Monday, January 23, 2017

Hope Calling

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises."  Romans 15:13

Hope is calling out to you!  Can you hear it?  If not, why not?  Something must be standing in the way. God never changes...and He is always offering hope.

Take every thought in your mind hostage. Examine them and execute the thoughts which don't agree with God. Close the door to them!

Allow hope to move in and take up residence.  Ask for the joy and peace God offers.  Demolish every distraction so you can hear and see hope clearly. Receive and overflow with the promises God has given you. Fix your eyes on Jesus. 

He IS your hope!! 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Offensive Blood


I was reading about the instructions God gave Moses to set Aaron & his sons apart as priests in Exodus 29. 

Can you imagine being one of the women who donated the beautiful fabric for Aaron's robe (fabric collected from the Egyptians before they fled) or being one of the women who sewed that garment by hand--and then seeing ram's blood flung on it?  That's right. As part of the ceremony, blood was applied to Aaron's right ear lobe (to hear the Word of God), right thumb (to do the will of God), and right big toe (to go the way of God). The "right" symbolized strength. And then blood was sprinkled on his robe--that brand new, beautiful, sacred robe. A robe which set Aaron apart and distinguished him as priest. It had to seem offensive.  I can't imagine how that seamstress felt!

But then again, I kind of do. I had to accept the blood sacrifice Jesus made when he died on the cross. His blood was shed as a sacrifice for my sin. I had to confess Jesus as the Lord of my life and bring my sin to him so it was covered by the blood. 

Blood is still offensive to some. It's saving grace and life to me. I was saved from sin and the death it brings by the blood Jesus shed on the cross.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Noah's Ark


Years ago, Andy & I were celebrating our anniversary in Red River and I saw this primitive Noah's Ark in the Christmas Store and fell in love with it. That was in September. 

It was the year I was learning to hear God's voice.  By November, God told me HE wanted to give me a birthday gift. (My birthday is December 16). I began to get excited!!  I'd never gotten a personal gift from God. Oh sure!!  I know He gives me everything--but this was much more personal. God told me He wanted to give me a birthday gift. Andy had never been a great gift-giver up to that point--in fact it's my brothers' favorite thing to rib him about one Christmas when he was out shopping for me at 6 PM on Christmas Eve--at Albertsons.  And I LOVE gifts!!  Little did I know that not only did God want to give me a gift, but he wanted to heal me of my expectations. 

On the day of my birthday, Andy told me not to cook--both of our parents were coming to celebrate. All day, I waited expectantly to see what GOD was going to give me!!  After Andy got off work, he walked in with a cake and dainty plates and napkins. I was shocked--he'd never done that before!  And we had a party!

When it came time to open my gifts, I honestly had no expectations. At the time, Andy's parents owned a Christian bookstore and two of the gifts were wrapped in their signature paper--so I thought I knew what was sure to be in them. Andy's was the last gift I opened--and it was this Noah's Ark I'd seen months before!!  As I opened it, God whispered to me, "Happy Birthday, Becky!"  I teared up. Not only had Andy gone to great pains to call the Christmas Store in Red River to order the gift and have it shipped, God had used him to give to me. That was a transformative year. God healed me of expectations, proved I was hearing His voice, and turned Andy into a great gift-giver!

I love my Noah's Ark and all that it represents.

Friday, January 6, 2017

This temple...


I've been reading about God giving Moses the building plans for the first temple--the place where God met man and offered forgiveness and relationship. The people were fearful of God's presence and asked Moses to just tell them what God told him. They didn't like the experience--but they respected and were awestruck by the manifestation of God's presence. Moses was transformed by meeting with God and hearing Him--and it showed!  The temple was God's solution to show Moses (and the people) that His presence would go with them everywhere. 

Since all of this is a picture for us, I began examining my attitude toward myself--the new temple of God. He is ever-present in me. I carry the presence of God. Do I respect the temple God has given me (my body)?  Am I awe-struck with His presence?  Do I fear Him--in a good way  by meeting with him--or an unhealthy way by letting someone else just tell me what He says?  Does it show that I meet with God?  

Receiving God's forgiveness started a life-long process of relationship with God and spiritual growth. The respect for this temple has been a process.  But God put as much thought and design into my body (and yours!) as He did with the first temple filled with gold and intricate details. Let's celebrate--and honor all He has done!  Be awestruck!  After all...your temple is HOLY!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

What is this?


What is this?  An acorn. (Ay-kern or Ay-korn)  You might tell me it's the nut or fruit from an oak tree and you'd be right. But everything needed for an oak tree to grow is contained in this nut. So you could look at this acorn and say it's an oak tree and you'd be right. 

It's the same with us. At the point of salvation, all of God is planted in our hearts. He lives in us!!!  That's so hard to comprehend. But it's truth!  All of Him. But I imagine He comes to us like this acorn--in full potential of an oak tree. But we must water and feed our own spirits to give room for Him to expand inside of us until we become mighty oaks of righteousness. (Isaiah 61)  

That's my prayer for myself this year--that my heart, mind, and spirit will expand to receive the limitlessness of God. I want to be a mighty oak. 

"Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather.  But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night.  And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]."  Psalm 1:1-3