He Possesses My Reins- Knit Together

I will confess, I enjoyed, ahem... really enjoyed Shakespeare’s works. I loved getting lost in the language, could have done without all the tragedy, but so enjoyed the way things were said. It was romantic, and tragic, funny, but solemn.  We of our modern age, have released so many words and phrasings that were truly remarkable expressions; it is part of the reason I study in older translations of the Bible. We have taken so much away from what we read, by making it easy to understand, and God isn’t easy to understand. He tells us that often- our minds cannot contain Him; yet we place Him in newly written books and change His words to reflect our culture, instead of our culture reflecting Him.

For comparison: The 1599 Geneva Text

13 For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb.

14 I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wondrously made: marvelous are thy works, and my soul knoweth it well.

15 My bones are not hid from thee, though I was made in a secret place, and fashioned beneath in the earth.

16 Thine eyes did see me, when I was without form: for in thy book were all things written, which in continuance were fashioned, when there was none of them before.

The Message Text

13-16 Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I’d even lived one day.

 

The Message text is beautiful- please don’t misunderstand me, but there is something of substance in the 1599 Geneva Text. Kinda of like the older hymns that we have phased out over the years. There will never be a time that How Great Thou Art will not bring a tear to my eye. Written in 1859 as a poem and then turned into a song. We push to make everything more relevant, and nothing is ever enough- this insatiable need to do more, make it better and revitalize it; it’s our enemies way of making us spin our wheels, while we get no where. The goal should be to glorify God, not make it better than someone else’s work. An example of what I am saying would be, instead of me focusing on making I Exalt Thee sound more contemporary for people, I should be saying, God how can You use me singing this song to prompt change in someone else. It ISN’T about the music, or the words- it IS THE PRESENCE of Almighty God.

He makes things appealing to His creation, that may want to become His children. That isn’t for you and me to do!  Within the Psalms 139 text above, I am moved by both writings, and while one is definitely a quicker more understood interpretation, it is not the one we should all read as we study the word. It makes it pretty, something to share with a new believer maybe. Someone who is maturing in the faith, needs the meat of the word. Because I can read every study someone else has done, but it won’t change me until I have been affected by it. When I read “For thou has possessed my reins…” I am taken to an entirely different place than “You shaped me inside and out”. It’s completely different to me.  Please note the words-to me… no harsh emails needed. We all have a place! 🙂

If you shaped me inside and out, you are telling me you made me. You created my body. When you say- You have possessed my reins- you are telling me that you control me, that you guide me. As a horse would be guided by the gentle tugging of the reins, you guide me that way, kindly- gently, and when I am close to harm you command full attention to those reins. You aren’t sitting by watching me spin from nothing into something in my mothers womb- He is hands on.

It could just be that this is the way I feel Him. The beauty of God is that He makes us individually different, to reach this culture, the world differently. He need the tender, and abrasive, the vocal, and the listener equally. He created those qualities in you, to use them for His glory.

Get lost in the language today of an older text Bible- and if you are lost instead of found in it- forget everything I said, and sit with Him in the peace and tender writing of the Message Text. If you start running to Him, I promise He will do more than meet you in the middle- He will scoop you up in His arms and just sit with you on porch of Heaven.

Blessings,

mel

 

Love- In Reality

I love the Old Testament, I have told you guys that before.. I love it!

(Like the dog on the Beggin’ Strips commercials… “I want bacon!” )

In the New Testament, Jesus comes- I mean really that’s incredible, and He promises to come back too… even better.

I’m an old soul, most who know me would agree with that, I say most, because you have to know me pretty well for me to have expressed my desire for an 18th Century wardrobe. Gingham, taffeta, girdles, and corsets made with BONES to suck you in, in a way no Spanx ever could! I mean really, who cares if you can’t breathe if you are being auctioned off to the highest dowry paying, family aligning eligible bachelor out there, right? Not so much. That would be awful, but that is what we see a lot of in the Bible. Not the money part as much as the parents advising and guiding you toward a spouse of their choosing.

In the telling of the story of Isaac and Rebekah, I giggled in girlish delight as Abraham sent his servant to find a girl, and one appeared who did more than was asked of her and in confirmation through prayer was selected to be his wife. I was sucked in to this story where it seemed to be love at first sight, the thing we believe can’t exist because most of us, didn’t wait for God’s timing. He sees her coming in the field, and she sees him, and prepares herself, after barely more than a greeting, I was blushing as I read of him taking her to the tent and consummating their covenant.

My favorite part- the Bible confirms that he loved her. It’s the first of any of the marriages I saw in the Bible that added to the fact that they were married; love.

We just came off of, in my opinion, the craziest holiday our Nation celebrates. Valentine’s isn’t love. Easter is Love, Christmas is Love. They are times that we rejoice in a Savior who chose to come and be born to this sinful world and then to die on our behalf, while we were/are sinners. Since our children were out of school over the Valentine Holiday, we didn’t think anything of it; until they went back to school on Monday gave their cards, and came home with so many Valentine’s cards.

Cash- our more affectionate child, said, “Mom, you and dad didn’t get us Valentine’s?” My brother hears him through the phone on my ear, and says, “You didn’t get them anything? You’re a jerk!” (Don’t worry- it’s an affectionate term he uses on me…really!) I was instantly shamed. I took the time to explain to my little buddy that Mommy and Daddy don’t do Valentine’s Day, because we love and give to each other all year, so I hadn’t even thought about buying Valentine’s. His sweet little face tilted, and he said, “but I got you something Mom.”… and he did. On Valentine’s Day in between snow sessions, he wrote me a Valentine’s message and taped it to my bedroom door, “so I could see it everyday”. My brother listened to the exchange and then prompted me to find their love languages. He reminded me that each person feels, gives and received love differently and I needed to find out what their love languages were.

It’s my job to know how they receive love.- Ouch.

If I am supposed to be Jesus with skin, and He is love, I have to love them the way they relate to love, so they can feel HIS love. Touchdown for the younger brother.

So grateful for my brother… He is my dearest friend. He in a joking or straightforward way always encourages me. He builds me, shows me how I can be more than I am. He is Jesus with skin on, and dirty feet. 🙂 Thanks Bub.

The Old Testament is full of stories like this. Stories before the hope of the world came to bring redemption. Stories that took people as they were, changed their hearts, their paths, guided them to the Lord. He walked among them in the Old Testament, as flame, as wind, as storm clouds, as whirlwinds. He was there.      God.          Incredible presence, to the point of blindness, to stone commandments carried down from a mountain, to the Ark of the covenant that literally carried His presence and dared you to touch it, or defile it. He is power, and might, the wind, the rain, the strong right hand, the stone in the sling, the sword, the trumpet, the war cry and the victory. He is love, the Father to the Fatherless, the fount of living water…. I mean, Jesus brought the fulfillment of the promise, but God is the promise.

If He made you a promise, prepare yourself, get to a place with Him, and ask what junk has to go for you to make your home here? What people have assisted me in abandoning my promise?  Then do it, get rid of it, of them, start anew. Nothing of value comes for free. There is pain, and suffering in the cutting of dead things- because as new cells are brought to life it is uncomfortable. What depths are you willing to go to to see the lost found? To see your dreams become reality? To watch the broken become whole?

He is love, He is the same Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, He does not base His promises on our worth, but on His. Take Comfort in that. You can do it. You can let that friendship that does nothing but take from you go. You can! You can stop watching that show that defiles the name of the Lord, you can make a home for Him, in your home.

 

Blessings!

mel

Love Suffers Long, but It’s Rewards Are Beautiful

Isn’t this beautiful… and true?

Love suffereth long: it is bountiful: love envieth not: love doth not boast itself: it is not puffed up: It doth no uncomely thing: it seeketh not her own thing: it is not provoked to anger: it thinketh no evil: 1 Corinthians 13:4-5 GNV

When I thought of love as a child, it was my mom and dad; when I thought of love as a teen, it was holding hands, starry eyes, and sweet whispers of affection; when I think of love as a married woman in covenant with a man, I know it is so much more than looks, words, or emotions;

it is binding yourself to one person knowing;

if they sink; you float,

if they hurt; you comfort,

if they struggle: you pray;

if they leave; you stay;

if they fall; you stand.

There is no battle my husband should fight alone. He is mine and I am his and we are both God’s, created in the image of God to do good works, such as- love your spouse. With action. I love the translation above.

Love suffereth long:—Yes it does. It is hard work.

it is bountiful:— Praise God- it is full of joy and hope

love envieth not:— You Picked them- you have them- end of the story!

love doth not boast itself:— I do not always get to win, and I shouldn’t say I am right

it is not puffed up:— On my best day, I am still not without sin, for my God or husband

It doth no uncomely thing:— It shouldn’t want to hurt- words… so sharp and painful

it seeketh not her own thing:— We are in this together. period. for all of our lives.

it is not provoked to anger:—Is there anything that a calm conversation can not correct?

it thinketh no evil: — it wants only good for the other.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 GNV

As we near this greedy holiday, I exhort you to be LOVE. You can BE LOVE. You can show love beyond your loved ones expectations. You can make a treat, be the treat-wink wink- or you can find something that makes all the difference for them from a yucky day to a blessed and beautiful time with you.

Tim and I don’t exchange gifts. Throughout the year we buy small tokens of love, Pepsi for him, Dr.Pepper for me, and when I feel tempted to be overwhelmed by the 3rd round of Delivered Red Roses, I can find more than contentment that he thinks of me daily. It’s rare to not get something at least 4 times a week. Do I need $70.00 flowers- or to be a contended and joyful wife? I bet he would pick me 10 dozen roses himself if I could become content with who I am, and more importantly who I am to him. That’s where true value lies.

Blessings and Love,

mel

The Right to Life- Get Involved Before There is a Life to Fight for!

Hey There Ya’ll!!!

Hope you are enjoying the weather wherever you are! 

I can remember the first time I heard about abortion. I was sitting in a classroom in high school, and our sex ed teacher was telling us about it. I remember hearing things like tissue and your choice and it’s not a life, and I remember feeling confusion and then anger. I had read in Psalms about God knitting us together in our mother’s womb, that He had laid out our days, documented them even in a book all about us. I knew He was who He said He was, and that meant that what was being taught was not of Him. I remember going home and looking up abortion on the computer and images that haunt me to this day flooding my eyes, click after click after click. I didn’t look to enjoy the loss or the suffering that had taken place, I looked because I lacked understanding, and without understanding and knowledge, I can do nothing. I remember valuing life more than I ever had before and writing research papers in English class arguing my side, fighting as a child for a child.

I cried then and I cry now, thinking not only of lives lost, but lies told, promised made with no intention of fulfillment. I cry for mother’s who will weep for these children for years to come, because a moment of realization has come and they will have to carry what they have done, forever. I weep for father’s who have no say, no ability to claim the life within as theirs to raise, grow, and train in the Lord. For children who will never play on a swing set, or sit on Grandpa’s knee, who will not ever feel a sweet kiss pressed upon their forehead, because it is uncomfortable for the mother. It isn’t the timing she chose, or the way she wanted it to be, because she may have suffered a terrible injustice another injustice will be done to another innocent. I weep for them, who do not know what they do, but I weep more for those in the faith, who do know what they do, for churches that would be such hard and condemning places that someone who has made an error in judgment would feel they need to kill before walking back through those doors; to cleanse themselves of the “error”, instead of running in and resting at the altar, placing their hands in the loving, grace filled hands of Jesus.

We can grow in righteous indignation, and we have a right to it, but it isn’t the only way to win this war on Human Life. A place where animals have more rights than a human being. We can start at the heart of the issue. We can begin where Christ began, conception. Mary had an unusual circumstance, most don’t. Most are young people, seeking love, and finding lust resting in it’s place. We can choose to take the fight back to where it begins, at the heart of young girls, and young men, being taught about the love of Jesus, uncompromising, high standard holding and passion filled. They are looking for something, let’s give it to them! Talk about sex, and what it does to you out of the bond, and sacred security of marriage. They think it’s about the physical, and it is– but its so much more than that, the emotional turmoil that they will be forced to endure, the choices that will be made, the pain and heartache involved. Get involved! Find out what the youth leaders and upper elementary staff need at your church, donations of materials, money & time. Be there! Be the one that doesn’t condemn, that they can come too, don’t allow people with gaping wounds to walk around without bandaging them, without simple and beneficial first aid. Give them Jesus, Time and Love, and Grace will follow.

Blessings,

mel

Instruction Manuals & Barren Wombs

After continued study on Hezekiah and the Kings before him; which is quite fascinating– to me, I wanted to go backwards and figure out when the life span of people shortened, to try to figure out why. I know I could do various searches and find someone’s brilliant work and how they figured this out, but if I am to be changed, I thought it would be important to know for myself, and to build my faith.

This somehow– I don’t know how these things happen, led me to Manoah. I think it’s really cool that his name has Noah in it, I haven’t looked any deeper into this, but I would like to! 🙂 This is Samson’s dad. As a child, I was only taught about Samson’s great strength, and of course his hair. I didn’t know anything about his parents. Their story is unique. They don’t force God’s hand. They don’t show desperation, or failure overwhelming them, but it would seem they had become content to their life, together; just the two of them. In our contentment God can do so much.

Judges 13 -Our story begins with a barren woman. (There were so many noted barren women in the Bible- I’m verrry curious to find out how many, and how many angels appeared to them too.)

2 In those days a man named Manoah from the tribe of Dan lived in the town of Zorah. His wife was unable to become pregnant, and they had no children. 3 The angel of the Lord appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, “Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son. 4 So be careful; you must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food.[a] 5 You will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.”

Alright. Here we have an angel of the Lord appearing to a barren woman. Again. I love that the Lord, always shows that He is who has given, done or blessed us. He wants us to know, it was Him. He appears and it doesn’t tell us what she thought right then, it doesn’t show that she spoke at all, so I would venture a guess that would agree with what she tells her husband, she was terrified. I would also think, it would be very difficult to maintain the same degree of terror when your hope and dreams are coming out of the angels mouth. You who have probably dreamed for a child for countless years, are now being promised one, and on top of it, a special one. She gets a handbook for parenting. How many of us, wish an angel would have given us just that when we realized we were essentially on our own to raise the child before us.

6 The woman ran and told her husband, “A man of God appeared to me! He looked like one of God’s angels, terrifying to see. I didn’t ask where he was from, and he didn’t tell me his name. 7 But he told me, ‘You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must not drink wine or any other alcoholic drink nor eat any forbidden food. For your son will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from the moment of his birth until the day of his death.’”

I like that the Bible says “ran” so often. While we live in a world where riding in cars and picking up our cell phone is a normalcy, they had to use what God had given them, their feet. I also like that it doesn’t say she was winded. Or exhausted when she got to him. I like to read between the lines. I hope you do too! We also see the womans perspective here, as we are often described as detailed, she proves it. She gives info Manoah doesn’t ask for, because she thinks he wants to know… he might, but chances are, he’s like, “who cares”. She explains that he was terrifying, that she doesn’t know where he came from or his name, and in the most interesting way she expresses to him what is said to her in a shortened way, and she doesn’t give the most important part. She gives the info pertaining to her, but not about their son. She has recorded on her heart what she must do, as all good mother’s attempt to do. She leaves out that his hair must never be cut. I wonder why she left that out? Was it intentional, did she not see the importance, was it something that just slipped her mind?

8 Then Manoah prayed to the Lord, saying, “Lord, please let the man of God come back to us again and give us more instructions about this son who is to be born.”

Manoah, a seemingly wise man, does what we often forget to do, he says, “Hey I didn’t get all of that the first time and this is brand new info, I mean we have never had a child… and now this one has special instructions accompanied by an angel….call him back”.

9 God answered Manoah’s prayer, and the angel of God appeared once again to his wife as she was sitting in the field. But her husband, Manoah, was not with her. 10 So she quickly ran and told her husband, “The man who appeared to me the other day is here again!”

I always wonder why the angel appears to one person, almost every time. He doesn’t choose a moment when they are together… so unusual. . .and again with the running!

11 Manoah ran back with his wife and asked, “Are you the man who spoke to my wife the other day?”

“Yes,” he replied, “I am.”

12 So Manoah asked him, “When your words come true, what kind of rules should govern the boy’s life and work?”

I love Manoah’s response. He doesn’t say, “If”, he says, “when” and he is specific in his questions, this tells me he thought about this, he wanted to know how to raise him as a boy and what to teach him as a man.

13 The angel of the Lord replied, “Be sure your wife follows the instructions I gave her. 14 She must not eat grapes or raisins, drink wine or any other alcoholic drink, or eat any forbidden food.”

Now the angel has left out the part about cutting Samson’s hair. He becomes more specific in the area that Manoah asks him about, but doesn’t give this additional info. Now wouldn’t the angel have known that the hair info hadn’t been passed along? I would think he would say, “and by the way… don’t cut his hair… (and don’t ever let him near  scissors when he is 3- a story for another time… ) But no, he says, “ok, the wine thing and forbidden foods… lets go deeper in detail on that…”

15 Then Manoah said to the angel of the Lord, “Please stay here until we can prepare a young goat for you to eat.”

16 “I will stay,” the angel of the Lord replied, “but I will not eat anything. However, you may prepare a burnt offering as a sacrifice to the Lord.” (Manoah didn’t realize it was the angel of the Lord.)

How did he not know he was an angel of the Lord. His wife clearly thought he was terrifying as it must have been an understood thing in their day that angels are scary. Unlike the angels of our day, painted as sweet little babies, instead of fierce warrior ready to set upon the enemies of the Living God.

17 Then Manoah asked the angel of the Lord, “What is your name? For when all this comes true, we want to honor you.”

I love it… the man wants the details. “Who are you”, and his wife is standing there thinking… “oh now you want to know something?” just kiddin’

18 “Why do you ask my name?” the angel of the Lord replied. “It is too wonderful for you to understand.”

19 Then Manoah took a young goat and a grain offering and offered it on a rock as a sacrifice to theLord. And as Manoah and his wife watched, the Lord did an amazing thing. 20 As the flames from the altar shot up toward the sky, the angel of the Lord ascended in the fire. When Manoah and his wife saw this, they fell with their faces to the ground.

If we could ever get a true understanding of our God, if we recognized His hand in our lives, we would live face down.

21 The angel did not appear again to Manoah and his wife. Manoah finally realized it was the angel of the Lord, 22 and he said to his wife, “We will certainly die, for we have seen God!”

23 But his wife said, “If the Lord were going to kill us, he wouldn’t have accepted our burnt offering and grain offering. He wouldn’t have appeared to us and told us this wonderful thing and done these miracles.”

24 When her son was born, she named him Samson. And the Lord blessed him as he grew up. 25 And the Spirit of the Lord began to stir him while he lived in Mahaneh-dan, which is located between the towns of Zorah and Eshtaol.

She was a wise woman, and she was faithful to do just as she was instructed.  Judges 16 shows us something fun and beautiful, this is after Samson’s death.  31 Later his brothers and other relatives went down to get his body. They took him back home and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol, where his father, Manoah, was buried. Samson had judged Israel for twenty years. Apparently a once barren womb became a fertile womb.

That is why I serve this true and Living God. He takes the broken, mends it and produces more fruit that I could ever hope to bear on my own. He is God of all. He is ready to do a miracle in your life. Cry out to Him, an Manoah did. Ask for instruction, and clarification on what He needs from you, to accomplish His work!

Blessings,

mel

It’s Not Over; Even When It’s Over!

I am fascinated with the Old Testament. I love the New Testament for obvious reason- He came willing to save me from my sins and died a sinners death of a cross at calvary- this is a big deal, the deal. The reason I rejoice and celebrate and live with hope that I am not alone, that He holds me and draws me near with every breath He allows me to breathe.

But the Old Testament– there is just something about it, that makes me ask questions that lead me to answers that keep me wanting more. Such as… Who were the Kings selected after Saul? Why did the Kingdom divide after Solomon, why were there such evil Kings allowed to sit on the throne in a Holy land? What caused their destruction and ruin? How did so few find a way to stay Holy and God honoring? At what point is one considered evil, or good? This led me to Hezekiah- He of course followed his father Ahaz… one the worst Kings- by deed and actions alone. How did he escape the leading and grooming of his father to become the Best King to reign of those before and after him? What made him different? I don’t have all the answers yet, but I am hoping to shed some light on this for myself.

I have a secondary interesting thing about me… figs. Yeah- I don’t eat them, have no desire to in fact, but I remember learning about Jesus cursing the fig tree a few years ago, and although I had heard the story before, something about it struck me and stuck with me.

1- He was Jesus- There was nothing He couldn’t do

2- Why didn’t He bless it to produce fruit out of season?

3- Why did he use the fig as the example?

I have listed many verses at the bottom if you would like to see the way the Lord has used the fig as an example.

The fig produced leaves that hid the shame of Adam and Eve after they ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. When Jesus cursed it, he banished our ability to hide shame in the withered leaves of the fig. He brings things to the light, deals with them and then sets you free clean of all of the mess you made.

Back to Hezekiah-

Hezekiah tried to be a Holy and Just King. He chose to bring back the Honor that King David had initially walked in, He put things back where they belonged, he destroyed idols and halted the worship of other Gods.

I found it very interesting in 2 Kings 20 that Hezekiah prayed and asked for an extension on his life, and he got it!

20 About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.” ***(WHAT! !)

2 When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.

4 But before Isaiah had left the middle courtyard,[a] this message came to him from the Lord: 5 “Go back to Hezekiah, the leader of my people. Tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you, and three days from now you will get out of bed and go to the Temple of the Lord. 6 I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for my own honor and for the sake of my servant David.’”

7 Then Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered!

It isn’t over- Even when the Lord Himself has told you it is over… He says, ask me, knock and the door will be opened.  Keep pressing on, I love you! I want to extend your life! I sent my son to do just that! Give you life ever lasting.

Read through this part of the Old Testament- it’s fascinating. Hezekiah is proof that no matter who your momma or daddy was, no matter what they did, He is able to make you into a man or woman after His heart. Hezekiah’s dad, along with the elders of the temple, sacrificed there children into the fiery mouth of a False God, where they died a bitter and horrendous death. Hezekiah rose to power and restored the true God to the people of his nation- you can too; in your every day life, give hope, and love and show Jesus here.

Blessings,

mel

 

Verses-

Genesis 3:7  At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

Deuteronomy 8:8 It is a land of wheat and barley; of grapevines, fig trees, and pomegranates; of olive oil and honey.

Judges 9:9 But the olive tree refused, saying, ‘Should I quit producing the olive oil that blesses both God and people, just to wave back and forth over the trees?’ 10 “Then they said to the fig tree, ‘You be our king!’11 But the fig tree also refused, saying, ‘Should I quit producing my sweet fruit just to wave back and forth over the trees?’

1 Kings 10:27 The king made silver as plentiful in Jerusalem as stone. And valuable cedar timber was as common as the sycamore-fig trees that grow in the foothills of Judah.

1 Kings 4: 25 During the lifetime of Solomon, all of Judah and Israel lived in peace and safety. And from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, each family had its own home and garden.[a]

2 Kings 18: 31 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well.

2 Kings 20:7 Then Isaiah said, “Make an ointment from figs.” So Hezekiah’s servants spread the ointment over the boil, and Hezekiah recovered!

Isaiah 34:4 The heavens above will melt away and disappear like a rolled-up scroll. The stars will fall from the sky like withered leaves from a grapevine, or shriveled figs from a fig tree.

Isaiah 36:16 “Don’t listen to Hezekiah! These are the terms the king of Assyria is offering: Make peace with me—open the gates and come out. Then each of you can continue eating from your own grapevine and fig tree and drinking from your own well.

Isaiah 3821 Isaiah had said to Hezekiah’s servants, “Make an ointment from figs and spread it over the boil, and Hezekiah will recover.”

Jeremiah 8: 13 I will surely consume them. There will be no more harvests of figs and grapes.Their fruit trees will all die. Whatever I gave them will soon be gone. I, the Lord, have spoken!’

Jeremiah 24 After King Nebuchadnezzar[a] of Babylon exiled Jehoiachin[b] son of Jehoiakim, king of Judah, to Babylon along with the officials of Judah and all the craftsmen and artisans, the Lord gave me this vision. I saw two baskets of figs placed in front of the Lord’s Temple in Jerusalem. 2 One basket was filled with fresh, ripe figs, while the other was filled with bad figs that were too rotten to eat.

3 Then the Lord said to me, “What do you see, Jeremiah?”

I replied, “Figs, some very good and some very bad, too rotten to eat.”

4 Then the Lord gave me this message: 5 “This is what theLord, the God of Israel, says: The good figs represent the exiles I sent from Judah to the land of the Babylonians.[c] 6 I will watch over and care for them, and I will bring them back here again. I will build them up and not tear them down. I will plant them and not uproot them. 7 I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.

8 “But the bad figs,” the Lord said, “represent King Zedekiah of Judah, his officials, all the people left in Jerusalem, and those who live in Egypt. I will treat them like bad figs, too rotten to eat. 9 I will make them an object of horror and a symbol of evil to every nation on earth. They will be disgraced and mocked, taunted and cursed, wherever I scatter them. 10 And I will send war, famine, and disease until they have vanished from the land of Israel, which I gave to them and their ancestors.”

Matthew 21:18 In the morning, as Jesus was returning to Jerusalem, he was hungry, 19 and he noticed a fig tree beside the road. He went over to see if there were any figs, but there were only leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!”And immediately the fig tree withered up.

20 The disciples were amazed when they saw this and asked, “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?”

21 Then Jesus told them, “I tell you the truth, if you have faith and don’t doubt, you can do things like this and much more. You can even say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. 22 You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.”

Sooo Many Verses- I didn’t list them all. Just a few if Your Curiosity gets to you too!!!

I will. If You. His Promises are Forever

Abram in Egypt

10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to live there for a while because the famine was severe. 11 As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are. 12 When the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you.”

14 When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians saw that Sarai was a very beautiful woman.15 And when Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh, and she was taken into his palace. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake, and Abram acquired sheep and cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants, and camels.

17 But the Lord inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh and his household because of Abram’s wife Sarai. 18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram. “What have you done to me?” he said. “Why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now then, here is your wife. Take her and go!” 20 Then Pharaoh gave orders about Abram to his men, and they sent him on his way, with his wife and everything he had.

Aren’t you glad we live in America where the Bible is available to us-all day everyday? If you aren’t from America and you read this, we are praying that your Country will always have access to the word of the Living God!

I have been reading in Genesis, I love Genesis- it explains so much about our World today, why things have happened and had to happen, it gives me hope, because they were often without hope!

Abram causes contradiction in me. He basically uses his wife, Sarai, to get him into influential places- because of her great beauty. I don’t understand why the Lord doesn’t show anger to Abram for his deception, and if He did, and it just isn’t recorded, it must not have been too bad, since it occurs again later in the text. Sarai is basically made wife to the Pharaoh, and then a plague comes, it doesn’t tell us, but at some point, God himself or someone else had to have communicated “why”, the plague was there, if not how would they have linked it back to Abram and Sarai, and after they found out, what protected them from Pharaoh’s hand? Pharaoh didn’t even make them leave their things, so they left with their lives and all of their possessions.

The text tells us that Sarai was indeed a beautiful woman even at 65- and seeing that Abram was at least 75 at this point in their life, Sarai would definitely have had children by him. As we know, she was unable to conceive at this point. This would have been a blessing, as Sarai conceiving a child at this point in her life-with Pharaoh, would have created a great conflict.

Little fact: when a woman is so valued for her external beauty, it is very difficult to continue being beautiful on the inside; because few acknowledge that part of her. Women can be unusual creatures, myself included. I am sure that there was quite a stir when this women, part of a growing Nation under Abram, who was so beautiful that she must have garnered her husbands attentions, could not produce for him an heir. Women would have probably stood in little clicks, and conversed, pointed and laughed at Sarai, and her inability to be both beautiful and a mother. Her value would have been wrapped in her ability to give her beloved husband a son.  The Lord did bless Sarah and Abraham with a son, Isaac, but it was after great torment to them.

Have you ever prayed for anything over a week? Over a month? Over a year?

Try being told at 75 that you would be the Father of Nations, and waiting 25 years until that promise came to be. He didn’t start praying at 75- he would have been praying for this for years!!!! At least 50 years! Most men had children by their 30’s in the ancestors before him, he had to have wondered why he had to wait so long, but he never lost faith. That His God had made a promise was enough. Is that enough for you?

Is there a promise that the Lord has given you that you have lost sight of? Maybe something from years ago, a promise you think you disqualified yourself from receiving? He isn’t a God who takes away because He is disappointed in us, sometimes all it meant was that you re-align yourself with Him, to re-connect to Him, so that He can move and fulfill His promise.

If you have children you may relate this way- I have given my children my word, that we will go to the movies, or ice skating together, but there is a contingency for this promise, the word “if”, we see it often in the Bible after a promise, “if you… then I can”, He wants to do it! I want to take my children, in fact few things would give me greater joy, I don’t want to withhold the promise, but it is contingent on their obedience, or their efforts. He wants to fulfill the promise, that your family would follow Him, that you would be covered in His mercy and grace, that He will make you a leader among Nations, but You have to do your part, you have to seek His face, to pray, to humble yourself, to call out to Him in the night, to cry desperate tears over your sleeping children.

I will. If You.

Blessings,

mel

Ahhh… a keyboard- so shiny and old!

I have missed you.

So Much!

I have missed this keyboard so much.

This bout of illness was really something else. I do pray that it passes over the doors to your homes, much as the plague passed over the First Born son’s many moons ago!  I was tempted to call this week a total waste, I have exhausted all of my time off, and had to maneuver so many things, and work out compromises with my boss to get the work done, and still take care of my children. What I found though, is that the relationship I am building with my kids, was worth every second of sickness.

I am a go- getter, all day, everyday. On the weekends, I stay up late and get up early to accomplish whatever I need on the crafting side of my life. I didn’t notice how often I leave my babies in the dust, forgotten and lonely while mom is “on a mission”.

This past 8 days, I have been consumed with them, even while being incredibly ill myself. They have been with me most every second. The last time we spent this much time together, I am sad to say was over 6 years ago, when Cash was born.  It has been lovely to cuddle with them on the couch, and calm their raging fevers, and even clean their unmentionable messes. To just be with them, has been a weird dream come true. How I wish I could do it each and every day, but as I can’t, I was thrilled that they knew I was here for them over this last week.

Now that my fuzzy head is clear, I want to say HI! I have been thinking of you, dear readers, and hoping that you would be healthy and happy this New Year. Praying that there are blessings new and amazing, beyond your expectations!

When you feel bad, its awful to know you are helpless to help others, or celebrate with others. It has me thinking… baskets prepared ahead of time, for days like this. We knew multiple families sick while we were sick, and/ or celebrating life events, that we missed due to illness. If we had baskets prepared in advance- a Get Well basket with soups, crackers, and ginger-ale, and a family friendly movie, someone else could come and deliver the basket for us, so that we could still be there for those we love. My nephew came while I was sick, he is so incredibly adorable, but I couldn’t visit, or see his sweetness like I desperately wanted to. I was confined and wished that I has a dinner basket ready that I could have sent to them, in exchange for the dinner I had previously planned to make, or buy to deliver to them.

What do you do, in these circumstances? Teach me! I want to learn to be a good friend, even when sick! Do you call when your fuzzy headed, and hacking, or send messages? How do you reach out?

 

May the Lord bless and keep you, and steady His mighty hand upon your good health!

Blessings,

mel

 

His Grace is New… Every Morning

For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, Titus 2:11-12 NIV

Thank You Bible Gateway for once again giving me a word in season. I think the above verse is so fitting for the beginning of a new year. A time when most everyone embraces who they are and determines what they want to be. They make plans, goals and resolutions to change, but they often attempt this on their own.

Disclosure: On your own, you can achieve nothing more than what you already have.

For example, my son is a Lego builder, he got so many sets for Christmas and we have had a wonderful time creating masterpieces. Most sets can be reworked into different designs using the same pieces. The same is true for us. We are each created with 1 design. If we try to modify it alone, we end up using our old nature/ choices, to re-write something previously written. When we invite the Lord in to work within us, He adds to us. He creates something new, with new pieces, such as, self control, peace, contentment, joy, love, etc. Alone, I can not create these things, but with Him, I have a new day, full of new mercies, grace, and joy.

He gives us the ability to say no, to what is good, but not best. He gives us grace to love our enemies, and bless them instead of curse them. He gives us every good and perfect thing. He is, every good and perfect thing.

Blessings Today!

mel

Costly Forgotten Resolutions

I have long detested “Resolutions” prompted by the beginning of a new year. I am unsure why, I just remember never achieving anything prompted by myself on my time table.

I have certainly found that whatever the Lord asks me to do, He will provide me the strength, courage and wisdom to complete my task. In my own strength I can do nothing. I was reading today in Psalm. There is something so refreshing and new in Psalms.

I remember my Great Grandmother, an incredible woman of God telling me that I should read a Proverbs and a Psalm each day for wisdom and encouragement. She was a precious woman, I hope my Great Grandchildren will think as highly of me, it was an honor to know her.

I have been working for 16 years, I began at 14 in a public setting, and have never had the privilege to stop. We are a two income family at this point in our lives. Our children are 6 & 7, I have been blessed to have enough flexibility that I may put my children on and then get them off of the School Bus. This is a treasure, as this is the first time in 3 years I have been able to do so. For awhile, I was having to drive to another bus stop so that I could get them on earlier. It was a rare gem, and in the stress of the drive and fear of being late to work everyday, I missed what was most important happening right under my nose.

In those quiet moments waiting for the bus in our vehicle, because we didn’t know anyone at this stop, and I am quite shy initially, I would read to them. Stories/ Events from the Bible, I would share my thoughts on it, what I thought the Lord was saying to us in that moment. I also encouraged them to memorize scripture, so we would begin on Friday and go until the next Friday. If they knew the scripture, I would reward them with a donut from the Dunkin’ Donuts down the street. It was fun and they wanted to learn more. I rewarded them with food- please don’t send hate mail!

I know my children, and I know what grabs their attention, and I know that the word that is placed within them will not depart from them. We started with a few easier scriptures, ” I will call to you, in times of trouble, and you will answer me”. “Trust in the Lord at all times, lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.” Then summer came, and our rhythm left.

I encourage you, begin to build scripture memory in your children, they can learn the words to ever song on the planet, quote movies, and act out their favorite scenes from tv. Do not think little of them or their abilities to hold the word of our Lord in their hearts. They can do it! There are many things to come, as the scriptures depict, if we lose our abilities to pour over the Lord’s word, who will carry it forth? If no one knows any of it, because it has been so readily available or every platform around. iPod, iPad, Internet, Apps galore, we are inundated with the word, but if it left us in instant form, would the word be held sacredly in our hearts? Could we quote it?

Would we be able to pass it down to our children and grandchildren. We are captivated by what is so readily available to us, we haven’t paused to see an agenda ahead, if you could no longer access the Bible, would you be able to depict any of it back to your children, or do you rely on your Pastor for that? I am guilty of this too, and as I write it, I am saddened, that I have been so easily distracted, because of selfishness and convenience.

These are the times we have heard about, He will return soon, for His unblemished bride, but are we ready? Our Nation looks like a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. We  are assisting in turning His head away, His blessings away.

What can you do about it? You can read, you can teach and you can inscribe the Word into your children’s heads, until it penetrates their heart. That is what true transformation is anyways. If we can create a society in the coming generations that knows the Word of the Lord, that holds it as sacred and true, we are able to leave a living legacy. If we teach though, that mommy always has to look every single verse up on her phone, well… why would they want to understand that? They memorize everything of value. Isn’t that also what we do? Every password to every account, every phone number, or address for work? We know all of the things that are fading with certainty, but His word? ? ?

If we start now, with a goal of doing it everyday, there are great chances we will fail, but if you start now, with a goal of memorizing 20 scriptures with your children, you have given them a chance for success and prayerfully a desire for more. They crave the word of their Creator, living water, breath of God, Bread of life, they call to Him, in their slumber, in their play they call back to Him. As they create something out of mud, they call back to Him, with their bodies, while their hearts are yearning for a connection that they can not gain without our assistance.

This year, this new day, can bring an eternal change, not only for us and our children, but their friends, their teachers, and their family. Many people I can’t reach, but most, my children could.

Blessings,

mel