Never Enough

“Korah son of Izhar, the son of Kohath, the son of Levi, and certain Reubenites – Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab, and On son of Peleth – became insolent and rose up against Moses. With them were 250 Israelite men, well known community leaders who had been appointed members of the council.” Numbers 16:1-2

Often when you read scripture, it would be very easy to insert modern day people in place of the people written about. That happened this morning when I read through some chapters in the book of Numbers. During this time, tribes were established and each were given jobs to do. Each tribe had a leader and all were under the command of Moses. It is important to know, “…Moses was a very humble man, more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth.” (12:3). In my study Bible there was a note that said perhaps Moses was more broken than most. If God allows brokenness, then I think it is fair to say that humility can be the gift given in its place. It is also noteworthy that, “the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.” (Exodus 33:11). Was it Moses’ humility that brought the Lord so close? I desire the same; for in the brokenness that gives humility, a close friendship with the Lord is acquired.

42E02B18-8A83-46B0-9AF0-3AF913A963FEMoses and the Lord would meet and messages would be given for the people. Moses would report back to the people and it was their job to obey all that the Lord commanded. In response to their obedience, God made some amazing promises. He said, “I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God.” (Exodus 29:45). God had earlier promised Abraham, “Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.” (Genesis 17:8). The Lord still longs to be with us because He loves us. So much so that, “…He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16). Our God never stops pursuing His creation.

I am getting ahead of myself and need to get back to the situation with Moses. The group that came to oppose Moses and his brother Aaron, who served with him, brought a pretty serious charge and revealed their hearts in doing so. “You have gone to far! The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD’s assembly?” (16:3). And in true humility, he fell down with his face to the ground. Again, he must have been broken over the rebellion of this nation. Moses said some bold words and ended with, “…but now you are trying to get the priesthood too. It is against the LORD that you and all your followers have banded together.” (16:10-11). Moses also asked why they were grumbling against his brother too and made no mention of himself. Another mark of humility.

The Lord had appointed Moses to lead His people to a land He had marked out just for them. Are leaders not appointed by God still today? Should our response be rebellion, grumbling and trying to place ourselves in their position? Can we learn from those who have gone before us and correct our alignment? “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16). In the days we are living in, I find it helpful to be in God’s Word often. Most of us have never lived through something like this before and we need direction. We can learn from those who have gone before us. We can read and obey God’s Word and keep our eyes focused and on Him. He is not one to go back on His word.

Oh, as for the group that spoke against Moses and ultimately the LORD? It did not end well at all and makes me fearful for rebellious people in leadership and our nation today. Korah, the two men with him and all of their household and possessions were swallowed up in the earth. And the 250 council men were consumed by fire (see 16:31-35). If this was not enough tragedy, there was more to follow. “The next day the whole Israelite community grumbled against Moses and Aaron. ‘You have killed the LORD’s people,’ they said. (16:41). While the grumbling continued, the Lord spoke to Moses again. God was ready to wipe out them all out, but Moses and Aaron fell on their face again. However, a plague had already broken out. This reminds me so much of our day with the impeachment trial and now the Coronavirus.

“…but Aaron offered incense and made atonement for them. He stood between the living and the dead, and the plague stopped. But 14,700 people died from the plague, in addition to those who died because of Korah.” (16:47-49). Who is standing in the gap now? Will we be follow Aaron’s example? Before you decide, let me tell you the end. “Then Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance to the tent of meeting, for the plague had stopped.” (16:50). What will we decided as individuals, believers, Americans? Would humility, repentance and returning to the Lord, our first love, stop this virus? Would being facedown on our knees, asking the Lord to stop the spread and death, rise like incense as prayers to Him? Would the lifting of our voices and hands in praise be a considered a sacrifice in the midst of the unknown? It is up for you to decide. “And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15).

*This is a repost picture, but I am holding a cup of coffee with the shop label on it. The coffee shop just so happens to the named SERVE.

Hope of a Second Chance

Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time.” Jonah 3:1

When we read the story of Jonah, we see that God is the God of second chances. Jonah heard the Lord speak to him, but ran away in disobedience and probably fear. But the Lord saw Jonah and did not give up His pursuit of him. Would a loving father ever stop going after one of his children? Of course not! And in a miraculous rescue that only God could do, He sent a large fish to save Jonah from the raging waters he was thrown into. And in the three dark days Jonah spent quarantined inside, he “remembered you, LORD, and my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple.” (Jonah 2:7). Sometimes it takes being cut off from the outside world to remind us of who we were made to worship and obey. Could we be living in such a time?

IMG_3352Jonah prayed some powerful words during his quarantine and I hear them echo in my heart today. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good.  I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the LORD.” (Jonah 2:8-9). He saw in the running and worship of idols, he was actually turning away from the love of God. Friends, we have the same God as Jonah and He has not changed. When we turn from our idols, we turn back towards the love of God. Our response then is praise, willing sacrifice, obedience and telling the truth. On a side note, those who are broadcasting lies have turned away and seem to be worshiping idols and not the One true God. Be watchful and listen to those who are speaking words that aligns with the Word.

When Jonah prayed, “the LORD commanded the fish, and it vomited Jonah onto dry land.” (Jonah 2:10). God who made the fish and the shore was in complete control. He used that which He created to rescue his child. And the result? “Then the word of the LORD came to Jonah a second time: ‘Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” (Jonah 3:1-2). And having his heart turned back to God and given a second chance, Jonah obeyed. Because of the size of the city, it took him three days to walk through it, the same amount of days of his quarantine. The result of his obedience was the turning of more hearts, an entire city nonetheless. God also used the king to enforce Jonah’s message. “Let everyone call urgently on God. Let them give up their evil ways and their violence.” (Jonah 3:8). Reminds me of the national day of prayer our President asked everyone to participate on earlier this month.

Perhaps God is giving our country a second chance too. Our sins have been obvious as a country and individually. We have turned from the love of God to the idols of self and violence. Sin has a way of captivating us and tarnishing our worship of the One true God. Self makes a horrible idol. Violence leads to death of that which is innocent. May we start with our own hearts and then move to our homes, extended family, neighborhoods, cities, states and countries, praying for hearts to be turned back to God’s love. Let us follow Jonah’s example and spend our time praying, repenting and returning to our Creator. He alone is to be worshipped and may all our idols fall.

My prayer today is, “LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” (Habakkuk 3:2). As in the days of Jonah, do it again! I am eagerly watching to see you glorified by hearts turning back to You, our first love. Do it again, Lord! Do it again, Lord! -Amen.

P.S. If the word idol is new to you, let me give you the best definition I have ever heard.

Idol: “Anything I put before my God, is an idol. Anything I want with all my heart is an idol. And anything I can’t stop thinking about is an idol. And anything that I give all my love is an idol.” -Song by Jimmy Needham, Clear the Stage

Selfishness is Safe, Love is Not

While reading this morning, I came across an excellent devotional by Ann Voskamp. It was entitled “Why Love is Worth Breaking Your Heart”. It had my mind spinning and my heart opened a bit to understand why selfishness is often chosen over love. One look back over my teenage years and I see plenty of evidence to back this up. When selfishness is your life choice, you depend on yourself for everything. If you fail, then you are to blame and nobody else. Material things become far more important than they should and guarding them is added to your job description. Your kingdom of one becomes your place of safety. Love of self will not hurt you, or so you think.

IMG_7497In these days, kingdoms are being revealed. I know the Lord has been revealing somethings I have been blind too. Sin that I was not even aware of and places that I just could not see my way out. He has been patient and allowed me to share my heart. He never seems to run out of time to listen. His Word is uncontainable and seems to leap off the page. His glory is being revealed in big and small ways. It is a fascinating time. However, in the midst of the good, there is fear and grief going on in the world. Fear of getting sick, possibly dying. Grief over missing things and the normal way of life we have enjoyed. Can you even imagine the day when we get to gather back in our church buildings? I think I will just cry the whole time. What a sweet day of rejoicing that will be! May we long for that day of being at Home with Him even more.

I read a quote by George Muller recently and I find it to be the best advice for all of during these days. He said, “There was a day when I died; died to self, my opinions, preferences, tastes and will; died to the world, its approval or censure; died to the approval or blame even of my brethren or friends; and since then I have studied only to show myself approved unto God.” Seems a bit upside down does it not? But only in the death of self do we find life. I would ask you, as I have asked myself, have you died to yourself yet?

One day during Bible study held at our church, our teacher talked about Queen Elizabeth. She flashed a picture up on the screen of her coronation day. In my heart I heard the Lord whisper, “That is how I see you.”  It was so real that I had to will myself to remain still and not distract from the teaching. This is how God sees me? How can that be? Oh, I have read His word, claimed my new identity, but royalty seemed too much when shown this extravagant image. Keep me at His feet yes, but anything more is too much. I am very aware of the scripture that says I have been chosen and now are part of a royal priesthood (see I Peter 2:9). To reconcile that in my heart is another thing. To live accordingly… how can that be possible?

The key is in the dying part. Death to your selfish, “safe” kingdom in exchange to His Kingdom and life. And then, dressed in your robe of righteousness, that puts even the most costly gown to shame, you take your place in the Kingdom. Then you begin to “proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2:9). Death and all of its demands no longer has ahold on you. You are no longer a captive to self, but free to love without fear. Yes, your heart will be broken and dreams will be dashed, but this is only temporary. And in the living you are given peace, faith, strength, joy, laughter and treasure that can never be lost.

Friend, today could be your Coronation Day! You could be welcomed into the royal family and your rags traded once and for all. What is the cost? It has already been paid on the cross by Jesus. You need only believe, accept and obey. Palace living, ruled by the loving King of Kings makes our own castles look worse than cardboard boxes. The choice is ours and time is not promised. Once your royal identity has been recorded in the Book of Life, the transaction is complete.

Maybe it has been awhile since you have remembered the King. Maybe it has been years since you picked up His Word and read words of love on each page. Even the pages that have discipline, there is evidence of His love. Perhaps you felt or judged the royal robe was a bit to confining and your prison rags were more fun. I pray they begin to feel like sackcloth and you run Home. Falling at your Fathers feet, may you hear Him saying to grab a robe and new shoes, and get a party ready! When the music begins, I pray you hear the angels rejoicing too. Until then, I will keep praying, talking to our King and asking Him to soften your heart. I will keep asking Him to make away for your eyes to be open and your ears to hear how much He loves you. I have found that He loves to answer the requests of His children.

Return Home

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” Luke 8:39

 

I was praying this morning and asking the Lord to show me the work He would have me do today. Some of it I already knew, but I felt there was more. Just as soon as this had entered my mind I read, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” That is my assignment for today. And since we are all quarantined at home and the Bible says so, I think this is each of our assignments too. What has God for you? Do you find it easier to tell others outside your home, all He has done, than those who live or lived with you? I know I went through a time where this was true of me. Others would be impressed, but those at home, not so much. Others would say thank you and that sometimes goes unsaid from kids at home. However, there is the key to humility, do not miss it. We serve the Lord when we serve others. It is Him who will give us our reward and others kind words or actions should be considered a bonus.

IMG_7976Think of how encouraging sharing the faithfulness of God could be to those younger than us. Will it not show them that even through hard things, God is faithful and can be trusted? Will it not spur them on to keep going and trust that God is who His Word says He is and that He does not cancel His promises? I do not know about your heart, but mine could always use reminding. I seem to do better when my heart is trusting the One who, “existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together.” (Colossians 1:17).

May this time at home be one we remember as hearing stories of how good God has been to us. May our homes be filled with laughter, praise, prayer and light. Yes, we have been given the task of teaching our kids their normal school subjects, but I think we would do well to add telling all that God has done for us. The generations behind us will come out of this quarintine spiritually stronger and healthier. And may each person you tell fall more and more in love with Jesus!

 

*In the middle of our table that has our Christmas cards/prayer cards, I placed a big jar. We write down things we are thankful for, things to remember and slips of paper that say, “Jesus, I trust you.” I am praying that this jar is so full, that we have much to tell for generations to come.

 

Be Exalted

“Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over the earth.”           Psalm 57:11

 

I read this verse this morning and thought it was a perfect prayer. Simple words with such power. And since God created this earth and the heavens, He has full reign to show Himself glorious in these days.

IMG_7955Come Lord, I long to see You be exalted. The places that we have tried to push You out, come. In places of government, at all levels, come and take Your rightful place. May we be a nation again that trusts You. Cause our hearts to remember we are one nation under God again. Lord, there are so many healthcare workers that need your protection, please cover them. For those in education figuring out how to now be online teachers, please give them wisdom and encouragement. To the pastors who have fearful eyes of their congregations on them, give an abundance of peace and discernment. For parents that are now brought home instead of leaving each day for work, bless this time. Where hearts have turned away from each other or become distracted in families, turn them back to one another. Let the waters of forgiveness run over hearts, until all traces of heartbreak are wash clean. Bring families back to the table and to each other.

And for those who are now alone, be ever so close to them. May they find You to be their constant companion. I ask that every need be met in ways that only You could orchestrate. I trust You because I know Your heart is good. You did not stop the giving of Your Son to pay the price for the whole worlds sin, so I know You will be faithful even now. You see the battle that is raging in our land. People are dying and getting very ill from the Coronavirus. Many live in fear of getting this virus, financial loss, having enough food and supplies. Lead us gently by the hand into Your peaceful presence. For those who have been away for too long, open their hearts to return. I imagine the sound of many prodigals leaving lives of selfishness and returning home. May these be days of great family reunions. And when the grocery stores are restocked, I pray there are many celebrations. Yes, God, be exalted and show Your glory!

“The LORD bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD turn His face toward you and give you peace.”  (Numbers 6:24-26)

*If you haven’t heard The Blessing by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes, take a listen.

 

 

Turning 14

“He does not take His eyes off the righteous…” Job 36:7

Anna Kate, you turned 14 and this birthday celebration looks a bit different. You have had the best attitude. This confirms that we named you correctly, for your name means gracious. When talking about this whole staying home time, you said that you “were made for this.” So like you to see the good. Yes, you are a homebody and do not seem to mind this slower pace. Gives you more time to learn new things. Just the other day you were learning to sew and made a really cute bag. You are also going between career paths and planning your high school classes accordingly. It is exciting to see how the Lord is leading. You know He has plans for you and created you with special gifts to carry out His plans. You will bring Him much fame and glory. I am thankful to have a front row seat!

IMG_6343When I think back to before you were born, I remember how we were in a bit of uncertain times then too. We had just moved back to Texas and were so happy to be “home”. However, having never lived in this city with kids before, we did not know about doctors, preschools, activities and so much more. One day I walked into a business to order some things for our home. The owner gave me a list of everything I had questions about. I was so thankful and each recommendation was exactly what we needed. I learned then that it only takes one person to make a town feel less unknown. I have tried to do the same. I see this same desire in you, but you take it a step further. You look for the unseen and serve them in your own remarkable, quiet ways. Your attention to detail keeps your ears and eyes open to needs that go unnoticed.

I watch you serve with such compassion and gentleness. It is quite extraordinary. Your younger siblings notice and want to be with you. Even our dog was quite a fan of you. You sat for hours with him those last days. You seem to have been given an extra measure of kindness that you give to animals and people alike. Once someone has you as a friend, they soon realize what a treasure you are. I pray that when the day comes and people miss this, that the Lord will guard your heart. I pray He will keep you close to His heart and reassure you that you are precious to Him. I pray you will never forget that His eyes are on you, even when others are not. You are seen and known by Him. You are a treasure He considered worth dying for. Now you are seen as righteous when He looks at you, precious girl.

I have also loved watching your determination. Each race you run is well thought out and adjusted according to the last races results. You continue to want to get better. With this strength, I pray you never feel pressured to try and earn God’s love. There is nothing you can do to make Him love you more than He already does. Nothing changes His love for you. The same is true with your dad and I. You are stuck with our love. Takes a lot of pressure off, doesn’t it? You respond well to unconditional love and acceptance. Most kids do. This does not excuse sin, but you can trust that any correction is done for the good of your heart. We confuse appropriate discipline with being unloved sometimes, but that is a lie from satan. Know I am still being disciplined by the Lord at my age and do not ever seeing that stopping until Heaven. More and more into the image of Christ, that is the goal at the end of our earthly race. The awards we will be given in Heaven will make any received earthy medals seem like cheap field day medals that are given to every participant.

When I look at your name in scripture, I see a woman who saw Jesus as a baby with her very own eyes (see Luke 2:36-38). She lived in the temple and worshipped day and night. Can you imagine the day when she actually saw in person who she had been worshipping?! She responded in thanksgiving and told of the redemption He would bring. I pray you never forget that you are now the temple that the Holy Spirit dwells in. His presence never leaves you. May your life be lived in response with worship, praise and thanksgiving. With this on your lips and filling your heart and mind, you will have no time for the popular gossip of the day. You will shine as a light in the dark world, burning with His fire. This will keep you stable when all around us is shaken like it is now.

And one more thing. When you look in the mirror and see your stunning red hair, may you be reminded of how rare you are. You stand out without even trying. When people see your outside beauty, I pray it is only enhanced by the consuming love of your Savior. This is the beauty that will last all your days. Keep Him as your first love and you will be stunning!! I sure do love watching you grow up! You just get more remarkable each passing year.

Happy Birthday, Anna Kate!

 

 

Heart Writing

“Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”    Proverbs 4:23

I love this picture of the kids that we took at the beach years ago. It came up on Facebook this morning as a memory and had a quote attached to it. I do not remember where I read the quote, but it says, “Even in my best dreams, I never could have imagined each of you.” I just love that! It is so true. Sometimes we have dreams and God’s plans far exceed them. This is true and evident when I look at this picture and reminds me to continue to trust Him even when my dreams die.

IMG_7878When I look at this picture I am also reminded, because they are standing in front of a post office, that their hearts are like letters. Hearts are like letters that they will read for the rest of their lives to themselves and ones others will read as well. I do not fear what I will write today on their hearts because my heart has been written on by my Heavenly Father early this morning. I only fear taking the pen out of His hand and trying to make my own marks that will cause pain. Sometimes I look at the marks on my own heart and imagine a big line drawn through the painful words. In its place is the word grace. So, even if we do mess up, there is grace given by our Heavenly Father.

Yesterday, my husband was asked to show a precious family a home. He is a real estate agent and I love to come along. As we walked throughout the home, I heard the daughters making plans, as if the house was theirs already. The mom said, “Remember to guard your hearts, girls.” Such wisdom that leaves permanent ink on a young heart. As we were all leaving, the family was looking forward to what the Lord had in store for them. We read beautiful letters at that moment that the ink had not even yet dried.

Other days the letters have lists of dreams written on them that have seemed to have died. Perhaps the Lord did not speak, even though I was sure I had heard Him. Such was the case recently. Years ago, actually just before this post office picture was taken, I felt led to launch a business to help moms dress their children. I really like clothes and putting together outfits for kids. Being a personal shopper seemed like a great idea. So the dream of a business named Threads came into being. Reality is that moms do just fine picking out clothes for their kids and the business never took off and my dream was buried. The only evidence that it was ever a thought was the cute postcards and business cards that had been created.

Fast forward to the present and we happened to be given an abundance of upholstery IMG_7883fabric bolts. The number of bolts we have is overwhelming. As I looked at this gift, I tried to come up with a way to use them. Lots of ideas came, but never the right one. Until a dear friend and I were having lunch and I told her what we had been given. Immediately she told me the solution was simple, make fabric covered bulletin boards. As we talked through the idea, we thought of how most college girls have a cute board in on their dorm wall. How a lot of us moms keep boards with sweet notes, art work and encouraging words up in places we see often in our homes. And so these boards have been made and they are beautiful. They are being stored in our wine cellar just waiting for this new business to launch. And trying to come up with a company name was driving me crazy. I asked others, prayed, read scripture and asked again. Then the name came…Threads. A dream I had has come back to life. This time instead of focusing on outward appearance, this one focuses on the heart. I pray each item pinned on these boards speaks words of life. And each board will come with a note of encouragement. I plan on praying over each one and asking the Lord to choose a scripture that the receiver needs to hear. I got that idea from a jewelry company called The Crowning Jewels and loved it. I kinda picture these boards as 17X23 visible hearts for our homes. Let me know if you want one!

May the Lord continue to write on each of our hearts words of peace, comfort, conviction that leads to repentance and obedience. Let Him write your heart with the most loving hand that chose to be nailed to the cross for the whole world. May we all shine because our hearts have been inked with His holy script of grace. And may we remember many are reading our hearts during this time in history.

 

 

Disruption

This morning I was thinking about all the the normal things that have been disrupted in our world. Churches and schools are closed, businesses are closed and grocery stores shelves are bare of basic items. A term that I have never heard is said constantly, “social distancing”. A virus is upon us and our normal is on hold. However, is this disruption all bad? While I am not at all discounting the threat of this sickness, I do think we need to not give into fear. Standing with eyes fixed on Jesus allows us to see the good in this disruption.

IMG_7860I am reminded of the stories though the New Testament when Jesus entered a town. If large crowds were gathering and social distancing was discouraged, life was not going on as normal when we came to town. People were flocking to Jesus to be taught, to be healed and to receive eternal life. They would remain gathered for days in His presence. Life as they knew it, outside the presence of Christ, came to a stop. I imagine tools left unused in carpenter’s shops. Whatever form of school they had was dismissed because The Teacher was in town. Doctors of the day were not called upon because the Great Physician was here. Those who had lived a life of sin and felt dead, came to the Source of Life and found forgiveness, they became fully alive. I have to think that these desperate, bound by the law, people were more concerned about who was in their presence than what was being disrupted.

What if we took this time and did the same? What if we took this disruption of our normal and sought the presence of Jesus? What if we open our Bibles more and learned from Him? What if we gathered around our tables and caught up with one another? What if we opened our pantry’s, took stock of what we had and then asked the Lord to multiply it to feed anyone who was hungry? What if we called each other and prayed for one another? What if we pulled our family close, read scripture, sang together and prayed together? I would have to believe that we will not be as eager to return to normal when all of this is over. Yes, good can come out of this disruption if we allow it.

I will say that most of this is normal in our home, but we are taking advantage of the disruption. For our family, we have extended our times around the table and laughed a lot. The other night we each came up with 3 questions about ourselves to ask to see who knew us best. When it was my turn, I asked everyone what I had wanted to be when I grew up. Their responses were great! They went anywhere from singer, lawyer, writer to “one of those ladies who wears black and white and preaches”. We laughed a lot and finally the answer was given… a mom. I pray our kids make good memories during this slower time.

Another thing that I discovered this morning was a word I do not usually take note of. The word was “interlude”. It was included in the verse, “For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. Interlude.” (Psalm 32:7). I had to look up the word for more understanding because I knew it was important to take note of. It was defined as a pause, between and an intervening period of time according to the search on Google. Are we not in an interlude, my friends? For those of us who have believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection and are now saved, are we not waiting to go Home? Our life is held in waiting, but not at all inactive. For there is much living to be done now, even in the midst of disruption.

In our interlude and disruption, may we each find Him to be the perfect hiding place and place of protection. May we all be quiet enough and cease complaining to hear Him singing over us with songs of victory. Perhaps when normal returns, the new routines that we found in the pause will be carried over and our lives richer. While we may be kept from large gatherings now, maybe the long awaited gathering in Heaven will have even more souls because of the salvations that come during this time. Yes, there is good to be found in the pause. For beautiful music always has a pause written amongst the notes to be played. May our pause bring Him much glory.

Taking a Walk

Yesterday some of the kids and I went for a walk. It is good to get outside. I usually notice plenty when we walk, but for those closer to the ground, they seem to notice more. Our youngest daughter showed me the most amazing acorns that had split and taken root. I had never seen this before and it was amazing! Slowing down has caused us all to notice more and maybe appreciate the little things. I like this pace much better. Our family will be taking more walks together over the next 3 weeks that the kids are out of school. I have also seen some areas that we need to reset. I have heard that it takes 21 days to form a habit. Well, that is what we have been given and I consider this a gift.

IMG_7826With the little splitting acorn I was reminded again of roots. How small, daily habits in our home help put down roots that will continue to grow in each of our children. They will grow into oak trees before I know it and I want their roots to be deep and strong. Surface stuff has not cut it in parenting for quite sometime. Behavior is just a reflection of the heart and I am always after their heart. We have been given 21 days to do some heart work. Where there are unhealthy roots, we will use this time to take care of those. We will drink more of the living water Christ offers and less imitations from the world. We will be more creative and catch a glimpse of this aspect of our God that He has placed in each of us. Yes, another gift of this time off.

As a mom, part of me has felt driven to prepare my children for the world. Placing them in public school was not easy, but has been good. I do not want to place them in a bubble and watch it pop when they leave home and encounter the world. However, I had a thought the other day that just seems to have stayed in my mind. Why am I preparing the kids for the world and not the world for these kids? The world is not prepared for children who have their true identity in Christ, hear clearly from the Holy Spirit, love and serve like Jesus because He is their King and they are part of His Kingdom. The world can glitter and shine all it wants, but these kids recognize an imitation from a mile away.

So, during our reset we will sharpen our minds and shine lights into our hearts. Where we need to repent, we will and gladly take the new mercies the Lord offers each of us everyday. New habits will be formed and old ones that are root building, will be reinforced. May the Lord grow us all during these next days. May He find some mighty oaks among His people.

 

Sound the Trumpets

“The sons of Aaron, the priests, are to blow the trumpets. This is to be a lasting ordinance for you and the generations to come. When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blasts on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies.”  Numbers 10:8-9

 

We ran to Walmart yesterday for a few things we needed. The store was crowded as most are right now. Because of the size of our family, we go to the store often, but never have I seen shelves cleared and baskets overflowing like yesterday. My husband said that the spirit of fear was heavy and we could both physically feel it. I talked with one mom who had 4 young kids. She told me she was trying not to be fearful, but it was hard. Words of encouragement were shared before I got in line. Fear causes people to reach for what they can control. Stocking up is something we can control, hence the empty shelves.

IMG_7698As fear runs like fire through our county, our President declared last night that Sunday is to be a national day of prayer. He also took off restrictions that have hindered the country in many areas. To me the declaration sounded like trumpets. Gather the country together, unified in prayer, on knees and hearts bent in repentance. Stay home and ask the Lord to search our hearts and expose our sins. Then tell the Lord you are sorry and ask for strength to turn from sin and obey. After repentance, armed with the truth, we stand and fight. Do you not know that the Lord hears our prayers? We can blast our own trumpet as a call for help against this enemy that is oppressing us in our own country. Begin at home and pray for your neighbors, city, state and country. Then, when all is well and the call is made, we can come together and share stories of how we have seen God be powerful and faithful to us. What a mighty blast of trumpets that will be!

Another fear tactic I have seen is the enemy has our eyes focused on the rising deaths of people from this Coronavirus. While this is terribly sad, why are we not grieving and doing something about the staggering number of millions and millions of babies aborted, killed in this country? No one asks for this virus, but a choice is made on the table of a clinic. Why are we not stopping the lie of the choice to pick your gender, all the while seeing suicide rates soar? The only vaccine that can heal our land is truth from the Word of God! While people are screaming in the streets over people placed in power, why are we not standing up and roaring against this spirit of fear and deceit? Why is truth not being lived out in love? We are fighting a real enemy.

Friends, the trumpets are blasting and the enemy is having a hay day in our country. We are being oppressed and God can hear us repenting and asking for help. Do not stop! Lord, please heal our land. Lord, make yourself famous in our day! Let the sound of trumpets of praise be heard and You be glorified! Lord, we look forward to gathering together in worship of you. Heal us please Lord.

*The kids thought we needed a poster of a lion in our room. I think it is perfect! Reminds me that the Lion of Judah is still on His throne.