Category Archives: My Studies

A little nugget

As for God, His way is perfect; The word of the Lord is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him.

2 Samuel 22:31.  Do I really need to say anything else??  🙂

 

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Stay Connected

Our responsibility as believers is to Abide (to stay or remain) in Christ and allow His word to Abide in us.  I’m so glad Jesus used illustrations and parables when he taught because I tend to be a visual learner.  In John 15: 1-11 Jesus talks about how He is the vine and we are the branches.  “He who abides in Me and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” When speaking of trees, vines and branches, it only makes sense that when the branch is connected to the tree it will produce, thrive and grow.  When a branch is disconnected from a vine it will eventually shrivel up and die.

Makes perfect sense in Nature.

Makes perfect sense in Parable Land.

I’ll even go as far as to say that it makes sense when we think in terms of Eternity.

But how much sense does it make on a subtle level?

What sparked this post was a T-shirt a lady was wearing at the gym.  I was sitting down doing lat pull downs and I felt kinda BLAH, like I was just going through the motions.  I couldn’t quite figure out the feeling.  Soon after, a lady passed by me wearing a pink tattered racer back tee that said, Abide in Me on the front.

One of those moments where you stop and think, God are you trying to tell me something?

This was around 9:15 a.m., my entire day began to flash before my eyes.  It started at 5:00 a.m. with me pressing snooze 3 times and trying to get a last snuggle in with my husband before he and my oldest daughter set off for her 5th grade trip to Tybee Island.  I dropped them off at 6:00 a.m., came back home and got my other 2 children ready to meet the school bus @ 7:00 a.m. Last but not least I had to deal with wardrobe malfunctions from a 3 year old  who said her socks were too slouchy and her shirt was and yes I quote, “not her style”.  8:20 a.m. we are off to the gym and almost an hour later I’m sitting there thinking…..

I’ve been up for 4 hours and I feel….. disconnected.

Now I did pray with my daughter before she left and my prayer was honest and sincere, but I believe I stopped at Amen.

I am in no way suggesting that I should have prayed a longer prayer.   What I am suggesting is that sometimes we can pray, or worship or whatever we do to connect with God and when we’re done we get off our knees and get on to our day.  Subconsciously, we leave God and His Presence right there until we come back to that spot next time.

Abiding in Him is so much more of a heart position than it is a check list type action.

To me Abiding is when my thoughts are linked to His Words.  It’s when the constant noise in my head is shut off and I’m in the moment enjoying life.  It’s when I feel like I’m not alone. Abiding for me is when I go through my day and I’m sure that somehow everything will fall in line. It’s when I laugh at something that should have made me upset and when I feel beautiful without a single compliment.

Abiding in Him produces much fruit, not only in our lives but in the lives of those around us.  Read John 15.  Discover all over again how much we need to stay connected.

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Is your heart longing?

” All of creation longs for the Creator”

This is something I say all the time.  I’m not sure if that’s my original quote or if I’ve heard it or read it somewhere and it’s stuck in my subconscious.  Either way its something I believe to be true.  I’ve always been intrigued by those adoption or switched at birth stories that make national news every once in a while.  The children in these cases always talk about how they longed to find their birth parents.  In the cases where the children did not know that they were in the wrong family, they mention things like: “I always felt different” or “something inside me knew I was not complete”.

In my own life, I grew up with an abusive dad.  I was removed from him around age 7 and have not seen him since.  Almost 26 years later my heart still longs for him in many ways.  It’s weird but I believe it’s only natural.

This principle applies even in nature.  Penguins for example are born in very large groups yet they never get “switched at birth” and they can always find their mama.

What about a more classic example, “Are you my Mother?” The story where a hatching bird can’t find his mother and goes around asking an irritated cow, dog, hen and kitten if they are his mother.   When the animals refuse him, he gets desperate and asks a plane, boat and power shovel….”Are you my mother?”

Crazy huh?  But it goes to show that humans, animals, and illustrated characters will do whatever it takes to find the one that created them.

The bird in P.D. Eastman’s story may seem in need of a psych evaluation after asking things that look nothing like him, if they were his mother.  Now the airplane, OK maybe I can see the resemblance. But the cow? C’mon that’s a stretch.

Genesis 1:26 says we were made in His image.  Everyone. Not just a few of us.  So we are ALL longing for God, our Heaven Father whether we acknowledge Him or not.

Much like the skinny, half baked bird…We often search after things that don’t resemble us or reflect our Heavenly Father. How many times do we desire to find temporary comfort in the arms of another person, a financial increase, or perhaps an addiction?

When we’re lost, or simply confused about our life, it’s natural to search…But eventually it’s time to come home.

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. 12 Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.                                                                                                             Jeremiah 29:11-14

 

Additional Scriptures:

Matthew 11:28

Galatians 3:26

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No Escape

Psalm 139:7-16 is such a beautiful passage.  Today I’m marveling in the fact that I literally can not escape God.  He knew me before I knew myself and His plans for us are sure.  Be encouraged…

Where can I go from your Spirit?

Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;

if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,

if I settle on the far side of the sea,

even there your hand will guide me,

your right hand will hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me

and the light become night around me,”

even the darkness will not be dark to you;

the night will shine like the day,

for darkness is as light to you.

For you created my inmost being;

you knit me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;

your works are wonderful,

I know that full well.

My frame was not hidden from you

when I was made in the secret place.

When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

your eyes saw my unformed body.

All the days ordained for me

were written in your book

before one of them came to be.

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Be Magnified

I say these words,”Lord Be Magnified” all the time. In some ways it’s a habit, it’s what I’m used to hearing.  It’s kind of like saying, “Hi, how are you?” to a passing stranger and not awaiting the response.  Most of the time we’re  not asking how the other person is really doing, it’s just something we’ve tacked on to the end of Hi because Hi was too short.  The same is true of religious sayings.

What does it mean for God to be Magnified?  As I was thinking about this, the only image that came to mind was a magnifying glass.  In my mind God is already big so I was a little confused about what it meant to magnify God.

Ding!  Imagine me with a light bulb on top of my head.

I got it. I realized that God was big to me in theory, but when I looked closely at my life there were many things that I had allowed to become bigger than Him.

This morning my sleep became bigger than Him. It’s just starting to get cold here and I figured instead of getting up to pray, I would meet God under my covers.  We could get nice and cozy, I’d close my eyes and we could talk there.  I’m sure you know the rest of the story….I went back to sleep.  I missed out on my time with Him and had to rush into my day.

On Tuesday I might let a financial worry become bigger than Him, on Wednesday it might be an emotional one.  At some point there is something in our lives that wants to parade itself bigger than God.  We get fooled into thinking that other things are more deserving of our time and attention.

I understand now that, “Be Magnified” is not just an endearing term, it is a reminder to us.  God is already enormous, so those words don’t make Him any bigger.  Instead they challenge us to make Him larger in our own lives.

Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;  And let those who love Your salvation say continually, “Let God be magnified!” Psalm 70:4 

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Is God Enough?

God himself is not enough for us, it’s sad but it’s true.  A few months ago I was stepping out of the shower, why that’s important to mention I don’t know..I guess because God usually speaks to me in the shower.  Anyway he said if you were locked in a dark janitors closet for the rest of your life would I be enough?  (In this dark closet somehow I knew I could still use the bathroom and eat and stuff, so I was alive) but the first thoughts I had were what I needed: light, fresh air, hugs, guacamole, activities, human interaction, cozy socks, etc.  I wanted to say no.  I still want to say no.  I didn’t answer that immediately but God knew what I was thinking.  He said why? Why am I alone not enough?  I was embarrassed.

Of course God’s not planning to lock me in a janitors closet, at least I hope he’s not.  But if for some reason I found myself in that situation or a more realistic one like dealing with a sickness or suffering a loss, would God be enough for me?

How often do we look at this limited view of life: our circle, our friends, and compare ourselves? How often do we let what’s advertised define what we should have, instead of realizing that by simply being alive we are blessed?

I need God to be enough for me, no matter what I’m going through, but it’s not anything that He can do.
He already is, already was and always will be enough.
It’s something that I must continue to understand.
I’m reminded of Moses and the time he asked God how should he introduce Him to the children of Israel.  God said, “I AM WHO I AM” (because it’s in all caps I think God was shouting, 🙂 ) God said, “tell the children of Israel I AM has sent me to you.”  I don’t know what Moses was thinking at that time, but my first thought is I AM? what kind of name is that?  I AM..what?
That’s just it though.  No more needs to be said.
I AM {any and everything that you will ever need}
{Insert:} Healer, Provider, Comforter, Helper, Protector……the list goes on and on
Be encouraged today, God is more than Enough.
Check out Moses’ story in the book of Exodus.  Reference mentioned comes from Exodus 3:14

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Fragrant

Before I get into what I think this means, I just want to talk about the Bible for a second…it’s amazing, it’s truly the only book that I know of that never gets old. Now I understand why it’s called the Living Word. You can read it over and over and the same passage you skimmed over last week can provide so many answers and revelation in another.  I can not tell you how many times I’ve read Corinthians (both of them) but today, I read this and I’m like, “when did this get in here?”

14 Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place. 15 For we are to God the fragrance of Christ among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing. 16 To the one we are the aroma of death leading to death, and to the other the aroma of life leading to life. And who is sufficient for these things? 17 For we are not, as so many, peddling the word of God; but as of sincerity, but as from God, we speak in the sight of God in Christ.

(2 Corinthians 2:14-17 NKJV)

No doubt lately I’ve been dealing with my responsibility to rep Christ to others.  This passages clearly states that through us God diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  (Diffuses: to pour out and to cause to spread freely)

We as human being are responsible for pouring out the knowledge of Christ. It’s important to know that God always uses people.  Sure God is all powerful, all knowing, all well,….. EVERYTHING but when He desires to get a job done He uses us- a bunch of unlikely suspects.

To God we are the forerunners,  the fragrance or representation of Christ, not only to those who know him but to those who are at risk of dying because they do not know Him.  Sounds like a huge responsibility to me and I believe that’s why it says at the end of verse 16 who is sufficient in these things? or in other words who can really handle this?

There is no answer that I see, but I do see something else (verse 16) To some we are the smell of death and to others we are the fragrance of life.

Here’s an illustration, as a child of God I’m like an empty perfume bottle, God fills me with perfume which smells very good by the way. And he gives me the responsibility of spraying that fragrance where ever I go.

Now the reality is that some are going to recognize the smell and love it, perhaps their Grandma wore it when they were a child.

Some will recognize it and hate it, maybe their ex wore it and they were hurt by them.

Some people may have never smelled the fragrance and are intrigued by it, while others are unwilling to give something unfamiliar a try.

I could go on and on with examples, but my point is, the burden of being used by God is really not a burden at all.

I have such a hard time simplifying my responsibility  I want to step in and play master chemist and create these wonderful fragrances that I’m sure everyone will love.  But that’s soooo not the case, it’s not my job to give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:7)

My responsibility lies in simply staying empty, being ready, being willing, being lead (verse 14). My job is to disperse, God will reel in the victories.(Luke 5:4-5)

With a sincere heart and a sweet aroma, be encouraged to share the Love and the Knowledge of Christ with everyone that you come in contact with.

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October 24, 2012 · 3:21 am