Friday, June 11, 2021

Blessing Hunter

The other day (I'm trying to remember where) I saw the phrase, "beauty hunter."  Those two words really resonated with me because I feel it's important to look for beauty. There is so much ugliness in the world, it's a relief to feast my eyes and spirit on something beautiful.

The more I can incorporate beauty into my world, the better I feel.




As I thought more and more on the phrase, "beauty hunter," I realized I'm more drawn to being a "blessing hunter." 

Nobody's life is perfect; but I'm willing to bet there are more blessings than we all realize!

I decided to join forces today with some of the best blessing hunters I know, the Friday's Favorite Five gang. Each week, they find 5 blessings or highlights to their week and share them. Big or small, they give thanks for them all.

So, here's some of my recent 5:

Birthday season: Starting with my son-in-law, Daniel's, birthday on May 8, we run through July 15th celebrating birthdays (including Mother's Day and Father's Day). There is also one birthday in August, and two in September, and then we are done for the year. For a couple who once lived with ten long years of infertility, it is a delight to have daughters, sons-in-laws and grandchildren's birthdays to honor.

End of Rehab: May 26th was the last day for Jim to go to cardiac rehab. Although we enjoyed going together (I walked the track while he worked on machines and weights); we were glad to not have to make the drive and use up our afternoons two days a week. I also felt like celebrating because a couple times when Jim was in the hospital; it seemed almost impossible he'd be well enough to be done with therapy.

True Words!


Twins' Baptism: Just a few days before the twins' seventh birthday, they decided they wanted to be baptised. Baylee said, "MiMi, when I come up out of that water, I'm going to be a whole new person." What grandmother wouldn't cherish hearing such a thing? 

Note: I fully realize 7-year-olds have a lot to learn about their spiritual journey, accepting Christ and being baptized. But it's a great start! Jesus wanted little children to come to Him!

Good report: I'm not one to go to the doctor. Hardly ever. But I did go last week and have bloodwork. It came back good. Whew!

Late Spring Days: This is the time of year when it feels good to be from the midwest. Not too hot, not too cold, and the humidity is still being nice to us. We've enjoyed T-ball games and the first lake trip of the year.

 ~~~


I just want you to know how highly I value those of you that make your way to the Journey to read my words! I believe encouraging others with the written word is a worthy calling. Thank you especially to those who respond. You make it worthwhile.

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Friday, June 4, 2021

Applying the Promises, Part 5

We have spent four weeks examining reasons why people hesitate to claim scripture for themselves. When all is said and done, the reasons add up to being comfortable where we are and not wanting to do the work of believing, or doubting the promises are for you, or not even knowing there are promises!

I shared with you in Part 3, the story of my husband's job search, and being led to read scriptures of provision during his interview. I believe this is the practical way to apply any promise.




First, find scripture that speaks to the situation you are in. We are so blessed to live in an age where we can search through BibleGateway or BibleHub and other resources and find our topic pretty quickly. If you are sick, search for healing scriptures. If you are in need, search for scriptures on provision. If you need direction, look for passages on guidance.

Be sure to read each scripture in context and ask yourself, is this promise for me? Study the word and see if it can be applied in your case. For example, promises to the royal line of David cannot be applied to someone not a descendant of David. But we New Testament believers can be grafted into the vine and claim promises for the Children of Abraham. (See *Galatians 3:29)

You have to do the work of studying. What are the conditions? Have I met them?

Once you've determined this promise is something you want to claim for yourself, I have found the best way is to write the promise out with your name in it and start meditating on that scripture, praying God will bring it to pass.

For example:

2 Peter 1:4 New Living Translation

And because of his glory and excellence, he has given Jerralea great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable Jerralea to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

I can become more like Jesus and escape worldliness. What’s the condition to this promise? Back up and read verse 3:

 

2 Peter 1:3 NKJV

as His divine power has given to Jerralea all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called her by glory and virtue,

 

Verse 3 actually gives us another promise – we have everything we need for a godly life. I receive these things as I grow in KNOWLEDGE of Him. How do I know more about Him? Read the Word, pray and listen to preaching. 

I have to do the work.

Here is another scripture passage a child of God can claim if she is obedient and walk in His ways, Deuteronomy 28:6-9:

Wherever Jerralea goes and whatever she does,
    she will be blessed.
“The Lord will conquer Jerralea’s enemies when they attack her. They will attack her from one direction, but they will scatter from her in seven!
“The Lord will guarantee a blessing on everything Jerralea does and will fill her storehouses with grain. The Lord her God will bless her in the land he is giving her.
“If she obeys the commands of the Lord her God and walk in his ways, the Lord will establish Jerralea as his holy person as he swore he would do. 10 Then all the nations of the world will see that Jerralea is a person claimed by the Lord, and they will stand in awe of her.

Wow, if you’re obedient, you can claim that promise, too! 

(Read the rest of chapter 28 to find out what happens if you're NOT obedient!)

Are you claiming your promised land?


~~~

Did you miss any of this series? You can click on the following links:
Claiming Your Promised Land, Part 1

 

 ~~~


I just want you to know how highly I value those of you that make your way to the Journey to read my words! I believe encouraging others with the written word is a worthy calling. Thank you especially to those who respond. You make it worthwhile.

I don't want you to miss a post, so why not sign up to subscribe? It's easy-peasy. Just enter your email address in the sidebar right above my profile.

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Friday, May 28, 2021

Encounter or Experience? Part 4

 Welcome to part 4 of Claiming Your Promised Land.

 

When we have a mountain top experience with the Lord, we just want to camp there. Our focus is to stay there, or at least scramble back up that mountain every chance we get.

 


While I was diving deep into the topic of living in the promises, my Pastor shared with me a revelation God had given him about this very subject. He said, “Moses, Joshua and Caleb had an encounter with God; and they were ready for the Promised Land. Israel had an experience with God, so they wanted to stay where the experience was, and that was the mountain.” (That mountain was Shiloh, and the Israelites were there for years.)

 

Aren’t we like that today?

 

Yet, it’s on our daily Journey the Lord has set for each of us that we get to be an influencer for Christ. Home in your prayer closet with the manifest presence of the Spirit giving you great feelings is an awesome blessing; but we are blessed to be a blessing.

 

We can’t stay in the closet or at that altar forever.

 

Remember Peter had a mountaintop experience? He was on the Mount of Transfiguration with Jesus, James and John when Moses and Elijah showed up. Peter’s first thought was, Hey! Let’s build three tents (some translations say tabernacles, shrines, shelters, booths – you get the idea). He wanted to STAY on that mountain (one version says, “Let us remain here.”)

 

But Jesus’s mission was not to stay on the mountain; but after being refreshed, He headed down that mountain and was immediately confronted by need. A father needed healing for his boy who was tormented by a demon (and that father also needed his faith increased).

 

What if Jesus had stayed on that mountain like Peter wanted? That boy would not have been healed and we wouldn’t have that wonderful example to pray: “Lord, I believe, Help my unbelief!”

 


Yes, we need encounters as well as experiences to help us grow. I’m thinking of the encounter Jesus had with the Gadarene Demoniac. He was delivered from having a legion of demons living in him, and the encounter was definitely an experience for him. Let’s read what Jesus said.

 

Mark 5:18-20 New King James Version

18 And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. 19 However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” 20 And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.

 

The man wanted to prolong his experience with Christ; but instead the will of Jesus was that he would share the good news. And because of this, people in the Decapolis (the Ten Towns region) heard about Jesus!

 

Next week’s blogpost will wrap up our series with ways to practically apply scripture promises to our lives.


Did you miss any of this series? You can click on the following links:
Claiming Your Promised Land, Part 1

 

 ~~~


I just want you to know how highly I value those of you that make your way to the Journey to read my words! I believe encouraging others with the written word is a worthy calling. Thank you especially to those who respond. You make it worthwhile.

I don't want you to miss a post, so why not sign up to subscribe? It's easy-peasy. Just enter your email address in the sidebar right above my profile.

If a post resonates with you, please consider sharing by clicking one of the social media buttons at the bottom of this post.

I'm linking this post with the community of writers at Grace & Truth, Inspire Me Monday, InstaEncouragements Link-Up, Let's Have Coffee, Recharge Wednesday

Friday, May 21, 2021

Are the Promises for Me? Part 3

I've been examining Joshua 18, the story of the Children of Israel hesitating to step out and claim the rest of the Promised Land for the remaining seven out of the original twelve tribes. (Here is Part 1 and Part 2 to refresh your memory.)

Before promises can happen, the people must obey the Word and believe the promises. Moses, then Joshua and Caleb, told the people all about the Promised Land, yet the people's eyes were more on the obstacles then they were on the promises.


Even after 40 years of wandering in the wilderness, and then a few victories under their belts, the Israelites were still hesitant about finishing up the job of taking the land.

Centuries later, God's people still wonder about claiming promises in scripture.

It's been my joy to discover claiming scripture does work. I will share from personal experience; but first, I want to point out each promise has a condition you must meet. 

Also, we must always read the full story of the promise we are wanting to claim. Context is key! 

When we take and isolate a scripture containing a promise without taking into account the rest of the story, we may well be guilty of not rightly dividing, or correctly explaining, the Word of truth. (See 2 Timothy 2:15)

For example, when you claim the promise that God will supply your needs as stated in Philippians 4:19, read the whole chapter, and you will find Paul promised this to those who had been sacrificially giving out of their own need.

My experience of provision:

In 1987, Jim and I were living in Indiana with a 10-month-old baby and a house we could not sell in our hometown. My husband lost his job. We decided to move back home to Illinois.
 
Jim really needed a job; and I felt inspired by the Holy Spirit to go with him to job interviews, stay in the car and pray over promises of provision I had found in scripture. We left the baby with grandma and headed for town.
 
After talking it over, he decided to apply at a business that sold diesel parts since he had prior experience.  The business had a good reputation, reportedly paying good wages and benefits. We figured we might as well start first with putting in an application where Jim really wanted to work.
 
Keep in mind, there was no ad for help wanted at this establishment. Jim just walked in asking for an application. Meanwhile, I sat in the car praying and reading over and over my scriptures. I knew we had always done our best to pay tithes and give offerings. I knew it was God's will for us to work and provide for our daughter. I knew God loved us and as long as we were seeking Him, the rest of what we needed would be added to us.
 
The longer I prayed, the more encouraged I became.  What was taking him so long?  There must be a job opening because it doesn't take that long to say no.
 
When he finally came out to the car, he was grinning.  "I start Monday!"  
 
"Fantastic," I cried, "so they were looking for someone?" 
 
"Nope, but when they heard I had International (truck parts) experience, the boss sat down and talked to me.  It's not every day a guy walks in knowing about International. The boss just decided to make a job for me!"
 
Our God is so awesome!  He WILL meet your needs, even if He has to make someone create a job just for you!
 
I’d like to say I’ve lived in victory ever since that day. But no, this message is for me as well as you. I’ve spent plenty of time wondering what was going to happen next without praying and searching scripture to see if there was an answer in the Word for me.

Claiming promises requires effort; you must know what scripture says, and you must stand strong in the face of discouragment which is sure to come.

Join me next week for my next installment.

~~~

For further study:
Jen Wilkin wrote a great article at The Gospel Coalition called Which Promises Are for Me that I highly recommend.

I would be remiss in not mentioning a famous passage on doubt found in Mark 9.

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
It is scriptural to pray for faith! If you find yourself doubting God's promises, PRAY!

~~~

I just want you to know how highly I value those of you that make your way to the Journey to read my words! I believe encouraging others with the written word is a worthy calling. Thank you especially to those who respond. You make it worthwhile.

I don't want you to miss a post, so why not sign up to subscribe? It's easy-peasy. Just enter your email address in the sidebar right above my profile.

If a post resonates with you, please consider sharing by clicking one of the social media buttons at the bottom of this post.

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Friday, May 14, 2021

Comfort and Claiming the Promises - Part 2




Did you know there are thousands of promises God has made to man? There's a story told about a Canadian, Everett R. Storms, who decided on his 27th reading through the bible to list each and every promise of God. He came up with a total of 8,810 promises, of which he says 7,487 of them are from God to mankind. [Pepperdine University] Now I'm sure some of those are promises of consequences for actions of disobedience; still, these promises are things you can be assured of if you meet the conditions.

7,487 promises! Are you living in them?

Last week, we discussed the Children of Israel hesitating to step out and claim the rest of the Promised Land for the remaining seven out of the original twelve tribes. (You may want to go to Part 1 and refresh your memory.)

Joshua 18 tells us the seven tribes had to be confronted for remaining at Shiloh for years instead of taking their inheritance. They were satisfied to remain where they were. 

I've often been critical of the Children of Israel; but I, too, have been guilty of not stepping out and claiming the promises God has laid out in scripture for all believers.

It's comfortable to stay right where I am.

Think how the bible describes a Christian's life: a race to be run, a spiritual battle to be won, and a journey Home. He wants us to have a rich, satisfying life, a life filled with purpose.

We were created for good works (see Ephesians 2:10) and that means we must WORK.  We’re not here to take UP space, but to TAKE space and enlarge the territory for the kingdom!

We’re not here to be comfortable – comfort will happen in heaven – but we’re here to hone our character to be more like Jesus. And Jesus’ time on earth was spent serving, preaching, praying, teaching, healing and proclaiming. 

He never meant for our spiritual lives to be lived in such a way that we show up on Sunday for the preacher to drop spiritual food down our throats much like birds feeding their babies by dropping worms into their opened beaks. 

We wouldn't grow physically if we ate only once a week. I don't think a once-a-week feeding spiritually would help much, either.

Child of God, let's don't be like the average believer content to exist on what our leaders feed us. Get into the Word yourself daily and discover how God will enable you for the battle ahead. 

My aim is to be a spiritual influencer for the Kingdom. Will you join me?

~~~

Join me next week for a discussion on doubt.

~~~


I just want you to know how highly I value those of you that make your way to the Journey to read my words! I believe encouraging others with the written word is a worthy calling. Thank you especially to those who respond. You make it worthwhile.
I don't want you to miss a post, so why not sign up to subscribe? It's easy-peasy. Just enter your email address in the sidebar right above my profile.

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Friday, May 7, 2021

Claiming Your Promised Land - Part 1

 
Around the beginning of 2021, I was listening to a goal-setting podcast where one of the speakers said something that grabbed my attention. She was getting ready to go over a list of promises in scripture and she asked the question, “Are you living in your promised land?”
 
Her question has been in my spirit ever since; because, no, I don’t think we are living in our promised land. Some of us may have taken steps into that territory; but often, after a particular struggle has been resolved, we slide back into complacency.

What's complacency? Glad you asked! If you are complacent, you are satisfied with yourself, content to remain at the level you are in your walk with Christ.

I've been there more than once. How about you?

It's the human condition. Scripture tells us the Children of Israel were complacent. They were satisfied to stay at Shiloh for years rather than go on and conquer the rest of the Promised Land God had alloted for them.

Like an older brother, their leader, Joshua, had to confront them:

Joshua 18:1-3 New King James Version
18 Now the whole congregation of the children of Israel assembled together at Shiloh, and set up the tabernacle of meeting there. And the land was subdued before them. But there remained among the children of Israel seven tribes which had not yet received their inheritance.
Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: “How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you?
 
Why would they not want to possess their land? Why would Joshua need to prod them? 

Maybe for the same reasons we believers today don't make the effort to claim our promised land:

  • We're comfortable where we are
  • We doubt the promises are for us
  • We don't want to do the work of believing
  • We don't know what the promises are
  • We haven't had a life-changing encounter with God

Child of God, it's vital we take hold of everything God has for us so we can live overcoming lives. He gave us promises for a reason, not just to bless us, but to equip us to be influencers for the kingdom.

I hope you'll join me for the next 5 installments of this series as we examine living in our promised land.

Question 4 U: Why do YOU think believers don't live in victory?

~~~

I just want you to know how highly I value those of you that make your way to the Journey to read my words! I believe encouraging others with the written word is a worthy calling. Thank you especially to those who respond. You make it worthwhile.
I don't want you to miss a post, so why not sign up to subscribe? It's easy-peasy. Just enter your email address in the sidebar right above my profile.

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Friday, April 30, 2021

10 Years Since Disaster Struck



This Sunday, I will be remembering an epic day in my life.

Ten years ago, my husband, I, and our remaining daughter living at home, each packed up a laundry basket with necessities, and holding them high above our heads, waded out into the water swirling around our home to climb over sandbags in the moonlight to reach our cars parked across the street on higher ground.

It seemed like the end of everything; and in many ways it was. Yet, looking back, I can see it was just another beginning.

The next three months rebuilding were an incredible stretching process for us as we learned about God's provision, true friendship and trust. 

I told a friend when recounting this period in our lives that we not only survived but thrived.

The morning after the flood, it sure didn't look like any thriving would be going on. 

Appearances are deceiving.




We did get our house rebuilt eventually. More importantly, we grew spiritually by leaps and bounds. God was working behind the scenes making things better in countless ways.

Have you experienced disaster in your life? I'm here to tell you Romans 8:28 is a true promise and can be an anchor for you:

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together for good, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose. Romans 8:28 TPT

Whether natural, spiritual or emotional disaster touches your life, the believer can trust Our Father to bring something good out of it. Our suffering is not for nothing.

For he knew all about us before we were born and he destined us from the beginning to share the likeness of his Son. This means the Son is the oldest among a vast family of brothers and sisters who will become just like him. Romans 8:29 TPT

It's to make us more like Jesus. 

~~~

Not a believer yet? Please read my post, A Ticket Home, and prayerfully consider if now is the right time for you to join with the only One who can redeem you from disaster.

~~



I just want you to know how highly I value those of you that make your way to the Journey to read my words! I believe encouraging others with the written word is a worthy calling. Thank you especially to those who respond. You make it worthwhile.
I don't want you to miss a post, so why not sign up to subscribe? It's easy-peasy. Just enter your email address in the sidebar right above my profile.

If a post resonates with you, please consider sharing by clicking one of the social media buttons at the bottom of this post.

You also might want to visit recent most-viewed posts:



I'm linking this post up with the writers at Grace&Truth,