Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Got to love insecurity

Today has been one of those days that no matter how hard I've tried I've still managed to feel very insecure about myself.Those of you who know me real well know that i've come along way from where i was in my 'self-image' a year or two ago but i still have days like today where i just feel 'ugly.'

Days where i feel too fat, to tall, too hairy, that my teeth are too yellow, that i'm too out of shape..ect. ect and i try to to my best to focus myself off of me and on to something else and i lose the fight.

So on days like today (that will soon be over and tomorrow will begin a new day) I just try to make it by reminding myself of God's goodness and love for me even if my eye brows do need to be

Oh and I also read one of the most encouraging passages i think any woman could read
I may not be married but i like to think that this verse still applies to me :)

1 Peter 3:3-5

"Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in. The holy women of old were beautiful before God that way, and were good, loyal wives to their husbands. Sarah, for instance, taking care of Abraham, would address him as "my dear husband." You'll be true daughters of Sarah if you do the same, unanxious and unintimidated." -The Message

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. 4Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 5For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to make themselves beautiful. They were submissive to their own husbands," -NIV

3"Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;4But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.5For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands:"- KJV

"Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands," _NKJV

Friday, March 23, 2007

Beginning a War on a Promise and Command

Joshua begins his leadership and his campagin life just like every other man God selected throughout all of the Torah. God gave him a promise to trust and a command to keep. The war did not start because of politics, envy, or Joshua's oversized ego (the ego which God had to tell to be strong six times--three times in person, two times through the people, and once implied through a native harlot!) If it was up to the Ancient Israelites or Joshua, the Holy land might not be so contested in today's modern world.

God's commands to conquer are baffling to a modern mind entrenched with or against the war on terror. The modern day Islamic terrorist are labeled as militants with a destructive ideology(paraphrasing President Bush). Would the Israelites be labeled the same?*

Nevertheless, The first chapter does not deal with the justness of this war campaign, it simply assumes it. As Sara and I discussed priviately, you cannot miss the many times Joshua is told to be strong and very courageous. But not to simply be "mighty warrior king", God commands Joshua to be strong and courageous to keep the commands of the Torah, the Law. Why? Because that is the way he will be sucessful (otherwise translated wise, prudent, circumspect). So he must have it in his mouth (memorized, the only way to read the Old Testament unvoweled text**) and to meditate on (digest) it. Then he would be prosperous like the tree planted by the rivers of water.

Oh but the promise--the promise is better. The promise that stems all the way back to Abraham, the forefather and receipient of the gift Joshua is about to inherit. "I will be with You just as I was with Moses." Was this an unconditional promise? I would like my other theologically inclined friends chime in. Either way, it was the foundation for God's command, Joshua's courage and obedience, and the great Israelite invasion.

(*I will post on this further when we reach the battles described in Joshua)
(**Questions welcome, I will post a link to info on this topic eventually)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007


Joshua chapter 5 is a chapter that made me say "ouch!" I can't imagine what circumcision felt like for these men who were not circumcised in the desert.

Now i am sure that this chapter must have been significant in some way but my mind can't get beyond the "ouch!" Mainly because i know what the process of circumcision is and that it is usually performed on babies not on grown men and for obvious reasons a little child is not going to remember that kind of experience.

Maybe this was a way to help all the men of Israel remember exactly who the LORD is and what HE had done for them.

Carl, i need some of your 'old testament' studies on this one.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Memorial Stones:

Sometimes we need to just take a walk in the woods with Jesus as "Boss Man" from Bayouca would say and today was one of those days with me. But since there really isn't any quite woods around this area, at least none that I've been able to find, i settled for a park with an old trail and a log on the side of it. On that log, on that trail, in that park I met with Jesus and the God of the universe and we read from the book of Joshua chapter 3 and 4 the story of the Israelites crossing the river Jordan.

I've read this story before but what really stood out to me was what God commanded the Israelites to do after the crossing chapter 4 verses 2-3 says: "Take for yourselves twelve men from the people, one man from every tribe, and command them, saying, 'Take for yourselves twelve stones from here, out of the midst of the Jordan, from the place where the priests feet stood firm, You shall carry them over with you and leave them in the lodging place where you lodge tonight.' "

When i first read those verses i was said to myself "Why would God command them to take stones? Why would that be important?"Then as i continue to read i noticed in vs 6 that Joshua gives them a reason "that this may be a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, 'What do these stones mean to you?' Then you shall answer them that the waters of the Jordan were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it crossed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. And these stones shall be fore a memorial to the children of Israel forever." God commands his people to take something with them as a memorial of his wonderful work in their lives so that they won't forget (as people have a tendency to do) and they can pass down to generations that come the wonderful and mighty acts of the LORD of the heavens and of the earth.

As i finished reading these chapters I spoke with God and said "But you don't dry up rivers any more for a crossing, and you don't work in those ways any more to prove to others that you are God. So then how do we speak of you? What do we tell others about you? How do we proclaim your wonderful and mighty acts if you don't works in those ways anymore?"Then God speaks softly as he usually does "I do other things in your life don't I?"

It's true, he does do other things in my life that deserve just as much praise and remembrance that His work at the river Jordan does. But like the Israelites i can easily forget the ways that he has proven himself to be LORD.

So today I asked myself, why don't we have things, symbols, that remind us of a period of time where God changed us. Where he did something great that only he could do in our lives, like salvation, or providing through others love, mercy and grace. Why don't we have our own "memorial stones" laying in our houses or apartments that when we walk by remind us of God and what he has done. Things that when someone comes over they look at and say "What is that, and why do you have it in your house." Things that provide us opportunities to share with others Gods wonderful and mighty works in our own lives. Things that as verse 6 says may be "a sign among you when your children ask in time to come, saying, "what do these stones mean to you?'

I'm not saying that we all go grab a pile of stones to set in a corner of our living rooms every time God does something in our hearts but maybe we should look for a small random object that doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of our belongings so that when people see it they will ask "What is this to you?" and then we can share with them.

I have a small stick from my time spent with God today sitting on top of my own little "memorial stone" what can you do to help you remember God's faithfulness and deliverance in your own life?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Movies, letters, emails, and prayer (oh my!)- this is not the usual bible study.

So i stole that headline title from an email Carl sent me and added a little something extra to it (lol.) But that is still the basic concept of this post today.

Last night Carl and I spent over 3 hours on the telephone with one another, we made it our 'date night' spending the time in front of the television watching a movie 'together' (well as closely as together we could be) chatting about our day, thoughts of letters we received from one another the exact same day and emails we had reflected on; and some short time in prayer.
We had some great conversations as well as just fun knowing that all though we were apart we were still close.

Praise God for Cellular phones otherwise I'm not too sure how this relationship would be working for us lol!

Overall it was exactly what my heart needed (bear with me now this really does have a point to it.) Truth be told for over a week I've felt distressed and as if their was something lacking in my relationship with Carl and not because neither of us weren't doing the right things or talking enough but just because I'm a woman and have too many emotions to deal with all at

Their is definitely stress in a long distant relationship. It isn't all exactly a bed of roses. Carl and i have our ups and we still have our down and even times when we get annoyed with each other things that are common in every relationship, but what makes it really hard for at least me is the fact that we don't get to have 'date nights;' where we go out and do something fun to relieve the tensions that can come during a week of leading two different lives. And even though Carl and i have talked just about every single day this week there was still a gap between us. And Friday night helped to close that gap.

We may not have been in the same room but we were both still sitting down, watching the same movie in different places, on the phone with one another not having to speak much but just laughing and having a good time. It was a night where we just 'were still' with each other. And it was good....very good. What my soul was longing for.

Now all of this as I've said before does have a point. Sometimes we can spend every day with God. We will read our bibles, pray, have our time of worship but even in the midst of those things be distracted by what we've got next to do on our list; whether it be to get ourselves out of bed and go to work or to get ourselves to bed so we can get up and go to work the next day. We can still spend time with God and not feel like it was enough, and not be satisfied with that time but always wondering when a day would come where we wouldn't be surrounded by those distractions that keep our minds from him.

Then that time comes when we don't have something left to do on our list when we can just go be with God and have fun. Where we laugh with him or we cry with him or just tell him what he means to us and we spend minutes and even hours doing so with him. Not having to worry about the phone ringing or having to get up early for work the following day. We feel completely in his presence even when physically we are so far away from him.

I look back to last night and the time that i spent with Carl - just being still, not in a hurry, not worrying about having to go to work the next day, not wondering what else i should have gotten done before he called me but just being still with him, listening/watching a movie together, listening to him play the piano, chatting until we both couldn't keep our eyes open and praying that God would help bring us peace - and i think to myself how often i need that same kind of fun, laughing, praying, crying, peaceful time to just be in God's presence and not having to want more.

There will be times in the coming months where talking on the phone with Carl is not going to be satisfactory and i would probably be concerned if it was. But the same will come when reading my bible, and praying and being at church will not be satisfactory to my soul. Because just like i ultimately long to be with Carl in his physical presence i long the same to be with my Lord. I long for heaven, i long for real live personal conversations with Christ, i long for his hugs, and for his touch, i long to hear his voice and my soul won't be completely satisfied until it fully rests in Heaven with My SAVIOR. Just like i won't be fully satisfied with the telephone in my relationship with Carl. And i don't think i should settle....

Relationships just like life take time...and time isn't is just what it is. So as i continue to find ways to relax and have 'dates' with my boyfriend...i will continue to talk, pray, worship my savior from a distance...(in the physical aspect)...but just as Carl and my relationship grow from a distance, so will my relationship with Christ and all that time spent on the 'phone' will someday have its sweet reward in heaven and I will hug my savior, and i will kiss him and worship him and laugh with him and cry with him and

just be with Him.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

From my heart to yours.

What do you do when your heart is aching and you feel helpless?


Monday, March 12, 2007

A beautiful transformation

My boyfriend and I have started reading through the book of Joshua together and all though i may not be far along in our studies i must say i have benefited greatly through the experience.

I was reading Joshua chapter 2 the other night and the story of Rahab. I must admit the story of Rahab intrigues me.

I've heard plenty of sermons on Rahab and her faith and how many scholars believe Rahab to be a prostitute and that is why the Israelite spies went to her. I've also heard sermons preached on why many scholars believe that Rahab was trying to get out of the life of a prostitute, but what fascinates me most about Rahab's story beyond the linen she was hiding on her roof is what she had to say to the Israelite men after she hid them from the guards.

Verses 9-11 say " I know that the LORD has given you the land, that the terror of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land are fainthearted because of you. For we have heard how the LORD dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were on the other side of the Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. And as soon as we heard these things our hearts melted; neither did there remain any more courage in anyone because of you, for the LORD your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath...."

In that last verse in that last phrase Rahab expresses her own faith in the God of the Israelites...

I've heard many people question whether or not Rahab was sinning in lying to those guards but i think Rahab knew she would be sinning against the God of the Israelites if she would have turned them over to the city. By that last phrase i think rahab realized that it would be far better to lie to the guards than to sin against the God that enabled the Israelites to destroy all that stood against them. I think Rahab really understood the phrase "the fear of the Lord" but it was more than just fear that drove Rahab to hide the Israelites it was her faith that the LORD was exactly who he claimed to be...GOD.

I often think of the times that i run away from my adversaries, where i choose to hide my fears and my problems from those around me and how that isn't living in Faith, nor is it living by faith...Rahab acted in Faith...she made a decision of Faith that ultimately saved her life...had the guards found out that Rahab had lied her life would very well be endangered...she risked herself because she had faith...

I often wonder what areas of life i need to take a risk in, what areas i need to walk out in Faith and say and believe that the "LORD is the God of heaven above and on earth below"

This passage challenges me not to hide from my fears, not to run away from my adversaries but it also challenges me to by faith walk this journey of life with others, to align myself with the right allies, to go to people and turn to people in my weakest and darkest time and ask them for help. To ask them for prayer, to ask them for love and to have the faith that they will love and help me despite whatever sin i may have committed.

Whether or not Rahab was getting out of prostitution or still laying in it when the Israelites came to her she underwent a beautiful transformation of Faith...and wasn't afraid too stand by it when that knock came at the door.

I hope that i will continue to stand with faith whatever adversaries life may throw at me and i hope to continually find others standing with me to and helping to strengthen me but even when they aren't there and i find just myself standing alone i hope that I will continue to stand no matter what the odds may be, no matter how difficult the circumstance I want to find myself saying and proclaiming...

''The LORD your GOD, HE is God in heaven above and on earth below."