Thursday, May 27, 2010

For His Glory!

Have you ever been in a tough set of circumstances or a situation that you wish you didn't have to go through? You just wish you could close your eyes, blink, and when you open your eyes, all will be well again? You wonder "how did I ever get here?" What if it's even worse - what if you feel like the Lord actually led you there? Then what?

How do you react in these kinds of places? Are you angry? Complaining? Frustrated? Fearful? Do you try to find your own way out ... to "fix" it? Or are you faith”full” knowing that since God brought you there, He would also bring you through?

Have I got something for you! In reading Exodus 14 a couple of weeks ago with our kids for school, I saw something so amazing - you'll have to read it for yourself to see it, too. I believe very strongly that God's Word speaks for itself, so I'm going to put it in its entirety at the bottom of the post (in the NIV translation).  These verses have special significance to me because these are “repeat” verses – I have been here before with the Lord. This time, however, He revealed some additional points that I think are so cool and encouraging.

First of all, a little background information about this section of scripture - this is the point in the Israelite’s history where they have been enslaved to the Egyptians for a long time. Moses was selected to bring them out of Egypt and after a long while (10 plagues, etc), Pharaoh finally granted them permission to leave Egypt to worship the one true God. Using Moses, God led them out of Egypt and towards the promised land. God led them along the desert road, towards the Red Sea, even though it was a longer distance. He knew that if they faced adversity, they would want to return to Egypt. Interestingly enough, He knew they were going to face adversity and even more, He set it in motion to happen. For.His.glory.

From Exodus 14:1-14, here are some of my thoughts:
1. The LORD led them to that place and knew they would be faced with adversity. (v.1-4)

This was the new thing that jumped out at me. He actually very specifically led them to this very place knowing that He was going to harden Pharaoh’s heart and have him pursue them. They were going to be trapped between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army following them. Remember, He led them the long way around – He also led them into a trap (or at least they may have felt that way).

2. He set the whole thing up for His glory! (v. 4)

Very important to remember – it is ALL about Him. It is His’ story – we get to be a part of it, but it is ultimately about Him. Even in the midst of tough circumstances, it is good to remember that He is working – He has not forgotten you – He is still there. Dare I say, sometimes the tough circumstances are even about Him? He wants a greater good to come about, He has a reason and a purpose even when we can’t or don’t see it. 

3. He hardened the heart of Pharaoh. (v. 4, v. 8)
Again, He set the adversity in motion for the Israelite’s. He is the One who caused the Egyptians to follow after the Israelites. For His Glory! So, in our lives, sometimes He allows the tough things to happen to us. And sometimes … He may even put them there … for His purposes.

4. The Israelites were terrified and cried out to the LORD. (v. 10)

I do like that the Israelites first response was to seek the LORD. However, their second thought was not …

5. They complained and whined and bellyached. (v.11-12)

I honestly can’t be too hard on them, though. How often is this my very response to problems of any kind? Complaining, whining and bellyaching.

6. Do not be afraid. Stand firm. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still. (v. 13-14)

And Oh Yes! This was the verse for me. Even though they whined and complained, the LORD still came to their rescue. He is also the One who will fight for you! Stand firm and watch – you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. So even though it is about Him and for His glory, He certainly doesn’t leave us on our own to battle. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still”

Oh, how I hope that came across as I intended – to be encouraging and hopeful. Even though the circumstances may be the worst imaginable, that He is with us through them and He is the One who will carry you through.

Here is the excerpt from Exodus 14:1-14:

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 "Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. 3 Pharaoh will think, 'The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.' 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." So the Israelites did this.

5 When the king of Egypt was told that the people had fled, Pharaoh and his officials changed their minds about them and said, "What have we done? We have let the Israelites go and have lost their services!" 6 So he had his chariot made ready and took his army with him. 7 He took six hundred of the best chariots, along with all the other chariots of Egypt, with officers over all of them. 8 The LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, so that he pursued the Israelites, who were marching out boldly. 9 The Egyptians—all Pharaoh's horses and chariots, horsemen and troops—pursued the Israelites and overtook them as they camped by the sea near Pi Hahiroth, opposite Baal Zephon.

10 As Pharaoh approached, the Israelites looked up, and there were the Egyptians, marching after them. They were terrified and cried out to the LORD.

11 They said to Moses, "Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? 12 Didn't we say to you in Egypt, 'Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians'? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!"

13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

It’s been so long, I’m almost forgotten how to blog!

May has been a whirlwind of activity, but I have no excuses for taking such of a blog break!


First of all – the results of the poll are officially in. From the small sampling of people who read my blog, the general consensus is that “crap” is at least not a nice word. Generally, people commented that this is simply a replacement for another bad word. I have been much more aware of using it and have tried to stop. I think I need to come up with a word that is fun to say, but has no references to anything vulgar or otherwise, and use it instead. Any ideas?


We have had beautiful spring weather – no complaining here. We have little progress on the finishing touches on the house with the exception of cleaning and organizing. The basement is almost livable, with just one corner piled with boxes of things that we want to keep, but don’t have a real place to be (sentimental items, possibly usable items, etc).


We actually got to celebrate John’s birthday this year – last year was crazy busy. Enjoyed being able to make a cake for once :) You are still as young as ever, honey!Img_4301


Soccer! Savannah played Upward soccer this spring and I coached her team. It was a great group of kids and parents and we enjoyed it. Savannah did a great job, and listened to her coach well.

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Savannah doing a throw-in. Devotions at halftime.


Baseball! Hadden enjoyed his second year of baseball. His team was undefeated the entire season! In a preseason tourney, they lost 1 game, but came back and won the tournament. Their win-loss record was 21-1. Fun times.

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Savannah has been begging and stuck on getting a puppy for a while now. I have continually said “we are NOT getting a puppy – we already have 2 dogs”.

Meet Neli – our new puppy! God sure has a funny way of making me eat my words :) She is a black lab mix. Some boys were giving two puppies away at the baseball field on Saturday … I guess they could read the “softie” sign on my forehead. She is really sweet, but worse than a newborn getting up at night – ugh! John has been good at taking her out at night, but the kids pretty much have to take care of her during the day.



Lilly has accepted her mostly. There were thunderstorms, so Lilly was terrified. I love this picture John took of her.

Img_4398 And, finally, we have still been enjoying the Alabama sunsets. Love them!


This is a verse that stuck out at me again recently. I am trying to get a post into the right words before sharing it, and if I can get it right, I think you will be greatly encouraged.

Exodus 14:13-14 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

Now remind me to finish it :)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

I need your opinion ...

Hmmm ... how do I even start this one?

I had a conversation with a friend recently about the word "crap" - whether or not it is a bad word or a swear word. Before I give you more details, I want your opinion.

You can either take the poll to the left, or put a comment in saying your thoughts. If you put a comment in, please say what area of the US you live (general is fine - NE, NW, SE, SW or Central). Obviously, if you live outside the US, I would love to hear that, too :)

to be continued ...

Monday, May 3, 2010

What we’ve been up to …

Our beautiful Alabama spring weather is finally here, so we have been enjoying it as much as possible before it gets hot! Baseball and soccer have kept our evenings pretty busy and catching up in homeschooling has filled our days. In the mix, we enjoyed a field trip to the Art Festival in downtown B’Ham. I almost backed out because John was working hard planting grass seed and I felt I should stay and help him. He cleared me to go, so the kids and I joined our friends and had a great time! So much so, that we went back on Sunday with John. I am already looking forward to next year and making it a special point to get to the kids’ area early.

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To say Savannah is LOVING her horseback riding lessons would be an understatement. She can hardly wait from one week to the next. I am enjoying watching her learn more and gain confidence each time. She is thrilled to have her friend also taking lessons at the same time. This first picture cracked me up – the instructor had to quickly catch one of the horses last week, so she hopped on the atv and off she went. In just a few minutes, she returned with horse in tow.

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WOW! At baseball practice Friday night, God was showing off another incredible sunset! I was so glad that I had my camera along.


On another note – last year I missed picking strawberries because we were too busy with the house and then the rain came and damaged them. I was determined to get strawberries this year to make jam. Friday after horseback riding (and before baseball :), we went with our same friends and picked strawberries. We were having so much fun and ended up picking 6 gallons of strawberries. Very generous gallons, too, I might add. I checked to make sure I understood their definition of “full bucket” :) Perhaps, it would have been wise to check the recipe for strawberry jam before picking 6 gallons of strawberries. Saturday, after 9 batches of strawberry jam, I had barely used 2 of the gallons!! I was able to give one of the remaining ones to our dear neighbors and then I prepped the rest for jam later. Whew – that was a LOT of strawberries!


I haven’t been feeling 100%, so I think I am going to try a “detox your ills” diet. The one I found is basically just eating fruits and veggies all day long (no fasting – whew!). I am also going to stop drinking coffee to see if that helps. I’m telling y’all this for accountability sake and if you see me falling asleep, you’ll know why :)