Saturday, November 28, 2009

His Ways ARE Bigger

This weekend, God has been purposeful in showing Anthony and I just how much bigger His ways are over our understanding of how He can work.

Yesterday morning the hard drive on my Mac crashed...just like "that"...without warning, without any signal that it was going down. Anthony tried the reboot disc and my hard drive couldn't even be found. It was deader than a doornail.

At first, the unknown consequences of what that could mean became an issue between Anthony and I. Was it going to be covered? Was the Apple Care program still in effect? Had I backed-up in the past days? Had I ever transferred necessary financial documents to a flash drive in case of hard drive failure. Our day to ourselves, to spend with each other doing whatever we wanted, was quickly going downhill because of a laptop...silly.

Well, God stepped in with some awareness of what was really taking place - yes, our enemy is sly enough to use something as insignificant as the potential loss of a laptop to drive a wedge - and God graciously and mercifully brought us back to our senses. And then...He showed us how really foolish we were in our thinking and panic of the "what if" moment. He took a potentially laptop ending issue and gave me an early Christmas present.

Not only did we "just so happen" to get a same day appointment at the Southlake Apple store [truly unheard of on any given day, but Black Friday?], we got way more than we expected when all was said and done.

Yes, the hard drive had failed; and Yes, the laptop was still under warranty. The above and beyond???

  • Apple doesn't make the 80G hard drive anymore, so I'm getting what they put in Macbooks now: a 160G hard drive...DOUBLE what I currently have, without any cost to me!
  • Plus, the top cover had a break in it [they say it was a support issue underneath it], so I'm getting a new top keyboard cover.
  • Then, while they had it open trying to repair it, they found that the logic board was fried, so I'm getting a new one.
  • And then, since it had to be shipped off for repair, because they can't replace the logic board at the store, they're going to repair the damage done to the screen, and I'll be getting a brand new monitor screen.

All of this is being done at no cost to us. I'm basically getting a brand new Macbook by the time all is said and done. How God is that?!

The last bit of God news: The Apple Care Program on my Mac expires in 66 days and Apple Care is NOT renewable; once the three years is up, it's up. Had this internal issue happened 67 days from now, I would been out a laptop without any way to cover the costs.

The morning started off with an UGH!!! and God turned it into a total He knew I couldn't be given 67 days from now.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

My Thanksgiving Words to HIM

I give thanks to the Lord, for he is good.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.
I give thanks to the God of gods.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.
I give thanks to the Lord of lords.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.
~Psalm 139:1-3

This Psalm continues on to list out just a small portion of what God has done, from creation through freeing the Israelites from captivity, always ending each line with:

His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

This past year's events, from Thanksgiving 2008 through Thanksgiving 2009, have ranged from heart-ache and loss to redemption and restoration. Here is my highlight list:

I give thanks to Him Who provided a way for us to pay off five out of seven credit card debts last November.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to Him Who took my marriage off the battle field and settled us into unity, where we have finally learned "how to live with one another" [j. corban].
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to Him Who closed the door on one business and opened the door on something new.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to Him Who allowed one home to be lost, only to replace it with something bigger and better.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to Him Who saw us through nine months of financial abyss without us ever seeing a day of hunger or suffer loss of what was really essential.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to Him Who lead us out of the court system and into a solution that covered Teighlor and Alec with His hand of protection and favor.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to Him Who brought freedom and inner-healing to places in my soul that were buried under the rubble of life.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to Him Who opened a door for me to share my love for writing and the testimonies of His work in me.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to Him Who has patiently walked me through the hard lessons of peacemaking and self-sacrifice and allowed me to see the fruit that it bears.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to Him Who has brought me back from the brink of self-sufficiency too many times to count, always pouring humility back into my soul from His pitcher of grace.
His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever.

I give thanks to the God of heaven, for His mercy and faithful loving-kindness endure forever!

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Brief Pause in HIS Words

Tonight, Anthony and I attended a special night of presbytery at Gateway that was very intimate. A small group of people [about 25-30] get invited each month to be encouraged and edified through a time of prophetic mentoring. We got an email a few weeks back informing us of this monthly gathering [we didn't even know existed], letting us know we'd been invited by someone in Gateway leadership. Not really sure what to expect but highly intrigued, we RSVP'd and put it on our calendars.

At 5:30, Anthony's iCal alarm went off on his phone with a reminder for us and I just about had a heart attack. Between the whirl-wind of the day, Teighlor's drama group commute and Anthony staying home sick from work, I had completely forgotten about the meeting. I used the next 30 minutes to get ready, ran to pick up Teighlor from drama, came home and picked up Anthony, drove through Wendy's for an impromptu, on-the-road dinner and made it to the Southlake campus with a few minutes to spare.

Walking through the parking lot, we ran into Brittney, Amped's All-Around Assistant, and found out she had been invited, too. And then when we signed in, we discovered that the three of us were in the same group for the prophetic time.

The night started with some worship, then prayer and a brief discussion of what the night held and how it would run...then we were dismissed to head off with our group to the room where we were assigned. Three members of Gateway's Prophetic Ministry Team joined us. We had a total of five individuals [us, another married couple and Brittney] in our group. Each of the three prophetic ministers had spent time praying for us and had come with what God had laid on their hearts to share.

It was such an awesome time listening to God's heart for each person in that room. I'm so glad they recorded each session because I'm going to transcribe what was spoken over me and post it here [but that won't be until some time next week when a digital file is available].

Until then, I'm going to let the words [that I remember] settle on my heart and pray for His confirmation and peace about what was spoken...not that anything spoken unsettled my soul...just gotta always bring the word right back to God and test them against His Spirit.

Friday, November 13, 2009

HIS Words [12]

For the past few weeks, I've been purposely posting scripture and what I've heard the Holy Spirit speak to me about what I read. Having a new expectation to hear God through HIS Word [and only HIS Word] has been a heart-opening experience for me.

This morning, God changed things up on me. Isn't He so good at that? Never letting things stay the same for too long, lest we become too comfortable in our expectation of Him to speak and move as He's done the day before.

Daily, I read one blog that comes to me via email. Every so often, the author sends a couple snapshots to jar us out of our expectant complacency for black words on a white page. Today he sent pictures of beautiful, autumn leaves, and this morning I did what I normally wouldn't do...I clicked on the link that would take me out of my email and into the comments section [on his website] for that particular blog. I was curious to see if anyone had posted a comment about these particular photos. [God was just about to change things up on me]

The first comment was quite long, but this passage spoke to my heart:
"I sit here [in a 2nd story sun room overlooking the Tennessee mountains] every morning, year around, and watch God change His creation. No amount of money could buy the peace and pleasure that the Lord provides as He changes the scenery on a minute-by-minute basis as I look out the windows."
Was this anonymous reader quoting scripture? Nope. But he was quoting truth, and all truth comes from God. [THIS] truth hit my heart immediately because as I was reading this comment I, too, was sitting in my sun room [dining room used as a sitting room] with a gorgeous view of my front yard.

[THERE] was God's this man's comment and in the scenic view of this moment. He didn't require me to open my Bible to speak to me - although it won't deter me from doing so - He only required me to open my eyes and ears...and look and listen.

At that moment I was inspired to capture what I was seeing outdoors and the place - here on my futon in my sun room - where I now choose to meet with Him each morning. This room is my piece of peace.

My view out the front window [from my futon]

My dining room converted to my sun room

My sleepy-eyed video trying to capture "Raining Leaves"

[Note: I realized as I watched these videos that I had ventured outdoors in ONLY my t-shirt and underwear, so totally unaware of my dress code because I was not quite awake. Yikes!]

I'm so glad God chose to reach my heart in a different way today by showing me that even though I'm on this journey in HIS Word, He's not boxed into black and white, either.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

HIS Words [11]

Job’s three friends refused to reply further to him because he kept insisting on his innocence.

Then Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite, of the clan of Ram, became angry. He was angry because Job refused to admit that he had sinned and that God was right in punishing him. He was also angry with Job’s three friends, for they made God appear to be wrong by their inability to answer Job’s arguments. Elihu had waited for the others to speak to Job because they were older than he. But when he saw that they had no further reply, he spoke out angrily. Elihu son of Barakel the Buzite said,

“I am young and you are old, so I held back from telling you what I think. I thought, ‘Those who are older should speak, for wisdom comes with age.’

But there is a Holy Spirit within people, the breath of the Almighty within them, that makes them intelligent.

Sometimes the elders are not wise. Sometimes the aged do not understand justice. So listen to me, and let me tell you what I think. “I have waited all this time, listening very carefully to your arguments, listening to you grope for words. I have listened, but not one of you has refuted Job or answered his arguments. And don’t tell me, ‘He is too wise for us. Only God can convince him.’

If Job had been arguing with me, I would not answer with your kind of logic! You sit there baffled, with nothing more to say. Should I continue to wait, now that you are silent? Must I also remain silent? No, I will say my piece. I will speak my mind. For I am full of pent-up words, and the spirit within me urges me on. I am like a cask of wine without a vent, like a new wineskin ready to burst! I must speak to find relief, so let me give my answers. I won’t play favorites or try to flatter anyone. For if I tried flattery, my Creator would soon destroy me. [Job 32]

I wouldn't normally post an entire chapter, but God spoke to my heart in context to what is written in its entirety. I was actually looking up Job 32:8 because it was mentioned in Sunday's message, and I had noted it for further study this week. Not wanting to just take the single verse, I read all around it so that I could understand why this was said.

A few thoughts stuck out for me:
  • I loved Elijuh's handling of this situation. He gave respect to his elders and let them speak first. A sign of good character.
  • BUT, when they were done speaking, he didn't allow his age to keep him quiet when righteous wisdom and truth were burning within him.
  • AND, instead of just spouting what "he" thought, he showed spiritual maturity in giving the glory for true intelligence to the Holy Spirit.
  • Wisdom is not a "natural byproduct" of age. Yes, those who are older have lived longer and can speak from experience, but [experience does NOT equal wisdom].
  • Many people live through so much but still do not possess the ability to give guidance or advice that is wise because they speak from behind their filters instead of seeking to only say what the Holy Spirit would speak through them.
  • One of the Holy Spirit's names is Wisdom. He is extolled in the Proverbs. Without the discernment from and wisdom imputed by the Holy Spirit, we cannot expect to speak wisely.
I did not read forward to hear what Elijuh had to say because I was captured by his desire to speak out--righteously and with wisdom--but will tomorrow.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

HIS Words [10]

IN LIKE manner, you married women, be submissive to your own husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them], so that even if any do not obey the Word [of God], they may be won over not by discussion but by the [godly] lives of their wives, when they observe the pure and modest way in which you conduct yourselves, together with your reverence for your husband;

[you are to feel for him all that reverence includes: to respect, defer to, revere him--to honor, esteem, appreciate, prize, and, in the human sense, to adore him, that is, to admire, praise, be devoted to, deeply love, and enjoy your husband].

Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; but let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.

For it was thus that the pious women of old who hoped in God were [accustomed] to beautify themselves and were submissive to their husbands [adapting themselves as secondary and dependent upon them].

It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). And you are now her true daughters if you do right and let nothing terrify you [not giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you].
1 Peter 3:1-6

As I was reading through 1 Peter yesterday, this passage of scripture caught my eye. In the Amplified Translation, there is so much expansion of what is meant in each verse. Here are the words/phrases that stood out as it relates to what God treasures in a wife:

  • Adapt to him
  • Pure
  • Modest
  • Reverence
  • Inward Beauty
  • Incorruptible
  • Gentle
  • Peaceful
  • Precious
  • Dependent upon him

And then I read through, again and again, the extended definition for what it means to reverence my husband:

  • Respect him
  • Defer to him
  • Honor him
  • Esteem him
  • Appreciate him
  • Prize him
  • Adore him
  • Admire him
  • Praise him
  • Be devoted to him
  • Deeply love him
  • Enjoy him

Interesting point to note: The passage in 1 Peter written to "wives" is six verses long. The passage written to "men" is one.

"In the same way you married men should live considerately with [your wives], with an intelligent recognition [of the marriage relation], honoring the woman as [physically] the weaker, but [realizing that you] are joint heirs of the grace (God's unmerited favor) of life, in order that your prayers may not be hindered and cut off. [Otherwise you cannot pray effectively.]"

My mind and heart are overwhelmed. This is not a one day journal entry...this is where I stop and dig deeper. To be continued...

Friday, November 6, 2009

HIS Words [9]

Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble. That goes for all of you, no exceptions. No retaliation. No sharp-tongued sarcasm. Instead, bless—that's your job, to bless. You'll be a blessing and also get a blessing.

Whoever wants to embrace life and see the day fill up with good, here's what you do:

Say nothing evil or hurtful; Snub evil and cultivate good; run after peace for all you're worth.
God looks on all this with approval, listening and responding well to what he's asked;
But he turns his back on those who do evil things.

1 Peter 3:9-11

I was struggling this morning with trying to understand the reason[s] why so many people are content with the lighter side of Jesus...what I call the fluffy, feel good stuff. I find it so easy to ask "why?" with such a judgmental heart, that it bothers me that I can ask "why?" with such a judgmental heart.

I had a Twitter conversation about this today and then headed outside to hear from Jesus. This is what I read [above].

Although my Bible didn't magically fall open to "judge lest not you be judged" or "take that log out of your own eye first" [paraphrase mine], those two verses followed in my mind after reading the above passage.

And then God brings this scripture to mind:

Summing it all up, friends, I'd say you'll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Phillipians 4:8 [The Message]

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

HIS Words [8]

Out of my distress, I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free and in a large place. Psalm 118:5

As I was reading through the Psalm used as reference for today's D.I.B. blog, I hit verse five and stopped. God broke this verse down for me "just like THAT" and instantly made this applicable to my life.

Out of my distress, I called upon the Lord: Financial downfall [Anthony's business drying up] took its toll beginning in January 2009. For months I cried out to God to save his business and save our home; and then resigned my prayers to, "If Your will is for Anthony to move on and for us to leave this home, then AMEN [so be it]!"

The Lord answered me: By August our home was foreclosed, and Fellowship Technologies developed a Director of Communications job specifically for Anthony. In September, we got offered a few thousand dollars to leave our Bedford home earlier than the legal eviction date and God opened up a home for us in Keller for less rent than our mortgage.

And set me free: Even though foreclosure moved us on, freedom came in releasing our bond to Rachel through a mortgage which still held her name alongside Anthony's.

And in a large place: Not only did God provide us a home for less than our Bedford mortgage, but our home now is twice as big than what we previously owned--when you consider the land, the home, the garage and the pool. ONLY God can do that!

Thank you, Lord, for speaking so clearly this morning and in such a quick and concise way; for revealing your goodness in such a tangible way.

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. ~Psalm 118:1

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

HIS Words [7]

Hallelujah [Praise the Lord]! Blessed man, blessed woman, who fear God,
Who cherish and relish his commandments,
Their children robust on the earth,
And the homes of the upright—how blessed!
Their houses brim with wealth
And a generosity that never runs dry.
Sunrise breaks through the darkness for good people—
God's grace and mercy and justice!
The good person is generous and lends lavishly;
No shuffling or stumbling around for this one,
But a sterling and solid and lasting reputation.
Unfazed by rumor and gossip,
Heart ready, trusting in God,
Spirit firm, unperturbed,
Ever blessed, relaxed among enemies,
They lavish gifts on the poor—[share freely and give generously]
A generosity that goes on, and on, and on.
An honored life! A beautiful life!
Someone wicked takes one look and rages,
Blusters away but ends up speechless.
There's nothing to the dreams of the wicked. Nothing.
~Psalm 112 [The Message]

AMEN! Such encouragement to simply stand firm in God!

Monday, November 2, 2009

HIS Words [6]

The Story of the Persistent Widow
Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. He said, "There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. A widow in that city kept after him: 'My rights are being violated. Protect me!'

"He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, 'I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. But because this widow won't quit badgering me, I'd better do something and see that she gets justice—otherwise I'm going to end up beaten black-and-blue by her pounding.'"

Then the Master said, "Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? So what makes you think God won't step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won't he stick up for them? I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?"

Before I opened by Bible today, I asked God, "What do You want to speak to me about today?" I opened my Amplified Translation and was struck with the desire to read from the New Living Translation. I went to my bookshelf and found two: a hardcover and a paperback version. I grabbed the hardcover and then put it back because Alec told me it's the one the kids use to read. I then picked up the paperback version and when I got back to my room and opened it, inside were my notes I had written down from the prophetic time during the 2008 Day Retreat at Coli and J's. At the bottom was this note: Luke 18:1-8, "My Scriptural Mission".

During this past week, God has put people before me that need persistent prayer. This is His way of reminding me [a spiritual bull dog] of the purpose He's put on my life for prayer.

"God, reignite the passion for prayer that I seem to walk out only in seasons. You have laid purpose on my heart for prayer, yet it's the one thing - besides abiding in Your Word - that I seem to have the most difficulty staying committed to. I come against the enemy who daily attempts to put things in my path to keep me out of prayer, to steal the power I have through Jesus to affect change through prayer. I ask forgiveness for my lack of persistent faithfulness and recommit myself to this purpose.

HIS Words [5]

"External religious worship [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God the Father is this: to visit and help and care for the orphans and widows in their affliction and need, and to keep oneself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world." James 1:27

This morning, as I sat down with my Bible, I got a call from Anthony regarding a text message he received asking if "we" could pick up both girls at school tomorrow, instead of our normal time at her house. Immediately, I was struck with the thought of "we means me" because I don't work.

Just as quickly, the above verse came to mind.

I am so thankful that God's Word came quickly to dispel that battle of my flesh. Who the orphan or widow is - or, in this case, the one in need - does not matter. What matters is my response.

The world tells me that "I don't have to"," it's not my responsibility".

And then God speaks, "Help those in need and keep yourself uncontaminated from the world."

Sunday, November 1, 2009

HIS Words [4]

"Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do." Joshua 1:8

"When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." Isaiah 59:19

These scriptures were used in Pastor Robert's message today, as he walks through our current series The Holy Bible: Beyond Words. Immediately, I knew more fully why God had asked me [during the last Encounter service] to take this journey to record His Words, to focus on what He was saying to me.

1. Success in every part of my life DEPENDS on me understanding and knowing what's written in Bible.
2. My enemy comes at me daily with a *flood of words to accuse and condemn with lies. How can I refute my enemy if I am not armed with the Word of God?

Jesus rebuked Satan three times in the desert and He always began with, "It is written...". He used scripture and only scripture.

My words are no defense against my accuser, who comes to kill every thing important to me: my marriage, my friendships, my children's lives, my life, etc. God's Word is my only defense and offense!

*In the Bible, words are always depicted with the symbolism of water. Jesus is represented by fountains or springs of life because He brings life. Satan is always depicted with floods or torrents because he kills life.