Posts tagged ‘Bible study’
Isaiah 51:1 says “…look to the Rock from which you were cut, the quarry from which you were hewn.”
I was thinking about that verse and our discussions on names and I had an epiphany…. what do God’s names mean and what are they all?
So I went on a little hunt. Do you know that our English translation of the Bible is quite limited in understanding of His names. What I mean is that God’s names are so deep and rich yet in our language there is no comparrison to the original Hebrew.
Where we use “Lord” there are many many different versions of the name Jehovah (YHWH or simply the 4 letters) which is God’s covenant name or the name He promised. It means that he is the God who continually reveals himself to us. Add it to another name and it literally means he will reveal himself to be as such…. Example; there is Jehovah Raah, which means shepherd, Jehovah Nissi meaning banner or refuge and carries with it a hope that can’t be understood in just one word of the English language. Since Jehovah preceeds each of the names they literally mean, God who reveals himself to be our shepherd, or the God who will show us He is our hope!
I’m not doing all the work for you! 🙂 Find out for yourself who God want’s to reveal that He is for you today!
Here are a couple few 🙂 websites I found to help you study.
If you look at Biblical examples many times children were named for the mother’s first impression; Esau (hairy), Jacob (deceiver- he came as a surprise, hanging onto the heel of his elder brother) and so on….
I’ve decided if I were to name my kids based on my current impression they would not have the most flattering of names. Would I for that matter??
Introducing Lawyer (master of debate and arguing his case):
Here is Ticking Time Bomb (everything is fine until an unknown switch is triggered and KABOOM!):
This is Clown (jokester, magpie, remember-er of everything especially naughty words and apparently “funny” jokes):
Finally the Girl (at least she IS a girl but man can she scream and manipulate and get everyone wrapped around that pinky finger):
Sigh! Then there is me, I can’t even imagine the things I deserve to be called. Thank you Lord for giving us a “new name” for making us children of the Living God, for allowing us to be know by association of YOU.
“Child of the Most High!”
Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.
Revelation 3:11-13 11.I am coming soon, hold onto what you have so that no one will take your crown. 12.Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which is coming down out of heavenfrom my God; and I will also write on him my new name. 13. He who has an ear let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.
It wasn’t even Sunday and I got that feeling in my stomach that happens when you know you are supposed to go up during the altar call. The very same butterflies that urge you to speak out on something important. The unrest that does not settle until you take action. I’m sure you’ve felt the same feeling in one situation or another. But this was the middle of the week. No pastor preaching, nobody challenging my ideals just me driving my car down the road in peace and quiet! Maybe that was the trouble, I’m usually unable to think, let alone pray with my Thinglets poking each other and Pee Wee squealing along with them, my radio blaring to try to drowned out the noise.
I knew what it meant. We have a new neighbor in the valley whose house I pass each time I go to town. The family had moved into the single level home six months after the man of the house had suffered a major frontal lobe stroke that put him in a nursing home and made it unable for him to return to their multi level house only a few miles away.
Matt and I had stopped by one day and offered our assistance when we saw them moving in. Jane told us the whole story about her husbands stroke and how he was unable to return home to her and the kids until they moved into a house that was better suited to a wheelchair.
When we left I couldn’t stop thinking about how I could serve them better. What could I do to help out?
Drop off a meal? Ugh! No offense to any kind soul who serves meals in love but I always cringe at the Christian cliche, “Just serve them a meal!” Although this common practice is how I was introduced to one of my favorite meals to date (so I had better not frown too obviously) it’s just not my cup of soup.
I could babysit the kids but anyone who knows me IRL knows that I am not the gal for that job! While I love my kids and have an absolute blast with each and every one of them I’m not the little kid type. Please send me all your teenagers but not your babies! Only one of Jane’s children would fit my category so I didn’t think that would be my job either.
“How then Lord, how can I help?”
Have you ever asked a question and promptly found you regret the resulting answer?
I did get a clear answer. Not in the form of actual words but a vivid and real epiphany complete with the thought process behind it, none of which I came up with on my own.
For months the Lord has been preparing me to stop and present His harebrained plan of which I am supposed to happily facilitate. I’ve prayed many times since then, ” let me know when it is time Lord,” and yet even when he made it distinctly evident, I didn’t want to go through with it.
Imagine an intelligent and mature man who had spent a lifetime pursuing a successful career as a doctor, a family practitioner. He has a beautiful wife many years younger than himself, loving and devoted to him, his three darling children and his time consuming job and passion. They live in a grand custom home on a private lake and lead a life of ease. The family entertains many friends and attends church every holiday. They are the ideal American family.
Now imagine you are that man and one night after you lay your head to rest you awake to the bright lights of the ER. The smells and sounds as familiar as your jobplace.
Wait… you can not turn your head, you can’t sit up and reach over to turn off the monitor beeping in your ear. Your heart begins to race, your eyes dart from the lights on the ceiling to the IV in your hand. The blue coats rushing around are not your nurses, but you’ve seen them before while attending surgery at the local hospital. Why can’t you speak? You want to ask “Why am I laying here?”
I thought about these things and I imagined myself in Dr. Smith’s position. I feared the inability to move myself, to express myself, to learn. When I climbed into his shoes I was terrified and lonely.
It’s been a year since his stroke but mobility has not returned, speech continues to allude him. People come to the new house to wish him speedy recovery but most of them don’t know what to say, they talk to him like a child. He can’t lift his hand to shake theirs, he can not assure them he is still as sharp as ever in thought. He can only sit alone with his thoughts hoping to either get well or die.
If I were in his shoes I can only imagine the struggle I would have pondering the apparent either/or.
Armed with compassion I would not have mustered on my own and the harebrained plan that made me blush each time I explained it to those who were praying, I drove up the driveway to the new house and parked reluctantly at the barn.
I was really hoping this was another practice run since I’d parked there once before (another time when the butterflies made me do it) only to find that Jane was not home. This time she slipped out the back door almost immediately and strode confidently toward my Suburban. A lump formed in my throat. I conjured up a front for my visit and began to converse about our kids, 4-H, the Mariners (not really) until finally the swirling, fluttering, shaky feeling could no longer be ignored.
“Jane, uh er, I uh…,” I took a deep breath then spit it all out, “the real reason for my visit is to see if your husband would like if I was to read to him on a regular basis.”
I didn’t look for her reaction before I continued, “I have a book in mind that I have not read yet, it’s a supernatural thriller that honestly sounds a little scary.”
Then I took another breath and tried to blur the next sentence into an unrecognizable muddle, “It has a faith based component, so I believe it ends well.”
To my surprise my lovely neighbor whom I barely know anything about latched onto the whole idea like I was sent by God to help ease her burden. Imagine that! 😉
Before blurting out the whole plan I had thoroughly convinced myself of the stupidity of reading to an intelligent man, like I was Mr Rogers. The Lord told me clearly to read to a scholarly doctor who despite his medical condition I was convinced could certainly read on his own.
After I had settled my fluttering friends, I confided in Jane as to how stupid I felt for even suggesting the idea. The only read aloud forums I would let myself imagine were juvenile gatherings; the library story hour, Saturday nights as a kid listing to my dad read “Little House on the Prairie” and visions of my own children nestled around reading “The Indian in the Cupboard.” What in the world would a full grown man think of me READING to him. “I’m sure he can read on his own, maybe he would prefer to borrow my book!” I explained.
“Oh, no,” Jane grew solemn “He would not be able to hold the book.”
The stroke had been severe enough that even a year later the doctor is still unable to sit fully on his own or steady his hands for anything other than a squeeze or a meager wave. His speech is nearly non existent and if he stands at all it is only with the help of a strong adult. Most of the time she said he doesn’t even lift his head to watch the TV. “He just listens,” she assumed aloud.
At the mention of faith (a word I had used hoping to avoid the subject of Jesus all together) a whole new conversation emerged and I spent the next hour sharing a spiritual connection with Jane. I learned that she is a believer herself and concerned about her husbands salvation. Before the stroke, he had been successful and preoccupied, not the one to persue Christian gatherings but never in the way of her endeavor to educate the children on “religious” matters. She told me about how more and more people have been pursuing him and telling him that Christ wants to be a part of his life.
She told me, with an embarrased but mischievous glint in her eye that she had been reading her Bible to him and dragging him out to church every Sunday.
As she described it, they had recently had a discussion where she told him that he needed to give his burdens to the Lord and allow Christ into his life. Things that day had been really bad, he was weak and unhelpful when she tried to get him up, she had struggled to lift while he resisted and in the end he had fallen. She knew that her prayers could only go so far since the Lord will not make a person believe so she urged him to pray and ask God for assistance. The next day his strength was back and his face a little less ashen.
The Lord hears and the doctor is beginning to ask!
There was an urgency in Jane’s mind in regard to her husband knowing the Lord’s healing. We talked about the possibility of the Great Physician bringing total healing and she insisted it won’t happen until Dr. Smith allows it.
I invited them to a bible study at our house and she said they would be sure to come.
Through obedience to the Lord, I have made a new friend, been given a new prayer, and am a participant in the healing process of the doctor in heart and health! I am confident this won’t be the end of the story.
Click here to read what happened next.
Where to begin?
My internet boyfriend?
Life in the long long trailer?
It’s a story about control. A story about learning to give up the illusion of control. This is my testimony written and documented as a “stone alter” to remind me where I’ve been. Equally it’s the story of my ever growing love for my husband a memoir for my children, a written legacy. It is the story of their parents and more importantly the story of the Lord’s unending provision.
It is not always a pretty story and I haven’t attained all that I’ve reached for throughout the years but thank the Lord I haven’t been given what I deserve! He is a good God, giving good and perfect gifts but sometimes that did not include the very things I had my sights on. The desires of passionate moments faded away and in their place my Jesus has given me a full and passionate life.
How about I start with the short version. Remember, Jessie doesn’t do short so I will give it my best shot!
I asked Jesus into my heart when I was five. I can still remember it in vivid living color! My Daddy and I were sitting on the carpeted landing of our three story, turn of the century home in downtown Coeur d’Alene (Core-duh-lane, it’s French). My mom fondly recalls how I would tell complete strangers my address pluckily including the “downtown” part in my montra! There is a different feel in “downtown” and even as a five year old I knew it.
Each block had a dozen or so quaint old houses. Huge oak and maple trees lined the street yawning with their branches over the road, touching in the middle creating a canopy of glistening leaves in the spring and summer. Those same trees with swelling roots had pushed up the sidewalk in places but people didn’t mind, they just bumped their baby carriages around the crevasse and went on their way awestruck by the sheer beauty of their surroundings. We had one such tree but it sat back off the road, almost close enough to climb into from the window at the landing where we sat.
I would sit with Daddy and press my little nose against the glass to watch the Robin’s nesting and caring for their young. Year after year the same family would return to the cradle in that old maple to gather twigs. Weeks would pass and the mother would lay thumb sized, speckled blue eggs. She would sit patiently while father, with his beautiful red breast, would flutter off busily caring for her until the chicks had hatched, and then they both would busy themselves caring for the young. Sometimes I could see the sharp beaks stretched out from fuzz topped heads blind and helpless, waiting for morsels of goodness.
I’ve often thought of those brilliant birds as an allegory for how God places us here on earth then watches, drawing us while His truth grows inside us ready to burst through the shell of selfishness into a realization that He is the one true King. Jesus provided a way for us to get out of our mortal shell and really live, then he carefully feeds and cares for us through His Word (spiritual food) and the fellowship of believers as we mature into strong God fearing individuals.
But I’m getting ahead of myself and my story is getting long!
Sitting there that day watching the Robins with my dad I asked probing questions about life and our existence. Soon he could recognize that the Holy Spirit was working and he asked if I would like to have Jesus in my heart! My own heart picked up it’s pace as I pondered the magnitude of this decision. As much as a five year old mind could I understood that I could not get out of that shell alone. I needed Jesus.
Daddy prayed with me and covered me with his protection and guidance for the time being. I understood the Father because I had the example of my own Daddy and I wanted to grow up to be like him.
Thus began my journey and consequently my life!
I just notice I’ve had double the “comments” via spam than I have from real caring people! Ha what a bummer. I do SO appreciate and enjoy your real, honest and even challenging comments! Thanks for getting me hooked on blogging.
This is for those of you who are real living breathing people! My wall of promise…
This is the wall in my living room/kitchen, a song and verse to remind me of God’s love. The Bible says to write God’s word on the doorpost of our homes and hide it in hearts.
Song for the day:
“Your love oh Lord, reaches to the Heavens, your faithfulness stretches to the sky! Your righteousness is like a mighty mountain, your justice flows like the oceans tide. I will lift my voice to worship you my King. I will find my strength in the shadow of your wing.”
Adapted from Psalm 36:5-6 by one of my all time favorite bands!
In order to do this in your own homes you do not need to be an artist or great with a paint brush, I promise!
I repeat, no paint! It is not permanent so go hog wild!
All it is is contact paper and a die cut stencil. Woo hoo! Leave me your favorite verse and if you make your own wall of promise link back here so I can see your pictures.
Have a Christ filled day!
There is a neat thing you can learn when humbled by making the wrong decision or feeling forgotten; it is wrapped up in Gods grace, the essence of his nature and it is his desire through relationship with his beloved people. That lesson is Hope!
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, they are plans to prosper you not to harm you, to give you a future and a hope.”
It often feels impossible to continue to tend that nest when it is empty or in another analogy to wait for harvest when you are hungry but God’s promise is of hope.
I mentioned Naomi who changed her name to Mara after loosing her husband and two sons. She was left empty and felt only bitterness. Even through her raw emotion God allowed her small blessings, maybe not what she imagined for herself… I’m sure a house full of grandchildren by her husbands name…but hope in the friendship of her daughter-in-law (a foreigner) who chose to stay in an unknown land, and work a peasants job to show love and faithfulness.
God blessed the women and through Ruth continued the line of David, redeeming Naomi and her lonely desperation.
I am often surprised at the narrow path God leads me to follow, I look longingly at the wide road filled with apparent happiness, but void of the Joy that accompanies this tattered way. Often, like Naomi I would change my name and crawl into the hole of emptiness rather than cry with my eyes toward the Son. She did both and God allowed her to mourn but asked her to follow. She did and I hope I too will remember there is Joy on the path and Hope in the tattered way. Like an empty nest my dreams bring endless possibility, I would rather that in place of a basket full of Easter eggs already stamped out for me.
Isn’t it strange, when you are feeling a bit down that all the emotions of today, a week ago, a month and even years ago come flooding back. In fact, Naomiof the Bible was so overwhelmed by her circumstances that she changed her name from one meaning pleasant to Mara, meaning bitter. I strugglewith circumstance, to the point of being an obvious pain the the “booy” as my two year old calls it. When my brow furrows and I spend the hours after dinner frantically cleaning or tackling huge un-warranted projects it often brings questions…
It is my experience when someone asks “What’s the matter?” one of two answers results:
- “I’m fine.” or virtually the same answer, “Nothing.” It’s not that you intend to deceive but your mind is saying stuff like, “Tired chocolate dad clutch and baby. Phone call under the couch and maybe my hair” How can a sane person make any sense of that? So what a person usually intends to say follows. “Nothing I can wrap my brain around at the moment.” Or “I’m fine without dumping all the garbage I can’t even sort in my own mind yet.”
- The other answer, though it’s less often perceived as deceitful is more often taken personally especially by unsuspecting, sincerely caring spouses: Pause a moment while the questioned waits for the flood of thoughts to bump against the front of her brain and spill down into the central cavity of the brain where she can begin to pick them up one at a time, examine them and blurt out in no particular order just like the lottery lady on television, “I’m still feeling residual effects of the PPD, I really thought it would disappear one day and I would be rid of it but I’m loosing a lot of sleep over it,” deep breath while tears begin to well, “my dad being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s back at Christmas time is still heavy on my heart, I’m mad at God and I struggle every day to remember to thank God that Dad is still around and can do projects and play with the kids, I didn’t loose him in a car accident or a fire (he was a firefighter for over 25yrs) but I’m fearful of the future because I can’t imagine life without him AND,” with a flood of tears mounting now (I never cry so now I’m getting mad that my Hubby hit the jackpot, so to speak and I’m sobbing which will inevitable give me an unwanted headache) “the baby is sleeping really well now, in her own room but even though it is good I miss her and I lose sleep over THAT!” Another gasp while I, I mean she 😉 winds up for the finale, “There are dust bunnies under the couch and that guy left a message for the third time about the clutch AND I haven’t had a shower so my hair is greasy and uncooperative!”
I think if it’s all the same, next time I will stick to “Nothing!” and save myself the headache.