Friday, July 17, 2009

Tenderness of God

I have had few seasons in my life with Christ that He very clearly was displaying a certain characteristic of Himself to me over and over again. For example, when my dad was dying the FAITHFULNESS of God was the recurring theme in my walk with Him. The faithfulness of God is something that I have held very tightly to over the last 5 years since my dad's death. The faithfulness of God is something that I have reflected on, thanked Him for, and continued to see evidence of in my life. However, in this new season, He has sowed a new attribute of Himself deeply in my heart. When I reflect back over the last year I think the reoccurring theme for me will be the TENDERNESS of God.

God has displayed His tenderness to me in several different ways. I have been on a wilderness journey with Him over the last year. Just like the Israelites He CHOSE the wilderness for me to draw me closer to Him. He wanted me to see the Red Sea part and experience His intimacy at Mt. Sinai. I have been studying about the Israelites journey through the wilderness since last August. God has been so faithful(there is that word again!) to me to allow me to see Him and His purpose for my journey through the examples we are given in Exodus. I have written several post about how I relate to the Israelites more then I care to!

Tonight when I was in God's Word I went to Hosea 2:14-23 and fell on my face before God thanking Him for His tenderness towards me.

"Therefore I am going to allure her; I will lead her in the desert and speak tenderly to her. There I will give her back her vineyards and will make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. There she will sing as in the days of her youth, as in the day she came out of Egypt." (Hosea 2:14-15)

I know that God is a God of justice but I also know that He is a God of grace. He has brought me to the wilderness to show me His great love for me. I am so thankful for Psalms 3:3

"But You are a shield around me, O Lord. You bestow glory on me and lift up my head. To the Lord I cry out and HE answers me from His holy hill."

I begged God to remind me of these truths when I feel like I am wandering aimlessly through the wilderness. I have been reminded that God showed up in a very powerful way to all the Israelites, not just Moses, when they were at Mt. Sinai. Here is the thing....Mt. Sinai was the farthest place south of their "promised land" that they could be BUT that is where God spoke to them individually. Do you believe you are so far away from where God's "promised land" is for you that there is no hearing His voice? Be encouraged fellow traveler when we think we are at the farthest point from our destination....God's plan for us......just maybe we have a Mt. Sinai coming our way. Do you believe that God wants to speak to you? Not just your pastor or your favorite Bible Study teacher....but to YOU! His Word is living and active. Will you allow Him to speak tenderly to you...even if it means He takes you to the desert?

"Come let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces but He will heal us., He has injured us but He will bind up our wounds. . After two days He will revive us; on the third day he will restore us, that we may live in His presence. Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him. As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth. "
Hosea 6:1-3

Lord thank you for speaking tenderly to me. Thank you for being my hope in the middle of a storm. You have indeed been the lifter of my head. You have heard my cry and have continued to prove Yourself faithful to me. I want to acknowledge You. I know that as surely as the sun sets you are coming back. I believe everything You say about who You are and who I am in You. I think you for your grace that even though I have sinned against You....even though I have acted like a still allure me and speak tenderly to me and long to make me like Your Son.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Reflection of my 28th year

Today I enter into the last year of my 20's! When I think over the last year my immediate response is to say "Adios 28- I will not miss you AT ALL!" But upon further reflection I think I just might miss 28. It has been by far my toughest year. I have had almost everything I hold dear ripped out from under me. My marriage took a hard hit this year, I lost the security of a comfortable ministry (is there even such a thing....and if so maybe we should double check it!), the security of a comfortable income, and the security of a familiar place with friends I love and could always count on! I have lost a lot but in the process I have gained more of Jesus. Jesus has proven Himself faithful to me time and time again. When I felt like my world was crumpling around me, which has been often this past year, His Name has been my strong tower (Proverbs 18:10).

Thank you Jesus for loving me through all of my complaints and grumblings. Thank you for choosing the wilderness for me. You wanted to take me on a journey where I would know without a doubt You are enough.Your grace is sufficient. The journey has been tough but You have been my constant guide- my ever present help in my time of need (Ps. 46:1). I am excited to continue the journey with You and know that even you if choose the wilderness it is for my greater good and Your glory will be center stage. I choose you Lord- I trust Your plan and your purpose. I rest in the fact that You do indeed make all things all new.

"I have heard of You by the hearing of my ear; but now my eyes have seen You." Job. 42:5

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Want to be more like Jesus and less like the Israelites

Thank you for Your Word and how it speaks to me through your Holy Spirit. Your Word is living and active, sharper then any two-edged sword, piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Heb. 4:12). You have proven Yourself faithful to me over and over again yet I look and act more like the Israelites then your Son. As much as Your discipline hurts I am thankful for it because I know Heb. 12:10 tells me it is for my good so that I can share in Your holiness. Lord forgive me for my unbelief. You have led me out of a bad situation. You have given me glimpses of refreshment and rest like you did for the Israelites at Kadesh Barnea. You have worked upstream for me and was already working things out even though I could not see it with my physical eyes like you did for the Israelites at Adam when they crossed over the Jordan. (Joshua 3). But so often, in fact more often the not, I find myself wallowing aground in Meribah and Massah (Ex. 17:1-7) grumbling against You because in a particular moment I don't see a way out. You have proven Yourself true to me over and over and over. You have shown me that indeed You do make all things new. Lord I beg of You to grow my faith- grow my belief. I don't want to doubt or question You just because my world does not align the way I think it should at any given moment. Give me more of You Jesus and so much less of me. My heart is deceitful above all things Lord and can not be trusted but You CAN. May I fix my eyes on You Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith, who for the joy set before You endured the cross, despising the shame, and set down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Heb. 12:2). You are able Lord to turn this crazy woman who falters around in unbelief into a mighty warrior of Your Word. Because of Your work on the cross I come boldly to Your throne and approach it with confidence to receive mercy and find grace. (Heb. 4:16).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Pick up your sword

I finished Esther by Beth Moore last month. In  one of the video sessions she mentioned Deut. 33:29 and the Holy Spirit keeps bringing me back to it.

"Blessed are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will trample down their high places." 

Before hearing this session and looking closely at this scripture I have always defaulted to the verses that talk about being still and letting God fight for you. Even in Deut. there are 2 places that talk about God fighting your battles.

"The Lord your God who is going before you will fight for you as He did for you in Egypt before your very eyes" Deut. 1:30

"Do not be afraid of them, the Lord your God himself will fight for you." Deut. 3:20

I have never been one to just think my job was to sit around because God just did all the work around me and for me.  I have always believed that we must play an active role in our walk with Christ.  Please understand me when I say that. I do not mean that God needs us or that He does not just work things out for us. A great example of this is found in Philippians 2:12-13. 

"Continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling for it is God who works in  you to will and to act according to His good purposes."

The beginning tells us to "work out our salvation" implying it is something we are to do but then the next verse it says it is God who works in you to will and act according to His good purpose. So do we play an active role in it or does God just do it.  I think that it is both. We are not called to just sit on the sidelines. God desires us to play an active role. There is a fine line between complete dependance on God and complacency. 

So back to Deut.33:29.  I believe there are times that God calls us to just sit back and let Him fight for us. However, I also believe there are times that He wants us to pick up our sword and SWING IT. I believe that most of the time we choose to faulter to the Lord will do it for me because we don't understand or believe that the Holy Spirit of Jesus Christ lives in us and empowers us to do whatever we are called to do. We have no concept of what it really means that we are a child of God, an heir to the throne. " Who is like you a people saved by the Lord?"
May we not boast in our own strength but in who we are because of Christ. What are we saying to the world when we cower from our enemies? The reason I believe that at times we are called to pick up our sword and fight is found in the last part of the verse. "Your enemies will cower before you and you will trample down their high places." I have underlined the word you in my Bible because it is referring to me not Christ. I will trample down their high places. Now I won't and can't trample down their high places without Christ for "He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword" 

Lord, thank you that you not only fight for me but You also empower me to fight. I know their are battles that You want me to sit out and just watch You fight for me but Lord I also believe there are times that You want me get in the battle and swing my sword. I am a child of God and Your Spirit lives in me. Because of that I am capable and do not have to shrink back in fear. Please Lord give me wisdom to know when to be still and let you fight and when to pick up my sword. 

"Take the helmet of  salvation and the sword  of the Spirit which is the word of God. "
Ephesians 6:17

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Author Unknown

He is the First and Last,
The Beginning and the End! 
He is the keeper of Creation and the Creator of all! 
He is the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times. 
He always was, 
He always is, and He always will be... 
Unmoved, Unchanged, Undefeated, and never Undone!

He was bruised and brought healing! 
He was pierced and eased pain! 
He was persecuted and brought freedom! 
He was dead and brought life! 
He is risen and brings power! 
He reigns and brings Peace!

The world can't understand him, 
The armies can't defeat Him, 
The schools can't explain Him, 
and The leaders can't ignore Him.

Herod couldn't kill Him, 
The Pharisees couldn't confuse Him, 
and The people couldn't hold Him!

Nero couldn't crush Him, 
Hitler couldn't silence Him, 
The New Age can't replace Him, 
and Oprah can't explain Him away! 
He is light, love, longevity, and Lord. 
He is goodness, Kindness, Gentleness, and God. 
He is Holy, Righteous, mighty, powerful, and pure.

His ways are right, 
His word is eternal, 
His will is unchanging, 
and His mind is on me.

He is my Savior, 
He is my guide, and
He is my peace! 
He is my Joy, 
He is my comfort, 
He is my Lord, and
He rules my life!

I serve Him because
His bond is love, 
His burden is light, 
and His goal for me is abundant life.

I follow Him because
He is the wisdom of the wise, 
the power of the powerful, 
the ancient of days, 
the ruler of rulers, 
the leader of leaders, 
the overseer of the overcomers, 
and is to come. 
And if that seems impressive to you, 
try this on for size.

His goal is a relationship with ME! 
He will never leave me, 
never forsake me, 
never mislead me, 
never forget me, 
never overlook me, 
and never cancel my appointment in His
appointment book!

When I fall, He lifts me up! 
When I! fail, He forgives! 
When I am weak, He is strong! 
When I am lost, He is the way!

When I am afraid, He is my courage! 
When I stumble, He steadies me! 
When I am hurt, He heals me! 
When I am broken, He mends me! 
When I am blind, He leads me! 
When I am hungry, He feeds me!

When I face trials, He is with me! 
When I face persecution, He shields me! 
When I face problems, He comforts me! 
When I face loss, He provides for me! 
When I face Death, He carries me Home!

He is everything for everybody everywhere, every time, and every way. 
He is God, He is faithful. 
I am His, and He is mine! 
My Father in heaven can whip the father of this world. 
So, if you're wondering why I feel so secure, understand this...

He said it and that settles it. 
God is in control, 
I am on His side, 
and that means all is well with my soul. 
Everyday is a blessing for GOD Is!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hebrews 1

What we learn about Jesus from Hebrews 1
  • Heir of all things (1:2)
  • The world was made through Him (1:2)
  • He is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His nature (1:3)
  • Sustains all things by His powerful Word (1:3)
  • Made purification for our sins (1:3)
  • Sits at the right hand of God (1:3)
  • Is better than the angels (1:4)
  • All the angels of God worship Him (1:6)
  • He is the Unchangeable One. (1:12)

Lord I praise you because You are these things and so much more. Please let me never settle for just a basic understanding of who You are, may I never be satisfied with just milk Lord but in the same breath may I never overlook the simplicity of the gospel and get bogged down in theology. I want to press on towards maturity as Heb. 6:1 commands me but I need your discipline to keep my eyes fixed on You the author and perfecter of my faith (Heb. 12:2). When theology gets in the way Lord remind me of Emma Kate who simply picks up Your Word, turns the pages, and says, "Mommy do you know what this page says, it says Jesus loves me."

Let Us:

Part of our homework this week for Hebrews was to write out all the Let us phrases in the book of Hebrews. As much as a moan about all the detail stuff that is required for Precept studies I always come away very thankful that I chose to do it!

"Therefore since the promise of entering His rest still stands, let us, be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it ." Heb. 4:1

"Let us, therefore make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience." Heb. 4:11

" Therefore since we have a high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess." Heb. 4:14

"Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Heb. 4:16

" Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death and of faith in to God. Heb. 6:1

"Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." Heb. 10:22

"Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess for He who promised is faithful." Heb. 10:23

" And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." Heb. 10:24

" Let us not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching." Heb. 10:25

"Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us." Heb. 12:1

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Heb. 12:2

"Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe." Heb. 12:28

"Let us then go to Him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace He bore." Heb. 13:13

"Through Jesus therefore let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise- the fruit of lips that confess His name." Heb. 13:15

Today let us be encouraged that He who promised is FAITHFUL to complete the work He has started in us. My prayer for me is that I do run this race with perseverance with my eyes fixed on Jesus because He indeed is the author and perfecter of my faith.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Blog Lift!

So I have been on a blog hiatus for awhile but now I am back! The sweet ladies at gave my blog a face lift :) Thank you so much Holly. I love it and look forward to actually using it more now! I am currently studying Hebrews so there will be a post in the next few days on what God has been teaching in His Word.


Orginally posted on Aug. 17, 2008

I don't know if this will ever be published but I need to sort out what the Lord had been speaking to be about. I have found, for me, it helps to just write it out. I say that only to give you the warning up front...if you are reading this it was not written to make sense or to be free from errors....I am simply writing to solidify in my mind what the Holy Spirit is saying.
I am currently in a season where God is requiring A LOT of trust from me. My heart and my mind can not seem to catch up with each other to believe the same thing at the same time! I feel like I am being blown in every direction by a wind that I can not control. I long to just get out of the boat and on walk 0n water but just when I think I can do it.....doubt sets in and I sink. I have not been calling out to God about my situation, because if I am real honest, I don't think I want to know His will.

What if what He ask is to hard?

What if I don't want to?

What if I already know what He wants but I just don't agree?

Today, God has used the sermon this morning by Andy Stanley and my "homework" from No Other Gods to speak truth in my life about the trust issues that I am having. This morning Andy talked about The 5 Things that Grow your Faith. However, what really spoke to me was just little side note he mentioned about the fall. He said that everyone talks about how the fall happened when Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit. In essence when people say that they are right. However, the fall started to happen when Eve questioned God. Satan planted the seed that God could not be trusted. Satan told Eve, " For God knows that when you eat of the fruit your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good from evil" (Gen. 3:4) Eve for just a moment questioned if she could really trust God or not. Did he really want what was best for her and Adam? Could God be trusted to follow through on His promises? His point was Eve's downfall to did not start with the bite. Eve's downfall started when she stopped trusting that God was good.

He concluded by saying " When you have absolute confidence in God, obedience is a natural overflow."

Now on to my homework. First, I must say that I am 1 week behind. I had grand plans to finish tonight because I am starting 2 new Bible studies and their homework begins tommorow! However, I felt strongly encouraged to untangle these things. Bible knowledge gets you NO WHERE without obedience. Back to tonights homework. She asked us to read Jonah 2-4:11. To be honest with you, I almost did not read it. I mean come on, I know the story of Jonah and I am trying to finish 1 week of homework in 1 night! But I knew it was short so I thought I would be a good girl, follow the rules, and read! The first verse that really stuck out to me was 2:8. " Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs." I don't have much to say about that other then....I have forfeited a lot of grace along the way because I simply could not/ would not let go of what was familar or easy and cling to THE ONLY ONE who can satisfy. Kelly (the author) started the homework by asking, " Do you obey God while not relating to Him? Have you surrended to Him while not trusting Him?" Ok Kelly....can you please watch my toes??
In Jonah chapter 3, Jonah obeys and Nineveh repents. You would think that the chapter would end. We have our happy ending with the pretty bow on top. However, it does not. God allows us to see a heart issue of Jonah's. Jonah is angry with God because God is going to show compassion to the Ninevites and he does not think they deserve compassion. God calls him out on it and asks "Have you any right to be angry" (4:4) At this point in the story Jonah is so mad he says it is better for him to die.


Kelly makes the following point, " Isn't it interesting in the midst of his obedience- or his ultmate surrender to God's directon-we can find a man who is so mad at God that he wants to die? I think the bottom line for Jonah was obedience without heart, surrender without trust."
A few paragrahps latter she continues, " God is not calling me to merely seek an answer from Him but to seek an answer with Him. To trust Him during the process of exploring His heart for my life decisions, not just to throw my hands up in resignation, sighing Thy will be done!"
That is when it hit me. I have been throwing my hands up and begrudgley saying, "whatever you want Lord" but what God desires from me is not to just follow His will and direction but to TRUST Him.

Like Eve, I been saying,
"Does God really want what is best for me?"

"Can He be trusted to work all things out for His good?"

I know the answer is yes....but do I REALLY believe it?

Then 4:10-11 brought it home for me.
" But the Lord said, "You have been concerned about this vine (the vine for me is my circumstance) though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight. But Nineveh has more then a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?"

The Holy Spirit really convicted me that I am not concerned with the things that God is concerned with. Here I am worried about the vine (my issues) and God is saying those things don't matter. You did not make them succed or fail....I DID. Please get your eyes on what is important. MY PEOPLE. MY GLORY. MY RENOWN. The rest are just vines. They go and come. Don't get caught up in the vine (even though I gave it to you) Keep your eyes focused on what matters to me.

Lord, I long to trust you. I can say until I am blue in the face that You are good. I know that you have plans to prosper me and not to harm me. I know that You are all that matters. Please continue to speak to me through Your word . I want to be concerned with what you are concerend about. Teach me to take my eyes off myself and love what you love and hate what you hate.

I am...

Orginally posted on July 1, 2008

This past Sunday in Life Groups (I teach 11th grade girls) we talked about who we were in Christ. I started the time together by asking them what label other people have put on them. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We made a list on the board. I have been thinking about labels lately because I attended Deeper Still this past weekend in Atlanta.

Priscilla Shirer made the statement that God is the only one who has the right to label/NAME ME. She then mentioned Rev. 22:4 that says, “ They will see HIS face and HIS name will be on their forehead.” I love the picture of when someone sees me the first thing they see is JESUS written on my forehead. It got me thinking about the names that I have NOW because of my identity in Christ. I turned to Ephesians and read all the highlighted parts through Revelation and came up with this list. The awesome thing about it is this is not an extensive list. I did not read the entire books just what I had highlighted! I hope you are blessed and find great encouragement in knowing who you are in Christ.

v Overcomer (1 John 5:5)
v Child of God (1 John 3:3
v Chosen (1Peter 2:9)
v Royal Priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)
v Holy Nation (1Peter 2:9)
v People belonging to God (1 Peter 2:9 Eph. 2:19)
v Stranger in this world (1 Peter 1:1 1 Peter 1:11)
v Forgiven (Hebrews 9:28 Eph. 1:7)
v Redeemed (Col 1:14 Eph. 1:7)
v Reconciled (Col. 1:22)
v Alive with Christ (Col. 2:13 Eph. 2:5)
v Hidden in Christ (Col. 3:12)
v Holy and Dearly loved (Col. 3:12 Eph. 5:1)
v Called to suffer (Philp.1 :29)
v Blessed with every spiritual blessing in Christ (Eph. 1:13)
v Holy and Blameless in His sight (Eph. 1:4)
v Marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 1:13)
v Saved by faith (Eph. 2:8)
v God’s workmanship (Eph. 2:10)
v Created to do good works (Eph. 2:10)

Can you imagine what my life would look like if I started living out those things? What if I/we started believing the names/labels that Christ gives us instead of what the world says? My prayer is I/we will STOP BELIEVING who and what the world says we are (good and bad) and start acting like an heir to the throne!
In the comments I would love for you to share some of your favorite I am…. statements


Orginally posted on June 9, 2008

In less then an hour it will be 4 years since you died. There are times that I feel like you have been gone much longer then that and times that I feel like it was just yesterday. I know that you have the hope of glory now. I know that NOTHING on earth will ever compare to being at the feet of the One who ransomed you. But just for a minuet I want to pretend that I can sit with you and just chat.

As I am writing this I can hear the waves playing in Emma Kate's room. The thing that I think hurts the most is I will never get to see you play with or love my children on this side of heaven. I know with everything in me that you would have LOVED Emma Kate. But I long to see your eyes as you watch her, hear you laugh at her antics, and then hear you tell me "Gut, you were just like her!" Emma has your eyes. She is in every sense of the word a true "Hobbs" baby.

If I had just a minute I would tell you that even though you were not a perfect man, you were the perfect dad. I can honestly say that I always felt loved and protected by you. Thank you for treating me like a princess. I grew up to be a self confident woman because I never had to look for my worth or acceptance anywhere else because you taught me what I was worth by how you treated and loved me.

If I had just a minute I would tell you that you taught me a lot about Christ. Even though you never were "a spiritual leader" in our home God used your life and death to teach me things about Himself. Here are just a few of the ways that God used you to deepen my understanding about Him.

I have no issue understanding and accepting God's unconditional love for me. I never had to doubt yours so seeing God as Abba Father comes very easy for me.

While you were sick I learned that God could handle my tough questions. Sometimes He answered them but most of the time He just grew my faith. We came to an understanding that even if I don't understand "why" I can trust that HE is good.

God taught me that His NAME is enough. No fancy prayers....just HIS NAME. He taught me that a few years before you died. Mom called and told me that they had spent the day trying to locate a facility for you. You had an episode and was kicked out of where you were staying until your medicine could be adjusted. I was driving and felt helpless.

I was scared for you.

I cried out to God and had to pull over because the tears were coming so quickly. I told Him that I did not know what I needed but I needed it fast. In a very audible whisper I heard, " Just say my name." So I sat in my car and started...
JESUS, SAVIOR, EL Roi (The God who sees me), KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS, I AM, CREATOR, SUSTAINER, Jehovah Jireh (The Lord who provides), Hashem (The Name), Alpha and Omega, The Beginning and The End, Prince of Peace

I was drained from emotion so I just started saying over and over again.....Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus and there in my car on HWY 31 in Hoover The Prince of Peace flooded my soul. It was in that moment that I started to understand the power of His Name.

It was during your sickness that God taught me that my faith wasn't based on how I felt but on what I knew. I did not feel like God was faithful. I did not feel like God was good. I did not feel like God had plans to prosper me. The fact that I now understand that my relationship with Him has nothing to do with how I feel and everything to do with who HE IS has given me great freedom.

The day I found out you were sick I remember sitting in my student pastor's office and telling him I was afraid I would get angry with God and walk away from everything I knew to be truth.
God was faithful. He held on to me when I begged Him to let me go. When I tried to run He drew me closer to Himself.

So dad, even though you never led me in Bible Study or prayed over me, I learned a lot about God through of you.

If I had just a minute I would say:
*Thank you for taking me on dates.
*Thank you for coaching my softball teams.
*Thank you for "just because I love you" presents
*Thank you for passing your love of tea down to me.
*Thank you for passing your love of people down to me.
*Thank you for aggravating me.
*Thank you for waxing my car 3 times before you felt like it was good enough to give to me.
*Thank you for our trips to Mechams.
*Thank you for being fun.
*Thank you for sending me my first dozen roses.
*Thank you for buying me a pearl on every birthday. I had exactly 24 and you died 2.5 hours before my 24 birthday. I will always cherish it.
*Thank you for walking me down the aisle.
*Thank you for giving me the Hobbs eyes so I could pass them down.
*Thank you for indirectly teaching me more about God then I would ever have learned through a Bible Study.

I love you dad. I miss you as much today as I did on June 10th 2004.

John 12

Orginally posted on Feb. 16th, 20008

We have started the 2nd half of our precept study on John. This morning we did the overview of John 12-21. It was hard for me because I am details person and I wanted to get in the details of the chapters. Thankfully, we will get to do that with each chapter in the coming months. God really has given me a love for the study of His Word. I have not always been there so I am so thankful for the times that I just feel like I can't enough! I started the detail work of John 12 this morning. God is so good to meet us and remind us of the same things over and over and over.

Here is what I learned and what God spoke to me about for my own life over this chapter.The chapter opens with Jesus in Bethany having dinner with some friends. How cool is that! Aren't you so thankful we serve a personal God. Mary goes and pours some expensive perfume over his feet and wipes his feet with her hair. Some people get upset about this because they feel like Mary should have sold the perfume and given the money to the poor. Jesus responds to them by saying, "It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but will not always have me." This got me thinking... Do I serve in ways that I feel like God is calling me to serve Him or do I serve in ways the crowd thinks I should? Do I listen more closely to the crowds (even the church) for what my response to Christ should be or do I go directly to the throne? Do I pass judgement on the way someone chooses to worship and think their gift would be better served another way? We have freedom in Christ. He has uniquely gifted each of us. How sad it must make Him to watch us only respond to Him in ways that we have seen or feel comfortable with. I want my worship, like Mary's, to be more out of overflow then custom.
And ladies and gentlemen...that gets through verse 8! :)

Glad I am a sheep!

Orginally posted on Jan. 25, 2008

I am in a Bible Study on John. This week we studied John 10. In our homework we had to research sheep and shepherds and find out what we could about them. It directed me to Psalms 23 which is such a familiar passage but today the Lord was gracious to me and helped me see this passage in a whole new light. I think that I had read it so many times that I never stopped to think what it meant to me. Here is what I learned...

Psalm 23
"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. He guide me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. "

Because God is my shepherd:
*I shall not want (v.1). He has already given me every spiritual blessing. I do not have to ask to receive it I just have to ask to use it! (Eph. 1:3)

*I can be content and secure. In Him I find my rest. (v.2)

*He restores my soul...reconciling me to Himself. He teaches me to be more like Him. He does this not so I can be "good" and people see that but He does if HIS NAME SAKE and HIS GLORY. (v.3)

*Even when I walk through hard times and I don't understand God's purpose or His plan, I will not be afraid because his rod and his staff comfort me. I am so thankful the Lord uses his rod to discipline me because that means he loves me (Heb. 12:6) but oh how I love His staff that comforts me. I am blown away that He is a Father that knows how to use both-that even in the midst of His discipline He give me comfort. We see a great example of this in 2 Sam. 12. God is disciplining David for his sins with Bathsheba and kills the son that was born to him and Bathsheba. However, in the process He restores David relationship with Him and gives him a new son.

*He gives me victory in the presence of my enemies (v.5)

*Goodness and love will be mine forever (v.6)

Another cool think I learned about sheep came directly out of our notes that Kay Arther gave us. She said.."Sheep have a tendency to run when they are frightened. A sudden noise, a sudden disturbance can cause them to panic, And when fear strikes, the sheep take off, running frantically in any direction, often into danger. The shepherd is the only cure for panic in the sheepfold. When the shepherd senses fear, he quietly moves among the sheep reassuring them of his presence. As soon as the sheep become aware that the shepherd is with them, the desire to run vanishes because FEAR HAS BEEN REPLACED WITH TRUST. "

My Great Shepherd had to come beside me this week and replace fear with trust in a situation that attacked my family. I am so thankful for his mercy and his provision. I will gladly be a sheep....because I know the GOOD SHEPHERD.

If you have time here are some other great scriptures that shows Christ as our shepherd.
John 10:11,14 Heb. 13:20 1 Peter 5:4 Rev. 7:17

I am...

Orginally posted Dec. 3, 2007

I got this in an email this morning and thought it was SO GOOD. When we know who we are in Christ we make Satan's job a lot harder!

I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15)
I am united with the Lord(1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price(1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt.5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ(1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil.3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31-34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God(2 Cor.5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God(Rom.8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor.1:21-22)
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8: 28)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship(Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child(Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
Who you are!?

Loving Well

Orginally posted Nov. 12, 2007

I am currently attending Loving Well by Beth Moore at my church on Monday morning. It is about God's perfect love for us and because:

1. God is perfect love.
2. Nothing can separate me from God's perfect love.
3. God pours His perfect love in my imperfect heart.
4. Accessed, I can love anyone through anything.

This past week in our journal Beth included the following questions/statements to reflect on.

* Do you realize thatI came to meet with you?
* Do you have any idea how much I love you? How taken I am with you?
*Do you know that I have never forsaken you nor will I ever reject you? I was there all along. I always will be.
*Do you realize I knew everything about you the day you were the conceived? I anticipated your life and planned for it.
*You do have an enemy, My child. But it is not Me. He wants you to think it is.
* I am for you.
* Do you think you need to prove yourself loveable to Me? Deep down inside are you trying to earn my love and attention.
* As you strive to love me more, do you realize the key to loving Me more is to let Me love move.
*Why are you resisting Me? Why are you running from Me?
*To whom have you compared Me, and with whom have you confused Me?
*I am not like them.
* I know what's happened, I know what is on your mind.
*I alone know the plan for how this turns out well.I alone know how to prosper you through us.
* My eyes and My affections are on you right now.
*Quit trying to be so strong. Let Me be strong for you.
* I love you unashamedly. Even now my banner flies over you. Everyone in the heavenlies knows how I feel about you. I'd leave you red-faced over My love for you...if you'd let Me.

Sweet sisters rest in God's perfect love for you today.


Orginally posted Aug. 24, 2007

I am part of a Saturday morning Bible study at my church that meets from 7-9. I know what you are thinking....7:00am and yes I know that it is a sin to be up and out that early but our fearless leader is an early bird....and I mean real early bird like 4:30am. We started the group around 3 years ago I think and I LOVE IT. I was real worried about the early hours but I can HONESTLY say that when we don't meet I miss it :) I never wake up before 6:30 so I just put on a ball cap and head to church. The funny thing is a lady in the Bible Study saw me at church one Sunday about 4 months after we started and said, "I didn't recognize you without the baseball hat on!" Anyway I got off track....the real reason for the post is to share what I have learned so far in our new study. We just started doing a precept study on John. It is going to take us to May to complete the study on the book of John. For the past 2 weeks we have done an overview of the first 9 chapters. Part of the homework was to write out what the first 9 chapters say about who Jesus is. So here it goes.....this is what I have found the first 9 chapters say about Jesus.

Chapter 1
JESUS was there in the beginning (v.2)
JESUS all things came into being by Him ( v.3)
JESUS is life (v.4)
JESUS is the light of men (v.4)
JESUS darkness does not understand Him (v5)
JESUS enlightens every man (v.9)
JESUS own rejected Him (v.11)
JESUS became flesh and dwelt among us (v.14)
JESUS is full of grace and truth (v.14)
JESUS takes away the sins of the world (v. 29)
JESUS King of Israel (v. 49)
JESUS God's only Son (v. 14,18,34)
JESUS Lamb of God (v.29,36)
JESUS baptizes in the Holy Spirit (v.33)

Chapter 2
JESUS can perform miracles (v.7)
JESUS has a zeal for God's house (v.16)
JESUS knows all men and what's inside all men (v.25)

Chapter 3
JESUS God is with Him (v.2)
JESUS must be lifted up (v.14)
JESUS God's only begotten Son (v.16,18)
JESUS offers eternal life (v.16,39)
JESUS was not sent to judge the world (v.17)
JESUS is above all (v.31)
JESUS gives the spirit without measure (v.34)
JESUS everything is placed in HIS hands (v.35)

Chapter 4
JESUS ministered to women (v.7)
JESUS gives living water (v. 14)
JESUS knows everything about us (v.18)
JESUS seeks worshipers who worship in spirit and truth (v.23)
JESUS HE is spirit (v. 24)
JESUS His "food" is do to the will of the Father and accomplish His purpose (v.34)
JESUS heals the royal officers son sight unseen...just speaks and it happens (v.50)

Chapter 5
JESUS does nothing unless He sees His Father doing it (v.19)
JESUS God shows Him all things that He is doing (v.20)
JESUS gives life to whom He wishes (v.21)
JESUS in charge of all judgment (v.22)
JESUS all who are dead will hear His voice (v.28)
JESUS seeks the Father's will in judgment (v.30)
JESUS God bears witness of Him (v.37)
JESUS does not receive glory from men (v.41)

Chapter 6
JESUS can walk on water (v.19)
JESUS the bread of life (v.35,48)
JESUS came down from heaven (v. 38)
JESUS came not to do His will but the will of God (v.38)
JESUS will raise believers up on the last day (v.40,54)
JESUS no one can come to Him unless the Father draws them (v.44,65)
JESUS the words He speaks are spirit and life (v.63)
JESUS knew from the beginning who would believe Him and who would betray Him (v.64)
JESUS Holy One of God (v.61)

Chapter 7
JESUS from God and was sent by God (v.29)

Chapter 8
JESUS light of the world (v.12)
JESUS knows where He came from and where He is going (v.14)
JESUS His judgment is true (v.16)
JESUS is from above and not of this world (v.23,42)
JESUS speaks what He has heard from the Father to the world (v.26,28)
JESUS does nothing on His own initiative (v.28,42)
JESUS always does the things that are pleasing to God (v.29)
JESUS speaks the truth (v.45)
JESUS does not seek His own glory (v.50)

Chapter 9
JESUS light of the world (v.5)
JESUS gave sight to a blind man who had been blind since birth (v.7)

There is no sweeter name. Jesus is the ONE AND ONLY

"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."
John 1:14

10 months old

Orginally posted Aug. 5, 2007

Today Emma Kate turned 10 months old. I have no idea where the last 10 months went. It really just seems like yesterday that I was in her nursery at 2:00 in the morning trying to finish a book wandering if I was really in labor! Since her birth I have kept a journal for her of letters that I write to tell her about what we did that day or just explain to her how I feel about being her mom. I normally write her a letter and then on the next page lift her up in prayer to our Heavenly Father. Tonight when I was writing I told her that there has not been a day that has gone by since she was born that I have not had to stop dead in my tracks and say to the Lord, " Lord why do you show me such favor?" She brings inexpressible joy to my heart.

You know there are things as a parent that you do because your parents did them and you are just passing on the legacy. My daddy passed away 3 years ago and every time I catch myself doing something he did it reminds me that he really isn't gone. One thing my daddy always did was aggravate...I know big shocker! He had a little saying that he would say it went like this...

I had a little girl
Her name was Lori Sue
She is so mean
I am going to put her in the zoo

I would get so upset and run to my mom and say, "mom please don't let daddy put me in the zoo" and then my mom would get on to my dad for getting me upset. Well, I have not made up any rhymes but I tell Emma Kate all the time that I am going to take her to the crazy farm! Since she is only 10 months old she has NO IDEA what I am saying or what it means but every time I say it I laugh to myself and think

I had a little girl
Her name was Lori Sue
She is so mean
I am going to put her in the zoo

Ok so here is the real reason I went down memory on Emma Kate's 10 month birthday she followed in the footsteps of her cousins. My mom always says.... insert your name big do I love you? and then you are supposed to raise your hands in the air and say...."SO BIG"....Since day 1 of Emma's arrival I have said to her..."Emma Kate how big does mommy love you?" and then I would raise my hands in the air or hold hers up and say, "SO BIG"......well are you ready for when I asked her she raised her own hands up!!!!! I about lost it! When Jeff got home today we did it again just make sure it wasn't it a fluke and up her hands went...and again we went wild :) Then Emma was so excited that we were going crazy that she just kept lifting her hands!

Lord, tonight I am thankful that I had/have great parents and that I can pass on even silly things to Emma Kate that they taught me. I have no idea why you have shown me such favor and am amazed everyday at your grace. Thank you for Emma Kate. Thank you for the snuggles that I get, for the toothless grins that I receive, for the diapers that I get to change, for the feeling of overwhelming love when I check on her at night and she is so peaceful in her crib, for the mornings when she gets daddy's nose to wake him up, and the sweet way that she grabs for my hand when I am rocking her to sleep. I love you Lord and out of all the things that get passed down to her may I also pass down a legacy of belief in you

The Last Sin Eater

Orginally posted July 20, 2007

The Women’s ministry at our church has been doing “Sister Chick Movie Nights” during the summer. In June we watched A Night with the King and last night we watched The Last Sin Eater by Francine Rivers. I read the book and finished just a few weeks ago so I would be ready to see the movie. True to form the book was better but the message of both is so powerful I would recommend you see the movie…just the read the book first!

Anyway, the point of the post is to say how thankful I am that Christ is my sin eater.
There is nothing I can do to save myself. I can’t be good enough, memorize enough scripture, or figure this life thing out on my own. The book of Isaiah tells me even my righteous acts are like filthy rags…

All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. Is. 64:6

Christ is it.

Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father without going through Him. John 14:6

Thank you Lord that you have paid the price of my sins…past, present, and future. You are all I need. May I always remember that my salvation is not free. It cost you something. I confess that I am guilty of forgetting I was bought at a price. Lord forgive me when my actions don’t match my beliefs. Keep me ever mindful that you came to set me free and to make me no longer a slave to sin but a slave to righteousness.

You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Romans 6:18


Orginally posted on July 18th 2007

I am currently reading He Speaks To Me by Priscilla Shirer and she said something that I have really thought about over the past few days so I wanted to share. On the chapter on holiness she said:

" Some want the distinction of being Christian without the difference of being holy."

I know I for one am guilty of wanting the title of Christian without the work of being a disciple, and when I choose to miss out on the "work" I miss the great adventure of following Christ. Being a Christ follower has made me make some tough decisions and "miss out" on some things the world tells me I should be doing. I have had to draw my line in the sand about issues like drinking, what I choose to spend money on, language I use, TV I watch, etc.. The world and even some of my friends think I have missed out and I am just way to conservative. However, I would not trade my relationship with Christ for anything this world has to offer me. I have had to make decisions that were hard at the time and that even people I love may not have understood but my reward will be and has always been CHRIST. I never want to be satisfied with church attendance or the things that Satan tries to get us to go after other the CHRIST. I don't just want to be a Christian.

I want to be "set apart, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that I might declare the praises of Him who called me out of darkness into his wonderful light." 1 Peter 2:9In my quiet time I have been reading the book of John and today I was in John 15 and it reminded me of how I can be holy. Being holy does mean drawing the line in the sand about certain things but so much more then that it is remaining in the vine." I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:1-5I can do NOTHING apart from Christ. I cannot be holy on my own I have to remain in HIM. It is a lot easier to take the easy road and just be satisfied with being the "good Christian girl" but I am sick of that!!

Thank you Lord that you have called me to so much more then just to behave a certain way. So Lord I am begging you to continue to discipline me for my good so I can share in YOUR holiness."Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. " Hebrews 12:10