27 September 2008

Get up and eat...

I was deeply saddened when I got home from work... someone had expressed about how I had given off a "holier than thou" feeling and I was like, dangit, I'm supposed to be a light to my coworkers and loving them... not giving off this impression. (So when you get a chance, if you could remember me in prayer for this. I really don't want to give off this impression, and want to really be able to love on them genuinely and be an example of Christ's love and not the Pharisee's judgement).

Anyway. I opened my Bible hoping God would direct me to a passage, and he did (he is so faithful!). It was 1Kings 19: 4-21.

Something that really stood out to me was that Elijah says to the Lord, "I have had enough Lord, take my life, I am no better than my ancestors" and then an angel touches him and gives him food to eat... and tells him, "get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you" and he was "strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God" and it reminded/convicted me about spending time in the Word. They say that the Bible is like our spiritual food, and perhaps I am at this point of "giving up" is because I haven't been reading the Word as much as I used to in the past. I've been so caught up in "life" or busy-ness... that I don't even spend time with my beloved Savior anymore. So here, an angel tells Elijah-- GET UP and EAT... because the journey of life is too much for you!!

Wow. So awesome. Then reading more you read about how the Lord talked to him... not in a powerful wind or earthquake or anything, but "after the fire came a gentle whisper" and I thought about how fire represents trials... and seemingly after Elijah went through many trials... the Lord spoke to him in a gentle whisper.

Word. Our Lord is so amazing yeah?

Just wanted to share something... time to get ready for work.

Alohas, and God bless-

14 August 2008

Daddy... I need you


For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Isaiah 41:13
















02 June 2008

Hafa adai!

At last an update.

Alas, no pics.

I've made it thru Okinawa and now am in Guam. Leaving soon tho, so pics will have to wait until after I get home. So far it's been pretty cool. Although lodging in Okinawa wasn't the best, esp with no internet in the rooms...the people were pretty awesome. Went out to dinner and karaoke, did some Japanese China shopping...got some Sweet Potato Ice Cream. Climbed inside of a radar dome (100 ft in the air!). It was neat.

Here the hotel is awesome! We're staying in the Sheraton. AMAZING. It's like I'm on my honeymoon, but there's no hubby (sadness). But the place is awesome, just expensive. I bought eye drops for $6! Geez yeah?

Unfortunately, I think I'm not fully recovered from my sickness, and possibly am getting worse (seemingly got better in Okinawa). Picked up some dayquil and nyquil today. Also, I pinched a nerve (I guess) flying here...and now my left arm is tingly... I tried a shiatsu massage tonight. It didn't help much, but felt amazing. That would definitely be an area of prayer.  (the healing, not the massage ;P)

Jessamy totally blessed me before I left (along with the help of others!) by getting encouragement notes for me each day that I was gone. They've been an encouragement and a reminder for sure. Although I haven't have QT every day (seemingly easier in Okinawa)... it's such a blessing to know others love me so much. I'm a huge attention needer. I'm realizing this. :|

Ok. Time to get upstairs soon and hit the hay. The nyquil is kicking in...and should rest well before tomorrow.

Aloha, and God bless.

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24 May 2008

26 April 2008

Jon Courson Devos...

Hey O-
Been pretty busy with work...but trying to read Jon Courson at work--and these past two days have been awesome with the devos. So I thought I'd share.
Catch you on the flip side!
Bren
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April 25

And David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, I pray thee, bring me hither the ephod. And Abiathar brought thither the
ephod to David. And David inquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered
him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.
1 Samuel 30:7-8

After encouraging himself in the Lord, David inquired of the Lord. “What do You want me to do, Lord?” The Lord answered him
directly and quickly. And God will do the same with you.

It doesn’t take as much as you think. Satan will say, “So you want to hear from the Lord? That’s going to require three hours of
constant prayer, three days of fasting, three weeks of getting away. You only have thirty minutes? God’s not going to hear you.
Ten minutes? Forget about it. Three minutes? You’ve got to be kidding. God’s not going to give you direction in a three minute
prayer.”

I challenge that. Ask Peter. He was on the Sea of Galilee. He had been walking on the water, but now he’s sinking quickly. He
didn’t pray for three days, three months, three hours, or even three minutes. He prayed three words: “Lord, save me.” And the Lord
grabbed him by the hand and pulled him out of the water (Matthew 14:30).

Satan will say, “It takes a lot more. That’s not enough.”

But Jesus said, “Do not think you’re going to be heard because of your much speaking, your long praying. That’s a heathen concept.
When you pray, be simple” (see Matthew 6:7-8).

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April 26

So David went, he and the six hundred men that were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those that were left behind
stayed. But David pursued, he and four hundred men . . .
1 Samuel 30:9-10 (a)

Third, David was engaged with the Lord. Following praise and prayer, we see pursuit. Many times, people sit back and say, “Lord,
if You want good things to come my way, bring them to me.”

The Lord, however, says, “Take a step of faith. I’ll be with you. I’ll fight for you. But I want you to be engaged with Me. I
don’t want you passive because I want to prepare you for eternity.”

To Elijah - another man who was depressed and holed up in a cave - God said, “Why are you in this cave of depression? You know
better than this. I want you to go to Syria. I want you to anoint a new king. I want you to go to Israel and raise up a leader. I
want you to find a young man named Elisha and mentor him. I have work for you to do” (1 Kings 19).

The Lord says the same thing to us. “Why are you in this cave? You know better than that.” Do what you know, and you’ll know what
to do.

14 April 2008

Bargaining or Blessing?

I totally was blessed by QT this morning (it's been hard lately with work)...but I pray you too are blessed and God totally tweaks it for you...

Matt 18:19- if two of you on earth AGREE about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven....Mackey talked about this, agreeing like whole heartedly agreeing with the person not just nodding your head in prayer, but wanting it the same way you desire something so strongly for yourself.

Matt 20:2-he agreed to pay them... it's the same AGREE which is also to BARGAIN.

Now consider the parable in Matt 20:1-16. About the workers in the yard. The first set of workers BARGAINED with the owner about their wage. Then they worked. Later the workers that were hired let the master say "I will pay you whatever is right" and the workers were content and they worked.

At the end of the day, each were paid 1 denarius. The ones that AGREED on it were no longer content because they saw they got the same amount as the people that had LET the master pay them.

Consider this: When you pray or ask for something, repeatedly (I'm going to use a significant other even though I'm married--I think this was a word for single people) like a spouse/bf/gf--it's like, Lord please please give me this. This is what I want. And then eventually (unless you've been called to singleness forever you would know-matt 19:11-12) the Lord will bless you with someone. BUT chances are you will NOT BE CONTENT because you've placed so many expectations on marriage because the "perfect person" has to do certain things... and because "those who marry will face many troubles in this life" (1 Corin 7:28)

But consider the person who has said, "Lord, whatever you bless me with for my work I will let you decide on my blessing" and then they are blessed with marriage--they will be totally stoked by it. Because they have placed no expectations on marriage, or their spouse or anything. They have built a relationship with their Lord, they understand that trials come and we are growing from these things...

See the difference in BARGAINING with your blessing, or allowing the Lord to decide your blessing? BOTH people above get the same blessing (marriage) but one is FAR more content in the Lord than the other.

So which are you? Do you BARGAIN for things you want, or do you wholly surrender and completely say, "Not mine but Your will be done Father."
Let us be a people who trust our Heavenly Father to care for us. To bless us beyond our imaginations. Who just focus on heaven and continue our work here on earth.

May God be blessed by your hearts and minds today brothers and sisters---Love ya!!

08 April 2008

Jon Courson Devo

Thankfully, I am more prepared this morning (physically rested, no headache, woke up a bit earlier)...and with this I was able to read Jon Courson before heading out the door for work (gotta be there by 335am). NEways...this is what I read...and my what a wonderful reminder...of who our amazing and awesome God is. Please enjoy.
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And it came to pass, that as soon as he had made an end of offering the burnt offering, behold, Samuel came; and Saul went out to meet him, that he might salute him.

1 Samuel 13:10
Samuel had told Saul to wait seven days before engaging in battle against the Philistines. When seven days had come and almost gone and Samuel hadn’t shown up, Saul said, “My troops are leaving. I’ve got to do something.” So he assumed the role of priest and offered a sacrifice himself rather than waiting for Samuel so that he could engage in battle.

No sooner had Saul finished offering the sacrifice than Samuel showed up. This is so often the way of God. So often the Lord waits until the last moment to step in. Why? It’s not to tease us, but to test us. He takes us right down to the wire, not to taunt us, but to train us in order that we might have endurance (James 1:3). You see, the race we run as believers isn’t a sprint. It’s a marathon. And God knows how desperately we need endurance. The only way to get endurance is to go through testing that will force us to wait on Him in order that we might not panic, not run off the track, not throw in the towel. C. H. Spurgeon said the snails made it safely to the ark because they had endurance. You might be a snail. I might be a slug. We might move very, very slowly - but we will make it to the Ark if we simply endure.

“Time is running out!” we cry. “We’ve got to do something!”

Do we? I can give you all kinds of advice and recommendations, but it’s only when God steps in that there will be a real solution. The sage was right when he said that the brave man is not braver than any other, but simply braver for ten minutes longer. Who is the brave man? Who is the mature brother, the wise sister, the deep Christian among us? It’s not one who is necessarily super-spiritual. It’s simply one who has learned to wait and not panic.

Has God promised to show up? Has God promised you that He is going to work all things for good? Has God promised you that He will take the cares you cast on Him? Has God promised you that He will give a peace deep within? Has God promised that the desires deep within your heart will come to pass? If He has, wait for Him. Don’t panic, dear people. Be brave. Saul thought he waited seven days - but seven days hadn’t completely passed. He didn’t wait the full course.

“Lord, make me a man of God,” we pray. “Produce in me depth of character and wisdom.”

“Okay,” God says. “I’m going to take you through some experiences in which you will have the choice either to panic and try to solve the problem by sacrificing this or looking to them - or to trust Me.”

14 March 2008

Procrastination

I find myself waiting off on doing things.

Like watching billions of hours of DVDs for my job (they're refreshers...) and they're supposed to be done by next Friday.

Like working on my devotion for tomorrow's Women's Spa Day. Sometimes I wonder if I go too into things...like, I'm not doing a teaching tomorrow....devotion. But at the same time, I totally feel like I want everyone to get the same out of this... (I'll post later all my commentary once it's pau).

And instead doing other things.

Like finally buying my friend's wedding present(s) since I can't attend the reception.

Like wandering around on Sparkpeople.com and doing other things there.

Buying music on Itunes.

Doing this blog. :)

OK. Back to the grind. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf closes at 11pm (almost 2 hrs away). I have to watch AT LEAST one dvd before I leave. And finish my devotional of course.

01 March 2008

Worm...

From Jon Courson...I thought it was amazing.

And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim. And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir.

Judges 10:1-2
Tola’s dad’s name, Puah, means “splendid.” His grandfather’s name, Dodo, means “beloved one.” Tola’s name, however, meant neither “splendid” nor “beloved,” but “worm.” This being the case, Tola was probably as obscure in his own time as he is today. He was a man of Issachar who dwelt in Ephraim. That is, he wasn’t dwelling among his own people.

Jesus is depicted here. Not only did He leave His home in Heaven to dwell among people who wouldn’t receive Him (John 1:11), but in Psalm 22:6, He says, prophetically, “I am a worm and not a man.”

The Hebrew word, tola - the plural of which is tolaath - is translated two ways in the Bible: as either “scarlet” or “worm.” Why would the same word be used for both “scarlet” and “worm”? Because in Bible days, when people needed scarlet cloth, they would grind worms into a pasty, blood-red substance that would be used as a dye.

Why would Jesus say, “I am a worm”? Because, to reproduce, the tola would climb the trunk of a tree and fasten on a limb. Then the worm would lay the larva and cover the eggs with its body. Although the eggs would hatch, the worm wouldn’t budge. So the larva would begin to feed on the body of the one who had given them life. As the tola gave its life for its young, its blood would leave a scarlet mark on the tree. After the dead worm fell, the bloody spot left on the limb of the tree would dry after three days, becoming a white, flaky substance that would fall to the ground like snow.

“Though your sins be as scarlet - tola - they shall be white as snow,” Isaiah declares (see 1:18). Fastened to the tree of the Cross of Calvary, Jesus wouldn’t budge until the work was finished. What work? The work that would allow you and me to be “hatched,” to be born again. “Eat of My Body,” He says. “Drink of My blood. I give My life for you. And though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow” (see Mark 14:22-24).

By His blood, Jesus not only saved us, but, like Tola in the text before us, He is the Judge who defends us. You see, Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan accuses us day and night, going before the throne of the Father, saying, “Look at him. Look at her. They’ve blown it here. They’ve messed up there.” But the Bible says the accuser was overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony (Revelation 12:11).

“If any man sin, we have an Advocate, a Defender with the Father - that is, Jesus Christ the righteous,” John declares (see 1 John 2:1). This means that when we sin, although Satan will be at the throne of God pointing out our failures and shortcomings, we have a Defender - the Tola, the scarlet Worm, Jesus - who says, “Father, she has eaten of My body. He has tasted of My blood. They are clean.”

Hearing the accusations of the prosecuting attorney, and listening to the defense of His Son, the Father hits the gavel in the courtroom of Heaven and says, “Case dismissed for lack of evidence.”

And celebration breaks forth.

18 February 2008

Hard hitting devotionals.

Utmost for His Highest

The Initiative Against Despair

"Rise, let us be going."

The disciples went to sleep when they should have kept awake, and when they realized what they had done it produced despair. The sense of the irreparable is apt to make us despair, and we say - "It is all up now, it is no use trying any more." If we imagine that this kind of despair is exceptional, we are mistaken, it is a very ordinary human experience. Whenever we realize that we have not done that which we had a magnificent opportunity of doing, then we are apt to sink into despair; and Jesus Christ comes and says - "Sleep on now, that opportunity is lost for ever, you cannot alter it, but arise and go to the next thing." Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ, and go out into the irresistible future with Him.

There are experiences like this in each of our lives. We are in despair, the despair that comes from actualities, and we cannot lift ourselves out of it. The disciples in this instance had done a downright unforgivable thing; they had gone to sleep instead of watching with Jesus, but He came with a spiritual initiative against their despair and said - "Arise and do the next thing." If we are inspired of God, what is the next thing? To trust Him absolutely and to pray on the ground of His Redemption.

Never let the sense of failure corrupt your new action.

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So true. Cannot let past failures fog your vision of what the Lord can do now!

Time to go...using free wifi at McCarran Int'l Airport in Vegas...time to board and head to San Fran..then HOME! :)
Alohas-

Holy smokes...a great day for devotionals!
Jon Courson

And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years. And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel . . .

Judges 3:7-9 (a)
Chushan-rishathaim means “double darkness.” And that’s what the king of Mesopotamia was - a very evil, wicked ruler. The Lord used Chushan-rishathaim as an instrument of chastening, that through him the Israelites might come to their senses. So too, we’re given over to double darkness when we don’t destroy those things we know must go. Depression sets in. Confusion fills our thinking. We’re in the dark about what we’re supposed to do, where we should go, who we are. It’s a double darkness. It’s the reality of sin.

No doubt the Israelites prayed to the Lord all the while they were in bondage to Chushan-rishathaim. But it evidently took eight years for them to cry to the Lord, to reach a place of desperation and intensity in their prayer.

“Dear God,” we pray, “it’s really been (ho hum) a long day, so I don’t have much energy to talk to You tonight (yawn), but I really need help with my car payment (zzzz).”

If the Lord responded to us in the same degree of intensity and passion that we talk to Him, He would say, “(Yawn) Really? It has been a long day (stretch). And maybe I can get to it, but I can’t promise . . .” Then He would nod off.

This was not the way Elijah prayed. When he prayed for rain, Scripture says he put his head between his knees and prayed seven times (1 Kings 18:42-43). I suggest this was because this was the position of birthing in that culture. There was something being birthed by Elijah that day as he labored in prayer - once, again, a third time, four, five, six, seven times. And in answering his prayer, it is as if the Lord said, “I like that. In a world plagued by mediocrity, apathy, and laziness, it’s good to see a man who knows it’s dry in his soul or in his land and prays passionately and fervently for rain.”

Do you find yourself in bondage today? Let me tell you what the answer is: Cry out to the Lord. I’m convinced that we, as Christians, do too much talking about the Lord, and not enough talking to Him. We are very ready, very eager to receive counsel, but very reluctant to cry out. The reason counseling offices are filled in Christendom today is because people do not bow their knee and call out to the Lord in fervency. Throughout Scripture, God is consistently seen responding to His people when they cry out. Truly, the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).

16 February 2008

Hey O from Colorado Springs

Just an update from 'the springs' as they call it.
I got in super late last night (around 2am) and then headed back to Stacey's place...where we talked for a little bit before heading to bed. Today we just chilled and ran some errands. Chillax a little...tomorrow we're heading to Denver...and hopefully I can pick up Marcus' Valentine's present..we'll celebrate when I get back.
That's it really-even though I'll be in Hawaii Monday night it's super late (1030ish pm) so I won't see anyone really til Tuesday...
Thanks for prayers...
Needing them. Looking forward to fellowship and digging into the Word.

05 February 2008

Pure Joy

James 1:2-4 (NIV)
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4 Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

I was angry.
I tried to talk to someone about it...leading me with no answers.
I tried to talk to the person, and apologize for getting so angry with them (expecting an apology for being wronged) and upon not getting one...closed my door...
Grabbed my pillow and started to beat my backpack a few times...collapsed and screamed at the top of my lungs into said pillow. Continued to start crying. Upset. Furious. Frustrated. "Why can't I just let it go?"
No sooner had I hung up the phone trying to get a hold of Marcus and left a message...did little Miss Helena send me a text...James 1:2-4...as soon I as I read the "Consider it pure joy" I knew what it was talking about.
I started to cry some more. But this time...because my eyes were open...to this opportunity that God had given me. What a joyous occasion. The Lord set up the situation, and gave me a chance--to consider it pure joy.
I could stay angry and upset and in a pity party. I could consider it pure joy.
With his help...I swallow my pride...and consider it pure joy.

Thank you God. For being so merciful. For being...so awesome. Beyond my expectations, beyond my ability to comprehend. Forgive me Lord... for losing sight...and letting go of you. Thank you. For bringing me back.

27 January 2008

An update...with pics

Well, I can't remember the last time I updated. It's been a while I know. The internet always has random issues (but thankfully, this past weekend was the most long running bit of internet). I've slept in a little in the mornings, some mornings I've walked over to the building where classes are (SOC) early so I can try to get into the word before class starts. I was hoping that others would want to join, but so far of the few days I've gone, only one other person has showed up--on one occasion. But my morning spurts of internet are short.
Then comes the afternoons-after class there is usually a shower to be taken (if we worked out), or time to work out on my own, dinner to be eaten, groups to meet up for--studying, or the prayer/worship night, or errands to be run (groceries, BX, dry cleaning). So needless to say...it's been busy. And tiring. I've come to the conclusion that ideally I need 8 hours of sleep, and if class starts at 7, I should leave my room around 620 to read in the mornings, so wake up around 530-545...I have to be in bed by 930 or so. Which...is hard. ASBC is all about balance...time management...and prioritizing. That's what I've come to realize.

Below are some pics from our adventures. We've had a lot, and it's been fun.


We had the pleasure of hearing Gene Kranz speak...he's the man from Apollo 13 who was in charge...the one that had all the different vests...this is the man.


We went out to dinner the first weekend---to nothing other than the Olive Garden (yummy!!)


We had some mandatory fun at "Take it the max" free food. We can't complain too much.


Some of the weather officers had a reunion...Mike and Kim drove down to see us. :)


We went to New Orleans to see the sight and sounds, and had to deal with Gene who injured himself the Thursday before we left.

18 January 2008

Getting caught up...

January 18

And seven priests shall bear before the ark seven trumpets of rams’ horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets.

Joshua 6:4
The priests, the Ark, and the rams’ horns that were part of the procession around the walls of Jericho all point to Jesus. Even the Sabbath, the seventh day, points to Him for He is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4).

Imagine that it’s Valentine’s Day and you walk into your house and see your wife hugging and kissing your picture. “Surprise!” you say as you hold out candy and roses, expecting her to run toward you. But if she remains more infatuated with your picture than with you, you would say, “Why are you so wrapped up with the picture, when the one it portrays is right here?”

So too, were Jesus on the scene in Joshua’s day, He would say, “I am the fulfillment of the Sabbath and of the silver trumpets. I am the fulfillment of the priesthood and of the Ark of the Covenant. They’re just pictures. Focus on Me.” Yet I wonder how many of us are focused on rules, regulations, and religion even in the Promised Land of the Spirit-filled life. I wonder how many of us subconsciously say, “It’s Sunday. That’s a holy day. I’m off to church,” or “It’s morning. I’m disciplined. It’s time for devotions.”

To us, Jesus would say, “Rules, regulations, and rituals are only necessary if I’m not present. But if I’m present, those things are replaced by relationship with Me.” Gang, we know more than the early Church knew about typology and illustrations. The question is, Do we know Who they knew? They knew Jesus. And they responded to His leading moment by moment. We too will be free from religion and predictability, from legalism and traditions, from habits, ruts, and routines to the degree that we realize that the Captain of the host, the Captain of our salvation, Jesus Himself, is in our midst.
-Jon Courson
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It's true that we, even I just the last few days--get so caught up in the legalism, the rules, the HABITS of life, we forget that we're supposed to be seeking him with all of our being. Forgive us father, for losing sight. Give us strength to really seek after you with EVERYTHING of us.

16 January 2008

Finances...

As some of you may (or may not) know, sometimes I get a little nuts with the money. Spend it all in one place; then all my allowance is gone. Or something. So I started subscribing to the Crosswalk Financial devotional (it's a weekly thing)...something this morning caught my eye and I wanted to share...

We are to be diligent in our work (Colossians 3:23-24), wise in our spending (Proverbs 21:20), purposeful in our saving (Proverbs 6:6-8), strategic in our investing (Ecclesiastes 11:2), and generous in our giving (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Encouraging I thought. And a great reminder to keep it posted around.

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Jon Courson devotional

And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, there stood a man over against him with his sword drawn in his hand . . .

Joshua 5:13 (a)
Throughout the Word, when men find themselves at a crossroads, we see them lifting up their eyes to God in Heaven (Genesis 13:10; 18:2; 24:63; Numbers 24:2; 1 Chronicles 21:16; Daniel 10:5). In this case, Jericho is looming over Joshua. It’s a formidable problem, a massive walled city. Yet Joshua didn’t look down, hide out, or hole up. He lifted his eyes.

As we will see, this Man is none other than a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Because Joshua was on the verge of battle, the Lord appeared to him as a Man of war. On the plains of Mamre, the Lord appeared to Abraham as a traveler because Abraham was a pilgrim (Genesis 18). To His disciples, He appeared as a fellow fisherman cooking fish (John 21:7-9). So too, no matter what Jericho is looming ahead of you, don’t look inward; don’t look down; look up and look around. Watch for the Lord appearing to you in the unexpected time and in the unexpected way through the circumstances and people around you.
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How encouraging is that?! When are at a low point, and we can't see where we are going or what God has planned in all this...we just lift our eyes to heaven and trust in Him...what an awesome God yeah?

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Life is sure busy. Like I probably said earlier, with the classes and the homework, and the practically running everyday with a couple people from my flight...it's been an interesting but seemingly rough start to this 6 week adventure. But then I look and realize, we are almost a third of the way done. AND THAT IS ENCOURAGING. But God has totally been faithful...our prayer and worship night was blessed; I meant another girl who's been married just as long (anniversary the 23rd or the 3rd of June 06)... and hopefully this morning we get to meet up before class to get some study time in the Word downstairs at a little cafe area. It's cool. I'm excited. But with that in mind...I gotta get rolling and ready for the day.

Thank you for the prayers, please remember I have this huge test on Friday...pray that I would be faithful in my studies and academics, and trust in the Lord's provision and deny the lies of Satan about my previous failures.

Aloha and may God be blessed by your life!

14 January 2008

Loving one another...

Jon Courson....


And the people came up out of Jordan on the tenth day of the first month, and encamped in Gilgal, in the east border of Jericho. And those twelve stones, which they took out of Jordan, did Joshua pitch in Gilgal. And he spake unto the children of Israel, saying, When your children shall ask their fathers in time to come, saying, What mean these stones? Then ye shall let your children know, saying, Israel came over this Jordan on dry land. For the LORD your God dried up the waters of Jordan from before you, until ye were passed over, as the LORD your God did to the Red sea, which he dried up from before us, until we were gone over: that all the people of the earth might know the hand of the LORD, that it is mighty: that ye might fear the LORD your God for ever.

Joshua 4:19-24
Paul proclaimed that the three greatest and most important components of life are faith, hope, and love. In the Book of Joshua, we see the people had hearts of hope in chapter 2 when the spies came back and said, “Truly the Lord has delivered the Land into our hands.” In chapter 3, they took steps of faith as they put the soles of their feet into the Jordan River, believing God would meet them in the process. And here we see the third component - a picture of love. Twelve stones stacked together in one monument - twelve stones representing twelve tribes, fit together in unity - would be the sign that the Israelites had crossed over the Jordan, that they had been “baptized” a second time.

Peter says that, as believers, we are living stones that are fit together in unity (1 Peter 2:5). When you come to church, not out of obligation but because you want to be linked together with fellow blockheads and stones, your love for them is a sure sign of your being touched deeply by the Spirit. “All men shall know you are My disciples,” said Jesus. By your speaking in tongues? No. By your gift of healing? No. “They’ll know you are My disciples by your love” (see John 13:35).

In 1 Corinthians 12 and 14, Paul discusses spiritual gifts and their manifestations. But packed between them is chapter 13, a chapter that deals exclusively with love because love is the defining characteristic of one who has had an encounter with the Spirit.

“Father, let them be one,” Jesus prayed in John 17, “that the world might know that I am in You and that You are in Me.” In other words, love within the Body of Christ is proof positive to a world that is skeptical that Jesus is risen and real, alive and well.
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My Utmost for His Highest
Called Of God

"Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me."


od did not address the call to Isaiah; Isaiah overheard God saying, "Who will go for us?" The call of God is not for the special few, it is for everyone. Whether or not I hear God's call depends upon the state of my ears; and what I hear depends upon my disposition. "Many are called but few are chosen," that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ whereby their disposition has been altered and their ears unstopped, and they hear the still small voice questioning all the time, "Who will go for us?" It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, "Now, you go." God did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call, and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom, "Here am I, send me." Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come with compulsions and pleadings. When our Lord called His disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside. The quiet passionate insistence of His "Follow Me" was spoken to men with every power wide awake. If we let the Spirit of God bring us face to face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God; and in perfect freedom will say, "Here am I; send me."

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It seems as if there is a common theme in things lately...God sends you where you are for a purpose...it's no accident that I'm at ASBC...there are no coincidences.

What if everyday we looked at life like that. Not just when we go on trips. Everyday we reflected on the fact that there is a reason we are exactly where we are.

That would be interesting.

12 January 2008

My Utmost for His Highest

Have You Ever Been Alone With God?

"When they were alone, He expounded all things to His disciples."

Mark 4:34

Our Solitude with Him.
Jesus does not take us alone and expound things to us all the time; He expounds things to us as we can understand them. Other lives are parables. God is making us spell out our own souls. It is slow work, so slow that it takes God all time and eternity to make a man and woman after His own purpose. The only way we can be of use to God is to let Him take us through the crooks and crannies of our own characters. It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We do not know envy when we see it, or laziness, or pride. Jesus reveals to us all that this body has been harbouring before His grace began to work. How many of us have learned to look in with courage?
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There is more to it... but this part got to me...just the reminder that little by little he brings us into his world and shows us all sorts of things. It's exciting...it's invigorating...it's scary.

Kind of like ASBC, just the new experiences, the new schedule (craziness) and the new things that are expected of us. Academics is nuts. Crazier than weather class (to me). But the people are great...and I'm excited. So with that said, I'm balancing my laundry...and I gotta hit the books.

If anyone wants to send some lihing sour apples--lemme know I can give you my address.
:)

Trying to love the Lord--



11 January 2008

an update

hey ya'll that check the blog--thanks!

this is gonna be quick and dirty, slept a little later this morning than planned, trying to make it to 0615 bible study before class starts. got my luggage the next evening, so praise God that was cool. have all my stuff now.

seems sometimes the internet is down at night...but the mornings are ok (i heard that it gets overloaded with so many students trying to get on and stuff). hopefully the weekends won't be too bad and i'll get to update...in depth. and morning blogs can be reflections on readings. which the one from last night was cool...but ack-no time.

a guy from my flight and i are aiming to start up a vespers (time of prayer and worship)...monday is looking to be our first night. please pray for it that it would be all about God and worshiping him-and not anything else...thanks!

thank you everyone for your love and support and prayers. it is always appreciated.
sending love-
bren

08 January 2008

In Alabama...

Just thought I'd let ya'll know that I made it here...with only one lost luggage! It is supposed to be here within 24 hours, they said that with all the people traveling to one place, it's likely that this happens. Fortunately I carried on a set of my uniform that I would need for today (praise the Lord) and tomorrow just in case.

My goal while I'm here is to really establish my walk with the Lord, "To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech." Prov 8:13

Here's to seeking the Lord with all of me...

03 January 2008

Hosea...

In my "going through the Bible" that I started...in Fall 2005 I think....I'm in Hosea. And as I'm reading and studying it, I'm so fascinated and excited and blessed by everything that is coming through it. I hope to share some insights with you (whomever you may be).

Hosea 4 (NIV)
v6) my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge...because you have ignored the law of your God...
There is no knowledge of God, nor of any sacred thing, nor of their own interest or the danger in which they are exposed to...they walk blindly and will perish... they might have become wise, if they had not disregarded the means the Lord provided for improvement (prophets, teachings)
v14)...a people without understanding will come to ruin!
NASB says are ruined. Meaning thrown down, cast aside, thrust out. What imagery...

These two verses just stuck out to me, since most of the verses you read about wisdom, understanding and knowledge are in Proverbs...but it's cool to see God's word tie into itself.

How about this from Ch 6 that we've heard many times before...(Referenced in Matt 9:13)
v6) For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
NASB: For I delight in loyalty, rather than sacrifice and in the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

chapets: to delight in, take pleasure in, desire, to be pleased with
checed: goodness, kindness, faithfulness
da'ath: knowledge, perception

I enjoyed Adam Clarke's commentary about this...
"I taught them righteousness by my prophets, for I desired mercy. I was more willing to save than to destroy; and would rather see them full of penitent and holy resolutions than have the best offerings/victims on my altar"

Holy smokes. This is a God who when there is sin, there must be a sacrifice or a death to cover that sin. And here, He is saying--He would rather have your goodness, kindness, faithfulness, wholehearted desire to see after Him--than a thousand lambs on an altar.

Ch 10
v12) Sow for yourselves righteousness, reap the fruits of unfailing love and break up your unplowed ground; for it is time to seek the Lord, until he comes and showers righteousness on you.
NASB Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord until he comes to rain righteousness on you.

Adam Clarke applied these 5 steps to the human heart and God's work on it...
Correction, Contrition (sincere and complete remorse), Conversion, Receiving the grace of Christ and Bringing forth fruit. Look back and see how these compare...

Sow righteousness-Correction: if you sow, plant righteousness, your life is being corrected, to be more righteous
Reap the fruits of unfailing love-Contrition: if you fully understand the mercies of God and the hugeness of the gift of forgiveness (the fruits of unfailing love), you will have sincere and complete remorse
Break up your unplowed ground-Conversion: Break up your hardened heart, remember your sin and change it...convert
Seek the Lord-Receiving the grace of Christ: By Christ we are able to have an intimate relationship with our God...seek Him with all your heart and you will find him (You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart Jer 29:13)
Showers of righteousness-Bringing forth fruit: When the Lord blesses you (showers you) you will bear fruit, His fruit

v13b-14a)...Because you have depended on your own strength, and on your many warriors, the roar of battle will rise against your people, so that all your fortresses will be devastated-...
I don't think I need to go into that--it's a warning against us leaning on our own strength (as in Prov 3:5-6: Lean not on your own understanding...) because when you do...battle will rise against you, and your walls of safety will be devastated...hoh, that sucks.

Ch11-God's love for Israel...this chapter is moving and it gives imagery and reminders of God's love for us...consider these:
v2a) But the more I called Israel, the further they went from me.
v3b)...but they did not realize it was I who healed them.
v4b) I lifted the yoke from their neck and bent down to feed them.
v9) I will not carry out my fierce anger...for I am God, and not man-the Holy One among you. I will not come in wrath.

I think it's interesting in the beginning of the chapter God tries to remind us of all the things he has done for us, the things he has done in love to bless us, help us, and get us through. And yet...the further we go from him, we do not realize it is Him who has healed us or what he has done. AND YET--he will not carry out his fierce anger...because Hallelujah he is not man (short tempered--like some of us). He will not come in wrath, he came in love.

I've been blessed. He reminded me that I like to study. I like to converse with Him. and it is an IMPORTANT thing that I take this time daily. More IMPORTANT than urgent things that call for my attention.

Night ya'll.