Names of God: Father


The name of God that we talked about in our last chapel meeting was Father. In the Old Testament God was only referred to as a father figuratively. We read in the book of Exodus of God referring to Israel as His firstborn son.

Then you shall say to Pharaoh,

‘Thus says the LORD, “Israel is My son, My firstborn.

Exodus 4:22

In the book of Deuteronomy we read…

Do you thus repay the LORD, O foolish and unwise people?

Is not He your Father who has bought you?

He has made you and established you.

Deuteronomy 32:6

In the Psalms we read…

Just as a father has compassion on his children,

So the LORD has compassion on those who fear Him.

Psalm 103:13


and in the book of Malachi we read…

Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us?

Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother

so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?

Malachi 2:10


God is a father to us all in the fact that He is the Creator God. It is He that has made us. He alone knit each of us in our mother’s womb and breathed life into us and sustains our days. He is, as a father, to us all.

God used the example of a father in the Old Testament to describe His relationship toward those who obeyed Him and served Him, but not one of those who served the Holy One of Israel in the Old Testament ever addressed Him with the intimate, personal, name of Father.

No one that is, until a carpenter from Nazareth walked into town.

When Jesus Christ came on the scene He called God, Father. The first ever to address Him with such a personal name. He alone had the right to call God this name.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God,

and the Word was God.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us,

and we saw His glory,

glory as of the only begotten from the Father,

full of grace and truth.

John 1:1, 14

When Christ came, He showed us that not everyone can call God Father, simply because they are a being created by Him. There is a big difference in creating something and giving birth to something.

When I gave birth to my daughters they were birthed with parts of me forever with them. They received my freckles, my blue eyes, my same birthmarks, many of my quirks and characteristics transferred from me to them… because I birthed them. My husband I begot them, and anyone who sees them can clearly see the proof that they belong to us.

Jesus made this truth clear to the Pharisees and He has made it clear to us.

I speak the things which I have seen with My Father;

therefore you also do the things which you heard from your father.

They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.”

Jesus said to them, “If you are Abraham’s children, do the deeds of Abraham. 

But as it is, you are seeking to kill Me, a man who has told you the truth,

which I heard from God; this Abraham did not do. 

You are doing the deeds of your father.”

They said to Him, “We were not born of fornication;

we have one Father: God.” 

Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me,

for I proceeded forth and have come from God,

for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me. 

Why do you not understand what I am saying?

 It is because you cannot hear My word. 

You are of your father the devil,

and you want to do the desires of your father.

John 8:38-44

Jesus made it pretty clear that not everyone can call God Father, because everyone is not His child. To be His child you must be birthed by Him and adopted by His Spirit.

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, 

who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh

nor of the will of man, but of God.

John 1:12-13

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!”

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,

Romans 8:14-16


So we see now that being able to call God Father is something very special. We have seen that no one ever called God Father until the first coming of Christ. Let us stop for a moment and think about this…

Let’s go back to the day that a twelve year old boy looked at His foster father and said “Did you not know that I had to be in My Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49)

Let’s go to the day that crowds formed and the disciples followed. Let’s go to the day that they watched this man who lived a life so pure and so compassionate and spoke with such authority. Let’s go to the day that a nation had gone over 400 years without hearing from their God, without even having a prophet in the land… and now this man called the One whose name was too holy to be spoken or written, Father.

How can we know that Jesus made an impression on His disciples with the intimate relationship that He appeared to have with the Creator of the Universe?

We know this by the questions they asked Him… especially one in particular.

“It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place,

after He had finished, one of the disciples said to Him,

“Lord, teach us to pray…”

Luke 11:1


The disciples had seen Jesus heal the sick. They had seen Him raise the dead. They had seen Him make blind men see. They had seen Him make the deaf hear and they had seen Him cast out demons… but they didn’t ask Him to teach them how to do these things. They asked Him to teach them how to pray.

Jesus, teach us how to talk to God like You do.

We want to know Him like You know Him.

How can You call Him Father?

How can you speak with Him so casually?

You do not pray like the Pharisees pray…

Jesus, teach us to pray…

And Jesus then taught them to pray… and He taught them to address God as Father… but to remember that hallowed be His name.  So yes, in and by and through Christ we can call God Father, but we must never forget that in this personal and intimate relationship His name is still to be hallowed, respected, reverenced, feared.

And if we call Him Father… we should show that we are His, that He has birthed us…

because it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.”

If you address as Father

the One who impartially judges according to each one’s work,

conduct yourselves in fear during the time of your stay on earth…

1 Peter 1:16-17

Let us never forget how special it is to be able to call God, Father. Let us live our lives in such a way that others will see our relationship with our God,

 and look at us and want what we have…

                         and ask us to teach them to pray…

My Morning Moment


This morning as I sat outside with my Savior I asked for His forgiveness. You see I haven’t sat outside with Him in the early morning hours since Easter morning. I have missed Him.

I watched a small patch of light in the cloudy morning sky as I wrote my prayer out to Him. My heart lifted in a song of praise and I longed for Him. As my heart sang, “Holy, holy, holy… Lord God Almighty, early in the morning my song shall rise to Thee. Holy, holy, holy… merciful and mighty, God in three persons blessed Trinity…” I remembered a section I read in Francis Chan’s Crazy Love yesterday.

Francis asked a question in the book. He asked you to consider if you could have heaven, with no sickness, and all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?

I read that and when I read if Christ was not there” my heart stopped. No, no Christ? No Jesus? It’s not heaven without Him! And suddenly I realized that heaven is not a place… heaven is a Person. There is no heaven apart from Jesus. I would rather just cease to exist than to live for all eternity with no Christ.

He is the substance. Apart from Him all else is a mirage. It’s just empty and hollow and pointless. It all loses it’s flavor when you remove Christ… there is no satisfaction apart from being satisfied in and with Him. Oh how I love Him!

I watch the sky for Him ever day. I long for His return… I really do. I would be lying to you if I tried to downplay my desire for Him. There are days that I downright pine for Him, begging His return, or whispering my wish to hear Him call my name… to call me to Himself. Then I remember that I am already with Him because He is with me… always.

So I went outside to sit with Him and seek His face, to ask His forgiveness for these missed morning moments… and my Jesus whispered to my heart. I love His sweet confirmation of hearing my prayer.

You see for the past several years I have had three to four hours every morning to just spend with my God. I have coveted this time with Him. I have to admit that I have always been quite jealous for this time. I would be quite irritated with anyone or anything that would disrupt my mornings with my Savior.

Here lately, those mornings have been filled with planning events, planning nursery rotation, planning VBS, figuring out schedules, learning how to work new things. In all this I have feared that I would lose my intimacy with my God and become someone who just did church work.

So I went out this morning to sit before my God and ask for His forgiveness. I went out to ask for His protection against a cold, religious, heart. I don’t want to forsake Him for the sake of “ministry”. He must be first. If He is not first then I become a fake. I don’t want to be fake. I want to be true.

As I sat still before Him I listened for His whisper… As I sat I remembered the story of Joseph. I remembered the dream of Pharaoh and the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine. I remembered how God had prepared the people for the season of famine because they were obedient to Joseph during the season of plenty.

I believe through this remembrance God assured me that I had been obedient to seek Him and build Him up and I had been faithful to fill the storehouses of my heart up with Him. He gave me those mornings to prepare me for this time, for this season. Now it is time for me to take what’s in my storehouses and use it.

I may not have those three to four hour mornings with Him but on rare occasions for a while… but He is the One that has moved me into this season. He is the One that has prepared me. He is the One that will keep me.

So now… I still sing, “Holy, Holy, Holy… merciful and mighty… God in three persons blessed Trinity”


A Breach of Trust

For every breach of trust,

whether it is for ox, for donkey, for sheep, for clothing,

or for any lost thing about which one says, “This is it,”

the case of both parties shall come before the judges;

he whom the judges condemn

shall pay double to his neighbor.

Exodus 22:9

It has always amazed me when people say that they cannot understand the Bible.

Yes, there are things that it contains that are a mystery… many of those things will remain a mystery until the day our Creator chooses to reveal them to us in His glorious light and perfect time. However we should not claim to be unable to understand the entire book simply because there are parts we fon’t understand.

We should never reject the entire Book simply because we have a few unsolved mysteries.

How insane would it be to dismiss and discredit the entire police force because they have files of unsolved mysteries? It would be crazy to do so. What about doctors? Do you we dismiss and discredit the entire medical field because there are times that the cause of a person’s symptoms remains a mystery?

No the police force and the medical field both place the mystery in the “I don’t understand… yet” file and focus on what they do understand and then they keep coming back to the mystery and digging, looking for new insight, and hoping for new answers.

Our pursuit of the Book, of the Word of God, should be just the same.

As we read let us hold on to the things that we see clearly and when we come to a mystery, file it in the “I don’t understand… yet” drawer and move forward.

As you keep going forward in His Word… God will teach you things that just might help you solve some of those unsolved mysteries in that file. If you will just keep seeking Him and His truth, He will reveal Himself to you. One day He will reveal and unravel all His mysteries… until then hold on to what you do understand and enjoy the search into the things that remain a mystery.

As we read through these next few chapters in the book of Exodus I hope you are able to see how clear the Word of God is as He breaks down His expectations for His people. Take notice of how He takes into account our sinful nature as He delivers His precepts. God is not shocked by the sin of His people. He just asks us to do with it what He says to do with it.

As I began reading through Exodus 22, I got to verse 9, and I stopped when I read, “For every breach of trust…”

Trust is huge with our God.

We live in a day when trust is lacking. We don’t trust our President. We don’t trust our company. We don’t trust our family. We don’t trust our friends. We don’t trust the church. We don’t trust our spouse. We don’t trust men. We don’t trust women. We don’t trust God.

There has been a huge breach of trust in our day. From today start paying attention to how many times you say or think, “I don’t trust them”.

In the early days of the nation of Israel the people lost trust. Eli had not done a very good job leading his own sons, much less all the sons of Israel. So God raised up Samuel. Then Samuel in his duty and calling as priest and judge of the children of Israel also neglected to lead his own sons in righteousness. We do not know the behind the scene details of the how’s and why’s, we just know that the people of Israel did not trust them to lead the nation after Samuel.

This was a pivotal moment in the life of Israel. Take special note of the Lord’s assessment of their decision. “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them [1 Samuel 8:7].”

In effect, the Lord said, “You are determined to go down this path—one that will certainly cause you sorrow—and I will not stop you. You have rejected My way for your own. Therefore, you will lie in the bed you have made.”

~ Swindoll

The children of Israel had forgotten that it was not Samuel or his sons that were leading them… it was God. Deep down it was not that they did not trust Samuel’s sons to lead them… they no longer trusted God to lead them. They decided they wanted to be in control of who ruled them. They wanted a king they could elect and overthrow when they didn’t like him.

The children equated the failures of men with the failure of God. If they couldn’t trust the man then they couldn’t trust God. When in fact they should have been remembering that when they couldn’t trust the man, they could always trust God.

God wants His people to men and women of their word, of The WORD. He wants us to be people that are trustworthy. However, He knows we are but flesh, He knows we will fail, so He gave us these statutes in Exodus 22:7-17. If we fail at keeping a trust, when we make restitution for this it shows that person that we are truly sorry for that failure. It also helps to keep us from making a habit of this behavior.

I believe we have such a lack of trust in our current day because we have chosen to not demand restitution when there has been a breach of trust. We give a slap on the wrist, a polite reprimand, a pay-off to keep silent, a hollow threat… or we laugh it off as them being a con-man or a “used car salesman”.

We equate preachers and politicians in this joke and we think it’s funny. It’s not. These are the two positions of power that lead our nation. They are supposed to be sitting over the people directly under the authority of God… by making a joke of these positions of authority we have made a joke of our God and His authority.

Instead of demanding integrity from these positions we have slapped them on the writst when they failed in their character… and now we live in a nation that reaping the consequences. No one trusts no one and only a very few demonstrate actual real trust in our God.

When John penned his gospel account he concluded with, “This is the disciple who is testifying to these things and wrote these things, and we know that his testimony is true.” (John 21:24) Can you conclude your own words, your own testimony, with these words, recorded for all eternity to be reviewed by generations to come, and they be found true?

Oh Father,

Help me to be a woman of my word. Forgive me, for my own failures in this area. Forgive me for not demanding trust in others. When I fail and there is a breach of trust because of me, may I be willing to go to this person and offer restitution for my sin. I represent You. I carry Your name. My word should be as Your Word, fully trustworthy. When I fail because of the weakness of this human flesh, may I always in the strength of Your Spirit, make it right.

My Jesus it is in Your name I pray,


I Brought You Into This World

He who strikes his father or his mother

shall surely be put to death. 

Exodus 21:15


I read this verse in the Scripture and I can’t help but think of Bill Cosby.


There was a day when our parents were held in a very high regard. Our parents, our grandparents, and our great grandparents were deeply respected and reverenced. We see here in the Word of God that this was an attitude that God demands of His people. God has not changed. He still demands this of His people.

There are three huge “fruit inspections” that I can’t help but catch notice of when I am evaluating a person’s place in the body of Christ… when I am trying to examine whether or not I can trust their confession and profession of Christ. Those three things are (1) their sexual behavior, (2) their thankfulness, and (3) their attitude and behavior toward their parents and others that are their elders. God is pretty clear about all of these. There is no gray area. Either you choose to obey in your love for Him and others or you still have you on the throne. Today are focus is on our attitude and behavior toward our parents.

When we respect and honor our parents we learn to respect authority and by this we learn to also honor and respect the authority of our Creator God. We have done a huge disservice to the children of our present day as we have let the government, from federal all the way down to county, strip us of our parental authority, our parental rights, and our parental obligations.

We have a generation of parents and grandparents that are scared to death of their children… it was designed by God to be the other way around.

My parents used Bill Cosby’s line. I knew they brought me into this world and I knew they could take me out… and I respected them. I respected them because I also knew that they loved me dearly. I knew they were my authority, my protection, my refuge, my safety, my providers, they were my parents.

We live in a day where we have argued so much about how to discipline that we have forgotten to discipline. 

We live in a day where we do a lot of counting to three… and counting to three and a quarter, and three and a half, and three and three quarters… and little Johnny and little Betty Sue never check up. Then to see little Johnny or little Betty Sue turn around and slap at their parents or kick them…  I honestly have to say that I have caught myself bending down at eye level with a complete stranger’s child and telling them myself that they are never to hit their mommy.

I think the first time my oldest child stuck me was probably before she could even talk. I grabbed her little hand and held it down at her side and looked deep in her eyes and told her very firmly, “NO. You do not hit Mommy.” My husband did the same the first time she tried it with him. We had to do the same thing with our youngest. The simple fact is, rebellion is born in them. Striking out against authority is in their nature. It must be dealt with immediately. Do not think that you can let them striking you go because they are “a baby” and think they will “grow out of it”. Deal with it the first time it happens. Address it firmly, but in love.

Following this verse in Exodus is another quite similar…

He who curses his father or his mother

shall surely be put to death.

Exodus 21:17

Usually this same child that is slapping and kicking at their parents is also cursing them. The slaps and kicks usually come with “I hate you‘s”,  “your mean’s”, “your stupid’s“, “I wish you weren’t my mommy/daddy“, “you never let me do anything’s“, “I wish I had never been born‘s” etc…

You were not to strike your parents and you are not to curse them.

Once again, the child is not going to grow out of this behavior… you the parent have to deal with it. Deal with it the first time it happens, and deal with it every time it happens.


The wages of sin is death. This behavior will lead to death in your child. You must teach your child to put this flesh fest of rebellion to death so that your child might have life.

We must also lead by example. How do you treat your own parents? Let us also remember that there is no disclosure in this verse that says your parents have to worthy of this honor… yes it makes it easier on you if they are… but their worth is never required for your obedience. We have to always remember that we honor and obey them “in the Lord” (Ephesians 6:1-2).

We honor our parents because God said so… that is the end of the discussion. Lest we forget that we ourselves may not maintain a view of worthiness before our children eyes as we teach them to obey this command of God to them toward us.

Never forget that your kids are watching you… you will lead them… the question is where and how.

Oh Father, 

I am so very thankful for my parents. I was indeed blessed with parents that not only demanded my respect and obedience, but also lived lives that made it easy to obey them. I pray God, that as we live in these last days, where we see depravity growing more and more, and the fruit of that depravity being made evident in the disobedience of children to their parents (Romans 1:30, 2 Timothy 3:2), that You would keep my eyes open. Let me not be blinded by fleshly emotion as I train up my children in You. Help me to honor you always as I parent them. Guide me Father as I endeavor to raise them up to honor You and walk in Your ways. Keep guard over them. Protect them from the evil one and sanctify them in Your Word (John 17:15-17). Oh Father, I will be obedient to teach them Your Word and to set my own heart toward You, and trust that You in Your sovereignty and unfailing grace will use my mistakes for Your glory (Romans 8:28). 

My Jesus I love You and it is in Your name I pray,



Love One Another


During the week of Easter my husband and I sat down with our girls and read through the Scriptures and we talked as we read. We read that week in the book of John. On Maundy Thursday we read through Jesus’s command to the disciples before He would go to the cross.

He would not share these words until after Judas had left.

These words were for His disciples… the few, the true, the real deals.

These words Jesus share with them after He had the last supper with all of them, including Judas. Yes, Judas was there to hear the gospel. He heard as much as everyone else. He heard this bread is My body broken for you… yes Judas, you. He heard this wine, is My blood, the blood of the New Covenant, poured out for the forgiveness of sins, yes Judas, your sin. Everyone heard this final deliverance of the gospel and everyone had their feet washed by the Servant King. Everyone.

Then Judas leaves the gathering…


  Therefore when he had gone out, Jesus said, 

“Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in Him;

 if God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself,

and will glorify Him immediately. 

Little children, I am with you a little while longer. 

You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, now I also say to you,

‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ 

A new commandment I give to you, 

that you love one another, 

even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 

By this all men will know that you are My disciples,

if you have love for one another.” 

John 13:31-35

After Judas had gone out Jesus turned to the faithful few and He gave this command.

The others had no clue that it would be Judas who would betray their Teacher.

He had walked with them, He had went out and been a part of casting out demons and healing the sick and raising the dead. He was there at the Passover meal with them. He had heard the same teachings. He had heard the gospel. He was one of them… right?


Jesus turns to the faithful few and He says,

“…By this all men will know that you are My disciples,

if you have love for one another.” 

Jesus doesn’t say you will know who belongs to me because they will be able to speak in tongues.

He doesn’t say you will know who belongs to Me because they can pick up serpents and not be harmed.

He doesn’t say all will know you are mine because you can cast out demons and raise the dead and heal the sick.

If all you know are a bunch of tricks then you are just Simon the magician (Acts 8:9-24) riding on the name of Someone you really don’t know…

He says they will know that you are Mine because you have love for one another. Love in this passage is agapao. It means to welcome, to entertain, to be fond of, to love dearly.

The disciples were about to go through a test. Their Teacher would be betrayed by one they thought was one of them. He would be arrested and they would scatter. He would be interrogated and none of them would speak up in His defense as a matter of fact they would deny they even knew Him. He would be handed over to be falsely condemned and He would die a sinners death on a bloody wooden cross and they would do is watch it unfold overwhelmed with a feelinging of absolute helplessness.

When they watched Him breathe His last. When they knew He was laid in the tomb. When they came together again in the room, hiding behind locked doors… would they bash, accuse, argue, fight with one another because one ran, one denied, one watched, all stayed silent… or would they welcome one another into the comfort of each others mutual falleness and weep with those who weep… would they love one another.

By this they would know who were His disciples.

Judas did not come to the group… he went out from them… because he was never really of them. He went out and he hung himself over the guilt that he chose to carry. He chose eternal guilt and condemnation rather than humbling himself and confessing his sin and finding freedom and forgiveness and love. He chose to be alone instead of experiencing communion.

Christ offered communion.

The disciples of Christ offer communion.

Communion… Come and union… love being the tie that binds us all together.

Christ commands communion.

A new commandment I give to you, 

that you love one another, 

even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 

By this all men will know that you are My disciples,

if you have love for one another.




Here comes the warning…

This is me.

I have all these letters printed and the envelopes sealed and stamped and addressed and just when I think I am done I realize that I have forgotten to personalize and sign every single one… so the redo comes in. How thankful I was for the not-so-good-at-sealing envelopes that I usually complain about for not sticking. So I re-open, personalize, sign, write in missing info, and tape envelopes shut.

This is me.

I am the mother that shows up to her child’s birthday party with the cake but forgets the knife to cut it with. I am the woman who thinks she has perfectly timed the crock-pot supper but didn’t realize she had to allot time for the crock-pot to heat up so her husband still goes to work without supper because it hasn’t finished cooking.

I am that person.

This is where I usually beat myself up the most. When you think you have thought of everything and then you realize that the main little thing that you needed to make it happen is missing. And all the hard work, thought, and effort, seems to just go out the window.

I am also that person that if I check it off in my head I think I have done it in reality, but really only planned to do it and then thought I had done it, but it actually never really got done.

Here falls condemnation in heaps upon my shoulders every time and the weight seems unbearable.

So as I enter into this children’s ministry director position and begin to walk through the life of it this is the fear that nags the back of my mind at all times… I will forget something or someone and it will devastate the ministry and let those I love down.

So please know that I will never be offended by the person who is organized with the checklist and asks “did you do…?” Because chances are always good that I forgot to do something. So I will always welcome the opportunity to go over the stuff to make sure all the stuff got done, all the t’s got crossed, and all the i’s got dotted.

So now I spend today trying to rest in the truth that God’s driving this life and I am just along for the ride doing what I can do simply because I love Him like crazy.


 I have been crucified with Christ;

and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me;

and the life which I now live in the flesh

I live by faith in the Son of God,

who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20


One More Trip


There’s the lists. And the laundry, the books and the homework and the learning.

And these kids we’re raising, they keep falling, a lot like their mother. Parenting’s this way of bending over in humility to help the scraped child up because we know it takes a lifetime to learn how to walk with Him.

And then there’s this fear beast that I thought I’d already wrestled down, skinned, hung and mounted — and it’s the thing that breathes again ugly and too close.

It’s strange how knots in the pit of the stomach can try to undo everything.

For the life of me?

I can’t get it all right.

Heaven and earth both know I am a miserable mess away from perfect. This is exactly why the bruised knees just have to bend at the table of communion, and say, yes, please.

I need Jesus.

I need His life.

I need the perfect, sinless sacrifice of Jesus Christ who can take all the broken messes and make them into mosaics of Grace.

~ Ann Voskamp


Yes, I am having one of those nights… on the verge of tears for the past three days and now tonight they fall because the wound is too deep and the heart is too weary and the mind is just not willing to fight it anymore. I was holding it together and holding it tight until I read this post above and my protective wall of resolute determination to control all emotion has collapsed in my lap.

I am never more certain of my need for grace than when I find myself on my face in the dog hair covered floor… when I find myself in the filth of my pit of flesh. As I am on the inside wanting to scream and yell out my feelings of mistreatment and disrespect and yet struggling all the more with the sheer certainty that I am being sifted and I do not want the pain to be in vain.

It’s crazy how the simplest things can crush you when you are seeking to be holy as He is holy, when you are desiring to pursue righteousness as He commanded… when you want to be one who is pure at heart so that you might see Him… and the simple fact is that nothing matters but seeing Him.

So in this realization… in this cry out for His grace to be lavished upon me and for His mercy and the cleansing of His Word to wash over me and remove this filth of fleshly ick from my inner being I must decide what’s more important… winning my right, my way, my desires, or submitting to this test and saying Yes, Lord… what are you trying to teach me.

Oh how much easier it is to ball my fist up tight than to let my arms fall limp at my side and bow humbly before Him.

And then there’s this fear beast that I thought I’d already wrestled down, skinned, hung and mounted — and it’s the thing that breathes again ugly and too close.

It’s strange how knots in the pit of the stomach can try to undo everything.

For the life of me?

I can’t get it all right.

For the life of me I can’t get it all right. I always fail. I always fall short.

I always end up right here again doubting even my own existence, and at the point when it seems like all the levelness of life has just been shook into a disheveled heep… I am there in Philadelphia clinging to the One who has said He is holy, He is true, He has the key and what He opens no one can shut… not even me.

And I cry out… Oh God let them know that You have loved me. Let them see that Your Word is true and right and let them see in spite of me because I am so messed up.

I am flesh and I am tired and I am full of feelings I wish I didn’t have… anxieties, anger, frustrations, disappointments, and I cry out… Oh God let them know that You have loved me… for when I confess my sin You are faithful to forgive me and cleanse me of all unrighteousness…

Oh God teach me to respond better.

And there it is.

The lesson.

This is what He is trying to teach me.

How to respond… not react.

One more trip around the mountain…

Oh how I need Him… I need Him every hour



Names of God: Jehovah-gmolah


This is a name of God that I believe many of us might realize we find hard to trust in when we really think about it. The name of God is Jehovah-gmolah and it means the Lord our Recompense.

We see this name of God in the book of Jeremiah


For the destroyer is coming against her, against Babylon, 
And her mighty men will be captured, 
Their bows are shattered; 
For the LORD is a God of recompense, 
He will fully repay.

Jeremiah 51:56

When we look at the context of this passage we know that it was at this time that God was using the nation of Babylon to judge the children of Israel for their disobedience to Him. He was using this Babylon’s rebellion to Him to discipline Israel’s rebellion. Then what we see here in Jeremiah 51:56 is God assuring His children that after He had disciplined them He would then indeed deal with Babylon.

Is it not laid up in store with Me, 
Sealed up in My treasuries? 
‘Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, 
In due time their foot will slip; 
For the day of their calamity is near, 
And the impending things are hastening upon them.’ 
“For the LORD will vindicate His people, 
And will have compassion on His servants, 
When He sees that their strength is gone, 
And there is none remaining, bond or free. 
“And He will say, ‘Where are their gods, 
The rock in which they sought refuge? 
‘Who ate the fat of their sacrifices, 
And drank the wine of their drink offering? 
Let them rise up and help you, 
Let them be your hiding place! 
‘See now that I, I am He, 
And there is no god besides Me; 
It is I who put to death and give life. 
I have wounded and it is I who heal, 
And there is no one who can deliver from My hand. 
‘Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, 
And say, as I live forever, 
If I sharpen My flashing sword, 
And My hand takes hold on justice, 
I will render vengeance on My adversaries, 
And I will repay those who hate Me. 

Deuteronomy 32:34-41

God was giving Israel an opportunity to call on these god’s they chose to worship instead of Him… and when they realized that these gods could not save them, God knew they would call on Him.

How awesome it is that God is willing to take us back.

Sometimes we let other gods come before our God and we disciplined, sometimes we just need sifted like wheat, sometimes we are being used by God to teach another how to trust Him in a hard time, sometimes we are being prepared for something that is coming later…  sometimes bad things happen, sometimes people are not so nice, but in all the sometimes God tells us to trust Him at all times.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 

Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 

Be of the same mind toward one another; 

do not be haughty in mind, but associate with the lowly. 

Do not be wise in your own estimation. 

Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. 

Respect what is right in the sight of all men. 

If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. 

Never take your own revenge, beloved,

but leave room for the wrath of God,

for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord. 




Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:14-21

Here’s a little example of being overcome with evil:


As you watched that video I am sure you laughed… it’s pretty funny.

But the reality is that in the real world what you see is absolutely no redemption. There is no peace. There is no forgiveness. There is no end to the “get backs”. It just keeps going one. One hurting the other right after the other.

Have you been there?

Have you been overcome by evil?

Have you been hurt by the evil of another and instead of returning good to them you were overcome by their evil and returned evil for evil.

At some point someone has to choose to stop the endless cycle of evil… and it can only be stopped by choosing not to return evil for evil.

But Jesus was saying, “ Father, forgive them;

for they do not know what they are doing.”

And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.

Luke 23:34

How grateful I am that Jesus chose to return good for my evil…

And now as His redeemed I am told to go and do likewise. He is my example. And here is the thing… if I am the Spirit filled child of God and am being hurt by someone who knows God not then whose responsibility is it to be the one that says enough is enough? Yes, that’s right. It’s mine. Those who know God not fall in the “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” category.

However if you know God… you know exactly what you do

                      and you know exactly what you are to do.

You just have to choose to do it.

You have to choose to trust in Jehovah-gmolah.

Do not say, “I will repay evil”; 

Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

Proverbs 20:22  

Oh Me, The Stuff


Now that I have had my children’s ministry orientation meeting with my church family I have freedom to blog about this new journey that the Lord has set me out on… so be afraid… be very afraid. Muwahahaha!

Just kidding… kind of :-)

I am currently in a time of disorientation as I find my way through the stuff that comes with serving in this ministry. Children’s ministry requires lots of stuff. It just does. You go to the youth ministry end of the church and their are a few big toys, maybe a pool table an xbox or wii set up somewhere, and then you go to the adult area and their are tables chairs and a coffee pot.

However you enter the wonderful world of children’s ministry and there are scooters, balls, jump ropes, hulu hoops, paints, markers, sand, posters, baby beds, strollers, bouncy things, bulletin board, huge styrofoam trees and rainbows, paper and paper and more paper, board games, puzzles, sippy cups, snacks, juice boxes… and the list goes on and on.

I have to find all this stuff and get it and keep it organized in a way that others can find the stuff…

And in the midst of all this there is scheduling nursery rotation, extended care rotation, Sunday night rotation,  Wednesday night rotation,  and keeping parents and servants in this ministry up to date with all of it.

And then there is scheduling the awesome fun stuff that is outside the Sunday and Wednesday routine.

And now here’s the big thing that is completely different about children’s ministry and the way it works… for them to hear the Word of God and let it take root all this stuff above must be taken care of first. These needs must be met. This is what I call preparing the soil for the seed.

All this stuff is what shows these kids that you care about them. This is how we meet them where they are…

For though I am free from all men,

I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more.

To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews…

I have become all things to all men,

so that I may by all means save some.

1 Corinthians 9:19-20,22 

Likewise, to the child I must become a child, so that I can win children. I have to meet them where they are in order to bring them to Jesus. I can’t stand up on my high horse and yell down at them.

I must come down to them just as Christ came down to me…

                 and truthfully He had to come a whole lot farther down to reach me… He had to lift me up not just out of the pit of inherit sin, but I was in a pit of committed sins…  a very deep, dark, stanky pit. I know that what Christ washed off of me was a whole lot more repulsive than wiping a snotty nose or changing a dirty diaper or applying a band-aid to bleeding knee… or even digging through the disorganization of years of VBS storage.

So I embrace all the stuff and I embrace it with joy and with hope for the future… not just the immediate future but the eternal future of these kids, these hearts, these souls, these spirits that God allows to come through our church building’s doors. What a privilege it is to be trusted with them.

I Will Not Go Free


But if the slave plainly says,

‘I love my master, my wife and my children;

I will not go out as a free man,’ 

then his master shall bring him to God,

then he shall bring him to the door or the doorpost.

And his master shall pierce his ear with an awl;

and he shall serve him permanently.

Exodus 21:5-6


In Exodus 20 God delivered the Ten Commandments to the nation of Israel. Now for the next several chapters God is going to break it down for them. He is going to deal with that “gray area” our flesh likes to find anytime we have a set of rules before us… you know… the “well, what if’s”.

The next few chapters give us some of the ordinances of God. Ordinance in Hebrew is mishpat and it means the act of deciding a case, judgment, process, procedure, litigation, sentence. These are the “if this happens then do this” things that God is laying out for the nation of Israel. They are quite simple and clear… that’s the way our God works. We are generally the one’s that complicate things.

Today we are going to look at the ordinance concerning the Hebrew slaves. You see the Hebrews were never to stay slaves again. Yes, if they fell on hard times, then there might come a time that they needed to sell themselves into slavery, but only for six years. On the seventh year they were to be set free.

There was one exception.

Many times while in his slavery a man would decide he loved his master and the life that he had as his slave. In this case the man would come to his master and choose to serve him out of his freedom instead of being forced to out of his debt. When this would happen, the master would take the man and pierce his ear with an awl. This act would put a hole in the man’s ear that would never close showing that this man had chosen to serve his master of his own free will.

This is a beautiful picture of our Savior.  Our Savior was free in every sense of the word. He had all freedom, all power, all authority yet He chose to come and to serve us out of His freedom.


For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,

but to serve,

and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45

Our Savior was pierced by the Master as He willingly laid aside all His rights and glory in order to serve mankind. He offered His life as a ransom to be used by us to meet our deepest needs… redemption, reconciliation, forgiveness, salvation… He was not forced. He did what He did out of His great love for us. He did what He did to set us free… even when we didn’t realize we were enslaved.

Likewise, now in our freedom it is time for us to turn and choose to serve Him in our freedom.

  Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law 

through the body of Christ,

so that you might be joined to another,

to Him who was raised from the dead,

in order that we might bear fruit for God.

Romans 7:4

Yes you were set free from the Law, from sin, from death, from the power of the flesh. It is for freedom that you have been set free in Christ…

But the question is, now in your freedom do you choose to be enslaved again?

But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God,

you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification,

and the outcome, eternal life

Romans 6:22

In your freedom is when the choice is yours… it is here where it begins to count. It really has nothing to do with the being set free… but everything to do with how you choose to walk in that freedom.

While He was on the way to Jerusalem, He was passing between Samaria and Galilee.

 As He entered a village, ten leprous men who stood at a distance met Him; 

and they raised their voices, saying, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!”  

When He saw them, He said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.” 

And as they were going, they were cleansed. 

Now one of them, when he saw that he had been healed, turned back,

glorifying God with a loud voice, 

and he fell on his face at His feet, giving thanks to Him.

And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus answered and said, 

“Were there not ten cleansed? But the nine—where are they? 

Was no one found who returned to give glory to God, except this foreigner?” 

 And He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.”

Luke 17:11-19

Oh Father,

I thank You for my freedom. In Christ I am free, free indeed. I pray that in my freedom I will always be obedient to Peter’s charge in 1 Peter 2:16, “Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.” The only way I know to thank You for my freedom is turn around and give my life back to you… willingly… because I love You. My life is Yours. You are my Adonai.

My Jesus, it is in Your name I pray,