Shamayim

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In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.  Genesis 1:1

שָׁמַיִם

shamayim

  • heaven, heavens, sky
    • visible heavens, sky
      • as abode of the stars
      • as the visible universe, the sky, atmosphere, etc
    • Heaven: the abode of God, the dwelling place of God

On my last post, My Citizenship is in Heaven, I wrote of the assurance of having my home in Heaven and not here on the earth.  During these times, that promise is such a calming assurance.  Heaven is a beautiful word in Hebrew, shamayim.  A Hebrew word ending in im is plural…sense the vastness of the heavens.  Go outside on a clear night; lie down on the grass.  Look up and see the wide heavens filled with stars and planets aglow far away yet right before your very eyes.  The vast heavens draw us nearer to the God of Creation.

Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD’S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.  Deuteronomy 10:14

“There is none like the God of Jeshurun (Israel),
Who rides the heavens to your help,
And through the skies in His majesty.”  Deuteronomy 33:26

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain You; how much less this house that I have built!”  1 Kings 8:27

Not only did God create such beauty with such depth, width, height, and length, but, ultimately, God sacrificed His One and Only Son.  He loved us so much that He gave His All.

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

I am blessed beyond measure.   

And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.  Hebrews 10:10

ONCE AND FOR ALL!   Hallelujah!

Sun Rays Through the Clouds Over the Ocean at Beach

God is mighty.  He is great.  He is above all.

The Mighty One, God the LORD,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to its setting.  Psalm 50:1

Praise the LORD!
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise Him in His mighty heavens!  Psalm 150:1

He is holy.

“Consecrate yourselves, therefore, and be holy, for I am the LORD your God.”  Leviticus 20:7

Our Redeemer—the LORD of hosts is His name—
is the Holy One of Israel.  Isaiah 47:4

As a child of God, a child who loves her Father and Creator, I desire to be holy as He is holy.  I am continuously learning to be humble, to bow, to kneel before Him.  I am always learning what this call means…to be holy.  Oh, but the delight that comes to me in this learning to be holy is that I “shall obtain fresh joy” … FRESH JOY!  Oh, is this not a beautiful gift?

The meek shall obtain fresh joy in the LORD,
and the poor among mankind shall exult in the Holy One of Israel.  Isaiah 29:19

FRESH JOY!!

Only through God’s holiness, His strength, His peace, His love can I live in this world with my eyes focused heavenward…on Eternity.  Ability to hold my tongue from speaking that which is ungodly is a gift of my God for He is holy.  I can speak words of encouragement, and take my thoughts captive, for He is holy.  Forgive me, Father, when I fail.

I am only able to be holy, as He is Holy, when I spend time in His Presence and in His Word.  As I am obedient to Him, He conforms me, molds me into His image.   

As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as He Who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”  1 Peter 1:14-16

Looking up, I begin to count the stars, knowing every single one is His.  I go barefoot in the sand, feeling zillions of grains between my toes, under my feet, knowing that they are each His as well.  I stand at the ocean’s edge, feeling the waves pulsing or crashing at the shore.  I am overwhelmed at the immensity of all that is God’s.

You are Holy, LORD, and are due my full respect and adoration.  I am so filled with gratitude for Your sacrifice of Your Son for me, for saving me from myself, my sins.  You poured out Your Love for me, for others such as me from time immemorial.  You painted the heavens and the earth so that I would have homes in which to be sheltered now and for Eternity.  Your grace and Your mercy cover me, Abba Father, so that I may know Your Fatherly Love.  In the vastness of You, my Father, I pray.   In the Saving Name of Jesus.  Amen. 

“Shout, and sing for joy, O inhabitant of Zion,
for great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.”  Isaiah 12:6

Amen.

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Stars over Sand Beach by Kent Miller (National Park Service/Acadia National Park-Night Sky Festival each year in September) – https://www.nps.gov/acad/learn/news/acadia-night-sky-festival-offers-shuttle-to-the-stars.htm

Sun Rays Through the Clouds Over the Ocean at Beach by Captain Kimo – https://captainkimo.com/hdr-photography-gallery/

Walk by the Spirit

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But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.  Galatians 5:16

Oh, that I walk in obedience to the LORD in ALL my steps.  But I am human and that is just not possible UNLESS I let this SELF go, placing her at the foot of the Cross and trust, TRUST, in the Holy Spirit for each and every step.  God gave me free will and I choose to pick this self up and try to do things in my own power.

I want to…

  • …walk humbly
  • …stay close
  • …live and show the fruit of the Spirit to this world in which I live in
  • …accept my inability to do these things as I am
  • …that I must be moldable and tender

 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  Galatians 5:24

from Daily Help by Charles H. Spurgeon:

As a man does not make himself spiritually alive, so neither can he keep himself so.  He can feed on spiritual food, and so preserve his spiritual strength; he can walk in the commandments of the Lord, and so enjoy the rest and peace, but still the inner life is dependent upon the Spirit as much for its after existence as for its first begetting.  No man himself, even when converted, hath any power, except as that power is daily, constantly, and perpetually infused into him by the Spirit.

The motive-power of action to a believing man lies hard by the realization that God, for Christ’s sake, hath forgiven his iniquities.

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For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.  Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.  Galatians 5:17-25

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And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 18:2-3

Abba Father, may this world dim in my mind and Your Light draw me nearer to You with each day, in each moment.  May I be the clay that You desire of me that You can mold me into the Linda that You created me to be.  May I be Yours in all ways.  I want to be a light in this world, drawing others to You who live in the darkness of this world.  I want to walk in humility as Your Spirit guides my steps.  Thank You, LORD, for Your love of this imperfect one.  …for I love You.  In the Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.  

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Daily Help (the February 19 reading) by Charles H. Spurgeon, compiled and edited by George Perry Dixon, The Family Inspirational Library, Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap, New York

31 Days of God-Woven-Moments – October 16

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Hezekiah became sick and was near death.  Isaiah told the king to set his house in order.  Hezekiah wept and prayed to God.  God heard his prayers and saw his tears and added fifteen years to his life.   ….

9 A writing of Hezekiah king of Judah, after he had been sick and had recovered from his sickness:

10  I said, In the middle of my days

I must depart;

I am consigned to the gates of Sheol

for the rest of my years.

11  I said, I shall not see the Lord,

the Lord in the land of the living;

I shall look on man no more

among the inhabitants of the world.

12  My dwelling is plucked up and removed from me

like a shepherd’s tent;

like a weaver I have rolled up my life;

he cuts me off from the loom;

from day to night you bring me to an end;

….

Hezekiah envisioned the ending of his life using metaphors to draw word-pictures.  The dwelling is often seen as our bodies, the place where life exists…blood and oxygen keeping us alive.  The shepherd’s tent is picked up with every move as he shepherds his sheep to better grazing.  The life is just taken, picked up.  A weaver cuts his woven work from the loom when it is finished.  Hezekiah saw his life finished, his life’s work done, completed.

….

16  O Lord, by these things men live,

and in all these is the life of my spirit.

Oh restore me to health and make me live!

17  Behold, it was for my welfare

that I had great bitterness;

but in love you have delivered my life

from the pit of destruction,

for you have cast all my sins

behind your back.

18  For Sheol does not thank you;

death does not praise you;

those who go down to the pit do not hope

for your faithfulness.

….

Hezekiah is filled with gratitude for the LORD’s graciousness.  So, too, should we as our lives can be cut off in a heartbeat.

Father, I give thanks for each moment, for each breath.  You do a work in and through me for which I am grateful.  I am nothing without You.  You continue to weave me, making me whole.  As I learn to be useful for Your Kingdom as You so desire of me, I pray that when the time comes that this weaving be removed from the loom, that I shall be ready to go Home.  You are my God.  I want to remain faithful to You until the end of this earthly life, until this tent is plucked up.  I love You, Father.  I thank You for this life.  In Your Son’s Name, I pray.  Amen.  

 

To catch up on the previous days of this 31 day challenge, you can find them listed here.

He Regards the Humble, the Lowly

lowly

Though the LORD is on high,
Yet He regards the lowly;
But the proud He knows from afar.  Psalm 138:6 NKJV

Though the LORD be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: but the proud he knoweth afar off.  KJV

For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly,
but the haughty he knows from afar.  ESV

Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble,
but he keeps his distance from the proud.  NLT

Though the LORD is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly; though lofty, he sees them from afar.  NIV

For high is Jehovah, and the lowly He seeth, And the haughty from afar He knoweth.  YLT

 

God is LORD of lords, King of kings.  He is the Holy One of Israel, the Creator.  He is my Father, my Joy, my life, my Hope, and my Refuge.  He is my Shelter, my Strength.  He is Omniscient, Omnipresent, and Omnipotent.  Look at these Names of God:

Adonai-Jehovah — The Lord our Sovereign
El-Elyon — The Lord Most High
El-Olam — The Everlasting God
El-Shaddai — The God Who is Sufficient for the Needs of His People
Jehovah-Elohim — The Eternal Creator
Jehovah-Jireh — The Lord our Provider
Jehovah-Nissi — The Lord our Banner
Jehovah-Ropheka — The Lord our Healer
Jehovah-Shalom — The Lord our Peace
Jehovah-Tsidkenu — The Lord our Righteousness
Jehovah-Mekaddishkem — The Lord our Sanctifier
Jehovah-Sabaoth — The Lord of Hosts
Jehovah-Shammah — The Lord is Present
Jehovah-Rohi — The Lord our Shepherd
Jehovah-Hoseenu — The Lord our Maker
Jehovah-Eloheenu — The Lord our God

These are not JUST names.  They are Who He is.  And God, God with names that make me as a human think that He would never even see me, this God does look upon me, that flower growing to bloom in a crack of dirt beside a wall, that little one sipping water from a dirty river, that elderly man barely able to walk, that bright young woman who has lost her whole family, that child who will never be born.  God sees and knows.  He is right here for us.  He does not forget His children.  He does not walk away from us.  He does not want us to walk away from Him.  He wants us to turn to Him.

That pink flower turns its little drooping head towards the sun and God rains down upon that little flower.  The water and the sunshine will keep it growing to become the flower which He created.  We are like that flower.  No matter what our lives are like, no matter what we are going through, God waters us and shines His everlasting Light upon us.  We may be needy, but He loves us and wants us to grow into the likeness of His Son.  He regards us, He is kind towards us.  He cares for us and respects us.  He sees us.  O, Hallelujah!

May I never think that I am not good enough for You, Father, for You made me and love me and gave Your Son for me.  I am Yours and want to always stand tall before You, Father.  You are so very much, so HUGE in my mind’s eye, in my heart.  Yet You kneel down and pick me up as a father would pick up his little child, hug her to his chest, and tell her he loves her, that she is beautiful, that she is his sunshine, his special flower.  O, Abba Father, You are my All, my Everything.  You make me smile.  I love You back.  Amen. 

 

 

 

photo:  http://www.brittonchurch.com/2013/03/25/think-about-it-32/

The Baby Leaped in Her Womb

In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 

and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth.

And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb.  And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit,

and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!

And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?

For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy.

And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Luke 1:39-45

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John, yet unborn, leaped inside Elizabeth when Mary came to visit her cousin.  This unborn child would go before Christ Jesus to prepare a people for His coming, would “be great before the LORD,” would “be filled with the Holy Spirit, even from his mother’s womb.”  And then he leaped inside the womb at the sound of Mary’s voice.  God’s plan was orchestrated perfectly for He knows all being the Creator.   John welcomed Jesus before either one was born, and long before John would be baptizing Jesus, announcing Jesus and His ministry on this earth.  Surely, the mothers are blessed.

In verse 45, after John leaps, Elizabeth spoke of the blessedness of Mary who believed the angel from the Lord.  Believed.  Verse 38 of Luke 1…And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.”  She believed!  And Elizabeth says to Mary in verse 43, “And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me?”  “The mother of my Lord….”  She believes.  How powerful this is for me.  Belief with a trust that is beyond human ability.  Belief with a love that can truly only come from the Holy Spirit.  Belief through being humble and gracious.  How can we believe, believe like Mary and Elizabeth without the Holy Spirit in us?  How?  I think we cannot.

Throughout this passage, I find…

acknowledgement

joy/leaping

filled

believing/faith

trust

love

acceptance

humbleness

grace

How blessed I am to know Jesus by faith.  How much stronger I can be as I draw near to Him.  Oh, My precious LORD, may the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Your sight.  May I stand firm upon the foundation of You, my LORD and Saviour.  Your cousin greeted You from the womb.  He knew because the Holy Spirit was upon him.  I know You.  I know that the Holy Spirit lives in me.  May I be attuned to Your Spirit so that I will recognize the greetings of those You send to me.  May I believe as Mary and Elizabeth believed.  Such trust and humility and grace.  In the Holy Name of Jesus, I pray.  Amen.  

You Answer Me in the Joy of My Heart

Behold that which I have seen: it is good and comely for one to eat and to drink,

and to enjoy the good of all his labour that he taketh under the sun all the days of his life,

which God giveth him: for it is his portion.  

Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth,

and hath given him power to eat thereof,

and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.  

For he shall not much remember the days of his life;

because God answereth him in the joy of his heart.    

Ecclesiastes 5:18-20 KJV

joy

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life.  Proverbs 22:4

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Charge them that are rich in this world,

that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches,

but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

That they do good, that they be rich in good works,

ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come,

that they may lay hold on eternal life.   

1 Timothy 6:17-19 KJV

 

You may have much gold and grandeur,
Yet by God be reckoned poor;
He alone has riches truly
Who has Christ, though nothing more. –Anon.

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But godliness with contentment is great gain.  1 Timothy 6:6

Only when we trust in the Lord will we find true and lasting satisfaction. —Herbert Vander Lugt

trust-the-lord-with-all-your-heart

 

Father, I pray that my heart is pure towards You, that I will know that my life is only rich because of You, through Your Son, Jesus.  I cannot do anything without You.  You reward me as You will and only as You will, yet Your rewards are given freely.  I am poor and meek, but in You I am rich and blessed.  May my faith grow and remain steadfast in You.  You are the Giver of life.  You are my Hope, my Contentment, my Grace, and my Mercy.  Days are not always easy, nor does life carve a path on soft rolling hills, but on rugged mountains sometimes.  But Your Word says I shall not much remember the days of my life because You answer me in the joy of my heart.  The ears of my heart are open to You, O LORD.   I am humbled before You and overflow with joy for You.  I thank You.  Humbly, Your daughter.  Amen.

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Humiliation… Humility… Humble

“The sufficiency of my merit is to know that my merit is not sufficient.”  St. Augustine

Pondering “humility” and “humiliation” has reminded me of times in my life when I was humiliated.  Like when I was in high school and got caught talking to the girl next to me after she asked me a question and just before the English teacher began his class.  He asked me to get up, without a chance to defend myself (and the other girl did not stand up for me either), had me stand in one of the very back corners of the classroom, facing towards that corner.  I had to stand there the entire period.  I was humiliated.  I was a normal kid, pretty quiet, very respectful, well behaved, most of the time.  But this teacher, Mr. Wyatt, had a problem with me and I never knew what it was.  The humiliation hung around my neck like an albatross for eons, it seemed.

Humiliation is an injury to our dignity or self-respect.  Humiliation comes from the Latin root “humilis” meaning lowly, “on the ground”, which is from the root “humus”, meaning earth.  So literally, it can mean “reducing to dirt”.  That is what I felt like… dirt!…before the whole class of adolescent teenagers.  Devastated … for one such as I!

At that point in my life, I did not understand the following words of Jesus, not that I wholly do today either, but I would rather be humble and accept that which comes my way rather than fight or even stand up for myself:

Matthew 5:39 – 45 “But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.

“If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.

“Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.

“Give to him who asks of you, and do not turn away from him who wants to borrow from you.

“You have heard that it was said, You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’

“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

But I believe that I did that for I took it and accepted the consequences.

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Blessed are the meek (humble; gentle), for they shall inherit the earth.  Matthew 5:5

Humility is recognizing and accepting our limitations based on as accurate an estimate of our importance and significance as possible.

From Old French umelite, humility means “humility, modesty, sweetness”, from Latin humilitatem (nominative humilitas) “lowness, insignificance”, in Church Latin “meekness,” from humilis “humble”

Humble and meek dance together at times and can mean “gentle, quiet, unaggressive; benevolent, kind; courteous, humble, unassuming.”  These words do intertwine and disconnect and then re-twist themselves about one another.  God’s Word is how we really need to look at these words.  

“But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “God is opposed to the proud,but gives grace to the humble.”  James 4:6

Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,….  2 Corinthians 3:5

“Humility is to make a right estimate of oneself.”  Charles Spurgeon

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LORD, I pray that I would be the humble servant You desire me to be.  I desire to grow more and more like You.  And I need You to do this.  And I want this more than anything.  Help me to understand what it really means to be humble and be filled with humility.  Teach me, O LORD.   

My gratitude sprays out this day as the ocean waves do when they rush ashore.  I am grateful for the unconditional love of God, for my beautiful Mama I recently lost, for His grace to get me through this time in my life, for being able to be near to her for these past fifteen years, for healing my body through these four surgeries, for teaching me humility.  I am in love with You, LORD.  Amen.

 

Child graphics: unknown/a copy of a picture I had on my wall as a child

2 Scripture graphics: www.heartlight.org