Silver Treasures

Unexpected treasures are my favorite. A gift. As I worked on week five of the study in Joshua, I was cross referenced to Malachi 3. No, I’m not talking about money. I don’t think we ever hear a sermon in Malachi that isn’t about money and tithing. Except maybe, the refiner’s fire.

 In chapter 2, God talks to the corrupt priests. He tells them, “..the lips of a priest should keep knowledge, and people should seek the law from his mouth; For he is a messenger of the LORD of hosts. But you have departed from the way; You have caused many to stumble at the law. You have corrupted the covenant of Levi..” Malachi 2:7-8.

The study I was writing for the day was about being a priest, a minister of God, but I discovered some interesting nuggets of…silver and I’d like to share them with you and encourage you today. I looked up the process of refining silver and this is what I found:
The black type is the instructions, but I’ve highlighted important pieces and commented in red.

How to Refine Silver |

 1  Put 150 ml of nitric acid for every ounce of silver you have in each bucket. Do not overload the bucket since it could overflow. You will need about two to three times more room than the amount of silver in the bucket. You will see the reaction of bubbling and fuming which can take at least 30 minutes.  

We are in good hands. Hands that know not to overload us. When Jesus plans to refine us, He makes plenty of room to do it. He’s meticulous. The bucket is like His hands. When He begins the refining process, He knows we’re going to react to what He allows and uses in our lives. It will bubble and fume. Have you ever fumed or felt a nervous bubbling inside when you’re being refined? 1 Peter 4:12 says, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you; but rejoice…” Rejoice, Jesus, never lets us bubble or fume ourselves out of His hands!

Once this stops you can move onto the next step. Stop fighting Him, accept what is happening, and let Him do what He needs to do in order to purify you!

  2
Take the acid and the dissolved silver and pour it into another bucket. Don’t allow solid pieces to be poured with the silver and acid since it will contaminate the silver. Jesus sets us apart; as a refiner, He removes anything from our lives that wants to contaminate us.            1 Thessalonians 5:23 says, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
From here, you will add an ounce of silver precipitant crystals or SAC to every 40 ounces of dissolved silver. This will develop silver that will sink to the bottom of the acid. Give 30 minutes or more. Then pour out the acid. Neutralize and dispose of the acid by filtering it
making sure that no particles of silver are lost. Matthew 18:11 says, “For the Son of   Man has come to save that which was lost.”
John 10:28-29 says, “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.”

  3

Wash the silver thoroughly.The refiner will not fail to wash you. Thoroughly. Inside out. “…that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word. Ephesians 5:26.
 “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin”.        Psalm 51:2.

You want to rinse off any acid remaining on the silver. Then add about three or four drops of aqua ammonia which will appear blue if there’s traces of acid left. The Refiner is always testing and making sure that there is no acid left in His creation. “…for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul.” Dt. 13:3.

If so, then continue rinsing and reapply the ammonia.What encouraging words! “If so…then continue rinsing”! Not throw it away because it’s worthless and can never be a beautiful treasure worth something. He never gives up. “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.” 2 Timothy 2:13.
He continues to purify us, refine us, and sanctify us. He’s patient. “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.” 2 Peter 3:9
 Do not add too much ammonia since it could damage the silver. He never damages us. He’s careful. Lamentations 3:33, “For He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.” The word “afflict” in Hebrew is “anah” and it means to browbeat or mishandle. The word “willingly” in Hebrew is “leb” and it means inner man, heart, mind.
In essence He’s saying, “I discipline those I love, but I will never mishandle your heart. You can trust me. I’ll never damage you.” So many of us have been damaged in some way or another in our lives. We’ve given our hearts, only to have them crushed—abused. But Jesus will NEVER hurt us, even when life feels like He might be. He never adds too much, because He’s making a treasures!
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.1 Corinthians 10:13 Then dry.

  4

Use baking soda along with karo pancake syrup, salt, water All of these are cleansing and purifying agents. Covenants were made with salt in the OT. Baking soda is used to neutralize acid (which we’ll compare to sin) The Holy Spirit acts as a neutralizing agent. John 16:7-9. Salt gives seasoning.  Mark 9:49-50;Colossians 4:6, and water cleanses. and Red Devil drain cleaner  Even the devil is allowed to sift us, but God always gives the limits! Job 2:6;         Luke 22:31-32.

in order to use a different process of refining silver. It is basically the same procedures with the nitric acid but this way may be easier to not lose any silver particles. You will begin by dissolving the silver with acid in the plastic bucket. Add salt to acid until white clumps stop appearing in the acid. Then pour off the acid into another bucket.

  5

Add baking soda to the acid. Add about two tablespoons of baking soda which will neutralize it. Then filter the white precipitants that the salt had formed which is pure silver chloride. Rinse the silver with water. Then add the Red Devil drain cleaner to the silver chloride until it turns black. Rinse with water again.Again, He works diligently until we become what He expects us to be.  Then add karo syrup until the particles turn silver. This will result in refined silver. Be sure to rinse and make it clean of any extra chemicals left on it.

My favorite part of refining silver is how the Refiner knows for sure it’s done. When he can see his reflection in it.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” II Corinthians 3:18

“Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.”          2 Timothy 2:21
What have you been studying? Share a nugget!

I’m a Gold Digger: Treasures From the Book of Joshua


Yep, you read the title correctly. I’m a gold digger. I’m proud of it. I need the T-Shirt.

But I almost wasn’t.

I’m still writing my study in the book of Joshua. I’m at the point where it records his conquests. I wrote out the lesson, then had about a paragraph left before starting a new chapter. I skipped the last paragraph and started reading the new chapter when the Lord said, “You missed a few lines. Go back.” So I did.

Go back with me if you will, to Joshua 11:16-23. I want to focus on verse 21. I need to take you on a journey, that goes back to Numbers 13:16-33. It’s a journey of a young man, named Joshua. Son of Nun. (That is not a play on words or a typo. Nun does not = None.)


Joshua and eleven other men are commanded by Moses to go spy out their Promised Land. Eagerly, they take off on their mission, but when they come back only two of them (Joshua and Caleb–who was forty at the time) wanted to go in and possess the land. They trusted God. They believed. Faith was a road sign on their journey to their promise.

But the ten other spies were afraid and they put fear into the hearts of the people with their response, “We are not able to go up against the people for they are stronger than we…There were giants (the descendants of Anak came from the giants); and we were like grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight.” Numbers 13:31-33.

Because of their lack of faith, God sentenced them to forty years in the wilderness. All the men able to go to war would die and because God is faithful, even when we are not, He would allow the second generation of children to enter the land plus Joshua and Caleb. Numbers 14:26-35.

Fast forward to Joshua 11:21-22. “And at that time, Joshua came and cut off the Anakim, from the mountains…None of the Anakim wer left in the land of the children of Israel…” Joshua, wasn’t playing around. He was finally getting to do what he wanted forty-five years earlier. (Forty years in the wilderness and five years of war to slay all the kings who had come against him. Joshua 11:18 and Joshua 14:10.)


Those are the facts.
What was the story?
 I wonder what it was like for Joshua and Caleb all those years in the wilderness. Late at night, did Joshua weep alone in his tent for the promise he knew was his and yet couldn’t touch. Did those years creep by, one heat filled day at a time?

Young Joshua begged–pleaded for the people to have faith and go in to take the land. So much, they wanted to stone him and Caleb. “But it’s ours! We can do this! God has given us this great promise!”

And then the sentencing. The righteous were sandwiched in between the wicked. They had to wait. A blessing was coming. But not for forty more dry, dusty filled years later. “God, this wasn’t my fault! I wanted to go. It’s just not fair that I should wait too.”

Joshua learned under Moses’ tutelage. He became skilled at leading, military strategy…and how to honor and obey God. Even if his nights may have been spent fighting bitterness towards those who had been disobedient and wicked.

Then forty years were up. It was time for Joshua to do what he’d wanted to do so many years ago, with Caleb–now eighty-five but strong. Picture them, sweaty and exhausted from war–yet never falling back. Pressing on. The last giant falls with a thud and only the dust rises. The men of the second generation shout in victory, but Joshua falls to his face in the sand and weeps. Caleb takes his place on the ground next to him.

“Why are you weeping? We should be dancing! Singing! Celebrating!” The army yelled and then stood dumbfounded.

They were dancing–in their hearts. They were singing–in their spirits They were celebrating–through tears. Tears that came from a long, arduous journey. At last. Joshua proved, those giants couldn’t stop the work of the Almighty God.

Caleb clasps his hand, pulls Joshua to his feet and says, “I am now eighty-five. I’ve waited forty five years for this. Yet I am not weak. God has made me as strong now as I was then. Now. Give. Me. My. Mountain.”

And Joshua blessed him and gave him Hebron formerly known as Kirjath Arba (Arba was the greatest man among the Anakim). Was.

How long have you been waiting for a promise? What are you doing while you wait? Life isn’t fair. Sometimes we feel stuck. Wandering. But your mountain is your mountain. God isn’t taking it away from you.

Tell your giants, “I’m. Coming. For. You. Give. Me. My. Mountain.”


What are you studying? Share a few golden nuggets!

Amazing & Unfathomable Part 3

The Way of a Ship on the High Seas

“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand; the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock,
       the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.”

 Proverbs 30:18-19

The question is what is so amazing about a ship on the high seas and why does Agur (the author of this passage) use the word “high” seas and not just “the sea”?  Obviously, there is something more…

Let’s look at the definition of “high seas” first. 

High seas is defined as open; unenclosed waters of any sea or ocean.

A ship in Agur’s time would be made simply out of wood.  It would be built to get where it needed to go only.  Now days when we think of a ship we think of something wonderful and grand with lots of decks and luxury galore, but not in the Old Testament days. 

Even the Egyptians in all of their technology at the time couldn’t create a ship that was beautiful and built simply for luxury…no, ships were made common.

They were built for a destination. They were made to be efficient.

I think Agur was alluding to faith. What does faith have to do with a ship in the ocean? Let’s imagine for a moment!

Let’s go back and look at the Mayflower, a ship that set sail for a new life. A new beginning.

The Mayflower sailed on the high seas (unenclosed water) for two months and many things happened on that voyage.  According to historical documents and journals, the first part of that voyage was smooth, maybe because they could see the land. That might’ve brought some comfort for awhile, but then the wind and the weather changed and huge storms began to overwhelm the passengers; it caused leaks in the ships which in turn caused many of them to become cold and damp. 

In fact, during one storm, the main beam cracked and some of the passengers and crew wondered if the ship was strong enough to make it, but the ship’s Master and the carpenter who built the ship knew that the it was capable of making the journey regardless of the damages inflicted.

Again, what does all this have to do with faith?

We’ve been built like a common ship, with a destination. But it takes getting out on the high seas to arrive where we’ve been built to go.  Those open waters can be frightening. We lose all human security when we lose sight of the land, but II Corinthians 5:7 says, we live by faith not by sight!  We don’t need the false security, we’ve been given one navigation tool…the Word of God!  When we keep that open allowing it to give us our coordinates we don’t need anything else!

Will storms come?  Will we be tossed and bumped around?  Will we be crushed, hard pressed, and struck down? 

Sure…but the Master and the Carpenter who built us know they’ve done an excellent job and that we are strong enough to make it all the way. We’ve been equipped with everything we need.  We’ve been blessed with every spiritual blessing!

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” 2 Corinthians 4: 8-10
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

When we turn our eyes to Jesus the Author and Finisher of our faith we can endure any storm, any tossing of the open waters!  If He’s the Author then He wrote it, if He’s the Finisher then we aren’t left to float around with nowhere to go, it means He brings what He wrote for us to pass! Beginning and End! Alpha and Omega! 

Oh yes, you have a destination, your course has been set!  He’s built you for a purpose! He’s carved you out of common wood to do uncommon things!  His thoughts to you are countless! He longs to lead you out past the land that keeps you dry and take away everything that holds your attention other than Him!

The waters are open; unenclosed but not uncharted! No, He’s been there before…all the waters we cross, all the storms we encounter, He’s experienced it and defeated it all on the cross!

By faith let Him lead you where He wants you to go. Stop looking at what you cannot see and look to Him Who has seen it all before! Sail the mighty waters by faith made possible through Jesus Christ! It’s Amazing and Unfathomable.

Amazing & Unfathomable Part 2

The way of a snake on a rock…

“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” Proverbs 30:18-19

The young woman had been running on her usual route. She was tired as she panted but pressed on the last half mile. She looked up ahead to see the forest she had to pass each morning. She noticed something beaming from deep within the dense and dark trees. 
Generally, she would pick up her pace when she came to the small wooded area.  It was eerie and quiet and sometimes she could feel the hair stand up on the back of her neck leaving her with slight shudders, but this day something drew her. 
She brought her full run down to a walk—her lungs burning as she entered the woods.  A small whisper told her not to go, but what was near finger’s reach was beckoning her.  She reacted to the stunning shimmer with an exhilarating gasp. Her heartbeat that had evened out began to sprint again as her stomach began to twist and turn in anticipation of actually touching the beauty that lay only a few feet away.  She still couldn’t make out what it was, but it was magnetic.  Glimmering.  Beautiful.
Curiously she bent down to pick up and cradle the beauty that had pulled her off the path; it hissed and plunged its fangs deep into her heart before she could turn back.
This beautiful light had only been masquerading as such, for what had hold of her heart was nothing more than a venomous snake.  She cried out in shock and terror. She couldn’t release this thing that she had thought was so breathtaking from her body. 
She wrestled with it for what seemed like hours. Days. Years.
 What could possibly tear this wretched serpent from her?  She began to weep and in despair, she slowly made her way home, carrying this deceiving culprit along with her for the duration.
Did you know that the Hebrew word for snake is Nachash?  It not only means snake or serpent but it also means “shining one”.  We always represent the snake with sin, as the devil came to Eve as a serpent, or snake, in the garden and deceived her.  In 2 Corinthians he, the devil, masquerades as an “angel of light”. 
Sin comes to us as false light.  It seems beautiful and wonderful, we long to touch it and hold it. It calls us off the path we’ve been on only to plunge deep into our hearts. Only then do we see it for what it really is.  It brings pain, despair, and much heartache. 
So what is the “way of a snake on a rock” and why is it amazing and unfathomable? 
If we deduct that the snake is a representation of sin, then we must see that the rock is the representation of…Jesus! Psalm 19:14 says, “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

 1 Corinthians 10:4 says,”… for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.”

In the Old Testament the Israelites were bitten by venomous snakes and then a serpent was formed from Bronze and fashioned on a pole for those who were infected and dying to gaze into. (You’ll see this sign attributed to the medical profession) As they did, they were healed. This is a beautiful picture of Jesus Christ our Rock and Healer becoming the snake that bit us to heal us of sin and disease. You can read about this in Numbers 21.
When Christ, the Rock, allowed Himself to be hammered onto the cross out of His passionate and relentless love for us, He became sin so that we could be free from it through Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”
He literally had to experience the loneliness and abandonment that sin produces, except that in His case, it was not His sin – it was ours. Yet He willingly, obediently did it, so that we could live—truly live and be free.  There is a way to remove the fangs of sin in our lives and it’s through the Rock who was lifted up for us! 
“He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.” 1 Peter 2:24
Sin comes to us, calling us, looking like light, but it only masquerades.  We must be alert and paying attention to the Spirit to prevent us from going into the “woods” and touching the “light”.
The real light is the Light of the world and that is Jesus…our Rock, who paid a price so we wouldn’t have to. Who became sin for us! That is amazing and unfathomable.

Amazing and Unfathomable Part 1

“There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:  the way of an eagle in the sky, the way of a snake on a rock, the way of a ship on the high seas, and the way of a man with a maiden.” Proverbs 30:18-19

This particular proverb was written by Agur, the son of Jakeh.  Other than this we know nothing else about him.  I find it interesting that the four things he finds amazing and cannot understand are a bird, a snake, a ship, and a man and woman.  Of all the things to be amazed by he chooses these four.  Why? What exactly does this mean?  Is it symbolic of something else?  I believe it is—something that when really pondered is beyond wonderful and amazing and truly unfathomable!

Let’s look at “the way of an eagle in the sky” today.
To understand the meaning we have to study the creature known as the eagle and how it flies. An interesting fact about baby eagles is after they are born they will attach to whatever gives them attention. 

This is called imprinting.  (this has nothing to do with Twilight…just sayin)

The eagle will mimic its mother and of course when it is time to fly the mother has a way of teaching that no other animal or human can; in fact if an eagle is born in captivity it will attach or imprint to the human caregiver.  This can be dangerous for the baby eagle when it does come time to fly.

When we are born again it is important to attach to the right Caregiver, Jesus! Just like the mama eagle gave life to the baby eagle, our Savior gives us new life.  If we mimic or imprint to other things it can be just as disastrous and dangerous for us.  Ephesians 5:1 says to be imitators of God as dearly loved children.

When we think of eagles in flight we automatically see them soaring.  It also reminds us of the famous verse in Isaiah 40:31 “but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings as eagles.  They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”

The reason we picture eagles soaring is because that is exactly what they do. 

They were CREATED for it! 

The wing span of an eagle is about five feet in length and even though their bones are hollow inside the wings, the multi layers of feathers cause a severe heaviness which makes continual flapping very WEARY for the eagle. You may think feathers are light, but 7,000 of them accumulate some weight, especially when about 7 feathers are the equal weight of a penny!
So how do eagles keep from flapping those wings and becoming tired? How exactly can they soar?  How do they fly miles and miles without ever flapping a wing?
Would God make a creature so wonderfully just to see them fail at what they were made to do? 
Of course not! He made a way for them to soar! 

They find something called thermals to fly in. Thermals are currents of warm air and updrafts generated by terrain, such as valley edges or mountain slopes.

Catch this! Not only do the mountains generate updrafts for the eagle to keep going, but even in the valleys they are there to lift the eagle up and out. Soaring IS possible even in the valleys!
When we stretch out our “wings” in surrender to God and place our hope in Him, His grace and mercy become our thermals or updrafts for us to soar out of valleys.  It is because of His grace and mercy that we don’t have to try and flap our own way out.

He made a way for us to soar in this broken world.  He made a way through Jesus Christ!  He wants us to fly and to be free! Whether on the mountains or in the valleys of our life He sustains us!

Let’s remember this holiday season, as we celebrate the birth of our Lord, that we soar because of Jesus Christ and that is amazing and unfathomable!
Part 2, “the way of a snake on a rock.”