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Archive for the ‘In His Presence’ Category

Don’t Stop the Blessing!

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Sorry for the long silence!  It’s been busy, as you can imagine, especially since I am preparing for T-Tapp trainer certifications coming up in two weeks!


For those of you who purchased the 4 weeks of the Advent Study, I do intend to finish the last two weeks shortly.  Just didn’t want you to think you were forgotten!



This morning as I was reading in 2 Samuel 6, something that I’ve noticed before came up in a new light.  In this chapter, David is rejoicing and dancing before the ark as they bring it to Jerusalem.


Verse 15:


And as the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal Saul’s daughter looked through a window, and saw king David leaping and dancing before the Lord; and she despised him in her heart.



Now before we get too harsh with Michal, let’s look at some things that had happened.



Her own father “used” her to be a “snare” to David–whom at one time she truly loved.



And Michal Saul’s daughter loved David:  and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.  And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him…..

~1 Samuel 18:20-21



Thanks, Dad!  :p



Then in 1 Samuel 19:17, King Saul has the audacity to say,



Why hast thou deceived me so, and sent away mine enemy, that he is escaped?





I don’t condone Michal’s lying, but her father certainly put her in a hard spot!



Then when David had to flee for his life, King Saul does this:



But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.

~1 Samuel 25:44



So this poor woman had been used by her father to try to kill David, accused of deceiving her father (which she was backed into doing by his madness–again, I don’t necessarily condone her actions, but let’s face it–we don’t always trust God, either!), then she is given to another man.



Who knows whether she felt anything for this man or not, or whether she still loved David….it didn’t matter.  She was just something to be used for her father’s “vengeance”.   Then as if that isn’t enough:



And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul’s son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines.  And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband went with her along weeping behind her to Bahurim. Then said Abner unto him, Go, return. And he returned.

~2 Samuel 3:14-16



From this passage it seems as if Phaltiel has some feelings for her.  And by now she is probably tired of being jerked around like a piece of furniture.  Or maybe she does still have feelings for David.  Or maybe she doesn’t really relish the thought of going from being one man’s wife to being one of many of another man.  We don’t know, but put yourself in her place.



On one hand, we almost feel sorry for her and don’t blame her one bit for her reaction.  Her father is dead, her husband has taken other wives, and things just have not turned out the way she thought they would.



Ever been there?



Perhaps you knew God’s plan and purpose for your life.  You were excited to see how it would unfold!   But then people backed you into a corner and you made a few unwise decisions.   Perhaps they accused you.   Then they used you.   And when you’re just getting used to the “new normal” of things, you get jerked around again.



Then of all things, someone you think is responsible for all your pain is actually rejoicing and worshiping God in a way you don’t think appropriate, and all the bitterness and anger come out in a despising thought in your heart.


You nurse that thought until it grows….then when that person comes into your life, you just can’t hold it in any more.  After all, you are right!



You spew out ugly, self-righteous words.



And you stop the blessing cold.



Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

~2 Samuel 6:20



She couldn’t wait to mock him (“came out to meet David”).



He was coming to bless his household.



I wonder, ladies, how many times our husbands are wanting to bless our households, and instead we meet them with expectations, especially maybe of the type of spiritual leader he’s supposed to be!


Look at him! He’s supposed to be dignified and regal, and instead he looks like one of those base fellows!  Jumping and dancing as if he’s at a party!  Honestly!  Doesn’t he know that’s not the way to worship God?!



Perhaps if I put it this way,


Look at him!  He’s supposed to be our spiritual leader!  But he doesn’t have a consistent quiet time every day, I never see him studying things out, and I don’t think he prays.  He’s always Mr. Fun Guy with the kids, but how in the world are the boys ever going to learn responsibility?!  Doesn’t he know that’s not the way to lead our family?






Ladies, I caution you to examine your hearts.   I have one more post on Relationships that I hope to post in the next week, and one thing it will focus on is our penchant for “being right”.  Being right is not the goal.



Being righteous is.



And sometimes, being righteous is shutting our mouths and letting God deal with things.


Nowhere is that harder than in a husband/wife relationship.   We don’t like the way God’s “purpose” has worked out.  We’ve been hurt (even the best of husbands is still a sinner and likely to disappoint you in some way.  Just remember you also are a sinner and you are likely to disappoint him sometimes, too!)   We feel justified in nursing that bitterness.


And one day we cross the line to despising.



Then to saying something cutting.



Please don’t do it.



Because if you see the end result, it’s just not worth it.



Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

2 Samuel 6:23



No fruit.  No life.



Just barrenness.



If you persist in being right and making sure you get your point across, whether to a loved one within your family, a friend or even an enemy, you will invite barrenness into your spiritual life.




God takes honor very seriously.   We don’t always know what He is up to.  Sometimes we think we have things “all figured out” and expect Him to work in certain ways.  But just as you will read in 2 Samuel 5:19-25, God often works in a myriad of ways, and often not what we were expecting (Jericho, anyone?!).



What will be our response?



To despise, mock, “be right”?



Or to trust, honor, and rest in His plan?



I don’t want to be barren and unfruitful in my life.  I want Him to be able to use me, bless others through me, and be a light shining and pointing to the Savior.



So I choose honor.  I choose to NOT hinder the blessing.  And I sure choose to NOT bring a curse on myself by my foolishness in hanging onto my hurts and bitternesses!



I choose LIFE and BLESSING!



My Soul, Wait Only On God

Saturday, September 18th, 2010






“My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is

from Him.”


Psalm 62:5




to be silent

to  be astonished

to stop



hold peace

quiet self





a breathing creature











cord (as an attachment)



thing that I long for



My heart, quiet yourself and be silent , hold your peace

and be still, tarrying for God alone;

for only He can meet your deepest need, your deepest desire.



He alone must be what you most long for.





Adventures in Prayer

Monday, July 26th, 2010

I had said a few weeks ago that “next week” I would write about praying for our children….I’m a little behind!!! 

I actually am going to talk a lot about prayer this week. 

I have been a Christian for 31 years now.   Back in February, I asked the Lord to teach me to really pray.  Oh, I’ve prayed these 31 years, of course!  But I felt something was….missing. 

I had no doubt He would answer that prayer and teach me.   However–I had no idea how much He’d pour out on me in such a short time!  :)




You may remember that I had a miscarriage November 30 of 2008.  (I WILL Trust You Lord (Even When I Don’t Understand),  In the Bubble of Grace)  I had a real struggle over the ensuing months, especially as the Lord has not blessed us again since then.  In fact, for 15 months I wrestled with  Him over it.   I have had a hard time with my fertility since day 1.   Miscarriages, troubles conceiving, threatened miscarriages, secondary infertility….and more miscarriages.   Thirteen to be exact.  (Plus our precious stillborn, Noah Ross.)  I struggled to be having this “problem” at the end of my childbearing years as I did at the beginning….couldn’t I have a happy “ending”? 

In mid-February I finally gave it all to Him.  I still hope and pray He would bless us yet again, but I am also content to rest in His will, even if it means no more babies.  

I sensed He wanted me to fast.   I was praying about how when a friend sent me a link about the Daniel Fast.   I got the book and immediately felt this was it!   My friend was going to be fasting for 40 days, so I prayed and asked the Lord to show me how long He wanted me to fast–and make it very clear from His Word!

I was “behind” in my regular Bible reading plan for that Saturday (I jokingly say “behind”–I have learned you are never behind–God always meets you there, so you are always on time! ;) ).  I started in Mark 1.   I came to verse 13:  “And He was there in the wilderness forty days….”

I laughed right out loud!   I said, “Well, Lord, that was VERY clear!!!” :D

And so began a journey that has had all the markings of the best stories–romance, humor, adventure, sorrow, comfort and miracles–all right here in my home, within my own heart!

Even if you don’t want to necessarily do a Daniel Fast, may I gently suggest you read the book?  I loved Susan’s devotionals, and she has such a grace-based view on fasting, that I actually was looking forward to it!

I thought I had a plan that the Lord wanted me to do during this time of fasting and prayer (I had three specific things I was praying for daily), but as many have said, we need to hold our plans loosely.   And that is where the “adventure” part came in!

I started keeping a journal of prayers and what I believed the Lord was saying to me during this time.   I would highly suggest you do that, as well!   We are such a forgetful people! 


The “romance” part came in through a dear, dear friend’s daughter sharing Mike Bickle’s mp3s on The Song of Solomon.   Jessica started listening to them and would share tidbits now and then.   The Lord led for me to start listening to them, so I would download one or two to my phone and listen as I ran errands (I don’t have an mp3 player yet, so my phone works for now!). 

I have to say that I believe this is the most beautiful series on Song of Solomon I have ever heard!   Although Song of Solomon is obviously a book about the beauty of married love, it is also a picture of the Bride’s relationship to her Bridegroom–Jesus Christ.  

As I listened to this series, I was reminded of my “first love” relationship to my Beloved Jesus.  My heart has been stirred and I don’t want to go back to the barren wilderness of bitterness, wrestling with Him.  I want to be comforted in His arms, receive strength, direction and love from Him!  

I can’t remember exactly when, but sometime during the Daniel Fast I “refound” a book I had bought 28 years ago–in Strasbourg, France, of all places!    It is a book about our role and purpose through prayer.   I remembered it being a good book, and kept thinking I would reread it.   I finally pulled it off my shelf and started reading.   I was absorbed at once!  Mind you, the last time I read this book was in April of 1992!!!!  And this time I finished it in April of this year!  

The book is Destined for the Throne, by Paul Billheimer.    I’ve decided to buy my older girls each a copy, and we are going to read it together and discuss it!  

“Prayer is where the action is…Praise is the detergent which purifies faith and purges doubt from the heart.  The secret of answered prayer is faith without doubt (Mark 11:23).  and the secret of faith without doubt is praise, triumphant praise, continuous praise, praise that is a way of life.”

                                  ~Paul Billheimer, Destined for the Throne, p. 18


Mr. Billheimer marries prayer with praise so beautifully in this book!   I’ll have more to say about praise in another post (yes, yet this week, Lord willin’ an’ the creek don’t rise! ;) ), but suffice it to say this book should be required reading for every Christian–in fact, I think we need to reread it at least once a year (instead of only 4 times in 28 years!!!)!

After reading this book, I was struck at the awesome responsibility and privilege I have as a Christian to pray.   I am not a theologian or Bible scholar.   I am a woman of God who loves my Lord with all my heart, and what I share comes out of that relationship.  I can’t say I will never make a mistake, but my heart’s desire is to encourage other women, especially younger women, to love Him and seek Him and realize their heritage in Him.  I try to base my life on His Word.  I know how easy it is to err by following “feelings”!   HOWEVER— I also believe the enemy of our souls would like nothing better than to dissuade us from truly praying and listening for His voice because “we might deceive ourselves”. 

If there is one thing my Beloved Savior has shown me in these past 5 months, it is that as long as my heart’s desire is to please Him and know Him and seek Him, He will guide me, and if I get off track, He will be right there to guide me back onto His path for me!

He loves me too much to just let me go off on a bunny trail when I really want to be on His path!

“Perhaps some are wondering what is the relationship of the supreme rank of the redeemed to the subject of prayer and intercession.  The explanation is that prayer is not primarily God’s way of getting things done.  it is God’s way of giving the Church ‘on -the-job-‘ training in overcoming the forces hostile to God.   This world is a laboratory in which those destined for the throne are learning, by actual practice in the prayer closet, how to overcome Satan and his hierarchy.  God designed the program of prayer as an ‘apprenticeship’ for eternal sovereignty with Christ.   Here we are learning ‘the trick of the tools’–how to use the weapons of prayer and faith in overcoming and enforcing Christ’s victory so dearly bought….


The prayer closet is the arena which produces the overcomer.”

                                 ~ Paul Billheimer, Destined for the Throne p. 40


I hope you will continue to join me as I share my “Adventures in Prayer” this week!

(And for more encouragment, head on over to my daughters’ blog post about Answers to Prayer!)



Fabulous Family Friday–The First R of Relationships

Friday, July 23rd, 2010



I’m alternating between the 3Rs for my posts, in case you hadn’t noticed! ;)

This Friday, I want to address the first R of the “3Rs of Relationships”–your relationship with God.

All other relationships flow from this one–if it is out of whack, so will the others be!

Young mama or older, many children or a few, you cannot afford to skimp on this relationship.

“In Him we  live, and move,  and have our being…” Acts 17:28

Our Heavenly Father longs to have a relationship with us–that is why He created man and woman in the first place.   And that is why He sent His Son to die for us–to restore that relationship.

I have learned how much I need Him, and when I walk out into my day trying to make decisions on my own, it grieves Him.  It says, “I can handle this on my own, thankyouvermuch.” 

Of course, we don’t consciously think that!  But why else would we think we can make all our own decisions without the help of the One Who made us?

There are seasons, of course, when all you may be able to do is read a verse here and there, and offer prayers throughout your day, and a one hour quiet time (or even a 10 minute one!) seems like a luxury!

But that’s what it’s all about anyway–a lifting of our hearts to Him throughout the day.

Brother Lawrence, a monk from the 17th century,  has been an inspiration to me.  In his book, “The Practice of the Presence of God“, he said that he developed the practice of of God’s presence to the point that he was never more than 10 minutes without being aware of His presence!

And that was amidst cooking and cleaning in the kitchen (which were his main duties) and shopping for the food….hmmm….sounds kind of like home, doesn’t it?!

He actually said he felt God’s presence as much or more during his menial duties as when in the chapel or in silent mediation at prayer time.  

“Men invent means and methods of coming at God’s love, they learn rules and set up devices to remind them of that love, and it seems like a world of trouble to bring oneself into the consciousness of God’s presence. Yet it might be so simple. Is it not quicker and easier just to do our common business wholly for the love of him?”

Nancy Campbell is also an inspiration for mamas–especially young mamas of many!   She is one who encourages you to keep a Bible at the sink you can glance at and read a verse or two while doing dishes.  Or you could write out a verse or two on a 3X5 card and keep it taped up at the window (or cupboard) to read, memorize and meditate on while doing “kitchen duty” making your kitchen a haven and place of intimacy with Him–a place to “practice the presence of God”.

Nancy also shares in her devotionals and writings how she would often run to her room to kneel by her bed for a quick prayer when tempted to say something out of anger or frustration.  

Susanna Wesley threw her apron over her head in her busy household to let the children know mama needed a few moments with God!

Some of this comes down to training your little ones.  Even at an early age they can be trained to be still for a few moments, giving mama a few moments of spiritual nourishment.  Or you could share your “nourishment” with them–reading a Bible story or looking at a picture Bible together.  Instill in them early the desire to be in God’s Word. 

Often when we’re single, we’re used to having these wonderful “feasts” in the Word.   Even when young married, although you have new responsibilities, you may still be blessed to be feasting.   Then comes morning sickness, sleepless nights, fatigue, baby’s needs…..and if you’re not careful, you can let this part of your relationship go.

I’m not putting a guilt trip on anyone here!  I have been in places where I was barely keeping my head above water, and did not always keep this the priority it should have been.  I had too much an “all or nothin’ ” mentality, and that is not good!!!

There were times I posted Bible verses on the bathroom mirror and at the sink.  I would try to at least read a Psalm in the morning, and maybe the Proverb of the day later (naptime….before I drifted off, too! :) )

Looking to the Lord in prayer throughout the day can be a way you stay “in touch”, too.

I think the biggest enemy to our spiritual lives as busy mamas is the idea that it has to be a certain way.   Once you free yourself from that mentality, you can be open to creative ways to meet with the Lord.

In Proverbs 7, we have a picture of the “strange woman” finding ways to meet with her lover.  Proverbs 7:15 has a lesson for those of us wanting to meet with the Lord, “Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee.”   I actually pray to the Lord that as part of my morning prayer before I open the Word!

How diligently do we seek Him?  There is a difference between being exhausted from sick kids that an SOS prayer is all you can do and that becoming the norm because you allow other things to be more important.

Only you can let the Lord gently probe your heart and see if this is just a crisis season, or if you are letting it become the way you relate to Him.

And if I may offer another area to examine–how much time do you spend reading other books?   “Good” fiction books, books about being a Godly wife and mother, homeschooling books…..or websites….blogs…..all can be wonderful reservoirs of ministry to you, or they could be a distraction from the One Who can minister all to you.

If you have time to check all your favorite blogs, facebook, twitter, etc., but you “don’t have time” to spend with the Bridegroom of your soul, it’s time to do some pruning!

He has SO much for us!  He speaks to my heart throughout the day, not just in the morning prayer closet!   But my heart must be tuned to His voice–through keeping short accounts with Him, cultivating a thankful heart to Him, and praising Him for everything that comes my way!   As the old hymn says, “Tune my heart to sing Thy grace“!

It’s wonderful to be able to read through your Bible on a plan, read 5 Psalms a day and 1 Proverb, pray through your list without interruption, but reality is, that is not what makes a relationship, any more than going over your to-do list with your husband and talking to him about the events of the day without interruption mades a relationship with him.   What you have with your husband that you have with no other man is intimacy. 

I love Webster’s 1828 Dictionary–the meanings are so rich!

Intimate–one to whom the thoughts of another are entrusted without reserve; to share together; to love entirely;

Intimately–closely, with nearness of friendship or alliance; closely, with close intermixture and union of parts, as two fluids intimately mixed

Our Creator, Sustainer, Shepherd, Savior and Father wants that same relationship with us.  There are times you just lie in your husband’s arms and cry, no words, just tears.   Your Heavenly Father also can be that strong arm and shoulder.   I have cried on His “shoulder” much these past few months since my mom’s death. 

There is something about shared, tender moments that knit our hearts like no amount of flowery words can.   Often my prayers are a silent adoring of Him, or a silent pouring of my aching heart out to Him. 

You cannot impart to your family what you do not have–you cannot impart to them “the joy of the Lord is your strength” (Nehemiah 8:10) if He is not your joy.

You cannot impart to them “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13) if you are not looking to Him for your strength.

You cannot teach them to “trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding” (Proverbs 3:5) if you are looking to your own understanding and not His.

As in so many areas of life, you must be what you want them to be!   They will actually surpass you (oh, praise Him!), but they must see you humbly relying on His grace every single moment of the day.

In fact, I believe the most beautiful fragrance we can wear in His presence is the Fragrance of Humility.

Take a few moments when you arise to pour out your worship on His feet, and keep kissing His feet with your life as you go throughout your day.


Helps for my Quiet Time:

Bible :)

Blank  journal and pen

3X5 cards

Come Away My Beloved Devotional Journal

Make Haste My Beloved (or any Frances Roberts’ Books)

In His Bubble of His Grace (Again)

Thursday, May 6th, 2010

I apologize for being MIA.



I am resting in the bubble of my Abba Father’s grace.




Tuesday night, my mom died.




I’m the oldest.   My brother 11 years younger.   Just us two.   Orphans now.




But not really.




Our Abba holds us in the palm of His hand and gives us hugs along the way, little things.




He gives us wisdom and guidance.




He gives us family and friends who hold us up in prayers.





And those prayers are our bubble.




I’ll be back next week and share my heart, my tips, my life.




For now, I’d appreciate your prayers for us both, and our families.  My brother is Bob, if you care to lift him up by name. 



Thank you, dear friends!


Do You Have a Purpose for Living?

Thursday, April 8th, 2010


One of the many temptations in the Christian life, is to just go through life without much purpose.   It’s like we are just getting by until we can get to Heaven.


Is that what Jesus left us on the earth for?



I know it’s so easy to do…..our husbands need to make a living so we can eat and be clothed, we mamas need to be occupied with training and teaching our children, helping the paycheck stretch, keeping the laundry going, house somewhat clean, meals cooked….



….but somehow I believe if we become consumed with all of that, we will burn out.  We need a purpose bigger than ourselves and just our daily lives to keep us going.  And I believe that is how He designed us to be!



I see many young people, especially those close to graduating or just graduated, wondering what their purpose is.  Or they think their "purpose" is to go to college.  Or get a job.  Or get married.



I really believe we need to have purpose as a family, and we need to help our young people have a purpose bigger than flirting, fun and food or college/job/marriage to shoot for! 



My girls did a great job blogging about our trip to Iowa to hear Mark Cahill.   When Cassia shared with Dallas and me about it back on February 27 (I clearly remember the date, because Dallas and I had just gotten home from celebrating our anniversary!), I thought, "Well, that’s nice!"  



But when I went to bed, I felt we should really go!  So the next morning I asked Dallas, "What do you think?  Is this crazy?!"   He thought we should go for it!  



As the girls explain in their blog, God worked out the three main things–someone to care for our littles, someone to care for the animals, and a relative inexpensive place to stay for the night when we went out there (I wasn’t up for driving all the way back home right after the meeting!!!).   And God provided each of those things!!!



I am so very grateful for my husband and his vision.   Cassia really has a heart for evangelism, and this trip and the meeting really polarized things for her and helped her to be bolder about sharing her faith.  In fact, we stopped at all but one rest stop on the way home, and we kept teasing her that she didn’t even give us a chance to hand out a tract!  She beat us to just about everybody!!!!



As we listened to Mark, as I watched my daughters, and as we talked about it, it became quite obvious that this is the purpose we are left on earth for.   And God has put each of us right where we are for a reason.   I know He calls people to leave their homes as missionaries, or to go somewhere else because He has a new "field" for them, even if they’re not "official" missionaries (aren’t we all to be?).   But too many times, I think we decide where we’re going to work, live, play…..and we’re not really getting His mind and His plan. 



Sunday evening we listened to No Crossing Over on Mark’s site, then listened to the dvd I had bought at his meeting.  He talked about the two reasons we are here:



1.   To Make Him Known



That is really #1 priority.  You don’t have to go to Africa for this one.   There are lost souls all around us.  You don’t have to have a college degree, be eloquent or even well-versed in apologetics.   Just share the most wonderful news in the world!



After all, as Mark says, the goal is to get to Heaven with NO "free tickets to Heaven" in your pocket–you should have given them ALL away!


What others do with it is their business.  I really, really appreciated Mark’s emphasizing over and over again–one plants, another waters, but God gives the increase.  He didn’t say, "I lead this one and that one to the Lord".  He simply shares the Good News with everyone he meets.   He said it’s his hobby! 




2. To Make Him Look Good


This has more to do with our actions.   We all blow it now and then, but what characterizes us?   If I’m sharing the Good News with someone, then they see me snarl at my children for interrupting or hear me talk unkindly about the grumpy neighbor next door, that’s not going to wash. 



We should do our jobs well.  Whether at the office, factory, or in the home, we should do the best job we can.  Give 150% effort!



And we should be generous.  It’s no great revelation for me to say money is definitely a god and an idol in this day and age.  "Money talks".  How much more when we give it away?  And don’t wait until you get rich to bless others!  God entrusts His money and possessions to us!  They are not ours to do with as we please anyway!


I’ve been quite convicted of all the "stuff" I’ve hung onto.   I am motivated to get rid of more of the kids’ clothes–do I not trust Him to give me more should He bless us again?  I’m not talking about getting rid of everything, but I confess 30+ Rubbermaid tubs of clothing and shoes are too many!!!!  



Yesterday while taking my walk, I thought about Mark’s statement about the "free tickets to Heaven."  Remember the parable of the talents?   The one servant who got one talent?  What did he do with it?






Oh, let’s not be like him!  Let’s not be content to get ourselves to Heaven and not care about anyone else!  Wouldn’t that be the height of self-centeredness?   To not worry about anyone but ourselves? 




Jessica posted words to the song "Let My Life Be a Light" at the end of her post today.   Please take a few moments and head over to the girls’ blog and read it.   If you’re truly a Christian, then don’t keep it to yourself!  As Mark told us, there is no "gift of Evangelism"!  We are all to be sharing our faith!



And if you just aren’t 100% sure….please take a moment to visit one of the links Jessica listed, which I will also list here.  



Please remember that Christ came and died for one reason:



To restore your relationship to your Heavenly Father and Creator.  To the fellowship He created man for in the Garden in Eden.   It’s all about a relationship–not a religion.   You will want to obey Him out of love, not fear.



My heart is filled and satisfied in Him–in my relationship with the One Who created me and died for me.



I pray your heart will be, too!



If you know Him–share Him!   If you don’t–please receive Him today!!!!    The delight of my heart would be to see you all in Heaven one day!






Websites for more information:





www.livingwaters.com  click on "Save Yourself Some Pain"



The Daniel Fast

Friday, February 26th, 2010

A dear friend of mine e-mailed me information about The Daniel Fast.   Lou Engle (of The Call) is calling for a 40 day fast for our nation.  I had heard of The Daniel Fast briefly on the T-Tapp forums, and was intrigued. 



I went to Susan Gregory’s site, and was intrigued by all I was reading–because I had felt that God was stirring my heart to fast!  I haven’t fasted much in the past years, usually being pregnant or nursing.  And with my recent adrenal issues, I wanted to be wise in approaching a fast.   When my friend e-mailed me, and I went to the website, I got really excited about this!   I could do this!  



Basically it is abstaining from meats, dairy and sweets (and processed foods) for a length of time.  You can click on The Daniel Fast link above to learn more about it.  I went  ahead and bought the book and it has been soooo encouraging–even if you’re not planning to fast, the spiritual content is worth it!!!



I prayed last week about whether to do a 10 day, 21 day or the 40 day fast.  I wanted to be led of the Lord in this.  I told the Lord, "Please make it REALLY clear!"



Well, He did!



I truly believe God has a sense of humor!   I was "behind" in my Bible reading ,and was reading Mark 1-5 on Saturday, two days after praying for Him to make it clear.  Remember, I am "behind" (you’re never really behind–God always meets you right where you are!). 



And I read this:



"And He was there in the wilderness forty days….."



I guess you can’t get much clearer than that!!!



As I have been reading in The Daniel Fast: Feed Your Soul, Strengthen Your Spirit, and Renew Your Body, I feel God is already working in my life, and I haven’t "officially" started the fast yet! 



He has spoken to me about what He wants me to focus on, helped me "find" a book that I thought was lost (maybe I didn’t have eyes to see it until He was ready for me to? and wants me to include it now?), showed me why some things weren’t working in my homeschooling, and He is helping me as this week I am weaning off dairy and sugar in preparation!!! (If you only knew how much I like my Endangered Species Dark chocolate!!)


Here are some excerpts to whet your "appetite! 



"Even though you can eat during the Daniel Fast, it is no less effective than a complete fast.  The power in fasting has less to do with food than with setting yourself apart for a specific period of time to focus more on the Lord, prayer, and worship.  In other words, the power of fasting is found when you consecrate yourself to the Lord and discipline yourself to focus on Him."



She does point out, however, that fasting is about abstaining from food.  Although curtailing tv watching, computer, and other habits may be good for us, abstain actually means "cover the mouth" in Hebrew and "abstain from food" in the Greek. 



"Starting a Daniel Fast is the first step toward an experience that will bring you closer to the Father who desires a deep, abiding relationship with each of His children."



"So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no injury whatever was found on him, because he believed in his God."  (Daniel 6:23)

Do you see that last phrase?–"because [Daniel] believed in his God."  That’s the kind of faith we can have!  A faith so strong that nothing can harm us!  But the question is, are we willing to do what Daniel did in order to have what Daniel had?  Are we wiling to love God with our whole hearts?  Are we willing to read the Scriptures and pray three times each day?  Are we willing to truly make God number one in our lives?  So many times we can’t figure out why our prayers are not answered or why there is so much stress and unrest in our lives.  Daniel never wrestled with thse issues because he was always filled up with the truth of God.


"I think it’s important to note that God didn’t keep Daniel from ever entering the lions’ den, just like He didn’t keep Daniel’s companions from being thrown into the fiery furnace (see Daniel 3).   But God met them in the midst of their calamities and delivered them."



"You and I have a lot in common with Daniel and the other Hebrew men.  As believers, we are also in enemy territory, facing the pressures of this world.  And just like Daniel, we can choose to live our lives according to God’s ways–not just when it’s convenient and not in a casual way . If we want what Daniel had, we must be willing to do what Daniel did.  He devoted himself to God. He set his heart on the ways of the Lord and refused to be defiled by the customs and practices of the Babylonians."



"I hope you can grasp the amazing truth of what God has done for us.  He loves each and very one of us so much that He gave what was most valuable to Him–His Son.  And why?  So we could be in seamless fellowship with Him once again, so that His original plan for all of humanity could be restored, and so we could be saved from an eternity of being separated from God–which is hell!"


(my emphasis–you know I’m all about relationship!!!)



"We have a choice about how we are going to live our day-to-day lives. We can walk in the Spirit or in the flesh. We can choose to forgive…or we can hold grudges.  We can gossip about people…or we can choose to speak only good words about others.  We can snap at a store clerk…or we can give grace and mercy.  We can trust in God with our lives and walk in faith…or we can depend on ourselves and the world systems."



This following excerpt really spoke to me about thoughts–why it’s SO important to bring EVERY thought captive to the obedience of Christ.



"…Dr. Caroline Leaf, a learning specialist who has spent more than twenty-five years studying the brain and the way we think, writes:


Thoughts are real things: they have a structure in your brain and occupy space.  Thoughts are the same as memories.  Thoughts and memories look like trees and are called neurons or  nerve cells.  You build a double memory of everything as a mirror image of each other.  This means that the memory on the left side of the brain builds from the detail to the big picture; and the memory on the right side builds from the big picture to the detail. When you put these two perspectives of thought together, you get intelligent understanding taking place.  As information comes in from the five senses, you process it in certain structures of your brain, then you grow branches on the "trees" to hold this information in long term memory.  In fact, as you are reading this, you are growing thoughts, because, thoughts are the result of what we  hear and read and see and feel and experience.  This means that whatever you grow is part of you, actual branches in your brain that create your attitude and influence your decisions.


"In her book Who Switched Off My Brain? Dr. Leaf explains why good health is critical to do what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5: ‘bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.’   When negative thoughts are allowed to stay in our thinking, they literally grow into toxic elements that can bring us harm.  Dr. Leaf also explains that there is actually a thinking mechanism in our physical hearts.  As the rapid-speed thought process works, forces are going into our heart and back to our brain as part of the decision-making process."



You can see that there are rich nuggets throughout the book–that was just a little taste!  (All puns intended!)   I thought that last quote, from Dr. Leaf was eye-opening!  If there were ever a reason to "take captive every thought", that should convince you!



But of course, we need His help!



Which is one of many reasons I am doing this fast.  Of course I’ll pray for my nation–she needs it!  Ultimately, I pray for the many souls who don’t know Him.   I am also going to be praying for some friends who are going through some rough situations, as well as praying for my family and myself to continue growing in the Lord.



I am actually excited to do the Daniel Fast–me, a "recovering emotional eater"!   I am excited to focus on the Lord, and instead of turning to my usual treats for comfort or out of boredom, turn to Him.



And that is what it is ultimately about–turning away from other distractions in life and turning TO Him….after all, as one of the quotes stated, that’s why He came. 



To restore our relationship with our loving Heavenly Father. 



If God has been speaking to your heart about fasting, or if you are facing some difficult situations or decisions, maybe you could check out the Daniel Fast.  You don’t have to do it a certain amount of time.  That is between you and the Lord.



Susan gives lots of help on her website, her blog and in her book.  Her book tells who she is, how she got started in this, the example of Daniel, "Five Steps for a Successful Daniel Fast", the Daniel Fast food lists and menus,  and a 21 day devotional.



One last quote, and I felt Susan really hit the nail on the head with this:


"This may come as a surprise to you, but fasting isn’t for God.  He’s not going to think you are a better Christian or a more spiritual person because you fast.  Your worth to God is totally dependent on Christ, who made you valuable and acceptable to the Most High God on the cross.  So if you are fasting to prove to God how good you are, don’t bother.


"Instead, dear reader, fasting is for you.  It’s a spiritual tool God created to help you strengthen your spirit, learn self-control of the flesh, draw closer to your Father, and focus on prayer.  When you fast, you are stepping into a temporary set of actions for a spiritual purpose–like entering a bubble where everything is different for a set period of time."



It isn’t to earn points with God.  It is to get OUR focus onto God!



I pray you will at least get the book and read it–even if you choose not to do the Daniel Fast, I believe you will come away richer for having read it!



I would appreciate your prayers as I enter this time next Monday.  I am not so naive as to think I won’t have any struggles!  



And if you have prayer needs you would like me to include in my times of prayer, please e-mail me (on the sidebar).



Thank you for letting me share–I know this has been a long post, but you can see that God is really moving in my life right now and I so wanted to share nuggest from The Daniel Fast book so you could get a good feel for it!


The Lord be with each of you as you seek His will daily in your lives, and may you fall more in love with Him—Your Loving Father, Beloved Bridegroom and Heavenly Lover of your soul!



The Shepherd Speaks Gently

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

Can you tell that I’m really being blessed by Frances Roberts’ Dialogues with God?!



Here is a beautiful selection.



The Shepherd Speaks Gently

My little one, hast thou not heard My word, go not into the bypaths?  Lo, I, thy loving Shepherd am by thy side.  Why shouldst thou wander off?  I have brought thee into tender, green pastures and beside a flowing stream.  Let thy soul drink deeply and feed to thy hearts’ content.



It is no idle pastime:  I have brought thee here for My own good pleasure and for purposes only known to Me.  In the days ahead thou shalt know why we came this way.  Trust Me now and be unmoved by any disturbance.  The distant call thou shalt ignore. Stay close to Me, and thy heart shall delight in thy God.  Thy fellowship with Me shall be precious beyond anything words can tell.  I love thee deeply, and when love is deep, words are little needed.  Shouting is unthinkable.  Devotion is silent and love silences conversation.  The shepherd speaks gently, and lambs do not respond to shouts.  He who yells at the sheep is behaving like a hireling rather than like a shepherd.  He shall bring confusion.  The inner ear of the spirit is attuned to hear the still, small voice.



Lay thine head upon My knee and let Me quiet thee. Forget all the rest.  What others do need not concern thee.   I have never required thee to understand the actions of others.  Make it no concern of thine.  Only yield.  Let Me do all the rest.



Sleep is My love gift to thee.  Do not despise it nor set it aside.  Rest in My care, for I love to care for thee but I cannot when ye are wrongfully anxious about the behaviour of others.  I will correct them and minister to them Myself, for I also love them just as I love you.  But they are too occupied to come to Me now.  Leave them all to Me, and come, rest in My arms.



Prayer Response


Blessed Jesus, my soul cries out to Thee in response to Thy love.  I would rather come to Thee than build ten cities.  No accomplishment brings the joy and deep satisfaction that comes from being near Thee and feeling my hand in Thine.


Loving Saviour, blessed by Thy Name!





Let thy soul drink deeply and feed to thy hearts’ content.



Stay close to Me, and thy heart shall delight in thy God.  Thy fellowship with Me shall be precious beyond anything words can tell.

Lay thine head upon My knee and let Me quiet thee.

Oh, Jesus, I lay my head upon Your knee….may You quiet me there.

Purify My Desires

Friday, February 19th, 2010


A Teachable Spirit



Bring Me an obedient  heart, a teachable spirit, and a mind ready to learn.  I shall be able then to make of thee a disciple and to bring thee at last into a position of responsibility.  The cost is high, but the rewards shall be gratifying; but ye shall not be aware of either the cost nor the rewards because the joy of fellowshipping closely with Me shall so occupy thy heart.



Purify My Desires



Lord Jesus, make me a learner.  All Thou hast said is true, and I long to be not a follower only, but a genuine disciple. I am reminded that the disciple must take up his cross and must do so daily.  A disciple cannot turn back, nor can he be torn between conflicting loyalties.  Thou hast made the requirements stringent and hast set the standard very high.  I may wish to attain and yet fail.


I may desire to enter into discipleship and be rejected.  Let it not be so, Lord, for lack of love for Thee.  Let it not be for want of zeal or consecration.  Let it not be on account of the love of the world and its pleasures.


Purify my desires until I want nothing but Thee alone and seek nothing but to bring Thee joy.


Turn my apathy to empathy, and change my longings to firm resolves.


Strengthen my hand to do right, and remove swiftly all that weakens.



 (From Dialogues with God, by Frances J. Roberts)




Purify my desires until I want nothing but Thee alone and seek nothing but to bring Thee joy.


That is the cry of my heart tonight!





A World of Bliss

Friday, February 19th, 2010


My heart is being fed so richly through Frances Roberts’ books!   Here is another selection from "Dialogues with God".





O my Father, Thou hast crowned my life with blessings.  The half of Thy goodness have I never told.  Thou are gracious, and Thy compassion is so deep that even my worst sins have not shut me off from Thy mercy and forgiveness. How hast Thou loved, to redeem one so unworthy!  Make my heart to beat with gratitude nor ever cease praising Thee.  Glorious is Thy Name and Thy salvation how great!  With Thee is life and through the atoneing work of Christ, Thou hast opened to me a world of bliss and a peace that passeth understanding.





Isn’t that a rich treasure?!   It is the cry of my heart!



Do you struggle with prayer?  What to say?  How to say it?




How do toddlers learn to talk?  



First they babble.  Then we encourage them when we hear something remotely like "Ma-ma" or "Da-da".   They listen a lot.  Then they imitate.  After awhile, they start putting sentences together.  Do we immediately correct their grammar or choice of words?  Or pronunciations?   No!  We usually cherish the cute ways they say things, and we understand what they want even if others outside the family do not.



After awhile, the funny pronunciations and inventive grammar give way to more "eloquent" speaking, and by the time they are adults, they are able to converse without thinking anything about it!



The Lord has shown me that prayer is much the same way.   At first, we feel we are babbling as we learn this new skill.   Then we imitate–Him in His Word, other great Christians’ works and prayers…..we might say some things in a funny way, but God is not waiting to correct our grammar or word usage!   Or our pronunciation!



He is thrilled to hear His children try to speak His language every bit as much as we are thrilled to hear our own children speak ours!



After awhile, we just start expressing ourselves in our own words, sometimes still using the words of others and most importantly, using His Word.  



It’s a part of growth. 



And even if we stay in one "phase" longer than we think we should, that’s okay.



Or we might need help and go back to prayer books.  Or even use them to help get our pumps primed and then take off praying in our own words.




That’s okay.   He knows our hearts, and would rather hear us speak to Him, however  haltingly, than to not speak at all because it’s not "perfect".



I encourage you to break free of the  "perfection mindset" and pray to your Heavenly Father.   The best "guide" we can use is His Word.  Use His Word and turn the verses into prayers.



If you want other helps, I highly recommend any of Frances Roberts’ works, A Diary of Private Prayer by John Baillie, and The Valley of Vision.



Beth Moore also has several books on praying God’s Word that are good, as does Stormie Omartian.



I hope you find something to help you learn to speak your Father’s language.



He’s waiting to hear.