"Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (I Thessalonians 5:16-18)

Friday, December 31, 2010

What I've Learned in 2010 that will carry me through 2011

This has been a year of learning. I'm so glad God isn't finished with me yet!

1. I've learned I cannot make everyone happy. Walk away from those who want you to change your life and lifestyle for them.
a. I don't have to please everyone.
b. Those who try to change others to fit their lifestyle are co-dependent, high maintenance and needy.

2. I've learned my physical life may be weak, but that doesn't mean my spiritual life must align itself.
a. I started 2010 feeling very sick, but was in a sweet friend's home that kept me warm and secure.
b. God's Word has been abundant whether I've been sick or well.

3. I've learned I LOVE fresh squeezed orange juice.
a. I bought a whole bunch of oranges from a school to support a friend's child, and hand squeezed them. That's when I learned fresh orange juice is so different than store bought.
b. I also bought a new-fangled orange squeezer doo-dad that will help me make my own.

4. I've learned I have yet begun to know all the secrets that God has in store for me.
a. As I studied each lesson, God revealed a little more of Himself to me.
b. I salivate as I study God's Word... it's more than fresh squeezed orange juice to me.

5. I've learned that I did okay raising my children.
a. I really did.
b. They are the most wonderful people in my life.

6. I've learned I love Honeycrisp apples and cheddar cheese together.
a. I love honey crisp apples.
b. I love cheddar cheese.

7. I've learned I love to exercise my mind by learning more about God.
a. I re-read the Bible through chronologically this year, and each day wrote a verse or 'speculation' I had read or thought.
b. Excited that in 2011 I will be going through two devotional books to further increase my relationship with God.

8. In August, I learned my body is weak, but my will is strong.
a. Started physical therapy and learned my body was very weak.
b. Met several new people during PT who have increased my happiness.

9. I've learned untold number of whispers from God by reading the Bible through once again.
a. Many many "A-HA" moments in 2010.
b. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me in 2011.

10. I learned I don't have to have coffee, but I choose to have it.
a. And that's all I'm going to say about that.
b. Except to say, I love coffee in the morning.

11. I love to teach God's Word.
a. I love my Connect Group who soak up God's Word as fast as He reveals it to me.
b. There's nothing wrong with learning as I teach.

12. The hardest lesson I've learned, which I'm still learning, is to keep my opinions to myself and my mouth shut.
a. God directly told me through prayer to leave one opinion alone, that He would handle it. I have, and it's been the hardest time keeping my mouth shut...and I have.
b. Let God be responsible for the consequences of my obedience to Him.

God is good all the time. All the time...God is Good.
Happy 2011!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Month of Thanksgiving

1. I am thankful to be living in November 2010. Who'd thunk it?
2. I am thankful that Jesus, my Savior and Husband has allowed me to be part of the family of God since April 23, 1984.
3. I am thankful for my parents. They did the best they could do with the tools they had. (Psalm 27:10)
4. I am thankful to have experienced marriage, for better and worse. For a moment I knew what it felt like to be totally loved by a man.
5. I am thankful for my oldest son Chris. A man's man, yet a beloved soldier of the cross.
6. I am thankful for my youngest son Geoff. A drummer who drums with a different beat. And that's okay.
7. I am thankful for my daughter Melissa. A woman after God's own heart.
8. I am thankful for my daughter in law Amy. What a warrior woman she is. I keep saying I want to be like her one day!
9. I am thankful for my grandchildren, Jack, Thatcher & Margaret. I know, right?
10. I am thankful for my life experiences. Indeed...I am
  • thankful for the devastating divorce in 1981
  • thankful for the many broken relationships I experienced
  • thankful for the days without money
  • thankful for the sleepless nights
11. I am thankful for the two churches I have attended in my Christian walk. I drank milk at Broadmoor Baptist Church and have eaten meat at Biltmore Baptist Church.
12. I am thankful for Sam and Teena McLamb, who I have known at both churches. They have been mentors, friends and a precious sister and brother in Christ.
13. I am thankful for Dr. John Sullivan, the pastor who baptized me. My first Bible has so many notes in it I can hardly read the words of the Bible.
14. I am thankful for James Walker. I smile each time I hear my name pronounced "Weeder".
15. I am thankful for Pastor Bruce, who is so real as he teaches and preaches.
16. I am thankful that my daddy taught me about cars, alignments and brakes. When to be concerned and when to blow it off.
17. I am thankful that I didn't inherit my dad's inability to do house repairs correctly.
18. I am thankful that God gave me gifts of the spirit, which I use daily.
19. I am thankful that I have been given some forever friends. Women who have made my life stronger by just being a part.
20. I am thankful for my Connect Group. This group of women is a strong spiritual support for one another...and a mighty force to be reckoned with.
21. I am thankful that God has shown that He is still healing people, if we allow Him. God is still saving people, if we allow Him.
22. I am thankful for the freedoms I have received from unknown soldiers who have died, and those who have lived...and from my God and Savior.
23. I am thankful that God has given me a quirky sense of humor that sometimes cracks me up...and sometimes I cannot share any of it with anyone.
24. I am thankful for a roof over my head, a car to drive, and food to eat. May I never ever take any of that for granted.
25. I am thankful for my job. I am very thankful for my job.
26. I am thankful when I see the blue of the sky and the green of the trees meld into a beautiful piece of art, designed by God. Who knew those two colors would look so great together?
27. I am thankful for my sister and her family. It is nice to belong.
28. I am thankful for my oldest brother and his family. They have been prayer warriors and prayer walkers and sometimes prayer sitters...but they've been pray-ers.
29. I am thankful for my youngest brother, who calls me every week and checks on me to make sure I'm okay. I love that! I am thankful for his wife and daughter who complete him.
30. I am thankful for the breath I breathe. Praise God Almighty, for so many treasures.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Bitterness is drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

I remember her telling me a long time ago that the words "I'm sorry" were the most useless words in the world and no one would ever hear them come out of her mouth.

She would never let go of any hurt, and could give you the date, time and exact words that were told to her in the way she heard them.

When I was younger, she had accused me of stealing a ring from her. I was blamed for many things I didn't do (and conversely, probably not blamed for some things I did do!) When she was old she told me that she had discovered the ring in one of her keepsakes. I reminded her that she had accused me of stealing it.

For the first time that I could remember, pain for someone else etched across her face. With tears forming in her eyes she said, "I'm so sorry. I don't know why I would have said that."
In her later years, she wondered if God could ever forgive her. She knew she wasn't good enough to go to heaven. (Who is???) And she accepted some forgiveness...however, there was some she said she couldn't.

Softening of the callous called bitterness had begun.

I watched her inch her way across the desert of hurt, anger and yes the bitterness of unforgiveness. She would stop along the way and refill the tank with crude oil. But as she slowed down and began to take in some of the softening agents of God's word, a metamorphosis began.

She started seeing a little good here and there. She complimented more and talked about people less. She began to say "I love you" more and she quit pointing her fingers.

She was just beginning to see how important she was to God...she was just beginning to feel what forgiveness felt like. And she had just begun to live...

And then she died.

But her life was not in vain. Because of her:
  • I learned to apologize when I've hurt someone--even if they don't accept my apology.
  • I learned to forgive people for hurting me.
  • I learned to forgive myself.
  • I learned that I cannot change people, but I can change myself.
  • I learned that in order to be a good teacher, I have to be a better student.
  • And I learned that true love can soften even the most captive heart.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


As you know I am heavily into physical therapy...trying to get my muscles to respond. It's an arduous process. I thought it would be a stretch here and there, but no...years of sitting, walking, hiking and lying the wrong way finally culminated into a bundle of wound up muscles on my team building hike in May. The hike didn't help at all in one way...it made me hurt...but on the other hand, it helped open a new chapter in my life. One of stretching.

I've always said "Show me..don't tell me how to do it and I can do it." Seth, my PT showed me last Wednesday what my body does when I lie on my stomach...my pelvis rotates to the left, because the muscles on the right are so tight.

Suddenly I felt empowered...I CAN help fix this. I started being more focused how I sat, how I would lie down.

It's 1/4 mile from the workroom on my side of the church to the main workroom on the other side. So about 4 times a day since Wednesday, I have purposely tilted my pelvis to the right...just a little bit and walked. At first it was near impossible...the right quad muscle started hurting...but I walked through it. I laid down on the floor this morning to gauge how things are working...and I'm almost straight! Woo Hoo...it's the little changes we make that makes all the difference.

Then I started thinking about the words that have held true all my adult life. The straight and narrow words of the Bible. How easy it is to just follow some of the words and ignore others. Yet the more we ignore or set aside the precepts we've learned, those "muscles" become weak, and soon our life is a mess, and we have to learn to walk with God again.

It's easy to become unaligned from God's Word. Our purpose is to stay focused on the straightway to Christ. To show others Who He is by our walk...and we can't do that if our walk is crooked.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Trying to Understand

For the second time in as many months, another of our young mothers in our congregation has committed suicide. Both moms loved the Lord...both had husbands who came to church...both had three small children.

Try as I may, it's so hard for me to understand the hopelessness of suicide and the selfishness of suicide...because

I'm on this side...I see the results of suicide.

The husband heard the gun go off and ran into the bedroom to discover...

Bravely at the memorial service he said "I should have...I should have...I should have".

Husbands...look at your wives. I mean really look...is she overburdened? Is she asking for your help and you're not listening? Is this what she has to do to get your attention?

Wives/mommies...do you REALLY want your children to live with that stigma the rest of their lives? No matter what anyone says, those children will believe it is their fault you did this. Do you REALLY want those babies to think that?

We all come from a dysfunctional backgrounds. Most of us at one time or the other ponder how much easier it would be to just not "be" anymore. Unfortunately, for those who are left to scrub the brains and blood, and for those who have to suffer the "guilt" of 'why', it is never easy. Never.

We all have battles and scars to prove it. I think of Esther in the Bible. I'm sure she felt hopeless when she found out that she was going to be a "prostitute" for the king. Can you imagine the horror she went through? But there was a family member in the background constantly reminding her of her giftedness...and that she could be a heroine ...if someone was going to be brave and save the Jews...why not her? She lived to tell that she was born for a reason...for such a time as this.

I recently met a lady whose life merits one that would end it all. The horror of her childhood would have made anyone else institutionalized. Even though she talked in a monotone (I thought of Jack Webb in the old Dragnet series while listening to her), there was a fire deep in her eyes that fought to scream I AM A SURVIVOR. I want to get to know that person...and I want her to know that it is safe to be a survivor.

You are here on this Earth for a reason. You are made in the image of God. He blew breath into you, formed you, loved you before you were an embryo.

It's worth sticking around...watching those babies go to school, play sports, be in a play, watch their personalities form, cry with them with their first heartbreak, and cry for them as they struggle with the same issues you are. It is worth every moment to stay alive...because you were born for such a time as this.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Team Building & Healing & Attitude

I'm in the process of healing. It is taking me a lot longer than I want to admit. I have to consider my age, the healthiness of my body and my attitude.

Turn back 5 months ago. I went on a team building "hike". There is a trail around the church and several of us went. The trail was covered with wet leaves and what felt like mulch. Also, it had washed out and was "listing" to the right. In order to keep myself from falling, all my muscles in my right leg were clawing into the sod beneath me.

I knew two things. I was not team building and my body was not having a good time. But being the 'team player' I am, and with a lot of help from other team members I made it...my reward was watermelon, water and 10 points on my wellness profile.

However, I started walking like John Wayne...or maybe someone with one stilt. In the process of trying to stay on the trail, I 'repositioned my hip'. I went to my chiropractor and found out I was tilting. I'm sure there's a lot of jokes about that...can't think of any right now.

I had to stop exercising because my knees began to hurt. I was seeing the chiropractor at least twice a week....he said if I wasn't loopy (persistent vertigo I suffer with), I was a challenge. He worked and worked...and I waddled.

Finally, my actual general doctor referred me to Cornerstone Physical Therapy. http://www.cornerstoneptnc.com/ There I met Seth. Then we find out we are members of the same church. It was instant happiness knowing that I would be in the hands (literally) of a fellow Christian. I love hearing about his 3 children and his wife and how he came from New Jersey to Asheville.

He told me it was going to take a while to get me "straight" again. And it wasn't my knees giving me a problem. It was my hips. The muscles in my hips stayed taut even after the team building and my knees were over-extending to make up for what my hips were not doing.

We have worked and worked and exercised and worked. I've been pulled, pushed, manipulated, stretched and squashed. After about the 5th session I had decided that I would always walk like a duck and constantly be in pain.

And I accepted that.

Can you say defeated?

In my daily Bible reading I have just finished reading Ezekiel. All of God's people had given up on Him and were living the way they wanted. They didn't care to hear what Ezekiel had to say, nor would they listen. They had become defeated. They just felt like imprisonment and being captives were the only options they had.

As I read that I got to thinking...you know...I need to change my attitude. I need to get well and not stay sick. I need to walk upright and quit being defeated.

I began to fervently "listen" to my body. Knowing when to rest, knowing when to exercise. Instead of sitting all the time, walking around. Instead of walking all the time, resting...and relaxing.

Seth said he needs a sign on the ceiling over each table "RELAX" .

I'm not saying that has made me well. But attitude has a lot to do with feeling like a winner or feeling defeated.

Toward the end of Ezekiel God said "...Behold I will take the sons of Israel from among the nations where they have gone, and I will father them from every side and bring them into their own land; and I will make them one nation in the land, on the mountains of Israel; and one king will be king for all of them; and they will no longer be two nations, and they will no longer be divided into two kingdoms. And they will no longer defile themselves with their idols or with their detestable things, or with any of their transgressions; but I will deliver them from all their dwelling places in which they have sinned, and will cleanse them. And they will be My people, and I will be their God."

God goes on to say, "And I will make a covenant of peace with them. It will be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will place them and multiply them and will set My sanctuary in their midst forever. My dwelling place also will be with them; and I will be their God, and they will be My people. And the nations will know that I am the Lord who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forever."

I began to understand that the people had to ACT like kingdom people...and God blessed them when they put away all things that were not good for them...and started being God's people again. Their bodies would be healed, their land would be healed, their families would be healed and they would have an everlasting covenant with God through the "DWELLING PLACE", God's own son, Jesus.

As I understood that 99% of my battle was thought processes...wanting to be well and not be sick...wanting to be whole again and not "crippled" I made up my mind to allow the healing to do just that. To heal me.

God doesn't waste any of our experiences...and I'm glad He's worked on the "kinks" in my mind while allowing someone to work out the kinks of my body!

Today...session 7, I got off the table after my beloved heating pad that covers so much of the muscles of my side and hip and walked around. I almost started crying because I really feel that I am finally healing.

I love it when a plan comes together.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Isaiah 52:12

I love this scripture...Isaiah 52:12 "You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the LORD will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind."

A picture of Him being my warrior to protect me when the enemy attacks from the front...but an even stronger picture of Him being my protecter...from the rear. Wow.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

More Bible Reading

The name of the Lorid is a strong fortress-the godly run to Him and are safe.

The Lord is more pleased when we do right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.

Solomon loved foreign women...700 wives from royal birth and 300 concubines. GOODNESS!

"While seeking wisdom I clutched at foolishness." Solomon was pretty depressed when he wrote Ecclesiastes. "As you enter the house of God keep your ears open and your mouth shut."
Kings and rulers make a grave mistake when they give great authority to foolish people and low positions to people of proven worth. I have even seen servants riding like princes and princes walking like servants.

Solomon's son Rehoboam has not gone the way of the Lord. After 13 years of reigning and doing evil in God's sight, Rehoboam was defeated and Jeroboam becames King. Israel fought within itself and Abyam & Jeroboam fought. Abyam came from the tribe of Judah and grew more powerful. When he died, Asa became King. Asa pleased the Lord by removing the foreign gods. God told Asa "the Lord willl stay with you as long as you stay with him."

Constant war between Judah and Israel. "The eyes of the Lord search the whole Earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him." 1 Kings 15:9a

No one else so completely sold himself to what was evil in the Lord's sight as Ahab did under the influence of his wife Jezebel.

King Ahab dies. He was buried in Samaria. "Always think carefully before pronouncing judgment" 2 Chronible 19:6b

Jehoshaphat told the Levites to always act in the fear of the Lord.

Give thanks to the Lord; his faithful love endures forever.

Many kings---doing evil in the sight of the Lord.

June 15...I don't ever remember reading that both Elijah and Elisha struck the water of the Jordan River and it parted for them to walk across...but they both did. Also a man brought Elisha a sack of fresh grain and 20 loaves of barley bread. Elisha told him to feed 100 people with it...they ended up having leftovers...amazing!

Elisha is absolutely amaing as a servant of the Lord.

Jehu-a mighty King of God killed Ahab, Jezebel and all their remaining kinfolk so there was no one in that lineage remaining. Jehu killed all the Baal worshippers--God acknowledged that he had done what He had asked--however, Jehu did not obey God with all his heart.

Athaliah, mother of King Ahazrah of Judah learned that her son was dead and decided to destroy the rest of Judah's royal family. But a nurse hid the youngest child Joash. When Joash was 7, he was presented as king. A covenant was made that the people would follow the God of their fathers. The priest that advised Joash and Joash began to allow the people to build Aserah poles and worship Baal.

Zechariah the priest's son was stoned to death because he was his father's conscience and proclaimed the wrong being done.

Joash and Elisha have died...Joash's son is now King and did what was pleasing in God's eyes. His son then became king and did not please God. After his death Uzziah became king. He didn't smash the foreign gods and God allowed leoporsy to overcome his body. He reigned 52 years from a different castle than his family.

He became mighty...and with that became very prideful. Jonah's ministry took place during the reign of Jeroboam II.

In Amos I read "The Lord never does anything until He reveals his plans to his servants the prophets." God is called the "Pride of Israel" in the book of Amos.

The time is surely coming says the Sovereign Lord when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine of bread or water, but of hearing the words of the Lord.

Jotham is king of Judah and does what is pleasing to the Lord, but doesn't destroy the pagan temples.

Micah is grieving over God's message to Samaria and Jerusalem. Ahaz is now king of Judah. He did NOT do what was pleasing to God...even sacrificed his own sons in the fire.

God told King Ahaz-unless your faith is firm, I cannot make you stand firm.

Isaiah 8:13 "Make the Lord of Heaven's Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble."

Isaiah 12 is a song of praise for salvation. Hezekiah at the age of 25 becomes King and does what is pleasing to God.

"But then I will win her [Israel] back once again. I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the Valley of Trouble into a gateway of Hope."...Hosea 2:14-15

"Even though I gave them all my laws they act as if those laws don't apply to them" Hosea 8:12

Hosea is mourning for God has taken his hand of protection away from His beloved Israel. God gives them the prayer that would satisfy His anger: "Forgive all our sins and graciously receive us, so that we may offer you our praise. Assyria cannot save us, nor can our warhorses. Never again will we say to the idols we have made 'you are our gods!' No, in You alone do the orphans find mercy."

Isaiah 28:16 "Look I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem--a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken." Another version says "Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced."

"What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them as ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart."

Monday, June 14, 2010

Interesting reading...

2 Samuel 22:17 "He reached down from heaven and rescued me; he drew me out of deep waters.

David takes a census...against God's authority. He has 1,300,000 fighting men. Then David's conscience begins to bother him. David was given 3 choices for payment of his sin. He chose the one that would cause less deaths, but still 70,000 people died. God instructed David to build an altar...a man offered his own oxen, but David said "I will not present burnt offerings to the Lord that have cost me nothing." David charges his son Solomon with building the temple of God. The Levites are divided by clans. David gives his son Solomon the Kingdom.

Gatekeepers and leaders were chosen. Solomon is charged by David to obey...to rule with integrity. David turned the plans over to Solomon as how the temple should be built. David prays a beautiful prayer of dedication to the building of the temple.

Adonijah, a son of David never disciplined decided he wanted to be king. David gives final instructions to Solomon, and dies.

Psalms of David
Ps. 22 "Though I feel abandoned by you, You are holy, my ancestors trusted in you.
Ps. 25 "For the honor of your name O Lord, forgive my many sins.

"If I had not confessed the sin in my heart the Lord would not have listened."

Psalm 108...I will wake the dawn with my song.
Psalm 141:3 Take control of what I say O Lord and guard my lips.

Psalms of David's minstrels:
"Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God and keep the vows you made to the most high.
Psalm 73:26-26 "Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth., My health may fail and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart, He is mine forever."

Solomon asks for nothing but wisdom. God gives him everything plus wisdom.
The temple begins construction 480 years after the Israelites left Egypt. It took 7 years to build. It took Solomon 13 years to build himself a palace...then the temple of the Lord was built.

The ark is brought to the temple. "The priests could not continue their service because the cloud, for the glorious presence of the Lord filled the temple." NOW THAT'S REVIVAL!

2 Chronicles 6:32 In the future foreigners who do not belong to your people Israel will hear you. They will come from distant lands when they hear of your great name and strong hand and your powerful arm.

Praise the Lord who has given rest to His people, just as he promised.

Solomon's reign was peaceful and full of wisdom.

1 Kings 4:20 The people of Judah and Israel were an numerous as the sands on the seashore.

Psalm 72...written by Solomon..."Give your love for justice to the king, O God."

Getting wisdom is the best thing you can do and whatever else you do develop good judgment.
Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut. If you search for good you will find favor, but if you search for evil, it will find you.

Those who fear the Lord are secure. He will be a refuge for their children. If you listen to constructive criticism you will be at home with the wise.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

reading the Bible through...

I'm still reading the Bible chronologically.

Here's a little I've read.

April 1- once again The Angel of the Lord has come to rescue Israel from their wicked ways. . . reminding them once again of their historical past. He charges Gideon with defeating the enemy. Gideon balks even after being approached by The Angel of the Lord. Yahweh Shalom---The Lord is Peace. Gideon's name is changed to Jerubbaal...meaning Let Baal defend himself.
2. After testing God-Jerubbaal went to defeat Midian. God shaved the army down to 300 men. Gideon made an ornament out of the plunder and his relatives began to worship it.
3. Abimelech killed all of Gideon's sons and became ruler. Abimelech warred against the people slaying thousands. As he confronted a tower where the remnant was hiding a woman tossed a millstone-which hit him on the head. He had one of his warriors kill him because he didn't want to go down in history as a king who was killed by a woman.
4. "Be careful of the vows you make to God!" Samson is born. What a spoiled brat.
5. Samson meets Delilah.
6. Israel has no king. The city of Benjamin had become full of sin. The other 11 tribes fought against them and after 3 days won.
7. Ruth 2:12 "May the Lord, The God of Israel under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done."
8. Boaz took Ruth home & made her his wife. 1 Samuel ...Hannah is mourning about not having children.
9. Samuel stays with the priest, Eli...whose sons were very wicked...thumbing their noses at God's rules. Thus Eli's branch of the Levites would be cut off for future generations. Messages from God were rare and visions were quite uncommon.
10. Israel is defeated by the Philistines when Eli heard the news he fell backwards, broke his neck and died. The Ark had been captured. God allowed Eli and his descendants to die because of the sons' sons. Philistines had a few problems w/ the Ark of the Covenant. "Who is able to stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God" The Ark stayed with Eleazar for twenty years.Israel mourned because it seemed God had abandoned them. Samuel told them to get rid of their idols and they did. But they feared when the philistines mounted an attack, but God spoke like thunder and confused the enemy. After all this time, Israel starts asking for a king...again.
11. Saul and Samuel meet. Saul was so humble as a young man.
12. Saul was 50 when he became King and he reigned for 42 years. He had 4 sons. Then Saul takes matters into his own hands instead of waiting on Samuel. Saul makes a foolish oath of fasting...the whole army fasting while in the heat of battle. Jonathan didn't hear it and ate anyway and was refreshed.
13. Saul was told by God to destroy their enemies down to all the livestock...but he did not. He kept the King and the livestock . Samuel cried out to the Lord all night long and now Saul tells Samuel that the Lord is Samuel's God. What is more pleasing? Burnt offerings and sacrifices or obedience to His voice? Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft and stubbornness as bad as worshipping idols. David becomes Saul's favorite armor bearer.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Diamonds on the floor

Accountability. Ew. Sometimes I just don't want to hear it! My prayer/accountability partner, Gail Mashburn nails me with conviction a lot. Our prayer time Monday night was very revealing...sweet, convicting and today...welcoming.

I've had a lingering major prayer request that I cannot even utter. Only two people in the whole world know about this request. Gail who is my current prayer partner and my beloved friend, Denise Prudhomme. It has weighed heavy on me for almost two years. Last night while praying with Gail, (and emailing, calling and texting my friend Denise) I realized I needed to let go of the burden, quit praying that God would work it out my way and just give it to Him.

And Gail said, "That what I have been praying for you for over a year now."

Okay...so I'm slow.

I just wanted to fix things by praying and letting God know the way I thought it should be fixed. Last night in tears and true agony, I gave it up...and my prayer/accountability partner was right beside me crying too. I quote a line from a song... "she started crying...I didn't know what to do...so I sat there and I cried too"--teardrops as diamonds on the floor. That's my sweet friends. Their teardrops with/for me are like precious diamonds.

Just one more stepping stone of faith. Giving up my wants and needs and asking God for His.

It has been some kind of struggle. A faith builder. Now that I've let go... God can work.

Just got this devotional today...which seems confirmation of what I have released. I love it when God reassures us that we are walking the way He wants us to walk.
From Our Father's Heart

Guard your heart!
There is an onslaught of deception
that has been loosed in this world,
and you need to be able to discern truth.
Your ability to overcome the deception that is prevalent,
and that which is to come,
will be directly related to how much you devote yourself to Me
and how much My Word reigns in your heart.
You will have little power to see
if I am not allowed to see for you.
You will be deceived by what is spoken
if My Word and My Holy Spirit do not filter truth from error for you.
Beginning now, you must find all the areas in your life
that do not belong to Me,
those areas that have not been put under My Lordship.
These are areas that you have been functioning in
with your own wisdom, strength, and power.
They are the most vulnerable to the enemy.
These areas are susceptible to deception, confusion, and folly.
Great harm will soon come to you
through these breaches in your spiritual hedge
if they have not been given to Me.
Find where you are functioning in your own gifts and abilities.
Find where you are so comfortable that you do not need Me.
Surrender your most minute sins,
your smallest indiscretions, your bits of judgment,
your wandering thoughts.
Repent of them.
Give them to Me.
Let My Holy Spirit show you what they are
and submit them to My Word so that you will be safe.
Holding on to them is not wise.
In fact, if you choose to harbor them in your heart,
they will soon take you places
that are not safe for you to be.
I am not in those places.
You really do not want to go there.

Isaiah 30:21-22 NIV Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the way; walk in it."
22) Then you will defile your idols overlaid with silver and your images covered with gold; you will throw them away like a menstrual cloth and say to them, "Away with you!"
Mark 4:24 AMP And He said to them, Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you - and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.
If we disobey any of the physical laws, we naturally pay the consequences. If you stick your hand into a fire, you will get burned. If you jump off a building, gravity will do its job. You will land hard, possibly hard enough to kill you.
There are consequences to us if we violate the laws of society. If we break them, we pay the penalty.
Why is it that we pay so little attention to the directions that have been provided for us in God's Word? Following the Lord would seem to be the wisest course of action we could ever take. In fact, throughout the Word it says that if we do not follow Him, our lives will be out of order. Almost on a regular basis, we deviate from those cautions, hedge on our commitment, discard His warnings; and then wonder why our lives are out of order. It really makes little sense.
When I remember how out-of-line my life was when I didn't follow the Word and its directions, even after I came to the Lord, I realize how much more difficult it will be to do so as times get more deceptive. I won't have a chance unless I determine in my heart to take His cautions very seriously and then follow through to the point of complete submission to Him in every area of my life.

Needing His power to even start,
Jim Corbett

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Testing...One Two Three

I am really being tested as God grows my faith. I'll write about it later.

Just know this one thing...

The testing makes me happy...

If God didn't love me...he wouldn't test me.

It's time to expand the elastic of my heart and trust Him deeper.

I just can't wait to see what God is going to do with this willing heart.

(Am I shaking in my boots....? You betcha!)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Being real

I touched on the subject of this particular blog with my daughter in law and it has just 'haunted' me. I need to tell the story, the whole story. It's not something someone can make up...this really happened.

I was five years old in my Christian walk. 35 years old...old enough to know better. Hadn't dated in over 5 years. Wanted someone to love me, desiring to be desired.

A man I know from work hopped on my desk and asked me out. I was so giddy. This is what I knew about him...he was not a Christian and he was a very wild person. But then I thought I could be good enough for both of us. And anyway...he had been the ONLY person that had acted like he was attracted to me. He pursued me for days and days and days. . . until I decided it must be GOD'S will, because God would protect me if it wasn't.

So I went out with him. We 'dated' for two years. It is true the bad people never rise to a good person's status...it's always the other way around. I compromised everything I believed in. Many of my Christian friends warned me I was going to get hurt...but they didn't know him. They didn't know how he loved me...they didn't realize that no one else was interested in me...and it just HAD to be God's will for me.

And then it happened. One day he left. He said as he walked out of my life "I always thought you were different than most women I knew...but now...I see you're just the same."

Compromise makes you blend in with the world.

My heart was broken in two. I think I cried non-stop for 3 days. My insides hurt. I hurt because I had loved him so much...and then I began to hurt because reality set in and what I had done to my Lord and Savior was even worse.

I sat on the bed and wept because I had sinned so flagrantly. And didn't even want to acknowledge it until I had lost everything. My friends...my family kept telling me I was going to get hurt... and after two years of warnings their words came true.

I began to teach literacy to this HUGE black man. His name was Ollie. He was 45 years old. He knew the Bible, could quote any scripture for you, but had never learned to read. And his desire what not only to know the word of God, but to read the word of God.

What a godly man he was. He was not only a man's man--6'6" and as muscled wide as he was tall, he was God's man. We had known each other while I was in the middle of my sin...and now here I was, broken in two...trying to pretend that nothing was wrong.

This is the part that sometimes people have a hard time putting their minds around...but it really did happen.

This particular Wednesday night, Ollie and I met in one of the classrooms at church and started on our lesson. He always called me "Ms. Teacher".

"Ms. Teacher," he said. "Something is wrong, tell me."

I declined and said we had to get back to our studies.

The room became dim --and Ollie-- I guess I can only describe it as he was 'glowing.' There was an aura around him .... I just kept staring at him wondering what was happening.

He pointed to his right...and as I followed his hand his finger pointed toward a chair...sitting in a room full of chairs...but I only saw that one.

He said "Ouida," (he never called me by my name!!!!) "You see that chair sitting there?"
"Yes," I said very quietly.
"God told you to sit there and wait. But while you've been away, your mate came by and you missed him."

I stared at Ollie and the lights came on again and he was looking normal again acting as if nothing had happened. And I sat there with my mouth opened and tears of regret, tears of remorse and tears of denial falling down my face.

Ollie wanted to know what was wrong.

"Don't you know what just happened?" I nearly screamed! He shook his head no.

"Ms. Teacher, why are you crying?"

And I confessed to him about my sin. He laid those big hands on my head and prayed one of the sweetest prayer for me. After he had prayed, I asked God to forgive my sin, cleanse me, break me, bend me, whatever He needed to do to keep me from rebelling again.

It was a very hard time of revelation for me. Knowing my sin caused me to lose what God had in store for me. I know too well what happens when we don't listen to those who truly love us... and I know even 20 years later that God doesn't change to accommodate for the sin...He allows our sins to have consequences... life long consequences.

I still regret my sin...not hopeless about it, for I know I've been forgiven. As God allowed Moses to walk to the top of the mountain and view the Promised Land...I know too well how he felt as he realized he would never enter it.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! My sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

I cling to Isaiah 54 these days. Knowing that God is my husband...and that is and will be the best for me.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Wow...wish I could re-raise my children.

Sometimes I think I should have a second chance to raise my children. I was such a child when I had my first one. There are parents in this world that I could certainly glean from. And here's the link to one of them.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Changing as the Spirit Leads

I study my Connect Group lesson all week long before I teach it. I read it on Sunday night, then look over it daily during my quiet time. Then Saturday mornings, I devote at least 3 hours to compile it, I read it out loud and sometimes I get so excited I just have to stand up and give God the glory!

This past week it was all about the authority of God's Word. God's Word being the only book we should search for answers to our problems, answers to questions...and also, if we really want to challenge ourselves...read a portion and dissect it word for word and look the meanings up in the Greek or Hebrew.

I prepared my lesson on the knowledge that the Jewish believers had The Word they knew...the Old Testament. How their parent's made their children--from the age of 5-- memorize the WHOLE Old Testament. And now, in this "New Testament" church, Jewish believers were trying to get the Gentile Believers to adhere to all the laws and rituals that the Jews had, for hundreds of years adhered to (this was their heritage!). After all these hundreds of years it was so difficult...they couldn't conceive how the death of Christ would be an atonement for their sins when the Law that had been set up with Moses had them sacrificing clean animals for their uncleanliness--according to the Word they had memorized.

God, however, put a little 'wrench' in my lesson yesterday. A Jewish woman, who is not a believer came to our class. After she introduced herself... I remembered that I had read a note she had written on one of the first time visitor cards: "I'm Jewish, is it okay if me and my family attend your church?"

...I realized in the middle of my lesson I needed to change my verbiage. I didn't need to soften the Bible's truth, but I needed to allow God to use Truth in the only way He could...and I needed to step aside and just be quiet.

As I'm talking about Paul admonishing Timothy to stop the Jewish people from forcing the Gentiles into circumcision (because the Jews said that that was the only way they would/could receive the Holy Spirit---and that would be evidence that they had received the Holy Spirit) God put a picture in my mind of the torn curtain in the tabernacle. Man performed circumcisions...God Himself ripped the veil.

I was able to take what could have been a very hurtful (Ouida-made) explanation of the Jews behavior and demonstrate through God's illustration of the torn veil, how the old laws had been replaced with the new "Covenant". . . How God allowed His son to come to earth to tear away the old traditions, rules & regulations and become the only atonement necessary for sins. The veil between God and man had been ripped and now the Holy Sacrifice of Jesus Christ took away the "necessity" of the many laws and sacrifices of the Covenant made with Moses. Jesus IS the New Covenant. I explained that this was a new thing for these Jewish believers...having been 'steeped' in tradition for all these hundreds of years... but also, we needed to look at their traditions too, to better understand the brevity of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

We need to be more family oriented like the Jewish people...more traditional in our 'rituals (prayer, family study time, quiet time, bible study)' and less legalistic about rules and regulations that have nothing to do with a true relationship with the Sacrificial Lamb of God.

And we need to seek Truth. Truth...the person of Jesus Christ. Seeking Truth just on Sundays isn't going to fulfill us. Truth everyday... then Truth will certainly set us free from traditions, rules & regulations.

Was any of that in my lesson plan? No. But... it was in God's plan!

She left our class excited...one of the ladies in the class had given her "A New Believer's Bible" and she held that Bible like we should hold the Word of God...like a treasure.

I have so much to teach and so much to give----but I have so much more to learn.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Humbleness on the side, please.

It's amazing to me how life weaves patterns that we don't see until God unveils them and it's only then we see how it all fits together.

I decided to take a course in our "University Life" on Wednesday Nights called "Essential Ministry Leadership". It is being taught by two men in our church who also work for a ministry called The Institute of Biblical Leadership... www.iblministry.org

Actually the key take-aways from their course is that God wants certain essentials in His leaders and we need to be willing to capture our heart's thoughts regarding our own life and ministry.

These men travel around the country helping church leadership 'grow up'. Now, those are my words, because that is what I'm seeing in myself as I take their course. I need to grow up.

My prayer this year is that God change my character...and give me the want to to let Him. And WHAM...

A certain person said a major untruth about me in front of some people that I lead as a Sunday School teacher. Just last night I told a dear friend whom I have much confidence in that I wish I could grasp this person around the neck who is causing these problems and give them a much needed shaking.

And then--I hear David Phelan say something like "If your first reaction is to slap the person doing the offending...then you have an integrity problem."

Hm. I got slapped. All I could think was...DANG... WHY CAN'T I GROW UP????

To build a ministry of integrity we must "embrace God's desire with purpose and intent. We must resolve to pursue integrity without consideration to the cost, we must view all relationships and circumstances as being sifted through God's hands and we must honestly define the unique temptations found in public ministry."

I left the class realizing that I have GOT to grow up and be a woman of integrity. I must seek God's face before I react and I must NOT react until I seek God's face.

I need to start seeking God's face about my lack of humility...instead of asking Him to put it aside--to be dealt with later. Would you pray for me?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

18 more days

I continue to read the Bible chronologically and making a note about something that peaked my interest or I discovered.

Jan. 19...God gave Satan permission to challenge Job. "Fire rained down from God in heaven & killed sheep & shepherds." What is that about?

"Should we only accept good things from God and never anything bad?"

Job called God "O Watcher of all Humanity." Another interesting Name of God.

20/21. Job's friends are challenging him for saying he did nothing to warrant what God has allowed to happen to him. With friends like that...who needs enemies?

I can't help but wonder if this is how Joseph felt in prison...he just never recorded it.

22-So his friends are doctors...Job 13:4 Job prays in vs 20 and on...I wonder if God cried as he watched his faithful servant writhe in misery. I wonder if God became angry as Job told him that He destroyed people's hope.

23- "I suffer when I defend myself and I suffer no less if I refuse to speak". Poor Job. "I need someone to mediate between God and me, as a person mediates between friends."

"My days are over. My hopes have disappeared. My heart's desires are broken."

24-"Even if I have sinned that is my concern, not yours." This is the chapter where the phrase 'skin of my teeth' comes from. Job 19.

25-I knew Job was a righteous man, however I'm wondering if this is the first time he has experienced what the 'poor' experienced and is finally seeing how the other half lives. He now knows loss, hunger, people stealing land borders... And his friends keep yammering.

26-Job 27. Throughout all of his friends' accusations, Job still says "What hope do the godless have when God cuts them off and takes away their life?" I know I've often wondered when going through a tragedy "How do people without God survive these things?" Job's hope was still in God, even with his pain, sadness and 'friends'. "The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding". 28:28

27-Elihu...the 4th friend, younger than the rest challenges Job that no one but God is sinless, perfect and without wrong. He has good points but then again, he's in attack mode.

28-30 Question God long enough...and he will question you!

31- When God says "who" we need to say "It is I." instead of looking for someone else to blame. God rewards honesty. I wonder why God allowed Job's 3 daughter's names to be listed in the Bible but not his sons. Inquiring minds would like to know.

1- Exodus begins about 300 years after Joseph's death. Generations of children have changed things in Egypt. Pharaoh said all boys born to the Israelites are to be thrown in the Nile. Interesting that Moses' mother put him in the same river...in a basket. When Moses was 40 he murdered the Egyptian...and now here he is 80 years old--and meets God in a burning bush. God gives us His ETERNAL NAME: Yahweh. And we continue to see ourselves in Moses' life...he can't believe that God could use him.

2-4 On the way to Egypt at a place where Moses and family had stopped for the night, the Lord confronted him and was about to kill him. [what is this about...just a random verse?]

"Let my people go" seems like every other plague Moses warned Pharaoh, but not about the firstborn.

5-God told them to celebrate this day/event by a 7 day feast. They must present the firstborn of everything to God as a sacrifice. After sacrificing it, they must break it's neck. However God had to put in the rules that they had to buy back each son without wringing his neck. We people are so stupid.

God said "If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in His sight, obeying His commands and keeping His decrees then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you."

Monday, January 18, 2010

18 days.

As I wondered what to do to "top" 2009 in actually reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, the answer came plain and simple. Read it again. I did really sigh, but thought I needed to do something different. I felt impressed to write at least one sentence about each days reading. That was going to take just a few more minutes of my morning quiet time...so I thought..yeah...that's what I'll do.

Today is day 18 of reading the Bible in 2010...and I thought I'd put some of my thoughts in my blog that I have written in my journal.

"I find it interesting that God told the man not to eat of the tree in the middle of the garden. God must have expected the man to take his rightful place in family order and warn his wife concerning the tree...and then stick to God's words. "Since you listened to your wife..." shows that Adam knew better but gave into the free will given him. I wonder what would have happened if Adam had refused the fruit...but allowed only Eve to eat it.

"Isn't is interesting that all the men lived up to 900 some odd years--which was normal. Sin was prevalent and God was becoming angry...I wonder if he is at wit's end in today's world. So much violence, thumbing Almighty God's name...I need to remember the one verse at end of Chapter 6...."So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him." Kind of different than Adam and Eve.

Why have I not seen this before. God commanded Noah to take seven pair of clean animals to use in their sacrifices and to eat. All I remember all my adult life is two by two...yet it's right there in black and white. I don't remember ever reading that.

Cush was an ancestor of Nimrod who was the first heroic warrior on earth. First 'superhero'. Interesting.

From Canaan came the ancestors of the Sidonians, Canaan also was an ancestor of the Hittites, Jehusites, Amorites and Girgashites.

When Abram heard Lot and all his people & belongings had been captured, he took all 318 of his men, attacked this huge army of the enemy and got Lot, his people and belongings back. I guess when there's no one behind your back whispering to you that you can't do it...you just believe God.

It is rumored that Melchizedek was Christ Himself, but here it says he was a priest of El Elyon--God most High.

When the king whom Abram had defeated said he would pay to get his own belongings back from Abram, Abram gave them back without pay. Reminds me when David was in the same situation and he had said he refused to be given money for something that cost him nothing. And I see that Abram built altars and praised God. Maybe that is what is missing in my life. When God does answer my prayers I don't honor Him, it's almost like I feel I deserve it. Maybe there ought to be more altar-building in my life.

And Abram believed the Lord and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.

Hagar named God "You are the God who sees me." sweet.

Genesis 18 is all about comfort zones. Three men came to Abraham..I know one was the Lord and one was the LORD...could the 3rd one be the Holy Spirit?

Lot's offspring through his own daughters became the Moabites and the Ammonites.

Abraham planted a tree and worshipped the Lord. (Another altar.)

After sacrificing a ram instead of his son Isaac, Abraham named the place "Yahweh Yireh"...The God who Provides.

Abraham's brother Nahor was the grandfather of Rebekah...Jacob's wife. Hm...interesting.

It's interesting that the woman is behind the lie. Rebekah had Jacob lie to the get the birthright...and Jacob I guess shrugged his shoulders and just did it. Is that REALLY honoring your mother? Then Jacob has to leave his mother and father out of fear of being killed by his brother?

"To get back" at his dad for not giving him the blessing, Esau married Ishmael's daughter. Jacob gets a visit from the LORD on the stairway to heaven. Jacob decides then to give a 10th of everything he owned at the altar he built where he saw the stairway.

Leah was the mother of Reuben; Simeon; Levi; Judah (Christ's lineage); Issachar, Zebulun...Rachel's servant had Dan; Naphatali. Leah's servant had Zilpah; Gad and Asher. Rachel had Joseph and Benjamin.

There will always be unscrupulous businessmen like Laben. ..wanting something for nothing. Unfortunately, Jacob is also the same type of businessman. . . and I do believe Rachel is cut out of the same cloth. She stole the family gods.

Chapter 32 in Genesis... ah...remind God of His promises. He loves to hear His word back to him. El-Elohi Israel...God the God of Israel....El Shaddai---God Almighty.

Esau was also known as Edom..thus...the Edomites.

I wonder if Joseph felt he was successful as he dealt with one 'tragedy' after another. In God's word, God said he continued to bless Joseph. What was Joseph thinking when he was "blessed" by being thrown into the cistern then sold as a common slave (and really...what did the brothers do with the money they collected from selling him?)

Was Joseph praising God for the blessing of being accused of nearly raping Potiphar's wife? Was he feeling blessed in prison? Inquiring minds want to know!

Pharaoh gave Joseph a new name...Zaphenath-paneah which means: God speaks and lives.

That is a blessing.

I think that Jacob knew all along that his 10 other sons had done something with Joseph. I wonder if he "pondered these things in his heart". But today's reading...we have a happy reunion in Egypt.

As the family moved to Egypt and Joseph began to buy every one's land for food, to the point that only Pharaoh had food and land... is this the beginning of the Egyptians rule over the Israelites...when did the happy turn to the captive?