Monday, October 31, 2011

The Words of King Neb

Good morning everyone. Hope your weekend went well. We are starting Daniel chapter 4. If you remember our buddies Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walked out of the fire unharmed. King Neb is profoundly affected. He rewards the three with a promotion and then shouts to the world this;

Nebuchadnezzar Praises God

1 King Nebuchadnezzar to all peoples, nations, and languages, that dwell in all the earth: Peace be multiplied to you! 2 It has seemed good to me to show the signs and wonders that the Most High God has done for me.
3 How great are his signs,
how mighty his wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and his dominion endures from generation to generation.

Dan 4:1-3 (ESV)

It sounds great doesn't it? Well, here is the lesson I get from King Nebs proclamation. It is easy to shout from the roof tops what God has done. It is much harder to live a life that reflects that proclamation. Something to think about.
If you would please read Daniel chapter 4. Till next time.

In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Fourth Man in the Fire

Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished and rose up in haste. He declared to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” 25 He answered and said, “But I see four men unbound, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods.”

Dan 3:24-25 (ESV)


Does this give you great comfort like it does me? In our Daniel study with Beth Moore she describes three different scenarios concerning fiery trials.


1. We can be delivered from the fire and our faith is built.

2. We can be delivered through the fire and our faith is refined.

3. We can be delivered by the fire and we go straight into the arms of Jesus.

No matter what kind of fire we are introduced to, we don't go alone.

I can think of nothing that gives me greater comfort than to know that I don't walk alone. Oh, Satan will try and persuade me and make up all kinds of lies. But in the still of the night, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am not alone. It does not matter what the circumstances are.

Two years ago I became a pit dweller by circumstances. I wrote about it at some length back then. When the pit became so deep and so void of light I cried out to the LORD. I could not "feel" his presence, yet he was there. My faith has been refining me through a long series of trials the past few years. This is the promise I hold onto;

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9

That is the promise I cling to. Have a great weekend.

In Christ Alone,
Jill




Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Into the Fire

I have a confession to make. I am petrified of fire. Oh I control the petrified part, I can light candles and gas stove tops but I am still scared to death of fires.

The first day of my life that I remember is the day my sisters, brother and I were orphaned in a house fire. My older sister had just been through fire prevention week at school. She had just turned 8 years old. She called to me through the wall vent between our bedrooms and told me to get a wet wash cloth, get our baby sister out of the crib, hold her in my arms with the wet wash cloth on her face and get under the crib till help arrived.

There are very few things I am afraid of. I can kill spiders, pick up dead mice (not that I like to though) hang a chicken upside down etc. But fire is a different story. I told my husband and my children years ago that if our house was ever on fire please come find me. I am afraid I would stand frozen and unable to move, that is how afraid I am. Hopefully I will never be faced with having to be thrown into a blazing furnace like our friends in Daniel did.

When you read the description in chapter 3 there are some things that really stick out for me.
1. Shadrach and his two buddies are wrapped in extra clothes before getting into the fire
2. The fire is turned up to extra crispy. The guards are killed from tossing them into the fire, it was so hot.
3. Immediately there is a fourth man in the fire
4. When they come out they don't even have the smell of smoke on them

There are some great metaphors in this particular story. Without getting graphic let me just say King Neb was furious and wanted revenge. How dare someone defy the King and not bow to the image he made of himself? He didn't just want them dead, he wanted them to suffer greatly before they died. He wanted them dead, dead.

The smell of smoke can be looked at several different ways. I will never forget as long as I live the smell of the fire all those years ago, never. The smell is one that lingers. How could our good friends Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego walk out without the smell on them and their clothes? Obviously it was part of the miracle that God performed, but why? Perhaps it is a gentle reminder to us that when we sin God can not only wipe out the sin but walk away without the stink associated with it. Just a thought.

I am learning so much about Daniel. I hope you are also challenged to study and find the lessons God has for you too. Till tomorrow.
In Christ Alone,
Jill




Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What is My Image?

Living in Babylon is all about image building. Nothing has changed in the last 2,500 years precious one. King Neb wanted an image of himself and wanted everyone to bow down to it. Today out western culture has an image of women that we want to live up to.

Remember the commercial about the lady in a business suit swinging the frying pan in one hand singing, I can bring home the bacon and fry it in a pan and never ever forget I am a woman? Oh please people, that image is such a lie. We can't have it all no matter how much Satan whispers in our ears that we can. In our Babylon we are told that our value is based on what? Well, let me list a few for you;
1. Our beauty
2. Our weight
3. Our money or lack thereof
4. Our education
5. Our "careers"
6. How many activities we are in
7. How many children we have or don't have

You see the point. Our real value is not found in any of these things. Our value is sealed and found precious beyond value because of the One who we are valued by, God our father. We are made in His image. We are daughters of the King, that is where our value is found. We can try and try to make an image of ourselves but in the end it is all emptiness. That is why our list above is found wanting.

Our four friends in Babylon knew who they were and they refused to settle for second best. When the call came to determine who they would bow to there was no discussion. No board meeting, no instant huddle. They had drawn a line in the sand way back 16 years earlier at the beginning of their friendly captivity. They would follow God and God alone, no matter what the cost.

Do you know who you are? DO you know what kind of image you are building for yourself? Have you bought the lie from our modern day Babylon? Do you know where to draw the line in the sand? Or better yet, are there any lines in the sand to be drawn? Tough subject. I would encourage you to spend some time today on these questions.

In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gratituesday October 25th


Good morning everyone. It is my favorite day of the week. A time set aside for counting our blessings. We each have so much to be thankful for. There is so much negative news yet God has not stopped working in our lives so please don't forget that!

I was blessed beyond measure to hit the road on Friday. I was kidnapped for the weekend by two very special young ladies. Megan is like a daughter to me and her Jordyn calls me Grammy. She is such a wonderful snuggler and loves to be with her Grammy and her Grammy loves to be with her.

So, we headed out Friday morning and drove to the heart of Amish country in Ohio. The rolling farm lands were so peaceful. Just looking at the beautiful scene tended to melt my stress away and lower my blood pressure. Each of the Amish farms had clothes lines filled with freshly washed clothes. Children were out raking leaves. My heart just soars when I see the beautiful farmland and peaceful settings.

We toured an Amish farm and had a buggy ride around the farm with "Bud" leading the way. We eat good home cooking and saw quilt after gorgeous quilt in several of the shops. There were hundred's of bolts of material that just called my name! Sadly I brought none of it home but I can imagine and dream.

That little get away was wonderful for me. I loved every minute, a true blessing from God. I loved being kidnapped and hope to do it sometime again. Thank you Megan and Jordyn for a wonderful time.

What are you grateful for today?
In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, October 24, 2011

Image Building Daniel 3

Well good morning and happy Monday! We are spending the week in Daniel chapter 3. Sixteen years has passed between chapter two and chapter three. That is plenty of time for our King Neb to get a big head, no pun intended! If you remember back in the previous chapter he has a dream and it is all about the nations that are and about to be. Our King Neb is the gold head which is the most valuable.

What is a king to do? God did say that his head was made of gold. So like all good kings he decides if his head is made of gold the rest of his body should also. He has a statue made that is huge. In fact the statue is 90 feet high which is the equivalent of an 8 story high building. He was a great image builder. He had the huge image put out on the plains of Dura. When it was finished he had every important and not so important official come out together to fall down and worship the thing. When the band started to play it was their cue to fall on the faces and worship the image.

Sound a little silly to you? It is so easy to get prideful isn't it? Our culture is full of image building and we tend to get sucked right into the same folly as they did. Daniel is not present at the fall down and worship the image gala. He is back in the kings court where the King told him to be.

A group of officials who hate the Jews raises their hands and tell King Neb that Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego did not fall down and worship. Satan is always prowling around like a roaring lion ready to devour God's people. The Jews were hated then and there is nothing new under the sun. The three are brought before the King and guess what? They are not willing to bend their knee or lie flat on the ground and worship the image.

Would you spend some time today thinking about that and we will make some practical applications on Wednesday? Tomorrow is Gratituesday. I would love to know what you are thankful for this week.

In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Friday, October 21, 2011

The King's Response

Our King Neb goes from wanting to cut up all the wise men to promoting Daniel, the interpreter of his scary dream. Let's listen to what he says to Daniel.

Daniel Is Promoted

46 Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell upon his face and paid homage to Daniel, and commanded that an offering and incense be offered up to him. 47 The king answered and said to Daniel, “Truly, your God is God of gods and Lord of kings, and a revealer of mysteries, for you have been able to reveal this mystery.” 48 Then the king gave Daniel high honors and many great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon. 49 Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego over the affairs of the province of Babylon. But Daniel remained at the king’s court.

Dan 2:46-49 (ESV)

So Daniel gets a promotion and makes sure that his three buddies are also taken care of. Daniel's story reminds me of Joseph's story. God is obviously with both of them and they get a nice promotion when the rulers over them see the power of God.

As the second chapter of Daniel ends King Neb falls on his face and pays homage to Daniel. Sixteen years go past before chapter 3 starts. King Neb will forget everything he has learned in the next 16 years. How quickly you and I forget. Let's see what he does once he forgets about the God of Daniel.

In Christ Alone,

Jill




Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Gold, Silver, Bronze and Iron

We are finally to the dream and interpretation. According to the dream an image is put before the king. The image, mighty and exceeding brightness, stood before the king and it scared him half to death.

The head was made of gold. Now gold is the most valuable of all metals but definitely not the strongest. The head represented King Neb. and the fulfillment was the Babylonian empire which King Neb. was the first leader.

The chest and arms were made of silver and represented two different nations, the Medo and the Persians who came together to be the Medo Persian Empire. Cyrus the great was perhaps the most famous ruler of this time frame. Silver is not as valuable as gold but it is stronger.

We then come to the images' belly and thigh and these were made out of bronze. Now bronze and is not as valuable as either the silver of gold but it is much stronger. The bronze represents the Grecian Empire and Alexandra the Great was it's most famous ruler.

Then we come to the legs and they were made of iron. The legs stood for the Roman Empire which was in affect during Jesus' time. Nero and Tiberius were probably the most famous rulers in this age. Now iron is stronger than the bronze, the silver and the gold, but not as valuable.

Then we come to the feet of the image. Now the feet were made of iron and baked clay that were mixed together. Some believe the feet represent the divided Roman Empire. Some scholars think the toes on the feet refer to a political system that hasn't come.

The rock is another matter and there is no question that the rock represents the kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So now picture a big statue that has a head of gold, chest and arms made of silver, the legs and belly made of bronze and the feet made of clay.

They all represent different periods in history. We will see in the next chapter that God starts with the head first, King Neb made of gold. With no pun intended, King Neb lets all of this go to his head, and the results are fascinating. Picture all this in your head and let's see what the king does with the information.

Till next time,
In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Lesson in Integrity

Good morning my friend. Last time we talked about Daniel bathing in prayer the request of King Neb. God is so faithful! God shows Daniel in a vision the dream and the interpretation. The first thing he does is thank God, which we talked about on Monday. When King Neb. asks Daniel if he can tell him the dream and know the interpretation Daniel had the perfect chance to show off.

It is times like these that show a person's character. How many times have we wanted to take the credit for something that was not our place to take? We want to look good to those around us. We want to be noticed for the good we do.

Daniel knows beyond a shadow of a doubt that he and his three friends will die and be cut to pieces if he doesn't tell the king the dream and interpretation. He could have easily have taken the credit, but not Daniel. He knows what it means to be a servant.

The king declared to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar, “Are you able to make known to me the dream that I have seen and its interpretation?” 27 Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, 28 but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.

Dan 2:26-28 (ESV)

What an answer, but there is a God in heaven! Amen brother, preach on. That is the very foundation of our faith. If there wasn't a God in heaven, the great "I AM" than all of this would be in vein. Hallelujah, there is a God in heaven. Thank you Jesus. We are not all there is and that is truly a good thing.

God loves his creation that were created in His image. We are not an island unto our selves. Daniel recognized that very important fact. Sister, do you want to take credit for the great things in your life? Don't let Satan trick you. All credit belongs to the Father who is in heaven. Think about today, wont you?

Till tomorrow, In Christ Alone,

Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gratituesday October 18th

I have been thinking about the idea behind Gratituesday. Simply put, a day set aside to give thanks to the Father for all of our blessings.

What about the days, weeks or perhaps months that make it very difficult to practice being thankful? My head knows many things to be thankful for but sometimes my heart is slow to respond.

When I find myself not being content right where I am I fail to recognize the joy I am missing. Without the joy it is very tough to be thankful for all that has been given. The last few weeks I have grown weary of the season I am in. I want to see the sun when I look out the window during the day and I can't. I want to have a kitchen again where I can cook whatever I want. I want, I want and I want. Hard to be content with the situation I am in according to scripture. Yet, Paul challenges us to be content and to be grateful.

So let's rewind the tape and start fresh. Here are some of the things I am grateful in spite of the situation I find myself in.

15. The smell of burning leaves
16. Seeing lawn after lawn carpeted with brightly colored leaves
17. Michigan honey crisp apples, yummo, my new favorite
18. A place where I can come and share what God is teaching me

I am not going to give up. Each Tuesday whether I feel like it or not I am going to be thankful. Eventually my heart will catch up with my head. Won't you join me? What are you thankful for? I would love to know.

In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, October 17, 2011

Blessed be the Name of God

Blessed be the Name of God



Good morning to you. Last time we met Daniel he was praying with his three buddies. They were seeking God's face to prevent the destruction of all the wise men in Babylon including them.


God was so faithful to these young men. Daniel receives a vision concerning both the dream and the interpretation. What is the first thing Daniel does? He stops and gives praise to the ONE who is going to rescue the wise men of Babylon and he and his three friends. Here is what he says;






Blessed be the name of God forever and ever,
to whom belong wisdom and might. 21 He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding; 22 he reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him. 23 To you, O God of my fathers, I give thanks and praise, for you have given me wisdom and might,

Dan 2:20-23 (ESV)

Let's just rest on this passage for today. In our Beth Moore study we are memorizing these verses. Would you care to join me in memorizing the first verse? Here is the first verse again.

Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might.



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Dream

Have you ever been terrorized by a dream? I have had a few nightmares in my time but nothing compared to our beloved King "Neb". Now frankly his dream doesn't seem all that scary to me. Certainly nothing to write home about or cut into pieces all the officials in the land but whom am I to judge? lol

Poor King "Neb" has traumatized by the dream he has. He calls all of his officials together and not only wants to know what it means but what the dream was. I can only imagine the officials scratching their collective heads. Who in the world can tell someone what dream they just had? I can barely remember the details of any dream I have an hour later! Our King was not to be deterred. Terror swept through the land as all the "important" people are trying to keep their heads on top of their shoulders.

If there ever was a time where someone was put somewhere for a reason it had to be now. Daniel was born for such a time just like Queen Esther was. It is obvious that God blessed Daniel and his three friends. Daniel calls for Arioch to send him to the King.

Like all wise men and women do before jumping into the fray he stops along with his buddies and prays to God. Their very lives are on the line. If Daniel gets it all wrong they will all be minus a head and any other body parts still attached. Nothing like a little pressure! They seek the LORD's face before going before the King.

How many of us face things each and every day that should have been bathed in prayer first? Ouch, sometimes I let events of the day just push me forward without thinking about how prayer would be the best way to start. There are lives that need to be brought before the Father every day yet we press on without a thought of stopping and praying.

Thank you Daniel for your example. Do you have someone in your life that needs bathed in prayer? Something to think about.
Tomorrow I will tell you all about this frightful dream, come prepared!

In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Banquet Table

Several years ago one of my sisters turned 50. Her hubby wanted it to be a special birthday so he went all out that year. Actually if memory serves me well, that particular sweet sister told her hubby some months before the fateful birthday that she was either going to have a mid-life crisis on her birthday or she was going to celebrate big. Hubby must have been worried because his gift to her that year was to send his wife and her two sisters on a Woman of Faith cruise. Since I happen to be one of those sisters I got to fulfill a dream of sailing on a cruise ship.

The anticipation was mounting as the time grew nearer. I remember buying my very first pair of capris at Christopher Banks. The lady had to convince me that capris were really in style and looked good on me. I am a 50's baby so we had peddle pushers and I promised myself I would never wear those again! Anyway, on the big day we arrived early and walked up this huge ramp to get on the boat. I had always heard the food was to die for. I could not wait to sample this huge banquet table. It was similar to our Thanksgiving meal but on steroids! Every meal was beyond extravagant. Talk about over indulging!

That is what Daniel and his three buddies were faced with. Day in and day out they would be eating from the King's table. Now Daniel knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that the banquet table was filled with foods he was not allowed to touch. God had laid out, for good reason I might add, what they could and could not eat. He wanted his people to be healthy and eating from the banquet table day in and day out is definitely not healthy.

Daniel drew a line in the sand and said no thank you. What is interesting is he and his friends are captives. He had the courage to stand up though and reason with Arioch the king's captain. He wasn't rude (a lesson for you and I) but he was not going to eat from the King's table, period. God is so faithful when we take a stand. Daniel asked for a testing time so Arioch could see they would be healthy even without eating from the King's table. God blessed them and they looked healthier after ten days so Arioch allowed the four of them to eat what God had chosen for them.

As a side note the original language has the words food from seeds sown which means they had fruits and vegetables along with grain, not vegetables alone. What a contrast in what they consumed. Everyone else is eating a huge feast day in and day out but not Daniel and his three friends. As the others grew fat and sluggish he and his friends grew lean and strong.

Oh how tempting it is to eat from the King's table. It all looks so good, doesn't it. What a great metaphor for our lives living in the 21st century. The table is spread like a feast. Will we be strong enough to not eat from the kings table? Or will we make the hard choices and eat what's good for us? Will you and I have the courage to make the right choice? Something to think about today.

In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Thursday, October 13, 2011

It's a Lie!

Yesterday we talked about King Nebs desire to change the destiny of the captives from the tribe of Judah. In part he tried to succeed by changing their names. He had hoped that it would change who they were. Apparently they were pretty successful because if you remember in the reading there were a lot more young men beside our 4 that were taken. So it worked with everyone else but not for Daniel and his three buddies.

Sweet sister, Satan is alive and well today and wants to fundamentally change who we are. Let me say that again so that it sinks in. Satan is alive and well today. He wants to fundamentally change whose we are. He will do that anyway he can. Satan is the great deceiver and he tells us lies about who we are. This is what Satan tells us.
1. You are so stupid, you will never amount to anything
2. You are so ugly, you need face paint to look beautiful
3. You are so fat, so dumb and you will never, ever be good enough

All of these are just some of the lies Satan tells us. Don't believe the lies sister. We were made in the image of our Father. We are daughters of the King. Our value does not depend on what the world values. Our value is given from the King of the Universe. We are precious in his sight.

Daniel and his three buddies knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, whose they were. Changing their names to pagan gods would not change who they really were. These four did not believe the lies that were being told. God was right there with them.

Don't believe the lies my precious sister. You are valuable beyond measure because you are the daughter of the King.

Till tomorrow.
In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What's in a Name?

I will always remember naming our first born daughter Serenity. The summer before getting married I had read a Reader's Digest book (remember those?) called I Take Thee Serenity. It was a love story about a young lady that had been named for her grandmother. She hated the name and everything about it. Her life was anything but peaceful. That is until the summer after she graduates from high school. She goes and spends the summer with her grandmother whom she is named after. Grandma Serenity (boy does that sound weird!) lives a simple life on a farm. During the summer she models for her granddaughter true peace. The younger Serenity finally embraces the peacefulness that has escaped her till then, by the end of the book. After reading it I told myself that if I ever had a daughter I would name her Serenity. Why? Because I wanted to give to my daughter what I had never had growing up and that was true peace. As a disclaimer my Serenity found the book during her teen years and read it. Apparently I had forgotten some parts because the Serenity in the book does some things not in line with scripture so I don't want you to run out and get the book! The point is this. Naming our daughter was something we did not take lightly. We wanted a name that she could grow into. We were giving her a legacy to live up to.

With that in mind let's go back to Daniel chapter 1. When all the young, tall, dark and handsome guys get taken to Babylon the first thing that is done to assimilate them is to change their names. Good old King "Neb" knows that in order to make these Israelites into good Babylonians they need to change who they are. Let me show you what happens.

1. Daniel means in Hebrew God is my judge, he was renamed Belteshazaar after the pagan god Bel which means "bel will protect."

2. Hananiah means Yah has been gracious for Yahweh, he was renamed Shadrach and it means "inspired of Aku", another pagan god.

3. Mishael means, Who is what God is? but his name is changed to Meshach which means "belonging to Aku."

4. Azariah meant Yah has helped but his name is changed to Abednego which means "servant of Nego."

The Babylonians were not stupid. They knew how to conquer people. They also knew that if they changed their names they would be reshaping who they were. Their very names gave them identity. God did some renaming of his own. Remember Abram, Sarai, Jacob?

When you and I became Christians we were also renamed, did you know that? We were spiritually born into the royal priesthood. We became daughters of the King! Don't ever forget that.

Till tomorrow
In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gratituesday

Today is Gratituesday. I want to challenge you today to tell a friend about Gratituesday. Or better yet, tell a perfect stranger that today is Gratituesday. I have started doing that at places of business that recognize my face.

Recently I went to our local bank branch where they know me and I was in the lobby by myself and 3 tellers were behind the counter. I greeted them and said, "Do you guys now that today is Gratituesday?" They then say gratit... what? So then I repeat that is is Graituesday. They then ask what it means and I tell them that it is so easy to forget to be thankful so Tuesday has been set aside to just be grateful. It doesn't matter if I tell a banker or a grocery clerk or the lady at McDonald's they all get a smile on their face when I tell them they could also practice Gratituesday. Not once has anyone told me to go to a place with burning fire!

So today I continue with my list of things I am thankful for.

10. picking up a fall leaf full of beautiful colors
11. walking around a local farmers market and seeing so many fresh fruits and veggies, yummy!
12. studying God's word with sisters in Christ
13. spending time in a friends home all alone and quilting in absolute silence for 4 hours!
14. loving God more today then I did yesterday


What are you grateful for my sweet friend? I would love to know, but more importantly by far is letting God know what you are thankful for.

Till tomorrow.



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, October 10, 2011

Youth, Beauty and Intelligence

Coming back to Daniel chapter 1 we see King Nebuchadnezzar taking the holy things from the temple of God and taking them into captivity to Babylon. Even though God gave His people into the hands of King Neb. (hope you don't mind the abbreviation) it still had to have hurt to see the holy things not only stolen but put into the pagan gods sanctuaries. I can't even imagine how that had to have felt. The lack of respect for all things holy.

So first they cart off the holy things for a pagan temple but then they chose young men who had it all, they were good looking, they didn't have a pimple on their face, they were young and they were smart. Just like our culture today. I remember years ago reading one of Dr. Dobsons books and he told about the time their daughter Janay had taken a terrible spill and scraped up her pretty little face. He took her the day after to the grocery store with him like he had done the past year of her life. Before the accident everyone would talk to the sweet and pretty little baby girl but not now. Not when her face was all scraped up, bloody and filled with bruises. People didn't talk to her anymore, in fact they looked away. It was then they he knew we are such a surface society. We want the pretty people, the youthful and the smart.

Our culture puts a very high price on these three things. Aren't most of us trying to erase any signs that we are getting older? Famous people on T.V. get botox, facelifts, etc. to look younger. They get nose jobs, boob jobs and wrinkle elimination jobs just to fight the aging process. Do we try and do the same thing? Have you ever seen a 70 year old woman who dresses like a 25 year old, caked in make up and the like so she can pretend she is 25 and not 70? It is not a pretty picture.

Our culture, our Babylon lie to us every day on what makes a person beautiful, or successful or smart. We all have a choice to make. We can either embrace the society norms or we can resolve to value things that God does. In Daniel chapter 1 verse 8 Daniel says that he resolved to not defile himself with the kings food, or with the wine that he drank. That was a huge risk Daniel chose to take. He and his 3 buddies were the only ones who had been taken captive that resolved to not defile themselves. Where was everyone else? Why just the 4 of them? They chose to stand together against all odds. Will talk about that next time.

In Christ Alone,
Jill




Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Our Babylon

Today we are starting our next series that is more relevant to our lives in 2011 than I ever imagined. First let me say that I never intended to study the book of Daniel in depth past the first few chapters. It wasn't till our ladies Bible class at church decided to study it that I decided to jump in. I have always put Daniel and the book of Revelation in the same category. Great first couple of chapters but when it started to talk about end times I was out of there.

You see my sweet sister, I am not what you call a premillennialist or a postmillennialist but I am a panmillennialist. In other words, in my mind it will all pan out in the end! So, let's go on this journey together and see what we can learn.

Before you roll your eyes and shut me out for starting such a deep study, stay with me for a minute. For most of my adult life I have loathed "ladies Bible study books" used in ladies classes. Not because they don't have value but because to me, most seem a little on the fluffy side. I think we are smarter than we think we are, especially when it comes to really digging into God's word. So, if I am going to practice what I teach then I need to commit to studying this book. I hope you decide to join me.

The book of Daniel was written 605 B.C. It is as relevant today as it was 2,500 years ago. Jehoiakim was the king of Judah. God had warned his people over and over again that they would be taken into captivity if the continued to chose the pagan gods over Jehovah. It was God himself that gave the Israelites into the hands of the Babylonians.

Babylon is actually where the Tower of Babel was built back in Genesis 11. God had scattered the people way back then and centuries later the Babylonians are dragging God's people all the way back to the beginning. That reminds me of Satan. He wants nothing better than to drag us back to the pit we use to dwell in, before becoming a daughter of the King. This is why the book of Daniel is so timeless. SO many lessons for us.

Remember at the Tower of Babel the people rebelled against God. They wanted to come together and show God they could build a tower up to the very heavens. They wanted to make a name for themselves. Nothing is new under the sun. Everyone wants to make a name for themselves. The world calls to us over and over again that the name we have, daughter of the King is not good enough. The world wants to rename us just like the King of Babylon renamed our young men.

Would you commit to reading the first chapter today and we will will pick up there next time.
In Christ Alone,
Jill, a daughter of the King



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Thursday, October 6, 2011

A Change in Course

The season is changing. Summer is over and autumn is here. The air is chilly in the morning and the afternoons are very comfortable.

I am in the middle of a new season. This is my first year in 32 years that I don't have our children in the home during the day. I am no longer teaching. I am now spending 2 1/2 hours a day in the car driving our last son to high school.

Hubbies doctors have little to offer us anymore so we aren't going to a different specialist every other day. I have had more time to study God's word. I am involved in a Beth Moore study of the book of Daniel and starting to read through the Bible again in 90 days.

I have come to realize that studying and blogging through Luke when I am studying Daniel everyday is not working. I want to do a good job blogging about God's word and I am not doing that for the book of Luke.
Starting tomorrow I will start blogging about Daniel. A fascinating book. Thanks for your understanding.
In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Being Hungry

Good morning sweet sister. We are still in Luke 6:20, the Beatitudes. The other day we talked about the poor. The next verse is about being hungry.


And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets

Luke 6:20-23 (ESV)

I think the interesting word in this verse is now. Now you will be hungry, life is going to be tough. Now you won't get everything you want or perhaps need. There would be nothing to look forward to if we have everything now. Jesus over and over again contrasts now and later. Since Jesus knows us intimately he knows that we are prone to navel gazing. Especially in our culture the right now is all there is. People of faith know that there is more than now.

Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” John 16:32-33

There is coming a time when we will no longer be hungry, we will be satisfied, and that is a promise.

Till tomorrow.

In Christ Alone,

Jill





Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Gratituesday October 4, 2011


October 4th has always been a very special day in my heart. My little sister Robin was born on October 4th. The older I get the more I appreciate my siblings. I have always had a special tie with Robin. We have survived many trials over the years. She is a lover of God who is also a prayer warrior. Robin is a firm believer in wellness. She was told by her doctor that she really needed her liver exercised so she jumped in with both feet researching how to exercise her liver. Well, apparently the only way to exercise your liver is to laugh. And laugh she does!

There is another reason why October 4th is special to me. It happens to also be my husband's birthday. I want to celebrate Rich's life. A man who has had to climb tall mountains. He has always worked so hard to serve the Lord's church. He has a passion for scripture. He knows more about history than most people I know. He has worked hard at raising a godly family. In spite of great obstacles he has taught his children to love God and serve Him. His most important goal was to shape children that have a heart for service. All of them have learned that lesson well. My husband has loved me since day one. He supported my desire to be a full time homemaker even when things were really tough financially. I have been blessed beyond measure to be loved by Rich for over 34 years now. I have watched him suffer incredible pain and not give up. Today I want to honor my husband for living his life well. Happy birthday Rich.

In Christ Alone,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Monday, October 3, 2011

Sermon on the Mount

Times goes by quickly. We turned the page on September and are now in October. The colors are changing, the air is crisp and cold in the mornings and the view is breathtaking from the mountains.

Perhaps it was like that when Jesus sat down on the side of the mountain. People were clamoring to get near him. Just touching him allowed the power to come out and many people were healed. Who knows how long the people had been there with Jesus. Scripture says they came to not only to hear him but get healed. Imagine the frenzy. If it had been proved that some guy was out and truly healing people the place would have been filled with people today. After everyone had been healed he looked at the crowd and the disciples and said this.

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh. 22 “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! 23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

Luke 6:20-23 (ESV)

Those who were instantly healed were more than willing to listen to the Great Physician. What they all don't realize is Jesus is about to turn their lives upside down. He first lifts up the poor. Of course the idea of being poor in America is SO different than back in Jesus' day. The poor lived hand to mouth and their lives were just plain tough. I picture such compassion in his eyes as he reassures the crowd that the poor will indeed inherit the kingdom of God. They will never be hungry again. You and I have no clue what it is to be hungry, they did. Someday they will be satisfied. I recently watched a video of the holocaust and to see the people just starving to death is heart wrenching. We have no clue.

What is the real message at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount? HOPE! In other words, this world is not all there is. Do we get that? If we truly understood that this is not all there is would we live differently?

As our world is turning upside down we need to remember that this is not our home, we are just passing through. That gives me great hope!

Till tomorrow




Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Courage, Are you up for a Challenge?

Several months ago I told you about driving down the road and seeing about 20 people holding signs and chanting so I stopped. One of the men was off to the side and I started talking to him after introducing myself. Come to find out behind the protesters there was an abortion clinic. They came twice a month on a Saturday when abortions were going on and prayed. I told him that my husband and I were very pro-life and had adopted 6 out of our children so we felt strongly about the issue.

Hubby and I subscribe to WORLD magazine and today one of the blogs on their site had a video that is profound. I am challenging each of you to click on the link and watch this. I will warn you that it is hard to watch but the value of watching it is profound. Something else to watch for is the change in the people that are being interviewed.

We all need courage so please watch it.

In Christ Alone,

Jill

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y2KsU_dhwI



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".

Saturday, October 1, 2011

God Reigns

Good morning precious one. I am participating in a Beth Moore study of the book of Daniel. I have to admit that I am totally ignorant when it comes to prophesy and eschatology. I want to learn.

Remember recently I talked about each of us having a teachable spirit? We need to be intentional about our learning. None of us have arrived in perfect knowledge. What an opportunity we have to learn. Would you join me in stretching our minds to learn the perfect will of God and his very nature?

God is so pleased when we learn new things that will bring us closer to Him. He desires a relationship with us. It is through scripture that we learn about a Savior sent for each one of us to rescue us from the very pit of hell.

I am going to start the Bible in 90 days again next week. Our daughter will be leading a group of young women in reading the Bible in 90 days and has asked me to represent the "older women" and participate with them. I won't be giving up my study of Luke or Daniel but I probably won't be blogging much on what I am learning in the 90 day Bible read since we are studying the book of Luke together here. I will try and post the reading each day though here so you can join with me if you would like.

God knows your name! Just stop and think about that for a moment. He even knows how many hairs are on your head and whether they are colored or grey. He knows you and I and he has written a love letter to you and me, dust it off and read.

In His Name,
Jill



Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning Satan says, "Oh crud, she's up".