This week I was again reminded of the need to … learn. Often I think, “O I have been at this long enough … I SHOULD KNOW THIS!” Yet, at least for me, I keep coming up short every time. I felt God nudge me, (in doing so, I am humbled) and must say to my relief, He showed me, that the things, the qualities that it takes to be strong in God, do not come natural to me, they are to be learned. Then, reviewed ~ worked ~ walked and learned AGAIN.
These are a few, ‘to learn’ I gleaned from bible study this week, and found a couple extra on my own. (yep even MORE to learn)
Deut. 4:10 LEARN to revere the Lord
1 Chr. 28:9 LEARN to know God intimately (NLT)
Job 34:4 LEARN what is good
Psalm 51:6 LEARN wisdom
Psalm 119:73 LEARN His commands
Matt. 11:28-30 LEARN to rest
Luke 11:1 LEARN to pray
Heb. 5:8 LEARN obedience
Phil. 4:12 LEARN contentment
Col. 1:10 LEARN to know God better and better (NLT)
Learning is a process, and the Holy Spirit is an awesome Teacher ~ teach us … teach ME!
When was the last time something was asked of you, that you KNOW you could not possibly do it, or even come close to attaining it? Kind of frustrating isn’t it? This is how Gideon felt when out minding his own business, when the angel of the Lord came and appeared to him. The Israelites at this time had been oppressed by other nations, primarily the Midianites. Now the Lord calls Gideon “… mighty warrior.” Telling him, “go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand…”
I LOVE Gideon’s response, “But Sir…how can I save Israel … my clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.” (Judges 6:13,15) We all have had “But Sir” moments, haven’t we? Moments when God asks something of us, moments when we need to do or be something that is beyond us. We feel weak, and insignificant. Oh, God’s response is SO valuable and the TRUE foundation of success. The Lord answered, “I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together.”
Gideon goes on to lead a small army to victory with unconventional ways … blowing trumpets, breaking pots and holding huge Bic lighters. I believe God wants us all to have Gideon experiences. Turning our ‘But Sir, I am weak … and the least… how can I…?‘ to victory believing His word to us, ‘I will be with you, and you will…’
What is God asking of us today? What name like ‘mighty warrior’ is He giving, that totally blows us away, perhaps … courageous missionary, passionate teacher, gentle leader, faithful friend, and prayer warrior, even loving mom. He may even call us to unconventional ways, yet how exciting to see how it all unfolds.
Join with me, as we turn our ‘but Sir’ into ‘I will be with you and you will…‘
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 “You thrill me, LORD …”)
I do love a good story. One full of intrigue, challenge, and PLEEEZE the underdog WINS! I have been studying the book of Esther, better yet, Esther herself. The story hits a high note as Esther stands before the king, beginning her request to spare the Jews, she says “If I have found favor with you, O King…”
How often do we stand with a request, and seek the King’s favor, or merely just stand before the King, praying ~ hoping His favor flows strong today! There is so much that we encounter on a daily basis, trials and choices, loves and loses. A wise friend shared with me recently “you know the righteous and narrow would judge harshly, but I think that King David, would understand.. he had such an insight into love, passion, and beauty.” I would add, and his God. David experienced God on so many levels, he knew Him on the battlefield, as a shepherd boy, and yes, as one with authority to have whatever he wants as king, yet it is David that said, “Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:4)
So, as children of the Most High God, we come ‘boldly before the throne … let your request be made known.’ God desires to love on us and bless us.
Found favor …
How often do we go to the frig with great hopes of finding something to satisfy that craving, the craving we really aren’t sure what we want, but we want something. So we reach around, dig through, push things aside looking for fulfillment.
This is true too with our souls as well. We hunger, and often rummage around to find fulfillment, through people, possessions and position. David declared in Psalm 63:1 “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you, my soul thirsts for you… .” When God created man, He created him body and soul. Our bodies being from the dust of earth, it is therefore nourished by the earth. Yet our souls where created by the breath of God, Genesis 2:7 “The LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living being.” ‘Living being’, this is the translated Hebrew word for soul. It is the breath of God that nourishes the soul, HE is our souls only fulfillment.
The Psalmist beautifully shares, “For He (the Lord) satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Ps. 107:9) Today, as we begin our day, pouring that cup of coffee, snacking on that bagel, may we seek as David did, “O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you, my souls thirsts for YOU!
In Him, DeDe
Recently our family said good-bye to a wonderful woman. Her name was Daisy Gardner, she being only 4 months shy of her 100th birthday. Daisy was my grandmother. I had the awesome privilege, along with the pastor of being asked to speak at her home going service. As I stood before friends and family I began to unfold the linen of grandma’s heart.
Grandma was a quiet woman, not one to voice her opinions, yet when she did speak in her gentle tones, you listened! I have many fond memories of her and the way she always made you feel welcome. Her heart was one of a servant, to bring hospitality to life was her gifting. She was creative, worked well with her hands, her smile and giggle would melt your heart.
I continued to share: The year was 2007, Grandma at the young age of 96 wasn’t feeling well, as I sat by her bed, we chatted of many things, the weather, family, the farm (the central hub of the family). Alone in her room, our talk turned to God. There are moments when you really want to know for sure and a boldness sweeps across you, may I offer … ‘take hold of them!’ Feeling compelled, I asked “Grandma, have you accepted Jesus into your heart?” There was a long pause, and Grandma’s face appeared thoughtful. Her eyes soon began to fill with tears, and her response was “O yes honey, but I don’t think He accepted me.”
I have to admit what she said took the breath right out of me. My eyes began to fill as well. Now standing, I reached over and placed my hand on her heart and told her “O Grandma He SOO accepts you and loves you!” I shared with her what I know to be true from His word and from my own life experience. I asked her if she wanted to pray, and she said “yes.” We prayed. There in her room, at the age of 96, Grandma KNEW God loved her and accepted her!
I was given one of Grandma’s rings the year following, Grandma was no longer able to wear her beloved jewelry. The ring was designed just for her, using the diamonds from her two marriages, (both grandfathers proceeding her in death.) The ring with spiraling gold as it wraps around the diamonds fit perfect as I placed it on my finger. Grandma had the opportunity to see me wear the ring, and enjoy my inheritance. The ring is a divine reminder of that special day with Grandma. That there ARE times in life when we need to be bold, take the risk, ask the questions. There are golden opportunities designed just for us. Too, just like the diamonds, our lives are chipped away at to form a beautiful gem.
I believe, Grandma in her gentle tone would say “It is NEVER too late. You are LOVED and accepted!”
This week, may we be bold, take hold of golden opportunities, place our hand over hearts, share from God’s word and from our own knowledge of Him! You never know what the response may be!
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 “You thrill me, LORD …”)
“The LORD’s loving-kindness indeed never ceases, for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22,23)
It is as if God lays out compassion (mercy) for us each morning, like a mother laying out our wardrobe. We merely need to accept it, put it on and wear it! “So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience” (Colossians 3:12)
Each morning we prepare for our day whether that be home, work or school. May we reach for what GOD has laid out for us to put on… His qualities. “They are new every morning…” Now THAT is a wardrobe! Dressed for success!
In Him, DeDe
Often we read through the Christmas story and highlight the most spectacular parts, singing angels … “Fear Not…” statements, the Star of Bethlehem, and yes the dingy manger. YET, there are some quiet and seem less significant items to be had in the excitement.
Consider if you would, the Magi as they prepare for their trek out to find the child to whom the Star belongs. They are packing, dividing up the supplies list, then they come to the gift inventory, gold is given to the first, then frankincense handed to another, ‘O yeah, the myrrh is last’. How would YOU like to be handed the myrrh, and picture yourself bowing low, head to the floor while you offer M-Y-R-R-H (said with an Eeyore deep tone) to the King of Kings! You may think “Dude, why do I have to carry the white elephant gift???”
AH… the gifts, gold, frankincense and MYRRH. Have we ever really thought WHAT is myrrh? I can assure us all that it was not a last minute addition, or a ‘re-gifting’ of an unwanted gift.
The divine significance of myrrh:
Exodus 30:22-23 Myrrh ~ an ingredient used in the anointing oil of the Tabernacle and the priests.
Luke 7:36-50 Myrrh ~ (myron) perfumed oil/ointment poured over Jesus’ feet.
John 19:39-40 Myrrh ~ used as one of the spices to prepare Jesus’ body for burial.
Picture now, the Christ child, perhaps two in age, curly dark hair, possibly pudgy cheeks. At His feet, men of wisdom and honor now place gold, frankincense and MYRRH. The anointing oil of the TABERNACLE and THE Priest. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us…” (John 1:14) The perfumed oil poured on His feet as a grown man, that soon would be pierced. The oil added to the spices wrapped around His body following His death.
Myrrh, how prophetic. A new appreciation for the gift.
Gifts given to Jesus have GREAT significance. It is our heart He wants. May we too bow low, offer what we may think insignificant.
Have a VERY blessed CHRISTmas!
In Him, DeDe (Ps. 92:4 “You thrill me, LORD…”)