October 26, 2007

An Eye Opener

That night all the people of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, and the whole assembly said to them, "If only we had died in Egypt! Or in this desert! Why is the LORD bringing us to this land only to let us fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be taken as plunder. Wouldn't it be better for us to go back to Egypt?" And they said to each other, "We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt."
So the men Moses had sent to explore the land, who returned and made the whole community grumble against him by spreading a bad report about it-these men responsible for spreading the bad report about the land were struck down and died of a plague before the LORD. Of the men who went to explore the land, only Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh survived.
When Moses reported this to all the Israelites, they mourned bitterly. Early the next morning they went up toward the high hill country. "We have sinned," they said. "We will go up to the place the LORD promised."
But Moses said, "Why are you disobeying the LORD's command? This will not succeed! Do not go up, because the LORD is not with you. You will be defeated by your enemies, for the Amalekites and Canaanites will face you there. Because you have turned away from the LORD, he will not be with you and you will fall by the sword."
Nevertheless, in their presumption they went up toward the high hill country, though neither Moses nor the ark of the LORD's covenant moved from the camp. Then the Amalekites and Canaanites who lived in that hill country came down and attacked them and beat them down all the way to Hormah.
--Numbers 14:1-4, 36-45

As I read this, I heard Him whisper...Delayed obedience is actually disobedience in disguise.

October 24, 2007

Enough is Enough

Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it.


It started with a conference in June.

Then came a conviction in August.

A makeover in September.

A nudge in the right direction in October, followed by a good read.

And now, finally, I see what He's been up to.

The rabble with them began to crave other food, and again the Israelites started wailing and said, "If only we had meat to eat! We remember the fish we ate in Egypt at no cost—also the cucumbers, melons, leeks, onions and garlic. But now we have lost our appetite; we never see anything but this manna!"
"Tell the people: 'Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, "If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!" Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, "Why did we ever leave Egypt?"'"
--Numbers 11:4-6, 18-20

Throughout my life, God has lavished His blessings upon me. He's delivered me. He's provided for me.

It hasn't been enough. I've craved something different. Wanted something more.

More things.
More food.
More attention.
More time for myself.
More. More. More.

And He let me have it. So now here I sit, looking at the "benefits" of all the more. I can honestly say, I'm at the point of loathing.

Enough is enough.

October 23, 2007

Turf Wars

CJ accepted Christ in August. The first three weeks were glorious. We had a new child. Her spirit was so sweet that it brought tears to my eyes. Now, my tears fall in frustration and heartbreak. I can recall few times that I've felt more helpless. The past few months have seen many battles in our home. Too many to count. At first, I attributed it all to preteen hormones and general angst, but I've come to realize the source of the discord.

I've been naive enough to declare that I'm ready to get violent with S*tan. But I'm not. I can't fight him. I'm powerless. It's time to bring in the big guns.

When you go into battle in your own land against an enemy who is oppressing you, sound a blast on the trumpets. Then you will be remembered by the LORD your God and rescued from your enemies.
--Numbers 10:9

God promised a land to Israel. He also warned them there would be times when the enemy would come onto that very land to oppress them. We can anticipate the same.

The enemy of our souls has invaded my home. He's on my turf. I can't stand up to Him alone. It's time to sound the trumpet and pray, pray, pray. I may be smaller than the enemy, but my Father surely isn't. He's going to remember and rescue our family.

I'm banking on it.

October 22, 2007


In August, my husband R. severely injured his ankle while jogging (yet another reason I don't jog...as if I needed a reason!) Nearly three months later, it's still painful and easily aggravated. He starts physical therapy tomorrow.

R. is an exercise kind-of-guy. This injury has thrown him for a loop (literally), and he's a little tired of it. Well, a LOT tired of it. Add to the mix that CJ & I were gone to New York last weekend and I'm leaving Friday for Women of Faith (where I finally get to hear this man speak!). It's easy to see why R.'s a little depressed. Suffering from cabin fever, he says.

I, on the other hand, am ready to just be home. Unlike Bev, I'm longing for a winter solstice and a break from these 80°+ temperatures. I want to just rest.

Sometimes it's hard to sit in one place, particularly when you've been told you can't go anywhere. It's equally difficult to keep moving when all you crave is to be still.

On the day the tabernacle, the Tent of the Testimony, was set up, the cloud covered it. From evening till morning the cloud above the tabernacle looked like fire. That is how it continued to be; the cloud covered it, and at night it looked like fire. Whenever the cloud lifted from above the Tent, the Israelites set out; wherever the cloud settled, the Israelites encamped. At the LORD's command the Israelites set out, and at his command they encamped. As long as the cloud stayed over the tabernacle, they remained in camp. When the cloud remained over the tabernacle a long time, the Israelites obeyed the LORD's order and did not set out. Sometimes the cloud was over the tabernacle only a few days; at the LORD's command they would encamp, and then at his command they would set out. Sometimes the cloud stayed only from evening till morning, and when it lifted in the morning, they set out. Whether by day or by night, whenever the cloud lifted, they set out. Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out. At the LORD's command they encamped, and at the LORD's command they set out. They obeyed the LORD's order, in accordance with his command through Moses.
--Numbers 9:15-23

Can you imagine how the Israelites felt? They went to be each evening with no idea what the next day would hold. If they got up and the cloud was still there, they were able to rest comfortably. If they woke the next week and it was STILL cloudy, they remained in camp, even if they were getting a little restless. If, a YEAR later, it was STILL CLOUDY, they didn't budge...despite almost certain stir-craziness.

On the flip side, there were probably times when they hit the hay late, dog-tired and wanting to sleep in. And, what do you know, they woke with not a hint of cloud in the sky. Time to move! Although they were probably exhausted and frustrated (after a weekend in NYC with two 9-year olds, I can relate), they had to go.

They submitted. They were obedient. Even when they probably didn't feel like it. Even when they had no earthly idea what God was up to. They watched the cloud. He faithfully guided them, and they faithfully followed.

Oh, Lord, I confess that I want to know what you've got planned for me today, tomorrow and next year. I grumble when you keep me in one place, and fail to see that you are preparing me for what lies ahead. When you're leading me on, I complain because I'm too lazy, tired or scared to follow. I want to camp out in my comfort zone and rest. God, make yourself as visible to me as you were in the cloud over the Tabernacle, and give me a clear vision of where you want me to go. Grant me an obedient and willing spirit, so that I may faithfully follow. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

October 10, 2007


Since CJ entered fourth grade, I feel like I'm back in school again. This year has brought a giant leap in the number of tests, as well as in the tests themselves. We spend much of our time studying. I've been asking her to review her notes, textbook and study guides and then I call the information out to her. The resulting arguments were terrible. I was expecting her to learn the way I always did, and becoming frustrated when it wasn't happening.

This past week, I took a different approach to studying with her. Instead of just calling out the information, I read it to her & we discussed each point. I sprinkled some questions throughout, and we talked about all of the information in detail. Afterwards, she told me that even though I think the old method worked well, it didn't. She prefers this newer technique. After seeing the results, so do I.

When I was pregnant with CJ, I was expecting to have a daughter just like me. However, she is, without a doubt, her father's child. And even though I know that, I still find myself expecting her to do things the way I would. Which isn't fair because, although we share DNA, we are entirely different people. God has given us different gifts, talents, strengths and weaknesses in accordance with His plan for each of our lives.

It's the same among the church.

So Moses took the carts and oxen and gave them to the Levites. He gave two carts and four oxen to the Gershonites, as their work required, and he gave four carts and eight oxen to the Merarites, as their work required. They were all under the direction of Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest. But Moses did not give any to the Kohathites, because they were to carry on their shoulders the holy things, for which they were responsible.
--Numbers 7:6-9

God instructed Moses to disburse the gifts among the Levites, based upon the specific jobs He'd assigned to each group. He does the same today.

I teach adult Sunday School. He's equipped me for that with a background in communications and public speaking. However, He's not given me a mathematically-inclined brain...so He obviously didn't intend for me to serve on the Finance Committee. I'm technologically-challenged, so you won't find me on the Audio-Visual Committee, either.

I admit, I sometimes catch myself envying another person's gifts and talents, wishing for the same ministry. I forget that my Father has given me hand-picked gifts for a purpose He's designed especially for me. But in those times when I listen for His voice and follow His instruction, I realize why He's bestowed those gifts upon me and I am thankful. So thankful.

October 9, 2007

Stop the Whining!

Although I claim to despise whining, I've certainly been doing enough of it to God lately. I realized this morning just how long I've been uttering the same prayer to Him. I didn't realize how little I was trusting and how much I was complaining...until this morning when He told me to stop griping (or, as I like to say, "Build a bridge and get over it!") and accept some responsibility:

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.
--Ephesians 5:15-17

Yes, sir.

I think I need to re-read this post, and commit it to heart this time!

October 5, 2007

I'm So Excited...

I just had to break my self-imposed rules of blogging to share what the big brown truck brought to me yesterday:

Just skimming through it, I'm expecting it to be nothing short of life-changing! To find out more about this gift from God very helpful resource, click here.

October 4, 2007


I finished reading Colossians yesterday. As much as I could hang out there for a while, soaking in the goodness and pondering Paul's challenges to us, it was time to move on. So, I asked the Lord where He wanted to take me, and He directed me to Numbers.

For a mathematically-challenged gal like myself, I avoid numbers whenever possible. Still, He is so good & I could tell exactly why He wants me there.

The first few chapters recount the Lord's command for a census of Israel (hence the title of the book):

The LORD spoke to Moses in the Tent of Meeting in the Desert of Sinai on the first day of the second month of the second year after the Israelites came out of Egypt. He said: "Take a census of the whole Israelite community by their clans and families, listing every man by name, one by one. You and Aaron are to number by their divisions all the men in Israel twenty years old or more who are able to serve in the army..." All the Israelites twenty years old or more who were able to serve in Israel's army were counted according to their families. The total number was 603,550.
--Numbers 1:1-3, 45-46

God gave Moses and Aaron a daunting task: gather all of the Israelites together, determine who met the age and gender requirements, and make a record of their findings. Moses, Aaron, and 12 other chosen men were responsible for counting the men, one by one. By the time it was done, there were more than 1/2 million men who would serve in the Israelite army. (My Bible had a note that if you estimated one woman and two children per man, there would have been 2.5 million Israelites!)

I wonder, did Moses think God had lost His mind? Did he complain about the planning and effort this job entailed? Did he tell God to come back later, when it would be more convenient?

Would I?

Moses and Aaron took these men whose names had been given, and they called the whole community together on the first day of the second month. The people indicated their ancestry by their clans and families, and the men twenty years old or more were listed by name, one by one, as the LORD commanded Moses. And so he counted them in the Desert of Sinai
--Numbers 11:17-19

God placed Moses in leadership over Israel because He knew that Moses would be faithful to accomplish God's plan. If we seek to be Godly leaders, we must be willing to do whatever He commands...no matter how outrageous, difficult, or time-consuming it may seem. We must sacrifice our time, talents and resources for His purposes.

After the census was done, God gave detailed instructions on the arrangement of the tribal camps around the Tabernacle. (Numbers 2)

Did the Israelites grumble about having to pick up their belongings and move to a specific spot around the Tabernacle? Were they offended that the Levites got to camp right next to the Tabernacle, and that Judah was on the East, closest to the sunrise? Did they refuse to leave their comfort zones?

Would I?

So the Israelites did everything the LORD commanded Moses; that is the way they encamped under their standards, and that is the way they set out, each with his clan and family.
God's chosen people were obedient to what He commanded. Likewise, if we want to see the Promised Land God has for us, we must be willing to leave our comfort zones and to move where He directs. When others get the "prime spots", we must accept that He has appointed us to a specific place for a very definite reason...even if we don't understand. Even if it hurts. We must sacrifice comfort and our "rights". Then we will find protection and blessing.

Even though I really dislike math, I'm sticking with Numbers. There's a Promised Land waiting!

October 2, 2007


On the way to work, I passed a church sign that read:

God is like scotch tape. You can't see Him, but you know He's there.

How clever.

How misleading.

While I can somewhat appreciate the sentiment that yes, God is invisible, but He holds everything together...it's not completely accurate. We don't see God because we don't seek Him.

You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
--Jeremiah 29:13

* * * * *

I love those who love me, and those who seek me find me.
--Proverbs 8:17

Notice that to find God, we must look for Him. Still, it's not a game of Heavenly Hide-&-Seek. God's not hiding, He's waiting. Once we start searching in the right places, we'll be able to find Him. And I'm convinced that finding Him doesn't mean just knowing that He's there...it's actually using our spiritual eyes to see His glory, His work, and His plan.

But how?

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
--Colossians 4:2

More and more, I'm realizing that my morning Bible study and prayer time just isn't enough. If I want to see God, I must devote myself to building a relationship with Him. I've got to communicate with Him throughout the day, not just during that time I set aside for Him. Although our quiet time together is special, I have a tendency to get lost in my day and not think much about Him. I'm not looking for Him.

One precious woman of faith I know begins her day in prayer, but doesn't say Amen until she goes to bed. She continues her attitude of prayer throughout the day. I need to take a page from her book!

Paul also says we are to be watchful. Let's be on the lookout for Him! We must also remember to be thankful for the blessings He's bestowed upon us. If we're intentionally looking for Him in everything we do and thanking Him for what He's given, we're sure to find Him there.

Scotch tape is a wonderful invention (my daughter would argue it's one of man's greatest!). I do need to be held together, but that's not all. So, I'm asking God to be a Band-Aid...one big enough to remind me of my infirmity and to cause others to ask what happened.