I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Honor Your Husband

I recently became aware of something I was doing, that was causing dishonor to my husband. I was involved in an activity (though not bad, and with Jason's permission) caused someone else to look poorly at Jason. At first I didn't recognize it... maybe because what I was doing was a good thing or maybe just because I enjoyed the activity. At any rate, for a few weeks my involvement gave the impression to someone else that Jason was not the spiritual leader of our family. Maybe even that he was slacking off as a father. Both of which are untrue.

My first instinct was just to ignore the opinion of this other person. After all, I know the truth, and anyone who knows Jason, knows the truth. I even joked about it some. Yea, probably not my best wife moment ever... sadly, not my worst. However, God placed a couple of verses on my heart... neither new to me, but they were coming to mind more and more frequently.

Proverbs 31:12 (NKJV) She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.

Ephesians 5:33 (NKJV) Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
As I began meditating on these more and more, I began asking God, "How do these apply to this situation?" I try to do Jason good and not evil, and I try to respect him. I didn't believe that my actions were applicable to either of these verses. Now true enough, my actions alone were not causing evil or disrespect. However, my actions were giving the appearance to someone else that my husband was not doing his job as husband and father. Because it was my actions that gave this appearance... even if only to a few people ... I was causing dishonor to him.

I have apologized to Jason, and I told Jason that I would no longer be involved in this activity. He did tell me I did not have to quit, because he knew I enjoyed it. But I knew that being involved with anything that brought dishonor to my husband... even if in appearance only ... would no longer be an activity I could enjoy. I think also, I have gained just a little more of his respect by honoring him above all else.

Is there anything you are doing that is dishonoring your husband? Either out right or in appearance? If you are unsure, ask God to show you. Ask your husband, and then listen without becoming defensive. If there is, turn from it, and honor your husband. God will bless you and your marriage for it.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Mother Bear? Me?

I have always heard how protective a mother bear is when protecting her cubs. Well, truthfully, that applies to most mothers when protecting their children... including me... just now! Really, I am still laughing about what just happened... laughing yet still concerned and even annoyed. Let me share so you can get this vision as well.

My kids are in the back yard playing with the water hose and a wading pool. We have a completely fenced in back yard. There are two gates, both of which you have to walk through our yard to get to them. So imagine my surprise when Ethan comes in and tells me that a man was just in our backyard taking a picture of our roof. Now first of all, my husband owns a construction business, so I run through a list of men that I thought it might have been. (Thinking that Jason forgot to tell me someone was coming by) No. Ethan said that he did not know this man. So I walk out back, and look around. Ethan told me which gate the man left by. So I ran through the house out the front door to try to catch him. Now get this full picture... I am barefoot and unarmed (mental note, need baseball bat near door), yet I am headed outside looking for an unknown man, and yes quite ready to do battle if needed.

Quick side note: While I am in search of the man, Ethan had "herded" Erin to protection... yes he is going to be a good husband and dad one day.

As I bound off the front porch, looking for some man, a truck is taking off from in front of the house. He notices me, and stops. Let me add here that he did look concerned that I was about to hurt him (or at least give it a good effort). He immediately says, "It was me." As I am looking at him, I didn't know him. He must have figured that out, because he was quickly spitting his words out to give me the full story. (I am telling you, I had this man just a little nervous.)

It turns out, he was our home insurance rep. We just recently switched carriers, and he was here to take pictures. So the reason he was here was legitimate. However, he should have let me know he was here. And I think, that I made enough of an impression that he will not make that mistake again with anyone.

Now honestly, I don't know what I would have done had I caught this man, and he was indeed up to no good. I do know that when I felt my children were in danger, I went into protective action. Yes, I became a mother bear!

So, I bet you are asking, "What is the point to this story?" because I always have a point. Well, here is what I have taken away from this... I am thankful that God has us in His protection at all times... even when we are unsure about what is happening. I am thankful that when we make stupid mistakes (like my insurance man), we can learn from it, and God is faithful to forgive. I am thankful that when I run off without thinking through my actions, God watches over me and protects me. And finally, I am thankful that I can laugh at myself as I envision what I must have looked like bounding out the front door.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

30 Wise Sayings

I was reading through Proverbs this morning, and was reminded of this post from my archives: November 2010
Among my other Bible reading, I read one chapter from the Book of Proverbs each day. I have done this for years, so you would think I would have them memorized by now... uh, that answer would be no! Recently, as I was reading Proverbs 22, I discovered a heading that said "30 Sayings of the Wise." I thought really? There are only a few verses left in this chapter. Then I discovered that these carry over into chapters 23 and 24. You see, by only reading one chapter a day, I had missed that this was a continued thought.

Now I realize that some of you reading this blog already had this one figured out, but for those of you like me, here is a list of the 30 sayings... I think you will discover that we should all strive to live by these. (I am going to paraphrase these, so I encourage you to get in God's word and read them for yourself.)

1. Don't walk on the poor just because they're poor, and don't use your position to crush the weak.

2. Don't hang out with angry people; don't keep company with hotheads.

3. Don't gamble on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, hocking your house against a lucky chance.

4. Don't move back the boundary lines staked out by your ancestors.

5. Observe people who are good at their work.

6. When you go to dinner with an influential person, mind your manners.

7. Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich; restrain yourself!

8. Don't accept a meal from a tightwad.

9. Don't bother talking sense to fools.

10. Don't cheat orphans out of their property.

11. Give yourselves to disciplined instruction.

12. Don't be afraid to correct your young ones; a spanking won't kill them.

13. Children, if you become wise, your parents will be happy.

14. Don't for a minute envy careless rebels, soak yourself in the fear of God - that's where your future lies.

15. Don't drink too much wine and get drunk, and don't eat too much food and get fat.

16. Listen with respect to the father who raised you, and when your mother grows old, don't neglect her.

17. A loose woman can get you in deep trouble fast.

18. Don't judge wine by its label, or its bouquet, or its full-bodied flavor. Judge it rather by the hangover it leaves you with, the splitting headache, and the queasy stomach.

19. Don't envy bad people; don't even want to be around them.

20. It takes wisdom to build a house, understanding to set it on a firm foundation, and knowledge to furnish its rooms.

21. It is better to be wise than strong; strategic planning is the key to warfare.

22. Wise conversation is way over the head of fools.

23. The person who's always cooking up some evil soon gets a reputation as prince of rogues.

24. If you fall to pieces in a crisis, there wasn't much to you in the first place.

25. Rescue the perishing; don't hesitate to step in and help.

26. Eat honey, it's good for you. Likewise knowledge, and wisdom for your soul.

27. Don't interfere with good people's lives; don't try to get the best of them.

28. Don't laugh when your enemy falls; don't crow over his collapse.

29. Don't bother your head with braggarts or wish you could succeed like the wicked.

30. Fear God, respect your leaders; don't be defiant or mutinous.

Reference: Proverbs 22:16 - 24:22

Monday, May 14, 2012

From Bitterness to Restoration

This blog is out of my archives from June 2010.
I have always loved the book of Ruth. I have considered it a book about love, and it is. However, as I was reading it a few weeks ago, God showed me this book is also a book about restoration. This blog will focus on God changing Namoi's life from one of bitterness to one restored.

In the beginning of the book we discover that because of a famine, Namoi's husband takes her and their two sons to another land. After arriving there, her husband dies. Her two sons marry and they live for 10 years. Then, they die. This leaves Namoi, and her two daughters-in-law alone. Namoi decides to return home. As they are traveling, Namoi tries to convince the younger women to return to their families. Orpah does return, but Ruth refuses to turn back.

In chapter 1 verse 13, Namoi says "God has dealt me a hard blow." When life gets hard, we made poor decisions, or someone else makes a poor decision that effects us, we often look for someone to blame. Naomi blamed God. She believed that God had forsaken her. As we read, we can see that God had a plan for both Naomi and Ruth.

When they arrived in Bethlehem, other women recognized Naomi, and asked about her. Namoi was quick to tell them that now she was Mara. Mara means bitter. We no longer change our names to match what we are feeling, but the way we behave does change. The name Namoi means beautiful, pleasant, delightful. She was no longer feeling these things... she was BITTER!

Ruth decided to go into the fields to glean among the sheaves. As a foreigner, she knew that she was at the mercy of the land owner. Chapter 2 verse 3 says that "eventually she ended up in the part of the field owned by Boaz..." God had led her to this field. God also caused Boaz to notice Ruth, and to favor her. God uses people to bless and favor you. He also uses you to bless and favor others.

When Ruth returned at the end of the day to Namoi, and told her all that had happened, Naomi recognized that God had indeed not left them. It was at this point that she realized that God was with them in the hard times and in the good. She could have overlooked this, but instead she chose to recognize it as God's hand.

As we know, Boaz marries Ruth, and they have a son. This son is presented to Naomi, and her restoration is complete. She went from being a bitter widow in a foreign land, to the great, great grandmother of David. The woman who believed God had dealt her a hard blow, had instead received great blessing.

There is an old saying that time heals all wounds... this does not apply to bitterness. If you allow bitterness in, it will grow, fester, and consume your life. Guard your heart to not allow discouragement and anger to become bitterness. If bitterness has already set in, you must make a choice to recognize when God is working... Look for His blessings in your life... Thank Him for all that He is doing... and Receive Restoration.