2 Samuel 3:26-7:29
OK, for any of you reading through the Bible in a year, we’re in the home stretch with less than a month left! 19 days to be exact! And I don’t know about you, but my 19 days are set to be packed!
I’ve got to tell you, I’m going to have to dig in deep to make it that far folks. You know how in the Olympics when the race is almost finished and you can see by your favorite runner’s face that they’re exhausted and they really have nothing left, so you cheer as loudly as you can to help them get across the finish line? I could really use that right now.
I am pouring almost everything I have into these kids, my own flesh and blood children and the ones at school and I’m left with little for spiritual blogging at the moment. Most days I simply don’t have the time because I’m working on homework for my classes. And the other days when I do have the time I don’t really have any inspiration, unless you want to hear about the lessons I’m planning for my classes. I’d love to tell you about my kiddos at school, but I think their privacy is more important than me sharing my joy with you.
I have gotten much satisfaction from working at the school with these kids who are AMAZING! The whole time I was working at Dollar General, it was nice and I had no real problems working there, but it wasn’t feeding my soul and I hated that about it. Here at the school my soul is overflowing with purpose and the satisfaction that comes from doing what God made me to do by using the talents that God bestowed on me. It’s frustrating and heart breaking and EXHAUSTING and I L O V E IT! I come home tired, but refreshed because I know that I made a difference today for them.
So while I love writing and blogging and I cherish you all to pieces, it’s hard for me to keep putting effort and time into something where I get no feedback. At school I can see their smiling faces telling me that what I’m doing is working. I don’t get that here. And for the last seven years talking to the brick wall of cyberspace has been OK because it’s fulfilled a need that I had. But now that I’m at the school, I’m not so sure that I’m going to be blogging through the Bible in a Year again.
Oh, I’ll still have the blog! But I’m acutally hoping to have my own classroom next year and I would be using the blog to keep in touch with students and parents. No real decisions have been made, and yet, in my heart I know that’s where things are headed. So I guess I’m giving you advance warning that things are going to be changing again around here. 😉 Perhaps you could consider this my three week notice that I’m… well I’m not quitting… actually I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to be doing to be completely honest. But I can feel it, things are going to be different… and yet blissfully the same as they always have been. Whatever that means, I have no idea! But isn’t that part of being a follower of Christ? We never know what exactly is going on, and yet we know that we can trust whatever comes next because it comes from the hand of the Father who loves us. Isn’t that amazingly comforting?
I can face tomorrow because I know who holds the future in His hands. Jesus. The One who died for me! And YOU!
It’s funny, I don’t know if any of you are feeling this way right now, but I feel like I’ve only got a few pages left in the book I’m living before the next volume begins. It’s not a new chapter, it’s a whole new book with a new title and new white hardbacked covers. I don’t know if God will let us see the Table of Contents or if He will keep those a secret, but I’m pretty sure this new book is going to be a good one!
Posts Tagged With: life
2 Samuel 3:26-7:29
“The LORD is able to give you much more than this.” 2 Chronicles 25:9
One day when I was in Kindergarten, or there abouts, my mom said something to me that would stick with me forever. She said, “Honey, I think you’d make a really good teacher someday.” I can’t remember exactly how old I was at the time, but I remember how it made me feel when she said it. It felt like I’d been hit by a lightning bolt of revelation. I certainly wouldn’t have described it that way at the time mind you, I was like, 6. But more than anything I remember that feeling coming from deep inside me that she had said something deep and right. In that moment I knew that I wanted to be a teacher. And from that moment on that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be. But at the time that this dream of teaching was born “I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) I was a child in elementary school, surrounded with women who taught elementary school and seemed to really love me for me. At the time that was all the higher I was able to dream because I didn’t know any differently.
As I grew the dream to be an elementary teacher solidified and become firm in my mind. I was going to be an elementary teacher. Period. When I got to high school all my friends knew that I wanted to teach elementary school. One of my friends went so far as to tease me that I should work with the Kindergarteners because they would be the only ones I could teach that would be shorter than me and take me seriously. (I’m 5 foot 2… on a good day.) I hated his taunt and vowed to *never* teach little kids.
Once I made it to college and I was studying at Purdue to be an elementary teacher, when something interesting started happening. There was this desire birthed inside me that was different from the original dream. I remember the classroom, the teacher, the other students in the room when the revelation started. I realized that I wanted to teach the building blocks of life. I wanted to teach them how to take a good test, how to be a good friend, how to survive in life. I wanted to teach so much more than what they were offering me to teach. I wanted to teach about LIFE more than math or reading or spelling.
So while I was still on my path to be the awesome elementary teacher I had always dreamed of being, there was disquiet in my soul about it now. Without my realizing it, the dream had changed. While I still desperately wanted to teach, I wasn’t exactly sure that elementary school was the right place for me anymore. But I was a semester or two from graduating, and I still wanted to teach so I carried on with my studies and graduated.
Just before graduation September 11th hit and changed our world forever. My husband and I had been married just over a year at that point and were considering having a baby. Then the towers fell and world was suddenly plunged into a darkness we had never experienced before. And the only thought in my head was, “how can we bring a child into a world like this?” But then God countered with, “If people like you never bring children of light into this world it will always be dark.” And by the time I walked across the stage at graduation I was fully pregnant. We moved back home to be close to our parents and I applied for a job at the local elementary school where they all knew and loved me. I got an interview fairly easily. But then the unthinkable happened. I was admitted into the hospital at 33 weeks gestation for pre-ecclampsia (high blood pressure). I was there for about a week before our son Gabriel was born.
He was born the day before my interview. I didn’t get the only job they had available to me. The door to that particular dream had officially shut. And really, I was OK with it. Mostly because at the time I was still battling for my life! But I’ll have to tell you more about that part later.
Gabe was about six months old when a daycare center opened up the next town over. We needed extra income and it was the ONLY thing for a teacher in the area. I applied and the owner thought she had died and gone to heaven. She couldn’t believe I wanted a job there instead of at the elementary school. I explained that there was nothing for me there and she snatched me up like a hot pancake fresh off the griddle. I was promoted to daycare director within a month of working there. And I LOVED it. Here I had been swearing I would NEVER work with little kids and now I was working with toddlers every day and thinking it was the best thing since sliced bread.
Shortly after settling into my role as director we moved again. This time, to Glendale Heights, a suburb of Chicago, so that my husband could go back to school to be a mechanic. While there I tried my best to get a subbing job at the school that was located in our back yard but they weren’t hiring at the time. Imagine that. But I did manage to get a job in a local daycare center as a floating substitute. Except two weeks before I was set to start they had 15 kids enroll, this is absolutely unheard of. So they needed to open up a new classroom and guess who got to teach it. ME! I was in heaven. For the first time I had my own classroom, my own students, I was a real teacher. I was in love.
For the next five years I taught in three different preschool daycares and loved almost every second of it. I didn’t stay at that first one very long though because it was a corporate daycare and I could feel God calling me to a church daycare down the street.
There I was teaching children the true building blocks of life; both the physical ones and the spiritual ones. I was living the dream. But it wasn’t anything like the dream I had first started dreaming. It had grown and changed as I grew and changed and learned more about myself and who God was calling me to be.
Eventually I risked death once more in order to have our baby girl and my husband and I both could feel the Holy Spirit nudging us to take the financial plunge and have me stay home with the kids.
And this is where things really started changing. That first year home with a newborn was one of the hardest in my life. We had a new house, a new baby, I had a new job, it was crazy to say the least. But I had one salvation; our local women’s Bible study. That weekly meeting kept me sane through the chaos. But more than that, it was through that Bible study that God awakened something new in me. While I had always loved the LORD and had a relationship with Him; it was time to kick the teaching dream into real high gear. So He reawakened my dream and love for writing. A dream so dead in my life that I had completely forgotten I had had it in the first place. When I announced on Facebook that I was writing a book about God and sex (True Intimacy) I had a friend from middle school tell me that she still had all my short stories from that time. Stories I didn’t even remember writing she had kept for over ten years!
Even before I met my husband, I had dreamt of being a writer, a good one. It was a dream that I hardly even entertained because at that point it didn’t fit with my larger and longer lived dream of being an elementary teacher. I was still a child thinking like a child at that point. I was literally incapable of thinking any larger than the box I was currently in. Honestly, because I was dreaming up to the sides of the box… but never past what I could see as possibly achievable.
But then I started writing True Intimacy and everything changed. I was still teaching that dream has never died and I doubt it ever will. I was born to teach. I’ve come to the point where I’ve realized that I can teach just about anybody just about anything depending on the circumstance. When I was a child my dream was to be like those teachers I loved when I was in their classrooms. My dream is so different now, and yet completely the same. The Holy Spirit is my teacher; I’m an eternal student in His classroom of Life. And I want to be a teacher like Him in whatever classroom He chooses to place me in. Right now that classroom is my website, my books and my newspaper article. I’m also teaching social media classes at the local library. When I was a child my largest and grandest dream was to have my very own classroom that I could decorate any way that I chose and to teach whatever I felt appropriate. And while I no longer dream of an elementary classroom filled with construction paper decorations that fade in the sunlight, I do dream of souls saved by the Son light. I pray God uses me to bring His marvelous light into their lives. My classroom is the world.
At last count my website has been viewed by people in over seventy countries. My articles are in over a thousand homes in the area weekly with the numbers steadily rising. My deepest desire is no longer to teach children how to take a good test; it’s so much bigger than that. My dream is to teach the children of God how to pass the tests of life when they seem oh so impossible. I want to bring hope to the hopeless through the Word of Christ, because how can they believe if no one ever shares things with them? How will they hear if no one ever tells them? I have a heart for the lost children of God who think they have Him and know Him when in reality all they have is the dry bones of religion and nothing more. How will they know there is more
to the abundant life if someone doesn’t tell them?
Jeremiah 33:3 says, “Call to Me and I will answer you and I will tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” I have lived this more times in the last thirty-three years than I can count! God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ask or imagine through the power found in Christ Jesus, (Ephesians 3:20) if we would only believe in Him. God has challenged me over the years to “dream big” and I feel like I have. Yet I know that my dreams still pale in comparison to the plans that He has for me.
He has plans for my welfare and not for evil, to give me a future and a hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) “For now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” (1 Corinthians 13:12) When I was a child, I dreamt a possible dream. Now as an adult I have chosen to dream an impossible dream. It’s a dream that I can’t possibly achieve on my own, not ever. But God has placed it in my heart none-the-less. It’s a dream where I write the books the world reads because they’re hungry for the bread from heaven. It’s a dream where I stand on a stage before thousands of people and lead them through a prayer of salvation followed by a worship and praise that they’ve been holding in their entire lives. I dream for people to KNOW Him like Adam knew Eve, intimately and beyond all shame because they’ve been eternally forgiven and not condemned. None of that is possible without God. Apart from God we can do nothing, but a part of Him we can do everything!
So often I feel like Mary in Luke chapter 1 when the angel Gabriel comes to her and tells her that she has been chosen to birth the Christ child and she says, “how can this be?” And the angel replies, “Nothing is impossible with God”.
Often I find myself praying and thanking God for using me for this or for that and I will say, “Lord, you could have used anybody to do that, but you used me. Thank You!” Do you know what He said the last time I prayed that, “No. I couldn’t have used just anybody. I could only use you.” And I knew that He had a point.
We are all made so uniquely that we all have a unique purpose in this world. We were created to perform certain jobs and functions that only we can do. And if we’re not doing them then who will get them done? If we’re not doing the job that we were created for then that job isn’t getting done correctly.
I was created to be a teacher. A teacher of the Word of God. I know that now. I NEVER in a million years would have known that in Kindergarten. I couldn’t dream that high. I still have trouble dreaming that high. But I know that as long as I keep following the Man with the plans I’ll get there. Somehow. Someday. In His way. Until then, I’ll keep dreaming the impossible dream that the God of all hope gave me to dream. He is a good God who fulfills His promises. No matter how impossible they may seem to us.
What’s your impossible dream?
Word of the Day: “I find no guilt in Him,” John 18: 38, 4 & 19:6
Pilate was completely stuck between a rock and a hard place! Here he proclaims to the Jews three times, “I find no guilt in Him.” It’s so incredibly obvious that Pilate believes that this bloody mass of a man before him really is someone of significance. And then when he hears that Jesus has “made Himself the Son of God” (John 19:7), Pilate suddenly realizes the true seriousness of his own situation. The Jews are forcing him to kill the Son of God! His wife even had a dream about Jesus and told him to “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of Him today in a dream” (Matthew 27:19). Pilate tried, he really did, but it had to be done. And thank God it was done!
Can you imagine the horror of still having to slaughter animals to atone for sin… only to realize their blood doesn’t last, doesn’t cover, doesn’t truly atone; it only satisfies briefly in order to maintain civility. Ahhhh… but the blood of Jesus, now that’s an altogether different story! The blood of Jesus fully satisfies for eternity the penalty that is due to us! His blood does what the blood of bulls and goats and sheep never could. While their blood only covered up the sin, masking it briefly only for it to come back up again like a stain in the carpet. The blood of Jesus erases our sin completely, never to return again! On the cross, Jesus called all our sins (through all the ages) down upon Himself. Like Luke Skywalker calls his light saber or Thor calls his hammer, Jesus calls the entirety of our sin to Himself to be crucified on the cross with Him. But that’s not the end of the story. Hallelujah there’s more.
When a man commits a crime he goes to prison and stays there for a certain amount of time to “pay” for that particular crime. When his time is up his crime has been atoned for and he walks out of prison a free man. Oh, this is good! Jesus took every crime of humanity upon Himself, from anger to murder, and with Him each of them died on the cross; that was the judgment. Then He went to the prison of death where He stayed until every crime was fully paid for. Then He rose from the dead and emerged from the tomb of death to walk again among the living, proving that our sins have been fully paid for through HIS death!
So as many of you know, and some of you don’t, one Sunday afternoon (March 11th 2012 to be exact) I was attempting to nap after church and just as I was beginning to fully relax into my bed the Holy Spirit spoke life-changing words into my spirit: “Write through the Bible in a year”. I literally sprang from my bed and went straight to my computer to update my blog (www.tamarknochel.com). I’ll admit, there have been times when this challenge has been…well… a challenge! But the rewards that I have reaped have far outweighed the cost. That afternoon as I tapped away on the keys to my computer, updating my “followers” of the news, I had no idea the true changes that God had in store for me within this challenge. His Holy Spirit truly is the best teacher any of us could ever have, and asking Him to come and teach us as individual children of God is the best choice we could ever make in this life after choosing Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
I am praying that this simple little Bible Study will help you grow and learn about the love of God through Christ Jesus. It has been through reading the Word of God daily and writing about it that I have been able to see God’s hand at work in my life like never before. I pray that this journal does the same for you!
Here’s how it works…
Every day we hold our Bibles to our chest (like they’re Jesus Himself greeting us before sitting down with us to chat) as we pray:
“Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I may be more like You. Father Open my eyes so that I may see You clearly. Open my ears so that I may hear You soundly. Open my mind so that I may know You more. Open my heart so that I may love You more. Open my mouth so that You may fill it with good things. Open my hands so that I may give generously and receive humbly. Come Holy Spirit, fill me with Your fire so that I may be more like You. Help me Jesus – I trust You.” (Click here for a printable card.)
While praying this prayer picture the Holy Spirit coming and opening these things up like French doors to let in a spring breeze – you may even feel the breeze enter your heart as you pray! The Holy Spirit has taught me this prayer over the years and it is so near and dear to my heart as EVERY time that I pray it I can feel my heart burning within me in acknowledgement to His fiery presence.
Next we open our Bibles to that day’s reading and read the entire selection. Now, I know that some of you may have trouble doing this, BUT, I am giving you permission to… *gasp*… write in your Bible. Yes, really. It is a book with pages of paper and words written in ink just like any other textbook. The pages and the ink are not holy or sacred, THE WORDS themselves are. We are doing this as a study of His words so act like a student. Highlight those pages, mark them up with your own ink, dog-ear the pages and fill them with bookmarks and sticky notes! Make this book your own; special and unique just like you. By the time you’re done with this study in about a year, (or more if you’re like me) when you flip through these pages a rainbow of color and life will greet your eyes and make you smile, it’s a very beautiful thing! If you would like a new Bible to mark up for less than $5 click here! Or email me and I’ll do what I can to get you one for free, you may just have to wait a bit longer for it.
After reading for the day go back over the verses you highlighted, which one(s) speak to you the most? That verse is your very own “Word of the Day” straight from God Himself just for you. Write it down (we have created a companion journal just for this purpose if you would like one click here). As you are writing picture yourself writing with a supernatural pen that writes the words straight onto your heart. Where nothing can erase them or blot them out because God’s words are alive and as powerful as a double-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) and they never return to Him void, they always accomplish the purpose for which He sent them out. (Isaiah 55:11)
Lastly there are the notes. I will share mine here and I encourage you to do your own; write down any insights that you have gained from your reading, anything that really struck you or changed you. I encourage you to write down your prayers and thoughts toward the LORD. I have been amazed at the things that God has told me through my own writing and I pray for the revelations that He will show you through your writing! The main purpose of me being here in this place is to help others build a RELATIONSHIP with the Almighty, not just a religion. This blog is a place for us to meet and fellowship with one another and I encourage you to leave comments, talk to one another, ask questions, interact with each other and me but most of all HIM. He is here, with us in this place, let us rejoice and be glad in it!!!
In Revelation 12:10-11 tells us that the Accuser is defeated by the blood of the Lamb AND the word of OUR testimony! I want this to be a place where the Enemy can not tread because it is so filled with our testimonies of how the Lamb of God has been working in our everyday lives!!! Let’s fill this place up with so many testimonies of how Jesus conquered the Enemy in our lives that EVERYONE will come just to see what all the fuss is about. This blog isn’t about me, and it’s not about you, it’s about HIM. So lets do that shall we? But I can’t do it alone, I need your help, your input, your participation. Even if you’re just reading what I write and commenting, that’s great. But the REAL power will come from reading His word for yourselves and allowing His voice to come to the forefront of your mind.
Happy Reading & Writing! Here’s the Intro video to the series, enjoy! (There is an outline below the video if you would like to use one.) Please please please let me know if the video doesn’t work for you, this YouTube thing is still very new for me!!!
This is the outline for the video if you’d like to use it to follow along. You can also click here for a printable version if you would prefer.
Masks of Perfection Introduction Video Guide
-This Bible Study is all about getting into the W______ of God daily, letting it sink into your l______ and shut out all the outside v______ to focus on H____.
-The benefit is in taking off the M______ of P______ and allowing people to see your:
how you’re f______
w______ you really are.
-We as Christians, women, mothers, friends, wives and as daughters of Christ need to allow ourselves to s______ so that the p______ around us can see the effects that they have on us.
–We are justified! We are j______ as if I’d n______ s______ . We are justified!
-The Mask of Perfection says, “I d______ s______, I’m perfect!” Taking that mask off allows others to see that we’re h______ and gives us something to t______ about.
-The Bible is the W______ of the Word .
-The Water of the Word washes away the dirt and grime that builds up while we’re l______ l______ and being human.
-As they build up in our hearts, the Words of God become part of w______ we are!
-When we get married to Christ we become o___ f______!
-The Spirit of God lives in m__!
-I am a p______ child of God.
-2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
-We need to look at God and say to Him, “You are e______ for me.”
-I don’t have to be p______ because HE IS!
After the video:
(Feel free to answer these questions in the comment section below!!!! 😀
-Read Romans 3:23-26
-What part does the word AND play in verses 23-24? What difference does that one little word make in these verses?
-How important do you think it is to read the verses in their context? How does taking them out of the context change their meaning?
-Has this one little word (and) changed your view of how God sees you? How?
-Has it changed the way you see you? How?
Kadosh, it’s a Hebrew word that means holy, as in something that is set apart for a special purpose. This week, but especially today I am learning the full meaning of this word.
Usually I go about life writing during the day while the kids are at school and then being the mom/wife in the evenings when the family is home. This is fairly normal for most working women these days. But I’m learning now that I have stepped into a season in my life where there will be times when I am Kadosh, set apart from the norm for a special purpose. Because most of the time I’m writing and can only do so much at a time – because I’m writing a day at a time usually. Except right now, I’m not in a writing phase; I’m in a publishing one. (Tamar wears MANY hats.) And while the writing phase has certain time limitations and a “normal” schedule, I’m finding that the publishing phase has a very different schedule. One where I am basically on lock down until the work is finished.
So, I wrote all that to say this. Friends, family, lend me your ears for a moment. I love you, I cherish you, and I desperately want to spend time with you but right now I can’t. I have a job to do and until it’s done I won’t be coming out from behind my computer. Please be in prayer for me as I do this sacred work behind the veil. And know that as soon as I am permitted to come back out I will be bringing with me something new, special, and just for you!
Think of it kind of as a delivery room, not everyone gets to go in during the delivery, but everyone gets to coo at the baby when they come!
Hee hee hee!!! I am so excited that I get to blog today! I feels like forever that I’ve been able to come on here and talk to you all!!! I have been SOOO busy getting this next Bible Study up and running and ready. There has been so much going on here behind the scenes and I am seriously on pins and needles waiting to unveil it to you! You’re gonna LOVE it! It seriously is all I can do to contain my glee in this moment, deep breath… It won’t be too much longer, I hope.
I can give you this little peek behind the curtain, the new book/Bible Study cover and title:
Ahhhh… there’s nothing like waiting on a Bible Study about waiting right? You know you love me!
Yup, the writing is finished, the proof copy has been sent to the editor, the front cover is done, it’s so close I can almost taste it! I love being able to see the finish line don’t you!
On Fridays I go to the school to have lunch with the kids. Today, as I was walking up to the school I was wondering if Anna would, for the third week in a row, forget that I was coming and bringing her forgotten lunch and get another one before I got there ending up with three lunches for the two of us. And it just made me think of all the times when we forget that our heavenly Father is bringing something into our lives. He’s coming with something big and exciting and we forget so we work on and worry about that very same thing only to see Him coming around the corner with His version of what we’ve been working on… and it’s SO MUCH BETTER than what we did that our version pales in comparison and we just want to hide it behind our backs.
Every time I have walked into the cafeteria carrying a lunch for my daughter that I know she will love and actually eat, and see her walking to the table with a tray filled with food that I know that she will not eat, God has tapped me on the shoulder and said, “you know you do that too right?” Siiiigh…
Why do we worry and sweat over things that He’s got under control? So often we think, “Oh! This and such doesn’t feel like it’s going anywhere God must need me to do something about it. Maybe He needs my help…” No. He doesn’t need your help. He needs your TRUST. He needs for you to believe in Him to do what needs to be done that you can’t do. He needs for us to be still, silent, quiet, peaceful, calm, motionless, carefree, and know that HE is God, that He has it all under control and that when it is time for us to DO something He WILL let us know it.
Once upon a time… OK, all the time, I was worrying over my sins, I was worrying over whether or not I was doing the right thing and God stopped me and said, “I am a good Father, if you’re doing something wrong, I will tell you.”
Oh! He IS a good Father! And He DOES tell us when we’re doing something wrong or when we’re doing something right! We just have to be still enough to be able to hear Him!
Oh how I love being on this phase of writing! There’s nothing like being at the end of a season and looking back over the whole thing and seeing how it all unfolded right before your eyes but couldn’t see it until now. My season of “waiting” is over, I know it, I can feel it down to my bones. God is opening my eyes to so many things right now and it’s amazing. Time is rushing by like a freight train and the rush of wind as it passes is taking my breath away. All I can do right now is laugh. Laugh at God’s sense of humor and irony. Laugh at how perfectly it has all fit together. Laugh at how wonderful He really truly is, and know that I’ve only BARELY scratched the surface.
God’s got my back. I don’t have to worry or fear the future, because I know the One who holds it in the palm of His eternally merciful hand and He loves me enough to die for me. I am so blessed to know this God whose word always proves true. This God who proves His faithfulness to His people in so many abundant ways. This God who fills the earth with so many colors of His love that there is no way to count them all! Yes! This is MY God. This is MY Father who brings me the best lunch I could imagine, so I don’t need to worry about getting my own lunch because I know that His will be so much better in every way!
God bless you my friends! I have missed you!!!!
This morning I woke up exhausted, too many late nights preparing for Christmas. I wrestled with myself for several minutes whether or not I should go back to bed after my husband left, the kids were still sleeping… I went back and forth, Bible study, sleep, Bible study, sleep… I weighed the consequences and possible outcomes of each and still couldn’t convince myself which direction I should go, nourish the temple or feed the soul? I sat down and opened up Streams in the Desert, one of the many devotionals I read, and it was all about a dream someone had about Jesus never coming. And then I thought of the “Footprints” poem on the wall behind me, it’s a dream as well! And then it dawned on me, you know it’s pretty hard to receive a dream like those, if you never sleep! And I know from personal experience that I dream the best when I sleep the hardest… when I’m exhausted. In Psalms 1:2-3 it says “His delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whole leaf doesn’t wither. Whatever he does prospers.”
Now, I feel the need to point out that because Jesus DID come, the “law” that this verse refers to is Jesus. In Matthew 5:17-20 Jesus Himself tells us that He didn’t come to wipe out the past laws of God, but rather to complete them. The laws from the past were guidelines for healthy living, everything from food safety to relationships. None of these things have passed away since Jesus came. On the contrary, they’ve only been intensified. The Law (before Christ came) was like the pencil sketch outline on a canvas being prepared for a masterpiece. Jesus is the paint that came along and filled in all those temporarily gray pencil-lines with bold vibrant color and LIFE! The pencil lines are still there under the watercolor hues that now lie over them, but they certainly aren’t the picture. They’re not the part that you admire when you look at (or meditate on) the picture. Your eye naturally focuses on the colors that fill the lines. While the Law is still here it’s still active and applicable in our world and our lives, it’s not what saves us, it’s not what fills us it’s the color and life of Jesus that saves and fills and completes our world. Jesus IS the Law, in every sense of the word. He came to color in what no one else could. All we could do was add more gray shading, details to a formerly perfectly white canvas. The more rules humanity added to the Law, the more we added bleak gray to our world, and then Jesus came, with His paints and brushes and turned our upside-down thinking right=side-up. He is the Law on which we are to meditate. He is the bulls-eye that all of history points forward to, and all the future looks to. He is the focal point of all humanity.
How are we to meditate on Jesus – The Law – in the night though? Easy! You go to bed meditating about Him and His word. I can not tell you how many times I have gone to bed with a question on my mind and a prayer on my lips only to wake with my body in a position of praise (hands above my head) and the answer written in my heart. While my mind and body were at rest, and out-of-the-way, my soul was free to commune with the Holy Spirit without interference from my busy activities or my mind immediately rejecting everything He says because it might not be logical or the “smart” thing to do. Many times I will have a cryptic or strange dream that when prayed over and interpreted will reveal the answer to my question. God speaks to us constantly, but the business of our lives and the clutter of our minds disturbs His messages. It’s like He projects His messages on the movie screen of the still water of our souls and the more we disturb it with our motion, the more the message gets muddled. The best way to receive a clear message from God is to be routinely still, not just in our body but in our soul. To rest in His arms like that weaned child, who KNOWS that they are loved and fed and provided for in every way by their heavenly Father so they need not throw rocks of worry in the water of their souls, because God’s got it ALL under control. Every minute detail, He knows them all. For “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'” (Jeremiah 29:11)
Rest well this day, and this night, my friend. May the waters of your soul be undisturbed by rocks of worry. Rather, may you stand on THE rock, the horn of our salvation, and drink deeply from His gently flowing streams of living water. May that water fill your soul with refreshment and quench your thirst for anything less than His perfect righteousness. Jesus is the Law colored in with His perfect love that casts out fear. May His love for you shine through your darkness and color your life with the vibrance that only a child of God can claim. The vibrant life that starts with the red blood shed at the cross and sweeps across the entire blue sky with the rainbow of His promise of love poured out for the whole world. He loves the world so much that He sent His only Son to be the Way to an eternal relationship with Him. Praise be to the Living and active God who loves us with such an abandon that He is willing to go the distance and die a tortured death to show us just how much He cares for us. Jesus loves you my friend, rest in that truth today, He is calling you, by name, to come and sit with Him in His lap. Quiet your soul and be still so that you may KNOW that He is God.
Well, I had a great talk with my mom last night reassuring her of my newly retrieved peace (thanks to God commanding me to put everything down for a week and let Him carry it instead). I am realizing that I’ve been carrying too much myself, including my old self “Tyra”. I’ve talked about her a couple of times over the past six months of blogging. She seems to pop back up into life occasionally, usually through friends who accidentally call me Tyra still… and then the accidental slip becomes a habit. Or in the case of most of my family members where I haven’t ever really explained to them the whole name change thing. Honestly, it’s not something that’s very easy for most people TO understand. “You changed your name… because God told you to??? O…K…” then they smile and nod and quickly change the subject. Some have even gone so far as to tell me I’m crazy, hence “The Crazy Mom Blog”.
Most people don’t understand going through a life change dramatic enough to warrant a change of name. Yet, really, when I really think about it, it was less that my life changed and more that my view of God changed. My view of myself changed because I was suddenly seeing my life through God’s eyes instead of my own. That changes a person in ways that most people can’t understand, because they’ve never had it happen to them. And I pray for that kind of change for them! Most people can stand to have a personal encounter with God that changes their entire outlook on themselves and the world around them. I can’t tell you how many times I have cried out to God on their behalf, praying that they would have a PERSONAL INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP with Christ even more intimate than mine is. That they would know Him the way Adam “knew” Eve in Genesis 4:1, with a kind of knowing that only husbands and wives share with each other, the kind of knowing that brings about children and fruit and offspring and seeds.
I haven’t always had this intimate of a relationship with Jesus, even though I’ve always been a church attending Christian. But just like sitting in a garage doesn’t make me a car, sitting in churches never made me a Christian. Anyway, there came a time in my life when I started actively seeking God out of a heart of wanting to know Him more. I was going to a Friday morning Bible study at a local church with some friends. I had attended Bible studies before, but it was really more out of a need for fellowship in a place where I knew no one that anything else. In this study, however, I already HAD the fellowship with the people around me and so through that Bible study I started seeking fellowship with the One we were studying. Through studying God’s word I came to know Him more, and the more I knew of Him the more I wanted to know Him. I wanted to experience Him the way Beth Moore was telling us that we could. There was something about the way that she talked about Him, the way she lit up when she said His name. She wasn’t just teaching because it was her calling, she was teaching because she had a true passion for the One she was teaching about. She had something in her that called out to me like a moth to a flame. I wanted that fire in ME, I wanted the passion that she had for what she was talking about. Through her I started to realize that the hunger I’d had my entire life wasn’t for the things I thought it had been for, it was for HIM. It was a hunger for a relationship with HIM! And OH! When I started setting aside my religion for a RELATIONSHIP, *romantic sign…..* I got what I had always been hungering for. And so much more!
Just like a true bride, when she gets married she is thrilled to take her new husband’s name, I too took a new name. You know how most pastor’s will say that they were called into the ministry? Well, although I was not called to be a pastor, I too have been called. And in that calling has come a LOT of changes. God has taken me through some really wild rides and experiences that you do NOT want to know about let alone experience. To prepare me for this calling on my life, I have seen things that most people never see, and most people would never believe. When I laid down my life to follow God’s call, I laid down the name that went along with that life. And I picked up the name that symbolizes this new life within my bones.
But that doesn’t mean that the old name (and everything that goes with it) hasn’t persistently followed me since then! Oh NO! The sentimental and emotional cord that has bound me to Tyra started out quite short and she followed along behind me very closely. And slowly but surely, bit by bit I’ve consistently tried to sever that cord between my old self and my new self. But the only thing my scissors have done is make the cord longer. And every time she follows behind me a bit farther; so that I THINK she’s gone… but then she just comes bounding back up again with those eyes that just plead “You know you really do love me. You really do want to keep me.” And for a while I’ll look into those eyes and think, it’s just a name, does it really matter what these other people call me? What they call me doesn’t define who I really am. But allowing them to think that I am still that person, by allowing them to still call me that dead person’s name, is lying to them. I let it go for the sake of trying to be polite and not correct people, but the truth is, that’s just not who I am anymore and I need to be honest with myself and them.
In first Chronicles chapter four verses nine through ten we read about a man named Jabez. Now some of you may be familiar with his story, hidden within a huge list of names, but for those who are not:
“Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying ‘I gave birth to him in pain.’ Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, ‘Oh, that You would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let Your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.’ And God granted his request.”
Now “Jabez” sounds like the Hebrew word for “pain”. His name means pain. His mother called him “pain” his entire life as a reminder that she gave birth to him in pain. There is power in a name because the name of something defines it. When I say “basket ball” you don’t just think about the ball that get’s thrown into baskets, you think about the ball, the sport, the court, the players, the fun, the cheers, everything that is related to basket ball is defined in those two small words – its name. The definition of Jabez’s life to that point, was pain. When he cried out to the One who can do all things, he asked (of all things) to be free from the one thing that had plagued him for his entire life, pain!
How many of us have had pain plague us throughout our entire lives??? You know, there are two different kinds of pain, physical and spiritual. I personally have experienced both and between the two I can say hands down that Spiritual pain is the worst! Because spiritual pain is a pain that doesn’t go away when you rub it, there’s no pill that you can pop to make spiritual pain go away. When your body is in pain there is a multitude of ways that humanity has come up with to ease that pain… but when your spirit is hurting there’s only one cure. Jesus. Sure, we’ve come up with lots of ways to attempt to substitute some other forms of spiritual cures, from booze, to food, to sex, to violence, but when we really get right down to it, they’re all just substitutes. Like aspartame is a substitute for real sugar, that tastes nothing like real sugar and has horrible side effects, so do these substitutes. They’re nothing like the real thing and they leave behind them horrible side effects and after tastes. Jesus is the One and only true healer of ALL pain, in all of its forms and functions. Jesus is the only one that has the ability to free us from the pain that plagues our souls day in and day out. And when we cry out to Him He can and does free us from that pain. No, the physical pain may or may not leave, but the spiritual pain ALWAYS does.
One hundred percent of our spiritual pain comes from sin. And it may not even be sins that we ourselves committed, it may have been the sins that our ancestor’s committed, or our relatives, or even our neighbors or friends! Our society stresses individuality and the Enemy likes to try to get us to think that our actions only effect us, but nothing could be farther from the truth! Our actions, good or evil, create waves in the air around us. They change our own reactions and the reactions of the people around us, which changes the reactions of the people around them. Nothing that we do, stands alone. Nothing that we do DOESN’T leave a point of impact or change something in the environment around us. Nothing.
I know that my own sins have caused me pain and the pain that I experienced changed me… but it has also changed the people around me too. Through my healing from that pain, came my greatest transformation. A new birth, a new name, a new career, a new lifestyle, pretty much a new everything! From my pain I’ve written a whole book on the sins of my past and how I was transformed from that pain they brought about. An excruciating pain deep in my soul that I couldn’t seem to wrap my brain around or ease with my finger, and yet it throbbed in my heart all the same. Outwardly I looked fine, but inwardly I wasn’t. I couldn’t ever define HOW I was in pain, or where it was really coming from. Until I started earnestly crying out for God to fix the thing that was wrong, whatever it was it was causing me pain and a lot of it! I wanted it gone! And God granted my request. It wasn’t at all the way I thought He would grant it, and yet it was exactly the way it needed to be.
That pain I used to experience, I see it in the eyes of the people I interact with day in and day out. I recognize that pain, because I’ve lived that pain. Oh! For so long I lived in that excruciating un-named pain… and I’ve been freed from it. God gave me a new name because He freed me from the pain that was attached to the old name. “Tyra”, while a perfectly good name, defines that time in my life filled with the pain of past sins plaguing me and tying me up from the blessings God was trying to pour out over me. Tyra, like an umbrella, was blocking God’s blessings and favor from reaching all the way down to me and causing them to flow to the sides of me instead. Tyra was a beautiful person, she loved others, she loved God, but she turned herself into an idol and got in her own way. Tyra made a HUGE mistake and suffered for it for 13 years. But she didn’t suffer alone, she brought her friends and her family and her boyfriend and then her husband in on the pain as well. Misery loves company and so did Tyra. Tyra is a slave. A slave to sin, and pride, and fear. She’s a slave to lust and gluttony and adultery. Sure, Tyra did a lot of really good things too, but all of them were done through the filter of sin and slavery.
When Tyra cried out to God for help, that He would bless her, enlarge her territory, that His hand would be upon her, keep her from harm so that she would be free from pain, He didn’t just grant her request, He leapt for joy. Simply at the fact that she had finally asked HIM. God was so happy that day, that after years of being in pain and searching for answers she had FINALLY come to the ONE WHO COULD GIVE HER THE ANSWERS AND THE HEALING TOO! When she cried out to God that He would bless her, He did so much more than simply bless her, He has consistently enlarged her territory (to the point that it is starting to make her uncomfortable – not that that’s a bad thing!) He has kept His hand upon her, directing her steps and making them more and more sure every day. He has most definitely kept her from more harm that even she could ever imagine!!!!! But the best part of all, He has freed her from the pain. And to signify that freedom from pain He blessed her with a new name. Tamar. A name that symbolizes strength in adversity, fruit in the wilderness, love for the unloved, water for the thirsty and food for the hungry. Tamar symbolizes light for those in darkness, hope for those in desperation, Tamar is a bride of Christ.
I am Tamar, who are you? What does your name mean to you? How does it define you? Is it holding you back? Or is it pushing you forward toward Christ?
Just like Saul, Tyra lived her religion most days of her life, until she came face to face with the One her religion was named after. Have you come face to face with the One your religion was named after? Many people today claim Christianity and yet know very little about what it really means to be a Christian. The every day practices of a Christian vary depending on what denomination you talk to, but the core, the center, the HEART of Christianity has very little to do with religion. It’s ALL about RELATIONSHIP. It’s about having one, with THE ONE. 🙂 Tyra lived her religion, Tamar lives her relationship. Don’t just go through the motions of religion, live them. Don’t pray for the sake of praying, pray because you want to carry on a conversation with the One who heals; because Jesus loves you. Don’t go to church because it’s something Christians do, go to church because He’s told us not to forsake gathering together with fellow believers; because Jesus loves you. Don’t get involved in volunteering because it’s the right thing to do, do it because He’s asked us to be His hands and feet; because Jesus loves you. Jesus loves YOU. Jesus came and fought religion because He doesn’t want empty rituals and empty sacrifices, He wants a marriage relationship with YOU. If that relationship involves a ritual or two, and what relationship doesn’t, then that’s OK. But it’s not the ritual that He wants, it’s not the ritual that He loves, He loves YOU!
Most parents go through a bed time ritual with their children. Usually because the routine of it bring the child comfort in its predictability, it helps the child know what time it is and prepares them for sleep, and they’re fun. As the parent, you don’t go through the ritual just to do the ritual, you go through it for your child’s benefit. There are parts of it that you enjoy and benefit from, but you do it for their sake, not wholly your own. God is the same way. He’s given us rituals to follow to bring us comfort in their predictability, especially when life is so unpredictable! He’s given us rituals to help us know and remember what time it is and to prepare us for what is coming next. But it’s not the rituals that He loves, it’s not the customs we have or the words that we say that He loves, it’s us. The rituals and customs and rules are supposed to REMIND us of Him and His unending love for us. And it’s easy to get so caught up in these things that we forget to look to whom they are pointing. They’re supposed to be pointing us to a relationship with Jesus, to an ever new level of intimacy with Him until we finally get to go home and know Him as we are known. That is what a relationship with Him is about, constantly getting to know Him better. That’s what any relationship is about! You don’t stop getting to know your husband the day you get married, that’s the day you REALLY start to get to know him!
I challenge you today to be thoughtful in what way you can get to know Jesus better; today and every day here after. He is desperate for you, are you desperate for Him? If not, ask Him why you aren’t and start seeking ways to become desperate for Him; hungry for His presence His touch in your life. It’s like a drug that isn’t illegal and shouldn’t ever be, are you addicted to Him? Do you wanna be? I’ve got some you can try, it’s the really good stuff, the kind that you NEVER come down off of either. Because He promises to NEVER leave you or forsake you, not ever; because Jesus loves you.
As a stay at home mom and nap-time writer (who doesn’t usually get a nap-time to write anymore) you could say I’m a busy gal. There are always dishes to fold and clothes to unload, kids to shuttle from here to there, a husband to tend to, church activities and Bible studies to do and attend, loved ones to care for, friends to love… *wipes the sweat from her brow*… it’s a lot to handle for one girl. I’m positive you can relate! With everything tugging at us from all sides how is a modern mom like me supposed to get everything done without forsaking my relationship with God, my daily quiet time? He is the only way I can get through my day, so how can I fit it all in? I know that I need to build my day around Him and not the other way around. I also know that we all make time for the things we want to do. BUT sometimes the things we feel we have to do start to push everything else off the calendar square. Our priorities start to get skewed.
When doing anything, our heart attitude is what matters most to God, because it is our heart attitude that drives our actions. (Out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.) Lets pretend for a moment that we’re planting a garden. Our heart attitude is the seeds that are planted, our actions are the outward appearance of those seeds, and the end results of our actions are the plants that come from the seeds. If I plant a heart attitude, or seed, of “I have to” do this, rather than a seed from the “I want to” do this attitude, then the plants that spring up from those seeds will be completely different. Although the outward appearance of the seeds, or the actions themselves, were the same, the end results are drastically different. From the “I have to” attitude we generally glean very little from our time with God. Usually because we are much less open to receiving a word of insight or comfort or instruction from Him; we are simply going through the motions of religion. However, from the “I want to” attitude we glean much more from our time simply because we are more open to receiving and it has meaning to us from the very beginning.
I feel like I need to add another attitude phrase. The “I have GOT to” do this attitude. Honestly, that’s the attitude I have walked into my quiet spot with today. I spent a good deal of time last night snuggled in bed working on writing a morning prayer for myself based completely on scripture. I ended up with about 10 scriptures, all very long, and the more I read the more of them I wrote down, until I realized “Lord, if I could, I think I would simply pray the WHOLE Bible over myself every morning! They’re ALL good!” And at that point it was 11pm, my husband was climbing into bed with me and I decided I would work on it tomorrow. Famous last words right!?!
So this morning I jumped out of bed and hit the ground running, packing lunches, making breakfast, dressing kids and walking Gabe out to the bus – practicing memory verses because we hadn’t had time to read any because the egg stuck to the pan; I immediately came in and started Anna’s morning movie (the only TV she gets during the day) and then started attacking the disaster in the kitchen from the weekend, then bounced to my computer to look up something they had mentioned on the radio; but then, the phone rings, it’s my prayer partner Tammy to pray, so I get up, grab my Bible and get on the floor to pray; but she can’t pray long because she’s volunteering at the Crisis Pregnancy Center today so I jump back up to finish the dishes I’d started earlier – but at the same time I’m feeling pulled to finish the new page on the website I’d started before the phone call, and well, there’s that morning prayer I said I’d finish today, and, WOW, I haven’t even prayed ANY morning prayer yet today, let alone write one; and then there’s that blog post I’ve got rolling around in my head that I’d like to start writing down, and I haven’t had my snuggle time with Anna yet – she’s a physical touch love language so, I’ve got to get that in there or she’ll be all over me later… AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! GOD HELP ME!!!!!!! I grabbed my Bible, notebook and pen and fled to my bedroom, closed the door, breathing “Lord, protect Anna and keep her out of trouble while I’m in here!” (remembering what happened to the Israelites while Moses was on the mountain with God for 40 days; no golden calf messes here please LORD) and flung myself on the floor in front of our mirror with all my prayer notes at the bottom, praying “LORD! HELP ME! WHAT DO I DO FIRST??????”
An “I have GOT to” attitude… you know… those moments when I have GOT to pray or I’ll explode from being pulled in a million different directions at once. The attitude that comes around when you realize, hey, I didn’t have my “preventative” time with God earlier so I’d better do it NOW before things get worse.
So, in light of how the last 5 hours of my life has been, I have concluded that A) my life is a run-on sentence, and B) my morning prayer can still be based on scripture without being the whole scripture! And it was at that moment, like a breath of fresh air sweeping through the room, that God pulled the string to the light bulb over my head and BOOM! There was my scripture-based Busy Mom’s Morning Prayer!
Which I will share with you tomorrow. 🙂
Hmmmm…… maybe my day wouldn’t have felt quite so crazy if I had taken 30 seconds to start my day with prayer instead of jumping straight into the day…. we might just talk about that tomorrow too. 🙂
“Know ye that Jehovah, He is God: It is He that hath made us, and we are His; We are His people, and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise: Give thanks unto Him, and bless His name. For Jehovah is good; His loving kindness endureth for ever, And His faithfulness unto all generations.” Psalm 100:3-5 American Standard Version
Today I have spent the whole day at Living Proof Live! It was wonderful being surrounded by the women that I love hearing the word of God spoken with Beth Moore’s beautiful Texas accent. Now I’m a worshiper, and my favorite part of the day were the praise and worship times when I had the opportunity to join with 180,000 women across the glove singing praises to the name of Jesus our Messiah! It was AWESOME! At one point my friend Cindy turned to me and with a big grin said “I bet it makes God so happy to hear this right now.” And I shared with her how this spring I was at a women’s retreat, The Walk to Emmaus, where we sang everything with only an acoustic guitar and barely any amplification. The sound of the women’s voices lifting up the LORD’S praises was simply too much for me to handle and I could rarely sing the first verse or two for the beauty of the sound! I could only listen and dwell in the smile of pleasure that warmed God’s heart as He was receiving our praises.
We were created to praise Him! His word says as much. He DELIGHTS in the praises that we lift up, either songs, poems, stories, tears, moanings, groanings, you name it I believe that He LOVES it! However, I also believe that it is the Enemy’s goal in life to steal those praises from our lips. To snatch them from our hearts. To ensnare them from getting to Jesus on the throne and in turn steal Jesus’ joy of hearing them. I want you to think about this for a minute. When you do something big for someone, and they say thank you, how much does it mean to you. I’m not talking about one of those passive, smile-and-nod “thanks”, I mean one of those heartfelt, from the bottom of their toes, THANK YOU’s. How great does that feel? And if it feels that good to us, then how GREAT must it make God feel when we say that to Him? Now just try to tell me that the Enemy wouldn’t want to take that away from God. I would not believe you if you tried! No, it’s Satan’s chief goal to steal God’s glory and His honor and His praise through every way that he abuses us, trying to get us to drop our arms, to stop our songs of praise, to keep us from writing our stories of triumph and victory over defeat, to stop our tears of joy from flowing to the altar. The Enemy wants them replaced with guilt and shame, fear and condemnation. As God shared this epiphany with me today, in that church as I stood singing at the top of my voice with my arms reaching out to the heavens in an attempt to touch the hem of His holy robe, do you know what I told Him? I told God that I would NOT let the Enemy win. That I refused to let the Enemy steal my joy, to steal my confidence in the grace under which I live. I will NOT allow him to convince me that my God, who DIED FOR ME, doesn’t love me. I will NOT allow him to shut my praises up inside of me for fear of the condemnation of people who simply don’t understand what living under the grace-filled-shadow of the hand of the Almighty looks like. It looks like a shattered heart that has been mended by loving hands that KNOW WHAT THEY ARE DOING! It looks like tears flowing, not from hurt, but from HEALING. No, living a grace-filled-life isn’t without pain, or battles; it’s loving and praising through them because we have the peace that passes all understanding. It’s KNOWING that God loves us, not because He showers us with gifts of THINGS or MONEY, but that He prunes us so that we may bear much fruit. Life is HARD, and it HURTS! But we choose the one of two places from which those hurts can come from; the hands of someone who HATES US with everything in him (the Enemy) or they can come from the hands of the one who LOVES US MORE THAN LIFE ITSELF! HE DIED TO SET YOU FREE! He died to show you He loves you. He died so that you could LIVE. But He doesn’t force us to accept that love. He doesn’t force us to accept that life. He merely lays it at our feet like a rose on the ground, and we choose to pick it up and cherish it like the gift that it was meant to be, or walk all over it like it’s worth nothing at all to us.
While Jesus was here, many people treated Him just that way; like a rose trampled on the ground. Like He was nothing, and we still do it today, nothing has changed but the way in which we shun Him. Often times, it’s with a church service that brings people together in His name and then never mentions it once in the service. It’s people coming and singing the pretty church songs, but their praises are a mere “thanks” and not a heart-felt THANK YOU JESUS! Going through the motions so that WE feel like we’ve been to church and done our weekly Christian duty. But those aren’t the praises that God seeks, that’s not what He desires. He desires our hearts, not our sacrifices. He desires our LOVE and ADORATION, not our empty praises. He desires a FRIENDSHIP, not just an acquaintance. God wants US, all of us, not just a part. He wants us to DIVE into the deep end of His love and splash around in His grace. To do a cannonball off the diving board, just because we can. But, HOW do we do that? How do we get there?
We all have a different way to get to that point with God where we are confidently leaning on Him, so I can’t tell you that’s there’s one way and here’s how you do it. We are all made uniquely individual and we all come to Jesus in exactly that way. But I can tell you this, you CAN ask Him to take you there. You can ask Him HOW to get to that point. And when you call to Him for help, guidance, directions, He WILL answer you. It’s a promise.
Prayer for Guidance:Psalm 23: “Lord Jesus, I want to know You more. But I don’t know how. I want to lean on You in confidence that You won’t let me fall, but I don’t know what that looks like. God PLEASE, help me get there. Right now I am Your lost little sheep in need of a Shepherd to guide me, lead me to that place where You are. Please help me to lie down in green pastures, lead me beside those still waters, because I believe that You will restore my soul. Lord, guide me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake. I am walking through the valley of the shadow of death right now Lord, but I will fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Lord, I believe that You do prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. That when You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Lord, I do believe that SURELY Your Goodness and Mercy will follow me all the days of my life, and that I WILL dwell in the house of Yaweh FOREVER. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!”
You know what I’m really enjoying about these scripture based prayers, they start out asking for something, and end up DECLARING THE VICTORY! AMEN! I am including a video (below) of a praise song with the lyrics included on the screen. If you are able, and I pray that God will allow you to read this particular post at a time when you are able to play the video, stand or kneel if you feel called. Sing along, raise your arms in praise to His sacrifice and His grace, and praise Him with a deeply felt thankful heart that He is GOOD and WORTHY of praise! HALLELUJAH!