Monday, July 24, 2017

Leah, from Jacob look to I will praise the Lord

Today in church I heard a sermon on Leah, Jacob and their kids. Did you know that names are important? Especially in bible times. Think about it, God changed Abram to Abraham, from Father to Father of Many.  Isaac means "he laughs" , Jacob means trickster and Esau means Hairy. When it came to naming of Leah's and Jacob's kids, Leah picked names the expressed her hearts desire. When she had her first boy she named him Ruben which means Look. In using that name Leah is saying Jacob, husband, look at the son I have given you! Talk about bad names.  Leah named her second son Simeon which means Heard. Leah with this name she is saying The LORD heard me and now Jacob will love me. Leah named her third son Levi which means attached. Leah was saying "I have given Jacob three sons now he will be attached to me." But when we come to Leah's fourth son she named Judah meaning "I will praise the LORD". Leah went from focusing on Jacob to fill the need of love she had to finding it in the LORD. Leah is oft overlooked when the story of  Jacob, no fault of hers. She was not considered beautiful in her culture; in fact her name means cow or weary. Leah lived her entire life in the shadow of her beautiful sister, Rachel, only to be forced into a marriage with a man that love Rachel! God did not compare Leah to Rachel, insted He compared Leah to His son and loved her! When Leah compared herself to her sister she was disappointed, but when she stopped fighting for Jacobs attention she found peace. How often do I do that? To this day I am constantly comparing myself to those around me, especially  my sisters. I let myself be distracted and disappointed with how I am not like my sisters that I lose sight of what makes me special. The devil tries to convince me that I will never be as pretty as Hannah,  happy as Abby, confident as Samantha and as determined as Rachel. These thought try to shove out the facts and truths God tells me. God tells me He loves me as I am, how He MADE me, that He has a plan for me and that He sees me in light of His son. So stop trying to be someone your not, remember who you are in Christ and that nothing can make Him stop loving you.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Slow Learner

Ever feel like you are a slow learner? I do. why must I be so slow to learn the lessons God has for me? Every time I feel like I have a grasp on trusting God with everything I get blindsided and slat I fail again. But God is always faithful and never leaves me flat on my face. He always picks me up again. He is so good. Today I had to get a credit card so that I can pay for my dog Pip to get a surgery done in a few weeks. As I dove away from the vets office this overwhelming fear of  "what in the world am I going to do" brought me to the point of tears. As I drove back to my moms to drop off Pippy and apply for the plastic card of doom, the song Bulletproof by Citizen-way came on over my radio. Right at a point I was feeling less then "bulletproof".  The chorus goes :

"I got my armor now
No fear no doubt gonna shoot me down
Now I’m bulletproof because of you You 
Because of You
And now I’m bulletproof because of you You 
Because of You
You conquered the grave
Your love Love made a way
Now I’m not afraid"
God used those words to lift me out of the valley of  fear and sorrow.  Then a bit later He was so good to use another song to help me understand the power of waiting. That song was Hard Love by Needtobreathe.  
"You know the situation can't be right

And all you ever do is fight
But there's a reason that the road is long
It take some time to make your courage strong

Hold on tight a little longer
What don't kill ya, makes ya stronger
Get back up, 'cause it's a hard love
You can't change without a fallout
It's gon' hurt, but don't you slow down
Get back up, 'cause it's a hard love  "
When you get blindsided with fear, doubt and life in general remember that God is still in control, and that He still has a plan. (still working on that!)   

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Twists and turns

Moving... Again. For the 5th time since graduation two years ago my entire life is packed into boxes, bags and cars. I have moved west then back east. The a bit west now a bit more west, New Britain CT. With each new twist and turn my life has taken me God and my family have been there for me. And not just my biological family, but my faith family​ as well. From praying for me to being there to listen to my fears to being kind enough to drive and help with the heavy lifting.  Thank you.
As I sat reading for the last time in the old apartment I watched the fog slowly disappear from the landscape before me. As it did I could see farther and farther into the distance. The thought came to mind that that is how God works sometimes. Slowly showing us just bits and pieces of His plan for our lives. But throughout all the twists and turns of life He is right there guiding us. As the Psalmist says in Psalm 121:3-4 "He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep." Interesting fact about this passage, it is from the Songs of Ascents or Psalms of Degrees. That is to say that this is one of the Psalms that the Jewish people would sing as they went up to Jerusalem for the feasts and festivals. The road was hard and long for some. Jerusalem was set on a hill so the travellers had to climb up to the city.  History lesson​ finished, back on track. Not to open the can of worms that is free will verseus predestination. I believe that God has a path for each one of us and went we truly search our the will of God he shows us that path. Now I do not always get it right, but went I do mess up God is kind and shows me where I went wrong and how to fix it. There have even been times in my life (one fairly recent) where I have seen Him keep me and not allowed my foot to be moved. And it is hard at the moment but looking back I am glad for it. 
So my prayer for you (and myself) is that we would be so close to God at we can easily follow where he leads us.
                                          Jeremiah 29:11-13

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Answers

"Yes", "No" and "Wait" are the simplified answers God gives to our prayers. As people we love the word Yes,  hate the word No and have a love hate relationship with the word Wait. In Christian circles, at lest the ones I run in, you rarely hear about the prayers that receive a No to. Rather our church testimony times are filled with the praises for all the Yes`s God gives. This past week God answered two major prayer request in my life. One He answered with a very clear "NO!!!" Honestly, I was devastated. I wanted that thing so bad that I did not really listen to God till to late. I did not see any flashing red lights so I moved forwards. My family tried to show me the red lights going off in their eyes when they looked at the situation, but I played the part of the fool and did not listen to them. For that I am truly sorry. God is good and in control. He used that hurt and pain to show me that it was not Him that failed but Me who failed (again). In my disappointment, pain  and confusion after the No came I wrote these words to a friend of mine. "I need to know that I will be able to trust God like Abraham did with Isaac.(Genesis 22) And I am having trouble trusting His goodness."  Here I am I have been saved since the age of 3 and have seen time and time again Gods goodness, yet I doubted because something did not go my way!??!? How shallow my trust must have been! My friend replied this: "God is good. He's demonstrated that to you in the past. He is always the same, and the God that died for you on the cross is the same one wanting to wrap you in a hug right now. It's not God's fault that a person hurt you-- that's on the person himself." My friend is very wise, she pointed me back to the truth of what I know not the lie of what I was feeling. I know that God is not done working in that area of my life, but is continuity molding me into the woman He needs me to be. 
   The second prayer God answered in one I have been praying for the last 2 years.  Most of you know that since January 30th 2015 I have been suffering from near consent headaches and migraines. Like Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 I prayed for this to be healed. For the last 2 years God has given me the answer He gave Paul in verse 9 "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."  To shorten that God was saying "Wait".  For the last 2 weeks I have been getting a different kind of headache every time I turned my head left, very annoying in my job. My mom said that it was most likely a pinched nerve and the only way to fix it was to see a chiropractor.  So yesterday, a super crazy plan changing day, I went to the chiropractor. He took x rays of my neck and found that one of the vertebra was off kilter, was was my jaw. He told me that this vertebra is the one whole head swivels on. The fact that it was not the way it should be was properly the main reason for my headaches!! Well that and the fact that my neck does not curve the right way. Now we get to the really awesome part, the chiropractor said that he can fix my vertebra and reduce the amount of headaches I get in about 2-3 months!! (fixing the neck will take about a year of me being diligent and working hard at it.)  So even though at the beginning of the week I doubted God and His goodness, He was faithful to restore my faith unto me and to strengthen it. So no matter what you are praying for do not forget that God is good in the No`s , that His faithful in the Wait`s , and definitely worthy of praise for the Yes`s!!     

Saturday, March 11, 2017

expected

     "Sitting in a classroom at Bob Jones University working on my business degree."   That is what I would have answered four years ago to the question "Where do you see yourself on your 21st birthday?" 
BUT... 
      That is not where I am, and that is okay. I am at home with my family, working at Quinnipiac University. I have changed and learned a lot in the last three years. I have done a lot too. I graduated Bob Jones University, moved and worked in Kansas. Moved back to CT, moved in to an apartment with Hannah. Quit one job got laid off for another. Sold a car and then bought another car. 
    God has taught me so much in the last three years. I have had lessons in being content, trust, humility, and patients. I had to be content in two not so great jobs. I had to trust God when I did not have a job. I learned humility in having to ask for help and prayer from family and others. I am learning patients in waiting on God`s timing as my dreams change to be more in line with what He has planed for me. 
    As I stand on the edge of what most call "adulthood" I look back and see how all that God has carried me through. It gives me hope and confidence for the future. That He will continue to guide my steps drawing me closer and closer to Himself. 

Image result for jeremiah 29 11 kjv  

Friday, February 17, 2017

waiting

   Waiting, is never easy. We do it all the time. We wait at stoplights, for food, planes, days, events and almost everything. God has been using a person in my life to teach me to wait on His timing. It is soooooo hard.
   I am reading The Devoted  By Suzanne Woods Fisher in the book is a reference to Proverbs 16:9. "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps."  In the book one of the character says this about this verse, "Let things come to me instead of rushing at them as I usually do." (page 109)  This thought continues to run throughout the book. That thought has stuck with me the last few days. I have thought about it from every angel. I believe that God uses everything in our lives to influence us. I have a tendency to rush head long into things, it usually ends with me in trouble. God is using this book and my friend to help me see that I need to wait and pray.  Two things that do not come easy to me. I know God wants me to serve Him while I wait on him to lead, and that He has a plan. All I have to do is trust Him.  So as I wait on God and others to lead, I will pray, trust and serve. I know it will be hard, but God is good and will never leave me. I can take comfort in that.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 snapshot


 Jesus, Savior, pilot me
Over life's tempestuous sea;
Unknown waves before me roll,
Hiding rock and treacherous shoal.
Chart and compass come from Thee:
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

 As a mother stills her child,
Thou canst hush the ocean wild;
Boisterous waves obey Thy will
When Thou say'st to them, "Be still!"
Wondrous Sovereign of the sea,
Jesus, Savior, pilot me.

When at last I near the shore,
And the fearful breakers roar
'Twixt me and the peaceful rest,
Then, while leaning on Thy breast,
May I hear Thee say to me,
"Fear not, I will pilot thee."
Jesus, Savior Pilot Me~ Edward Hopper

2016 held a lot of unknown waves for me. I switched jobs, more than once. Lost my grandmother, had issues with my car, struggled with fear, doubt, worry and ongoing migraines. 2016 also held moments of Jesus telling those waves "Be Still".  I reconnected with my younger sister after almost a year with little to no communication. My older sister learned she is pregnant and due March 18, 2017. Dad and my Brother in law helped to resolve my car issues. Sisters in Christ  helped calm my fears, remove my doubt and erase my worries.  If I were to pick a word for 2016 it would be Grace. If I were to pick a name of God`s that meant the most to me in 2016 it would be Jehovah Jireh, meaning my Lord Provides. I look foward to seeing what God does in my life in 2017