Friday, August 28, 2009

just some things i have been thinking about

i am just sharing some of my thoughts on what i have been reading in the Word. think of it as a peek into my prayer journal, if you will.

he who turns away his ear from listening to the law,
even his prayer is an abomination.
proverbs 28:9

this is an intense reality check when i consider that the focus of my life is encountering the Lord in prayer. on blueletterbible, one of my favorite bible study resources online (which is free to use by the way!), it has the strong's definition of the hebrew word for abomination as tow'ebah:

1) a disgusting thing, abomination, abominable

a) in ritual sense (of unclean food, idols, mixed marriages)

b) in ethical sense (of wickedness etc)

i got this following definition of the english word abomination from


1. anything abominable; anything greatly disliked or abhorred.
2. intense aversion or loathing; detestation: He regarded lying with abomination.
3. a vile, shameful, or detestable action, condition, habit, etc.: Spitting in public is an abomination.

2. hatred. 3. corruption, depravity.
in either the original language or the one i read the bible in, it is a pretty serious thing when my communication with God could even possibly be disgusting or corrupt. we all seem very aware of avoiding religion, but i find more mention of warning against lawlessness in the Bible than warning of religion. neither may be good, or at least not religion that is void of God, but it makes me think... i sure what to embrace what He calls important. it reminds me how Jesus Himself said He didn't come to abolish the law, but to fulfill it.

another passage that makes me think:

he who gives to the poor will never want,
but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses.
proverbs 28:27
here i sit in the middle of one of our justice sets at our house of prayer called the watch of the Lord, and it seems really appropriate. i am to love what He loves and hate what He hates. it is hard for me to look upon need and feel helpless to do much to change it, but His eyes never turn away. the poor and the needy move His heart. open my eyes Lord, that i would not turn away from what moves Your heart. You do not turn away.

one more just to chew on tonight:

an arrogant man stirs strife,
but he who trust in the Lord will prosper.
he who trusts in his own heart is a fool,
but he who walks wisely will be delivered.
proverbs 28:25-26

i want to anchor my trust in the One who is faithful and true. when i start to take my eyes off of Him and turn them onto my own ability and often my lack of strength, the end is always strife. but He is faithful to those who hearts belong to Him. wisdom is to fear the Lord. may my heart fear You above men or calamity.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

this i know

You have taken account of my wanderings;
put my tears in Your bottle.
are {they} not in Your book?
then my enemies will turn back in the day when I call;
this i know, that God is for me.
psalm 56

it is an amazing revelation to know that God cares for my broken heart. He is fully aware of my circumstances and He does not turn His eyes away. He is full of compassion and perfect love that is surpassed by none. even my tears He accounts for - the psalmist said that He put them in a bottle - they are accounted for in His book. i serve a God who is for me.

it is a simple revelation, but it is the foundation of our faith - that God desires relationship with us and cares for our brokenness. His care for us especially in the weak and broken places is what led Jesus to the cross - we are the joy set before Him. and while we were still His enemies, while i was still unaware of my need for Him, He died for me so that i could know this love that is unlike any other.

somehow setting my gaze towards this God who is for me and cares, really cares, makes all the problems, afflictions, or trials in life fade. they do not go away, but i am comforted in going to a God who cares for me rather than push away from Him in my heartache. He longs for relationship with us, and part of relationship is sharing our heartache, questions, disappointments, and failures with Him.

the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and a contrite heart,
O God, You will not despise.
psalm 51:17

so i choose to draw near rather than run away. You are good God, and Your love endures forever.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

a good read

i don't have anything profound to write. we have been gone on a little family get away before school starts up again on monday, and we have been through quite the week and a half - both extremes of heartache and grief and joy and laughter. i haven't had time to process. still working through it all.

i just wanted to encourage everyone to read the life of king david (1 and 2 samuel, 1 chronicles, and most of the psalms). i am sure that many people have read it before, but it is worthy of a re-read if it has been longer than 6 months since you last visited the story. if you have never had the opportunity to study him much, it is the most exciting story filled with passion, adventure, betrayal, and promise. the story is told in 1 and 2 samuel and 1 chronicles while david's thoughts and heart overflow in the middle (like his blog if you will) is in the psalms.

it is amazing to see this man that God called the man after His own heart who made many many mistakes and yet was humble and repentant. every time i go back to study him again, i learn something new and he is such an amazing model of how i can live a life pleasing to the Lord and how to hold my heart in real life. also, mike bickle has a couple great teaching series on the life of david. i have listened to 2 different series: one was a 20 part series and the other was 12 part. so so so rich! you can download it for free at this link: san jose house of prayer enjoy! i would love to hear what you gain from studying this great man of God whose throne will be established forever and whom the Lord called beloved.


Monday, August 10, 2009

how is your beloved better than the others?

i was speaking to an engaged young woman a couple years ago about the role of a woman in marriage and i noticed her hesitations to read the scriptures in the bible about women and marriage. i asked her why, and her response was that she wasn’t into that whole male domination thing and didn’t like the word submit. likewise i have talked to many married women over the years who still struggle with the same thing: he is not going to tell me what to do. i am an independent woman and i am not going to have someone controlling me.

because of abuses of control in the past, many women in my generation are operating out of fear and grasping at what they imagine to be control of their own lives. unfortunately, operating with the starting point of fear always leads to manipulation: if i am afraid that you will control me, i do everything in my power to create circumstances where that will never happen. when i start to suspect a disruption to my false reality i have created around myself to keep me safe, i will go to any measure, often not overtly, to make sure nothing is changed in this self-created comfort zone. if my security is challenged by someone, i can make them feel guilty and sorry that they ever approached the subject.

this subtle and often difficult to detect way of self-preservation is really manipulation and what is called in the bible witchcraft. and, because of the overuse and misuse of these terms, along with others such as “a jezebel spirit,” many women have made themselves untouchable and unteachable in these areas by putting up a wall when someone tries to approach the subject.

i had the example in my home of something that i did not and still do not see often. my mom was an excellent example to me of what it meant to submit to her husband. my dad is the best example that i know of a husband encouraging his wife to rise to her calling and do everything in her heart to do. growing up my mom led worship, had a career, was very active in many leadership levels at our church and yet she did not have to demand her rights or talk my dad into recognizing her value. i wish this was more often the case, and i was very spoiled by my dad telling me my whole life that i could do anything a boy could do and do it better. i quickly found out that not everyone had the value to either put their marriage as a priority nor serve the calling of their husband or wife. my dad would often tell me that the apostle paul's teaching on submission in marriage were directed at both spouses: both were to love the other to the point of laying down even their lives.

why are so many christian women afraid to dive into what the Lord said about marriage and godliness as a woman? i think i can relate with how i viewed marriage when i was in high school and college. in my teenage years and early twenties i was very leery of marriage and the confines i believed came with it. i too said, “no one is telling me what to do,” fearing i would find a husband who would be much like a task master who would not value who i was as an individual but just want me to serve him without value in return. (bit of an exaggeration, but it is amazing how fear can make one believe all sorts of exaggerations and irrational thoughts to be true.) probably mostly influenced by the spirit of the age and the prevalent message that women could live fuller lives without a husband or children. i thought i would be swept off of my feet by some guy, only for him to change once he had “caught” me, and somehow i would end up stuck in this relationship forever and not ever fulfill my own dream or plans. (i do not believe in divorce as an option in my life.)

i was afraid of the unhappiness i saw in so many marriages, including christian marriages, and i wanted nothing to do with it. though i longed to be known by someone and loved unconditionally, as well as to be able to give this knowing and unconditional love to someone else, i had very little confidence in the reality of it happening in a real relationship that wasn’t dreamed up in my head. plus, all the verses of “submit” and “women shall not speak” made me angry inside. i felt like women were viewed as sub-human and a lesser than of man in much of the church and was convinced that i needed to look out for number one. it wasn’t until the Lord did His work in my heart that i could see a hope for something different than i had maybe seen as an outside observer to many relationships. it wasn't until this point that i realized i didn't need to fight for my rights to live the call on my life.

as women, and really just as people in general, we need to first experience love from the Bridegroom God before we can ever receive love from the bridegroom (or wife if you are a male) in our own home. it is life-changing to believe He loves me when i am dark and imperfect. it changes everything when i believe Him when He says i am lovely. it will change the way i operate, give love, and receive love. it will change the lenses of the glasses with which i view life. this transforming power is what draws me time and time again to the book of the song of solomon.
how is your beloved better than others, most beautiful of women?
how is your beloved better than others, that you charge us so?

song of solomon 5:9
i see this question as the classic question of why should i as a woman give all i am to a man with the possibility that he will abuse it and not treasure it, leaving me hurting and disillusioned? why should we as people, male and female, give all we are to the Man Christ Jesus and surrender the control and autonomy of our lives? the current generation of women seem to believe that we are the first to desire freedom and liberty. we imagine we are the first to be unhappy with the idea of being confined or restricted in some way. but we can see here that it is an age old fear and this is an age old question, regardless of time, generation, or gender. tell me, how do i know that this beloved is better than others that He will not treat me as the others? how could you charge me to lay down my freedom and control of my life for another?

this Bridegroom King, Jesus, has a love so deep and full and amazing that it will not disappoint, like we have been disappointed by others. it is so mysterious that we will never grow bored or tired of discovering it more and more. it is so unconditional that we will become more and more confident and free and liberated within the confines of His love and our relationship. i see my darkness; He calls me lovely. i have been abused by others in the past; He calls me perfect one and treats me with tenderness and kindness. i try to hide behind my veils and walls and safe places of my “boundaries” or “personality,” and He calls me most beautiful of women and asks me to draw near into His chambers and leave all the safety behind. (song of solomon 1).

to obtain this love, so unconditional and so transforming and so freeing, i would willingly lay down my rights to my freedom and control. to experience what every heart yearns for, i would willingly submit, serve, and follow like the beloved. but life isn’t like that right? i mean, a husband is merely a man and men with ultimate unchecked power are prone to evil, right? and if I don’t look out for myself, as i heard a girl friend of mine say in passing the other day in talking about her marriage, who will? he {her husband} will walk all over me.

i am proposing the most ridiculous of answers to this age old struggle of women with leaving our comfort to follow this relationship: i am suggesting that this freedom and love and autonomy we all long for as women, and really as humans male and female alike, is actually found in the act of service, submission, and laying down our lives for someone else.

more to come...


words, words, words

words, words, words. how many words do i speak a day and how many could i have probably gone all day without saying? how many times have you, like i, walked away from a conversation thinking, i wish i wouldn't have said that or said that much?
when there are many words, transgression is unavoidable,
but he who restrains his lips is wise.
proverbs 10:19
when i looked up the key words in the hebrew the first part basically translates: when there is an abundance of speaking, sin does not cease or does not stop. yikes. i can bear testimony to the truth of that statement in my own life. i have personally experienced the inner fight of trying to keep myself from saying something, usually a complaint i have about another person, and many times losing the battle. i think, well i am sure if i tell just one person it really isn't that bad. how many times have i sinned against people with the words of my mouth in the name of venting?
but everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. james 1:19-20
i would love to say that i had this one down, but if you have read my previous post quick to listen you will know that although it is something i am working towards obtaining, i have not reached it yet. an interesting thought i had was that many times when we vent about how someone has done something wrong to us, which we may or may not have deserved, we are trying to prove ourselves as the righteous victim. but our words that come out of anger, whether we are in touch enough with the inner workings of our hearts to recognize it as such, do not achieve the righteousness of God. basically, my quick reaction to defend myself against another's injustice against me keeps me from encountering the Lord's defense of me and obtaining true righteousness.

deciding to not speak, to not vent, or to not slander with our mouths is not an easy task. i think anyone who tries to claim that they have easily mastered this is a liar. james, who by the way was the brother of Jesus, says that the tongue is so difficult to control that if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to bridle the whole body as well. (james 3:2) he goes on to explain that the tongue is the number one thing that causes us to sin and if we can learn to control the words that come out of it, we have learned what it is to control all the other ways we fall into sin and distance ourselves from God.

here is a challenge: let's try to purposefully talk less during the day, chose to not say a word in our defense when accused or mistreated to the person or to anyone else, and feel the pain inside. it is amazing how everything within screams, "just say something!!!" when i have consciously tried this myself. but if i turn my heart towards the Lord in the midst of the pain it causes my soul, i will see so much good fruit even at the beginning of this journey when it feels like my struggle and stumbling is much more than my victory. then let's take all that pain of feeling the sting of injustice and misunderstanding inside and pour it all out onto the Lord in the secret place of prayer. (see my previous post rend my heart) when we lay aside the comfort from man we open ourselves up to be comforted by the Lord in such a deep way, and He really does want to hear the things burning on our heart and troubling our soul.
blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted. matthew 5:4
He is jealous for us to give our broken immature hearts to Him so that He can give us back so much love and comfort in return. i think of it as a type of fasting - a fasting of words. in the words of mike bickle, i want to stop "making myself look like the hero or the victim in my stories." in this journey of knowing and growing in love with Jesus, it will be so difficult but so worth it!


Sunday, August 9, 2009

a proverb a day

i am once again on a reading plan for the month of reading one proverb a day corresponding to the date of the month. i have done this in the past and really appreciate the wisdom just from being in this book written by the wisest man who lived, apart from Jesus Himself, and seeking out wisdom and growing in the fear of the Lord.

here is one verse that really has stood out to me this time. i really want to continue to grow in the Lord, but just like everyone else i don't exactly enjoy being corrected. let's face it, who likes confrontation? definitely not me.
my son, do not reject the discipline of the LORD
or loathe His reproof,
for whom the LORD loves He reproves,
even as a father {corrects} the son in whom he delights.
proverbs 3:11-12

but solomon says that it is a blessing to be corrected. we shouldn't be afraid of being corrected and disciplined because that means the Lord loves us and wants us to grow. we should be afraid when we aren't finding the struggle of being corrected in our lives. that would be much worse for me.

so, my encouragement is two fold - get back into the book of proverbs. even start on the proverbs of the date you read this entry. also, do not resist discipline. as painful as it is in the moment, it is because of the great love the Lord has for us and He wants for us to grow. i will take it one step further and encourage us all to pray that the Lord would give us a value for His discipline in our lives and that we would not despise it.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

open your mouth for the mute

open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all the unfortunate. open your mouth, judge righteously, and defend the rights of the afflicted and needy.
proverbs 31:8-9

abortion. i am inspired to say a little on this topic because it has been on my mind and heart since we prayed for it tonight at the watch of the Lord. i do not have a plan of what i am going to write, i am just going to share a couple verses that i feel move my heart and share a little of my thoughts.

open your mouth for the mute. open your mouth for those who do not have a voice. speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves. do not remain silent. do you hear their voices? God does. He hears and He does not turn away, even when we turn away. open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the afflicted and needy - that was the advice to a king from him mother. how are we as the powerful defending the rights of those most vulnerable - the unborn?
are we fighting for life for those who cannot fight for themselves? i love how those in bound4life wear the red tape with the block letters LIFE across their mouths to stand silently for those who have no voice to speak for themselves.

may He vindicate the afflicted of the people, save the children of the needy and crush the oppressor.
psalm 72:4

here are some abortion stats that i took from the bound4life website:

78% of Planned Parenthood clinics are in minority communities (Choice Nazi 3). According to the Guttmacher Institute, an African American is three times more likely to have an abortion than a white woman. Hispanics are 2 times more likely to have an abortion than white women (Jones, Darroch, and Henshaw “Women’s Characteristics”). African Americans constitute twelve percent of the national population and have 32% of the abortions (Hall). For every one black child born, three are aborted (Grant 116). 80% of unborn babies diagnosed with Down’s syndrome are aborted (Will). The RU-486 pill was created by the same company that created Zyklon B gas for the Nazi death chambers (Choice Nazi 6). There are 45% more sterilizations among African American women and 30% more sterilizations among Hispanics than among White women (Grant 117). Not one school-based Planned Parenthood clinic is located in a white majority school (Grant 115).

they have some other great history on the beginnings of abortion in our country and an amazing list of sources for their claims and arguments.

i want to focus on what God says about it. how does He view the unborn? when does life begin?

He spoke to jeremiah the old testament prophet and said:
before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations. jeremiah 1:5

before even the egg is fertilized by the sperm, the child is a plan of God's. there are no accidents. there are no surprise babies to Him. He knows each and every child that He breathes life into in the womb of a woman, and He does not turn away from the injustice done in the name of choice.

yet You are He who brought me forth from the womb; You made me trust {when} upon my mother's breasts. upon You i was cast from birth; You have been my God from my mother's womb. be not far from me, for trouble is near; for there is none to help.
psalm 22:9-11

who is there to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves? though we may turn our eyes away and shut our ears to the sound of their cries, He does not turn away and He does not shut His ears.
for You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother's womb. psalm 139:13

did you know that it has only been in the last 100 years that women in the states even used birth control? i am not advocating any particular position on birth control, but i do want to raise the question to us all: since when did we decide that a child was no longer a blessing from the Lord, a sign of His favor, and instead decide he/she was an inconvenience? i have been as guilty as anyone else, being born into a culture where family planning is the norm, to think that my plans for my family, the number of children and the spacing and the timing of when we could "afford" them, were better than His. i had a wake up call with my last baby who came as a bit of a surprise in timing. i realized, guess what?! i am not in control and the Lord wants to bless me even when i may be entirely ignorant to what blessing even means. there is a reason my youngest son is named david - he is my beloved son and the most amazing blessing the Lord could have ever given me that i didn't even realize i needed so badly at just the right time.

behold, children are a gift of the LORD,
the fruit of the womb is a reward.
psalm 127:3

it has been estimated that 50 million babies have been aborted in the united states since 1973. a sickening 24% of all pregnancies in the states end in abortion. we have rejected the blessing of the Lord and instead have cursed our land.

behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. how blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.
psalm 127:3-5

if no one else, shouldn't we as believers in this good God who loves us see the value in a life, a human life? children are a blessing. they are our strength. they are our inheritance. we as americans think of inheritance in terms of dollars and cents. the jews thought of inheritance in terms of having a big family. we think we need to control the amount of kids we have so we can leave them an inheritance. He said our inheritance IS the number of kids we have. we see the blessing of the Lord so backwards.

can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? even these may forget, but I will not forget you. behold, I have inscribed you on the palms {of My hands;} your walls are continually before Me.
isaiah 49:15-16

and even as bizarre as it may sound for a woman to forget the child she is the sole provider of nurishment for, that is exactly what we have done. we have allowed our hearts to grow dull and we have turned away from compassion for the unborn child. yet, He will not forget them. their blood will cry out day and night before His throne, their silent cries are never silent before Him, until there is justice on the earth. and He is a God of justice. He will not allow injustice to reign forever, but He will avenge the deaths of the innocent. (psalm 82)

let us come before Him and cry out for mercy for our nation, for ourselves, that we may have eyes that see and ears that hear and that we may love what He loves and hate what He hates.

Jesus, i plead your blood over my sins and the sins of my nation. God, end abortion and send revival to america.
he will restore the hearts of the fathers to {their} children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.
malachi 4:6

all images from

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...