About Me

My name is Meredith, and I am the mother of two awesome boys; the wife of a fantastic husband; the band director for 100 students in grades 5 - 12 in a small community in Maine; and a follower of Christ. This blog is a place for me to reflect on what the Lord is teaching me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Royal Invitation: BTG Mark 2

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox

A Royal Invitation
(subtitled:  He Could Have Revealed it to Anyone...)

Reading: Luke 2

Scripture:  Luke 2 :  8 - 15

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”


The Lord revealed the birth of Jesus to shepherds in the field.

Not the Pharisees,  not the Saducees.

Not even the elders of the line of David -- they were right there, after all!

The wise men?  That makes sense.  They had spent years studying the scrolls, the words of Isaiah and other prophets, combing the texts for the words concerning Messiah.  So they knew. 

But God chould have chosen anybody to reveal the birth of His Son, the Redeemer of all humanity.
He chose shepherds in the field.


Even the humble, frail, modest and seemingly insignificant have a purpose and a plan in the Father's design.

My standards of what makes a person important are not the same as my Heavenly Father's.

And for that?
I am grateful.

Help me not to put God in a box  - - - limited by my own expectations of what He will do, or who He will use.


Lord, you could have called ANYBODY to build a church in the town I teach in....

But you are calling us.

I get it.
Your plan, your design.
Your will...


Monday, May 23, 2011

Blogging Through the #Gospels : Luke 1A

So exciting to start a new Gospel with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.  Come and read/blog along with us!

Reading:  Luke 1 : 1 - 38

Sripture:  Luke 1: 38


I adore the first chapter of Luke!!  Ever since I saw the movie The Nativity Story the,  I can really see Elizabeth and Zecharaiah.  I can picture Elizabeth, dealing with the shame of barrenness in a culture that reveres having children above nearly all else.  I can see Zechariah trying to communicate that he had just see an angel.

In fact, during my first read-through, I chose these verses.

6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

They were righteous in the sight of God.  The reason Elizabeth was childless was because of the blessing that He was holding for them!

But then I read further, and my heart again trembled with the bravery and faith of a young girl.  She didn't question God's ability--- only the logistics, and I love that the angel simply answered her, without rebuke.  There are no further details, but you can infer that when Zechariah was asking his question, it was incredulous, bordering on doubt.  When Mary asked, there was no doubt.  Just a wondering of how it was to take place.

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

There are so many simply amazing things in this account.

1)  A young girl, finding favor  with God.
2) Hand picked by God to bring the Savior of the WORLD into the Earth.
3) Accepting what was foretold with faith.
4) Being afraid, yet knowing that what God was doing was more important than the culture's standards and ideals, and eventual accusations.

She takes my breath away.


She was young enough to still have her child-like faith.
An older, wiser woman might have thought too much of the cultural implications and balked in fear.
But a young girl, just approaching the season of womanhood, perhaps was open enough to accept the truth when the angel presented it to her.

Her faith....
It astounds me.


Help me to have the unfettered, undistracted faith of Mary.  Help me not to be weighed down by what I know to be true of this world.  Help me to be free because of what I know to be true of YOU.


Friday, May 20, 2011

"You Can't HANDLE the Truth!" - BTG- Mark 14B

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.


Reading:  Mark 14: 43 -72

Scripture:  Mark 14: 61-63

61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.

Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”

62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”

They all condemned him as worthy of death.


Jesus wouldn't defend himself, but he did not deny himself either.

The saying   'If you can't handle the answer, then don't ask the question' comes to mind here.  The Pharisees and Saducees were WAITING for the Messiah.  The entire Hebrew nation was WAITING for the Messiah.

When Jesus answered " I AM," the reaction should have been celebratory.  The whole place should have filled with leaping, dancing, cheering -- pinatas, streamers and party whistles!

They were so sure that the Messiah would be like them, that they couldn't see the reality of their Redeemer right in front of them.


I do not ever what to be so adamant about my plan, or my expectations, that I do not see what God is trying to do right in front of me.


Thank you, Lord, for your patience.
Thank you for sustaining me through the busiest week professionally that I remember having -- ever.
Thank you for giving me the gifts, blessings, and opportunities that you have given me.  Help me to have the wisdom and discernment to see what you want me to do.

You are my lifeline.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blogging Through the Gospels: Mark 14A

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.   To be completely honest- I do not know how I would have survived the last month if I had not accepted the challenge that Amy offered.  The Lord has carried me through house/apartment hunting,  through packing and moving, through concerts and other drama....  If you are reading this and are feeling like you need SOMETHING to kick start or rejuvenate your walk with God, then I HIGHLY recommend joining us.  You don't need to blog it.... but it is so cool to share the ideas and revelations that we are learning!


Reading: Mark 14: 1 - 42


Mark: 14 0 35 - 36

35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “ Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”


Jesus knew the plan.  He was part of the triune committee that designed the plan.
But when faced with the reality of it, he prayed for a way out.

It is okay to be overwhelmed in our situations.  But the bottom line is whether or not we are going to surrender and trust.


In Psalm 139 David writes:

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?

And if we really believe that, then in every situation we need to remember that not only is God in control, but He is holding us in the palm of His hand.

It is incredibly comforting to me as we are embarking on an incredible journey that is teaching us to live entirely by faith (with a whole lot of discipline).  Even if situations explode, and things go horribly wrong, we are not alone.  And even if it was not a part of OUR plan, it was most likely part of HIS plan.
And even if the events were not His design, they can be turned into something beautiful.

Romans 8: 28

 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


Heavenly Father,
Thank you for the reminder that you are the author and finisher of our faith.
Thank you for the reminder that before the foundation of the world, you knew me.

Lord, I release the tension, fear and anxiety that I am holding regarding the concert this evening.
Help me to find the perfect thing to honor my Seniors graduating.  Help me to hold it together through the concert without falling apart.  You have carried me this far.  Why do I act like you are dropping me off at the side of the road??

Thank you for the oasis of peace amidst the craziness of this week.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Don't LET yourself be distracted - BTG Mark 13

I am blogging through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox, and have been learning so much.
You should check it out!


Reading:  Mark 13

Scripture:  Mark 13 : 35 - 36

35 “Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. 36 If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. 37 What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”


We have no idea when Jesus is going to return.
We have no idea what the day is going to bring.

The one thing that we can be sure of is: We will not last forever, and we are nearing the end of this chapter of Earth's existence.

We must not ALLOW ourselves to be distracted from our focus on our MISSION to bring the Gospel to all people, whether our influence is in our neighborhood, city, state, country or world.

We must not ALLOW ourselves to be distracted by the cares and trivialities of this life.


I am exhausted this morning.  This is the busiest week that I have ever had professionally, and as a mother of two with a husband that is working nights, having to arrange childcare and child transportation and juggling a lot of details, I am wiped out-- and the week is not even half over yet.

While I was LISTENING I decided to try keeping my eyes open so that I wouldn't fall asleep. (Although I am sitting on a couch, with a foam roller wedged up against my spine, so I am not exactly comfortable... but I am that tired.)   All of a sudden I was looking at the movies on the table in front of me and how guilty I feel for not exercising.  Then I shook it off and looked up at the blinds.  Then I started thinking about how we have to clean the blinds, windows and wash the curtains before we move.   At that point the divine light bulb went off, I closed my eyes, and listened to my God warn about distraction.

In this passage, it is talking about watching and waiting expectantly for the return of our Savior.  But in our walk with the Lord, we need to be watchful, attentive and focused.  I know myself, and my bed felt so comfortable this morning, but I KNEW that I needed to hear from my God today.

Distractions come in all forms.
TV Shows.
TO DO Lists
Busy Schedules
Lazy Schedules
Music -- even Christian music

It is so easy to lose our focus, and forget our mission ---  even sometimes when we are doing good things.  It is so easy to get distracted.

What I heard from my God today was to control my mind.  Take captive every thought, and not to ALLOW my mind to get distracted.


Lord -- help me.  This is a big area for me.  I know that we have been trying to deal with it half-heartedly for some time.  But I sense the urgency.

Thank you for meeting me here again this morning.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Be Authentic. Don't Fake it. - BTG - Mark 12

Another amazing day of Blogging through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.

Words cannot express how much the simple SOAP acronym is changing my life. Being a part of this challenge, and the little blogging community going through it together, is just so awesome, and encouraging.

Reading: Mark 12

Mark 12 : 40

40 - They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. Such men will be punished most severely.


Pride. The teachers of the law are all about status, and importance, and being the IT crowd. If there were paparazzi in those days, they would be following the teachers of the law. The make grand shows over following the obscure details, and have no heart for the people they are supposed to be teaching at all.

No wonder people are still confused.

How do you get to the heart of God when the teachers are shouting "UnCLEAN!" rather than praying over the hurt, lost and in need of healing?

How do you see the heart of God when the teachers are blinded by the scriptures hanging from their foreheads, rather than living the MEANING of the words He gave us?


Be Authentic. Don't Fake it.

When praying to my Lord, it would be better to sit in silence than to talk to fill up space.

If I am going to live my faith out in the real world, then be real.

It is better to struggle with the idea of a Real, Living, Active, Compassionate and Loving GOD than to reduce Him to something that is barely worth worshiping at all.

It is better to struggle to accept His love, than to preach on things that don't have anything to do with the HEART of God.

God is bigger, better, more awesome, more majestic (running out of words...) than I could ever comprehend. Yes.... I have trouble grasping His goodness. But it is exciting to be in this place. To be realizing that the depth of my Savior's love for me is more profound than I could have imagined?? Yes. I will wrestle with that -- GLADLY.

Because that is much more enticing than someone who acts like they have it all together, when all they focus on are the things that don't matter.

In the end:
Denominations won't matter.
Service styles will be irrelevant.
What you wear to church on Sunday will be forgotten.

In the end:
Your Father loves you with an everlasting love.
His Son died for YOU (and for many) so that you would have EVERLASTING LIFE.

Let the focus be on the TRUTH, and let everything else fade away . . .


My God,
There are at least three different praise songs filling my heart right now.
Help me to carry them with me through the day.
Help me to feel your peace during this extremely busy and stressful week.

Let me never stop focusing on your heart. Help me to always remember your love.

Thank you, so very much, for revealing yourself to me every. single. day. in the area that I need it the most.

Awed by you,

Monday, May 16, 2011

Believe with Confidence- BTG Mark 11

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox has changed my life, and revitalized my walk with God.  She lays out the plan at her site, and the instructions, step by step.  I cannot encourage starting this for yourself ENOUGH!


Reading:  Mark 11

What I heard today:  Believe with confidence!

Scripture:  Mark 11: 23 - 24

I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.

Therefore I tell you,  whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.


Believe, even in the impossible.  Nothing is impossible for God!
Doubt is the opposite of belief.


The last month has been an education in just how much I can truly trust God with EVERYTHING.

We prayed, believing fully that He would show us where He wants us to live.
He has.

We prayed, believing fully that HE would work the financial details out.
He has.

I prayed, fully trusting on my God to get me through a difficult situation.
He did -- and in a beautiful and unexpected way.  A woman that I HAD NOT MET or even SPOKEN to at church stopped me yesterday, informing me that the Lord had brought my face to her mind in my very time of need last week.  She prayed.  I felt peace.

My God really, really does care about every detail.
I approach my Father with CONFIDENCE, knowing that I am not insignificant to Him.
I approach my Father with CONFIDENCE, knowing that He has been waiting with the solution, waiting with the peace that I am seeking.

I have no reason to doubt Him. He has proved Himself faithful.
Even though it is incomprehensible - that the creator of the Universe would pay detailed attention, and make detailed PROVISIONS for our lives...

We can believe with confidence!


Wow, Lord...
Thank you so much for the reminder.  I still cannot wrap my head around you, and will never be able to understand how you are able to be ALL things to ALL people.
Thank you for reminding me that not only am I significant to you, I am beloved.

What a great way to start the day.
Thank you, Lord.


Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogging Through the Gospels: Mark 9

SO EXCITED!  If you are reading and blogging along with Amy at Mom's Toolbox, then my words for today might look familiar to you.  I am blessed and humbled to share my thoughts (which... NO surprise here... over a week ago when I prepared them, it was of course EXACTLY what I needed to hear for that day) with everyone!

Reading: Mark 9

Scripture:  Mark 9 :21 - 24

21 Jesus asked the boy’s father, “How long has he been like this?”

“From childhood,” he answered. 22 “It has often thrown him into fire or water to kill him. But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.”

23 “‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.”

24 Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”


This poor man has watched his son be possessed by a demon, or "impure spirit," as the NIV calls it, since his childhood.  I imagine, like any parent desperate to help a hurting child, that he tried many different avenues for help.  When he had heard about Jesus, and that the men who were his disciples, performing miracles, and healing people day after day, I wonder if he was afraid to hope, but even more afraid not to try?

When the disciples were unable to cast out the spirit, the poor man must have seen the final possibility and hope of a cure slipping away.

In humility, and possibly desperation, he asks, "if you can do anything, please take pity on us and help us."

I imagine at Jesus' next words, the man's posture completely changing, and hope coming back with full force.

"I do believe!  Help me overcome my unbelief!"


My God wants me to trust Him with everything, and FOR everything.

It's not:

"Lord, if you can provide-"


"Lord, if you could help me-"

I need to believe Him with absolute confidence and certainty that He loves me intimately, carefully and watchfully-- even though He is the God of this universe of billions of people.  I don't need to understand how He can be all things to all people, I just need to actively make Him my ALL in ALL.

As a woman in a very self-sufficient day and age, I learned quickly to solve my own problems.  I need to remember that in every area that I have completely trusted my God, He has never failed me.  But there are some areas that are quite a bit more scary to let go of.... especially in those last few days before the next paycheck.  Today my God is telling me:

"If I can provide?"

So I surrender.
I do believe.
Forgive my unbelief.


My Gracious God,
You are so patient with me.
I know that I am going to look back and feel so foolish for the little pockets of fear and worry that I have clung to for so long.  I know in my head that you love me more than I could imagine.  Help me to feel it in my heart, and let it seep into every corner or my mind, and into every pocket of fear and worry that I hold.  Help me to let go.

I do believe.
Forgive my unbelief.


Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Moving Update: Time to start packing!!!

We are MOVING!
We found a place that we loved, that we had to crunch the numbers (just a little bit) and commit to really, actually buckling down on our finances in order to make it work, and we met with the landlord yesterday, and we got it!!

It is a two bedroom house attached to a dentist office right in the heart of town!

The paint is new, the layout is great, and we fell in love with it when we walked into the kitchen-- and that isn't even the best part of the house!

The bedrooms have built in drawers -- so cool, and lots of closets.

The bathrooms are TINY -- we have been very spoiled by our bathrooms in our previous places, but it's okay.  Bathrooms are not a deal-breaker.  :)

So-- Saturday, May 28th is MOVING day!
And then on Monday, I will be with my band kiddos for the Memorial Day Parades.  But I won't have to go far!!

Things that are falling into place?

-- We can start moving things in now.   Basically-- every single day, I could load up the van/car and take stuff to the house.

-- Internet and electric are all set up, and we are getting a great deal on just internet!  Woot!  

-- My parents are sending us $$ to pay for the U-Haul truck!! Wow! We so weren't expecting it, but really, really appreciate it!

-- Our pastor is going to round up some guys from our church to help us on Moving Day!

-- My husband is taking the Friday before AND the Tuesday after Memorial Day off for packing/unpacking purposes.

We brought our first load over to the house yesterday, and we showed Soccer Boy. He was pretty excited!

Here he is in his and Cuddle Bug's room, even though it's empty.   He is very literal.

Our Bay Window ( <3 ) in the kitchen, and the back door.

A view of the kitchen from the living room. Lots and lots of counter space! Lots and lots of cupboard space!  And see?  Our Kitchenaid already looks right at home!

Soccer Boy showing off Mommy and Daddy's room... again, even though it's empty.

And our nice beautiful big living room, with the one piece of furniture that is over there at this point... our bean bag.  :)

Blogging Through the Gospels: Mark 6

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox has literally taken my faith to a completely new level.  For the first time, I am receiving a Word from my Father Every Single Day.  It is amazing.  I highly recommend you join us!!


Reading:    Mark 6

So much to choose from in this chapter. 

Scripture:     Mark 6: 41 - 44

41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to distribute to the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.


Thousands of people.  5,000 men -- and that number is ONLY counting the men.  It doesn't take into consideration any of the women and children that might have been there.  The number might be closer to 12,000 -- or even higher!

Five loaves and two fish.

Jesus performed miracles ALL. THE. TIME.
Just because we don't have the living, breathing Jesus walking around with us right now, doesn't mean that He isn't still capable of performing miracles!


My Jesus?   He can feeds THOUSANDS from five loaves and two fishes.
My Jesus?  He may not have a hem that I can touch right now, but he has a throne of grace that I can come to, to be saved and healed.
My Jesus?  Is never too tired to speak to my heart, to show me the truth, and to give me LIFE.


Dear Jesus,

I am overwhelmed again by your compassion, your love and your mercy.

Help me to live like a loved, provided for, cherished daughter of the King.
Help me to live like I have been redeemed.
Help me to remember all that you have done for me.

I am in awe of your mercy, and dependent on your grace.
I love you -- but I want to love you more.

Thank you for everything.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Blogging Through the Gospels: Mark 5

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Mark 5

Scripture:  Mark 5: 36

36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”


Jairus' daughter is sick. Very sick.  He knows that as a temple leader, his actions may be questioned, but he believes that this Jesus can heal his daughter.

With eyes so full of compassion, Jesus agrees, and accompanies Jairus to his home.  On the way, he heals a woman who had only touched his robe!  How much more so, Jairus thinks, could he heal my precious daughter, whom he will touch?

Soon, member's from Jairus' household approach with the news that the girl is dead.  And more than that-- with a cavalier attitude, they claim that Jairus is wasting time bringing Jesus to her.

36 Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”


There is much in my life that is in upheaval right now.

One particular situation that has had me FILLED with fear, and self-doubt, and worry, and anger.
This situation will be dealt with, for better or for worse this evening.

I am feeling at peace (mostly), and now I have a specific for today reminder from my Savior not to be afraid.  Just believe.

Lord, I do believe.
And I believe that you are not just interested in the part of my life that is dealing with the call to plant the church.  You are interested in it all.  You are in it all.


Father God,
I needed to be reminded of your compassionate love today.
I needed to be reminded that you are bigger than my situation.
I needed to remember that you have gone before me, and that you are always with me.

Thank you.
I am so overwhelmed.


Monday, May 9, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Mark 4

Blogging through the Gospels with Amy at Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Mark 4

Scripture: Mark 4: 11-12

11 He told them, “The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables  12 so that,

“‘they may be ever seeing but never perceiving,
and ever hearing but never understanding;
otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!’ ”


This verse is sticking out to me, but I think it is because it is something that I have never really understood.

I know that the ways of God are "foolishness" to the world.  I get that.

But here, it seems like the Lord is deliberately hiding the Truth from those who might hear it and become saved.  I know that if they opened their mind and truly thought about the parables, and took it a step further to make the connections to their own lives, they would understand.  So why the parables?  Even the disciples didn't understand them.

It is passages like these that would make a good argument for a Calvinist.  Clearly the Holy Spirit is needed in the act of bringing people to the Lord.  If they are just parables that people are just hearing and dismissing, with no further thought, the Holy Spirit is needed to draw them in to the Truth.


I still don't really understand the why of it all.  I may never. I certainly don't need to understand it to keep growing in my own faith.  But, it does make me incredibly grateful that He did call me.  He did draw me to Himself.

Our Great God has a very big plan.  It all unfolded according to HIS specifications, and we are STILL part of it today.


Thank you, Lord, for cutting through the scientific junk in my brain, and for calling me so persistently.
Thank you, Lord, for answering unresolved questions that had lingered in my head and heart for years in the blink of an eye.

Thank you for all of the amazing, incredible blessings of my life.
You are worthy of ALL my praise.
Amen and Amen.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Blogging Through the Gospels: Mark 1

A tough day.   Blogging through the Gospels with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.

Reading:  Mark 1

Scripture: Mark 1 :40-42

40 A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.
41 Moved with compassion,  Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” 42 Instantly the leprosy disappeared, and the man was healed.     NLT


Jesus was willing.  He was moved with compassion.  The instant that Jesus touched the man, his skin cleared up completely, leaving perfectly new skin behind.

The man with leprosy, shunned by all since obtaining the disease, did not let that stop him from approaching Jesus.


Lord, I need that boldness.  I need to push through the crowds (distractions) to get to you.
I know that you can heal me.  I know that you can sustain me.

I need to believe that you are willing.

Today, of all days, Lord, I need to feel your presence.  I need your love to sustain me.  In the midst of this trial,  I need to believe that you will help me sort through the mess in front of me.


I am so hurt by the things that happened yesterday.
Please, help me to put the emotions aside, to rest in how YOU see me, and give me the strength to continue with what needs to be done for my students.

Please,  I am begging, Lord.  Be willing to heal my broken heart.


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Blogging Through the Gospels: Matthew 28

Well, we have made it through Matthew.  I was telling my husband about what I had learned from my Blogging Through the Gospel reading and application yesterday, and was overwhelmed (and so grateful) that I am getting exactly what the Lord wants me to hear, and I am not using a book study, or anything else.  I used to need the structure of having verses to look up and questions to answer.  But with just the SOAP guidelines, and the reading plan, the Lord is opening up His Word to me in a way that I always wanted it to be but never knew how to get there.    So, please... if you are in the middle of devotional books, or just wanting a fresh start to your quiet time-- PLEASE try it for yourself.

Reading:  Matthew 28

Scripture: Matthew 28: 8 - 10

8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. 9 And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”   -- New Living Translation

8-10The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. "Good morning!" he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, "You're holding on to me for dear life! Don't be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I'll meet them there."
-- The Message

I read this chapter five times, in four different translation.  This is the section that always stood out to me, but  *insert a huge moment of revelation (to be explained later)*  I didn't really know why. So I switched from NIV to NLT.  Same thing.  Then to NKJV.  But it wasn't until I read it in The Message, and I read the rendition, "You're holding on to me for dear life!" that it all clicked.

Of course the women were scared.  Of course they were filled with Joy. It was an incredibly intense time.  Their leader, whom they fully believed was God, had just been crucified. No matter how many times He tried to explain to them what would happen, the message was not fully received.  How many times do we let our perception of situations, and our expectation of certain outcomes hinder the way we see reality?

An Angel.  A Big POWERFUL (not your harp playing, arrow shooting little cherub), face like lightning, ANGEL told them that Jesus was no longer there.  He had been raised from the dead, like they had been told.  Go. Tell the disciples. He will meet you in Galilee.

Sometimes life is SO BIG that even when we are confronted with something amazing, we are terrified! Sometimes the reality of God is SO ASTOUNDING that we don't know what to do with ourselves.  Sometimes the physical presence of God and His call on your life is SO POWERFUL that all the emotions that you have ever felt all roll together into one, and you CLING to your Savior for dear life.


Okay. Big revelation explained:

As I was typing that sentence, the Lord showed me a picture of the blessing we believe that He is providing us in the house that we looked at yesterday.  When we walked up to the house, it just felt right.  When we walked inside, I instantly had goosebumps on my arms.  I could see us living there.  I could see Bible Studies happening there.  I could see my boys growing up there.  I could see people coming to the Lord there.

Here is the fear part. In truth, I have been clinging to God for dear life ever since we saw the place because:

1) We love it.
2) We are afraid that WE love it more than we are listening/hearing whether it is the right place.
3) The rent is a little bit higher than the maximum price that we had set based on our budget.

So, along with the picture of the house (in slideshow mode) in my head, I heard in my heart:
"You are clinging to me for dear life.  Don't be afraid like that.  I am with you."

It's time for a little honesty.
I do not have any trouble believing that God is who He says He is, and can do what He says He can do. I believe that in Christ, I can do all things.

What I have trouble with is truly believing that the All-Powerful God that created the HEAVEN AND EARTH is actively involved and taking care of ALL of the details.  It is just..... something I am learning over and over again.  I know that He will.  But my default mode is sometimes .... panic.

"You are clinging to me for dear life.  Don't be afraid like that.  I am with you."


Wow, God.
I am so sorry for the years of knowing you that I have MISSED OUT on hearing from you like this.
Thank you.
Thank you so much.
I have no words today, other than thank you.
Accept my tears as my offering,

With deep humility,
Your daughter.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Blogging Through the Gospels: Matthew 27, part 2

Well, I really didn't know where the Lord was going with this, but once again, He held me in His arms, and gave me exactly what I needed.  I am so blessed to be "blogging through the gospels" with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.  Please join us.  It will change you!!

Reading: Matthew 27: 27 - 66


51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.


I don't think that I had ever noticed verse 52 before.
It is just amazing to me!
How could the people still doubt after that??  "Oh yeah, I just saw Abraham on the street."
How deep the deception must have been for the Pharisees and Saducees to still maintain that Jesus was nothing more than a crazy person, trying to stir up trouble.  Or-- they were so trapped in their own pride. Their fear of being wrong -- the implications of being THE ONES TO CRUCIFY THE MESSIAH must have been too great to accept.


I think that the application of this verse to my life right now is that God can do ANYTHING.

We are looking at a place to rent this morning.  It is a little bit more than the top end of our budget.  I am just so worried that we are going to step out of His will because we won't wait for Him to lead us.  But at the same time I am worried that our (read: MY) caution and trying to be sure is going make us miss the place that God DOES have for us.

Reading that many who were dead came back to life, and appeared to people in the city, is much more astonishing and powerful than finding a place to live.

The same God that raised them from the dead is caring for us, and providing for our needs.  And more than that-- HE is the one who is SENDING us back.  I can have complete and utter confidence in my Savior, My God.


Oh, my Gracious God...
Can there be any better way to start the day?
Thank you for the reminder of your POWER, your Purpose, your PLAN.
Help me to rest in the knowledge that You are WHO YOU SAY YOU ARE, and that I.....  a frail, prideful, stubborn (at times) woman,  am yours.


Monday, May 2, 2011

Blogging through the Gospels: Matthew 27

Another powerful day of hearing the Lord speak to me as I "blog through the Gospels" with Amy, from Mom's Toolbox.  If you haven't been doing this along with us, I highly recommend jumping in and joining us.  God NEVER fails to give me exactly what He wants me to hear.  I am changing.  (I hope.)

Reading:  Matthew 27 : 1 - 26

Scripture: Matthew 27: 23

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”


Pilate calls them for their unjust behavior because he knew that no crime had been committed.  And like all of us, when we are caught in actions or behavior that we know is wrong, they dug their heels in and cried all the louder,  "CRUCIFY HIM!"


Help me to heed the rebukes when they are needed, whether they come from you or from the people you put in my path.  Help me to lay down my pride so that when a comment that targets something you want to work on, whether intended by the giver as such, or intended by YOU to pierce my heart, let those comments make their mark and do the work that is needed.

Yesterday was such an example.  Our first Sunday leading children's worship.  As the only music TEACHER in the group, I of course felt that my experience and knowledge should be heeded (revered, even.).   The Lord really worked in my heart, using the words and actions of the other members of the team to remind me exactly what my place is on the TEAM.   It is definitely a work in progress, and I am so far from being like my Savior.


Oh Lord.
I am so far from being like you....
I need humility.  I had a wake up experience yesterday, and the truth of my own heart BROKE my heart.
Help me...  I get very annoyed with certain things, and I have little patience.  Please, Lord....
With all my heart I want to resemble you.  Please forgive me.  Please don't give up on me.
Please help me stay focused on you, even amidst all the distractions of this life.  Please, please help me Lord.


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