Why, oh why….

Me and Rick’s song is “Praise you in this Storm” by Casting Crowns. Weird as a “song,” isn’t it? Well, that’s what it is. Every time we were together that song came on. I’m pretty sure God knew what was in store for us in our marriage and we would need that little promise to keep us trucking on…

I say that to lead into Job 3. God let Satan mess up Job’s life. He didn’t do anything wrong; in fact he made sacrifices for his kids just IN CASE they thought a bad thought. Job was holy, righteous and true. Yet he had bad things happen to him.
This chapter is about Job’s lament. Oh, woe is me, and all that jazz. (I would be too….) He wishes he were dead and can’t understand what he’s done wrong to deserve all this crap thrust upon him.

Well, praise Him in this storm. Job doesn’t curse God that ALL his kids are dead, that ALL his cattle, sheep, (herds of whatever) are gone, pretty much ALL of his servants have been wiped out. His wife is still there-whatever comfort that is!

No one said life would be fair; in fact you hear very often how life ISN’T fair. It doesn’t mean God is an unjust God. He is God.
And no one is here to say it will be easy. I can’t imagine everything that Job went through. I can’t even picture having half of it done to me and still being able to praise God. Maybe eventually, but as soon as it happens? Not so sure. So I need to make sure I’m in tune with God at all times. Doesn’t mean nothing bad will happen to me, but I have to Praise Him in ALL storms!

God is there.
God is holding me tight.
Even in the quiet.

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A holy man…

 

Job is one of my favorite books of the bible. Weird, hunh?
I think I have read through the book of Job more than any other book of the bible. Maybe this one and Revelation. Two of my favorite books. And the more I read them, the more I get out them. My journey through the bible has now brought me back to Job.

Job didn’t even write this book but he is one famous man. It’s almost like the Good Samaritan. You know about him. You know about his story. You know the famous scripture: verse 21

“The Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

Job was an incredibly holy man. Back in the day (his days…) the dad (or Patriarch) was in charge of the family’s church. Job probably raised his kids to praise and honor the Lord. To make certain sacrifices when they sinned and to obey. Job would go and sacrifice to God for his kids. Just in case they thought bad thoughts and sinned against the Lord. Holy. Holier than thou…. (meaning me!)

The verse that I love in Chapter 1 is verse five where it says:

“And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them and rose up early in the morning and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all; for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned an cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.”

I’ve been following Good Morning Girls and their guide to reading the bible. They’ve come out with some awesome journal/study guides and they have questions each day. Chapter one’s question was asking what are ways that I keep faithful in the bad times? I’m supposed to be thankful for those times as well, right? So…

I don’t think I am. Thankful that is. I am sometimes. But when God gives me over to bad things? I’m probably the first to be depressed and curse life. (Thankfully God hasn’t killed me…) You know what; it depends on who is with me. Like if something happens in my life that is hectic and crazy I can be the friend who freaks out or I can be the friend who holds it all together. If I need to be the friend who holds it all together I am the ultimate optimist. Nothing can get me down and I’ll name things to remind us of the good things God has done/given us.

There is one thing in my life I think it’s tough being a optimist about. I  want more kids and a bigger house (to hold those kids!).
I’m truly thankful that I have a house now. I’m thankful I’m not homeless and I’m thankful we have air conditioning!
I have to learn to be an optimist, but how?

I digress…
Job.
Holy man.
Thank you Lord for giving me awesome parents who took me church and showed me Your love.

I need to make sure I keep on asking God to help me through those dark thoughts and to help me mature in His word and knowledge. I have to focus on the bigger picture. God has plans for me. Not to harm me, but for me to prosper. (Thank you Jeremiah…. and God)

He alone with give me my peace. No worldly items and no person will fill me up. Only God.

 

 

 

 

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All you need is faith, TRUST, and a little pixie dust….

Trust is defined as: firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.

Trust is hard for most people; or maybe it seems that way when it’s you that struggles with it. I do struggle with it. No doubt about it. Trust is a major issue for me. I’m not sure where it started from but I really can’t think of a time that I didn’t trust my parents or any such time growing up. Maybe it was just instilled into me as an adult. Thinking I have to be independent and taking care of myself since no one else was. (That sounds truly bitter, but I’m not.)

When I got married I trusted my husband wholeheartedly and didn’t doubt him for one second. When you get married and are young and naive that’s easy. Well, maybe as you grow closer to God it’s easier no matter what age you are or what season of life your in. For me it was easy. I had no reason to not trust him. Through circumstances in the first few years of our marriage my trust slowly waned. Different little things but it doesn’t matter what; it was slipping.

Just this past week I’ve seen that I need to trust my husband with all my heart and mind and soul. Not just go through the motions but do it like I mean it. I missed yesterday’s Matthew reading so today I started in chapter 21. The barren fig tree:

“Now in the morning as he returned into the city, he hungered. And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast in to the sea; it shall be done. And all things whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

The importance of prayer is so huge and the only way to get over my issue with trust is to pray. Jesus can help me overcome my fear, my lack of faith and most importantly my non-existent trust.

The fig tree is an example of prayer and the POWER of it. If you have faith in prayer anything can be accomplished. The power of it is astounding. Jesus said the tree wouldn’t bear any more fruit. Guess what? It withered right then and there. Bam! No faith, guess what? God can help you with that. Pray and ask for help. Ask for a complete trust to wash over you. Bam! No more worries. Well, you might have some but that’s just doubt creeping back in. Pray again…. keep praying. It doesn’t hurt; only helps.

So, toss out your bag of pixie dust (how did you get that anyway?). All you need is the first two: Faith and trust and add a little prayer in too…

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True Surrender

Matthew 19 today and boy what a culmination of the whole week’s worth of teaching rolling together in one huge ball today! Complete and true surrender. That is all it takes.

Sunday during Bible Study time we are going through Lisa Terkeurst’s book “The Best Yes.” This lesson was on “one wise woman” in second Samuel. Making godly decisions and being wise. What is the best yes for me at this time and what can I cut back on or out completely out of my life to help me make those right and wise decisions? We’ve learned that God’s Word is wisdom. True and complete wisdom. Nothing hard to believe about that. But actually putting things into practice is always another story, right?

Well, then on Wednesday night we’ve been going over True Spirituality (w/ Chip Ingram) following through Romans 12. Last night we dissected verse one. Just one verse, but oh so powerful. Sometimes there are risks in Christianity but the rewards may be great. They are great. Heaven sounds pretty awesome and great. That being the major reward, I think. But what does it take to be a Romans 12 Christian? Risks. And being able to say yes to those risks and trusting in God. Having a complete surrender towards Him. And only Him. Not to ourselves and our earthly desires and pleasures. Surrender = True Commitment.

TRUE COMMITMENT = SURRENDER!

We learned also how to deal with risks in your Christian life. You need: Truth, Knowledge and Faith.

So, moving away from last night’s study and then this morning I get out my bible to read the chapter I’m on: 19 in Matthew. Reading through the story of the rich young ruler really brought things together for me. This guy thought he was all that (and a bag of potato chips) and said that he kept all the commandments but when Jesus tells him to SURRENDER his earthly-no-good-probably-pricey things he leaves saddened because he had “great possessions.”

All it takes is surrendering to Him. Everything, every part of my life, every item that I own, even my own children. I surrender them to the one who makes me whole, the one who gives me life, the one who stores up our riches in heaven. The ONE and ONLY. Jesus.
True Surrender? Yes please.

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What kind of platter do you want?

Reading through Matthew has been an eye opener and I’ve read so much that I’ve never read or read and didn’t remember. Like I didn’t know there were TWO instances of feeding thousands. I always thought (or was taught) that there was the five thousand and there were the twelve baskets left over and all that. And the little boy. Remember him? The one that had the fish and loaves? I always thought he belonged to feeding of the five thousand. Ha! Gotcha. It was really the feeding of the FOUR thousand. (Men, that is.) My mind has been blown, right? Well, maybe not.

What I found interesting is how much sex is a part of daily life, today and yesteryear. Even in the bible times. Case in point: the beheading of John the Baptist. If I can, and I will since I’m writing this, I want to back it up just a little bit and talk about how vail Herod was. The first one. He named his sons after him. More than one. Very interesting little tidbit for you. So, this story takes place with a Herod (a son) and his niece doing a little dance that was lascivious aka: naughty! Now, this girl was as wicked as they come. She married her Uncle and then when she went into his brother house, the brother convinced her to divorce the other guy and marry him! Wow, someone was a little misguided…..

So after this naughty dance the king who is sooo under her spell asks her to name something, ANYTHING, he can give her to repay her for this awesomeness. So, since she’s pretty wicked and knew this was going to happen and having a wicked mommy who already told her what to ask for she’s set. John the Baptist’s head on a platter. Doesn’t that just scream: HAPPY PARTY!! ? What, no? It doesn’t?
Well, the king (Herod) is actually a little saddened at her request. I think that’s one of the questions I want to ask God when I see Him. Why was he sad? Because he didn’t really want to kill John or because that’s what she asked for instead of maybe sleeping with him or jewels or something really cool?

Today I was reading in Chapter 16 about the Pharisee’s asking for a sign and Jesus telling them off that they know they shouldn’t be asking for a sign. They should be believeing.
What has been getting to me is the many times that Jesus tells his disciples and people He meets that they shouldn’t tell anybody what he does, or has done or will do. There are numerous times He says this and it really makes me question it. What does he mean by it? I know earlier in the book of Matthew He was saying that He didn’t want his death to come too early but is that still the meaning of it? Maybe it’s something really simple and I’m just not getting it.

 

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It Stank!

Yet again I’m behind. (I was singing “on the road again….” just now. Just so you know.) I will catch up. Make it a priority. Make it a priority. I’m going to keep repeating that to myself until I get it in my head.
(Trying to remember what I’m supposed to remember…)

Today I’ve read through Chapters 15 and 16. Didn’t really pique my interest, but that could be because I’m so far behind I’m struggling, and stressing about reading to catch up. I want to SOAK these scriptures in and get something out of them. Maybe I’m just having an “off” day. Anywho… while reading Chapter 15 Oceans by Hillsong was playing on Pandora so that did put me in a very “holy” place, and verse 1b says it all:

“I will sing.”

Perfect. I will sing to MY Lord. He will hear my song and I will sing it loudly. So that all can hear it and, it may not sound great to others but to my Lord and King it is wonderful. Saying that reminds me of the show Touched by an Angel. Roma Downey couldn’t sing but Della Reese told her that when she sang God heard beautiful music and it made him glad. I think of that when I sing!

But, can you imagine being an Israelite at the time? They see God lead them through on DRY land and then take care of Pharoh and his armies? Miriam pops up with a song and THE WHOLE Israelite group SINGS praises to the Lord. They were happy God saved their behinds, I’m sure. I need to remember to sing to the Lord when I have battles that are conquered with Him. I also need to remember to sing when I’m still going through those battles and I may not win them…. I can’t remember where the verse is but the one about The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
In Chapter 16, ohmygoodness, I just shake my head at this chapter. I feel like I barely trust God with my life sometimes and these silly, un-trusting people cannot even handle the bread. They go to Moses and gripe to him that they’re hungry. I guess that is a legitimate reason to be angry. At least I understand it to be. So, they go to him and complain about him bringing them out to the wilderness and there’s no food….he must want them to die in the wilderness because he didn’t think this one through.

Moses goes to God. He calls the people of Israel “the people,” not even “his people.” I’m thinking because they were ready to stone him. Can you believe that? It only takes one person to turn the crowd! So, he asks God to help “the people.” And God says no. That’s it. They die and we’re all done.
Yeah, right. God of course says, why of course I will feed you my whiny complaining kids. I love you anyway. Here’s some manna. Pick it up after the dew and before the sun burns it off the ground. Only get enough for one day except on the sixth day to make enough bread for the sabbath. Simple enough instructions. Some people, and I’m guessing the same people that got the group to want to stone Moses (just a guess…) took more than enough for them. The next day what do they get? Some stank butt, wormy manna. Yum. Doesn’t that sound appetizing? No? Well, then maybe you should have listened to God and only got your portion. Greedy people.

What did I get from this chapter? Listen to God. Duh, right? Well, I really understood it to say to me that I need to trust God. Even in my tiny, itsy bitty, insignificant life. All the tiny details; even food. Trust Him to provide. Trust Him to help me, heal me. Trust Him for everything, everyday, without fail. No questions asked. Just do it. Because I don’t want to wake up one morning with a stank smelling life!

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Comfort Zone 101

So, this week has been hectic. Let me start over. These past two weeks have been crazy with my reading schedule. Meaning, I’ve put other things ahead of actually sitting down with my bible and notebook and reading. As is such I’ve been reading like mad trying to catch up. Still working on it. Down five or six chapters to where I am supposed to be. But it’s actually been nice reading more than one chapter. Feels like I’m reading a “book,” instead of my bible! Weird, but I think that’s one of the reasons I wasn’t really reading my bible. Because it’s not a book to me. Weird mindset, I know. But oh well. I’m weird. And I know it.

Reading through the plagues for me was really an eye opener because I remember all the kiddie stories and songs that go along with it and I’ve always looked past what’s in the bible. Actually written there. For me. I don’t remember ever learning that the plagues weren’t each told to Pharoh. Some were “surprises.” See, I thought Moses went to Pharoh after each attempt to get God’s people out and said: “look here Pharoh! Release God’s people or He’s going to do ______!” Totally not how it worked out. Surprised? I was. If you weren’t, I wasn’t either….

Also pretty interesting was that God put up a division between the children of Israel and the Egyptians when he was doing some of the plagues. Verse 22 of Chapter 8 says:

And I will sever in that day the land of Goshen, in which my people dwell, that no swarms of flies shall be there; to the end thou mayest know that I am the Lord in the midst of the earth.

In my bible it says that it was “demonstrating that the Lord can preserve His own people while judging Egypt.” God is might. He is powerful and He is just. Duh.
Thought it was pretty neat that even some of the Egyptians heeded God’s warnings about the plagues and they weren’t “hurt” by them. Like when the disease came to the cows, some of the Egyptians in Pharohs own house made sure there animals weren’t out and they put them up because they believed. And then when the Israelite’s finally left Egypt some of the Egyptians went with them. It mentions it in Chapter 12 (vs. 38):

And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks and herds, even very much cattle.

I’m up to Chapter 14 now and it really hit me hard today. FIGHT! If ever there was a word I need to hold in my heart, it’s that. And I don’t mean picking fights or fistfights or something crazy like that. What I mean is that I need to FIGHT for my Lord. Simple things that could be everyday. Like reading my bible; I need to FIGHT the devil and get in the Word. See? Simple things. The Lord fights for me too. Something I need to remember every day, all day. I’m special enough to God that He loves me and He wants what is best for me and He will FIGHT for me!
When I was reading this chapter, that verse (14) stuck out to me like a sore thumb. I love it. I need to memorize it too. NEED TO MEMORIZE IT. (If I write it in all caps it will stick with me…..I hope!)

In this Chapter the Israelites have finally been “let go,” and there waiting at the riverside. They see the Egyptians coming. Probably a pretty scary sight. I’ve never seen chariots in person and have no idea how menacing they look but I’m sure hundreds upon hundreds of them scattering up dust and battle cries being screamed would make my heart skip a beat. Or two or three…. So what do I do? I mean they do? They cower down and say to Moses (or me to God) Why did you take us out of our comfort zone? Sure, we were slaves. Sure, we did horribly difficult things and suffered tremendously. Why, oh why did you have to take us away from that so that we could die here in the woods?

I don’t think many people like to go out of their comfort zone. If they did, I don’t think we would have “comfort zones.” It would just be space. And there we are. And there you are. And you want to come to my space? Ok. It’s not comfortable, it’s not not comfortable. It’s just there. And here we are.

I love my comfort zone and I’m cozy in it. Some things on my heart though are to put myself out there more. Like at morning exercise, God put it in my path to speak up to the ladies there and invite them a church event we’re having. Did I? No, I chickened out. Big time. Another thing is that I really want to go on a missions trip. Have I looked up airline tickets? Yes; have I emailed missions? Yes, but have I told anybody at the church my desire? Nope. Why? I have no idea. Fear of being told no? I don’t know, but I think it’s because I don’t want to “die” in the woods. I want to be in my comfort zone……

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