2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – Psalm 23 – Is

Psalm 23

Understanding my benefits, my tools, my source.
Things that anyone should know to be prepared for battle!

LORD – Who?

THE – or part 2

This will be in two parts.

First – what do these words have to do with preparation?
When soldiers are preparing for battle, they get into physical shape, mental shape, and spiritual shape. They also build a community, and get to know their up line officers.
In addition, they learn their weapons. Which ones, and how to use them.

Psalm 23 is completely full of the keys to all of this, in light of preparing for the battles that will come into every life.

Second – IS

Is what?
exactly!

IS
From Dictionary.com
Is
verb
1.
3rd person singular present indicative of be.

BE

bē/Submit
verb
1.
exist.

From Merriam Webster:
1
a : to equal in meaning : have the same connotation as : symbolize
God is love
January is the first month
let x be 10

This word, used in connection with the Divine Creator, draws some interesting correlations.

The Lord IS
we could say, The Lord IS.

Exodus 3:14
And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you.

This is a bit difficult to comprehend, why I am so excited about the word “IS”.
For this, I’m going to just reference this from Matthew Henry Commentary on Exodus 3:14

Two names God would now be known by. A name that denotes what he is in himself, I AM THAT I AM. This explains his name Jehovah, and signifies,
1. That he is self-existent: he has his being of himself.
2. That he is eternal and unchangeable, and always the same, yesterday, to-day, and for ever.
3. That he is incomprehensible; we cannot by searching find him out: this name checks all bold and curious inquiries concerning God.
4. That he is faithful and true to all his promises, unchangeable in his word as well as in his nature; let Israel know this, I AM hath sent me unto you. I am, and there is none else besides me. All else have their being from God, and are wholly dependent upon him. Also, here is a name that denotes what God is to his people. The Lord God of your fathers sent me unto you. Moses must revive among them the religion of their fathers, which was almost lost; and then they might expect the speedy performance of the promises made unto their fathers.

Here are just a few other places that say so much, because of this word:

John 8:58
“Truly, truly, I tell you,” Jesus declared, “before Abraham was born, I am!”

Revelation 8:1
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come–the Almighty.

Psalm 90:2
Before the mountains were born, before You gave birth to the earth and the world, from eternity to eternity, You are God.

The interesting thing I’ve noticed when looking at the Strong’s concordance, IS is not in the original, if I understand it correctly.
It is there to point to SHEPHERD.
Yet, I think that it is also an excellent reminder that The Lord OUR Lord IS!
And, in response to the previous post on THE – the uniqueness of Our LORD is that He is alive!

Revelation 1:8
I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Amen!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

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2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – Psalm 23 – THE

My thoughts on Psalm 23 in relationship to Preparation for my walk with Jesus, specifically, and my life in general.

Psalm 23

Psalm 23

Understanding the Benefits part one.

Psalm 23.
Understanding the benefits for those to whom the Lord is Shepherd.

the last posts was about the word “Lord”
There are several other words in the first phrase:

The
Lord
is
MY
Shepherd

THE

The definition of “the” by Mirriam Webster.
definite article \ for emphasis before titles and names or to suggest uniqueness \

UNIQUENESS!
used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else
: very special or unusual
: belonging to or connected with only one particular thing, place, or person

This is not just a word to be overlooked as part of the poetry of Psalm 23. It is indicative of another very key part of Who the LORD is.

Deuteronomy 6:4
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Exodus 20:3
“You shall have no other gods before me.”

And this command contains a reason:

Deuteronomy 5:
6 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
7 “You shall have no other gods before me.

Jesus spoke of the first commandment in this way:

Mark 12:29
And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:

And this was not a NEW thing…even the scribes and pharisees understood this concept:

Mark 12:32
And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:

The Strongs Concordance defines

ONE this way:
εἷς heîs, hice; a primary numeral; one:—a(-n, -ny, certain), + abundantly, man, one (another), only, other, some. See also G1527, G3367, G3391, G3762.

There are implications here that there are other gods…just none like Yehovah.
It is clear, that we can put other gods above HIM, or HE would not exhort us to NOT put others above, or before Him.

I put this quote in my signature line, from My Utmost for His Highest. It reminds me why I do what I do, and it reminds me to check what is the highest priority in my life:

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear. If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” – from My Utmost for His highest

There are many things that can come before THE LORD in our lives – and we each have our own that we need to take down.
I’ve had

  • things
  • people
  • places
  • and then,

  • fear
  • depression
  • and anxiety.

Often folks don’t realize that those last ones can be idols.
IF things stand between me and my faith in the Lord – or if I run to other things, instead of the Lord – I have put those things up as an idol in my heart. Ouch? Yep – it’s ouchy. Because I am an advocate for mental illness and making it less stigmatic, but more understood and helped.
That doesn’t change what my heart sometimes does – by putting the depression before the Lord! Listening to the words of the enemy rather than focusing on the Words of the Lord.
Running to others for consolation, rather than running to the Lord my counselor and comforter. Even more questionable about being an idol is that I have run to food as my comforter. Food. an Idol. For me, yes.

Each of us have our own things, tangible or not, that we run to instead of Jesus.
Each of us have our own things that we embrace, when God asks us to do something.
Each of us has something that we have or do or struggle with that can come between us, and God.
That is an idol. We should put away all idols…especially those that are in hearts!

Ephesians 4:22-24
22You were taught to put off your former way of life, your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;
23to be renewed in the spirit of your minds;
24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:25- 27 & 30-31
25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are members of one another.
26“Be angry, yet do not sin.”c Do not let the sun set upon your anger,
27and do not give the devil a foothold.

30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, in whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, outcry and slander, along with every form of malice.
32Be kind and tender-hearted to one another, forgiving each other just as in Christ God forgave you.

So many of these are emotions, wounds, and feelings of being wronged!
UNFORGIVENESS???
It’s not worth it, and it separates us from fully entering into the joy of our Lord!

Here’s one I didn’t post:

Ephesians 4:
29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

There is a why to this all…THEREFORE – SINCE…

Hebrews 12:
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

1 Peter 2:1-2

It’s because of Jesus – the God-Man, the incarnate God. The only ONE.

Jesus is the ONE – and is different than any other religion’s savour or messiah. UNIQUE!
There is no other.

Acts 4:12New International Version (NIV)

12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

1 Timothy 2:5
For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus

Just looking around the world, we know that there are various deities…but, in this psalm, we are talking about THE God.
The God that created the heavens and the earth.
The God that Adam and Eve sinned against.
The God that provided a sacrifice for Adam and Eve in the garden,
and promised to provide a sacrifice for mankind – and did at the cross.
Other religions have martyrs.
They are dead.
Christianity has the Christ, that died, paying the price for our sins…BUT IS NOW ALIVE! taking death captive!
The ONE way to heaven, with the ONE God, manifested in three persons.

THE –
The definition of “the” by Mirriam Webster.
definite article \ for emphasis before titles and names or to suggest uniqueness \

UNIQUENESS!
used to say that something or someone is unlike anything or anyone else
: very special or unusual
: belonging to or connected with only one particular thing, place, or person

This word is designating WHICH Lord – THE Lord.

Another Unique aspect of THE Lord?
The gift of the Holy Spirit – to come, teach, guide, comfort and counsel us. GOD living in us!

John 14:26King James Version (KJV)

26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

And that Holy Ghost dwells within us!

1 Corinthians 3:16
Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

This – THIS – is what makes THE Lord so unique:

2 Corinthians 6:
The Temple of the Living God
14 Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?
15 What accord has Christ with Belial?[b] Or what portion does a believer share with an unbeliever?
16 What agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; as God said,

“I will make my dwelling among them and walk among them,
and I will be their God,
and they shall be my people.
17 Therefore go out from their midst,
and be separate from them, says the Lord,
and touch no unclean thing;
then I will welcome you,
18 and I will be a father to you,
and you shall be sons and daughters to me,
says the Lord Almighty.”

THIS is what THE is all about!

This is a beautiful meditation video. Enjoy!

My prayer is that those who read this post will be blessed to know the beauty of the Love of the Lord as their shepherd!

And this is an upbeat song…my prayer!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 Word for the Year – Prepare – understanding my benefits

Psalm 23.
Understanding the benefits for those to whom the Lord is Shepherd.

The Lord is my Shepherd by Keith Green

In 2011, I prepared a Bible Study for several women at an RV park in which we lived.

PSALM 23 – 11/15/2011

A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.

2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,

3 he restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Shepherd/sheep
Ps 100:3; Ps 79:13
John 10:11 & 14; 27-28

Provide:
Phil 4:19
Matt 6:25ff; Lk 12:30-32
Ps 84:11

Peaceful Place/ Peaceful heart
Ps 29:11; Is 26:3
Rev 7:17; 22:17
Mk 4:9; John 14:27, John 16:33

Yesterday, while I was meditating upon the Lord and His word, I checked out the Bible Promise for the day.Promise 269.

When you walk through the valley of death

When you walk through the valley of death

Today, I’m meditating on Psalm 23. Not specifically verse 4, but, the fullness of Psalm 23, in providing so much for me to make it through life’s storms.

Psalm 23

Psalm 23

THE LORD
Definition of lord
1
: one having power and authority over others:
a : a ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to whom service and obedience are due
b : one of whom a fee or estate is held in feudal tenure
c : an owner of land or other real property
d obsolete : the male head of a household
e : husband
f : one that has achieved mastery or that exercises leadership or great power in some area
2
capitalized
a : god 1
b : jesus

There is much in the Bible about the LORD. Of course, this depends upon one’s beliefs, but for me, this is the part of the definition of GOD’s position:

1
: one having power and authority over others:
a : a ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to whom service and obedience are due

It’s difficult for me to separate WHO GOD is, with Who I believe HIM to be.

CREATOR
The
Hebrew from Strongs says this word is Yehovah.
It’s the same word used for the creator in Genesis 2.

יְהֹוָה Yᵉhôvâh, yeh-ho-vaw’; from H1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jeho-vah, Jewish national name of God:—Jehovah, the Lord.

Genesis 2:4 This is the history of [the origin of] the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day [that is, days of creation] that the [a]Lord God made the earth and the heavens—

Continuing on in the Bible, it is evident that the LORD has his fingers in everything that effects mankind.

For anyone’s research pleasure, Blue Letter Bible has a comprehensive list of the use of the word Yehovah!

DELIVERER
The only reason the Israelites were at the Mountain to receive God’s commandments, was that HE delivered them from the slavery of Egypt.

a quick google for God as deliverer produces a Bible Verse list on deliverance of God as deliverer.

The Song of Moses after the exodus!
Exodus 15

Exodus 15
1
Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this [a]song to the Lord, singing,

“I will sing to the Lord, for He has triumphed gloriously;
The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea.
2
“The Lord is my strength and my song,
And He has become my salvation;
This is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

Psalms 50:14-16
14″Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving And pay your vows to the Most High;
15Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me.”
16But to the wicked God says, “What right have you to tell of My statutes And to take My covenant in your mouth?…

GOVERNOR
When God met Moses on the mount, and gave him the 10 commandments, he described himself thus:

Exodus 20 Then God spoke all these words:

2 “I am the Lord your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.

4 “You shall not make for yourself any idol, or any likeness (form, manifestation) of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth [as an object to worship].
5 You shall not worship them nor serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous (impassioned) God [[a]demanding what is rightfully and uniquely mine], visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers on the children [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers], to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
6 but showing graciousness and steadfast lovingkindness to thousands [of generations] of those who love Me and keep My commandments.

7 “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain [that is, irreverently, in false affirmations or in ways that impugn the character of God]; for the Lord will not hold guiltless nor leave unpunished the one who [b]takes His name in vain [disregarding its reverence and its power].

Gen 17:17-18
Psalms 50:7; 81:10
Isaiah 44:6; 45:5-6
Jeremiah 10:10-11

When Moses had to replace the tablets, he begged God to show him HIS glory. Moses wanted to know God better. This is how God described HIMself.

Exodus 33:
18 Then Moses said, “Please, show me Your glory!”
19 And God said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the Name of the Lord before you; for I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show compassion (lovingkindness) on whom I will show compassion.
20 But He said, “You cannot see My face, for no man shall see Me and live!”
21 Then the Lord said, “Behold, there is a place beside Me, and you shall stand there on the rock;
22 and while My glory is passing by, I will put you in a cleft of the rock and protectively cover you with My hand until I have passed by.
23 Then I will take away My hand and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.”

When they were done with the new tablets, God granted his request:

Exodus 34
5 Then the Lord descended in the cloud and stood there with Moses as he proclaimed the Name of the Lord.
6 Then the Lord passed by in front of him, and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth (faithfulness);
7 keeping mercy and lovingkindness for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin;
but He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting (avenging) the iniquity (sin, guilt) of the fathers upon the children and the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers].”

There is another aspect of LORD that holds great meaning indicated in that visitation from God.

JUDGE
He will judge the quick and the dead.

The Song of Moses(from Ex 15) is spoken about in Revelation 15:1-4…the end.
From the Beginning (Genesis) to the end (Revelation) – the LORD is involved in the lives of man.

Song of Moses by Chris Codding
By Paul Wilbur

Romans 14:12 12 So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.

1 Peter 4:5 But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.
2 Tim 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom:

Creator, Deliverer, Governor and Judge.
The verses point to Christ within the context of LORD.

Romans 14:9
For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.

2 Corinthians 5:10
For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

Acts 10:42
James 5:9

Oh Lord, You’re Beautiful by Keith Green

The next important part is the response to WHOM HE is.
It gets personal.

THE LORD IS MY

I’m going to stop here – and discuss MY the next time.

How does this apply to PREPARE?
Before one goes into battle, one must know his/her weapons and armor, and how to use them. By the time I get to walking in that valley of the shadow of death, I need to KNOW my shepherd, and KNOW what HE will do for me, and what I can do for myself.

This Psalm came before Psalms 91, and before Ephesians 6.
God putting forth HIS hand to cover Moses is a beautiful illustration of God’s protection, and understanding of our form, and what we need and don’t need.
To be prepared, I have had to hide God’s word in my heart – that I not sin against HIM.

I pray that my thoughts can bless those that read this.
I am so far from getting this right, but I’m willing to share my journey with you.

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2016 – word for the year – Prepare – for Jesus’ Return

Today is Good Friday for 2016.

The story was started on Christmas Morning.
This is something I try to read every Christmas – and Easter:

Today commemorates the whole focus of Christianity, save one part.
Today commemorates the day that a perfect man took upon himself the cost, the debt, that every man, woman or child incurs by our flesh. I am a sinner.
Romans 3:23(Amplified)

since all have sinned and continually fall short of the glory of God,

No one is able to walk perfectly – because we continue to sin.

Romans 3:10(AMP)

10 As it is written and forever remains written,

“There is none righteous [none that meets God’s standard], not even one.

It has been this way since the beginning of time – we sin.

Romans 5:12 (AMP)

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, so death spread to all people [no one being able to stop it or escape its power], because they all sinned.

Because God is the creator of everything, and the master of heaven, he makes the rules.
God is so holy that no unrighteousness can appear in his presence.
Because one fell that is now our enemy, and we tend to follow in his steps, there is a price to pay for sin.

Romans 6:23a(AMP)

23 For the wages of sin is death,

And yet, God is so loving, he provided a way to pay for that debt.

Romans 6:23b (AMP)

but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

That debt is death, and He chose to pay that debt HIMSELF.

Romans 5:8(AMP)

8 But God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

He paid a debt He did not Owe.

Randy Matthews from 1972 – Didn’t He

I want to thank Teen Missions for their Romans Road page. There is additional explanation for these points on that webpage, and there is another part of this story, that is Easter Morning.

The Romans Road IS the Preparation for Jesus Coming.
Because He IS coming again – just as He said.

Hebrews 9:28(AMP)

28 so Christ, having been offered once and once for all to bear [as a burden] [a]the sins of many, will appear a second time [when he returns to earth], not to deal with sin, but to bring salvation to those who are eagerly and confidently waiting for Him.

The Open Bible website has compiled verses about Jesus’s Second Coming.

When Jesus returns there is one thing that he will be looking for. And that is faith.

Luke 18:8(AMP)

8 I tell you that He will defend and avenge them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find [this kind of persistent] faith on the earth?”

2 Chron 16:9a(AMP)

9 For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His.

It starts at the cross.
The first step to prepare for Jesus’ return is to go to the cross, and be cleanse by the blood of the Lamb – Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:17-19

17If you address as Father the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth;
18knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers,
19but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.…

Make sure that you have confessed your belief in Jesus:
Romans 10:8-10(AMP)

8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word [the message, the basis] of faith which we preach—
9 because if you acknowledge and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord [recognizing His power, authority, and majesty as God], and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
10 For with the heart a person believes [in Christ as Savior] resulting in his justification [that is, being made righteous—being freed of the guilt of sin and made acceptable to God]; and with the mouth he acknowledges and confesses [his faith openly], resulting in and confirming [his] salvation.

And, there is a recipricating act for our gratitude for being saved from the debt of sin:
1 Cor 6:19-20(AMP)

…19Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

and back to Romans:
Romans 12:1(AMP)

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.

And how do we live this(with an extra footnote from the Amplified Bible):
John 13:34(AMP)

34 I am giving you a new commandment, that you [a]love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too are to love one another.

Footnotes:

John 13:34 The key to understanding this and other statements about love is to know that this love (the Greek word agape) is not so much a matter of emotion as it is of doing things for the benefit of another person, that is, having an unselfish concern for another and a willingness to seek the best for another.

Jesus wrapped up the 10 commandments into two:
Matthew 22:36-40(AMP)

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
37 And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and greatest commandment.
39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly seek the best or higher good for others].’
40 The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”

And this rolls back to Love…Love is patient, Love is kind, Love is not envious nor rude….1 Cor 13.

1 John 4:7-12(AMP)

7 Beloved, let us [unselfishly] [a]love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God and knows God [through personal experience].
8 The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God [does not and never did know Him], for God is love. [He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
9 By this the love of God was displayed in us, in that God has sent His [One and] only begotten Son [the One who is truly unique, the only One of His kind] into the world so that we might live through Him.
10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [that is, the atoning sacrifice, and the satisfying offering] for our sins [fulfilling God’s requirement for justice against sin and placating His wrath].
11 Beloved, if God so loved us [in this incredible way], we also ought to love one another.
12 No one has seen God at any time. But if we love one another [with unselfish concern], God abides in us, and His love [the love that is His essence abides in us and] is completed and perfected in us.

It all starts at the cross.

This is one of the songs that focuses my heart:
As sung on the Voice:

Here is the Old Rugged Cross with Lyrics, if you prefer.

Today is the day that I refresh my focus upon what Jesus did for me, how much he loves me, and how much it cost him to make a way for me to enter into Heaven.
My steps for preparing for Jesus’ return is to remember the cross – but also remember, that Sunday is coming!

https://youtu.be/YByT6wfdhJs

Worship with me!
Alan Jackson – Are you washed?

Jesus's Palms

Jesus’s Palms


Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, End Times, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2016 word for the year – Prepare – your marriage

Marriage thoughts in the Valentine’s month. Of Course!
I know it’s trite – February being Valentines month(well, the first half is full price, the second is 50% off!).
Marriage is always 100%.
Sometimes it’s 150% depending on the circumstances, and events.
It never goes on sale, and the cost is never reduced. Everything. It costs everything!

There is only one relationship that merits more effort, more focus, more devotion, and more commitment. That, of course, is your relationship with Jesus Christ. Honestly, I have no idea how someone can make a marriage work without being able to lean upon an omniscient, omnipotent, all compassionate Lord.

I wrote twice so far about marriage:
Marriage tools 1
Marriage tools 2
These will help to fix a broken marriage. These came out of our time at the Smalley Institute’s Marriage Intensive REIGNITE based upon the book DNA of Relationships.

The best idea is to prepare your marriage before you get married, and Jim and I truly did.

  • We went through two premarriage counseling sessions,
  • and we spent the 9 months between engagement and wedding separated by states(Jim was at Purdue, I was working in my hometown).
  • We traded notes from our individual church services,
  • and when we were together, we were attending the fellowship where we met.
  • In fact, we were both baptized in the same river, out back from the Barn!
  • Our first time together was based around being late to a summer retreat, and we both needed to catch up on the Bible Studies.
  • After we caught up, we just continued to do them together.
  • We abstained until marriage(though we were unwise in some necking)
  • We researched marriage traditions, and threw out the occult ones, and made our wedding an evangelistic event, sharing our faith.
  • Once married, We attended churches that were preaching solid Bible,
  • and we did our own Bible Studies.
  • We prayed together nightly, and at every meal, even in public before it was “cool” to do so as Christian.

But shortly after our wedding, I knew something was wrong.
I think Jim did, too. We could not discuss things that were crucial to the running of a partnership. We didn’t realize it then, but we were butting heads and we didn’t know why. It didn’t help that in the first 10 years of our marriage,

  • two parents died(one in the first month),
  • and I was pregnant or nursing 5 babies and two miscarriages from 1981 to 1988.(five babies in 6 years)
  • Then, I had major surgery – and health issues started.
  • STRESS!
  • Jim left Purdue and the degree he was focused upon,
  • worked in various entry level jobs,
  • found a new love(computers),
  • went back to school full time,
  • and of course, there were money issues. Always money issues.

And we still couldn’t communicate!
WHY???

We didn’t know how to prepare our marriage from the beginning – and in the midst of the storms of life, the holes in our marriage ship were not getting the attention they deserved. We were sinking.

We got a hand with Marriage Encounter – we found out that we were really thinking the same thing, but we couldn’t communicate it verbally. Unfortunately, life hit us and we never had the chance to really learn the technique.

Health issues with me, with the children, and money just slipping through our hands, and we were at our wits end.

We were both counseled over and over to leave the other. Again, no help to stay together, no help on how to listen and communicate.

My heart started to change once I realized that Jim spoke a different language(Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman), and that He was a different animal(The treasure Tree, by Gary Smalley and John Trent) Two Sides of Love is the adult version.
Jim read books by Douglas Wilson that affirmed his position in the marriage. But we also got a lot of bad information from errors preached from the pulpit, and our own wounds and personalities.

We are opposites in every way. No matter what test is done on us, other than confirming that Jesus Christ is Lord of our life, we are opposites! I’m not going to list them all here. Let’s just leave it that we’ve been told by pastors that we should never have married! THANKS for the help!

After one particularly hard time, I drew this to ilustrate what was going on in our marriage. We are like onions (thanks Shrek!), and we are under attack.

opposite hearts

opposite hearts

We wanted a marriage based upon our love for Jesus Christ, but our flesh and the attacks of our life were just dragging us down. Our marriage did not have the preparation it needed, and our foundation was badly shaken.

Prepare for your marriage, and prepare your marriage for storms!

  1. base you marriage on the word of God
  2. are you going to follow the word, and not divorce?
    are you going to commit, covenant, before GOD that you will do all in your power to make this work? easy to say on day one, but it’s crucial, and this is the #1 key that has kept Jim and I together!

  3. base your faith on the word of God
  4. Your walk with God is more important than your marriage. and it is most important that you walk with God FOR your marriage.

  5. base your relationship on the word of God
  6. This sounds very obvious, but this is one that we did not do.

    • Love one another as I have loved you!
    • Esteem one another more highly than yourself
    • Submit to one another
    • Love thy neighbor as thy self
    • Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
    • If we live by the Spirit, let is also walk in the Spirit(Gal 5)
    • 1 Corinthians 13
    • Matthew 5, 6, 7
    • Love your enemies (yes, this one applies sometimes!)
  7. Base your communication upon understanding of each other
  8. This is where learn each other’s love languages comes into play.
    This is also where The DNA of relationships, and the Smalley Marriage Intensive comes into play. LEARN HOW TO COMMUNICATE!

  9. Base the fight on KNOWING WHO THE ENEMY IS! AND ISN’T!
  10. There was a reason that you were married. You weren’t in competition. It was you and me against the World! you and me became WE!
    It is the enemy of the saints that prowls around looking for whom he can destroy – to steal, kill and destroy. JOIN FORCES AGAINST HIM!

  11. LOVE ONE ANOTHER
  12. Here is my favorite prayer template for 1 Cor 13

    Love Check up, from Sylvia Gunter, The Father's Business

    Love Check up, from Sylvia Gunter, The Father’s Business

    This booklet has taught me how to check my own heart, and there are many prayers for the family in this booklet.

    Prayer Portions for the Family

    Prayer Portions for the Family

    It is available at The Father’s business for only $7! and no, I don’t get anything for posting this!

  13. Base your focus upon PRAYING for your spouse
  14. That little book has a wonderful set of prayers for your spouse and your children.
    Of course, there are many options for praying for your spouse online now. Just do it.

  15. Base your own walk upon Confessing your own SIN
  16. Oh, this was hard!
    If there is nothing you can think to confess, go through 1 cor 13, or Gal 5 and ask yourself “have I been loving, patient, kind…?”

    • Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God – and he will lift you up in His time!
    • Confess your sins one to another that you may be healed!
    • and then there’s 1 John…how can you say you love God whom you have not seen and you do not love your brother(sister)that you have seen!

    Very difficult to not be humbled when you prepare your heart to pray.

  17. Base your communications upon FORGIVENESS
  18. Matt 6:14-15

    For if you forgive other people when they sin agaisnt you, your HEAVENLY fATHER WILL ALSO FORGIVE YOU. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    OUCH!! This is an eternal, life and death issue!
    and shouldn’t it be clearly practiced in our homes?

We should be examples to the world.
John 13:34-35

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.
By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

February has been a consistently hard month for our marriage. There are reasons, but, I’m not going to share them here!
This February, I learned much about preparing for storms that would attack our security in marriage. I utilized these tools above, as well as some fasting and prayer, as spoken of by Jesus(Matt 17:21), and Isaiah(Is 58:6), to set the captives free.

Honestly, the biggest issues in our marriage has been being captive to our past, our personalities, our family culture, and our love languages. As we’ve worked through issues, we have focused on the Truth. And God promises that the truth shall set us free(John 8:32)!

Enjoy this song by Sanctus Real, and the story behind it!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – Marriage tools 2

I wrote recently about how God is preparing our marriage for, well, whatever. We started repairing our marriage by attending a Smalley Institute Marriage Intensive. I shared some marriage tools in Marriage Tools 1.

I admit, I did not think that this was going to work for us. I was, however, compelled(by my commitment, and by God’s constant reminding) to do my part. We were instructed to pray 1 Cor 13, personalized for the two of us. Like this:

4 Love is patient,
I will love Jim.
I will be patient with Jim

love is kind.
I will be kind to Jim.

It does not envy,
I will not be envious or jealous of Jim.

it does not boast,
I will not boast to Jim.

it is not proud.
I will humble myself before God and with Jim.

And so on….
5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
8 Love never fails.

This is the NIV version.
The other versions have some additional twists….like verse 5 in KJV!

5 Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;

Here’s CEB:

4 Love is patient, love is kind, it isn’t jealous, it doesn’t brag, it isn’t arrogant,
5 it isn’t rude, it doesn’t seek its own advantage, it isn’t irritable, it doesn’t keep a record of complaints,
6 it isn’t happy with injustice, but it is happy with the truth.
7 Love puts up with all things, trusts in all things, hopes for all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.

Here is the version that will give me the most challenge:
Amplified Version:

4 Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant.
5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured.
6 It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail].
7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends].

I confess, I tried to get out of this assignment by pleading to go back to Galatians 5:22-23. But the Amplified Version really convicted me:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law.

“the result of His presence within us”
“unselfish concern for others”

Those amplifications of being in the Spirit and love really threw me back to this assignment – praying 1 Cor 13:4-8 over Jim, as I confessed and asked God for grace and mercy to follow His path.

What happened?
I changed.
I have heard so often that if you pray for someone, you will love them more. Yeah yeah yeah! I pray for Jim – and not for him to change. That wasn’t changing me!
This changed me.

Try it.
I dare you!

Praying God’s word is powerful…especially if you are praying it over yourself!
Warning! This could change you forever!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

2016 Word of the Year – Prepare – Marriage tools 1

This year, God has put the word PREPARE upon my heart for meditation.

  • Prepare ye the way of the Lord – as John the Baptist cried out.
  • Prepare for the storm/battle ahead – as in put on the full armor of God, as Paul exhorted the Ephesians.
  • Prepare to give an accounting for your days – as in Teach me to number my days that I may apply my heart to wisdom.

This journey is not mine alone, because I am not alone. I have been married to my husband for almost 36 years(this year). While we will stand alone before the Lord to give an accounting of our lives for Him, we do walk in this life together. What happens to me, effects him, and vice versa.

This past week, we have attended a Marriage Intensive, through the ministry of Michael and Amy Smalley. There is an online course, ReIgnite your Marriage. We decided to take a trip to the Houston, Texas area, and do one in real life. Our coach, Gil Martin, was amazing, and very well versed in the material, as well as the Life handbook, the Bible. I’m not going to tell you that it was easy. I’m not even going to tell you that Jim and I got all of our issues taken care of in this three day, 8 hours a day, session. What I can say is that these principles are based upon the Rock of Jesus Christ, and even basic conflict resolution skills and communication skills, but applied to the person in your life that can most easily get under your skin.

What I can also say is that this is preparation to move forward in our marriage. We’ve been given the tools. We’ve been pointed to the one that loves us enough to die for us, and asks us to live love for each other. By God’s grace, we can learn to move past 36 years of disconnection, and move together in HIS direction.

But that’s not what this blog is about.
As we were working through some of the material, I remembered one of the tools that Jim and I came up with years ago, and it helped us to connect. Why we stopped is probably why everyone stops doing something that works with their spouse – someone got angry, someone got hurt, and neither one knew how to get out of that cycle. While we did use this tool, we were growing together.

I’d like to share this tool with you.
P-R-A-I-S-E

  • First, we purchased a spiral notebook. I picked out some cutsey ones that had hearts on them, somewhere near valentines day.
  • Second, we chose individual colors. My color is blue, and Jim’s is red.
  • Then, we set aside time to meet over breakfast each morning.

P-PRAISE (GOD)

blue – Praise God from whom all blessings flow
I read mine to Jim.

red – Praise God who blesses us with every good thing
Jim reads his to me.
if there are questions, here is where we ask them.
(sometimes this gets even more specific, but this is the idea)

R-REVELATION (WHAT HAS GOD BROUGHT TO YOUR HEART TODAY?)

blue – Ps 15 talks about who shall abide in God’s tabernacle, ending with “He that doeth these things shall not be moved” while Ps 16 starts with “Preserve me O God; for in thee do I put my trust!” Even though the Psalmist was given a list of things with a promise, he knew he had to cry out for grace and help from God!

red – Ps 1 progression. blessed is the man that
walketh not – community circles
standeth not – social circles
sitteth not – at home

A-APPRECIATION (OF YOUR SPOUSE)

blue – thank you for coming to this intensive
red – thank you for giving me time to lie down

I-INFORMATION (SOMETHING THAT WE BOTH NEED TO KNOW)

blue – the spot on my neck is causing some headache pain
I have appointments almost everyday next week
we are meeting our friends sat at 8:30am

red – I have trips in the middle of the week
I have a presentation to prepare for
I need to study to retake a test

S-SUPPLICATION (PRAYER REQUESTS TO SHARE)

blue – healing for our ‘son’ in Ethiopia
prayers for friends dealing with cancer
Faith’s pregnancy and birth and plans

red – healing
tests
travel

E-EXALTATION (A SONG THAT THE LORD LAYS UPON OUR HEARTS)

blue – he that dwelleth in the secret place of the most high
shall abide under the shadow of the almighty…

red – the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord and he delights in his way…

Once we have shared back and forth, we then go to prayer together over the prayer requests, and any others. When we are done, we sing praises to God with the songs He laid upon our hearts.

This can take as long as an hour(I don’t think it ever has) and as short as 20 minutes or less.

There are so many way that this connects the two of us, and keeps us on at least a close similar page.

True confession – once Jim started traveling for his job, 3+ years ago, I was inflexible about how we would do PRAISE.
We tried it via email, but I missed the interactive part, and seriously, I wanted the pretty colored pages in the book for remembrance.
Via the phone didn’t work for me, because I really wanted to look into his eyes, and wanted him to look into my eyes!
Jim has worked on setting up video chatting, and really, that didn’t work so well until recently, with technological advances.

In order for this to work, both people need to disconnect from other things, and focus upon each other. That means, no computer, no tv, and no phone unless that is the device for the discussion!

This is just our take on various other versions of how to sit down and talk.

We’ve been to Marriage Encounter – and tried to learn to dialogue – but never got the follow up group, and we just never seemed to figure that out.

In this Smalley Intensive, they talk about LOVE talk.

There are many tools out there to teach conflict resolution, negotiation, communication, and respect. Pick one. Try it.

But understand, you are preparing for battle, and a storm is coming.
You aren’t battling your spouse,
but you are entering into battle with the one that comes to steal, kill and destroy.
Gather up some tools.
Practice.
and be PREPARED!

Me and My Love

Me and My Love

Thanks for joining me in this journey,
In His hands and under His wings,

~Christi
Ps 63:7 Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.

I want to thank Blue Letter Bible and Bible Gateway for the ability to search the Bible online.

“The Lord does not give me rules, but He makes His standard very clear.
If my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without hesitation.
If I hesitate, it is because I love someone I have placed in competition with Him, namely, myself.” –
from My Utmost for His highest

I’d love to hear what you think – please leave a comment!
Or choose to LIKE me on facebook, or other social media!
I’d love to stay in touch with you – we are working on email subscriptions…sign up! 
Soon, we will have a gallery for the art I have created by the hand of God.

There are many organizations that support children and families. Here is one that we are blessed to be a part of. Please consider sponsoring a child – the life you change could be your own.

Naomi’s Heart Ministries

Posted in Bible Thoughts, MyOneWord | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments