Naming Your Identity

It was treasured and given to me by two of my four adored older brothers. They don’t know where it came from. It simply was and it made me feel very special. They truly meant no harm and it stayed with me for years to come. It was my childhood nickname, Boosh, and it was harmless, or so I thought.

Our name is important to us. It lets others know how to address us. Our name identifies us to others. I grew up in an era when a lot of importance was put on naming children after family relatives. The middle name of three of my four brothers is the first name of three of our uncles. The youngest of my brothers and I somehow missed out on this tradition, but nonetheless, I have always really liked my name, especially because it was very uncommon while I was growing up. It wasn’t until I was a senior in high school that I met another girl with my name and even then, she spelled hers differently than mine.

Throughout Biblical history not only were names important they carried meanings that names in our current culture might not. The meaning of a Biblical name could have been prophecy about future events, the outcome of one’s life, or an indication of the hopes and dreams of parents for the life of their child.

 Hannah gave her son the name Samuel because she cried out to the Lord for a child and God answered her prayer. In the original Hebrew Samuel means I have asked for him. The name of one of Isaiah’s son was Shear-Yashub meaning a remnant will return. And Joseph was told by an angel of the Lord in a dream to name the baby Mary was carrying Immanuel, meaning with us is God, or God with us.

Do you identify with your birth name? If so, how [family name, Biblical or cultural or perhaps your mom liked a particular sports player and decided to name you after him/her].

I encourage you to read 1 Peter 2:9 [if you don’t have a Bible you can search this verse online] and list the different names God calls you that are your true identity found in Christ. When you start with the negative self talk or you find yourself speaking negatively to another person, gently remind yourself that we are all created in the image of God and say to yourself the beautiful words God calls you and others.

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Shalom!

Give and Recieve

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As a little girl my daddy always worked hard to provide for our needs. We always had everything we needed yet there was always a sense of lack and scarcity. My daddy, was himself, a Great Depression age child. Scarcity and lack was a way of life for him and his family. The unwanted legacy for me was scarce and lack imprinted on my soul before I was born.

In Christ I have all I could ever want or need or imagine. I don’t need to strive according to the world’s standards. This is my inheritance, here and now, and my identity in Him.

When we choose to give we will receive. Any gift we give in Jesus Name, whether it is monetary, our time or talents, will be given back to us pressed down, shaken together, running over and poured into our laps. And this we cannot do of own thoughts and efforts, it is by the power of the Holy Spirit who determined before our existence the good work we would do in His Name. It is by faith we have been saved not good works regardless of how charitable we are.

Praise and thanks be to God for the many faithful promises He has given us to remind us of His love and care for us.

Shalom!

©Terese Belme 2018

Be Like Daniel

Long exposure black and white landscape of moving clouds over withered treeThis morning I came to the book of Daniel looking for something else and instead Holy Spirit led me here.

I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed: “O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands, we have sinned and done wrong. We have been wicked and have rebelled; we have turned away from your command and laws. We have not listened to your servants the prophets, who spoke in your name to our kings, our princes and our fathers, and to all the people of the land. Daniel 9:4-6.

The above verses are the beginning of a beautiful prayer by Daniel for his homeland. Did you catch how Daniel begins his prayer? He begins with praising God for Who he is. All too often, I believe, we many times step into a sweet and beautiful time of prayer with God and immediately begin with our requests. Prayer means to intervene or intercede, but it is so much more than our requests, whether for ourselves or on behalf of others, it is part of the deep and intimate relationship with God that we ought to reach for on a daily basis. The second part of Daniel’s prayer is confession. Daily I thank God for the gifts of confession and repentance and His faithfulness to show me the sin in my life so I can enjoy uninterrupted fellowship with him. (1 John 1:6-9).

The body of Daniels’ prayer is for his country Israel. Not only was Daniel pleading with God to restore Israel, he did so in fasting, in sackcloth and in ashes. Fasting was sometimes done to show grief, distress or repentance. The wearing of sackcloth and ashes were also signs of repentance. Daniel was serious about his prayers for Israel, which has me thinking, am I, are you, serious about the way you pray for your homeland, your family, yourself and others?

I chuckle as I write this because yesterday I began asking God what I was missing in my prayers about a current situation. What came to mind was the angel that was sent to Daniel but was delayed by the prince of Persia and one of the chief angels, Michael, was sent to help. (Daniel 10). When I sat down to write this morning I was sure it would be about praying for our homelands and the current affairs of the world, yet, here I am, learning more about prayer from an ancient prophet and reading God’s answer to my question.

Precious One, whether today finds you praying for yourself, your family, for others, for your homeland or for all of these things, may we both follow Daniel’s lead with heart’s of sincerity and seriousness for the task at hand.

May we cry out as Daniel did;

O Lord, listen! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, hear and act! For your sake, O my God, do not delay, because your city and your people bear your Name. Daniel 9:19.

Shalom!

Spaghetti or Waffles

 

 

 

Raw homemade pasta with pumpkinHave you ever heard the analogy that women are like spaghetti and men are like waffles? Women’s thoughts tend to overlap and intertwine together in an elaborate patchwork of words, actions and pictures mixing together like a big pot of pasta! Men’s thoughts tend to be compartmentalized, rarely touching, if at all, but still their own elaborate patchwork of words, actions and pictures.

 

Sweet Belgium waffles

The husband of one of my good friends says he even has a box or compartment for nothing. He says it is his compartment where he simply is. How can this be?! How on God’s green earth can he have a box for nothing? No thoughts, no distractions, no nothing?! I have to, no, I must find my own box of nothing!

This morning as I read through Acts and came to 14:23b …..“with prayer and fasting.” It stood out at me because I had just read a few days ago in Chapter 13 ….“fasted and prayed.” These two instances had me thinking about when the disciples asked Jesus why they couldn’t drive out the demon in the boy from Mark 9:27-29 and Jesus told them this kind can only come out through prayer and fasting. Some translations list prayer only but the original Greek states prayer and fasting.

The Holy Spirit began to impress on me that not only is it important to stay connected to Him through prayer so that we can have a clearer understanding of his power, his will for our life and how he wants to work through us on behalf of others, but that fasting brings us to a deeper level of understanding where we begin to ‘see’ through prayer.

Fasting is directly related to the Day of Atonement, the day that occurred once a year when the Nation of Israel would seek atonement for their sins.

Atonement is God restoring harmony and unity between Himself and humanity. Because of God’s atoning grace and forgiveness we experience a restored relationship with him in spite of our sin because of our belief in his beloved Son Jesus.

We are “at-one-ment” with God. Fasting then, draws us closer to God where we can experience being one with him. Fasting brings us to a place where we can experience a box of simply receiving his lavish love for us. No thoughts, no distractions, only His love. Fasting makes us aware of the gift of atonement that is the result of what Christ did for all humanity as he hung dying on a tree at Calvary. The forgiveness of sin, the defeat of death and eternal life for all who believe.

set of gift box isolatedPrecious One, join me in preparing a box among the compartments or spaghetti of your mind. Not a box of nothing but a box of simply being. Being at-one-ment with Him.

Shalom!