1 Kings

Nobody’s Perfect

This week’s:


The Old Testament is filled with examples of humanity’s complete and utter inability to keep the Law. The Law is perfectly perfect in every way… and WE are not. And because of Jesus, that’s OK. You see, God loves this world so much that He sent a tiny little baby to save it. Isn’t that just about the strangest way imaginable to save humanity? A baby? Really LORD? What can a baby do to help me, to save me?

Ahhhh, but this was no ordinary baby. This baby, conceived with a divinely royal bloodline on all three sides, was born in a manger right beside all the other sacrifices. This baby didn’t come to live, He came so that He could die the most spectacularly amazing death anyone could ever imagine.

In this time of Christmas we celebrate a baby born to die for us… for YOU. The perfect Law was given to show us our sin. The babe from the manger and perfect fulfillment of the Law was given to show us the Love that erases our sin. His loving act of sacrifice erases our sins so completely that according to the promise of Isaiah 54:9, not only is God finished punishing our vast ocean of iniquity and sin, He’s not even angry about them anymore. In the beginning God gave Abraham His word and He fulfilled it and then some. God has done the very same thing for us. He promised us salvation from our sins, and it came in the most perfect Christmas package of a bouncing baby boy wrapped in swaddling clothes and laying in a manger – Jesus. This Christmas, I pray that the first present you open is YOUR gift of salvation from a God who’s not angry with you at all. You can unwrap this gift by simply opening up your heart to receive His love for you. To do that, simply say, “yes” to Him.

But now God has shown us a way to be made right with Him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are.

For everyone has sinned, we all fall short of God’s glorious standard; yet God with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus. Romans 3:21-26


Next week’s :

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Given a Spirit

1 Kings 21:1-22:53 &
2 Kings 1:1-18

“As the LORD of hosts lives, before whom I stand,” 1 Kings 18:15

I can be such a pushover sometimes, I always have been. Honestly, Im amazed that I made it all the way through high school and college without ever being offered drugs, alcohol or a cigarette. My mom must have prayed a lot about that. As an adult, the pressures arent the same, but they’re still there. Now weve got commercials filled with Weight Watchers telling us to “diet”, hair color telling us to “dye it”, fast food restaurants telling us to “eat here”. Its enough to make a girl go absolutely insane trying to figure out the best balance for life! Everything that surrounds us day in and day out pulls at us from every possible side in a constant tug of war where were the rope! We are making decisions from moment to moment and those decisions can affect the course of the rest of our lives! So how can we know what the best decision is in each moment, for ourselves as well as our families?

We trust God. In several of my Bible Study readings this week the Word has spoken of God leading His people. He teach[es] them the good way in which they should walk (1 Kings 8:36). May He not leave us or forsake us, that He may incline our hearts to Him, to walk in all His ways… (1 Kings 8:57-58) For it was a turn of affairs brought about by the LORD that He might fulfill His word, (1 Kings 12:15)

God has directed me to 2 Timothy 1:7 NASB for my memory scripture this week. For God has not given us a Spirit of timidity [or fear], but of power and love and discipline. I am going to be holding this one close to the heart, as a shield! Those who are in Christ, those who have chosen Him as their Savior have been made new. They have been born again and given the Holy Spirit of Jesus to live within them. He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. His Spirit leads us and is always there to consult for any decision large or small. He is a personal God that cares about the things you care about… because you care about them. And if you feel Gods Spirit leading you to do something and its against the social norms or peer pressures around you; know that you have not been given a timid Spirit that is afraid to do what God leads you to do. You have been given a Spirit that will supply you with the power to stand tall and do what you’re called to do, a love for what you are doing and for whom you are doing it and the discipline to get the job done.



This reading has been an excerpt from Tamar’s book Waiting…, if you would like to read more it is available HERE in multiple formats.

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1 Kings 18:20-20:43

“…My servant David, who kept My commandments and followed Me with all his heart, doing only that which was right in My eyes,” 1 Kings 14:8

This is a phrase that God has repeated multiple times throughout our reading lately and I’ve wanted to comment on it, but haven’t had the perfect opportunity until today. You see, if we skip ahead to another verse where someone else is talking about David we read:

“because David did what was right in the eyes of the LORD and did not turn aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” 1 Kings 15:5

Do you see the stark difference between the way God sees things and the way we see things? Well, let me back up a bit for anyone unfamiliar with Uriah the Hittite. Solomon’s mother was Bathsheba, her first husband was Uriah the Hittite. Uriah was off at war when, one night, Bathsheba was taking a bath. David was out on his roof taking a stroll, saw her bathing and wanted her for his own. So he sent guards to her house to bring her to him. Lo and behold Bathsheba gets pregnant and in order to hide what has happened and in some way make things “right” David orders Uriah to the front lines of battle where he is killed. So now David has adultery and a murder on his hands. The prophet Nathan confronts David with his sin and David confesses “I have sinned against the LORD.” And Nathan said to David, “The LORD also has put away your sin; you shall not die.” (2 Samuel 12:13-14)

God IMMEDIATELY forgave David of adultery and MURDER. And now here we are generations later and God is talking about David’s sins – no more… but his relatives are!

My grandmother gave us a full set of silverware for a wedding present. We hadn’t been back from the honeymoon an entire month when one morning I was making his breakfast for him. I took a bagel out of the freezer and couldn’t seem to get the two halves apart, so I grabbed one of our brand new serrated table knives out of the drawer and tried piercing the bagel apart. Well, long story short, I ended up slicing the bagel and my thumb open. We stopped buying frozen bagels after that. I ended up with three stitches and a great story… that our family looooves to tell. Here we are, almost THIRTEEN years later and if I’m at a party with a knife in my hand someone will still say something like “can we trust you with that? You did cut yourself with a butter knife after all.” Ugh!!! Why can’t they just forget it already?

Do you see what I mean? I’m sure you probably have a story just like that too, a tale of unforgotten woe and embarrassment, we all do. Our family and sometimes our friends just love to remind us of our mistakes and shortcomings and even sometimes our sins. But Jesus doesn’t. He reminds us of the forgiveness of God in His blood.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” (2 Corinthians 3:17) I don’t know about you my friend, but my spirit gave a leap of joy when I read that!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)

When we receive Jesus as our Savior, we receive His Holy Spirit who comes and dwells in our hearts because we have been made NEW! The old you has died and gone away and the NEW YOU HAS COME! In Christ on the cross God reconciled the whole world (including you) to Himself. And just like God told David, “I have put away your sin”, He tells us that our trespasses (or sins or iniquities) are counted against us no more! For your sake God made Jesus to carry your sins for you. Jesus, “Who knew no sin” was made sin, “so that in Him WE might become the righteousness of God.” Now if that’s not good news then I don’t know what is!

Because Jesus died for us, we all have died to sin and condemnation. Because we are in Him and His Spirit is in us there is freedom!


Can you imagine being free from those embarrassing stories everyone remembers and tells about you? But even better is being free from the sin that so easily entangles and hinders us from true intimacy with God. Not because He’s holding it against us, but because we’re still remembering it and holding it against ourselves.

Today let’s hit the delete button on our sins! Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to come, cleanse us with the water of the Word and wash away even the memory of those things.

If God doesn’t remember them anymore, should we???

This reading has been an excerpt from Tamar’s book Waiting…, if you would like to read more it is available HERE in multiple formats.

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New Garments

1 Kings 15:1-18:19

“Ahijah had dressed himself in a new garment…” 1 Kings 11:29

I just had to share this one today! From the idea, of the cost of following Jesus yesterday, to the cost of a new garment today! I found it highly significant that God would provide such a great example.

Here we have Ahijah the prophet, all dressed up in his new duds, headed out to meet Jeroboam. And as they meet the Lord leads Ahijah to tear his new outfit into 12 pieces, one for each tribe. Ugh! I’d call that a high cost of delivering God’s messages! Yet, how many people in those days got called to be filled with God’s Spirit and speak His words? Not many! So, I’d say the cost was worth the privilege.

The second reason I had to choose this verse was simply the word new! A new creation, a new garment, it’s just all too perfect! But even more perfect is God’s amazing timing. This morning before I started my reading, I read Beth Moore’s blog where she recommended “trading a spirit of despair for a garment of praise”. And I could feel my heart smile as I read it. Even as I write it again, I’m smiling. God doesn’t want us to have a spirit of Despair, but of Joy!

In the story of blind Bartimaeus, we see him calling out to Jesus for healing. Jesus hears his cries and says “come”. Bartimaeus throws off his cloak and goes to Jesus to receive his healing. (Mark 10:46-52)

Today I’m proposing we do likewise. Let’s tear off, tear up, remove the spirit of Despair that has been plaguing us and let’s go to Jesus in Joy to receive our healing! Let’s put on a garment of praise for His name’s sake. Let’s sing a new song because we have been made a new creation in Christ Jesus. Let’s enter His gates with thanksgiving and enter His courts with praise. We bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the Lord. We will offer up to Him the sacrifices of thanksgiving! And they are sacrifices my friends. Praise and Joy are harder when we don’t feel like singing… but therein is the sweet aroma of sacrifice. I have found that when I am in my deepest lowest moments, songs of praise are the best way to pull me out of it. I will take my MP3 player and my headphones and lay on my bed just listening. I’ll put the player on shuffle and let God pick the songs. And wouldn’t you know it; He always picks the best ones! Usually I find myself listening to the first two or three, but then that third or fourth one really hits the nerve that hurts and I will play it over and over until I know every single word and I’m signing them all as loud as I can!

There’s a reason there are 150 Psalms in the Bible! It’s because music soothes, ask David and Saul (1 Samuel 16:23)! There is nothing new under the sun, no human emotion that someone who writes songs hasn’t written about yet. We comfort with the comfort we’ve been given. Someone out there has been through the very thing you’re going through and they’ve written a song to go with it. Their song, or Psalm, can and will comfort you. Ask God to help you find it so that you can offer up the sacrifices of praise.

He will help you through this.

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment


1 Kings 12:1-14:31

“You teach them the good way in which they should walk, and grant rain upon Your land, which You have given to Your people as an inheritance.” 1 Kings 8:36

As I mentioned yesterday, I’ve been struggling with some demons lately; big fat hairy ones that just don’t seem to want to leave me alone. I went to lunch with my daughter at school this afternoon. As I stood there in line with the Kindergarteners waiting to go to recess they began to ask me to stay and go to recess with them. I’ve only been to recess once with Anna, so why they chose today to beg me to stay, I’m not quite sure, but I think it might be related to something big and hairy… Because what happened next, well, I hope I never forget it! You see I have this thing called Mommy guilt that I deal with constantly where I doubt my every choice as a mother. Did I do the right thing? Was I too harsh on them? Was I not stern enough? Did I send enough food for their lunches? The questions plague me, perhaps like the Queen of Sheba with Solomon…

As I walked out of the school, not having stayed for recess, I felt incredibly guilty for not staying. All I had to do at home was study and write, how important is that anyway compared to extra time with my little girl? Oh, I can not get started down that path or I may never find my way back out!!!

Last night I was reading a blog I recently subscribed to where he shared a Facebook conversation between two individuals about a third individual that just happens to be a pastor and runs a local gas station. You can click here to view the blog, it’s quite good. But part of Darrell’s comment on this conversation struck me. “I commend men of God who shepherd small flocks and pay for the privilege of doing so with their own labor outside of the ministry.” There is so much truth in this one sentence! There is a COST of ministry. There is a cost for spreading the message of the gospel. There is a cost, a cross to bear, a thorn in the side if you will, whatever you call it there’s a price to pay to be in Christ. Why, because the Enemy hates Him. It’s as simple as that. The Enemy hates Jesus, and because we are united with Him the Enemy hates us.

If you want to get someone really smokin’ mad, say something negative about their spouse or their kids. Want to go a step further, injure or harm them instead. And what is it that the Enemy does again, well one of his most popular names is “the Accuser” (saying negative things about the children of God). Jesus also tells us that the Enemy comes to steal kill and destroy (injuring them).

So here I am, getting into my car headed home to work on this very post, feeling like crud because I didn’t stay and play with my daughter and her friends. Had I just been there for 45 minutes eating lunch with them? Yes. Was I thinking about that at the moment? No. God has blessed me with the ability to even GO to lunch with my kids that in itself is immeasurably more than most moms these days get to do! Was I focusing on that at the moment? No. Instead I was focusing on the cost, the price I was paying to do the very thing God has called me to do. Write to you, my friends.

I came home and as I walked in the front door and hung up my keys I could feel the turmoil boiling up in me again. You know that turmoil that makes God sound fuzzy like a radio that’s out of tune. I had been dealing with the fuzzy turmoil for a long time and during the fast I realized that it had gone away, then just this morning it started again. By the time I got home it had gotten so loud that I could stand it no more. And as I went to throw my shoes in the basket next to the door I looked into the mirror on the wall and said, “Lord, I need a name. I know that this demon will leave when I tell him to, but I want a name. It’s not Doubt, it’s different than that….” and through the din in my spirit I heard it, “Uncertainty”. “That’s it! Uncertainty! I’m not doubting right now, I’m uncertain! Well, in Jesus’ name, Uncertainty you must leave me immediately and Certainty, COME!”

Just that in itself helped, but I wasn’t done yet! God was about to pour out some Certainty for me. J Hallelujah!

I had been watching a sermon on 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” I really wanted to get this one. I really yearned to more fully understand the concept of becoming a “new creation”. It’s a hard concept! When I accept Christ, I become “new” yet I don’t look any different. I’ve been “born again” but how is that possible? (Right Nicodemus? John 3:4) And what exactly does it mean to be “in Christ” and how do I do that? So many questions Queen of Sheba! But the one who made Solomon wise, lives in me through Christ’s death and His Holy Spirit and I can talk to Him and ask Him anything at any time!

So like a three year old with so many “Why’s”, I went to my Daddy in prayer and asked Him all these things. Oh my friends, His answer was so simple! “Meditate on 2 Corinthians 5:17, memorize it, make it part of who you are. New.”

So I opened up my ESV Bible and looked it up and wrote it down. And usually my method of memorizing a verse is to just write it down over and over again until I’ve got it sunk in real good. But this time was different. I hadn’t checked out other translations yet to see if any of them resounded with me better than the ESV. And this is where the real transformation started to take place. So, because it was so special for me, I’m going to share with you my page I was writing on.

If you’ll notice in the picture of the paper, I have a couple of side notes between the translations. These are things that the Holy Spirit spoke to me and told me to write down. The first note is a song lyric from Britt Nicole’s song “All This Time”. The Holy Spirit has sung this lyric to me many many times over the last few years. “Well I’m not the same me, and that’s all the proof I need.” And it has rung true every single time. My entire self has changed since receiving Christ. I was quite young when I accepted Him into my heart so I’ve truly grown up in Christ. But now as an adult who has accepted a call into ministry through writing about my journey through life with Christ, I have begun to question many of the things that I simply accepted as truth when I was younger. I blindly believed everything that anyone would tell me about God. Not any more! My eyes have been opened to the false prophets of this world, the wolves in sheep’s clothing and holy robes. The day I asked the Holy Spirit to come and fill me, well He changed me so completely that I am not the same me I used to be and that really is all the proof I need. At least it should be anyway. But I’m learning that Uncertainty can come and really mess with your head on things that used to be certain in your mind. It’s one thing to doubt new information; it’s another to go through bit by bit and question the old information. That’s hard. But I’ve done it! And I am so much better for it in the end! Because like I said, I’ve been changed by the testing of my faith. I now know WHY I believe what I believe and not just that I believe them because someone told me I should. I have intellectual roots in my faith, the very things that will keep me grounded in that faith when the storms of life come along. Remember those little plants in the parable of the Sower and the Seed? Those roots will hold you together when life feels like it’s falling apart. Remember the story of Joseph? He stored up grain, or seed – the Word of God, during the good times in order to use it during the famine – or tests of life.

The second note that God had me write down was, “You are a new person, whether you choose to live like one is up to you.” I started this little adventure today with a demon on my back; a demon that I have been given dominion over. I am in Christ, He is THE commander, principalities MUST obey Him and therefore us, because we are in Him. Have you ever seen a parent who lets their child walk all over them? That parent is not claiming their rightful place as an authority over their child. In the same way, those who do not claim their rightful place as an authority over the principalities of this world will be walked all over by them. The conversation on Darrell’s blog drew my attention to 2 Timothy 2:4 where the word “soldier” stuck in my head. Like a tiny seed that has grown through this day and has begun to take root throughout this lesson. While I was praying for understanding on being “in Christ” and a “new creation” God said to me, “Soldier of the Living God, that’s you.”

We are soldiers of the living God! In our reading today I was overwhelmed by the symbolism in it! Picture Solomon as God the Father.

The Israelites are us, look at 1 Kings 9:22 “But of the people of Israel, Solomon made no slaves. They were the soldiers, they were his officials, his commanders, his captains, his chariot commanders and his horsemen.”

Turn your attention to the story of Jesus and the faith of the Centurion, or soldier. Matthew 8:5-13

Look at verse 9 where the Centurion explains the way things work in the kingdom of God and here on earth. “For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, “Go,” and he goes, and to another, “Come,” and he comes, and to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.” God is in charge of us, but we are in charge of pretty much everything else. We have been given dominion over this world and everything in it that has never changed since the Garden of Eden. Only now, we have moved up the ladder of authority from son of Adam, to Son of God. There is absolutely nothing on this earth that is not under our authority. When we notice some Enemy activity going on in the world around us, it is our job to call it out, to speak (out loud) against it. (The angels and demons can’t read your minds.) Hebrews 1:14 tells us, “Are they not all ministering spirits (angels) sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?”

Right now, somewhere in your near vicinity, there is at least one angel just waiting to carry out your commands to defend and protect God’s children and the things that matter to them. I don’t want you to read this and think that we are surrounded constantly by demons alone. Oh no!!!! We each have been assigned our own personal angels to guard and protect us, AND to carry out our instructions. “Lord, please protect my children today at school” I picture it as though my angel hears my prayer, and passes it along to my children’s angels, at least that’s the picture the Centurion gives us anyway. You see he knew that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God, commander of the angel army. He knew that Jesus didn’t have to walk all the way across town to his house in order to heal his servant, he could simply speak the word and the angels would do the rest.

If you have spoken your allegiance to Jesus and asked for Him to come and live in your heart, then you are “in Christ” and He is “in you”. Because He is in you, you have become the temple of the Holy Spirit of the Living God. And tell me dear friend, as the temple of a Holy God is an unholy demon allowed anywhere near you? Absolutely not! You have been given the seal of the Holy Spirit, you are married to Jesus the King of kings, you have been given the honor and position of being able to sign His name on formal official documents and you have not only the right but the job of telling those demons to BACK OFF! Get out! Go Away! Report to Jesus (the commander and judge)! And anything else you can think of to tell them! They are under your command and they are, even more importantly, under your feet, tell them where to go and what to do and how to do it. Return to hell from where you came, in Jesus’ name! Hold up that shield of faith that your Father gave you and use it against the one firing missiles of destruction and lies at you. God’s faithfulness is our shield and rampart, and like the wall that Solomon built around Jerusalem, He protects us. But seeing as how we are in an ongoing centuries long spiritual war, there have been casualties, there are pains that cost us dearly in this battle, but we don’t have to take them lying down. We need to use them to fuel us up! Allow the pains of this world to cause us to rise up in battle and fight the Enemy with a ferocity that he’s never seen before. Be that person that when your feet hit the floor in the morning Satan says, “Aw crap, she’s up!”

Rise up Soldier of the Living God, your time has come, fight. The battle is yours, saith the Lord. Because He “will fight for you, you need only to be still”. (Exodus 14:14)

This reading has been an excerpt from Tamar’s book Waiting…, if you would like to read more it is available HERE in multiple formats.

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment


1 Kings 9:1-11:43

“O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like You, in heaven above or on earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before You with all their heart,” 1 Kings 8:23

It may come as no surprise to you that God and I have been talking a lot lately. I’ve been angry with Him…maybe you noticed that in the last few chapters… and I’ve been letting Him know about it. And while I was acting like a small child stomping her feet in anger at not getting her way, our ever patient God, just waited out my fury. I’ve been feeling led lately to fast, perhaps simply because it’s Lent, maybe not, but this past Monday morning I gave in and started a complete fast – water only. On that first day of the fast I wrote about the frozen fence and finding beauty in the blech. Friends, that was the first picture I’ve taken in weeks! But the healing it brought was immense. I don’t know why photography does that to me, but it’s amazing. I can be in the cruddiest mood, go out with my camera on the hunt for “the shot” and come back a different person, having gotten what I went out for and so much more. I guess it’s my way of stopping and smelling the roses or being still and knowing that He is God by celebrating His creation.

Anyway, while I was fasting the second day I worked feverishly to prepare the new blog to house the Bible Study based on these writings. I was compelled by the love of Christ to share this thing we’re calling 365 Life. It has completely changed my life, in far less than 365 days too. It was when I fasted from the voices of the world and ate ONLY the word of God, nothing but the Holy Spirit to guide me to all truth did I discover the radiance of God’s Grace.

From that moment on, I’ve wanted nothing more than to share the revelation of the Radical Grace of God with you every day. Jesus said He is the manna from heaven, our daily bread and that’s the truth! We need reminded of His Amazing Grace every day lest the Enemy come and steal it from our hearts, because he does! So, while my flesh wants to apologize for these last few days of anger, I won’t because I know the Holy Spirit has told me to be raw and naked and honest with Him and with you. Why, because, that’s how we connect the best with one another. You can’t have sex with your clothes still on and you can’t connect with God with your spiritual armor on either. You’ve got to take it all off at the door. And that’s what I was fighting Him on, being naked and vulnerable with you. That was the end of the fast, giving into the message He was sending me, “be vulnerable with them so that they can connect with Me through you.”

There is so much in this reading that I would LOVE to share with you theologically, but I only get to do one verse today and this is it. I only get to write for 30 minutes and my time is up. I ask for your prayers for me, I can use all of them I can get! Have a great day in the Lord my friends, I love you more than you could know!!!

This week’s video (“Samson”) and viewing guide can be found here.

This reading has been an excerpt from Tamar’s book Waiting…, if you would like to read more it is available HERE in multiple formats.

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment


1 Kings 7:27-8:66

“And the king said, ‘Divide the living child in two, and give half to the one and half to the other.’ Then the woman whose son was alive said to the king, because her heart yearned for her son, ‘Oh, my lord, give her the living child, and by no means put him to death.’ But the other said, ‘He shall be neither mine nor yours; divide him.’ Then the king answered and said, ‘Give the living child to the first woman, and by no means put him to death; she is the mother.'” 1 Kings 3:25-27

The day was dreary and dismal as the rain pelted the roof reminding me that I had to go out. I had to go to the bank, and the water office and the post office, in this… blech! Little did I know what beauty awaited me, in this, the dreary and the dismal. I pulled up the collar on my coat, took a deep breath and then plunged into the cold wet day; freezing rain is no fun. What happened to the sun? It feels like years since we’ve seen it and played in its warm rays. Summer, are you ever coming back?

I get into the car to see the windshield covered in ice and breathe a prayer, “Lord, please don’t make me go out in that rain any more than I have to. Please let this ice come off with the wipers. Please.” One, two, three, click, YES! “THANK YOU JESUS!” The engine purrs as it pulls out of the muddy driveway and into the slush-filled street, here we go… blech! The song on the radio calls my attention, wasn’t this the song that I had stuck in my head all morning? Interesting Lord. He sings to me, “I know you’re out there, and I know you care, just like an angel watching over me…” and I wonder, really? Sometimes it’s hard to feel like God cares about me when it feels like everything around me is going wrong. Hmmm… maybe the weather just has me in a bad mood, I know God cares…right?

As I pull into the bank parking lot I thank God for the closest parking spot being open, “Thank You Jesus!” Running on my tiptoes so that the back hems of my pants don’t get too wet I yank on the door and sigh, we’re here…again. I was just here yesterday, for the exact same errand, a cashier’s check for the mortgage… But I forgot all the paperwork and didn’t have any amounts, sooooo because it was ten minutes to closing time I had to leave empty handed and come back in this…blech. I walked up to the same teller as yesterday and smiled, “Let’s try this again shall we?” She grinned in recognition. While I was waiting for her to fill out all the appropriate paperwork I got started filling out my check for the water office and putting our return address on the envelope for the post office, might as well make the most of my time while I’m waiting, right? All finished I bid the teller, “Have a good day, and stay dry!” as I breathed deeply in preparation of the blast of cold air that was bound to greet me when I opened the door. It did, it was even stronger than when I had gone in. Leaning my hat into the wind I slid myself back into the driver’s seat of my car, grateful for the break in the wind allowing me to breathe again.

And then it happened, as I rounded the side of the building on my way out of the parking lot I saw it. My shoulders drooped as my photographer’s heart quickened. A frozen fence with fingers of ice dripping down… how much was this picture worth to me? My thoughts raced in disagreement, “I have two more places to go before home, I’ll get soaked, AND it’s freezing out there!” But my heart would not be denied that perfect picture. So while my skin and brain were ranting, my hands shifted the car into reverse to pull into the nearest parking spot.

Five minutes and completely frozen fingers later, I re-entered the warmth of my dry car, sopping wet coat sticking to the back of the seat. I had it, that one great shot that takes several bad shots to get to; I had it! But what’s more, I had something else. To put a name on it, is difficult. Maybe the more I write the better I can explain it, but I didn’t get into that car with only a great picture, I had something else in tow too.

Photography is a therapy for me, there’s something healing in the capturing of beauty in unexpected places. When I left my warm cozy spot on the couch curled up with the dog in a blanket with my Bible and ventured out into this dreary mess of a day, I wasn’t expecting to be greeted with beauty. I was going to the bank, and to pay bills! But Beauty found me all the same, and she called to me from a frozen fence in the rain. Was I willing to leave the dry safety of my warm car to go catch her? Was I willing to put my comfort on the line to take her home with me and share her with all of you? Honestly, not at first! But those desires that God plants in our hearts, they can’t be denied. They can’t be rebuffed forever. What God plants, God tends. Like the good shepherd that He is, He cares for His sheep…even when it doesn’t seem like He is. I know He’s out there, and I know that He cares. He is watching over me, and He’s watching over you.

The delight of taking that one good picture put a smile on my face that lasted all the way through the rest of my rainy day errands and on to home; where I came straight to my computer to look at it again, and it took my breath away.

There really is Beauty in the blech.


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1 Kings 4:1-7:26

“Act therefore according to your wisdom,” 1 Kings 2:6

You know, that’s really all we can do isn’t it? Act according to the wisdom we currently possess. Yes, we are to seek the Lord’s guidance and wisdom, but after we do that the actions that take place are according to the wisdom we’ve acquired through the years; be it from God, or elsewhere.

I have to admit to being very spiritually raw right now. A few weeks ago I was praying the Morning Prayer, got to the end and told God to cut me open, lay me flat, scoop me out and then fill me with Him. I pictured myself looking something akin to a butchered chicken all pink and flat… it was gross. And I was an emotional train wreck for the rest of the day. And while I’m sure that’s not a bad thing, it hasn’t been easy either.

I have learned from a friend of mine that I am a “stuffer”, a term she learned from the book “Unglued”. It means that when something happens in my life I stuff it way down inside me and I don’t deal with it… apparently. I thought I WAS dealing with it by pushing it out of my mind, I guess not. Well, if I am a stuffer, when I asked God to open me up and scoop me out, He really took me at my word! That afternoon I went to meet with my pastor for the first time ever and MAN does that guy have a talent for pulling things out of you! He had me talking about things and connecting dots that I never would have connected on my own!

And I’m telling you, ever since that day stuff just keeps oozing out of me. It bubbles up with such suddenness that it startles me at times even. It’s really made me realize how human I am; fragile and tender hearted, and in desperate need of a Savior!

In my own wisdom I acted according to what I thought was best. According to new wisdom I have gained, not so “best”. You know the saying, hindsight is always 20 – 20.

I feel like I’m sinking in this tidal wave of once suppressed emotion. I need something to cling to, some truth to stand on like a rock in sinking sand. I need Jesus and His wisdom. I need Him to come and fill me with His amazing grace. I need His perfect love to cast out all my fears because they are causing me much torment!

I’m so weary of fighting the Enemy for ground that is already mine in Christ Jesus. I want peace in this land of my heart. David fought battles for so many years, but at some point he stopped. At some point David rested from war because there were no more wars to be had. How long Lord? How long do I have to fight before I can have peace in my soul and keep it there? The kind of peace that comes from You and You alone. At what point do I trust You more than what my eyes see and my ears hear? Papa, I want that kind of faith! A faith that trusts You and is unshakable in that trust. Can I have that? Is that attainable this side of heaven in the land of the living? I’m not so sure that it is… at least not without plenty of hardship leading up to it. And honestly, I don’t really want any more of that!

Why does this have to be so hard? Sure you say it’s worth it but how can we know for certain? Lord, I feel like I’m slipping, and I don’t want to! Please hold fast to my hand. I’m scared. Part of me desperately wants to get off of this crazy ride (not life, mind You, just the chaos) but the rest of me knows that I can’t. I have way too many things to do! I am a mom after all, our days never end; they just keep going and going and going and going. I want a break yet can’t see one anywhere near. Mostly I want a break from this torment of “stuff” that’s been stuffed and the constant questioning. I’m tired of all the questions and I’m ready for some answers!

I’ve heard that You’ve told people that 2013 is the year of answered prayers. And I know we’re barely two months in, but where are the answers? The couple we’ve prayed for for years to conceive; conceives to find out their twins are dead! What kind of an answer is that? And what about baby Chloe? Born perfect on the outside but a mess on the inside, requiring surgery and she’s not even an entire month old! What kind of answer is that!?! I’ve written enough about Your goodness to know what I think You’re doing, and how all things work together for our good… but right now it sure doesn’t feel so good and in my finite wisdom I’m going to tell you that I don’t like it one bit! How’s that for not “stuffing it” anymore? Are you feeling the rage of this tiny little ant of a girl yet? I want MIRACLES!!! I’ve been praying and believing You for them for years now.

Lord, I need for You to give me something, something to hold on to. Some proof that You will do this for them. That You’ll hold up Your end of the bargain. That we will see You goodness in the land of the living

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1 Kings 1:28-3:28

“The men of Israel gave ground to Benjamin because they trusted the men in ambush whom they had set against Gibeah.” Judges 20:36

Lord, I feel like such a lost little puppy right now, just wandering around searching for its mother. I feel strange today, like something inside has changed, though I don’t quite understand what yet.

… There’s no resistance….

I feel no battle raging within me, no conflict surrounding me fighting for supremacy, there is only peace.

Is inner peace so foreign to me that when it occurs I’m afraid that something is wrong???


Funny, just this morning I command Insecurity to leave me forever and then walk out of the room, into another and begin to wonder what on earth is going on around me and in me that is so different. LOL! Sometimes I wonder about myself Lord, the attention span of a goldfish. “Hey look there’s a castle!” swim around in a circle, “Hey look, there’s a castle!” Sigh…

Thank You Jesus that You specialize in the lost and broken because I am such a perfect candidate for You!!! “Hey look, there’s a castle!” While I stress over not getting all my writing done for the last few days and how I’m going to do double duty, You’re just waiting here for me to remember, “there’s a castle”, a stronghold inside me and His name is Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, a marvelous Light that transcends all understanding and all time. Jesus YOU are my castle, my stronghold when I am weak. You are my fortress of strength when I can no longer stand. You are my provision when there isn’t enough. You are my Grace when I am frustrated and weary. You are mine.

You are mine.

You are mine.

And in the most glorious of ways; You are my husband, my partner, my Beloved Savior, my Heavenly Father, my FRIEND.

You are mine.

You are mine when times are tough and tumbly, You are mine when times are fun and giddy, You are mine when I can’t go on and You are mine when I can’t stop.

You are mine.

You are my GOD.

You are MY God.

YOU are my God.

Oh, Jesus, thank You for never leaving me or forsaking me in my weaknesses or in my strengths.

You are everything to me, but even more importantly than that, I am everything to You. Because I’m Yours and You are mine.

Father I want to learn more about Your amazing love for me, because love conquers all.

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

My God

I deeply apologize for the lateness of this post!!!!! I am so sorry.

Judges 20:18-21:25 & 1 Kings 1:1-27

“Go in peace. The journey on which you go is under the eye of the LORD.” Judges 18:6

You know how in the Old Testament they very often would refer to God as “the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob”? Well during that time the people around them had walls filled with gods. Household gods that belonged to the entire house, one certain god of fertility that belonged to mom, another god of fertility that belonged to dad… you get the idea. Well, this God that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob worshiped, He couldn’t be found on any shelf on any walls anywhere… but He seemed to be a pretty effective God. So in order to speak to the God that can’t be seen, to be specific they would say “the God of Jacob”. While He is not a god that sits on a shelf and can be seen with the eye, He is a God that can be seen with the heart. He is a personal God that belongs to you. He is your God and you are His person, His treasured possession. “You whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, ‘You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isaiah 41:10)

Don’t be dismayed. Don’t be afraid. Although you may not be able to hold Jesus in your hand, you can hold Him in your heart and know for certain that He is always with you!

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Jesus Loves YOU, Judges, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Leave a comment

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