Oh Dory

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I am a big fan and proponent of reading and studying God’s word on a consistent basis, like everyday consistent. Part of this is because God has called me to be a teacher of his word. He has given me a passion to study his word. I would love to be able to spend hours and hours a day traipsing through his word and listening to what he has to say to me.

Some of it is because when I am in God’s word I can’t get enough of him. I am a visual learner, and, oh man, how awesome it would be to have a burning bush experience like Moses! To see God as a flame and to audibly hear his voice. So when I am in his word I ‘see’ him through his word.

But mostly it is because when I’m not in his word I can be like Dory the adorably sweet yet absent-minded fish from “Finding Nemo.” If I’m not staying connected to God it is, “Yes, Lord.” “Oh, look!” “What is that pretty shiny thing over there?!” I can forget some really important things. Like who is really for me.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31.

Or, I don’t have to fight the challenges and struggles of life in my own power.

The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. Exodus 14:14.

Shiny things can make me forget my true identity.

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 1 Peter 2:9.

God uses his word to gently correct and discipline me. If I’m not staying connected to him consistently I can tend to look at his correction as punishment instead of the Father’s love that it is.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:17,18.

And I can certainly forget how great His power is. Great isn’t even a word that can begin to describe the magnitude of his power. And, that this great power lives in me by his Spirit simply because I believe in his beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world. 1 John 4:4.

Precious One, you are the branch of the Vine, water your soul well with his word. Stay connected.

Shalom!

Stop, Drop and Pray

Hands in PrayerI love prayer. I started a life of prayer when I was about 7 or 8 years old and have prayed every night since then. I grew up in a religion, that at the time didn’t teach that one needs to have a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior; to be reborn through Him. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I accepted Christ and gave my life to him.

While prayer is a spiritual passion of mine, intercession; praying for the needs of others can be overwhelming at times. It is an honor and a privilege to pray for others. Perhaps this is why it can sometimes seem overwhelming because I want to give each request back to God with the same heartfelt desire as the last one. I don’t want to offer up prayers ‘on the fly’ simply because life is busy. I want to take the time to pray for each request according to God’s heart.

Paul encourages us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17,18 to pray without ceasing because this is God’s will for us through Christ Jesus. And I wonder, what does it look like to pray without 24 hours delivery sign.ceasing? Certainly, I talk with God throughout the day, sometimes, okay many times, out loud!

But, what about times of quietness devoted to the prayer needs for ourselves and others? A few days ago I came across a verse and it has been traipsing through my mind like a new-born doe learning to prance along looking for food.

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-at three in the afternoon. Acts 3:1.

During this time both Jews and Gentiles observed three times of prayer, everyday, morning, afternoon and at sunset. Peter and John were busy men, teaching and preaching and spreading the gospel was a full-time job for them and they walked everywhere they went, it would take a good days walk and oftentimes it would take days for them to reach one place to deliver the gospel message. Yet, by all accounts, they stopped and prayed three times a day!

world-health-day-background_GyD_LcP_This thought of stopping and devoting time to prayer three times a day intrigues me. God has this in his word for a reason and it gives me hope about the ability to pray without ceasing. What would it look like if we stopped and devoted ourselves to prayer three times a day? What amazing things would our eyes be opened to see? Prayer isn’t just for the benefit of others. Prayer draws us closer into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God. God gives us prayer for our spiritual health.

Precious One, here’s to your health!

Shalom!

What’s That You Say?

I love God’s sense of humor! When my mom was alive she would always say, “God willing” in response to me saying, for example,”see you later ma”, and for some reason it really use to annoy me.

Inshallah 2

My oldest daughter is studying abroad in Jordan this semester and the second word she has taught me is the Arabic word ‘inshallah’. One of the meanings of inshallah is, yes, you guessed it, God willing! I am drawn to this word, especially because I see how God inserts himself, perhaps unknowingly to others, into the language of other cultures and every time this word is uttered He is praised and worshipped!

Yesterday I was talking with a friend at church. She was asking about my daughter and how she was coming along in learning Arabic. She was telling me how she feels drawn to learn another language. Immediately Holy Spirit began to encourage her. Out of my mouth came something like this; “What comes to mind is the gift of speaking in tongues. I know this is a spiritual gift meant for a specific reason, but just like the people who were gathered with the Jews during Pentecost heard what was being said in their own language, how awesome it would be to give the gospel message to others in their own language, in their own tongue!”

I’m still processing the correlation of speaking in tongues to learning another language to share the gospel message. Perhaps this is a movement of Holy Spirit to debunk the fear some experience around the gift of speaking in tongues and compare this gift to simply learning another language.

And to think this started way back when with my mom always saying, “God willing!”

Precious One, inshallah!

Shalom!

The Promise

Have you ever had one of those moments when the information in your head clicks with your heart and revelation happens? I’ve been having several of those lately, in regards to Screenshot_2014-09-09-07-00-21-1reading and studying my favorite book. I really think it is the new way I’m studying.

At any rate, I am working on a study and one of the questions is to look at the verses given and respond with what the promise is and who it is for. Here is Ephesians 3:6.

 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.

As I began writing out my response Holy Spirit started to run with this! I stopped to journal right in my work book so I wouldn’t forget what He was showing me. It occurred to me that Israel has always been persecuted against. We, as Gentiles, are under the same persecution.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 10:22 that all the nations will hate us because we are followers of Him. Ephesians 3:6, however, goes deeper for me. The world today reminds me of the “free love” of the 70’s, but at a heightened sense of spiraling down. I did not enjoy growing up in that decade!

As the world spirals Ephesian 3:6 is a firm and trustworthy foundation for us to stand on. It gives us the courage to glance at the world and to steadfastly keep our gaze on Jesus! All the while knowing in our heart that we are heirs with our Jewish brothers and Sisters to all the promises of Christ!

Precious One, when the news of the world gets you down remember you are Not Of This World!

Shalom!

The Good Gift Giver

red-gift-box-with-fireworks_zktK5CIO I have a friend who is a great gift giver. She is in tune and aware of and pays attention to the details of the people in her life and always finds something that matches the person’s personality of the gift she is giving. Most of all, she is a good giver of herself; her time and resources.

Today I began studying God’s word in a new way and I love it as much as I love the cross-reference way of studying and if you know me you know that is one of my favorite ways to study my favorite Book! I am reading through the book of Acts one chapter at a time. I’m not rushing through but sitting in the chapter and absorbing all Holy Spirit has to say to me. I’m highlighting what stands out and then journal what I sense and feel He is speaking to me. I won’t move onto the next chapter until I feel led.

This morning I came across a verse that was so subtle yet spoke volumes to me.

They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers. Acts 1:14.

I thought about what it looked like for these believers to be constantly in prayer or always in prayer together with each other. This one verse on prayer speaks so clearly about the importance of prayer in our relationship with God. Holy Spirit also reminded me of the power of prayer and how prayer grows our faith; it encourages us.

I happen to be blessed to run with a few different prayer groups, that’s just how I roll! And, each group fits a specific need.

Earlier today, two of my kids sent me a text each asking for prayer. One prayer, for a lost binder, was answered right away. I asked my other child if I could share their request with some of my prayer groups. As I did, I was reminded of what a good gift from a good Father prayer is and how we can give the beautiful gift of prayer to others. I am also sitting in His lavish love that he would teach me in the morning and then give me a stunning visual of this at work in my life.

Precious One, be a good gift giver it is good for your soul!

Shalom.

Don’t Judge Me By The Clothes I Wear

fashion-girl-on-ornate-background_GJGp5-F_Don’t judge me by the clothes I wear you know nothing of my story. Rather walk beside me and share your love for Christ with me; share His glory.

You say that you are a follower of Christ; a born again believer. If this is so, why then, would you ever say, “I can’t believe her parents let her out of the house dressed like that”? You think I don’t know what you’re whispering to your friends as you glance my way with that look on your face. I thought grace and love were your compass.

You see, I grew up in a Christian home and you know nothing of my story. There was a time I was strong and confident but then I started to believe the lies the enemy whispers my way. Some days it’s a struggle just to hear the voice of God, though I try. Hand drawing heart in sand on the beach

And, if you are a parent of a son teach him to respect me regardless of what I wear. Teach him self-control, you know nothing of my story.

It is your love, it is the grace that God freely gives to you to  give to others and it is your prayers that will make a difference in my life. Won’t you be a part of my story?

Precious One, it is the season of Homecoming dances, Sadie Hawkins and the Christmas Ball. Many pictures will be posted online. Please be mindful of the words that come out of your mouth, especially before you hit the send button. While comments can be deleted, once they’ve been seen the damage has already been done. May your words and thoughts only be gracious and kind. May the ‘clothes’ you wear be those that others desire. You know nothing of ‘their’ story.

“I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:49 emphasis added.

Shalom!

Do You Have A Mustard Seed?

IMG_0075I went to the grocery store this morning to buy a container of mustard seeds, I actually only need one, but now have a full container!

As I was at the checkstand the checker asked me what I was making. I replied, “It’s actually for a video presentation.” I could see in her face she was thinking about how to form her question to ask what the presentation was about. I offered, “It is a Bible study teaching.” Her face relaxed and we had a very short yet sweet conversation about faith. We had church right there in the checkstand. I love when God reveals himself at work and even more so, when I realize He is moving and join in!

I told the checker that I would probably grind up the mustard seeds and use it as powder for future meals. As I was driving home I was struck with the thought that my newly acquired container of mustard seed is such a great visual reminder to be rooted in my faith and not in the world. Think I’ll leave them be, just as they are.

Precious One do you have a mustard seed?

Shalom!