Saturday, June 10, 2017

Quote - Persistence

"A Bible that is falling apart usually belongs to someone who isn't."

~  Charles Spurgeon

Great quote.  I have even taken pictures of Bible's that are really worn out because I really liked what that meant.  They were opened countless times in joy and despair.  Daily reading over time will show signs of use and give a wonderful patina.  We can worry and fuss all we want, but if we don't open the Bible we can let the chaos in our lives take over to the point that we give it up entirely.

Shouldn't this be the most worn our book in our homes?  I know that my Bible in not worn our enough so I will try to work on this.  For those who have never picked up a Bible, give it a try.  For those who only open it on occasion, every day is a occasion.  I am doing Bible study with my kids, we just read a few chapters (skip some of the big grown up stuff) and talk about it.  Other than this I have slacked off on spending my own time with God.  I need to do better.  How about you?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Quote - Faith in Action

"When I don't understand what He does, I trust who He is."

~ Carl Lentz

There are many situations that we go through that we do not understand.  Some people during times of tragedy will turn away from God, it becomes a tipping point in their lives.  That is where their story either temporarily or permanently ends with God.  Others find a way to give their entire focus to God despite what is going on in their lives.  Those are the moments we need God the most, during the tough times.  I have seen people who have a close relationship with God go through such terrible things and watch in admiration how they cope by praising God in the midst of such sadness because I don't know if I would be able to be that strong.  The peace that they have is unmatched to anything else in this world.

I have also seen people who where Christians completely turn away from God because of a terrible situation.  They say "How could God let this happen to me."  They are angry and bitter and never seem to have much joy after that time.  God does not want that for us, He loves us through the sadness and heartbreak.

God knows we need time and He knows we get mad at Him when a loved one dies or we see a terrible injustice in the world and I think He is OK with that because He gave us our emotions as a way to process things we see and feel.  The Israelite's had a time of grieving in the Bible then they were to move on.  It sounds cruel, but I believe it kept the people from completely turning away from God in their grief because God restores the brokenhearted.  The problem arises when after a time of grief we don't turn to God or the grieving never ends.  I know for some that is the farthest thing from their minds, but He promises to comfort those who come to Him.  This does not mean you forget what happened, it means you are able to take one step at a time every day.

We see the back of a tapestry it's chaotic and ugly, but God sees the front side that is a beautiful masterpiece.  Another way to look at it is if you are a piece of thread on the front side of the tapestry and you look around, you will only see a few strands that are right by you, but what you fail to see is the entire magnificent picture.  So trying to figure God out is a useless pursuit.  Faith goes beyond any of our reasoning, thoughts, explanations and ideas.  We are to rely on God and not on our own understanding.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Quote - Perception of Reality

"Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored."

~ Aldous Huxley

This applies to more than just our divisive political climate.  This can also be personally, regionally or all the way up to global views.  We can easily lie to ourselves and justify anything that suits our views.  I have done it and so hasn't everyone else.  There are many that choose to take ideas and twist them to use for evil.  All we have to do is look anywhere during our history where there are people and we will see that facts are often ignored especially around large groups.  Mobs have a unique character as they seem to choose the worst common denominator which usually does not end well.

 To be a light in the world we first have to see it and only then can it be shared.  

Monday, April 10, 2017

Nahum 3:12-19

v. 12-19 "All your fortresses are like fig trees
with their first ripe fruit;
when they are shaken,
the figs fall into the mouth of the eater.
Look at your troops-
they are all women!
The gates of your land
are wide open to your enemies;
fire has consumed their bars.

Draw water for the siege,
strengthen your defenses!
Work the clay,
tread the mortar,
repair the brickwork!
There the fire will devour you;
the sword will cut you down 
and, like grasshoppers, consume you.
Multiply like grasshoppers,
multiply like locusts!
You have increased the number of your merchants 
till they are more than the stars of the sky,
but like locusts they strip the land
and then fly away.
Your guards are like locusts,
your officials like swarms of locusts
that settle in the walls on a cold day-
but when the sun appears they fly away,
and no one knows where.
O king of Assyria, your shepherds slumber,
your nobles lie down to rest.
Your people are scattered on the mountains
with no one to gather them.
Nothing can heal your wound;
your injury is fatal.
Everyone who hears the news about you 
claps his hands at your fall,
for who has not felt
your endless cruelty?"

Nahum must have known that this would challenge the pride of King Ashurbanipal.  To think you are a great king and be insulted in this way could drive someone crazy and be seething with anger.  God is showing that their defenses are insignificant.  Even calling his troops women.  Back in ancient times women were not fighters, they were wives, mothers, caregivers, they had no power during this time.

For them to fortify their defenses was useless.  Not only did they get insulted as women, but they were compared to locusts.  When the heat turns up they flee and will not stay and fight.  Their injury is fatal.  Nineveh was conquered around 50 years after this prophecy.  The Iraq Christians who lived in Mosul have been driven to the east in the last year or so, to the Nineveh Plain.    That is where the city of Nineveh was found around 1845.

The Bible is full of stories that we can learn from.  I heard someone call the Bible a library.  It's more than just a book, it spans a large amount of time with different writers and many different types of writing, all for the glory of God.

All nations hated Assyria and their cruel treatment of others so they probably were happy when the city fell.  Although there always seems to be another country just as evil that takes it's place.  Assyria in now Syria.  I think how this parallels current day events.  A dictator is in charge who has been killing his own people, there is no excuse for this cruel treatment of men, women and children.  I pray for those who have lost loved ones and for protection for the civilian population.

How you treat your poor, powerless and those who don't agree with you shows your true character.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Song - Oceans

I love this song by Hillsong United.  The music is amazing and the lyrics are outstanding.  

Oceans by United


You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

Oh, Jesus yeah my God


I will call upon Your name

Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine



This is one of those songs that seems to get better each time I hear it.  Many feel as if they are just about to go under the waves, but God can restore each of us no matter how deep the water is that we are in.  If we trust in God then we are able to go further that we ever thought possible.  To hear this song click here (just click on skip ad).

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Quote - Generosity

"Never suppress a generous thought."

~ Camilla E. Kimball

Our words can mean so much to someone else, but if we decide not to tell them then we both miss out on the blessing.  Don't keep kind words to yourself.  Give compliments when you think of one.  Make a point of saying something nice to someone, but not from a place of obligation or insincerity.  When we give kindness away it may just be the thing the other person needed most at that very moment.  This is desperately needed in the world today.  What if God was trying to use you to make a connection with another person, but you were afraid to say anything?

Why do we suppress kind thoughts, but most are not afraid to speak from hate, divisiveness and anger?

Go out and be the good in the world, even if you are the only one you know doing it, do it well.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Prayer Request

Next week I have to go in for another mammogram and an ultrasound since they have questions about the mammogram results I just went in for last week.  I am asking for prayer for no cancer and the tech to be able to see everything clearly.  I am doing good right now and trying not to stress, but sometimes it's difficult.  My chest has been feeling tight off and on for a while now so prayer that there is nothing wrong there as well (heart doc said my heart is in good shape).  I know that no matter what, I have faith in God and I know that He has a plan for me.  I am trying to focus on Him throughout the day and that brings peace.  Thank you

Quote - The Lack of Civility and Compassion

"People do not seem to realize their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Lately social media has been too much for me when I see such hateful words having to do with the most recent election.  I am reminded that throughout world history there have been many battles of words that each side has bitterly fought for their beliefs and all have believed they were right.  Over time we can see which side is right or wrong, but in the moment things are cloudy at best.  The words turn into conflict which can turn into war if pride decides to dig deep roots and refuse to back down.  Many have died because people could not compromise and have compassion for those who thought differently from themselves.

This seems like it is something new, but this has been going on since there have been humans on this planet.  It's just that now we have 24/7 media and Internet so it seems much worse than ever before.  The country would be better off if we did not listen to the media that has an obvious bias (looking at you FOX NEWS especially, but there are others).  This election did not CREATE such hate in people, it was already there sometimes hiding under the surface.  There is a strange thing that happens when powerful people take a position of hate against others, a mob mentality starts to surface among the people.  That is one of the most dangerous things that can happen because when you justify hate you can do the unthinkable.  There are many examples of normally good people (OK, maybe not that good) changing into monsters due to circumstances or favorable positions for hate.

All of these are more complex than what I have here, but they are examples of how this mob mentality is played out on the world stage (we all know what happens to women and girls in these situations so add that to ever conflict and war throughout history).
  • Hutu vs Tutsi - foreigners drove a wedge between these groups which lead to killing family and friends
  • Europe vs Jews - leaders incited hatred against the Jews which people gladly destroyed businesses, drove out people from towns and finally the Nazi's tried to wipe them off the face of the earth
  • Mormons vs settlers (Mountain Meadow Massacre) - they attacked dressed as Indians and killed men, women and children 
  • White settlers vs Native Americans - killed most of them, drove them from their homes, tried to eliminate food sources (killing millions of buffalo and left them to rot)
  • French people vs Aristocrats - the people rose up against the rich and killed many (I have been to the Palace of Versailles and I can see why the poor rose up, that place is ridiculous, although they could have handled that better)
  • North vs South (Civil War) - this war divided not only states, but family and friends killed each other and some of the POW's came out of the prisons like the Jews leaving the concentration camps at the end of WWII, just skin and bones.  
My goodness this is depressing.  If you look at what people have done over time it's any wonder that there are still good people in this world.  Thank you God for good people!

I believe that when we look at the past there are constant circles of the same patterns just with new generations and when we decide to ignore history we will inevitably repeat it.  This is why it is so important to teach our children what is right, teach them kindness, compassion, mercy and a sense of justice.

The stories I have heard that have happened to my friends dealing with people on the opposite side of politics lately has been unsettling.  We are not our politics, unless you work in Washington D. C. or for your local government then most of the political issues shouldn't rule your life.  Yet what I hear from these stories is that people feel the need to fiercely defend there position even to the point of being nearly abusive to others.  I think one of two things when I hear these stories: either people are not trusting in God and the devil is having a field day or their pride is making them blind and belligerent.  Either way God is not their focus.  You can not be filled with God's love and shred someone to pieces at the same time, they can't exist in harmony together.  I believe you can be passionate about what God is passionate about and hate the things God hates, but He NEVER hates the person, just the sin or the evil they are doing.  That is why we shouldn't pass judgment on others.  Because we can't separate the person from the sin.

You can disagree with policy, actions or beliefs and still be able to present your opinion in a way that does not attack someone.  I don't agree with all of my friends and I didn't vote for who some of them voted for, but we can have intelligent conversations and we would like to see this country come together.  So I am very thankful for the woman around me who are an oasis from the desert surrounding us!

Remember that God placed Trump in this position for a reason.  I feel like God did this to get our attention since we have gone so far off the narrow path that it is nearly impossible to see it anymore.  The wide path is where the world lives and it is busy and dim and easy to get lost on it.

We really should learn from the history of every country and quit repeating it so much because we are a collective of the world's history and will be judged by God on our actions no matter what is going on in the world and whether we made decisions to go against the mob mentality or completely embrace it.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

IF:Gathering 2017




The IF:Gathering will be Feb. 3rd & 4th this year.  I hope that you attended a local event the last couple of years or at least watched at home in your pj's:)  If you haven't then know that this event is trying to equip women to do the work that God has given us, but to do it with passion, heart and a resilience that nothing will get in our way.  It's that important ladies!  These events have been some of the best I've ever attended.  The Austin team asks for a donation of $1 to attend an IF:Local.  Most retreats for a weekend are over $150, this is $1 (OK, the more money donated the more it will help this great group of ladies).

This is the fourth year for the event that is held in Austin, TX, but has IF:Local's around the world.  A weekend of amazing speakers, awesome worship and a global focus to empower women to live Jesus daily.  To share Him with those that do not know him in our homes, cities, states, countries and around the globe.  There are over 1,500 IF:Locals around the world and growing every year.  Here is the link to sign up: IF:Local.  If there is not a gathering near you I believe you can sign up as an individual and watch from your house (pj's optional).    Afterwards I usually go online to watch the sessions again.  If I have seen a really good speaker I will often watch it again so I can make sure I have everything written down.  Can you tell I'm a note taker?  I know your shocked:)

When this event is over they have IF:Table where you can get together with a few women once a month, they have Bible studies, a shop (just in case you like to shop or something).

If you are feeling like you need some motivation, inspiration, focus and just some serious Jesus love please attend or watch this incredible event.  I'll probably update my thoughts after this event is over because I am a note taker!

https://ifgathering.com/thegathering2017/

Friday, January 6, 2017

2017 Plans or the Lack of Plans

Well looks like I am not doing a Bible study online this year or at least not anytime soon.  I'm feeling a big NO.  I do plan on posting more, I know I'm not constant.  I need to finish Nahum, yes still on that book.  The page views last year went from around 18,000 to nearly 600,000.  I keep thinking there is a computer somewhere that keeps clicking my posts instead of real people.  I did ask God to bring people to my blog, but the numbers have been more than I could dream.  That's God, He does way more than we could ever imagine.

Hope that I post more and hope that you will continue to visit my corner of the web.  I am glad you did.  May God do big things in all of our lives, more than we could ever comprehend.