Re: Rename

We have so many names throughout our life. Some might call them hats we wear. Roles we fill. Labels. Titles. But they identify us. Define us. We may have chosen to take them on, or they may have been imposed on us.

We’re born and we become son or daughter. We might be sister or brother from the beginning or maybe later on. Grandchild. Niece or nephew. Cousin. We get older and become Student. Friend. Neighbor.

Other names may be spoken over us. Helpful. Rambunctious. Quiet. Smart. Challenge. Humorous.

As we develop our own interests, or maybe have adults who, with their best intentions want to introduce us to new interests, we take on other names. Athlete. Musician. Artist. Leader.

Then suddenly we’re staring at adulthood. We may choose our career, our field, our job or it may choose us. We may know what we want, or may spend years trying to figure it out. We may stick to one. Or try out many. But we also take on names based on our work.

For me, I knew what I wanted, but didn’t have anyone t tell me how to get it. So, I joined the military. I became Sailor. Weather guesser. And took on names defined by my rank and position.

I had other names too. I made a commitment of faith and became Christian. I fell in love and became Wife. Then Mom. Others provided me the name Aunt. Many years later, Grammy.

I’m at a point in my life where I’ve finally chosen a name I’ve wanted for so long. Author.

I’ve been blessed with many names and also afflicted with some. I’ve readily accepted some of the names and rejected others.

Names are important to God. His name is important. Often he is referred to in the capacity of our experience. One Who Sees. Healer. Shepherd. With Us. Strong. Mighty. Lord. Savior. When God told a man named Moses his name, he said, I AM who I AM.

Over the past few years, I’ve learned something amazing. I learned that the God I love and the God who loves me has always been in the business of renaming. He sees us not as others see us, but as he created us to be.

Exalted Father (Abram) became Father of Many (Abraham)

Supplanter (Jacob) became God Wrestler (Israel)

Jesus began calling his friend Simon by a new name, Rock (Peter)

And after Saul encounter Jesus, he went from a name many associated with a persecutor, to a different name, one meaning Humble (Paul)

The best thing I’ve learned, however, is that God also has a name for me. One he chose. One that’s good. Because he’s in the business of good gifts.

  • “…and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.” Revelation 2:17
  • “I will give them an everlasting name which will not be cut off.” Isaiah 56:5
  • “And you will be called by a new name Which the mouth of the LORD will designate.” Isaiah 62:2

What joy to know that we don’t have to be known by what we’ve done, what others think of us, and even what we think of ourselves. Instead, we can be know by the One Who Sees, the One who gives us a new name.

Ask. He’ll reveal it to you. And delight in who he sees you to be.

Grace and Peace.

 

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Explore and the Be Still Series

Normally, in my Saturday Book Review blog I share a book that has impacted me, taught me something, expanded my thinking, broadened my horizons in some way.

However, today I’m quite excited and I want to share my excitement with you.  For the last three years, my photographer husband and I have been working on a project together. It’s our Be Still series, a set of photo devotional books.

Praise: Proclaiming the Glory of God was our first launch, our experiment, our proof of concept. In 2017, I had my husband select some of his favorite photos that went along with a poem I wrote and verses I chose from the Psalms. We put them all together and published through Amazon’s (then) Create Space.

The following year, 2018, I was inspired to do it again. This time I wrote twenty-four devotions from a study on Isaiah and we went on a photo tour of National Parks in Texas and the western states. We put the devotions and photos together in Wonder: Contemplating the Mysteries of God. We published again through Amazon, who had by then migrated everything to Kindle Direct Publishing.

The idea for the third book came from a friend who had purchased Praise and used it as a devotional with her kids. Great idea, right? We thought so and spent 2019 planning and designing Explore: Enjoying the Creation of God. With fun colors and lots zoomed in photos, Explore uses the poem All Things Bright and Beautiful and encourages kids to read verses about God’s creation, guess what the photos are, discuss the questions, and have fun with the activities suggested. I also wrote a series of devotions to go along with the poem and the photos, which are included in Explore, Companion Devotional.

The process and the journey has been so much fun and I already have ideas for next year’s Be Still book. You can find the first three books of the Be Still series on Amazon (links to their Amazon sights are below the photos).

For my local friends, I have great news. All three books will be available at
Journey Fellowship’s Annual Artisan Faire
on Saturday, November 23rd, 9 AM – 2 PM.
Entry fee is a donated canned good for a food drive.
The Be Still series will be sold at the Created Ministry table with special vendor pricing.
I invite you to come, give back a little to the community, and get started on your Christmas shopping.

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Re: Redeem

What are the things we redeem?

  • Time – to use it wisely
  • Rewards – to earn money or credit using credit cards
  • Ourself – to correct wrongs done

What about all the things we take pride in, our bragging rights, the things we have confidence in, that give us a sense of security, or accomplishment or value?

Do those things need redeemed?

An ancient preacher and writer, Paul, addressed this idea in a letter he wrote to a group of Jesus followers in Philippi.

Paul was a very accomplished guy in his day. He had family status, social status, state status, religious status, and educational status. He had the personality of success: zeal, energy, charisma, drive, ability, opportunity. He seemed to have all.

Yet.

Yes Jesus got a hold of his heart and did some work on it. Paul, through trials, struggles, and hardships was brought to a place in his life where he could/would actually say “I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that that I could gain Christ.”

How’s that for bragging?

And the questions surface:

  • What do we take pride in? Where do we place our confidence? How do we define ourselves?
  • What stands in our way of truly knowing Jesus? What hinders us, blocks us, cripples us from truly pursuing Christ?
  • If we evaluate everything in our life, would we be willing to consider them worthless because of what Christ has done? Worthless compared to the infinite value of knowing Christ? Would we discard it all, count it all garbage so we could gain Christ?

That’s a tough question. One that Paul faced. And he chose to let the Lord redeem it all. Because he looked forward to the heavenly prize, the goal, the reward.

God called. Paul answered.

Will I?

 

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Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer

Defeated? Struggling? Confused? Anxious and worried? Judgmental and critical? Can’t seem to get out of frustrating mindset? Wanting something different in life than the same old struggles? Ready for a change?

Dig into Battlefield of the Mind and see where you might need some adjustment in your thinking in order to find victory. Truly we are told to no longer be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds (see Romans 12:1).

Joyce Meyer walks us through the challenges and dangers of destructive beliefs and helps reboot our thinking, allowing light to illuminate the path of listening to the Spirit, following Christ and walking in obedience to God.

Quotes:

  • A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage (in prison) due to a certain way of thinking.
  • In Mark 4:24 Jesus says, “The measure (of thought and study) you give (to the truth you hear) will be the measure (of virtue and knowledge) that comes back to you.”
  • Two other spiritual weapons available to us are praise and prayer. Praise defeats the devil quicker than any other battle plan, but it must be genuine heart praise, not just lip service or a method being tried to see if it works. Also, praise and prayer both involve the Word. We praise God according to His Word and His goodness. Prayer is relationship with the Godhead.
  • Our past may explain why we’re suffering, but we must not use it as an excuse to stay in bondage.
  • Satan knows well that if he can control our thoughts, he can control our actions.
  • You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind.
  • You can’t overcome your situation by determination alone.
  • Thoughts bear fruit. Think good thoughts, and the fruit in your life will be good. Think bad thoughts, and the fruit in your life will be bad.
  • Walking after the flesh is depending on yourself; walking after the Spirit is depending on God.
  • “I believe God. I believe He is working in me no matter what I may feel or how the situation may look. The Lord has begun a good work in me, and He will bring it to full completion” (See Philippians 2:13; 1:6)
  • But the positive person can go ahead and decide to enjoy himself no matter with happens. The negative person never enjoys anything.
  • don’t feel condemned! Condemnation is negative. I’m sharing these things so you can recognize your problem.
  • Always be ready mentally to face whatever comes, believing that God works good of all things.
  • But, when we are positive in a negative situation it shows a genuine trust in God and spiritual maturity that pleases and glorifies God.
  • Pay attention to the condition of your mind and keep it free, peaceful, and full of faith.
  • “Think about what you’re thinking about.”
  • The Holy Spirit desires to bring us this enlightenment, bu the mind often misses what the spirit is attempting to reveal because it is too busy.
  • The mind should not be filled with reasoning, worry, anxiety, fear and the like. It should be calm, quiet and serene.
  • Then I learned that I was not receiving much of what the Holy Spirit wanted to reveal to me simply because my mind was so wild and busy that it was missing the information being offered.
  • It is always nice if the spirit and mind agree, but if they don’t we should always choose to follow the spirit.
  • There is a big difference in head knowledge and revelation knowledge.
  • It is impossible to have joy and peace and live in unbelief.
  • Peace is not something that can be put on a person; it is a fruit of the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22) and fruit is the result of abiding in Jesus (see John 15:4).
  • Worry certainly never makes anything better, so why not give it up?
  • So the devil attempts to keep the mental arena busy enough with the wrong kinds of thinking so that the mind never gets around to being used for the purpose for which God designed it.
  • Our words are very important because they confirm our faith–or in some instances our lack of faith.
  • A person who worries still thinks that in some way he can solve his own problem.
  • Jesus did not come to remove all opposition from our lives, but rather to give us a different approach to the storms of life.
  • “I already know what I know,” he replied. “I try to be quiet and listen so I can find out what others know.”
  • The way for sinful action is paved through sinful thinking.
  • Many doors are opened to the enemy through complaining.
  • I would rather sacrifice my thanksgiving to God than sacrifice my joy to satan.
  • Satan has really never had an original idea. He takes what belongs to the Kingdom of Light and perverts it for the kingdom of darkness.
  • …it takes us years to experience victory over something that could have and should have been dealt with quickly.
  • Think and speak about your future in a positive way, according to what God has placed in your heart.
  • You and I will never have the privilege of being used by God if we are not willing to take our responsibility seriously.
  • Wanting something is not enough–we must also be fully prepared to take responsibility for it.
  • How will we ever learn to lean on Him, if everything in our lives is so easy that we can handle it by ourselves?
  • Even though being in God’s will sometimes has some difficulties attached to it, being out of His will is much more difficult.
  • I have discovered that patience is not the ability to wait, but the ability to keep a good attitude while waiting.
  • …you do have th mind of Christ. Why not make the most of it?
  • We need to learn to enjoy where we are while we are on our way to where we are going!
  • …the proud person thinks so highly of himself that he believes he should never be inconvenienced in any way.
  • Our job is not to control our circumstances, but to respond toward them in a godly way.
  • When you are trying to wait on God, the devil will pound your mind continuously demanding that you “do something.”
  • we cannot entertain the sin of self-pity and also walk in the power of God!
  • If we are not secure concerning our own worth and value as a unique individual, we will naturally find ourselves competing with anyone who appears to be successful and doing well.
  • Victorious living demands prompt, exact obedience to the Lord.
  • If we “think” too much, we can reason our way out of God’s will.

 

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Re: Recreate

Autumn unto Spring

A season comes when life slows down
grass and trees turn dormant brown
waiting for sharp winter winds
and the veil of cold they bring

 

then life slumbers for a time
quietly, the world sublime
calling all to hush and rest
in den, in bush and in nest

 

until the day comes warm and bright
life emerging in the light
gentle rain to bring new growth
field and meadow, watering both

 

 

bursting flowers in vivid bloom
trilling birds in lovely plume
flowing streams and rivers meet
blowing breezes fresh and sweet

 

quickly now the world awakens
its winter slumber fully shaken
repose has passed, time to make
restore, renew and recreate

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