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Archive for December, 2009

Scripture With A Punch

Sunday morning my husband and I were sitting close beside each other during church, our pastor was preaching about the need for contentment out of 1Timothy, excellent sermon, I might add. As I was reading along with him the chosen passage, my eyes caught the following verse on the opposite side of my bible.

1Timothy 5:6 “but she who is self-indulgent is dead even while she lives.”

At first I felt the sting of it, and then I turned to Tony and pointed at it, I said, “Ouch, that one has a punch to it. ”

I am not keen on dead things. I don’t like the mess, I don’t like the smell, I don’t like the look, pretty much nothing appeals to me about dead things. But, here we have a verse that is focused on the indulgence of women and it tells me that if I indulge my self, I am dead even though I have life in my body. Not that God doesn’t know men indulge too, but I choose to take it to heart that He is speaking about women.

There has been something that God has been telling me for a while to put aside. Lets say I was “indulging” a little too much. Nothing that is sinful, nothing that is bad even, just easily distracting. I have put off the feeling of conviction, and reasoned that it must not be Him telling me this because it can be used for His glory. But, He was and is very persistent.

So, Monday morning again I came across this conviction, and surrendered. I don’t know for how long I will set this thing aside, I am dependent on my Father to tell me, but, it has been a good two days.

This morning as I was running, I had a song by Broken Vessels titled “HE IS RISEN” come up. This song is an awesome song about the resurrection of Christ but God used it to remind me of the punchy scripture. These words are in the chorus, “Why do you look for the living among the dead?” The Lord quickened me and I started thinking about how we as women are drawn to indulging ourselves, looking for life among the deadness of the world. We look at others either in the media, hollywood, or even in our church who look like they have life because they are wearing a mask and yet we refuse to look to HIM! See, the line in the song goes like this, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is risen! He is risen!”

Deanna must learn to lay aside all self indulgences and look for life from the One who is Life! I don’t want to be dead, looking for life in the things and ways of the world. May I truly live, looking to Him to meet every need I have!

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Too Much For Me

Psalms 131:1 O Lord, my heart is not lifted up;
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.

Sometimes I feel as it I just can’t wrap my mind around a specific truth, circumstance, or perhaps argument. I don’t know if you ever have moments like that, you are going on about your life and something happens or someone brings something up that either they seem to have a handle on or they want you to explain, and you are unable to do so.

I have this happen quite frequently. I remember when my son received Christ, as he was battling it out, he kept asking questions or demanding explanations like, “Explain the trinity to me!” “How do we know the bible is true?” How do we know there is a God?”, and many more. For three hours he battled it out. Watching him go through this and knowing that God reveals Himself and His truth was very difficult. And looking at my son and saying “You are wanting me to explain something I believe by faith.”, getting that exasperated look from him, and not able to help with words, was HARD!

I have friends who are set in their way of thinking one way theologically, and others on the other end of the spectrum. I have had people in my life who like to argue, I mean “discuss” these things quite frequently, and it wore me out trying to keep up with their terms and their overall stand.

I am glad to know that God makes Himself known to be sovereign over all and that He doesn’t require Deanna to know all the answers. In fact He knows I don’t and wants me to trust Him like I desire my children to trust me on things I feel are too big for them to know.

This frees me to do what He has called me to do with my time, and not occupy myself with things that are too much for me.

Deuteronomy 29;29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things that are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

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Take a look at that title again, go ahead, read it out loud, I’ll wait. Are those not the sweetest words ever? Yet, our minds, hearts and souls have a very hard time computing that fully don’t they? Maybe yours doesn’t, but mine does.

We are creatures who say things like “I forgive you”, or “I love you unconditionally”, and yet even as we are saying them, we know we don’t. Many times, we will think as we say these words,” My love is unconditional  as long as you don’t___________”, Or “I forgive you, just don’t EVER do it again!” Am I right?

But God does not do that with us. No, He says this in Psalms 130

“I forgive you, I bring full redemption, and my love is steadfast, unfailing.”

Because of our earthly minds and because we dwell so much on the things of this world, than we must have Him help us to understand this! How do we have Him help us? How does He help me to get this when so often I feel like a failure as a Christian and I don’t have the right to ask Him for anything?

The answer is also found in Psalms 130.

Verse 5 says “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and IN HIS WORD I HOPE.

There we have it. It always comes back to taking God at His Word doesn’t it? When my faith is weak and shattered, my soul must hope in His Word. When my eyes don’t see what my ears have heard, my soul must hope in His Word. When my hands can’t touch where He is telling my feet to go, my soul must hope in His Word.

Today, I needed to know that with all the questions I have, all the fears and doubts, His forgiveness is full, His redemption is full, and His love is unfailing!

 Psalms 

My Soul Waits for the Lord

A Song of Ascents.

130:1 Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
2 O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

3 If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with you there is forgiveness,
that you may be feared.

5 I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
and in his word I hope;
6 my soul waits for the Lord
more than watchmen for the morning,
more than watchmen for the morning.

7 O Israel, hope in the Lord!
For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
and with him is plentiful redemption.
8 And he will redeem Israel
from all his iniquities
.

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Ever feel the need to vent? Really vent. Like the type that you just say whatever you want to say at that moment, no matter what, and the person you are venting to, will nod their heads in agreement or smile with you or maybe even cry with you… then when it’s all over and you have vented all you can, your strength is spent, your anger has abated, tears have dried up, laughter has ceased, you are truly done with it… what if that person forgot all about it?

May seem like a strange thing to ponder on, but yet we pay millions possibly billions of dollars as Americans each year to go to counselors or “shrinks” to do just that…to be heard.

I remember not all that long ago, going to a counselor, someone I didn’t know at all, for that very reason… I was nervous, VERY nervous. And then I sat in her office, she really only had to ask one question and the floods broke loose… poor lady. : ) But boy oh boy was it a relief to be able to talk to someone who didn’t judge, didn’t really even offer much advice, but rather she just listened. She told me a few weeks after I had been seeing her that she looked forward to my visits because of my joy, I still think that is amazing considering all I was dealing with at the time.

I am married to a man who wants to hear me, really he does. But once he hears he often wants to fix it for me. I have parents, siblings, children, and friends who are all the same way. It seems to be human nature. “She is upset, lets fix it.”

However, so many times, I just need to be upset. I just need to cry. I just need to yell. I just need to be heard. So what do I do?

Psalms 130 I think gave me my answer this morning.

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O LORD! O Lord, hear my voice! Let your ears be attentive to the voice of my pleas for mercy!”

verse 5 “I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in His Word I hope.”

Over and over again you see in the Psalms where the people are crying out to God, sometimes He acts on their cry and they record it but more times than not we just see them venting, crying, shouting, singing, laughing, dancing, out to Him.

See, only God can fill that need to just vent. He is the only One who has the wisdom to know when to “fix things” and when to just let Deanna vent.

That is a great feeling to me… but it also take discipline. The discipline of prayer. Prayer is not just making requests, it is talking to Him as a friend who never changes His mind about being your friend.

Oh God, may I have this discipline refined in me even more!

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A Prisoner Of Hope

Zechariah 9:12 Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope;
today I declare that I will restore to you double.

This morning I write with such a grateful heart for the family God has given me! My husband and my children are some of the greatest gifts God has ever bestowed upon the life of Deanna Gott! But also I have my parents, who are godly, God seeking, God-fearing, people who love me dearly. I also have been given 6 siblings who are running after the heart of God! And last but not least, my husband’s family has been gifted to me. We spent the afternoon with many of them yesterday and it was such a joy!

I have often read scriptures of thankfulness and have had the truth placed in my spirit that so often a heart that is ungrateful for the blessings of God, will turn to sin and thus destruction. When I think of this, I think about Adam and Eve, the Israelites with the manna and so much more, the ten lepers, and then I think about times in my life that I was a prisoner to un- gratefulness. Those times in my life, I had very little hope, very little peace, very little joy and so on. Why? Because I was choosing to live a life of stomping my foot like a two-year old, demanding MORE! I lived in constant defeat. I lived in a state of confusion. I really wasn’t living at all. Romans 8 tells me that to live by the Spirit is life and peace, but to live by the flesh is sin.

The day after Christmas may seem rather sad for a lot of people because they put their hope in getting something they wanted, or maybe they gave something and were expecting a different response from the recipient..

But I wonder if we chose to look at Christmas this year as a prophecy fulfilled by God, that a Saviour would be born of a virgin, live a sinless life and die a horrible death, rise victoriously from the grave, and is once again about to fulfill prophecy by splitting the sky wide open and calling His children home, will we also have an ungrateful heart this morning?

Oh! I so don’t think so! I desire to be a prisoner of hope! Not a prisoner of an unthankful, complaining heart! God, may you give us eyes to see all the blessings You have given us through your Son, and may we fall on our faces in gratitude!

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These Hands ~ A Christmas Poem

As I sit by the fire

On this very chilly night

My mind drifts back to another

So filled with power and might.

 

Though many years have passed

And many joys through heartache have come

I still remember the first time

My eyes saw the hands that made this earth His home.

The journey to Bethlehem was Oh so long

The reason we went

Seemed O so wrong!

 

And yet I trusted God had a plan

He knew the way

He knew the pain

For I trusted we were in His hand.

 

My baby, my Son was born that night

The night which held much wonder

Much joy, much peace

Because it was held by His great might!

 

To Your hands I was drawn

As the years went by

Though till much later

I would not know why.

 

As a babe, I unfolded

And counted each finger

Kissed the knuckles

Kissed the palms

Letting my eyes on them linger.

 

As a toddler these same sweet hands

Caught You as you fell

Scraped and scabbed

They clung to me at the well.

 

As a child these

Hands would bring

Water to Your father

As at his work bench

You would lean.

 

He was always patient

With You as he worked

And with Your hands

Your eyes would “look”.

 

As a young boy these hands

Held a scroll, teaching in the temple,

Explaining the way

For us to be made whole.

 

As a young man these held

Me as I cried.

Your father had passed on

And although I tried

You truly were the stronger One.

 

As Your ministry began

I watched, filled with awe

These hands that healed, blessed

And held comfort for all!

 

Hands that touched

A grieving father’s heart

Hands that helped push

A lonely widow’s cart.

 

I never knew why

To these hands I was drawn

Until the that fateful

Morning dawned.

 

The day brought me

So much pain

I truly hoped,

My life it would claim!

 

My baby, my Son

His hands were pierced!

These were the very

Palms I had kissed!

 

“Why, O why was this allowed?

Why, O why?”

My bleeding soul cried!

 

“Father, What about Your promise to me?

What about the ‘remembrance of Your mercy’?”

 

The sky turned black

The earth shook

As from this world, death

My baby’s life took.

 

For three days my soul bitterly wept

I wanted to hold these hands

I wanted to look into His eyes

I did not understand this “plan”.

 

And then, what He had always said

I finally began to grasp

You see, these hands that

Held, carried, comforted

Also defeated death at last!

 

My Baby, My Son

Rose from that dark grave

Life to this soul and to yours

From His nail scarred hands

He freely gave!

 

So, tonight as my mind

Has wandered many years back

I have peace in my heart

That the world does lack.

 

Through the many pains

And sorrows I’ve had

I can now offer you hope

When your soul is hopeless and sad.

 

This Baby of mine

Who later turned water into wine,

Came for more than

My eyes could see

He came to set

This captive free!

 

As this night

Has come again

I pray it passes not

Till on this truth you depend;

 

My baby, my Son

His hands this

World did make

His life for this same

World He gave!

My Baby, my Son

As it says in His Word

Will soon come again

And out of His mouth

Proceeding a Sword!

 

He’s coming again

On this you can lean

He is coming

Yes, as our Conquering King!

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God’s Stitching

Psalms 139:5 You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.

My  ten-year old daughter and I have been sewing like crazy the last few weeks trying to get Christmas gifts finished. She took some sewing classes this summer when she stayed with my aunt and uncle for a couple of weeks, came home ready to take on the world of sewing! 🙂 My husband and I decided for her birthday back  in October to give her, her very own machine! So, she has learned to hem, hem, and hem some more! She has put elastic in, sewn on buttons and is always willing to learn how to do more!

Yesterday as she was putting in elastic, she came to the end and thought that she had somehow closed up her seam without knowing it… it was a funny moment for both of us as we realized that she had just twisted the fabric around as her and I had been having great conversation while working!

As God would have it, I came across this beloved verse this morning. I immediately thought of all the hemming we have done, and of me telling my sweet husband about me hemming as a young girl. I shared with him, about the time that I was hemming an Easter dress my mom had made for me. The dress was full and it seemed like the hemming was taking WAY too long! Being a tomboy at heart, I really wanted to be out side instead of “wasting” my day hemming! So I decided to make REALLY large stitches, and thus, I thought finish my work quicker! I hung the “finished” dress on a hanger and ran outside to play.

Later that afternoon, I came in, and there the dress was…unhemmed! Yep, my mother had seen what I did, and ripped out every stitch (even the ones I had previously done right)! I asked her why, already really knowing the answer. She looked at me and said “Deanna, unless you make those stitches small enough, the hem will not stay in and you will be even more embarrassed.”

Some of you know that years later I had my own thriving drape business and had the pleasure of sewing wedding dresses as well. I had not thought of that moment in years untill last night and then again this morning. My mom taught me something then that had such an impact on my ability to keep food on the table and a roof over the heads of my children!

As I read this verse this morning, I was moved by the fact that He doesn’t just say, He hems us in, but He also places His hand over us!

I don’t know where you may be in life right now, but I needed the reminder, that no matter what is going on right now, He has me sewn in and His hand of protection over me!  Maybe today you needed this reminder.

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