Friday, December 20, 2013



Definition: Strong's Greek – 3862 parádosis (from 3844 /pará, "from close-beside" and 1325/dídōmi, "give over") – properly, give (hand over) from close-beside, referring to tradition as passed on from one generation to the next.

I don't believe all tradition is bad. I will not judge you if you buy birthday gifts and have parties. I will not judge you if you have Graduation parties. I will not judge you if you decorate or dress up for Halloween and head out for some yummy candy, games and fun. I will not judge you if you put up a Christmas tree, lights and buy gifts at Christmas time. I will not judge you if you celebrate your wedding anniversary and have a traditional way you celebrate. I won't judge you for the baby shower or wedding shower you have. I won't judge you if you don't celebrate or have a 'tradition' for any of these things because I don't see sin in any of these unless you put them above God and His Word. If your 'traditions' become gods in your life and cause you to gossip, stress out, spend more than you should on stuff you nor they need, manipulate people or just give you an excuse to be self-centered and selfish....then I think the tradition is a problem.
When you tell others their traditions are sin and you condemn them and yet you have your own traditions, that's a problem. If you want to condemn some traditions then get rid of all of yours!

Now with that said, there are traditions that do not line up with the Word of God, they are made by religious people that desire power and I believe it's to take the attention off what is really going on in the persons life. They make a rule, a tradition that you must follow because they know you will have this or that happen to you or they scare you with God can't love you or people won't take you seriously.....that is not from God.

Mark 7 “He replied,“Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written:
“ ‘These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 7They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.’ 8You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions.” 9And he continued, “You have a fine way of setting aside the commands of God in order to observe your own traditions!

He goes on to talk about how they watered down the honor your parents command, changed it to suit their desires and He said they do many things like that.

I believe when we make 'traditions' in the church we are putting our will on other people instead of God's will. We take grace away, we deny the power of the cross. And when we desire to follow half truths or traditions that have nothing to do with God's commands, we are really living in fear and seeking to be approved by man.

So how do we, do I, know when a tradition is something to let go of?
Ask yourself these questions:

Does it put a burden on us/me?
Does it cause me to question the cross and what it does for us/me?
Does it make me live in fear of God's wrath?
Does it contradict God's Word?

If it doesn't and it's just a wonderful memory maker and in no way dishonors all means, enjoy your tradition. I know I enjoy mine!!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Kroger Skillet Meals and Fresh Selection Salad Kit Yummy

I love being a BzzAgent and this is one of the reasons why !!!

I received coupons to try Kroger's Garlic Bread, Fresh Selection Salad Kit, and a Skillet Meal.

So no I had to decide what Salad and what Skillet Meal I wanted, they have a good selection.
This is what I ended up with.

After picking these items up I came down with the flu and for about 5 days I'd get home from work and head straight to bed.
On the 6th day I was getting hungry and feeling better---just now well enough to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

Then I remembered these items and with the help of my husband we put together a GREAT meal in about 10 minutes. It was fast, easy and with my husband it was fun!

It was delicious and I know it will be helpful to have a couple Skillet Meals in my freezer at all times.
The Salad Kits will be great for lunch at my job.
and the Garlic Bread.....well we ate on that for a couple days so I need to find a way to fix 1/4 of a loaf and refreeze the rest.

When you shop this week make sure you try these items, you won't be disappointed!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kashi HummusCrisps

I have never liked the Kashi brand. My husband and I tried one of their cereals years ago and just never thought we'd try them again.

However, when the opportunity came as a BzzAgent, to try this product we decided to give them one more try.

We picked up a bag of Kashi Hummus Crisps at Kroger, Sea Salt & Olive Oil.

I was so sure I would not like them that I took a BIG handful, left the bag with my husband in his studio and walked away.

First bite, that wasn't too bad, second bite, this isn't bad at all, handful is suddenly gone so I head back to my husbands studio to get the bag!!!

Now my problem is eating the 'suggested' amount.

Good thing they are a healthier chip!
               *3.5g total fat per serving

                     **3g protein from chick peas and whole grains. Not a significant source of protein.

For more information to to this link  :     Kashi Hummus Crisps

Friday, August 30, 2013

God's Promised Peace

My husband and I had found the perfect way for me to give a brief testimony on getting out of depression and panic/anxiety attacks that had kept me in bondage for too long.

The Lord had also been speaking to us about getting out of debt and He gave us a plan which we started implementing.

Within 24 hours we had several prayer requests answered! We were praising God and thanking Him and giving testimony. Then...........

my husband gets home from church and our home had been broken into. I'm eating lunch with a friend and I feel my flesh rising up and I looked at my friend, told them what happened and then put my head in my hands bowed my head and prayed - God you have to help me through this I know You will make it right. I continued to pray for my husband since I wasn't there with him and for our pets - everything else was just stuff.

So our and every one's first reaction was - what a shame, this is awful. And, yes that is true because as Ephesians 6:12 says  "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms"

Now since we know it's the darkness in this world that causes these things to happen and that God promises to get us through, we won't dwell on that, we will look for answers, for what God is going to show us through this. And yes we prayed for the people that did this - not to get hurt as the flesh wanted to pray - but for them to experience God every time they touched something from our home.

Matthew 7:  24 Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

Our home is built upon the rock and we will not take our focus off God!

Proverbs 16:  20Whoever gives heed to instruction prospers, and blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord.

As I was talking to the Lord and listening! He asked me, 'What did you talk to the Pastor about at church this morning?'

My answer, "It was about emotions and not allowing them to rule you but we are to be led by the Holy Spirit.

Then He asked me,  "And what did you talk to Pastor Kathy, your husband and Me about a few days ago?'

My answer, "That I'm ready to be faithful and stand up and give my testimony."

The Lord is so sweet He said, "and what else?"

 I can't tell you the peace I was receiving as He guided me away from my fleshly response. He is always with us, we just have to calm down and listen, seek Him.

So. I thought for a moment and I replied, "Well, Lord, you have given Rob and me a specific plan and we made the decision to obey and told the Pastors. I agreed to follow the wisdom You were giving Rob. And within 24 hours we had at least 3 blessings, answered prayer, leaving only 1 or 2 things we were waiting on answers for.

The Lord said, "Can you see now why the darkness came in? It is trying to stop you.

How amazing is this conversation? I'm so thankful I know God and He knows me.

Rob and I are now facing a test or you could say, going through a trial.

James 1:  "Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds"

I began thinking, we tell God 'yes, we trust You and we will be joyful in our times of trials.....' but then when something happens and those emotions come in.....are we still committed? Was it just lip service or do we really mean what we tell God? I knew I meant what I told God and I was going to rest under His wings. (Psalm 91)

That evening as my husband and I had our Bible reading and had snuggled down for our prayer time, he was speaking God's Word I know! In my husbands gentle spirit, out of his spirit that is full of love and faith in God, my husband prayed -

"Father, they took things from us but they can't take the most important things - they can't take You God, they can't take our faith in You and they can't take the relationship we have with You and with each other."

I melted.

Now, the next day we decided we were not going to pick at each other - should have done this or that, we were going to look for answers so it won't happen again. What does God want from us?

Are you ready for this?? After all you just read you won't believe what I was planning!

I was already talking to my bosses about changing my work hours, talking to my husband about staying home from church until we could get some things done, I was rearranging my life so I could be home when my husband was not. I was going to check into an alarm systems - monthly fees.

The Lord began talking to me and asking me if this reminded me of anything. I had to think and then it came to me and I was aghast.

I had been delivered from the pit of depression and panic/anxiety attacks about 4 years ago. I was home bound for a year. And now I was planning on being at home as much as possible again because I didn't want someone to break in again. I was allowing fear to come back in.

That's not going to happen. I repented, changed my attitude and promptly started praising and worshiping God in song. I started thanking Him that His Word says He will never leave or forsake me; that He died for me and that is an incredible love.

As soon as I began to see what the devil, the darkness was trying to do and stopped it in the Name of Jesus, by the power of the Holy Spirit in me - there was freedom, fear no long controlled me.

Christ in me, perfect love, cast out all fear.

I did not change my schedule, if anything I am more highly productive than before. I volunteer at Down Syndrome of Indiana and through that other non-profits have asked for our help.

Now, my husband and I are working as one and we are taking each step the Lord gives us to secure our home without going in debt. Remember one of the things we committed to the Lord was to get out of debt. We want to honor God, our faith and trust is in Him. He has given us ideas and we are implementing them.

I praise God that He does talk to me and that He opened my eyes because the 'things' can be replaced if we so desire. I do not want 'things' to replace my commitment to God, to be above God. It's amazing how blessings and joy unspeakable came all because I listened, trusted and kept my faith in the Lord and in His Word.

And since all this has happened, the transmission has gone out of my car.

Because God has been showing me things and talking to me about faith, we just handled it without getting upset or despairing. It was towed free to another city and they have given us a reasonable quote and we know God will work it out.

 Romans 8:  28 "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

As A BzzAgent I Tried the Special K Nourish Bars and Oatmeal

Yep had to run out off the house without breakfast again this morning....but wait !!!!
Through BzzAgent I have Special K Nourish Oatmeal to try.

This morning as the computer was booting up. I made me some
Cranberry and Almond Oatmeal.
Very easy you just add hot or boiling water and stir, then add
the Cranberries and Almonds and stir again.


I was pleasantly surprised that it filled me up and I wasn't hungry
until lunch time.

Then I had a Special K Nourish Bar
a Lemon Twist

That didn't hold me over for very long but it did help my stomach
to think it had gotten some food. 
When I drank skim milk with the bar it helped me last
about 3 hours before thinking of food again.

Here's a picture of the awesome items I received as a BzzAgent to try

I'm also going to add these to my list of items for our next camping trip.


Saturday, July 20, 2013

What Does It Mean to Abide?


What does it mean to abide?

Well, let’s look at what the Merriam-Webster dictionary says.
transitive verb
1: to wait for : await
2a : to endure without yielding : withstand
intransitive verb
1: to remain stable or fixed in a state
2: to continue in a place : sojourn

Now let’s look it up in the Strong’s and see what the Greek meaning is.
# 3306 --- I remain, abide, stay, wait; 
I looked into some of the verses that mention ‘abide’ and found that the word meant –  To be equivalent to not depart, not leave, to continue to be present, to maintain unbroken fellowship with one.
To dwell as it were within him, to be continually operative in him by his divine influence and energy, John 14:10; Christians are said to be rooted as it were in him, knit to him by the spirit they have received from him, something has established itself permanently within my soul, and always exerts its power   
John 8:31    Then said Jesus to those Jews who believed on him, If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed;   

So Jesus was saying to the Jews that believed IF they continue (or abide) – not depart, not leave, continue to be present and to maintain unbroken fellowship with Him – then they would be His disciples.
John 14:16    And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever; 

I love this passage because Jesus is telling us that we shall have the ‘Comforter’ abiding with us forever – I love to see this as an unbroken fellowship, then the comforter will never leave.

Let’s take a moment to look at ‘comforter’
‘Comforter’ #3875 (Helper)  an advocate - properly, a legal advocate who makes the right judgment-call because close enough to the situation.

This is the Holy Spirit, it’s not a oh poor baby let me wipe your tears. The comfort is in knowing the Holy Spirit makes the right judgment call and there is ‘comfort’ In knowing everything will work out as we abide in Him and listen and follow our ‘Comforter’.
John 15:4    Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you, except you abide in me.
So what is the fruit here? According to Strong’s Greek #2590 it can be a fruit we eat (apple, orange, etc)  but I believe it’s the second choice -  deed, action, result.

By definition, fruit (2590 /karpós) results from two life-streams – the Lord living His life through ours – to yield what is eternal
 Our fruit that comes from abiding in Him is the Lord living in and through us and that will produce eternal results.
John 15:9    As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you: continue you in my love.
The ‘love’ in this verse – Strong’s Greek #25    - properly, to prefer, to love; for the believer, preferring to "live through Christ" - embracing God's will (choosing His choices) and obeying them through His power - preeminently refers to what God prefers as He "is love"    (all are a form of AGAPE)
I Corinthians 7:20    Let every man abide in the same calling in which he was called. 
‘calling’ Strong’s #2821 - of the divine invitation to embrace salvation of God
The Lord has wanted me to study the word ‘abide’ and I found this to be a long study that involved lots of prayer and sitting and listening to the Holy Spirit.

I was beginning to feel my flesh rise up, questions and fear subtly entering and I could not figure out why. I was doing everything the Lord had placed on my heart. I was following my passions and breaking the chains that had held me in the past.

When fear began to return I knew something was wrong so I took God’s direction and began to really study abide. This is not all of the Scriptures just the ones the Lord used to speak to me.
I found that I was not abiding in Him as His Word tells me. Somewhere along the line I stepped off the path and had put the focus on ‘me’. I was worrying more about what man thought of me than God. 

How did I get back on this path?  You know I’m really not sure where I stepped off the path, that is how subtle satan and your flesh can be. But Praise God He got my attention and I've repented!

So to sum up what I've learned through this study on abide:

I need to make sure I am so immersed in Him, in His Word that I maintain unbroken fellowship with Him so it’s His divine influence and energy pouring out of me.

 I have the Comforter, He is my legal advocate and He knows the right moves, the right words and the right attitude to approach everything.  

When my focus wanted to please man because I didn't want to lose their friendship or disagree with a teaching because I feared being shut out or ridiculed… focus was off God I was no longer abiding in God. I should never fear man but should always ALWAYS fear God. 

When you have the Holy Spirit living in you and you are abiding in God you clearly hear from Him and it’s in the Scriptures to validate it. I like what a guy at church did today when he was giving his Discipleship message. He would read a passage and then pause and say now it’s our choice – some would just rip the page out, ignore it and move on. To me that is getting off the path and no longer abiding, it is broken fellowship. It is when we receive and obey; when we take action and glorify the Father; that we are abiding.

We can quote Scripture, give advice, pray, speak in tongues, be baptized, hold a position in the church…..but what we do outside those walls during the week….that shows if we are really abiding -------

Do you yell at your spouse and belittle them? Do you provoke your children? Do you set aside time with the Lord to watch a program you know causes you to lust, be it food or something else? Do you gossip to others? Do you promote yourself when talking to others? Do you show agape/charity to others – believers and nonbelievers alike? Are you honest when the cashier gives you back too much change or didn't charge you for every item? Are you rude to the hostess at the restaurant? Do you think you are the only one right and that’s the end of the story?

Or maybe you’re afraid to give your opinion or share what the Lord has told you because you don’t want that person to get angry at you. Or you really are ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and will not speak to someone when you know the Lord wants you to say or do something that will show His goodness.  I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the picture.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Pleasing Men or God?

You can find a lot to study in these verses but I’m going to comment on verse 4 in I Thessalonians 2. Go ahead and read verses 1-13 so you will know the context.

For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain: But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention. For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile: But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts. For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness: Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children: So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe  I Thessalonians 2:1-13  KJV

Now I want you to read it in another version. I like the King James Version because it’s easier to look up the Greek meanings of a word, at least for me.

For you yourselves know, brethren, that our coming to you was not in vain, but after we had already suffered and been mistreated in Philippi, as you know, we had the boldness in our God to speak to you the gospel of God amid much opposition. For our exhortation does not [come] from error or impurity or by way of deceit; but just as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who examines our hearts. For we never came with flattering speech, as you know, nor with a pretext for greed-- God is witness-- nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, even though as apostles of Christ we might have asserted our authority. But we proved to be gentle among you, as a nursing [mother] tenderly cares for her own children. Having so fond an affection for you, we were well-pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become very dear to us.
For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, [how] working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and [so is] God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers; just as you know how we [were] exhorting and encouraging and imploring each one of you as a father [would] his own children, so that you would walk in a manner worthy of the God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted [it] not [as] the word of men, but [for] what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.   NASB

As I was having my prayer walk with the Lord today, verse 4 really spoke to me and I knew God wanted me to look at it closer and see how it applies to my life.
So, after getting busy with other things  - yes I do that too! The Lord gently reminded me as I sat down to turn on the tv – are you going to sit before me and study that verse I gave you earlier?
Anyone been there with me? You know it’s from God, you know it will show you something but you just don’t “feel” like doing it right now and then as time passes you find yourself in bed going…..awww man I did it again, I let something the Lord wanted to teach me slip away. Time to repent and pray I don’t let that happen again – hence my blog today!!

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
I Thessalonians 2:4  KJV

Let’s look at “we were allowed” in the Strong’s Greek it is #1381 and reads ‘we have been approved’.

What does it mean to be approved?
        #1381 says - properly, to try (test) to show something is acceptable (real, approved); put to the test to reveal what is good (genuine).

So they are saying God put them to the test to see if they were genuine, to show they were real and He found they were and He approved them, He trusted them with the Gospel.
I believe He tested them to see if they really believed His Word or was it just lip service. It could also be that God tested Paul and his companions before the Thessalonians to show them they were approved and genuine.
So when you begin to see these tests in your life, it could be God testing to see if it’s just lip service or do you really believe His Word.

Once God saw they really believed, He approved them and trusted them to speak His Word to others. He knew they would not be going to ‘please men’ but wanted to ‘please God’.

Strong’s Greek #700 - pleasing
to please, winning someone's favor (affection, approval) because meeting their expectation (especially by being in moral agreement)

He knew they wanted to meet His expectation because He tested them --  ‘testing’ – examining their hearts (which trieth our hearts).

So I’m hearing the question: Are you using God’s Word to please man, to get something you want OR are you, in faith, speaking God’s Word to please Him and give Him the honor?

But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
I Thessalonians 2:4  KJV

Does God see me as trustworthy?

The answer I receive is……………sometimes I do this to please man! And that needs to change. I can’t change the Word of God to please someone that I’m afraid of losing. If I lose a friend or family member over their not wanting to live according to God’s Word it is a sad thing but God will replace them with someone that desires to live according to His Word and that will honor God and bring in all kinds of promises from God into my life.

I am not the judge – God did not come into the world to judge it but to save it – however we will all stand before the Judge in the end. God knows our motives, He knows our heart, and you can’t hide from Him.
You can sound and act so spiritual and others may not see the darkness of your heart, the wrong motives, the deceit, the self promotion BUT God does.

I don’t have a full revelation on the ‘allowed of God’ yet but I know He will reveal it in due time.
The closest thing I can come to is when someone asks me a question or I have a burning desire to share a Word with someone – I don’t remember what I said most of the time. I believe that is because it came from God, He trusted me and allowed me to speak something from His Word into that person’s life. I give all glory to God when I hear someone walk up and confirm that what I said they heard too or when the person says it was confirmation to them, because I know it was God and not me, there was no ‘me trying to please man’ it was me pleasing God by speaking and believe it was a Word from Him.

When someone tries to buddy up with the Pastor for their own selfish reasons – God knows it’s not to His glory.
When someone ties to buddy up with someone that has money because they are hoping to get things from them – God knows and it’s not to His glory.
When we work or volunteer and don’t do it as unto the Lord but for personal gain – God knows and it’s not to His glory.
When someone goes to church to have their children babysat and they don’t stay or listen to the teaching – God knows and it’s not to His glory.
When someone goes to church to try and impress the opposite sex instead of to honor God – He knows………I could go on and on so let’s check our motives – before you start ‘speaking’ ask am I doing this for man or for God? 

I know there are times, and it can be hard, I have to take a step back and seek forgiveness from God because my motives are not pure. I am seeking to please someone other than God.
I want Him to trust me to speak His Word. I want to see Him moving and brining salvation, restoration, healing, provision, peace, joy, etc. I don’t want to get in the way because I can do nothing without Him.

And how exciting when you see people believe the Word of God.

For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted [it] not [as] the word of men, but [for] what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.   NASB

Lord God, I ask that your forgive me for all the times I have been selfish in my sharing of Your Word, in the things I have done to show ‘me’ off instead of You. For the times I wanted to ‘please’ someone other than you, for the times I wanted people to see who I was with so they would think higher of me. I could be with no one greater than You Lord!
Thank You Father, that you are showing me how to be tested by You so I’m allowed to speak what You want me to speak for Your glory not mine. Thank You that by Your testing it shows me areas of darkness that needs cleansed by Your Light and that is something to rejoice about because then I become more like You and Your Light in me will attract and save people. Your Word will perform its work in those who believe.

  In Jesus Name, Amen

Monday, May 20, 2013


Jeremiah 13:1-11 

1 This is what the Lord said to me: “Go and buy a linen belt and put it around your waist, but do not let it touch water.” 2 So I bought a belt, as the Lord directed, and put it around my waist. 3 Then the word of the Lord came to me a second time: 4 “Take the belt you bought and are wearing around your waist, and go now to Peratha and hide it there in a crevice in the rocks.” 5 So I went and hid it at Perath, as the Lord told me. 6 Many days later the Lord said to me, “Go now to Perath and get the belt I told you to hide there.” 7 So I went to Perath and dug up the belt and took it from the place where I had hidden it, but now it was ruined and completely useless.

                Okay, now stop and read verses 1 – 7 again. Can you see how the Lord is using an illustration to help Jeremiah, to help us understand better? You know He is getting ready to open our eyes to Truth, something we need to learn from so we don’t make the same mistake.

Now read on with an open heart, one ready to receive what it is the Lord wants to speak to you.

8 Then the word of the Lord came to me: 9“This is what the Lord says: ‘In the same way I will ruin the pride of Judah and the great pride of Jerusalem.

                What is pride?

                Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary says – “The quality or state of being proud; inordinate self-esteem; an unreasonable conceit of one's own superiority in talents, beauty, wealth, rank, etc., which manifests itself in lofty airs, distance, reserve, and often in contempt of others.

                I believe it is an attitude of the heart, a choice we make and it takes away God’s glory, leaves Him out.

                Continue reading to see what happens when we allow pride to come in.

10These wicked people, who refuse to listen to my words, who follow the stubbornness of their hearts and go after other gods to serve and worship them, will be like this belt—completely useless!

                He calls those with pride – wicked people. They refuse to listen to God’s Word, they think they know better than God! They are stubborn and go after other gods to serve and worship them. Do you have ‘other gods’? Are you too stubborn to give up a video game, tv program, a book you’re reading, the clothes or shoes you are buying when your closet is already full?? Whatever you put before God’s Word, whatever you put before your time with God, whatever you put before doing what He has instructed you to do…..that is your god.

                I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be COMPLETELY useless!

11For as a belt is bound around the waist, so I bound all the people of Israel and all the people of Judah to me,’ declares the Lord, ‘to be my people for my renown and praise and honor. But they have not listened.’

                Ephesians 6:14 says “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist”

                This is the first piece of armor we are to put on, it is the belt of truth.

                If we are so full of pride that we will not listen to God, will  not do what He has commanded us to do, will not put him first over the tv, book, game, etc – then we think too highly of ourselves and not enough of God. We have made ‘gods’ out of our ‘things’. We are not learning ‘Truth’ from the one that loves us and wants to direct our steps. We are not wearing our armor which protects us from the schemes of the devil,  (vs 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes) – we haven’t even put on the first piece mentioned so how can we wear the ‘full’ armor?

                He says we were bound to Him—to be His people for His renown. Renown means - The condition of being known or talked about by many people.

                We are to KNOW Him and talk about Him. We are to give Him praise and honor.

                I looked up ‘praise’ and in Hebrew Strong’s #3034 it is Yadah.  It means ‘thanks, giving praise, or to confess’!!

                So, if we know Him and talk about Him, we should be doing it by confession of who He is, giving Him thanks and giving Him the praise.

                Now what is honor? “Regard with great respect”

                So, let’s put this last part together……..He bound us to Him, put the belt of Truth on us so we can KNOW Him, talk about Him, give thanks to Him, praise Him and do this with great respect.

                But we lose this when we allow pride to come in and put God off on a shelf to collect dust. I don’t know about you but I’d rather give my time, my honor to a God who loves me so much that He provides the armor, starting with the belt of Truth, to overcome the evil one.  Pride will not last, you will fall, and you will become useless.

                The good news is God loves you and He is waiting for you to lay these gods down, to let go of pride and return to Him. He will put that belt of Truth on you again and you will begin to wear the armor, giving God all the glory, honor and praise!

                When you begin to see God’s power in your life, when you begin to know it’s Him working in and through you, when you receive your healing, your protection, etc – you want to give Him thanks, praise Him and honor Him! You won’t want any other God but Him!! So lay pride down, get rid of the ‘gods’ you've placed above the Heavenly Father that loves you so much he sent His Son to die for you. 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

2 Kings 6:8-23

There is a lot to learn from 2 Kings 6:8-23

The first things that caught my attention was the protection, unseen, that was around Elisha. If God protected Elisha then you know we are protected now. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. But there is more than just that once instance of protection. Let me go step by step on what the Lord revealed to me.

I have learned that the Lord will use this to help others but that He also ALWAYS has something He is trying to teach me too. So before I start let’s agree in prayer
         Dear Lord, I ask that you open our eyes to the Truth You are trying to show us in these passages.
         That if it’s encouragement you are sending, we accept it and give you praise and thanksgiving; standing on Your promises.
          If it’s conviction, then help us to set our pride down, repent and begin to draw on the Truth You are giving us so we can move forward and see our prayers answered for protection.
         In Jesus  Name, Amen

The king of Aram was at war with Israel, he made plans to surround them and kill them but time after time they were warned. Elisha heard the Lord and warned the king of Israel every time, saving them.

So here’s the first thing I see – Elisha knew the Lord so well that he could go boldly before the king of Israel and tell him what the Lord had to say. Elisha was so connected to the Lord that the king always believed him and made the changes that were needed to keep his land and his people safe.

Therefore, Elisha’s life, the way he acted, dressed, spent his time must have shown his commitment to the Lord. The king knew he could trust what Elisha had to say, he was trustworthy. I don’t imagine Elisha went to wild parties, had premarital sex, cussed up a storm, stole, disrespected elders and those in leadership positions, walked in pride, lied, etc.

I have to admit that there are times I get too busy or have the radio or TV on while I’m cleaning or on the web. Now there is nothing wrong with this as I usually have Christian radio or TV on BUT when I have it on all the time I’m not leaving room to hear from God. He wants to talk to me (to you) about things. He wants to give me people and things to pray about. There are many things He will give me IF I’m listening. Can you imagine God telling one of us about an impending attack on our family, neighborhood or something bigger and we are too busy to hear him.

Okay, the next thing.
Now the king of Aram decides to get Elisha. He sends horses and chariots and a ‘strong force’ to get Elisha. And notice, they ‘went by night’ to surround the city.

Let me ask you, when you are doing something you should not be doing isn't it usually in the ‘dark’? That dark could be another city where no one knows you, a bar on the other side of town, even in your own home with the curtains drawn. Evil dwells in darkness, where no light has come in. It is easier for the enemy to sneak up on you in the darkness. This is another reason I need to know God, really know who He is, and to obey Him. Because when that darkness tries to come in you want His light to expose it so you have the victory over the darkness, the harm that is trying to come against you, your family, and your country.

Okay, so ‘the servant of the man of God’ saw this army with horses and chariots around the ‘city’. Doesn't say Elisha’s home, it says ‘the city’. So many people could have gotten hurt or killed while they went to get this one man.
The servant  asked Elisha what they should do, he was afraid.
Now notice what Elisha tells his servant and what he prays:
                “Don’t be afraid….those who are with us are more than those who are with them”
Now remember a ‘strong force’ was sent by the king of Aram, but Elisha was unmoved, he knew he had the best protection. I believe Elisha was concerned for his servant and wanted to see the fear leave him so Elisha prayed – ‘open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see’. Elisha wanted his servant to see what he saw.

Now let me ask this. How close must Elisha have been to God to SEE the unseen in our world? Do you think Elisha was like we are today and spent most of his time in front of a TV, playing video games, sleeping, eating, whatever your distraction is (I know they didn’t have TV’s, video games, etc.  back then but there were other distractions).
I want to know how to see God’s protection, His angels, chariots and horses! Now I’m ahead of myself…..

So after Elisha prayed for his servant to see, God opened the servant’s eyes and he saw ‘the hills full of horses and chariots of FIRE all around Elisha.
This ‘mighty force’ had an added element – FIRE and it was not burning up the horses or chariots. What power!!
I believe it was because of Elisha’s faith that he was able to know, see and pray for his servant to see this. A faith so strong he could see the unseen in this world. He did not fear! I would not fear if I saw this kind of protection around me, my family, and my country. And you know what, I believe that same protection is here for me, for us; if we would just believe and grow in our faith. What if we would listen to the Lord and take the time to sit at His feet instead of giving in to our fleshly desires? Believe me, I’m guilty here and I want to change.

Now don’t get me wrong I’m not saying we have to do this ALL day and night, that would be silly as we do have responsibilities that the Lord has given us – provide for our family, provide for the orphans and widows, we need a place to live and a car to drive or bus money – so yes we have to work BUT what we need to ask ourselves, what I have to ask myself – once I am done with my 8 hour day, once the weekend is here, etc. What am I doing with that time? Oh and you can spend time with God at work and hear from Him there too – every task you have to do you can quietly give it to the Lord, asking Him to give you wisdom and to bless the work of your hands… just can’t sit down and close your eyes all day!

Okay, so back to when you are not at work. This is what I have been guilty of – I come home and decide it’s all about me now. I have children and a husband I need to feed and spend time with, that is something I LOVED doing and it almost always included time in the Word or taking walks and talking about God in what we would see in nature BUT then once the kids were in bed I wanted to do what I wanted to do – give in to my flesh and eat popcorn or candy and watch TV ALL night until I could no longer hold my eyes open…..too tired for prayer or Bible reading or study. Or I would want to go out on the town and drink or go to a game and drink, not intending to drink too much…….I could give a lot of examples, some good and some not so good…..but my point is I put God last when he should have been first and I would have received my refreshment, my peace and my protection from Him. I may have seen those unseen forces by now!

Okay, moving on again J 
Elisha prayed to the Lord to blind the army and God answered Elisha’s prayer. With confidence in the Lord, with faith in God’s protection; Elisha walked up to this ‘mighty force’, this army sent to capture him and basically told them they were in the wrong place but he would lead them to the man they were looking for.
Can you believe this!
So they allowed him to lead them and once they entered the city Elisha asked the Lord to open their eyes. What a shock it must have been to have their eyes opened and find they were inside Samaria with the king of Israel and Elisha.

Another great lesson follows, at least for me.

This army came to capture Elisha which would have probably led to his life imprisonment or death. But when the king of Israel asked Elisha; ‘Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?’

(Okay, I don’t know why the king of Israel called Elisha ‘my father’. Anyone have any revelation on that?)

Elisha responded with, ‘Do not kill them……set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.’  WOW Elisha is responding with forgiveness, mercy and love, sounds like the Father.

He had good reason to have them killed or imprisoned but Elisha’s heart was right before the Lord. Elisha KNEW the Lord and His ways, knew what the Father wanted. Because of the way Elisha responded to this army the ‘bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.’ Can you say WOW again!!

Like I said, so many things to see and learn from these passages but this last one really blew me away and talked to me.

Elisha reached out to them in kindness, spared their lives, and trusted God for His protection. Elisha did not call them names or talk bad about them to the king, no he treated them like he would a friend. He had the king of Israel give them a ‘great feast’ and then sent them home to their master. Because of this king Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

Maybe we should stop and think about some of our actions (I know I need to) because most of what happens to us individually is very tiny compared to an army coming against us. What do you think would happen if we treated those we see as our enemies, be those in our own families, in our churches, in our work place, etc…..if we started treating them as God commands us to; with forgiveness, mercy, love, compassion……so they see God is on our side, He protects us, He lives in us and because of that we can love and forgive as He does.

Put all this together and I begin to wonder how the tables would turn and the US would be spared from future attacks.

We do have an unseen army that God has sent to protect us. We do have a God that will answer our prayers according to His Word. BUT we need to KNOW Him, to know what His Word says, to study it, pray about it, and listen to God to give us revelation. We need to be in unity in the church.  How can we have denominational fights and not live any differently than the world? That’s not faith. We need to be able to talk to each other, study the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to teach us without having these big disagreements. We need to get a handle on the scandals taking place in the churches, for Pastors to stop looking at preaching as a ‘job with a paycheck.’ I could go on and on but I won’t.
It is time for me to pray and listen to the Lord more on this because I desire to have the faith that Elisha had, one where I can see the unseen and know I/we are protected. To know I can pray and see the prayers answered and can be as forgiving to my enemies, sending them back where they came from amazed at the hospitality they received and then seeing peace cover the home, the land, how amazing would that be? Could people deny there is a God then? Where did we lose it? I want it back, how about you?