Tag Archives: God’s promise

MISMATCHED IDEAS

I was in church the other day and the choir was practicing before the service in the sanctuary. The worship pastor’s button fell off of his blazer and he couldn’t find anyone with a needle and thread, so he went without. OH, MY!  Just before church too!  No biggie, right? Right.  If he found a button somewhere and put it on his coat it would be mismatched.  That would not look very good and I believe it is a mismatched idea that someone would think that looked OK.  So, now you know where I am going with this?  Keep reading.

After the worship part of the service, the choir came down into the sanctuary and before the pastor began preaching, God whispered something to my heart. “Leah, you know how Garth wouldn’t want to mismatch the buttons on his coat when he puts a new button on…? Well, make sure and tell people that there shouldn’t be any mismatched of ideas in their Christian walk either.  Some things do not go together and shouldn’t be together.  Whether it is a mismatched button on a coat or mismatched ideas about Me and their Christian walk with Me.”

I sat there in amazement. I haven’t really heard God speak to my heart like that … that clearly … in a while. I just smiled. Yep. That is how God speaks to my heart. He just lays it out there and uses some every day event to compare with my walk – or your walk – with Him. I love it! I get so excited when God whispers to my heart like that. Sometimes, it has taken a little bit more than a whisper though. He does know how to get my attention in a much stronger way, if He has to. This time, He didn’t have to. I made my notes before the service started and waited until now to write about it. I miss writing every night for y’all. It usually does me much more good than it does you, probably. Sometimes, life has just gotten in the way in the last few months but hopefully things will begin to level off and I can do this again more often.

So… the Christian walk. The mismatched ideas in the Christian walk. I wrote about one the other day in the post “SO MANY ARE MISLEAD”. If you would like to read that, click the title and it will take you right to the post. What aindexre some mismatched ideas of our Christian walk? Let’s see… how about

  1. I can be married to a non-Christian person and be OK (This is where I personally have some experience). This does not work. You must be matched in that you believe the same things about the foundational things. Foundational things are:
    1. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit = the Trinity.
    2. God created the entire Universe and all that is within it.
    3. God created man and all that in on the earth.
    4. God Was and Is and Is to Come! He has no beginning and He has no end. He was before and will always will be.
    5. The Bible is the Inspired Word of God. It is true and living. The things of the Bible are applicable today as they were since it was written.
    6. The Bible was written by common men inspired by the Holy Spirit called to do uncommon things. You cannot take parts of the Bible and believe and the other parts discard as not true. It is to be read and accepted completely as the Word of God.
    7. Jesus was born of a Virgin (who was Mary) and was raised by her and His earthly father Joseph.
    8. When Jesus walked on the earth He was fully God and fully man.
    9. Jesus lived a sinless 33 years on the face of this earth.
    10. Jesus chose 12 disciples from the common men to be His companions and to teach them about Himself and Heaven and all that He was sent here to do.
    11. Jesus was sent from Heaven to be our example.
    12. Jesus was crucified on the Cross and died to save the world from their sins.
    13. Jesus rose again on the 3rd day and is seated at the right hand of the Father in Heaven.
    14. Jesus was seen by over 500 people before His ascension into Heaven.
    15. Jesus will come again to take us home to live with Him when God the Father tells Him “Son, go get My children”.
    16. When Jesus comes to take us to our Heavenly home, the people that did not believe in Him or accept Him as Savior and Lord will be left on the earth and not go to Heaven with us.

I have probably left out some things, but that’s a good start. Understand me here … that if you do not have the fundamental belief things in place, therecolumns28984800f will always be an issue between the two of you. Now, I am not here to give marital advice by any means, it’s just that I have lived this kind of turmoil and it is a destroyer of a “happy marriage”. I promise you. That is why God’s Word says this:

Luke 11:16-23

16 Others, testing Him, sought from Him a sign from heaven. 17 But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them: Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and a house divided against a house falls. 18 If Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? Because you say I cast out demons by Beelzebub. 19 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 20 But if I cast out demons with the finger of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. 21 When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace. 22 But when a stronger than he comes upon him and overcomes him, he takes from him all his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoils. 23 He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters.

And this scripture

2 Corinthians 6:14

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness?

I have written in red the main part of that scripture. Now, I know you may think your marriage is a kingdom, and it may very well be, but this mention of “Every kingdom divide against itself…” is not necessarily talking about a kingdom with a king like used to rule the land when Jesus was alive. But it is appropriate. The kingdom of God is the church and the “church” is the people that believe in Christ. So, if you are a Christian and you are married to a non-Christian, then your “kingdom” is divided against itself.

Now, like I said, I am not trying to be a marriage counselor here and give advice. I am strictly stating what the Word of God says. Yes, there are marriages that survive when one person is a Christian and one is not. However, is surviving all God calls us to? You decide.

Now on to another topic…

  1. Science and Christianity … yep, they actually complement each other and do not confscience-and-scripturelict with one another. There is a great book that I read entitled “I Don’t Have Enough Faith To Be An Atheist” and in that book it talks about the wonders of Science and it goes hand in hand with Christianity and the beliefs that Christians believe. The first few chapters are a challenge to get through, well, at least it was for me, but it is a phenomenal book and every Christian ought to read it so they can see why they believe what they believe. It explains it very clearly and succinctly. I recommend it. That is the 2nd conflicting or mismatched idea… that Science and Christianity cannot and do not belong together. They do! As I said, they complement each other!
  2. You have to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ to be saved not… “I can be a good person, doing good, helping the poor, giving to charities, living a clean life and not rob, steal, or cheat and still go to Heaven.”Quotation-Johnny-Damon-good-Meetville-Quotes-47323 This is a belief that will get a person in trouble quickly. Some believe that they are a Christian because of what they “DO” which is totally incorrect. In Ephesians Paul tells us that a person cannot be saved by what they “do”. Here is the scripture:

Ephesians 2:8-9

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

I found a very interesting website to go along with this belief. The first link will take you to a quick little question and answer test. Easy to do and be totally honest. After you answer honestly, all the questions, listen to the video also. It is VERY compelling and it just might change your life.  Here is the link to “The Good Person Test”. Next, please watch the video below the test. If you like, here is the link to that as well – WhatStandard.com.

These three things – conflicts or mismatched ideas – that I have listed above are just a small – a very small part – of a much longer list. For time sake I will not continue this post but may continue it on another post. However, you see how important having matched ideas are if you are a Christian? If you claim to be a Christian, and you have mismatched ideas, I suggest that you pray about them, consult with your pastor, a Christian friend or someone whom you know is a Christian and be totally honest with them about your beliefs. Then wait and see what God can do in your life.

God loves you so much and doesn’t want you to be confused, have mismatched ideas or anything that will keep you from living in eternity with Him. He sent His Son Jesus to save you from yourself and all your sins. He is the only one that can do that. John 3:16 says…

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but shall have everlasting life. And also this one…

John 11:25

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

So, you see, God loves you so much! He doesn’t want you or anyone else to go to Hell and not live with Him in eternity. After all, He calls you His beloved.

The Song – He Will Rescue Us – Greg Sykes

The Video – He Will Rescue Us – Greg Sykes

00-SIGNATURE

THE DADDY SPARROW

If you know me at all, or have read some of my posts, you know I LOVE God’s creation … from the tiniest Lady Bug crawling on my blade of St. Augustine grass in the front yard to the Majestic Mount Rainer in Washington State and everything in between. Also, you don’t have to be around me very long to know I also love birds. I feed the wild birds in my yard and love to watch them flitting around and singing and just doing what birds do. I have around 21 different types of birds that visit my yard every year and this year I saw my first Eastern Blue Bird. It was beautiful.

One of the things I prIMG_1220ovide for my feathered friends, other than bird seed and suet, are a few bird houses scattered around for the little guys and gals to nest and raise their babies in. My favorite bird house is one that hangs in the tree directly in front of my kitchen window. It has housed numbers of clutches over the six years that we have lived here. Sometimes four a summer – starting around April until late Summer. It is an absolute joy for my folks and me to watch the progression of these babies. I get pictures of the eggs, then the tiny, little ugly things, then they grow so fast and before you know it the little ones are poking their head out for that morsel that the mommy or the daddy sparrow has brought. They are silent as can be until their mommy or daddy sparrow shows up on the porch of the house and then they become a noisy and boisterous bunch. DSCN0181They scramble over each other to get to the tasty bug first. It is the greatest thing to watch the drama in front of my kitchen window. Then, when it’s time to leave the nest it is even more fun! I have helped the little ones across the street into the row of shrubs that grow along my neighbor’s house – not picking them up but escorting them by shushing them with my arms and stopping traffic if I have to – until they are safe and sound with mommy and daddy sparrow that are waiting for them and chirping wildly until they are safe and sound. That hedgerow of bushes is the “safe” place for the little ones with their parents after they have fledged and leave the bird house. I guess all the babies from the surrounding nests go there because there is always a bunch of chirping and a flurry of activity going on in those bushes. I just love my little Sparrows and their chirp. No… they don’t have a beautiful song that lilts through the air like the House Wren or the beautiful, crisp song of the Northern Cardinal, but they chirp, chirp, chirp and I love them!

Some time back, I found a bird group on the internet entitled “The Sparrow Project”. I clicked join and I was in hopes that this “project” or group would help me learn more about my beloved House Sparrows. I just love those little guys. So, as I received the first email after joining this group I began to read the guidelines and what is expected of me as a member. It appalled me! The information was instructing me to take the eggs out of the nest when I find House Sparrow eggs. I read on… it said that they were trying to diminish the population of House Sparrows because they are having an adverse effect on the Song Bird population.sparrow I thought “how in the world would that be?” After replying to the email I was informed that there are reported cases of the House Sparrows actually being aggressive with the Song Birds in someone’s area and not allowing them to feed at the feeders. This is a link to the article about “Managing House Sparrows and European Starlings”.   Well, I have been a “bird-watcher” for at least 15 years and I can say, without a doubt, I have NEVER seen any House Sparrow attack or keep another species of bird from feeding at my feeders! All 21 varieties of birds get along just fine together. I offer several feeders for various sizes of birds from the big Grackle to the tiniest Tufted Titmouse. However, yesterday I did witness a Starling shoo away a Red Bellied Woodpecker from a suet cake. I was shocked. I was certain that the Red Bellied Woodpecker would be higher up on the food chain and therefore have seniority over the feeder with a Starling. Oh well… that was the first and only time I have ever seen anything like that. Actually the Starling didn’t shoo him away, the Woodpecker just backed off until the Starling left.

Well, this post isn’t really all about birds, or just about birds. I do have a comparison with the Daddy Sparrow  at the bird house that is hanging in a tree directly in front of my kitchen window … and the recent turn of events in my life though. Read on to find out how I bring it all together… well, actually, how God brings it all together with my fingers doing the work as to what He tells me to type.

You see, I need to tell you about the daddy Sparrow that sits on the porch of the bird house that is hanging in the tree directly in front of my kitchen window. The normal routine every spring is a daddy sparrow begins to build the nest. He brings in all sorts of materials to build this nest that will be home to him, his mommy sparrow and their babies (usually 1-3 babies in a clutch). So the daddy sparrow builds the nest almost entirely on his own. In the meantime, he sits and chirps on the porch of the bird house. IMG_1220He is chirping for a momma sparrow. He sits and chirps, and chirps, and chirps, and chirps. All day long – literally! All Day … until a momma sparrow finds him attractive and the nest meets her approval and then she decides this is the place to be. So they consummate the relationship and it all begins. The consummation is usually a quick 5-6 times on the porch and then she hops inside the house and begins to take up building the nest to suit her needs. You see, he begins the nest building but she puts the “momma sparrow” touch to it. Usually stuffing it with much more grass and straw and anything she can find to make it a nice soft nesting place for her babies to call “home”.

Now, this happens for every clutch that is laid and hatches. This same routine of consummating the relationship and then all else is downhill from there. I am not sure if it is the same momma and daddy sparrow throughout the summer, but they seem to know the lay of the land and just keep having babies all summer long. They are very prolific little ones.

This Spring has been a bit different, though. I had taken the house down over the winter and cleaned it out and put it back up just before Spring. Finally, in mid-April, a daddy sparrow begins to build and chirp, build and chirp, build and chirp. It is fascinating to watch him drag things into the little house. Then he hops out on the porch and chirps and chirps and chirps, in hopes that very special momma sparrow will come to be his momma sparrow. Day in and day out, he sits there and chirps and chirps. I actually know for a fact that he sat there for at least 3-4 days straight and chirped all day long! Very seldom leaving. This worried me … probably more than it should… you see, I pray for the little guy every day that God will bring him a momma sparrow. I know… some folks thinks it is a silly thing to do, but I do it anyway.

Then one day… I stepped to the front door. The inside door was open so I could see through the storm door. I looked over to the birdhouse and saw a momma sparrow on the porch with the daddy sparrow. I got as excited as the little daddy sparrow. It was the cutest thing I had ever seen. He hopped and danced all over that front porch. She would bow and flutter her wings and then he hopped on her and then off and danced around some more. She would bow and flutter her wings again and then he would hop on her again. This went on for about a minute. He must have consummated at least 5-6 times. I have never witnessed a bird being so excited. After all, he had sat and chirped for 3 weeks solid. He was lonely and was so excited to finally have a momma sparrow to have a family with!

Then it happened! As quickly as the momma sparrow was there she was G-O-N-E! She flew off and left him sitting there on the front porch! He sat there and chirped and chirped in hopes that she would come back! DSCN0171Heck, she left without even checking out the nest he built. The poor little thing was confused. He looked around and back and forth and was chirping trying to find his newly found momma sparrow to no avail!   She left and he nor I have seen her since! He had chirped so hard and long for a momma, he found her and then in less than two minutes, she was there and then she vanished! I have never witnessed that either.

I have said ALL of that to say this… when I saw his distress and confusion in the whole ordeal, I instantly heard a message from God… ok, I know you are probably thinking I have lost my mind. No, I haven’t! I just know what I heard and then I knew what comparison there was to draw from this.  It was clear as can be.

Hold On … you may be surprised at my comparison…

I likened this to my job that I just lost. The job that I was so excited to have after such a long time. A job that I had prayed about and waited and waited and waited some more. I had a Training job finally and then … almost in the blink of an eye… it was gone! In 64 days I went from being elated to totally blindsided and in total confusion and dismay at being let go. The job was no-where to be found. It vanished almost as quickly as it appeared! I was in so much pain and misery and when I saw the confusion on the little daddy sparrow’s face (yes – there was confusion!) I related to that. confusionHe had waited for something for so long, it was finally here and then it was gone as fast as it had arrived! It made absolutely NO SENSE to him or me why that momma bird took off so quickly and never came back! It was something I had NEVER seen happen. It also made NO SENSE to me why the job I loved was no longer there. I have never had that happen in all my years of working. I was so confused and so distraught for days.

Then I heard that sweet, still, small voice that I love! It spoke reassurance and peace and hope into my soul. “You are much more important than this sparrow or a million sparrows. I have the perfect plan for you, Leah. Just hang on and trust Me.” Now, unlike me, that little daddy sparrow has no idea why momma sparrow left nor does he have that still, small voice whispering to his soul… “It will be alright.” At least I don’t know that he does. I do, however, know God’s Word says He has a plan for my life and it is the perfect plan. I am not sure about a “plan” for that little sparrow’s life. I don’t know, but I do now my God will never leave me nor forsake me. He may keep me waiting for a while, but He will never forsake. After all, He calls me His beloved! There is bound to be a reason all of that happened. It may have been for someone else and not for me. I don’t know but I do know this…

Romans 8:28

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

And I love God with all my heart, soul and mind… I also know this..

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[b] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Because I know this about my God, I know I will be OK… better than OK. I will be great because God has me on His mind. He loves me and I am His! I have a hope and I know He holds my future in His hand.  After all He calls me His beloved!

He loves you just as He loves me. If you know this God of mine, wonderful! If you do not know Him, click this link. This will take you to a website called Bible.org. This article will explain what it means to follow Christ Jesus.  It will explain some things that may have been questions in your mind before. Never forget that God loves you and you are always on His mind.  After all, He calls you His beloved too!

I am including a song that I have recently used, but because it is about the Sparrow… I want to include it again.

The Song – His Eye Is On The Sparrow – Sandi Patty

The Song – I Know The Plans (Audrey’s Song) Damaris

00-SIGNATURE

PRAYER – ABRAHAM AND GOD

In this next couple of posts, I will explore the wonderful conversation that Abraham and God have regarding the destruction of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah. There is so much rich prayer time in this dialogue that I want to spend a couple of days on it. I found this wonderful video that shows the actual sites of the cities Sodom and Gomorrah. Yes, there were actual cities and they were actually destroyed by “fire and brimstone”. You have to see the video. It is about 27 minutes long, but so worth the time to watch. I want to post this first about the cities and the destruction of them with this video before I get too deep into Abraham and God’s conversation. The reason behind this is to show you the actual result of God’s wrath and judgment. Here is the initial scripture that sets up the scene.  This scripture is God deciding to tell Abraham of the coming destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and why He is going to share with Abraham.  wrath-of-God

Genesis 18:16-21

16 Then the men rose from there and looked toward Sodom, and Abraham went with them to send them on the way. 17 And the Lord said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, 18 since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? 19 For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the Lord, to do righteousness and justice, that the Lord may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” 20 And the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, I will know.”abraham-sodom-300x243

Now, God Himself didn’t have to “go down” to the cities to know. He knew exactly what was going on. I believe he used these words so Abraham might understand. He was sending His angels to go down to the cities to see the debase, immoral, horribly evil things that were going on in the cities. Then we learn later, they were also there to save Lot and his family.

So this conversation is quite interesting. It is initiated by God and Abraham feels quite comfortable in approaching Him with his many questions. I will get into the conversation tomorrow. However, this initial prayer initiated by God is so wonderful. God considers Abraham a friend and talks out the reasons He will share this with “His friend”.

God loves His people so much and yet does not allow evil to continue among them.  He will take out the evil in mankind when it reaches a point of total and complete wickedness and depravity.  Thank God that He sent His son Jesus to save us from ourselves!  Mankind can becJESUSome so wicked, as today’s society is quickly becoming, that they are simply past the point of redemption.  God is watching and waiting.  I believe there will come a day when the earth will see and feel the wrath of God, as did Sodom and Gomorrah.  In that day, those that know Jesus and His saving power of Grace and Mercy will not taste the wrath that is to come.  Those that have not accepted Jesus as their Savior, unfortunately, will experience the full wrath of God.  God loves you and wants you to experience His love and mercy and not His wrath.  That is why He sent Jesus 2,000 years ago.  If you don’t know Him as your personal Savior, here is a link to Bible.org for a simple plan of salvation.  This will guide you into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and you too can experience His Love, Grace and Mercy.  God loves you so much, He calls you His beloved.

The Song – God So Loved The World – Charles Billingsley

The video is very good and needs to be seen prior to my next post. Again, it is the result of the Righteous and Just God that cannot allow this kind of evil to exist forever.  It is done very tastefully and shows the land and explains what you are looking at. Please take the time to watch.

00-SIGNATURE

PRAYER – ABRAM PART 8

The last post about Abram, we learned of Abram’s acceptance and belief that God would do as He promised and in Abram’s belief God counted it to Abram as righteousness.1102013273_univ_lsr_lg

In the next several verses God and Abram have this wonderful dialogue about the Covenant and the sacrifice for the Covenant. As I said before I am not a Theologian nor a commentator, but I first want to share a couple of things that I read about the animals that God required Abram to sacrifice to make this “Covenant” with him and his descendants. It is again from Ray Steadman in his sermon “The Furnace and the Lamp”. Now there is a lot that Ray says in his sermon, as usual, but for now I want to focus on the animals that God told Abram to bring Him.

Here is the scripture:

Genesis 15:7-11Picture1

And he said to him, “I am the Lord who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land to possess.” But he said, “O Lord God, how am I to know that I shall possess it?” He said to him, “Bring me a heifer three years old, a female goat three years old, a ram three years old, a turtledove, and a young pigeon.” 10 And he brought him all these, cut them in half, and laid each half over against the other. But he did not cut the birds in half. 11 And when birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

The following is from Ray’s sermon “The Furnace and the Lamp”:

“Each of these animals and birds is a picture for us of Christ, our sacrifice. Our deliverance from the reigning power of sin must be based upon that sacrifice of Jesus Christ upon the cross. This is what we learn in Romans 6. We are told that Christ died for our sins in Romans 1-3. We learn that he died for sin in Romans 6. The perfect character of Christ is pictured for us by these animals and birds Abram brought, especially as it was poured out in death for us, so that we might have it. There on the cross, something took place that is able to break the control and dominion of sin over us and allow the Holy Spirit to produce the character of Christ in us.

In the heifer or ox, patience and strength are symbolized. Who does not need these qualities! The she-goat is the symbol of nourishment and refreshment for the soul. The ram is the picture of power, of might in warfare. The birds are a picture of gentleness and grace, the Spirit of God at work. It is significant that all the animals were to be three years old. This is a reference to the public ministry of our Lord which lasted for three years. All these qualities of his character were publicly made manifest during that time. Here, then, is a symbolic portrait of Jesus Christ in the beauty and full vigor of his manhood. All that he was was clearly told out and made evident by his life.

Now in the death of Christ, all that he was is made available to us. He laid down his life that we might have it! He poured out his soul unto death that all the fullness of his person might indwell my life and yours, that we might have all that he is. The slaying of these animals and birds and Abram’s long contemplation of them is the beautiful picture of this for us.”

I love the symbolism. The picture of Christ laying His life down for ours is always a beautiful and humbling picture to the believer.

The next verses tell us about a deep sleep that Abram went into. God reveals to him in his dream about the plight to come of the Israelites. This must have been a very disturbing dream for Abram. However, God does reassure him that he will live to an old age and be buried in peace with his fathers.

All of this was such a huge amount of information for Abram! I feel pretty sure that he also felt overwhelmed at all of this. However, he kept trusting God and continued to walk with Him and trust him most of the time. 

Then there are times when Abram acted so human and not quite so “godly”.  Also, we have to remember the times that Abram was living in. The customs were quite different and some were somewhat disturbing to some of us. In this next part we will see that Abram and Sarai began to doubt that God was going to give them a child between the two of them. Sarai became anxious and offered Abram her maidservant to have a child with, thinking this was the way they would have an heir. This child that is born of Hagar, the maidservant, is Ishmael. He is the father of the Arab nation. His descendants will be a thorn in the side of Israel forever. Here is what Ray Steadman has to say about Sarai’s act of seeming concern for having an heir from Abram.a1cadba9-d70a-4431-9a67-d211445f8746_273

“… It was a perfectly proper and seemly act in the eyes of the community.

Yet, as we see the end of this action, we are aware that it was an act of appalling folly and stupidity, resulting in endless sorrow and heartache to all concerned. The results are evident yet, 4,000 years later! The Arabian nations originated in this act, and the enmity which sprang up between Israel and the Arabs, descendants of Ishmael, troubles the world to this day. If ever we have a picture of the longevity of sin, it is here. Despite the seeming rightness of this to Sarai, it was the worst thing she could possibly have done.”

So, if we are honest with ourselves, we see some of ourselves in what Sarai and Abram did. They heard the plan that God had for them. They agreed with the plan, but when it came time to trust God’s timing, they wanted to “help” it along. They could not fathom God giving them a child at this age. Sarai was almost 75 and well past child bearing years and Abram almost 86 years old. Just like us when we are “waiting” on God’s plan to unfold, we want to hurry it along. It is hard to wait and sometimes things of this world seem like the way to go to “help” God with His plan. That WILL NEVER be the way to go! God’s ways are so much above ours and our finite minds just simply cannot conceive the things God has in store for us. We must have faith, patience, perseverance and trust. These attributes do not necessarily come easily to most humans… me included. I do not like to wait, however, I am learning that when I “run ahead of God” that it just makes a bigger mess. Yes, all things work together for good… (Romans 8:28) but God would rather have us just wait on Him…. remember the scripture …   Those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.EAGLE 1

Isaiah 40:31

31 But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint.

Abram and Sarai did not “wait” on the Lord. They ran ahead of God’s perfect plan and made quite a mess of things. Notice also, there was not one mention of any “prayer” time with God. This is a sure sign of problems. Apparently this bitter struggle between Hagar, Sarai and Abram lasted for 13 years because the next chapter in Genesis talks about Abram being 99 years old. That is a long time to carry bitterness and strife.

I challenge you today to ask God if there are any areas that He sees that you have run ahead of Him and tried to “help” His plan for your life. He will reveal things to you if there are any. God loves an honest conversation (prayer time) with His children. He longs for conversations with you. Remember, He calls you His beloved.

The Video – All You’ve Ever Wanted – Casting Crowns

The Song – All You’ve Ever Wanted – Casting Crowns

00-SIGNATURE

PRAYER – ABRAM PART 7

I was feeling a bit overwhelmed when I sat down to write tonight. After all, I am writing about Abraham!! How in the world can I possibly relay information about Abram (Abraham)? I mean, he’s ABRAHAM! I read some commentaries on Genesis 15:1-6 and it is all so wonderful and overwhelming at the same time. Then… in the flurry of reading and feeling overwhelmed, I remembered… pray… I stopped, knelt and prayed. I was still and listened. God spoke to me in the stillness. He reminded me that I am not a Theologian … I am not a Professor of Divinity… I am a woman that knows how to listen and write what God wants to share to whomever will read… AND… this is not a blog about all the theology stuff… this series is on “Prayer” and the importance of Prayer. I burst into tears and felt such a relief. I had gotten myself all worked up about sharing all the details and ins and outs of “The Covenant” and “Abraham” that I just got overwhelmed and lost sight of the simple fact that PRAYER IS VITAL TO A CHRISTIAN’S WALK WITH THE LORD. Someday, maybe I will be up to the task of “The Covenant” but at this time, I will remain true to this series and in this post, at least, talk about the “Prayer Time” (conversation) that Abram and God had. Thank you for reading all of that. I needed to write that so you would know where I am coming from. It is definitely a journey. Every day, sometimes moment by moment, is a wonderful adventure!

In my last post I spoke about fear. The fear expressed in the first 6 verses of Genesis 15. Let’s look at it again.

Genesis 15:1-6

After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, and count the stars if ystar gazing-milkyway2ou are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

Remember Abram just had won a great battle. He met Melchizedek along the way home and was blessed in that way. The king of Sodom even recognized Abram’s success in his victory in the battle over the other kings. You would think that Abram would be “steppin’ high” (forgive me Abraham for the slang), however, Abram must have felt some sadness and fear of the future. God comes to him and speaks to his heart. God says “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” Then Abram really tells God what is bothering him. Yes, he realizes that God has given him much and promises him much, but without a true successor what is all the success? Then God opens up and reassures Abram once again and even more so. God didn’t chastise Abram for being real with Him. He just let him talk and then He reassures him that there will be a successor come from him. Then after God reassured him again, he believed. Abram believed after all of this conversation (prayer time) with God. God said enough and just the right thing to help Abram believe.

Genesis 1:6And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness. Abraham_praying_C-434

God, Himself, considered Abram’s belief as righteousness.

How many times are we afraid, concerned, worried, upset or any other emotion you can think of, and it seems to grip us in such a way that we cannot consider all the past that God has brought us through nor can we see the hope for the future? I know I have done this. I have to stop and tell God my fears, concerns, worries, etc. and wait for Him to respond. He will, He always does. I count on hearing from Him when I talk to Him or when I am still before Him. It is a feeling that is very hard to describe. It is exhilarating and awe inspiring at the same time. It excites and brings a healthy fear of Who He really is. He is the Maker of everything, yet He knows my name and wants to reassure me that He is aware of all that is going on. I cannot help but think that there are many folks out there that want to hear… long to hear from God but are afraid to call out to Him.

Maybe, unlike Abram, you don’t know how to call on God. You can be as real as you want to be with God. Maybe you have never known what to say if you should callGodIsLove out to God. Remember He is God and deserves the utmost respect and honor when you do call out to Him. Prayer is just simply a conversation with God. If you know how to carry on a conversation with someone, then you can pray to God – converse with Him. He may be the Creator but He also knows every detail of your life. That may seem like a threatening thing, however, He loves you and cares about what happens to you. He wants an intimate relationship with you. He sent His son, Jesus, to be our example on the earth. Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the Cross for our sins, and rose on the third day – HE CONQUERED DEATH! For us! He Lives!

I am a sinner saved by grace and God’s great mercy! I know He loves me and always has and always will. I will live with Him in Heaven one day – for eternity. If you haven’t met this Jesus that died for you, you can know Him today. Here is a link to a simple Plan of Salvation. Click here and read how to put your trust in the One who died for you. He is waiting to hear from you. He loves you and calls you His beloved.amazing-grace1

The Song – God So Loved The World – Charles Billingsley

00-SIGNATURE

PRAYER – ABRAM PART 6

Finally, I am back on track with Abram and God’s prayer time. The last post that was about Abram was the encounter with Melchizedek. That was quite an interesting time for Abram. If you read my two posts those two days, you read two different opinions who Melchizedek was. It really doesn’t make any difference who he was except that he was of God. I just thought it interesting, the two sermons and information about him. So, onward to the next encounter Abram has with God and their prayer time.

Genesis 15 is replete with conversation with Abram and God. This is the scriptures where God makes a covenant with Abram. Let’s read the first part of that scripture.

Genesis 15:1-6

 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward.” But Abram said, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?” Then Abram said, “Look, You have given me no offspring; indeed one born in my house is my heir!” And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “This one shall not be your heir, but one who will come from your own body shall be your heir.” Then He brought him outside and said, “Look now toward heaven, aabraham_stars721x597nd count the stars if you are able to number them.” And He said to him, “So shall your descendants be.” And he believed in the Lord, and He accounted it to him for righteousness.

There is so much to talk about just in these first 6 verses. I wish I had all day to study and research and write about the wonders of the scriptures. However, I do not, at this time, and so I must use the resources that I do have in the time God has given me to do so, in hopes that one day I will be able to sit and read and study His Word like never before. God’s timing is perfect and I have come to trust this. So with that said, I would like to include some of Ray Steadman’s sermon “Faith Conquering Fear” on these verses. He has some interesting things, again, to say about them. Again, I have not done any more research at this time on these scriptures. He is usually the first one I go to for understanding. He is easy to understand and writes beautifully. I urge you to read his sermon sometime. Here is some of the things he says about these first 6 verses.

“The opening paragraph of Genesis 15 strikingly illustrates for us what is commonly called in Bible study, the law of first occurrence. By this is meant that the first time a word or phrase is used in the Bible, it is used in such a way or in such a contest as to highlight the basic meaning of it throughout the rest of Scripture. Four such phrases appear in this paragraph for the first time in the Bible, though they are repeated many, many times afterward.”  (From Ray Steadman’s website Raysteadman.org)01 1N 15.18 Covenant Abaraham

“… in the very first line, “the word of the Lord came”? The recurrence of this phrase many times afterward in Scripture emphasizes the God-breathed character of the Bible. The word of the Lord came to many men, just as it came to Abram, and they wrote as they were borne along by the Holy Spirit, and then actually sat down and studied their own writings to learn what God had said, (1 Peter 1:10-12 RSV). The second phrase is the word that came to Abram, “Fear not!” How often this is God’s word to man, throughout this book. The third phrase is, “I am your shield.” In a thousand wonderful variations, we find this thought repeated frequently: God is our refuge and our strength; God is a tower of refuge; God is an overshadowing rock; blessed is he that hides under the shadow of the Almighty. This is the first intimation of this character of God in Scripture. And then there is that familiar word in the last verse, “And he believed the Lord; and it was reckoned to him for righteousness.” The fires of the Reformation were lit from that ringing phrase!”

Abram was a very fortunate and blessed man. He was known as a friend of God. This is the beginning of the scriptures where God makes a covenant with Abram and these first 6 verses sets up the scene. There is much prayer (conversation) back and forth between God and Abram. Abram felt completely comfortable with God to speak to him about his fears. 00023023_hGod reassures him and then some.

God reassures us as well when we are fearful of things in our life.  He wants to reassure us that He is in control of all happenings and will take us through all of the journey.  The journey may have twists and turns and what we want to happen may not happen as quickly as we want it to, but if we are a child of the King, we must wait and trust Him for His provision in His time.  He is righteous and just and will not forget His promises to us.  He loves us and calls us His beloved.

Have you talked to God today?  Have you told Him the things you are fearful of?  Have you heard His reassuring voice in your heart and spirit?  Trust Him.  He is faithful!  He will do what He has promised.

I will continue this topic in my next post, however.  There is a ton of things more to cover in these first 6 verses and I hope to begin to do that tonight.  I love this song by Casting Crowns.  It reminds me of who I am.  I am His!  I am a child of THE KING!

The Song – Who Am I – Casting Crowns

00-SIGNATURE

 

PRAYER – ABRAM PART 2

In the last post I mentioned when God called Abram out of his comfort zone in Ur. I think I jumped the gun in saying at that point Abram was called by God because the scriptures plainly state that Terah (his father) first took them all out of Ur and on to Haran. After Terah died is when the scriptures actually state that God actually called Abram out of his “comfort zone” into the land of Canaan.

Genesis 12:31

31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.

canaan-biblical-map-3

I understand that Haran is a dry and parched land and apparently it was not an easy life there (Here is a link to some interesting pictures of the area).  Maybe that is one reason Abram was so ready to leave when God called him out to Canaan. I know that there is some symbolism here. How often is it that we are found in a dry and parched land when God calls us to a better place? Even as a Christian, we can be found not serving or not being and doing as God called us to in the first place. When God finds us there He will call us out. He loves us too much to leave us there! If we respond we will be blessed immeasurably! God had much in store for Abram. He told him to leave all he had become accustomed to and then he would be blessed. How true that is for us as well. We get comfortable in our walk with the Lord and then get complacent. That is not a good place to be. Remember what Jesus said about being “lukewarm”. I wrote a post before entitled “Lukewarm or Hot”. Click the link to read that post.

Revelation 3:16

16 ”So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[g] I will vomit you out of My mouth.”index

Anyway, this is not a place for any Christian. We need to heed the call and be about our Father’s business when He calls us to be a Christian. It is difficult sometimes for a new Christian because they have no good “examples” to follow here on earth. However, we need not look to anyone on earth but Jesus Christ alone. If you have no one in your life but Him, you have enough!

Now, onward to when Abram heeded his call of God. When Abram was in Haran with all his family and all of the things he had acquired over the years of being there, God calls him to leave after his father’s death. To leave the country, the family and his father’s house.

God promises a blessing to Abram and promises to make his name great and to bless others through him. This is a wonderful place to be. God promises… if we go and do His will the same promise can be ours as Abram’s was.

Genesis 12:1-3

Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country, From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan.”

Abram had to leave everything he had become so accustomed to, family, home and land. However, the promise of God was so much bigger than what he already had. Abram showed tremendous faith in picking up and moving, finally. Packing up and taking all that he had acquired was no small task in and of itself. He took wife, his nephew Lot (because Lot’s father died prematurely), and all that they had acquired.   That had to be quite a bit of “stuff”. I love the picture here. 330px-Molnár_Ábrahám_kiköltözése_1850 I can imagine that traveling in this manner was not the most comfortable… not like our air conditioned, smooth riding vehicles for sure. I am not sure the young boys would be bare footed though…anyway, it was a great task, nonetheless.

I mentioned in the other post about this trek that God put Abram’s foot to, had to cause some anxiety and concern at first. I know these folks were somewhat nomads but to pick-up everything and move to a land unknown… then to have God tell you He will give the land that you are entering to your descendants. WOW… that is a lot to grasp.

Reflecting back on what this series is all about.. Prayer… and remember prayer is conversation with God. Either initiated by God or you. Along Abram’s journey to this land God was taking him to, God appeared to Abram. It doesn’t really say in what form, just that he appeared. Abram does the thing that he apparently had been taught in all of his years with his father Terah and the grandfathers before.  He knew the importance of building an altar and worshiping God after being brought through something along your journey with God. We don’t build altars this day and age out of stone but we do have ways to worship and praise God for things He brings us through. God loves the sacrifice of praise! He deserves so much more from us! We should be worshiping God and praising His name every day – if not every moment of every day – for what He has done for us.Abraham_believed_God_...and_he_was_called_the_friend_of_God_James_2-23

So Abram builds an altar and makes a sacrifice to the Lord for all He had done so far.  (this is only one of many altars Abraham will build in his time).  Then he continues on throughout the land. Remember they are nomads and move from here to there and always seem to be on the move. However, when Abram came into the land between Bethel and Ai he built another altar to the Lord. In my reading and research ,I understand Bethel translates “House of God” and Ai translates “ruin”. I found a paragraph of Ray Stedman’s sermon “The Beginning of Faith” that I would like to share about Abram’s alter he made between these two places.

“The fourth point is that this is a life of unending choice. Abram pitched his tent between Bethel and Ai. Bethel means “the house of God,” Ai means “ruin.” This is just where we must live the Christian life, ever looking either to the things of God, or to the ruin of the flesh. We can choose to go to Bethel or to Ai, to Christ or self — it can never be both. I am either pleasing myself, or pleasing him. I am either at Bethel, the house of God, or at Ai, the place of ruin. I must continually choose.”

So it is that we, as Christians, must choose. We live in a world of “worldly” people ancourage_heart_hoped things that capture our attention. However, God calls us to keep our eyes on Him for our instructions and direction. Worship, follow, praise is all we really need to do. God has the Perfect Plan for our lives. We need to be in the process daily of seeking Him on all we do and build our altars of worship and praise to the One who brings us through each moment of every day!

The Song – Take My Life and Let It Be (with lyrics) – Brian Doerksen

PRAYER – ABRAM (ABRAHAM)

The last post on prayer ended the Ark and Noah 2-part series. It was a very exciting and enlightening time of discovery and learning about Noah and his little family and all the animals. It was quite amazing what they went through. The best discovery to me was the symbolism of the Ark and Jesus Christ. If you haven’t read the two posts about the Ark here are the links – The Ark and Noah and The Ark and Noah 2. Now on to the next person in the Prayer series… Abram later known as Abraham.

To begin let me explain a little about where Abram (later to be called Abraham) came from and who his great, great, great, etc. grandfather was. Abram is a descendant of Shem (10 generations) which is Noah’s eldest son.

The following quote is from a Jewish website that I found. The author has written the story of Abram. The website is called Chabad.org. It is most interesting. I am not educated on much Jewish literature or websites and all I really know of the Jewish story is from the Holy Word of God – The Bible. Now I feel certain that there are other written stories from when Noah, Shem and Abraham walked on the earth other than what is in the Bible. These may or may not be fact. I do not know and have not studied them to prove one way or the other. I do know that there is a lot about Abram’s early years (later called Abraham) that is not in the Bible here in this website and article/story.

Quote from Chabad.org

“Abraham was the tenth generation removed from Noah, being a direct descendant of Shem, (Noah’s son), the father of all the “Semitic” peoples. When Abraham was born, Shem was 390 years Old, and his father Noah was 892 years old, Abraham was 58 years old when Noah died, and 110 years old when Shem died. These are important facts, for, as we shall see later, Abraham spent many years in the house of Noah and Shem, and received instruction from them. Thus he learned all the details about the Flood from the very men who built the Ark and survived the Flood. (Noah knew Methuselah for many hundreds of years, who in turn knew Adam for many hundreds of years, which means that Abraham received first hand information about everything that happened since the very first day of Creation!).”

Now, like I said, I did not research this information to know for sure if all the information in the story on the Jewish website is fact. The Bible doesn’t say anything about the early years of Abram, except that he was born to Terah. Here is the scripture:

Genesis 11:27-32

27 This is the genealogy of Terah: Terah begot Abram, Nahor, and Haran. Haran begot Lot. 28 And Haran died before his father Terah in his native land, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 Then Abram and Nahor took wives: the name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and the father of Iscah. 30 But Sarai was barren; she had no child.

31 And Terah took his son Abram and his grandson Lot, the son of Haran, and his daughter-in-law Sarai, his son Abram’s wife, and they went out with them from Ur of the Chaldeans to go to the land of Canaan; and they came to Haran and dwelt there. 32 So the days of Terah were two hundred and five years, and Terah died in Haran.

Here is another quote from Ray Steadman’s sermon. I use his quotes from time to time because his writing is easy to understand and he uses scripture from the Bible.abraham3

Quote from Ray Steadman

“Abram was commanded to do three things; leave his country, his kindred, and his father’s house. This is exactly the command that comes to every person who hears the call of the gospel today: We are called to leave our country — the place where we have been living, our residence since birth. That is not, of course, our physical residence, but rather the old life with all its ambitions, its loyalties, its worship of money and fame and power, its imagined independence which is really slavery — all that we have been by nature since birth. There comes a command in the gospel to leave our country. This is clearly a picture of the world — organized society with its satanic philosophies and value systems.”

Genesis 12:1-3 explains what happens when God calls to Abram.

Genesis 12:1-3

 Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father’s house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

The next verse is great! It showed a definite trust and belief that God had a perfect plan and Abram followed God’s instruction. Abram was 75 years old when he left his comfortableness and set out for Caanan.330px-Molnár_Ábrahám_kiköltözése_1850

Genesis 12:4

So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.

How many times has the Lord spoken to your heart and you do just as the Lord commands? I can tell you there are a few times for me. God calls us to various things throughout our journey on this old earth. When God calls us to something, we need not shrug it off or ignore it totally. We must respond with an exhilarating YES GOD! Now I don’t really know how exhilarated Abram was before he “…departed as the Lord had spoken to him…” because it only says he did it. That says a lot right there, just like Noah. Noah did as the Lord commanded without question… as far as the scriptures say.

This is the first time I can find that there was any kind of conversation between God and Abram. Actually, it is pretty one-sided. God spoke, Abram listened. Maybe we need to “listen” more often instead of talking. There had to be some fear and uncertainty when Abram accepted God’s calling.  That is a normal human thing, I think.  However, remember God has ONLY the best in store for each of us.  Abram believed this.  Can we believe it too?  God’s plan is perfect!  God will have wonderful things to share. I know that first hand!desktop-bible-verse-wallpaper-jeremiah-29-11

Jeremiah 29:11

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

That is where I will leave it for now. We will continue this tomorrow. Abram, Sarai and Lot, his nephew. This particular journey with Abram, Sarai and Lot will be an interesting one. One you don’t want to miss. God has a lot of good stuff in store!

The Song – Thou O Lord – The Prestonwood Choir

00-SIGNATURE