Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Dry Ground

"For the Lord your God dried up the waters of the Jordan for you until you passed over, as the Lord your God did to the Red Sea, which he dried up for us until we passed over, so that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever." Joshua 4:23-23.

These verses struck me as I read them this morning. As they walked through the Jordan they had to see the waters piled up, ready to overflow the banks again, and be at least somewhat afraid. Only Joshua and Caleb crossed over the Red Sea and had seen this miracle before. I wonder if they focused mostly on the water around them or the length of land between the two shores. I can put myself in this situation, and I know that I would be terrified that the water would crash back down on me. Did they even notice the dry ground?

I think about my own life and all that God does in the midst of waters that want to surge around me, or I spend time looking at how far away something I want is from me. I don't spend that much time noticing that as I walk through, my feet don't get stuck and I don't stumble. I don't notice that He has made the path dry for me.

I wonder if the bigger miracle was the dry ground, that was easy for those thousands of Israelites to walk over on, rather than the stopped up waves of the river. I know I tend to focus on the "big" miracle, like the stopped water, but walking on ground that should be muddy and isn't is pretty big too.

Lord, help me to notice and appreciate the dry ground that You have made my feet to walk on.

Sunday, January 31, 2016


"And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness." Acts 4:31

I am fascinated by the people of the Early Church. Some of them actually knew Jesus when He was on Earth. Some died for being a follower. One notable one even persecuted them before becoming one of them. They shared with each other; the poo; and the orphans and widows. Although I am sure their faith was as shaky as any of us today, they had so much faith that when they prayed things shook.

This verse doesn't even say that they were afraid when the shaking happened. It says that were filled with the Holy Spirit and not just spoke the word of God with boldness, but continued to speak with boldness. These people in the face of ridicule and even persecution spoke the word of God boldly.

If you look earlier in the chapter you can see that Peter and John were in trouble with the priests had told them to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. When they were let go they went straight to their people and told them what happened. Then lifted up their voices to God and told Him about all who were against Him and them. They didn't ask Him to take away the threats against them. Nope they asked Him to help them speak more boldly.

I know in my life that when things are shaking around me or when others are attacking me I want it to go away. How many times have I thought, "if that person would just go away." Instead I need to pray that God would help me to speak boldly, to live boldly. In a world that seems to be more and more taken in by the deception of satan, and one in which Christians put down and ridicule other Christians, there needs to be a people who will speak boldly and pray that God helps them continue to speak boldly.

Do you want to be one of them?

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Look Up!

"That he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly placed, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all." Ephesians 1:20-23

I had trouble trimming these verses down to just a bit, so I went with all of this! :)

When I read Ephesians 1 the other day the end of the chapter caught my attention. I reread and reread it. Above, under, and over stuck out to me. One powerful thought came with these words: Look Up!

Starting with over, Christ is put as the head over all things to the church. God placed Him there. Too often we try to move Him. We don't like what He says, so we paraphrase it to the point of contradicting it. Some people argue things like, "Christ didn't say..." but He is the Word, so yes He say it. We try to put our own thoughts, feelings, and beliefs over what the church says and does, but we need to put yourselves in the right spot, under His authority. If it doesn't fall under His authority than we need to reconsider if it should be part of us, the church.

Moving on to under. All things are put under His feet. What sort of things are under His feet? Well, number one: satan! He tries to acts as if he has free reign, and sometimes it seems like he does, but in reality he doesn't. Imagine placing your foot on someone's stomach or back. What is he able to do? He can probably wiggle some and can move his arms and legs, but he isn't able to move much. What can he touch? He can only touch what is immediately around him. Now imagine satan under Christ feet. I'm sure he squirms a lot, reaches out at whoever is nearby. I guess that means we should just stay away from him.

Finally, Christ is not just above all rule, authority, power, and dominion, but He is far above. None of those things are even close to Him. They have to look way up to see Him. We need to take ours eyes off of the rules, authorities, powers, and dominions in this world and in the spiritual realm and put them on Him.

When we look up we take our eyes off our own selfishness, opinions, and issues; off of satan; and rulers, authorities, powers, and dominions. We can't see them anymore; all we can see is Him. So look up!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Darkness Over the Earth

It has been over a year since I have written one of these. I have missed it, yet haven't really felt like I had anything to offer. Recently I asked God what to read in the Bible, and He simply stated to start at the beginning. I think that's where I should start here as well. No, I will not be writing about each verse from the beginning, but will focus on ones that God wants me to.

"The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God wash hovering over the face of the waters."
Genesis 1:2

How many times have I read this verse? I have never before even thought about it much. This time when I read it the word "darkness" jumped right out at me. I realized that the darkness was already here. God didn't create darkness. Since I believe that God created everything that blew my mind a little. But then I thought about the fact that God didn't create evil. He didn't create sin. He didn't create mosquitoes and wasps. Okay, so He did create them, but I wonder why!

With this realization I needed to study the words of the verse to hopefully understand it better. The earth means the earth, but it wasn't formed yet. Like it says "without form and void" That means it was empty, wasteland. I do wonder what that must have looked like.

Darkness is interesting. It was covering the the surface of the deep. As far as I can tell from Strong's is that the deep is water. Which makes sense since in verse 6 He separates the water from the water. So this darkness is covering the a watery, empty earth.

God hovers over it. Here I thought it meant He was just over it. No, it means that He was cherishing it. The Lord was looking at this vastly earth and He was loving it. It makes me think of another time when He loved the world. "For God sol loved the world that He gave His only Son,that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." John :16.

That's the end of this little verse, but, at least for me, one that is full of so much. I'm sure there is so much more it as well.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Proverbs 1:3

"To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth - let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;  fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Proverbs 1:2-7

Continuing through the reason for the book of Proverbs with verse three.

"To receive instruction in wise dealings" I looked up "receive" in Strong's and there are 28 meanings! Wow! Unfortunately, it didn't specifically say which meaning matched this verse. But still, 28 meanings! Wise means prudence or good sense. Interestingly the word dealing is actually the same Hebrew word for wise, sakal. I guess using the same word in a row must be significant. Part of the purpose of the book of Proverbs is for us to get instruction in how to act with prudence or good sense. It seems like one phrase I hear more and more is common sense, as in someone has not shown common sense. This book helps us not just gain common sense but rather godly sense. I think that Proverbs should become required reading in schools!

"Righteousness, justice, and equity" The funny thing about these three words, is that when I looked them up they seemed to mean each other. So if repeating a word twice must be significant, then having three words that mean almost the same thing must really be significant. Righteousness means justice and rightness. Justice means just, right, act of deciding a case (court). Equity means evenness, uprightness, level. Do you see the similarity of these three words? This book gives us instruction that will help us showing justice; being even; and acting rightly.

This verse might be a short one, but it is packed full of such great things. I want to gain a godly knowledge in regards to good sense, rightness, justice, and being even. I can think that I have these things in my own strength. There are plenty of people who believe they have good sense, rightness, justice, and act evenly but God has a whole book in the Bible to instruct us in how to do these and be these. It makes me think of the verse "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart." from guess where - Proverbs 21:2. We need instruction, I need instruction, in how to be and do what is really right. So thankful that God has provided this instruction!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Proverbs 1:2

"To know wisdom and instruction, to understand words of insight, to receive instruction in wise dealing, in righteousness, justice, and equity; to give prudence to the simple, knowledge and discretion to the youth - let the wise hear and increase in learning, and the one who understands obtain guidance, to understand a proverb and a saying, the words of the wise and their riddles. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge;  fools despise wisdom and instruction."
Proverbs 1:2-7

Proverbs 1:2-6 is sort of like the blurb on the back of a book. I pick up a book and turn it over to find out what it's about. Instead of the back of a book this is how the book of Proverbs starts. I don't know about anyone else, but if I read this on the back of a book I would buy it!

"To know wisdom and instruction" This means to discern what is wisdom and admonition or discipline. Okay, not really liking admonition or discipline. The book of Proverbs explains that they go hand-in-hand with wisdom though. I mess up as much as anyone else and I need to be admonished. I need to discern to know what is true admonishment and discipline and what isn't. Satan would rather beat me up and make me feel shame and failure. It is important for me to discern what is real admonishment and what isn't.

"To understand words of insight" These words of insight are sayings. To understand them means to be acquainted with them. That means to have personal knowledge of them. As a teacher, I teach my students many examples of figurative language. The idioms or adages or metaphors that they understand best are the ones that they have used themselves. We need to become as familiar with the sayings of Proverbs.

Wow, this is just verse two. If the reason for the book ended at verse two I would still want to read it. I would like to know what is real wisdom and discipline, and I want to become so familiar with wisdom saying that my life would be full of wisdom. The next post will continue by examining verse three.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Not In Words But In Power

"For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk about in power."
1 Corinthians 4:20

I was reading 1 Corinthians 4 today and this little verse jumped off the page at me. In context, there were some in the church of Corinth that were arrogant and talking themselves into a sense of power. Paul was reminding them that it isn't about talking one's self up or even talking God up, but rather it is the power of God.

This verse has stirred up something, I might need to mediate more upon it and ask God for more wisdom concerning it, but I think it might be the original wording to a popular phrase we use. "Actions speak louder than words." Without getting too specific, because it isn't my place to, I am going to relate a story to you that I think goes along with this.

About a week ago, a friend of mine shared great news. As she shared, I was having a very hard time and, honestly, was repeating a lie of the enemy in my mind. The lie was so overwhelming and my emotional state was so poor at that moment, I had to retreat. Literally! I got up and walked away. I made some feeble excuse, better known as not the whole truth, and away I went in tears. Which spoke louder to her, my words or my actions? Well, my actions. Did my actions speak what I intended? No! My actions were completely wrapped up in the swirling lie and my emotional state not in her news, but that wasn't the powerful statement that she knew. All she knew is that I was leaving her in the moment of great joy and it hurt her.

She and I have since talked. I explained what was really going on. She told me how she felt in the moment. I apologized. Great, right? Well, it's a good start. Yup, just a start. Because it isn't about talk it's about action. Now, some might think I have missed the whole point of the above Scripture. I know that the verse is talking about the kingdom of God, but as His follower, his heir, am I not apart of His kingdom too? Do I not have a responsibility to respond in the power of the Holy Spirit and not just in my own words or supposed power? Yes. My words should reflect that He is in me. As well, my actions should reflect the power of the Holy Spirit in me.

Therefor, when God spoke to me and told me that as nice as my words were to her, it wasn't enough, I knew I need to do something specific. Is my own pain still a part of all of this? Yes! I still have a heart desire longing that is a part of me, and many times that longing feels painful. Does that pain run smack dab into her great news? Yes, it does. I will not deny the pain is still there. She knows it is and understands it in a way most people never could. Even though it is still there I need to act in the power of Christ. I don't want to give anything away, because she doesn't know yet, but God gave me an action that I hope will speak much more loudly than my previous actions, which were not directed at her but were fully wrapped up in me. Also, this action will speak more powerfully that any words of support or encouragement that I could give her, at least I believe it will.

So many times we talk.We talk and talk and talk. I think maybe we need to shut up a bit more and act out more from the power that He has placed within each of His followers. We need to act in the power of the Holy Spirit. He's in us! I guess it's time to shut up and time to start acting up!