Monday, October 31, 2011

Day 31 - Running the Race

Day 31 of the 31-day blogging challenge - a post a day, and although challenging at times to find the time, I reached my goal. It feels good. I love to set goals and reach them. Often I set my goals higher than humanly possible and set myself up for defeat. I'm definitely learning to listen and set God's goals for me instead of my own.

This last 31 days has been a blogging marathon of sorts. In 1993, I ran the Honolulu Marathon. I didn't set any time records, but I finished. It felt great to set that goal and accomplish it.

Our journey in our relationship with the Lord is likened several times in the Bible to a race. Hebrews 12:1-2 says, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easly beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."

That's the race I want to run. I want to discard those things which weigh me down, reject the temptations which would hinder me, and run with patience the race that is before me. I want to be found faithful at the end of my race. Don't you? God is cheering us on - every day, every step.

I want to encourage you as well to run the race with perseverance, keeping your eyes as well on Him who is the author and finisher of our faith. God bless you!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Day 30 - Blessings

Life is filled with blessings...

Do you see them?

It's filled with other stuff, yeah, but the blessings - They're abundant.

When we open the eyes of our heart.

Even the other stuff comes with blessings tucked inside.

In fact, the other stuff enables us to see God in a bigger way.

When I think about the blessings in my life, so many have faces,

Kind, gentle eyes.

Words of encouragement.

Love in spite of my unloveliness at times.

What (WHO) are your blessings?

For my many blessings:

"I thank God upon every remembrance of you,

Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy,

For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."
Philippians 1:3-6

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Day 29 - Seasons

Fall is beautifully upon us. Having grown up in the southwest, I never really understood the fullness of each season until I moved to the midwest. The contrast of summer heat and brutal winter freeze, the spring awakening, and fall resting. Such a treasure feast for the eyes.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 talks about seasons of life:

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace."

Much can be learned from each season. It's really ours for the taking if we choose. What will be learned from a time of weeping? Silence? Love?

Rather than run from the less desirable seasons, I am trying to choose to learn instead. To embrace. To walk through instead of walk around those seasons. Easy? Hardly. But God promises to make each season work together for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Nichole Nordeman has a beautiful song about the seasons of life. Which season are you in?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Day 28 - Be Strong

What do you think? Is courage something that you either have or don't have? Can you create courage in your own soul? What if you don't have courage? Are you just out of luck?

Several years ago, I gave my guys small metal shield emblems to wear around their necks. Joshua 1:9 was inscribed on the back.

It reads, "Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord they God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."

A command? Really? I'm pretty sure from reading it over and over again that courage is an act of our will, God living through us. Will we choose to walk in courage, or in fear? In victory, or defeat?

I know what I want to do. It's not always easy, but I choose, and that's a good place to start. Father God, help each one of us to walk in courage because you promise that you are with us always.

I have a friend who needs courage today in a big way. I'm praying. Will you pray too?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Day 27 - My Shepherd

Psalm 23

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters,

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: though anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Day 26 - Be Still

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea.

Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.

There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of hte tabernacles of the most High.

God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early.

The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Come, behold the works of the Lord, what desolations he had made in the earth.

He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh his bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in fire.

BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.

The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.

Psalm 46

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Day 25 - Red Letter Words

My new Bible has crisp, clean pages unlike the worn, comfortable, tear-stained ones from my previous Bible. I miss my old Bible, my friend and constant companion. We've been through many, many things over the past many years.

My new Bible is a 'red-letter' edition, meaning the very words Jesus spoke are all in red.

I love the fact that the words of Jesus without error are in print for us to read and re-read, over and over again.

Instructions, teaching, comforting words, promises...

I want to share with you a few of my favorite 'red-letter words' today.

First off, my favorite, and the most important: John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotton Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

John 14:1-3 "Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a plce for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may be also."

What about this? Can you do it? Luke 6:27-28 "But I say until you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you." Hmmm. That's a tough one, but if you can do it, even once in a while, you're growing!

Mark 12:30-31 "And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all they heart, and with all they soul, and with all thy mind, and with all they strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love they neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

We've only just scratched the surface, haven't we?

So what about you, don't be shy! Hello?

What are your favorite red-letter words?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 24 - Comforter, Teacher, Friend

We are 24 days into our 31 Days of Truth.

In case you can't tell, I LOVE the Bible. It's so full of truths, promises, instruction. It's the How-To Manual for those who want to live a life pleasing to our Lord. We are blessed indeed to have free access to God's Word. It is a luxury not to be taken for granted!

God loved us so much, that He gave us His written word so that we would have the ultimate go-to guide for life.

Another amazing thing He did for us was to give us his Spirit, the Comforter, Teacher, Friend.

In John 14:26, Jesus said, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you ALL things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."

So we get the instruction book AND the teacher. Many of us will never have the opportunity to go to seminary or even a Christian school or Christian university, but that's okay. We have the ultimate instructor waiting to teach us and help us understand ALL things. All we have to do is ask!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Day 23 - Nothing

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Romans 8:38-39

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Day 22 - What to Give?

So what was it about that fleeting thought? That it made me weep?

Hair a mess, still in clothes from the night, tired eyes, headed back to my desk.

Just a fleeting thought. Today is a gift. Not only a gift TO me, but in my mind's eye I wrapped it up in pretty paper as an OFFERING to my Daddy.

So why the overwhelming flood of tears?

Might as well unpack the inside, untangle it, wrangle it.

Such a small world. My desk. My computer screen. Clickety clack of worn keyboard. Warm mug. Dog at feet.

What do I have to put inside the package?

What thing of worth shall I put in the box?

Anything? Is anything worthy?

He speaks in my heart.

"Abide in me."


"Abide in me."

I'll try, but what about my gift?

"You are my gift, my treasure, my love."

I weep even more.

He sees beauty. I see hair messed, night clothes, empty box.

I choose to abide this day. My gift to give. My gift to receive from my Daddy.

John 15:4-5 "Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.

I am the vine, ye are the branches; He that abideth in me, and i in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Day 21 - The Gift of Mercy

"This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him.

It is good that a man shoud both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the Lord."

Lamentations 3:21-26

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Day 20 - Testimony

Testimony is one of the "church" words, I realize that. Maybe we should call it "story with a God twist," but then every story is that, in my opinion. God's very fingerprints are evident in every aspect of our lives, and we can see them if we look closely enough.

So back to testimony. Some are "incredible" stories - lost at sea, near death experience, a life squandered on the streets only to be redeemed. I don't have that kind of a testimony, but mine is incredible just the same. Because of HIM. It's incredible because He loved me enough to pursue me, to save me from a life lost without Him, to forgive me and love me relentlessly. Incredible, yes.

It's important to be able to recount your testimony, not for yourself. But for others. There is someone that NEEDS to hear your testimony, that can relate to it. So it's not big and fantastic and dramatic. Really? I believe any life bought with the blood of an innocent Savior is an incredible testimony. You need to know it, and you need to share it!

In John chapter 9, Jesus healed a blind man. He spit on the ground, made a mixture of clay and placed it on the man's eyes. Jesus then told the man to go wash in the pool of Siloam. The man obeyed and received his sight.

It just so happened that this took place on the Sabbath which upset the Pharisees, the religious leaders of the day. They questioned the man, apparently didn't believe his story, questioned the man's parents who were afraid to say too much and deferred the questioning back to their son who was of age, and then the religious leaders questioned the man again.

This man who had been healed by the miraculous touch of Jesus, his testimony, finally told the Pharisees, "Whether he (Jesus) be a sinner or no, I know not; one thing I KNOW, that, whereas I WAS blind, NOW I SEE." (John 9:25)

His testimony. Your testimony. My testimony. Nobody can take it away. Nobody.

Revelations 12:11 says, "And they overcame him (Satan) by the BLOOD of the Lamb, and by the WORD of their TESTIMONY."

Don't let the enemy tell you it's not important enough to share. Like I said before, SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE, needs to hear it!

So would you start by sharing it here? Someone, maybe me, needs to hear your testimony. It's a good time and a good place to practice.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 19 - Perfect Peace

I have a plaque in my office...

It's old, and I love it.

The story is that my mom's dad (Grandpa "Pinky") and my mom used to make them. Grandpa Pinky was a pastor by profession, but could do anything. He cooked, sewed, crafted, built, woodworked, painted, you name it...

He also loved deeply - his family and most importantly his God. Such an amazing legacy he left behind. He was never wealthy by the worlds standards but was rich in the things that truly mattered.

Back to this plaque, sometimes I forget it's even there because it's hung in the same place for so many years, but it caught my eye again recently. Not by coincidence, I'm sure. But because I NEEDED once again to be reminded of its truth.

Grandpa and Grandma Pinky's lives were not easy by any stretch, but they lived this out, loud and clear, and though they have long since gone to their Eternal Home, the example they left behind still teaches me much.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Day 18 - Salt and Light

Matthew 5:13-16 "Ye are the SALT of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.

Ye are the LIGHT of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hidden,

Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, buit on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

Let YOUR LIGHT so SHINE BEFORE MEN, that they may see your good works, and GLORIFY YOUR FATHER which is in heaven."

Have you ever had someone you don't know, or don't know well, just hang around you? At a grocery store, perhaps. Just talking, sharing. Have you ever had a complete stranger open up about personal details of their life? And you walk away wondering what that was all about?

I've been in the line at Walmart and had people share intimate details of their lives, struggles, relationships, and been caught off guard at times. Todd just shakes his head at times because sometimes the conversation has been prolonged and DEEP. I'm guessing you've had similar situations as well.

So what is that all about?

Why are people sometimes drawn to us?

Is is perhaps what we are walking in? Are they drawn to the very One who dwells within us? Yes, I believe that's exactly what happens.

Once we've experienced the life-saving power of Jesus Christ and asked Him to live through us, He does just that.

And when He is lifted up and glorified in our lives, He draws others to himself. We just get to be the hands and feet. Him in physical form.

We were all created to seek after our Creator. We search in all kinds of areas. Jobs. Relationships. Physical comforts. Nature. Success. Family. But we will only be satisfied, truly satisfied, when we turn to Him, the Lover of our Soul. Jesus Christ.

So next time you find it a little odd that someone is sharing with you on a deeper level than you would expect from an acquaintance or stranger, remember - They desire what you have found in your relationship with the Savior. Be Salt and Light. It's what they are truly searching for - they just might not even know it yet.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Day 17 - My Times are in Thy Hand

Psalm 31:1-5 KJV "In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.

Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.

For thou are my ROCK and my FORTRESS; therefore, for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.

Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.

Into thine hand I commit my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O Lord God of TRUTH."

I am redeemed! Hallelujah. Truth. Exactly what is needed today!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Day 16 - Sowing and reaping

Ephesians 6: 7-9 "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man SOWETH, that shall he also REAP. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap CORRUPTION; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap LIFE EVERLASTING. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."

I don't know about you, but I grew up hearing these verses or at least paraphrases of them. For some reason though, I always heard them with a negative tone. Perhaps it was the condemning voice of the Accuser purposing to cause me to walk under shame and guilt.

It's funny how even the world has adopted these verses - minus the Scripture reference. We've all heard "What comes around, goes around." Right?

It's easy to sow to the flesh - I do it every day as the thoughts cross my mind, "I want it my way." "It's all about me." Blah, blah, blah.

But what about sowing to the Spirit? What does that look like? A kind word, a handwritten note, a text, a meal, a smile, a coffee date, a listening ear...

So many opportunities.

Will it come back to us? These verses say that it will, but the funny thing is, the more you sow to the Spirit, the less it becomes about you. Continuing to learn...everyday...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Day 15 - Direction

Psalm 119:105 "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

I believe it. I claim it. I'm so thankful for it!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 14 - Praying Scripture

Day 14 of 31 Days of Truth

Do you have favorite go-to verses or promises that you stand on? I'm sure you do, and I do too!

I love to use them in my prayer time because whatever words my lips could compose will ALWAYS fail in comparison to God's words given to us in the Bible.

I love to pray and declare His promises for my family, my friends, and myself. They are a lifeline even when I don't FEEL them.

I want to share a few that are especially precious to me.

Everybody knows about Proverbs 31 as the ideal for a Godly woman to live by, right?

Well, Psalm 112 is my Proverbs 31 for the male species. I pray this over my husband and three sons inserting their names in the appropriate places.

Psalm 112:1-9 "Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the MAN that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.

HIS seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.

Wealth and riches shall be in HIS house: and HIS righteousness endureth forever.

Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: HE is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous.

A GOOD MAN sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion.

Surely HE shall not be moved for ever: the righteous shall be in everlasting remembrance.

HE shall not be afraid of evil tidings: HIS heart is fixed, trusting in the Lord.

HIS heart is established, HE shall not be afraid, until HE see his desire upon his enemies.

HE hath dispersed, HE hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour."

Isn't that great? Speaking it into being. Calling things that are not as though they are. Declaring God's heart for the men in our life!

Here's another one that I pray for my kids especially, again inserting their names:

Proverbs 13:20 "He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed."

We all want our children to choose friends that will encourage them to grow in their relationship with God rather than distract them. Pray it into being. We already know it is God's desire for us to be in positive healthy relationships. We're just agreeing with Him in our prayers for ourselves and our family!

So what about you? Do you have specific Scriptures you pray over yourself or your family? I'd love to hear them. I'm always looking for more good nuggets of truth from His Word.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Day 13 - What's in a Name?

Remember when you were little, and one of your siblings or friends would say, "Mom's coming" or "Dad's coming," and whatever naughty behavior you might be partaking in suddenly halted, and you shined your halos just in time for them to round the corner?

Yeah, me neither.

What amazing power that Mom's or Dad's name held. Just the mere mention of the name brought perhaps fear or correction or perhaps rescue.

As I've mentioned before, this is a tough season for so many of us - with the changes in our communities, churches, country, and world. Kind of feels like we're on shaky ground a lot of the time. Uncertainty and fear have replaced the sense of normalcy and routine.

Sometimes I just don't know exactly what to pray for, and sometimes all I can get out is His name - Jesus. Sometimes I just repeat it several times over - Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.

Maybe you do that too. If you haven't, I dare to you. Just the name of Jesus changes the atmosphere. When you call on His name, He comes - EVERY SINGLE TIME.

His name holds the ultimate power. There is no one higher than He. One day, at the name of Jesus EVERY knee shall bow and confess He is Lord. I. CAN'T. WAIT!

Have you heard "Your Great Name" performed by Natalie Grant? Below I have a youtube version with lyrics if you want to listen. It's beautiful!

Philippians 2:9-11 "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Day 12 - Weary

Are you weary today?

I'm feeling a little weary myself. The cares of the day. Family. Friends. Finances. Work. School. World.

It all can be a little overwhelming at times, can't it?

I usually find when I'm feeling this way it's because I'm carrying too much. I've picked up more than my share. I've grabbed ahold of things that weren't mine to grab.

The nice thing about lugging around things that we don't need to be lugging around is that we can choose to put them down - at the feet of the One who can handle all of yours and mine and everyone else's.

It's a choice, and I determine today to lay them all down because I really don't want to be carrying them around anyway. You can do the same.

God is so faithful in the big and the small things. He promises us rest from those things that cause us to be weary.

I'm in!


Matthew 11:28-30 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest; Take my yoke upon you, and learn of mf; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 11 - Idol Worship

Several weeks ago, I watched an online teaching that really caused me to think...

The speaker was referring to a time when he when he was facing opposition from all sides, and as he cried out to the Lord for help, God revealed to him that before God would fight on his behalf, He wanted the speaker to get rid of the idols in his life.

Of course, when he mentioned that God showed him the idols in his life, my thoughts turned to myself, and I quickly dismissed that I too might have idols. "Surely not," I thought.

But I decided to pray about it. I asked God to show me IF I had any idols in my life.

I laugh at it now because my idols had all kinds of harmless names. I had justified many things and tolerated so many others in my life.

Now, mind you, idols are not those that just have a physical form. Sometimes those are more obvious, but mindsets and attitudes can be idols as well.

Two of the main idols that he showed me in my life were Comfort and Convenience. Ouch!! That hurt a lot!

I don't mind giving away money or possessions. In fact, I love to give things away to others.

But giving up my time or my comfort or convenience, well - I have a much harder time with that. Just keeping it real here.

When you ask God for revelation, He shows up in a big way! He has such a loving way of teaching and correcting.

I'd like to say that I'm idol free, but really I won't ever be. I can lay them down, then I pick them up again, lay them down, and the cycle repeats. I'm so thankful for His grace and mercy and patience, aren't you?

So what about you? Do you have idols in your life that are weighing you down? Today might be a really good day for you to lay them down as well. They just tend to wedge themselves in the middle of our relationship with our Father and can/do cause separation. It's just not worth it.

Exodus 20:3 "Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Monday, October 10, 2011

Day 10 - Professionals need not apply

So this is day 10 in my series of 31 days of Truth. I've loved the challenge to put some of my favorite Truths from the Word of God down on paper. I'm pretty sure I could spend time each day for the rest of my life and never run out of Truths to share. I love also how the same verse having been read over and over casts light on a situation in an expected way and is repurposed to show yet another aspect of God's character at work in our lives.

Yesterday Todd, Daniel, and I were on a little road trip, and our conversation turned to discussing the disciples. I began wondering aloud who the disciples might be in modern-day times. If Jesus were walking in physical form on the earth today, where would he go to call his disciples - a bar? a factory? a truck stop? a homeless shelter?

Jesus didn't pick his disciples from the professionals or the religious leaders - He picked from among the average men of the day, perhaps those thought of as less than average.

I don't know about you, but that's so encouraging for me. I fall in that category of average on my very best day.

But for His disciples, just like for each one of us, He looks upon us from the point of completion. He stands at the finish line, knowing the full potential of who we are through Him, and it is at that place from which He calls us.

Philippians 1:6 says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus:"

He is faithful to complete that which He started in us. Never stopping, never giving up, never losing hope. What a promise!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Day 9 - Questions?

Do you ever have questions that you just don't know the answer to? Me too! Everyday in fact. Probably like many of you, I have an inquisitive mind, especially in the things of God. I want to grow and learn more of who He is and how that pertains to my life. So I ask Him a lot of questions - How? Why? When? Just like we like to have conversations with our children, spouses, and friends, I believe He loves to have conversations with us too!

Tucked away in Jeremiah is this little verse with a huge promise...

Jeremiah 33:3 says, "Call to me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not."

That's it -all we have to do is ask? Incredible!

I've had a couple of occasions where I've been woken up in the night with this verse on my mind and had an incredible time of prayer with my Father, asking and RECEIVING answers to those things on my heart.

I encourage you to ask anything of the Father. He loves to hear from you, and He promises to answer and show you what is on His heart.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Day 8 - Simple Truth

Isaiah 43:1-3 "But now thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel, Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine.

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when though walkest through the fire, though shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.

For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour..."

I love, love, love these verses!! I can't tell you how many times I've texted these verses to my hubby and how many days I've claimed them myself. You know those days, don't you? Days when the waters are up to your neck - or the flames are dancing around your feet? Of course you do.

His Word is so powerful! Every promise written in Scripture is for me, and for you! Memorize and claim them! How quickly truth chases away darkness. Praise God!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Day 7 - Jury Duty - Part 2

After re-reading yesterday's post on Jury Duty, I realized there were a couple of things I'd left out that I wanted to clarify.

First of all, I know it is my civic duty to be part of a jury when so called. The selfish part of me didn't want to do it because it would mess up "my" schedule. Isn't it funny how we get so possessive of our time?

I had an honest conversation with God about the whole process. First, I told him I didn't really want to do it because I felt like I just didn't have the time. He already knew what I was thinking, right, so I just went ahead and said it.

Second, I asked him to use me. I try to look at situations as opportunities in some way to be his hands and feet, and as I walked into the courthouse, I had that frame of mind. Whether it be the semi-retired lady standing on one side or the substitute teacher on the other, I want him to use me to leave each place in some way better than when I found it.

The other thing I really wanted to touch on was that although the accuser no longer has a basis for accusing once we have asked for forgiveness, by his very nature, that's what he does. He always tries to take what doesn't belong to him. We have a choice to allow his words to penetrate our mind or to reject them.

I love Phillipians 4:8 because it tells us what to think about. "...whatsoever things are TRUE, whatsoever things are HONEST, whatsoever things are JUST, whatsoever things are PURE, whatsoever things are LOVELY, whatsoever things are of GOOD REPORT; if there be any VIRTUE, and if there be any PRAISE, think on these things."

It's a good measuring stick for all of those thoughts rolling around in our head. If the thoughts that are popping into our head don't fit in those categories, we don't have to claim them and nurture them because they aren't coming from the Lover of our Soul, the one who breathed life into us and has an incredible plan for us.

2 Corinthians 10:5 is another one of my favorites because it reminds us that we have authority over our thoughts as well. "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

Every time I read that verse I have a mental picture of taking a big lasso and capturing the thoughts, binding up the wrong ones and setting free the right ones. Yee Haw!!

We are so blessed to be able to walk daily in the forgiveness that has already been paid for and the hope that doesn't disappoint. Don't you agree?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Day 6 - Jury Duty

The letter came from the Superior Court. Honestly, it caught me off guard because I haven't received too many letters from court - ever. After ripping it open, I realized it was a questionnaire for jury duty. In all my 44 years, I've never even been a candidate for jury duty.

I filled out the form and mailed it in, only because it said if I didn't an officer of the court could show up at my home. We live in a small town. We know the officers. I didn't want that.

As I mailed it off, I prayed (literally) that I wouldn't get selected because it would really be an inconvenience. I'm a stay-at-home, work-at-home mom. For the past 23 years, in addition to raising kids, my entrepreneurial skills have been exercised running a medical transcription business. Much of the time, it's just been me. Sometimes others help out, but mostly it falls on my shoulders.

Two weeks ago, the second letter came from Superior Court, and I was now ordered to appear for jury duty. Great. So much planning to do now. The long and short of it, I had to prepare to be gone for the day. Without boring you with all the details, it involved busy fingers, blurry eyes, and about three hours of sleep.

So I showed up at 8:20 at the Superior Court yesterday with 35 other prospective jurors. The arrival deadline of 8:30 came ... and went... 8:45 ... 9:00. Finally after 9:00 we were all called in to sit on the cold benches in the courtroom.

After a gracious expression of appreciation for all of us showing up, the Judge proceeded to tell us that the case would not be going to trial. The day before when I called in as instructed to find out of the case had been settled out of court, it hadn't been, so somewhere between 8:30 and 9:00, everything had changed. We were again thanked for our time and dismissed.

As I drove home, it occurred to me how similar my morning's events were to forgiveness. When we ask for forgiveness, the trial is off. It doesn't mean there are no consequences. Sin always has consequences, some short-term, some long. But when we confess our sins, the Accuser is silenced, and we are free from the guilt and the shame. How incredible is that? And all we have to do is ask for it and receive it!

I John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Day 5 - Flowing river or stagnant pond?

Todd and our youngest ventured out on a canoe trip this past weekend. We loaded them up, and then I dropped them off and watched as they paddled down the Wabash river. The Wabash was actually named after a Miami Indian word which means, "it shines white" or "pure white."

Well, as you can see from the picture above, it's not white. It's a dirty 'ol river, but it flows, and after snow melt or heavy rains, it flows fast.

When the levels are particularly high, it overflows its banks, and as it recedes, it leaves behind pools of dirty water that become stagnant, and over time they can really begin to stink. Nothing flowing in, nothing flowing out. Stagnant.

Ya' know our lives can be like a flowing river. The blessings flow in, and the blessings flow out. Sometimes, though, I've become more concerned about what I'm taking in, than what I'm giving out, and guess what? I can get a little stinky too! We weren't meant to be isolated ponds, but rivers of the water of life flowing, intermingling, and connecting with others.

In Luke 12:48, Jesus said that those who are given much will have much required of them. I'm venturing to say most of us fit in that category of being given much. Wouldn't you?

So where does that leave us? A kind word, a meal, free babysitting, a listening ear - where do we start? So many things to give way. Flowing river? I think YES!

Click here for an awesome song called Changed by Aaron Niequist which drives this message home.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Day 4 - Joshua got It!

Day 4 - 31 Days of Truth

Everybody knows the story of the Battle of Jericho, right? Big war, went on for months and months, touch-and-go. Oh wait - That's not how it went?

Oh, right. I remember!

So God told Joshua that he was going to GIVE him the city and gave him the sequence of events.

It went something like this - March around the walls of the city, seven priests and the Ark of the Covenant first, then all the people. Do this for six days, once each day, and THEN on the SEVENTH day, storm the walls, right?

Nope, on the seventh day, after walking around the city wall, the priests will blow their trumpets of rams' horns, and then everyone is to shout.

Wait a minute - What kind of a battle is that? Music, shouting, worship -What kind of weapons are those?

I love this story because it teaches us so much about who God is!

The battles are His, not ours. His battles - His strategy - His victories.

When we focus on HE who fights FOR us, it puts us in the best vantage spot.

I've had times in my walk where the battle seemed too fierce and too hard on my own (because they always are), and I have had to lay down my weapons (meager as they are), and pick up my worship instruments. That's where the battles are won!

So how do you like to worship? Through music, dance, prayer, Scripture, art, nature? So many different ways to WORSHIP! Our family loves to spend time in worship, and sometimes it even takes place in church!

God bless you as you explore new ways to worship our Creator!

(The story of the battle of Jericho takes place in Joshua 5 & 6)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Day 3 - Head to the Mountain

Day 3 - 31 days of Truth

Have you ever "heard" God tell you to do something? Talk to a certain person, give something away (perhaps resources, perhaps time), or bigger - change jobs, change cities, etc.? Only once you started the process it didn't look like you thought it was going to?

Isn't it funny how quickly we put expectations on those situations? Well, if God is telling me to __________, then XXXXX will be the result.

We have to be careful with expectations because they can set us up for disappointment if they are not met. Can I hear an AMEN? I can honestly say that the biggest disappointments I've had in my life were because my expectations were not met. God's expectations are much different than ours because He sees the outcome from the onset.

Sometimes God tells us to "Head to the mountain," so in obedience, we pick up and head to the mountain, thinking the mountain is our destination. But what if... God just wanted to get us moving? Sometimes we start heading to the mountain, anticipating what is there, only to get a short ways into our journey and hear Him say, "Turn left" or "Turn right."

Last summer, my husband and I had that type of experience. We felt God's leading to start a business. So after much prayer, Todd quit his job, and we began the business. Our expectation was that it would look a certain way, and when it didn't look like we thought it would, we thought something was wrong. But God had a plan...

He wanted us to get moving. Many different things were set in motion at that time because of our obedience, and we can look back with such gratefulness that God loved us enough not to let us stay comfortable.

I'd like to say that everything came out perfectly. From the business perspective, it didn't. It was messy at times, but from God's perspective, much was accomplished for his Kingdom.

Todd had many, many opportunities to show the love of God to the down-and-out, the abandoned, the homeless and hopeless. Seeds were planted and watered. I'm humbled that He chose to use us this way.

Can YOU trust HIM to head to the mountain? Have you been feeling prompted to "move," but been too afraid? Maybe now is the time to go...

"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 a hope and a future." Jer. 29:11

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Day 2 - You are HERE

Day 2 - 31-days of Truth

We've lived in the same town for 16 years now. The closest mall is an hour away, and frankly I just don't have time to go all that often.

There's something about this mall that is just ... different. I could blame it on my own bad sense of direction (ask my husband), but I really just prefer to think it's the mall. It's just hard for me to navigate. It's not a circle, it's not a rectangle, not an oval - It has branches and circles and ovals. I can never the stores I need without looking at one of those posted mall maps. It's embarrassing really.

I love those maps. They don't just leave you hanging. A big arrow or dot or star shows you exactly where you are. And with that FRAME OF REFERENCE you are able to navigate to your desired destination in shopping paradise!

If you think about it, frame of reference plays into almost every aspect of our life. You have to know WHERE you are to know which DIRECTION to head in to get to your desired location.

Several years ago, I attended a small local conference. I really had no idea what it was about when I agreed to go - had no idea how life-changing it would be. I walked away knowing WHO I was - my frame of reference.

Do you know who you are? I mean - Do you really KNOW who are you?

I grew up in the church. I knew that I was a child of God having accepted His free gift of salvation, but the full meaning of that had never sunk in.

Romans 8:16-17 spells it out so well, "The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs, and JOINT-HEIRS with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together."

This is big! JOINT-HEIRS with Jesus? As an heir WITH Jesus, we have access to the same things that He does. The RELATIONSHIP with God, the LOVE, the HOPE for eternity, and the POWER!!

There's a little verse tucked away in John (14:12) that has fascinated me for years, Jesus is talking to His disciples and says, "...He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and GREATER works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father." Greater works than Jesus? Doesn't that seem crazy?

Two things about this verse - First of all, we must acknowledge that the source of our strength is God. Without Him, we are nothing and have nothing.

The main reason, though, that I bring up this verse is that the enemy of our souls would have us believe that we are powerless - victims of whatever comes our way, when in fact it is just the opposite. Once we learn to walk in the AUTHORITY that God has given us as co-heirs with Jesus, we can do nothing less than change the WORLD!!! That's why we're here after all.

So if you are indeed a child of God but walking around feeling defeated and hopeless, perhaps it's time to READJUST your frame of reference.

And if you have never accepted God's FREE gift of salvation and would like to, NOW is the perfect time! Just tell Him that you want to ACCEPT His gift of forgiveness and want to begin a RELATIONSHIP with Him. And let me know in the comments so I can celebrate with you!

Click here for links to all of the (over 600) 31-day participants. Woo Hoo!

***I don't think I did the whole linky thing right, so if you want to see the current day's post, please click Home at the top of the page. Maybe next year, I'll get it right :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 1 - 31 days of Truth

If this is your first visit to my blog, please scroll down to view Day 1.

If not, here are the links for the rest of the days.

Day 2- You are HERE

Day 3 - Head to the Mountain

Day 4 - Joshua Got It!

Day 5 - Flowing River or Stagnant Pond?

Day 6 - Jury Duty

Day 7 - Jury Duty - Part 2

Day 8 - Simple Truth

Day 9 - Questions?

Day 10 - Professionals need not apply

Day 11 - Idol Worship

Day 12 - Weary

Day 13 - What's in a Name?

Day 14 - Praying Scripture

Day 15 - Direction

Day 16 - Sowing and Reaping

Day 17 - My Times are in Thy Hand

Day 18 - Salt and Light

Day 19 - Perfect Peace

Day 20 - Testimony

Day 21 - The Gift of Mercy

Day 22 - What to Give?

Day 23 - Nothing

Day 24 - Comforter, Teacher, Friend

Day 25 - Red Letter Words

Day 26 - Be Still

Day 27 - My Shepherd

Day 28 - Be Strong

Day 29 - Seasons

Day 30 - Blessings

Day 31 - Running the Race

Day 1

When I read about the 31 days on Nester's site, I immediately knew what I wanted to write about.

TRUTH is one of those words that just seems to be thrown around so carelessly now. I have heard time and time again people referring to "my" truth this, and "my" truth that.

Just so we make it clear, I'm not talking about my truth - I'm talk about The Truth, the one by which I try to live each and every day spelled out so perfectly in the Word of God. The one I fail far too often.

Jesus said in John 14:6, "I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life: no man cometh until the Father, but by me." His very nature is Truth - everything He said, and everything He did, and everything He does - always.

He also says in John 8:32, "And ye shall know the truth, and the TRUTH shall make you FREE."

Seriously...How exciting is that? When we follow after Him, and KNOW Him, really know TRUTH as spelled out in his Word, we receive FREEDOM unlike anything this world has to offer.

To say that the past couple of years have been difficult for our family would be an understatement, but God has been so faithful!

We have found ourselves in situations where all we could do is pray for Truth, and Truth has shown up and rescued us in the most incredible ways. Amazing!

And so today, I pray for you Truth as well. Not what the enemy whispers in our thoughts to rob us of our peace and joy, but The Truth -The incredible Truth that will set you FREE.

I hope that YOU will join me each day as I share more of the life-changing Truths that I cling to on my journey to be found FAITHFUL.