Thursday, February 9, 2012

Moving to New Place

I am just letting everyone know that I am moving my blog. You will now be able to find me at Proven Path Ministries. I have loved my Blogger... the move is to a personally owned site as I step forward in this ministry and to whatever God has called me to do in each day.

Also, being an approval addict, this new site does not have "followers" or "stats" so it will save me from the heart dropping condemnation I experience when I see no new followers or worse... when I see that I have been "unfollowed". It also will keep me from constantly stopping by the computer just to see if anyone is reading my posts and what countries they are from.

I don't write for the glory of me, but for the glory of God and the building up of His church. I have to be reminded of that constantly... as I catch myself too easily seeking approval and validation from those who are not my Lord and Savior.

Confessions of a Christian Housewife will continue.
Devotional Studies Through The Bible will continue.
Proven Path Ministries will encompass these as well as eventually will make available several Bible studies I have written as I have taught and studied.

I still am working on the layout and ins and outs of Proven Path... it is a work in progress and I am having to be coached through it... thank God for youth ministers that are computer geeks :-)
I hope you will continue to join me and share in this ministry with me.
I pray that I will be able to continue to encourage you...

Many blessings in Christ to you all!

Every Woman's Battle Review

I received Every Woman's Battle through the Blogging for Books program. I poured over this book. I have had a passion for purity since the day I was wholly surrendered to Christ. I was a complete failure in this area and I reaped the consequences. My heart's desire has been since to do all that I can to give others the info and encouragement they need to not go through what I went through and to help them realize that there is hope if they are where I was.

What I love about this book is that she brings sexual integrity back to where it begins... the mind. Most women think that if they have not crossed whatever line they have written in the sand then they are living a pure life... but then they wonder why they struggle if they haven't "done anything". Sexual purity and integrity is so much more than physical sex... physical sex (outside of marriage) is not where the battle begins... that is where it is lost.

I have often wondered how I ended up traveling the path I did when I had such a wonderful father... and then I read this:

"I recognized that I was looking for love, approval, and acceptance from every authority figure in my life except my real father and my heavenly Father." ~ Shannon Ethridge

When I read this quote it took my mind to the book of Isaiah.

Stop regarding man, whose breath of life is in his nostrils;
For why should he be esteemed?
Isaiah 2:22

I realized that I had stopped looking for approval in my father's eyes... and my Heavenly Father's eyes and began looking for approval from mere man. This is when my life went of course in a major way. I know now that this is when it began. How thankful I am for the grace and unconditional love I have in both my earthly father and my Heavenly Father... and yes today, my husband. 

Every Woman's Battle is a must read for every woman, it really is.
If you feel you are alone in a struggle... after reading this you will realize that you are not alone.

The last thing you want to do is keep your struggle in the dark. We are to expose what is hidden in the dark and the love of the Light of Christ will heal us... always. When David cried out to God in the psalms he cried out for God to go deep and dig out whatever was hiding in the darkness of his heart.

 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

This book, along with another that I read right before it, has inspired me to do a thirty-three day challenge with any one who would like to join me. I will be using the study that comes with this book combined with the other that I read, What Are You Waiting For by Dannah Gresh.

In this challenge I hope that we will allow God to go deep and dig into our hearts and expose all our anxious thoughts and hurtful ways so that we might turn to Him and be healed. 
Feel free to join me :-)

*I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Names of God Study: Jehovah-sabaoth

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 OlamAdoniaJehovahJehovah-jirehJehovah-raphaJehovah-nissiJehovah-mekoddishkem and Jehovah-shalom. Now we will look at Jehovah-sabaoth.

We are introduced to this name of God through the lips of a woman named Hannah. In 1 Samuel 1 we read of woman who was unable to give her husband a child. Her husband had taken another wife, and this wife had given him children and also this wife was tormenting Hannah. She was barren and she lived with a another woman who was giving her husband what she could not... I cannot even begin to imagine her pain.

Hannah is in the temple and she crying out to God give her a child.

Then Hannah rose after eating and drinking in Shiloh.
Now Eli the priest was sitting on the seat
by the doorpost of the temple of the LORD. 
She, greatly distressed, prayed to the LORD and wept bitterly. 
She made a vow and said,
“O LORD of hosts,
if You will indeed look on the affliction of Your maidservant
and remember me, and not forget Your maidservant,
but will give Your maidservant a son,
then I will give him to the LORD all the days of his life,
and a razor shall never come on his head.” 
1 Samuel 1:9-11

Here Hannah cries out for Jehovah-sabaoth, the LORD of hosts. She cries out for Him to deliver her from this pain. From her lips and out of this pain is where God chose to reveal this beautiful name.

Sabaoth means mass, and refers to a mass of angels, the heavenly host, an army.

We need to remember that there were temples up in the land to a myriad of gods... many of those were fertility gods... if you were to go to China today you would still find a Buddha temple that is set aside to pray to in order to have a child, there is even one to specify whether you want a boy or a girl...

But Hannah did not cry out to a fertility god... she did not seek out an idol to pour her heart out to or to put her hope in... she cried out to Jehovah-sabaoth, the God of gods. 

We see this name of God come again from a young man named David.
In 1 Samuel 17 we read of how Israel is at war with the Philistines. The Philistine army has Israel at a standstill as the giant Goliath stands over them mocking them and their God. David has bee sent by his father to check on his older brothers who are at the battlefield... David is shocked by what he sees. There is not a man in all of the Israeli army that is willing to go head to head with Goliath... so David says, "I'll do it"  

Goliath stands before David and laughs in his face. He mocks David and he curses him by his gods and he insults David's God. David is not frightened by this giant and he is not impressed by his big mouthed threats... David knows that this giant comes at him in the power of his strength and the non-existent power of his false gods while David comes at him with Jehovah-sabaoth.

Then David said to the Philistine,
“You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin,
but I come to you in the name of the LORD of hosts,
the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. 
This day the LORD will deliver you up into my hands,
and I will strike you down and remove your head from you.
And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines
this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth,
that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, 
and that all this assembly may know that
the LORD does not deliver by sword or by spear;
for the battle is the LORD’S and He will give you into our hands.”
1Samuel 17:45-47

We know that David received the victory. Goliath, as big and mighty as he appeared, was no match for God. God will always be victorious.

Therefore the Lord GOD of hosts,
The Mighty One of Israel, declares,
“Ah, I will be relieved of My adversaries
And avenge Myself on My foes.
Isaiah 1:24

We can be certain that we will all face our own "goliaths" in this life. There will be people and problems and trials and tribulations that we all will face. There will be those who mock us for trusting in our God. There will be those who hate us and seek to destroy us and our witness... rest assured that Satan is looking for every opportunity he can to devour you... but not even Satan is a match for Jehovah-sabaoth.

Precious one, also remember that David was able to defeat Goliath because he was willing and able to face to him. He was ready to take him head on. He was ready because he had prepared for this battle by his daily walk with God. He knew God by name, by character, and by personal experience with Him. 

David never doubted God. He believed God was who God said He was... all the others standing on the sidelines, shaking in fear... they doubted that God. They doubted that God would deliver them, therefore they were not willing to face this fear. 

My friend, get to know your God.

His name, Jehovah-sabaoth is only a small part of Him... get to know every part of Him that He will reveal to you... If you are just stepping into this study I implore you to scroll back up to the top and get to know these other characteristics of our God that He so graciously reveals to us through His name.  

ABC Poem of Praise

I wrote this as I was studying through the book of Psalms and learned that some of the Psalms had been written with each line beginning with a letter in the Hebrew alphabet...

Almighty God, in You do I trust.
By Thy hand I am guided,
Comforted by Thy touch.
Deliver me, my Father
Encompass me in Your arms.
For in Thee, my LORD, I shall not remain in harm.
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Honored is Your name.
In Thee be all majesty in glorious display.
Justice and righteousness alone are found in You.
Kindness and mercies,
Love, every morning they are new.
Mighty and awesome, before Thee I bow,
Not a God besides You,
O LORD, in Thee all things be, in, from, and through.
Peoples and nations shall one day Your name confess.
Quickly come my Saviour,
Redeem Thy saints from all distress.
Salvation is found in Thy name alone.
True is Your word, perfect is Thy law,
Upright are Your judgments, before Thee I fall.
Victory is found in Jesus Christ my Lord.
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain before the world.
Xplained by all creation, for creation Thy did create.
You uphold all things by the power of Your word.
Zion is Thy mountain, O come my King and reign!

Monday, February 6, 2012

God Doesn't Swing

This FB status lost me a few FB friends...

If you are married to Jesus (Eph 5:31-32), why are you still having sex with the world (Jam 4:4), God doesn't swing!!(Heb 10:26-31, Ex 34:14)

So I followed the status with a FB note:

In the Scriptures God refers to Israel as His wife and the Church as the bride of Christ. God first instituted marriage in the beginning. It is the first blood covenant recorded in Scripture. When a man and a woman are joined together as "one flesh" there is in this act the shedding of blood. This act was designed to take place under the marriage covenant, the seal of this covenant being the shedding of blood that occurs at first intercourse.

A covenant is a lifelong binding agreement. That is how God designed marriage. One man, one woman, one flesh, one life. This marriage covenant has and always will be one of God's illustrations of His relationship with man.

When Israel entered into her covenant with God at Mt Horeb it was inaugurated with blood from that moment on God referred to Israel as His wife. When Christ shed His blood on Calvary it was His blood that inaugurated the new covenant by which we are redeemed, justified, and become from then on His betrothed.

In the Old Testament Scriptures Israel's unfaithfulness to God is spoken of as harlotry, as adultery. A wife unfaithful to her Husband. You can read the books of Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Hosea so many of the prophets and you see the truth illustrated.

In the New Testament Scriptures the church as the bride of Christ is there in Ephesians, Revelations, and weaved in and out throughout the books of the New Testament. Don't take my word for it, read it for yourselves.

So therefore if we are married to Jesus why should we be having sex with the world. In other words, bride of Christ, why are we intimately joined, playfully engaged, flirtatiously indulged, sensually entertained, by those things that we sought forgiveness, this world that held us captive, this flesh, this nature, that put our Bridegroom on the cross?

There is a difference between willful and unwillful sin.
God knows the difference, and I believe so do we.

James 4:4 calls those who play with the world adulteresses. You cannot be a friend of this world and a friend of God. You cannot sleep with the enemy and sleep with the Friend that sticks closer than a brother. God will not allow you to continue to hop in and out of His bed. He wrote Israel a writ of divorce. She can only return to Him through a new covenant (Jer 33), the New Covenant, through Christ.

Yet those who claim to be the church, the bride of Christ, if we commit adultery through whom shall we return? Hebrews 10:26 says "if we go on sinning willfully after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice of sins..."

First of all ask yourself am I truly married to Christ?
Have I forsaken all others and cleaved only to Him?
Do I love, honor, cherish, and obey Him, in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse, till death us unite?

If you can say yes to these questions then know that just as our physical marriages have ups and downs, fears and failures, joys and sorrows, so does our marriage with Christ. Just as we seek forgiveness and healing and growth and intimacy in our physical marriage so we do in our marriage with Christ. He is perfect but we are not, but He is also mindful that we are not, and He is a patient, loving, compassionate, and merciful spouse.

He promises to never stop loving His bride and His faithfulness is forever (Psalm 89:19-37). Our physical marriages sometimes fail, but our marriage to Christ will never fail. "Love never fails" (1 Corin 13:8) and "God is love" (1 John 4:16). The question is will you try with all that is within you to be His faithful bride? He would and has died for you. Will you do the same for Him?

Oh do not be one who is a dog that has returned to its vomit (2 Peter 2:17-22)
Oh do not be the virgins who delayed in filling their lamps with oil and missed the Bridegroom (Matt 25:1:13)
Oh do not be those who were too preoccupied with the things of this world to go to the wedding feast or the man who showed up for the wedding feast without being properly clothed (Matt 22:1-14)

Today is the day of salvation (Hebrews 3-4)
Today is the day of repentance and forgiveness (1 John 1:5-10)
Today is the day of reconciliation (Romans 5:1-11)
Today is the day to be clothed in Christ (Romans 13:14)

Casting Crowns has a song "While You Were Sleeping" and these are some of the words:

United States of America
Looks like another silent night
As we're sung to sleep by philosophies
That save the trees and kill the children
And while we're lying in the dark
There's a shout heard 'cross the eastern sky
For the Bridegroom has returned
And has carried His bride away in the night
America, what will we miss while we are sleeping
Will Jesus come again
And leave us slumbering where we lay
America, will we go down in history
As a nation with no room for its King
Will we be sleeping?

Dear one, are you sleeping? (Song of Solomon 5:2-16)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Be Nice, Be Nice, Be Nice

Well today I am going on my third day without Internet access in my home.
There are two things that usually can get me in a tizzy... at&t customer service and credit card calls.

So I have been hanging on the thread of be nice, be nice, be nice... for the last three days as I stand my ground with this company and try not to be rude and obnoxious to the poor person on the other end of the line that has the unfortunate job of delivering the bad company policy to my ears.

The deal is a bad modem

This is our 4th modem in 4years with at&t. The modem was recalled, though we received no notification of a modem recall, and now the modem is out of warranty and at&t refuses to replace it. The phone call resulted in me being hung up on in a transition to speak with getting back on dial-up because I refuse to pay for another modem on top of our monthly service bill.

I understand I might be being stubborn... but it makes no sense to me.

So I called again to attempt to reason with this company and was then informed that if I had been paying an extra $8 a month for an insurance plan, they would send me a new modem for free. Hmmmm so if I had of paid them an extra $96 they would have sent me a "free" $75 modem...

See my frustration?

Yes I struggle with the whole money=security thing, so I am constantly checking my heart at this time to see if I am standing solid ground or biting my nose off to spite my face.

More of my frustration is that we have been loyal customers to this company for over 13 years. This includes a mobile with them, Internet with them, home phone with them, and satellite tv with them. Yet our loyalty to them does not warrant a modem which is required to use the service that we are paying monthly for...

So Friday night I was ready to unbundle the satellite, buy out the mobile contract and cancel the Internet... the home phone went 2 years ago... yes all over a $75 modem.

I am still not so sure that this won't be the path we take... it all lies in tomorrows phone call to the service department.

So, if you miss my random craziness, and moments of revelation, and product and book reviews... I have not gone AWOL... I am fighting it out with my Internet provider and my own heart as I try to discern whether this is the stubborn red-headed female in me... or a flat out loyalty issue and bad business. 

So I will be taking deep breaths tomorrow and saying over and over to myself... be nice, be nice, be nice... as I try to stay focused on the fact that I am having a problem with a policy not the person on the other end of the line and praying that in the process I don't disqualify myself in this race of life from being an accurate witness of my Christ.

Hopefully you will still respect me in the morning!