But Who?

Imagine with me, John the Revelator. Exiled to a
rocky island called Patmos. Imagine him sitting one day, staring off into the
distance and longing for home, for eternity, for Christ. And in an instant he’s
taken up to heaven in a vision…
“I saw a scroll in the right hand of the One
Seated on the Throne. It was written on both sides, fastened with seven seals.
I also saw a powerful Angel, calling out in a voice like thunder, “Is there
anyone who can open the scroll, who can break its seals?”
There was no one—no one in Heaven, no one on
earth, no one from the underworld—able to break open the scroll and read it.
I wept
and wept and wept that no one was found able to open the scroll, able to read
it.” Revelation 5:1-5 MSG
Can’t you feel is his angst as he weeps. Who can
fulfill God’s plan in history? Who is worthy to do it? No one. No one can
accomplish what is written in these scrolls. The utter doom slides 
into your
stomach like an icy ball.
But then…
“One of the Elders said, “Don’t weep. Look—the
Lion from Tribe Judah, the Root of David’s Tree, has conquered. He can open the
scroll, can rip through the seven seals.” Revelation 5:5

A lion!
A conqueror!
John must envision a mighty warrior with a
frightening roar, sharp teeth, a powerful king. 
Aggressive. Coming with force.
Slowly, tears running from his cheeks, he raises
his head to see this Lion.
“So I
looked, and there, surrounded by Throne, The Living Creatures, and Elders, was
a Lamb, slaughtered but standing tall.” Revelation 5:6
Not a lion.
A lamb as though it had been slain.
Without a roar. Without sharp teeth.
He came as sacrificial love. In mercy. In grace.
A lamb! A lamb!
But he is powerful. He is mighty! He is standing tall!
“He came to the One Seated on the Throne and
took the scroll from his right hand. The moment he took the scroll, the Four Living
Creatures, and Twenty-four Elders fell down and worshiped the Lamb.” Revelation
And all sang around the throne!
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain ; To receive
power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Revelation
“Blessing and honor and glory and power be to
Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, forever and ever!” Revelation 5:13




What is just one name you’ve experienced Christ as? 

Photocredit: freedigitalphotos/ponsulak


If you can’t something nice…

…pray. Nope it’s not, “don’t say anything at all.” You need to say something. To God. And not in the context of, “God, please keep them away from me before I kill them! Please don’t let me have to work with them, minister with them or quite frankly, see them!”

This Wednesday, we’re going to look at what this verse means and how it applies to our actions and our prayer life and why it’s so important for us to bless those who may not bless us so much. 

This video below gives us a hint at our lesson. I kept today’s post short so you can pause for just a teeny tiny minute and let the words minister to you, focus you and give you an opportunity to worship our great God! Take it! 🙂 

Tomorrow my daughter will be fifteen! FIFTEEN! Leaner’s permit. Gulp! Pray for me, please. 🙂

Have you ever felt persecuted? May not have to do for Christ’s sake, but in general? How did you handle it? 

It Takes Courage to…


…to pray at all times. And it takes faith like a child. 

We’re going to unpack this verse in depth on Wednesday as we continue our series in humility based on Romans 12:9-21. Join me and isn’t this the sweetest picture you’ve ever seen? Feel free to pin it on your Pinterest page.

But now, take a few minutes to worship before moving on to your next blog post. The song gives us a hint into the lesson. Keep it classy i.e. humble!

What else does it take courage and childlike faith to do? 

How to Keep It Humble: Part 1

If you’re as old as
I am and have ever been to church camp, I bet you know this song: Humble
yourself in the side of the Lord, and He will lift you up, higher and higher…
It’s scripture, of
course. Sung in a round by the campfire. I now have a sudden urge to slap at
At the moment, I’m
working through a study on the life of David–written by Beth Moore.
Yesterday’s lesson had to do with pride. Beth asked a question, (like how I’m
on first name basis with the woman?)
 “What can you do to stay humble before
the Lord?”
I think it’s a fair
assessment to say that we all battle with pride. It comes in many forms. I also
think it’s fair to say that leaders, teachers, anyone with a position may
struggle even more so.
So how do we stay
humble? The truth is, too-big-for-the-britches thoughts are going to invade our
minds. Accolades and pats on the back for stellar performances are going to
rise like delicious tingles on our skin. No one can escape them. Not me. Not
After reading that
question, I decided to prowl the Word for practical applications. I’d be
willing to guess, they’ll be beneficial to you as well. So I’m going to roll
out a series on How to Stay Humble.
let’s look at 1 Peter 5: 5-11.
How to stay humble
before the Lord:
Let’s look at our
main text first.
humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due
time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”
humbles us?
We do.  It won’t come automatically when we accept
Christ as our Savior. It’s a daily process, sometimes minute by minute.
It will come under
the mighty hand of the Lord. Not above. Not beside as in partnership–there are
things the Lord partners with us in. But when it comes to knowing our place…
below. He’s above.
This passage in
Peter is about submission. And boy isn’t being submissive difficult! We live in
a world where we have the opportunity to be our own gods. We live in a
democracy. We have the right to vote, the right to an opinion, the right to
decide, the right to speak freely regardless of what it is that spews out. We
have more outlets to voice and present our rights than ever before.
Yes, our bodies live in a democracy. But if you are a
child of God, your heart resides in a Monarchy. A place where you bow
before your Majesty, and serve Him. A place where you can freely share your
thoughts, but at the end of the day–His will stands. And it is always right.
Always fair. Even when your fleshly tent that dwells in the land of democracy
says, “That is not fair! I. I. I. I.”
The second half of
that verse is typically quoted on its own in relation to giving your anxieties
and issues to God because He loves you. That is true. But it is tied to
humbling yourself.
Because when we do anything less than give what we
can’t control or even things we can to ourselves and not God–it’s exalting
ourselves. It’s pride. Jesus shoulders our cares. When we try to take
that from Him, we come out from under His mighty hand and lift up ourselves.
We fret about jobs,
finances, dreams, sickness, global warming, war, government offices, our kids,
choices, insert worry or anxiety here ______________.
But if we put it in
the mighty hand who has control. Peace. Mercy. Grace. Love. Perfect will for
our lives, we are humbling ourselves. We are acknowledging who is King and who
is not. We are bowing in submissiveness. When we do this, God will lift us up–in
due time. Not necessarily our time because it’s not about us. It’s about Him
and His glory.
Why do we do this?
Let’s skip up a verse. The word “therefore” links this scripture with
the one above.
1 Peter 5:5 (We’re
moving backwards.)
“God resists
the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” (This is not saving grace.
Humbleness is not a requirement of salvation. It’s a free gift of grace.)
 I do not want God opposing me and that is what
that word “resists” means. If I don’t submit, He’ll make sure
eventually I do–one way or another. Generally, it isn’t pleasant. 🙂 I’d
rather grasp it now and humble myself with the help of the Holy Spirit. What
about you?
I think it would be
wise to “therefore humble yourselves under…”
Let’s see the
context in which Peter is sharing this verse. “Likewise, you younger
people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one
another, and be clothed with humility, for…”
“God resists
the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
That word
“submit” in the Hebrew means “to arrange under, to obey, to
yield to one’s admonition or advice.”
Peter is talking
about submission in this passage. He even gives elders their does of medicine
to humble them. 1 Peter 5:1-4 “Shepherd the flock…not for dishonest gain
but eagerly, not as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples
to the flock…”
Wise people seek
good counsel. Foolish people think they know it all. The proud believe they
have all the answers. The humble know they need godly advice and direction.
If you can’t even
submit to godly authority, how will you submit to God? I challenge you to
really think about that. “I do what God says, but no person is going to
tell me what to do.” Is that doing what God says based on this verse?
Could there be a root of pride?
To writers: Do we
really think we can write a book all by ourselves, never seeking other writers
who are godly and wise and can offer suggestions, ideas, and help? Does it make
it less of our book? Does it mean we don’t get all the glory because the plot
twist actually came from someone else? Could I suggest if you’re seeking all
the glory, you have a pride issue to begin with? Let us examine ourselves.
Not just writers.
All of us. Whose hand are we under? Are we under anyone’s? Do we buck godly
leaders? Do we try to take on our own worries, anxieties and cares?
The enemy is waiting
for us to puff up just a little. One hurt he can play off of. One tiny sniff of
cockiness and he pounces. He spots pride easily. It’s how he fell in the first
“Be sober, be
vigilant, because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion,
seeking whom he may devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 The very verse after he instructs
us to humble ourselves, to submit.
Peter knew better
than anyone that a scrap of pride caused a feeding frenzy among the enemy. If
you aren’t paying attention, the enemy will have your flesh between his teeth,
shake you about like a rag doll, devour his fill and leave you a bloody, shredded
carcass on the side of the road.
Maybe that’s you
right now. You’re weak. You feel as though you’ve bled out.
“May the God of
all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have
suffered a while, perfect, establish, and settle you.” 1 Peter 5:10
may feel drained. But the blood of Christ never runs out, never runs dry, never
withholds, never weakens, never waters down, never ever loses its power.
You are not alone.
 “Resist him, steadfast in the faith,
knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the
world.” 1 Peter 5: 9 And sisterhood!
Repent if you’ve
been prideful. If you haven’t submitted to the King in all areas. “For if
you confess your sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to
cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 And that includes pride.
Now that is a King
worth bowing the knee to!
Next week, we’ll
discover another way to keep ourselves humble! Hope you’ll join me. 

you struggle with areas of pride? How do you keep yourself humble?

Passport To Your Dreams


When God first plants a dream in your heart, it bubbles to
overflowing with hope and expectation. But as time passes, it can be
discouraging. The bubbly fountain gets clogged with rocks of doubt and clumps
But God
tells us to wait, hope, and expect.
As most of you, who routinely read the blog or know me
personally, I talk often about my BFF “Jane” whose name is not really “Jane” at
all, but I like to call her that. And it’s my blog  so I can.
My friend “Jane” loves the Lord. I don’t know if I have ever
met anyone who loves Him and has a relationship with him like her. No one. I
admire that about her.


Several years ago, during a conversation the Lord told her
to go get her passport. It came out of nowhere, but when you spend as much time
with God as “Jane” you know His voice well.
Now, let me just say money was tight in their home. Really
tight. So spending a little over $100 for something for no apparent reason was
tough, but she went to her husband and said, “God said I needed to get my 
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“I don’t know. Nowhere. Somewhere.”
Me and “Jane”
So she did. It’s so cute with her big ole’ smile. She came
home with hope and expectation. Just a trip to Wal-Mart is fun travel. Four
hours with nothing but empty bean fields and ugly prairie to see on the way to
my hometown is exciting for “Jane.” She loves to travel.
But a few months passed and God never said another word
about it.
And then one year passed.
And another.
And then God told “Jane” to go back to school and get her
teaching degree.
Money was tight. But they were faithful to give. And “Jane”
trusted God.
Just to let you know not only did she get her degree, but
her husband is almost done with his four-year degree as well and they haven’t
taken out a single loan!
She was certain that she would teach elementary English—third
grade being her favorite. She graduated.
And still no place to take that passport. She’d take it from
her drawer and 
pray over it, ask God what that was all about? Was it just to
see if she’d obey? Because she did. No, there had to be more. “God, take me
somewhere. I’ll go anywhere with You. Just…just take me somewhere.”
Fall came and the only job offered to her was teaching a GED
class at the high school where both her oldest daughter attends and one will in
another year (how convenient for God). She took it and experienced some of the
toughest kids in her life—kids who needed a godly example.
But it opened the door for the next year.
To teach history.
Well, she loved biblical history. She could do this.
And she began teaching U.S. and World History. She especially
loves U.S. history.
Last week, she squealed over the phone and for once it wasn’t
about her lunch which could have been filet mignon or a hotdog out of the
microwave with one end blown up—both squeal-worthy to “Jane”.
“Guess what?”
“You’re eating lunch?”
“No, I mean I am! I just had the most delicious hot pocket
“Move on.”
She laughed. “Right. So I just found out that I get to go to
Europe! (She pronounced it Yerup) For a WWII tour. Lundun, Germuhny, Fraaance.
And some other places! And guess what?”
“You’ll eat real sauerkraut on polish sausages?”
“Oh my gosh, that would be so good. And Belgium…I could buy
“Back to point, Jane.”
“Right. I’m going to finally get to use my passport! And not
only am I going to Europe, I’m going for FREE!”
Years went by and “Jane” wasn’t sure what her future held. But
she didn’t give up on her prayers.
God does something, He has a purpose behind it. And it’s always big.
He didn’t ask her to get the passport to long for a dream
that wouldn’t come. 
It wasn’t to remind her that she wasn’t ever going
It was a reminder that God was taking her somewhere.
Physically. And spiritually.
She never gave up hope. She waited for years. She circled
that passport in prayer.
And He foot her bill for her.
She leaves in June of next summer. And that Fall, her
passport expires.
doesn’t let our dreams expire on us. He fulfills everything He’s set out to
accomplish concerning us.
I’m reading a book right now by Mark Batterson called the Circle
Maker. It’s

about praying circles around your dreams with scriptural promises
and not giving up on them. I recommend it highly.

Are you still waiting, hoping, and expecting. The key is to
expect. When we stop expecting God to do something wonderful, we lose hope and
waiting seems like being locked Houdini style in a water tank without the
skills to get out. And if I was tightening word count, I would have just said,
My point. Keep expecting. God doesn’t disappoint.
are you? Waiting expectantly, inching your way to the dunk tank…are you in the
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Musing on Psalm 31:24

Sometimes God will
ask you do something so far out there you have to ask, “God, was that you
or that extra chili dog I ate last night messing with my brain?” Those are
the times we have to lean on this verse. Be strong, take courage to obey and while
He works behind the scenes, wait, hope and expect!
I have a such a
great story to share with you about wild commands, crazy actions and a long,
long wait full of hope and expectation and yes even questioning, doubt, and
angst. So come back on Wednesday!
Musing/Meditation Prompts: What promise has God
given you? Are you waiting with hope and expectation or are you full of anxiety
and doubt? How can you actively take courage today to revive that hope and
expectation? Strengthen yourself by musing on past victories, past promises fulfilled.
is one thing you can do today to take

7 Steps to Fulfill Your Dream

Proverbs 18:16 “A man’s gifts makes room for him, And brings him before great men.”
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Especially for us writers. It’s our prayer that our gifts be used for something great, that the publishing industry will make room for us, bring us to awesome things and there is nothing wrong with those dreams.
The Bible is telling us that it can happen and that it’s okay to dream, to want amazing things. Joseph had a great dream, a God-given dream; it included being powerful, and his brothers bowing at his feet. His gifts made room for him and brought him before great men.
BUT the key to verse 16 lies in the verses before it. It isn’t placed randomly, although sometimes it feels like a chapter in Proverbs is just a string of random sayings tossed together to make it up, but it’s not. Every word, every sentence is strategically placed.
So let’s look at some of verses before it. I want to hit on 7 things.
There are 7 things that we have to be molded into, before we hit verse 16. 
Remember, we’re talking about righteous people, not Hollywood! We want peace when we make it to the place Joseph made it to. And we’re not talking perfection, we’re talking about consistent living. Chances are, we’re gonna slip up from time to time. We are but dust.
The Lord is all about preparing His people to house His fame.

Verse 8: “The words of a talebearer are like tasty trifles, and they go down into the inmost body.”
The KJV says, “The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly.” The Hebrew word for “wounds” isn’t hurt. I thought it would be because we all know gossip hurts, but it isn’t. 
The word is “laham” and it means “to gulp, swallow greedily” Oh my!
We gulp gossip down, swallow it greedily, and yet the word is wounds. Ironic, who would ever want to gulp down pain? Yet we do.

1. We cannot be talebearers, and we cannot gulp it down when gossip is presented on shiny plates and served fresh.
Some people have no problems with gossiping or shutting it down, but for others, it’s tough. I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been on both ends at one time or another in our adult life.

Verse 9. “He who is slothful in his work, is a brother to him who is a great destroyer.”

The word in Hebrew for “slothful” “raphah” and it means “to relax, be disheartened, let drop, withdraw, abandon, forsake.”
The KJV says, “He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.”
The word for “great” is noun of relationship used to characterize “master of dreams”

2.You cannot let your dreams and your work decay.  Don’t be disheartened or withdraw. Write, write, work! Don’t stop. Don’t give it up, don’t abandon it!

Verse 10-11: “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe. The rich man’s wealth is his strong city, and like a high wall in his own esteem.

You must know where your safety lies. 
You cannot run to wealth or any high wall you build as a show-piece, even if it’s just your built up imagination that you can handle things on your own. 

3.When it’s time to run, know Who you are running to.

Verse: 12 Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility.
It’s easy to slip into a prideful state. Sometimes, we’re unaware. It takes constant prayer and allowing God to search your heart daily to walk with humility, and expect obstacles to come that will knock you down a peg or two.
Even Paul had a thorn in his side he wished removed, but it kept him humble. Some people are sick with talent. Some of them are prideful and generally fall miserably. A tragedy. And some remember to have their hearts searched!

4. Walk in humility, pride will get you nowhere fast.

Verse: 13: “He who answers a matter before he hears it; It is folly and shame to him.”
The Hebrew word for “hears” is “shama” and it means, “to listen, to obey, to perceive, to understand”

The word “matter” is “dabar” in Hebrew and it does mean, “speech, word, speaking” but it also can mean, “business or occupation”

5.Listen and obey God before jumping in with an answer concerning your words, answers, and business affairs.

God gives you the words to say and they may not always be “yes” even if it sounds good. This can also save you time and energy on some unnecessary steps, had you took time to really understand and then obey.

Verse 14: “The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness, but who can bear a broken spirit”
Even today, doctors who claim no faith, believe that a positive attitude can go a long way with sick patients, but those who give up, generally die sooner. But I don’t want to talk about physical sickness.
I want to talk about this verse: “Hope deferred makes a heart sick, but when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” Proverbs 13:12.  
How many of you are still waiting on your dream to come to pass? It can feel sickening, that hope put on hold, can’t it? But don’t let your spirit be troubled!
The Hebrew word for “spirit” is also “mind” 

6. Don’t let the thoughts of never making it overcrowd what you know in your heart to be true, even when your heart feels sick over deferred hope! 

Romans 5:5 says, “Hope does not disappoint…” God does not deceive or disappoint. (Habakkuk 2:3) He is right on time, and His words do not return void! (Isaiah 55:11)

Verse 15: “The heart of the prudent acquires knowledge, and the ear of the wise seeks knowledge.

7. Be smart. Always study. Always learn.
That brings us to our main verse. Righteous one, if you want to have room made for you and be brought before great men, there is much preparation to be done.
Joseph spent years learning these things. He started out as a arrogant, foolish, brat. Spouting off when he shouldn’t, thinking of himself above his brothers. Remember his story. He learned how to be all of the above things through trials. And guess what?
He ruled Egypt. And his dreams, oh they did come true.
Care to share? Which step are you working through at the moment? 
I’m hosting at Living by Grace today! Come on by and let’s talk. I’d post my LBG picture but it must be on my other computer. Boo!