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Archive for March, 2010

Want to hear a crazy garden story? You do? GREAT!

Last year I had a little bitty strawberry patch. It was washed away more times then I can remember and the mulch we bought had some sort of fungus on it that stunted the berries and made them grow into weird shapes. I was very discouraged with my berry patch. This Spring, we decided to go ahead and till up the whole garden including the patch. So, we tilled, we put down one layer of manure, tilled again, put down two layers of top soil tilling in between the two loads. Then we went through and made our rows with our new cultivator! Loving every minute of it! Last week when we planted our seeds I noticed something green over in the corner of the garden; thinking that it was a weed, I walked over ready to kill. 🙂 Do you know what I saw? A strawberry plant! That’s right, one of the ones that were sick, and tilled, crushed with manure and dirt loads, and yet, it came out through all of that doing what plants should do; reaching toward the sun.

Ok. You know me well enough to know the Lord had a lesson for me. Today I went outside to plant a few more new strawberry plants. I looked down the row and saw to my complete and yet happy surprise that the plant had bloomed! Immediately I was encouraged by these two verses being brought to my mind.

2 Corinthians 4:8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.

Amen. I can learn a lot from my strawberry plant. Under trial? Reach for the SON!

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Pictures I Promised

My prayer  is that you will enjoy seeing who are family is. I appreciate all the people who encourage my walk with my Lord. May He be glorified through the Gott family!

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Colossians 3:8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self  with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

This morning we continued our study on the life of David. I am struck by the consequences of his sin but also struck by his lack of involvement in family life. Don’t get me wrong. I love the heart of David towards God, but somehow it may not have been always the best since the overflow of that towards his family was lacking greatly.

I thought about his growing up and remembered a certain aspect. Do you remember when he was sent out to his brothers by Jesse, their father when they were fighting the Philistines? Do you remember how his older brother accused him of pride and just wanting to gain attention? Do you remember David’s response? “What have I done now?” 

It leads me to believe that David’s relationship with his brothers was not that great either. Then you have the fact that he married multiple women and had children with them. So, here are these kids growing up with a distant father and mothers who… lets just admit it had to be in competition with each other and instilled that into the hearts of these kids. What a mess.

I find it interesting to look at people and their lives compared to their childhood. Sadly enough people do not usually break unhealthy family life cycles unless they really work at it. But first they have to see it as such. And even then, sometimes they see it but are either clueless on how or unwilling to change the behavior so, the result is even more dysfunction. (America, does this ring any bells?)

One thing I love about homeschooling my children is the fact that I am on top of my kids “stuff” like butter on bread! At school, children have issues with other children and we are usually quick to assume that it is the other child at fault. At home… hmmm lets just say we see what really is going on. In fact my oldest will tell you that one of the things that caused me to confront him about his salvation is that he treated his siblings so harshly. I remember my dad telling us when we growing up, “If you don’t learn to get along with each other, then you will never get along with others outside this home.” How wise you were and still are, daddy. 

I don’t want to be lazy when it comes to letting things build up between my children. I want to be able to get involved in their lives and when they leave the shelter of our home, know that Tony and I did all we can do to prepare them for the battles of life.

Get involved parents. Don’t let your kids carry bitterness toward each other. Don’t let them treat each other shamefully. You can stop generational sibling rivalry. Do it.

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I remember all three of my children went through a stage at about two or three years old that they would cover their eyes with their chubby little hands and think that there was just NO WAY I could see them since they could not see me! It would make me laugh every time and still brings a chuckle early this morning.

My children have grown up quite a bit, but their mama still needs to know that even when I am covering my face in shame, agony, worry, or distress I have a God who sees. He is NOT taken by surprise by my pain. He doesn’t tell me to “pull myself up by my bootstraps and deal with life.” He tells me, He loves me. He tells me I am His daughter. He tells me that He is with me. He tells me I am victorious because of Christ. He tells me to rest in Him. He tells me He will work it out for His glory and my good. He tells me to listen to His voice above all the others. He sees. I needed to be reminded of this today. Perhaps you did too.

Genesis 16:13 So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.”

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2 Samuel 12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

Have you ever read something in the Bible that made you feel sick? I had that experience this morning. As a family we are studying the life of David. We have gotten to the part where he committed adultery and then murder. That is disturbing enough in itself, but when I read what God said to him through the prophet Nathan this morning, it made me literally feel ill.

The already referenced verse…( Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme…) Refers to what it does to the kingdom of God when not just a believer falls but when one who is in authority and looked up to falls. Our pastor made the statement last night in his sermon, “Greater the ability, greater the accountability.” How true. I remember hearing a Piper sermon about two years ago and he stated something along the lines of this… that he hated to pick up the paper and see another shepherd of the people of God smear the name and the glory of God. Again, how true.

When I think of the people who are around me who are in ministry, my pastor, my dad and brother who are pastors, my other 3 brothers who either are in some sort of ministry now or who are headed that way, my oldest son who feels called to worship leading, (there are many who surround me), I feel a heavy burden to pray for them to stay humbled before God. Not just to keep those who would be affected from their sin, safe, but rather that the name of God would NOT be blasphemed. This is truly a horrible consequence! It keeps people from accepting the salvation Christ offers because those who bear His name refused to reach out to Him in their time of temptation and receive the help He offers. May we all get our face and pray for ourselves and for those who are in leadership around us. Pray for our families. Sacrifice our pride daily and have the humility to ask for help from a God who desires to help us.

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Blessed Is The Man.

 

Last night the Lord gave me a picture of you.

His Word says these words,

“Blessed is the man who…”

 

As I read the next lines

Your face became clear

Your heart beat for the Savior

Drummed a rhythm out so dear.

 

“A man who makes the Lord his trust…”

Now, that is a high calling,

And yet in your life

You’ve made it a “must”!

 

“Who does not turn to the proud…”

I know this to be true of you, my love,

No matter if their voices are loud!

 

…”To those who go astray after a lie!”

I am most convinced of this my man,

To not seek out truth in a matter,

 My husband, you would rather die.

 

God has given you wisdom abundant,

He has given you a thirst for truth

And I don’t wish to sound redundant

But, I as your wife, am so proud of you!

 

Psalm 40:4 Blessed is the man who makes
the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
to those who go astray after a lie!

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Do you ever get the feeling that God is trying to hammer something into your hard head? What about the feeling that you are on a learning curve with God that looks like it is becoming sharper and instead of more smooth?
Well, maybe you don’t, but I do. Sometimes, I feel as if God is going to give up on me because of my lack of speed for learning His lessons. And then other times I feel as if I have a spiritual headache because of the Holy Spirit hammering a certain truth into my brain!

Well, lately the issue is, “ITS ALL ABOUT GOD, ITS ALL ABOUT THE CROSS, ITS ALL ABOUT HIS GLORY!” Period. Nothing about Deanna at all… well, except redemption, forgiveness, grace, justification, sanctification, and so on… but do you see that those things even go back to God?

My husband and I are reading a little book together by John Piper titled “This Momentary Marriage”, it has shook me to the core and we are only into the third chapter. I am one of those strange kinds of people, I really want to be shaken, I may cringe a few times, and cry at others, but I need the OUCH of conviction in my life. Without it I feel like I am not moving forward in my walk.

We happened to be working on the third chapter of this book yesterday and came across this statement “the main point in this chapter is that since Christ’s new covenant with his church is created by and sustained by blood-bought grace, therefore, human marriages are meant to showcase that new-covenant grace. And the way husbands and wives showcase it is by resting in the experience of God’s grace and bending it out from a vertical experience with God into a horizontal experience with their spouse. In other words, in marriage you live hour by hour in glad dependence on God’s forgiveness and justification and promised future grace, and you bend it out toward your spouse hour by hour—as an extension of God’s forgiveness and justification and promised help.”

 As I read this part out loud I heard Tony state very casually, “There’s the cross.” My head jerked up as I looked at him, and back down at the paper in front of me. Tears welled up in my eyes and my heart over turned with love not only for my Jesus, but my husband who is learning all these lessons right beside me.

I am amazed at how God puts the cross in every situation/aspect of life. All we have to do is be willing to look and hear. I love that He loves Tony and I enough to show us how to forgive each other by looking at what His Son did for us, and that alone is enough to extend grace and forgiveness to the one whom I have made a covenant before God with.

This is the vertical reality that must be bent outward horizontally to our spouses if marriage is to display the covenant-making, covenant-keeping grace of God. We see this in Colossians 3:12–13

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 

“As the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive” your spouse. As the Lord “bears with” you, so you should bear with your spouse. The Lord “bears with” us every day as we fall short of his will. Indeed, the distance between what Christ expects of us and what we achieve is infinitely greater than the distance between what we expect of our spouse and what he or she achieves. Christ always forgives more and endures more than we do.

And if you are married to a believer, you can add this: As the Lord counts you righteous in Christ, though you are not righteous in actual behavior and attitude, so count your spouse righteous in Christ, though he or she is not righteous. In other words, Colossians 3:12–13 says, take the vertical grace of forgiveness and justification and bend them out horizontally to your spouse. Marriage is meant to be a unique matrix for this display of God’s grace. This is what marriage is for ultimately—the display of Christ’s covenant-keeping grace.

Forgive as you have been forgiven. Bear with as he bears with you. This holds true whether you are married to a believer or an unbeliever. Let the measure of God’s grace to you in the cross of Christ be the measure of your grace to your spouse. “

This is an amazing truth I have learned and so I desired to share it. It is not an easy one. It is not a comfortable one, (especially if we have fed our flesh), but it is the one that God has called us as believers to. Why? So that He is most glorified in us!

I would encourage everyone who is married, hopes to be married, or is counseling someone who is married, get your hands on this book. You will not be sorry.

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