Monday, November 23, 2009

Are You Watching?

I met some ladies from my mom’s group today at the mall playground.  We meet there once or twice a month to let the kids play, chat and pray for each other.  When we first got there Josiah stuck close to me as usual.  But after a little bit he was running around playing with the other kids.  Every few minutes he would come running to me just to make sure I was still there and that I was still watching him.  And once he was assured that I was watching, he was off again running and laughing with pure childhood joy.  
Children have a natural need to be protected, cared for, and loved.  We as children of God have the same needs.  We also need to be protected, cared for, and loved.  And although we as parents fail our children from time to time, God is the perfect father and he never fails.  We can trust in His protection, care, and love.  The whole time we were at the playground I didn’t move.  I stayed in the same place and was constantly watching my son.  Even so, he felt the need to make sure.  Regardless of how we feel, God is always there.  His eyes are always on us.  God will never say “oh you did that?  I missed it.”  He is always present and all knowing, but yet we still seem to need to check every now and then to make sure He’s watching.  You may be in a time in your life where you’re not sure if the Lord’s still there, still interested, still watching.  Be assured He is.  And feel free to go running to Him just to make sure.  He won’t mind.  
For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
Romans 8:15
“Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him!
Matthew 7:9-11

Sunday, November 22, 2009


We had an awesome worshiping in the presence of God at church this afternoon.  We ended singing Hallelujah.  It got me thinking.  I’m not sure what it is about the word Hallelujah that makes it so useful in our worship.  It means “glory to God”.  But for me saying “glory to God” and saying “Hallelujah” are two very different things.  As far as I know Hallelujah is the only word that never needs translation.  Also many people may say “glory to God” and actually be referring to a false God they worship.  Hallelujah always refers to the one true God.  Regardless of what country you are in or what language you may speak Hallelujah is said the same way and for the same purpose, to give glory to the Living God.  It is something that identifies us as Christians and can unify us as a body.  
I did a Bible search and was surprised to find that the word Hallelujah only appears 4 times in the Bible!  Now as I have said, I’m certainly no Bible scholar.  I don’t have any degrees or titles so if you have found Hallelujah elsewhere please let me know, because I would love to study more about this precious word.  I was even more surprised to discover that the four times the word appears in scripture are all in Revelation 19.  The first part of this chapter where Hallelujah appears is a vision of worship in Heaven.  The multitudes, the elders, the living creatures, they were all worshiping God by shouting Hallelujah!  
How awesome is it to know that we have the amazing privilege to worship here on earth the same way they are worshiping in Heaven.  Could it be that this word is a glimpse into a heavenly language?  Is that way it is so precious to those of us who are called to worship?  Is that why it is so offensive to those who still live in darkness?  I seem to have more questions than answers today, but I think that’s a good thing.  Sometimes we need to stop and meditate on what we are doing in our walk with the Lord.  When we do, each step we take comes with a deeper significance.  How did you worship Jesus today?  Did you stop to contemplate the words that came out of your mouth? 
Lord, help us to be active, conscious participants in worship.  May the words that come from our mouths truly come from our hearts and be acceptable in Your presence.  
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting:  “Hallelujah!  Salvation and glory and power belong to our God,”
Revelation 19:1
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks.
John 4:23

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Ants Go Marching Part 2

So we called the exterminator and he came today.  He put some kind of gel poison around the areas I had seen the ants.  According to him the ants would just run away from where I was spraying the raid and go to another part of the house.  And I said yep that’s exactly what was happening.  So now the ants are supposed to take the poison to their queen so she will die.  He says if the queen doesn’t die than no matter how many ants we spray there will always be more.  But if the queen dies all the other ants will die to.  Wow, that’s interesting.  
It got me thinking about things in my life that I would like to die.  And the same truth applies.  I could kill off my yelling, but the root of anger that is in my heart would still survive, and the yelling would eventually start again.  But if I kill of the root of the problem.  The problem itself will disappear.  Just as the ants can’t survive without their queen, sin can not survive without it’s root.  
It is essential to attack the root of sin in our lives.  It’s the only way to successfully fight against it.  How do you know you have a root of sin in your life?  As my pastor’s wife told us in a bible study, “if there is fruit, there is a root.”  Fruit is the evidence of a root.  So if there is sin, bad attitudes, or disobedience in our lives.  That means there must be root issues that need to be addressed and removed.  What are you struggling with?
Lord,  Show me what roots of sin exist in my heart.  Remove them.  Give me victory in my battles against my sinful nature.  Give me a pure heart like Yours.
“You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not murder.  If you commit murder, you are subject to judgment.’  But I say, if you are angry with someone, you are subject to judgment!  If you call someone and idiot, you are in danger of being brought before the high council.  And if you curse someone, you are in danger of the fires of hell.”
Matthew 5:21-22
If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy;  if the root is holy, so are the branches.
Romans 11:16

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Ants Go Marching . . .

Although I hate to say it we have tiny little ants at our house.  And as much as I have tried they keep coming back.  First they were in an opening in the wall of our living room.  I sprayed there and they reappeared under the kitchen table.  I sprayed there and they reappeared crawling out from under the coffee maker and from a tiny crack under the sink.  I sprayed there and they reappeared in the cabinet that I keep flour and sugar in.  They liked it there.  So I cleared out the cabinet and threw everything away.  The next morning I made coffee and offered it to my husband without realizing there was no sugar, and we don’t drink it black.  But I digress.  I sprayed there and today they reappeared crawling up the entrance to the garage.  It makes me think of Proverbs 6:6.  I guess after a week of waging war on ants it was about time I remembered that Proverbs encourages us to learn from them.  And there is so much to learn.  But since I have never studied entomology (the study of insects, yes I googled it to find out the proper term) I’ll focus the obvious.  Ants just don’t give up!  They want to be in my house.  I attack them here and they move there and so the saga continues.  They are persistent, always active, and never lazy.  Wow is that really how I should be?  This is actually key in my life right now as our family is at a place where we are seeking a clear word and direction from God.  We’ve got to keep at it.  We’ve got to keep praying.  We’ve got to keep spending time in His presence.  We’ve got to keep striving to be more like Him.  We’ve got to keep waiting patiently on His timing.  And we must keep on being faithful in what he has given us.  Galatians says that if we do this we will reap the harvest!  It can be hard when we have mountains of laundry to wash, babies to feed, and kids who wake up in the middle of the night.  But if we allow ourselves to be constantly distracted by life and don’t make finding time to focus on the Giver of Life and being in his presence a priority, we won’t hear Him when He speaks.  Our spirit won’t be able to recognize his gentle voice.  We could lose our harvest.  The good news?  God gives us the challenge, but he also gives us the answer.  He says don’t be a sluggard, don’t give up!  But he also says if we put our hope in Him we will run and not grow weary, walk and not faint.  Let’s keep our hopes in the Lord and watch Him renew our strength!
Go to the ant, you sluggard;  consider its ways and be wise!
Proverbs 6:6
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
Galatians 6:9
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Isaiah 40:31

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Twi . . . light?

Josiah hasn’t been feeling well for the past 2 days, so we’ve been more lenient with what he eats.  Yesterday he wanted to eat just fruit snacks and juice, and I have to say that I let him.  It of course was an exception due to his feeling ill.  But imagine if I let him eat that way all the time.  How would it affect him?  When we aren’t careful about what we eat our physical bodies are affected.  In the same way if we aren’t careful about what we take in spiritually, our spirit and ultimately our soul is affected.  Humans were created with five senses.  Touch, taste, and smell deal more with our physical well being.  If I touch a hot pan my hand is physically burnt.  If I smell certain chemicals mixed together it can make me physically faint.  If I eat something that is poison I could physically die.  Now for me sight and hearing are senses that are more directly connected to the spirit.  If I see something pornographic, it may not affect me physically, but it will definitely affect me spiritually.  If I am constantly hearing what the world has to say about me and my place in it, I will also be affected spiritually.  That is what concerns me about the Twilight craze.  I know several people who have no problem saying that they are “twi-tards” and obsessed with Twilight.  Now I haven’t read the books or seen the movies and I don’t plan on doing either.  I don’t think it’s necessary.  We don’t have to sit around eating nothing but donuts to see if it will have a bad effect on our bodies.  We know it will.  In the same way we can know without seeing it that a movie about a high school girl and a vampire falling in love and then a werewolf falling in love with the same girl and her ending up pregnant some how is not edifying to our spirits.  Remember that faith comes from hearing.  The more I hear something the more my faith grows in that thing.  I don’t want to have faith in vampires or werewolves.  I want to have faith in Jesus!  Let’s protect our spirits and the spirits of our families.  In the same way we wouldn’t serve our children poisonous food that would harm their bodies, lets also refrain from serving them poisonous entertainment that can harm their souls.
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17
“Everything is permissible” - but not everything is beneficial.  “Everything is permissible” - but not everything is constructive.
1 Corinthians 10:23`

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Three Hands

I was making breakfast this morning.  I had to carry some eggshells and other trash to that toddler proof trashcan in the garage when I realized I didn’t have enough hands.  I transferred the egg shells to the hand with the rest of the trash and reached for the door handle.  Just as I turned it one of the egg shells fell and I heard a crunch as the door hit it and crushed it.  I jokingly said to my husband, “Why don’t I have three hands, didn’t the Lord know I would need three hands?”  Right away I said I know I’m so wrong God did a perfect job making me.  We laughed and then Samuel said, “I just understood something.  God didn’t make us with only one hand, because He knew that wouldn’t be enough and we would struggle to do even basic things.  He didn’t make us with three hands because we would take on to much.  He made us with two hands because that is exactly what we needed.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:14

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A simple lesson taught by a skunk

This is a picture my husband took a while ago.  He works in construction and found this poor guy wandering around the site one day.  We have laughed a lot because of this picture and my sweetheart always shows it to everyone.  It’s hard to believe it’s not a fake.  But I was thinking about this poor little skunk today and am hoping never to end up like him.  I’m sure that when he saw and smelled the yogurt he was looking for something sweet and satisfying.  How many of us can identify with that?  But I started to think that it’s the same with sin.  The Bible teaches that satan appears as an “angel of light”.  No one falls into sin because they want their freedom to be taken away.  They fall into sin because they want to preserve their freedom.  Therein lies the trap.  Because when you sin and continue in that sin, it becomes a way of life, or an addiction, and so you lose the freedom you once thought you were preserving.  The skunk was looking for something good but ended up being trapped and blinded by it.  Samuel says it was running into things left and right and when animal control came for it, it walked right into the cage.  Let’s not walk into any cages today.  
“Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin.  Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever.  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.’”
John 8:34-36