Friday, January 13, 2012

Be A Woman

It's time for me to share about one of my Eternal Encouragement experiences. I received the January newsletter in my inbox and opened it up to read. In this first newsletter of 2012 I read an encouraging word about being all that I could be.

Be all you can be! If you are a mother, BE a mother! If you are a wife, BE a wife! You are a woman, BE one all the way. Don't be half a one, wanting to do half a man's role. BE a lady and be one all the way!  
~ Lorrie Flem

I loved this.

The other day as I was watching tv there was a commercial for the show Dr Quinn Medicine Woman and in the commercial Dr Quinn says something like never hide behind the fact that you are a girl. Have you ever found yourself saying, or thinking, along these lines? Thinking that you will not be taken seriously simply because you are a girl, so why bother? Thinking you could not do or become what God has placed in your heart because you are a girl? Thinking you had to walk and talk like a man to get the job done?

Believe me... your womanness is enough. You don't have to forsake your femininity to accomplish what God has called you to do. You don't have to forsake your womanhood to survive in the workplace. Nor do you have to become the b**ch to be taken seriously. Nor do you have to play the seduction card... it's only degrading you.

There was a day when my motto was that the only thing a man could do that I could not was pee standing up and if I practiced long enough I could probably do that too. I was under the delusions of the lies that were being fed to me by the world. I somehow felt I needed to prove my worth by showing I could measure up to a man.

How backwards that thinking is. It is absolutely crazy to me now... but I guarantee that this thought still continues to thrive in the minds of females all across our nation. Today I realize that there is only one man who can define my worth and who I should be measuring myself by... and His name is Jesus.

It wasn't until I came to know Him, that I began to truly understand what it meant to be a woman. In Him I learned that I am not less because I am female. I am not weak because I am a girl. Precious one, listen, you don't have to earn your place in the world by trying to do things like a man... this is not a man's world... the world belongs to God. It's His and all that's in it.

  For the world is Mine, and all it contains.
Psalm 50:12

Just be a woman of God.
Keep your head held high and your back straight and your integrity strong.
Just be real.
There is a huge lack of authenticity in our current day.

“Behold, I have discovered this,”
says the Preacher,
“adding one thing to another to find an explanation, 
which I am still seeking but have not found.
I have found one man among a thousand,
but I have not found a woman among all these.
Ecclesiastes 7:27-28

God created you female and He created you to display His image in your femininity. He created you to bear His likeness as a woman surrendered to His will and bathed in His beauty and grace. Be a woman that God calls a woman worthy of praise.

 Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised. 
 Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.
Proverbs 31:30-31


The thoughts from this post began from the encouraging word I read in my EE newsletter. If you would like to also receive these words of encouragement just go to to get your free newsletter.

Disclaimer: I post for EE magazine and receive products from EE in return for an honest review.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Man of My Dreams

The evidence of a man who loves Jesus is not found in conquering a specific sin struggle, but rather in his endurance in the fight.

Don’t look for the perfectly healed champion.  He’s already waiting for you in Heaven.

Look for they guy who is covered with scars from the fight.  Look for the guy who is bloody and bleeding with this huge grin on his face because he’s confident that the war is already won.  Don’t stare at each other too long.  Link arms or get back-to-back so you can make each other stronger before the next attack.
Then fight your way home to your true Hero.

thoughts from fabs


I read this and I was reminded of a poem I wrote on October 14, 1998. This poem I wrote about my husband when he was still just my boyfriend :-)

I feel myself falling
I feel myself letting go
I feel myself trusting in a way that I've never trusted before
I feel myself loving
I feel it deep in my soul
I feel my heart completed in a way that I've never known
I feel strong hands
I feel strong arms
I feel I now have a shoulder I can rely and lean on
I feel complete
I feel whole
I feel I have finally found what I've always searched for.

When I penned this little poem as a head-over-heels-in-love young girl I thought I knew what love was... but in truth... I had a lot to learn... and my God has been faithful to teach me. 

I can truly say that I still feel this same way about my husband today. However there have been moments when I have not always felt that way. Our marriage has been a roller coaster ride... but we were both thrill seekers when we met and I guess we just carried that adrenaline junkie mess right into our marriage somehow.  

We didn't start out as friends either... we just... well started out. So it has taken a while to build the friendship area of our marriage... because I didn't really make friends easy... I could make acquaintances all day but friends, that was a different story. Really letting someone in is scary.

So our marriage has been a roller coaster ride of emotion at times... something I have chosen to call passion. My husband thinks that is quite funny. So he says that from now on whenever we have a "heated discussion" he is just going to look at me and say "it's passion, baby" and well who could keep a straight face at that?

I believe love comes with passion.
Not the Hollywood movie rated X (or pg-13 theses days) passion... but the suffering of Christ passion.
Love is about sacrifice... and suffering... and salvation.

My husband was used by God to bring me unto salvation. I have no doubt about that. Had I not have met this man and been swept off my feet by him... I cannot even imagine the depths of depravity I might have entered into. I was wide open to Satan himself because I was convinced God would never want me again.

One of my God's steps in opening my eyes to His love for me was sending me this man.

At the same time, had this man managed to be able to meet all my needs, and comfort me at all times, and never leave in me want, hungering from something deeper, and even more real... well I don't think I would have responded to the calling of my Savior. I would have been comfortable in my temporary pleasures.

As I was wrapped up in this man's arms and resting in his strength and warmth about me last night, he had work early the next morning and was heading to bed early, and I still had rippin' and rompin' kids to get settled and in bed, but he said, "You know we had to be meant for each other because I still am not tired of holding you, You know sometimes you just get tired of being around people when you have been around them alot, but I am not tired of you."

Yes, I still love this man.
No, life has not been perfect... but it's been "passion" packed :-)

When I look at him and think about our marriage I sit at the feet of my Christ in an utter amazement at the beauty He was able to make out of the mess of us.

Two messed up souls... doing things all wrong... but some how God's grace poured out on us and His divine intervention came down in floods of mercy and we are choosing to trust Christ to keep it all running somehow.

We are far from perfect.
Our marriage is far from perfect.
But it truly gets sweeter and sweeter with each leap of faith of saying "I do" again one more day...

We do life together.
For better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health...
We both carry our battle scars but we both have chosen to stay and stand and fight.
Remembering that we battle not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of darkness.

This is my man.
The man of my dreams.
And each day He becomes more and more what I was always searching for because with each day he becomes more and more like my Jesus.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Names of God - Jehovah-rapha

It's time for another post in the Names of God series. We have done a little study on the names Elohim, El Elyon, El Roi, El ShaddaiEl OlamAdoniaJehovah, and Jehovah-jireh. And now we move onto a new name... Jehovah-rapha.

We are introduced to this name of God and discover its meaning in the book Exodus. To set our context the children of Israel have just been set free from Pharoah's hold by the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob... and the God of Moses. We are introduced to this name, this attribute of God right after they have crossed the Red Sea.

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea,
and they went out into the wilderness of Shur;
 and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 
When they came to Marah,
they could not drink the waters of Marah,
for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 
So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 
Then he cried out to the LORD,
and the LORD showed him a tree;
and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet.
   There He made for them a statute and regulation,
and there He tested them. 
And He said,
If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God,
and do what is right in His sight,
and give ear to His commandments,
and keep all His statutes,
I will put none of the diseases on you
which I have put on the Egyptians;
for I, the LORD, am your healer.”
Exodus 15:22-26

Here God let the children of Israel know that "for I, the LORD, am your healer" or for I am Jehovah-rapha. He wanted them, and us, to know that He is the God who heals.

Now lets go back a little further and look at our context a little more.

The LORD was going before them
in a pillar of cloud by day to lead them on the way,
and in a pillar of fire by night to give them light,
that they might travel by day and by night. 
He did not take away the pillar of cloud by day,
nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people.
Exodus 13:21-22

Here in this passage we discover that God himself was leading them. He led them in the day and He led them in the night. Never at any time did He remove the pillar of His leadership. If that is true then what also must be true?

Do you think that God just led the thirsty children of Israel to a spring that He thought would be good for drinking and then got there and was shocked that it was bitter and had to figure out what to do next to appease a bunch of grumbling and complaining kids?

Nope. God is God. Remember?
Therefore, He had to have led them to these bitter waters on purpose for a purpose.
He had a lesson to teach them. It was test time.

This is true with us as well. Sometimes God leads us to bitter waters. We may not like it, but it is true. But if we will submit to His will and trust Him in surrendered obedience, He will indeed make those bitter waters sweet.

Our God is Jehovah-rapha.
He is Healer.
Our God heals.

He heals our land.

and My people who are called by My name
humble themselves and pray and seek My face
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
will forgive their sin and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14

He heals our sin.

and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross,
so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; f
or by His wounds you were healed. 
For you were continually straying like sheep,
but now you have returned to the Shepherd
and Guardian of your souls.
2 Peter 2:24-25

He heals our broken heart.

He heals the brokenhearted
And binds up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

He heals our diseases.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Psalm 103:2-3

As we look at God's introduction to this name Jehovah-rapha we must take note of the instructions that came before He shared this name. We must remember the "if"

If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God,
and do what is right in His sight,
and give ear to His commandments,
and keep all His statutes,...

There was a prerequisite for experiencing God as Jehovah-rapha... and was obedience and submission to Him. That obedience includes confession of disobedience and repentance when God makes it known to us.

 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
Psalm 139:23-24

Many times before God will heal us we need to first take care of our sin. Sometimes that sin is simply to obey Him in His simple request to trust Him. Jesus commanded us not to worry. He beckons us to cast our burdens on Him. When we choose not to... we have stress. It is a proven medical fact that stress kills. Stress leads to depression. It leads to obesity. It leads to blood-pressure issues. It leads to countless other ailments. God would heal us of all these if we would trust Him with our problems and our anxieties and our regrets and our fears and our failures. If we would simply obey Him and surrender our will to His will.

God commands us to share our problems, our sin, with others. Holding onto unconfessed sins and unforgiveness can make us sick. Holding onto our struggles because we fear the shame of them being exposed can easily lead to death. God tells us to find someone, a fellow believer, to share these things with. we must expose the things hiding in the dark so that the Light of Christ can shine on them. A germ likes to grow in the dark, so does mold, all things that kill, steal, and destroy like the darkness. They like to hide. Let us bring them to the Light.  

Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray.
Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises. 
Is anyone among you sick?
Then he must call for the elders of the church
and they are to pray over him,
anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; 
and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick,
and the Lord will raise him up,
and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. 
Therefore, confess your sins to one another,
and pray for one another so that you may be healed.
The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.
James 5:13-16

However, not all sickness is due to a personal sin. Jesus makes that very clear in His Word.

As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. 
And His disciples asked Him,
Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents,
that he would be born blind?” 
Jesus answered,
“It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents;
but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.
John 9:1-3

I must share that the day that I shared about this beautiful name of God in our co-op chapel time I was sick. I mean flat-out could lose my pop-tart any minute sick. However the Lord sustained me through the chapel time and through my zoology class and through one daughter's piano lessons and another daughter's violin lessons and I didn't lose my pop-tart until safe at home in the sanctuary of my own bathroom. So I am thankful that as I studied this name of God I was able to rest in the truth that not all sickness is due to personal sin... but in all honesty Psalm 139:23-24  is where I began my evaluation when I realized sickness had hit me.

If it was an attempt to get my attention to fix a division between me and my God then I wanted to seek that out. I want to know every wicked way that there is within me so that I can confess it before my God and lay it at the foot of my Saviors cross. I want to live a life of repentance not a life of regrets.

When God brings me to bitter waters and I am thirsty... I pray that instead of grumbling and complaining I will look at those bitter waters and ask my God what He is wanting to teach me. What lesson do I need to learn? How, my God, will you make these bitter waters sweet? I pray that I will look for the tree...  and always remember that my God is Jehovah-rapha, my God is Healer.

Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed;
Save me and I will be saved,
For You are my praise.
Jeremiah 17:14

Waiting Room Thoughts

I am sitting here in the surgery waiting room as my sister is back in surgery having the steel plate removed from her leg and as many screws from her knee that the doctor can safely remove. I spent a lot of time here a little over a year ago. On the way here I was listening to Way-FM and they were doing a listener call in to the question "What was the worst day of your life? How did God get you through it? Did good end up coming from it?"

As I answered the question to myself on this drive to the hospital... my mind went to this first trip that I made to this hospital to get to my sister. I have had more "worst days" that God has seen me through, but today my mind took me to this one.

This was the worst day because it was the first time that I was faced with asking God whether or not I could ask for a loved one's life to be spared. Every other time before, I just simply selfishly asked for the life to be spared... 

This is the car that my sister's life was spared from. This is the death that our God delivered her from. Every bone in her body was broken... except her skull. Her brain and all internal organs with the exception of her lungs were safe. Both her lungs were punctured. However the One who breathed life into her in the beginning continued to breathe life into her despite punctured lungs.

You can read her journey here:

If you have a loved one fighting a medical condition Caring Bridge is wonderful site to keep loved ones updated and it was a great strength to my sister to be able to read the prayers that were covering her during her trial.

What I know is that God sustained my sister during this trial and He sustained our entire family and yes He received glory from this worst day.