Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
And when the LORD smelled the pleasing aroma, the LORD said in His heart, “I will never again curse the ground because of man, for the intention of man’s heart is evil from his youth. Neither will I ever again strike down every living creature as I have done.
While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease.”
As we look another cold blast from the Arctic straight in the eye, we may be frozen to the bone, tired of winter, ready for summer or spring, anyway. It is only the first week of March. We may have weeks left of this winter weather. We just don’t know. But one thing we do know is that God told us that He will always have winter and summer, cold and heat, seedtime and harvest. ALWAYS…while the earth remains. He said it in His heart.
When you or I say things in our hearts, it more often than not is said with honesty, integrity, wholeheartedness. We mean it. Our hearts speak from the very being of who we are whom God made. Our hearts speak with the openness and gloriousness of life.
When God speaks in His heart, He speaks with His all, in His Truth, and the words spoken, whether silently or aloud, they are His very Word. He says twice in verse 21, I will never again…. Neither will I ever again…. NEVER AGAIN. He means that. We, His children, know that. As we learn to trust and revere Him as we grow in Christ, we come to realize that what God says, He speaks only Truth.
So, we must accept these wintry blasts and walk in the snow for a breath of fresh air. Or sit by the fire and keep warm. Put on extra layers of clothing. Let us spread our godly warmth to those who are cold, who need a bowl of hot soup, who need a jacket or pair of mittens. Let us spread God’s Love by the warmth and truth that is in our hearts. Winters are here to stay as long as there is the earth.
Father God, may we be Your emissaries to those who are cold without You. May we share Your love through kindness and caring, through giving and hugs. May we stay warm ourselves because we are standing under Your wings of protection. May we be a sweet aroma to You by our words and our actions. In the beautiful Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. Ephesians 5:1-2
- a young boy becoming excited that he is learning to read
- innocence of children in their inquisitiveness
- cold but bright mornings
- A’s orchids
- special sweet memories of Mama
- memories of my childhood that make me smile
- giving a homemade meal to a friend who is a widow and wasn’t going to cook that night – just did not feel up to it
- giving hugs to another sweet widow in the grocery store
- an hour on the phone with my youngest sister
and counting #1707-1715
As this winter, 2014, moves on and on and on, so many have persevered, struggled, suffered, and are yet in the midst of storm upon storm. My prayers are with you each and all.
Thinking about “joy” tonight made me look to this winter and I am looking for God in the midst of it all which led me to Job 37. I will share parts of that chapter as Elihu is proclaiming God’s Majesty to Job.
1 “At this also my heart trembles
and leaps out of its place.
2 Keep listening to the thunder of His voice
and the rumbling that comes from His mouth.
3 Under the whole heaven He lets it go,
and His lightning to the corners of the earth.
4 After it His voice roars;
He thunders with His majestic voice,
and He does not restrain the lightnings when His voice is heard.
5 God thunders wondrously with His voice;
He does great things that we cannot comprehend.
6 For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’
likewise to the downpour, His mighty downpour.
9 From its chamber comes the whirlwind,
and cold from the scattering winds.
10 By the breath of God ice is given,
and the broad waters are frozen fast.
11 He loads the thick cloud with moisture;
the clouds scatter His lightning.
12 They turn around and around by His guidance,
to accomplish all that He commands them
on the face of the habitable world.
13 Whether for correction or for His land
or for love, He causes it to happen.
14 “Hear this, O Job;
stop and consider the wondrous works of God.
Father God, I thank You for Your Word and the insight as I see through this winter’s misery and struggles. You show me more of Your creation. You love us and want Your best for each of Your children. I thank You and am humbled by Your Almighty majesty and power. I feel like a cloud that You have called into being and filled up with moisture, then let me soak up Your wisdom. You then allow me to rain some of what I learn upon those I touch in a day.
Thank You for blessing me with these three children to whom I tutor helping them to gain in their first grade studies and in their confidence. More than anything, LORD, I want them to know You through me, to know Your love. Their confidence is rising already and I know that is from You. Praising You, God, for You know just what each one needs in their young lives. I pray that they will truly know You as they grow. I lift them up as well as all those who are in the middle of this harsh but beautiful winter. I pray in the Strong Name of Jesus. Amen.
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I am grateful for the love I know in my home and in my heart. I thank God for the ability to teach children to read. Thank You for loving me so that I can love these children. I find joy in the small steps each of the three children You have given me to tutor take whenever we meet. I am thankful for the Yellow-Rumped Warblers spread out all over the backyard the other day, for the Golden-Fronted Woodpeckers, and for the live cam of the baby Albatross in its nest just down the street from my sister in Kauai. May I continue to seek Your beauty and find it in all circumstances. In ALL circumstances.
Therefore David blessed the Lord in the presence of all the assembly.
As I pray before You, LORD, I find that David’s words fill my heart with the way I feel towards You. I have no other Father but You. I am here only because of You. I give only that which is already Yours. Your words are the words I want to think, say, and live. You are the One I desire to please. I pray David’s words back to You, my LORD. ~
And David said: “Blessed are You, O Lord, the God of Israel our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is Yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head above all.
Both riches and honor come from You, and You rule over all. In Your hand are power and might, and in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. And now we thank You, our God, and praise Your Glorious Name.
“But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able thus to offer willingly? For all things come from You, and of Your own have we given You. For we are strangers before You and sojourners, as all our fathers were. Our days on the earth are like a shadow, and there is no abiding. O Lord our God, all this abundance that we have provided for building You a house for Your Holy Name comes from Your hand and is all Your own. I know, my God, that You test the heart and have pleasure in uprightness. In the uprightness of my heart I have freely offered all these things, and now I have seen Your people, who are present here, offering freely and joyously to You. O Lord, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, our fathers, keep forever such purposes and thoughts in the hearts of Your people, and direct their hearts toward You. Grant to Solomon my son a whole heart that he may keep Your commandments, Your testimonies, and Your statutes, performing all, and that he may build the palace for which I have made provision.”
Then David said to all the assembly, “Bless the Lord Your God.” And all the assembly blessed the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed their heads and paid homage to the Lord and to the king. 1 Chronicles 29:10-20
I, too, bless You, Father, head bowed, heart humbled. There is no other besides You for You created all and are all. With my heart and soul, my mind and very being, I believe. Guide my steps as I continue to learn to walk the path You are leading me down. Amen.
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Photo: Jon Sullivan - http://favoritescripture.com/
The life of Jesus is my guide, my pattern, to maturity. The more I follow Jesus, learning of His ways, the more pleasing I become to my Creator.
Jesus still calls me today: And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” Mark 8:34
God spoke, declaring His Son to be pleasing in His sight: He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” Matthew 17:5
Jesus gave me example after example as to how I ought to live: Servants, be subject to your masters with all respect, not only to the good and gentle but also to the unjust. For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:18-21
God’s Word continually reminds me of the road directly to Him: …but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked. 1 John 2:5-6
Jesus tells me to please His Father, not man: “I do not receive glory from people.” …. ”How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?” John 5:41, 44
I am equipped, not by my efforts, nor by my will, but by the Holy Spirit Who lives within me, to shape my life to become pleasing to my Father: Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. Hebrews 13:20-21
Abba Father, I am Your child who so desires to please You and learn of the ways which You desire for me. I am seeing more and more that I, this woman, cannot do anything without You. All of my life, I have wanted to please others, not get into arguments, not cause strife, nor cause anyone else a problem. It has been only You Who made any of that possible, not me. I am still learning, aren’t I, LORD? Always will be? Yes, I know. But I want to always be learning and following Your Son. I thank You so much for my salvation. My slate was wiped clean by Your Son. I am a new creation. I desire to be a pleasing creation to You. May Your Holy Spirit forever guide and guard me as I continue to walk on this earthly journey. With forever love, Your daughter. Amen.
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to please God.
Oh, Father God, I so desire to to please You in all I am, all I do, and all I say. That word “all” is way over my head as far as my capability to achieve these hopes for my life. I depend upon You to walk me through this life so that I truly can please You as best as possible for this human daughter. My ways are not Yours, but I am Yours. I am Your daughter. As a daughter I have desired to please my parents. As a wife, I desire to please my husband. Nothing has changed in the desires of my heart. It is the actual ability to please that I once again place upon the Cross and ask for help, for Your tender mercies, for Your lovingkindness, and for Your hand to hold mine as I walk this path. I love You, LORD. I pray in the redeeming Name of Jesus. Amen.
1 Thessalonians 4:1 ~
Finally, then, brothers, we ask and urge you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God, just as you are doing, that you do so more and more. ESV
Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more. KJV
Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;…. NKJV
Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. NLT
As for other matters, brothers and sisters, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. NIV
Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more. NASB
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. Colossians 1:9-10
I chose ‘honor’ as my 2014 One Word. In my definition, I wrote about obedient duty and inner respect. In Colossians 1, I am reminded that honoring God is pleasing Him by what flows from my heart. It is not just that I lay sacrifices on the altar, nor that I just do certain tasks and say it is done unto Him or in His Name or for His glory, but it is the manner in which I carry out any call God has for me, a manner worthy of Him. My LORD calls for me to walk worthy of Him and walk in His Ways. By stepping in His footprints, I am honoring Him. I am pleasing Him. Yet, oh, what a call! Not easy, nor always done willingly, or done with the heart of Christ, yet it is always a desire of my heart to walk worthy of Him, to please Him.
“With what shall I come before the LORD,
and bow myself before God on high?
Shall I come before him with burnt offerings,
with calves a year old?
Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,
with ten thousands of rivers of oil?
Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression,
the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul?”
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the LORD require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God? Micah 6:6-8
And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. Mark 12:33-34
Father, I pray that the words ‘honor’ and ‘please’ become more embedded in me and within my heart. I so desire to be pleasing to You, to be that sweet aroma to You. Show me Your ways and teach me what I need to know in order to be that daughter to You that is pleasing unto You. I ask these in the Name of Your Son. Amen.
I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the LORD more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
When the humble see it they will be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive. Psalm 69:30-32
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Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. Psalm 139:16
Spurgeon writes, “Before we had a being in the world we had a being in His heart. When we were enemies to Him, He knew us, our misery, our madness, and our wickedness. When we wept bitterly in despairing repentance, and viewed Him only as a judge and a ruler, He viewed us as His brethren well beloved, and His bowels yearned towards us. He never mistook His chosen, but always beheld them as objects of His infinite affection.”
But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” 2 Timothy 2:19
Father, You are my God. You knew me and know me. You love me despite my failings. You saved me out of the depths of Your love. You have my name in Your Book and I am Yours for always. One day, I will stand before You and will know the love that You have always had for me. Oh, how blessed I am to have You for my Father. Thank You, thank You. I am so very humbled. I feel so adored, so cared for because You are such a loving God. I have far to go in my walk with You but I want to be near You and to continue to learn to walk in Your Ways, to imitate You for I am Your child. I will stand firm on the Foundation of the Cornerstone. In the Name of Jesus, Your Son. Amen.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. Ephesians 5:1
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I love You, O LORD, my Strength.
The LORD is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer,
my God, my Rock, in whom I take refuge,
my Shield, and the Horn of my salvation, my Stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, Who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies. Psalm 18:1b-3
In three small verses, David calls God powerful names. They are each words that we would use to suggest power, might, and protection. God is all of those and so much more. He is strong חֵזֶק chezeq …in the sense of help, our Strength. He is סֶלַע cela` … security, a stronghold of Jehovah, a safe haven, our Rock. He is our Fortress מָצוּד matsuwd …fastness, a strong place, a defensive position. As Deliverer, פָּלַט palat … He brings us into security or safety from a danger, an insecurity, a dark place. The Rock, צוּר tsuwr …a slightly different Hebrew word for Rock than above …”the rock where they took refuge,” the refuge and protection of Israel, God is the Rock still. As in a rock, He is our Refuge, חָסָה chacah …to trust in God, confide or hope in Him. God is the Shield, מָגֵן magen, …the Protector, carrying the shield before the enemy, before us in whatever or whomever we may find ourselves in and amongst. He is our Horn, קֶרֶן qeren ...as David says, “the horn of my help” or “the horn of my liberation,” taken from the image of animals using their horns for defense. The Horn of my Salvation, קֶרֶן יֵשַׁע qeren yesha` …placing both words together, God is the God of our help (salvation), safety, welfare, our Saviour. He is our Stronghold, מִשְׂגָּב misgab …God is the lofty place affording shelter and security, a refuge. He is the LORD, יְהֹוָה Yĕhovah …the One true God, “the Existing One.”
LORD, You are my All in all. You defend me. You hold me in the cleft of Your rock. You hold me near. You shield me from fears and darkness. You protect me. You have saved me and will bring me into Your Kingdom one day. Oh, LORD, I am ever so grateful and fall to my knees in adoration of You, the One and Only. You are truly worthy to be praised, my Father. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.
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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Matthew Henry said: ”He is the Word speaking from God to us, and to God for us. John the Baptist was the voice, but Christ the Word: being the Word, he is the Truth, the Amen, the faithful Witness of the mind of God.”
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life—the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us—that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete. 1 John 1:1-4 ESV
Father, I pray I will meditate upon Your Word as if devoured by Its beauty, Its vibrancy, Its call from the depths. May I hear Your voice in my ears, my heart, my soul. May I seek You diligently without procrastination or unwillingness. Oh, Father, I want to please You so. You, my LORD will command Your lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night Your song shall be with me, and my prayer shall call unto You, my God, the God of my life. (Psalm 42:8) I pray in the Name of Your Son, Jesus the Christ. Amen.
And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him. 1 Samuel 17:7
And there was again a battle in Gob with the Philistines, where Elhanan the son of Jaareoregim, a Bethlehemite, slew the brother of Goliath the Gittite, the staff of whose spear was like a weaver’s beam. 2 Samuel 21:19
And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian’s hand was a spear like a weaver’s beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian’s hand, and slew him with his own spear. 1 Chronicles 11:23
(Who were those who slew these men? These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had, who strengthened themselves with him in his kingdom, and with all Israel, to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel. 1 Chronicles 11:10 …David’s mighty men.)
As a weaver, myself, these verses struck my curiosity chord. A weaver’s beam… In technical weaving terms, it is a strong beam, one usually at the top and another at the bottom, bracing the loom. As pictured in this Navajo loom below, the beams are where the warp is looped so that a weaver can weave over and under those warps with the weft or woof (either name is correct). There are many types of looms but they do all have some type of supporting beams.
Three main loom designs were used in the biblical world. On a horizontal ground loom, the warp threads were stretched between beams pegged to the ground. This type is apparently referred to in the Samson story (Judges 16:13-14), as it would have enabled Delilah to weave his locks while he slept. When Samson jumped up, he pulled away the pin(s) of the loom (Judges 16:14) which secured the beams to the ground.
In some vertical looms, the warp was stretched between two beams fixed in a rectangular frame. Work proceeded from the bottom of the loom, and the woven cloth could be rolled onto the bottom beam (Isaiah 38:12). This permitted the weaver to remain seated and to produce much longer finished products.
Another type of vertical loom had the warp threads attached to an upper beam and held taut in groups by a series of stone or clay weights. Weaving was done from the top to the bottom, and the weft beaten upwards. Large numbers of excavated loom weights testify to the popularity of warp weighted looms in Old Testament Israel.
In the Philistine army, there was one particularly impressive soldier, named Goliath. He was a large man (“six cubits and a span” can be anywhere from 8’5″ to 9’2″), and he had armor and weapons to match his size.
And there came out from the camp of the Philistines a champion named Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail, and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. And he had bronze armor on his legs, and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver’s beam, and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron. And his shield-bearer went before him. He stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why have you come out to draw up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not servants of Saul? Choose a man for yourselves, and let him come down to me. If he is able to fight with me and kill me, then we will be your servants. But if I prevail against him and kill him, then you shall be our servants and serve us.” 1 Samuel 17:4-9
We know the outcome of this most familiar story as David tries to tell Saul of his abilities:
Your servant has struck down both lions and bears, and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God.” And David said, “The LORD who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you!” 1 Samuel 17:36-37
So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. There was no sword in the hand of David. 1 Samuel 17:50
Power in the things of this world and physical strength of man is not of God. God uses His servants when they are willing, faithful, and surrendered to Him. We are His weaver’s beam when we allow Him to use us in all we are, do, and say. Our strength is in the LORD. We weave our lives day-to-day. Regrets, wrong turns, blessings, and right turns all roll into the woven fabric of our lives. Instead of taking up that beam to beat down the devil as he confronts us or to beat down ourselves for poor choices or when we walked away from God, we must get down on our knees, asking God to protect us with His strength, His power, His might, and His lovingkindness. We must pick up His sword, the Word of God, using it as Jesus did in the wilderness when tempted by the devil.
Father, God, You have called me to honor You in all I am, in all I say, and in all I do. I want to honor and respect You as I should. Father, protect me from the evil one, holding me in the cleft of Your rock. When the Goliaths of this world come near me, I pray that I trust in You as David did. Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the LORD saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give you into our hand.” 1 Samuel 17:45-47 May I know in my heart and mind that the battle is Your’s and that You will give the enemy into my hand. I do not need a weaver’s beam for battle, only to use it to weave a beautiful cloth for You. May my heart be filled with wisdom as I do this work for You. Oh, Father, I love You. I pray in Your Son’s Name. Amen.
Them hath he filled with wisdom of heart, to work all manner of work, of the engraver, and of the cunning workman, and of the embroiderer, in blue, and in purple, in scarlet, and in fine linen, and of the weaver, even of them that do any work, and of those that devise cunning work. Exodus 35:35
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Giving thanks for so very much: a sister who cares and loves me, my husband, the blue skies today, the warmer temperatures, the indecisiveness for this moment for I know my God has the answer for us, the gentle touch on my face of a soft hand filled with love, a peaceful reuniting, a new child to tutor, one who is learning to read and getting excited about it himself, provision each day, albatross laying eggs in Kauai, these amazing birds that fly for thousands of miles without landing, one stays on the egg until the mate returns (can be a week to ten days or longer) and then the other goes to sea to eat (just one of God’s creation)