Category Archives: Faith

a history lesson

looking up

One of the special things most mornings bring is our reading, sharing together The Word and the Truths revealed to us as we linger over breakfast and coffee.  Some mornings though with schedules and appointments, the time is unable to be shared together, but we both know even if one of us is not physically present we are still share in this time.  Today happen to be one of those time alone mornings.  And what a sweet Truth God revealed to me in the stillness of my surroundings.  

For the last week or so, we’ve been reading through 1 Chronicles.  I know most will probably react with the same questions that have rolled through my mind.  “Why read through this book in the book in the Bible?”   Afterall, it’s nothing but long lists of genealogy and the basic recording of events from Genesis through the kings of Judah, and the exile and the people returning to Jerusalem after the exile. It reads a lot like a history book, an ongoing account of events.  In fact, much of what’s in Chronicles is repeated material from the earlier books.  So much so my mind keeps asking, “Why does all this need to be repeated over again?”  “Why do these people keep doing the same things over and over?”  “Why don’t they learn from their past?”  “Why? Why? Why?”  I know God does all this for a reason.  So the student in me wants to try to put all the facts and pieces together and figure out all the Whys.  I want to focus on the horizontal look at this panoramic picture of the Old Testament.

But today was different.  Today as the mind started to ask these same questions over again, the heart responded directly. The Lord was telling my heart to stop focusing on all the Whys and to look at the Who.  At this time was it really important for me to know who was reigning and who ruling?  Was it important to figure out who had absolute authority and why was this one overthrown, or that one dethroned?  Was it important to question why these people kept doing the same things over and over?  The Spirit told me to stop looking all across the pages – going backward and forwards . . .  from one commentary to the next . . .  and to look up.  

So for today, my answer was right there as I looked up.  Who was reigning and ruling?  – GOD.  Who has absolute authority? – GOD.  Always has and always will.  He has never been overthrown.  He has always been on his throne and always will be.   I was getting so caught up in looking at things horizontally, from the side-to-side, the back-and-forth, that I was forgetting to look up.

Today was different.  Today reminded me that recently I’ve become so caught up in all the hoopla of the worldly things going on in my life, the lives of those ones I love and care deeply for, and the conundrum of details that seem to surround me.  I’ve become caught up in all the horizontal details of life – all those nitty, gritty frustrations of the details of life that want me to take my eyes off Jesus.

Looking across, side-to-side, front-to-back is full of unknowns, of fears, what ifs, unrest, upheaval, distrust and discontent.  Looking across and around is mucky and off-center.  I can’t truly gaze if I’m looking horizontally.  He tells me to put down the hoopla of the world.  To not fret over the horizontal details of life that really do not matter – those details that want to pull me down, to pull me apart, to pull me away.  He tells me those things do not matter because He is on His throne.  He will not step down, nor will He be pushed aside.  He IS in control.

He has all my details covered because He knows my story.  Seeing all my details, He moves in His own time and at His own pace.  I need to stop looking across at all the earthly details and fretting over the earthly “kings” that change at the drop of a hat. He calls to me, “Daughter, look up to Me, your Heavenly King.  I have all the details of your life covered. Surrender them all to me and leave them at the foot of the Cross and at the foot of My throne. The one and only throne that has never or will ever change.”

Yes, today is different.  Looking up and over the page. I fix my gaze – I see the One that is unchangeable, full of grace and mercy and peace. Looking up is transformational.    

 


getting rid of the huisache

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Huisache (wee – sach) ~a native plant in Texas.  In the spring, it puts forth beautiful yellow flowers and when you look at the shrub it has nice green foliage, inviting to deer and birds.  One small problem, huisache will take over your land if not maintained and kept under control.  It seems that the more you try to mow it down or cut it down, the more it seems to spread. So in other words, the more you try to physically disturb it, the more it grows.   The problem is you have to get down into the plant’s root system.  Something we’ve learned about controlling the huisache at CHR is we have to be intentional in the fight. We fight the root of the problem by spraying the stems and leaves of each plant with a very strong and powerful herbicide and let it do its work.  Then he can come in and pull out the dead plant, root and all.

Seeing my husband working our land, reminds me of how God works in us. As “pleasing” as the huisache can look from a distance, once you get up close you see the thorns and you learn how it will methodically overtake your land.  Sounds just like the Enemy.  He made rebellion against God—which is the root of all sin—seem very attractive.

So just like with the huisache, I have to fight the lies, the doubts, the deception the Enemy whispers to me, desiring me to turn my eyes away from my Father.  I have to be intentional day by day, moment by moment.   I must keep my focus on knowing the Lord and believing in His promises.  Then, and only then, will I be ready and equipped to fight the battle against the one who wants me to turn away from God.

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 ESV


hold my hand

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 He knows what is in the darkness,
    and the light dwells with him.
Daniel 2:22


Fear according to Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary

fear

noun

: an unpleasant emotion caused by being aware of danger : a feeling of being afraid

: a feeling of respect and wonder for something very powerful


Some fears can be healthy, protecting me from something that could be potentially dangerous.  But other fears cause me to think and react irrationally, becoming imprisoned by whatever it is that is causing me such an adversion.  This kind of fear can even keep me from obeying God, from hearing the Spirit speak to me, from feeling His pricking at my heart.

Instead of running or hiding from this emotion called fear, I need to go to the words spoken in Daniel 2:22.  There is no mystery with God and he’s never surprised or caught off guard.  He never wonders how in the world is He going to deal with this thing.   I need to remember, I am not alone here.

God is with me here in this moment of darkness, this hour of adversity, this season of not knowing why.  It is not darkness to Him because He is Light.  He is in complete charge of the mysteries of my life, those things that cause me to feel fear.  He holds me, my fears, my mysteries in His hand.  And because He does, I do not need to run, or hide.  I rest in Him, my Abba Father.


no fear

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Do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be afraid, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you; I will help you;
I will hold on to you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

With the turning of the new calendar page again this year, I have been wrestling over the last few weeks *the one word* I wanted to claim for this year.  For a while it seemed as if I was coming up empty-handed, the words that would come across the page just did not seem to be right.  The Spirit was leading me elsewhere.  For some reason this past Christmas the phrases, “Do not be afraid,” and “Fear not,” as the angel spoke to Mary and to the shepherds continued tugging at my heart.

So this year, it’s not just one word that I am claiming for my spiritual focus.  I’m claiming the phrase no fear because I know that His Word tells me to “not be afraid” throughout scripture.  I know this, but yet it seems many days I don’t live it.  And truthfully, it’s not about my being afraid – it’s about my trusting in the One who tells me to not be afraid. 

I could make a list of things I’m afraid of. On that list some of those things seem big to me, and some small.  Some of the things stem from my own insecurities, from worry.  My mind tells me there are so many things I need to fear, I should be afraid of.  But my heart tells me, I want to live in freedom, not in fear!  


2015

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Another year has come to a close.  In closing this chapter, the reflections of this past year are full of many blessings.  Blessings from wonderous new beginnings, new joys in the journey, steps toward dreams coming to fruition . . .  all of which draw us closer to God.  And this year has also been marked with disappointments, hurts, confusions, rejections . . .  these too have been blessings which draw us closer to God.  I put these high moments and these low moments in the vault of past Grace.  Knowing that each of these events are part of His plan to grow me, to teach me, to use me.

So as this new year begins today, as this next chapter opens up clean before me, I want to come with a teachable spirit.  I look forward to the future with faith and confidence that future Grace goes before me.  

My prayer for this new year is to not walk clinging to old ways, but to walk each day seeking His face with an open mind and an open heart.

Lord, I need You!! Renew my mind, continue to change my life. By testing, give me discernment what is good and acceptable and perfect…Give me Your will. 

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, is good and acceptable and perfect.
Romans 12:2


no blurred lines

 

Glassing for elk

Keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne

Hebrews 12:2

Do I spend my day, questioning whether there is really a plan He has for me?
or
Do I expect it, seeking it with intention and focus?

Do I stumble around trying to see my life carrying a broad beam flashlight of self-reliance to find my own path?

or

Am I guided with laser focus, the intense energy provided the Holy Spirit steering me to follow God’s perfect plan?

Do I question that He has a plan for me?

or

Do I joyfully expect it, hungry for Him to build me into the one He desires for me to be?

Is my daily prayer . . . USE ME? 

 


Hope for the filthy rags

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Even at my very best, I have nothing to offer but filthy rags.

But I have the Hope that will not disappoint!

Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus
Christ. 
We have also obtained access through Him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 
 endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope.

This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Romans 5: 1-5


the One who’s leading

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Therefore we do not give up.
Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 

For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory.
So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18


come as you are

As this new song by David Crowder reminds me  . . .  my hands are dirty.  I am not fit to sit at the Table.

Yet, He calls me and you to His Table.  It doesn’t matter how broken we are, or how far and how long we have wandered from Him, or how much hurt and shame we carry around.  It does not matter – our Abba Father calls us to come as we are.  He invites us to sit at His Table.

Come as you are.  Sit at His table and lay down your burdens, your broken heart, your shame, your wanderings, all your hurts that you’ve papered over through the years.  He will wash you clean and He will heal all the hurts.

 Come As You Are ~ by David Crowder
from Neon Steeple

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken-hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Come as you are

 


“you got this” ~ thank you, Dad

The Hallmark reminder popped up on my computer’s calendar ~ “Father’s Day is today.”  Not that I needed a reminder  … in fact, I don’t need Hallmark to remind me to celebrate my dad!   Each and every day, my dad is one of the very special people in my life that I thank God for allowing to be part of my journey.  My dad is the one who has guided me, pointing me to Him every step of the way from the very beginning.

 

A Father is the seed of your beginning, he is the catalyst of your being, the genesis of your becoming.
~Ann Voskamp

 As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.
Psalms 103:13

 

What better legacy can a daughter ask for?

Dad, I’ve got it . . .  because our Father has you!

 


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