All about me

Hanging on the wall in her room, it says, "All About Me." Once a week, in first grade, a student was spotlighted within the class and encouraged to share personal information, interests and experiences that shaped her. Something about the title of the poster always bothered me. I couldn't place my finger on it. Until today.
I hate charts in Bible Studies. Yet, staring at me is the chart with instructions: Write the phrase David uses to describe God as he faces Goliath in battle and explain it's importance. David is appalled that anyone dare defame the name of the Lord and as Goliath taunts God's chosen people, the Israelites. David steps out in confidence that God will use him to defeat the Philistine champion (I Samuel 17). And in obedience to the "menial task" set in front of me (the chart) I begin writing. It wasn't until a week later that I'd finally get it. I am a slow learner.
David calls God 

  • "the Lord of hosts"
    • God is supreme over all other gods and authorities
  • "God of the armies of Israel" 
    • God is in charge, not man
  • "the Lord will deliver"
    • God is a faithful deliverer (not man)
  • "all earth will know there is a God in Israel"
    • God winning against all odds makes His name great; it glorifies Him
  • "the Lord saves not with sword or spear"
    • God's ways aren't our ways; His tactics are smarter, more creative, better
  • "the battle is the Lord's"
    • God is a warrior; David is simply the vessel God uses to accomplish His battle
  • "(God) will give you into our hand"
    • God is with David in this battle
  • "all this assembly may know"
    • God's power and authority will be reaffirmed in both Israel (who are dismayed and greatly afraid) and Philistine (gloating with pride and human power)

Do you see the main point? It took me a while. Look again if you didn't see it….
GOD! I'll say it again. God. Too often in my struggles and battles, I focus on myself. This is the problem! I need to make it about God. After all, the battle is His.
For the battle is the Lord's, and He will give you into our hand. I Samuel 17:47
I'm the type of person who doesn't even like my picture taken. I'm happy to be a wall flower. However, I wonder if I should post an "All About Me" poster in the house just because it would be a ridiculous, sarcastic reminder of the truth revealed: it's all about God. Yet when the stress of a defiant child mouthing off to me causes me to shove fistfuls of junk food in my mouth as I wallow in self-pity, "I can't handle this," "I don't deserve this," "I don't know what to do," "I…I….I…"  I think I might as well admit; in this moment, it's "All About Me."
We know David defeats Goliath; it's the most famous story in the Bible. But I think we quickly forget that David won because it wasn't his battle. It was His battle. You only think they're your battles. It's God's battle. That defiant personality is the Goliath and God is going to shoot it down. He's just using me to sling the stones. David stepped out and did what God wanted him to do.
Protect your times of refreshment. David came in from shepherding in the fields and defeated the giant. He had a fresh perspective and healthy relationship with God. You won't be able to face your Goliaths unless you are fresh. Make time with God a consistent, number one priority. And put up an "All About Me" poster. Yes, it will make you laugh. But maybe, just maybe it'll catch your eye as you step into battle.


A list of "Kitchen Rules" hangs visibly from our dining table. Lately, the boisterous one (consistent with her title) has loved announcing she's the "only one" following the rules: kissing the cook, washing her hands… Exasperated, the compassionate one lets her have a mouthful over breakfast yesterday. Broken hearted with crocodile tears, the boisterous one runs to her room. I convince the compassionate one that maybe we need to comfort the boisterous one, confess and ask forgiveness for being a bit brash. As we communicated, I heard, "I feel like no one likes me…no one follows me….what I do isn't as important as what anyone else does." A two-by-four smacks my forehead: as a middle, I don't have a clue what it's like to be the youngest in the family.
I have been amazed lately at my "baby" of the family. She is the most consistent in doing her chores (and rarely complains…just does it with a beautiful heart and smile), self-sufficient in most areas, learning through osmosis, creative and serves others. There is something particular about this one. I think about the "Kitchen Rules," and realize she's being obedient in the tasks God places before her: kissing the cook, emptying the dishwasher, learning to add, making gifts or entertaining herself.
This reminded me of David. He was youngest or smallest son of Jesse. He was responsible for taking care of the sheep, traveled back and forth to serve Saul as his armor bearer and play his lyre, obedient to his father's commands, inquisitive, offended that anyone would defy the God of Israel, defends the name of Israel and is successful in all his endeavors. David appears to be faithful to the tasks and positions God calls him. Except for God, who chose David to be Israel's king, and Samuel who anointed him, those around him have other opinions of the young man. David's oldest brother (and possibly others) were jealous of him, his enemy, Goliath, taunted him and Saul hated him.
Despite David's opponents, he was faithful and obedient to what God called him to do. These seemly small acts of obedience led to his call of greatness: Israel's greatest king.
What acts of obedience is God calling you to be faithful in pursuing today?
He has told you, O man, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God. Micah 6:8
Maybe he's calling you to play with your kids, do the laundry, balance your checkbook, finish up that project at work, or bake a plate of cookies for the neighbors. Walking in obedience to the tasks placed before you leads you is the plan God has for you. In obedience, you are always in the center of His will. Though these seem like menial tasks, if God can trust you to be obedient in small tasks, He may choose later to call you to bigger tasks.
His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.' Matthew 25:23
Take a moment to think about what God calls you to do today. Is it just, kind and consistent with Scripture? Then do it!

Caving while I wait

We love superheros. It should little a surprise the volume of superhero movies resurfaced in the recent past. Just in time, at the climactic moment, the superhero sweeps in and saves the day. Do I see God as a superhero, expecting him to sweep in and save the day when I deem appropriate?
Studying in 1 Samuel 13, the beginnings of Israel's first king, Saul, we read that King Saul disobeyed God's law and though, not a priest,he offers the burnt offering to God himself instead of waiting to Samuel, the priest, (13:12).  To King Saul's credit, his back is against the wall, the moment of crisis at hand! The ginormous Philistine army approached the Israelite few. Picture 4000 Israelites versus the Philistines troops that looked like the sand on the seashore (not to mention the 30,000 chariots and 6000 horsemen, 13:5). Outnumbered hardly begins to describe the situation. Further, the Israelite troops are deserting. King Saul has been told to wait at Gilgal seven days and Samuel will come over sacrifice for Israel (10:8), and on day seven the King Saul ceased to wait any longer and took matters into his own hands. Of course, right after King Saul disobeys, Samuel shows up. King Saul waited, but didn't wait long enough. Samuel confronts King Saul's sin and Saul responds by blaming the Israelites for scattering and Samuel for delaying (13:11). Unfortunately for Saul, God takes away his kingship over Israel (13:13-14).
I do not judge Saul; I relate. When I am hard pressed and tempted to sin, I do pray but I don't wait long enough for God's wisdom or strength. Last week, I shared an instance when I didn't know how to parent; I prayed, waited and God gave a solution. I don't usually wait long enough, act prematurely (outside of God's best plan) and then have a mess on my hands and guilt to go with it.
Comfort food for example. The calculating one is pushing all my buttons as we argue and she disobeys. As I prepare a snack for the boisterous one, I am tempted to deal with my stress by turning to food. I pray Matthew 4:4, "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God." Without taking a breath, I repeatedly shove cracker and frosting into my mouth. What's worse is I blame the golden heads  for stressing me out. See?  I'm just like Saul.
And I'm just like our western culture, in love with superheros. Too often, I expect God to be a superhero, expecting Him to come instantly to my rescue. He can choose to do this, but sometimes He wants to teach me in the waiting.
Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; He will surely do it. 1Thessalonians 5:23-24 
He will do it: this work of making us holy. I need to learn to wait. I've not met a soul who's said, "I've got all the patience I need." I need this fruit of the Spirit. I have faith God hears my prayers of intercession but, I lack the patience to wait for His response. I read recently, patience can't be learned but through experience.
I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my get upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.
Psalm 40:1-3
Do you relate to King Saul? Do you cry out God, even in the moment of panic, expecting His answer will be to swoop in and save the day as a superhero? What game plan can you develop to "wait patiently for the Lord," as the psalmist David wrote?


Sitting down to collect thoughts, my heart is heavy. Not with depression or burden but with gratefulness. While the world would tell me to feel overwhelmed with the great responsibilities placed before me, I feel like I could scream of the faithful provider God!
The boisterous one loves praise God for being a giver. A giver indeed. He gives me a High Priest, Jesus. The best counsel ever. Hebrews 7-10 is a treasure trove of ways Jesus is my perfect priest. When I need advice, when I need an liaison, a minister, and best of all, He has offered Himself as a perfect, one time, for all of time sacrifice for all my sin.
He gives the Holy Spirit within me and the Spirit will never leave me. It's mind blowing that I can have the mind of Christ. "You don't know what I'm thinking!" golden heads spout to me. Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 2:6-16. As Christ's child, indwelled by the Holy Spirit, I can receive a secret hidden wisdom of God (v. 7). These things are revealed to me by the Spirit in me and the Spirit knows, because He is God (v. 10). We have received the Spirit of God so we can understand what God's heart is on matters and we can give these words to others. Therefore, Paul concludes, "We have the mind of Christ," (v. 16). AMAZING!
He gives me godly friends and their words (given to them by the Spirit) minister to me just when I need them most! Affirmation and clarification, just when my faith begins to buckle.
What in the world have I done to deserve this? I am not perfect! I am daily struggling with idols…turning to food not Christ for comfort! I am raising my voice to the calculating one. I am least deserving of His faithful provision. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 reminds me of what God's will is for me:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for me…
To be joyful always, constantly pray and be habitually thankful demands that I spend my entire life in His presence, in relationship with Him. He is my invisible friend.
For years now, the boisterous one has had invisible friends that are constantly by her side and experiencing life with her. When she experiences something, wouldn't you know, her friend Brianna had the same thing happen…. Do I see God as my invisible friend? When I'm against the wall, do I realize my invisible friend has experienced this before, is empathetic and has a solution?
When I fully embrace a lifestyle of God as my invisible friend, I will realize that He speaks and He directs me in all my burdensome responsibilities. As a wife, waking in the middle of the night, burdened the current circumstances between me and the engineer, God gives me direction and tells me to practice the gentleness of 1 Peter 3:4. As a mom, the golden heads telling me how to parent as they fight and bicker; I pray, asking God what to do and He gives me an idea I've never had before allowing the golden heads to address the heart of the issue. As a spiritual leader, needing to call upon additional leadership for the coming year. I've been praying, (practically impatiently waiting) and then God gives the words of affirmation for other leadership in perfect timing.
God is a generous giver. May I spend my life in the prescence of my perfect invisible friend, being joyful, praying and thanking Him for being that Giver.
List out what responsibilities lay heavy on your mind and heart. For each responsibility, thank God for the opportunity to have that responsibility. This will give you a joyful heart. Pray He directs your path in that area. Practice this consistently throughout your day and expectantly wait for Him to give what you need, when you need it most.

Run away

Physically fatigued, driving through heavy snow and traffic, the battle raged in my head. Wipers and defrost on high and struggling to see, Satan echoes in my mind, "You can't do this. You can't even get there. A leader in Bible Study has to live closer and be physically available. You're not committed to this Bible Study, you want to turn around and go home." Lies. Deep inside, I know these are lies but I can't quite shake the doubt that I'm not the right person for this ministry.
Safely arrived and listening to shared insight and revelations from the Lord, Satan taunts again, "You don't know anything compared to everyone else here. You are not qualified to lead. Others are more equipped than you." Struggling to focus on the discussion, I acknowledge these are Satan's lies, and turn my mind to what is true, honorable, right..(Philippians 4:8.) What do we do when the lies we hear contradict what we believe God has told us? Two things: recall and seek again. We prayed about the call to serve in leadership; believers affirmed me, God opened doors, His Word and Spirit affirmed. Still, the doubt. Can you relate? Have you ever pounded your head against the wall saying, I can't do this? The kids are whining and demanding. The deadline has come and gone; your company and personal reputation are on the line. Showtime is in ten minutes and you're not prepared. I can't do this.
Opening my Bible after a good night's rest, I am again amazed at how His mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22-23). This is seeking again.
Seek the Lord and His strength,
Seek His presence continually. 1 Chronicles 16:11
It is not your own strength that can accomplish the tasks to which He calls you. His strength through you is sufficient. Your inadequacies cause you to rely on His strength.
For is who is God except the Lord?
And who is a rock, except our God?
God is my strength and power
and He makes my way perfect. 2 Samuel 22:32
He is solid, dependable and unbreakable. There is no task you cannot face without Him within you. He is within you when you believe in Christ, God's perfect Son sent to earth to offer His life for your wrong doing. You get so much for so little. 
When you accept the roles and position He calls you to, whether it be motherhood, leadership at work, in the community or church, and then obey His commands you will be equipped.
After you say "yes" to the road He places before you, comes the obedience. You have to be completely yielded to Him and available for God to work through you. When you experience success, He gets the glory. When you face a road block, you know He will work a miracle and if He doesn't, He's directing you somewhere else. We are all created with a sinful nature. We want our own way. We need Him to remove our heart of stone and give us His heart.
Whatever God calls you to, He wants you to serve Him through that ministry. 
Regard us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy. 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
Merriam-Webster defines a stewards as "a person whose job is to manage the land and property of another person." God trusts you to manage His land and property with the tasks He puts before you. This is your ministry. Do those you minister to also trust you? In Jesus' parable of the talents, the master applauds those who are faithful with a little and rewards them with more to manage (Matthew 25:21, 23).
It seems surreal to me that God has placed in my heart such a deep desire to know Him more and His Word. To wake up in the morning, wondering, "What is He going to teach me today?" This seems unnatural. I would have never imagined myself like this five-years ago. I don't know why God has called me to write. He keeps affirming me in it though through His Spirit, people and circumstances. I felt like the Spirit called me to write every week this year. Discipline is super-natural! I am not super-natural, but Christ in me is. I could runaway from the ministry He has placed before me, but He trusts me to be available to do it through me.
Listen to the song by Waterdeep and let the lyrics be a conversation with God.
I could run away 
But You would never leave 
You would always stay 
Right by my side 

Everything I've ever wanted 
I've found in you 

And I need you, Oh I need you 
Every step of the way