Friday, August 8, 2008

All my sheep have gone astray......

Chasing sheep is not. fun. My dear daughter is only eight so she can't be blamed; but she let the sheep out on her last trip to water them. All of the sheep and their guardian dog.......

Let me tell you about my sheep......
My husband labored for days and sometimes nights to build a (expensive) safe and durable fence. The fence is necessary, not only to keep them in, but also to keep to predators out. We picked the best spot on our 20 acres for their home. A lovely hilly area that was once used as a hay field. We partitioned it off so that we could rotate them to help prevent worms. At one end of this lovely pasture is a tree that lends it's branches to shade them. But my sheep, my dear beloved sheep spend most of their time sitting in the sun, in the dirt at the gate!! Hoping to be let out! They don't explore all of the lovely space we have given them......they don't lay in the cool lush grass under the shade.......they stay at the fence and feel bad for themselves because of what they can't do!

As we chased sheep, and watched them run in all different directions, it occured to me: I can't keep my sheep safe unless they are in the fence! When they run away from me I can't protect them and they need my protection. If one should get lost and not be found, it's chances of survival are almost nil. A coyote, stray dog or any predator with a taste for sheep meat would easily catch and kill them. In the fence and under my care they are well protected. The fence keeps these critters out and the Livestock Guardian Dog alerts me when there is animal that doesn't belong roaming near them. But, say they make it somehow and survive without me? How will they rid themselves of the burden they carry on their back? The wonderful wool that I can use to make beautiful yarn, can actually make them sick if left too long. Even kill them...... Yes, sheep need a shephard (or in my case a shephardess!) They need someone to care for them. They need protection for enemies that are too powerful for them. I wish I could make them understand.........

So because of my love for my sheep, I ignored their struggling to get away. I held on tight and in a very undignified way we wrestled them back into the fence; where they would be safe.

I have learned a lot from sheep..........

Friday, July 11, 2008

The issue of trust......

I make lunch at 12:00 and dinner at 6:00. Dinner is not on the table at 5:30 or 5:00. It is not needed until 6:00. My children don't panic when they don't see dinner on the table before 6:00 and they don't come in to check to make sure I am making dinner. They trust me. They believe I will make dinner because I have always taken care of this need.

I have been praying for a need to be met for a couple of weeks now. It would be nice if it were taken care of early so that I can relax. I don't "need" the answer now. I "want" the answer now. I want reassurance that God hears me.

So as I wait, and wait, I become discouraged. Why? Because I am afraid that God won't come through for me. Unlike my children I do not assume that just because God has meet all my needs in the past, He will meet this one also. Dinner is not on the table so I assume it won't be. I begin to walk by sight and not by faith.

To make matters worse our favorite lamb was found dead this morning. He was such a friendly little guy and he delighted us to no end. It is a small thing in the grand scheme of things but today it is huge in my heart. I am tempted by this small thing to question the goodness and love of God.

To trust is to make the decision to behave as if you are taken care of, to believe that God is indeed acting on your behalf, in your best interests. To see the empty table and not fear that dinner won't be there.

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1 ASV

Though the fig tree should not blossom and there be no fruit on the vines, though the field produce no food, though the flock should be cut off from the fold and there be no cattle in the stalls, Yet I will exult in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation. The Lord is my strength, and He has made my feet like hinds' feet and make me walk on my high places. Habakkuk 2:17-19 ASV

Thursday, July 10, 2008

And when my heart is overwhelmed.....

Please lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

I am a bit discouraged. I am glad that fixing problems is not up to me, or fixing myself for that matter. The pizzeria has been busy (Thank you God) but we are short on employees as it is and have a key employee leaving in about 6 days. I have a pile of applications, a big pile, and not one good prospect. We need a trust worthy person who can deliver and manage shifts. Not one application looks promising....... It has occurred to me several times that God does not have deadlines. He knows when the right timing is and doesn't have to be reminded. We pray today for what we need tomorrow, hoping the answer comes today. It will come when it is needed and in between trust and faith must be applied.

Friday, June 27, 2008

I am going to tell on myself today......

Yesterday was my husband's and my 10th anniversary and I was mad. Really. Mad. Mad enough that I refused to go out to dinner with him, mad enough that I was completely ignoring the Spirit's promptings and my husband's attempts to be gracious. I was throwing a fit. Yet, in my rebellion God reached down to me in a way that magnified His love for me and humbled me immensely. I am reminded now that God's love truly is not dependant upon my behavior, bad or otherwise, but His love is determined by His character. He loves because He is love. Yes, He disciplines and He rebukes, but always out of love. How thankful I am for that wonderous love.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's been a long time....

since I posted so I felt I better say something even if it is just: It's been a long time since I posted!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

When God takes what you can not bear to lose.....

I was recently working on one of the Bible studies I am doing (Believing God by Beth Moore) and the author discussed the miracles of healing that have occurred in people she knows. Discussion like this always open the old wound....why does God say no to some and yes to others....or as I have felt...why does He say no to me?

I remember vividly standing in the room with our dear family as our oldest son lay dying. I remember looking at him and thinking "God, you could heal him!" That day God said no. He said no to the dreams we had for that beautiful boy. He said no to my prayer "Lord the dead can't praise You!" He chose to take what we could not bear to lose.

But you see, God knows something that we have a difficult time understanding. Especially when we are hurting. God knows the best thing He can give us is Himself. God knew when He took my son and broke my heart and the heart of my children and husband that He would give us something that we may not have gained any other way. Those who have everything pulled out from under them and who see God through the eyes of searing pain are those who see God. It is much like Job said "My ears had heard of You but now my eyes have seen You." (chapter 42 v 5)

When God takes what you can not bear to lose......He gives you Himself and He bears it for you.

Held (written from memory, sung by Natalie Grant)

Two months is too little, they let go
They had no sudden healing
To think that providence would
take a child from his mother while she prays
is apalling
Who told us we'd be rescued?
What has changed and why should we be saved
from nightmares?

This is what it means
to be held
How it feels when the sacred it torn from your life
and you survive
This is what it is
to be loved and to know
that the promise was when everything fell
We'd be held

This hand is bitterness
You want to taste it let the hatred numb the sorrow
The wise hand opens slowly
to lillies of the valley and

If hope is born of suffering
If this is only the beginning
Can we not wait for one hour
Watching for our Savior?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Create in me a clean heart...

Ps 51:10
Create in me a clean heart , O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Genesis 1 tells us that God "created" the heavens and the earth. The Hebrew word for create here is bara'.* This means in a nutshell to create from nothing. Only God can create from nothing! In the beginning God created from nothing, using no tools or raw materials, the heavens and the earth.

Gen 2:7
the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

The word for "formed" is yatsar which means to mould into a form; especially as a potter.* In other words when God created Adam he used existing materials: the dust of the ground and the breath of life.

What does this have to do with Psalm 51:10? The Hebrew word for create in Genesis 1:1 is the same word used in Psalm 51:10! It does not say form in me a clean heart as you formed the first man but CREATE in my a clean heart as you created the heaven and the earth! The clean heart I receive from God will be a new creation! He will not form it from existing materials, it will be brand new and pure. And, just as there was nothing I could do in the creation of world there is nothing I can do in the creation of my clean heart except this one thing: submit. When I submit God will create.

*(Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I have struggled with this for a long time. I am going to lay this before God and really pray through it! I am ready to be delivered and set free from this!

Friday, February 29, 2008

The Love of God...

I came across these lyrics while practicing my guitar tonight:

Could we with ink the oceans fill
And were the skies of parchment made
Were every stalk on earth a quill
And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above
Would drain the oceans dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole
Though stretched from sky to sky.

I try God's love so often. I am humbled to think how vast His love for us truly is. I simply cannot fathom it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Surpassing Greatness of Power .....

to those who believe. Wow! Here is the entire verse: Eph 1:18-21

18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength,

20 which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms,

21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.

I started Beth Moore's Online study Live Beyond Yourself but I am doing it with a friend and she experiencing technical difficulties so.....I am doing Believing God in the meantime. I am really enjoying it. Above is what we studied yesterday. I don't understand the Power of God, I don't understand faith. Not at all like I should. I am eager to learn!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hello again....

It has been too long since I posted. Life continues to get in the way. I have started a new Bible Study which I am excited about....Live Beyond Yourself by Beth Moore. It an online study and I will be meeting with a friend once a week to discuss it so that will keep me accountable.

I want to share my thoughts from my Bible study the other night......I was reading in Matthew about when Jesus was sleeping during the storm. The disciples panicked and were sure Jesus was going to let them die. They must have felt silly when Jesus calmed the storm so easily. I am so often like the disciples. I assume God has forgotten me or that He won't take care of me. I need to learn to trust Him completely! So many things that I am concerned about are resolved without my help. God knows about these things, He saw my need before I was aware of it, yet I waste precious time and energy worrying. Lord, I want to trust You completely. I want to allow You to work in my life and through my life. Please help me to surrender my will to yours.

Friday, February 22, 2008

In need of strength.....

I have really struggled getting my Bible study in and digging into God's Word. I have noticed that I am weakened in my walk very much when I am not taking time with God. How can I be strengthened by the Word when I am not in it? I think of the spiritual warfare that I know is going on around me and I know I am not battling as I should.

Eph 4:27: and do not give the devil a foothold.

I think I have given Satan a foothold in my life, at least in this area, if not in others. He doesn't give up ground easily but I must fight to get it back or he will continue to encroach on God's territory in my life. He will not be happy with one or two strongholds, he wants it all, but I must offer it all up to God and for His glory alone.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Maybe it's God speaking

God uses so many things to teach His children and for that I am grateful. I am still listening to the same book in the car, a silly fantasy and God seems to use it in odd ways. Today there was a thought that I found very profound. It wasn't intended the way I took it and yet.....

Here is the thought: "She had been given a gift and the cost of it was that she had to give it back. And the reward of it was...that she would have to give it back...*"

I am often struck by how little I have to offer God, however we are given gifts. I am not just speaking of the gifts of the Spirit but simple every day or not so every day gifts. Perhaps you can sing or play an instrument. God intends you to use that for His glory. Perhaps that is the cost, but it is also the reward. God knows how little we can do on our own so He bestows gifts upon us for our enjoyment and His glory. I can remember when I was a child every Sunday at church my grandmother placed a few coins in my hand so that I could give in the offering. I had no means to earn my own money and I was certainly not worthy of the gift (I was in fact a bit naughty!) but I was given a gift, so that I could give. God, like my grandmother, gives me gifts so that I can give. I cannot earn or repay these gifts but I can give them back for His glory.

*The name of the book is The Wee Free Men, Terry Pratchett

Saturday, February 16, 2008


This is a word that doesn't describe me.

Phil 4:11

11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.

I didn't realize until this morning that Paul said "for I have learned". Contentment wasn't just something he was.....he had to learn it. That gives me hope. I can chose to be content. And each time I exercise my "contentment muscle" the stronger it will be.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thought for today...

I haven't done my Bible Study yet, I am planning on it tonight. But, I did have a thought I wanted to share. I had to do some running today and was listening to a book on tape in my car. In the book the main character goes into a fantasy world and becomes caught in a dream. Everything in the dream seems real but there are slight problems with everything. Like the people don't speak clearly or the food is the wrong color. At any rate she becomes confused and has a hard time seeing the difference, yet she must in order not to become trapped in the dream. At one point she says "I must remember what is real." How true that is for me! I become easily caught up in this world but I must remember the truth, I must remember what is real.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Daily Supply

Spurgeon's Daily Devotional today was on:
"And his allowance was a continual allowance given him of the king, a daily rate for every day, all the days of his life."
2 Kings 25:30

Spurgeon speaks of the need for a daily portion of God's strength. It occurred to me how often the Bible speaks of that:

  • the Israelites were to collect Manna every day except for Sunday and only what they needed for that day. If they collected more than what they needed it went bad. God expected them to go to Him each day for their food.
  • ....give us this day our daily bread..... It doesn't say "give us enough for this week" but just enough for this day.
  • We are told in Matthew not to worry about tomorrow. Focus only on today.
I am always feeling overwhelmed with all that I have to accomplish in a week. God tells me however, that I need to focus on today only. I need to go to Him today and seek strength for today and He and I will deal with today together. There is no more I can or should do.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

As always it was my intention.....

to get up and do my devotional and Bible Study when I first woke up at 6:30. The problem? I didn't wake up until 8:00! Time for school! Oddly enough, however, nobody had been up in time and that gave me a few minutes.....

Off to the computer I go to PC Bible Study, not my usual routine but at least I get my Bible time in and I am on the computer already so it is easy to post to this blog. I read Spurgeon's devotional first and the verse he focuses on is this:
2 Cor 1:5
5 For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.

I remember reading that chapter but I don't remember that verse. So I dig deeper and I check out the Greek. The Greek word here translated flow means literally "to superabound" or be in excess. (Strong's NT:4052 perisseuo (per-is-syoo'-o*) In other words we can expect to inundated with trials and trouble. We are going to hurt, we will have seasons in our life that will be difficult to endure.

On to the part that I found really exciting! The part that says: " so through Christ our comfort overflows". Back to the Greek and here is what I found: first, overflows is the same Greek word as flows. Through Christ our comfort superabounds or is in excess. Comfort here is from the Greek word paraklesis which means comfort or consolation, that words comes from the word parakaleo which means to call near or invite.

There is then. We will suffer and hurt but in our sufferings will be called near to Christ for comfort. He will use our hurts to draw Him to Himself because He knows well that ....
our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Rom 8:18 NIV

(*Biblesoft's New Exhaustive Strong's Numbers and Concordance with Expanded Greek-Hebrew Dictionary. Copyright © 1994, 2003 Biblesoft, Inc. and International Bible Translators, Inc.)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Journaling my way to God?

Who knows, maybe it will help. I have noticed though, when I don't spend time with God daily, everything suffers, everything. The little things and the big things are a lot harder to handle. The kids are more difficult, my husband is more cranky and I am depressed and discouraged. I overeat and I underthink (not a word I know but somehow fits). Focus on what I should do is lost. I recently heard a sermon about the judgment seat; the moment when we will receive our reward. Reward? I forgot about that! I have only been thinking about why the kids are yelling and why my husband is always so cranky! How am I ever going to stop this cycle with food and how am I going to get it all done when all I want to do is zone out in front of the TV? Reward, huh? Now that's something to think about.

Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things of the earth.
The Greek as far as I can tell (I am no scholar) means "Set your affection on.." or to be mentally disposed more or less earnestly in a certain direction (Strong's definition). I have had no direction lately and that is dangerous. When you aren't headed in a certain direction you are easily turned. I certainly have been easily turned.