Drowning in simplicity

“The unfolding of your words gives light, it gives understanding to the simple.” Psalm 119:130“The unfolding of your word gives light….”

God desires to give us light and to have us live in His light. He wants to illuminate to us, who He really is and where He wants to send us.

Meditate on the light of God. Psalms also tells us that “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.”

It might be just enough light to illuminate one single step but rest assured, if you take one step in God’s light, He will provide the light for the next step, and the next and the next.

….”it gives understanding to the simple.”

This ending to the sentence gives such great hope. Opening the Bible is a daunting thing. This is a vast text of 66 books, with 1,189 chapters in those books, all perfectly inspired and guided entirely by God through approximately 40 men of diverse backgrounds over approximately 1500 years.

You don’t know where to start reading the Bible and some of the text is so deep it is confusing. It didn’t take long for me to decide that I was one of the “simple” that God was talking about.

The wonderful thing about God is, although we may be uneducated on things of the Bible, if we are willing to learn, He is willing to teach.

Psalm 119:105 says “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Don’t worry, God has the perfect plan to illuminate us and make us wise. He gives us the capacity to learn His word, the tools to learn His words and the drive to not just gather information but to gather the information with revelation and live that knowledge we have gathered.

One simple step on our part, opening the Bible, that is all it takes, God does the rest!

Dottie

…………..and so I ride

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I resolve not to resolve

I am not generally one for New Year’s resolutions, they usually get broken anyway. Plus anything worth making a New Year’s Resolution about is worth making a part of your life year round.

 

If I was a resolution maker one of the resolutions certainly would be to read my Bible more, understand it better and live it faithfully. But I am not so hang with me here.

 

This is something that I try to do daily but it is hard isn’t it? It is intimidating even before I open my Bible. I am a super-duper excuse maker; quite good at it I am told.

 

I’m tired, I’m busy, it’s boring, it’s too big, I don’t know where to start, I already know what it says, I hear it at church, or the best of all, I cannot understand it. I have probably said them all and I know I have heard them all and many more from others.

 

“I’m tired and I’m busy”. Yes, we live in a busy world and busy makes for tired. However, we always have time to eat and sleep. We never seem to lack the time to get on Facebook, watch movies, go fishing, camping, and motorcycle riding (sorry). We always find time for the things that are important to us, or the things we have fun doing.

 

“I don’t know where to start”, start at the beginning, in the middle, start right where a reading plan tells you to. I don’t think where you start reading your bible matters as much as when and if you start reading your bible.

 

“I already know what it says, I hear it at church” Yep but going to church for an hour a week will NEVER replace  reading and studying it for yourself, no matter how you try to spin it. After buying the newest, glitziest  handi-dandi gadget or the latest technology do you go home, put it together and use it as it was supposed to be used without reading the instructions (men please don’t answer this).

 

Then the excuse that is the granddaddy of them all, “I could never understand the Bible, it is ancient, irrelevant, confusing and over my head.  So I am not even going to try. I am going to give up before I crack a cover. Well, all I can say to this one is God has addressed it directly and it really leaves us very little wiggle room. Psalm 119:130 makes it pretty plain. 130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

If we dig in the Bible and unfold the words God has given us, we will understand. Our eyes will be opened and our mind illuminated as soon as we dig into the Bible.

I know it hurts to be called simple but seriously, think about it, when you read the above paragraph, you agreed (you know you did) that “not understanding” is a viable excuse to get out of reading your bible. God is simply telling us to come to Him as we are and He will provide us with the understanding we need.

 

Pretty cool huh!

 

Dottie

 

…………………….and so I ride

Waylaid by Grief

August 14, 2014 I lost my Dad and August 24, 2015 I lost my daughter in law. The one thing I have learned over this incredibly hard year is that grief is not “one size fits all”. People expect you to grieve a certain way and on a certain time frame and without exception I have found that doesn’t happen. People may tell you they know how you feel but they don’t.
Your pain, your grief and your hurting heart are exclusively yours. The process may be similar but your process belongs to you only. The pain is inescapable and oftentimes it feels like much more than we can handle.
The emotions are incredible, deep and quite honestly confusing. I am a woman, I am used to emotion, but this many and all at once are overwhelming and painful. At times it feels like an emotional ambush and there is nowhere to hide.
I still find it hard to believe that I have had my last visit with my loved ones, that there will be no more heart to heart talks, no more shared meals and the hardest part is our favorite holidays will never be the same.
I am not ready to say goodbye. I want to say I love you one more time and I want to hear it back.
I have found great solace in Psalm 10:14a. The scripture assures me that God sees our trouble and grief and takes it into hand.
Although grief and sadness are hard to walk through I do believe that they are necessary and we should not suppress this natural process but rather seek God’s help to walk with us.
Loss is going to be a part of our lives and grief is the natural response to loss. Matthew 11:28 is so relevant. Although grief is a normal process it is a heavy burden at times. Jesus says “come to Him all who are weary and burdened, and He will give us rest.”
So how do we handle this mind numbing pain called grief in a way that still glorifies God?
DON”T GO AWAY MAD
I love God with my whole heart and soul, but it is very hard to come up with a reason that our family has had such tremendous loss in a relatively short time. That makes it hard not to be just a little bit angry at God. I have to take great care to make sure that does not happen because in my opinion that would be aiming my anger at my biggest ally and not the enemy.
DON’T DWELL ON THE QUESTION…………..WHY DID THIS HAVE TO HAPPEN?
Whether expected or not death hurts. The death of our loved one may have surprised us but it did not surprise God. God has absolute sovereignty over all life and death. He has ordered every single last detail over everything, even death.
DON”T HIDE
Run to Him who knows you like no one else and loves you as no other. Run to where comfort can be found. You will only find real and lasting comfort in our Lord.
AVOID SATANS TRAPS
When your heart is breaking and you are blinded by mind numbing grief, don’t let sorrow blind you to temptation. Satan will use this time to cast doubt on God’s goodness and love. Deny the feelings of doubt, self-pity, bitterness, anger and run to God for strength.
Live thankful that even in the darkness we will find God’s presence and His love. Look beyond this moment and take comfort in the fact that, as Christians, someday the grief will end and your eternity is with God.
So I will grieve, I will grieve in my own personal way but I will grieve with hope.

Dottie
……………………and so I ride

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Jesus is not my buddy, He is much, much more!

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God is holy.

There is a certain feel-good giddy, emotional free for all when it comes to our relationship with Christ. We love to talk about the comfort we get, the feeling that God is always there for us, He is our best friend, the fact that we can let Him wrap His arms around us and tell us everything will be ok. There is nothing wrong with the concept that Jesus is our friend, that He is our buddy. However……………..

It seems to me  that thinking like that can lead to the erroneous notion that our glory is almost as important as Gods glory. We must never forget that the grandeur of God is on a scale that we can’t even imagine let alone live up to.

God is holy.

A friend in earthly terms can at times be undependable, can have their attention diverted to somewhere other than you, can even at times turn on you, an earthly friend can be frustrating, impatient, demanding and can fail  us.

God won’t.

God is holy.

Oh we may experience all those emotions as we strive to walk with God but His attention is steadfast and unconditional and always directed towards greater good.

It could be that we have been conditioned in this life to see God as much less than He actually is. I think that we as humans tend to lose sight of the actual grandeur and holiness of our Lord. We tend to look at our relationship with Jesus for many things other that what it really is.  It isn’t purely about the feel good  emotions, He comes to us and gives us forgiveness and atonement for sins. That is something no earthly friend can offer.

God is so much bigger than we tend to think of Him, I honestly think our perceptions get distorted and we try to fit Him into the earthly box we have built for Him. He is so much bigger. God is not limited by earthly boundaries.

God is holy.

We don’t have to wonder if God is going to respond to our texts or phone calls, or how He will respond, we don’t have to wonder if He is really listening or if He “gets” what we are telling Him. We don’t have to feel silly or worry about being humiliated for our earthly failings. We can talk to Him  without abandon and without fear of revenge. He will  keep our secrets but may make us reveal those very secrets in ways that help us and not hinder. His relationship with me is not based on making Himself feel better or making Himself look good.

God loves us for who we are, not in spite of who we are! God is the only one capable of that.

God is holy.

What is holy?

How holy is holy?

R.C.Sprout makes an insightful observation:

“The Bible says that God is holy, holy, holy. Not that He is merely holy, or even holy, holy. He is holy, holy, holy. The Bible never says that God is love, love, love, or mercy, mercy, mercy, or wrath, wrath, wrath, or justice, justice, justice. It does say that He is holy, holy, holy, the whole earth is full of His glory.”

From Bible.org

To be holy is to be distinct, separate, in a class by oneself.

To be holy is to be unique, with no rivals or competition.

To be holy is to be morally pure.

To be holy is to be holy in every aspect of ones nature and character.

Holy calls attention to all God is. His love is holy, His justice is holy, His mercy is holy, His knowledge is holy, His spirit is holy.

Exodus 15:11

1 Samuel 2:2

Psalms 86:8-10

Psalms 24:3-5

Isaiah 6:3-5

I think I will focus on that this day.

Dottie

Tears- life is filled with tears, our children are born crying and when our loved one end life on this earth, we mourn them with tears. The bible tells us time and again that we will suffer, we will have trials and we will have tribulation. It is a fact, it will happen and it seems that we had better find a haven that will shelter us as we navigate the storm filled waters of this journey.
The verse that snagged me and drew me in this morning was Psalm 84: 5-7. It is beautiful and relevant.
I think that it is a symbolic reference and gently reminds us of the burdens we will (not might) carry as we journey to meet God. We know that burdens and travel through desolation always go before triumph and are in fact, part of our pilgrimage. It would seem that we would see the comfort in the fact that we are not the only ones to suffer but somehow that does not make it easier to navigate through our personal embattled road.
What does give me some comfort is that we can be certain that by making this voyage  we will experience the faithfulness of our God. We can be positive that this journey is pre-determined, leads us in the right direction and has a beautiful, wondrous and glorious destination. We are all familiar with the ever popular quote that “ it is the journey that counts, not the destination”, nowhere does it mean more than this journey of life.
Mark Talbot says it quite eloquently,” it is stifling when we lose perspective during suffering; it is like forgetting to breathe.” He goes on to remind us to “breathe in the word that God has breathed out for us.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
The bible is chock full of suffering, it seems God’s people never enjoyed the freedom from suffering. This is what Mark Talbot says Job needed to hear after he accused God of keeping him from catching his breath, “Breathe! Don’t panic! Slow yourself down! Don’t take everything to be as it seems. And don’t irrationally conclude that things will never get better.”
So carry on and go from “strength to strength” moving towards the courts of the Lord with obedience in our actions and reactions in response to scripture, to gain faith and wisdom and finally gain the crown of life.
That seems like good advice for us also, breathe out our grief, our cries and wailings and linger in this still place, move towards the light and breathe in His grace.

Psalm 84:5-7

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.[a]
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

Dottie ……………..who is thanking God for the journey.

Devotional verses this morning were Psalms 107:1, Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever, and the armor of God scriptures, Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power……………

This might not sound significant to you but believe me with what is going on in my life right now, those scriptures are exactly what I need and the timing, as usual, is perfect. This morning I have answered prayer to be thankful for and the armor of God to rely on when necessary.

Let me regress just a bit, when researching the armor of God one thing stands clear, Satan does wage a spiritual battle whether we choose to believe it or not. It seems that we sometimes like to ignore the fact that in fact, there is a war going on and that makes us easy prey. I also think that the true nature of Satan and the lengths he will go to in this war are total

The same could be said of Satan, and those whom he opposes. Many of his victims do not even know there is a war going on. They make easy prey. Christians should know that we are in the midst of a great spiritual struggle, although many seem not to believe it. And even more distressing is the fact that many who consider themselves “in the war” do not understand the nature or viciousness  of Satan’s schemes, of the weapons which he employs, or of the weapons which God has provided for our defense.

It is one thing to read about God’s power, it is quite another to rely on it. Oh here we are back to this trust thing, go figure. Satan has one goal, to defeat those who love God. When we turn to God, we automatically and definitely gain an enemy, Satan. It is not a battle we can avoid or run from, but it is a battle we are given the means to stand and fight, if we choose to. It won’t do any good to hide our heads in the sand or ignore this war, it rages whether we believe it, ignore it or run from it. Yes, we are assured of certain victory but just as certain we are assured of struggles on this earth. I chose to stand on Christ my rock. So I guess this didn’t go anywhere near where I was planning to go when I started writing, as is often the case. Though I am thankful beyond words for some reason this is what flowed out of me this morning. More to come…………DottieChrist my rock

Not where I was planning to go but this is what flowed out of me this morning……………