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Hope of Glory

Hope of Glory

Oh Lord, your precious blood covers me.

I am made blameless and holy.

Through me, your light shines.

I am yours and you God are mine.

Although you prepared it, I walk a path I do not know

But always trusting the way you lovingly show.

Until the day I see your face,

Hope of Glory, I will cling, always through your grace.

Daily Reminders

Practical Advice on Parenting

  • 1.)When life is too busy or you are overwhelmed:
  • Stop-Slow down- Abide

    Stop– whatever you are doing and the route you are taking

    Slowdown– all mental processes (what you have to get done, how this going to effect this or that etc.)

    Abide– Trust God is working, stay connected to him through his word and let go of control.

    ““I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

    ‭‭John‬ ‭15:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    2.) Remember what he has called you to do and what he has NOT called you to do

    For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”

    ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11-13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    3.) Remember that small faithful steps in obedience leads to great faith.

    “You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.”

    ‭‭James‬ ‭2:22‬ ‭NIV

    4.) Go on walks with your children

    Walking beside another person slows down life so doors may be open for conversations that are missed in the everyday busyness of life. Take the time to stop and look at the world God created. Admire its diversity and beauty. Allow your children to question and wonder. Tie in God’s majesty to the world they are experiencing as they walk. Walks are a representation of our walk with Christ. We may travel the same route each day but each walk brings new experiences and new lessons. Some days it is a daunting task to walk and others, a joy.

    Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

    ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭11:18-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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    At The Valley’s Edge

    Psalm 27 Psalm 23

    Lately, God has been speaking to me about the journey we all walk through in life. For the believer, He has shown me it works in a cyclical pattern. We have times of rest, times of knowledge and understanding and times of testing. Over the summer, it was clear that God had me in a season of knowledge and understanding. He opened my mind and my heart to knew ways of thinking and began to transform them. Now, he has laid heavy on my heart about the inevitable valley.

    God has led me to edge of the valley. As I look in on the uncertainties of life, I can feel fear knocking on my heart. I can already feel the pressure of the darkness beginning to weigh in. In my heart of hearts, I do not want to walk across this valley. However, the God I know tells me it is for my good. He has purposed this valley. It is for me to grow in my spiritual maturity. It is a time of testing the knowledge he has already given me about himself and to turn it into wisdom. He has promised me he will guide me and he will never forsake me. In the valley, is where I will meet my God face to face. I will see his power made great in my weakness and his grace will be sufficient. In this shadowy place, I will be confronted with the weakness that lies deep in my heart and I will either trust the Lord and be changed or I will flounder and remain the same. I want to run away from this place but in doing so is running away from God. The Lord tells me be strong and courageous do not be afraid for I am with you. I don’t know all that lies before me. I don’t know how dark it will be but I do know my God will not leave me. I know he has been preparing me. I know he is faithful to do all he says he will do. I know there is nothing outside of his control and I know my God loves me. I can walk confidently in him who has placed his spirit within me.

    We can not prevent these times in the valley. We can choose to try to run or escape them learning nothing from them or we can go through it actively trusting the Lord so that we may grow spiritually and see Him in an a more intimate way. For those who have built their lives on the firm foundation of Christ, the valley is a storm that tests your roots. The storm will push and press you but you will be be unmoved in your faith in Christ and will have grown from the down poor. If you placed your trust in yourself or others, when the storm hits, you will be pulled up and laid low but even in the devastating winds and impacts you can cry out to the Lord and he will come near.

    How will you choose to walk in the valley?

    Lessons

    Finding Purpose In The Fire

    Jeremiah 18:1-12

    Sometimes, God leads us into seasons of life with situations and circumstances that drive us to confront emotions we might try to bury otherwise. I find myself in one of these seasons. In this season, anger and frustration drives me to my knees in front of the Lord almighty. At times, I try to squelch my emotions buy burying them and holding my tongue but this is not what the Lord desires. It is not self control but avoidance of confrontation. If I bury what the Lord uses to draw me near to Him I only bring destruction on myself from within. Knowing I am powerless in my situation, I seek after the one who has all the power. He causes me to confront Him with my big emotions. He draws out of me what is really going on in my heart and brings it to the surface. I hate it but I am grateful for it. It is painful but yet it is comforting. At times though, I fight against the pressure of His mighty hand and I cry out why must you keep me here but He reminds me it is for my good. For if there was no kneading of the clay, a pot could not be formed and I would remain a useless lump.

    I do not enjoy the pains of the kiln burning away my impurities. I do not delight in the pain of the surrounding pressure of life in order to drive me to the Lord but I am thankful. I can find joy in my sufferings because it is not a waste in the hands of the almighty. He forms life out of death, creation from nothingness. He uses these emotions to cultivate a heart and mind aligned with his by drawing out what hinders me. It is a comfort to know, that my God is bigger than my situations and my emotions. It is humbling to be reminded that He is more concerned with my holiness than my happiness.

    Supporting Scripture

    “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.”

    ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭64:8‬ ‭NIV‬‬

    “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

    ‭‭James‬ ‭1:2-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

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    A Time of Wandering

    When I was a new sheep in your pin, I relished my new place. As you came near to me, your ways were contrary to my sinful ways so I fled from you. Although I was yours, I did not know you well and your ways prevented me from going my own way. You allowed me to wander. You kept a close eye on me always walking behind me. You saw all that I did and where I had gone. I wandered down dangerous paths and near cliff edges until the day I wandered too close. I wandered closely to a thorn bush it ensnared me with its thorns. I could not get loose. The more I struggled to free myself the more entangled my fleece became. I was stuck. I was helpless and I could not free myself from my inequities. I called out to you. My God, My God save me! Help me! Free me from what ensnares me! There you were, right behind me as you always had been. I had not seen you through my wandering but you were there. You laid your hand upon me and told me, “be still, know that I am your God. Do not struggle any longer.” As I stayed still, you patiently and gently freed me from the thorns. I drew close to you never afraid of your ways because I knew you loved me and your ways protected me. I turned from that place and I walked with you back to the flock. I had your peace knowing I was going your way. I was in your flock and I could rest in your presence.

    Even though I have taken up your ways, occasionally I lose track of you. I will have had my head down busily working away at what was in front me and I begin to stray. In your mercy and grace, you throw the rod in front of me. Your warning of the path I am on. I quickly pick my head up and see your face and turn the other way. You are always watching me and I am always in your care. I look back from a distance at that thorn bush that had ensnared me, and I am thankful. It is now a place of repentance and deliverance. It is a place where I met you face to face and I began to know you.

    When we are first brought into Christ’s flock it is a joyous time. We are thrilled to be there and have a new home and a new way, but as the shepherd draws close to us we begin to rebel. His ways conflict with our fleshly ways and our desires to do it our own way. During this time, many of us flee for a time. We run away from him because we want to do what we want to do. We do not understand why we must follow him in his exact ways. He allows us to wander. He is ever present during our wandering time but we have no recollection of him. He allows us to make foolish choices and walk dangerously close to edges but at all times He is there because nothing is done outside of his presence. He is walking behind us. It is when we come to a situation in life we cannot rescue ourselves from and we have become helpless that our heads and our hearts finally are opened. We see where our actions have led us. He is there to calm and to free us. In that rescue is where we go from knowing that he our new master to seeing him face to face. We are prodigal sons returning.

    Even though we are following him and attentive to his voice, we are not immune to becoming too busy with this world and lose track of him. He gives us warnings with his rod of discipline and it is in our best interest to pick our heads up and turn the other way to meet with him.

    Supporting Scripture

    Luke 15:11-32

    Matthew 18:10-14

    Psalm 23

    Lessons

    A Dream Interpreted

    Genesis 3:1-6

    This morning I was woke up by a strange dream. I immediately went into prayer to understand it’s meaning.

    In the dream, there was a husband and a wife. The wife had lost her husband in a crowd for a time and went to look for him. Once she found him, the husband began to confess that he had cheated on her. As they walked along a path to leave the place she found him, she realized that the situation was graver than merely being unfaithful. The husband had raped and murdered a woman.

    The wife began to become panicky and saw someone burning the clothes of the murdered woman and she thought “yes, I can fix this for him.” As she watched the clothes burn, she knew she could not save him from this terrible sin. She walked over to her husband, who was beginning to hyperventilate because his eyes were opening to the truth of his sin and how devastating it was, and knelt down. She told him I forgive you because although you have hurt me you have hurt yourself far greater.

    After praying about this crazy dream and reading my devotional , God gave me clarity. He used the account of Adam and Eve and the deception of Satan. Satan deceives Eve into sinning. He tempted her by using logic to sin against God. He downplayed the consequences of her actions and made the sin all that more appealing. Eve gave in and then gave the fruit to Adam. They sinned against God and it hurt God deeply but the true hurt was laid upon them. Their actions separated them from their loving creator, they lost their home and had to live in a harsh land. They were destined to die. Before they sinned, they did not understand its magnitude and what effect it would have.

    As sinners, we are blind to our sin against God. It is when the Holy Spirit convicts us, that He begins to show us just how devastating our actions truly are. When we have been sinned against, it is painful and it hurts but the one who sinned against us is in worse shape. Their heart is not in the right place and they are deceived in believing what they did is justified.

    At times, we may want to save those who we love from the consequences of their sin but we cannot. We are unable to make a heart right or make the blind see. We do however have the ability to forgive in Christ because Christ has forgiven us.

    We are the murders. Our sin placed Christ on the cross and rather Him condemning us He saved us and forgave us. At a time, we too were blind to our own sin and it wasn’t until the Spirit opened our eyes to our ways that we began to see the truth.

    Whether you are the one sinning, or the one being sinned against we must all go to Christ for forgiveness. Allow Him to wipe your slate clean through his redemptive blood or give you the strength to forgive so bitterness does not take root.

    Supporting Scripture

  • “When he comes, he will prove the world to be in the wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment:” John 16:8
  • “Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.” Isaiah‬ ‭35:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬
  • “And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Corinthians‬ ‭4:3-4‬
  • “The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” Romans‬ ‭8:7-8‬ ‭
  • ““He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.”” 1 Peter‬ ‭2:24‬ ‭
  • “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians‬ ‭4:32‬ ‭
  • “And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” ).”
  • Mark‬ ‭15:34‬
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    Building an Ark

    I started playing Minecraft with my son in attempt to enter into his world and minister to him. I decided it would be fun to go over a very common story of the Bible, Noah and ark, and rebuild the ark in Minecraft.

    As we went over the story and “labored” to build the ark, God pointed out that I am also building an ark in the minds and hearts of my children.

    Noah was credited as being a righteous man. God decided to save him and his family from the devastating flood waters that were to come over the whole earth. Through his mercy, He gave Noah specification on how to build this enormous ship that was house every living creature on the earth and Noah’s family. In the account of Noah, it was said that Noah did everything the Lord had commanded.

    Although in scripture it does not give details on how Noah felt about the task that was set before him, from my own life and from my experience trying to piece together the ark in Minecraft, times of being overwhelmed and frustrated had to be there.

    As I look ahead at the job that lays before me, teaching my children about God and demonstrating His love to them, I can easily get overwhelmed. Too many times, I feel as though I am barely surviving myself and barely holding on to my sanity so how can I put forth the intentional effort of teaching these children. God then in his mercy and grace reminds me that the ark was built one plank at a time.

    Noah, was given specific guidelines on how to construct the ark and we are given specific guidelines on how to raise our children through scripture. It took Noah time to build the ark and it will take time to build a firm foundation in our children. No doubt, there were days where the amount of tedious labors of sawing and hammering was overwhelming and all that shown forth was a small section of an enormous project. We too experience these days or weeks of tedious laboring to teach our children in the way they should go, being consistent in our discipline saying no for the thousandth time and our patience and our perseverance being tested at every point.

    Even in these times where we want to give up we must remember of the flood that is coming. One day that child will no longer be under our watchful eye and protection. They will leave the homes that cared for them and they will encounter the worlds disparaging ways and what we have spent building in the hearts and minds of our kids will be there to either guide them back to safety or encourage them towards the world. When we point our children to Christ daily, when we share our faith and our struggles, when we teach them his truths we are slowly but steadily building that ark inside our children. We are training them in the way they should go so when they are old they will not depart from it.

    Noah could not save himself or his family from the judgement that was to come over the world, but a mighty and merciful God provided a way and saved them. When we point our children to Christ daily we are building an ark inside their minds and hearts. It is not us who will save them but Christ who has given us the way of salvation, we are to just be steadily obedient in his commands.