Through the Bible in a Year…..What to Expect

This will be the second time I’ve done through the Bible in a year.  The first time was in 2012.  I stuck to a calendar year, reading 5 chapters at a time, sometimes not posting depending on what was going on in our lives, sometimes doing catch up…..but, in the end, it was all done in a year.  This time around, a few things will be different. 

Last time, it was for all my Facebook friends, this time it will be for Hadassah Ministry…..and Facebook friends.  🙂

Last time, I posted on whatever really spoke to me, regardless of what group it might reach.  This time, I want to post thoughts specifically for women since I feel God wants me to use Hadassah Ministry to reach out to women to encourage them and lift them up.  We ALL need that don’t we ladies?

Last time, I had a set time frame…a year.  This time….not so much.  I want to be open to wherever God leads and if He has more for me in, say Genesis than He does in Leviticus, I want to go down that path. 

Finally, I want this to be an open forum where women discuss how we feel about these issues.  Do we feel they’re relevant today?  Do we apply them to our lives?  Do we lack in certain areas? 

People may laugh but my absolute true heart’s desire for this ministry is simple……

First….I want to always do God’s Will and to be about His business.

Second…..I want to develop deep and lasting bonds with women.  I truly have a heart for women who are hurting.  I may come across as nosy or inquisitive but I really just want to know how to pray for those who are in need.  I want to create a network of women who put the Lord first and who truly love other women and have a heart to love each other and help each other. 

To pray for them, to nurture them, to pour into them spiritually, emotionally, and with love.  It isn’t always easy….there are no easy roads in life……we all know that…..but we can all make the effort…how about we make the journey together?

Behind The Scenes

The last few days I’ve been thinking about judgments. How we can make snap judgments based upon what we see on the outside and yet, not knowing what’s going on behind the scenes in that person’s life.

As all of you know, I deal with pain on a daily basis. Some days are better than others but the pain, in some form, is always present.

On the good days, I do what I can. These “good days” make it very easy for me to put on my happy face and be a participant in life….in church, in family gatherings, going out with my husband for dinner, meeting a girlfriend for some shopping, etc. On these days, it’s very easy to look at me and only see the outside presentation. To think I’m not in any pain and yet I am, below the surface, behind the scenes.

On “bad days”, you’ll find me in bed or my sauna. These days make it very difficult for me to be in public. Some people may think I should do more, be in church no matter what, never cancel a gathering, just suck it up and go. These are days I don’t go out in public because, very often, the pain is so bad I scream. Not just a light yelping….oftentimes, it’s a full out, someone’s trying to kill me scream. It’s happened several, several, several times in public. It’s just as frightening for others to see it as it is for me to feel it. Just ask Jeff’s family who’ve experienced one of these screaming events. My parents have also seen some….on a milder scale, for which I’m thankful. It’s difficult as a mother or father to see your child suffer. I’ve even come up with a “cover story” if I’m out in public. It’s happened on more than one occasion and it makes people stop in their tracks and stare at me. I then say, “Dang it! I ran my foot right into that display case!”, or “Whit! Please quit stepping on my heels! That hurts!” Yes….I use my girls as co-conspirators in these cover stories. Lol!! It’s days like these that make me nervous about being in public. I hate embarrassing myself and being the center of attention. (If I’m going to be the center of attention I want it on my terms. Lol) If I’m in severe pain…for instance, as I’m writing this, my lower back is killing me because rain is coming….if the pain is severe, you can pretty much count on me missing church, a shopping trip, etc.
See, it’s behind the scenes that people don’t see. Because we don’t see them, we can make judgments that aren’t correct. For instance…..this past Superbowl Sunday I wasn’t in church but I was “well enough” to drive to my parents house for a party and a chili cook off. I heard, through the grapevine, that some thought my priorities were out of place. They felt if I wasn’t well enough to be in church then I shouldn’t be well enough to do anything else that day. However, what they didn’t see, the private stuff, all the factors I used to make a decision would have put it all into perspective. Factors I would have shared had someone asked me about the choice I made.

The party at my parents house was for a chili cook off. Since the Superbowl ends quite late and, since Jeff doesn’t like football and thus couldn’t drive me, I planned with my sister to stay at her home overnight. I had been banned from driving for 2 months until the seizure drug was fully in my system, and this was the first drive I made after the ban was lifted. Since it was a 45 minute drive to my parents’ home, everyone was nervous. I had to call my parents and Jeff to let them know I’d arrived safely.

The night before, I literally didn’t sleep at all. The pain was too severe so I stayed downstairs thinking if I became exhausted enough, my body would give out and I’d fall to sleep regardless of the pain. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

Having been to every neurologist appointment, Jeff knows what can trigger seizures and lack of sleep is a big catalyst. I was getting ready for church and he, knowing I hadn’t slept at all, told me I wasn’t going to church….notice that?…told me, not asked me. He wanted me to at least try and get some sleep, any sleep before I made the drive. I managed to get a three hour nap in….not enough but better than none. Another big trigger is stress, so he and the girls try to minimize my stress levels as much as possible.

So, if that was the case, I’m sure the next thought of people would be, “If she’s in so much pain and hasn’t slept; why didn’t she cancel?”

There were two main reasons I went. 1) My Aunt and Uncle were there, in from Iowa and I don’t get to see them very often. The last time was 2 years ago.

2) The day after the Superbowl was my mom’s birthday and I wanted to take her out to lunch and have some one on one time with her. We don’t get to do this often and so I cherish the moments when I have the opportunity to spend time with my beautiful mom.

Had people seen behind the scenes, would they have come to the conclusion my priorities were out of whack? I like to think not. I’d like to think they’d realize I sometimes have to give up something, in order to do something else. Because of this, I make choices dependent upon what’s more important to me. I weigh both sides of every choice I am forced to make due to this illness. Did I want to do both? Yes, of course! It just wasn’t possible. I chose the gathering because I can always listen to Pastor Ken’s awesome message on the website. The same can not be said of family gatherings. There isn’t a tape I can just turn on and watch. Even if that were possible, I still wouldn’t have been able to have conversations with them, love on them, spend quality time with them. It’s always been very important to me to be with family, especially family I don’t see often. I cherish these moments because I realize they don’t happen that often and who knows how much time we have to make these moments a priority.

I must say, before I became sick, I made judgments like this all the time. Judgments based upon what I can see on the outside, without knowing the whole picture. One of the blessings of this illness is realizing how wrong I was. How could I, a human…a sinful human….judge someone else based upon what I “thought” I knew. Am I not guilty? Yep! I’m guilty…just as I’m sure all of you are guilty of this as well. Everyone, at one time or another, is guilty of making judgments even though we don’t have all the information.

Was I hurt by this? Yes, more deeply than you know. Making an assumption regarding my situation…anybody’s situation….is unkind. We all have heartache. We all have burdens to carry, trials to face. The one thing we should ALWAYS be able to count on is the love, understanding, compassion, kindness, patience, and encouragement of a fellow believer in Christ. We shouldn’t feel we’re being judged, condemned. How does that help a person who is already suffering? We should feel protected, loved, understood. How does judgment effect newer Christians, ones who haven’t been in The Word enough yet? Don’t we say we should show Jesus to others; show them what attributes Jesus and The Word asks us to have? What if that person heard us being judgmental and condemning? What would they learn? They would learn to adopt the same attitude. An attitude that isn’t pleasing to our Creator, to our Father in heaven. The attitude which is pleasing to the Lord is written about in Galatians.

 

Galatians 5:22-26

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.

 

Sadly, this judgmental behavior is too common, not just in the world, but also in the body of Christ. One that I wish we didn’t have. I wish people wouldn’t condemn others without knowing all the facts. It isn’t a perfect world though is it? What can we do about this type of behavior? We can start within ourselves, with The Word of God driving us, reflecting on our own, personal behavior. If we see this behavior in ourselves do we turn to God to repent, to ask He remove it from us? Do we reflect on it and to mourn our behavior?

I ask you and myself…..where do I stand regarding this? I encourage you, if you feel you’ve made judgment calls when you don’t know the whole picture, ask God to reveal it to you. Then, make amends.

The driving force within me, as I hope it’s within all who read this, is to be a progressive spirit. To always seek God and His will. I ask Him to remove from me what doesn’t please Him and to pour into me the qualities of Jesus. That’s what God wants from us….a constant desire to further our relationship with Him. A progressive spirit.

Heaven or Hell?

I recently heard this statement and it resonated deep within me.

To unbelievers, the lost, this world is the closest they will ever get to heaven and to believers, the redeemed, this world is the closest to hell we will experience.

Where do you fall? Tell me, how do you get to heaven? If you don’t know, I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have or point you to someone else if you’d prefer. Think about that above statement and then think, really think about where you’ll spend eternity.

This life is but a vapor. It’s what comes after that we live with for all of eternity. Let’s make sure we get it right.

Jesus is waiting friend.

What is Judgement; What is Justice? Who decides???

We all have moments in our lives, moments that are crystal clear, moments that, no matter how old we become, we’ll never forget….even if we wish we could. A marriage, the birth of a child, loss of a loved one….I could go on and on, but I think you’ve got the idea.
So, what is this post about? It’s about Judgement, Justice, forgiveness, acceptance….
Before I delve into this post, please, if you know who I’m writing about, please don’t use names.
Tonight, as I have done many nights in the past 26 years, I’ve thought about a friend of mine. I’ve wondered how her life has turned out. Is she ok? Where is she? What is she like now?
When I was a young teenager, I had a friend. She was so very sweet, kind, thoughtful. That’s who she was then. One day, all of that changed. In just ONE day, her life was irrevocably and profoundly changed so that there was no going back to the girl she was. Never.
One day, my friend’s mother, a woman whose home I’d been in, who was a staple at our sporting events, knew all of the kids’ names….one day….she snapped. She shot her son, turned and shot my friend, and then tried to kill herself.
To say our town was stunned is putting it lightly.
Her son died instantly, but my friend….she didn’t. She survived. As soon as I found out, I got in touch with her dad, found out what hospital she was in, and my dad drove me there to spend an afternoon with her.
How do you look at someone who has just suffered something so traumatic, so devastating, that you know… The minute you saw her…she was different? How could she not be? How could any of us, in the same situation, not be changed?
In my young mind….I was naive…I’d never dealt with something like this. How do you comfort? How do you help heal? What did I do? I took makeup and hair supplies. I did her makeup, fixed her hair pretty, and, all the while…she talked. She sat and talked through everything with me. Exactly what happened, where it happened, why it happened. Do you know what I remember most? She didn’t cry. Not a single tear. She’d already locked it down. Way down.
I listened….no questions….I just thought I’d provide what I had…a shoulder to lean on and an ear to hear.
She told me that, after she was shot, she got the gun and tried to use it on her mom but it was empty. No tears, just a matter of fact statement about what had happened.
We sat for a few hours, talking about the event, about makeup, about hair stuff….it was a varied conversation.
When I left, I promised to be there for her in whatever way she needed. And so I was.
About 2 weeks after the incident, I went with her back to her home to pack some things she’d need at her dad’s house. What an eerie thing. She walked thru and told me where she was, where her brother was, everything. Again, no tears, just a calm exterior that had locked the emotions up.
I remember leaving that house, thinking….this is too heavy. For her, for me, for anybody. It was the first time I realized…truly realized there was evil in the world.
In January of 1987, my friend, although no longer at my school…we still talked daily at this point, she asked me for a favor. I had no clue what she was going to ask and it shocked me.
She said she wanted to go to her mother’s sentencing and they thought it’d be a good idea if she had a psychologist with her. She said she just wanted a friend, someone who knew her, not someone impersonal. She asked if I would be that friend. The answer, of course, was yes.
When that day came, I don’t remember much about the proceedings. What do I remember? I remember watching her mom walk in and that’s it….for that part of things. From the moment her mom came in the room, I felt my friend stiffen, tighten her grip on my hand, barely breathing. I remember thinking a stiff wind might break her into a thousand pieces. From that moment on, all my focus was on my friend. Doing what I could to let her know she wasn’t alone. I didn’t even remember the sentence her mom got. I remember my friend and the vault that was within her that locked her emotions away.
From that day, we talked but as our lives changed,we grew, we became different people. We had less in common and she was spiraling out of control. I had no idea how to help, what to say, how to comfort her. All my life, I’ve been told I’m too sensitive, too emotional….but that’s me. It won’t change. I think those qualities are what my friend needed at that time of her life. She needed someone to cry for her since she couldn’t cry for herself. There are seasons in our lives that God places people to help us along, someone to carry your burdens with you. I think He put me in her life for that but I also believe she was put in my life for the same reason.
The last time I saw her, we ran into each other at the drive in. My husband and I were there on a date and I ran into her in the concession stand. She wasn’t the girl who’d been my friend 10 years earlier. She was hard, angry, bitter. Again, who wouldn’t be? Who wouldn’t be different? No longer the sweet, thoughtful, kind girl she had been. I had no idea how to reach her, how to let her know I was still here. But she didn’t want that. I understand…I think….I think maybe, she didn’t want connections with the girl she was; she was a different woman and she’d learned to protect herself against any and all emotion. It broke my heart.
So you may ask….why am I writing this?
For many years….sometimes weekly, sometimes monthly, sometimes even daily, I’ve thought of her. How she is now, 26 years since that awful day. Has she found peace? Has she found happiness? Has she dealt with it?
Then, tonight….just by random….I found out her mom had been released from jail. When? June, 2000. She’d served just 13 years for her crimes. 13 years! She was given a 50 year sentence and she served 13 years.
I don’t know why this has hit me so hard. I haven’t been able to sleep because I can’t stop crying. Why? This didn’t happen to me! It happened to her!! All those times I’ve thought about her, I always found comfort in one tiny seed of hope….that as long as her mother was in jail, my friend would feel safe. She wouldn’t have to worry about her mom being out and about, maybe wanting to see her. Then I found this info tonight and my heart breaks for her. To be honest, I was mad. Mad at a system that lets a woman go just 13 years after she killed her son and attempted to kill her daughter.
Was justice served? Was the judgement just? She took the lives of two people that day. Her son’s life and her daughter’s life. Both were murdered; it’s just that my friend’s life as she knew it was murdered. Her life she hoped to have, the life she deserved to have, the right to be innocent just a bit longer….it was all taken away from her. Her heart was still beating but her life wasn’t.
As I’m writing this, I can’t stop crying. I’ve been talking to God, asking, how is that just? How is it acceptable?? 13 years for such a horrific crime of a mother….a mother…taking the lives of her children. 13 years.
So I prayed, asked for guidance because my heart is feeling a bit hardened right now….not towards God but towards man. Towards the sins that abound in this world. How do we cope with that? How do we deal with the evil that resides on this side of the veil? Should I ever have the blessing of being in contact with my friend, how would I explain to her what God says about this? The only thing that kept coming to mind is the verse which says, Vengeance is mine!
God says, the Vengeance is HIS…..not ours.
I kept thinking….Lord is that all we have to cling to when bad things happen? Horrible things that we can’t understand, things we want to avenge ourselves….is that all we have? No. That was a very clear answer to me. No…..

I went to Romans 12:9-21

This section in my Bible is titled: BEHAVE LIKE A CHRISTIAN.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving The Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion. Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with ALL men. Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says The Lord. Therefore “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty; give him drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head. DO NOT BE OVERCOME BY EVIL, BUT OVERCOME EVIL WITH GOOD.

Would this give my friend hope? I would like to think so but I don’t really know. We’re all different, we all have our own path to walk.
By no means did I think anything I did with her was for me in any way. My focus was so much on her that that’s all I remember. When I heard about her mother being released after just 13 short years, my immediate thought was, how did she handle it? How is she? Does she feel, as all of us would be tempted to feel, a deep desire for revenge? A deep desire to make that person hurt the way they hurt you? To make their lives change just as they had made yours change?
It’s so tempting….so tempting….but that path only leads to one direction; lack of fulfillment. It won’t change your life, it will weigh your life down even more. What do we do?
We heap blessings upon their heads. We remember that God, who sees ALL, has judgement and justice in his hands. There is redemption for everyone, no matter the sin. My prayer is for lives to be changed; to be healed. To focus on who God calls us to be as Christians. To leave judgement and wrath for Him to deal with. It isn’t our place.

Does that mean it’s easy? Not by a long shot. This walk will never be easy. The day it becomes easy is the day we are no longer on the path.
My heart, hearing this news, broke all over again for my friend. She deserves to have her burden lifted. In my experience, that only happens when we have Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I ask you to join me in prayer that my friend, wherever she may be, has already accepted Him. Pray, if she hasn’t, that God will put people in her life who will minister to her, who’ll show her how to ease the hurt. Pray for her to have peace.
So do we only have God’s vengeance to cling to? No! We have SO much more. We have an example of how to handle the evil in this world. We love each other, we care for each other, we don’t repay evil for evil. We stand back and realize we have no control over certain things in this life. We can know, however, our God is just and He will take care of things. We just have to step back and let Him.

We all must Abhor what is evil and cling to what is good. In this life, there seems to be more evil than good lately. It seems everything is falling apart. It isn’t. God’s timing is impeccable. Until then, I choose to “Cling to what is good” and I pray you do too.

Miracles or True Belief??

One night while reading I was in the Gospel of Luke, I came across the following Scripture and used it as the foundation in a post on Facebook:

Luke 23:8 “Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him.”

I chose this verse to post on Facebook for my nightly….mostly nightly….commentary on my Bible reading. Here’s what I posted….

SO those were my thoughts thatnight. The day after, as I was thinking about posting on Hadassah, I thought I should clarify some things.

1. I’m not saying miracles aren’t important or that they can’t happen. I’m saying that the miracles Jesus did were to point to who He was as the Son of God. If we use miracles as the sole reason we come to Jesus then when the times get tough, I believe, those people will fall away from Jesus. The reason….the SOLE reason…..we should come to Jesus is because of His sacrifice for us. Because we realize that we are worthless. Yep…..worthless. That seems like such a harsh word doesn’t it? It’s true though. There is nothing in us that is worthy of the sacricfice Jesus made for us when He died on cross for our sins.

FINALLY….A Diagnosis

At the end of November I had a number of tests to look for, yet again, an answer to this illness. The first week of December I received a call that I had longed for for almost 8 years. Although I never considered how I would react if I was finally given an answer, I just needed to know, to finally have an answer. I just never expected the answer that was coming. The nurse from my neurologist’s office told me my EEG was severely abnormal and I needed to be put on anti seizure meds immediately. What??? Seizures!??! She was talking so fast my brain couldn’t comprehend what she was telling me. I stammered…but….but….I don’t have seizures!!! Having been put on so many meds, and not understanding her, I refused the meds until I could meet with the neurologist in person and have everything thoroughly explained. Another week went by before I could see her. My husband, Jeff, took the day off to go in with me. As we sat in the waiting room, we had a discussion about his time off of work until the end of the year. He told me he was taking the upcoming Friday off but I couldn’t remember why. He just looked at me with an expression that seemed to say, “Really?!” Apparently we’d had a discussion about having family pictures taken by a friend that day and I don’t remember much of that discussion. Pretty soon we were going to have an explanation for that. As we waited in the exam room for her to come in, I was a nervous wreck. So scared of what she was going to say. She began explaining to us what my severely abnormal EEG meant, told me she was shocked, given my symptoms, no one had ordered one before. Then she said when I had my first exam and was telling her my symptoms, she immediately thought it was epilepsy. Thankfully she didn’t share that with me that day. As she explained what the seizures would look like, not necessarily grand mal, but more like a “going away”. That I look present, I may even nod or say uh-huh, but that I’m not really there. That I may have “time warps” when I lose time but can’t understand why. That after these I would have confusion and memory loss. As she explaining this, I’m thinking….screaming in my head…”BUT I’M NOT HAVING THAT!!!” Then I hear my husband say that he and my girls had noticed these behaviors in me (confusion and memory loss…yep!). Seeming to be out of it, not present. He told the neurologist he thought I was just ignoring him. That made me laugh….later. That made me so very…I’m not sure how to explain it. Sad, distraught, scared, and even guilty.
So we talked about medications and she explained, because of the severely abnormal EEG, I need to be on a higher than normal dose. It’s taken 7 weeks to get me to a full dose and then I have another two weeks before I see her again.

Jeff and I walked out, got in the car, and he started to drive away. I made him pull over because I knew I was going to have a “little” breakdown. Little….Hah! He reassured me it was going to be ok, that we would deal with this just like we had dealt with things the last 7.5 years. TOGETHER. With a lot of love, support, laughter, and understanding.

Going home to my girls was scary for me. How did we tell them without frightening them? Without them feeling like the bottom had dropped out of their world? Jeff did most the talking. Explaining enough that they felt calm but not too in depth. I remember sitting there, not crying because I’d gotten that out of my system before coming home so I wouldn’t frighten the girls, nodding and agreeing with Jeff. I didn’t say much because I was afraid I’d not say the right words. That I would scare them.

Then we decided to go file for disability because we knew this diagnosis was going to change everything. Everything.

So why am I just now writing this??? I just this evening came to a head on, full impact of acknowledging what is wrong with me. I’m currently reading a fiction book and the main character has a brain injury and is having seizures. For some odd reason, seeing that word…SEIZURES….Seeing it in stark black and white….I started crying.
Then I realized….I’ve avoided saying a specific statement….I’ve said “They say I have epilepsy.” Notice that….THEY?? Reading that word seizure, it slammed into me….what I haven’t yet said, what I’m scared to admit, “I…..I have epilepsy.” “I’m an epileptic.” I’M AN EPILEPTIC.” So there! I’ve said it, I’ve admitted it to myself……after 7 weeks and a word in a book later.

Why didn’t I say those words before now?

I think by saying “they” I was fooling myself. Thinking, I don’t REALLY have that. After seriously thinking about the last 7+ years, I realized I have been having seizures. One I know about specifically because it frightened me so deeply. The others, Jeff and our girls have witnessed and I trust them. I can not distance myself from this truth any longer.

So what now? Where do I go from here?

Well….I move forward just like I have for the past 7+ years. I move forward with God leading me, holding me, reminding me that I’m His. I’ve had a few eye opening, random thoughts that pop up at the oddest times … Like I can NEVER allow my life insurance payments to lapse. See? Random!

What I cling to is this….Epilepsy isn’t who I am. It’s a part of me, it helps me explain to people why I can NOT remember their names even after having met them 5 times…(memory loss….). This is a small part of what makes up Amanda. I was a swimmer….but that isn’t who I am….it’s a part of me. I was a scholarship student to Germany….but that isn’t who I am….it’s a part of me. I have epilepsy….but that isn’t who I am.
So, who am I? I am a child of the King. I am His and He is mine. He holds me and makes me more like His Son Jesus every day. Who am I? I’m Amanda, a gal who may have many small things that are a part of me but who has ONE thing that drives me and makes me who I am. I am His child. Desiring Him above ALL else, begging Him to NEVER stop working on me, to make me more like Him and less like me.

THAT’S who I am!!!

Thanks for reading this. It was gut wrenching to write but at the same time, healing and purging to my spirit. Much love in Christ to all of you. Keep striving to stay in God’s path for you.

I’m Still Here

I’m still here and thinking about the ministry God has laid on my heart.  Unfortunately, our home has been ground zero for illness for about a month!  Both girls, then back to my younger daughter then to my husband and I.  Just when I thought it had left the building, I was the recipient of a stomach bug.

To say I haven’t felt up to doing much has been an understatement!  Give me a few days and I’ll be back!  God has it all in His hands!

Faithful and …….. OBEDIENT????

Hmmmmm….faithful and OBEDIENT????  I can get behind faithful but obedient?  Yes, I can get behind that word too!  It can be hard though right?  I know women who have removed the word OBEY from their wedding vows because they say they won’t OBEY their husbands!  Why?  Why is it so difficult for people, women in particular, to be comfortable with this word?

Thinking along those lines….let’s look at why it may be difficult to have the word obey, to be known as that  word,  in our vocabulary.

Because this ministry is about God first, let’s delve into Scripture and see what His Word tells us about that word.

I have this handy-dandy program on my computer to help us.  It’s called

E-Sword and you can get a free….yes FREE copy of it here:

http://www.e-sword.net

Let’s start on the yellow brick road to learning about that word.  

Using the E-Sword tool, I typed in that word  and came up with some surprising stuff.  That word, or a variation of it, is used 1,149 times in the KJV of the Bible.  The first time it is used is in Genesis.

Gen. 22:18  And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

The last time it is used is in I Peter.

1Peter 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?  

The Hebrew word is shama.  What I found cool was the definition….. to hear intelligently.  That isn’t so bad is it?   To hear intelligently…..I can get on board being called intelligent, what about you?

I think we can go back to calling that word by its proper name now.  Obey doesn’t seem such a frightening word now does it?  Now that we’re beginning to put it in its proper context.

When we as women, obey our husbands, it simply means to listen intelligently. If our husband asks something of us that is wrong, that goes against God’s Will, it is okay to refuse.  That’s called hearing intelligently.

Ladies, don’t be afraid of the word obey.  Know that in learning to obey, to listen intelligently, there is a great freedom and peace.  Just as there is peace and freedom in obeying our Heavenly Father.

What is Oppression?

Leviticus 21-27 – January 14 at 2:33am

Tonight was Leviticus 21-27…a few chapters more than usual but this way I’ll start Numbers tomorrow.  What caught my eye tonight was Lev. 25:17  “Therefore you shall not oppress one another, but you shall fear your God;  for I am the Lord your God!”   This type of thought has been on my mind lately.   What
does it mean when it says we shall not oppress one another?   Here’s my take.   If we’re being mean to, gossiping about, lying about, excluding, making fun of, or not being a good friend to someone….then to me….that’s oppressing someone.   How is that being Christian?   It isn’t!   As brothers and sisters in
Christ, these types of behaviors should NEVER be a part of our lives!   By behaving this way there is a tremendous amount of damage done to the church body.   There is also a lot of damage done to non believers.   They will think, ‘What’s the point of being a Christian when the Christians I’ve met behave like that?’   This type of behavior hurts everyone.   When we find ourselves doing this, we need to repent, change our behavior, and move forward.   Sleep well my friends.

Which Fire Are We Burning?

Leviticus 16-20 – January 13 at 1:01am

Tonight was Leviticus 16-20.   Verse 1 of chapter 16  “The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of Aaron’s two sons, who died when they burned a different kind of fire than the Lord had commanded.”    So….thinking about the post I made a few days ago about keeping the fire burning on the altar and never letting it burn out. This shows me that Aaron’s sons were burning their own fire….their own will and not as God’s will.   They wanted to do things their own way…this is my opinion….they wanted to be the pilot instead of letting God be the pilot.   Our goal, as followers of Jesus, should always be to desire His will for us and nothing else. Sleep well my friends.