It’s not my job…

As I shared on the last post, I didn’t want to share what God told me to share. I felt unqualified, judged and that no one would listen to me anyway. God kept bringing Moses to my mind. In Exodus 3 and 4 we learn about God calling Moses into service and how Moses responded. Before we get too far into that I have to share what my CSB translation shares about the “burning bush” – because it kinda cracks me up.

Meanwhile, Moses was shepherding the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian. He led the flock to the far side of the wilderness and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 Then the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush. As Moses looked, he saw that the bush was on fire but was not consumed. 3 So Moses thought, “I must go over and look at this remarkable sight. Why isn’t the bush burning up? ”

Exodus 3:1-3

Really? “an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire within a bush” and he thought “I must go over and look at this remarkable sight.” How many of you think that is quite a tame response to such a magnificent sight? If it was me I would have been “holy buckets! where’s my phone I gotta get a picture of this!” and then I would have been hollering out to everyone I know!

alright sorry for that quick side track – but it is in the next verses that God calls out to Moses and tells him what he wants him to do. God has chosen Moses to deliver the chosen people from the oppression and slavery they are suffering in Egypt.

Beginning in Exodus 3:11 Moses questions God the first time “who am I?” and God reassured him- “I will be with you…when you bring the people out of Egypt” notice God says WHEN not If...but Moses is not convinced and asks again “what do I say when they ask who sent me” – notice – God has already told Moses “I am the one who sent you” God replies “I AM!…this is how I am to be remembered in every generation” – every generation (that means you and me too!!) and in verse 18 God says “They will listen to what you say.” Notice- God doesn’t say you will make them listen to you. God just says “they will listen to you.”

But still Moses is unconvinced and again he questions God in 4:1 “What if they wont believe me and will not obey me…” God provides more miracles to show Moses he means business (because like most humans Moses needs to see proof – can you relate?)

In verse 10 Moses starts to beg “Please Lord, I have never been eloquent….my mouth and tongue are sluggish” and still again God reassured him (how many times does God have to reassure me or tell me what to do before I listen?)

God says “who placed a mouth on humans?” (I wonder if he regrets that decision)

and again he says “I will help you speak and I will teach you what to say”

But still… Moses begs…”Please, Lord, send someone else.”

Finally God has had enough and he agrees to allow Aaron (Moses’ brother) to help him.

God is relentless. If he has a job for us to do he is not going to back down no matter how many times we say no or beg him to send someone else. But oh the sweet blessings of obedience!!! I wondered why God felt distant when I wouldn’t listen to what he was telling me to do. He was still there but he was not going to let it go…not going to let me go. He wasn’t distant from me but my stubbornness caused me to feel distant from him. Since obeying him and sharing last week I have felt something change inside of me. I am excited to awake each day and see what He has to share with me and I pray for guidance and wisdom to know when it is time to share with you. It is not my job to make you listen to me (and that is a hard one for me to learn. I want you to listen and respond and share and keep the spark going…but I can’t make that happen). It is my job to listen to God, to do what He tells me to do and to enjoy the blessings that follow obedience.

  1. Have you ever felt like Moses and begged God to send someone else?
  2. Have you ever asked God to show you His will for you?
  3. Do you make excuses for your disobedience?
  4. How can you open your heart to hear from Him today?

Until next time. Dwell with God, dwell with His people and dwell in His Word!!!

It’s a Give Away

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I am so excited about this new book from my friend, Wendy Blight. Wendy is an amazing bible teacher and I am so blessed to learn with her.

There are several ways to enter to win a copy of this great book!

  1. Comment on this post.
  2. Subscribe to this blog to be delivered via email.
  3. Like our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/gathering2dwell/
  4. Comment on the giveaway post on facebook by tagging someone who needs to know that they are loved!
  5. Share the facebook post!

Fine print details: Entry period is 12/27/17 @6:45pm CST through 12:01pm 01/01/18. Winner will be announced here and on the facebook page at 6:45pm CST 01/01/18. United States postal addresses only please.

Twas the week before Christmas

and all through the house…fill in the blank. How is your house? Is it calm and peaceful? Are you preparing for company? Preparing to travel? Planning a quiet time at home? or preparing to avoid the sadness that comes when miles or jobs keep you separated from loved ones?

The word on my mind the past week is sanctuary. I don’t want to miss out on the important lessons from the bible about this word but I also think before we can claim sanctuary in our souls or our homes we have to take time to pause. And who besides me finds it hard to pause…especially the week before Christmas?

Take a few moments to pause and breathe and reflect and thank God for the many blessings you have. Sit in quiet with just the twinkle of the lights on the tree or the flicker of the fireplace or maybe just the dark. Ask God to give you peace during this week. Peace like you have never felt before. No hustle and bustle, no stress of family dynamics, just peace and thankfulness for another day with breath in your lungs. 20171214_075831

God didn’t send his son to make us rush about like crazy people in the “spirit” of celebrating Christ’s birth. He sent His son so that we can be free and live in peace now and forevermore (John 3:16). So that we can find peace and reconciliation with God. So that we can draw near to him to dwell in that place of Sanctuary. Let’s let our homes be a place of peace this week. Let’s let our hearts be a place of peace. He is the Prince of Peace. Let’s let him rule in our lives each day this week (and ever-after)!20171203_194202

I pray that you enjoy this week. Enjoy the food, enjoy your people, enjoy the lights, enjoy the peace. And if your home is missing any of these things come on over! We have plenty to share!!

You may find me rambling a bit between now and the new year but invite your friends and join me back here on Jan 8 as we learn more about sanctuary and dwelling!

Merry Christmas! May there be Peace on Earth and Goodwill to Men! (Luke 2:14)

Psalm 15 – Peace and Quiet

I had originally planned something different for this video but God just took me in this direction instead. I have for MONTHS been craving some quiet time in a cabin. Although the circumstances aren’t exactly what I envisioned- I am at this very moment (Monday, Dec 4, 2017 at 1:19pm cst) sitting in a cabin by myself – listening to the wind blow and spending time with God. The remainder of my day will be hustling and bustling, chaotic and crazy but I am soaking up these moments now so that I can soak up those blessings later.

I would love to hear how you are soaking up the quiet moments in this season of life? Please share below in comments and also feel free to share this (or any) post to someone who might be encouraged! Have a wonderful day!!

 

Words

I have tried putting off writing this for almost two months now but as usual, God wont let it go. He is relentless like that.

It seems that lately I have been struggling with thoughts of growing up in my hometown. Most of the time I can convince myself that it was a lovely, quiet little farm town and I “joke” that I want to move back there. But other times…

those happy thoughts are overtaken by the “not so happy” – you see when I think back I remember coming home from 6th grade and crying because the other students were so mean to one of our classmates and as I grew older I am sure I was just as mean but there are lots of things that were said between 6th grade and 12th grade that I still hear today. Things like “you aren’t good enough”. Things like “why would you like her?” Things like “wow. she really is a slut, isn’t she?” Things like “she had sex in a car while her best friend was driving and was afraid she was pregnant so claimed she was raped”…The words said over me have far more impact even now 30+ years later than I ever could have imagined in the glory of the 1980s.

A part of me wants to be thankful because all of those hurtful moments worked together with the good moments to give me the life God has for me today. And it’s a pretty good life. I love God, I love my family. I have an amazing husband, kids and grandkids. I have friends around the world who pray for me and my mother never stops telling me that she is proud of me. I have even gotten my dad to say “I love you” out loud a few times.

But I think of that Samaritan woman by the well (John 4) …the one who waited until all of the other ladies who were gone to fill her water jars. The one who Jesus told he knew “all that she had ever done” – she knew he was the Lord! She knew he could fulfill her and even though moments before she was avoiding being seen by her hometown after the encounter with Jesus she ran back to town to tell everyone about Him. and they listened to her!!! Because of her boldness and her faith she ran and told them!

I don’t know if I have that boldness and faith. I often feel like I could share but I could never share in my hometown how Jesus works in my life because I feel like that little 6th grade girl with a silver cap in the middle of her smile who became that teenager that everyone talked about (and not in a good way). Would they be able to hear about Jesus from someone like me? or would they just think “what good could come from her?”

I am praying that I can forgive those 30+ year old hurts and that I can be bold and brave like the woman at the well and run back – especially to those who hurt me and not be afraid to tell them all Jesus has done and will continue to do. I seek the peace that can only come from him I am still learning and it is a work in progress. I pray that the words you hear may be “Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

 

  1. Are you holding onto thoughts from years ago? Do these memories haunt you or spur you onto goodness?
  2. What scripture soothes your soul?
  3. If you could say something to your 14-year-old self, what would it be? Is there something you wish you could say to your best friend? or worse enemy?
  4. How can you speak life into someone else today?

Silence

It’s been a few weeks! sorry to be quiet. I have had some great ideas to talk with you all about just having a delay in putting those ideas into cohesive thoughts and deciding if I want to write or video about it.

Just to give you a few things to think about it…Can you identify at least one person in the bible who:

  1. Gave excuses to God when God gave them an assignment?
  2. Immediately followed God?
  3. Encouraged someone who was called by God?
  4. Prayed for their friends?
  5. Cried?

I would love to encourage you to spend some time in your bible and share the scripture references and people who come to mind in the bible and then perhaps- can you identify with any of the 5 descriptions above?

Let’s have some real conversation about this because y’all – I NEED IT! I need some real talk, some encouragement, some prayer, some accountability and probably a good cry! How about you?

Let’s commit to being active participants in life. Not the friend who just reads, likes and moves on- but the friend who talks, who reaches out, and engages in face to face (or voice to voice) life with God’s people. We are better when we dwell together!

Expect the Unexpected or Why the setting matters…

There is a television show with the theme is “expect the unexpected” but isn’t that kind of the theme in life? We never really know what is going to happen next, but if we trust in God we can have faith that His hand is on our futures and He will not lead us astray. But I do think in certain situations we should know what we are getting, right? Like if I go to a hockey game – I am going to see players skating and attempting to hit a small black disk into a net. If I go to a rock concert I expect noise and dancing and lights. If I go to the symphony I expect something a little more reserved. When I talk to my democratic friends I am not surprised by their statements and when I go to church I expect….

well depending on the church and what I know about it the expectations might be different. While I do not profess to know everything about how everyone worships, I have thought I had a general idea of what to expect when walking into a pretty mainstream traditional protestant service. I was wrong.

I sat through a message where the pastor advised his flock that he did not believe that Jesus was the only explicit way to Heaven. If you acted in ways that showed faith then that was good too and everyone would be saved in the end. I was speechless for about half an hour…and then went on a passionate “rant” that my darling children started to videotape.

What disappoints me most about this situation is that I was speechless. I had the opportunity to stand up, point to bible passages and declare my own beliefs and I failed. I want to be bold for Christ and I failed. I even said to my husband, “if we had just walked into some church we didn’t know anything about I wouldn’t have been as surprised by this message.” and “surely, we misunderstood, right?”

We didn’t misunderstand.

While I failed in standing up at that moment I feel I succeeded in other ways. I was able to realize how passionate I can be about Jesus being the ONLY WAY to salvation. I was able to open conversations with my children and other loved ones and I am even more encouraged that sharing God’s word through this blog, through social media and while I attend school is the path God has for me.

The world is full of expectations and expecting the unexpected depending on the setting of your story. The truth that doesn’t change is God’s Word. I encourage you to open His word, know His word and be bold if you are ever faced with unexpected words in unexpected places.

Read Joshua 1:9 and remember this promise!

  1. Have you ever had an experience like this?
  2. Are you normally rendered speechless?
  3. Is it easy for you to passionately share about things you believe in?
  4. What is your favorite verse that supports the belief that Jesus is the Only Way?

Then Jesus said…

I aim to make this short and sweet because I think it is so important. You must know the truth – not the truth according to me, or your pastor, or your best friend or even your mama. You must know the truth and you must let that truth dwell inside of you. If you do not actively pursue that truth, you will be misled – even by well-meaning people.

The ultimate Truth is God’s Word. Everything you hear should be tested upon God’s Truth. When you read or hear from me, it is my prayer that you will open your bible and find the truth for yourself and that if I am wrong that you will lovingly bring it to my attention!

We cannot bend the truth to make it feel good or sound good or to ease our conscious. We cannot dwell with God if we do not know God! We cannot know God without knowing His Word! A shelf full of bibles and attending church every Sunday may “look” good but I encourage you to take the bibles off the shelf, carry them with you (as you do your cell phone)  and get to know the words inside. Get to know the God who gives life! Seek Him and your life will be changed for eternity!

Don’t take my word for it.  Open His Word and see for yourself!

“Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, ‘If you continue in my word, you really are my disciples. You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'”

John 8:31-32 CSB

Seek the Truth! Know the Truth! Share the Truth! Be well! Take time to Dwell!

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John 14:6-7 CSB

Lord, thank you! thank you for giving us your word so that we may know you! Thank you for seeking us and giving us the desire to seek you! Thank you for giving us the tools to know the truth and to be alert when we hear untruths! We ask you to be with us, guide us and be with those who do not know your truth. May we be beacons of your light for all to see. You are the way, the truth and the life! Forever and ever! Amen

 

 

 

Are your burdens heavy?

It’s hard to feel at peace, have sanctuary or dwell with God when we are feeling burdened!

I share in the video today how we can ease those burdens and better be able to dwell with Him.

Disclaimer: I think the audio might be a little off from the video- No idea how or why but please excuse the inconvenience.

 

  1. What burdens are you carrying today?
  2. What is one thing you can do today to lay that burden at the feet of Jesus?
  3. Do you have a go to verse or worship song when you are feeling weighed down?