Friday, December 21, 2012

Isaiah 13-17: Is This the Man?

Isaiah 14:11-16
11 Your pomp and magnificence are brought down to Sheol (the underworld), along with the sound of your harps; the maggots [which prey upon dead bodies] are spread out under you and worms cover you [O Babylonian rulers].

12 How have you fallen from heaven, O light-bringer and daystar, son of the morning! How you have been cut down to the ground, you who weakened and laid low the nations [O blasphemous, satanic king of Babylon!]

13 And you said in your heart, I will ascend to heaven; I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit upon the mount of assembly in the uttermost north.

14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.

15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol (Hades), to the innermost recesses of the pit (the region of the dead).

16 Those who see you will gaze at you and consider you, saying, Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms?—

Reading these verses literally depict Isaiah's parable against the king of Babylon, but symbolically these verses can be thought to represent Lucifer, the fallen "light-bringer."

I am currently re-reading a fictional novel by Wendy Alec, "The Fall of Lucifer" from The Chronicles of Brothers series. Alec's fantastical account of Lucifer's fall traces how jealousy gives birth to a wounded heart, which then becomes malignant with a lust for power fueled by pride.

Lucifer, the light-bearer and worship leader of heaven, Michael, the holy chief of Yehovah's angelic armies, and Gabriel, the prophetic revelator filled with wisdom and justice were brothers-each serving their beloved Father by utilizing their unique giftings...then God created man in His own image.  

Lucifer couldn't swallow the truth that his Father had created an inferior race with His own DNA.  Lucifer, a powerful angelic prince, felt abandoned by his beloved God.

"'The race of men are truly beloved of our Father.'"  Michael stared ahead in wonder.  "'He has replicated Eden for them.'" 
"Slowly Lucifer pushed the gate open.  It was almost twelve feet high and two feet in breadth, carved of solid gold and embedded with rubies and diamonds set in a vast jacinth wall that surrounded the entrance to the inner sanctum of Eden."  
"'He would walk with them...,' Lucifer murmured." 
"Very slowly, Michael lifted his gaze to Lucifer's face as he stared ahead at the grotto at the very edge of the cliffs of Eden  surrounded by eight ancient olive trees.  A harrowing look of intense suffering clouded Lucifer's features   A solitary tear fell down his cheek.  His whisper was barely audible." 
"'He had abandoned us.'"

 I actually felt sorry for Lucifer as he struggled to comprehend God's great love for man, while trusting that God still loved him.  

This book is a sobering reminder to "guard our hearts."

Proverbs 4:23
Amplified Bible (AMP)
Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

Genesis 4:7Amplified Bible (AMP)
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin crouches at your door; its desire is for you, but you must master it.

Beloved Father, show us any areas within our hearts that separate us from You.  Help us to hear Your voice alone, not the condemning voice of the one who choose against You.  In Jesus' holy name, AMEN!!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

2 Chronicles 28; 2 Kings 16-17: Unfaithfulness in Distress

2 Chronicles 28:22
Amplified Bible (AMP)

22 In the time of his distress he became still more unfaithful to the Lord—this same King Ahaz.

We live in a world full of stressors. Sometimes circumstance-inducing stressors escalate into "mental or physical suffering or anguish" more commonly referred to as distress (thefreedictionary).

King Ahaz was distressed.  

Ahaz became king of Judah at age twenty.  I can't imagine the stress of leading a nation heaped upon one so young.  But, I don't believe this stress needed to escalate into distress.  

From the beginning of his reign, Ahaz "did not do right in the sight of the Lord." (2 Chronicles 28:1)  He was an idolator (v. 2) and went so far as to burn his sons as an offering to these demon gods. (v. 3)

Because Ahaz turned away from God, the Lord sent the kings of Syria and Israel to defeat Judah.  

Ahaz sent a distress call to the king of Assyria (v. 16), but Tilgath-pilneser distressed him without strengthening him (v. 20).

God will discipline those He loves when they do wrong!

Without Holy Spirit's constant refill of spirit, we can become distressed.

Distress can induce us to be unfaithful to the Lord.

Did you ever hear of the saying,  

"What comes out of you when you are squeezed is what is inside of you."   
Wayne Dyer

When faced with life's stressors.  When I am squeezed beyond my ability to endure, I want to exude Holy Spirit's fruit...Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness and Self-control.

The only way to manifest these fruit is by consistent interaction with His Spirit.  I would love to report that in every instance of squeezing, these characteristics flowed from me, but that has not always been the case.

What to do?  

Repent, and ask Holy Spirit to fill me again and again.  Grow me, mature me, to the point that each stressor causes Jesus to shine, that each stressor would point the way to The Way

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Micah: What Does the Lord Require?

Micah 6:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, and to love kindness and mercy, and to humble yourself and walk humbly with your God?

Walking through this life in a pleasing manner to God is outlined in the above verse.  The Lord requires several characteristics of personality that are not always apparent in His Bride.  

But as His fire burns away our impurities, what remains is pure, pure gold.

Tests and trials may be designed by the evil one for our destruction, BUT God is Sovereign and allows us to endure them for our own good.  

Could is be that that difficult season we are walking through teaches us humility by cultivating our trust in God alone?  

Or when faced with someone who we think is "in sin," what is our response?

Do we offer kindness and mercy?  

Are we honorable and fair in our dealings with others or do we demonstrate partiality with those we call friends?

Father, empower us by Your Spirit to fulfill Your directive.  We are acutely aware that we need Your grace to walk through this life, pleasing You.  We ask for Your help, not because we think we can earn our way to You, but because we love You and desire to be good children.  All for the glory of Jesus, AMEN!

Monday, November 12, 2012

2 Chronicles 27; Isaiah 9-12: A Branch Shall Grow and Bear Fruit

Isaiah 11:1-2
Amplified Bible (AMP)

"11 And there shall come forth a Shoot out of the stock of Jesse [David’s father], and a Branch out of his roots shall grow and bear fruit.

2 And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him—the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord—..."

Approximately ten years ago, I had a spiritual experience. I saw a branch with six buds on it. As I gazed at the branch, a white dove flew down and alighted on it. Suddenly, the buds blossomed into beautiful, white flowers. I had had what is referred to as a vision. Not understanding what I had just seen, I sought the Lord for understanding of the imagery. God answered me through the above verse.

Later, I read Numbers 17, which increased my insight into the visual message the Lord had given. In brief, the Israelites murmured against Moses and Aaron accusing them of initiating a plague that had killed 14,700 people. However, This was not the case as Numbers 16:36-38 states,

36 And the Lord said to Moses,

37 Speak to Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, that he take up the censers out of the burning and scatter the fire at a distance. For the censers are hallowed—

38 The censers of these men who have sinned against themselves and at the cost of their own lives. Let the censers be made into hammered plates for a covering of the altar [of burnt offering], for they were used in offering before the Lord and therefore they are sacred. They shall be a sign [of warning] to the Israelites.

emphasis mine

Numbers 17 goes on to say that one rod for the head of each father's house should be presented before the Lord. The rod that buds and produces blossoms and yields ripe almonds is the man/house that God chose, and it was Aaron from the house of Levi.

I felt the Lord was telling me that I was called to be a Levite, the priestly tribe that ministered before the Lord. In addition, as the Holy Spirit influenced my life, I would bloom with the Spiritual fruit as listed above...wisdom and understanding, counsel and might, knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord.

Writing this post today, I ask Holy Spirit,

Have I allowed You to grow these spiritual characteristics in me?

Lord, my life cannot bear blossoms and eventually fruit without Your influence. Come upon me this day, Spirit. Fill my vessel, cause me to lay down my life once again in obedience to You. Live through me, Jesus. Empower me, Lord, to walk through this life with the tools needed to be effective in my personal life, as well as, influencing others' lives. All for Jesus, AMEN!

Spiritual Self-evaluation

Reprint from my Facebook status from November 7th.

Spiritual self-evaluation is a periodic necessity.

Holy Spirit, examine my heart-it's motives, thoughts and attitudes. My desire is that no earthly thing would influence my soul in a way that is displeasing to You.

Give me the grace to forgive continued and longstanding offenses. You forgave me, Lord! Touch those who have no comprehension of how their actions, words and attitudes have hurt me and others.

Holy Spirit sensitize us to You...Your ways, Your attitudes, Your Holiness!!! Break down our self-erected walls of which the evil one has had little influence, except an occasional whispering lie.

You are my Defense! You are my Desire! You give joy that cannot be snuffed out by circumstances. Your fruit draws others to You when that fruit is truly grown by the Spirit's influence.

It's not about a human personality, whether charismatic or sweet. It's all about representing Your character through the uniqueness You have woven into each of us.

I come to You again this day of November 7th, 2012 at 10:57 am, asking for grace, requiring Your power to flow through me.

My life will make a difference for You, Lord. I will touch others for You, stirring life and hope. Prince of Peace, be my Guide. No thing can be accomplished through striving, but only through submitting to You.

I am Yours...FOREVER!

Your own,
Beautiful Grace

Friday, October 26, 2012

Amos 6-9: The Tabernacle of David Restored

Amos 9:11-12

Amplified Bible (AMP)
11 In that day will I raise up the tabernacle of David, the fallen hut or booth, and close up its breaches; and I will raise up its ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old,
12 That they may possess the remnant of Edom and of all the nations that are called by My name, says the Lord Who does this.

Tabernacle of David...
A tabernacle is a tent or house of worship.  The tabernacle of David refers to the type of worship that King David demonstrated.  His worship was not defined by tradition or the current societal norm, but was an expression of whole-being devotion to his God.

What is meant by Davidic Worship?

"The phrase 'Davidic worship' simply means worship in the spirit of the Tabernacle of David, that is, worship that is an act of the whole person, not just the intellect. The worship of David's Tabernacle included singing, instrumental music, standing, kneeling, bowing, upraised hands, clapping and dancing. Davidic worship fulfills the command of Jesus to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength'" (Mark 12:30). from the tabernacle of David website

In other words, a person's lifestyle worships God.  

  • How a person speaks reveals the content of their heart.  
  • A person who mistreats others is not living a lifestyle of worship. 
  • It doesn't matter how a person expresses worship in a church service, if his heart doesn't continue to be submitted in worship outside of church.

The evil one stands against this whole-being, lifestyle worship.  he would rather seduce us into believing that the mere acts of dancing or singing a song or attending a service exempts us from submitting our hearts to God 24/7.

The evil one also stands against passionate, whole-being expressive worship saying, "You're overly emotional"  or  "You're attempting to draw attention to yourself" or "You're taking this Jesus thing a little too far."

The pharisees of Jesus day stood against the whole-hearted worship of the woman who washed Jesus feet with her tears.  (Luke 7:37-50)

"How could Jesus allow a sinner woman to touch Him?"

Jesus came to set the captives free, those in captivity to sin. The woman sinned, Jesus set her free and her undignified worship followed.  She symbolizes the transformation that Jesus desires all of us to undergo.

Realizing our great need to be set free from sin, crying out to Jesus to save us and responding by dedicating our whole self to Him, summarizes God's intent.  Whole-being worship follows this powerful encounter.

Holy Spirit, please don't allow any person or thing subdue our worship of You inside or outside of a church service.  Empower us to submit ourselves to You every moment of every day through our lifestyle.  In the great and awesome name of Jesus!  AMEN!!! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Amos 1-5: Seeking to Know Abba

Amos 3:6-7
Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city and the people not be alarmed and afraid? Shall misfortune or evil occur [as punishment] and the Lord has not caused it?

7 Surely the Lord God will do nothing without revealing His secret to His servants the prophets.

I am not a Bible scholar, but I do seek to know God, every aspect of God. Reading chapters like those in Amos remind me that God is not One Who tolerates idolatry, any form of idolatry.

There are consequences.

God speaks to His prophets giving them messages to warn. God doesn't desire to punish, but He will if it means our souls are saved for eternity.

I also know that His prophets mishear at times. God is portrayed as either a mean and nasty bully or a pushover parent who fails to set limits.

My Abba is neither of these!

God is merciful, but God is also just.

Jonah 4:2
Amplified Bible (AMP)

2 And he prayed to the Lord and said, I pray You, O Lord, is not this just what I said when I was still in my country? That is why I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and [when sinners turn to You and meet Your conditions] You revoke the [sentence of] evil against them.

God is love, therefore He disciplines His kids.

Hebrews 12:6
Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes.

God is holy; He doesn't tolerate darkness.

1 John 1:5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

5 And this is the message [the message of promise] which we have heard from Him and now are reporting to you: God is Light, and there is no darkness in Him at all [no, not in any way].

I will spend my whole life and throughout eternity seeking to know Him. He amazes me with mercy and shocks me with reproof. His love swells my heart and repairs its breeches. He reveals Himself through circumstances in life.  He gives me the courage to walk the path set before me; I never walk alone!  

Monday, October 8, 2012

Isaiah 5-8: Hear and Don't Understand, See and Don't Apprehend

Isaiah 6:9

Amplified Bible (AMP)
And He said, Go and tell this people, Hear and hear continually, but understand not; and see and see continually, but do not apprehend with your mind.

This verse jumped out out me while reading because I was already meditating on how God's perfect spiritual gifts can become imperfect when used by men/women. 
Thinking about the times when the Lord whispers a word to my heart, understanding it and following through with it, convinces me that God does bestow revelatory gifts for ministry.  BUT I also think about the times when I heard and did not understand.
The longer I hang out with spirit-filled Christians, the more I realize that this is true with all people no matter how powerful and accurate the gift, it still flows through men and women who are inevitably influenced by the earthly realm.
I also think about the damage that can be done when mere man is placed on a pedestal for the gifts that God has given.  Honor, yes, absolutely.  Worship, no way!  
We are on a level playing field with each other, and the One we worship is God and God alone!

Acts 10:34-35

Amplified Bible (AMP)
34 And Peter opened his mouth and said: Most certainly and thoroughly I now perceive and understand that God shows no partiality and is no respecter of persons,
35 But in every nation he who venerates and has a reverential fear for God, treating Him with worshipful obedience and living uprightly, is acceptable to Him and sure of being received and welcomed [by Him].

My heart is realizing more and more how important it is to build our spiritual gifts on love's foundation.  We need to remember that our goal is to encourage each other using our gifts to assist others in their walk with the Lord.  
Yet, even with the root of love guiding us, there will still be misunderstandings. 

1 Corinthians 13:12

Amplified Bible (AMP)
12 For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood [by God]. 

Holy Spirit, I am so thankful for the ability to hear and see spiritually, but also am acutely aware that I am not perfect, neither is any other man perfect in hearing and seeing You!  Pour out Your fierce love on us.  As we use Your gifts in service of others let us all draw on this love as we interact with each other.  In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Your Love Never Fails!

Really enjoy this upbeat version of "Your Love Never Fails" by the Newsboys.

"You make all things work together for my good!"

Friday, October 5, 2012

Isaiah 1-4: His Glory Shall Be a Canopy

Isaiah 4:5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

5 And the Lord will create over the whole site, over every dwelling place of Mount Zion and over her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night; for over all the glory shall be a canopy (a defense of divine love and protection).

What beautiful imagery! I find myself imagining what that would look like...:)

I am remembering a dream from years ago. I observed the people worshiping in the sanctuary of the church I attend and a huge golden cloth was spread out over them. It was beautiful!

I understood at the time that it was the glory of God spread over His people, but now, years later, I find the Biblical reference for the dream. Thanks, Lord!!!

I also remember another promise of protection from God.

Isaiah 52:12
Amplified Bible (AMP)

12 For you will not go out with haste, nor will you go in flight [as was necessary when Israel left Egypt]; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.

God's glory protects you, and it protects me. That promise warms my heart and stirs my love for my Awesome Heavenly Father!

Spread out Your glory over us as You have promised, Lord. We need Your protection and love. All for You! In Jesus' name, AMEN!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

2 Kings 15; 2 Chronicles 26: Battles Forge Humility

2 Chronicles 26:3-5
Amplified Bible (AMP)

3 Uzziah was sixteen years old when he began his fifty-two-year reign in Jerusalem. His mother was Jecoliah of Jerusalem.

4 He did right in the Lord’s sight, to the extent of all that his father Amaziah had done.

5 He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the things of God; and as long as he sought (inquired of, yearned for) the Lord, God made him prosper.

Uzziah, a sixteen year old adolescent, was made king over the people of Israel.  The pressure and responsibility of being king, must have been overwhelming, but in that difficult place Uzziah sought the Lord.  The result...God made him prosper!

2 Chronicles 26, goes on to list the awesome accomplishments of King Uzziah.

  • He broke down his enemies walls and built cities within enemy territory.  (verse 6)

  • His fame spread to the border of Egypt because of his great strength. (verse 8)

  • He built strategic towers at key positions in Jerusalem and the wilderness.  (verse 9-10)

  • He hewed out cisterns for his livestock and had farmers and vinedressers. (verse 10)

  • His army was top notch, possessing defensive and offensive equipment.  (verse 11)

  • He even had a machine, which would shoot arrows and stones.  (verse 15)

  • He was marvelously helped by God!  (verse 15)

2 Chronicles 26:16
Amplified Bible (AMP)

16 But when [King Uzziah] was strong, he became proud to his destruction; and he trespassed against the Lord his God, for he went into the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.

King Uzziah had it all...strength, fame, power, position, wealth and most wonderful, the favor of God!  But often with great blessings comes the temptation to become proud, believing that somehow man made it happen.

King Uzziah became proud and that pride precipitated his destruction.  Hard words.  True words.

How can I apply this truth to my own life?

Although satan meant to destroy me through disease, emotional turmoil or disunity with others, God poured out His grace on me using those experiences to cause me to recognize my absolute and desperate need for Him!  

When we come to the conclusion that we cannot live this life apart from God, we find humility.

When battles come we can be thankful that God does bring good from them!  

Romans 8:28
Amplified Bible (AMP)

28 We are assured and know that God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose.

Abba, I cannot live this life apart from You.  I am in constant desperate need of Your wonderful grace.  Even now, the battle continues.  I will cling to You in humility knowing that You have the best in mind for me and my family.  I will always love You, Lord!  AMEN!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Our 28th Anniversary, Dear Strongman! :)

This day (28 years ago on September 22nd), 
I married my friend, 
the one I laugh with, 
live for, dream with, Love. 

Twenty-eight years later, 
we've have done all of that and more...

we've cried together, came to terms with our polar opposite differences, 

had arguments, served each other, 

and supported each other in pain-emotional and physical. 

Srongman, we have grown up together
and continue to grow. 

We have learned and are learning
persevering love. 

Happy Anniversary, Dear!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Jonah: I Don't Wanna, Daddy!

Jonah 1:1-3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah son of Amittai, saying,

2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and proclaim against it, for their wickedness has come up before Me.

3 But Jonah rose up to flee to Tarshish from being in the presence of the Lord [as His prophet] and went down to Joppa and found a ship going to Tarshish [the most remote of the Phoenician trading places then known]. So he paid the appointed fare and went down into the ship to go with them to Tarshish from being in the presence of the Lord [as His servant and minister].

Jonah was instructed by God to deliver a prophetic word of judgment against the city of Nineveh.  It's a very difficult assignment to tell a city or even one person that what they are doing is wrong.  I can understand completely what it feels like to be hesitant to deliver a word of correction, even if that word of correction turns a person from the world to God.

Jonah did not desire to put himself into the position of being thought of by man as "the bad guy."  Instead of obeying God immediately, he ran away from his assignment and his God.

As a young girl, I remember working with my dad.  One memory was helping dad mix cement.  It was strenuous and tiring, and I'm pretty sure I whined something like, "I don't wanna, daddy!"  My father, being a gentle and gracious man, didn't force me to do something I couldn't or didn't want to do.  Instead, he probably took me to Reed's Inn for lunch or a snack.  My father understood that I was a little girl.  That I was not strong enough or mature enough to complete the work of an adult.

I loved hanging out with my dad. 

Today, my Abba understands my areas of immaturity and weakness.  He may ask me to do or say something that I just don't wanna.  But like my earthly dad, my heavenly Daddy is full of gentle grace.  Be assured, I'm not speaking of the disobedience of sin.  Abba, does not tolerate sin! 

Abba knows me better than any other.  He knows my heart wants to be all that He desires.  He also knows that a child needs to mature in his ways.  I am learning to trust my Father when He tells me to speak or that He will give me the grace that I need to accomplish His directive.  But, I still miss His mark at times, cave into my immaturity, and may even whine, "I don't wanna, Daddy!"

Abba doesn't get angry or punish me for an immature heart, because that heart isn't intending to be disobedient.  That heart is just too immature to comprehend.  

Instead, my Abba calls me to come and hang out with Him and dine with Him at His banqueting table.  He knows that in His Presence I am changed; I am matured.  He knows that from glory to glory to glory, I am transformed into His Image.

I love hanging out with my Daddy (Abba).

Just like Jonah, I have a great mission.  Abba calls me, matures me, equips me.  He understands my immaturity and weaknesses, just as He understood Jonah's immaturity and weaknesses.  

However, Abba doesn't allow me or you to continue in immaturity.

My destiny is too great! 

Your destiny is too great!

Abba may send a modern day whale to transport us to the place of our assignment.  It may feel scary.  It may feel lonesome, but ultimately, Abba has only good in mind for us!

Abba, help us to trust and rely on Your grace when You ask us to say or do something that feels scary.  You are good always!  You love like no other!  Thank You for not allowing us to stay in our place of immaturity.  All for You, AMEN!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

2 Kings 14; 2 Chronicles 25: Find Yourself in a Battle?

King Amaziah, king of Judah decided it would be a good idea to build up his army. He assembled the men of Judah and Benjamin, 300,000 of them and proceeded to hire Israeli mercenaries for 100 talents a piece.

2 Chronicles 25:7-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 But a man of God came to him, saying, O king, do not let all this army of Ephraimites of Israel go with you [of Judah], for the Lord is not with you,

8 For if you go [in spite of warning], no matter how strong you are for battle, God will cast you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to cast down.

We can be assured that if follow God's lead, He not only helps us in the battle, but that battle belongs to Him. But sometimes we find ourselves in a battle, which the Lord did not command us to fight. It's a hard word, but God can't help us when we choose to do things our own way.

Christians who desire to be pleasing to God seek the Lord for the direction of their life, which ultimately leads to the battles we face. If we follow God's lead, we can be assured that God is with us in the battles of this life.

But what if we decided to go our own way?

This is where it gets a little sticky. From personal experience, the times when I missed the mark or misheard direction from the Lord were the times that led to battles resulting in great heartache. Yet, I never felt like the Lord left me to fight on my own during these times. I think it's because my heart was searching for God, His direction, and the right thing to do at the right time.

It was in some of the darkest seasons of my life, that the Lord revealed Himself to me with the most beautiful and powerful displays of His love. And some of these dark seasons were initiated by a decision to do what I wanted to do, rather than follow the direction of God.  I was immature and ignorant.

There are consequences for disobedience.

But in those consequences, we have a Father Who lovingly leads us back to the path He has preordained. If we humble ourselves in the midst of battle, God is so merciful and so loving, that He turns to hear our cries. He executes justice for those oppressed.

Psalm 146:6-8
Amplified Bible (AMP)

6 Who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, Who keeps truth and is faithful forever,

7 Who executes justice for the oppressed, Who gives food to the hungry. The Lord sets free the prisoners,

8 The Lord opens the eyes of the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down, the Lord loves the [uncompromisingly] righteous (those upright in heart and in right standing with Him).

The distinction is not made whether the oppressed person has been obedient or disobedient. The cause of the oppression is not mentioned.  I think of how God's mercies are new every morning. To me, that means if I messed up the previous day, God is longingly waiting for me to accept His mercy the next.

Lamentations 3:22-23
Amplified Bible (AMP)

22 It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

An oppressed person, whether by willful choice or not, is not consumed because God's tender compassions fail not!!!

This is the God I serve.  He is not One Who points a finger or disapprovingly scolds saying, "I told you so."  He is the One Who fights for the oppressed, loving calling and interceding, desiring for that one to receive the mercy and empowerment available to be set free from that oppression.

Yes, battles do come.  It's a part of living, but with God by our side we will ultimately be victorious!  And in the process learn, that God is God and we always need to follow His lead!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

2 Kings 12-13; 2 Chronicles 24: Never Fall Away

2 Kings 12:1 & 2
Amplified Bible (AMP)

In the seventh year of Jehu, Joash began to reign, and he reigned forty years in Jerusalem. His mother was Zibiah of Beersheba.

Joash did right in the sight of the Lord all his days in which Jehoiada the priest instructed him.

2 Chronicles 24:17-18
Amplified Bible (AMP)

Now after the death of Jehoiada [the priest, who had hidden Joash], the princes of Judah came and made obeisance to King Joash; then the king hearkened to them.

They forsook the house of the Lord, the God of their fathers, and served the Asherim and idols; and wrath came upon Judah and Jerusalem for their sin (guilt).

King Joash did what was right in the sight of God as long as Jehoiada, the priest was alive to guide him.  Once Jehoiada died, Joash fell into idolatry.  

God was not pleased.

Joash was blessed to have a godly priest encourage him in the ways of the Lord, but it seems apparent that Joash didn't have a personal relationship with the Lord or the death of Jehoiada wouldn't have resulted in Joash falling into idolatry.

As Christians today, we may have men who encourage us in our walk with the Lord, and that is a true blessing.  But, what if we don't have an earthly someone to encourage us?  

Will we fall away into idolatry just like Joash?

It is imperative that we place our trust in the Lord to guide us through this life.  We must build our own relationship with God.  Relationships built vicariously won't stand the tests of fire that inevitably will come as we live on this earth.  Merely attending weekly services won't empower us to walk through this life.

Personally, I have learned that even the most encouraging, godly man is still just a man and therefore falls short sometimes, just like me.  Even though that was a hard lesson to learn, it was a valuable lesson.

Please hear me.  I'm not saying to disregard the input of godly men/women in your life.  I am saying that we must learn to hear the Lord for ourselves, get our marching orders from Him.  Yes, listen for God's voice through men, but learn to hear His voice apart from man as well.

Trials come.  Temptations abound.  Heartache is as much a part of living as joy, but God's Spirit holds our hearts 24/7, something man is incapable of accomplishing.

Lord, build a relationship between You and me.  Allow me to hear You clearly and not fall away if man is unavailable or incapable of encouraging me in my walk with You.  Give me ears to hear and eyes to see.  All the days of my life, I give to  You.  Empower me.  In Jesus' name.  AMEN!

Monday, September 10, 2012

2 Kings 9-11: Homocidal Grandmother

2 Kings 11:1-3
Amplified Bible (AMP)

1 When Athaliah the mother of [King] Ahaziah [of Judah] saw that her son was dead, she arose and destroyed all the royal descendants.

2 But Jehosheba, the daughter of King Jehoram, [half] sister of Ahaziah, stole Joash son of Ahaziah from among the king’s sons, who were to be slain, even him and his nurse, and hid them from Athaliah in an inner storeroom for beds; so he was not slain.

3 Joash was with his nurse hidden in the house of the Lord for six years. And Athaliah reigned over the land.

I cannot comprehend an evil so great that it would induce a grandmother to seek out and kill her grandchildren.  I think of the idiom, "Absolute power corrupts absolutely."  Athaliah was power hungry, and it corrupted her absolutely.  She wanted to reign as queen no matter what the cost even if that cost was her son's children!

I think about people who are power hungry and wonder what about the root of this unhealthy desire.  These are my thoughts.

Fear seduces people into acting out evil.

Fear can sometimes cause people to act in ways that hurt others, ultimately injuring themselves in the process.  Athaliah lived during a time when the norm was for the reigning monarch to kill all those in line of succession.  

When Athaliah ordered the death of her progeny, could it be that she afraid for her own life?  Was she afraid that the next person to ascend the throne would have her murdered?

Although she did everything she could to protect herself, the thing she feared is the thing that eventually came upon her.

Job 3:25
Amplified Bible (AMP)

For the thing which I greatly fear comes upon me, and that of which I am afraid befalls me.

2 Kings 11:15 & 16

Jehoiada the priest ordered the commanders of units of a hundred, who were in charge of the troops: “Bring her out between the ranks and put to the sword anyone who follows her.” For the priest had said, “She must not be put to death in the temple of the Lord.” So they seized her as she reached the place where the horses enter the palace grounds, and there she was put to death.

I have been writing this post for some time now, never seeming to be able to put my thoughts into writing.  Today, I feel it is imperative for myself and others to recognize the temptations of the spirit of fear.  

Fear desires to separate.  

Fear longs to cut off destinies.  

Fear seeks to muzzle into submission.  

Fear is a spirit we cannot tolerate.  It separates.  It muzzles.  It controls.  But it has no power where Peace reigns. 

Reign in us, Prince of Peace!  AMEN!!!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Lights Cover

I'm so proud of my Saturday son, iBeJulio! So proud of Consecrated, my biological son, the Video Director/Editor, and Sleightly Prismatic, my former science/biology student, performing fantastic cinematography! Love this!!!!

Please check out my son's professional site.

I am one proud Momma!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Even As My Soul Prospers

Dear Praying Friends and Family,


My soul has been prospering!  Thankfulness has been overwhelming my soul for all the wonderful blessings the Lord has been lavishing on me.  Peace and rest now rule a soul once stirred by every storm front.  That is reality, and it does not change with this new storm development.


Yesterday, my plastic surgeon checked an area of suspicion on my right side afterwards declaring that it must be surgically removed for biopsy.  He feels it may be scar tissue or possibly a lymph node.  The formation of scar tissue would be a normal result of all the surgical procedures from 2011, but being able to feel a lymph node is not normal.


I am scheduled for surgery on September 26th at Harrisburg Hospital.



Please Pray...


*that the lump is benign. 


*that it is not a lymph node.  The more lymph nodes removed, the more chance for lymph edema, which would cause swelling in my arm and an increased risk for infection.


*that my soul continues in peace and rest.


*that my life would shine as an example of what trusting Jesus looks like no matter what type of storm presents.


*that my men (Strongman, Consecrated and Fire) would walk out their destinies and not be distracted by my physical challenges.



I just completed another race this past Saturday and continue to see increased strength and health rise up in me!  My physical body IS prospering just like my soul is prospering! 



Thank you for standing with me in prayer as the Holy Spirit directs!


My Love Continues Always...

Beautiful Grace



3 John 1:2

Amplified Bible (AMP)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.