Don’t Fear the Storms

Into every life a little rain must fall.

Isn’t that what they say? I’m deep into the psalms in my morning quiet time and storms do come but the testimony of God’s people is one of faithfulness and steadfast love, of rescue and salvation, of deliverance and praise.

He is mighty to save, abounding in steadfast love and mercy.

Maybe that’s why I love a good storm. I see the clouds moving in and feel the change in the air and know that the world is going to be washed clean.

After the thunder fades and the lighting ceases I know there will be a freshness, a newness to the earth. Some things will be removed and washed away. Some things will be refreshed and nurtured.

And no matter what the earth will still stand, upheld by his hand.

Do not fear the storms that come your way, friend, no matter how fierce they seem.

“When I thought, “My foot slips,” your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19

What You Ought To Remember

You know what’s embarrassing? Slamming the toilet lid down in a public restroom because you forget that all toilet lids are not self closing like the ones at home.

You know what’s painful? Forgetting that you chopped jalapeños a few hours ago and rubbing your eye.

You know what is not embarrassing or painful? God’s forgiveness. The teaching of Scripture is that when we confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us. Not just forgive either but to cleanse us from the dirt and mess of our sin. And if that were not enough, we are told He throws our sin away as far as the east is from the west.

You know what God doesn’t forget?

Us.

Me.

You.

He remembers our frame. He remembers that we are His people and He is our God.

He remembers His promises.

So many promises! But this morning I woke up thinking about forgiveness and Psalm 139. Such thoughts are, indeed, too wonderful.

You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it. (Verses 5 & 6)

I hope you begin your week thinking of the promises God gives to His children. And may you walk in them.

Happy Monday y’all.

It’s All Good

I was having a bit of a rough minute this morning.

Rob has been out of town all week and I am ready for him to be home. I have a few things weighing on my mind and the pups were/are being a bit of a handful. To top it off my emotions seem to be a bit, shall we say, emotional?

All in all, I was feeling a tad sorry for myself but trying to buck up and give myself a pep talk. In the course of said pep talk I was reminding myself of Psalm 139 and encouraging myself to remember that God knows my frame; I’m fine. Everything is fine.

I sit at the dining room table in the morning to read my Bible and go over my prayer cards. I refreshed my cup of coffee and sat down deciding to read Psalm 139 in full.

I literally laughed out loud as I read verses 11 & 12 because in that exact moment the sun rose just enough above the trees to flood my table with its glow.

“If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night, even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you.”

Such a funny and sweet reminder from Him not to let myself get overwhelmed. As if He wore glasses He’d be looking over the top of them saying, “You’re fine.”

And it’s true.

It’s all good.

Think On These Things

My son, be attentive to my words;
incline your ear to my sayings.

Let them not escape from your sight;
keep them within your heart.

For they are life to those who find them,
and healing to all their flesh.

Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.

Put away from you crooked speech,
and put devious talk far from you.

Let your eyes look directly forward,
and your gaze be straight before you.

Ponder the path of your feet;
then all your ways will be sure.

Do not swerve to the right or to the left;
turn your foot away from evil. 

~Proverbs 4:20–27

 

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Think On These Things

You Will Not Abandon My Soul

A Miktam of David.

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”

As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.

The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.

The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.

I bless the LORD who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the LORD always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.

You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

~Psalm 16

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Think On These Things

The LORD Our God Is Holy

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble!
He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!

The LORD is great in Zion;
he is exalted over all the peoples.

Let them praise your great and awesome name!
Holy is he!

The King in his might loves justice.
You have established equity;
you have executed justice
and righteousness in Jacob.

Exalt the LORD our God;
worship at his footstool!
Holy is he!

Moses and Aaron were among his priests,
Samuel also was among those who called upon his name.
They called to the LORD, and he answered them.

In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them;
they kept his testimonies
and the statute that he gave them.

O LORD our God, you answered them;
you were a forgiving God to them,
but an avenger of their wrongdoings.

Exalt the LORD our God,
and worship at his holy mountain;
for the LORD our God is holy!

                                                                                                                                       ~Psalm 99

 

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Monday Musings

When were kids my oldest sister was the crafty creative one then as we all became adults I became the one who takes pictures and blogs, plans parties and decorates, etc. (She still gets really great ideas and can find all the parts and pieces to make things happen. It’s her gift, really.)

But recently our little sister has had the opportunity to do some writing for a women’s ministry that she is involved in and one post she shared stayed in my head and kept me thinking so I am going to piggyback on what she was talking about for a few minutes.

In her devotion she was addressing this idea in our culture of female empowerment, the constant bombardment of equality for women that disregards the true power we have in favor of the pseudo power the world would have us believe is more and better. She reminded her readers that we were designed with a purpose, formed by a rib being taken from man’s side to be his helper. She went on to explain the duties and functions of our actual ribs:

Anatomically speaking, ribs are connected to the spine. This gives strength and power to them. They are an essential connection to the very core that holds a person up. They are there to uplift. They come around and protect the heart and lungs, blood and oxygen.

We can’t survive without them. The ribs guard those inmost, core parts and protect them from harm. In this way, we are to guard our loved ones, protect them, and ensure that they have what they need to live. Ribs are small but strong bones, they may bruise but they are not easy to break. 

Toni Marie made a beautiful connection from the physical description to the spiritual. We uplift. We protect.

But did you know that ribs can pop out of place? Two weeks ago I started noticing a discomfort in my back when I moved a certain way or tried to breath too deeply. It was hard to put my finder on and explain what the exact problem was but it just felt off, not right. Turns out one of my ribs had moved out of place. Thankfully I already had an appointment scheduled with the chiropractor who found the problem, popped it back into place, and straightened me out.

Reading my sister’s words on the heels of that experience showed me how easy it is for us as women to become disjointed. We let ungratefulness, a bad attitude, bitterness, selfishness, or unforgiveness push us out of place and instead of uplifting or protecting those around us we become that dull discomfort that they try to live with and around or that sharp pain that becomes a hindrance that keeps them from doing and being what they were made to do and be.

Thankfully, the fix is just as quick as the chiropractor popping my actual rib back into place. When we confess the sinfulness that has us out of place with the body, be it in our marriage or relationships with our children, or at church, wherever it is,  the Great Physician promises to forgive us, to heal and restore us. He puts us back into our place and we are able to do that which we were made for.

That, in and of itself, is reason to rejoice.

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At The Same Time

There are several things about doing the Bible reading challenge that I love. Firstly, there are rather large chunks of Scripture being read at a time and there is something about taking in that much of God’s word, something about stepping back and reading the big picture. And always, no matter how many times I may have read a passage, there is usually something that stands out to me.

I have read the story of Moses being given the Ten Commandments a hundred times in my life but for some reason the timing of it all just clicked in focus so sharply that I literally had to stop and go back to make sure I was seeing what I was seeing. This blew my mind. Moses is on the mountain and God is giving him the law and explaining all the particulars about the Tabernacle and sacrifices and the garments for Aaron and his sons, and the sacrifices that were to be made on behalf of the people. God is literally declaring that He will be their God and they will be His people. He is laying out how they may come to Him and how Aaron will be their priest and what his duties will be.

And it’s not like God was talking to Moses with His backed turned to the people of Israel and didn’t know what they were doing. Do you know what they were doing at that exact same moment? During those days that Moses was before God, learning all about how God was making a people for Himself, and they were down there throwing gold into the fire and worshipping a golden cafe.

The two things happened simultaneously. At the same time God was declaring His faithfulness man was declaring his unfaithfulness. Like I said, I have read that story numerous times but for some reason the timing of it was such a stark contrast. It literally left me breathless.

Have you ever stopped and considered what was going on the same moment you are sinning? What we are declaring in the midst of our sin, at the same moment that Christ is declaring His faithfulness over us? His love. His forgiveness. His restoration. His reconciliation. Our unfaithfulness. Our willfulness. Our un-forgiveness. Our brokenness. He declares life even when we declare death. His sufficiency drowns out the voice of our insufficiency.

Doesn’t that simply blow your mind? His mercy and grace is so great that in spite of our sin yesterday, our sin today, and our sin tomorrow, He has not only called us out to be His people and He to be our God but He has created good works for us to walk in. All for our good and for His glory.

What an absolutely glorious thought to consider.

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Think On These Things

“Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil.

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,

addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 

                                                                                                                             Ephesians 5:14–21