Names of God: Jehovah-makkeh

The name of God we will be looking at today is a part of the character of God that a lot of people do not like and do not want to talk about. However, with our God, we must take all of Him or none of Him. We don’t get to pick and choose which parts of His character we want to experience and ignore the rest.

The name is Jehovah-makkeh and it means the LORD shall Smite Thee. Yes, LORD-smiteth. Our God is a God who means what He says and says what He means and He will smite those who ignore His word, especially those who are His.

We see this name of God in the book of Ezekiel

My eye will show no pity nor will I spare.

I will repay you according to your ways,

while your abominations are in your midst;

then you will know that I, the LORD, do the smiting.

Ezekiel 7:9

The children of Israel were called out by God to be a nation that would represent Him to an entire world. They were not just a nation. He called them His firstborn. He called them His own possession…

Then you shall say to Pharaoh, ‘Thus says the LORD,

“Israel is My son, My firstborn.

Exodus 4:22


Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant,

then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples,

for all the earth is Mine;

Exodus 19:5

They were supposed to be an example to all other nations, to teach them how to turn away from vain idols and to show them the way to worship the One True Living God, but they didn’t. Instead of showing the world the image of God they chose to take on the image of the nations around them and they bowed down to their idols and took on their ways… and God was not happy.

God’s last word to His people before 400 yrs of silence was to remind them that He was Jehovah-makkeh.

  He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children

and the hearts of the children to their fathers,

so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.

Malachi 4:6

So what about today?

Has God’s character changed in these last days?

Who are we in Christ? Are we sons and daughters? Are we His possession?

 But as many as received Him,

to them He gave the right to become children of God,

even to those who believe in His name,

John 1:12


For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. 

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again,

but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons

by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

Romans 8:14-15


But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD,


so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him

who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;

1 Peter 2:9

Well… there you go.

Yes, if we are indeed in Christ then we are His children. We are His possession. And as you read in 1 Peter 2:9 we are called to proclaim His excellencies. We are called to represent Him to those around us. We are called to reflect His image. We are His witnesses.

but you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you;

and you shall be My witnesses

both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria,

and even to the remotest part of the earth.

 Acts 1:8

You are His witness. Every where you go you carry His name. It was by and through the acceptance and confession of His name that you were saved. Faith in His name to be the only name by which you might be saved. You are birthed a new creation in His name. You carry His name.

How do you carry it?

I, as  woman, carry the name of my earthly father, the name of my husband, and the name of my God. Do I carry these names well?

My husband and I have three girls. They carry the name of their father. Every where they go they carry our name. Therefore we expect them to carry it well. Every where they go they represent us and our family. We expect them to represent us well.

One of my favorite teenage lines used by probably every teenager in America when they are in trouble is “You don’t really care about me, all you care about is what people think of you!” This is supposed to dump heaps of condemnation on you as a parent and make you choose to question your choice to firmly address an issue of sin and rebellion in your child’s life, the hope is to get your attention off of them and on to you, to put you on the defence. It’s emotional manipulation. Don’t fall for it. Stand firm and remind them that yes indeed they do carry your name and if they have confessed Christ, they carry His as well. 

You see, in order to ensure our children carry our name well, we discipline them, and we train them up in the Word of God. 

Here’s another thing: If we are somewhere in a group of other kids and all the kids are acting like a bunch of fools running around screaming or being disrespectful to a teacher or leader… the kids we snatch up and jerk a knot in are our kids. We discipline our own. Judgment begins at home.

For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God;

and if it begins with us first,

what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God?

1 Peter 4:17

However here’s the thing, it never fails that when we address our own children all the other children somehow amazingly choose to straighten up as well.

We discpline our children because we love them too much to allow them to be undisciplined. And precious one, our God loves us to much to leave us undisciplined. He is the LORD that smites. He will stripe our legs when we need it.


 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons;

for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 

But if you are without discipline,of which all have become partakers,

then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

 Hebrews 12:6-8

So when the smiteth cometh here’s the thing…

 Be careful, do not turn to evil,
For you have preferred this to affliction.

Job 36:21

Do not prefer your sin over the smiting of God to get rid of the sin in your life. Discipline isn’t pleasurable. It can hurt. It can be embarrassing. It can be uncomfortable.

However it is always for our good.

The Murderer Within


You shall not murder

Exodus 20:13


I believe the first thing we have to do when we read this sixth commandment is define the word “murder“. In Hebrew this word is ratsach and it means to dash in pieces, to kill, to murder, to put to death, to slay. As we study the word we see that God makes a differentiation in what it means to kill and what it means to murder.

In Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3 we read There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven-… A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build up.” God has made it clear that there is a time to kill.

In Genesis 9:6 we read “Whoever sheds man’s blood, by man his blood shall be shed, for in the image of God He made man.” There is never a time to murder, but there is a time to kill.

In Deuteronomy 19-20 God teaches us the difference. A murderer is someone “who hates his neighbor and lies in wait for him and rises up against him and strikes him so that he dies” (Deuteronomy 19:11).

We were given a picture of a murderer way back in the beginning. We meet the first murderer of man in Genesis 3:1. If we look back at this verse we see that Satan laid in wait for his opportunity to deliver his death blow to mankind. Then we see how Satan works in the lives of men to continue his murdering as we read of Cain slaying Able in Genesis 4.

Cain slew his brother in hate, it was not an accident, and it was not in battle. In John 8:44 our Lord declares, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning…”

This is why we must be very careful to guard our hearts. We might can look at our hands and say these hands have squashed a few bugs, killed a few spiders, might even have ran over the neighbors cat, but I am not a murderer.

Or are you?

You have heard that the ancients were told, “You shall not commit murder”

and “Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.”

But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother

shall be guilty before the court;

and whoever says to his brother, “You good-for-nothing,”

shall be guilty before the supreme court;

and whoever says, “You fool,” shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.

Therefore if you are presenting your offering at the altar,

and there remember that your brother has something against you,

leave your offering there before the altar and go;

first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.

Matthew 5:21-24

Could these words of Christ in Matthew 5:21-24 give us a greater understanding as to why God would not accept Cain’s offering in Genesis 4?

God warned Cain that if he did not address this issue with his brother, that sin was crouching at his door and it’s desire was to devour him. Cain did not address the anger and hate in his heart and it led to the murder of his brother.

In the New Testament, James is writing a letter to the church, for the church. In James 4:1-4 he is addressing the quarrels within the church. He shares how the source of the quarrels is simply everyone’s own personal lusts and pleasures at war within them.

In James 4:2 we read, “You lust and do not have; so you commit murder.”


Murder in the church?


How many times has the unaddressed hatred and jealousy in the heart of a believer delivered a death blow to another believer?

I believe much more often than we would like to admit. Often enough that God saw fit to address it in His word and preserve it for the church for all generations.

Oh precious one, it all begins within the heart. Jesus came to show us that we must address the evils within us. We must deal with what is hiding in the dark of our hearts and minds. This is why God gave us the Law, so that we might see these hidden things.

The Law of God is a light into our souls to show us how very sinful we are, how very corrupt we are, from the inside out. When we come to the light of the Law and let it do it’s work in us, we realize how desperate we are. Then when Christ comes and offers us life… we run to him.

The light of the Law leads us to the life of Christ.

Then the Holy Spirit moves in and He is ever present with us to let us know when our hearts are leading us wrong. He is there to say to us “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and it’s desire is for you, but you must master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7). 

Oh Father,

Thank You for loving me enough to show me my heart. Thank You for teaching me that I am not to hide deeper what is lurking in my heart and mind, but I am to drag it into the presence of Your light. I do not have to justify my sin, I can bring it to You and You can remove it. How often do we hang on to hate and anger out of justification, thinking that our holding on to this is somehow getting back at the one we are angry with? “See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springing up causes trouble, and by it many be defiled.” (Hebrews 12:15). May I live this day offering grace to others, not withholding a single drop. May I walk this day in obedience to Your warning, letting You lift up my face and my countenance and letting Your light shine within me. You have given me power over sin, in and through Christ; it is never to conquer me again. Help me today to master it. 

My Jesus it is in Your name I pray,


Teaching Honor


Honor your father and your mother,

that your days may be prolonged in the land

which the LORD your God gives you.

Exodus 20:12


As the fourth commandment of God is the only commandment that tells us to “remember” this fifth commandment of God is the only commandment of the Ten Commandments that comes with a promise.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Honor your father and your mother

(which is the first commandment with a promise),

so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.

Ephesians 6:1-3

Now as we look at this command let me ask you, is a child born willing and ready and able to honor their mother and father? If you as a parent just spoke this law over them would they get it and obey it? Whose responsibility is it to teach them to obey this commandment?

Yes, it is the parent’s responsibility. If you do not teach your children to obey and honor you, then you are almost guaranteeing them a life without the blessings of God. You may shower them with all their wants and desires and they may be up to their ears in material blessings, but if you have not taught them to honor you, then you have led them to a short and upsetting future. 

We are living in a day that is full of children who were not taught to honor their parents. This has left us with a generation that curses his father and does not bless his mother, a generation that is pure in their own eyes but is not washed of their filthiness (Proverbs 30:11-12).

We have a generation that thinks they owe nothing to anyone and they even feel justified in any behavior they exhibit because they see no wrong in their own eyes. They will call others names and ridicule their beliefs or shortcomings and laugh about it never seeing the condition of their own hearts. It is a generation that honors no one and places no value on a person, not even themselves, because they were not taught to do so. Life is centered on them and their own vain imaginations because they have been left without guidance. They only know survival.

I was raised by parents that taught me to honor them. My mother taught me to honor my father and my father taught me to honor my mother. They had each others backs. They did not tolerate disrespect from us, not towards them or any other authority in our lives.

I remember when I started school my parents told me that if the teacher told me the sky was purple and not blue that I was not to argue with her. I was to respect her, then come home and tell my parents that she said the sky was purple when I know that it is blue. Then they (my parents) would go and discuss the issue with the teacher, but I was to respect the authority of my teacher.

My parents taught me how to honor them, and how to honor others, and this has made the way for me to easily be able to honor my God. My parents taught me how the authority over me was there for me, for my good, for my defense, for my protection.

I hope that you were able to see a picture of that by that simple example of the teacher. Yes my teacher had authority over me when I was in her class, but my teachers authority did not out rank my parents. My parents had the authority over the teacher.

In like manner my God has the authority over my parents. My God tells me to honor my parents, and well if they are parents who tell me the sky is purple when the sky is blue, then I am still to respect them. I then go to my God and trust Him to deal with my parents, but I am to honor my parents.

When we look in the book of Leviticus we read again in Leviticus 19:3, “Every one of you shall reverence his mother and his father…” Did you notice that this time the Lord says “every one of you” not just children. We are never exempt from this command to honor our parents. In Matthew 15:3-9 Jesus makes it clear to us that our parents are to always be a priority. We are to take care of them as they cared for us, and we are to take care of them even if they failed miserably at taking care of us.

Oh precious one, if you are a parent, teach your children to honor you. Teach them first by example, “A righteous man who walks in his integrity- How blessed are his sons after him.” (Proverbs 20:7). As parents we must lead by example. When our children see us honoring our parents, and honoring the authority figures in our lives, and most importantly when they see us honoring God and submitting to His will and obeying His commands then it shows them we are serious about what we expect from them because God is serious about what He expects from us.


Oh Father,

What a great privilege and responsibility You have given us as parents and as children. You care deeply about the family and You show us that all through Your Word. Help me Father, to teach my children to honor You by teaching them to honor me and by also demonstrating to them what honor is as I honor my own earthly parents and You, my God and Eternal Father. Forgive me if I have failed in this and help me to begin today living in obedience to this command. May I not use the actions of my parents as my justification not to honor them, nor the affection of my children as an excuse to not require honor from them.

My Jesus it is in Your name I pray,


Names of God: El-Elohe-Israel

The name of God that we will look at today can be found in the book of beginnings…

Now Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem, which is in the land of Canaan,

when he came from Paddan-aram, and camped before the city. 

He bought the piece of land where he had pitched his tent

from the hand of the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father,

for one hundred pieces of money. 

Then he erected there an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel. 

Genesis 33:18-20

El-Elohe-Israel, this name of God means God, the God of Israel.

Now to understand the full power of this name of God, of this passage of Scripture, we have to go back and look at the context. We have to back and look at Israel. We have to go back and remember that Israel was first Jacob.

Jacob got in a good bit of trouble with his dad Isaac and his big brother Esau. He let his mother lead him into deceiving his father in order to receive the blessing of the firstborn. The sad thing about this was that Rebekah had been foretold by God when the twins were still in her womb that the older would serve the younger, but instead of waiting on God and trusting in His word, she decided to “help” God out… just like her mother-in-law Sarah did.

This blessing deception ended with Esau ready to literally kill Jacob. So their mother, once again comes up with scheme before her husband. She has Jacob sent off to live with her family under the guise that she has sent him in the hope that he would find a wife.  

Now on the way, Jacob stops to sleep on a rock in Beersheba. We read in Genesis 28:10-21 how God comes and speaks to him in a dream. We read of “Jacob’s ladder.” We also read how Jacob responds to this dream. He acknowledges that this is indeed God speaking to him… but pay close attention to his words.

Then Jacob made a vow, saying,

If God will be with me and will keep me on this journey that I take,

and will give me food to eat and garments to wear, 

and I return to my father’s house in safety,

then the LORD will be my God.

Genesis 28:20-21

Did you catch that?

Did you just see that Jacob has not made God his God. He is still just the God of his father Isaac and the God of his father Abraham… He is not the God of Jacob. There is no relationship between God and Jacob. We even see here that Jacob has taken a bargaining mindset with the Creator of the universe and the Sustainer of his very breath.  

If God will do A,B, and C then Jacob will do God the honor of letting Him be his God…



Unfortunately that mindset is still very much alive and well today in the hearts and minds of men and women everywhere.

Now over fourteen years later, after Jacob has found not one wife, but two, his beloved Rachel and her sister Leah, he has finally decided it is time to leave Uncle Laban and return home. We read in Genesis 31 how Laban’s other sons and servants are not to fond of Jacob… basically because God has been blessing him like crazy and he has gained a lot of livestock and made his Uncle quite prosperous. So Jacob goes to his wives and tells them it’s time to move on… in this conversation we see once again that even though Jacob acknowledges that God has been with him and that it is indeed God that has blessed him… he still does not claim God as his personal God. 

“I see your father’s attitude, that it is not friendly toward me as formerly,

but the God of my father has been with me.

Genesis 31:5

Now after Jacob has separated from his Uncle Laban and is traveling toward home he gets word that his big brother Esau is coming after him with 400 men. This kind of shakes Jacob up a little bit. He gets a little scared. So he actually did what a lot of us do when we get scared… he prays.

Jacob said, “O God of my father Abraham and God of my father Isaac,

O LORD, who said to me, ‘Return to your country

and to your relatives, and I will prosper you,’ 

I am unworthy of all the lovingkindness

and of all the faithfulness which You have shown to Your servant;

for with my staff only I crossed this Jordan, and now I have become two companies. 

 Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother,

from the hand of Esau; for I fear him,

that he will come and attack me and the mothers with the children. 

For You said, ‘I will surely prosper you and make your descendants as the sand of the sea,

which is too great to be numbered.’”

Genesis 39:9-12

However, in his prayer we see that God is still the God of his fathers… not his God.

But we also see Jacob beginning to take a different attitude with the God of his fathers. This time he is not bargaining with God. He is on his face before him acknowledging that he has not deserved any of the kindness that God has shown him. He is begging God to keep His word even though he does not deserve for Him to keep it.

This is one of the awesome things about our God… the keeping of His word, His promises, is not dependant upon us. He keeps His word because He is God not because we are good.

Now later in this chapter Jacob sends his family across a stream and he stays behind… to just be alone. This is where God has to get all of us. He has to get us alone. Away from all distractions, excuses, false senses of security.

While alone a “man” shows up and begins wrestling with Jacob. Jacob holds tight and keeps fighting. He finally grabs hold of the man and says that he will not let him go until he blesses him. (Now I hope you have picked up that this was not just an ordinary man that showed up while Jacob was alone)

 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak. 

When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh;

so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him. 

Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.”

But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 

So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” 

He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel;

for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”

Genesis 32:24-28

Why on earth did this man want Jacob to say his name?

Jacob’s name meant deceiver… and that’s exactly who Jacob was. He was a deceiver. He was a con-artist. He was selfish and set on himself… Jacob had to admit who he was. The real A, B, and C that Jacob needed to address was..

A– admit that you are a sinner

B– believe upon the Word

C– call upon His name and confess him as LORD 

Now God was getting somewhere with Jacob. He had made it to step A. He had admitted that he was indeed a deceiver, a sinner. There were no excuses, no justifying his actions, no bargaining games, he was admitting I am the problem. It was here that Jacob was beginning to see that God needed to be his God, not on the basis of earning his worship, but because God was worthy of his worship, and he (Jacob) just needed to be thankful that God was willing to accept his worship.

So now when we read El-Elohe-Israel we see the true impact of this confession of Jacob.  He was a man with a new name… and a personal God. A God that was no longer just his daddy’s God, no longer just his grandaddy’s God, but his God. God, the God of Israel.  

Then he erected there an altar and called it El-Elohe-Israel.

Genesis 33:20

So the question is… is He your God?

For such is God,
Our God forever and ever;
He will guide us until death.

Psalm 48:14






Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.  

Exodus 20:8


I began this devotion on the fourth commandment of our God and had to stop. As I read it I couldn’t get past the obvious fact that as a modern American church this is the one and only commandment we do not teach nor practice to observe as it is written. 

Six days you shall labor and do all your work,

but the seventh day is a sabbath of the LORD your God;

in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter,  

your male or your female servant or your cattle

or your sojourner who stays with you.

For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth,

the sea and all that is in them,

and rested on the seventh day;

therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day and made it holy.

Exodus 20:9-11

As I was discussing this thought on the Sabbath commandment online with family and friends one of them pointed out that this is the one commandment that begins with God telling us to “remember” it. I would agree with her that there must be a very good reason for that beginning. This commandment also is the last commandment that addresses our relationship with God specifically.

Do we as the modern western church choose to ignore this commandment? There are Christian denominations that choose to observe worship on Saturday instead of Sunday, but is that the same as keeping the Sabbath holy?

What does Jesus have to say about the Sabbath?

In John 5:18 we read that “the Jews were seeking all the more to kill Him, because He was not only breaking the Sabbath, but also was calling God His own Father, making Himself equal with God.” There is something terribly wrong with this picture.

The Jews are saying that Jesus is breaking the Sabbath. We know that this cannot be true, because Jesus kept the Law of God with perfection. We have to look at the context of this verse and find out why the Jews made this accusation. When we do this, we see they accuse Him of breaking the Sabbath because He healed a man and told the man to pick up His pallet and walk.

Now these Pharisees tell this newly healed man that he is breaking the Sabbath because it is not permissible for him to carry his pallet on the Sabbath. If we look back at Exodus 20:8-11, I do not read anywhere that God said, ‘thou shalt not carry thy pallet”.

So by this we can know that Jesus was not breaking God’s Sabbath, but the Jews sabbath. It was for this that they sought all the more to kill Him. A friend of mine pointed out that in this verse we do not see the Jews even consider giving praise to God for this man’s healing; they are only concerned that He is breaking their rules.

In the book of Matthew we read more of Jesus and the Sabbath. In Matthew 12:1-8 we read of the Pharisees accusing the disciples of Christ of breaking the Sabbath because they have picked grains of wheat to eat in their hunger. Jesus then points out to the Pharisees that the priests of the temple do themselves break the Sabbath as they continue to perform their temple work on that holy day. He then tells them that something greater than the temple is here. In Matthew 12:8 Jesus declares “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Then in Matthew 12:9-14 Jesus goes on to heal another man on the Sabbath. The Pharisees then question Him about whether or not it is lawful to heal on the Sabbath. If I was Jesus I would probably be rolling my eyes at this point and shaking my head in disbelief at these men, but Jesus simply answers, “What man is there among you has a sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will he not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep!”

These Pharisees, these religious tyrants, had missed the whole point of the Sabbath command. They missed it because their focus was to control men by the Law, not help them. Truth be known they probably did value the sheep over the man because their sheep would make them money which would bring them power and that man would cost them money and they would have to humble themselves in order to serve and help him.

The fourth command is to remember the Sabbath. In Mark 2:27 Jesus tells us that “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” The instructions following this command concerning the Sabbath in Exodus 20 tells us that we are to remember this day by rest. In Isaiah 30:15 we read that “in repentance and rest you will be saved, in quietness and trust is your strength.”

So what exactly is Jesus trying to get across to these religious men about their view of the Sabbath? How does what Jesus say to them relate to us today? Are we breaking the Sabbath by worshiping on Sunday instead of Saturday?

Let us reason together.

We have to remember what this command says. It tells us to remember to rest.

To rest in rest?

No, to rest in God.

I don’t know about you but Sunday is not a day of physical rest for me, but here’s the thing, I don’t believe it was really designed nor intended to be. When we are called to assemble together as the church we are called to serve and be employed, “As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” (1 Peter 4:10). Sunday is the day we come together as a body of believers to grow in grace and truth. It is the day that we are supposed to spend building each other up. I believe this is separate from the Sabbath, which is to be a day of rest. 

We are commanded by God to remember the Sabbath and commanded by Christ to remember Him by the Lord’s Supper, the breaking of bread and the drinking of the cup (Luke 22:19-20). Remember the Sabbath and remember Me, the Lord of the Sabbath, when you come together by the Lord’s Supper.

Remember by the breaking of this bread and the drinking of this cup that you could not work enough to earn your salvation. Remember that I alone am God, set up no idols of worship in your heart, and do not consider My name as useless or ordinary because it is by this name that you are saved. Remember the Sabbath and rest in Me, knowing that in Me you are complete, in Me you are free, in Me you are not slaves… you are sons. Remember that in Me it is finished.

I believe that we are called to remember the Sabbath and to come together and worship on Sunday. The Sabbath is for us individually (Mark 2:27) and the Lord’s Supper for us collectively, “Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread.” (1 Corinthians 10:17).

Let’s just for the moment look at the observance of the Sabbath in practicality. Just imagine if we as a church would put away the idols of immorality, impurity, passion, evil desires and greed (Colossians 3:5), would we rest more?

If we put these idols away, what would happen to the round the clock work day?

Would we need to run a business 24/7 if we did not worship the idol of greed?

Let us even consider the medical field. How much emptier would our hospitals be if we removed all the patients that were there due to stress induced illnesses, from being overworked or from immoral living?

Let us consider the prisons. How much emptier would they be if we put away the idol of greed and remembered that God was our Creator and Sustainer and Provider? How much emptier would they be if we remembered God and remembered that our families come second only to God?

How many of our families would still be intact if at least one day a week we chose to rest in God. To be still before Him. To not require work from our children or our employees and to do none ourselves. If we just stopped in the midst of all the craziness of life and worshiped our God by casting all our cares on Him and enjoying the abundant blessing of Himself and trusting that He would take care of tomorrow.

I don’t believe it’s that we are to not move on the Sabbath or carry our pallet or pick grain in our hunger or heal a man. I believe it is simply that we are not to strive on this day. I believe God is saying “I am mindful that you are but flesh, I know the worries of this world that flood your soul, just give Me one day. One day. And I promise if you will stop this one day and remember and fall into My arms, then I promise I will carry you the rest of the week. Just trust Me.”

Just ponder it my friend. Then look at your own heart and examine yourself. Are you remembering the Sabbath to keep it holy? Let us not forget that we are blessed when we rest.


Oh Father,

Thank You for Your Sabbath. Thank You for giving us permission to rest. Forgive me Father, for not giving You this time. You are indeed my Creator and You will carry me. Help me to honor You in this way, by willingly allowing You to carry me. Calling on You in my time of need and not wasting Your time by striving on my own. My Jesus, I cast my cares on You this day and I come to You, my God, for rest (Matthew 11:28).

My Jesus it is in Your name I pray,




Eating Confession



I have an eating confession.

I am sitting here at the computer after consuming a plate of pancakes and sausage at pretty much bed time. I enjoyed every bite… every bite that is except the last one. 

That last bite passed my lips and slid down my throat and landed in my stomach like a brick.

Then on top of that brick landed a pile of condemnation and whispers of “oh that was disgusting” 

and “I can’t believe you just ate that this late

and “wow, your jeans are already tighter” 

and “that’s really gonna help that swimsuit look” 

and “didn’t you just pay money to help you lose weight… well you just threw that money out the window with that plate


The real confession…

The first thought that passed through my mind in response to the whispers was to go to the bathroom and make myself throw it all back up. There was a day not that long ago when that is exactly what I would have done… that… or I would have taken some stuff to make it come out the other end.

I know the dangers of this, but even so, it is still my first thought on how to handle this ick that now sits in my body.

I knew I should have just had a glass of water, but I saw the pancakes and the sausage… and I did eat. So then my minds solution is to make what went down come back up.

Stupid flesh.

Obeying it only feels good in the moment… it never feels good when the moment has past. Then your own thoughts on how to fix the ick usually put you in an even ickier place… oh the endless cycle of condemnation that comes when you obey your fleshly desire. 

So how do I fix the ick…

Tonight I confess.

I repent of choosing to obey my flesh rather than what I know is beneficial for my mind, body, soul, and spirit.

I drink a glass of water.

I choose to not make matters worse by purging myself.

I begin anew tomorrow.

Yes, I am thirty-five years old and this thought process is still a struggle. But I have victory in and through my God… because tonight I will not make myself throw up nor take something before bed that will kick in when I wake up… I will just trust my God and His forgiveness and His grace and His mercy for they are new every morning.   



All of Life is a Test


Life has been a little crazy here lately…

If you have been with me long you have read of our attempt to sell our house… and after having it on the market for a year we chose to take it off the market and refinance.  We decided that God obviously wanted us to stay here for a little while longer.

Well the house has been off the market for about eight months and two Saturday’s ago our former realtor calls and says she is on top of our mountain showing houses and the lady with her was wanting to know if we were still interested in selling our house…

Of course we said, Yes.

                 She wanted to see it right then.

At this point my husband is getting ready to go on night shift and I am at the ballfield with our girls. This showing is coming right after a teaching engagement I had, and my mind and heart had been focused on preparing lessons not cleaning our house.

The house was a wreck.

The rugs hadn’t been vacuumed in days so dog hair was every where. The floors had not been mopped in forever… we had been running crazy for the past month and plus I had been sick. Laundry was on every clean flat surface. The tub and the closet were full of dirty clothes and towels, not one bed was made, the sink was full of dirty dishes, my husband counted eighteen pairs of shoes scattered through out the house…

I mean it was bad.

               But I said, “sure it’s a mess, but go right ahead

The following Monday we got the call that they wanted to see it again.

So that night I cleaned the house. But I did not get into the frantic crazy clean that I had put myself through when in it was the market for a year… I just did what I had planned on doing that Monday anyway just to get things caught back up from the backburner place I had put it on. I realized that if they wanted to come back after seeing it the past Saturday anything I got done would be an amazing improvement :-)

So me and my girls head out for lunch while this couple checks out our house again.

After lunch we head to Book-a-Million so my Shelby can use a gift card that she has had since Christmas and while we are searching for a book we get the call.

I suppose that the others in Books-a-Million probably thought we were crazy invaders from outer somewhere because I am on my knees in the middle of the store floor giving my thanks and praise to my God and my girls are jumping up and down and holding hands as they sing “they want our house! they want our house!”

Boom out of no where life gets flipped and change enters the equation of life once again.

And in this change comes the opportunity to choose to trust in the Word of God or not… 

The moment the news of the house selling settles down I begin to doubt…

     what if we pack our whole house up,

                       find a place we absolutely love, 

                              and then they back out and decide they don’t want the house… 

Oh ye of little faith.

Trusting in God’s sovereignty is easy from the pew… it’s a little harder from the kitchen :-)

Many plans are in a man’s heart

But the counsel of the LORD will stand

Proverbs 19:21

Here is the thing… what if we do pack the whole house up and find a place we absolutely love and then they decide they don’t want our house and back out of the contract… if that were to happen would I be willing to stop and believe…

Whether for correction,

or for His world,

or for His lovingkindness,

He causes it to happen.

Job 37:13 

Either I believe in the sovereignty of God or I don’t. Either I believe the Word of God is indeed the word of God or I don’t…  the Word of God is either just another title for the Holy Bible to me or it is indeed the God breathed syllables of life.

How I obey it, trust in it, seek it, rely on it, treasure it… shows how I really feel about it.

Will I trust Him in all of life… or just pull from His book when it suits me?

All of life is a test.

Will I choose to trust God in the pew and in the kitchen.

Will I choose to believe in His sovereign will and plan even when the little things in life don’t make sense and don’t go the way I seemed so sure they would go?

Will I seek His will in the little every day things or just call on Him when I think “I can’t handle this one” 

Today I choose to trust Him

    with the unreturned phone calls,

    with the delayed dates set,

    with the overslepts and completely forgots

   with the packed the whole house up and they just backed outs


   with the returned phone calls

   with the quickly confirmed dates set 

   with the up on time and out the door and remembered it alls

    with the moving everything out and in to the new place God has planned for us… 

I choose to trust God with it all… when I don’t like it and when I do. I will submit to His will and His authority and His purpose and His plan and I will seek Him in His Word to help us make sense of it all along the way.

Because He is good.


What’s In A Name


You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain,

for the LORD will not leave him unpunished

who takes his name in vain.  

Exodus 20:7


What exactly does it mean to take the LORD’s name in vain?

We seem to all be united on the fact that using God’s name, any of His names, as a curse word is taking His name in vain. However this was not an issue when God delivered this commandment. The children of Israel then, and still most of the Jewish people and nation of Israel today, so reverenced the name of God that they would not speak it or attempt to even write it out in its entirety. In most Jewish letters and writing you will see the name God written out as G-d.  

So, with this in mind, let us dig a little deeper into this third commandment and see if we can discover exactly what it means to take the name of the LORD in vain. To begin let’s look at the Hebrew translation of the word “vain.” Vain in the Hebrew is shawv and it means desolating; evil as destructive, ruin, guile, uselessness, false, lie, lying and it is from the Hebrew word sho which is an unused root meaning to rush over. Now with this knowledge let’s read this third commandment again, “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain…”

Oh precious one is it sinking in?

You shall not use the name of God to desolate another.

    You shall not use it for evil in any way.

          You shall not speak lies about the name of God.

                You shall not rush over the name of God.

                        You shall not make the name of God useless.

Have you been guilty of taking the name of the LORD your God in vain?

Let’s dig even deeper.

Let us look at the Hebrew word for name. In the Hebrew the word name is shem. Have you heard this word before? Shem was the name of one of Noah’s sons. Shem is the son through which Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and David and yes, Jesus was born.

The word shem means conspicuous position, an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality, honor, authority, and character. In the Bible names are very important. Someone’s name defined who they were, their character, and their position in life. Many times a child would not be named until the parents could tell who he would be, or they named him according to who they desired him to be. A name mattered. It should still matter today.

So my friend, do you see how very vast this command is? It is so much more than just using God’s name as a curse word. It is lying about His character and position by our use of or lack of use of His name. If we do not trust in His name, we take it in vain. If we consider His name as useless, we take it in vain. If we do not trust in the character of our God as defined to us by His names, we take His name in vain. If we rush over His name, not considering Him our strong tower, our refuge, our help, our salvation, our hope… we take His name in vain. If we doubt Him, we take His name in vain.

The Ten Commandments booklet I shared about earlier states that “Many who have heard much about God carelessly assume they know Him- that they have an acceptable relationship with Him. Yet they have never learned really to respect Him. They demean and degrade Him by flippantly using His name in everyday conversation. They unwittingly announce to all who hear them that respect for God is simply not important to them, even though they may believe He exists.”

Oh precious one, spend some time today learning His names.

                    Read through the Psalms and see how often they call attention to the name of the LORD.

If you are indeed a Christian, then you carry the name of Christ and your actions in this name either bring honor to God or blaspheme His holy name. Oh my friend, represent Him well, for He is worthy. Let His name be lifted higher and higher and higher.  

Oh Father,

I carry the name of Your Son. I am Yours. Might I never forget that You are holy and holy is Your name. As I am coming and going in this life may I honor Your name. Let me not disgrace Your most glorious name. Let me never forget that I represent You and I do not want to represent You wrong. I might be the only Bible that another reads and I want to accurately deliver Your truth.

My Jesus it is in Your name I pray,



Idol Worship


You shall not make for yourself an idol,

or any likeness of what is in heaven above

or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.

Exodus 20:4


As we take a look through history and even as we look around us today we see the evidence of why God delivered this commandment. The false gods of Egypt then, the false gods of the other nations of the world then, and even now, require an idol.

Those who worship them build altars in their homes, in their yards, in their cities, they set up shrines and they design even hand held objects to take with them where ever they go and then they bow down and worship before this image that they themselves had to make.

I homeschool our children and this past school year we studied ancient Egypt. One of the things we learned as we studied their culture, religion, and government was how they treated their idols. The priests had to bath the idol, they had to bring food to the idol, and they had to move the idol. They had to do everything for this so called “god”.

Why would they think that a god who could not even feed or bath himself, a god that they have to carry, would be worthy of their worship and could deliver them in a day of distress?  

Isaiah 44:20 tells us that “… a deceived heart has turned him aside. And he cannot deliver himself, nor say, ‘Is there not a lie in my right hand?'”

Oh how our hearts can deceive us!

Notice also in this verse, that this one could not deliver himself. This one who bowed down before the works of his hand could not make himself see the foolishness in it all. To his deceived heart it all made perfect sense. It is indeed true that all of mankind has exchanged the truth of God for a lie and we have bowed down and worshiped created things instead of our Creator (Romans 1:25).

However, our Creator God’s love for us remains. He tells us in Isaiah 42:16, “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know; in paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.” God has no desire to leave us undone, no desire to leave us holding a lie in our right hand. He wants us to be sanctified in His truth.

He distinguished Himself from all other gods by the giving of His law. Isaiah 42:21 says that “The LORD was pleased for His righteousness’ sake to make the law great and glorious.” He would show us His omnipresence by making us aware that He did not need an idol to remind us of His presence and power.

He lets us know in this commandment that He is a jealous God. As a matter of fact He goes so far as to say that His name is Jealous (Exodus 34:14). Let us remember that He has said He will not give His glory to another and He will not have His praise given to any graven image (Isaiah 42:8). 

When our God chose to show Himself to us, when He chose to allow us to behold His glory, He did not use a temple, an altar, or a graven image. No precious one, our God displayed His image in the person of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 4:4, Hebrews 1:1-3).

The Word, the great and glorious Law of God became flesh and dwelt among us and we saw the glory of the Lord, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14). The image of our God would not be made of wood or stone and He would not be fashioned by the hands of man. He would have inherit power. He would indeed be able to bath Himself, feed Himself, and carry Himself around. He would not be dependant on any man, for Hw is the One through who man was created (John 1:3).

Oh Father,

Thank You for being a jealous God. Thank You for making me aware of Your omnipresence. How awesome it is to know that there is no where I can go to flee from Your presence (Psalm 139:7-12). Thank You for Your great and glorious law, Your Word of truth, which separates You from all other gods that are seeking my heart. The world is full of idols, full of things of empty promise, that are wanting me to trust in them, to bow down to them, to fear them, but I bow before You alone. Oh Father, and because You are indeed a jealous God, You will let me know when my heart has turned from You. You will keep me from being deceived unto death (Job 36:7-11). Keep me, my God, in Your lovingkindness. 

My Jesus it is in Your name I pray,


Slowing Down


Slow never killed time. It’s the the rushing and racing, the trying to catch up, this is what kills time — ourselves.

Why in the world do we keep wounding ourselves?

Life is not an emergency. 

And this, this is the only way to slow down time:

When I fully enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here.

Weigh down this moment in time with attention full, and the whole of time’s river slows, slows, slows.

In this space of time and sphere, I am attentive. I am aware. I am accepting the whole of the moment, weighing it down with me all here.

~Ann Voskamp

I read these words and I breathed deep. This is something I fight often. This feeling of “rushed”. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have heard my husband say, “Nicole, slow down

I will get myself in a tizzy, my stomach tied in knots, my fingers just wiggling, and my mind racing, as I try to remember what I need to get out the door in order to accomplish all that I feel must be accomplished this particular day. I can’t enjoy the present moment because I can’t get the fear that I will forget something that will be needed to take care of that moment up ahead.


 Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city,

and spend a year there and engage in business and make a profit.” 

Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow.

You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. 

Instead, you ought to say,

“If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.” 

But as it is, you boast in your arrogance; all such boasting is evil.

James 4:13-16


It should have been a sign to me a long time ago that when my stomach knotted up, and my words became harsh, and my patience became short, and my flesh crawled… that this “rushing” was arrogance, that it was indeed evil. But some how I have always managed to ignore the signs.

Even when I received a clear rebuke, a clear warning, “Nicole, slow down”

I would huff and ignore it and continue in my “rush”

I have no clue how many amazing moments I have completely missed, I have destroyed, I have trampled, I have ran over… in my “rush”. How many times have I wounded little hearts in my, “Not now! I don’t have time!”

God forgive me…

                       How thankful I am for His grace, for His mercy, for His forgiveness

How thankful I am for their grace,

                                                     for their mercy,

                                                                 for their forgiveness… my little hearts (and my big heart)

How thankful I am that He is willing to say, “Nicole slow down” over and over and over and over again.

Life moves so fast…

Today I just want to slow down and be still and know that He is God.

I don’t have to “rush”… I just need to trust.