Author Archive

Happy Left-Handers Day (Left Handed in the Bible)

left-handed-facts

Happy ‘Left-hander Day.’ Yes, it’s an annual national day. Studies suggest that approximately 10% of the world’s population is left-handed.

Leftys …

  • Use the right side of the brain the most
  • Twice as likely to be a man
  • Better at multitasking
  • Of the eight most recent U.S Presidents, 4 have been left-handed
  • Less able to roll their tongue than a righty, (fun facts to share with your friends)

You may ask, “What does the Bible say about being left-handed?” ‘Left-handed’ in the Hebrew is itter and only mentioned 2 times in scripture (Judges 3 & 20) and literally means; ‘not of the right hand’ – thus …left-handed.

Judges 20: In short: There was a very icky situation, war broke out among the tribe of Benjamin and all the rest of the tribes of Israel. “Among all these were 700 chosen men who were left-handed…” (These leftys were in addition to 26,000 other men). ‘Chosen’ is a keyword. In essence, they went looking for left-handed men. WHY?

Back up to Judges 3, Israel had AGAIN gone about doing ‘evil in the eyes of the Lord’, (Boooo!) God allowed the bad king Eglon of Moab to help teach the Israelites a lesson, through warfare. Israel cried out to God and He sent ‘Ehud’ (of the tribe of Benjamin) who just happened to be left-handed, who goes on to defeat the bad king. (YAY!) Moab became subject to Israel and there was peace in the kingdom for 80 years. (Ahh!) All of Israel KNEW the story of the ‘left-handed’ Benjamite – Ehud! THAT is why the Benjamites went looking for leftys – in hopes of having an ‘advantage.’ They were known for being able to “sling a stone at a hair and not miss.” (Jg 20:16). The Benjamites, however, did lose the battle – guess the left-handed missed. (Oops!)

What a lesson for us, we can’t always reach from our past in hopes that what worked ‘then’ will work now. God used the left-handed man to show the Israelites that when they are in fellowship with Him,  He takes the least (one man) and makes the MOST.  His lessons take on new angles with each battle. Left-handed or right-handed, new battle, new battle plan. God’s plan.

Left-handed.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)

 


Tangled Hangers

 

tangled hangers

Patience. At times a hurry up and wait mindset. When the hurry isn’t an instant thing, then anger becomes our response. GOOD patience is a God quality, Paul lumps it in with love, joy, peace, patience…and self-control. (See Galatians 5:22-23).   My husband and I together, have worked through the devotional book, “Praying the Attributes of God” by Ann Spangler and I mean ‘WORK’ through. One does not merely read when you open your heart and mind to transformation. The chapter on patience, looking at God’s patience with us. OH-MY-GOODNESS! God makes declaration of Himself: “The Lord, the Lord! The God of compassion and mercy! I am slow to anger and filled with unfailing love and faithfulness.” (Exodus 34:6).   In short, God does not grow frustrated with us like we do with others, things, circumstances or … ourselves. Patience is being long of feeling, delaying one’s anger.

Impatient trigger points, what is it for you? Long lines at the gas station or 23 items in the gals cart ahead of you at the grocery store when the sign clearly reads only ‘15’? For me, it is tangled hangers – NOTHING makes me more instantly frustrated than when I reach for one, ONE, and they tangle, and others come tumbling out and fall to the floor. Instant ‘hurry up and get it the way I WANT IT’ – mad woman moment! The imagery in life is the same – we are SO busy, our mind so full, that when we reach for one thing, the thing needed or wanted, it potentially all comes tumbling down. What is the first step to de-tangle my hangers and decrease my instant anger? CLEAN OUT THE CLOSET! (I know, DUH!) The same is true with our lives, clean out, get rid of, grow pass all the stuff, so when we (or God) reaches for something… there isn’t a tumbled mess at our feet.

“Thank you, God, for being so very patient with us, willing to allow us to grow and learn. We invite You to work YOUR precious attribute of patience, full of mercy and slow to anger in us. May we this week, sense You as we clean out the stuff, making life easier and not so cluttered, reducing our frustration. De-tangling for Your glory! In the powerful name of Jesus. Amen”

De-tangling the tangled hangers. Pursuing God patience.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:2


Extolling Him

67471227_2423706544319431_3202502545620598784_n

I will extol You, my God, O King, and I will bless Your name forever and ever.” (King David, Psalm 145:1, ESV – emphasis mine) Extol, the word is pretty much obsolete these days. When was the last time we used it in a sentence – it doesn’t just roll off our tongue? (Or should it?)

Webster’s defines it, ‘to praise highly or enthusiastically.’ Looking at the many different words translated in the Old Testament on praising and glorifying God, there are two main representations: When we exalt God, (in word AND deed) we are personally declaring Him as Superior: He is more, He is beyond, He is aboveall. When extolling God, we not only raise Him in high status, but we lift His attributes as well. God, YOU are holy! You are merciful! You are loving! You are sovereign! You are grace-filled and grace-giving! (Selah)

The imagery is likened to when we raise our hands in church, not only are we in a posture of surrender but raising God above – above the stuff, higher than ourselves. There have been a few times when I, reading His word and becoming so keenly aware of Him and His holiness, on the floor face down I can-not-get-low-enough. A true revelation of God will cause a gut response to do nothing else but lift Him up!

King Nebuchadnezzar experienced just this when stating: “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of Heaven, for all His works are right and His ways are just; and those who walk in pride He is able to humble.” (Daniel 4:37) As the ancient folks came across on dry ground, safely on the shores, with the Egyptians who sought to again enslave them, now lay dead, it is said of them, the Israelites  ‘believed in the LORD…” (Ex. 14:31) and sang: “The LORD is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will extol Him.” (Ex 15:2)

Praising lavishly and magnifying His majesty! May ours, be a lifestyle of extolling God above all. (In Jesus name)

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)


Rest (Mini Devo)

quiet boat
When the disciples had returned from teaching, healing and delivering the people, exhausted, Jesus tells them, “Come with Me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest.” (Mk 6:31, NIV) They get in a boat and go to a solitary place. Notice Jesus was very specific. He didn’t say ‘Go away – take some time off – I’ll see you on the other side.’ He wasn’t offering options. He said, “Come with Me ….”   The narrative doesn’t say it, but can you imagine the boat ride, they, being exhausted: no joking, no retelling of events and no telling Peter to sit down. Just quiet and the lapping of the water on the boat – and Jesus. Presence. Quiet on the way to and in the solitary place.  What God-math: Jesus + quiet = rest.
Perhaps YOU are exhausted, exhausted from the stuff, worn out from routine, serving and loving.  Rest.  Follow this example: “Come with Me by yourself to a quiet place and get some rest.”   By the way, we can’t stop there – that solitary place?  SOON thousands of folks show up, Jesus teaches them and hands the broken bread & fish to the disciples to feed them – getting ready (for the next thing) means getting rest! 
In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on towards love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)
* Photo credit: Horacio Cardozo

Purposeful Process

Problem solving with Jesus

As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man, hearing the commotion that Jesus was there, called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” In which he was told “Be silent!” by those around him. Well, THAT didn’t stop him, he cried out even louder, “JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY ON ME!” Jesus stops, has the man brought to Him, He asked (although apparent of the mans need) “What do you want Me to do for you?” “Lord, I want to see,” he replied. Jesus tells him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight. (Luke 18)

Mark chapter 8: In Bethsaida, a few folks have approached Jesus, begging Him to heal their friend who also was blind. Jesus took the blind man by the hand and walked with him out of the village. “When He had spit on the man’s eyes and put His hands on him, Jesus asked, “Do you see anything?” He looked up and said, “I see people; they look like trees walking around.” Once more Jesus put His hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.” Amazing story, the man went from blind to the ability to see, to seeing with perception and detail.

Notice in these stories there was dialogue. Jesus could have from a distance, with a miracle-filled wave and a divine word, heal the men and continue on His way. Yet, He didn’t. There was purposeful process. Walk with Me – talk with Me, process. Some helped in the process, while others tried to discourage it.

How is our process? How desperate are we? Do we earnestly seek out Jesus regardless of obstacles, regardless of dismaying voices? Do we have folks around us that match or exceed our pursuit of God? Folks, Jesus invites us into the process.  Are we willing to walk with Him and process through?  Point to Ponder. Faith sees Jesus is, Jesus can and Jesus will.

Walk with ME – talk with Me, purposeful process.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)


Make Every Effort

Slide1

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.” Said Thomas Edison, who after 1000 attempts, succeeds with the invention of the light bulb. Try just one more time!  The 4 guys carrying the paralytic in Mark chapter 2, understood this. Jesus is preaching to a packed house (literally) “Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they …” the story continues with the guys making an opening on the roof and lowering their friend right-in-front-of Jesus. Jesus seeing their faith, He heals buddy number 5, because they kept going, creatively going.

We are lazy people (in general) we give up quickly or keep our efforts minimal at best, after all, we wouldn’t want to exert ourselves. (Phew) We take this into our God walk as well. Peter wrote; “By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life… He has given us great and precious promises, enabling you to share in His divine nature.” (2 Pet 1:3-4, NLT) He continues, “In view of this, MAKE EVERY EFFORT …” (v5a, emphasis mine). Give all diligence in making good use of what God provides, apply it – apply yourselves! Peter goes on, saying ‘add to’ your faith; moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, and love (vv 5-7). I would liken it to the Israelites in the wilderness, God provided the manna to survive, they were to go out and gather it, (yes, they had to work to get it) diligently they worked, adding to their jar each lil flake, they did this DAILY. (Ex. 16) Do WE put forth an effort to get the God stuff? Do we make time, make room, make it a PRIORITY to be in His word, talk to Him DAILY! Or do we mess around, give lil effort or quit altogether. Our very thriving existence depends on the effort we put into it!

Oh, and as for the guys and his lowered down friend? At Jesus’ word, he jumps up, grabs his mat and walked through the stunned onlookers. ‘They were all amazed and praised God…” (Mk 2:12) Those not giving up men with their determination to get to Jesus brought about a miracle, that miracle amazed the folks, which initiated praise. God doing a miracle in our own lives WILL catch the attention of others to the glory of God – our effort brings God glory!

Make every effort.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)


Know the facts, not the hype

not so tough

60 SECOND BIBLE STUDY: Goliath was NOT all that!  Taking a closer look: 1 Samuel 17 – Goliath may not have been as big and nasty as perceived, or as LARGE as the flannel graph silhouette from Sunday school, scholars believe he may have been perhaps only 6 1/2 feet to 9 feet.  Super-sized large or not, there are other interesting facts to be had. When pictured, either mentally or vibrantly sketched, we usually see just the two of them facing off (Goliath & David) yet there was a 3rd person out there, Goliath’s shield bearer whom Goliath was standing behind (v7 & 41). Not so tough now big guy! But what is fascinating: when young David steps forward to fight, Goliath mocks him about being just a boy and coming at him with a stick, yet Goliath doesn’t change his stance, he doesn’t drop any weapons, doesn’t take off any shielding, or send the shield bearer away. This so called champion was still concerned. And rightly so, that boy who RAN towards him, was the future warrior-king (and killed him and cut off his head).
 Sadly, the foes and so-called giants we face get deemed BIGGER and BADDER (Yes, that is a word according to my granddaughter) than they really are, in reality they are not all that, especially when we, like David, come against them in the name of the LORD Almighty!  As a dear friend said, “Sometimes it’s the hype that undermines our confidence not the facts.”   We are to direct our attention to the truth of God and not allow unhealthy thoughts, fears or perceptions to take us captive (like Goliath did the with the Isrealites, v11).  I’ll leave us with the wise words of Paul, “We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ.” (paraphrased, 2 Cor. 10:5 –  The Message)

Know the facts, not the hype.

In Him, DeDe (“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love & good deeds.” – Hebrews 10:24)