The Ark and the Arc

The Jesse Tree – The Ark and the Arc

Time has passed since Adam and Eve.  The earth was becoming populated as God had commanded but, it was a violent, perverted place.  God was not happy at all with what He was seeing.  He had to do something about it.

He called on Noah, the only righteous person He could find.  God told him to build an ark.  Noah has no idea what an ark is but, he’s willing to do what is asked because he trusts God totally.  So, he builds the ark and puts a set of each kind of animal in it as well as his wife (Zipporah), children, and their wives.

And it rains and rains and rains some more.  The entire earth is covered with water.  All the valleys are full.  All the mountains are submerged.  40 days and nights.  No one but Noah, his family, and the animals are left alive.

Then God begins the process of drying it all out.  When everything is ready Noah opens the doors and they walk upon the earth again.  It’s a new earth.  It has new grass, new trees, new everything, including, a special promise with something never seen before.

A rainbow.  A red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet arch in the sky.  Did you know it’s not an arch but a full circle?  All we can see is part of it.  It is not only a physical reminder of God’s promise never to destroy the earth by water again, but it also represents the total perfection of God, His love, and eternity.  It is never-ending!

Genesis 6:5-22

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

The Jesse Tree is all about knowing the people God put in place to point to the birth of the one who would save us all.

That Darn Snake

Adam and Eve were enjoying the garden (Genesis 3) when a talking ‘snake’ approached them.  Have you known a couple of those?  I’ll bet you have.

How about the ‘friend’ who talks you into doing something you know you shouldn’t be doing.  Like, just run the red light or stop sign.  Or, no one will ever know if you cheat on …  How about, I know it’s late but just one more … Gossip, put-downs, bullying…

Rationalizing can get us into all kinds of trouble.  And yes, both Adam and Eve started the whole ‘passing the buck’, it’s not my fault, the other person made me do it.  Some no’s are meant to be no.

Have you ever thought about the fact that Adam and Eve had everything?  By God’s design, they had each other, the perfect home, great health, plentiful food and water, God’s presence…  It wasn’t enough.  It never is.  There’s always something more, isn’t there?

That’s what that darn snake wanted them to think.  That it wasn’t enough.  That they could have more.  That God doesn’t always know everything.  In fact, the snake wanted to replace God in their thoughts and lives.

Now, here’s the thing.  Any time we consider replacing God with anything, good or bad, there’s going to be a consequence.  That’s what they didn’t take into account.  The fruit looked good, smelled good, probably even tasted good.  But, God had said no!

Can you imagine the scene when they heard God walking in the garden that evening?  He was looking for them.  He wanted to talk to them.  So, here’s the rub.  It’s impossible to hide from God.  He knows where you are, always.  He knew where Adam and Eve were but, He wanted them to come to Him.

And they did, dressed in leaves.  “What have you done?”  Adam said she made me do it.  Eve said the snake made me do it.  The snake snickered at the whole thing.

God put them out of the garden.  You know the rest of the story, right?  Adam would have to work for all the things that had been his.  Eve would have painful births and would desire her husband.  Both were banished from the garden.

But God knew the rest of the story.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

The Jesse Tree is all about knowing the people God put in place to point to the birth of the one who would save us all.

The Creation

Look at God’s Work!

In the beginning, there was nothing but water and God.

Then, God said, let there be light.  He knew the light meant nothing without darkness.  So he created that, too.  He separated the two and called them day and night, evening and morning.  The first day.

On the second day, God separated the water.  Some on the earth and some in the sky. He also determined there to be dry ground and separated it from the water.  Now, we have land and sea.  A place ready for the next day of work.

Here we are at the morning of the third day.  God tells the land to produce plants and trees that bear seeds and fruit.  And so it is.

God, on the fourth day, puts the sun, moon, and stars in the heavens and sets them in motion.  He knows the plants will need sunshine to produce as He intended.

Now, He creates birds and fish, in the sea and on the land.  He looks out over it all and says, “It is good!”  It’s the end of day 5.

Day 6 is going to be a busy one.  It’s all about creating livestock and animals that move along the ground.  Then He creates mankind.  Man and woman.  He makes them look just like Him.  He tells them to rule and subdue the earth.  He tells them what they can eat.  He looks around and says,  “It is good.”

Then God rests.

The Jesse Tree is all about knowing the genealogy of Jesus.  The people God put in place to point to the birth of the one who would save us all.  Adam and Eve were the first with many more to follow.

Blessings to you and yours!

Part 1 of the Jesse Tree Devotional

Musical Mondays

I haven’t done a Musical Monday post for a while.  These are some of my favorite songs right now.  If they’re not on your playlist they should be. If you don’t have a Youtube account click on the word (Youtube) and it’s easy to create one.

For God so loved the whole wide world
Sent His only Son to die for me
Arms spread wide for the whole wide world
His arms spread wide where mine should be
JESUS CHANGED MY DESTINY!

 

 

 

You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

 

 

Who could imagine so great a mercy?
What heart could fathom such boundless grace?
The God of ages stepped down from glory
To wear my sin and bear my shame

 

I hope you enjoy some quiet reflection with these beautiful songs.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

 

 

 

Running From Mercy – Book Review

Jonah didn’t get it.  Like us, Jonah thought he was in charge, he could control his life, he knew what was good or not so good for him.  What he didn’t realize was this was not about him. pp. 28

How many times have you read this story?  What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you see the name Jonah?  I’d bet it’s the fish.  But you know what? Jonah is not about the whale.  It’s not about what’s going on inside the fish.  It’s about what’s going on inside of Jonah.  Surprised at that?  I was.  We want it to be about the whale because we don’t want to face our own fickleness which is so much like Jonah’s.

Am I saying we’re fickle Believer’s?  Yes, I am.  When life is going as planned (by us) and we’ve achieved a measure of success (Jonah was a known prophet.) we can start believing we can control our own lives and destiny.  We can’t!  That’s part of what this story is about.  Jonah had to learn (the hard way) that once he committed to being God’s servant it was no longer about him.  It’s all about God’s mercy! ALL!  Even for someone as fickle as Jonah.  Someone who thought he had it all together.  Someone who knew God intimately, heard His voice, helped others understand Him.

What Jonah didn’t recognize in himself was his sinful nature.  He thought everyone else was sinful. (i.e., the Ninevites) He certainly didn’t want to be in contact with that kind of sin.  So he ran away.  He didn’t get that you can’t run away from God.  But he certainly tried.

We all know that God is the God of many chances.  When He sets His sights on one of us He never gives up.  That’s how I see the story of Jonah.  God would not give up!  From the pit (in the hold of the boat) to the prison (in the belly of the whale) to the palace (maybe the home of Shalmaneser lll) God pursued him.

I’ve studied the book of Jonah several times, with different authors, and let me say this is the first time I saw myself in this Old Testament parable.  I’ve never grown tired of this story and I hope I never will.  God will continue His pursuit of you and me.  My fervent prayer is we will hear Him and respond so we don’t end up in a giant fish.

Powerful words in Running from Mercy by Anthony J. Carter:

…He is not going to stop until He gets you.  Goodness and mercy shall pursue you all the days of your life (Ps. 23:6).  pp. 48

God keeps his appointments and has every intention of making sure we do too. pp. 57

If you have people in your life who love you enough to talk to you about your sin, don’t cut them off.  Don’t shut them down.  Don’t blame them.  They are the grace of God to you.  pp. 87

In every church gathered in this world today, people are either changing the gospel, or the gospel is changing them… We must not seek to change God’s Word but seek to be changed by it.  pp.106

I highly recommend this book.  It’s a life changer!

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Broadman Holman/Lifeway Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Sunday Psalms

Psalm 5

O LORD, each morning I send my prayers to You and You only.  Hear me!

You take no pleasure in wickedness or evil of any kind.  The proud, liars, murderers, and deceivers will not stand in Your presence.

Because You love me I am welcome to worship in Your temple.  Lead me, LORD!

Let those who speak against me, even those who flatter me, be counted as guilty.  

On the other hand, let those who are protected by Your shield REJOICE!

Let all who love You BE JOYFUL!

This is Psalm 5 in my own words.  Psalm 1, 2, 3  and 4 are also posted.  Check them out by clicking on the number.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Sunday Psalms

 

Hear my prayer, Righteous God, and have mercy on me.

There are so many who want to turn away, who love lies and worship what the world has to offer.

LORD, You have set me apart for Yourself.  I know You hear when I call out.

In your prayers search your inner self and be still.

Trust God!

Shine Your light on us!

When others are finding joy in shopping sprees and worldly gain give me joy.

As the day ends let me sleep in the safety of You.

 

This is Psalm 4 in my own words.  Psalm 1, 2, and 3 are also finished.  Check them out by clicking on the number.

Blessings to you and Yours!

Marie

Road Trip With My Bestie

What an awesome, powerful, thought-provoking, convicting week-end.  My bestie and I spent Friday and Saturday in the company of Priscilla Shirer.  Imagine, two days in the company of 5,000+ women (and 2 brave men), worshiping, praying, and building trust in the One and Only.

Now, when I say praying I’m not talking about your run of the mill prayer times where we ask that our words and thoughts are pleasant in His ears, that He will bless and heal our friends and family, that He will keep us safe and give us wisdom and courage.  That was there, of course.  I’m talking about the kind of prayer that covers all the bases and gives no one any doubt that we were in His Presence.  All turned in prayer requests (Yes, all 5000+!) on the cards provided. We were then encouraged to take a prayer card the next day (They had been prayed on overnight.) and commit to praying for that person for the next 7 days.  Is that some powerful praying or what?

The conference was divided into 3 segments with music by Tony Evans opening each.  That man has some serious vocal ability.  Beautiful voice!  Another thing about the music — Imagine if you will 5000 women’s voices, praising God for those who accepted His invitation to join the Forever Family, singing It Is Well With My Soul a capella.  Each time I hear a large group sing a favorite hymn I know in my heart what heaven sounds like.

So, here are some things from my notes:

  • Scripture for the event was Luke 9:1-17
  • The cure for your exhaustion is intimacy with Jesus.  After all, He said, “Come away with me.”
  • A recipe for ministry.  First, we are called as the disciples were.  Second, we are given power and authority, as the disciples were.  Lastly, He does the sending, as He did the disciples.  Ministry of any kind is and must be about Jesus.
  • Resist the urge to put yourself in the ‘spotlight’ until He says go.
  • If there was a perfect church and you showed up, it wouldn’t be perfect.
  • Re: 5 loaves and 2 fishes – You don’t need more than His blessing on what you already have.

  • Hearing God is not about newness it is about nowness.
  • Those who don’t expect to hear from God, WON’T!  AW Tozer
  • God is omnipresent!  (I know you already knew that.)  He showed up for Gideon, Moses, David, Simeon, etc.,  and He shows up for us!
  • His glory is ever-present, yet, we often don’t see Him.  In this country we have so many resources, like Bibles, CD’s, DVD’s, books, the Internet… we fail to take the time to look for Him.

And that, dear friends, is what a terrific weekend looked like.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie

Check out my Linky Party page to see the awesome and inspiring parties where I share my posts.

 

Words of Grace – Book Review

This is certainly not just another devotional.  It’s better than that.  It’s full of thoughtful, inspiring articles that drew me closer to my God.  It led me to a deeper level of thought on what the Word is trying to say.

Best of all, I can pick it up or put it down at any point.  Meaning, it’s not dated so I didn’t feel pressured to read a certain part on a certain day.  I can open it anywhere and read something important about my walk with Jesus any time I want.

It is thoughtfully divided into three categories.  Who God is, how He works in our lives, and how we are to respond to Him.

Here are a few quotes that really spoke to me:

  • “In the realm of morality and money, family and friends, work and play, God has a will and a way for us to live.”  (pg. 13)
  • “What is the message of Good News? God’s favor is on all mankind.” (pg. 25)
  • “We must know, feel, and acknowledge our sin before we will turn to Christ for salvation.  We must turn to Christ for salvation before we will have freedom from our sin.” (pg. 51)
  • Regarding the truth of Romans 8:1 – “You don’t have to justify yourself to others.  Imagine relating to others without being defensive.  You are not condemned, and no one can condemn you before God, so when you interact with others you can focus on truth, love, and edification.” (pg. 87)

I had only one drawback as I read through.  Scott Patty is a deep thinker and with that came sentence structure that was sometimes difficult to read.  But then, that forced me to think more deeply on God’s Word.

I’m sure I’ll be keeping this devotional in my book basket for months/years to come.

What a blessing!

Marie

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Broadman and Holman Publishers.  I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

5 Sentence Friday Psalm 139:14

Here it is. 5-Sentence Friday. Today’s verse is one that is often repeated. The One and Only thought of me, planned me, loved me from the beginning of time.  In the ‘fullness of time’ (phrase from Eph. 4:4) I came to be. Just thinking about this concept is overwhelming but it is what it is.

Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous—and how well I know it.  Psalm 139:14  TLB

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderfully made; I know that full well.  Psalm 139:14 NIV

  1. I had nothing to do with the complexity of who I would be.
  2. I am His wonderfully made creation.
  3. God deserves (and expects) my thanks for even thinking of me.
  4. Every heartbeat, every breath, every step is/was orchestrated by You.
  5. My skills, talents, and habits are part of Your purpose for me.

Blessings to you and yours!

Marie