Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wednesday in the Word 1/30/13

Today I'll continue sharing what the Lord has been teaching me and my bible study group from Genesis 2:1-19.  As always I welcome you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comment section below.  {To leave a comment simply click the comment button in the share line at the bottom of the post.  You can either set up a Google account that takes a few seconds or you can simply be anonymous}. 

Genesis Chapter 2
V1.   1 So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. 2 On the seventh day God had finished his work of creation, so he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.
Webster had several definitions for the word rest.   Here are the two that I considered for clarification in regards to Gen 2:2:Rest:
  1. Refreshing ease or inactivity after exertion or labor: to allow an hour for rest.
  2. A period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquility: to go away for a rest.

As I reread the verse in context with all that I know about God I realized that definition did not fit the character of God.  In Isaiah 40: we are told that God does not need rest.  So if He didn’t need rest why did he take the time?  Why did he not continue on?

Those questions lead to the second definition that rest is “a period or interval of inactivity, repose, solitude, or tranquility : to go away for a rest.”
  • God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it:  God blessed this day as He made it a day of rest.  Not only is He assigning this day as a period of inactivity but it is also an picture of the spiritual rest available through the person and work of Jesus Christ.
  • The description of each other day of creation ended with the phrase, “so the evening and the morning were the . . . day.” However, this seventh day of creation does not have that phrase. This is because God’s rest for us isn’t confined to one literal day. In Jesus, God has an eternal Sabbath rest for His people (Hebrews 4:9-11).
V4-7.  4 This is the account of the creation of the heavens and the earth. When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, 5 neither wild plants nor grains were growing on the earth. For the Lord God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. 6 Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land. 7 Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.
  • In the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens: This is the first time we see the name/title of Lord (Yahweh) in the Bible.
  • The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground: When God created man He did not make him out of some make him out of any special element or an additional molecule instead He took the most basic elements to form human man.
  • The two things we know that is life giving is breath and blood. God gave Adam (us) our ‘first’ life with breath when He created us and Jesus provided our ‘second’/eternal life with His blood. Not only is our very life dependent on His breath but every achievement and ability is from Him.  Nothing we can boost of.  And if we spend time degrading our achievement and abilities then we are speaking against Him
"Pride is self-absorption whether we're absorbed with how miserable we are or how wonderful we are." Beth Moore 
  • And breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  Prior to now everything that God had created He had simply spoke then into being but when He it came time to create mankind He became more involved.

V8-9.  8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. 

  • The tree of life was to grant (or to sustain) eternal life (Genesis 3:22). God still has a tree of life available to the His people (Revelation 2:7), which is in heaven (Revelation 22:2).
  • The tree of the knowledge of good and evil was the “temptation” tree. Eating the fruit of this tree would give Adam an experiential knowledge of good and evil. Or, it is possible that it is called the tree of the knowledge of good and evil not so man would know good and evil, but so God could test good and evil in man.

10 A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. 11 The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. 12 The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. 13 The second branch, called the Gihon, flowed around the entire land of Cush. 14 The third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east of the land of Asshur. The fourth branch is called the Euphrates.

  • The name of the first is Pishon: These rivers were given specific names which answer to names of rivers known in either their modern or ancient world. However, the names of these rivers can’t be used to determine the place of the Garden of Eden because the flood dramatically changed the earth’s landscape and “erased” these rivers.  (Remember back to our reason we choose to believe the bible is true that I talked about on 1/16/13.  Read about it here)

15 The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. 16 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— 17 except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.”

  • Placed him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it: God put Adam in the most spectacular paradise to do work (to tend and keep it). Work is something good for man and was part of Adam’s perfect existence before the fall.
  • Of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat: The presence of this tree - presented of a choice for Adam - was good because for Adam to be a creature of free will there had to be a choice, some opportunity to rebel against God. If there is never a command or never something forbidden there can then never be choice. God wants our love and obedience to Him to be the love and obedience of choice.

18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.”

  • make a helper : “equal but not the same”.  My husband can read a tape measure, convert from standard to metric and so many more mechanical calculations in his head that I can’t but I can figure accruals, debits and credits and financial calculations that he can’t.  It is all a form of math but different.  We have strengthens in different areas and are meant to use those gift together for God’s glory.
  • It is not good that man should be alone: God saw something, for the first time, that was not good - the aloneness of man. God never intended for man to be alone, either in the marital or social sense.
  • A helper comparable: In reference to the marriage relationship, God created woman to be a perfectly suitable helper to the man. This means God gave the plan and agenda to Adam, and he and the woman together work to fulfill it. We only see “helping” as a position of inferiority when we think like the world thinks. God considers positions of service as most important in His sight (Matthew 20:25.)
Next week we will watch as God creates woman.  We will see God doing the first operation and the first marriage. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Looking Back to Move Forward

Holley's God-sized dream challenge for this week is, " think back to another time when you took positive action in your life.  What’s one thing that helped you move forward that you could apply again now and someone else could benefit from hearing too?"

I don't know why I finally made the decision.
Maybe it was because I was so tired.
Maybe it was the reflection I saw in the mirror.
Maybe it was the fight every morning to find something to wear.
Maybe it was my competitive nature after I saw what my brother had accomplished.
Or maybe it was just time for me to make a change

Whatever the reason I had finally decided that I had to get my weight under control.  
But Halloween, with Thanksgiving and Christmas in the near future, is not the time to begin looking at eating healthy. It was not the time to try to avoid sweets.  Yet I made the decision. The hardest part was taking that first real step.  

No more talking about it. 
No more planning for one day to come in the future.
No more researching different plans.
No more. 
Just making a decision to make a change and then putting that change into action.

I actually made it through the holidays well and lost some weight but like with most things success made me want more.  I decided to add exercise to my program.  

I took a large gulp of water, whispered a prayer, and opened the door to my first Zumba class.  When I was greeted by the perky, young, skinny instructor I wanted to just run the other way but I stayed.
(Thank God there was no cameras.)

I made it through that first class and I actually showed up the next day...and the next. In fact I continued to show up 3-4 days a week for a year.  More than the physically weight (60lbs) that shed, I also shed some emotional baggage.  

The success I found on my weight journey taught me the two things I had to do to reach in any dream was:
    1. Make a decision and just start. -- Yes I will make some mistakes along the way.  Sometimes I may end up taking three steps backwards just move forward one.  The point is to know where the finish point is and always be focused on the point. 
    2. Continue to show up each and everyday. -- The reach a goal (any goal) we have to work at it everyday.  We may not succeed (see #1) at every task every day but if we make a commitment to show up.  I heard a writer friend say, "put your butt in the seat for some time everyday".  If we keep attacking the dream one day there will be a break through.  Do let your break through day be the day you decided not to show up.
I am still not such what the final vision of my God-sized Dream will be.  I am positive that I have and will continue to fail at time along the way. However, I have made the decision to just get started with the first few steps I believe God has called me to take.  I have also made a commitment to do something everyday, some big and some little, to work towards my goal.  

What actions are you taking to work towards your dream?  Have you made the decision to just get started? Will you agree to simply show up everyday?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Etch-a-sketch life

I was feeling the need to shake things up today…so, I did a vlog. (Video bLOG…Yea my hubby gave me that same look when I told him what I was doing)
Honestly…clicking the upload button on YouTube is one of the scariest things I have done recently.
So today, you get my words in a different form…complete with lots of hand gestures because you know I can't talk without my hands. :)
Hope you enjoy…and thanks for stopping by!

{Sorry that the video quality is not the best.  I hope to improve it as I learn more}

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Wednesday in the Word 1/23/13

This last week has truly been a roller coaster.  I received my official letter that my job will be moving out of state by the end of March 2013 but I also had two interviews for new jobs.  I had a little out-patient surgery that caused me to miss teaching class Sunday night.  But in God's wisdom and timing I had already been able to study ahead and had notes prepared to continue on with the next few verse of Genesis. Tricia, my friend and ministry partner, was able to step in and lead the ladies.  So today I'll share what the Lord taught my and then ask you to share your thoughts and/or questions in the comment section below.  {To leave a comment simply click the comment button in the share line at the bottom of the post.  You can either set up a Google account that takes a few seconds or you can simply be anonymous}.  However you choose I can assure you that your comments are always welcomed. 

We begin this week with the fifth day of creation.  The day God formed both the birds and the seas.  He formed all the diverse types of birds and sea animals at the same time.  They did not evolve over millions of years and they did not develop from the plant life that was already created.  Once this day was coming to an end God blessed them.  He blessed them  telling them to "be fruitful and multiply." They had a job to do.  He had given them a purpose that only they could fulfill.

On the sixth day God moved on to the next step in His plan when He created the land animals.  Notice in verse 24 just like back in verse 20 and again in other verses to follow, we are told that that each was to produce "according to its kind". God deliberately structured plenty of variation within a kind, but one kind does not become another kind.  For example, structure among dogs is diverse.  The teacup poodle is very different from the Great Dane, but they are both dogs.  However, they won't ever become mice, no matter how much breeding is done.

He then continues His work for that sixth by creating humans in his own image.  Again He blessed them and gave instructs to "be fruitful and multiply".  But with the man He gave more instructions and with that more authority.  He said, " Fill the whole earth and govern it.  Reign over the fish of the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry the earth."  

I love the fact that God blessed them before He gave them their directive. To me that shows that He gave them all the wisdom and ability that they would need to fulfill the duty He has sat before them.  That give me hope and encouragement that He will do the same for me.  God had pronounced the creation good, He really meant it. At the time it was entirely good: there was no decay on earth, yet.  But once He sees the man He has created His analysis of His work He declares it to be 'very good'.

God has created us all for a purpose, given us authority, and blessed us to fulfill that purpose. Are we doing all that we were created to do ?  Will He declare us to be very good ?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Sharing the Dream

Holley's God-sized dream challenge for this week is, "find a God-sized dreams buddy in your everyday life or online. Share your God-sized dream with that person and ask for their encouragement and prayers on your journey."

"I hope it is okay that I volunteered you to make the dressing for the office Thanksgiving dinner. We need enough to feed about 25 people."  My sweet hubby said these words to me late one evening a little of a month after our wedding day.  He had not taken into consideration that I had never ever made dressing before in my 20 years of life.  I quickly called my mother-in-law to plead for her help.  She gave me a shopping list and told me to come to her house the next night and she would help me. 

WHEW!!!  What a relief. 

As I carried bags of ingredients I was really expecting her to take them and start mixing it all up then I would walk out with a finished pan of golden brown dressing.  Little did I know Nana had other plans.  She poured herself a tall glass of sweet tea, sat at the table and begin giving me directions.  I chopped, measured, mixed and baked one small pan of dressing.  She took one bite, "that's good but a little dry." She explained what I had done wrong. Again I chopped, measured, mixed and baked another small pan. "Better but needs more sage."  I was getting frustrated and very upset.  As I slumped in the chair next to her she gently placed her hand on my shoulder and assured me that I would get it. "Just try one more time."  So for the 3rd time I chopped, measured, mixed and baked.  This time she put a large spoonful on her plate and declared this pan to be perfect. 

Nana has spent the last five Thanksgivings at the banquet table in Heaven but each time I get ready to make the dressing I think of that night she spent hours teaching, instructing and encouraging me. 

I have been so bless to have different people pour love and knowledge in to various areas in my life. First is my sweet precious momma.  We had a difficult time in my teen years but through it all she taught me how to love with an unconditional love.  Then I have my best friend and ministry partner, Tricia, that is always just a phone call away to listen to all my ups and downs. Deb, another dear friend, that is just a little farther down the motherhood road than I am. She is the one that loves me with the greatest love yet she is there when needed to point out the times I am letting my emotions over run me.  These three along with a church full of other Godly ladies speak truth and light into my life in so many different ways. I also have had several professional mentors that have spent time with me to point out my strengths and weakness in the business world for my "real" job. 

Each and every one of these encourager/mentors have played a part in molding me into the person I am today. So as I looked back at Holley's challenge I realize that I have already met this challenge.  I have shared my dream with Momma, Tricia, Deb, Ladies bible study group, co-workers and here online.  Yet I feel God pushing to go a little deeper.  See all of these ladies love me, pray for me and encourage me.  They know my desire to serve God.  They know my story.  They know me.  Each one of them will do whatever they can to help make my God-sized dream of speaking/teaching God's word to become a reality.

However, there are the business aspects of ministry that many times we want to ignore. That is the area I lack direction and confidence in.  I struggle with if I am suppose to sit back and simply wait for God to open the door for speaking opportunities or if it is okay to do some marketing.  I don't have the answer to many questions on how to book events, what the best way to interact with event coordinators and many many more.  So as a next step towards my God-sized dream I am looking and praying for God to put someone in my life that not only shares this dream but has already brought it into reality.  Someone that is willing to walk along beside me as God's plan unfolds.

Do you have a Dream Team ? What types of different support strengths does your team offer you? Is the an area that you need more assistance and encouragement in ?

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Hand You Hold

My parents have always enjoyed going to flea markets and yard sales. Mother would spend time carefully digging through a box just in case there was a treasure at the bottom. While Dad would walk around touching each and every piece of furniture, equipment or any other big item trying to decide how much he could talk the owner down.  One Sunday they loaded us kids in the van and head to the largest indoor flea market in town.  After we have walked past hundreds of vendors, I saw something I wanted  to get a closer look at so I let go of my daddy's hand and walked away. It was only for a minute but I was focused on the sparkly object of my desire I also took my eyes off dad.  Even when I began walking back towards my dad I still keep looking back to the object.  I slow slipped my hand into his and took a few steps.  I finally looked up to ask if I could get the treasure I wanted. Imagine my surprise when I lifted my eyes up to see a face I did not recognize.  I was holding the hand of a man I did not know. He smiled, dropped my hand but I began to cry. I quickly looked around and right behind me was my daddy.  As he scooped me up in his arms, he wiped my tears and said, "You don't have to worry I had my eye on you the whole time." 

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of our head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31
I have often found myself looking to the shiny objects that the world has to offer.  When I do that means I take my eyes off of the Father to lead me.  But it is always such a comfort to know that no matter how far I wonder off He keeps He eye on me and is waiting for me to look up, look around and come running back to Him. 
If you have walked away following things lift your head, look around and He is there to pick you up, dry your tears and hold your hand going forward.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word

Remember the TV commercial with the little boy asking the wise owl, "How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop?" The owl licks it once, twice, three times and then CHOMP! he bites into it. He declared it only takes 3. Just three licks is all the owl could stand before he knew he wanted more.

I am sure you are wondering why I am talking about Tootsie Pops on a post that is suppose to be about our study of the Chronological bible.  Here is the connection:  The first year my group read through the bible we began to realize just how much of God's word we really did not know. So we spent that year just trying to wrap our mind around it all.  Come December of that year we realized that we wanted to know more.
We went into the next year just hungry and thirsty for so much more.  We would read all week long but then when we would came together and began discussing/sharing what God had been revealing to us we did not have enough time.  Every year God would show us more through our study but just like the owl with the tootsie pop we wanted more. 
I explained in my last Wednesday in the Word post how we plan on going slower this time around even if it takes us 3-7 years. 
Following are a few of the notes from last Sunday night :
Before we can even began to understand and trust in God then we must decide in our hearts why we believe the words of the Bible.  As I have pondered this question I came across this video by Pastor Voddie Baucham that explains in detail why we can believe the Bible it true.
We do not know who wrote the Book of Genesis. And we do not know when that person wrote the book. There is an ancient tradition that Moses was the author. Modern Bible students have many other ideas. But we can see that Genesis is a very old book. Even the oldest books in the Bible refer to it (for example, Exodus 3:15; Job 28:25-29). 
The book of Genesis begins with three different accounts of one creation. Chapter 1, verses 1&2, sum up the whole of creation. Chapter 1, verse 3 through Chapter 2, verse 3, speaks of the seven days of creation. Chapter 2, verse 4 through 25, speaks of the creation of man. It is an expanding summation of the same occasion
Genesis is a very careful account, which teaches the main principles in the Bible. The author describes the nature of God. The author explains God’s plan for a perfect world. The author describes *sin and *sacrifice. He speaks about God’s promise to forgive. And, he speaks about God’s promise to send Jesus. The Bible teaches that the author was not merely setting out his own ideas. Instead, he wrote inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.
Genesis is important to the New Testament. There are at least 165 passages in Genesis either directly quoted or clearly referred to in the New Testament; many of these are quoted more than once, so there are at least 200 quotations or allusions to Genesis in the New Testament
In Genesis’ 1:1-25 – God proved both his power and his love by creating.  With just a simple spoken word he brought into existence all that we see and know around us
Sunday January 6, 2013 we just cover Genesis 1:1-19 - The first four days of creation.
A few of the 'new' things we learned are:

V1. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth:
  • This tells us that God used no pre-existing material to create the earth. The ancient Hebrew word bara (created) is specific. It means to create out of nothing, showing that that God created the world out of nothing, not out of Himself. God is separate from His creation. Unlike Eastern and pantheistic perceptions of god, the Bible teaches the universe could perish yet He would remain.
  • Men cannot “create” in the sense the term is used in Genesis 1:1. We can only “fashion” or “form” things out of existing material.  When we paint a picture, make a pottery jar or any type of say art then we may use the phrase “I created that.” When actually we should say I formed that or I put these things together to make a final product.
  • God created: This summary statement will be detailed in the following verses, but the Bible simply and straightforwardly declares the world did not create itself or come about by chance. It was created by God, who, by definition, is eternal and has always been. 
  • God created the heavens: The simple fact of God’s creation is even more amazing when we consider the greatness of God’s universe. A typical galaxy contains billions of individual stars; our galaxy alone (the Milky Way) contains 200 billion stars. Our galaxy is shaped like a giant spiral, rotating in space, with arms reaching out like a pinwheel, and our sun is one star on one arm of the pinwheel. It would take 250 million years for the pinwheel to make one full rotation. But this is only our galaxy; there are many other galaxies with many other shapes, including spirals, spherical clusters, and flat pancakes. The average distance between one galaxy and another is about 20 million trillion miles. Our closest galaxy is the Andromeda Galaxy, about 12 million trillion miles away.
Louie Giglo spends about 40 minutes walking us through the details how awesome our God is by detailing our galaxy: In order words the universe as we can now see it through things like the Hubble telescopes show the imprint of God on every star. 
V2.  The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the water.
  •  It maybe that God first created the elementary principles of things; and this formed a grand mass of matter,  without arrangement : a vast collection of indescribably confused materials, of nameless entities strangely mixed
V3-5. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.
  • There was light: Genesis tells us that light, day, and night each existed before the sun and the moon were created on the fourth day (Genesis 1:14-19). This shows us that light is more than a physical substance; it also has a supernatural aspect. In the new heavens and the new earth, there won’t be any sun or moon. God Himself will be the light (Revelation 22:5).
  • We realized that this light was created before the sun, the moon or the stars.  So we discussed what this light could have been. One of the explanations we came up with was this light was simply a word that God gave the author to explain that he was adding order to the Earth,  Just like when you turn on a light switch when you first walk into a dark room 
V6-8. 6 Then God said, “Let there be a space between the waters, to separate the waters of the heavens from the waters of the earth.” 7 And that is what happened. God made this space to separate the waters of the earth from the waters of the heavens. 8 God called the space “sky.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the second day.
  • I personally had never really notice the wording 'waters of the heaven' in these verses. After some studying I realized that since there was no rain until Noah these 'waters of heaven' was a heavy water vapor above the earth.  It basically served like a global greenhouse.

V9-13.   9 Then God said, “Let the waters beneath the sky flow together into one place, so dry ground may appear.” And that is what happened. 10 God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good. 11 Then God said, “Let the land sprout with vegetation—every sort of seed-bearing plant, and trees that grow seed-bearing fruit. These seeds will then produce the kinds of plants and trees from which they came.” And that is what happened. 12 The land produced vegetation—all sorts of seed-bearing plants, and trees with seed-bearing fruit. Their seeds produced plants and trees of the same kind. And God saw that it was good.
  • God does not call the earth good until it has become habitable, a place where man can live
V14-19 Then God said, “Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them be signs to mark the seasons, days, and years. 15 Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.” And that is what happened. 16 God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, 18 to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 
19 And evening passed and morning came, marking the fourth day
 Let them be for signs and seasons: We often look to the trees and flowers to show us signs of the seasons changing but I never knew that the stars changed with the seasons

This is just a few of the 15+ pages of notes that I had.   I hope that going forward you will read along with us.  I would love to hear what God reveals to you through our readings.  Just post in the comments below. 


Monday, January 14, 2013

God Sized Dreams -- Next Step

{I recently came across Holley Gerth’s site where she invited us to begin thinking what our God-sized dreams are. Last Tuesday, I began following her God-Sized dreams link up with this post.  So each week I will be journaling here about the dream God has given me and I would love for you to join me by sharing your dreams in the comments.}

I have worn glasses for as long as I can really remember but actually only since I was about 3 years old. I was born with Amblyopia or what is more commonly known as 'lazy eye'.  Basically the muscles of my left eye were not strong enough to hold the eye straight.  As I got older the doctor told us there were surgeries they could do to correct it but they were not guaranteed to work.  The other option was glasses along with a wide array of exercises. Yes, exercises for eye muscles.  The first was to wear a patch of the 'good eye' in order to work the weaker muscles in the left eye.  I can not tell you how much I hated wearing that patch.  The tape caused my skin to itch, I would get headaches and to be honest it was just ugly.  I hated wearing it. 
However, the second exercise was fun and I enjoyed it.  The doctor had my dad to build me a beam that sat about 6 inches off the ground and was about 6 foot long.  Every evening I was to walk across that beam back and forth at least 25 times.  He instructed me not to be like the gymnast.  I was not to hold my head high walking with my feet perpendicular but instead I was to focus on watching my feet.  I needed to continually watch each step not worrying about how far it was to the end.  The point was to use that eye muscle by forcing it to focus on a specific spot, my feet. 

Last week after writing about my God-sized dream I began think of all that would have to happen before I could declare to myself that my dream was a reality.  It was a long, long list.  I was discouraged just thinking about.  I just wanted to quit before I even got started.  But I couldn't quit. I mean not only had I put it in writing but I posted here for the whole world to read. (Or at least the few family and friends that wonder by here on occasion).   So I knew I had to at least try to follow through. I decided I could use my balance beam exercise to help me move forward. 

Here is how:
  • I will not approach my dream with my head held high but instead I will always keep it bowed in prayer for guidance.
  • I will not set my eyes on the end and how far I have to go but instead I will just look to the one next step.
  • I will not rush to quickly that I lose my balance and fall but instead I slow move as the Lord directs me to. 
  • When I do finally get to the end I will turn around and begin again.

I have taken a couple of small steps this past week. With the left foot I stepped forward to spend more time in bible study that will later become messages that I can share with women that will encourage them in their God-sized dreams. Then with the right foot I took a step to speak to a group of about 25 ladies on the subject of Joy. It is time to take a breath and bring the left foot forward again and focus on the next small step, to be consistent in posting encouraging words here on the blog, my facebook page and twitter. Then I will add the next step of working to schedule another event.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

God-Sized Dreams

God-sized Dream = A desire in your heart for
more of what God has for you. ~~ Holley Gerth
Last week this post from author Holly Gerth popped in my inbox.  I normal let a few stack up and then read them all at one time but the title "God-sized Dreams & The “Do What You Can” Plan" made my heart almost skip a beat.  She explained that a God sized dream has nothing to do with the size of the dream but more with the desire of the heart. 
Today I am joining Holley and her "Dream" team in sharing my God-sized dream but first let me give you a short of the background story:
My journey towards my God-sized dream began many years ago in high school when I need one more elective class to finish out my junior year.  I wanted to take an easy class that I wouldn't have to work to hard in.  So I signed up for the speech class.  I have never really had trouble talking in a group (it was the one-to-one conversations that scared me).  Standing in front of 18 students giving my final exam speech was the extend of my time at the podium.  That is until about 10 years ago.  Shirley walked up to me one Sunday evening after church and said, "You know we need a teacher in the kids Sunday School and I think you would be good at it.  Will you try it ?"  Before I knew what was happening I had said, "yes."  So a few weeks later once again I was standing in front of a class room and it just felt right.  I taught that class for two years.  I had gotten the routine of studying, preparing and teaching.  It became comfortable.  Almost to comfortable. 
One evening a young guest preacher was speaking at our church and the only words I remember coming from his mouth was, "when you are the most uncomfortable is when God is going to use you."  I knew then that God was calling me to move on to a new assignment.  The problem was I had no clue what that assignment would be.  But again the answer came from Him through a church friend when I was asked to help teach the adult ladies class.  WOW !!!!  teaching kids is one thing but teach women many of who were so much more mature in their faith is something totally different. As I sat at the front of this class my lip quivered.  I broke out in a sweat. But the words flowed and it felt right. Once again I became familiar with the role and at easy.  I am still teaching that class to as we began to read through the Chronological Bible for the third year.  God has blessed me so much through the study and the ladies that I am humbled to lead.  As much as I love digging into His Word with my sister I feel a tug at my heart to step out of the comfort zone I am in. 
So here it God-sized dream is to share all that God has taught me in my roller coaster journey through my depression to His joy.  I want to share it in one on one conversations as well as the larger group presentations.  God planted this dream seed in my heart several years ago. Slowing He has been watering it through the encouraging words of others.  He then pruned it by opening my eyes to the true needs of others, showing me that it wasn't about me. Now I believe it is time for some blooming to occur. 

Join me over at Holley's place to see all the God is doing through the dreams of women.
OK I have opened up and shared my God-sized dream so now it is your turn.  What is your dream?  Remember it is has nothing to do with size or scope and everything to do with heart and desire.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Ignore, Delete or Accept

I have an old desktop that is so old that I do not even remember when I got.  So I access Facebook, Twitter and any other social networking on my Precious (IPhone) as well as take phone calls and text with it.  Then for Christmas Mike and the kids gave me a brand new Windows 8 laptop.  I have spent the last couple of weeks trying to pulling files and data that I need from the old PC to load on my new laptop. I reviewed some word documents that were written by my son his junior year in high school (2005-2006) even some PDF files downloaded from as far back as 2003.

During the process I began to think of all the things we do through our media outlets. 

We delete what we don't like. 
We accept the things or people we agree with.
We like the ones that make us feel good.
We share our thoughts and opinions

We do all these things with the ease of a click.  We don't think twice about.  It all has just become second nature to us.  So much so that we apply all the methods listed above to our relationship with God.  Don't believe me ?  Well, don't we delete from our thoughts the commandments that we don't like.  They are still there but because we don't think they apply to us we just remove them from our minds.  When we are in church do we only include the others that look like us? Are we diligent to seek out others that need to hear about God regardless of who they are or where they are ?  As we study through God's word do we chose to share and accept only the verse that make us feel good, only the ones that encourage us, and lift you up.  Do we watch for opportunities to share thoughts and opinions with other that will edify them? 

In 2013 as I read through the chronological bible, it is my desire to welcome each verse

Friday, January 4, 2013

I Do It Me Self

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 
Proverbs 3:5-6

My daughter has always been strong and very independent.  I believe her first sentence was, "I do it me self." There were many times that I tried very hard to teach her something or show her a better way to do something but she did not want you to show her. She just wanted to do it herself.  One particular occasion not long after we have hardwood floors installed in our large family room her older brother was trying to teach her how you run, dive on a pillow and slide across the slick floors.  She had watched him do it a couple of time so when he was explaining to her that she had to be sure to keep the pillow in front of her she didn't listen.  Instead she takes the pillow from him and yells. "I do it ME SELF."  Then She took off full speed down the hallway.  She held the pillow close to stomach and dove.  She didn't slide near as far as he did.  It wasn't because she was smaller.  It wasn't because she didn't run fast enough.  The reason she stopped so suddenly was because her face, chin first, was planted hard into the floor.  She hit so hard it busted her chin open to the point that required stitches.  See the instructions Anthony was trying to share with her was to be sure that she held the pillow high enough on her chest to protect her face.  Because she thought she knew best.  Because she would not listen to instructions she suffered and still carries the scars today. (Now lest you think I am picking on Samantha I can assure you that I have stories for the future on Anthony too.) 

Really Samantha is no different than we all are.  There are so many times God tries to give us instructions.  He tries to warn us.  What do we do ?  If we even bother to acknowledge Him then we simple repeat Samantha's mantra "I do it me self." We try in figure out the solution to the problem, the way out of a situation or we simple hope it all goes way.  In our key verse we are reminded that if we trust, lean and submit to Him then He will direct us in the way we should go.  He will lead us down a straight path without all the twist and turns we take on our own. 

Dear Lord,
Today I pray that each one reading this post will make time to be still before, hear you speak and follow your instructions.  May they find peace in the fact that they can turn it all over you and do not have to do it all me self. 
In Jesus Name

Time to reflect :  In what area of your life do you continue to tell God that you can handle without Him?  Are you willing today to let Him teach you a new way ?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesdays in the Word 1/2/13

In 2010 my best friend, Tricia and I attended P31 Ministries Annual She Speaks Conference.  It was our first conference of that type for us to attend and we had no idea what to expect.  It was a whirlwind weekend of meeting new people, learning new things to assist in our ministry, and life changing meeting with God.  To be honest I am not sure when during the weekend or even how we learned about the One-Year Chronological bible but we were intrigued with it.  During the 5+ hour drive home we discussed many thing but the main focus of our conversation was just how little we really knew about the bible.  It was then that we decided that we wanted to plan to begin reading through the bible.  It took a little while and some planning but in Jan 2011 we (along with our church leadership) provided each lady in our Sunday night  bible study class with a copy of the One-Year Chronological bible.

Now fast forward to the end of 2012 and we as a group have completed read through this amazing book twice.  We have learned so much not just in facts but also in the character of who God is.  The only problem we have found is the God is showing us so much through His words that there is no way for us to cover a weeks worth of reading in the just 45 minutes on a Sunday night.  So we have decided that in 2013 we are still going to read through chronological but we will not adhere to the daily schedule.  Therefore on Wednesday I will be posting notes from the prior Sunday night to note what we discussed and just where we ended the night.  It will allow those who may have to miss a class to still be able to keep in rhythm.  We will begin reading Genesis 1:1 on Jan 7,2013 and will have the first discussion on the following Sunday.  (We have to finish our review of the churches in Revelations in class on Jan 6, 2013)

Please join us either in person on class of even here on the web as we continue to seek after Him and His will for us all.