Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Watchful Eye

At the request of a friend, she asked that I look into the biblical understanding of what it is to guard your heart. I was taken to "Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Pro. 4:23)

At a quick glance this seems a simple act to do, 'guard your heart' ~ BUT, in the original Hebrew it is much MORE then a casual ... throw your hand up and stop things coming your way! It is a strong word (nasar), literally meaning, 'to imprison.' It conveys the idea of taking custody of something, and placing it under a watchful eye, even placing it under the care of an armed guard. THAT is some serious guarding.

When a guard is assigned his post, he is given very specific regulations, he is told his border of influence, and given the authority to enforce restraint. I appreciate how The Message, put it; "Keep vigilant watch..." The Hebrew Interlinear, actually uses 2 words, to capture the emphasis 'guard preserve.' Here, it broadens the picture, we are not only keeping a watchful eye on our heart, but also with the intent to preserve it, as to cover it, and place it in a very secure area!

The heart. Hm... small word that identifies so much: the seat of ones inner nature, the intellect, will and emotions. Interestingly it is closely related to 'nepesh' the soul.

So in short, it is up to us to guard, to place ourselves in a secure area, where a close eye can be kept on our mind, our decision making, and emotions. We are instructed in Ephesians chapter 6, to put on the armor of God, and taking up His weaponry of His word.


"Above all else..." (this is important, so DO it!) guard your heart ..." (get militant about it!) for it is the well spring of life" (the determining factor of your life).

Guard. (I know, easier said then done)

~ DeDe

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Let's Talk Turkey

Happy Thanksgiving. A day set aside for those liberating themselves of the demonic enforced 'calorie count' (just kidding). A day with plans of food, fun, friends and family.

For many, the day begins with the tradition of watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. As a child, this was our 'jammies' activity. Not that the parade actually interested us, but it was the long anticipated wait for the arrival of yes... Santa Claus. His appearance was announced with splashes of spouting snow flying off the corners of his sleighed float. While 'Jingle Bells' blared from the speaker system for all to hear.

For some, Thanksgiving means parked in front of the electronic entertainment box. Watching the tossing, running, and tackling of a football. While those same holiday participants watch the clock, waiting, LONGING for the afterglow of the couched ... NAP!

While all these fabulous activites are going on, the turkey carved and naked and BEFORE the fork sporting the last bite of chocolate pecan pie hits our lips ... give thanks! There is always something to thank the Creator for. Psalm 92:1 "It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord and sing praises unto Thy name, O Most High."
Pause... identify HIM, as the One who gives, protects, loves and extends so much to us. Give thanks!
Blessings, DeDe

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Orchestrator

I LOVE how God is the orchestrator of all things. This week I am beginning an intense study of The Beatitudes, from Matthew chapter 5. I have always wanted to work through this portion of scripture. YET, it is HUGE, so I have enlisted the help of 5-6 pastors. THIS is going to be fun.

Just this morning I received my weekly Greek word study, offered through the internet, guess what this weeks word is??? Give up? Makarios! Totally cool! Makarios is 'blessed', as in the 'blessed are ...' statements of The Beatitudes. The writer of this weekly study is a Greek scholar and really knows his stuff, he usually takes WEEKS to work through one word.

Blessed ... 'the state of one who has become a partaker of God.'
I am really excited to dig in!
~ DeDe

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Come Just As You Are

L ast night I went to bible study in my pajama pants, Seaside Oregon sweatshirt, and my worn yet cozy slippers. My goal in such a stunt? To provide a visual aide for the gals. We are studying the Tabernacle of Moses, and we are up to the altar of sacrifice. The altar representing the covering of Jesus on our lives, we need only to come just as we are.

Sure there are times to get all gussied up, put on our very best, but this is not one of them. Atonement is covering. Regardless of what we are wearing, (inside or out) it then becomes overlain with the blood of Jesus.

So, that hoody you desperately love, cause it is SOOO comfy, the thick socks that the heel needs tending to, or the sweats that may not be too appealing ~ Come just as you are before the very presence of God!
~ DeDe

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Confess it!

The holidays are HERE. Amazing, we pause and attempt to gear up for the focus. Thanksgiving. My head and heart are wrapped around Ps. 136:1 "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love endures forever." Give thanks... LOVE the Hebrew word ... 'yada', meaning to give thanks, worship with outstretched hands, and to confess.

We confess MUCH in our daily lives, expressed in our attitudes, actions and what we say. Are we confessing God? Confessing He is good? Or do we complain, whine and go on our merry way.

Thankfulness, (confession) is not a seasonal expression, a day on the calendar that we muster up a thankful thought, no it is a daily heart condition.

Give thanks to the Lord for His is GOOD!
Confession, being in agreement that God is WHO He said He is, and He is capable to do what He said He can. Join Thomas as he confessed 'My Lord and my God!" Intimate knowledge of the sacrifical love of God.
~ DeDe

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The 'Olden Days'

I am now on the OTHER side of the 'olden days' (sigh). I came across these pictures on one of my friends facebook pages. My college graduation 1985. WOW, my fingers had a hard time finding these numbers on the keyboard. Portland Bible College - Go Eagles!

I am the one in the red skirt. This was my hang out group - what a fun bunch of folks. Heck, now we all sport a bit of gray in our hair.

God is my God of the then, the God of my NOW, and my God for tomorrow.




Friday, November 14, 2008

Path Dweller

Proverbs 3:5-6 says "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight".

Life ~ it comes at us fast and hard sometimes ... mistakes, choices, adjustments. The path of life is bumpy, scary, quite the adventure one might say.

HOWEVER, we pick ourselves up - dust the grime of the path off us and begin walking again. THAT is the Christian path. Jesus is the Path Dweller. Full of compassion, mercy and always the extended hand to help us up every time we slip (and we will).

"He will make your paths straight." Those bumps will smooth out. Twists and turns will soon become even. Take the hand of the Path Dweller. When doing so, our footing more secure, and the VIEW spectacular along the way!
~ DeDe

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Holy Windows

Ever feel those moments when life seems to smack you into a wall. And that wall aint comin down. Daniel was up against such walls, (Daniel 6) YET daily he went to his room and prayed with open windows. God will provide open windows for us, we just need to decorate those windows, enjoy the view and the breeze that flows through.

God is Good!

~ DeDe

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

It's Pouring

So here we are ... rain. As an Oregonian, I SHOULD be used to this. As one whom lives in the Pacific Northwest, I should expect this. But ... head hung, eyes cast down, boo-boo lips out, "I dont like it" (whine ~ whine).

Pull out the umbrella, dart over the puddles, and set those shoes out to dry, yep... I am an Oregonian.

BUT - there is always another umbrella to dream of ...

someday...
~ DeDe

Friday, November 7, 2008

Gimme A BREAK !!!

Alright I am all over the holidays. LOVE the holidays. BUT. Seeing the Christmas wrapping paper in the stores NOW is alittle over the top. Yet THAT still doesn't grind the chock board like THIS... There actually is a house on our street that has their house decorated, and it has been this way ALL week.

Gimme a BREAK! The first of November?? Where is the turkey, where is Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving.
O Bruther! (had to share)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Googling God

Have you noticed how easy it is to just sit down at the computer and have SO much at your finger tips? What once took eons to find out, now comes to you in a flash ... well ... depending on your Internet speed.

'Google' has become a common house hold term, right up there with the ancient phrase 'look it up in the dictionary dear'. We can google until our hearts content, or until our eyes become heavy from starring at the white computer screen.

I surf and google quite often when doing my own research, I have found sites that actually tickle my fancy with Hebrew Lexicons (O the JOY!) hermeneutical commentaries, theological insights AND pages and pages of images to help me tell my stories. What an awesome tool this google.

The totally cool and amazing aspect of this is, God is so accessible now. I have noticed folks are googling God. My own website has had over 8,000 visits. These people may just type in a simple word of interest and WHALA, before they know what hit them, they have Yahweh in their face, (kidding).

But what a gift... type in a word and get God stuff. This has spurred me on... I am excited again about writing. Pull out the dusty books, bookmark the Lexicons, and underline the verses, type up a storm. If folks are googling God, I will help give them something to find.

Graciously googling God with grand gratitude!

~ DeDe