Thursday, December 31, 2009

Take Me In

The period was dark. There was no king. Everyone did as he desired. And the depravity of man evidenced itself in extremes.

When we as people are left to ourselves--looking inwardly for direction--distortion is sure. When we as humans simply go on what we feel or assume, turmoil follows. We are not God. We are not God. It sounds so simple, so evident, but in the moments of our day do we truly believe? I am not God. This calls for a happy-dance!

Freedom comes when we cease striving. Living Water flows into the cracks of dried ground as we submit to the Holy of Holies. This is how it is designed. For years I believed freedom to be apart from some God instilling His criteria upon my life. But He graciously pursued me. He graciously drew me to Himself and opened my eyes to the bondage in which I was entangled.

Apart from the God who is reigning over this universe--of which we are but specks of sand--it is hopeless. Only our Creator Designer can breath true life into a weary soul. And He promises that if we truly seek Him we will find Him. Why? Because He loves you and He loves me...infinitely.

When left to ourselves we are blind. Father, give sight.


"Take Me In" by Kutless.

Comments in response to my time in Judges 17-19 this morning.

Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

One Posture

There are some things I read
That don't fit in my box.
It's neatly tied, with God inside--
I've even tried a lock.

But He is not a pawn
To move about my game;
He will not fit, He cannot sit
Amidst my tight constraint.

God Almighty, Holy, True
His ways are not my own.
One posture sure, one faithful cure,
My face upon the floor.

Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Unlikely Winner

He uses the little guy to make Himself famous. The weakest and smallest become mighty and courageous in the hands of God; and He is glorified.

I have been reading in Judges the passed couple of days. First of all, the patience of the Almighty absolutely astounds me. Over and over and over and over people disobey. They--we--see His miraculous work of healing, restoration, and victory, and in the next paragraph we worship something made by the hands of man. He is so patient.

There are days--many days--that I question the hearing of my children or whether I actually have a voice. I say something, they disobey, I instill the consequence, then 10 minutes later we do it again--over the very same issue. God, for generations, has done this same thing. We humans are forgetful and proud, selfish and numb, yet He does not flick us right off the edge of the earth. He is faithful to His promise of redeeming love. Amazing.

Second, the story of Gideon gives such insight into the ways of God. I just want to focus on one. The Lord says to Gideon, "The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, 'My own hand has saved me.'" (Judges 7:2)

Gideon was preparing to lead 32,000 Israelites into battle against their oppressors--the Midianites. But God said that there were too many willing fighters. Why? Because if they defeated the enemy with that many soldiers then they may be tempted to trust in themselves--and that is what got them into this mess in the first place. So the Lord whittled the army down to three hundred. 300! And they won.

God uses the weak to show Himself strong. He takes circumstances that seem absolutely hopeless, full of impossibility, to show Himself mighty. He is worthy of our praise, and He can be fully trusted to fight on behalf of His own.

I am not sure what you may be facing these days, but our God does not change and He is not taken off-guard.

Best Blogger Tips

Sunday, December 27, 2009

It's Over

And like that, it is gone. The day has passed. All the preparations and anticipation in many ways culminating to that final party, that last gift, and those concluding handfuls of Chex-Mix. My neighbors have taken down their always-anticipated "yard show." The radio station has ceased its continual mixture of nostalgic carols. And our tree sadly sheds as it awaits its demise.

Are you feeling uplifted? Sorry. Though I love the anticipation of Christmas, as we close the pages of 2009 I rejoice in the truth of Christmas. Our Savior has been born. Hallelujah. God did not leave us in our depravity. He pursued us. He made a way for our redemption. And not only that, this Jesus--after He rose from the dead--promised that He was going to prepare a place for those who believe. And if He goes to prepare a place, then He will return. He will return. Come quickly, Lord Jesus.

Christmas day has passed but may we set our eyes above, on the promises to come--looking with anticipation for that glorious day of reunion. No more tears. No more hurt feelings. No more sickness. No more death. No more frustrations or misunderstandings. No more betrayal. No more...enemy. Our Lord will return--this time with a shout. Maranatha.

Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, December 24, 2009

No Mistakes

He did not come in splendor. He came in humility. And He came just as God intended. It was no mistake that a census was called. It was no mistake that the inn was full. It was no mistake that young Mary delivered on the ground of a barn. It was no mistake. Our God was sovereign over the details.

Today I am meditating upon the reason we as followers of Christ rejoice this time of year. A huge marker in the Father's plan of redemption--ordained from the beginning--came forth that first Christmas night. Mary and Joseph had traveled 90 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem--probably on foot or donkey. Precious Mary was full-term--due to deliver. Which, by the way, I cannot even imagine. I could barely ride in a car for 30 minutes across town when my babies were due. But it was no mistake.

They arrived, as instructed by Caesar Augustus, only to find that their was no place for them to stay. And her labor began. I wonder if the scene went something like this: "Joseph, it's time." "It's time? Now? But Mary, there is no where for us to go. O Father, grant us wisdom... Over there. I see a stable." Then on dusty, smelly dirt, she gave birth to this promised Son of God while the animals watched and angels rejoiced. But it was no mistake.

The Father's ways are not our own, but He is completely, absolutely trustworthy. His timing is from all eternity. The sins and rebellion of mankind do not thwart His plans. He does not make mistakes. A Rock upon which to stand.

Mary had no idea when she rejoiced in God's strange plan nine months prior that she would soon deliver this baby in such an unfamiliar place, with unconventional ways. But it was no mistake.

When we as God's children--adopted as His own--face times of uncertainty and unfamiliarity our victory comes through our faith. As we believe and trust the heart of our Father--that He is working all things for our ultimate good and His necessary glory--peace resides. He makes no mistakes.

Best Blogger Tips

I've Got the Joy

This song just makes me (and my kids) very happy. Rejoicing today...

Joy to the World, by The Go Fish Guys

Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Kitchen Table

My kitchen table had no idea
The destiny to come
While it was on production lines--
Our family had begun.

We brought it home when number two
Would soon be making way;
With little thought of all the loving
Marks that would invade.

My kitchen table sits a quiet
Unimposing stance
Life moving at the speed of light--
An often awkward dance.

If only we could hear the tales
Of markers, forks, and glue--
They've left their unique signature,
With various depths and hues.

The memories we have made around
This soothing piece of wood
Have now become such priceless traits
Of early parenthood.

Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Something is Sticking

Three things I do not want to forget. Maybe something is actually "sticking":
  • My almost 2 year old saying "Shout to the Lord" with his hand lifted high. The audience doesn't matter. The location is irrelevant. He just declares it with all his might.
  • My 3 year old having a conversation with himself as he squeezed his calf muscle, "God just made me this way. I am squishy. God just made me this way."
  • My 5 year old coming to me one day after school explaining her concern, "Mommy, I asked all of my friends and they already know Jesus. I want to tell someone that doesn't know Him."

Three things I want to remember...especially in about thirty minutes when everyone is awake, bickering resumes, and whining reigns by default.

Make them one with you, o Lord.

Best Blogger Tips

Where are we going?

God's ways are not our ways. I naturally avoid pain, discomfort, unhappiness, and conflict. But God...well...His ways are not our own. We see the moment, He sees eternity. We desperately grasp for the illusion of control, He reigns on high. We have a plan, His will be done. His ways are not our own.

The victory of peace and joy comes in trusting His ways, even when we cannot see where we will end up; believing His heart of infinite love for His children, even when the moment seems to break us into pieces; and remembering His promises, even when today's minute seems like a stray on His watch.

His ways are not our own...but they can be stood upon with firm footing for He will never leave nor forsake.

Best Blogger Tips

Monday, December 21, 2009


Often it's the "dailiness" that gets me. To rejoice when the kids are loud, when my husband and I are just "off," or when the dryer breaks proves perplexing. But either God is sovereign over everything--every detail--or He is not. Either the God of this universe is who He declares Himself to be or I am standing on quicksand.

The reason Paul emphatically instructed that followers of Christ rejoice always--always--rests in the sovereignty of God. Nothing happens in the life of His child--big or small--without purpose and meaning. He does everything for His glory and our ultimate good--not good in the fluffy sense that comes with comfort. I am talking about "good" in our depths--secure, firm, peaceful, rested, trusting.

I want this truth to stand strong in my core. When the big or small crosses my tracks--the tragic or simple "dailiness"--I am desperate to rejoice in His sovereignty. In the midst of the wilderness, He satisfies with the bread of heaven (Psalm 105:40b). In the tempests of a storm, He says, "Look at my face and trust." Nothing is arbitrary--a Rock upon which to stand.

Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Concealing a matter is the glory of God,
Like a blanket of fresh snow on the ground.
And as a man does the same--covering the shame--
The reward of pure peace will resound.

My "rights" stand up tall--making sure they are seen--
Desperate to declare their own song.
But the One that I follow laid down all His claims
And was nailed to a tree for my wrong.

Once again I clinch tight that hammer and nails--
A familiar grip all the day.
Crucifying my rights and denying my own--
To Your name be glory and praise.

Inspired from my time in Proverbs this morning, specifically 19:11 and 25:2

Best Blogger Tips

Friday, December 18, 2009

Sacred meets Secular

Christmas. I seem to be nostalgic over Christmas's past. As a kid, Christmas was simple. You wanted stuff. You asked for stuff. You got stuff. Oh, and, don't forget that it was the day that Jesus was born. But now that "mommy" has been added to my list of names, it isn't so simple anymore.

For the past couple of years I have struggled through this time of year; like I am desperately trying to mesh that humbled reality of my king in a stable with the material focus daily invading my home through a multitude of catalogs. And I ask myself, "Would Jesus enjoy that He is depicted with inflatable nylon?"

Last night I picked up a friend for a concert and spent a minute talking with her kids. Do you know what I asked? "What do you want for Christmas this year?" Why? Why would I ask that? It is like I am a pawn in the hands of culture--brainwashed by the mentality that stuff rules supreme.

How does one teach thankfulness while satiated? How can my kids learn gratitude and appreciation while dripping? I think part of the answer is believing and then portraying that everything is ultimately His. All of it. And then asking, Father what do you want me to do with all that You have on-loan to me?


This has been a momentary view of my personal ponderings. Please do not hear guilt heaped upon your shoulders. The burden of our Savior is light.

Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, December 17, 2009

No Gift Receipt Needed

A little CS Lewis for the morning taste buds...

"For He (God) has, in the last resort, nothing to give us but Himself; and He can give that only insofar as our self-affirming will retires and makes room for Him in our souls." And only He ultimately satisfies.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the things of this temporal life--things upon which I seem to have some claim. But ultimately, in the depths within that long for peace and truth and joy, only He truly satisfies. Why? Because His character infinitely meets my desperate need for love.

He--Himself--is the gift to a weary soul. He heals the broken spaces. He invades the seemingly hardened heart. He pierces the places I have marked as my own. He gives life to the dead. He forgives...continually. He seals His adopted. He never forsakes His children and always fulfills His Word. He is the gift. We simply come.

We let go and bow down. We release. And we trust. We repent and declare. We accept...Him. He--Himself--is the perfect gift. Drink.

Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Pumpkin Soup


I have never posted a recipe before, but this was just too good and too original not to pass along. Hope you enjoy.

Cream of Pumpkin Soup:

  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans chicken broth
  • 2 cans pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 t. ground ginger
  • 1/8 t. ground black pepper
  • 1/8 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 c. milk (I used 1%)

Saute onion in butter until tender. Add 1 can chicken broth; stir well. Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes. Process the broth mixture with hand blender (or transfer to blender or processor) until smooth. Add remaining can of broth, pumpkin, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and pepper(s); stir well. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and milk and heat through. Do not boil. Enjoy.

Adapted from a recipe on

Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


People affect me. Sometimes I wish they didn't--like there was a protective shield that the attitudes and words of others could not penetrate. But that is not life. That is not how we are made. We are designed to be affected. Even Jesus was affected by His surroundings.

Throughout the gospels we see Him moved with compassion for the weary and scattered (see Matthew 9:35-38). He wept when He observed Mary and Martha walking through the pangs of death. He was affected...perfectly.

Jesus was, and is, one with the Father. He was the God-man--beyond our human comprehension. Every person, He knows intricately--He sees the heart. Every motive, He comprehends. Every word, He grasps the drive. He was affected...perfectly.

He is moved because He sees our desperate need for oneness with the Father. And I want to be affected like that--where the words and attitudes of others are filtered through His vision and His desire for their gaze. I want to respond to the heart of the matter rather than surface exchange. Father, only You can do this kind of work. I submit to Your filling.

Best Blogger Tips

Monday, December 14, 2009

Facebook Frenzy

It's a time warp. I glance at the clock on the lower right hand corner of our computer monitor and say to myself, "OK, only 5 minutes. I am only going to get on here for 5 minutes." Twenty minutes later I sign out, now knowing what a couple hundred of my closest "friends" are up to in their little corners of the world. That's right, I am talking about Facebook.

Is this site not ingenious? With the ability to bring every acquaintance you have ever had right into your living room, the term addiction easily comes with the territory. Not only that, there are hundreds of time-wasters, uh, I mean games, that draw-in even the most cautious of users. So what's a girl to do?

Most of my days are spent directing my live-in preschoolers, juggling housework, and swatting down "mommy-guilt" ever rising to the surface. So taking a few minutes to catch up with friends can prove refreshing. But user beware.

At our twenty-first century fingertips are a plethora of things wanting to make it into the top-ten of our perpetual to-do lists. But not all good things are good all the time. If I am faithful with my moments then I will be faithful with my life. It all comes down to the moment.

I luv me some Facebook; but I see in my own life that it must be handled with a guarded heart, guarded eyes, and a guarded watch.

Just thinking...

Best Blogger Tips


God does not delight in our pain. Do you ever think that He must? Having kids has helped me understand that phrase our parents spoke when we were little, "This hurts me more than it hurts you." Yeah right, I would think, then let's trade positions. Discipline out of love pains the parent. Likewise the Father's discipline does not bring Him delight.

I've been in Lamentations the past couple of days. God's people had rebelled--again--and forgotten His great deliverance and continual provision. They are portrayed as being in adultery. And God's anger arose. Why? Because this was His chosen people. He created out of love and knew their intricate design. He knew His children would only be truly blessed through obedience.

Because He loves, He disciplines--desiring to draw His own back into His boundaries of truth and peace. But discipline does not bring Him delight. "For the Lord will not cast off forever. Though He causes grief, yet He will show compassion according to the multitude of His mercies. For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men." (3:31-33) He disciplines His own because He loves.

The author of Lamentations--probably Jeremiah--realizes the multitude of God's compassions, even in the midst of desolate discipline, "You drew near on the day I called to You, and said, 'Do not fear!'" (3:57) Once he turned and called out to his Father, the Father responded--on that very day.

Discipline pains, but God does not delight in our hurt. His desire is that His own come back to the place of ultimate blessing--in fellowship with their Holy Father. Great is Your faithfulness.

Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Just One

I have been wanting to understand prayer in greater depths. I decided to read Jesus' prayer in John 17 with pen and paper in hand, wanting to write down every "type" of thing He said. I figure, if He said it then it must be right.

As I read the 26 verses of His conversation with the Father, I realized that He really only asked for one thing. That's it. Just one thing. He asked that those who believe would be one with the Father. That's it. Be one. Everything else is an outflow.

He didn't ask that their bodies prosper--spared from painful martyrdom. He didn't ask that they be taken out of this difficult world. He didn't ask that their marriages, children, or jobs would make them happy. He simply asked that they would be one with God on High.

This oneness is initiated by His mighty hand. Jesus says, "Sanctify them by Your Word. Your Word is truth." To sanctify means to be made holy. He is asking God to do the work of sanctification in the lives of those who would believe. Oneness with a holy Father.

So for what are we praying? Ultimately there is only one thing needed. Father, make me one with You.

Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Consider it Done

Caleb waited forty-five years. FORTY-FIVE--not minutes, years! God had made him a promise forty-five years prior--when he was forty years old--and when he was eighty-five, that promise was fulfilled. Forty-five years later. Yikes. (see Joshua 14:6-15)

I can hardly wait forty-five seconds for my cup of coffee to be reheated in the microwave, or forty-five minutes for someone to respond to my "urgent" email. To wait forty-five years blows my time frame right out of the water.

We truly are a microwave society. Most of the time we want things yesterday. And any delay in our plan sends us into a panic. But God's timing is not our own. He is working thousands of things every second of every day all while bringing about His ultimate will. If He said it then it will come to pass. We can rest here--calmly and confidently.

The other day I found something that I had documented over seven years ago. It was a vision God impressed upon me while at seminary for writing and teaching. "April, 2002: Father, the closer I get to you the more I understand you are calling me to teach and write the life lessons you work out in me." Seven years later the ball is slowly beginning to move. But His timing and ways are absolutely perfect.

If He said it then it will come to pass. All His promises in Christ are yes and amen. (2 Corinthians 1:20) May we keep our eyes set on Him, trusting His timing and provision for He is ever-faithful.

"Not a word failed of any good thing which the Lord had spoken to the house of Israel. All came to pass." (Joshua 21:45)

Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Humbly Thankful

We as people tend to think we deserve something from God--like we, in essence, are good. But we deserve nothing except what He graciously put upon His Son. I read the chapters in Joshua that detail the bloody conquests of the nations within the Promised Land and can't help but have a twinge of sorrow for the "innocent." But truthfully there are none innocent. (see Joshua 10-11)

When we read texts that are difficult to mesh with our twenty first century "civilized" minds, we have to go back to what we know is true about our Father. He is faithful to His Word. He is fully just. He sees the heart of man. He is love. He is holy. And He can be fully trusted. From the lens of His character we can look more clearly at difficult passages.

We deserve nothing except what He laid upon His Son. If you call Him "Daddy" then He has drawn you to Himself out of His great mercy, not because of our piddly good deeds. Praise Him.

Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Face of God

My kids have their own little Bible through which God often speaks so loudly. Do you have this happen? You are reading a bedtime Bible story to them, for their benefit, and wham! truth. Last night it was Jesus teaching the disciples how to pray, known as the Lord's prayer. You can read it for yourself from a non-caricature Jesus in Luke 11.

It was the first phrase of this prayer I have known since childhood that hit me like a brick before bed. "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name." A couple reminders to ponder from this short sentence:

First, when we pray we are talking to our heavenly Daddy. A Daddy that loves without limit and desires good things for His children. A Daddy who can be fully trusted with every desire our hearts may handle. A Daddy who knows the beginning from the end, the first from the last, and who is preparing a place for His own that no mind has ever conceived (1 Cor. 4:9). We are speaking to our Father in heaven.

Second, His name is to be hallowed. What is hallowed, you ask? Hallowed means to make holy, consecrated, and pure. The name of God is to be made holy in our hearts. His name--Who He is--rendered sanctified. In prayer it is easy to focus on His hands--all He does for us and to us and through us--but I think Jesus is challenging us to look at His face. Who is this God worthy of continual praise? Hallowed be His name.

In my own life I want to be at a place in my relationship with Him that even if He never does anything for me again--except just be my Daddy--His name is enough. Even if my world seemingly falls apart, I can still trust His motive towards me is love and He will never leave or forsake me, because that is Who He is. Father I long to look at Your face.

In our prayer time today join me in setting apart His name--entering His courts with praise simply for who He is.

Best Blogger Tips

Monday, December 7, 2009

It Felt Right

"You cannot coast through a single day or single decision with assumptions." (Paige Patterson) I have quoted Dr. Patterson's statement before, but it absolutely bears repeating. It was written in the margin of my Bible as I read Joshua 9 this morning. So I was reminded afresh.

The Israelites were on a spiritual mountaintop with the Lord. They had just defeated Ai and Joshua had renewed the Covenant before all the people. The kings of neighboring lands were hearing of this God who was leading them into victory, so fear of them spread throughout the nations. Life was good for the Israelites.

Then they were approached by the Gibeonites. Don't worry. You don't need to know details of Gibeon except that it was a nearby land who was fearful of destruction. The Gibeonites deceptively presented a "peace treaty" with the Israelites--in essence saying, "Please don't kill us"--and the men of Israel agreed, without seeking counsel of the Lord. (9:14-15) Did you catch that last phrase? Without seeking counsel of the Lord. And compromises entered.

We are just like them--those Israelites of old. We can get on a "mountaintop" with the Lord and then find that we have "coasted" through certain decisions without seeking our Father's counsel. Inevitably compromises follow. I know, I know. We like to think our intuition and feelings are somewhat reliable. But when we make decisions based on our earthly perception, the danger of breaking fellowship with God surfaces.

He both deserves and instructs our continual communion with Him--not because He is mean or untrusting, He simply loves us perfectly and desires our freedom. "We cannot coast through a single day or single decision with assumption." Words to live by.

Best Blogger Tips

Saturday, December 5, 2009


Some things seem like such a good idea when they are in the box. My mom wanted to spend some quality time with my kids and their cousins today so we planned a morning of making gingerbread houses. The picture on the packaging looked idealistic--perfectly decorated house with smiling family members, clean from head to toe.

So off we went with craft time--which my sister lovingly refers to as "crap time." (Crafts are not her thing. So she took pictures.)

Our first attempt at assembly proved fatal. The walls came crashing down while little hands frantically tried to salvage run away candy balls. Don't ask about the cups.

So I took the pieces away from the candy crazed kiddos and spent some time alone with the house--just me, the glue (aka icing), and the gingerbread walls. The pressure was on while in the background I heard continuous crunching and comments like, "Don't lick the icing off the table!"

But finally the cookie walls held together and the kids got busy decorating. In the end memories were made and little tummies were filled with too much sugar. Good times. Good times.

Best Blogger Tips


What does yeast have to do with anything? Good question. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. (Galatians 5:9) I was actually reminded of that phrase after reading Joshua 6 this morning--the account of when Jericho was utterly destroyed. Everything--young to old, male to female, ox to sheep--all destroyed at the edge of the sword...except Rahab and her family. (See Joshua 2 and 6) And our "cultured" minds can't help but to ask, "Why? Why everything?"

Sin and error have a way of pervading the heart and mind. As we dabble in things and thoughts that can steal our focus from the only One worthy of devotion, so the stirring of His Spirit wanes. A little leaven leavens the whole lump. And one day we wake up wondering why His anointing seems distant and unfamiliar.

It comes down to momentary choices: What do I want more, God or this thing, this relationship, this substance? If the choice is difficult, then it is possibly something that has taken a portion of our heart designed for our Creator. God wants every part of us. It isn't that He is selfish, He just knows us perfectly. He knows what is absolutely best and what would be most fulfilling for our depths.

Jericho was completely destroyed because God is holy and He desires His people to be set-apart from things and thoughts that will only lead to bondage. Joshua explains, "And you, by all means abstain from the accursed things, lest you become accursed when you take of the accursed things, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it." (6:18) Yeast has everything to do with it.

Best Blogger Tips

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Skewed Question

At my first read, it didn't seem He answered the question. Joshua appears to have been alone--at least for a moment. He and the Israelites were camped just outside of Jericho. Maybe he was pondering how God would possibly deliver such a secure city into their hands. When he lifted his eyes he saw a Man with His sword drawn, so he asked, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?"

The first word from the Man was "No." No? That isn't an answer. It wasn't a yes or no question. He continues, "but as Commander of the army of the Lord I have now come." (Joshua 5:13) Joshua responded by falling to his face in worship--apparently this Man was no man at all. He was God revealing Himself in bodily form. Then the Commander said, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." (5:15) So I sat for a moment, God, what does this mean? And He pressed in upon me.

This Commander was neither for the Israelites nor their adversaries, He was of the Lord's army. Joshua was asking the wrong question. None of this was about the Israelites. It wasn't about their delivery and conquest. It wasn't about them at all. It was about God. He was the One revealing Himself to the nations. He was the One fulfilling His promises. He was the One who was in the process of unfolding redemption for all peoples. He was the One worthy of praise. Joshua was looking too earthly.

In essence the Commander was saying, "I am not for you. I am not for your adversaries. I am for the Lord. The question is, will you follow Me?" We can get things so twisted at times, can't we? Our plans are devised, our dreams laid out, and then we look to God to follow us. But that is not how victories are won. A life of abundance--overflowing with peace and joy--comes when we sacrifice our agenda at the feet of the Lord and decide to follow Him, wherever He may lead.

To those who follow, He promises peace in the midst of a storm, joy that is stirred from within, and love without strings. That is ultimate living. That is victory. The Commander answered perfectly. It was the question that was skewed.

Best Blogger Tips

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Because Kids Will Ask

Kids ask questions--a bunch of questions. That is one way they figure out this crazy world. Just the other night at dinner my 5 year old was observing her "pet" ladybug in its plastic prison and asked, "Mommy, how do ladybugs communicate?" Yes, she said "communicate." Even my almost 2-year-old has started saying "why?"--though he doesn't really know what it means; he just knows that children are supposed ask.

God made kids this way. It is an aspect of their discovery process. He knows they will ask questions in their quest for understanding. That is one reason He instructed Joshua to set up a memorial out of stones.

God had just heaped up the waters of the Jordan river upstream so the Israelites could cross on dry ground. He then spoke to Joshua saying "Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests' feet stood firm. You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight." (Joshua 4:3)

So Joshua called the twelve appointed men--one from each tribe--and further explained God's instruction saying, "this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?' Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off (so the Israelites could cross over)." (Joshua 4:4-7) Kids will ask. Our responsibility is to remember the faithfulness of the Lord.

We as humans so easily forget. God miraculously provides healing or renewal one day, then the next day when our needful stomachs growl we wonder if He will remain faithful. Remember...He will. Maybe going to your neighborhood creek to gather memorial stones isn't for you. But join me in thinking of ways that we as parents can place markers in our home that remind us of those specific times where the mighty hand of God rescued and fulfilled. God is worthy of our generational praise.

See Joshua 3-4 for the full account of the Israelites crossing.

Best Blogger Tips

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Prostitute to Princess

From prostitute to the kingly line, Rahab is a picture of the great grace of our Lord. This woman was not an Israelite; she was from ancient Jericho. She was not a priest; she was a harlot. She did not know the depths of God's law; she had simple faith. And God used her in the lineage of His Son. That is grace.

This is the God of the Bible. He looks at the heart and simply observes our faith. Do we truly believe? With just the faith of a mustard seed, mountains move. It does not matter what you have done. It does not matter where you have been. It does not matter how far you have strayed. With just simple faith He moves in and pours His grace and love as a healing balm on those broken places. He then transforms us from the inside out, from tattered rags to royal cloaks. This is the God of the Bible.

He can use anyone, from anywhere, with any background. He simply looks to see whose gaze is pointed towards Him. In a sea of faces, scattered over this earth, will you be one who sets your eyes on Him--Creator, Sustainer, Redeemer, Gracious Father? Nothing is sweeter than knowing this One who gives life to the full.

You can read about Rahab in Joshua 2 and Matthew 1:5.

Best Blogger Tips

Home Twitter RSS Feed Email Subscription Facebook