Tag Archives: change

A NEW BEGINNING

This post is quite long and very important.  It will tell you a little… well, a lot of what has happened to me in the last 5 years and more.  I have a new opportunity and I wanted to share it all with you, so you will understand why I have not been able to stay on task and write every day, as I had been doing.  I believe I will get back to that eventually.  Please read on.SunRise7777777

One week from today I will be starting a new chapter in my life – A New Beginning.  At this age it is a tiny bit unnerving. However, I keep hearing that so wonderfully familiar, still, small voice in my spirit… “You are a child of the King”

Galatians 3:26

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

and “There is NO WEAPON formed against you can stand.”

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon formed against you shall prosper,
And every tongue which rises against you in judgment
You shall condemn.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
And their righteousness is from Me,”
Says the Lord.

and “Keep close to Me and I will see you through anything.”

Psalm 65:4

Blessed is the man whom Thou choosest and causest to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Thy house, even of Thy holy temple.

and “Trust Me for everything.”

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 shall direct[
a] your paths.

And I am reminded that …

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me.

And other things that God whispers to my heart. You see this new chapter in my life is not really a “new” beginning in a w53310-As-I-Look-Back-On-My-Lifeay. I am finally getting back to a type of job that I have done most of my working life. To go forward, let me go back a bit and then I will explain.

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I loved what I was doing. I was a Project Manager/Trainer for a bank software company and learning lots of great stuff. I was writing training manuals and developing classes and learning more about the proprietary bank software almost daily. January would mark two years that I had been with this particular company and I was thrilled to be working doing what I loved to do – almost back to what I had done previously.

You see … I had been working in the telecom industry as a Communications Specialist – which basically was a Project Manager/Trainer. I loved what I was doing and was so fulfilled every day with my work. It was not work to me, it was enjoyment and I felt fulfilled – which is a great combination. Not to mention it was pretty good money. Then the unspeakable happened.

One morning, I was headed to the conference room for our weekly staff meeting and I walked by the break room. There was a small TV on top of the refrigerator and it pointed out towards the hall. As I walked by, I saw a very unusual sight. It was an airplane flying into a very tall building. I thought, “Oh my… how odd that is” and didn’t think much more about it and continued on to the conference room.   When I got there others were talking about the same thing and so the manager said “Let’s take care of some quick business and then turn the big TV on and see what it’s all about.” So that we did. We turned the big TV on just in time to see the 2nd plane go into the World Trade Center and we all just sat there in total silence. remembering-9-11-attacksI just got chills just thinking of that morning and typing these words. It was so surreal. We sat there for what seemed like 10 minutes not saying a thing and all eyes glued to the huge TV screen. We couldn’t believe what we were seeing. Did that really happen? Did two planes actually just fly into the World Trade Center? What on earth could have happened to have caused that and why on earth would two large planes do that? As we sat there in silence and watched, it became all too clear what had really happened and who and why. A strange fear began to cover the room and each one of us there felt the uneasiness that blanketed the entire country. My manager broke the silence and said, “Those that need to go, GO. Go to your families. Go get your children and go home.” We all scurried around and got our belongings from our desks, turned our computers off and left. There were about 6 of us in the elevator and we all were totally silent all the way down to the parking lot level of the building.   We said our goodbyes and looked at each other and didn’t know what else to say. It was such an odd feeling.

I called my husband and he said “Yes, I am watching the TV. Please take the back roads home. We don’t know what else can happen.” I agreed, said I love you and hung up the phone. It was about an hour’s drive home on the back roads. We lived in a small community South West of the Metroplex. It was a very scary drive home. At this point, most of us knew that America had been attacked! They came onto our own soil and used our own planes to do it! America seemed to be in shock! Everything … life as we knew it … changed that day in America.

OK, fast forward four months. January 2002, I am sitting in my Fort Worth office, carrying on business as usual. I used to split my time between the Fort Worth office and the Dallas office and this was Monday so I was in my office in Fort Worth.   In walks my manager from Dallas. It was very unusual to have her come to the Fort Worth office but a nice surprise. She walked in and sat down in the chair on the other side of my desk. She had a box in her hand that she sat down on the floor. She very gently told me that things had changed so drastically and the company was having to lay folks off and I was one of the ones that had to be laid off. changeThe 13 months with this company had been a wonderful time and I so loved my job. However, it was now coming to a screeching halt! I sat there in total shock … sort of like the feeling I had the day I watched two planes crash into the tall buildings in New York just a few short four months earlier. I felt my world come crashing down. I was speechless, which doesn’t happen very often.   She simply laid it out and said “You can use this box to gather your things.” All I could say was “Ok then. OK…” And she stood there while I loaded up the box. It wasn’t too long after that that I realized that this was played out all across America after that fateful day on 9-11-2001. Hundreds, if not thousands, felt the sting of the change all across America.

The next several months proved to be a trying time for me. I could NOT find another job doing what I always had done – Project Management/Training. All the changes in such a short time in America caused companies to be so very cautious and so conservative. The job market that I was in was totally flat and there was no budging it. It was 16 months before I could land another job. The job was only part time and nothing like what I was doing but it was close to home and a reputable company. I was a teller at a branch bank for a large bank in the area. It was work with insurance. I was a little relieved and then 4 months later I landed another part time job. Now the pay for these jobs together didn’t equal the pay I had been making as a Project Manager/Trainer, but I was happy to be working again. A few months later something good happened. I was asked to come on board with another company that afforded me to use the training skills that I had acquired along the way and a bonus… I got to travel the United States! Wow! I loved that. 040blowupUnfortunately, that only lasted seven months. Then it was back to the unemployment line. Luckily I was only in the unemployment line a few short months before I landed another training type job. Then about two years later another company wanted me to come on board with them. I finally was going to be with a company that I could use both Project Management and Training skills. Finally!

I was learning their software and writing training curriculum and training. I had arrived. Well… I thought so anyway. About 16 months into the job I approached my boss and told him I was going to be moving my folks up here and buying a house and wanted some assurance that my job was secure. He assured me that it was so we went through with all of our plans. Now this was in April and fast forward eight months – December 31, 2009. I am working at my desk as usual. I was planning the annual conference for the company and I was in my element! My desk phone rings at 10:20 a.m. and it was my boss. He asked me to come to his office. This usually meant he wanted an update on the progress of planning the convention. So I took all my notes and was ready to lay it out for him. When I walked up to his office, I saw the HR lady in there. Instantly, I thought “This is not going to be good.” Well, it wasn’t. I was given my walking papers, along with two other employees, that day. Once again, I was rendered speechless. So at 10:30 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, 2009, I have once again, for the third time, been laid off since 9-11. I was totally devastated. What was I going to do? My mom and dad were at home in our “new” home, how was I going to take care of them, this surely is a bad dream but I wasn’t waking up! Everyone in the office was shocked and speechless. Everyone seemed a bit confused and disheveled that day after the news. No one was expecting this. I regained my composure and gathered my things and made a couple of trips to my car and off I went.dont-look-back

When I arrived at home, I was so sad and mom and dad were confused as to why I was home so early. I told them the news and the first thing my dad did was say this. “Come here, all of us. We are going to pray.” We huddled there in the dining room, with arms around each other. He prayed a simple, yet powerful prayer. “Lord God, thank you for this day. We are here together not knowing what is going to happen with this latest news, but we do know one thing. I believe, Lord, that You would not have brought us this far to let us go. So … like King Jehoshaphat prayed, we may not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” As he prayed I felt a sweet peace settle amongst us. The Holy Spirit’s presence was powerful that day and I will say He got us through the next few days in a powerful way.

2 Chronicles 20:12

12 O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You.”

The next 2 ½ years, again, proved to be quite trying. One night at choir rehearsal, at church, a new member joined. We made friends quickly and she told me about a job that she just acquired and she encouraged me to go and apply. I did, I got hired and it was the lowest paying job I had ever had since I was just starting my work life. However, the insurance was fabulous and I was covered from the first day I started. I was so grateful and felt revived once again.

Now, this job may have been different than anything I had ever done, after all, I was usually on the other side of the situation, training the folks to do what I was doing. You see, it was a call center. I had never dreamed I would ever work in a callJohn 14 v 27 Marilyn Piche foggy trees center before, but here I was. After about 6 months of wrestling with many things, internally, I prayed to God about my attitude about what I was doing. He assured me that He was with me. I gave into my pride and felt that wonderful peace flood my soul.

Philippians 4:7

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I knew He was trying to teach me something and that is exactly what began to occur. I was humbled in a major way and began to learn so much about myself. I began to also learn more about God. I began to walk closer to Him, because that is the only way I could feel peace and comfort. I searched the scriptures for peace and found exactly what I was looking for. He reassured me, all the time, of His presence.

This past 27 months have been one of the most rewarding times I can remember. Yes, it was low pay. Yes, it was a call center. Yes, it was nothing like I had ever done before. BUT! It was God’s plan. I began to see God’s hand move in my life and others, and basked in His wonderful presence. I had always heard of the daily walk with God but never had I ever experienced what I experienced while I was working in that job. I learned to walk with Him, not only every day, but every minute. I talked to Him all day, in between calls and sometimes while I was taking calls. He has brought me through this time with a gentle hand and His reassuring love. It has been an amazing growth time in my life.

All this time I had been sending out resumes, applying for jobs – for two years. My managers knew that I was overqualified for what I was doing and they kept encouraging me to keep looking. I did apply for 29 different jobs within the company but only received 3 face to face interviews. So I resolved to the fact that I was not to work for that company except for what I was doing.

I received a call, finally, from a company that wanted a personal interview. I went and the interview went great. I was told they would make a decision by the end of January. The next day, I was going to work and I told God that I didn’t think that I could do that job for various reasons and I didn’t want Him to open that door for me. Knowing all along that I probably wouldn’t get the job anyway. Well, it was about 3-4 days later and I went on my last break at work, and there was a voice mail message from the recruiter from that company and it said… “Hello Leah, this is Joe with ABC Company and James wants to extend an offer to you for the job” (actual names are changed). 53310-As-I-Look-Back-On-My-Life  I was astounded! Really? Is this true? I listened again and again. Yep, that is what he said. So when I got off work, I got home and told mom and dad and told them of my concerns, but didn’t think I could really turn this job offer down. They agreed and I called the man back and well… that is what I will be doing in one week… starting that new job.

I voiced my concern to God and He keeps reassuring me that He will go with me no matter where I go and what I will be doing.

Isaiah 41:10

10 Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’

He also told me this… “Leah, you will have to lean on Me and trust Me for your strength.”

Psalm 18:2

The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

And “This will bring you even closer to Me.”

James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.

Oh my goodness… once again, that familiar, wonderful peace flooded my soul.

So to say the least, I am so excited. This job is exactly what I have done before. It is a training job with so much new to learn. I am up for the task and I will lean on my Heavenly Father for strength for my New Beginning.

Now I know that is a lot of information and a very long post… but I will tell you this, that if you have doubts in your life and wonder how in the world you are going to make it… call out to Him! He is waiting to hear from you and HE will reassure you, comfort and sustain you in any situation you could be in.  After all, He calls you His beloved.

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WHO NEEDS TO CHANGE, ME?

Good morning or afternoon. I did not write a post today on the Tabernacle. I suppose I will post it when God gives me the go ahead, but for now I am reading and learning a lot.   The below devotional is one that a friend forwards to me and after reading it and sending it to a few of my lady friends, God spoke to my heart and impressed upon me to post it so you all could read. You may already get this daily devotional but I had to share it with as many people as I could.

It is a very good one about change and how hard it is for some of us. The story of Jacob (Israel) has always been one of my favorites in the Bible. He definitely went through some changes in his life.

I feel pretty certain you will enjoy this devotional. It is by Rick Warren and I always love reading his devotionals.  I hope you do too.

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How Can I Ever Change?
by Rick Warren, God’s Answers to Life’s Difficult Questions
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?Most of us are interested in change. Moreover, God wants us to change. A life that is never willing to change is a great tragedy — a wasted life. Change is a necessary part of a growing life, and we need change in order to remain fresh and to keep progressing.But often the new ideas we gain from books or seminars just don’t seem to last. Maybe we will be different for a while, but then discover that the new methods do not have a permanent effect. The main reason for this is that we work on the exterior, our outside behavior, instead of on the interior, our motives. Any lasting change must begin on the inside, and that is a work of God.In the story of Jacob we can see the process God uses in helping us become the kind of person we have always wanted to be. The situation recorded in Genesis 32 was a turning point for Jacob and serves as a dramatic example of how God can change us.

The Four-Step Process

Jacob was a somewhat shifty fellow. Even his name means “cheater” or “schemer” in Hebrew. But a life-changing experience transformed him into a new person, and he became Israel, the man after whom the entire nation of Israel was later named. After that experience Jacob was never the same again.

In this story we have a clear expression of the four-step process God uses to help us become the kind of people we want to be. It is a truly encouraging message — a message that says we don’t have to stay in the rut we are in, that God will help us to change, to overcome that weakness or sore spot in our life. We just have to let him. So how do we let God do that?

Genesis 32 relates that while Jacob was alone one night, someone (an angel, according to Hosea 12:4) appeared and wrestled with him until daybreak.

When the man [the angel] saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. Then the man said, Let me go, for it is daybreak. – Genesis 32:25-26

You may be asking, what does a wrestling match with an angel several thousand years ago have to do with changing me today? There are some important insights in this incident that show clearly the four steps required for transformation.

These four steps or phases are crisis, commitment, confession, and cooperation.

Crisis

The first step is crisis. Jacob had a long wrestling match with an angel, and the angel was struggling, but it was a no-win situation for them both. By daybreak the angel was getting tired of the struggle because he saw that he could not win. It was a situation beyond his control.

The lesson we see in this is that when God wants to change us, He starts by getting our attention, by putting us in a frustrating situation that is completely beyond our control. We cannot win, and we just keep getting more and more tired in the struggle. God uses experiences and problems and crises to get our attention.

If we are experiencing a crisis right now, it is because God is getting ready to change us for the better.

We never change until we get fed up with our current situation, until we get uncomfortable and discontented and start feeling miserable. When we become uncomfortable and miserable enough, we finally are motivated to let God do something in our lives.

We won’t change until our fear of change is exceeded by the pain we are experiencing.

Commitment

The second step in being changed by God is commitment.

When the angel asked to be let go, Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me” (Genesis 32:26). Jacob was committed; he was persistent; he stayed with the situation until he worked it out. He was in a situation he didn’t like. It was frustrating and it was getting him down, but he was one hundred percent committed to staying with the situation until God turned it around for good.

Here is the lesson we learn from this: After God gets our attention with a problem, He does not solve it immediately. He waits a little longer to see whether we really mean business.

Most people miss God’s best for their lives because they give up too soon; they cop out; they become discouraged. When God allows a problem in their lives, instead of hanging in there and saying, “God, I’m not going to let go of this until You bless me, until You turn it around,” they give up and end up missing God’s best.

Even if we really want to change, we need to remember that we didn’t get into our present mess overnight. Our attitudes and actions and habits and fears and weaknesses took years to develop, and sometimes God has to remove them layer by layer.

Usually it takes a while for God to change you.

Whatever you do, don’t give up. There is hope. Hang in there. Be committed to getting God’s best for your life.

Confession

The third step in being changed by God is confession.

The angel asked Jacob, “What is your name?” And he answered, “Jacob” (Genesis 32:27). What was the purpose of the angel’s question? It was to get Jacob to acknowledge his character by stating his name, which means “cheater” or “schemer.”

Jacob remembered the heartache he had caused by his scheming against his brother Esau, so when the angel asked, “What are you really like? What’s your character?” Jacob’s reply was saying, “I am a cheater. I am a schemer.” Jacob admitted his weaknesses because even though he was a cheater and a schemer, he was also honest with himself. When he identified himself as “Jacob,” he was admitting his character flaws.

This is an important part of God’s process for changing us, because we never change until we honestly face and admit our faults, sins, weaknesses, and mistakes. God will not go to work on our problem until we first admit that we have a problem. We need to say, “Lord, I’m in a mess. I have a problem, and I admit I made it.” Then God can go to work.

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to make excuses for our problems? We become experts at blaming other people and may say something like “It’s not my fault, you know. It’s really the environment I was brought up in — my parents caused it.” Or we might say, “The situation I’m in right now is caused by my boss at work.” Why do we act and talk this way? Because it is hard to admit fault in ourselves. And it can be scary to ask for help.

Why should we confess our faults to God — to let Him know what’s going on? No, He already knows. When we tell God we have sinned, it is no surprise to him; He knew our problems all along. We confess to him because he wants us to say, “You are right, God, I have a problem. I’ve blown it.” It is humbling to admit our mistakes, but once we do, God gives us all his resources and power to help us change for the better. At this point we can start becoming the persons we have always wanted to be.

If we don’t learn the lesson now, we will have to learn it later, because God is going to teach it to us one way or the other. We can save ourselves a lot of trouble by responding properly when the crisis first comes along.

Cooperation

The fourth step in being changed by God is cooperation.

God began changing Jacob as soon as he admitted who he was and began to cooperate with God’s plan. Jacob called the place where he wrestled with the angel “Peniel,” meaning “the face of God” (Genesis 32:30). Jacob had come face to face with God.

Every one of us must eventually come face to Face with God, and when we do that, God can change us.

God said to Jacob, “Now we can get down to business. I want you to relax. Just cooperate and trust Me, and I will make the changes that you want made, and I will bless you.”

God didn’t say, “Jacob, try real hard and use all your willpower to become perfect.” That doesn’t work, and God knows it.

Willpower simply does not make permanent changes in our lives.

That is attacking the outward circumstance. It is the internal motivation that makes the permanent changes, and that is what God works on.

Let God Do It

God always knows how to bring out the best in your life, and He knows how to do it better than you do. If you let Him, He will use whatever is necessary to accomplish this goal, because He doesn’t want you to waste your life.

Do you want God’s blessing on your life? Take the situation that is making you miserable right now, commit it to God, and say, “God, I am going to commit it to You. I am going to hold on to You until You turn this problem around for good.” Then confess the errors that you need to confess, and cooperate with God.

The Bible says, “The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip” (Genesis 32:31). While they had been wrestling, the angel dislocated Jacob’s hip, and as a result Jacob walked with a limp for the rest of his life. This is significant, because that thigh muscle is one of the most powerful muscles in the human body. When God had to get Jacob’s attention, he touched him at a point of strength. When we start thinking, “This is what I am really good at, this is what I am really strong at,” God may have to touch that very thing to get our attention.

Don’t Run, But Stand

Jacob often got himself into trouble because he was a cheater, and he often reaped what he sowed. But every time he got himself into a mess, he ran away from it. He just copped out. Finally, God said, “I know how to take care of that temptation — I’ll put a limp in his walk.” Never again could Jacob run away from a difficult situation. For the rest of his life he would have to stand and face his problems — not in his own strength but in God’s strength. God often puts an obvious weakness in people whom he blesses, and often the weakness is some kind of physical problem.

Do you want God to change your life? He will — in His own way. He will use the processes of crisis, commitment, confession, and cooperation. And when He does the changing, it will become permanent. You will not have to worry about your willpower and staying with it because you will be cooperating with God, relaxing and trusting Him.

Maybe you have been limiting God by making excuses, blaming other people, or rationalizing. It is hard to drop your mask and say, “God, I have a weakness. I have a problem.” Until you do this, things will just stay the same as they are now. When you do this, you are changed for the rest of your life.

The good news is this: Beneath all those things you know about yourself that you do not like, God sees an Israel. He sees the prince or princess in your life. He sees what you can become. He sees your potential, and he wants to change you from a Jacob to an Israel.

Let God do His changing!

 

Excerpted with permission from God’s Answers To Life’s Difficult Questions by Rick Warren, copyright Zondervan, 2014.

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What is the one thing you would most like to change about your life? Think through each step in the change process and how you can apply it to your current situation. Join the conversation about prayer on our blog! We would love to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily

PRAYER – ABRAHAM AND SARAH

I ended yesterday’s post talking about how Abram and Sarai took matters into their own hands and did not wait on the Lord. They did not wait for God’s plan to unfold because of their unbelief that with God all things are possible! They spent 13 long years in bitterness and misery because of their unwillingness to trust God’s plan. Because of their actions, a child named Ishmael, was born of Hagar, the maidservant, and Abram. As I said yesterday, this child grew to be the Father of the Arab nation, who has been a thorn in the side of Israel, to this day! These 13 years were spent out of the presence of God and His grace and mercy. The baby Ishmael grows to be a teenager and when he was 13 years old things began to change. However, I believe that things were changing over the course of these 13 years but things really changed when he was 13.

To give a little more background before we get into the meat of the post … After Sarai gave Hagar to Abram. And he “went in to her”, things began to get ugly between the two women. Hagar became pregnant and she changed her view of Sarai. Here is the scripture.a1cadba9-d70a-4431-9a67-d211445f8746_273

Genesis 16:4

So he went in to Hagar, and she conceived. And when she saw that she had conceived, her mistress became despised in her eyes.

Hagar fled from Sarai. Hagar was obviously upset and had stopped by a spring of water in the wilderness. An Angel of the Lord came to her. The Angel asked her where she came from and where was she going? Isn’t that just like God? When we have fled from an uncomfortable situation and don’t know what else to do, God finds us and asks us these questions. God knows the answers but I believe He asked Hagar so she could speak it out. It always helps, I think, to speak it out and let your own ears hear things that have upset you. It’s truth and your feelings are very important and God wants you to be aware of how you feel.

So, Hagar tells the Angel of the Lord…

Genesis 16:7-8

Now the Angel of the Lord found her by a spring of water in the wilderness, by the spring on the way to Shur. And He said, “Hagar, Sarai’s maid, where have you come from, and where are you going?”

She said, “I am fleeing from the presence of my mistress Sarai.”

Hagar and the Angel had a wonderful conversation. She expressed her fear and the Angel of the Lord reassured her. Although telling her to go back and submit to Sarai probably was not that comforting, the next thing the Angel tells her is, to some degree.

Genesis 16:9-12

The Angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress, aResidenzgalerie SalzburgResidenzplatz 1A-5010 Salzburgnd submit yourself under her hand.” 10 Then the Angel of the Lord said to her, “I will multiply your descendants exceedingly, so that they shall not be counted for multitude.” 11 And the Angel of the Lord said to her:

“Behold, you are with child,
And you shall bear a son.
You shall call his name Ishmael,
Because the Lord has heard your affliction.
12 He shall be a wild man;
His hand shall be against every man,
And every man’s hand against him.
And he shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.”

This conversation that the Angel has with Hagar is a wonderful example of God’s tender care for his children. Yes, Hagar was in the midst of the wrong t1.2.Ha1hat Sarai and Abram did but God saw her sorrow and sadness and met her right where she was. He didn’t chastise her, but confirmed that she was with child and that her descendants would be multiplied greatly. This must have brought some comfort to this young woman. So, she returns, has the boy child and names him Ishmael.

Following is the first post of many to come.  They will take us on a wonderful journey of Abram and Sarai’s change (Abraham and Sarah). This change was drastic, considering where they had been for 13 years, and therefore, it had to be a drastic effect on the entire tribe. Let’s start with the scriptures and see what they say.

Genesis 17:1-8GOD APEARS TO ABRAHAM

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

Ray Steadman says it so beautifully, I must include a quote from his sermon “The Circumcised Life”.

After thirteen years of silence, God appears to Abram in a new revelation and with a new name — God Almighty. In the Hebrew it is El Shaddai, which essentially means “the God who is sufficient,” the all-competent God, the adequate God, who knows what he is doing and how to do it. This is an indication that Abram has learned something from his recent bitter experience. God says, in effect, “You have been learning for thirteen years the total inadequacy of your own efforts, through Ishmael. Now learn a new thing about me. I am El Shaddai. You have discovered by sad experience how futile Tissot_God's_Promises_to_Abramyour plans and efforts can be without me. Now learn how capable I am to do everything that I desire to do, whenever I desire to do it.”

God is so good. He allowed Abram to see the futility of his efforts and then, after many hard lessons over 13 long years, when God saw that Abram was ready He appears to Abram. God makes it known that God is the God of all provision! God is God and Abram was not!

Do you know what it is like to have God be silent for a long period of time and wonder where He is? He is always where He was in the beginning. Maybe you have moved away from Him. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He never changes! He is there waiting for you to be “ready” to receive Him back into your life. Has God ever spoken to your heart after a long period of misery – one that you may have directly or indirectly created? Maybe He has been gracious and merciful to you after that long period of silence? God longs to have his children “get right” with Him. He is a loving and merciful God. Slow to anger and longsuffering!

Exodus 34:6086fd0e1d939a107fdb3e14705889947

And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth,

Psalm 103:8

The Lord is merciful and gracious, Slow to anger, and abounding in mercy.

This is a link to a website (BibleStudyTools.com) that lists several beautiful scriptures that speak to God being “slow to anger”. I think you will like the scriptures.

Oh if we could all realize how much God wants to provide for us in all ways. He wants us to rely on His provision and His abundance and not try to “fix” the problems, especially without praying and talking to Him. He is such a wonderful God. He loves us and hurts when we hurt and rejoices when we rejoice! Have you talked to Him today?   He is waiting to hear from you, His beloved!

I will end this post here and pick up tomorrow to see some more of the changes and how they affect Abraham and Sarah. This is a wonderful lesson in God’s provision and love for His people. His first love, Israel, and through the ages up to today.

The Song – He Will Come and Save You – Lord of the Harvest CD by Ross Parsley
(This is one song of many on the CD.  They all blend together when you are listening to the entire CD, so it kind of fades into the next song then cuts off.  It is a wonderful CD recorded in Israel and can still be purchased from Amazon by clicking the link on the left side bar.)

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GREEN LAWN OR TARR

Today, I am reposting one of the first posts I did.  I re-read it and it has a great message that apparently someone needs to hear.  I always love to re-read some of the old posts.  I hope you do as well.  Enjoy!
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You don’t have to know me very long to know I love to work in my front yard. I love the Spring time and all that it brings with it.. well, the pollen can go away but I guess it’s vital for all those pretty flowers and not to mention the wonderful honey that the bees produce … so I guess I need to just get over it and deal with it. Anyway along with the flowers I love a lush, green, thick St. Augustine grass lawn. I have been raised with it between my toes since I was a wee one and I have always loved it! It always feels like a carpet and it seems to always be cool to my feet – and yes I go bare footed a lot. I have gone barefoot forever and I guess I will not be changing this late in life. In the FRONT YARDsummer time the St. Augustine grass is so refreshing to walk through. Especially in the shade, the grass is always cool and clean. I have tried to always keep a nice lawn since we have lived in this house… which will be 5 years this May. It was a bit rough the first year. It had been neglected for many years and I had my work cut out for me but it greened up after some fertilizer and regular watering! Amazing how that works, huh? So each year when it begins to green up again, it seems to take forever to get there… but when it gets there it is so pretty and lush! The last couple of years though there have been some spots that00-TARR have struggled and I found out from my “guy at Lowe’s” that it was a disease called TARR – Take All Root Rot! NO!!! NOT MY BEAUTIFUL GREEN LAWN! So, he has helped me with a couple of things to help it. It did help a little for a while but this year it seems a bit weak and there are several lawns in the area that have been struck by this horrible grass disease! It can wipe out an entire lawn in no time if it isn’t taken seriously and dealt with quickly!

So…this afternoon I was out checking the condition of my front yard and I noticed that the fertilizer that I put down a week or so ago is starting to make a difference in some of the yard and other parts not so much. One thing I did notice was this… in the strong parts of the yard, the grass was thickening up and looking better and better. The weaker areas – the areas with thin and struggling grass there were weeds. There were two kinds that I detest! Crab grass and another little weed that I don’t know the name of.. but it always appears in weak lawns. These two have plagued the weak areas of my front lawn. This is the first year I have seen these weeds in my front yard and I am not happy about it. While I was pulling up every one of them that I could find, God laid something on my heart. I would like to share it with you because that is what I do. Share what God has shown me and shared with me. He shows me things in my every-day life that can relate to our spiritual nature and it has been amazing learning like this from God.

We are a lot like the lawn. The strong areas of our heart or soul are less prone to the “world’s” influence than the weaker areas that we struggle with. The weaker areas are the ones that are more prone to sin. Depending on who you are and your particular likes and dislikes and how you were raised and so many other factors determine where we are the weakest or strongest. No matter who you are, you have strong areas and weak areas. Those weak areas – like the lawn – need more attention and protection than those strong areas. I watered the weak areas with extra Miracle Grow today and not so much in the thicker, greener areas.

In my weak areas I go to God! I pray for strength, guidance and wisdom in those areas that are more susceptible to attacks of the world. The ruler of this world – Satan – knows! He knows where to try to get to me! However, I am a child of the King and in Philippians 2:10 it tells us at the name of Jesus EVERY knee will bow! There is power in the name of Jesus! This video…Break Every Chain is an awesome video and song about this very thing!

Pastor Brad’s sermon today was on 2 Corinthians 5:17  “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” We don’t have to live with the old self! We don’t have to give the old sin habits any place in our lives! If we are “In Christ” we are a new creation! The old is gone and done away with! The sermon was an awesome reminder the power of what Jesus did on the cross, in the grave and the resurrection! And…when we accept Him into our lives as our personal Savior! Personal Savior! Our very own! That power becomes ours! The power to overcome!

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I would like to suggest you go to the website of my church in the next day or so and check out Pastor Brad’s entire sermon! Especially if you have weak areas that those weeds of the world are creeping into. His sermons are so enlightening and uplifting and powerful!! Never demeaning and judging! He loves the Lord and you can tell it! Shady Oaks Media Website! You won’t be sorry you took the time. I would suggest you give it a day or so to allow them time to get the message up on the website. All of his sermons are there though. I love my pastor and my church!

I challenge you this week to think about those weak areas in your life. Call upon the name of Jesus to help you overcome the weakness! He will help you! He is waiting to hear from you! He loves you so much!

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