"Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ"

~Philippians 1:6

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Hogging The Conversation

Hello There. Ya I'm talking to you. The lurkers, you know the ones that don't leave comments (which is fine), but I'd like to hear from you. You kinda know me or at least the blog me. Ask me a question and I'll answer or leave a comment and I'll read it and respond. I've been hogging our conversation and I feel pretty bad about that. So anyway, let me know who you are! This probably made no sense, but there ya go, that's me.

Friday, July 20, 2012

How Badly Do We Want To Sin?

"And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic: But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all beside this manna, before our eyes." Numbers 11: 4-6

Look how they complain. Look how we complain. Look how they remember Egypt (captivity and slavery) as something good. They say that now their soul is dried away. I would think it would have dried away while in slavery. It's a shame how they downplayed manna. Manna was a representation of God's provision. He gave them enough for each and every day, but not in advance except for the Sabbath. Why do you think that is? He is teaching us that His mercies are new every morning, that He is enough, and that we don't have to worry even though it looks like we should. I know we all have our Egypts, we all have those places in our lives where we think oh how I wish I could go back. Lot's wife did and we all know how she ended up. Personally, I don't want to end up a pillar of salt. What we fail to remember however is the separation our Egypt wrought in our relationships with Christ. We fail to remember the rampant sin and its consequences. We fail to learn the reason God took us out of Egypt in the first place. Maybe that is why some of us are still wandering in the desert.

"And there went forth a wind from the Lord, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day's journey on this side, and as it were a day's journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth. And the people stoop all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp." Numbers 11: 31 & 32

The Israelites had complained about Egypt enough. They had asserted their opinion on the current situation one too many times. God finally gave them what they wanted: flesh to eat which I believe represents sin. He let them have what they desired so much that it was 3 feet deep (2 cubits=36 inches)! Have you ever looked around and realized you were standing in filth? Have you looked around and realized you were completely surrounded by your sin? That's what God did for the Israelites. It was the only way they were going to learn. He does it for us too. Look how they had to toil when God gave them what they wanted. That's what sin does for us. It creates more work. One more lie to cover up the last one. Then they took the quail/sin and surrounded the camp with it. When we get our desires/sin we surround ourselves with it. We do this because we feel more comfortable in the filth and depravity then we do being faced with God's perfection, His mercy, His love, and His grace. We keep heaping it on, we bit by bit kill ourselves spiritually because we think it's too late to go back, that it's too late to ask for His forgiveness. I'm here to tell you, it's never too late! He's there, waiting for you, like the patient and loving Savior He is. The thief on the cross grasped this concept well, when he looked at Christ he knew it wasn't too late and grabbed on with both hands to salvation and eternity that Christ offered him. I would encourage you not to cut it that close because nothing beats having a personal relationship with the Lord, but the thief on the cross is an illustration of how much it doesn't matter what you've done. He's waiting for you and while He's waiting He's loving you.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Power of the Lord and the Weakness of Idols

There has been a theme in my devotions and learning as of late. I love it when the Lord does that because I know He's working something out in my life. Idols. Sigh. Oh how I wish they never existed. Oh how I wish we wouldn't give them a prominent place in our lives. Because that's exactly what we do. We give it to them.

"Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: And even to your old age I am he; and even to hoar hairs will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you." Isaiah 46: 3&4 He wants us to listen and He wants us to know who He is. He leaves no doubt as to who He is in this passage "And even to your old age I am He; and even to hoar hairs (gray hairs) will I carry you: I have made, and I will bear; even I will carry, and will deliver you." Idols can't do that. TV can't do that, my beloved iPhone can't do that, my beautiful Mac can't' do that, my husband can't do that, nor can my parents. Only God can.

"To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like?" Isaiah 46:5 If somebody asked you if you thought God and satan are equal, I bet your answer would be a resounding NO! I bet if they asked you if you if you thought God was like man your answer would be another resounding NO! The problem here, dear readers, is that when we fear satan we are making him equal with God. When we blame world hunger and cancer on God we are bringing God down to the level of man. When we look at God and see pain, misery, and unfairness instead of love, mercy, and grace we are stripping Him of all His power in our lives. We are equating Him with the ugliness of humanity. We finding Him equal with nothing but a fallen angel who He created. There isn't a power struggle between God and Satan. There never was nor will there ever be. God has a plan and a timeline and when they come to fruition Satan is gone. Simple as that.

"They lavish gold out of the bag, and weigh silver in the balance, and hire a goldsmith; and he maketh it a god: they fall down, yea, they worship. They bear him upon the shoulder, they carry him, and set him in his place, and he standeth; from his place shall he not remove (move): yea, one shall cry unto him, yet he not answer, nor save him out of his trouble. Remember this, and show yourselves men: bring it again to mind, O ye transgressors." Isaiah 46: 6-8. This shows such premeditation with the idols. They went through several different obstacles to get the thing made and finally when it was made they bowed down to it. I wonder at that moment if there was a giant feeling of being let down. Think about the fact that these were God's chosen people. People who have seen and felt the power of God. I really think that at the moment they bowed down to a piece of metal that they went "uh oh". There was no glorious peace and there was no feeling of awe,  there was just...void. How many times have you felt like that in your life? How many times did you put something in God's place in your life and you were all psyched up about it. You went to metaphorically or maybe literally bow down to it and there was just...nothing. A complete and total void. Maybe it was money, maybe it was another person, maybe it was being well known. No matter what it was or is, it can never or will never bring you the peace you seek. There is only place where that peace exists and that is our Heavenly Father.

"Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me," Isaiah 46:9 I love this verse. He tells us to remember the past, remember the old stuff, and then He is God. He doesn't wants us to dwell on the past, but he does want us to think about it so we can better remember who He is and that there is indeed no one like Him. Remember the old idols and how they couldn't fulfill you, but how He overflows you. Remember the anxiety and then realize His peace. Remember the loneliness and then feel His love. These are the things He wants us to do when we "Remember the former things of old".

"Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted (stubborn minded-which is me), that are far from righteousness: I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory." Isaiah 46: 12&13 No expounding necessary, isn't it wonderful? His salvation shall not tarry! I'm so glad for that, I bet you are too.

Monday, July 16, 2012

You Swallowed What?!?

I'm so worn out right now. At about 4 pm Griz came to me and said he swallowed a watch battery. I looked up online and found that they are really dangerous because the alkali can cause all types of health issues and they can perforate the esophagus. First I called the ER and they said to call the pediatricians and poison control. So I called the pediatricians (both offices), but they were closed. I then called poison control who confirmed what I read on the internet and they told me to take him in. So up we go to the hospital (for the 2nd time in two weeks). It took 3 X-rays for them to see the dang thing only to find out it wasn't a watch battery, but a metal washer. One doctor said he thought it was too big to pass, but he didn't feel comfortable doing a scope on a child. Then they said we might have to go to Missoula, but they wanted to talk to the doctor there. After talking to the doctor in Missoula (which took for freaking ever), they thought it would indeed pass on it's own, but to watch him just in case. So 3 hours later we got home. I have to take him in tomorrow (Wednesday) for a follow up X-ray to see if it's moved. I'm still worried, but I have to trust God that He has Griz in His hands. So that's evening and night. God is good though, in that I am absolutely certain.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

"In Thee O Lord, Do I Put My Trust"

"In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust; let me never be ashamed: deliver me in thy righteousness.
Bow down thine ear to me; deliver me speedily: be thou my strong rock, for an house of defence to save me.
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.
Pull me out of the net that they have laid privily for me: for thou art my strength.
Into thine hand I commit my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, OLord God of truth.
I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in theLord.
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities;
And hast not shut me up into the hand of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a large room.
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly.
10 For my life is spent with grief, and my years with sighing: my strength faileth because of mine iniquity, and my bones are consumed.
11 I was a reproach among all mine enemies, but especially among my neighbours, and a fear to mine acquaintance: they that did see me without fled from me.
12 I am forgotten as a dead man out of mind: I am like a broken vessel.
13 For I have heard the slander of many: fear was on every side: while they took counsel together against me, they devised to take away my life.
14 But I trusted in thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my God.
15 My times are in thy hand: deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, and from them that persecute me.
16 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant: save me for thy mercies' sake.
17 Let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon thee: let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave.
18 Let the lying lips be put to silence; which speak grievous things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.
19 Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee; which thou hast wrought for them that trust in thee before the sons of men!
20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.
21 Blessed be the Lord: for he hath shewed me his marvellous kindness in a strong city.
22 For I said in my haste, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.
23 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord preserveth the faithful, and plentifully rewardeth the proud doer.
24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the Lord."
Psalm 32

I adore this Psalm. I could go line by line I love it so much, but that would make for one long post. This is such a good reminder that we need to be putting our trust in the Lord. He is the only One who will never disappoint us. He is the only One who can love us with a perfect love. Most importantly, He is the only One who can save us. 

Friday, July 13, 2012

Is It In The Right Place?

My devotions yesterday produced a verse that was both soul provoking and saddening. Saddening in the way that it is true and it shouldn't be. 

"But hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back:" 1 Kings 14: 9. The context of this verse is God speaking through his prophet Ahijah to Jeroboam's wife. Jeroboam and his wife were trying to deceive the prophet by her disguising herself and going to the prophet to get a prophecy regarding their child who was sick. The prophet is blind, but why you'd try to deceive a prophet is beyond me, I mean hello God gives him visions and talks to him directly. Like he isn't going to know who you are. Anyway, this verse really got me thinking about how we put things before God. We may not make molten images ( I hope so anyway), but we definitely have idols that we put before God. One of the definitions of idol is any person or thing regarded with blind admiration,adoration, or devotion. I'm not saying we can't be devoted to things or admire stuff, but are we putting it before God? Are we carrying it around petting it and obsessing over it like an old lady and her little dog? (ok bad analogy, but it's funny so I'm keeping it) Sometimes I put my husband before God, it's easy to do when you have a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse. Sometimes I put my kids before God. Lately I've been putting all of my modeling stuff before God, which I've corrected, but I have to be careful to not take it back and put it before Him again. It's an everyday process for me right now. In my devotions I have to give it up to Him again. It'll be that way for awhile until I leave it in His hands. Oh how I long for that day. For now though, I'll continue to give it to Him everyday. And like and awesome and wonderful God He takes it from me everyday with the patience of the Heavenly Father He is. What molten images are you putting before God? What little things are you holding onto scared to lay them in His hands? Give it to Him, I promise you'll feel the burden lift off of your shoulders.

Ok last part of that verse is "...to provoke me to anger, hast cast me behind thy back" God is angry because He is a jealous God. He wants us to Himself. It is why He died on the cross, to have a personal, uninterrupted, just you and Him relationship with Him. My relationship with God isn't me, Him, and Derek or me, Him, and my children. It's me and Him. Period, that's it. 

"For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:" Exodus 34:14

"For the Lord thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God." Deuteronomy 4:24

"Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord they God am a jealous God,..." Exodus 20:5a

You get the picture, there are many more verses that confirm that He is a jealous God. But it's only because He loves you so much and He gave so much for you that He wants you all to Himself. I'm going to be looking at my life very closely to see what I'm putting before God, I want to make sure there are no invaders in my relationship with Him, nothing that is separating me from having a true and wondrous relationship with Him. I hope you'll do the same because I know that when we eradicate these things that are hampering us from completely focusing on Him we will feel Him move in us in miraculous and wondrous ways. 

This song is so amazing and really sums up what I'm trying to say in this long winded post. Please listen to the whole thing, this is one of my favorite songs.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Great Emptying of Self

It's hard being a Christian living in the United States. I mean don't get me wrong I love that we have the freedom to read our Bibles in public, arrange Christian outreaches, and tell others about Christ without the fear of imprisonment or death. But there is just SO MUCH STUFF! Stuff that distracts us from our true purpose in this world. Stuff that puffs up our heads and gives us warped ideas about self.

The other day during my devotions God gave me Philippians 2: 1-11. Many years ago my pastor titled these verses "The great emptying of self". Hence the reason for the title of this post. The title aptly fits these groups of verses so well.

"Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves" Philippians 2:3. This verse is the complete antithesis of the American dream and the American way of thinking. We are taught to get what we want and need for ourselves. We are taught that we are great and to forsake others for our own selfish purpose. But we aren't of the world are we? God tells us so. We often forget that though. We allow the American way of life and thinking to pollute that which God desires to stay pure: Us. Vainglory means excessive elation over one's own achievements, abilities etc., empty pomp or show. Essentially being way too happy over something you've done. Did you hold open the door for the old lady so you could brag later and hold your head high? Did you tithe so you could bring it up to God later? Did you give money to a friend in need only to hold it against them later? These acts by themselves are a great service to God, but when you add in the later acts it taints them and it would be better for you to not have done them at all.

"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Philippians 2: 7 & 8. Can you imagine going from Heaven to Earth? Going from a place of perfection where there was no hunger, no thirst, no sin, no hot or cold, no sadness, no anger, and no pain? Can you imagine going from being one with God to being separated from Him? That's what Christ did. And He did it for us. He thought of YOU when He was on that cross. He thought of YOU as each nail was pounded into his flesh. He thought of YOU as He hungered and thirsted upon that cross. The wondrous thing was that He never once complained or questioned it, He just did it. Are we willing to take the form of a servant? Are we willing to forsake everything we know and care about for Christ? Well that is exactly what He is asking us to do. He wants all of us. Not just the part we offer on Sunday mornings or the 10 minute devotional we do in the mornings. Don't get me wrong Sundays and daily devotionals are great, but He wants more. He wants every hurt and burden, He wants to be the One we thank when things are great, He wants to be the One we thank when things are horrible, and He wants every single shadowy corner of our mind (I think that's a song line). He wants it all, but are we willing to give it? Are we willing to completely empty ourselves just like Christ did for us? Until we are willing and actually do it, He can't completely fill us with His Holy Spirit. He can't completely use us for the great plans He has in store for us. I for one desire to be completely filled by His Spirit and I so desire to be used for great things to further His kingdom. I hope you do too.

Monday, July 9, 2012


Where is God in our troubled times? Where is He when the pain overcomes our faith and reasoning? Where is He when our tears soak the pillow? When we feel as if we are going to drown in those tears? 

I imagine this is how the Israelites felt while they were wandering in the desert searching, exhausted and broken. Minus the pillow of course. Being broken is a painful and necessary process. Jesus was broken when He gave His life for us. If the Savior had to be broken who are we to think we don't need it? 

One of my favorite verses in Jeremiah says "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water"

When God breaks us we are low, we are desperate, and we are pliable. We can't hold anything. The great thing is that God doesn't ever leave us broken. He picks our broken, tear stained body up and carries us to a magnificent place. A place that is filled with grace and love and peace. He builds us up into someone that we no longer recognize. Someone filled with His Holy Spirit who loves and forgives and starts to resemble our Creator. Which is our goal in this life right? To become as like Him as we can. That can only happen by shedding our flesh and sin and running to Him. We have to be willing to be broken as many times as it takes. I'm being broken right now. My chronic pain is a lesson. He's showing me that I have no strength apart from Him. I can't go through this life on my own. I can't be successful on my own. I can't become the mother or wife I desire to be without Him. I can't be a great friend, sister, or daughter without His grace and presence in my life. 

Are you willing to be broken? Are you willing to allow God to take complete control of your life? Are you willing to ask God the scary questions and get answers you won't like?

Please be willing, please allow Him to break you. After the pain you will see the rainbow, you will experience Him fully, the way He intended the relationship to be when he formed you.

 I'm broken and glad. Use me Lord, build me and form me into the magnificent person you envisioned before time began. I'm ready.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Just To Let You Know...

I'm not dead. I have a big blog post in progress. Please be patient. I love these weird sentences. Talk to you later.