Monday, January 31, 2011

Our Journey

Now whenever the cloud lifted from the Tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out on their journey, following it. But if the cloud did not rise, they remained where they were until it lifted. ~~ Exodus 40:36-37 NLT

The Lord delivered the Israelites from Egyptian bondage. For over 400 years, His people felt forgotten. But now the Lord was with them, living in their camp.

Moses spent time with the Lord up on Mount Sinai and during that time he received the instructions on how to build the Tabernacle. People came forward and gave materials and time to build the place where the Lord would dwell with them.

They were on a journey and needed guidance. Before, the building of the Tabernacle, the people turned and worshipped other gods. Moses interceded on their behalf and pleaded with the Lord to go with them. Moses knew the people could not travel without God going with them.

God dwelled among the Israelites manifesting Himself as a cloud during the day and a fire at night so the people could see it and continue their journeys.

Our lives are journeys. Each day we need to see God and where He leads us. Sometimes we need to stay put, other times it is time to move. But for certain, we should not travel without God.

As a parent, it's hard to know what to do. When my child tells me he is hurt or sick, do I take him to the doctor right away or do I wait? I've had doctors ask me why didn’t I bring him in sooner and also they've told me I'm being overly cautious.

When my emotions become stirred up, do I follow the way I feel or do I look up at the "cloud" to see where the Lord is leading? Seeking God in His word to determine where He wants me to go is always the better choice.

While on our journeys, we need to determine if God is leading us to move, or to remain where we are for the moment. Without the Lord's leading, we'll be lost on our journey.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sometimes We Need to Fight

So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning.~~Exodus 17:10-11 NIV

God kept His promise and brought the Israelites out of Egyptian bondage. However, the Lord did not take them on the easy route.

Often times God takes us on journeys that we have no idea why we're going in the direction we're headed. Though, there are times He wants to see if we will keep the fight in us.

While the Israelites lived in the desert where the Lord led them, they had to fight the Amalekites with the encouragement of Moses, Aaron and Hur as their supporters.

I remember reading a story to my children some years back about Gertrude Ederle. Gertrude was a gold medalist swimmer. In 1925, she took on the challenge to swim the 21-mile English Channel from France to England. Only five men had successfully completed the swim and no woman was on record for it.

On her first attempt, her trainer touched her only seven miles from shore. He thought she was too nauseated to continue, but she wanted to go on. But that slight touch disqualified her.

She could have stopped and never tried again. She wondered with her failure if she could acquire more sponsors for another attempt. With her resolve stronger than before, she had to eliminate the defeating memories that crossed her mind and build a team of supporters that included her friends and family.

Gertrude returned to the channel in 1926 and completed the swim with great swells coming against her. Not only did she complete the swim, but she beat all the previous records held by the men.

The fight of determination inside Gertrude with the support of her friends and family helped her achieve what had not been done before.

The Israelites did not give up and fought against their enemies and they had the support of Moses, Aaron and Hur.

I must remind myself frequently, that just because God called me to go in a certain direction, it doesn’t mean I'll get to go the easy route.

A few weeks ago, I read on my friend Darlene Schacht's blog. She wrote in this post:

When you combine persistence with the grace of God, you become a dynamic living force. It’s as simple as that. Stop giving up when the going gets tough, and for once in your life, make it happen. This lesson in persistence is one to be applied to every area of our lives whether it be healthy eating, working out our marriage or trusting the Lord through a trial.

I decided that for 2011, I'm going to adopt a phrase from the above paragraph as my motto:

Persistence with the grace of God!

How about you? Ready to press forward with what the Lord has for you? Ready to fight for it with persistence, supporters and God's grace? Let's go!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Do You Have a Big Dream?

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and rendered one of the most successful speeches in American history. He inspired and ignited dreams in Americans for equality. To truly have one nation under God, for all men who are created equal by God to exercise the rights promised by the founding father to guarantee the unalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

God gives us BIG dreams. Our God is a big God and cannot be contained in our finite minds.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. ~~ Isaiah 55:9 NIV
We don’t always understand God for He so big. But here is an example I can grasp. With all the planes that fly around in the airspace, air traffic controllers have radars that can see and identify all the planes in that airspace. They can see the big picture of where the planes are and where they are going.

When I was in the Air Force, I received what is called an “incentive flight.” As a reward for some achievement, I flew in a jet aircraft. While flying up in the airspace, the air traffic controller (ATC) instructed the pilots. My pilot played around and goofed off as he showed me different things they do while up in the sky (please pray for military pilots).

Then the air traffic controller adamantly told the pilot to maintain a certain altitude and heading. At the urgent sound of the ATC’s voice, the pilot obeyed. Though we could not see what was above us or flying near us, the air traffic controller saw it. I don’t even want to imagine what could have happened if the pilot had not obeyed. We finished our flight and landed safely.

God has the big picture of our lives. We don’t see the big picture and the things that are going on around us, but God gives each of us dreams to navigate us in the direction He wants us to go.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~~Psalm 34:7 NIV
God places the desires and dreams in our hearts. What we need to do is trust Him to bring it to pass.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5 NIV

Martin Luther King dreamed dreams bigger than he was, and he made a difference. Laws have been passed that guarantee that equality to all people in our country. God gives each of us a dream, and navigates our lives to achieve His dream for a purpose bigger than ourselves. Do you have a big dream?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I confess, I'm having a difficult time wrapping my mind around the concept of it is 2011. As a child, I imagined Star Wars-like travel taking place by this time. Over the past two weeks, I made a couple of road trips and sitting in the car for a long time still felt like old time travel to me.

But still 2011 is here! Time keeps moving forward in spite of any attempts I make to stop it. I also confess at times I wished I could stop time for everyone else, while I run around catching up. But that hasn't happened yet either.

Though my youngest son tries to convince me that time travel may actually be real because he saw a 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie at school with what appears to be a person talking on a cell phone. (To see that clip, click here.)

Regardless if that is a time traveler or if it can actually be explained, I decided that God created time for us. It's how we use that time that really matters. The older I grow, the more I realize that relationships matter more than anything else.

First, I realized my relationship with the Lord must be right before my relationships with others--my husband, children, extended family, friends, and others will work. To improved my relationship with God, I started reading His word on a regular basis.

Three years ago, I embarked on a journey that changed my life. I read the Bible completely through. I choose to read it chronologically the first two years, then last year I read it by Old Testament/New Testament sequentially.

By reading the Bible regularly, I realized it has drawn me closer to God and a closer walk with Him.

This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God. ~~Genesis 6:9, NLT
Way back when, Noah walked in a close relationship with God and he was considered the only blameless person on the earth at the time. He lived during a very wicked and perverse generation. That sounds a lot like our times doesn’t it?

Well, we can walk right with God no matter what goes on around us by having a closer relationship to Him. Daniel choose to do what's right though he lived in a foreign land. We're foreigners just passing through, like the "time traveler" in the Charlie Chaplin movie.

Again, this year I committed to read the Bible through historically. I've used this site,, because I can choose from five different reading plans from so many different versions and languages. I made my choice, then I simply bookmark it then click open each morning.

Will you join me in 2011 in seeking a closer walk with the Lord by reading His word on a regular basis?

Happy New Year 2011! May you walk more closely with the Lord this year!