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Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Finding Trouble in the Will of God (Blogging Through the Bible)

Finding Trouble in the Will of God

Yesterday's reading in Exodus 17 gave me one of many "aha" moments I've experienced since my Blogging Through the Bible journey began last year in August. One of my Sunday School teachers years ago used to comment on the "gold nuggets" he would find during his study time in the Word of God. I discovered my own "gold nugget" yesterday, and it is something that I cannot stop thinking about. Can I share it with you today and let's examine our hearts together with God's Word?

Here is my "gold nugget":

We can be in the will of God for our lives and still experience troubles.

Finding trouble in the will of God is not something one would expect - I know I never did. But Exodus 17:1 says:

"The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the LORD commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink."

Did you catch that? The Israelites were in the place the Lord had commanded for them to go, but trouble was waiting for them there.

But there wasn't only trouble waiting for them.

A miracle of God was waiting for them there as well.

An opportunity for God to show His glory.

Another chance for God to extend His love and grace against a murmuring people who were quick to turn to pointing fingers of blame when they should have been turning to God for their present need.

Do you find yourself today questioning where God has brought you?

The Israelites did.

How are you handling the trouble or need that is present in the place where God has commanded you to go?

I hope it is only by prayer to the One who can supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

Walking in the will of God is not without its troubles my friend. God has called me to homeschool our son, so that means we are a one-income family. Financial struggles are an on-going thorn in our flesh. BUT GOD has been faithful to meet all our NEEDS according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. As my husband and I have put God first in the giving of our tithes, talents, and time - He has been faithful over and over again to provide.

"Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." ~Matthew 6:31-33

My prayer for you today is that you find hope in God and in His Word for your present circumstances.

If you are experiencing your own troubles as you seek to walk in the will of God, please let me pray for you - you don't have to leave any details - just comment below "I would like you to pray for me.", and I promise to add you to my prayer list.

Here are my SOAKs for Tuesday and Wednesday:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Exodus 17

Scripture: Exodus 17:1-2
The whole Israelite community set out from the Desert of Sin, traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They camped at Rephidim, but there was no water for the people to drink. 2 So they quarreled with Moses and said, “Give us water to drink.”

Observations: The Israelites were traveling from place to place as the Lord commanded. They were in the will of God when this need arrived. Instead of remembering the mighty acts of God that He had performed on their behalf in the past and asking Him to fill this current need in their life, they choose instead to complain about their current lack of water and blame Moses once again.

Application: We can be in the will of God and still go through difficult times. James 1:2-4 tells us “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” God desires to mature us and make us complete in Him through the trials of this life.

When we look to people to fulfill needs in our lives that only God can truly fulfill we set up our relationships to fail. We must first look to God our Creator to fulfill the desires of our hearts and the needs of our lives.

Kneel: Heavenly Father, I remember the words of Jesus this morning where He tells us to take heart during the troubles we go through in this world because He has overcome the world. His words are meant to bring us peace in the midst of our troubles that are sure to come even as we walk in this world according to Your will. Help us to look first to You Father for the needs we have in this life. You have told us in Your Word that if we seek Your kingdom and Your righteousness everything else that we need will be provided by Your loving hand. Help us not to complain when we find ourselves in troubling times. Let us look instead for how You are going to move miraculously once again on our behalf as You’ve done so many times before in our past. In the powerful and mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Exodus 18

Scripture: Exodus 18:17-22
17 So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good. 18 Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself. 19 Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God. 20 And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. 21 Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.”

Observations: Moses received wise counsel from his father-in-law, Jethro, in how to handle a job that was too big for him to try to handle alone. Jethro gives him 4 steps in effective delegating so that Moses can use his time and energy more wisely as a leader. These same steps can be beneficial to us today.

1.     Stand before God for the people. The first step in effective delegation is spending time in prayer before God for the people. His efforts of delegation would not work if God was not involved in it.
2.     Teach them the statutes and the laws. Moses had to teach not only the people who would help him in hearing the disputes, but he would also need to teach those who were involved in the disputes. Teaching everyone the statutes and the laws would not only help the people know God for themselves, but it could possibly end disputes before they even would need to come before Moses’ chosen helpers.
3.     Select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness. Moses efforts of effective delegation would fail unless put into the hands of men who were able, feared God, were truthful and did not covet.
4.     Every great matter they shall bring to you. To be an effective leader who delegates, Moses must realize that he is not to abandon his ultimate responsibility in oversight and leadership of the men he places in positions underneath him to help him. Great matters were to be brought to him to decide.

We are not meant to bear the burdens of ministry - or of this life - alone. Effective delegation will help us to be able to enjoy life and do better what God has called us to do. Also, when we delegate using these guidelines, those around us will live a much more peaceful life because their needs will be effectively ministered to.

Application: It is important to have friends who walk closely with God and can give me wise counsel. It is important for me to be that friend who walks closely with God and can give wise counsel from those who seek me out for guidance in their lives. If I delegate tasks in my life and ministry, then I need to follow these steps in deciding who to ask for help. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, but shows how much I value the lives of those God has entrusted to me in my life and in whatever my ministry may be.

Kneel: Heavenly Father, I see in Your Word this morning the importance of walking closely with You so that I can know Your truth and plant it deep within my heart. I want to be able to help others who are in need of counsel for their lives. Should someone decide to come to me for counsel, I want to be so filled with Your Word that I can speak hope and peace into their lives as Your grace moves through me. I thank You, Father, for the wise, godly women You have placed in my life that I can go to for counsel and prayer. I pray that You would bless them and meet every need in their lives. I pray that You would guide me with these steps of effective delegation when necessary in my own life. Help me to recognize when pride is holding me back from asking for help in my own life and ministry that You have blessed me with. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Here is our reading plan for the rest of this week:

Exodus Reading Plan

I'll see you back here on Friday for another Blogging Through the Bible post. Until then, keep walking in His grace!

Walking in His Grace, 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Bread from Heaven (Blogging Through the Bible)

Bread from Heaven

Here we are in Week 4 of Exodus! Today we are reading about bread from Heaven - manna provided by God to the murmuring Israelites. Isn't that a wonderful picture of the mercy of God?!

God could have rained down discipline or even judgement in response to their sin.

But instead He rained down...

...quail in the evening

...and manna in the morning!

This bread from Heaven was a picture of Jesus Christ...

...the Bread of Life

...coming down from the Father above.

We should have received death...

...but we have been given life.

The mercy of God continues.

Jesus tells us in John 6:35, "I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger."

What are you hungry for?

Is it the temporary things of this world  - or the eternal things of God?

Let's choose wisely this week and make time for the Word of God.

Here is our reading plan for this week:

Reading Plan for Exodus

Here is my SOAK for today's reading:

Monday, January 26, 2015

Exodus 16

Scripture: Exodus 16:3, 8
And the children of Israel said to them, “Oh, that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat and when we ate bread to the full! For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.” Also Moses said, “This shall be seen when the Lord gives you meat to eat in the evening, and in the morning bread to the full; for the Lord hears your complaints which you make against Him. And what are we? Your complaints are not against us but against the Lord.”

Observations: The children of Israel were a month into their journey of leaving Egypt. The provisions they had taken with them out of Egypt were probably almost gone and so they began murmuring against Moses and Aaron. Really they were murmuring against God.

God heard their complaints and instead of raining down punishment or judgment, he extends His mercy and love. He provided the meat of quail in the evening; and manna – bread from Heaven – in the morning.

Application: God is so merciful to us! How many times have we complained during the struggles of our lives? Yet, time and time again, God is faithful to provide all that we need. He extends His mercy and love to us despite our failures.

Kneel: Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love and mercy! Forgive me when I grumble and complain about my circumstances. Help me to see that what You offer is so much better than the temporary trappings of this world. Thank You, Jesus, for being the Bread of my life and for feeding me with the truth. Help me to hunger for more of You this year. Help me to make time to daily be in Your Word. Show me the things I need to lay down so that I can sit at Your feet and drink from the cup in Your hand. Lord, I not only pray this for my life, but I pray it for the lives of others who have called on Your name. Continue to bless us with Your love and mercy. In the life-giving name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Let's Talk

Walking in His Grace, 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Feeling Pretty With Lilla Rose {Review of Flexi Clip}

I'm letting my hair grow out - again. I don't know what it is about long hair, but it just makes me feel pretty...does that sound crazy? Maybe it's just me.

My hair has been THICK all my life and even as I reach 43 on my birthday coming up in July, I'm thankful that it still has that thickness I've always known. Now the gray that keeps popping up is another story! Maybe one day I'll stop the fight against those gray strands that the Bible tells us in Proverbs 16:31 are a "crown of glory...gained in a righteous life".

Keep thick hair in place with Lila Rose Flexi Clip

I am excited to share with you today my review of a Flexi clip from Lilla Rose that I have had the joy of wearing in my hair for months now! I feel so pretty with Lilla Rose! The medium Flexi clip is perfect for keeping my thick hair pulled back in a comfortable, easy, and pretty way!

Twist ties pull and break my hair and are uncomfortable to wear. They're not pretty either. My sweet husband took these pictures of me wearing my Lovely Circle Emerald Flexi clip from Lilla Rose.

Flexi Clips from Lilla Rose

The Flexi clip is so easy to use! I can get all my hair in it for a pony tail or simply pull back half of my hair. My favorite way to wear my hair with my Flexi clip is pulled up in a twist! You can use Lilla Rose's helpful Flexi sizing and hairstyle guide video to help you pick out the right size of Flexi clip for your hair and different styles you can do with your hair and the Flexi clip.

If you are tired of twist ties pulling and breaking your hair, then you will definitely want to try a Flexi clip from Lilla Rose. Contact my awesome consultant, Penny Raine, today to look at all of the beautiful Flexi clips available from Lilla Rose. You can also connect with Penny on Facebook. Let Penny know I referred you!

Have fun looking pretty, 

***Chime In*** 

What's your favorite Flexi clip from Lilla Rose? Please share in the comments below so I can look it up.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Are You Engaged in the Battle? (Blogging Through the Bible)

Engaging in Spiritual Battle

Are you engaged in the spiritual battle that's raging all around you?

Do you have loved ones who have yet to call on the name of the Lord and be saved?

Do you find yourself spending less time in the Word of God?

What about your prayer life?

God desires for His children to be engaged in the spiritual battles of this life. The only way we can do that is by being in His Word daily to know the heart of God and by committing to a prayer life that comes into agreement with what we know is the will of God. Then, and only then, do we become actively involved in what God is doing to win the spiritual battles we face.

When God delivered the Israelites, Moses didn't just stand on the sidelines and cheer God on. Moses actively engaged in the battle by submitting to the commands God gave him. The simple actions of Moses in lifting his rod and stretching out his hand in response to God's command was used by God to perform the mighty miracle of the parting of the Red Sea!

Friends, we don't know what the future holds...but we know Who holds the future! Let's commit to being engaged in the personal battles that are raging in our lives. Our active engagement can be what's needed to see real revival in this world!

What "Red Sea" is God calling you to part today? 

How are you engaged in the battle?

Here are my SOAKs for Thursday and Friday:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Exodus 14

Scripture:  Exodus 14:15-16
15 And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward. 16 But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea.  

Observations: It was time for action on the part of Moses. He had prayed to God and now God gave him instructions on how to engage in the battle he was now facing. Two simple actions “lift up your rod” and “stretch out your hand” was all that was required of Moses in order to witness the mighty miracle of God in parting the Red Sea. In faith, Moses responded and now has the honor of being remembered for his active participation in the deliverance of the Israelites.

Application: We actively engage in the spiritual battles of our lives by reading the Word of God to know His heart for our lives and by praying in agreement with His Word. The spiritual battles of this life are won through the faithful prayers we offer to God and by the ways we partner with Him to be His hands and feet. We need to be actively engaged in the spiritual battles of this life.

Kneel: Heavenly Father, it seems like the church is losing the battle as church attendance declines, lost souls continue to wander this world without you, and so much evil is now called good. Break our hearts with what breaks Yours, Father. Stir within us to become actively engaged in the spiritual battle that is raging all around us. Give us boldness to stand for Your truth, to speak Your truth when needed, and to pray fervently for the lost. Bring a renewed sense of urgency back into the hearts of Your people, O Lord. Give us a hunger and a thirst for more of Your Word – to sit at Your feet and learn more of Your heart. Help us to engage in the battle on our knees in prayer knowing that the weapons of our warfare are mighty through You! Help us to respond to Your call to go and make disciples of all nations so that revival will come. In the mighty name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Friday, January 23, 2015
Exodus 15

Scripture: Exodus 15:20-21
20 Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them:
“Sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!”

Observations: Moses’ and Aaron’s sister, Miriam is finally named and we find out she is known among her people as a prophetess – one that is inspired by His Spirit to proclaim the purpose and will of God. She leads the very first women’s choir “with timbrels and with dances” as they sing praises to God for how He destroyed Pharaoh and his army. Miriam’s words and actions were full of admiration for God as she led the other women in their praises to God for His deliverance.

Application: Am I being an encouragement to other women to praise God for what He has done in their life? How am I leading the other women in my life in their worship of God?

Kneel: Heavenly Father, I desire more than anything to be used by You to influence other women for Your honor and glory. When others are silent, help me not to be afraid to step out and lead with words and actions from a heart that is full of admiration and love for You. Give me the boldness I need in my own life to be a living testimony of all the good You have performed in my life so that other women will learn through me that there is power in our praises. In the wonderful name of Jesus I pray. Amen!

Friends, I hope you will continue to journey with me through Exodus. If you are just finding me, welcome! I hope you'll jump right in with me on Monday! We have some very important lessons coming up that will help us in our walk with God. Here is the reading plan we will start on Monday:

Exodus Reading Plan
Walking in His Grace, 

***I'm so excited to be joining Courtney Joseph at Women Living Well, home of Good Morning Girls for Blogging Through the Bible! Click on the image below to find her Friday post and more Blogging Through the Bible posts.