Thursday, November 21, 2013

One of a Kind...

We have all heard that we are each unique.. one of a kind.. but do we really believe that? Many of us feel we are normal.. boring.. nothing special. And even if we are convinced that we are different (which we might not see as a good thing) a lot of us don't want to be.. or at least we live as if we don't. We spend a great deal of time, effort and energy trying to be who the world says we should be.. the perfect woman found in the media.. or next door.. or at your gym (where you are working not so much to be healthy, but to make your body be what we are told is acceptable) or even at church.  We are seldom comfortable in our own skin and accepting of who we are.  But here's the thing... those gifts you have, that personality, those skills, quirks, passions etc. are from God and guess what.. the ones you don't have.. well you don't have them because He didn't give them to you. And not because He doesn't love you.. because you don't need them to fulfill the call.. the purpose.. He has for you life.

In our study of Renee Swope's A Confident Heart, she looks at what makes us who we are. The first thing she tackles are personality types.  She references a book called Personality Plus by Florence Littauer (I plan to read this one soon).  In it, Littauer focuses on 4 personality types. Swope summarizes them in her book. I read over them and knew which one I was. I liked some of the traits.. did not care for others. But I felt certain this was me.

Then an online Bible study friend posted a link to a personalty test based on these 4 types...  ( Personality Test ).. I took it.. spot on what I expected. I am Choleric.. I desire CONTROL.  Anyone who knows me more than 10 minutes knows that to be true.  I am not so much desirous of controlling other folks' lives, but I want to control mine and all that is happening around me that effects me. And for some reason God won't let me! (Aren't we all glad of that!?)

Swope also looks at our Spiritual Gifts and there is a link at her sight to take a  Spiritual Gifts Assessment.. I took it.. but I already knew my Spiritual Gifts from assessments I have taken before and from life.  I am a Teacher and Exhorter (Encourager).

One thing Swope did not cover, but it ties in is Gary Chapman's The Five Love Languages.  My husband and I studied that as a young couple with our LifeGroup and it was life changing.  I am full on Words of Affirmation... I need to hear that you love me.. appreciate  me etc. and any negative word.. even the slightest negative tone.. cuts me to the quick.

Now I am not sharing all this so you can know me.. I have a point. As I was pondering this today... I saw the most amazing links.

Choleric's are natural leaders and confident.  Those are 2 qualities that are greatly needed in teaching.  An Exhorter or Encourager uses words of affirmation to lift up others.  See where I am going here? When God planned me.. before beginning of time.. He said.. this one is going to teach others my Word.. and encourage them to know who they are in Christ and to take me at my Word (those are my 2 greatest passions... and they have been struggles for me in the past.. which is part of those Life Experiences Swope talks about that shape us for the tasks at hand.)  So he wired me to be a leader.. to need words of affirmation so that I would appreciate them and give them.  And even the less than great stuff that goes with my personality type plays into it.  One of the relational challenges for a Choleric is Arrogance (Pride!).  I struggle with that one and find that I must stay prayed up in that area. I believe God made me this way knowing it would keep me tied to Him.. keep me in His Word.

It is fascinating to examine ourselves.. to take these tests.. and then to see how God has woven it all together for a purpose.. a calling.  Ps. 139 talks of Him weaving us together in our mother's womb. I think that weaving included more than eye and hair color, height, etc.  I believe it included giftings, talents, personality traits).  There is not one thing about each one of us that is coincidental or accidental.  So the next time you wish you were more like "her", stop and thank God for making you exactly who HE wanted you to be to do what HE has called you to do.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

My Psalm 136

Love Ps 136.. a great Ps to personalize.. and so I did..

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the King of Kings, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Lord of Lords, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to Jehovah Shalom.. the Prince of Peace, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to our Rock & Redeemer, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the one who has a plan for me.. for you.. His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the Sovereign Lord whose ways are higher, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the One who forgave my sin.. your sin.. His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the One who freed me from a pit of fear, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the One who provides all I need for life and godliness, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the One who clothes me in His armor and covers me with His wings, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the One who give strength and endurance, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to the One who knows me yet loves me anyway, His love endures forever.

Give thanks to Abba Father, the God of Heaven and Earth, His love endures forever.

Friday, November 8, 2013


The Lord will fullfill His purpose for me (Ps 138:8)

He has a purpose for me.

For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord (Jer 29:11)

For we are God's workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do (Eph 2:10)

And He's not done with me yet!

Being confident of this -- He who began a good work in you (in me) will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6)

Thank You, Lord, that You have a purpose-- a plan -- for me... for my life.  I.. my life.. is not by accident or inconsequential.  Before You created me, You prepared good work for me to do.  Show me.. reveal them to me.. in Your time and equip me, Lord, to do them. I am so thankful You are at work in me and not done yet!  I can rest in the assurance that You will finish what You started -- You will bring it to completion.  Thank You, Lord! Amen.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


Struck this morning by a simple truth.. Read Psalm 100 to begin my quiet time..

Verse 4 Enter His gates with Thanksgiving and His courts with Praise

Spirit brought to my mind Heb. 4:16.. let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence...

When we approach God.. come into His presence.. it must be with Thanksgiving and Praise if we are to be confident in the asking. We don't run in whining, asking, questioning or demanding.. we go in acknowledging WHO He is and What he has done... it is what humbles us .. which leads to surrendering our conceived control and trusting His Sovereignty.  True Thanksgiving and Praise requires a Humble heart... they are the heart of Worship.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Why Frightened? Why Doubtful?

"Why are you frightened? Jesus asked. 
Why are your hearts filled with doubt?" 
Luke 24:38 NLT

This is the memory verse for week 3 of the A Confident Heart (ACH) Bible study I am participating in online.  I honestly cannot say it is a verse I would think to memorize and yet, as I took it apart and did a bit of digging God showed me some great application.

The first thing that really hit me was the WHYs.. Jesus did not say Don't be frightened.. Don't have doubtful hearts.. He did not scold or condemn (Romans 8:1 NO Condemnation!).. instead He asked Why?  He wanted those doubting.. those frightened.. to stop and look at why they felt this way.. why they were reacting like this.  I believe He wants us to do the same. To not just accept our fear and doubts, but to stop and look at WHY we have them.  Only when we deal with the why can we get past the fear and doubt.

In fact, I believe it is ok for us to have fear and doubt.  The Message version of this verse says "Don't be upset and don't let all these doubting questions take over."  We can look throughout the Word and find times where someone doubted.  Just read the Psalms or Habakkuk... or what about the Dad in Mark 9 (I believe, Lord help my unbelief!.. Unbelief is a first cousin to doubt.)  Again, no condemnation, but a call here to not allow the doubt (and fear) to take over. 

So what does that look like? Doubt and Fear taking over? And how do we prevent or remedy it?

When we look at the key words in the verse, we get a bit of insight.  Frightened in the Greek is tarasso which means to stir, to agitate, to roll water. Sound familiar? Hop over to James 1 verses 6 through 8. 

But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways. 

James equates one who doubts to a wave being tossed about on the sea.. rolling water.. agitated.. stirred up. 

If we look at a modern day dictionary, we will see that Frighten means to make afraid, to drive or force, panic, scare, terrify.  Our fear drives us.. forces us to do or not do things. I spent 8 years captive to fear and panic. Trust me.. in that state you are agitated and stirred up much like that tossing sea.

The opposite of Frighten is reassure.. to restore confidence. And that is exactly what we want and need! 

The other key word is really a phrase... "hearts filled with doubt."  The King James Version says "thoughts arise in your hearts."  The Greek word for Thoughts (translated doubts in our version) is diaglogismos (see dialogue in there?).  It means discussion, internal consideration, debate, doubting, imagination, thought.  All of this happens where? In the Mind... the Battlefield of the Mind!  

The Greek word for heart is kardia and can be translated the heart, but also thoughts, feelings or Mind!   

Heart and Mind.. they go hand-in-hand!

Look at a few of the things the Word tells us concerning our hearts and minds...

Romans 12:2.. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind
Ps. 26:2 Examine your heart and mind
Prov. 4:23 Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life
Isa 26:3 You want perfect peace? Keep your Mind steadfast on Him.
Matt. 22:37 Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind
Eph. 4:23 be made new in the attitude of your minds
Col. 3:2 Set your mind on things above not on earthly things
Rev. 2:23 I AM He who searched the hearts and minds.
Ps. 86:11 Give me an Undivided heart (remember James 1:8 talks about being double-minded.. I would call that a divided mind)

And when you look at a modern day dictionary you find that doubt (as a noun) means an uncertainty of belief or opinion that often interferes with decision-making, hesitation, lack of confidence, inclination NOT to believe.  

Not to Believe!  Takes us back to Mark 9:24 when the doubting father says Lord, I Believe, help my unbelief!  

To Believe starts in your mind but doesn't end there. It is an ACTIVE verb.  Belief brings about action (this is why James says Faith without works is dead.)

So how does this all tie together and what do we do with it? The enemy gets in our head and whispers his lies.. and our flesh latches on and the battle begins.. a debate within our mind over whether or not to trust Believe Him.. and that battle will lead to inaction.  The enemy cannot snatch us from the Lord's hand, but he can keep us ineffective and uninvolved... living a dead faith instead of an abundant life! Remember his goal is to Kill, Steal, and Destroy (John 10:10).  

To prevent this... or do battle once it starts.. we must.. MUST.. be in the Word AND get the Word in us!  There is no other way!  We renew our mind... get to KNOW the one we are called to believe so that we can say with Paul.. I know who I have believed and am convinced (confident!) that He is able to guard what I've entrusted to Him for that day. (2 Tim. 1:12)

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Confident Heart

Once again I am taking part in a Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study. I cannot recommend participating in these studies enough!  You are not required to blog.. really it is a flexible do as much or as little as you can / want type study.  To learn more and sign up go to Proverbs 31 Online Bible Study.

We are currently studying Renee Swope's A Confident Heart (another GREAT book!) In it, we are facing out fears and doubts... looking squarely at our past and then moving forward with confidence!  And we have only read 5 chapters!  I cannot wait to see what is ahead.

I'll be blogging this week (and hopefully others) as part of this study. Come back and see what God is showing me!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Say What????

I am participating in an Online Bible Study through Proverbs 31 Ministries...studying Lysa TerKeurst's book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God. (GREAT BOOK!)

One of the things we are looking at this week is Radical Obedience.  You know what I mean. It is fairly easy to obey when God calls you to do "normal" things.. Like that prompting to not sleep in, but to get up and go to church... that sudden need to call a friend and encourage her... even something like taking a meal to someone. Those aren't so outside the box.. they don't stretch your faith.. so they are, for the most part, easy to say Yes to. But then there are those other callings...the ones where you want to look at God and say "Surely you are NOT talking to me!?"  Or as we are saying this week in our study "Say What!? God!"

I have had plenty of "Say What" Moments in my life.  Some have been huge... like when God called my husband to leave his job... his secure paycheck every month with benefits job... and go... well that was the big catch.. God told him to resign, but didn't say what was coming next. And do you know the man obeyed!  And when I wanted to explain to him why this was not a good idea, the Lord sent another "Say What" moment.. He told me to Be Quiet... to Submit to my husband's authority and to trust Him.  Can you imagine!?

The amazing thing is I did just that.  Although I definitely unloaded my feelings to the Lord about it!  And here is the wild thing... God did have it under control.  Within 2 days my husband had been offered another job.. out of the blue. Now this would seem a fairy tale ending if I could say it is the perfect job with twice the pay. But again.. God had a "Say What" moment for us. He sent a job, but the pay was less. "Say WHAT!?" And on top to that the man, again, obeyed the Lord and took the job. Once again, God had me be quiet.

And while it has not been easy at times financially, it has been one of the best decisions ever made for our family.. our marriage.. and for my husband.

Other "Say What" moments are not so huge, but can still be a stretch.  Many years ago I was in the grocery store. I was an at-home mom with 2 small children. My husband was self-employed. And money was tighter than tight.  (That is a reoccurring theme in our lives) I was in the grocery store and I saw a woman.  Cannot say why she caught my attention, but it was obvious that she was distressed. She had maybe 2 things in her cart and looked lost as she wandered the aisles. Then I over heard her talking with another lady.  It was quickly evident that the young woman was destitute.  I thought how sad and moved on. Got to the check out with my own little bit of shopping and heard clearly the Lord say "Go back and give her $10" "Say What!" $10 might not seem much, but at that time we really didn't have it to spare.  Plus I thought it would be so awkward.. embarrassing even. Nope, I knew I had misheard. So I proceeded to swipe my debit card and check out. It didn't go through.. tried again.. nope.. all the while I kept hearing "$10".. so the third time I hit cash back and got $10.  Debit card worked like a charm.  Once I was finished paying and bagging groceries, I went back and found the woman. Walked up to her and said "God told me to give this to you" as I handed her the money. She fell to pieces sobbing and grabbed hold of me right in the middle of Kroger. And guess what.. I didn't care what folks thought. I hugged her back and spoke blessings over her.  Now I have no idea if she bought food or something else with that money. What I do know is I had obeyed and I could feel it!

I encourage you to follow through even in the "Say What" moments.. no matter how large or small. With Obedience comes blessing (Deut. 28).. and a faith that is strengthened and nurtured... and a deeper walk with the Lord.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Romans 12:2

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, 
but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. 
Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- 
His good, perfect and pleasing will."  Romans 12:2 NIV84

NIV84: Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world

ESV Do not be conformed to this world

NLT Do not copy the behavior and customs of this world

MSG Don't become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking

PH  Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould

HCSB Do not be conformed to this age

NASB And do not be conformed to this world

AMP Do not be conformed to this world (this age), fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs

conform = conform to, fashion self according to

No matter what translation I choose, the bottom line is I am not to be like the World and it is MY choice to do so or not.  I fashion myself.. I choose the pattern I will follow.. the pattern I will copy.  Will it be the world's pattern or God's? God's = Jesus

I need only live to conform to the world.. it gladly displays its pattern in brilliant color full screen 24 /7 in your face. It is the easy way. It really requires nothing of me.  I will fit right in.. blend.

BUT God's pattern is a bit different. I have to put forth some effort.  I have to surrender me to Him.. be in the Word to see the pattern and then walk it out in this foreign place where I won't blend in but instead will stick out. It won't be comfortable but it will be beneficial to me and those who see me.  And this pattern, unlike the pattern of the World, is eternal!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


"... the Hebrew word used throughout Scripture to describe God's glory, kabood, is derived from the root word meaning 'heaviness'... The whole earth is full of His glory... sky, land and sea, 
heavy and saturated with God."

--Ann Voskamp from one thousand gifts

Saturday, July 27, 2013


It is so easy to  become tired and weary in life. I'm not just talking about physical weariness, but emotional weariness.. the weariness from standing firm.. doing the right thing.. walking the walk when it really would (it seems) be easier to just go with the flow.. afterall, what you are or are not doing isn't really making a difference is it?

The thing is God never says "Stand Firm".... "Be set apart"... "Turn the other cheek".. "Love your enemies"... "Stay Married"... "Give Thanks in all circumstances"... "Count it all joy".. BUT only if you can see that doing this makes a difference in the world. If not, forget it and do what you want. Nope.. that last bit if found no where in Scripture. We are to obey and leave the results up to Him.  And often the difference can't be seen by us and may not be in the world around us. This obedience is one of the main ways God molds us into the imagine of His perfect son.

So here is the promise....

Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time 
we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Gal. 6:9

There WILL be a harvest.. but it is conditional.. IF we do not give up.

And when you feel like giving up.. and you will.. Remember what Christ endured for you.

Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, 
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Heb. 12:3

Friday, July 26, 2013

God Knows!

Last night we did a neat thing in Refresh (our midweek service) Can't say it was something all that original.. but still neat. Our pastor had a white board with 24 or so verse references written on it. He had folks choose a verse and then read it and then we talked about what the promise was in the verse.. Like Jer. 33:3.. Call on me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things you do not know.. promise? We call .. he answers.  Heb. 13:5  never will I leave you, never will I forsake you.. promise? ALWAYS with you!  They we had a time of intentional intercession.. prayed over some folks who had needs.. prayed for others who were not there, but we knew of needs. It was a sweet time. AND it reminded me that I did something similar in Lifegroups last year. My teacher called me one Sunday at last minute to teach. I had not looked at the lesson, so had to wing it. God had been speaking to me about his promises and how we are to stand on them. So we read promises and talked about what they meant and how we could apply them to our lives. As a result, I started am index card ring binder for God's Promises. I would write a verse or verses in it when I saw a promise and then it was something I had to just flip through when I needed encouragement... didn't know what to pray etc.  As if often the case, I did great for a bit and then let it fall to the wayside. SO I pulled it out and started again today.. I decided to just flip it open and whatever verse I landed on would be a promise I could stand on today.. so here is what I read..

The Mighty One, God, the Lord!  The Mighty One, God, the Lord!  God Knows! 
 Joshua 22:22  

Not one you hear often, is it? But I really love the truth.. the promise in this verse.  How often do we not know.. I don't know how we are going to pay for a new roof.. I don't know how we will make it with a decrease in salary... I don't know how she will survive this illness.. I don't know how this marriage can be saved.. and on and on. But see the thing is we don't have to know!  God Knows!  That is all we need.. we can turn to Him and say "I don't know (whatever) but You do! And Lord I am trusting in You.. the Mighty One.. God.. the Lord!"  

That.. for me.. is a great promise to stand on!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Abide Today....

Recently Amazon offered a devotional by Cynthia Heald called Becoming a Woman Who Walks with God as a freebie for Kindle!  It is a 30 day devotional on Abiding and so I decided to get it to use at some point.  Well today is that some point.. I decided to use it in April.

The focus today was on John 15:4... I love the ESV because it uses the Word Abide.. just love that word!  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

I decided to do a bit of word study, so pulled up Strong's App and looked at Abide.. I know what the word means but saw two things today I really don't think I ever saw before..

"To stay in a given place, state, relation, or expectancy"... expectancy!  God keeps putting that word before my eyes.  It also means to "Be Present."

So I am to abide with expectancy... or in expectancy.. expectancy of what.. of God and His promises... expecting Him to bring to completion that which He has begun in me (Phil 1:6)... to work things out for good (Rom 8:28)... expecting Him to never leave me or forsake me (Heb 13:5) and soo much more!  Isn't that the coolest thing!  I mean we know that.. know that His promises are true and will be fulfilled, but I love that He included it in that abiding.

And then Be Present.. that one really hit me.  NIV says Remain in Me and I will remain in you. So be present in Christ and Christ will be present in you.  Not yesterday.. not tomorrow.. today.. present.. now!  This, for me, is all about that daily surrender. Today I choose to be present in Christ.. to die to self .. take up the cross He has for me.. and expect Him to be Who He says He is and do what He says He will do!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Romans 12:12

NIV -- Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer

ESV -- Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer

HCSB -- Rejoice in hope; be patient in affliction; be persistent in prayer

NET -- Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering, persist in prayer

NASB -- Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer

AMP -- Rejoice and exult in hope; be steadfast and patient in suffering and tribulation; be constant in prayer

MSG -- Cheerfully expectant. Don't quit in hard times, pray all the harder.

KJV -- Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant prayer

Let's look at these 3 exhortations..

First.. Be joyful in hope

Rejoice .. being joyful.. cheerfully.. expectant in HOPE

The Greek word used here means rejoice, joy, joyfully, be glad, hail

Hope -- faith, hope BUT from a root word that mean to anticipate (usually with pleasure).. expectation, confidence

So I am to be full of joyful anticipation and confidence in my faith and hope which is Jesus Christ!

Next... Be patient in affliction

Patient in.. enduring... persevering... steadfast .. in affliction, suffering , tribulation

hupomeno (Greek) -- to stay under, remain, bear, have fortitude, endure, abide, take patiently.

Tribulation -- from root which means pressure, affliction, anguish, burdened, persecution, tribulation, trouble

So I am to be patient.. endure.. stay under.. bear.. remain in.. have fortitude in.. abide while I an in tribulation, trouble, affliction, anguish, burdened or pressured.

Abide.. I don't think we are to abide IN the suffering or tribulation but to abide while going through it.

John 15 is all about abiding.. remaining.. in HIM.. Only way we bear fruit is to abide in Him and we are called to bear fruit no matter the circumstances.

So our hope is in Him.. our abiding in Him...

and lastly... Be faithful in prayer

Continuing instant.. be faithful.. constant.. persistent.. devoted in prayer

"continue instant" is a phrase foreign to me.. even though I was reared with the King James Version of the Bible.  It means to be earnest towards, to persevere, be constantly diligent, to adhere closely, attend continually, wait on.

So I am to be earnest toward, persevere in, be constantly diligent, adhere closely to, attend continually to, wait in prayer... and again,  we find Jesus.. for our prayers are to be asked in His name!

These verses go hand in hand with 1 Thess 5:16-18 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I love that the underlying current which allows me to do these things.. to rejoice.. be patient.. be faithful.. is JESUS.. my hope in Him.. sharing in His affliction.. staying connected to Him with prayer. It is all about Jesus and our relationship with Him!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Beautiful Things

I am just overwhelmed by this song today. I have posted it on FB.. messaged it to friends.. listened to it over and over.. and am now putting it here.  Such an awesome reminder of how He makes us NEW.. Beautiful .. HIS beautiful, not the world's beautiful... no matter how much we mess up .. act up.. screw up.. He continues to mold and make us into the Masterpiece He has designed us to be!

Listen and let the truth of this pour over you...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Romans 12:11

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. (NIV)

Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically. (NLT)

Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. (NAS)

Do not lag in zeal, be enthusiastic in spirit, serve the Lord. (NET)

Do not be slothful in seal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. (ESV)

Don't burn out keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, 
cheerfully expectant. (MSG)

Never lag in zeal and in earnest endeavor be aglow and burning with the Spirit, 
serving the Lord. (AMP)

Do not lack diligence be fervent in spirit serve the Lord. (HCS)

Not slothful in business; fervent in Spirit; serving the Lord. (KJV)

According to Webster's 1828 Dictionary, slothful means inactive, lazy, idle, sluggish, indolent.. indolent means averse to activity, effort or movement.. habitually lazy.

Business (as used in KJV) is earnest care or carefulness, diligence, forwardness, haste

Fervent.. again from Webster's 1828.. is hot, boiling, animated, glowing, vehement, earnest, excited.. Current dictionary defines fervent as exhibiting or marked by great intensity of feeling -- zealous.. impassioned.

I often pair this verse with Gal. 6:9 which tells us to now grow weary, but I see it is very different. Weariness comes from doing so much and often not seeing results.. feeling ineffective. This verse is about the doing.. we are to be.. I am to be.. ACTIVE.. purposely active in my faith. Living it out.. loving sincerely.. hating evil.. clinging to good.. honoring others.. etc. NOT lazy, but easrnest.. diligent.. with a boiling hot (not lukewarm, lest Christ Spit you out) passion for the Lord and the church.. serving Him.

A few years ago our youth pastor taught our youth on the word Pisteuo.. which is translated Faith in the New Testament. He told how it meant more than just believing in God.. it is an active word.. a word that requires action.. Pisteuo is Faith IN Action.. that is what Romans 12:11 is telling us. We are not to be passive.. we are to be active in serving the Lord!  

And like so much else we are to do or not do, we cannot do is in and of ourselves. Here's where Phil 4:3 and 2 Peter 1:3 come in to play.. we have to let God work through us.. giving us ALL we need for life and godliness!  So today I pray for the Lord to infuse me.. infuse you.. with His passion.. His zeal.. and to give me and you the energy.. focus.. opportunities.. to serve Him in all we do.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I am reading One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Her thoughts on Ingratitude made me stop and examine my heart....

"...the sin of ingratitude. Adam and Eve are, simple, painfully, ungrateful for what God gave."

"Isn't that the catalyst of all my sins? Our fall was, has always been, and always will be, that we aren't satisfied in God and what He gives.  We hunger for something more, something other."

"There's a reason I am not writing the story and God is. He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means. I don't."

Thursday, February 14, 2013

2013 Word of the Year Take 2

I am about to start teaching the Spring Bible study for ladies at my church. We are going to step back and do an older Beth Moore Study.. Believing God. I did this one years ago and it still impacts my life. One of the best studies I have ever done.

Last night I piled up and watched the first video....preview and getting ready for when we start next week.  She talks in the video and the work book about the verse that started her on this journey to Believe God.. take Him at His Word.  It is Isa. 43:10...

     You are my witnesses, declares the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen, 
     so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am He.


Last year my word of the year was a pair of words.. Less.. More.. I think I will amend my 2013 word of the year to be a pair also.. Know.. Believe.

Know there is the Hebrew word Yada ... that intimate knowing that I talked about in my original post.  Believe is the Hebrew word Aman which means to trust, believe, have assurance in, have faith in, put trust in.. and when I look at it, I can't help but see Amen.  So I did a bit of research on the word Amen and found that while it does show up in Greek and Aramaic, its roots are in the Hebrew Aman.

As I grow to know God better.. deeper.. I'll be able to Aman what I knew.. to trust the one who is the Amen (Rev. 3:14)

No matter how many promises God has made, they are "yes" in Christ. And so through Him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Cor. 1:20

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Romans 12:10

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Rom. 12:10 NIV

NLT - Love each other with genuine affection and take delight in honoring each other
HCSB - Show family affection to one another with brotherly love. Outdo one another in showing honor.
MSG - Be good friend who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle.
NASB - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor.
AMP - Love  one another with brotherly affection, as members of 1 family, giving preference and showing honor to one another.
KJV - Be kindly affectioned one to another with brother love; in honor preferring one another.

Kindly Affection is a reference to caring for relatives, family

The Greek words translated here as one to another convey a sense of unity, mutual, each other, of one mind

Honor is value, esteem, dignify

The one another in this verse is the Church.  This is how we are to treat other Believers.... not just nice or kindly, but as family.. putting their needs above our own.  There is a strong sense of unity in this verse.

Hebrews 13:1 tells us to Keep on loving each other as brothers (and sisters)

1 Peter 1:22 Now that you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere love for your brothers, love one another deeply from the heart.

Phil. 2:3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.

Lord -- There are many brothers and sister in Christ I love.. like family.. but I confess I do not tend to honor others over me... to give preference to others.. to consider them better than me.  This requires humility and I lean more toward pride.  Teach me, Lord.  Pour me our and fill me with Your Spirit.. grow my love for You so that is overflows onto others.  Amen.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Romans 12:9

Romans 12:9-21 is a passage of scripture that has been coming up in sermons, teaching, readings, etc. a great deal in the past month. So I decided to spend some time digging in to it.. chewing on it a bit.. learning from it and hopefully I will be transformed.. changed.. by what I learn.

I am reading and praying through the entire passage during the week, but taking it apart one verse at a time.  And it all starts... with Love.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Romans 12:9 NIV

Love must be sincere (NIV)
Let love be without hypocrisy (NASB)
Love must be without hypocrisy (HCSB)
Let love be genuine (ESV)
Don't just preten to love others, really love them (NASB)
Let your love be sincere, a real thing (AMP)
Let love be without dissimulation (KJV)
Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it (MSG)

This Love is AGAPE love... benevolent love.. unselfish love... love which considers what is best for the person loved.. this is how God loves us and how we are to love others, but we cannot do it in our natural state.. it is the Love we receive as part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Hate what is evil (NIV)
Hate what is evil, loathe all ungodliness, turn in horror from wickedness (AMP)
Run for dear life from evil (MSG)
Hate what is wrong (NLT)
Abhor what is evil (ESV  NASB)
Detest evil (HCSB)
Abhor that which is evil (KJV)

To Abhor is to detest utterly, to shudder with horror.

Evil is wicked, lewd, malicious, grievous.. evil in a moral and spiritual sense.. perverseness.. Satan is the author of these acts, thoughts etc.

I abhor the obvious evils... rape, child abuse, human trafficking, .. but what about the evils that the world accepts.. abortion, homosexuality, adultery, fornication, lying, mocking God... really? Do I abhor them? I am sure I speak my opinion on them.. share scripture.. say they are wrong.. but then I will watch a TV show or Movie that includes glorification of evil and overlook it.  Is that abhorring? If I truly hate it shouldn't it repulse me.. make me shudder with horror? What does this say about my heart and conforming to the world?

Cling to what is good (NIV, HCSB, NASB)
Hold tightly to what is good (NLT)
Hold on for dear life to good (MSG)
Cleave to that which is good (KJV)

To Cleave is to join oneself, keep company

Good is benefit, well, benevolent, profitable, useful

This, for me, seems to be an indictment on how I spend my time. Am I "keeping company" with those things that benefit me and my family.. that are profitable for my spiritual growth and for the Kingdom?

This verse has 3 exhortation.. Love as God loves.. sincere.. real.. not fake

Hate / Detest that which is evil, wicked, ultimately of satan

Clint to, hold on to that which is good, beneficial, right

So HOW do I do this?

I can only love with AGAPE love when I allow God to fill me with His Spirit and let His love flow through me.  I must have His heart for others.. must love Him with all my being before I can love others as He would have me love them.

If I am to hate evil and cling to good, that will require action on my part.  This is not about hating people.. never that.. but I must consider who I spend my time with and what I spend it doing..reading, watching, etc.

Psalm 1:1-3 comes to mind...

Blessed is the man
    who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked
or stand in the way of sinners
    or sit in the seat of mockers.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night.
He is like a tree planted by streams of water,
    which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither.
    Whatever he does prospers.

This cannot be accomplished in and of myself -- My sinful self cannot love this way, resist temptation and conformity to the world (which does not hate evil).. hold only to what is good, which means letting go of some things. I can only do this through Christ living in me which turns me back to Romans 12:1... offering myself as a living sacrifice.. dying to self.. DAILY.

Lord, today help me to love sincerely, not fake, not pretend, real.. just as You love me.  Pour me out and fill every bit of me with Your Holy Spirit and let the Fruit of the Spirit be evident in my life. Give me a distaste -- a hate -- a disgust for anything evil or wicked. Change my heart, my nature.. conform it to your. Help me to see past the trappings of the world to the truth.  Show me evil in my life that needs to go.. bad I need to let go of... and show me the good here I need to hold on to with all my might.  I can do all thing through Christ who lives in me!  Thank You, Lord!  Amen!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Psalm 15

Who may worship in Your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter Your presence on Your holy hill?

Those who lead blameless lives

          May I be blameless in keeping your decrees (Ps. 119:80)

Those who do what is right

         Lead me, O Lord, in Your righteousness (Ps. 5:8)

Those who speak truth from sincere hearts

          for I speak the truth and detest every kind of deception (Prov. 8:7)

Those who refuse to gossip

          Do not spread slanderous gossip among your people (Lev. 19:16)

or harm their neighbors

         Love your neighbors as yourself (Lev. 19:19, Matt. 22:39)

or speak evil of their friends

          Keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies (Ps. 34:13)

Those who despise flagrant sinners

          Bad company corrupts good character (1 Cor. 15:33)
          Oh the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked or stand around with sinners or     
            join in with mockers. (Ps. 1:1)

and honor the faithful followers of the Lord

          Love one another (John 13:34)

and keep their promises even when it hurts

          It is better to say nothing than to make a promise and not keep it (Eccl. 5:5)

          Simply let your yes be yes and your no be no (Matt. 5:37)

Those who lend money without charging interest

          Remember do not charge interest on money you lend (Lev. 25:37)

          Be generous and lend them whatever they need (Deut. 15:8)

and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent

          Take no bribes, for a bribe makes you ignore something that you clearly see (Ex. 23:8)
          Fear the Lord and judge with integrity, for the Lord our God does not tolerate perverted justice 
             or partiality or the taking of bribes (2 Chr. 19:7)

Such people will stand firm forever!

          The wicked die and disappear, but the family of the godly stands firm (Prov. 12:73

          Be on guard -- Stand firm in the faith - Be courageous - Be strong (1 Cor 16:13)
          It is God who enable us to stand firm (2 Cor. 1:21)
          Put on all of God's armor so that you will be able to stand firm against the strategies of the devil 
             (Eph. 6:11)

Saturday, February 9, 2013

2013 Word of the Year

I am extremely tardy posting this.. but not as tardy as 2012. I was looking back to see all the words I have chosen since starting this tradition of having a word of the year... 2008 was the first year and my word was Gratitude (I never posted it here)... 2009 -  Peace... 2010 - Change ... 2011 - Choice ... 2012 -- Less / More .. I never posted about it!  Needless to say 2012 was not a good blog year... I really did not put the time and energy into it that I needed to. Hoping 2013 will be better.

So now on to 2013's word... I have known what my word would be for a while.. really before 1/1/2013.. God started speaking to my heart about it months ago...  the word is KNOW.

Know.... might seem an odd word, but there are several aspects of it that God is working in my life.

First off... an rather obvious.. is a need to KNOW Him... not just Know about Him but really Know Him.  The Hebrew word for Know is Yada and it means to know .. well in the Biblical sense... Adam knew Eve.. to be intimate with someone. Now I am not talking about sex .. I am talking about knowing someone so deeply.. so intimately.. like a husband and wife know each other.. that is how we are to know God .. what I am striving for in my relationship with Him this year.  To Know Him more... deeper... in ways I have never known Him before.  And I will confess that the thought of that excites me and scares me.  I have grown in my relationship with the Lord most in the difficult times.... and I fear the answer to that prayer.. to know Him more.. might require a walk through the valley.. but I also know it will be worth it, if that is the path He has chosen for me.

Second... as I think of wanting to Know Him.. to Yada Him.. I am struck by the reality that He already knows me that intimately.  Read Psalm 139!  In fact, He Yadas me more than any other person / being ever has and ever will... more than my parents.. more than my children.. my best friends.. even more than my husband, who knows me better than anyone else on this earth.  No human can know me the way and to the depths that God knows me.. in fact, I don't even know me as well as He knows me!  Mind boggling, isn't it!?  This year I want to grasp that.. to realize I don't have to hide the real me.. to pretend to be who I think He wants me to be. I can trust Him with all of me because He already knows Me.. and He loves me even in the messed up state I am in.

Third.. I want to Know His Word more.. some of that is practical knowing.. I am striving to dig in and study more.. to memorize more Scripture this year.. but again, I am striving for something deeper. I want to Know His Word not just in my head, but in my life.. I want to see it at work and KNOW without a shadow of a doubt the realities of it. When I say that God will supply all my needs I want to KNOW that to my core.. when I say He will never leave me or forsake me, I want to KNOW it without a trace of doubt... I want His Word to be a part of me... as Hebrews 4:12 says, it is living and active.. I want it to be living and active in me.

So I am striving to KNOW more this year... not just head Knowledge.. heart knowledge that is walked out in my life and that glorifies God so that others see Him and not me.

I want to be able to say with Paul...  

I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  (Phil. 3:7)