No Mountain Climbing Here!

Woman Standing At Kitchen Sink Washing Up

I read this uplifting little article somewhere about how our relationship with God is different than that of men.  It inspired me to write about our position as women in God’s Kingdom.  Sweet Sisters in Jesus Christ we hold such an important position as daughter of the Most High King.  We are nurturers who encourage and bring cozy, heartfelt love full of God’s truth to a broken and hurting world.  Have you ever noticed how in the scriptures men are always going up into the mountains to commune with the Lord? Yet in the scriptures we hardly ever hear of women going to the mountains. 

Why, because these women were too busy keeping life going; they could not abandon… babies, meals, homes, fires, gardens, and a thousand other responsibilities to make the climb into the mountains! We have confidence that God knows exactly what your days are like because He beautifully describes them in Proverbs 31.  We daily touch on or see to most of this amazing woman’s life responsibilities in our own homes and workplaces.

Many days I find myself feeling like I am never “free” enough from my responsibilities, there is never in a quiet enough space for me to spend time with my Lord, my King; I find myself just repeating “Yes God” as the moments, days and years go by.

The woman who wrote the original little article put it like this…“That is why God comes to women.  Men have to climb the mountain to meet God, but God comes to women wherever they are.”

God is there as we stare into our refrigerator or cupboards scavenging for one more meal to cook for our family before payday.  1 Kings 17:12-16 “But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no food, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks so that I may go in and prepare it for me and my son, so that we may eat it and die.”  However, Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said. Just make me a little bread loaf from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘The bowl of flour shall not be used up, nor shall the jar of oil become empty, until the day that the Lord provides rain on the face of the earth.’” So, she went and did everything in accordance with the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bowl of flour was not used up, nor did the jar of oil become empty, in accordance with the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah.”  I remember as a young mom, asking God to supply food for my children, money for the electric bill, even in my immature understanding of God…He provided.

God is there with us at our love one’s sick or deathbed. Luke 7: 12-15 “Now as He approached the gate of the city, a dead man was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and a sizeable crowd from the city was with her.  When the Lord saw her, He felt compassion for her and said to her, “Do not go on weeping.” And He came up and touched the coffin; and the bearers came to a halt. And He said, “Young man, I say to you, arise!”  And the dead man sat up and began to speak. And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” As women we find ourselves crying out to the Lord, we travail for those we love whether they are ill, lost to the truth of Christ or have passed.  Jesus sees every hardship; this woman is already a widow and the loss of her son would bring even a greater difficulty.  So as scripture says,  “Jesus gave him back to his mother.” Each of you can recount a time when we are lost to our emotions, worry and fear have set in however, as we reach for God’s Word; He is faithful to bring the comfort we need, perfect and just for us. I will never forget when I received the news my son had died; all I could do was go for my Bible and hold it close. Only God could bring the comfort needed to see me through those difficult days.

He hears our cries to have our own children, Hannah asked the Lord for a child in 1 Samuel 1:14-20. “It came about in due time, after Hannah had conceived, that she gave birth to a son; and she named him Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him of the Lord.” She wanted nothing more than to be a mom.  She suffered for years with infertility, and her desire to have a child of her own was affecting every part of her life. An earlier verse says she was suffering under a despairing spirit.  In your circle of influence, you know at least one sister in Christ that as experienced infertility. However, in that same circle you can speak of the goodness of God who heard the cries and spoke  “Go in peace and may the God of Israel grant your request that you have asked of .”

Even at the empty tomb, Mary was the first to witness Christ’s resurrection, she was there because she was doing the womanly chore of properly preparing Christ’s body for burial.  Matthew 28 recounts the amazing details of that day. There was no mountain climbing, only her desire to serve her King and there He was risen, revealing truth and encouraging her.

God does indeed come to women where they are, when they are doing their ordinary, everyday work.  He meets them at the wells as we find in John 4:4-30, where they draw much needed water for their families, homes, for their kitchens and gardens.  The Samaritan woman was so important to Jesus, He had a divine appointment to meet her that day.  In that encounter her life was forever changed, and her circle of influence was increased as she spread the “Good News” God’s Truth, the salvation message to everyone in her village.  She wanted everyone to experience the forgiveness, grace, mercy, and love Jesus was bringing to her that day.

Every woman in the Bible has a journey, unique and challenging; along the way these women of the scriptures found themselves face to face with Jesus. We are like them, we must draw upon their stories and allow God to teach us, refine us.

So, look closely do you see Jesus in the little things, the big things…yes He is there.  We need to thank God that He meets us, and we must stop complaining! Who wants to climb a mountain anyway? The fact is you do not have time to spend in the mountains with God.  Guess what, He is there in the mountain of dishes or the stained sport uniform that you need to ready for your child’s game tomorrow…sing out, pray, and worship your King right there! Or maybe you need to listen…quietly reflect.

Remember, God comes to women. He knows where we are and the burdens we carry. He sees us, and if we open our eyes and our hearts we will see Him, even in the most ordinary places and things.  He lives. And Jesus is using a time such as this to speak to women around the world. 

Blessings, Sister Laurie

God’s Promise of Restoration

It seems like so many times we talk about being patient, waiting on God.  If I am honest I was not really waiting, I had just thought, “Well this is how it is and probably this is the best it will ever be” when it came to my relationship with my brother. God had other plans; they were far beyond what I could ever hope for.  Today, I want to share how God’s plan and His goodness collides to restore a family.

What does God say about His promises to restore us? To heal and restore broken relationships and families?

The prophet Joel describes a plague of locusts that have devoured the land, consuming all the crops that the people and their animals depended on. They are in agony because they turned from the Lord.

Joel 2:18 (ESV) says, Then the LORD became jealous for his land and had pity on his people. God responded to their repentance with mercy, something we are used to seeing throughout the Bible. He is a very loving and merciful God. But then God told them something that can often get overlooked.

I (God) will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten… (Joel 2:25, ESV)

God promised to not only deliver the people from this plague and famine, but to give to them all that they would have had during that time—because they chose to come back to the Lord.

My brother Frank and I we grew up in a locust infested home one of dysfunction and abuse. Our parents claimed atheism, well in all honestly, our mother set the tone in all things spiritual and our father either went along or paid a severe price.  Looking back, it is clear that our mother had a Jezebel spirit.(See 1 Kings 18) This spirit seeks to control, her insatiable need for power, prestige and wealth lead her to use both mental and physical abuse to control everyone around her. Her jealousy and need to be the center of attention destroyed our family and inhibited us from having healthy relationships as children and adults.

We are called to have patience and never lose faith that God is working.  Jesus is moving to bring His kingdom together, that includes the family.  God gave His Son for the restoration of the family.  An outpouring of the Holy Spirit is building, evidence is seen in relationships restored daily.  For my brother and I that restoration has come, we praise God for His outpouring of love on both of us and for the discernment given to heal us.

We must apply the fruit of the spirit in our lives when it comes to family members.  It is not always easy, but through God all things are possible.  Galatians 5 clearly tells us to treat one another with “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control” later in verse 26 we are told “Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” How clearly this speaks to relationships in our families.   God has a plan for families, members are meant to take care of one another, and sacrifice for “us” Galatians 6:2 says “bear one another’s burdens and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”  God calls us to “fight for” our families. I believe it is through the structure of the family God is revealed and when that family is broken many are lost to the truth of God “the Father”, Jesus “the Son” and the Holy Spirit.

One of the weapons we have in fighting for our family is prayer, you can use prayer for strength, unity, forgiving hearts, harmony, and steadfast love.  These prayers are powerful because they speak of all the attributes God desires for our families.

Personalize these prayers from scripture for your family, call upon the power and authority given you through Jesus and the Holy Spirit over the darkness.  Remember you are the head and not the tail and no evil will prevail against those who belong to God…

For family members…

Heavenly Father…I ask you to help each member of my family (personalize) to be completely humble and gentle in their interactions with each other; and to be patient, bearing with one another’s faults in love…even when we are tried, frustrated, angry, or hurt.  Help us Father, to make every effort to remain united by Jesus sacrifice for us individually and as a family.  Let the Holy Spirit unite us.  Jesus bind us together in peace and love. In Jesus Name AMEN.     Ephesians 4:2-3

Father God…help us (personalize) to love each other fervently.  Grow our love so that it is able and willing to overcome and forgive a multitude of sins.  Give us a spirit of hospitality, warmth and compassion enabling us to share our home with a cheerful heart those who need a meal or a place to stay.  God I acknowledge that you have given each of us distinct spiritual gifts.  Help us to put those gifts to work for Your Kingdom to serve others.  We rely on the strength and energy only You, God, can supply. I pray that everything we do individually and as a family brings You glory.  We submit to Your will and timing…thank you God for each member of our family.  In Jesus Name AMEN. 1 Peter 4:8-11

Father…you are the One who gives us perseverance and encouragement.  In You, we have hope.  Heal the broken hearts of our father, mother and siblings…Help our family (personalize) live in complete harmony with each other, as believers in Jesus Christ. Bearing with one another in love, confident that restoration is coming through Jesus Christ.  In Jesus Name AMEN. Romans 15:5

For our children…

Jesus have mercy on (name), and bring them to a saving knowledge of Yourself, Jesus.  (Name) needs the gospel of your grace. Reveal the truth of who you are in a personal way.  Show them how much they need You and show them how much You love them. Keep them restless until they rest in Your complete forgiveness and perfect righteousness. This is our desire for (name) that more than any worldly success we want them to know You.  In Jesus Name AMEN     Romans 10:1

 Jesus, some of us grieve the ways we have made the gospel less than beautiful and believable to our children (name). Forgive us and show Yourself to be the God who’s limited by nothing, including parental self-righteousness. I am confidence that You God are able to transcend the ways we have “blown it.” Give us humility and grace to repent… first before You and then to them. Free us to give our children the gift of our repentance…In Jesus Name AMEN Psalm 32:1

 God, I cry out to You! Restore to them(name) the joy of Your salvation. Our confidence is in Your promise, God to bring to completion the good work You have begun in each of us, but Jesus, we cannot afford to be either presumptuous or passive. Work powerfully. Work presently. Work persistently, Jesus! Give us patience with their doubts. Give us forbearance in their struggles. Give us grace to welcome prodigals home. Let us see them through your eyes Jesus. In Jesus Name AMEN Luke 15

For our marriages…

God…I surrender my marriage to you, help my spouse (name) and I to honor our marriage and clearly see how valuable and precious this union really is.  As we honor our marriage to one another, and our covenant with You, we cast out any spirits that would cause disharmony and strife between us as you have given us the authority spoken in Matthew 10:1.  Holy Spirit fill us with patience towards one another, understanding and a desire to honor God in our relationship with one another as spoken of in Ephesians 5:22-33;

Wife… “My eyes will only be for my husband (name), supportive and tenderly devoted as I am to the Lord, I will look to my husband (name) to provide leadership for our marriage and family, just as Christ does for His church, as the Savior and Reviver of the body. I will live everyday devoted to Jesus Christ and my husband in everything.  Jesus, I pray for my husband faith to be accelerated and built upon Your ways, growing in spiritual strength daily. Let my respect and devotion speak to everyone around us as an example of Jesus Christ as the center of our marriage.

Husband… “God help me to demonstrate my love for my wife (name) through adoration and tender devotion just as Christ has demonstrated to us, His bride.  For He died for us, sacrificing Himself to make us holy and pure, He has left us His living Word that we maybe washed clean through it.  I commit to the washing of my wife (name) as I now read and pray for her in the reading and praying of God’s Holy Word over her, washing her in the Word. So that we as a couple may become a source of praise to Him our Father in Heaven. I fulfill my obligation of loving and caring for my wife (name) in the same way that I love and care for my own body, pampering her, serving and satisfying her needs above my own, just a Christ did for His church.  It is for this reason I have left my parents and lovingly hold to my wife (name), as we have become one flesh.  Jesus help me to be gracious, courteous, and kind to her daily just as you are with me.

Both… Our marriage is a beautiful design by God, we stand together to make a vivid example of Jesus Christ and the church, which will lead others to the truth of Jesus Christ.  Jesus pour out your favor over our marriage and family.  I ask all this in Jesus Name. AMEN 

I know many of you, my sweet sisters in Jesus Christ are victims of the devils attempts to destroy the family, this brokenness extends to our mothers, fathers, siblings, husbands and our children.  Have faith, grow your faith…the time is coming when we will be fully restored and all the damage the locust has caused will be restored by a loving Father.

“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 NASB

This faith happens as we study the Word of God, “This book of the law (God’s Holy Word) shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” Joshua 1:8 NASB

It is written… “My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings.  Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart.  For they are life to those who find them and health to all their body.” Proverbs :20-22 NASB

Today, God has restored all the locust destroyed, my brother and I both found Jesus as adults.  Through God we have been able to heal our hearts and speak the truth of the abuse and how God desires all families to be restored through His truth. I thank God for my loving Husband, Doug, and his family as they have stood as witnesses to God’s love and desire for the family.

Be Blessed,

Sister Laurie