Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Decision

I've made a decision. It's a big one, and I know it's going to change things for me, and for my family. It's been in the making for awhile, God has been telling me that I would walk a road I haven't walked before. Once this decision was made, I felt an overwhelming sense of peace, this is the right thing to do. My life doesn't have to always be a battle, I'm choosing to not engage. I know what God is asking me to do, I know what He is calling me to do, so I will choose to surround myself with people that support HIS choice. This does not make me unwilling to submit, it makes me wise, through Him. He continues to tell me to focus on Him, so I will focus on Him. He is my Provider. He is my Rock. He is my safety. He is my Refuge. He is my Path. He is my way. He is my Door. He is my Light. He is my strength. He is the one that sustains me. It is He, not me. It is because of HIM that I exist. It is because of Him, my little life is free.
So, I've made a decision. I'm stepping forward in faith. I'm believing that He will do as He says He will do. My life is His life, my heart is His. We are in this together.
Jesus, I need You to Say That Again because sometimes I am weary and my faith is weak and I need constant reminders of who you are!

The Coffee Snob

I had a cup of instant coffee for the first time in years yesterday. It will be the last time I have it again, unless I become very desperate. After my cup of instant coffee, we went in search of a coffee shop, and found the Canadian favorite Tim Horton's. I ordered a medium drip.  It was good, but not Starbucks! Working through my coffee process, God boldly pointed out to me that I am a coffee snob! "What? I just like good strong coffee!"
I was given the gift of instant coffee, and that wasn't good enough. So, I had to go look for something better, and that was okay. but I really wanted what  I considered the 'best' gift of all, and was a little bummed that it wasn't available to me. Yeah, God's right, that's a snob!
It reminded me of a skit I saw where God gave the women a 6 oz can of coke as a gift and she loved it. But, when she saw that He gave her friend a 12 oz can of coke, she wanted her friends gift instead. The skit went on with this lady continually wanting her friend's gifts rather than her own!
I'm pretty happy with my gifts, just not my coffee! But,  there is that mentality of wanting something other than what I don't currently have. Yesterday,God gave me instant coffee so I will praise His Holy name. Today, on this morning, my husband drove to Tim Horton's and came back with a large coffee for me, and I was not a snob about it at all! I was thrilled! In fact, I didn't think about Starbucks even once!
Say That Again, Jesus, your gifts are for today, and they are good. You are good, and You touch our lives in glorious ways. I love YOU!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Jeans

I grew up believing that wearing a pair of jeans was sinful. My mother in law also believed that it was not okay to wear jeans. In fact, my mother in law is 84 years old, and this is her first pair of jeans! I think they look great on her, and just the fact that she is wearing them brings an element of freedom to her life that she did not have before.
When I try something new on in my life after years of always doing it the same old way I experience a new freedom. God shows me light. He reveals Himself to me in a new and bigger way. It's good. He lifts the veil.
Jesus, Say That Again. Give me The Jeans, challenge me today to grow, change, learn, and live Your way.

The Slower I Go, the Longer it Takes

We started on a road trip to Canada yesterday. We originally intended to leave by 6:30 am, but I wanted to see a friend first, so we pushed it out til 8:00 am. Then, when I got home at 8:00 am and walked in the bedroom, Cliff was still in bed working on his computer. The 8:00 plan wasn't going to work. We slowly made our way through a haircut, suitcases, dog feeding, kid feeding, car packing, and finally we were driving on the road. We only made it as far as the office, and then two more stops before the border!
Yup, the slower I go, the longer it takes! And this took a long time. This can be just like my trip to The lap of Jesus. Of course it's a direct path, and He's right there, arms wide open. But, there are those days that I might say " oh wait a minute, I have to go see my friend first" and then I'm sidetracked for the rest of the day. I'm slow getting back to Him, and it takes me a long time. He waits, His arms open.
Jesus, Say That Again, if I don't come to You first thing, I'm going to just go slow, and it's going to be long!

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Assumptions

Sometimes I can make assumptions about others that are not true.  I can see the way my friend is sitting and assume she is uncomfortable. I can see the way someone is walking off by themselves and assume they want to be alone. I can hear a tone in someones voice and assume they mean a particular thing. Assumptions can be dangerous and hurtful. I know this, because many assumptions have been made about me. People have observed me in various situations and made assumptions like, distant, depressed, outgoing, happy, must be in control, etc. When in reality, I'm not even in relationship with the people making assumptions.  I have caught myself doing the same thing, and I ask myself why I do it? What's the purpose behind assumptions? If I have a need to figure out someone that I barely know anyway, why don't I just go up and ask them how they are doing? And, it that's too bold of an approach, then I could slowly start a relationship with them, friendship. I could learn about them, so I don't have to make assumptions.
I didn't like the assumptions made about me today, but I learned from them. And, it brought me to a new resolve. It brought me to a place before God, a place of confession about my own assumptions. It brought me to a place of asking Him to remind me of the times I have done the exact same thing and to show me when I do it now. It brought me here today before Him,  to ask Him to remove assumption from all areas of my life!
Jesus, You take me at face value. I like that. I want to do the same for others. Just because someone is being quiet doesn't mean they are distant, maybe they have a headache, right God? Help me remember that! Say That Again, God, You are a God of face value. You are real, alive, and You do not make assumptions about anything!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Wet Carpet and The Bumpy Sheets

We stayed in a hotel room in Seattle that I did not like. As soon as I walked in the door, my feet hit wet carpet. "Ick the carpet is wet" I grumbled! My husband was already aware of the issue, but totally unconcerned. I couldn't understand how he could be okay with paying for a room with wet carpet. It got worse.
We went to bed. He pulled back the sheets and got in bed, no problems. But, when I got in bed,there were many problems. The sheets were covered in those tiny, annoying bumps. I tossed this way and that way. With each toss, the bumps bothered me more, and my attitude declined.
I was tired. I was hungry. I had just traveled several hours. I, I, I !!
Life does have a way of throwing me wet carpet and bumpy sheets. And God asks "Bethany, are you going to look up here at me or step on the carpet and roll in the sheets?" if I continue to step and roll I'm going to get wet and my body will be bruised, and I will be unpleasant. I know this is why my focus must stay on Him.
Say That Again Dear Jesus. Focus on You, stay off the wet carpet and out of the bumpy sheets!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Threads

I arrived home today. It is a short visit, for in just a couple of days we leave again for a family vacation to Canada. Upon my arrival, my son excitedly told me that while I was gone he had gone to a garage sale and purchased "for free" some threads for me! He asked me to close my eyes so he could give them to me. I had no idea what he was about to present to me, but I was very curious, and he was very excited.
When he told me to open my eyes I saw a plastic container full of plastic beads and strings for necklace making. Lots of colors and beads with letters. I opened the lid and made a necklace for him with his name, it was fun.
The joy of gifts, the joy of watching his delight in giving me a free gift! This is what Jesus does for me everyday. He has purchased for me with His blood my freedom. He has purchased with His blood a free pass to heaven and it is good. My name is written on a golden crown and I am sitting on the throne, right there beside Him. It's exciting, it's free for me to take, it's lovely.
So, Jesus, Say That Again, because I like to hear it. You have purchased the gift of freedom for me with Your blood, Oh how I praise Your Holy Name!

Monday, July 25, 2011

The Provider

All weekend I had a nagging feeling that I was going to run out. Not enough money, not enough clothes, I won't get to the airport on time, etc. each time I would pray and He would gently say " Bethany, I Am your Provider." Off, I would go, until the next lie would hit, and He would tell me again "i AM Your Provider!"
Today, at the airport, they started loading the plane, and halfway through they stopped. Everyone was just standing around, waiting to see what was going to happen. Then a gentleman announced that the plane was delayed due to weather, I figured at that point I may not make my connection. My lay over was less than an hour. I prayed, "what now, God?" He said "get up quick and get in line!"
I was the second person in line. Just as I was getting up, they let everybody else off the plane and announced that they weren't flying. God blessed me with a direct flight to Seattle that arrives two hours earlier than my original one. Say That Again, dear God You provide!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

The New Route

Today I fly to Seattle and I get to see my husband! Clap, everyone!!  I'm excited, and eager to be on my way. I know where I'm going, and I know what time I'm going, I don't have any questions about the journey. It's all set up.
At home, when my daughter and I run errands and we get in the car she will say "where are we going?" I'll tell her the couple of things we need to do and she says, "okay"!  A couple minutes later I hear, "where are we going?" And, I repeat the process all over again. We do this several times before we get to our destination.   I was thinking about her this morning as I was praying to God asking Him the very same question, "God, where am I going?" I've asked Him this a million times.  Its always the same answer. "Bethany, the path is in front of you, I want you to speak. Stay focused on me, I am leading you, now go!"  I'll say "okay" Then the next day, I'll say "God, where am going?"
This morning, I think God wanted me to see it in black and white, I guess He's getting a little flustered. I can relate, I get flustered with my daughter! He told me to read Joshua 3, I opened it up and right before me I read in verse 4 "You'll see clearly the route to take. You've never been on this road before."
As I look back, I can see that He has clearly led me. The path has been there, and I have taken it. It is reassuring to know that I will see clearly the route to take, and I will know to take it. His Spirit is power, and that power leads me, and that power sanctifies me, and because of that I praise the name of my Jesus with all my heart and soul and mind!
So, Jesus, Say That Again to me today, I will see the route clearly, even though I have not taken it before!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Uncaged

My weekend has been scattered with blessings. I've been at a conference for women in North Carolina. It is to help women improve their speaking, and writing skills, and to help them in their ministries. As soon as I stepped off the plane and onto the shuttle to be escorted to the hotel, God instantly blessed me with two friends. These two lady's striked up a conversation and I liked them right away. Their hearts were sweet and tender, eager to serve Jesus and love others into His Kingdom. They invited me to eat dinner with them, and through out the entire weekend, our paths crossed. I always looked for them, and was pleased to see that God put them next to me. We parted as soul-friends, knowing that we will continue this journey keeping in touch, and working to further God's Kingdom on each side of the country.
I heard a lot of stories this weekend of women who had lost their children, their husbands, and what felt like their dignity. But, every one of them persevered. Every one of them, got up and with each step they moved through, with Jesus.
I am moved by their stories, and encouraged. Women are hurting out there, they are bleeding. Lets get talking, Ladies, because there is someone that knows what you are going through! I've had so many hurts, so much pain. And, I kept it all locked up for so long. That is not the case anymore! This weekend I heard the word "uncaged" and I really liked it. I have allowed all that stuff inside of me to be uncaged, and I'm telling you, It is great! There may be the occasional person that does not appreciate such freedom; it's okay. It is because they are caged. Pray for them.
Fly my friends, open the door to the cage you may be in. I have, and if I discover any more cages that I am still trying to hover in, I'm going to be uncaged from those too. Be pleased to be free, run in a world that is uncaged, Be blessed.
Jesus, this is all about you, isn't it? This is what You do, how you function, and how You live. Say that to me again, Jesus. UNCAGED!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Chocolate Covered Strawberry

We went shopping for candy in Seattle. Our son and daughter wanted to pick out a couple sweet pieces for dessert. I didn't want candy, because I had eyed a chocolate covered strawberry, and that was perfect for me. So, we made our way to the chocolate store, and my husband asked for the strawberry. The lady gently guided a beautiful chocolate strawberry out of the case and put it in a golden bag. She handed me the bag, then walked to the register and rang it up. "Seven dollars, please" I smirked, and quickly looked the other way. My husband looked at me in shock, pulled out his wallet and reluctantly handed over seven dollars! "Well, that better be one good strawberry" he said, as we left the store. "Oh, it will be!" I chuckled.
I had no idea that strawberry was seven dollars! And, if I had known ahead of time, I wouldn't have wanted it. But, I certainly don't regret buying it, because it was worth the look on my husbands face. It wasn't very good planning on our part though. And, as often the case, poor planning gets me in a disaster in one way or another. All I can say is this: I am so very thankful I have a God that knows the plan! He watches out for me, takes care of me, He is the sweetness in my life. Sometimes my poor planning is costly, but always, He is there to walk beside me.
Say that Again, Jesus, You are there to walk beside me, everyday. I just love that!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Lady on the Plane

I flew from Seattle to Charlotte North Carolina today. It was a long flight, and I'm tired now.  I didn't really sleep on the plane, I never do. It's just not that comfortable. This plane was full too.
On the plane from Atlanta To Charlotte, I was in line to get to my seat, just like everybody else, and the lady behind me was continually banging her suitcase into my back.  She would hit me, and then she would say "Oh, sorry." Then, two seconds later, she would do the exact same thing! Now, I can understand someone doing a back bang in a crowded aisle once, even twice, but ten times? I didn't even pray for patience today, I woke too early for that, but I'm thinking God wanted to test me on it anyway. I was biting my tongue by number three.
Those back wounds are the worse, and I know I've given them. And, I say the exact same thing! "Oh, sorry." Then what do I do? Yup, you guess it,  the sad part is, I know I do it to God too. I do the very thing I don't want to do. Over, and over, and over again.
Jesus, forgive me. Jesus, thank you for your grace and for loving me so much. Jesus, keep on saying that again to me, your forgiveness, grace and love for me are endless. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Monkeys

We went to the zoo today. My son and daughter wanted to visit the monkeys. Seems to me we didn't need to, they already are monkeys. Not only that, they are constantly up to monkey business. They goof around like a couple of monkeys, sometimes I think they smell like monkeys, and yes, they look like monkeys too! Oh well, a little extra monkey exposure can't do any harm.
We are enjoying some family time, before I fly off to North Carolina for a few days.
Jesus, thank you for the gift of family. Thank you for blessing me. Thank you for putting little monkeys in my life! Say That Again, Jesus! You will bless me and You will love me!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Reconciliation

I spent the evening with a friend. We met at a restaurant for dinner, then went for a long walk along boardwalk and the lake. Then, we decided to stop for coffee and sat on a bench to drink our flavored delight. It was nice. It was nice, because it was comfortable. And, we've been working towards comfortable for so long, and praying to God to bring us to this place, and trusting in His Word that He would. We both knew that it would only be through His power that it would happen, and now here we are, enjoying each others company, even trusting each other.
I am amazed at the God I serve! I am amazed at what He can do if I step forward and obey Him. He tells me to reconcile. To me that means, be in a relationship and love. It doesn't mean just be civil. He tells me to forgive, so I have to allow Him to show me how to do that. The incredible thing is, He does it!
Jesus, thank you for the gift of reconciliation. Thank you for blessing me with the journey I have had with my friend. I have learned a lot. Thank you for walking with me and for loving me. Say That Again, Jesus, You will reconcile me to Yourself and to others and I will be blessed!

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Candy Store

We have a delightful candy store in our town. In the window is a big claw foot bath tub full of all sizes of bubble gum, all colors! Inside are glass bins full of candy, lots of candy. All of it is sold by the pound. Gloves and bags are handed out to all the customers and everyone is allowed to go to whatever bag they desire and fill their bag with whatever candy they desire. As you may be able to imagine, I like this store. My children find this store rather delightful as well.
The store is nostalgic. Its colorful. It smells good. It's fun. I like the idea of going back and taking a friend. I like to tell others about it. It stirs up a passion in me, and I have to ask myself, am I this passionate about other things, like church, for example?
Do I want to invite my friends to church? Tell them all about last weeks experience? Am I excited to go back? Does it stir a passion in me because I meet Jesus there? Do I think about my experience there through out the week? Are my children delighted to be there? Does my experience there create color and joy in my life?
Jesus, You are all of those things, how can I incorporate that into my church experience every week? Be in my church, Jesus, in my relationships, in my life and soul! Say that Again Jesus, You are all things and You are real, and You will be In all places with a passion!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Shocker

As I slipped into bed last night my husband said he had a confession to make. I didn't feel too concerned, because we have always been very open with each other and I believe I know him well. It was a day of confessions, after all, I had just confessed to the world about my fudge bar obsession.
So, he said, "I've never eaten a fudge bar!"
"What?" First of all, how could I not know this? I live with this man? I'm eating them all the time? They taste great. He has never eaten one? My kids eat them! My friends eat them. What is going on here? I was truly shocked! He doesn't want one! Imagine that.
So, we discussed the fudge bar shocker for some time, my surprise, his unconcern. And, once again, it reminded me of the days when I had an unconcern or a lack of passion for Jesus. When I had a veil over my face and I could not see His glory or His truth.  And, frankly, I didn't even care.  My friends, my husband, people around me could be basking in His glory, tasting His beauty, but I didn't want it. I wanted to stay where I was. Other's would offer me Jesus, but no I didn't want to move toward Him.
I'm so pleased to say that is not the case now. I'm so pleased to say it is not the case with my husband either, even if he isn't eating the fudge bars! He is still basking in the glory!
Jesus, keep shining on me and my family. It feels so good. Say all of that again to me. You are good, you are full of glory and goodness and You are truth.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

The Fudge Bars

Okay, I will confess. Well, it's not a total confession to all people, because some of my friends already know this. I eat 3,4, sometimes 5 fudge bars a day. I guess it could be a problem, but I don't see it that way. I have a friend, that likes the very same fudge bars I do, and he eats them too, consequently, I have to buy fudge bars in bulk! It's a necessity. Earlier today as I was thinking about the way I devour fudge bars and how I want to be able to devour the Word of God just like that, every day, all day. I want to take His Word witin me several times a day, and enjoy it. I want to be completely filled with His sweetness, and look forward to more.
I want the sweetness of His Word to always be upon my lips, and penetrate throughout my soul. Father, Say that to me Again and teach me Your Word. Let me be sweet in Your sight!

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Slow Day

Today has been a slow day for me. I have felt slow. I have talked slow, walked slow, thought slow. Everything I've done has been slow, even my process of making the bed, was slow. I did a load of laundry; it was slow. I walked down to check on the kids, it was slow. The kids and their friends played here at our house for most of the day, it all felt slow. This is the first day in several that we didn't go anywhere, we just stayed home. The first day that I stayed still, and it felt kind of nice to be slow, steady, and quiet. The neighbors took all the kids swimming and I took a nap. Then, I woke up and read my Bible, it was peaceful and quiet. I stayed on my bed, the dogs at my feet and I found myself wishing that it could last much longer than possible.
So, I've decided to pray for more slow days, to be happy about the quiet pace of rest. I felt like I had to rest, but I'm going to look at it as a gift, because it really has been. Sometimes I just get going and I don't stop. My down time is sweeping the floor or throwing in a load of laundry or making food. Today, down time was a nap and reading, it was good.
Jesus, thank you for this reminder. Thank you for giving me slow so that I had to pace myself today. Thank you for giving me a glimpse of You and reminding me that You did not race around, but walked from here to there and stopped to talk and visit. Say That Again, Jesus, be slow and steady and remind me to rest IN your heart.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Faith

Next week I am giving two speeches. One will be my testimony, the other will be a study on a bible verse. I am not prepared, yet. In fact, this is the first time I have approached the subject, except for a quick conversation with my husband. Why, I'm not sure. I just haven't known, yet, where to go with it all. I'm thinking that the Holy Spirit will give me what I need to have to get me through.
This morning as I was praying about some unnerving events in my life, and I see that these two speeches could certainly prove to be just that, God led me to Hebrews 11.  The Faith chapter. I love this chapter where I am reminded about all the Saints that lived by faith, and as I read it, God gently reminded me that I too can live by faith. Can I? Can I live as these Saints lived? Can I step out in faith and give my speech? Can I let the Spirit speak through me in such a way that others will see Him and not me? Can I walk in such a way that others will want to follow Him? Can I love others in such a way that they will know Him deeply and fully? Oh, I hope so!
As I visited with a friend today and saw some of the hurt she has experienced in her life because of rejection and pain, I prayed that I would learn to be more like Jesus. I prayed that I would learn to be kind, tender, and to have a heart like His. I want Him to use me to further His Kingdom. I want Him to fine tune me in such a way that I am willing to be His instrument and to be sensitive to His will. Give me the faith, Jesus, for all of this! Enable me to be the Saint, You desire me to be!
Jesus, Say that all again, I am Your Saint, and I can rely on Your faith, when mine is weak. You are there for me, and You will speak through me and live through me. Thank you Jesus!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Lie

It's really been bothering me lately that I grew up believing The Lie. I was immersed in many lies, and it has taken many years to get out of them. The lies of the enemy, the lies of legalism, the lies of his bondage, the lies of death. I didn't know anything about grace, mercy, joy, His Spirit, identity IN Him, or freedom. I didn't understand what the New Covenant was, or what it meant to walk IN His Spirit and live  in His grace. Freedom. Wow, I missed out on so much!
Jesus brought me through a childhood of darkness so I could appreciate an adulthood of light! He has showed me what it is like to be on both sides, and believe me, bondage is not fun! Bondage is dark, it is all about living in secrets, lies, depression, hopelessness, despair, and pain. When I live in His light, He is able to take all of those things and give me hope. He is able to give me joy. He is able to lift me up out of my despair and give me relief! It is good. I am able to see that life is not all about me, there is a bigger picture. It is about God, and about reaching others for Him. It is about His Kingdom.
I believed that I had to work for my salvation.  I believed that I was bad, evil, constantly on the brink of loosing my salvation. I believed that my Heavenly Father was angry with me all the time and was just waiting for the opportunity to punish me. I believed that grace was non-existent. I believed that I was worthless in His sight. It was all a lie!
Now, I know, that I am complete IN Him. Now, I know that I am His Friend and that He loves me oh so much. Now I know that I am His beloved daughter and that I have all authority under heaven. Now, I know that I sit at His right hand in the heavenlies. Now, I know exactly who I am!
Say that Again, Jesus, my Lord and Savoir. You are God the great I Am, and I know who You are!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Way

As I've been reading a particular magazine lately it's become more a reality to me that I grew up in a church that wasn't so "christian" . Possibly this is why it's been such a challenge to get the lies of this church out of my mind, and to remove myself completely from it. Even now, as I write this, I hesitate to print the word, "cult". It's easier for me to say "spiritually oppressive", but the truth is, I grew up in a cult, and it took me years to get away.
Now, I rejoice in the truth! Now, I sometimes discover that I am believing something that isn't true, because of what I was told as a child, and I find that I am shocked! How can this be? I immerse myself in God's Word everyday and yet still I am sorting through the lies of the enemy.
I had a challenging conversation with a friend last night. The kind where I had to be honest about where I stand and how I feel. I left the conversation feeling exhausted, and I just went to bed. My heart was pulling in one direction, my mind in another.
This path that God has set before me is still forking. Trusted friends are holding up red flags and I see  that, my heart longs to plunge forward, but I am also cautious. God, You are light, glory, warmth. You are everything I need. I know that You are the door and the path that I will take. You will bring all things together for Your good and for Your glory. You will bring my mind and my heart together, and You will bring unity. You are good all the time, and I will praise You.
Say that Again Jesus, You are the Way, the Truth, The Light. I will follow You.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Race

We went for another walk today, on a trail that follows the lake. It was a beautiful day, and we had a great time. Our son and daughter rode on their scooters and weaved in and out of all the other walkers, bikers and runners! On the way back, we stopped at a dock so our son could swim. Then, to switch things up a bit, my husband took the scooter and raced; it didn't work out as well as children on scooters!
This is true for me in the race of life; it doesn't usually work out so well. The rat race, that is how it feels sometimes, when I'm trying to weave my way through the tasks, the people, the thoughts, the days...
I prefer to stay out of the rat race. To keep my feet on the highway that leads to heaven, and stay the course, steady and sure. It's the path that God is constantly reminding me of, the one He has laid out for me, steady and sure. This is the only race I want to be in, it's His race. I want to fit into the palm of His Hand, and allow Him to carry me, keep me, envelope all of me. When I get off track, I want Him to snatch me up and set things right. This is His promise to me, because I have promised to stay in His race alone.
Say That Again, precious Jesus, the race of life is only worth winning if You are the beginning, the middle and the end. It is You, and You alone that keeps me steady and sure in my race of life.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Fun

I had dinner with friends tonight. I made hamburgers with the help of one girlfriend. I heard they were pretty good--I don't eat hamburgers.
We also had a yummy fruit salad and a rich chocolate cake and key lime pie. Very good, indeed.
I enjoyed the company of these ladies. And, I praise me Jesus for His healing power and for His love in relationship. He is good.
Jesus, you are my God and I love you.
This is the verse God put on my heart today:
... The sun of righteousness will dawn on those who honor my name, healing radiating from its wings. You will be bursting with energy, like colts frisky and frolicking. 3 And you'll tromp on the wicked. They'll be nothing but ashes under your feet on that Day." GOD-of-the-Angel-Armies says. Malachi 4
Say That Again, Jesus! You will heal, and I will be bursting with your energy!

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Blind

I once was blind, but now I see! I remember the day when I first started to see things more clearly, the day Jesus touched me. It was marvelous. He continues to touch me, in different areas of my life, and I continue to see things more clearly. It's a fascinating journey. When I look back on my journey, and see how blind I've been, and all that God has done, I feel grateful to Him and excited.
I read John 9 this morning, a great story about a blind man that Jesus touched and he could then see. The religious leaders during that time did not want to believe that the man was ever blind at all, and they certainly didn't want to believe that Jesus had healed him! How could a blind man clearly see? How could anyone possibly heal him?
The touch of Jesus, it is healing.  "Do you believe in the Son of Man?"  The Son of Man is the One that came into this world so that the blind would see! That's me, with His gentle touch, His healing hand, I can see!
Jesus is the great physician, my physician, and I know that He will continue to touch me, heal me, and take away blind spots.  Say That Again, Jesus! You will always heal, and create sight for me!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Battle

My two little ones are at battle, sometimes.  They have those days when they just can't seem to get along. They are engaged in The Battle of self. Each of them wants his or her own way, and that is all that matters. Sometimes they believe lies about each other or themselves and, The Battle begins.
The Enemy will do whatever it takes to keep The Battle going. I know this, it happens to me. It's The Battle in my mind, the false beliefs that drift in and out and the work of captivating them and giving them over to God. The lies that speak defeat, depression, sadness,and insecurity. They project fear and rejection, pain, and loss. It's a battle to move beyond it all and engage in the Power of His Spirit.
One of my best coping skills is flight. If I feel threatened, I want to run. The enemy throws all kinds of trials my way in an effort to see me run. I'm sad to say, sometimes it works.  Sometimes, I run. Sometimes, I spend time thinking about running, battling over the right thing to do. Questioning, doubting, debating...
Today, I need Jesus. I am in The Battle. Jesus, Say That Again to me. You are ALL that matters. As I strive to focus only on You, I will surrender only to You. You will win The Battle, You have already won the war!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Living Sacrifice

Sometimes, I have those days with God where I'm telling Him the way I think it should be done.  Or, I can feel such hurt and pain, that I'm continually stuck in the rut of being demanding, rather than submissive. Doesn't God know that my heart hurts? He still tells me to move forward anyway, to love, to pray, to give it all to Him. When I do just as He is asking, I can see His logic, sometimes,  and I can take a big sigh of relief . Or, it's just blind faith, and, I have to admit, that sometimes, His Path that He has laid out before me is scary for me. I want to take the lead. I want to control the situation. I want to inform Him of a better way!
As I was driving today and thinking about my day, my week, my stuff, I started to feel insecure and fearful. Two chapters came to mind, Romans 12 and Psalms 102. In Romans, the 1st verse it says this: "Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship." In the Message I read this: "So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life--your sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking-around life--and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for Him."
So, it's back to that, the everything. He wants my fear, my insecurity, my entire life! I know I can't do this, so I find myself saying, "God, help me! Help me, help me!" Because on those days when I am telling Him what to do, when I am trying to control life, and I start to think it's all about me, I need Him to help me! I need Him to carry me to the alter, and hold me. I need Him to show me all that needs to be surrendered to Him, and I need Him to take it.
The very first verse in Psalms 103 is this "God, listen! Listen to my prayer, listen to the pain in my cries." He does listen, I know that.  He speaks to me, I know that too.  He challenges me, all the time, and for that I praise His name.
Jesus, take the fear that creeps up so unexpectedly! Take the insecurity. Say That Again to me, You hear my cry, Your Spirit takes my cries, my thoughts, and brings them to you in words I do not have. I am here to lay before You all of this, and today I will choose to let it go.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Mantle

We have a fireplace in our bedroom, and I like it.  It use to be just plain white, but last year, I painted it blue, light blue. And, on the mantle, I have some of my favorite keepsakes: two red tiles with the hand prints of our two youngest children. Three red candles given to me by a close friend. A red vase, given to me by another good friend, and a small black clock, also given to me by a dear friend. Also, a pair of red silk shoes we purchased in China for our youngest child. Above the mantle is an old mirror, framed in a wooden frame with dark green velvet along the edge.  It's a mirror that my husband and I purchased years ago at an auction, a day with fond and happy memories. It's a small collection of some of the things I like, the keepsakes that bring the people I love to mind, the memories that I cherish.
As I looked at my collection this morning, God gently spoke to my heart. I am cherished by Him, He is keeping me in the special places of His heart, and He loves me. He fondly looks upon me and knows where I've been, and knows where I am going. His hand covering me every step of the way. Just as I covered the mantle in paint, He has covered me in His light and love.
We have a fireplace in our family room too.  I think I'll paint it a deep red. On that mantle we have displayed pictures of our sons and our daughters. There's a red sign in the middle of it all that a precious friend gave to me, it says "JOY".  God has brought us joy, and for this I am thankful. In every corner of my house, I am reminded of the love from others.
Is this true for the temple of my body? Do my words, actions, and thoughts portray the love of Jesus to others? When they see me, do they see Jesus?
Jesus, make me your home! Display yourself in my life, my heart, in every part of me. Shine through me today and everyday. I want to hear You Say That Again, Jesus, my heart is YOUR Home!

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Fourth of July

This is a good day, full and busy, yet relaxing. I spent time with Jesus this morning and He led me to 2 Thessalonians 2. In verse 13, it tells me that from the very beginning God chose me to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in truth. It encourages me to stand firm to the truth of Jesus who loves me.
As I was walking today, I thought about these verses and continued my conversation with Jesus from this morning. Here I am today, celebrating freedom, the freedom our country so enjoys. But, what if I lived somewhere that was not so free? Would I still be celebrating in my heart?  He has saved me! It doesn't matter where I am, I am free IN HIM! He has sent His Spirit to work on my spirit and to sanctify me daily, and as that happens, I believe the truth which is Jesus. I believe in freedom, because I'm walking in freedom, because He is freedom!
Today, on this fourth of July, I am celebrating my heart and the fact that Jesus lives there. I am rejoicing that He chose me, and my little life to work through me to display the freedom that He offers. Yes! The freedom from bondage, the miracles, the life, the truth---today is freedom big time!
This is my God, my King, and I will worship Him today.
Jesus, continue to Say That Again to me, I am free, because You chose me!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Window

The window in my car has been out of order for several weeks now.  In the front, on the passengers side. It's stuck down, a little bit. Because this window has taken up it's old habits again, the habit of being broken, I cannot go through a car wash, because the window is down. So, consequently, I have a car that is somewhat dirty, more so than usual.
I get frustrated with this window on occasion. My Land Rover is quirky.  It has all these little habits, and I can't seem to make it change.  My husband fixes them, and it behaves well for awhile, and then, ta-da, the same old problems creep up again.
I bet you've guess by now where I'm going with this thought! Yup, old habits that creep back up after trying so hard to change.  Just like Paul talks about in Romans 7, why do I do the stuff I don't want to do?  Why can't I just make myself be well behaved all the time?  What is the problem, anyway?
I can be moving along in life at a happy pace, and then right out of the blue, an old habit creeps up on me, and before I even see it, I'm doing it again! Oh, I don't like it when that happens!
Then, I run to God and surrender it all over again.  I ask Him to just take it and forgive me for trying to do life all on my own, again. I look at the habit in a different way, and realize that I am human, I will fail.
Today, I am keeping my focus right where God told me to, on Him.  I am giving my all to Him, today and trusting He will keep me on the path that He has laid out before me.  He is good, He is grace. I love Him.
Say That Again, Jesus, you  are so good, so full of grace, you are worthy in every way!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Shoes

We went to the store today to buy shoes for our son and daughter. Our son picked out some cool red high tops, our daughter picked out silver and pink runners. They put them on right away, and much to their amazement they could run faster and jump higher. All because of a new pair of shoes, they believed they could do everything better.
I spent a little time thinking about this and how true this is for me. If I believe I am who God says I am, everything is approached differently, than if I believe the Enemy. If I believe in my heart all that is true, my actions will reflect that truth.
I am alive In Him. I am His daughter. I am His Saint. I am cleansed by His blood. I am washed and white as snow. I am Free IN HIM. I am loved, His beloved. I am sitting at His right hand, transferred from the kingdom of darkness INTO the kingdom of light. I am daily throwing myself at His Feet, surrendering all that I am, for all that He is.
Jesus, Say That Again. You are IN my heart and I will believe. You are an everlasting God, My God! You have asked me to focus on You and believe IN You alone.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Land

The kids and I went for another alley walk today. We went to the playground and they played there for a couple of hours. It was sunny and beautiful outside. The grass is green, the lake is inviting, but cold. There was a breeze. A lot of people were out and about excited for the long weekend.
I am excited to be able to be outside. I'm excited to use the land that He has given us. It feels so good. It is a lovely gift.
As I prayed this morning for direction, God made a few things very clear. He told me that He is the Path, and as long as I am able to just keep my eyes and focus on HIM, I will know the direction to go.  He led me to Joshua 2, the story of Rahab and the Israelite spies. I read through the entire story and at the end it says this; " The Lord has surely given the whole land into our hands, all the people are melting in fear because of us."
Ah, in my heart it felt like God was saying to me, "Bethany, I am giving you and others the whole land, this is your mission field, now go and be fruitful for me."
Am I courageous and bold enough to go out and take this land that He has given me?  Do I follow Him, my Path and Light, so that others will know Him too? Have I been able to recognize that the fork in the road is an avenue to a large harvest? Do I see where I am now as a stepping stone into more of His will?
There are many people in the land that I live that are like Rahab.  They are ripe and ready to fear the Lord. They just need someone to invite them. Jesus is enticing me to invite, and I will step forward in His invitation.
Say That Again, Jesus, You have given the whole land into our hands, my hands, the hands of Your Body. Praise to You this day!