Saturday, April 30, 2011

Came to the Rescue

2 Samuel 21:17 ~ Abishai came to the rescue of David

I want you to picture with me the scene of once again the Israelites were battling the Giants of Philistine. The people that the giant that David fought and won were back to fight once again. David was a proud king and you know that he wanted nothing more than to once again destroy these giants.

David was no longer the young shepherd that killed bears and giants. David had become a much older man, suffering from probably years of battle injuries, aging, and maybe not quite as tough mentally. You know David wanted to fight and win. You feel it in your own being just thinking about all we know about David, but this time it wasn't to be. No the king became weak and exhausted we are told and one of the giants had cornered David and someone had to rescue David.

My heart aches for David, but is excited for the young warrior that was able to save the king. It was time for David to be supported by those around him and to allow others to grow and have success. It was time for David to encourage others, but don't you know his heart ached that he was longer the MIGHTY Warrior. God provided a helper to save David from the giant. God provides when we face our giants. We are not able to fight and win without God fighting for us! I don't know what you might be facing, but we all face a giant of some sort ~ the only way to beat the giant is with God fighting the giant for you. Give your giant to God and let Him win the battle!

Sweet blessings,

Friday, April 29, 2011

Awake thinking of you

Today's reading filled me with so many different feelings. I placed myself in David's shoes and felt disappointment, grieve, relief, protected, surrounded, wonder, alone, but loved the entire time. The question running through my mind was how David felt running from his son. A son that no matter what this father still loved. Absalom wanted to kill his father. How did they allow their relationship to get to this point?

We turn on our televisions and hear similar stories. How do we get to the point that we want to harm the ones we love or loved at one point? Oh I know we all have those brief moments that we might spout off, but to actually try or do it? It just saddened my heart.

I got to Psalm 63 and my spirit lifted probably much like David's. I researched and a lot of scholars think that perhaps David wrote this in the forest and not the wilderness, but either way he is alone, running from someone that is after him. What does David do? David praises God! I absolutely loved the following verses:
"I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. Because you are my helper, I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings. I cling to you; your strong hand holds me securely."

On those nights that you are unable to sleep do you meditate on God? Imagine, wilderness or forest, laying on his pallet waiting, waiting, waiting...David mediated which original translation meant to speak, muse, mutter, or meditate on God! Don't you feel your body relax just thinking of the same thing? Don't you know that his entire body felt at ease and filled with the Spirit knowing that God was with him? If we would do the same thing, I believe that sleep might come much easier. Rather than tossing and turning our minds would be filled with awe and wonder of God and know that we too are protected!

Protected just like a momma bird protects her babies or any other animal...fiercely! WE all know that our mommas will protect us no matter what...So does our Father in Heaven! I absolutely loved the reading today with King David running and yet he still turned to God for protection! He still knew where to put his thoughts to feel peace and protection. Do we?

When you lay down tonight put your thoughts on Jesus. I imagine that sleep will come much easier just like the rest of life does when we place our thoughts on Him!

Sweet blessings,

Prayer Special: Today please pray for all the people in the aftermath of the tornadoes that ravaged our South. Pray for strength for those that lost loved ones, pray for courage for those helping the recovery efforts, pray that all the people suffering will see God everywhere they turn in the aftermath. I say this because after I lost my home to fire a few years ago ~ I got through because God showed up everywhere! So, turn to God!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Where did the love go?

2 Samuel 13 - A Sister wronged by two brothers...

Sadness overwhelmed me reading this story today about Tamar, Absalom, and Amnon. A family that had serious issues even before this awful incident! After all, for a rape of a sister by a brother to even happen the family wasn't the way it should have been.

Do you find it interesting that this situation happened or at least is told right after David's own incident with Bathsheba and the baby dying? I don't. After all, boys look to their fathers for guidance and perhaps that was part of it. I think jealousy had been brewing in this family a long time between women that fell right down through to the children.

David didn't show control, so why should his sons? David took what he desired and so did Amnon. Two terrible acts, two terrible results! A bad choice and a bad result follows.

Tamar was a victim. A victim tossed about by the men surrounding her. Her father didn't think about giving the okay for her to tend to her brother after all the men were what mattered. The brother was sick, so it was okay for the sister to take care of him. Although, he had servants for this action. What was David thinking? Next, her brother Amnon desired her. Of course, immediately after taking her his so called love turned to hate. I think because of the awful sin and guilt he felt the guilt overtook him and he shouted "Get up and get out." She had begged him not to do this and now he was shoving her away. Oh the terrible pain! Oh the terrible wrong done to this young girl.

Tamar leaves in grief. Wailing and beside herself she ends up with her brother Absalom. Absalom tells her to wait until he decides the course of action. Now this brother had his eye on the throne all along and this helps his situation out...Then the one she goes to tells her - Don't take this to heart. The NIV states the Living tells us Don't you worry about it! Well, how could you do either one? Tamar lived the rest of her life a desolate woman in her brother's house. A house that would never know peace again!

Revenge and power that from now on represent this story! Absalom's desire for both of these two actions will bring down his world and those around him. Did anyone think about Tamar ever again? Do you wonder what happened to Tamar? We are left with she was a desolate woman in the home of Absalom. Her own brother stole her life from her...What happened to Tamar? Do you think she felt her father's love? Do you think she gave forgiveness to all that wronged her? Do you think she ever got over this terrible incident?

Choices. We all make them moment to moment, day to day, year to year. Do we think about end results in making them or just decide what we want and take it? Think before deciding!

Sweet blessings,

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Grass is Always Greener

2 Samuel 11:4 ~ David sent messengers to get her...

David stayed home from the battle. Grew restless. Walked on his roof and spotted another man's wife and decided he wanted her. So he sent for her! How many wives and concubines did David have at this point? At least six wifes and who knows how many concubines, but he needed one more woman. A different woman, a beautiful woman whose husband was off fighting the battle that the King should have been fighting too!

David had plenty at home, but yet he wanted more! Does this ever describe us? It does me. Oh, not men. I've got the only one of those that I want, but the other could be other desires such as treasures, latest toy, latest gadget, latest whatever...Do we have to have it or we'll die? Nope, we just want it.

We haven't changed much at all from the time of David. Focus, Focus, is so important. If we allow the devil to shift our focus, change our focus from where it should be he slips in desires that we don't need! Choices that might have consequences just like David's did!

Boredom gets in the path that helps to pave the way to destruction. Have you ever noticed in your own journey when you are bored that you might make a bad decision? David did!

Taking things that aren't ours will also sink our ship. We see something think nobody will ever know and oops our ship is at the bottom of the ocean. Bathsheba was another man's wife and she wasn't David's for the taking. His family lived by the sword the rest of his life. Sons killed each other and then sons came after their father. Family unrest, family hatred of each other all caused by taking something that wasn't his.

Next time you think that grass looks greener on the other side ~ rethink your position. Perhaps move a little and see that it doesn't really look that much different from what you already have at home!!!

Sweet blessings,

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Seed of Doubt

2 Samuel 10: 2 ~ Do you really think these men are coming here to honor your father?

The seed of doubt is planted without much work. King Nahash was an enemy of Saul, but a friend of David's many think in a covenant relationship with David. So being in this type of relationship David wanted to honor his friend. A friend that had supported him against through the Saul situation.

Rather than receiving them with honor he allowed the seed of doubt to fester and grow into an act that he shamed these men of honor that David had sent. He seized these men and shaved off half their beards. A act that showed insult and submission. An act that would plant deep seeds of anger in the hearts of those involved. Not only did he shave their beards he cut off half their robes. Cutting off half of the robe exposing the buttocks was very shameful. It was an act done to many prisoners of war, so the men were filled with shame.

Imagine, they went to honor a man that their leader had a covenant relationship with and they are received with acts that filled them with shame. Honor replaced with shame from small seeds of doubt of men that were filled with fear to commit such an act. An unprovoked act!

God was on the side of Israel and of course, they won the blessing of God. What did the Ammonites end up with ~ defeat! Why? Doubt! Doubt is a dangerous seed to plant in a person. Doubt leads to many unknown factors when we could just has easily choose to trust the other person acts in an honorable way rather than assuming the worst!

Today, assume the best! Assume the positive! Choose to trust!

Sweet blessings,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Give a lasting dynasty!

2 Samuel 7 - You speak of giving your servant a lasting dynasty...

David was told he would have a lasting dynasty by the LORD ~ unlike Saul. His son will build a temple for the LORD not David. We are told that David went and sat before the LORD and prayed. He went to give thanks for all that the LORD was and is...He praised God for all He had done saving the people from Egypt, miracles, removed nations that stood in the way of the KINGDOM.

David the shepherd, the warrior, the harpist, the king was giving praise to the King of Kings and LORD of LORDS...Have you? Today is Easter. Jesus rose to give us eternal life...something we could never earn...a gift because never could we achieve eternal life because of our evil desires. Jesus died for me and you and today is a day that should be the reminder of giving thanks every other day, moment, second of our life...a gift we never could deserve, but are given!

Praise be to God! Thank you Father!

Sweet blessings,

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Dancing with all he had...

2 Samuel 6:14 ~ And David danced before the LORD with all his might...

Today, the day before Easter reading this touched my heart deeply. David was bringing the ark back to be placed in a special place and David was worshiping with all of his might! He was celebrating Our Lord and he didn't care what anybody thought...

When was the last time you worshiped without giving any thought to anybody around you and what they think? Honestly now...Here is the king one reading says danced with all his might from Samuel from 1 Chornicles it says skipping about and laughing with joy..the NIV says leaping and dancing before the Lord...He was ecstatic and filled with love for the LORD!

The king was only concerned with the LORD no one else. No thoughts of what others were thinking only consumed with the LORD. The photo of the man dancing alone on a beach with no one around was beautiful to me...I wondered would he have danced with others there?

The story went on to Michal, she watched the Word tells us filled with contempt for him. (David) I think and this is a Debbie thought perhaps because she was never able to let go and be who she was made to be. She was holding on to her perceptions of what royalty should be and how they should act rather than be who God designed her to be...she blamed David for being able to let go. She also probably held bottled up jealousy, mixed with love and hate from David leaving her behind and then she had rebuilt her life and he took her back because she was his...She was suffering and her thoughts show the feelings centered around David. I wish we knew more about her we know she never had children some believe partly due to this story and her feelings towards David that the LORD disciplined her.

I don't know, but she loved David at one point. She saved him from her father and her father gave her to another man. Another man we know loved her after all we saw he followed behind her openly weeping as she was taken away to go back to David. No choices of her own, but still her feelings were very much real and her heart was broken. Words fell out of her mouth to hurt David and they hurt her. He must have felt pain in his heart for her, wishing you could worship the LORD and truly feel God's love instead of the pain.

Tomorrow is Easter and the LORD is risen! Praise God with all your heart! Give thanks for because of HIM we all have VICTORY over the grave! He gave His life for you and for me and indeed we should shout hallelujah and dance with abandon Praising God with all our might! Invite someone to church! Share your testimony with others!
Let His Light Shine through you!

Sweet blessings,

Prayer Special: Pray for the people in St. Louis and others in the wake of this storm!

Friday, April 22, 2011

God Did It!

1 Chronicles 14:8-17

I love this story about David defeating the Philistines. Why?

David consulted with God before he did anything...Should I go fight? Will you hand them over to me? Yes, go ahead God replied....First lesson for us - Consult God. Talk to Him and wait for His reply. He does answer it's just on His time table not ours...

David gave God the praise for winning the battle. -- God did it! He just used me to burst through my enemies like a raging flood! How many battles as God won for you? Did you give Him the credit He deserved? Did you share it with anybody how you got through your difficult battle? How you finally won the war? did you share it? We are suppose to share God's praises with others!

The enemy returns. Do you consult God? David did! He didn't remember the last battle being his. He remembered God won the war. So again he asked of God, "Do I attack straight on," God replied, No, circle around behind and attack near the poplar trees...when you hear the sound of marching feet in the tops of the trees go out and attack. that is the sign that God is moving ahead of you...Do you follow God's instructions?

God went ahead of them. Imagine, the sound of those trees for the Philistine army. God moving through those trees and it sounded like marching feet of an army headed at you. The fear that went through each of these men; must have been huge! God will win our battles for us! Imagine, the cowering of the enemy knowing that God is fighting our battles not us! The enemy knows that before we go to battle we consult with God and he doesn't stand a chance!

Today whatever you face talk to God first! Ask Him to guide you and show you how to fight the battle...whatever it is! Whether it is a small matter or a huge matter give it to God and let Him fight the battle! Leave it with Him, don't take it back! He will lead the fight and you follow behind Him allowing Him to win the battle and His glory shine through you! Listen for the marching feet...a fierce storm is brewing in the tops of those trees ready to fight for you!!!

Sweet blessings,

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

When is enough ~ enough?

Today, when I got to 2 Samuel 3 and began reading the sons that were born in Hebron and then the name of the mothers two things hit me. First, the importance of sons and second the listing of David's wives or concubines. All at once so many things flooded my mind.

Jealousy first and foremost. A situation setup like this had to birth jealousy from a very young age. The mother's felt it you know and the children began to experience it from watching their mothers. After all, you place yourself in the situation whether you were the second wife or the sixth concubine you desired the attention of the King, your husband, your child's father. I read Amnon's name and think why? Why did this son born in Hebron to Abinoam later grow up to rape his sister? What caused this act to happen? Did desire for the off limits young girl make this desire happen?

Next you had Daniel or Chileab who was Abigail's son. Most commentaries think he must have died early because he never entered into the mix for the throne. He wasn't even mentioned much - imagine the self-esteem issues. He wasn't important enough to be mentioned in death or life what is this about? After all, we know Abigail kept David from making a terrible mistake and yet her son isn't valued enough to be mentioned more?

Absalom whose name means "Divine Father of Peace" or "My Divine Father is Peace" is next born to David and Maacah, a princess from a region in Syria. Not a love marriage probably a marriage about diplomacy. Now the name alone speaks to Absalom's life. Peace was never a part of Absalom after the rape of his sister, Tamar. Absalom had to flee his homeland after the murder of his brother and then he returned to ruin his father. Absalom was later killed in battle. Peace evaded Absalom and this marriage.

Fourth, we have Adonijah who later contended for David's throne. He was killed.
Fifth, we have Shephatiah which means the Lord judges.
Sixth, we have Ithream, whose mother was Eglah, David's wife. One commentary told me that this was listed like this to emphasis polygamy. All of these men were in line for the throne and that is what is being emphasized. David had more wives and more children once he returned to Jerusalem. How many do you think loved David? How many were marriages of he's the king, so okay? How many were she absolutely had no choice in the matter?

Girls, women did not have much choice in situations during the times of David. Whether she loved him or not did not matter much to all the men involved...I read this and I felt sadness. Sadness for the women and the children because knowing they were human like us it was a difficult situation before it even started. Before one child was a great warrior, or one wife had beautiful eyes, or one wife was so smart, or what about that son that runs so fast, or the son that looked just like many things before any of these words were uttered...

We all have hindsight and know the stories of these boys that became men...

Do you think the women were friends? Do you think they were truly at peace knowing their husband didn't love them and them alone? or even worse that he didn't love them at all that it was a diplomatic matter?

Yes, David was God's anointed King, but I don't think he consulted God on all of his choices. Doesn't this offer some hope for us? We fail or at least I do daily a lot...David failed too. Hope, because God loves all of us so very much!

My prayer today is for choices that God desires I make in my journey! Choices that God approves of and not my evil desires that yes we all have inside of us...Read James it tells us about evil desires...Read God's Word and ponder about the people. Place yourself in the stories and realize that they are people with real feelings just like us. Good vs. evil, Light vs. Dark, from the very beginning

Sweet blessings,

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Nothing was missing!

God is sooooo good!!!

Today, I realized that God saw me once again through a devotion and then a friend that sent me the same devotional through email. I love God so very much and those moments that I know without a doubt that God, My Savior and yours sees me are soooo very awesome!

I had to share those words, before I went any further with the writing today, because it goes along with absolutely nothing is missing. The reading today from 1 Samuel 30 where David returned to find that all the women, children, and things had been carried off by the Amalekites only to realize that he did not inquire of the LORD before going to battle with the Achish. His own men began to talk about stoning David, but his focus was on the LORD. He realized that he needed to be direct and specific when he inquired of the LORD.

The LORD told go after them. What is the Lord telling you to do? Have you heard something specific from His Word lately over and over? Well, perhaps it's time to take the first step and proceed with God's desires for your life!

I loved verse 19...Nothing was missing; small or great, son or daughter, nor anything else that had been taken. When you look at your life, what is missing? Is anything missing? Are you at peace?

I realized through all the readings today that my life is full and nothing is missing. I am able to say these words, because I realized that God's plan for my journey is indeed so much better than my own plan. Helping others through ministry is a joy that fills my soul beyond words express. God indeed knows the path for each of us and the words found in verse 22...Don't be selfish with what the LORD has given us. He has kept us safe and helped us defeat the band of raiders that attacked us. Do you hear the words for yourself? Don't be selfish with what God has given, after all he provides for us and he keeps us sheltered from hard! Be kind, Be generous, be what God made each of us to be...His children and everything is HIS!

Sweet blessings,

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wasting time chasing me?

Today the reading from 1 Samuel 26: 1 - 25, really spoke to me about time and how we waste valuable time! Saul is busy hunting down David. Why? Jealousy, Fear, Pride! The list could go on and on, but no good reasons for the hunt!

Everyday we waste valuable time for some of the same reasons. Rather than taking the time and treasuring it and making the most of it, we justify whatever we spend our time doing! The words that David spoke to Saul of Why has the king of Israel come out to search for a single flea? Which means he (David) is worthless and you are wasting important time. David means Saul no harm. He is not going to do anything other than support Saul until God decides it is time for him to be king and not before...Then the words are why do you hunt me down like a partridge on the mountain? Do you know they are almost impossible to catch?

We waste so much time doing things that God doesn't have planned for us...Saul wasted valuable time chasing David and nothing he did was going to change God's plan for David and David meant Saul no harm! So due to Saul's arrogance and jealousy he spent valuable time, loss of life, and so much more just ignoring that it would be God's timing and not his. God's plans and not his! How much time do we waste doing the exact same thing?

Our life goes by in a flash or we getting the most out of it?

Sweet blessings,

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wasting No time

Today's reading that touched my heart is the story of Abigail from 1 Samuel 25. I have always loved the story of Abigail "whose name means My father is joy" so very much!

Today, the words from verse 18 just jumped at me. Abigail wasted no time to make things right. Abigail was a wise woman, who used her wisdom to settle the mess her husband made rather than to make it larger. Have you ever been around people that just seem to stir something rather than settle the matter? At times, maybe we have all been guilty, but Abigail wasn't. She wanted to be sure that David didn't make a bad decision on his part due to being God's chosen leader! She wanted him to realize the importance of making a wise choice and her husband, Nabal, whose name means "fool" well that says it all!

Abigail lived in a time that she had to be wise in taking such matters into her own hands. After all, women were not a part of decision making and often times not heard by leaders. David heard her and listened. Abigail gently reminded David that he was to fight the LORD's battles and that he had done no wrong. Wow, what a way with words. Here David is ready to fight with 400 men and kill everyone around and this woman riding on a donkey in her quiet manner reminded him who he was...God's chosen leader!

Abigail is described as sensible and beautiful married to a rich, foolish man. A man that probably didn't treat Abigail very well and she was probably married off to him to help her own family rise in position. Her servants immediately went to her with word about her husband's foolish words knowing she was a special lady.

Picture the scene of Abigail riding out on her donkey to meet the future king...she was behind all of the gifts she was sending to David a few minutes or more. The gifts would have passed by first and in a little while this beautiful woman on a donkey arrives and the woman quickly gets off the donkey and bows very low out of respect to David. She honors him. Quickly taking blame for the wrong. She explained she didn't see the men and well Nabal is just as his name says a fool. No excuse, just a fact offered. A very obedient, wise woman that chose her words carefully to put out a fire rather than fan one!

Let's all learn from Abigail today and choose our words wisely!

Sweet blessings,

Prayer Special: People suffering from the tornadoes that have swept our country this week.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Humble beginnings

1 Samuel 20:41 ~ ...Then David bowed three times to Jonathan with his face to the ground. Both of them in tears as they embraced each other and said good-bye, especially David. The friendship of these two special people is a wonderful example of what true friends should be! Loyal, caring, knowing without words, accepting, loving and so many other words could describe this relationship.

Today it struck me that these two men knew they were special and yet they were both humble. David knew he was the future king and Jonathan realized this man was going to take the place of what should have been his throne and yet they were true friends. The relationship was real!

How often do we pretend? Oh, everything is okay and yet we are so angry inside that causes a snowball to role that ruins everything? Saul, did this! The anger and pride ruined him and allowed David to enter the picture. It wasn't David that did was Saul! Saul got it all going, because he forgot his humble beginnings. David did not forget.

In a few days we will read about times that he does forget, but the difference is HE remembers it is all about God and begs forgiveness. Saul never remembered it wasn't all about him. His son knew. David knew, but Saul truly believed it was about him.

I picture the scene of good bye between these two friends as heart breaking knowing that they indeed loved each other, but knowing the future would break them apart somehow...David acknowledged his friend as the prince he was in that moment bowing 3 times very low to the ground expressing his genuine affection for Jonathan. Jonathan also acknowledged that he knew that because of the kindness of the LORD that David would one day be king! Jonathan was a special man who loved the LORD. He definitely understood his role and stepped aside and lived "love your neighbor as yourself."

We should look to this friendship and know what true friendship truly should look like...forgiveness, love, loyalty, kindness, acceptance and God at the center! Thank God today for your special friends that indeed love you in spite of who you really are...they accept your faults, tell you the truth even when it hurts, laugh with you when you need to forget, and always love you even at your worst!

Thanks sweet friends and you know who you are....

Sweet blessings,

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Never again!

1 Samuel 15:11 - I am sorry that I ever made Saul king, for he has not been loyal to me and has refused to obey my command. Samuel was so deeply moved when he heard this that he cried out to the LORD all night.

Words the Lord spoke, written in His Holy Word about Saul. He went from being humble to all about me in a very short period of time. Samuel was broken hearted because he was the priest of the people and it broke his heart at the things so not of God!

Samuel told Saul, but he interpreted things and reworked things to fit his own needs. But I did I built a monument to worship God...NOT...he built it to himself and then even tried to point the finger at others...

Truly I have felt heart ache the last two days of reading about Saul. He is so human. He is so like us...We think we are really something and that we have done well and truly we haven't done a thing! Or maybe I should just say I..., but I think our American culture is so in all of us that I speak collectively. We all think about ourselves first and then others, it's a me world! Look where it got Saul...we are starting to see the beginning of Saul's fall due to his own choices! Choices! Choices get all of us at one point or another!

Samuel never went to meet with Saul again we learn in verse 35 of chapter 15..Do you think Saul noticed? Do you think he felt relief because Samuel reminded him of his disobedience? One wonders does Saul have any regret about his choice of allowing his pride to get out of hand? Did he ever realize this is when everything started falling apart? Do we?

In the next section from Chapter 16, we all learn an important truth - People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart! Oh if only we would all not go by appearances. If only, we looked deeper into the eyes. I read a quote the other day about passion and really looking into someone's eyes and you see the passion. You feel the passion! The LORD knows the passion! The LORD knows when we are humble and real or when we are full of ourselves rather than HIM!

The chapter went on to tell us that Saul lost the Spirit of the LORD the day that David was chosen and that the LORD sent a tormenting spirit to fill him with fear and depression. Imagine, disappointing the LORD so much that He sent a tormenting spirit to fill us...Saul from a handsome, humble man to a tormented lost man alone with fear!

Lord feel us with your passion and Your Spirit so that other's see only You in us. Let us keep our eyes clearly focused on you, so that truly you are what others see! Amen

Sweet blessings,

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


3 chapters before power and pride took Saul over! Not even one day in between reading...So fast, he changed!

What truly caught my attention was in 1 Samuel 14:19, when it stated: Never mind;let's get going. Words Saul spoke to the priest when he was asking the Will of God. Imagine it! Saul is heading into battle, but he is so full of himself that he thinks he doesn't need God's thoughts involved. One Bible stated it that Saul told him to withdraw his hand. Saul was in such a hurry that he didn't wait for God's timing!

So, Saul was not being obedient! God won the battle in spite of Saul! In spite of...

I was so excited yesterday with the words used to describe Saul and wondered how long they lasted - not long! Not even two days of reading before Saul's power went to his head and he thought it was all about him. No wonder he continues to self-destruct!

Sweet blessings,

Monday, April 11, 2011

I can see clearly now

Can you see clearly now?

Do you remember that old song? It hit me reading this morning when my brain got to thinking about focus and the words that Samuel spoke to Saul.

Knowing Saul's whole story and being at the beginning of it this morning it hit me that here is this man that stands head and shoulders above anyone else in the land and the most handsome man in Israel who is the focus of all Israel's hope! A man that went on to share in the most humble manner but I'm from the smallest tribe and my family is the least important of those...a humble man!

The Hebrew word for focus used here meant inner man, understanding, will, heart and we all know that Saul loses his focus in his lifetime sadly. He loses the humble spirit and it becomes about Saul, but what a beautiful beginning. A man that went on his father's instructions to look for the lost donkeys and returned the future king of Israel. The man that hid among the baggage was proclaimed king! Some trusted him others were scorning him (sound familiar) and in a month he lead them to victory over the Ammonites!

Saul the king and let's remember the next few days reading how Saul began this journey being the focus because he was humble and willing. Let's learn from Saul about when we lose our focus what else we lose in the process. Saul was a great man who we will see that when he took his eyes off God he lost everything!

Sweet blessings,

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Under whose Wings?

I picked up God's Word knowing that I would receive a special message today! I did! The story of Ruth with all of it's wisdom from a young girl that left all she knew to travel to a land that was so foreign to her, but she had hope!

I want you to think this morning about answering your phone and the most terrible news is on the other end. You have lost all your family and all that is left is your mother-in-law and sister-in-law no blood relatives, nothing familiar only your in-laws. You ponder awhile and decide that you are going with them to a foreign land that you know nothing about only what they have shared from stories. It would be like your packing up and moving to Russia or Africa. Very different language, food, people, and religion. You don't understand any of it.

In your heart you know that you want to be with your mother-in-law even though she tries to tell you stay. I loved Ruth's reply to her Naomi, "your people will be my people and your God will be my God." Wow, a God she had only heard about she was going to accept and claim. She knew Naomi's God was a real God, not some idol on a shelf, but real! ONLY from stories, she felt it in her heart...

A relative of Naomi's husband had a field of grain and Ruth decided to work behind the harvesters and gather what she could for them. One day Boaz greeter the workers and he was so friendly to his workers. He cared about them. He noticed them. He noticed Ruth. He went to her and gave her instructions about staying in his field and he warned the people to stay away from her.

Ruth didn't understand how she was deserving of such kindness, but she was thankful. He replied that he had heard about her leaving all that she knew to live among complete strangers and gave her the most beautiful blessing at this point...Ruth 2:12
May the LORD, the God of Israel, under whose wings you have come to take refuge, reward you fully for what you have done."style="font-style:italic;">

Imagine, this young foreign girl trusting so very much in the God of Israel! She had flown into this foreign land for protection, hope, and chacah (original word in Hebrew for refuge,safety). It was the image of birds realizing that a bird of prey was after them and they would fly to their mothers and find safety under her wings. Ruth flew to be under the Wings of Our Savior!

Are we telling God's stories about His amazing grace and power, so that others will run to His Wings? Share His stories today and be reminded that indeed He is Our Refuge!

Sweet blessings,

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The next morning

Today we were reading from Judges 19 and it is a sad, strange, appalling story! A Levite priest could marry and this man took a concubine. The concubine got mad and left to return to her father. Four months later her husband set out to go and get her. Now this priest ministry was greatly tainted, because he had married a harlot. He disregarded her sin and her separation from God along with the fact she was considered unclean.

When they began their return trip home they stopped in Gibeah, which was from the tribe of Benjamin. They were going to stay with an older man and he welcomed them into his home. Later in the evening a crowd of troublemakers gathered around the home and told him to send out the man to have sex with them. Odd to begin with, terrible in fact and the older man stepped outside and said, no, don't do such an evil thing to my guest. I will send out my virgin daughter and his concubine. What? Did I just read that right? He thought so little of his own daughter that he would send her out to face this angry crowd of awful people? He took care of a stranger in his home that was male, but was willing to send out his daughter! Now this really got me and then it get's even worse...

The Levite man took a hold on his concubine wife and sent her out to face this crowd of men. A man of God sent out his wife that he just went and was bringing back home. A man that was wrong in the beginning to marry her, but just furthers his wrongs with throwing her to the wolves... He must have even gone to bed when he went back inside. Imagine it. No guilty thoughts or anything, because we are told that the men abused her all night she returned to lay at the door of the house until it was light. Her husband opened the door to leave and found her laying at the door. He was getting ready to leave. He was really concerned. He rested. He packed his bags and was going home.

He opens the door she is laying at his feet. He tells her with exclamation marks to get up! Let's go! No answer. So he picked her up and put her body on the donkey and returned home.

When the man returned home. He divided her body into 12 parts and sent a part to each tribe of Israel to send a message about the horrors of where they were. Did he think about himself at the same time? Was he only pointing the finger at others?

Last year I wrote across the top of this weird, awful story and it still hits me the same way...A leader that was leading people, a man of God that was acting in such a manner and in then in Judges 21 it closed with In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes. Well, in those days and in our days we sin filled humans are able to justify in our own minds things, but in our hearts we know the truths...We know the wrongs we commit, we know!

Sweet blessings,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

With money in hand

Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, whose named means feeble in Hebrew. A Philistine woman who loved money more than a person who loved her. In the Matthew Henry commentary, it states that Samson was short in wisdom. He went to an unclean woman, so God allowed this woman to tempt Samson. Again, Matthew Henry stated imagine to see one of the strongest men , if not the strongest sold and bought like a sheep for slaughter. How often are we deceived?

We are told Delilah lured him to sleep. She pretended kindness and caring, but was anything but! Does flattery get someone or something evil close to you? Samson was secure in this setting. A setting filled with darkness of untruth, lies and all for money. Are we secure with the evil surrounding us? Do we even recognize the evil?

It is so sad that someone like Samson fell into the pit of evil and the LORD departed him. When God leaves us we are unable to do the things we could with Him and yet Samson didn't realize this at first. In verse 20, we are told that Samson thought, I will do as before and shake myself free. Helpless and alone. I hate those moments when I realize that my sin separated me from my Savior and I am fighting something I have no way of winning without God. The realization and depth of my sin will immediately hit me between the eyes. Pardon the use of the word eyes at this point, but it is the one that fell at that moment without my help...The Philistines felt that this strong man would never be able to be as strong without his eyes to guide his hands to fight. After all,didn't Samson's eyes lead him to Delilah?

A strong man that was weakened by evil and ruined by his lust for the unclean. Do you wonder how Delilah felt? Did she have any shame? Did she enjoy spending her money knowing what had happened to Samson? I think she was probably made feeble in the remorse of what she had done...after all, in our hearts we know when we have sinned! She had to have felt very alone a little like Judas; oh Samson was definitely not Jesus, but she betrayed someone she had been very close to and she had to feel this to her depths of her soul!

Two people alone and separated from the One True God! The One True God that fights our battles for us and declares us winners!

Sweet blessings,

Monday, April 4, 2011

Our names are special

Parents look for just the right name when they are expecting their little bundle of joy! Months, perhaps years have gone into the choice. Many men long to give their last name to a son that it will carry on the family line into future generations. Women want their little girls to have a name that perhaps they desired or the perfect name of a cherished friend. A lot of thought goes into our names.

Today, in Judges 13 the Bible talks about Samson's upcoming birth and the things that his parents are to do. We are told that a "a man of God" appeared to the woman and she didn't ask his name or where he was from, but she knew it was an angel. Manoah prayed that the man would come back, so that he could hear the special instructions. God answered the prayer and the angel appeared again. The rules were given and Manoah ask the angel ...What is your name? and the angel replied -- Why do you ask for my name: "It is to wonderful for you to understand." Wow! I love this! A name is too wonderful for understanding...ponder that a moment. Even the name is special of this angel...

Manoah then offered a sacrifice to the Lord and as the couple watched, the Lord did an amazing thing! Always! The flames were shooting up toward the sky from the sacrifice and the angel of the LORD ascended in the fire! Divine acceptance! What a moment! Picture it! Take in the whole scene for this young couple...Wow!

Yes, indeed our names matter...whether spoken or unspoken perhaps it might be too wonderful to understand like perhaps our photo of NO NAME...maybe it is special in its own right too!!!

Sweet blessings,

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Go and cry to the other gods you chose!

I saw this picture and knew it was the one today!

The dogs eyes said it all...truly sorry and they were half hidden.

Reading today the words from Judges 10:12-15 hit me hard...The Lord is speaking and he reminds the people you abandoned me, they oppress you, you cry for help, I rescue. But you abandoned me and served other gods. So I will not rescue you anymore. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen! Let them rescue you in your hour of distress! But they pleaded and acknowledged all they had done. Sin, Sin, Sin punish us as you see fit LORD!

Divine Judgment when we acknowledge it is God's right to punish as He sees is best and He may use it for His Glory! When we are genuinely sorry God may use it for His good.

How often do we abandon Him for something that we place before Him? Whether it is another false god, something such as food, an object we desire, another thing for our collection anything that we place before Him and yet He does forgive when we are truly sorry! What hit me is how often are we truly sorry? How often does our heart break that we broke God's heart?

Yet we cry for rescue and He might not have heard from us in a really long time. We might have been in pursuit of what we placed before God and once again in the land filled with sin and we have forsaken our first love - God! We remember Him when we get in trouble and we need rescuing, but do we remember Him always?

Sweet blessings,