Who Fathers The Dew?

IMG_6554 A mug of steaming coffee in one hand and my study Bible in the other, I step out onto the patio to read and meditate upon scripture. My favorite resting spot beckons to me. A lizard scurries away as I approach, jumping into the aloe plant for cover. I slowly ease myself onto the rocking chair positioning myself to read in comfort.

The cool morning breeze causes me to shiver so I take a quick swig from my cup to generate a little heat. I tilt my head back and close my eyes, allowing the sun to bathe my face with warm golden rays of bliss. I can hear the early song of the mockingbird filling the air and it brings a sense of peace to my mind and soul.

Today my study is in Job. I’ve read most of his woeful story. I’ve marveled at his ability to endure horrendous sorrow and pain. And, I’ve wondered if I would have been able to pass Job’s test. Now I’m to the place where God begins to dialogue with him. This is the climax to Job’s story and I’m curious to see how Job responds to God’s questions.

You see, prior to this, Job and his friends argued and challenged each other’s faith and belief in God. Their questions were numerous on how God saw Job’s plight. Job grew angry with God, yet he trusted him. In the end, no one, especially Job, believed they could face God, nor stand before his presence to await his response. “Do you think I’m dumb enough to challenge God? Wouldn’t that just be asking for trouble? No one in his right mind stares straight at the sun on a clear and cloudless day.” (Job 37:22 MSG) Imagine Job’s response when God began to respond!

God answers Job with questions, ones that force him to realize the identity of God. “I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers. Where were you when I created the earth?” (Job 38: 3 MSG) Shut up! God’s speaking and I sense a whirlwind shaking the earth upon which Job stood.  As I read I visualize the morning stars singing, the light approaching from the east, the earth taking shape and robed in brilliant colors.  I see the churning of the sea with its bouncing white caps and I gaze upon the ominous gates of death. I lay the book down as my mind races from the intensity of the words, my heart wildly beating.  This is the sovereignty of my God!

Now the sun’s brilliance casts glimmering droplets of gold around my chair.  I stretch my legs to experience the full effect of its warmth.  As I reach over to pick up my cup of coffee, I see a drop of dew sliding downwards from a petal of my Calla Lily plant.  It sparkles and shimmers just before dropping onto the pavement. What a simple statement of beauty!  A question drifts on the breeze and swirls in my ear, “Who fathers the dew?”

I sat up.  In a split second I understood the meaning of God’s interrogation of Job.  It was not so much a reprimand as it was God asking Job, “do you love me enough to trust me with your life? I created the universe, can I not handle your life’s journey?

Whenever I feel overwhelmed from the problems I face and feel all alone in my sea of troubles, I remember the power of a God who shakes mountains yet fashions a delicate jewel of water.  Yes, he can awe me with the grandeur of his majesty, but I also know the gentle caress of his love which reminds me how much he truly cares.

 

 

 

What Do I Do About My Saggy Body?

A sound mind makes for a robust body!

A friend of mine recently asked me, “How do I get rid of the saggy parts of my body?”  I was not really sure how to answer the question.  For one thing, I have saggy parts myself, I just manage to keep them under wrap and out of sight.

The one body area women seem to have more problems with is the under arm.  No matter how much we pump those weights, the bags seem to hang in there until the last bit of fat is trimmed down.  We wear clothing to cover them up so they don’t swing around when we wave hello — I mean “Hello!”  is what they say loud and clear if exposed!  I can just see many of my fellow peeps out there nodding in agreement, we can all relate.

This weekend I dined at a friend’s home.  She served the most incredible meal, complete with appetizer, salad, dinner, and dessert.  I didn’t hold back.  I fully indulged myself on cream cheese roll-ups, sweet salads, steak and potato, and a full dish of ice cream over cake to wrap it up.  The next day I was at the gym, running, stepping and lifting weights to work off those extra calories.  Honestly, I may have worked off  a couple of extra pounds, but not all of them.  It’s going to take a few more sessions this week to return to my former weight.

At one point, I looked in the mirror and I became frustrated with myself.  How could I let myself go and eat all that food without a thought about how it would affect me?  I lamented over favorite foods I would have to avoid in order to lose the extra pounds.  I hated the thought that I would have to spend extra time at the gym when I wanted to blog, work on my book, and hang out with my hubby.

When I got home from working out, I tossed my towel in the hamper and headed for the shower.  Ugh!  I could see the flabby arms again.  How despicable! Then a thought occurred to me, am I thinking too much about how I look?  A familiar Bible verse floated across my mind, “Exercise daily in God — no spiritual flabbiness, please!  Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever.”  1 Timothy 4: 8-10, MSG

Like a cleansing rain, I felt the truth of this statement flow over me.  I needed to put away the anxiety and put on the proper attitude of a disciplined life.  My spiritual training has taught me sagginess can exist in the mind.  When we exercise only certain strengths, other lessor parts may cause us to lag behind.   They sag.

The Online Dictionary defines sag as, “to yield through weakness, lack of effort, or the like: i.e., our spirits began to sag.”  I take this as a serious flaw in daily spiritual exercise.  If we, through lack of effort, fail to keep our minds focused, not practicing what we believe, then we will become weak in areas causing us to look and feel inadequate.  Exercise the mind!

I came across this verse in the Message version of the Bible (Proverbs 14:30): “A sound mind makes for a robust body, but runaway emotions corrode the bones.”  I had to look up robust.  It means: strong, healthy, hardy, vigorous, suited to requiring bodily strength, and endurance.   (OK, that is better than what I thought it meant: chubby.)  This was trumpeting loud and clear what I needed to do . . .  I needed to exercise my mind first and the rest would follow.

What am I talking about?  Simply, as you keep in God’s Word, study it and meditate upon it, you will balance out the rest of your life.  If your life is balanced, then all other things will come naturally.  Yes, the way you look at things, even eating, will make sense.  Your spiritual fitness will help you to strengthen out the weak saggy parts, both mentally and physically.

I hope I am making sense to you out there.  Just rambling a bit about my thoughts and some times they just seem to be out there — way out there!  Sharing from my experience is hopefully helping you in some way today.

Blessings,

Dee

The Prince of Hearts

source: Prince Of Persia movie trailer

A favorite movie of mine is The Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time (2010).  The storyline is similar to many fairy tales where the prince rescues the princess from evil.  The prince is handsome, dashing, strong and eventually wins the heart of the princess.  This type of movie is always a win with women.

I think women look for this type of character in men from early childhood, as young as ten years of age.  We look for Prince Charming or Valiant to come riding up on his white horse, sweep us off our feet and carry us to his castle.  As we begin to seek out relationships we compare men to the image of a storybook prince.  Not a bad guideline, but is it realistic?

What should we look for in a man?  What are the values and characteristics that make him a true prince?  Here are some of the values women cherish in a man:

  • Chivalry
  • Friendship
  • Honesty
  • Truthfulness
  •  Humor
  •  Manners

I would also add respect and cleanliness to this list.  We expect total perfection and nothing less from the man of our dreams.

I think we can find some men who almost fit this image but I would dare say that any one man could fill this description totally.   However, there is one man who walked the earth that did fit all of the requirements of a prince.  Jesus.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light.  For those who lived in a land of deep shadows – light!  …. He’ll take over the running of the world, His names will be Amazing Counselor, Strong God, Eternal Father, Prince of Wholeness.  His ruling authority will grow, and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings.  .. He’ll put that kingdom on a firm footing and keep it going with fair dealing and right living, beginning now and lasting always. Isaiah 9: 2

And Jesus is still reigning from his throne in heaven:

God set him on high at his side, prince and Savior, to give Israel the gift of a changed life and sins forgiven. Acts 5:29-32

It isn’t fair to hold any man up to this standard of perfection, but it is admirable for a man to want to live according to the standards set by Christ Jesus.  Christ protects, provides, comforts, nurtures, listens, is loyal, has  a great sense of humor, is truth, chivalrous, a friend, very pure (clean), and respectful.  A man who follows the examples of Jesus will become a reflection of wholeness that is attractive to women.   The old saying goes, “no man is perfect.”, it is true.; but, a man who looks to Jesus as his guide in life will mature spiritually to encompass the essence of what really counts in life:  love.

What is love? 

I Corinthians 13 states that love is long-suffering, kind, doesn’t envy, not prideful, is chivalrous, unselfish, controlled, loves truth, is strong and never fails.  This is what we value, as women, in men.  It is the heart of a prince.

It doesn’t matter if a man is wealthy, wise and attractive if he fails to demonstrate these traits in his life.  His heart is empty.  And, if his heart is empty there is coldness within his soul.  Women cannot find warmth from his being to kindle the fires of her romantic heart leading to a happily ever after.

There are men who do not own mansions, who do not hold prominent roles in society and who are not built like Mr. Universe, but nevertheless, they are a prince at heart.  They understand what is truly recognized as manhood and strive to live it out before others.

I don’t know who I am speaking to regarding this message, but I believe that there are still men out there whose heart’s desire is to become the image of the true Prince.  Looking for Prince Charming is fruitless, he doesn’t really exist.  But, there are men out there who have the heart of a prince and waiting for him is truly worth it all.

Blessings,

Dee

A Princess Tattered and Torn

A princess battles outside the Kingdom. (source: photobucket.com)

Most of the fairy tales I enjoy have princess characters who are beautiful heroines.  Cinderella and Snow White are two that endured hardships, but found new hope and friends along their journey.  I admire the princesses of Lord Of The Rings movies for their stamina and bravery in fighting battles and standing for justice.  A princess in a fairy tale story always has a happy ending to her plight, but does a real life princess ? 

What is a princess? Freedictionary.com defines a princess as a woman having sovereign power, born into royalty, a woman having the status or qualities of a princess. 

Did you know that as a female believer in Christ, you are a princess? I refer to the following verse as proof:

Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God’s people. (Luke 22: 28-30, MSG)

Note the phrase at the end, “as you take up responsibilities among the congregations…” What does that mean?  A princess has duties and obligations within her role.  The title is given, but with it comes training on how to carry it with respect, honor and strength to rule.  It also means that you must experience how the people think and live in order to rule with wisdom.  The King will set a plan for your growth and set a path for your journey.  Jer 29:11 states, “I have it all planned out — plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

You cannot train for life sitting on fluffy pillows while drinking tea and eating bonbons.  That is a pleasure indeed, but real life lessons are acquired during times of battle and that usually means leaving the safety of the kingdom.  It means arming yourself in full battle gear, fighting dragons and suffering.  You will be tattered and torn.  Only through this experience will you know how to help those around you.  You will relate to what they are thinking and how to calm them, to show them peace.  When you return to the castle, you will dance a victory dance for all to see and rejoice with you.  

Dance, dance, dear Shulammite, Angel-Princess!  Dance, and we’ll feast our eyes on your grace! Everyone wants to see the Shulammite dance her victory dances of love and peace.  (Song of Solomon: 6: 13, MSG)

Sometimes it feels like we are constantly out in the vallies fighting enemies.  Many are unseen to us.  Not only do we experience pain, but we see the hurts and pain of the people who look to us for help.  We smell and know fear.   Evil surrounds us, tears at us and waits for us to fall. 

She was wearing a long-sleeved gown. (That’s how virgin princesses used to dress from early adolescence on.)  Tamar poured ashes on her head, then she ripped the long-sleeved gown, held her head in her hands, and walked away, sobbing as she went. (2 Samuel: 13:19, MSG)

Princess, you will always hear the voice of the King guiding you, encouraging you and strengthening you on this path.  He will send a special troop of soldiers to defend you when needed.  You will never be totally alone.  Your training period will only last long enough to make you a true princess.  One who can reign with wisdom and power, but yet know how to love and show compassion.  When you return to the King’s castle, you will receive a royal welcome and be clothed with beauty. 

“Her wedding dress is dazzling, lined with gold by the weavers; all her dresses and robes are woven with gold.  She is led to the king, followed by her virgin companions.  A procession of joy and laughter! A grand entrance to the King’s palace! (Psalm 45: 13-15, MSG)

The fairytale princess has her happy ending, and the real life princess does too!

Blessings,

Dee

Who Do You Think You Are?

What a man thinks reveals his inner man’s heart. Source: freedigitalphotos.net

Summer’s activities has put a hiccup in our blog posts.   Erme and I are sorry for the gap in posts, and plan to  make up for it over the coming weeks.  Also, we hope that many of you have experienced some much needed relaxation and rest during the past couple of months.  Please feel free to share with us your news, accomplishments and prayer requests in the comment section following the post.  It is always refreshing to join you in rejoicing and it is our honor to approach God’s throne with your prayer request.

I was speaking with one of our summer visitors about how we can realize our potential in life.  Not only that, but how we can become the person of faith that God intends for us to be.  If you are like me, I think about how I want things to happen in my life.  And, I imagine the type of person I want to become.  The Bible says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he . . ”  (Proverbs 23:7).   This short reference speaks volumes on the power of thinking becoming a reality.  In other words, we become what we believe.   Take note, this can be a good thing, but it can also be self-defeating. 

How so?  Think about a time when you failed at something.  Before the failure, what were you thinking?  Were you thinking positively?  Were you allowing your fears to set in and influence your thoughts?  Did you envision yourself victorious?  I would venture to say that your thinking became an active voice when you spoke to others about it.  Your words proved what was in your heart.

Let’s take a look in the book of Genesis at what happened when Jacob  put fresh branches of poplar, almond and plane trees in front of the flock.  He peeled the branches, leaving white stripes on them.  He then stuck the peeled branches in front of the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink.  When the flocks mated in front of the streaked branches, they gave birth to young that were streaked or spotted or speckled.  (Genesis 30: 37-42, MSG)   What happened?  The sheep visually saw the streaked branches, it manifested in their minds (their thinking) and produced young with the same designs. 

What we imagine, think or visualize will also become a reality if we dwell upon it.  Thinking good thoughts will produce a healthy heart.  Imagining the possibilities of what could be in a positive light will create a heart of joy.  You will speak it out as such to others.  As a believer in Jesus, if you think about good things then you will become the personification of it in life.  Philippians 4: 8 states, “meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious — the best, not the worst, the beautiful, not the ugly, things to praise, not things to curse.  Put into practice what you learned … do that, and God, wo makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”  You will have well-balanced, peaceful life. 

Thom Gardner talks about our thinking being a gateway to the heart.  Our internal thinking gate opens and closes on thoughts.  He discusses how the gate may have allowed past fears, hurts, cultural things, prejudice, etc. to influence our thinking. 

James Allen, author of As A Man Thinketh, states:

  • Good thoughts bear good fruit, bad thoughts bear bad fruit. 
  • Happiness is mental harmony and unhappiness is mental inharmony.
  • The outer conditions of a person’s life will always be found to reflect their inner beliefs.
  • All that a man achieves and all that he fails to achieve is the direct result of his own thoughts.

You control what you become by your thinking.  Follow the Biblical path to knowledge and wisdom and your thinking will be based upon a strong foundation of truth.  Knowing what scripture says will help you to weed out impure thoughts, thoughts that harm you and that will destroy your character and destiny in life.  By doing this, you will improve your thinking and your outer man will also improve.  Open your thoughts to what is good, think upon it and know peace as Christ intended.

The King’s Table

Always keep fresh Bread of the Presence on the table before me.  Exodus 25:30 (MSG)

The King’s Table serves fresh bread that strengthens the spirit. (source: whowillyouserve.blogspot.com)

I love fresh bread.  When we were younger, my husband would make loaves of fresh bread almost every weekend.  The smell of the bread baking in the oven was intolerable for me.  I could hardly wait to enjoy a slice with just a pat of butter and some tea.  We would often enjoy a slice while sitting in front of our fireplace during a cold winter evening.  Somehow the fresh warm bread and the long chats into the night helped us to bond and grow together as a couple. 

If you have ever read a book from the series The Lord of The Rings you know the quaint habits of the dear little hobbits.  They ate quite frequently throughout the day, but mostly enjoyed a fresh loaf of bread, some cheese and a cup of tea.  In the same respect, the Bible mentions meals that make your mouth water.  For example, Abigail prepared a grand meal for David and his men as follows: “She took two hundred loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep dressed out and ready for cooking, a bushel of roasted grain, a hundred raisin cakes and two hundred fig cakes.”   This was a feast! 

When you dine with companions, it is a time to enjoy each other’s company.  The feast is well prepared and the table set in preparation of good fellowship.  Usually, people will tell stories, have some great laughs and may even share some sorrows. 

Have you ever had stale, crusty, old bread?  It leaves your mouth dry and stomach empty.  It is hard to swallow, in fact you may choke on the crumbs.  Better to toss it out than to continue to digest it.  Yet, some people eat crusty old bread when they dine with their companions.  It is served at every feast. 

Lady Wisdom has built and furnished her home . . . The banquet meal is ready to be served: lamb roasted, wine poured out, table set with silver and flowers.. . Come with me, oh come, have dinner with me!  I’ve prepared a wonderful spread – fresh-baked bread, roast lamb, carefully selected wines.  Leave your impoverished confusion and live!  Walk up the street to a life with meaning.” Proverbs 9: 1-6 (MSG)

Doesn’t this sound like a table set for a king?  It is a table set by The King in this excerpt.  It is Wisdom’s home and it is He that is actually inviting us to come and dine with  him.  He invites us; come eat fresh bread and learn of me.  You will not go away hungry, but full and satisfied.  Your mind will be renewed.

I believe that God’s plan for you is to enjoy fresh bread in his presence.  He made food (bread) to sustain you through life’s daily walk.  With each meal your body and spirit is revived, strengthened and able to accomplish your task.  If you spend your time at the King’s table, chatting about frivolous concerns and meaningless stories, your bread (heart) will harden right before you.  Do now allow Darkness a place at the table nor share any of the fresh bread that strengthens the soul. 

The next time you enjoy a meal with friends or family, take a slice of fresh bread with a little butter or honey and enjoy the presence of  The King.  He’s has set the table and expects you to walk away a much stronger person!

Blessings,

Dee

Dawn’s Purpose In Life

Look for the Dawn (God) rising in the east! (source: Erme)

I couldn’t sleep.  I decided to get up to make a trip to the bathroom and then get a drink of water, which is kind of defeating at my age because you just end up back in there again after a few hours.  Anyways, as I returned to bed I decided to check my emails, maybe there was something needing my attention at this early hour of the morning.  It’s amazing at how social media has changed our lives, even in the middle of the night someone is awake across the world and is already sharing their morning activity.  I reach for my iphone and push the on button.  Now, you should know that if you have come from a dark state of rest and suddenly have a bright light shine in your face that you will see dancing dots!  I then fell backwards, missing my pillow and hit the headboard full force.  Talk about pain!  I laid there rubbing my head and trying to adjust to the light.  Why didn’t I adjust the brightness on my phone before I went to bed?  This would have prevented my hard knot and temporary blindness. 

I believe the Lord was having a great laugh on me because I thought I heard him telling me, “And have you ever ordered Morning, ‘Get up!’ told Dawn, ‘Get to work!’ So you could seize Earth like a blanket and shake out the wicked cockroaches?”  (Job 38: 12-14 MSG)  I said, well if that isn’t a “Good Morning!” wake up call. 

Seriously though, I reflected upon how the sudden light was too bright for me coming from a state of darkness.  When we are walking in darkness or wrapped up in our problems, we can’t see the light.  Job 30, verse 24-31 states, “I expected good but evil showed up.  I looked for light but darkness fell…each day confronts me with more suffering.  I walk under a black cloud.   The sun is gone .. ”  Pretty bleak sounding, huh?  Yes, I have been there.  Feels like you are alone, friendless and forgotten.  Darkness is your cloak of safety. 

It is a fact, the sun rises every morning from the east.  God set this in order and it will continue until the end of man’s time on earth. God spoke:  Lights!  Come out!  Shine in Heaven’s sky!  Separate Day from Night.  Mark seasons and days and years, Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.  And there it was. (Genesis 1:14-15 MSG)  And just as surely as the sun rises, he will rise up to meet you when you call unto him out of the darkness.  And what a glorious King it is that comes to your rescue!  Picture this: “God, my God, how great you are! Beautifully, gloriously robed, dressed up in sunshine, and all heaven stretched out for your tent.  (Psalm 104: 1-2 MSG).  This is the Dawn! 

Reflecting back upon my sudden wake-up call from darkness, I understood why it is that God slowly brings the sun up each day.  If he were to bring it up suddenly, it would blind us and cause us much pain. We cannot take the power of pure light all at once.  It is like recovering from the flu, we have to sip on soup before we can return to eating meat.  So it is, my friend, he does hear us cry to him from the darkness, but he must rise upon us at a slow pace. 

When you feel like all is dark around you, talk to God.  He does listen and will work upon your request immediately.  Remember that your answer is beginning to rise and will slowly come to light as time moves forward.  “Therefore wait for me,” declares the Lord, “for the day when I rise up to seize the prey (the darkness that surrounds you)…”  (Zephaniah 3:8 ESV)

Blessings,

Dee