annual, I need His Water - aka His Word - each and every day.
I need His Word for strength to endure the heat of the battle which makes me weak. 
I need His Word to grow the perennial roots within me to stand strong "in" Him.
I need His Word as fertilizer, root stimulator, weed preventative in this garden of life.
I need His Word so I may come back stronger after the season of winter, able to grow in the season of spring.
I need His Word to bloom where I am planted.
I need His Word to reproduce Him in my seeds.

I love how The Holy Spirit is the wind carrying the seeds of Him when I am in the season of harvest, so others may grow in Him.

I love being one of His in His Family Garden of many flowers.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

"THE Sacrifice for us" - 05/10/17 - Isaiah 49-53

"He took on His own shoulders the sin of the many,
    He took up the cause of all the black sheep." (53:12)

I pray as you read this, you won't just skim over the words. 
I pray they will hit your heart in what our Abba did/does because of how much He loves you.   


 What are you putting before our Abba?  Our Savior? The Holy Ghost? His Word? Being "in" an intimate relationship with Him? Are you His fan or His follower?

 A Story of True Love..........


At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to the death penalty.

At the time crucifixion was the "worst" death. Only the worst criminals
condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion, Jesus was to be nailed to the cross by His hands and feet.

Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long.

The nails were driven into His wrist.
Not into His palms as is commonly portrayed.
There's a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder.
The Roman guards knew that when the nails
were being hammered into the wrist,
that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus
to use His back muscles to support himself
so that He could breathe.

Both of His feet were nailed together.
Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail
that impaled His feet to the cross.
Jesus could not support himself with His legs
because of the pain, so He was forced to alternate
between arching His back then using his legs just to continue to breathe. Slowly dying of asphyxiation because He could not exhale.
Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage.

Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours.

Yes, over 3 hours.
  Can you imagine this kind of suffering?
To yourself. To someone whom you love with all your heart?

  A few minutes before He died,
Jesus stopped bleeding.
He was simply pouring water from his wounds.

From common images, we see wounds to His hands
and feet and even the spear wound to His side... 

But do we realize His wounds were actually made to His body. 

A hammer driving large nails through the wrist,
the feet overlapped and an even larger nail
hammered through the arches,
then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear.
But before the nails and the spear,
Jesus was whipped and beaten.
The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body.
The beating so horrific that His face was torn
and his beard ripped from His face.
The crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp.
Most men would not have survived this torture.

He had no more blood to bleed out,
only water poured from His wounds.
The human adult body contains about 186 ounces of blood.
 (just less than a gallon) of blood.

Jesus poured all of his blood;
He had three nails hammered into His members;
a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that,
a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His side.

All these without mentioning the humiliation
He passed after carrying His own cross for almost 1.2 miles,
while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones
(The Cross was almost 66.13 pounds of weight, and only for its higher part,
where His hands were nailed).

Jesus had to endure this experience,
so that we can have free access to God.

So that our sins could be "washed" away.
All of them, with no exception!

                                                          JESUS CHRIST DIED FOR EACH ONE OF US.

Take a moment to appreciate The Power of God
in your life, for doing what pleases Him.

"Yes, I love God.
He is my source of life and my Savior.
He keeps me alive day and night.
Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him
"I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13).
"It’s with lasting love
    that I’m tenderly caring for you. (Isaiah 54:8)
Any accuser who takes you to court
    will be dismissed as a liar.
This is what God’s servants can expect.
    I’ll see to it that everything works out for the best.”
        God’s Decree. (Isaiah 54:17)