Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Devil in the Desert

Tonight is going to be full-on honesty time.

I've no doubt that I'll wake in the am and rush to my computer to re-read what I'm about to write, in fear that I've let myself go way too far...

But until the light of day shines, I'm going to write like a crazy woman.

I do hope you'll oblige me.

You know, writers who craft their prose in the dark of night, hunger for those comments to show up when the sun breaks over the horizon. :)  My fairly lame literary attempt to beg you to converse with me. 

So here's the truth of the matter. We know that the devil is alive and well, and on a rip-roar all the time. The Bible says that he comes to kill, steal, and destroy.


That's his mission. 


Hmm.....aren't we pretty stupid if we live thinking, "You know, I'm just not going to think about him."


That terrifies him when we ignore him.

I don't think so.

I want you to know that I am just about convinced that he or one of his fallen angels, lives in the desert.

OK, so maybe I'm half kidding.

I tell you, we went to TN for a week, which turned into a week and 1/2 due to the snow that shut down the Atlanta airport. While we were there,  I felt SUPER! I mean....great! I had 2 days that were tough, but on scale of comparison to being in AZ, I really was wonderful.

We get back to AZ and we're here all of 12 hours, and I begin to T-A-N-K.

It's so hard, you know. I LOVE my friends here in AZ. They are the best I've ever had...truly, wonderful friends.

Yet, I know that if I don't get out of the desert, I'm not soon going to get better.


I love Tennessee. It's beautiful, and our new home is a dream come true. I'm blown away by it, and by God's grace to save it just for us.

My dream, my heart prayer for a home was to have space where guests could come to stay, and have their own private bath and personal area in the basement.

That's exactly what God gave us, too! It's perfect for friends, or Precept leaders who want to come in for an event but can't afford a hotel. It's just PERFECT!

I truly love the house. I pray it will be a great blessing to many.

I pray that Ms. Shelly will be my first guest! I need to give that girl a hug!

Love ya'll.

Thanks for listening. 

We'll be off of me tomorrow.

For today, I'm just struggling with my hatred of MS.

I do hate it, yet I gotta get past that, as God is using it to His I need to quit whining.

As I said, I'm ranting I'm not going back to proof read, or I'll likely delete the whole post. 

Looking forward:
I'm going to learn to sew.
Brennan and Caedmon are going to take horseback riding lessons in TN.
We're joining the YMCA. Oh, to be able to swim in the cold months!
I'm going to write more often.

Immediately forward:

Love ya'll tonight!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

Why Those Little Words at The Beginning of a Psalm are Important...

I shared with you a few days ago that we would find out who the author of the Psalm we're studying together (Psalm 77) is, and today is the day!

Do you know why we didn't find that out first? Why we didn't start our discussion there?
I have a really good reason for it....can you guess?

Because I didn't know!

See...I'm learning right along with you! And I'm excited too!

Often in the past when I've wanted to write and just gush out all I was learning, I couldn't because I knew that women in the class I was leading were reading my blog and I wanted them to dig out the goodies for themselves.

But I'm not leading a class right now!

So, will you be the class I get to study with for the time being?

This is so rich, ya'll!

What I learned from the Word today left me weeping.


I pray it will touch your heart too.

Let's pray, and then we're going to dig!

"Most High God,
We adore you. We thank you for your love for us, and for sending Jesus Christ as the complete and total payment for our sin debt. Father, I pray that if one person reading this right now does not know You through Christ Your Son, that they will stop all reading and bow before Him...that they will repent of their sins, turn from them to follow you, and accept Your free gift of grace through the sacrifice, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Father for those who do know You, but may not know Your Word, or even where to begin, I pray that You'll bless their desire to know You through Your Word, and that You will lead us all by the power of Your Holy Spirit, Who indwells those who belong to You, both now and forevermore.

Dearest Lord, won't you please anoint this time as an offering before You...that as we all grow to know You more, we may in turn glorify You more. Please make that our heart's desire.

Thank you for loving us with an everlasting love.

We love you back!


So, please open your Bibles to Psalm 77.

I realized that when I wrote the last post about our study of this Psalm, I committed some cardinal errors as a Precept leader.

1. We didn't start with finding out who wrote the Psalm, but we did at least try to discover his intentions, what he knew about God, and what was compelling him to write this Psalm.

2. I fired way too many questions at you. I confess, that's how my mind works when I'm studying the Word. Once it's time to get in front of a class and lead a discussion, I've pared my list of questions down by at least 3/4, or should I say, the Holy Spirit has.

So forgive me, I dearly hope that you weren't overwhelmed.

3. I forgot to talk with you about key words. Sorry....we'll get to that too, but today is going to be about who this Psalmist was.

I want to encourage you sweet friends, don't neglegt those first few words that are found at the top of many of the Psalms. They will tell you much more than you could have ever imagined.

Thus is the case with Asaph.

Are you game?

Will you do some homework?

It will be so worth it!

Ask God to pierce your heart. Tell Him you don't want to close your Bible until you've learned something about Him that is going to pierce your heart.

Then, stay in it until He does.

Chandy asked me recently how I get the "want to" to read my Bible. I'm paraphrasing her words, but you can find her exact comment by looking a few posts back.

The above is my answer. I just beg Him to make me so hungry for HIM through His Word, that I won't be able to stand it many days without my time with Him.

He is gracious. His Word beckons me. When I am battling not wanting to read it, I am reminded of where that comes from. It's certainly not my Awesome, loving Father who is trying to convince me not to spend time with Him.

Besides, I am the one who gets cheated when I avoid Him. ME. here's your assignment for the next day or two. When you start leaving me comments, then I'll know that you're digging in, and that I can post some more.

I just don't want to overwhelm you.

But, remember...we learn as we discuss, and that discussion can happen through comments. You learn one thing from the Word that maybe the rest of us didn't....then we all learn. :)

It's imperative that we know who Asaph was. Today we are going to focus on cross-references, as they will lead us to learning at least a little bit about his history.

Turn to 1 Chronicles 15. I want you to read this chapter, but I'm going to give you a little background. As in everything, God has an order. So it was with the Ark of the Covenant.

God's order dictated that only the Levites were to carry the ark of God, yet in 1 Chronicles 13, David had consulted with man, not God, and had taken almost a poll or a group consensus about going up and taking the ark of their God back.

But his zeal, he forgot about God's order...someone who was not a Levite was handling the ark, and none of them were carrying it as God's commandment to carry it had been, instead they carried it on a cart.

Oh, they were beside themselves with excitement! 1 Chronicles 13:8 "David and all Israel were celebrating before God with all their might, even wtih songs and with lyres, harps, tambourines, cymbals and with trumpets."

And then somebody died.


Read verses 9-10.

And remember, God has order. He had ordained the Levites as priests to Him. That was a high orderly calling, and not even a King like David who loved God so much, was given permission to bypass God's order. forward a few chapters to 1 Chronicles 15.

David has decided to get the ark, has prepared a place for it, and pitched a tent for it.

And YAY for David....look at him laying it out in verse 2. See his change of heart throughout chapter 15. How is he treating the handling of the ark of God now?


Love that!

Don't miss his confession and humility in v. 13.'s your turn.

I want you to read 1 Chronicles 15:17 & 19; and all of chapter 16, and underline (in a color you'll remember for him), every time you see the name of Asaph.

Make yourself a brief list describing who he was. How important was his job?

Now...go back to chapter 15:25, 28, 29. How is Israel responding to having the ark of God with them, in the city of David?

Skip to 16, v.4 - there's a list you see that the Levites were appointed by their King...but for what?

Number their responsibilities...

Alright, now we're about home....see that semicolon at the end of 16:4?

WHAT comes next?

Underline that all important name we're researching....underline it in the rest of chapter 16.

AND DON'T MISS THE CRESCENDO THAT HAPPENS IN V. 7, and what results from it in verses 8-36.

Can you even IMAGINE?!

Your King asks you to pray, and out pours THAT!

You'll  see Asaph a few more times in this chapter, so don't miss underlining his name.

It will be crucial to our "getting it" when we are back in Psalm 77.

But I will close with this, do your work, dig out the truth, be led by God's Spirit, and then take a day or two just to soak it all in.

What does it all mean about who Asaph was, and about why he would write a Psalm like the 77th Psalm?

Also, catch Jeduthun mentioned in 16:41...keep that in your memory, as we'll come back to him, too.

I want to encourage you that you can do this! You can learn God's Word for yourself. He is gracious, and He WILL teach you, if only you'll give Him the time He so longs for, He so deserves of you.

If you really want to go deep, mark any instances 0f the word God, along with any synonyms for God,  in 1 Chronicles 16:7-36. You can either mark them right in your Bible, or go to and print off copies of the Scripture passages right there for free. Be sure to select the NASB version, if you want to be using the same version that I do.

Otherwise, I'd suggest the KJV or the ESV.

Make another list...
What did Asaph know about the LORD, to be able to pray a prayer like that?

Making a list here is pretty easy...

You just mark every instance of the word God, or synonyms for God, with a triangle.  I use red.

Then you make a list of what you learned about God, similar to our list above. I'll give you an example:

16:7 ..on that day David first assigned Asaph and his relative to give thanks to the Lord.
Asaph prays:
v. 8 thanks are given to the LORD - all Israel is led in thanks to the LORD
v. 8 His name can be called upon
v.8 His deeds were to be made known among the people

You get the idea now. If you're confused, I'm here for you...just drop me an email and I'll help you any way I can. My email address is in the sidebar.

After you do your research on Asaph, our discussion of Psalm 77 is really going to be good!

But, don't be sneaky and hold your comments until that post.

Remember, I want to hear all about what God is doing in your heart through His Word.

I love you all so....I am BURSTING to tell you what God showed me through all of this today, but I want you to dig, dig, dig for yourselves first.

I Love Ya'll All the Way to TEXAS, which you do know was once it's own country, and might just be again one day. :)


I am some TIRED I'm not proofreading. If I look foolish when I read it in the morning, I'll fix it then. :)

I trust ya'll love me too,

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Digging Into Psalm 77 - Questions & Comments Deeply Desired

I have come to dearly love and appreciate the transparency of the Psalmists.

I've always loved poetry, and I think of the Psalms as songs and poetry to God.

Over the next few days, I'd like it so much if you'd come along with me as we dig 

this Psalm out.

Remember, with inductive study, we aren't rushing right off to a commentary. 

If you'll play along with me, if you'll trust me, I promise that I'll tell you when 
the right time to dig into a commentary may be.

If you're a colored pencil kinda person, grab them now, and print off a copy of 

this blog post. 

I'll share with you what words to mark, and'll likely share a few 
with me too!

We're just going to start with 3 verses today.

Remember, before you ever open the Word of God, you want to pray and ask 

His Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth, as the book of John promises us that
He will.

I shared with the Jehovah's Witness ladies who have been coming to my door, 

that I never, ever study my Bible without asking for the leading of the 
Spirit of God, because my flesh is weak, and proud, and will lead me astray....
but the Spirit of my Loving God will never do that!

Here we go...

Psalm 77:1-3

My voice {rises} to God, and I will cry aloud;
My voice {rises} to God, and He will hear me.
  In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord;
In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness;
My soul refused to be comforted.
{When} I remember God, then I am disturbed;
{When} I sigh, then my spirit grows faint.

I just want you to take this slowly...I want to beg of you to ask some questions of the Word here.

Normally, I would start with who wrote the Psalm, and we will do that...but later.

For now, ask yourself ...

Where was the Psalmist placing his hope?

How did he feel about being completely transparent with God?

What did he do when trouble came?

Can you think of any promises that he might have known regarding what would happen for him when he sought the Lord?

How successful was he at "keeping his prayers to himself?"

What was his level of confidence that the Lord would care about his audible cries?

What type of relationship or understanding of the Person of God must this Psalmist have had, to "put all of his eggs in one basket?"

Do you see a contrast in these verses?

Why is it important to see that?

Ever have something so horrific happen in your life that it kept your focus, like this trouble did for the Psalmist?

What was bringing comfort to the psalmist at this point, in these verses?

What is he telling us in the last two verses?

Has his trouble abated?

Has he done all that a good believer should do to get what we want/need from God in a situation like the one the Psalmist was in?

Selah has been said to be a pause, or a musical interlude.

(That was a freebie, but I really do want you to think through these verses and answer from your heart.)

Let's see if we can get an online Precept discussion going!

I'll bring the popcorn!  No, I forgot, the kernels get all up in my gums and I look like a cow trying to slop them out. It's gross, I'll save you the pain of seeing it. I'll bring chips & salsa instead. ;)

Love you all so!

Would BEG you for your prayers as we will soon be looking for a home in Chattanooga. We're praying for a pool, as it helps so much with the MS in the summertime.

Candee Sue told me to pray for the home that God has for me...the one He wants me in.

I adamantly told her not to over-spiritualize things!

I think she snorted something warm out of her nose when I shared that with her. Then she vowed that she would be talking with me more often, after I've taken my night-night meds.

I wonder if she's up. They'll be hitting my system soon. :)

I love you, Candee Sue.

I love YOU too, sweet reader!

Now, enough of this love stuff....ya'll have work to do! :)

Comments....I need comments! 

Big Hugs,


Tuesday, February 02, 2010

How Will You Respond In the Day of Trouble?

OK, I'm inspired! 

Time to dig back into the Word, folks.

You ready?

Ponder this Psalm with me today...we'll be digging into it together in the next day or two.

I encourage you to really study it. Ask questions. Reason through it. Make your lists.

Let's have a great "discussion" after my next post.

I love you all, and thank you so much for your encouragement to continue to write.

Your comments were precious, just like you are to me!


Psalm 77

Psa 77:1  My voice {rises} to God, and I will cry aloud; My voice {rises} to God, and He will hear me.
Psa 77:2  In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; In the night my hand was stretched out without weariness; My soul refused to be comforted.
Psa 77:3  {When} I remember God, then I am disturbed; {When} I sigh, then my spirit grows faint. Selah.
Psa 77:4  You have held my eyelids {open;} I am so troubled that I cannot speak.
Psa 77:5  I have considered the days of old, The years of long ago.
Psa 77:6  I will remember my song in the night; I will meditate with my heart, And my spirit ponders:
Psa 77:7  Will the Lord reject forever? And will He never be favorable again?
Psa 77:8  Has His lovingkindness ceased forever? Has {His} promise come to an end forever?
Psa 77:9  Has God forgotten to be gracious, Or has He in anger withdrawn His compassion? Selah.
Psa 77:10  Then I said, "It is my grief, That the right hand of the Most High has changed."
Psa 77:11  I shall remember the deeds of the LORD; Surely I will remember Your wonders of old.
Psa 77:12  I will meditate on all Your work And muse on Your deeds.
Psa 77:13  Your way, O God, is holy; What god is great like our God?
Psa 77:14  You are the God who works wonders; You have made known Your strength among the peoples.
Psa 77:15  You have by Your power redeemed Your people, The sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah.
Psa 77:16  The waters saw You, O God; The waters saw You, they were in anguish; The deeps also trembled.
Psa 77:17  The clouds poured out water; The skies gave forth a sound; Your arrows flashed here and there.
Psa 77:18  The sound of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; The lightnings lit up the world; The earth trembled and shook.
Psa 77:19  Your way was in the sea And Your paths in the mighty waters, And Your footprints may not be known.
Psa 77:20  You led Your people like a flock By the hand of Moses and Aaron.

Blue Letter Bible. "Book of Psalms 77 - (NASB - New American Standard Bible)." Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2010. 2 Feb 2010. < >
New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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Monday, February 01, 2010

With Friends Like These, I'm Just Gonna Get Better and Better!

I suppose maybe I'm one of those people whom others don't always feel the freedom to be blunt with.

Maybe it's my high-feeler personality, per the Myers Briggs testing. Perhaps it's my propensity toward tears when my heart is touched, convicted, or pierced.

Regardless the reasons, there are only a few of my friends who will really speak into my life those things which they fear I might take the wrong way.

Yet, I deeply cherish those handful of friends! I am so very thankful that their love for me, and their desire for me to be all that God has designed me to be, far outweigh their concern for themselves.

Leaves me asking myself, how did a chickie-mom like me land friends like these?

A few of those friends, both of whom are close to 20 years wiser that me, have recently called me out encouraged me regarding the vision of my blog. 


One shared with me how much she loved pulling up my blog and going to the search section when she wanted to know what I had seen from Scripture regarding a certain passage.

Wow! What a humbling complement...but not really such a complement to me after all, if what I'm doing is operating from a gifting of God through His Holy Spirit when I share what I've learned from His Word.

Humbling yes. But the complement would go to God, not to me.

Enter friend #2, affectionately known as Nanners, Nan, Janan, Spiritual Momma...

She send me a note some months ago, along with a CD by Beth Moore, all about how discouragement comes for the teacher, and Nanner was concerned that I was discouraged....and she wanted to encourage me to press on. 

To keep fighting the good fight.

Not to give up.

Friend #1, Leta-Bandita, went so far as to remind me what the title of my blog is.

I do love that lady! I love kissing her sweet soft cheeks each time I see her, and marveling over the fact that she's achieved that buttery soft skin  simply by using Ponds for years.


But I digress. :)

So, my friends, I'm writing to ask you if you'd please pray for me. Pray that I'll have courage.
I study my Bible almost every day, yet I don't write about what I'm studying as much anymore, because somewhere along the line, I started reading items by some of the great theologians, and realized that I'm not one.

No where close.

I just love Jesus. JESUS. JESUS CHRIST, for whom I am a willing slave for the rest of my life.

Yet, I'm also fearful a way that I wasn't when first I started this blog. I'm terribly afraid of steering someone wrong. 

I realize now that I may see something in my study of a given book of the Bible today, and glean something completely different from that same book in a year from today.

It's not my heart to create doctrine here...nor to reiterate the doctrines of man.

I simply want to share with you what God has shown me through His Word. I want to take you on a marvelous adventure of studying God's Word, and of discovering what it means to be His beloved. 

Think about that....the God of the universe calls us His beloved!

Baffling. Beyond my comprehension. 

But believable, wholly and only because God tells us so.

And God cannot lie.

He tells us that too, in His Word.

I'm excited to get back on track...excited but scared. I don't have much emotional space in my life for dealing with critics, nor do I desire to engage in deep debate with those who may leave comments.

I just want to love Jesus, study God's Word, be led in a life of obedience to Him by His indwelling Holy Spirit, and love others as Christ loves me.

I'm praying about how to go about what God has laid on my heart, and then confirmed through my friends. Won't you pray with me?

I will follow His lead, no doubt.

Not a yet, or a but....simply this....I would like to hear from you in comment form....

What is it that has kept you coming back to read my blog? 

If there's something that you've been missing, what is it?

Any suggestions on how to make it better?

I love you all! 

I turned 40 yesterday. My sweet friend called me, D sent me a lovely card, Janet brought me 2 books I will cherish forever, but one has already pierced my heart and has given me words from Jesus that I know I am to share with my new Jehovah's Witness friends. 

You just have to get a copy of Transforming Grace by Leslie Martin!

Other highlights to yesterday:

  • My precious husband bought me the most beautiful black pearls I've ever seen. They're amazing and I love them!
  • I got tulips. My favorite!
  • Peggy Sue bought me a birthday cake, a colossal cupcake. Little Miss B ate all the icing off of it. Boo!
  • Kim is planning a surprise something or other for me next weekend. Yay!
  • Candee Sue sent me the most beautiful antique teapot to go with the beautiful Spode teacup and saucer that she gave me months ago. 
  • Several friends wished my Happy Birthday on Facebook.
  • My brother called me...he's so good about that, every single year!
  • I received several sweet eCards.
  • Caedmon threw up all day, and ran 103 degree temp. 

Life is sweet.

I love ya'll. Please send me comments...I really want to read them!

No proofreading tonight, so forgive me if my spelling or grammar stink. :)

Read my heart instead.

40 year old hugs,