Monday, October 29, 2012

The Joy Of The Lord

We were fixing supper tonight.......squash, sweet potatoes, and grilled turkey burgers.  While Joel was watching the burgers, I went up to the office to get something and noticed all the lights on the printer flashing....I yelled at Joel and he came up to try and fix it.  We were focused on the machine when suddenly the smell of broiling burgers came into the room.   I went downstairs to check on supper.  I peeked in the oven just as the fire alarm in the kitchen started going off......then the one in the dining room...and finally the one in the entry chimed it.  Joel ran downstairs and started dragging a chair from alarm to alarm to take the batteries out while I took care of the burgers and closed the oven door.

Finally the house was quiet except for the exasperation we both felt.  I looked at Joel and said, "The joy of the Lord is our strength."  The joy of the Lord is our strength!   He joined in ~ the joy of the Lord is our strength!

In the past couple of weeks this verse has been helping us through more than a few frustrations, a day or two of feeling down and out, and a few moments of life just not being fair.  It has also been the icing on the cake for some good times.  Sound familiar? 

Joy is defined by the dictionary as an emotion evoked by well-being and a source or cause of delight.

I know if you look at the context of this in Nehemiah it seems to relate to sorrow or grief......but I find it applies across the board.  Knowing who God is, knowing how much He loves us ~ His joy for us....THIS is our strength.  It seems to take the air out of frustration, supports us in our grief, and gives us peace during tough times.

 God's joy, His delight in us puts everything else in perspective. Even when the fire alarms are singing in unison, the printer is doing it's own dance, and the burgers are a bit chewy! 

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sunday's Psalm

"Let all that I am praise the Lord,
with my whole heart, I will praise
His holy name.
Let all that I am praise the Lord;
may I never forget the good things
He does for me.
He forgives all my sins
and heals all my diseases.
He redeems me from death
and crowns me with love and
tender mercies.
He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagle's!"
Psalm 103:1-5

Friday, October 26, 2012

Yoking Up: Laboring To Enter

"Then Jesus said,
'Come unto me all of you who are weary
and carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you. 
Let me teach you
because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.'" (NLT)
"My yoke is easy
and my burden is light.'" ( NIV)
Matthew 11:28-30
I am still meditating on the above verses, having received them now 18 times.   Now that I have passed the 5 week mark, I am officially no longer counting!  Seriously, I am blown away by this.  Even a friend has emailed me to let me know she has come across the verses a few times and thinks of me each time she does.  It seems to have taken on a life of it's own.  No matter,  I am so grateful to God for the love He has been showering on me and what I am learning as we walk together along this path!  Like it says in the above verses, "let Me teach you.."

Recently I was watching a teaching at Andrew Wommack's Ministry.  As the leader of their healing ministry was speaking, he brought up Matthew 11:28-30, and  made this statement ~
"We labor to enter into the rest of what Christ has already done for us. When we strive to do what He has already done for us, it is exhausting.  We either labor into resting with Jesus or we labor at everything else." 

Come unto me all ye who labor the King James translation says.  Laboring~ I knew in part what God was saying to me as soon as I heard these words.  I have been laboring to make my healing happen n.o.w.  The Lyme was dead and gone so I wanted all the symptoms to be gone too!  The abuse and fear connected to those memories had surfaced and been acknowledged and I wanted that part of my life to be over and done with.  Come on God, Joel was healed overnight, how about me?  Maybe if I do this............maybe if I do that..........I will......I can......I must.  My laboring. For 6 months now.....laboring.

Isaiah 53: 5b tells us "By HIS stripes we are healed."  The healing here means healing from diseases.  It is mentioned again in 1 Peter 2:24b and in Matthew 8:17.   In trying to simplify this I may complicate it, but Joel and I believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and for our diseases and that He wants us well.  Period. I won't muddy the waters by saying more, but as you know I am not seeing complete healing for my body.  In fact I have had a setback.  Yet.......we have seen it come to pass with the Lyme dying.  We have seen it come for a precancerous sore on my arm that disappeared after Joel prayed over it.  We have seen healing in my body and soul from the abuse.  We have seen my eye pressure go back to normal.  We have seen my thyroid heal enough that I am now taking 1/10th of the medicine I was taking for the past 27 years.  We believe we will see more of God's healing. To God be the glory.

I know these verses hold treasures for the battle I have been waging to heal.  He has provided all I need, so I rest in it.  I find rest in what He has already done for me, rest in the peace of knowing Him as my Savior and my friend, rest in letting Him be in control, rest in His promises found in the Word only. 

Jesus says, "My yoke is easy and My burden is light."  So I have had to ask, what am I yoked up if not Jesus?  Yoked up to fear, yoked up to symptoms, yoked up to doing it all on my own?  As long as I can remember my perception has been that I need to do what I had to in order to survive ~ abuse...other childhood stuff.....CFS....Lyme....MCS....cancer......Taking it to the Lord, but then taking it back and carrying it around as I labored to survive.  A backpack or two filled with heavy burdens yoking me in bondage! 

"I will give you rest."  This needs to be enough.  T.R.U.S.T.I.N.G in His Word, His promises, His plan, His rest.  A couple of weeks ago I began to worry the Lyme was coming back.  When I prayed for God to speak to me in His Word I was led to these verses. 

Moses told his people, 'Don't be afraid. 
Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. 
The Egyptians  you see today will never be seen again. 
 The Lord Himself will fight for you.  Just.  Stay. Calm.
Exodus 14:13-14

For me, the Egyptians are the Lyme bacteria. They are like a might army destroying the bodies they invade. I can stand on this and along with Matthew 11, resting in the knowledge of what He has already done for us on the cross. "It is finished". No matter what tomorrow holds, it is finished and we can heed His call to "come to Me....and rest".

So, here I am, still soaking in these verses that God has blessed me with 18 times.  Still taking time to meditate on them and giving thanks for all I am learning on the journey.  I hope that as I have shared my own God-guided steps along the way that you have gleaned something from them too.  God loves us so much, and wants a close relationship with us.  He desires to speak to us as much as we desire to speak to Him.  He delights in us! Knowing that, we can understand and take comfrot in the words below~


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Yoking Up: Defining Rest

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened,
and I will cause you to rest.
[I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]
 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me,
for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart,
and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment
and recreation and blessed quiet)
for your souls.
  For My yoke is wholesome
(useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant),
and My burden is light and easy to be borne
Matthew 11:28-30


As of Monday, I have now received the verses Matthew 11:28-30 fifteen times.  Fifteen times in the last 4 weeks from fifteen different sources.  A couple of days ago I heard a speaker say if you get the same scripture twice in a row, you better listen.  So, what does it mean when you get it fifteen times?  Serious business I expect.

I am still trying to figure out all the meaning behind these verses. I might be making it more complicated than it is, but about three weeks ago I decided to start meditating on what God was trying to tell me.  The first thing I did was look up the Greek meaning for some of the words....most importantly for me, the word REST.  If you recall I was rebelling because I was back in my recliner, and I was wondering whether the meaning of rest in this scripture was literal~ like,  kick-back-in-your-recliner-and-rest real. Resign yourself to your recliner. 

As I searched for the Greek definitions of rest in Matthew 11, I found this.

The New Testament. The primary Greek words are the nouns anapausis [ajnavpausi"] and katapausis [katavpausi"], and the verbs anapauo [ajnapauvw] and katapauo [katapauvw].

In the Gospels the theology of rest is most clearly articulated in the words of Jesus: "come to me and I will give you rest and you will find rest for your souls" ( Matt 11:28-30 ). The rest he promises is certainly for the world to come, but it is also for this world. It (THE REST) is the sense of security and peace that flows from a right relation with God, the Father, through obedience to his Son, , and membership in his kingdom.
(Rest for the soul.)

The words I highlighted resonated with me. Security and peace....I have come before God more than once this year seeking both at higher levels in my life. It seems God is telling me...loudly...and often...... that living a life of peace and security is found in my relationship with God and His Son Jesus. Come to ME Jesus is saying. He and HE ALONE will give us the sense of peace and safety we desire when we draw close to Him. Part of that resting in the Lord is to surrender to His plan for your life.  Resting....letting go....surrendering....trusting.  God truly wants to be in a relationship with us . It needs to be our top priority, everything else flows from that. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

When I read the amplified translation, it confirmed for me that the resting I needed was for my soul.  Weary, carrying heavy burdens~ these are not necessarily physical...they very well could be the soul burdens that make us so tired.  What we carry around that we could leave at the cross.  What we carry around that we need to trust Jesus with.

Let's define our souls. We are made up of body, soul, and spirit. The Spirit of Christ lives in us, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead.  Our body is the outer shell that carries us, that keeps us alive. Our flesh.  The soul is our mind and our emotions. It is here that the battle often lies. The enemy loves to deceive us by wrapping up our mind and emotions, twisting the truth, but we need to remember that the truth lies in God's Word.  Jesus promises us in Matthew 11 that when we come to Him, loving and learning from our relationship with Him, that His yoke will be easy and His burden will be light. 

Come to me Jesus whispers......come to me He beckons.....and when we don't hear Him the first time nor the second....or even the third....He is persistent in His love for us and continues to say......come to me.... surrender in Me, let go, don't try so hard.....just rest in Me. 


Monday, October 15, 2012

MBM: Because I Prayed, Mommy!

Memorial Box Monday was created by Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity as a way to remember what God has done for us.  The stories we share remind us of God's faithfulness and provision.  To learn more about it, read the posts others have shared, or link up your own stop over and visit Linny.  My story takes us back many years to a time when we had a young family.

We were stationed in The Philippine Islands where Joel was forecasting weather for Air Force Pilots. It was 1975 and we were getting to know our second daughter N. whom we adopted when she was 4 months old. She brought great joy into our family; Dad, Mom, older sister B. and brother M. were excited to bring home a new sister. Along with N. came a number of health problems of which staph was one. She had boils from the staph infection that filled her body which often gave her fevers of 104-106. Three of us contracted the infection and were dealing with boils ourselves. Boils of this type do not come to a "head" and would need to opened with a knife and drained. A painful procedure.

Our 5 year old daughter, B. ended up with a boil in the corner of her eye. Once it was ready to be lanced we took her into the ER at the base hospital for the procedure. We were concerned how this would go since it was in such a delicate area. We prayed for her before the doctors took her in to the surgical room, but truthfully we expcted to hear her cries and waited with bated breath.


No crying.

Just silence.

When they brought her back out to us, the boil was gone and she was doing just fine. We asked B. if it hurt when they lanced the boil. She replied, "No."  This worried mom probed a bit deeper...."Did it hurt at all?" I asked. Her reply humbled us. "No, mommy, it did not hurt. I knew it wouldn't because I prayed, Mommy. I prayed it would not hurt."

She prayed.

She believed.

God answered.

Her parents were humbled.

We rejoiced.

Often boils come back in the same areas and refill with infectious puss. This one did not. It was gone for good. The pain non-existent and the boil healed by our loving God.

God is our provider. He provides healing, restoration, financial needs, and yes painless lancing of a boil on the eye. God is faithful. He hears our prayers. He answers, and we rejoice!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ponder These.......

are stories
we tell ourselves"
is the

is having faith 
in the power of the devil 
to hurt you"

only becomes
when you
give it


"There is no fear
in love.
Perfect love
casts out

I John 4:18

Monday, October 8, 2012

Conversatons In The Garden: Yoking Up Burdens

"Then Jesus said, 'Come unto me all of you who are weary
and carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest.
Take my yoke upon you. 
Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.'" (NLT)
"My yoke is easy and my burden is light." ( NIV)

Matthew 11:28-30

About two weeks before I started hearing the verses above over and over,  which now number 13 by the way, I started hearing from God about burdens while in the "garden".  For over a year now I have entered into the garden of my heart nearly every morning, where I visualize spending time with Jesus and my Heavenly Father.  During this particular visit, I noticed to the right of the garden gate a pile of rocks of different sizes. Behind the rocks I could see only the base of a cross, but I knew that this was where I was to lay down my burdens.  At the foot of the cross.  (Eventually this became part of my daily routine, to go into the garden, cast all my cares in this area and move forward to wait for Jesus.)

Immediately I noticed or rather felt a heaviness weighing me down.  I was carrying a backpack and as Jesus stood before me He said, "You cannot walk carrying that.  It is holding you back."  I took action to remove the backpack and it was so heavy it hit the ground with a thump.  I asked Jesus, "What is in that backpack....It is so heavy...?"  He did not really reply, but as I looked down at it I could "see" fears, unforgiveness, worries, traumatic memories, etc. spilling out of the top. 

The burdens
Jesus then took my hand and we began walking.  We came to a big mountain.  It was not the large boulder representing the abuse like before.  No, this was a mountain.  On the mountain I could make out the words  F E A R.  I sat down at the base and studied it.  I knew I needed to find a way over the top.  Each attempt to climb it ended with me on the ground.  I would go up the face of the mountain a short way and then fall back down.  Climb again and fall back down! 

That is where I left the garden that day....with me sitting at the base with my knees bent, contemplating how to get past this mountain, realizing that the foundation of all my present struggles came from fear.
 Another day after the bombardment of Matt. 11:28- 30 began, I went back into the garden and ended up back at the mountain, so I asked Jesus how I could conquer the fear?  Immediately I saw boards with words written on them that were being placed on it.  The face of the mountain now appeared to be magnetic, and the boards could be placed on the front of it.  One said, PRAYER, another, PRAISE, and yet another PROMISES OF GOD which I knew I were to be spoken aloud.  Speaking God's Word has great power and never returns void.  Then I noticed that these boards could be the steps I needed to climb the mountain and I saw myself climbing the mountain.  When I would put my foot on one of the boards, the mountain would shrink a little......then the next step up and it shrank a little more.  Here was the key to conquering my fears and laying down my burdens.  Prayer-Praise-Promises of God-Speaking His Word.   Taking my focus off my problems and putting it on God!
I know I still have much to learn on this journey with "My yoke is easy, My burden is light", so daily I have settled in with a listening ear, alert mind, my Bible, and my pen.  When God sends you a message so strong that you are even HEARING the verse on a TV commercial while switching channels, I KNOW it is important.  S.E.R.I.O.U.S.L.Y. 
God gave me these verses too, while meditating and asking for a word of knowledge.  I think He is telling me to pay attention, girl.  In obedience, I did and I am.
"My child, pay attention to what I say
Listen carefully to my words
Don't lose sight of them
Let them penetrate deeply into your heart
For they bring life to those who find them
And healing to their whole body."
Proverbs 4:20-23

Friday, October 5, 2012

Defining Humility

God is continuing to teach me concerning humility.........
Rick Warren


Thursday, October 4, 2012

My Yoke Is Easy: Humility

Then Jesus said, 'Come unto me all of you who are weary
and carrying heavy burdens,
and I will give you rest. 
Take my yoke upon you. 
Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart,
and you will find rest for your souls.'" (NLT)
"My yoke is easy and my burden is light." ( NIV)
Matthew 11:28-30

It was a month ago on Sunday, September 2nd that I received Matthew 11:28-30 the first four times.  First in my Daily Light devotional before even getting out of bed, then while reading two blogs that morning, and later while reading Rick Warren's blog post for that week. 
I did not want to hear it.

I did not want to hear the word

I was worried about what it meant.  At first I took it literally, and oh how I wanted to hear something different.  My response was~~NO!  I have done nothing but rest for years of my life...viewing the world from my sofa sanctuary.  Having had a taste of life outside my home on a daily basis during the summer, I was NOT ready to go back to viewing the world from my blue recliner.  I began to desperately search for answers...Why?  What did I do wrong?  What can I do to change it?  God told me three times He wanted me well, didn't He?  Why couldn't I be healed overnight like Joel??  My emotions were all over the board, hopeful and determined one minute, discouraged and grieving the next. It was all about m.e.   I was certainly responding with fear instead of faith knowledge.  Those verses....?

I ignored them
another week

 Let me jump ahead to last night.  I was watching a Biblical teaching on healing and the speaker was talking about humility and pride.  As he went into his teaching, with scriptures to back what he was saying, I began to feel convicted by God as I identified myself with lack of humility in this area of healing~ there was pride. 

He shared that when we question God's timing, when we get upset that our expectations have not been met, when we feel we am in charge and need to make things happen, etc. that all comes from a place of pride.  Hmmmmmm

I wanted the healing of my body to be like Joel's....mostly overnight and quick!  I wanted to SEE the manifestation, be able to make leaps and bounds in my progress and have the life I wanted.  Whole and healthy.......N.O.W.   Things done according to MY understanding.   Pride.

Jesus is my Lord, not my understanding.  God is God.  We are not.  His ways are mysterious and yet they are good, right, and fair.  He loves us and wants the best for us. Letting go of our own understanding brings us to a place of being humble.  Being humble is a good place to be as it lets God work in our lives without resistance. 

So, 4 weeks after my ranting began it is ending.  I have seen it as it is, and am on my knees in repentance and humility, once again letting God work in my life and in my body in His way and His timing. I have learned so much in the past 3 weeks, and more surprises are in store if I go by what I learned last nigh

I had written a post on my reactiong to the relapse before I watched the teaching on humility, but God had other plans and I had to come back and rewrite it, sharing what he taught me just last night with His gentleness, love, and firmness. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Yoke Is Easy.......

"Then Jesus said, 'Come unto me all of you who are weary and carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.'" (NLT) "My yoke is easy and my burden is light." ( NIV)
Matthew 11:28-30
Four weeks ago I started to feel challenged by old symptoms of illness.  Three weeks ago I went into a major relapse and  have been living life mostly from my recliner since then.   I have spent much of that time struggling with this turn of events, and used up more energy than I care to admit crying, questioning, lamenting, and yes, whining over my circumstances.  In some ways my soul felt as broken as my body, because I truly NEVER thought I would be here in this place again. 
Four weeks ago I started receiving the verses that I shared above from Matthew 11. As of today this passage, or parts of it, have shown up eleven different times. 
Eleven different times these verses as a whole or in part have been given to me by eleven different sources in the past three weeks of my struggles; from different blogs, Biblical teachers I have listened, emails, devotionals, a book, and also from two friends.  A very dear friend had the words "My yoke is easy and my burden is light" come to her as words of knowledge from God while she was praying over my situation.  She knew nothing about how this verse was showing up in my life at the time.  I had asked her to pray and then quietly asked God to show me that what she heard was truly from Him.  Through her from God came this verse...."My yoke is easy and my burden is light" as a confirmation that what she had to share with me was from Him. She kept hearing it over and over again.
I have never in all my years received any one verse eleven times. 


I have decided I need to write about this in part because I am trying to discern what it all means and writing will help me to do that, and in part because I feel God smiles when I share my own journey as it can help others and glorify Him.   I plan to write a series on what I am learning going back to three weeks ago when it all began.
I don't know if I am done receiving this verse yet...I know I am not done with learning all I need to learn from it. Every day something new comes to light.  I am using different Bible translations, and a concordance, teachings, and anything he sends my way. More and more is being revealed to me.  I think I am a slow learner :)..... I don't want to complicate it, I just want to make sure I am getting it. ALL of it...all that God is showing me.  I have realized it is a gift He is presenting to me and I want to cherish and embrace it.