Month: January 2013

Esther

Would I stand up for what is solely right? Even if it could cost me everything?

A lot can be learned from Queen Esther. An evil and arrogant man named Haman wanted to kill all of the jews in much of the same way that Hitler did. One of the primary jews that Haman was after –  caught the eye of Queen Esther in his dispare (knowing what Haman wanted to do to him and his people). When she asked what the matter he explained to her Haman’s plans.

Knowing she had nothing to loose (since she was also a jew, and certainly would ensue the same fate as the others) Esther said she would go to the queen as a chance to save her people. As queen she still didn’t have a lot of rights in her day, so when she went to the King to ask him to save her  there were no guarantees.

She came up with a plan to ask the king to save Mordecai and the jews. During the time leading up to it Esther and her people fasted and prayed to the Lord. Then the time came.

God the father was working behind the scenes to prepare the kings heart – who had learned that Mordecai had once saved King Xerxes, and as Haman was walking in to the kings court to ask that Mordecai be impailed on a pole, just as he wanted to do to Mordeecai.

Queen Esther’s example shows me to be brave when talking about my own faith – especially now, when we don’t have to fear in America being persecuted, or killed for our faith. There should be no excuses….  for Jesus says, “Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Father in Heaven” – Matthew 10:32-33.

Isaiah

Well i’ve arrived and finished up Isaiah. I’ve somewhat abandoned my chronological reading plan, because I only had it marked down on You Version and didn’t want to rely on my phone for reading the bible.  I love opening my bible up (paper) and pouring into it with a pencil and writing notes, and adding flags to the side of it for easy reference.

When looking up chronological plans to print out I noticed discrepancies between them, so i’ll finish the rest of the bible straight through.

So. Back to Isaiah. My first major prophetic book of the bible, and it was FULL of amazing insight. I loved the yoking of Isaiah, and the gospels and the look ahead. Up until now things for the Israelites have seemed pretty dismal. They sin – God gets angry, but they hadn’t heard of Isaiah 9:6-7, “For a child is born to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. The passionate commitment of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies will make this happen.”(NLT)

What great news! We also see (maybe for the first time) the great throne of God in Isaiah 6:1-8. He was sitting on a throne, high and exalted, and his robe filled the whole temple. Around him, flaming creatures were standing, each of which had six wings, and its body with two, and used the other two for flying. They were calling out to each other: “Holy, Holy, Holy! Is the Lord God Almighty”. (TEV)

We see again in Revelation and elsewhere throughout the bible that these creatures, and angels continually sing this out,  “Holy, Holy, Holy! Is the Lord God Almighty”. If they’re doing it, certainly shouldn’t I as a mere human? Praise God more?

We also see here that God is the ultimate and only God in Isaiah 45:9. In my TEV version it goes like this, “Does a clay pot dare argue with its maker, a pot that is like all the others? Does the clay ask the potter what he is doing? Doe s the pot complain that its maker has no skill? Do we dare say to our parents, why did you make me like this?” Gulp. Now go look up Chapter 45:18-19.  I’m not giving you a freebie. Go. Look it up.

And my very favorite verse of the whole entire bible is in Isaiah 43:4 “Thats how much you mean to me! That’s how much I love you! I’d sell off the whole world to get you back, trade all the creation just for you.”

How do you not fall to your knees from that kind of love?

Up Next

As I wind down my journey through the book “Greater” to I feel myself standing as if peering out into the horizon on the Grand Canyon.

I’ve been told I can do greater, and I believe I can, but now what? I have a few things in mind, like turning my [very small] photography business/hobby into a non-profit, but as I read the closing chapter and pastor Steven Furtick prayed over us I realized I need to just start being greater where I am.

At home, in my relationships (as a wife and a mother, and friend), at work, and anywhere else the wind blows me.

I’m not going to settle anymore for being standard, or for merely “trying” to be a good Christian. But actively pursuing to be more like Christ. I’ll pour out my heart little by little with God holding my hand every step of the way.

Here are my goals  for greater  for 2013.

1.) Spending more [quality] time with my husband. Instead of merely passing the time watching shows, or at worse spending time in separate rooms, actively planning dates, even free dates when money is tight. We’ve been together (mostly) for over 12 years, and married for almost 7. Its easy to get comfortable and not have that flirty passion you had in the beginning  but reminding oneself to turn off the Pinterest, put down the knitting, and spend time with the hubs and pursue him more like I did in the beginning!

2.) Making more memories for with my daughter. As an only child its really up to me (and dad) to shower our daughter with companionship. Yes – she has companions at school, but allowing her to watch the iPad after school, or at night alone, instead of building a fort with her, and watching a movie together etc is something I need to focus on more. Its too easy to be tired from a day at work, and running errands, and to just want time for myself, but there is a wee one who needs me, and there will come a time  likely in six short years [as a teen] when she will tell me she needs me no more. I want to treasure these precious days while I still have them!

3. Finish the bible by June. Whether I stick with the chronological plan, or read the rest straight through – I  need to finish it. And continue reading christian books that can help build my knowledge to support my goals in #4.

4. Unashamed Impact. On Twitter and Facebook I’m committed to sharing the word of God, and re-tweeting to a bunch of strangers all things Christ, but in the real world I find myself trying to be too politically correct. This year with Gods courage I’ll stand up for what I really believe in, and find opportunities- that if I paused and looked a little harder- are being poured out all over to share the love of Christ everywhere I go.

Here is to 2013 and the Greater things to come!

Back to it

I’ve been blogging an awful lot through the bible study Greater, which if you or your group hasn’t picked up a copy – I strongly suggest you pick this book up!

But – I wanted to catch you up to what I’ve been doing with my journey of reading through the entire bible in 365 days. As you know I started last June, and although I’ve missed some days – i’ve worked very hard on following chasing christ through the bible to see how His Story has been interwoven through the old testament, and how it points to our savior.

Of course I’ve picked up some nuggets for myself along the way – because after all… isn’t that what the bible is about? It is the Story of God, and I believe a handbook for humans to show us how to do life. Its been a little tricky to blog through because this chronological plan because it jumps around so much, but I recently read through Jonah & Micah ~ two of my very favorites, and I just started Hosea!

Hosea – oh boy! At first sight i’m reading through the sad fall of Israel and how they’ve turned their back on the Lord, when after all they’ve done the Lord still reaches out and says, I love you. I have a copy of the Mom’s Devotional Bible, and I love how it has paraphrased Hosea and motherhood; that no matter what your children do, its important as moms to show them a steady love!

Trust Fund… baby


Do you believe in the power of prayer? I sure do…. let me explain.
 
Someone I know – that I will keep private, was having an extremely difficult time conceiving a baby. As she watched friends around her easily get pregnant with their spouses she and her husband went month after month with no good news to share. After several months, even a year with no luck on their own they saw a fertility specialist. 
 
This for them was not easy either. Again months and months went by with no luck until finally… a baby was conceived.  When taking the trisomy 18 test they learned of some abnormalities with the test, so they had to travel far away to see a specialist and have a special ultrasound, and further tests done. The ultrasound proved that their baby did not have trisomy 18 or any abnormalities, however it did show that there were dangerously low levels of amniotic fluid which lead the specialists to believe their baby had Potters Syndrome. 
 
Their baby would be born with no kidneys, and would pass soon after birth. They decided to keep their baby as long as God would allow, and unfortunately when they were 20 weeks along she lost the baby in utero. Because she was so far along they would have to do a regular delivery. 
 
Undeniably this moment for them was devastating, and they saw their dreams being crushed. They leaned on God when that’s all they could lean on.
 
Several months later they were pregnant again – this time on their own, however when they were about 14 weeks along, and seemingly in the clear they suffered another miscarriage. Again, devastation but they never gave up hope that someday they would be parents. They also had an ARMY of prayer warriors with them.
 
I literally  prayed for them every single day, like I’ve never prayed for anyone before.
 
Again several months later when I would believe most parents would “give up” and look into other options, they decided to try again. Trying things on their own again did not prove to be fruitful, so they went back to the fertility specialists, with their army of prayer warriors sending prayers their way.
 
Last year (2011) I was at our Christmas Service at church, titled The Impossible where they had a couple explain their difficulty conceiving a baby as well, and their miscarriages. I found tears streaming down my face as I watched their story thinking of the people I knew in my life that were going through the same thing.  They fully put their trust in God because only HE is in the business of Sun Stand Still prayers, and they found they were pregnant, and were able to carry their very healthy baby to term. 
 
I can’t fully explain it, but I was a complete and teary mess during and after that service, and I felt that God was honestly telling me that this was it, and that “my people” were going to tell me at Christmas dinner that they were indeed pregnant too, and I could feel that they too would have a successful pregnancy, and a healthy baby.
 
That night, my person and I ate Christmas dinner together with our extended family and I asked her how things were going with their fertility specialists and shyly she said things were going well. I could tell they weren’t ready to go public with anything yet, and I didn’t yet know what the answer was, so I paused and then told her to blink twice for no…. and blink once for yes….. and beautifully she blinked a long one time. She and I bolted out of the room, outside where we cried and held each other. I told her I felt that this was going to be nothing but success and that they would have a healthy baby. 
 
~*~And so happily, they now have a very healthy baby! I couldn’t tell you why the other pregnancies didn’t work out, and I wouldn’t dare to speculate, but I do know that this baby of theirs makes them the happiest, and most grateful parents in the world!
 
 
 
 

Welcome to 2013

Welcome family and friends to 2013. I hope everyone had terrific holidays! We can’t believe they’re already to a close, but we’re excited for what 2013 brings. All five christmases were great minus my ear infection/perforated ear drum. We were all blessed with such great families, and everyone had such a generous heart! Jason and I rang in the new year by starting out at Rick & Nicole’s house for her birthday, and then came back home and drank champagne, and played hair dresser with K! Today we dusted off the old juicing machine, and are going on an adventure of juicing! Its so easy to get 7 whole servings of vegetables in just one cup! We are focusing on eating healthier again as we always do each year. We’ve been doing pretty good these past few years, and continue each year to add something new. Jason and i were going to run the Commitment Day 5K, but it was like 2 degrees outside so we opted to sleep in instead. We’re thinking about running one 5K each month together as a family – so perhaps we’ll find something towards the end of the month, if its by chance warmer. These first three months will be race day sign ups since they’re colder! That’s all for now. Here’s to 2013, and continuing to being healthy!