He is with you

Bday celebration with my husband

Turning a year older, I find my mind reminiscing over the ways that God has faithfully provided.

It takes so much strength and courage because our faith walk does not see the end of the story.

The children of Israel heard from Rahab, (a prostitute), what the Canaanite people really thought of them. The stories involved God parting the Red Sea in a mighty show of power to escape from Egypt. They were terrified of God’s power.

Trusting God’s word, the Bible, as my guide brings me full assurance of His presence. He has parted the Red Sea to deliver me from a sinful nature. He will continue to guide my steps with His glorious presence. Spiritually- speaking this is terrifyingly awesome.

This past year, I was involved in a small group ministry called Head2Heart, by Dr. David Eckman. Our group of women was a source of insight and encouragement into what God revealed for my own life.

In the past, my false picture included this thought: I could only be worthy of affection if I carried the brunt of the work. Responsibility was my mantra and if I’m going to do a job- do it right or not at all.

Studying the word of God and understanding His affection for me made me consider a new thought: it’s ok to admit that this load may be too much. I need some help. Not being the hardest worker or the most responsible is ok because He has loved me with an everlasting love. His affection was affirmed and poured out to me through the precious gift of His Son and my Savior- Jesus Christ the Lord.

Experiencing affection (not based on works)*photo from pexels.com

To experience all that God has for us is not for the faint of heart. Have I trusted Him?- Teresa

#bestrongandcourageous #communityofbelievers #inheritthepromisedland #Heiswithyou

Joshua 1: 6-9 (ESV)

6 Be strong and courageous, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land that I swore to their fathers to give them. 7 Only be strong and very courageous, being careful to do according to all the law that Moses my servant commanded you. Do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may have good success[a] wherever you go. 8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Listen to Him

General Sherman Sequoia

My husband and I like to spend time in nature. This particular excursion allowed us to walk through what is considered by John Muir to be the “greatest forest in the world”.

After watching a documentary called “Intelligent Trees”, I was listening for whether the trees were communicating with each other.

Sure enough, I felt a vibration through the soles of my hiking boots. There had been a light snowfall earlier that morning and we were early. Early enough to experience the hushed silence, alive with miraculous expectations.

I was intent and expectant, certain that the trees were nourishing each other through their life giving communication. What surprised me was that the forest seemed to speak to me as well. Could they sense I was low on sustaining nutrients?

On Easter Sunday, we rejoice in the miracle of resurrection. We rejoice in our Father’s care for every need in our life.

He sent the Word of God to communicate a great truth to us. This truth was expressed in the hushed early dawn hours of an empty tomb. This truth is more important than our anxious preparations. This truth is more needful than serving those whom we love and are important to us. This truth speaks louder than death and despair. This truth steps up when we think someone or ourselves are beyond saving.

This truth is Jesus Christ the Lord, the lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29). There is no other name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12). God has raised this Jesus to life and we are all witnesses to it (Acts 2:32).

The greatest forest in the world can also teach us this truth. God, our heavenly Father, cares about each and every person. Enough to share His most precious gift, the gift of a seed that was buried, died and yet broke forth into life. A life that is shared with you and me, nourishing our soul.

Heal me, Lord.- Teresa #listeningforu #expectingamiracle

Luke 10:38-42 (ESV)

Martha and Mary

38 Now as they went on their way, Jesus[a] entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” 41 But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, 42 but one thing is necessary.[b] Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

Confess and be healed

Confessing before all the people that she was unclean must have been humiliating for her. In fact, she tried to avoid the public eye by secretly touching the hem of Jesus’ robe.

Her faith was in the right place. With her honest confession: she could no longer do this on her own (i. e. spent her entire living), she reached out to receive her life-changing miracle (to be allowed into society again).

Jesus spoke the words she needed to hear, “Daughter“!!!! This inclusion-of being accepted by God, allowed her to not only be cleansed from her impurity (the issue of blood) but included in the community where she lived ( i. e. in keeping with Jewish laws).

What a unique and honored position our Savior, God’s Son, provides for all who confess their need of Him. #sonsanddaughtersofGod

Help me, Lord, to be attuned to your forgiveness and healing, recognizing this first in my own life. -Teresa #seethroughHiseyes #graceandtruth

Luke 8:42-48 (ESV)

As Jesus went, the people pressed around him. 43 And there was a woman who had had a discharge of blood for twelve years, and though she had spent all her living on physicians,[a] she could not be healed by anyone. 44 She came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, and immediately her discharge of blood ceased. 45 And Jesus said, “Who was it that touched me?” When all denied it, Peter[b] said, “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.” 47 And when the woman saw that she was not hidden, she came trembling, and falling down before him declared in the presence of all the people why she had touched him, and how she had been immediately healed. 48 And he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”

*pic from Pexels.com

Taking on a problem greater than yourself

With the daunting view ahead, we can shrink back in fear. Instead, we have another option: praying, fasting and trusting in the Lord’s timing.

God’s word is our reassuring promise that He can intercede for us through His promised Holy Spirit.

Romans 8: 22-27 (NIV)

22 We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Whether the problem is a steep climb or a deep dive- remember that He is greater and His love goes deeper than the boundary of our imagination. – Teresa #readTheSingerbyCalvinMiller

Deuteronomy 9: 1-5 (ESV)

9 “Hear, O Israel: you are to cross over the Jordan today, to go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than you, cities great and fortified up to heaven, 2 a people great and tall, the sons of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you have heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the sons of Anak?’ 3 Know therefore today that he who goes over before you as a consuming fire is the Lordyour God. He will destroy them and subdue them before you. So you shall drive them out and make them perish quickly, as the Lord has promised you.

*pics from Pexels.com

Hometown truth and outsider’s blessing

I’ve been enjoying the instruction of a writer workshop from our local community college. One tip they shared was how to find the point of your thought by rewriting it 4-5 different times.

Jesus was a master communicator. He said the same thing four times in this passage: 1. By following tradition and hometown communication, God was speaking clearly to the people. 2. Proclaiming that the scriptural truth was fulfilled in their hearing, the Son of Man was speaking without parable. 3. By acknowledging their doubt due to his humble beginnings, Jesus was honest with them. 4. By providing two examples of OT miracles substantiating His point that they were also unable to receive the miracles (as their forefathers did in the time of Elijah and Elisha). His argument was finally understood.

The crowd dynamic was intent on killing Jesus. He then did a miracle in the midst of their doubt and escaped unharmed. Did any believe? Is it only the outsider who truly asks for a miracle who is capable of receiving it?

-Teresa #yourpoint,Lord? #recognizeHisfavor #donotdoubt

Luke 4: 16-27 (ESV)

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”


20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.”

22 And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” 23 And he said to them, “Doubtless you will quote to me this proverb, ‘“Physician, heal yourself.” What we have heard you did at Capernaum, do here in your hometown as well.’” 24 And he said, “Truly, I say to you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown.

25 But in truth, I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heavens were shut up three years and six months, and a great famine came over all the land, 26 and Elijah was sent to none of them but only to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow.

27 And there were many lepers[a] in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed, but only Naaman the Syrian.” 28 When they heard these things, all in the synagogue were filled with wrath. 29 And they rose up and drove him out of the town and brought him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they could throw him down the cliff. 30 But passing through their midst, he went away.

Photo from Pexels.com

Cleansing

Washing away uncleaness

When I first started making soap (many years ago), I was suprised to learn that the base (or soapy component) for this chemistry experiment was first obtained from sacrificial ashes.

The passage below from the book of Numbers re- iterates the use of the ashes as part of the purification ritual.

What can make us clean? Is it the rituals we keep, the company we associate with or the internal climate of our minds?

The ashes of the sacrifice blessed by the priest were kept in a clean place for the water for impurity for the people.

I John 1:7 (NIV)

But if we walk in the light,

 as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all

 sin.

Psalm 51:7 (NIV)

7 Cleanse me with hyssop,and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

Numbers 19:1-10 (ESV)

19 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and to Aaron, saying, 2 “This is the statute of the law that the Lord has commanded: Tell the people of Israel to bring you a red heifer without defect, in which there is no blemish, and on which a yoke has never come. 3 And you shall give it to Eleazar the priest, and it shall be taken outside the camp and slaughtered before him. 4 And Eleazar the priest shall take some of its blood with his finger, and sprinkle some of its blood toward the front of the tent of meeting seven times. 5 And the heifer shall be burned in his sight. Its skin, its flesh, and its blood, with its dung, shall be burned. 6 And the priest shall take cedarwood and hyssop and scarlet yarn, and throw them into the fire burning the heifer. 7 Then the priest shall wash his clothes and bathe his body in water, and afterward he may come into the camp. But the priest shall be unclean until evening. 8 The one who burns the heifer shall wash his clothes in water and bathe his body in water and shall be unclean until evening. 9 And a man who is clean shall gather up the ashes of the heifer and deposit them outside the camp in a clean place. And they shall be kept for the water for impurity for the congregation of the people of Israel; it is a sin offering. 10 And the one who gathers the ashes of the heifer shall wash his clothes and be unclean until evening. And this shall be a perpetual statute for the people of Israel, and for the stranger who sojourns among them.

* pics from pyxels.com

The weight of holy burdens

Rosemary in bloom

The descendants of Israel gifted carts and oxen as an offering to GOD to assist with the transport of the tabernacle. Their nomadic life centered around the worship of Yahweh in the tabernacle. Moses met with God there.

There was one group of priests, the Kohathites, who had to carry their part of the transport. No oxen to pull the burden. No cart to shoulder the load.

…because it was holy!!

If something is holy or significant, the bearer of the burden must take extra care to set it apart- consecrated for His service. – Teresa #itmaynotbeasy #butitsglorious

Numbers 11:1-7 (ESV)

7 On the day when Moses had finished setting up the tabernacle and had anointed and consecrated it with all its furnishings and had anointed and consecrated the altar with all its utensils, 2 the chiefs of Israel, heads of their fathers’ houses, who were the chiefs of the tribes, who were over those who were listed, approached 3 and brought their offerings before the Lord, six wagons and twelve oxen, a wagon for every two of the chiefs, and for each one an ox. They brought them before the tabernacle. 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, 5 “Accept these from them, that they may be used in the service of the tent of meeting, and give them to the Levites, to each man according to his service.” 6 So Moses took the wagons and the oxen and gave them to the Levites. 7 Two wagons and four oxen he gave to the sons of Gershon, according to their service. 8 And four wagons and eight oxen he gave to the sons of Merari, according to their service, under the direction of Ithamar the son of Aaron the priest. 9 But to the sons of Kohath he gave none, because they were charged with the service of the holy things that had to be carried on the shoulder. 10 And the chiefs offered offerings for the dedication of the altar on the day it was anointed; and the chiefs offered their offering before the altar. 11 And the Lord said to Moses, “They shall offer their offerings, one chief each day, for the dedication of the altar.”

Tossing at night

Leap of faith

Why do we have issues with sleeping when our mind is too busy?

I was tossing for a short time last night and then started praying. God reminded me of a song my daughter sent to me a few months back by Delirious- Every Little Thing. Listen here Delirious?

This immediately relaxed me and made me grateful that we have a God who cares about all the little details of our lives.

Surrender

Psalm 43: 5

5 Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you in turmoil within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my salvation and my God.

Take the leap of faith and remember greater things are still ahead. – Teresa

*photos from Pexels.com