A Wise Woman

We’ve been hearing a lot from God about wisdom lately, haven’t we?  James 1 was full of directions to us regarding wisdom.April 15 2015 a wise woman

And now, in 1 Samuel, we read the story about a wise woman who saves a city.  How does she do that?

She was wise in her approach to Joab, she didn’t let emotions get in the way, and she had a good suggestion which she was willing to follow-through.

She speaks truth into the situation.  Joab is going to ‘take down’ the city in order to get one man.  The wise women spoke to Joab, reminding him that this was a peaceful city with a strong history of faithfulness to Israel.

And Joab agrees to just take the man and leave the city alone.

Just like that.

A wise woman speaking truth saved the lives of the people living in that city.

Please give us wisdom, Abba Father.

Psalm 3, 2015

There are so many thoughts and feelings fighting within me, dear God.

There are problems and situations rising up all around me!

I find myself often thinking that you aren’t in control of this.  That you aren’t going to work this one out for my good.

But I know, dear Lord, that you protect me.April 14 2015 Psalm 3

I know that your power within me can lift my head up high so I can see you.

So I can focus on you.

When I call out to you, you always answer.

I can sleep at night because you are with me.

I have no fear because I know that you love me and give me strength.

Deliver me from all the things that distract my attention away from you.

As a wave of other people’s voices washes over me, dear God, help me to hear only yours.

I know you will deliver me, God.

You have proved your faithfulness to me.

May your blessing be on us, your people.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Sword Fighting Class- We’re Not Done

We’re not done memorizing scriptures.  God has made this extremely clear to me as I have been praying about whether to continue the sword fighting classes or not.  The answer was a resounding ‘don’t stop’.  So then I started praying about what to memorize and had thought I was going to memorize a part of Isaiah that I love.  Proverbs 2 1st page - this oneBut God said, “Proverbs 2 – more about wisdom.”

So, we’re memorizing Proverbs 2 :)  God promises he will help us.   I know of 6 people who are memorizing it with us so that will be awesome!  Proverbs 2 starts off with one God’s many commands to us to memorize scripture.  Here we go:

‘My child, if you accept my words and store up my commands within you..’

Yes, Abba Father.

Psalm 51, 2015

I ask for a pure heart, O God!

A heart that is focused on you.

Keep me close to your side and grow your spirit within me.

Bring back the joy I felt when I first asked you to save me.April 11 2015 Psalm 51, 2015

Give me a faithful heart so I remain very near to you.

Then I will tell others about your saving grace.

I will share the truth you have revealed to me.

Please lift the burden of my guilt from me, O God.

Help me live in your grace and I will sing of your goodness forever.

When I open my mouth, Lord, let it be to praise you.

I know you don’t want me to just ‘show up’ at church because it’s the right thing to do.

I know you don’t want me to give money to the church just because it’s the right thing to do.

I know you don’t want me to read the Bible just so I can check it off of my reading plan for the year.

You want my heart to be broken open,

repentant,

humbled,

willing to be filled with truth by you,

my joy renewed by your grace.

Thank you, Abba Father.

 

Prominent scientist came to faith when he examined the data

Judy Glasser:

There must be a ‘must’ behind all of this.

Originally posted on Mustard Seed Budget:

Francis CollinsThe current head of the National Institutes of Health, Francis S. Collins, came to faith after he set out to disprove God.

“I had always assumed that faith was based on purely emotional and irrational arguments and was astounded to discover that one could build a very strong case for the plausibility of God,” he noted on CNN. “My earlier atheist’s assertion that ‘I know there is no God’ emerged as the least defensible.”

A geneticist, Collins was appointed director of the $3 billion international Genome Project in 1993, which completed sequencing the 3.3 billion pairs of nucleotides by 2004. The resulting gene map offers hope to cure genetic disorders.

It also gave Collins a spectacular view into the magnificence, order, and finely-tune perfection of the DNA molecule, God’s software for every living thing. Directorship of the Genome Project was touted as the most prestigious job in science at the time.

“At…

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Do It!

It bothered David that he was now living in a palace while the ark of the covenant of the Lord was in a tent.April 9 2015 Do it.

When David told Nathan the prophet what he was worried about, Nathan told David that he should do something about it.  It was on David’s mind and Nathan reminded David that God was with him.

If this conversation happened today, it might sound something like this:

David: Nathan, I can’t stop thinking about the ark of the Lord sitting over there in that tent while I sit in this big palace.  It’s really bugging me.

Nathan:  Why do you think that’s bugging you, David?  You know how God is always talking to you.  Do you think this is God telling you to fix this situation?  If so, you better do something about it.

As we read God’s word today, Nathan is saying the same thing to us.  God is always trying to talk to us.  His Spirit lives within all of us who believe.  When we are being ‘bugged’ by thoughts, we need to meditate on God’s word to us.  We need to figure out what God is telling us to do and then do it!

The more we listen, the louder God’s voice becomes.

Thank you, Abba Father.

The Power

Do you feel the power of the Holy Spirit living within you?

What does this power feel like?

We read in 2 Samuel that David and his army took over Jerusalem.  Because God was with David, David became more and more powerful.  David was obedient and, as a result of that obedience, God was able to fulfill his plan for David and establish him as king.

Isn’t that what we want?  Not to be king  :).  But don’t we want God to be able to use us for his purposes?  We want God’s dreams for us to come true.ddddddddddddddddDSC_0315

I had the opportunity to visit the City of David in Jerusalem last year. (pictures)   It’s very hard to try to describe what it felt like to stand within the ruins of David’s palace, looking down over the rooftops of Jerusalem.

Knowing that my God was David’s God.

The Alpha and Omega.

The Beginning and the End.ddddddddddDSC_0326

God was with David in Jerusalem.  God’s power was in David, helping him to obediently fulfilled his purpose on earth.  When David was done, our Father God brought him home.

God was also with me in Jerusalem.  The power of his Holy Spirit lives within me, helping me to fulfill my purpose.  I’m still here because I’m not done yet.  When my time is up, he will bring me home to be with him.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Our Next Step

We can spend a lot of time thinking about and worrying about our next step.

The next step for our career.April 6 2015 our next step

The next step for our marriage.

The next step for our children.

The next step as we grow older.

Our next steps can often seem like they are in a fog – unclear, hard to see.

I’m one of those people who like challenges.  I like trying new things.  So thinking about my next steps excites me, motivates me.  But that doesn’t make them any clearer.

David shows us in 2 Samuel what to do at times like these.  David inquired of the Lord.  He asked God if the next step he was planning to take – going to a town in Judah- was the right one.  And God said, “Go.”

Then David asked for more details – which town was he supposed to go to?  And God said, “Hebron.”

So David went.

At this point, David could be 100% sure he was where God wanted him to be.  With that assurance came the knowledge that God would be protecting him and blessing him in Hebron.

We can have this assurance as well – that we’re right where God wants us, covered by his love and protection.  We just need to ask.  God will answer.

James 1 teaches us to believe that God will answer.  We need to have no doubts about this.   God promises that he will give us generous amounts of wisdom in every situation…..if we ask him and believe.

The answers may not be what we want to hear.  David might not have wanted to go to Hebron.  But he went.  He obeyed.  A wise choice.

David believed that God would guide his steps.  And God did.

God promised he will do the same for us.  One of my favorite verses about this is Proverbs 3: 5&6. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

We claim that promise, dear Father.  Thank you.

Sword Fighting Class – It is Possible

Nothing is impossible with God.  We have memorized the whole first chapter of James and I know that would be totally impossible for me if God wasn’t helping.  I’m not good at memorizing things…..but scripture is different.  God makes it possible.James 1 1 - 9

So with hearts filled with gratitude to God for helping us carve these words right into our hearts and minds, we lift these words to you, dear Father:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.  If anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without fault, and it will be given to him.  But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea blown and tossed by the wind.  That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.James 1 part 2

The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position while the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, for he will pass away like the wild flower.  The sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the plant; the blossoms fall and its beauty is destroyed.  In the same way, a rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business.

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial because, when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me’ for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone.  But each one is tempted when, by his own evil desires, he is dragged away and enticed.  Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

Don’t be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters, every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.  He chose to give us birth through the word of truth that we might be a kind of first fruits of all he created.

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this; everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.  Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word that is planted in you, which can save you.

Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Anyone who listens to the word and does not do what it says is a like a man who looks at his face in the mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.

But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that brings freedom and continues to do this, not forgetting what he heard, but doing it – that man will be blessed in what he does.

If anyone considers himself to be religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.  Religion that God the father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after the orphans and widows in their distress and to keep from being polluted by the world.

One of the ways we keep ourselves from being polluted by the world is memorizing scripture.  God’s truth sinks into our brain, changing our thoughts which changes our attitude which changes our actions.

Thanks you, dear Father.

He is Faithful

Do you have days where it feels like there are problems and challenges coming at you from all sides?

I do.March 31 2015 he is faithful

Issues come up at work.

Difficulties arise in my personal life.

These are also the times where I get a tooth ache or a cold.

Or I get a flat tire on my car.

And the washing machine stops working.

And the dog starts having a weird cough.

I know you’ve been there, too.

One of the blessings of being adopted by God as his child is knowing that we can reach out to God in the middle of all of this mess and he will give us peace.

He will give us strength.

We know from etchingJames 1 onto our minds that, when we persevere under trials by asking God for wisdom, he will always give us in a generous amount and we grow and mature.  We become complete.

God is always faithful.  David knew this.  We read in 1 Samuel that God had rescued David from the paw of a lion and the paw of a bear so David was confident that God would give him victory over Goliath.

What are the Goliaths that we’re facing today?

Dear Father, we ask for the bold confidence David had as we face our own Goliaths.  We know you are faithful.  You have always taken care of us in the past.  You will always love and care for us in the future.  Please help us live each day with that confidence – with that attitude – knowing you are helping us fight our lions, our bears and our Goliaths.  We love you, dear Father.  In the awesome name of Jesus we pray, Amen.