3 Who Parted The Waters

Interesting!  Amazing! Provoking!  Every one of these adjectives describes my Bible reading.  How about yours?  Do you read the Word for study only or, like me, do you take the time to just read it for the pure joy of it.  Don’t get me wrong, I do study the Word!  But every morning, with coffee in hand, I simply read it, asking God to let me see something new and amazing each time.  He honors that request almost every day and today was no exception.

2 Kings 2

We all know that Moses parted the waters at the Red Sea, and stopped the rivers on the journey to the Promised Land.  Did you know there are others?  I found two in 2 Kings Chapter 2.

Elijah was trying to get away from Elisha because he knew he was about to be taken to the LORD.  First, he told Elisha to stay where he was because God had an errand for him in Bethel.   Elisha wasn’t having any of that.  He knew what was about to happen and he wasn’t leaving.  Then Elijah said God had an errand for him in Jericho.  Same thing happened, so they traveled together.  Finally, Elijah said God has an errand for me at the Jordan.  Elisha is not about to let him out of his sight.  When they get to the Jordan, Elijah hits the water with his cloak and it parts allowing them to cross on dry ground.  When they reach the other side Elijah is taken to Heaven in a whirlwind, his cloak falls to the ground.  Elisha, having already asked to be like Elijah, uses the cloak to part the waters again and return to the other side.  As I said, interesting, amazing, and thought provoking.

Transfiguration by Alexandr Ivanov, 1824

Transfiguration by Alexandr Ivanov, 1824

Here’s another interesting connection.  (I love it when the Old and New Testaments connect!)  At the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-13) Jesus met both Elijah and Moses.  Isn’t it interesting that the One who walked on water and the ones who parted the waters were great friends  and needed to talk to one another while Jesus was this side of heaven?

Keep on keeping on!

Heavenly Father, put a great desire in all of us to know more and more of  You!  As David said, Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.  Make it so for all of us Lord!

Let My People Go!

This morning I was having a great cup of coffee and spending some time just enjoying reading His Word.  This is something I do every morning.  I have no plan for reading through in 90 days or a year I just read and let Him get into my mind and heart with whatever He needs me to know at that point.  When I’ve finished I just start all over and read the Bible again.  Today I was reading in Exodus about the Plagues and found some very interesting concepts (Even though I’ve read these words many times before He always adds something new for me to think about.).

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh (painting by Be...

Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh (painting by Benjamin West) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes, because of the way our Bibles are divided into chapters, I miss something interesting.  At the beginning of Exodus 7 God said to Moses ‘Look at Me’. In the last verse of the chapter before Moses had said to God ‘Look at Me’.  Can’t you just see God smiling in this exchange of words.  Look at me, NO Look at Me!  You’re saying you stutter, I AM saying I’ll make you like a god to them.  one-upmanship at it’s best….

In Exodus 10 Pharaoh’s servants have had enough.  They want to know how long Pharaoh is going to let this go on.  There is basically nothing left of their country.  What wasn’t taken by boils and hail was eaten by flies, gnats and locusts.  It didn’t matter to Pharaoh, even though he called Moses back and said OK you can go, God kept him stubborn as ever.

10 pl

In the 9th Plague God puts a thick darkness on the land of Egypt.  So thick the Word says it was so dark you could touch it.  Can you imagine what fear that would cause?  Ray and I have experienced that kind of darkness, literally.  We’ve been deep in caves under the surface of the earth when the guide turns off the lanterns.  Let me tell you, it’s so dark it can be felt.  Here’s something I find interesting.  The exchange between Moses and Pharaoh is enlightening (pun intended).  Pharaoh says, “Get out of my sight!”  Moses says, “You won’t see my face again.”  After darkness so dark it was blinding, no one could even move because it was so dark, Pharaoh says I don’t want to see you again…Hm-m-m-m!

Before the Plague of Death Moses gives Pharaoh God’s words about the Death to come.  This is powerful stuff!  The first-born will be killed.  This is a huge punishment in this culture and time.  Everything belonged to the first-born.  But, once again, Pharaoh gets stubborn.  Death sweeps through Egypt, saving only the Israelites, and still Pharaoh refuses to act.  Everyone else does, though.  They beg the Israelites to leave giving them jewelry and clothing for the trip.

Isn’t it the same with us.  Aren’t we a bit like Pharaoh?  He truly believed in his god-status and wasn’t about to let the Real One get the upper hand.  When we say my way or the highway, I know what works for me, don’t tell me how to do this or that…aren’t we acting like Pharaoh?

Worship the One and Only with me in song – –Days of Elijah  (Just click on the title)

Heavenly Father speak to me.  You know me and know what I need to ‘hear’.  Open my ears, eyes, mind, heart and soul to what You would have me know from the Words You have ‘breathed’ onto paper.  Make it so, Lord!

THE HEAVENS ARE TELLING THE GLORY OF GOD

The heavens declare the glory of God; And the firmament shows His handiwork.  NKJV  

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.  NIV

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky displays what his hands have made.  GT 

sunrise

sunrise (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

  I got up early this morning to watch the sun rise in the mountains.  I like to dothis anywhere I am, at home or traveling.  I am never disappointed!  First there was haze but I could see the closest trees.  The sound of crickets and tree frogs provided a background for what was to come.  Gradually the sky got lighter, the cardinals, crows, blue jays, eagles, and other birds began a chorus of praise that set a tone of excitement.  It seemed the trees got greener as the skies got bluer.  Dogs were barking in the distance that got other dogs barking.  Probably, because they had seen a deer…rabbit…bear…but still, an interesting layer to this symphony of praise.  As the sun began to rise its rays fell on a distant mountain and slowly and  highlighted in the light of a new day. 

These precious moments are a reminder to me to slow down, watch, wait and savor the beauty of all that is around me.  This incredible picture occurs everywhere and is a gift to me (us) from the One and Only who wants me to wake up each morning praising Him and enjoying what He is going to provide for me that day.  God is so good!!!!

Heavenly Father, I give You all praise, honor, and glory.  You have created beauty all around me.  You  alone created the earth and all that is in it.  What an awesome and mighty God. 

Psalm 86

 
Psalm 86 is sub-titled ‘A Prayer of David’ in my Bible. Through prayer and focusing on God’s love David could put those who were tormenting him in the right perspective. Praying this psalm in my own words was very enlightening. Enjoy!
 
 
Oh, LORD, bend your ear down to earth so I can speak my needs directly into it.I trust you to keep me safe because You are my God.I send prayers to You 24/7. Hear and grant them.Help me find gladness in serving You.Many call upon You and depend on Your goodness, forgiveness and constant love.Hear my prayer and plea for mercy.When I am in trouble I come to You for the answer.Your works stand out, You are unique.Your creation worships You.You are the One and Only.Instruct me in Your ways. I am in awe of You.Thank You for being my God. I give You all the glory.Your great love sustains me. You are my Deliverer.Those who do not follow You have risen against me.Show Your mercy and grace, Your ‘always there’ love and faithfulness.

Give me strength and keep me safe.

Let those who hate You be shamed because You are my Helper and Comforter.

Heavenly Father, make it so!

STAYING FOCUSED

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osma...

David and Goliath, a colour lithograph by Osmar Schindler (c. 1888) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are but a youth while he has been a warrior from his youth.”

But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep.  When a lion or a bear came and took a lamb from the flock, I went out after him and attacked him, and rescued it from his mouth; and when he rose up against me, I seized him by his beard and struck him and killed him.

“Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted the armies of the living God.”

And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.”

Thus David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and he struck the Philistine and killed him; but there was no sword in David’s hand.

I SAMUEL 17:33-37, 50 (NASB), HOLY BIBLE

Take a close look at this story.  David was so sure of his faith in God that he could disobey King Saul’s order not to go against the Philistine.  David had life experiences with lions and bears and had known God’s protection.  David’s courage came directly from God Himself because He knew his heart.  David knew God and knew God’s will in this situation would be done.

Basically, David never took his eyes off God during the battle.  There was a problem (later in his life) only when he chose to see through eyes that were selfish and sinful.   Faith is keeping our eyes on God, and staying open and aware of His desires, even when we don’t think He’s looking.  He’s always looking…He never Blinks. 

Heavenly Father give me faith and courage like David’s.  Let me keep my eyes on You at all times.  Make it so, Lord!

40 Years

Ray and I will be married 40 years soon.  I’ve given some though to that number and realized there are a lot of biblical applications for it. 

Moses had 3 sets of the number 40 during his life.  First he spent 40 years learning all he needed to know to be a prince of Egypt (Exodus 2:1-15).  Then he spent 40 years outside of Egypt banished for killing another Egyptian(Exodus 2:16-4.  He spent his last 40 years wandering in the desert yet, heading toward the Promised Land because God had said no one that had grumbled against Him would see Canaan (Numbers 22-23).

Jesus spent 40 days fasting in seclusion, preparing himself for the ministry ahead.  During that time he was tempted by satan 3 times.  He was offered the very things He already had.  By simply quoting the scripture back to the evil one he thwarted the plan.  (John 4:1-11)

So how do these apply to our marriage?  Although neither of us is an official member of Egyptian royalty we are a definite part of the Royal Priesthood.  These 40 years for us have been a time of ‘heading toward the Promised Land’.  Jesus’ 40 days of fasting included temptation from satan.  The evil one has tempted us many times but by spending our married lives reading, studying, and yes, even memorizing parts of it we have been able to keep his legions at bay.  We are not perfect but we certainly know Who is in control.

Praise God for this incredible span of time together.

Abba thank You for these 40 years, for allowing us to walk this journey with You, for giving us such joy and for the miracles you have done in our lives.  Guide us through the next 40.  Give us enough laughter and sorrow to keep us always mindful that You are God and You are in control.    Make it so!

NINEVAH OR BUST

whale-147748_960_720

Jonah  1:1-3  Where or what is your Ninevah?  Where or to what has God called you?  Are you deliberately saying no to God?  Is your allegiance or agenda focused on something or someone else?

Jonah was a true believer.  Until the point of being told to go to Ninevah he had followed God in his life, career, and actions.  But this was just too much.  Jonah was loyally attached to his country and was more than willing to do and say whatever God wanted as long as it related to his own.   God was saying, look, Jonah, Amos and Hosea are already doing a really good job of getting the job done in Jerusalem, I need you to go to Ninevah and get the job done there.  Of course the rest of the story is really well-known.  But…

What is our story?  What is God calling/telling us to do that we are saying, look God, am I the only one who can do this particular thing right now, find someone else?  Not to sound defeatist, but He does get what He wants.  Will we be one of those who misses the blessings of obedience because the call is more than we can handle?

Look at Proverbs 3:5-6.  When we take the time to honor God and His Word, He directs us in the way we should go.  He does not give us directions to do things He can’t handle, but He wants us to know Him and follow through on what He wants of us. Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)  Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all thy works acknowledge Him and He will direct thy paths.

Proverbs 35-6

Father in Heaven, Creator of all that was is and is to come, give me an all-consuming desire to know Your Word so well that in any life situation I know the path to take.  I lift this prayer in the precious name of Jesus – make it so.

Thoughts on Eve

depression-952518_960_720

That darn snake! Too often he gets into our minds and uses what he finds there to cause us problems. It happened to Eve and has continued through history to us. He is like a roaring lion that travels miles to find something to devour. (1 Peter 5:8) In the first part of that verse we are told to be self-controlled and alert. Alert to what? Perhaps our lack of self-control.

Read Eve’s story in Genesis 3. She had some self-control issues that we still deal with today. How about the fact that we, and Eve, let our words get us into trouble?  If she hadn’t spent so much time talking with the snake she wouldn’t have determined that she was perhaps missing something. God didn’t create us with two ears and one mouth for no reason. He wants us listening carefully, He wants us being careful about what we listen too, and He wants us to simply close our mouths to becoming involved in unnecessary conversation.

It also seems that we, and Eve, have a really big problem with coveting that which belongs to another. There is a commandment about that. We really aren’t supposed to get ourselves wrapped up in what others around us have. Jesus tells us plainly that the Father provides what we need and we need to be careful that we are not wanting more than He thinks we should have.

Lastly, we eat too much. This is both a physical and figurative statement. We certainly need real food, in appropriate proportions to nourish the body and keep us healthy. We also need to be ravenous for the food that is provided in a daily diet of God’s Word. He will feed our hunger for the answers to life’s questions if we take the time to learn what he wants for us.