Created in One Image – His

And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, … Acts 17:26

And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings,… NKJV

He made also of one blood every nation of men, to dwell upon all the face of the earth — having ordained times before appointed, and the bounds of their dwellings — YLT

From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. NIV

We have been created from one man, from one blood. All nations, all people were created by the God of the universe.

So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
Genesis 1:27

God created each and every one of us. God created us in HIS IMAGE. This is God’s powerful Truth. The color of our skin is a piece of this beautiful created human being.

Melanin has been placed in our epidermis, the outermost layer of our skin. It is a God-created phenomenon in becoming the many shades of skin that exist in human beings.

We are all humans. That is our one race. We are human beings = “Homo sapiens“= “man,” “earthly being” + “wise, sapient” (discerning, insightful, perceptive, prudent, sage, sagacious). Our skin tones may be different but we are one and the same race yet individuals in God’s eyes.

“We are all one race (“one blood” in Acts 17:26), the human race, descended from two ancestors, Adam and Eve.  When we stand boldly and confidently on God’s Word, we can correctly understand the unity and diversity of the human race.” *

We are also loved equally and perfectly by the God of the universe.

May we see one another with this love which God has for us.

And He called us to love one another.

Jesus said: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. John 13:34

Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and His love is perfected in us. 1 John 4:11-12

We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19

As I draw near to God, Your love pours into me. Father God, please keep pouring Your love into me so that I may love as You do, as You call me to do. I love You, LORD. May I grow in Your Love as I seek to be more and more like You. You created me in Your image. I want to become the one whom You created me to be. Then I can stand for and with every human being on this earth because You created each one for Your Glory, LORD. May I stand up for the many George Floyd’s of this world, no matter what color their skin tone may be. We are all and each equal in Your sight.

The many who are taking to the streets of this world for the good of humanity, I pray they know You as their Lord and Savior. For those who do not …YET… I pray…

I pray, Father, that this all may be true for all. I give You all the glory for all that may be. Amen.

that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward Him and find Him. Yet He is actually not far from each one of us,… Acts 7:27

At this time of turmoil, let there be togetherness.

At this time of descent, let there be ascent.

At this time of hurt, let there be healing.

At this time of anger, let there be forbearance.

At this time of hatred, let there be love.

For such a time as this, may we see You, the One Who is Almighty God, our Fortress, our Salvation.

Thank You so, Dearest God. I love You dearly.

… from the end of the earth I call to You when my heart is faint. Lead me to the Rock that is higher than I, for You have been my Refuge, a Strong Tower against the enemy. Psalm 61:2-3

May our eyes be colorblind if they see differences in skin tones. May the eyes of our hearts see through the eyes of God for He is not colorblind, for He made us all. He loves us all. I love You, Lord. So much. Guide us. Keep us accountable to You and keep us from harming anyone else, from speaking words that hurt another. Keep us close that we will look to You for every answer to every question we have. Remind us that You loved us first as we face each new moment. I love you, Father.

Photo of Hands: https://www.theodysseyonline.com by Brody Hall, University of Northern Iowa, January 11, 2016

Photo of Arms: pinterest

Photo of flesh-tone Crayons: pinteres

*Quote: https://answersingenesis.org/racism/one-race/ by Dr. Georgia Purdom who holds a PhD in molecular genetics from The Ohio State University. She formerly served as an assistant and associate professor of biology at Mt. Vernon Nazarene University. Dr. Purdom is the director of Educational Content and actively speaks and writes for “Answers in Genesis.”

No Words Fell

Matthew Henry: Samuel did not now rise and run as before when he thought Eli called, but lay still and listened. The more sedate and composed our spirits are the better prepared they are for divine discoveries. Let all tumultuous thoughts and passions be kept under, and every thing be quiet and serene in the soul, and then we are fit to hear from God. All must be silent when He speaks.

And Eli said, “What was it that He told you? Do not hide it from me. May God do so to you and more also if you hide anything from me of all that He told you.” So Samuel told him everything and hid nothing from him. And he said, “It is the LORD. Let Him do what seems good to Him.” 1 Samuel 3:17-18

And Samuel grew, and the LORD was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel was established as a prophet of the LORD. 1 Samuel 3:19-20

God LET … NONE of Samuel’s words fall to the ground.  God gave Samuel the words to use for His people.  He kept them airborne that they would be heard. Have you ever heard echoing in the mountains, tried it yourself? That is what this reminds me of. None…not one of his words…fell to the ground and went unheard.  They reverberated in the minds and hearts of those who heard. God used His servant.  God was with Samuel. God continued to establish Samuel as he learned to lean into the Lord.

Then the LORD appeared again in Shiloh.  For the LORD revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the LORD.  1 Samuel 3:21

God allows some to hear Him. He allows some to sense Him, knowing His will for their lives. He allows understanding of His spoken words, His written words through the Word of God. Prayer. Meditation. His incredible creation. He allows depth of Who God is by so many means. Seek Him often. Walk in obedience that we each may hear Him in whatever manner He comes to us.

Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer,
Who formed you from the womb:
“I am the LORD, Who made all things,
Who alone stretched out the heavens,
Who spread out the earth by Myself,
... Who confirms the word of His servant
and fulfills the counsel of His messengers,

Who says of Jerusalem, ‘She shall be inhabited,’
and of the cities of Judah, ‘They shall be built,
and I will raise up their ruins’;…
Isaiah 44:24, 26

LORD, may I have ears to hear Your Word through Your Holy Spirit.  May I honor and glorify You by being obedient to Your will in all that You have and desire for me.  May I be a servant You are pleased with.  I love You, LORD. 

C. H. Spurgeon on 1 Samuel 3: God, in a renewed manner, speaks to us by his Word when his Spirit applies it to us individually. We never truly hear the voice of God in Scripture until the truth is spoken home to each heart and conscience by the Holy Ghost. Revelation must be revealed to each one; other wise it soon comes to be a veiling of truth, rather than a discovering of the Lord’s mind. The revelation is clear enough in itself; but we have not the opened eye till grace bestows it. If we have not the Spirit of God, the letter may actually become a veil to hide the spirit of truth; this, indeed, it should not be, neither is it according to its natural intent and tendency; but our depravity makes it so, turning even light itself into a thing which blinds. Do you know what it is to have a text leap out of the Scriptures upon you, and carry you away? This special energy and flash of truth is always memorable. How often have the waves of this sea of truth been phosphorescent before my eyes-a sea of glass mingled with fire, of which the spray has dashed over me and set my soul on flame! As surely as the Lord spake these words to Moses, or to David, or to Isaiah, or to John, or to Paul, so surely does he speak them to our souls by his Spirit. Understand you what I say? Moreover, our God has ways of communicating his mind to his children by those of his servants who speak in his name. He directs the thoughts of his ministers, and suggests their words, so that they speak to the cases of those who are led to hear the Word of God. By our own thoughts, also, the Lord communes with us. If we will be still before him, he will prepare our hearts, and in silence we shall hear his voice. It would be a strange thing if God could not, and did not, communicate with his own children; and it is still more strange and sad that, though he does speak, his people are slow of heart and dull of hearing.

Oh, that our ears may be opened to heavenly tidings-may be wakened, morning by morning, by the voice of the Lord! May we often hear it as the morning song and the evening hymn! May the Lord also hear our voices in prayer and praise and meditation, till our lives shall be a holy dialogue between our souls and our God, never dying down into silence, but lasting on until we behold Him face to face! Prayer by Matthew Henry

In the Name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on 1 Samuel

A Sermon, (No. 2184) Intended for Reading on Lord’s-day, January 18th, 1891.
Delivered by C. H. SPURGEON, At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington,
On Thursday Evening, October 9th, 1890.

“tilde” icon – i2symbol

Tremble

All these things My hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the LORD.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at My word.
Isaiah 66:2

חָרֵד

chared

fearful; also reverential:—afraid, trembling

This word, tremble, can mean to be afraid of something as well as to revere or stand in awe of something.

God, the Creator of all is the One and Only before which I stand in awe. His Word beholds the Truth and deserves reverence. I am on my knees.

Matthew Henry writes of this passage and the word, tremble, in Isaiah: “That he would not heed it as he would a humble, penitent, gracious heart. He has a heaven and earth of his own making, and a temple of man’s making; but he overlooks them all, that he may look with favour to him that is poor in spirit, humble and serious, self-abasing and self-denying, whose heart is truly contrite for sin, penitent for it, and in pain to get it pardoned, and who trembles at God’s word, not as Felix did, with a transient qualm that was over when the sermon was done, but with an habitual awe of God’s majesty and purity and an habitual dread of His justice and wrath. Such a heart is a living temple for God; He dwells there, and it is the place of His rest; it is like heaven and earth, His throne and His footstool.”

The precious one who is trembling is probably a gentle person, non-judgmental, humble and grateful. She/he is able to seek forgiveness when she has strayed, has sinned. She desires to please God and walk according to His ways. She trembles at the sound of His voice, His rippling waters, His rejoicing over her, His love for her. She knows her God yet is always learning about Him, ion awe of His power and greatness. The more she learns, the more she actually trembles for God is Almighty and Omniscient.

C. H. Spurgeon delivered a sermon in 1884 on this passage in Isaiah saying: They are not a proud people: they do not cry, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice?” They are humbly hearing; hearing the word of God, and inwardly reverencing the heavenly monitor. They are no longer careless and reckless, for the voice of the Lord has brought them to their bearings. They have bowed their heads before Jehovah, and they listen with rapt attention to everything that he may speak. They are like the child Samuel when he said, “Speak, Lord; for your servant hears.” They are teachable, and lowly, and by no means belong to the school who correct the infallible, and judge the unerring.

God’s Word should cause us to tremble. It holds the Truth, the only Truth. As I read the words of these two verses in Isaiah, I am in awe of the mightiness of our God. I cannot think of Him in any other way. Mighty in power. Exalted. Creator of all…ALL!!

And these are two of 31,102 verses in this magnificent Book. And how many of them speak of the wonder of our God? Oh, my!

God teaches us all that He desires that we grow in spirit and lean more and more toward Him, on Him. He wants us to know Him. He wants us to draw near to Him.

He gave us His Word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:1-5

For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

May I turn toward Him in all my ways, learning Who He is and all that He has done and continues to do for me. May I be a light in this dark world, LORD.

“And as for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD: “My Spirit that is upon you, and My words that I have put in your mouth, shall not depart out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:12

Hear the Word of the LORD,
you who tremble at His Word:
“Your brothers who hate you
and cast you out for My name’s sake
have said, ‘Let the LORD be glorified,
that we may see your joy’;
but it is they who shall be put to shame.
Isaiah 66:5

חָרֵד

This old hymn reminds me of the very reason I tremble for the earth shook when Jesus was crucified, died, and rose again. He draws me to Him and loves me despite my frailty of body, of spirit, of mind. He is the Living Water, the Christ, the Resurrection, the Bread. He nourishes me, quenches my thirst, and reminds me just Whose I am.

Were You There?

Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?
Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble.
Were you there when God raised him from the tomb?

חָרֵד

Father God, may I bow before You trembling in reverence and love as I seek Your face. I pray that Your Word, Your Son, always be held in esteem in my very being. Father, I love You dearly and want to know You more and more. I want to tremble because of Who You are and what You have done, all that continue to do. You gave me Your Word so that I could see You more clearly as I read and study. I am truly sorry when I become slack in my study. May I love You so much that I only desire to know You more and more. May I tremble in Your Presence, LORD. I pray in the powerful Name of Jesus, Your Son, the Word. Amen.

Isaiah 66:1-2 graphic: https://www.facebook.com/thedailybibleverses/

from Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Isaiah

C. H. Spurgeon’s quote comes from No. 2071-35:97. A Sermon Delivered On Thursday Evening, May 1, 1884, By C. H. Spurgeon, At The Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington.

Graphic: Open Bible: https://www.jacobabshire.com/ + I added the text on Canva

“Tremble at the Word” http://www.rickeymacklin.com/tremble-at-his-word/

Were You There? An African American spiritual that probably predates the Civil War; was first published in William Barton’s Old Plantation Hymns (1899)

Why Can't You Visit Me? – Pandemic of 2020

Do not cast me off in the time of old age;
forsake me not when my strength is spent.
Psalm 71:9

We are in the midst of the CoronaVirus Pandemic here in the United States of America…the world over. As I sit at home, I am capable of working on chores around the house, mowing the lawn, reading, writing, talking to others on the phone. Yes, I am a senior at age 72 and need to care for myself, which I am. I also like to be productive for God’s Kingdom. One thing I love to do is write notes to allow USPS to deliver. Yes, old fashioned snail mail! I put them in the mailbox down at the end of my block by either walking, riding my bicycle, or driving down there. Yes, mailing letters and notes is still something we have access to, even in technologically savvy days!

These notes I write go to homebound members of my church family as well as friends to let them know I am thinking about them, praying for them. I know that those living in nursing home and rehabilitation care facilities cannot receive visitors right now due to this pandemic. Online, I have seen sons and daughters finding innovative ways to visit: standing outside a window of the facility touching hand-to-hand with the one locked inside, a window in between. I have seem an adult-child and a parent sitting outside/inside calling on the phone, talking while looking eye-to-eye through that window. I just heard from a friend that a nurse at the facility set up a FaceTime for this daughter and father. I am sure there are more.

SO…I was a giver of care to my mother for 15 years as she aged near me, in a senior apartment, an assisted living, and a nursing home. Mama had Diabetes as well as Dementia. The latter ran like a roller coaster, worsening over the years.

The saddening thought for me is, “What if Mama were still alive today (she passed away 1-30-2013)?” With the type of Dementia that she had, some days she would be clear as a bell but so many days and nights were filled with fear, with hallucinations, confusion, anger. What if Mama could not remember that I could not come in the building? What if Mama got mad because I had not been in to hug her? touch her? laugh with her face-to-face? What if she missed me while she watched the Cubs on WGN-TV? What if? Because she had not seen me, touched me, hugged me…only heard my voice every day, several times a day. What if? (As I type these words, and it has been 7 years since Mama died, I am in tears because of these thoughts.)

So if I am thinking these thoughts now, what are you, dear giver of care, thinking, feeling right now? I am so sorry. I lift you in my prayers because I feel this; I understand this. I had to have a few surgeries during the 15 years I cared for Mama. I could not be there every day or even talk to her some days. I know, sweet friend. I am so sad and sorry that you are going through this with your loved one.

Oh, my heart breaks.

We must stand in the gap to pray for the residents who are truly bound in a home. Let us dwell in the shelter of the Most High.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in Whom I trust.” For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. Psalm 91:1-3

…for their givers of care…those in the facilities and their family members.

I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the LORD. Jeremiah 23:4

We must call upon God, our Rock and Refuge.

Be to me a rock of refuge,
to which I may continually come;
You have given the command to save me,
for You are my rock and my fortress
. Psalm 71:3

God will bring us through this pestilence no matter the consequences. May we depend upon Him, the One Who has promised:

…even to your old age I am He,
and to gray hairs I will carry you.
I have made, and I will bear;
I will carry and will save.
Isaiah 46:4

Pray to the One Who answers:

Hear my cry, O God,
listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to You
when my heart is faint.
Lead me to the rock
that is higher than I, for You have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever!
Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah.
Psalm 61:1-4

He has given us His Word, His Truth upon which to stand.

Father God, these precious ones, these ones who may not understand why we have not been to see them, why we are not there to visit on the regular schedule we have been on for possibly years. Blessed Shepherd, please gather them all into Your safe keeping and grant them mercy, comfort, and grace in this time. If they suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, any kind of fear, loneliness, please hold them to Your bosom where they will feel safe and warm. Thank You, LORD. You are my Shepherd. I am so grateful to be in Your flock. I know where my life came from, and where I will go when I die. I will be with You for eternity. For any who do not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, I pray they will call upon Your Name in this darkness for You are Light. May all seek Your face and know to Whom they must turn: Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6). I pray for their salvation. In Your Son’s Holy Name, I pray. Amen.

Thanksgiving, 2012

I have a series on Caregiving that I did while Mama was alive and reprinted afterwards for a few other sites. You can find the series posted at the top of this page or linked right here- Giving Care God’s Way

Photo of Mama, January, 2013: L. Gill

Broken Heart: Bible Study Tools

Isaiah 46:4 graphic: A Little Perspective Christine Miller

Sheep and Shepherd by Anton Mauve: Circa 1880, Cincinnati Museum; Public Domain @ Wikimedia Commons

Psalm 91:1 graphic: A Little Perspective Christine Miller

Photo of Mama, Kenneth and me, Thanksgiving, 2012: L. Gill

Heart: Icon by Dryicons

Hosea 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

…over and oveR and ovER and oVER and OVER AGAIN!

God loves…

The children of Israel sin…

Hosea shows the love of God for His children, Israel. He also makes it clear just how far Israel strayed from God, from His commandments, laws and ways. I am reminded how much God loves me even though I strayed from Him again and again throughout my lifetime, especially in those years before knowing Christ as my Lord and Savior. I did not come to know Jesus until I was 45 years old. YET…no matter how often, how far, how deep the bride of Christ meanders from the Truth, the Way, the Life, God continually draws us back to Him.

Oh, God, please forgive me for the ways that I, too, stray from You, from Your Word. Thank You for loving me despite my faults, despite my sin.

And it shall be like people, like priest;
I will punish them for their ways
and repay them for their deeds.
They shall eat, but not be satisfied;
they shall play the whore, but not multiply,
because they have forsaken the LORD
to cherish whoredom, wine, and new wine,
which take away the understanding.
Hosea 4:9-11

I will return again to My place,
until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face,
and in their distress earnestly seek Me.
Hosea 5:15

For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings. But like Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with Me. Hosea 6:6-7

Although I trained and strengthened their arms,
yet they devise evil against Me.
They return, but not upward;
they are like a treacherous bow; their princes shall fall by the sword
because of the insolence of their tongue. This shall be their derision in the land of Egypt.
Hosea 7:16

For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.
The standing grain has no heads; it shall yield no flour;
if it were to yield, strangers would devour it. Israel is swallowed up;
already they are among the nations as a useless vessel.
Hosea 8:7-8

But they came to Baal-peor
and consecrated themselves to the thing of shame,
and became detestable like the thing they loved.
Hosea 9:10b

You have plowed iniquity;
you have reaped injustice;
you have eaten the fruit of lies.
Because you have trusted in your own way
and in the multitude of your warriors, therefore the tumult of war shall arise among your people, and all your fortresses shall be destroyed,
as Shalman destroyed Beth-arbel on the day of battle;
mothers were dashed in pieces with their children.
Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel, because of your great evil. At dawn the king of Israel
shall be utterly cut off.
Hosea 10:13-15

…a useless vessel….detestable…utterly cut off… Israel has shown itself weak in the sight of the Lord. He loves them, yet He turns His back upon them until they choose to return to Him wholly. I know God has wondered over me year-upon-year as I lived for myself, dependent on no one but me. I thought all was fine. Upon looking back at my life, I truly was lost. I did not know Jesus Christ. I worshiped false idols, betrayed the One Who created me, looked to my own self for the answers. In the Scriptures from Hosea here, do you see God’s love woven into the lives of His children? into their hearts? how He draws them back even when disciplining? God is so merciful. Even when we stray, He wants us to draw near to Him.

Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will exalt you. James 4:8-10

Father God, I pray that I humbly follow Your ways, Your commandments, Your path for my life. Thank You, Lord, for loving me when I did not. Thank You for guiding my path so that I would meet Jesus. God You are so beautiful. You care for me in the worst of times, the best times, and all the in between times. You are stern, yet gentle. You care so much about the bride of Christ, Your children, that You must discipline us so that we can come to our knees, seeking Your forgiveness. I am so thankful that You sent Your Son, Jesus the Christ to take my sins to the Cross for eternity. You drew me to You and rained Your forgiveness, love, and peace over me. I am grateful and love You for always. In the Name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

Thanks to:

Graphic: Hosea 4:6 – http://stepintothestory.ca

Graphic: Hosea 5:6 – https://biblepic.com/hosea/5-6.htm

Graphic: Hosea 6:3- https://biblia.com/bible/images/640×480/Ho6.3?extension=png&fallbackOnFailure=false

Graphic: Hosea 7:10 – https://www.pinterest.com/cinnersaved/hosea/

Graphic: Hosea 8:7 – https://dwellingintheword.wordpress.com/2012/10/10/898-hosea-8/

Graphic: Hosea 9:10a – https://calvarydayton.com/sermons/hosea-09_01-11/

Graphic: Hosea 10:12 – https://images.knowing-jesus.com/i/hosea-10-12-break-up-your-fallow-ground-it-is-time-to-seek-the-lord-black-4118

Firmly Fixed, Settled, Established

Forever, O LORD, Your Word is firmly fixed in the heavens. Psalm 119:89

נָצַב

natsab

to station, in various applications (literally or figuratively):—appointed, deputy, erect, establish, lay, officer, pillar, present, rear up, set (over, up), settle, sharpen, establish, (make to) stand(-ing, still, up, upright), best state

Forever, O LORD,
Your word is settled in heaven.
NKJV

Your word, LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. NIV

O LORD, Your instructions endure; they stand secure in heaven. NET

Firmly fixed…settled…stands firm…stand secure… These words describe a soldier, a pillar holding up a building, something with strength and durability. God’s Word is that soldier, marching with power and strength into the battlefield. God’s Word is settled and strong because it is the Foundation. God’s Word is established because it is living…and will forever!

The Word of God is inerrant and infallible. These are strong and sharp words, describing the Word of God. They are the Truth about His Word.

This same Hebrew word is used in a number of ways throughout the Old Testament to show an establishment, a settling:

But you have upheld me because of my integrity,
and set me in your presence forever.
Psalm 41:12

You have fixed all the boundaries of the earth;
you have made summer and winter.
Psalm 74:17

The LORD tears down the house of the proud
but maintains the widow’s boundaries.
Proverbs 15:25

Then he who saw cried out:
“Upon a watchtower I stand, O Lord,
continually by day,
and at my post I am stationed
whole nights.
Isaiah 21:8

Your Word, Lord, stands strong and certain in these times of uncertainty. It is the Truth and the Truth sets me free. That freedom allows me to stand firm in the commitments I have made to You, O Lord. Please hold me to these. I desire to stay settled. Standing with You, Lord, is life. It is a gift I so willingly now accept. Thank You, Lord. I know a strength that I have never known before. Praising You. Amen.

The Word of God does not return void nor does it falter. It is powerful and mighty in ways I may never know on this earth. Yet, as I dwell in the Word, I am becoming more acquainted with God, the Author.

All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8

For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,… Ephesians 6:17

Is not My Word like fire, declares the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces? Jeremiah 23:29

So shall My Word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11

Father God, I pray that I glean Truths from Your Word every time I read from it. I pray that I become more consistent, more intentional in reading Your Truth. I ask You to hold me near, guiding me toward these desires, these hopes. I thank You for teaching and reproving me, for correcting and training me in the ways in which I should go. May Your Word be more of a lamp to me each day, guiding me along the path You have set for me. I thank You in the strong Name of Jesus. Amen.

Your Word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path.
Psalm 119:105

Photo/graphic: Psalm 119:89CraigThompson.orghttp://www.passionforpreaching.net

Graphic: “Word of God” – https://abideingodsword.com/2014/03/18/31714-the-powerful-word-of-god/

Photo of open Bible: https://wallpapertag.com/open-bible-background

Graphic: “Word of God”http://www.intothedeepblog.net/2016/05/the-sunday-word.html

God’s Ways…not My Ways

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For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways My ways, declares the LORD.  

For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways
and My thoughts than your thoughts.  Isaiah 55:8-9

Oh, that I would understand and know God’s Ways for my life.

דֶּרֶךְ

derek

 way, journey, habit, manner: a road (as trodden); figuratively, a course of life or mode of action, of moral character; used of men, a course of acting, approved by God; used of God, His course of acting

Reading the Bible, pondering verses, praying, listening for the voice of God, listening to His voice, may I come to know His ways as best as I am humanly able.  By following the path God sets before me, the fruit, which will come, is so wonderful.  As Isaiah 55 continues, I can see that where rain falls, the earth is watered.  Where I walk, lifting the glory of God in my manner, portraying the image of Christ, may I touch others, provide food for thought, give insight about Christ for salvation.  I never may know, but I want to walk in His ways so that God is glorified.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 

so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth;
it shall not return to Me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:10-11

His Word has purpose.  His image and manner has purpose.  God takes our obedience  and walks with us into lives for His purposes, knowing just how I touch others as I walk in the way of the Lord.

“For you shall go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and the hills before you
shall break forth into singing,
and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress;
instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle;
and it shall make a name for the LORD,
an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”  Isaiah 55:12-13

The benefits of following the way of the Lord are enormous, filled with blessings.

Other verses remind me that the power of being a way seeker can do far more than I can in my own strength.

For I will proclaim the name of the LORD;
ascribe greatness to our God!  “The Rock, His work is perfect,
for all His ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He…..”  Deuteronomy 32:3-4

The LORD is righteous in all His ways
and kind in all His works.  Psalm 145:17

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how inscrutable His ways Romans 11:33

Righteous

Kind

Inscrutable

Higher

Just

Upright

Unsearchable

True

And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and amazing are Your deeds,
O Lord God the Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the nations!”  Revelation 15:3

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What a mighty God I serve!  LORD, guide my path.  Keep my feet moving and going straight towards, through, and into the purpose which Your way serves.  May I glorify You in the ways in which I go.  Should I take wrong turns, please guide me back so that I may fulfill Your purposes.  LORD, You are everything to me and I want to be obedient to You in all I am and all I do.  May I glorify You in all ways.  I pray in the beautiful Name of Jesus.  Amen.  

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Graphic: Isaiah 55:8 https://www.knowing-jesus.com/

Graphic: Isaiah 55:9  https://www.todayschristianwoman.com/

There is a Plan

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Have these thoughts ever crossed your mind: “Does God even know I am here?”  “Does He care about me, little me?”

The great news is that He does know and He caresall about youall about me.  And I am not little in His mind.  I am His.  That is what matters.  I am so very grateful.  I love the Lord and cling to Him even closer right now in these days of grief.

Scripture is so reassuring.  I read Joshua 1:9 often.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Such an encouraging word to my heart, my whole being.

I read Isaiah 54:5 every morning since losing my earthly husband on June 7th:

For your Maker is your husband,
the LORD of hosts is His name;
and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer,
the God of the whole earth He is called.

I am a widow on earth but have a Husband to provide for, love, support me in all ways.  Amen. 

So when I question God, which I do, He reminds me that He knows everything that I am going through, everything that I need, everything about me.  I cling to Jeremiah 29:11 for this verse draws me close to the One Who has a plan for my life, whatever time remains for me here.  I want to be obedient for this period of life.  I want to carry whatever cross I have to bear with the dignity that will be an open door to others in following Christ.  I want others to see Christ in me so they see Him first.  Jesus is such a beautiful gift to me and I desire that others will have this gift too.  Use me, Lord, for Your glory.  

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. ESV

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מַחֲשָׁבָה

machashabah

a texture, machine, or (abstractly) intention, plan (whether bad, a plot; or good, advice):—cunning (work), curious work, device(-sed), imagination, invented, means, purpose, thought

‘For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’ NASB

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” NIV

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. KJV

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of shalom, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end. HNV

The plan God has for me is the perfect plan for the life I am to live.  I do not know exactly what that looks like right now, but I do know that He has one.  He had this plan from before the very beginning of my life.  Psalm 139 speaks so clearly of this beautiful promise:

O Lord, You have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.
Where shall I go from Your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, You are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there Your hand shall lead me,
and Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to You;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with You.
13 For You formed my inward parts;
You knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are Your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 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.
How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with You….23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:1-18, 23-24

I praise You, Father, from morning until night.  You are my God and know me perfectly.  I ask Your forgiveness for the many times I have failed You.  I repent from the ways that are not, were not, in Your plan.  You guide me.  You change me.  You love me always.  I ask You to walk ever closer to me, guarding my heart, guiding my steps.  I praise You, Lord.  In Christ, I lost the old Linda and was born anew.  In You, I have life.  I pray in the Holy Name of Jesus.  Amen.

I am forever…

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Woman at Sunset: http://www.beliefnet.com/entertainment/galleries/does-god-really-want-to-know-me.aspx?p=3

 

 

 

 

 

Letting Go

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There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind.  But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.

— Author Unknown

Can’t you feel this droplet of water so ready to drop from the tiny blade of grass?  It’s weight is making it heavier and heavier so that soon it can fall to the ground and water that which is below. Letting go is a difficult part of life as we tend to hang on, for releasing that which we know is harder than walking into that which we know nothing about.  Life changes happen for all of us.  It is the way we handle them that makes the difference.

Born to a Navy doctor and his wife in 1947, I learned to be uprooted, moving to a new place (Daddy’s next duty station).  Sometimes, he went away (deployed as we know today), leaving us behind.  One time, he had to go a way, and we (my mother and two younger sisters) moved to Chicago to live with my grandparents for about a year.  So letting go of friends, neighbors, school, a place, and a home were just a part of life.  I loved to move, to change.  I did not leave well though for I did not let go of all that I left behind, not just the people, but the child-world I lived in…on bases, in neighborhoods, being around other Navy children and families.  I missed people more than anything.  I still, to this day, write to a girl I met in the first grade.  It may be just Christmas cards now, but it began with many handwritten letters and postcards.  There were several times when she and I lived near again and we spent a week in the summer together; another time as adults, we met for lunch.  She is just one of the many I have kept in touch with over the years.

I did not let go as we are called to do. 
 
O LORD, my heart is not proud, nor my eyes haughty; Nor do I involve myself in great matters, Or in things too difficult for me.  Surely I have composed and quieted my soul; Like a weaned child rests against his mother, My soul is like a weaned child within me.  O Israel, hope in the LORD from this time forth and forever Psalm 131:1-3 
 

But I was just a child and knew none of this then!

My dear father died when I was 12.  I truly did not let go.  He was so special to me and I was just at that age to need my Daddy more than I could have imagined.  He was gone forever, yet not out of my mind and especially not out of my heart.

I did not let him go well either.  

Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!  Psalm 38:21

Oh! How I needed those words!  But I did not have them in my heart then.

I was married out of college to a man that was not good for me.  Ten years later, we divorced.  I left as much as I could behind, but my heart and my inside-self were flat as a pancake, run over by a Mack truck … hurt, angry, sad, feeling as a failure with no self-esteem.

I let go as best I could because I was so ready, yet I was crushed and needed a lot of care.  I carried much baggage with me.

“It is the LORD Who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed.”  Deuteronomy 31:8

These words minister to me now.  Only if I had known them then!

I began searching for a gap-filling something.  I thought it might be “church” and met a great singles group that did care about and for me.  They were special in my life.  I had a few other special women who tenderly loved me back to a better place, yet I moved away, leaving those friends behind.  I also left the “church” behind.  Thinking about that particular church, it now seems so shallow to me.  I attended other “churches” that gave me the warm fuzzies that I thought I needed, but they were what I now know to be new age churches.  I tried to let them go, working at leaving their messages behind.

We know that our old self was crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.  For one who has died has been set free from sin.  Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.  Romans 6:6-8 

I did not know!

One day, I met Jesus.  He filled me with the Truth.  He covered me with His Love.  He came in and sat with me.  He told me what I needed to hear, made me feel loved and wanted.  He came alongside me to teach and guide me.  The words that are in the past tense above in this paragraph are always in the present tense now.  He does not leave me.  He is with me in the hard moments, illnesses, trials.  He also does not leave me in the beautiful moments, the flowers blooming, new Spring growth on the trees, the butterflies and ladybugs fluttering by, the gift of Kenneth as my husband who loves me dearly.

When He was at the table with them, He took the bread and blessed and broke it and gave it to them.  And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him. And He vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”  Luke 24:30-32  

The Light shone before me and I finally saw!  All that I ever needed was and is Jesus.  Just Jesus.

Surely you heard of Him and were taught in Him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:21-24 

Yes, I know now.  I am His.  And I am learning to let go of past hurts and worries, future concerns, and current struggles.  I walk with the One Who has all of the answers.  I sit at His feet learning the Truth.  I bow before Him and worship my King.  And I kneel before the cross with my life in my hands to lay at His feet.  I don’t need to say, “If only I had known….”  I have Jesus and He has me and that’s all that matters.

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.  Hebrews 13:8

 

let-go

 
LORD, I thank You for bringing me through so many changes in my life.  Thank You for loving me as I took so many wrong turns, for helping me carry heavy loads.  You have guided me into the Truth.  You teach me more and more each and every day.  Hold me near for I desire to always walk out the plans You have for my life.  Shelter me when I am in the storms of life, and comfort me as I learn to let go of that which needs to go.  I love You, LORD, and praise Your Holy Name.  Amen. 

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Photo:   http://funpulp.com/morning-dew-photography/

Graphic:  http://www.heallovenow.com/2011/05/letting-go.html

This is the Way…

walk-this-way

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, 
yet your Teacher will not hide Himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.  
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” 
when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:20-21

The LORD clearly gives directions so that I would reach Him throughout His Holy Word.  As the Crucifixion and the Resurrection have recently been my focus, the one and only desire I have is to be with Him obediently.

 Standing near the cross were Jesus’ mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary (the wife of Clopas), and Mary Magdalene.  John 19:25

I want to stand at the Cross as His mother did.  She stood near to see her precious son beaten, nailed upon the Cross, bleeding, dying.  She could not have been closer to Him at this time… body, mind, and soul.  Her heart must have been beating with His.

Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.  So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.”  John 20:1-2
 

I want to go to the tomb with Mary Magdalene, looking for Jesus.  I want to run with her to the others.

Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish.  John 21:13

I want to be with those disciples fishing on the Sea of Tiberias.  Even though nothing had been caught, Jesus, Whom I do not recognize, tells me to fish on the right side of the boat.  I want to recognize Jesus and say, “It is the Lord.”  I want to break the fast with Him.

And their eyes were opened, and they recognized Him.  And He vanished from their sight.  They said to each other, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked to us on the road, while He opened to us the Scriptures?”  Luke 24:31-32

I want to walk on the road to Emmaus where Jesus joins me.  He shares His Father’s Word.

And when He had said these things, as they were looking on, He was lifted up, and a cloud took Him out of their sight.  Acts 1:9

I want to see Christ lifted up on a cloud, knowing that He will, one day, return for me in this same manner.

“For I am the LORD who brought you up out of the land of Egypt to be your God.  You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.”   Leviticus 11:45

I believe.  I want to grow in His grace, becoming holy as He is holy.  I receive His grace moment by moment as I obey His commandments, following His Way, walking in it.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.   No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6

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He is my Truth, my Way, and my Life.  Christ is returning for me one day.

The beauty of Your Truth, LORD, sends me to my knees.  May I walk in Your holiness, LORD, with faith unfathomable.  May I be set apart, be consecrated unto You.  May I faithfully walk with You.  I pray that, obediently, I shall seek You in all ways, for all things.

I love You, my LORD.  In Your Name, I pray.  Amen

 

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