OK, OK, so it’s almost 5am and I have NOT been able to sleep. WIDE AWAKE. So I put my insomnia to good use and got ahead on my Bible reading. I’m now into 2 Samuel thru the 12th chapter. I am enjoying my reading… no matter how many times you’ve heard these stories or how many many times you’ve read them… I’ve found that depending on where you are in life, God reveals a different side of Him every time. Where when I was younger and I read these stories, as an adult I view them differently.
Tonight as I was reading… I couldn’t help but to wonder, is this insomnia due to me or my LORD. I like to think that He missed me and wanted to spend time with me… and I with Him. For your time is a gift that no one else can give. My prayer is that, since I was faithful to it, He will help me through work tomorrow 😉 … as I know He will.
I’d like to encourage those of you out there that are reading this blog… get to know Him better. There will be NO REGRETS, except that you didn’t do it sooner.
Thank you LORD for leap year. For it is because of leap year that I am caught up now. I read thru to 1Samuel chapter 20, and I am excited about what I read. The same thing stuck out at me in the book of Ruth that it did in 1Samuel chapter 18-20 … friendship and loyalty.
I got the same joy in my heart when I read about Ruth & Naomi as I did when I read about Jonathan & David. Pure friendships like these are far and few between. To truly love someone as yourself is hard to find today. First off, most people don’t love themselves, so loving someone else as themselves is unthinkable. I love my husband Joe as I love myself but outside of spouses and blood relatives is there a friend waiting for you? A friendship (same-sex non-related person), can many say that today they do have one? I mean we are talking about, taking care of their needs before your wants. Someone you would uplift to their face and behind their back. Someone who even if you seem distant will go the extra mile to bring you back. A friend that keeps you honest and faces you toward truth. People who even tho your life changes, they fight and make it a priority to make you a part of the changes going on in their life. Someone who may not be your blood but makes you their own. Its hard! Friendships are not what they use to be. We are so tired at the end of the day that going the extra mile for someone you don’t have to, suddenly is too easy to fluff off. That when they are going thru a tragedy and it makes us uncomfortable and you don’t know what to say, you pull away rather than drop everything to be there for them. We’ve lost our ability to not only accept a blessing but to be the blessing as well. Where have all the friendships gone?
I for one have one, when I went thru the death of my mother to my wedding all within 1 month from each other, I discovered who my real friends were. Not only did I have A MAJOR change of my mother’s death (who was also my best friend & spiritual leader) but I started a new life with my husband…all with in a month. And that’s when I discovered my true friends were my family. Even thru their tragic state of mourning our mother… they dropped everything their grief & unbelievable broken hearts to help me finish thru to my wedding (which was one of our mothers dieing wishes). Others came to my moms funeral & came to the wedding, but none were there in the heart of my grief. No one came and said I’ll drop everything and help you thru this month. I was in such a state of shock…but my sister going thru the same death with me… dropped everything and came. We made it thru together. So friendship to me made a BIG change when I went thru some major changes in my life. So now I see the word sister as a close friendship. I have many ‘friends’ but if I call you a sister, then that means you are special to me…my blessing. Now for my actual sister she has her own name that ALWAYS stand her apart from the rest I call her Frister (my friend & sister). No one else can ever take that name in my life. My Frister is my heart, her husband is my dearest brother, and her children I love as my own. They are my precious gems who drop everything to help me and I can count on their strength when I am weak, and visa versa.
If you do find yourself in a true life-long friendship (same sex outside of your spouse or children) count yourself lucky. It is a blessing from our LORD. Friendships are important, hold tight… and go the extra mile for them, for it truly is a rare gem to have.
I think sometimes we forget that our LORD wants these things with us as well. It’s too easy to fluff to the side of spending time with HIM. Have you ever had a friend that only called you when they were having problems and wanted some guidance? If you know how hurtful and annoying that is, remember then to NOT make our LORD feel that way. We need to go the extra mile and be what HE needs us to be for HIM. After all we always expect HIM to be there for us?? When it comes to our LORD, I feel our side of the friendship is really bad. So perhaps as you think about friendships, what you like in some, and don’t like in others… remember to put your lessons to good use and improve the one friendship that will be around for an eternity. Make this friendship a priority with no boundaries. For HE is Love … love unconditional.
I love to read about Deborah, she is the first woman in the Bible to be mentioned as holding any kind of respected position in the community. And I love that she called herself ‘Mother of Israel’ in chapter 5 vs 7. She just sounds like one of those women (and most of us have met one, if not more, in our lives) where she is seen as the grandma to all. Someone with a huge heart and a great following with God… an ‘old soul’ so to speak that understands everyone (and sneaks you cookies when your folks aren’t looking) 🙂 This is why I love Deborah, the way they describe her, men and woman respected her and God trusted her to carry out what he needed.
The other thing that stuck out to me was … well… really something that made me chuckle. In chapter 5 vs 11 ‘Listen to the sound of the singers at the watering holes. There they tell about the victories of the LORD, the victories of the LORD’s warriors in Israel.’ This verse made me chuckle because, it’s not just at the office, it started here first folks… the water hole is where you find out whats going on… it’s the social magnet since the beginning of time …lol. This made my morning ( I think I’m really tired).
Almost caught up! Man when you skip a few days for whatever the reason is, you really have to be motivated to get caught up… otherwise it is TOO EASY to set it aside until ‘next year’. If this is you right now, let me encourage you to keep doing what you can to get caught up! One piece of encouragement is that we are in leap year, so you will have a days grace this year 😉
Ok, so I am finally through Joshua (and it ended with Joshua passing away), and I gotta say, the Israelites are driving me crazy. I can understand a small part of Gods annoyance with them. I’m only reading about it and I want to rip my hair out. But let’s be honest, it’s not just them, its us. And reading this as a whole I can see the resemblance. We are sinners… in need of grace.
I for one what to ask forgiveness when I make God want to pull His hair out, He’s got to feel like He’s beating his head against a wall with us. I’m sure frustration is the tip of the iceberg of emotions He has for us on a daily basis. If I got nothing else from the Israelites… I pray that I am more aware that I can be like that, and work on striving for spiritual perfection… (akum) notice I said STRIVE!!
OK, so like I mentioned, I am playing ‘catch up’ on my Bible reading, which I neglected last weekend when I went out of town. So tonight I read thru Joshua 9 thru 12. A story that stuck out to me was in Chapter 10, when God listened to Joshua and made the sun stand still in the middle of the sky for a full day so that they could defeat their enemies.
Whenever I hear this story, I always remember a VBS class I had when I was younger and my teacher said, ‘Do you find it hard to believe that God made the sun stand still?’ and ofcourse our class was divided, I said I believed it, but many did not. Then he asked, ‘Do you believe the very first verse in the Bible, In the begining God created the heavens and the earth is true?’ And ofcourse all of us said ‘YES’, because as little kids its the one story we knew well. Then he said, ‘Why then would it be hard for you to believe that God made the sun stand still, if HE created it?’ And although I grew up believing it was all true, a light bulb turned on inside me to find out within myself if I believed it. Not just what I’ve been taught my entire life and was told to believe, but do I truly believe it. And years later, many many years older then that little girl who sat in that VBS class… I can honestly say YES, I believe it. I believe in the first verse of the Bible, therefore, I believe that God can make the sun stand still, a virgin can give birth to the son of God, and that Jesus is the son of God. After all, if you say you believe in the first verse of the Bible, and you don’t believe the rest is true, then YOU are not being true.
First off I’d like to back up to what I read in Deuteronomy yesterday and how sad it was for me to read that God had Moses die before entering into the promise land. Moses, the man who God chose to lead his people out of Egypt and into the desert for 40 years, who dealt with all the Israelites issues, whining, and disobedience … I feel sadness for him! Half of his life’s journey and God only allows him to see it from the hill-top. Ministers, Preachers, Elders, Sunday School Teachers, Youth Leaders… let this be a lesson to you. In my personal opinion what Moses did that angered God to the point of taking his life so Moses will never enter the promise land, was NOTHING compared to what the Israelites did the entire trip through the desert. But because Moses was close to God, he was held to a higher standard. Just like all the leaders in our churches. You are put there by God, therefore you will be judged more harshly. Perhaps as far to say you need to walk a more narrow road than the flock you lead! I suppose I understand this. You may love ALL children and want nothing but good things for them, but YOUR OWN child, the one you are the closest to, the one you sit face to face with, the one you’ve blessed and guided… that child is held to a higher standard than the rest in your eyes. That child knows you more than any other child, so if they didn’t trust you or disobeyed you, you would be more hurt then if a child you’ve hardly had any interaction with did it. From this thought I understand God’s decision… but it still makes my heart-break for Moses.
That thought aside, when Moses died Joseph took over the Israelites and stepped into ‘Moses sandals’ . The book of Joshua is basically the Israelites conquering the promise land. This morning I read about their journey of bringing down the walls of Jericho. (insert song) Joshua fought the battle of Jericho, Jericho, Jericho Joshua fought the battle of Jericho and walls came tumbling down (end song)
When I read the story of Jericho, I was trying to put myself in the position of the Israelites when Joshua told them what they needed to do to get into the city of Jericho. I would have thought, … really? just walk around the wall and say nothing until the 7th day… we scream and the walls will just fall??? Am I being punked… Ashton, where are you! But it worked and it goes to show that we DON’T always understand God’s plan, but He went ahead of them and made a way… and that is such a wonderful thing to remember!