Posts Tagged With: help

Abundance, Destruction, Resurrection

OK, so through this week of blissful preparation for this post I’ve come to realize that this new weekly format is to be more of a Bible Study format than a devotional format. This was news that I was VERY excited about!!! 😀 so I hope you like the new format too, because I’m LOVING IT! Also, I will be posting last week’s sermon notes as the Bible study for next week, mostly because I just could NOT pass this lesson by without telling you about it!!! 😀 I pray that it encourages you, wherever you are in the pattern today. 😉 There is ALWAYS hope in Christ! Be blessed this week my friends! I cherish you! -Tamar

Last week’s readings:

Day #: 

Week #: 

Bible Reading: 

Date: 

162 

24 

Job 39:1-42:17

Nov 9

163 

Joel 1:1-3:21

Nov 10 

164 

John 1:1-3:36

Nov 11 

165 

John 4:1-6:21

Nov 12 

166 

John 6:22-8:30

Nov 13 

167 

John 8:31-11:37

Nov 14 

168 

Sabbath

Nov 15 

 

“For I know the plans I have for you”, says the LORD, “they are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for Me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you.” Says the LORD. “I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.” Jeremiah 29:11-14

This week’s readings were… sigh… encouraging! We started in Job where we meet a man who has been as faithful and obedient to the LORD as anyone can be. He was wealthy beyond the normal means, and comfortable in every way possible. And then disaster struck his entire household. In one day he had servant after servant presenting themselves to him in order to report that they had been the lone survivor of the attack that had just occurred on his family.

Have you ever felt like that? Have you ever felt like Disaster was chasing your house and leaving you the sole survivor in order that you would retell the tale to someone else? And maybe, perhaps, that’s why you survived. To tell the tale of your SURVIVAL.

What have you been through? What have you survived that needs retelling? What’s your story my friend?

Job’s story started out in abundance and surplus but quickly turned to disaster and the loss of everything including his own health. BUT that wasn’t the end of his story, it was only the middle! My Dearest One, no matter where you are in your story, you’re not to the end yet! If you were, well, then you wouldn’t be reading this then would you?

Take a few seconds right now and review the end of Job’s story in: Job 42:10-17.

Words like, “the LORD restored his fortunes, in fact He gave him twice as much as before” and “So the LORD blessed Job in the second half of his life even more than in the beginning”, are kinda hard to argue with. While Job HAD endured a very difficult season in his life, it hadn’t ruined him. In fact, quite the opposite had occurred. It had shaped him. I’m guessing that while God did physically bless him with double portions of all his physical assets, I doubt that that is why Job went to the grave a happy man. I’m guessing that he was happy because he had achieved a newfound appreciation for all the things that he might have been taking for granted before the destruction came.

The story of Job establishes for us a pattern that the rest of our reading’s this week end up following as well. Which I see as no small coincidence! Job begins his story with obedience and abundance. Then he moves to complete destruction. And finishes with a renewal that is better and more abundant than before the story began.

This theme is taken up next in the prophecy of Joel, with but a small variation. While Job was amazingly dedicated to God in his obedience, the people in Joel’s story were not. Their story is one of disobedience and abundance that moves to a destruction of discipline. While Job’s troubles moved from a place of proving his obedience to God, the troubles of the people in the book of Joel were from a place of proving their disobedience to God in order to move them back into a place of obedience once more.

When destruction hits, it doesn’t matter if you’re obeying God or disobeying God, it will still hit. And when it hits it will show YOU your standing with God. Right now you are either looking to God, or away from Him. If you’re looking to Him, then this shaking will prove that. If you’re looking away from Him, then this shaking will prove that and cause you to look to Him again. That’s how this works. And the really amazing part is, that when the shaking is finished there is still a common thread – blessing!!!

Look at these verses in Joel for your confirmation of blessings after the destruction:

Joel 2:3 – How does the LORD describe the land that lies ahead?

Joel 2:25 – What are those first two words that God says in this promise? WHO is responsible for carrying out the results of this promise? You or God?

Joel 3:1 – In this verse, does the LORD say “if”? How would that little two letter word change the meaning of this verse? Isn’t it great that “if” isn’t the word He uses? What word does He use instead?

And here’s one from Isaiah just for good measure, don’t leave it out!

Isaiah 40:27

God is NOT ignoring you!!! He sees your troubles. He see’s what you’ve been going through – ALL of it! He knows your pain and frustration. He knows and He CARES about it. Read Joel 3:21 to see what He has to say about it. Or perhaps John 3:16-18 might be a more familiar way to explain.

You see, the theme that started in our readings of Job and continued into Joel concludes in John!!! While there is destruction, it’s not the end! The end of Joel presents us with a prophecy, a promise, of THE coming pardon, the fulfillment of the FULL pardoning of all our sins past, present and future. John 1:1-5 helps us to understand how Jesus – the fulfillment of the promise – is our answer to the destruction around us.

1 In the beginning the Word already existed.
    The Word was with God,
    and the Word was God.
He existed in the beginning with God.
God created everything through him,
    and nothing was created except through him.
The Word gave life to everything that was created,
    and his life brought light to everyone.
The light shines in the darkness,
    and the darkness can never extinguish it.

Who is “the Word”? Jesus! And what does this verse say about Jesus that is the key to our renewal from destruction? His life brought LIGHT to EVERYONE.

Why is that a big deal? BECAUSE! The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can NEVER extinguish it!!!

Boy, if that’s not good news today then I don’t know what is! That darkness that’s trying to destroy you from the inside out can NEVER destroy the light that shines from a heart that believes!

Read John 10:10, what is Satan’s purpose? And what is Jesus’?

To wrap up a week of stories of renewal after destruction God put this great bow on the package that I simply can not leave out! Take a moment to re-read John 11 here.

Take a special look at the wording of verse 4, “This sickness will not END in death.” Yes, Lazarus died and lay in a cold DEAD grave for FOUR days and that STILL wasn’t the END! So don’t you dare tell me that you’re at the end of your story and that there’s no hope left for your dream to find its way to fruition! Look at verse 4 and 14, what was the purpose of Lazarus’ sickness?

Could your “sickness” have the same purpose?

Have you been lying cold and dead for four days in a rock hard tomb waiting for the Savior of the World to come and roll away your stone and say, “Lazarus, come out!” Is it time for your resurrection? How about today you appeal to, as Paul calls Him in Ephesians 3:20, the One who can do exceedingly abundantly above all that you could ask or imagine. Let’s follow Martha and Mary’s eloquent lead and send HIM a message, “LORD, the one You love is sick.”

There may have been some destruction in your life as of late, but take heart my friend! For you time of resurrection is just around the corner!!!

 

Next Week’s Readings:

Day #:

Week #:

Bible Reading:

Date:

169

25

John 11:38-14:14

Nov 16

170

John 14:15-18:18

Nov 17

171

John 18:19-21:25

Nov 18

172

1 John 1:1-5:21

Nov 19

173

2 John & 3 John & Jonah

Nov 20

174

Joshua 1:1-4:24

Nov 21

175

Sabbath

Nov 22

Categories: 365 Life, Job, Joel, Jonah, Season 3, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Peace

1 Kings 1:28 – 3:15

Word of the Day:

“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, 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 Your goodness in the land of the living.

 

 

[Keep in mind; these posts are at least a month and a half old…. ;)]

Categories: 1 Kings, 365 Life, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Castle

Judges 20:19-21:25 & 1 Kings 1:1-1:27

Word of the Day: “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???

YIKES!

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, Judges, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Awake

Joshua 8:1 – 10:21

Word of the Day: And as they fled before Israel, while they were going down the ascent of Beth-horon, the LORD threw down large stones from heaven on them as far as Azecah, and they died. There were more who died because of hailstones than the sons of Israel killed with the sword. Joshua 10:11

This verse is from the Israelites second battle with Ai, the first one didn’t go so very well. Why, because God wasn’t in that battle with them. So much of life is a battle in one form or another. And I’m finding that many of life’s battles don’t have to be fought at all.

In today’s word of the day we find the PERFECT example of this! The hailstones that God threw down from heaven killed more men than the swords of Israel! God fought FOR them, He worked FOR them in that battle.

One evening Jesus and His disciples were out in their boat. Jesus exhausted from preaching all day was asleep on a pillow in the front of the boat, seemingly unaware of the danger surrounding them all. A great windstorm popped up and caused the waves to break over the side of the boat filling it with water. If something didn’t change soon the boat would sink and they all would die… except Jesus was with them! Sleeping… but with them; He was their only hope. So the men frantically woke Him saying “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?” (Mark 4:35-40)

Jesus’ reply to their fear brings up a great question, what were they really afraid of, death or that Jesus didn’t care enough to save them from it? Now don’t get me wrong, a situation like that would scare the pants off just about anyone. But when we look to what the disciples say, we find what’s in their hearts. “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” First of all, they call Him Teacher, of all the titles they could have awoken Him with, Savior, Messiah, Son of the living God, they chose Teacher. It shows their lack of faith in His proven record of miracle-working. They’re not trying to wake up that guy; they’re waking up the teacher, maybe because He is about to teach them something.

Second, they say to Him “do you not care that we are perishing?” Don’t you care Jesus? They were afraid that Jesus didn’t care enough about their situation to wake up and save them from it. Yet nothing could be farther from the truth. While the body of Jesus slumbered on his pillow, the Spirit of Jesus, the Living God was WIDE AWAKE! Psalm 121 tells us: “I lift my eyes up to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth forevermore.”

Read that one aloud, it gives me chills and my spirit rejoices EVERY time, because it is the TRUTH! In every battlefield of life, every storm that threatens to cause you to perish, no matter how terrifying, no matter how asleep Jesus seems to be, He is AWAKE, He is ALIVE and He is acting on your behalf for your benefit and His glory! It is only a mere matter of time before you see Him rise up and calm the storm with His simple, “Peace! Be still.” It is only a matter of time before you see the hailstones falling from the sky pelting your enemies to death and missing you completely. The LORD is for you. And if the God is for us, then who can be against us?

Categories: 365 Life, Joshua, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Need You

2 Jn, 3 Jn & Jonah

Word of the Day: And the LORD said, “Do you do well to be angry?” Jonah 4:4

Oh Jesus how I need to feel Your arms wrapped around me right now! The Enemy wants me afraid, tormented, and paralyzed. But you want me free, content and mobilized. Papa, help me reach out! Out of myself, out of Fear, out of bondage to the past. This is my year, it is my time and it is Your plan for me to do all these things You’ve set before me.

Lord, I parade my friends before You and pronounce blessing over each one. Jesus please help them trust You more. Help them realize how strong and mighty You are. Help them SEE your faithfulness to them. Lord, infuse them with the strength they lack. Help them to have faith even when it’s hard. Bless them with the strength to endure the race set out for them.

Lord, what am I afraid of? Why do I rebel against Your authority? I want what You have for me because I know that if it’s from you it is good for me.

Categories: 2 John, 3 John, 365 Life, Jonah, Waiting, Writing Through the Bible in a Year | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cleft of the Rock

My grandmother was a wonderful God-fearing woman, I miss her. Many times when my first child was an infant my mom would tell me about my grandmother (her mother-in-law). They didn’t always see eye-to-eye on things, Oreo cookies right before sending us home… you know, those kinds of things. But there was one story my mom tells on my grandmother that is really a lesson for the ages, and God is reminding me of it today.

Often times when my brother and I were young we would visit our grandparents who lived only a few short miles away from us. And when my mom would accompany us, she would try to take care of us while we were at Grandmother’s house, frustrating both Grandmother and Mom in the process because they were both trying to take care of us. Until one day Grandmother explained to my Mom “When you are at my house, you leave the children to me. I can handle them, I’ve done this before, you go take a break.” By them both trying to accomplish the same task they ended up getting in each other’s way. Not to mention Grandmother knew that moms NEED the occasional break!

Fast forward to my last and favorite memory of my grandmother. My son was about ten weeks old and we had called all his grandparents and great grandparents together to take four generation pictures. At that point all my son’s parents, grandparents, and great grandparents were still married to their original spouses and still alive, that doesn’t usually happen very often so we deemed it photo shoot worthy. Anyway, the day after the photo shoot we had planned on Grandmother and Grandfather coming over to our house to see all the antiques in the one-hundred year old house that we were renting. That morning Gabe was the fussiest baby! He had never been that grumpy before or since. There was nothing I could do to please him, and I had tried EVERYTHING! By the time my grandparents showed up I was frazzled and tired and grumpy myself. In walks Grandmother, she saw the screaming baby and the look in my eye, asked “what’s wrong” and I verbally puked all over her telling her how the morning had gone. She looked at me and said “Tamar, let me hold him and you go take care of yourself. Go in the kitchen and make yourself something hot to eat. I will take care of him.”

“But Grandmother,” I began to protest, “you came to see the antiques, I can do this, really, its OK.”

“Tamar, give me the baby.” And I resigned my son to her care. The MOMENT he touched her arms he stopped crying! As a new mother of two months, I was amazed! Almost convinced of a supernatural power coming over my son as she touched him, and who knows, maybe it was – or a supernatural power leaving him as her light touched his little body. But either way, something happened. Yes, as a now experienced mother I realize that my stress had been most likely the cause of his distress, but then again, that’s just the point. As I made my way back into the kitchen to make myself something hot to eat as commanded by the higher authority of my grandmother I listened to the two of them cooing at each other and her singing, totally in grandma heaven. And we all thought she came to see the antiques! Ha! Hardly. A mere month later she had gone home to be with the Lord. She died from a blood clot that caused a stroke, the only photo in her hospital room was one of my little Gabriel.

About a year later God inspired my husband and I to move from our little Indiana hometown surrounded by farmland to the Chicago-land area so that my husband could go back to school to change careers and be a mechanic. For two years he went to school and worked part-time while I worked in daycare as a pre-school teacher. At the end of his schooling it came time for him to find a job, and we both were praying for one in Indianapolis where we would still be close to family. It came down to the last two weeks of school and he still didn’t have job lined up! Rent was due soon and we had NO idea if we would be staying another month or leaving for Indy. The best and only way I can explain that time in our life was dark. Everything was up in the air and totally unknown. We were totally between that rock and a hard place. The time was drawing nearer and nearer to take that next step. One we were more than willing to take… if we just knew WHERE we were supposed to step! Sure we had both been feeling led to go to Indy, but what if that wasn’t what God wanted for us? What if He wanted us in California or New York? We had no idea, and it was terrifying. We were being pressed to take this next step, but it was going to have to be a leap of faith like never before, and it was seriously stressing me out.

At that time I had, by far, the best assistant director I’ve ever had in any job either before or since! A woman with one of the most beautiful hearts I’ve ever seen. One day during this trial of uncertainty and fear the Spirit led her to come down to my room to visit me during breakfast. (Now, I can probably count on one hand how many times she had done that while I worked there, and still have some fingers left over.) She walked in my room and totally took over control. And I have to admit I was offended by her “intrusion” into MY classroom. I said something to her to the effect of “Oh, that’s not how we do that in here…” and she turned to the assistant teacher and asked her to watch the kids while she and I went to have a talk.

Oh boy!

She pulled me into the neighboring kitchen and said to me, “Tamar, when the Master is in the house, you are not to be in control, He is. You just sit back and relax and take care of yourself, and let Him do the rest. When I’m in your room, you’re not in charge anymore. You let me take over so you can take a much-needed break.” Well, right then and there standing next to a white chest freezer full of frozen waffles and orange juice concentrate I let go of my control and started sobbing with relief. She wrapped me in her little arms and I poured the story out on her of what was going on and how it all just felt so dark, How we didn’t know what to do and it was so scary. And how the words that God had just put in her mouth were almost identical to the words He had put in Grandmother’s mouth a few years before. How their familiarity had touched me, taught me and reminded me of Grandmother all at the same time.

Today, God has pulled all these stories back up in my memory. There’s a change in the wind for our family. It’s looming and obvious and yet elusive at the same time. We’ve been avoiding it and yet it has still come upon us all the same. It’s time for us to take another leap of faith into the darkness expecting God to be there to catch us when we jump. We are in His house with a screaming baby totally stressed out over our life situation and we keep saying “What do I do?” and He’s looking us in the eye saying “Beloved, hand over the dream, let Me take care of it, and you go fix yourself something hot to eat, take a break and let Me handle things for a while, because I love you and I want this just as much as you do. More so actually, but we can’t both be working on the same thing because right now you’re getting in my way. So just sit back (be still), take a break over there out-of-the-way, and watch what I, the Master, can do (know that I AM GOD. Psalm 46:10)

Exodus 33:12-23:

12 Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ 13If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”

 14 The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”

 15 Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”

 17 And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”

 18 Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”

 19 And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 20 But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”

 21 Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. 22 When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. 23 Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”

Does it feel like you’re between a rock and a hard place? Perhaps God has placed you there so that He can cover you with His hand and protect you from His glory passing by in your current circumstance of life. Realize that in those “rock and a hard place” moments, if you COULD see what God was doing, it would kill you because of its pure awesomeness. That uncertainty and darkness you feel is keeping you alive, it’s protecting you. Don’t fear it and don’t fight it.

Psalm 22

1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
   Why are you so far from saving me,
   so far from my cries of anguish?
2 My God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer,
   by night, but I find no rest.

 3 Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One;
   you are the one Israel praises.
4 In you our ancestors put their trust;
   they trusted and you delivered them.
5 To you they cried out and were saved;
   in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

 6 But I am a worm and not a man,
   scorned by everyone, despised by the people.
7 All who see me mock me;
   they hurl insults, shaking their heads.
8 “He trusts in the LORD,” they say,
   “let the LORD rescue him.
Let him deliver him,
   since he delights in him.”

 9 Yet you brought me out of the womb;
   you made me trust in you, even at my mother’s breast.
10 From birth I was cast on you;
   from my mother’s womb you have been my God.

 11 Do not be far from me,
   for trouble is near
   and there is no one to help.

 12 Many bulls surround me;
   strong bulls of Bashan encircle me.
13 Roaring lions that tear their prey
   open their mouths wide against me.
14 I am poured out like water,
   and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart has turned to wax;
   it has melted within me.
15 My mouth is dried up like a potsherd,
   and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;
   you lay me in the dust of death.

 16 Dogs surround me,
   a pack of villains encircles me;
   they pierce my hands and my feet.
17 All my bones are on display;
   people stare and gloat over me.
18 They divide my clothes among them
   and cast lots for my garment.

 19 But you, LORD, do not be far from me.
   You are my strength; come quickly to help me.
20 Deliver me from the sword,
   my precious life from the power of the dogs.
21 Rescue me from the mouth of the lions;
   save me from the horns of the wild oxen.

 22 I will declare your name to my people;
   in the assembly I will praise you.
23 You who fear the LORD, praise him!
   All you descendants of Jacob, honor him!
   Revere him, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not despised or scorned
   the suffering of the afflicted one;
he has not hidden his face from him
   but has listened to his cry for help.

 25 From you comes the theme of my praise in the great assembly;
   before those who fear you I will fulfill my vows.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied;
   those who seek the LORD will praise him—
   may your hearts live forever!

 27 All the ends of the earth
   will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
   will bow down before him,
28 for dominion belongs to the LORD
   and he rules over the nations.

 29 All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
   all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
   those who cannot keep themselves alive.
30 Posterity will serve him;
   future generations will be told about the Lord.
31 They will proclaim his righteousness,
   declaring to a people yet unborn:
   He has done it!

Can you relate to how David feels; scorned by men, mocked and insulted? Are you being tempted to doubt your trusting in the LORD? Do you feel surrounded on all sides with a melting heart and a dry mouth? Are you spiritually starving and naked? Cry out to Yaweh! Cry out for deliverance, praise Him in the streets and on Facebook. Call the people around you to join in your praises of our God Almighty, because “He has NOT despised or disdained the suffering of the afflicted one; He has not hidden His face from Him but has listened to His cry for help”. (v. 24) God will save you! How?

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me.

 5 You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD
   forever.

He MAKES me lie down. He comes in and says “hand over the baby” so that you can REST, recover, de-stress, PRAISE! We walk through the valley of the shadow of death every day but fear no evil! For He IS with you – especially when it doesn’t feel like He is. His goodness, the very same goodness that passed by Moses (and you) in the cleft of the rock, will follow you all the days of your life until you go home to LIVE in Grandmother’s house where you just get in the way when you’re trying to control things.

Pray Psalm 143:

1 LORD, hear my prayer,
   listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
   come to my relief.
2 Do not bring your servant into judgment,
   for no one living is righteous before you.
3 The enemy pursues me,
   he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
   like those long dead.
4 So my spirit grows faint within me;
   my heart within me is dismayed.
5 I remember the days of long ago;
   I meditate on all your works
   and consider what your hands have done.
6 I spread out my hands to you;
   I thirst for you like a parched land.

 7 Answer me quickly, LORD;
   my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
   or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
   for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
   for to you I entrust my life.
9 Rescue me from my enemies, LORD,
   for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
   for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
   lead me on level ground.

 11 For your name’s sake, LORD, preserve my life;
   in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
   destroy all my foes,
   for I am your servant.

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Busy Mom’s Morning Prayer

As Christians and as mothers, we are waging war in a supernatural showdown all day every day of our lives. Therefore life requires that we put on the full armor of God every morning. But sometimes, as busy moms, we just don’t have a lot of time to pray through the Bible every morning to cover ourselves. God blessed me with most of this prayer about 6 months ago, and I can tell you from experience that He answers it immediately every time and that it is very powerful. So yesterday when He made the light bulb above my head turn on and reminded me of this sweet little breath prayer. He also called me to compare it to the elements of the armor of God in Ephesians 6, and I was amazed at the results.

“Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I may be more like You; help me, I trust You.”

“Come Holy Spirit,” – “Belt of Truth buckled around your waist”(v14) & “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.” (v17): In John 16:13 Jesus tells us “But when He, the Spirit of Truth, comes and guides you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” So simply by me saying “Come Holy Spirit” I am putting on the belt of truth and I am picking up the Sword of the (Holy) Spirit, which is the word of God. I am calling God to come and be with me today. I am asking Him to come into my situation and live through me. “Come Holy Spirit”, guide me with Your light. “Come Holy Spirit” speak Your words with my tongue today. The word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword, it is THE weapon that we use against the Enemy, and the Bible is filled with them! “Come Holy Spirit” and teach me Your words, Your wisdom, Your grace, Your love. “Come Holy Spirit”.

“fill me with Your fire” – “with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.” (v15): When the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples at Pentacost (Acts 2) it came in tongues of fire that danced above their heads (this was before they had light bulbs of course). Have you ever heard the expression “She is really on fire for the LORD”? When we are “on fire” for something we’re excited about it, we’re ready to tell people about it. And honestly, the gospel of peace is exciting! God’s love is exciting. His grace is exciting. And let me tell you, I’ve been praying this part of the prayer for 6 months, the more often you pray it, the more on fire you will get for God and His gospel of peace! I have prayed this prayer for just about everything under the sun. Wisdom, discernment, help, courage, when I sneeze and there’s no one around to say “God bless you”… “Come Holy Spirit and fill me with Your fire”, it’s an invitation to God to fill you and use YOU for His good purposes on this earth! To use YOU to change the world! “Fill me with Your fire!”

“make me more like You” – “with the breastplate of righteousness in place” (v14): Abraham was declared righteous, not because of his deeds but because of his faith. Faith is our belief in action. Jesus’ death on the cross pays for the debt our sins create between us and God. The blood stained cross declares each and every one of us righteous (or pure) in God’s sight. However, we have to believe that it’s true and then live out our lives in that belief, or “walk in faith”, that it is true and that even though we are human and not perfect, we ARE forgiven, which makes us righteous. A breastplate usually has the royal crest emblazoned on it, declaring whose army you belong to; under whose authority you speak. As Christians, we are children of God Almighty the King of kings. We are not only warriors, we are royal warriors with the righteous symbol of God’s authority emblazoned on our chests. And it is with this very authority that we are able to stand up to the Enemy and WIN! We have been given the authority of Christ’s shed blood to tell the attacking Enemy forces “to report to Jesus immediately” and they must obey. So when we pray “fill me with Your fire so that I may be more like You” we are asking God to fill us up with His shed blood, placing that breastplate of righteousness over our chest and with it His authority over the Enemy. His righteousness covering our humanity. Covering the nakedness that we were once ashamed of; no longer.

“help me,” – “Take the helmet of salvation” (v17): In Romans chapter ten, verses nine through ten we read “That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.” Now I know that for someone who hasn’t been raised in the church this could be a difficult passage to read and understand so let me break it down a bit for you. 1) “if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord'” – The word “Lord” is a term of respect that voices the acknowledgement that you are giving Jesus power, authority and ownership over you life. You need to speak out loud your decision to let Jesus be the one in charge of your life instead of you. Now there are all kinds of “sinners prayers” out there that you could pray, but according to this scripture it can be as simple as “Jesus is Lord”. 2) “believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead” – So very much of the Bible centers around belief, and honestly, the helmet of salvation centers around it too. The Bible tells us multiple times that Jesus died on the cross, was buried and dead for three days, and then on the third day He rose from the dead and for a period of 40 days appeared to a multitude of people who then gave witness to the fact that He was indeed alive. So the question you have to ask yourself is, “Do I believe this to be true?” I pray that you’ve answered “YES!” 3) “you will be saved” – Yes, it really is as simple as that! Verse ten explains it to us a little more; that when we believe in our heart that Jesus did die for us personally, then we are justified (which means He made it so that it was just-as-if-I’d never sinned). Salvation is simple, there is no real action required on our part aside from belief and a confession of that belief. Romans 10:13 tells us “for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’” – see, just call on Jesus. No work on the part of man can save him (I believe this includes confession of sins), because Jesus did it all for us to make it as simple as possible so that all who believe will be justified and they will confess with their mouths and be saved! Salvation is the pathway to the Garden of Relationship with Christ and this is where all the healing takes place. The confession of sins and asking for His help with them takes place within the enclosed walls of the Garden of Relationship and is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL to it. (I can not stress this enough!!!!!!!) Honestly, I don’t know that true healing could take place without it. “Help me”, is our daily cry to Jesus. “Help me” to be the person You want me to be. “Help me” to stop doing the things that I did in the past that got me into trouble. “Help me” to be a better mom. “Help me” to live the life I’ve always dreamed of. “Help me” to get through this dark place that I’m living in right now, shine Your magnificent light on me. “Help me”, so small, and yet so VERY VERY profound.

“I trust You.” – “take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” (v16): This is one of my favorite truths that I love to share with people. When God revealed the shield of faith to me I’m glad that I was already on the floor because if I hadn’t been I would’ve hit it! Turn with me, if you would, to the Psalm of Protection, Psalm 91 and look at verse 4. “He will cover you with His feathers and under His wings you will find refuge; HIS faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.” Now I’ve heard a lot of sermons on these passages of scripture and I have to tell you that NONE of them left me feeling any better about being able to fend off the Enemy… because everything depended on me! Did I know the truth? Was I righteous? Was I ready? Did I know the gospel message well enough? Was I faithful enough? Was I saved? Did I know enough scripture? It’s enough to make a girl want to scream “NO! I DON’T! I CAN’T! I GIVE UP!” But look at it right there in your Bible! It’s not MY faithfulness that shields me from the Enemy! It’s HIS! Praise God Almighty in heaven its HIS faithfulness that protects me! it’s HIS faithfulness that never fails! Mine? HUH! All the time! But not His, His faithfulness is unending. His faithfulness is eternal. His faithfulness is more than enough. His faithfulness doesn’t just shield me from one side only like most shields do. OH NO! His faithfulness is a force field that surrounds us in a bubble of protection that not even laser beams or nuclear weapons can penetrate! Hallelujah Praise the LORD for His love endures forever! Isn’t that just the best news you’ve ever heard? I mean as a mom I am pulled a thousand different directions. My daughter needs this from me, my son wants that from me, my husband needs me to do this for him, my friends need help with something, my ministry needs my attention, our family members… the list goes on and on and on! It is so comforting to know that GOD CAN HANDLE IT! That His faithfulness is ALL we need. That we can say “I trust You” and step into that force field of peace and know that no matter what fiery missiles the enemy tries to launch our way, we’ve got our bubble of peace powered by GOD’S FAITHFULNESS.

“Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I may be more like You; help me, I trust You.”

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Day 11: United

For you formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb.  I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Your works, and my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:13-14

So, what are you made of?  It’s an interesting comment to be sure.  But really, have you ever thought about it?  The nursery rhymes tell us: “Sugar and spice and everything nice, that’s what little girls are made of.”  Then there’s science, the human body is made up of mostly water.  But what does the bible have to say about it?  Psalm 139:13-14 says that God wove us together in our mother’s womb, creating us with His very own hands, it’s just mind-blowing.  God’s hands created each and every one of us.  HE made us.  Just like Adam and Eve God’s hands formed us.  And just like creation He stands back, watches us grow and says “it is good”.

In the Garden of Eden:

“The man gave names to all the cattle, and to the birds of the sky, and to every beast of the field, but for Adam there was not found a helper suitable for him.  So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place.  The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.  The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”  For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:20-24)

As Adam was naming all of the animals he realized that they all had mates and he didn’t.  He noticed that each of them had someone to call their own, and yet he didn’t.  Poor Adam was lonely, he wanted someone just like him; a partner, a mate.  So God lovingly created Eve for him.  But Eve unlike everything else in creation wasn’t spoken into existence or even made from the dust of the Earth like Adam, she was made from Adam’s flesh and bone.  When you think about how we as women were first created, it explains A LOT doesn’t it!  We’re tough and soft all at the same time; we’re made from bone and flesh.  God created us from man’s rib, not his head to be above him, or his feet to be below him, but his rib to be beside him.  And under his arm to be protected by him, close to his heart, to be loved by him.5 God made everything to serve a purpose, but I believe He had a very special purpose in mind when He created women.  We were made in such a different fashion than everything else on the earth, how can we not then BE different from everything else on earth?  While nothing in all of creation could fill the position of Adam’s “helper”, woman could.  Creation wasn’t complete until Eve came along.  It’s like God kept saying “Hmmmm, something’s missing… AHA! That’s it!  Woman!”  Hee hee!  We’re the icing on the creation cake!

In a conversation on this topic, my good friend Kelly commented, “… I’m made of ivory!”  I looked at her questioningly “Ivory?” I said.  “Yup, I’m made from Adam’s bone, polished-white-beautiful-ivory.”  I think Kelly’s got it right!  We are made of ivory.  We may have a few dirty spots on us, some dents and nicks, but under it all, we’re made of polished white beautiful ivory.  And it’s nothing for God to wipe those spots off for us and fill in those dents; all we have to do is ask Him to.  He’s got the best cleaning solution known to man; it fixes everything – Christ’s blood.

Now that we know what we’re made of, let’s look and see why it’s important.  In Mark 10:2-12 Jesus is asked about divorce by:

Some Pharisees [who] came up to Jesus, testing Him, and began to question Him whether it was lawful for a man to divorce a wife.  And He answered and said to them.  “What did Moses command you?”  They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”  But Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment.  “But from the beginning of creation.  God made them male and female.  For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother, and the two shall become one flesh; so they are no longer two, but one flesh.  What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”  In the house the disciples began questioning Him about this again.  And He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.”

In this New Testament section, where Jesus himself is reminding us all that when God started creation He created them MALE and FEMALE, they were different and yet together made one whole.  I took a closer look at the words translated “and the two shall become one flesh”.  In the original Greek this word is “proskollao” which according to Strongs Exhaustive Concordance means “to be glued to, to cleave, to stick to”.  When God created Adam and Eve He never intended them to separate or divorce one another.  Notice how it states the same thing twice, adding emphasis to the fact that what used to be two separate entities, once married and united with sex, become one entity.

In Genesis 2:21 while God is forming Eve: the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. There is another place in Genesis where God causes someone else to fall into a “deep sleep”, and I KNOW that it’s not a coincidence.  In Genesis 15:9-18 God himself cut a blood covenant with Abram.  The procedure, to us is very peculiar, however as covenants go this one is filled with significance.  God instructed Abram to gather an assortment of animals for sacrifice.  Abram took the larger sacrificial animals and cut them each into half, and arranged the halves on the ground with space between them so that they could walk between them – just as the LORD had instructed.  Some birds of prey came and Abram chased them off, then the sun began to set and a deep sleep fell on Abram.  This is where God spoke to him and told him about the covenant He was making with him and his descendants.  When the sun had set God came down in the form of fire and passed between the pieces of the sacrifice; officially cutting a blood covenant with Abram and his heirs.

Now, tell me, when you cut an animal in half do you think there might be a little blood involved in the process?  Of course there was, hence the name “blood covenant”.  This type of promise was sacred to the people making the covenant.  By walking through the bloody animal halves they were promising that if they didn’t hold up their end of the bargain then they too could be cut in half!  This was a serious promise girls!  Are you ready for where this gets REALLY interesting?  When we get married we are also committing to a blood covenant between God, ourselves and our husbands.  When we cut this covenant God is joining the two souls of the bride and groom and making them one soul.  Covenants are NOT meant to be broken, ever.  They are meant to be protected, like when Abram protected the animal halves from the birds of prey.  There will be birds of prey in your life coming to devour your covenant, which is why you need to be vigilant and protect it.  And if these blood covenants are broken, there are deadly consequences involved.  THIS is why marriage is meant to be FOREVER, not just “till someone better comes along or I’m tired of you”.

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