Monday, May 31, 2010

Learning from Naaman...Part 1

This is a story about Naaman from 2 Kings 5. The devotion is part of a series of a total of 4 that has blessed me and I will continue to digest and meditate on what God needs to show me from be prepared to be blessed, to be fed and hopefully to be changed!


In examining the story of Naaman the leper, we begin by looking at his condition. "Naaman, commander of the army of...Syria, was a a leper." In spite of his past victories and present honors, he had a hidden problem that wouldn't stay hidden long. Left un-dealt with, it would eventually destroy him. Can you relate? Today the odds may be in your favor. You've graduated from the best university, you've a good family, you've built a church or a business, or climbed to the top in your career. Yet before you can qualify for greater blessing God will force you to deal with a condition that's hidden beneath your armor. Outstanding people in every occupation, particularly spiritual ones, go through it. It's what sets them apart. It's what ushers them across the bridge from mediocre to exceptional. Without obstacles we'll always be ordinary! We're not talking about petty little problems. We're talking about issues so overwhelming you can't sleep; gut-wrenching things that cause your heart to skip a beat and make you fear "this is the one that's going to take me out!" It's the thing you pray about in secret. It's what you don't want people to see. So like Naaman, you wear your "brass," then go home and agonize about your condition. Understand this: God teaches some of His greatest lessons in the valleys of life. That's where you learn to lie prostrate before Him, weeping and broken. It's where you pray: "God, don't let this thing destroy me. Deal with it through the power of Your spirit." And here's the good news: that kind of prayer brings deliverance. ~Ron Traub


I needed this reminder, how about you?


Our stubborness can be as hard as iron, but if we let Him, look what the Lord can do.....and so the picture for today...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

God works through flawed Men and Women...

I appreciated this reminder....I mess up so much and wonder many times how God could possibly make use of me!!! Hope this encourages you this day....debbie

God Works Through Flawed Men and Women

There are many things those who share the Gospel do well to remember. Certainly it is good for us to recall that the message we share is the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness. But, as we carry the Gospel to others it is also good if we remember it is mediated through we who are so flawed and fallen. Have you ever noticed how everyone in the Bible could have introduced himself, or herself, in some kind of recovery group? Imagine it:

“Hi. My name is Abraham. I am a coward and a liar. I would tell a lie to put my wife’s life at risk in order to save my own skin.”

“Hi. We are Isaac and Rebecca and we’re dysfunctional parents.”

“Hi. My name is Jacob and I’m a cheater and a scoundrel.”

“Hi. My name is Aaron. I’m a religious leader; but I cave in to peer pressure.”

“Hi. My name is Miriam. I’m jealous of my little brother Moses and I’m a racist; I’m upset about his inter-racial marriage.”

“Hi. My name is Moses and I’m a hot-head and a murderer.”

“Hi. My name is Naomi and I am bitter.”

“Hi. My name is Samson and I struggle with lust.”

“Hi. My name is David. I am an adulterer and a murderer.”

“Hi. My name is Elijah and I struggle with depression.”

“Hi. My name is Thomas. I struggle with doubts.”

“Hi. My name is Mary Magdalene and I’m a prostitute.”

“Hi. My name is Peter and I let down my best friend when he needed me most.”

“Hi. My name is Timothy. I struggle with paralyzing fears and insecurities.”

“Hi. My name is Paul. I am a Christian killer and I am very difficult to work with.”

As I read about these “heroes of the faith” I see that each one was flawed and yet each did significant Kingdom work. I do not believe that they were rewarded for the flaws; nor do I believe their flaws were unrelated to the good that occurred in their lives. The flaws became grace places; places of humility, which I believe is a synonym for honesty. They came to acknowledge in progressively deeper ways their need of God’s love and mercy. For, to each, in his or her specific need, God came because He loved them; as He loves us. He loves us! He loves us with a love that is not conditioned by our performanceJerry Root, Wheaton College

Monday, May 24, 2010


Reading for my Sunday School lesson for next Sunday and already and thinking about those that did have the tornadoes come their way....

"Suffering is a part of life. By the time we become adults, we all have suffered great pain. We all have had to deal with the questions, 'Why did this happen?' or 'How could this happen to me?' Answers to these questions are often complex and unsatisfying. We struggle to find ways to make sense of our lives. This struggle can lead us to blame other people, or even God, for bringing suffering into our lives. We can become bitter and turn away from our faith. Or we try to create our own faith by taking what we like best from different religions. Either way, struggling to find answers to the why and how of our suffering can lead us away from the presence of God, which is our only comfort."

"The good news is that love runs deeper than our pain. James knew this. That is why he says, 'Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray (Jms. 5:13).' Prayer is our direct link to the person of God, not simply the idea of a god who might answer our prayers, but the person of God who empathizes with our pain and walks with us through the valley of the shadow of death. When we pray, God does not simply give us advice or rescue us from a difficult situation. He grants us His very presence so that we can sense His reality, even in the darkest of times. Prayer is the path God walks to get to us. He will never force himself on us. We must open the path. If we do, He will come to us every time, without fail. James tells us to pray when we suffer because the answer to suffering is not an explanation as to why suffering happens, but comfort in our time of suffering. If we are cold, we don't need a weatherman to explain weather patterns; we need a blanket. If we are hungry, we don't need a biologist to explain hunger pains; we need food. When we suffer, we don't need to know why; we need to know God's presence."

~written by Jim Moretz

Saturday, May 22, 2010

"Are you weary, weary of the soul?"....then remember....

We have storms brewing, tornado sightings and people 15 miles from here had a rough storm situation early this morning by one of our lakes. A gal came into the antique store and shared about it shortly after I opened. She was weary as she shared about the damage from the storm and how others fared worse and some were lucky they were alive. In town, it was minimal compared to out there in the open. I sat down with her while she shared her frustration about the damage done and being thankful, yes, that no one was hurt. Then the conversation turned to her mother who is wasting away from a complicated disease and tears came to her eyes. Her father is having a difficult time with this and we talk of how fragile life is with our physical beings as well as with the physical storms regarding the weather. I listened and brought her some kleenex. I listened some more and then others came in and she started to look around and do some shopping....."therapy" for the woman's soul at times. She left feeling grateful for someone listening and even getting her some kleenex. I told her I would keep her and her family in my prayers. Looking at a daily devotion that I get, well, it seems appropriate to share with anyone who will read or listen......for we all get weary......

I wake weary...
I reach reluctantly for my Bible wishing I could reach for covers to pull over my head instead.

It turns out I'm not the only one who has ever felt this way.

I read of Gideon and how he is hiding (sounds a bit like pulling the covers) grain from the enemies of the Israelites.

Right there in the middle of that unlikely moment God sends a message to Gideon.

It's about fighting, victory, how everything will be different from now on.

It's these six words I love most:
"Go in the strength you have..." (Judges 6:14)

That phrase follows me out of bed and into the car. I think of it as miles whiz by on the way to work. What strength do I have?

Slowly I realize I don't have much at all (especially today). But I do have His strength.

And what kind of strength is that?

The kind that is made perfect in weakness. (2 Cor 12:9)

That's great news for the broken, messy, and worn out (and aren't we all?).

And even if we were as strong as we'd like to be, it would still pale in comparison...

God's weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength. (1 Cor 1:25)

So here's truth worth getting out of bed for, the kind that's like coffee for our hearts. God served it up to Gideon first and He still offers it to us every morning (especially on the ones when we feel weary)--

Go in the strength you have...
and I will be the strength you need.

~Holly Gerth

Thursday, May 20, 2010

So, remember.......Matthew 6:26

If the Creator of the universe cares enough about the humble birds to care for them, why would He care any less about us? God provides for the birds' needs; as He loves us even more, we can count on Him to provide for us as well. (Matthew 6:26)

Sharing with you this day from my garden areas...know that God cares for you.....

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

God is in the stuff.....all of it!!!!

Well, that about says it all!!!!
Thank you, God!!!!
Hope this finds you all having a good far! It always seems a trial is never far away....but remember, if we let God in on it, we can have victory over it!!!! ~deb

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Faith "with" Truth brings Beauty.....

"Faith fills a man with love for the beauty of its truth, with faith in the truth of its beauty."
~Francis de Sales

Sometimes I learn this the hard today. I can say I have the faith, but not be looking at the truth....which usually involves looking in the mirror and seeing what I don't want to see. But, if I am willing to have faith and look at the Truth of it all....well, I can't help but wonder that it can be beautiful, like a sweet aroma to the Lord.....even though it may still hurt. Going then to a quote I have heard over and over but do not know who wrote it....."God doesn't expect me to live this life comfortable, but obedient."
Want to watch an inspiring movie......."Blindsight" was great. No, I am not talking about "Blindside." Here is the synopsis....
"Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayas, BLINDSIGHT follows the gripping adventure of six Tibetan teenagers who set out to climb the 23,000-foot Lhakpa Ri on the north side of Mount Everest. The dangerous journey soon becomes a seemingly impossible challenge -- made all the more remarkable by the fact that the teenagers are blind.
Believed by many Tibetans to be possessed by demons, the children are shunned by their parents, scorned by their villages and rejected by society. Rescued by Sabriye Tenberken, a blind educator and adventurer who established the first and only school for the blind in Tibet, the students invite the famous blind mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer to visit their school after learning about his conquest of Everest. Erik arrives in Lhasa and inspires Sabriye and her students Kyila, Sonam Bhumtso, Tashi, Gyenshen, Dachung and Tenzin to let him lead them higher than they have ever been before. The resulting 3-week journey is beyond anything any of them could have predicted."
If you get Netflix, it is an instant play.....just to let you know.....debbie

Friday, May 14, 2010

The angels and their music....

And the angels bring forth their beautiful song as another comes to the Lord!!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

"Manhattan Declaration"!!!

The Manhattan Declaration

I am a supporter of the Manhattan Declaration! Here is a link if you are not familiar with this.


Christians are heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God's word, seeking justice in our societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed and suffering....

and it continues....please consider looking at this site.

Thanks, debbie

Saturday, May 8, 2010

"God's Glory"!!!

A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell. ~C.S. Lewis