Promised Land * Part 3

We left Moses in chapter 5 complaining to God about how things turned out when he requested a break for the Hebrews. I too often find myself inwardly complaining about how things are turning out. I’d like it to be so much easier. Much more immediate.
 In Exodus 6 God restates to Moses his covenant to Abraham and his promise to bring Israel from Egypt to make them his people.
            
    And Moses spake so unto the children of Israel: but they hearkened not unto Moses for anguish of spirit, and for cruel bondage. Exodus 6:9 

I regret to say I have often responded to truth and God’s promises that way- unable to listen because I was too focused on my hurt, confusion, or whatever form of “anguish of spirit”. I frequently deal with that in my son as well. It makes wish I had learned my lessons better and sooner. It also makes me more determined to learn them now and to train him with the foundation to stand on God’s promises despite feelings and perspective.
   
  And Moses spake before the LORD, saying, Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?  Exodus 6:12


Moses is discouraged when the people don’t listen to him. I always understood that until studying this time when I realized God had already told Moses the plan was not going to work right away. Why was he surprised or discouraged by the trouble he knew was coming? Why am I? Focus. When I focus on my feelings, my wishes, my way, my whatever, I lose sight of God and that opens me to discouragement. I easily forget that Jesus told us we would have trouble, enemies, and hard times. I don’t want any of that. When I remember it not all about me and focus on God I get a very different picture. How can I relate with compassion to someone who is grieving if I have had no loss myself? I have to value others enough to pay the price to identify with them. Jesus did.

Are the ones Jesus died for worth my inconvenience? Too often my attitude says “no, not really”. I’m hurting. This is hard for me. They just don’t understand.

Drawing close to the Father is the only answer. Close enough to feel his heartbeat, to cherish his love. When I receive his love how can I not love those he loves? How can I not be willing to sacrifice everything for them to know his love as well?



Promised Land – Part 1


Promised Land – Part 2

How I See Others

How I see people has so much bearing on how they see themselves. There is so much I can learn from this, letting someone know that they matter, and meaning it.                                      
                                                        
It’s easy to do if I ask for the heart of the Father. Each one matters to him. Jesus died for each one – how’s that for significance and value? God created each in his image, there is good to call out in each one I meet from the total stranger I will never see again to the child who is expertly trying to push my buttons, yet again.                                                                                                                  Janet Callaway shared a powerful message about this in her post 2 Words to Change the WorldThe video Janet shares is powerful and worth watching, contemplating, and mostly putting into practice. It will make a difference because you matter, too.

Pastor Dennis September 25, 2011

The Helper – John 14:16-18

The one who strengthens, comes alongside

*Challenge to read John 13 on Mondays, 14 on Tuesdays, 15 on Wednesdays, 16 on Thursdays, and 17 on Fridays for the next 5 weeks


God’s commands are not a burden when we love him. Obeying brings blessings.


We need a greater revelation of God’s love (meditate on John 14:21, 15:10)


What was Jesus last command to his disciples? Wait in Jerusalem for power from Holy Spirit. (Acts 1:8)

          Be led by the Spirit with the Word. (Rom 8:14)

          The Holy Spirit baptized us into God’s family (1 Cor 14:12)

          We are sealed by the Holy Spirit (Eph 1:13)

          John the Baptist said we would be baptized with Spirit and fire (Matt 3:11)

          Holy Spirit to teach us all things (John 14:26)


Is the boldness of the Lord upon me? Can people look at my works and see the Father, see Holy Spirit working?


The Spirit is in me to bear fruit to the glory of the Father. (John 14:11-13)


My name is in the Book of Life. What am I risking to help others get their name in the Book of Life?


Am I available to use for his purposes?


What has gotten in the way of saying “yes” to God in any way?


In Old Testament times the priests were responsible to keep the fire always burning in the temple. As a Christian I am responsible to keep my fire burning.

Spoons of Grace



A friend shared this article with me a while back on The Spoon Theory by Christine Miserandino. It is well worth the read. Christine has Lupus and created The Spoon Theory to answer a friends inquiries about life with Lupus. A handful of spoons begins to represent the resources available for the day. It is a powerful illustration of the choices and mindset of someone with health issues.


While I have never had a serious illness or disability The Spoon Theory made me think about how we all need to guard our time and emotional resources instead of taking so much for granted. This came to me again as our family is dealing with some big losses. One morning when my second son was having a particularly hard time I introduced the idea of emotional spoons. Each day we start with a certain number of spoons (emotional energy, capacity). Normally we have more than enough to get through a day.

With a handful of spoons we went through a day talking about what would normally use a spoon or gain one. I took spoons away for school work, chores, and arguing. I showed when we are grieving we may be short some spoons, or they may be harder for us to hang on to. Every day is different.


Since I was using the spoons to represent emotional capacity we talked about ways to preserve spoons and to get spoons back. Being kind. Patient. Remember others are hurting, too – even if it looks different for them. Being in a family that is all grieving it is a relief that not everyone experiences the same emotions at the same time. What a wreck we would be then.

Keeping the grief inside costs you a spoon. Sharing someone else’s grief helps you both hang on to one.  


I considered having everyone actually have a container of spoons they could take from to show how they were doing. I really like the idea. It would be a great visual. However the chances of me following through to have it be meaningful are not very good. I decided we would each decorate a spoon to hang on the family board as a reminder that we all need more grace, for ourselves and each other.


While they finished their spoons I read to them from A Time to Grieve by Kenneth C. Haugk. It was helpful to hear what grief is. They felt better knowing their questions and emotions were normal and would get better. As we do more reading I’ll be posting other books we find helpful. Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebertis one I really like. It puts the process of grieving in a story that is more relatable to children.


On the Family Board

Thinning

Needing room to grow

I greatly enjoyed working in a friend’s garden this summer. I know nothing of gardening so I did lots of thinning and weeding – I can at least identify the wanted plants from the weeds!
I was thinning some greens last week thinking “Why do I need to pull these healthy plants?” A very foolish thought I knew right away. Every plant may be fine now as little more than a sprout. For the plant to reach its potential, be what it is designed to be it needs enough space to grow. Crowed conditions lead to problems and lack of productivity.
As I pulled the plants God spoke to my heart. Ideas are the same way. They need room to grow and be developed. Trying to implement too many ideas will lead to problems and lack of productivity. I have been struggling with so many ideas for writing and marketing and networking; not to mention my home and children. It is time to do some thinning. In thinning the plants the pulled ones are wasted- Thankfully not so with ideas. I can save ideas for another time. I can share them with others who have resources to make them grow. Some are simply not that good.

Productivity Potential

The first area of thinning is my online activity. I believe an online presence is important. I also think it needs to be quality, something worth having.  Something worth connecting with. The idea of an online presence is to build community. In my effort to “get out there” I have joined and started too many things. My online presence seems to me quite flaky, not building community like I want. I cannot maintain all the places I currently have online.

My “thinned” online presence looks like this: I am focusing on learning to build relationship and consistency in just a few places. First- my blogs. Kove’s Blog is where I write regularly, sharing encouragement, thoughts and lessons on my journey to be the Christian, wife and mother God destined me to be.  I created a schedule of topics so I can track what I need to write and initial if I have a post scheduled. Thoughts for Authors is just beginning, infrequent posts for now. It is focused on new authors and those considering publishing. I will share my experience, advice and things I find helpful. Next- facebook and twitter, mostly facebook for now – very much a learning experience of what to post, Twitter is even more of a mystery to me.  

As a result of my “thinning” Kove’s Blog from www.KovesCove.com will be moving here.

Family Board

My friend told me about a board she had over her sons changing table. She had blessings and verses and promises over her son. Seeing them reminded her to pray and speak blessing and destiny over her son.
I modified her idea and created our “Family Board”. The idea for the top is shared dreams for our family. Each member has their own section to post dreams, verses, promises, anything they want pray for or to pray about. it hangs over the table where we eat every meal a reminder to pray and that God has good things planned. 

To create the board I painted an old cork bulletin board I already had. I painted the background white and added gray with a scrunched up rag. The names I printed and mounted on black paper.

Danny Silk September 18, 2011

I love to sit under Danny’s teaching! So many powerful questions to ponder this week….
Culture is everything – Luke 6:45
Jesus said if you have seen me you have seen the Father. The same is true of us. What we believe of the Father will show to the people we encounter. – Wow.
Productivity requires cultivation – cultivate your heart and mind because that is where your life flows from.
Creating who we are – Attitude “What are you doing on purpose?”
Do you control yourself or do things control you?
Knowing your true identity is vital – True Idenity is Free & Powerful, think of how you want your children to be, your slave? your servant? Or a free and powerful individual completing their destiny? How much more our Father God?
It is vital to be courageous to give courage to others. Do I give or take courage?
As a Christian I am to be famous for my love for others
Give courage directly and indirectly
Bring life with my words
Set people up for success by

– stirring up faith, share what God is doing and has done
– Kill the fear of man Am I risking enough to lead others to success?
– Practice – Practice – Practice

Remember it’s not all about me:) I am only a very small part of something much bigger. Individual relationships matter to the whole. Dishonor is the biggest threat to having a Kingdom of Heaven culture.

Cycle of Dishonor requires a “victim”, having a victim requires a “bad guy”, victims are rescued so there are “rescuers” who go after the bad guys.
There are no victim is Heaven. Victims are powerless and not responsible for anything. Jesus was not a victim, he chose to lay his life down. We are to empower not rescue. Partnering with the lie of powerlessness is the biggest mistake a Christian makes. Helping someone else partner with a lie of their powerlessness is devastating.
Ask “What are you going to do?” It implies they have power and responsibility.
When someone comes with a problem (gossip, looking for sympathy) with another person ask, “Are you going to tell them or do you want me to tell them about your problem with them?” – I’m thinking most readily of using this with tattling children :)
Do not wallow in offense Danny had just been on a moose hunt and learned about wallows first hand. Amazing what a truly accurate analogy it is. A moose urinates in the dirt and then paws it into mud, then rolls in it and amazingly it attracts moose for mating…. So do not take the waste of your past relationships and mix it with the dirt of your feelings and cover yourself in it trying to attract partners in your offense.
Offense is a decision point if you partner with offense you sacrifice your freedom, you are no longer free around the person you allowed yourself to be offended with or you can seek relationship.
John 8:15 tells us Jesus did not come to judge – He didn’t leave us here to judge either!
Withdrawing love from a relationship is always a mistake.
Revival – bring life to something that is dying

Learn more about Danny Silk and his minisrty at Loving on Purpose