To know the Lord…

“…he [Josiah] was just and right in all his dealings. That is why God blessed him. He gave justice and help to the poor and needy, and everything went well for him. Isn’t that what it means to know Me?, says the Lord.”
~ Jeremiah 22: 15b-16

This verse jumped out at me, this morning, in my daily Bible reading. I can’t believe I hadn’t noticed it before!


It’s Alive!

I love it when authors take apart verses from the Bible and show you the underlying meaning of them, or the overall theme. You don’t necessarily see that stuff when you’re just reading the Bible.

It’s only when you sit with the passages, and pull them apart — see the humanity in them, and place them within the context of when they were written — that the words and stories come alive and teach you something real.

One in a Million” study: Week 6 notes

One in a Million: Journey to Your Promised Land by Priscilla Shirer

WEEK 6 ~ Notes:

* Joshua made obedience a PRIORITY.

* What do we miss because we don’t obey God immediately?

* Keep your eyes peeled for God’s activity and follow after Him! ~ Ask Him to heighten your awareness of His presence & activity in your life.

* the best example of ministry is when people just point out Jesus (John 1:35,36).

* Start living today like God has already performed the biggest miracle of your life … It takes FAITH to start preparing ourselves for a miracle we haven’t even (yet) seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

* Every good thing isn’t necessarily a GOD thing.

* What “good” stuff do you have to pass up in order to spend more time with God?

:: Many modern Christ followers fall short of placing full confidence in God’s power and abilities.

:: Neither Moses’ nor Joshua’s background made them likely candidates for the roles God chose for them… In both instances, the Lord enabled these faithful men to handle their assignments… Both were sovereignly asked to lead without prior training.

:: Joshua’s quick acceptance showed more than just his willingness to obey; it pointed to an unwavering courage in the face of risk.

:: Joshua demonstrated complete confidence in the One who was on his side (Romans 8:31).

:: God assured Moses that his inability could not override divine ability working through him. The same is true of every circumstance in a believer’s life.

:: Stepping into the abundant life of promised-land living takes courage.

:: The battles you’ll fight and the unconventional means by which the Lord may ask you to fight them will require a firm commitment to do as God asks.

:: The Devil will not wait patiently for you to acquire your God-given inheritance. He knows that once you enter the abundant life of Canaan you will never want to leave. His goal is to scare you off before your palate can grow accustomed to the taste of milk and honey… the task of taking Canaan is upon us. Now is the time to move forward without fear.

:: Will we accept our posts? (those given to us here & now)

:: Often we become so consumed with envy over what God asks someone else to do that we fail to get around to what God asks of us.

:: Promised-Land living is largely about knowing, accepting, and doing God’s will for us.

:: The Holy Spirit gives spiritual gifts to all believers in Jesus Christ. God designed each gift to enable a believer to accomplish His calling on his/her life. When a believer exercises their gift, they build and encourage the entire body of believers. Since every gift is necessary, none is more important or critical than another (1 Corinthians 12:1, 4-31).

:: God uses our current experiences to prepare us for what’s ahead.

((…to be continued…))

24 Verses in 2010

eLisa, of, hosts this little event on the 1st & 15th of each month. You pick a Scripture verse to memorize and meditate on for the following two (2) weeks. I’ve decided that I’m going to play along, as I’ve recently come to the conclusion (thanks, Lord!) that I need to memorize more Scripture. 😉

Obviously, given that I’m starting today, on March 1st, it’s going to be more like 20 verses in 2010, for me! LOL. But, that’s okay. It’s still better than the “0 verses” I have had of late! 😉

So, my first verse is the one I’ve got over there in the left sidebar… Psalm 34:4… which says:

So often, I am fearful, and I know I don’t need to be; not with God standing by my side. But, for whatever reason, I still tend to let fear get the best of me.

This verse is a good one to hide in my heart, as it reminds me that God hears me ~and answers me!~ when I cry out to Him with my fears… and that He can rid me of them, once and for all. 😉

The future…revealed!

Lately, I’ve been very interested in the fact that God seems to reveal the future to His people. And, because of said interest, I’ve been trying to write down every reference to this that I’m finding through my reading of the Bible.

I’m going to use this post as a sort of record of what I’ve found (or am finding). I’ll add to it as I find more.

But, I’m curious, too — do you think that God still reveals the future to His people? Do you think He still tells them of what’s to come in order to prepare them? Why, or why not?

Here’s the evidence I’ve found, so far, from the Word — incidences where God told His people of what their future would hold:

Genesis 25:23 ~ “And the Lord told her [Rebekah], ‘The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals…your older son will serve your younger son.

Genesis 41:25 ~ “…God is telling Pharaoh in advance what He is about to do.” [Joseph speaking to Pharaoh]

Genesis 46:4 ~ “I [God] will go with you [Jacob] down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.”

Exodus 3:16-22 ~ (God tells Moses how He’s going to free the Israelites from Egypt, and about how Pharaoh is going to get hard-hearted and argue).

Leviticus 25:20-22 ~ “But you might ask, ‘What will we eat during the seventh year, since we are not allowed to plant or harvest crops that year?’ Be assured that I [God] will send My blessing for you in the sixth year, so the land will produce a crop large enough for three years. When you plant your fields in the eighth year, you will still be eating from the crop of the sixth year…

Numbers 20:23-26 ~ “There, on the border of the land of Edom, the LORD said to Moses and Aaron, ‘The time has come for Aaron to join his ancestors in death. He will not enter the land I am giving the people of Israel…Now take Aaron and his son Eleazar up Mount Hor. There you will remove Aaron’s priestly garments and put them on Eleazar, his son. Aaron will die there and join his ancestors.’

Deuteronomy 13:1 ~ “Suppose there are prophets among you, or those who dream dreams about the future, and they promise you signs and miracles…

Judges 13:3, 5 ~ “The angel of the LORD appeared to Manoah’s wife and said, ‘Even though you have been unable to have children, you will soon become pregnant and give birth to a son… his hair must never be cut. For he will be dedicated to God as a Nazirite from birth. He will begin to rescue Israel from the Philistines.’

1 Samuel 2:31b, 33-34 ~ “…All the members of your family will die before their time. None will reach old age… Those who survive will live in sadness and grief, and their children will die a violent death. And to prove that what I have said will come true, I will cause your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, to die on the same day.”

1 Kings 13:3,5 ~ “That same day, the man of God gave a sign to prove his message. He said, ‘The LORD has promised to give this sign: This altar will split apart, and its ashes will be poured out onto the ground…’ At the same time, a wide crack appeared in the altar, and its ashes poured out, just as the man of God had predicted in his message from the LORD.”

Isaiah 38:7 ~ “And this is the sign from the LORD to prove that He will do as He promised…

Isaiah 44:7 ~ “Who is like Me? Let him step forward and prove to you his power. Let him do as I have done since ancient times when I established a people and explained its future.

Isaiah 46:9,10 ~ “For I alone am God! I am God, and there is none like Me. Only I can tell you the future before it even happens. Everything I plan will come to pass, for I do whatever I wish.” ***

Jeremiah 44:29 ~ “‘And this is the proof I give you,’ says the LORD, ‘that all I have threatened will happen to you…’

Matthew 17:22-23 ~ “…Jesus told them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of His enemies. He will be killed, but on the third day He will be raised from the dead.’ And the disciples were filled with grief.”

Matthew 23:34 ~ “Therefore, I [Jesus] am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers of religious law. But you will kill some by crucifixion, and you will flog others with whips in your synagogues, chasing them from city to city.

Matthew 26:32 ~ “But after I [Jesus] have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.”

Matthew 26:34 ~ “Jesus replied, ‘I tell you the truth, Peter — this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know Me.'”

Matthew 28:10 ~ “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.‘”

Mark 14:8 ~ “She has done what she could and anointed My body for burial ahead of time.” [I wonder if God spoke to the woman, told her that Jesus was going to die, and instructed her to go do that?!]

Mark 14:13-15 ~ “So Jesus sent the two of them into Jerusalem with these instructions: ‘As you go into the city, a man carrying a pitcher of water will meet you. Follow him. At the house he enters, say to the owner, ‘The Teacher asks: Where is the guest room where I can eat the Passover meal with My disciples?’ He will take you to a large room upstairs that is already set up. That is where you should prepare our meal.” [again, I wonder if God told the owner of the house –in advance– that 2 men would be coming to ask this!]

Luke 1:13 ~ “But the angel said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! God has heard your prayer. Your wife, Elizabeth, will give you a son, and you are to name him John.’

Luke 1:31 ~ “You [Mary] will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus.”

Luke 2:11-12 ~ “The Savior –yes, the Messiah, the LORD– has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David. And you will recognize Him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snuggly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

John 14:29 ~ “I [Jesus] have told you these things before they happen so that when they do happen, you will believe.”

John 16:13 ~ “He [the Holy Spirit] will tell you about the future.”

Ephesians 3:3 ~ “…God Himself revealed His mysterious plan to me.

Beth Moore’s “Esther“: Weeks 5-9

Here are the notes I took from weeks 5-9 of the Beth Moore “Esther” study:


* In a book with no blatant mention of God, one of the biggest and most important concepts of providence in the book of Esther is TIME.

* Sometimes our emotions are not going to precede our actions.

* we’ll never fulfill our God-ordained destinies as long as we’re still straddling the fence — we need to put away the things of our old (pagan) life and follow Christ completely.

Question: Can others see the difference that Christ makes in your life???

* there’s a power that comes with wisdom & wait

* women are not powerless! We’ve been given the gift of INFLUENCE.

* our strength will be depleted if we’re waiting on the thing… but it will be renewed when we wait on God (see Isaiah 40:31).

* God is deeply attentive to our most secret hurts, concerns, and hopes.

* God cannot break His promises (see 2 Timothy 2:13).

* we learn as much from Scripture about what we don’t want to be as what we do.


* a REVERSAL OF DESTINY is where what appeared to be the future is suddenly changed by an intervention that can only be divine.

* “Chiastic Structure“: a reversal of structures to emphasize an overarching point…

For example: “We don’t live to eat, we eat to live.

A = live
B = eat

A                   B


B                   A

* “Peripety“: a sudden turn of events that reverses the expected or intended outcome… the hinge on which our reversal of destiny turns.

* Esther was called to obedience, not to figure out how it was all going to go down.

–> we, too, are not responsible for how this thing works out… we’re just called to be obedient, moment by moment.

* perfectionism would’ve paralyzed Esther…if she’d given way to it.


* Every turn-around begins with a single step.

* God KNOWS how to rescue me! (see 2 Peter 2:9)

* when your prayer request waits, you are waiting — but so is the Lord… there is something that the wait is for (it accomplishes something).

* God waits for our trust

* God’s patience always involves His passion (see Revelation 1:9, The Message)

* there’s a God in Heaven who can take where your life is headed, pick you up, and point you in a new direction.

* sometimes God wants to show us what we can do, rather than let us find someone who can do it for us.

* God reversed every negative of His threatened people into a positive.

* God, alone, is the author of reversals.


* we can’t know victory unless we’ve gone through something difficult enough –> you have to know what it’s like to come up against fierce opposition.

* God’s grace is sufficient according to our true needs… not according to our imagined fears (sometimes we fear things we just made up).

* Every time you’re in a tight fist of fear, remember that you’re in something much tighter!

Isaiah 49:16 — “See, I have engraved you on the palms of My hands…

((to “engrave” something on the palm of your hand, you’d have to be holding it fairly tightly — God holds us in His hand tight enough that we’re “engraved” there!))

* YOU can make principalities cower!

* want the upper hand? Get your hands up in the air, raising your troubles to God!

* God fights for me! (His son even died for me, already!)

* know, above all else, that your God LOVES YOU!

* we rarely take the time to rest, reflect, and celebrate after a victory… we need to go out of our way to remember the wonderful works that God has done.

* Esther shows that ordinary events are NEVER coincidental in the lives of God’s people.

* [God] will be faithful to you… do not fret. When you least expect it, God can turn it all around.

* every time in the Bible where there’s war & bloodshed, there is first a warning — a chance to repent and walk away. Everyone gets a chance to start fresh.


* when God’s done something good for you, you have permission to PARTY & celebrate!

* we are complete in Christ, but we’ll not fulfill our destinies without our “along-withs” –> there are some things we need to do with others, as a partnership. We’re not meant to do it all alone.

* you can’t tell, as  it’s going along, that everything is going according to plan — things can seem dark, gray, and uncertain. Hindsight, though, reveals God’s master plan, and how it was accomplished. 😉

* we women are in bondage to the way we view men… we’re obsessed with them

–> save your obsessions & the deepest needs of your soul for Christ, alone.

* take all of your insecurities to Christ as He (unlike humans/men) is never overwhelmed by you, or your neediness.

* if I’m in God’s shadow, then He is going before me, and He is standing between me & my enemies.

Beth Moore’s “Esther“: Weeks 1-4

Esther_study_BethMoore My church’s ladies’ Bible study group has been working their way through Beth Moore’s study of the book of “Esther“, subtitled “It’s Tough Being a Woman“. And, man, is it ever good! I’m learning so much!

So, I thought I’d give you a little bit of a taste of what I’ve been learning! Here are the quotes I’ve gotten from weeks 1-4, plus the introduction…


Providence” = nothing happens by chance

– What God’s Word says is TRUE… what I’m feeling is not necessarily true. For example: If I feel that God isn’t present with me, that’s a LIE! God’s Word says that God will “never leave me or forsake me”.

I found it interesting that… Esther marries a PAGAN king and then stays (and lives) in a PAGAN nation –> this makes me think of my own life, married to an unbeliever, and having a good number of unbelieving family members.

– it’s not so much our story as it is God’s story ~ and it becomes ours as He writes us into it.

– the Bible is full of stories where it seems like everything is hopeless, but then God saves the day so that His glory can be revealed (eg. Abraham sacrificing Isaac; Moses’ entire life!; Joseph being sold into slavery; Shadrach/Meshach/Abednego being thrown into the furnace; Jesus’ death on the cross; etc).

– the most freeing thing we can ever do is to abdicate the thrown of our own miniature kingdoms

– we have a sovereign God who reigns over all and is threatened by NONE


* “You cannot amputate your history from your destiny

– don’t ever forget what God dragged you out of!

– repetition in Scripture usually means that God is making a point

– every time a Biblical character is mentioned for the first time, you can be sure there’s something important to learn

I found it interesting… that Esther grew up without her dad being present… like me!

– God sometimes allows our confusion to coax us into further study of the entire Word. Only by measuring actions by other Scripture can we clarify right and wrong in certain morally ambiguous narratives.

– …some events remain gray to us regardless of our search through other Scriptures, leaving us without definitive ways to measure them. At those times, we might assume that God means to teach us a historical or spiritual lesson more than an ethical or moral one.

– that’s why God is busy conforming us into the likeness of Christ alone. None of the rest of us can bear the burden of constancy.

– we, too, can become so steeped in our culture that we are almost indistinguishable from the world. We, too, can lose our sense of identity and forget who we are.

– we who comprise the His bride will make ourselves ready for the King through nothing less than the soul-healing pursuit of purity.


* “Insecurity is at the heart of every rivalry.”

– there’s nothing meaner than a coward

you’ll never be more prone to the enemy’s attack than when God has set you free from some sort of captivity, but you’re still on the raod to your ‘promised land’ (when you’re weary and frazzled from the journey).

meanness ALWAYS has a history –> it doesn’t just come out of nowhere

2 Corinthians 10:12 says that comparing ourselves to others is foolish … comparing leads us to feel threatened, in some way, which brings out our inner “mean girl”

– we need to learn to identify the threat, and then let God deal with it!


– sackcloth & ashes symbolized not only the Jews’ povery of spirit before the Lord, but their complete deadness without Him

– an in-depth approach to Scripture changes so much! The Holy Spirit ends up unearthing hidden treasures and shedding light on details that make a narrative spring to life in a way that casual reading can’t.

– …strength comes from muscle, and muscle develops with a workout. This is as true spiritually as physically. What we don’t use, we lose!

– when our old priorities don’t go with our new life, we either return to our old life, or adopt new priorities.

– priests of the Tabernacle would fast for 3 days to get ready to receive the Holy Spirit before entering the Holy of Holies… perhaps this is why Esther called for a 3-day fast with all of the Jews before approaching King Xerxes with her request.


– the most frequent command, given by God, in the Bible is… DON’T BE AFRAID!!!

– you can be brave!

– we can be one decision away from completely changing our outcome

– my current choices may have an impact on my destiny

– we’ll never know the abundant life (John 10:10) until we’re free from the grip of fear

– “COURAGE” comes from the Latin word, “cor“, meaning “heart

– Christ offers us the courage of His presence… make sure you take it! (“Take heart…”, He says)

Proverbs 31:10 – “A wife of noble character, who can find?“… term “noble character” is the same as the Greek word, translated “valor“, meaning “BRAVE“. Therefore, a “brave” woman is “more precious than rubies“.