What Is Purity? ~ Raising Boys ~

 

Train up our sons in the way they should go. What is purity? How do they walk through this world? This culture? We have had to come to terms with what we know about us. And how God is directing us to walk through this life, knowing who we are.  Saying no even when it might not make sense to others.  Continuing to be awakened in our own complacency to the environment we are surrounded by and how to set the boundaries, and what tools to use, to walk through this world.

 

This isn’t about judging others. This is about knowing the sin nature of oneself. This is about wanting to please God. This is about a deep, passionate desire to live a holy life in obedience to Jesus Christ our Lord. Understanding this is a very real, present and spiritual battle every single day until we meet Jesus. This is about confessing I am sinner. About doing that which God is calling me to. This is about honoring God. Honoring others.

 

God says, “You should be holy, because I the Lord God am holy” (see Leviticus 20:26, 1 Peter 1:16). In other words, holiness is built into the character of God. He has a separateness and hatred toward sin. God does not want to be near sin, and He does not want us to be near it either. The greatest argument for sexual purity is God’s holiness. If we wish to be godly, we must wish to live in sexual purity. ~Randy Alcorn Eternal Perspective Ministries

 

Sexual purity begins in the mind, not the body

“Above all else, guard your heart [mind, inner being], for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).

 

“But we have to recognize that we live in a world that is under sin’s curse, and therefore must be very careful as God’s people to separate ourselves from the behaviors of the world around us where immorality is routine and even celebrated. We need to be sure that not only are we avoiding celebrating it, but also that we are separating ourselves from it to be God’s pure people, holy in His sight.

And be careful what you expose your mind to. If you’re on a diet, don’t go to Baskin & Robin’s. If you do, your resistance will break down. If you want to abstain from lust, you don’t go places and watch movies and programs and read things that stimulate lust. Don’t give your mind junk food. Be sure you’re getting spiritual nutrition.”
Randy Alcorn – Eternal Perspective Ministries

 

There are many scriptures on purity, guarding minds. So many things to consider. Be careful lest you fall.

This is about living with the future in mind. Each choice today, we consider how that is going to impact my walk with God.   How it will affect others.  For our sons in their decisions and conduct.

 

As well as myself as a woman. In my example in dress and conduct. As a mother to young boys. I confess. I have been convicted. I have made changes as I have been made aware of how my actions can be a stumbling block to others in my dress.  Realizing that a woman’s actions in how they carry themselves, dress, and so much more are signals that communicate something.  It starts in the heart.  When our hearts are willing, God will be faithful to show us areas of sin, or ignorance and more.

This week I was with our sons on a little history adventure. This women’s swim suit caught our attention from 1920’s. My youngest in pure honesty, believes this should be the fashion today for all women. He is the same boy who said there should be a wall around the lingerie departments in stores (this should be a law), and turns the magazines around in the check out aisle of grocery stores with barely clothed women. He desires to keep his mind pure.

How far we have come in our society. Sin can start with a small step forward of leniency in allowing thoughts into our minds, growing us numb to the sin, and making us think just a little bit more is going to be just fine. That good old question, “how far can we go before we have crossed the line into sin”.

I so appreciate these two articles and wanted to share. (below).  Although at this point, we are taking precautions with our boys hearts, they  knowing we are on their side to train them up with the idea of courtship rather than dating.  To keep that ever important accountability.  Our little boys, are now teenage boys, growing into young men, with eventual hopes to be husbands someday.

We are learning the boundaries needed for our lives, to keep our minds pure. So that we keep our whole beings pure. So that we are honoring God. Honoring young ladies. Honoring that one who is their future wife.

It’s a lot to figure out in this crazy world. We continue on our mission. Praying fervently. Examining our own lives.

With our hearts set on… not worrying about fitting into the world or pleasing men. But striving to please God. Servants of Christ. Gal. 1:10

 

http://www.epm.org/blog/2013/Sep/23/sexual-purity

 

http://www.epm.org/blog/2012/Jul/23/how-do-you-define-purity

 

 

Today… I Will…

As long as I have breath…

 

Preparing for the day.

In the morning when I rise give me JESUS.

His mercies are new every morning, Great is THY faithfulness.

 

Today… I will…

 

  1. Sing and Worship – Psalm 96:1
  2. Be thankful in all circumstances – 1 Thess. 5:16
  3.  Pray continually – 1 Thess. 5:17
  4.  Put on the full armor of God – Eph. 6:10-20
  5. Take every thought captive – 2 Cor. 10:5
  6. Watch over the ways of my household – Prov. 31:27
  7. not eat the bread of idleness – Prov. 31:27
  8. Serve others in worship to the Lord –“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
  9.  Abide in His commands – Abide in His love – John 15
  10. Honor the people around me – Romans 12:10
  11. Do all to the glory of God – 1 Cor. 10:31
  12. Ask for wisdom – James 1:5
  13. Love in truth – ” speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” Eph. 4:15
  14. Rest in Sovereign God – Romans 8:28
  15. Stand firm – abounding in His work – 1 Cor. 15:58
  16. Fix my mind on things above – Col. 3:2
  17. Thank Jesus for all He has done for me – “For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:18
  18. Receive the gift of His grace as I fall short, fall on Him, and am resurrected again and again to new life.  Today!  Eph. 2:8-9

 

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will[a] ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” John 15:7-8

 

Draw Near My Child

 

On our trip to a wildlife sanctuary in Bandon, Oregon, a couple years ago, this was one of my favorite moments.  We watched these two walk together.   The child under the shadow of his mother’s wing. At one point, mother was up ahead and baby was lagging behind. Baby was desperate to catch up and be near once again.

 

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

 Ps. 91:1

 

Thinking of all the beautiful places God the Father has taken me in my life journey with Him. Calling me out of the darkness and depths of despair a long time ago. Walking me daily to greater and greater light. Opening my eyes to more of Him.

 

How often I want to hold on emotionally those beautiful places where He has provided manna from heaven in the midst of desperate need. “For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Ps. 107:9 I am so elated, I want to be in this place forever. I forget so easily, that He is with me wherever I go.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

 

That this filling is HIM, Christ alone filling me. No matter where I am.

When I’ve been in a satisfying place after a long journey through the dessert, and he would call me out of this place, my emotions would flood. I would lose sight momentarily clinging to the provision… rather than the PROVIDER. Forgetting the PROVIDER always has greater and more for me. My emotions have gone to fear of what is to come next. Rather than faith, in simply believing wherever I am, He is with me and that is all that I need.  He is leading me to bless me.

 

Over many years of walking with Him. I realize, each and every stop for a season has been His provision to fill. And every new place He has called me to follow Him, I am always once again in awe and wonder of  greater, more beautiful, provision. Necessary for His purposes and plans to be completed in me and the life of my family. I am thankful for every single place He has taken me and filled me. In His faithfulness He leads me out and onward, and upward to more of Him. Each step of the way, the highs and lows, has been time of growth, challenge, and immense blessing.

 

If I had not followed Him, I would have not reaped the blessings. I would have not grown. I would have not seen the beauty of His holiness shine forth. Would not have met the beautiful people in my life along the way who have given much to increase my faith, and encouraged me onward. I think of one move we made a few years back. How God provided richly a friend and sister so beautiful and perfect for my life. I think of an older lady in Christ who God used in a desperate season of desert to refresh me with her loving touch and helpful hand. I think of another older lady in Christ who has walked the walk with boys on the spectrum. A refreshing flood of goodness to my soul in the midst of what had been a very dry and weary land. Someone who understood completely, who knew, who lived it, walked it, breathed it. A special gift to be so in sync with another, when our experience with most of the world not able to really understand the depth of the emotions, experiences, obstacles, and needs. That can feel lonely. Someone who had yet another piece of “LIFE” to add to my life to cheer me onward in my calling. He brings refreshing through the Body of Christ. He brings refreshing in staying near in following Him.

I’ve realized as time has gone on in my walk, as He calls us onward to step out and go… there has been a change in me. While sure I wonder about the unknowns, but there is a greater over ruling hope and peace … knowing… God is up to something once again. I know it is going to be good.

 

There is a bit of less resistance.  Less lagging behind with my emotions trying to resist the move forward. More contentment in following Him. Like the child in this picture, lagging momentarily.  And mother who is leading and yet not too far to be reached.  I draw near to God.  He is there.  We walk on together.

 

Less fear, less holding so tightly to my surroundings, my emotions, and more faith in a faithful God Who is leading our family on towards His next blessings. Though it may be a walk through a difficult place…  (I even saw this parent-child in the picture above maneuver together under and over a high fence – being squeezed and pressure applied to their bodies)

 

We know that through difficulty God is with us,  refines us through the fire of His Holy perfection. Setting us freer. Taking us beyond the obstacles. Taking us deeper to more of Him. Seeing the blessings and His provision, manna from Heaven. Satisfying our longing souls. For our longing is for more of Him. Seeing His glory and power.

 

I remember Jesus’ love.  Graciously obedient to the point of death on a cross to redeem me of my sins.  I am raised to life with Him.  This steadfast love calls me onward to trust and obey, without hesitation.  “…not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord”  Rom. 12:10-11

 

Oh how beautiful and magnificent and truly overwhelming it will be when for those who follow Jesus, when the journey is complete and we move upward for eternity in His perfect LIGHT forever.

 

“let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings..”

Heb. 10:22

 

 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” James 4:8

Lady Lampstand

She watches over the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness 

~Proverbs 31:27

1 3/4 eyes,  3/4 of my mind,  3/4 of my heart.  Is not true obedience.

To fully be in obedience to the command to watch over the ways of my household, I need two eyes, a full mind and heart fully engaged.  Free of distraction.  Fixed here.  Committed to this call.  Nothing else takes priority over this call in this specific season of life.

For me this season, includes:  the honor of serving my husband, two sons, and  mother-in-law in our home.

Recently recognizing God was calling us to order again.  He convicted me to tend to first the order needed in my life.

With my soul I have desired You in the night,
Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early;
~Isaiah 26:9

So I sought Him.  In His word.  In prayer.  Removing distraction.  Shutting off the screens.  Facebook.  Stopped looking at what others were doing.  Cutting out everything in my mind except the yielding of my mind to obey His commands in His Word.

Actively seeking God for how He wants to transform me in particular areas of my life.  Seeking the well being of my family.

God calls me to LOOK DEEP, DEEP, DEEP, and seek Him for the needs of this home.  The caring of this home is not just the physical needs.  But caring for the emotional, spiritual, needs of this home.  I must be present with not just my physical but with my whole heart and mind.  Undivided.  Fully committed.

This watching over the ways of my household, looking to see the needs, isn’t like a quick surface cleaning that I can do to make my actual house “appear” lovely, yet leaving the hidden and deeper places of the home left in disarray.  This is a deep, attentiveness, that requires time, tenderness, patience, a listening ear, and more.

It can be advocating biblically for order again in the areas of life and relationships that are in disarray.   Advocating in fervent prayer.  Bringing in the word to stand up for truth and light.  Speak when I ought.  Be still and quiet when I ought. Leave it in the hands of God.  Trust His will, will indeed be done.  Waiting and trusting God that He will produce the order.

Jesus says:

you are the light of the world…they do not light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lamp stand and it gives light to all who are in the

HOUSE!

~Matthew 5:14-15

I cannot help but see the correlation of “she looks over the ways of her HOUSEHOLD”  and how much I do desperately want to be a light in this world.  I am a spiritual lampstand in this very HOUSE.  I am called to

Let your light so shine before men,  that they may see your good works

and glorify your Father in heaven

~Matthew 5:16

So the Lord gives us women Titus 2.  Which again ties in so beautifully.  Called to love my husband, children, and for me, my mother-in-law in this HOME.

Physically, mentally, spiritually, investing all of myself as a spiritual lamp stand.

 to love their husbands, to love their children,  to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed

~Titus 2:4-5

For certainly to be opposite with my investments, ambitions, time, energy, out there, everywhere else, attempting to make a difference…  My very light inside this home would be snuffed out quickly.

Glorify God in being a keeper at home in Titus,  let your light shine… that God may be glorified in Matthew.

God provides many opportunities to share his truth and love, encouragement through the natural flow of friendships, fellowship with Believers, and everyday out and about.  He provides ways for me to be out serving together with our sons as well.

However, the very mentoring that should be the focal point and consuming my days should be foremost the mentoring of  our sons.

I want to keep the priority of my existence in this season of life as a lamp stand shining bright in this home as I serve my family.  I want to renounce those temptations, the lies of thinking too highly of myself, trying to do more than I should in all the wrong places.  I want to forbid myself day after day to allow my mind to be too busy about everything else so that I don’t have the focus, energy, ability, to do that which is my foremost call.

Beware, lest I  fall in mixing up the call…making disciples in the mentoring of my children, IS INDEED following Jesus.  This is the Proverbs 31 woman God has made me to be for this season.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens

~Ecclesiastes 3:1

There are ways to bless without becoming obsessed with trying to reach out to the world while losing the very world and souls inside this home.  I am called to love under the command of the Almighty One Above.

Bless are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

~Matthew 5:3

This week I knew I was bankrupt in my ability to transform myself, and truly live in the ways God calls me to live here in this place.  God says in the very recognition of my inability, I would be blessed.  So this brought me hope and joy in the process.

Blessed are the meek (controlled strength), merciful,  pure in heart, peace makers…

“Heavenly Father,

You’ve been merciful to me.  I want to be merciful to others.  Help me to be a peacemaker.  I pray that my light would shine before men-first and foremost in the heart of my home. May my light shine for my husband, children, mother-in-law.  Father show me what these good works are you are calling me to.  May my conduct be honorable in my heart, speech, and actions.  That I would walk in the fullness of all the fruits of Your Spirit.  I pray I be lovely, gracious, excellent.  Pure.  That I would be meek.  Oh Lord enable me to walk confidently in You in truth and love. Father in heaven I desperately want to be “watching over the ways of my household” not be idle, complacent, distracted.  I want to see the need.  Whether it be physical, emotional, spiritual.  I want to recognize things that need to be put in order.  Whether it be the literal caring of the home in cleaning and organizing or it be the recognizing the need for proper order in my own ways and attitude.  Help me to see the order needed relationally, communicate effectively the concerns of my heart, submit myself under the leadership of my husband, commit to prayer over all, in order that we would  all   flow and dwell together in unity by Your will.  I need Your help.  I am desperate to break out of the immature mindsets and live more Godly with a more Christ like character.  Help Lord I pray.  I know that You will.  In Jesus name, Amen.”

This was the prayer I prayed one day.  Situations came.  Issues to be addressed.  Relational needs in need of fine tuning, and so much more need.  I saw, saw, saw, so much need to greater degree.  I was blessed to be here.  Amazed at every opportunity that displayed itself.  Boldness in truth and love.  Meeting sweet needs of my boys. The Lord heard my cry.  As I was able to address even the more challenging details of life with everything I asked for – the fruits of His Spirit. It was a totally different and wonderful experience this time deep within my own being, addressing some specific matters at hand. My husband and I  together in unity to do that what God calls us to do.     It was truly the Lord at work all the way around.

What a wonderful next morning to wake up, flip to the Psalms and read this:

I will worship toward Your holy temple, And praise Your name
For Your loving kindness and Your truth; For You have magnified Your word above all Your name.   In the day when I cried out, You answered me, And made me bold with strength in my soul.
~Psalm 138:2-3
Along with this morning scriptures,  notations sent me to another scripture related because it coincides with David’s heart cry for the HOUSE the LORD PROMISED TO BUILD:

For You, O Lord of hosts, God of Israel, have revealed this to Your servant, saying, ‘I will build you a house.’ Therefore Your servant has found it in his heart to pray this prayer to You.

 “And now, O Lord God, You are God, and Your words are true, and You have promised this goodness to Your servant.  Now therefore, let it please You to bless the house of Your servant, that it may continue before You forever; for You, O Lord God, have spoken it, and with Your blessing let the house of Your servant be blessed forever.”

~2 Samuel 7:27-29

 

“May Your blessings Lord, be upon this house, and my friends house who is reading this today… blessings today, and forevermore.  In Jesus Name, AMEN”

 

Who am I without your grace
another smile, another face
another breathe, a grain of sand
passing quickly through your hand
Id give my life, I’m not afraid
take it all, take everything
Let them see you, in me
let them hear you, when I speak
let them feel you, when I sing
let them see you,
let them see you, In me
with every breathe I breathe

 

 

 

 

To Give A Reason

 

 

These two go together rather perfectly…. and really hit me.
“Abstain from every form of evil.”

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness…” (Is. 5:20, 1 Thess. 5:22)

 

I’ve been prayerfully sifting through how to approach this writing.  In fact, I actually had to do a bit of digging, research, and detective work to compile my conclusions to share.

 

We have never read the Harry Potter books and never seen the Harry Potter movies.  We never will.  My children have never really asked much about seeing them.  I had heard this and that, and knew there was an element of magic in them.  We simply detoured away and have never really given a solid reason to our children of why we have made that decision.  I am thankful they have simply trusted our decision.

 

Others have asked.  Have you seen Harry Potter?  I felt that I should educate myself enough in order to share with our children, so that they could understand our reason.   I guess I could say, I already had a conviction just from the small snippit of understanding I had of the books, but wanted an overall better and more biblical answer for them.  So they could learn and grow, and understand the reality of the need to be on guard.  To be discerners.  And hopefully for them to be able to then share, if  they choose, should another time come when their peers ask them – “why not?”.

 

I confess, I have not done this well at times in the programs they have viewed.  I have spent time repenting, asking their forgiveness, and we have all grown.  After researching Harry Potter, it has led me to being on guard and even more prayerful about the choices we make overall.  Realizing a level of ignorance on my part at times, in not digging enough before really thinking about what we are allowing our minds to be entertained with.

 

Recently God has been convicting me, through a study of Peter.  Jesus challenging Peter to examine his heart, in not casually or ignorantly claiming “I love you Lord”.  But examining do “I really love him?”  Am I really ready to forsake all of this world and my affections to follow Him?  Also reading through the rich young ruler again, I was captivated by the question… “Lord what do I lack?”  Jesus informed him what he lacked, challenged him, and  he failed to surrender every aspect of his life to the Lord.  He held onto the things that were dear to him.  So I am learning to ask the Lord, “what do I lack?” and be ready as God gives me the answer, to receive what the Lord may show me I am lacking.  And ready to forsake all, let go of the comfortable, complacent living and really be willing to “come follow Jesus”.

 

And so as I share with my children my findings on Harry Potter,  I think of the scripture…

“But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect,  keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.  For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.”  1 Peter 3:15-17

 

The first point I want to make right off the start!  

What I’ve found that seem to all match up in resources is that the many of the statements, practices in these movies is not simply pretend.  This is real!  Active and being used in forms and ways and practiced at this very moment in real life.

 

Keeping in mind I have not seen the Harry Potter movie.  I am going off the findings that seem to be common among the many websites and a friend I chatted with as well on this matter.

 

What I have discovered is Harry Potter is a clever vice of the enemy to lure children/others into a seemingly innocent and fun movie using very real practices of real wiccans today.

From one source:

“One of the easiest ways to know whether a fantasy book or film has real world magic in it is to just ask a simple question: “Can my child find information in a library or bookstore that will enable them to replicate what they are seeing in the film or the book?”   If you go to something like Harry Potter, you can find references to astrology, clairvoyance, and numerology. You can actually replicate these exact things in real life.  And witches do.  It takes seconds to go into a bookstore or library and get books on that and start investigating it, researching it, and doing it. In fact, that’s why real Wiccans, real witches, and real occultists are using the popularity of Harry Potter to lure kids toward real world occultism. They actually have advertisements for their own books that use Harry Potter as their appeal.”

 

I spoke with a Sister in Christ the other day, who actually confirms  this.  Within her local church years ago, a video was shared with real wiccans claiming they hoped others would watch Harry Potter so they would be captivated into the magic and witchcraft.  It was a tool they were thrilled to use!

 

We know that children are copy cats.  And imitate, perform, practice, and quote the things they’ve seen and heard.  We may say we can walk and talk our children through these things.  Our children are mature enough to handle it.  Is that what the bible says?  “So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!” 1 cor. 10:12

 

What about being a stumbling block?  And what about:? “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11

 

More things I’ve read:

” We might see some symbolism in the Harry Potter books that might be able to be interpreted — if you pushed it — in some sort of Christian way, but these same symbols also have occult and pagan meanings to them. Within the framework and the context of Harry Potter we see that this is probably what she is dealing with.

There is this whole movement within Christianity where people are trying to say that the Harry Potter books are Christian novels. And that is just untrue. You can’t interpret it that way. That is not the context of the story. That’s not what Rowling is in her real life and what she is trying to put across. And what is interesting is that these people who are saying that the Harry Potter books are Christian, are interpreting all these symbols in a Christian way, but in the exact opposite way that J.K. Rowling has herself explained. So they are contradicting the author herself, which is sort of silly.

Parents are unaware at how easy it is to get books on witchcraft and spells, many of which are located right next to the Harry Potter books at bookstores.   Parents don’t seem to understand first of all what is in Harry Potter.  I don’t think parents understand how closely what is in Harry Potter mirrors what is in the real world, and then how the real world books are being sold right up next to the Harry Potter books. There is this crossover where the Wiccans know it, the occultists know, the practitioners of all these things know it, and they are using that curiosity that kids have for all of this stuff now through Harry Potter to attract readers to their real world how-to manuals.”

 

This is serious business. We would do well to remember Jesus’ sobering words: “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 18:5-6

 

I actually found an article from an ex-witch.  Who is now a professing Christian saved and set free!  Shares of the dangers of Harry Potter.  Confirming the practices within Harry Potter is very much real, alive and active in this world today.  That there is a deceptive reason these books and movies are being produced.  “be on guard the devil seeks who he may devour”.

 

In the name of fun and pretend….

“And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.”  2 Cor. 11:14

 

I visited our local library today.  It was an eerie feeling.  AS I prayed my way to the shelves for witch craft, and more.  I guess I just wanted to see the real deal books in non-fiction after seeing the Harry Potter books on the shelf in the children’s fiction.  Supposedly pretend and yet very much real.  Not only did I see the witchcraft books, but sitting the next book over was the satanic bible.  I’d had enough and prayed my way out of this place.

 

Deuteronomy 18: 9-11 gives us some  crystal clear guidance. “When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or daughter to pass through the fire (human sacrifice), or that useth divination (fortune telling such as using a sorting hat), or an observer of times (charting your life by astronomy or the stars), or an enchanter, or a witch. Or a charmer (a person who uses information, music or physical items like jewelry to seduce another person), or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.”

 

Acts 19:18-19  “Many of those who believed now came and openly confessed what they had done. A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly.”

 

A  serious matter.

 

While Harry Potter is not one we have put before our children’s eyes, I am reminded of how important it is to cry out to the Lord, and ask him to search and examine me “See if there is any offensive way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:24

 

The apostles were called to “come Follow Me”.  Leave behind everything that was near, familiar, and dear to them. Deny themselves.

 

“do not be conformed to the patterns of this world..”  Romans 12:2

 

Our comfy cushy lives with entertainment can often go to our heads.  The disciples were leaving behind families, occupations, everything… and we grit our teeth when we have to say “no” to entertainment?  Oh my.

 

“The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.”  1 John 2:17

 

“Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” Eph. 5:15-17

 

Blessed On a Drive by A Radio Talk Show Host

By Isaac: A child of the King – Fearfully and wonderfully made by God!

GOD  KNEW the ENCOURAGEMENT I NEEDED AS HE PROVIDED THROUGH A RADIO TALK SHOW HOST.
ASPERGERS. The autism spectrum. The truth of socially awkwardness. Trying to fit in. With seemingly random, quirks, and the world that they navigate with wired brains to absorb in the special interest God has placed within them. We find balance of embracing “they are fearfully and wonderfully made” with the other truth of the God of our salvation calling us to not “think about ourselves… but the other person”.

So as this Christian man, walking the walk with the life of Jesus and the unique way in which He is created, he shared this same truth for his life!!!! Exact scripture and perspective! IT is hard, hard work. He must be intentional and learn to set aside his own “interests” (that he could easily talk non stop on) at times to simply inquire of another. And grace. He having grace on the one who may not want to listen to his topic for hours on end, and the other talk show host chiming in to explain how grace is important for the typical person as well to exercise. Grace to recognize the effort one is putting forth to ask “how are you doing…” and so forth and make that effort to respond in kind. Grace to look at the person as God does… not to focus in on their random, or impulsive moments, and deem them as “random”, “odd”, “out there”.

Truth is, there isn’t anything random about what they are thinking. Their minds are full of inquisitiveness, curiosity, exploration, and taking in so much.

And this is what I found when I came home on their website by this same man:
“I’m a radio host and a writer. It turns out radio is wonderful for me because I don’t have to worry about anyone’s body language… but mostly I’m a radio host because I’m convinced God makes us the way we are for a reason. He even tells us why – it’s so HE can be glorified. It’s funny, because all the years that I went through difficulty trying to understand social life at school… and I could never quite fit in… all those experiences have helped me… You may not realize it, but the very things that make you stick out right now can be wonderful things later. I never thought it would be so, but a look back now on my life and I say, “Thank God.” Thank God for the difficulties I’ve gone through and thank God for autism.”

I’m so grateful for the life God has given us. Meaningful Monday was a “class” I taught here in the headquarters of Schooling on the Rock of Jesus (but not only on Mondays, but everyday). Relational skills. In varying settings of at home. Outside these walls. Varying situations. And for many years that was focused primarily at home between one another. Varying between the relating with young ones to old ones. All the ways we relate in communication. Helping. Serving. Hugging. Who, when. This is hard, hard work. This desperate need has only pointed and forces us into being more intentional than we would have been apart from this “life”. Recognizing a deeper awareness of our need for Jesus and relationship with Him. It has forced us to work REALLY, REALLY, hard to do that which God calls us all to do as His followers, in the tiny, simplistic, everyday living of life with one another.

“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.” Romans 12:10 … and we are definitely a work in progress.

Thankfully He Who has begun a good work will be faithful to complete it.

Courage that Counts …

 

God instills and equips the courage to do that which He calls us to do. Sometimes there is no earthly preparation for the real life battles.  Walking with Jesus prepares us for anything.

 

I am not down playing skills, or sports. Our sons have learned a lot from the varying sports they have participated in. And He prepares us with skills to be used for His purposes and plans for our lives. Ultimately it is Christ alone where we find the ability and strength to do that which He calls us to do. He is our provision.

 

For a young boy who trains in a sport, still working on skill, and perhaps struggling to keep up with the physically “strong ones” – “seemingly” more reserved to putting it all out there, God showed me something amazing today. The HEART of passion when ignited, for that which is truly purposeful…resulted in boldness, bravery, courage, ready to protect and fight in the REAL LIFE battles. No reservation.

 

“mom, I purposefully stood next to her side. I was concerned for the stranger nearby and wanted to protect”.  He wasn’t distracted.  He was aware and sensed the need to do that which God created boys to do.  In an instant of REAL life I saw the true courage that rules his heart. There’s something special in seeing courage rise, in evidence it is there because of a heart of passion and great purpose. This heart might not be stirred by competitions, and practice skill fights… but in the matter of real deal, God sheds a light on the truth of the courage deep within his heart. Fully ready and able to stand and protect.

 

The heart that rises to protect, defend, honor another. Relationship. It matters. This is purpose. That’s what matters to my mother’s heart. Fight for what’s right. To protect the ones he loves. This is no game. This isn’t about mastering a sport for fun. This is no competition. This is where the fire, the passion, the ability explodes into a beautiful display of courage within the heart of young boy.

 

Trained up by the Word of God. It’s the heart of the matter. I think of my own life, at the onset of my pregnancy of our firstborn son, we attended those classes. Did everything possible to be ready, to prepare. All that came to absolutely NOTHING.  None of what we learned prepared us for this adventure. In the day of the battle. The day he was born lifeless. No training prepared me for this. Courage welled and it didn’t come from my preparation of classes and techniques. The only preparation was the walking with Jesus I had done the years prior, growing in Him. The onset of the battle, fear turned to faith over and over as the Lord gave me courage.

 

That’s what I want for our sons. Courage to do “well” in the strength of the Lord. Moment by moment in the real life that matters. Courage to speak up for what is right. To defend, protect, and care for others.

 

Not skill as the ultimate prize. But courage day by day to do the things that matter to our King.

 

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness” 2 Tim. 4:7

 

What Places Am I Holding Onto In My Heart?

 

“it’s easy to get sentimental about a location-We do not find God in a place but in a Person.”

Places. A physical place, our surroundings, or a comfortable place in our hearts and desires, our activities, routines, and more. Secure. Holding “places” within the heart so dear, we depend on them rather than DEPEND on the ONE we are called to Follow.

The flesh leans to what is seen. The Spirit calls us out to unknowns. “walk by faith, not by sight” To “let go”. “come follow me” Jesus called to His disciples. Obedience to His Word.

Below are some pieces (along with my own notations and experiences) from an article from the Institute of Creation magazine. Taking me to new places in His Word-as HE calls me to new places in my life.

“DO NOT SEEK BETHEL OR GILGAL OR GO INTO BEERSHEBA — For Gilgal shall utterly go into captivity, and Bethel shall come to nothing. SEEK THE LORD and LIVE.” (Amos 5:5-6)

GILGAL, BETHEL, BEERSHEBA, once places of great IMPORTANCE- this importance dwindled in time. These places ONCE the GOOD place, were no longer the “good” place to be.

Flesh will linger in places no longer called to be. God will lead His children out, whether once good, never good, or not good specifically for the specific plans for his individual children…

I’ve been convicted, and still being convicted of the places in the past and currently in my life where I have fleshly gripped onto what is “familiar”. Feeding on the surroundings – rather on HIS FAITHFULNESS.

How often I cry out for the desires of my heart. He reminds me, this very call “out” of the “comfortable” is His very faithfulness in leading onward to the VERY cries and desires of my heart.
“Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.” Ps. 37:3-4

1) God LOOKS Forward, not backward.
He calls His children to do the same. Where once was a place He had us (even good places) – we must move forward with Him. Seeing the victory that awaits.

2)God wants obedience. Not activity.
It’s so easy to get caught up in what feels good. Called to obedience, not holding on to any “thing”, “activity”, “way of life” for our fulfillment.

3) God demands Truth, Not compromise.
Jesus is the WAY, the TRUTH and the LIFE. Letting go of what we know. Moving forward in Him. Not compromising, remaining in the comfortable place, rather than follow JESUS in the hard place that promises blessing. “DIFFICULT is the way that leads to life.” Matthew 7:14

“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting” Ps. 139:23-24

Living Stones

 

Been so blessed to glean from brothers and sisters and Christ in my walk with Jesus.   In my desperate desire to know His ways, others speaking the truth to me through God’s love and faithful word.  In home schooling and snagging ideas, and visions here and there, to add to the building of our academics,  relationships, and more.  He has placed a person here and there, to speak truth, encourage, and be that nugget of gold, precious stone to lead me in the way everlasting.  I am grateful.

 

Recently a dear friend of ours, gifted our boys with these beautiful stones.  Today, I was able to present a wonderful message of being Living Stones under the headship of Jesus the Chief Cornerstone.

 

In this picture we see varying stones.  With the cross the center of it all.  Each of us, chose a stone to represent “me”.  The remainder of the stones, we agreed were varying brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

“you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house.” 1 peter 2:4-5

 

God is building His church.  All who follow Jesus according to His word, He calls living stones.

 

We visited a little virtual home school tour of how a real stone is transformed.

 

 

Each began with rough spots, and much needed cutting away necessary to bring about a shiny, perfect, complete gem.

 

This is the necessary work for my life, as well as for all my brothers and sisters in Christ.

 

HARDSHIP-DIFFICULTY-TRIAL-AFFLICTION-PAIN –

 

Words to describe the Christian life.  And with JOY.  The joy of what is to come.  With these words, like hardship, come words of immense promise.  God is faithful to continue cutting away all that is wrong so that Jesus will shine more and more in me. This work will continue until the day I meet Him, and I have been deemed perfect and complete.

 

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Phil. 1:6

 

The cutting away of sin is painful.  Going God’s way and not my own is hard.  Suffering in pain and affliction, grueling.  God promises that any difficulty we go through will produce good.  And that the reward is beyond what I can imagine.  Immense pleasure and goodness forevermore.

 

 “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.” 2 Cor. 4:17

 

When it hurts, when the pain doesn’t stop, we hold onto the truth “that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”  Romans 8:28

 

Now Jesus, He is the Chief Cornerstone.  Each Living Stone Believer is being fit together and into a holy temple.

 

“with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.  In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.”  Eph. 2:20-21

 

 

We are thankful that each one of His chosen living stones has an important and specific spot to be placed within this Holy building.  And the building would not be a building without the rest of the precious stones.

 

As Christ Jesus is building His church, He calls believers to also build up one another.

 

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up..” 1 Thess. 5:11

 

 

~Another day in Schooling On the Rock Of Jesus~

 

I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.Following Paul’s Example

All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you. 16 Only let us live up to what we have already attained.

 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.

 

Philippians 3:10-17

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today Is What Matters

Today is what matters. And TODAY, I awoke feeling well. And the lesson my Isaac gave me yesterday… according to Isaac – “TODAY, mom, you feel well, so the way I see it you ARE healed”. He lives in the moment. What is before him. What a gift I have been given. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow…” Matt. 6:34 ~Embrace TODAY. With what I am given. Given – the presence of Jesus TODAY and every TODAY.

 

Realizing how he lives in the moment. Content. I was hit by this today. The quiet one, speaking a FEW SIMPLE and yet powerful words to me. Just speaking “what is”. Today. Right now. This moment. He taking note that I am feeling well today. I didn’t realize how a bit of me was worrying about “tomorrow”, until he said: “today, mom, I see you “are” healed”. Talk about turning my perspective around. God’s perfect holy perspective . <3 In awe and wonder of our God

 

Imitate Jesus

Unrelenting painful circumstances, that wage war. Suffering, suffering. Begging for relief. Receiving blessed encouragement from others, YET.. YET… in a “moment” when it almost becomes too much to bear. Surely in this “moment”, empathy, compassion, will be exercised.

In this “moment”, Alone. “So it seems.” Surely compassion is fitting and right, this is suffering. How could this be missed? Perhaps it isn’t being missed, but my own fleshly perspective. A need only the Father is meant to meet.

Run to the Father. Cry out to Him. Remember His love. I am convicted as I see Jesus. Bloody and broken on that cross for me. Repenting as I realize I am thinking of myself.Demanding my own way. What I deserve. Then the reality of what I deserved, before GRACE entered my life, through JESUS. The torment and suffering He endured, I never will. The loneliness that was real upon Him, will never be my reality. Praising Him for the compassion of others. Yet reminded of the dying I must do, and the dependency on Him for all my needs. That I am called to love and show grace not when it is convenient, but even in the most difficult, painful times.

This suffering of the Savior could not be relieved. There was a holy work to be done. This SUFFERING had to happen, and He must endure this cross. Something glorious waiting on the other side of this. Beautiful life.

“Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” In SUFFERING, not one millisecond of looking out for Himself. Grace, love, forgiveness. Humility. Looking only out for others. For me. For you. ALONE! TRULY ALONE! The Father turned away not able to look upon this wretched sin that Jesus became. IN order to impart His own righteousness into the souls of those Who will Believe.

Because of this sacrificial offering of the Savior, I will never be alone. I am not alone. Christ’s power in me. Choose to believe in His love. Choose humility. Choose forgiveness. Choose grace. In the most painful moments of suffering… Be imitators of Christ and walk in love, give grace, forgiveness. Choose dying. Choose to receive the Ultimate Comforter. Choose life. Choose transformation. As Christ Jesus knew He must go to this cross, it had to happen. Thus, my flesh must die. As Christ Jesus rose victorious, each dying I die, I will indeed rise victorious. Believe it or not. I believe.

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor. 3:17-18

Island of Quiet – Not Alone – Just Abide

SOMETIMES JESUS CALLS US TO EXTRA QUIET PLACES. AS WE REMAIN THERE. THIS IS NOT WRONG, THIS IS NOT ODD, THIS IS TOTALLY RIGHT.

Ever been in a place where it seems you are not “able” to do what “everyone” else is doing – even in the simplest of ways of life? You are not odd or misplaced on that island. You ARE ABLE to do exactly what God wants you to do where He has placed you. John on the Island of Patmos. God placed him there. This was a season where He would ABIDE in the quiet, MEET WITH JESUS in a spectacular way, for specific KINGDOM purposes.

The enemy tries so hard to deceive us women into believing lies of where REAL JOY is found. Sometimes Jesus just calls us to extra quiet places. This is not wrong, this is totally right.

Jesus provides-His Word encourages-Proverbs 31 He has washed over me. Earlier this week, in the middle of doing life, considering what I will wear for the day, feeling weary and rugged, God flooded me on the spot with WORDS from Proverbs 31. “STRENGTH(not in body, but heart, mind, soul) & HONOR ARE HER CLOTHING”-the beautiful clothing that matters.

When I consider the paring down of life through many circumstances, including snow that has remained for 5 days… “she is not afraid of snow for her household..” content for no matter how many days I am snowed in here, not frantically saying, I cannot stand one more day trapped in here, is that what the Apostles did, when placed in the brutally harsh callings? Thanking, praising, and listening to Jesus that’s the example they set. To remain where Christ had them in His presence- in the RUGGED – in JOY.

“rise while it is still night..” I did rise earlier than the rest today. Grateful for an amazing night’s sleep… I hear ” do not eat the bread of idleness…” Honored to place my hand across the doors of our sons bedrooms and pray over their lives.

“be content with what you have, I will never leave you or forsake you” (Heb. 13:5) has been washing me, for weeks!!!!!! Content – coupled with PROVERBS 31 WORDS – So ENCOURAGED.
Sharing this ONLY to magnify the name of the Lord – because God gave me a song a few weeks ago, “take it all, take it all away, magnify no other name, open up my eyes to SEE MORE of YOU!” Isn’t that what happened to John on the island He was placed? He wasn’t able to do much of what “everyone” else was doing, He saw the GLORY OF THE LORD! He was ABLE to do exactly what GOD wanted him to do -write the BOOK OF REVELATIONS!! In God’s economy – that is SO VERY MUCH!!!!

THIS is where JOY is FOUND. This is where we see MORE OF JESUS. ABLE to do exactly what He wants us to do, for His greater purposes and glory.

In HIS presence, in HIS will. The Lord, husband, children, home… We can hold our heads up as women, wives, mothers, Sisters in Christ, encouraging one another… confident that while we experience days of rugged, doing less than the “rest” of the masses, that may not “seem” so beautiful- TRUTH PREVAILS we are in the BEAUTY OF HIS STRENGTH AND HONOR.

Digging Deeper – The Glories of the Unseen

Huge thank you to my son Isaac for standing in shorts, in 20 deg. temps and 10 mph winds to snap this shot

God is always doing much, much, much, more than we can see with our eyes.  That is what this week’s lessons have been about.

 

Through the gift of snow that visited our home, we have once again been able to incorporate living and learning.

 

That snowflake, and then another, and another and another….and to infinity and beyond… each snowflake has been commanded by God to fall.

“He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’…”  Job 37:6

 

We decided to “dig” deeper to understand the snowflake.  What is happening in the unseen to make this beauty happen?

 

We needed to go back before the snowflake – to water.  Well, back EVEN further.  What a joy to introduce my children to the basic concepts of atoms, molecules, and the underlying elements of creation that we do not see with our eyes.  The unseen parts of creation, that science reveals.

 

As God is commanding that snowflake to fall, He has a specific number of atoms of hydrogen, oxygen, he  bonds together to create, first – water.  Water turning to vapor, then frozen vapor, attaching to a piece of dust in the clouds, where then nearly 100,000 molecules of frozen water conglomerate to build ONE gorgeous snowflake.  Specifically each snowflake unique in it’s design, yet every single one commanded to form a 6 sided hexagon!

 

(Might I note, this was all new to me.  In a matter of an hour on a Tuesday morning, I set out with what God had provided before me in my home, first energy (praise God!) to pull together this study.  Bible, computer, board game chips, candy, etc…  and the night before I must include, prayer!  Asking God to direct my heart and mind to His leading for this week.)

 


In a nut shell, we did indeed dig deeper to comprehend the power, control, authority, and care the Lord orchestrates in the making of one tiny snowflake.  Multiply that by a number we cannot even conceive of every snowflake falling around the world, that is some serious deep, intricate work, carried out at ease by our God.

 

God is in control. God is always at work.  He is creating beauty.  He is constantly at work orchestrating everything in our lives.  As each snowflake so specifically designed, so are we.  And yet, the love and care of the Creator and Savior  runs vastly deeper and stronger for us.  He revealed this love through the gift of Jesus, His death, burial and resurrection on our behalf.  Desiring relationship, and intimacy with us forever.

 

As we look upon snowflakes, we understand that  we do not see all that is happening to make this beauty possible, likewise this applies  to our own lives.  We do not see all that is happening, the pieces He is fitting perfectly together, and VERY specifically,  the constant work He is orchestrating every second of our lives, to make us perfect and complete.

 

What He promises for His children, is the faithful work He “WILL” complete.  We can count on, even through the times when we don’t SEE what HE is doing, that He is indeed actively orchestrating every tiny detail in the unseen to work all things together for  good.  Just as He works to bring each atom together to form molecules, to produce the results we see through rain, snow, and beyond… He is working ALL things together for good to produce results – fruit that will be evident and seen one day.  It may be now,  it may be later or  in eternity.

 

We are called to live by faith, NOT by sight.   2 Cor. 5:7

 

A strange thing  to see and read articles in the realm of secular science.  Concluding that even though atoms are not visible and maybe only “possibly” in very recent day, actually able to be seen through special equipment,  they indeed believe atoms are real and do exist.  They cannot see them, yet they believe… in atoms.  All because evidence points to this.  Yet, they do not acknowledge in faith the Triune God, the Creator of atoms, and all, when clearly evidence indeed points to Him.

 Let us magnify the Lord and exalt His name forever.  Though we cannot see Him, there is much evidence He is real.  The Creator of the unseen atom.  Creation itself,  Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection, the Holy Word, all are evidence- let us believe.

“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…”  Romans 1:20

 

Those who acknowledge Him as Lord,  will stand before Him, enter into the kingdom forever,clothed in a robe of righteousness.  Through Christ Jesus our Lord we have the blessed gift  to be EVEN whiter than snow.

 

“…wash me, and I will be whiter than snow…”  Isaiah 51:7

To conclude our study today.  For a fun little notation, we compared a water molecule to the trinity.  After all 3 atoms join together = WATER!   Father, Son, Holy Spirit = GOD!

 

Jesus said:  “if any man is thirsty, let him come to me and drink.”  John 7:37

 

JESUS is my H 2  O  !!!!!!

A walk to and through our local neighborhood park. Not as much snow under the trees. Oh so beautiful.

 

Seek and you will find…

 

 

 

I Want Real Beauty

 

We sat at our dining table in our Christmas cottage by the ocean.  Just about ready for our communion before we proceeded with our full on Christmas dinner.  The pretty glasses were filled with sparkling cider, the home made bread gifted by a friend sat in place.

 

Everything looked and felt perfect.  In an instant, that feeling changed, as there was a sudden and extremely important issue of the heart to attend to. Feelings, feelings.  Definitely not where I should ever place my dependency on.

 

Real beauty is not in the outward appearance.  Perfectly set table, dressed up for the event, everyone in their proper assigned seating.  Making it all special.  Now don’t move… and it will be glamorous!  Smiles wide now.  We can do this.  Oh what a ridged life I still yearn to break free of.  God has done a work, and He is not finished with me yet.  He is breaking the chains and making me freer.

 

God is working out my flesh.  My programmed ways of thinking that are so not Him.  In this past month He has been working over time on the area of surrender again in my life.

 

My flesh, very well could have reacted in throwing a fit, in the moment.  I confess.  It has before.  Either keeping the mumbling low within myself, or outwardly throwing my own form of fit.  I mean come on, we are ready to sit down to Christmas dinner!!  It’s supposed to be wondrous, and perfect, and joyful and beaming smiles of awe and wonder and delight.  This moment is ruined!  Only if I choose to not surrender.  Only if I choose to depend on feelings,  the outward conformity, rather than JESUS!!

 

I am thankful I surrendered. In the moment of difficulty, is where Jesus was!!!  This is where the BEAUTY happened at the special Christmas feast. I mean, if I look at it from the REAL perspective, this IS EXACTLY WHY WE ARE CELEBRATING CHRISTMAS!!!  Jesus coming to save us from our brokenness.  So I surrendered around the bread and cup.  We embraced this moment of Jesus with us.  We addressed the issue of the heart.  Took the time, to pause and believe “He works all things together for His good” and depend on our Savior.

 

Tears were shed.  Hearts were touched.  Attitudes not changed on an outward level of conformity but truly from the inside out.  How beautiful to pick up that bread and cup then and thank God for sending Jesus for these very reasons.

 

A heart that changed, that we didn’t even see the whole, significant amount of transformation the Holy Spirit had done, until the next day.  When  potential for a challenge to arise in a heart, the heart responded with beauty, with peace, with JESUS ruling and reigning.  Testimony of the gracious love of the Savior.

 

That is the beauty I want!  Not the glamour, the outward conformity.  The beauty that can come, through realizing in the moment of difficulty we need JESUS!  Basking in this truth, His love, and surrendering to His purposes right in the moment, believing He will work this together for glorious good.  Real beauty that sticks!!  Remains forever and ever!!

 

“The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”  1 Samuel 16:7

 

 

Our Visit to the “Thumb of God”

WE MADE IT!!!! The last few years God has taken us to a Christmas cottage by the ocean. God’s LOVE so deep, far and wide. His thoughts of love for His children more than the sands.

And on this Christmas Day, He brought me out of a miry pit and set my feet upon a ROCK, established my steps…

from a month of much fatigue & pain, and telling our boys how we MUST be thankful in all circumstances and always DEPEND ON JESUS… I received the Christmas miracle of STRENGTH AND ENERGY!!!

An unplanned GREAT, GLORIOUS ADVENTUROUS JOURNEY – a hike LIKE NO OTHER FOR US!

 

Through muddy inclines, slipping and falling down… and getting up and determined to get to the destination we heard was so worth it…

TO SEE what the locals call THE THUMB OF GOD!!!

 

I praise HIM for lifting me up out of the miry clay again and again and lifting us upon the ROCK OF JESUS! THIS WAS THE BEST CHRISTMAS CELEBRATION WITH MY FAMILY – such a great reminder of God’s GRACIOUS LOVE as we press on, lifting each other up and keep moving to our destination – the kingdom forever. We met some strangers along the way, chatted, encouraged and rejoiced together when we made it!!!  Oh how we will rejoice the day we arrive at our eternal destination with JESUS forever!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

“He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
 He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the Lord.”  Ps. 40:1-3

 

 

I think it is pretty amazing how God works on our hearts in His faithfulness.  Not sure how many surrenders I’ve done in this walk with the Lord… but this month has been a process of that again… as I walked alone the other evening, perfect songs came chiming in… the perfect words and declaration again to the surrender God is calling me to. Surrender, purpose, refreshing of vision, and declaration of commitment to a DEEPER DEPENDENCY on CHRIST ALONE in all circumstances – it “ALL” matters – GOD IS GREATER!

 

“Lift My Life Up”

You brought me this far so why would I question You now
You have provided so why would I start to doubt
I’ve never been stranded, abandoned or left here to fight alone
So I’m giving You control

I lift my life, lift my life up
I give it all in surrender
I lift my heart, lift my heart up
You can have it forever
All my dreams, all my plans
Lord I leave it in Your hands
I lift my life, lift my life up

Have Your way in me
Have Your way in me

If peace is a river then let it sweep over me
If I’m under fire I know it’s refining me
When I hear You calling out I follow now wherever the road may go
I know You’re leading me home

 

“Magnify”

Take it all, take it all away
Magnify no other name
Open up, open up my eyes
To you

Take it all, take it all away
Magnify no other name
Open up, open up my eyes
To you

My sight is incomplete and I’ve made you look small
I’ve been staring at my problems for way too long
Re-align where my hope is set, until you’re all that’s left
But just a glimpse draws my heart to change
And one sight of you lays my sin to waste
I don’t need to see everything, just more of you

Take it all, take it all away
Magnify no other name
Open up, open up my eyes
To you

Oh God, be greater, than the worries in my life
Be stronger, than the weakness in my mind
Be louder, let your Glory come alive
Be magnified
BE MAGNIFIED!!!!!

TESTIFY! God’s Love

Like a child excited about my new discovery.  Excited to tell.  Like a child who knows she’s done wrong, and knows she is  safe to confess that.  Like a child who can count on her Father to care about every detail of her life…

This is Who I belong to!  Heavenly Father.  He gives me promise of His love and forgiveness.  Relationship day by day.  A Father to DEPEND on.  Whose care and love go beyond what I will ever comprehend in this life.  Faith He has placed inside of me, to keep me going to further faith, and hope to be with Him forever!!

 

Cannot help to think of the refining work in the area of letting go and not understanding it all these past few weeks and then God would give me this song the other night and then this view and picture two days later – I TESTIFY!!

 

Wave after wave
As deep calls to deep
Oh, I’ll reveal my mystery
As soon as you start to let go
Give me your heart give me your song
Sing it with all your might
Come to the fountain and
You can be satisfied

There is a peace, there is a love
You can get lost inside
Come to the fountain and
Let me hear you testify!!!

Mist on the mountain
Rising from the ground
There’s no denying beauty makes a sound

MY PRAYER:
that as I experience this love more fully day by day, that YOU know and experience this LOVE of CHRIST….

As the Creator of the OCEAN speaks…
“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:17-19

 

And the Creator of every single tiny grain of SAND of the entire world speaks….
Because… This love of the Father is a love like no other. Perfect love we can approach freely because, with every sin to confess and be forgiven because of Jesus, every story to tell, longing of our hearts, sorrow, joy, and more… knowing His thoughts of LOVE are endless for you and me!!

 

“How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand..”  Psalm 139:17-18

 

He also gave me this song that same night before leaving on our trip.  Another song so perfect for the work He has been doing in me these past few weeks.  I think it is pretty amazing how God works on our hearts in His faithfulness.  Not sure how many surrenders I’ve done in this walk with the Lord.  This month has been a process of that again. As I walked alone the other evening, perfect songs came chiming in.  The perfect words and declaration again to the surrender God is calling me to. Surrender, purpose, refreshing of vision, and declaration of commitment to a DEEPER DEPENDENCY on CHRIST ALONE in all circumstances – it “ALL” matters – GOD IS GREATER!

 

 

Taking me deeper in “do not need to see everything, quit focusing on the problems in  worry, quit focusing on the weakness in our lives, and focus and  DEPEND on Him – surrender, and see His glory and MORE OF HIM and come alive!”

 

My sight is incomplete and I’ve made you look small
I’ve been staring at my problems for way too long
Re-align where my hope is set, until you’re all that’s left
But just a glimpse draws my heart to change
And one sight of you lays my sin to waste
I don’t need to see everything, just more of you

Take it all, take it all away
Magnify no other name
Open up, open up my eyes
To you

Oh God, be greater, than the worries in my life
Be stronger, than the weakness in my mind
Be louder, let your Glory come alive
Be magnified!!

 

Abide in this love.  Trust in Him more fully, not leaning on our own understanding.  Seeking Him day and night for the path in which we should walk.  Rest in His promises.   Say no to even the “good things” that are not His will for us.  Even when it doesn’t make sense. Rest in His love.  We will see more of HIM!!!  We will experience more of His love.  We are focused, depending on the ONE who loves us most.  Counting on the Father to tenderly care for us, and even when we feel alone.  He is that Father who we can whisper our child like faith and wonder of special moments to, whisper our fears, whisper our pains, and believe deeper in His Word that says… “His thoughts towards us are more than the grains of sand in the entire earth!!”  He is LOVE!

 

Hedge of Protection

I was pursuing in all the wrong ways… I felt a struggle. I thought I was doing what God wanted of me… to reach out, reach out, reeeeeaaaach…. but each time I “tried” something wasn’t right. God kept showing me this is “where I want you” and it wasn’t out there where I was reaching…. and I didn’t quite get it.

 

Why does the good that I am reaching out to not feel right? Why do I feel this struggle? This is why: “You have hedged me behind and before, and laid Your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5.

 

God has hedged me in! A hedge of protection. When I am reaching even in good ways out, it isn’t where HE wants me right now. I am reaching out of the hedge of protection to places I do not belong in this particular season. My struggle? My very hand reaching out past the hedge of protection and GOD’s gracious hand “laid upon me” – holding me right where He wants me.

 

His gracious hand faithfully keeping me in this place of safety, love, and rest. What more could I ask for? This hedge all around showing me to reach out and around within the these borders, He has placed me. Right here with my husband, children, home. Stop looking outside of the hedge of protection HE has placed me in to see, peek, at everything good within the Body of Christ going on this Christmas season. Good for others-important for others. I rejoice.

 

However, things I am not to be apart of in this season. But definitely I am apart of His magnificent plan right here where I am at. It’s been surreal how He has made every effort to stop my attempts to be elsewhere,and made certain I remain where I am.

 

So I surrender, and trust – in this season. This Christmas season – again. IN a new way. Though I may not understand it all, now. Or partly, but not all at once. I do understand and SEE clearly, He is calling me to saturate myself in deeper dependency and relationship with Him, my husband, and children. HE couldn’t make it any clearer.  Calling me to stop reaching outside of His hedge of protection, and be still and serve within.  Stop pursuing and striving, and “rest in this place, where His hand is upon me”

 

 

 

 

 

Victory! – Maximus

With every word of God to carry him onward- VICTORY!

Blue!

Courageous. That he is.

With the extreme energy inside along with the wiring of heightened sensitivities to everyday living – he chose to persevere and not give up.

 

GROW. WAIT. IN GOD’s TIME. WORK HARD. PLEASE JESUS. TRUST. FIGHT. LISTEN. FOCUS. FIX EYES AND MIND. BELIEVE. FEAR NOT. I CAN.

 

So many to list of scriptures to saturate his heart, mind, and soul. Focusing on His Reward – JESUS!

 

He believes in Him as his Savior. Child of the King.

 

At home, we worked repetitively on mindset, the Word, coping skills, scenarios on dry erase board to prepare each week for class. In class covered in love being taught the skills needed to advance in Karate/self-defense. Skills overall that are growth for his entire life – most important- His walk with Jesus!

 

Through this waiting he has grown in daily life! This energy inside it is a gift! This verse in this translation so pertinent for this boy:

 

” … I strenuously contend, strive, with all the energy Christ so powerfully works in me.”
Col. 1:29

Never Alone – Merry Christmas – Immanuel God With Us

Jesus died alone bearing the burden of all sin of all the world on His soul. Because He suffered alone, no one else need ever be alone again. “be content with such things you have: for he has said: I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Heb. 13:5).

The Apostle Paul, suffering alone in a Roman dungeon shortly before his execution, could still say “The Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed..” 2 Tim. 4:17. John the beloved, old and imprisoned on the tiny isle of Patmos, nevertheless “was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day” (Rev. 1:10) and then saw the Lord in all His glory!!

So it has always been with those who know the Lord, for He is there, even when all others have forsaken them and He understands. He is there, when He calls us to these “places”. It may be truly and literally all alone or away from what the masses of even  Believers are doing, and alone in our work where God has us- we are never alone.

Paul’s faith was that in this place “the message might be fully proclaimed”. God accomplished exceedingly abundantly through both these men’s examples. I marvel how the glory of God came to John to give visions and write the book of Revelations. The very BOOK that would BE A COMFORT to future Believers like me. To think God was thinking of me and all the many Believers to come in these very moments of John writing.

Light was being exercised in this seemingly dark place. He saw the Lord in all His glory as He wrote, giving us the pages of Revelations and encouragement to keep fighting the good fight for…”no more fears, pain, tears, sorrow..” everlasting life worshiping in His beauty and holiness, the King is coming!!

And I consider and God challenges me – how in the places He calls me to whether it be literally alone, emotionally alone, set in circumstances I feel alone in, set in a place with less and yet more time to be just in nothing but the presence of “God stood with me” and “was in the Spirit” – I consider how God is sovereignly orchestrating this place He has called me to so “that through me the gospel message might be proclaimed”.

Afterall God works all things together for good, and His greatest good is Salvation. We might not understand the places we are in, but as Believer’s in Christ we are filled with His Spirit, and we are also ambassadors of Christ – “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us… 2 Cor. 5:20. These two men, were not in blissful places experiencing the glory of God, but rather alone and in great difficulty experiencing the glories of God.

Ambassadors of Christ – God revealed through them His glory, truth, and ever important message of hope and salvation. I am encouraged that as I too am an ambassador of Christ – He too is working out an exceedingly glorious plan to proclaim a message that in my own eyes I may not see how any message would be proclaimed through this very circumstance… yet I reflect again.. John… was on a deserted island with nothing but JESUS!!!!

Who would have imagined such TREASURE would come from such a place? Glory to GOD!

May our lives, in our circumstances, give hope and encouragement to even perhaps future generations. Jesus has already been there ahead of us, “in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” (Heb. 4:15-16).

 

Let us remember: “Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34

He is with us.  Merry Christmas!  “IMMANUEL” – GOD WITH US!

Our Christmas Bird – God’s Gift of Compassion

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,  or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you… In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.”  (Job 12:27-19)

A little bird in need of rescue. Dirty. Scared. All alone. Broken. In the middle of a street of chaos. I reached out my hand to protect, as I stopped the traffic coming towards her. I was determined to help and save this life. She struggled to get away from my helping hand, not understanding.

I took off my sweatshirt, scooped the struggling, broken winged bird out of the dirty water it had made it’s way to. Wrapped my arms gently around her, and prayed as I carried her home. And she was still. Sure she was scared, but she had surrendered to this place in my arms. She was still.

Once home, we gave her a comfy, cozy, abiding place. A place of rest. A little box, boundaries to keep her still and safe. She looked so incredibly peaceful here. That will forever be a picture to hold onto in our hearts, minds, souls.

We gave her the name Compassion. (aka: Orangey)We had compassion on her. Just as the parable Jesus told of the Good Samaritan, others walked by the injured man, and did not help, that is what happened in our story. A lady came out of her home, looked, and told me “I just cannot do anything. That would be too hard for me”. Compassion welled within me, there was nothing else for me to consider but to help this injured life.

We attempted to get her to the Audubon Society in hopes she would be rehabilitated. Due to landslides this week the place was closed. I received an email late in the evening, of another facility, a 24-hour animal hospital, that would take her. We had planned to get her there in the morning, if she would make it until then.

Sadly, we awoke in the morning, and she had passed away. We were heart broken. “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Then the Lord, gave me a wonderful picture. A real life picture for us. He would use this bird as the scripture says … “look to the birds, they will teach you…” and “apply my heart to what I observed, and learn from what I saw” Proverbs 24:32

We wanted to save her. We wanted our experience to be like the video we watched of another mother and son who rescued a bird with a broken wing, prayed – God healed it, and it flew off as they rejoiced. That wasn’t our story. We have another story.

A real life picture of our struggles and God’s great gift of Compassion for us.

Like this bird, broken, confused, not sure which way to go, covered in the dirt, thus is the human race because of sin. We try to go our own way, when God’s loving hand is reaching out to offer help. As we were determined to help this bird, offer compassion, care, protection, safety and rest, it is the same with God for us.

It is the Christmas season. God sent this bird into our lives for a purpose. To teach us. To show us His great gift of Compassion.

For God so loved the world, He sent His only Son on Christmas to come into this broken world to save… and those who are scooped up out by His loving hand, receiving His gracious gift of Compassion that reached down from heaven, through Jesus coming to be broken on a cross in our place, removing our sin, for those who come to Him, He gives rest. “come to me all who are weary… I will give you rest…” Matthew 11:28

Even when we come to Jesus, we still face struggling on this journey through life. We had placed “Compassion” in a place of rest. She was still in pain, but we were with her through it. Peace resonated in her. Even caught her napping with her little head tucked under her good wing. Though trials we still endure, we are now safe in His care, within His boundaries of comfort, protection, love. The boundaries of His Words that keep us right where He says to be in our daily living with Him. As we did speak words quietly to her. So God’s Word is a gift to do the same for us. As we abide in His rest. Assurance of Salvation, and His care even through the still yet painful times of this life, we can be at rest. As I prayed for her as I carried her in my arms towards home, we are assured Jesus carries us daily and is praying for us every single minute until we are home with Him forever.

How many times do I resist this gift of rest? I confess, I still struggle with rest. As I grow in my years of walking with Him, He shows me the ways in which I struggle against His very compassionate hand on my life. Even this week, realizing I was resisting His hand, struggling against the peaceful place of rest He was offering me. Once surrendered, in His gracious arms of love (as the bird in my arms) I am at peace again.

God will care for us until our very last breath (just as He did – and we did for this very special bird.) Yes, we want to just pray, be healed, and fly off into bliss. Just as we wanted for this bird. Sometimes that happens now. Sometimes we wait. God had another plan for this bird. He would care for this life right here in this place, still in difficulty, but also given rest. There are difficulties, pain that doesn’t just go away, get healed, but He is always with us, compassionately loving us until our very last breath. We know whether now or in eternity, we will be fully healed and complete.

Our Father in Heaven reminds us also, He is preparing that forever comfy, safe, warm, place for us in eternity. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Rev. 21:4

We are thankful for this bird-for Compassion. She was created to sing His praises. The Varied Thrush. My youngest son knew immediately what kind she was.  After all we have been studying birds for the past 1 1/2 years as a family.  A simple gift of a feeder in our backyard ignited a fire inside myself, husband, and both our boys to learn more about God through His glorious creation of birds.  The beautiful discovery made about the Varied Thrush? She is recognized among the many song birds with an extra special and beautiful “song” God gave her. She was created to praise Him. “praise the Lord…wild animals…flying birds..” Psalm 148:7-10.

All creation created to worship the King. Let us sing! Praising our God and Father who has compassionately loved us through Jesus Christ the Lord!

We wanted to give “Compassion” a proper good-bye. To honor the gift God has given us. Our Christmas gift of Jesus. Our Christmas gift of this beautiful bird to touch our lives and remind us of our Compassionate Heavenly Father through all times.

I was so pleased that in spite of the  tears and  sadness, little brother maturely went out to dig a place to lay her body to rest, as big brother looked on in support.  When  finished, my youngest gathered us together and led us in a prayer. Thanking God for this gift of life. Even though our time with her short, it would be rich in how the Lord, through her, touched our lives forever.

We pray you receive God’s great gift of compassion. Jesus Christ coming to save. We pray you know how much the Father loves you! Merry Christmas! “not one sparrow falls to the ground is forgotten in God’s sight… So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

 

“The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made….the Lord is faithful to ALL His promises and loving toward all he has made.” (Psalm 145:9,13, 17) – “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort..” 2 Cor. 1:3

 

LIVING AND LEARNING IS A BEAUTIFUL GIFT FROM GOD.

 

Through this experience we dug into the WORD, applied it to our lives.  Boys documented much of what I wrote today, in their personal bible study journals.  Not only did we learn more about the Varied Thrush, we grew closer to one another and Jesus!

 

“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen.” 2 Peter 3:18