Be Strong and Courageous…

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That is what God told Joshua in the first chapter of the book of Joshua. Be strong and courageous. I pray that to the Lord too. Lord help me to be strong and courageous. And then the reality of that statement just hit me. Joshua was living in the wilderness. He was leading the people of Israel right after Moses. Those were some pretty big shoes to fill. Joshua had been there the whole time, through all of the trials and miracles of living in the wilderness for 40 years. He knew what it was like to be a slave and to be free. Now, he was getting to see what it was like to be the leader. The general of the army. Be strong and courageous. Then I look down at my self, my hands and my feet, the tools that God has to work with and I wonder. What do I have to be strong and courageous about? I am not living in the wilderness trying to defeat an army, or walking around the wall of Jericho 7 times and telling everyone to shout and the wall will come down. Those are some pretty big moments when being strong and courageous would come in extremely handy.

So, I asked the Lord to help me lead my children and train them up in the way that they should go. That takes courage when the world around you is trying to tell you that other things are more important.

Oh Lord, you are my God. You will never leave me nor forsake me. Thank you Lord Jesus.

Being a Useful Tool in His Hands…

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Good morning everyone! It isn’t very sunny, or warm, but it is a good morning all the same. The kids are diligently working on their school work, while I dash across the room to help answer questions. Sounds stressful, right? I admit that sometimes I do not enjoy running back and forth.  Sometimes I get grumpy and huff around the room because there is something else I would rather be doing. That is really hard to admit. Ultimately, when that happens, I know that I am being selfish. Then I cry out to the Lord to help me be useful to Him. Isn’t that really cool? That I, in all of my sinful nature can actually be useful the Lord? It seems impossible. What is impossible for me is completely possible for Him.

My husband Rob and I have been praying about how we can be useful in our new town. It seemed at first that we were not going to be at a church here. All of the churches are quite liberal and the closest church we could find was across the state border into South Dakota. I can see how God sent us there to find our way to the path that we are on now. There are lots of good friends there and the kids really enjoy going there as well. So, what could make us want to give up all of the good feeling, comfortable church going?

About a month ago, we started going to a small bible study in the basement of a church here in our little town. The building will soon be sold and will no longer be a church. In that basement, we met a handful of Christians that really want to learn more about the Lord. I admit that I was surprised. But why should that be so unusual? We were invited by a friend that was already going to this bible study. The rest of the people in the group soon became equally as loved by us. One couple in particular has been a blessing to us. They are not lovely in appearance, not graced with social skills, but their love for the Lord is so evident. When I met them I knew the Lord was reaching in beyond my flesh and telling me that He  wanted me to love them. The most wonderful thing happened. I did love them. I get tears in my eyes when I think about them. They asked us every week to come and visit their church. We had heard from them that the church had decided to break away from the denomination that they were a part of. To us this was good news, so last week we did attend. The people there were so friendly and genuinely delighted to have us. We stayed for Sunday school and came back later that evening for the service. There was a potluck dinner afterward with more fellowship.

It is still our prayer for the Lord to give us guidance and direction as to how we can be useful to Him. To be a useful tool in His hands is a blessing that I can see being fulfilled soon. Thank you Lord Jesus for handing us this opportunity to grow in grace and love.

‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40 NIV

Tempted to Complain…

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Yesterday’s event went very well, thank you very much. The kids sang great, R played the guitar beautifully, and I didn’t faint. Many of the homeschool moms came up and told us how we had blessed them and it was a great feeling.

Which brings us to today. I am beset with untrue feelings and grumblings. It is so easy to suddenly notice the things I wish were different. I am discontent, grumbling and worried.

Oh Lord, teach me faith and trust. I know that you have blessed me and all good things come from the Lord. Help me to wait. You are my God and my King. I can hope in no other. Thank you Lord Jesus. Amen

I’ll Fly Away

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This morning I am so nervous and excited about what the Lord has planned for me today. We are going to be giving the morning’s devotional at our homeschool co-op and this will be such a new experience for us all.

 

About two months ago I felt that the Lord was telling me it is time to start doing things for Him that are not comfortable. If that means speaking or singing in front of a group of people, then that is what He wants me to do. It is time to get over myself!

Our homeschool co-op leader was asking all of the families to fill in for her while she was gone. That meant doing the morning devotionals. She came up to me and asked if I would like to do it. My first reaction was to say, emphatically, NO! But then I remembered what the Lord had put on my heart just that morning, and I said, Yes! I was slightly amused by the Mrs. W’s brief pause, but she smiled and put us down for March 25th. That’s today.

 

So, after praying about what we were supposed to be sharing, the song I’ll Fly Away popped up in my mind. The kids and I, along with another family had just begun learning this song together. While we were going through this song for the first time and after singing it, one of the kids from the other family said, “Wait a minute, this song is about dying.”

If you have ever heard this hymn, you can chuckle along with me because it certainly is about dying, and it certainly sounds like a joyful song. Why is this song, a song about dying, so joyful and happy?

So, after reciting the words, we will sing the song and talk about how all believers can sing that song. If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ as your Savior, then you too can say Hallelujah, I’ll fly away.

 

Thank you Lord for this opportunity to step out and put our faith in You. I know that you have put this in place tell someone about the joy of being with You in heaven. That this place is only temporary, and we will be able to fly like a bird to a land where joy shall never end.

Amen.

 
Some glad morning when this life is o’er,
I’ll fly away;
To a home on God’s celestial shore,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

Chorus
I’ll fly away, Oh Glory
I’ll fly away; (in the morning)
When I die, Hallelujah, by and by,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away).

When the shadows of this life have gone,
I’ll fly away;
Like a bird from prison bars has flown,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away)

Chorus

Just a few more weary days and then,
I’ll fly away;
To a land where joy shall never end,
I’ll fly away (I’ll fly away)

Numbers 21

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This morning I continued in my reading of the book of Numbers with chapter 21. This is a very familiar story to me and one that I recently discussed with the kids during their history. We are studying Ancient History and following along with the bible, so we get a lesson in bible as well.

If you remember in the last chapter, the people were complaining about not having water, God provided water and they were satisfied. Well, at the same time, Israel was unable to travel through Edom because the Edomites refused to let them travel through their land. Thus the people of Israel were led by a different route by the Red Sea to go around Edom. It wasn’t long before the whole congregation of Israel was complaining against God and Moses. (They can’t blame Aaron any longer,.)

God sent fiery serpents into their camp and the serpents bit them and they died. So many died that the people of Israel went to Moses and actually admitted that they were wrong and that they had sinned. They asked Moses to intercede on their behalf and ask God to deliver them from the serpents. I don’t know about you, but Moses has been through this so many times before, I have to wonder if he felt at all like they deserved it. But then I remember that Moses was a very humble man and he probably didn’t feel that way at all. So, Moses went to the Lord and asked Him to deliver the people from the snakes.

God told Moses to make a fiery serpent out of bronze and place it on a standard. He told Moses to hold it up and whenever someone was bitten by a serpent, they were to look upon the bronze serpent on the standard and they would be saved.

Pause for a second and let that sink in.

Okay, that is such a powerful picture of what Christ did for us on the cross at Calvary. He was held up on the cross, and if we but look to Him and believe in Him, we will be saved.

God in His majesty, saved the Israelites with this symbol that points to the cross and they were able to move on from that place.

After this Israel is challenged by king Sihon of the Amorites, and king Og of Bashan. God delivers a great victory for Israel and they settle in the land of the Amorites. God tells them not to be afraid. And they listen to Him this time. I think the lesson with the bronze serpent on the standard really sunk in. They did as God told them and did not waver.

Reading through the old testament has provided me with a clearer picture of my walk with God. I can point fingers and say they were stubborn, but, am I so different? When I complain, am I not behaving the same way toward God? Yes, I am.

Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for forgiveness for my stubbornness and the complaints that I lay against You. I am amazed by Your grace and mercy in my life and I know that all things come from You. Help me not to be afraid when I am called into battle, for You are with me. Thank You Lord. Amen.