1 Chronicles

“Back Burner” with Guest Writer Beth Lively

061313_0054_IsThataSire1.jpg 1 Chronicles 7:30-11:47

Mmmmmm…. my Spirit feels nice and filled after this week of feasting on the Word of God prepared by my Beloved friends! I am so amazingly blessed to call you all “friend”. You have no idea how much you all mean to me. Thank you all from the bottom-most place in my heart! We all are eternally grateful for your willingness to contribute to our cause. I pray that God will bless you more tremendously than you ever though possible! And if you ever wish to come back and share the stage here you are more than welcome!

Today’s guest is an artist extraordinaire! She can sing, she can play guitar, she can draw and paint and makes jewelery. She writes poetry and stories too, so I had no idea what to expect from her offering today. She decided to go with a devotional for us. And after having read it I  am positive that you will all love it! (I know I do! Maybe because her message is so similar to mine and therefore quite close to my heart. a DAILY walk with God.) Anyway, I digress, so without further ado, I give you my friend Beth Lively!

*Thunderous round of applause* You know, because this place is ROCKIN! (Can you tell I’m feelin’ frisky today?)

Philippians: 4:6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for all He has done.

God intended our lives to be like children at play—happily completing the tasks of our days, our hearts filled with wonder and joy, as we relish the company of loved ones, friends, and coworkers; working hard, satisfied in our labor, comfortable in our careers; fulfilled in our families, our heritage . . . but, often enough . . . we don’t, we aren’t, we are not.

We are guilty of worry; we waste time, sleep, and peace of mind, even to the point of endangering our mental health. We run our minds over worries like gerbils on a metal wheel—over and around, over and around—essentially, stubbornly, attempting to solve this weary world’s troubles and challenges  all by ourselves.  The temptations and tragedies of this world corrupt us as we struggle through the evil imposed by our complicated civilization.

Truly, though, we do not have to be tainted by any of it—not any of it.   By simply, literally, placing God firmly in front, our vision of the world (and ultimately our reaction to it) will change.

Getting closer to God is something we can fix . . . and that will fix everything else!  Keeping God close is easy, but initially takes practice until keeping a prayer, (a running conversation) with God on the back burner of our minds, becomes a hot mug of love, goodness, joy, and hope, ready at hand in our souls, as we meet the challenges and joys of each day.

Devotionals, Stephen’s Ministers, Pastoral Counseling, Bible study, Disciple classes, Christian music, radio talk shows, and phone apps. can help create the habit, and once firmly fixed in our daily routine, (and I do mean daily, because this wicked world is loud, enticing, harsh, discouraging, and can eat up our strength so fast and cunningly we are drowning in negativity before we even realize), will carry us safely above the currents of distress.

Salvation isn’t only about dying and meeting God in Heaven; Jesus saved us here, too—saved us from daily troubles and worries—when He showed us beyond doubt that nothing can separate us from the love (joy) and protection (worry free) of God.

So . . . go fly a kite, catch a fish, jump in a pool, roast a marshmallow for a so’ more, then laugh until your eyes tear up and your tummy hurts . . . and pray for God to take care of the rest!

Categories: 1 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

“Family Affair” with Guest Writer Dalaiah Hepburn

061313_0054_IsThataSire1.jpg 1 Chronicles 4:24-7:29

Dalaiah Hepburn is back with us today! Yay! I am so excited to share her writing with you! Plus, this time she brought me cupcakes mmmmmm……. Those I won’t be sharing with you. 😉 If you would like to visit her TransparenMe blog click here. Or her other blog, Not so Empty Nest Days, click here. Dalaiah thank you so much for coming back today. Let’s all give her a nice round of applause as she takes the stage.

*Thunderous Round of Applause*

I have a big enough family, both on my mom’s side and my dad’s. for whatever reason, I know my dad’s side more than I do my mom’s. I also notice something about my dad’s family. As far as I can tell, they are into children’s work. I don’t know how far back it goes or when this legacy started but its there and my brother, myself and even my kids are showing this trait of desire to work with or for kids, from teacher all the way to advocate. Just like in this genealogy, I’m sure we have some kin we love to be around, some we don’t. Some we flock to, some we duck from and then there are the ones no one can remember how they are kin to us!
Jabez, earlier in the text (v9-10), was one of the family members we would have asked as we saw him walking in the room or backyard, “now how is he related? I see his mama, but who is his daddy?” The other thing we would have noticed about him is that he, “more honorable than his brothers.” But he didn’t notice it. How many times has someone told you how gifted you are in an area and you thank them, though not believing it because of the torment you lived with in another area of life. Ouch!!

This is really a part of the Bible I struggle with. Can I say that out loud and still be looked at the same? I skim the genealogies not so much because I don’t care, but because all I see is and this one begat this one, this one begat this one, this one, this one and two others by his helpmaid. It’s just not as active as Judges 15:4-16!! Now Sampson read like an action packed movie!! But because it is in God’s Word, it’s important. That’s when it began to hit me, quite recently actually. Like right as I was writing this, what’s in the genealogy of Jacob’s sons is family and how different they are yet still blood.

We are actually able to see what Jacob had spoken over his sons and grandsons come forth. In the latter part of chapter 4, we see the family lining up and starting their own family trees, some of great worth, some not so great yet not counted out. In chapter 5, speaks of Reuben’s lineage and how sin can cast you out of the place of honor you were once in (his birthright was as firstborn) but not out all together. We also see others lineage as faithful, as small, as disobedient. In chapter 6, we literally see the birth of the Levites. We see the birth of Aaron, Miriam and Moses (in that order) and the understanding of their portion being the LORD. These were those set apart for Him. Chapter 7 gives no explanation of the omitting of Zebulun and Dan but they are visibly absent. This chapter ends speaking of where Joseph’s sons are…. and the saga continues right up to Jesus!

Whew!! What I pulled out of that is that we all have families we don’t get to choose. Some good, some bad and some…. yeah pray for those ones! But in our lineage, they were family before we knew it. And they left a legacy for us. Our forefathers and patriarchs, or matriarchs in some families, paved the way for a path. What I love about Christ is that when you surrender, this is no longer your path! When the path is filled with addictions, so on and so forth, our life in Christ is what now defines us! On the flip side, there are some whose lineage is success, fame, power, blah blah blah and when they surrender He may call them out of that! Only he knows what your path is in your Jesus journey! Your family cannot make or break you. The biggest thing I pulled away was that this was all BEFORE Christ! These folks had family lines they had to walk out due to the prophetic speaking of Jacob and his “blessings.” Our families don’t have to be that way!
My family is marked with all sorts of generational curses, but once I surrendered, Jesus’ blood covered me and I broke those with His authority! I now speak life and cancel every assignment made by the enemy for my kids! But it doesn’t stop there. Just speaking it isn’t enough! We must walk it out, no matter what!

Have you had a sordid, rough past? That doesn’t make you who you are, HE does! I leave you with this saying that God gave me as I did devotion one day, blessings!


Categories: 1 Chronicles, 365 Life, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Be Strong and Do It

Sing: Hold Me by Jamie Grace

Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I can be more like You; help me, I trust You. Father open my eyes so that I may see clearly, open my ears so that I may hear soundly, open my mind so that I may understand fully, open my heart so that I may love more, open my hands so that I may give generously and receive humbly, in Jesus name, Amen.

Read: 1 Chronicles 27:16-29:30

And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve Him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the LORD has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it. 1 Chronicles 28:9-10

While reading this verse this morning I was so very excited about it! Put yourself in Solomons shoes as his father is charging him to know God and serve Him with his whole heart and mind. But the part that got me the most was the LORD has chosen you. Did you know that God has chosen YOU?

Yes, you!

Hes chosen you for His very own. The LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for his treasured possession, out of all the peoples who are on the face of the earth. (Deuteronomy 7:6) Out of all the people on the face of the earth, in all the past, present and future, God has chosen you. Isnt that amazing??? Doesnt that just make you feel so special? It should!

But on top of all that, God chose you to do something too. God had chosen Solomon to build a house for the Ark of the Covenant which is where Gods presence stayed on the earth. His favor rested there, His Spirit was there. It was a really big deal! That would be like your dad telling you that God has chosen you to build the biggest most extravagant and sacred church for God that anyone has ever made in all of history; kind of a big deal.

But Solomon isnt the only one who has been called to build a house for the Lord; weve been called to do that too!

For the last three days my husband has been getting up at five with me and while Im reading my Bible he is working out to the P90X program training for the Tough Mudder hes doing in June. He is building up his muscles in preparation for the muddy obstacle course that he knows he will be running in a few months. This morning as I was snuggling with my Bible I could hear the TV in the other room 1…2…3…4…dont be too tough to take a break, its not about hurting yourself again and again throughout the hour the trainer would emphasize the importance of taking breaks while exercising and making sure to pick the right weights for the exercise they were doing. He would point out that the goal was to push yourself, but not so hard that you hurt yourself. And I just kept shaking my head that was the entire lesson of my day yesterday. As my husband and I have both been getting up an hour early to work out together, him physically, me spiritually, were working hard to grow. Hes growing physical muscles so that he can endure a physical test and Im growing spiritual muscles so that I can endure whatever life tries to throw at me. I am a very… well say driven, person. When I set a goal for myself, or accept a challenge from God, I go for it with everything that I have in me, and sometimes that means I drive myself a little harder than I should and set my expectations a little higher than I should. Tuesdays are my Sabbath day, where I should be resting and enjoying life. And while I have no problem, most of the time, resting from my housework, there are times when God calls me to rest from my work here online, I have a much harder time not doing that. Because, its fun! Thats what happened yesterday. It was one of those days when I knew what I felt God was calling me to write about for this passage, yet, when I sat down to write I couldnt. Ive learned that when I sit down to write and it doesnt just flow then theres something wrong. Whether its not the right time, or theres an evil spirit lurking nearby (yes, I am that sensitive that I can feel them near me, and thats when I tell them where to go), Ive learned that if I dont have Gods blessing to write at that time, then its simply not going to happen and I might as well work on something else! Because what I write on my own isnt worth the paper its written on, if I still wrote it on paper that is! J Anyway, thats what was happening yesterday, I got a good paragraph into it and just couldnt feel it, so I decided to take the kids out for lunch and take a break. On the way there, and even while we were out I was a little grumpy and withdrawn about not being allowed to write that morning. But as we were pulling back into our driveway I had a realization, I had no reason to be grumpy, not one. It was an absolutely beautiful spring day, my kids were on Spring Break, their friends wanted to play with us, I had everything to be happy and grateful for and nothing to be grumpy about. Nothing. So what if I wasnt getting to write that day, Id get to write the next day, and it was becoming ever more obvious that it was not what God had planned for me. It was clear that His plan was for me to take a break and enjoy His creation on this beautiful day! So I did… and encouraged you to do the same thing!

So this morning listening to the trainer encourage the athletes to take breaks and rest I just had to laugh. It made me think about what Paul wrote in his letter to the Corinthians in chapter nine verses twenty-four through twenty-seven Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.  Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.  But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. Paul knew that just like an athlete trains to make themselves stronger, we too must train ourselves to be stronger in the Spirit. For me yesterday, it was pushing my chair back away from the computer desk and jumping onto my bike with the kids and going to lunch on the other side of town. It was good exercise for my body and my spirit, plus it was fun! I had to exercise my self control and not allow myself to work too hard and injure my spirit and the spirits of my children. They needed some time with their Mom and God knew that so He made sure that they got it. Hes so good about that!

You see, thats how our verse today ties in. Solomon was called to build the temple of the Living God, and so are we! Our bodies ARE the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:18-20) and so we are called to take care of our bodies. We need to be keeping our bodies healthy. And part, a very large part, of keeping our bodies healthy is keeping our lives as free from stress as we can. Stress is one of the top causes of many health issues. Stress hinders our immune systems ability to fight off infections that come to attack us. And as it says in Hebrews, Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. (12:1-3 NIV) Weve got to throw off the things in our life that cause us excessive amounts of stress. And sometimes those things cant be completely deleted from our lives, and thats OK, because we can still run with perseverance when we fix our eyes on Jesus. Keeping Him at the forefront of our minds at all times and yeilding to His will at all times. Its not always easy, I really didnt like giving up my writing yesterday, I love writing. But, I also really love my kids and beautiful days and by keeping my eyes focused on what God was taking away instead of fixing my eyes on what He was giving me I was completely missing the gift of that perfect afternoon. I sat in the shade of our backyard tree with the breeze wafting through my hair as I sat chatting with my dear friend Dee sipping ice water and watching the kids play. Afternoons like that dont come along every day and youve got to seize those days while they last! If I had clung adamantly to my own plans of writing I may have enjoyed my writing, but I would have missed so much more than my 2D computer screen could ever offer me. Abundant life! Freedom! Friendship with face to face contact where I can hear the sound of the childrens laughter and feel the cool drops of condensation from my glass drip onto my lap. I would have missed the sight of the freshness of a vibrant spring that comes from a mild winter. My computer could never offer me that kind of experience, not ever. And I would have missed that if I had ignored the Holy Spirits plea to go out and enjoy it fully.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:7-10

We reap what we sow, if we are sowing to please ourselves then we reap destruction (stress and heartache, disappointment and frustration), but when we sow to please the Spirit we reap life, opportunities, experiences that might never have come along if we hadnt simply followed the Spirit of Jesus.

My friend, do not become weary in reading your Bible daily. The Enemy is going to throw all kinds of temptations and tests into your path to keep you from reading the Word that brings life, dont listen to him! Do not give up! Every time you read the Word of God you are allowing God to sow His supernatural seed of abundant life into your heart and from that seed you will reap love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Do not give up my friend, you can do this! But remember, this is never something that you have to do, reading the Bible is something that you get to do. And when you do it Gods supernaturally abundant life is unleashed into your life with a force that is nowhere close to anything the Enemy can withstand. Dont get me wrong, he will certainly try, but he will be completely unable to succeed because you are in the palm of the One who cares more for you than anything else in all His creation, and He would never let anything into your life that you cant conquer WITH Him! I never would have given up writing for a day outside if I had not been reading Gods word daily. There have been a few days along the way when I wasnt able, due to a death in our family, and there will be times like those when life simply will have to come first. But then you need to just jump right back in with both feet. Do not give up my friend, the harvest you will reap is worth more than anything you could ever hope of imagine! The Lord has chosen YOU to build a house for His Spirit within yourself, be strong and do it!


Categories: 1 Chronicles, Writing Through the Bible in a Year

Stand Firm

Sing: By His Wounds by Mac Powell

Pray: Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I can be more like You; help me, I trust You. Father, open my eyes so that I may see You clearly, open my ears so that I may hear You soundly, open my mind so that I may understand You plainly, open my heart so that I may love you more, open my hands so that I may give generously and receive humbly, in Jesus name, Amen.

Read: 1 Chronicles 12:1 – 15:29

Then the Spirit clothed Amasai, chief of the thirty, and he said, We are yours, O David, and with you, O son of Jesse! Peace, peace to you, and peace to your helpers! For God helps you. 1 Chronicles 12:18

Last night was a pinnacle day in my life and in my mission. I attended my first Winter Jam concert. I say my first because my husband and I left both proclaiming that we were TOTALLY COMING BACK NEXT YEAR! Whats funny about the whole thing is the fact that we werent planning on going to the concert at all! I had been hearing commercials on KLOVE lately and every time I remember my spirit ears perked up, but I didnt pay any attention to the commercials other than the name of the concert and that Skillet was performing. Little did I know what God had planned for me at that concert! Yesterday I was struggling, still, with more Mommy Guilt (ugh!) and it was causing me enough stress that I was really struggling to get anything written. It was horrible, I had a page full of notes and my head full of what I thought God wanted me to include in the post, but I simply could not seem to get it down onto the screen! Lunch time came and since it was the first day of Spring Break I decided that it would be a good day to visit the Kids Lunch Club at our local Methodist Church where its more of a social gathering for the kids than anything else! The kids were thrilled and so was I… all my friends go there too! J While we were there I got to chatting with my friend Mary Lou, who has teenage boys, and she mentioned that Winter Jam was that night. My spirit practically leapt out of my chest! Then she mentioned that it was ten bands for $10 at the door!!! I think my spirit might have actually fainted at that. J Here I was, it was Friday night, my husband and I hadnt been out on a date in FOR-EV-ER and a seriously cool night out on the town was only going to cost us $20 + a babysitter!!! SIGN ME UP! So I shot a text off to my hubby How would you feel about going to see Skillet (one of his favorite bands) at Winter Jam tonight?
Ummmm, yeah. And it all fell perfectly into place from there! The Wondersitter from God was booked for the evening, cash was withdrawn for the night, Wendys fast food was horked in the car on the way and before we knew it we were there!

I was in total awe of how sitting in a room with 5,000 other Christians worshipping our God and Savior felt! Ive never experienced anything like that before. No one judged me or thought me odd for standing up, or raising my hands, or jumping up and down to the music as my heart felt led. No one cared, or probably even noticed as the tears of amazement ran down my cheeks at the thought of all those teens in that room that were giving their lives over to Christ for the first time that night, or the ones whos physical lives were being saved as the musicians and MCs talked about cutting and drugs and abortion. It was like the Holy Spirit was performing an intervention where no one accused anyone of anything, they were simply told that Jesus loves them – no matter what – over and over and over and over again. We were told about how God loves us and that He is with us through the power of the Holy Spirit and through that same Spirit He helps us get through whatever it is that were going through, no matter how big or small.

Then, when the concert was almost over He turned to me. Jesus Himself came down and sat above the X in the Xfinity sign hanging from the middle of the ceiling in Conseco Fieldhouse and the two of us started having a REAL heart to heart conversation about my guilt issues. He first perked my attention up during a Sanctus Real song where one of the lines is Im a dreamer, Yes Lord, I am, thanks for noticing!
J Then the very next song was Lead Me where it talks about leaving your family behind in the dust while you go out chasing dreams. BOOM! Thats what Ive been battling. This whole idea that by going out and chasing this dream of writing that God placed in my heart, I am somehow leaving my family behind. That by writing and following Gods lead Im ignoring them. And thats where the battle front has been! In my gut I KNOW thats not what Im doing. While I am spending less time on cleaning and cooking, I am spending MUCH more time doing real quality time activities with my family. And yet, when viewed by my own previous standards that I had set for myself as to what a Good Mom did, keeping a spic and span clean house and preparing scratch made meals were two HUGE parts in that ideal I was holding on to. Yet that is NOT what God has called me to at all! God called me to love, not cook! Sure, my love can be shown through a scratch made meal, except, acts of service isnt the main Love Language of our family! Quality Time is! The expectations I was holding myself to were WAY higher than anything God was holding me to! Let alone my husband and my children! They all just wanted me to spend some time with them, but instead of doing that I was spending time working for them. The song American Dream by Casting Crowns comes to mind at the moment. In this song it magnifies the American dream to continue on to the bigger better deal and push harder to earn more money so that we can buy more things for our families, when in reality its not more things that our family needs, its us!

My family needs me; a happy fulfilled me. A me where Im not stressed over what Im not getting done and focusing on the things that really matter the most in life; my God, my family and my relationship with them all. Everything else is simply dust in the wind, and right now it can blow away! Throughout Lead Me I was yet again performing a scan of my heart and my actions questioning if I was really doing the right thing. Heres what I came up with:

That morning I woke up at five to spend my quiet time with God by reading His word. My husband awoke at six at which point I moved into the bedroom to snuggle with him and talk to him while the two of us got up and dressed. At seven he left for work and both kids woke up to tell him goodbye, he told them to go back to bed but I said it was OK because I wanted to spend some time with them. After Daddy left, the three of us sat down with some cookbooks to figure out what we wanted to make for breakfast. We picked Monkey Bread because we all could help. So while I made scrambled eggs, my son cut the biscuits, my daughter shook the pieces in a baggie with sugar and cinnamon and then placed them into the pan. By the time we were done and ready to eat it was nine am, the time I normally stop doing housework and start writing. It was at that time my prayer partner called and I asked her to pray for me, I needed wisdom in knowing how to make writing during Spring Break work. The prayer request was no more out of my mouth than the answer was in my heart, why should having two kids at home make it any different than having just the one? So I granted the childrens plea to watch TV which freed me up to write.

In just a few seconds of evaluating my actions I could see with crystal clear clarity that my priorities were not only straight, they were in Gods will. So WHY was I continually questioning them??? Because thats what the Enemy wanted me to be doing! The more time he kept me in confusion and questioning my actions the more time he was stealing from me and keeping me from using it to do what Im REALLY supposed to be doing! Living!!! Living the life that God has for me, a life where Im free to be me. Free from social norms and morays, free from even my own preconceived notions of what a Good Mom or a Writer for God is supposed to look like or act. I decided that I was sick of this battle with myself over how I should be living and that I was simply going to trust God and HIS plan for my life; whatever that happened to look like, even if it was contradictory to what everything (or everyone) around me was trying to make me believe.

I had no more made the realization that I WAS in Gods will and doing precisely what He wanted me to do when the last band of the night came up, Skillet. I only halfway know one of their songs and I could hardly wait to hear it, mostly just because I knew it enough to sing along and dance too. But God had bigger plans for that song than I realized. He has a message in that song that I think we all really need to hear. Awake and Alive
by Skillet (warning, if you
ve never heard Skillet before, its loud, hard rock, awesome – NOT your typical praise music – thats why its awesome)


I’m at war with the world and they
Try to pull me into the dark
I struggle to find my faith
As I’m slippin
from your arms

It’s getting harder to stay awake
And my strength is fading fast
You breathe into me at last

I’m awake I’m alive
Now I know what I believe inside
Now it’s my time
I’ll do what I want
cause this is my life
here, right now
I’ll stand my ground and never back down
I know what I believe inside
I’m awake and I’m alive

m at war with the world cause I
t never gonna sell my soul
I’ve already made up my mind
No matter what I can
t be bought or sold

When my faith is getting weak
And I feel like giving in
You breathe into me again

Waking up waking up

In the dark
I can feel you in my sleep
In your arms I feel you breathe into me
Forever hold this heart that I will give to you
Forever I will live for you

As Christians we cant just sit in a pew every week and let the pastor tell us what he believes or what our denomination believes and leave our faith untested. We have to wash ourselves with water through the Word of God and take our faith into our own hands! We need to know what we believe and why and then take a stand according to our beliefs. Isaiah 7:9 says If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all. No truer words can be said here! If you dont know what you believe then you dont know why you believe it either, and it certainly isnt possible to stand up for what you believe if you dont know what it is that you believe! Jesus didnt die so that we would live our entire lives living according to the rules of men and allowing them to hinder us from fully living out His plan for our lives. His ways are not like our ways; He calls people with speech impediments to be His spokesmen, shepherds to be prophets and fishermen to be His representatives throughout the world. The way that we live out our lives should only be according to Jesus, not the media, our leaders, our neighbors or even our friends and family members. Sure, those things can be taken into consideration, but they are not the end-all-be-all for decision making, GOD IS.




Categories: 1 Chronicles, Writing Through the Bible in a Year

Daddy Daughter Day

Song of Praise: Gods not Dead by the Newsboys

Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I can be more like You; help me, I trust You. Father, open my eyes so that I may see you clearly, open my ears so that I may hear you soundly, open my mind so that I may understand you plainly, open my heart so that I may love You more, open my hands so that I may give generously and receive humbly, in Jesus name, Amen.

Todays reading: Amos 8:11 Chronicles 1:54

Adam, Seth, Enosh; Kenan, Mahalalel, Jared; Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech; Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 1 Chronicles 1:1-4

Todays reading is a bit of a mish mash for us. We started with the end of Amos where God is pronouncing His judgement on Israel for their sin, and we end with an entire chapter that is a list of names! What???

I know, when viewed as a whole it doesnt make a whole lot of sense at first, but after a bit of time with my Abba Daddy I now see what He is showing us through todays reading. While our sins anger Him and possibly even make Him angry with us for the choices that were making, He still remembers our name! Our sins dont make Him angry because theyre against Him, but because our sins hurt US!

As a parent I can understand how He feels, there are choices that my children make that I know will hurt them in the end, yet they still continue to make them! I get upset, not just because they are choosing not to listen to me, but because I know that they are going to get hurt by the choices that theyre making.

Every single one of those names in 1 Chronicles means something to God, each name is a life, an individual, a person that God loves no matter what choices they made while they were living. Yes, God hates sin because it hurts us (and by extension Him) but He loves us so much more than He hates our sin. Isnt that an amazing truth!?! God loves us more than He hates sin. Thats powerful.

I have set aside Tuesdays to spend with my Daddy. I picked Tuesday because it is the one day of the week where I dont have a dance class to Mommy Taxi the kids to, or a meeting to attend, church to go to, errands to run, nothing. Plus, its the one day a week where there is a community dinner served at a local church so I dont even have to make dinner!!! I have set Tuesday aside as my Sabbath day, the day of my week where I recoup from the rest of the week. I stay in my pajamas all day, until we go to dinner. I start the day resting on the couch while my daughter watches her morning cartoons, I snuggle with her and sleep if Im tired. I stay on the couch until I feel the Spirit moving me to do something else with my time. I wait on Him to lead me to whatever activity He wants to do with me today. I take the time to be still and know that He is God.

At first the thought of taking an entire day to potentially sit on the couch and do nothing all day sounded absolutely insane to a busy mom like me. If I gave up an entire day to do my housework and my office work etc, how would I ever be able to get anything done? That first morning when I laid down on the couch after sending my son off to school on the bus, I felt so terribly guilty! I felt like a slob and a slacker… and yet… I knew deep in my soul that it was right. I knew that it was exactly what God wanted me to do. So even though the proverb

How long will you lie there, you sluggard?
   When will you get up from your sleep?
A little sleep, a little slumber,
   a little folding of the hands to rest—
and poverty will come on you like a thief
   and scarcity like an armed man (Proverb 6:9-11).

Floated through my head, I pushed the thought back out and refused to listen to the liar. I was doing what I knew in my soul what was His will. And it was at that point that

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done (Genesis 2:2-3).

Graced my brain and my spirit with its balm. GOD rested, so should I. Guilt gone.

Since that first day I have struggled with, not guilt, but with busy hands. Although I have rid myself of the guilt of taking an entire day off from housework and homework, I have not rid myself of the temptation to actually STOP doing them! All I can say is there must be something super special about keeping the Sabath holy because the Enemy really tries hard to keep me ultra busy on Tuesdays! I do different things on that day, but generally I am still very active on those days. Today especially.

I started out very self focused and it just grew from there. While I was successful in being still, I wasnt remembering what this day is really supposed to be about. GOD! And spending time with HIM. While a Sabbath day IS about resting, its more than just sleeping and taking it easy. A true Sabbath day is also focusing on God and our relationship with Him. Its about spending time in prayer, conversation with Him. Its reading His Word and sharing it with others. For me, its going to my prayer spot and staying there until He tells me to get up. And its writing, praying with my fingers on the keyboard. Thats a Sabbath for me, thats what my Daddy Daughter Days are all about. Its a date day for me to spend with the One who loves me more than life itself.

Often times it is during these days of intimacy and closeness with Christ that I recharge my spiritual batteries and we often talk about what the coming week will look like. It is sometimes a time of planning and vision. More than anything, its about me and Him and our relationship. Which often means that there is a bit of confession and forgiveness involved within the day. Hey! Im not perfect ya know! But thats the best part, its through my openness with Him and allowing Him to see those dark places in my heart that I try to hide, not just from Him but from myself, that He comes in and shines His light into those places and makes the darkness flee! It is impossible for darkness to live where there is light, any light.

Song: Love Come to Life by Big Daddy Weave

Categories: 1 Chronicles, Writing Through the Bible in a Year

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