Saturday, September 30, 2017

" He Is - Bigger Than Any Fear" - 09/30/17 - 2 Chronicles 19-21

"Jehoshaphat was afraid
and turned his attention to seek THE LORD ,
and proclaimed a fast throughout all Judah.
So Judah gathered together to seek help from THE LORD ;
they even came from all the cities of Judah to seek THE LORD ." (20:3-4)   

It isn't often our family of eight is all together at one time.  

And when we are, I struggle to be thankful for those moments and not yearn for anything more.  

I struggle to not keep count of the time together versus the time apart.  I struggle not to think about the "what if's" and focus on the "what is".  

I struggle to not become paralyzed with fear.  To not desire to herd my "chicks" under my wings and not let them go.  I struggle to not be lost in the memories of yesterdays.  

During those moments of being together,  I am lifting each one of them up, having conversation with our ABBA who is right there in the midst of us celebrating. He gives me yet another "jewel of a day" to tuck into my heart along with the joys and the laughter.   

My heart beats faster knowing there are many things which can happen. 

It begins with our conception.  Dying.  Only ABBA knows how long our days are.  The fear of one of them dying, if I allowed it, could paralyze me. 

 It is my greatest fear. 

Even though I know - without doubt- they would be with our ABBA and four other little ones. 
It is my selfishness which wants to keep them here. 

I think about our dear sisters and brothers, ones who have lost their spouse or child, and draw strength from their example.  It helps knowing I am not the only wife/mama feeling this way.  It helps knowing our ABBA knows exactly how we feel going through these moments. 

After all, He gave up His only Son. for each one of us. 

Just as "Judah gathered together to seek help from THE LORD", He has placed each of us within the lives of others to help us through our journey.  Help for us to remain focused on Him.  He has given us The Holy Spirit and His Word to comfort and keep our eyes lifted up from focusing on "me" and focus instead on the many ways ABBA is using the treasures of our heart for His work.  For His Glory. 

He is continually growing us during the times we become afraid, turning our attention back towards seeking Him.   ABBA - THE LORD.  Our I AM.  Bigger than any fear.

Friday, September 29, 2017

"Choosing Delight" - 09/29/17 - 2 Chronicles 15-18

 "And his heart took delight in the ways of The Lord." (17:6)

There are moments when His ways don't make sense.  When the results of our choices bring about consequences causing only pain.  There are moments when it seems the darkness about us will completely swallow us whole.

There are moments when we pick up doubt and feel He isn't "I AM".  Those are moments we need to remember, it isn't His intention to destroy us, it is His intention to save us.

Why else would He sacrifice His only Son for us.

From the mouths of some I have heard our God must not be a Loving God to allow the bad to happen in our journeys here on earth.  I feel we have no idea how "bad" things could be, if it wasn't for His intervention.  His protection.

Those are the times we need to stand firm "in" Him.  Those are the times we need to have Faith in His ways.  For only He knows the whole paradigm.

I have lived a life without Him and am amazed I stumbled through the valleys of quicksand and tar pits trying to suck me down into the belly of hell.  I know now looking back, I survived only because of His great Love. 

There are moments when it is quite easy to rejoice and delight in His ways.  To celebrate the answers of prayers when the blessings feel as though they will drown us. 

Those are the times we need to tuck away into our hearts to gain strength from.  Those are the times we need to utilize in getting through those not so great moments. 

How thankful I am knowing, without doubt, as the storms of life swirl about us each and every moment.  Not one is left to "chance".  Our ABBA is in complete control.
No matter the outcome.

Our lives here aren't what He intended when He created the world and "us".  Throughout the all of Scripture, we read how He gave "us", yet another opportunity.  The Garden of Eden was a place without sin, until both Adam and Eve made the choice to disobey.  How easily The Lord could have destroyed them then.  But He gave "us", yet another opportunity.  He gave "us", yet another opportunity, in having Noah build an ark and be in it.  Over and over, throughout His Word, we read accounts in which He has given "us" yet another opportunity.

He gave "us", yet another opportunity, through the death and resurrection of our Savior.

Through our Savior we are given the gift of Grace and Mercy.  This doesn't mean we have the freedom to blatantly sin, it means we are covered when we do.  And we will. 

We are all given the free choice to obey or not obey His Will.  To accept or not accept the gift of His Son.  Freedom to be His or not to be His. 

As long as there is breath within us, as long as it is before the final days, we have been given, yet another opportunity.  An opportunity to be redeemed from when we have provoked The LORD to anger.

 An opportunity I pray all will take before they can't.  Delighting to be His as He delights in being ours.  Bringing about "true delightment in The Ways of The Lord."

Thursday, September 28, 2017

"Our Strength" - 09/28/17 - 2 Chronicles 11-14

"Because they relied on The Lord God ."(2 Chronicles 13:18)

 It was there in reading of the account of wars Asa, king of Judah, would be involved in that His verse caught my heart, "Because they relied on The Lord God ."  This is exactly what He wants us to do.  To rely on Him.  During all of the living of this life. 

His family numbers are more than we are able to count. We have been given so many tools to band together and lift others up to Him. In all steps of living, so many are praying for each other.  Talking to our ABBA. And knowing - He listens.  To each and every word. 

"In the same way The Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but The Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning's too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of The Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God."(Romans 8:26-27) 

What hope there is knowing we are not alone.  Without His Family.  Ever.  What blessings rain down upon us from each other. What security there is in knowing, without doubt, our ABBA is in total control. 

In all ways.  For always. 

"For The Eyes of The Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." (2 Chronicles 16:9)

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

"We - His Bride" - 09/27/17 - 2 Chronicles 8-10

"Solomon brought Pharaoh's daughter up from the City of David to the palace he had built for her, for he said,
"My wife must not live in the palace of David king of Israel,
because the places the ark of The LORD has entered are Holy." (2 Chronicles 8:11)
His wife couldn't live in the palace because she was not of the chosen people.  an outsider.

I smile knowing - one day our ABBA will come for His. 
Jesus has went on ahead and prepared a room for each one of His own.  In His Father's house.

We will not be living on the outside looking across the way. 
We have a room "in" His House.
Because we belong to Him. 
For eternity. 

The Bride of Christ.  Yes, we are. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"His Reminder" - 09/26/17 - 2 Chronicles 5-7

"Yes! God is good!
His Love never quits" (7:3)

"God, O God of Israel, there is no God like You in the skies above or on the earth below,
Who unswervingly keeps covenant with His servants
and unfailingly loves them
while they sincerely live in obedience to Your way. (6:14)

 "A billowing cloud filled The Temple of God.
The priests couldn’t even carry out their duties because of the cloud—the glory of God!—that filled The Temple of God.
Yes! God is good!
His loyal love goes on forever!"(5:13-14)
How wonderful it is knowing when in Christ, we are The Temple in which The Holy Spirit resides within and about. 


Monday, September 25, 2017

"What We Ask For" - 09/25/17 - 2 Chronicles 1-4

"In that night God appeared to Solomon and said to him, “Ask what I shall give you.” (1:7)

Our ABBA. 

He is always there.  at the ready.  desiring nothing more than to be with us.  filling us up from head to toe. 


The One who is The Great "I AM".


The One who wants nothing more than to have communication with us. 
Desiring with everything He is to share all of our days together.  here and eternally.

In our intimate relationship with ABBA, what is it we most desire?  What is it we ask for?

Is it to be Christlike, serving Him in every breath we take and release?
or is it to serve self and make life all about "me"?

Sunday, September 24, 2017

"What We Store Within" - 09/24/17 - 1 Chronicles 28-29

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

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

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

There is an old story about Jesus coming into your "heart" and wanting to have every "room" within. It takes you through the living room, He talks about the TV and what you watch. The kitchen, bath, bedroom, etc. and as you guide Him through - you give over to Him each "room".

 That is until you come to the end of the hall to the closet.

 It is there you change from gracious to rude host. You stand in front of the door and are unwilling to open it because you do not want Him to see inside. It is in the "closet" you have "hidden" everything that serves "self"  and not Him.

When I hear of persons walking away from our ABBA and leaving everything He has to offer because of what is in their closets, then I again recognize this is where their treasure is and who their god is. 

This is why God wants to see and know what we keep stored within the closet of our heart.  

This verse tells me our ABBA does provide closets.
They aren't a bad thing. It's what you put in them.

 Are they holy things? Would we be ashamed if we could see persons going through our things when we are gone? How about when God goes through the "closet" within our heart?

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

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

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

At times I will catch myself thinking unloving thoughts......towards someone who has "done me wrong" and am prompted by The Holy Spirit I need to be praying and forgiving.
At times, I am totally focused on "self" and not Him.
At times I allow anger to stew and the words that come forth, aren't Christlike.
At times I am self righteous, judgmental, envious, coveting, lazy, procrastinate, and all about "self".

Right there in the middle of the top shelf.
And if I am not submitting to His "cleaning", all those element will eventually totally consume the all of me, taking over my heart.

I am so very thankful His grace and mercy and all things Holy, are also stored within our "closet". Until the day we die there will always be little dust balls here and there.  But, there is no doubt He is bigger than anything in our "closet".  There is no doubt He will keep on "cleaning" with us no matter what.

All we have to do is stand back and open our "closet" door.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

"Taking Heed" - 09/23/17 - 1 Chronicles 21-23

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

Driving away from my appointment and heading towards home, I was passing near the street of a dear friend.  Many, many years ago our ABBA placed she and her husband into our lives and they became our surrogate parents/grandparents. It has been nine years since he has passed away and I am guilty of letting too much time pass in between visits. 

There was the pull between continuing towards my home or turning down the street towards hers.  My "to do" list was shouting, trying to drown out the whisper of The Holy Spirit, "What if she were to die.  Would you regret not stopping and spending time with her?  Time gone can not be brought back to spend."

As usual her smile from seeing me was brighter than the sunshine.  It seemed I was bending down lower to envelope her into a hug, her kisses bathing my face.  She never let go of my hand as she led me to the couch.  Her eyes drinking in my face. 

How delighted she was to see me.  Me. 

I kidnapped her and took her to lunch.  When taking her back to her door, she exclaimed, as she had throughout our time, "what a wonderful day I am having being with you". 

It was such a simple task.  It didn't entail over a few hours.  But how it filled my heart.

Time.  That is all so many persons want in the living of life.


And how selfish we are with ours. 
And how often we don't heed the urging of The Holy Spirit and miss out.
On time well spent gaining treasure. 
On time we shall never receive back. 

While reading today, it states how David went to such great lengths in preparing the materials Solomon needed to build The Temple. He did it not for the bragging rights that his family was the one, but he did it for the glory of God.  His excitement over his task seeps through the words. God brought to my mind the many (many) times He has excitedly prepared me for His work, down to the smallest detail, and instead of jumping on board -

I heed my own voice.
Here He is -

wanting only the best for us.
Preparing everything we need.
Knowing ourselves better than we do.
Having on hand, ready to bestow,  the blessings that will touch our heart.

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

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

"I don't know the right words to say"
"they don't want to have me around"
"I'm tired"
"I'll look really dumb and embarrass you"
"my to do list is the priority"

 And He reminds us yet again.

He. is. in. control.

It isn't by chance He has us planted where we are, how we are, who we are with.
It is all part of His design.

 And He has "prepared" each one of us.

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

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

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

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

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

Continually I am praying, no matter the situation - in faith I will "get to work".
To stop responding to Him with, "Later ABBA".
For that is when my treasure chest within my heart is filled up with precious memories made.

Friday, September 22, 2017

"We - His Beautiful" - 09/22/17 - 1 Chronicles 26-27

"all of this was in the care of"(26:28)

 At the auction, it was alone by the wall of the old home. Its legs had been removed and they were laying against its top, which was covered by layers of ugly old varnish. When it came time to bid on it, no one raised their hand - except me. I bought it for $2.

I bought it at a time in our financial life when $2 was much like $2000. It wouldn't fit into the car, so I had to go home and get Curt and our truck. He wasn't impressed with my "bargain", knowing our finances and how often my "bargains" entailed work from him. He kept his thoughts to himself as we loaded it into the truck and took it home.

I put the legs back on by myself. The table wobbled. I tightened them and the wobble lessened. There were many moments, while sitting at the table, I would pick at the old varnish, thinking I needed to take the time and do it proper.

It took the help of others to make needed changes.

Upon closer inspection, Curt discovered I had put the legs on backwards. No more wobble. My mom, newly retired with time on her hands, took the table and upon its return it had transformed from ugly into beautiful. 

How often we take the lives of others and our self.  We take the gifts and talents we have been given.  We take all we have been instructed to care for and cast them aside.  Leaning them up against the wall, covered with ugly.  How often we take all we have been given charge over and do not use it for Him. 

We are instructed to be in care of those around us.  

Many times I am reminded what we are "in the care of" when I look or sit at this $2 table.

At the auction, our ABBA is the only one who raised His Hand.
He bought you and He bought me at The Price of His Son. 
We are set up within His Church, our new Home.
It takes the help of our ABBA, His Son, The Holy Spirit, His Word, His Family, in the work of transforming  our "self".
He has taken the "ugly" and transformed it into "beautiful".

Thursday, September 21, 2017

"Joyful Noise" - 09/21/17 - 1 Chronicles 24-25

"They cast lots for their duties,
all alike,
the small as well as the great, the teacher as well as the pupil."(25:8)

I noticed while reading through the Number and Services of Musicians there wasn't a section for those who "couldn't do".  who weren't "good enough".  who "couldn't carry a note".

I noticed while reading there was only a listing for those that did.

Our ABBA has given each one of us gifts and talents.  We are all made in His image. 

He doesn't make junk.

I have always wished I were able to sing.  To throw myself into a song and not hurt my ears from the sound coming from within. I have allowed what I and others deemed as a noise, rather than a beautiful sound, determine how loudly I sing out.   

During time of worship I love to close my eyes and pray the words being sung around me.  To hear the different voices being lifted up to our ABBA.  It has always amazed me how when a group is singing, the voices always blend, producing a sound that is pleasing to our ears.  I often imagine how much our ABBA is delighting in the sound coming from within our hearts, through our voices, in worship to Him. 

He made the sound of our voice.  Each one of us has a different, distinct sound. 

How often do we use it for worship of Him?  Either in our singing or speaking.
How often are we producing a sound that is pleasing to Him?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

"His Help" - 09/20/17 - 1 Chronicles 18-20

"If the Arameans are too much for me, you help me; and if the Ammonites prove too much for you, I'll come and help you. Courage! We'll fight might and main for our people and for the cities of our God. And God will do whatever He sees needs doing!"(19:13)

 I love how He reminds us that we are not alone in this journey towards Home.  This verse reminds me this is what being in God's family is all about.  We are all in the middle of a spiritual battle and sometimes the fighting is more intense for some!  "If it is too much for me, you help me:  and if it proves too much for you, I'll come and help you." 

We are not alone!  He has provided so much support and prayers through our "family" In Him. 


Courage In Him.  We walk In Him - He walks before us.  He has so many angels fighting before, around, and after each one of us.  We can take courage in knowing we are following His lead.  Even when the evil feels overwhelming,  We KNOW He is "I AM". 

He is there in the midst of all the drama.  We have to remember this life is about winning souls for Him.  It's about turning everything over to Him and trusting.  To not take things personal.  Remembering, even when it looks like evil is winning - it isn't.  He is in total control. Each one of His Family is in His protection.  All the manipulation and hurts that are surfacing, He is bigger.

             "And God will do whatever He sees needs doing".

God is in control, we just need to let go and let God.  It is easy to praise God and be a happy in the good times, but our real character is how we are seen by others in the bad times.

Here are some favorite verses to strengthen your spirit:

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13)

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen. It gives us assurance about things we cannot see." (Hebrews 11:1) 

"We don't have to worry. "Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all that He has done. Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 4:6-7)

"God Has a Plan for your Life. "For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, they are plans for good, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11)

Remember.  No matter the circumstances. Faith In our ABBA.  It Gives Us Peace.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"His Somebody" - 09/19/17 - 1 Chronicles 16-17

looked on me, Master God, as a Somebody.(17:17)

His Treasure. 

Yes.  That is what each one of us are.

Created in His image.  Desired by Him to be with Him face to face.

The Creator of all. 

God.  Our ABBA. 


No matter what the world may throw at you.  Let His Truth be what you hear.  what you believe. 

You are His Somebody.  Promise. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

"At The Ready" - 09/18/17 - 1 Chronicles 13-15

"When you hear a sound like shuffling feet in the tops of the balsams,
God will be two steps ahead of you" (14:15)
This is one of my favorite verses.
 He has given me such a gift in being able to visualize word pictures and each time I read this, I stand amazed.
In my mind's eye I can see His army standing at the ready, silent, waiting, for the sound of shuffling feet. No rams horn, no clanging cymbals, no shout out.
But there come "a sound like shuffling feet".

They had to be listening closely, attentively, totally focused on Him to recognize His sound.

Throughout Scripture there are so many accounts where His ways of war seem so far out there. So impossible that the only way winning was possible, was only because of Him.
There are times during the spiritual warfare here amongst us, when the battle plan seems to be opposite of what we feel is the right defense tactic. This is when it is essential to stand in His Word.  The Holy Spirit has prepared us.
Trust. Faith. Focus.

He is in control.  We must stand at the ready "in" Him.
“Listen for a sound like shuffling feet."
"God will be two steps ahead of you"


Sunday, September 17, 2017

"By HIS Measure" - 09/17/17 - 1 Chronicles 11-12

"still, he didn't measure up" (1 Chronicles 11:21)
We listen.  
We hear.
We take in. 
We believe.


They either build up or tear down.  We cling to them.  We hear them over and over and at times, "we" are the ones who say them to ourselves.  The ugly, dark comments we would never utter to another.  Out loud.

How often we berate, belittle, betray, and believe - lies. 
Lies the world or self has spoken to us. 
How often we allow those lies to become our "measuring stick",
which only serve to tear down or apart. 

Our ABBA speaks only The Truth. 
His Truth builds up.
It fortifies.
His standards are not double and they are firm. 
We must capture The Truth of His Word into our hearts. 
Chew on them. 
Delight in them. 
Say them aloud. 
Look into your own eyes and tell yourself - "I am His Beloved". 
Look upon others as His Beloved.  All are made in His image.

It is through Him we become - His. 
Transformed.  Fearfully and wonderfully made.  Loved unconditionally.  Covered with His Grace and Mercy. Filled with The Holy Spirit.
Through our Savior we then "measure up".  We become Redeemed.   

Saturday, September 16, 2017

"Receiving His Wisdom" - 09/16/17 - 1 Chronicles 9-10

So Saul died for his trespass which he committed against The LORD , because of the word of The LORD which he did not keep; and also because he asked counsel of a medium, making inquiry of it, and did not inquire of The LORD .(10:13-14)

There are a couple of times from my past I can remember "playing" with the Ouija Board.  Looking back now, I see we were actually playing with fire.  How satan sugar coats the doorway to sin, much like the gingerbread house of the witch in Hansel and Gretel.  This game which seems so innocent, is actually a way of speaking with the spirit world.  When living in Texas, there were many homes tucked away in neighborhoods with large signs in the front yards.  Signs with a palm painted on them, beckoning you to come in and have your future told.  So many ways of destruction we follow for help in where to place our foot for the next step.
My devotional this morning pertained to Godly Wisdom.  We are promised through the reading and studying of His Word we will receive the gift of Wisdom.  His Wisdom. My mind thinks about the lengths Saul went in asking what direction to take in his life.  I think about the times he only went to himself and did what he wanted.  I think about how his actions led to his death. 

I think about how opposite my life used to be when not in His Word each and every day - drinking in the gift of His Wisdom.  His Wisdom which I strive to follow as I walk each step in this journey of life towards Home.

"Godly wisdom can be defined as the capacity to see things the way The Lord sees them and to respond according to His principles.

One of the great benefits of this mindset is peace.

Generally, when life’s running smoothly and all is well with us and our loved ones, we have no trouble experiencing contentment. But often when situations become difficult, God’s perspective eludes us, and our peace is rapidly replaced with stress, anxiety, and fear.

To view a difficult circumstance from The Lord’s perspective, we need to see it encompassed by the boundaries of His character and attributes.

Even when the particulars of life are beyond our control, The One who rules the universe remains sovereign over all things—down to the smallest details.

 He loves us unconditionally and always works for our best interest.

Therefore, if He has allowed a situation, there is a divine plan and reason, and the outcome will be for our good and His glory.

That wise perspective will lead to a godly response—complete confidence and trust in The Lord despite any pain or hardship. Because of The indwelling Spirit, we have the assurance that He is more than adequate for whatever comes our way, which means we are sufficient in Him.

When difficulty hits, don’t let sound wisdom vanish from your sight.

Keep your eyes on The Lord.

By seeing every situation through His eyes, you can rest in His wisdom and good purposes.
Then stress will lift, anxiety will be replaced with peace, and confidence in the Lord will silence your fears." (In Touch Magazine)

Friday, September 15, 2017

"LOVE" - 09/15/17 - 1 Chronicles 7-8

"The sons of" (7:1)

There are times when I read or see the treatment towards others which is cruel.  full of hate.  and I can't help but wonder.  However did we get to the point of forgetting.......

Each of us began at the same place.  An egg and a sperm.

Each of us is created in our ABBA's image.  Each of us are "fearfully and wonderfully made". 

And yet.  We take the stand of putting our foot upon the head of another.  We become self-righteous.  prideful.  We laugh at the expense of others.  Tearing down in a sad attempt to make ourselves better and bigger. 

Those moments when we do not Love as our ABBA Loves.

I often think about how our Christ treated those who held Him in contempt.  Tried to kill Him.  Betrayed Him.  Judas in particular.

I often think about how when Judas came to the garden and gave the kiss of betrayal upon the cheek of our Savior.  And Jesus said to him, "Friend, do what you have come for." Then they came and laid hands on Jesus and seized Him.

He knew beforehand what was going to happen.  And still.  He called Judas "friend".

I often think about how wonderful this world would be if we were to realize and treat all as the sons and daughters of our ABBA. 

I often look about in all of the darkness of this world and see His Light shining through those who do Love as He Loves. 

And I am thankful.  I am blessed.  I am Loved.  By those who Love others as the sons and daughters of Him.  May we be as His Love.  To all. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

"A Most Beautiful Noise From Our Heart" - 09/14/17 - 1 Chronicles 6

"Now these are those whom David appointed over the service of song in the house of The Lord, after the ark rested there.  They ministered with song before the tabernacle of the tent of meeting, until Solomon had built the house of The Lord in Jerusalem; and they served in their office according to their order." (31-32)                   

While reading today's Scriptures,  I noticed there in the middle of the listing of the High Priestly Line and their cities, was the section regarding the "Musicians' Guild". 

Throughout the years,  my sister, Teresa, would try to share her love for Christian music and I would politely nod.  Eyes glazed over.  Not really comprehending. 

And then The Holy Spirit began to dance within my heart to the words of praise being sung.  As I tucked more of His Word into my heart, I began to recognize passages being put together with the musical notes.  I began to fall in love with the worship of praise music.  I began to stand before Him, words washing over my soul, just listening and silently praying the words of the songs.  

There are many Scriptures validating our ABBA's love of music.  of praise.  Of its importance. 
It delights Him.  It is commanded of us.

When the boys were quite little and I would sing, they covered their ears and said, "No mommy, No".  I have always felt there will be a sound proof booth for me in the choir room of Heaven!  Many times I find myself not singing because the sound of my voice ruins it for me.  But then - then - there are times when I am alone in the car, or the house, and His praises are being sung and I can. not. help myself.  

And I sing.  Or try to anyway.

He has brought to mind, He created our voice.  He knew before the world was formed the sound of each one of our voices.  And He delights in it.  It isn't squawking to Him.  In worship, our voice is being lifted up to Him through the Love in our heart.  The Love that makes it a beautiful sound to His ears.  The Love for Him in our heart has not only transformed the sound of our voice being lifted up to Him - it has transformed the all of us.    

When ABBA hears us.  sees us.  thinks of us.  He sees us through The Love of our Savior.  Our Christ.  And in Him - we are Holy.  We are Beautiful.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made.

We are His Beloved. 

Loving our ABBA.  So much.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

"Working For THE King" - 09/13/17 - 1 Chronicles 3-5

"They were the potters....., resident potters who worked for the king." (4:23)

How often do we become so full of self - we forget - we are only a mere potter for God. 
He is The Master Potter and everything we have, we are - all comes from Him. 
We are only a vessel for Him to use, to bring glory to Him.

The day our Savior rose from the grave was the day which represents a new covenant between God and His people.  It isn't because of anything we have produced from the clay.  It is only because of Christ and His works that we are free. 
All are free who abide In Him. 

If we choose to.

There is the story of the scientist who was going to prove God wasn't real by producing a diamond from a piece of coal.  He claimed he was able to produce the same beauty God did.  God agreed to the challenge.  As the man bent down to pick up the coal, God told him, "Wait  - you have to create your own piece of coal".   Being a resident potter, we are only able to produce from what He provides.  It is His clay, His wheel, His Hands which guide us. 
Again, we are only a tool.
If we choose to be.

I pray throughout my growth In Him, I will never forget it is only because of The Sacrifice Christ made for us that I may be with our Abba eternally.  It isn't because of my works, my gifts, or talents nor how "good" I am. 
It is only when we ask Christ to be our own personal King do we receive eternity with ABBA.
The King whom we count it a blessing to work for.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

"Named" - 09/12/17 - 1 Chronicles 1-2

"Adam" (1:1)

Throughout the reading today my eyes scanned over the many names.  Beginning with Adam.  The first man.  The man we all began from.  Our roots.

Many of these names I am unable to pronounce and wonder however did they come up with this mix of letters!  Some I recognize from other accounts in the Scriptures.  My brain kept thinking about how we are all given a name and we are all intertwined somehow, someway on this earth. 

The ripples of "us". 

The ripples of those before "us", those we create, those ahead of us will create - all will touch the ripples of others. 

I have been thinking about the names of persons in my life.  Names that come along with a ripple which had in some way of forming "me".  I thought about the different persons I encounter day to day, learning their names and visiting, knowing our "ripples" were touching.  I stand amazed at how important "we" are to our ABBA. 

He not only knows "us" by name, He loves and cares enough to give "us" a chosen name. 

When you bestow a name upon someone, it is usually a process which takes many times saying one over and over until the right one rings true in your ear and falls easily from your lips.  I think about the ones I love and how I delight in saying their names.  How I delight in remembering "ripples" associated with each name.  How I love to hear them call - my name.

The Scriptures today of all the names are not just a mixture of vowels and consonants.  They are the names of someone.  Someone's, who are part of your family tree.  Someone's, whose "ripples" have become a part of "you" handed down throughout the ages. 

I love knowing when we die, my ABBA has a new name chosen just for each one of His Beloved.  One He will delight in saying.  Because this is just how much He loves me.  Just how much He loves all of "us". 

I loved an article I read, "Kids Talk About God" by Carey Kinsolving.  Below are a few of the quotes from the kids she interviewed.

"I think God will give me 'Bubba' as a new name," says Andrew, age 11. "'Bubba' means like a good friend. I think everybody will have a good name in heaven because there is no evil there."
If there's a southern section of heaven, Bubba should work just fine.

It's "Scooby Doo" for Drew, 7. "He's my favorite character, and he's always funny."

"My name will be 'Glitter' because my halo will glitter if I live the life that pleases God," says Jesse, 7.

Please notice the word "if" in Jesse's statement. Eternal life is a free gift received by all who trust The Lord Jesus as their Savior, but Kingdom rewards are earned by faithful service. Those who live in dependence on God experience the power of Christ's life in them. God has reserved new names on white stones for those who live overcoming lives.

Victorious athletes in the ancient Greek games received a white stone. In this case, God writes on a white stone a new name that only the recipient knows.

Michael Jordan is known as "Air" Jordan. Have you ever heard of Eldrick Woods?
What about "Tiger" Woods? Eldrick is Tiger's birth name.
I seriously doubt that anyone's new name in heaven will relate to their athletic prowess.
I wonder if the widow whom Jesus commended because she gave two mites (copper coins) to the temple treasury will be called "Mighty Mite." We can only imagine.

Husbands and wives sometimes develop endearing names for each other that they reserve for private moments. God has intimate, personal names for faithful believers.

 "If God gave me a name, it would have something to do with horses because I love them," says Jordan, 9. "They are so beautiful. So I would be called 'Wild Stallion.'"

I've seen wild stallions running free in the Nevada desert. God wants us to run free and unfettered in our love and devotion to him. He gave us the desire for intimacy, beauty and adventure. All attempts to fill these desires apart from God end in frustration and futility.

We may think we're running free when we run away from God, but we've been bridled by the evil one. "Eternity in our hearts" is how the Bible labels our longing for reality.  

"We like to put God in a box confined to our Sunday-morning church experience. But what happens when God appears in a burning bush, as he did to Moses? (The prophet Jeremiah wrote, "But His word was in my heart like a burning fire" Jeremiah 20:9). 

If God issues new names commensurate with our character and overcoming experiences, why not aspire to something interesting? How about names like "Fireball," "Burning Heart" or "God-Chaser"? An aspirant to such a name won't be sitting entranced for hours a day in front of the TV." (John Eldredge)
Your new name.  Will it be based on how you lived life journeying towards Home?  Our ABBA wants to give you a new name better than any name achieved by the fame and fortune of this world.

 “I hope my new name is Love,'" says Rebecca, 9.

"Eternally Brothers" - 09/11/17 - Nehemiah 12-13

"Their brothers stood opposite them to give praise and thanksgiving,

one side responding to the other, as had been directed by David the man of God."   


I love the relationship between Adam and Nichalas. 

Just sitting and watching them interact, drinking in the blessings of our fruits.

A few years ago, one weekend Nichalas flew home for the wedding of one of "the brothers".   Our hotel room had a loft, where Curt and I slept, with another bed downstairs.  There was also a pull out couch in the living room area. 

It made my heart smile, knowing the couch was not even an option.  The guys have never hesitated, or thought of it as abnormal, to sleep together.  Even with both now being married, when it is just the two of them, often they sleep together as they lay their and talk.  I love hearing their voices murmuring in the dark or their laughter often being the last sounds I can remember before falling into the world of dreams. 

When they were little and they had "brother" sleepovers, it was not unusual to come in the next morning and find all of them squeezed into one bed, or on the floor. 

They just enjoyed being close, they enjoyed being "brothers". 

I love going through photographs of years gone by and being reminded of all the joy and blessings this group of guys have brought - and still do - into my life.


These boys are now grown men,          


A few months before Lucas became a daddy, he joined Adam and Nichalas in playing video games here.  When I went down to wake them up, there they were, all three crowded into Adam's bed.  I love how all of them, who grew up together, are still so close.  That God is in the center of their relationships, that the world's evil doesn't come in and desecrate their relationship.  I love knowing, until they breathe their last breath, they will always be there for each other. 

Even though they aren't of the same blood, they are closer than most blood relations that I know.  They are there to encourage, hold accountable, support, honor, and love.  They are loyal and would die protecting each other and theirs. 

How our "family" has grown.  Today, half of these "brothers" are now daddies and I love knowing without a doubt, they are there for each other, spouses, and all other children we will be blessed with, in the years to come.  
They are brothers in the truest sense.  Through our ABBA, they are of one blood. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

"Even Still" - 09/10/17 - Nehemiah 9-11

"Still, because of Your great compassion,
You didn't make a total end to them.
You didn't walk out and leave them for good;
You are a God of grace and compassion."(9:31)

Our ABBA will never, ever leave us. 

It is us who chooses to leave or reject Him.

In Christ - we are Redeemed. 

no matter what we have done.  will do.
In Him we are covered by His blood.  His forgiveness.  His grace.  His mercy.

In Christ - we are His - for eternity.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

"Where Does Joy Come From" - 09/09/17 - Nehemiah 7-8

"The joy of God is your strength!” (8:10)

Paul was an extraordinary man. He knew how to rejoice when things went well. But, as The Lord said, even the gentiles rejoice when things go well. Nothing especially Christian about that.

What is extraordinary about Paul is how unbelievably durable his joy was when things weren’t going well. For example: “I am overflowing with joy in all our affliction”(2 Corinthians 7:4). Or “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake” (Colossians 1:24).

Where did this come from?

First of all it was taught by Jesus: “Blessed are you when men hate you ... Be glad in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven” (Luke 6:22-23). Troubles for Jesus compound your interest in heaven—which last a lot longer than earth.

Second, it comes from The Holy Spirit, not our own efforts or imagination or family upbringing. “The fruit of The Spirit is ... joy” (Galatians 5:22). “You received The Word in much tribulation with the joy of The Holy Spirit” (1Thessalonians 1:6).

Third, it comes from belonging to The Kingdom of God. “The Kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in The Holy Spirit” (Romans 14:17).

Fourth, it comes through faith, that is, from believing God. “Now may The God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13). “I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith” (Philippians 1:25).

Fifth, it comes from seeing and knowing Jesus as Lord. “Rejoice in The Lord always” (Philippians 4:4).

Sixth, it comes from fellow believers who work hard to help us focus on these sources of joy, rather than deceitful circumstances. “We are workers with you for your joy” (2 Corinthians 1:24).

Seventh, it comes from the sanctifying effects of tribulations. “We also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope” (Romans 5:3-4).

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing” (James 1:2-4).

If we are not yet like Paul, he calls us to be. “Be imitators of me as I am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1).

And for most of us this is a call to earnest prayer. It is a supernatural life.

Learning Paul-type joy,
John Piper

( (@JohnPiper) is founder and teacher of and chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary. For 33 years, he served as pastor of Bethlehem Baptist Church, Minneapolis, Minnesota. He is author of more than 50 books, including Reading the Bible Supernaturally.)

Friday, September 08, 2017

"He Is Truth" - 09/08/17 - Nehemiah 4-6

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thursday, September 07, 2017

"Continuing Onward and Upward" - 09/07/17 - Nehemiah 1-3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Always, always there.  Each and every day bringing delighted Light into darkness.
Our Taste of Heaven.
We need to continue onward looking for the rain of blessings in our journey upward towards Home.

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