What dwelling looks like

When I began this blog journey last fall, I had an idea God had placed on my heart but I wasn’t sure what that looked like and to be honest there have been many times I have wanted to quit. Thankfully, I have some wonderful and supportive people in my life who pray for me, ask hard questions and encourage me.

I haven’t been as active as I anticipated I would be and to be honest I have been a bit discouraged because you, dear reader, have not been as active as I thought you might be either. However, the goals I wrote with my accountability group in January included remembering my audience of one and share from the overflow.20180418_071735

I study and share because I believe this is what God had called me to do. He has NOT called me to measure your response not to seek approval from the World.

In our fast paced world I am attempting to slow down and really do what I saw by dwelling with God, in His Word and with His people. I am adding prayer to my daily task list. I am asking others to pray when I need more guidance. I am not rushing through time in His Word. This time looks different every day and let’s be honest some days it just doesn’t happen but oh the days I make this a priority are such good days! Part of this time in God’s Word has been spent in the book of Jonah. 4 chapters. I started on 03/17/2018. I haven’t made it to chapter 4 yet. I think this is the meaning of dwelling. Reading, rereading, underlining, writing notes in the margins. That’s it…and while I don’t visit Jonah every day, I see something new when I reread it everytime!!20180418_072453

My journey with Jonah isn’t a race. It’s a marathon. I appreciate the encouragement from my cheerleaders! Those who pray, those who offer me a drink when I am tired and thirsty and those who won’t let me quit. I do not know how long this marathon will last but I do know that God wants me to share with you what I am learning on the journey and I believe I need to do this in a better way than what I had been doing on the Facebook page.

So please, stick with me. Share your own Jonah stories if you have them. Join me in slowly reading and re-reading these words and pray for what is to be shared that it will not be rushed but put together and shared in God’s perfect timing.

“Those who cherish worthless idols abandon their faithful love, but as for me, I will sacrifice to you with a voice of Thanksgiving. I will fulfill what I have vowed. Salvation belongs to the Lord.” Jonah 2:8-9

Be well. Dwell with God, in His Word and with His People.

Are you a Jonah?

I’ve been quiet over here but have been slowing moving through the book of Jonah on the facebook page. https://www.facebook.com/gathering2dwell/

Have you read the book of Jonah? or are you relying on memories from the felt board at Sunday School. I encourage you to take a few moments and read through the book in one setting. Then head over to the facebook page and look for the posts regarding Jonah. I believe there are seven numbered steps. Pray for God to speak to you through his Word. Be honest! Ask yourself questions.

Are you behaving like Jonah? What is your Ninevah? Are you running towards God or as far down away from Him as you can get? Who can help throw you onto dry land?

 

I cant wait to hear from you!

Be well! Dwell in Him and in His Word and with His people!

Is your spirit different?

When my son was younger we had some difficult times with teachers. However, one teacher gave us hope! She seemed to see something beyond a young boy who wouldn’t sit still, listen or confirm to the standard box of “normal” first graders. She was sweet and kind and encouraging and she shared with us that the last thing she wanted to do as a teacher was to stifle that spirit and that uniqueness that made Nixon who he was. She was one of those rare teachers that adjusted her methods to reach her students rather than expecting those young students to adjust to her.
As I read in Numbers 14:24 about Caleb and how he is described as having a different spirit, I remembered this teacher and my own boy and thought about the few people in this world who have the courage to be different. Far too often we want to fit in the mold, do it like everyone else and not stand out, because…what if we are wrong?
When I looked up the word used to describe Caleb’s spirit the definition given was “disposition of various kinds, often unaccountable and uncontrollable impulse.” I am quite sure I used those same words to describe my son and I did not use them in a favorable fashion. Yet here I am, 4 years later and God is still using those moments to teach me lessons. Just maybe it is okay to have a different spirt – if spirit is under obedience of Our Lord.

Caleb could have been just like the other spies and other Israelites, but he was different and thus we find in Joshua 14:8 that Caleb followed God completely! While the others lost heart, Caleb was obedient and not just a little bit but completely! And Caleb was patient to see his reward. In fact, 45 years patient (that’s just a little bit less than my whole life time). The Bible tells us that Caleb stayed strong and did not neglect his daily tasks and ultimately, he was granted his reward and rest! Isn’t that we all want in the long run? Reward and rest!

We all have a mission field! That mission field does not have to be big and it does not have to be scouting foreign lands. Your mission field is wherever God puts you – in your home, with your family, your workplace, the Walmart checkout line and even on social media!
As I reflect on this lesson, I asked myself and now I ask you – Am I modeling complete obedience? Am I taking God with me or am I trying to go at it alone?

Where is your mission field today?
How can you celebrate having a different spirit that shows God you want to be like my son Nixon and like Caleb and not easily stuffed into a pre-described box?
Who else around you is showing a different spirit that needs to be celebrated?
God created us all individually – we are one of a kind and a piece of his workmanship- let’s rejoice in our differences today!

Comparisons!

Hi!

I have missed you so I recorded a quick 5 minute video this morning talking about comparisons and differences.

I will be giving away Nicki Koziarz new book Why Her? On Thursday so stay tuned and be sure to interact with me here, on Facebook and Instagram for your chance to win!

I encourage you to read Numbers 14 and Joshua 14 as I will be using these for an upcoming lesson. Let me know if you have questions after you read them!

I would LOVE to have you subscribe to receive these posts via email and if you think others might be blessed, please share!!!!

Be well and dwell with God, in His Word and with His people!

And remember: blessings follow obedience!

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!!!

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!