Archives for November 2011

Nov 30

Beautiful guest post…by Samantha Reed…

Today, an absolutely beautiful guest post from Proverbs 31’s very own beautiful, graceful, and lovely Samantha Reed….

His wee body curled in the crook of my arm. And we rocked. So tiny, so new, only two days old. Six pounds and fifteen ounces, yet he bore the weighty truth. The Truth. Timeless, eternal.

“His first name means ‘Remembered by Yahweh (God).’ Anytime God reminds us in His Word that He remembers, it is a reminder of His faithfulness; that we’re always on His mind. His middle name means ‘faithful.”

A call and response.

His first name calls to mind the richness of God’s character: unfailing, hope, surety. His middle name elicits our soul’s response to Him: Yes, Lord. Today, tomorrow, for life, I will be faithful to You.

I’m beckoned by this wisdom. Summons I could not ignore.

A call to my mind to be weighted with this truth: God sees my circumstances.
A response for my thoughts to praise Him for wells, clouds and fire in the desert.

Heart valves open to the call of the Lord’s ever-presence.
A response for my emotions to bid on peace; treat worry as rubbish.

Actions form a line in front of God’s call of mercy.
A response for my ways to snuggle deep in His compassion.

God is ever calling, desiring my mind, heart and actions to respond.
His Names testify. I wonder, will you join me in a call and response?

El Shaddai reflects how He completely nourishes, satisfies and supplies as a mother would her child. He is our sustainer.

Yahweh is the promised name of God. Held in such high honor, it is too holy to even voice (by Jewish tradition).

Jehovah Nissi Jehovah denotes a God who reveals Himself unceasingly. Nissi means “banner.” In battle opposing nations flew their flags on a pole at their front lines. This gave soldiers hope and a place to focus. Jehovah Nissi is our banner of encouragement that gives hope and a focal point when we’re in battle.

Jehovah Rapha restores, heals and makes healthful. Our Great Physician makes better our physical and emotional needs.

Jehovah Mekoddishkem calls us to holiness and gently reminds us that it’s “The Lord who sets you apart.”

To know God, His nature—His Name—awakens the voice of my soul. I respond to the One my soul is connected to, eternally.

He calls : I respond.

I satisfy : I will be nourished in You.

I am holy : I will highly esteem You.

I cover you : I trust Your protection.

I heal…everything : I will ungrasp my heart for Your healing.

I make all things new : I believe You make beautiful things from dust.

He’s calling. His steadfast character and everlasting Name are calling. Friend, you are welcome and invited to respond. His desire is you, your response.

Let’s call on one of His Names and its meaning … and invite our heart, mind and actions to respond.

Samantha Reed hails from the North… but was raised in the South. Perhaps this unique medley of accents, food and temperature inspires her to write. She muses at Fields of Gold, is a contributor and assistant editor to Proverbs 31 Ministries’ Daily Devotions and is working on mixing her Yankee Belle experiences in her first novel.

Melissa
Nov 29

Blind and wandering…

As I sit down to write this morning I can’t help but be distracted by my daughter. Afraid, she slept on my floor last night. She brought ever blanket and pillow she owned into my bedroom and made her little nest right next to me. This morning, feeling better she moved it all back to her room. Not by carrying it though, she bear crawled across the wood floor sliding her blankets back to her room. All I could see from where I sat was a gigantic pile of fluffiness with little feet sticking out, moving down the hallway.

She finally made it to her room, and again I tried to focus on my writing. I just feel blank, empty, nothing to say. In fact I feel a lot like my daughter, shuffling my baggage from room to room in my mind looking for a comfortable place to lie down and rest. However, fear seems to follow and I can’t get comfortable anywhere.

Fear that I am not following God consistently. Fear that my apparent lack of insight this morning has to do with an apparent lack of anointing from a Savior who I feel at the moment is rejecting me. I know that is not true. I know God will never leave or abandon me, but that doesn’t always stop my mind from wandering. From looking and seeking Him for my own needs rather than resting in Him and asking Him what He needs from me.

So here it is my friends…me wordless…speechless…sightless…blind. How do we follow God consistently? It seems to revolve around a day to day and individual basis. Today, for me, it involves being in a place so vulnerable as to reach up my hand…even though I am blind as to what I am reaching for…and remind myself that I have nothing to offer. NOTHING to offer. That ANYTHING I have been given is a gift from God. That blindness is sometimes the only way we can be made to see. So I will follow God blind today. I don’t know what the next minutes, hours, or days hold…but I know that He is holding me. How do I follow God consistently? I choose to keep walking even when I am blind…

Blessings….Stephanie

Melissa
Nov 26

A Confident Heart – Week 10

“Trust in the Lord God will ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” Proverbs 3:5

Hey ya’ll…so it’s Stephanie and I’m taking over Melissa’s blog for the week!!! Which I LOVE to do because I LOVE to hang out over here! Even more so after a week like last week when I was reminded of just how nasty life can be.

If you keep up with the Online Bible Studies Facebook page, you know that Melissa has spent the last few days with a friend of ours who has been very ill in the hospital. Being hundreds of miles away in Texas, I have felt helpless as there has been absolutely nothing I can do for that dear friend in the hospital, except pray. Why do I say this, “except pray”, like it is some sort of last resort rather than the best option? If I was there I would sit next to her. If I was there I would bring her coffee and milkshakes and read to her. I would stay with her so that she would not be alone and somehow all of these things seemed better than prayer.

I often question why I have to be so far away from her and other people I care about. I wonder if God doesn’t question the same thing…why am I so far away from Him? The difference is that I couldn’t get to my friend because she lives hundreds of miles away. But God, He is closer than my husband who sits right next to me. He lives inside of me, and yet at times I treat Him like He is somewhere up in the clouds.

How do we get to the point where we begin to treat God as our life breath rather than our final option? How do we learn to follow Him consistently? How do we come to the point where we trust Him with all of our heart and willingly choose to trust Him more than we trust ourselves? When will I get to the point where I don’t want to rescue my friend but rather lay her life in her Father’s hands knowing that is the best place for her to be?

When I think of literally trusting in God with all my heart, I imagine myself in a box surrounded by the walls of trust. There is no way to lean on my own understanding because every wall around is bathed in trusting Him. But some things don’t fit into my box. My friends hurting doesn’t fit into my trust God box because it doesn’t make sense to me. How could a God that loves her allow this to happen? This doesn’t look like love? It looks like hurt and sorrow and pain. I don’t understand. But God does.

What was not thought of, or known by me, is known by God. He knows the “why”, and my job is to trust. Trusting God in this world is like trying to stay dry in the pouring rain…it can only happen under shelter…the shelter of Him…otherwise it is impossible. But when we surround ourselves with Him, and abide in His promises we can see God’s promises beyond the pain. Our circumstances may not make sense, but God’s love is a truth we can trust.

This week as we explore Chapter 10 “I cannot follow God consistently” I hope you will keep two words in mind. The word “walk” and the word “heal”…two words that are essential to our journey with Christ. We must keep walking and He will keep healing…it won’t always be comfortable, but He will not let the pain exceed the purpose.

The week’s assignments are as follows:

Monday: Read Chapter 10…it has been my FAVORITE so far…although I do say this about every Chapter Renee has written!!!
Tuesday: Answer questions 1-2, and stop by Melissa’s blog for a post from me
Wednesday: Answer questions 3-4
Thursday: Answer questions 5-7, and stop by Melissa’s blog for a mystery surprise guest post
Friday: Review the chapter and questions if you would like to, and stop by Melissa’s blog for a vlog
Saturday: Rest!!!

Memory Verse: There are 2 options this week…

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1b

 
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6

 
It would be my honor to pray for you before you leave…
Dear Lord, thank you so much for my sweet, amazing, beautiful, beloved bible study sisters. Each and every day they inspire me and spur me forward to seeking more and more of you. Throughout the week help us to lean harder and harder into you. As we tear down walls made from hurt and shame, help us to build up walls of trust so that we may lean on you in any direction our circumstances take us. Equip us with peace, rest, love, and an understanding of your truth. Remind us that as we seek you more, come to know you more, and allow ourselves to be loved by you…we cannot help but follow you more and more consistently. Thank you for being always amazing. In Jesus Name I Pray, Amen.

Be loved this week dear sister…live loved…because you absolutely totally and perfectly loved by God.

Stephanie Clayton
http://www.stephanieclayton.org

Melissa