Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Act On It!

29 Now as soon as they had come out of the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever, and they told Him about her at once. 31 So He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and immediately the fever left her. And she served them.
Mark 1:29-31


Jesus healed Peter's Mother-in-law. The next sentence is important...And she served them. Peter's mom-in-law didn't sit and think, "I had better wait and see if I am really healed..." She didn't think that she should rest in case she had a relapse. She got up and served them! She took her healing and then used it. She served Jesus...probably in a practical way like getting them lunch.

Whenever the Lord heals you, you need to act on it! We need to take advantage of that healing and serve Him! We need to be thankful to the Lord! Rejoice! But whatever you do, do not let the devil talk you out of your healing! Take that healing and see where God will use you.

Excited to Serve the Healer!

Shanin

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

First Hand Witnesses

28 Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it. 3 His countenance was like lightning, and his clothing as white as snow. 4 And the guards shook for fear of him, and became like dead men.
5 But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. 7 And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”
8 So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word.
9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.” Matthew 28:1-10 NKJV
They went to visit the grave of Jesus. Only Jesus’s body wasn’t in the ground, it had been placed in a cave. I cannot imagine the grief they were going through.  If they were at all like me, their eyes were probably swollen from crying. Their upper lips were probably puffy too. I bet they were exhausted from weeping, maybe even had a sinus headache. I wonder if they walked in silence or if they were crying softly as the waves of grief swept over them. Then they finally arrive where Joseph had placed Jesus’s beaten and bloody body.
A couple of days earlier Mary Mag (that’s what I like to call her), and Mary, (the mother of  Zebe-dee son’s James and John), had seen Jesus tortured and hung to death on the cross. They had heard Jesus cry out in pain and agony. They had heard Him cry out, “My God, My God why have You forsaken me?” Can you imagine? They had been there to watch Joseph, another follower of Christ, place his wrapped body in the tomb. The Pharisees had even asked Pilate to place soldiers at the tomb just to make sure that no one would steal His body and they sealed his tomb with a giant stone.
Mary Mag had seen the healing power of Jesus in action before. The other Mary was the mother of James and John; their nicknames were the sons of thunder! Her sons were close friends and followers of Jesus. She loved Jesus too. What had happened? It was all a blur. When he died the earth shook as if it mourned too. Their world had been shaken, physically, emotionally and spiritually. The Savior was now dead; He was their hope…what happened? If they were anything like me they were trying to remember everything He had ever said to them trying to piece it all together, trying to make sense of it all. Where were the promises that had been promised?
Back to the tomb…there was another huge earthquake! The stone had rolled from the entrance and now there was this angel sitting there. The word says that His countenance was like lightning and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were totally freaked out! The Bible says that they shook with fear and became like dead men. I am guessing that means that they passed out! Then the angel spoke to them.
He reassured them, telling them to not be afraid and he knew why they were there too! He told them the best news ever! “He is not here; for He is risen. “ I love it because the angel wanted them to see the place where the body had been laid. These two ladies were first hand witnesses! The angel told them to hurry and go tell the His disciples that He is risen from the dead! The angel also told them that Jesus would go before them to Galilee and they would see Him there.
Oh my goodness, how exciting is that? What had they just witnessed? Was it real? Or was it just a dream? The Bible says that they were afraid and had great joy! Have you ever been so excited about something but afraid that it was too good to be true? I wonder if that was part of it…but of course it had to be a little fear of the unknown too! So much had just happened in just a few days. Talk about an emotional rollercoaster!  As they hurried to go tell the disciples the news Jesus met them saying, “Rejoice!” I love the next part in verse 9, “So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.” Can you imagine it? Wow. It was true! He really was alive. Then Jesus reassures them to not be afraid. He then tells them to go and tell His disciples. Jesus knew how to get the news out! He told two women who loved Him! Lol
If you think about it there is something so very cool in this story. Even though society at this time didn’t value women (they were pretty much property), Jesus appeared to them first. I love how He made sure that they were comforted when they were afraid.  He let them fall at His feet and have their moment and then He sent them on a very important mission. He cared for them because He loved them.  Man talk about good tears!
Jesus loves us so very much. He makes room for us in ministry, even when we can be a mess. He will reassure us; He will let us gather ourselves, spend time at His feet and then send us to do His important work. So remember when your world has been shaken, whether physically, spiritually or emotionally, Jesus has it all under control. When you are sitting there trying to piece things together and it isn’t making sense, He has it all under control. It appeared that Jesus was defeated on the cross that day but it wasn’t over when He died. It wasn’t over when He was laid in the tomb; it wasn’t over when the soldiers were guarding the tomb. I am sure that it felt like it was over to Mary and Mary but they were there to witness the empty tomb.
I am thankful that He is risen! When I went to Israel I got to see the empty tomb too…He still isn’t there J
Shanin

Friday, January 25, 2013

Betrayal

Matthew 27:1-8 NIV  Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”
So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.
The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day.

Judas, betrayer of Jesus. How sad. Judas had been one of Jesus's twelve disciples. He had been Jesus's friend. He had been in charge of the money. He went from friend to betrayer over 30 pieces of silver. Get this, the code, that Judas gave to the soldiers on who Jesus was, was a kiss. How hearbreaking. Betrayal of a close friendship with a kiss. Jesus knew it was going to happen because He had already known Judas's heart.

So here is Jesus already interrogated, falsely accused and beaten. The people in charge was planning Jesus's execution and Judas realizes what he has done. Oh the horrible remorse and guilt he must have felt, he betrayed Jesus, the Son of God! The Man that he had seen compassion displayed in so many different ways...the Man that Judas knew was innocent, he had sold for 30 pieces of silver. Judas had been there when Jesus healed the blind man. Judas had been there when Jesus had took time for the children. He had been there when He healed the woman with the issue of blood...Judas had witnessed all of these miracles. Yet Judas still betrayed Jesus.

He went back to the chief priests and elders trying to take it all back. And what was the response of the people of authority? They told him that his betrayal was his problem...it was his doing. Judas no longer wanted the money! He tried to take it all back they wouldn't take it so he threw the money into the temple. He then went and committed suicide.

Not once did the chief priests felt guilty. They were concerned about the letter of the law. What did the law say? Well the law said that since it was blood money they couldn't put it in the treasury. Where did the money for the pay off come in the first place? Didn't matter, "the law said." So they took the money and paid for a field to bury foreigners. Wow. That was nice that they were so concerned about following the law. (said in my sarcastic voice)

What can I learn from this portion of scripture? I shouldn't get so caught up in "what is right" that I throw out the compassion of Jesus. Jesus delivered us from the "law." He gave us grace and salvation. I should extend that same grace that He gave to me to others. I don't want to be the type of person that only applies the rules when they benefit me. I do want to be the person who extends grace and love. 

I also do not want to be the person who sells my relationship with Jesus for material things, "love" for money, approval from others or advancement. I don't want anything to separate me from Jesus. This means that I need to constantly evaluate what is in my life. I need to guard my relationship with Him. I need to make sure to not get so consumed with the world around me that I forget the love that Jesus has given me and others.

Trying to walk circumspectly with love and grace,

Shanin

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Watch, Pray and Stick Together!

69 Now Peter sat outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came to him, saying, “You also were with Jesus of Galilee.”
70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you are saying.”
71 And when he had gone out to the gateway, another girl saw him and said to those who were there, “This fellow also was with Jesus of Nazareth.”
72 But again he denied with an oath, “I do not know the Man!”
73 And a little later those who stood by came up and said to Peter, “Surely you also are one of them, for your speech betrays you.”
74 Then he began to curse and swear, saying, “I do not know the Man!”
Immediately a rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus who had said to him, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.” So he went out and wept bitterly.

This portion of scripture happens right after Jesus was betrayed (by one of his close friends), taken to the Sanhedrin and accused and beaten. Jesus had already told the disciples before all of this happened that they would abandon him when it came down to it and Peter told Jesus that he would never mess up or stumble. Jesus told Peter that he (Peter) would deny knowing Him (Jesus) three times that same evening! Peter was determined and said, "Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!" and then the rest of the disciples agreed with Peter telling Jesus that they had his back.

Well after that whole conversation Jesus went to interceed or pray in the Garden and brought Peter, James and John to pray. Jesus went and prayed and came back and found them sleeping. In vs. 40-41
40 Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? 41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus tells them to watch and pray lest you enter into temptation. He tells them that their spirit is willing but their flesh is weak! How many of you know this? I cannot tell you how many times I have set my mind to do something but I end up messing up! My spirit is willing and really wants to do it but I let my weak flesh override the spirit. That is why we need to pray and be careful, not to become complacent but to watch.

Now let's jump ahead to where Peter denies Jesus. The first denial came when Peter was sitting out in the courtyard trying to see what was going on but at a distance. A servant girl came up to Peter and told Peter that she had seen him with Jesus at Galilee.  He denied it and basically said I have no idea what you are talking about.

The next denial came when he went out a little further and another girl saw Peter and she told her firends and family that this guy (Peter) hung out with Jesus. Then the bible says in vs. 72 that he denied it with an oath. I looked up oath in the dictionary and it means a formal pledge or promise. "I do not know the Man!"

Then the final denial that Peter did was when those who were near by came and told him that his accent gave him away...Peter talked like Jesus. Then Peter changed his speech and started swearing or cussing and said that he didn't know the Man. He didn't even call Jesus by his name but he was just the Man. The bible says that immediately the rooster crowed just like Jesus, the Man, had told Peter earlier when they were hanging out together. The bible says then Peter remembered what Jesus had told Peter.

Man, Peter must have felt like the biggest jerk and total failure. he didn't even make it a day and he blew it. He denied Jesus, his friend, his Lord. The bible says that Peter went out and wept bitterly.

Have you ever been determined to do something and then turned around and blew it off and then was so upset with yourself that you just cried? I have. Jesus knew that Peter and his other friends were going to leave Him. But He still loved them.

Pastor Jason talked about serving the Lord this last Sunday alone. Serving him in our own flesh or power is hard and somedays impossible but with the Holy Spirit and His power it is made easier and doable!  First of all we need to watch and pray! Read the Word and watch! This way you won't become complacent so easily and slip up and compromise. Pray! The bible says to pray at all times!

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

We also have each other! If you are having a bad day, don't think that you have to do it alone! Send a text or a shout out for one of us to pray for you! That is the advantage of being in the body of Christ! Do not let the enemy seperate you! The devil will do anything and everything to divide you away so that you are more vulerable! He will do his best to get you offended or to get your feelings hurt, anything to drive a wedge between you and the Lord.

So read the Word, Watch, Pray and Stick Together! Don't let the devil lie to you and divide you away from fellowship! Be aware... then finally the best part is when we do mess up Jesus still loves us:) He is there with open arms waiting for you!

Watching and Praying!

Shanin


Thursday, January 17, 2013

Time for a Spring Cleaning!

12 Then Jesus went into the temple of God[ and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’”
14 Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?”
And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infantsYou have perfected praise’?” Matthew 21:12-16 NKJV

I am not one who likes confrontation. While growing up in my family, my role was the peacemaker, so I would do everything within my power to avoid confrontation of any kind. With this being said, I hated it anytime there was correction in the church. It made me uncomfortable.

Jesus cleaned out the church in this scene. The church was not being used as a place of worship but as a market place. The merchants had set up shop and profited on the sacrifices being done in the church that was supposed to be a form of worship but instead they had turned it into a sales opportunity by selling doves right there in the church. Jesus drove the offenders out of the church. Jesus didn't act all meek and nice, he drove them out!

After the church was emptied of the people, who were not there to worship or seek the Lord, it made room for healings and ministry to take place. The lame and the blind came to the temple and Jesus healed them. Then the kids that were at the temple were yelling, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" If I close my eyes and use my imagination I can hear them using their sing song voices! Jesus loved it! Remember he loved the children!

Then the rulers didn't like the kids making noise and the poor, wounded people coming into the church. I wonder if they were miffed because they were losing a cut of the profits made from the sales of the merchants that Jesus had just driven out or if they just didn't like Jesus and what He was doing? Perhaps they didn't like the kids playing in the church and giving Jesus praise? Whatever the reason they had the nerve to say to Jesus, "Do you hear what these are saying?"

Jesus had a great response! His response to the people, who prided themselves in knowing the scriptures, was, "Yes, have you never read?" LOL That was such an awesome response! I am sure that it insulted them but what could they say? They had read it before, probably had taught on it and the scribes had more than likely even copied it down before on scrolls! "Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infantsYou have perfected praise’?”

There is time for correction, whether I like it or not:) I am sure that the Priests and Scribes didn't like it. We need to keep our temple clean before the Lord. Do you have stuff residing in your heart that needs to be cleaned out or driven out? When you ask for forgiveness and clean house what will you fill those empty spaces up with? Hopefully your will make room in your heart for ministry, healing and praise! You don't want to clean up your temple or house of God (heart) and not fill it with things of the Lord or else the enemy will see an empty clean space and try to take residence again!

Cleaning out the clutter in my heart! Making room for the Lord to minister to me and through me and praising His Name!

Hosanna to the Son of David!

Shanin

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

David and Goliath, Facing Life's Giants con't

40 Then he took his staff in his hand; and he chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch which he had, and his sling was in his hand. And he drew near to the Philistine. 41 
So the Philistine came, and began drawing near to David, and the man who bore the shield went before him. 42 And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. 43 So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. 44 And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!”45 Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”48 So it was, when the Philistine arose and came and drew near to meet David, that David hurried and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. 49 Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth. 50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone, and struck the Philistine and killed him. But there was no sword in the hand of David. 51 Therefore David ran and stood over the Philistine, took his sword and drew it out of its sheath and killed him, and cut off his head with it.And when the Philistines saw that their champion was dead, they fled. 52 Now the men of Israel and Judah arose and shouted, and pursued the Philistines as far as the entrance of the valley[a] and to the gates of Ekron. I Samuel 17:40-52 NKJV
So today I am going to pick up right where I left off yesterday. Again I encourage you to go read this chapter yourself because it is a great story and I can’t include every detail.

So we left off where King Saul told David to go fight the giant Goliath and “The Lord be with you!” Well Saul first wanted to clothe David in the finest of armor to protect him. David tried it on but decided to not wear the armor because he had never worn armor before. I am sure that it was heavy and he just was not use to moving in armor. David took with him what he was used to; his staff and five smooth stones that he chose from the stream and he put them in his shepherd’s bag.

I love this because David took with him what he knew and what he had practiced with before in the field where he lived with the sheep. Not what the normal soldier used in battle but what he used in the pastures. Remember David had killed a lion and bear while in his territory. David had a different type of training for battle J. The bible says that David drew near to the Philistine. Goliath was such a big deal that he had a guy there just to carry his shield that went before him. When Goliath looked at who they sent to fight him he was insulted! They sent a kid to fight him not a seasoned warrior! Then Goliath started his trash talk again! He was so angry that he cursed David by his gods.

How many times have you been made fun of or insulted by people? What did David do? Did he shrink back in fear? NO! So then Goliath threatened David with, “Come to me and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field.”

Here is David’s response…wait for it…”You come to me with a sword, with a spear and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. 47 
Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.” David clothed himself for battle with the name of the Lord! He didn’t shrink back in fear, he stated the facts…he didn’t try to back pedal! He moved forward in the confidence of God as his defender. When I read this it makes me giggle because David tells Goliath that He is going to take his head…remember David didn’t even carry a sword, how is he going to take his head? Oh that’s right the Lord is going to deliver Goliath into David’s hands. It isn’t David’s battle, it is the Lords!
David didn’t take insult that Goliath had called him names. David took offense at Goliath making fun of His God! I need to remember this. When someone insults me I should just let it go and not even give it the time of day to distract me from my real mission of serving the Lord. The Lord will defend me! If I get caught up in the name calling or the insults then I lose focus on the real issue. After all if I really trust God to defend me then I shouldn’t get caught up in defending myself because God will take care of me.

Okay back to the story vs. 48. Goliath came at David and David hurried and ran toward Goliath. David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone and he slung it with his sling and let it go! It struck the armor clad Goliath right in his forehead. The bible says that it sunk in his forehead…ouch. Goliath face planted in the dirt. Then David took Goliath’s own sword and cut off his head. What happens now? Well the bully is dead so the Philistines that were once so brave turn and ran and the army of Israel chased them.

Be a leader. God can use you if you are willing to be used. You don’t have to come from a prestige background, David came from the sheep field, but David was faithful. When he was in the sheep field tending the sheep, he did his best. God trained while he was in the sheep field. God can use you where you are now and He can place you at the frontlines of battle. He is preparing and equipping you now right where you are. Do not get impatient.  In Proverbs 21:30 and 31 it says, “There is no counsel against the Lord. The horse is prepared for the day of battle but deliverance is of the Lord.” NKJV  in the NIV it says but the victory is of the Lord.

If you are facing a giant in your life right now, it is okay. The battle is the Lords! He will go with you. You might not feel the most prepared to face this enemy but God will equip you and He will give you the victory even if the giant is a fierce, experienced warrior. God is bigger!

One last thing…after David went to pursue the Philistines in battle, King Saul asked his commander Abner, “Whose son is this youth?” And Abner said, “As your soul lives, O king, I do not know.” So the king said, “Inquire whose son this young man is.”

Saul wanted to know more about who raised David. When people see you facing life’s giants without falling apart then people will want to know more about you and who your dad is. When you represent the Lord well, your life testimony will cause people to want to know your source of strength and character. They might be amazed when they find out where you have come from (like the sheep fields?) but they will want to know more!

I am so glad that God stands with me when I face life’s giants!

Shanin

Monday, January 14, 2013

David facing the Giant Part One

32 Then David said to Saul, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.”33
And Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are a youth, and he a man of war from his youth.”34 But David said to Saul, “Your servant used to keep his father’s sheep, and when a lion or a bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, 35 I went out after it and struck it, and delivered the lamb from its mouth; and when it arose against me, I caught it by its beard, and struck and killed it. 36 Your servant has killed both lion and bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, seeing he has defied the armies of the living God.” 37 Moreover David said, “The Lord, who delivered me from the paw of the lion and from the paw of the bear, He will deliver me from the hand of this Philistine.” And Saul said to David, “Go, and the Lord be with you!” I Samuel 17:32-37
First of all I encourage you to go read this whole chapter of I Samuel 17. It is a great, detailed story of how Daniel faced the big bully Goliath. I love this story and it was so hard for me to just pick a small portion of this chapter to write about but I will do my best to fill in the story.

Okay there was this big bully named Goliath. Goliath was a Philistine and a giant. Yes, I said a giant! He was over nine feet tall. Well the Israelites warriors had set up camp on one side of the mountain and the Philistines were camped on the other side with the valley dividing them. Goliath, their champion warrior, would stand and taunt the Israelites and call them names and pretty much terrified the Israelites. He challenged them to send out their best warrior to fight him to the death and who ever won would reign over the other tribe.

Goliath just didn’t trash talk; he was dressed to the nines for battle. Goliath was very intimidating to say the least. Even Israel’s King Saul was afraid of Goliath and the Philistines.

While Israel’s warriors were getting ready to go to battle, some of the warriors’ family would send food and supplies to their loved ones. Jesse sent his youngest son, David, with food to his other three sons. David was teenager and he took care of the family sheep. David brought the food up to camp and then heard Goliath calling the Israelites names and taunting them. He started asking questions about this guy and the whole situation. He found out that the King offered this huge reward if someone would go fight Goliath and take his head. David asked another person and verified the information. At this time David’s older brother heard David asking questions and got mad. He basically reminded David that he shouldn’t be there he should be back at home tending sheep.

David didn’t let this discourage him. Someone told the King about David and King Saul sent for David. David went to the King and told him, “Let no man’s heart fail because of him; your servant will go and fight with this Philistine.” Saul told David that he was young with no experience and Goliath had warrior credentials. David then listed his credentials! He told the King that while he tended the sheep the Lord had delivered him from a bear and a lion! God would save him from Goliath! King Saul then gave him the go ahead and “the Lord be with you!”

Let’s stop right here for today and review the story so far and tomorrow I will pick up where I left off!
David was someone’s little brother. He had the job of watching the sheep, not an impressive job. However, David did his sheep job well. When a lion came to steal his sheep he killed it! When a bear came to steal his sheep, he killed it and realized that it was the Lord that gave him the protection and ability to do it and David gave the glory to God. David spent time with the Lord and the Lord equipped David for a bigger job.
When he went to the frontlines of the war, he heard the bully mouthing off at God’s people and he accessed the situation. After he asked a few questions he verified the information he was given. He didn’t let his brother discourage him when his older brother reminded him that he was just a sheep tender! He let the insult and put down run off his shoulders! Then King Saul asked for David. David went before the King and volunteered to fight the Giant Warrior man! King Saul told David that he was young and inexperienced and that the enemy was a trained, skilled warrior.

David didn’t let other people’s views of him, discourage and defeat him. David took God’s view of himself. We need to not let other people’s opinions of us, determine our worth! We need to listen to what the Lord sees in us! We need to take stock in God’s word on our worth. When we spend time with Him, He equips us for His work.

David built up Saul’s faith when he shared what the Lord had done through David’s personal experience in the sheep fields! We need to share what God does for us in our lives! Other people will then see what God has done in our ordinary lives and start to believe. What did King Saul do? He then gave his approval for David to fight the Giant and then said, “The Lord be with you!”

Tomorrow we will pick up right here….I love this stuff!

Shanin

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Compassion

29 Now as they went out of Jericho, a great multitude followed Him. 30 And behold, two blind men sitting by the road, when they heard that Jesus was passing by, cried out, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”31 Then the multitude warned them that they should be quiet; but they cried out all the more, saying, “Have mercy on us, O Lord, Son of David!”
32 So Jesus stood still and called them, and said, “What do you want Me to do for you?”33 They said to Him, “Lord, that our eyes may be opened.” 34 So Jesus had compassion and touched their eyes. And immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed Him. Matthew 20:29-34 NKJV
I love how much compassion Jesus displays. Earlier in Matthew chapter 19 the disciples started to shoo away the little kids and Jesus took time for the children and blessed them. Now in this part of Matthew two blind men are crying out to Jesus and the crowd tried to shush them up but they yelled even louder. What does Jesus do? He stops and talks with them and asks them, “What do you want Me to do for you?” The blind men told Jesus basically that they wanted to see. Then it is written the most awesome part…so Jesus had compassion. Jesus is compassionate! He wants to take time for everyone who calls out to Him.

The second part of Jesus’s response was that He touched their eyes. He touched their wounded or flawed parts. He didn’t just wave his hand in their direction and heal them, which he could have done. He had compassion upon them and touched their wounded areas. I wonder how many people were repulsed by these men and wouldn’t look their direction much less ever acknowledge or touch them physically (besides kicking them)? What tenderness the Lord displayed in that moment for the very people that others had thought to be worthless. The King of kings took time for those two men, in a time when royalty never gave the time of day to anyone without status or wealth. He touched them.

I am so happy that I serve a compassionate, tender loving God. He will take time for you, no matter who you are. He will take time to examine your wounds and heal them. If you cry out to Him, He will hear you! Even if you feel as though your voice is being drowned out by the crowds, He can hear you. He loves you no matter what value the world has placed upon you.

He will hear your cries, He will stop for you, He will touch you and He will heal you. He loves you.

Basking in His Love and Mercy,

Shanin

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

I Would Have Been Afraid For Sure!

23 Now when He got into a boat, His disciples followed Him. 24 And suddenly a great tempest arose on the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves. But He was asleep. 25 Then His disciples came to Him and awoke Him, saying, “Lord, save us! We are perishing!”
26 But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, O you of little faith?” Then He arose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. 27 So the men marveled, saying, “Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:23-27

I had the privilege of going to Israel last February. It was the most awesome experience and I would encourage anyone to go if they have the opportunity.

One of the things that my tour group got to do while in Israel was to sail the Sea of Galilee or as it is now called the Sea of Tiberius. When we sailed this huge body of water it was so nice and calm. We sailed across it on a BIG boat and it took quite a while and we had a motor! I cannot even imagine rowing your way across this sea much less in a storm.

Speaking of storms let me share my experience of a storm that happened while we were in Israel. It was GINORMOUS! We had arrived at our hotel and our tour guide, Anot had told us that a storm was expected to hit. I had no idea. It had started to rain and then the winds hit. The sheets of rain and the wind was so incredibly loud. I had planned to run down the street to a little used bookstore to shop but after the wind started I opted out of that excursion. It blew and blew. It was so deafening that I had to sleep with my mp3 player in my ears and I could still hear the wind.

After sailing the Sea of Galilee and after experiencing one of Israel's storms first hand I totally understand why the disciples were afraid. I just think about being out in that storm on the sea in a ROW BOAT or even a SAIL BOAT! Yikes! Verse 24 says that the boat was covered in waves...I bet it was! But the best part after Jesus tells them, "O you of little faith" is that He arose in that terrific storm and rebuked the winds and the sea and there was a great calm. Even the disciples were amazed and wondering about what just happened that one moment they were afraid of capsizing and the next moment the wind and the sea obeyed HIM.

Can I ask you, what storms are you going through? Are feeling as though your little boat is going to be swallowed by the waves of life? Jesus will go through the storm with you. Even in the midst of the storm he will give you peace like He did with the disciples that stormy day. Even the winds and the seas obey Him.

Let me pray for you. Lord Jesus, I would ask that whatever storm that appears to be overcoming your kids right now would cease. I thank You Father for riding out the storms with us and getting us safely through whatever storm that may come. You are so awesome God that even the waves, the wind and the sea ceases when You tell it to. Thank You for loving us and for caring for us. In Jesus Mighty Name!

Shanin