365 Days of Praise - Beyond Ourselves

The BEST FATHER Ever!

06/17/2019

Father’s Day. Do those two words bring a feeling of sadness, anger, guilt, anticipation, or joy? Depending on our relationship with our father, it could be any one of those or a a multitude of other emotions. Or, if you’re a father, what has been your experience on Father’s Day? Were you pleased with how your children honored you?  Being a father, or mother, helps us get our minds around (in the smallest of ways) how our Heavenly Father might at times feel. He is the PERFECT FATHER. He’s literally, “heavenly.”  He sacrificially chose to adopt us at the price of His only begotten Son’s suffering and death. Are we showing the honor to our Heavenly Father that we long for our children to show us? What are we daily doing to express our thanks to our Heavenly Father? Are we praying as Jesus taught us to pray in Matthew 6: 9-13, “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven?”  Our Heavenly Father is here. His mercies are new every morning. Rather than ignore Him or not honor Him, we have “overs” to listen, obey, and bring honor and glory to Him this year.

HEAVENLY FATHER, thank You for being ever present and for loving us. Help us increasing show You honor by our words and lives. 

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Show and Do

06/16/2019

Are you in a desperate spot? Sick of spirit, soul, or body? Are you frustrated because you’re not caring for yourself in the way you should? If so, I can relate. Our bodies, minds, and emotions are wonderfully made. But, if we don’t take care of them, and even when we do, they can break or get sick. Disease can strike…physically, spiritually, emotionally. But, let’s zoom in on a way our Heavenly Father chose to reveal Himself. Israel had just celebrated their crossing of the Red Sea and escape from the Egyptians. After three days in the wilderness and no water, they arrive at the waters of Marah, but the water was bitter. They couldn’t drink it. Picture the scene. You’re dying of thirst looking at water you can’t drink. And you can’t do a thing about it. You can’t fix it. Are you there now in your life? You have a problem that you can’t fix?

Moses is desperate. He “cried out” to the Lord. And Jehovah-Rapha “showed him” what to do. Rapha means healer; to mend, cure, make whole. Jehovah-Rapha told Moses to throw a certain tree in the bitter water. He obeyed and the most miraculous thing occurred. The water became sweet. Exodus 15:25b-26 says, “There He made a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.”

Which brings us to a question. What have we cried out to Jehovah-Rapha about? What has He shown us to do? Are we doing it?  Jehovah-Rapha’s message is clear.

  • “If”… that means there’s a choice we make with a correlating consequence.
  • “we give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord our God” …. that means we pay attention when He shows us what to do.
  • “and do what is right”….Moses had to do the work of cutting the tree and throwing it into the water. We have to act on what Jehovah-Rapha shows us.
  • “in His sight”….God watches to see if we’re doing what He shows us.
  • “and give ear to His commandments”… God knows what works. Are we paying attention to how He tells us live?

God is our spiritual, emotional, relational, mental, physical doctor. Have we cried out to Him? Are we doing what He shows us?

Jehovah-Rapha, Lord our Healer, we praise You for the complete healing we’ll experience in heaven. In the meantime, may we look to You for direction and then do what You show us.

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The Only One

06/14/2019

Have you ever felt desperate and cried out to God for help to fulfill what He’s asked of you? Such was the case for Abraham. God asked him to sacrifice his son, Isaac. It seems crazy and incomprehensible to us, but God never intended for Abraham to kill his son. Abraham knew that. He told his servants, “We will return,” not “I will return.”  But Abraham also knew that God told him to sacrifice Isaac, so he took all the steps not knowing what would happen. One step of faith at a time. In the final moment, as he raised the killing knife, God stopped him. He then provided a ram for Abraham to substitute in the place of his son. Genesis 22:14 records, “Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-Jireh, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” This dramatic moment was a foreshadow, a “seeing” of the day God would provide Jesus as our sacrifice. He would be laid on the wood, stretched out, and killed. In the demand of a human father being asked to sacrifice his son, we  glimpse the pain and incomprehensible suffering of God sacrificing Jesus for us. God provided for Abraham and God has provided for us. How are we living in response to the great sacrifice our Heavenly Father made? Who might we share His love with who is killing themselves on the altar of self will and self goodness – all to no avail because Jesus is the only perfect and acceptable One?

JEHOVAH-JIREH, You saw our need and provided Yourself as the fulfillment for it. We’re overwhelmed with gratitude. Point us to someone with whom we can share the good news of salvation through Christ. 

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Where Did God Come From

06/13/2019

Where did come come from? It’s a question probably every person has asked. Here’s the answer. In  Exodus 6:3,  God said to Moses, “I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name, LORD, (JEHOVAH) I did not make Myself known to them.” JEHOVAH means self-existent One or “the existing One.” As God explained to Moses, He is “I AM WHO I AM.” Bible scholar Charles Ryrie, explains, “It is a name of relationship between the true God and His people and when used, emphasizes God’s holiness, hatred of sin, and love of sinners.”* God didn’t “come from.” He IS.  As amazing and hard to believe is that the self-existing LORD, who is holy and hates sin, loves us. We’ll understand more when we get to heaven. Until then, praise Him!

Lord God, JEHOVAH, we praise You and thank You that You love us and have provided salvation for us! 

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*Ryrie Study Bible, New American Standard Bible 1995 Update, Charles Caldwell Ryrie, Moody Press, Chicago, pg 2057.

Hellooooooo!

06/12/2019
 I love it when God says, “this is my name.” Then, in case we aren’t paying attention, He repeats Himself. “—for you shall not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God—” (Exodus 34:14)  It’s as if God is saying, “Hellooooo! Is anyone listening? I’m jealous when you adore things and people above Me.” Ouch! That hits close to home. How do we know if we’re worshipping things and people above God? We look at where we spend our time. We consider what’s most on our mind. We look at our bank account to see where we devote our money. Our thoughts, time, and money tell us and God whom/what we worship. Has something or someone slipped in as our god? If so, what will we do about it?

Heavenly Father, You are JEALOUS when our thoughts, money, and time go to things and people above You.  Forgive us. Show us how to hurriedly right this wrong. 

Someone Knows Your Heart

06/11/2019
When God says something one time, we need to pay attention. When He says it twice in the same breath, we need to sit up and take notice. In Romans 8:26-27  God voices two times that He’s aware there are times when we don’t know how or what to pray. But, He knows our needs and what we need to pray for others.  So, here’s what our Heavenly Father wants us to know: “… the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself INTERCEDES for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He INTERCEDES for the saints according to the will of God.”  Twice, He assures us that the Holy Spirit will search our heart and then INTERCEDE on our behalf. How extraordinary is that?

Holy One, what a joy and peace there is in knowing that You search our hearts and INTERCEDE for us.  Amazing! Thank You!

When You Question God’s Goodness

06/09/2019
REMINDER: YOU’RE INVITED
to join my husband, Keith, and me this morning. 9:45-10:45 while we explore 2 Peter’s teaching on “How to Live by the Divine Nature.”  Trinity Baptist Church, 800 Jackson Rd, Kerrville, TX in the Family Life Center/Gym. Dress as you please. All welcome. Coffee, fruit, donuts. Join us!
Have you ever thought, “Why did You let this happen, God?” Or, perhaps you’ve wondered why God hasn’t answered your prayers? In Isaiah 40:28 we’re told, “The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth does not become weary or tired. His understanding is INSCRUTABLE.”  What does that have to do with God not appearing to answer our prayers? The word “INSCRUTABLE” comes from two Hebrew words that describe God’s understanding. The New International Version of the Bible uses the word “fathom.” “His understanding no one can fathom.” The New King James Version states it: “His understanding is unsearchable.” In other words, when we pray and don’t receive the answer from God that we want, or not in the timing we want, it helps to remember that His understanding of our situation is better than our understanding. His understanding of us and those involved is better than our understanding. Trust and faith are essential elements of not only our profession of faith; but also of our daily walk. We can trust our God, whose understanding is INSCRUTABLE. Will we?

Lord, Your understanding is INSCRUTABLE.  We look to You with faith in Your proven goodness.

Get Rid of the Cat Clinging Guilt

06/08/2019

You’re INVITED this Sunday, June 9. My husband and I are teaching from 2nd Peter, “How to Live by the Divine Nature.”  If you live in the Texas hill country, join us 9:45-10:45 am. You do not need to be a member of a church or be a Christian to come. Our class, Crossroads, meets in the Family Life Center/Gym on the first floor at Trinity Baptist Church, 800 Jackson Rd, Kerrville, TX.  Come early for fruit, donuts, coffee, and juice. People from all walks come dressed in jeans, shorts, dresses, slacks – whatever you like, whoever you are, we welcome you!  And, of course, you’re invited to our worship service led by Pastor John Wheat. Come, receive a blessing this Sunday!  I’ll be at the tables in the gym to greet you. 

Have you ever felt guilty? Isn’t it a horrible feeling? What do you do with guilt? You can’t hide it, shake it, or bury it. It clings to you like a cat. Nails dug in, it’s determined to not turn loose of your heart. However, there is One who never experienced guilt. Hebrews 7:26  says this about Jesus, “For it was fitting for us to have such a high priest, holy, INNOCENT, undefiled, separated from sinners and exalted above the heavens;” Can you imagine being holy and INNOCENT one moment and the next moment experiencing the guilt of the world?  Jesus did that for us. Never question His love…”while we were yet sinners, He died for us.” (Romans 5:8)

Wonderful, Savior, INNOCENT ONE, thank You for taking our guilt so that we might be declared innocent.

Are Your Feet Dancing?

06/07/2019
 Can you imagine being told that a relative you barely knew passed away and left you all his money? “That’s nice of Uncle Fred,” you might say, thinking of the last time you’d seen him with his average clothing and car. But then, the executor of the estate continues, “Congratulations! You’re a billionaire!” Stunned, you realize that you never knew all that Uncle Fred possessed. Psalm 16:5 is such a comment to the Christian. “The Lord is the portion of my INHERITANCE and my cup; You support my lot.” In other words, upon Christ’s death and our confession of Him as Lord, we received an inheritance in Christ: His Holy Spirit, divine nature, mind, power, and heaven!” Friends, that ought to set our feet to dancing and put a smile on our face. Do we realize all we have in Christ? Are we living joyfully and mindful our INHERITANCE with praise on our lips to Him?

Lord, You are our INHERITANCE; what more could we want? We love You, praise You, and rejoice in YOU!

When No One Understands You

06/05/2019

Do you ever feel like no one understands you; truly understands you?  Or, have you, on the other hand, ever said, “I don’t understand why you….”? Or, “I can’t understand how you could…”?  It’s true. As much as we may love or know someone, we can never completely, one hundred percent, get inside another person’s head. But guess who can? God. Psalm 147:5 says, “Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is INFINITE.” God’s understanding is limitless, endless, impossible to measure. And the most amazing thing is He loves us. How can we not run to Him in love and gratitude?

Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ, thank You, thank YOU for knowing us inside and out, for your INFINITE UNDERSTANDING and loving us.

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