Posts Tagged With: kay arthur

Lift my eyes…


 

White Lake, Island of Love and Venus pavilion by Иван Стасюк

Good morning, beloved,

Surrender.

Psalm 121:

I will lift up my eyes to the hills [around Jerusalem, to sacred Mount Zion and Mount Moriah]—From whence shall my help come?(A)

My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth.

He will not allow your foot to slip or to be moved; He Who keeps you will not slumber.

I will lift…lift-

1) to lift, lift up

2) to bear, carry, support, sustain, endure

3) to take, take away, carry off, forgive

to the hills..mountains-

“Farther, to the religion of the ancients, esp. the Hebrews, who regarded the mountains as holy, as the abodes of the gods..this would more be about superstition and idolatry than revealed religion.” Genesius’ Lexicon

David is giving us a picture of lifting our burdens to the Lord as described by the mountains. Of course, the Hebrews would remember their patriarch, Moses, on the mountain bringing the Law to them, bringing God’s word into their midst..the lightning and thunder coming off the mountain. They would keep themselves from touching the mountain for it was holy ground.

From whence does my help-think of help, but add this picture to your mind: “girding, surrounding, hence defending.”GL

I don’t know about you, but I need pictures in my mind to help me. God has given us this picture of His help as a mountain: strong, powerful, mighty, unmovable, steadfast. If you are on one side of the mountain, and the elements (sun, wind) are on the other, just think, you are not going to be touched. Shadows will cast over you. There are clefts in the rock. Hiding places…

Now the Lord, consider His Name, I AM. Jehovah. Now, I consider this word and how the Hebrews would not even utter this name. Not even as a whisper, think of the reverence of His Name. That in itself is an act of worship, is it not?

Let me share the root of this Name with you…

) to happen, fall out, occur, take place, come about, come to pass

b) to come about, come to pass

2) to come into being, become

a) to arise, appear, come

b) to become

1) to become

2) to become like

3) to be instituted, be established

3) to be

a) to exist, be in existence

b) to abide, remain, continue (with word of place or time)

c) to stand, lie, be in, be at, be situated (with word of locality)

d) to accompany, be with

b) (Niphal)

1) to occur, come to pass, be done, be brought about

2) to be done, be finished, be gone

Do you notice there is past, present and future verbs here? That is the essence of this Name. I AM. He is eternal. Never beginning, always existing.

This is who is our help. Yes, we can consider the mountains. Yet, He is the glory that we can rest our weary heads upon. He is the maker of the heavens and earth and holy is His Name.

I must say I needed to ponder Him today. I am hurting a bit with my jaw and stuff and I just wanted to lift my eyes to Him. The physical pain is something I’ve never experienced for this long. To those who suffer in pain, my heart extends to you. I have to tell you there is no greater way to spend your time while in pain than considering the wonder and greatness of our God.

How do I allow people to walk in my pain with me? I don’t like to surrender to needing help. I want to be the help. Yet, in this, my children are learning to be caretakers. I rest my head on their shoulders, they rub my jaw, they bring me things to help. Now they are getting a chance to be at a dear friend’s house and not worry about me today. Now, I could spend the day watching Downton Abbey, or any other show on Netflix, but I believe the Lord wants me to keep Him forefront in my mind today.  So I will be working on memorizing, listening to Kay Arthur’s teaching and resting. Maybe I’ll watch a show too. ;)

God bless you in this day. Pray on.

 

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Dogs and swine ?


 

No dogs allowed; Pigs guard houses on Aitutaki by Ciell

Good morning, beloved,

This is a first. Choosing a picture of pigs, it has to be a first. Matthew 7:6 records a verse that “…at first glance seems totally unrelated to the Sermon on the Mount. ” (SOTM, pg. 109) I hear people quote this verse and I am always stuck on the swine and can’t ever seem to get to what Jesus is teaching us here. So let’s look together.

“For the Lord takes pleasure in His people; He will beautify the humble with salvation and adorn the wretched with victory.” Psalm 149:4 AMP

I do have a praise to share first. I took off Ella’s knee immobilizer yesterday. She swam in the lake yesterday and requested we not put the brace back on. She isn’t willing to bend it all the way, she says it hurts too much yet she isn’t walking a little better and bending it a bit. Huge. So thankful for that! I think we may head to the lake again today to see if we can continue to loosen it up. Thank you for your prayers. Noah gets his stitches out this afternoon and hopefully he will be able to take the boot off.  Yesterday I heard Kay Arthur’s message on chapter 6 of Matthew. And I want to share that with you, it was as if Kay was speaking just to me. God is good. :)

I’m also reading a wonderful book right now that I got on my Kindle.  This man hiked the Appalachian Trail soon after he lost his wife to cancer. This is the story of how God revealed Himself to the author. Powerful book…if you need a reminder that God is always in the business of rehabilitating hearts. Hiking Through by Paul V. Stutzman..

Here we go! Matthew 7:6 Do not give that which is holy (the sacred thing) to the dogs, and do not throw your pearls before hogs, lest they trample upon them with their feet and turn and tear you in pieces.

Let’s look through the Scriptures and get some clues to this verse!

Philippians 3:2 Look out for those dogs [Judaizers, legalists], look out for those mischief-makers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh.

Well, this verse contains a warning, isn’t it?

The dogs as we can see are those who: kyōn of those whose moral impurity will exclude them from the New Jerusalem. The Jews used the term of Gentiles, under the idea of ceremonial impurity. Among the Greeks it was an epithet of impudence. Lat., canis, and Eng., “hound” are etymologically akin to it.

Moral impurity…what’s a Judaizer, tho? One who conforms to the religion of the Jews. So one who follows the customs and laws of the Jews that were no longer required under the New Covenant. There was a religion formed that combined the faith of Jesus but held people to the laws of Jews. Unnecessary!

2 Peter 2:22 There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and, The sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire.

Chapter 2 of 2 peter talks about the ungodly, the unrighteous. So this ending verse repeats a proverb. All of the desires of the wicked and their fate are listed. I have to tell you it makes me so sad to see our country falling to this in so many ways.  Ugh. Such sadness. Their eyes have become dark  and the Spirit of God is nowhere to be found as our country continues to deny the Lord.

Revelation 22: 

14 Blessed (happy and to be envied) are those who cleanse their garments, that they may have the authority and right to [approach] the tree of life and to enter through the gates into the city.

15 [But] without are the dogs and those who practice sorceries (magic arts) and impurity [the lewd, adulterers] and the murderers and idolaters and everyone who loves and deals in falsehood (untruth, error, deception, cheating).

Dogs: those who practice sorceries, the lewd, the adulterers, murders, idolaters, and the liars.  Friends, it seems pretty clear who are the dogs. Yet how is this principle lived out?

Matthew 10: 

11 And into whatever town or village you go, inquire who in it is deserving, and stay there [at his house] until you leave [that vicinity].

12 As you go into the house, give your greetings and wish it well.

13 Then if indeed that house is deserving, let come upon it your peace [that is, freedom from all the distresses that are experienced as the result of sin]. But if it is not deserving, let your peace return to you.

14 And whoever will not receive and accept and welcome you nor listen to your message, as you leave that house or town, shake the dust [of it] from your feet.

15 Truly I tell you, it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

Freedom from all the distressed that are experienced as the result of  sin: peace. You. Free. Unchained.

If you are not accepted, welcome and finally do not listen to your message, shake the dust off your feet. Interesting. There is not a time frame given. Or a patience…for the ungodly. Hmmm..let’s look further with Paul..

Acts 18:

After this [Paul] departed from Athens and went to Corinth.

There he met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, recently arrived from Italy with Priscilla his wife, due to the fact that Claudius had issued an edict that all the Jews were to leave Rome. And [Paul] went to see them,

And because he was of the same occupation, he stayed with them; and they worked [together], for they were tentmakers by trade.

But he discoursed and argued in the synagogue every Sabbath and won over [both] Jews and Greeks.

By the time Silas and Timothy arrived from Macedonia, Paul was completely engrossed with preaching, earnestly arguing and testifying to the Jews that Jesus [is] the Christ.

But since they kept opposing and abusing and reviling him, he shook out his clothing [against them] and said to them, Your blood be upon your [own] heads! I am innocent [of it]. From now on I will go to the Gentiles (the heathen).

Now, here is some more guidance. This looks like weeks and weeks of Paul discoursing and arguing in the synagogue.  He was preaching, testifying BUT they kept opposing, abusing and reviling him. So, he did exactly what Jesus instructed and shook the dust off. Now, here’s one more:

Titus 3: 

10 [As for] a man who is factious [a heretical sectarian and cause of divisions], after admonishing him a first and second time, reject [him from your fellowship and have nothing more to do with him],

11 Well aware that such a person has utterly changed (is perverted and corrupted); he goes on sinning [though he] is convicted of guilt and self-condemned.

Here is another layer: men who are:

  • factious
  • heretical sectarian
  • cause of divisions

Admonishing at least twice, right? Reject him then. When you see that the person is perverted and corrupted, yet he continues to sin. Well, he is convicted. Let me add one more quote, now this is from Chuck Smith, pastor and commentator:

Don’t give that which is holy to the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and they turn again and rend you (Mat 7:6).

There are some people with which you just cannot share the things of God. You just shouldn’t even try to share the things of God with them. They will not respect them. They’ll just make fun of them. They will just trample them under their feet and then they’ll return to tear you. Now, how am I to know then who I can share and who I should not be sharing the truths of God with unless I make some kind of a judgement?

Now Peter was there listening to the Lord and it is interesting that he picks this up in his epistle, in his second epistle of Peter, he talks about as it has happened according, he’s talking about the false teachers and the wicked people and the false prophets and all. And he said, “And it is happen to them according to the true proverb, The dog has returned to his vomit; and the pig to his wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:22) They’ve turned back to their old natures and he uses the same dog and pig kind of a concept.

There are some people that just mock and ridicule the things of the spirit. And for me to take the precious things of God, those beautiful things that God’s done to my life and start relating them to him it’s, it’s just — you’re just taking pearls and casting them before swine. You are not to do that. Oh, but how in the world can I know? How can I walk that narrow without judging and yet not being a fool in taking the pearls and giving them to the swine? How in the world can I walk that? Well, the good Lord tells us in the next verse.

Ask, and it shall be given you (Mat 7:7);

I’m sorry this hasn’t gotten posted yet today. I’ve actually had a day at home and am getting back on track with my cleaning schedule. My life has not given me many chances to stay put. :) God bless you and keep you and may His beautiful face shine upon you this day!

 

 

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Lord’s prayer…


 

Cueva de los Verdes, Canary Islands, Spain. Reflection on water. by Lviatour

Good morning, beloved,

Just so you all know, I have asked my children to do a rain dance outside to get rain. You can thank me later. Of course, it’s never worked but they think it is great fun. I think it’s just cute to watch them dance. The heart, the true heart of a child is so fun to watch when they think nobody is looking. I take great comfort in the love Jesus showed children and His disapproval of His disciples’ treatment of the little ones. I love listening to their conversations, hearing their dreams, asking them for their opinion.

And then in a turn, they can be fighting like cats and dogs and I’m left wondering, where’s the wonder? Oh, yes, that would be the fight of our lives, wouldn’t it? Here’s a quote from Kay Arthur, from her blog:

With every fiber of my being I believe that every problem in our lives can be traced back to an inadequate or incorrect knowledge of God, or a lack of faith and trust in his person and his ways. We know so little of this wonderful God who loves us! 

Beloved, if your heart is constantly troubled, if fear lurks in the shadows of your consciousness, if you are exhausted and in despair come with me. Within these pages, we will explore together God’s names in Scripture. And in the end, you will know far more than his names. You will know his boundless joy, power, peace, and presence.

Obviously, there’s a plug for a new study but her point is so well taken. Inadequate, incorrect knowledge of God…our problems and our concerns, when we are focused on them. Oh, my, what joy is robbed from our lives. When we have correct knowledge, strong faith and trust in our wonderful God, how can we despair?

El Golfo Beach in Lanzarote, Canary Islands (Spain). by Lviatour

Well, today we turn back to the Sermon to look through Jesus’ teaching on prayer.

Matthew 6 (green-principles, red-do nots)

But when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.

And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.

Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.

Pray, therefore, like this: Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name.

10 Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

11 Give us this day our daily bread.

12 And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven ([e]left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have [f]given up resentment against) our debtors.

13 And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

14 For if you forgive people their trespasses [their [g]reckless and willful sins, [h]leaving them, letting them go, and [i]giving up resentment], your heavenly Father will also forgive you.

15 But if you do not forgive others their trespasses [their[j]reckless and willful sins, [k]leaving them, letting them go, and [l]giving up resentment], neither will your Father forgive you your trespasses.

Parc naturel des volcans de Timanfaya Lanzarote îles Cannaries (Espagne) by Lviatour

Principles to glean:

  • Pray in secret.
  • Pray without the heaps of words, unnecessary repetition.
  • God knows our needs before we ask.
  • Forgive others and let it go, Father will forgive you

 

 

Purpose of the Lord’s Prayer: teach us how to pray!

Lord’s prayer:

  • Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed (kept holy) be Your name. Praise!
  • Your Kingdom come. Reside with us! Come!
  • Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Dominion!
  • Give us this day our daily bread. Pray for our needs. Supplication!
  • forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven ([e]left, remitted, and let go of the debts, and have [f]given up resentment against) our debtors. Confession!
  • And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. Protection! Deliverance!
  • For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Praise!

“Scholars say that this set of sentences [in the Lord's prayer] covers every topic of prayer and that to have covered each index sentence leaves nothing remaining to be prayed for!” (@2007 Precepts Ministries Int’l, p.93)

Now, let’s go sentence by sentence with some cross references! :)

Our Father Who is in heaven, hallowed by Your name.

 John 1:12 But to as many as did receive and welcome Him, He gave the authority (power, privilege, right) to become the children of God, that is, to those who believe in (adhere to, trust in, and rely on) His name—

13 Who owe their birth neither to bloods nor to the will of the flesh [that of physical impulse] nor to the will of man [that of a natural father], but to God. [They are born of God!]

Romans 8: 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.

15 For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!

16 The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.

17 And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory.

Psalm 100: 4 Enter into His gates with thanksgiving and a thank offering and into His courts with praise! Be thankful and say so to Him, bless and affectionately praise His name!

Exodus 33: 18 And Moses said, I beseech You, show me Your glory.

19 And God said, I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim My name, The Lord, before you; for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy andloving-kindness on whom I will show mercy and loving-kindness.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the [consistently] righteous man [upright and in right standing with God] runs into it and is safe, high [above evil] and strong.

So, starting our prayers with acknowledging God’s place in the world and by praising His name…Jesus is teaching us to pray. To bless and affectionately praise His name, as Moses said, I beg of you, show me Your glory!!

For me, today, to remember the name of the Lord, is a strong tower. An encouragement right down to my toes!

Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

 

Categories: Bible teaching, Pictures from commons..., Sermon on the Mount | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Divorce part 2


 

A lone house. An image made using Blender 3D. by Michael Otto (user Mayqel)

Good morning, beloved,

I think yesterday was a bit on the shocking side to be honest. :) Sorry about that. I wanted to get all the Bible verses out there and ponder over night. In discussion, what occurred to me most strongly was the word boundaries.

Trees and fence near Waldron’s Farm Seen from the A3052. Trees frame a view across a large field to a row of hedgerow trees, in SY0090. The fence on the left surrounds a free range chicken farm. by Derek Harper

 

I look at this picture and think of fences as a good way to describe my thoughts.  I cannot speak to each situation. I can only speak to mine.

God gives me boundaries to live by to keep me safe,  just as these little chickens have a fence to keep them corralled. There is freedom within the boundaries.

The other day when one of my sons was unwilling to listen to me, God allowed me to see how alike I am. When i barrel ahead with decisions without pausing to pray, to ask for His direction, to not think through the ramifications…when I think I know best.

I had to sit my son down and walk him through what the possible outcomes of his unwillingness to listen to me would bring.  We got through it.

God, in His great mercy, does such a better job with all of this parenting of me. He has rescued me, saved me from more of my mistakes than I even want to think.

No greater was that He saved me and gave me Joshua.

However, others walk down the aisle. Others walk through abuse, neglect, many horrors I have never had to face. I understand I cannot, nor will I be able to speak to this.  I do know this…and God just gave me this with the gift of Precepts…

“When the report says “storms ahead,” do you trust God or evacuate the area? It’s difficult, isn’t it, to trust God when the “forecast” is contrary to what we want? Maybe you’re in financial straits, you’re agonizing over a broken relationship, or you’ve lost our job. Whatever your situation, it seems the forecast is bleak at best. So what will you do?

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,
casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” – 1 Peter 5:6–7″ (Kay Arthur, 7/18/2012, FB)

God does not want us to deal treacherously with our spouses. It fractures relationships. It destroys.  (Malachi 2) Yet when we are the one who has been dealt..I believe Kay is RIGHT! Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God.  Trusting God. Casting all your anxiety on Him.

Mortimer Bay, Sunset, South Arm, Tasmania, Australia by JJ Harrison

 

I can offer no better than handing you over to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Psalm 119

Then shall I not be put to shame [by failing to inherit Your promises] when I have respect to all Your commandments.

I will praise and give thanks to You with uprightness of heart when I learn [by sanctified experiences] Your righteous judgments [Your decisions against and punishments for particular lines of thought and conduct].

I will keep Your statutes; O forsake me not utterly.

 

We do so well to stay within God’s guidance. God’s laws. God’s statutes. His commandments. They are for our protection. They are for our health. Our safety. Our livelihood.

Stay close to His heart. Love Him with your whole mind. Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

 

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Legacy…


The Torch Bearers, sculpture by Anna Hyatt Huntington about the transmission of knowledge from one generation to a newer one; located in Ciudad Universitaria, Madrid, Spain. by Kadellar

Good morning, beloved,

This weekend found my husband and I breathing in and breathing out. We went to a little church for a Family Life marriage retreat:  The Art of Marriage. I’m afraid our time of quiet reflection and encouragement went WAY too fast but the learning, I pray and hope, will carry and continue on. If you have a chance to go to one of these short conferences, it is so worth it. I am seriously considering holding one in my home. It was wonderful.

In fact, that was one of the challenges Dennis Rainey gave! Host a small group, help marriages grow and you know what I thought? How cool would it be to host a small group in our house that went through the Precepts study of marriage? (Not, I’m sure what Dennis Rainey had in mind…but he loves Kay Arthur, lol and had her on his show..) Just saying…well, if you live in the area….;)

What kind of legacy do you want your life (or if you are married) to leave?

Flowers (Rudbeckia hirta) with Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) and bee by Uwe H. Friese, Bremerhaven

What does this have to do with my title and the picture?

“Every man leaves a lasting influence that will affect future generations for centuries to come. Not all legacies are the same. What kind of legacy will you leave behind? A spiritual legacy is the one that money can’t buy and taxes can’t take away. A spiritual legacy is passing down to the next generation what matters most.” Steven J. Lawson The Legacy

Summer flowers, photographed in 1975 in Gelsenkirchen by A. Gundelach,

The picture was, at first, a bit shocking, I’ll admit. When I read the explanation, I was transfixed. The passing of knowledge to the next generation…at first glance the figures to me didn’t look all that different (ok, one’s on the ground and one’s on a horse..don’t trifle with me.) Continuing to gaze, notice the skin falling in wrinkles upon the fallen man..his time is done. He cannot look upon the young man. His head is turned to the ground. Notice the horse, his head is turned. He is raring to go, anxious to move on. Ready for the next challenge. The young man holds tight.

As the older generation in my house, I look at my little kids. I’m amazed at how life is passing us by so quickly. I keep packaging up clothes to give away. They keep growing on me. My eldest is going to be 13! Good grief, wasn’t I just holding him  in my arms, a baby? When it is my time, I want my eyes locked on theirs. Truth in my mouth. God‘s word encouraging them to stay the course.

Romans 15

For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.

Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,

That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

Before I dive into this passage, love Paul…the Art of Marriage gave us a challenge to write a letter to our descendants to read at our funeral. “What would you want in that letter? What are the most important things you would want to leave behind for future generations to read? What are some of your life experiences that have shaped your convictions? What passages of His Word has God used in your life that you would want to highlight?” (Art of Marriage, pg. 140)

I know I’ve played this song before but it’s so apt here!

I highlighted in this passage in orange we, you, our…let’s see what we learn from this…

  1. Whatever was written in the former days was written for our instruction…(Bible coming to mind..;)) This is their legacy to us. God teaching us through their legacy. Their offering of their lives…
  2. The Scriptures then become our example of patience and endurance so that we have our source of hope and are able to hold fast! How about that! Amen, and amen! We hold on and we look to the past examples in Scripture of God’s amazing faithfulness and His story and know that we can hold fast because He will continue and carry out His good plan in our lives!! Cherish the hope that lives inside of you :).
  3. God is the One who gives the power of patient endurance to us. (Nothing in me, nothing in you can do this..)
  4. God is the Supplier of encouragement to stay the course your whole life long…
  5. He’s going to grant you the ability to live in mutual harmony and full sympathy for one another in accord with Jesus…
  6. What’s the point of giving and granting all of this wonderful stuff? (Great word..)  together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah).

Why not start now?

Legacy..it is never too early to start thinking about your legacy.

Pray on, friends..Pray on.

Categories: Bible teaching, Cara thoughts..., Music, New Testament, Pictures from commons..., Romans | Tags: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

For such a time as this…


Good morning, beloved,

Happy May Day! How can April be gone and May be here? Amazing..amazing.

I love the Lord and what He is doing. I am sitting here reflecting on His teaching in my life and how cohesive it has been. I’m sure this hasn’t been as reflective in the blog but I sure am trying. He is pouring into me through some very interesting sources.

As I have mentioned before, I am using the application, Tune-In Radio, which I discovered, if you don’t have an Iphone or kindle you can use on your computer. :) Anyway, I am listening to Kay Arthur‘s teaching every day. I am learning and learning and growing. It’s exciting and I am beginning to pray and hope that I may go to the Women’s conference down at Precepts headquarters in the fall..praying…

I am reading, Half the Sky, and I cannot help but be affected and moved and praying about our role. These are God‘s beloved and these precious women and children are my sisters and brothers. It is so hard to engage and yet the stories of hardship are then followed by stories of hope. How can that not be encouraging?

I am studying Esther  with a friend and finishing up with my kiddos. In fact, I’m having them help me. They finished their Grapevine study and my Precept upon Precept is much more in depth and we are learning so much more from this…:)

As we listened to the message last night, Kay asked two questions that brought all three activities together. I pray that you can consider these questions for yourself.

What are you living for? And is it worth dying for? ( She said it better than that..;) )

When the real conflict comes in my life, like it did for Esther in Chapter 4, she became more than just a pretty face or a girl that everyone liked. She knew why she was born. She understood her purpose for her life.  (Kay Arther, Esther, For This Reason)

Esther 4

12And they told Mordecai what Esther said.

13Then Mordecai told them to return this answer to Esther, Do not flatter yourself that you shall escape in the king’s palace any more than all the other Jews.

14For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance shall arise for the Jews from elsewhere, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?

15Then Esther told them to give this answer to Mordecai,

16Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast for me; and neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. I also and my maids will fast as you do. Then I will go to the king, though it is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.

17So Mordecai went away and did all that Esther had commanded him.

Pray on, beloved. Pray on.

Categories: Bible teaching, Esther, Music | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hush, be still…


Good morning, beloved,

My plans for yesterday went poof! when Luke cried out in his bath. The lovie didn’t realize the bag on his broken arm was not to be immersed in the bath water. The Mother of the Year award has again passed by Banbury road this year. Sigh. Onto the ER we went again…and five hours later we arrived home with a cast on my sweet boy’s arm (waterproof) and hopefully, lessons learned.

Yet, by the end of the evening,  I was a puddle of emotions. I had done my Esther study. O, my friends, this study is so amazing and I will share more from what I’m learning there…I promise but as I lay in bed, tears streaming down my cheeks from all the emotions of the last few days…I found a sermon from Kay Arthur called Hush, be Still…and just listened and it was as if Jesus was placing His loving Hand on my brow and quieting my sorrowed heart.

Here’s the Scripture she used:

Mark 4

35On that same day [when] evening had come, He said to them, Let us go over to the other side [of the lake].

36And leaving the throng, they took Him with them, [just] as He was, in the boat [in which He was sitting]. And other boats were with Him.

37And a furious storm of wind [[p]of hurricane proportions] arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled.

38But He [Himself] was in the stern [of the boat], asleep on the [leather] cushion; and they awoke Him and said to Him, Master, do You not care that we are perishing?

39And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, Hush now! Be still (muzzled)! And the wind ceased ([q]sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm ([r]a perfect peacefulness).

40He said to them, Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no [s]firmly relying trust)?

41And they were filled with great awe and [t]feared exceedingly and said one to another, Who then is this, that even wind and sea obey Him?

Kay began the message with this statement…Know who is in the boat with you.

And I remember this too…the sea of Galilee is not large. On a clear day, you can see people on the other side. Yet, when storms rise up, it’s like a mixing bowl on high.  And did not Jesus know this? Yet, He knew the end of the story…so He was asleep.

My focus is here: The disciples.. like me, maybe like you?

Master, do You not care that we are perishing?

Seriously, how often have you berated the disciples for one thing or another? let’s be honest. Friends, we are these men.  I had to stop my brain SO MANY TIMES yesterday from wandering down rabbit trails of fear, worry, thinking of tomorrow and planning for the worst..seriously. God, don’t you care that I’m going to the ER again? Jesus cared on that boat on the Sea of Galilee and He cared in my Ford Explorer yesterday and He cares today and always.

And He arose and rebuked the wind and said to the sea,  Hush now! Be still (muzzled)!

Arouse- diegeirō- to wake up, awaken, arouse (from sleep), of the sea, which begins to be agitated, to rise..Isn’t it amazing that Mark used these words to describe Jesus waking up and rising to address the storm? I find the similarities amazing. :)

Rebuke-epitimaō- to tax with fault, rate, chide, rebuke, reprove, censure severely, to admonish or charge sharply…

Hush now!- siōpaō-to be silent, hold one’s peace,  metaph. of a calm, quiet sea

And the wind ceased ([q]sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was [immediately] a great calm ([r]a perfect peacefulness).

And, friends, if the Lord of the universe can command the sea to sink into rest, then my little racing heart, surely He can bring into a great calm and perfect peacefulness.

To be honest, I never heard the rest of the message. I fell asleep..which I believe God intended. Don’t you?

Pray on. Pray on.

Categories: Bible teaching, New Testament | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Love the Lord


Good morning, beloved,

I’m sinking into a text..wanna come?

Matthew 22: 36-40

34Now when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced ([a]muzzled) the Sadducees, they gathered together.    35And one of their number, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him.

36Teacher, which [b]kind of commandment is great and important (the principal kind) in the Law? [Some commandments are light--which are heavy?]

37And He replied to him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind (intellect).(A)

38This is the great (most important, principal) and first commandment.

39And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.(B)

40These two commandments [c]sum up and upon them depend all the Law and the Prophets.

I have a thirst today to study Jesus. I love how Jesus spent so much time quoting the Old Testament. Here’s what’s funny to me about that..until a few years ago, that was an unread piece of the Word to me. Well,  loved me some Psalms. I knew the stories from Sunday School. Yet, after I studied in depth, the Kings and Chronicles with Kay Arthur suddenly my attitude towards the OT shifted. This was no longer a study in boredom and non-applicable head knowledge but life..treasure in these pages, and if you are honest, you may find yourself there as well.

Beloved, Jesus quoted the OT, first, because He was a rabbi and by the age of ten He would have had the first five books of the Bible…memorized. Every Jewish child would, at least, have this memorized. Now, as one of the best of the best students, He had decided to become a Rabbi..He would now memorize the entire OT thru Malachi. He would have done this by the age of 13, 14. Ok, well, I’m going to guess He always had it memorized..but you, I hope, get my meaning. This was a typical Jewish students tract.

I could go on and on..but let me just say, take some time and look at this article:

Covered in the Dust of the Rabbi

So, let’s go back to the passage in Matthew. It’s critical to understand that His audience would have known this text. So, He would mention a part of the text and they would know where He was referring and why. That’s how well known their  Torah (the OT). The text was not a readily available item in every household as it is today. It needed to be memorized.

Here is Chuck Smith : The law was set forth in negatives. Thou shalt have no other gods. Thou shalt not, thou shalt not. Jesus put it in a very positive way, just love God with all your heart, soul, mind, strength, love your neighbor as yourself. And this is the law. This is basically what the law is declaring, that we should have a loving relationship with God first; that is reflected in a loving relationship with fellow man. This is what the whole Old Testament was all about; the law and the prophets hang on these two.

David Guzik: Asked Him a question, testing Him: In asking Jesus to choose one great commandment, they tried to make Jesus show neglect for another area of the law. Instead of promoting one command over another, Jesus defines the law in its essence: love the Lord with everything you have and love your neighbor as yourself.

i. It is clear enough what it means to love the Lord with all we are, though it is exceeding difficult to do. But there has been much confusion about what it means to love your neighbor as yourself. This doesn’t mean that we must love ourselves before we can love anyone else; it means that in the same way we take care of ourselves and are concerned about our own interests, we should take care and have concern for the interests of others.

I have so much to learn. So much in my own life, that my selfishness and pride and yuck get in my way of loving Him first. He gets that! He knows this..that is why this is a journey and there is an end destination. Can I get an amen? Our focus is on the prize: heaven. Questions I am going to be asking myself today:

Am I loving my Lord with how I am thinking?

Am I loving my neighbor as I talk and interact with the beloved in my life?

Am I denying my rights in exchange for the glorious gift of Jesus?

Pray on, friends. Pray on…

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