Category: Inspiration

Peaking your desire, enthusiasm & courage to do/be something

Do Not Fear Them

Sunday Sermon 1.15.22

Fear has a tendency to control us, it freezes us, paralyzes us, and will eat us up if we let it. This issue of fear is the heart of today’s message, but the body of the message is much bigger and more powerful than fear.

As we continue to look at a chapter that I feel encapsulates the challenge for us in 2022, let’s flip to Isaiah 51:4-8 and glean from it 6 relative points to help you through this day, this month and this year.

” Listen to me, my people; pay attention to me, my nation.”

Isaiah 51:4a TPT

Point 1- My Nation

Here, we hear the voice of God calling to His nation, Israel, and because all scripture is useful for teaching and happened as examples to us, (2 Tim. 3:16; 1 Cor. 10:6), we can understand that God is calling to our nation as well. Because I live in and love America, I realize that God is saying to His nation, America, “Listen to me, my people… my nation”.

The first point that we must remember and contend for is this – America was founded on a covenant with God. The Mayflower Compact, signed on 11.11.1620, aboard the ship, Mayflower by the Separatists and the Strangers (Pilgrims), stunningly stated this –

Having undertaken, for the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian Faith… a voyage to plant the first colony in the Northern parts of Virginia, do by these presents solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and of one another, Covenant and combine ourselves together in a Civil Body Politic…”

excerpt The Mayflower Compact, 1620

The intended purpose of this journey across the Atlantic by these separatists, was to establish religious freedoms in a new nation, dedicated to the Glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith. May we never forget this or allow this founding intention to be stolen, rebranded, or destroyed. America began on a covenant with God, we are indeed His nation.

God is calling to His nation, America – Give Attention to Me; turn your focus, choose to listen, intentionally pay attention, harken to me. “America, give ME your eyes and your ears“.

Oh, that we heed His call.

Point 2- My Power

” For I release my teaching to the nations, and I will cause the light of justice to rest on them. My righteousness is coming closer, and my salvation has gone out. My mighty arms will govern the people. The islands will trust in me and put their hope in the unveiling of my might.”

Isaiah 51:4b-5 TPT

When we choose to pay attention to God, here’s what we are focusing on, looking to and recognizing:

  • my law will go out from me
  • my justice will be a light to the people
  • my righteousness comes near
  • my salvation has gone out
  • my arms will judge the people
  • the coasts and islands hope for me
  • and the are waiting for my arm

We are focusing on the power of God, the might of His arm, the justice of His law, His right (as opposed to wrong) that is coming close, his ability to save, and bring hope.

Our God is powerful, His ways are right, His law is truth and He is our focus. His ability. His power. It is in His strong arm that this nation will find law and order, justice, right living, and true judgement. His strong arm is what we hope and wait for.

Point 3- My Reign

“Lift up your eyes to the heavenly realm and look at the Earth far below. Though the heavens disappear like smoke, though the Earth wears our like a garment, and though all the people die like gnats, my salvation will endure forever and my righteousness will never end!”

Isaiah 51:6 TPT

Lift up you eyes, dear reader, to see Earth from from heaven’s realm, from God’s perspective. From there we understand that Earth and the skies will vanish and people will die. What we see will not last, it is temporary; things will dissipate like smoke and wear out like your old, comfy hoodie.

So, LIFT UP YOUR EYES. Shift where you are looking. Lift up your head, look up to God in the heavens. See things from His point of view, from heavens perspective, from the eternal. Don’t be Earth bound and driven by what you see – Look up! Earthly things are temporary.

BUT

My salvation will be forever“. The word “salvation” here means, “welfare, prosperity, & victory” God’s wellbeing, and God’s prosperity will lead to His lasting and eternal victory!

My righteousness will never be dismayed“. Although we don’t use the word dismayed anymore, here it means – “be abolished, break down by violence, confusion and fear”. Debbie’s translation – God’s right ways will never be abolished by any amount of violence, confusion or fear.

God’s kingdom will reign forever and ever, hallelujah…. (Revelation 19) Of His kingdom there will be no end. (Isa. 9:7) God will reign forever!

“He is the Head of every kingdom and authority in the universe.” Colossians 2:10

When we look up, we see things from an eternal point of view.

Point 4- My People

“So listen to me, you who care for that which is right, who treasure my teaching in your hearts…”

Isaiah 51:7a TPT

You who have the Word in your hearts, you who care about right and wrong… Listen to the whispers of your conscience, listen to the truth pounding in your heart. Listen to my voice within you, my people. I am speaking to you from your heart and through your thoughts. Listen, my people.

Most of the time the truth that we seek, is already in our hearts and mind. God has embed it there. He has set eternity in the hearts of His people. It is in our DNA.

Point 5- DO NOT FEAR

Do not fear the insults of others; do not be dismayed when they revile you. They are nothing for you to fear, for the moth will eat them up like a shirt and the worm will consume them like wool… ”

Isaiah 51:7b-8a TPT

Holy schmokes, doesn’t this fit these days? We believers, but not only believers, tend to fear the insults of leaders. Revilings too… because revilings are “criticisms, and verbal abuse”. We hate being made fun of, canceled, shut down, and disrespected. We may even fear what “they” can do to us. We fear their terrible acts and the impacts on our belief systems.

Do not be “dismayed” in this sentence actually means, “don’t be shattered, broken or scared by their reviling”. Their insults and abuses are not to be feared, or revered. Colossians 2:8, tells us, “Beware that no one distracts you or intimidates you…”

Why? Because they are also temporary! And to prove it, we are given a picture of a moth eating a shirt. In the same way that “they” are eating at us, with insults and abuses, the Lord will send a simple, little moth, who also loves dark places too, and stays away from the light, and that hungry, winged instrument of God will eat away at them! The ones hurling insults, abuses, criticisms, and judgment will themselves be consumed.

And to strengthen this point about the moths – I learned that there are 2 kinds of moths.

  1. the webbing moth
  2. the casemaking moth
webbing moth and it’s web
casemaking moth

Similiarily, there are voices who create webs of lies and voices who make cases of falsehoods! God’s moths will eat up the webs that have been spun and the cases that have been made, and His justice will prevail.

My friend, we are charged to not fear these voices, to not be shattered by them or scared of their rantings. God will send His moths to eat away at the fabric of their falsehoods and destroy the caseload of evil intentions.

Colossians 1:13 reminds us, “He has rescued us from the tyrannical rule of darkness…” God knows what’s planned in the secret places of darkness, and His powerful, kingdom reign will always bring victory and light.

God says to His people, His nation – that His power is forever, so DO NOT FEAR. (what man can do to you.) God will fight for you, if you do your part. (Exodus 14:14-15)

Point 6- My Salvation

BUT my righteousness will last forever and my salvation from generation to generation.”

Isaiah 51:8b TPT

(Or as The Message paraphrase puts it, “my salvation will last forever, my setting-things right will never be obsolete.”)

I love the BUTS of the Bible!

Criticism, insults, verbal abuses, yes.. BUT. Wham! That big “but” just turned everything around!

While all this mouthy abuse is happening, we are reminded that God’s setting-things right will never be obsolete and His salvation from knuckleheads with loud and big mouths will last forever. His answers and saving power is for us, our kids and their kids. Every generation has access to His saving power and Kingdom reign.

So, let’s wrap this up –

God’s nation, His people are being called on to focus their attention on His power, His kingdom reign, and to NOT FEAR what man can do to them, because His salvation and setting-things right is for today, this year and forever.

“Do not fear, people who care about what is right. Do not fear, my nation. Do not fear, my people”.

“This is a year of my powerful arm being displayed and My kingdom reign on Earth as it already is in heaven. So look up, change your perspective, look to me and listen to my Words, and do not fear the insults and criticisms, which are temporary.”

You see, fear is not the real issue. The coming of the powerful, Kingdom of God into this nation, through His people who have heaven’s perspective is the real issue. They will not fear the abuses of man because their allegiance is to the King of Kings, who reigns forever and whose salvation is enough for them and their kids, and their grandkids.

Wow! What a promise. Are you in?

Have a fearless day.

Debbie

2 Year Anniversary

Happy 2 year anniversary!

Exactly two years ago today, (1/10/20) our first blog post was written. Since that faith-filled, yet anxious first post, we have experienced remarkable support, loyality and clarity.

Here’s what experts tell us about some other 2 year anniversaries. For instance, did you know that:

  • your sheets should be replaced after 2 years of use
  • sunscreen, as well, has a lifetime expectancy of only 1 to 2 years
  • towels and pillows too, should be replaced after 2 years
  • even your food storage containers should be replaced after 2 years

Or, how about these animals, who generally have a life span of 2 years or so:

  • rat, 2-3 years
  • water snake, 2 years
  • mouse, 3 years
  • mosquito-fish, (whatever that is), a year and a half
  • betta fish, 3 years

Better yet, how ’bout looking at some animals of longevity:

  • Bowhead whales can live 100-200 years
  • tubeworms can live 300 plus years
  • or, on the shorter, but long-life side, the rhino- living 40 years

The point? We are celebrating our 2 year anniversary of blogging inspiration and hope to have many, many more.

In those 2 years we have:

  1. reached 66 countries
  2. on 6 continents
  3. with over 5,000 views
  4. in 255 published posts
  5. gained nearly 400 combind followers
  6. a new follower being added every 3-4 days
  7. hundreds of likes
  8. scores of comments
  9. expanded to include Instagram and IGTV with 160 followers
  10. Twitter and GETTR followers
  11. YouTube subscribers with 91 videos
  12. and a (paused) Podcast with over 200 plays

It has been a truly remarkable and humbling experience. To those precious 9 friends, who have been with me from day one, I say a humble and hearty THANK YOU! (Den, Mark, Kim, Becca, Lorine, Linda, Paul, Denise and Charisse). Your support has meant the world to me and is faith’s fuel. To those who have joined along the way, my heart is grateful for your interest, curiosity and faith.

all the nations we have touched

Although 2 years ago, I worried that my blogging might have the 2 month life span of a housefly, I am confident now in my mission of inspiring and am trusting to go beyond the frogs, 6 year life span, and maybe even reach that of a dog, 12 years. 🙂

always starting with an empty screen & trusting to fill it up with inspiration

Thank you to all of our readers for making these the most popular posts.

  • Give Us a Discerning Heart
  • A Most Beautiful Heart
  • On the Lighter Side
  • Elephants and Camels
  • After You Have Done All to Stand
  • Are You and Influencer
  • Standing at the Hinge of Hisory
  • It’s Time to Pray
  • Incomprehensible
  • Your Voice

Please visit the archives at the updated website to check out any of our 253 blogs.

If you would, please leave a comment or send me a message, I’d love to hear from you.

Thank you so much for joining me on this journey.

Cheers to another year of blogging (and maybe even reaching that untouched continent of Antarctica. ha ha) .

Debbie

The Power of One

Sunday Sermon 1.8.22

What good is one person, one voice, one idea? Can one person really make any difference in the world today? One is outnumbered in every field, demeaned among ruling class, and considered impossible odds for any victory. As the song goes, “one is the lonliest number.” (1)

But one is also uniquely powerful and necessary. Consider if you will, the number 1 in mathematics. It is:

  • the only number that is the same in binary, base 10 and Roman Numerals
  • the only positive whole number which is neither prime nor composite
  • the first odd number, the first triangular, square, pentagonal and hexagonal number
  • the first tetrahedral, cube and Fibonacci number
  • used to make up all other whole numbers (2)

The number one, shall we say, is the building block of all other numbers. Oh, the power of one!

Furthermore, where would we be without these singular men of history and their contributions?

  • Abraham
  • Moses
  • Socrates
  • Alexander the Great
  • Julius Caesar
  • Jesus Christ
  • Muhammad
  • Leonardo DaVinci
  • Martin Luther
  • William Shakespeare
  • Galileo
  • Isaac Newton
  • Albert Einstein
  • Martin Luther King

Oh, the power of one!

I can hear some of you thinking, ok, but, but I’m not a DaVinci, Socrates, Alex. Albert, or Jesus. There’s no way lil’ ole me is gonna make any meaningful impact on the world. It is to you and every reader, I would ask to continue reading, to the end of this blog, and see if, in fact YOU, really can make a difference. Oh, the power of one.

As I was seeking the Lord on January 1, of this new year (2022), I was drawn to this chapter of Isaiah, chapter 51. In it, I believe lie strong words for us in this coming year. Here’s how it starts:

” Listen to me, all you who are serious about right living and committed to seeking God. Ponder the rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were dug. Yes, ponder Abraham, your father, and Sarah, who bore you. Think of it! One solitary man when I called him, but once I blessed him, he multiplied. Likewise, I, God, will comfort Zion, comfort all her mounds of ruins. I’ll transform her dead ground into Eden, her moonscape into the garden of God, a place filled with exuberance and laughter, thankful voices and melodic songs.”

Isaiah 51:1-3 The Message

IF you are serious about living the right way and committed to seeking God’s way, then this word tells us to consider Abraham and his barren wife, Sarah. Think about him and reflect on his life. As believers, those who have been called to the faith, Abraham is considered our father – for scripture declares him to be the father of the faith. Genesis 17, Romans 4. (for Jews, Christians and Muslims)

Here was one man who was going about his life, tending his flocks, loving his barren wife and believing in Yahweh to meet his every need. Here was one man alone with his faith in something bigger and better than what his eyes observed. Here was “one solitary man, when I called him, but once I blessed him, he multiplied.”

God, taking note of the faith of this one man Abram, told him that he would indeed be blessed and have a son and he would be the father of a great mutitude. Then God told him to look into the night sky and count the stars; for his offspring would be more numerous than those stars. Later he spoke again and told Abraham (his name got changed too) that his long-time barren wife would bear him a son and they would call him Isaac.

That’s a heartwarming and compassionate story – a couple will be blessed and have a baby. Yay, God. But let’s not forget, they were both vert OLD – and having a baby at their age was impossible. Geesh! Abraham was nearly 100 years old and Sarah nearly 90. That baby-making ship had sailed a loooooong time ago.

After Abraham and Sarah laughed at the impossibility before them, we are told this about their faith:

  • Abraham believed against hope- that means that even when it seemed hopeless, Abe believed Yahweh
  • He did not weaken in his faith, considering Sarah’s barren womb
  • No unbelief made him waver in God’s promises
  • He grew stronger in his faith
  • He was fully convinced God could do what He promised
  • Romans 4:18-21 ESV

(Just a side note, on the human side, imagine a 99 year old man and his 89 year old barren wife acting on this promise for a pregnancy and baby boy. THAT took some faith!!)

No wonder we are encouraged to consider, think about and remember Abraham (in 2022). Why? Because, just like our father Abraham, we face impossibilities. We face years of endless barreness and hopeless situations. We face old desires unfulfilled and we need comfort in our wasteplaces and wildernesses.

We too, when all hope seems gone, must believe in Yahweh. We too, must remember that there is no barren womb, when God plants the seed of promise, vision and dreams there. We too, will grow stronger in our faith when we lean fully on God’s promises.

Because Abraham, one man, choose to believe in God, do the right thing and seek God’s ways, God built from that 1, all other people of faith through the generations! Through Abraham, every nation on earth has been blessed. Oh, the power of one.

My friend, you are but one small voice of the 107 billion that have ever lived here, but oh the power of that one.

Noah, Abram, Joseph, Moses, Deborah, David, Rahab, Esther, Isaiah, Peter and YOU- one voice, one man or woman – yielded in unwavering faith, fully convinced that God is able to do what He says, no matter the impossible circumstances. The twelve disciples were singular individuals as well, who determined to join with others and follow one man – Jesus. Of these it was said, “They (Paul and Silas) have turned the world upside down.” Acts 17:6

Our world needs to be turned right side up, because it is awfully upside down right now. Wrong is considered right. Injustice is considered justice. Lawbreakers are considered innocent. Innocent are considered guilty. Men are considered women and vice versa. Isolation is considered freedom. Our world is upside down and it seems impossible to change.

Not, however, for the ONE who remembers Abraham and reminds him or herself that we serve a God of the impossible and we will not waver in our trust of Him.

No one else sees through your eyes, hears through your ears, feels deeply like you do, senses intuitively like you do. No one else has your vast experiences of pain, joy, victories and failures, no one else is you. You are ONE of a kind and you have influence and opportunity where no one else does.

God sees you this new year, 2022. May He see in you the unwavering confidence in Him that chooses to turn this world right side up, one conversation, one idea, one person at at time. If you see only impossibilities, remember Abraham our father and Sarah our mother…. there’s nothing impossible with God.

You can and will make a difference in 2022.

Oh, the power of one.

Go with God,

Debbie

  1. “One is the Lonliest Number”, Three Dog Night, 1969
  2. HouseofMath.co.uk

Word Pictures for 2022

January 3, 2022

Once again, as in the previous years, I have been given pictures that are symbolic to show us lessons in 2022. And again, each of these were visually highlighted to me as I was out for a prayer walk today. I will show you 5 pictures and then share the signifigance for each in this new year.

overgrown palm & badly in need of pruning

#1 Dying palm leaves – This palm tree was so fascininating. It actually had more dead things hanging from it than it did green, live things; and the dead things seemed to be pulling the whole tree lower, downward. Plus, it was so ugly.

Palm trees with dead or damaged branches should be removed from the tree. As the branches die, new leaves cannot grow in that same spot and therefore must be pruned for optimal growth and beauty.

+ 2022 is the year that we must remove from our life those things that are dead and damaged. Sin, grudges, shame, failure, anxiety, depression, fear, gossip… the same ol’ way of doing things, same ol’ reading, same ol’ prayer. It’s time to clean our house, our life and prune off the ugly, dead branches that haven’t produced fresh life in years but have been bringing us down and making our life ugly. (John 15;2)

I saw thousands of acorn seeds lying on the ground

#2 Seedtime – I was shocked how many of these seeds were lying along the sidewalk, for the whole 4 miles of my walk! 1000’s! These acorn seeds were all smooth, brown, in shells that were pointed. There weren’t the usual top caps, they looked like bullets.

+ 2022 – is SEEDTIME! God promised that his pattern of growth is seedtime and harvest. (Genesis 8:22) The seed that is planted is our words. If we plant words of hope, we will harvest hope. If we plant seeds of fear we will reap fear. It is seedtime! What are we planting? If we don’t plant, we won’t reap. If we plant His Word, speak His Word, we will reap a harvest of His blessing. What are we speaking? Planting? (Our words are indeed like bullets)

cut down trees
of all shapes and sizes
many with roots still intact

#3 Cut down trees – I saw no less than a dozen fully grown trees that had been cut down. There stood only their stump, a very small trunk. It struck me powerfully. Why were so many trees cut down?

+ 2022 – Trees represent people and even rulers and leaders. Ezekiel 31, Isaiah 14, Daniel, Job. I believe God was reminding me that He will cut down the pride and arrogance of man. God will cut down the groves where idolatry is practiced and perpertrated. This year we will see fall many who participate in wickedness as God’s righteousness rises upon our land. May He cut to the ground Lucifer and those who follow him.

printed slip with 1967 as the call number

#4 1967 – I saw this slip of paper but initially walked by it. Not getting too far, I was prompted to go back, take a look at it and consider it. So I did a 180. Walking back & looking more closely at it, the 1967 was embolden, and although I tried to figure out where it had come from, the message was loud and clear 1967. I walked a long way wondering what this year could mean or these numbers could mean. I believe the year is important and a picture of what lies ahead for us in this next year.

+ 2022 – I remember 1967 well. It was the beginning of the Jesus movement, 1967-1972! Along the beaches of CA were gathering of hippies, singing and praising God. They had given their lives to Jesus and were rocking the churches of the day. Summer of 1967 was the “Summer of Love” in Haight-Ashbury where this counter-culture was bursting forth from. Also in 1967 “The Living Room” was started, a Christian street mission that housed these hippie converts and discipled them for Christ.

I believe a Jesus movement like that of 1967 is approaching and will break upon the shores of CA and other states in this new year of 2022! Harvest always follows seedtime my friend. Homes will be aflame with vibrant prayer and fellowship and lives are changed and filled with His power. Let’s not just watch this outpouring but be involved in it.

Lake Mission Viejo with the Saddleback mountains in view

#5 A clear view of mountains – Walking back home the saddleback mountains of Santiago Peak and Modjeska Peak were clear and large; in fact, Santiago Peak is the highest point in Orange County. (5,689 ft.) Interestingly enough, you can hike to it from the OC on a 17.2 mile trail called the Holy Jim Trail. It is because these peaks form the shape of a huge saddle silhouette against the sky, that they were called old Saddleback.

+ 2022 – There are two take aways from these mountains for us in 2022.

1- there will continue to be big mountains standing in our way this year. Jesus promised in Matthew 17:20, that if we have the faith of a mustard seed, we can say to the mountain MOVE and it will move. I believe this is the year we will see seemingly impossible obstacles disappear, because of our faith-filled prayers and words. (Remember those seeds, those words??)

2. 2022 will be a year of the rising of the Mountain of the Lord, the highest of all mountains. Isaiah 2:1-5 This mountain is His remnant of believers, His church, His ecclesia, His called out ones. 2022 will see the awakening and arising of His people walking in faith and victory.

Regardless of how spiritual or unspiritual you may consider yourself to be right now, I emplore you to consider these 5 word pictures as you walk through 2022. I believe that they are pictures from the Lord for us and will help us focus our prayers and walk in the things that please Him.

Get involved in what He is doing. Speak what He is speaking. Prune your life. Plant seeds. Pray to cut down wicked rulers. Pray for and work in the Jesus people harvest. Exercise faith and be identified with His mountain in 2022. This is going to be the best year yet! Get ready!

So glad to be looking with you at these prophetic word pictures for 2022.

Debbie

The Right Time and Place #5

#5 in a series of 5 Sunday Sermons 12.24.21

In this series we have found reassurances (from the lives of Job, Eliju, Esther, and Daniel) that even though our circumstances may seem to the contrary, we can still find ourselves in the right place at the exact right time.

As we close this topic, we will add the young lives of Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus Christ, to those who have lessons to teach us.

#5 – Mary and Joseph – Carriers of Jesus

What were you like when you were in high school? How firm was your faith and trust in Jehovah God? Looking back, would you have considered yourself to be just, or righteous? How often did you attend synagogue, temple or church? Could it have been said of you that you “found favor with God”? Were you a servant of The Most High God? Did you obey God when He spoke to you? Did you do as He told you?

Most scholars believe that Mary was 15-16 years old when she gave birth to Jesus and that Joseph was 20 or so. In our culture, that would have put Mary smack dab in the middle of high school, and Joseph barely out and finding his carreer path. Yet these two, were the chosen carriers of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world.

Could they possibly be in the right time and right place?

Mary and Joseph – Betrothed

” Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin bethothed to a man whose name was Joseph… And the virgin’s name was Mary.”

Luke 1:26-27 ESV

What appears to be an ordinary, lowly, and young Middle Eastern couple on the surface reveals something much deeper and extraordinary.

These two were betrothed to one another. They were promised to each other, perhaps even an arranged marriage. The cultural norms of the day made it illegal to be married before 12 years of age or to live with a husband before 12.5. What ages they were isn’t specified in scripture, other than the hint given when Joseph offered 2 pigeons as an offering at Jesus’ dedication. (that suggests that Joseph was 20, as required in the Law).

What we do know is these two were extraordinarily devoted to Jehovah God and therefore we surmise to the covenant of marriage. A few paragraphs ago, I asked you about your high school descriptors, those descriptions – firm in faith to Jehovah God, trust in God, just, righteous, regular temple attendance and celebrations, “found favor with God”, obedient to what God tells you; these are all ascribed to either Mary or Joseph in the Gospel of Luke. These “kids” were in right relationship with God. They knew Him and wanted to please Him and were planning on doing that together in the covenant of marriage.

They were young people of impeccable character and moral fiber. What would have been ok for others to cheat on or lie about was not okay for Mary and Joseph.They were doing things the right way, God’s way, and they were doing it in their youth.

Mary and Joseph – Believed

Mary was just hanging out in her room when this angel appears and says,

” Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you! Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.

And Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?” And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy – the Son of God.”

“And Mary said, “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.””

Luke 1:28-38 ESV

Try as we may to understand and apply this to our lives, we will be forever baffled and amazed at this supernatural encounter. When God speaks the impossible to a lowly teenager and when she genuinely and humbly receives it and submits willfully to Holy Spirit’s overshadowing, our minds are blown!

Yet, not Mary’s. She asked how, God told her how, and she said, bring it on God, I am yours. Do what you have said, I trust you.

THIS IS WHAT FAITH IN GOD LOOKS LIKE.

Mary believed God. This high schooler was exactly where she was s’pose to be when Gabriel appeared, heard exactly what God was going to do and believed that God was able to do it in and through her. No doubt Mary was in the right place at the right time.

But how do you explain this pregnancy to your fiancee, family and friends?

Somehow, she found the words and told Joseph about the angelic encounter and the blessing of her womb with the Son of God. His response?

” And her husband, Joseph, being a just man, and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly . But as he considered these things, behold an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ” Joseph, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son and you will call his name Jesus. Joseph woke from his sleep, and he did as the angel commanded him.”

Matthew 1:18-21, 24

No doubt overcome with questions himself, Joseph believed God. He beleived the word from the angel and he kept his commitment to Mary and their pending wedding. Joseph believed, too. Together, Mary and Joseph would become the carriers of Jesus Christ and together they believed.

When you each have an angelic visitation, you can pretty much bank on the fact that you are in the right place at the right time, can’t you?

It is interesting to note, that not only did this young couple choose to believe, but there is an elderly couple in this story too, that believed!

Luke 1:7 describes Elizabeth and Zechariah as “both were advanced in years.” That for sure means not young. Hidden away in Mary and Joseph’s young life of being in the right place at the right time, is an elderly couple, also being in the right place at the right time. This elderly couple also believed God’s voice and promise. (Well, Zechariah believed after he didn’t believe. ha!)

Young Mary and Joseph believed. The advanced in years Elizabeth and Zechariah also believed.

Mary and Joseph – Became

Because of their faith, trust, and obedience, Mary and Joseph became the guardians of God. They were to steward if you will, (cuz that’s what all parents are called to do) their child who was really God in the flesh. They became the parents of Jesus. They became the family for Jesus. They became the tutors of God, the man.

This extraordinary, young couple, of impeccable moral fiber and godly character, fervent for temple, Jewish tradition, and Jehovah God were called to become the carriers of Jesus. They have become the cornerstone of Jesus’ earthly family, because they were in the right place at the right time, doing the right things! Therefore, the favor of God rested on them.

I believe that Mary, Joseph and even Zechariah and Elizabeth speak to us clearly of what God is looking for in these days, our days.

  1. He is looking for those who will be carriers of Jesus to a lost and broken world
  2. He is looking for those who will believe what He says
  3. He is looking for young, old and everyone inbetween to believe his word and act on it
  4. He is looking for those who will become like Him and become the family replacement to the dysfunctional family template of this world
  5. He is looking for those who are committed to Him, as in betrothed to live and love only him

Now, and into 2022 is the right time to be carriers of Jesus. Now and through 2022, wherever you are is the right place.

Will you be a carrier of Jesus? Now is the time, where you are is the place.

Merry Christmas to you and your family.

Debbie

The Right Time & Place #4

#4 of 5 in a series of Sunday Sermons 12.17.21

#4 – Daniel – a wiseman

At one time or another, we all wonder if we are in the right place at the right time. Because this is such a universal experience, this series seeks to illuminate for us, people who’s situations sure didn’t appear that they were in the right place, and yet, they were in the exact right place at the exact right time and were used in some pretty astounding ways.

In review, you will remember:

  • Job, a target, who in spite of his success, suffered greatly and was rewarded with great surprises.
  • Elihu, a spokesman, a tender young man, who waited patiently to speak and become a truth-teller.
  • Esther – a queen, and beautiful orphan, who lived as an exile but became queen with a brazen voice who blessed her people

Today, we will look at:

Daniel, a wise man. Purposed. Prophetic. Powerful.

As I write this, Christmas is next week, so it is not uncommon to consider wisemen this time of the year. I’m sure you remember those guys who came from the East, bringing gifts to baby Jesus. They were considered learned astronomers and wise in academia and spiritual understanding. The East at the time offered the best of learning of everykind, and these men came to Jesus, based on what they knew and understood about when the Messiah would be born. They had traveled a great distance, fueled by their learning, to present their gifts to this child wonder.

But long before these wise men sought to find Jesus there was another wise man. This wise man tho’, was different.

Daniel – a wise man

This wise man, Daniel, wasn’t even really a man yet. He is described (in the book that bears his name, Daniel 1) as a youth, or young man. Scholars believe he was actually an extrordinarily gifted prince in Israel. King Nebuchadnezzar, of Babylon had come to Jerusalem, overtaken it and taken captives back to Babylon, he took the cream of the crop.

Those that he deported were,

“… of the royal family and nobility… youths without blemish, of good appearance, skillful in all wisdom, endowed with knowledge, understanding, learning, competent to stand before the king…”

Daniel 1:3-4 ESV

These adolescence were the AP (advance placement) kids at school, who were also eagle scouts or gold award recipients. They attended the finest of private schools, were involved in community service projects, were tutored in etiquette, manners and public speaking. Daniel and his three friends were the “Creme de la Creme”. They were going places! Watch out world.

And here they were being deported to Babylon! What??? This could not possibly be right. This is not who they were training to become, or where they were expecting to live. Talk about hopes dashed and expectations shattered! Their education was not intended to be used in Babylon. How could they be in the right place and this the right time?

It was precisely because Daniel was a wise man that he was taken captive. It was precicely because he was appealing to the enemy king that he was being deported. His training and qualifications were actually all leading him to this very moment. Crazy, right?

Daniel – Purposed

When Daniel arrived in Babylon, he and his three friends were placed in a three year study program. During that time they would be taught the literature and language of the Chaldeans. Then they would be called before the king to see if he approved of them, their training and their expertise.

During this time, their food was to be the same food and drink that the king ate. They would be offered the best foods and wines, along with the best education, but, this is where the young and wise Daniel spoke up.

Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not defile himself with the kings food, but rather he would eat what foods were kosher to the Jews. After negotiating a plan with chief of staff, Daniel and his friends were proven to be better and fatter than all the others. In fact, we are told that there was none found like Daniel in all of the kings palace. God was with Daniel and gave him understanding, skill and wisdom, he also understood visions and dreams. His purpose had paid off and he was now beginning to realize that just maybe, he was in the right place.

Daniel – Prophetic

In the old teatament times there were men and women who were prophetic, meaning they heard from God and delivered God’s message to people for God. Prophets were recognized in every region and nation. Jehovah God had prophets and even the idols, like Baal had prophets.

A prophet seeks to do what God tells him to do, or say what God tells him to say, go where, etc., you get the point. This was the focus of Daniel’s heart. Here he was in Babylon, not his choice, but it seemed to be God’s. Daniel maintained his devotion to Jehovah God, his prayer, and his dependence upon God for insight, understanding, knowledge and wisdom.

Although the king’s servant had changed Daniel and his friends names to Chaldean names, thus attempting to contradict the truth of those names, none of them turned away from their prophetic destiny. Bred into their names was purpose, destiny, focus and strength and noting in the Babylonian reeducation system could break their resolve to serve Jehovah God.

Let’s peek at those names and their changes:

  • Daniel means God is judge. Changed to Belteshazzar – Bel will protect.
  • Hananiah means God is gracious. Changed to Shadrach – inspired of Aku
  • Azariah means God is my help. Changed to Abendnego – servant of Negro
  • Mishael means who is like God. Changed to belonging to Aku

Bel, Aku and Negro were all Chaldean gods. Herein lies the contradiction and opposition against them. Would they succomb to this change to their identity, values, practices and devotion?

Nebuchadnezzar and his systemic three year program to reeducate these wise men was all about tearing down their God given purpose, name, resolve and polluting it (reshaping it) for his kingdom.

Daniel cotinued to walk in the confidence of who he was before God. He continued to listen to God’s voice and he continued to speak what God showed him. Nothing was going to change his prophetic calling. No land, no king, no edict, no mandate and no name change.

For the next four chapters in Daniel, we find him interpreting the king’s dream. Being thrown into a firey furnace and surviving. Interpreting another dream. Translating a some grafitti written on a wall by a ghostly hand, during one of the kings banquets. Violating the kings mandate to not pray to god for 30 days. Being thrown into a hungry lions den, AND SURVIVING (again!).

This man was moving in the prophetic and God was all over him! Was he in the right place at the right time? (Duh!?)

Daniel – Powerful

Those experiences would have been more than enough for me to be satisfied that God was using me and I was in the right place and time. But Daniel continued to move in this purposed and prophetic lifestyle until he was 80 years old!

The furnace, lions den and handwriting on the wall were all just tastes of the power that Daniel was about to move into. Daniel’s true power came as he himself had visions and dreams.

His powerful prophetic messages are found in Daniel chapters 7-12, and they are not for the faint of heart. In these chapters he speaks of the end of times and the anti-christ. He sees beasts, The Ancient of Days, a ram and a goat, and he prays for his people. He talks in some veiled way about 70 weeks, a burning face that talked to him, falling down in fear, and kings of the north and south. He talks about the abomination that makes desolate, those who are against God, and the time of the end.

Daniel’s visions have been studied by all the great scholars through the years and many interpretations have been offered. Daniel’s descriptions are duplicated in the book of Revelation, by the Apostle John, who lived some 600 years after Daniel lived! That is powerfully prophetic!

So you tell me, my friend, was Daniel in the right time and place?

Job and Daniel share certain characteristics. They were both successful, educated, leaders, and they both had reason to question God’s timing. Yet, their preparation was exactly what put them when and where they needed to be.

Daniel and Esther start out pretty much as opposites. How could their lives have anything in common? Could they share the notion of being in the right place? Both Esther and Daniel ended up in the king’s palace by the mighty hand of God. Both exactly in the time they needed to be there.

Daniel and Elihu were opposites too, yet both were wise spokesmen at just the right time and the right place.

Dear one, it is my firm belief, that we need more Daniel’s. Those trained in wisdom, insight, and educated in the ways of God (and even academia). Those whose purpose is the prophetic and in the fulness of its intended power. Ones who hear what God is saying and share it. Ones who understand what’s happening, and can give strategic, prophetic direction. Ones who will not bow to the mandates of the king but purpose to obey God alone, no matter the lions den or firey furnace.

God is wanting to equip Daniel’s to speak His wisdom and interpret the signs. God is looking for wise men and women who are purposed, prophetic and powerful.

If that’s you, now is the right time and place.

Next week is our final lesson in this series and we will look at Mary and Joseph – carriers of Jesus. Betrothed. Believed. Became.

See you then

Go with God,

Debbie

A Defining Moment

One of the most distinctive features on our face has been getting alot of attention recently from me. We are told that as a species we pay alot of attention to this facial feature. In fact, scientists tell us that we recognize a familiar face more easily when eyes are blacked out, than when these are. What are they, these things that have attracted my attention of late? Eyebrows!

Yes, eyebrows.

With age comes many things, and now I have discovered one more – the disappearance and greying of my eyebrows. Hang with me, because you, too, have eyebrows, and there are some interesting points to be made about them and lessons for us.

I don’t know when it happened, but not long ago I looked into the mirror and realized that there was no definition to my eyes, because I couldn’t see my eyebrows. Geesh! When did that happen? How long had I been eyebrowless? How did I loose that definition on my face? This was a defining moment for me.

So I began to research and experiment with cosmetic solutions to redefine my eyes. There were brushes, pencils, gels, powders and shadows. Also for consideration were cloning my eyebrows, (that’s ridiculous), the very popular tattooing (too expensive) of eyebrows, and let’s not forget microblading, (ouch).

I settled on a few new products, consulted with a couple of friends, and proceeded to do what I could to define my eyes and face again. With the little interest and experience that I have with make up, this was challenging, but I found my solution.

Eyebrows come in all shapes, sizes, colors and textures. Believe me, I have been observing them very seriously and taken note of every kind. But what they all have in common, even yours, is their two-fold purpose:

  • Communication
  • Prevention of sweat, water & other debris from entering the eye

Communication – eyebrows provide cues for expressing moods. Facial expressions reveal genuine emotions and eyebrows exaggerate them.

In a 2003 study, people were shown pictures of famous people. The photos however, had been manipulated and they all either had no eyes or no eyebrows. When shown the pictures, the famous people with their eyes blacked out were recognized 60% of the time. However, the photos who’s eyebrows were balcked out where only recognized 46% of the time. It seems we recognize people more by their eyebrows than we do their eyes. Unbeleivable!

It is that one raised eyebrow that tells us interest or skepticism, or surprise with both eyebrows raised. It is the up and down movement of those eyebrows that tell us what people are thinking. They help us express recognition and sympathy. Those muscles in our face, moving our eyebrows are helping us to communicate with those in our world. Those eyebrows are defining us and our communication.

Prevention – the eyebrows prevent sweat from dripping into our eyes. The arch design diverts moisture to the side, thus protecting our eyes. Those eyebrow hairs, growing outward, and toward the sides of your face are designed to protect your vision.

We use our eyes more than any sense and blurred vision isn’t at all helpful. Our eyebrows keep rain and sweat out and give us clear vision.

Through the generations of man, clearly visible eyebrows have provided safety from predators. Whereas today, their primary function seems to be a means of communicating.

The shape, color and thickness of your eyebrows are genetic. It takes four different genes to affect your hair texture. One gene that affects their shape. Five genes work together to produce your eyebrow color, and one gene decides if you have a unibrow. (sorry… waxing???)

This pair of moisture wicking, signal senders/receptors define our faces and feelings to the world. Without them, our face lacks definition. There is no defining moment for our eyes or communication.

A defining moment” – a point when the essential character of a person is revealed or identified. A decision that fundamentally changes you and therefore transforms your perceptions and behaviors.

A defining moment” – a fork in the road.

I had a defining moment at the mirror confronting my eyebrows. But that is not the point here. It is however a visual for the point.

What defines you? What are your defining moments?

Is there a solid definition to the things that you do? Is there purpose, meaning, value? But more importantly, what are the things that define who you are and who you will allow yourself to become or be transformed into?

Has your definition, distinction disappeared? Has your personality/character color, texture, and shape faded, erroded, or waned? Do you live by clear distinctives, principles, and values? Do you allow environmental factors to permamently affect your shape; like waxing, and tweezing permanently affect your eyebrows?

Do you allow things or people to define you? What do you allow to define your communication or provide your protection? How does your personal definition prevent debris from flooding your life?

Defining moments affect our identity (just like eyebrows do), and I trust that today, as you look into the mirror, you will see not only your defining eyebrows, but look deeper and evaluate those things that define you. Are they greying? Do they need redefining?

May this be a defining moment for you.

Cheers to you,

Debbie

The Right Place and Time #2

#2 of 5- In a series of Sunday Sermons 12.4.21

#2 Elihu – a spokesman

Last week we introduced this series by exposing our driving desire to be in the right place at the right time. As an example, and for insight, we looked at Job, who was targeted by God for tremendous surprises in his life as he suffered through his many losses.

What surprises have you seen this week in your life? Your families life?

As you may remember, after Job lost his family, wealth, health and the support of his wife, he was visited by some friends, who came to show him sympathy and comfort. Job 2:11

Elihu and Job

These men were elders, men of high standing, just like Job. “These three were from the East, an area known for the wisdom of man. They relied solely on their reasoning and presuppositions to explain Job’s suffering” (1) Yet, for the next 30 chapters, what we observe is their endless reasoning and arguing with Job that he has sinned and must repent. while Job insists on his own righteousness.

Elihu – a spokesman

Elihu – the tender, truth-teller

Then, out of nowhere, appears a fourth voice. Elihu. It is thought that Eliju was an observer of these four men’s interactions and reasonings. For days he sat, observed, listened, mused, fumed and stewed as he listened to their empty arguements and baseless assertions. Until, he had had enough. They had finished their exchanges in a dead heat and now Elihu was heated enough to explode.

” So these men ceased to answer Job… Then Elihu, the son of Barachel the Buzite, of the family of of Ram, burned with anger. He burned with anger at Job… he burned with anger also at Job’s three friends…. Now Elihu had waited to speak because they were older than he. And when Elihu saw that there was no answer in the mouth of these three men, he burned with anger.”

Job 32:1-5 ESV

Was Elihu in the right place?

Geesh, here was an elder who had been beset with horrible boils running with pus, blood and infection. He was actually unidentifiable, his friends didn’t even recognize him. Job 2:12 He’d lost all he valued and was sitting in the junkyard. Surrounding him were his “friends” attempting to comfort and console him. Yet, nothing he’d heard from their “wise” mouths brought either. Elihu was aghast! These are wise men from the east? These men are renoun for their understanding and insight?

“It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right.” Job 32:9 Elihu concluded.

He knew now, that he was in the right place at just the right time. He was full of words, had respectfully waited his turn, attentively listened to all points of view and was now ready to speak. NOW was the right time. Job 32:18

Four times this text states: “he burned with anger“.

This phrase when translated more fully from the Hebrew would really read, (2)

Elihu’s heart began to race and his breathing intensified. His face began to imitate the rage of his heart, because as a seer-prophet he saw and understood what God was saying and knew that he must speak on God’s behalf. He must open his lips and answer. Job 32:7-8, 18-22; 36:2

He was in the right place and the right time had finally come!

You see, Elihu, although younger than the other wise friends, was a prophetic voice. His name means, “He is my God”. He is a prophetic descendent of Abraham. The city he was from (Ram” short for Aram, Abraham) was known for its prophets. The other three friends came to Job from the East, with man’s wisdom, but Elihu came to Job with a prophetic voice, Godly insight and perspective.

Eliju had been groomed and prepped his whole life for this exact place and this exact time.

As a new wineskin bursting with fermented, new wine he exploded on the scene. Job 32:19

For the next six chapters of Job (32-37), Elihu speaks for God. He brings four charges from God to these men and this case:

  • Chapter 32 – Elihu rebukes the three friends
  • Chapter 33 – Elihu tells Job that he is not right, because God is always just
  • Chapter 34 – Elihu emphasizes that God is just
  • Chapter 35 – Elihu confronts Job’s misspeech. Saying that Job is not suffering becasue of sin, but is sinning in his suffering.
  • Chapter 36 & 37 – Elihu tells of God’s greatness, majesty, might and power

The Encyclopedia Britannica says this of Elihu,

” Elihu is a superhuman intermediary who will help restore Job to God.”

When a tender, truth-teller shows up on the scene, in the midst of hopelessness, pain and suffering, that one could surely be considered super human.

Elihu’s perspective was that God is always just. Powerful. Merciful. God is always seeking to teach us and uses every situation in our life to teach us. Elihu identified God a the teacher in Job’s sufferings and Job would do well to learn the lessons that God was teaching him, rather than accuse and misspeak. God is always good and will never do wickedly. Why contend with God?

Elihu, the son of “God has blessed”, the father of the “prophet”, of the family of “high or exalted ancestor of David”, was in the right place at the right time with his heart full of words, his belly like wine without a vent. There he was called to speak the word of the Lord that was burning within him, just like Jeremiah in Jeremiah 19: 9 The burning truth of the Lord was shut up in his bones and he could not hold it in any longer.

These are the days that we are living in, oh mighty ones. Days of being in the right place at the right time and speaking what God has burned into our heart. Days of Elihu’s arising. Watching for times to speak. Listen, observe, wait, respect, honor and then speak boldly the truth into the situation.

Understand the times and seasons, and be that one who, out of nowhere, speaks the powerful Word of God into a hopeless situation. Let his Word ferment within you and be released into your family, workplace, neighborhood, church, synagogue, temple, classroom, and your sphere of influence.

We need more tender, truth-tellers. We need more spokesmen like Elihu.

Next week, we will study Esther – a princess who was beautiful, brazen and blessed. Hope to see you back.

Go with God.

Debbie

1. Spiros Zodhiates, Th.D., Keyword Study Bible

2. Hebrew lexicon H2374; H639;

The Right Place and Time #1

#1 of 5- In a series of Sunday Sermons 11.27.21

#1 – Job – a target

Have you ever wondered if you are in the right place doing the right thing? Or had the opposite occur, when things synced up so perfectly and everything felt just as it should, with that, “WOW, this is amazing!” moment? Then again, how ’bout that heavy sense that “things just blew up”, and something is not right?

We all want to be in the right place at the right time, don’t we? We want it all to line up, sync up and to feel that “WOW!” moment.

That is what we will be addressing for the next five weeks (in our Sunday Sermons) – “The right place and time“. We will take a look a five different characters and see what insights we can gain from them on this topic. Our focus will be on Job, Elihu, Esther, Daniel and Mary and Joseph; we will let them teach us from their experiences. I hope you will follow along and check back each week.

Today, our first example is Job.

Job a target.

Job – success, suffering, & surprises

Was Job in the right place at the right time? Let’s see.

We find Job in the oldest book in the Bible, the one that bears his name – Job. He lived in Uz, which is in the Middle East between Damascus and the Euphrates River. He probably lived the same time as Genesis chapters 12-50 are happening, about the the time of the Patriarchs.

He is a noteworthy man of character. The biblical description says of him,

” … that man was blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil.”

Job 1:1 ESV

It then goes on to ennumerate his family and wealth. He had seven sons, three daughters, and thousands of sheep, camels, oxen, and donkeys. Plus shifts of workers to care for them all. He is described as the greatest man of all the people of the East. Job 1:2-3

He dearly loved his family and was 100% devoted to them. He even made sacrifices for them.

In spite of all this SUCCESS that he had, his name, the name Job means, ” the hated or persecuted one; (object of enmity).”

Was he in the right time and right place? His name sure didn’t match up with his fame. Things were good for him, but they sure weren’t adding up.

Job was a target.

He was successful. He was God-fearing. His family was his priority. He was the greatest in the East. Does that sound like you? (Well, three out of four, maybe?) And he was a target. (you?)

Satan was roaming and looking through the Earth. Job 1:7; 2:2

God targeted Job. Job 1:8; 2:36

Job was in the right place at the right time.

Job was successful.

He was prosperous in land, herds, wealth and family. Spiritually, he was God-fearing, blameless and sacrificed for his children as a priest. He was respected in the surrounding region as an influencial leader.

What parrallels can we draw? You’re doing ok with possessions, family. Maybe even involved in community affairs of civic leadership. You’re maybe also God-fearing. Perhaps your portfolio, stocks or investment properties are flourishing. You, too are successful.

Or perhaps you have found happiness and success in a less “wealthy” lifestyle, because you have wealth of another kind. You see yourself however by these measures as successful.

Job, in his success, was a target. God said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job?” God was about to help Job get in sync with his name. Job was about to understand the impact of his name.

Job suffered.

In one day, Job lost his family and fortune. Oxen, donkeys, workers, sheep, workers, camels, workers, sons and daughters. Within hours it was all gone! He was a target. AND, he was in the right place at the right time.

His response to his excruciating losses – he tore his clothes. shaved his head, fell to the ground and worshipped God, as he said,

” Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return.”

Job 1:21 ESV

On another day, he lost his health and the support of his wife. Job 2:1-9

His response,

” Shall we receive good from God and shall we not receive evil?”

Job 2:10 ESV

Somewhere deep in Job was the deepest of resolves that God is good, no matter what it looks like. God is good, all the time! And in all of this, Job didn’t sin with hip lips, by bad talking God and His ways.

Was he in the right place at the right time? You betcha! He was right on target.

Are there parrallels to your life? You tell me…

Truth is, bad things happen to good people. The rain falls on the just and the unjust. (Matther 5:45)

Suffering is not meant to punish us, but to correct us, restore us and keep us on the right path. Suffering is helpful when we turn to God for understanding and even ask important questions. Suffering is harmful if we harden our heart and reject God, or refuse to ask Him questions and miss His lessons.

Satan does nothing without God’s authorization. So when God authroizes Satan to unleash suffering on us it is to:

” …humble us and test what’s in our hearts.”

Deuteronomy 8:2 ESV

This isn’t because God doesn’t know what is in our hearts, but so that we will see what really lies in our heart.

Satan comes only to destroy everything about you. John 10:10 God’s plan is to purify our heart, by turning up the heat of suffering in our life, and to produce precious gold. 1 Peter 1:7; Job 23:10

Peter even understood this, he wrote,

“Don’t be surprised at suffering that comes on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you…” 1 Peter 4:12

God knew that suffering would produce steadfastness in Job. (James 1:2) Just like it will in you and me. James also goes on to say, “That he who remains steadfast will receive a crown of life.” James 1:12 Then James repeats what Job has just stated,

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father.”

James 1:16

God is good. He only gives good gifts. Whether or not it looks like my definition of good, God is good and this gift is good.

Jesus told us that God, as our Father knows how to give good gifts to his kids. Matthew 7:9-12

Job was a target for the gift of God’s refinning.

Job was in the exact right place at the exact right time to be targeted by God for success and suffering. Job, God and Satan were all on target. But the best was yet to come.

Next week we will address Job’s friends and the part they play. In fact, for the next 35 chapters in his book, the friends’ dialogue with Job is the focus. But that’s for next week.

Job was a target and in the right place at the right time! Through his success and suffering he had remained steadfast and now he was ready for surprises.

Job received surprises!

God actually shows up and talks to Job (that makes it pretty clear Job was in the right place at the right time). God revealed himself to Job in chapters 38-42 and 42:5. (I personally think that THIS is the greatest surprise – to receive God’s presence and hear His voice.) God tells Job to pray for his three friends. And when he does, God restores Job’s fortune. All of it, and his wealth was doubled.

No kidding!

Job winds up getthing double the sheep, camels, oxen, and female donkeys. PLUS, another seven sons and three daughters. And this time, his daughters are included in the family inheritance and ancestry! His daughters are inheritors alongside of their brothers. Everyone in Job’s family was targeted by God’s surprises!

Job was on target, in the right place at the right time. Through his success, and suffering he received the surprises of a loving Heavenly Father, because God is a good God.

Whether you are in success or suffering right now, remain steadfast and see the good and surprising gifts from your Father in heaven. God is good, all the time!

You are in the right place at the right time. Please rest assured. Please be encouraged that God IS at work on your behalf and that a surprise is just around the corner.

Up next week, Elihu – a spokesman. The tender truth-teller.

God with God,

Debbie

Our Brains Hate Waiting

Sunday Sermon 10.23.21

our impatient brain

Whether it’s waiting in traffic, standing in line, waiting for a delivery, report or answer, psychologists tell us our brain hates waiting, so we speed up everything else.

Dr. Richard Larsen, professor at MIT explains, “Under pressure, our brains stretch time”. In stress, things tend to seemingly slow down but we expect things to happen quickly. That, tends to make us impatient, and we often become angry. It is that anger, that makes it seem like it takes forever.

“How people wait (in line) matters more than the duration of the wait”, he says. Distraction helps though. Notice if you will the TV screens at the gas stations, the end caps along check out lines filled with goodies for you to consider, or how about the master of distractions (entertainment) in line – DISNEY.

the line environment at Disneyland’s Indiana Jones

The “psychology of waiting” studies suggest these facts: (I didn’t even know there was such a “psychology”)

  • uncertain waits feel longer than finite ones
  • unexplained waits feel longer than explained waits
  • unoccupied time feels longer
  • unfair waits are longer than equitable waits

Another consideration when it comes to our brain and waiting, is the idea that whoever makes others wait has the power over them.

As humans, we want to take hold of the reigns and take control, accomplish it on our own effort. Get it done, move on. Waiting is not something we do easily and there is evidence that we can “blame our brain”. (She said sarcastically)

My question tho’ is, what happens in the delay? What do we do in that wait? What do we allow? Remember, “how we wait matters more than the duration of the wait.”

Here’s a story for you to ponder.

There once was a group of over 500,000 people, who were given instructions by their leader to wait at this specific location for his return. He was going to the top of the mountain with his assistant, but he would be back. They were to wait at the bottom of the hill for him.

So, wait they did. Day 1, day 2, day 3. Week 1, week 2, week 3. They were waiting. They were also getting wrestless, impatient and angry. Their brain was not having this waiting.

Finally, at week 5, they had had enough! They were feeling the pressure of their uncertain wait. Their unexplained and unoccupied wait was totally unfair and they were going to take things into their own hands. No one was gonna control them, they were gonna do something about this.

Again, my friend, it’s what we do in the wait that may matter most. Never mind what our brain is telling us, the choices we make in the delay are vital.

So, what did they do? Here’s the account…

” When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain they gathered themselves together… said to Aaron … make us gods… we don’t know what’s happened to Moses…”

Exodus 32:1 ESV

In their impatience and anger, they took matters into their own hands. Unfortunately, Aaron, the second in command followed their lead. From their 5 week waiting room they were erupting with a plan of their own, they were done waiting.

Five weeks may or may not seem like a long waiting period to you, but look at what this text says,

” They have turned aside aside quickly...”

Exodus 32:7 ESV

In the big picture, their 5 week wait was a “quick” turn around. To them the wait was an eternity, but in the big scheme of things, it was a quick, short wait. Oh, for perspective, right?

In fact, to them it seem liked nothing was happening down here. They were stuck in the dry ole desert, at the bottom of a gigantic mountain, waiting for Moses to hike back down. What, for goodness sake was taking so long? They were unable to find any sort of distraction to take their mind off of the 5 week wait from hell.

As the story goes, from their impatient and raging wating, came a golden calf, fashioned from the rings and jewelry donated by the frustrated mob, by the hands of someone who should have known better. In fact, they all should have known better. But their brains were blazing and they were defeated in the delay. They had turned aside quickly from the instructions to wait.

One last point to make about this group. It was their view that nothing was happening. Here they were, 40 days later, and nothing had changed, nothing was different and of course that meant nothing was happening.

But not so fast. In fact, tucked away on this account is this enormously important phrase,

“… the tablets were the work of God, written by the finger of God…”

Exodus 32:16; 31:18 ESV

This is phenomenal! While they thought nothing was happening, God was at work. His finger was intricately involved. They couldn’t see Him working, didn’t believe He was working, and therefore decided to work themselves.

Oh, that lie, shouted from our brain, “YOU have to do something”, it screams. “NOTHING IS HAPPENING, you are stuck here waiting, and God is no where to be found.” Oh, that brain of ours…

All along, something was happening. Something they had no idea about, something so big their puny lil’ mind could never fathom. God was writing with His finger, words for them. God was at work for them. God was the power in control and they could trust Him in the wait.

And that is precisely the key. God was in control and they could trust Him in the wait. But how and why didn’t they?

What we do in the delays can defeat us (like it did them, they were judged with a plague & 3,000 people died by the sword), but it doesn’t have to, because learning to wait on the Lord and trust Him is at issue.

To “wait” for or on the Lord is a phrase that is used over 106 times in the Old Testament. It is an active verb not just sitting and impatiently tapping our fingers on the desk in a frustrated huff for something to happen. In fact, here’s the meaning:

“The Hebrew word, to “wait”, H6960 means – to bind together by twisting. To expect; the straining of the mind in a certain direction with an expectant attitude. “

Strong’s Concordance and Lexicon

Here’s what that looks like in my life.

When I find myself waiting for things to change in my life or family or nation, the thing I must choose to do is place my focus on God, His promises, His Word, and not be overcome by the cloud of doubt, impatience, anger or taking matters into my own hands. For me, I must choose to lean into Him, strain through the hard, seemingly inactive circumstance, and trust with confidence that He IS at work, even if I cannot see it. It is a mental and emotional battle I can and must choose.

My waiting in the delay is really about learning to wait in eager expectation of a positive result because the Lord is the one I trust and He has the power. Because He does have the power over me and my circumstances, and He loves me and has a plan for my life, I can trust Him completely.

King David knew this truth and lived this truth quite well.

” Wait on the Lord, and keep His way…”

Psalm 37:34 KJV

Isaiah and the prophets, too told us to wait on the Lord:

” … but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40:31 ESV

As I learn to twist my will with His will in the waiting, I find renewed strength, the ability to fly above the problems, endurance to keep on running and faith to walk each day trusting Him.

Again I say, it is what we do in the waiting that determines our victory or defeat. We can learn to wait and trust in Him or we can, in unbelief make idols.

We are not meant to be idle as we wait for things to change for us. We are meant to be actively twisting our will to His and believing in His outcomes, purposes and plans. As we wait, we are actually waiting on Him.

Even though our brains hate waiting, may we continue shaping them to wait on the Lord in spite of what we see or how long the delay.

Go with God.

Debbie