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Archive for February, 2010

NO WAY! YUCK!

This morning my family and I studied 1 Samuel 28…an interesting and quite disturbing time in the life of King Saul. I will give you a quick overveiw.

Early in Saul’s reign over Israel, he knew the law because if you remember from a recent blog, the kings had to write out their own copy and have it approved by the Levitical Priest. He must have sought to obey at least parts of it because we learn in the beginning of 1Samuel 28 that Saul had expelled all of the Mediums and Necromancers from the land.

So here we are, years into his reign and he learns some disturbing news that the Philistines, an archaic enemy is coming against Israel. He becomes fearful and does something first that I get the impression he didn’t do very often anymore. He sought after a word from God. However, because God had become his enemy (vs 16, 1Peter 5:5), he was unable to hear a word from God. Saul then did something that makes my skin crawl. He disguised himself and sought out a witch. He went to her, asked her to bring up the dead prophet, Samuel. When God steps in and allows the dead to be contacted, the witch screams in a loud voice with fresh revelation that it was the king who was with her. Anyway, Samuel wasn’t too happy to be disturbed from his time with the Lord, and reminds Saul very firmly that God is just doing to him what God said He would do. Saul leaves the witches house in more fear than he entered with and goes to get ready for battle.

I find this passage disturbing in so many ways. But one I am going to address will not be a popular one, however, never being one to care too much about popularity, I am gonna go for it.

God never meant for His people to use the same tactics as the world in finding out what He wants. Every week if not everyday, I am disturbed to see the people of God using horoscopes,witches, fortune-telling, physics, vampires, in their lives, entertainment and vocabulary.

God’s plan is for us to come out of this world. Period. Now, you may say, “Deanna, that is Old Testament.” I got to tell you, I get tired of this statement. This is Bible. If we throw out the law then we might as well throw out creation, Joseph, Joshua, Rahab and Ruth (the GENTILE women who received redemption and were in the lineage of Christ), Psalms which so many of us find comfort in, and the list goes on and on… Christ came with the New Covenant, yes, but it fulfilled the Old, it did not abolish the Old, (Matthew 5:17).  I want you to understand, I am not speaking to people who do not claim Jesus as their Lord, but believers.

As people of God, we MUST take a stand against the sins that God takes a stand against. We must teach our children what is right, what is sin. As a believer we are to know the Word. Therefore, James 4:17 says “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it for him it is sin.” Do we know what God says about these issues? If we don’t it is because we have failed to study it out. If we do, than we are sinning by not doing it.

Expel these things from our lives, and the lives of our children, don’t watch them on TV, don’t read about them in books, don’t talk about them as if they are ok, don’t entertain thoughts or enjoy their “humor”, and see what God might do in our lives!

May we do ALL for the glory of God!

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Tell It To Him

 

When my heart is weighed down by sin,

Tell it to Him.

When I feel as if I have no friend,

Tell it to Him.

 

When there is darkness all around,

Tell it to Him.

When I would rather just stay down,

Tell it to Him.

 

When my feelings just don’t matter,

Tell it to Him.

When I realize I have been wrong on the latter,

Tell it to Him.

 

When I am burdened with horrible shame,

Tell it to Him.

When gaining riches, has been my aim,

Tell it to Him.

 

When my mistakes are looking at me,

Tell it to Him.

When I desire to be set free,

Tell it to Him.

 

When my soul says to, “Keep it inside”,

Tell it to Him.

If in Him, I wish to abide,

Tell it to Him.

 

Deanna, you get my point,

Tell it to Him.

For a life of prayer, He does anoint,

Tell it to Him.

 

He can handle it, He already knows,

Tell it to Him.

Into your feelings, His peace will flow,

Tell it to Him.

 Psalms 10:17 O Lord, you hear the desire of the afflicted;
you will strengthen their heart; you will incline your ear
18 to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed,
so that man who is of the earth may strike terror no more.

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Last night we got the family all dressed up to go take family pictures. In case you are new to our family, Tony and I have only been married not quite two years. I have desired to take pictures since we married, but like most men, he was seldom excited about the idea. 🙂 Recently, we started hearing that our church was taking pictures for a directory, and I got excited! This was finally my opportunity!

So, we went to the church with all of our dress clothes on (the church people may not recognize us in the pic), and excitedly took the pictures. As we were taking them, I kept being reminded of how easy it was to smile. May not sound like a big deal to you, but to Tony and I, huge. You see, both of us have gone through things in life, in which we were unsure if we would ever smile again, much less quit crying. Pain intense enough to accomplish what God intended all along, which was to drive us to our knees and into the safety of His lap.

The photographer also enjoyed taking shots of my three happy kids, Nekoda, Jay, and Abbie are all funny kids, fun to play around with, making the photographer’s job very easy. However, when we were done, we sat down in a room and begin to scroll through the pictures with a consultant, Tony and I just sat and stared. He and I have yet to have a conversation about this, but I will tell you what was going through my head. “God really does restore! Look at that family!” There was nothing fake about our smiles, there was nothing forced in our body language, we just looked like we truly are, blessed.

This morning I sat down to read my bible and as God would have it, this was the passage in my reading assignment;

Isaiah 61:1 The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; 
2 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,
and the day of vengeance of our God;
to comfort all who mourn;
3 to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. 4 They shall build up the ancient ruins;
they shall raise up the former devastations;
they shall repair the ruined cities,
the devastations of many generations.

OH how I want you to understand what this did to my heart! You see, Tony and I are a living picture of God doing some major restoration work! Our children are reaping, and will reap the benefits of ancient ruins being built back to wholeness! Only God can do this! Only Jesus could have worked such a miracle in our lives! Great news though; He can do the same in you.

When the pictures come back, I will make sure and pin one into this post. But know this, Tony and I serve a great God, Whom at times we have wondered “what He was really up to, why He taking so long, and what His plans for us really were?”

Hang in there. He will show you, and on this earth or in heaven, He will show you the beauty he made from all the ash in your life.

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God’s Ways

So, I learned something interesting this morning. I don’t know about you, but I have always had this discomfort in my spirit when the polygamy of the men of the old testament came into my view. I knew it wasn’t what God had planned but neither could I explain why they (David included) lived this way.

This morning I read the following passage;

Deut 17:14 “When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ 15 you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. 16 Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ 17 And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.

18 “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. 19 And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.

 

Now there is obviously a whole lot to this passage, more than the issue of how many wives. I love that God has a plan for everything in life, and His plan is always for our benefit and His glory.

I was struck by another issue He covered as well as marriage. The Law. As a mother and father, Tony and I pray, sweat, worry, confess that worry, pray some more, sweat some more, on the issue of raising our kids to love the Lord and His Word more than life itself! Both of us have a passion for the Word, and know first hand in our own personal lives what wisdom we have gained by it, and the blessings that have followed when we have lived our lives by it, namely God’s sovereignty.

So, we pour into our children the need to study the Word, seek the Lord in everything they do, and apply scripture truths to many daily issues that arise in our home. Are we perfect in this? UH- NO! But we persevere.

As I read this, it struck me that God was instructing His kings to learn the Word for themselves. “Write for himself, in a book, a copy of this law…” WOW.  Sounds like study and journaling to me! And what about the next statement “approved by the Levitical priests.” ? It wasn’t to be their own version of the Law, but one that was exactly as God had written it! That encourages this mothers heart.

I constantly tell my kids that they have to know the Word for themselves. And God was saying the same thing. David could not rely on Saul’s copy, and Solomon could not rely on David’s copy… they had to know it for themselves. WHY? You may ask why this is so important to God. Well, He tells us in the very next verses “And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, 20 that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.”

Many good reasons here, agree? I so desire to live by the Word, and leave the same desire in my children and grandchildren! Don’t you? Well, God has a plan. Will we follow it, or will our hearts be led astray by relationships, and wealth?

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The Purpose Of Pain

 

 

Today has only just begun

As I sit on my couch

Reading Your Word,

Watching for the rising of the sun.

 

 

Yesterday is over.

Tomorrow is near.

But today, Lord, Yes, today,

Deanna needs to hear.

 

 

Hear from You on a matter at hand

On the burden of my heart

The load I carry

The one where You are teaching me to stand.

 

 

I saw today something in Your Word

How You may inflict grief,

Or pain, or even suffering.

 

 

And yet Your heart shows

Such great compassion

Steadfast love

And  even such salvation!

 

 

I had to ask, why

All the purpose of pain?

What is Your reason?

As my heart loudly cries.

 

 

“Deanna,” You answered, in a still small voice

“You may not know today,

Tomorrow, or even in a year,

Because of the worlds confusing noise.

 

 

But, I need you to trust me

I need you to lean

I need you to make me

Make me, your everything.

 

 

The purpose of pain?

What is my aim?

Deanna, trust me when I say

It is for your gain.

 

 

You will grow straight

You will learn to stand

In all of life’s trials

You will see that I do have a plan.”

 

Lam 3:31 For the Lord will not
cast off forever,
32 but, though he cause grief, he will have compassion
according to the abundance of his steadfast love;
33 for he does not willingly afflict
or grieve the children of men.

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Prayers From A Wounded Heart

 

Why does pain have to be a part of life?

Why all the turmoil?

Why the continued flesh vs. Spirit strife?

 

This is the question my heart does cry,

Is there really a plan?

Sometimes I just hate the word, “Why”.

 

I told You this morning,

I did not wish to complain,

I instead wanted to make

Thanksgiving, my hearts truest aim.

 

And yet, the heaviness is still here

My hearts burdens, hurts,

And wounds seem too weighty to bear.

 

Fear comes in like a flood

Reminding me of past hurts

A past that is still, under His blood.

 

Why is it that I spiral so quickly down?

Why is it that my joy,

My hope, my peace, is all but gone?

 

O Father! Do not let me cling

To the cares of my heart

But on You, let me lean!

 

Give me a soul that wants to praise

Louder than this world

And all of its confusing haze!

 

Today, the world wants to tear me apart

But to You O Lord I bring

Prayers from a wounded heart.

 

Psalm 142:1 With my voice I cry out to the Lord;
with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord.
2 I pour out my complaint before him;
I tell my trouble before him.

3 When my spirit faints within me,
you know my way!
In the path where I walk
they have hidden a trap for me.
4 Look to the right and see:
there is none who takes notice of me;
no refuge remains to me;
no one cares for my soul.

5 I cry to you, O Lord;
I say, “You are my refuge,
my portion in the land of the living.”
6 Attend to my cry,
for I am brought very low!
Deliver me from my persecutors,
for they are too strong for me!
7 Bring me out of prison,
that I may give thanks to your name!
The righteous will surround me,
for you will deal bountifully with me.

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I have read John 3 with a fresh perspective this morning. This well quoted passage by believers and unbelievers alike becomes “everyday” if we allow it to. I needed it to be fresh this morning.

As I read probably the most quoted verse in the bible it was as if I heard Jesus himself saying them;

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

If you are like me, you have heard these verses all of your life. But what was it like the first time they were spoken?

Tony and I have several people on our prayer list that are “condemned” according to these verses, because they have not believed in the name of Jesus. This makes my chest tight and my stomach hurt. To say a person is “lost” has less effect on me than it should, but when I say that someone who is in my family or close to me is condemned by God, that hurts. And yet, Jesus said it.

19 And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. 20 For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. 21 But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”

When I read this passage I was immediately reminded of John 1 when Jesus is called the “Light”. You and I live in a world where the Light is truly hated. We live in dividing times. People who have claimed religion their whole lives accept things that are dark, and call them good, people who claim a relationship with Jesus, hide because their works were not “carried out in God.”

In the next part of this passage we see another glimpse of John the Baptist. His disciples were confused about some things concerning who Jesus was, and they came to him trying to gain some clarification. John, patiently reminds them of why he is there, and that is to be the forerunner of the Saviour. John must have been a very humble man even if he was eccentric. It did not seem to bother him in the least that Jesus was gathering crowds around Him, teaching, and performing miracles, and thus popularity.

But, I found it interesting that John finishes up the chapter almost echoing Jesus’ words to Nicodemus.

31 “He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Look at the last verse again. This is how it read in my mind “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not BELIEVE the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

Now, you can read, and you know that is not what it says. It says “obey”.

I looked up across at my husband and said, “So, obviously, if you don’t obey Him, then you must question your belief in Him.” If you are familiar with the book of 1 John than you know that he talks about how even though believers sin, we do not live in sin, or make a practice/habit of sinning.

We all have people in our lives who confess to believe but refuse to obey. They hear the Word, perhaps read it for themselves, profess to love Him, but yet when it comes to the things that hit home to them, they harden their hearts and walk in dis-obedience.

This is heavy on my heart today. If we have a hard time obeying the One we profess to believe in, then we MUST examine that belief and make sure we are “believing” in the Jesus of the bible and not some made up Jesus that we can fit nicely into our world. And may we love people enough to ask them about their belief.

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