Wednesday, October 21, 2009

El Roi

From Elohim, we learn the reason for our existence and the motivation for obedience. From El Elyon, we learn to abandon our analytical nature and fall on our faces in worship.
Oh, but from El Roi, we learn the protection of being seen/known.

The story God chooses to reveal Himself as El Roi is one of the most difficult stories in the Word. It is a confusing story. It is a name revealed to woman - a woman in intense pain, embarrassment, suffering abuse and abandonment.

Reminder: Isaiah 45: 3 "I will give you the treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places so that you may KNOW that I am the God of Israel who summons you by name."

In Genesis 12, God promises Abram and Sarai a child. They wait ten years. Sarai gets frustrated in the waiting and decides God must have called her to help Him out. She tells Abram to take Hagar, her Egyptian servant, and sleep with her. Sarai's plan appears to be that Hagar would be the first surrogate mother - and we have no reason to believe that Hagar was ever asked to apply for that role.
Verse 4 tells us that when Hagar's eyes fell to the positive pregnancy test, hatred arose in her heart for Sarai. Sarai got the nod from Abram to do 'whatever she thought best' to Hagar.
The NIV said Sarai 'mistreated' Hagar - enough so that she ran out of town.

Along the way, by the spring in the desert, she met an angel of the Lord who began to ask her questions - questions he already knew the answers to: "where have you come from, and where are you going?"
At that place is where Hagar called the Lord - El Roi, the God Who sees me.

(Doesn't that remind you of another woman by a well?)

*We can know that He "gets us". He knows more about what has happened to us than we have a clue. He knows more about what we have done than we have a clue.
*We know that He can fill the crevices of our heart with Himself.
*We can tattle to Him about our pain and know He sees it all!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

El Elyon

God as our Elohim, our Strong Creator, the Source of everything! His instructions for life matter!

I received an electric frying pan as a wedding gift - oh my, 33 years ago. If you were around in the 70's, you remember that harvest gold color every kitchen boasted. That skillet has long been gone - but only after frying up approximately 1,969,234 chicken strips. My family loves chicken strips! After a few years of once-a-week chicken-frying, that skillet had this film on the outside I could not scrub off - no matter how much elbow grease I invested. I desperately wanted to soak that baby in Comet (remember that stuff?) - but there were 3 words on the bottom that prohibited me from that move - boy, did that take self-control. The words: Do Not Immerse were embossed on the underside of my favorite appliance. What?!?! It would look so much better - at least, I know it would make me feel so much better. I had a choice to make. I could soak it, feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment, and never use it to fry those slim strips again. Or I could follow the instructions and continue to use it to delight my family; I could continue to use to do what it was made to do.

That's how it is with God! His instructions for us empower us to do what we were made to do. His instructions for the way to do life free us to worship Him! El Elyon, the Most High God -- the King of kings, the Lord of Lords. The most superlative! He reveals Himself as the Owner, the Possessor of heaven and earth.

El Elyon is the name Satan lusts after.

El Elyon will do whatever it takes in the lives of His creation to humble us and bend our knee to His throne. (read Daniel 4: 34-37)

It is totally impossible to comprehend El Elyon and not worship Him!
I am at a season of life when my best times of worship are when I am totally alone because I have to focus on not distracting other people through my freedom and celebration. It hit me in the 90's while watching my sons play football. I could act like a total maniac because a ball crossed a line in the grass but not on Sundays because my Savior died while hanging on wood - that the tomb they buried Him in is empty! What??? Desire to celebrate - oh my! We have to celebrate!

Wednesday night in class we brainstormed some of the worship language used in the Word: dancing, lifting hands, clapping, bowing, standing, falling on your face, shouting.

I know our hearts can fully worship in total silence, but I sure desire to celebrate everyday in reckless abandonment, to proclaim that I serve El Elyon, the Most High!

May the stones never cry out! (Luke 19: 37-40)
May we bring to Him a "sacrifice of praise"! (Hebrews 13:15)

Someday, when I see Him face to face and know Him as I am known, I will worship in community with other 'crazy mamas'! Can't wait!

Monday, October 05, 2009


I love our Wednesday night community of women - we gather to share in relationship with one another, to lift each other in prayer, and to open God's Word and find some passages to marinate through our souls. I have spent three weeks introducing the study I began in 1994 to "find out what pleases the Lord". I desperately want to know Him. I want to "seek Him with all my heart." God set out through the beginning of time to invite us into His heart by introducing Himself.

Genesis 1:1 -- "In the beginning God..." Elohim, the Strong Creator, the source of everything!
In creation, when God spoke, things happened! The key words in the creation story are: God spoke, 'Let...' and 'it was good.'
In Genesis 1, Elohim is used 32 times in reference to the King of my life. Elohim is a plural noun used with a singular verb - oh so interesting!

In Genesis 1: 26 -- "Then God said, Let us make man in our image..."
What are the implications when He says He made us in His image?

A few weeks ago, I had the blessing of going to Memphis where my son and his precious family live. Memphis is one of my favorite places on earth because it is home to Truitt and Noah. Noah is our brand new addition! He is our first grandchild that is a twinkie to one of our own. He looks exactly like Josh, his daddy. Looking into his eyes one night as I was babysitting and feeding him a bottle took me back in time and filled my heart with sweet remembrances. I felt this swell of love for him - he looked like 'us'. Don't you know that is how God feels when He sees us reflect His family well - when we reveal His heart to the hurting, when we love another well. I wonder if He gets that fatherly smile on His precious face and brags to the Son and Spirit: "Look what we made in our image!"

We look most like Him when we have the heart to do what He made us to be:

*He wired us for community. God was the originator of the 'team' concept.

*He made us to react quickly when stressed, but He never planned on us living in stress.
Serotonin (the 'peace' hormone) and cortisol (the stress hormone) rival for the same receptors in the brain. When both are elevated, cortisol wins every time because your body responds quickly to protect your life. Today, way too many of us are oozing cortisol - not a healthy way to do life, not the way we are made!

*Elohim wired us for monogamy - one woman, one man forever! I LOVE my job! Current research, not Christian research, validates that this principle leads to much better health in every arena of life!

*God made you to love well! Oxytocin, the 'cuddle' hormone, is what encourages healthy attachment with others. While, oxytocin floods our systems at childbirth, breastfeeding, orgasms, it is also surging through sweet encounters with your partners, children, and friends.

*Our Strong Creator made us to worship Him!

Psalm 46: 10 "Be still and know that I am God (the Strong Creator)."

Isaiah 43: 7 tells us why we were created: "everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made."

We were created to bring our Elohim glory - to make Him look really, really good! We were created to spotlight Him well!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Quotes from Class #3

Isn't it just the sweetest thing ever that God gives us a whole book filled with His own story told through the lives of broken people so we can know Him and learn to trust Him!?!?

We will glorify Him and enjoy Him in direct proportion to how much we know Him.

We are not going to trust someone we don't know.
We are not going to sell-out to someone we don't know.
We are not going to obey someone we don't know.

The more estranged our relationship with God, the greater our emotional expectations of people. The greater our emotional expectations of people, the more difficult life is; the greater emotional pain we live in, the more difficult we are to live with. (by Rod Pruitt)

May we enter into relationship - a deep and delightful relationship - with the God Who calls our name!

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A Few Thoughts from Class Tonight

A.W. Tozer said that “the most important thing about us is what we believe about God.” Amen and amen!

Two scriptures that have proven to be great meditation points for me are Jeremiah 29: 12-13 and Isaiah 30: 15-16, 18, 20-21.

Jeremiah 29 reads:
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

What phrases stand out to you? Where draws the eye of your heart in for a second glance?

“I will listen to you.”
“You will seek me”
“All your heart”
“I will be found”
“Back from captivity”

Don’t you desperately want to dance in freedom…
Through knowing that He hears you?
Through knowing that He passionately wants you to find Him?
Through seeking Him with every inch of your heart?
Through chains being released?

What do we need to pray for the Lord to prune away from us so that we seek Him with all of our energy and strength, focus and purpose?
It doesn’t have to be sin that needs to be stripped. It can be the things that the Lord gave us for good that has become too prominent, too important in our hearts.

Isaiah 30 reads:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.
You said, “No, we will flee on horses. Therefore you will flee!
You said, “We will ride off on swift horses.” Therefore your pursuers will be swift!...

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for Him!...

Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Let some of those phrases soak in your meditation pool for a bit!

What are the “horses” of today? Could it be they represent anything that gives us perceived power?

Falling in love is only sweet and enjoyed – delightful – when relationship is maintained!

Tozer: The most important thing about us is what we believe about God.

God wants us to know Him and He reveals Himself through giving His people different glimpses into what they could call Him – His names.

Draw us in, precious Lord, to Your heart! May we know You and love You more through the study of Your living breathing Word!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Seeking Him with All My Heart

Sometime during the first session of marriage counseling, I like to ask the couple to share in telling me how they met, then how they fell in love – that first ‘ahah’ moment when you just know there is something jsut really special about another.

I love this question but most of all I love how it transforms faces and hearts. I don’t get to work with marriages when things are going well but more likely when stress and tension are being experienced by one or both people.
Giving voice to our histories helps us relive them. To recall the sweetness of our history empowers us to claim it in our present.

Another question I love asking: Exactly how did you meet the Lord; how did you fall head over heals in love with Him? Oh to relish in the sweetness of those memories! To claim them in my present!

In my own life, I cannot remember a day that I have not known the Him. My parents taught me all about Him!
But, oh how I remember the season I fell in love with Him!

It was 1994-1995 – my precious friend, Sharmon Ramsey, had just died from a massive brain aneurysm. I knew there had to be more to life – more to life with Jesus – than I had been experiencing. I began to cry out to the Lord to teach me, to show me, how to know Him more, how to love Him more, how to want Him more.

That is when I found the words in Jeremiah 29: 12-14:

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Those words continue to be my heartcry: Teach me, Father, what it means to seek You with all my heart. I want to continue to find more and more of You. Thank You, Precious Lord, for releasing me from the enemy’s captivity. May I dance in the freedom of Your love and grace and mercy as long as my feet walk on dirt!

Weekly, on Wednesday nights, I will be sharing thoughts from the personal journey that I went through in 1994-1995 – the study that led me to fall totally and delightfully in love with the Love of my life! It is a study of the ‘names’ of God.

If I handed you a piece of paper today and ask you to write out how you met Him, how you fell in love, some of you could fill the page with details. Some would have blank pages. Oh, sweet friends, don’t let your page set blank. Let’s fall deeply, head-over-hills in love with the Creator of our souls! If your page is full, I am praying right now that you will recognize ways to share your story in the days to come!

To His Name be ALL praise and glory!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

First Day of My "Days of Sacrifice"

Ok, Ok - I know I haven't written in forever. No one is probably reading this site anymore but today I am writing down a few thoughts to help me think! In 2003, I practiced Lent for the very first time and I will never not do it again (is that enough negatives for you?). I LOVE Easter! I love that the tomb is empty! I love preparing for the celebration of it. I like sacrificing something for this season that will draw my mind into His presence a bit more than normal. This year, I am focusing not only the gospel story, but I am reading Philippians 2: 5-11 many times a day. I can't quote it - I am sad about that. I want to write those words on my heart. I am begging the Lord to remover my prideful off-shoots. I am begging Him to prune me softer than I pruned my rosebushes last week but also more thoroughly. Is it possible for a pruning to be soft and thorough? Ok - I chose thorough - I want to choose thorough - I pray I will want to choose thorough. Do you hear my wrestle?