Yahweh, Our Only Hope


It’s hard to believe another year has come and gone. We’ve had a very memorable year with lows and highs. The one thing I can take away from this year is learning dependency on Yahweh. That is a lesson He has been teaching me over and over this year.

I say it and I believe it, but I’ve had to act on it.

There have been situations that were totally out of my control. My hands were tied tightly behind my back leaving me with the feeling of helplessness. All I could do is pray during them. As if that isn’t enough? I found out it absolutely is enough. In these situations, I realized I do not fight my battles on my own, I can’t. I have to relinquish control to Yahweh, the Strong Tower I can run too.

You know, I think that is where He wants us at times. He wants us to feel helpless, not hopeless. He wants us to know we do not fight battles in our own strength. He fights them for us and He will empower us with the ability to win. We are never without hope. He is our only hope. His strength and power are our only hope. It’s when we feel helpless that He steps in and makes a way. There is no reason for doubt after that and no room for pride on our part. We can only stand and say but Yahweh.

As we close out another calendar year, reflect back and remember the times Yahweh was that hope when you felt helpless. If it’s been a hard year for you, thank Him for His provision even if it wasn’t how you envisioned it. Let Him take you through that process so you’ll know He is your only hope.

Father, You are absolutely our only hope. Oh that we would grasp that! Teach us to let go when we cannot do anything. Teach us to run to You, our Strong Tower, when we feel helpless. Help us to never forget we always have hope. We want Your will in each situation even if it’s not our will. Give us strength to accept whatever You see fit to happen. We praise You for being so mighty and strong. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The name of Yahweh is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are protected.

Proverbs 18:10

Ingrained Thanksgiving


It’s that time again this year. Thanksgiving- a time to reflect on what we’re thankful for in our lives. I love this time of the year because we tend to be more heartfelt and sentimental. I couldn’t help thinking this thought: how am I during the other weeks throughout the year? It’s hard to ask these questions knowing we could all do better when it comes to being thankful more than around Thanksgiving. Another thought I had that was stirred by the book I’ve been reading (A Grumble Free Year) is this- when the unexpected strikes is thanksgiving my first response? Is thanksgiving hardwired into my heart and mind? Ouch. Another hard question.

When the vehicle has issues and it puts a dent in our plans, do I thank or complain first?

When a family member becomes sick and our plans have to be changed, do I praise or groan?

When something I have planned has to change due to x,y,z, do I thank or grumble?

When the kids are arguing again, do I complain or thank?

Honestly, my first response to the unexpected isn’t a prayer of thanksgiving to Yahweh. I usually groan, complain, or panic.

In the book Tricia talks of how her Grandmother’s praise and thanksgiving is hardwired into her heart. Her response to difficulty was to praise Yahweh and thank Him for His many blessings. I want to be that way. I realize it may take a lifetime to get there, but eventually I want to thank or praise in response to the unexpected instead of grumble and moan. I want that ingrained in this heart of mine. I don’t want to be like the children of Israel, yet it’s a part of who we are as humans.

What is more beautiful than a broken heart that chooses to thank Him? Or giving thanks when the unexpected happens and it’s nothing serious yet, it still puts a kink in our plans?

It all comes down to trust. Trusting and having faith that Yahweh knows best. Trusting that He sees that which we cannot and thanking Him for that. It’s knowing that no matter what, He is good. We can ask the Father to mold us into that thankful person no matter what.

As you gather with family and friends this week, ask Yahweh to check your heart. Ask Him to teach You how to make thanks your first response to the unexpected and trust me, He will. I pray you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Father, forgive us for our selfishness and our ignorance of all Your blessings. Teach us to see thankfulness is a quality our society lacks, even our congregations. I pray we allow You to mold us and teach us how to thank You as a first response and not grumble at You. It may be hard, but with You all things are possible. We desire to be pleasing in Your sight and to be a light to those around us. May the meditations of our heart and mouth please You. Thank You for Your many blessings on us and even those we see as a curse. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

I Thessalonians 5:18

Walking In Boldness


Can you imagine being in the upper room on the day the Holy Spirit came down? Imagine…

You’ve followed this man and have seen things your eyes almost couldn’t believe. You’ve seen him do impossible and miraculous wonders. You’ve also witnessed a betrayal by one of his own, one of you. You’ve run in fear and despair from it. You were a witness to his brutal death, a criminals death, on a cross. You thought all was lost… he’s gone.

The possible Messiah and Deliverer is gone.

Word has come that he’s not in the tomb and he’s gone. To where, who knows… then he appears to you and the others like a ghost, appearing out of nowhere. You want to touch him, to know what’s going on. His instructions are to tarry in Jerusalem and wait for the Father’s promise, the Comforter.

Can you imagine what those last days with Jesus were like before he ascended to the Father? To know you were looking at the Promised One. The anticipation building up to that day, Shavout in Hebrew, where the Comforter would indwell them. I really can’t imagine how awesome the day of Pentecost was for the disciples. Once the Spirit came upon them, they begin speaking languages they never have before and then ministering with boldness to those around them.
I’ve grown up in church and have heard how awesome it must have been to minister with boldness. We actually speak of it as if it’s not something that can happen again. Yet, we have that very same Spirit indwelling us today. So why can’t we live with boldness? The Spirit that raised our Messiah from the graves lives in believers. What’s stopping us from walking out Yahweh’s ways with boldness? Not being ashamed of the mighty God we serve?
Think about it as we approach the feast of Pentecost. What is hindering you from living with boldness for Yahweh? Let the Holy Spirit show you what’s the hindrance to walking in His boldness in your life.
Father, to read the accounts of the faithful ones before us sometimes just doesn’t do them justice. We desire to experience what they did, we desire to be the people You want us to be. We want boldness to live as You instruct us. Teach us to pray for that boldness and wash ourselves in Your Word. Such a high price our Messiah paid to give us Your Spirit to empower us. May we never forget that price or take the Comforter for-granted. Fill us each day with Your Spirit to bear fruit of righteousness. We thank You and we praise You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

When they had prayed, the place where they were assembled was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak God’s message with boldness.

Acts 4:31

Word-Filled Wednesday


Sometimes I think Biblical times were so different from our lives today. Though their lives were drastically different, the issues they dealt with were really similar, if not completely identical. Jealousy, murder, stealing, fornication, adultery, and glorification of themselves were among the top issues. We can be honest and say that not much has changed in the last hundred years.

In this verse, Paul is reminding them of the importance of godliness. He warns of myths and heretics then goes on to say physical training has a limited benefit. Fitness and exercise is in a class of it’s own and obviously it was no different. Much of the audience were Greeks and they could relate. Paul never says we’re not to exercise, but he said we should keep our focus on training in godliness.

Are we spending more time exercising our physical body?

Do we set aside time to pray and study the word?

What’s our goal when we exercise?

There’s nothing wrong with exercising and wanting to stay fit or healthy. Our bodies are to be take care of properly while here on earth. Though it takes work to balance training our bodies and our spirits, it’s needful. Our bodies are going to deteriorate, but our souls never will. We should spend as much time seeking the Father as we do perfecting our bodies (if not more time).

When we stand at the judgement seat of Yahweh, He will be more concerned with our spiritual condition than our physical.

A couple of years back, all I could think was exercise, loose weight, then repeat. In my opinion, there is only one thing we should be totally obsessed with and that is loving Yahweh and loving our neighbor. Forfeiting our quiet time to exercise isn’t the answer, it’s about prioritizing what’s most important and going from there. I’m all for exercise and staying fit (I’ve recently started my own routine), but if that is the center of your heart, I would say it’s time for some self-examination.

Father, thank You for our bodies and the urge to exercise to stay healthy. Help us to  remember our bodies are for You and not to glorify ourselves. Help us to also remember our bodies will one day be gone. Our spirits will live forever and that should be our main focus. Give us wisdom to balance all that’s on our plate and to honor You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of the life that now is and of that which is to come.

I Timothy 4:8

Getting It All Out

My brother recently had surgery that was supposed to be a routine one with a minimal hospital stay. Turns out, it was anything but routine and a minimal stay. A week later, they had to go back in and have another surgery. It was a trying time for sure. Two surgeries back to back is a lot for a person to comprehend and the body to go through. As I have thought about all of it since February, I’ve had a few thoughts come to mind that I wanted to share.

Sometimes when we go through hard situations, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual, we may think our heart has been healed. We may think the unforgiveness, bitterness, abandonment, depression, etc. have been laid before Yahweh and we have dealt with them all. I know, I have been there before. I’ve went through hard situations and cried out to the Lord and thought I really had it all out, that I was past it all. He already knows what’s deep in our hearts, but He wants us to see it so we can deal with it.

Like my brother’s first surgery, all was supposed to be gone, but it wasn’t. A second surgery was required to get all of the bad out. Our hearts can be that way. When Yahweh works on our hearts dealing with all the emotions, we may think all is well. In reality, we may not have let Him go deep enough to rid our hearts and minds of all that happened. As we clean for Unleavened Bread, we should be thinking about our hearts. We should be asking Yahweh to show us anything that needs to be gone in our lives and cleanse us from our wickedness. Don’t hold back. Cry out to Yahweh to cleanse you deep and get all the junk out. We should let Him look in every crevice of our hearts for any issue that may take root and cause us to sin.

He wants our hearts daily cleansed and right before Him. He loves us and has so much good for us. He’s trying to reshape us back into His image from the garden. I know it sounds crazy to remove the leaven out of your house for seven days, but the lessons I’ve learned from doing this have been sobering. I don’t have to do this at all, but I choose to do it if it means becoming closer to my Father. And who doesn’t want a closer relationship with Yahweh?

Father, You are so gracious to us. You show so much compassion and mercy towards us. Look deep within our hearts and pull out that which hinders us. We give You an open door to have Your way in our hearts. Reveal emotions that have been concealed from us, so we may live as You desire. As we clean out and remove leaven from our homes, clean our hearts out. We don’t want any feeling or emotion in us that keeps us from becoming closer to You. Thank You for loving us more than we can imagine. We praise You! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

He gave Himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to cleanse for Himself a people for His own possession, eager to do good works.

Titus 2:14

Let’s Go Back…

As we’re preparing for Passover, let’s go back in our minds.

Let’s go back to Egypt.

We’re enslaved, working from sun up to sun down, enduring pain and suffering. We’re tired, hungry, sun burnt, and longing for someone to deliver us. After years and years, finally a man who grows to be a leader, one who will deliver us from this pit, this Hell. He goes before Pharaoh time and time again demanding he release us. To no avail, we’re still in bondage and have more work than before. Yet, we see the miracles of our God over and over before our eyes. Then, one day, our leader tells us instructions for slaughtering a lamb and leaving upon haste from Egypt.

We’re ready. We’ve slaughtered our lamb. We’ve applied the blood on the doorposts. We have our dough ready. Our sandals are on our feet and our things in hand. We hear the cries, screams, and moans of those around us who haven’t applied the blood. We wait… One more time before Pharaoh and we’re commanded to go, to leave and never come back. We flee with our families, animals, and all we have. We’ve been delivered. We’re finally free from the bondage that held us so tightly.

We all know the Passover story. We know of the hardship, tragedy, and deliverance of the children of Israel. We too have been delivered from bondage. Through the shed blood of our Messiah, we have been atoned for and an appeasement for our sin has been made. We can flee the bondage of the curse of sin and death. We can be redeemed by the blood of the Lamb. Jesus was and is our Passover Lamb. As we prepare to feast and remember this day, let’s praise His name for making this way for us to be redeemed and set free.

Father, thank You for making a way for our redemption and freedom. The price was high and cost much. We praise You for Your Son and the sacrifice that was made. As we feast and remember, let our hearts be open before You to do Your work. Thank You for these feasts and days that help us remember all You have done for us. Teach us to lay aside every sin that so easily besets us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Seeing Our Children’s Hearts

Last year sometime I begin to pray the Father would show me what’s going on the hearts of our boys. They were getting older and I wanted to know how to pray as they were growing. It didn’t take long for me to start seeing certain behaviors, attitudes, or actions in all three boys. At first, it didn’t dawn on me what was going on. I admit, I felt like a horrible mother at times. I felt like such a failure when this child reacted this way or that child was behaving in a not-so-honorable manner. I thought what in the world have we been doing? I saw certain patterns and was positive that we were doomed.

We all know how challenging raising human beings can be and we really do need to know what’s going on with our children. We need to know what attitudes, behaviors, and tendencies we need to for pray to be dealt with as they grow. So when I started praying that prayer, I guess I wasn’t really expecting an answer in the way it came. When I saw the behavior or attitude in a child, I thought where have we gone wrong? I should have been saying thank You Father for showing me what’s in their heart. He didn’t want me to feel guilty, He wanted me to know He heard my prayer and to be encouraged.

When we see the ugliness coming out in our children, we can effectively pray for them in that area.

Instead of beating ourselves up when we see this ugliness, we can use our weapon of prayer. We can now pray effectively for them. The enemy wants us to beat ourselves up and panic that our children just aren’t getting it. No, they aren’t getting it unless we correct, discipline, and pray. They’re kids and they’re going to have nasty attitudes at times and they will behave horrible at times. When we see patterns of attitudes or behaviors, we can begin to pray for them in that area. We can’t let the enemy make us panic and forget our most important role as mother is to set an example and pray.

Our children will mess up and when they do it’s a great opportunity to correct, encourage, and share with them where you have failed. Pointing the finger like you never mouthed off at your parent or never said mean things to your siblings gives them the wrong idea. We don’t want them to think we were the perfect little angel growing up. We don’t want to justify their actions either, but we do want them to know they can’t do it on their own. We can share with them how we have to call on Yahweh to teach us how to behave in a manner than pleases Him. Praying for the Holy Spirit to help them is the best thing we can do as parents.

So when you see that ugliness begin displaying itself in your child, don’t forget to thank the Father that He’s showing you what’s in their hearts. Pray fervently for them and their struggle. They need a praying mother more than anything.

Father, sometimes you answer our prayers and we don’t even realize it. Thank You for hearing us and answering us back. Thank You for showing us the hearts of our children. Even when what we see is ugly and sinful. Thank You for showing us so we know how to pray for them. Help us to remember actions speak louder than words and that we can set a good example. Help us to be merciful when correcting and talking with them about an attitude or behavior. We want to know how to pray for our children and we want to pray effectively for them. So continue to open our eyes to see what’s in the hearts of our children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:7

A Closer Look

As I was putting on my make-up the other morning, I didn’t notice as many blemishes on my face. I was using my big wall mirror instead of my small door mirror where I can get close up as I do my eye make-up. The difference it made between what I saw was really amazing.

Who doesn’t want to see less blemishes on their face? On the other hand, who doesn’t want to know so you can correct them?

A flawless face is what we desire right ladies? To have no bags under our eyes, no pimples, and definitely no crow’s feet. If those things do appear, we want correct them as fast and as best as we can. I’m pretty simple minded and the Father speaks to me in simple ways, so I had to jot a few thoughts down.

This concept also can apply spiritually speaking. I have found over the years of following Christ that the more time I spend in His Word, the more He reveals about my character. God’s Word is referred to as a mirror and it’s to be our mirror, except we want to see His reflection in it instead of our own. The closer you grow to Him, He will reveal blemishes on our hearts and that’s not always a pretty thing. On the flip side, think of the freedom that comes once you began dealing with an issue. I would rather know about an issue so He can help me with it than to go throughout my life in bondage.

Of course, for awhile it may seem better not to get too close to Him because ignorant is bliss. If we don’t know about an issue, then we aren’t responsible for it, right?

Just like physical blemishes, even though we may not see them, they’re still there.

There maybe issues in our lives that we are unaware of at times and that’s why the Father wants us to draw closer to Him through prayer and studying the scriptures. When we take those steps, He will show us attitudes, thoughts, and actions that do not please Him. That’s not to condemn us, but to help us because He’s reshaping us back into His image. He does that because He knows what is best for us and those around us.

When we grow closer to the Father, He will reveal more blemishes in our hearts. So if you’ve not been looking into the mirror of His Word, may be it’s time you do that so He can draw out the ugliness and crown you with His beauty. His beauty starts on the inside and radiates outwardly through our actions and attitudes. Allow Him to help you correct those inward blemishes as much as you correct the outward ones.

Father, You are so merciful! How can it be that we serve a God like You? You see the ugly in us and You still love us. You want us and You desire us. May we not only focus on outward blemishes, but may we let You reveal those inward blemishes that ultimately matter most. Help us to be open to Your Spirit as it moves in our hearts and to help us be the women, wives, and moms You desire. Physical beauty is fleeting if our hearts are ugly and dark. Draw us closer to You through Your Word, prayer, and reflection. We want to be a light to our children and our husbands and to others around us. Help us to let the Spirit correct issues in our lives so we may shine bright and radiate Your beauty. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The pure in heart are blessed, for they will see God.
Matthew 5:8

Word-Filled Wednesday

It’s hard to keep our hearts focused on the good in life most of the time. It seems the bad piles up while the good sits immovable. Our minds seem to stray to all the hard and overlook all the good. The bad is constantly fighting for our attention each second of the day. Yet, Paul encourages us to dwell on the pure, lovely, just, honorable, true and commendable things. He encourages us to keep our hearts focused on Yahweh because He is all that and more.

During our study over the summer, I wrote down some thoughts and wanted to share them with y’all. The study was Truth Over Lies by Love God Greatly and it was so good. Here are three strategies I jotted down to help my heart stay focused on the good.

Thinking Clearly

Our first initial reaction to combating negative thoughts should be to cry our to the Father. He knows the truth about the situation and He can help us see it more clearly. Sometimes our minds can race with negative thoughts or scenarios. That’s not what He wants for our thought pattern. He wants us to of course live in the realm of reality, but also not to let our minds race with everything that could go wrong. There is so much negative in this world and we have to remember this world is not our home. We want to think clearly and Yahweh can help us do that.

Recall Scripture

Scripture can help us to remember what is true. The accounts of our spiritual forefathers can help us to focus on what is good and true. There isn’t a man or woman in the scriptures that feared Yahweh who lacked any good thing. Scriptures can help us embrace the truth and cast our lies. Our Messiah gave so much good to think on in the first four books of the second testament. He offers us life giving words that we can focus on when lies are being whispered to us. The reality is that we’re all going to face negative thoughts because we’re human and live in a fallen world. The awesome truth is we don’t have to let those thoughts dwell long because we can use the sword of the Spirit (Word of Yahweh) to banish them.

Count Your Blessings

Another powerful strategy with which we can combat negative thoughts is to start counting our blessings. There is something about naming the blessings the Father has given us. We all have much to be thankful for in our lives. There may be a lot of what we want that we don’t have. There may be some of what we need that we don’t have, but those needs aren’t beyond the provision of Yahweh. When we verbally speak out loud the blessings we have, it can help us fight the negativity and lies. Satan tries to tempt us to see all that we don’t have instead of seeing all that we do have. We can write down our blessings or gifts (check out Ann Voskamp’s book One Thousand Gifts) so we can be sure we don’t forget them. Counting our blessings speaks life over death. We don’t have to fall prey to the enemy’s tactics. We have spiritual weapons we can fight with in the battle.

I hope these strategies help you in your everyday battle. We don’t have to constantly worry or be weighed down with negativity. We can focus our hearts on the good, just, pure, lovely, honorable, commendable, and true. We can focus on Yahweh who is the best thing. Our minds are a battlefield and we have weapons to win.

Father, thank You for reminders to keep our hearts and minds focused on You and all the good You are to us. You are always a help to us and all we have to do is to call on You. Your words are a powerful weapon for us to combat lies and negativity that tries to invade our minds. Help us to remember to recall all the blessings You’ve give us. Help us to let go of lies and embrace truth. We want to live a life that is pleasing to You and brings You honor. Help us to keep You as our center so we can live an abundant life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.

Philippians 4:8

Your Table: Strengthening Families


I love to gather around our small table with my family. There’s just something about food and fellowship. Most families gather two times a day to eat, may be just one. Those can be refreshing and influential times if we’re intentional. I love to talk to our boys about most anything when we gather. I see it as just another chance to nurture. When I read some of Sally Clarkson’s post on this topic, I was inspired and wanted to share some great ideas as you gather with your loves ones.

Faith is always a topic at our house. Our boys are 10, 9, and 7, but from the womb they’ve heard verses, praise songs, hymns, and teachings. We like to talk about school verses and faith in general. We can nurture them by sharing lessons in our faith and letting them share also. Our kids (young ones are always underestimated) understand more than we think, so let them share and it may boost your faith. Their journey of faith should begin at home. They should see and hear of our faith as their guardians.

Dreams are something else we like to talk about. Talking about plans for the future is always fun. As boys, they have plenty of wild dreams. Some may come true, some may not. All we can do is inspire them to seek ways to go after those dreams. Listening to them plan forts, stake outs (for critters of course), and discuss battle plans is amusing. We can learn a lot from our children and how to dream big. Never turn your ear from listening to them, no matter your child’s age. I know as they get older their dreams may become more of a reality, so it’s good to learn to listen while they’re young.

Morals are always a topic for us too, not just around the table either, but all day. In this day and time, it seems morality is lacking, so what better topic to talk about? One can be moral, but not redeemed. For us, you’re morality ties right into the Father and His Word. Talking about what’s going on in our world and how to respond is something important we should do with our children. We’re pretty open parents and would rather teach evil and good from a Biblical stance so we always try to be real when talking about events going on. Instilling Biblical morals is the best foundation for our families. With evil being called good, we have to have a standard to base our morality on, which would be the Father’s Word (laws/instructions).

When we do all these, we build connections. Conversation creates a bond. Cutting off the t.v. and talking is healthy for us. That’s what we desire to create with our boys, so they can create one with the Father. So what’s your table like? Our families need that time, so don’t skip gathering together. Don’t forfeit encouraging conversations around your table because your family needs it.

Father, You give us so many chances to influence our families. As we gather to share meals, let us always share our hearts. We live in a very fast paced world, so slowing down to gather for meals is so important. Help us to talk and dream together. We want to inspire our families to be all You want them to be. Help us to be real, open, and encouraging. Honor our efforts to instill Biblical morals in our home. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7