Sunday, May 29, 2016

Simple enough?

Nehemiah 2

Once again, reading the chapter that might be covered in the services today.  Nehemiah approached the king, the king listened, the king granted the request, Nehemiah even ask for more and received.  Everything is going fabulous no problems. Travels to Jerusalem, inspects walls, finds problems, shares plans, and most people are excited, but...Yes, the but of people shouting the devil's desire.  It might happen even when someone is serving in God's plan or God's will!  Check out Nehemiah 2: 19 the NIV tells us that "they mocked and ridiculed us." the ESV shares "they jeered and despised us."  Yes, the devil is always looking for someone to use too!

Nothing is ever easy.  God doesn't promise us easy!  Did Nehemiah let this stop him?  No.  Nehemiah responds by reminding everyone (probably himself too) who God is and what God will do!  Look at verse 20 ~ ..."The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.  

Once again, we all must remember who God truly is!  Keep our eyes on Him and anything is possible!  Once we think it is about us and we are on easy street well achieving the goal might fail.  It is never about us.  If we allow the focus to change to us we begin to hear the doubts.  We might believe the lies that others will shout at us to throw a roadblock in the path. Because we are human and the devil knows our weaknesses, but God doesn't have weaknesses, so we must allow Him to work through us!  Keep our eyes on Him!

Nehemiah is faithful and knows God's will.  He shifts the focus immediately to God away from ridicule.  Not allowing those words to take over his desire to be in God's will and rebuild the wall!

I don't know what God is calling you to do, but know that just because He calls you doesn't mean it will be easy!  Oh it is beyond words fabulous, but easy isn't a word that would describe the journey!  Step out in faith and keep your eyes on the Great I Am, because He is the one that will see it to completion.

Sweet blessings,

Wednesday, May 25, 2016


Nehemiah 1:5
And I said, "O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments,

Yes, Lord!

What are you facing today?

Remember who God is...

Sweet blessings,

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Not just crying, but weeping...

Okay, I am not done with discussion on Nehemiah 1:4 yet!  Sorry, but it spoke volumes to me and my heart!  Volumes that need to be adjusted in my own journey! So know when I write it is always being honest about my own life.  I am not sitting thinking I know more, that I think somebody else needs this writing, nope it is to speak into my own journey and if it helps somebody else too - fabulous!

Nehemiah 1:4 
As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before God in heaven.

I have always been a woman that sheds my tears (if at all possible) when I am by myself.  I don't know if it is my upbringing or pride, but I don't and will not cry in front of people.  I will make a quick exit.  I will excuse myself to the restroom or I hold them inside.  It is just a part of who I am.  It is not necessarily a good thing about me, because I'm afraid it might be a pride issue!  Okay I said it.  It proves I am stronger if I hold them right?  Well, this verse right here shows me that in fact it is quite the opposite of strength! It shows my weakness.

Nehemiah was a strong, powerful man yet just hearing the words about the wall in Jerusalem caused him not to just cry, but to weep bitterly for days!  Not moments, but days and he let it all out.  Nehemiah let God hear his crying and his sorrow.  He shared his pain with God.  Nehemiah immediately let it all out ~ after all it says as soon as I heard these words...immediately he expressed his feelings.

Several things spoke to me that I believe God is sharing with me that tears are okay and He wants to help with our healing.  In fact, I know He does!  I look back over my life and know that He alone heals my broken heart.  It is not anything, but God that heals this type of hurt deep inside.  Yet, He allows our pain and He uses our pain and I believe it is to show His glory and who He is...we realize that He is what we need, He is who we need, He is the Great I AM  that only God provides the hope and the healing!

So I sit here with tears in my eyes knowing that in spite of my pride issues God loves me and He alone wipes my tears and heals my broken heart!  

I have always loved the verse found in Psalm 56:8 (NLT)  
You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

God cares!

Sweet blessings,

Monday, May 23, 2016

Broken for the broken?

Yesterday, I got up early and read Nehemiah 1.  I knew that Pastor Aaron at Summer Grove was going to be sharing from Nehemiah, so I thought I'll read chapter 1 and see what jumps off the pages at me.  I read the chapter and the question that rolled in my mind was "Do I weep and mourn the broken?".  I pondered the question and even mentioned to Frankie when she and Steve came into worship about reading the passage and that it struck me that Nehemiah was so heart broken over the wall being in disrepair and all that the wall symbolized to the Jewish people and yet what truly broke my heart?

I mentioned that it broke my heart to be honest with myself and ask myself the question when was the last time I was heart broken over the lost?  over the __________?(you fill in the blank)  I mean really heartbroken for longer than 15 minutes about something that didn't touch me directly, but still should break my heart.  Don't get me wrong I feel and think I am hurting, but this passage really made me search my heart.

Nehemiah is one of my favorite stories in the Bible.  I love Nehemiah's heart.  I love Nehemiah's loyalty.  I love Nehemiah's determination.  I love Nehemiah's honesty.  So I was super excited when I heard that Pastor Aaron was going to preach this series on Nehemiah.

Well, I learned some new things that made me love this story even more.  First off, Nehemiah heard this news about the wall in November/December and didn't even approach the king until March/April.  Nehemiah was on his knees broken in prayer for 4 to 5 months.  Seriously, I mentioned 15 minutes above think about how much Nehemiah was stirred by God to action, but yet he still approached God on his knees for months in how to respond and when to respond. 

Another thing that always gets my attention is that Nehemiah was brave enough to show his emotions after the months of prayer.  He knew God was in control.  After all, if Nehemiah had shown his emotions without God in control and showed sadness the king could immediately have him killed.  Instead, Nehemiah received his desire to return and rebuild the wall.

Also, this is not a hop, skip and a jump and you arrive at your destination.  No it is between 600 and 800 miles depending on your route!  Nehemiah was determined to travel by foot to rebuild a wall!  He knew the importance of this wall to the Jewish people.  Yet Nehemiah had never been to Jerusalem.  He only knew from his readings of God's word yet he believed God's word.  Nehemiah was surrounded with non-believers and yet he knew in his heart who God was and he trusted what God was showing him in prayer that he was to do.  When was the last time that we trusted and moved?

Pastor Aaron ask the question in a little different way than it struck me, but it was a very profound way.

"When was the last time I was more concerned with God's glory than my own?"  I don't know about you, but this question is one that we all need to give some honest reflection.  In the "me" centered world the answer might not be what any of us would like to believe about ourselves.

I want to close with the answer that some of you may wonder -- why would you love the book of  Nehemiah so much?  The answer is hope that is found in this book.  Broken walls are not beyond repair!  My broken walls, your broken walls Jesus is able to repair!  Hope yes hope!

Join us for the rest of this series at Summer Grove Baptist to hear about the hope offered in this amazing book of Nehemiah.

Sweet blessings,