Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Exodus 25-27: Shine in the Night

Exodus 21:20 “You shall command the Israelites to provide you with pure oil of crushed olives for the light, to cause it to burn continually [every night].”

Exodus 21:21 “In the Tent of Meeting [of God with His people], outside the veil which sets apart the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall keep it burning from evening to morning before the Lord. It shall be a statute to be observed on behalf of the Israelites throughout their generations.”
God wants His temple to shine. We are His temples, and the fuel causing us to shine is the oil of the Holy Spirit. As living vessels, it is our responsibility to ensure we are filled with “oil,” burning brightly through the night. God wants us to shine in order to bring light to those trapped in the darkness. The fire coming from us leads others to Him.
I find it curious that the oil used to fuel the temples lights was olive oil, the same oil that my doctor told me is the best oil for me to eat. I see symbols in just about everything. ;)
Give me Your oil, Lord. I want to shine through the night for You!!!!
I just thought of a song that I sang as a child.  Be blessed as you listen.  :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Exodus 22-24: God IS Listening

Exodus 23:1 “YOU SHALL not repeat or raise a false report; you shall not join with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.”

Exodus 23:7 “Keep far from a false matter and [be very careful] not to condemn to death the innocent and the righteous, for I will not justify and acquit the wicked.”

Underlined, highlighted, and starred! Let’s not be part of releasing a spiritual battle against someone, because gossip, false reports and condemnation of one another do just that. Our words have power and God IS listening.

Enough said…

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Exodus 19-21: Can’t Wait to be a Grandmother...

Beautiful Grace is sometimes led into the wilderness to be tested…
With tests we get to prove our love to God!

Exodus 20:4-6 

You shall not make yourself any graven image [to worship it] or any likeness of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; You shall not bow down yourself to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generation of those who hate Me, But showing mercy and steadfast love to a thousand generations of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

Many years ago, I had a frightening dream. satan was in my house and going from one family picture to another (I have family pictures all over the walls in my kitchen and living room). He would stop and leer at each picture, attempting to claw it and shred it to pieces, but the glass was protecting the picture of our family. I awoke, frightened at first, but then God gave me the understanding of the dream.

satan always will attempt to destroy God’s people, especially family units, BUT “I Am the One protecting you.” The glass covering the picture was a symbol for the Lord’s protection!!! He then directed me to place promise verses over each picture. The verse over one of the pictures is Exodus 20:6. He shows me and my family His mercy and love to a thousand generations, because I love Him and prove my love by obedience. Wow, wow, wow!!! Can’t wait to be a grandmother and great grandmother, and great great grandmother… You get the picture!!!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Exodus 16-18: Deliverance by Stages

Exodus 16:16 “This is what the Lord has commanded: Let every man gather of it as much as he will need, an omer for each person, according to the number of your persons; take it, every man for those in his tent.”

I was curious just how an omer correlated to modern day measurements. One omer is equivalent to 10 cups. That’s 10 cups per person of manna!

Exodus 17:1 “ALL THE congregation of the Israelites moved on from the Wilderness of Sin by stages, according to the commandment of the Lord, and encamped at Rephidim; but there was no water for the people to drink.”

What jumped out at me was how the Israelites moved on from the Wilderness of Sin…by stages. I have found deliverance of sin habits to be more of a stage by stage or little by little process. Yes, God can and sometimes does deliver a person in a moment as we stand before His throne, but I believe the majority of the time deliverance comes in stages, which allows us to choose God each time a particular temptation comes our way. Each time we choose God, our inner, spirit-man is strengthened and the old man, who already is dead but attempting to revive, is pushed back in his grave.

Exodus 18:11 & 12 “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods. Yes, in the [very] thing in which they dealt proudly [He showed Himself infinitely superior to all their gods]. And Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, took a burnt offering and sacrifices [to offer] to God, and Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses’ father-in-law before God.”

One of the many things I love about my God is that He is a Multitasker (something He is teaching me). He delivers His people using mighty and awesome miracles while others watch. When going through a trial, be assured our non-Christian co-workers and friends are watching, watching to see our response to the situation and just how God’s hand of deliverance will manifest. Our greatest witness to others can be Peace emanating from us when everything around us shakes. It’s this witness that shows others that God is real and “Maybe He can do the same for me?” 

Jethro saw what God had done for Moses and the Israelites, and he acknowledged God’s superiority verbally and through sacrifice. Jethro was changed. How many others around us are being changed by what God does for us?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Exodus 13-15: Consecrated and Protected

Exodus 13:1 & 2 “THE LORD said to Moses, Sanctify (consecrate, set apart) to Me all the firstborn [males]; whatever is first to open the womb among the Israelites, both of man and of beast, is Mine.”

Exodus 13:14 & 15 “And when, in time to come, your son asks you, What does this mean? You shall say to him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage and bondmen. For when Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the Lord slew all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both the firstborn of man and of livestock. Therefore I sacrifice to the Lord all the males that first open the womb; but all the firstborn of my sons I redeem.”

You may remember the “internet code name” that I have given my firstborn son is “Consecrated.” The above verses tells of God’s command to set apart all firstborn to Him. I remember when Consecrated was a baby, how I held him in my arms, but declared to the Lord, “He is set apart for You.”
I read aloud the above verses to my beloved, firstborn son just a few minutes ago to remind him of his value to God. He stopped working on his computerized, 3 dimensional gear clock as I spoke, and it occurred to me the awesome talents with which the Lord has gifted Consecrated. Abba sets us apart, consecrates us for Himself, and gifts us to complete whatever destiny He has chosen for us. I am in awe of my God!!!

Exodus 14:14 “The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest.”

I have this particular verse underlined, highlighted and starred in my Bible. Abba has shown me many, many times that whether the evil one manifests through a person or situation or disease or emotional upheaval, my part is to “hold my peace and remain at rest.” He always fights for me!!!! I just need to be patient and watch just how He defeats the enemy that confronts me.

Lord, I love that You are my "Knight in Shining Armor," the One full of all power and might, the One Who knows me best and loves me the most!!!! Praise be to You, my God and my King!!!!  I also love that You are in the process of consecrating all of us, making us holy.  Thank You, for loving us that much!!!  Your own, Beautiful Grace

Monday, February 20, 2012

Exodus 10-12: Worthy is the Lamb

Listen to this song while you read my post.  :)

Exodus 12:17 "And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day have I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt; therefore shall you observe this day throughout your generations as an ordinance forever."

I remember the powerful Presence of the Lord at my first celebration of the Passover. My friend and her husband had invited my family to share in the Seder, the name for the symbolic meal served.  Each step of the Seder retraces Israel's captivity in Egypt, the means God used for its deliverance, and the promise of the coming Messiah.  

This Messianic Jewish service recounts the awesomeness of God’s deliverance of Israel and the symbolic parallels to Jesus and our own deliverance!  

My favorite part of the ceremony was the symbolical inviting of Elijah into the home of the celebration.  The Old Testament Prophet, Elijah, prophetically symbolizes God's Spirit...Wow!!!  I could actually feel the Presence of God's Spirit when the invitation was given.

The Holy Spirit loves to come and be with us, encouraging and empowering us as we walk through this sometimes challenging life.

If you ever have the chance to celebrate the Passover Seder, do it!

Holy Spirit,you have already come into my life, reveal Yourself in deep and powerful ways to me and my family, which are uniquely tailored to each of us as individuals and as a family unit.  In the powerful and beautiful name of Jesus, AMEN!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Exodus 7-9: Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

When all around us is shaking, choosing to focus on Jesus…His beauty, His holiness, His perfect love, His power, stirs the heart of a worshiper. The core of our being gets caught up in His reality and we become one with Him, “And the things of this world grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace” by Hel­en H. Lem­mel from “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.”

Bless the Lord, oh my soul. I will not forget the benefits of basking in Your Presence!!!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Exodus 4-6: God Conscious, Not Self-Conscious

Face to face articulation has never been one of my gifts.  Yes, I do fine in some circumstances, but in general, I'm not one to stand up and speak to a group of people.  

Exodus 4:10

Amplified Bible (AMP)
"And Moses said to the Lord, O Lord, I am not eloquent or a man of words, neither before nor since You have spoken to Your servant; for I am slow of speech and have a heavy and awkward tongue."

I can identify with Moses.  Both of us suffer(ed) from self-consciousness and the fear of man. 

Just recently, I turned down the co-chair position of a professional committee at work, because I doubted my ability to communicate effectively to leadership within the hospital.  Instead of asking the Lord, if He would have me do this, I reverted to self-consciousness and fear of speaking before man.  I know if God would have wanted me to hold this position, He would have equipped my mouth, yet, in the moment, I declined.

Exodus 4:11-12

Amplified Bible (AMP)
"And the Lord said to him, Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the dumb, or the deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? Is it not I, the Lord?

Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and will teach you what you shall say."

Jesus, You know me better than any other person.  Empower me to base decisions on what You say, rather then on my own perceived weaknesses.  I desire for me to be God-conscious, not self-conscious.  I thank You that another opportunity will come.  I will pass the test with Your help.  All for You, Jesus, AMEN!!!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Exodus 1-3: Oppression and Affliction, Good?

I really like these verses from the Amplified version.

Exodus 3:14 “And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM and WHAT I AM, and I WILL BE WHAT I WILL BE; and He said, You shall say this to the Israelites: I AM has sent me to you!”

Exodus 1:11-12 “So they set over [the Israelites] taskmasters to afflict and oppress them with [increased] burdens. And [the Israelites] built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more [the Egyptians] oppressed them, the more they multiplied and expanded, so that [the Egyptians] were vexed and alarmed because of the Israelite.”

These verses stir hope and confidence that as oppression and affliction comes, God may be using it to multiply and expand... our descendants, our possessions, our spiritual maturity, our giftings, the manifestation of Spiritual fruit.
Thank You, Lord, that no experience is wasted, whether we deem it to be good or bad. They are so many things in this life which are incomprehensible to human understanding, BUT You know all!!! Your thoughts and ways are higher than ours!!!

Isaiah 55:8-9 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Genesis 48-50: Greater Good From Lesser Evil

Israel (Jacob) had died and Joseph’s brothers were scared, scared that now Joseph would enact revenge upon them for the horrible way they had treated him in the past. Just as the brothers couldn't see the heart of Joseph as they sold him into slavery many years before, they still couldn't see his present heart. Joseph could have used his influence to seek revenge, but forgiveness prevailed.

Genesis 50:20 “As for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring about that many people should be kept alive, as they are this day.”

Joseph’s attitude mirrors the heart of Jesus. Jesus laid down his life for those who had sinned against him and releases eternal life for all who will receive it. Joseph lays down vengeance and releases forgiveness. What a beautiful picture!
Could it be the evil that has been perpetuated against us has some greater, far-reaching purpose, redeeming many?
If you have trouble forgiving, I suggest you watch Mel Gibson's "Passion" movie.  Years ago, I was struggling with the anger and hurt of mistreatment and felt led to watch the movie.  Seeing the abuse and mistreatment of Jesus caused me to rethink my light afflictions.  I was on my knees in tears asking for forgiveness, then prayed passionately for those who wounded me.  In this case, prayer was the greater good. 
Abba, empower us with the heart of forgiveness, knowing that there may be a greater good coming from the lesser evil. In the name of my Beautiful Jesus, AMEN!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Appointed Time: Snowflakes of Grace

10/14/03 Snowflakes Dream

God gave me a “Snowflakes” Dream, as direction and encouragement during this very difficult period in my life.    The initial portion of the dream was chaotic, but symbolically replaying what had been occurring in the natural.  

Later, I found myself standing on the grass in the backyard of my house.  Strongman was with me, along with a group of unfamiliar people. Suddenly, it began to snow.  I looked at the flakes, actually seeing the crystalline pattern of each individual, as though they had been magnified with a microscope. Each flake had be enlarged to the diameter of a tennis ball.  

Amazed by what I saw, I said, “Look, aren't they beautiful?” but no one else could see them. 

The dream concluded by depicting potentially life-threatening circumstances for me and my family.  Those images symbolically directed me.  

Later, these circumstances played themselves out in the earthly reality.  I am thankful I paid attention and obeyed the direction of this dream.  My family and I were spared from the fallout!

Upon waking, I asked the Lord what the snowflakes symbolized.  I felt like the Lord told me that the snowflakes represented His grace. :)

10/15/03  Vision of Snowflakes at Shane and Shane Concert

While engaged in worship during the Shane and Shane concert at Christ Community Church, I was overcome with emotion...the Spirit beautifully touched my tattered soul in such deep ways that I began to cry uncontrollably.  The tears flowed so much that they dripped on the carpet leaving a huge wet spot.  During this beautiful interaction with the Spirit, I looked up to see the very same enlarged snowflakes that I had seen in my dream the night before.  These grace flakes were falling over the unsuspecting congregation gathered to worship.  

Oh, how beautiful is the Lord!!!

12/17/03  The Snowflake Painting

As I left the CCC sanctuary, I came upon this beautiful painting.

Here's a close up of the snowflakes falling on the woman.  

I knew I had heard the Lord's direction correctly in my Dream.  He was reminding me of His power (grace) to remove any mountain set against me!  

Who are you, oh mountain to be set before the beloved of Jesus? I shout Grace, Grace, Grace!!!

Zechariah 4:7
"For who are you, O great mountain [of human obstacles]? Before Zerubbabel [who with Joshua had led the return of the exiles from Babylon and was undertaking the rebuilding of the temple, before him] you shall become a plain [a mere molehill]! And he shall bring forth the finishing gable stone [of the new temple] with loud shoutings of the people, crying, Grace, grace to it!"

The absolute beautifully powerful ending (or is it the beginning) of this story transpired a few months later while telling my friend about the dream, the vision and the painting.  She looked shocked as I relayed my story...

She told me that a few weeks earlier her four-year old son had insisted he saw huge snowflakes falling while they were driving.  He kept on insisting, but my friend chided him saying, "It's not snowing."  My friend's little boy could see the grace being poured out in the spirit!!!!

I am writing this story now as a reminder to myself and to others that God IS pouring out His grace!!!  No matter what heartache or difficult situation, His power will cause that mountain to become a molehill!!!

For the honor and glory of the One called, JESUS!!!

With Much Love...
Beautiful Grace

Friday, February 10, 2012

Genesis 46 & 47: What's So Bad About a Shepherd?

Genesis 46:33 & 34
“When Pharaoh calls you and says, What is your occupation?
You shall say, Your servants’ occupation has been as keepers of livestock from our youth until now, both we and our fathers before us–in order that you may live in the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”

Egypt symbolizes bondage, oppression, and slavery, a picture of what the evil one does to people. A shepherd is one who tends, cares for, and protects a flock of animals, allowing them to roam freely through the grazing fields within the boundaries set by him. 

Jesus is the Great Shepherd!

Doesn’t it make sense then that the Egyptians, symbolizing the bond masters of God's people, would despise shepherds, symbolizing those who tend and protect God's people?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sowing in Tears...The Sheaves Will Thank You

Tears have always come easily to me. Whether sadness, joy, anger or overwhelm, tears seem to be an expression of the unique personality God has given me. My favorite tears are ones shed in His Presence, a way of responding to One, Most Beautiful and Holy! BUT tears should never drive us to isolation or cause us to sink into the "Slough of Despond." (from Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan)

Let's take the difficult circumstances, shed tears or "liquid prayer" as Charles Spurgeon coined, and then reap with songs of joy! Let's take those tears with us as we minister to others while we still are in the midst of our own trials! Many sheaves will thank you!!!

Love you ALL...
Beautiful Grace

Sowing In Tears
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1, by Os Hillman

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." - Psalm 126:5 

Psalm 126 describes an interesting process that goes against our natural tendencies when we are taken into a difficult period in our lives. Whenever we are hurled into a crisis that brings tears, our tendency is to retreat or recoil in fear and hurt. However, there is a better way that God tells us to handle such times of travail. 

Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. "He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him" (Ps. 126:5-6). God is telling us that if we will do what is unnatural for us in these circumstances, He will make sure that what we sow in tears will return in joy. This is one of the most important lessons I have learned when faced with difficult circumstances. Rather than sit back and allow self-pity and discouragement to consume us, we should plant seed during this time. Reach out to a person who needs a friend. Invest in the life of another. See where you can be a blessing to someone. Give of yourself. 

The psalmist acknowledges that we are doing this while we are in our pain. However, during this time we are to sow seed. That seed will return to us in another form. Here is what will happen when we do this. "He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." We will receive joy and fruit from the seed that we plant during this time. Sheaves represent the fruit of a harvest. We will actually get a harvest from this seed. 

"You must not let the circumstances destroy you! Too many in the Kingdom are counting on you to come through this because of the calling on your life!" Those were the words spoken to me by a friend one time when I was in the midst of a very difficult business and personal circumstance that was threatening to destroy me emotionally. This person saw what God was doing and the fruit that God wanted to bring from these circumstances. Sometimes we need others around us to push us through the difficult times. If you find yourself in a difficult place today, see where you can sow some seed. Soon you will be reaping songs of joy.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Genesis 43-45: Happily Ever After...At Least For a Little While

Joseph's Brothers Beg For Help
Pontormo c.1515

I believe, Genesis 44 depicts Joseph’s attempt at determining the character of his brothers. Did they put jealousy behind them? Are they now more concerned about the welfare of others above themselves? Yes and Yes!

Not only had Joseph grown mature, but his older brothers had also. This beautiful story reads somewhat like a fairy tale…and they lived happily ever after, at least for the next several decades; we will read about that a few chapters from today.

Abba, You design the most fascinating stories. Even my own life reads like a novel.  Each of Your kids' lives have a story waiting to be told.  Empower us to tell our stories for the glory of One!!!!  AMEN!!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

No Storm or Trial Can Deter Love

Dear Caring and Praying Friends,
Yesterday marked the One Year Anniversary of being a cancer overcomer!!!  I am victorious with Jesus!!!

1 John 5:4,5— "For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?"

What have I learned during this past year?

-It doesn't matter what mountain is faced.  It only matters that I do it with Jesus!

-Earthly relationships are a blessing, and we should always fight for them!

-Facing a trial with friends/family as backup, makes all the difference!

-God provides, ALWAYS!

-Beauty lies within and no battle scars will ever extinguish it!

-Thou shalt sweat, it does a body good!

-God's peace speaks much louder than words!

-Old dietary habits can be changed!

-I need to  keep informed regarding pesticides and preservatives.  It's a life and death matter!

-I am blessed with awesome friends and family!

-My oncologist and surgeon were thrilled by my lifestyle changes!

-I am not made to live inside a box, whether religious or medical!

-A couch potato can be transformed into a 5K runner!

-Jesus touches my soul at just the right time!

-Passion for Jesus, draws others towards Him!

-Hold life loosely, knowing earth is not my true home!

-I am valuable, cherished, and empowered!

-Don't waste time looking inward, because self-pity is ready to pounce!

-Always look outward, many need to be shown love and hope!

I have one additional surgical procedure coming up in March.  It will be done in the plastic surgeon's office; it's not as extensive as the previous procedures, but I will send a prayer request email out anyway. 

May the Lord bless you and keep you.  May His face shine bightly upon you giving you peace and health and the full measure of salvation!

With Much Love Always...
Beautiful Grace

P.S.  No storm or trial will keep me from being loved or stop me from loving you!