Monday, January 31, 2011

Seasons

I remember when she fit on my lap.....






Today she walked through the door to her future...




Our daughter has committed the next 6 years of her life to service to this great nation. Aim high and Godspeed!



Blessings on your day my friends,

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Friday, January 21, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 3



Here we are in week 3. I had a little more steam this week. Conviction will ^hopefully^ do that for you. I say "conviction" not "guilt".

Focus: God is our leader

M
= More to read
Follow God
Week 3 ~ here we are at the banks of the Jordan river "at the time of harvest, when the Jordan overflows all its banks" (Joshua 3:15). God says, ' okay guys, its time to get this done. See that overflowing river? The Levites are going to carry the Ark into that river and stand in it while you all cross to the other side. Get clean. GO!' (paraphrase strictly mine). I'm a visual sort of girl so I wanted to SEE what I am reading about to have an idea of how big their following-faith would have to be. I found this picture of the Jordan River, although I don't think it is yet overflowing its banks.

'Sooo, You want us to step in and then stop? In that river there? And be still? While holding the Ark?' I don't know about any of you, but I have had a couple of unpleasant experiences with being swept away or pulled under by water that otherwise seemed fairly benign and I have a little idea of what it can do. I can already tell you that I would have a really hard time with this instruction. I can feel the fear taking over and causing me to list all the reasons why this is a bad idea.

fol·low
v. fol·lowed, fol·low·ing, fol·lows
To come or go after; proceed behind
To go in the direction of; be guided by
To accept the guidance, command, or leadership of

Aha. This is not God telling the Israelites to go into the Jordan River. This is God telling the Israelites to proceed behind Him, to be guided by Him, to accept the leadership of Him.

Also, let me make this clear ~ this is not ME telling the Israelites to follow ME into the Jordan River. That would be stupid. Plus, I really would be frozen at the banks. We have already established that the God who is leading the Israelites is a God who keeps His promises and is worthy of our trust. The Israelites already know that God can stop a mighty water from flowing because He has already proven it. I suppose I could make the argument that the circumstances of the Israelites' faith in the time of Joshua, and the circumstances of my faith are very different. I do not have God, through a cloud, leading me and I do not have manna showing up daily for me to pick up and eat and I did not SEE the Red Sea parted, blah blah blah. I HAVE however chosen to believe in God and, through His Son Jesus Christ, receive forgiveness of my sins and live in eternal relationship with Him. I believe that God is who He says He is and does and has done what He says He does and has done. Therefore, my faith should be no less equal than that of the Israelites. If God led them, He will lead and is leading me. Now where's that river??

P = Putting it out there

1. Are there some areas in your life in which you allow God to lead more than others?
  • Most definitely. To be perfectly and, well, embarrassingly honest, I do not ask God to lead in most areas of my life. Sure, the big stuff I go to Him about. And I do mean, BIG. We're talking crisis level. The rest of the time(and the reason I am in this study) I just.handle.it.myself. ~working on that~
2. Tell of a time you followed God's leading into an unfamiliar territory.
  • Several years ago I was asked to pray about taking on the role of Worship Leader for our military women's Bible study. So, I laughed. Then I agreed to pray (although, I really felt that the answer would be a resounding "You are not qualified!"). You know what? I prayed and God said, "You are who I want to be there at this time." (notice the period? end of sentence?) You know what else? I WASN'T qualified. I couldn't even read music OR play an instrument. How does one LEAD worship in these circumstances? You don't. You step aside and let God lead. I heard once that God does not call the equipped but that He equips those whom He calls.
  • Ps ~ where my journal pages started for week 3, the scripture quote is this, "For the Lord will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." Proverbs 3:26
  • Thank You God.


Worship =

By His hand He leadeth me. Ahhh.





Where You go, I'll go. Where You stay, I'll stay...




Blessings on your day,
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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua - wk 2



Well. Here we are in week 2 of our hike through the Old Testament book of Joshua. Can I be real here for a second? Is anyone else already losing steam? I hate this unruly pattern I have of being so, so excited about a Bible study and then, gradually finding more and more things to occupy my time.

So ~ isn't it interesting that this week's focus is about how God is worthy. Worthy of what? Well, specifically in the lesson this week, worthy of my efforts to be a good witness to who He is. And you know what else He is worthy of? He is worthy of my undivided attention. Do you think that God was distracted by facebook when He was creating me? Of course not. Did He take the time every.single.day to feed the Israelites when they were wandering in the wilderness before we picked up their story in Joshua? Yes He did. Did He, knowing full well every sin I would ever do against Him, create a way from the beginning of time for me to be forgiven of those sins that I might be in full relationship with Him. In awe, I say to you, yes He did.

And where does 'your witness' come from? Is it in your countenance (your facial expressions)?. Is it in your tone of voice? Is it in your willingness/unwillingness to forgive others? Is it in your reactions to circumstances? Is it in the way you treat people? Is it in the time/effort you devote to getting to know your God better?

Yes.

Really poking at my heart tonight. What does it say about my God to the outside world that I am caught up on all my friend's statuses on facebook and I have the reigning score on Zumablitz AND Bejeweled Blitz, but I cannot even list all of the books of the Bible? Not because I have tried and lack the memory skills mind you, but because I have barely tried and then moved on to other things. Don't get me wrong, this is, by no means, a post about the evils of facebook, blogging, tv or whatever else. Nor is this me shaking my finger at you because, you also cannot list the 66 books of the Bible because you have the reigning score at a game I have not played against you :). (Or maybe you can) But I do have to ask the very real question of what of ME is my God worthy of? Answer = everything. Next question = Would people, through knowing me, believe that my God is worthy, like Rahab did, of turning from everything they have grown up doing and believing and rest their very survival in Him? I can't answer that question. But I can say this...I wish that is true.

Wishing is not enough.

Is our witness important? Fo shizzle. Are we always going to get it right? Of course not ~ there is no one perfect. Not one.
But being a sinner is not an excuse. We still have to try.

Geez. Did I even address this week's questions?

Worship =
In addition to You Are My God, which I posted at the beginning of the week, take some time to ponder this song...







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Friday, January 14, 2011

You Are My God

Got the material for Backpacking Through Joshua week 2 and the focus for this week is "God is worthy"

Get your praise on backpackers! (And any one else who wants to praise too!)



video


Blessings on your day,
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Thursday, January 13, 2011

Backpacking Through Joshua (C)




(P.S. ~ I started writing this post last week.) Today is an exciting day. A good friend of mine heard the heartbeat of her little bundle today. She is an amazing woman and you would be blessed to be friends with her. Some of you are. :) You can get to know her here, where she is Standing On Hope.

Also, today I embark on a Backpacking adventure with a huge group of women. So huge, in fact, that we had to be divided into smaller groups. I am in the Red Group. Go Big Red!!




Some of these women I have never met, which is okay because our leader, (I would say fearless, but I won't because she is not, but she IS faithful) is my BFF, and more importantly our mighty and patient and faithful God is at the helm.


You might not know this about me, but I like tools. And sometimes, accessories. Here are my supplies for Joshua...



There are four components to Backpacking Through Joshua...

C = Commentary (This is where the author speaks a bit about the material we will cover that week)
A = Asking God (This is where we ask God ~ in our quiet/prayer time ~ specific questions about where we are and how we can improve)
M = More To read (Further study)
P = Putting It Out There (Answering group questions with the group)



M = More To Read

I decided to do a word study on Faithful, as it pertains to the faithfulness God has shown, not the faithfulness I/people have shown.
I didn't get very far in the breakdown of the word from the Hebrew, etc etc but as I was researching this, I heard a sermon referring to Joshua 1:8 - specifically where God talks about meditating on the Word, ~let it never leave your lips~ and it struck me that right here, in the very first chapter of our study, God is repeating a command that so many of us in the study have admitted to failing at; being in the Word, meditating, studying, sharing. To me that shouted of God's faithfulness when He says, "I will never leave you nor forsake you" and personal knowledge of me (and all of His children). It's as though He said, "Yes, you do struggle with this, and yes I know it. And right here, in the study that I have brought you to, we will address it." God even felt it necessary to remind Joshua to keep His Word in his mouth and mutter it (meditate) day and night. Joshua had already proven himself faithful to God's commands and God STILL reminded even him. (That makes me feel like less of a dolt and, somehow, more motivated to do better.)

P = Putting it out there

1. What made you decide to join this adventure? There are lots of factors I could list ~
  • I know the author,
  • I am not currently in a group study,
  • I need to do more studying in the Old Testament,
  • Lots of my friends are doing it,
and they would all be true. However, the bottom line is that the Holy Spirit has been seeking me on the issue of making decisions based on my own knowledge, out of my own understanding and reasoning, rather than my knowledge of God and His character and commands. Amber addressed this issue IN THE INTRODUCTION of this study. So there you go. God reading my mail again. What do you hope will come from the study? Less of me. More of God.

2. In what ways have you found God to be faithful recently? read here

I have decided that I am going to add one more component to my study each week (without author permission or approval) :) and that will be

W = Worship (I will post for my benefit and yours a song that goes with the week's study)
Today is a song called He's Always Been Faithful by Sara Groves. (Thank you AR for teaching me this song!)






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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Two Years



Today marks 2 years since the birth of our first grandchild. This year we had the privilege of visiting him and celebrating with him (last weekend). It has been a beautiful two years of healing a relationship that was in tatters before this little guy came along. He is the light of our lives. A bright, handsome, sweet and funny boy who loves his Mommy and Daddy and just about everyone else he comes in contact with.


When I first saw this, I didn't believe I would ever see it in person or hold it for myself. Although I prayed and prayed that it would be so. I was already in love with him. He came into the world about 2 weeks later.




And his hand was even more beautiful...

Then, somewhere in there, God manifested the miracle of healing in our relationship with our daughter and then I got to see this hand in person. He was almost a year old.


Then he came to see his Auntie graduate and we got to take him on his first trip to the zoo. Of course, he had to try his hand at driving the safari jeep.




This is his hand today; which I got to watch use a fork and eat his birthday cake with. His Mother and Father are both so gracious to allow us to be a part of his life and theirs. I love this boy. And his Mama.


Today marks two years since the birth of our very first grandchild.




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