Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Moses In Me

I always get sad when I read the story of Moses striking the rock to get water. The poor man has given so much to the people of Israel. He has helped them follow God through the wilderness. He has been their intercessor on so many occasions. He has listened to their complaints and whining. He has tried and he has given.
As a mom, I feel like I can identify with Moses on some level. There have been days when I just can’t take the complaints and whining any longer. “We are having chicken for dinner because that is what I made”. “No, you can’t have candy for breakfast”. “Don’t do that, it isn’t nice.” And the breaking point, “BECAUSE I SAID SO!”
I imagine Moses in the desert, wondering, “why don’t they get it?” God has shown miracle after miracle and the people are still complaining against Him, doubting Him. With the same level of drama as my seven year old daughter, I imagine the Israelites saying, “I can’t believe you brought us all this way, just to die of thirst”.
Moses once again goes to their Provider and asks for His mercy and blessings. God replies, “of course”. God instructs Moses to take the staff, go to the people and speak to the rock. But, Moses has reached his breaking point. He doesn’t go and speak to the people, he lashes out at them.
That hurts. To see myself in that breaking moment. It is tough. I can feel his regret.
God’s response, however is even more difficult for me to swallow. Moses will not be going into the Promised Land. It breaks my heart. God’s reasoning for this severe punishment? Moses had as much doubt as the people he was leading. He struck the rock because He didn’t believe in God’s voice to make it happen.
The thing that I just learned, in researching this event, is that this must have seemed like a bad reoccurring dream for Moses, Aaron and God. The place in which they are currently camped is the same place that the spies returned with a negative report of Canaan, forty years earlier. It is the same place that the children of Israel first turned their back on God and their punishment was forty years of wandering.
It was just too much for Moses. They were so close to entering the land of milk and honey, and he must have felt like they were back at square one.
Where was his intercessor? I want to know, who was willing to go to God on behalf of Moses? He had rescued so many people from the punishment they deserved and there was no one willing to speak up for him. And then, I remember, they can’t. No one could go to God for him. The veil had not been torn. No one was worthy enough to be in His presence.
Ugh, more heartbreak, and then praise!
Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for making it possible for me to be in His presence. Thank you for washing away all of my breaking moments. Thank you for being my intercessor.


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

  If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
   if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
   and the LORD will reward you

Proverbs 25:21-22


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

It's Not Your Job!

1 Chronicles 22: 7-10 David said to Solomon: “My son, I had it in my heart to build a house for the Name of the LORD my God. But the LORD said... ‘You are not to build a house for my Name, because you have shed much blood on the earth in my sight. But you will have a son... He is the one who will build a house for my Name.’ 

At first, these verses made me sad. David loved the Lord so much, that he wanted to honor him by building a temple for Him. But, the Lord had other plans. Essentially, God said to David, You are not the right person for that job, your son Solomon is the right one.

Those words must have been difficult for David to hear and obey. David had a dream in his heart and God told him “no”.

But, then I started to think about it a little more. David accomplished great things for the Lord. He conquered enemies and he was a great warrior. God had filled David with the abilities that he needed to be a great leader, plan intricate war strategies and win battles. God did not fill David with the qualities needed to plan and build a temple.

What if David hadn’t listened when God said, “no”?

1. David would have been taking his son’s purpose away from him. God filled Solomon with the attention to detail, the peaceful spirit and the wisdom to plan and build the temple. If Solomon wasn’t allowed to fulfill his purpose, he would have lived a life without knowing that sense of accomplishment.

2. David would have been taking a learning experience away from his son. There were things that God wanted to teach Solomon during the building of the temple. It was a time for Solomon to rely on God and his leading. It was a huge task, and Solomon would need God’s guidance throughout the project. If Solomon wasn’t allowed to build the temple he would not have known God so well.

3. If David had put his time and energy into the temple, he may have missed out on blessings that God had planned for him, because he was occupied with something he wasn’t supposed to be doing. David may have experienced frustration in building the temple, because he wasn’t gifted for that specific task.

Questions to consider from David and Solomon:

Are we spending time on things that God never intended for us to do?

Are we taking someone else’s purpose away from them?

Are we allowing God to grow close to others or are we standing in His way?

Father God, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus so that I can talk with you and know what you want me to accomplish. I confess that I don’t always ask you before I take on a new task. Please remind me to slow down and ask you prior to taking on any new responsibilities. Show me where I am using my energy on a job that belongs to someone else and help me to give it over to them. I want to do everything according to Your perfect plan. Amen.


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Be Prepared

Aren’t you glad we don’t live with Moses in the wilderness. The thought of making a sin offering with the blood and burning fat makes me a little nauseous. 
God gave the Israelites a series of steps that the people had to perform in order to be cleared of their sins. They had to select a perfect animal, the priest would lay hands on the animal in an act of transferring the person’s sin to the animal and then, they would sacrifice the animal. Sounds messy to me! According to Leviticus 5:6 the person would then be purified and “right with the Lord”.
While our “sin offering” is less messy. It can still be a process and at times can take work. Jesus made the ultimate blood sacrifice for us. He took all of our sins on himself and died so that we can be forgiven. It is a good deal for us, but we have to do the work!
First, we have to accept Jesus as our Savior.
If you haven’t done this, here is a quick prayer for you: Lord, I confess that I am a sinner. I am not good enough on my own, I need Jesus as my personal Savior. I believe that he died on the cross to save me from my sins. I believe that Christ rose from the dead and is seated at the right hand of God. I give you my life and I invite you into mine.
Second, we have to confess and repent of our sins.
This can be a difficult step. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to convict us and make us aware of sins that we may be committing in our lives. We need to confess to God that we have sinned against Him and ask for His forgiveness. Finally, we need to repent of these sins and work hard to avoid them. The good news is that we are not alone. We have the Holy Spirit working in us to help us be better every day. We also have forgiveness! When we are faithful and truthful in confessing and repenting we are forgiven every time. Praise God!
Why are all of these things so important? Why should we do them right now? Can’t it wait until tomorrow?
The truth is, that we have no guarantee of tomorrow. In Matthew 24, Jesus promises that He will be back. He gives signs that will precede his second coming. In verse 44, Jesus says “You must be ready all the time, for the Son of Man will come when least expected.” Once Jesus is here, it will be too late to accept him as Savior (Revelations 1:7 and Matthew 24:30 b) 
It is so important that we are “right with the Lord”. Do not wait! God is listening. Talk to Him.

Heavenly Father, I confess that I have sinned against you. I am not always the person that you want me to be. Thank you for sending your Son, Jesus, to take away my sins. Thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to guide me and teach me to be a better person. I love you and I want to be ready when your Son returns. I want to be with you forever. Amen


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

He reached down from on high and took hold of me; 
   he drew me out of deep waters. 

He brought me out into a spacious place;
   he rescued me because he delighted in me.

Psalm 18: 16, 19


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Those who hear will live!

John 5:25-30 : I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.

As I was reading today, this verse really stood out to me. Not only because I have been praying for my ears to be opened, but also because the message at church this week was all about hearing God.
There have been so many times in my spiritual journey that I wished I could just call God on the phone and have a conversation with Him. It would be so much easier, at times, if we could hear His voice in the same way we hear our children, our spouse, or a friend. 
This weekend, our Pastor explained that the way that God speaks most clearly is through His Word. If we are not reading the Word, or learning it, or taking the time to listen, we are going to have trouble recognizing His voice when He speaks to us. We need to learn His language before we can hear Him. There are so many voices that would love to detour us from the path that God has laid before us. But, if we know His character and the way He speaks, we will be prepared to discern a fake from the real thing.
God doesn’t want us to guess or struggle. He wants to speak to us. We have to be willing to put the time into the relationship and slow down enough so that He can speak through all of the clutter and noise around us.
I recently had a conversation with my daughter about hearing from God. We started a charm bracelet for her three years ago. Last week, she decided to wear it to school and then decided it was bothering her. She took it off and threw it in her backpack. We haven’t seen it since. She was very upset when she discovered that it was missing. We sat down and immediately prayed about the loss. A while later, as she was still frantically looking, she started crying about the fact that God was not speaking to her. This disappointment only added to the loss that she was already dealing with. I explained to her that God does not speak to us in the same way that I was speaking to her. She felt as if there was something wrong with her. I explained that, just like any good relationship, it takes practice and it takes time, but the payoff is huge. I also promised that God would not disappoint her.
According to John W. Ritenbaugh, “His enabling of us to "hear" is what begins to sweep away the spiritual blindness that has kept us ignorant of the purpose He is working out here below. This miracle of hearing gives rise to truly effective faith. It makes God's Word truly logical and believable, making commitment in obedience to His purpose possible.”
Lord, please open my ears to hear you. I believe that you are speaking and that you have a lot to share with me. I confess that I am not always patient enough or dedicated enough when it comes to spending time in Your Word and listening for Your voice. Please teach me to slow down. Please teach me to hear You clearly. Please open my ears and my heart to Your voice, in the precious name of Jesus, Amen.


If you want to learn more about hearing from God, I suggest this website by Mark Virkler.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Marvelous Memory Monday

The enemy is happy to fill our mind with lies and get you off track. God has given us the power to take every thought captive and line up with His Word.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Fun Friday

I love searching other blogs to find new ideas. I happened upon this one this week and couldn't wait to share it! There are some really great ideas and fugal too! Enjoy your family this weekend.


Thursday, May 12, 2011

What is on His to do list?

Photographer: Rawich

In Numbers 3-4, I read about God giving the Israelites a to-do list. God is getting ready to move them towards Canaan. As a Mom, I can only imagine what it would be like to move 2 million people, all of their belongings and animals as well. I am a list maker and I think that list would need to be written in a book!
We get a sense of who God is by this passage of scripture. He likes order. If He were to move the Israelites without giving specific instructions on how to move and who is responsible for each part, there would be chaos.
This peek into God’s character is comforting to me. We have already seen how much God loves His people. He delivered them from slavery in Egypt. He has cared for them in the desert, meeting all of their needs. The Israelites have become totally dependent upon Him. He has a plan and a purpose for everything that has happened so far. The next part of His plan is to get His children ready for the abundant gifts He wants to give them. God is asking them to serve Him now with their hands and feet by moving the tabernacle.
The comforting part to me, is that God is not asking His children to do something, without giving them the knowledge, manpower and ability to do it. God had them count all of the strong hands, that are available to serve. God gave them specific instructions and responsibilities to accomplish the task and He is there leading and guiding them along the way.
What is God asking you to do?

Where is He leading you?
Hebrews 13:8 tells us that God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. How great is that? Whatever He has planned for you, He is going to provide the knowledge, manpower and ability that you need to accomplish the task. Beth Moore once said, “God is responsible for the how, we are responsible for the what”.
The important thing to remember, however, is that we need to stay in relationship and communication with Him, so that we know the plan. It will be impossible for us to partner with Him if we don’t know our part. It is imperative to be in prayer and in the Word on a regular basis. 
God has things for you to do today. 
Have you asked Him what is on His to do list?
Lord, I give you authority over my time today. What is on your list that I need to accomplish? How can I help you today and further your Kingdom? Thank you Lord, that you will never ask me to do something without providing the means to do it. Thank you for giving me the Holy Spirit to guide me throughout today. I love you and I want to be your hands and feet today. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wednesday Wisdom

Instruct the wise and they will be wiser still; 
   teach the righteous and they will add to their learning.

Proverbs 9:9


Tuesday, May 10, 2011


It is unfortunate, I think, that as Christians we do not know more about the Jewish traditions. Jesus, after all, was Jewish and celebrated the various feasts, festivals and holidays that are first given in the Old Testament. This summer, I had the privilege of attending a seminar that explained these holidays in great detail. I was enthralled by the information and the significance that carried over from the Old to the New Testaments.
The reading for today (click on the date above to go there) gives the Israelites the instructions for the first Passover. God was ready to bring His people out of Egypt. He was going to send death through Egypt to take the firstborn male of every household. God instructed the Israelites to select a perfect lamb for sacrifice. The people were to bring the sacrifice on the appointed day and slaughter the sacrifice at a specific time. They were to use some of this lambs blood to mark their doors. When death passed through it would “passover” the doors that were marked and spare the lives of the firstborn males inside.
God’s, perfect, firstborn son died to save us from death.
God also gave specific instructions about what to wear during this time (Exodus 12:11). The people were to be fully dressed including their shoes and walking sticks. God knew that the exodus would be quick. The people needed to be ready to leave Egypt quickly when the time was right. There would be no time for them to gather their things.
We never know when Jesus will return. We need to be ready.
This quick exit also meant they could not wait for their bread to rise. Hence the requirement of unleavened bread. There is more to the lack of yeast than just saving time, however. Leavened bread was an Egyptian introduction for the Israelites. God’s chosen people did not have “puffed-up” bread until they were in Egypt. Until that time, the bread was more similar to a cracker. 
Exodus 13:7 really stood out to me. I thought it was interesting that God said, “Eat unleavened bread during those seven days; nothing with yeast in it is to be seen among you, nor shall any yeast be seen anywhere within your borders.” (emphasis mine) God did not want the yeast to be in the house! The yeast symbolized the evil ways of Egypt. The people were to look through the house and remove all of the yeast.
We need to look and remove the yeast from our lives.

I love that our New Testament reading also discusses yeast! Jesus said, “How is it you don’t understand that I was not talking to you about bread? But be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”  (Matthew 16:11) Jesus was warning the disciples of the doctrine that the Pharisees and Sadducees taught.
Want to know more amazing facts about Passover?
Mark 11: 9-11 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
   “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
 “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
   “Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
Jesus entered the temple the same day that the people brought the Passover Lambs.
John 2:13-15 When it was almost time for the Jewish Passover, Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple courts he found people selling cattle, sheep and doves, and others sitting at tables exchanging money. So he made a whip out of cords, and drove all from the temple courts, both sheep and cattle; he scattered the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables.

It was time for Passover and Jesus was cleaning the leaven out of his Father’s house.
John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Jesus was the bread of life. Unleavened of course, because he was without sin.
The last supper was actually the Passover Seder a ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday. “The Seder is an occasion for praise and thanksgiving and for rededication to the idea of liberation.” 
The next day, Jesus was crucified at the same time as the Passover Lambs.
1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

I hope you enjoyed learning about the Passover. There is so much more and so many more significant details, this is just the beginning!
Thank you God for your Word. It is so fascinating and filled with meaning. Please teach me and help me to discover something new each time I read. Thank you for sending your perfect Son to pay the penalty for my sins. Amen.


Remove the high places!

As I was reading today, I was amazed by the number of times the people repeated the same sins. The high places were not removed. The pagan people lived among of the children of God. The Israelites were reminded not to follow the pagans in their worship or their gods. The children of God would follow most of Gods commands, but not whole heartedly or completely. The cycle continued from generation to generation. The people would partially comply, do better for a while and then fall back into the bad choices because they were so easy to access.

I wonder how many times God has felt the same thing about me. The never ending cycle of bad choices I make, or my repeated stumbling over the same sin. I wonder if I am listening whole heartedly or only partially to the direction He is giving me.

But be very careful to keep the commandment and the law that Moses the servant of the LORD gave you: to love the LORD your God, to walk in obedience to him, to keep his commands, to hold fast to him and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul - Joshua 22:5

Obedience: to comply with someones wishes or orders or acknowledgement of their authority. Submission to a law or rule.

Hold fast: to hang on firmly or attach. Of friends, close and loyal.

All: used to refer to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing.

Heart: regarded as the center of a person's thoughts and emotions, esp. love or compassion

Soul: the spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal.

We are supposed to submit completely to each of His directions, hold tightly on to Him with both hands and serve him with all that we are.

It sounds like a tall order, but there is more:

We may not always know why God is giving us instructions. The Bible tells us that He will work everything out for our good if we follow Him. If we turn to Him when we don’t understand and have faith that He is up to something good, we will not be disappointed.

We may not always have the strength, but God said He would provide that too! We cannot fight temptation on our own, but if we ask for help, He will give it to us.

We must be willing to listen and follow each of His directions. God only wants the best for us, so if He is moving us away from something it is because He has a better way in mind.

Maybe if I was completely obedient the first time, I wouldn’t keep stumbling over the same obstacles. Maybe if I turned to Jesus instead of fighting on my own, the stumbling blocks would actually become stepping stones.

Lord, I know you want the best for me. I want to be an obedient child, but I confess there are times that I listen to my emotions rather than following You and Your Commands. Teach me how to follow the rules the first time, rather than repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Help me to move forward and grow rather than repeating and never learning. Please help me to be more like Jesus today. Amen.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Marvelous Memory Monday

I know that we are supposed to hide the Word of the Lord in our heart. I always say I am going to start memorizing scripture and I fail to do it for one reason or another. So I am starting today and you are welcome to join me. I created a card for you to print and post wherever is most convenient for you. Happy Monday!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Are you juggling and failing?

Lately, I have been feeling like I am dropping things everywhere. It seems like I am trying to juggle so many things right now and I am not handling any of them well. At the end of the day, it looks like I am doing just enough to get by, but not succeeding or excelling at anything.

Today, I feel like I need to take a step back and look at my priorities.  Perhaps I need to refocus my energy on the things that really matter.

Not long ago, I heard author and speaker, Linda Dillow, on Focus on the Family radio program. She was discussing her new book "What's it like to be married to me"? One thing she said that really stuck with me is "look at your life in reverse". At the end of your life, what do you want others to say about you? Linda encouraged everyone to take a look at their life and live for the outcome you want. Do you want to be remembered for your smile? Then start smiling. Do you want to be remembered for your encouragement? Then start encouraging. Do you want to be remembered for your supportive attitude? Then start supporting.

I encourage you to make a list of the things you want people to remember about you. 

Now think about how you are going to achieve those things. What can you do today to change your outlook and your outcome?

What are your priorities?

I began searching the topic of Christian priorities. For most of us, this is not a new concept. I can remember hearing several different Pastors or speakers saying our priorities as a Christian should be:

1. God
2. Spouse
3. Children

I found one website today that added:
4. Our Ministry
5. Job

This same site stated, "We will always have enough time to do God's will, time problems occur when we try to do more than God's will for our own lives. This principle should be a red flag in our minds whenever we find ourselves overwhelmed and unable to accomplish all that we are charged with doing." (by, Jerry Figueroa)

"For God is not a God of confusion but of peace." - 1 Corinthians 14:33

I need to take a look at my priorities and make sure that my actions match up with the way God wants me to live my life. And I need to be held accountable! Starting today I am going to implement a new bedtime routine. I may do this with my kids too! At the end of every day I am going to reflect on how I did with my top 3 priorities.

1. Was I a good Christian today? Did my actions reflect Jesus? Did I do something to strengthen my relationship with God?

2. Was I a good wife today? Does my husband know that I love and respect him? Did I do something today to strengthen our relationship?

3. Was I a good mom today? Was I available when my kids needed me? Did I really listen? Did I strengthen our relationship?

I know that this could be a scary uncomfortable task. But, I don't want to live a life of regret! I want to make the most of the fleeting time I have on this planet.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.- John 10:10

I want to live the full life! I think one of the best things anyone could say about me at the end of my life is, "I know Jesus because of her." I want to start living that way!

Father God, you have established my priorities for me. I want to live the full life that Jesus said was mine. I want to be accountable to you everyday for my words, actions and decisions. Help me to recognize the things that are not my responsibility in this season. I know that I have not accomplished everything the way that you had planned. I know I have stood in my own way at times. I want to stop that today. I trust You and Your plan and I am going to live as your follower, not your advisor. I love you with all my heart, Amen.

There may be some changes around the blog! Are you ready? Are you coming along? Let me know if you want to live life to the full with me. Lets encourage one another!


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