Thursday, October 1, 2009
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
In the middle of mourning is it possible to to tap into the the oil of joy? Yes, without a doubt it is possible! During my trip to Alaska to attend the funeral of my dear nephew,my brother arranged a fishing trip for my sister, another brother and myself. It was a day that was really a gift from above.
The day before our fishing excursion it was raining and blowing and super nasty outside. So I decided that I would only go if it was sunny and calm. Thinking that was probably impossible I made plans to go to church instead. To my amazement the day turned out to be a five star day; blue skies, warm and calm seas. So I did both, the guys started fishing ahead of us while my sister and I went to church (success begins here first). After church, we went down to the dock and they picked us up. I made history that day!! I out fished my brother! I caught 6 salmon and did not loose one that I hooked! We laughed so much and had a fabulous time. My brother was teasing me that I "finally have a fish story to tell" .
In the middle of the battle whatever it maybe big or small remember to look to the Joy Giver and make the great exchange. Let Him give you beauty for ashes, joy for mourning and praise for heaviness. Ultimately this gives Him glory!
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Ps 34:18 The LORD is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
September first began as any other day, we had finished coffee, I was doing the morning dishes and talking on my cell phone. I noticed that my brother from Alaska was calling on the other line so I finished the call and also noticed he text messaged at the same time. The message read "Pray for us now! Call". Nothing in life prepares you for this kind of phone call, my brother's voice in shock and flooded with adrenaline blurted out "Jared shot himself, Jared is dead". All I could say is "what?" he repeated himself and then said "pray the police are here". The phone line went dead and my emotions exploded. I could not believe what I had heard. The kitchen filled with the whole family, in hind sight it was a very rare day with everyone home, my brother Marc was also here; I relayed the short message I had received fell into a pool of tears.
We had just returned from a vacation from Depot Bay Oregon. I had been pondering the story of a grey whale named "Scarback". This whale many years ago was harpooned in the back and still has a huge, gaping, bloody area on it's back that looks like a raw fresh wound. Living in the saltwater leaves the wound clean but unable to heal over. This whale was injured at least 10 years ago and during that 10 years has continued on with the journey of life. Scarback is seen migrating through the waters of Depoe Bay each year and has brought four calves with her during those years.
This graphic picture Scarback still living life and giving life has been a reminder that even though life brings us wounds beyond tragic we still must go on. We must lean on our faith as never before and trust in God's sovereignty.
There is nothing that can prepare you for this kind of grief. But we do not grieve as those with out hope.
13 And now, dear brothers and sisters, we want you to know what will happen to the believers who have died so you will not grieve like people who have no hope.
1 Thessalonians 4:13 NLT
Many more lessons to follow....
Monday, August 17, 2009
I was reviewing my bible notes, I write in the margins of my bible, and came across one that I pondered for the last couple days. (Yes I write in the margins of my bible) I know that it says Holy on the front of some bibles but my bibles have become almost journals of comments and dates and colorful highlights all of what the Spirit whispered to me as I am reading. The latest scripture I was pondering is from the book of Zechariah it says:
9:12Return to the stronghold, You prisoners of hope. Even today I declare That I will restore
double to you.
In this passage the children of Israel have just returned to Judah and Jerusalem and found it in ruins. They have spent the last 70 years in Babylonian captivity. It is time to rebuild, a time to began the labor of starting over. I see that many people are finding portions of their lives in ruin at this time in our personal history.....not just our Nation’s history. Finding areas that need to be restored, rebuilt and renewed. For many it is finances, for some it is relationships and for others it maybe health. Whatever the issues may be I know the Restorer!! And He promised DOUBLE, YES, FRIEND, DOUBLE for all that looks irreversible, unrecoverable and irreconcilable. That is why we need to stay in the Stronghold as a prisoner of hope (to expect with confidence) Hope, when your hope is in God, is much more that wishing, it comes with a confidence in knowing WHOM your hope is in!
2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer;
My God, my strength, in whom I will trust;
My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Ps 18
So dear friends, if you find yourself in a place of ruin, whether minor issues or major issues, determine to be found in the Stronghold of the Savior and in the wonderful prison of only hoping in the One. Then trust He will fulfill His promise and restore DOUBLE.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
My last post on thinking good thoughts from the scripture in Philippians 4 was really put into action today. I was able to help a family by taking them dinner. This wife and mother of two is so depressed, debilitated, and discourage all because of her thinking. I also believe she has some physical issues she is dealing with but mainly it is her thinking. She seems to have fallen into a sleepless depression and can only hear negative thought and is even having depressing dreams. I was unsure I wanted to go into this situation but was surprised to see her open the door with a smile and looking really "together". After listening for quite a while I simply encouraged her and gave her one scripture from Ps 34: 4 I sought the LORD, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears.
All the fearful thoughts and fears were totally a lie that she was choosing to believe. A thought came to me (something I have pondered in the past) that there is one "GOOD THING ABOUT A LIE!" the opposite is the TRUTH!! We know that the biggest weapon the devil has is lying. How did he get Eve eat from the tree? A lie. The bible says that he, the devil was a murderer from the beginning and there is NO TRUTH in him
He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.John 8:44
So dear friends when you start thinking thoughts that would take away your courage, or thoughts that are always accusing you of the wrong you have done, remember that they are just lies and think the opposite.
Is it really that simple ? Yes! Remember this scripture...
Deuteronomy 7:6 ....the LORD your God has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples on the face of the earth.
You are loved and favored and God's special treasure !
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Hello blogging world! This is very new and exciting to get to share with the world wide web my thoughts on life and the story of how I live and love. I have named this blog after one of my favorite scriptures from the book of Philippians.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. This is such a practical list of how to think! Stop and ask yourself this question about the thoughts on your mind at this moment or the issues that you are facing: Is this true or a lie? Is this honest or dishonest? Is this justice or unjust? Is this pure or polluted? Is this lovely or hateful? Is this the good report or scandalous? Is this virtuous (morally excellent) or immoral? Is this thought worth shouting from the mountain top?
What are you thinking about?