Friday, February 27, 2009

God is Holy and only the Holy will see Him

Hebrews 12:14
Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.

In reading through Leviticus, it becomes obvious that God has a priority. (actually I saw the same priority in Exodus) He desires there to be a distinction (holiness) between His people and the rest of the world. In His instructions to His priests through Moses, He requires strict adherence to His established guidelines. He is all about His Holiness not being tarnished.
Read here:

Leviticus 20:23-24 (New Living Translation)
Do not live according to the customs of the people I am driving out before you. It is because they do these shameful things that I detest them. But I have promised you, ‘You will possess their land because I will give it to you as your possession—a land flowing with milk and honey.’ I am the Lord your God, who has set you apart from all other people.

Leviticus 20:26 (New Living Translation)
You must be holy because I, the Lord, am holy. I have set you apart from all other people to be my very own.

Leviticus 22:1,2,9 (NLT)
The Lord said to Moses, “Tell Aaron and his sons to be very careful with the sacred gifts that the Israelites set apart for me, so they do not bring shame on my holy name. I am the Lord. Give them the following instructions.

“The priests must follow my instructions carefully. Otherwise they will be punished for their sin and will die for violating my instructions. I am the Lord who makes them holy.

We see the admonishment to "be very careful"; to "follow my instructions carefully"...
When we read through Leviticus, it seems it would be nearly impossible to follow all the regulations and requirements of the law that God gave the priests. There was so much to remember, so many things to get right. Yet we know that there were priests faithful to minister before the Lord all the way up to Zechariah. He was doing his duties when he was visited by the angel of the Lord announcing the coming of a son whom he would name John (the Baptist).

So how does this relate to us today? What applies to us who are not under the old covenant? We know God hasn't changed; He is the same yesterday, today and forever...So we can conclude that He still wants His people to be distinct (holy). Look these words:

James 4: 4, 5 (NIV)
You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?

1 John 2:15-17 (New International Version)
Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

They seem...severe...don't they? So were the consequences in the old covenant. Though we are not under law, and there is no condemnation for those of us in Christ Jesus, we still need to make our calling and election sure, and work out our salvation with fear and trembling. These warnings are to keep us safe, to keep us on track. It seems we see much compromise in the church today. I believe it is mostly due to lack of reverence for God. Reverence for God came by way of His strictness in Leviticus. We know that God killed, or instructed His people to kill those who rebelled against Him. He was SERIOUS about obedience! We need to achieve a healthy fear of God. I don't know what does it for you, but for me, reading Revelation is a good place to get hold of the fear of God.

Revelation 3:15-17 (New International Version)
I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

Though God is gentle and His mercy triumphs over judgement, He remains serious about obedience... obedience is evidence of faith. (see previous post)

In the following passage, the Old Covenant mandate to be "set apart" (holy) is tied into the New Covenant. It is carried over to us...

2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1 (New International Version)
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial
? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever? What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?

For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said:
"I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
"Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you."
"I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.

There it is again, holiness out of reverence for God. If we truly have faith, we understand and know who God is, and we delight to do His will (loving Him), rather than our own will (loving this world).

John 14:21
Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."

So the question we are left with is, "are we being careful?" What are some of the compromises we see in our own lives? In our church? In our neighborhoods. And then, "How can my life show that I am His?" and this one we don't often think about, "What is my responsibility in helping others be holy?" Do we need to do a better job of being watchmen? (Ezekiel 33)

  • Am I distinct in my entertainment choices? ~Do I watch or listen to things that would break God's heart?
  • Am I distinct in my clothing choices? ~Do I want glory, or do I glorify God?
  • Am I distinct in how I spend my money? ~Is it for me or for God's work?
  • Am I distinct in how I spend my time? ~Is time spent in God's word & with His people a priority?
  • Am I distinct in what I lean on or trust in? ~ There are many idols that we trust in such as: accomplishment (wanting the praise of men~popularity), drug & alcohol use/abuse, self-reliance~leaning on our own understanding, etc.
  • Am I distinct in how I treat my husband, children and parents?
  • Am I distinct in how I use my words?

I realize most people who read this are already walking in obedience to the Lord, loving Him with all your heart, but if there is anyone who comes across this post and your heart is unsettled, you have gotten a healthy "fear of the Lord" and want to know what to do to settle your heart...It is simple. Repent. Ask Jesus to forgive you, and redirect you, to help you walk His way. Be willing to forsake your own, and follow Him. Then get involved with others who are walking in The Way (following Jesus), and by the power of His cleansing, forgiving blood, He will present you faultless before God in the day of judgement. (Plus you get to enjoy a friendship with Him from this day forward!)

I will close with this: We all deserve the wrath of our Holy God. None of us can measure up to His holiness, but Jesus came to make a way. He took our sin on Himself, and we can take His righteousness upon ourselves. His crucifixion satisfied God's wrath for anyone who will come to Him and recieve Him, and love Him with all your heart. Holiness is imputed to us, we don't have a chance without Jesus!

Loving God is the evidence of a gratefully saved heart!

Psalm 86:15
But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.

1 John 1:9 (New Living Translation)
But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Becoming A Woman of Faith~Chapter 4

And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. Hebrews 11:6

  • Earnest: Serious & intense; zealous & sincere; with determination.
  • NKJV uses diligent: persevering & careful in work; hard working; done with careful, steady effort; painstaking.

In this chapter we see that we have faith if we seek God; seeking God =faith. If we didn't believe He could or would help us (unbelief) we wouldn't seek Him. If we seek Him earnestly, He rewards us. It's a fact! God said it in Hebrews 11:6.

Our options for places to place our trust come down to three things: ourselves, others or God. As we receive God's gift of salvation, we become His children. He then, as our Father, is our provider, protector, deliverer, etc. As we shift our belief system from confidence in ourselves to confidence in God, we demonstrate to God that we do believe Him, and receive His rewards as we take steps of faith.

STEPS OF FAITH: It is in an action that faith is proven genuine. If one never takes a step in the direction of believing, there really is no faith. We see it in the miracles that Jesus performed, the healings all had someone with faith, either the one being healed or those bringing the one to Jesus for healing, or the one performing the healing.

Of course, for a "what not to do" example, the journey of the Israelites in the desert (after leaving Egypt) came up. In Psalm 78, Asaph summarizes their journey...much of it faithless, which resulted in angering God (though His mercy triumphed~He held back His anger to a degree). They questioned His ability to provide, they willfully put God to the test. They spoke against God, taunting Him. Complaining.

We determined that we tend to react like them if we don't have our eyes fixed on God and His Truth. We question Him in hard circumstances, "Where are you?" or "Do you still love me, do you really love me?" etc.

A favorite story of faith is found in Luke 7: 1-10

When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it."
When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.

In this story, Jesus rewarded the centurion's 'earnestly seeking' Him by healing the servant.

We looked at the incredible stories of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego...Daniel in the Lion's they expressed their faith in God by continuing to honor God with their loyalty even though severe consequences were awaiting. And God rewarded their faith with dramatic rescues. Divine protection surrounded them.

In 2 Timothy 4:-18 Paul finds he is deserted by everyone, and states that God rescued him out of the "mouth of the lion". He was in a situation that he equated with Daniel's experience, and like Jesus in the garden, had been abandoned by all his friends. We find that often as we are pursuing the work God calls us to, people don't understand or support us. By faith, we must keep doing what we know He is calling us to. Even if we go into a "lion's den"!

As we take steps of faith, God rewards us and our faith in Him grows. As we walk with Him, stepping out when He calls us, going outside our comfort zone, we increasingly see Him do things that no human could ever do!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Walking with God will always require us to do things we cannot do without His power. That is what faith is...conquering giants, taking ground from the enemy, staying steady in storms, staying faithful even when threatened with fire or lions or floods...

The Shadow of Your Cross

Please scroll down and pause my playlist before listening. A song for your heart...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Freedom & Rest

Last night I posted a photo of the cutest panda bear I have ever seen; he was round and furry with perfect "panda markings". He was laying on his stomach on a log with his head resting on another log. I wrote about freedom and how that results in rest. Like the resting panda looked like he had not a care in the world. After I posted, I noticed the photo had a copyright printed right on the front, so I had to delete it. So sad. Maybe you have had the privilege of seeing the panda pictures in a forwarded email. I hope you did, I assume they went around cyber-space.

As I recount the things that the Lord has set me free from...fear of failing, fear of being rejected, fear of men's anger (though I still have to fight these fears from time to time~I no longer live with them every day)...It is astonishing how anxiety dissipates with trusting in the Lord and not man, uh me. Truly His perfect love casts out fear. No fear = freedom & rest.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

That was the short version of last night's post.

This morning as I am reading Leviticus 7-9, I found myself pondering many questions. Perhaps some of my bloggy friends have pondered this or heard teachings on it and can help me.

Moses was on the mountain for 40 days to recieve the law, eating and drinking nothing. For 40 whole days I imagine he didn't even need to go to the bathroom. ALL the time was spent communing with God. So, was Moses there with a scroll, taking notes? Let's face it, Leviticus would be hard to memorize~though I suppose if you had 40 days with nothing else to do...Or did God just impart all of it to Moses, and he was able to relay it accurately to the Israelites when he came off of the mountain.

Then there are the gruelling animal sacrifices instructed by the Lord. I have seen my dad butcher cows over the years growing up on the farm, and it took at least a couple of hours, maybe three, for one cow! To think that they did so many animals, and also had to go in and divide the parts. Some of it was burned on the altar, some eaten, some taken outside of the camp. Amazingly, many of the sacrifices were given different instructions. What a ton of work! It dawns on me that Moses' earlier time in the wilderness prepared him in more ways than one for the future mission that God called him to! He must have had to butcher sheep out there~I am sure he never did when he was in Pharaoh's house!

The thought of the smell of the "fragrant offering" to the Lord had me a little queasy too, thinking that they burned the heads of the animals. I don't know, maybe the fragrance of the meat overpowered any burning hair smell (forgive me for the depth of pondring here).

All this to say that I am extremely grateful to have the One sacrifice; the Once~for~all sacrifice for our sins the day Jesus gave up his life on the cross. No longer do we need to go through all that work to receive forgiveness, or peace, or freedom. It is simply a gift received by faith. (See previous post)

Unlike the other high priests, he does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the sins of the people. He sacrificed for their sins once for all when he offered himself. Hebrews 7:27 NIV

Moses was certainly faithful in God’s house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God’s entire house. And we are God’s house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ. Hebrews 3:5,6 NLT

It is no cooincidence, I'm sure, that my post last night tied into my ponderings this morning, because the sacrifice and the blood of Jesus has everything to do with freedom and rest. Only when I am forgiven of my sins can I find peace. Only when I know and understand the love God has for me can I trust Him and not look to myself or other people for approval, or validation. It is in freedom from idols~trusting in anything other than God~that we find true rest.

Thank you, Thank you Jesus! For giving your life for me. Help me never take it for granted. Help me never become desensitized to, or forget the excruciating, bloody, humiliating, painful death you endured when you didn't have to so I~and anyone else who trusts in you~can be free. I love you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Becoming a Woman of Faith * Chapter 3

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

This third chapter could be described as "basic" or "simple". The gospel message is almost so simple, that it becomes complex to us because we cannot comprehend it's simplicity. The crux of the whole lesson is that the gift of Jesus' righteousness is available for the taking, but we must recieve it with a child-like trust (faith) in order to experience it.

Period. That's it. Repent, believe, recieve, and become...adopted, declared righteous, and justified (past tense). And then keep walking in the truth of the gift you have recieved.

Here are a few examples of our complicating the simplicity of the gospel:

So many think that if they "do all the right things" they will be right with God. Not.
1 Corinthians 1:28-30 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. (highlighted words by me)~also see above verse.

So many think that if they "believe in God" (without the resulting "fruits of righteousness" done by God through us) they will go to heaven. Not. James 2:19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder!

Heaven ~or rather "right standing with God" is only ours as we recieve it as A GIFT. Any other way relies on US, and then obliterates (if it were possible for US) the need for the cross of Jesus Christ. Because of the perfect Lamb of God demonstrating His love for us while we were still sinners, we can come to Him, and recieve His free gift of righteousness, justification, peace w/ God, removal of shame and guilt, and freedom from bondage to our sinful nature and it's resulting death (separation from God).

Key verses:
"Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness." Romans 4:3

The words "it was credited to him" were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. Romans 4:23,24

The author closes by affirming this: "It is a high privelege for me to place my confidence in Him and stake my soul upon His honor." By giving us the gift of eternal life, He gets the glory, not us. All our righteous acts are like filthy rags...

Trust in the Promise and Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Rich in Card~Love...I confess...I save ALL my cards. I have, uh, "saving places" where I keep my cherished cards. It really is living history. Well, Sunday afternoon, I decided to clean out the drawer in my bedside table. It was getting a little full. I couldn't even open it. So I piled up my cards (I do have a few journals in there too) on my kitchen counter and began to browse.

And that is when the thought struck me, I am rich in "card~love"! My heart was warmed to overflowing (my eyes!) as I reminisced. How I cherish these mementos of love from friends and family. The gratitude I felt at the rich gifts that God has blessed me with spilled over.

I realized how much they are pieces of my story. The times I was low and a friend took the time to encourage. The Bible studies I have lead, inspiring cards of love and thanks. But mostly just cherished times spent together. The photo I took of the cards above is a sampling from two friends. One who I am still very close with (Becky~you have made me rich in card~love), and the other one is a past friend. A lost friendship; one that ended. I miss her. PK. We spent many afternoons having coffee. We did some shopping, some praying and some decorating together. Whenever I read her cards over, I remember the good times and I am grateful for them.

When I got to my 40th birthday cards, I recalled that my friends surprised me with a progressive dinner party. Heartwarming memories.

There were anniversary cards & Valentines from my husband and kids. Reading what they wrote over the years, seeing their handwriting... all caused me to dream and give thanks for the days gone by.

After all that "gushing" I did, I'm amazed that I would ever have days of struggling with loneliness when I have such evidence of love, but I do. It's all part of the walk (to quote Steven Curtis Chapman)...since nothing but being in Jesus' presence truly satisfies. I know His presence is available 24/7, but I still fail to abide at times. Daily I spend time reading His love~letter. What a large and continual "card" He has given me. It brings me to tears many times too, as I have written many things in the margins that bring back memories. God has been so good and faithful to me.

I hope you enjoy reminiscing, and think about the value of taking time to love with a card. It's a good week to send reminders of our love. (No, I am not getting paid by Hallmark :-D)

I love you bloggy friends!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Becoming a Woman of Faith

Chapter 2...
Encountering Doubt
The father instantly replied, "I do believe, but help me not to doubt!" Mark 9:24
DOUBT: to be uncertain, question, distrust; to fear.
Our study begins with a qoute from Paul Little, in which he talks about doubt typically being looked upon as evil, but goes on to explain that it can be beneficial and increase faith as it propells us to go beyond an "inherited" faith to
standing on The Rock on our own.
Jesus told the father of a boy posessed by an evil spirit that "Anything is possible if a person believes." To which he replied with the above mentioned verse. I do believe!
Help me believe!
We can all relate to this to some degree, when we are waiting on the Lord to answer a prayer for a family member or friend or ourselves. We are longing for His hand to move and break through the illness, or the addicton, or some other darkness.
We might say,
"I believe, but I am having a hard time in light of what i see here...cancer spreading instead of being cured, a child going deeper into alcoholism, or our finances getting tighter."
How we need the reassurance that Jesus isn't waiting for us to get our faith right, but desiring us to trust in His faithfulness, goodness and power.
There is another response that Jesus honors, the one that says, "I need more faith,
teach me how to get it."
Examples of doubt from scripture:
  1. The Israelites, after their deliverance from Egypt, seeing all the plagues, experiencing passover, being freed, walking through the middle of the Red Sea, came up to the promised land and DOUBTED that they could take it because they looked at the giants in the land instead of trusting God's promise. (Deut 1:19-36) As a result they wandered in the desert for 40 more years. We concluded we didn't want this kind of doubt!
  2. The father of the possessed boy mentioned above. "Lord, help me!" (Mark 9:14-27) Jesus responded with love and deliverance for the boy.
  3. John the Baptist, when imprisoned by Herod for confronting his sin asked if Jesus really was the Messiah or should they look for someone esle? Jesus replied giving testimony of the evidence, being confident that John would "get it". (Luke 7:18-28)
  4. We all know the story of Thomas, "I won't believe it unless I see it and touch it..." (John 20:24-29) Jesus obliged him and then said, "blessed are they that do not see, but believe".
  5. The disciples in a storm-tossed sea, watching Jesus walk on the water toward them, Peter steps out of the boat, walks a little ways, then sees the waves and falls in. Jesus said, "why did you doubt?"
  6. Disciples in a boat, a storm rages, Jesus sleeps and the disciples are fearful and wake Him in a panic. Jesus says, "where is your faith?"

Which one, in your current circumstances are you more like? Israel w/ unbelief? Or the hopeful, yet hesitant father? Or John? Or Thomas?

So how do we grow in faith?

We REMEMBER the works God has already done in our past and in His story, the Bible.

We get to KNOW GOD better by spending time with Him in His word, and in prayer.

Faith is like a plant that has to grow. It has to be developed like a muscle, and it grows through (sorry) trials. If we were not faced with trials, well, you know! We wouldn't need faith.

James 1:3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.

Let's remember that as we continue to pursue our promised land, there will still be giants to contend with, but we can rely on the Promiser to fulfill His promises to us. Conquor the giants with faith in the One who perfects the things that concern you. (Psalm 138:8)

Give us aid against the enemy, for the help of man is worthless.
With God we will gain the victory, and he will trample down our enemies.
Psalm 108:12,13

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

I've been interviewed!

Below is my interview by my little (now 6'4" /junior in HS) boy for a school project... Its a rough draft, (and his re-telling of my version) but I thought it would be fun to post. I enjoyed the telling of it anyways...AND WHY HE DIDN'T CALL ME "MOM" IS BEYOND ME! (italics in his story are mine)

It was March 17th, 1992. Kathy S was innocently watching T.V. in the comfort of her home when it happened. What happened you ask? Kathy S went into labor. Going into the hospital that day began nearly 24 hours of worthwhile suffering for Kathy.

To completely understand this historic day in history we must look back to the beginning of Kathy’s labor. Kathy entered the Osceola Hospital at ten pm on St. Patrick’s day. The doctors suspected that I was too little to be born, so an ultrasound was called for. You must understand that at the time Osceola’s ultrasound was, “like a T.V. from the 1950’s,” as explained by Kathy. After what seemed to be forever to Kathy, the ultrasound arrived. The doctors then began scanning her belly with cold jelly for twenty minutes. The doctors concluded that I was too little to be born. With that conclusion the small town doctors put Kathy on labor-stopping medication. They then shipped Kathy via ambulance to united hospital in St. Paul. Once arriving in St. Paul a more recent ultrasound was called for by the city doctors. After a short amount of time the doctors determined that I wasn’t too little to be born. The city doctors took Kathy off the meds that she was given by the country doctors. She then went into intense labor for the next fourteen hours. Other details of my birth tend to be very graphic (for a 17 yr old boy!). I was born at 7:53 on March 18th, at five pounds thirteen ounces and 19.5 inches long. I was born safely, although I was described to shoot out like a rocket, and am still alive today. Thanks to a doctor that played wide receiver in his high school days. (Ethan made that wide reciever part up) I was then healthy for the next six weeks although I was only eight pounds.

This all changed sometime at the end of those six weeks when I began projectile vomiting which was described to me as smelling similar to rotten eggs. It started on a Tuesday and by the time Friday rolled around Kathy was scared. Kathy then took me to the doctor who pushed on my stomach to feel for something that he thought I may have had. He didn’t find what he was looking for though so he sent us home. The next morning Kathy was really scared that I would be dehydrated. I was then taken back in to the hospital and was X-rayed by a man that she remembers being hung-over. (not a good experience for her). After siphoning the white stuff out of my stomach, they read the X-ray, and determined I had Pyloric Stenosis.

I wasn’t ambulanced this time; we were able to drive to Children’s Hospital in St. Paul. Once arriving at Children’s I was fitted with an IV due to my dehydration. It took seven tries for the needle to get into a vein, which ended up on the top of my head covered by a Dixie cup to keep it from being bumped. I then had a surgery scheduled at ten am Sunday morning the 3rd of May so that they could operate on my sphincter muscle that connects my stomach to my small intestine. The surgery went well and I’ve been growing big-time ever since. He obviously made up for the lost growth time from his first 6 weeks!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Becoming a Woman of Faith

When Gideon was living in fear threshing wheat in a winepress, God called him a "mighty warrior". God was calling Gideon to battle while he was quaking in his shoes.

Romans 4:16-18 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: "I have made you a father of many nations." He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.

God continually made His power known through the impossible...Noah (built an ark when no one had ever seen rain), Abraham (had a baby in OLD age), Joseph (went from being a slave and imprisoned to being second in command in Egypt, Moses (timid and afraid to speak, lead a kazillion complaining people through the wilderness) Gideon lead a little army against a really big one, and won; a virgin conceived a child (our Savior)...on and on the stories go...and today God continues to make himself known among the most unlikely people. Ordinary people with fear and failures.

I found it amazing that God would call me to lead a Bible Study on "Becoming a Woman of Faith" (by Cynthia Heald) when He could have called m"faithlessness, anxiety~prone, unbelieving woman" a few years ago. Then I thought, "Isn't that just like God?" The above verse came to mind...He calls the things that are not as though they were. As if He was saying to me in spite of my former anxiety, "Woman of Faith"!

Truly His love takes my breath away!

Today was our first day. I have the privilege of two meetings. One Monday morning for the ladies whose lives are full at night. One Monday night for the ladies who work during the day.
I must say that getting together with my "sisters" is a heart~satisfying thing. That is why I am a Blessed Builder...I love, love, love to encourage and "build up"...1 Thess 5:11

For your refreshment, I will give a brief overview of chapter 1.


Comprehending His faithfulness is key to our faith. The ROCK that we lean on we must know to be sturdy and firm. Going into scripture, we found God's faithfulness to be:
  • Rock Solid (Deut 32:4)
  • Unending (Psalm 36:5)
  • Forever (Ps 119:90, 138)
  • Never Fails (Hebrews 10:23)
  • Constantly Dependable (Hebrews 13:8)
  • Established in the Heavens (Psalm 89)
  • Enduring to all generations (Psalm 89)

He has assumed responsibility for His children as our Perfect Father. Unlike our earthly relationships, he never fails. He upholds us continually.


  • Equip and empower us (1 Cor 1:4-9)
  • Help us (1 Cor 10:13)
  • Remain loyal to us(Hebrews 13:5,6)
  • Forgive us (1 John 1:9)

We spent some time looking back over our lives and recalling the faithfulness of God to us personally. We saw how fresh His mercy was when we returned to Him from going our own way...How he got us through death of family members, marriage difficulties, financial challenges, challenges with our children or aging parents & medical challenges.

In conclusion we were left with the image of a father holding out his hands for his little girl to trust him enough to jump~knowing He is faithful to catch her. I think most of us can relate to that experience with our parents or with our children.

Where are you challenged in your life to take the leap or cast a burden? Look at the faithfulness of God and you will find He is rock-solid, steady, and trustworthy~able to carry you, or to carry your burden. Leave it in His capable hands. Trust God to care for all your needs.