Monday, September 19, 2011

The Godly Woman's Journey: REMODELED

Memory/Meditation verse: “Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.” ~ Zechariah 8:23 (NLT)

My husband and I love to take something old and thrown out and make it new again. We have enjoyed remodeling our 48 year old house. He now does this for a living. We can dream something so ugly and unusable into something beautiful and very livable, re-fresh it into something new again. For example....

I wish I had a better picture of this old house sitting in the country surrounded by corn fields and old barns. I drove by this old worn out house one day while visiting a patient. It captured my attention. I wondered what its story was in its beginning days. What was life like in her rooms? Who walked on her floors and what pictures hung on her walls? How many people crowded in during the holidays and who ran barefoot in the grass around this once magnificent home? Then I imagined how its story would eventually end...

Several weeks later I took my husband by this old house. His thoughts did the same as mine. Though the front porch and balcony has fallen, and one can see massive holes in the roofs and broken windows, does its life have to end like this in ruin or can it return to its intended grandeur?

With the touch of a re-modelers loving and compassionate hands could it not radiate once more? Maybe as a bed and breakfast or a winery? Does its life have to end so ugly, destroyed by life's wear and tear, eroded by poor choices of unkept care?
If in the right hands, it could radiate and draw in others to say...

"... we want to share in your destiny, because we have heard that God is with you". ~ (Zechariah 8:23, GNT)

My life and maybe your life at one time has resembled this fallen down house. Life choices and sin can make us this way. Sometimes our outward appearance resemble a shell of what we are but our insides are just a piece or worn out rubble ready to be bull dozed into the earth forever gone.

Our life can end in ruin or we can allow our creator who is gifted in the remodeling business to bring us to His glorious design. He can take something as hopeless as this old house and breath life into it. He has done that for me and He calls me to radiate so other will be drawn to learn more from this Remodeler. My part was surrender and obedience. Your part is surrender and obedience.

How is your life going to end? In ruin or remodeled by the Master of remodeling?
Imagine how your life could end in the Masters hands. This week make our memory/meditation verse your prayer and seek those areas in which you could use a little re-modeling so you can radiate your Master and draw others to Him.

Living in His Embrace~Pamela

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Godly Woman's Journey: Interruptions

Meditation/Memory verse: I will give you hidden treasures, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name. ~ Isaiah 45:3 (NIV)

Life interruptions. They seem to be everywhere. When one wakes up and plans out her day, often an interruption sets a different course to her plans. The godly woman is not immune to life's interruptions. After posting last weeks "alarmed" post, I remembered a bible study I did not to long ago by Priscilla Shirer on the book of Jonah- "Life's Interrupted: Navigating the Unexpected".

My mind felt
called to pick up this book again. As I mentioned in that post last week, people in the Old Testament lived by the stories passed down to them through the generations. They didn't have a bookstore on every corner, or the internet where they could go and buy their own set of biblical scrolls.

Did Jonah's story fall upon our Proverbs 31 Woman we have been studying this year? When she would travel to the synagogue, would her ears hear Jonahs story and her heart ponder his life interruptions and God's provisions?

I re-read the last chapter in this book again and find it to be another step in a Godly Woman's Journey worthy of exploring as we look at life's interruptions. Everything in brown will be from Priscilla's book.

In my personal story of my "alarm" with my cherished daughter, I spoke of the release I learned from the story of Jehoshaphat, son of king David, in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. Re-reading the last chapter of Priscilla's book was just a reminder, another confirmation of this:

"Interruptions call for surrender."

Yes, surrender to someone greater and more powerful than I or the circumstance. Surrender of my plan to His plan, accepting it as a greater good...somehow.




Loving God more with a surrendered heart and mind. Living in His embrace.

Living to...

"...face the divine interventions in his future with a different perspective, with a willingness to surrender to God's plan."

Life interruptions may be just the beginning of something even greater than I could have hoped for. In what feels like a lost may be a molding and changing crafted by the Experts hands. This pain, frustration and fear may actually break away the control that is preventing the spiritual vision of His view of the situation. I have to believe and to trust His perspective.

"All you need is the perspective that knows your God is at the wheel, setting you up to be the key player in an enormously supernatural outcome that is beyond what you's ever expect."

In four short chapters we read of a time in Jonahs life where his life hit some major interruptions. He choose to run from God's appointment. God followed Him, followed him until He got his attention and got the reaction He wanted and needed from him. God showed His persistence with his stubborn chosen one. Isn't God still like that today? Have you had some life interruptions that resulted in some actions much like Jonah and the persistence of God?

Here, from this study of Jonah by Priscilla Shirer, are some valuable steps for the godly woman to take when her plans are interrupted with God's plans:
  • recognize that your life interruptions are actually divine interventions, treat these interventions differently
  • yield to God's instructions instead of running off in the opposite direction
  • surrender your plans and purposes into the greater known of God's unknown design for your life
  • listen for His call to relationship even when the path to deeper intimacy feels frightening, risky, boring, or even unpleasant.
  • be willing to seek out the "Ninevites" around you, offering them the same mercy your God has extended to you
  • discontinue clinging to comforts and entitlements even when you know they are hindering you more than helping you
  • Him anyway.
"...there's one thing we can know for certain: yielded, obedient surrender will keep us right where God wants us. It will enable us to see our lives and futures the way God see's them, approaching each day with His contented, confident, comforting sense of perspective. Choosing to yield in obedience to His wise direction and calling is how a lot of our unfinished spiritual business becomes constructed into a legacy of faith. More each day. Each time we trust and obey."

Life's interruptions and surrender. Surrender that reveals to us more of God's plans, more of His spiritual richness and blessings. Spiritual discernment for the secrets of God.

The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law. ~ Deut. 29:29 (NIV)

In my personal case of a life plan interruption with my daughter, I am called to bend my knees and cry out to God asking that any generational curse be broken and that my children would pursue a way of life that honors him. If it means my daughter has to experience brokenness then I embrace it. I know the value of being broken.

"We just don't know what God is brewing. We just need to follow Him while fully trusting Him."

You have heard [these things foretold], now you see this fulfillment. And will you not bear witness to it? I show you specified new things from this time forth, even hidden things [kept in reserve] which you have not known.
~ Isaiah 48:6 (Amplified)

This week's assignment is hard. It requires commitment. This week I call us to surrender. Surrender your first waking minutes to God. Before you crawl out of bed, surrender you day to Him. Continue to surrender each hour of your living to Him. Purposefully examine each and every word or action in its relation to your desired surrender to God. Place the word "surrender" in every room of your house, in your car, on your desk so that you will be called to act upon it. Then when the week is over, examine your heart and note where this Godly Woman's Journey has taken you and be humbled and amazed!

Father, my Holy and Sovereign God, I praise you that I can live chosen by you. I praise you for your interruptions because you love me and care about the plans you have for me, for my calling, and for my family. Lord, I commit to surrender this week in a whole and new way. I commit to surrender my heart and mind, my life interruptions, to your purpose and will. Your plans are far greater than anything I can imagine and I fully release any misconceptions I may have in my own life that are not in alinement with you. Be my everything. May I be pliable enough to embrace your will, willing enough to accept your outcomes, worthy enough to embrace your presence. I love you lord and I trust you in all things...especially your work in my daughters life.

Living in His Embrace ~ Pamela

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Godly Woman's Journey: ALARMED

Memory/Meditation Verse: "You do not have to fight this [battle]. Position yourselves, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD. [He is] with you...Do not be afraid or discouraged. Tomorrow, go out to face them, for the LORD is with you. ”. 2 Chronicles 20: 17b (HCSB)

I came across a devotional not too long ago. I can't remember who wrote it or spoke it to give proper credit. It probably came from Proverbs 31 Ministry or my friend Elaine but this morning my heart has settle onto it's scripture once again and the role it has in a Godly Woman's Journey. When life gets tough...when burdens seem too heavy, when interruptions change your course, what should the godly woman's response be?

How did our
Proverbs 31 Woman handle life's interruptions at these times? Did she embrace these interruptions or try to change them to her plan? I would assume, knowing the way of Old Testament living, she followed the Joshua 1: 8 principle:

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. (Amplified Version)

Drawing from the Old Testament stories and learning from them as they were passed down from generation to generation was a cherished way of life in Biblical times. The story of Joshua had to be a valued principle as one sought intimacy with God in those days.

So too the story of Jehoshaphat, son of king David, in 2 Chronicles chapter 20. As you think about life stresses or interruptions...anything that puts you into an "alarmed" state of mind, examine what Jehoshaphat did to overcome his obstacle, his "alarm" that seemed to be doomed. You can read 2 Chronicles 20

Alarmed, Jehoshaphat resolved to inquire of the LORD, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah (verse 3)

"Alarmed". Webster gives synonyms for alarmed as: frightened, horrified, panicked, scared, shocked, spooked, startled, terrified, terrorized. Something we can associate with a life limiting diagnosis, a childs illness, a troubled teenager, a failing marriage, a lost job, death.

Yet, the stories told throughout the generations told of a very important step
Jehoshaphat took when he was overcome by his situation of "alarm". He "inquired of the Lord". How many wasted hours of worry, regret and remorse can we save in an "alarmed" situation if we only "inquire of the Lord".

But Jehoshaphat actions don't stop here. Verses 6-12 in 2 Chronicles is a prayer of submission and trust in his Sovereign God-his demonstration of how he "inquire of the Lord". As he inquired of the Lord, he "put his eyes upon God" for direction (vs 12):

"For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

And again he didn't stop there...

"Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s."

In a bold move, one that can be very hard when an "alarmed" state involves someone you love and cherish, Jehoshaphat released the "alarm" to God.

Releasing "alarm" can be painful. I have an interruption in my life, my plans, that has triggered my "alarms"....I have a teenage daughter, Emma, that thinks life on her own is better than my rules. She graduates high school early this December. My state will not support me in trying to force her back home because she is 17 ...old enough to make her own life choices. My heart feels great PAIN. My mind wants to PANIC. My plans for her have been interrupted.

Though my "alarm" has played havoc on my heart and mind I have released her into God's hands
. Though I want to grip her life back into my control, this release has allowed me to somehow walk in peace because I trust that anything and all things that happen to her because of her choices are still be under God's control.He has a plan. As much as I want to rescue her and save her, I know the power of brokenness and that she too now must journey there.

Jehoshaphat, a godly woman's journey involves facing "alarms" with God-confidence. Our Proverbs 31 Woman learned to stand strong as she face her "alarm" with God-confidence:

"You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you." (vs 17b)

“Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the LORD your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” (vs. 20b)

Listen godly woman...have faith...and you too will be upheld in life's interruptions!!

Jehoshaphat gives us one final step in facing an interruption, an "alarm"...

“Give thanks to the LORD,
for his love endures forever.”

Giving thanks to God for His plan, His deliverance, His protection before the "alarm" is resolved. An action that says "God, I love you." A reaction that that allows you to live in peace, to rest in Him...

And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side. (vs. 30b)

Rest on every side of your "alarm"...Peace....Living in His Embrace...just part of the godly woman's journey.

Father, my Holy and Sovereign God, I praise you for upholding me in my "alarms". I praise you in advance for Your protection, Your deliverance, Your plan when my plans are interrupted. I submit all my heart and mind with my "alarms" and rest secure in You. Thank you Lord for this peace that can only come from surrender to You. I love you Lord...I cling to Your presence in my life. ~ Amen

This week, concentrate on praising God in every minute, every interruption, and especially when your "alarms" go off. Make this a week of prayer and praise!!

Living in His Embrace~Pamela