Monday, June 30, 2014

Finding Jehovah Shalom

Summer time usually brings us all a little more peacefulness!  The pace slows as families plan holidays and our schedules do not seem as ordered as during the other seasons of the year.  In our family, we really enjoy our screened porch and hearing the peaceful sounds of birds early in the morning flying about seeking and gathering their morning food.  There is a peace to the quietness of the morning we can all cherish.  It's a time for morning reflections and devotionals and prayer time for many.  What brings you peace in the early morning hours?  In the Bible in Judges 6, The Lord speaks to Gideon and blesses him with the words of peace in the morning. "Peace be unto thee; fear not....."  Peace is the opposite of fear and because of the word he was given, Gideon built an altar unto The Lord and called it Jehovah Shalom.  Even though Gideon had spoken personally with God,  as a man, he did not fully understand the fragility of the situation he had been placed in or been prepared for as a leader. God can use any situation for His glory and His purpose when we surrender our own plans as we see in this beautiful story from the Scriptures. God was planning to bring him full circle as a leader to accomplish a mission He had called Gideon for.  Trusting God means leaving the complete results to Him.  A peace comes when this trust is given. In the Hebrew shalom means "completeness, health, and welfare."  We all desire to be whole and complete and repaired or as I like to say "restored". Do you feel whole, if not, what separates you from this wholeness and peace?  In Colossians 3:14, we are encouraged to put on LOVE to achieve this virtue.  "Over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity."  This harmony can greatly be achieved in our relationships with others as well.  Today in our lives and in many families there is a lack of peace and a lack of contentment. Lives get tangled into the web of busy, busy, busy and the time to be quiet before The Lord and in His presence takes a back seat often for all of us.  Over the weekend, I was so blessed by a conference I attended with other women who love Jesus and desire to live more fully before Him. The word that the speaker, Beth Moore, taught on was "longing".  She asked the question throughout the day, "What is your longing?"  A longing is different from a desire because it is often long in coming to us, as in waiting.  She taught us that if we have a deep longing that comes often within our heart, then God has equipped us for it and that it will come.  It is similar to our calling in life.  So......on this morning, I pray that you and I will seek to know Jehovah Shalom and receive this peace of knowing Him and our purpose and our calling in life.  My place of peace and where I seek Him is a simple porch where I can be quiet in all the busyness of my life and begin by seeking to know God better and trust Him with the light and the direction that He desires to shed on my path. May your day be filled with peace and joy and love available to you this moment in the presence of Jehovah Shalom! In Zephaniah 3:17 the Word says, "The Lord your God is in your midst, The Mighty One, He will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing."

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Safely Home......

Jehovah Rohi
The Lord is My Shepherd

Guiding people can be interesting and also a challenge!  When my friends and I shared our holiday to England and France a few weeks ago, I had prepared for over a year to guide them with ease through two European countries. I learned, sometimes it's not always easy to guide or to follow! We had some good laughs over this later!  People get tired......but love guides, shows the best way, and goes along with changes.  The guide knows the goal and the dangers and the places where those following do not need to go.  The main goal is to guide and eventually make it safely back home.  We had so much fun together, but yes there were a few little challenges.  This is what makes life fun my opinion!  God is always teaching us and there are lessons to be learned along the way each and every day!

In the 23rd Psalm, David paints a picture of sheep being led to pasture by a Shepherd.  The Shepherd he describes is one who comes after the sheep and dwells with them and lovingly encourages them to lie down in the peaceful green pasture he has found and provides.  This would be the name Jehovah Rohi, the Shepherd who guides, someone who provides food and guidance and helps us along the way to get to this place where it can be found.  He carries us to clean waters where we can be refreshed and restored and filled.  He takes time, all the time necessary, to know us, to know our frame because His presence is with us as He guides.  It is in this Name Jehovah Rohi that we can sense His tenderness and love.  Have you ever needed tenderness? God's love is tender hearted, compassionate, and merciful.  Once restored and refreshed, we are able to be tender toward those who need us.  Kindness and compassion when guiding others into the sheepfold of the kingdom of God is the way The Lord brought me.  He was patient, He was kind, and He was a shepherd who became my Lord, my Jehovah Rohi.  A simple prayer for you today....Lord of love, I need your tenderness toward me. I need you o Lord of glory to be my guide, my Shepherd.  Amen

Psalm 16:11 
You have made known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Remembering the Wonders He Has Done.......

 "Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles and the rulings He has given"
 I Chronicles 16:12
Over the past few years that I've written my blog, I've shared my faith and the joys and blessings of each day!  I love being in my home and sharing my home with others....there is just no greater place for me and I enjoy sharing tips on decorating and finding fulfillment in things that matter about life, about family, about the beautiful world in which we live and of course decorating!!!! My sewing room/working space is a haven for me to create window treatments and other items of home decor' for clients and my family. 
My Sewing Room

Recently, I read a short article in a beautiful magazine, life....beautiful.  The author of a page in the magazine gave seven steps to fulfillment. Please allow me to share this with you as I truly was blessed by the words!

1. Make God your priority.
Matthew 6:25 & 33

2.  Know your purpose.
Romans 12:2

3.  Love Him like your life depends on it.
I John 4:16

4.  Stop following the world.
I John 2:15

5.  Read the Bible.  If you don't know
what Scripture says, you can't follow it.
Romans 15:4

6.  Trust the Bible is true.
Matthew 5:18

7.  Reduce the risk of temptation.  Don't be owned
by your stuff, the mall or Pinterest.
Luke 12:15

There are just some things that don't matter!

My husband and I have been blessed with good health and overall good lives, a good marriage, amazing children, an amazing daughter in law, amazing son in laws, and even more amazing grandchildren....6 thus far!  Mothering has, by far,  been my greatest joy even though a few times I tried working out of my home at a regular job (teaching school and educational positions) but I knew quickly that in my home, I could accomplish what number two says above.  Know your purpose.  Five babies came along within the first ten years of our marriage. Most people freak out when they find out, God allowed me to have four children with one working ovary! It is sort of funny in some ways, but much more serious when I have sat along side a young woman who so much longs for a child.  I freak out too, when I think on this as one was born when I still had two ovaries!  I  was given a miracle in these children and now that I am now wiser with this wisdom, I do not take these blessings or miracles lightly.  Wisdom is really a gift as well.

Seriously though, walking with God now, forty years, it surprised me when I found a wonderful book three years ago and began to plunge regularly into it's pages about WHO God truly is.  The book is called Knowing God By Name by David Wilkerson.   He grew up in a strict, legalistic church that was more about rules and dotting the i's than actually understanding who God is and about His caring and loving heart which is full of grace and mercy.  He began to understand as he read the words of the Bible that our Heavenly Father is one who rejoices over us in love, He is patient with our failures, and available at all times, offering counsel and ready to meet needs.  He began to understand the heart-knowledge of God's names.  In his study, he became aware that God revealed His name to His people only as they needed them in their moments of deepest crisis.  I have always loved the quote that "everything that God allows into our lives has been filtered through His loving hands."  Such peace this gives me as I encounter each day that I live as a gift from my Father's hand.  He has a purpose and a plan for each day.  

Over the next few weeks, I hope to share on my blog some of the wisdom that God has taught me about Himself with you.  Wisdom, if we are blessed to live to become older,  increases with age...... and I am grateful, so, so grateful to still be young enough to realize God is wisely teaching me about His purpose for my life and how I can share my love for Him with others. He gives us blessings so we can share and make a difference in the world. He wants us to love all people! I want to make a difference each day! I want to love deeper and laugh more and be all that HE would have me to be! It's not about choosing who to love but HOW to love......unconditionally and fully!!!!

The first name I will share is one of the first Names of God that I learned in my own walk with Him.

Jehovah Jireh

Rearing a rather large family and deciding to do this with one income, while I would stay at home as the mother in the home full time was an act of faith for us as a young couple.  My husband had a good job but early on, we learned that we would have to decide about certain material things.  We excitingly bought a new car soon after the birth of our second daughter, only to have to sell it within the first year because we couldn't afford the car payment.  My husband also changed jobs during the pregnancy of my third child and our insurance would not cover her delivery.  We studied and prepared all we could about bringing a baby home soon after birth and we did.....with the blessing of our physician and at two hours old, we left the hospital with her.  Looking back, I see how God was our Jehovah Jireh in these times of provision.  It is a name that speaks of provision. "Even before we call out to Him, our God answers.  Long before we are even born, He is at work forming and shaping the circumstances of our lives."  David Jeremiah

Do you have needs in your life? I know I do.  You can simply trust that God is the One whose very name magnificently encourages us to trust Him in all things. A prayer of faith is a beautiful prayer to our Father in Heaven.  He cares and He loves! As I continue to trust Him these 40 years later, I can say without a doubt that God does supply for every need.  It may not be in the way you or I plan or think, but HE will supply.  His desire is to bless you and honor you with His favor and delight. His love for you is like no other!  It is pure and selfless!!!The apostle Paul describes the full meaning of this name when he writes, "My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."  Philippians 4:19