WHAT’S IN A NAME? Yahweh – The I Am

Maybe one of the most powerful names of God is “Yahweh”! The great I AM. Meaning, God is who he says He is: all powerful, all knowing, purposeful, and faithful. God will do what He says He will do!

How many people living in the world  today truly do what they say they will do? If you are anything like me, there are many times that I am not even able to do what I say I will do. Even when I have the best of intentions, life gets in the way! I mean to deliver that dinner I promised to a friend, but… I mean to go to that Bible study with my friend, but… I mean to be committed to the promises that I made, but…I am weak and limited because, 1) I don’t always remember well. 2) I don’t maintain the same enthusiasm to fulfill a promise at the time I made it. And finally, 3) life’s circumstances sometimes prevent me from keeping that promise.

Being faithful to who we say that we are and to do what we say we’ll do is difficult!  There may be even a perfectly good reason why we are not able to be faithful to what we said we would do. The “buts“ of this life seem to take over all too often. I intended to fufill that promise, but this “this” came up! And then, this other thing happened! And then I got sick.  We may try as hard as we can, but the “buts” of life’s circumstances seem to “but in!”

In contrast, Yahweh–Almighty God–never ever is not who He says he is! When He promises to be faithful, He is! When he promises to comfort us, He does! When He tells us to “fear not” because He is the great I AM, He delivers!

We are not alone in our “but“ circumstances! We actually find ourselves in good company with someone who struggled just like we do! In the book of Judges, we find a man named Gideon. Gideon knew God, just like we do. He believed in God, just like we do. But he allowed his circumstances to allow the “buts” to dictate his life!

When we see Gideon in Judges 6, he’s hiding. Have you ever done that? I know I have. I have retreated into my quiet place when life‘s circumstances have just been too difficult! I have not stopped believing in God. I have not stopped trusting God. But I have momentarily forgotten who God says He is and who God says I am.

God sends his angel to Gideon right where Gideon is. Not after Gideon has straightened up his life. Not after Gideon has remembered who God is and who God says Gideon is. God sends his angel to Gideon in the middle of his hiding, his fear, his doubt. And he tells him something that I believe he wants to tell us today:

Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!

Judges 6:12

God reminds Gideon that He hasn’t abandoned Gideon, nor God’s people. He is getting ready to do something amazing, through the life of His servant Gideon. But first God has to remind Gideon of who God is, and who God will help Gideon become. Gideon,  remember that I am with you. And remember that you are a valiant warrior!  With that introduction, God would show Himself faithful to Gideon, and use Gideon to bring about the deliverance of God’s people. 

Within the truth of the name of God, Yahweh, the great I AM, lies the truth that God is who He says He is and if we believe that then we are who God says we are!

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God is who He says He is, and you are who He says you are!
Speak Truth Love

WHAT’S IN A NAME? The God Who Sees

Have you ever felt invisible? I mean seriously, unseen by others standing right beside you!

I have! You work at something with all of your heart, time, effort and skill.  You put in ridiculous hours and go the extra mile to assure that nothing but excellence occurs. You plan, execute, check and double check to ensure nothing is lacking. Then it happens. The work is complete. You have reached the time for your hard work to be noticed. Everyone is gathered. Everything is flowing with precision, and everyone feels the benefits of your hard work and care. The word is spoken, all the platitudes are dispensed, all the accolades given and your name is never mentioned!  No one says thank you, no one pats you on the back, no one even notices your contribution. Worse yet, someone else takes the credit!

Our spirit drops low, we feel our heart sink as if someone literally reached in, grabbed a valve and deflated it. We try and hold it together. We keep a plastic smile plastered on our face, while our soul feels let down.

However, if we claim the name, ‘The God Who Sees,’ we realize that we are seen. Truly seen for the person we are. No gloss, no pasted on expressions and no apologies. We are both seen and known by God Himself.

He whispers to us in His still small voice, “I see you, I know what you have done,” and the reality of who we actually did it for, SAVES US!

It saves us from misplaced priorities. It saves us from reliance on any one person. It saves us from pride and arrogance. 

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The God who sees us, not only sees us, but SAVES us!

She gave this name to The Lord who spoke to her, “You are the One God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen The ONE who sees me.” Genesis 16:13

As Hagar, an Egyptian servant girl, is used and abused by her owners Sarai and Abram, she flees alone and pregnant, hopeless and shattered into the literal wilderness.

There, alone and lost, she is spoken to by the God who sees! He saw her!

In the following verse, Genesis 16:14, the well at which Hagar fell, is named in memorial to her testimony of God SEEING her when she felt invisible!

So that well was named ‘Beer-lahai-roi’ which means “well of the Living One Who Sees Me!” It can still be found between Kadesh and Bered.”          Genesis 16:14

THIS IS EVERYTHING MY FRIENDS! When we realize that it is THE LIVING ONE, GOD HIMSELF, who sees us. 

We may find ourselves in thankless jobs or ministries. We may find ourselves in selfish groups that struggle with jealousy and find it hard to give credit where credit is due. We may find ourselves in hopeless situations with no way out. And we may even find ourselves sad and desperate in the throws of depression and isolation. 

REGARDLESS, THE LIVING ONE, GOD HIMSELF, SEES YOU!

His desire is to show you compassion and importance in just being you, by restoring you and filling you with His Love!

Will you trust God today with the work of your hands and the thoughts of your heart?

You are not unnoticed or unseen! YOU ARE SEEN AND LOVED BY THE LIVING GOD HIMSELF!

Speak Truth Love

WHAT’S IN A NAME? EL SHADDAI

Do You See Feminine Characteristics In God?

We all know that names are very personal. We name our children names that we love or are associated with someone we love. But we also take lots of time and thought in making sure those names will not scare them for life!

Well, most of us do anyway. I seriously do not know how to explain a name like Apple or Pear, unless you have an uncanny attachment to fruit? But most of us think very carefully about a name before assigning it to a person we love, even if the name is a family name and we may not necessarily love it.

I believe that God is SO MUCH BIGGER than our human minds can conceive! He is BIGGER than all of the names we can name Him. He is also BIGGER than any image our minds can conjure of a single gender!

One of my favorite lines about God is: “God is God and I am NOT!”

It is not my job to figure out who God is in every aspect, it is my job to KNOW Him!

My prayer in this series, ‘WHAT’S IN A NAME?’ is that we will get to KNOW God better.

To know God is to spend time with Him. To read the Love Letter He wrote to us and to pray for His spirit to fill us and to give us His wisdom and understanding. All of these things are promised to us when we have Jesus! So it only seems right that we look at the names of God to learn more about His character.

The dictionary definition of a name is: “A word or combination of words by which a person is designated, called or KNOWN.”

Did you catch that?

“…by which a person is known!”

KNOWN is such a great word! Since words are after all my Love Language, and I feel loved and demonstrate love through words, I would love to spend several Blogs covering the depth of the word KNOWN. For now, let’s just explore a few significant descriptions of this word for this Blog series sake.

KNOWN = “To perceive or understand as fact or TRUTH; (that is another favorite word of mine…Truth with a  capital T, as in The Truth,) to apprehend clearly and with certainty!”

AKA – To KNOW the situation fully!

Oh, how I love word studies! Please bear with me. It is so amazing the way God reveals Himself to us through His words!

KNOWN =”To be cognizant or aware of.”

AKA – To KNOW it!

And,

KNOWN = “to understand from experience or attainment.”

AKA – to know how something works or functions!

And finally, the best is saved for last…

“Drum roll please, as my grandson would say,…”

KNOWN = “To be acquainted with by sight, experience or report!”

AKA – To know God because you have spent time with Him!

Could I make it any more clear? Or should I say, could GOD make it any more clear to us?

To KNOW God, in part, is to understand the names by which He is called.

This week we start with ‘El Shaddai.’

Not only did Amy Grant, (Now I realize I just lost most of you under the age of 40),  write a beautiful song with this very title, but the Word of God speaks this name of God many times. It is in Genesis, Isaiah, the Psalms, as well as Matthew.

It has been studied and said of this particular name of God, that ‘El Shaddai’ comes as close to capturing the feminine characteristics of God as any. 

Now, I told you I love Word Studies, so hang with me! I believe it is important for us to comprehend as best as we can, what the intent of this name of God is.

In Hebrew, names are given as descriptions of people as well as a title. 

For example, Simon bar Jonah, whom Jesus later names Peter, is Son of Jonah.

When Jesus changes his name to Peter, it is also descriptive. Jesus calls him ‘The Rock,’ on which He will build His church!

In Hebrew the name Elis shortened from Elohim, it is defined as the strength and might, the excellence of God. Shad is defined as “breast.” The words together, Shaddai, picture the bounty or fullness of God; His tenderness, His generosity, and His desire to make us fruitful and to fulfill us. 

In one name, El Shaddai, the attributes of both might and tenderness are brought together in beautiful unity.

It was ‘El Shaddai’ who appeared to Abram and told him He would make him the “Father of many nations” inGenesis 17:5.

It was ‘Elohim Shaddai’ who gave birth to the nation of Israel in Genesis 42:14.

Jacob, when he is pronouncing God’s blessing over his son Joseph, says, “Because of the El and the Shaddai, may you have blessings of the breast and the womb” in Genesis 49:25.

Clearly we are learning that God in His infinite wisdom and character is beyond our grasp of both male and female. To know Him is to be fully complete in both, lacking nothing!

Do we see feminine characteristics in God? I believe we do. The name El Shaddai holds both for us in a divine and spectacular way!

My favorite of all is depicted in the Psalms. The psalmist is feeling like a weaned child when he writes,

Why am I being deprived of what, from my point of view, seems so good and right?”     Psalm 131:1

And

But their souls are still and quieted like a weaned child with his mother.”  Psalm 131:2

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A Mother’s tender love is revealed in the character of El Shaddai.

The name of God, El Shaddai, holds the beautiful heart of a mother. As she demonstrates care and compassion for her child, she tenderly nurtures and cares for him/her. As her child grows and is weaned she demonstrates strength and wisdom as she continues to hold her child close to her heart while at the same time letting go of that child to grow on his/her own.

This is a MYSTERY my friends. One that I intend to ask of my God face to face someday.

Loving, nurturing, sacrificing for and caring for and then letting that child go. It is as unnatural as loving and caring for your child in the first place! Yet we are called to do just that.

Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are old they will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

This verse implies that we are to “train them up“, and then let them go!

It does not take a phycologist to tells us that holding on too tightly to our children is not healthy for them, for us, or for anyone else in a relationship with us.

Why then does it feel like our heart is being ripped out when they leave us?

Because we have loved them like our Father, El Shaddai, has loved us! With true sacrifice, compassion, care and love, and then we have let go with a strength that only He can give us.

And we survive “letting go” because we have our Heavenly Father, the Great El Shaddai, who is Almighty, and strong, holding us close to His heart and tenderly loving us through it!

Cling to Him my friends, call out His compassionate and tender name, ‘El Shaddai,’ and allow Him to hold you close and take you through whatever you are going through!

He cares for you! He is the Great El Shaddai!

Speak Truth Love

SPIRITUAL DETOX: Conclusion, Week 13

How many of you like endings?

Are you the type that skips to the last chapter of the book, and reads the ending first?

Maybe you are the one who sneaks around the house at Christmas time trying to find your present before it is placed under the tree on Christmas morning!

You may even like it when someone tells you the end of the movie before you go and see it.

If that is you, then my friend, you have just met your opposite!

I HATE all form of endings!

I know it’s not nice to say hate, but there is not another word that better describes my feeling for endings!

I hate knowing the ending of a good book before I get there. In fact, If the ending were told to me I would probably put the book down before finishing it! 

If someone crosses the sacred line of “spoiler alert” and tells me the ending of a movie before I go and see it, it ruins the movie for me. And don’t get me started on Christmas Morning…do not even consider messing with the sacredness of walking out in a sleepy haze, wiping the drowsiness out of your eyes, grabbing that warm cup of coffee or cocoa topped with whipped cream (because of course it’s Christmas), and feeling the excited anticipation of opening your presents (for the first time), nestled under your Christmas Tree!

I am a sentimental traditionalist at heart! I love the entire process that leads to a “Happy Ending!”  

The problem with my personality and love for the process and happy ending is, it’s still an ending.

A great book, as wonderful as the reading of it was, still comes to an end. A spectacular movie, as thrilling as it was to watch, still comes to an end. And the ONLY sad part of Christmas for me, is that it eventually comes to an end!

So, how does a pathetic, sentimental fool like me deal with endings?  I must remember the process!

I remember the excited anticipation of turning the next page in the book I read, as I allow the characters and plot to dance in my memory.  I recall the shrill of surprise as the true villain in the movie was revealed and the victory that was felt when he was defeated! And I hold the most precious of all, my memories of Christmas, every cookie baked, every cup of cocoa sipped and every present wrapped and unwrapped, in my mind and heart all year long!

Today we come to the end of our SPIRITUAL DETOX series. The sentimental side of me wants nothing to do with it.

Let’s just keep it going. Surely I can come up with 12 more weeks of TRUTHS to detox the LIES of the enemy! Surely we can share more stories of lies we have been told, believed, and live with. Surely this is not the end!

Although It is the end of this series, the most important part of it is about to begin! The process has to happen for any results to occur. We have shared 12 weeks together facing the Lies and detoxing them with God’s TRUTH! The change will come in the PROCESS and the process is daily.

Daily feels so daily, doesn’t it! 

Well, that’s because it is! I am going to confess something to you…I HATE DAILY! I have the attitude of working hard for something, accomplishing it and being rewarded for it. TRANSLATED this means: I worked hard, put in the blood, sweat and tears, got the result I worked for and now I can enjoy! AKA, I DID IT! I’M DONE!

The problem with this philosophy is that it does not stay “DONE” unless I continue the process. I have experienced this in so many areas of my life, dieting, exercise, gardening…just to name a few. If the process is not continued in any of these ventures, the results do not stick!

In order for our Spiritual Detox to stick so that we do not become stuck in the muck and mire of ugly lies about who we truly are, we must DETOX THE DEADLY TOXINS DAILY!

So, my dear Sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for The Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.”  

I Corinthians 15:58

You already know the process, you now just stick with it!

So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up.”                    Galatians 6:9

Continue to take every lie (thought) captive, and detox (replace) it with God’s TRUTH!

God’s TRUTH will set us free!

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THE TRUTH OF GOD WILL ALWAYS TRIUMPH OVER THE LIE OF THE ENEMY!

So, even though I don’t like, well we have already established, I HATE, endings. The only endings I find tolerable are HAPPY ENDINGS! And while I love Hallmark and Disney, I know the only true happy ending comes through Jesus and His TRUTH!

So, in conclusion of our series that I have loved dearly, if you want to stay toxin free, stay in The Truth, it will always result in a HAPPY ENDING!

Stay strong and complete the process! God’s TRUTH will always triumph over the lie of the enemy! The KING is ALIVE my friends!

Speak Truth Love

SPIRITUAL DETOX: Week 12, Hope vs. Hopelessness

Has anyone besides me ever felt stuck?  If you have felt stuck, has it ever pushed you to the point of panic?

I have an issue where this can occur physically in me. It is technically called a phobia.

I have claustrophobia! I did not develop it later in life, I knew from a very young age I had it.

I actually knew that I suffered from claustrophobia before I could even put a name to it, let alone a definition. I simply knew that I lost my ever loving mind when someone pulled the covers over my head! 

When my sister’s would be playing and do this to me, I would develop SuperHero strength and kick them off the bed with one thrust of my foot and free myself from the covers in a rage of anxiety and fear!

I had an abnormal reaction to being in an enclosed or narrow place. That is the exact definition of a phobia by the way! 

 After my sister’s ran from the room screaming that I had “erupted,” I found out that my Dad suffered from the same phobia.  My Dad being my Dad, and believing that you must be in control of yourself at all times, decided to teach me how to control my phobia.

He would tell me to relax and breath deeply and think about a favorite place or activity. Then he would place his very large, very strong hand over my face holding me down so I could not move.  

Now, before you run and file a ‘child abuse suit’ against my Dad, I knew that he was doing this to help me. He suffered from the same gripping fear and knew what it felt like. He also knew that maintaining my self-control and focusing on what I could control, AKA: Me, and not on what I could not control, AKA: what was happening to me, I could learn to not fly into a panic and instead of feeling hopeless and stuck, I could have hope in my ability to calm myself through it.

I want to be clear here, this did not cure me! A real phobia, is a real phobia. It is something that by definition is “ABNORMAL!” It is not logical and it does not make sense to anyone not inflicted with it. As a child I made sure not to hide in tight closed spaces when playing ‘hide and seek.’ I never crawled to the end of my sleeping bag at sleepovers, and let’s just say, my sister’s knew never to play the ‘pull the sheets over Lisa’s head game!’  

But as an adult, my phobia reared it’s ugly head when I was taking my children to ‘Breakfast with Santa Claus.’  This was one of my favorite traditions we shared as a family. Macy’s department store put on a yearly ‘Breakfast with Santa Claus’ in their downtown store.

My Mom always gave the grandkids their special Christmas outfits early so they could wear them to the breakfast. We had been out of the country for awhile on the Mission Field, and I was so excited to be home and taking my children to this family tradition!

We pulled into the large multi-level parking garage and entered the elevator marked ‘Macy’s!’ We pushed the button and the doors closed. The elevator moved slowly and then we felt an abrupt jerk! The elevator had come to a stop, but the doors were not opening.

I had my children with me, I needed to maintain self-control! I breathed deeply, told them we would be fine, and looked frantically for the BIG RED EMERGENCY button!

I pushed it, NOTHING! I pushed it again, NOTHING! I pushed it again and again and again, Still NOTHING!

Panic began to set in!  I grabbed for the phone in the elevator but no one picked up!  The store was not open yet. They were opening early for the Breakfast with Santa Claus, and in case you are thinking what I’m thinking right now, there was no need to fear about lack of cell phone coverage, we didn’t have cell phones yet!

My phobia at this point was in full swing. The Big Red Button wasn’t working! The emergency phone wasn’t working! The store was not opening for hours and we were STUCK! I felt completely HOPELESS and had no way out.

I began to breath. To practice the self-control my Dad had taught me years ago. As I did, oxygen returned to my brain, I could think more clearly, and I knew what to do.

PRAY! Ask God to take my HOPELESS situation and restore HOPE to it.

I did, and He did! We still do not know how the door got opened, but it opened!

There is no logical answer for it. The big red button went unanswered, the phone rang and rang and rang with no one on the other end of it, and the store remained closed. However, our elevator door opened after twenty long, excruciating minutes. 

God restored our HOPE after we trusted in His trustworthiness!

Friend, whether you have a phobia like I do or not, we all get STUCK! Getting STUCK makes us feel HOPELESS.

Why am I in this situation again? Why can I not seem to change this situation? Why do I feel tossed about by this situation to the point of sheer HOPELESSNESS?

The answer is, because we are listening to the lie of the enemy and not to the Truth of Jesus!

Lie # 12 – I am hopeless, I can never change.

Truth # 12 – With God’s help I can change. I serve the God of HOPE!

And this HOPE will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love.     Romans 5:5

This Hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls. It leads us through the curtain into God’s inner sanctuary.”    Hebrews 6:19

Bottom line…We must detox the lie of the enemy that we are HOPELESS!

If we belong to Jesus, He has given us the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we are filled with HOPE!

Paul writes in the book of Romans that our God is the SOURCE of HOPE!  If we “take a deep breath,” maintain our self-control and detox the lie of the enemy and trust in Him, we will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit!

I pray that God, the source of HOPE, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident HOPE through the power of the Holy Spirit.”    Romans 15:13

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I am hope filled when I am filled with the Spirit of God!

We all get stuck sometimes and panic can set in quickly. It is what we do at that moment that matters. Do we allow the LIE of the enemy to take root and render us frozen in panic and fear? I AM HOPELESS?

Or, do we breath deeply, speak a prayer, detox the lie, and allow the power of God’s Holy Spirit to fill us with confident HOPE?

The choice is mine, and the choice is yours! 

Speak Truth Love

SPIRITUAL DETOX: Week 11, God cares about me, and my problems.

Do you ever feel like you are one of “those” people?

You know, the ones that are always at the top of every prayer request list. The ones who walk around with their head bowed out of a “poor me” attitude. The ones who seem to have that dark cloud that follows them wherever they go. Even if the sun is out and there is not a cloud in the sky, they carry an umbrella!

The ones who live life with a “cup half empty” attitude, instead of a “cup half full” attitude. 

I feel like that sometimes, and I hate it when I do! I want to be that person who lifts others up. Who shines her joy at all times and who others do not run away from when they see me coming!

But life happens, and this world does not always serve up iced buttercream cupcakes on a silver platter followed by a cappuccino chaser. Alougth, I would love it if it did!

God knows that and He cares! God cares about my problems. The very best part is that He not only cares about my problems, He is right there with me going through them.

Give all your worries and cares to God, for He cares about you.”    I Peter 5:7

Another version uses the word ANXIETY, instead of worries.

Anxiety…sound familiar? Anxiety in our world is at an all time high!  We are not simply treating adults for anxiety these days, we are treating children as well and even animals.

Anxiety is an epidemic in our culture and is raging out of control!

Why, you might ask?

The answer lies in the following verse:

Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”   1 Peter 5:8

Anxiety is defined as: “Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear or danger or misfortune.”

AKA, WORRY!

I heard a brilliant Pastor recently preach a message on fear and anxiety! (I happen to be married to him! Great perk!)  He quoted a statistic that over 85% of what we worry about never even happens!

You do the math! That means we are wasting a lot of valuable time with fear, worry and anxiety. Not to mention the myraid of issues and problems that stem from our worry and anxiety!

So you ask HOW? How do we handle fear anxiety and worry? 

We DETOX the lie of the enemy that says, “God helps those who help themselves, He doesn’t care about me and my problems.”

And we live out the TRUTH, that we are to “give all of our worries and cares to God, because He cares about me!”

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GOD CARES ABOUT ME, AND CAN HANDLE ALL OF MY FEAR AND ANXIETY.

Lie # 11– God doesn’t want me to bother Him with my problems. God helps those who help themselves.

Truth #11– God cares about me, and my problems.

Detox the LIE by replacing it with God’s Truth! God cares about every single detail of your life my friend. He knows we live in a world full of fear, trouble, struggle and a whole lot of other negatives. He knows that it produces anxiety, worry and stress in us. But our loving, gracious, all-powerful God has provided the antidote! When we look to Him, trust in Him, Pray to Him and give Him our worries, He cares for us and allows us to stand firm in our faith.

Allow God’s TRUTH to be louder in your life as you give Him your cares and feel Him care for you!

Speak Truth Love

SPIRITUAL DETOX: Week 10, God gives me His strength and protection, I am not alone!

The young seventeen year old girl placed her suitcases in the trunk of an old greenish pacer. The pacer would be recalled for it’s make and model just three years later. However, the wide body design would provide a much welcome space for this young girl to sit quietly, wrapped in a comforting blanket her grandmother had made her, and pray silently that God would stay close to her as she made the 48 hour trek across the middle of the United States to the Bible College she would be attending. 

As her suitcases hit the floor of the trunk and the echo of the metal hitting metal as the trunk closed rung in her ears, she gulped as she realized she was now alone for the first time in her life. As the car pulled away from her grandparents driveway, her heart sank just a bit lower than it had as her car, only one week earlier, had pulled out of her driveway at the home she had grown up in from fifth grade through High School graduation.

This was real, it was happening! She was leaving her home and family and driving half way across the country to attend a Bible College where she knew NO ONE except the driver of the car she now found herself in. Looking out the window of that pacer she watched as the hot, cotton fields of Arizona gave way to the red dirt mountains of New Mexico. It was dark now, night had come, but the stars reflected the light that softly lit the carved mountains that began to look more like statues as the car passed one after the other until the first light of dawn appeared. The car stopped for gas and snacks at a truck stop and then continued on through the flat plains of Kansas and Oklahoma finally arriving at it’s destination…Ozark Bible College. 

The girl wasn’t sure she could bring herself to open the car door. She sat there for what seemed like an eternity contemplating the truth that lie ahead of her. She was alone now. She had made this choice believing God was calling her to full-time Christian study. She had left her family that she adored and cherished. Her mom and her sisters, all three of them, had been her life for all of her seventeen years. She missed them so much already that her heart ached with a greater pain than she had ever experienced before! She left her Dad behind also with their relationship being anything but good. She left behind her beloved Northern California with all of it’s natural beauty, it rivers, lakes, streams, mountains, and remarkable trees! She was alone, truly alone in a foreign place. Fear gripped every inch of her being. Somehow, she reached for the door handle and pushed the door open to face her “new normal.” 

She heard that familiar metal sound releasing the metal on metal and opening to reveal her suitcases lying there on the trunk floor. This was real, she was now in Missouri! She pulled her suitcases from the trunk and carried them down the cement walkway leading to ‘Beaver Dorm.’ This would be her “home away from home” now. She entered room 33 and was greeted by the cutest little texan gal with a strong southern drawl! “Hi there, my name is Lexi, what’s yours?” “Lisa,” I answered, “Hi.” She continued talking in that adorable southern accent, but her words began to blend together as my mind spun out of control.

What have I done? Me, the one voted, “Least likely to leave home,” in her High School yearbook! Me, the traditionalist that held family traditions right up there with the 10 commandments! Me, the one who prioritized God first and family next!

WHAT WAS I THINKING?

Was it too late to race back to that ugly, green pacer and put it in reverse and go HOME?Everything in me cried for comfort, normalcy and the known. I was faced with exactly the opposite, and I was ALONE!

Somewhere in my panicked state my cute little texan roommate had exited. I didn’t see her go or remember her leaving but my eyes were now drawn to her reentering our dorm room.

She stretched out her hand toward me and handed me a small 3 x 3 inch plaque. Through my blurry, confused eyes I made out the reference at the bottom, Philippians 4:13!

She then placed her two hands on my two shoulders and prayed, “Dear God, please let Lisa know that she can do anything in your strength. Amen!”

Then she left the room again. A quiet strength filled my body, from the top of my head to the bottom of my toes, I suddenly knew I was not alone. Not here in that dorm room hundreds of miles away from my family and home, and not any moment of any day since!

I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 (NAS)

This became my Life’s verse. From that day forward I felt God’s presence filling me with His strength and His protection. That day I replaced the lie of the enemy that I was alone, that I had to be self-sufficient and “pull myself up by my own bootstraps.” NO, God was with me wherever I was. He was my strength and He would protect me.

Do you struggle with loneliness or fear? Do you struggle with inadequacy believing you have to do it on your own? Replace that LIE with God’s TRUTH my friend.

LIE #10 – I have to be self-sufficient and I am alone.

TRUTH #10 – God gives me His strength and protection, I am not alone!

But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  II Corinthians 12:9

When you are “not enough”, He is MORE THAN ENOUGH!

When you are weak, He is STRONG!

When you are lonely, He is your COMFORTER!

When you are afraid, He is SUFFICIENT!

His power is perfected in our weakness! 

TRUTH BOMB

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MY GRACE IS SUFFICIENT FOR YOU, FOR MY POWER IS MADE PERFECT IN WEAKNESS!

As I write these words and close this Blog post, I am confident that the God who spoke those words of TRUTH over me 41 years ago and has faithfully worked them in my life regardless of my circumstances, will do the very same for you!

You too, My Friend, “can do all things through Christ who strengthens you!” Amen!

Speak Truth Love