Answering Questions from Tags and Nominations

Today I will not be doing any of the tags or things I’ve been nominated for.

Instead, I will be answering some of the questions from them.

Thanks to these blogs for nominating me for various things!

Questions will be in bold and my answers will be in normal text.

When was the last time you ate McDonalds?

Like at least 5 months ago if not longer. I don’t really eat McDonalds. It doesn’t make me feel that great…..

Would you prefer oatmeal or grits for breakfast?

No idea. Grits sounds good, and I love oatmeal, but I’ve never had grits and I can’t eat oats.

What is your least favorite vegetable and why?

Don’t have one. Why? Cause I live on a farm and every veggie grown on a farm tastes awesome. Also pretty much every veggie if you cook it right can be made to taste good. I love vegetables. I literally can’t think of one I don’t like. Brussel sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, kale, they are all so good!!!!!

When you go camping, do you like sleeping in a tent or a cabin?

Probably in a tent. I like roughin’ it a bit. Sometimes a cabin is nice for a change, though.

How long does it take you to read a 20 chapter book?

I’ve read a twenty chapter book in one day before. I don’t really have time for that anymore. I don’t really read a lot of twenty chapter books. Most of the books I’ve been reading lately are like either spiritual books to be read and studied through carefully, or super long meaty fiction. Also, chapter lengths vary a LOT.

Predestination or Free Will?

Not a question that can be answered in a few sentence. It also depends what you are obtaining by predestination vs. free will. Salvation? Acceptance of salvation? God gives us free will. He is also King of kings. Those who accept the salvation God has provided are predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, Jesus Christ. We are not robots, and God will not “force” us or “irresistibly” drag us into heaven. We have free will, and God gets all the glory. That’s about the shortest answer I can come up with.

How long have you been a Christian?

Since I was young.

What is your favorite type of smoothie?

No idea. I love smoothies but I just kind of mix about everything that tastes good into it. I don’t really know of any particular types of smoothies. I love using strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, peaches, and bananas in smoothies.

McDonald’s or Wendy’s?

Uhhh. Hmmm. Wendy’s salads are better for being fastfood. If I had a choice between a Frosty or an ice cream cone (without the cone) from McDonalds I think I’d probably choose the Frosty. That’s pretty much all I’d get from either places.

What is your favorite thing about your way of schooling (homeschooling or real schooling)?

Wait a second….”real schooling”? Since when was public or private school “real schooling”? Independent learning is the best, because you yourself are the one seeking to learn and grow. You are accountable to God and the people in authority like your parents, and you are free to grow in knowledge as God would have you without the standards of all the worldly things being pushed on schools nowadays. Moving on.

What is your favorite chapter of the Bible?

Isaiah 40.

What is your favorite book?

Philippians. Or Psalms. If you mean a book other than the Bible than I am completely at a loss to give an answer.

If you could live in one country for a week, what would it be?

Either in China or Africa. I’d love to go on a missions trip to either place.

What is an animal you would dream to own?

A Jersey cow.

What is an animal you are intensely scared of?

Hmm. I’m not really intensely scared of anything in particular, but I’d be a bit scared of a Mountain Lion (aka Cougar). I really hope I don’t ever encounter one or have an animal taken out by one.

Do you have a pet? If so, describe it!

A million!! Not quite 🙂 The chickens and the goats are all pretty much pets, as well as our cats, but our real pet is my dog. Mabel who you have all probably heard of is a sweet, needy, active, Bluetick Coonhound, who loves to chase cats, coons, rabbits, moles, and shrews, to name a few. She also loves eating snakes. Ughh. That’s one thing I really wish she would stop doing. Dead snakes really stink.

If you could spend one day hanging out with one character in a book you’re writing or wrote (or for those of you who aren’t writers, a book you’ve read), who would it be and why?

Maybe Malcolm from Malcolm by George MacDonald. Or an older lady in Katelyn Ford who is as a mother to Katelyn and whose name I have not yet figured out.

Out of all the superpowers out there, which one would you want to have? And why?

The power to heal others. I just wish I could simply reach out and heal the brokenness all around. All I can do is point others to the true healer. God is the only one who has the power to heal, whether it is broken limbs or broken hearts.

What is a book or book series that you would recommend to anyone?

The Bible is probably the only book I can truly say that I would recommend to anyone. Other than that there are a lot of books I would recommend to different people. Stepping Heavenward is a book that I would wholeheartedly recommend to pretty much every girl I can think of. NarniaDo Hard ThingsHeather and Snow, and The Bronze Bow, would probably be some other books that I would recommend to pretty much anyone.

If you could go into your own world that you wrote or are writing (or for non-writers, a world you read), where would you go to first and why?

I might like to go to Narnia. Sometimes I wish I could.

What food do you absolutely LOVE the most, and what food do you loathe to the ends of the earth?

What food do I absolutely love the most? What an awful question! How about a list of my favorite foods?

  • Homemade Lasagna
  • Homemade spicy chili Red Robin style
  • Banana bread
  • Bananas in general
  • Chocolate ice cream
  • Homemade Alfredo
  • Shepherd’s Pie
  • Extreme dark chocolate
  • Cheesecake

To name a few. I love food in general, and I make a lot of really good food. I have learned not to loathe a food to the very ends of the earth. However I really don’t admire cream of rice. And I have to force myself to drink coffee that tastes like coffee. Eggplant doesn’t taste that great either.

Which of the four seasons (summer, spring, fall, winter) is your favorite and why?

I love spring! Spring isn’t too cold and it isn’t too hot. It’s the season of new life and beauty, and I love it so much!!!!!

What is the biggest goal you have in life right now?

To serve in love and be fervent in prayer. In essence, to abide in Christ.

What is the one thing you love doing most in life?

Worshiping God. There is nothing I could love better. Only in worship of my true King can I truly be satisfied, as good as food is, as pleasant as a sunrise is to watch, it came from Him, and I can do nothing better than praise Him for all of His gifts.

I really enjoyed answering these questions! I know I skipped a few, but thanks for asking, I hope you enjoy reading my answers!

Have a wonderful rest of your August!


“Oh come, let us worship and bow down;
    let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker!”

-Psalm 95:6 

 

*All scripture quotations are form the NASB translation

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Some Thoughts on The Word of God

Many a time when I’m reading through scripture I am just overwhelmed with the beauty and perfection of God’s Word.

Are you ever swept away by just the glory and refreshing truth of God’s Word? Some days it is a struggle to set aside time to read and study the Bible and then other days…… I can’t imagine what kept me away.

Some days like a gift from God I feel some of my blindness swept away and I can see it! I can see the glory, the beauty, the satisfaction here right here in God. And I can see that I’ve been looking at it all wrong.

Sometimes I’m trying to understand to comprehend it all through this puzzle of life, trying just to grasp a glimpse of God’s will, of His truth, and then all through the fog I find myself simply swept away by the wonder and magnificence of the Word of God.

Some people would argue that we can’t really understand the Scripture anyway, that it is better to give people an explanation of the Bible than the Bible itself. After all, we have such slow finite minds and we can understand nothing of God without the Holy Spirit, right?

If you believe that it is pointless to read and study scripture or that the studying and seeking to comprehend scripture should be left to the “spiritual people” like pastors or priests, I think you are missing three vastly important points. We are all guilty of forgetting of underestimating these three things and they are so important in our understanding of God.

1. We underestimate the power of the Word of God.

“Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power.”

-Hebrews 1:1-3a (ESV)

Jesus Christ, Son of God, Son of Man, that is, God himself among us, is THE WORD. The same power that raised Christ from the dead, the same power with which He upholds the universe, this is the same power that spoke every word of our Bible. Whether through prophets or the fulfillment of all prophecy, the Bible is indeed inspired by God.

You cannot compare the Bible to the “sacred” writings of other religions. You simply cannot. The words of these so called “sacred” writings, like the Koran or Book of Mormon to name a few, are not from God. They are the words of man, words from the heart of man which is, in the words of Jeremiah 17:9, deceitful above all things and desperately sick.

The Christian Bible is completely different, for it is from the One and True God and King.

There truly is power in the Word of God. It really is living and active to all people.

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” -Hebrews 4:12

“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” -2 Timothy 3:16-17

2. We forget that the Holy Spirit is indeed inside of us all.

As children of God we have indeed been given the Spirit of God inside of us. Yes, we need the Spirit of God to teach us and instruct us, to give us understanding concerning what God has said. And isn’t that why Christ died? To cleanse us so that we might have the very presence of God inside us? His body was broken so that a way past the veil would be made. His blood was shed so that are able to come past that veil, with boldness and without fear into the very presence of God.

Indeed, we cannot understand the unfathomable depths of God’s Word, and yet with the Spirit of God inside us we can grasp at a glimpse of His beauty, glory, and perfection. Because we do have the Holy Spirit. And He is at work even now in us all.

“What about unbelievers?”, you may ask. Are they able to understand scripture? Does the Holy Spirit work in those who have or will reject Christ?

Sometimes it feels like many people want to have an exact system for the whole “process” of “getting saved” and when you “have” the Holy Spirit and the different “levels” of the Holy Spirit, and really……I don’t really think it is all biblical. They are well meaning and are trying to simplify things or systematize things, but it really doesn’t work that way.

I grew up in a Christian home. Some people say they don’t understand how someone can’t “know” when they were saved. Well, I don’t. There wasn’t “a moment” that I once and for all repented at. There wasn’t some sort of prayer I said. I just slowly grew. Ever since I was little, my parents taught me to ask for God’s forgiveness. And to forgive one another just as we have been forgiven by God. Sure, there was a point in my life where it all really sunk in, where I truly started living my faith out myself……..but it didn’t start any particular day. Or month. Or year even.

So when did I have the Holy Spirit? When did the Spirit of God live in me? I don’t know when exactly. For as long as I can possibly imagine, I’ve had a conscience. I’ve felt convicted over sin probably ever since I was able to consciously think. I think everyone kind of has.

Ever since I remember, I talked to God. I loved God in a manner or fashion, though, still now, I do not truly love Him as I ought to. I would pray to God and tell Him all sorts of things. I would ask Him for help in my childish way. I have repeatedly throughout my life repented anew and redevoted myself to Christ. But isn’t that every day?

God has been with me, every step of my life. God is with us, not just once we accept His love, but before and even despite our rejection. There is only one sin that will not be forgiven, and that is blaspheme of the Holy Spirit. Often this is called a seared conscience, where someone has ignored or pushed away the whispers of their conscience to the point where they cannot be convicted of anything

“Therefore I say to you, any sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven people, but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven.Whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come.” -Mathew 12:31-32

I would say that God is quite able to speak to unbelievers. He does move in those who have rejected Him. He continues to show grace and mercy to those refuse His gracious gift. He gives them another chance. And another. He is patient. And yet…..for those who ignore His voice time and time again, it seems that eventually God will no longer honor them with His voice or call out with grace any longer.

Please understand that the seared conscience is a point of great confusion and fear, and only God really understands what it is. I only hope to bring a little clarity with what I have found God to be showing me. And let me comfort you with this: if you hear His voice calling out to you, convicting you: that is a sign that you do not have a seared conscience in any way. A person with a seared conscience is not a person who would be convicted about it.

But I also plead with you: if do indeed hear His voice calling out, do not ignore. Do not turn away. You cannot afford to. He wants you to be His not because you are perfect, (far from it), but for the very reason that He loves you. Our gracious God longs for you to answer His call, to submit to His voice. Please do not ignore that voice.

“Take care, brothers, lest there be in any of you an evil, unbelieving heart, leading you to fall away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. For we have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original confidence firm to the end. As it is said,

Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”

-Hebrews 3:12-15 (ESV)

3. We Do Not Fully Grasp That “God Is With Us”

God Is With Us. What is that supposed to mean? My sister asked me the other day if I knew just how small Jesus made Himself when He came to earth.

Thinking of His humility and unable to grasp it, I answered, “Probably not.”

To which my sister answered, “He became two cells”.

My first thought was “Wait what?” and then all I could think was simply “Wow.”

The Lord of all heaven and earth, the Creator of the universe, the great I AM inhabited two cells.

I don’t know about you, but whenever I picture the incarnation, I picture the virgin birth, the baby in a manger. But that’s not where it began. That’s not how the Christmas story starts.

“The angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus.” -Luke 1:30-31

“Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I am a virgin?”The angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God.” -Luke 1:34-35

The incarnation happened when the virgin Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit. Two cells. Wow.

This was truly “God with us”.

I’ve often heard people comment on how much easier it would be if “You know… God were actually with us.” Many of us, including me are tempted to think “If Jesus could just come right here and talk with me, if I could see Him right before my eyes and know it was Him, I’m sure everything would be all right.”

Would it help? I mean Jesus himself…..right before our eyes! How incredible would that be? How lucky (or rather blessed) were the disciples to see Him face to face!

Let us think about this for a little bit. Why did Jesus ascend to the Father? Why didn’t He “stay” here with us? Why did He have to leave? The disciples wanted to know the same thing.

Here are some excerpts from John chapter 14-16. I would highly encourage you to read through the entire chapters, as well as through the book of John, but obviously it is a bit too long to be included here. 🙂

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” -John 14:1-3

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.” -John 14:15-20

“These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.” -John 14:25-29

“But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.” -John 15:26-27

“I did not say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going to him who sent me, and none of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.” -John 16:4b-7

“In that day you will ask in my name, and I do not say to you that I will ask the Father on your behalf; for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God. I came from the Father and have come into the world, and now I am leaving the world and going to the Father.” -John 16:26-28

Jesus says that it is to our advantage that He go to the Father. We must trust that He truly does know best.

We have a tendency to think that because Jesus has ascended to the Father, that God is somehow not with us anymore. This could not be farther from the truth. Jesus ascended to the Father so that we could know God in a greater way than before, so that we could really know what it was like to have God WITH US.

Jesus was once WITH US physically. God is now WITH US in a greater way, He is with us in spirit. And some day, His dwelling place shall be WITH US, and we shall be His people and He shall be our God.

In  Old Testament Israel, God went with Israel, or rather before them, but they could not see or experience His presence. Even Moses could not stand before God in all His glory, lest He die. When the voice of God called out Israel was afraid.

For you have not come to what may be touched, a blazing fire and darkness and gloom and a tempest and the sound of a trumpet and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that no further messages be spoken to them. For they could not endure the order that was given, “If even a beast touches the mountain, it shall be stoned.” Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, “I tremble with fear.”” -Hebrews 12:18-21 (ESV)

This was the Old Covenant. In the temple a massive curtain separated the Holy Place from the MOST HOLY PLACE. There was fear associated with that curtain. Behind that curtain was the Mercy Seat, the Golden Altar, the Ark of the Covenant. If any man or animal went in there without blood, they would die.

Until the day when Jesus died. On that day, because His body was broken for us, that curtain was torn top to bottom. On that day, because He shed His blood for us we are covered by His blood and can enter with confidence into the Holy of Holies, The Most High Place, the PRESENCE OF GOD. He is with us. Here. Now. WITH US. 

“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” -Hebrews 12:28-29 (ESV)

How incredible is that? But what does it mean? How does it matter? How does it apply to the Word of God?

Here’s how.

Scripture is not just some outdated thing. It is Holy. It is from God, yes. Jesus is greater than we can imagine, yes, but He came down to be WITH US, He became two cells for us. He is the Word.

To think that we have the very Word of God at our fingertips is rather intimidating. What do we, sinful humans, perhaps at the lowest point in our lives, have to do with the Holy Word of God? And yet, it is for us. It is not beyond us.

Not because of our power, but because of His. Not because we are able to understand His Word, but because He has graciously gifted us with the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us what His Word means.

Yes, often it will be only a glimpse of the beauty and perfection of His Word that we will get. We will only ever, on this side of Heaven be able to grasp at a wisp of God’s full meaning and purpose, but thank God, He has given us that glimpse into Himself.

He is WITH US. And He is the Word.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it………

There was the true Light which, coming into the world, enlightens every man. He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him. He came to His own, and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

-John 1: 1-4, 9-14

The true Light has come into the world, and this light enlightens every man.

“Behold, days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord

“But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. 

They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,” declares the Lord, “for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

-Jeremiah 31:31-34


I can only pray that my thoughts on what God has been teaching me about His Word will encourage you to treasure His Word in your heart and lift you up towards Him so that you may see glimpse of His majesty.

This post has taken me almost two months (perhaps more by the time I post it) to finish, but it has been worth it. Studying about God’s Word through His Word has helped in more ways through these past months than I probably even know. If no one ever reads this post it will have been worth it to write, even to go back to myself in times of struggle and doubt.

If you are reading this right now and you took your time to read this whole thing, thank you very much, and I hope I did not waste your time. May you understand just how much God is with us!


“Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”

-Ephesians 3:20-21

 

*All scripture quotations are taken from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted

 

 

Bye! (But not really..)

Hello everyone! As you may have heard me mention (don’t remember if I have), I am planning to take a complete break from WordPress (and most computer stuff in general) for the month of August.

The purpose of this hiatus is not because I feel like I am addicted to WordPress. I have not been on WordPress that much this last month. And since the computer I usually use hasn’t been working, I haven’t even been on the computer that much. 

This is actually something I’ve been planning since before May. At that point, in fact, I was hoping that fiction writing would take a primary place before my blog. But it hasn’t and at this point I don’t want it to yet.

During this time I really just want to give my undivided attention to whatever it is that God wants me to do. I want to focus more on prayer, spending time with and serving my family, and treasuring up God’s Word inside of me.

Looking into the near future I know there are a lot of hard things facing me. If you would like to pray for me, I would ask prayer for courage now and strength later. Even if my heart is heavy looking into the near future, I have a lot of peace. I know God knows what He’s doing, and I know that He’s using this to bring me closer to Him and do give me strength for yet greater things.

I’ve decided that I want to memorize my favorite passage, the one I have given in entirety many times here on this blog: Isaiah 40:21-31

Isaiah_40_28-31


I thought I would share a book and a song that I have been encouraged (or convicted) by lately.

I’ve been reading “Speak Truth in Your Heart” by Sarah Mally and wow, it has been so convicting and helpful in the little bit of it I have read so far. It is aimed towards girls and is primarily about how our wrong thinking about things always leads back to a root lie about God. It was when reading this book that I really fully realized how scripture is our sword against sin. We are to speak truth in our hearts so that we may identify and cut off the lies from the evil one. How else to do that than memorize scripture that refutes the lie you are tempted to believe? I am so thankful for this book right now.

Image result for speak truth in your heart by sarah mally

A song that I’ve been listening to over and over is called Joy by Jonny Diaz. A few songs out there currently talk about joy, but the songs themselves are not really that joyful. For instance Joy by King and Country. I kind of find that song a bit depressing. This song however, really is about Joy, that precious gift from God. I love this song!!!!!

Here are the lyrics:

I might be halfway through this valley
And my eyes just can’t see a quick way out
And it might seem life’s got it out for me
Like I’m in way too deep, but I have found
Every single circumstance
I can place in greater hands
I won’t let my trouble bring me down

I’ve got joy down in my soul
I’m gonna take it everywhere I go
Not gonna worry ’bout what I don’t know
I’ll be alright as long as I’ve got
Joy here in my heart
Wavin’ like a torch fightin’ off the dark
In the jet black night I’m gonna see the stars
I’ll be alright as long as I’ve got joy
Joy, joy

So I’ll just cast my cares
Won’t sink into despair
I won’t find answers there, only doubt
Every single circumstance
I can place in greater hands
God I know you’ll never let me down

I’ve got joy down in my soul
I’m gonna take it everywhere I go
Not gonna worry ’bout what I don’t know
I’ll be alright as long as I’ve got
Joy here in my heart
Wavin’ like a torch fightin’ off the dark
In the jet black night I’m gonna see the stars
I’ll be alright as long as I’ve got joy
Joy, joy

Gonna be my strength, be my truth
Gonna light the way and see me through
Gonna be my hope, be my shield
Gonna lift me up no matter how I feel


As you may have seen in the title, I won’t really be gone. During the month of August I’m planning to schedule 2-3 posts. In fact, this post is also scheduled, having been written sometime in July.

One of the posts I will be for sure posting (Lord willing) in August, is “Some Thoughts on the Word of God” a post I have been in the process of writing for about two months. It is a post that helped me grow a lot writing and I hope you are encouraged by it.

Enjoy your August! I can’t wait to see you in September!

“The Lord is my shepherd,
I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.” 

-Psalm 23:1-3

*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted

Word Study on Exhaustion (Part 1)

Exhausted.

Definition:

“Completely or almost completely depleted of resources or contents; depleted of energy : extremely tired”

(taken from Merriam-Webster)

There are a lot of Hebrew words that can be translated as exhaustion in the Old Testament. I don’t actually understand a lot of Hebrew anything, so forgive me if I make a mistake as I attempt to go into what they are and what they mean.

Pagar (פָגַר) simply means to be exhausted or faint. It is the word used in 1 Samuel, when the men with David were simply too exhausted to continue.

Here is the story leading up to this point.

“When David and his men came to the city, behold, it was burned with fire, and their wives and their sons and their daughters had been taken captive. Then David and the people who were with him lifted their voices and wept until there was no strength in them to weep.” -1 Samuel 30:3-4

“Moreover David was greatly distressed because the people spoke of stoning him, for all the people were embittered, each one because of his sons and his daughters. But David strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” -1 Samuel 30:6

“Then David said to Abiathar the priest, the son of Ahimelech, “Please bring me the ephod.” So Abiathar brought the ephod to David. David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I pursue this band? Shall I overtake them?” And He said to him, “Pursue, for you will surely overtake them, and you will surely rescue all.” So David went, he and the six hundred men who were with him, and came to the brook Besor, where those left behind remained.” – 1 Samuel 30:7-9

“But David pursued, he and four hundred men, for two hundred who were too exhausted to cross the brook Besor remained behind.” -1 Samuel 30:10

This is among my very favorite stories in the Bible, primarily because of what happens next.

By the blessing of the LORD, David and his men return with their wives and children along with much spoil.

“When David came to the two hundred men who were too exhausted to follow David, who had also been left at the brook Besor, and they went out to meet David and to meet the people who were with him, then David approached the people and greeted them. 

Then all the wicked and worthless men among those who went with David said, “Because they did not go with us, we will not give them any of the spoil that we have recovered, except to every man his wife and his children, that they may lead them away and depart.” 

Then David said, “You must not do so, my brothers, with what the Lord has given us, who has kept us and delivered into our hand the band that came against us. And who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.” 

So it has been from that day forward, that he made it a statute and an ordinance for Israel to this day.” -1 Samuel 30:21-25


Kashal (כָּשַׁל) means to stumble or totter, or more specifically to be brought down. It is often referring to feebleness that is caused by sin or God’s judgment of sin, and is the most frequently used word translated as exhausted.

Interestingly enough, this one of the many words for weariness or tiredness used in the famous Isaiah 40 passage:

“Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,
Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;” -Isaiah 40:30-31a

That phrase “stumble badly” is Kashal, to be brought down or to totter. So perhaps this verse means something closer to a statement that even the most physically strong will fall, and even the most vigorous will be brought down, but those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength.

Here are a few more instances of Kashal:

“Encourage the exhausted, and strengthen the feeble.
Say to those with anxious heart,
“Take courage, fear not.
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you.” -Isaiah 35:3-4

“But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the Lord of hosts.” -Malachi 2:8

They will therefore stumble over each other as if running from the sword, although no one is pursuing; and you will have no strength to stand up before your enemies.” -Leviticus 26:37

“But a man of God came to him saying, “O king, do not let the army of Israel go with you, for the Lord is not with Israel nor with any of the sons of Ephraim. But if you do go, do it, be strong for the battle; yet God will bring you down before the enemy, for God has power to help and to bring down.” – 2 Chronicles 25:7-8


Yaeph (יָעַף) means to be weary or to be faint and seems to be often used when talking about fruitless and exhausting labor.

This word is also frequently used in Isaiah 40.

For instance:

“Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.” -Isaiah 40:28

“Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly” -Isaiah 40:30

“Yet those who wait for the Lord
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.” -Isaiah 40:31

Another instance of Yaeph is Jeremiah 51:58.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts,

“The broad wall of Babylon will be completely razed
And her high gates will be set on fire;
So the peoples will toil for nothing,
And the nations become exhausted only for fire.” -Jeremiah 51:58

An interesting use of Yaeph is in Daniel. I will back up a bit to get context.

“In the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, observed in the books the number of the years which was revealed as the word of the Lord to Jeremiah the prophet for the completion of the desolations of Jerusalem, namely, seventy years. 

So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes. I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed and said,

“Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments, we have sinned, committed iniquity, acted wickedly and rebelled, even turning aside from Your commandments and ordinances.

Moreover, we have not listened to Your servants the prophets, who spoke in Your name to our kings, our princes, our fathers and all the people of the land.”

-Daniel 9:2-6

In great distress of soul Daniel pleads with God. You can read the whole thing here (and I would highly recommend it), but for the sake of this post I will not give the entire thing.

I will however, give the end of it.

“So now, our God, listen to the prayer of Your servant and to his supplications, and for Your sake, O Lord, let Your face shine on Your desolate sanctuary. 

O my God, incline Your ear and hear! Open Your eyes and see our desolations and the city which is called by Your name; for we are not presenting our supplications before You on account of any merits of our own, but on account of Your great compassion. 

O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and take action! For Your own sake, O my God, do not delay, because Your city and Your people are called by Your name.”

-Daniel 9:17-19

Before doing this word study I do not remember coming across this verse, although I think I’ve read Daniel through before. It may now, perhaps, be among my favorite of verses.

After this comes the part where Yaeph is used.

“Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God, while I was still speaking in prayer, then the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision previously, came to me in my extreme weariness about the time of the evening offering. He gave me instruction and talked with me and said, “O Daniel, I have now come forth to give you insight with understanding.”

Daniel’s attention and love towards the city of the LORD was so great that he was in extreme weariness.


Yaga or Yagea (יָגַע) means to toil, grow, or be weary; also to gasp, have pain, or suffer. It is the second most frequently used word for exhausted in the Bible.

Here are some instances the word Yaga:

“I am accounted wicked,
Why then should I toil in vain?” -Job 9:29

I am weary with my sighing;
Every night I make my bed swim,
I dissolve my couch with my tears.” -Psalm 6:6

Do not weary yourself to gain wealth,
Cease from your consideration of it.” -Proverbs 23:4

You have wearied the Lord with your words. Yet you say, “How have we wearied Him?” In that you say, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the Lord, and He delights in them,” or, “Where is the God of justice?” -Malachi 2:17

“Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly” -Isaiah 40:30


I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did! This is one of my favorite things to do. Part two will be on Greek words for exhaustion.

As you may well guess….. I’ve been pretty exhausted within the past couple weeks that I’ve been working on this post. Lately, it has mostly been physical exhaustion, which sleeping in today helped to remedy. But spiritual and mental exhaustion have also been coming my way. Exhaustion of my patience is probably what I’m struggling with most right now.

You might very well be exhausted in some way right now.

Maybe it’s a good kind of exhausted from working hard, and you are looking forward to a restful night with that nice feeling in your limbs somewhere between sore and tired.

Perhaps, like me your patience is running thin and you don’t know whether you will have the strength to answer gently to your siblings.

Or maybe you are so mentally exhausted you can only look forward to a restless night of anxiety.

You might even be spiritually exhausted, unable to put up any form of defense to the lies creeping into your soul.

Let me tell you: God is there for you. He knows you. He can help you. God bless you!

This week’s song is Worn, by Tenth Avenue North.

“Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” -Galatians 6:9-10 (NASB)

*All scripture quotations are from the NASB translation unless otherwise noted

Hello again……

Hello! It’s been a little while since I last posted! I sort of had a month-long unannounced hiatus thing. Basically for the last four or five Saturdays something was going on or I was just too busy.

I have no idea how often I’ll be posting in the future, although I know I want to take a complete break in August. I love blogging and I greatly enjoy it and it means a lot to me that people read my blog, so thank you so much!

My life has in so many ways been kinda crazy lately. God has been teaching me so much that I can’t even begin to tell all of y’all. Above all….He is there. Always. No matter what.

He has been showing me that everything apart from Him can fall apart and will fall apart. Yet through it all, He is not only there, but He is who He is, loving, gracious, merciful, just, and true, in everything. He’s been teaching me that emotion is not something to run from and that I need brothers and sisters alongside me.

So here I am again.

In case you were wondering Oliver is doing splendidly. He is in the process of being weaned…..which he does not quite admire. I’m sure he would prefer a little bit more milk but he’s getting big and he needs to start eating grass as his primary source of food.

As for goats……they’re all big and weaned and off somewhere having the time of there lives, whatever that means. I don’t keep track of them very well. I have typically been sticking with cows and chickens. And my dog.

About three weeks I got some (aka a lot) of nice shots of scenery around here and I just now got to editing and processing them and spent most of yesterday trying to figure out why they wouldn’t upload.

So now, to make this an actual post here are my favorites.

The sunbeams were awesome.

grazing-calf-in-sungroup-cows-in-sun-as-Smart-Object-1

This was a super sweet momma cow and her calf.

sweet-momma-and-calf-as-Smart-Object-1

Two with grass as foreground.

And of course after a while……Oliver saw me. As he hadn’t yet had his bottle at that point, he came running. I was just barely able to snap this picture before he was slobbering all over my jeans.

IMG_3970-as-Smart-Object-1-as-Smart-Object-1

A yellow rose with pink highlights.

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And finally, a silhouette of some blooming roses set against a fading sunset.

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I hope you enjoyed this post! Thanks for all the nominating and tagging! I really appreciate it even though, I don’t think I do very many of them, at least not any time soon.

This week’s featured song is My Portion and My Strength by Ellie Holcomb.

 

May you find your portion and your strength in Him!

God be with you.

“But You, O LORD, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.”

-Psalm 3:3 (NASB)

Do Our Petty Struggles Matter to God?

Do you ever feel stuck? Like you long to live wholeheartedly for God and something just keeps holding you back?

If there is one thing in America that keeps us from following after God, it is ourselves. We are taught to value individuality and identity so much that we begin to doubt if we even have such things. We don’t look to God to see what is keeping us back; we look at ourselves and then compare to our surroundings.

When I feel stuck, too often my reaction is to think on what a petty life and petty struggles I have.

The small, mundane, petty, ridiculous struggles are what we must conquer, and find joy in the midst of, right now. God will use the struggles we have and the temptations we face – even the petty ones – to strengthen us. When we overcome our day to day struggles, we grow in steadfastness and in diligence.  We need to grow right now, right where we are.


Do you feel stuck behind you own efforts?

Do you feel like you will never grow, never get beyond this place where you are now? Turn to God. Turn to the One who is higher than you, higher than you could ever imagine. And yet, He is as close beside you as ever, just waiting for you to knock.

Reach out in faith and grasp the truth of God’s Holy Word. Seek answers and find them. Do you long for God? Call out. He will answer. He not only can but will deliver you from this present evil age. Call out to God and He will answer. You may not be able to see Him working just yet, but believe me you will.

Your petty struggles, your silly dreams, your biggest temptations, and the miniature wars fought in your mind, they matter to the God who created heaven and earth.

They may seem small, not worth the time to pray about, not worth the effort to look heavenward, but they matter to Him. Every painful step matters. There is nothing hidden that he does not see. He will help you if only you will let Him.

I beg you, ask Him to help you. Pray, even beg on your knees for the Lord to be with you. He answers prayer.

God does not “help those who help themselves”. He helps those who give up pretending they can help themselves and who look to heaven for the help and strength they need.

Don’t look around and compare yourself to everyone around you, whether good or bad. Seek from God where it is He wants you to grow and devote yourself to His will. Delight yourself in God. Find in Him your full joy and peace.

“Trust in the Lord and do good;
Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.
Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.
Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him, and He will do it.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light
And your judgment as the noonday.

Rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who carries out wicked schemes.”

-Psalms 37:3-7

Seek the Lord’s face and you will grow. Walk with the Lord and learn from Him. He will indeed change you to become like Him.

“For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.” -Philippians 3:20-21

May God help and strengthen you to lay hold of the victory He has provided through the cross!

God bless you.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 1:6

*All Scripture quotations are from the NASB translation

Featured song:

Jesus Is There For You by The Lindsey Family

Powerful Verses to Help Win Victory Over Fear

I’ve got a lot going on today, so I’m going to “try” and keep this post short.

In my mind, pretty much any time we fail to answer God’s call or do what He asks us to do, it all comes down to one of two things: laziness or fear.

Wouldn’t you agree?

Sometimes they even come together. We are too afraid to answer God’s call and do our duty, and we are too lazy to move forward.

Because listening to God’s leading and following through is at least a really large part of our walk with God, if laziness and fear are the two main things that keep us from doing that, then it is vastly important that we have a weapon against these two things.

As I said in a previous post, scripture really is our most powerful weapon. In fact, it is our sword. Faith is our shield, but the “the sword of the spirit which is the word of God” is our weapon.

In a previous post I talked about laziness and gave a bunch of verses to overcome it.

You can read it here:

I’m thinking I’ll do the same sort of post today, only my talking is going to be a bit shorter. 🙂

Of course, the fear of the LORD, or the awe of God, if you want to put it that way, is probably the biggest thing that helps us overcome fear. Also knowing that God is truly with us and has gone before us. You can read my post on the fear of God here.

Enjoy these verses! May you be refreshed by the word of God!

“Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”-Ephesians 6:14-17

“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, or which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” -Ephesians 6:18-20

“After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying,
“Do not fear, Abram,
I am a shield to you;
Your reward shall be very great.”” -Genesis 15:1

“But Moses said to the people, “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord which He will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you have seen today, you will never see them again forever.” -Exodus 14:13

“Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.” -Numbers 14:9

“Do not fear them, for the Lord your God is the one fighting for you.” -Deuteronomy 3:22

“The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” -Deuteronomy 31:8

“Samuel said to the people, “Do not fear. You have committed all this evil, yet do not turn aside from following the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.” -1 Samuel 12:20

“So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.”” -2 Kings 6:16

“And he said, “Listen, all Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem and King Jehoshaphat: thus says the Lord to you, ‘Do not fear or be dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours but God’s.”2 Chronicles 20:15

“You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem.’ Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.”” -2 Chronicles 20:17

“Be strong and courageous, do not fear or be dismayed because of the king of Assyria nor because of all the horde that is with him; for the one with us is greater than the one with him.” -2 Chronicles 32:7

“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” -Psalm 23:4

“The Lord is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the defense of my life;
Whom shall I dread?” Psalm 27:1

“Though a host encamp against me,
My heart will not fear;
Though war arise against me,
In spite of this I shall be confident.” -Psalm 27:3

“I sought the Lord, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.” -Psalm 34:4

“Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;” -Psalm 46:2

“He will not fear evil tidings;
His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.” -Psalm 112:7

“The fear of man brings a snare,
But he who trusts in the Lord will be exalted.” -Proverbs 29:25

“Say to those with anxious heart,
“Take courage, fear not.
Behold, your God will come with vengeance;
The recompense of God will come,
But He will save you.”” -Isaiah 35:4

“‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’” -Isaiah 41:10

“For I am the Lord your God, who upholds your right hand,
Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.’” -Isaiah 41:13

“But now, thus says the Lord, your Creator, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel,
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!”” -Isaiah 43:1

“For he will be like a tree planted by the water,
That extends its roots by a stream
And will not fear when the heat comes;
But its leaves will be green,
And it will not be anxious in a year of drought
Nor cease to yield fruit.” -Jeremiah 17:8

“Do not fear, O land, rejoice and be glad,
For the Lord has done great things.” -Joel 2:21

“Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.” -Matthew 10:26

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” -Matthew 10:28

“Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.” -Luke 12:7

“Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” -John 14:27

“But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled” -1 Peter 3:14

“Do not fear what you are about to suffer…………………….Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.”-Revelation 2:10


As my pastor says repeatedly, when the Bible is repetitive, God is probably trying to make something clear. Do not fear man. Fear God.

Do not fear for your future, do not fear for you earthly life, fear God alone. The fear of God should motivate you forward, fear of man tries to silence God’s voice. Do not fear. He is with us. He will never leave us.

“God is is our refuge and strength,

A very present help in trouble.

Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change

And though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;

Though its waters roar and foam,

Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High.

God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.

The nations made an uproar, the kingdoms tottered;
He raised His voice, the earth melted.

The Lord of hosts is with us;
The God of Jacob is our stronghold.”

-Psalm 46:1-7

I pray you would all find peace and joy in the midst of whatever there is around you to fear. Rest in God and be still. Listen, and obey. Do not fear. He will deliver.


If you would like the verses in PDF format you can download it here:

“Verses That Stand Against Fear”


 

This week’s song is Fear Not by Ellie Holcomb. Enjoy!

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name; you are Mine!” -Isaiah 43:1

*All Scripture Quotations are form the NASB Translation