Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Big Move

The last three days have been a whirlwind of activity.  We have been richly blessed with the help of many friends to get us from one house to the other. Friends with trucks and trailers. To me, it looked more like the entire neighborhood was moving, but it was just us!
We worked all day yesterday, and some friends stayed late into the day to help unpack. We ate chocolate, burgers, and laughed at the fact that I have lots of kitchen stuff, but am not much of a cook! We talked, teased, and everyone heartily approved of our new dwelling. We even got in a game of baseball with my children. It was good, and very full.
Today, my body aches and I'm still tired. I don't see myself going anywhere today, or doing too much. I hope to rest. We still have a lot of work ahead of us. I'm thankful for the blessing of friends.
I don't know what lies ahead for us, but whatever it is, I know that God will lead us. I will continue to move in His direction and continue to listen to His will. Right now, He is still telling me to just be still and know that He is a mighty God. So, still it is.
 God walks in the midst of my life, carries me, and I think sometimes drags me, He brings me to new places so I can trust Him more. He is Constant. In Psalms this morning, I enjoyed this verse:

I'll give you the best of care if you'll only get to know and trust me. Call me and I'll answer, be at your side in bad times; I'll rescue you then throw you a party. I'll give you a long life, give you a long drink of salvation! Psalms 91: 15-16 (Message)

This verse is so true for me. Through everything, especially my pity parties, God still has taken very good care of me, and He has always answered. He has rescued me over and over again, and He has brought celebration into my life many times. He is the God that creates big moves in my life and then hangs on to me as I step forward. What an awesome God!
Lord, Say That Again today, You are the Mover in my life and You have a plan that is best. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Big Furniture

We managed to get our furniture loaded in a truck and safely delivered to our new house.  Yesterday was a long day, but it went well. All the furniture was unloaded and placed in the correct rooms, except for the couch we intended to go in the bonus room upstairs.  We tried every angle and it simply would not make the corner at the top of the stairs to get into the bonus room. It is too big. I rearranged everything in my mind and suggested we try the other couch, but to no avail; it's too big as well. Such is life, I found a different location for big furniture and moved on to other things. I think it will be okay.
Today we finish moving, at least we finish moving out of one house!  Our ministry home still needs to be emptied. I have had plenty of time to talk to God during this move, while I work at packing things into boxes, and sort through various items. This has been a challenging process for me, but I do know it is the process God desires. He has relocated me and continues to remind me that my home here on earth is temporary, not my final destination. Wherever I am living, I can talk to Him and be in His presence.
 In Hebrew 13:14 it says this:
"This insider world is not our home. We have our eyes peeled for the City about to come."

I think about the City of God pretty often, and I'm looking forward to that move and the mansion He will have for me there. Everything will fit perfectly, even me.
Say That Again, Lord God, this earth, this home is temporary, You have so much more waiting for me.

Friday, September 28, 2012

The Almond Joys

Earlier this week I bought a big bag of chocolate candy, a mix of all kinds. While packing, I occasionally picked out an almond joy. It's my favorite :) how many almond joys does it take to move out of a house? For me , it's been too many.
We went to our new house yesterday. I unpacked a few boxes. Our son unpacked his room. I worked mostly in the kitchen and prayed. Actually, I prayed the entire trip out to the country house because I was feeling sad. I even had another almond joy, but it didn't suffice. My prayer was that I would feel joy and gratitude. The blessings bestowed upon me are immeasurable. Yet, I guess I still will grieve for the change of lifestyle.
One of the verses I memorized this week was in Matthew 2:10-11. This is what it says in The Message:

"They entered the house and saw the Child in the arms of Mary, His mother.  Overcome, they kneeled down and worshiped Him. Then they opened their luggage and presented Him with gifts: gold,  frakincense, and myrrh. "

First of all, I'm amazed at the change of location Jesus made for me! From perfect heaven to sinful earth all for the purpose of saving me. And then, the Wisemen, when they entered into His earthly home and saw Him, they were so overcome, that they had no other option but to kneel down and worship Him. They were completely taken in by His presence. Then, they gave Him their gifts.
I've thought about this verse a lot this week, and asked myself, am I overcome when I enter into His house? Is it so compelling that I can do nothing but fall to my knees and worship Him? Not only that, do I continually offer my gifts to Him?
He has given me the ability to be in His presence all the time, wow! Wherever I am, any place I live, I can still be with Him.
Jesus, Say That Again, overcome me with who You are. Continue to move me deep into Yourself. I will worship You!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Drapes

I spent much of the morning taking down all our drapes and curtain rods. The windows are bare and it feels strange to me. This entire move feels weird to me, like a dream, and I wonder what it's going to be like to not be in this home anymore.  Originally, my husband had said that we would leave all the drapes, but I asked to change that. I think the new house will need these drapes! All the drapes say "dry clean only" so I punched in on google and asked how to wash dry clean items.   A list popped up with instructions on how to wash them and what was okay to wash. So, I popped the living room drapes in the washer and pushed the hand wash button. They just finished,  I pulled them out of the washer and hung them up to dry. They look perfect. So, the bedroom drapes are next. Those silly labels, insisting that I take all my drapes to the dry cleaner when  I can wash them at home!
Naturally, I started thinking about labels. How often do I place a label on someone, only to find out that I'm completely wrong? I know I have done this, and I know I've been labeled as well. But, this  often happens without really seeing into the window of someones soul. Life is full of judgments, and choices that have to be made, but what if those judgments and choices were always for the good, and not for evil? If I can always believe that God brings all things together for those that love Him and His protection to my heart and soul is always there, how does that change the judgments I make?  How does it expand the labels I put on myself, or even others?
Our house is brighter without the drapes. But, it allows more people to see in; it feels vulnerable. I suppose that is the same as the windows to my soul. If I do not cover up, but allow God's light to shine completely in, there will be brightness and others will see His light. I will be far more vulnerable, and risk being labeled. Yet, with the light, I will also know no darkness, because He is with me, even to the end of days!
I guess that's a lot to think about just from a label on the drapes. But, I want Jesus to continually Say that Again to me. He is light, He brings brightness, and He shows me how to open the drapes to my heart and soul.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The Fearless Love

This afternoon I had some conversation that helped me make some connections, but I didn't really get the connections until I left to get my kids from school and I began to listen to a song. I kept playing the song over and over because there was something that really hit my heart. The phrase that was the most outstanding to me was this: " Bring my heart to everyday, and run the risk of fearlessly loving without running away!"  The thought that came to me was how difficult it can be for me to fearlessly love without running away in some fashion.  To guard myself, to cope in old ways, to create my own shelter so that my heart is protected, this is what I've done for a long time, but now God is saying, "be done with that, completely!"
If I bring my heart to everyday that I live, I am running a great risk. To fearlessly love, even though I feel the risk, and stay put in that love, is big. It's Jesus love!
As I look back over my days, I can see that fearlessly loving has been a huge challenge, so I've loved in safer ways. Oh Lord, have mercy on my heart!
Say That Again, Lord Jesus, life with you can feel risky, love can be painful, but You call me into a life with You, and I'm willing to take the risk.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Prophet

When I woke up this morning I started praying. I asked God to continue to reveal His path to me and enable me to walk upright and holy in Him. By the time I got to my bible, I was thinking about Jeremiah 1-3, so I opened my bible to the right place and began to read. I love how the first chapter starts out  with God talking to Jeremiah:

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you. I have appointed you a prophet to the nations."

Jeremiah responded with this:

"Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am youth."

This is what God told him:

"Do not say 'I am a youth' because everywhere I send you, you shall go. And, all that I command you, you shall  speak."

Then God stretched out His hand and touched the mouth of Jeremiah, saying this:

"Behold, I have put My words in your mouth."

So, Jeremiah did exactly as God told him to do, even though he did not think he could! He believed God and set on speaking the truth to the nations.  He announced that God had chosen Israel as His chosen people and had always been there for them. He told them that they had chose to trade God's glory for empty god-dreams and silly god-schemes.  He called them faithless and idol worshipers. Near the end of chapter three, God lovingly draws Israel to Him:

"Return , O faithless sons, I will heal your faithlessness. "

The patience and enduring love of God is really impressive! At least I'm impressed. I had to ask myself again if I have let idols get in my way of my relationship with God. As I have waded through the trials that seem to come in waves and flood my world, have I always turned to God, or do I look elsewhere for relief?  Have I been able to draw nearer to His Presence during times of financial stress, the selling of homes, the loss of relationship, and the revelations of His truth? There have been days that I have wanted to run to old habits, or simply hide. Days I have felt like it's not worth the work or effort. But, God has been very faithful to me, nudging me to talk to Him and repent. He has continued to be My Stronghold, even when I waver. And, I do waver. Like Jeremiah, I think I can't, and I become discouraged.
Jesus, I need You to Say That Again to me. You formed me and have always known me. You have put Your words in my mouth and commanded me to speak. You lovingly pursue me, and continue to heal me. Thank you Jesus!

Monday, September 24, 2012

The Self -Willed Babylon

I've been giving some thought to the culture I live in, and how it is so similar to the Babylon talked about in the Bible. This morning I read Daniel 1, and the thought came to me that being taken captive by the enemy, like Daniel was, and then having a choice as to whether I adapt to my captivity or choose to stay an alien. The enemy of my soul works very hard to make me his captive, and is constantly trying to return me to places that God has called me to leave.  I can choose to have the same attitude as the modern day Babylon that I live in, or choose to stand against it.
In verse eight, it says that Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself with the Kings choice food or with the wine which he drank. It sounds to me like Daniel drew a line and took a stand. The choice food of the King was food that had been offered to the Babylonian gods, and Daniel was ultimately standing against those gods. His choice was blessed by his God, the God of heaven.
If I make choices that defile me in this modern Babylonian culture, I will eventually forget my identity and loose integrity. I will not know who I am! I imagine this is exactly what happened to all the other captives that were taken to Babylon at the same time as Daniel, and his three friends. They adjusted to the Babylonian culture, and forgot who they were. They were unable to stand for truth.
So, I've been asking myself, how willing am I to stand for truth all the time? How willing am I to keep a life a of integrity, no matter what the cost? I am captive in this world, but God is asking me to live with my feet in heavenly places. He is asking me to be a witness for Him in this world, but not be like the world. He is continually bringing me to places of freedom in Him, while at the same time, showing me how much I am surrounded with a modern Babylonia.
In Isaiah 47 Babylon is described at a place of self-will. The entire culture is about self, total self-absorption. Verse 8 says it well:

"Now then, hear this, you sensual one, Who dwells securely, Who says in your heart, 'I am, and there is no one besides me, I will not sit as a widow, nor know loss of children. But, these two things will come on you suddenly in one day. Loss of children and widowhood. They will come on you in full measure in spite of your many sorceries, in spite of the great power  of your spells. You felt secure in your wickedness and said, No one see's me, your wisdom and your knowledge, they have deluded you. For you have said in your heart, I am, and there is no one besides me.'"

Just like Babylon of old, the culture I live in today is all about self. Everywhere I look, self is encouraged and either blatantly proclaimed or it gradually seeps in to every aspect of thinking. The idea that it is not about me, but about God is completely foreign.  Even in church it ends up being self-driven. What can I get from church? What can I get from this bible study? After all, I am here, and I need something!
But, what if my attitude is the same as Jesus? He walked this earth giving constant glory to God. His life glorified the Father in everything He said and did, all the time. He gave to others, thinking of them and their needs. He knew who He was, and His walk in an ungodly world was nothing but Godly! He did not adjust to the Babylon mentality, but only to the mentality of His Father.
Today, I had some interesting conversation about self and being still. I do hear God telling me to be still, yet in that stillness, I must listen carefully for the next step. I am not being asked to be still so I can reflect on myself, but am called to be still and know that He is God.
Jesus, Lord of Lords, Say That Again! You cover me and take self from me. You move me beyond my own ideas and challenge me to stand against this Babylon I live in!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Prayerful Visit

Last evening some friends dropped by to bring us more boxes. I told them both about my Land Rover being locked and not wanting to unlock. One of them suggested we all go into the garage and pray over the Land Rover, God can unlock them, right? We went down to the garage, she started to pray, I turned the ignition, pushed the unlock button, and the door locks popped up! I was so excited, amazed and grateful! I had prayed earlier that day for God to unlock the doors, and He chose not to. He let my Rover stay in the garage all day, locked. So, when we went to pray over it, I had a seed of doubt. Yet, He still answered.
Of course there was jumping up and down, hugging, and screams of delight when the locks popped up.  It's a huge relief to me, because now I can unload the back, my kids and dog can get in the Rover without going through the drivers side, and I can use it to during our move.  And, we don't have to invest money right now to fix it, praise God!
I spent the entire day yesterday working on packing. My husband and son did a lot of packing as well. Now, we are living with a lot of boxes, weaving our way in out of paths we have created through out the house.  Today will be much the same, with a few more breaks.
I am praying that God will give me the strength I need to make it through this week. I will feel His arms around me, and know that He is here with me as we make this move.  He cares about the locks on my Rover, I know He cares about this move as well. Even though we have moved several times, I find that I sometimes have no clue what I am doing. Just like with my Rover, I really had no idea what to do with the locks, except pray.
When I opened my bible this morning, it fell to James 1, and this is the verse I read:

"If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get His help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believing without a second thought." (Message)

This is a good reminder for me today.  The Father loves to help, and He waits for me to ask for help. As I'm neck high in boxes today and other activities I will continue to ask for help. And, I will smile every time I remember the prayerful visit.
Say That again, Father God, You love to help!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Locked Land Rover

I took my kids on a hike yesterday, with Fur Ball. When we got out of the truck I locked the doors, and when we tried to get back in after our hike, the locks were on shut down, again. I tired all I could think of to get them to unlock, but it was futile.  The back of my truck is stuffed full of boxes, and now with the locks jammed it's going to be pretty hard to get the boxes out. Everyone is piling in through the drivers side, again. Needless to say, this is frustrating to me.
Last evening, my husband looked at the locks and attempted to get them to unlock, but he didn't have any luck either. He did some research on the web and discovered that this truly is a Land Rover issue. There is a part that probably needs to be replaced, unfortunatly, this part is over 400.00.
When I woke this morning I went to the garage and tried again to unlock my doors. I prayed that God would just do it, but He didn't.  This has happened before, and I went for months with locked doors. At the time it didn't bother me, the way I feel bothered today. When God did not see fit to unlock my doors, I felt more than bothered. I was whiny, and really, I just wanted to sit down and cry.  Really? locked doors when we are trying to move?  Piles of boxes to pull out through the drivers side does not sound like fun to me, my sighing continued as I complained.
After the garage episode with my truck, I went to my bible and read Revelation 21 and 22. I love these verses in chapter 21:22-26 (Message)

"The main street of the City was pure gold, translucent as glass. But, there was no sign of a Temple, for the Lord God-the Sovereign Strong-and the Lamb are the Temple. The City doesn't need sun or moon for light. God's glory is its light, the Lamb its lamp! The nations will walk in its light and earth's kings bring in their splendor. It's gates will never be shut by day, and there won't be any night. They'll bring the glory and honor of the nations into the City. "

In this City I won't be bothered by jammed locks.  I won't even remember this episode in my life, it will be insignificant.  I won't feel like crying, instead my life will be surrounded by the glory and light of the Lamb. The gates will not be shut, no lock downs, no trouble. It's hard to imagine because on this earth there is trouble, big and small.  It's hard to imagine that all of that will be gone, and there will be constant light.
So, I will keep praying that the doors unlock, but even more I want to pray that God keeps my focus on what is to come and not the bothersome troubles that afflict me. He has a plan, even with locked doors. Say That Again,  Sovereign Strong, You shine light everywhere, shine on me!

Friday, September 21, 2012

The Changes

Our house is gradually getting packed up in boxes.  I even ventured into the kitchen and started to pack it too.  It's been hot weather here, so this morning I opened my drawer to grab a pair of shorts, whoops, they are packed in a box somewhere. Today I will continue to work, filling the empty boxes.  Sorting through years of stuff and taking some of it away to donate, has proven to be a tedious task.  But, I know that once it's done, it will feel good to all of us.
I'm still not able to imagine myself living in the new house. I still don't know where I will place the furniture. I don't even try to think about it, mostly because I know I have to be there and experience the house before I can arrange it.  In just one week, our furniture will be sitting in a different house, and I think it will feel weird.
This morning I read Revelation 21.  I think when I see the New Jerusalem, it will be more exciting than this move has been :) I won't have to pack my stuff to live there. I will know for certain that I am home, forever!
I love this verses 2-4:

"And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, 'Behold the tabernacle of God is among men and He will dwell among them, and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning,, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away."'

Thrilling, don't you think? I may not be able to comprehend what the new earth will be like, but I can know what it will not be like! NO more mourning, crying or pain.  The tears that I have in my eyes, will literally be wiped away by my God!  Cool.
It will be very different, and it will be okay. I will invite the change with gladness and rejoicing.
Jesus, Say That Again to me, You will wipe away every tear!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Perfect Timing

I've been thinking about God's timing a lot lately, and am seeing more and more how His timing is usually pretty different than mine. It brings me back to surrender and knowing that if I am able to surrender the timing of my life to Him, I will have an unlikely peace about the life He has chosen to bless me with.  The timing sometimes seems slow, or in some cases way too fast, but either way it becomes a faith walk that He knows more of what is best for me, than I do.
I read in Ecclesiastes this morning, this is what chapter 3 verse 11 says:

"He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end."

I have to remember this verse today, as I walk my life and know that the timing of everything is made appropriate by Him. And, whatever happens in life, I can rest in Him knowing that He has set eternity in my heart. Eternity, who can complain about that? Whatever the timing or pace of life, my faith can hold fast to the promise that eternity is set in my heart. I am a forever being, there's plenty of time!
Say That Again, Lord God, You have Your hand on my time. You are working in a way that I do not understand all the time, from the beginning of time, even to the end of the walk on earth.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Life I'm Given

I listened to a new album this morning, and the first song that came on had these words: "If I live the life I'm given, I won't be scared to die." The artist went on to sing about the value of surrender, and how when someone is able to surrender, they are also able to really live. But, because of that surrender, there is no fear.
This morning as I also visited with a dear friend, we talked about the reality of life and how we have no control over what happens. It's not my job to control the world, my family, my community. Life is about surrender to God's control and then actually walking steps of faith that He is in control, only Him. Living life His way, the way He chooses to give it to me!  The joys, the sorrows, the hum-drum, oh yes, He gives it and He takes it, I am here to praise Him through the walk.
I confess that I do not always approach life this way. Sometimes I complain about the life I've been given, forgetting that His breath is within me and this life is worthy of His praise.  Yet, I can get caught up in wanting to control the surroundings around me, and I forget to accept that it is God in control, not me.
I was reminded of a verse in Matthew 6:31-34:

"Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. 
Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes." (Message)

As I continue through me day and talk to God, I will pray for His leadership in my life today. For the loss of control today, and surrender to His control in my life. I am going to pray for the gift of faith, and ask Him to just remind me that living the life He has given me takes the fear away, and brings His peace and joy.  This is true because the life He has given me is a one connected to Him, heart to heart, soul to soul.
Say That Again, Lord of my life, You remain deeply rooted in the life You have given me, and You ask me to give it to You on a daily basis. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Ice Cream Samples

A friend gave me three containers of ice cream. Hazelnut Caramel Chocolate, Raspberry Chocolate, and Dark Moose Tracks. They are all very good. This last Sunday when our son and daughter in-law were here we all stood around our kitchen island and helped ourselves to spoonfuls right out of the small containers. My daughter in-law made the comment that they were the perfect sample size, and our son laughed at her idea of sample! We made another creation of a good memory for me, sharing life and ice cream with the people I love.
I haven't been eating as much ice cream as I normally do. I've been focusing a little more on healthy eating, and taking a few more veggies than usual. Veggie juice, salads, and nuts have been higher on the menu list, than a few months ago. None of them are nearly as exciting as the ice cream samples.
I was also reminded of the fondness my team has of fudge bars and how they have not been as readily supplied the last few months. They use to be a staple at the ministry, but as time has passed and things change, they faded into the background. Still, conversation about them is enveloped in laughter and good times.
I'm curious about what God has in store for me, my family, and friends. I know it's something good like ice cream samples. This morning as I read in Revelation 19; it spoke of the wedding supper:

"Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and he cried out with a loud voice, saying to all the birds which fly in midheaven, 'come, assemble for the great supper of God.'" verse 17

In verse 1 it says this:

"Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready. It was given  to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous act of the saints."

This will be unlike anything I have ever known...far more exciting than ice cream samples around the kitchen island. This will be so exciting that He is telling me to rejoice and be glad right now, because the supper and the reunion I have to look forward to is beyond my ability to even comprehend.
It is the kind of glad that makes me leap for joy with exuberant dancing. Ice cream, move over, there's a wedding feast to anticipate!
It's actually been awhile since I danced with exuberant joy, but I'm going to start praying that God reveals the truth to me about what is to come in His Kingdom and it will bring joy and dance to my feet. King of Kings, Say That Again, "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb."

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Super Duper Haircut

So, Fur Ball had a hair cut today.  He left the house this morning looking like picture number one, and he came home as picture number two! He feels like a new, transformed puppy! Maybe he feels naked, or like some other poodle, the ones we see prancing down the street. Whatever the case, he certainly feels different. His coat is lovely, it feels just like velvet.  The groomer said he was very good, and she just had to leave his ears puffy, like a teddy bear. Fur Ball is sleeping on the couch right now, I think his day has been exhausting. Poor puppy.
I know what it's like to be transformed, and sometimes the process of that is exhausting. Naps are good! Sometimes, as I feel God transform me, I feel naked and exposed. I feel different from the day before. I sometimes want my old familiar habits back. I wonder if Fur Ball is wishing for his puffy coat?
It is amazing, don't you think, how one hair cut can make such a huge difference? Just like with God, one look into my heart, can completely change my life. As I experience the revelation of His truth and His Glory, nothing can stay the same, it's a continual transformation!
Jesus, Say That Again, You are the One that transforms lives. You change me, renew me, restore me, and it's always different. Continue to cut through to the heart of the matter for me!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Empty Closet

Yesterday was a day of packing, and I managed to empty the closet in our spare room. My daughter and son had toys, clothes, and school supplies in this closet. It wasn't super full, it just felt like it when it was time to sort through it and pack it up. I took a nap in the middle of everything, a long one, as my husband continued to pack much of his own stuff. I'm finding that even though there is a lot of progress on our packing project, it seems rather endless. The ability to empty one closet was a sign of hope, maybe this job will end.
When we looked at our new house, the one we are moving to, my husband informed me that the new closet in the master bedroom is actually bigger then the closet we currently own. Hmm, that is good news to me, I like big closets, I find them useful for more than just clothes and shoes. My closet has been the perfect place to hide from loud children when I'm on the phone. It has also come in handy for a quiet place to pray. My closet was used as a  mini bedroom for our daughter when we first moved here and she didn't want to sleep alone in her bedroom. It's a great place to be in the morning when I need something to wear and my kids have taken over the bedroom, it's private.
I'm finding treasures as I pack as well, all hidden in the closet. Some things I thought I had lost, they were way back on the shelf. Other things I had just forgotten about, like a canvas painting we purchased years ago in New York City, and a hat I saved that my son use to wear all the time, but grew out of. And, my son's favorite blanket that use to travel with him everywhere. Good things that bring back good memories and put a smile on my face.
During my closet packing and my day I also talked with God about what His plan is. What's next?  Is it really time for me to rest in the country at our new home, slow down a little and change my focus? Is it time for an even deeper step into God? What is He asking of me with all these changes, and will it feel okay to me when we've made it out of the deep end of painful changes?
This morning, my prayers have continued and I remembered a verse in Matthew 6:25:

"If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body."

I then decided to look up the word closet in my bible. There's the one in the KJV that I have often thought about as I am praying in my own closet:

"But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to the Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."
 Matthew 6:6

Today, I am thankful for the big closets I have, and will have! And, as I continue to empty them, sort through stuff, and pack everything up, I am thinking about life and my relationship with God.  I'm seeking His truth, choosing to live a life of God-worship, and asking Him to see me and reveal His truth. I'm learning to empty myself into Him, all my stuff on a daily basis. I have found that I want more of Him, and am challenged with sometimes being distracted by wanting more of other treasures.  I know He sees my heart, every chamber, and continues to challenge me to empty myself into Him.
Say That Again, Sweet Jesus, You take the contents of all that I am, and You see me. You are the One that teaches me about God-worship, and living empty of self so I can be full of You. Thank you for the gift of big closets, and the treasure of life with You.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Good Offer

We received an offer on our ministry house yesterday, a good offer. We countered the offer with a few minor changes. It was a good offer. When I first heard, tears came to my eyes, but I brushed them away, with a choice to not think about the sorrow, but the good offer. Today, I still feel the tears asking to come, it is because I am conflicted inside of myself.  I want to be happy about the the good offer, but there are also the losses that I feel. God continues to remind me that He has our best interest in His heart, and He reminds me over and over again of the day I was washing dishes at our ministry house and He said to me: "How can I expand your territory, if you are hanging on to this territory?"  And, He is right, of course, He is God! The memories live inside my heart, the house can go. It is a gain in God's sight, He sold it with the second person that looked at it. It was quick, just as we had prayed. I do not want to reject His good offer of numerous blessings and answered prayer.
I had a picture in my mind of Jesus standing at the gate and offering every spiritual blessing, eternity, love, His Spirit, hope, etc...It's a good offer. How often do I say to Him that the offer looks good, but I want something else? An earthly offer, perhaps, like my houses, or false security?  He backs up His word to me every time, and has penetrated my heart to see that the only real good offer is Him. Still, there are days I am challenged with  looking at the temporary, and the eternal offer slips to the background.
The process of letting go, and giving more and more to God has been interesting, challenging, and sometimes frightening. But, He has a good offer that I see cannot be turned down. And, through it He offers strength, truth, and clarity.
There's a lot of changes, and stress. But, God offers peace to withstand and hope that it will get better. It's a good offer. Say That Again, Jesus, You are a good offer!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Sticky Tape

My bible is falling apart. When I picked it up yesterday morning, all of  1Peter-Revelation fell out. I'm constantly tucking the pages back into their proper place.  So, this morning, after I lost 1 Peter again, I tried our packaging tape to hold it all together. So far, so good! My taping job, could have been better, I'm not that crafty, and as I was gingerly laying the tape down on the delicate pages this morning I wondered if maybe I should have asked one of my more talented friends to tape my bible back together.
In Psalms 57 it says this:

"Be good to me God-and now!
I've run to you for dear life.
I'm hiding out under your wings, until the hurricane blows over
I call out to High God
the God who holds me together."

I've felt like I have needed to be held together with tape before, it's a lot like God. Sticky and once it's on the pages, it's not going to come off. If it were to come off, the pages would be in far worse shape than when they started.  Once God has touched the pages of my life,  He stays. He is the One that holds me together, the One I can go to to hide under His wings. He is the One that tells me to be still and know that He is God, He's sticking with me, has a firm grip on me, will never let me go!
Jesus, Lord, and Savior, Say That Again, You are like sticky packaging tape. You are the God that holds me together.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Temple

I've been dwelling for sometime now on Revelation 11, I feel a little stuck there, as each morning I sense God telling me to go over it again. What am I suppose to learn from Revelation 11?  The entire book of Revelation is wrapped in mystery. At the same time, it's also wrapped in a blessing as God promises that all who read and hear it will be blessed. I wrote to my son, who is working on his masters degree at a bible university and asked him a question about Revelation 11. He sent me a wonderful email back giving his opinion, yet still, here I am, thinking about Revelation 11! My husband and I touched on it for a few minutes yesterday morning. We discussed the temple of God in Revelation 11:1-2. I had come to a settling of this temple being God's people, for He does say that I am the temple of God.  I like this verse in Ephesians 2: 19-21

"So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God's household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit."

The Body of Christ is a temple built by God, all of us built into it, a temple where God is at home!
The chapter of Revelation carries on stirring more questions in me, and more conversations with God.  I don't have the answers, but I do wonder and wait. It will be fascinating to me to find out what God is really referring to as far as the temple in these first couple verses. It is comforting to me to remember that  God's household with Jesus as the corner stone, fits together and is built together in His Spirit. We, as His children, are unified. We come together, with a strong foundation, and we grow together. There is love within the walls of God's temple, His people love each other. There is not a pushing or pulling, bickering, and back stabbing in His temple. With Jesus as the corner stone, there is love, the fruit of the Spirit, the power of His Spirit, restoration, renewal, and blessings. 
Whatever temple God may be referring to, I know that I need to know these things about His body of believers. My week has been full so far, and with it I have carried some doubts about the building of His temple. But, with those doubts, He has reassured me that it will all fit together, and I am part of that fitting. The fellow saints that walk along beside me and each other are all fitting together as well, according to His plan and His purpose. Thank you Jesus!
Say That Again to me today as I go throughout my day. You Jesus are the cornerstone!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The One and Only

A few days ago a friend and I were discussing how much we trust God, and the path that He has brought both of us on over the last few years. Yet, through the journey, we have both realized, pockets in our lives where we still do not trust! As we have prayed over and over for God to restore our lives and to teach us to trust, there seems to be another corner and BAM,  I, at least, am noticing that my trust is somewhat wavering. Trust in Him, in His people, in who I am, in the journey He calls me to walk, and the calling He calls me into, wavers at times. Trust is a big deal for me, and God is constantly working on my trust muscles.
I woke up thinking about this conversation with my friend this morning, and God sent me to Isaiah 45, verses 5-7.  This is what it says:

I am the Lord and there is no other;
Besides me there is no God. 
I will gird you, though you have not known me;
That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one beside Me.
I am the Lord and there is no other, The One forming Light and creating darkness, 
Causing well-being and creating calamity;
I am the Lord who does all these.

He is The One and Only, and these verses helped me see this morning that on those days when I feel like I am walking through a calamity, or maybe I feel like I am the calamity, I can trust Him with it. When I feel like I cannot see where I am going because the path ahead is dark, I can trust Him with that too. I can remember "I am the Lord who does all these."
He brings well-being and He brings light, He set all things right to those that trust in Him.
Jesus, Say That Again, You are The One and Only Lord who does all these things!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The Shadow

My husband and I have been taking Fur Ball for walks every evening up the hill. He likes our evening walks. A couple evenings ago, Fur Ball noticed our shadow across the street, and decided that we were being followed. He insisted on attacking the shadows! Pounce! It became a little frustrating to Fur Ball when he realized that there was not anything he could do about the shadows, they would not respond to him.
He had to eventually give up, surrender.
Surrender, it's a daily thing. I know I have to surrender every day, and sometimes it's pretty darn hard. Sometimes, I'm not exactly sure what I'm surrendering. I have to say to Him that I need Him to take everything, but then I find myself taking bits of myself back, working to be in control, again. Chasing my own shadows...
Jesus, I want to be under the shadow of Your wings, only You. Just as Your Word says to me:

"Keep me as  the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings." Psalms 17:8

Say That Again, Father God, You will hide me in the shadow of Your wings!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Dwelling Place

We looked at yet another house yesterday afternoon. This house has a river view, and it truly is lovely. It sits in a neighborhood, so it is not the country house my husband and son dream of, but if they were to only look out the back windows at the river view, then they would have their country!  As we walked through the house and I continued to ask God what His perspective was, He just kept reminding me to rest in Him. He will let us know what to choose and what will suit our needs the best for all of the members of our family. I have found that there are certain things that are important to me, yet if God wants me to give them up, then I will. I have found that I am not super excited about the country, yet if God wants me to live in the country, then I will go, and it will be good. I have found that there are some things that I just want to hang on to, and God is asking me if I am willing to live without those things. I am saying "yes, Lord, but it is challenging". I am feeling some losses, pain, overwhelmed with the work, lonely, frustrated, and sad.  God, has been incredibly strengthening through this process too, as He leads both me and my husband through uncharted territory.
This morning, as I discussed all of this with God, He brought John 14:2 to my mind:

"In My Father's house are many dwelling places, if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go  to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also."

There certainly is not a dwelling place on this earth that can compare to the one that He is preparing for me in Heaven. I am looking forward to that. There will be granite there, I'm sure, and we know there is a crystal lake, and many rivers! And, of course, it is the City of God, with streets of gold, gems, and treasures that are beyond my imagination! It is far better than here.
Say That Again, Jesus, Lover of my Soul, You are building me a dwelling place in the City of God!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Spirit of God

In Isaiah 11this morning I read this:

"The life-giving Spirit of God will hover over him, the Spirit that brings wisdom and understanding,
The Spirit that gives direction and builds strength,
the Spirit that instills knowledge and Fear-of-God.
Fear-of-God will be all his joy and delight. He won't judge by appearances, won't decide on the basis of hearsay. He'll judge the needy by what is right, render decisions on earth's  poor with justice, His words will bring everyone to awed attention. 
A mere breath from his lips will topple the wicked. Each morning he'll pull on sturdy work clothes and boots and build righteousness and faithfulness in the land."

Oh Jesus, Say That Again! Bring Your Spirit deep within me, and be deeply rooted in my soul.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Sea Of Glass

My day was really full and many of the things I did today reminded me of the chapter I read in Revelation this morning, it was a very good chapter. It was all about heaven and the Throne of God and all the cool things that surround the Throne of God. Revelation 4, it starts out by John saying that he was in the Spirit and he saw the door of heaven open before him and he saw the throne standing in heaven, and One sitting on the throne. So, if you get the chance, read this chapter, because it's really great, and I love all the descriptions of heaven and the throne.
I camped today on the Sea of Glass. This afternoon, my husband and I drove around the lake to look at another house. We are still searching for a place to live. We drove a country road to a small community, and found the house we had scheduled to see. The lady showing us the house was a little late, so we walked around and peered in the windows and looked at the yard, it was lovely. We also admired the view, which was the lake. The house sits on a hill and overlooks a lake, it is truly beautiful.
We were shown the house and I really liked it. It was lovely. The view was serene and quiet. As I looked out of the front windows of the house I could see the lake, the quiet lake, and I thought of the verse I read this morning:

"and before the throne there was something like a sea of glass, like crystal; and in the center and around the throne, four living creatures full of eyes in front and behind."

Then in Micah 7:19, this morning I read this:

"He will again have compassion on us;
He will tread our iniquities under foot. 
yes, You will cast all their sins
Into the depth s of the sea."

He takes all my sins, my pain, my agony, everything that I am willing to give to Him, and throws it into the Sea of Glass!  It is gone, it sinks down to the bottom, forever. Never to be recovered.  I am loved, I am released, I am called into His Kingdom!! This is true because He has taken my sins and thrown them into the bottom of the Sea of Glass.
Jesus, You are amazing. You are on the throne. You are God.  Say that Again, Dear God, You will take my pain and throw it into the Sea of Glass!

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Roar

I spent three hours in church on Sunday, one hour of that was worship. It was pretty cool. One of the songs we sang had these words "Aslan's on the move breathing life in you and me..."  It reminded me of the verse in Revelation 2:1

"The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this,
I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false, and you have perseverance and have endured for My name's sake, and have not grown weary."
The next verse cautions with this:

"Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place-unless you repent."

Then there's a promise:

"To him who overcomes, I will grant to eat of the tree of life which is in  the Paradise of God."

Remember the pit that Jesus rescued you from. He is walking in our churches, He is living in me worshiping with me, His breath is hot, revival, renewal, restoration. Aslan roars.
Say That Again, Jesus, You have promised me the tree of life which is in the Paradise of God, because I am Your child, I have persevered, I have repented, I have remembered.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The House Adventure

We looked at some houses yesterday.  One was in a quiet neighborhood with a beautiful yard. My son imagined himself living in the basement with the black and white checkered floor. The next one was on 5 acres in the country, a shaded area with a lot of large trees and a chalet type house. It was a beautiful area, but for me, I was unable to imagine myself there at all.  The next house was also a long drive, but it sat by the railroad tracks, and my husband dug in his heels and said no before we even started.
While we were house hunting, someone else was looking at our house. I wonder what they thought?
My attitude sometimes thinks it's all an adventure, and then there are times that I slide down to thinking that it is not an adventure at all, but a chore and a trial.  I forget Who God is, and who I am, and it all becomes about the house.
This morning, I was feeling like it was all about the house again. As I prayed, and prayed some more, I ended up in Colossians 2.  The first couple verses are especially good, 2-6:

"there hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. I say this so that no one will delude you with persuasive argument. For even though I am absent in body, nevertheless I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good discipline and the stability of your faith in Christ. Therefore as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him. having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude."

In Christ, there are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge!  As we, my family and I, continue the house adventure, we will walk in Him, having faith that He will see us through.  Firmly rooted and overflowing with gratitude. He is an amazing God, He will continue to build me up, establish me, love me, hold me, and bring me to the treasures and wisdom of His will.
Say That Again, Lord God, in You all things exist.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

The Reminder

I left early this morning to drive a friend to the airport. On my way back I cranked up my music to it's usual high volume and enjoyed the drive home. As the music floated, or as some might prefer to say, blasted, through my truck, God gave me a gorgeous reminder of His love by gifting me with a clear silver lining on the horizon with the sunrise peeking through. It was magnificent! It felt like He was telling me, once again to just be still, really, really, still.  The picture He was setting before me was incredible, and it was only Him. The song playing was "nothing is wasted in the hands of our Redeemer, every broken piece will be found! From the wreckage, glory will shine...."
Did you hear that? He takes absolutely everything and turns it around, somehow. I don't know how. But, nothing is wasted. So, the fact that I feel like I have wasted days, and I feel like I'm loosing out on places to live and stuff here on earth, and maybe I've made poor choices at times in my life, God knows how to turn it all for good. He knows because He is God and He knows my heart, and He loves me, He has released me and He has called me for His Kingdom! All of His children are called for His Kingdom, all are loved and all are released! Released into His hands, Redeemed. Gifted with a silver lining for eternity, because He is keeping our souls, my soul. This is what Jude had to say:

I, Jude, am a slave, to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ. Relax, everything's going to be all right; everything's coming together; love is on the way!

Called and Kept safe by Jesus! So, relax, it's going to be okay.  Chill out, right? It's my version of God's  "be still". Jesus, You have promised that all things will come together, and that You will keep me. You have called me to be still in You and have faith. Say That Again, teach me to relax in You!