Sunday, October 21, 2018

Just Ask {Day 14:Ask}

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. - Luke 11:10 

I asked for strength,
He gave it.
I asked to be saved, 
He saved me.
I asked to understand,
He gave me wisdom.
I asked for answers,
He spoke through His Word.
I asked for love,
He poured it down and filled me with it.
I asked for hope,
He shared what I needed to hold on to.
I asked for help,
He made a way.
I am still asking, 
He is still providing what I need.

Have you asked Him?

Talking To Cleanse The Soul {Day 13:Talk}

Stringing words together,
Forming sentences into
Long conversations
Lasting well into the night.
This is the type of talk I love.

Sharing our dreams, goals, beliefs
And what lies deep in our souls.
Sharing with one who truly understands
One who will not try to fix
Advise or roll their eyes.
Just listen
Just understand
Accept all of me
And share themselves .

A talk like that
Refreshes the heart
And clears the mind.
A talk like that
Opens new pathways
And helps us get a glimpse
If only for a moment
Into each others lives.

I have talks like this
In my mind
In my dreams
But not so much
Out loud.
Fear binds my tongue.

God hears
When my heart cries out
When my mind has jumbled thoughts
When my soul speaks.
That's enough.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Praising In The Darkness {Day 12: Praise}

In the darkest of days I catch myself waking up singing a praise song in my head. It may be on I heard the day before or one I haven't heard in years. I am grateful for those mornings because it reminds me of where my focus needs to be. Especially when I am overwhelmed with life.

This is something I do only in the presence of my husband or alone - I break out in song at the most random times. When we used to work for the newspaper we would go out delivering together and when our radio didn't work I would sing bits and pieces of songs as they popped into my head. I think I drove my husband crazy! It helped me though. It helped to relieve stress, let out some feelings through song, and most times lift up some praise to God.

Music has been a huge part of my life. I was the kid, teen, young adult, 40 year old woman (now) with headphones on listening to the most eclectic mix of songs you can imagine. I used to make mixed tapes and cds based on what I was feeling. One cd I remember started with a hard rock song, then a Spanish pop song, then a Christian praise song, and on it went like that. Every moment the was something different. A different emotion ran through me as I listened and sang each word. The song didn't dictate my emotion, my emotion dictated what song I would listen to.

Recently, I have tried to add much more praise and worship music to that list. Much of that is based on where my focus is most days, on God. I know that no matter how dark the days get, He is worthy of all praise, honor, and glory.

Here is a song I have been singing in my head when I wake up. I hope you like it!

Shalom Aleichem

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Doors Lead to a Great Many Places {Day 11: Door}

We walk through so many doors in life. Some lead to magnificent places and others lead to horrible ones. I have walked through doors that led to new jobs, meeting new people, and fun. I have walked through doors that have led to loss, hurt feelings, and panic. 

As a matter of fact I just found a story I begin writing in 2000 and it reminded me of a door I walked through accidentally and it was quite hilarious. I was 17 years old I believe and it was my first summer staying in the dorms of our local university as a part of the Upward Bound program for High School students. I met one of my best friend's there and it was her door I ran through instead of mine.

It was lights out and we all had to be in our own rooms. For some reason we were all daring each other to run through the hall and get back to the room before the counselors caught us. It was my turn. I went the the bathroom and then ran in my sock covered feet on the slippery hallway floor and could barley contain my laughter. Footsteps, panic, and I ran for what I thought was my door. Nope! It took me a few seconds to realize it. I even asked, "why are you in my room?" Then it dawned on me and the laughter erupted and I slipped back through the door and finally into my own room. These types of moments were rare for me. I was shy and afraid to draw attention to myself. Even now, writing this, my cheeks flush and I feel that embarrassment set it.

Now for a more serious door.  The door that lead me to salvation and a closer wall with God. I was very young when I sought this door out. Even then I was tired of this world. The loss and traumas of a childhood can do that to a girl. I heard so many times that this Creator loved me, wanted me to choose Him, and would give me a better life (I didn't understand then that the better life may come after this one). I heard the story if Jesus' sacrifice and why He had done it. How could I refuse to wall through that door!? 

It was the best decision I have ever made! Life has still been hard, traumatic at times, has had loss, grief, sadness but through it all I have hope is the One who made me and His promises. I have seen His hand at work in my life even in the darkest of times. 

There have been moments when I wanted to walk out of that door and leave all my faith behind. But I held on. Sometimes just with the edge of my fingers. It was enough though because that is when He reached out, grabbed my hand, and pulled me back up.

Will you walk through that door if you haven't already? If you have, how old were you when you did?

Thursday, October 11, 2018

How Do I Live? {Day 10: How}

About 30 years ago (10 years old) I wondered, "how I, a little girl, could live like Yeshua (Jesus)?" I went to Sunday school classes, listened to the sermons from the pulpit, attended VBS, and read my Bible.  One thing was clear, even then, love God and love others.

How do I do that? Well, in 30 years this is what I have learned:

💜 To love Yahweh (God) is to take time to get to know Him.

😇Read the Bible
😇Learn and follow His commandments
😇Pray - be in constant communication with Him.
😇Surrender your life to Him.
😇Choose Him.
😇Confess, repent, be baptized, change your life.
😇Live like His Son, Yeshua (Jesus).
😇Be faithful

💜To live and love like Yeshua and to love Him is to take time to get to know Him.

😇Read the Bible
😇Follow in His footsteps
😇Take time to be alone with Yahwineh
😇Be an example of love and goodness
😇Speak truth
😇Follow the commandments
😇Confess, repent, be baptized in His name
😇Love people
😇Be faithful

💜To love people is to see them through the eyes of Yahweh and...

😇Be genuine
😇Be honest
😇Be compassionate
😇Be patient
😇Be kind
😇Be gentle
😇Be faithful
😇Be helpful
😇Be understanding 
😇Be a light in their darkness
😇Tell them about the love of Yahweh
😇Tell them about Salvation through Yeshua

This is a short list of the things I have learned to help me answer the question my 10 year old self had, "How do I live like Yeshua?"

Your Story Can Inspire {Day 9: Inspire}

In my first blog post of this 31 day series I mentioned that I loved listening to a person tell a story. When we share our stories we can inspire and encourage others.  We can help people understand they are not alone in their struggles.

Throughout the Bible there are inspiring stories. Some help to strengthen our faith, our prayer life, and our hope. Some teach us lessons, some tell us how to live, and some give us a glimpse into the future.

One story I always think about when I feel like I am losing my hope is Hannah's. Day after day she longed for a child. She was made to feel as if she was inferior by Penninah, who "provoked (Hannah) severely to make her miserable, because the LORD had closed her womb." Even still she held on to God. She cried out to Him, "O LORD of hosts, of You will indeed look on  the affliction of Your maidservant and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant,  but will give Your maidservant a Male child, then I will give Him to the LORD all the days of his life, and no razor shall come upon his head."

We know that He heard her and granted her prayer. She kept her vow to God and gave Samuel to Him in service. "For this child I prayed, and the LORD has granted my petition which I asked of Him."

This story touches my heart for many reasons. But today I want to share why it inspires me. Hannah, even though loved by her husband, had to share him with Penninah who had children while Hannah couldn't. Penninah made Hannah's life miserable. How many of us have been made miserable by another person's words and actions (maybe not another wife, thank God, but someone)? Many times because of those hurts we lose hope, faith, and at times even stop praying. Hannah held on! She knew, in His perfect timing, she would conceive a child. She believed in the power of prayer! She cried out to Him, spoke to Him from her soul, and didn't care who witnessed her tearful plea. He granted her prayer.

We may need to wait awhile for the "yes," and sometimes we may need to learn the lesson of why the answer is a "no." We just need to hold on. Keep seeking Him out and crying out to Him.

Who will you inspire with your story?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

In The Arms Of Comfort {Day 8: Comfort}

Don' you just love those kind of hugs that melt away all the stresses of life? The hugs you fit so comfortably in, like they were made just for you? I do! I am not a huggy person by nature so finding these kind had an awkward beginning for me. Most of the time they made me feel trapped. My entire body would stiffen up and my mind said run! Yahweh God had another plan, He wanted me to feel comfort in hugs instead of panic.

About 22 or 23 years ago He allowed my path to cross with an wonderful godly woman. Every conversation was centered around His love and our need for Him. Our need for His comfort that nothing in this world could compare too. She is a hugger. She would make sure I got a hug everytime I saw her and she knew exactly how hugs made me feel but she wanted to teach me something. The lesson was, there is nothing to fear if given in Light of God's love.

Yahweh is the ultimate comforter. He can bring peace to a heart that is in chaos. He can strengthen the soul that is tired. He can mend the broken hearted. Sometimes He does this by using people who are filled with His love. At just the right moment they come into your life and teach you things like, hugs are good for you and to just relax!

How wonderful it is to have the ultimate comforter by my side! In the midst of life's hardest lessons, I know I will make it through. Not only do I get to dwell in God's presence but He has given me people who help me along life's rocky places and who rejoice with me when it's smooth sailing. 

Will you let Him comfort you today?

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Holding On To Hope {Day 7: Hope}

“What strength do I have, that I should hope?

And what is my end, that I should prolong my life?
Job 6:11 (NKJV)

“Have I enough strength to go on waiting?
What end can I expect, that I should be patient?
Job 6:11 (CJB)

Google defines hope as, "a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen." Not long ago I read a book by Dr. Michelle Bengtson called Hope Prevails Insights from a Doctor's Personal Journey Through Depression and also her Bible Study book by the same name and it blessed my heart and helped me through some very hard times. It reminded me of the hope I have in my relationship with God. Hope for His promises to come to pass. Hope for eternal life with Him. 

"And you would be secure, because there is hope; Yes, you would dig around you, and take your rest in safety." 
Job 11:18 (NKJV)

"You will be confident, because there is hope; you will look around you and lie down secure;" 
~Job 11:18 (CJB)

When I read our word prompt for today I immediately thought about Job. I don't know if he would be the one to come to mind for many people when they think of the word hope. Job had everything taken from him, his family, his wealth, his health and yet never sinned. He must have had hope in the promises and character of God even if he didn't understand what was happening or why it was happening.

"Then Job arose, tore his robe, and shaved his head; and he fell to the ground and worshiped. And he said:
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”
 In all this Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong."
~Job 1:20-22 (NKJV)

 "Iyov got up, tore his coat, shaved his head, fell down on the ground and worshipped; he said,
“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,

and naked I will return there.
Adonai gave; Adonai took;
blessed be the name of Adonai.”
In all this Iyov neither committed a sin nor put blame on God."
~Job 1:20-22 (CJB)

Prior to the scripture I shared above Job had already been informed that he had lost his livestock, servants, and his son's and daughters. "...he fell to the ground and worshiped." "...Job did not sin nor charge God with wrong." Instead he, he blessed the Name of the Lord." In my hopelessness I cave into myself, I don't bless the LORD, I don't fall down to the ground and worship Him. I sin, by speaking words of death instead of life. I may not blame God but I don't always praise Him in the midst of the storm. Sometimes I let go of hope and crawl into the darkness and wallow in self-pity. Sometimes this is intentional and sometimes it stems from things that aren't always in my control. Either way, I am not like Job and today I long to be. I want to make worship and blessing the LORD's name my priority on the hard days as easily as the good days. 

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
 But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.
~Job 2:9-10 (NKJV)

 His wife asked him, “Why do you still hold on to your integrity? Curse God, and die!”  But he answered her, “You’re talking like a low-class woman! Are we to receive the good at God’s hands but reject the bad?” In all this Iyov did not say one sinful word.
 ~Job 2:9-10 (CJB)

We have not been promised an easy life filled with endless days of happiness and prosperity. We will endure hardship, we will endure rejection, we will endure sadness, we will endure pain, we will endure sickness, and much more. However, if we hold on to hope we can live in joy, peace, and filled with God's love in the midst of the storms. We can smile genuinely without having to wear a mask. We can share our stories with all honesty and truth even when it is hard so that others will not feel alone and can find that same hope. 

And the Lord restored Job’s losses when he prayed for his friends. Indeed the Lord gave Job twice as much as he had before. 
~Job 42:10 (NKJV)

 When Iyov prayed for his friends, Adonai restored his fortunes; Adonai gave Iyov twice as much as he had had before. 
~Job 42:10 (CJB)

Hope in God will allow us to encourage and pray for others who are going through hardships. Hope in the storms of life will bring us closer to God and will keep us from falling into Satan's trap of lies. Today hold on to hope! 

Saturday, October 6, 2018

We Belong Together {Day 6: Belong}

I love being married! Through the good times and bad times, I have a constant companion. He lifts me up when I am down and I do the same for him. Each day that passes my love grows for him. I never thought I would find that kind of love, much less get married. Yet, by the grace of God, here we are almost 16 years later.

This is the beauty of true, unconditional, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part kind of love. It is a choice. It is giving 100% of yourself so it can work. It is "I love you's," compliments, encouragement, and genuine caring about each other's dreams. It's "I'm sorry," and making changes. It's  forgiveness and compassion. It's understanding and empathy. It's learning to love each other quirks and giving each other space. It's being interested in each other's hobbies even if it is just enough to talk about it. It's putting each other above others. It's making time for each other. It's making each other a priority. It's the essence of love pure and simple.

We knew we belonged together. It was evident our hearts had connected. When we saw each other in those early days before we chose to date, our smiles shared what our souls longed to say. A year later we entered into a sacred bond sanctified by God. "Until death do us part."

To Share or Not to Share {Day 5:Share}

Growing up we are told share our toys, books, sometimes even our clothes with our siblings. We share a meal with family. We share our secrets with our best friends or in our diaries. Sometimes we don't want to share! Maybe it is our favorite toy, book, shoes, or the one secret that we believe will change how people us. We become stingy with our things and our thoughts.

When a traumatic moment happens in our lives and instead of hearing understanding words and compassion. We hear things like, "you're an embarrassment" or "you're crazy,"maybe even, "you're lying" the vault closes. Words, emotions, and even yourself get locked inside and a mask of what others want us to be comes out. Happy, smiling masked faces and the ever popular, "I'm fine." This is not how God wants us to live.

Fast forward quite a few years and you realize that maybe you are God's masterpiece, maybe you are fearfully and wonderfully made, and maybe just maybe He loves without condition. He loves you just as you are in all your chaotic and emotional mess. What wonderous truth to live by and to share!!

Share the Good News!! Share the Fact that God Loves You!! His Precious Son Died For You and Me to Receive Salvation and Ultimately Eternal Life!!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

"Because I said so." ~God {Day 4:Why}

“Therefore you shall love the Lord your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always. - Deuteronomy 11:1 

As I read today's prompt it made me laugh - out loud. It brought to mind how many times as a child I asked my parent's, "why?" Just to hear, "because I said so!" It is the same with my "why God" question. Because He said so, read His word, it's right there. That should be sufficient yet I still find myself asking, "why God, why?"

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.For He is our God, And we are the people of His pasture, And the sheep of His hand. Today, if you will hear His voice:“Do not harden your hearts, as in the rebellion, As in the day of trial in the wilderness, 
- Psalm 95:6-8 

Recently, I shared a post about tossing out junk from my home. It started with a conviction from the Holy Spirit about the music I listen to and even the music I don't listen to anymore but still own. It took me a couple of days to come to terms with the "because I said so,"from God. These things have no place in my life and my journey with Him. He knows best. He knows my struggles with mental illness stemming from all sorts of things and how music can pull me into darkness or lift me into His presence. I had to make a choice. I needed to accept that sometimes the only answer that matters to my "why God,"is "because I said so."

But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’
 - Jeremiah 7:23 

Tune in for more of my, "Okay, God, You know best,"answers to the age old questions of, "why?"

Will you be obedient to the conviction of the Holy Spirit even if you don't understand why?

I Believe {Day 3:Believe}

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 
- 1 Peter 1:3-5 

❤I believe in Yahweh God.
❤I believe in Yeshua the Messiah.
❤I believe the Bible is truth.
❤I believe in the power of prayer.
❤I believe in Yahweh's (God's) perfect timing.
❤I believe in honoring Him in action.
❤I believe in glorifying Him through songs and stories.
❤I believe in baptism as a willing adult as a representation of Yeshua's death, burial, and resurrection.
❤I believe in the power of the Holy Spirit.
❤I believe in obedience to the entirety of His Word.
❤I believe in love, joy, and peace.
❤I believe in patience, kindness, and goodness.
❤I believe in faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
❤I believe in forgiveness, mercy, and grace.
❤I believe in the sacredness of marriage.
❤I believe in compassion, empathy, and understanding.
❤I believe in honesty, strength of character, and dreams.
❤I believe every day is an opportunity to enjoy life.
❤I believe that life is too short to play games with people's feelings, hold grudges, and hate.
❤I believe in saying, "I love you," to those you love daily. 
❤I believe we are all a work in progress, Yah's masterpiece, fearfully, and wonderfully made.
❤I believe we are loved by Yah.
❤I believe....

Today, I focused on what I believe and it gave me insight to those things I need to work on. I need to live as I believe. 

What do you believe?

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Afraid To Tell {Day 2:Afraid}

I have always loved hearing a story and reading a story but telling one has always given me anxiety. If I tell my story someone will make fun of me, stop talking to me, or feel differently about me. I have typed and deleted so many beginnings because I was afraid. How do you overcome fear?

I hung on to God's truth. The amount of times His Word says, "Do not fear," should make us stop and take note! It took me years and years to be able to begin telling my story. As I let the words flow onto paper or the screen I felt a sense of weight lifting from me.

God gave me the desire to write. I have tried writing stories that had nothing to do with my life but it never worked. I knew He wanted me to share my story but I was afraid to tell.

Today, I will overcome being afraid to tell.