Monday, August 30, 2010

my heart

powerful scripture to meditate ...
"The eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His" 2 Chronicles 16:9 NASB

My prayer is that my heart will be fully and completely HIS!

The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him - Henry Varley


Thursday, August 26, 2010

clothes, a whole new look ....

I have heard and read this account so many times - but I never really thought in this light, It gives me deep pause ...

Day 28: Sacrifice Required

Scripture Focus: Romans 3
The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife, and clothed them. —Genesis 3:21, NASB

Imagine the scene in the garden. Prior to the fall, everything operated in perfect harmony. Formed by the masterful hand of God, creation displayed a beauty unknown to those born since the fall. All creation danced in a song of praise for the Creator; the animal kingdom knew no fear of man; there existed no concept of pain or death. The earth was full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the sea. But one act of disobedience changed all that and threw all of creation into a state of corruption and groaning (Romans 8:20-22).

Adam and Eve’s disobedience in the garden was not a mere flirtation with sin—it was an act of high treason against the Creator. The holy God, the Provider and Sustainer, the Just and Merciful, the Giver of all good things—spurned. His instructions disregarded. His commandment rebelled against.

The penalty for treason had to be paid. Blood would be shed. Death would now enter the perfect garden. If we stood as observers, what would we have witnessed? Consider the relationship that Adam had developed with the animal kingdom.

Before Eve, the animals were Adam’s only companions. He not only named and cared for them, but Adam probably spent many hours of enjoyment with the animals under his rule.

Then death came to the animal world. Genesis 3:21 gives a glimpse into God’s redemptive plan. The details are hidden, but it is clearly implied that a blood sacrifice was made. Adam and Eve must have stood transfixed by the shocking sight as they witnessed one of their precious lambs, never having shown hostility or aggression, quietly obey the Creator’s call.

What were they thinking as the Master laid His tender hand on the willing subject’s neck? Were they horrified at their first sight of blood as the lamb’s life ebbed away? Did they feel remorse that an innocent creature was bearing their death penalty and providing the necessary covering for their sin? Later, did they relive those moments every morning as they dressed in their garments of skin? Someday we may know the answers. But for now we understand that this sacrifice would be the first foreshadowing of the Lamb who would be slain for the sin of the world. This was the first hint of the ultimate sacrifice that would one day be made at the cross.

Take Time to Reflect
How does the death of Christ relate to the sinful choices we have made as women and the breach in our relationship with God and others? Have you allowed your heart to grow cold and indifferent toward God’s grace? Read Romans 3, and spend some time expressing gratitude for Christ’s sacrifice.

All I can think on now is that I am wearing clothing today as a sign of my own sinful life, and how Jesus paid the price through the cross to cover my sin. I will now look at clothes in a whole new light.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

M Left to our own devices, we sometimes choose the most locked up, dark versions of the story, but what a good friend does is turn on the lights, open the
M window, and remind us that there are a whole lot of ways to tell the same story.

From bittersweet, by shauna niequist

So thankful for those dear sweet

M friends!


Monday, August 23, 2010

the word i needed

My day starts every morning with multiple email devotions. (Joel Osteen, John Piper, True Women, and Encouragement for Today, from Proverbs 31 women) They are always good, sometimes just in time - others I know I need to pass to friends.

The past few nights I have been not sleeping well, when that happens it always means something is on my mind. Lately it has been our finances. Every month is tight - there is little to none left over at the end. Every month the Lord has blessed us. Some times when I am sitting down to take care of the bills the accounts do not have enough - but we have never missed any payments or even been late. The Lord continues to provide and make a way out of no way. SO you would think I would be doing good in the department of trusting in the Lords provision ... ugh. I am not at all. This is causing restless nights and worry in my head and heart.

Over the weekend I shared with Aaron my troubles, worry and emotions. He had just the right words and calming spirit, yes he was chosen for me! thank you Lord!

This morning 2 of the devotions and my daily bible reading provided reminders and comfort to my weariness.

Encouragement for Today, from Proverbs 31 women (this is just part)

Feelings were getting in the way of my faith. So I went to Psalm 25 (NIV), and allowed the following verses to wash over my spirit.

Verse 1, "To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;"

I felt discouraged, unworthy, hopeless, rejected. So I poured my feelings and my soul out to God. And He listened.

Verse 2, " you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me."

God reminded me to trust Him, not a desire or a dream. Not the world's view of things. Not my abilities. Not my time frame. Not my ideas. Just Him. I prayed about my enemies - intangible feelings such as self doubt, insecurities, frustration, and discouragement.

Verse 3, "No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse."

Regardless of whether or not my desires become a reality, I will not be put to shame, because God is my God. If His plans coincide with my dreams, I know He will keep His eternal promises.
Verses 4-5a, "Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me,"

These words stopped me in my tracks. I began to think more rationally. Why have I been beating my head against a wall? Why have I been consumed with anxiety and frustration? Am I allowing God to direct my paths?God gently reminded me that He is the teacher; we are the students.
Verse 5b, "...for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long."
If I put my hope in my own desires and abilities, I simply set myself up for failure. My only hope for joy and fulfillment comes from Christ alone. Hope can only be found in Him, not people, careers, husbands, children, church, financial success, a carefree life, or dreams that come true.
Disappointments will always happen. With God, however, we can turn those disappointments into God's appointments to trust Him. The first step is exercise our faith over our feelings.

Dear Lord, You know the hurt in my heart and the sting of disappointments I have experienced. Please help me trust You, instead of being consumed by feelings. Empower me with a faith that is stronger than my emotions. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

From Joel:

"You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You"

(Isaiah 26:3, NKJ)

TODAY'S WORD from Joel and Victoria

Do you need more peace in your life today? Are you frustrated or upset over something or fighting off discouragement? The first question to ask yourself is "What am I thinking about?"

If you're thinking about your problems all the time or how impossible everything is, then your life is going to follow that negative direction. But, when you get your mind going in the right direction, when you focus your mind on the Word of God, then you are setting yourself in the direction of peace.

Today, choose to keep your mind focused on the Father. Be empowered by meditating on His Word. As you set your thoughts in the right direction, your life will head down the path of peace and victory He has in store for you!


Heavenly Father, thank You for peace today. I receive it as a comforting blanket to my heart, my mind and my emotions. I choose to focus on Your Word today. Direct my steps and guard me by Your peace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

My daily reading has me in Jeremiah ... "The Joy of Restoration"

I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint. Jeremiah 31:25

... just the words i needed today!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

little bit clearer

I am attending the True Women 10 conference in September (23-25).
I signed up for a 40 day devotion to help prepare my mind and heart for the event ... they are all fabulous! If these devotions are any indication, the 3 days are going to awesome!

yesterdays helped open my eyes to the work the Lord has been doing in me:

True Woman 2010 Conference

Day 33: Complementary Versus Competing

Scripture Focus: Mark 9:33-41
“Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.” —Matthew 23:12, NASB

“The role of men and women in ministry is complementary. True enrichment for both Christian men and women comes when these roles are fulfilled side-by-side. A woman’s ministry is primarily maternal in flavor and style, and the man’s is primarily paternal. This marvelous and rich role difference should be celebrated and reflected. It’s cooperative ministry.” —Joni Eareckson Tada*

The woman was created to fulfill a vital role in man’s life, serving as his co-regent over creation and functioning as his helper. Some women react to the concept of being a “helper” as if that were an inferior position. But to the contrary, the helper role is honorable, vital, and can be embraced when it is seen as a necessary complement for the man.

Let’s look at one “helper” whom Jesus commended as the greatest Old Testament prophet.

In the Gospel narratives, John the Baptist stands out as a premier player, one of a kind and necessary in preparing the way for the coming King. But what did John say of Jesus and himself? “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30, NASB). Why didn’t John grasp for fame? Why didn’t he grumble over losing the following he had acquired in his wilderness ministry? Because he understood the principle “It’s all about Him; it’s not about me.”

Do we view John as less than the impacting proclaimer that he was because he played a supporting role when the Son of Man arrived on the scene? No, we hold him in even higher regard for humbly taking his rightful position as the “preparer of the way” while refusing to be proclaimed as “The Way.”

So why do we, as women sometimes take offense at being considered a supporting player rather than the leading character when it comes to God-assigned roles? Somehow we’ve convinced ourselves that there is less value in this position, so we view our role as demeaning or as less significant than the man’s.

Where did that kind of thinking come from? Perhaps during a dialogue in Eden? We’ll take a look at that fateful exchange tomorrow.

Take Time to Reflect
How did Jesus respond to His disciples’ competitive spirit in Mark 9:33-37? Do you compete with the men around you, or do you try to use your gifts and abilities to complement them? Do you seek to honor worthy men in respectful and appropriate ways, or do you have a demeaning attitude toward men? Ask God to open your eyes to your own attitude and behavior.


*Interview with Joni Eareckson Tada,

for more info on the conference:

So thankful that I know HE is doing a work in me, and HE is not done ... THANK YOU!!!!


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

the WORD

yesterday was a a downer day. typically day 28/29 of my cycle for the last year has been a depressing day, yesterday was no different.
i do not talk about it much - but it seems to be always on my mind. ugh. the more i try to put it out, the stronger it pounds in me. it is wearing me out.
daily i find myself handing it over to the Lord - sometimes multiple times in a day.

this morning, a powerful reminder at the right time ... the scripture from joel:
"But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength; Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your loving kindness in the morning, For You have been my stronghold and a refuge in the day of my distress" Psalm 59:16
Words from Joel: Everyone goes through situations and circumstances in life that can cause distress, worry or anxiety. The key to overcoming these situations is exactly what David did in today's verse. Even though David's very life was at stake, He knew that His source of strength and victory was in His worship. He knew that He would find refuge during the day of distress as He sang praises to the Most High God. No matter what you're facing in life today, realize that there's no better place for you to be than in the presence of Almighty God. Everything you need is found in Him. When you begin to worship Him, when you call upon His name, He promises to be near you. And when God shows up on the scene, the enemy must flee! Today, if you've been fighting discouragement, worry or anxiety, cast those cares on the Lord. Come into His presence with singing and enter His courts with praise. Let Him be a refuge for you and give you the strength you need to overcome every obstacle in Jesus' name!

Prayer for Today: Heavenly Father, I humbly come before You today. I declare that You are good and faithful. I will sing of Your love and mercy. Fill me with Your strength and joy as I worship You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

So thankful for the living WORD that i can study each day, the encouraging emails and podcasts that are available. His word is all around me - strengthening me and pushing me forward. He continues to transform me, the work is not done. I submit to the work that must be completed.