Rest

This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it. Isaiah 30:15 NIV (Emphasis mine)

Lord, let it not be said of us that we would have none of it.

“In Rest” by Travis Cottrell

I’ve heard You in the thunder
I felt You in the rain
I’ve met You in the turmoil
I found You in the pain

But here in the stillness
When this moment, all is well
Here I’m prone to wonder
Hear my rebel tell

Cure my heart of chasing whirlwinds
Of needing earth to quake
Of wrestling made up angels
To keep myself away

There’s passion in the stillness
There’s fire in the cloud
There’s rest that brings a man to life
There’s a voice that whispers loud

O, bid my restless wandering heart
To find its pulse in You
In stillness know that You are God
In rest You make me new

The Lord Bless you with rest, with being still, and knowing that He alone is God.

Diana

Casting Our Eyes at JESUS

Have you ever gone to the Word, opening up the ancient text… looking for comfort, peace, hope, maybe some bravery for the day…

I woke up at 6am, grabbed my cup of coffee, and headed to the table with my Bible and journal under my arm. 6:05. Okay, I have exactly 55 minutes… before the children’s alarms begin to ring and the day begins for all of us. I opened the Word. I read… I went back and read the parts my mind began to wander in…

I pray. The time is ticking and too quickly 7am approaches. I’m not done, Lord. I don’t have what I need for the day. I’m confused about this portion of Scripture. The Old Testament and the New Testament seem to contradict here. I don’t trust you enough- right now for this day… and I’m not ready…

RING!!!!

RING!!!!

RING!!!

All

Three

Alarms.

Sometimes, we can go to the Scripture and come up dry with a big bowl of something we might call gruel. We were looking for bread, for light, for Jesus and we find we stirred up confusion, anxiety, our own doubts and fear. We can forget what we used to know… what we’ve learned before.

Some people stay away from Scripture, call it confusing, and choose to hold on to a few comforting verses… afraid to tread the waters of the ancient truth… afraid of what may be found on the pages, or maybe what is in their own hearts.

We can begin to question… maybe this raw Bible study is for the “professionals”.

I can relate. Quiet times like what I described tug at my heart to quit, to be faint, to sleep in and forget this seeking after Him. BUT the Scripture says, “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 were made through Him and without Him nothing was made that was made.  In Him was life and that life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, but the darkness did not comprehend itAnd the Word became flesh

and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory as of the only begotten of the Father,

full of grace and truth.” John 1:1-5 and 14

Jesus is synonymous with the WORD. The Scripture from beginning to end points to Jesus. Jesus shining on Earth, said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father”. Basically, He is saying, “Despite how I rock your religious world here… I and the I AM are ONE. I contradict nothing in the WORD because I am the WORD, holy, righteous, infallible, merciful, savior, GOD.”

His purpose was and is:

To show us the Father

To reconcile us to the Father

The Holy Scriptures, Dear Reader, are not meant to be a polite meal… but a HOLY Rocking OF OUR BOATS. You know the kind of rocking that reveals our neediness for Him- the kind that would make us lose our manners,our pride- feel our starving hearts, jump on knees and eat with our hands- both hands cupped fully aware that we need HIM for life… and grateful that He, The One True God, would have us come.

That without the Word, we would live starved, anemic lives… that our spirits would shrink.

The Holy Scriptures aren’t meant to do OUR will for the day… We don’t go through a drive through window called Scripture and order what we want, “Yes, I’d like some comfort, a side of hope and right thinking, a large drink of love. Thank you.” The study of the Holy Scriptures is about the relationship between a Father and His daughter, The Redeemer and His redeemed, , The King of Kings and His subject,The Great High Priest and you -prayer warrior in training, The Bridegroom and His beloved bride, whom He is preparing for His return.

Confusion is NOT from God, but Perseverance despite our circumstances and emotions IS.

And Dear Reader, don’t do this. Don’t think it is easy for the ones you might put on a pedestal. I am saying this to myself, too. Are you ever tempted to think Beth Moore just opens her Bible with no struggle? Do you think Ann Voskamp is better than you? God likes her more… Truth and grace just flow from her naturally?

May I remind us? He has no favorites. He picks you. No one is left out in Jesus. He doesn’t have favorites. He has intimates.

Are you and I willing to be His intimates? He is willing for us to be.

Dear Reader,

I have given into doubt and cowardice more times than I care to admit. I have given into my thinking to survive, just breathe… just hang on…in the midst of an inexplicable battle that taunts me with, “What’s wrong with me? Everything is fine and I am losing it. I should be okay. I should be grateful.” Anxiety spinning around me. Should, should, should… religious condemnation beating me down.

Casting my eyes at Jesus, over and over and over.

Those alarms were ringing and each one shut off one by one. I knew I had a few minutes before my children began to trickle in and before I had to go get the one, who would not trickle in. So, I stood up, quieted my mind and quoted truth. “Without faith it is impossible to please God”. Then I put my faith in Him. I asked Him to speak to my heart and I bent my 5 foot 1 inch self down and whispered, “I am getting up under your hand, doubts, anxieties, confusions and all. You want me to keep seeking You. You are for me not against me”.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” Jesus said this in Matthew 7:7

“Come all you who are weary and I will give you rest”. Jesus said this in Matthew 11:28

There is a way we can cast our eyes at Jesus, looking at Him, and never seeking Him; especially if we are religious. And Dear Reader, we are all religious. We are made to be worshipers and we will worship something, somewhere and we will do it religiously… even if it is our own anxieties and confusions. You know we can be just so darn used to being riled up, used to the chaos. We can have Jesus on our lips, crosses on our doors, Scriptures in our purses, scheduled Bible studies, Christian radio blaring, and all of it can add up to a sum of casted glances at Him without ever seeking Him. We can look over at Him with a heart full of anxiety and look away with a heart still full of anxiety.

To place our eyes in His direction does not equal our seeking Him.

Seeking Him is work. Seeking Him is faith in Him and refusing to put distance between us because He’s not responding the way I’d like. Seeking Him is taking that fear and doubt and laying it down at His feet and taking His strength, His armor in it’s place.

I knew a pastor, who used to describe being unsaved as swimming downstream and being saved as swimming upstream. Expect opposition was the clear message here.

Expect Work and Whatever it Takes.

Whatever it takes- like 5am cause 6 isn’t enough time for me. I know this about myself already.

Battle Mentality, Sisters.

It is a gift of Jesus to let us in on our confusions, our anxieties… our desperate condition… how needy we are for Him. It is a gift from Him not to let up on the disciplines He is building into our lives.

It is like an alarm that signals us to more, more time with Him. More time to listen, to read, to wrestle… to hear from our King. He’s talking, Dear Reader, and He is looking for listeners. And I know, the taunting. I know how it feels to want to believe you’ve made up His love for you. I know what it means to doubt, to fear, to think… have I made any progress on the inside?

May I remind you to remember where you came from? What was that miry pit He saved you from to set your feet on a rock? How has He been faithful to you over and over and over?

Dear Reader, I bless you with seeking your Father because

Your Father, who loves you is patient with you, kind to you. Your Father’s love is not rude, nor self- seeking, not easily angered, and keeps no record of wrongs. Your Father’s love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth. Your Father’s love always protects you, always hopes (believes the best about you), always perseveres and never gives up on you. Your Father’s love never fails. Taken from Prayer Portions by Sylvia Gunter from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

In Christ Alone,

Diana

P.S. He was faithful that day to carry my burdens and minister to me. Answers came to those confusions, peace calmed the storm, and Jesus was glorified in my heart and home. AND the alarm has been going off at 4:30 because He is NOT letting up on me. I praise Him for being a good Father!

P.S.S. And may I also encourage you that just because I get up at 4:30 doesn’t mean I am sitting there for two and a half hours just studying my Bible and praying in a seated position. It also means I get ready for the day, begin chores while meditating on the Scriptures I am memorizing, singing songs of praise to Him, and praying. It is just disciplined, quiet time in preparation for the day ahead and I personally know it is best for me to rise that early.

The Mud in My Hands

I wrote this in July of last year. After I hit publish… I had to make myself not go back and trash it. O to be vulnerable!… Someone very dear told me once, “Satan cannot take you out of Jesus’ hand, so he will try to take your seed”. Well, not in July and not today, not on my blog and not in my home…not taking my seed today. Trusting Him, Diana

Better Than Fairy Dust

I had two handfuls of mud to sling behind my back.

I wasn’t planning on doing any slinging, but I might need to, so I held on.

In front, I smiled and remembered. Behind, I held the mud remembering still.

I remembered the lies. The religion. The twists and turns that seemed unbelievable. The way “up front” was not part of that playing field. The way I felt so rejected, confused. The way I had watched my husband counsel and grieve in his own valley. I remembered the loneliness- the lack of the body. The realization that if I pretended and worked in the nursery and smiled, I could be “in”, but if I was me- getting freed by my King and giving back, then there were problems and not ones that wanted solutions, just problems to get rid of, to hide, to sweep under rugs.

Image, image, image ruled…

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A Peacock For My Girl

photopea

My girl asked me to paint a peacock. I said, “Yes!”. Then I painted this. She hugged me and said I was so good. I hugged her back. I was filled with joy and so was she. We hung it on her wall under a picture she painted. Then we hung another piece of her artwork next to them. We agreed that she had a little gallery of a wall. I assured her that if she didn’t like it, she could be honest with me. She assured me that she would tell me the truth. That was enough for me. My children are my art critics and if they like what I’ve created, I am pleased. My little peacock fails in comparison to the real deal, but this whole experience was filled with the real deal of Jesus, of joy, of peace, and of being human. Bless you with using your gifts to bless those around you and letting others bless you.

In Christ Alone,

Diana

P.S. For more on blessing others with your gifts, look here http://www.aholyexperience.com/2015/02/how-pursuing-your-gifts-impacts-your-kids/

The Altar

In Numbers chapter 7, the dedication of the altar is described.

Noah had built an altar and offered sacrifices on it upon exiting the ark.

Abraham had taken Isaac to bind him and sacrifice him at an altar. God had provided another sacrifice- a ram caught in the thicket by its horns.

These are just two examples.

And now, at this point in history, in Numbers 7- God has given instructions on the building of the tabernacle, including the altar. The people of Israel  have followed His directions and it is time to dedicate the altar.

A place of death. of blood.

From the first entrance of sin, God shows us this picture of blood: how sin causes death, the spilling of blood (the Truth) and how that blood would be payment for sin (the Grace). Bittersweet and Glorious. Humbling and Majestic.

Adam and Eve, covered in leaves, and God making the first sacrifice to cover them with skins… this is a picture of the gravity of sin and the gracious love of God. Satan had tried to steal their dignity. They took the bait. God took the bait away and gave them truth and grace, wrapping them up… His very self… He did it. He sacrificed the animal and covered them.

And isn’t that the point of ALL of Scripture?

His will, not mine.

His truth. His grace. His work, not mine.

All leading up to HIS BLOOD.

So, in Numbers… we are still at this point in history before His blood… let’s look together.

(My paraphrase): For twelve days, one tribe of Israel would bring an offering for the dedication of the altar. The offerings included items for use in the tabernacle, such as gold and silver plates and sprinkling bowls, incense, flour, and oils. The offering also included animals for sacrifice at the anointed altar.

Starting in verse 87 The total number of animals for the burnt offering came to twelve young bulls, twelve rams, and twelve male lambs a year old, together with their grain offering. Twelve male goats were used for the sin offering. The total number of animals of the fellowship offering came to twenty four oxen, sixty rams, sixty male goats, and sixty male lambs a year old. These were the offerings for the dedication of the temple.

Lots of blood equaling Loads of Truth and Grace.

Repentance here painted in this picture from history

preparing repentance for us here and now-

 We, who live After Jesus, After His blood spilled.

Not as much blood at Calvary’s Cross, but the most precious, most valuable.

The ONLY blood that could fulfill the penalty for good.

The innocent animals killed could only give us a glimpse into the weightiness of sin, the cost.

The innocent JESUS killed.

That.

Where Love Stopped Drawing the Picture and WAS IN the Picture in the Most Profound Way:

In Pain.

For, you, Dear Reader, and for me.

The greatest compassion we can give each other is the Gospel.

The Gospel of Repentance, the only Good News there is.

Giving each other the Gospel means pointing each other over and over and over again to the covenant of blood, the covering of Jesus: His life in exchange for mine.

My sin payed by my greatest love for the purpose of reconciling me to my Heavenly Father and giving me life… my spirit married to His.

If He would bear our sin and spill His blood, is there anything He would NOT give of Himself for us? Is there any problem TOO great for Him? Let’s meditate on Him and stir up the faith in our spirits.

Jesus gives me:

His strength……………………………………………………….for my weakness

His peace………………………………………………………………for my anxiety

His purity………………………………………………………………..for my shame

His truth……………………………………………………………for my confusions

His grace…………………………………………………………..for my judgement

His purposes………………………………………………………….for my striving

His love………………………………………………..for my selfish, needy heart

Paul, all consumed with wanting more and more of Christ, gives us this urging in Romans 12:1

I urge you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.

Another altar… without a specific location… for us… anytime, anywhere because Jesus tore the curtain making us: the people after the Cross- AFTER THE CROSS historically and AFTER THE CROSS as in that is what we are after… Taking up our cross daily… leaving all our sicknesses, manipulations, our striving to be good on it… CRUCIFIED…and instead resting in His goodness… which leaves us free to BE. to laugh. to be human and make mistakes. to walk blamelessly, to confess our sin quickly, to boldness because fear of man hangs from that cross as well. Free to let other people be… loving without strings attached… because our insecurity is being crucified there on that cross, too.

Bless you with the Cross today. Bless you, Dear Believer, with resting in the finished work done for you there. And bless you with being you all wrapped up in Jesus today.

And you. Who may not believe? Bless you. If you read this far, you did so for some reason. Bless you with the peace of the cross, the privilege of laying down all your burdens and being cleansed by Jesus.

In Christ Alone,

Diana

And…I am giving away this book:

photogive

Because it is such a clear representation of the Gospel and salvation. The kids and I loved it and I want to share it.  So… if you would like a copy, become an e-mail follower of the blog… that way I can communicate with you about where to send the book. If you already follow, comment on this post. I’ll send two books out, so we’ll see… I’ll draw if I need to.  Bless you!

The Feelings on Our Shoulders in a Wand Worshiping World

I wrote this on June 26, 2014… May I say I really like this? I love the truth and grace of God and I love writing about it. This one is about Namaan.

Better Than Fairy Dust

“Why won’t He take it away?”

Probably words cried by every person who has tried their hand at prayer, at believing in a power greater than themselves in the midst of an unwanted situation, struggle, heart break. Even all the atheists have prayed for relief, a fix, a cure. We’ve all  tried our hand at bargaining with God and agreeing to believe, to do better if He would just wave a wand over our heads.

Naaman, who wanted a wave of a hand- a wand, was a commander of the army of the king of Aram. The king of Aram worshipped a god named Rimmon. We know Naaman accompanied him to the temple of Rimmon for he tells us so later in the story.

Certainly he had most likely, desperately asked Rimmon to take his leprosy. Yes, Naaman had leprosy. Although life had seemingly been good to Naaman, he…

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Moving, Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, and How Jesus Holds Us Right By His Heart

We have moved. Out into the middle of nowhere. Cause we’ve had chickens for five years…

photo chick1

and if you’ve seen the video about what happens to people, who get chickens, then you’ll know what happened. You’ll know why we have a few acres and there’s twenty- four baby chicks out in building #4. You’ll know why twenty-five more are on their way. You’ll know something else, too, you will know why the barn-like building #2 stirs up talk about a dairy cow, hay, fences, and manure for the garden.

Here’s the video if you want to see it:

Yes. That’s us.

Right out here.

We’ve settled into our homeschooling. Our reading, our writing, and arithmetic… with a helping of hens, chicks, and garden plans on the side.

I had said I would write about marriage the entire month of December and on into January… BUT I was barely clickin’ these keys…preparing for Christmas, wrapping up school, and preparing to move which included losing books on marriage I was supposed to be reading. So I decided to reblog all thirty (give or take a few) posts from my first year to have a blog. I’m taking a break from that with this post.

And while my kids do fractions, decimals, and geometry… I checked and checked (shame on me) the likes on facebook for my reblogged posts along with the stats on my wordpress page… and my arithmetic lesson wasn’t making me happy. I think… mean things towards myself and all my failures, shortcomings… plant themselves in my mind… in vain imaginations about how I shouldn’t blog. How I’m like one of those people on American Idol, who think they can sing, but sadly they are so off key it’s hard not to laugh. How I must have made up hearing the Lord, surely He doesn’t want  me to write. You know, come to think of it, I’m not good at anything and I don’t have any friends. A little extreme, don’t ya think?

But, when I started to write this blog, I really did NOT start for numbers. Actually one of my pet peeves is making numbers more important than people. I just really like to write. I love to talk. I love to read. And Above All, I LOVE MY LORD, JESUS. He was the one, who encouraged me- to be me… not for the approval of man, but because I had His approval… because I was all wrapped up in Him… because I am saved, blood-bought…

To trust Him, not myself.

Because I could shine for Him because of Him and by Him.

And so I write. Did I mention that I like to write?

Did I mention my Creator made me and He likes me?

And if He likes me, guess what? He likes you. Little ‘ol you. Little ‘ol me. I like to know that He likes me, don’t you? And to know He likes you? That helps me too… cause His main gift to us is: love and I have this crazy, human tendency to compare, to compete…to put myself above or below other people. He has called me to neither, but rather to love. He has called me to think of myself with sober judgement. (Romans 12)

Do you ever need some fresh sober judgement?  I am needy for some daily.

Self comes talkin’ loudly packed full of lies and extreme thinking.

Moment by moment, believers, let’s head back to Jesus…listening to Him, to His words, meditating on Him, the Father, and the Spirit. Then our perspective and motive is making Him known and forgetting ourselves… not so eager to get affirmation, approval from man.

And here is what Jesus gave me and how He brings me to my senses:

Exodus 28 describes the priestly garments for the high priests: Aaron and his sons. We will focus on the breastplate and God’s instructions on how to make it. Then we will look at it’s significance made fully evident in JESUS.

Verses 15- 21

Fashion a breastpiece for making decisions—the work of skilled hands. Make it like the ephod: of gold, and of blue, purple and scarlet yarn, and of finely twisted linen.  It is to be square—a span long and a span wide—and folded double.  Then mount four rows of precious stones on it. The first row shall be carnelian, chrysolite and beryl; the second row shall be turquoise, lapis lazuli and emerald;  the third row shall be jacinth, agate and amethyst;  the fourth row shall be topaz, onyx and jasper. Mount them in gold filigree settings. There are to be twelve stones, one for each of the names of the sons of Israel, each engraved like a seal with the name of one of the twelve tribes.

And Verse 29

 “Whenever Aaron enters the Holy Place, he will bear the names of the sons of Israel over his heart on the breast piece of decision as a continuing memorial before the Lord. 

The Matthew Henry Commentary on these verses:

In this breast-plate  I. The tribes of Israel were recommended to God’s favour in twelve precious stones, Exod. 28:17-21, 29. … Aaron was to bear their names for a memorial before the Lord continually, being ordained for men, to represent them in things pertaining to God, herein typifying our great high priest, who always appears in the presence of God for us. 1. Though the people were forbidden to come near, and obliged to keep their distance, yet by the high priest, who had their names on his breast-plate, they entered into the holiest; so believers, even while they are here on this earth, not only enter into the holiest, but by faith are made to sit with Christ in heavenly places, Eph. 2:6. 2. The name of each tribe was engraven in a precious stone, to signify how precious, in God’s sight, believers are, and how honourable, Isa. 43:4. They shall be his in the day he makes up his jewels, Mal. 3:17. How small and poor soever the tribe was, it was a precious stone in the breast-plate of the high priest; thus are all the saints dear to Christ, and his delight is in them as the excellent ones of the earth, however men may esteem them as earthen pitchers, Lam. 4:2. 3. The high priest had the names of the tribes both on his shoulders and on his breast, intimating both the power and the love with which our Lord Jesus intercedes for those that are his. He not only bears them up upon his heart, as the expression here is (Exod. 28:29), carries them in his bosom (Isa. 40:11), with the most tender affection. How near should Christ’s name be to our hearts, since he is pleased to lay our names so near his! and what a comfort it is to us, in all our addresses to God, that the great high priest of our profession has the names of all his Israel upon his breast before the Lord for a memorial, presenting them to God as the people of his choice, who were to be made accepted in the beloved! Let not any good Christians fear that God has forgotten them, nor question his being mindful of them upon all occasions, when they are not only engraven upon the palms of his hands (Isa. 49:16), but engraven upon the heart of the great intercessor. See Song 8:6.

And this.

Beloved Reader.

So, I’m tending to children, to chicks, to school, to home… waiting on my man to get home… and I’m clickin’ these keys.

Cause, I like to write. And hope is all welled up in my heart to know, to know, to know… that I am carried close to my Master’s chest and as long as my fingers can click, my mouth can speak, and my lungs have breath… may I stand. for my Jesus and be. and be, yes and be His servant honoring His voice above all the rest. May I not get all turned inward and selfish, but give freely without any strings attached.

To the Kingdom!

To the Restoration!

Bless you with standing because Hope Stands and shines for Jesus because the hope is that you are seated by your Great High Priest in the heavenlies. And Hope Stands because you are held right by His heart, right by His heart! So, when Jesus intercedes for you, He doesn’t point at you…over there… He points to you right by His Heart, a jewel.  Bless your soul with that peace today… no matter the arithmetic… because He is faithful to produce fruit in His children. And dear reader, remember this: When you slay lies with truth and grace… You walk with Jesus… all filled with the Spirit, there is ALWAYS fruit in the Spirit.

Diana

P.S.

Next post has a drawing for a free book with three winners! Because another way to slaughter self-defeat is to give to others. Look for details!