Friday, December 24, 2010

A Gift of "Presence" to You!

Today, in the town of David a child was born unto you, the Savior, Christ the Lord, Emanuel: God With Us!

This is the Present and Presence Christmas is all about. Although it means the world to us to know the Lord and have given him our lives to restore, pack with meaning and hold us through and through...Even though we love and live and rejoice in God's love and truth... This story I wish to share starts not in a manger, but rather in the heart of a girl and a boy, one snowy Christmas Eve night.

Our First Kiss Good Night
Her heart was pounding, skipping beats as he drew closer, what was he saying...she did not know... all she was thinking was ... is this it? The moment I have been waiting for... will he lean in, will he prove he wants more than to be friends. It is snowing white specks of glittery hope. All around it seems silence is drown by thud of her heart yearning to know. Then he asks a simple question and a boy is turned from the boy she saw just a moment before, into a Man. Not just any man. But the man of her dreams. He asked simply " May I kiss you..?" In shock she did not respond so he leaned a bit closer... and asked again. " May I kiss you?" "Yes!" Softly spoken, yet shouting from the roof top of her heart, was the answer.

His Love for Her
Christmas passed in a blur of when would she see him again, hold his hand again, hear his sweet voice again, each little spec of time with out him feeling like eternity. Then there was the unknown. Was his gift on Christmas eve... just a kiss and nothing more? Or did it mean what it meant to her...a seed of true Love planted and growing strong? Valentines day was the day of his most wonderful gift, not of words spoken out loud to be lost in the air of wondering if they were even said at all. NO! Written in a pink bible, my gift from him was " I love you!"

Loving God became first in our lives, by loving Him more, who not only loved us first, but who loves everyone best. God made our love for each other strong and grow stronger, as we together, began a journey to discover just how wide and deep and amazing Love is! Yes the Love of the Lord and the Love he gave us for each other to bloom and cherish!

A Birthday Present

On his Birthday May 10, 1997 He asked for her hand in Marriage. His words, " Would you be my best birthday present ever and be my wife?" Of course her love for him had not changed... She was still stunned by his eyes staring into hers and fumbling with the right words to spit out of her mouth. A very quiet as a mouse, "yes" finally aired. But silence was the next aggravating few minutes passes. As her heart was leaping for Joy, his was fear gripped and tortured. You see he did not hear her "Yes!"  So he asked again... still on bend and knee. "Will you Marry Me?"  You can bet I said YES! a bit louder this time and more then once.

And so began the Williams family in such a way as this. One snowy Christmas Eve, when a boy asked for what he wanted before him, instead of stealing or just taking ... And a girl fell in love with the Man of her dreams.

The bible says "You do not have because you do not ask God." James 4:2 "Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete." John 16:24
From this passage we have learned to pray in thanksgiving but also to ask of the Lord the desires of our heart. We ask the Lord to Grow us deeper in love everyday, we ask the Lord to bless our family with enough love in our hearts for each other every day. We Ask of the Lord to bring meaning and joy to our lives lived everyday and we have so wonderfully received. Our Lives are overflowing with such abundant, joy, peace, love, guidance, and more from Jesus. 

So this day, on Christmas Eve 2010 I ask that those of us would be filled with more of His Presence instead of empty pockets and presents that will break and perish. I pray...I ask that the Lord would bless you and your Family with the Love that flows from the strongest deepest river, with cartwheel in the grass, heart skipping Joy and laughter. I ask for your lives to be overflowing with meaningful days that impact your lives for the better. I pray that as you learn that though your life is your own to live, when you give your life to the Lord it can be lived in abundance, packed with such sweetness.  My heart truly can not put the right words to how amazing it is to Live live Free, as simply His.  He is my Daddy Jesus and has given me not only dreams come true, the love of a husband and two beautiful children, he has given me a life, everyday worth living!

I ask of the Lord for you all to have a Very Merry Christmas!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

AM I a Farmer?

A farmer harvests his fruit. He sells some, gives some, and safely stores the rest. What is stored is winters meal ,and springs seeds to be planted and grown again.

Am I a farmer? Do I plant the seeds I myself grow? Are goodness, kindness, patience, self-control, faithfulness, gentleness, peace, and joy all the crops I am responsible to grow? Each one starts as a seed and grows. But the question is, "Am I the farmer or just the soil in which the seeds are sowed?"

Does soil reap what it sows? No! It simply is what it is, fertile or not it remains motionless, unless stirred or tilled by the farmer.

A farmer is entrusted with seeds. In order for the seeds to grow he plants them where the sun will shine on them. He waters them, and weeds around the plants to help them grow. He cares for them by banking dirt around them during rain storms and by blanketing them when the weather turns cold. The farmer plants, grows, and eats the fruit, born of his own sweat; sprung forth by the working of his own hands.

I see two points of view and one is a deceptive folly.

One view says God is the farmer and we are the soil. God plants the seeds and makes us useful for the time we are used to help the plants grow strong. When we become infertile God tills us up and fertilizes us with hard times, giving us more character to grow better crops of his choosing. Our lives, like the seasons, go round in circles. We are as useful as soil or as useless as dirt, depending on whether we choose to let God farm us into something of worth or not.

View number two says we are the farmers. God provides us with the seeds, which are pieces of himself to bloom and grow in our inner field or being. These seeds need help to grow by the farmers determination, the working of his hands and heart. God is the light and the rain that influences the growth of our fruit. In times of drought and struggle God is the air we breath and we are sustained with the promise of spring and a new satchel of seeds, organic as they can be, straight from the purest source.  As the farmer, we reap what we sow. The fruit of faithfulness draws those who are faithful, the fruit of peace brings tranquility, the fruit of gentleness, goodness, patience, kindness, self-control,  helps us love others as God has loved us, also giving us meaningful relationships, and time well spent.
Galation 5:22   But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
 Each fruit of the spirit lives and grows in us and through us. It benefits us, giving us worth, joy, and a life of abundance. Our fruit is eaten by those who are hungry and the seeds from our fruit eaten, get planted deep in a belly. A seed from a watermelon swallowed, really doesn't grow and grow into a watermelon inside us. But I assure you the seeds  of kindness, gentleness...etc. swallowed, will grow up another farmer, God will guide, sustain, lead, love, and cherish as his own.

You might be thinking both point of view sound right and perhaps even scriptural. You might even be thinking up some sing song scriptures that seem to confirm the first point, more than the second. Such as " From dust to dust, ashes to ashes" " the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground." There is more than one problem with this view.  If we were created to be his puppets on strings or soil to be turned, used and turned again, why give us free choice. Why give us a choice to love him or not, to serve him or not, to be lead by him or not, to believe in him or not? Why did he die for those whose worth is nothing but dust blowing here and there? Why bother trying to have a relationship with that spec of sand grating in his eye, causing tears of pain?

I will tell you why! Out of all of creation we were the only ones made as well as created. To create means to make something out of nothing. From the birds to the stars, he spoke life into existence. But us, he made as well. To make you have to have something to work with. You make something out of something!
Genesis 2:7    The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. Genesis 1:26-27   Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth,  and over all the creatures that move along the ground." So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him;  male and female he created them."
From the work of his hands he molded us, formed us, shaped us into His image and breathed his own breath of life into our lungs. We are not just soil to be trampled on . We are his sons and daughters. We are the very craftsmanship of his hands. However big and mighty they are, his hands were gentle enough, patient enough, to knit our souls, our bodies together. Who is God to the farmer? God is our Father!

He knew we were hard pressed and dying from the drought sin brought into the world. He sent his son a piece of himself, to be our brother, our best friend, our teacher, our farmers almanac! He died for us in order for us to be able to communicate with our Big Daddy again, in order for us to be washed clean and have life and have it in abundance. As farmers, with Jesus at our side; our well of living water, just imagine the crops that we can grow! Just imagine the difference we can make with our lives, and our fruit. Our Job: learn, grow, learn to love others well, more deeply and truly.
Luke 10:27 ‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

1Corinthians 13:1-8
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.  Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!

Choose to cultivate your patience, choose to water gentleness, weed your self-control and let the son shine more on your peace and joy. Yes! I am a farmer! Yes! You and I, We are Farmers!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

No Condemnation!

Romans 8:1-2 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.

Hebrews 10: 1-5,7-10 Christs Sacrifice Once and For All
"The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves. For this reason it can never, by the same sacrifices repeated endlessly year after year, make perfect those who draw near to worship. If it could, would they not have stopped being offered? For the worshipers would have been cleansed once for all, and would no longer have felt guilty for their sins. But those sacrifices are an annual reminder of sins, because it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Therefore, when Christ came into the world, he said: "Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but a body you prepared for me...Here I am—it is written about me in the scroll—  I have come to do your will, O God." First he said, "Sacrifices and offerings, burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not desire, nor were you pleased with them" (although the law required them to be made). Then he said, "Here I am, I have come to do your will." He sets aside the first to establish the second. And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

Does this mean I can do what I please and not be condemned? 

If we know God as in as our dearly beloved friend, Father, our everything we need in this even a question worth asking? Would we purposefully throw a sacrifice like Jesus's death on the cross, back in his face, by continuing on our same route of being a slave to sin and continue to choose living out of his presence, unloved, miserable, hopeless, chained rather than free. We are loved by a God, our God! Why do would we choose then to be runaways and abandon him who desires to never leave nor forsake us? Lets read some more scripture. 

 Isaiah 5:11-13
 "What sorrow for those who get up early in the morning looking for a drink of alcohol and spend long evenings drinking wine to make themselves flaming drunk. They furnish wine and lovely music at their grand parties lyre and harp, tambourine and flute—but they never think about the Lord or notice what he is doing. So my people will go into exile far away because they do not know me. Those who are great and honored will starve, and the common people will die of thirst.

Romans 6:1-4  Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ 

"What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life."

It seems forgiveness is not once and for all, because I continue to sin though I long to stop. How can this be if it says there is no condemnation?

Read these scriptures to help you understand you are not alone in your struggle. Read and understand Forgiveness more clearly. 

 Matthew 19: 16 'Now a man came up to Jesus and asked, "Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?"'
Jesus said Matthew 19:17 "There is only One who is good." He was speaking of himself.

Romans 7:14-16 "So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.  I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate."

Galations 5:16-17 "So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.

1 John 1:9 "But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness." 

We admit and move on. We do not hang our head in shame and try and hide from our mistakes. We learn from them. We practice transparency to help others learn from our mistakes, so that they may not have to make the same ones. We hold our head up and know we are forgiven by the blood of Jesus. We know this by confession of our sin's to Him our God and it can be confirmed by confessing our sins to others when he asks it of us.

Psalm 103: 9-12 He will not always accuse,  nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.

1 Corinthians 10:31 So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


The weight is heavy, time with God forsaken, replaced with sleep that never quenches the exhaustion. The weight of the world? The weight left displaced and dealt with turns distraught and last to deep sadness.This damm, (forgive me) Fibromyalsia! I could blame the small house I can't even manage to keep up, or the homeschooling books we gotta keep on reading and learning and leave no time for mental relaxation. I could blame the Taekwondo instructor I just signed a two year contract with, Whom seems to think I am making a pansy out of my son by teaching him at home. He hasn't a clue how hard it is to teach his own children and witness their struggles first hand. I could keep blaming for hours and tears might fall. Maybe. That is the only reason for entertaining such thoughts... isn't it? To let the Dam of stress being built up on the shoulders to finally break and flood away from us,  and maybe, just maybe stay off you for a few days or so.

I turned off my alarm again this morning. 5:30am, My hour and a half date with my Jesus was again slept away! Why is it when we need him most we stand him up and don't return his calls? Or is it just me? Is it the why's stacking up and the defeats of yesterday out weighing the victories that shrink my God, making his worth, less in my eyes and life?

I sat on the couch this morning. I would have knelt in awed thanksgiving, I should have knelt and let down my sorrow and let him hold me and lift my chin and tell me he's got it all and not to stress anymore. But I did not. I sat on the couch, Apologizing an empty apology, " Sorry I did not wake up again.." Chin to my chest in shame, I forget there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.  What is it that the Lords says.... "I desire mercy not sacrifice." The Lord did not come to steal, kill and destroy but rather to give life, and for us to live it in his abundance. The abundance of peace, grace, joy? Where is it I pleaded?

Awe but following after my beloved Christ was never promised to be easy. It is like a job well done, takes time and work and blisters, but the finished product brings bubbles of unpop-able joy floating up in side us. All of Jesus's disciples, may I say dearly beloved friends, were persecuted to death. I desire to be one of these disciples. I love him and want to love him more. My life does not belong to myself, it is his. I asked him, sitting there "Is this the persecution I get for following you? I thought it would come in the form of people not bad health I can't seem to conquer.  The question: Would it be any easier if it came from people?  I know He is right. I am trying to break my people pleasing tendency. But then why would it matter what a Taekwondo instructor thinks of me? I know I am doing the will of God and that is Victory enough! God did not say yes to my question mind you. Just asked another question:) So like him:) 

But he did not stop there. No! "A man can only ever be as big as his God." That did not come from my mind. Truth? A man can only ever be as big as his God? "mmm... God I am not reaching for a God title, I know I can never be..."He stopped me in my train of thoughts. "How big am I to you?"

The truth hurts. Can I still do all things because of him who is inside of me?  Why had I allowed my God to shrink in the reality of my mind again. Truth: My God is the same today, yesterday, and tomorrow! Truth : My God is the Alpha the Omega! Truth: My God is Victorious over all things, over all circumstances, over all death, over all pain and suffering. My God has already won the battle he is just waiting for his troops to join his side of the fight so he can take us all back home away from the battle field once and for all. So since I am claimed his, can't I just give up, stop fighting? No! I fight all the more and try and reach the wounded in time and bring them to their healer. My life is not about me anymore. My life is WON! I am victorious in Him! I am loved, sang over, cherished... My everyday trials I can still give to him because this is how big he is. Listen! Hear!
 Ephesians 4:10
He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.

Hebrews 1: 1-3 In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe. The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.

Hebrews 11:3 By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.

 The universe itself is immeasurable. We know our small galaxy is smaller than an ant size portion of it.  How big is God to me? Not big enough. Not as big as he really, truly is! He is so great and so wide and so deep. He is enough, oh so very enough. He has given me my family, my husband and children, my friends many loved ones. I am so very well cared for! I thank him for my reality check this morning. You see, one can only be as big as their God. Hope is in the Lord. Some people have self delusion gods that drive them to being successful millionaires. My God is not limited to my mind and who I make him out to be. My God is the creator of the universe. The God who made you and who made me! The God whose heart holds enough love to hold every single one of us, as a father holds his first born in his hands, tight, warm, swearing he will never let go.

There is Victory to be had in everyday! I fail and so do you. But we are not failures! We are His dearly beloved and we can rest assured his blood is enough to cover all inequities, ours and those we know. There is no condemnation in Christ Jesus! His Love covers over all sin, plight, pain, stress. He overcame the world and through him we are can we!

Lord take my stress that loads me down and pounds me deeper down, pressing on me, ever pressing. Lord Take my pain and help me find joy each day knowing you are here with me, helping me through every difficult time or struggle, every head ache. I kneel in awe and splendor, I lay my head in your lap and let you caress my hair from my face and dry my tears. Whether they make it our my eyes or not, you reach into my inner most being and mop up the mess with in me. Thank You Beloved Father. Thank You! Thank you for waiting for me. Thank you for never leaving me nor forsaking me as I have so many times forsaken you. Forgive me for entertaining thoughts of slanderous, selfish, lies about who I am and what you have for me! I praise you! I worship your Your name and claim power and victory in it!


Saturday, September 25, 2010

Beautiful, Though Cracked, Preserved, Yet Lost!

You ever feel like you got a chip on your shoulder? Do you feel like a broken, cracked piece of china no one dares use any more because it might leak or worse disintegrate?  But some one loves you, so much in fact, you have been glued back together and sat on a shelf to be looked at,  reminisced about and remembered as good times well spent?

Some one some where feels this way and they need to know Satan is lying to them. He is casting arrows and you are dropping your shield of faith unwilling to combat them. You are not a past time. God does not just glue you back together so that you are fragile and ready to break at the slightest embrace, tremor, or fall. You are made brand new, washed clean by the blood of Jesus! You are His wonderful beautiful child whom has a present and a future full of life lived to the fullest measure of SWEEEEEEETness!  Satan wants nothing better than to keep you on that shelf of self pity. He wants you to be isolated from the truth, that greater is HE that is in you than he that  is in the world. He wants you to believe a lie that he can win and has, but the truth is you have the Victory written in blood. Jesus died for you and overcame the world. Any one that believes in him over comes the world as well. Your inheratence in the Lord is Victory, Freedom, Life, Love, Joy, Peace, Strength to endure through all things because he is your God and has sent his Holy Spirit with power to live in you and through you!

Stand up! Brush yourself off. It is time you took your place as a member of the royal court. A Daughter or Son of THE only true KING of KINGS! You are not alone, nor will you ever be. Step into the light and no longer hide in the darkness of doubt, fear, impatience, rage, let downs, heart breaks. The Lord your God is your God! He cries when you cry, He longs for you as you stand at a distance trying to be tough. It is time to be found, no longer lost in the realm of chaos and frustration. But found and placed back where you belong into the family of God you belong in. You have a family. A family of brothers and sisters who need you as much as you need them. We are each a part of the Body of Christ. No part is more important than the other. Both the hand and the foot are of equal importance. Choose to throw off the lies, deflect  the arrows, jump from that shelf of loneliness, the bubble room of self disclusion  and join the living again. You are usable, worthy, needed, and missed, truly missed.

 I honestly do not know who you are. But God has laid who ever you are reading this on my heart. I could not go to bed tonight till I wrote this. I pray for you dear one to know God's love like never before. For you to swim in it daily, living loved fully, cause you truly are.

Romans 15:13
I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 1:23
For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God.

Ephesians 6:10-18
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil.  For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
  Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm.  Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness.  For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil.  Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
  Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Living in the Now

Each day, each hour, each moment of our lives were meant for us, just for us. We can live each moment to the fullest.

I pray and plead for God to help me live this life I have to the fullest. That he can fill me with the joy I need for each moment, and the peace I need to fill my soul and over come my desire to think about things that are not in the now and perhaps more likely in the never. I am in the Now, the present, not the future or the past. I am right here typing out my thoughts and no where else.

Sure, it is good to think about goals and set them, but not every second of every day. Other wise they are things left half done never with a satisfied, accomplished finish.  Sure it is good to look a head and make a schedule. But God's schedule is the one that really matters. If we are always thinking about our own agendas and our own to do lists, what is most important often gets kicked under the bed with the missing socks of days long past.

This day, right now, is the day the Lord has made. This day right now let us rejoice and be glad in it. Right now I have life and I choose to live it radiantly, victoriously moment by moment.  Oh to treasure every giggle, see and smell every passing flower, notice the unloved and share the love I have, see the blind and pray that they may see, that I may taste and see that the Lord my God is good every single day, every singly hour. Because he is not just good every once in a while but all the time.

John 10:10niv "I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."

I love the way the message bible says it:
John 10 7-10 I am the Gate. Anyone who goes through me will be cared for—will freely go in and out, and find pasture. A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of. 

I pray that today you and I friend may walk in the fullness of all that God would have us be. That we would, on purpose, be in each moment we are in and not let our thoughts carry us off some where else that is for us to be tomorrow. We are missing out on the full embrace of a child's hug, the full meaning behind the words spoken to us by a friend on the phone, the full reason we are standing in the place we are standing to see the hurting lost needing to be found right beside us. We are missing out on the fullness of life that God so desires us to have.  I pray God's blessing of peace and the joy he has for us that he desires to complete us with!

Praise God! you are so good! Amen

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Who Am I?

There has been much confusion about who I am really? Am I Nora Lynn or am I Tabitha Ruth? (These would both be first and middle names.) Why do I write my blog under the name Tabitha Ruth? Am I trying to hide from who I really am, thus deceiving my readers?

There is a blog, one of the first ones I wrote, that explains exactly who Tabitha Ruth was/is. It is called Tabitha Ruth. But for those of you who, like me, are impatient, and would just like the answers given to you, rather then have to go digging, this blog is for you.

Back when this blog began I had a bible study. My first homework assignment for us was to Pray and ask God what two women of the bible we are most like. The first name being who we are now as individuals and the second woman, whom God is making us each into being more like. My gals were surprised by my name. I felt I was a Dorcus Ruth.

Side note: Dorkus, as a kid was what I was called. " HEY you DORK!" Seem fit that my loving God would give me a name like that ...? Well you must know that Dorkus (also called Tabitha) in the bible was a woman that helped people. It was her life's work to help others in need. In fact, when she died a whole town mourned her and then Peter raised her back from the dead. Immediately she went back to work. I secretly believe the town did not know how special she was until she was gone they thought. I think she was a, in the back ground, get what needs to be done, kinda gal, who did not ask for recognition.

Ruth was the name every one was surprised by. I even got the comment " What? God is going to make you submissive, willing to just follow and do what ever anyone tells you?" Oh how they did not know the Ruth I knew. If you do not know the story of are missing out. This Gal, in the bible, was not submissive, doing what ever she was told. In my hearts eyes she was bold. So bold she was not afraid to go forth and do what ever God told her to do.  She loved her mother in law. When her husband died and her mother in-law was going to travel far away back to her original home land she wanted to go. Her mother in-law told her to go back, to stay with her own parents. But this is what she told her "Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the LORD deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me." Ruth 1:15-17 These are the words of a bold, speak up, kinda gal. She did go with her mother in-law. She helped her on her journey and when they arrived, she kept her fed by gathering grain herself in fields after the workers had gleaned  them. Her bold obedience to all that God had in store for her leads her to a beautiful Marriage and a son. She is in the lineage of Jesus. This foreign woman from a foreign land, whom was raised to serve foreign gods, knew what she wanted. She wanted to be his, Simply God's forever. And she succeeded.

I just did some study as to what the names Tabitha and Ruth mean and I am blown away!

Dorkus in Aramaic is Tabitha, which means gazelle. Arabs appreciated this animal for its grace, it is a symbol, most commonly associated in their literature, with female beauty. 

Ruth means friend and compassion.

Tabitha Ruth became the name God had given me. I decided to start a blog using that name. To answer the top question..No I am not trying to hide from my name given to me by my parents. I happen to like it. Nora means Light and honor. While Lynn means: waterfall. My new name, however  was and is special to me, as any God given name should be. It gave me hope as to what God had in store for my life! And Boy HOWDY! I have had the ride of my life and it is not over!

Tangent: Many of you who know me, apart from my blog, know that for the last few years God has been teaching me how to be a friend. I prayed for friends and he told me I had to learn to be a friend first before I could have real friends. Like a child asking mommy for a pet and getting a " you have to prove you can take care of it first." answer. All my life I have prayed  "God you are my best friend teach me how to be your friend." You see, it made me sad to think that I had such a fabulous friend in Jesus... but did he have a friend in me? I could count on him, but was I trustworthy?  I have learned that God has been answering this prayer by teaching me to be a friend. He has brought countless people in my life now and I call them my friends. Praise God! To be a friend to Jesus is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. There is a catch there did you hear it?  Love your neighbor as yourself. In order to love others for the special God made people they are you gotta learn to love yourself for the God made person you are. So not only have I been learning how to be a friend to others I have been learning to love myself as well.  God is so very Good! SO  VERY AMAZING! He is making me into a Ruth, a compassionate friend!

 Here's a thought, why don't you pray and ask God who you are most like in the bible and then ask him who he is making you in to. When we have a goal to reach there is hope. And hope that comes from the Lord does not disappoint!

Philippians 1:6 He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Holy Spirit

I have this group of friends and we were chatting about the Holy Spirit. I promised I was going to blog about it soon.  I felt like God was bringing it up quite often in my devotional time and it was time to write about it. OK, so,  I did not get around to it and did not get around to it.  A few weeks went by and today I go to write an apology to those friends whom I promised a blog to.  Baddabing out flops this blog in e-mail form.. So Here it is for any of you wondering about the Holy Spirit. I do not claim to know it all. This is just an ant size amount of info. But I believe it is life changing none the less. Dig In!

Ephesians 2:8-10
"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."

 "Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit."

"I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."

We just got through a season of study "how to be a super hero" in kids church. These verses staring us in the face show us that through Christ Jesus we can do anything. Philippians 4:13  "I can do everything through him who gives me strength." We can be Super Moms, Super Wives , Super Friends, Super Servants. Not by our strength, but through the power of the holy spirit running through us like a river. People ask "have you received the indwelling of the holy spirit?" It is not a comfortable question to be asked. But truly when we have, we know it, so we should be bold and answer either yes or no.  And if the answer is no, one should not be embarrassed like being caught with our zipper down. No! God is giving you an opportunity to be filled with him. Be truthful and ask for prayer. There was a whole church in the bible trying to do things out of their own power. The bible says that they had only received the baptism of John ( by water.) In Acts 19 Paul, prayed for them to receive the holy spirit and they did.  With out Him in us we do not hear God's voice clearly, With out the holy spirit we have a hard time interpreting scripture. 1 Corinthians 2:14 "The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned." The Holy Spirit gives us strength when we feel depleted; he gives us the right words to say when we have none left of our own. He can keep us calm when we should be screaming, even raging upset. Is it a one time filling? No! It is a constant filling. Like a river flowing needs rain to maintain its flow, power,  or deepness, we also need constant filling up of more of Him. This is why we keep on praying for him to fill us. Rivers take water to people who are thirsty. In this way we are also called to be poured out for those who are thirsty. So we come back to him on our knees, in prayer, reading our bibles singing praise to him and are filled again and again with more and more of him. In this way he can truly be our everything, our all in all.

Ephesians 1:13 "And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession—to the praise of his glory."

Does the spirit ever leave us all the way, as in, are we ever depleted of him completely? The Lord has answered this question. John 14:15-17 "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you."

I hope and pray that your spirit is filled with Him who gives everlasting hope and joy this day and ever more.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Day 9 Week Three

I know, I know we learn the days of the week in kindergarten. 7 times three is 21... so if I am on to week 3 and only day 9...? Imagine if this were a real, physical boot camp. I would have been kicked out after the first day of skipping out. Oh but the Lord is so good to us. His mercy is new every morning. His goodness lasts a life time and does not run out.

Yesterday I woke at 5:30..but the legs were an immovable force and the brain would not compute. I did get some God time..Praise him. My half hour was so yummy and only made me hungry for more. But alas my sleepy headedness kept me from the long desired soak in my Jesus's arms. Off to homeschooling, fixing lunch, the gym, more homeschooling, taking kids to lessons, pick up the sitter, go to leadership training course, date night with hubby, take the sitter home, and crash in to bed thankful...oh so thankful for a day done mostly right.  Not by my power alone, but by his guiding me every step of the way.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2    As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain. For he says,  "In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you." I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.

 Matthew 9:36-38 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

In order to pour out we have to take in; we need the necessary time to be poured into. In the military, would a soldier go in to the battle field with out first paying close attention to his Sergent's orders, and specific instructions. I hope not.  I remember singing a song as a child about being in the army of God. I wanted to be his little christian soldier.  Who are we fighting and what are we fighting for? We need God; we need to know our commanding officer. We need to show up at the debriefing in order to go about being his on purpose, living with him on purpose. We need to spend time training ourselves to hear his voice above all the others in our lives.  We need to spend time with God one on one.

Ephesians 6:12
For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

Now one might be thinking "But the silence is so loud!"...No? I think silence can be so deafening. In fact it can put me to sleep like a fan at night in a child's room. It can also send me into a head spin of thoughts just to cover up all the silence. But then I am spending time with me and not my Jesus. Combat the silence with worship music....maybe...unless it distracts you too. Combat the silence with the sound of your own voice? This works.  Praying out loud has much power and effect in not just staying awake. It is compared to standing up worshiping, verses sitting down. It is bringing yourself to fully be aware that you are talking to someone real, worth talking to. You are talking to someone who is listening to you and fully comprehends all you are saying...even not saying.  It helps me acknowledge and address the one to whom I am speaking full on...looking him in the face. Instead of him haing around and talking to him with my eyes focused on my own feet. Awe but this is the challenge is it not. To be in a place comfy enough to chat out loud with your savior. We expect him to speak to us and beg him to, yet to raise our own voice to speak to him can be embarrassingly hard to do. 

Matthew 14:23
After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.

Matthew 6:5-6  “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get.  But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.

I am not doing this boot camp thing for myself alone. I am benefiting.  This boot camp is to help me live for others, with Jesus. I want to make a difference. I want to be an efficient worker in the fields that are ready to be harvested. I need to be able to farm/plant good seeds as well.  I am doing this thing to know him More and more so that I can be filled, and over flowing on to those I love and those he places in my path. 

God may be asking you to do something for him to meet him half way in getting you going in the right direction in your life. It might not be to wake up at 5:30 am but something else. Pray and ask God what you need to do in order to be filled more sufficiently by him. Ask God what it is that you need to do in order to hear his voice more clearly. 

Lord God thank you for waking me up this morning! Thank you for this time to chat about the path you are taking me down. Lead us onward Lord! Lead on!   Amen in Jesus name!

Friday, September 10, 2010

OOOH Pink Elephants!

Too many Elephants! Pink ones, Purple ones, Big ones Small ones. A wonderful lady I adore once said "Don't be afraid to address the elephant in the room." In other words talk about what everyone is avoiding talking about. Well I have a herd of Elephants crowding my life's path now.  It reminds me of the other saying everyone has heard. " How do you eat an elephant? One bit at a time!" Ok So now you have a picture of my day. Now you know why I need to stop typing and go find some quiet place to fall on my knees and ask for some help to go about this day. I have a lot of bites to take and not to mention, chew and swallow as well today. This too is a day the Lord has made. I choose to rejoice and be glad in It!  God is good, oh so good. He who started this good works in me is faithful to bring it to completion. He whom gives does not leave one hanging. It is I who wait, pause, while he stands at the door always thinking are you ready yet? Here I am, I am all you need, lets go already. Yet with the patience of a gentlemen he smiles and waits while I scramble to fill my mo is better purse with all the back breaking weight of supplies I could need to start my day.

May God give you what you need to address your elephants in your life one bite at a time.  As he has promised he will give me what I need to deal with mine. Praise HIM! Good Day to you!

Ephesians 4:14-16

 14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. 15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church. 16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Day 6 Boot Camp

Short but sweet. A quick run down on the hows and how comes. Well I thought I would do this "boot camp" on the week days and relax on the weekend. I mean really, who gets up at five am everyday? The problem... Starting a habit takes more than five days. If you break the pattern every five days that you are trying to start, it is like starting all over again. Well I had a three day weekend of sleeping in. Needless to say I slept in yesterday. God did not tip my butt out of bed. Nor did I have my own personal rain cloud suddenly appear and soak me till I either drown or got out of bed. No, I started schooling behind schedule and slept till 8am. Missing all time with my Jesus and any time to sanely figure out how to walk out the day. I drug my feet, schooled , napped, schooled, napped some more, schooled then had a meeting to get to, so off to McDonalds for coffee. May I just say this: adrenaline brought on by a double shot frappe does not disguise me into looking like I have it all together... all prayed up an all. Uhg. please do not try this, caffeine does not replace or come any where near making up for the lack of holy spirit to guide one through a meeting with people you are suppose to be helping to train.... Church meeting?.... You guessed it. I do believe I cracked a few ill noted jokes...trying to make up for my lack of readiness. Praise God I was not in charge of the meeting or we all would have been up a crick. As it turned out I was the side kick, bad comic relief. I do hope my dear friend leading the meeting was not too put off by me. AWE but on to better days. Today is day six. I am up and ready for the day. After spending time on my knees being filled and emptied and filled some more I only have one regret. I wish I would have gotten up at four. I want more time with God. I am so hungry for more wisdom, more knowledge, more of Him.

Signing off for now, God bless all you who are reaching for the coffee right about now:) I know that is where I am headed. Hey the holy spirit is amazing and absolutely heart pounding, worth getting up and being filled with. But lets face it, breaking two habits in one whack...sleeping too much and coffee... are you crazy? Perhaps some day I will switch to tea but that is not in the near future. Praise God for his love and mercy, his newness he has for us every morning!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Getting Personal

It has occurred to me, for some reason unknown, I write little about who I am really.  Not that my blog has been lying in anyway to you all this time. What I mean is I have real struggles and life has a way of messing with me just like it messes with everyone else. The last thing I want is for someone reading my blog to think wow this person has it all together..(you probably think the opposite) but just to be completely transparent, I do not have it all together. God does not give words such as " get up, and stop falling down on purpose" to those who have no problems walking the straight and narrow. Backing up a  bit, recently I learned a bit about defining God's voice; making sure what I hear, and say is from him, is truly from him.

Hear the list: what is said brings peace, is backed by scripture, is backed by the wisdom of wise counsel (thanks all you awesome people,) It is usually repetitive, It is short and to the point, Last and most important if it is God's word you hear in your head speaking to you the words will either help you love others more, your self more, help you love God more, or help you see and know his love for you more completely.

Going forward now, you might be asking how can my word from God be any of those things? It is backed by scripture. " I can do all things through Christ Jesus whom gives me strength." Phil. 4:13 "Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you whereever you go." Josh1:9 And the reason he wants me to get up is to be with him my loving father. He wants to fill me with what I need to live life fully, full of joy, peace, and purpose.

I doubted it first, because it was only one word "Rise" and I happen to be on my knees and thinking "ouch" right before pleading with God to speak to me. So he spoke more clearly in my mind erasing my doubt.  Still quite short and very to the point.

Life has been getting me down lately, quite literally in fact. For months/years now my bed has been my quick sand sinking me deeper. The lie I keep believing is sleep is my only peace from the pain.  I am 32 years old and feel like I must be celebrating my 80th b-day soon. I know that God has quite the plan for me and my life is no where near over. But the ache in my every part of my body tells me other wise. I have fibromyalgia. I hate the feel sorry for me, boohoo poor me, so don't even go there. My point is, this being something I struggle with, it tries to define who I am. It is not who I am. It is not what I have either. I have Jesus. Who I am is HIS!  I know my Daddy God desires the time he needs with me to keep me moving forward in the direction he has planned and purposed my life. I know he has been waking me up in the morning, not because he wants to pester me and cause me to have lack of sleep. The last straw, you might have thought, would have been the day I heard an audible voice. A man calling my name out loud. Beckoning me. Like Samuel, the little guy that heard God calling him in the bible, I looked around to see who could have woken me up. My son had not made a peep, my husband was snoring by my it was GOD! I knew he wanted me to wake up and have time with him in his word and in prayer. I prayed a bit while laying back down in my comfy bed, ... rolled over and went back to sleep. You would have thought He'd have given up. But he did not. I, that day, on my knees praying for a word... He spoke to me. It was just what I needed to hear. Get up! Stop falling down on purpose. When I get too much sleep and not enough God to start my day I might as well stay in bed all day. The day... the beautiful day the lord made for me... goes all wrong, manned by my own strength, my temper fails, my tears fall now because their is mental, and spiritual pain as well as the physical. Many times I find myself back in bed at noon to take a nap...more sleep. Now I homeschool my kids. I know many of you think I am crazy. But now you know my napping can't last long. obviously I got language arts to teach and science to let explode my kitchen.  But again doing what I know I am suppose to brings no joy because of my state of mind. I feel helpless, dragging my feet on empty.

Those words shook me and I saw myself like a child throwing a fit on the floor ( bed) every day saying " God no I don't want to get up. No I want to sleep. Sleep is what I need don't you know that! No what I need is God every step of the way. I know God gives me times to rest. But right now I need to learn to trust in him. I need to learn that this plight/sickness I live with is not some punishment he has planned for me to torture me. It is something he wants to help me get through if only I will let him.

All this said now you know the why behind my "BOOT CAMP" This is day 5 of boot camp. My spiritual regime, to get me back on track, on schedule, and filled with the proper nutrients to fuel my day... Which is more and more and more of my Jesus.

Yesterday was hard.... I fell again. I did wake up and 5:30am. I had time with God and continued to pray all day. But yesterday the pain was worse, and on top of it, I got a cold. My day got more rest then my boot camp drill Sargent in my mind would agree with. To help my fibromyalgia, I am in need of an hour of cardio everyday. I have to exercise. Yesterday, that part of the day got thrown aside ...yes, on purpose. I know it would have made me feel better. But resting got the better of me. Yes, I took a nap. Did God frown?.. Part of me thinks he should have. But then I remember Psalm 23 "The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows, he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength."

I am walking through this with God at my side. He is giving me peace, joy, and drying my tears from the pain.God is so very good.. He truly is. Thanks be to God for all he has done and is doing in me.

I Pray that what ever you are going through, whether it is pain, sickness, financial hardship, depression, stress... Whatever it is I pray you can learn to walk through it with God at your side. Please don't wait and side step your Lord who is waiting to help you through what ever it is. We need our Jesus. We need our hope we find in the Lord in all we are, do, and say , to be all we are meant to be!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Day 2 Boot Camp

I am up, awake, and ready for this day! What a huge accomplishment! You laugh...I hear my keyboard letters clickity clacking at me as well. But truly what a wonderful feeling to be ready for the day and what ever God has in store.

I have hope! I read yesterday about the story of the prodigal son. It should have been called story of a Father's love. The Father who loved his son enough to let him go, give him what he wanted, even though it was not what he needed. He loved him enough to wait longingly for his return not grudgingly or spitefully. He loved him enough to not only welcome him home, but run to him, meeting him on the road of return, and throw his arms of love around him. How very precious is this final scene when the son who once was lost is found. When the son began to learn how to live loved and love his father in return. One son once lost in his selfishness stands partying with his Dad, now found. The other lost in his duty trying to earn his way to gain ...what? He does not know. He feels cheated, confused, hurt. He does not understand how to live loved by His father even though he has worked for him all his life. Will he be found as well? We are left hanging.

Today I read in Psalms 106 and 107 of people whom sinned and sinned. They cried out to God and time and time again he saved them from their wretchedness.  They swore, they bickered, they cursed, they lied, stole, sacrificed children to grotesque statues, they murdered. They fell into complete darkness by their complete lack of trust in God, complete lack of gratitude towards the loving things God had done for them. They let circumstances get in between reality...the TRUTH, that God loves them and wants what is best for them. They kept trying to find their own way to get things done. They thought they could handle things on their own and time and time again the world almost swallowed them whole, and chewed them alive for a thousand years of agony. Sounds like us today. Yet there is hope. It says That the people were scattered, Those that went into the dessert were broken and cried out to God and he saved them from their distress, Those that turned to the sea, their ships were tossed and turned and they cried out to God and he saved them from their distress. It reads on and on and after each time he saves them the passage reads... So let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love.  The last passage of psalm 107 reads "Whoever is wise, let him heed these things and consider the great love of the Lord."

So what about that good son left standing? He too needs God. He too needs to cry out and recognize his need. We are all lost everyone of us. Some of us lost in our work, others in our selfishness, or sin or circumstances. We are all loved so much! The father waits standing by the road for our trek back. He waits for our cry. "Lord we need you. Only you will do. You are my all in all!" Living Loved everyday, what does that look like? If only we truly believed how very wonderfully and beautifully we each are made as his children. How remarkable it would be to live so very loved every day!  Living life for God is lonely, like lifting a mountain never meant to be moved in the first place. Living life with God is the answer. Everyday His way, on his path, guided by His hand in yours and mine, helping us every step of the way.

Psalm 106:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done. Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts. Glory to his Holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice. Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always."

I have hope! Our  Hope is in the Lord for he does rescue his people. He does have a plan, a future, a love that conquers and has given us the Victory in Him!

I pray you also are ready to face this day and every day after with God at your side. We are on the road where he has met us, hand in hand , we go the rest of the distance together. He is taking us back to his house where the fatted calf will be killed and the party will be endless.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Self Discipline

Some things of this world that seem pointless and dull remain the foundation we need long forgotten. Self Discipline is an ancient art form practiced less and less and marveled...I think not!

Here I sit, early morning, on my first day of boot camp. My journey to succeed in having true self discipline. I am no longer going to sit back in my easy chair.  I am no longer satisfied being a spoiled rotten kings kid. Though I am grateful, oh so grateful to always be HIS. I am done throwing myself on the ground, pouting that I don't have the strength to get up. The Truth is I can do all things through Christ Jesus whom give me strength. I have heard Him speak the words like a slap on my back side, " Nora, Get up and stop falling down on purpose."  Can I take back the days I have tossed into the worlds lazy, self indulgent, sleep my life a way pit? Sadly the answer is no. But from this day forward I can choose to acknowledge my place in the race called life. Since I now choose to run instead of walk, I have decided to prepare by stretching, filling with the right nutrient, and proper hydration each morning before I begin my sprint.

5:30 am, my day begins. I begin by dragging my aching back out of bed and showering the sleep away. By 6am I am ready to pray not falling back to sleep talking to myself and my agenda. But rather praying to the Daddy I need advice from, a morning hug from. I read my bible or a devotional to help hear his voice and learn from Him. I pray some more.  I have friends, family, loved ones...myself who all need powerful and effective prayer.  Prayer from a righteous man, the bible says, is powerful and effective. Am I righteous? God only knows! But I will pray any how, with faith, knowing he delights in hearing my voice.

I read once that we need to feed our heart, soul and mind. Now my mind is full of his word and new knowledge and my spirit is brimming with the bread and water that truly sustains me. My heart is beating out these words onto this page. It is fed by sharing His love and what he is doing in me. My heart is filled with joy as I use what makes me happy: writing, to share with you the life I live with my adoring Father, and best friend Jesus.

Here is an exert, I thought life changing, I read in a book called He Loves Me by Wayne Jacobsen: "God is not interested in your sacrifice or your services. He only wants you to know how much you are loved, hoping that you will choose to love him in return. Understand that, and everything else about your life will fall into place; miss that, and nothing else will make a difference."

We are Kings Kids. We are adored with lavished love we choose to ignore. Why?  We suffer from stress and anxiety as we let circumstances crush us, living less loved than we are. We indulge in pleasures that last only a moment knowing it will cause suffering, living less loved. We need to search the heart of our Lord. We need to look up and see him standing there arms open wide. We are dearly loved and cared for. Trust in the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind and lean not on your own understanding and he will make your path straight.

Praise My God for he has been so good to me!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Four Questions: Hope verses Faith

How is hope different than faith?
What does it mean to have put our hope in Jesus? 

What are we hoping for if we already have salvation?

Doesn't the bible say that hope does not disappoint us? 

I was going to go all theological in order to answer these questions precise, to the point and absolute.  I got out my bible dictionary, my Where To Find It In The Bible book, different versions of the bible, and of course the lap top with unlimited resources at my finger tips. I studied for a few hours and well, mostly I got a bunch of facts and statements that were void of emotion. How can I even begin to answer these questions in such a way that leaves my hearts cry and personal experiences out of it. Then again there are some very specific facts that are important. So here goes my shot at it. 

Think of your self as a car, the shell of the car, Faith is your engine, Hope is your gas and hopefully Jesus is who is driving you. 

Bad analogy of who you are personally, but as far as what the difference between faith and hope is, it works. Faith and hope work together like inhaling and exhaling. Hebrews 11 says it this way "Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about the things we cannot see. By faith we understand that the entire universe was formed at God's command, that what we see did not come from anything that can be seen."

Hope is often a verb. Faith, according to the dictionary, is commonly a noun.
Hope drives us forward, keeps us going.
Faith holds us stead fast and keeps us securely on the right path.

Faith:  Belief in God,  belief or trust: belief in, devotion to, or trust in somebody or something, especially without logical proof.

Hope: Trust, to desire especially with expectation of getting what you want.

The difference between hope and faith is that our Belief in God never disappoints us. Our hope in specific out comes, we desire God to work out, often can leave us disappointed. We are after all his children and often do not know what is best for us. But there are other factors to weigh in to the out-come of events and circumstances. The will of God is perfect and wonderful. But everyone living in this world has free choice. The ability to live in and out of the will of God. For example a drunk driver runs over a small child. That was not God's will for someone to get drunk and murder an innocent child. "NO!"  But God does promise us that ALL things are made for the good of those who love him. So when we place our hope in God, even after catastrophic events, He is faithful and will stand by us, loving us through hard times, give us strength, and use that child's death for the good. I do believe this is why we have Mothers Against Drunk Driving Associations.

Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life. 

Psalm 119:116
Lord, sustain me as you promised, that I may live! Do not let my hope be crushed.

The Lord fearfully and wonderfully made each one of us with hopes, dreams. He does not wish to crush those things he created in us to reach for.  Our hope is like our dreams large and small. We hope that tomorrow will come, that it will be even better than today. We hope for the desires of our heart to be fulfilled, whether that be to find a husband, or to run a mile, or to sing the national anthem at a baseball game. Our faith tells us we are adored by God. Our faith assures us he is with us and wants to be involved with our lives. Our faith reminds us to listen to that still small voice that guides us and directs us. Our faith believes the words of the bible are true. Our hope takes the steps necessary for our faith to be active. In James it reads that faith with out works is dead. It could have very well said that faith with out hope is dead. We need our hope in the Lord!  We need to know His ways are better than ours. That he will bring to pass our dreams come true. YES we have Salvation. But oh, we have so much more than that. We have a best friend to lead us and guide us and walk with us through adventures of a life time... our life time!

I have hope that one day my arthritis will no longer hinder me. I have hope my children will come to love the Lord as much as I do or even more!  I hope to ride a motor bike on a country road and feel the wind whip my hair as I speed...yes past the speed limit. I hope to be an author of a book that changes peoples lives. Some of my hopes have already come true. I had faith and hope that God would hear my prayers for my dad  during open heart surgery.... he lives. I hoped one day to be a teacher of children. I taught at a public school. I am blessed to be able to homeschool my kids. I continue to teach kids at church as well. I hoped to one day have close friends I could call dear to me. I have several. I dreamed one day to run a race and beat the asthma that tries to stop me. I have run several now. 

 Romans 11:33-35  Oh, how great are God’s riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and his ways! For who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to give him advice? And who has given him so much that he needs to pay it back?

So this is what we do: 

Lamentations 3:24-26  I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the LORD. 

Psalm 33:20   We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 

Psalm 33:22  May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.

Psalm 130:5   I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.
Micah 7:7
But as for me, I watch in hope for the LORD, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me.
1 Thessalonians 1:3
We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

 This is what we are promised by putting our hope in the Lord:

Psalm 147:10-12      His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,  nor his delight in the legs of a man; the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love. 

Isaiah 40:31
but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Jeremiah 29:11
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.


"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for." - Joseph Addison

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What can I DO? Nothing it has already been done!

Mark 10:17-22
The Rich Young Man
 As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"  "Why do you call me good?" Jesus answered. "No one is good—except God alone. You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.""Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy." Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."  At this the man's face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth. 
This young man did not see his need for Jesus. He thought he had what it took to earn his way to heaven. When Christ set the bar too high for him to reach he went away realizing he did not have what it took to earn his way to heaven. He still did not realize his need for a savior. 
Mark 10:46-52
Blind Bartimaeus Receives His Sight
Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (that is, the Son of Timaeus), was sitting by the roadside begging. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stopped and said, "Call him." So they called to the blind man, "Cheer up! On your feet! He's calling you." Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus." What do you want me to do for you?" Jesus asked him.  The blind man said, "Rabbi, I want to see." "Go," said Jesus, "your faith has healed you." Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.
The blind man knew of his need of a Savior! The blind man knew there was nothing he could do to earn his sight. He knew he had to rely on his savior's mercy.  
Lord God bring me away from the businessman mentality, and back to the beggar's. May I remember, when seeking you, I have nothing valuable to barter with. There is nothing I can do for you or give to you as payment for you hearing my cries for help.  Lord when I come to you empty handed I can acknowledge how profound your mercy, how mighty your love, how complete your joy is for me; How free you have died for me to be!
Zephaniah 3:17 He will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing!
Quote from the book HE LOVES ME by Wayne Jacobsen  
"When you are tempted to stake your relationship with God on your own goodness or your sacrifice, don't even try. Picture the bar so high that you'll never find a way to clear it. Approach God on the basis of your own efforts, and you will always go away disappointed and disillusioned. But that is not bad news. What it means is that God has fulfilled in himself everything he would ever require of us. Abandoning our own attempts to establish our own worthiness is central to the power of the gospel. Learn that, and a door stands before you to the very heart of a loving Father. 
Matthew 9:13 "I desire mercy, not sacrifice.  For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners!"


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Be Bold! You Carry the Inheritance of the Lord!

What does it mean to carry God's inheritance?
The Lord's Inheritance... Something we have inherited? Or something God inherits from us?

Psalm 37:18
The LORD knows the days of the upright, And their inheritance shall be forever.
Psalm 33:12
Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, The people He has chosen as His own inheritance.

BOTH are true! Have I got your attention? There is treasure to be unburied! Shovels ready... Lets Dig!

What is an inheritance? : the reception of qualities by transmission from parent to offspring
,the acquisition of a possession, condition, or trait from past generations, a valuable possession.

A Word Picture: A man with a dream invests his time and interest in learning all there is to know in order to full fill his dream. Over the years he is blessed with a family. As God allows he continues to pursue his dream, investing his time and money. His dream comes true for him because of his investments he has made, giving of himself to pursue his dream...This dream could be to become an engineer, or simply to be the best father to his kids, or to serve God with all his Heart. At any rate, he has something to pass down to his kids. His kids have an inheritance, whether that is money or the qualities he has passed down such as honesty, how to love unconditionally, a sailboat and the skill of knowing how to sail...etc. My point: in order to inherit something someone had to have made an investment.

Investment: Something paid for in advance in order to reap from at a later time, such as property with potential purchased for a price.

What has God invested:
Philippians 2:6-8
Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!
1 Peter 2:24
He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

What is God investing: According to the bible and my own life's journey he invests daily his time, wisdom, power, grace, mercy, love, kindness, joy, patience, goodness, holiness, strength, truth, knowledge, and Himself. Can anyone say they have ever given more to invest? NO!

Is His investment in me worth it?
John 15:13-14 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends..."
Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

John 15:11 I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.

Apparently He knows we are worth it. His love, words, and deeds prove it!

The inheritance he has passed down to us is such a precious gift! The gift of eternity and so much more!

What is God's inheritance?
We are his inheritance, but not just you and I.

John 3:16-17
"For God so loved
the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him."
Exodus 34:9
"Lord," he said, "if I have found favor in your eyes, then let the Lord go with us. Although this is a stiff-necked people, forgive our wickedness and our sin, and take us as your inheritance."

Galatians 3: 26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Is this something I chose or did he choose me? Both

Isaiah 43:10
"You are my witnesses," declares the LORD, "and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

1 Peter 2:9-10 " are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.Once you had no identity as a people; now you are God’s people.

Yes! He chose us... But we also choose to accept his invitation to be his children. We choose to pick up our cross daily by remembering whose we are and what we are. We are HIS, We are Forgiven, Free and dearly loved. We live to be faithful daughters and sons; we serve our father the King.

Luke 9:23-24 “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross daily, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. "
Lets go back to John 15:9-17 and review some clips: "Remain in my love. When you obey my commandments, you remain in my love. I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy. Yes, your joy will overflow! This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you. There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. You didn’t (first) choose me. I chose you.
This is my command: Love each other.

After reading all these scriptures I bet you can guess what we are to be investing toward God's inheritance.

Matthew 28:19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:22 The Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Matthew 5:13
"You are the salt of the earth. "

Matthew 5:14
"You are the light of the world."

John 15:
This is my commandment: Love each other in the same way I have loved you.

Can I succeed and not "drop the ball?"
Philippians 4:13 For I can do everything through Christ,who gives me strength.
Romans 8:28
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Luke 1:37
"For nothing is impossible with GOD."