Monday, September 28, 2009

What's In A Name?

When my first child was born, we did not have a specific name chosen for him ahead of time. However, at his birth, I felt his name was revealed to me. When I went home and looked it up, I found that his name means "Gift of God" -- which he was. Names have importance in the Bible as well. From Abram being renamed Abraham to Saul becoming Paul and Simon called Peter.

The many names of God are important, too. I have started a list of characteristics and names of God. As I come along a description or name of our Heavenly Father, I write it (along with the scripture reference) in the front of my Bible. As Priscilla Shirer says, "The more you know and believe to be true about who God is and what He can do, the more willing you become to obey what He commands." I will share just a few of the characteristics I have found. Please add on.

God is....

  • my strength (Psalm 18:1)

  • the blessed and only ruler (1 Timothy 6:15)

  • sovereign (Micah 1:2)

  • the King of glory (Psalm 24:8)

  • you who judge righteously and test the heart and mind (Jeremiah 11:20)

  • a God who knows (1 Samuel 2:3)

  • the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)

  • the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were (Romans 4:17)

  • reliable (John 8:26)

  • the LORD our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6)

  • compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished (Exodus 34:6-7)

  • worthy of praise (Psalm 18:3)

  • a refuge in times of trouble (Nahum 1:7)

And don't forget, as Christians we have a new name as well.

"To all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God." John 1:12 (emphasis mine)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Has anyone wondered if the some of the urgings that they are feeling are from God or from their own imaginations and thoughts? I have been struggling the last few weeks with hearing God, and finding His voice to guide my life.

I have an amazing friend who shared with me several months ago, that she felt like God was preparing her for something big;. Long story short, she and her husband have three little girls and were not planning on having anymore. My dear friend ached for another baby, but honored her husband and their decision not to have any more biological children.

They had been praying and thinking about adoption for the last several months. Last week this little miracle was literally dropped into their lives. They are now planning on adopting a little boy. I am not at liberty to go into details, short of saying that this story has God written all over it!!
Because she stopped and listened, God spoke to her and was preparing her and her family for their new addition long before they had any idea what was going to happen.

This made me realize...a little quiet time with the Lord and some time spent in His word will go a long way towards "hearing" Him. Isn't it truly amazing that we have a God that knows what is in our hearts and that He has given us this amazing manual to find the answers and truths to better hear Him!!

Deuteronomy 30:20

..."that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice, and hold fast to Him...

I hope we can all take time out of our busy lives to stop and listen to the plans our Lord has for us!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

What are your "Talents"?

God's timing is always correct. Sometimes I don't notice and it schlaps me in the face, leaving me thinking, "....ooooh yeah! Now that makes sense!". This last weekend, our message at church was about the parable of the talents (see Matthew 25:14-30, Luke 19:12-28).

I always viewed that story as a good way to talk about finances and tithing... How God wants us to be good stewards with the funds he blesses us with. But this weekend shone a new light on the subject and I thought of the word "talent" not as $$$, but talent.

I've spent quite a few years "hoarding" some talent that I was feeling too stingy to use. I thought of singing and how I've always thought of it as mine....NO WAY! I realized it's God's voice and he entrusted me with it for a reason. WOW. What am I doing sitting on it? And his perfect timing?: I had just prayed during worship before the sermon, asking God to give me a sign if he wanted me to serve on the worship arts team and sing again. So I'm gonna do it.

So, what's the talent that God has entrusted you? Have you been sittin' on it too?

Matthew 25:13

"Therefore, stay alert, for you know not the day or the hour..."

So when we finally get to see our Savior face to face, I want to tell him that I used every bit he gave me...

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Lesson in envy

Envy is the art of counting the other fellow's blessings
instead of your own.

- Harold Coffin

Today, I spoke with a good friend of mine who told me that they just bought a new house. I was so happy for them but couldn't help thinking why they bought a new house when their current one was really nice anyway. They are expecting their first baby, and they are checking off the list of things that they need before the baby comes. I'm so glad that they are having a baby. They are truly wonderful people, and their children will be extremely blessed to have such good parents. But why upgrade when the house you live in is REALLY nice already? Their new neighborhood is just down the street from us, so I decided to drive through. The more I drove through the neighborhood, the more envious I got. I'm not the main financial provider in my family, and my husband has a job where people think he earns about three times as much as he really does. We struggle to pay bills sometimes, and it's really frustrating. I guess I found myself feeling jealous that my good friends get to start out their family in such luxury while we are scraping the bottom on the barrel at times.

Then I realized, why be envious of my friends when I have everything in life that I need right now? I have a wonderful husband, two happy and healthy kids that make me smile everyday, a roof over my head, and food on the table. We can laugh, cry, eat meals, welcome friends and family, and love in a house of any size. Besides, if we had every physical desire that we want NOW, it doesn't make us appreciate what we acquire in the future. So today I wake up, give my girls morning hugs and kisses, make breakfast in my fully-stocked kitchen, shower in hot water, and put on clothes from our almost-too-small closet. And I'm thankful for every last bit.

Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
- Psalm 37: 4-5