Thursday, August 31, 2017

"Our Savior Is Coming!" - 08/31/17- Daniel 7-8

“I saw a human form, a son of man,
    arriving in a whirl of clouds.
He came to The Old One
    and was presented to Him.
He was given power to rule—all the glory of royalty.
    Everyone—race, color, and creed—had to serve Him.
His Rule would be forever, never ending.
    His Kingly Rule would never be replaced.(7:13-14)

What a day it shall be!

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

"Our Father of Miracles" - 08/30/17 - Daniel 5-6

"King Darius published this proclamation to every race, color, and creed on earth: Peace to you! Abundant peace!   I decree that Daniel's God shall be worshiped and feared in all parts of my kingdom.

He is The Living God, world without end.
His kingdom never falls. His rule continues eternally.   
He is a Savior and Rescuer.
He performs astonishing miracles in heaven and on earth.

He saved Daniel from the power of the lions"(6:25-27)

A number of years ago I was sitting on the couch and looked up to see Curt in the doorway holding Adam in his arms.  Adam was laying limp and Curt's face was covered with tears, everything about him was showing the fear he had. 
 Adam had been run over by his truck.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a witness.  What a warrior of our ABBA. 

I pray we may be as Daniel while living this life among the lions of the world and satan.
I pray others will witness the miracle of the heart transformation only He can do when we choose to become a child of The King. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

"He - Is Within Us" - 08/29/17 - Daniel 3-4

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

I wondered today as I read this account, did they hate to leave the furnace, leave walking with Him, leave to go back into the world?   I am so thankful for The Gift of The Holy Spirit. 
How I love knowing, without doubt,  He walks with and within us always - even through the "fires" of life. 

We in Him are never without Him within us.  

Monday, August 28, 2017

"Our ABBA of Hope" - 08/28/17 - Daniel 1-2

“But throughout the history of these kingdoms,

The God of Heaven will be building a Kingdom that will never be destroyed,
nor will this Kingdom ever fall under the domination of another.

In the end it will crush the other kingdoms and finish them off and come through it all standing Strong and Eternal.

It will be like the stone cut from the mountain by the invisible hand that crushed the iron, the bronze, the ceramic, the silver, and the gold." (2:44-45)

I love how our Hope can rest in the promises of The Kingdom Come. 

No matter the situation or circumstances we are going through during our journey here on this earth towards Home. 

Our ABBA.  Our Father. 

He has everything in His Hands.  He is in total control. 
Have Faith and Believe in Him. 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

"Knowing - Without Doubt" - 08/27/17 - Esther 7-10

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. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

"He Gives A Taste Of Heaven" - 08/26/17 - Esther 4-6

"When Mordecai learned what had been done, he ripped his clothes to shreds and put on sackcloth and ashes. Then he went out in the streets of the city crying out in loud and bitter cries." (4:1)
We stood in the outer foyer sharing conversations with those who had progressed through the line.  Parts of my heart were standing there receiving those who had come to pay tribute to the man who lay in the coffin they walked by as they exited the room.   
My heart breaks for the pain and sorrow. 
Death was not part of our ABBA's plan when He created this world. 
I wonder if He reacted as Mordecai did when Eve took the first bite of the apple. 
Knowing because of that first bite all was changed.  Death had entered into the picture of His beautiful Eden.  Sin had come between the face to face time He had so delighted in with His children.
As I watched those in line there were faces which seemed familiar, but older and I couldn't take their name from the tip of my tongue.  I realized they were probably thinking the same about mine when their eyes rested upon me. 
Time has a way of flying by and stealing from us the youth of our bodies.  Of the day when we are no longer together here on this earth.
So many memories have went through my mind.  Each one accompanied with a heartsmile as I remember my Uncle Ray.  He was my first crush.  It took awhile for me to get over the hurt when he married Sandi.  (So thankful he did!)  This man always, always had a grin for me with sparkling eyes to match.  I thought about how much this family of mine has endured over the years.  The loss of two sons hits high on the list.  The fighting to survive the grief and binding together, becoming stronger has been such an inspiration to myself and so many. 
My heart breaks for my Aunt Sandi who no longer has her best friend of 52 years by her side.  My heart breaks for my "little sis" Teresa who no longer is able to hold her daddy's hand.  My heart breaks for Tim, the soninlove, who will no longer have the times of farming side by side with his bonus dad. My heart breaks for Michael, the only grandchild, his wife Emy, who will no longer have this man to share their youthful adventures with. 
I am so thankful knowing no matter how much my heart breaks for these precious treasures of my heart, our ABBA's breaks even more and is there to comfort them.  He did not intend for our hearts to break.  Ever. 
In His sorrow, He then gave us The Bridge, to overcome the gap sin created, in the gift of our Savior.  He created The Way Home. 
How much I rejoice knowing in Heaven  "He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there shall no longer be any death; there shall no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:4)
Until Heaven Uncle Ray.  Thank you for being there for me.  for loving me.  for a taste of Heaven. 
I so love, love, love you and yours.

Friday, August 25, 2017

"We - Children of The King" - 08/25/17 - Esther 1-3

"The king fell in love with Esther far more than with any of his other women or any of the other virgins—he was totally smitten by her.
He placed a royal crown on her head and made her queen in place of Vashti." (2:17)
It is such a comfort knowing, without doubt, our ABBA feels even more so with each one of us.
We - in Christ - are His royal children. 
Children of The King.
No greater Love.


Thursday, August 24, 2017

"In Him - We Delight" - 08/24/17 - Ecclesiastes 9-12

"Oh, how sweet the light of day, And how wonderful to live in the sunshine! 
Even if you live a long time, don't take a single day for granted.
Take delight in each light-filled hour" (11:7-8)

 A few years ago, while driving across the Hannibal bridge, ABBA was showing off.

On the right side of the bridge the blue sky was filled with sunshine and white fluffy clouds. 

The left side, no more than 200 yards away, the sky was dark and angry.  The rains were coming down so hard I couldn't see the river.

I can remember wanting to just stop and watch His complete control over the elements, but due to other traffic had to press on.

I love watching His storms.  I love His rains.  But more than anything - I love feeling the warmth of His sun upon my face.  A hug from my ABBA.  The wind blowing gently across my face.  A kiss from my ABBA. 

Although I love the work He has blessed me with (I do so delight working out in His nature), I love even more delighting in living in a life drenched in His "Son"shine - each and every Son filled moment.

I pray for all to know an intimacy with Him.  To look up and feel Him covering you inside and out with His wonderful, marvelous, glorious, Awesome "Son"shine. 

The Cross gave us access to our ABBA. 

No need for sunblock - His "Son"shine is guaranteed to be cleansing in all ways.  Purifying us from the cancer of sin, won't burn you to a crisp - causing only healthy, fruit producing growth.  I love how He has opened my eyes to be thankful for each and every day - not taking life for granted. 

Basking in His "Son"shine.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

"He Continually Feeds Us" - 08/23/17 - Ecclesiastes 5-8

"We work to feed our appetites; Meanwhile our souls go hungry"(6:7)
All across our country you see them.  Signs advertising the promises. 
All you can eat buffets. 
All you can eat. 
For a price.
Curt loves a great buffet.  I can take or leave them.  I find upon entering a door of one, I instantly turn into a cow and need to fill all four digestive departments inside my newly expanded stomach.  Upon leaving, I usually feel miserable.  And vow never to eat at such an establishment again.
It isn't that there is anything wrong with a buffet.  Food is one of my weaknesses and I know buffet's are a temptation for me.  Striving for moderation.
There is one "all you can eat" buffet I do not walk away from miserable after consuming the meat.
His Word.
It is the only "food" I consume which satisfies my soul.

Do you take time to "eat" of Him and His Word each day? 
Is your time spent with Him a priority? 
Moment by moment? 

How I have come to love taking time with Him each morning and listen to Him speak to me through His Word. He causes me to be more aware of Him, His ways. His Word sustains me and I find myself "chewing" on what He has given me throughout my day. My conversation (prayers) are the dessert I partake of. My eyes are open to the Divine Appointments He has set up for  me. 
I love how He feeds my soul from His endless buffet.  His Word.
I pray for all to enjoy their soul being fed - not only today - but for always - with His Food.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

"Never Alone" - 08/22/17 - Ecclesiastes 1-4

"By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped." (4:12)
There are so many times in my life where I see strength is given from those whom our ABBA has surrounded me by.  How wonderful it is to be a part of His Family.
I do not know how persons endure living life in this world when they haven't anyone to share in the steps of our journey. 
I love to see and hear the accounts of how He uses each one of us for the needs of others.  How when we allow Him, He shines through brightly and the darkness trying to envelope us is warded off. 
There is no greater bond than one which has the foundation of our ABBA to grow, to be nourished from, to thrive from. 
How much I delight in knowing all of His Family we are surrounded by. 
They are a Taste of Heaven.  How He so blesses us.


Monday, August 21, 2017

"Face to Face" - 08/21/17 - 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 each one of us as we look face to face.  To be in our presence.  To "come close when we call out."
To be near and whisper in our ear, "It’s going to be all right."
Face to face.  I am reminded of this when reading these words:
"There is so much excitement and anticipation around the eclipse coming on this day.
 I mean, what's not to love! The moon blocking out the sun and darkness in... the middle of the afternoon! It's a phenomena that the whole country is anticipating (and hoping to have the right glasses to view). 
 But could I tell you about another day that the sun was darkened and refused to shine? 
It was the darkest day in history 2000 years ago when the Son of Man was hanging on a cross. 
The scripture gives this account in Mark 15:33-34: "At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
The sun was darkened for three hours as the Father turned away from the Son.
For the first time in all of eternity there was a separation of the Father and the Son.
Our finite minds can't comprehend such Love for us that God would sacrifice His Son.
And why would the Son willingly give His life for the sins of the whole world?
It's beyond our human comprehension.
Darkness in the middle of the day. Creation mourning the killing and death of The Lord of Creation.
But praise God it didn't end there...not in darkness! 
 The darkest day in history was turned into a glorious daylight as The Son arose on the third day! 
 Salvation was complete.
The eclipse today will be an amazing event. Amazing, but not life changing. I pray that it is a reminder of that day so long ago when Love eclipsed darkness and salvation became a reality for each and every person on the planet.

 That is life changing, but only if you receive it.
I hope you are careful on Monday as you look at the sun, but I pray that you are always careful to look AT The Son!

 "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face. And the things of earth will grow strangely dim. In the light of His glory and grace." (Lynn Bennett Wilkerson)


Sunday, August 20, 2017

"He Needs To Be Our Rock" - 08/20/17 - Lamentations 1-3:36

"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"(3:19-33)

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 has 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, we must be stripped bare, down to nothing, to become all He has made "us" to be. He must dress "us" in His Truths, so when we look into His mirror, it is His Beloved we are seeing, not the destructive view of "self" or others.

He has taught me His Standards are what we need to desire to live our life by. His unconditional Love is what we need to sink our feet into, curling our toes up and gripping in hard. He is our Hope when all feels hopeless. He will transform our life, our whole being, into His Treasure.  If we choose to let Him.

He needs to be our Rock. our bestest friend. our Love.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

"He Is - The Hope" - 08/19/17 - Ruth 1-4

"But Ruth said, "Don't force me to leave you; don't make me go home. Where you go, I go; and where you live, I'll live. Your people are my people, your God is my god; where you die, I'll die, and that's where I'll be buried, so help me God—not even death itself is going to come between us!"(1:16-17)

What a wonderful vow to take to our Father from our heart. 

To become His hook, line, and sinker.  To be totally sold out for Him - in the good and bad times.  When life is going along with no bumps  or when every step you take is met with an obstacle. 

We read today where Naomi changed her name to Mara - which means Bitter. 

I pray that no matter what steps we are to take in this life, we will not lose focus of His face.  That we will not become Mara - bitter.  That we will always know The Hope.  Time after time in Scripture, He gives us the promise of The Hope.  That He is in total control and we are in the palm of His hand. 

Thankfully, Naomi refocused and saw the hope God gave her before her life ended here on earth. 

"Naomi said to her daughter-in-law, "Why, God bless that man! God hasn't quite walked out on us after all! He still loves us, in bad times as well as good!" (2:20) 

I pray during the times when we lose focus on His face, to quickly refocus on His Hope.  To not live out life in Bitterness. 

There are days when I think about the time our Savior was separated from our ABBA.  His ABBA.  

The time He had taken upon Himself all of our sins.  Those three days of in between.  Those days which brought about the end of the war. 

It was the days before He overcame death and satan.  

With each new breath of air we are given a new beginning.  It is our decision to live in The Hope of our Savior or in the bitterness of the world.

We have been given The Hope to live as though each moment is our Easter. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

"We - Are His" - 08/18/17 - Song of Solomon 1-8


"I’m all He wants. I’m all the world to Him!"(7:10)

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

I find our security is resting in the knowledge of His Truth.

He is ours.  We are His.
No greater Love.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

"Makings of A Warrior" - 08/17/17 - Job 40-42

“Do you presume to tell me what I’m doing wrong?
Are you calling me a sinner so you can be a saint?" (40:8)

God is talking to Job. 

Yes, I know that He has spoken the same words to me numerous times throughout my life.  I have experienced the problem of serving "self", trying to make myself god, instead of serving Him.  It's during those times that I try to "sugar coat" sin.  To observe it through "rose colored glasses".  That way I can convince myself God is in error - I know that my vision is accurate - I can determine what is a sin.

That way - I become the "saint". 

And there have been times He has rescued me from the consequences of my sins.  And then there are the times that I have had to endure the consequences.  Thankfully, I am given His grace and mercy through my Christ.  Thankfully, His Word has/is transforming my heart to desire to serve Him more often than self.  Still I struggle, still I fail, but I know I am doing better than yesterday because of Him. 

When I first began to read Job, it was a book I dreaded to go through.  I felt that God was using him as a pawn in a game with satan.  It didn't seem right that the God I loved and served was about using a person to a point of allowing them to be hurt.  Hurt in every way possible - except death.  Job shares that there were many times he wished he was dead, which I sometimes thought would have been a blessing to him. 

And then I discovered that I was looking at Job through my own narrow, incorrect vision.  What I was thinking was wrong about God - wasn't. 

 He opened my eyes to the honor and blessing Job received to be the man God told satan to pick.  God knew that Job was a "mighty warrior" - a "mighty warrior" in Him.  It was then I realized that is why sometimes, I face consequences of my sins.  It is why sometimes, I face consequences of others sins or the unfairness of life.  He views me as His "mighty warrior".   That through the lessons of Job - I am then able to stand firm in Him during the games of satan.

Looking back through the years of my life, I see now that when I thought what was best - it really didn't even come close to the better I have today.  The blessings that I receive from the experience of enduring a battle together with my husband, I know we are a team for Him.  The times when our sons were young and so enjoyed.  Although I miss those years, I love the relationship we share now.  To be able to see them enjoying seasons we have lived through.  How selfish of me to want them to never grow up, to not experience the gift of marriage, of children, of grandchildren - of living life. 

I used to struggle in accepting the death of Job's children and everything else he went through.  That those children could never be "replaced" with the ones God blessed him with later on.  And we also have lost two children, who are now in heaven with Him.  Our sons can not "replace" them, but because of the losses of them, I treasure our sons even more. 

He has shown me it is through my losses come what I treasure today. 

 "God blessed Job’s later life even more than his earlier life." (42:12)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

"He - Is Bigger" - 08/16/17 - Job 38-39

"And now, finally, God answered Job from the eye of a violent storm." (38:1)

The storms of life.  We all have to walk through them.  It is our choice to walk through them with Him or "self".  And sometimes, we feel we are following Him and He leaves us in the midst of one.  Or perhaps we are running after Him and a storm comes out of nowhere, surrounding us, and we tremble in fear.  Or anger.  Believing the lie that He has forsaken us and left us to endure the storm alone.  Or that we have to endure a storm at all.

Then we make the choice to wallow in the mud puddles left behind.  The mud puddles of "self pity".  Or we begin to run on our own course, thinking we'll escape the storm - our way - and land in quicksand.  And then we find ourselves sinking.  And sometimes we do nothing - except give up.  We lose faith that He is bigger than the storm and we make the choice to just sit.   Pretending that we will wait it out, when really we are becoming full of self pride, stubbornness - and hatred seeps in.  Or we lose our trust in Him and stand frozen in time - not able to move at all. 

“Why do you confuse the issue?
Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about?
Pull yourself together, Job!
Up on your feet! Stand tall! (38:2-3)

He tells us that there will be trials and tribulations.  That life isn't fair and we will have storms to walk through.  We begin to put "our" spin on things, taking His ways and trying to make them our own.  We come along and "confuse the issue".  We make the storms - all about "self".  When really just like in Job - it's about the spiritual warfare.  We forget that He is in control of all and has prepared us for battle of storms.  We need to "pull ourselves together, get up on our feet and stand tall".  In Him.  Our Commander in Chief.

The darkness of a storm slowly coming across the sky, blocking out the sun.  So like the darkness of evil as it slowly creeps over the people.  With the art of deceit, and grace of seductiveness, false beauty of manipulation, it wraps its fingers around the souls of those who are being flung about in the winds of the storm.  Tolerance is its rain, media is the winds that blow throughout the land - causing damage to all in its path. 

And at times, we forget. 

That He is bigger than any storm. 

As the sun brings everything to light,
brings out all the colors and shapes,
The cover of darkness is snatched from the wicked—
they’re caught in the very act! (38:14-15)

He is the Son of God.  The one who overcame death, who gave His all for of our sins.  He brings everything to light.  Everything.  Bringing out the colors and shapes that have been covered in sin.  He cleanses everyone who is in Him.  He brings to light those who are wicked.  No where can they hide.  Their guilt is there for all to see - The Son has conquered the storms.

How thankful I am that He reminds us over and over again. 

He is bigger than any storm.

“I’m speechless, in awe—words fail me.
I should never have opened my mouth!
I’ve talked too much, way too much.
I’m ready to shut up and listen.” (40:4-5)

To follow His way through the storms.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

"He Is Here" - 08/15/17 - Job 35-37

 "It's God's breath that forms the ice, it's God's breath that turns lakes and rivers solid". (37:10)

I can remember when I was in Jr. High, just a few years ago............a freeze came over the area after the rains.  The field next to our house was covered with a sheet of solid, smooth ice.  I can remember skating over the field in the dark under the moonlight.  The exercise keeping my body warm, my breath freezing in the air as it escaped from within my chest.  Although I wasn't much of a skater, I could manage to stay up and glide over the surface.  The best I ever got was to achieve a tight circle turnabout then going into a backwards skate.

 I love in winter when the sunshine is making diamonds over the snow covered earth.  How they sparkle and reflect everywhere my eyes rest, as I take in the beauty of His landscape.  Winter isn't my favorite season, but how much of His beauty He gives us in His freezing temperatures.  I love how He flocks the bare trees with an artistic flare after a heavy snow.  Amazed the thin branches don't break as they bow down before our ABBA.  How the footprints of His animals leave their mark, giving us a clue to where they have traveled.  How the sounds are much clearer.  The air seems cleaner.  The cardinals puffed up and sunning themselves, their red is like a splash of paint against the snow.  Everything is so stark that anything with color is more vibrant to our eyes. 

I. love. His. nature.

A gift to us.

His verse takes my breath away.

 "It's God's breath that forms the ice, it's God's breath that turns lakes and rivers solid".

 Never before had I thought about how when walking on ice, we are actually walking on what His breath has formed.  What a marvel knowing He is that close. 

He has transformed water with His breath - HIS BREATH - into something we are able to walk upon.

And like water, He transforms our thoughts from complaining of the cold, fearful of the ice, yearning for the spring, to instead be in awe of Him. 

To look at winter as yet another sign - He is near.  He is here.  With us. For an eternity.


Monday, August 14, 2017

"Our Light" - 08/14/17 - Job 32-34

"A messenger who would mercifully intervene,
    canceling the death sentence with the words:

    ‘I’ve come up with the ransom!’
Before you know it, you’re healed,
    the very picture of health!

 “Or, you may fall on your knees and pray—to God’s delight!

    You’ll see God’s smile and celebrate,
    finding yourself set right with God.

You’ll sing God’s praises to everyone you meet,
    testifying, ‘I messed up my life—
    and let me tell you, it wasn’t worth it.

But God stepped in and saved me from certain death.

    I’m alive again! Once more I see the light!’
 “This is the way God works.

    Over and over again

He pulls our souls back from certain destruction

    so we’ll see the light—and live in the light!"  (33:24-30)
I am so thankful for our Messenger.  Our Jesus Christ.  Our Savior.
He who has made it right.  For eternity.
Living in The Light! 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Our Ripples Felt" - 08/13/17 - Job 29-31

"I was known for"(29:12)

In Chapter 29, Job is giving an account of what his life was once like. 

I wondered after reading today, what am I known for?

Is it as a follower of our Christ?  Is Christ evident when I share life with others?  Is Christ felt through my actions, words, deeds? 

Time slips so quickly.

"Already" it is almost the middle of August.  "Already" we are in the second half of 2017.  2017!!!!!  "Already" I have lived over halfway to 100.  "Already" I have been married for 34 years.  "Already" I have born and attempted in the raising of two sons.  "Already" they are now young adult men with families of their own.  "Already" time has passed and never to be regained except as a memory.   "Already" have many opportunities been given to lead others to Him.   

"Already".  Too fast.  Too soon.

 Are the ripples we create known for being His?

Saturday, August 12, 2017

"That's Wisdom!" - 08/12/17 - Job 24-28

"God alone knows the way to Wisdom, He knows the exact place to find it.
He knows where everything is on earth, He sees everything under heaven.
After He commanded the winds to blow and measured out the waters,
Arranged for the rain and set off explosions of thunder and lightning,
He focused on Wisdom, made sure it was all set and tested and ready.
Then He addressed the human race:
'Here it is! Fear-of-The-Lord - that's Wisdom, and Insight means shunning evil.'"(28:23-28)
The gift of Wisdom is there for each of us.  Promised through the studying and consuming of His Word. 
After reading these verses in Job this morning, I picked up my "In Touch" publication to read today's devotional from the sermons of Charles F. Stanley.
I just love how ABBA pulls all things together through the Wisdom in His Word!
"The Way to Acquire Wisdom"
Knowledge is a prized commodity in the world, but more important than knowledge is Wisdom (Proverbs 8:11).  God wants us to view life from His viewpoint and evaluate everything according to Biblical principles.
How are believers to acquire this God-given insight?  The obvious answer is that we must seek it.  Too often, however, people who say they want to be wise do little to actually make that happen.  Like any worthwhile treasure, Wisdom must be actively pursued and carefully gleaned from its sources.
The first source is The Bible.  Proverbs teaches that we should pay attention to God's life-giving Words and hold His commands in our hearts (4:20-22).  These days information is broadcast with the slant of the people who packaged it.  The only way to know the right perspective - namely, God's - is to read His ancient "broadcast" and apply its principles (8:33).
Another source of Wisdom is the counsel of godly men and women (12:15).  The Lord at times brings fellow believers into our life to offer Biblical advice, encouragement, or reproof.  In Proverbs, those who ignore the words of a righteous person are labeled "fool."  Don't be foolish.  Surround yourself with other followers of Christ who are also seeking Wisdom as their treasure.
Our Heavenly Father ensures that those who seek Wisdom will find it (8:12, 17).  Diligent believers will discover they possess abundant treasure:  In addition to godly insight they'll have knowledge discernment, and prudence - rare riches in the modern world.  Use them well." 

Friday, August 11, 2017

"His Grace Rescues" - 08/11/17 - Job 21-23

"Yes, even the guilty will escape, escape through God's grace in your life." (22:30)

 The memory crept in from out of nowhere.  Came right in and filled the space behind my closed eyes as I knelt in prayer before Him.  A memory of a past sin I have confessed, repented of. 

satan is always standing there, at the ready, holding up the robe of shame and doubt.  It gives him such pleasure when we reach out for it, and proceed to put it upon our shoulders.  (Thankfully our ABBA is helping me to resist doing this more often than not.)

Our ABBA constantly reminds us in His Word that through Christ:
We are His chosen one. 
His Prince or princess. 
We are His. 

It knocks the wind out of me, my stomach churns, tears can not be contained when I allow myself to think about "what if".  What if He had not of been there to intercede?  What if He had not of been in complete control?  What if He had of given up on me? 

Looking back I can plainly see, my journey would  have not placed me here today. 

Through the memories I see the ugly mask of sin I was wearing. 
And still. 
He reached out through all the ugliness and filth to touch me.  To rescue me.  To claim me as His own. 

He Loved me in my ugliest.
He Loved all of us in our ugliest.
An unconditional, never-ending Love.

We are guilty of so much, yet He freed us from paying the cost of our sins once and for all through The Gift of our Savior. 
There is no greater Love.

Just as we are to Love others.  and our "self".  To look past the mask of sin.  the filth.  the ugliness of sin.  To look past and love as He loves.  To see we are all made in the image of Him. 

I am not the only one the gift of grace is extended to.  Each of us are a vessel He will use to let others see how His Grace rescues.  Each of us are one He will shine through to Love as He Loves. 

If we choose to let Him.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

"Still" - 08/10/17 - Job 17-20

 "Still, I know that God lives." (19:24)

This verse is where I fell in love with Job.

After all the pain, suffering, abandonment he was going through.
he believed.

 In my life, as I come across the elements of living, be it the joy of the rainbow during a rain storm, the bone chilling wind that sweeps across my path during a time when I am trying to keep my balance on the slippery ice.  My parched, dry throat while I wander through the desert, or the softness of the grass against my skin, as I lay down beside the still waters.  The way my eyes strain to see the end of the horizon, the end of the universe through the stars, as I stand on the mountain tops.  The way I feel when I am running through the meadow of life with Him, dancing with the butterflies, dipping our toes into the cool stream of water.  Swinging over and letting go of the rope as we fall into the deep, blue green waters.  The sounds of laughter as it tickles my ears.  The cleansing of my soul as tears fall from my eyes.

Do I
in all of living -

 He desires and commands us in many ways to be "still". 
It is by being "still In Him", then - only then -
are we are able to truly Love as He Loves -
unconditionally and without expectations. 
To have our feet firmly planted
in His "still" foundation.  
True living for Him only works when we are completely
in Him.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

"We - His Warriors" - 08/09/17 - Job 14-16

  "I was contentedly minding my business when God beat me up. He grabbed me by the neck and threw me around. He set me up as His target," (16:12)

                                                                                                    "Having the world by the tail." 
       "Living life to its fullest." 
                                                                               "Nothing can go wrong." 
                          "How can life get any better."

Just some of the thoughts we humans have running through our minds at times and then.......
 we are smacked in the face with...........

                                                                  well............with life.

Job used to be my least favorite book to read.  I viewed it from the point of how ABBA was using Job as a game piece between Him and satan.  It seemed so unfair, for Job, to have to endure all he did, because ABBA chose him.  The account tells us Job was a strong man of God.  He lived his life for God.  And yet, Job was targeted by ABBA.

Through Scripture, ABBA also tells us, "it will rain on the just and unjust" (Matthew 5:45).  As long as we are living on this earth, we will suffer the consequences of sin, even though when in His Covenant, our sins are covered by His Blood.  The consequences Job was affected by were direct attacks from satan, allowed by ABBA. 

                                Doesn't that seem unfair?  How can our all Loving ABBA do that? 

Until I stopped looking at the Book of Job from my own personal view point, I wasn't able to see it for what it is. 

It is an account of one of ABBA's mightiest Warriors. 

ABBA knows our hearts, better than we ourselves do. He knew, without a doubt, Job would not fail Him, no matter the afflictions put upon him. He knew Job would be an example for all to strive for. To know it is only possible through our ABBA to become such, regardless of our human weakness. He knew Job drew his strength from Him.

In looking at Job through Christ' eyes, it has transformed my heart in dealing with trials, tribulations, afflictions, during my journey.  He is enabling me to look more of how He is using me as His Vessel, rather than submit to wallowing in self-pity (at least for not as long as I used to).  He is also helping me to stand back and allow Him to defend me, rather than utilize my inept defenses.  I have found too, when I step back, He shines brighter and more lives are touched for and by Him.

Now, when it comes time to read the Book of Job, my eyes eagerly drink in the Words.  Praying for the new insight He will give me as I journey onward towards Home.  Building me into a stronger Warrior for Him.  "Going and making Disciples". 

                                                                 I count it a privilege and honor to be "used" in His Battle.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

"Cycle of Seasons" - 08/08/17 - Job 10-13

"I wish I'd never lived - a stillborn, buried without ever having breathed." (10:19)

 So many times during my life, this was my most prominent thought.

Wishing I was dead, thinking life would be so much easier for myself, and others, if I wasn't here. Too chicken to actually commit suicide, but living life on the edge hoping for some "accident". I can remember vividly, stepping out into traffic to cross the street, hoping I would be hit. Without a care what the driver would have went through - or anyone else for that matter. This memory often crosses my mind when on a curb. Or the time when sitting on a window sill, nine stories up, thinking how easy it would be to just, slip off. I lived a life of drugs, alcohol, and in all the wrong places with many of the wrong persons, trying to escape the pain of being. Although I have never suffered the physical ailments Job did, I had the mental.

 Depression. SAD.

Such a horrifyingly ugly disease. It robs a person of life itself, casting you into a pit of darkness, unable at times to determine what is real or imagined. All is taken personal with a drink of bitterness and anger. It can leave you numbingly paralyzed or running at top speed into self-destruction. Even after finding and submitting myself to Christ, there are times when I still struggle with this disease.

Thankfully, ABBA enabled others to develop drugs I have had to take off and on throughout the years to help balance my system so I am able to truly live life in Him. He has also given me exercises, steps to take, when I feel the roots of depression coming on. He has led me to set needed boundaries.

Important gifts I have been given, is my Savior, The Holy Spirit, His Word. His Family. I shudder to imagine what my life would be like without them. In my deepest place, I know without ABBA, I would either be dead or shut away.

 It is my prayer for others facing this demon, to see life through Christ eyes. To grab on and not let go of The Hope, which comes when focusing on Him and not self. When living life For and In Him.

These past few weeks I have been watching the sunshine coming in at a different angle and set sooner than the day before. At times there is a kiss of fall in the air as our ears are hearing the sounds of locust singing their praises throughout the day.  So many signs that the season of summer is falling away from us.  Fall the welcome mat season of one many do not look forward to.  Winter.

Although the snow may be beautiful, it is isolating. It is an invitation to stay inside, away from people, away from living life. There are more hours which are of darkness than sunlight, I pray we will notice with each passing day, sunlight is becoming more as we go towards a new season - spring. Spring - new beginnings, a breath of fresh air, stepping out into His Sonshine and drinking Him in - knowing another "winter" is behind us. Knowing He provides the continual cycle of the seasons. 

It is only because of ABBA we are able to hold onto the hope of His Spring - I pray others will allow Him to be the leader of their lives. I pray they will look at the innumerable blessings He showers upon our lives and thank Him for being alive.  No matter the season we are in.

When I look back from the place of where I wanted to not be alive, I am brought to tears of all the "living" I would have missed. Of all the passing Him on to those in my life, causing a ripple, which is touching lives and generations I am not aware of.

How thankful I am He is using our lives as we "live" for Him.

"Your life would be brighter than noonday; Darkness would be like the morning.
"Then you would trust, because there is hope; And you would look around and rest securely. "
Throughout the years I have written in the margins of my Bible alongside verses which touched my heart.  I smile as I reread these little notes, dated on the day they were written, seeing how much my ABBA has grown me. 

Grown me through all the seasons.  Only through Him. 

So many things He has taken my fingers and pried them away from.  Things I was clinging onto for dear life.  my comfort zone.  So many ways, He has taken my freed hands and put into them His own.  His own Hand to lead me into uncharted waters.

I didn't so much love it at the time, but now am so thankful He takes the time to grow me into whom He designed me to be.  Yes, I still have much growth left within me, but at least I am growing towards His Light instead of keeping my soul in the dark closet.

I love looking about the changes He has produced in my life and knowing, without doubt, I am resting securely in Him.  He is our Hope in all of the seasons. 

He really does - you know - "take the darkness and make it like the morning".