image There are often times I sit before God in total awe of who He is and what He does.  Today is one of those days.  Today I bowed my knees in humble adoration before a God who loves so lavishly, gives so freely, and delights in redeeming even the most tragically broken and flawed. This Holy and Righteous God has taken a hot mess like me and has chosen to use me in spite of myself!  His love over comes my weakness.  His forgiveness, grace, and mercy redeem me.  He brings beauty from my big, dirty pile of ashes. And if he can do it for me, he can do it for anyone! Our Father doesn't require perfection from us.  He doesn't require us to be flawless, sinless, or righteous.  He knows we are dust.  He understands our weakness and our frailties.  After all, he created us!  Jesus walked among man and faced temptations and trials.  He didn't sin, but He understands that we are not God in the flesh.  His word says no one is righteous, so he doesn't hold out a measuring stick with unattainable standards to judge us. What He does require from us is a trusting and repentant heart.  He asks us to love Him whole heartedly and to follow His will.  He wants us to turn from our mess and turn to The One Who Is Able.  He wants us to be willing to be molded and shaped into His image and He understands that is a process.  I believe that He even understands that for some of us, myself included, it is looooong process! He is sovereign and mighty!  He is good and holy.  He is powerful.  He speaks life into dust.  He brings beauty from ashes.  He gives new hearts, new life, and new purpose. He can take our flaws, our imperfections, our failures, our frailties and use them for His honor and glory if we let Him.  He is a God who redeems. No one is too messy.  No one is too broken.  No situation is too difficult.  No one is too far gone. I'm so overwhelmed by His love this morning.  I'm floored that He would choose to love someone as messy as me.  I needed a lot of work.  Sometimes I still do. It would have been so easy for God to find someone who would have been an easy little project instead of someone who would be such a fixer upper. But He seems to delight in taking the biggest projects and doing a complete overhaul! Moses was a murderer with a bad temper.  Aaron let the people influence him.  Rahab was a prostitute.  Sarah laughed at God.  David was an adulterer.  Paul persecuted Christians.  Peter denied Christ.  The list goes on and on.  Sinner after sinner.  Failure after failure.  All repententlay turning toward God and bathed in love and forgiveness.  All then used in spite of their past. God uses the broken who turn their mess over to him and commit to loving and following Him. I'm just so thankful for that.  I'm thankful that we can look to our perfect Father and know that He looks at us with eyes full of love.  He sees our hearts.  He sees our love for Him and our desire to follow Him.  He sees our potential. And he knows His plan to bring beauty from the ashes of our brokenness. Love and blessings, Bobbie
There are times I feel a little greedy when I come before my Father in prayer.  I have a long list of wants and needs to lay out before Him.  I know He hears my prayers and often answers them.  He wants me to cast my cares on Him and bring my needs before Him.  He has called me to do that and not to feel badly for bringing everything before His throne. And I love that!  I love that such a mighty God cares so much about me and my needs.  I love that I can trust Him with that.  It gives me such a peace and such comfort! And he doesn't think I'm being greedy.  He knows I'm trusting. However, this morning as I was reading 1 Chronicles 16, I got to thinking. David sure praised God a lot and he was called a man after God's own heart. God sure praises us a lot too.  He calls us fearfully and wonderfully made, child of the King, beloved, and forgiven.  He reminds us all throughout scripture of his unfailing love towards us. Can I be honest?  I'm not great at giving or receiving praise.  It makes me a little uncomfortable to receive praise.  I'm not a natural praise giver either.  I have to make a conscious decision to give praise because it isn't something that just naturally flows out of me.  It use to feel very forced and foreign, but, the more I learn to give praise the more I'm learning how important it is. Praise shows love.  It shows respect. It is vital in relationships! It's important for me to praise my husband and my kids.  Important for me to praise my friends and family and those who are a blessing to me. It shows them that I love and appreciate them.  I need to do it way more often than I do. It pretty vital for me to give God praise as well. I think He enjoys our praise too.  Just maybe it makes Him feel loved and appreciated too.  Maybe I need to praise Him more often too.  Above all, He is worthy of praise. This morning I wanted to be like David.  I laid aside my requests and my needs.  God knows my heart.  He already knows what I need and want.  Instead, I just took the time to praise Him. And maybe I'm taking a little too much liberty here, but I think He enjoyed it.  I know I did. And a funny thing happened as I began writing out my praise prayer to the Lord this morning, I felt a softening.  I felt a welling up of love and gratitude.  The more I thought about giving Him praise, the more reasons I found to praise Him. Maybe that's a little life lesson for me.  As I focus on giving praise and using my words to show love and respect, just maybe, my heart will continue to soften a little.  My perspective will continue to shift a little.  Just maybe my focus changes from receiving to giving.  And just maybe praising comes a little more naturally. I think I may just give that theory a try! Love and blessings, Bobbie
Man, lately my life just seems to be hovering in the unknown.  Have you been there, in that phase of life when things just don't seem to make a lot of sense?  I seem to be there a lot lately.  It's not even a bad thing.  It's just different for me. I'm pretty good at just rolling with things.  Although I love order and a control, I'm not to shabby at just flying by the seat of my pants sometimes too.  This is different though. This is not flying by the seat of my pants.  There is still a bit of control in that.  Most of the time, I still get the choice of where, when, and how to fly and when not to. This is a little more out of my control than that.  This phase of life almost seems like a roller coaster ride.  There is a track and a destination and I'm barreling down it at full speed with lots of really high highs and some places where the bottom just drops out.  Sometimes I'm thrown for a loop.  There are some tunnels and some places where I get turned upside down a little, and sometimes I'm tempted to close my eyes when it gets a little scary. But, I'm also tempted to give in to the ride.  I want to just throw my hands in the air and scream and enjoy myself.  I want to give in to the complete freedom!  I don't know exactly how this roller coaster works, but I don't really need to.  I mean, I am pretty sure I saw the end destination when I jumped on board, but every twist and every turn and every thrilling moment in between is new to me.  So I just hang on tight.   I mean, the operator knows what's going on, so there is no need to worry.  I can just sit back and enjoy the ride, even if I'm a little scared and a little confused and a little nervous! Been there?  Understand at all? I know God has a plan and I can see where the destination might be, but I really don't understand the path that's leading me there.  There are a lot of unknowns along the way.  Sometimes I am at the peak and sometimes I'm down in that valley.  Sometimes I'm in that tunnel where things look a little dark and I can't see my hand in front of my face.  At other times I'm turned upside down or thrown for a loop, but the operator of this ride is in total control. After all, he isn't just the operator, He designed the ride just for me with every detail along the way.  Each high and each low was put in place for a purpose along the journey.  He mapped out each turn just for me! This roller coaster ride never surprises the operator.  He knows every twist and turn,  every peak and valley.  All of my unknowns and completely known by him.  I know he's in total control and I trust him. So, here's to giving up control to the one who knows all, operates all, and designed each detail and JUST hanging on for dear life and enjoying the ride! "Have you not heard?  Long ago I ordained it.  In the days of old I planned it; now I have brought it to pass." 2 Kings 19:25 Love and blessings, Bobbie
Sometimes during my quiet time, word just jump off the page of my Bible and connect deeply to my heart.  They get me thinking and feeling and really understanding God's character. Yesterday, I wrote about wanting to have faith to just bravely step out into God's plan like Rebekah did.  I mentioned that sometimes I question and sometimes I even doubt. Then today, these two verses just flew off of the page and landed squarely in my heart.  They were like the part b to my thoughts from yesterday.  These verses were like a healing balm for a questioning soul.  They comfort me and remind me that God cares for me enough to encourage me when I'm weak.  I love when God does that! "...Do not be afraid, for I am with you..."  Gen 26:24b "...Surely the Lord is in this place and I did not know it..."  Gen 28:16b I will admit it.  I have trust issues.  My past has given me many opportunities to doubt people and their words.  However, God is not 'people'. God is God. His promises are true. He is faithful. He promises to be with us and he gently reminds us that even if we don't SEE or FEEL him, He has been there the whole time. I don't know about you, but those words cover any doubts that I might have.  They show me that I am completely safe in trusting My God in ALL things.  He is my constant and He has proven himself trustworthy. Love and blessings, Bobbie
Sometimes my faith wavers a bit.  It's not something that I'm proud of, but I have the tendency to look at hard situations and say "why me?", "why now?", "what in the world is the purpose of this?".  My first response to something is usually emotional and full of questions. This morning as I sat and read my Bible, I was floored by the faith Rebekah showed in Genesis 25.  She was just going about her day, drawing water from the well like she always did, when God rocked her whole world.  Everything changed for her in a mater of minutes when she was told that the Lord had a plan for her. She didn't question even once?  I would have grilled that poor servant to no end!  I would have needed him to go though and tell me again, step by step.  I would have had lots of questions.  This guy is trying to change my whole world after all!  Am I just suppose to trust him and trust that God has a plan at work here?  That's a big leap of faith! Rebekah did though!  She RAN to tell her household and they all welcomed this traveling servant in.  Without a second thought.  Because they knew he came with a plan from the Lord. As that servant laid out the events that led him there and told Rebekah's family of God's plan, they surely had to be shocked.  Didn't they have any questions?  Who is this son of your master? God wants to do what now?  You want to take her where?  And you prayed what right before Rebekah showed up?  Are you sure?  Maybe we should take a few days to think this thorough? But no.  That's not how it went at all. "This is from the Lord; we have no choice in the matter...Let it be as the Lord has spoken." (Gen 24:50) "They called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?"  She replied, "I will go." (Gen 24:57-58) And she did.  Just like that. Even though it had to be hard to just drop everything, leave everything she had ever known, and walk into a situation that was very unknown and possibly scary.  She unwaveringly believed that God had a good plan for her, and she stepped out of all she had ever known into his glorious plan without a moment's hesitation. WOW! I want to trust God's plan like that.  It's easy when His plan is easy, but when that plan has me walking into something unknown or scary, I sometimes drag my feet.  I question.  "Why?"  "How?"  "Are you sure you've got me God, because this looks hard?" Oh, to have a faith like Rebekah!  As I'm walking though things that I don't fully understand right now, I am choosing to turn away from my norm and respond like Rebekah.  It may be hard.  It may be unknown and even a little scary. But I'm choosing to answer with, "I will go."  That's it.  Just, "I will go."  And then I will.  Completely trusting that God has a plan for whatever it is I'm being called into and He will work it all for His ultimate good. Love and blessings, Bobbie