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How to have success…

Think about it…Adam and Eve walked in perfect relationship with God – until they chose to eat the fruit they were told not to.

When they chose to disobey God, their eyes were opened to the knowledge of good and evil (up to that point they only knew good).

Because of this, THEY hid from God. God, on the other hand, called to them and covered them.

Don’t let Satan deceive you into thinking that God will turn His back on you due to your sin. That is not His nature… not even from the beginning.

Our sin separates us, yes. But we are the ones that cause the separation. We are the ones that hide, and we are the ones that avoid. All because our eyes are open to the knowledge of good and evil.

But, there is significance to and importance in going back to the beginning of the story.

God went to the garden, and the very place where He and Adam & Eve walked together in perfect relationship…He went to that place and called to them. It wasn’t that He didn’t know they had disobeyed…He knew it before it happened.

He didn’t go there to lecture or condemn…He went there to show that He is never changing, and that He desires a relationship with us.

Up to that point, Adam and Eve had not been aware of their nakedness…so they attempted to cover themselves with leaves. A covering that wouldn’t last.

It was God that covered them with skins… did He have to? No. But He showed from the very first sin that He desires to be our covering…a covering that lasts. A covering that can only be achieved by the taking of life.

The only person that God ever turned His back on was His own Son… because it was then that the burden of sin from the very beginning until the end had to be atoned for. Jesus asked, in the garden, before He was arrested…”Father, if there is any other way…”
but there wasn’t.

God provided the first covering, and He provided the final covering.

All for sin. All because we listen to the alluring melody of sin…a bait and switch game that looks and sounds like abundant life – but in truth, is misery and bondage.

And in that we place blame…we say that God has tempted us beyond what we can endure. We say that He is absent. We say He is uncaring.

All while He is calling to us, as He did from the beginning, to walk and talk with Him in perfect communion.

I will not fail you or forsake you…Only be strong and very courageous; be careful to do according to what (I) have commanded you – do not turn …. to the right or to the left, so that you may have success wherever you go. – Joshua 1:5-7

In Christ I am…
Deb

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Our inheritance…

Hello Truth Seekers…

Romans 12:2 (NIV)
2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

I woke up at 4 this past Sunday morning with many things on my mind. Thoughts shooting like stars across the sky…not random, but real thoughts. I then felt those thoughts being categorized…as in files…to be placed in an order of sorts. Some had to do with my business, some regarding my home. Some were health/wellness related, and some family concerns. None of my thoughts were insignificant, but as a whole they were as though they had been stored up to overflowing and were spilling out.

Finally, a portion of scripture…”be transformed by the renewing of your mind”. I then knew it was time to get up and study.

Definition of transform
transitive verb
1
a : to change in composition or structure
b : to change the outward form or appearance of
c : to change in character or condition : convert
2
: to subject to mathematical transformation
3
: to cause (a cell) to undergo genetic transformation
intransitive verb
: to become transformed : change

Definition of renew
transitive verb
1
: to make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection <as we renew our strength in sleep>
2
: to make new spiritually : regenerate
3
a : to restore to existence : revive
b : to make extensive changes in : rebuild
4
: to do again : repeat
5
: to begin again : resume

Definition of regenerate
1
: formed or created again
2
: spiritually reborn or converted
3
: restored to a better, higher, or more worthy state

After the scripture came to me, but before I got up, the LORD reminded me who I am. This thought came to me as a result of a lighthearted comment I made yesterday regarding my broken tooth. I said that if I was to receive a crown, I would rather it be in the form of a tiara since I AM a princess of sorts.

God reminded me this morning that I AM a princess…as a daughter of the KING! He also reminded me that I am His BRIDE, and I have a certain authority because of my position.

This is quite significant because of the call He has placed on my life as an intercessor. It is also significant because of my placement in the business community. And last, but certainly not least, it is significant because of the vision He has given me to advance His Kingdom.

It would be easy to sit back and think that advancing age would give me a free pass…but then the LORD reminds me of Moses and Abraham. He also shows me that “… though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” (I fell on the ice this week, but I was not injured).

As I looked further at the word transform, I found another significant scripture…
2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NIV)
17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

And that brings me back to the original thought, and the word “Be”
be (bē)

1. To exist in actuality; have life or reality: I think, therefore I am.
2.
a. To occupy a specified position
b. To remain in a certain state or situation undisturbed,

We must BE transformed…we must OCCUPY our specified position, and remain in that state UNDISTURBED!!!

John 14:11-13 (NIV)
11 Believe me when I say that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; or at least believe on the evidence of the works themselves. 12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

WHAT A WAY TO START THE DAY!!! To be reminded by God of the position He has given me…and the authority I have in that position. And even as I type, the LORD has led me to 2 Kings 2…

6 Then Elijah said to him [Elisha], “Stay here; the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.”

And he [Elisha] replied, “As surely as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them walked on.

7 Fifty men from the company of the prophets went and stood at a distance, facing the place where Elijah and Elisha had stopped at the Jordan. 8 Elijah took his cloak, rolled it up and struck the water with it. The water divided to the right and to the left, and the two of them crossed over on dry ground.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?”

“Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit,” Elisha replied.

…Elijah went up to heaven in a whirlwind. 12 Elisha saw this and cried out, “My father! My father! The chariots and horsemen of Israel!” And Elisha saw him no more. Then he took hold of his garment and tore it in two.

13 Elisha then picked up Elijah’s cloak that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the cloak that had fallen from Elijah and struck the water with it. “Where now is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” he asked. When he struck the water, it divided to the right and to the left, and he crossed over.”

Oh boy…I’m gonna stop there for now but I feel like I’m on the edge of a cliff hanger. Let it be so LORD, let it be so…

Deb

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Psalm 139:23 & 24.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive [hurtful] way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

My meditation…
Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.

Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
Above all else, guard your heart,
for everything you do flows from it…

Proverbs 4:23 (NASB)
Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life…

Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life…

Heart…
a. The vital center and source of one’s being, emotions, and sensibilities.
b. The repository of one’s deepest and sincerest feelings and beliefs
c. The seat of the intellect or imagination

Test…A procedure for critical evaluation; a means of determining the presence, quality, or truth of something.

What does my heart…my being…really consist of? Show me LORD, if there is anything that is not pleasing to You. Are there places that are hidden…where I am ‘self’ deceived? Bring those places out into Your light, that I might repent. Lead me Oh God…in the way everlasting…eternal duration; eternity. Take me by the hand…keep me on the path of righteousness. I give my rights to You and surrender my will to Yours. You, my GOD, who know me better than I know myself…the One who made a written plan for my life before I was ever formed in my mother’s womb. A plan for good and not evil…a plan to prosper me, with hope and a future. Why would I think my plan could be better???

You… who set the earth on it’s foundation and marked off it’s dimensions. You…Who stretched a measuring line across it
and determined on what were its footings set, laid its cornerstone—
while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy…

You…God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit. I offer my life to You as a living sacrifice, and ask that all I say and all I do be worship to You. Let my life be praise to You.

Psalm 40:5-8 (NIV)
5 Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened—
burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”

Yes, and amen…I am yours. Lead me in the way everlasting.

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Psalm 139:23 & 24…morning

Good morning Truth Seekers…
Today we will skip a few verses and rest on
Psalm 139:23 & 24.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive [hurtful] way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

These are the last verses in this beautiful Psalm…I do pray you’ve been meditating on it and writing down what the LORD has been speaking to you. I know He has revealed things to me that I had never thought of before. I don’t know where He’ll lead us next, but I do hope you’ll come along for the journey no matter where it goes.

Father…speak to us today in ways that we can hear and understand. Allow us to see how deeply involved You are in every aspect of our lives. Today’s entry in the Jesus Calling devotional seems to fit exactly with where we are:
-Jesus Calling Devotion For January 20-
Approach this day with awareness of who is Boss. As you make plans for the day, remember that it is I who orchestrate the events of your life. On days when things go smoothly, according to your plans, you may be unaware of My sovereign Presence. On days when your plans are thwarted, be on the lookout for Me! I may be doing something important in your life, something quite different from what you expected. It is essential at such times to stay in communication with Me, accepting My way as better than yours. Don’t try to figure out what is happening. Simply trust Me and thank Me in advance for the good that will come out of it all. I know the plans I have for you, and they are good.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
—Isaiah 55:9–11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
—Jeremiah 29:11

Thank You LORD, for orchestrating our lives…I pray that we would walk in fullness of joy because of this knowledge, and may our understanding be made complete…Your ways ARE higher than ours, Your thoughts ARE higher than ours. You have a plan for us, a plan filled with hope and a future…Amen

Mercy, peace and love be yours in abundance,
Until tonight…
Deb

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Psalm 139:17 & 18
How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you…

My meditation…
This is hard to think about…I have always thought of myself as invisible. I blend, I don’t stand out. I don’t like to have attention called to me, much preferring anonymity. I have never believed that anyone gave me much thought…sort of out of sight, out of mind.

But that’s not what this says. This says that I am not invisible…this says that the sum of God’s thoughts about me are ” unusually large in size, extent, degree, or number; immense” (vast); more than the grains of sand.

Not for just a moment in time, but every day I open my eyes to a new day, I am still with God and in His thoughts. This is true love; the very thought of how deep it is brings me to tears.

Me…a failure in so many ways, precious and adored in God’s sight. He has watched my life unfold before Him and though He wanted to intervene in so many ways, He didn’t. Because He loves me.

His love allowed me the freedom to choose, and to make mistakes. It was His love that drew me to my point of brokenness…and to His Word. It was His Word that said “Therefore [your] sins—and they are many—are forgiven, for [you] loved me much…your sins are forgiven…your faith has saved you; go in peace.”

He has taken me on a journey that started from before I was formed in my Mother’s womb. He guided my already twice divorced Mother to live a block from a little church with her 4 young children…and instructed her from within to send me, at 10 years old, with my younger siblings to that little white church. He placed Mr and Mrs Luther Hill (an elderly couple) as greeters at the door, and caused her to take my hands in hers and declare “cold hands, warm heart” every Sunday. He knew my time at that little church would be brief, but He arranged it so that I took the baptism class and learned about the sacrifice that Jesus had made for me – and I believed unto salvation and was baptized. He knew the future lives we would lead…and the choices we would make. He knew we needed a foundation of faith. “Train up a child in the way they should go, and when they are old they will not depart from it”. GOD!!! The Creator of the universe bent down from heaven and saw to it that I had the training I needed.

Even tonight, as I put these pieces together I see that God has been my Father all along. His righteous right hand has been on me; He has protected me, but He has never interfered. Even though I know many of my choices caused Him to want to, His commitment to free choice kept Him from it.

And here I am today…still with Him. No longer a rebellious child, I am a woman growing old. Now, instead of never thinking of Him, my thoughts are filled with a desire to be pleasing to Him in all of my ways. He has filled my cup to overflowing with life abundant…more than I could’ve ever asked or imagined.

Philippians 4:9 says “The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Peace be with you…
Deb

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Psalm 139:17 & 18…morning

Good morning Truth Seekers…
Today we will look at Psalm 139:17 & 18
How precious to me are your thoughts,God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand—
when I awake, I am still with you…

Father God…help us to grasp this reality today. Your thoughts toward each of us outnumber the grains of sand…and when we put it in the context of our humanity, and how limited our own thoughts are even toward those we love, this is overwhelming. So today, at this time, let us not be overwhelmed but to actually bask in this reality, and personalize it…just as the Psalmist did. Just as our relationship with You is to be…personal and personalized. I am reminded of Isaiah 49…”Can a woman forget her nursing child
And have no compassion on the son of her womb?
Even these may forget, but I will not forget you.
“Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…”
We are inscribed on the palms of Your hands.
Oh LORD…such knowledge is too wonderful.
Thank You…

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, beloved…
Until tonight,
Deb

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Psalm 139:13-16
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.

My meditation…
You created my inmost being…the most intimate part of me. You created that which makes me…me. You knit me together in my mother’s womb…you, YOU formed me. Oh God, the intricate details were thought out…curly hair and green eyes. You made me a gardener, and a baker. You designed me to love the sound of a child’s belly laugh, and the smell of dirt. It was no accident that You, Creator God, gave me the patience to sit for hours and watch as bees gather pollen from squash flowers, with eyes able to to focus on the thousands of workers pollinating the bramble canes. Oh my God, I praise You…with every ounce of my being, I praise you and give you thanks.

I used to think my life was a mistake…my conception a sin. But You knew it would happen that way. And still…You didn’t turn Your back on me – no, you developed me and the plan for my life with purpose. How can it be, that you looked on my unformed body with love, with grace, and with purpose???? This knowledge truly is more than I can comprehend.

But, You also knew the heart You would put into this child conceived in sin. You knew it was a heart that would love You…and would love others. You knew that You had given me ears to hear Your voice, spoken in a soft whisper through the mouth of a willing servant walking by me…Jesus loves you…like a breath of soft wind I heard those words when I was in my deepest pit.

And the course of my life changed…but that was no surprise to You. Of course it wasn’t – You knew the timing. You knew the days that were ordained for me before they ever came to be. You knew that a soft whisper was what I needed…and that I would remember the day, and the place for the rest of my life. In the summer…1992 …at the grocery store. The Creator of the Universe…GOD…whispered His love to me. Because, He has purpose for my life and my time had come.

I was fearfully and wonderfully made…and so were YOU!!! Beloved, today, you are reading this because of God’s perfect timing. Listen now…allow your ears to hear His still small voice whispering
“Jesus loves you…” and let your life be changed.

Peace…be still,
Deb

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Psalm 139:13-16…morning

Good morning Truth Seekers…today let’s look at
Psalm 139:13-16
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.

Write this scripture on your heart…let if flow through your veins and allow it to give you life! Let it speak truth to your heart…remember the photo from last night? The multitude of stars, and each have a name? Look at the beauty of the galaxy and comprehend that YOU have been created by the same hand, with a unique purpose.

Abba Father…speak to each of us today, and allow us to comprehend just how intricately planned our lives are. Oh God, Your Word says:
“Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard,
And which have not entered the heart of man,
All that God has prepared for those who love Him.”

For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.

And may WE be as Mary, saying “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.”

Until tonight…
Deb

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Psalm 139:9-12…my meditation

PSALM 139:9-12
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.

My meditation…
Early this past summer a friend and I were hiking on a steep mountain path that overlooks the Rock Creek valley. We had stopped to take a breather and noticed a bird take off from a tree that was at our eye level. We watched as it rode the thermals, floating back and forth, higher and higher without ever moving it’s wings. We were both amazed as we noted that the bird traveled a great distance – and in fact, out of our sight – without any effort. Just to take that leap from the tree and open it’s wings.

For some reason, that’s what I picture when I read verse 9…a rising as if on the wings of a bird. Flying, and a feeling of complete freedom. A feeling of weightlessness with no direction or confinement…nothing to tie me down. Even then, God is with me providing the thermals to lift me up to the places of my imagination and He holds me in His right hand…the hand that is symbolic of ruler-ship, authority, sovereignty, blessing, and strength.

And if I say “surely the darkness will hide me, and the light become night around me” even the darkness will not be dark to me. Why is this??? Because I belong to God…He has lit up the sky so that we are never in complete darkness when we belong to Him. John 1:4-5 says “In him [Christ] was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” I cannot be hidden in darkness, because the light of Christ illuminates the dark. The darkness cannot blot out the light!

I cannot escape the love of Christ. There is no where I can go…not to the depths of the sea, not on the top of a mountain. No matter where I go, no matter what situation I may face…He is there. And the words of the song come to mind…”You are familiar with all my ways…you have laid Your hand upon me, such knowledge is too wonderful for me. Where can I go, from Your Spirit? Where can I go from Your presence? There is no place I can go…where You cannot reach my soul.”

And instead of feeling confined…there is a sense of great comfort and freedom. I AM on the wings of an eagle…flying higher and higher. “There is no place I can go…where You cannot reach my soul…You will never let me go”

I see the darkness, yes…lit up by the multitude of stars. Stars that I know have each been numbered and named. Stars, more numerous than the grains of sand on the seashore. And still…they each have a name, and they have placed in the heavens as a sign to us. As sign that He is with us in the darkness.

So, tonight, as I prepare for bed I take comfort in knowing that GOD…the creator of the universe…takes delight in me. A simple woman living in a simple house living a simple life. His hand is upon me…guiding me. And I sense a glimpse of heaven…

I am loved, and I am cherished.
And so are you.

Deb

(Summer Skies over Rock Creek…photo credit Dr. Grant Allen)

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Psalm 139:9-12…morning

Good morning Truth Seekers…
Forgive me for coming in late today; sometimes my mornings get away from me..

Today we will look at Psalm 139:9-12
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.

Yesterday’s portion really impacted me…with things I didn’t share here but promise I will at a later date. I want to remind you that this study is interactive. Please, share what the LORD is saying to you because it may be (and most likely is) different than what He’s revealing to me.

Because we’re all unique, going through things in our lives that are unique to us God will meet us where we need Him to. I can see already that’s what today’s portion is saying.

A friend and I were visiting on the phone this morning and discussing this very thing…and in a way, it reminds me of the book “The Shack”. When I first started reading the book, at the suggestion of a friend that I trust, I literally thought “what is this new age c*** that I am reading?” But, because I trusted the discernment of my friend I persevered, and came to understand an important truth. God meets us in the way and in the form we need Him to. Some people have gone through real tragedy…there is no compassion in telling them to “suck it up and read your Bible”. Here’s what God instructs…He instructs us to show mercy, and to be compassionate…sometimes we are the very vessel that God uses to speak into the life of a hurting soul.

I’ll leave you with that thought until tonight…may our God of mercy guide us today as we meditate on His Word. Teach us Your ways, oh LORD and lead us in the way You would have us go.

Grace be with you all…
Deb

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