Monday, August 5, 2013

Day 6 of the 3:16 Tour...Let the Water's Part!

This might be one of my favorite passages of scripture. God is so faithful to his people and this passage shows his power over all things, AGAIN. You really need to read the whole chapter. God tells Joshua, that just as He was with Moses, He is also with Joshua! I love that, because just as He was with those servants of old, He is with US today. 

In Joshua chapter 3, the Israelites needed to cross the Jordan River, during the time of harvest, which is also the time of flood...they were worried about it. But, God had a plan already. (Funny how they forgot about the miracle He gave them when they crossed the Red Sea.)

So, God tells Joshua to have the priests, carrying the Ark of the Covenant, step into the waters of the Jordan River, which were overflowing their banks...and verse 3:16 tells us what happened when they obeyed. Sometimes, we just have to step into the water, no matter how much we don't understand what will happen next. 

Joshua 3:16 (NASB) the waters which were flowing down from above stood and rose up in one heap, a great distance away at Adam, the city that is beside Zarethan; and those which were flowing down toward the sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, were completely cut off. So the people crossed opposite Jericho.

Read Joshua Chapter 3 in context. 

Share your thoughts about this passage in the comments below. 

NOTE: Okay, this is day 6 and I didn't post day 5. I was just so excited about this one, that I totally forgot to put day 5 first. So, look for Deuteronomy 3:16 Tomorrow. :)

Friday, August 2, 2013

Day 4 of the tour of the 3:16s (LOVE this one)

This one is really fun. Did you know that Moses was a census taker? Yep, he sure was. In Numbers Chapter 3 we find that God separated out the tribe of Levi from among the Israelites and told Moses to count them. So he did. Further in the chapter we see the whole family breakdown of the Levites. How awesome is God that he would care about CREATING families and keeping an accounting of HIS people for HIS plan. 

Numbers 3:16 -  So Moses counted them, as he was commanded by the word of the Lord.

To read the chapter in context, go to Numbers Chapter 3.

What are your thoughts?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tour of the 3:16s Day 3

Day 3 of our tour of the 3:16s finds us in Leviticus. I particularly loved the last line of this verse...everything that is excess of what is needed, belongs to the least that's the way I applied it as I read this morning. What do you think?

Leviticus 3:16 - The priest shall offer them up in smoke on the altar as food, an offering by fire for a soothing aroma; all fat is the LORD'S.

Read the passage in context - Leviticus Chapter 3

Tour of the 3:16s - Day 2

Yesterday's 3:16 was God's judgment on Eve for her part in the introduction of sin into the world. On today's tour we see God's message of concern to His people. He is paying attention to their plight, and he is concerned for them. I love that.  

Exodus 3:16"Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, "I am indeed concerned about you and what has been done to you in Egypt."

Read this passage in context, Exodus Chapter 3

How does this apply to us today?

A Tour Through the 3:16s

From the very beginning of our journey with Christianity, we learn the scripture found in John 3:16. That made me wonder what the rest of the 3:16s had to say, and I began a journey to read through them. What I found was a huge spring board that sparked my interest into a deeper study of God's word. 

This week, I thought I would start the tour for you, my blog readers. Invite your friends to join us, as each day I post the 3:16 of the day. Let's talk about each verse, the context of it, and the importance of it in our lives. 

Of course, the first one is a tough one. It comes right after the fall of man in the Garden of Eden...

Genesis 3:16
New American Standard Bible (NASB)
To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.”

To read this passage in context, go to Genesis Chapter 3

Let the discussion begin.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Ahh, quiet time with God. I would love to tell you that I get up every morning, an hour early, just so I can spend 60 blissful minutes in His presence, no distractions, no bunny trails, no thoughts of anything but the goodness of our Lord, and those I am lifting to him in prayer. I would love to tell you that, but I can't. It would be a lie.

In reality, I am a multitasker and mornings are not my favorite time of day. I tend to wake up early, but functioning on all cylinders comes much later in the day. My prayer time in the morning goes more like this...

The alarm on my phone goes off, I have it set on Jesus Loves Me, just so I wake up to that sweet reminder. I roll over and find my phone, usually on the nightstand, but sometimes hidden somewhere in my covers or under my pillow. I'm not sure how that happens, but it does. Once I silence the alarm and convince myself it's time to get out of bed, I greet the day with a whisper, "Good Morning, Lord. Thank you for waking me up this morning, and for the opportunities you are about to put in front of me today. Help me choose your will and your ways, lead me and guide me." 

That is followed by a fast trip downstairs to the restroom, I'm over 40, some things cannot wait. Minutes later, in the shower, hair full of shampoo, I often pray for my husband. It's important to pray for our husbands daily...Why in the shower? Why not? I pray for his safety, God's favor on his life, I pray that God will prosper and bless the work of his hands and that he will guard his mind and heart a world full of things that ensnare the desires of  men.

On my morning drive I love to sing praises or meditate on the Word. I have 30 minutes from my house to work. But, I have to admit, I also love to talk to my mom on speaker phone during my drive. So, often the 30 minutes is split between worship and mom-time.

To some people this admission of multitasking makes me an awful Christian, especially as a Christian speaker. I just can't schedule a, "daily quiet time." I tried for years, only to be filled with guilt when I missed it. That guilt made me avoid conversing with my Savior altogether sometimes, because it only made me feel worse, that I wasn't giving him that hour. 

I searched the scriptures for the place it told me to sit for an hour every morning, or every evening. I couldn't find it. Yes, there are plenty of times when God's word tells us to come into His presence, there are multiple scriptures that talk about being quiet before God and listening for His voice. As believers, we know that God wants a relationship with us. A give and take, speak and listen, hang out with us, relationship.
It was the revelation of freedom to me. I do hang out with him. In fact, my day is filled with speaking to Him, and listening for His voice. It's called being led by the Holy Spirit. I don't have to schedule an hour, I can abide in Him and He in me.
John 15:4 (NLT-2007) Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.

I don't need to schedule quiet time, I need to REMAIN there...not stopping the daily responsibilities, but doing them, with HIM. Remaining in constant communication is far more important than a daily appointment.

I don't know if any of you have ever felt guilty because an hour of quiet time doesn't fit your personality, but God created YOU to remain in Him. Sure, there are times of study, and there are times of deeper prayer, supplication, fasting, according to the leading of the Holy Spirit in our lives and hearts. But where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is FREEDOM, not condemnation.

So, if you are a scheduler, and love that hour, first thing in the morning, or right before bed, DO IT. But be sure you are remaining in Him outside of that time. If you are like me, and your prayer time, and conversations with God, are more scattered throughout your day, DO IT. But be sure you are remaining in Him, constantly, consistently, and not allowing the distractions of the world to take you out of His Word.

Blessings and Freedom come when we are in true and pure relationship with Jesus. And whatever that looks like in your life, God is the only one who knows your heart toward Him. And HE LOVES YOU, just the way HE created you.

Blessings and Joy to all, In Jesus Name.


Wednesday, March 27, 2013

When God Moves

Do you ever get discouraged praying for your loved ones? It can be so hard to watch them living outside of God's will for our lives, and trying not to overstep, or be preachy or judgmental when we see things they don't even recognize as sin in their lives. If we try to say anything, it is often met with hostility, or hurt feelings. So, what do we do? We keep praying, and we keep loving, and when we have to say something, we make sure it is 100% biblical, and not our opinion or pride. Then, we pray some more, and we stand back so that our imposing presence is not hindering the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives. 

I know for a fact, if we are praying, God is working. 

Here is my brother's story. I and my family have been praying for this day for more than 20 years. He wrote this as his facebook status last week. I cannot read it, even now, without tears of joy splashing down my face. 

When God Moves

By Robert H. Gwinn

When God moves in your life, it changes you. The experience is real. It is a physical reality. If you are asking if there is a God based on what you can see and feel, I will tell you yes. I have both seen and felt him. I wasn't seeking him or expecting him, nor was I deserving of his intervention. My family had become increasingly aware of darkness in our lives. A "PRESENCE" had been felt in our home. My son had been telling us that dark things were in our home, lingering close to me, and disturbing his dreams at night. At first I played it off as a child's fantasy, a nightmare, or the illusion one sees when shadows interact with a shirt hanging on the back of a chair, and creates the illusion of someone sitting in the corner of your darkened room. It was the way he said it, that made us consider the possibility of something deeper, or more real, at least to his mind. 

The night it happened, he was at Grandma's house. I wasn't feeling very well, and had decided to sleep in his room, so I wouldn't disturb my wife. Not that she would miss me; I had taken to sleeping in the boy’s room or in my reclining chair most nights anyway, and had spent very few nights in our bed in the last several years. My wife and I hadn't really been connecting and apathy had settled into our relationship. That night she went into our (her) room and I had gone to bed with the dog and cats. 

Soon, I was in what would have seemed like a deep sleep and I found myself dreaming of an empty movie theater. There were no employees to be found and it was just my wife and I out for a quiet evening. She took a seat in the lobby in a row of plastic molded chairs bolted together and anchored to the floor. After several minutes I went to search for someone to sell us a ticket or provide us with concessions from the snack counter but the place was empty. I peeked through the space between the closed doors of one of the screening rooms, and could see a flicker of light, but the doors where just a facade and were quite immovable. A bit let down, I returned to the theater lobby to collect my wife and go home. There was a woman sitting beside my wife. She was an attractive black woman with a short Afro hair style and wearing a fuzzy white sweater, angora I think, that fit her loosely around the neck. She had her arm around my wife's shoulder. The woman smiled up at me but said nothing to me. My wife was crying quietly. "Let's just go." I said "You are obviously not having a good night, so let's just go home." Still without saying anything to me, my wife got up and followed me out to the car. As we left I glanced back at the black woman who was still smiling pleasantly at me as we left the building. The car was just outside the door, waiting by the curb and I opened the door and let my wife in. I walked around the car and opened the door, but couldn't sit because for some reason that wasn't clear at the time, my wife was taking up far more of the car than reality would dictate. "Scoot over." I grumbled. She didn't move. "Move" I said more forcefully. At this point I reached in and began to absurdly slap my wife on top of the head, fanning my hand rapidly, not in a particularly violent fashion, but the sort of short slapping motion you might associate with calling your dog to sit on your lap. 

It was all very clear to me, but I was aware that I was in a state of hyper-consciousness, watching this odd play from inside my own head. "What am I doing" I asked myself. "This isn't how I treat my wife. She is crying and I am being cruel. Where is all this negative energy coming from?" 

Just then something happened. In the corner of my mind’s eye something stirred, something dark, something mischievous and twisted in the worst possible context. It was as if I had caught a child with its hands in the cookie jar, or possibly like the moment when Toto pulled the curtain away to reveal Professor Marvel playing at being the wizard of Oz. It was exposed and was waiting to see what my reaction would be to it. For a moment I stared at it and it stared right back. 

Then, suddenly, I knew what I was dealing with. This small blackness was the dark thing that had been tormenting my son when I was sleeping. This was the thing dancing in our living room the night he had fallen asleep on the couch and me in my recliner, and he had woke in the night and said he had seen. And then I did something that neither of us expected. I demanded that it leave my home, and I ordered it in the name of Jesus Christ. I felt it shove me, mentally it was going to fight back, and it was angry and defiant. I tried to call out to my wife, who I knew in reality was across the hall in the bedroom getting ready for bed and I tasted bile as it tried to shut me up. Again I said "you have no authority here! I cast you out in the name of Christ!" 

The dark thing retreated and suddenly I heard a sound. It was coming from somewhere close, I couldn't hear the words, only a voice but I knew immediately what it was. My wife was in our bedroom listening to scripture from the Bible on her phone. I was hearing the word of God. The dark thing heard it too and suddenly a look of fright came over it, it glanced wildly from the source of the sound, to me, and back again and back to me, to see what my next move would be. Again I tried to call on my wife, but it grinned and stifled my physical voice from calling out in my sleep. I pushed back again with my mind and yelled, calling out as loud as I could from that psychic place at the core of my, from the very soul of me. "God... Jesus... I cannot drive this out on my own! Help me!" and with that I just started repeating "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus... Scripture, Scripture, Scripture!" 

Now the sound grew and the word or at least the voice grew louder, though still muted by the closed door separating the two rooms and the hallway. "In the name of Jesus Christ, Go!" I commanded, and a wave hit me... Now let me try to describe this as carefully as possible. It began at my feet, which were pointed toward the hall. It was the sort of tingle you might feel from a mild current passing through you, but instead of running through the circuitry of my body in tendrils of electricity, it began moving up my legs in a solid line. Imagine passing your hand through the surface of water but instead of the water moving out of the way it simply became a part of you on a molecular level right at the point of surface tension. I am afraid that even this description is vague at best compared to the actual sensation but it's the closest I can think of. This line of energy raced up my body, through the very core of me and out through the top of my head which was pointed at the window, and as it did, the darkness fled before it. As it surged through and out I regained control of myself and practically levitated off the bed and onto my feet. I dashed across the hall and burst into the master bedroom, "Scripture, Scripture, Scripture!" My wife was startled and reaching for her phone she apologized, saying "I didn't mean to disturb you. I'll turn it down." "NO!" I said, "Turn it up and bring it with you!" As we sat on our son’s bed, after listening to the Bible scriptures for several more minutes, I told her what I had just experienced. She told me that she had been crying in the shower, and praying. and then she told me that she had heard me moaning in my sleep. She told me she had gotten ready for bed and that just before I came leaping into the room she had been listening to Matthew 8:28-34

28 When he arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.29 “What do you want with us, Son of God?” they shouted. “Have you come here to torture us before the appointed time?”30 Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding.31 The demons begged Jesus, “If you drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.”32 He said to them, “Go!” So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.33 Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. 34 Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw him, they pleaded with him to leave their region.

The next day, I told my mother and my son what had happened. The day after that, my son came home and went to his bedroom and began to cry. With tears in his eyes he grabbed me and hugged me, "It's gone" He cried joyfully "It's gone and it's really over". This was my experience on March 6th 2013. Take from it what your own spirit will. If I ever doubted, I don't now. I am forever changed. I know two things. I know I am saved (though I have a lot of work to do still) and I know beyond any scientific scrutiny that there is a God. After this event, the blessings have continued. My health has improved or at least I feel better. My Wife and I have grown much closer and her smile is back. (Most of you have no idea how BIG that is) and there is a calm and a lightness in our home for the most part that has been absent for a while. I still have a lot to pray about and get guidance for, but i finally feel I am headed in the right direction. I am not out to convert anyone, just to share this experience, and if someone’s spirit is touched by it, then it's a blessing and a gift to me as well.


I don't know where God is going to take my brother,but I do know that from that day forward, he belongs to Jesus, the enemy of our souls has no dominion in his life, and our prayers have been answered. 

Please keep his family in prayer as they follow the leading of the Lord and the Word of God for their household of newly found faith.