Sunday, July 28, 2013

God is a Lion and God is a Lamb


"In that day the wolf and the lamb will live together; the leopard will lie down with the baby goat. The calf and the yearling will be safe with the lion, and a little child will lead them all." Isaiah 11:6

God is a lion. He roars for His people and their hearts. His roar is eternal and it will not be silenced. God will be fiercely after our hearts with a passion that is mighty.

"But this is what the Lord has told me: “When a strong young lion stands growling over a sheep it has killed, it is not frightened by the shouts and noise of a whole crowd of shepherds. In the same way, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will come down and fight on Mount Zion." Isaiah 31:4

God sent His son, Jesus, to be sacrificed for our sins. For each of us. He is our lamb. He was as a lamb, slaughtered to feed His people spiritual food.

"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29

The enemy is a vicious lion. He waits to roar after his prey and snatch us up into his jaws. But God wants to protect us from the jaws of the enemy lion. It is His desire, and it is easy for Him.

"At that moment the Spirit of the Lord came powerfully upon him, and he ripped the lion’s jaws apart with his bare hands. He did it as easily as if it were a young goat." Judges 14:6

Jesus is our worthy lamb. He is worthy of our praise and trust. Worthy of us laying down our own lives to serve Him. Without words we convey that He is not worthy when we do not trust our life to Him. Did He not lay down His own life and shed blood for us as our lamb?  There is nothing more He needs to do to prove Himself worthy.

"And they sang in a mighty chorus: “Worthy is the Lamb who was slaughtered— to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing.” Revelation 5:12

God is a lion who will one day devour His enemies. God is powerful! We are to live in fear of the Lord and with reverence to Him.

"The lion has roared— so who isn’t frightened? The Sovereign Lord has spoken— so who can refuse to proclaim his message?" Amos 3:8

Our walls are to be built upon the foundation of Christ. Our lamb. A wall built upon the foundation of Christ will never be destroyed.

"The wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were written the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb." Revelation 21:14

God is a strong, noble lion with strength that is unmatched by any animal or any human. He wants to show us His power---but we must ask. He is lying as a peaceful lion, waiting for us to call on His power.

"By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions..." Hebrews 11:33

God is gentle as a lamb in His love for His people. He sent a gentle shepherd, Jesus, to guide his lambs. But God is also a powerful lion who hates evil and will one day wipe evil from the face of the planet.

Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life."
Revelation 21:27

We are to be gentle as a lamb in displaying our faith. We also need to be courageous as a lion. Standing guard to the evil around us so that it does not overtake us.

"Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8

We are fed and taken care of by God and His word. He carries His people and He holds them close, just as a shepherd leads his flock.

"He will feed his flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in his arms, holding them close to his heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young." Isaiah 40:11

We are protected by the most powerful of lions, God. The mightiest Most High God is on the side of His people. We are not to fear. We are on the side of the most powerful lion!

We do not want to let the enemy devour us by standing on the wrong side.

God is our enduring, secure, unyielding, powerful, and mighty lion. He is on the throne.

“Stop weeping! Look, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the heir to David’s throne, has won the victory."
Revelation 5:5

"And he gave a great shout like the roar of a lion. And when he shouted, the seven thunders answered." Revelation 10:3

"For someday the people will follow me. I, the Lord, will roar like a lion. And when I roar, my people will return trembling from the west." Hosea 11:10

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Home Is A Haven When God is There



"A river brings joy to the city of our God, the sacred home of the Most High. God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed.  From the very break of day, God will protect it." -Psalm 46:4-5

Sometimes I can't help but wonder if as Christians we have forgotten the true definition of home? Home is supposed to be our haven. It is where life happens and lives are built. It's the foundation of our life. It's where dinner conversation is lively and inquisitive. It's where life is sorted out, birthdays are celebrated and the big questions are asked of God. It's where love is built and cherished. It's a sacred place. Yet so many seem to be out and about in a chronic rush and illness of avoiding home.

Our homes have become more of a showpiece house and less of a home. When others come over it looks like a showpiece because we are never there! If we are home, truly letting life happen in our home, floors get dirty, carpets get stained and things can get messy quickly, especially with children. Things get disorganized, there are dirty dishes in the sink and toys on the floor. There are piles of books and magazines by the beds waiting to be read by those who live there. I'm not advocating everything being overly messy or cluttered, but rather that there is a balance when we really let life be in our homes. When we let God be in our homes.

God dwells in our homes when we ask Him too. He's the river of life running through it. He brings life, spirit, laughter, love, liveliness, and forgiveness to our homes. He's the one who sustains the home and brings the breath of life to it. We want God to dwell in our homes and that takes daily intent. God's spirit doesn't truly dwell in our homes if we aren't on an intentional quest for His spirit to dwell within ourselves daily. He dwells within us and it pours out onto those we love and into our homes.

People are running back and forth chaotically avoiding home. Are we afraid of what God will say? Maybe we are afraid if we slow down enough to listen God will ask big things of us. Maybe we're afraid of what sin God will make us face in our life. Home is truly a place where we are required to stop and slow down enough to listen to God's voice. Let's not avoid it. Home is the beginning, the "bottom stones" that the foundation of our wall of life is built on. And we want a firm foundation. We can't be afraid to listen to what God will say to us there.

Hastily running around, to this activity and that---filling our empty calendar days to feel important, to "fill us up"---is only emptying us. It empties our souls of God and His word. He can't fill us up when we won't stop to be filled. He wants us to "pursue and knock" at His door. He wants us to take the time to want to do it ourselves.

 When we run around as a lifestyle, our soul will quickly become depleted, rather than a place where the Holy Spirit can give us life. When we are chronically stricken with the busyness disease, we also leave the door open to the things we let in that the door should have been slammed on. We let in a lot of the sinful things of the world when we are out running away from our haven of security, our homes. Our homes are our protection. They are the place where we determine the values that are brought in, where we determine what is let in and what is not. If we are never there to create this atmosphere, the door is wide open to whomever and whatever will come into make that atmosphere for us. The atmosphere and culture of our homes takes work and effort.

We have to put up our spiritual doorposts and build the spiritual walls around our homes that are unshakable. The signs are outside the gates of our homes whether we realize it or not. What do they say? "The culture of shallowness and anger and dispute and humanism dwell here." Or do they say, "God, giver of life, restoration, forgiveness, love, fun, joy and growth reside in this home?"

"She was the brash, rebellious type,  never content to stay at home." Proverbs 7:11

God knows the importance of home. He's the one who invented home! He's the one who gave us a home country, culture, and then a home in that land. He knows it's where we are shaped and molded---but He needs to be there. We have to ask God to dwell in our homes and bring His spirit of life. He won't bring anything that we are to be afraid of or anything that is too hard to face. He will bring life and peace into it. He will bring joy and abundant life. Let's not be afraid to dwell in our homes ourselves so that God can dwell in them.  If we are out running around avoiding home, the very place we sink so much money into each month, there may be more we are avoiding than we are admitting to ourselves. 

He will bring the life back into our homes, because He is the very essence of life Himself. He designed life and He designed the very idea of home. He wants to be the One who provides that haven of rest and peace in our homes.

"The world's battlefields have been in the heart chiefly; more heroism has been displayed in the household and the closet, than on the most memorable battlefields in history." -Henry Ward Beecher

Prayer: "Lord, if I am avoiding "being at home"---show me why. Reveal my heart and my fears to me and show me that you have already conquered my fears and my sin. Show me how to dwell in your presence and make my home a place your presence dwells. Help make my home your home, a dwelling place for the Most High."

A man ought to live so that everybody knows he is a Christian... and most of all, his family ought to know. -D.L. Moody

"The Lord curses the house of the wicked, but he blesses the home of the upright." Proverbs 3:33

"Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home!" Proverbs 8:34

"A person who strays from home is like a bird that strays from its nest. Proverbs 27:8"

"I would bring you to my childhood home, and there you would teach me. I would give you spiced wine to drink, my sweet pomegranate wine." Song of Solomon 8:2

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth. 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Motherhood is for A Lifetime


"The mother's heart is the child's schoolroom."
                        - Henry Ward Beecher 

Sometimes we often joke that when we are unburdened with young children and toddlers, we will have more freedom for ourselves. We can travel without hindrance and finally "achieve" those things we got held up from when our children were young. And it's partially true---to enjoy a vacation, a real vacation without all the gear of babies, naps and fussy times, will surely be wonderful. To read a book in a few days time, rather than a few months time--or let's face it a few years-- will be much needed and enjoyed!

Although the diapers, late nights, breastfeeding, bottles, sicknesses and making every meal will be gone eventually, the truth is they will need us in other ways. The needs of a child for his or her mother is never lessened. It just changes with the seasons of life. The need of a child for a mother is designed by God for a lifetime.

"As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." - Isaiah 66:13

God knew what He was doing when He designed mothers. He needed someone to care for His children, provide nourishment---physical, spiritual, emotional and mental. He needed someone to be a reflection of His love for them, even though we can never love them as much as God loves them.

Our children don't stop needing us when they are ten and can make some food for themselves, shower themselves and be more independent. They don't stop needing us when they are sixteen and can drive themselves. They don't stop needing us when they are studying in college. The need doesn't stop when they are married. No, the needs just change but they are still there.

They need us to listen when they have the big questions of life. The what is God's plan for my life and whom should I marry questions. The debate on what job to take questions, the dreams of their heart and the things that they fear. The inner things they struggle with inside themselves. The how do I cook this or that questions. The can I wash this in the washing machine questions. They need us for that too. Our children lean on us and look to us and our lives. They need us to comfort and they need us to be strong. These are the very things we look to God to be for ourselves, aren't they?

As mothers we have to look to God to comfort, to give strength, to provide wisdom on how to mother the children He gave us. To give us energy to make it through the day. We have to lean on God to be a mother. He is our strong tower, our Adonai. We can lean on Him to mother for a lifetime. It is only through leaning on God that we are able to accomplish this. Our fragile human strength will never achieve this apart from God.

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." Proverbs 18:10

Our society may think of mothering as temporary at times, that it ends when our children turn 18. No, it doesn't end, it changes. Mothering never ends. We will short change our children if we think it ends. If at that moment they move out of our home, we count ourselves as "free."

Mothering is a lifetime of laying down ones life for your children. Mothering is mothering the motherless that may come into our lives. It is answering the 2am phone call. It is staying up late listening to their hearts. It is being a grandmother when your child has had a new baby and their eyelids can't stay open any longer from lack of sleep. It is answering the how do I get the baby to stop crying questions. How do I do this and that questions. Mothering is cleaning your childs house when they are too tired to move. Mothering is comfort. Mothering is taking care of them when they are 40 years old and sick. Mothering is reflecting God. Mothering is love. Mothering is being a servant of Christ.

"Since Jesus highly values children, mothers are His servants when they bless their children for Him." - Art Birch

Why does the culture we live in find this so hard? Because our self sacrifice smells of the fragrance of Christ. The world rejects Christ, remember? “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you." John 15:18-19 

Our living for others smells of not living only for ones self. Self sacrifice is hard and it goes against the cultures ideals of selfishness. We go against selfishness when we give up a giant corporate paycheck for our children. We go against selfishness when we think that these God created children that are more valuable than any dollar signs. We go against selfishness when we aren't out everyday pursuing our own desires. We go against selfishness when we cut corners to do with less possessions to be with our children, train them, and love them.

"For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing..." 2 Corinthians 2:15

What did Jesus do with His life? He ministered to those God put in front of Him. He laid down His life for those He loved. Us. Too often we think laying down our life means actual physical death that takes our body from this world. But laying down our life also means dying to ourselves.  

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me. Galations 2:20

God never stops being our Heavenly Father when we are older, does He? He never stops comforting our hearts and our minds. He never stops teaching us and He never stops loving us.

Mothers--in a lot of ways we are our children's lifelong "friends." This isn't meant in a non disciplining, non parental way, but in a Godly way. Jesus also meant that when we lay down our life for those we love, although they may have the name of "child", there is nothing greater.

 "Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends." John 15:13

"A mother is the truest friend we have, when trials, heavy and sudden, fall upon us; when adversity takes the place of prosperity; when friends who rejoice with us in our sunshine, desert us when troubles thicken around us, still will she cling to us, and endeavor by her kind precepts and counsels to dissipate the clouds of darkness, and cause peace to return to our hearts."
- Washington Irving

 This is what a mother is called to do by God. Never stop loving, never stop comforting, never stop teaching. Never stop giving. She provides a haven of peace. She lays down her selfishness at the foot of the cross. She will do it with God's strength and wisdom guiding her for a lifetime.

The loveliest materpiece of the heart of God is the love of a Mother.
-St. Therese of Lisieux

 Prayer: "God, help me to love my children as you love them. Show me your heart for them. Show me how to guide them with your wisdom and show them Yourself through me." Amen.

"As apostles of Christ we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children."
- 1 Thessalonians 2:7

"I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also."
- 2 Timothy 1:5

"So it is not the will of my Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish." Matthew 18:14

"Becoming a mother makes you the mother of all children. From now on each wounded, abandoned, frightened child is yours. You live in the suffering mothers of every race and creed and weep with them. You long to comfort all who are desolate."
- Charlotte Gray

 "A mother's yearning feels the presence of the cherished child even in the degraded man."
- George Eliot 

"Women know the way to rear up children (to be just). They know a simple, merry, tender knack of tying sashes, fitting baby-shoes, and stringing pretty words that make no sense. And kissing full sense into empty words."
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning




A Heart of Idleness: A Lazy and Slothful Heart

"God will never direct us to be prideful, arrogant and unforgiving, immoral or slothful or full of fear. We step into these things because we are insensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit within us."
-Charles Stanley

Working hard at what we do is a great skill. There are many people in the world that are considered the best at what they do. Outwardly they look as if they have achieved a lot, possibly made a lot of money and own a lot of possessions. But we hear little about working hard on hearts and minds. We may work hard at what we do, but we need to work harder at what we are.

Being slothful is not just a physical trait, it can be emotional and mental. Many outward hard workers can still have a slothful (lazy) heart and mind.

I went by the field of the lazy man,
And by the vineyard of the man devoid of understanding;

And there it was, all overgrown with thorns;
Its surface was covered with nettles;
Its stone wall was broken down.

Proverbs 24: 30-31

The man devoid of understanding (wisdom) had a vineyard, but it was overgrown with thorns, and it's wall was broken down.  He had the right idea by buying a vineyard (hard worker), but lacked the wisdom to make it thrive.

Sometimes this is how we act in life. We have the dedication to our work to make the outward successful, but our hearts and minds are overgrown with thorns and nettles. Had the man in the above proverb not been devoid of wisdom inside, his heart and mind would have thrived and his vineyard would have then thrived outwardly.

Being slothful is defined as:  "Spiritual or emotional apathy, neglecting what God has spoken, and being physically and emotionally inactive. Sloth can also indicate a wasting due to lack of use, concerning a person, place, thing, skill, or intangible ideal that would require maintenance, refinement, or support to continue to exist." (from wikipedia)

Many people in the world have heard God's voice through His word and yet continue to refuse inward action and growth. This is slothfulness. It is a lazy and idle heart.

Slothfulness is knowing what is right, and after hearing the truth, not taking action. It is not having the inner discipline to do what is right. It is a laziness of thought and feeling.

The word sloth comes from the Greek word for "carelessness." That is essentially what sloth is, a lack of caring. Because if we really cared about the truth of God and what we know is right and what He says to us---we would care enough to come out of our own laziness. Slothfulness is neglecting to use fully the gifts God has given us and we then live a life of God's gifts unused.

This is probably why "slothfulness" is on the list of the seven deadly sins. Because if we don't come out of our own laziness toward the truth of God, we will never accomplish all He has for us. Therefore we have lived a life wasted compared to what our full potential is in God. This is the ultimate result of a lifetime of slothfulness. When we know the truth of God but refuse to put it into action in our daily lives, it is deadly to us spiritually--which then overflows to the heart, mind and body.

 Slothfulness doesn't just happen. It is small daily actions that lead to a habit of our hearts. Small daily actions are what define us. Whether we realize it or not, to not be lazy requires intent. We have to have the intent to seek wisdom. The intent to not be spiritually lazy even when we are tired. The intent to pray and seek God's word for us daily. And most of all, we must have the self discipline to respond when God is calling to us.

Resting and being lazy are two different things. The body needs times of rest and break and God tells us resting is good. He knows we need a break sometimes! He designed our human body to need rest to obtain energy. But being constantly slothful is a state of the spirit. 

Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas is on to something when he writes, “Sloth is a kind of sadness, whereby a man becomes sluggish..."

If we have a deep sadness, anger, bitterness, or any feeling that is building up and causing the state of our spirit to become sluggish to God, let's pray that God reveals what it is and breaks the chains of our slothfulness!

Being lazy affects everyone around us. Our family and our children will suffer. It affects them because we are holding back and not giving our best to them--spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and from our hearts. If we don't work through our own areas of being stuck, we'll pass it on to them. We may think they don't notice, but they do and in the long term it will affect them and our relationships with them.

Hiding away from the pain that causes our slothfulness, whether behind a computer, tv screen, or whatever else it may be will not make us reach our full potential. The tv shows that we will have forgotten tomorrow were only a band aid. Very few at the end of their life will say "spending all that time on those computer games and tv shows really enriched my life." But the ones who had the wisdom to come out of their spiritual laziness will know that they lived a rich and full life filled with God's presence and love. They will know the self discipline they put into answering the voice of God was more than worth it, even when the path seemed narrow and rocky.

The opposite of laziness is diligence. The diligent heart realizes that by small steps of faithfulness each day, they will reach their goals. The temptation to laziness is still in a diligent persons heart. They have just realized that the diligent heart is faithful and peaceful. The diligent heart seeks wisdom and doesn't give in to the emotions that cause laziness. A diligent heart is steady and attentive to the Holy Spirit.

"The soul of a lazy man desires, and has nothing; But the soul of the diligent shall be made rich." Proverbs 13:4

Many get paralyzed in building the wall of God's truth around them. They are too lazy to tear down within themselves what needs to be torn down and rebuild based on God's truth for them. We should not desire the broken down wall, but the strong eternal wall around us that is unbreakable.

We can ask God to shine light on the roots of our inner laziness to give us a heart of energy! We don't have to be afraid of what is revealed. God never reveals anything to doom us! He will reveal things that need to be removed that will bring true freedom, joy and a new fullness to our hearts, minds and spirits.

Prayer: "Lord, show me the idle places of my heart and spirit. Shine light on them and give me the faithful energy to remove them so that I can live the full potential of who you created me to be." Amen.

"Leisure is the time for doing something useful. This leisure the diligent person will obtain the lazy one never." -Benjamin Franklin

"The very striving and hard work that we so constantly try to avoid  is the major building block in the person we are today." Pope Paul VI

"As vinegar to the teeth and smoke to the eyes, So is the lazy man to those who send him." Proverbs 10:26

"The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor." Proverbs 12:24

"The lazy man does not roast what he took in hunting, But diligence is man’s precious possession." Proverbs 12:27

"The lazy man says, “There is a lion outside! I shall be slain in the streets!”  Proverbs 22:13

"The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing." Proverbs 20:4

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

His Majesty


God made the Earth to reflect His creativity and His grand design. He shows us everywhere glimpses of Himself to show us different parts of His being. He puts Himself in plain view to all who are willing to see.

 "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse..." Romans 1:20

 The vastness, sheer size and beauty of the Grand Canyon.

"God thundereth marvellously with his voice; great things doeth he, which we cannot comprehend." Job 37:5


The many vivid colors of the aurora borealis.

"Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all [things] that [are] therein, the seas, and all that [is] therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee." Nehemiah 9:6

The detail and many species of the Great Barrier Reef.

"And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth." Genesis 1:26


Mount Everest

"You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!" Isaiah 55:12


 The delicate wings of a butterfly and intricate design.

 "And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl [that] may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven." Genesis 1:20


A field of lilies.

"I am the rose of Sharon, And the lily of the valleys." Song of Solomon 2:1

The miracle of new life.

"And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul." Genesis 2:7


These are only seven examples of the millions of ways God shows us Himself in His creation. The best of all is human life. We reflect God's image.

"So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27

 We see Him everyday and He makes himself evident. All eyes can see the work of God in plain sight.

"“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagine, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

"O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them." Psalm 40:5

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Be Still

"...meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still." Psalm 4:4

 It's a challenge to be still in today's world. Cell phones, fun apps, computers, tv's, and surfing the web. All of these can be fun and enjoyable. But all of these can at times take us away from being still in God's presence.

Being still in God's presence brings us direction, breathes life into us, and enables us to hear God's voice. It allows us not only to speak to God, but to listen.

Technology is important in today's world and it make many things easier. But we all have to decide the amount that is necessary in our lives. A whole day could be wasted away when on the internet and on various gadgets. Most of it will not have left you feeling peaceful and whole. It can leave you feeling depleted. And you can almost count that it will not have left you wiser to God's word.

It's so important to listen to God and learn from Him. Straight from His voice and straight from His word. There is no substitute, not even with all technology offers. God often speaks in a still and quiet voice.

We can't hear it if we don't make a conscious decision to make the time to listen. We have to strip away all the unnecessary distractions, and ask God for wisdom on what stays and what goes!

Contemplative prayer was a very important part of Jesus' life and the apostles.

After Jesus healed a man with leprosy, word got out. Crowds came to hear him preach and be healed. But amongst all of this, the Bible says that "Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer." Luke 5:16

Even Jesus had to retreat from all of the clamor to hear God's voice. We can only be strengthened and gain wisdom when we retreat from our busyness, our sometimes unnecessary activity to hear God's voice. If Jesus found it necessary, how much more is it necessary for us?

"And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God." Luke 6:12

We can miss a life truly lived for God if we don't go against the grain of constant clamor. We can miss what God really wants for us and our lives.

It's so important to have days with "nothing" on the schedule. "Nothing" doesn't mean there won't be some laundry, some dishes, some cooking, basic daily tasks, and taking care of our kids and playing with them. But "nothing" in our daily life can simply look like no extra activities, no extra busyness for that time period. If we always have to fill up with activity, we might be avoiding God's voice.

Our schedule doesn't need to be jam packed to make us feel good about ourselves. To make us feel we have a purpose. We already have a great purpose in God's eyes. He took the time to form us and shape us. He already feels good about us. 

"...for everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

God will give us time to do everything He sets before us in each designated season of life. And every season will require that some of that time is spent being still in His presence. Otherwise, we won't know what we are to be doing during that time of life that God has given us.

He won't tell us anything that will harm us. It might be challenging, but it will always be for our good. We shouldn't fill up all of our time because we are afraid of what God might tells us. He only has our good in mind. He is a loving father, without selfishness, and without flaw.  "You show lovingkindness to thousands, and repay the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them—the Great, the Mighty God, whose name is the Lord of hosts." Jeremiah 32:18

There is no scripture in the Bible that says we have to use every latest app, and be involved in every activity.
“Fools fold their idle hands, leading them to ruin.” Ecclesiastes 4:5

Being idle can also be defined as doing activities that aren't fruitful and are really time wasters. God only tells us not to be idle in His wisdom. It means don't be idle in living for Him, and don't be idle in the tasks He has specifically put before us to do with diligence. (ie supporting our family, raising our children, spending time with our families, doing the work that keeps our homes going and pays our bills)

We can be walking with folded idle hands, even while being busy, if we don't pursue the right things and use our time as wisely as we can. Our hands can be idle in God's eyes if we are wasting the work of our hands and not pursuing what He has given us to do.

When we are still we can learn of His holiness. We can see His majesty. His good works in our lives and all He has done. We have to have time to reflect on these things or we lost sight of all God has done and all He is to us. All He has done for us in the past and all He has planned for the future.

"Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well." Psalm 139:14

Our soul will not know this well if we are never still in His presence.

So take time to be still in whatever way you can. It will look different for everyone. It will bring you peace, learning, and greater understanding. Most importantly, it will help clear out the unnecessary clutter in your life, mind, body and soul.

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”  Psalm 46:10


Not Just A Hobby


"Strength and dignity are her clothing, and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue. She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” ...  Proverbs 31:25-30 

"As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you; you shall be comforted in Jerusalem." Isaiah 66:13


 "I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well."  2 Timothy 1:5

 "For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them." Psalm 139:13-16


"And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart." Luke 2:51

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Shepherdess


"Now while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess." Genesis 29:9

Another name for mother should be "shepherdess." We are the shepherdess of our home and of our little lambs.

The shepherdess doesn't let her lambs go astray. She guards them and keeps her flock together.

When an enemy comes to take her sheep, she fights for them. She is on guard to all who would attack her flock. She will take her lamb out of the enemies mouth.

She is on alert and not taken to idleness. She builds a hedge of protection for her sheep by her diligence in watching over them.

When a lamb goes astray, she searches until she has found her lamb. She rejoices when her lamb is found.

She makes sure her sheep are fed. She anticipates their needs. She knows her lambs by name.

She knows each of their cries when they are in distress. She runs to them.

She gives them a sense of belonging. She makes sure they have a place of rest and play under her watch.

When they are weak, she carries them in her arms. She will climb the highest mountain to get to them if they are stuck.

When they are sick she nurses them back to health.

She leads her sheep. They know her gentle voice and they follow her. Her lambs know she is to be trusted.

She instructs her sheep, blesses them, and gathers them together. She leads them down the right path with loving discipline.

The shepherdess stays with her sheep. She is not out frolicking in the next field, while they run astray.

The shepherdess is good to her sheep. She shows them mercy and love.  She is generous and she blesses them beyond measure.

She prays diligently for her sheep. She is their shepherdess for life.

She cultivates her field. She removes the rocks and thorns. Their dwelling place is free from fear.

She is greatly loved by her flock. They are always around her. They feel joy when they see their shepherdess.

She has a long term vision for the future of her flock, given to her by the Master Shepherd.

She provides them a place to call home so they will be strong and healthy.

She is a shepherdess. She is a mother. Guided by the Most High Shepherd.

"Save Your people, And bless Your inheritance; Shepherd them also, And bear them up forever." Psalm 28:9

"So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands." Psalm 78:72

"He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young." Isaiah 40:11

"I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord." Jeremiah 23:4

Being the Salt and Light Begins At Home

 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."  Matthew 5:13-16

Being salt and light begins at home. To be the salt and light we don't skip over our families and jump to the world. We begin at home. Home is our first mission field.

We are to be the light in our homes. For our family who lives there, but to all who enter. There should be no doubt that God is a member of your home.

Our children will learn how to be the salt of the earth if we model it to them first.

If we give light to all who are in our homes they will learn to be the light of the world.

They will grow up and be the salt and light to others. To their children. And their children's children. To those whom they cross paths with in their life.

Salt (iodine) is essential for life. It helps regulate the way in which we grow and develop. Spiritual salt works the same way. It helps to prevent us from spiritual decay and regulates the way we grow and develop spiritually.

Being the salt and light at home is so important. It is building a nation. It is building a foundation of God's life giving walls around you. There is no place better to start than at home.

Being the salt and light at home glorifies our Father in heaven.

We don't want our homes to be trampled. Our home is the foundation of our lives. As children we first see an example of salt and light in our homes. To grow ourselves to be the salt and light takes time. It takes diligence and real sacrifice. It takes focused intent. It means taking the time to get to know God.

It is the first mission of motherhood to be the salt and light to our families.

There is no large, temporary paycheck sent to you for being the salt and light.

There is reward in heaven and there is seeing your family walk with God.  We never know how being the salt and light now in our homes will reflect in future generations.

Being the salt and light of our homes means having a long term vision. A forever vision.

 We are called to be the salt and light of our homes. It is a noble and high calling.

It's God's call.

Prayer: "Lord, help me to be the salt and light at home. Help my children to see you through me. May they go forth and show the world that you are the salt and light of life. Help me to keep my long term vision and to never grow weary. Amen."

"Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  John 8:12

"And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations." Exodus 30:8

"For with You is the fountain of life; In Your light we see light." Psalm 36:9

"And every offering of your grain offering you shall season with salt; you shall not allow the salt of the covenant of your God to be lacking from your grain offering. With all your offerings you shall offer salt." Leviticus 2:13

"Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.” Mark 9:50

"Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one." Colossians 4:6

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lifting The Veil

Sunset Boats on Water 

..."But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, then the veil is taken away."  2 Corinthians 3:16

When we turn to the Lord, the veil covering our hearts and minds that blocks God's truth in this world is removed. We no longer walk in darkness. We walk in light and freedom. We walk with confidence in the truths God has spoken to us.

"Since this new way gives us such confidence, we can be very bold.  We are not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so the people of Israel would not see the glory, even though it was destined to fade away.  But the people’s minds were hardened, and to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, the same veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand." 2 Corinthians 3:12-15

The veil is removed when we believe in Christ. Believing is not merely knowing in our minds and hearts that Christ died on the cross for us. Many believe but still walk with a spiritual veil over their hearts and minds. The lies and half truths that we have absorbed still haven't been weeded out.

The Hebrew word for believe is "aman."  Believe means "to lean upon." We wouldn't lean against a rail that is on the edge of a cliff admiring the ocean if we believed the rail would give way and we'd fall off the cliff.  We trust that because the rail is there it will keep us safe. It's already done in our minds. 

When we believe in Christ, we are to be allowing our hearts and minds to lean on Him. We trust He will keep us safe from falling off the "cliff" in our lives. We are to believe that He will hold us up. It's to be already done in our hearts and minds! There is no doubt. IT IS SO. We are to lean on Christ knowing that all He says and promises in the Bible for us is already done! Why do we sometimes lean on Christ as if He will give way? We lean on Christ thinking if we walk a different path than the world it won't lead anywhere. We lean on Him as if He is weak and we are strong. We aren't really leaning on Him, are we? We are leaning on ourselves.

 Let's not live a whole lifetime never really leaning on God. We are to lean with confidence on the Lord. Place the weight of our faith on Jesus, not on ourselves. We then place the weight of our daily lives on God. Then He shows us what His ways are. He breaks through the veil of ourselves. We are to "be very bold" and lean the whole weight of our lives on Him. We are not to lean the whole weight of our lives on the flawed ideas of the world. Many of the ideas of the world are a veil- a veil of blindness. When we believe in them and the weight of our lives is in them, we cannot see Christ clearly.

"So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! And all of this is a gift from God, who brought us back to himself through Christ. And God has given us this task of reconciling people to him." 2 Corinthians 5:16-18

 A human point of view tells us that to change the way we live our lives and to live anew and transformed is too hard. But God is clear. Our old life is gone, and along with that our old, flawed views. A new life has begun. A life of seeing God's truth. We are no longer stuck behind a veil of half truths and false beliefs. We are to KNOW Christ and His ways.  We can only truly know someone that we have a personal, close relationship with. We are to get to know God and His thinking on matters in our lives.  How does He want us to live? What old ideas does He want to clear out? What does He want to fill those things we clear out with? What is He asking us to change in our lives? We have to allow God to "weed" out the old from our minds and hearts, and plant the fruitful things of Christ in us. This is also known as "take every thought captive" to Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:5) If we don't have our thoughts on important subjects and decisions weeded through by Christ and captive to His spirit, we are still living behind the veil.

But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image. 2 Corinthians 3:16-18

The promise to us is that when we lean the weight of our hearts and our minds on the Lord that the veil IS removed, and there IS freedom. And He WILL make us more like him. We have to seek it and we have to take action. We are to lean the weight of our belief, the weight of our confidence, on Christ alone. We can also interpret the word "turns" to truly turning our belief, our "weight", to God. Instead of where we had it turned, on ourselves.
Our life must be held up by God's strength. Our whole life and all our decisions must belong to God. Our hearts, minds and souls belong to God. Therefore we allow Him to shape our hearts, our beliefs and our thoughts. The way we function in the world and the things we will take part in are shaped by this belief.  He won't fail. He won't let us fall. He won't abandon us. Our belief is weighted on Him and in Him. Because He already said what He will do. It is already done. If we believe and are committed to seeing God with clear eyes, we are promised that we will be "changed into His glorious image."

The step of leaning the full weight of our confidence on Christ is up to us. Once we do, the rest is already done for us by believing in the power of God and His love for us- and He lifts the veil. Behind the veil is God's peace, wisdom and freedom.

 "Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.Galatians 5:1

Prayer: "Lord, lift the veil over my eyes (my heart and mind) that I may not even know is covering them. Help me to lean the full weight of my life on you. Lift the veil each day as I walk with you. Show me your truths, which will help me weed out the enemies deceptions and show me my own errors.Allow me to walk all of my days with you with the veil fully off of my heart and mind. Amen."

"...throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy." Ephesians 4:22-25

 "But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds.  Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him." Colossians 3:8-10

"For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives." Romans 6:4 

May God's peace and wisdom be with you as you build your own wall of God's truth.