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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Jehovah Jireh, My Provider

An awesome and challenging direction from the Lord this morning...

I have been fearful, anxious and stressed even to the point of muscle tension in my neck regarding the future of my job as a transcriptionist juxtaposed against my college schedule. I have been battling within myself to stay at peace. It feels like I have been standing on a piece of wood that is balanced on top of big can, see-sawing back and forth beneath me.

This morning, I felt the question loud and clear in my Spirit, "What are you standing on?"

The balancing act I have been on has been based on my ever-changing, unpredictable circumstances, certainly not a stable foundation for anything. Instead, I need to stand firm upon the ROCK of the Word and the unmoving, unchanging Jehovah Jireh God who has provided everything for me in my past and will take care of my future just as surely.

Thank you, Lord, for your Holy Spirit at work within me. May I always hear You clearly.

I now pose the question to you, blog readers. What are YOU standing on?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Election reaction

I woke with a heavy heart and could hardly tear myself away from the election results and reactions on the TV. The names of God we have studied so far, particularly El Elyon, have been so dear to me this morning. God, in His sovereignty, has allowed this outcome and I am battling to keep myself standing on the peace of that truth when I am tempted to fret and worry. I encourage you to pray even more fervently for President-elect Obama. I prayed these words on his behalf from Ephesians 1:17-23:

“That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you [President-elect Obama] the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, and what the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age, but also in that which is to come; and has put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be the head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all.”

Things may look dark right now, but that backdrop is when the light of Jesus shines brightest. Our Elohim, our El Elyon, our El Roi, our El Shaddai, our Adonai, our Jehovah, our Jehovah-Jireh, is still in control.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Book Club

I’m working on plans for the Book Club! What do you think about alternating between fiction and non-fiction choices each month? We would meet once a month to discuss our readings, maybe on a Saturday morning at Keen Bean? I’m open to suggestions on days and times. You will have an entire month to purchase and read the selected book. If you like, I could purchase several of them at a time and you could reimburse me, whatever works best. The book club is not limited to Covenant and any friends or family you would like to invite are very welcome!

I’m thinking about starting off with “The Shack”, a controversial and discussion-provoking book by William P. Young. This book has been a #1 New York Times Bestseller and those who have already read it say it is a quick one! I purchased this book at CPO for $12.74. The back cover reads:

“Mackenzie Allen Phillips’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change Mack’s world forever. In a world where religion seems to grow increasingly irrelevant THE SHACK wrestles with the timeless question, “Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?” The answers Mack gets will astound you and perhaps transform you as much as it did him. You’ll want everyone you know to read this book!”

I have chosen “Release the Power of Prayer” by George Muller as the first non-fiction selection. He is a fascinating man from the 1800’s with an incredible gift for prayer and trusting God. I purchased this book at CPO for $5.49 and it is pretty short at only 141 pages. The back cover reads:

“As a boy, George Muller was a thief and a liar, but after turning to Christ, he provided for over 10,000 orphans – without ever asking anyone but God to supply their needs. He testified that he knew of at least 50,000 specific answers to his prayers. From his amazing personal account, you will find out how to turn your faith loose, receive God’s promises, exchange unhappiness for joy, watch God turn impossibilities into reality, defeat Satan’s tool of discouragement, connect with God’s amazing power, and participate in miraculous events. Through the extraordinary example of George Muller’s life, you will discover how to trust God and seek His answers to your every problem. You can experience the same miraculous hand of God at work in your life today.”

I made the first two choices to get us started. After that, we will take suggestions from the group as to our next readings. This will be a group that you can come and go as fits your schedule or reading preferences. Let me know if you want to be involved! Also, be sure to give me some feedback as to what dates and times you prefer for our meetings.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Priorities and Expectations

I read this quote last week from “The Names of God” by Andrew Jukes and it pinned me to the wall:

“We would not pass a bag of money, if we might have it, because we could get some pleasure from it; but we can pass by God, morning, noon, and night, for we expect no good or pleasure from Him.”

Bible study and having a quiet time are a frequent practice in my life but sometimes I will go an entire day or two without opening God’s word. As a matter of fact, just last week I realized that I had read the complete Mt. Vernon newspaper but I had not “had time” to read the Bible. Who knows how many television shows I have watched on days when I just couldn’t “get to” my quiet time. Such pathetic excuses! The Holy Spirit used this quote by Andrew Jukes, written in 1882, to convict me deeply. I share it with you as a matter of my own confession but also to ask you to listen to the Holy Spirit on this subject. I bring no condemnation; that is not the way of our El Shaddai (Romans 8:1). It’s not about legalism, either. Think in terms of “quality”, not “quantity”. I simply request that you ask the Lord if He is pleased with the time you spend with Him and His word, and respond to what He shows you.

Monday, October 13, 2008

My living room

When I went to Chicago to visit the Ervins, I stayed at the Ronald McDonald House and absolutely fell in love with their color scheme, so much so that I emailed the director and asked the names of the paint colors of the main floor living room. My previously very red living room is now the two tones of silver satin and fairview taupe (Benjamin Moore colors). For my birthday, my brother-in-law installed a chair rail and crown molding. No small task in this 150-year old home where absolutely nothing is square or plumb! The end result is wonderful. I need to decide my accent color (I'm leaning toward aqua) and do a little more decorating but it just looks terrific.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Lord, I Want to Know You: El Shaddai Questions

El Shaddai (Almighty) is found in Job over 30 times. This week, spend some concentrated time in this book and consider why Job used that particular term to address God, this Almightly, All-Sufficient God who had allowed so much to be taken from him. What do you learn? How can you apply this to your life?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

'Tis the Season...

...football season, that is! I have the privilege of standing on the sidelines with camera in hand. Every now and then, I actually get it right. Here are a few of my recent favorites (Payton's team and the high school team).

Lord, I Want to Know You: El Roi Questions

1. Think of a time when you were doing something you knew you shouldn’t. Did the truth of El Roi, the God Who Sees, occur to you during that time? Why or why not?

2. Because God is sovereign (El Elyon), if what has occurred in our lives (or is occurring right now) did not have the potential to conform us to the image of His Son (Romans 8:29), then He would not have allowed it to occur and He would have intervened. Think through this statement and respond.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Lord, I Want to Know You: Week #3 Questions

1. Explain how God’s sovereignty and Man’s free will can coexist:
2. Reread Daniel 2:20-23 in light of this year’s presidential election. What do you learn?
3. Keeping in perspective the sovereignty of God, what is the difference between God’s “perfect” will and God’s “permissive” will?
4. This week we will focus on your memory verse: Psalm 57:2. Many of you have various different translations or paraphrases (King James, New Century Version, The Message, The Living Bible, etc.) of the Bible around your homes. You can also use online sources to find other translations of the Bible. Look up Psalm 57:2 and write it in your favorite translation below. What made you choose that particular wording as your favorite?
5. What has the study of El Elyon clarified for you this week?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lord, I Want to Know You: Week #2 Questions

This week's questions take some thought and introspection. Spend a little time mulling these over and then post your answers. Also, feel free to comment on each other's answers as well.

1. Elohim has a plural ending indicating more than one and we worship God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Does this mean that there is more than one God? Explain your answer.

2. Are you pleased with the way God created you? What do you like about yourself? What would you change? How does your acceptance/rejection of yourself reflect back on Elohim, Creator God?

3. Read John 9. Summarize the truths of this passage.

4. What have you learned from your study this week that you can apply to your life in a practical way?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lord, I Want to Know You: Week #1 Questions

Let's try an experiment together and use the blog as a discussion area for our extra homework assignments. Post your comments regarding the following questions:

  • Read Isaiah 31:1 and answer the question, “What (or who) represents Egypt in my life?”
  • Read Isaiah 2:5-12. Paraphrase into your own words.
  • Read Amos 5:4-8. Paraphrase into your own words.
  • What truths do you glean from these verses? How can you apply them to your life in practical ways?

Email me if you have any problems using the blog (kmaberry@centurytel.net). I can hardly wait to read your posts!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Get your kicks...on Route 66!

The youngest niece and I decided to take advantage of the cool temperatures and the close proximity to Old 66 to be shutterbugs for an evening. Most of the shots were taken around Halltown and the Gay Parita gas station.

The pictures of the flowers were taken at Paris Springs, a lovely little hideaway perfect for splashing in the creek!

Jaclynn enjoys playing around with my camera and has a good eye for photo composition. It made for a fun way to end her visit with us.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Of Mice and Myself

I have an irrational fear of mice. This I freely admit. I thought I was doing better after a couple of encounters earlier this summer when I saw a mouse and didn't scream my bloody head off, but alas, I am as pathetic as ever.

WE HAVE MICE IN OUR BATHROOM. We have caught three (did you hear that? THREE!) in the bathroom so far. If you have been to our home, you know that we only have one bathroom and that presents a significant problem for me. Just this morning I had to wake Joy out of a sound sleep to have him to empty the trap so I could use the facilities. He told me not to look and to go anyway. I told him I would go outside first.

What do they possibly want in our bathroom? I am just dumbfounded over this. I understand that we live in the country and mice are just a fact of life, but isn't that usually a winter kitchen problem where there are crumbs and such? The bathroom? I just don't get it.

Oh wise friends and family blog readers, do you have any advice for:

1. How to get rid of these mice (none of that humane stuff either - I want them DEAD).
2. How to get over my irrational fear.

Any and all solutions are greatly appreciated. I anticipate that building an additional bathroom has now moved up on the priority list of home improvement projects. But then would I have mice in both bathrooms? Oh dear.....

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Ervins are coming! The Ervins are coming!

Kurt, Kelly, Austin and Kenzie made their annual trek to Mt. Vernon. We hosted a gathering of friends to celebrate. A great time was had by all.

Summer fun

It seems like we have been going at a dead run ever since summer began but it has been so much fun! We had an awesome camping trip with our friends, complete with many fish caught, great food eaten (especially Clayton's steaks) and a huge marshmallow fight (my personal favorite). Check out a few pictures from the fun!